OCT 11-17, 2004

    October 17, 2004

  • So who drives the #6 in 2006? after Mark Martin leaves Cup racing in 2005, who will replace him as the driver? Jon Wood, the son of Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood, is among the drivers being considered as Mark Martin’s replacement for the #6 Roush Racing Nextel Cup entry in 2006. Martin, 45, announced on Thursday that the 2005 season would be his last running a full Nextel Cup schedule. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said the organization isn’t close to naming a replacement, but mentioned Wood as a possibility. Smith also said Wood, who drives for Roush Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series [#50 Ford], would be allowed to pursue an opportunity to drive in the Busch Series for another Ford team that he declined to name [ST Motorsports, see story on my Busch Series site]. That would allow the organization to evaluate Wood and at the same time keep him under contract with Roush. Wood’s truck ride is without a sponsor. “We’re very much keeping an eye on Jon,” Smith said. “We’ve got a lot of money invested in Jon we haven’t recouped yet.” Smith also acknowledged that Martin could team with another driver and split the Cup schedule in 2006. He said Martin would not run a part-time schedule alone because it would be difficult to put together a first-class team not competing for a championship. Smith said the most likely scenario now is that Martin will drive a full-time schedule in the truck series.(The State)
    AND Jack Roush said the driver and sponsor status of the #6 Viagra Ford is uncertain after Mark Martin's 2005 retirement. One candidate is Jon Wood, who has struggled to a 15th-place ranking while racing an unsponsored Roush Racing entry in the Craftsman Truck Series this season. Roush is allowing Wood to test with other Busch teams but still would be interested in bringing the Stuart, Va., native back into the fold if he leaves.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-17-2004)

  • Bill Elliott sponsor for some 2005 races? UPDATE: hearing the announcement on Saturday from Evernham Motorsports is about Bill Elliott being sponsored by Stanley Tools for four races, a California race, a Texas race, Indy and the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and that Stanley tools will be an associate sponsor on the #9 and #19 cars. Currently Mac Tools is an associate sponsor for the teams and is owned by Stanley Works which also owns Stanley Tools.(10-15-2004)
    UPDATE: Evernham Motorsports announced Saturday that Stanley Tools will sponsor Bill Elliott in four Cup races next season. Elliott will race at California, Texas, Indianapolis and Charlotte. Evernham says he hopes to have Elliott drive 10 to 12 races next season.(Roanoke Times)
    AND Team owner Ray Evernham plans to have three full-time cars by 2006. The former crew chief of Jeff Gordon already has two full-time cars on his team -- Chase contender Jeremy Mayfield in the #19 Dodge and Rookie of the Year contender Kasey Kahne in the #9 Dodge. Veteran Bill Elliott has been running a part-time schedule in the #91 Dodge. Elliott also will run only a partial schedule next year -- 10 to 12 races. Whether that will be his last season in Cup racing still is undetermined. Elliott will be 50 at the end of the 2005 season. Regardless, Evernham plans to have the #91 run a full schedule in 2006 and beyond.(Miami Herald)(10-17-2004)

  • Chevy Clinches Manu Championship: #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway clinched the 2004 Manufacturers' Championship for Chevrolet in NASCAR's premier division. With five races left in the season, Chevrolet collected its 28th Manufacturers' crown and the 24th of NASCAR's Modern Era, which began in 1972. A total of five different drivers have contributed to the 18 victories in 31 races thus far this season that brought Chevrolet its 24th crown. Chevy drivers who posted wins during the season included Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5), Jeff Gordon (5), Jimmie Johnson (5), Tony Stewart (2), and Joe Nemechek (1). The 2004 Manufacturers' Championship continues Chevrolet's dominance of North America's most popular motorsports series. In fact, Chevrolet's nearest competitor has won just nine times. Since 1972, GM Racing has earned 26 of the 33 Manufacturers' titles contested, with Chevrolet collecting 24 of those for an impressive .75 winning percentage (Buick has won the title twice).(GM PR), for the standings, drivers who were the highest for each manu each race, manufacturer wins, see my 2004 Manufacturers Championship page.
    AND unless my research and calculations are off, if Chevy wins next race or a race in the future before Ford, Chevy will tie with Ford for the most wins in the Cup series with 553.(10-17-2004)

    October 16, 2004

  • Johnson wins at LMS; sweeps both Cup races: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, sweeping both 2004 Cup races, but not quite as dominatig as the Coca-Cola 600 when he led 334 of the 400 laps. #9-Kasey Kahne pretty much dominated the first 400 miles, leading 207 laps before a right front tire blew out, sending Kahne into the wall. While the win helped Johnson gain a few points, #97-Kurt Busch, who was involved in a lap one accident with minor damage, slowly worked his way thru the field and finshed 4th, maintaining a slim 24 points lead over #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [which could change pending Dale Jr's penalty appeal on Monday]. #24-Gordon, who was involved in two early wrecked, came back and finished 2nd with a beat up car, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., after starting 25th, finished 3rd, followed by Busch and last weeks winner, #01-Joe Nemechek. There were 11 caution flags for 53 laps and 18 lead changes among 9 drivers.
    For race results, see:
    Jayski's Charlotte Race Results/Awards page
    Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Standings

  • Tyson Foods Partners with the Crew Chief Club to Sponsor Pit Crew Championship: Tyson Foods, Inc. will proudly 'power' the pit crews behind stock car drivers with the creation of the 2005 National Pit Crew Championship Powered by Tyson. Additionally, Tyson will sponsor the 2005 'National Motorsports Team of the Year,' culminating in a year-end awards ceremony that recognizes pit crews and teams and awards up to a half million dollars. 30 Cup and 10 Busch teams have been invited to participate in the 2005 "National Pit Crew Championship Powered by Tyson."  Pit crews will compete against each other for the fastest pit stop at the event.  The competition will take place at the Pit Instruction and Training (PIT) facility in Mooresville, North Carolina on May 9, 2005.  The event will air on the SPEED Channel.
    The 2005 National Motorsports Team of the Year Powered by Tyson is a season long contest with voting and rankings to determine the 2005 National Motorsports Team.  The winning team will be chosen by Cup Crew Chiefs and other motorsports personalities, with additional votes coming from fans and Tyson team members. Tyson recently unveiled a $75 million fully integrated, multi-channel marketing communications campaign with the tagline, "Powered by Tyson" From extensive consumer research, a truth emerged: protein=energy=power. Tyson's new strategy recognizes the company's position as the premiere provider of protein by pointing to the role meat protein plays in the diet.
    "The 'Powered by Tyson' theme resonates well with the Crew Chief Club sponsorship as Tyson is powering the people that power NASCAR," said Bob Corscadden, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Tyson Foods, Inc. "We are thrilled to be a part of one of the most popular and exciting sports in the world."
    "We're very excited to have Tyson sponsor our events which were created to recognize all the pit crews and teams who work so hard every week," said Larry McReynolds, former crew chief and now FOX Sports television analyst. "These guys need all the power they can get to accomplish their goals week in and out, and Tyson helps to provide them with that source of protein power.(PR), mo word on how or if this will effect the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE.(10-16-2004)

  • Roush to be honored in his hometown: Adams County [Ohio] native Jack Roush will again be honored at his hometown of Manchester, OH on Sunday, Oct. 17. A full day of activities are being planned with a cruise-in, auto parade, food, games, raffles and split the pot. All proceeds will benefit the Manchester Christmas Light Fund. The events start at noon with a home-cooked meal with Roush at the community building. Also at noon, a fall festival honoring Jack will start at the River Barn on U.S. 52 where all the activities of the day will be held. At that time, there will be a gospel lunch, a cruise-in and games for the children. Line-up for the automobile parade, with Roush as Grand Marshall, is at 1 p.m. at Brown Hill Road. The parade will proceed down Jack Roush Way, west on U.S. 52 to the Riverbarn.
    The first annual Jack Roush Car Show will be held at the Riverbarn beginning at 8 a.m. with judging at 10:30 a.m. and trophies awarded at 11:15 a.m. Free dash plaques will be awarded to all show cars. Entry fee is $10.
    After the grand parade, Roush will host an autograph signing until 4 p.m. An auction, featuring many special race items, will begin at 3 p.m., at which time the winners of the car show will be announced as well as raffle winners.(People's Defender)(10-16-2004)

  • Did ya know? Only once all year has the driver fastest in the final practice session gone on to win the race. Jeff Gordon did so at Infineon Raceway, who led all the practice sessions and won the pole for that race. (Gaston Gazette), see my 2004 Practice Page for links and who was the fastest each session, along with pole and race winners. The 'jinx' this week falls to #38-Elliott Sadler, who was fastest in Happy Hour practice.(10-16-2004)

  • Cool Cover: Ten men. Ten races. One goal. The Inaugural Chase For The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is a virtual prizefight on wheels. It's a no-punches-pulled 10-round fight-to-the-finish that makes the Thrilla in Manila look tame. The bell sounds for Round 5 this Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Billed as "The Saturday Night Title Fight," the UAW-GM Quality 500 is the race many feel will be most pivotal in the quest for motor racing's most coveted championship.
    Motorsports artist Sam Bass has captured the urgency of the contest in his most recent illustration, aptly named "Title Fight!" This poignant composition will adorn the cover of the UAW-GM Quality 500 souvenir program-making it the 44th consecutive program cover Bass has designed for Lowe's Motor Speedway. Due to popular demand, "Title Fight!" is also being offered to race fans as a fine art poster."Title Fight!" fine art posters will be available race week at the Sam Bass Gallery, located within sight of Lowe's Motor Speedway at 6104 Performance Drive, SW in Concord, NC. The artwork can also be purchased online at

    see a larger version

  • 1200 Races: #21 Wood Brothers Racing will be making its 1,200th Cup start tonight at Lowe's Motor SPeedway when Ricky Rudd starts the race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-16-2004)

  • What's Wrong with RCR? What's wrong with Richard Childress Racing? To Kevin Harvick, driver of RCR's #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, it's simple. "Our engines are topping the wrong end of the list," Harvick said. "That's about it. That's about all you need to say."(

  • STP and the Petty's Richard and Kyle Petty will be making an announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Conference Room on Friday [Oct 15] at 3:30 pm. They will be announcing that long time sponsor STP and AutoZone will help raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, and host a special STP Family Weekend.(10-15-2004)
    UPDATE: Long time Richard Petty sponsor STP has teamed up with AutoZone to announce a donation for up to $50,000 to the Petty Family's Victory Junction Gang Camp. The donation, which is being made in celebration of STP's 50th Anniversary, will allow STP and AutoZone to host a special "Family Weekend," for children with a chronic or life-threatening illness, sometime in the Spring of 2005. Kyle and Richard Petty were on hand to help kick-off STP's 50th Anniversary celebration in grand style, when they unveiled a special STP "Future's Car" which will be the pace car in Kyle Petty's Ride to Victory II charity ride. The Ride to Victory will take place on Sunday, October 17 leaving the Lowe's Motor Speedway and concluding at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina. The STP future's car and coinciding donation are two highlights of STP's golden anniversary celebration. Money will be raised, in part, through sales of STP products at AutoZone stores during the month of November. For every bottle of STP sold at AutoZone stores in November, 50 cents will be donated to The Victory Junction Gang Camp, up to a goal of $50,000. Additionally, consumers who purchase two bottles of STP products at AutoZone will also be able to mail away and receive their choice of three limited edition STP/Petty die cast cars:
    · 1972 STP Car (Petty's first #43 STP car victory)
    · 1984 STP Car (Petty's final Victory)
    · 2004 STP Car (Pace car for Ride to Victory II)
    STP's 50 years of business have been synonymous with NASCAR racing. In 1972 STP began making headlines in the racing world with the historic sponsorship of Petty and the No. 43 car. In 1979, Richard won his seventh NASCAR title, which put him in a class of his own, and also etched STP as an icon in the racing world. The STP logo returned to the #43 Dodge this season as an associate sponsor and will remain on the Jeff Green's #43 Dodge car throughout the 2005.(Ketchum for STP PR)(10-16-2004)

  • Humpy steps in when ASA doesn't pay purse: Not NASCAR, but....The debut of the American Speed Association at Lowe's Motor Speedway may be over, but controversy remains. Reed Sorenson, 18, won the Aaron's 99 Thursday night, but after the race, drivers and team owners were notified the sanctioning body did not have the money on hand to pay the more than $92,000 purse. Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler stepped in and guaranteed the purse money to the teams that participated in the race, then after the race ended, he sent his track security officers and other workers to the ASA garage to secure the ASA's hauler and other equipment as "collateral." An ASA spokesman declined to comment on the situation. "We sent them the purse last week, which is normal practice, the sanctioning fee and all that and it's customary and a long held practice to pay the purse as soon as the race is over," Wheeler said. "When we found out (before Thursday night) they had not brought the purse with them, obviously the drivers were going to race. It was ASA's responsibility to pay the purse and if they didn't, somebody had to pay it, and that would be us." As of Friday afternoon, Wheeler had not recovered any of the extra money and his track workers still held the ASA equipment. "I've know they have a tough time financially. I was hoping if I sent them the money, at least the purse would show up and it didn't," Wheeler said. "You can't do that."(

  • Charlotte Race Notes:
    ---- Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-Quality 500, scoring his 11th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 106th career start. His last victory came at Pocono, 11 races ago.
    ---- It is Johnson's fifth victory in 2004.
    ---- Johnson scored his third victory and sixth top-10 finish in seven races at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    ---- Johnson won here in May and became only the sixth driver to score a sweep at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The last time a sweep occurred at Lowe's was in 1986 by Dale Earnhardt.
    ---- All 11 of Johnson's victories have occurred on superspeedways.
    ---- Johnson climbed from ninth to eighth in The Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
    ---- Johnson led three times for 35 laps including the final 17. He did not lead the most laps.
    ---- Kasey Kahne led four times for 207 laps, the most laps that Kahne has led in a single race in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career. He led the most laps for the second time in 2004.
    ---- This was the 18th victory for Chevrolet. Dodge has nine and Ford has four. Chevrolet has clinched the 2004 Manufacturer's Championship, the 28th time they have won the manufacturer's championship. Notebook Items The Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
    ---- With five races remaining in the Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, 349 points separate first to 10th. The biggest margin is between third and fourth place where Jeff Gordon (third) leads Elliott Sadler by 83 points.
    ---- Only two drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    ---- All 10 drivers competing in the Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup scored at least one victory in the first 26 races of the 2004 season. Busch, Newman, Earnhardt Jr., Nemechek and Johnson posted victories in the first five races of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
    ---- Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch are the only drivers to score top-10 finishes in the first five races in the Chase.
    ---- Six of the 10 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup posted top-10 finishes in the 2004 UAW-GM Quality 500.
    ---- Jeremy Mayfield lost 92 points to leader Kurt Busch in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the biggest drop in the standings among the top-10 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Mayfield is now 349 points behind point leader Kurt Busch.
    ---- Approximately $1 million will be paid to the driver who finishes 11th in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings – an increase of more than $400,000 from over one year ago. That includes a $250,000 bonus, which will be paid to the 11th-place finisher. Additionally, the 11th-place driver will also join the top-10 drivers on the stage at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Ceremony in New York in December. Currently, Jamie McMurray holds the 11th-place position by 74 points over 12th-place Dale Jarrett.
    ---- Jeff Gordon (second) scored his 21st top-10 finish of the season, the most of all drivers. It was his 15th top-10 finish in 24 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    ---- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) scored his 20th top-10 finish in 2004. It was his sixth top-10 finish in 11 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This is his sixth top-10 finish in the last six races, the longest top-10 streak of his career.
    ---- Kurt Busch (fourth) scored his 17th top-10 finish in 2004. It was his first top-10 finish in nine races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Busch has finished sixth or better in all five races in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and leads second-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 24 points.
    ---- Joe Nemechek (fifth) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2004, including four in the last five races. It was his third top-10 finish in 21 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This marked the first time in his 353-race career that he has scored back-to-back top-five finishes.
    ---- Matt Kenseth (11th) has ranked among the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 66 straight races.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-16-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Charlotte: A crazy night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. First, we couldn't make the first turn of the first lap without a pileup.....then it took us 13 laps till we finished one under green. It looked like Kasey Kahne was gonna run away and hide (at this point, we can only hope he broke just one mirror), but after he smacked the wall in turn 2 and fell out, it suddenly became anybody's race. And that opened the door for Jimmie Johnson. For a guy who seems to know his way around this 1 1/2 miler named for his sponsor, he took tonight's UAW-GM Quality 500 to become the 5th sweeper at Lowe's. This was win #3 at LMS for Johnson, his 5th of 2004 (he joins Jeff Gordon & Dale Earnhardt Jr as tops in that category), and the 11th victory of his career (he's tied with Kurt Busch & Ryan Newman for 46th all-time). This was win #127 for Hendrick Motorsports and their 10th of the season, marking the 5th time they've been in double digits in wins in their history (with a best of 14 in 1998). JJ will cash $191,450 from the over $4.9M in posted awards, and seeing as how he's swept Pocono & Charlotte, you might want to keep an eye on him when we get to Darlington in 4 weeks (he won there in March).
    Jeff Gordon (2nd) had his best finish since he won at The Brickyard in August.
    Jeff Burton (9th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Bristol in August.
    STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt Jr has 6 Top-10's in a row.
    Kurt Busch has 5 Top-10's in a row.
    Dale Jarrett has 4 Top-10's in a row.
    Jamie McMurray has 8 Top-10's in the last 9 races.
    Joe Nemechek has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Dale Jarrett (+33), followed by Jeff Burton (+26), Matt Kenseth (+25), Ricky Rudd (+25), Ward Burton (+24), Dale Earnhardt Jr (+23), and Jeff Gordon (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Scott Riggs (-34), followed by Kasey Kahne (-30), Kevin Harvick (-29), Dave Blaney (-28), Brian Vickers (-24), and Michael Waltrip (-22).
    With five down and five to go in the "Chase" we see no real change this week. Dale Jr takes five points off Kurt Busch's lead, but if we're gonna see a real bite it'll come Monday when he meets with the Commission in regards to his Talladega penalty. He's now 24 points behind in 2nd as there is no change in the Top-7 of the order.B Jeremy Mayfield's got a "Magic Number" of 14 (pretty high with five to to). That means if Kurt Busch runs 14th or better every week, Jeremy can't catch him. Ryan Newman's is now 9 and even with the win tonight, Jimmie Johnson went from 6 to 7.
    Once again the "Classic" points is where it's at! Jeff Gordon still holds a one-point lead over Little E (think about what could be written about that every week!) and there was no change in the Top-13 in the "Classic" standings. Jeff Burton (19th to 17th) and Joe Nemechek (21st to 19th) made multi-position moves this week (Joe's gained 5 spots the last two weeks, btw) while Greg Biffle (18th to 22nd) fell four spots.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(10-16-2004)

  • Edward's may not make it: The Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was red flagged for a while due to a three-truck accident and a damaged SAFER wall which took a while to repair. #22-Bill Lester, #17-David Reutimann, #12-Robert Huffman and #67-J.R. Patton were involved.
    Lester and Patton walked away from their trucks, it took a while to get Reutimann out, but he stood up and was alert and both he and Lester were taken by ambulance to a local hospital for further observation. The SAFER wall got pushed in from the impact, and track workers are making repairs by adding more styrofoam, by jumping up and down on it to get it in. Darrell Waltrip contacted Reutimann's wife who talked to David and he said he was OK and DW contacted the Speed Channel staff.
    So....#99-Carl Edwards, who is scheduled to run the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and is running 3rd, will in all likelyhood not make the start of the Cup race [7:30pm/et], if not, Dave Blaney will run the car. If Edwards makes it, he will have missed the drivers meeting, so either way the #99 Ford will have to fall to the rear of the field before the start of the Cup race. The race ended at 5:00pm/et and Edwards headed to the airport gonna be close. Todd Bodine won again.(10-16-2004)

    October 15, 2004

  • World Series Scheme for Dale Jr. UPDATE 2 yep at Charlotte: For the third time on the NASCAR Circuit, Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be teaming up with Major League Baseball to race at the Martinsville Speedway on October 24th. Earnhardt Jr. will be racing his MLB World Series car the same weekend as the start of the World Series [GO Phillies!]. Dale Jr's special paint scheme will feature the MLB World Series logo and graphics. October 24th, Martinsville Speedway.(8-11-2004)
    UPDATE: being told now that is will NOT happen....
    BUT there may be some sort of MLB scheme in the works but NOT at Martinsville.(8-12-2004)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a specially-decaled Budweiser #8 car Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte commemorating next week's World Series. The car will feature the official Major League Baseball World Series '04 logo on the hood and deck lid as well as images of the championship trophy on the rear quarter panels.  Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball, has sponsorship deals with the four teams represented in the League Championship Series:  Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. This is the fourth season Bud and MLB have teamed up with a special look for the #8 Budweiser car.(fingerprint inc./Anheuser-Busch PR), see an image of the scheme on my #8 Team Paint Schemes page.(10-15-2004)

  • ChevronTexaco Extends Sponsorship of Chip Ganassi Racing: ChevronTexaco Products Company (CTPC), a division of Chevron USA Inc., announced today it has signed a long-term contract extension with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to continue sponsorship of the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge.Terms of the contract were not announced.
    This season marks Texaco/Havoline's 17th consecutive year as sponsor in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Through its long-term sponsorship of motorsports, Texaco/Havoline Racing tests its products in the most demanding of laboratories -- high-speed automobiles performing on the tracks and roads of the international racing circuit. This commitment ensures the excellence of Texaco/Havoline's products and builds customer loyalty among the millions of racing fans in the United States and around the world. "With its rich racing history, Texaco/Havoline is one of the most storied sponsors in the sport," said Chip Ganassi. "Our team couldn't be more proud to represent Texaco/Havoline and we're thrilled to continue what has been a truly great partnership with ChevronTexaco. Winning a championship requires a long-term commitment to the sport and to the team, and we are well-positioned for success with a partner like ChevronTexaco."
    Currently the Texaco/Havoline #42 Dodge is piloted by Jamie McMurray, who was named the 2003 Raybestos Rookie of the Year. "It's an honor to drive that black car with the big Texaco Star on the hood with all its history and with ChevronTexaco being such a great sponsor," said McMurray. "Our team has continued to get better and better. Chip and Felix give us the resources to win and I am really looking forward to competing for the Championship next year and for wins every week."
    2004 marks the 100th anniversary of Havoline, which is a highly recognized brand globally. Throughout the year, ChevronTexaco has been celebrating through a variety of marketing programs and promotions, including the Racing for a $1,000,000 Birthday Bash promotion, in which three lucky consumers will win the grand prize VIP Experience trip to the Checker Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix, November 4-8, 2004. At the race, each grand prize winner is eligible to win $1 million.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-15-2004)

  • Driver Injured at Lowe's Dirt Track UPDATE doing better: An 18-year-old sprint-car driver was in critical condition after crashing in a dirt-track race Wednesday night at the Lowe's Motor Speedway complex. Emergency workers needed nearly a half-hour to remove Jimmy Weller III of Liberty, Ohio, from his car after it slammed into the wall and flipped violently, the Charlotte Observer reported. Workers covered the driver's cockpit with a white cloth as they worked to free Weller from the wreck. Weller was flown by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where a hospital spokeswoman said he was in critical condition. She would not provide The Associated Press with details of Weller's injuries.(FoxSports/AP)(10-14-2004)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Weller III, the 18-year-old U.S. Auto Club sprint car driver injured in a crash Wednesday night at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, suffered a severe head trauma, but his condition was improving on Thursday. Lowe's Motor Speedway spokesman Keith Waltz said Weller's condition had stabilized and swelling was down. He was moving his limbs and responding to commands despite remaining under heavy sedation. Weller also suffered hairline fractures to a pair of vertebrae, but those injuries do not appear to require surgery, Waltz said.(

  • Leffler to run some Busch for Gibbs? Jason Leffler, Joe Gibbs' new third Cup team driver beginning next season, will likely finish the season in Gibbs' Busch car, according to team sources. Leffler lost his Busch ride last week when Gene Haas hired a new driver, even though Leffler was third in the standings. Leffler took Haas' decision to court last week, but a judge in Kansas decided against upholding an injunction.Winston Salem Journal)(10-15-2004)

  • BDR Engine builder to Ganassi? Terry Elledge, a noted engine builder who has been working for car owner Bill Davis [Racing, #22/#23] the past several years, is being wooed by Dodge owner Chip Ganassi, according to team sources.Winston Salem Journal)(10-15-2004)

    October 14, 2004

  • Mark Martin Announcement, done in Full-time Cup after 2005: at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday, Oct 14th at 1:30pm/et. Bill Weber hosted. On the stage: NASCAR's Mike Helton, Roush Racing's owner Jack Roush, Mark Martin and Mark's wife Arlene. Roush talked first about his history with Martin. Roush then announced that 2005 would be the last seasson for Martin in the #6 Viagra Taurus. Martin said he was not retiring, but 2005 would be he last season going for the Nextel Cup. Martin says the tour will be called "Salute to You" tour and he plans to race something in 2006, not sure what, and mentioned the Truck Series. See the Roush Racing site for Mark Martin to Make Final Run for NEXTEL Cup in '05 and Jack and the Roush Stable comment on the Impact of Mark Martin on Their Careers(10-14-2004)

  • New Associate for Kenseth: Trex Company, manufacturer of TrexR decking and railing, announced today that they are becoming an associate team sponsor in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for the 2005 racing season. Trex Co. will partner with DEWALT Tools, the primary sponsor, for a series of 38 racing events, including two non-point special events during the year. The companies will sponsor the #17 car driven by Matt Kenseth, as the two building products industry leaders share the spotlight with car logos and promotional events throughout the racing season. For the Spring Atlanta race, Trex decking will have the opportunity to be the primary sponsor of the car, to be referenced as the #17 Trex Ford. Trex Co. will also be featured in DEWALT's Rolling Thunder 6,400 sq. ft. trackside pavilion which features product demos, driver guest appearances, entertainment and give-aways. Rolling Thunder is DEWALT's mobile display and entertainment unit that travels to selected race markets. Trex decking and railing is a splinter-free, weather-resistant decking lumber available at more than 3,300 lumber dealer locations in the U.S. and Canada. For an authorized Trex dealer or TrexProT contractor near you, call 1-800- BUY-TREX (289-8739) or visit the Trex Co. website at, looking to have a new deck built at my place in Mooresville and plan on looking into Trex.(Mercury Marketing / Trex PR)(10-14-2004)

  • Changes at The #15? UPDATE 2: nothing confirmed or denied yet, but hearing that crew chief Slugger Labbe has replaced by Pete Rondeau, crew chief for the #1 part-time team?
    UPDATE: it was reported on XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144 that Slugger Labbe is moving up into a new management position at DEI and Pete Rondeau is in as crew chief on the 15. Labbe will be in a different role, helping the Busch team win the championship [#8 Truex Jr.] and overseeing all the DEI teams. The chemestry not working on the 15 and they are trying this change.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)
    UPDATE 2: Effective immediately, Pete Rondeau has been promoted to crew chief of the Dale Earnhardt. Inc. #15 NAPA Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Rondeau has served as car chief on the NAPA Chevrolet since joining DEI in 2002. Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports, said, "Pete has been a tremendous asset as a car chief here at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. We've seen in the races he's run for us this year with Dale Jr., Ron Fellows and Tony Stewart that Pete is an incredible team player. As a crew chief for those races, Pete demonstrated what he learned during the weekend was readily available to the other two teams. At the level of competition this sport is at now, that's what it takes to be in the top-10 for the Chase for the Championship. When we talked about when to make the transition, we initially thought this would be something that we would do at the end of the 2004 season. In looking at it a little closer, we decided we would go ahead and make the change now and try to win a race or two before the end of the 2004 season."
    "I'm just grateful for the opportunity," Rondeau said. "I'm dedicated to doing whatever I need to do to win races. The company's vote of confidence convinces me that we can do just that." Richard "Slugger" Labbe will now assist the title efforts for both the Chance 2 Motorsports and No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet teams. In addition, Labbe will oversee development programs for the #11 Menards BGN effort and the #15 NAPA team. Labbe served as crew chief on the #15 NAPA Chevrolet for the past three years.(DEI PR)(10-14-2004)

  • NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Qualifying Notes
    • Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole for the UAW-GM Quality 500, lapping Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 28.590 seconds at 188.877 mph. He broke Jimmie Johnson’s track-qualifying record of 28.869 seconds, 187.052 mph - set May 27, 2004. Johnson had taken the track record from Newman in May.
    • This is Newman’s 24th career Bud Pole in 111 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. His most recent Bud Pole came at Richmond, five races ago.
    • This is his sixth Bud Pole in 2004, tying Jeff Gordon. Kasey Kahne (four), Casey Mears (two), Brian Vickers (two), Jeremy Mayfield (two) and Joe Nemechek (two) are the other drivers with more than one Bud Pole this season. Qualifying was canceled at Watkins Glen, second Michigan and second New Hampshire due to weather.
    • This is Newman’s 21st top-10 start in 31 races this season, more than any other driver.
    • It is Newman’s fourth Bud Pole and his eighth top-10 start in as many races at Charlotte. It is his third Bud Pole in the last four races here. Newman has never started worse than fourth in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
    • Kasey Kahne had the second-fastest time with a qualifying lap of 28.820 seconds at 187.311 mph and will join Newman on the front row. It is his 13th top-10 start in 2004 and his eighth on the front row in just 31 career races. It is his first top-10 start in his two races at Charlotte.
    • This is 14th Bud Pole for Dodge in 2004. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Ford has two.
    • Casey Mears (third) posted his eighth top-10 start in 2004 and completed a Dodge sweep of the top-three starting positions. It is his first start better than 14th in four Charlotte races.
    • Scott Riggs (fourth) posted his sixth top-10 start in 2004 and joins Kahne as two Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidates to start in the top four. He started 28th in his other NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
    • Elliott Sadler (fifth) posted his 16th top-10 start in 2004 and his ninth in the past 12 races. It is his sixth top-10 start in 13 races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, including five of the last six races.
    • Three of the 10 drivers involved in The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualified in the top-10: Newman, Sadler and Jimmie Johnson (ninth). NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-14-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Chalotte:
    Sometimes you break a track record....sometimes you shatter one. And, sometimes you're Ryan Newman! Tonight, it was Ryan Newman time again at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and all he did was blow the previous mark away. Ryan moved around the big track in Charlotte in 28.590 seconds (188.877 mph) and nabbed his 6th Bud pole of 2004 (he's tied with Jeff Gordon for the front end of that contingeny award) and the 24th of his Cup career. He'll be joined on the front row by Kasey Kahne...the second week in a row that he'll be on the outside pole.
    Casey Mears (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at the Brickyard in August. The top three starters all beat the previous track record tonight.
    Scott Riggs (4th) ties his career-best starting spot this weekend. He also started 4th at Fontana in April and Talladega two weeks ago.
    Kevin Harvick (7th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Martinsville in April.
    Carl Edwards (9th....and a busy man this weekend) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 13th at Richmond last month.
    Bobby Hamilton (10th....and a proud new papa) has his best starting spot since he lined up 15th when we were here in May of 2001!
    Jimmy Spencer (22nd) has his best starting spot since he qualified 22nd at California in April.
    Jeff Fuller (26th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Talladega in April of 2000 (only 4 starts).
    Kevin Lepage (27th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 27th at Chicagoland in July (only 3 starts).
    Tony Raines (28th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 19th at Homestead last November (only 5 starts).
    Johnny Sauter (29th) has his best starting spot since he started 29th at 2alladega in April (only 5 starts).
    Ken Schrader (30th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 26th at Bristol in August.
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
    Elliott Sadler has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races
    . StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(10-14-2004)

  • Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Kurt Busch as the top Gillette Young Gun finisher in the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 10th, Christine C. of Lubbock, TX was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Christine picked Busch as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to and entering before the weekly deadline.
    As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Busch. This is the fifth time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Busch.
    The Gillette Young Guns are 16 for 30 in the win column so far in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Earnhardt Jr. has five victories, followed by Jimmie Johnson with four victories, Kurt Busch with three victories, and Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman, who have two victories apiece.
    For 26 of the 30 races run in 2004, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings have been led by four members of the Gillette Young Guns. Dale Earnhardt Jr. led for 10 weeks, Jimmie Johnson led for nine weeks, and Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch have both led for four weeks.
    Five members of the Gillette Young Guns have made the top-10 and been awarded a chance to battle for the Chase for the 2004 NEXTEL Cup. They are Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Clinched at Bristol), Matt Kenseth (Clinched at California), Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman (Clinch at Richmond). Harvick did not make the top-10, but there is still a lot of prestige on the line for 11th place in the standings. A total of $970,103 will be paid to the driver who finishes 11th in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings - an increase of more than $400,000 over one year ago. That includes a $250,000 bonus, which will be paid to the 11th-place finisher. Additionally, the 11th-place driver will also join the top-10 drivers on the stage at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet in New York in December.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(10-14-2004)

  • Special Scheme for Riggs at Lowe's: The #10 Valvoline Chevy driven by Scott Riggs this weekend for the UAW-GM Quality 500 will have a decidedly popular paint scheme. That's because the design was chosen by thousands of Valvoline team "owners" in a recent special vote. The car will be known this weekend as The Team Owners Select #10 Valvoline Chevrolet. This "flowing stripes" paint scheme was last seen in NASCAR competition in 1997 and visited Victory Lane eight times. Riggs likes the idea of Valvoline "insiders" participating in choosing his colors for the weekend. Ten lucky "owners" will be Valvoline guests at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend to see their car run. Owners came from North and South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Ohio. Race fans wanting to be part of the Valvoline Owners Program can sign up next year at the Valvoline display at Daytona International Speedway and at Bristol Motor Speedway.(DMF Communications PR), see an image of the car on my #10 Team Scheme page.(10-14-2004)

  • Boris Said to run 12 Cup races in 2005: Boris Said, who has run the Cup road races as well as California Speedway this year for MB2 Motorsports in between his Grand American commitments with the PTG BMW team, says he will run a 12-race schedule in Cup for MB2 in 2005, along with selected Busch Series appearances. “I think a couple weeks they’re going to announce it. Then they’ll announce the sponsor and everything,” Said said. “I can’t keep my mouth shut. I’m so excited about it, finally getting the opportunity to do some of the big races. I just can’t wait to get going. We’ll do the Brickyard, Texas, Daytona, Talladega, most of the bigger tracks right now. Hopefully I can talk them into a Bristol or Martinsville, but we haven’t got that definite yet on the schedule.” Said indicated he would like to continue with BMW, if it can be worked into his schedule. “I’ve been with them for 10 years. I’d like to keep some kind of relationship,” he said. “Every year I do 30 to 40 races a year in all different kinds of things, but with this Nextel Cup opportunity, I’m going to really concentrate on that and cut my racing way back. If i’m not racing, I’m going to go to the Nextel Cup races and sit in the spotter’s stand and learn and try to absorb as much as I can. I’m going to do a couple Busch races next year, the Mexico race, the Watkins Glen road race. Everything I’m going to do now, I’m still going to do the Homestead race at the end of the season this year, so we’re going to go test next week. Everything’s going to be about getting ready for the Daytona 500.(Speed Channel)(10-14-2004)

  • How can Labonte run the #44? been asked by some folks how can Terry Labonte run the #44 when Petty Enterprises owns it. No team owns a number, NASCAR 'owns' the number. However, Petty Enterprises last ran the #44 a few times in 2003 with Christian Fittipaldi, but not in 2004 as sponsorship has not been found. On Tuesday [Oct 12th] Terry Labonte said on Speed CHannel's Wind Tunnel, that he asked Kyle Petty planned to use the #44 and was told no, and asked if he could use it for 2005 and 2006 and was told he could.(10-14-2004)

  • Some RCR Changes UPDATE: #29 team Catch-can man Kirk Almquist is moving up the RCR chain of command. Starting this weekend he'll be the car chief for the #31 Cingular Wireless team with driver Robby Gordon. Kevin Gabard will fall into his position on the weekend crew and #29 car chief Scott Naset will take over catch-can duties.(RCR PR)(10-13-2004)
    UPDATE: This weekend, Gil Martin will be teaming up with the #31 Cingular Wireless racing team to assume the responsibilities as interim crew chief. Martin has spent the majority of 2004 working with the #29 GM Goodwrench team and serving as crew chief of RCR’s special teams programs. Martin is one of a select few crew chiefs to win in NASCAR’s Cup, Busch and Truck Series. He and Gordon are no strangers, having worked together in 2001 and 2002 when Gordon first joined RCR, the duo scored their first NASCAR Cup Series win together at New Hampshire International Speedway in November 2001. Martin will work as a co-crew chief with Gordon’s current crew chief, Chris Andrews.(

  • Unsafe at the Races? A spokesman for the National Association of Minority Race Fans is planning a protest for Saturday's UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. NAMRF, which claims NASCAR races are unsafe for minorities and women, canceled a demonstration at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3 because of the group's security concerns.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
    AND National Association of Minority Race Fans spokesman Rusty Thomas said Tuesday the group hopes to have up to 100 picketers at Saturday night's Nextel Cup race. Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. (Humpy) Wheeler said Concord police have designated a site near the track on Speedway Boulevard for the group. "Everybody has a right to speak their piece and we respect that," Wheeler said. "But we are expecting a crowd of 150,000 people. They've been given a site that the Concord Police Department has picked out. If they want to use that, it's fine with us." Thomas, however, said the group wants to picket at Morehead Road and U.S. 29, near gates where race ticket-holders will enter the track. Ramsey Poston, director of corporate communications for NASCAR, said Tuesday that based on NAMRF officials' actions, the sanctioning body is "not inclined to have any further discussions with them."(

  • Earnhardt and Parrott honored: Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and Buddy Parrott, a renowned crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series, will be honored in Mooresville tonight by the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Earnhardt, who died during the 2001 Daytona 500, will be inducted into the Hall during its eighth annual gala at the Mooresville Citizens Center. Admission is by invitation only. Parrott, who progressed through the racing ranks as a crew member and eventually a top crew chief, will received the Snap-On Golden Wrench Award for his “outstanding contributions to the sports,” said Don Miller, co-founder and chairman of the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame, which is located in Mooresville.
    “Both of these men brought something different to the sport,” Miller said. “Dale was an extremely talented driver and Buddy was an equally talented crew chief. Both men set a competitive standard for the sport that continues to be the yardstick by which success is measured today.”
    Earnhardt, a Kannapolis native who later moved to Mooresville and opened the sprawling Dale Earnhardt Inc. complex on N.C. 3 southeast of town, won 76 Cup races and 22 poles en route to his seven championships. He is the only Cup driver to win rookie honors and the series championship in successive seasons. Earnhardt recorded more than $41 million in career earnings.
    Parrott, a Gastonia native, began his motorsports career mounting tires at the tracks for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. He then joined legendary crew chief Harry Hyde on the K&K Dodge that Bobby Isaac drove to the 1970 series title. He then served as crew chief for Ferrell Harris, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, Derrick Cope, Jeff Burton, rusty Wallace and Steve Grissom, and retired at the end of the 2001 season. Tonight’s induction ceremonies and Hall of Fame events are presented by ALLTEL and Snap-On Tools. (Mooresville Tribune), Jayski will be attending, should be fun.(10-13-2004)
    UPDATE: Enjoyed going to the event, met some nice people, local and in the sport, thanks to Frank Owens of Mooresville for inviting me. Hello to Garry Hill and Brad P. Good job by Don Miller, Benny Parsons, Todd Parrott, Buddy Parrott, Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt's sister for their nice speeches and recollections. Great video on Buddy Parrott and Dale Earnhardt.(10-14-2004)

    October 13, 2004

  • NASCAR Looking at Stewart-Bliss Scuffle UPDATE 2 No Penalties: NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday they are investigating a confrontation between drivers Tony Stewart and Mike Bliss that took place following Saturday's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. The incident involved Stewart and Bliss as well as several others, said NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter. "There was apparently a little incident in a truck hauler after the Busch race and we're going to continue to look into it," he said. "We had some discussions (Sunday). It's a Busch issue. We'll decide what to do – if anything – after we have more details on what took place." Hunter characterized the episode as a "minor incident amongst teammates, I might add." Stewart and Bliss both drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, but Stewart was driving an entry for Chance2 Motorsports in the Busch race Saturday. The two traded several bumps on the track during the race. Stewart, Bliss, JGR president J.D. Gibbs and Stewart's Nextel Cup crew chief, Greg Zipadelli made trips to the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning. Gibbs stopped briefly to speak to reporters after his meeting. "We talked about some stuff that happened yesterday and I think we got it cleared up," he said. "We'll probably have to address it again this week some more and then move on." Hunter said he didn't want to get into the details of the incident, because NASCAR had yet to speak with some witnesses who were not at the track Sunday. Hunter said if a points penalty were involved as a result of NASCAR's investigation, it would only involve Busch points. Stewart is currently one of 10 drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. "In my opinion, it was something that carried over from the race track where tempers were involved and in the end, a lot of strong words and that sort of thing," Hunter said.(
    AND Nextel Cup driver Tony Stewart was required to get a checkup at Kansas Speedway's infield care center Sunday morning because he failed to stay there for one Saturday after his late-race wreck with Joe Nemechek. Hunter said Stewart had to have the checkup before he was allowed to race in Sunday's Banquet 400.(
    UPDATE: According to observers this is what happened: On the track, Bliss was a couple of laps down and Stewart was the race leader when a caution flag came out. Stewart was coming up on Bliss, and Bliss waved him to pass on the inside, a wave that Stewart apparently missed. When Bliss held his high line, Stewart angrily popped him. That angered Bliss, who popped him back. The two traded a few more bumps and obscene gestures before the race resumed. After the race, Stewart waited in Bliss' trailer to talk with him. The exchange became heated, and Stewart punched Bliss, wrestled him to the floor of the trailer and threw at least three more punches, according to witnesses.(more at Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)
    UPDATE 2 - No Penalties: NASCAR has elected not to penalize Tony Stewart or Mike Bliss in connection with a confrontation between the two that followed last weekend's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway, spokesman Mike Zizzo said Wednesday. After reviewing the incident, NASCAR officials determined it to be "an internal team matter" within the Joe Gibbs Racing operation, Zizzo said.(

  • Allen Bestwick returns to the booth: NASCAR on NBC & TNT play-by-play commentator Allen Bestwick, who missed the past two race weekends after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left leg suffered in a hockey game near his home in Coventry, R.I., will return to call the race this weekend. "All year long, we've been looking forward to the last 10 races," said Bestwick. "With all the excitement around the 'Chase' and when you love doing this as much as I do, it's really tough to be forced to the sidelines." Pre-race host and lead pit reporter Bill Weber, who has filled-in for Bestwick calling the race alongside analysts Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach, will return to his regular assignments of hosting and leading the reporting on pit road with Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum. Bestwick, a lifelong Red Sox fan, had his own reasons for keeping Weber, a New Jersey native and lifetime Yankees supporter, away from the microphone this week. "I had to get back this week because I couldn't stand leaving the microphone open to an unrebuked Yankees fan," Bestwick said. Weber countered: "I think it's nice that Allen used hockey to cover his injury but the real story is that he found out just how tough Don Zimmer really is."(NBC PR)(10-13-2004)

  • Co-Sponsors for the #99 at Lowe's: Roush Racing announced today that Canteen Vending, in association with long-time Roush Racing partner Kraft Foods, will sponsor Carl Edwards and the #99 Roush Racing Ford at the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Canteen Vending and Kraft's Maxwell House brand will appear as co-primary sponsors on the #99 Ford while several other Kraft brands will appear as associates. Edwards has completed two of three double duty weekends so far. Two weeks ago he traveled between Las Vegas, NV and Dover, DE and last week traveled between Fontana, CA and Talladega, AL. During the Charlotte race weekend Edwards will also be racing the #99 Truck in Texas. Edwards will practice and qualify the #99 Canteen Vending Ford on Thursday then fly to Texas to practice and qualify the truck Friday. Veteran driver Dave Blaney will assume driving duties for both practice sessions Friday at Charlotte in the #99 Ford. Edwards will then race the #99 Superchips F-150 early Saturday afternoon returning to Charlotte for Saturday night's 500-mile race. Blaney will be on standby Saturday night should there be any problems with Edwards travel schedule. In addition to their sponsorship of Edwards and the #99 Ford, Canteen has also begun a partnership with NASCAR to market to NASCAR fans who show exceptional loyalty to racing sponsors. CEO, Mike Kiser, states, “Our membership in NASCAR’s family of sponsors furthers our uniqueness in the marketplace and allows us to deliver a delicious and entertaining experience to our customers. It also brings a new level of pride to our associates, especially our route and technical crew who perform behind the wheel everyday delivering Canteen’s winning vending services.” Canteen Vending is a member of Compass Group. Compass Group North America employs 117,000 associates and has annual revenue of $6 billion. UK-based Compass Group PLC reports revenue of $19 billion and is recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as the world’s 9th largest employer, with over 420,000 associates in 96 countries around the world.(Roush Racing PR)(10-12-2004)
    IMAGE: see an image of the car on the #99 Team Scheme page or the 2004 Cup Schemes page.(10-13-2004)

  • Surprise! Leffler to the #11 Fed-Ex car: FedEx Corp, a worldwide leader in the broadest range of transportation, e-commerce and business services, will sponsor a third Joe Gibbs Racing car for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season with Jason Leffler as the driver, officials from FedEx and JGR announced Oct. 13. Leffler will join teammates Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet and Tony Stewart 2002 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and driver of No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet.
    "Our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing in America's fastest growing sport is a strategic fit for the FedEx brand and a strong extension of our sponsorship portfolio," said T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of FedEx Corp. "Success on the track depends on reliability, precision, teamwork and speed, and our employees and contractors deliver those values to our customers every day." The partnership brings together the Gibbs name and FedEx for a second time. JGR owner Joe Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl-winning coach and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, coaches the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Landover, Md. "FedEx is one of the most admired and recognizable companies in the world, and I'm happy to have such a renowned addition to the team," Gibbs said. "FedEx and I enjoy a strong relationship with the Redskins, and I am excited to extend that winning relationship to NASCAR."
    Leffler, 29, from Long Beach, Calif., is a versatile driver who has competed in all three of NASCAR's top divisions, the 2000 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and won three consecutive United States Auto Club National Midget titles from 1997-1999 and the 1998 USAC Silver Crown title. He scored his first career Busch Series victory June 12 at Nashville Superspeedway and has made 33 NEXTEL Cup starts, including 30 for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2001. Prior to competing with Ganassi, Leffler drove a JGR Busch Series car in 1999 and 2000, making 35 starts. "I'm very excited for the opportunity to drive for FedEx and Joe Gibbs Racing," Leffler said. "I look forward to representing a great company like FedEx. JGR is one of the best teams in the business, so I'm looking forward to a great season in 2005." Dave Rogers, who served as race engineer for Tony Stewart's car from 1999-2004, will serve as Leffler's crew chief on the #11 FedEx Chevrolet. Rogers, 30, from Marshfield, Vt., has worked at JGR since July 1998 and obtained a degree in mechanical engineering in 1996 from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. He earned a masters degree in science and engineering in 1999 from the GMI Engineering & Management Institute in Flint, Mich. "I'm really looking forward to working with FedEx and Jason," Rogers said. "I've learned a lot from Greg Zipadelli through the past six years and I'm ready for the challenge as crew chief of the #11 FedEx Chevrolet." The #11 was selected for the FedEx team because of its rich NASCAR history. Eight series championships have been won by cars carrying the number - two with Ned Jarrett in 1961 and 1965, three consecutive with Cale Yarborough in 1976-78 and three with Darrell Waltrip in 1981-82 and 1985. The #11 has scored 180 victories in NASCAR's premiere division, second all-time. The number also holds significance for J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, who wore #11 during his football career from 1987-1990 at The College of William & Mary. "It's an extreme pleasure to welcome FedEx to Joe Gibbs Racing," J.D. Gibbs said. "It's hard to believe we're adding a third team. When we started the team back in 1991 I think we only had about 11 employees and one or two race cars. We've come a long way since then and this is a milestone day for Joe Gibbs Racing." Leffler, Rogers and the #11 FedEx Chevrolet will compete for the first time in the Twin 125 qualifying races Feb. 17, 2004 at Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2004. More info aboutr FedEx at Gibbs Racing PR), past news and rumors on the team on my #11 Team News and Links page and a few images on the #11 Team Paint Scheme page and see images of the Press Conference at

  • Yeley's Reaction: J.J. Yeley, who early on was the lead candidate for the third Joe Gibbs Racing #11 car is not disappointed that Jason Leffler was signed to drive the Fedex Chevrolet. Yeley told PRN's Garagepass "The way my seasons gone and the limited experience it would almost be throwing a lamb at the wolves putting me up there with the greatest race car drivers in the world after 14 races. This is the best thing for my career, my team and for Joe Gibbs Racing. We'll go and run for the Busch Series championship next year and gain the experience I need and then when 2006 rolls around we'll see what happens. To do it (the move to Nextel cup) after two-thirds of a season would be a long shot.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(10-13-2004)

  • Kansas Win Puts Sadler's Pit Crew Back On Top: Elliott Sadler's pit crew won the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade Sunday at Kansas Speedway. The victory lifted the No. 38 crew into first place in the point standings and the chase for the $200,000 champion's bonus. Sadler's crew leads the weekly competition in both victories (six) and prize money ($120,000). With six Nextel Cup races remaining, Sadler's crew goes into the homestretch with a nine-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew - 1072 to 1063. Earnhardt's crew finished 12th in Kansas. Sadler's M&M's Ford spent the least amount of time on Kansas' pit road - 150.499 seconds. Greg Biffle's National Guard Ford was second at 182.875. Dale Jarrett's UPS Ford came in third with a time of 184.018. "It's awesome to have great pit strategy and a great pit crew," said Sadler. "Our M&M'S pit crew has been on top of their game all year. They practice hard all week and it shows up every Sunday. This is by far the best pit crew I've ever had in my career and our results echo their success on pit road. Every time the yellow comes out I know we are going to come in and pick up some spots. Those guys deserve this McDonald's/POWERade award and our team has won this more than any other team this season and now we're back in the lead." Sadler's over-the-wall crew consists of: Darryl Lockyer (front-tire changer), Kevin Hall (front-tire carrier), Dave Smith (rear-tire changer/car chief), Lance Hanna (rear-tire carrier), Rodney Fetters (jackman), Preston Cordell (gas man) and Jay Thompson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Todd Parrott.(DMF Commuincations PR), see top 10 at Kansas, the full standings, who is eligible and not on my Pit Crew Page, see past results on my 2004 Past Pit Crew News page.(10-13-2004)

  • Budweiser Unviels the new Dale Earnhardt '8-Pack': Anheuser-Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced today that the popular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver will be displayed on the packaging of new Budweiser '8-packs' now available in select race markets. Select wholesalers and retailers in Charlotte, N.C., Darlington, S.C. and Atlanta are offering the specialty packaging of 12-ounce Budweiser cans through the end of the year while supplies last. In 2005, the new packages will be found in all NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race markets. The '8-packs' are packaged at the Anheuser-Busch Williamsburg brewery. For more information, visit and inc/Budweiser PR)(10-13-2004)

  • Elliott tests at Atlanta: Georgia's own Bill Elliott tested his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops 500 weekend. Elliott - a Dawsonville, Ga., native - returned to his home track to prepare for what will be the seventh of eight races he is running during this season's limited schedule. Elliott circled the 1.54-mile track Tuesday in his #98 McDonald's Dodge in 29.82 seconds (185.915 mph). He was joined during the test by a contingent of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers [for those speeds, see my Truck Series page]. Atlanta Motor Speedway testing will continue throughout the next week as drivers prepare for the upcoming Oct. 29-31 race weekend. Elliott will continue testing Wednesday, while #6-Mark Martin, #99-Carl Edwards (Cup car), #17-Matt Kenseth, Reed Sorenson, and Boston Reid are scheduled to test next week. All tests sessions are closed to the public, but make sure to check the AMS website at for daily updates.(AMS PR)(10-13-2004)

  • Sam Bass Gallery gears up: The Sam Bass Gallery is gearing up for the UAW-GM Quality 500 race this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a variety of new artworks and collectibles that are sure to be a hit with even the most discriminating race fan. Here's a look at just a few of the highlight. In what has become a much-anticipated holiday tradition, Sam will be unveiling his third annual Christmas-themed die-cast during race week. This year's car-appropriately numbered "04"-will feature images of Santa Claus, his reindeer, and elves against a lustrous gold chrome finish. As in the past, the car will be produced by Team Caliber, a leader in the die-cast collectible industry. The holiday die-cast will be available in Team Caliber's award-winning 1:24 scale Owner's Series for $90. The smaller 1:64 scale PitStop Series version is offered for only $10. Sam not only created the graphics for the collectible, he actually came up with the idea of developing the series. A prototype of the 2004 Sam Bass Holiday car will be on display at the Gallery during race week so that fans may pre-order to ensure delivery by Christmas. This collectible is an annual sell-out, so be sure to reserve yours in advance.
    In an exciting new twist to collectible art, Sam has teamed up with Simply Home-a longtime manufacturer of NASCAR-themed tapestry throws and related products-to create a new line featuring some of Sam's most popular illustrations. The first offering in a series of throws will showcase the artwork used on Sam's 2004 Holiday car. A great way to complement any NASCAR collection, these high-quality 50" X 60" double woven throws are manufactured of 100% cotton right here in the USA. Simply Home's state-of-the-art technology enables the replication of Sam's artwork onto fabric with amazing authenticity.
    As always, the Sam Bass Gallery offers a broad selection of limited edition prints and fine art posters. Collectors will discover fine art specials during race week on many of Sam's latest creations, as well as some of his most popular illustrations from the past. It's a great way to add to a personal collection, or get a head start on holiday shopping. Bass will be in the Gallery for autograph opportunities throughout the week. For a schedule, go to

  • Ride with Richard Winner: Bob Buell of Camden, Maine, is the lucky grand prize winner of RCR's "Ride with Richard" promotion as part of the 35th Anniversary celebration. Buell will ride around Lowe's Motor Speedway with Childress himself in the retro No. 3 35th Anniversary Chevrolet painted in the CRC colors Childress drove in the the mid 70's. The event will take place Friday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. The grand prize also includes round trip airfare, hotel accommodations and a VIP weekend at the track with RCR for Buell and a guest. Buell entered the contest by signing up to be a RCR fan club member at PR)(10-13-2004)

  • Tony Glover Named Interim Crew Chief of the #40: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that team manager Tony Glover will act as interim crew chief on the #40 Coors Light Dodge starting this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, while Lee McCall has accepted a new shop-based crew chief position in the organization. "Our team is about performance and the No. 40 team hasn't regained its championship-caliber form of just two years ago," car owner Chip Ganassi said. "Sometimes in any sport, you need to change things up in order to re-energize the team and this is one of those times. We have made some other changes as well to try and help the performance of the team for the remainder of the 2004 season," Ganassi added. "Tony and Sterling have been working together for a long time and hopefully they can get this team back on track. I guess we want to try and put the band back together." Glover was the team manager of Team SABCO racing teams when Ganassi partnered with Felix Sabates in 2000. Together with Andy Graves, Glover continued his role as a team manager for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Since Glover's affiliation with CGRwFS, the teams have had five wins, five poles, 32 top-fives and 62 top-10s. This is the Kingsport, Tenn. native's seventh season with the team and his 10th season partnered with driver Sterling Marlin.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(10-13-2004)

  • Marathon #51 Chevrolet to race in UAW-GM Quality 500: This weekend, the #51 Marathon Chevrolet driven by Tony Raines, will be racing at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We appreciate Marathon's sponsorship support," said Joe Auer, team owner. Auer also announced that the team's crew chief for this race will be Mark Tudor. Auer further commented, "We've been working hard on our engine and Raines has been driving great, we are really looking forward to this weekend's race."(Competitive Edge Motorsports PR)(10-13-2004)

  • Tuesday Testing at Martinsville: Another day of testing at Martinsville Speedway and another assault on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup track qualifying record. Nine drivers tested at the venerable half-mile track Tuesday in preparation for the October 24th running of the SUBWAY 500. Three drivers, #24-Jeff Green, #0-Ward Burton and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted times under the track record and seven of the nine were within striking distance. Eight of the nine drivers recorded times quicker than Jeff Gordon's pole-winning time a year ago. The reason for the quicker speeds was simple according to Net Zero driver Ward Burton: the track's new surface. "They did a fabulous job of the repaving," said Burton. The speeds:
    #43-Jeff Green, 19.78 seconds, 95.733mph
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 19.80, 95.636
    #0-Ward Burton, 19.85, 95.395
    #10-Scott Riggs, 19.87, 95.299
    #49-Ken Schrader, 19.88, 95.252
    #17-Matt Kenseth, 19.90, 95.156
    #01-Joe Nemechek, 19.91, 95.108
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 20.00, 94.680
    #59-Klaus Graff, 20.30, 93.281
    Track Record set by Tony Stewart in 2000, 19.85, 95.395mph
    Wed:Riggs is the only driver out of those testing Tuesday who will definitely return Wednesday. #2-Rusty Wallace is also scheduled to test on Wednesday and Thursday.
    Tickets for both the SUBWAY 500 on Sunday, October 24, and the Kroger 200 NASACAR Craftsman Truck Series race, on Saturday, Saturday, October 23, are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. SUBWAY 500 tickets may also be purchased online at Anyone buying a SUBWAY 500 ticket between now and October 15 can receive $5 off the purchase of a Kroger 200 ticket. Children's truck tickets are discounted $1 when bought with a SUBWAY 500 ticket.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(10-13-2004)

    October 12, 2004

  • Labonte Announcement Oct 12th UPDATE - OFFICAL: Hendrick Motorsports has a press conference scheduled with Terry Labonte for Tuesday morning (breakfast with Kellogg's -- get it?), when Labonte supposedly will announce he is cutting back to a limited schedule for 2005 and 2006. Kyle Busch is slated to be Labonte's full-time replacement, moving up from the Busch Series. Supposedly, Labonte will drive the #44, his first number in NASCAR, while Busch will get the #5.( Buzz)(10-10-2004)
    TV: SPEED Channel will interrupt regularly scheduled programming Tuesday, Oct 12th at 9:30am/et to bring viewers LIVE coverage of the Hendrick Motorsports press conference with team owner Rick Hendrick and two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Terry Labonte. SPEED Channel's Bob Dillner will be on-site for post-announcement interviews.(Speed Channel PR)(10-11-2004)
    The Press Conference: Fox's Mike Joy hosting the Terry Labonte announcement, on stage at the table are: NASCAR's Mike Helton, Team Owner Rick Hendrick, Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte and Ken Schrader with Labonte's family in the front row.
    Terry Labonte announced he will run a limited schedule, running 20 races in 2005 and 2006, 10 in each year. In 2005 his first scheduled start will be at California Speedway Feb 27th] and the final 2005 race will be at Texas Motor Speedway [Nov 6th] and that Darlington would 'probably be one of those races.
    Kyle Busch was announced as the new #5 Kelloggs driver in 2005. Decisions on shop, crew and equipment will be made and announced at a later date. Speed cut away as the Q&A was to start. It was mentioned Kelloggs will be part of it, no word on the car number yet, rnor has it being #44.
    An AP report: Two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte will race a limited schedule in 2005 and 2006, joining the growing list of veteran drivers slowly easing out of racing. Labonte is scheduled to run about 10 races next season in the #44 Chevrolet, followed by 10 races in 2006 in what will be his final season. "I thought a while about just walking away and I couldn't do it, but I didn't want to do a traditional farewell tour," the 47-year-old Labonte said. Nineteen-year-old Kyle Busch will take Labonte's spot in the #5 Chevy and is to run a full-time Nextel Cup schedule in 2005. He is the younger brother of current Nextel Cup points leader Kurt Busch. Labonte was in the #44 when he won his first points title.
    Labonte is following in the footsteps of 49-year-old Bill Elliott, who scaled back to a part-time schedule this season. He said his decision was inspired in part by Elliott's example. Rusty Wallace also has announced that 2005 will be his final season; other longtime NASCAR mainstays probably aren't too far behind. Car owner Jack Roush said in August that 45-year-old Mark Martin indicated next season will be his last, and the two have called a news conference for Thursday.(Charlotte Observer/AP)
    AND while since Terry Labonte is being mentioned here.....Fans will have the opportunity to meet Tony the Tiger and two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte on Wednesday, Oct. 13 when the “Tonymobile” visits the Hendrick Motorsports Museum.(more info at the HMS Site)(10-12-2004)

  • Overnight TV Ratings up 5%: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway earned an overnight rating of 4.0 and an 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The figures represent a 5.3 percent increase from last year's 3.8/8 overnight for the same race.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-12-2004)

  • Hauler Drivers got for the prize - winner takes all:
    NASCAR Nextel Cup Transport Drivers will take part in the Pilot Truck Driver Challenge - Chicane Course at Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, 4751 NC Hwy 49 North, Concord, NC 28025 on Tuesday, October 12, 2004 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm...the prize...$50,000 - Winner Take All.
    A grand prize of $50,000 is on the line for Nextel Cup transport drivers. The Pilot Truck Driver Challenge has raised the awareness of safety in the truck driving industry since its conception. The winner will take away the grand prize and become the spokesmen for Pilot's safe and responsible truck driving campaign. Nextel Cup Series transport drivers now have the opportunity to shine in the sixth category of the challenge. A Chicane Course has been specifically planned and designed to test the drivers' skill and accuracy, rather than speed. The competitive nature and enthusiastic attitude of each driver is evident, as currently only 20 points separates the field. Drivers are invited to bring themselves, and their haulers, to the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center to display their abilities in front of challenge officials, fans and media.(PR)
    AND Pilot has launched a website to feature the Truck Driver Challenge. will have results and overall competition standings, along with “spotlight” transport driver biographies posted each week. Looking at the chart, 10 [of 27 total] hauler drivers are tied for first with 80 points, so it is up for grabs.(10-12-2004)

  • Pemberton Wins WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: In one of the most thrilling races of the year, Joe Nemechek held off a hard-charging Ricky Rudd on the final lap of the Banquet 400 to claim his first win of the season. The victory was also crew chief Ryan Pemberton's first career Nextel Cup Series win, but the accolades didn't end there, as Pemberton was voted by race fans the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Over 40% of the fans who logged onto thought Pemberton's superior strategy made him the easy pick for the award. Pemberton made the risky call to leave his driver on the track during a late-race caution, despite the leaders coming into the pits to top off with fuel. Nemechek moved from 14th to 4th by not pitting and took over the lead on lap 231, never looking back. "Pemberton didn't have the best car on the track, but he had the best game plan," noted race fan Ryan Ott. "He had a car that could go the distance and he was willing to bet on it."
    "Ryan (Pemberton) did a heckuva job," commented WYPALL Wipers spokesman Robbie Reiser. "He put together a really fast car. Their track position would have probably kept them from winning, but Ryan took care of that by leaving Joe (Nemechek) out on that last round of stops. He may have been on old tires, but his car was so fast that it didn't matter. His move put his car right up front and ultimately got them the win."
    Tony Eury, Sr. remains in first place in the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge with nine wins. Chad Knaus and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with four wins. Tommy Baldwin is in third place with three wins. Robbie Reiser and Matt Borland stand in fourth place with two wins. Pat Tryson, Larry Carter, Lee McCall, Donnie Wingo, Phillipe Lopez, Ryan Pemberton, and Pete Rondeau are tied for fifth place, each with one win. The crew chief with the most weekly wins at the end of the season will be named WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and receive $10,000.00. For more information, visit

  • Senate Passes Corporate Tax Bill, NASCAR Tracks Included: The Senate passed a far-reaching, $136 billion corporate tax package Monday that cuts taxes for businesses ranging from film companies to bow and arrow makers while closing tax loopholes and bringing U.S. exporters in line with international trade rules. The corporate tax bill grew out of the need for Congress to respond to a World Trade Organization (news - web sites) ruling that a $5 billion annual subsidy for U.S. exporters was illegal. As a result, 1,600 American exports to Europe are being hit by penalty tariffs that now stand at 12 percent and are rising by one percentage point a month. The bill became the vehicle for the most significant overhaul of corporate tax law in nearly two decades. It includes $76.5 billion in new tax relief for the manufacturing sector, which was broadly defined to include oil and gas producers, architectural and engineering firms and film and music companies. The package also provides benefits for a wide range of groups, from native Alaskan whalers, importers of Chinese ceiling fans, NASCAR race track owners [note: or any race track owner] and residents of states without state income taxes, who would be able to deduct state and local sales taxes from their federal tax returns. The measure includes a $10.1 billion buyout for tobacco farmers. Several senators from both parties objected strenuously that the final version of the bill drops Senate-approved language that would give the Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) the power to regulate tobacco.(Yahoo News)(10-12-2004)

  • Airplus Insoles to Be An Associate Sponsor with ppc Racing: Airplus Insoles announces its entrance into the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with driver John Andretti and #14 ppc Racing with its first race at next weekend's event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Airplus Insoles is currently an associate sponsor with drivers Jason Keller and Terry Cook in the NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, its first year of sponsorship with ppc Racing. Airplus Insoles will be an associate sponsor on the #14 VB Ford Taurus, giving a full presence with ppc Racing. "Adding Airplus Insoles to our cup efforts is another tremendous boost to our racing programs," said Keith Barnwell, co-owner and general manager at ppc Racing.(ppc Racing PR)(10-12-2004)

  • Kerry Earnhardt comes close: Kerry Earnhardt came up just short of capturing his first NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series victory Saturday at Colorado National Speedway after finishing fourth in the NAPA 150 at the 3/8-mile Erie, Colo., oval. Earnhardt qualified his Bill McNally-owned #18 Napa Auto Care Chevrolet fourth in the 19-car field and led 91 circuits of the 150-lap event. Earnhardt scrubbed the wall on lap 108, but came back from deep in the field to snag his second top-five and fifth top-10 in six NASCAR West Series events this season. Earnhardt's BMR teammate Austin Cameron started the event on the outside pole and finished runner-up to winner Mike Duncan. Earnhardt, 34, has made four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) this season with a best finish of 24th coming two weeks ago at Talladega in the No. 33 Bass Pro Shops Chevy. Earnhardt also made one NASCAR Busch Series start for RCR this season where he wheeled the #29 ESGR entry to a 23rd-place finish last month at Dover. Next up for Kerry Earnhardt in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series will be a trip to Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 17 for the October Classic 150. Earnhardt will return to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition Sunday, Oct. 31 for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(RCR PR)(10-12-2004)

    October 11, 2004

  • Good Day for the Military: the three teams sponsored by the U.S. Military Branches finished 1st - #01-Joe Nemechek/U.S. Army; 2nd - #21-Ricky Rudd/Motorcraft/Air Force; 3rd - #16-Greg Biffle/National Guard at Kansas Speedway.(10-11-2004)

  • Alan Taylor Communications Expanding Operations: Alan Taylor Communications, Inc. (ATC), a leader in lifestyle and sports public relations, announced today the firm is expanding operations in Charlotte, NC, next month. Brett Jewkes, senior vice president and member of the agency's Operating Committee, will relocate from New York to head the Charlotte office. ATC currently serves several long-time client partners based in the southeast and several others that have key marketing communications initiatives in the region. Some of these client partners include: NASCAR, Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Gillette, Diageo and Best Western.
    Since joining ATC in April of 1999, Jewkes has created and executed strategic brand-building campaigns, new product launches and community relations initiatives for a wide range of agency partners such as Nestle Purina PetCare, Spalding Sports Worldwide, Merck, Inc., Best Western and NASCAR. He has led the agency's NASCAR account team since 2000 and made significant contributions to strategic program development for a number of consumer products clients participating in NASCAR sponsorships, including Gillette, Diageo and General Mills. Matt Ciesluk, an account supervisor who has been with ATC in New York since 1999, will join Jewkes in Charlotte. Ciesluk has played a key role on consumer products account teams serving Diageo, Gillette, MasterCard, JPMorganChase, TD Waterhouse and NASCAR. Veteran motorsports publicist, Tim Sullivan, who has been working for ATC from a satellite office in Charlotte since January, will also be based in ATC's new Charlotte office, along with recently-hired Jennifer Soporowski, a Charlotte native and UNC-Wilmington graduate who recently completed work on her master's degree at the University of Florida.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-11-2004)

  • Testing at Atlanta Monday = Newman: #12-Ryan Newman tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Monday [Oct 11th]. Newman has won three straight pole positions at Atlanta and while he will be trying for four straight poles and a win, Newman will also be fighting for the $1 million payoff that goes to this year's Crown Royal IROC champion. Newman was the only NEXTEL Cup driver who tested Monday at Atlanta. He led the unofficial speed chart by circling the 1.54-mile quad-oval in 29.70 seconds (186.667 mph), leading the brigade of seven Ford and one Toyota Craftsman Truck Series drivers who also tested Monday. Carl Edwards, who is running in both the Craftsman Truck and NEXTEL Cup series, was the fastest Ford Truck on Monday, turning in a lap in 31.05 seconds (178.551 mph). Newman leads fellow NEXTEL Cup driver Matt Kenseth by just four points in the standings for the Crown Royal IROC series.. At the end of the Atlanta race, points will be tallied and a champion of champions will be named. For the first time in history, the Crown Royal IROC champion will pocket a cool million. That's a major increase from the 2003 season, when champion Kurt Busch received $250,000, a series record. Newman tested his NEXTEL Cup car, trying to learn as much as he could both for the upcoming Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta and the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, a sister track of Atlanta.
    NASCAR testing will continue with the throughout the next two weeks, as drivers prepare for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Dawsonville's Bill Elliott will be on hand to test Tuesday [Oct 12th] and Wednesday [Oct 13th], while Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, local racer Reed Sorenson and many more are slated to test next week. All test sessions are closed to public.(AMS PR), see the Truck Series page for speeds of eight drivers who tested there.(10-11-2004)

  • Daytona Testing to Talladega? UPDATE Daytona: Daytona 500 testing in January could be moved to Talladega, according to NASCAR sources, because the recent spat of hurricanes has put infield reconstruction at Daytona far behind.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Despite erroneous media reports, Daytona International Speedway will be the site for NASCAR testing for the 2005 season as well as NASCAR Preseason Fan Fest. "Daytona International Speedway weathered the recent hurricanes and we're looking forward to January testing," said Robin Braig, Daytona International Speedway track president. "Contrary to what fans may have read, "The World Center of Racing" will be the place to see all of your NASCAR favorites as well as the Grand American Series."(DIS PR), for the January testing schedule, see Jayski's Testing Page.(10-11-2004)

  • Larry Foyt to drive 2nd BAM Racing car in 3 races: Larry Foyt and the #59 BAM Racing Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race. Foyt joins BAM Racing with an extensive background in both stock car and open wheel racing. Part of the lineage of the legendary A.J. Foyt, Larry Foyt raced in the 2003 NASCAR Nextel Cup season for A.J. Foyt Racing, as well as in this year's Indianapolis 500. Foyt has a variety of racing experience from USAC, ASA, NASCAR Busch, and Nextel Cup series. "This will be the first time I've driven for a race team owned by someone outside of the family. It'll be a neat experience, something different that I'm looking forward to. Having two cars is something I know BAM Racing is looking forward to in the near future, so it's important for us to perform well this weekend. The only other time they've fielded two cars in the same race was at Infineon and both cars finished well out there. Hopefully, we can duplicate the same performance this weekend," Foyt said."I'm also looking forward to having Kenny Schrader as a teammate. He and A.J. Foyt know each other pretty well and he has said often how A.J. helped him throughout his racing career. Hopefully, a Nextel Cup veteran like Kenny can return the favor. As for now, we're planning on running three Nextel Cup races with BAM Racing before the end of the year; starting in Charlotte, then Atlanta, then the season finale in Homestead. After that we'll see. We're actively working on securing sponsorship for the 2005 Nextel Cup season.(Williams Company PR)(10-11-2004)

  • 2004 Manufacturers' Championship on the Line at Lowe's Motor Speedway: If a Chevrolet wins the 2004 UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday October 16th they will clinch the 2004 Manufacturers' Championship. It will mark Chevrolet's 28th Manufacturers' Championship since 1952 and 24th in the 33-year modern era (since 1972). A Chevrolet has won 17 of the 30 races in 2004. Ford has nine victories and Dodge has four.(NASCAR Statistical Services), see Jayski's 2004 Manufacturers Championship page for standings, race-by-race, which driver has scored for each, manufacturer wins.(10-11-2004)

  • Fatback having a good time: Michael "Fatback" McSwain, crew chief for #21-Ricky Rudd, was wearing a Cleveland Browns hat this weekend after donning a Dallas Cowboys cap at Talladega. Both teams happen to have defeated the Washington Redskins in the return season of coach Joe Gibbs, who also happens to own the #18 Chevrolet, which McSwain left in July.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-11-2004)

  • NBC Could be fined? The FCC could apparently fine NBC $27,500 for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s indiscretion [cuss word at Talladega][Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)

  • NASCAR Looking at Stewart-Bliss Scuffle UPDATE Punch thrown?: NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday they are investigating a confrontation between drivers Tony Stewart and Mike Bliss that took place following Saturday's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. The incident involved Stewart and Bliss as well as several others, said NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter. "There was apparently a little incident in a truck hauler after the Busch race and we're going to continue to look into it," he said. "We had some discussions (Sunday). It's a Busch issue. We'll decide what to do – if anything – after we have more details on what took place." Hunter characterized the episode as a "minor incident amongst teammates, I might add." Stewart and Bliss both drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, but Stewart was driving an entry for Chance2 Motorsports in the Busch race Saturday. The two traded several bumps on the track during the race. Stewart, Bliss, JGR president J.D. Gibbs and Stewart's Nextel Cup crew chief, Greg Zipadelli made trips to the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning. Gibbs stopped briefly to speak to reporters after his meeting. "We talked about some stuff that happened yesterday and I think we got it cleared up," he said. "We'll probably have to address it again this week some more and then move on." Hunter said he didn't want to get into the details of the incident, because NASCAR had yet to speak with some witnesses who were not at the track Sunday. Hunter said if a points penalty were involved as a result of NASCAR's investigation, it would only involve Busch points. Stewart is currently one of 10 drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. "In my opinion, it was something that carried over from the race track where tempers were involved and in the end, a lot of strong words and that sort of thing," Hunter said.(
    AND Nextel Cup driver Tony Stewart was required to get a checkup at Kansas Speedway's infield care center Sunday morning because he failed to stay there for one Saturday after his late-race wreck with Joe Nemechek. Hunter said Stewart had to have the checkup before he was allowed to race in Sunday's Banquet 400.(
    UPDATE: According to observers this is what happened: On the track, Bliss was a couple of laps down and Stewart was the race leader when a caution flag came out. Stewart was coming up on Bliss, and Bliss waved him to pass on the inside, a wave that Stewart apparently missed. When Bliss held his high line, Stewart angrily popped him. That angered Bliss, who popped him back. The two traded a few more bumps and obscene gestures before the race resumed. After the race, Stewart waited in Bliss' trailer to talk with him. The exchange became heated, and Stewart punched Bliss, wrestled him to the floor of the trailer and threw at least three more punches, according to witnesses.(more at Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)

  • Green, Petty team to donate books...per lap UPDATE: Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 children's books to a Kansas City area local chapter of First Book for each lap completed by Petty Enterprises' Jeff Green and the #43 Dodge at Kansas Speedway Cup race. Should Green finish in the top 10, Cheerios will double their donation. In that case, the local Kansas City First Book chapter would receive nearly 23,000 books for needy families. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. The #43 Dodge will be sporting a special Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories paint scheme for the race. To kick off the weekend, Cheerios hosted children from Kansas City at two separate events. Green appeared at the Thornberry Unit of the Kansas City Boys & Girls Clubs on Thursday, Oct. 7, meeting the children and reading to them. In addition, children from Claude Huyck Elementary School came to Kansas Speedway Friday morning, Oct. 8, for a breakfast and story with Jeff Green. The children will then had the opportunity to watch practice from the grandstand. Over the past two years, through its Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios has donated $1 million to First Book, and has distributed more than 10 million books to children across the country.(10-9-2004)
    UPDATE: Cheerios and First Book made it a storybook finish at Kansas in Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL race. The two had pledged to donate books to kids in low-income families in the Kansas City area depending on how many laps Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios team completed in Sunday's race. At 43 books per lap completed, that total came to 11,266. A top-10 finish would have doubled that pledge. Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy program, will still make the full donation, though - 22,962 books - the total that was promised if Green had completed all 267 laps and finished in the top 10. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.(Williams Company PR)(10-11-2004)

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