MORE NEWS/RUMORS
OCT 18-24, 2004






    October 24, 2004

  • Johnson wins at Martinsville: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, his 6th win of the season, 12th of his career, 2nd in a row [he won at Charlotte last week] and first ever win at a short track [less then a mile in length]. #42-Jamie McMurray got by #12-Ryan Newman for second on the last corner, #40-Sterling Marlin was 4th and #97-Kurt Busch, the points leader, finished 5th. #43-Jeff Green finished 7th and ran strong all day, getting his first top-10 of 2004. Busch now has a 96 point lead over #24-Jeff Gordon who moved into 2nd. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had trouble all day and parked the car after a wreck, finishing 33rd and dropping to third. There was no victory celebration due to the fatal plane crash involving many of the Hendrick family [see above].
    For more on the race, cautions, lap leaders, narrative, etc., see my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page
    See race results at:
    Jayski's Martinsville Race Results page
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(10-24-2004)

  • Martinsville Illegal Parts & Pieces:
    #80 Mario Gosselin - Had a complete Hutchen's Device pulled, including attached yellow and red release straps. It was marked "Not to be used more than 2 years past manufactured date." Sewn on white tag, stated Manufactured (9-2001).
    #31 Robby Gordon - Had numerous pieces on display, the items included damaged parts caused when lead weights left his car in turn 3 during early Friday practice laps at Martinsville Speedway, after light rain subsided. Obviously the lead weights were not secured.
    * The largest magnetized lead weight 3 5/8 x 2 1/2 x 7 was so heavy it could not be moved on the metal counter top.
    * The second magnetized lead weight was 2 5/8 x 2 5/8 x 7, extremely heavy but movable.
    * A 3x2x7 piece of hollow metal was tagged lead weight holder.
    * An approximate, 15" piece of hose and air duct smashed and ripped off by lead weights was on display.
    * A metal strap that had been around the air hose had also been picked up.
    * One Goodyear tire marked LR (Left Rear) was cut by lead weights, the cut was circled in red.
    A Gordon team member, in the NASCAR hauler when IRN was present, advised NASCAR that a bolt was missing.(Insider Racing News)(10-24-2004)

  • AOL done with NASCAR? UPDATE 4 RCR to Jack Daniel's #7? or #07?: Garage insiders indicate that America Online may want to scale back their involvement in the sport next season. Currently, they sponsor the #30 Chevy of Jeff Burton.(Motorsports.com)(9-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Car owner Richard Childress is expected to sign a sponsorship renewal with AOL, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-18-2004)
    AND/OR? Richard Childress is negotiating with AOL, sponsor of his #30 car [Jeff Burton], but says he has a backup plan if that sponsorship falls through.(FoxSports/Sporting News) OR? Motorsport.com is reporting that AOL is leaving the sport of NASCAR next season to become the title sponsor of another stock car racing series. While they will remain in the sport on a lesser basis than the head sponsor of the #30 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, RCR has been shopping for a new sponsor. Word is that they found one this week and are good to go for next season.(9-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2 AOL OUT: hearing AOL will NOT be back with the #30 Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Chevy in 2004 and is leaving the sport, supposedly AOL does not see NASCAR as a viable tool in their marketing/business plan.(10-21-2004)
    UPDATE 3 - Jack Daniel's and #7: Rumor is that the #30 Chevy will change sponsors and car number next season. Plausible sponsor: Jack Daniels. New car number: 7 - for 'Old Lucky 7'.(Motorsport.com), actually, being a Jack Daniel's buff myself [see Kurt's old Jack Decanter's site], it is not 'Old Lucky 7', Jack Daniel's is known for the #7 and is called 'Old No. 7 Brand' why? no one knows for sure why Jack Daniels named it Old No. 7 [per the Jack Daniels site].(10-23-2004)
    UPDATE 4: Car owner Richard Childress is ready to make some announcements about his roster for 2005, and it looks as if he'll have a new car number for one of his teams, 07, to go with new sponsor Jack Daniels. That sponsor could replace AOL. If so, Jeff Burton might wind up in Childress' Cingular-sponsored car.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-24-2004)

  • Brett Bodine ~ Pace Car Driver: Brett Bodine, former Winston Cup driver, will be the permanent pace car driver when the Cup cars are running. His day job is in the Research and Development Center as Director of Cost Research. Bodine will not pace the Truck Series or the Busch Series races. They have their own drivers.(Insider Racing News)(10-24-2004)

  • Steve Wallace wins again..and Rusty's plans for him: Steve Wallace, the 17 year-old son of NASCAR legend, Rusty Wallace, started from the pole and led every lap en route to a victory in tonight's National Dodge 150 at Coastal Plains Raceway Park [Jacksonville, NC]. His victory in the UARA-STARS season finale marks his third win of the year and his third victory in the last four UARA-STARS series events. By virtue of his performance, the younger Wallace secured the Hobart Sales and Service Rookie of the Year title. In addition, Wallace's qualifying lap of 15.69 seconds smashed the former track record by nearly three tenths of a second, adding to the plethora of track records he has secured this season. Rusty's [#66] Busch Series crew chief, Blake Bainbridge, started working with Steve's team before Bristol he has won three of four races since then. To learn more about Steve and Rusty Wallace, Inc., log on to www.rustywallace.com.(RWI PR), also on FSN's NASCAR This Morning, Rusty Wallace was interviewed and said he plans to get 17-year old Steve testing a Busch car as soon as possible and that Richard Childress will run Steve in a race at Caraway Speedway [Asheboro, NC] soon.(10-24-2004)

  • Martinsville Race Notes:
    *** Jimmie Johnson won the Subway 500, scoring his 12th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 107th career start. His last victory came at Charlotte, October 16th, 2004, one race ago.
    *** It was Johnson's sixth victory in 2004.
    *** Johnson scored his first victory in six races at Martinsville Speedway. It marked his fifth top-10 finish at the Virginia short-track. This is Johnson's first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory on a short track.
    *** Johnson climbed from eighth to fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
    *** Johnson led twice for 67 laps including the final 61. He did not lead the most laps.
    *** Kurt Busch led four times for 120 laps, leading the most laps for the fourth time in 2004.
    *** This was the 19th victory for Chevrolet. Dodge has nine and Ford has four. Notebook Items The Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
    *** With four races remaining in the Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, 364 points separate first to 10th. The Chase started with a 45-point separation between first and 10th at Race No. 27 at New Hampshire. The biggest point margin is between ninth and 10th-place where Ryan Newman leads Jeremy Mayfield by 98 points.
    *** Five of the 10 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup posted top-10 finishes in the 2004 Subway 500.
    *** Five drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at Martinsville 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.
    *** Five of the six Chase races have been won by drivers competing in the Chase: New Hampshire (Kurt Busch), Dover (Ryan Newman), Talladega (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), Charlotte (Jimmie Johnson) and Martinsville (Jimmie Johnson). Only the race at Kansas (Joe Nemechek) was won by a non-Chase driver.
    *** Kurt Busch is the only driver to score top-10 finishes in the first six races in the Chase. Busch has finished sixth or better in all six races.
    *** Jeff Gordon (second) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third in The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup are both within 125 points of the point leader and could possibly overtake Kurt Busch at Atlanta.
    *** Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost 101 points to leader Kurt Busch in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the biggest drop in the standings among the top-10 at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. is now 125 points behind point-leader Kurt Busch, dropping from second to third in the standings.
    *** The Other Chase 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 197 points over 12th-place Dale Jarrett. Jarrett cannot overtake McMurray at Atlanta.
    *** Jamie McMurray (second) scored his 20th top-10 finish of the season. It was his third top-10 finish in four races at Martinsville Speedway. McMurray has scored nine top-10 finishes in the last 10 races.
    *** Ryan Newman (third) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2004. It is his third top-five finish in six races at Martinsville Speedway.
    *** Sterling Marlin (fourth) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2004. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 37 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    *** Kurt Busch (fifth) scored his 18th top-10 finish in 2004. It is his third top-10 finish in nine races at Martinsville Speedway.
    *** Matt Kenseth (16th) has ranked in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 67 straight races.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-24-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson got his second win in as many weeks today at Martinsville Speedway in the Subway 500 as he led the final 61 circuits to claim win #6 for 2004 and the 12th of his career (he's now in sole possession of 46th place). His first short track win was worth $157,440 from the posted awards of over $4.6M. This was win #128 for Hendrick MotorSports.
    Jamie McMurray (2nd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Infineon Raceway in June.
    Sterling Marlin (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Bristol in March.
    Jeff Green (7th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Texas in April of 2003! His Top-10 gives us 39 drivers at that mark this
    season....last years number was 42.
    Scott Wimmer (20th) had his best finish since he was 18th at Michigan in August.
    STREAKIN....Kurt Busch has 6 Top-10's in a row.
    Jamie McMurray has 9 Top-10's in the last 10 races. This Week's Elevator...UP: Operator of the Week is Kasey Kahne (+25). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Dale Earnhardt Jr (-30), followed by Ward Burton (-24), Scott Riggs (-20), and Brendan Gaughan (-20).(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(10-24-2004)

  • Goodyear Dusputes Claims: Goodyear's Rick Heinrich disputes suspicions some Cup teams have raised about tires on the Cup tour and said Goodyear has made no design changes to its intermediate track tires all season. Questions about a number of blown right-front tires at Charlotte last weekend and worries about similar problems next weekend at Atlanta have been raised here this weekend by crews and drivers. #9-Kasey Kahne, #17-Matt Kenseth and #77-Brendan Gaughan were among the Charlotte drivers blowing right fronts. Kahne was dominating the race when his right front blew with 100 miles to go. "We may never know exactly what happened with that specific tire, but we've shared some things we've seen with them," Heinrich said of Kahne's tire. "The problem at Charlotte wasn't chronic. We have had talks with those teams that had problems this week, and we've had some good conversations with those teams. The vast majority of teams didn't have problems."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-24-2004)

  • Gordon gives Loomis a ride: Jeff Gordon took crew chief Robbie Loomis for a few laps around Martinsville Speedway yesterday in NBC's Nextel Cup car.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-24-2004)

  • NASCAR Tears #37 Engine Down: NASCAR officials were seen tearing down the engine of Kevin Lepages' #37 Dodge in the garage area at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. There was no indication as to what the violation was. The car is owned and sponsored by Carter Racing.(Insider Racing News), Lepage lost one engine in Friday's practice and didn't qualify for the race, using a provisional to make the race.(10-24-2004)

  • NASCAR Gives Up? NASCAR officials have apparently given up trying to rein in testing by Cup teams. Earlier this season NASCAR reportedly considered asking Goodyear to control tires as a means of limiting testing. But that proposal has apparently gone by the wayside.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-24-2004)

  • Kangaroo TV: During yesterday's truck race [at Martinsville], a Canadian company called Kangaroo.TV was testing a hand-held multimedia handset that carries live TV coverage, in-truck video feeds, timing and scoring and scanner transmissions. The device, which is 3 inches wide and has full-color, high-resolution video, could be available to fans at Nextel Cup races next season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-24-2004)





    October 23, 2004

  • Could an All-Native American Racing School be in the Works? A new racing school targeted at Native American youth could be in the works. Derrike Cope, NASCAR driver and winner of the 1990 Daytona 500, is looking to bring the idea to life. Cope said that the plans haven’t been finalized yet, but all parties involved are close to an agreement. “Right now, all indications are positive,” he said. Cope explained that he has spoken with several different tribes to get a feel for who might be interested in sponsoring his idea. Another possibility is an all-Native pit crew. “We’ve actually gone through a lot of scenarios.” Why? To create some diversity in NASCAR and, Cope told NAT, to “create a platform for young Native Americans to learn a trade around motor sports.” An all-Native racing school would likely be a first of its kind, said John Harrington, who is helping Cope with possible funding. Harrington is the President of Integrity Gaming.(Native Times - pay site)(10-23-2004)

  • Another RCR Swap in the works? UPDATE 3 Blaney?: hearing that Richard Childress Racing could swap entrie teams again, with the current #30 driver, Jeff Burton and crew going to the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, currently driven by Robby Gordon. Cingular Wireless can stay in the sport, only if they stay on the #31 Chevy with RCR. The crew of the #31 could go to the #30 with either Gordon [unlikely] or another driver [Ricky Craven? Dave Blaney?], have hear that AOL may or may not be back in 2005, but Richard Childress has said before, if AOL opts not to to return, he has another option for a sponsor.
    AND Richard Childress said that he would be making announcements soon, possibly by the end of October. In the Nextel Cup Series, RCR has Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton signed with multi-year deals, but Childress will have to make the decision whether to retain Robby Gordon. Childress is also working to make sure AOL returns as Burton's sponsor in 2005. "We're probably going to make those announcements around Atlanta or a little after," Childress said. "We pretty much have everything in place. You know, we are going to make adjustments all throughout or organization. We're going to make a few adjustments, everything from Cup to Busch."(NASCAR.com)(10-8-2004)
    AND II: hearing if AOL doesn't come back to the #30 car, the sponsor could be Motorola.(10-9-2004)
    UPDATE: Several Nextel Cup teams – Roush Racing and Richard Childress Racing among them – are primed to sign sponsorship deals with hard-liquor companies, including Diageo and Jack Daniels.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-15-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Expect Richard Childress to make more changes before the start of the 2005 season. An announcement the last week of October at Atlanta should clarify the situation, at least partially. Jeff Burton could move from the #30 car to the #31.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-18-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Garage buzz indicates that Dave Blaney may fill the seat of the No. 30 when Jeff Burton moves to the #31 at the end of the season. The #30 crew is expected to follow Burton to the 31 ride.(Motorsport.com)(10-23-2004)

  • Gaughan plays some baskettball and talks to high schoolers: #77-Brendan Gaughan continued his Martinsville tradition Thursday night and it left him winded. Gaughan spoke with the Martinsville High School boys basketball team about staying in school and then played with them for the third year in a row. The tradition started when Martinsville coach Troy Wells asked Gaughan to speak to his team, knowing that Gaughan was a member of the Georgetown basketball team when John Thompson coached and Allen Iverson played. Gaughan said he'd speak if he could play with the team. Gaughan, 29, said he played about five games with the team Thursday. "I'm absolutely not in shape to do that,'' he said. "My game involves beating up a lot of guys and trash talking. That's what I was accustomed to for four years at Georgetown."(Roanoke Times)(10-23-2004)

  • Key Dates in Goodyear Racing History: Highlighting the accomplishments of Goodyear engineers and Goodyear-equipped racers:
    Oct. 18, 1981 - Goodyear-equipped driver Sammy Swindell finishes the World of Outlaws season at Eldora Speedway and wins the championship. It is Goodyear's first WoO title and the tiremaker would go on to dominate WoO competition for two decades.
    Oct. 23, 1970 - Gary Gabelich, trusting his life to Goodyear's bias-belted tire construction, pilots his Liquid Natural Gas-propelled vehicle, the Blue Flame, on record-setting runs of 617.602 mph and 627.287 mph in the Utah desert. The right rear Goodyear tire makes its 27th and 28th runs that day. The tire finishes with 17 passes in excess of 400 mph, 11 of those above 500 mph. It may be the most successful tire in land speed record history.
    Oct. 24, 1965 - Richie Ginther becomes the first driver to win a Formula One race on Goodyear tires when he wins in Mexico. When Goodyear left Formula One in 1998, the company retired with 368 victories, still the best among tiremakers.
    Oct. 25-26, 1975 - Bobby Unser and Bobby Allison, racing on Goodyear tires, win International Race of Champions events at Riverside International Raceway.
    Oct. 26, 1997 - John Paul Jr. and Butch Leitzinger win the one-hour, 45-minute World Sportscar Championship race at Laguna Seca. They drive a Dyson Racing Riley&Scott.
    Oct. 26-27, 1974 - Emerson Fittipaldi and Bobby Allison win International Race of Champions events at Riverside International Raceway.
    Oct. 27, 1973 - Mark Donohue drives a Porsche Carrera RSR to victory in the inaugural International Race of Champions event, held at Riverside International Raceway. George Follmer wins a second race later the same day. Every IROC lap in history has been run on Goodyear tires.
    Oct. 27-28, 1979 - Mario Andretti and Darrell Waltrip win International Race of Champions races on Goodyear tires at Riverside International Raceway.
    Oct. 28, 1973 - Mark Donohue, racing on Goodyear tires, wins his second IROC race in as many days at Riverside International Raceway.(Goodyear PR)(10-23-2004)

  • Miller will has a say in Rusty's Replacement: #2-Rusty Wallace said earlier this week that sponsor Miller Brewing Co. will have a strong say in hiring a replacement between the ages of 25 of 30 when he retires after 2005. "They've agreed to sponsor the car for an additional two years after I retire [so that would be thru 2007] as long as we come up with a driver to fit their criteria, which is fair," Wallace said. "We'll look for a driver that's actively involved in the setup of the car, knows a lot about the chassis, and somebody who knows what it takes to be successful in the sport. Somebody has got to be willing to work with the fans and media well. Somebody's got to be willing to sit in an airplane and fly around the country and service our sponsors."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-23-2004)


    October 22, 2004

  • Robby Gordon will NOT be back with RCR in 2005: #31-Robby Gordon has confirmed that he and car owner Richard Childress will split at the end of 2004. Gordon told PRN's Garagepass, "The process is we've made the determination that our Busch car runs so competitive every weekend that we're gonna go ahead and make the step and move that to a Nextel Cup car in 2005. Obviously we'll have other announcements in the near future but our plan is to take our exisiting Busch car and roll that up to a cup program." When asked...so you won't be with RCR next year? Gordon said, "that's what it sounds like right now, so that looks like our direction...looks like the direction we're trying to head."(PRN's Garagepass Radio show)(10-22-2004)

  • DHL? remeber all the rumors that DHL would be a sponsor in 2005 for a Cup team? and the rumored team was the #1 DEI team [looks untrue], well DHL is on the bright yellow #59 BAM Racing Dodge of Klaus Graf at Martinsville Speedway, but looks like Graf will not be fast enough to make the Subway 500.(10-22-2004)

  • Firestone in NASCAR? UPDATE 2: on Monday's WInd Tunnel with Dave Despain [Speed Channel 10:00pm/et], Robin Miller reported that Firestone supposedly will test a Truck Series truck or Busch Series car in 2005 with a Toyota engine and Firestone tires, similiar to what Scott Pruett did in the early 1990's, where he tested Firestone tires for a full season. Goodyear has a contract with NASCAR thru the 2007 season, so Firestone couldn't come in the Cup Series until 2008.(10-19-2004)
    AND see the full column by Robin Miller at Speed Channel - Bridgestone/Firestone to begin NASCAR initiative.(10-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Goodyear has an exclusive deal with NASCAR to supply tires for its top three professional series through 2007, but there are reports Bridgestone/Firestone and B.F. Goodrich are interested in supplanting Goodyear. Stu Grant, general manager for Goodyear's worldwide racing program, isn't surprised by the interest. "Look at what's going on in racing," he said. "NASCAR is where everybody wants to be." NASCAR officials say that having a single tire supplier makes racing safer and they have no interest in starting another tire war such as the one that raged between Goodyear and Hoosier before the exclusive deal was signed in 1995. As for the possibility of changing tire suppliers, NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said only, "We have a great relationship with Goodyear. It's very satisfying and a continual benefit to the sport."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-22-2004)

  • Labonte not only with Kellogg's OR: hearing that Terry Labonte will only run the #44 Kellogg's scheme in five races each of 2005 and 2006 and will run the other races in other Hendrick Motorsports associate sponsor schemes such as Carquest, ditech.com, GMAC, Delphi and Quaker State.(10-21-2004)
    OR have also been told that Kellogg's will be on Labonte's car for all 10 races each season, but that the #5 Chevy with Kyle Busch would have an associate sponsor as the primary whrn Labonte races.(10-22-2004)

  • Sadler Auto Center to Launch Information Website at Martinsville: Hermie Sadler has always believed in the power of marketing in NASCAR, and his automobile dealerships are now putting their money where their mouth is. NASCAR fans know the Sadler name because of the success of Hermie and Elliott Sadler on the track, but many fans may not know that Hermie Sadler also owns and operates three automobile dealerships in Southside Virginia. Between his three dealerships, Sadler carries all domestic makes and models as well as Honda, and also handles pre-owned and program cars of all makes.
    This weekend at Martinsville, Sadler is launching a simple, free "help" center for people and businesses that are interested in buying, selling, or trading new or used cars. The website is www.sadlersearch.com. Instead of the normal automated car search websites, sadlersearch.com is simple and easy to use. All customers have to do is send their request for information, and they will get a personal response from a Sadler Auto Center representative within 24 hours. Sadler says the goal is obviously to sell cars, but also to help give good information and advice to people in other areas when they are in the market to buy a car.
    "We certainly want to sell and service more customers," Sadler said, "but this is also a way for people to get quick, honest information on automobiles, warranties, financing, and trade values. We want people to have helpful information, regardless of where they live or who they buy from. This site is not fancy, you simply fill out an information box and we personally respond to you and answer your questions." For more information, visit www.sadlersearch.com or call 1-800-899-8855.(PR)(10-22-2004)

  • Racing Champions out of NASCAR? hearing that Racing Champions is giving up all there of it's trackside programs after 2004. Some of Racing Champion's properties include: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Scott Wimmer, #0-Ward Burton. These programs will supposedly be divided up between Team Caliber and Action Performance.(10-22-2004)

  • More on Drive for Diversity: Racing without a license, fast cars and a giant sponge sums up the adventure enjoyed by youth from the YWCA Central Carolinas. The children, guests of Goody's Headache Powders and "Drive for Diversity," were treated to a full NASCAR experience that began with racing NASCAR simulators, giving the command to start the Lowe's Presents SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 NASCAR Busch Series race, meeting SpongeBob SquarePants and then ended with watching the event. Goody's Headache Powders, the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" for nearly 30 years and a partner in NASCAR's diversity initiatives, hosted the children in an effort to introduce NASCAR racing to more diverse audiences. The idea to bring the kids from the YWCA Central Carolinas to Lowe's Motor Speedway - the Mecca of motorsports - was an offshoot of another program Goody's Headache Powders offers in the Charlotte area. Goody's Headache Powders implemented a community grant program called "F.A.S.T. - Finding A Solution Together" at the beginning of the year that offers funding to nonprofit organizations striving to make a difference in Charlotte's African-American community. The YWCA Central Carolinas recently received a $5,000 F.A.S.T. grant to fund Spanish language literacy workshops for minority children attending its after-school program. Drive for Diversity (www.drivefordiversity.com) was created and is managed by Access Marketing & Communications, a Charlotte-based multicultural marketing firm founded in 2003 by Calhoun Enterprises and The Radiate Group. Drive for Diversity seeks to provide diverse and female driver and crew member development programs as an initial step in a long-term solution to diversify NASCAR's participant and audience base.(PR)(10-22-2004)

  • Martinsville Qualifying Notes:
    ---- Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole for the Subway 500, lapping Martinsville Speedway in 19.513 seconds at 97.043 mph. He broke Tony Stewart's track-qualifying record of 19.855 seconds, 95.371 mph, set Sept. 29, 2000. With the new racing surface, the top-17 qualifiers bested Stewart's time.
    ---- This is Newman's 25th career Bud Pole in 112 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races (22.3 per cent). His most recent Bud Pole came at Charlotte one race ago. He moved to 25th on the all-time Bud Pole winner's list, passing Alan Kulwicki and Jack Smith.
    ---- Newman joined Jeff Gordon (Michigan through Chicago), Casey Mears (Pocono and Indianapolis) and Joe Nemechek (Talladega and Kansas) in posting back-to-back Bud Poles this season.
    ---- This is Newman's 22nd top-10 start in 2004, more than any other driver. It is Newman's fourth start of third or better in six races at Martinsville, including two Bud Poles. He has started from the top 10 in all of his Martinsville races.
    ---- Newman took sole possession of the lead in the race for the 2004 Bud Pole Award with his seventh Bud Pole of the season. Newman has won the award for the past two years. Jeff Gordon (six), 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.
    ---- Rusty Wallace had the second-fastest time with a qualifying lap of 19.677 seconds at 96.234 mph and will join Newman on the front row. It is his 12th top-10 start in 2004. It is his 32nd top-10 start in his 42 races at Martinsville.
    ---- This is 15th Bud Pole for Dodge in 2004. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Ford has two.
    ---- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his 19th top-10 start in 2004. It is his eighth top-10 start in 10 races at Martinsville, all in the past eight races here.
    ---- Ward Burton (fourth) posted his fifth top-10 start in 2004. It is his sixth top-10 start in 20 races at Martinsville and his fourth in the past five races here.
    ----- Travis Kavpil (fifth), driving a fourth Penske Racing entry, qualified for his career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.
    ---- Jeff Gordon (15th) ended a streak of three consecutive Bud Poles and eight consecutive top-10 starts at Martinsville. This is just his seventh start outside the top 10 in 24 races at Martinsville and his second-worst. He started 25th in his second Martinsville race (September 1993).
    ---- Chad Chaffin (37th) qualified for hiscareer-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.
    ---- Three of the 10 drivers involved in The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualified in the top-10: Newman, Earnhardt Jr., and Kurt Busch.
    ---- Jimmy Spencer, Todd Bodine, Kirk Shelmerdine, Mario Gosselin and Kevin Lepage used provisionals to complete the 43-car field. It will be Gosselin's career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start. Seven drivers failed to qualify for the Subway 500: Klaus Graf, Mike Garvey, Morgan Shepherd, Ryan McGlynn, Greg Sacks, Brad Teague and Carl Long.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-22-2004)

  • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Martinsville: Ryan Newman shattered the old track record (for that matter the first 17 cars were quicker than the previous mark....and I thought it would be more) at Martinsville Speedway and sped to his 7th Bud Pole of the season today for Sunday's Subway 500. His time of 19.513 (97.043 mph) was over 3/10th's quicker than the previous record and gives Newman 25 poles in his career. Newman is now one up on Jeff Gordon in the Bud Pole contingency program with only Kasey Kahne (4) still mathematically eligible for the top spot in that award program.
    It'll be an all-Penske front row as teammate Rusty Wallace (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Infineon in June.
    Ward Burton (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at The Brickyard in August.
    Jamie McMurray (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Bristol in August.
    Sterling Marlin (16th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Bristol in August.
    Ken Schrader (20th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 17th at Loudon in July.
    Kyle Petty (26th) has his best starting spot since he qualififed 26th at The Brickyard in August.
    WELCOME: Travis Kvapil (5th!....what a beginning), Chad Chaffin (37th), and Mario Gosselin (42nd) all make their first Nextel Cup starts this weekend. Kvapil comes from the Craftsman Truck Series, Chaffin has been racing in that series as well but has turned an awful lot of laps around Nashville Fairgrounds in his day, and Gosselin has long been a standout in the Hooters ProCup and Late Model Series. All three of these guys have a lot of short-track laps on their resumes.
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.
    A surprising 50 cars on hand this weekend.....that gives us a large Trouble Train of 7. Klaus Graf (missing the field by less than 2/100ths of a second ), Mike Garvey, Morgan Shepherd, Ryan McGlynn, Greg Sacks, Brad Teague, and Carl Long are the inhabitants of the TT this week.
    Provisionals were taken by: Jimmy Spencer, Todd Bodine, Kirk Shelmerdine (the 16th time this season the #72 has used a freebie to make the field), Mario Gosselin, and Kevin Lepage.(see full post at the Stock Car Fans Site)(10-22-2004)


    October 21, 2004

  • Double Duty at Martinsville:
    Cup regulars who will run the Martisnville Truck race:
    #18-Bobby Labonte will run the #47 Truck
    #22-Scott Wimmer could relieve Bill Lester in the #22 Truck
    #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. will run the #59 Dodge
    #42-Jamie McMurray will run the #2 Ultra Truck
    #49-Ken Schrader will run his #52 Truck
    #99-Carl Edwards will be in the #99
    #50-Todd Bodine will be in the #30 Toyota
    Truck regulars who will run the Martinsville Cup race:
    #24-Travis Kvapil will be in the #06 Penske Racing Dodge
    #18-Chad Chaffin will be in the #98 Ford.(10-21-2004)

  • Martin Fastest in testing at Atlanta: With the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend only a week away, the garages were full on Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch teams prepared their vehicles. Mark Martin topped the unofficial speed chart during the day/night test, piloting his #6 Viagra Ford around the 1.54-mile quad-oval in 30.00 seconds (184.800 mph). Martin also tested Monday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and then waited out the weather that hit metro Atlanta on Tuesday to stay and finish testing on Wednesday. It was a little longer than he intended to stay in Hampton, but Martin said it was worth it. "With five races left, and the championship on the line, we have no room for error," Martin said. "We've got to have great finishes - and a lot of luck - to get back to the top." Second fastest during Wednesday's test was John Andretti in the #14 VB Ford with a lap around the fast track in 30.07 seconds (184.370mph). On the Busch side of the garage, Boston Reid led the unofficial speed chart wit a lap of 31.00 seconds (178.839 mph).
    Unofficial Speed Results
    NEXTEL Cup:
    #6-Martin - 30.00 seconds (184.800mph)
    #14-Andretti - 30.07 (184.370)
    #43-Green - 30.38 (182.488)
    #33-Earnhardt- 30.55 (181.473)
    #17-Kenseth - 30.55 (181.473)
    #02-Blaney - 30.58 (181.295)
    #45-Petty - 30.82 (179.883)
    #15-Waltrip - 31.04 (178.436)
    #1-Truex Jr.- 31.12 (178.149)
    #80-Yeley - 31.42 (176.448)
    #41-Mears - 32.03 (173.088)
    Busch:
    #87-Reid - 31.00 seconds (178.839 mph)
    #21-Bowyer - 31.27 seconds (177.295 mph)
    #41-Sorenson - 32.03 seconds (173.088 mph)
    #11-Menard - 31.73 seconds (174.724 mph)
    #96-Crosby - 33.76seconds (154.218 mph)
    The NASCAR drivers will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Great seats still remain, and three-day tickets start at just $69. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(AMS PR)(10-21-2004)

  • Bush-Cheney '04 launches NASCAR campaign UPDATE: Bush-Cheney '04 Tuesday launched a two-day, four-state tour of NASCAR celebrities to help pull in the "NASCAR dad" vote in two weeks, the campaign said. Seven NASCAR drivers and figures -- including Darrell Waltrip, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Jack Roush, Benny Parsons, Jeff Hammond and Eddie Wood -- will appear in the battleground states of Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania at 14 separate events, the campaign said. The campaign also announced it had received endorsements from nine of the Nextel Cup Series Top 10 drivers, as well as from NASCAR President Mike Helton and "countless NASCAR heroes."(Washington Times /UPI)(10-19-2004)
    UPDATE: Nine Of The Nextel Cup Series Top 10 Drivers Have Endorsed The President. Drivers include: Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Elliott Sadler, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Jeremy Mayfield.(George Bush site), NOTE: this is not being political, just pointing out news that was found out there about NASCAR and it's drivers, if ya see something about Kerry and NASCAR, let me know, otherwise....chill out.(10-21-2004)

  • Gillette Young Guns - Subway 500 Notes: By picking Jimmie Johnson as the top Gillette Young Gun finisher in the UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 16th, Dana B. of Half Moon Bay, CA was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Dana picked Johnson as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com 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 Johnson. This is the ninth time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Johnson.
    The Gillette Young Guns are 17 for 31 in the win column so far in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson each have five victories, followed by Kurt Busch with three victories, and Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman, who have two victories apiece. Through the 31st race of the season, Busch leads the NEXTEL Cup point standings over fellow Young Gun Earnhardt Jr. by just 24 points. Three other Gillette Young Guns are also in the top-10 and rank as follows - Kenseth (Seventh), Johnson (Eighth) and Newman (Ninth). Kevin Harvick, who is not in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, is currently in the 13th position in the standings. For 27 of the 31 races run in 2004, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings have been led by four members of the Gillette Young Guns. While Kurt Busch has currently led for five weeks, fellow Young Gun Dale Earnhardt Jr. led for 10 weeks overall and Jimmie Johnson led for nine weeks. Busch's Roush Racing teammate Matt Kenseth also led for four weeks.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-21-2004)

  • Update on Sprint Car Driver injured at LMS: Jimmy Weller III, injured in a USAC sprint car event at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, Oct. 13, remains in the Intensive Care Unit of Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, but his condition continues to improve daily. Weller, 18, of Liberty, Ohio, suffered severe head trauma in the accident. He remains heavily sedated, but is awake and, according to his family, is responding to commands. He is still breathing with the assistance of a ventilator, but his breathing has improved considerably and doctors hope to remove the ventilator in the next day or two.(LMS PR)(10-21-2004)


    October 20, 2004

  • Sadler's Pit Crew Wins Charlotte Event; Donates Prize Money: Elliott Sadler's pit crew scored its seventh win of the season in the weekly McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade by taking top honors in Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Sadler's crew is donating its $20,000 first-place prize money from Charlotte to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and to the Autism Society of America. Each charity will receive $10,000. "This weekend I was told the guys are going to donate the winnings to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and to the Autism Society of America," said Sadler. "Both of these charities are very close to Dale Jarrett's and my hearts, so we are proud the team decided to donate their prize money to two great causes." The chase for the McDonald's/POWERade season championship is shaping up to be a battle between Sadler's crew and the No. 8 crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr., which finished second in Charlotte. With five Nextel Cup races remaining, Sadler's crew has a 10-point lead over Earnhardt's crew - 1115 to 1105. Lurking in third is Kurt Busch's crew with 1086 points. Sadler's Combos Ford spent the least amount of time on Lowe's Motor Speedway's pit road - 406.582 seconds. Earnhardt Jr.'s Budweiser Chevrolet followed with a time of 421.810. Jeff Burton's No. 30 AOL Chevy was third at 439.302. 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 Commications PR), for the Top 10 at Charlotte, winner each week and season standings, see my Pit Crew News page. For past resultss, see my 2004 Past Pit Crew News page.(10-20-2004)

  • Bootie takes over #0 Crew Chief Gig: Haas CNC Racing announced today the appointment of Robert (Bootie) Barker as crew chief of the No. 0 NetZero Chevrolet beginning at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Barker, who has been leading the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series all season, will swap roles with current Cup crew chief Bill Ingle. Starting in Atlanta, Ingle will lead the Busch Series team for the remainder of the 2004 season. Both Ingle and Barker will remain in their current positions for this weekend's racing at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park. "It makes sense to bring Bootie on board at this point to get ahead for next year," stated Ward Burton, driver of the NetZero Chevrolet. "I have a lot of respect for the job that Bill has done for us. He took over in a difficult situation and has worked hard to make this team better. That said, I'm also looking forward to working with Bootie. He has developed a strong Busch Series program for Haas CNC Racing and has led the team to a lot of success. Our paths have crossed before and I've seen what he can do, so I'm excited to have the chance to work with him at Haas CNC Racing."(NetZero Racing Site)(10-20-2004)

  • Ford Exec goes to Roush: Roush Racing announced today that former Ford marketing executive Torrey Galida has joined Roush Racing as its senior vice-president of marketing. Galida will assume leadership roles within a multiple of marketing based activities engaged in by Roush Racing as part of the organization's long-term strategy of maintaining and enhancing Roush Racing's leadership position in the motorsports entertainment marketplace. Galida will report to Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing.(Ford Racing site)(10-20-2004)


    October 19, 2004

  • Baldwin Wins WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: #9-Kasey Kahne may not have won the UAW-GM Quality 500, but his impressive run gave every indication that his first win isn't too far away. The rookie sensation dominated the action with veteran poise, leading an outstanding 207 laps before a blown right-front tire prematurely ended his day. Even though his quest for Victory Lane was prolonged, race fans recognized that Kahne undoubtedly had the car to beat and rewarded his crew chief, Tommy Badlwin, as the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
    Nearly 35% of the fans who voted on www.WYPALL.com thought Baldwin deserved the award, despite not finishing the race. "Tommy (Baldwin) may not have won, but he was the class of the field," commented race fan James Douglas. "The only thing slowing down his car was caution flags. It was a heart breaker to see a car that good have to leave the race early."
    "Tommy (Baldwin) nailed the setup," said WYPALL Wipers spokesman Robbie Reiser. "There were about three or four cars that were fighting for second place, but everyone knew that the 9 car was going to win. It's a shame that they blew a tire. Had it not been for that, you'd have seen those guys in Victory Lane. It's just a matter of time before they shake their bad luck and finally win a race."
    Tony Eury, Sr. remains in first place in the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge with nine wins. Chad Knaus, Tommy Baldwin and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with four 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.(S.M.C. 500 PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Truex Jr. to attempt Atlanta: Martin Truex, Jr. will attempt his first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start in the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 31, 2004. Truex, Jr. will drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. This will be his first Nextel Cup Series start if he qualifies for the race on the 1.5-mile track. His previous attempt was at New Hampshire International Speedway in September, where qualifying was cancelled by NASCAR due to rain [Note: Truex Jr. subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at NHIS in July, but was not credited with a start or points as per the rules]. "I think every driver's ultimate goal is to race in the Nextel Cup Series," Truex, Jr. said. "I would like to thank Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Bass Pro Shops for giving me this opportunity." Currently leading the NASCAR Busch Series standings in his first full year of driving for Chance 2 Motorsports, Truex, Jr. will be carrying some very familiar colors on his car. Bass Pro Shops has been the primary sponsor for 18 Busch Series races for Truex, Jr. and the Chance 2 team this season.
    Richard "Slugger" Labbe, a Daytona 500 winning crew chief, will serve as crew chief on the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops car, with Kevin "Bono" Manion, Truex's regular crew chief on the Busch car, making calls on pit road during the race. A major catalog and Internet retailer, Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, MO, currently has 23 locations across the United States and attracts some 66 million visitors a year. Stores in Las Vegas, NV and Harrisburg, PA are also scheduled to open this year with more locations planned for 2005 and 2006.(DEI PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Slugger to the #40? UPDATE: Richard "Slugger" Labbe, who crewed Michael Waltrip to two Daytona 500 victories before stepping down from that crew-chief spot at Dale Earnhardt Inc. this past Wednesday, is under consideration for a possible job next season working with Sterling Marlin at Chip Ganassi's, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2004)
    UPDATE: Labbe was interviewed on XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144 and was at Atlanta testing with Martin Truex Jr. and said he was happy in his new role and it was his choice to step down.(10-19-2004)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day in Miami:
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. visits South Florida on Wednesday, October 20 for the proclamation of "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day" in Miami-Dade County, the South Florida unveiling of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Trophy, and to preview Ford Championship Weekend, Nov. 18-21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That evening, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be honored at a VIP Party on South Beach.(Homestead-Miami Speedway PR)(10-18/19-2004)

  • Engine Builders Combine Forces: Peter Guild, President of Pro-Motor Engines, and Mark Smith, President of Tri-Star Motorsports, announced the merger of their companies. This new alliance will combine the knowledge and technical expertise of two of the top independent engine building staffs in order to better serve the growing demand for quality racing and corporate engine development in the NASCAR, Grand-Am and manufacturer communities. The collaboration will provide the best machinery and resources of both companies under one roof. This partnership will operate as Pro-Motor Engines and conduct business from Pro-Motor’s existing facility in Mooresville. Pro-Motor Engines has a rich history of supplying engines to many of the top NASCAR and road racing teams. Founded in Elk Grove Village, IL in 1975, Pro-Motor moved to North Carolina in 1989 and quickly became one of the most successful independent engine builders, winning 12 NASCAR Winston Cup races including the prestigious Brickyard 400 with Ricky Rudd in 1997. Tri-Star Motorsports has been supplying engines to racing competitors since 1989, achieving success in all levels of NASCAR. Tri-Star has won numerous pole awards in the Cup, Busch & Truck series, including the coveted pole for the 1994 Daytona 500 with rookie driver Loy Allen, Jr. In addition, Tri-Star has recorded 8 Craftsman Truck Series wins and 2 Craftsman Truck Series Championships with IWX Racing in 2002 and 2003.(BGNRacing.com)(10-19-2004)

  • 2005 Drive for Diversity testing drivers: Eighteen drivers are participating in a two-day combine in Virginia as NASCAR looks for participants in its 2005 Drive for Diversity program. The program aims at increasing the number of minority drivers and crew members in racing. The combine is being held through today at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA. At the combine, the invitees go through interviews and participate in practice, qualifying and intermediate runs in Late Model Stock Cars.
    Five drivers who were part of the original Drive for Diversity class are being joined by the others seeking spots in the program in 2005. The inaugural five include Reggie Primus (Kannapolis, NC), Morty Buckles (Stone Mountain, GA), Bruce Driver (Pennington, NJ), Allison Duncan (Cornelius, NC) and Joe Henderson (Franklin, TN). Others participating: Becca Anderson (Lincoln, DE), Brianne Cronrath (Fleetwood, PA), Sondi Eden (Crawfordsville, IN), Michael Gallegos (Wheat Ridge, CO), Jesus Hernandez (Fresno, CA), Lloyd Mack (Los Angeles), Darin Martinez-Stahl (Sacramento, CA), Alison Quick (Redding, IA), James Reed (St. Louis), Jesse Salazar (San Antonio), Terri Williams (Emporia, VA) and Andy Winstead (Mount Pleasant, SC). Tommy Lane of Charlotte, who was part of the Drive for Diversity crew member program this year and has been working for Score Motorsports, also was invited to the combine.(Greensville News), more about the program at www.drivefordiversity.com and some past news on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(10-19-2004)

  • Early TV Ratings for Saturday Night UPDATE up 14%: The Yankees and Red Sox hit the mound on Saturday (Oct. 16) night, bringing enough fans to their television sets to give FOX a 7.9 rating/14 share for the night among households. NBC was second with a 4.9/9, followed by ABC, 4.7/9, and CBS, 4.3/8. FOX also took the title among 18 to 49-year-olds with a 4.5, beating NBC's 3.0, ABC's 2.5 and CBS' 1.9.
    At 8 p.m., FOX started things off with a 7.4/14 while NBC gave over its night to NASCAR [at Lowe's Motor SPeedway]. ABC revisited one of their sitcom families with the movie "Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers," averaging a 4.7/9 from 8 to 10 p.m. CBS tried to drum up more viewers with a reairing of Thursday night's "Survivor," 2.7/5. FOX shot up to an 8.5/15 at 9 p.m., while NBC and ABC tied for second. CBS rose for the hour, but still came in last place with a rerun of "Cold Case," 4.5/8. CBS made up for things at 10 p.m., when "48 Hours Mystery" won the hour with a 5.6/11. NBC had its best hour of the night, pulling in a 5.1/10, and ABC finished things off with a repeat of last Sunday's "Desperate Housewives," 4.9/9.(Zap2It.com)
    2003 early ratings in 2003 for the race were 4.5 overnight rating and 8 share and the final was 4.3 rating and 8 share.
    2002 final figures for the daytime Sunday running of the race were 5.0/10.(more on my TV Ratings pages)(10-17-2004)
    UPDATE: NBC Sports' coverage of NASCAR Nextel Cup racing from Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte earned an impressive 4.9 national rating/9 share (7:14-11:36 p.m. ET), a 14% increase over last year's 4.3/8 (7:34-11:01), according to Nielsen Media Research. The rating was especially significant considering the broadcast faced stiff competition from MLB playoff and college football telecasts. In the four years NBC has broadcast this race the rating has increased 88%, from a 2.6 in 2000.
    Through 14 telecasts, NASCAR Nextel Cup coverage on NBC and TNT has produced a 4.3 national rating, even with last year and especially significant considering hurricanes hampered ratings in multiple key metered markets for two races.
    The race built its audience to a peak of 6.0/11 from 11-11:30pm/et when Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag just in front of his teammate Jeff Gordon.(NBC PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Any TV Time is Good TV Time: Eric Wright , vice president of research and development for Joyce Julius, a firm that analyzes sponsor value in sports, said companies can get their money's worth in NASCAR, even if their race car is not doing well. Controversy can help, too, he said. Although the exposure Robby Gordon 's sponsor earned during his bumping controversy at Loudon, N.H., was negative, it still put the product on television screens. "If what's happening is a hot-button item, we know sponsors cringe and prefer not to have it," Wright said. "But there is some afterlife that once the sting wears off you still get some publicity and maybe it's not the worst situation to be in."(St Petersburg Times)(10-19-2004)

  • Group wants FCC to fine NBC: the Parents Television Council, an advocacy group to protect children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment, filed an indecency complaint against NBC with the Federal Communications Commission. It wants the FCC to levy a fine against every NBC affiliate that aired the interview [with Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning Talladega].(Tampa Tribune)(10-19-2004)

  • Bobby Labonte to run first Truck race since 1996: Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, will attempt to start his second career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, almost eight years to the day of his first. Labonte started 24th and finished 34th in the #77 Rotary Lift Chevrolet on Oct. 26, 1996 in the GM Goodwrench 300 at Phoenix International Raceway. Labonte completed only 31 of the 186 laps after a valve problem ended his day.(JGR PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Rookie of the Year Points: for years, have been calculating how the Rookie of the Year [ROTY[ award is calculated. Every year until thjis year, I was pretty much on, maybe a point here of there. This year, my calculations are way off what Raybestos sends out and NASCAR sends out, if fact, even they differ. Why? no idea, unless the rules changed unannounced sometime this season, I used to rules found at the beginning of the 2004 season. None of the systems differ in who will win or is leading by a huge margin, #9-Kasey Kahne. Anyhow questions go unanswered, but been asked by readers, why the differences..no idea, here are the three standings......
    Driver Car# Jayski NASCAR Raybestos
    Kasey Kahne 9 302 294 294
    Brian Vickers 25 209 201 206
    Brendan Gaughan 77 207 206 200
    Scott Wimmer 22 205 200 201
    Scott Riggs 10 193 191 193
    Johnny Sauter 09 134 133 127

    see my 2004 Rookie of the Year page for standings, rules and news.(10-19-2004)

  • Darlington Testing Schedule for Next Week: The testing schedule for next Tuesday, October 26, includes confirmed teams and drivers of:
    DEI (team confirmed, driver or drivers unspecified); #18-Bobby Labonte; #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr.; #0-Ward Burton; #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth and #30-Jeff Burton, along with Biffle's #60 Busch team.(Darlington Raceway PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Martins Tests at Atlanta on Monday, more on Tues: Three of NASCAR's frontrunners for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch series championships tested Monday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Leading the way on the unofficial speed chart was NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship contender Mark Martin. Martin, who is currently fifth in the NEXTEL Cup standings, piloted his #6 Viagra Ford around the 1.54-mile quad-oval in 30.04 seconds (184.554 mph). Also testing with Martin were the top two drivers in the NASCAR Busch championship chase. Although #5-Kyle Busch currently trails leader #8-Martin Truex Jr. by 144 points, he was a step ahead during Monday's test, gunning his #5 Lowe's Chevrolet around the fastest speedway in NASCAR in 30.23 seconds (183.394 mph). Truex was a tick behind at 30.35 seconds (182.669 mph). Testing will continue this week with Martin, Busch, Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Reed Sorenson, Casey Mears, Carl Edwards, John Andretti, J.J. Yeley, Kyle Petty, Justin Ashburn, Jeff Green, Hermie Sadler, and Boston Reid all scheduled to test. All tests sessions are closed to the public.(AMS PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Rubbermaid donates to Victory Junction: Rubbermaid Commercial Product donated over $10,000 of its quality products to the Victory Junction Gang Camp Saturday (Oct. 16) at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In front of nearly 150 of Rubbermaid Commercial Products' guests, the presentation was made to NASCAR driver and Camp co-founder Kyle Petty by Rubbermaid Commercial Products President Larry McIsaac prior to the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at LMS. "I can't tell you how thrilled we are to have Rubbermaid as one of our camp partners," said Petty, who, along with his wife Pattie, founded the not-for-profit organization in honor of their late son Adam. "We have so many needs at the camp and these products are so valuable to us. We are thankful to RCP for their willingness to help our cause. They make incredible, state-of-the-art products and I guarantee you we will put them all to great use." Some of the items donated include farm and tractor carts, wheelbarrows, Brute totes, Brute dollies, step stools and much more. Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP), headquartered in Winchester, VA, continues to develop innovative products and system solutions in the categories of food service, cleaning, safety, material handling, waste and agriculture. RCP is an avid supporter of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and his Roush Racing team, which has been sponsored by Newell Rubbermaid and its brands since 2001. For more information on Rubbermaid Commercial Products, visit the website at rubbermaidcommercial.com, and to find out how you can support the Victory Junction Gang Camp, go to victoryjunction.org.(RCP PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Sad News - Driver Deaths: John Dexter Moore, the 15-year-old son of a popular Stockton 99 Speedway driver, died Saturday after losing control of his 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo racer and crashing into a wall at the speedway. The teenager was "just a superstar beyond his years," his father, Western Late Model division driver John Moore, said Sunday. The younger Moore was a champion motocross racer who won titles throughout California and Texas, including several at Prairie City in Rancho Cordova. He was a veteran of more than 1,000 motorcycle races and picked up go-kart racing a couple of years ago. It was the second death in the 58-year history of Stockton 99 Speedway and the first in which a driver was behind the wheel. Moore was driving a car his dad purchased from Eric Schmidt of Roseville, who dominated in the racer at Stockton 99 in 2003. Moore's parents and grandfather were at the speedway when the accident occurred, according to Nelida Stone, a spokeswoman for the San Joaquin County sheriff's office. The teenager's father and grandfather were burned pulling him from the wreckage, which caught on fire. The elder John Moore suffered burns on his face and arms, and the boy's grandfather was burned on his arms. The teenager's dad has become a fan favorite as a regular driver at Stockton 99. Moore finished third in points this season and scored his most recent main-event victory on Aug. 21. Moore also posted a career-best fifth-place finish in the NASCAR Grand National West Series race at the track on Aug. 14. Moore also has helped sponsor races at Stockton 99. Moore was strapped in with the required five-point harness, helmet and fire suit, witnesses said. The only other death at the track occurred in September 1993.(Stockton 99 site)
    AND Michael Bradshaw was in the last lap of the "open wheel feature race" at Lake Cumberland Speedway Saturday night [Oct 9th] when his car hit the wall. Paramedics pulled him from the car and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him before taking him to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A spokesman for the Pulaski County Coroner's Office said that Bradshaw's death was due to severe coronary disease, not from the collision with the wall. Bradshaw apparently suffered a fatal heart attack while driving in the race, and witness said that he slumped over before the crash. Bradshaw was a machinist employed by Cornett's Racing Engines in Somerset and had been racing for 19 years.(Somerset/Pulaski News Journal)(10-19-2004)


    October 18, 2004

  • Dale Jr.'s appeal to be heard Monday - UPHELD: The National Stock Car Racing Commission will hear Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s appeal on his 25-point penalty at 11:00am Monday at an undisclosed location within a two-hour drive of Charlotte, N.C., according to a team official. Richie Gilmore, director of competition at Dale Earnhardt Inc., said he and Earnhardt will present the appeal. Gilmore says that if the commission rules against Earnhardt, the team does not plan to appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner, whose decision is final. "I think we decided whatever happens here, we're done with it," Gilmore said Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Our focus is on the chase right now, and we just need to get back to racing and let this get past us and not let the 25 points bother us if we lose." The commission is a review board independent of NASCAR. The chairman, George Silbermann, is employed by NASCAR. Since Silbermann's appointment to chairman in November 1999, the commission has upheld 37 of the 53 appeals it has heard. The commission reduced a penalty 11 times. The commission overturned a NASCAR decision four times. Once, the commission increased a penalty.(Roanoke Times)(10-15/17-2004)
    UPHELD: The National Stock Car Racing Commission has upheld NASCAR's $10,000 fine and 25-point penalty levied against Nextel Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for using profanity in a live, post-race interview following the October 10 race at Talladega.(Thartsracin.com)(10-18-2004)

  • Graf to run 2nd BAM car at Martinsville: Klaus Graf, and the #59 BAM Racing Dodge head to the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway, for Sunday's Subway 500. The German native Graf will be attempting to start the second Nextel Cup race of his career. After this weekend, he will also run the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series finale at Homestead for BAM. In his inaugural ARCA start, and his first on an oval, Graf led late in the race before finishing third at the Nashville Super Speedway. Earlier this month, Graf qualified seventh at the Talladega ARCA event and ran well before being caught up in another car's crash at Talladega, Ala. In his only start in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Graf started from the 38th position and finished a solid 17th at Infineon Raceway in June. He was an obvious contender at Watkins Glen, but qualifying was rained out. Graf, 32, is the first German-born driver to compete in NASCAR's top series. He lives in Dornhan, Germany, which is located in Germany's Black Forrest region. Graf trained to race Formula One in Europe, but switched to sports cars instead. After winning the 1993 German Formula Ford Championship, 1993 Austrian National Championship, and 1997 Rookie of the Year in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Graf raced in the American Le Mans series competing in the Le Man 24-hour race and the 12-hours of Sebring.(Williams Company PR)(10-18-2004)

  • Another RCR Swap in the works? UPDATE 2: hearing that Richard Childress Racing could swap entrie teams again, with the current #30 driver, Jeff Burton and crew going to the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, currently driven by Robby Gordon. Cingular Wireless can stay in the sport, only if they stay on the #31 Chevy with RCR. The crew of the #31 could go to the #30 with either Gordon [unlikely] or another driver [Ricky Craven? Dave Blaney?], have hear that AOL may or may not be back in 2005, but Richard Childress has said before, if AOL opts not to to return, he has another option for a sponsor.
    AND Richard Childress said that he would be making announcements soon, possibly by the end of October. In the Nextel Cup Series, RCR has Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton signed with multi-year deals, but Childress will have to make the decision whether to retain Robby Gordon. Childress is also working to make sure AOL returns as Burton's sponsor in 2005. "We're probably going to make those announcements around Atlanta or a little after," Childress said. "We pretty much have everything in place. You know, we are going to make adjustments all throughout or organization. We're going to make a few adjustments, everything from Cup to Busch."(NASCAR.com)(10-8-2004)
    AND II: hearing if AOL doesn't come back to the #30 car, the sponsor could be Motorola.(10-9-2004)
    UPDATE: Several Nextel Cup teams – Roush Racing and Richard Childress Racing among them – are primed to sign sponsorship deals with hard-liquor companies, including Diageo and Jack Daniels.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-15-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Expect Richard Childress to make more changes before the start of the 2005 season. An announcement the last week of October at Atlanta should clarify the situation, at least partially. Jeff Burton could move from the #30 car to the #31.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-18-2004)

  • So..what happened with Spencer and Gaughan? ......with only 30 miles to go, #4-Jimmy Spencer [running 14th on the lead lap] and #77-Brendan Gaughan crashed. "We had a tire going down," Gaughan explained. "And I wasn't going to make it in the pits, and I was trying to get down out of the way, and I thought I was on the bottom. Then, Blam. It was probably my fault. Maybe I didn't get far enough out of the way. Sorry for Jimmy. He had a good run going. If it was my fault, I apologize."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2004)

  • Personnel Chnages at JGR? Pink slips were handed out to several crew members at Joe Gibbs Racing last week, leading some to wonder where the manpower to run three [#11,#18,#20] teams in 2005 will come from.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-18-2004)

  • First sweep at Charlotte since 1986: #48-Jimmie Johnson became the sixth driver to sweep a season’s races at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the first since 1986 when the late Dale Earnhardt won both. There otheres:
    1975, Richard Petty
    1974, David Pearson
    1971, Bobby Allison
    1965, Fred Lorenzen.(10-18-2004)

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  • Pilot Truck Driver Challenge News: The Pilot Truck Driver Challenge's chicane course was designed to put hauler drivers to the test. And that it did, as drivers worked through a course of tight turns, pin point stops and narrow reversing maneuvers. As the entire Challenge, sponsored by Pilot Travel Centers, has been centered on safe and responsible truck driving, the drivers had the opportunity to display the skills that make them the champions in their profession. At the end of the day, Jim Baldwin, transport driver for the # 29 GM Goodwrench race team, out-drove his peers to win this important category of the challenge. The soft spoken Baldwin only narrowly bettered runner-up Bill 'Stumpy' Lewis by five points.
    The intensity of all participants was observed as each paced the course and eyed distances, before carefully driving their 80 foot mobile garages through the sixth category of the challenge. Starting with a maximum of 500 points, each driver was deducted points for rule violations. Five officials carefully observed each truck and penalized for touching cones, hitting obstacles and distances from stopping points, measured down to the inch. The Pilot Truck Driver Challenge officials have already assessed the drivers in several categories. Updated CDL's and Medical Examiner's certificate were checked to ensure that all drivers had maintained these at DOT standards. Accurate log books have been presented upon request. Fire marshals have checked for proper equipment and date certification. Random inspections on the maintenance and cleanliness of each hauler have been conducted throughout the year. Each driver has displayed a healthy commitment to the challenge and to SAFETY, resulting in an extremely tight competition. With only two categories remaining before the champion will be crowded, the drivers are now scrambling to keep their trucks, and themselves, in tip-top shape. The eventual winner will receive a grand prize of $50,000. Fans can monitor the progress of each driver on the challenge web site www.pilottruckchallenge.com.(SMC PR)(10-18-2004)



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