NOV 1-7, 2004
News and Rumors from November 7, 2004
Dale Jr. repeats at Phoenix: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, his 2nd win in a row at the track, his 6th of 2004 and 15th of his career. Earnhardt Jr. also led the most laps with 118 as the race ran three laps long with a Green-White-Checker finish as there was a late caution and debris and oil on the track after #41-Mear wrecked and #31-Gordon lost an engine in unrelated incidents. #12-Ryan Newman finished 2nd, followed by #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick and #9-Kahne. Harvick and Kahne beat and banged a bit on the last few laps going for 4th, then had words on pit road after Kahne tapped Harvicks car on pitroad. #97-Busch finished 10th and maintains the points lead, now down from 96 to 41 with #24-Gordon 2nd and Earnhardt Jr. up to 3rd, only 47 points back.
See race results at:
JAYSKI's Phoenix Race Results/Awards Page
Hendrick stops by shop: Hendrick Motorsports had a welcome visitor to its sprawling complex earlier this week. Owner Rick Hendrick, who lost his son, his brother, two nieces and two key employees in a plane crash two weeks ago, showed up at the team's race shop to meet with Hendrick employees. His wife Linda and his daughter Lynn also came to the shop to address Hendrick staffers.(NASCAR.com)(11-7-2004)
Drivers not happy with garage security: NASCAR's garage security has been terrible this season on the Nextel Cup tour, forcing drivers back into hiding in their motor coaches, to avoid being mobbed by the hundreds of fans swarming through the working areas. Yesterday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally had enough, and to make a point with lackadaisical NASCAR officials, Earnhardt took a page from his late father's book. He sat down on the rear deck of the NASCAR trailer and signed autographs for the crowd that quickly packed the area, making it impossible for officials to enter or leave.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-7-2004)
Gordon has never won at Phoenix: There are four current race tracks the Nextel Cup Series runs on that #24-Jeff Gordon has not won at, Phoenix International Raceway is one, where Gordon is 0 for 11, Gordon's best finish at PIR is 3rd in 2002. Other tracks where Gordon has not won: Texas [0 for 8], Homestead [0 for 5] and Chicago [0 for 4].(11-7-2004)
NOW Gordon is 0 fir 12 at Phoenix.(11-7-2004)
Wood Brothers hire pit crew coach: The Wood Brothers and pit stops have been synonymous for years and years. The pit crew for the present day Wood Brothers Racing #21 Motorcraft Taurus won the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship for its work at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend. Current Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood says the team's pit crew has been getting better and better, and the very recent addition of Gary Smith as pit-crew coach also has helped. "Our crew had been coming together really quickly since Fatback [McSwain] got here, and last Sunday was basically proof of it. We just hired a pit-crew coach, Gary Smith, and his first day was at Atlanta. Basically, what we had has gotten better since Fatback got here," said co-owner Eddie Wood.(Ford Racing/Campbell PR)(11-7-2004)
Newman's Average Finish: in the eight previous races in 2004 where #12-Ryan Newman has won the Budweiser Pole, he has an average finish of 9.4. In the other 25 races his average finish is 18.1. Newman also has four outside pole [2nd] starting positions, only a 17.3 average finish from those.(11-7-2004)
Papas Looking for a NASCAR gig: Rolex Sports Car champion Max Papis was hanging out behind Jimmie Johnson's hauler after yesterday's final Nextel Cup practice. Papis, who clinched this year's title with co-driver Scott Pruett by winning the season finale at California Speedway last week, would like to secure a Busch Series ride and has tested Dodges with Evernham Motorsports. "I feel very comfortable every time I come to a Cup race," said the Italian, who won in CART driving for Bobby Rahal. "I'm a European, but I feel American in my heart. It's not about the race cars, it's about the people you have around. People have adopted me here."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-7-2004)
Exclusive Springs Supplier for Daytona/Talladega: per Speed Channel's coverage of the SEMA show in Las Vegas, it was mentioned that on Monday, Nov 1st, Eibach Springs announced that they would be the exclusive spring supplier for the two restrictor plate tracks, where NASCAR issues and maintain control over rear springs.(11-7-2004)
Questionable Yellow? NASCAR's late yellow at Atlanta has provoked questions in the Cup garage about the inconsistency in NASCAR's reaction to such situations. The caution was put out for Kevin Harvick's stalled car on pit road. Jack Roush, car owner for Mark Martin, who lost the race in part because of that yellow, questioned the call. Now others in the Cup garage are also questioning the call, pointing to a similar situation earlier in that race where NASCAR officials let teams pit while Elliott Sadler's crew had his car up on jack stands on pit road for repairs.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-7-2004)
Phoenix Race Notes:
---- Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by
Havoline, scoring his 15th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his
181st career start. His last victory came at Talladega October 3,
2004, five races ago.
---- Earnhardt Jr. moved into a tie with Ernie
Irvan for 40th on NASCAR' all-time win list.
---- It is Earnhardt
Jr.â€™s sixth victory in 2004 and his second victory in five races at
Phoenix International Raceway. It is his third straight top-10 finish
at the Arizona superspeedway, including back-to-back victories.
Twelve of Earnhardt's 15 victories have occurred on superspeedways.
---- Earnhardt Jr. climbed from fifth to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL
Cup point standings.
---- Earnhardt Jr. led three times for 118 laps
including the final 12, leading the most laps for the fifth time in 2004.
---- This was the 21st victory for Chevrolet. Ford has nine and
Dodge has four. Chevrolet leads Ford (555-553) in all-time victories
(since 1949). Notebook Items The Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
---- First to 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings are
separated by 355 points, and the top-four drivers are separated by
only 48 points. The Chase began with a 45-point separation between
first and 10th at Race No. 27 at New Hampshire. The largest current
point margin is between seventh-place Ryan Newman and eighth-place
Elliott Sadler (172 points).
---- Six of the 10 drivers in the Chase
for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup posted top-10 finishes in the 2004 Checker
Auto Parts 500 presented by Havoline Four drivers in the top-10 in
points changed positions in the race.
---- Seven of the eight 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), Martinsville (Jimmie Johnson), Atlanta (
Jimmie Johnson) and Phoenix (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). Kansas (Joe
Nemechek) is the only race that was won by a non-Chase driver.
---- Kurt Busch is the only driver to score a top-10 finish in seven of the
eight races in the Chase.
---- Entering Phoenix, six drivers: Jimmie
Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart
were in the 156-point window which would allow any of the six to leave
Phoenix with the point lead. Leaving Phoenix, with two races
remaining, seven drivers are in the point window in The Chase for the
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and are all within 150 points of the point leader
and could possibly overtake Kurt Busch at Darlington Raceway for the
point lead. Newman joined the group as a result of his second-place
---- Eighth through 10th all trail by more than 156 points
and cannot overtake Kurt Busch at Darlington.
---- Three of the Chase
drivers finished 21st or worse in the Checker Auto Parts 500 presented
by Havoline: Jeremy Mayfield (21st), Matt Kenseth (36th) and Elliott
---- Ryan Newman (second) scored his 14th top-10 finish of the
season. It was second top-five finish in five races at Phoenix
---- Jeff Gordon (third) scored his 23rd
top-10 finish in 2004. It was his 10th top-10 finish in 12 races at
---- Kevin Harvick (fourth) scored his 13th top-10 finish of
the season. It was his first top-10 finish in four races at Phoenix
---- Kasey Kahne (fifth) scored his 13th
top-10 finish of the season. It was his first race at Phoenix
---- Bobby Labonte (ninth) scored his first
top-10 finish since he finished seventh at Daytona in July, 17 races
---- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader bonus will be worth $60,000 at
Darlington Raceway.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-7-2004)
StockCarFans.Com - Rumblings - Phoenix: We beat the rain, and finished in the gloaming, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. held
on today at Phoenix International Raceway to win the Checker Auto Parts 504.8 (didn't think I could convert miles to kilometers, huh?)
as we went overtime to decide it. Jr's rather comfortable win (1.43 seconds) was good for #6 this season and the 15th of his career (he's tied with Ernie Irvan for 40th all-time). He also executes a back-to-back as he won this event last November. Win #21 for DEI was worth $274,503 from the over $4.8M in posted awards. We had a green/white/checked today and survived it again....
Rusty Wallace (7th) had his best finish since he won at Martinsville in April.
Bobby Labonte (9th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Daytona in July.
Kevin Lepage (27th) had his best finish since he was 22nd at Rockingham in February (only 15 races).
STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10's in a row.
Kurt Busch has 7 Top-10's in the last 8 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: NOBODY! Bobby Labonte (+18) and Kurt Busch (+18) get honorable mention. DOWN: The Big Dropper (for the second week in a row) was Elliott Sadler (-29), followed by Casey Mears (-27), and Matt Kenseth (-20).
The "Chase" got tighter today as Kurt Busch's lead is now down to 41 markers....this time over Jeff Gordon. The Top-4 are separated by 48 points. The bottom three will be eliminated (for all practical purposes) as soon as Busch throws the ignition switch next Sunday.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(11-7-2004)
November 6, 2004
Slower Pit Stops in 2005? NASCAR wants to slow pit stops next season on the Nextel Cup and Busch tours, and officials are considering a drastic change in the fuel-dump cans. Now a gas man can dump two 11-gallon cans in a car in about 11 seconds, and that has put a remarkable premium on car owners putting together a pit crew fast enough to change four tires in that brief time span. By ordering teams to use fuel cans with smaller spouts, NASCAR officials hope to slow the dump time to 19 seconds. In turn, that would lessen the need for lightning-fast pit crews. But some top pit-crew men are upset with NASCAR's plans, saying NASCAR is playing to car owners, who have been complaining about the rising cost of hiring fast pit-crew men.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-6-2004)
RG Motorsports sponsors? car #'s? UPDATE 3: hearing that Robby Gordon could have John Deere [Jayski owns one] or/and Red Bull [a long time Robby sponsor], still no word on a manufacturer or car number [he runs #55 in Busch, not used in Cup] for Robby. AND is was reported recently that Jack Daniel's is still in play and RCR along with Gordon are in the mix, so #7 could be the car number also. Not sure if Gordon still plans to run Busch with Fruit of the Loom or if they will move up in some form. And yes, have seen the image of Gordon at Atlanta wearing a John Deere cap [Jayski has one too], see it at teamgordon.com.(11-3-2004)
UPDATE: Gordon will talk to each of the manufacturers, Ford, Chevy, Dodge about running their brand, but expects it to be a Ford or Dodge as Chevy is loaded with teams (NASCAR Scene Print). So guess no RCR engines?
UPDATE 2: being told that the car will be the #7 Ford and Larry Wallace will build the engines.(11-5-2004)
UPDATE 3: Robby Gordon said he's teaming with [#7 Ultra Motorsports] car owner Jim Smith next season, setting up a Nextel Cup team. "The only sponsors I can confirm are Harrah's - which just bought Caesars, to become the largest gaming company - and Fruit of the Loom," Gordon said. Gordon declined to announce his crew chief or any of the key men he had signed.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-6-2004)
New Qualifying format in 2005? UPDATE: Bob Dilner reported on Speed Channel that qualifying in 2005 for the Cup Series could have a different look in 2005, with the top 35 teams [owners points? drivers points?] be assured to make the top 35 no matter how fast or slow they are. From 36 on back could not get the pole and would be set by speed. No word on if provisionals would still be used. This is supposedly one of a few scenarios NASCAR is thinking about regarding qualifying in 2005.(10-30-2004)
UPDATE: New qualifying procedures will likely be in place at more than half the races on the 2005 Nextel Cup schedule, including a guarantee that the top 35 teams in the car owners' points would get a starting spot in each week's event. Nextel Cup Series director John Darby confirmed Friday that Nextel Cup is heading toward a process used several times this year in the Busch Series, where cars are impounded by NASCAR after qualifying and would then start the race with the same set-up they had for the time trials.
"That would allow the teams to have one focus per weekend," Darby said. "They would leave the shop in race set-up, then unload at the track and qualify and race with the car in race trim." Currently, Nextel Cup teams practice and then make two-lap qualifying runs on Fridays in a typical race weekend. They then change their cars dramatically before a running a pair of Saturday morning practices the way their cars will be for Sunday's race. Darby said the "ideal" schedule for 2005 would be Friday afternoon practices with Cup qualifying at midday Saturday preceding a Busch or Truck series support race. Cup cars would be impounded after qualifying and teams would be able to make only slight adjustments - air pressure in tires, for instance - before the green flag on Sunday.
There other major change in qualifying rules would be in effect at all tracks, however. The top 35 cars in owner points would be guaranteed a starting spot to protect teams running full schedules from being bumped by part-time teams who show up in qualifying mode to make a race with no regard of how that car would do in the race. There were 50 cars entered in this weekend's Checker 500 at Phoenix. Under the new set-up, the top 35 in points would be guaranteed spots. The other 15 cars would compete for the remaining eight slots [a heat race would be cool]. The field would still be lined up based on speed. But if the eighth fastest car not in the 35 in points had the 29th best speed, positions 30 through 43 would be filled by cars in the top 35, ranked by speed, even if the ninth best car among those not in the top 35 went faster.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-6-2004)
$1 Millions Bucks: Clarence Moody could leave Phoenix International Raceway tomorrow $1 million richer. Moody, a 76-year-old from Mustang, Okla., is one of three grand prize winners as guests of ChevronTexaco this weekend as Havoline celebrates its 100th Anniversary with the $1 Million Birthday Bash consumer promotion. Yesterday, the three grand prize winners drew Jamie McMurray's qualifying position for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Havoline at Phoenix International Raceway. Moody drew the number ten. As fate would have it, McMurray wound up qualifying the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge in the 10th position. As a result, Moody is now eligible for the $1 million grand prize. If McMurray wins tomorrow's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Phoenix, Moody
will win $1 million. In addition, Anna Bachmann and Patrick Cadigan, the other two grand prize winners, will receive $100,000. Moody qualified through the Birthday Bash sweepstakes entry promotion that ran May 1 - July 31, 2004. Moody is a long-time Havoline user that still changes his own oil. He is an avid NASCAR fan, and this weekend marks the first time he has attended a NASCAR race. Moody, who lost his wife in 1998, has his son Bryon here with him. He retired from the civil service after working 30 years at Tinker Air Force Base. If he wins the $1 million, he will take some vacations, help his kids out and make a few donations to charities.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-6-2004)
November 5, 2004
Join up to watch Mikey run: Join the fun in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 2005 and participate in the “Operation Marathon Getaway”. “Operation Marathon Getaway” is an opportunity for the fans to help support and participate in Michael and Buffy Waltrip's “Operation Marathon”. For more info on the packages available, how you can help and on the marathon, see my Racing Charities page and scroll down to the heading "Michael Waltrip's Operation Marathon".(11-5-2004)
Rusty Wallace announces 2nd Busch team: Rusty Wallace Inc. announced on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway the signing of Miller High Life to the #64 Dodge in 2005. The car will be driven by Jeremy Mayfield for 17 races. Top Flite will also sponsor the car and will be driven by Jamie McMurray in other events. Wallace's original team, the #66, will continue to run but a driver has yet to be named. Wallace also said that as of now, he plans on making the trip to Mexico City as the driver. Since it is a standalone Busch event, none of his sponsors have yet decided to jump on board for that weekend.(BGNRacing.com)(11-05-2004)
Joy makes a Pit Stop: Thanks to fast planning by executive director Paul Smith, and the surgical skills of Dr. Michael Campbell, FOX Sports NASCAR anchor Mike Joy made a brief pit stop at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center yet still made it to Phoenix on time. Joy checked into the hospital's emergency room Monday morning with acute stomach pain. Campbell removed Joy's gall bladder Tuesday at noon, and less than 48 hours later, Mike was flying to Phoenix. "Other than a little soreness around one incision, I feel fine... its pretty amazing," Joy said . This was once considered major surgery, and now its a comparatively minor procedure." Ironically, Joy was scheduled for tests Monday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to try and pin down the source of occasional stomach pain. "Fortunately, Paul was able to put things in motion quickly, and everything went very smoothly. Its a time when you really appreciate the efforts of friends and family."(11-5-2004)
Toyota gearing up for Cup?: Toyota, which competes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, could be prepairing for its expected move to the Nextel Cup Series by pulling out of the Indy Racing League following the 2006 season, according to Mike Brudenell of the Detroit Free Press. The move would allow the automaker to utilize more of its resources for its Cup series program, which could be up and running by 2007. The news comes two days after General Motors announced that it was pulling out of the IRL after the 2005 season.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-5-2004)
Gaughan Speaks UPDATE 2005 plans up-in-the air: Brendan Gaughan says he “doesn’t really care anymore” about behind-the-scenes maneuvering at Penske-Jasper Motorsports, and is concentrating on the next three races. Asked about Penske Racing’s decision to field a fourth car at Martinsville and Atlanta for former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, Gaughan told MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway's Dave Moody that the situation is frustrating. “Stuff we’ve been asking for all season and not getting, all of a sudden they’ve got it,” he said. “I can’t do anything about it, and I really don’t care anymore. All I can do is take what they give me and do my best with it, and the last couple of weeks, it’s been pretty good.” Gaughan declined to comment on rumors that he has spoken with Haas CNC Racing about replacing Ward Burton next season, saying, “If other people are looking at me and liking what they see, I’m flattered. But right now, I’m focused on the last three races of the season. After that, we’ll worry about what comes next.”(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2004)
UPDATE: Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan said Friday he has no idea where he stands with his Penske-Jasper Racing team in regards to the 2005 season. Gaughan said that if he doesn't return to the #77 Kodak Dodges next season, he has other opportunities available, including returning to the Truck series with a team his family owns and partnering with its current driver, Steve Park; and other Cup rides. Haas CNC Racing has spoken to Gaughan about driving its #0 Chevrolets next season, Gaughan said, but no decision has been made. Gaughan, who has driven for Dodge virtually his entire racing career, said there would be no conflicts driving Haas' Chevrolets if that were the only Cup opportunity he was offered.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-5-2004)
Roush Truck/Busch Lineup to Change: The makeup of Roush Racing's Busch and Truck series teams are likely to undergo major changes next season. Much of the change depends on the organization's ability to land a sponsor for its #99 Ford in the Nextel Cup Series. Carl Edwards is currently driving the car and will remain in it should a sponsor be secured. If no sponsor turns up, Edwards will likely move to the Busch series and drive the #60 Ford, team officials confirmed. Edwards would take over for Greg Biffle, who drove the car this season. Edwards and Jon Wood currently drive Roush's Truck entries this season, but Wood also appears headed for the Busch series next year, likely with ST Motorsports [#47, #59]. Roush officials say they plan to run two trucks next season and at least one of the drivers will come from a tryout system that began last week at North Wilkesboro, N.C. Ten drivers remain in the competition and they will test again Nov. 15 at Darlington.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-5-2004)
CASCAR and NASCAR delayed UPDATE Nov 18th: CASCAR president Tony Novotny delayed an announcement that was scheduled for Oct 30th that the national stock car racing body has entered into an agreement with NASCAR. "We've been trying really, really hard to pull something together and hopefully we'll have something in the next few weeks," Novotny said. "Everybody knows we've been talking to them, but they move really, really slow." It's been speculated for almost two years that NASCAR would be buying CASCAR, which Novotny established in 1981 and is headquartered in Komoka [Canada]. CASCAR lost its flagship track, Delaware Speedway, this past season when it switched sanctioning to NASCAR and the Dodge Weekly Series. But Delaware retained its two CASCAR Super Series races. Novotny's announcement was to have come during CASCAR's annual awards dinner at the London Convention Centre Saturday.(London Free Press)(11-1-2004)
UPDATE: Dave Despain mentioned on Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel that the announcement would be November 18th.(11-5-2004)
France talks to XM: NASCAR Chair and CEO Brian France joined Claire B. Lang [CBL] on "Dialed In" on XM Satellite Radio Wednesday [Nov. 4th]. He answered questions from fans and CBL. Among the issues that came up were the upcomming TV contract and the Dale Junior point penalty for swearing.
Question: With the TV contract coming up, are you looking to have more races on the network channels, or are you looking to expand it more onto cable?
Brian France: Well, we like the current balance that we have now, so we wouldn't be interested in changing that around too much, but you know you have to see how things play out. And we also really like our partners, we think that that's our first goal is to renew with the group that we have now at Fox, and TNT/NBC, they do a really good job - they get it, the races are entertaining in how they present them, my hope is that we'll figure out a way to renew our existing agreements with our partners.
Question: you fine these drivers, monetary amounts for swearing, and then deduct driver points and team points, my question is, why wouldn't you just go with the monetary fine, but make it, you know, their first offense around $50,000, and then up from there, because, $10,000 is nothing to these guys.
Brian France: Yea, that's a good question, and matter of fact, I'm glad you asked that question, that's the most often thing, and I haven't addressed this, other than on this show, and I'll do it right now, I'm sure you're referring to the Dale Earnhardt Jr. penalty,
Question: Drivers that were fined driver points.
Brian France: Here's the problem. If we just went with a monetary penalty, many drivers will tell you, they don't care. Now, the drivers that are doing real well financially will say that. Now other drivers, a rookie driver, a Busch driver, who's just getting started, they
would care. So the problem that we have is, on important matters that we want the drivers to conform to, we have to have a floating scale, we'd have to know your balance sheet - what's enough to make Dale Earnhardt [Jr.] think about it, and a Busch driver another. So what would we do? Have a floating scale based on your net worth? I mean, you can't do it that way. If it's a serious matter, then the only thing that all drivers understand are points. And we were consistently consistent when we told everybody at the beginning of the year we had an issue, that was right after the Super Bowl, under the backdrop of the FCC clamping down, our network partners called us and said you've got to - this is serious, you've got to help us, we're pumping racing into people's living rooms, and we're just not going to tolerate profanity and other things, and we understood that, and we passed it on to the drivers, and we told them, this is a serious matter, you're all aware of it, and then we were consistent. We have everybody the same penalty - the two guys that did it before Dale Jr - we had no other option but to do that. And that's why we don't have just a monetary fine. And I wish it weren't so serious of an issue, that the Super Bowl, and I wish that that incident didn't happen, the FCC and Howard Stern, and all the things that swirl around out there, that the FCC feels very strongly that has to be addressed - it's not my view, it's their view, and we have to conform to it.(XM Satellite Radio) and for those who don't know, XM Radio has a 2nd NASCAR channel, #145, used on raceday only: "NASCAR Radio fans, now you can hear your favorite drivers talk with their teams at any point during the race. With XM NASCAR Radio 2, you'll hear real-time, in-race conversations between the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers and their crews."(11-5-2004)
Dale Jr. Awaits Release of '3': An ESPN movie about Dale Earnhardt, who died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, is scheduled for airing early next month. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is eagerly awaiting its release. "From day one, I've been pretty excited about it," said Earnhardt Jr., last year's Checker Auto Parts 500 champion at Phoenix International Raceway. "I really, really hope they did a good job. You know, the stuff that they've done in the past on that network has been pretty good. I've been pretty surprised actually by the quality of the films that they've had. I think there obviously will be a little bit of a Hollywood twist to a few things. I'm sure you can't expect somebody to tell the most accurate story unless you're going to write a book. You know, every film has a twist, a Hollywood flair to it. I'm sure this one will, too." The movie, titled 3, stars Barry Pepper, who also played New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris in 61*.(Arizona Republic), info on this movie and other NASCAR related movies on my Racing Movies page.(11-5-2004)
Rusty and Newman still haven't talked: It sounds as if the shops of Penske South Racing might not be the warmest places in the world right now. Not with two of its drivers continuing to feud. Never close, Penske drivers #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman have drifted even farther apart these days. So it sounds, anyway. The latest point of contention involves the race at Martinsville two weeks ago. Wallace thought his teammate treated him roughly on the track and may have cost him a victory. This week, Wallace was asked whether things have been smoothed over between him and Newman. “No,” Wallace said. “We've got a long way to go yet. We haven't had time to sit down and work it out. We've definitely got a lot of work to do to get all the teams working together. He's seeing red, and I'm seeing blue. We're not seeing eye to eye at all on what's going on right now.” Wallace said he hopes things can be straightened out before the 2005 season, which will be his last as a full-time driver at Penske.(Kansas City Star)(11-5-2004)
Jason Jarrett looking: ML Motorsports officials have confirmed that Jason Jarrett, driver of the #67 ML Motorsports ARCA Series Chevrolet since 2001, has been released as the team’s driver.(RacingOne), Jason is the son of 1999 Cup Champ Dale Jarrett and grandson of 2 time Cup Champ Ned Jarrett.(11-5-2004)
November 4, 2004
Sponsor for the #4 at Phoenix IMAGE: Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced a new relationship with Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, Inc. for the #4 Chevrolet in the upcoming Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. In addition, Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, Inc. continues its relationship with Wide Open Performance Enhanced Formula Energy Drink. New to the marketplace, Wide Open Performance Enhanced Formula Energy Drink will be launched in the majority of Love's 164 travel stops and convenience stores located throughout the United States beginning the week of November 8, 2004. Wide Open Performance Energy Drink (www.4wideopen.com) is a "Made in the USA," New Wave Beverage containing a unique proprietary blend of vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants formulated to boost energy, enhance performance and relieve stress. Based in Abingdon, Virginia, Wide Open Performance, Inc. is a homegrown American brand designed specifically for the racing enthusiast and those who live life "Wide Open. Loves Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc., (www.loves.com) based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a Forbes 500 Company of a 164 travel stops and convenience stores in 25 states. Founded by Tom Love in 1964, it remains family owned.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR), added an image of the car on the #4 Team Paint Schemes page.(11-4-2004)
Rudd's Pit Crew Claims Atlanta Win; Four Crews in Hunt For $200,000 Champion's Bonus: Ricky Rudd's pit crew won the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the first victory for No. 21 crew in the weekly competition that pays $20,000 to the winner. Heading into the final three races of the season, the McDonald's/POWERade points race has heated up with four pit crews in a closely-contested battle for the $200,000 champion's bonus.
Leading the chase is the No. 38 pit crew for Elliot Sadler with 1160 points. Tony Stewart's crew is second with 1152 points, third is Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew (1151) and fourth is Kurt Busch's crew (1144). Rudd's Rent-a-Center Motorcraft Ford spent the least amount of time on Atlanta's pit road with a time of 280.639 seconds. Stewart's Home Depot Chevrolet was second at 285.441 and Michael Waltrip's NAPA Chevy was third at 286.842. "I'm real proud of the guys," said Rudd. "They were really decent from the beginning of the year, but have gotten even better the past few weeks. I knew they were quick because we went forward all day. I'm just real proud of them. Our crew has picked up the pace, and we've got Gary Smith (pit crew trainer) on board now. He has trained a lot of the top teams and he has helped." Rudd's crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain said, "Our crew and Ricky have really been working hard on this. It is good to see that all the hours they have put in practicing, and Ricky working on getting on and off pit road, have really paid off."
Rudd's over-the-wall crew consists of: Tony Martin (jackman), Mike "Andretti" Smith (front-tire changer), Andy Silver (front-tire carrier), Rob Fuller (rear-tire changer), Heath Cherry (rear-tire carrier), Henry Benfield (gasman) and Marc Smith (catch can).
(DMF Comminications PR), see top-10 at Atlanta with time, season standings and more on my Pit Crew page.(11-4-2004)
Kenseth fastest at Homestead testing on Wednesday: Defending series champion Matt Kenseth set the fastest lap of the day Wednesday in the second day of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing in preparation for Ford Championship Weekend, Nov.
18-21, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth circled the 1.5 mile oval in his #17 Dewalt Ford Tuesday with a speed of 174.194mph (31.04 sec.). He was followed by Kyle Petty's #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at 173.633 mph (31.10 sec.) and Busch's #97 Sharpie Ford at 173.054 mph (31.25 sec.). Testing continues next Tuesday and Wednesday November 8-9 with 20 drivers tentatively scheduled to test on the high-banked 1.5 mile oval, including championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Testing is open to the public free of charge. Fans may view the testing from the Speedway's Club Level.
Tentative list of drivers participating in Nov 8 and 9 test (subject to change).
#6-Mark Martin, #38-Elliott Sadler, #99-Carl Edwards, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #29-Kevin Harvick, #30-Jeff Burton, #49-Ken Schrader, #59-Klaus Graf, #42-Jamie McMurray, #41-Casey Mears, #11-J.J. Yeley, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart and #06-Travis Kvapil
Unofficial times and speeds for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing November 3 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway:
1. 17- Matt Kenseth- 31.04 sec, 174.194 mph
2. 45- Kyle Petty- 31.10 sec, 173.633 mph
3. 97- Kurt Busch- 31.25 sec, 173.054 mph
Hermie Sadler to Pilot Treasure Island-Las Vegas Chevy at Phoenix: For the second time this season Hermie Sadler and SCORE Motorsports are teaming up with Treasure Island-Las Vegas; this time for the Checker Auto Parts 500 this Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Sadler previously carried the TI colors in the Sam's Town 300 Busch Series race in Las Vegas this past March. Treasure Island is located on the Las Vegas Strip and has 2,885 guest rooms, including over 200 suites. The hotel is known for entertaining guests with its Cirque du Soleil's Myste're show as well as The Sirens of TI. For more information on TI, please visit
www.treasureisland.com.(Sadler Motorsports PR)(11-4-2004)
Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Jimmie Johnson as the top Gillette Young Gun finisher in the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 31st, Heather T. of Canton, OH was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Heather 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 11th time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Johnson.
The Gillette Young Guns are 19 for 33 in the win column so far in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Jimmie Johnson now has seven
victories; Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five victories, followed by Kurt Busch with three victories, and Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman, who each have two victories. For 29 of the 33 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 seven 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 PR)(11-4-2004)
Helton to attend historic SAE Conference: NASCAR president Mike Helton is among the noted participants for the 2004 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference & Exhibition in Dearborn, Mich., this fall. Held from Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn, the event focuses on high-performance technology in the racing industry. Particularly significant is the executive business panel on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Geared toward the theme of “Change for Relevance,” the panel will bring together – for the first time – the heads of the racing industry’s top sanctioning bodies: Max Mosley (FIA, Formula One’s global sanctioning body), Helton (NASCAR), Tony George (Indy Racing League), Tom Compton (National Hot Rod Association) and Steve Johnson (Sports Car Club of America). All five executives will discuss challenges and topics relevant to the current industry, including cost control, maintaining a competitive product, safety advances and the business of racing.(NASCAR PR)(11-4-2004)
Bass Pro Shops Sweepstakes Winner: Jimmie Johnson led only 17 of the 325 laps at Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past Sunday, but one of those 17 was the one that counted ? the last one! When Johnson crossed the finish line, he also made Danny and Irma Davis of Guyton, Georgia the winners of the Grand Prize, worth $100,000, in Bass Pro Shops "The Ultimate Outdoorsman Package" sweepstakes. Danny felt pretty lucky even before he won the Grand Prize. He was one of 11 Bass Pro Shops customers to win a trip for two to the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA Atlanta 500. The 11 winners knew that one of them was guaranteed to win the $100,000 prize if the driver they drew from a list of top 10 points leaders among Nextel drivers won the race. One of the pieces of paper said "field", meaning if any of the drivers other than the top 10 won the race, whomever drew that one would then be the winner of the prize. He also was feeling pretty lucky he had drawn Jimmie Johnson's name since he had won the last two Nextel races and was shooting for his third win in a row. When Mark Martin was leading 227 of the laps, Danny thought his luck might have run out but Johnson beat Martin to the finish line by 0.293 seconds to make Danny and his wife Irma the big winners. Davis, as well as his kids and grandkids, will find plenty of uses for the Grand Prize consisting of a $30,000 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree, a 2005 Toyota double cab Tundra, a 2005 Tracker Pro Team 175 aluminum boat with motor and trailer, Big Cedar Lodge vacation package, and Arctic Cat model 650 ATV.(Bass Pro Shops PR)(11-4-2004)
November 3, 2004
NASCAR Nation in? FSN's Totally NASCAR out in 2005? Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports that Speed Channel is planning to launch an hourlong show called "NASCAR Nation" to run Monday through Thursday nights next year. The story says Fox Sports' "Totally NASCAR" will be discontinued. Speed Channel is expected to spend as much as $10 million on production over 40 weeks on the show.(NASCAR Scene)(11-3-2004)
Johnson has three straight: #48-Jimmie Johnson has three straight wins, the last driver to do that was Jeff Gordon, about six years ago when Gordon won the two 1998 season enders at Rockingham and Atlanta and the 1999 season opener at Daytona. Gordon is also the last driver to win four races in a row, also in 1998 when he won at Pocono, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and Michigan.(11-1-2004)
THE LIST: Drivers in NASCAR's top series who have won three or more consecutive races in a season since the modern era began in 1972:
1972 Bobby Allison Bristol, Trenton, Atlanta
1973 David Pearson Darlington, Martinsville, Talladega
1974 Richard Petty(X) Atlanta, Pocono, Talladega
1975 Richard Petty(X) Bristol, Atlanta, North Wilkesboro
1976 Cale Yarborough(X)(4) Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro
1976 David Pearson Charlotte, Riverside, Michigan
1981 Darrell Waltrip(X)(4) Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Rockingham
1983 Bobby Allison(X) Darlington, Richmond, Dover
1987 Dale Earnhardt(X) Bristol, Darlington, Richmond
1987 Dale Earnhardt(X)(4) Darlington, North Wilkesboro, Bristol, Martinsville
1988 Rusty Wallace Charlotte, North Wilkesboro, Rockingham
1991 Harry Gant(4) Darlington, Richmond, Dover, Martinsville
1992 Bill Elliott(4) Rockingham, Richmond, Atlanta, Darlington
1993 Mark Martin(4) Watkins Glen, Brooklyn, Bristol, Darlington
1993 Rusty Wallace Bristol, North Wilkesboro, Martinsville
1994 Rusty Wallace Dover, Pocono, Michigan
1996 Jeff Gordon Dover, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro
1998 Jeff Gordon(X)(4) Pocono, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen, Michigan
1998-1999 Jeff Gordon Rockingham, Atlanta, Daytona (1999)
2004 Jimmie Johnson Charlotte, Martinsville, Atlanta
(odd note: Ryan Newman has won the pole for all three races Johnson won)
(X = won the Cup Championship)(11-3-2004)
Geoffrey Bodine to attempt Phoenix: GIC Mixon Motorsports says it will give Jason Jefferson a chance to make his Busch Series debut this weekend in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Jefferson, a native of Yakima, Wash., who has competed in a number of NASCAR's regional racing series, will drive the team's No. 24 Chevrolet with a one-race sponsorship deal from Yakama Nation Legends Tribal Gaming. The team will also enter its #93 Chevrolet for Steve Grissom in Saturday's Busch Series race and a #93 Chevrolet for Geoffrey Bodine in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 Nextel Cup race.(NASCAR Scene)(11-3-2004)
Some Awards Being Clinched: Three races remain on the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, yet two drivers have clinched separate season-ending contingency awards. Last week’s victory at Atlanta – his third straight – allowed Jimmie Johnson to clinch the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Favorite Driver of the Year Award. It goes to the highest-finishing eligible driver at the end of each event, and the driver who wins it most often during the year collects $75,000 at season’s end. Johnson has won the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Favorite Driver of the Year Award 11 times this season. He’s also the defending 2003 year-end winner.
#24-Jeff Gordon has clinched the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award, given to the driver who wins the weekly award most often during the season. After each race, the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award goes to the driver who turns the fastest lap while leading an event. To date, Gordon has won the weekly award seven times this year. He’ll collect $75,000 at season’s end. Both the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Favorite Driver of the Year Award and the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award will be presented during the Myers Brothers Award Breakfast on Friday morning, Dec. 3, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York – site of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series awards banquet that evening.(NASCAR PR)(11-3-2004)
Gaughan Speaks: Brendan Gaughan says he “doesn’t really care anymore” about behind-the-scenes maneuvering at Penske-Jasper Motorsports, and is concentrating on the next three races. Asked about Penske Racing’s decision to field a fourth car at Martinsville and Atlanta for former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, Gaughan told MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway's Dave Moody that the situation is frustrating. “Stuff we’ve been asking for all season and not getting, all of a sudden they’ve got it,” he said. “I can’t do anything about it, and I really don’t care anymore. All I can do is take what they give me and do my best with it, and the last couple of weeks, it’s been pretty good.” Gaughan declined to comment on rumors that he has spoken with Haas CNC Racing about replacing Ward Burton next season, saying, “If other people are looking at me and liking what they see, I’m flattered. But right now, I’m focused on the last three races of the season. After that, we’ll worry about what comes next.”(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2004)
Chevy takes the lead: #48-Jimmie Johnson's Atlanta victory marks the 554th all-time NASCAR Cup victory for Chevrolet since 1949, more than any other manufacturer in the history of the sport. One more then Ford. See the list on my 2004 Manufacturers Championship page.(11-3-2004)
Newman to run contest scheme: The #12 ALLTEL Dodge of Ryan Newman will run a special paint scheme this weekend at Phoenix promoting ALLTEL's "TXT2Win MVP Sweepstakes" from Motorola. A $1 million prize will be awarded to one of five winners selected to attend Super Bowl XXXIX in ALLTEL Stadium at Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005. For more information, please visit
www.txt2winmvp.com.(Penske Racing PR)(11-3-2004)
Family Feud Date Changed: NASCAR and Family Feud have teamed up to create a week of special NASCAR-themed game play. NASCAR drivers - representing NASCAR’s top three competition series – will lead their NASCAR families – made up of crew chiefs, pit crew members, family members, and more – in the ‘Survey Says!’ game show format to benefit their favorite charities. Family Feud ‘NASCAR Week’ is scheduled to air the week of November 15-19 [was Nov 8-12]. Family Feud ‘NASCAR Week’ participating drivers and the charities they will be playing for are: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver of the #0 Net Zero HiSpeed Chevrolet Ward Burton for The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation; NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Kevin Harvick for Victory Junction Gang Camp; NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver of the #22 Toyota Tundra Toyota Bill Lester for Urban Youth Racing School; NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver of the #40 Coor’s Light Dodge Sterling Marlin for Boys and Girls Club of Nashville; NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver of the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Jeremy Mayfield for Victory Junction Gang Camp; NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver of the #41 Target Dodge Casey Mears for Target House; NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Driver of the #38 M&M’s Ford Elliot Sadler for Autism Society of America; and, NASCAR Busch Series Driver of the #23 Stacker 2 Chevrolet Kenny Wallace for Autism Society of America.(Family Feud Site)(11-3-2004)
Knaus Wins WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: Jimmy Johnson may not have dominated the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, but his crew chief, Chad Knaus, made all the right moves to get him in Victory Lane. When a late race caution flag left everyone guessing whether to pit or stay out, Knaus chose wisely, electing to give his driver fresh tires for the final sprint. The leader was a sitting duck for Johnson, who cruised on to victory, taking his third checkered flag in a row. The race fans rewarded Knaus' performance, voting him the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Over 75% of the fans who voted on www.WYPALL.com thought Knaus' was the easy choice for the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. "When it came crunch time, he made the right choice," said race fan John Damian. "Mark Martin led the whole race, but Knaus put Johnson out front when it mattered most."
"When a caution flies at the end of the race, you only have a spilt second to decide if you want to pit or not," said WYPALL Wipers
spokesman Robbie Reiser. "Chad (Knaus) took a gamble deciding to pit. If there's only a few laps left, it's tough to make up the track
position you lost going into the pits, even if you do have fresh tires. Chad made it work, though. Jimmy (Johnson) took off and won
the race. Chad deserved to win the award for making the tough call." Tony Eury, Sr. remains in first place with nine wins. Chad Knaus
moves into second place with five wins. Tommy Baldwin and Robbie Loomis are tied for third place with four wins. Robbie Reiser and
Matt Borland are in fourth place with two wins. Pat Tryson, Larry Carter, Lee McCall, Donnie Wingo, Phillipe Lopez, Ryan Pemberton, Tony Glover 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)(11-3-2004)
Temp Crew Chief for Robby at Phoenix...for a good reason: #31 RCR Crew Chief Chris Andrews will not be in Phoenix this
weekend because he will be home with his expectant wife, anticipating the arrival of their first born. Substituting for Andrews will be Team Cingular engineer Greg Erwin. Erwin joined the Cingular team in August and has been a multi-team engineer at RCR since December 2002. Before coming to RCR, Erwin, of Mooresville, N.C., worked with Ganassi Racing, Team Sabco, and Diamond Ridge Motorsports. Andrews will be back with the team next weekend at Darlington Raceway.(RCR PR)(11-3-2004)
Robby Testing at Baja: Robby Gordon flew directly from Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday night to San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico, to prepare to pre-run the course for the 2004 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in his sand car. He ran the course Monday and Tuesday with Greg Till, his co-driver for the Baja 1000. The duo drove from San Felipe to Loreto. Gordon will compete in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, coming up November 17 - 21, racing in the #31 Red Bull Trophy Truck. Last month, Gordon drew to start eighth in the legendary off-road race. He plans to run the majority of the race, but will have to hand over the wheel to Steve Barlow, so he can head to Homestead, Fla., to compete in the final NASCAR Cup and Busch races of the season. To learn more about the 37th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, go to www.score-international.com.(RCR PR)(11-3-2004)
November 2, 2004
Sad News: Erin Carleton Browning, the 10-year-old daughter of Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning, died Monday after a long battle with bone cancer. Erin was diagnosed with the disease three years ago. Her father, Chris, was named the track's president this past May to replace Andrew Gurtis. Browning had been at North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham since 1992. He assumed the new position after the track, known as "The Rock," was taken off the next year's Nextel Cup schedule. Darlington is preparing to hold the Southern 500 in two weeks, the next-to-last event in NASCAR's 10-race championship chase. Mac Josey, Darlington vice president, will run day-to-day operations while Browning is away. Funeral services for Erin will be Wednesday in High Point, N.C.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in memory of Erin Browning be made to the following:
- Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, N.C., 27317.
- Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 1100-C South Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27103.(ThatsRacin.com/AP and see her site at prayforerin.tripod.com)(11-2-2004)
Rusty to be fined? UPDATE Yep: NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday they plan to penalize Nextel Cup driver #2-Rusty Wallace for an incident following last Sunday’s race at Martinsville. Wallace is expected to receive a monetary penalty as early as Monday, sources said. Fines for similar incidents in the past have ranged from $5,000 to $10,000. Penske Racing South teammates Ryan Newman and Wallace traded bumps while battling for second place, which sent Wallace to the outside lane, on Lap 494 of 500 of last Sunday’s Subway 500. After the "cool down" lap, Newman, who finished third, drove onto pit road where the top-five cars are required to stop. Wallace followed Newman down and appeared to hit the rear of Newman's #12 Altell Dodge.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-31-2004)
UPDATE: Driver Rusty Wallace was fined $10,000 for his role in an incident at the conclusion of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race held Oct. 24 at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Wallace, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge for Penske Racing South, was penalized for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book when he made deliberate contact with the #12 Alltel car of Ryan Newman as the field returned to pit lane following the conclusion of the race.(NASCAR PR)(11-2-2004)
Three Fined for Infractions: Three others were issued penalties for equipment infractions at Martinsville. Gil Martin, crew chief for the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet of driver Robby Gordon, and co-crew chief Chris Andrews will share in a $10,000 fine for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-W (Improperly attached weight) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book.
Mario Gosselin, driver of the #80 Hover Motorsports Ford, was fined $500 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-17.1B (3) for an expired manufacturer’s date on his driver’s head-and-neck restraint device.(NASCAR PR)(11-2-2004)
First Woman wins a WoO race: Erin Crocker became the first woman to win a World of Outlaws feature Friday night when she won at Thunder Bowl Raceway in California. Crocker is a 23-year-old driver from Massachusetts.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-2-2004)
Kahne going for the record: with 3 races left, #9-Kasey Kahne is chasing NASCAR's modern-era record for top-five
finishes by a rookie driver. Kahne is one of only five drivers to have scored 10 or more top-five finishes this season.
Most top fives by a Cup series rookie (1972-2004)
14 by Ryan Newman in 2002, 36 races [38%]
12 by Tony Stewart in 1999, 34 races [35%]
11 by Dale Earnhardt in 1979, ran 27 of 31 races [41%]
11 by Kasey Kahne in 2004 after 33 races [33%]
9 by Davey Allison in 1987, 22 of 29 races [41%](11-2-2004)
Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper to sponsor Evernham Motorsports: In their continued quest for high performance, aftermarket auto parts giant Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper has inked its first NASCAR deal as associate sponsor of Evernham Motorsports and includes primary status on the #91 Dodge in the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and on the #79 Dodge in the NASCAR Busch Series. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper is the first aftermarket auto parts distribution network to partner with Evernham Motorsports. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s partnership with Evernham Motorsports is a multi-faceted marketing program. The automotive aftermarket brands take the lead with the primary sponsorship of the #91 Dodge in 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup races at Michigan International Speedway on August 25, 2005, and Texas Motor Speedway International on November 6, 2005. Veteran racer and former NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Bill Elliott will drive the #91 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Dodge. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will be an associate sponsor of the #91 Dodge for all other races in 2005 and will receive branding on Elliott’s uniform, team haulers and pit equipment. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s partnership with Evernham Motorsports also includes primary sponsorship of the #79 Dodge. In the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series, Kasey Kahne will drive the #79 Dodge at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 16, 2005 and teammate and NEXTEL Chase contender, Jeremy Mayfield, will take the wheel at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 14, 2005. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s association with Evernham also will be used in key customer outreach efforts, retail marketing efforts and internal promotions. The affiliation will compliment Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s existing partnership with NASCAR and its new NASCAR Performance Network program, a branding and locator platform associating Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s parts stores or service centers with NASCAR’s 75 million fans.(Clear!Blue PR)(11-2-2004)
K-Teck Chassis Development recieves NASCAR approval: Previously doing business as a chassis repair shop, K-Teck Chassis Development received its final approval to build new chassis from NASCAR chassis inspector Randy Hedger on 26 Oct 2004. K-Teck Chassis Development is owned by Ray Kilgore, who offers his nearly 20 years experience as a fabricator and chassis builder to the public. "For years all I have wanted is to be an approved chassis builder with NASCAR and now i have reached that goal." said Kilgore. "Bud Moore taught me safety, and Gary DeHart taught me quality." For more information on K-Teck Chassis Development go to: www.k-teckchassis.com.(11-2-2004)
Qualifying does well on Speed: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Qualifying from Atlanta scored a 1.10 (702,000 households), making it the seventh most watched program ever on SPEED. Combined with the replay later in the evening, qualifying
coverage broke the million-household mark with a cumulative rating of 1.70 (1,082,000 households).(SC PR)(11-2-2004)
Speedway Children’s Charities poker tournament raises $6,859: The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities hosted its inaugural Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004, at The Cannery Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The evening of “cards for kids” raised $6,859 for the children of southern Nevada. First prize was claimed by Rick Taylor, who won a party suite at The Orleans Arena (event to be determined), including: 30 suite tickets, exclusive access to the premium concourse level, 10 VIP parking passes and concierge service. The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities will hold its annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Grant Distribution Ceremony at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. A total of $275,140 will be distributed to 51 local children’s causes.(LVMS PR)(11-2-2004)
2nd Part teams up with #37 car: 2ndChanceRaceParts.com of Mooresville, NC, and Great Cars & Trucks of Glendale, AZ, will be joining Kevin Lepage as associate sponsors for the #37 Carter's Dispos-all Dodge for this Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. 2nd Chance Race Parts sells high-quality, slightly used race parts from the top Nextel Cup teams to underdog, independent race teams from North Carolina to Canada to Australia. Great Cars & Trucks is a multi-faceted auto and truck dealership owned by Mark Shaffer. "We'repleased to be able to help support Kevin this weekend," said Rick Russell, owner of 2nd Chance Race Parts. "This team has shown steadyimprovement in recent weeks, and we hope they'll be able to continuethat trend at Phoenix."(2nd Chance PR)(11-2-2004)
November 1, 2004
Crew Chief Award Announcement UPDATE 2: WYPALL Wipers is holding a formal press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday to announce the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year. Tony Eury, Sr. and Robbie Reiser will be on hand, along with Jan Spencer, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional. The winning crew chief will receive $10,000. After each event in the 2004 season, race fans have voted on www.wypall.com for the Nextel Cup crew chief that they thought did the best job. The crew chief who received the most weekly wins will be named the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.(PR), see my Pit Crew page for last weeks winner and who leads.(10-29-2004)
UPDATE: The Fans Have Spoken....The 2004 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Of The Year Is Tony Eury Sr., Crew Chief Of The No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo. WYPALL awarded Eury Sr. with a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice. $5,000 to the Dale Earnhardt foundation and $5,000 to the Hendrick Bone Marrow Foundation.(GM Racing)(10-30-2004)
UPDATE 2: At the start of the 2004 season, WYPALL Wipers challenged race fans to decide one of the sport's most heated debates - who is the best crew chief in the Nextel Cup garage? After weeks of eyeing who made the savviest calls and executed the smartest game plan, a consensus has been reached. The fans have spoken - the 2004 WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year is Tony Eury, Sr. When it came to declaring the Crew Chief of the Year, WYPALL Wipers let race fans weigh in on who deserved top honors. After each race in the 2004 season, fans voted online for the Nextel Cup crew chief they thought did the best job. The crew chief with the most weekly wins was awarded the coveted title. Eury Sr. clinched the championship last weekend, after building an insurmountable lead over Tommy Baldwin, Chad Knaus and Robbie Loomis, the current second place candidates. A $10,000 donation will be made from WYPALL Wipers to the charity of Eury's choice. No one was more proud of Eury, Sr. than his driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I'm proud of Tony Eury Sr. for winning the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year Award," said Earnhardt, Jr. I'm glad to see the fans know what I've known for years - Tony is the BEST!"
"The whole program has been a tremendous success," said Jan Spencer, President of Kimberly-Clark Professional. "We're thrilled with the results of the inaugural WYPALL Wiper's Crew Chief Challenge. Hundreds of race fans have logged onto our website each week. They've been very enthusiastic throughout the whole season. WYPALL Wipers is pleased to have one of the spokesmen that we chose win the entire challenge. We know that Tony (Eury Sr.) will do a wonderful job representing us as a champion on and off the track." The WYPALL Wiper Crew Chief Challenge will continue in 2005, starting at the Daytona 500 in February. For more information, log onto www.WYPALL.com.(PR)(11-2-2004)
Early TV Ratings for Atlanta up but...: NBC's broadcast of Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway drew a 4.2 overnight rating and a 9 share from Nielsen Media Research, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The figures represent a 40 percent increase from the 3.0/6 overnight figures in 2003, but the Daily points out that last year's numbers cover only the 39 laps of the race run on Sunday before rain forced the rest of the event to be concluded on Monday. The rating is 5 percent higher than the 4.0 overnight rating for last week's race at Martinsville Speedway.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-1-2004)
CASCAR and NASCAR delayed: CASCAR president Tony Novotny delayed an announcement that was scheduled for Oct 30th that the national stock car racing body has entered into an agreement with NASCAR. "We've been trying really, really hard to pull something together and hopefully we'll have something in the next few weeks," Novotny said. "Everybody knows we've been talking to them, but they move really, really slow." It's been speculated for almost two years that NASCAR would be buying CASCAR, which Novotny established in 1981 and is headquartered in Komoka [Canada]. CASCAR lost its flagship track, Delaware Speedway, this past season when it switched sanctioning to NASCAR and the Dodge Weekly Series. But Delaware retained its two CASCAR Super Series races. Novotny's announcement was to have come during CASCAR's annual awards dinner at the London Convention Centre Saturday.(London Free Press)(11-1-2004)
Some tracks to get new rubber in 2005: Rich Heinrich, Goodyear's product manager for stock cars, says teams can expect new tires in 2005 for all tracks longer than New Hampshire (1.058 miles) to help compensate for the shorter spoiler the Cup cars will have. An open test will be offered to teams in January at Las Vegas and California to test the new tires. "The whole effort is to add mechanical grip to the car, which can be accomplished by changing both the compound and construction of the tires," Heinrich says. Drivers who tested the new tires at Las Vegas, Bristol and Charlotte reported the tires improved the balance of the cars.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-1-2004)
Bliss or Gaughan to the #0 if Ward leaves [to BANG Racing?] Bliss and rookie Brendan Gaughan [would he go to a team not running a Dodge?] are being considered for the Haas CNC Racing #0 Chevrolet in 2005. Team owner Gene Haas says he wants to see how current driver Ward Burton performs with crew chief Bootie Barker before he makes a final decision. "We've given Ward three different crew chiefs; now it's up to him," Haas says. And put Mike Bliss' name back on the list for the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Busch team. Although it had been reported earlier in the year that Bliss, 39, and JGR would part ways at the end of the 2004 season, he says he could return. "I think they have an 'A' plan, and if that falls apart, I'm the 'B' plan," says Bliss.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-1-2004)
Staged Racial Incidents? UPDATE: A law firm representing NASCAR has accused Addison, Texas, businessman John Eckerd of helping to plan staged racial incidents at a NASCAR event this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Eckerd, whom NASCAR officials claim is a financial backer of the National Association for Minority Race Fans, disputed the claim. "This is absolutely absurd and totally baseless," Eckerd said. "These are very serious accusations, and we will not take this lying down." The Atlanta-based law firm of Alston & Bird accused Eckerd in a letter of conspiring with associates at Consolidated Sports Media Group, Inc., and the NAMRF to hire a white male actor to play a NASCAR fan inciting a fight with a black actor posing as a NASCAR protester. The letter claims the actors hoped to get arrested so the incident could be videotaped. The attorneys also claim an actress would falsely claim to have been raped or sexually assaulted at a NASCAR sponsored event. The letter states law enforcement officials have been notified of the plan in order to protect fans.(more at the Dallas Morning News)(10-30-2004)
MORE: A newly formed group called the National Association for Minority Race Fans [NAMRF] said it is planning a Confederate flag exchange today before the Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but NASCAR officials believe the group has more sinister plans. Alston & Bird LLP, an Atlanta law firm representing NASCAR, sent a letter to Texas businessman John Eckerd on Wednesday accusing him of conspiring with NAMRF to plan a staged racial incident using actors who will try to get arrested. The letter also said Eckerd is helping to plan the hiring of an actress to falsely claim she had been raped or sexually assaulted at a NASCAR event. The reason is to create footage for a film project called either Dixie 500 or Jasper 500.(Miami Herald)(10-31-2004)
UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway is notoriously difficult to get into and out of, as members of the National Association of Minority Race Fans discovered on Sunday. The organization had planned to offer trade-ins in which NASCAR fans could trade Confederate for American flags. Unfortunately, no one representing the NAMRF arrived until the race was already getting under way, so there were no available fans to barter. About 70 members of the organization eventually arrived to hold a demonstration after the race’s conclusion.(Gaston Gazette)
AND After being delayed in traffic for two hours, members of the National Association for Minority Race Fans (NAMRF) arrived at their designated area at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday to protest NASCAR's lack of diversity. The demonstrators waited on buses until the end of the race, then assembled as race fans began streaming to the exits. The nonviolent protest lasted nearly an hour and was staged by nearly 70 African-Americans primarily in their early 20s. A planned Confederate flag swap in an adjacent campground was scratched. Holding signs which directed NASCAR and many of its sponsors to "stop supporting racism," representatives of NAMRF attempted to hand out fliers carrying their message. Most fans ignored the group; some responded vocally or with hand gestures.((Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-1-2004)