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    NOV 29-DEC 5, 2004

      News and Rumors from December 5, 2004

    • A Hint of the future? [just a rumor....] While there were only a few mistakes made on stage during the nearly three-hour event, one very glaring error raised more than a few eyebrows. During a video montage of comments by drivers and team owners discussing Nextel's impact upon the sport as series sponsor in 2004, a three-second clip showed Richard Childress on the left side of the screen with a split-screen of identical images of Dale Earnhardt Jr. on top of each other on the right. Rumors continue to build – and especially in light of this past week's shakeup at Dale Earnhardt Inc. – that Dale Earnhardt Jr. may jump ship after his contract with DEI expires following the 2006 season and join RCR, perhaps replacing Kevin Harvick.(Yahoo Sports)(12-5-2004)

    • Hendrick Awarded: Team owner Rick Hendrick is the latest winner of the Buddy Shuman Award: Buddy Shuman was a popular NASCAR driver in the early 1950s who died in a hotel fire in 1955. The award has been given annually since 1957, honoring someone from the NASCAR community for contributions to the sport. Hendrick, a popular figure in the garage area, lost his son, his brother, two nieces and two key team officials among the 10 persons who died in an Oct. 24 crash of a team plane on the way to a race in Virginia. Hendrick's team has won five Cup championships and fields cars in both the Cup and Busch Series.(Augusta Chronicle/AP)(12-5-2004)

    • Dorton Honored: The late Randy Dorton, the chief engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports, who was killed in an October plane crash, was honored as Clevite Engine Builder of the Year. The award was accepted by his widow, Diane Dorton.(ESPN/AP)(12-5-2004)

    • Sad News: On Sunday November 28, Fonda Speedway IMCA Modified driver Steve Bidwell passed away from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. Bidwell was just 29 years old and is survived by his father Jeff, his sister Tracy, and his mother Mary Lynn Hayden.(Fonda Speedway site)(12-5-2004)

    • Labonte presents check to Ronald: Terry Labonte and Kim Labonte presented a check for $100,310 on Friday to Ronald McDonald House Director Charmaine Keller for the local Ronald McDonald House. The donations were collected from this year's Roam for a Home trek. The check brings the total to $194,060 the amount that has been given over the past three years by the Roam for a Home organization. In March, members of the organization and other volunteers raise money and make a motorcycle trip from Corpus Christi to Austin and back. The nonprofit Ronald McDonald House provides a place for families to stay while their children receive medical care at Driscoll Children's Hospital.(Corpus Christi Caller)(12-5-2004)

    • A Little Slow: The awards ceremony ended around 11 p.m., but it took nearly an hour and a half for hotel staff to clear the grand ballroom of tables and chairs and prepare for the post-ceremony party. Further hampering the situation were security personnel who refused to allow anyone to return upstairs, even if they left purses or family members. By the time the party got into high gear, hundreds of banquet attendees had given up hope and left, passing up the chance to imbibe free drinks and killer desserts.(Yahoo Sports)(12-5-2004)

    • Kovalainen wins ROC, Johnson and Mears lose early: Heikki Kovalainen of Finland beat world rally champion Sebastien Loeb of France to win the Race of Champions on Saturday. Kovalainen downed Loeb 2-0 in a best-of-three legs final at Stade de France after overcoming seven-time Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher in an elimination heat. The Race of Champions, a yearly event since 1988, featured 16 pilots from various motor racing disciplines, including NASCAR, Champ Car and Indy 500 specialists. The Stade de France, home of the French soccer and rugby teams, was covered by a .6-mile asphalt figure-eight track with a crossover bridge. Kovalainen, 23, selected a Peugeot 307 rally car to take on Loeb in his familiar Citroen Xsara. The Finn is the youngest driver to win the ROC trophy. Some 60,000 fans, hoping to see their countryman force a deciding leg, jeered the time penalty handed to Loeb. In the elimination rounds, competitors were split into two groups of eight -- called the Rally Group and the Racing Group. After quarterfinals and semifinals, the winner of each group met head-to-head for a place in the overall final to decide the Champion of Champions. One key driver who was slated to run in the event -- four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon -- didn't race because of a flu that also kept him from much of NASCAR's year-end celebrations in New York City this week. Casey Mears, who raced in Gordon's place, lost in a heat to Jean Alesi, who then fell to Kovalainen. The other American driver on hand, Jimmie Johnson, also lost early.(ESPN/AP)
      UPDATE: Casey Mears became the choice over Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne mostly because he had a passport and experience in this event last year (then in the Canary Islands). Johnson and Mears left Friday night after NASCAR's season-ending awards ceremony in New York, landing at 2 p.m. They changed clothes in the car and got five practice laps. Johnson struck a course barrier to draw a 10-second penalty in each of his two races; Mears split matches with Coulthard in the team events and lost to Alesi in the individual. Gordon's absence was felt more by the competitors than the fans. Schumacher said the opportunity to race the four-time NASCAR champion led him to race outside of F-1 for the first time in four years.(Indianapolis Star)(12-5-2004)

    • Sharpie honors Busch with promotion for fans: While Kurt Busch, this year's NEXTEL Cup Champion and driver of the #97 Sharpie car, picked up NASCAR's ultimate honors in New York City Friday night, millions of fans will be "racing" to pick up their prize. Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers deemed the autograph pen of choice for celebrities, sports figures and their fans, and whose logo emblazons the champion's #97 racecar, is offering a $.97 savings on any purchase of Sharpie markers ($2 or more) through the end of the year. Fans can get the coupon in an ad that appeared in USA on Thursday December 2, featuring the new Sharpie Retractable marker which offers single-hand use and no cap - just "click and write." . Visit sharpie.com or sanfordcorp.com for more information.(Sanfordcorp site)(12-5-2004)

    • Kasey Kahne signs with Avon: Avon Products announced that it has signed Kasey Kahne, to a promotional agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed. Kahne, 24, drives the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge for Evernham Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He was the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year and finished 13th in the season points standings. Under the agreement, Kasey Kahne will serve as the spokesperson for Avon’s Pro Sport Daily Performance product line. In the second quarter of 2005, Kasey Kahne will be featured on the front cover of M – The Men’s Catalog, and will also be featured in public relations and the Internet. M – The Men’s Catalog launched October 2004 and offered 16-pages of men’s grooming products and accessories. This new, highly stylized catalog will be distributed quarterly, and affiliated with a variety of universally accepted men’s brands. “Avon is a great brand – everyone knows them as a leader in the beauty products and grooming industry,” says Kasey Kahne. “I’m honored to have been selected as the spokesperson for the ProSport Daily Performance line and excited to be a part of the Avon family.” Avon product lines include such recognizable brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Avon Solutions, Advance Techniques Hair Care, Avon Naturals, Mark, and Avon Wellness. Avon also markets an extensive line of fashion jewelry and apparel.(Evernham Motorsports site)(12-5-2004)

    • Another Johnson: SS Racing announced the signing of Jarit Johnson, the 25-year-old racer and younger brother of Nextel Cup star Jimmie Johnson. SS Racing has an alliance with NEXTEL Cup powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports and hopes that Jarit will soon join Hendrick's growing driver development program. The goal is to run Johnson fulltime in the ASA and part-time in the Craftsman Truck Series, however, if the ASA does not have clear direction during the month of December, they will be forced to move their attention 100% to Craftsman Truck Series. When he's not racing, Jarit will work fulltime for SS Racing assisting in it's growing Driver Development Program which includes Hendrick Motorsport's driver Chase Austin, splitting time at the Indianapolis home base with Deneau and satellite Charlotte shop with Miller.(SS Racing PR, nothing on their site)(12-5-2004)

      News and Rumors from December 4, 2004

    • Johnson Wins 4th Quarter Speed Channel DOTY Vote: Jimmie Johnson bounced back from a slow start in the fourth quarter to win four times in five races, and dominate the voting for the Speed Channel Driver of the Year, fourth quarter, 204. Johnson, who drives the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, finished runner-up to Kurt Busch, by only eight points, in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Chase for the Championship. It was an emotional roller coaster for the 29 year-old driver, After an engine problem at the EA Sports 500 and an accident at the Banquet Foods 400 put him next to last in the Chase, he took three straight wins at UA-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's, then the Subway 500 at Martinsville, VA, and the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta. He also won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington. Along the way he and his team faced the personal tragedy of losing ten team members, family and friends in an airplane crash on the Martinsville's race day. While feeling that loss, yet still being prepared to race and win, he proved the strength of his Hendrick Motorsports team. In New York for the annual NASCAR awards banquet Johnson, winner in the second quarter, was flattered to learn of his fourth quarter honor. In the voting he took 13 first-place Speed Channel Driver of the Year votes, and a vote on every ballot for a total of 143 points. Sebastien Bourdais, the Bridgestone Presents Champ Car World Series powered by Ford Champion, was second in the tally with 67 points and one first-place vote. The French born driver of the McDonalds Lola-Ford for Newman/Haas Racing, scored two wins including a victory from the pole at the season finale in Mexico City. Kurt Busch driver of #97 Sharpie/IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus, and first Nextel Cup Champion, was third in the voting with one first-place vote and a total of 66 points. Busch had a win at the Sylvania 300, and except for one engine failure finished in the top ten in all ten races in the quarter. A total of 13 drivers scored points in the fourth quarter voting, including fourth place Tony Schumacher from the POWERade Top Fuel division, fifth place Steve Kinser, with two first-place votes in the World of Outlaws series. And Martin Truex, Jr. from the Busch Series was sixth.
      Noteworthy; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the fan vote, and Johnson was second. Bourdais was third. More than 40,000 fans clicked their votes on the www.speedtv.com website. In it's 38th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis. Johnson will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch to be presented on Speed TV. A separate vote will determine the 2004 Driver of the Year shortly.(DOTY PR)(12-4-2004)

    • Shepherd Charity drive a go: The 18th annual Morgan Shepherd Charity Ride, dedicated to helping handicapped and underprivileged people, is scheduled Monday, Dec. 13. With a passenger bus and passenger vans, a group of drivers, racing personnel and media will travel from Conover with a stop to pick up additional passengers in Statesville, N.C., before heading to the PARC Workshop in Stuart, Va., and other towns in the region. For more info, see my Racing Charities page.(12-4-2004)

    • Snowball Derby INFO: The 37th annual Snowball Derby is this coming weekend (December 1 – 5) and many of the top Super Late Model racers from around the country will converge on Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL in search of the coveted $20,000 prize. Some NASCAR drivers, past and current planning to race include: Rusty Wallace's son Stephen, two-time Snowball winner Gary St. Amant, defending winner Charlie Bradberry, Stanley Smith and Kevin Cywinski. As of Thanksgiving weekend, 56-drivers from 14-different states were entered, with more expected to show up when the gates open on Wednesday. Once again, Speed51.com will bring you behind the scenes from the moment the first car hits the track, till the checkers fall on the 300-lap race. “This is by far my favorite event of the season,” said Speed51.com editor and SPEED Channel broadcaster Bob Dillner. “Winter is about to set it, everyone is about to get ready for the holidays, but it all gets put on hold for one last race weekend of the year. It’s an outlaw style race, with the best short trackers in the nation."
      “There is nothing like watching racing in December... you've gotta love it,” said Matthew Dillner, who has been part of all four years of 51’s Snowball coverage. “I've had this date marked on my calendar all year long and can't wait to be down in Pensacola.” Bob and Matthew are just two members for the five person crew speed51.com will have in Pensacola. Photographer Bob Milner will help spice up the site, while 51-anchorman Jeremy Troiano will be patrolling the pits. The new guy on deck for this year is Mike Twist, who is from the Speed51 northern office. For coverage on the Snowball Derby, see www.Speed51.com or www.snowballderby.com.(11-29/12-4-2004)

      News and Rumors from December 3, 2004

    • Busch gets #5 million plus: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch (#97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) will receive $5,356,181 in point fund money at Friday night’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Once Busch accepts the official check, his season winnings will total $9,677,543. Busch’s point fund payout comes from NASCAR and series sponsor Nextel, which is completing its first season as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsor. Prior to Friday night’s celebration, Busch also received a total of $105,000 in various contingency awards during the annual Myers Brothers Breakfast on the Waldorf=Astoria’s historic 18th-floor Starlight Roof. Busch’s 2004 race winnings total $4,200,332. His career winnings stand at $22,860,894. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 runner-up Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) will receive a point fund payout of $2,404,137 from NASCAR and Nextel. Third-place finisher Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet) will receive a point fund payout of $1,766,527 from NASCAR and Nextel.(NASCAR PR), see my 2004 Winnings-Awards page for the full point fund money awarded and Post Season Awards.(12-3-2004)

    • OFFICIAL: Jack Daniel's to RCR, #30 becomes #07, Blaney to Drive: The Jack Daniel Distillery [jackdaniels.com] ]announced today it has entered into a partnership with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) as the primary sponsor of the #07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series with veteran driver Dave Blaney and crew chief Philippe Lopez. “We are thrilled to be making this announcement and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with RCR,” said Mike Keyes, senior vice president of Brown-Forman Beverages and global general manger for Jack Daniel’s. “Richard Childress is a legend in NASCAR racing and we believe that this is the beginning of an excellent partnership. Putting together two iconic brands like Jack Daniel’s and RCR opens up a wealth of opportunities and we couldn’t be more excited for our consumers, fans and everyone who loves this sport.”

      The company applauded NASCAR’s decision to allow distilled spirits sponsorships next year in the NEXTEL Cup. Keyes noted that the company’s marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns have always been grounded in responsibility and that will continue with the RCR sponsorship. “This sponsorship makes sense from a business standpoint – and it also makes sense from a responsibility standpoint,” continued Keyes. “We will be promoting our key message, “Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly” on a recurring basis and, like everything we do, our marketing will be directed to adult audiences of legal drinking age.”
      Blaney, the 1995 World of Outlaws sprint car champion, is a veteran of 163 NEXTEL Cup Series starts since 1992. The 42-year-old Hartford, Ohio native began his tenure with RCR in June at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, taking over the reigns of the No. 30 Chevrolet. He was instrumental in advancing the program to a new plateau and was immediately on Childress’ short list to be the team’s full-time pilot in 2005. “I couldn’t be more excited about representing the Jack Daniel’s brand for RCR next season,” said Blaney. “Promoting responsibility and moderation are hallmarks of Jack Daniel’s and those are exactly the messages we want to convey -- not only to Jack Daniel’s consumers but to NASCAR fans all over the world. We have a great platform in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series to continue this very important message of responsibility. We’ve got a great team in place with Philippe leading the way. We’re looking forward to running up front right out of the box with the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet at Daytona in February.”
      Childress is a nine-time NASCAR championship team owner with more than 125 victories. RCR was the first NASCAR organization to win championships in the NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series. In 2005, RCR will continue to field three teams in NASCAR’s top division with Blaney wheeling the #07 Jack Daniel’s entry, Kevin Harvick driving the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and Jeff Burton moving to the #31 Cingular Wireless Monte Carlo. “We’re thrilled to enter into such a landmark agreement with Jack Daniel’s,” commented Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “The folks at Jack Daniel’s have prided themselves on excellence since 1866. What’s most impressive to me is that the company not only strives to put a superior product into the hands of its consumers, but they advance a positive and responsible message to the public. We’re going to focus on the same goals. RCR will provide outstanding equipment on the race track and promote responsibility at the same time.” The #07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet will make its debut Feb., 20, 2005, at Daytona International Speedway.
      About the Jack Daniel Distillery: Officially registered with the U.S. government in 1866, the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, Proprietor, is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Based in Lynchburg (pop. 361), Tennessee, the Jack Daniel Distillery is the maker of world-famous Jack Daniel Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails. Jack Daniel’s encourages its friends to drink responsibly.(Richard Childress Racing Site)
      NOTE been asked, yes the #07 will be able to utilize the #30 Owners Points for the first 4-5 races in 2005, this is commonplace when a team changes car numbers. Past news on the #07 Team News and Links page and unofficial images at the #07 Paint Scheme page.(12-3-2004)

    • Most Popular to be announced on Friday AND the Winner is........: The winner of the 2004 Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award will be announced Friday, Dec. 3, 2004, at 10:30am/et during the NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Breakfast at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City. One guess who it will be???? The Most Popular Driver Award dates back to 1956. It began as a simple poll of the drivers and grew to incorporate all NASCAR Cup competitors. Later, it included all NASCAR members. Today, it's a prestigious award voted on by racing fans nationwide. This year, nearly four million votes were cast by thousands of fans at www.mostpopulardriver.com.(12-2-2004)
      WINNER - Dale Jr: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued to set standards among NASCAR fans nationwide in 2004. For the second straight year, fans voted Earnhardt, Jr. the Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver. The announcement was made today during the National Motorsports Press Association's (NMPA) Myers Brothers Awards Breakfast at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Earnhardt, Jr. becomes just the fifth driver in the award's history to have won in consecutive years, joining Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip. A year ago, his selection by race fans made Earnhardt, Jr. and his father, Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won NASCAR's oldest and most traditional off-track honor.
      "It was fun to win it last year, but to get two in a row really means a lot to me," said Earnhardt, Jr. "I've learned this year about how loyal and supportive my fans are. My team had our best season ever, but we also had a lot of trouble along the way, including my injuries. I used to worry about losing my fans after a bad race or two, but I found out this year the fans really got behind me when I needed it the most. It's a big compliment to have that many fans voting for me and letting me know they're supportive and loyal no matter what."
      Earnhardt, Jr. has led the voting since the start of the 2004 season, and easily captured enough votes in the record-setting 2004 year to again win the award. He finished with 1,487,512 votes, which exceeds the combined vote totals of the next six most popular drivers. "Dale Jr. is obviously a fan favorite, and this just confirms that," said Kenny Bruce, president of the National Motorsports Press Association. "All of the drivers in NASCAR racing have fans who support them wholeheartedly, and I think it's great what the Earnhardt fans have done. We are grateful to all of the NASCAR fans who were part of the voting process, and we feel they made a good choice."
      A record 3.8 million votes were cast in 2004, marking the third straight year more than 3 million votes were cast via the Web site, www.mostpopulardriver.com. Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits, the third-year sponsor of the award which is administered by the NMPA, has worked to reach fans since voting launched with the season-opening Daytona 500.
      "It's been a great honor for us to bring this award to the fans and recognize Dale as their favorite driver," said Annie Zipfel, marketing manager for Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits at General Mills. "We'll continue to share the excitement of this announcement with fans by posting award ceremony highlights on www.mostpopulardriver.com. After all, the fans are really what this award is all about."
      Following Earnhardt Jr. in the 2004 Most Popular Driver Award final standings were:
      #24-Jeff Gordon (496,362)
      #29-Kevin Harvick (249,228)
      #15-Michael Waltrip (225,011)
      #20-Tony Stewart (185,486)
      #9-Kasey Kahne (178,280)
      #88-Dale Jarrett (127,423)
      #6-Mark Martin (98,461)
      #48-Jimmie Johnson (92,828)
      #18-Bobby Labonte (80,680)
      More than 40 drivers received votes
      NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award dates back to 1956. It began as a simple poll of the drivers and grew to incorporate all NASCAR Cup competitors. Later, it included all NASCAR members. Today, it is a prestigious award voted on by racing fans nationwide. Through the years, the voters' choices have ranged from the obvious to the surprising. Bill Elliott won the award 16 times before retiring his name from the Most Popular Driver Award voting at the beginning of the 2003 season. Richard Petty won the award nine times.(fingerprint inc./DEI)(12-3-2004)

    • Gordon may miss Banquet? cancels trip to France UPDATEs Mears in for Gordon, Gordon shows to give speach: A severe case of the flu put four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon in the hospital for an overnight stay and forced him to cancel a trip to France for an all-star race. Gordon became dehydrated and spent Wednesday night receiving intravenous fluids. He was released from the hospital Thursday but still was ailing, spokesman Jon Edwards said. Edwards said Robbie Loomis, the crew chief on Gordon's #24 Nextel Cup car, flew to New York to fill in for the driver at a breakfast Friday morning. Gordon hoped to be well enough attend to the NASCAR awards ceremony Friday night. Four-time champion Gordon had been scheduled to leave following the NASCAR function and travel with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson to Paris to represent the United States on Saturday in the Race of Champions Nations Cup, an event matching drivers from all over the world. Officials were undecided Thursday on a replacement for Gordon.(Yahoo Sports/AP)(12-3-2004)
      UPDATE: hearing that Casey Mears will go to France and sub for Gordon.(12-3-2004)
      UPDATE 2: Mears, driver of the #41 Target Dodges owned by Chip Ganassi, was signed up Friday as the last-minute replacement for Jeff Gordon to travel to Paris overnight after the Nextel Cup awards ceremony and join Jimmie Johnson in the Race of Champions event in the French capital. Gordon could not go to Paris after being hospitalized in New York this week for dehydration stemming from flu-like symptoms. Instead, it will be Mears racing against the likes of Michael Schumacher.(ThatsRacin.com)
      UPDATE 3: Gordon did show at the banquet and spoke and seemed better and spoke well.(12-3-2004)

    • Kyle, Pattie Petty win Myers Brothers Award: Kyle and Pattie Petty, who turned a dream into a reality and named it the Victory Junction Gang Camp, have been named the recipients of the National Motorsports Press Association’s 2004 Myers Brothers Award. The award was presented during the NMPA’s annual Myers Brothers Award Breakfast, held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Perhaps best known as the son of the sport’s all-time winningest driver, Kyle Petty continues to leave his mark on the sport as well. But where his father, Richard, became well-known for his efforts on the race track, Kyle and his wife have also used NASCAR to reach out and touch the lives of others outside the sport. In June of 2004, Victory Junction Gang Camp, a summer home for chronically-ill children, officially opened its doors. The idea, conceived by the Pettys’ son Adam, became a goal for the family following Adam’s death in a racing accident four years ago. It was a way to not only honor their son, but to see that his generosity and kindness towards those less fortunate wasn’t forgotten. “It is big for us personally,” Kyle Petty said, “for Pattie and myself because of Adam. But for me personally it’s big because this community did it. This community built the camp. Not Kyle Petty, not Pattie Petty. Everything the media printed, everything the drivers did, everything the drivers’ fans did, everything the sponsors did, that’s why the camp is there and that’s why there are kids coming out of that camp that are pretty special kids. For me, that’s as much a cool deal or more personal than anything else. That’s what means the most to me, I guess.” Voted on each year by members of the NMPA, the Myers Brothers Award recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. It is named in honor of Billy and Bob Myers.(Willams Company PR)(12-3-2004)

    • Andretti to visit Middle East: John Andretti, driver of the #14 VB/APlus at Sunoco Ford, will embark on a trip to the Middle East, departing the morning of Saturday, Dec. 4. Andretti will spend seven days overseas before returning to the United States next Friday. With an invitation from the Naval Branch of America’s Armed Forces, Andretti will fly into the country of Bahrain. Andretti will then meet and greet with sailors on several different Navy Vessels throughout the Middle East. The importance of this trip during the Holiday season is not lost on Andretti. “I feel obligated to try and do something for our military,” said Andretti. “The Navy contacted me and has been very accommodating. This is a great opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to visiting with the sailors. I feel it will be a better experience for me than it will be for them.” The trip will be Andrettt’s first since the start of battle in the Middle East. Throughout his week-long travels Andretti is planning on distributing different racing memorabilia to those serving our country. “I’m not in the military, and I don’t know if those guys want me, but the least I can do is go over and support them,” Andretti added. “I can bring some things over to our brave men and women and hopefully make their stay better. I’m pretty excited and looking forward to the experience.”(Williams Company PR)(12-3-2004)

    • Who's Hot:
      * Kurt Busch scored nine top-10 finishes, including one victory, in the final 10 races in 2004
      * Jimmie Johnson has scored four victories and seven top-10 finishes in the last 10 races
      * Jeff Gordon posted seven top-10 finishes, including five top-fives, in the final 10 races in 2004
      * Jamie McMurray scored eight top-10 finishes in the last 10 races
      * Dale Earnhardt Jr., scored six top-10 finishes, including two victories, in the last 10 races. * Joe Nemechek posted six top-10 finishes, including one vicotry, in the last 10 races in 2004
      * Mark Martin posted only three top10 finishes in the final 10 races in 2004, but he had only one finish worse than 15th and finished second three times.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(12-3-2004)

    • Deadline Nears For Legend Leadership Award Nominations: Do you know a person or an organization with a unique and original idea to address or solve needs in their community? If so, we want to know about them. The Dale Earnhardt Legend Leadership Award was created to do just that – recognize great ideas and problem solving of community needs by individuals or organizations. Deadline for all entries is December 31, 2004. Winners will be announced and recognized at Dale Earnhardt Day on April 29, 2005. The Legend Leadership Award seeks to highlight the importance of leadership in improving people’s lives and to showcase resourceful leaders that are bringing about positive change. By recognizing and sharing the stories of these leaders, The Dale Earnhardt Foundation hopes to inspire others to become leaders in their own communities. More info at the DEI site.(12-3-2004)

    • Andrews leaves RCR UPDATE: hearing that #31 Crew Chief Chris Andrews has left Richard Childress Racing.(12-1-2004)
      UPDATE: hearing Andrews is now at Evernham Motorsports and will serve as the crew chief for Bill Elliott in the #91 Dodge.(12-3-2004)

    • VA Car Owners to be Inducted into VA Hall of Fame: Three legendary car owners will be inducted into the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame on Dec. 11. Junie Donlavey, who has fielded Cup cars out of Richmond for more than 50 years, and Glen and Leonard Wood, whose Stuart-based team won 96 Cup races, will be honored at World of Sports Complex in South Boston.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-3-2004)

    • ROC Specials on Speed: SPEED Channel will air two specials on this year's Race of Champions from the famed Stade de France in Paris, including a behind-the-scenes feature with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standout Jimmie Johnson. Beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 12, SPEED will broadcast a 90-minute special on the international event, highlighted by some of the biggest names in motor sports. Seven-time Formula One champ Michael Schumacher will lead the German contingent, while open-wheel champions Tony Kanaan (Brazil) and Sebastien Bourdais (France) also are part of the mix. "It is such a special honor to be invited to race against the best drivers in the world," Kanaan said. "There has never been an IRL driver selected to compete in this event, and I feel very proud to be participating. It is definitely going to be a lot of fun." Four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon [now will not race due to illness]and Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, will represent the U.S. Gordon and Johnson were part of the 2002 Team USA that stunned the international field with a victory in the Canary Islands. At 9 p.m. ET, SPEED will air Jimmie Johnson: Common Thread, an inside look at Johnson's adventure in Paris.(SC PR)(12-3-2004)

    • Fox races go High-Def: NASCAR on FOX hits the gas on its fifth season in grand style with razor sharp 720p high-definition pictures accompanied by crystal clear Dolby 5.1 audio. FOX's Emmy Award-winning coverage begins during SpeedWeeks at Daytona, returning to the airwaves on Saturday, Feb. 12 (8:00pm/et), with a prime time presentation of the Bud Shootout, live from Daytona International Speedway. Coverage continues from Daytona with the 2005 season's inaugural NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, Feb. 19 (2:00pm/et), and culminates with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the 47th running of "The Great American Race" — the Daytona 500 — on Sunday, February 20 (12:00pm/et). "We're thrilled to present the entire NASCAR on FOX 2005 season in 720p High Definition clarity and Dolby 5.1 audio," said FOX Sports Chairman David Hill. "Our HD broadcasts will ensure that fans at home are treated to the visceral experience that NASCAR action provides to those present at the speedway, which is precisely what we at FOX Sports aim to deliver as broadcasters." NASCAR racing legend Darrell Waltrip and former champion crew chief Larry McReynolds return to provide race analysis for all NASCAR on FOX Nextel Cup and Busch Series events, and Mike Joy returns as race announcer. Prerace coverage is again hosted by Chris Myers with analyst Jeff Hammond, and returning to cover pit road for FOX are reporters Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum and Jeanne Zelasko. In its fifth season as the home of NASCAR, FOX Sports airs 15 NASCAR Nextel Cup races. Last season, the average per-race audience for FOX's "regular season" NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule (Rockingham through Sears Point) was 9.03 million viewers, identical to the figures posted in 2003. NASCAR Nextel Cup racing has retained its status as the second highest-rated sport televised nationally, trailing only the National Football League. NASCAR on FOX' 2004 regular-season average rating of 5.6/14, topped the regular season average of the NBA on ABC by 133% (vs. 2./4/16), the biggest margin ever between those two sports. FOX's 5.6/14 for regular season Nextel Cup racing was also +22% better than ABC's 4.6/10 for the NBA playoffs. NASCAR on FOX is clearly the dominant player in the portion of the year formerly controlled by the NBA.(FoxSports.com)(12-3-2004)

    • Sounds like Blaney to RCR UPDATE 3 Friday Announcement and IMAGEs: just an update on the Blaney/Lopez/Jack Daniel's to RCR [see my #30 Team News and links page for the past - there is a ton]......
      Dave Blaney is expected to be named as the fulltime driver for Richard Childress' third racing team during the events surrounding the awards banquet. Speculation is that Jack Daniels will sponsor the team and that Philippe Lopez will serve as crew chief. The news couldn't come at a better time for the Hartford [OH] native and Badger High School graduate. Blaney is coming off a season in which he wasn't able to land a fulltime ride. He had a few rides for Bill Davis Racing's #23 team early in the season, and he landed a spot on RCR's #30 AOL team for a few races. With sponsorship money hard to come by and Blaney at the age of 42, it appeared he might not get another chance at NASCAR's elite circuit. "It crossed my mind,'' he said. "But I really thought the way things were going that I would get a chance to get with a good team and have a chance to continue on with my career.'' Childress, who also owns teams for drivers #29-Kevin Harvick and Robby Gordon [and Jeff Burton, Gordon is no longer at RCR in 2005], has reportedly long been impressed with Blaney's driving skills. Blaney likes what Childress has to offer in terms of support. "It's not like we knew each other (well),'' Blaney said. "I knew him and had respect for what he's done. He's a really good guy. He's hard working. He's got his stuff together. He knows what he's doing and can make things happen.'' Childress called on Blaney midway through the season when rookie Johnny Sauter was dropped from the AOL car. Blaney thought there was a chance that the deal might have secured him a ride for the remainder of the season, but he was replaced after Jeff Burton was released from Jack Roush Racing. "It was kind of a race-to-race thing,'' Blaney said. "He (Childress) told me up front that they were trying to sign Jeff Burton, so it wasn't a shock to me. When he told me I didn't think it would happen because I didn't think Roush would let Jeff Burton go. But what are you going to tell Richard Childress, no, I don't want to drive your car?"(in part from the Tribune Chronicle)(11-28-2004)
      UPDATE: hearing the announcement will be Friday [NOT Saturday] morning [12-3] in New York City.(11-30-2004)
      UPDATE 2: the Sponsor/Driver/Crew Chief announcement and car unveiling will be on Friday, Dec. 3, 2004 at 11:00am/et in NYC.(12-1-2004)
      UPDATE 3: scored an image of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy, see my #07 Paint Scheme page.(12-2-2004)
      AND added more images of different schemes of the #07 to the #07 Paint Scheme page.(12-3-2004)

      News and Rumors from December 2, 2004

    • Bliss to keep #0 Gig? hearing that Mike Bliss will shed the interim driver tag and be the full-time #0 NetZero Chevy driver in 2005, supposedly the team will have a new major associate sponsor also.(12-2-2004)

    • NBC/TNT Races in High-Def: Beginning next year, NBC and Turner Network Television (TNT) will televise their entire portion of the 2005 NASCAR schedule in high-definition. Viewers will be able to experience the unrivaled picture clarity and quality sound of high-definition as the networks combine to exclusively televise the second half of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series races. TNT and NBC's full-season of HD NASCAR coverage will begin with NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing during the weekend of July 1 and 2, 2005 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR in HD debuted on NBC on February 15th for the network's coverage of the Daytona 500 and on TNT on September 11th for the championship field-setting race at Richmond International Raceway. All of the main cameras used for NBC and TNT's coverage, as well as the production truck, will be native HD. The feed will be transmitted in high-definition and formatted for 4x3 high-definition and standard-definition. The NASCAR telecasts on both TNT and NBC will be broadcast in 1080i native HD using Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Currently, TNT also presents all of its 2004-05 NBA coverage in high-definition.(NBC PR)(12-2-2004)

    • Testing at Nashville: hearing that #41 Casey Mears and Busch Driver David Stremme tested at Nashville Superspeedway yesterday and will test there today also.(12-2-2004)

    • In-Car Deal Extended: NASCAR Digital Entertainment was scheduled to announce today a two-year extension of its deal with iN Demand for NASCAR In Car services through the 2006 Nextel Cup season, the Sports Business Daily reports.The multichannel digital sports package includes seven channels of in-car camera coverage, as well as team communications and virtual dashboards. Financial terms are not scheduled to be announced.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-2-2004)

      News and Rumors from December 1, 2004

    • Sad News: Len Calinoff, father of #17 Roush Racing's spotter, Mike Califnoff, passed away Wednesday. Len also ran the site: openwheelracing.com as well as sponsor some sprint cars including some that run at the Atlantic City Indoor Race. Thoughts and wishes go out to Mike and the Calinoff family.(12-1-2004)

    • Top 10 List: An animated Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion, read the Tuesday night Top Ten list on "Late Show with David Letterman."
      The category -- "Top Ten Thoughts That Cross Your Mind When Going 190 Miles Per Hour:"
      10. Left turn, left turn, straight. Left turn, left turn, straight. Left turn, left turn, straight
      9. Did I remember to TiVo "Desperate Housewives"?
      8. Oh, yeah, the fumes are really kicking in now!
      7. Did I remember to take the supplemental liability coverage?
      6. Uh, oh, that wasn't Powerade. That was Pennzoil
      5. Damn, that Jeff Gordon is handsome
      4. My crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, is a genius. I've got to suck up to him or else he'll tamper with my brakes
      3. Turn 3 should have a McDonald's drive-thru
      2. Maybe I should have put the top up
      1. Wheeeeeeee! (Las Vegas Review Journal)(12-1-2004)

    • New Crew Chief for Bobby Labonte: Steve Addington has been named Bobby Labonte's crew chief on the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for the 2005 season. Addington comes to the #18 Interstate Batteries car after one year as crew chief for the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Busch Series car for JGR, which was driven by Mike Bliss in the 2004 season and finished fifth in the final Busch point standings. "Steve brings a great deal of racing knowledge and leadership to the Interstate Batteries team," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "He did a great job with the #20 Rockwell Automation car in the Busch Series last year, and we look forward to a lot of success with him in 2005." During the 2004 season, Addington helped Bliss to his first career Busch Series victory Oct. 15 at Charlotte and 14 top-10 finishes. Prior to working with JGR, Addington was crew chief for Jason Keller in the Busch Series, first at KEL Racing from 1990-96 and then at ppc Racing from 1999-2003.
      Addington, 40, from Spartanburg, S.C., becomes only the fourth crew chief in the illustrious 13-year history of the #18 Interstate Batteries team. Jimmy Makar served as crew chief for Dale Jarrett (1993-94) and then Labonte (1995-2002) until being promoted to senior vice president of racing operations for JGR. Michael "Fatback" McSwain served as crew chief for the 2003 season and 18 races of the 2004 season when Brandon Thomas took over as interim crew chief for the final 18 races of the season. Thomas will continue with JGR in the engineering department. Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion, has 21 career victories and finished 12th in points in 2004. The 2005 season will be his 11th season with JGR and his 13th full-season of NEXTEL Cup competition. "Steve brings a lot of experience to the #18 Interstate Batteries team," Labonte said. "He had a good year with the #20 Rockwell Automation Busch team last year, and I think he'll be able to helps us get back to Victory Lane and into the championship hunt."(JGR PR)(12-1-2004)

    • Official Tax Service of NASCAR: Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. today announced a three-year sponsorship with NASCAR, in which Jackson Hewitt Tax Service will be known as "The Tax Service of NASCAR." Jackson Hewitt's motorsports marketing strategy also includes an endorsement sponsorship of three NASCAR NEXTEL Series drivers - Greg Biffle, #16 Ford, recent winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Ford 400 at Homestead - Miami Speedway; Michael Waltrip, #99 Chevrolet [Busch Series], two-time Daytona Champion; and Kasey Kahne, #9 Dodge, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year. These sponsorships, which were brokered by motorsports marketing agency, Just Marketing, will run through the 2007 tax season, and will also feature promotional offerings, guest appearances and use of the NASCAR trademark in marketing communications. The Jackson Hewitt Tax Service promotion for NASCAR fans will run from January 3, 2005 through April 30, 2005, and will provide customers with free NASCAR gear and a money-saving coupon. The coupon, which will be available on jacksonhewitt.com/racinggear, entitles customers to discounted tax preparation services at any of the over 4,900 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service locations nationwide. After redemption of the coupon, customers will be sent a free, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule T-shirt and a race day cooler, featuring images of Greg Biffle, Michael Waltrip and Kasey Kahne. Jackson Hewitt entered the world of NASCAR last year with its sponsorship of the Roush Racing #16 National Guard/Subway Ford Taurus car and its driver, Greg Biffle. More information about the Company may be obtained by visiting the Company's Web site at www.jacksonhewitt.com.(PRNewswire/Arizona Racing Times)(12-1-2004)

    • Slugger leaves DEI: Richard "Slugger" Labbe -- who served as #15-Michael Waltrip's crew chief earlier this season and also worked with Earnhardt Jr. Truex's teams, has left DEI and joined Evernham Motorsports. Evernham officials confirmed Labbe has been named director of speedway development, over Evernham's #9 and #19 Dodges, driven by Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield, respectively.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-1-2004)

    • Wallace leaves Biagi Bros. Racing: After spending the last three years helping Biagi Bros. Racing build their NASCAR Busch Series race team, Mike Wallace is moving on to pursue other opportunities. In the near future, Biagi Bros. Racing will be announcing plans to run a driver development program with a NASCAR Nextel Cup team. This relationship creates an opportunity for Wallace to move on and pursue a full-time Nextel Cup ride and/or opportunities in the NASCAR Busch Series.
      Mike Wallace has been driving the #4 car since 2001, when Fred Biagi and himself decided to move forward with forming a NASCAR Busch Series race team.(Player Management International PR)(12-1-2004)

    • NBC Sports chairman in plan wreck..survives: NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol and his college-aged son emerged from the fiery wreckage of a corporate jet after it crashed during takeoff and burst into flames, killing two crew members. Rescuers were still searching for Ebersol's younger son, whose seat was missing from the smoldering ruins. The 18-seat charter jet with six people on board crashed Sunday morning at Montrose Regional Airport in southwest Colorado, not far from the Telluride Ski Area. A heavy snowstorm had lightened up before the plane prepared to depart for South Bend, Ind., where Ebersol's son Charles is a senior at Notre Dame. A witness said the impact ripped the cockpit from the fuselage, and that Charles Ebersol helped his 57-year-old father to safety through the front of the plane. A second son, 14-year-old Edward, was missing, Denver NBC affiliate KUSA-TV reported. The station said crews searched by helicopter and on the ground, but that even "Teddy" Ebersol's plane seat could not be found. A Montrose County Sheriff's spokeswoman said the boy had not been located by late Sunday. The sheriff's office also said two people were killed in the crash, though their identities were not released. KUSA said the victims were the pilot and co-pilot. Hospital officials said three men were treated after the crash. Federal officials said the aircraft also had a flight attendant on board. Ebersol's wife, actress Susan Saint James, was not on the plane, the station said. The family lives in Connecticut. The younger man was able to climb into an ambulance while Ebersol was loaded onto a stretcher, Distel said.
      The plane was on its way to South Bend, Ind. The plane's tail number was N873G, identifying it as a CL-601 Challenger registered to Jet Alliance of Millville, N.J. An operator at Jet Alliance said she had no information about the crash. Investigators from the FAA and National Safety Transportation Board were en route to the airport, 185 miles southwest of Denver. Dick Ebersol, who lives in Litchfield, Conn., has a long history at NBC. He became director of late-night programming at NBC in 1974 and replaced Lorne Michaels for a rocky tenure as executive producer of "Saturday Night Live" in the early 1980s. He became president of NBC Sports in 1989 and recently signed a contract that keeps him at the network through 2012.(more at ESPN.com/AP)(11-29-2004)
      UPDATE: NBC Universal issued the following statement tonight [11-29]: Dick Ebersol and his son Charlie are both hospitalized in stable condition and are expected to make a full recovery.(NBC)
      AND The body of the 14-year-old son of NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol was believed recovered Monday after a fiery jet crash that killed two crewmen and left the injured executive and another of his sons injured. oroner Mark Young said a body matching the description of Edward "Teddy" Ebersol was found underneath the wreckage. Heavy equipment was used to recover the body.(ESPN.com)(11-30-2004)
      STATEMENT: The Ebersol family has released the following statement: "In the wake of this tragedy, we are touched by the overwhelming outpouring of love from people all over the world. We will miss Teddy, our sweet boy, forever. He was a deeply cherished brother to his sister, Sunshine, and his brothers Harmony, Charlie, and Willie. Teddy was a warm, loving, energetic young man. He had developed a wonderfully quirky sense of humor way beyond his years that kept the whole family laughing. His wonderful spirit lives on in our family, and in all who knew and loved him. Of course, everyone who knew Teddy was aware of his passion for the Boston Red Sox, and a highlight of his short life was the Red Sox winning their first championship in 86 years. Like his team, Teddy never lost hope. While our grief is unfathomable, we are so proud of our Charlie, who pulled his father from the flames. That anyone was able to survive this horrible accident is a miracle, and all of us will forever be inspired by Charlie's courage and bravery. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Luis Espaillat and Warren Richardson, who perished along with our son, and to the third crewmember, who remains critically injured. Again, we are so grateful for your prayers and support."
      Statement from Bob Wright, Vice Chairman, GE, and Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal:
      "Our hearts go out to Dick and Susan on their loss. Words cannot express the depth of a parent's anguish when a child's life is abruptly taken, and all of us at NBC Universal share their grief. Suzanne and I knew Teddy from the many events he attended with his father. He was a delightful boy, and a devoted Boston Red Sox fan who relished the team's World Series victory with unbounded enthusiasm. He will be deeply missed. At the same time, we are all so grateful to Charlie for saving his father's life in such a heroic display of courage. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dick and Susan -- whose strength throughout this ordeal has been remarkable -- and their family. Our prayers are also with the injured co-pilot and the families of the crewmembers who died in this terrible accident."(NBC)(12-1-2004), more on my TV/Media News page.

      News and Rumors from November 30, 2004

    • "The NASCAR Art of Sam Bass" Book Available: There is a story behind every Sam Bass creation. A tale of how each illustration came about and exactly what the artist is conveying through the strokes of his brush. Sam's new book, "The NASCAR Art of Sam Bass," goes behind the scenes with motor racing's most celebrated artist to give fans an insider's look into the mindset that spawned some of his most compelling compositions. The book is punctuated with dozens of full color images of many of Sam's most popular works accompanied by an in-depth commentary of each. It not only chronicles his original paintings and limited edition prints, but also other collectibles he has designed over the years, including trading card sets and custom shop guitars.
      Published by David Bull Publishing, "The NASCAR Art of Sam Bass" was co-written by Sam himself and noted author Brad Bowling. It's Sam's story, told in his own words. This is the only publication to chronicle the career of the first artist officially licensed by NASCAR.
      "The NASCAR Art of Sam Bass" is offered in two editions, both in a 9" x 11" coffee table format. The soft cover edition contains 160 pages and more than 75 full color illustrations. It is available for $24.95, plus shipping. The hardbound "Publisher's Edition" is limited to only 312 books, with each signed and numbered by the author. This very special collectible features 190 pages and more than 90 full color illustrations. Included are many never-before-published works from Sam's personal portfolio. The Publisher's Edition is offered for $89.95, plus shipping. More info at sambass.com.(11-30-2004)

    • Army Helicopters Borrow NASCAR Windshield Technology: A laminate that protects NASCAR racecar windshields from rocks and debris will soon give extra protection to Army helicopters flying in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate at Fort Eustis, Va., started testing the concept in March and just got the green light to begin applying the Mylar polyester coating to the windshields of operational aircraft. Nathan Bordick, an engineer working on the project, said the Army borrowed the idea from NASCAR, where teams have been applying multiple layers of the peelable coatings to vehicle windshields for years to resist cracking, chipping and scratching. Periodically throughout a race, pit crews peel away a layer, leaving a clear, undamaged windshield for the laps ahead, he said.(American Forces Press Service / Conservative Voice.(11-30-2004)

    • MRN Donates Broadcasts: "The Pass in the Grass" and Richard Petty's 200th career victory are part of NASCAR's storied history. Now, thanks in-part to a donation of on-air archives by Motor Racing Network (MRN), they are part of the storied Museum of Television & Radio. MRN, the nation's largest independent sports radio network and the primary source for NASCAR stock car racing and related radio programming in the United States, will donate seven legendary on-air broadcast archives to the non-profit museum today (Tuesday) in New York. The presentation will be made prior to a live broadcast of "NASCAR LIVE" which will originate from the Museum at 7:00pm/et and feature the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch and other members of the Roush Organization. The show will air on "NASCAR LIVE" affiliate radio stations.
      Broadcasts included in the donation are:
      * 1979 Daytona 500 - Richard Petty avoids last lap incident to win, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison incident, first race to be flag-to-flag live TV
      * 1976 Daytona 500 - Richard Petty and David Pearson crash on last lap
      * 1987 The Winston - The Pass In The Grass by Dale Earnhardt, Sr., considered one of the most exciting moments in the history of NASCAR's All-Star Race.
      * 1992 Hooters 500 - Richard Petty's last race . . . Alan Kulwicki wins Winston Cup in tightest points battle in modern era . . . first career Winston Cup start for Jeff Gordon.
      * 1984 Pepsi 400 - Richard Petty 200th victory, President Ronald Reagan in attendance.
      * 1988 Daytona 500 - Bobby and Davey Allison finish 1st and 2nd respectively, notable father/son finish
      * 1998 Daytona 500 - Dale Earnhardt, Sr., finally wins the Daytona 500 after two decades of frustration.
      The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public.(DIS PR)(11-30-2004)

    • Dover sues makers of Stacker 2/YJ Stinger . . . and Rowdy has the story. Big time race sponsorships cost money-in the case of the Busch Series Stacker 2 Hundred at Dover International Speedway, $350,000. But according to a complaint filed with the Superior Court of Newcastle County Delaware, the speedway hasn't been paid. The complaint, obtained by Rowdy, also alleges that NVE Pharmaceuticals, which owns Stacker 2 and YJ Stinger, did not spend another $325,000 to market the event, as agreed to in the contract. Hear about it today on Rowdy. Rowdy is daily racing news, interviews, and commentary you get on your cell phone-like a racing radio show you can hear whenever you want. Call 1-800-95-ROWDY (1-800-957-6939) to sign up for a free, no obligation trial.(Rowdy PR)(11-30-2004)

    • Busch speaks to Benny: Kurt Busch says his Nextel Cup championship is beginning to sink in and he told Raybestos Fast Talk host Benny Parsons when the play money is aside and he receives the big check Friday at the awards banquet it will fully set in. Busch describes his hotel room, the presidential suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, as “Probably the most magnificent thing I’ve ever seen. I think one of the bedrooms is almost over in Staten Island…the other one is over in Queens and one is in Midtown, the rooms seem that large. You have to walk between all the rooms with these great hallways…it’s a magnificent place to be able to stay in a room that one of our past presidents stayed in.” Is Kurt nervous about being in New York City? “ Just a little bit here and there, but I’m so anxious to go to the next appearance or to the next show that it makes the time go by quick and we’ve got things planned with the girlfriend and with the family…it’s a great time”. On Tuesday Busch will take part in a training exercise with the New York City Fire Department. “I’m gonna be hauling hoses up and down steps; dragging some dummies around and I think they’re going to bring in a smoke machine so we’re not going to actually set things on fire.”(PRN's Raybestos Fast Talk)(11-30-2004)

    • Chase Finale Ratings Up 38%: NBC's broadcast of the Nov. 21 Ford 400 Nextel Cup finale earned a final 6.2 rating from Nielsen Media Research, The New York Times reports. The figure is up 37.8 percent from last year's event. The story says the race was seen by 9.9 million viewers and says the 10 races in the inaugural Chase For The Nextel Cup showed a 12 percent ratings increase, to a 4.6, with an average of 7.3 million viewers per race.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-30-2004)

      News and Rumors from November 29, 2004

    • AARWBA's All-American Racing Team Voting Kicks Off: Almost 300 members of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association are voting to select the 2004 Auto Racing All-America team. Former Jerry Titus Award winners John Force (1996, 1999, 2000, 2002), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1998, 2001), and Tommy Kendall (1997) are among those on the ballot, as well as 21-time All-American Steve Kinser. The Titus Award honors the team's top driver - the one earning the most votes in the balloting regardless of category. AARWBA members will vote from among six drivers named in each category. Two from each category will be named to the first team, to be honored at the annual AARWBA banquet in Pomona, CA on January 15th. The winner of the Jerry Titus Award will also be announced at the banquet, which also kicks off the celebrations of the Association's 50th anniversary. AARWBA members have annually chosen an All-America Auto Racing Team since 1970. See the full list of drivers at Speed Channel.(AARWBA PR/Speed Channel)(11-30-2004)

    • Artist suing over Nextel Cup: A freelance designer and artist is gearing up for a battle against auto racing behemoth NASCAR, the Franklin Mint and the Mint's former president. Matthew T. Scharle of Barrington, N.J., filed a lawsuit last week against all three, seeking credit for the new Nextel Cup Series Championship trophy, which he claims to have designed. "It's not my intention to hurt NASCAR," said Matthew T. Scharle, who lives in this small Camden County borough. "I love the sport. I just want recognition for the design work I did." Scharle's lawyer Neal A. Jacobs said Scharle's suit also seeks compensation for the alleged incorrect identification of the trophy's designer and related copyright issues. The Franklin Mint, the Aston, Pa.-based collectible marketer, is involved in the matter because, two years ago, NASCAR hired it to design the new trophy. Jeffrey S. Edwards, a lawyer representing Franklin Mint, said the Mint believes it is inappropriate to comment on pending litigation. On Nov. 9, the NASCAR sued Scharle, Franklin Mint and former Franklin Mint President Bruce J. Newman, seeking an injunction to block Scharle from taking any action to interfere with the awarding of the trophy trackside after NASCAR's final race Nov. 21 or at NASCAR's Dec. 3 banquet. "NASCAR dealt with the Franklin Mint during the design process and is very proud of the trophy and what it symbolizes," the association said in a statement. "NASCAR maintains that it owns all rights, title and interest in the design of the NASCAR Nextel Cup trophy and in the trophy itself, including the right of attribution and all other worldwide copyrights as spelled out in NASCAR's agreements with the Franklin Mint." In its lawsuit, NASCAR stated any dispute between Scharle, who was paid for his work by Franklin Mint, and Franklin Mint should be handled by those two parties through binding arbitration.(MSNBC.com)(11-29-2004)

    • Robby to race in the Dakar Rally: Robby Gordon will join the Volkswagen team for the forthcoming Dakar Rally. The 35-year-old American will join three previous Dakar Rally winners - Juha Kankkunen, Jutta Kleinschmidt and Bruno Saby - in a four-car Volkswagen squad on the Dakar, renowned as one of the world's toughest rallies. Though better known for his racing exploits, which include sports car class wins in the Daytona 24 Hours and numerous single-seater and stock car victories, Gordon is no stranger to off-road competition and is a two-time winner of the most famous US rally, the Baja 1000. Gordon and his team-mates will be driving the fearsome four-wheel-drive Race-Touareg, which is powered by a 260 PS, 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine. Successfully introduced on the 2004 Dakar Rally, the Race-Touareg has undergone a year-long test and development programme which culminated in a 14-day, 5000km endurance marathon in Morocco completed earlier this month. The Dakar gets underway from Barcelona on December 31st and, after three short Spanish stages, crosses to Morocco for the start of the rally proper on January 3rd. There are 13 special stages in North Africa, from Rabat through Mauritania and Mali, ahead of the final stage in the Senegalese capital on January 16th. Gordon knows what is required of him: 'Excellent endurance qualities are a necessity,' said Robby. 'The car must be 100 per cent reliable and the driver and co-driver have to fend for themselves…' Endurance is something he has demonstrated: his 1989 win in the Baja 1000 was the result of a solo 16-hour drive. Gordon will be making his Dakar debut, but Volkswagen's other team drivers have enormous collective experience of the event. Finnish driver Kankkunen is a four-time World Rally Champion and was Dakar Rally winner in 1998. He is co-driven by his countryman Juha Repo.(Robby Gordon site) and see more about the Rally at the official site: www.dakar.com.(11-29-2004)

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