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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JAN 10-16, 2005





      News from January 16, 2005

    • Robby Gordon at Dakar STAGE 16 finishes 12th: Looking for all the latest Barcelona to Dakar updates? Robbygordon.com will have all the official Red Bull/Volkswagen press releases, photos, occasional updates from Robby and other information
      . Race Information:
      Dates: December 31st, 2004 - January 16th, 2005
      Team: Volkswagen
      Sponsor: Red Bull
      Driver: Robby Gordon
      Co-Driver: Dirk von Zitzewitz
      One can differentiate the Race Touareg of Robby and Dirk with the starting number 317 in addition at the neon-green screen over the windshield from the other three Volkswagens.(12-31-2004)
      STAGE 16/END: Volkswagen newcomer Robby Gordon quite literally lit the New Year fireworks when he took the overall lead, which he held for two days, after setting the fastest time on the opening stage held along the beach in Barcelona on 31st December. Following a second stage win, the Californian retook the overall lead from ex-World Rally Champion Colin McRae on the fourth stage. In Africa, on day six, ‘Dakar' debutant Gordon fell victim to a bump and lost almost eight hours after rolling his car. The American and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz displayed unstinting motivation during their fight back from 101st to twelfth position overall and provided help to his team mates on numerous occasions on the remaining stages. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret in a Mitsubishi won the overall race in 52:31.39 hrs.(volkswagen-motorsport.de)
      AND France's Bruno Saby won the car category's final stage Sunday in 19 minutes, with fellow Frenchman Thierry Magnaldi 20 seconds behind. Peterhansel finished the last leg in 11th place, 3:09 behind Saby. Some 465 cars, trucks and motorcycles started this year, but by Sunday, only 216 were still in the rally, the rest having broken down or crashed. Before Sunday's final stage began, race organizers held a minute of silence for the two fatalities recorded this year: Spanish motorcyclist Jose Manuel Perez and Italian motorcyclist Fabrizio Meoni, a two-time winner who had said this Dakar Rally would be his last.(CBS Sportsline/AP)(1-16-2005)
      Sites to check out with updates include: Robbygordon.com, www.dakar.com and volkswagen-motorsport.de. And TV Listings for updates on Outdoor Life Network on my TV Listings page and see my #7 Team News and Links page for past news.(1-16-2004)


      News from January 15, 2005

    • New: see the Budweiser Shootout Info site and see my 2005 Bud Shootout page.(1-15-2005)

    • Harvick skipping Daytona testing, Kerry to test: Kerry Earnhardt is assigned to test Harvick's #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet next week during the second round of Nextel Cup Series Preseason Thunder. Earnhardt has a busy testing schedule. Earlier this week, he tested RCR's #33 Chevrolet that he'll try to qualify for the Daytona 500. He is also scheduled to test his full-time 2005 ride -- owner Billy Ballew's #15 Chevrolet truck, this weekend.(NASCAR.com)(1-15-2005)

    • New Vukovich Book: A new book on the legendary two time winner of the Indianapolis 500 has arrived from the printer. Race fans have long clamored for an in depth look at the mysterious, charismatic racing icon who dominated auto racing's greatest race like no one before him, or since. The biography, authored by Bob Gates, the critically acclaimed writer of Hurtubise, has accomplished just that. Titled Vukovich, the book is based on years of research by the author, and covers Vuky from his first roadster race at the age of 17, to his death at Indianapolis in 1955. The book also details the life and careers of the two generations of racing Vukoviches, Bill Jr, and Bill III, that followed him. The book has a forward by Dick Berggren, of Fox Sports, and Speedway Illustrated fame. It contains 320 pages, with 260 photos, 72 in color. Vukovich is available in soft cover for $30, or hard cover for $40, postage paid. The book can be bought at Amazon: hardcover or paperback.(1-15-2005)

    • More on the Goodyear tire test at Atlanta: Goodyear Tire testing continued Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson ran an array of tire compounds in preparation for the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500. Mark Keto, lead engineer for Goodyear's stock car tire development group, said the second day of testing really helped to narrow the field of potential tire compounds for the upcoming Atlanta race weekend. "Today went really well," Keto said, "There are four new tires we've been working with, plus several from yesterday that are giving the drivers some extra grip and confidence." Engineers also found that even with the new NASCAR rule changes, such as the reduced spoiler height, Kahne and Johnson were running speeds comparable to last fall's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Goodyear Tire experts will analyze data from the two-day test before finalizing which compound drivers will run during the Golden Corral 500.(AMS PR)(1-15-2005)

    • Bid on a lunch date with Bill Elliott: Have lunch with NASCAR Winston Cup Champion "Awesome" Bill Elliott! You and up to two guests are invited to join this NASCAR driver for lunch in Blairsville, GA. Discuss the life of NASCAR and what it's really like to be behind wheel. If time permits, a tour of Bill's shop will be provided! More info on my Racing Charities page.(1-15-2005)

    • Waltrip and McMurray.....not back in current rides in 2006? UPDATE: yeah, I know....a little early...but: .............is the question surrounding [#15-Michael Waltrip's future with DEI. The 2005 NASCAR season opener is still a few weeks away, but already the future of two of NASCAR's top stars is being debated: Will Waltrip get a contract renewal, and will #42-Jamie McMurray sign a contract with Chip Ganassi. And the answers to both questions appears to be no. Waltrip said he has to make something happen by April or May "or I probably won't be back." However insiders say Waltrip is already penciled in for a new ride elsewhere in 2006. And McMurray, who was heavily wooed by Joe Gibbs and others last summer, isn't expected to sign a renewal with Ganassi. McMurray yesterday declined to say much about his future. He is widely figured to be #2-Rusty Wallace's choice to replace him in the Roger Penske camp next season. This is Wallace's final season on the tour. "We hear the same rumors you here... and with Darrell tied in with Toyota, there's the question, 'Will Michael going to end up with Toyota?' "Eury Sr. said.(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)(1-14-2005)
      UPDATE: been told that Ganassi has an option with McMurray thru the 2006 season.(1-15-2005)

    • Sad News: Earl H. "Bub" Strickler, 66, of Elkton, VA died Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005, at Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center. Mr. Strickler was born Dec. 18, 1938, in Rockingham County and was the son of the late Lucy Dinges. He owned and operated Body repair shops in the Rockingham and Shenandoah County areas for a number of years and also in Charlotte, N.C. He was a race car driver who drove short tracks in Virginia, including East Side Speedway and in North Carolina, later for NASCAR Winston Cup from 1961 to 1985 [21 starts 2 top 10's]. He was involved in an accident in the Rebel 300 at Darlington in 1965 that was featured on Wide World of Sports for a number of years. Surviving are a son, Mitch Strickler of New Market; a daughter, Connie Fulton of Elkton; two brothers, Jimmy Strickler of Broadway and Butch Dinges of Dayton; four sisters, Elsie Long of Charlotte, N.C., Anna Sprouse of Broadway, and Frances Walton and Lucy Rhinehart, both of New Market; one grandchild and a number of nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1920 H Medical Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 or the SPCA, P.O. Box 413, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.(Daily News Record)(1-15-2005)


      News from January 14, 2005

    • New Procedure for Determining Race Line-Ups - No more provisionals [accept the champ]: NASCAR will institute a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series effective with the 2005 season, NASCAR officials announced today. NASCAR has revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owner championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify]. The remaining seven positions will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who participated as a driver during their 2004 season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline. If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 43rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results. Through the first five races of the season for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the top 35 in the NNCS of the 2004 owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ 2005 Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
      so...... the way it reads, the top 42 are lined up by speeds ran. If any of the drivers/teams in the top 35 in owners points are not in, then they would start 42nd...and so on if more are not in the top 42. So someone not in the top 35 can still win the pole. NO WORD on how the Daytona 500 lineup will be set and it is not mentioned in this PR. Last year, the first 2 spots were filled on qualifying day by the two fastest drivers, then 3-30 were filled by Twin 125 [now the Gatorade Duel - 150's], then eight spots by the fastest remining drivers, four using provisionals based on 2003 owners standings, and a champions provisional, which if not used, went to the next team in onners points not in the race.(1-13-2005)
      BASICALLY How it Works [how I understand it]:
      The drivers/team qualify for the race
      the top 42 drivers/teams are lined up based on qualifying speed
      any drivers/teams in the top 35 in Owners Points not in at that point, will be placed in spots 42, 41, etc depending on how many there are.
      example: #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #24-Gordon qualify outside the 42 spots, they would line up 14st and 42nd, but by their speed, if neither had a time/speed, Gordon would presently start 41st [his team was 3rd in 2004 owners points] and Earnhardt Jr. would start 42nd [his team was 5th in 2004 owners points], the drivers 41st or 42nd would be bumped.
      spot 43 is filled by either a past series champ or the next fastest team/driver.(1-14-2005)

    • Not NASCAR but some Hickory news and some local Mooresville stuff: The Hickory Motor Speedway will host the X-TREME Racing League in 2005 for 5 races with the first scheduled for April 23. 1990 and newer cars and trucks that have formerly competed in NASCAR's top 3 divisions plus ARCA and Hooters Pro-Cup cars are eligible to compete. Engines are limited to 358 cubic inches and the racers will compete on new 2004 Goodyear Eagle Radials that are available for $100 per set from Cup Tire of Mooresville NC. A meeting is scheduled for Jan 16 at 3 PM at LEWS Fine Foods in Mooresville NC for interested competitors.(xtremeracingleague.com.(1-14-2005)

    • California Testing - Fans Invited: As part of NASCAR's Preseason Thunder, several NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams will participate in a test session at California Speedway from January 31 - February 3, 2005. As of early January, nine NASCAR Busch Series drivers have confirmed for the first two days of the test and 32 NEXTEL Cup Series drivers have confirmed for the remaining two days of the test. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test dates, February 2 - 3, will be open to the general public, free of charge from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Guests will be invited to park inside the oval in the Suite Parking Lots and view the test session from above the Terrace Suites on Pit Road to get up close to the action. A few additional entertainment-type opportunities are also being worked on for guests who attend the test, including a Terrace Suite opening, which will allow guests to experience how the NASCAR weekend's Suite Action puts them right on top of the action in one of the Speedway's well-appointed luxury suites. A three-day Suite Action package for February 25-27 is $1,100 and a two-day for February 26-27 is $950. Individual tickets for the upcoming race weekend will also be on sale, and guests who purchase tickets at the test to any one of the three February 25-27 race dates will receive a free license plate frame. Those that have already purchased tickets and bring a friend to the test who purchases a race ticket will receive a free license plate frame as well as the ticket purchaser. Party Zone passes, featuring driver question and answer sessions on race weekend, are also on sale. This fan hospitality area is located inside the Infield and every Party Zone pass includes a pit pass for the day purchased. Saturday's pass is $85, Sunday's pass is $125 and a combined two-day pass is $175. A weekend pit pass, which will allow guests to tour pit road prior to each day's race, is also available. For ticket and event information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or visit www.californiaspeedway.com.
      A tentative list of drivers confirmed as of January 13 for the NASCAR test at California Speedway follows:
      NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers (2/2-3):
      #01-Joe Nemechek, #07-Dave Blaney, #0-Mike Bliss, #2-Rusty Wallace, #5-Kyle Busch, #6-Mark Martin, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, #9-Kasey Kahne, #10-Scott Riggs, #12-Ryan Newman, #14-John Andretti, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth, #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #21-Ricky Rudd, #24-Jeff Gordon, #25-Brian Vickers, #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton, #38-Elliott Sadler, #40-Sterling Marlin, #41-Casey Mears, #42-Jamie McMurray, #43-Jeff Green, #44-Terry Labonte, #45-Kyle Petty, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #49-Ken Schrader, #77-Travis Kvapil, #88-Dale Jarrett #91-Bill Elliott and #97-Kurt Busch.
      NASCAR Busch Series Drivers (1/31-2/1):
      #6-Paul Wolfe, #2-Clint Bowyer, #10[#15?]-Michel Jourdain Jr, #18-JJ Yeley, #20-Denny Hamlin, #22-Kenny Wallace, #32-Shane Hmiel, #41-Reed Sorenson, #44-Justin Labonte.(California Speedway PR)(1-14-2005)

    • Baldwin looking for safer racing: Tommy Baldwin wants to make short-track racing safer. Baldwin, an accomplished crew chief on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit [#9-Kasey Kahne], wants to promote an awareness of safety issues at the short tracks - and lessen the possibility of an accident like the one that claimed the life of his father, Tom Baldwin Sr., during a modified tour event last August. "If a race driver comes to a track and does not like the conditions, he should just walk away," he said. Baldwin, crew chief on the #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge driven by Kasey Kahne, will be at this weekend's Motorsports 2005 [more info click here] show at the Fort Washington Expo Center. On Saturday afternoon, Baldwin plans to deliver his message to short-track racers, promoters and officials during a one-hour seminar. Two-time Busch Series champion driver Randy LaJoie, who fashions custom seats for drivers, and John Downing, creator of the Head and Neck Restraint System (HANS), will also be on hand for the seminar, titled "Helping to Save Lives." The elder Baldwin was killed on Aug. 19 when his race car hit a concrete block at the foot of a light tower after spinning out of a multicar crash at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, Conn., according to a report in the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette. "We want to make the local short-track racing industry aware that what happened to my dad can happen to them," Tommy Baldwin said. "What can car builders do? What can racers do? What can promoters do? What can we all do to make the sport safer? The seminar will answer those questions." Baldwin and LaJoie will also take part in autograph sessions, which are free with the purchase of an admission ticket. The three-day extravaganza opens at 1 p.m. on Friday [Jan 14-Jan 16 and runs through Sunday at 5 p.m.(Philadelphia Inquirer)(1-14-2005)

    • NASCAR teams testing at Talladega UPDATE 2: doesn't say what teams or series but three drivers, on Tuesday & Wednesday, Jan. 11-12, 2005, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series Drivers Test at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Teams Including drivers Joe Ruttman, Eric McClure and Keith Segars; NASCAR Busch Series Driver Johnny Sauter and ARCA RE/MAX Series Teams Including Drivers Chad Blount, Mike Guerity, Chris Serio, Jeff Spraker, Doug Reid III, Tim Steele and Terry Jones.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(1-11-2005)
      UPDATE: A couple teams might have been warming up for upcoming Preseason Thunder sessions with a test Tuesday and Wednesday at Talladega Superspeedway. Joe Ruttman tested a Phoenix Racing Nextel Cup car for owner James Finch, while Johnny Sauter tested Phoenix's Busch ride -- which is his full season gig. Former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Keith Segars tested a Cup car for Morgan-McClure Motorsports.(NASCAR.com)(1-12-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, a NASCAR Busch Series team and three ARCA RE/MAX Series teams participated in testing this week at Talladega Superspeedway in preparation for the 2005 series season opener at Daytona next month. Phoenix Racing brought its #1 Busch Series team with driver Johnny Sauter as well as its #09 NEXTEL Cup Series team with test driver Joe Ruttman. Morgan McClure Motorsports brought its #4 and #73 teams with test driver Keith Segars and Eric McClure respectively. The ARCA RE/MAX Series ML Motorsports #67 and #30 teams with drivers Chad Blount and Terry Jones respectively, Cunningham Motorsports #4 team with drivers Mike Guerity and Chris Serio, 3D Motorsports #78 team with driver Doug Reid III, HS Motorsports team with driver Tim Steele, Kentucky Motorsports #07 team with driver Jeff Spraker were also on hand to work primarily on picking up extra speed at Talladega Superspeedway prior to making finishing touches in handling adjustments for the 2005 racing season’s opening events at Daytona next month. Prior to hitting the track today, drivers Ruttman, Sauter, Segars and McClure weighed in on what they had accomplished the day prior and shared their thoughts on the legendary 2.66-mile Alabama superspeedway.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(1-14-2005)


      News from January 13, 2005

    • Daytona 500 Testing - Day 3, Jan 13, 2005, PM Session - DRAFTING Speeds: Morning rain showers delayed the start of the final day of testing. Teams were able to get on track around 1:30pm/et and tested through 7:30pm/et. While some teams worked on qualifying setups, other teams participated in drafting sessions. #0-Mike Bliss was the fastest at 186.959 [not much faster then Jarrett's single car speed from Wed], followed by #42-Jamie McMurray at 186.459, #16-Greg Biffle at 186.189, #77-Travis Kvapil at 186.181 and #19-Jeremy Mayfield at 186.070.
      See the speeds for each session, cumulative after Wed for all four sessions and which session they ran their fastest lap and Thursday's full drafting speed list........on my Daytona 400 Testing 2005 page.(1-13-2005)

    • World Financial Group to sponsor Roush teams, #99: Roush Racing announced today that World Financial Group will expand its primary sponsorship to include Todd Kluever in the #50 Ford F-150 entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for 15 races this season. In addition, World Financial Group will also be the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards in two NASCAR Nextel Cup races, and three Busch Series races. They will also sponsor one ARCA entry for Kluever. After sponsoring Edwards' #99 entry in the Nextel Cup Series twice last season, World Financial Group decided to expand its sponsorship opportunities with Roush and move into the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series as well. The sponsorship will include 15 Craftsman Truck races with Kluever throughout the season, Busch Series events with Edwards in the #60 Ford at Las Vegas and both Phoenix events, and two Nextel Cup races with Edwards at Las Vegas in March and Talladega in October. They will also be on board for the ARCA race with Kluever in Daytona during SpeedWeeks. For more information on World Financial Group, log on to www.worldfinancialgroup.com.(Roush Racing PR)(1-13-2005)

    • More on Burton testing in Mexico: NASCAR says Jeff Burton averaged laps at almost 100 mph in the first test of a Busch Series car on the Mexico City road course that will host the series' first race outside the United States on March 6. The Richard Childress Racing Nextel Cup driver averaged laps in the 91.9-second range around the 2.518-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in a car prepared by RCR's No. 21 Busch Series team. NASCAR officials who watched the test included Vice President of Research and Development Gary Nelson, Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton and Busch Series Director Joe Balash. The test, originally scheduled for one day, will continue today. Balash said data gathered from the test will be shared with all teams.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-13-2005)

    • Engine Changes Coming? Unleaded Fuel? NASCAR also began to put out word that it will ask the car factories to begin thinking about a new engine platform for introduction in the next two or three years. It was not stated whether this move indicates a move toward a more "common" engine, much as NASCAR has done with the car bodies since 2002. Even with Ford's having received cylinder heads with equivalent port heights for 2003, there remain significant differences between the engines of the three makes. Dodge, for example, has a shorter crank-to-cam dimension, allowing for shorter stroke and higher rpm. Dodge (and Toyota, in Trucks) has had the only "blueprint" engine introduced to NASCAR. The Ford and Chevrolet engines are loosely based on ancient small-block V8 designs -- Chevy's 350 and Ford's 351 -- having hence evolved over 35 years into what amount to pedigree racing engines. Unleaded fuel appears to be the prime mover, although most say that issue could be resolved on the present platform. NASCAR garage chief John Darby said all issues are on the table, although it appears unlikely NASCAR would move directly to a modern, factory-type injected engine. "We will look at any areas," he said. "Is the compression ratio right? Is the cubic inch right? Do we need eight cylinders or do we need 20?"(Speed Channel)(1-13-2005)

    • Mikey up to $650,000...and Hootie: MIchael Waltrip discussed the Jan. 30 Las Vegas Marathon he will run, along with Kyle Petty for Operation Marathon that will benefit Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp for children with life threatening illnesses. "We've raised over $650,000 through Operation Marathon for the camp," he said. "When we were here in July we committed to raise $1 million and I think we can." Las Vegas will be Waltrip's fourth marathon, including one appearance in the storied Boston Marathon. His best marathon time is 4:13 while his goal for Las Vegas is 3:59:59. Beyond Las Vegas, Waltrip said he is setting his sights on racing an Olympic-distance triathlon, usually a 1-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike ride and 10K (6.2-mile run). For more information on Operation Marathon, visit www.michaelwaltrip.com/marathon.(Florida Today) AND Hootie and the Blowfish will perform in Las Vegas as part of Michael Waltrip's Operation Marathon to raise $1 million to benefit the operating expenses for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The concert will be at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino after the marathon. A minimum donation of $25 will be collected at the door.(1-13-2005)

    • 'Dash' Series is done: the IPOWER Dash Series, the successor to NASCAR's now defunct Goody's Dash Series, has canceled its 2005 season that was to open on Sunday, Feb. 13 at Daytona. Front-row qualifying for the Feb. 20 Daytona 500 will continue as planned on Feb. 13. The Dash Series cited issues regarding sponsorship and corporate involvement as the reasons for the series being scrubbed. The series debuted at Daytona in February of 2004 with a less than auspicious beginning when a track worker was struck and killed by a race car while picking up debris under a caution period.(Florida Today)(1-13-2005)

    • Hotel Rooms a problem for Daytona 500?: Damage from last summer's hurricanes could have a significant impact on this season's Daytona 500, because about 3,700 hotel rooms of the city's 13,548 were knocked out of commission by the storms and many may still be under repair when SpeedWeeks kick off. It's unclear how reservations with those properties will be handled, or even how many of those Daytona 500 ticket holders are even aware of the situation. About 60 Daytona Beach hotels and a number of high-rise condos were damaged by the hurricanes. (Winston Salem Journal)(1-13-2005)

    • Dale Jr. gets a jet: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won't have to bum a plane ride from his racing pals anymore. Notoriously frugal, Earnhardt has joined the ranks of drivers with his own plane, having purchased a Lear 60 twin-engine jet. ``I've been trying to avoid getting a plane because it's really expensive, but we got to looking at them and talking about it and it seemed like there were a couple of places where we got stuck and hung up,'' Earnhardt said Wednesday. ``With your own plane you don't have to wait on everybody to show up to take off.'' Earnhardt always had the option of riding on the Dale Earnhardt Inc. company plane, but because that plane transported team members for both his car and teammate Michael Waltrip, he would have to leave earlier and stay longer. Having his own jet will allow Earnhardt to spend at least another week at home over the course of the season. Last summer, while suffering with burns suffered in a sports car crash in Sonoma, Calif., Earnhardt accepted plane or helicopter rides from some of his driver friends, including Dale Jarrett and Tony Stewart. The Lear 60 seats six passengers comfortably, plus two pilots, and travels at about 520 mph. Earnhardt wouldn't give specifics on his purchase but said they cost between $5 1/2 million and $8 1/2 million. And that doesn't include the cost of pilots and fuel.(Tampa Tribune)(1-13-2005)


      News from January 12, 2005

    • #99 gets more sponsorship, from AAA AND: Auto Club Group/AAA has had a longtime relationship with Michigan International Speedway in mid-Michigan. With the sponsorship of Roush Racing’s #99 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series car driven by Carl Edwards, AAA has partnered with one of the leaders in the motorsports field. If racing and AAA still seem an unlikely match, consider the role motorsports has played in advancing auto safety. In fact, many of the safety features we now take for granted in our cars, trucks and SUVs were introduced and tested in auto races. Such features as lap and shoulder safety belts, hydraulic brakes and radial tires are just a few. AAA’s support of the sport is directed to efforts to make driving safer and more enjoyable. With its support of the motorsports program, AAA has found an exciting way to promote their name, products and safety message. These programs also provide AAA with a way to encourage young people to drive responsibly and to seek careers in automotive-related fields. AAA was one of the original sponsors of the Indianapolis 500 and the governing body of U.S. auto racing until the 1950s.(AAA Site[the link no longer works, looks like they jumped the gun on the announcement and removed it from their site](1-12-2005)
      AND the races AAA will supposedly be the primary sponsor are:
      Michigan International Speedway – June 19
      Chicagoland Speedway - July 10
      Indianapolis Brickyard 400 – August 7
      Michigan International Speedway - August 21
      but they could change as it was mentioned in the Office Depot PR that they would be the primary there.(1-12-2005)

    • Driver of the Year Vote is On - Last day to vote: In its 38th year the DRIVER OF THE YEAR Award will be determined by an independent vote of an 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters and one vote based on a cumulative tally by fans voting at www.speedtv.com. That means that you, the fans, can help us decide the winner of the award by casting your vote right here for the driver you feel most deserves recognition for each quarter of the 2004 season. The award encompasses all racing platforms including NASCAR, Champ Car, IRL, NHRA, SCCA, World of Outlaws and Sports Cars. The year-end winner is determined by 18 journalists’ secret ballots and the overall winner of the fan vote on speedtv.com. Fan voting for the 2004 Speed Channel Driver of the Year begins January 1, 2005 and continues until January 16, 2005. The winner will be announced exclusively on Speed Channel January 24. The drivers nominated: Kurt Busch (NASCAR); Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car); Tony Kanaan (IRL); Greg Anderson (NHRA); Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR); Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws); Tony Schumacher (NHRA).(1-12-2005)

    • 35 Cup drivers to test at Las Vegas: Just how important is Preseason Thunder Las Vegas? All 10 drivers in last year's Chase for the Nextel Cup have indicated they will visit LVMS Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to prepare for the March 13 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. In 2004, eight of the 10 drivers who made the Chase for the Championship tested in Las Vegas. The top-10 drivers from 2004 are part of a record list of 35 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers who will attend the two-day test on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The testing list includes Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman - two drivers who didn't test in 2004 and struggled during the race. The Las Vegas test will mark the first full test for most of the teams with the shorter spoilers and new tire compounds instituted by NASCAR and Goodyear for the 2005 season. In addition, 14 NASCAR Busch Series drivers are scheduled to test Feb. 2 and 3. Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr., former Champ Car star Michel Jourdain Jr. and Shane Hmiel, who won the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in 2004, are among the drivers scheduled for the two-day Busch test. The speedway's grandstands will be open to the public free of charge all four days. The testing starts at 9:00am and will conclude at 5:00pm each day.
      Following is a complete list of the drivers scheduled to test.
      Nextel Cup drivers (Jan. 31-Feb. 1): John Andretti, Greg Biffle, Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Green, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Jason Leffler, Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Scott Riggs, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler, Johnny Sauter, Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip.(LVMS PR)(1-12-2005)

    • New Spotter for Vickers: after many years with Richard Childress Racing, Spotter Danny Culler has left RCR and will be the spotter for #25-Brian Vickers at Hendrick Motorsports. Culler takes over for the late Ricky Hendrick.(1-12-2005)

    • Why no Stewart in the #20? why #20 testing this week? Tony Stewart's [#20 Home Depot chevy driver] absence was duly noted. Stewart was scheduled to test at Daytona next week [even owners points], but he [and the team] will be doing a Goodyear tire test at Texas instead. Stewart may not be the only star skipping Daytona 500 testing. Kevin Harvick might pass [due in next week]. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said that the driver really has little to do here, so he's not worried about not having Stewart at the wheel. "We just tested Kentucky, we're going to Texas for two days of testing, then we're going to Vegas and California for more testing this month, and Tony is running in the 24 Hours here," Zipadelli said. "And Tony just ran the Chili Bowl too. So basically we're just giving him a couple of days off."(Winston Salem Journal), plus Zipadelli said on XM Satellite NASCAR Radio that his charity event - Zippy's Crusade For Kids Snowmobile Ride is on Jan 21-22 and he has to leave for that.(1-12-2005)

    • France and the NFL? NASCAR chairman of the board and CEO Brian France has denied recent speculation that he might be in the market for a National Football League team. Speculation during the holidays was that France planned to sell his NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. stock [not public stock] to his sister, Lesa France Kennedy, and his uncle, Jim France. He would then buy outright or be part of a group that moved an existing NFL franchise to Los Angeles, where he once lived. Through a NASCAR spokesman, France said he was not interested in owning a professional football team.(Autoweek.com)(1-12-2005)

    • Tire Testing at Atlanta Jan 11-12th UPDATE: A Goodyear Tire test is scheduled for January 11-12 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 2004 Rookie of the Year #9-Kasey Kahne and #48-Jimmie Johnson will test the brand new Goodyear compound at NASCAR's fastest track next week as they prepare for the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend. The test session will be closed to both the media and the public. The test will be the first with the new Atlanta Goodyear tire, which is a different compound than any for any other speedway. Mark Keto, lead engineer for Goodyear's stock car tire development group, said the session will be used to gauge how well the new compound works with the 2005 NASCAR rule changes, such as the reduced spoiler height. NASCAR officials are expected to be on hand to analyze the results. Additional NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series teams are scheduled to test throughout February and March for the spring race weekend. For more information on the Golden Corral 500 weekend, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(1-9-2005)
      UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway's 2005 racing season officially started Tuesday at 10:45am/et, as Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne sprinted around the 1.54-mile quad-oval at near-qualifying speeds during a two-day Goodyear Tire test. Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne and recent AMS Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 winner Jimmie Johnson will continue to test the new Goodyear compounds Wednesday as they prepare for the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend. Mark Keto, lead engineer for Goodyear's stock car tire development group, said this week's test will help Goodyear establish which tire compound is best for the lightning-fast Atlanta track, the fastest in NASCAR, with the new spoiler rules. "We're going through different tire compounds, but we really just want to know what the driver thinks," Keto said, "And also if the tires which run well on the shorter runs will run well on the longer runs." As the day progressed, Johnson and Kahne made short runs and relayed pertinent information to Goodyear engineers. "Going through the different tires, we're finding the cars are more on the loose side. It's the tires with softer grip that the drivers seem to like and also perform well," Keto said. "We have several that we're carrying over to tomorrow's long-run test." Kahne said he also used Tuesday to think about not only tires, but also the redesigned body of his Dodge Charger. "It's great for us to get this track time with the new design," Kahne said. "Hopefully this will put us ahead of the game to have an even more consistent season."(AMS PR)(1-12-2005)

    • Daytona 500 Testing - Day 2, Jan 12, 2005:
      AM session: #24-Jeff Gordon was once again the fastest in Daytona 500 testing at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 184.786 mph, followed by #88-Dale Jarrett at 184.509, #16-Greg Biffle at 184.487, #19-Jeremy Mayfield at 184.411 and #36-Boris Said at 184.098.
      PM session: Three-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Jarrett, driver of the #88 UPS Ford, was fastest during Wednesday's testing with a lap of 186.455 mph in the afternoon session and the fastest overall in two days of testing. Rounding out the top five were #24-Jeff Gordon at 185.736, #16-Greg Biffle at 185.094, #19-Jeremy Mayfield at 184.972 and #38-Elliott Sadler at 184.926
      See the speeds for each session, cumlative after Tuesday and cumulative after Wed for all four sessions and which session they ran their fastest lap on my Testing 2005 page. (1-12-2005)

    • Another series rumor...again: There are reports - as outlandish as they may seem - that some NFL figures are interested in creating a stock-car series of their own, if they can persuade some top NASCAR team owners to sign on. According to sources, there was similar talk around the NFL in the early 1990s, when Joe Gibbs first joined NASCAR, after winning three Super Bowls as coach of the Washington Redskins. Finding enough big-market tracks on which to race would seem to be a problem; unless there is a Bruton Smith angle at play.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-12-2005)

    • Allison wins up a notch UPDATE sort of: hadn't heard this..so.....When Darrell Waltrip quit Cup racing four years ago, he was tied with fellow retiree Bobby Allison at third in all-time wins. According to the NASCAR record book, both had 84 victories (behind Richard Petty's 200 and David Pearson's 105). At the start of the 2004 season, however, those records were altered. Allison was awarded an 85th win, leaving him alone in third and dropping Waltrip to fourth. Allison had long argued that decades ago he won a race for which he was never credited. There was a dispute over whether the race Allison won was, at the time, part of NASCAR's official premier series [he won in a Mustang]. Last year NASCAR finally decided in Allison's favor. Waltrip still holds the distinction as the winningest driver in NASCAR's modern era (1972-present), during which time all of his 84 victories came. Second is Dale Earnhardt (76) followed by Jeff Gordon and Cale Yarborough (69 each), Petty (60) and Allison (55). Waltrip is preparing for his fifth season as a Fox Sports racing commentator. He begins his duties during next month's Daytona SpeedWeeks.(Tennessean)(1-5-2005)
      UPDATE: from a DW Q&A column at FoxSports.com: Linda from Manassas, Va.: I just read where NASCAR, after reviewing the situation, has given Bobby Allison a win he had in a Mustang. Wonder if NASCAR will ever "review the situation" and give you the win at North Wilkesboro that they gave to Brett Bodine?! [Jayski Note: Bodine was put on the lead lap by NASCAR who said after the race they erred but let the win stand, DW finished 2nd - DW doesn't address that part of the question]
      DW's Answer: "I heard through the grapevine — through Jayski actually — that NASCAR had revised the results after 30 years and given Bobby Allison credit for some race that he won in a Mustang. No one has called me and told me anything about it, not that they necessarily would. A Mustang has never been a Cup car so I don't know if that change is official or not. If it is, it would be one of those things that make you go "Hmmm."(FoxSports), been told by sources that Bobby Allison also had not heard about the win being added.(1-12-2005), for the winner list see my All-time Nextel Cup winners list page.


      News from January 11, 2005

    • Edwards doing double duty in 2005, #99 Sponsor announcement next week UPDATE 2 Office Depot: Roush Racing driver Carl Edwards will compete for championships in two of NASCAR's national touring series this season. In addition to a full, 36-race Nextel Cup season in owner Jack Roush's #99 Ford Taurus, Edwards will also run the 35-race Busch Series schedule in Roush's #60 Charter Communications Ford. Roush plans to announce a sponsorship program [Office Depot?] for Edwards' Cup program next week, a team spokesman said.(NASCAR.com)(1-7-2005)
      UPDATE - #99 Has a Sponsor: On Tuesday, January 11, 2005 in Daytona Beach, FL at Daytona International Raceway, Roush Racing will make an announcement regarding a new primary sponsor for the #99 Roush Racing Ford in 2005. The announcement will be made following the completion of Cup practice on Tuesday afternoon at approximately 5:20pm/et in the media center. There will also be an unveiling of the new paint scheme.(Roush Racing PR)....Office Depot?(1-8-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Office Depot, one of the world's leading resellers of office products and services, and Roush Racing announced today that Office Depot will sponsor Roush Racing's #99 Office Depot Ford Taurus driven by Carl Edwards in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race season. The sponsorship comes on the heels of Office Depot's new multi-year agreement with NASCAR to become the sport's first-ever Official Office Products Partner. Beginning with the Daytona 500 in February, Office Depot will be the primary sponsor of Roush Racing's #99 Office Depot Ford Taurus for a minimum of eight races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and an associate sponsor for the remaining races in the season. The Office Depot paint scheme, unveiled today during the first day of testing at Daytona International Speedway, will be featured on the #99 Office Depot Ford Taurus for the Daytona, Darlington, Chicago, California, Atlanta, Homestead, Texas and Bristol races. Just last week, Office Depot introduced its new multi-year agreement with NASCAR as the company's primary national sponsorship platform. The relationship with NASCAR is also a central component of Office Depot's new Taking Care of Business brand positioning and advertising campaign. Office Depot will link its entry into the 2005 NEXTEL series and its alliance with NASCAR through aggressive marketing efforts on the local and national level, leveraging the association with NASCAR to reach out to its core audience of business customers. Office Depot's NASCAR agreement includes category exclusivity in NASCAR's Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series. Activation plans include a large-scale national promotion, advertising campaign, merchandising, signage and sales events. Further, Office Depot will utilize the proprietary tagline "Where NASCAR Stops for Office Products" in the company's more than 900 retail stores and online. In addition, Office Depot plans to launch a national advertising campaign featuring Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Taurus. The company will also support an upcoming NASCAR diversity initiative, as NASCAR is the fastest-growing sport among African-Americans and Hispanics, according to independent research.(Roush Racing PR/Site), more about Office Depot at officedepot.com, see an image of the car at the Roush Racing site or on my #99 Team Schemes page..(1-11-2005)

    • Terry Labonte Announces 2005 Race Schedule: NASCAR veteran Terry Labonte, who in October announced plans to drive partial schedules with Hendrick Motorsports in 2005 and 2006, laid out his calendar for the upcoming NEXTEL Cup Series season. Driving a Kellogg's-sponsored #44 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the two-time Cup Series champion will kick off the first leg of his "Shifting Gears -- Lone Star Style" tour Feb. 27 at California Speedway. Entering his 27th year of NASCAR competition, Labonte, 48, will compete at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 3, followed by the first of two Texas Motor Speedway appearances April 17. He will also enter a pair of races -- the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the Memorial Day-weekend 600-miler -- at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. The June 12 event at Pocono Raceway will kick off the second half of the 10-race slate, prior to dates at Chicagoland Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Labonte's 2005 season-finale will come Nov. 6 at Texas.(Terrylabonte.net)(1-11-2005)

    • Pepper nominated for award: Nominations for the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding performances in 2004 in five film and eight primetime television categories were announced in Los Angeles at the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater. Screen Actors Guild will honor its own at its 11th Annual Awards ceremonies on Saturday, February 5, at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center, televised nationally on Turner Network Television (TNT) at 8:00pm/et. SO....why is this on a NASCAR page? Barry Pepper was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for his role as Dale Earnhardt in ESPN's movie '3'. Other nominee's are:
      Jamie Foxx / REDEMPTION - Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams - F/X
      William H. Macy / THE WOOL CAP - Gigot - TNT
      Barry Pepper / 3: THE DALE EARNHARDT STORY - Dale Earnhardt - ESPN
      Geoffrey Rush / THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS - Peter Sellers - HBO
      Jon Voight / MITCH ALBOM’S THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN - Eddie - ABC.(sagawards.com), past news on many NASCAR/Racin movies on my Racing Movies page.(1-11-2005)

    • Charger the new Dodge in NASCAR - official - image links: after months of rumors and news reports, the official PR: After almost 30 years, the legendary Dodge Charger race car will roar again in 2005 as Dodge Motorsports revealed its modern-era version of the Charger for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series here today. Riding the waves of Dodge's success in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing since returning to the sport in 2001, the new Dodge Charger race car will make its NASCAR Nextel Cub Series debut in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 20. Four Dodge factory-backed teams, including 10 drivers, will compete in the Daytona 500. "Racing is the core of Dodge's DNA, and we're excited to bring back a car that has an accomplished and heralded record as the Dodge Charger," said Darryl Jackson, Vice President - Dodge Marketing. "The Dodge Charger is firmly woven into the all-American culture and heritage of stock car racing. The all-new Dodge Charger will exhibit a modern upgrade to the same kind of power, performance and style that it represented throughout its gloried stock car history." The newly designed 2005 Dodge Charger race car represents Dodge Motorsports' modern-day foundation in powerful performance and technical innovation, while retaining original design cues of the baby blue #43 STP Dodge Charger that racing legend Richard Petty made famous in the 1970s.
      "When the 2005 Dodge Charger race car hits the track in February for its first race, Dodge will be prepared to carry the winning tradition that legends including David Pearson, Bobby Isaac and Richard Petty established with their Chargers in the '60s and '70s," said John Fernandez, Director, Dodge Motorsports Operations. "Today's Dodge racing heroes will make the Charger famous again.
      "Dodge has an incredible heritage in auto racing, and the return of the Dodge Charger makes the statement that we will continue to make our mark in NASCAR's history books," Fernandez added. "The new Charger is a natural evolution for the Dodge brand that has our NASCAR Nextel Cup teams energized and eager to start the 2005 season." The Dodge Charger for NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition features the same bold styling, signature grille and powerful performance found throughout the Dodge lineup. It takes its design cues from the new Dodge Charger production vehicle with its crosshair front grille, bold rear fascia and signature rear side windows.
      The development of the race car was led by Dodge Motorsports Engineering with the support of each of Dodge's primary Nextel Cup Series teams: Evernham Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Penske Racing South. Much of the on-track testing was done by veteran driver Bill Elliott. NASCAR approved the race car for competition in August. "While we worked within NASCAR's templates, we found innovative ways to build great horsepower and aerodynamic performance into the Charger," said Ray Evernham, President and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "We are looking forward to putting the Dodge Charger in the winner's circle of the 2005 Daytona 500."(Clear!Blue PR) see past news on my Dodge News page and some images on the 2005 Cup Schemes page, the #9 Team Schemes page and the #12 Team Schemes page.(1-11-2005)

    • NASCAR VP Bolts for the NBA: Brett Yormark, NASCAR vice president of corporate marketing, has submitted his resignation to the sanctioning body and will soon be announced as the chief executive officer of the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Not only did Yormark develop NASCAR's New York marketing office over the last six years, he was instrumental in closing the deal that made Nextel the title sponsor of NASCAR's premier series. Yormark returns to the Nets where he began his sports marketing career as an account executive in 1988.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(1-11-2005)

    • Site Stepping Up: The Cup Scene Daily, (www.cupscene.com), the worlds first daily e-newspaper devoted exclusively to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing [well..... not quite true as we have Stockcarfans.com, NASCAR Scene and MotorSportsNews.Net and Racin' News -n- Views who have had daily email newsletters for years], has announced plans for a bold new National Marketing campaign and revealed the intention to transition from internet to print by Q4 2005. “After five years the site has grown to the point that we are now prepared to make a statement on a National level,” said Greg Engle, editor in chief of the Cup Scene Daily and president of A&J Racing Enterprises Inc., parent company of the Cup Scene. As the first step in this plan, the Cup Scene will be onsite to cover the first round of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup testing at the Daytona International Speedway beginning this week. With a daily “blog” as well as audio reports from the “World Center of Racing”, the Cup Scene Daily will provide coverage to its readers unprecedented in the five-year history of the publication.(PRWEB)(1-11-2005)

    • Gordon fastest in Tuesday's AM Practice and repeats in PM, LaJoie and Said at the top: #24-Jeff Gordon was fastest in the morning testing session at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 [Feb. 20th] with a speed of 185.265mph, followed by #36-Boris Said at 185.181, #19-Jeremy Mayfield at 184.506, #16-Greg Biffle at 184.430 and #97-Kurt Busch at 184.419. Slowest of the 26 was #92-Jeff Fuller at 176.585. Some drivers in different ride: Mike Skinner tested the #23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge, Jeff Fuller was in the #92 Chevy, Mike McLaughlin tested the #20 Chevy for Tony Stewart. 26 drivers ran the early session. There are 12 Chevy's [3 in top 10], 8 Dodge's [2] and 6 Ford's [5]. No speeds listed for #9-Kahne or #49-Schrader, who are odd number owners points. #19-Mayfield and #9-Kahne switched as Kahne is tire testing at Atlanta. Been asked me why #29 Harvick is not testing, he is not scheduled until next week as his team finished in an even points [14th] position in owners points.
      Afternoon: #24-Jeff Gordon was once again fastest in Tuesday's afternoon session with a speed of 185.448, followed by #98-Randy LaJoie at 185.231; #36-Boris Said at 184.642, #38-Elliott Sadler at 184.604 and #16-Greg Biffle at 184.456. The fastest Dodge Charger was #19-Jeremy Mayfield who was 7th, Ganassi's two teams were very slow. More testing on my 2005 Testing page.(1-11-2005)

    • Burton wants more drafting testing: With the first Nextel Cup test session underway at Daytona, the emphasis, as usual, is for the two laps of qualifying for the 500. By next week Jeff Burton would like to change that. He's been "politicing" other drivers to join his "drafting" party. "I think it's a complete waste of time to go down there and run two laps at a time all by yourself. I was on the phone yesterday with Mark martin saying the heck with this running one and two laps at a time. Let's go down there and draft. We only get like two hours of practice before the 150's this year where before we had much more so I think it's really gonna be important to get some drafting practice in".(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(1-11-2005)

    • Nadeau talks about the future UPDATE: More than 18 months after the crash that nearly took his life, Jerry Nadeau told MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody that he is not sure he will ever return to the cockpit. "I can't find the fire I used to have," said Nadeau, "and I'm getting sick of waiting for that light switch to turn on in my brain. My doctors say it could take another year for me to get everything back that I'm going to get, and while I feel like I'm getting better every day, I'm starting to face the fact that I might not be able to race for a living anymore.
      "I bumped my head pretty good in that wreck, and the doctors say if it happens again, I might not wake up this time. I'm not sure I want to take that chance. I have an 18-month old daughter now, and the last year and a half has given me a healthy dose of the big picture. When I laid in that hospital bed in a coma for three weeks, my race car never came to visit me. My family was there, and my friends. I know how it hurt them to watch me those three weeks, and I'm not sure I want to take a chance on putting them through that ever again.
      "I haven't made a decision yet, and I'm still acting like I'm coming back. I go to the gym every other day, I practice on the simulator...the whole deal. But a part of me is starting to feel like, `if it hasn't happened yet, it's not going to happen. Maybe it's time to move on.' I'm not getting any younger, and with the way this sport is going, I'm not sure the opportunities will be there for me in another year.
      "I would love to find a way to work with young racers, maybe as part of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Program," said Nadeau. "I would love to spot for someone, or work as a pit reporter. I have also enjoyed speaking to groups about what I went through in racing; both the good and the bad. I feel like I still have something to offer, whether I ever drive again or not."(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(12-29-2004)
      UPDATE: Since it's now unlikely he'll ever fully recover from his May 2003 wreck at Richmond, injured Nextel Cup driver Jerry Nadeau is trying to find another way to stay involved in the sport. Last week he met with NASCAR's Jim Hunter and Don Hawke about finding work within their organization. Nadeau followed that up by talking with the sanctioning body's president Mike Helton while in Winston-Salem Saturday for the Fitness 500 to benefit the Brenner Children's Hospital. "I don't have a very positive outlook on my future in racing. I don't feel like I'm getting much better so I've gotta figure out what am I gonna do with the rest of my life. I've gotta make payments on my house and building . You know you make good money in racing but the sad thing about it is I wasn't in it long enough to make a whole bunch.".(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show), past news on Nadeau on my #01-Nadeau page.(1-11-2005)

    • Rusty's Crew Intact: Rusty's Miller Lite "Over-the-Wall Gang" completely intact for the 2005 season: "Did you see those guys during the last three races last year - they were just incredible," said Rusty of the pit crew assembled by crew chief Larry Carter. "We had eight stops well down in the 13s (13-second bracket), a couple even in the 12s (12-second bracket) and they were so consistent. We didn't lose a single guy during the off-season and they're already getting practiced up for this year. They've all continued a pretty rigorous training schedule right on through the winter and Larry says he guarantees they'll be even better in 2005 than they were in 2004. I can't wait to see my guys back in action this season." (Wallace's pit crew members include rear tire changer Donald (D.J.) Richardson, front tire changer Jay Hackney, jackman Dave Cox, gasman Doug Ingold, rear tire carrier Andy Brown, front tire carrier Dave Littau and gas catch man Nick Giambruno.) "The neat thing about our group of guys is that they all get along so well and they love working with each other. They are constantly challenging each other to get even better, but if one guy makes a mistake, they'll all rally around him and get him right back in the swing of things. It's truly a team effort and my hat's off to Larry for putting together such an iron-clad bunch like we have."(Tom Roberts PR)(1-11-2005)

    • Penske Racing moving into their new digs: Penske Racing South is currently busy moving into its new home at 200 Penske Way in Mooresville, N.C. While many divisions of the race team have already moved, the #12 ALLTEL team looks to be completely and permanently housed in the new facility following the 2005 Daytona 500.(Penske Racing PR)(1-11-2005)

    • Stetson University pays tribute to the Rev. Hal Marchman: To honor the life’s work and community ministry of the Rev. Hal Marchman, Stetson University is establishing a professorship to be funded with a $2 million endowment – the largest ever for an endowed chair at Stetson. Daytona Beach businessman J. Hyatt Brown and his wife, Cici Brown, are making the lead gift to Stetson for the new Hal S. Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility. The university will raise additional money to complete the $2 million endowment. The idea of a Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility was inspired by Marchman, the longtime Daytona International Speedway chaplain who is known for his nationally televised prayers before NASCAR races. Marchman has given the invocation before every Daytona 500 since it started in 1962 and plans to be there again in February. For many years, he stayed at the track’s infield care center during races to help families and pit crews in case a driver was injured, and he has close ties with the racing community. Both Marchman and his wife, Mary Mathis Marchman, graduated from Stetson, and he served for nine years on the Board of Trustees. The couple lives in Holly Hill.(more and to to make a contributionssee go to: stetson.edu)(1-11-2005)

    • NASCAR License Special Truck: NASCAR has signed a multiyear licensing contract giving American Specialty Trucks of Danielsville, Ga., the right to design the officially licensed truck of NASCAR, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. The company has the rights to customize Ford F-150 trucks, which are the sanctioning body's "official truck," with NASCAR logos and emblems. The company plans to design 5,000 of the trucks, which will be available in black or white and will cost $9,000 to $10,000 more than the dealership ticket price. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-11-2005)

    • Herbie's NASCAR Movie opens June 3rd: Lindsay Lohan has a new co-star: Herbie, the Volkswagen Beetle. Lohan stars in the forthcoming movie, "Herbie: Fully Loaded," due in theatres June 3. The film takes place in the world of NASCAR, and Lohan plays Maggie Peyton, a racer and the new owner of the magical Volkswagen. "Herbie: Fully Loaded" also stars Matt Dillon, Michael Keaton, Breckin Meyer and Justin Long [and some NASCAR Drivers have cameos](netmusiccountdown.com) see more about the Herbie movie and other NASCAR Movies on my NASCAR Movie News page.(1-11-2005)


      News from January 10, 2005

    • LaJoie in the #98 for 2005: MACH 1 announced today that they have signed NASCAR veteran and two time Busch Series Champion Randy Lajoie to drive the #98 for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season. "I am extremely pleased to have Randy officially join our team. He ran the last three races of 2004 with us. Randy & I continued to talk during the off-season concerning the direction of MACH 1 and his goals as a driver. He expressed interest in a full time Cup ride and I was searching for a quality driver to put in the seat. I'm glad it worked out for both of us. This is our second year in the Cup series, Randy's experience in our sport will add immediate value to our entire organization" stated team owner Chris Edwards. "I'm looking forward to getting into the #98. I've been in this business for some time now and one thing is for sure, you never stop learning. The rule changes are constant so you have to stay on top of your game to be competitive. I'm excited that this comes only two weeks after my full time Busch Series ride announcement was made. I hope that what I learn in the Busch car will transfer over to my Cup ride. Any additional time on the track does nothing but help me as a driver. I'm focused on becoming a better driver and helping MACH 1 become competitive and succeed in the NEXTEL Cup Series," stated Lajoie. LaJoie will be testing the #98 this week in Daytona as part of the first of two weeks for testing the NEXTEL Cup cars. MACH 1 continues to search for sponsorship both from a primary and associate level.(MACH 1 PR)(1-10-2005)

    • Charter to be a sponsor on the #16: Charter Communications announced an expansion of its NASCAR profile for the 2005 season with sponsorships in both the Nextel Cup Series and the Busch Series. Charter will once again sponsor a full Busch Series slate with the #60 Charter Ford Taurus. The Company will also serve as an associate sponsor for the #16 National Guard car in Nextel Cup Series races. Both sponsorships are in affiliation with Roush Racing, the team that's been home to the Nextel Cup Series Champion for the last two seasons. As an associate sponsor for the #16 National Guard Ford, to be driven again by Greg Biffle, Charter will have its logo prominently featured on the car and on driver and crew uniforms throughout the season. For a handful of races in key Charter markets, the #16 will feature a dedicated Charter paint scheme as Biffle looks to build on a successful 2004 campaign, in which he won two Nextel Cup Series races and became the first NASCAR driver to ever race full seasons in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series in the same year. With Biffle cutting back on his Busch Series schedule in 2005, relative newcomer Carl Edwards will drive the #60 Charter Ford Taurus. In 2004 Edwards finished fourth in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings and took home five top-10 finishes in his 13 Nextel Cup starts, including a third-place effort at Atlanta Motor Speedway. More information about Charter can be found at www.charter.com. (Roush Racing PR)(1-10-2005)

    • Some Crew Changes: Chief engineer Chad Walters is the latest to defect from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Walters, who worked with former Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Gary DeHart on Terry Labonte's #5, will bring his expertise back to Hendrick and the #5, which will be driven by Kyle Busch. Ed Young, who was the shop foreman for Matt Kenseth's #17 team, has left Roush Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing. Justin Nottestad, who also is Kenseth's front tire changer, will take over Young's duties.(FoxSports)(1-10-2005)

    • So..what is up with Hall of Fame racing: been a while since we have heard about the Hall of Fame Racing team with form Dallas Cowboy QB's Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman starting a NASCAR team, from Aikman's site:
      "Hall of Fame Racing is still moving forward although suffering some set backs and tragedies. Our alliance partner and friend Rick Hendrick and his family have suffered an unimaginable loss of family and friends with the crash of a team airplane. Our thoughts and prayers are constantly with everyone in the Hendrick family. Our team attracted a world class sponsor in 2004 and we thought we would be on the track in 2005. We then found out that our sponsor would be prohibited from participating in NASCAR because of a conflict with the Nextel sponsorship of the Cup series. We were extremely disappointed but understand the position of Nextel. We feel our associate sponsorship is relatively assured if we can secure our primary sponsor. The cost of racing these days is not insignificant and there are just so many companies which can make the kind of expenditure necessary to be a primary sponsor. We are in talks with several organizations and expect to have something secured for the 2006 season. Hall of Fame Racing is committed to entering the sport with enough money to compete at the highest level. For that reason we won’t cut corners or try and do a half way program. There is a possibility of us entering the Busch series first. The team is working hard on making our collective goal a reality. We just need a few bounces of the ball in our favor. We’ll keep you posted with our progress."(Aikman.com site)(1-10-2005)

    • Good Point by Larry Mac - Daytona 500 lineup?: In the past, the Twin 125 [now the Gatorade Duel] results dictated how the field started in the Daytona 500. The top 15 finishers from the Twin 125's — excluding the front row — made up positions two through 30. Then the eight fastest speeds that did not make it through the Twins made up positions 31 through 38. The final five positions were filled by provisionals. With the top 35 drivers in 2004 owner points locked into the field this year, NASCAR has not determined how many drivers they advance from the Duel races into the Daytona 500. Following the same procedure they used to come up with the Chase for the Championship format, NASCAR is looking at the last 10 or 15 years to make sure they don't paint themselves in a box with the Duel qualifying races on Feb. 17th.(FoxSports)(1-10-2005)

    • You will see Dale Jr. on TV in 2005: It's an incredibly busy month for Dale Jr... Between test sessions, he is becoming tan from all of the klieg lights and flashbulbs. At last count, Junior will appear in 891 different TV commercials in 2005 [actually told this is a 'tongue-in-cheek' statement. just meaning Dale Jr. will be in many commercials, no exact count has been made].(fingerprint inc)(1-10-2005)

    • Wally at the Rolex 24 at Daytona: After a successful test in December, NASCAR Busch Series racer and NBC Broadcaster Wally Dallenbach is poised for victory in the 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Piloting the #74 74 Ranch Auto Racing Riley/Lexus, Dallenbach will be reunited with his driving team from almost ten years ago, co-drivers Paul Dallenbach, Johnny Unser and team owner/co-driver George Robinson. The race begins on Saturday February 5, 2005 and goes through Sunday, February 6, to be broadcast live on Speed Channel. "There looks to be quite a field shaping up for this year's race," said Dallenbach, who has competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona more than ten times. "It should be a lot of fun out there, and I cannot wait to race at Daytona with my brother Paul and good friends John and George in the #74 Riley/Lexus." Many NASCAR fans know of Wally Dallenbach as a NASCAR stock car pilot and NBC Sports commentator. What they may not remember is that Dallenbach is one of the premier road-racing experts in the U.S., bringing a wealth of experience and an engineer's sense of precision to road courses. "Road racing is my first love," said Dallenbach. "I've had a lot of success on road courses in IMSA, Trans-Am and NASCAR, but I'm always looking to add another trophy to the mantle." Dallenbach's racing career spans more than 20 years with more than 300 starts in series including NASCAR Nextel Cup, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck, IMSA GTS and GTU, and SCCA Trans-Am. He has driven and performed well for some of the biggest names in US racing, including Jack Roush and Rick Hendrick.(Motorsports Management PR)(1-10-2005)



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