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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JAN 17-23, 2005


      News from January 23, 2005

    • Sacks/Rabbe split: Greg Sacks and Ed Raabe Jr. joined forces last summer to form [#13] Daytona Racing Inc. with primary sponsorship from Arc Dehooker, a product that safely removes a hook from fish and other wildlife. Sacks competed in a handful of races in the #13 Daytona Racing Dodge, some nice, hand-me-down cars from the Evernham Motorsports stable. Last week in the second round of Nextel Cup testing, Sacks rolled into Daytona International Speedway in the #13 Dodge while Raabe was positioned at the other end of the garage with the #73 Chevrolet. The #73 was decaled with Arc Dehooker decals while Sacks' machine was without sponsorship. Raabe remains as 45 percent owner, actually the trustee of the owner, of the #13 Daytona Speed Inc. racing team but has no plans to be actively involved with the Sacks effort. "We fulfilled our financial obligations with Daytona Speed," Raabe said. But Sacks sees it differently. He said the deal he struck with Raabe last year was plain and simple -- Sacks would run the race team and Raabe would be responsible for marketing and sponsorships. Arc Dehooker, the company is owned by Shawn Dick and his wife, Chris Raabe, who are setting up a new office in Raabe Racing Enterprises, a race shop off of Mason Avenue [Daytona]. Chris Raabe is Ed Raabe's daughter. Sacks said he will press forward. He will take delivery of two more Ray Evernham Dodges this week. His two sons, Paul and Brian, have come to town to help. Sacks said this turn of events caught him completely flat-footed early last week. He was a day late to testing because of the Raabe pullout. "We didn't get here until the second day of testing, again the product of being double-crossed by my partner," Sacks said. "That put us behind the 8-ball." Sacks said if does not get sponsor satisfaction, this union, which started at Daytona Speedway, could spill into a Daytona courthouse. Meanwhile, Raabe plans to house the #73 Chevy in a local shop and run young McClure for Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year honors. As for Sacks, Raabe said, "I wish him the best. I'd like to see a financial return on our investment with that team. My focus is on the #73 car under Raabe Racing Enterprises."(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-23-2005)

    • Gaughan and 2nd PPI team? UPDATE 2: hearing former #77 Cup driver [and current #77 Truck Series driver] Brendan Gaughan may be running a 2nd PPI Motorsports Nextel Cup team [#96?], not sure if full-time or limited schedule. PPI Motorsports currently fields the #32 Tide Chevy for Bobby Hamilton Jr.(1-18-2005)
      UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan would neither confirm nor deny a published report that he is close to signing a deal that would have him running the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season in a second PPI Motorsports Chevrolet. PPI, which is owned by Cal Wells, fields the No. 32 Chevy for Bobby Hamilton Jr. Gaughan only said that he is committed to running 18 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races -- including all that are companion events on Nextel Cup weekends -- in the #77 Orleans Racing Dodge. Steve Park will return to the Las Vegas-based team this season and drive the #62 Dodge in all 25 races. Gaughan reiterated last weekend during truck testing at Daytona International Speedway that he had not ruled out the possibility of also competing in the Nextel Cup Series this season. "I may be looking at a few things (in Nextel Cup)," Gaughan said. "There's talk about a lot of things. I let everybody talk. I listen to all the deals. You never know what might be there. A lot of people have called and expressed some interest (and) I've called a few people and expressed interest. I'm fortunate right now that people look at my last season and think something else had to be wrong besides the driver. My sponsor thinks that and a lot of teams think that. I'm at a point in my life where I can kind of do it like I want and right now I want to come run 18 truck races with my Orleans guys."(Las Vegas Sun)(1-22-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Defending Grand American Rolex Series Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Papis has become a fixture around NASCAR garage areas, and has even tested cars for owner Ray Evernham, among others. Last week at Daytona, Papis said he had established a relationship with owner Cal Wells, and Thursday Wells confirmed he'd love to put a program together for the personable Italian. "I'd love to run him in the two road course races," Wells said of the driver who was named to the 12-man field for the IROC Series on Wednesday. Wells also said that, despite rumors to the contrary, he was not ready to announce any definite plans for the second Nextel Cup team he has been attempting to launch since last season. "When the economy is right, the performance hasn't been there," Wells said. "But I think Bobby (Hamilton Jr.) and Harold (Holly, crew chief) will bring that."(NASCAR.com)(1-23-2005)


      News from January 22, 2005

    • Raceline adds more affiliates: Raceline, the nation's only 30-minute syndicated television program covering NASCAR Racing, is proud to announce several additions to its growing family of affiliates and networks for the 2005 season. These additions include:
      · C-SET, all sports programming serving North & South Carolina with 1.0 million households.
      · Comcast Local in Michigan serving 1.3 million households.
      · Comcast SPORTSNET West in California serving 2.2 million households.
      · Comcast SPORTSNET Chicago serving 1.6 million households.
      · COX Sports New England in Rhode Island & Connecticut serving 450,000 households.
      · Gulf South COX in New Orleans serving 1 million households.
      Along with Raceline's previous affiliates and networks, including several prominent FOX affiliates, the show is now in approximately 75 million homes nationwide. The show is also available to our troops overseas and worldwide via the American Forces Network.
      Raceline, hosted by MRN Radio anchor Joe Moore, began production in 1993 as a local racing show serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Now entering its 12th year of production, Raceline is the longest running racing program of its kind on the air today. Raceline is also the only weekly racing program that runs 52 weeks a year, covering all off-season events. In addition, Raceline would like to extend a welcome to Ford Motor Company, their newest sponsor for the 2005 season. They would also like to welcome back Mechanix Wear, their longest-running major sponsor. To find a Raceline affiliate in your area, check local listings or go to www.racelineonline.com. To get Raceline in your area, contact your local cable provider.(PR)(1-22-2005)

    • #98 switches to #34: Denver, NC based MACH 1, Inc announced today that they have officially changed their car number for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. MACH 1 ran the #98 in 2004, they will display #34 as their car number in 2005. The team was issued #198 last year by NASCAR. The team ran into logistical issues when the owner of the #98, Winston Cup Champion Bill Elliott competed in Cup races where MACH 1 was also entered. MACH 1 ran the #96 at races where Elliott entered his car. "The change between #98 and #96 confused a lot of folks last year. I received questions from friends, sponsors and even officials when we had to switch numbers. I'm glad we don't have to deal with that issue this year. NASCAR has already transferred my owner points from last year over to #34," stated team owner Chris Edwards. MACH 1 remained in the top 10 on the speed chart at the conclusion of NASCAR Preseason Thunder test for the Cup teams at Daytona. Randy LaJoie posted a lap of 48.588 seconds, for 185.231 mph securing the seventh best time out of the 54 teams who tested. Chris Edwards commented "We made a number of changes during the off season in an effort to improve our program. I'm encouraged with the results I have seen, especially around our test session at Daytona".(MACH 1 PR)(1-22-2005)

    • Benny to be honored: NASCAR champion Benny Parsons, Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva and LeMans 24-Hour king Hurley Haywood will lead a group of nine racing greats into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America annual induction ceremony Aug. 18 at the State Theatre in Detroit. Parsons, Sneva and Haywood will be enshrined along with drag racer Tommy Ivo, motorcyclist Jay Springsteen, powerboat racer Danny Foster, car owners/builders John Holman and Ralph Moody and 1952 Indy 500 winner Troy Ruttman. The Class of 2005 will join the 126 racers already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, located in Novi. Currently a NASCAR analyst on NBC, Parsons won the 1975 Daytona 500 and the 1980 Coca-Cola 600, as well as 19 other Winston Cup races. Tickets for the induction ceremony are available by calling 800-250-7223.(Detroit Free Press)(1-22-2005)


      News from January 21, 2005

    • Pit Road Speed to be electronically timed: Nextel Cup Series director John Darby says hardware for the pit road speeding system is being installed at racetracks and NASCAR hopes to have software perfected in time to use it at the Feb. 20 Daytona 500. NASCAR enforces speed limits on pit road to help protect crewmembers from being hit by cars. Teams have complained that the old monitoring system, which involved officials timing cars by hand with stopwatches, led to inconsistent and inaccurate enforcement. Darby says there wasn't anything wrong with the old system but NASCAR is changing at the teams' request. Under the old system, Darby says, officials had discretion to not penalize drivers who might have sped on pit road, for example, to avoid an accident. But with electronic monitoring, Darby says, officials have no choice but to make speeding penalties black and white, regardless of the circumstances.(USA Today)(1-21-2005)

    • Back-to-back champs: Only nine drivers have won back-to-back Cup championships. They are Buck [not Buddy] Baker (1956-57), Lee Petty (1958-59), Joe Weatherly (1962-63), David Pearson (1968-69), Richard Petty (1971-72 & ‘74-75), Cale Yarborough (1976, 77, 78), Darrell Waltrip (1981- 82), Dale Earnhardt (1986-87, ‘90-91, ‘93-94) and Jeff Gordon 1997-98)(Caledonian Record)(1-21-2005)

    • Childress Team Member Leaves: NASCAR's controversial decision to allow liquor sponsorships has caused a popular personality in the garages to quit because of his religious convictions. David Smith, a former crew chief for the late Dale Earnhardt and team manager and pit crew coach for Richard Childress Racing, told Childress during the offseason that he couldn't work on a car backed by a liquor company. Last season, Childress teams were sponsored by AOL, Cingular and Goodwrench. When AOL dropped out, Jack Daniels took the spot. "The absolute hardest part of this deal was to tell Richard that I was leaving after 25 years," said Smith, who in four decades has been a six-time all-pro jackman. I had a great job, the best anybody could ask for. I may never have a job as great as that again, but I'll have peace of mind from knowing that what I did was the right thing to do. That's worth more than money." Liquor sponsors Jack Daniel's, Jim Beam and Crown Royal will be prominent throughout the sport this season. Smith said his decision actually was made years ago when he gave up his wayward ways to become a Christian. "I trusted the Lord with my life, and He changed it around for me," Smith said. "I went to work for Richard in 1979 and told him when I went there that I'd work for him as long as he didn't have an alcohol or dirty magazine or gambling sponsorship on his car. And he was OK with that." Dave Blaney, who drives the #07 [RCR Chevy] sponsored by Jack Daniel's, said he's not much of a drinker, but he's proud to be associated with his sponsor. Childress said that although he and Smith are on different sides of the liquor issue he still respects him highly. "I've admired David Smith for years," Childress said. "I've always said I wish I could have been as strong a man as he was many, many years ago."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(1-21-2005)

    • Schrader to test at Talladega: Afterward racing at this year's six-race Early Thaw circuit at Central Arizona Speedway in Arizona, #49-Ken Schrader, will hit the highway toward Talladega, Ala., where his team will drop him off for testing early next week. A few days later, he'll return to the Valley for the Copper World Classic, where he will drive in two of the four scheduled races (NASCAR West and Southwest Series). Then, it's off to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and California Speedway for more testing.(Arizona Republic)
      PLUS he WINS: One of the nation's busiest dirt late model racers during the short winter break that he gets from his NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule and the owner of his own dirt track, Missouri's Ken Schrader led the final 28 laps Thursday night as he scored a $3000 win in round four of the six race, $140,000 Early Thaw Speedweek at Central Arizona Raceway.(latemodelracer.com)(1-21-2005)

    • Rusty's plans? Drivers Pension and possible run in Rolex at Daytona: There are two other items on #2-Rusty Wallace's agenda. He wants to spark interest in a pension plan for NASCAR drivers. It's an idea he said he, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon floated about five years ago but was shunted aside by Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500. He also wants to run the 2006 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race.(Florida Today)(1-21-2005)
      AND Entering his final season in Nextel Cup, Rusty Wallace is calling on NASCAR officials to establish a pension plan for drivers similar to those provided to athletes in other professional sports leagues. NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter says officials would look into a pension system if the "right plan" came along. But Hunter notes drivers are "independent contractors" working for teams, not for NASCAR — so any plan would need to be supported financially by team owners as well as NASCAR.(USA Today)(1-21-2005)

    • 4th season the magic number? The past three Cup champions - #97-Kurt Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth and #20-Tony Stewart - all won the title in their fourth season. This season will be #48-Jimmie Johnson’s fourth.(Caledonian Record)(1-21-2005)

    • Rusty and Ryan still not talking UPDATE: #2-Rusty Wallace, 48, and #12-Ryan Newman, 27, had a falling out last fall at Martinsville Speedway. They haven't talked about it since, and the animosity between them has festered. Their strained relationship is generating a fair amount of banter and media attention during Daytona testing. During a Dodge dinner Tuesday night, Wallace was asked if he received a Christmas present from Newman. He laughed, raised an eye and gave a definite ``no.'' A week earlier, Newman was asked how things are going with Wallace. ``We're just peachy,'' he said wryly.(more at the Tampa Tribune)(1-20-2005)
      UPDATE: Rusty Wallace said he's planning a meeting with teammate Ryan Newman "to defuse" things before the season starts. Newman and Wallace had some run-ins last season, most notably at Martinsville. "What I want is respect," Wallace said. Wallace is a part-owner of the Penske South team.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-21-2005)

    • Best Western: RaceFan Rate: Best Western International, the Official Hotel of NASCAR, celebrates the start of the 2005 season next month by dropping the green flag on its new RaceFan Rate. Beginning February 1, customers will be able to take advantage of this select year-round rate at Best Western hotels throughout North America by visiting www.bestwesternracing.com and entering "RaceFan" in the promotion code box, or by calling 1-800-WESTERN and asking for the RaceFan Rate. To celebrate its premiere, Best Western is providing race devotees with another special offer. Guests who stay twice at the RaceFan Rate between February 1 and April 30, 2005, will earn 1,200 bonus points in the chain's Speed Rewards loyalty program - enough to redeem a free night stay or a $50 gift certificate to the NASCAR.com Superstore. Best Western is currently in the second year of a three-year agreement as the Official Hotel of NASCAR. The company also serves as an associate sponsor of driver Michael Waltrip and the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #15 NAPA Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.(Best Western PR)(1-21-2005)

    • More on Honda and NASCAR: Honda racing officials haven't said anything officially about a NASCAR effort, but the company's debut of a pickup truck at last week's Detroit auto show has sparked considerable interest. The Honda Ridgeline truck will be for sale this spring, as a 2006 model, with the company expecting to sell about 50,000 this year. The pickup will be built at Honda's plant in Ontario, Canada, and will have a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. NASCAR's new common-template rules would make it easy for Honda to put the machine in NASCAR's trucks series, if Honda comes up with a NASCAR-legal V-8.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-21-2005)

    • Racing Logistics, long known for providing unparalleled aviation charter services to NASCAR teams, announces its partnership with WorldTravel BTI, the world's second largest travel agency. WorldTravel BTI presently serves a majority of the Fortune 100 and 500 companies. The partnership will introduce a wide variety of services never before offered to the NASCAR industry. Aside from additional services that will be provided to the NASCAR teams, Racing Logistics and WorldTravel BTI will offer new services to agencies, sponsors and vendors that do business in the sport. Details of the partnership, new services and participant benefits were unveiled to the NASCAR community today at the Joe Gibbs Racing Auditorium. For more information on this exciting program and how it can benefit your team or agency, please call Racing Logistics at 704-664-9888.(PR)(1-21-2005)





      News from January 20, 2005

    • Kahne paces testing Thurs AM, Truex Jr. fastest in PM: in what looks like mostly drafting speeds, #9-Kasey Kahne was the fastest at 188.088mph, followed by #43-Jeff Green at 187.633, #39-Bill Elliott at 187.496, #31-Jeff Burton at 187.418 and #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. at 187.282.
      PM in the afternoon session, once again a mix of single car runs and drafting, the top five were: #1-Martin Truex Jr. 188.798 mph; #43-Jeff Green, 188.052; #2-Rusty Wallace, 187.931; #25-Brian Vickers,187.903; and #48-Jimmie Johnson, 187.805
      See all the speeds from each seassion, links and commulative single lap speeds on my Daytona 500 Testing News and Results page.(1-20-2005)

    • IROC 2005 UPDATE 2 the drivers: there will be an announcement at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, Jan. 19th to announce the 2005 IROC [International Race of Champions - www.irocracing.com] drivers and new paint schemes for the four race 2005 season. Expect 5-6 Nextel Cup drivers, the Busch Champ [Truex Jr.], Truck Series champ [Hamilton] a few IRL, WoO drivers nad maybe a surprise or two. The 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series will feature 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars. The 2005 driver field will consist of seven drivers who captured their respective series championship in 2004 [Busch, Truex Jr., Hamilton, Kanan, Kinser, Kenseth (IROC) and ?]. This year's Crown Royal IROC Series champion will take home a $1 million first-place purse. Also for info on 2004, see my 2004 IROC page.(1-17-2005)
      UPDATE the drivers: the following drivers will run the 2005 IROC Series:
      Matt Kenseth - NASCAR Nextel Cup (2004 Crown Royal IROC champion)
      Kurt Busch - NASCAR Nextel Cup (2004 Series champion)
      Mark Martin - NASCAR Nextel Cup (4-time Crown Royal IROC champion)
      Sebastien Bourdais - CHAMP CAR (2004 Series champion)
      Bobby Hamilton NASCAR - Craftsman Truck (2004 Series champion)
      Steve Kinser - World of Outlaws (2004 Series champion)
      Max Papis - Grand American Road Racing (2004 Series co-champion)
      Scott Pruett - Grand American Road Racing (2004 Series co-champion)
      Martin Truex Jr. - NASCAR Busch Series (2004 Series champion)
      Helio Castroneves - IRL IndyCar Series (2-time Indianapolis 500 champion)
      Buddy Rice - IRL IndyCar Series (2004 Indianapolis 500 champion)
      Danny Lasoski - World of Outlaws (2001 Series champion)(1-18-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) officials have announced the driver field for the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series. The invitational series will feature 12 champion drivers from different forms of auto racing, including seven drivers who won their respective series titles in 2004. The Crown Royal IROC Series will kick off its 29th season on Friday, February 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Following the season opener, the series will shift to Texas Motor Speedway (April 15), followed by Richmond International Raceway (September 8) and conclude at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (October 29).(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(1-19-2005)
      IMAGE: see an image of the 2005 IROC car on my 2005 Paint Schemes page.(1-20-2005)

    • RCR borrows Hendrick engine AND GM's idea - never made it on the track: [Richard] Childress [teams #07, #29, #31, #33] borrowed an engine from the Rick Hendrick team [#5,#24,#25,#48] for a few laps [at Daytona 500 testing], to see if the problem was engine or aerodynamics. The Hendrick engine provided more speed.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-20-2005)
      AND: What appeared to be a simple engine change caused quite a stir in the garage at Daytona. Crew members installed a Hendrick Motorsports engine into the #29 Chevrolet owned by Richard Childress Racing, which has its own engine shop. Childress said the experiment was initiated by General Motors, which supports both teams. Drivers using Hendrick engines have dominated preseason testing, and Childress' teams have struggled. Scott Riggs and Nemechek, using leased Hendrick engines, have been fastest on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The #29, driven this week by Kerry Earnhardt, who is filling in for Kevin Harvick, was 38th fastest Wednesday. The switch was not completed in time for Earnhardt to run a lap with the Hendrick engine. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
      AND II been told the motor wasn't borrowed but a program that we RCR is working on together with Hendrick to further develop the GM Engine and never made it on the track.(1-20-2005)

    • Sadler and Stewart test at Texas: #38-Elliott Sadler and #20-Tony Stewart completed two days of Goodyear tire testing preparing for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Sadler is the defending champion of the race. "This is one of my favorite tracks," said Sadler. "It is like an old jacket you put on, it just feels comfortable when you come here, drive up on pit road to go out on the track." The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will make its first of two 2005 appearances at Texas in the Samsung/RadioShack 500. Tickets are still available at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster locations.(TMS PR)(1-20-2005)

    • Update on the "engine of the future": NASCAR's "engine of the future" project may have hit another roadblock, according to Ford team owner Jack Roush, who says that fellow engine builder Doug Yates tells him NASCAR's plan would be a disaster for Ford teams. NASCAR will hold another planning meeting with Detroit executives next week to try to put some specific numbers on the 40 engine parameters NASCAR would like to pin down, to keep engine designers in a box. "I don't know what the latest iteration of the 'engine of the future' might be, but when Toyota came in (two years ago), they (NASCAR) gave Toyota more than they meant to," Roush said. "Toyota negotiated very well, and they basically obsoleted every other engine".(Winston Salem Journal), see past news on engines from last wekk on my Engine News page.(1-20-2005)

    • Jasper Engines on the #77 for four races: Jasper Engines & Transmissions will return as the primary sponsor of the #77 Dodge driven by Travis Kvapil for four races in 2005. The scheduled races for the Jasper car are: Texas (April), Dover (June), Chicago (July) and Atlanta (October).(RacingOne)(1-20-2005)

    • Some Ward News AND: have heard NOTHING about a Cup, Busch or Truck ride for Ward Burton, but this is posted on his website [wardburton.com]: Initial planning for a new TV outdoor show is underway - Ward is working with writer/producer Jason Thomas whose book on the life of Doris Duke, Too Rich, was made into the CBS miniseries Too Rich. The show will be an opportunity for Ward to share his love of nature with viewers of all ages.(1-19-2005)
      AND Jeff Burton's comments on brother Ward not having a ride: "Ward doesn't have a lot going on at the Cup level, and there's really nothing out there right now," Burton said. "Until some changes start happening - and things will start happening - there won't be a whole lot for him, unfortunately. But certainly he'll be on the top of the list when changes do start happening."(Winston Salem Journal)
      AND II Jeff Burton said his brother, Ward, does not have any firm racing plans for this season. "He's a capable driver," Burton says. "Unfortunately, he's gotten caught up in the fact that people want to hire 12-year-olds."(USA Today/AP)(1-20-2005)

    • Sad News: Longtime U.S. Auto Club official and local sports broadcaster Charles T. Brockman died Tuesday. He was 77. Brockman was USAC president from 1969-72 but held many positions in the organization over several decades. He graduated from Speedway High School and Purdue University's engineering school, but soon became involved in sports broadcasting. He worked for radio stations WXLW and WIRE and joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's radio announcing crew. He conducted the Indianapolis 500 winner's interview from 1954-59. He was sports director at WLWI-TV (which is now WTHR-13) during the 1960s, and also worked on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" program. Through his broadcasting work, he became a master of ceremonies for Indy 500 and USAC banquets from the late 1950s until he became USAC president. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Saturday at Conkle Funeral Home, 4925 W. 16th St. in Speedway, IN to be followed by a memorial service.(Indianapolis Star)(1-20-2005)

    • Lunch at DEI with Teresa: Teresa Earnhardt is donating her time to the Communities in Schools Networks to help raise funds through their Lunch with a Leader auction. People can bid to have lunch with celebrities and leaders in the entertainment, sports and business worlds. Teresa is listed in the Business Leaders section and you place your bid via www.lunchwithaleader.com starting on January 18 – February 11. The winning bidder will not only get to have lunch with Teresa in the renowned Trophy Room here at DEI, but it will also include a tour of the DEI race shops.(DEI Site), for more info to bid on lunch with Teresa or with Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Richard Petty....... see www.lunchwithaleader.com.(1-20-2005)

    • TSN (Canada) to Broadcast 20 Nextel Cup Races in 2005: Canadians will be able to see every 2005 Nextel Cup event via TSN, FOX or NBC – and every Craftsman Truck Event via SPEED Channel. The Sports Network (TSN), Canada's premier cable sports broadcaster, has released its 2005 schedule of NASCAR Nextel Cup event broadcasts. TSN will air 20 Nextel Cup race events this year. Their schedule will include some of the major races like the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte, the Pepsi 400 from Daytona, the Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis, the Sharpie 500 night race from Bristol, the UAW-GM Quality 500 from Charlotte, and the Ford 400 season finale from Homestead. More importantly, TSN will air every Nextel cup event which will be shown on the FX or TNT cable services in the U.S. Hence, with TSN filling in the gaps in the US network schedule, every 2005 Nextel Cup race, including the all three non-points events, will be available to Canadian cable or satellite subscribers. In addition, NASCAR has announced that the SPEED channel, which is available in Canada via cable or satellite service, will again provide broadcast coverage of every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.
      When it comes to the NASCAR Busch Series, things are not so rosy for Canadians. Of the 36 Busch Series races scheduled for 2005, only ten will be available via US-based networks. There will be five Busch Series races on each of FOX and NBC through the 2005 season. The remaining 26 races are scheduled to be aired on the cable-only FX and TNT services which are not available to Canadian residents. In 2004, the Rogers Sportsnet, a Canadian regional cable sports service, carried 18 Busch Series races, reducing the number of Busch Series races not seen in Canada to eight. Rogers Sportsnet has not yet announced its plans for the 2005 NASCAR season.(Race Fan TV)(1-20-2005)

    • #6 looking for a driver and sponsor for 2006: Since Mark Martin's sponsorship contract with Pfizer's Viagra is up at the end of this season, Roush and team president Geoff Smith are looking for both a new driver and a new sponsor. Carl Edwards was slated for that [#6 Ford] ride, but Edwards wound up in another Roush car when Jeff Burton left last summer to join Richard Childress. "We're hoping to get some of our associate sponsors to step up to a full car sponsorship," Smith said.(Winston Salem Journal)
      AND Martin's plans? Mar Martin still doesn't have firm plans for 2006, but he said they probably won't include a part-time Nextel Cup schedule. Martin, like Rusty Wallace, is doing a retirement tour this year. But he plans to continue racing in some capacity. ``I still say again that there are no plans for Nextel Cup racing for the obvious fact that if you really sit and analyze it, to have what you would call a short program or a limited program, you would also have to have limited people,'' Martin said. ``You couldn't possibly have the quality of car that I drive today, and I'm not going to do it like that. `I didn't say it never would happen for a lot of reasons. Someone could get injured. I'm not going to say never.'' Martin repeated his interest in the Craftsman Truck series, which is becoming something of a seniors circuit for NASCAR veterans.(Tampa Tribune)(1-20-2005)


      News from January 19, 2005

    • Elliott and Ganassi? UPDATE 3: hearing Bill Elliott will run a limited schedule in a Ganassi Racing Dodge with a retro paint scheme, 1985 Coor's.(1-17-2005)
      UPDATE: hear the first race could be the Daytona 500.(1-18-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Team owner Ray Evernham has given semi-retired veteran driver Bill Elliott permission to run the Feb. 12 Budweiser Shootout all-star race for a rival NASCAR Nextel Cup team, Chip Ganassi Racing. The Ganassi team had no official comment but has scheduled a news conference for today at Daytona International Speedway, where NASCAR teams are testing in preparation for the Feb. 20 Daytona 500. Evernham said Elliott's decision to drive for another team doesn't signal any sort of rift between the veteran driver and Evernham Motorsports. Evernham hired Elliott after leaving his job as Jeff Gordon's crew chief to field his own team and prepare for Dodge's return to NASCAR during the 2001 season. Elliott is scheduled to run between 10 and 12 races in a third Evernham [#91] car this season, with sponsorship from Stanley Tools [and Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper]. "We don't have Bill locked-in (exclusively) or anything — he's sort of free to do what he wants," Evernham said. However, Evernham added he "would prefer" that Elliott limit his association with Ganassi to only one race.(USA Today)(1-19-2005)
      UPDATE 3 - Official: Coors Brewing Company will take a trip down memory lane during the Shootout at Daytona International Speedway when Bill Elliott makes a one-race appearance behind the wheel of a retro Coors Dodge. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will field a second entry in the Shootout for Elliott who was partnered with the team's current sponsor Coors Brewing Company from 1984-1991. Elliott's Dodge will sport the paint scheme that he earned the coveted Winston Million during the 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup season.
      "I am really looking forward to partnering back up with Coors Light," Elliott said. "I think that this is a great opportunity and I really like running that race. I think it is also going to be fun to work with my brother Ernie. Ernie worked on my motors when I was just starting out. Now I get a chance to have him build my engines again and it is something I will thoroughly enjoy."
      "I think this is a great way to honor Coors Brewing Company's history in racing," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "Coors had a long and successful affiliation with Bill and has been a sponsor with Felix and I since 1995. This is a great way to partner the company's past and present for one night under the lights at Daytona. We look forward to having Bill in one of our cars and giving Coors this opportunity to celebrate the start of its 21st year in NASCAR."
      "We here at Coors Brewing Company are very excited about having Bill in the car and partnered up with us again for this one race," said Steve Saunders, Director of Event Marketing for Coors Brewing Company. "He had an impressive eight seasons with Coors and won a championship while he was sponsored by us. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to run our two brands of beer Coors and Coors Light at Daytona International Speedway. First we have Elliott in the Coors car and Marlin in the Coors Light Dodge." The Shootout is scheduled for Saturday, February 12th at Daytona International Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR). See an image of the car on my #39 Team Schemes page.(1-19-2005)

    • Riggs back in front in Daytona 500 testing: #10-Scott Riggs ran the fastest speed in Wednesday afternoon Daytona 500 testing session at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 186.097mph [the second fastest overall], followed by #09-Johnny Sauter at 185.935, #01-Joe Nemechek at 185.924, #7-Robby Gordon at 185.300 and #48-Jimmie Johnson at 185.193. See the full rundown of aftenoon speeds and cumulative speeds for all five days on my Daytona 500 Testing page.(1-19-2005)

    • Robby and Jim Beam? UPDATE yep: hearing another sponsor for #7 Robby Gordon will be Jim Beam Whiskey.
      UPDATE: Jim Beam Brands Co. announced today that its flagship brand, Jim Beam Bourbon, has teamed up with Robby Gordon Motorsports to sponsor the #7 car for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Team owner and veteran driver Robby Gordon will race the #7 Jim Beam Chevrolet on February 20 at Daytona International Speedway [Daytona 500]. Jim Beam will be the primary sponsor for a designated number of races and serve as an associate sponsor for additional races throughout the 2005 season. As a veteran sponsor in motorsports, Jim Beam also has an existing track-record in leveraging its drivers to raise awareness about responsible drinking with its drink smart program. Established in 1995, drink smart is an educational program that communicates the importance of responsible consumption by adults of legal purchase age that choose to drink. drink smart has been a cornerstone of the 2004 IRL Jim Beam sponsorship of the Andretti Green Racing Team and will be a key element of its sponsorship with Robby Gordon Motorsports in NASCAR. To that end, Gordon’s car and firesuit will feature the company’s trademark drink smart icon.
      “Robby Gordon Motorsports is excited to partner with a leading brand like Jim Beam Bourbon,” said owner/driver Robby Gordon. “It means a lot to us and our fans to have a sponsor with an established interest and commitment to motorsports – it speaks to the integrity of our combined motivations and is a great fit for both of us. Our goal is to be number one – just as Jim Beam Bourbon is - and with our sponsors, experienced crew and great facilities, we’re on track to keep racing for the Winner’s Circle every week.”
      For more information about Jim Beam and drink smart, please visit www.jimbeam.com and www.drinksmart.com.(Robby Gordon site)
      IMAGES see images of the car on my #7 Team Schemes page.(1-19-2005)

    • Nemechek/Riggs pace Wed AM Testing: #01-Joe Nemecheck led Daytona 500 testing at Daytona International Speedway during Wednesdays AM session, with a speed 185.605mph, followed by #10-Scott Riggs at 185.601, #48-Jimmie Johnson at 185.185, speed #43-Jeff Green at 184.904 and #1-Martin Truex Jr. at 184.843
      See the full rundown of AM speeds on my Daytona 500 Testing page.(1-19-2005)

    • #99 gets more sponsorship, from AAA UPDATE: 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)(1-12-2005)
      AND the races AAA will supposedly be the primary sponsor are:
      Michigan International Speedway – June 19
      Chicagoland Speedway - July 10 [major assoc]
      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)
      UPDATE: Roush Racing announced today that the AAA Auto Club Group (ACG) will be carried as the primary sponsor on the #99 Roush Racing Ford of Carl Edwards for three races in 2005. In addition to being the primary sponsor for both Michigan races and the Brickyard 400, AAA will also be a major associate at Chicago and an associate for the remainder of the races in 2005. The Auto Club Group, based in Dearborn, Michigan, is the largest AAA affiliate in the Midwest and includes the Auto Club Insurance Association as well as six AAA clubs: AAA Chicago, AAA Michigan, AAA Minnesota/Iowa, AAA Nebraska, AAA North Dakota and AAA Wisconsin, which serve approximately 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG is the first AAA affiliate to sponsor a car in the Nextel Cup Series. An endeavor that AAA is looking forward to embarking on. “Carl Edwards is definitely one of the rising stars in NASCAR racing,” said Charles H. Podowski, president/CEO of ACG. “The Auto Club Group is extremely pleased that we will be the primary sponsor of his car #99 in three Nextel Cup Series races this year, and that his car and racing gear will carry the AAA logo as a sponsor in each of the other 35 races in which he is scheduled to compete. Sponsorship of a car and driver on the hugely popular NASCAR racing circuit will help raise AAA’s profile with the many fans of this major spectator sport. The sponsorship ties very nicely into AAA’s century-long commitment to supporting continued improvement in vehicle safety.” Podowski continued, “Many of the safety features we take for granted on today’s passenger vehicles, such as lap-and-shoulder safety belts and hydraulic brakes, were introduced and perfected in racecars. NASCAR races will continue to be the proving ground for new safety equipment, and the AAA clubs that comprise The Auto Club Group are pleased and proud to help support that progress.”(Roush Racing PR)(1-19-2005)

    • Andrews the new #45 Crew Chief: Paul Andrews, a Nextel Cup champion who is one of NASCAR's most well-known and respected crew chiefs, has been hired to handle the crew chief role for the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge and driver Kyle Petty. Petty, also CEO of Petty Enterprises, made the announcement today. Andrew's duties begin immediately. Andrews, 47, comes to the legendary organization as one of the most knowledgeable and trusted crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage. Having worked with some of the sports greatest names, Andrews won a NASCAR Nextel Cup championship with Alan Kulwicki, and has helped bring winning success to drivers such as Geoffrey Bodine, Jeremy Mayfield, Steve Park and Jeff Burton. Andrews most recently served as crew chief for the #38 Akins Motorsports Ford in the NASCAR Busch Series. "We're very excited to have a person of Paul's caliber join our team," said Petty. "His past speaks for itself. He's a proven winner and can help accelerate this team into top form. The addition of Evernham Engines was huge. Adding Paul is another big step forward as we prepare for 2005 and beyond." Andrew's successes in the sport are some of the most impressive of any crew chief. A champion crew chief in 1992, Andrew's has accumulated a dozen wins, over 75 top-five and twice as many top-10 finishes. He expects to continue that winning trend at Petty Enterprises. "I just like the way Petty Enterprise is heading," said Andrews. "Adding Evernham Engines this season was a tremendously positive move. They are striving hard and taking steps to win. I want, and am ready, to make a difference. They are going in the right direction, and I think I can help offer some good input. I'm excited to start working with Kyle and the Georgia-Pacific/Brawny team."(Williams Company PR)(1-19-2005)

    • Gordon to co-host Live with Regis and Kelly: Jeff Gordon is scheduled to co-host with Kelly Ripa on the daytime talk show "Live with Regis and Kelly" for two days on January 26-27. Although Gordon has co-hosted the show five times, this will mark the first time he has co-hosted on consecutive days.(Gordonline)(1-19-2005)

    • Still No Word on Daytona 500 Qualifying Format: When NASCAR announced its new qualifying procedures for 2005 last week, questions surrounded the Daytona 500, which has a unique qualifying format, which in the past has included Bud Pole Qualifying, two qualifying races, qualifying speeds and provisional starting positions. With the exception of the so-called "Champion's Provisional," the provisional system has been done away with. The qualifying races have been extended to 150 miles each, from 125 in the past. The only sure thing at this point, according to NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo, is that the top 35 team owners from the 2004 Nextel Cup owners' standings are guaranteed starting positions in the race. Beyond that, Zizzo said, the qualifying format is "still being tweaked," with the details expected when the race's entry blank is available.(NASCAR.com)(1-19-2005)

    • Holograms planned thwart counterfeit NASCAR goods: NASCAR has announced plans to put tags with holograms on officially licensed products in a program designed to thwart those who sell counterfeit goods. The program will require all companies producing NASCAR-licensed merchandise to attach the holograms. "With the increasing popularity of NASCAR and the expansion of our licensing business, knock-off goods are a growing problem in our sport," said Mark Dye, vice president of licensing for NASCAR. An advertising campaign using print publications and radio shows to spread the word about the program is scheduled to start this month. NASCAR says 150 licensees have signed on for the program so far.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-19-2005)





      News from January 18, 2005

    • Gaughan and 2nd PPI team? hearing former #77 Cup driver [and current #77 Truck Series driver] Brendan Gaughan may be running a 2nd PPI Motorsports Nextel Cup team [#96?], not sure if full-time or limited schedule. PPI Motorsports currently fields the #32 Tide Chevy for Bobby Hamilton Jr.(1-18-2005)

    • Daytona 500 Testing returns Tuesday UPDATE Speeds: Next up at "The World Center of Racing" is the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The even-numbered teams in the 2004 owner's standings will begin a three-day test session on Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Among the drivers expected to test include: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #18-Bobby Labonte, #2-Rusty Wallace, #6-Mark Martin and #9-Kasey Kahne. The third NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest is scheduled for Wednesday in the new FanZone in the infield of the Speedway. During the day, fans that purchase a Fan Fest ticket can watch testing from the FanZone. Beginning at 5 p.m., the Fan Fest will begin with bands, pit stop demonstrations, auctions and inquisitive fan forums. Admission is $15 and the proceeds from the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest will also benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp, The Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports and American Red Cross for tsunami relief. For any events at Daytona International Speedway, tickets can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR), last weeks Daytona testing news and speeds on my Daytona 500 Testing page.(1-17-2005)
      UPDATE: #10-Scott Riggs was fastest in the morning session for Daytona 500 testing, the second wave of teams testing, this week is the teams who finished the 2004 season in the even numbers owners points position [with a few exceptions]. Riggs ran a lap of 185.109mph, followed by #01-Joe Nemechek at 184.816 [seems MB2, MBV, MB-Sutton teams have the Daytona testing down pretty good], #43-Jeff Green [new Evernham power working good], #6-Mark Martin and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Eric McClure is driving a 2nd Morgan-McClure car, the #73. Busch driver David Stremme is testing the #39 Dodge of Chip Ganassi [could this be the rumored Bill Elliott ride?] and Derrike Cope is listed in the #55 Chevy [reportedly teaming up with Larry Hollenback who ran #62 last year in a few attempts]. No speed listed for #37-Kevin Lepage, #2-Rusty Wallace or #27-Kirk Shelmerdine [switched from #72].
      FLIP-FLOP: in the afternoon testing, #01-Joe Nemechek was fastest with a lap of 184.661 while #10-Scott Riggs was second with a lap of 184.646. See the full rundown of speeds on my Daytona 500 Testing page.(1-18-2005)

    • Robby Gordon to make announcements on Tues/Wed UPDATE..AND the INDY 500: Robby Gordon will discuss his sponsorship of the #7 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series program on Tuesday at Daytona Internations Speedway.
      AND Robby Gordon Motorsports will make a second sponsorship announcement while testing at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 1:30pm/et involving its 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series program. Gordon, who returned to the United States Monday following his first Dakar Rally in Africa, will be on hand for questions and answers, and a car unveiling/photo opportunity will follow the announcement outside the media center.(PR's)(1-18-2005)
      UPDATE: Fruit of the Loom and Robby Gordon Motorsports are carrying their NASCAR partnership to the next level in 2005 by announcing today that the world-renowned apparel company will sponsor Gordon in nine NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events and one NASCAR Busch Series race. The Fruit of the Loom Racing Team debuted in the Busch Series last season; during which Gordon drove the #55 Chevrolet to a victory at Richmond, four other top-five finishes and ten top-10s. Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) hopes to match that success during Speedweeks 2005 at Daytona, where Gordon is entered in the Feb. 19 Hershey's 300 Busch Series event. For that race only, the team will again run car #55. It will campaign car #7 in NEXTEL Cup competition, with Fruit of the Loom's first race in that series slated for April 3 in the Food City 500 at Bristol [the 8 other Cup races include the Coca-Cola 600]. Gordon has three wins, including a sweep of both road-course events in 2003, won the Gatorade 125 Daytona 500 qualifying race in 2003 and has banked more than $15 million in NASCAR winnings. Bob Temple will return as crew chief. The team will utilize Hopkins Chassis with engines supplied by Menard Engineering. The Indianapolis and Oxfordshire, England-based company has supplied engines for cars that have won the pole for the famed Indianapolis 500 three times, powering Team Menard to a pair of Indy Racing League championships in 1997 and 1999. RGM ran Menard engines in three Busch Series races last season. Fruit of the Loom's remaining schedule of 2005 races (following Bristol) will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.fruit.com(Camp and Assoc PR)(1-18-2005)
      INDY 500 plans: Saying that his biggest weakness last year was engines, Robby Gordon said the team will run Menard engines and are testing the new Menard restrictor plate engine here at Daytona. The first restrictor plate engine ever produced by Menard. The parts for the engines are produced in England and assembled in the States on a Chevrolet block. Utilizing a total of four sponsors in 9 race packages. The next sponsor will be announced tomorrow and the other sponsors by the time the Daytona 500 begins in February, Gordon also talked about his departure from Richard Childress Racing saying that he was not fired and that there is no rift between him and Childress. Gordon also seemed(?) to say that he will be running the Indianapolis 500 this year. He said that a sponsor deal is "on the table" and that he is now an owner. "Last year I had to leave early, this year, I'm a car owner and I don't have to leave early," Gordon said.(Greg from Cup Scene Daily)
      IMAGES see some images of the car on my #7 Team Schemes page.(1-18-2004)

    • Dale Jr. in DC UPDATE 2 DW too: Dale Earnhardt Jr. listed among the celebs and entertainers for the "A Celebration of Freedom" event on the inaugural event list announced today by the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee. PIC director Greg Jenkins announced the list which includes Dale Junior, Kenny Chesney, Buzz Aldrin & Others under the astronaut category. The Gatlin Brothers, The Temptations, Singer Daniel Rodriquez, the Radio City Rockettes, Boxkar, Kristen Chenoweth, Yolanda Adams and others will also be a part of the "Clebration of Freedom" event which is part of inaugural week events in Washington, DC. The Celebration of Freedom event is Wed., Jan 19th at 4:00pm/et in Washington, DC.(Claire B. Lang - XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(1-13-2005)
      UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t expect to attend the inauguration later this month of President George W. Bush; however the Bud Chevy driver will join NASCAR President Mike Helton in several pre-inaugural celebrations. Junior told PRN’s Garagepass he was invited to the concert hosted by twins Jenna and Barbara Bush, however he cannot attend due to a prior commitment. Still, Dale hopes to visit the President’s daughters in person to thank them for the invitation and said “If I get a chance to talk with George that would be awesome!” He went on to say, “When you’re in the racing business they bring the President around every once in a while and you get to meet him. I met George Bush more than, of course, than I ever saw Bill Clinton, but probably met him (Bush) face-to-face shaking hands three or four times…talked to him on my cell phone once…that was a highlight of my life.” While in Washington DC, “I’m just hanging out with Mike Helton and he’s going to show me where we’re supposed to be and hopefully we’ll get to give George a shout out.”(PRN's Garagepass Radio Show)(1-15-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Darrell Waltrip will be attending the Inauguration, Parade and Presidential Ball on Thursday, Jan 20th.(1-18-2005)

    • 12 Newsmaker of the Half-Century Nominees: Twelve of the greatest names in U.S. motorsports history were announced Saturday night as nominees for the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association’s Newsmaker of the Half-Century Award, the most important event of AARWBA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The dozen nominees (in alphabetical order) are: Mario Andretti, Kenny Bernstein, Dale Earnhardt, John Force, A.J. Foyt, the France family, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, the Hulman-George family, Wally Parks, Roger Penske and Richard Petty. The announcement was made at AARWBA’s annual All-America Team dinner at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel by AARWBA President Dusty Brandel and 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight. AARWBA is the country’s oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. The nominees were selected by AARWBA’s Board of Directors from an original list of 50 newsmakers. The full AARWBA membership will now vote for one of the 12 as Newsmaker of the Half-Century and their choice will be revealed at a public ceremony this May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the days leading up to the 89th Indy 500. The winner will receive a specially commissioned painting and AARWBA will make a donation to the recipient’s favorite charity.(AARWBA PR/Speed Channel)(1-18-2005)

    • NASCAR Viewership Increased in 2004: NASCAR said today that all three of its national series drew more television viewers in 2004 than in 2003. Nielsen Media Research figures show that 196 million households tuned in to watch Nextel Cup events in 2004, a 2 percent increase over 2003. The Busch Series drew 52 million households, up 8 percent from 2003, while the Craftsman Truck Series drew 10.5 million households, a 22 percent increase over 2003. NASCAR also said today that an unprecedented 38 races from all three series will be aired during television's prime-time evening hours this year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-18-2005)

    • #4 Gets Sponsorship: Morgan-McClure Motorsports has secured sponsorship for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series with Lucas Oil Products. Mike Wallace, who won the Winn-Dixie 250 Busch Series race last July at Daytona International Speedway, is owner Larry McClure's choice to drive the car this season and he will test the #4 Chevrolet in Tuesday's second round of Preseason Thunder. Wallace said his conversations with McClure have been ongoing, but they haven't had a chance to sit down since the deal with Lucas was done. "First and foremost my goal is to drive Larry's car this season," Wallace said. "We hope to get that deal done this week, and once we are able to do that, we'll see if it's possible to do anything in the Truck Series." McClure said that Chris Carrier would once again be the team's crew chief.(NASCAR.com)(1-18-2005)

    • FOX to air Mexico City Busch Series Race: NASCAR said that the Fox network will broadcast the March 6 Mexico 200 Busch Series race, the sport's first points race to be run outside the United States. The race is scheduled to air at 3 p.m. Eastern time.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-18-2005)

    • Peak Performance has new home: The #66 Peak Performance Motorsports Team has moved into its new race shop at 2668 Peachtree Road, Statesville, NC 28625. The #66 Peak Fitness Ford Taurus powered by Roush-Yates engines is now housed in the 35,000 sq ft race shop facility located at Travis Carter Enterprises. Crew Chief James Ince says the move to the new facility will expedite preparations for the 2005 season. "I feel like we're in pretty good shape all things considering," Ince said. "For a two-and-a-half week old race team, you hear that and most people are horrified by that. "But the reality of it is we went from having no racecars and no people to having 10 people working in the shop and five racecars in stages of being completed. "We're definitely growing. All of these things, coupled with the Roush-Yates engine package and the things Ford Motor Company is providing us, we're able to skip over a lot of hurdles that would have taken me at least six months to go out and gather up.” "All of the parts and pieces are laying there. Some of it isn't necessarily a perfect world, but at the same time, it's a whole lot more than I had a week ago (and) that gets me going.” "My focus is to assemble the people and worry about race cars right now. Our focus is on the team and on the cars and being as good as we can be right off the get-go." For the latest news and information visit the new and updated Peak Fitness website at www.peakfitnessclubs.com.(PR)(1-18-2005)


      News from January 17, 2005

    • Kennon joins MWR: Longtime NASCAR crew chief Gere Kennon, who recently was general manager at Innovative Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series, has joined Michael Waltrip Racing. Kennon's primary focus is MWR's Busch Series effort, but he was at Daytona last week overseeing Waltrip's Nextel Cup program with driver Kenny Wallace.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(1-17-2005)

    • Kenny to run a gold #00: Aaron Rents announced it will officially open its 1,000th store location. The Company's milestone store is located in Swainsboro, Georgia and the grand opening is expected to kick off another record-breaking year for store-count growth. Aaron's marked the 1,000th store opening with an event in Swainsboro, Georgia on Thursday, January 13th. In order to honor 2005 as the Company's 50th year in business, Aaron's has announced the Company will conduct a Golden Anniversary Sweepstakes worth more than $78,000 in prizes. "Capitalizing on our long-standing and very successful partnerships in motorsports, five first prize winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Texas Motor Speedway on November 5 and 6, 2005. Fifty runners-up will each receive an autographed racing helmet signed by NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, one of our spokespersons. And, Aaron's will put one lucky grand prize winner in the driver's seat of a car manufactured the same year the very first Aaron's opened for business - a mint condition 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air," said Mark Rudnick, Aaron's Vice President of Marketing. Consumers can enter the Golden Anniversary Sweepstakes by visiting any Aaron's location or by visiting the Company's website at www.aaronrents.com. Aaron's will have two distinct paint schemes for 2005. This year will mark Aaron's 50th anniversary and their race cars will reflect the celebration of Aaron's golden anniversary. The #99 Busch car and the #00 Cup car will sport a golden paint scheme at the two Daytona and Talladega races. The #99 Busch blue paint scheme will run at all other scheduled events. Kenny Waalace will drive the #00 Chevy for Michael Waltrip Racing. See an image of the #00 Cup car on my #00 Team Schemes page.(1-17-2005)

    • Honda to NASCAR? With the debut of the Honda Ridgeline truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this month, speculation heated up that the Japanese automaker soon will follow Toyota's lead into the Craftsman Truck Series. Au contraire, says T.E. McHale, manager of motorsports public relations for Honda. "In the three years I've been here, I have heard no discussions in these hallways about getting into the NASCAR series," McHale says. "Honda is in racing to further its technology, and I'm not sure that NASCAR provides the right platform for us." McHale says Honda's emphasis is on winning its second Indy Racing League title.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(1-17-2005)

    • Changes at Roush: hearing that Mike Janow, the engineer on the #97 Roush Racing Ford and Nextel Cup Champ Kurt Busch has moved over to Mark Martin in the #6. Journeyman engineer Mark Catania is now the engineer for Kurt Busch in 2005.(1-17-2005)



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