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    FEB 28-MAR 6, 2005

      News from March 5, 2005

    • Chevy ticked at Boris: Boris Said is in hot water with General Motors. After finally getting a Chevy deal [#36 Chevy] to run the Cup tour this season, Said, a star road racer, has angered GM execs by jumping in James Finch's Dodge this week. "I got in a lot of trouble," Said said. "Jay Frye, my team manager, was mad. I really tried to get a Chevrolet ride, called and called and called. But they didn't help me. For some reason they've never really wanted to help me. I was trying to be politically correct. But I didn't have a ride. But this is a good car and a good team, and I've known Marc Reno (the crew chief)."(Winston Salem Journal)(3-5-2005)

    • Shepherd looking for help: from the Morgan Shepherd site....."To be able to continue to race our "Victory in Jesus" race car we must have help from you our race fans. You do not have to be able to send big amounts. Every little bit helps. Most fans do not realize one set of tires cost $1700, a new race engine costs $60,000, there are travel expenses, and much more. We have no business to regularly help us at the present." see more at

    • The King, Wheties and Vitamins: General Mills and Leiner Health products announced the launch of Wheaties and Total nutritional supplement products, produced under license from General Mills. Wheaties and Total cereals have long been on consumers' breakfast tables, and now they can enhance their diets with multivitamins from these trusted brands. These four new vitamin products are part of an extension of the Wheaties and Total brands. The Wheaties Multivitamins provide health-minded individuals with 100% or more of 17 essential vitamins and minerals; in addition Wheaties Daily Performance Vitamin Packs offer consumers a convenient daily nutritional system specifically formulated to enhance energy. Total Multivitamins contain important daily nutrients essential for an active and healthy lifestyle, and Total High Potency Daily Vitamin Packs are ideal for consumers looking for additional support for their bones, joints, eyes and heart health as well as help with overall fitness.
      In conjunction with the new Wheaties and Total branded products, General Mills and Leiner also announced the launch of This interactive website is another tool to help Americans get and stay healthy. offers consumers a daily video image alert from a sports legend reminding them to take their Wheaties and Total vitamins. In turn, consumers can develop and maintain a system for incorporating vitamins into their daily routine.
      The site features legendary sports champions, including "The King" of racing Richard Petty, hall-of-fame baseball player Ozzie Smith, and U.S. soccer star Brandi Chastain. Individuals simply select their favorite sports legend and designate a schedule to receive their video image reminder. Based on that information, a video image message appears on the consumer's PC prompting them to take their Wheaties and Total vitamins. This convenient and innovative tool infuses excitement into staying healthy.(Business Wire)(3-5-2005)

    • Speed Freaks back, starting tonight: After months of preparation SpeedFreaks lay waste to their 2004 Speed Channel format. NOW, on Saturday nights @ 12midnight/et and 9:00pm/pet, it's the Freaks Night Out on Speed Channel. They have made a semi-conscious effort to ratchet-up the television version of SpeedFreaks for their new season on Speed Channel. The Freaks' Lugg Nuttz chimes in, "Our first show's guest lineup is a Who's Freakin' Who with NHRA’s Scotty Kalitta and David Grubnic, NASCAR’s Tony Stewart and Bobby Hamilton Jr., and Supercross’ James ‘Bubba’ Stewart and Kevin Windham. Dinner anyone? We season it with The Great Freaks Thong Experiment, a tasty Statt Mann Scatt, and ladies and gentlemen, the Freak Nation is served!"
      After the Freaks’ Freestyle on Speed Channel, you can get the full two hour Sunday night radio show replay the night after with guests like Speed Channel's Two Wheel Tuesday host Greg White and Grave Digger Monster Truck legend Dennis Anderson. Just log on to www.SpeedFreaks.TV for more infreakmation.
      SpeedFreaks with Kenny Sargent, Lugg Nuttz, Statt Mann Caruthers and Crash Gladys continues to own the title of the country's largest motorsports radio show. They can be heard every Sunday Night on the Freak Radio Network at 7:00pm/pt. The FRN houses over 80 radio stations across the United States including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Ft. Lauderdale, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, West Palm, Albuquerque, Charleston, Reno, Bakersfield, Hampton, etc. For an additional SpeedFreaks affiliate listing, log on to Additional live coverage can be heard on the Internet at, the Armed Forces Network and on Sirius Satellite Radio's channel 122, via Sports Byline USA. Plus - SpeedFreaks can also be heard every Saturday live from 4 to 6 PM (EST) on the Freak Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio 125.(SpeedFreaks PR)(3-5-2005)

      News from March 4, 2005

    • The lastest on the movie Dust to Glory: Every fall since 1967 a hearty and eclectic band of adventurers have gathered in Ensenada, Mexico in Baja California for one of the roughest, toughest and most exhilarating rides ever concocted. It's the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the longest non-stop, point-to-point race in the world. Now award-winning filmmaker Dana Brown ("Step into Liquid"), plunges into the world of the Baja 1000 with DUST TO GLORY a feature documentary that captures all the excitement, hard knocks, sights and sounds of this extraordinary event. Using over fifty cameras and a crew of ninety, Brown puts the audience right in the middle of a race often called the most dangerous in the world. But the Baja 1000 is not only about the competition but the camaraderie among some 1200 participants driving 270 vehicles of all sizes and shapes in a carnival atmosphere witnessed by 200,000 spectators. As much as anything, DUST TO GLORY celebrates the unique people and geography of Baja, from sun-baked mountains to dusty deserts to the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. "The place is everything," says Brown. "If the race were someplace else, it wouldn't be the same. It's like a going back in time." Some of the drivers featured in the movie are NASCAR drivers Robby Gordon and Michele Jourdain, Jr., along with Jimmy Vasser, Ivan Stewart, Roberto Guerrero and Parnelli Jones. The movie is scheduled to open in April 1, 2005, the official site for more info and trailers at:

    • Final California TV Ratings up 19.7% Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway drew a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 7.9 and a 16 audience share, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The figures represent a 19.7% increase over the 6.6/16 that Fox drew for its broadcast of last year's second Nextel Cup race, the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham [the final race at that track]. The 7.9 rating is also 11.3 percent higher than the 7.1 overnight rating the race drew from the nation's largest markets, which Fox says was the highest overnight figure it had ever posted for any race other than the Daytona 500.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-4-2005)

    • Get the lead a group asks NASCAR UPDATE: NASCAR is under fire from environmentalists for using leaded gasoline more than six years after the Environmental Protection Agency asked the stock car racing industry to switch to unleaded. "By permitting the continued use of lead, your organization may be putting millions of spectators and nearby residents at unnecessary risk of suffering serious health effects," the environmental group Clean Air Watch said in a recent letter to NASCAR chairman Brian France. "Because of the clear public health threat, lead is being eliminated from gasoline throughout most of the world," the letter said. "If Kazakhstan can eliminate lead from gasoline, why can't NASCAR?" The elimination of lead in gasoline in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s and in the rest of the world in recent years is considered one of the great public health victories of the 20th century. Lead levels in the blood of U.S. children have dropped dramatically as a result. In 1990, Congress exempted the aviation and racing industries from EPA regulations on the lead content of gasoline. NASCAR has "looked into and will continue to look into making the switch to unleaded," but has not been able to find an alternative additive to lead, which lubricates engine valves, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "Without being able to keep the valves lubed, the engines don't work as well."(Rocky Mountain News)(3-1-2005)
      AND Environmentalists have blown a gasket over the NASCAR's continued use of leaded gasoline in its stock car races. Since NASCAR has science and safety on its side, I hope it has the good sense not to cave in to this eco-harassment. The Clean Air Trust "urged" NASCAR in a Jan. 19 letter to consider the supposedly dire consequences of using leaded fuel: "By permitting the continued use of lead, your organization may be putting millions of spectators and nearby residents at unnecessary risk of suffering serious health effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency." Lead was eliminated from most gasoline in the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1990, however, Congress exempted the aviation and racing industries from the lead ban. The exemptions made sense since no one wanted airplanes falling from the sky because of stalled engines and auto racing would only add an insignificant amount of lead to the environment. NASCAR engines run on a high performance fuel designed exclusively for competition called 110 Leaded Racing Gasoline. Not only does the "Official Fuel of NASCAR" make stock cars run better, but its components make it resistant to explosion, which naturally makes things safer for drivers in racing accidents.(JunkScience at FoxSports)(3-4-2005)

    • Off Week Notes: Two weeks down, 34 to go. With those numbers looming, an off-week for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series is, in reality, anything but that. The next event – the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – is fast approaching. For some competitors, there’s only one way to prepare: Keep racing.
      That inclination pairs perfectly this week with a first-ever NASCAR Busch Series event in Mexico City. Seven NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers are making a South of the Border sojourn to compete in a historic event – Sunday’s Telcel Motorola Mexico 200 presented by Banamex at the legendary Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course. It will mark the first NASCAR Busch Series points event held outside the United States, and the first road-course event for the NASCAR Busch Series since a 2001 event at Watkins Glen. (FOX will televise the Telcel Motorola Mexico 200 presented by Banamex live on Sunday beginning at 3:00pm/et. Among those tackling the 80-lap, 201-mile challenge on the Autodromo’s 2.5-mile course will be Robby Gordon (#55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet), Rusty Wallace (#64 Bell Helicopter Dodge), Jamie McMurray (#42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge), Kevin Harvick (#21 Pelon Pelo Rico Chevrolet), Carl Edwards (#60 Charter Communications Ford), Boris Said (#1 Yellow Dodge) and Elliott Sadler (#90 Citifinancial Ford). Another participant with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup experience is Ron Fellows, a road-racing specialist who makes frequent appearances in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen. He’ll drive the #87 Chevrolet.
      McMurray will be joined by most of his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team, including crew chief Donnie Wingo. His team owners, Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, also plan to be there.
      Always room for surprises … Only two races have been checked off the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule, but fast starters already have emerged, among them Carl Edwards (#99 Office Depot Ford), who sits a surprising fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings heading into the off week thanks to a 12th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 and last Sunday’s fifth-place finish at California Speedway.
      According to Roush Racing owner Jack Roush, Edwards is following in his teammates’ footsteps. But current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Kurt Busch (#97 Irwin Industrial Tools/Sharpie Ford) and last Sunday’s Auto Club 500 winner, Greg Biffle, also excelled in youthful sink-or-swim situations. Edwards, who also ran fulltime in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2003 and 2004 (he was the Raybestos Rookie of the Year in 2003), was promoted to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series last season, running the final 13 events in the #99.
      Early contenders handicap themselves, others … Only two races have been completed, but the points battle already is shaping up. The target is race #26, the cutoff point for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. At the end of that Sept. 10 event at Richmond International Raceway, the NASCAR Top 10 and any drivers within 400 points of the leader will compete for the championship over the season’s final 10 races. So there’s much ground to make up – or lose – even in the spring. Certainly, people expected to be in the NASCAR Top 10 are there, heading into the off week; current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Kurt Busch leads the standings followed by Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s Chevrolet), the series runner-up for the last two seasons. One of Busch’s Roush Racing teammates, Mark Martin (#6 Viagra Ford), who finished fourth last season and is competing in his final fulltime season, sits third.
      Two other drivers who made last year’s inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart (#20 Home Depot Chevrolet), are sixth and seventh, respectively. Gordon, who won the season-opening Daytona 500, is 10th after engine failure relegated him to a 30th-place finish at California. Then there are the surprises: Rusty Wallace (#2 Miller Lite Dodge), who’s retiring following this season, is eighth in the standings following back-to-back 10th-place finishes in the Daytona 500 and the Auto Club 500. Sterling Marlin (#40 Coors Light Dodge) is ninth after an eighth-place in the Daytona 500 and a 15th-place finish in the Auto Club 500. Greg Biffle, who’s fifth in the standings after last Sunday’s win at California, also won last year’s season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Neither Wallace, Marlin nor Biffle made last year’s Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
      TV Timeout … The preliminary results reveal that more households tuned in to the 2005 Auto Club 500 than any other non-Daytona 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event in history, which also made it the highest-rated, most watched event at California Speedway. The Auto Club 500, which followed the Daytona 500 for the first time, enjoyed a 20% increase in households and an 18% increase in viewers over the second event of the 2004 season at North Carolina Speedway.
      Chevrolet, Ford tied for lead in Manufacturers standings … Greg Biffle’s Auto Club 500 win gave Ford its first victory of 2005 and tied Chevrolet for the early lead in the 2005 Manufacturers Championship. Both Ford and Chevrolet have 15 points and one win. Dodge has eight points.(NASCAR PR)(3-4-2005)

    • NASCAR-themed Kids Workshop at Home Depot Saturday: The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer and proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing and the #20 Home Depot Racing Team, will offer a FREE NASCAR-themed Kids Workshop on Saturday, March 5 at the company’s U.S.-based stores. More than 170,000 kids, aged 5 - 12, will get the satisfaction of building their own wood model race car with expert advice from knowledgeable The Home Depot associates. An award-winning program that The Home Depot stores have offered since 1997, the Home Depot will provide the complimentary car kits, tools and expertise to build the models, along with a kid-size The Home Depot orange apron and a pin for the children to take home.(NASCAR PR)(3-4-2005)

    • New Scott Riggs site: Fresh off a fourth place finish in the Daytona 500, Scott Riggs is pleased to announce the launch of his new website at This site incorporates the highest web based technology and a creative look that is sure to please Scott's growing fan base. Not only does the site post biographical information, but it also features daily reports and pictures from the track and a kid friendly message board.(PR)(3-4-2005)

      News from March 3, 2005

    • Darrell Waltrip, Junior Johnson To Tell Tales: Darrell Waltrip and Junior Johnson invite you to join them for supper, sit a spell afterward and listen as they tell some tales of their championship racing seasons. Waltrip and Johnson, who teamed for three NASCAR Winston Cup Championships in the 1981, ’82, and ‘85, will spin some yarns of those days on Thursday, March 31, at a Bristol Motor Speedway benefit dinner for the International Storytelling Center. The International Storytelling Center attracts thousands of people to Jonesborough, Tenn., to celebrate the ancient storytelling traditions so popular in the Appalachian region and beyond. The town about 20 miles from Bristol Motor Speedway holds the distinction as the birthplace of a storytelling renaissance, which took place 30 years ago at the first National Storytelling Festival. The event now draws more than 10,000 each October to Jonesborough. More at the Bristol Motor Speedway site.(3-3-2005)

    • Rent-A-Center returns to the #21 and Rudd: Rent-A-Center is returning as an associate sponsor of the #21 Wood Brothers Team in 2005. Furthermore, the #21 Ford Taurus will carry a Rent-A-Center paint scheme for the April 17th race at Texas Motor Speedway and the June 19th race at Michigan International Speedway. A promotion is currently in the works that could award up to 40,000 Rent-A-Center prizes to customers who rent from Rent-A-Center between April 11th and May 14th. Prizes will be awarded based on Ricky Rudd's finish in the June 19th race at Michigan International Speedway. Everyone who signs an agreement during this time frame will receive a scratch-off card good for up to $50 off their agreement while supplies last. Rent-A-Center, Inc., headquartered in Plano, Texas, currently operates 2,871 company-owned stores nationwide and in Canada and Puerto Rico. More info on Rent-A-Center at Racing PR)(3-3-2005)

      News from March 2, 2005

    • New Associate sponsor for the #01: Wiley X Eyewear, a major supplier of eyewear to the U.S. Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies, has joined MB2 Motorsports as an associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek. According to the New England Journal of Medicine (Dec. 9, 2004), Wiley X ballistic eyewear is one of the main reasons for the decreasing amount of eye injuries suffered by soldiers. Along with manufacturing high velocity eye armor for the military, Wiley X produces a line of specialty eyewear for the motorcycle, mountain/street bike, boating and fishing markets as well as a line of sophisticated sunglasses for both casual and active wear. Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports, said that Wiley X Eyewear has been a welcome addition in more ways than one for the U.S. Army team. "We are proud of our new affiliation with Wiley X Eyewear for two main reasons," said Frye. "First, it is a company that has dedicated itself in researching and producing an eyewear product that protects our troops. And secondly, the durability, the fit and ballistic protection of Wiley X Eyewear make it a perfect product for our pit crew members." For additional information about Wiley X Eyewear and its products, search the company's web site at: Motorsports PR), see an image of the car with Wiley X on the deck lid on my #01 Team Schemes age.(3-2-2005)

    • Gordon probably gonna skip the Indy 500: Robby Gordon will not enter this year's Indianapolis 500 unless he's driving somebody else's race cars. Gordon, who has competed in the 500 ten times says his commitment is to his Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams and sponsors. Gordon says "I don't have the room...we're full..we've got 40 guys full time just turning these programs around." Since he won't operate an open wheel team Gordon says his final decision could be put off until the first week of Indy 500 time trials.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-2-2005)

    • Racing Greats Lobby NC for Hall of Fame: Racing greats Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, and Benny Parsons lobbied the Legislature to lend support for a resolution to honor the memory of NASCAR aces and promote a racing museum in the state. Lawmakers in both chambers unanimously approved the resolution as part of their effort to protect a $1.5 billion racing industry that employs about 10,000 people in North Carolina. As the sport increases in popularity, so does the competition from other states to lure it away. But lawmakers and others say North Carolina is the best place for a museum. Stock car racing started here and a few hundred race teams -- NASCAR and otherwise -- are located around Charlotte. Putting a museum in the Charlotte area makes sense for tourists who also could also visit their favorite race teams, Parsons said. "You can see all the past and in 15 minutes see the future," Parsons said between legislative sessions. The children of Wendell Scott, who in 1963 became the first black NASCAR driver to win a race, also attended. Scott died of cancer in 1990. Sen. Charles Dannelly noted the importance of diversity in the sport. Scott, who raced from 1949-1973, made his name when "the ruler of the South was the KKK," he said. Gov. Mike Easley announced a 19-member North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council designed to recommend methods to improve and expand the racing industry in the state. Members include racing great and car owner Richard Petty, Hendrick Motorsports chairman Rick Hendrick and Chad Knaus, Jimmy Johnson's crew chief. The council's first meeting will be later this year.(

    • Sad News: Greg Zipadelli's [#20 Tony Stewart crew chief] grand father. Charles J. Zipadelli, 89, of New Britain, CT, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday (March 1, 2005). In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Zippy’s Crusade for Kids, 114 Whaling La., Mooresville, NC 28117 [], more info on Mr. Zipadelli at the Hartford Courant.(3-2-2005)

    • Chevy Adds Vickers to Endorsement Roster: Chevrolet’s Racing division announced the addition of Brian Vickers, driver of the #25 GMAC/ Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, to their already impressive list of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup endorsers that includes 4-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and HMS teammate Jimmie Johnson. The personal services partnership is the first official manufacturer endorsement for Vickers and compliments an already extensive history between GM’s flagship racing brand and the 21 year-old sophomore Cup Series driver. For more information on Chevrolet and Brian Vickers, please visit or Vickers PR)(3-2-2005)

    • Rusty's Crew Wins at California: Penske Racing South's crew for the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Rusty Wallace has won the $10,000 prize for the fastest pit work during Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway among teams participating in the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition. Joe Gibbs Racing's crew for the #20 Chevrolet of Tony Stewart was named the winner of the prize for its work in the season-opening Daytona 500.(NASCAR Scene)(3-2-2005)

    • Ford Drivers Give Driving Lessons to PGA Players: As part of the Ford Championship Racing Adventure, PGA's top stars will participate in three distinct driving events this week with seven professional race drivers. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standouts Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and Elliott Sadler headline the field. They will be joined by Michel Jourdain Jr., NASCAR Busch Series' first full-time Hispanic driver, NHRA drag racer Ashley Force, and Grand American road-racing expert Scott Maxwell. The golfers will compete on the track at Homestead for fun and pride. Later in the week, they'll compete on the infamous Blue Monster at Doral for a $900,000 purse and a 2006 Ford GT supercar, the most exclusive prize in professional golf. The NASCAR drivers will provide instruction and drive hot laps with the golfers in specially equipped, two-place race cars. The highlight of the golfer's day is a 10-lap stint at the wheel of a race-ready NASCAR Ford Taurus on the speedway's banked 1.5-mile oval. They'll also get the chance to maneuver the 550-horsepower 2005 Ford GT supercar and the all-new Ford Racing Grand Am Cup Mustang on the speedway's modified road course and drag race a 300-horsepower 2005 Mustang GT on a 1/8-mile straightaway.(Ford Racing)(3-2-2005)

    • Harvick may not run Mexico Busch race: Kevin Harvick, scheduled to drive in this weekend’s Busch Series race in Mexico City [in the #21 RCR Chevy], is still sore from his crash during the Gatorade Duels at Daytona. Harvick has played in pain the past two weeks, but his bruised ribs could preclude him from driving on the Mexican road course. If so, Brandon Miller will replace him. Harvick’s familiar Reese’s livery will give way to a special paint scheme for this race to promote PELON PELO RICO, one of Mexico’s leading brands of spicy candy. Crew chief Rick Viers emphasized that “The decision (whether or not to drive) is up to Kevin, and he will not make it until after practice on Saturday. There is a chance that Brandon Miller will run the #21 during practice since it’s about five hours long. This will also give Miller some seat time just in case Harvick can’t run the race on Sunday.” Viers indicated Miller shouldn’t be too hopeful though: “I think in the end Harvick will tough it out.”(Speed Channel)(3-2-2005)

    • Bobby Labonte to run Truck at Atlanta: Even though Bobby Labonte has more wins than any other full-time driver at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he’ll be a rookie on Friday, March 18. That’s when Bobby Labonte will compete for the first time at Atlanta in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. It will be his fourth career truck race and third in the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado, which he will try to drive to victory in the World Financial Group 200. Labonte will be pulling double duty that weekend, also driving his usual #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the March 20 Golden Corral 500 NEXTEL Cup race. But Labonte was focused entirely on his Chevy truck on Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, when he was preparing for his Craftsman Truck Series debut at the fast track. His first few laps didn’t set any speed records, but Labonte said he was just getting warmed up when he turned a lap around the 1.54-mile speedway in 31.19 seconds (177.749 mph). Great seats are still available for all three days of racing action. Weekend ticket packages start at just $65 and are limited in quanity. For more information call Ticketmaster, or the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, or visit PR)(3-2-2005)

      News from March 1, 2005

    • Ince leaves the #66? hearing that crew chief James Ince has left the #66 Peak Fitness Racing team that Hermie Sadler drives for. The team has failed to qualify for the first two races of the season.(3-1-2005)

    • Busch's Pole, does he get to run in the Shootout? UPDATE Double YES: #5-Kyle Busch is the youngest pole sitter in Nextel Cup history at 19 years, 9 months, 24 days old. The all-time record was held by Donald Thomas - 20 years, 4 months, 6 days old at Lakewood Speedway in GA on 11-16-1952. The modern-era [1972-present] record was held by Brian Vickers, 20 years, 6 months, 20 days at Richmond on 5-14-2004.(that stats from the NASCAR Statistical Services Updates Book)...
      So the question is....will Busch, who will be 20 in February 2006, be able to run in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona? The sticker on hic car doesn't say 'Bud Pole Award' BUT 'Anheuser-Busch Pole'. Officially, Busch is the winner of the "Anheuser-Busch Pole Award" and there are seperate plaque and materials for that. Brian Vickers had the same sticker in 2004, but he was 20 and was 21 at the time of the 2005 Budweiser Shootout, so he was allowed to run, but he wasn't allowed to run the Crown Royal IROC Series in 2004 as he was not 21. Been told no decision on Busch and the 2006 Bud Shootout has not been made as of yet.(2-28-2005)
      UPDATE: Speed Channel's NASCAR Nation reported on its Monday show that they were told that Kyle Busch WILL be able to run the 2006 Budweiser Shootout.(3-1-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Anheuser-Busch has been a longtime supporter of NASCAR through its sponsorships of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona since 1979 and the NASCAR Busch Series for the past 24 years.  This past weekend, Kyle Busch became the youngest winner of the Budweiser Pole award, which will qualify him to participate in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona next February. Since Kyle is under the legal drinking age, he will not receive any beer branded materials, based on our policy of not providing beer branded materials to those under 21.  However, since the Budweiser Pole award is the name of this achievement, he will be permitted to receive his honor and will compete in the Bud Shootout next year.
      Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have spent more than a half-billion dollars on community-based programs and advertising to promote the responsible and legal consumption of its products, which includes fighting drunk driving and underage drinking.  The company has partnered with NASCAR and various tracks over the years to encourage responsible drinking and the use of designated drivers at NASCAR events.(fingerprint inc./Anheuser-Busch PR)(3-1-2005)

    • Three Crew Chiefs Fined for California Violations: NASCAR announced today that fines have been issued to three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations this past weekend at California Speedway.
      Tim Weiss, crew chief of the #73 Chevrolet driven by Eric McClure, was fined $10,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-CC (unapproved third gear transmission ratio) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book.
      David Hyder, crew chief of the #49 Dodge driven by Ken Schrader, was fined $5,000 in violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-CC (unapproved final drive gear ratio).
      Billy Poindexter, crew chief of the #37 Dodge of Kevin Lepage, was fined twice. Poindexter was fined $5,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) for an unapproved deck lid. He also was fined $1,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q for an unapproved fire suppression agent. All violations were found during opening-day inspection on Feb. 25.(NASCAR)(3-1-2005)

    • Sad News: Former Richmond International Raceway owner Paul C. Sawyer, whose vision for a unique motorsports facility helped make the track into one of the most popular stops on the NASCAR circuit, passed away late yesterday. He was 88. Mr. Sawyer, who promoted NASCAR races in Richmond since 1955, helped modernize Richmond International Raceway with several visionary projects, beginning with paving the once-dirt facility in 1968. As the sport continued to grow and competition increased, Mr. Sawyer rebuilt the .542-mile track into a modern, ¾-mile facility during the middle of the 1988 season. Three years later, lights were added to the facility and today, Richmond International Raceway holds two key distinctions that set it apart from any other major motorsports facility in the country that hosts all three major NASCAR touring series and the IRL IndyCar Series: it is the only ¾-mile track and it is also the only facility to hold all of its events "under the lights." Mr. Sawyer was born June 26, 1916 in Norfolk, VA, where he later worked at the Naval Air Station from 1939 until his early retirement in 1965. He also served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Along with racetracks in Wilson, NC and Virginia Beach, VA, Mr. Sawyer invested in Richmond International Raceway-then known as "Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds"- with Virginia native and legendary racer Joe Weatherly in 1955. Mr. Sawyer bought Weatherly out of his interest in the tracks and took control of the facility in Richmond in 1956. After the Wilson, NC facility burned down on Easter Sunday in 1958, Mr. Sawyer turned his attention solely to promoting races in Richmond.
      Mr. Sawyer ran Richmond International Raceway until he sold the track, along with the surrounding property, to International Speedway Corporation in 1999. He remained the track's Chairman of the Board until his death. Mr. Sawyer received many accolades for his contribution to motorsports. He is a member of the 2003 class of the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame and the 2002 class of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored with the NASCAR Founder's Award as part of NASCAR's 50th anniversary celebration in Hollywood, CA in 1998 and in 1997, he received both the Pocono Raceway Bill France Award of Excellence and the Buddy Shuman Award, which has been presented annually since 1957 to the person or persons who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to NASCAR's top series. He also received the Meyers Brothers Award from the National Motorsports Press Association in 1996. In addition, Mr. Sawyer received an honorary doctorate in commercial science from the University of Richmond in 2001.
      Mr. Sawyer is survived by his two sons, Wayne and Billy, three grandsons, one granddaughter and four great grandchildren. Mr. Sawyer was married in 1939 to the former Virginia Weaver of Norfolk, who passed away in 2003. Funeral arrangements are pending.(RIR PR)
      NASCAR Statement: NASCAR Vice Chairman Bill France issued the following statement regarding the passing of Paul Sawyer, Chairman of the Board at Richmond International Raceway. Sawyer passed away Saturday night (Feb. 26). "As NASCAR continues to grow in popularity and potential, all of us are continually reminded of our sport's roots, and the many people who were so important to laying the foundation for what we enjoy today. Paul Sawyer was one of those people. He was most certainly an important part of NASCAR's history. Paul took Richmond's race track and created one of the most modern facilities in all of NASCAR. Richmond International Raceway today is considered one of our fans' favorite facilities. Paul made his mark, without a doubt. The racing world, starting with NASCAR, will miss him."(NASCAR PR)(2-27-2005)
      Arrangements for Paul C. Sawyer, former owner of Richmond International Raceway who passed away yesterday at the age of 88 are as follows:
      Visitation will be Monday, February 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Bennett's Funeral Home, 8014 Lee Davis Road, Mechanicsville, Virginia, 804-746-8665.
      A service will be held on Tuesday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church, 9614 River Road, Richmond, Virginia, 804-740-7101. The family is planning a private burial.(RIR PR)(2-27-2005)
      UPDATE: The family of Paul C. Sawyer announced today that donations in Mr. Sawyer's memory may be made to one of two organizations:
      Victory Junction Gang Camp
      4500 Adam's Way
      Randleman, NC 27317
      American Cancer Society
      4240 Park Place Ct.
      Glen Allen, Virginia 23060
      (RIR 3-1-2005)

    • Richert Shines in California, Wins WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: California Speedway stumped several crew chiefs in the Nextel Cup garage. The low-banked, two-mile oval had more than a few teams second guessing their setups and pit strategies. And while the race weekend left most crew chiefs with more questions than answers, Doug Richert, crew chief of the #16 National Guard team, undoubtedly had a handle on the track from the very start. Richert led his driver to Victory Lane in the Auto Club 500 and was voted the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
      A panel of three voters, including Tony Eury Sr., a representative from WYPALL Wipers and a member of the local media all cast their votes for the Crew Chief of the Race following the event. Richert won by a vote of two to one. Anne Marie Brooks of the Lebanon Democrat voted for Jimmy Fennig as the Crew Chief of the Race. The WYPALL Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr. both gave their nod to Richert. Both Pete Rodeau and Doug Richert have each won the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award in 2005. The crew chief with the most weekly wins at the end of the season will be named WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and receive $20,000. For more information, visit PR)(3-1-2005)

    • Long to make season debut at Las Vegas: Carl Long will be piloting the #00 Buyer's Choice/Howes/Champion Builders Chevrolet next weekend [3-13-2005] at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. In last year's event, Carl Long started the fan-supported #02 Pontiac in 41st position and finished 38th due to an oil pump issue that dropped him out of the race after completing 145 of 267 laps.(Carl Long site)(3-1-2005)

    • Ward on the tube: Ward Burton is scheduled to appear on the Bass Pro Shops Outoor World television show that will appear on the Outdoor Channel on the following dates: Tuesday, March 8, 11:30pm/et, Thursday, March 10, 2:30pm/et; and Sunday, March 13, 9:30pm/et. The show will feature Burton's December hunt with two youths sponsored by United Special Sportsman's Alliance.(Ward Burton site)(3-1-2005)

    • 2005 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge, $50,000 First Prize Riding on the coat tails of the successful 2004 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge, Pilot Travel Centers has returned in 2005 for a more comprehensive and tougher Truck Driver Challenge. Transport drivers from all Nextel Cup teams are again invited to test their skills and demonstrate why they are labeled as the best in the business. Pilot Travel Centers have again match their previous lucrative reward by offering the winner of the 2005 Challenge a grand prize of $50,000.
      In a Challenge designed on SAFE and RESPONSIBLE truck driving, categories such as equipment inspections and safety quizzes will ensure that the drivers are kept on their toes. Pilot Travel Centers have also increased the performance expectations by including three Chicane Course Challenges. Drivers are required to display their skill and accuracy in maneuvering their 80 foot haulers through tight turns and pin point stops. A favorite of most drivers, the Chicane Course, will surely bring out the best in these unsung heroes.
      The Challenge has also been extended to the professional truck driver. As each customer refuels at a Pilot Travel Center, they have the opportunity to receive rewards for their loyalty through the Driver Payback program. The customer who has the most safely driven miles at the end of the challenge will receive $50,000. This "safety first" attitude reflects Pilot's customer driven values. The 2005 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge has again created a buzz around the garage. Details on the Challenge can be seen by logging onto the challenge web site: 500 PR)(3-1-2005)

    • NASCAR Poker on TV: SPEED Channel will begin airing a series of one-hour specials on the Michael Waltrip Celebrity Poker Tournament shot earlier this year at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. The eight-part series rolls out Thursday, April 7 at 9:00pm/et, with the two-hour tournament finale scheduled to air June 2 at 8:00pm/et. Players in the popular Texas Hold'em tournament includ NASCAR's Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Benny Parsons, Casey Mears, Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Elliott and Hermie Sadler. SPEED Channel put up the $100,000 prize money, with half going to Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp through Waltrip's "Operation Marathon" and the other half going to the charity of the winner's choice. SPEED broadcast schedule:
      * April 7 (9pm/et, 1 hour)
      * April 14 (9pm/et, 1 hour)
      * April 28 (9pm/et, 1 hour)
      * May 5 (9pm/et, 1 hour)
      * May 12 (9pm/et, 1 hour)
      * May 19 (9pm/et, 1 hour)
      * June 2 (8pm/et, 2 hours)(SPEED Channel PR)(3-1-2005)

    • Life Insurance of NASCAR: Allstate Insurance Co. is preparing to sign a multiyear, multimillion-dollar sponsorship to become the life insurance sponsor of NASCAR, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Unidentified sources told reporter Scott Warfield that Allstate will "likely pay a minimum of $2 million a year, with a contract requirement for an additional investment at the team or track level."(NASCAR Scene)(3-1-2005)

    • TV Ratings Up 2nd Race of Year AND: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Auto Club 500 from California Speedway drew an overnight Nielsen Media Research rating of 7.1 and a 14 share, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The rating is 12.7 percent higher than the 6.3 overnight rating for last year's second Nextel Cup race, the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham, and 26.8 percent higher than the 5.6 for 2004's first race at California, the May 2 Auto Club 500.(NASCAR Scene)(2-28-2005)
      AND FOX Sports' 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup regular season schedule got off to a record-setting start yesterday, firing a 7.1/14 overnight rating-the highest overnight rating ever for a regular season (excluding Daytona) race on FOX. Yesterday's 7.1/14 topped last year's regular season opener from Rockingham by +13% (vs. 6.3/14) and easily ranks as the top-rated sporting event of the weekend. Prior to yesterday, the last regular season race to produce such an overnight rating was the Rockingham 400 on Feb. 25, 2001 (7.0/15), the first race that followed the tragic death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. An impressive 39 out of 55 metered markets posted increases over last year's regular season opener, including eight of the top ten markets. Impressive increases were seen in:
      New York: +94% (3.3 vs. 1.7) Dallas: +15% (6.0 vs. 5.2) Los Angeles: +14% (4.0 vs. 3.5 Miami: +28% (4.1 vs. 3.2)
      Chicago: +43% (5.7 vs. 4.0) Orlando: +44% (12.2 vs. 8.5)
      Boston: +36% (6.1 vs. 4.5) Baltimore: +17% (5.6 vs. 4.8)
      San Francisco: +63% (3.9 vs. 2.4) Hartford: +40% (8.7 vs. 6.2)
      Atlanta: +50% (16.3 vs. 10.9) Milwaukee: +30% (9.2 vs. 7.1)(3-1-2005)

    • #24 reversed? NO IDEA UPDATE: been asked, haven't heard why [I have seen the pictures] #24-Jeff Gordon's car number on the each side 'door' were reversed or slanted towards the front of the car.......why post this? getting too much email on it and figured this was easier.(2-28-2005)
      AND was told this was nothing more then a mistake and no diescast is planned for the reversed numbers.(3-1-2005)

      News from February 28, 2005

    • Speeding Down: looks like drivers are getting used to the new electronic system used to catch speeders on pit road, after 14 drivers were caught at Daytona, only three suffered that fate on Sunday at California Speedway: #12-Ryan Newman [lap 177], #15-Michael Waltrip [lap 164] and #11-Jason Leffler [lap 105].(2-28-2005)

    • City kids get taste of track: Magic Johnson, grand marshal for Sunday's Auto Club 500, took the occasion to issue this progress report on NASCAR's diversity program: It's up to the kids. "We have 300 kids coming [to the race] from the inner cities of Los Angeles," he said. "This is a part of what we always wanted to do when I came to NASCAR, to have these young people experience what I experienced last year." Johnson claimed that 25 percent of NASCAR's TV audience is minority. "They watch the races at home," he said. "They just haven't been coming to the track, so when you look at minorities, they enjoy NASCAR as much as anybody else. The main thing is to introduce it to the young people." He said introducing the sport to minority children is probably more significant than having a minority driver at this point. "That's bigger than any driver to me," Johnson said. "You have kids that probably never, ever, have been outside of South Central [Los Angeles]. These are kids that will look at today as one of the greatest days of their lives, to come to a race. They're going to go from this race today saying, 'You know what, there's something other than crime; there's something other than killing.' They see people die around them every day. Now they're going to say, 'You know what, I should buckle down and get my education because there's something other than this life that I have to see every day.' That's what makes it great." (Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-28-2005)

    • Inspection Process Not Changed: Insider Racing News spoke with NASCAR's Robin Pemberton and one of the drivers, Kirk Shelmerdine, who didn't make the top-35 in points last year about the way NASCAR inspected the cars. Some of the nine teams that weren't fortunate enough to be in the top-35 were complaining that NASCAR was putting them at a disadvantage with the way the inspection process worked. "NASCAR's not holding anyone up," says Pemberton, "you get inspected according to where you are in points, so it's not any different than it has been for the last ten years. Inspection goes by the order of the garage layout with goes by the points," Shelmerdine said. "That's the way it is. That's only on the initial inspection to get into the garage, when you go through the tech line, it's first come -- first served. That's something that us here at the back have always had to deal with, you're last in line, that's the way it is. You've got to move up the ladder if you want to get more practice time. That's the way it is at this end of the garage and my heart bleeds for them."(Insider Racing News)(2-28-2005)

    • Speed Channel outgrowing it's building: Two motorsports-related media companies are searching for new homes, with the potential for collaborating on a 125,000-square-foot hub in the region opening as soon as 2007. Speed Channel, owned by News Corp., which also owns the Fox network, and NASCAR Images, a joint venture between the stock-car sanctioning body and News Corp., have outgrown their existing facilities. Speed Channel occupies 19,000 square feet on Southern Pines Blvd.; NASCAR Images, a film archive and video production company, has 30,000 square feet on Stuart Andrew Blvd. Speed Channel works closely with NASCAR Images on much of the network's stock-car programming. There have been informal talks of an uptown location, though real estate sources say higher land costs may squelch those plans. Speed Channel's lease runs out at the end of 2006. Since the network was acquired by News Corp. for $750 million in 2001 and relocated to Charlotte in February 2002, its staff has grown to 66 employees, up from 44 three years earlier. In addition to considering various sites for a shared headquarters with NASCAR Images, Speed Channel is mulling an expansion at its present home if current co-tenants MediaComm and The Inspirational Network move to Lancaster County. There is also an outside shot Speed Channel could become part of the Lancaster County site favored by MediaComm.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-28-2005)

    • Edwards tests at VIR with Said: Carl Edwards, who has no road course experience, tested the #60 Busch Series Ford with accomplished road racer Boris Said at Virginia International Raceway. The tests were in preparation for Sunday's road race in Mexico. Said was thoroughly impressed with Edwards' work ethic and potential. "I told (MB2 G.M.) Jay Frye he should have hired Carl," Said says. "He's one of the nicest kids, the real deal. He was a good listener and great learner. He's got quite a future." Edwards finished sixth in Saturday's Busch race and is third in points; he finished fifth in Sunday's Cup race and is fourth in points.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(2-28-2005)

    • Dale Jr's Streak Ends: The poor finish [32nd, tire problems] drops #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the 14th position in Nextel Cup points, breaking a string of 70 consecutive races in the Top-10. It had been the longest active streak and one of the 10 best all-time streaks in the modern era. The 40th starting position at California Speedway for Earnhardt was his worse since the final race in 2000.(fingerprintinc/Budweiser PR)(2-28-2005)

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