News from March 13, 2005
- Johnson wins at Las Vegas, Busch's right behind him: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading the most laps and dominating the last half of the race. Johnson also leaves Las Vegas with the drivers points lead and won the $30,000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus award for winning the race and leading the points. The rest of the top five were rookie #5-Kyle Busch, #97-Kurt Busch, #24-Jeff Gordon and #29-Kevin Harvick
See my race rundown see my Las Vegas Race Info/Rundown Page
For race results and links, see my:
Las Vegas Race Results/Awards page.(3-13-2005)
- Sad News: Dorothy Ann Fritz, mother of Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz, passed away yesterday
morning from respiratory failure at the age of 75. Born in Columbia, PA, she resided in Burke, VA at the time of her passing. A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m., at the Burke United Methodist Church, 6200 Burke Center Parkway, Burke, VA 22015. A private burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001.(RIR)(3-13-2005)
- Not NASCAR, but some ties: Venturini Motorsports, which fields the #25 Central Merchant Services - ReadyHosting.com Chevrolet in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, announced today that Jason Jarrett is set to replace injured driver, Billy Venturini. Venturini, who was injured during the season opener at Daytona, is sidelined indefinitely with a broken neck as a result of his injuries. Jason Jarrett, who brings his own family legacy to the team won the RE/MAX Series Rookie of the year in 2001, earned the prestigious Bill
France Triple Crown in 2003 and was runner up in the RE/MAX Series point battle twice in the last four years. Although the team cannot confirm how long Billy Venturini will be out, doctors estimate it could be as long as 6 months. Jarrott said, "I want to thank Dale Jarrett.com and the Dale Jarrett Fan Club for their support in making this opportunity possible." For more information visit www.venturinimotorsports.com and www.jasonjarrett.com.(3-13-2005)
- NFL Coach Vermiel and Racing? Dick Vermeil [head coach of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs] remembers one of his first days on the job as an auto-racing pit reporter for a national television network. He remembers what he was ordered to do. It was at an International Race of Champions [IROC] event and …“Cale Yarborough had just flipped his car. I go over, and he's just crawling out of the car,” said Vermeil. So he sticks a microphone in gruff old Cale's face, and …“He was fine about it,” Vermeil said. Which is why Vermeil, who grew up around racing (his father is enshrined in the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa), still holds a special place in his heart for that other group of athletes who wear helmets. “I just recognized what class guys they were,” Vermeil says. “They were never offended, no egos, nothing.” Vermeil, quite obviously, has not been in a Nextel Cup pit for a while.(Kansas City Star)(3-13-2005)
- Marlin needs to run well: It's no secret in the garage area that #40-Sterling Marlin needs results to get a contract extension at Chip Ganassi Racing. Marlin said Saturday getting a deal done is one of his top priorities. "I'd like to get something worked out by May or June,'' Marlin said at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, site of his last Nextel Cup victory, in March 2002 [actually Marlin's last win was at Darlington in March 2002]. "A few people have walked up and asked me when my deal's up with Chip, but I like where I'm at. If I can stay here, I'll stay here.''(ESPN.com/AP)(3-13-2005)
- Ince leaves the #66? UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: What Have You [#66-Hermie Sadler] Done as Far as Crew Chief Duties Go? "Greg Conner, who worked a couple of years ago with Ricky Craven at Hendrick and has been in the Truck Series a little bit - he's a Virginia guy - and he's helping us for the foreseeable future. We definitely needed a leader so he came in and has been at a little bit of a disadvantage. By the time he decided to come help us, the car was already out here so the first time he got to see the car was yesterday morning. So Greg has stepped in to help us a little bit and we've replaced, for the most part, everybody who left but it was a devastating time for us. It really put a hurtin' on us being a small team. When a third of your team decides to leave at one time it makes it tough, but everybody responded. Jeff Stek and everybody at Peak Fitness has been very supportive. We've got a long-term vision for this team and we're not gonna let three people dictate what that future is."(Ford Racing)(3-13-2005)
- StockCarFans - Rumblings - Las Vegas: Jimmie Johnson dominated today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and drove off
with the win in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. Tho he didn't lead till lap 147, he led all but 14 of the laps to the finish. That's five
times for 107 circuits (including the final 55) and it led to career win #15 for JJ and #132 for Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson moves into a three-way tie with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Ernie Irvan for 40th on the all-time win list with the victory.....and it was worth $379,625 from the over $6.1M in posted awards. But the big story of the day has gotta be the Vegas home boys, the Busch Brothers. Kyle Busch (the "shrub") got his career-best finish today with the runner-up spot, and his older brother Kurt was 3rd.
We set a record (by a mile) for cautions today (10 of 'em), and probably set a record for tire bills as well. Some of those cautions were
pretty good melee's too! Dale Jr and Brian Vickers got together in a four-car job on lap 12, and Matt Kenseth & Elliott Sadler were
involved in a six-car tussle on lap 65. We also can report we saw more side-by-side racing than we've seen in quite awhile....and we
sure hope this becomes a trend.
Casey Mears (7th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Watkins Glen last August.
Matt Kenseth (8th) had his best finish since he was the runner-up at Loudon last September.
Bobby Hamilton Jr (11th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Richmond last September.
Dave Blaney (13th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Texas last April.
Jason Leffler (22nd) had his best finish since he was 10th at Homestead in October of 2001!
Mike Wallace (24th) had his best finish since he was 18th at Talladega last October.
STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 9 Top-10's in a row.
Kurt Busch has 6 Top-10's in a row.
Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-5's in the last 6 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: The Operator of the week is a lonely Kevin Harvick (+37). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kasey Kahne (-31), followed by Elliott Sadler (-27), Scott Riggs (-27), and Travis Kvapil (-20). It's a shame this infamous contingency doesn't pay enough to cover what the #29 team is gonna get hit with on Tuesday.
Travis Kvapil led today for the first time in his Nextel Cup career. In just three races we've already had 27 different drivers to lead a lap.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(3-13-2005)
- Get the lead out..so a group asks NASCAR UPDATE 2: 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)
UPDATE 2: ‘Do-able’? That’s what Jack Roush said in regard to finally making the NASCAR transition from leaded to unleaded fuels. Environmental groups have renewed longstanding demands for NASCAR to make the change recently. “It’s just a matter of when we bite the bullet and decide it’s time,” said Roush. “There will be some ‘hiccups.’ It will cost some money for the development and change in parts, but it’s a definitely a ‘do-able deal.”(Shelby Star)(3-13-2005)
News from March 12, 2005
- Testing at Martinsville: Advance Auto Parts 500/Kroger 200 Test Schedule
3/22: Cup Series: #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr.; Truck Series: Ricky Craven, Todd Kluever, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier.
3/23: Truck Series: Todd Kluever, Darrell Waltrip, Robert Huffman, Bill Lester, Brandon Whitt, Justin Allgaier.
3/24: Truck Series: Darrell Waltrip, Robert Huffman, Bill Lester, Brandon Whitt, Alex Yontz, Steve Park, Dennis Setzer, Todd Bodine, Chad Chaffin.
3/25: Truck Series: Darrell Waltrip, Robert Huffman, Bill Lester, Brandon Whitt, Alex Yontz , Steve Park.
3/28: Cup Series: #14-John Andretti, #4-Mike Wallace, #01-Joe Nemechek, #0-Mike Bliss.
3/29: Cup Series: #25-Brian Vickers, #5-Kyle Busch, #11-Jason Leffler, #21-Ricky Rudd, #14-John Andretti.
3/30: Cup Series: #25-Brian Vickers, #5-Kyle Busch, #21-Ricky Rudd.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(3-12-2005)
- Harvick's Qualifying Speed Disallowed UPDATES illegal fuel cell: #29-Kevin Harvick's car failed post-qualifying inspection after Bud Pole Qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his speed/time was disallowed as the car did not have a full tank of fuel, which is required this year for qualifying, so he will start 42nd on Sunday.(Speed Channel's Nextel Cup Series Qualifying Coverge)
AND From Speed Channel: The quirk was the #29 car of Kevin Harvick, who ran fourth-fastest. Harvick, however, was found to be in violation of a little-known rule which requires cars to qualify with a full tank of fuel. Harvick's car was found to carry 18gal instead of the full 22gal.
UPDATE: Todd Berrier, Kevin Harvick's crew chief, installed an illegal fuel cell in the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy for Bud Pole Qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- one he said was rigged to appear filled to 22-gallon capacity while actually holding just five gallons. But Berrier said if they'd been a tick slower, NASCAR would never have known they were using an illegal cell. In seasons past, teams could qualify with the fuel load of their choice. But with NASCAR's new impound procedure, they're required to qualify with a full fuel load. Berrier doesn't foresee a points penalty from NASCAR. "I'm sure they'll fine us, but I don't think they'll take points," he said. "It wasn't a points event. It was a qualifying event.(NASCAR.com). NOTE: #21-Ricky Rudd's and team were docked 25 drivers/owners points and #7-Gordon's team was docked 25 points for infractions found in inspection, days before the Daytona 500. NASCAR tends to fine/penalize heavy for infractions involving the spoilers, fuel system and engines.(3-12-2005)
- Rules Package probably to stay all season: NASCAR said on Friday that it would probably leave the current rules package in place for the remainder of the 2005 season. This weekend's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 is the third race under the new rules, which included sweeping changes to tires (softer), gears (shorter), spoiler size (smaller) and pit road speeds (stricter enforcement). Las Vegas' 1.5-mile oval is just the second non-restrictor-plate event of the year, but most Nextel Cup teams already have a thousand miles of data concerning the new rules. Put together, the rules have created cars that are much looser than in years past, and drivers who can adapt to that hang-onto-the-car style are the ones that have succeeded in early downforce tests. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said he likes the current package and will try to use it all season. "We have to listen to our competitors. We're not going to make mid-year rule changes," Pemberton said. "You always get criticized the first 3-4 races of the year of a rule change and it always takes the competitor 3-4 races. The same guys are going to be happy and the same guys are going to be mad every year, no matter if you have a rules change or not." NASCAR is pushing to reel in costs for already strapped teams, and keeping a rules package for the entire season can save millions. Pemberton also said that NASCAR is trying to phase in the practice of impounding the cars following qualifying. "We hope we get back to common schedule like we have in the past. It is probably a few years away, we hate it goes this way," Pemberton said. "We're pushing towards the impound schedule. It'll help on expenses. We don't race in our backyard like we did every week."(NASCAR.com)(3-12-2005)
- Jackson-Hewitt scheme for Biffle at Martinsville: #16-Greg Biffle will sport a Jackson-Hewitt paint scheme in the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway in April. See an image of the car on my #16 Team Schemes page.(3-12-2005)
- BBQ Pole Award: Wayne Wilkins, owner and operator of Huckleberry's BBQ, based out of Pine Mountain Ga., delivered on his word to cater any NASCAR team winning the Bud Pole Award with his famous BBQ chicken and ribs. Robert Yates Racing employees were treated to an overload of chicken and ribs generously donated by Wilkins. Dale Jarrett and his #88 UPS Ford Taurus won the Bud Pole Award at Daytona. The tradition began for Huckleberry's when Bruton Smith, Chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., contacted Wilkins on a recommendation from the Georgia State Patrol. Wilkins, unaware of the NASCAR industry and the demand involved, graciously accepted the offer to cater Smith's SMI facilities. As demands grew from drivers and teams requesting his famous BBQ chicken and ribs, Huckleberry's became known as the "Official Ribs of Speedway Motorsports Inc., supplying exclusively to drivers and crew. Fans who witness a steady flow of teams making their way over to the Huckleberry trailer, hope Wilkins will change his mind and supply them with the same. Huckleberry's is working on a way to incorporate sales to the public. "Huckleberry's BBQ Sauce" will be sold on line by early summer. Trackside sales at any SMI location are in the near future. Huckleberry's BBQ proudly supports Speedway Children's Charities, donating portions of their proceeds directly to the charity. While many have shown interest in sponsoring Huckleberry's and their Pole Award BBQ, the right opportunity has not come along. "I created and protect my investment" states Wilkins "I have not considered adding a sponsor to join us because I just don't feel right about it yet. If a company is interested, I'll listen but I won't be quick to sign anything. I have to feel right about it, that's all. This is a big opportunity but I want the right people with me and they have to have to share the same passion as I do." No word if they made it over to Kyle Busch's shop yet...(3-12-2005)
- West Driver Injured in Chimp Attack: St James Davis and his wife La Donna were visiting Moe the chimp at an animal sanctuary outside of Bakersfield (Calif.) when a pair of chimps viciously attacked Davis. He is listed in critical condition. For those that don't know who St. James Davis is, he added a lot of color as a driver/car owner to the NASCAR Winston West Series for a number of years. You may remember his familiar white #22. The Davises do not have medical insurance.
See more at the Racingwest.com site and more at USA Today/AP.(3-5-2005)
AND updates at San Gabriel Valley Tribune.(3-9-2005)
Donations can be sent to: LaDonna Davis, Pacific Western Bank, 200 SO. Vincent Ave, West Covina, California 91790. Checks and money orders to made out to La Donna Davis.(3-12-2005)
- Down to ONE: With #15-Michael Waltrip, #99 Domino's Chevy, not qualifying for the Busch race today, it leaves just #01/#87-Joe Nemechek as the only driver who has started every NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch race ever held at LVMS.(LVMS.com Pit Notes PR)(3-12-2005)
- McClure makes first race of 2005, 2nd career: For rookie Eric McClure of Abingdon, Va., driver of the #73 ARC Dehooker/Recreational Fishing Alliance Chevrolet, it has been a big weekend in Las Vegas. "Making the Cup race was big, obviously. That's an area where we've been right on the verge in the first two races but this new qualifying system hasn't particularly worked in our favor," said McClure, who, through unofficial estimates, would have run in the season-opening Daytona 500 and had practice times capable of making the California Speedway field under the previous qualifying system. "The biggest thing? I walked into the sports book at the Stratosphere (hotel and casino) to see how the basketball games were going, and they had my name up on the odds board," McClure said. For a driver making the second NASCAR Nextel Cup start of his career Sunday, the 26-year-old was thoroughly delighted. Even at being 300-1? "Hey, if my last name was 'field,' I would have been on the board before. There are a lot of guys who aren't up there at all, so I'm pretty pumped," he said. Will he lay a wager on himself? "Probably not for the win," he laughed. "Not yet, anyway."(Williams Company PR)(3-12-2005)
- Money Honey - The NASCAR Rich List: Forbes' annual list of billionaires includes a few people in racing. Bill France Jr., NASCAR vice chairman, and his brother, Jim, NASCAR vice chairman, rank 507th on the list. Both have an estimated worth of $1.3 billion. Track owner Bruton Smith ranks 413th. He's worth $1.6 billion. Car owner Roger Penske ranks 387th. He's worth $1.7 billion.(News and Record)(3-12-2005)
- Speedway Children's Charities' Driver Auction raises $180,000: The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities annual NASCAR Driver Auction raised $180,000 for the children of Las Vegas and southern Nevada last night at Sam's Town Live!, inside Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall. NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick, Scott Wimmer, Kyle Petty, David Green, Stacy Compton, Clint Bowyer, Jon Wood, Ashton Lewis, Jason Keller, Randy LaJoie, Shane Hmiel, Paul Menard, Reed Sorenson, Kevin Lepage, Brent Sherman, Kim Crosby, Brendan Gaughan, NFL Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly and Mickey Jones of the Home Improvement television show participated in the fundraiser. NASCAR driver and hometown hero Brendan Gaughan signed autographs during the first hour while the Randy Anderson Band entertained attendees. This year's event also marked the return of world-famous auto auctioneer Brent Earlywine to the podium and gavel. The event also featured a silent auction with a variety of racing and non-racing items to bid on, including autographed team uniforms, race car sheetmetal (from Ricky Rudd's Motorcraft Ford, Bobby Hamilton Jr.'s Tide Chevrolet, Bobby Labonte's Interstate Batteries Chevrolet and Brendan Gaughan's Orleans Racing Dodge), autographed MLB baseballs, NBA collectibles and tickets to various shows in and around Las Vegas. Last December, The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities granted $275,000 to 51 local children's causes during its annual grant distribution ceremony.(LVMS PR)(3-12-2005)
- Herman wins $50,000 for Charity: Kenny 'Herman' Wallace, the driver of ppc Racing's #22 Stacker 2 Ford in the Busch
Series, has won the Mobil High-Endurance Poker Challenge at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, which will mean a $50,000 donation to the Autism Society of America. Wallace and Shane Wilson, crew chief for Penske-Jasper Racing's #77 Dodge of Travis Kvapil, were the final competitors in the charity tournament Thursday night.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-12-2005)
- Kyle Petty Crowns Sue Bee Winner: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny/Sue Bee Dodge Intrepid awarded contest winner Naomi Locklear, of Carlsbad, N.M. a replica of the #45 race car ... street-legal, that is. Also on hand to make the presentation to Locklear was Jim Powell, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Sue Bee Honey. "We've experienced double digit growth since starting our relationship with Kyle Petty," Powell said. " Representatives of The Championship Group, Inc. created and managed the 2005 "Win Kyle's Car" promotion, which drew more than 650,000 entries in the first 48 hours. For "Win Kyle's Car 2," even bigger and better things are in store. "Everyone's just going to have to wait a week for the answer to that question," Petty said.(LVMS.com Pit Notes PR)(3-12-2005)
- 3 More Diversity Drivers: NASCAR has announced three more drivers for its diversity program. Jesus Hernandez will drive for Belnavis Racing in the weekly racing series. Hernandez is set to run 20 races at Motor Mile Raceway in Radford, Va. Terri Williams will drive for a team owned by Hermie Sadler and former NBA player Bryant Stith. Williams is from Emporia, Va. She was the grand stock champion last year at South Boston Speedway. Also, Michael Gallegos will drive a Late Model for Innovative Motorsports at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro this season.(News and Record)(3-12-2005)
News from March 11, 2005
- Hamilton plans to retire after 2006 season; Cup team for Jr. UPDATE no retire: #4-Bobby Hamilton plans to hang up his own helmet at the end of next season. ''I'll race this year and next year, that's my plan,'' he said. ''I've got some bright young drivers racing for me and it's going to be fun to devote my time to running the team and helping them develop. ''I've got hundreds of trophies from the early days stored at home,'' Hamilton said. ''Eventually I plan to bring them all here and fill an entire wall with the stuff that Little Bobby and I have collected over the years.''
:'Little Bobby'' is Bobby Hamilton Jr., Hamilton's 27-year-old son who is in his first full season in Nextel Cup [#32 Tide Chevy]. Sometime in the future Hamilton hopes to expand his team into the Nextel Cup Series, with his son doing the driving.(Tennessean)(3-8-2005)
UPDATE: Contrary to published reports, Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) is reporting that Bobby Hamilton has no plans to retire following the 2006 season. In fact, Hamilton is currently negotiating a three-year sponsorship deal that would keep him in the truck at least through the end of the 2007 campaign.(3-11-2005)
- Teresa Earnhardt to be honored: The Greater Charlotte Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) is holding its annual Events in Excellence Awards (EVIES) Saturday, March 19, 2005 at The Extravaganza Depot located at 1610 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Teresa Earnhardt, a lifelong resident of North Carolina who serves as the President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., a motorsports company located in Mooresville, NC. Ms. Earnhardt and her seven-time NASCAR champion husband, Dale Earnhardt, began operation of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in 1980. Ms. Earnhardt is a leader in the branding and licensing of the now billion dollar industry of sports licensing. In the 1980s, she introduced trade marking to the NASCAR community by positioning Dale's image and signature with corporations world wide. Her meticulous attention to detail has become the staple by which Dale Earnhardt, Inc. operates today. In 2002, Ms. Earnhardt took on an impassioned endeavor with her creation of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. This initiative continues to perpetuate her late husband’s ideals in wildlife conservation, education and children’s charities. The EVIE Awards evening will begin at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the live auction will benefit the International Special Events Foundation, educational programs offered by the Greater Charlotte Chapter of ISES and The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Tickets are $90 per person for ISES members ($125 non ISES members); table sponsorships range from $500 to $5,000. Latin attire is encouraged! For more information about the 2005 EVIE Awards or to purchase tickets to the event, call 704-332-5819 or visit www.ises-charlotte.com.(DEI Site)(3-11-2005)
- Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Kas Vegas: We went back to the qualifying format we've used for years, and the face
we've seen for years pointing to the Bud scoreboard was atop the final rundown today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman took the top-spot for Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 with a time of 31.080 (173.745 mph); the 28th Bud Pole of his Cup career.
It wasn't easy tho....Elliott Salder only missed by a little over half a hundredth.
Kevin Harvick provided the excitement for the day as his team tried an inventive way to circumvent the new rules requiring all cars to
qualify with a full fuel tank. It didn't work cause they went too fast (NASCAR pays real close attention to the Top-5 qualifiers)......he timed in 4th but will start 42nd.
Elliott Sadler (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Daytona in February of 2004.
Scott Riggs (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Lowe's last October.
Travis Kvapil (6th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Martinsville last October.
Ken Schrader (14th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 7th at Talladega in September of 2003!
Bobby Hamilton Jr. has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Lowe's last October.
Jason Leffler (17th) has his best starting spot since he started 6th at Kansas in October of 2003. (only 6 races).
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 10 Top-10 starts in a row.
Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
(in part from StockCarFans.com)(3-11-2005)
- More testing at Atlanta: Ron Hornaday was at Atlanta preparing for next Friday's World Financial Group 200, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race that will kick off an action-packed weekend of racing. The March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend will be the first time all three of NASCAR's national touring series - Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup - will compete in Atlanta on the same weekend. With a handful of NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races under his belt at Atlanta, plus one previous Craftsman Truck test many years ago, Hornaday said he thought he had the fast track figured out. Now, he's glad he spent the day testing.
"We're fast," he said with a gleam in his eye. "We've got the track to ourselves, and there were a lot of trucks testing the last couple days that laid down a lot of rubber. The weather is perfect, and we're going to test both day and night, so I think we're going to have a very good feel for what we'll need next weekend." Hornaday's fastest lap of the day session was 31.25 seconds (177.408 mph); he was expected to continue testing until 10 p.m. "With all the banking here and the new rules NASCAR has made, this will be a good show," Hornaday said. "Fans thought last year's racing was good, wait until this year."
Tickets are still available for the March 18 World Financial Group 200, which will take the green flag at the conclusion of Georgia
Power Qualifying Night, and the rest of the Golden Corral 500 weekend. For more information call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.(AMS PR)(3-11-2005)
- Busch visits old team/sponsor: Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion #97 Kurt Busch hasn't forgotten his roots. Star Nursery owner Craig Keough of Las Vegas gave Busch his first opportunity to race in a regional series, and he has found another way to return the favor. Already making a number of special appearances around town since Saturday, Busch has added another date to his hectic schedule. The Las Vegas native will be at Keough's newest nursery from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday. It's located at 5380 Blue Diamond Road in Las Vegas.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(3-11-2005)
- VA Group Meets about HOF: Virginians Racing for the Hall of Fame, the nonprofit group formed to help Henrico County's Economic Development Authority in its bid for a proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame, held a public relations subcommittee meeting Wednesday at RIR that drew local leaders in tourism, business and marketing. An international consulting firm with hall of fame experience and two renowned construction firms specializing in museum design have been commissioned to help with the project. Richmond is competing against several cities for the hall. The NASCAR deadline for bids is May 31.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-11-2005)
- Garage Survey says: According to a NASCAR.com survey that featured a question about the "Chase" format and by nearly a nine to one margin, those surveyed were in favor of the system, which essentially calls for drivers in contention to have their points reset after the 26th race of the season.(3-11-2005)..and no, I don't do survey's or polls.....
- Triple Mobil 1 Schemes for Penske Racing: A special color scheme for Rusty Wallace's Dodge Charger this weekend - Rusty, along with the other two Penske Racing South drivers #12-Ryan Newman and #77-Travis Kvapil, will race cars promoting the new line of Mobil high-endurance motor oils - which guarantee engine protection for longer intervals - during this weekend's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. It is the same car Wallace drove to a 10th-place finish at California Speedway on Feb. 27.(Tom Roberts PR), and see images of each car on my #2 Team Schemes page, #12 Team Schemes page and #77 Team Schemes page.(3-11-2005)
News from March 10, 2005
- #5 Robot Car: Coinciding with the March 11 launch of the movie "Robots" presented by 20th Century Fox, Kellogg's will trade in the #5 Chevrolet's traditional paint scheme, driven by Kyle Busch, for a nuts-and-bolts Robots-themed design for Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-10-2005)
- New Venture for Marcis and... no more racing: from the Marcis Racing site...."Racing is in our blood and will remain in our hearts but we have had to let it go. In today’s racing you either have to be big or not at all. Dave has defied the odds, silenced the critics, earned the respect of his competitors, and the admiration of many fans. So many years Dave fought the good fight for little guys who were told it could not be done. Now in retirement from racing, a sedentary life will not do. In addition to accepting every hunting and fishing invitation and owning a successful restaurant in the north woods, Dave has decided to turn his attention towards building a new business. Dave spent a lifetime working on chassis setup. This is what makes or breaks a race car. Talk about pressure, the car is right or you go home. Talk about a time crunch, the race will run with or without you. How do you make a car handle at 200+? Dave knows, and that is the foundation of each of Dave’s street rods. In the world of Street Rods, the market is saturated with ill handling and poor performing cars. Our chassis come from five decades of racing experience, using the same Laughlin F1 chassis technology found on our Winston Cup cars. This design is born from a much tougher proving ground than the typical Mustang II street rod chassis. Our end result is a solid, dependable, well engineered, bullet proof chassis. See the full story at the Marcis Racing site.(3-10-2005)
- Charlotte HOF team to be named: The community and business leaders who will head Charlotte's efforts to land NASCAR's planned hall of fame and museum are expected to be named next week, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. In a story on its Web site, the Business Journal also reports that NASCAR has told the seven bidders that it will soon outline additional aspects of its expectations for the project. Others bidding for the hall of fame and museum are Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega/Birmingham, Ala.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; and unnamed sites in Michigan.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2005)
- Vickers to test Bristol next week: #25 GMAC Racing Chevy and Brian Vickers are scheduled to test at Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday, March 15. The team already has completed tests at California, Daytona and Las Vegas this season..(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-10-2005)
- Remember Bob Jenkins? UPDATE: from the old ESPN/ABC NASCAR Broadcasts and the long gone Speedworld show [usually on at midnight on Saturday...ten years ago], he is now co-host of Speed Channel's Speed News [Saturday and Sunday's 7pm/et](3-8-2005)
UPDATE: Speed Channel has signed veteran motor sports broadcaster Bob Jenkins to co-anchor the network's signature weekend racing news program, Speed News. "Bob is one of the pre-eminent motor sports journalists," said Speed Channel Sr. Coordinating Producer Frank Wilson. "He has a strong association with NASCAR and all forms of racing. His is one of the distinctive voices in the sport, and it's great for Speed Channel to have someone of his stature on our team." Jenkins, who spent nearly 30 years as a motor sports announcer for ESPN and ABC, has received many honors including the Tony Hulman Award, given by the National Association of Auto Racing Fan Clubs for unselfish devotion to motor sports, the Roger McCluskey Award from the United States Auto Club in recognition of his standards of excellence in the sport of auto racing, and the Henry T. McLemore Motorsports Press Award which recognizes outstanding motor sports journalism in the field of writing, broadcasting or photography. A permanent plaque with his likeness is in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala.
"I've been a race fan all my life, so it seems only natural that I work for the network that obviously cares about and is devoted to
speed and motor sports," said Jenkins, the only announcer to anchor coverage of the three events held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR'S Brickyard 400, and the U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race. "I'm thrilled to be a part of the Speed family."(Speed Channel PR)(3-10-2005)
- Drivers Race Horses in Commercial: Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch, Joe Nemechek, J.J. Yeley, David Green and Jason Leffler are scheduled to be featured as Churchill Downs jockeys in a television commercial that MBNA plans to debut today. The ad,
titled "NASCAR's Horsepower Takes a Run for the Roses," asks, "What do NASCAR and the Kentucky Derby have in common?" The answer: "They both usually know their way around the track, and they both have MBNA credit cards," according to a report in today's Sports Business Daily.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2005)
- 2 Drivers attempting to do triple-duty at Atlanta, two drivers will attempt to make Truck Series, Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway [full-time ride bold]:
Jimmy Spencer, #2 Trucks, #98-Busch, #50-Cup
Shane Hmiel, #15 Trucks, #32-Busch, #08-Cup.(3-10-2005)
- Stewart, Zippy and Gibbs in commercial spot: Driver Tony Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and team owner Joe Gibbs will appear in a new television ad campaign that Home Depot plans to debut this weekend. The spots are scheduled to air during
Fox's broadcast of Sunday's UAW/DaimlerChrysler 400 Nextel Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2005)
- Hmiel fastest in Atlanta testing...in a Cup car, doing the triple: Before last week, Shane Hmiel was just driving in the NASCAR Busch Series. But during Wednesday's test at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hmiel was preparing to run all three races during next weekend's Golden Corral 500 weekend. Hmiel will start the weekend in the World Financial Group 200 Craftsman Truck race on
Friday (March 18), then compete in the Aaron's 312 Busch race on Saturday (March 19) and finish up with the Golden Corral 500 on Sunday (March 20). Hmiel was testing his #08 NEXTEL Cup car on Wednesday and turning the fastest laps of 2005, as he circled the 1.54-mile fast track in 29.26 seconds (189.424 mph). "We've got a really good car right now," Hmiel said. "If we come back next weekend and it drives like this, then we'll be looking for a top-10 qualifying spot. We've got a good car, and that's all we can ask for."
Hmiel was expected to test his Busch Series car Wednesday but instead showed up with the #08 Win Fuel NEXTEL Cup car. Hmiel said he felt he needed the extra practice in the Cup car, which he will have to qualify on speed to make the Golden Corral 500. "Atlanta isn't a place I struggle with, so we don't want to burn the test in Busch," Hmiel said. "And we tested the truck last week, so we feel like we're in a good position for next weekend." It will be his second time competing in all three NASCAR series in one weekend; he also did triple duty last season at Homestead. Hmiel was joined at Wednesday's test session by fellow NEXTEL Cup driver Mike Wallace and Craftsman Truck Series drivers Bill Lester, Johnny Benson, Chad Chaffin, Mike Skinner, Todd Bodine, Regan Smith, Jack Sprague, Robert Huffman, Brandon Whitt, and Shigeaki Hattori.
Tickets are still available for the entire weekend of racing. Tickets start at $30 and three-day packages are $65 and can be purchased at (877) 9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849), or by visiting www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.
Driver, Series, Time
#08 Shane Hmiel, NEXTEL Cup, 189.474
#4 Mike Wallace, NEXTEL Cup, 185.791
#5 Mike Skinner, Craftsman Truck, 181.414
#22 Bill Lester, Craftsman Truck, 179
#38 Brandon Whitt, Craftsman Truck, 178.723
#12 Robert Huffman, Craftsman Truck, 178.666
#16 Jack Sprague, Craftsman Truck, 178.321
#23 Johnny Benson, Craftsman Truck, 177.238
#9 Shigeaki Hattori, Craftsman Truck, 176.729
#66 Todd Bodine, Craftsman Truck, 176.673
#19 Regan Smith, Craftsman Truck, 176.280
#30 Chad Chaffin, Craftsman Truck, 170.867.(AMS PR)(3-10-2005)
- Triple Duty for Spencer at Atlanta UPDATE sponsor and Bristol too: Jimmy Spencer will triple his chances of heading to Victory Lane during next weekend's Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, since he will be competing in all three of the NASCAR series races. Spencer will begin his weekend on Friday, March 18, with the World Financial Group 200. He has returned full-time this season to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, where he is concentrating on trying to win a championship with his #2 Team ASE Dodge. On Saturday, March 19, Spencer will take over Michael Waltrip's #98 Busch Series car to compete in the Aaron's 312. By Sunday, when Spencer plans to run the #50 Arnold Motorsports Dodge in the Golden Corral 500 NEXTEL Cup race, he'll have every bump in the fast track memorized.
But with no points or provisionals to fall back on for the Aaron's 312 and the Golden Corral 500, Spencer knows he will have to qualify well in order to complete the triple. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to compete in all three races at Atlanta next weekend,"
Spencer said. "It'll be a full slate, especially on Friday with two truck practices in the morning, two Cup practices in the early afternoon, two Busch practices right after that, truck qualifying and Cup qualifying in the late afternoon, and then the truck race that night. I'll sleep well that night, I can promise you that." Spencer said he is especially looking forward to the World Financial Group 200 Craftsman Truck race, which will be held under the lights for the first time at Atlanta. Spencer was a spectator for last year's truck
race, and even he was enthralled by the action. "It's one of the best races we'll have all year with the speeds we reach and the intensity
on the track, and anybody who watched last year's race knows that," Spencer said. "Man, that was an awesome race. I remember watching it. You had two trucks pretty much door-to-door as they took the checkered flag. As a race fan - and I'm one - you can't ask for much more than that. I assure you we'll see the same kind of racing this year. There are a lot of competitive trucks and competitive drivers in the truck series right now, and when you get us on a wide-open, fast track like Atlanta, it's kind of like turning the kids loose on a playround."(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(3-8-2005)
UPDATE: Jimmy Spencer will drive the #50 Dodge owned by Arnold Motorsports at the upcoming Atlanta and Bristol events in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Arnold Motorsports has acquired sponsorship from U.S. MICRO CORPORATION, based in Atlanta, Georgia, for these two events. U.S. Micro Corporation sponsored the #50 Arnold Motorsports entry at the fall Atlanta race in 2004 and is excited to rejoin the team this year with "Mr. Excitement" behind the wheel. One of the nation's leading corporate asset management companies, U.S. Micro will remain the "official computer provider" for Arnold Motorsports. U.S. Micro's team sponsorship began in 2004 and the company will become the primary sponsor of the #50 Dodge for at least two NASCAR Nextel Cup events this year. Jim Kegley, president of U.S. Micro, is looking forward to these two events for both personal and professional reasons. Atlanta is the headquarters for U.S. Micro and Bristol is Kegley's "home town" Spencer is already scheduled to run the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series events at Atlanta and will be adding the Nextel Cup race to his 2005 schedule. The Arnold Motorsports #50 Dodge will carry the same U.S. Micro paint scheme introduced at the 2004 fall Atlanta race for both the Golden Corral 500 (Atlanta) and the Food City 500 (Bristol).More information about U.S. Micro Corporation is available online at usmicrocorp.com.(Arnold Motorsports PR)(3-10-2005)
- Kurt Busch back to School: Kurt Busch is asking students in his hometown of Las Vegas for their autographs. As part of the national 2005 Sharpie Retractable Autographs for Education Program, Busch is making a pre-race pit stop at his former middle school, asking students to autograph an oversized autograph wall and his #97 Sharpie Ford. The signatures will become part of a permanent paint scheme when he races at his "home away from home" in Bristol, Tenn., on April 3, 2005. In exchange for the autographs, Busch will deliver $10,000 in school supplies and funds to Guinn Middle School. The donation to the Las Vegas public school is a part of Sharpie's 2005 pledge to award $1 million worth of school supplies and funds to schools nationwide.
At an all-school assembly, Busch will:
* Have students sign the deck lid of the #97 Sharpie Ford, which will give their autographs a "ride-along" of their own at the upcoming
race in Busch's adopted hometown of Bristol, where the car will debut
* Host a Q&A session with the students and secure their autographs on an 8' X 10' autograph wall
* Award school supplies and funds in exchange for the student autographs
* Detail how other schools can vie for school supplies and how students can seek scholarships through the program.
"Autographs for Education" enlists support from celebrities and professional athletes like Kurt Busch to talk with students, teachers,
schools and community-based education organizations. The campaign is helping schools vie for $25,000 worth of school supplies and
individuals contend for $150,000 in college scholarships. The program kicked off at professional football's biggest game in Jacksonville
with broadcaster Howie Long and various NFL athletes, and will continue its local-market tour of cities across the country.(WeberShandwick.com)(3-10-2005)
News from March 9, 2005
- Evernham Motorsports tests at Kentucky: the Kentucky Speedway site has Evernham Motorsports scheduled to test at track today, no drivers listed. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway site)(3-9-2005)
UPDATE: hearing it was the #98 Dodge and that Erin Crocker was doing some of the testing.(3-10-2005)
- No Fatback at Vegas: Michael "Fatback" McSwain, crew chief of the #21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Ford Taurus, won't be at the race track at Las Vegas this weekend, missing his second straight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event, as he continues to recover from back surgery. A couple of weeks ago, McSwain called the California race from his home in North Carolina, utilizing communications technology from series sponsors NEXTEL and Racing Radios.
MICHAEL "FATBACK" McSWAIN, crew chief on the #21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Ford: WILL YOU BE AT LAS VEGAS? "I won't be in Vegas so we'll be doing the same thing we did at California."
DID THE SET UP WORK WELL FOR CALIFORNIA? "It worked okay, probably as good as its gonna work not being there. It went pretty good. We tested there so that made it kind of easy. And, we've got a good team so that made it easier too."
HOW DID USING TRACK PASS WORK OUT? "I thought that worked good. It probably made it work out the best it possibly could. There is not that much of a delay. It worked good. We'll use the same communication set-up for Vegas, and Atlanta if I can't go there. I have to wait and see what the doctor says next week when I see him."(MotorCraft Racing PR)(3-9-2005)
- What is up with Irvan? asked of Jeff Hammond at FoxSports.com: "As far as Ernie Irvan is concerned, we do see him at the track from time to time. He tries to help out several drivers in the ARCA Series. He's tried to put some deals together for them and make things happen. Kevin Conway has been one of the drivers that he's taken under his wing. Conway shows up from time to time for Busch [#03 Team] and Craftsman Truck races. Ernie's doing well. He still loves racing and wishes he could be more involved. It's good to see him still hanging around the sport.(FoxSports), Irvan has also started an organization, Race2Safety, working head protection equipment. Irvan is also appearing at the Motorsports Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds this Friday, more info on my Ernie Irvan site.(3-9-2005)
- So.....what is WinFuel? seen the commercials with Dale Jr. and Shane Hmiel? Seen the website? seen them on the #32 Busch Series Chevy? what is WinFuel.....hearing it is a new energy drink/multi-vitamin drink from the folks at TrimSPA.(3-9-2005)
- Marlin tests at Bristol: With snow flurries swirling, Sterling Marlin turned laps in his #40 Dodge Charger at Bristol Motor Speedway on Tuesday afternoon to prepare for April’s NASCAR race. For the first time in his 29-year NASCAR career, Marlin tested the settings on his car in the snow. "It takes a lap or two for the tires to come in," Marlin said about driving in the freezing temperatures. "When it’s 25 degrees, it takes a little time to get some heat in the tires to get some more grip. After three or four laps, you are back where you normally are."(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-9-2005)
- Just about 50 years ago...a race in Vegas: Nearly 50 years ago, on Oct. 16, 1955, a 200-mile event, the 43rd race on the NASCAR schedule, was held at the Las Vegas Park Speedway. The track was originally built as the Las Vegas Jockey Club horse track. Only three motorsports events were held at the mile-long dirt track before it was razed to make way for the Las Vegas Hilton: An IndyCar championship race in 1954, a USAC stock car race in 1959 and the NASCAR event of 1955. The race featured drivers mainly from the West Coast. It was scheduled for the same day as Martinsville Speedway’s event and although the Las Vegas purse was larger, most of NASCAR’s top drivers chose not to travel west. There was, though, a field of 27 cars, including many notable drivers of the day. Johnny Mantz, winner of the 1950 Southern 500, qualified his 1955 Mercury in the sixth starting position. Mantz was known primarily as an open-wheel driver who found occasional success in stock cars. Bill Amick of Portland, Ore., had a 1955 Oldsmobile coming off the line in 13th spot. Californian Eddie Pagan started 11th in his new Chevrolet. One driver who drew attention was a short-track specialist from Wisconsin named Norm Nelson. Nelson was driving a powerful Chrysler 300 for car owner Carl Kiekhaefer. A fellow Wisconsin native, Keikhaefer had made a fortune with his Mercury outboard motors. Kiekhaefer, who was looking for a new way to advertise his outboard motors, chose to form NASCAR’s first “super team” in 1955. The plan paid off as Kiekhaefer-prepared cars won 21 of the season’s first 42 races leading up to the Las Vegas event. Nelson put his Chrysler on the pole with a speed of 74.518 mph. Bill Hyde from Portland, Ore. started on the outside of the front row in a two year old Oldsmobile. Nelson, who was leading the race, was declared the winner as darkness was closing in and the race was called on Lap 111 for his first and only NASCAR premier series victory with Hyde coming home in second two laps behind. Nelson picked up $1,325 for the win.
Nelson left NASCAR and Kiekhaefer in 1956, choosing to compete with his own equipment on the Midwestern circuits of USAC and IMCA. Nelson won several championships in both organizations, often giving praise to his engine builder, Jerry Kulwicki, father of 1992 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Alan Kulwicki.(NASCAR PR), see the full story on my Las Vegas Race Info/Rundown Page.(3-9-2005)
- Express for Leffler again this week: The #11 FedEx Chevy with Jason Leffler driving will sport the Express paint scheme, which is one of four it will display in 2005 representing four of the FedEx operating companies; FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Kinko’s.(JGR SIte/PR)(3-9-2005)
- The Bunny Returns IMAGE: Casey Mears #41 Dodge will sport its first special paint scheme of the 2005 season this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The familiar red bullseye on the Target hood will now feature the Energizer Bunny. Energizer, a major associate sponsor of the #41 Dodge, will become the primary sponsor for the Las Vegas race and will carry the black and silver colors of Energizer.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR) no images found...yet.(3-8-2005)
IMAGE see an image of the car on my #41 Team Schemes page.(3-9-2005)
News from March 8, 2005
- Jayski tile mural donated to Victory Junction: TileForFundraising.com, along with the talent and generosity of Images in Tile, LLC, donated a tile mural to the Victory Junction Gang Camp for the Jayski.com Computer Lab. The vividly colored 3' x 4' Jayski.com-themed mural consists of 48 6x6 tiles encased in a frame that will hang on the wall of the Jayski.com Computer Lab. “Being able to provide this mural to the Victory Junction Gang Camp is truly an honor because of the immense virtue the camp possesses”, says Dana Horne of TileForFundraising.com. “I’m a big fan of Jayski.com so the opportunity to do a mural with a Jayski.com theme for such an incredible and magical camp doubled the excitement.”
Jayski and his fans have thus far raised 38% of the $75,000 needed for the Computer Lab which will provide 20 computers, as well as printers and scanning equipment for the campers. The Computer Lab will give campers a place to learn about technology, get involved in writing stories for the camp newsletter, design their own website, log on to Victory Junction intranet, and even write guest columns to be posted on Jayski.com. "The Mural is awesome and so beautiful," says Jay Adamczyk (Jayski). "I was shocked at the detail and it will make a great addition to the Jayski Computer Lab at Victory Junction. Geez, now I want one for my house." For more information on the Jayski.com Computer Lab fundraising effort, please visit VictoryJunction.org.
The TileForFundraising.com program was started in 2004 as an effort to bring uniquely decorated tile in limited editions and limited quantities to fans of sporting, music and various celebrities while raising funds for the celebrity’s favorite charity. The program provides a win-win situation for everyone involved. Fans of the celebrities will have the opportunity to own a gorgeous limited-edition collectible and celebrities’ favorite non-profit organization will benefit greatly from the funds raised.(TileForFundraising.com - see more images)(3-8-2005)
- Newman still fastest in testing at Atlanta: The garages at Atlanta Motor Speedway were crowded Tuesday as 14 NASCAR teams prepared for the new tires, new impound rules and new spoiler heights that will be in effect for the March
18-20 Golden Corral 500. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #43-Jeff Green, #29-Kevin Harvick, #17-Matt Kenseth (testing a Busch car), #77-Travis Kvapil, #18-Bobby Labonte, #11-Jason Leffler, #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #12-Ryan Newman, #10-Scott Riggs and #22-Scott Wimmer; Busch drivers #21-Brandon Miller and #20-Denny Hamlin; and Craftsman Truck driver Jack Sprague all tested Tuesday at NASCAR's fastest track. As expected, four-time Atlanta pole winner #12-Ryan Newman was fastest again on Tuesday, topping the unofficial speed chart with a lap of 29.57 seconds (187.487 mph). The 2003 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, Matt Kenseth, was also on hand for Tuesday's test, but he wasn't driving his NEXTEL Cup car. He was actually preparing his #17 Waste Management Ford for the Aaron's 312 on Saturday, March 19.
Testing will continue for the remainder of the week as teams prepare for the upcoming March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend.
Drivers expected for Wednesday's test are NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver #4-Mike Wallace; Busch driver #32-Shane Hmiel; and Craftsman Truck drivers #23-Johnny Benson, #66-Todd Bodine, #30-Chad Chaffin, #9-Shige Hattori, #12-Robert Huffman, #22-Bill Lester, #5-Mike Skinner, #16/19-Jack Sprague, #38-Brandon Whitt. Tests are closed to the public. Tickets are still available starting at $30 and weekend packages are just $65. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-877-9-AMS-TIX or by visiting www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com..
Driver Series Speed
#12 Ryan Newman NEXTEL Cup 29.57 sec/ 187.487 mph
#10 Scott Riggs NEXTEL Cup 29.79 sec/ 186.03 mph
#22 Scott Wimmer NEXTEL Cup 29.93 sec/ 185.232 mph
#99 Carl Edwards NEXTEL Cup 30.09 sec/ 184.246 mph
#77 Travis Kvapil NEXTEL Cup 30.12 sec/ 184.064 mph
#11 Jason Leffler NEXTEL Cup 30.29 sec/ 183.041 mph
#18 Bobby Labonte NEXTEL Cup 30.32 sec/ 182.850 mph
#17 Matt Kenseth Busch 30.32 sec/ 182.850 mph
#29 Kevin Harvick NEXTEL Cup 30.40 sec/ 182.368 mph
#43 Jeff Green NEXTEL Cup 30.51 sec/ 181.710 mph
#21 Brandon Miller Busch 30.62 sec/ 181.058 mph
#19 Jeremy Mayfield NEXTEL Cup 30.62 sec/ 181.058 mph
#20 Denny Hamlin Busch 31.52 sec/ 175.888 mph
#19 Jack Sprague Craftsman Truck 31.95 sec/ 173.521 mph.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(3-8-2005)
- NASCAR Hires former Kerry-Edwards 2004 Campaign Mgr: NASCAR announced the hiring of Marcus Jadotte to manage NASCAR’s national media outreach efforts. Jadotte will be based in NASCAR’s Daytona Beach headquarters and will be responsible for strategic planning and execution of all media outreach efforts nationally. “Marcus’ experience on the national stage along with his leadership ability is going to be a great asset for all of NASCAR,” said NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter. Most recently, Marcus worked for the Kerry-Edwards 2004 Campaign as the Deputy Campaign Manager. Prior to the campaign, Marcus was the Chief of Staff for the United States House of Representatives, Office of Congressman Peter Deutsch. Marcus brings with him over ten years of communications/political experience and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Florida State University.(NASCAR PR)(3-8-2005)
- Hamilton plans to retire after 2006 season; Cup team for Jr.: #4-Bobby Hamilton plans to hang up his own helmet at the end of next season. ''I'll race this year and next year, that's my plan,'' he said. ''I've got some bright young drivers racing for me and it's going to be fun to devote my time to running the team and helping them develop. ''I've got hundreds of trophies from the early days stored at home,'' Hamilton said. ''Eventually I plan to bring them all here and fill an entire wall with the stuff that Little Bobby and I have collected over the years.''
:'Little Bobby'' is Bobby Hamilton Jr., Hamilton's 27-year-old son who is in his first full season in Nextel Cup [#32 Tide Chevy]. Sometime in the future Hamilton hopes to expand his team into the Nextel Cup Series, with his son doing the driving.(Tennessean)(3-8-2005)
- Fed Up with Jesse Jackson: The man who headed the sports division of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition for more than a decade before being released in January is now organizing former Jackson affiliates into his own minority motor sports division. "A lot of people were fed up with Reverend Jackson so I think this is a clean start," Farrell said of his newly formed group, One Umbrella Motorsports Association. "We have people coming from as far away as California and Missouri." He called his new venture the "start of something big." In what could be another sign of financial woes at Rainbow/PUSH, Jackson's organization has indicated it is scaling back its national minority sports initiatives, according to Farrell. Jackson's Rainbow Sports organization has previously conducted minority sports outreach efforts with such groups as NASCAR, the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA. Farrell directed the Rainbow/PUSH Sports division for some of the eleven years he spent with Jackson's organization. In January, Farrell said, he got word from Jackson that his services were no longer needed. Rainbow/PUSH was scaling back the "national scope it has had" in sports and was closing its New York office, Farrell said he was told. "The departure of Farrell is further evidence that Jesse Jackson is only interested in getting money out of the motor sports industry -- and in particular NASCAR -- and has had very little to do with the advancement of minorities within the sport," said Peter Flaherty, president of the National and Legal Policy Center. In 2003, Flaherty launched a campaign to end NASCAR's support of Jackson because of Jackson's anti-war rhetoric and past financial dealings with corporations.(in part from CNSNews.com)(3-8-2005)
- Seven Drivers in Tylenol Spots: Johnson & Johnson has signed endorsement deals with seven Nextel Cup drivers to promote the launch of Tylenol's Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels, Street & Smiths's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Elliott Sadler make up Team Tylenol. The campaign will include television ads during race broadcasts and sponsorship at 11 tracks. Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon are scheduled to be featured on packages of the product sold during the third quarter of the year. Exact financial terms of the deal were not reported, but the story by Terry Lefton says the entire campaign is "an eight-figure investment."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-8-2005)
- Testing at Atlanta: #12-Ryan Newman was in Atlanta for the first day of a two-day test for the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500. Also testing were #22-Scott Wimmer, #77-Travis Kvapil, #11-Jason Leffler and Busch driver Brandon Miller. Newman topped the unofficial speed charts. He circled his #12 Alltel Dodge around Atlanta's 1.54-mile quad-oval at 29.48 seconds (186.060 mph). Second fastest was Jason Leffler in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet, turning a lap in 29.84 seconds (185.790 mph). NEXTEL Cup rookie Travis Kvapil was third fastest for the day with a lap time of 29.95 seconds (185.109 mph). Wimmer was the slowest among the Cup drivers for the day, turning in a time of 30.16 seconds (183.820 mph). Busch driver #21 Brandon Miller was also on hand for Monday's test, turning a top lap time of 30.53 seconds (181.592 mph). Testing will continue throughout the week as drivers prepare for the March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend. All testing is closed to the public. Those expected to test are Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, Jeremy Mayfield, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green, Bill Elliott and Carl Edwards.(AMS PR)(3-8-2005)
- Johnson top young gun at Calif: By picking Jimmie Johnson as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on February 27th, John B. of Marshall, TX was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. John picked Johnson as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com and entering before the weekly deadline. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Johnson. This is the first time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Johnson.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(3-8-2005)
- Testing at Kentucky: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #20-Tony Stewart and #11-Jason Leffler are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, March 8. Fans can view testing out side Turn 3 at no charge. Tests begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. and end at approximately 5:00 p.m. The test schedule is subject to change.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(3-8-2005)
News from March 7, 2005
- Mark Martin's Official 'Salute to You' Tour Website now open: Mark Martin’s“Salute to You” Tour, which roared to life on the track with back-to-back top-10 finishes in the first two races of the season, has come to life on the Internet. The official Web site of Mark Martin’s “Salute to You” Tour is now online at www.markmartinsalute.com. Featuring race news, vintage photos, a career timeline, exclusive merchandise and more, the site celebrates the career of one of NASCAR’s most beloved drivers, who retires from full-time Nextel Cup competition this year. Martin himself delivers a special video message to visitors when they arrive at the site. The site will serve as the new home of the official Mark Martin fan club. Current fan club members can use their existing fan club log in name and password to access the “Salute to You” site. Fan club membership
is free by registering at www.roushracing.com.(Roush Racing PR)(3-7-2005)
- VJGC Goes Trackside with Track Scan: Track Scan has agreed to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp both financially with a percentage of their scanner headset rentals going to the camp, as well as promotionally through their marketing efforts both on and off the track. Other programs Track Scan will be doing to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp is to create a racing like atmosphere by donating scanners to the camp so that when the campers and their parents take a tour of the facility they can wear the authentic racing scanners complete with two-way radio for communication. For more information, visit www.track-scan.com.(Victory Junction Gang Camp PR)(3-7-2005)
- Burton wants better car; engineer joins RCR: Burton wants better cars: The work of Jeff Burton's pit crew helped his No. 31 gain 18 positions over seven stops at California, but going into Las Vegas, he doesn't believe his Monte Carlos are up to speed. "Pit crews can't be winning races," Burton says. "We've got to get better cars." The cars are sure to improve after Burton is reunited with former Roush senior engineer Nick Ollila, who joined Richard Childress Racing last week. Off the track, despite having a week away from racing, Burton was anything but idle. In a little more than a week, he shot a commercial for Cingular, made appearances for Chevrolet and Coke and had a cameo role on the WB's One Tree Hill.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(3-7-2005)
- Update on Venturini: Billy Venturini was injured in the ARCA RE/MAX Series’ season-opening event, the Advance Auto Discount 200 at Daytona Int’l Speedway. With just two laps remaining on the scoring tower a multi-car wreck broke out. The aftermath left Venturini with a broken neck and severe ligament damage that will leave him sidelined for a portion of the 2005 racing season. His injuries, sustained while wearing a safety Hutchens Device, very well could have happened had he been using a HANS. The injuries were all circumstance of the neck snapping sideways rather than forward, the purpose of both head and neck restraints. Venturini, along with the doctors who are treating him, feel that the injuries based on the side impact were unavoidable. In order to set the spinal cord as it heals, Venturini was placed in a halo and will continue to don it for three to four more weeks. Once it is removed, as silly as it sounds, he says the next step is getting back behind the wheel of his #25 racecar. As he recovers he also takes on a duty he doesn’t like so much – putting someone else in his seat. But, it’s business as usual including, working closely with his new crew chief Troy Selberg and his newly signed sponsors, Central Merchant Services and ReadyHosting.com.
Although the team is holding off on making an official announcement, Billy says, “It has to be someone who will help the team now and in the future. We’ve toyed with the idea of fielding a second car so it has to be someone we see with us in the future.” Moving forward, he plans on attending the Nashville event which, will more than likely be the toughest step in his recovery as he watches someone else race his number. But, at the same time, it could be the best medicine just knowing in a few short months, it’ll be his ride once again." See full story at the Billy Venturini Site.(3-7-2005)
- Lepage sponsor: #37-Kevin Lepage says that he has a five-race primary sponsorship deal with Patron Tequila on the table, but that they are still negotiating.(NASCAR Scene)(3-7-2005)
some 2004 Changes in the Cup Series:
- Nextel takes over as the series sponsor from RJR.Winston
(see more on my Nextel page)
- Winston Cup Champs will now be known as Nextel Cup Champs
- Sunoco takes over for Unocal/76 as the fuel supplier for the 3 national series
(see more on my Fuel Sponsor page)
- Spoiler reduction, from the 6.25 inches to 5.5 inches at non-restricted tracks
- Larger Gas Can [known as the F3] from 11-gallon cans to 12.
(Cars' fuel cells hold 22 gallons except at Daytona/Talladega where it is 11.5 approx.)
- Goodyear will intoduce a new next generation 'softer' tire compound in 2004
- Engines must be located 14.25 inches, +/- 1", from center carburetor air cleaning mounting stud to base of windshield
- Primary and secondary ignition systems are required to be mounted on the dashboard, in the open, so that it will be easier to check the wiring and eliminate any opportunities for traction control.
- Provisonals change from 7 to 5, all are charged unless 43 or less cars attempt the race
- Testing: now 9 test dates [was 5]; rookies get 12 [was 7]
- GM no longer to support Pontiac - all Pontaic teams switch to Chevy
- Restrictor Plate opened to 29/32" [was 28/32"]
- Restrictor plate spoilers now 6.75" [was 6.25"]
- Points System change - a Chase for the Championship