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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    MAR 14-20, 2005





      News from March 20, 2005

    • #5 Team allowed to work on car: Though NASCAR Nextel Cup cars were impounded [see full rules below] this weekend after qualifying Friday, Kyle Busch's team on Saturday was allowed to prepare a backup car for today's race at Atlanta after the 19-year-old Cup rookie wrecked his primary car in qualifying. It's a good thing crew chief Alan Gustafson is allowed to work while his suspension is being appealed.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-20-2005)

    • Lepage gets a sponsor for Atlanta: The #37 with driver Kevin LePage, which has full sponsorship for only five races this year, will carry the colors today of Newell Recycling of Atlanta.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(3-20-2005)

    • Last Time a win was stripped for an post-race inspection violation? The last time NASCAR [Cup Series] disqualified a winner for failing a post-race inspection was in 1955, according to an official in NASCAR's statistical services. Fireball Roberts won the Daytona Beach race, but had the win taken away for an engine modification. NASCAR gave Tim Flock the win. Since then, drivers have kept wins regardless of the infractions. NASCAR stripped Rudd of a victory at the Sears Point (now Infineon) road course in 1991 for rough driving. Rudd made contact with leader Davey Allison before the final lap and caused Allison to spin. Rudd crossed the finish line first but was not given the checkered flag. That waved as Allison passed.(News and Record). No Petty was not stripped in 1983, no Mayfield was not stripped in 2002, Skinner and Jarrett had Busch wins stripped NOT Cup.(3-20-2005)

    • Race Penalties Now Less Severe: Beginning with Sunday's Golden Corral 500, eight infractions that used to bring a stop-and-go penalty will now be addressed with a pass through the pits. They include a crew member jumping over the wall too soon, too many crewmen in the pit service area, using more than two air wrenches during a stop, and tossing the fuel or catch cans. Other violations now covered by a pass-through penalty are: crew members returning from the equipment side of the wall, illegal use of extension poles, failing to carry the front air wrench to the pit wall side, and noncompliant refueling. A stop-and-go requires a car to return to its pit box for 15 seconds, while the lesser penalty is merely going back through pit road at the required speed limit.(FoxSports/AP)(3-20-2005)

    • A Few Stats to Gnaw On:
      * Six of Bobby Labonte’s 21 Cup victories have occurred at Atlanta.
      * No driver has swept both races in a season Atlanta since Bill Elliott in 1992.
      * In the last 29 races at Atlanta, only once has pole winner gone on to win.
      * Tony Stewart has finished in the top 10 in seven consecutive AMS races.
      * Jimmie Johnson has led at least one lap in every race so far. Here’s a surprise: The only other driver who can make that claim is Kyle Petty.(Gaston Gazette)(3-20-2005)

    • Atlanta Post Race Notes:
      • Carl Edwards won the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, scoring his career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 17th career start.
      • Edwards won both the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Joe Nemechek was the last driver to win both races in a weekend (Kansas October 2004).
      • Edwards became the first driver ever to post both his career-first NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories in the same weekend.
      • Edwards became the seventh different race winner in the last seven races Atlanta Motor.
      • Edwards begins the 2005 season with two top-five finishes and top-15s in four races.
      • Edwards posted his second top-five finish in two races at Atlanta. He finished third at Atlanta last October.
      • Edwards scored the second victory in four races in 2005 for car owner Jack Roush. It marked Roush’s fourth victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      • Greg Biffle was the most recent first-time winner when he won at Daytona in July 2003.
      Notebook Items
      • Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his fifth top-five finish in eight races at Atlanta. Johnson has scored top- 10 finishes in the 10 races since Charlotte last fall. Johnson is the only driver that has led at least one lap in all four races in 2005.
      • Greg Biffle (third) scored his third top-10 finish in five races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He posted his third straight top-10 finish of the season. This is the first time in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career that he has posted three consecutive top-10s.
      • Mark Martin (fourth) scored his 19th top-10 finish in 39 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Martin has scored three top-10 finishes in four races this season. Martin has been running at the finish in 26 consecutive races, the longest current streak.
      • Kasey Kahne (fifth) scored his third top-five finish in three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kahne scored his first top-10 and best finish in 2005.
      • Dave Blaney (eighth) scored his second top-10 finish in 11 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His last top- 10 finish came at Pocono (ninth) in July 2003.
      • Kyle Busch (12th) was the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender for the third time in 2005.
      • Mike Garvey started 43rd and finished 41st in his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start.
      • Robby Gordon failed to qualify for the 2005 Daytona 500 and has finished 35th, 39th and 34th in the three races he has competed in this season.
      • All 10 of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings changed at Atlanta.
      • Just one race remains before 2005 owner points set the guaranteed starting positions at Martinsville. Noted car owners/drivers ranked outside the top 35 include: Joe Gibbs/Bobby Labonte (37th), Greg Pollex/John Andretti (38th), Leonard Wood/Ricky Rudd (39th) and James Smith/Robby Gordon (40th).
      • Looking ahead to the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.... 18 drivers are already more than 400 points behind the leader. Included in those 18 are Mike Wallace, Bobby Labonte, John Andretti, Ricky Rudd and Robby Gordon plus 13 others.
      • The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus will be worth $20,000 Bristol Motor Speedway.
      (Information Provided by NASCAR Statistical Services)(3-20-2005)

    • StockCarFans - Rumblings - Atlanta: We had a phenomenal finish to a fantastic weekend as Carl Edwards grabbed his first-ever Nextel Cup victory by a whopping .02 seconds over the ultra-consistent Jimmie Johnson in today's Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In a 25 lap shootout to the end, Edwards ran down Johnson coming off turn four and we had our classic AMS finish as Edwards squeezed through on the outside to make his weekend complete....he scored his first Busch Series win yesterday.
      Saw some empty seats today....and you gotta wonder why. An entertaining Busch race yesterday and Friday's CTS race was just as close as today. The weather couldn't be blamed, either.
      I won't say that early carnage was due to the new impound rule, but I hope that thought at least passed through NASCAR's mind. After all, everybody knows no practice makes you better, right? The guys in the booth touched on the fact this new rule could bode poorly for the Busch regulars. With the chance to learn the new tire and the track changes (since the impound at certain tracks means absolutely no action on Saturday for the Cup cars) expect to hear some more complaining about the "Busch" whackers.
      This was win #76 for Roush Racing, and Carl Edwards becomes a member of a very elite club of racers. He's the 167th different winner in NASCAR's top division, and you'd be hard-pressed to find another driver as humbled and overcome by the experience. It was worth $165,450 for Edwards (btw, Jimmie Johnson got over $173K for running second).
      Brian Vickers (6th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 7th when we were here last October.
      Michael Waltrip (7th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Loudon last July.
      Dave Blaney (8th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Darlington in March of 2003!
      Jeremy Mayfield (13th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Martinsville last October.
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 10 Top-10's in a row.
      Greg Biffle has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the week is a tie between Michael Waltrip (+30) and Kyle Busch (+30), followed by Jeff Burton (+23) and Sterling Marlin (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Bobby Hamilton Jr (-36), followed by Joe Nemechek (-28), Shane Hmiel (-22), and Travis Kvapil (-20).
      Jimmie Johnson lost the points lead mid-week but regains it today. He's now 82 points ahead of new second place driver Greg Biffle. We've got 35 drivers still in the hunt for the "Chase".
      The best move forward today belongs to Kasey Kahne (38th to 28th), while Jeff Gordon (4th to 12th) and Kyle Petty (16th to 24th) fell the most spots.(StockCarFans.com)(3-20-2005)


      News from March 19, 2005

    • Sad News: Paul Jedic from Flag 2 Flag Racing Collectibles in Tuckerton, NJ passed away on Saturday, March 19th after a valiant battle against lung cancer.(3-19-2005)

    • What's the Record? #12-Ryan Newman won his 5th straight pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday...so what is the record? David Pearson won 11 straight poles, all while driving for the [#21] Wood Brothers from 1973 through 1978, at the track now known as Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Gaston Gazette)(3-19-2005)

    • Rusty goes yellow at Texas: Rusty Wallace will be back with the Kodak colors at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Last year, Wallace had the Kodak sponsorship on his #2 Dodge at Watkins Glen, marking the first time [since 1989 when Koidak was the sponsor during hios Championship season] he raced for another sponsor since being with the Miller Brewing Company.(RacingOne)(3-19-2005)

    • Times have changed: Richard Petty never thought he’d see the day when he promoted Nicorette nicotine gum, a product designed to help people stop smoking. “Not after spending 33 years with Winston,” Petty said of the cigarette company that was NASCAR’s primary sponsor until last season. “Times have changed. Circumstances change.” Petty’s involvement with Nicorette is part of a program in which five NASCAR fans were selected to be a part of the Winner’s Circle quit-smoking campaign. The public can follow their progress over the next 12 weeks by logging onto www.quit.com. Those who are successful will get to spend a day and a half learning to drive a stock car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(The State)(3-19-2005)

    • Motorcycle Racer Bubba Stewart on NASCAR: "I've gotten offers already to do that from a lot of sponsors, like Home Depot, Tony Stewart's team and stuff like that. A few teams," he said. "Right now I'm focusing on racing. All the NASCAR guys pretty much start from go-karts, I think. I've never heard of a NASCAR guy riding a motorcycle [Jimmie Johnson]. Right now I make a good living (between $3 million and $5 million a year) doing this. I just want to do it and have fun at it, and I'm going to take it seriously and stuff. I think if I went to NASCAR right now, I'd be the guy in the best shape. I wouldn't need a water bottle. This is a physical thing; you can be a little bit overweight and still be good at NASCAR. You can be 30 years old and still be young in NASCAR."(in part from the Lakeland Ledger)(3-19-2005)

    • Fatback's stance on the penalties: The crimes committed in Sin City [Las Vegas] drew stiff punishments and suspensions for [crew chiefs] #48-Chad Knaus, #5-Alan Gustafson and #29-Todd Berrier but not much sympathy from many competitors. The trio is challenging the penalties as excessive, but [#21 Crew Chief] Michael "Fatback" McSwain wasn't interested in hearing explanations or claims of injustice. "Tough [expletive]," said McSwain, crew chief for Ricky Rudd. "That's [baloney], man. That's what's wrong with America now. Every time somebody screws up, we tell them it's all right. You don't pay your bills, you can file bankruptcy. You kill somebody, spend 10 years in jail, and we'll let you out. That's what's wrong with society now, man. If you do the crime do the time. If you had the guts to do it, have the guts to take your punishment."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-19-2005)

        vs.  
      The same?

    • RCR Sues ESPN over the number '3': The stylized No. 3 symbolizing the legacy of Dale Earnhardt has been reproduced on jackets, on stickers with an angel's halo, on the walls of local restaurants, and on countless other products and memorials to the late racing legend. RCR Enterprises Inc., which owns the trademark rights to the stylized No. 3, says that one of those memorials went too far. RCR, of Welcome, is owned by Richard Childress. RCR filed a federal lawsuit this week against ESPN Inc., the all-sports cable-television network that recently produced a film about Earnhardt's life. The film and its related products use a stylized No. 3 similar to the trademark owned by RCR, according to the lawsuit. RCR is owned by Richard Childress.
      "(ESPN's) use of a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark in connection with a motion picture, DVDs and books is a purposeful attempt to draw a connection between those products and RCR's Stylized 3 Mark," the lawsuit argues. "Defendant has used and is using a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark in commerce to advertise and promote itself and its products and services," the lawsuit continues. "Defendant has offered and is offering, in commerce, products and services for commercial sale or for commercial profit under a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark." Josh Krulewitz, a spokesman for ESPN at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn., said that the company did nothing illegal. "We did not make use of the plaintiff's trademark, and our use of the No. 3 was entirely legal," he said. In the lawsuit, RCR charges that ESPN is violating its trademark, is competing unfairly under federal law and is diluting the symbol used by Earnhardt when he was driving for RCR for 20 years. "The Stylized 3 Mark is distinctive and has become famous through extensive advertising, promotional expenditures, careful control and over 20 years of continuous use and commercial exposure," the lawsuit says. "Defendant's use of a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark has resulted in and will continue to result in a lessening of the capacity of the Stylized 3 Mark to identify and distinguish authorized products and services."
      RCR is asking the court to order ESPN to stop using any stylized No. 3 that could resemble its own trademark, and to recall and destroy any products that include such a symbol. Company officials are also asking for damages, attorneys' fees and "three times all gains, profits and advantages derived by them from (ESPN's) infringement, dilution, unfair competition or unfair trade practices." They also want interest. The two symbols have some similarities and some differences. The No. 3 used by Earnhardt was a block number italicized to the left. The No. 3 used by ESPN in its marketing has rounder edges, and it leans to the right.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-19-2005)

    • Daytona's HOF Bid May be in Trouble: Political trouble has the city's drive to bring the NASCAR hall of fame to Daytona Beach sputtering like a car with engine trouble. City Manager Jim Chisholm told city commissioners in an e-mail Thursday he would suspend the city's campaign. And though he later backed off making that announcement, the city's caution flags have state lawmakers rethinking their commitment to the project. The trouble started Wednesday when commissioners voted 6-1 to support building the hall of fame but wouldn't discuss putting up $20,000 to help pay an estimated $200,000 cost to develop a proposal. Local lawmakers were seeking $75 million in state funding to build the hall of fame. They fear Wednesday's commission action will make it even harder to sell the project to the Legislature.
      With the Florida Marlins and Orlando Magic also looking for help with stadium projects, some lawmakers, including Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, have said they are reluctant to spend tax dollars on sports projects. To make the NASCAR project more palatable, King, Patterson and Daytona Beach lobbyist Sam Bell said Thursday they have revamped -- and scaled back -- their proposal for state funding. Initially, Daytona officials requested that the state commit $75 million over 25 years to help pay for building the hall of fame. Money would come from state sales taxes generated by the hall of fame. A revamped proposal seeks $30 million over 25 years. Also, it calls for creating a NASCAR-themed license tag, with proceeds from the sale of the tag going to the state to pay back the $30 million. Bell, a former Volusia County lawmaker, said the hall of fame initially was expected to cost about $75 million, but that estimate has been reduced to about $60 million. He said the state money would make up half of that amount, with the rest coming from sources such as sponsorships and land donations by the city and county. NASCAR set a May 31 deadline for proposals from areas including Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City, Kan., Richmond, Va., Talladega, Ala., and the state of Michigan.(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-19-2005)


      News from March 18, 2005

    • Young Guns Update: By picking #48-Jimmie Johnson as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 13th, Sam H. of Paducah, KY was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Sam 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 second time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Johnson. This is the last race in which consumers can celebrate the beginning of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season with the Gillette Young Guns $1 Million Watch & Win Sweepstakes. This exciting new promotion offers race fans the chance to win $100,000 during each of the first four races of the season, starting with this year's Daytona 500. Info at www.gilletteyoungguns.com.(Alan Taylor Commincations)(3-18-2005)

    • More on McClure's departure from the #73: Eric McClure, driver of the #73 Arc Dehooker Chevrolet, drove his first and last race for Raabe Racing Enterprises this past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After failing to qualify for the season's first two events and having continuous problems during this past weekend's UAW Daimler Chrysler 400, the Abingdon, Virginia native felt it necessary to resign as driver of the #73 Arc Dehooker Monte Carlo. "I just want to thank Mr. Raabe and all of the Arc Dehooker team for giving me the opportunity to drive their race car during this past weekend's Nextel Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, after much consideration, I feel the need to pursue other driving opportunities that will better my career in the long run." Although McClure no longer has a ride in the Nextel Cup Series and will no longer be a contender for the Rookie of the Year title, he remains optimistic about his future in NASCAR racing and is excited about some of the opportunities that have come his way in such a short period of time. "We are fortunate enough to have a couple of deals in the works right now and hopefully something will come out of them. I just want to race! Whether it be in Truck, Busch, or Cup, it doesn't matter to me." As of now, the 26-year-old Emory and Henry College graduate plans to run the Sharpie Professional 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway in April for Morgan-McClure Motorsports.(PR)(3-18-2005)

    • Red Barons on the #49 at Atlanta: Ken Schrader and the #49 Red Baron Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway, located in Hampton, Ga., this week for Sunday's Golden Corral 500; the fourth race of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. Driving a car emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week. Red Baron frozen pizza products are distributed under the Schwan's Consumer Brands North America banner, which also markets other leading frozen-food retail brands that include Tony's and Freschetta frozen pizzas, Pagoda Asian specialties, and Larry's potato side-dishes. Schwan's Consumer Brands is a division of The Schwan Food Company, whose Schwan's Home Service business unit sponsors Schrader and the #49 BAM Dodge throughout the remainder of the season.(Williams Company PR), added an image of the car to my #49 Team Schemes page.(3-18-2005)

    • Final Las Vegas TV Ratings up 10%: Final Nielsen Media Research figures show that Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's UAW/DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earned a 6.4 rating and a 14 share, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The rating is 10.3% higher than 2004's 5.8, although it was well short of 2003's 6.9. The race was easily the most-watched sports program of the weekend, well ahead of the 4.9/10 that CBS drew for the selection of the teams for the NCAA's men's basketball tournament.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-18-2005)

    • Been Asked - UPDATEs:
      1) Does #48-Jimmie Johnson get to keep the $30,000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus he won at Las Vegas for winning the race and having the points lead? I can only assume [gasp] so as last year, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was docked 25 points and fined at Talladega, he had won the award and was allowed to keep it as he did lead the points after the win.
      2) Can any of the suspended crew chief communicate with the team as Michael 'Fatback' McSwain did with the #21 team when he was out due to back surgery? While I directly do not know if, I doubt NASCAR [who monitors the scanners] would allow direct contact with the driver, they may be able to sneak a cell phone call in.
      UPDATE on #2: None of the suspended crew chiefs will be permitted to communicate with their race teams via cell phone or radio during the time they are suspended, NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said.(FoxSports/AP).
      3) And no word if Fatback will be back at the track for the Atlanta race to call the shots for #21-Ricky Rudd.
      UPDATE on #3: XM Radio reports that Michael "Fatback" McSwian, crew chief for the #21, is at Atlanta and back working.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(3-18-2005)

    • Bill France in Nashville to give the command: Country Music Star Billy Ray Cyrus will be performing the National Anthem for the Opening Day Celebrations on Saturday, March 19 at Music City Motorplex in Nashville. Billy Ray will be the last voice heard at the fairgrounds track before NASCAR Vice Chairman Bill France commands the drivers to “Start Their Engines,” kicking off the 101st year of racing at the Fairgrounds. Other expected dignitaries on Saturday include Fort Campbell’s Colonel Larry D. Ruggley, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Chad Chaffin, Chase Montgomery, and Timothy Peters, Nashville Vice Mayor Howard Gentry, Councilmen Harold White and Jim Gotto, members of the Nashville Sports Council, and recording artists Debbie Wade and Jason Aldean. The racing program will include NASCAR racing action from the Grand National Sportsman, Super Trucks, Late Models and an MMRA Mini Cup Tour event. More info at musiccitymotorplex.com.(3-18-2005)

    • So.....what is WinFuel? UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATE: WinFuel is a new multi-vitamin and sponsor of the #08 Braun Racing Chevy Hmiel will run at Atlanta.(3-18-2005)

    • Stanton Barrett gets a sponsor for Atlanta: Front Row Motorsports has announced a deal that will make USMilitary.com the primary sponsor for its #92 Chevrolet for Stanton Barrett for this weekend's Golden Coral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Web site, which offers potential enlistees information to help them compare branches of the armed services, will also be the primary sponsor at a second race to be determined. Financial terms were not announced.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-18-2005)

    • RYR Loses an engineer to Champ Cars: The Champ Car World Series named veteran race engineer Scot Elkins Director of Technology in the Champ Car Operations Department. Elkins assumes Director of Technology responsibilities after serving most recently as Chief Engineer at Robert Yates Racing where he was responsible for all engineering functions for the NASCAR team. His duties included race simulations, race day fuel mileage calculation and Damper build specifications. Elkins also headed up the team’s wind tunnel and seven post testing programs.(Ford Racing)(3-18-2005)

    • More Changes? Last week at Las Vegas, Larry McReynolds moderated a roundtable discussion with car manufacturers, Goodyear, NASCAR's tire manufacturer, and NASCAR's vice president of competition, Robin Pemberton, and talked about the state of the sport. You always get the feeling that these manufacturers know another rule change is lurking. You don't always know what it might be. It may be another 1/4 or 1/2 inch off of the rear spoiler down the road, and you get the feeling that they can't and won't quit thinking about it because the potential for change is always out there.(FoxSports)(3-18-2005)


      News from March 17, 2005

    • RCR Names Interim Crew Chief for the #29: Richard Childress Racing says chief engineer Scott Miller will take over crew chief duties for the team's #29 Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick for this weekend's Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Miller will fill in for crew chief Todd Berrier after NASCAR suspended Berrier for four races for a fuel cell infraction last weekend at Las Vegas. The team has said it will appeal the terms of the suspension [the appeal is scheduled to be heard on March 28].(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-17-2005)

    • McDonald's to sponsor Elliott: hearing that McDonald's will sponsor the #91 [#98?] Dodge and Bill Elliott at Michigan in June and California in September.(3-17-2005)

    • Bowyer to debut at Phoenix: Richard Childress said on Speed Channel's NASCAR Nation that his Busch Series driver, Clint Bowyer, will make his Nextel Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway in the #33 Chevy with Sylvania as the sponsor.(3-17-2005)

    • Ward to appear at Martinsville...no ride: Ward Burton said he plans to attend qualifying day [4/8] at Martinsville Speedway on April 8, his first visit to a Nextel Cup event this year. "I want to say hey to everybody," said the South Boston native, who has been out of Cup since last November. "I have no desire to stay the whole weekend." Burton, who reportedly has received offers to race in NASCAR's top three touring series, has kept busy with managing his Halifax County wildlife foundation and doing charity work. The noted outdoorsman also has filmed two segments for the Outdoor Channel; the next appears at 3:00pm/et on March 29.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-17-2005)

    • Appeals Allow Suspended Crew Chief's to be at Atlanta; Berrier to sit out: NASCAR crew chiefs Chad Knaus [#48] and Alan Gustafson [#5] will be allowed to compete in Atlanta this weekend while they appeal their two-race suspension. Both were suspended on Tuesday for allegedly cheating at Las Vegas last weekend. Team owner Rick Hendrick appealed, and the National Stock Car Racing commission can't assemble until next week to hear their case, NASCAR officials said Wednesday. Under NASCAR's rules, the crew chiefs can still compete until their appeal has been heard. Todd Berrier was suspended for four races, and NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said they expected to receive notice of his plans to appeal in time for him to compete in Atlanta this weekend.(AP/ESPN.com). Richard Childress said onSpeed Channel's NASCAR Nation that Berrier will sit out the Atlanta race and the suspension will be appealed. Knaus and Gustafson's apeals will be heard Tues, March 22nd, Berriers on Monday, March 28th.(3-17-2005)

    • Elliott to run at Atlanta IMAGE: This will be Bill Elliott's second regular season start in 2005 and his second career start in the #91 Visteon Dodge Charger.(Clear!Blue PR)(3-16-2005)
      IMAGE see an image of the scheme on my #91 Team Schemes page.(3-17-2005)

    • Kyle Busch in Life: Kyle Busch completed an interview at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a Life magazine cover story. The piece will document the NEXTEL Cup rookie, his family and their path to the present-day success on the race track. World-renowned photojournalist Harry Benson photographed Busch for the cover, which is slated for distribution in late April.(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-17-2005)

    • Inventor suing Roush and Wood Brothers UPDATE: An inventor is suing two NASCAR teams claiming he was not paid for a part that improves cornering speeds. Weston Griffith claims in his lawsuit that a chassis piece he designed has helped the teams since last season. Griffith says he developed a chassis piece -- which he describes as "Part X" in the lawsuit -- and the race teams stole his idea, according to the complaint. "I think they should pay for it," Griffith said. Griffith is suing Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Racing and Pat Tryson, crew chief for Roush driver Mark Martin, in North Carolina Superior Court, Cabarrus County, for compensation in excess of $10,000. Griffith said he made his technology available on a trial basis to Wood Brothers Racing in 2003. Griffith claims his chassis innovation migrated to Roush Racing when team owner Jack Roush hired then-Wood Brothers crew chief Tryson, according to the lawsuit. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith called Griffith's charges "bogus." Eddie Wood, co-owner of the Wood Brothers team, had no comment when reached by phone Tuesday at his shop. Griffith lives in the Chicago area and owns a company called Solid Steel Inc. He has no direct affiliation with any NASCAR race team.
      In his suit, Griffith says he approached Wood Brothers Racing with the part near the end of the 2003 season. Griffith said Wood Brothers Racing experimented with his part on its #21 Ford, driven by Ricky Rudd, at a private test session at Kansas Speedway, and the car showed an increase in speed. "They wanted so bad to take the pieces back with them to North Carolina," Griffith said. "I would not let them do it. They wanted to leave the stuff right on their car." After the test session, Griffith said Eddie Wood and he struck a deal to outfit the #21 Ford with "Part X" for the rest of the 2003 season. Griffith said Wood agreed to lease his parts for $20,000. Griffith said he received that payment. Griffith said Roush Racing is using his technology to win races and make large sums of money. "I don't know even what the particulars are of that arrangement (they had)," said Roush's Smith. "You don't lease parts. You buy parts and you break them and guys look at them and they study them and they figure out how to make them better." Griffith said Wood signed a confidentiality agreement when he agreed to lease the parts in 2003. In his suit, Griffith says, the "Wood Brothers also agreed not to share any information concerning Part X with anyone outside of Wood Brothers, and to refrain from testing, altering or defacing Part X in any way." Following the 2003 NASCAR Cup season, Griffith said the Wood Brothers returned seven of eight chassis pieces. After demanding the return of his last piece, Griffith said it was obvious the part had been bored, cut and tested. "They were never supposed to test it," he said.
      Griffith theorizes his chassis part has boosted Roush Racing since the start of the 2004 Nextel Cup season. He points to the team's vast success in NASCAR's big-league circuit. Three of Roush's four Cup cars [actually 4 of 5 did] won races last year. Three Roush drivers made the inaugural Chase for the Nextel Cup playoff segment. Kurt Busch, who drives the #97 Roush Ford, captured the championship. Griffith said he is upset because he is not being compensated for his speed discovery.(Daytona Bach News Journal)(3-16-2005)
      UPDATE: a similar suit was dismissed in Chicago back in November, the current one is in North Carolina: Stephen J. Siegel and John F. Shonkwiler recently obtained a dismissal of all claims alleged against Roush Corporation, d/b/a Roush Racing, in a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The suit, brought by Weston Griffith, Jr., alleged claims against Roush and co-defendant Glen Wood Company relating to the alleged use of certain racing equipment leased from the Plaintiff’s company. Roush moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over it. By an Order entered October 26, 2004, Federal District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan granted the motion and dismissed the case against Roush in its entirety. Judge Der-Yeghiayan found that notwithstanding Roush’s participation in several auto races in Illinois over the past few years, Roush was not “doing business” in Illinois or otherwise subject to personal jurisdiction there. The Court concluded that Plaintiff failed to show Roush “attempted to conduct sales in Illinois or maintain offices in Illinois or engage in the type of permanent and continuous activity” that would establish jurisdiction over Roush. Plaintiff’s allegations that he was injured in Illinois and signed an equipment lease with Glen Wood here, without more, were held insufficient to confer jurisdiction.(Novack and Macey LLP site)(3-17-2005)


      News from March 16, 2005

    • No Dodge win at AMS since 1977: did you know, the last time a Cup race at Atlanta was won in a Dodge was in 1977 by, who else....Richard Petty. I still had a full head of hair...(3-16-2005)

    • Combo's for Sadler this week: Elliott Sadler will sport a special paint scheme this weekend as the #38 Ford will be painted with Combos -- The Official Cheese Filled Snack of NASCAR. This is the first of three appearances the Combos Brand will make this season on the #38 RYR Ford.(Elevation Group of Companies PR/M&M's PR)(3-16-2005)
      IMAGE see an image of the scheme on my #38 Team Schemes page.(3-16-2005)

    • Snap-On Tools to be featured on the #07 at Atlanta IMAGE: Snap-on Tools Company will be the primary sponsor of driver Dave Blaney and Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) #07 Chevrolet in the March 20 Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jack Daniel's, the team's fulltime primary sponsor, will assume a secondary role in the one-race program designated to commemorate Snap-on's 85th year as a worldwide leader dedicated to supplying professional tool users with unmatched quality and innovation. The move also opens up an opportunity for both Snap-On and Jack Daniel's to explore the potential of a business-to-business relationship. Since 1994, RCR teams have utilized Snap-on tools exclusively in the shop and at the race track. Headquartered in Kenosha, Wis., organization also supplies RCR with custom-built work stations. About Snap-on Tools . For info on the Snap-on Tools Company, see snapon.com.(RCR)(3-15-2005)
      IMAGE see an image of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(3-16-2005)

    • McClure and #73 part ways? UPDATE: hearing that driver Eric McClure and the #73 Raabe Racing Enterprises have parted ways, the team is not listed on Atlanta entry list. No word on plans for the team or McClure....if true.(3-15-2005)
      UPDATE: Larry McClure, President and Team Manager of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Inc. announced today that effective immediately, the organization and driver Eric McClure have parted ways with Raabe Racing Enterprises. "With two consecutive top 25 finishes the #4 car is running well and we are working together as a team. Accordingly, all of our effort is focused on finishing in the top 25 for the season points championship," said Larry McClure. "Eric will serve as a test driver and we will continue to look for marketing partners to launch our driver development program in the NASCAR Busch Series or the Craftsman Truck Series."(Morgan-McClure Motorsports)(3-16-2005)

    • Charlotte try HOF gets a leader - Hendrick: Regional political and business leaders vowed Tuesday to produce a successful bid for a proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame, unveiling a powerful lineup of motorsports industry executives backing the campaign, including veteran team owner Rick Hendrick. NASCAR racing "was born here, it was built here and it belongs here," Hendrick said at a press conference held at the team race shop. "We're going to win this race." Hendrick will spearhead a group of local and regional leaders working on the project. Charlotte is competing with six other cities and regions for the hall of fame. The competitors are Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega/Birmingham, Ala.; Daytona, Fla.; and an undisclosed location in Michigan. Joining Hendrick as honorary grand marshals are Gov. Mike Easley, U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole, N.C. House Speaker Jim Black, N.C. Senate President Pro-Tem Marc Basnight, Congressman Mel Watt and NASCAR team owner {#40, #41, #42] Felix Sabates. Others involved include Mayor Pat McCrory, Bank of America Corp. executive Cathy Bessant and Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority board Chairman Luther Cochrane. Bids are due May 31, with a decision expected by year end. NASCAR has intentionally left request for proposals vague, encouraging each community to be creative with its hall of fame ideas. The sanctioning body is not expected to pay for land and construction costs or ongoing operations costs. McCrory declined comment Tuesday on potential public funding sources. He said a range of scenarios are under consideration, though sources close to the talks anticipate a significant public funding component. General Assembly members have expressed support, though the state faces a $1.3 billion budget deficit this year. Similarly, local government funds could be hard to find. A $147 million cultural arts request from city and county government has been met with extensive questions and concerns, and both local governments also face tough budget decisions this year. Organizers decline comment on potential sites and other details. They anticipate releasing those plans later this spring.(Charlotte Business Journal)(3-16-2005)

    • Taxes on Drivers in TN? Legislation that would impose taxes and license fees on professional athletes in Tennessee hit a wall Tuesday with race drivers and officials at Bristol Motor Speedway. Four bills currently before the state General Assembly seek to impose registration or licensing fees for all professional athletes and coaches, along with taxes ranging from $400 to $2,500 each. Another bill would charge $400 per $100,000 of annual adjusted gross income. The bills, all introduced by legislators from the Memphis area, are aimed at players and coaches for the state’s three professional franchises – the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the NHL’s Nashville Predators. But if approved, the measures would also apply to minor league baseball players and anyone who receives prize money at any auto race track in the state.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-16-2005)

    • Testing at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway will be the center of testing activity the next three weeks as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams prepare for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 weekend April 14-17. The quest for Victory Lane in the April 16 O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Busch Series race and the April 17 Samsung/RadioShack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event will result in six days of testing as teams prepare for race weekend.
      Drivers scheduled to test at Texas Motor Speedway include #44-Terry Labonte, #45-Kyle Petty, #5-Kyle Busch, Mark Martin (Busch car) on March 22; #40-Sterling Marlin, #12-Ryan Newman, #07-Dave Blaney, #44-Labonte, #45-Petty, #5-Busch, Martin (Busch) and Reed Sorenson (Busch) on March 23; #07-Blaney, #40-Marlin, #12-Newman on March 24; #91-Bill Elliott, #36-Boris Said on March 29 and 30; and #2-Rusty Wallace on April 5. All test sessions are closed to the public.(TMS)(3-16-2005)

    • Inside CAT Racing Available: The 2005 edition of “Inside CAT Racing” is ready to roll. The fourth annual edition of the 52-page collectible publication features driver Scott Wimmer, crew chief Derrick Finley, owner Bill Davis and many of their Bill Davis Racing teammates. Don’t miss your chance to go behind the scenes at BDR to learn more about what happens from checkered flag to green flag every week. You can order copies of “Inside Cat Racing – 2005” by going to www.insidecatracing.com. The first three annual editions are also still available. “Inside Cat Racing – 2005” is authorized by Caterpillar Inc. and produced by Shamrock Communications Group, LLC.(Bill Davis Racing)(3-16-2005)

    • Newman Crew Wins at Las Vegas: Penske Racing South's crew for the #12 Dodge of Ryan Newman has collected the $10,000 prize for the fastest pit work in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway among teams participating in the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-16-2005)


      News from March 15, 2005

    • Top Two Finishers May Face Penalties UPDATE Penalties, Fines and Suspensions: Speed Channel is reporting that #48-Jimmie Johnson, the winner at Las Vegas, was found in post race inspection to be too low and the 2nd place finisher #5-Kyle Busch's Chevy quarter panels were too high. NASCAR decisions will come Monday or Tuesday. The win will probably stand.(3-13-2005)
      UPDATE: NASCAR probably won't take away #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory in Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, despite his car's failing an inspection after the race for being too low at the roof. First, it might be difficult to give the win to teammate #5-Kyle Busch, who finished second, because Busch's car also failed post-race inspection, for being too high at the rear quarterpanels. But it's not nice to try to fool John Darby, NASCAR's competitions director, and his justice may be harsh for both Johnson and Busch. But, a win is a win, no matter the asterisks - and no matter the razzing from rivals. The low roof that led to Johnson's violation would likely provide both an edge in speed on the straightaways as well as better handling in the corners because more air would reach the crucial rear spoiler. The high rear quarterpanels that led to Busch's violation would likely provide an edge in handling in the corners, because the rear spoiler would be higher. What NASCAR will likely do is take away enough points, probably 25, to knock Johnson out of the Nextel Cup points lead. That would put Kurt Busch, who finished third, back atop the standings.(Winston Salem Journal)
      Wanna stop the cheating....take the freakin' win away, make a statement, that starting next week, post-RACE infractions cost 25 points, if it is the winner, they drop to 4th or 5th, and the win goes to the 2nd place car, or the next legal car.(3-15-2005)
      UPDATE - Fines, Penalties and Suspensions: NASCAR has announced that rule infractions this past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have resulted in the suspension of three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs.
      The #48 Chevrolet team received three penalties, due to the car's roof height being too low in post-race inspection — a violation of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules). A penalty of 25 driver points dropped Jimmie Johnson — the race winner at Las Vegas — back to second place (500 points) in the standings, 10 behind reigning series champion Kurt Busch (510). Chad Knaus, Johnson's crew chief, has been suspended from competition for the next two races and fined $35,000; Jeff Gordon, the #48 car owner, has been penalized 25 owner points.
      #29 Team: Todd Berrier, crew chief for the #29 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, has been suspended for the next four races and fined $25,000. Those penalties resulted from the #29 having an unapproved fuel filler and unapproved fuel cell vent. The car was in violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q. The violation was found during post-qualifying inspection. In addition to Berrier's penalties, Harvick has been penalized 25 driver championship points, dropping him from eighth to 10th in the driver standings, while car owner Richard Childress loses 25 car owner championship points.
      #5 Team: Alan Gustafson, crew chief for the #5 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Busch, has been suspended for two races and fined $25,000, due to the car's quarter-panel heights being too high in post-race inspection — also violations of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q. Busch has been assessed 25 driver points, dropping him from 18th to 22nd in the standings; car owner Rick Hendrick loses 25 owner points.
      In addition:
      Harold Holly, crew chief for the #32 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., was fined $5,000 because of the #32 having an unapproved deck lid, a violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q that was determined during opening-day inspection.
      John Latchford, crew chief for the #89 Dodge driven by Morgan Shepherd, was fined $1,000 because of an unapproved fire suppression agent found during opening-day inspection. That also violated Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q.
      Larry Carter, crew chief for the #2 Dodge driven by Rusty Wallace, was fined $1,000. During opening-day inspection, the car's shoulder harness did not have a date tag displayed, a violation of Sections 17.2-C (and 12-4-A).(Fox Sports/Sporting News)
      POINTS UPDATED on my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Las Vegas page.(3-15-2005)

    • Hendrick Responds to sanctions and to Appeal: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, today responded to sanctions levied by NASCAR on two of his NEXTEL Cup Series entries. "I'm not disputing NASCAR's right to levy sanctions," Hendrick said. "As a team owner, I understand why these standards are in place and have always taken pride in the fact that our organization has kept a very clean record. In this particular instance, though, we disagree with the severity of NASCAR's stance and plan to appeal their decision. I want to make it clear that we in no way intentionally ignored guidelines and I'm certain everyone understands that."(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-15-2005)

    • RCR to Appeal NASCAR's Penalty Against Berrier: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will appeal the fine and suspension NASCAR handed down today to one of its NEXTEL Cup Series teams as a result of a rules infraction last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "I understand NASCAR's reasons for imposing a penalty," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "However, I think the penalty they have given us is out of line so we have decided to appeal their ruling."(RCR)(3-15-2005)

    • Centrix as primary sponsor of the #01: CENTRIX Financial will have a total of four primary sponsorships on MB2/MBV’s #01 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek and #10 Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs.(MB2/MBV Motorsports site). Atlanta in March will be one race for the #01.(3-15-2005)

    • Gustafson Leads Busch to Career Best Wins WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: While so many race teams had a day filled with ups and downs, Kyle Busch was a picture of consistency in the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the # 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, kept his team in the top-10 for the majority of the race, eventually scoring his driver a second place finish in only his ninth career Nextel Cup start. Gustafson's banner day earned him the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
      A panel of three voters, including a WypAll Wipers representative, Tony Eury Sr. and Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review Journal, all agreed Gustafson was the stand out crew chief of the race. Tony Eury Sr. was equally impressed with Gustafson's performance. "It's hard for anyone to finish in the top-five, much less a rookie," said Eury Sr. "Alan (Gustafson) gave his driver an awesome car, and made the right decisions to make it better during the race. This is the first year that (Kyle) Busch and Alan have worked together. Alan's really done a good job working with that team. If he keeps this up, it won't be long before they go to Victory Lane." Gustafson won $1000 for picking up the Crew Chief of the Race award. He is now tied with Pete Rondeau and Doug Richert in the point standings for the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000.For more information, visit www.wypall.com.(WypAll Wipers PR)(3-15-2005)

    • Team Owners Want Sirius Money: NASCAR's new multimillion-dollar contract with satellite radio provider Sirius has Nextel Cup car owners asking one big question - Where's the money going? Teams get 25% of the TV revenue, track owners get 65 percent and NASCAR gets 10 percent. There has been a push by some car owners the past three years for NASCAR to provide a more equitable distribution of that $400 million a year, but NASCAR has ignored such entreaties. Now Sirius (partly owned by DaimlerChrysler) has signed a deal to pay NASCAR $27 million a year, according to sources, beginning in 2007. That money will likely go straight into NASCAR's coffers. Some car owners aren't amused and would like NASCAR to put some of that radio money in the purse. "These guys are killing us," one car owner said.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-15-2005)

    • RWB M&M's at Daytona: #38-Elliott Sadler will run a red, white and blue M&M's paint scheme in July at Daytona in the Pepsi 400.(3-12-2005)
      IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #38 Team Schemes page.(3-15-2005)


      News from March 14, 2005

    • Overnight Las Vegas TV Ratings: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's UAW/DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway drew a 5.8 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 12 share and was the highest-rated sports show of the weekend, today's Sports Business Daily reports. The rating is 5.5% higher than the 5.5 overnight rating Fox drew for the race in 2004, but it was well below the 7.1 overnight rating Fox drew for the Feb. 27 Auto Club 500 at California Speedway and the 6.3 overnight rating the Las Vegas race drew for Fox in 2003. CBS's broadcast of the selection show for the NCAA men's basketball tournament finished second this weekend with a 5.7 overnight rating.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-14-2005)

    • NBC, TNT Plan to Continue Joint Venture: NBC and Turner Sports will continue to pursue NASCAR television rights in a joint venture, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Media writer Andy Bernstein says NBC will not bring its new cable partner, USA Network, into its effort but will continue its NASCAR rights discussions with Turner, which broadcasts races on its TNT cable station. The NBC/TNT deal, which is said to be worth about $200 million a year, expires after the 2006 Nextel Cup season. Fox's deal for the first half of the season, which is said to be worth $220 million a year, could be extended to 2008 if NASCAR exercises a two-year option.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-14-2005)

    • Brain Injury Walk-a-thon: NASCAR racing legend Ernie Irvan and the Brain Injury Association (BIA) of Michigan announced last night that they will partner for an inaugural walk-a-thon event titled the "L.A.P.S. Walk" which stands for "Leadership & Awareness to Promote Safety." The event will take place at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on August 17, 2005. The announcement was made at the BIA's 7th Annual Legacy Dinner. Current NASCAR celebrities like Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Bobby Labonte are scheduled to participate in the event. For a minimum $100 entry fee, anyone is able to participate and walk side-by-side with these NASCAR drivers to raise money for brain injury education, awareness and prevention. Registration for the event will begin on April 1st. Interested individuals can submit their e-mail address for official registration notification at Ernie Irvan's web site, race2safety.com or at the BIA's web site at biami.org . There are only 10,000 walker positions available and it is expected that registration will fill very quickly. This is the first year of the event and in 2006 it will expand to include several locations nationwide.(Yahoo Biz)(3-14-2005)

    • The Dodge 'Vacuum' Nose: Dodge officials have been in negotiations with NASCAR officials, apparently over aerodynamic issues. Dodge has a new nose and tail this season, and the nose has been controversial because of its tendency to suck up trash on the track and lead to engine overheating.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2005)

    • #0 Crew Member OK: #0 NetZero/Best Buy Chevy front tire carrier, Mike Morneau has been released from a local Las Vegas area hospital and has a bruised left knee. He is expected to be back in action in Atlanta. Crew member Brad Tunny replaced Morneau during the race.(NetZero Best Buy Racing)(3-14-2005)

    • Car of tomorrow (COT): Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, says the "car of tomorrow" — the next form of stock car — could make its debut as early as 2007. However, the adjustments to the cars will be made gradually so "we're not tearing up everybody's fleet of chassis and bodies" at excessive cost to the owners, Pemberton says. He added that NASCAR is brainstorming with manufacturers and teams along the way. One major move in the next few years will be the use of unleaded fuel, a topic that had been dormant since 1998.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(3-14-2005)

    • Mikey to make donation presentation Saturday UPDATE: Michael & Buffy Waltrip are scheduled to make their OPERATION MARATHON Donation To Victory Junction Gang Camp on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(3-11-2005)
      UPDATE: Michael and Buffy Waltrip presented a check for just under $1 million on Sunday to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their Victory Junction Gang Camp. Waltrip said in July that he would gather $1 million for the camp, a summer home for chronically ill children. Waltrip promoted "Operation Marathon: Going the Distance for Kids'' operation through marathons, dinners, concerts and autograph signings across the country, including a marathon here that he and Petty took part in. "Michael was my inspiration to run,'' Petty said. "People flew out here to run ... with Michael.'' Waltrip said the exact amount of the check, $923,626.73, was significant to him. "It reflects the dollar-at-a-time way we raised the money,'' he said.(ESPN.com/AP)(3-14-2005)

    • Special Jack Daniels scheme: Dave Blaney will feature Jack Daniels newest Country Cocktails, "Black Jack Cola" on his #07 Chevrolet at Pocono and Michigan in June.(RacingOne)(3-12-2005)
      IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(3-14-2005)

    • Kerry tests for DEI: Kerry Earnhardt tested for Dale Earnhardt Inc. last Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway and will return again this week to gather additional engine and chassis data. DEI's Michael Waltrip did not finish the first two races this season, once because of component problems, the other time because of an oil system problem. Vice president Richie Gilmore says development continues on DEI's in-house chassis. Four cars with the new chassis should be in the organization's rotation soon.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(3-14-2005)

    • Interesting Mistake...HAY-soos?: What started with the mispronunciation of his "sponsor's" name ended with a degree of satisfaction for driver-owner Morgan Shepherd in Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shepherd's #89 Racing With Jesus Dodge is one of the lowest-financed teams in the series. Still, even hardened racing observers were stunned when guest announcer Robin Leach, proclaiming the starting lineup during drivers' introductions for Sunday race, mispronounced "Jesus," instead using the Spanish version (HAY-soos). "I guess it shows how much work we have left to do in evangelism when somebody who can tell you all about the rich and famous has trouble with the Son of God's name," Shepherd smiled. "I thought for a moment he had just gotten in from the Mexico City (Busch Series) race week. My thinking is you would be better off messing up 'Budweiser' than 'Jesus,'" he continued. Shepherd did get a measure of revenge - he led two laps early in the 400-mile race. They were under caution, true, but one of the front-row qualifiers, Elliott Sadler never led and pole-sitter Ryan Newman didn't lead for the first time until Lap 91. "I noticed he did pronounce their sponsors correctly," Shepherd laughed. Leach apparently tried to make up for his gaffe, mispronouncing a few other drivers' names and sponsors during the drivers' introductions. "I'd love to meet him," Shepherd said, "just so I can say, 'Nice to meet you, Mr. Leak.'" Shepherd, who does not have a regular corporate sponsor and carries his evangelistic message instead in order to "at least get someone to start asking questions about their salvation and what life is all about," retired early in the race and finished 40th.(Williams Company)(3-14-2005)



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