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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    APR 4-10, 2005





      News from April 10, 2005

    • Gordon wins at Martinsville: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway, after being down three (3) laps early in the race when he had a vibration and had to pit under green. But the crew kept working on the car, Gordon got two of the laps back the old way, racing the leader to get 2 laps back, then got the 'Lucky Dog' lap back during the 9th caution on lap 276. The win is Gordon's 6th at Martinsville and 71st career win. It is also Hendrick Motorsports 12th win at Martinsville. #24-Gordon and #97-Busch got together late in the race, with Busch going into the wall and finishing 19th. #9-Kasey Kahne finished 6th, his 6th career 2nd place finish and first of 2005. The rest of the top-5 was #6-Mark Martin, #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Rusty Wallace. #48-Jimmie Johnson was down 2 laps at one point and ended up 8th and increased his points lead to 160 [was 94]. The race will re-air on Speed Channel, Thursday, April 14th at 3:00pm/et
      See my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page for unofficial full race results, results links, my race rundown.coverage, lap leaders, caution and notes narriatives.
      And see Jayski's UNOFFICIAL Martinsville Race Results page for full race results.(4-10-2005)

    • Marlin doesn't expect to be back with Ganassi in 2006 UPDATE: #40-Sterling Marlin said Friday he is "99.9% certain" that he won't be back with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2006 Nextel Cup season. Marlin, 47, has been driving for the team formerly owned by Felix Sabates since the start of the 1998 season. He's won four races with the team after having six victories in the previous four seasons at Morgan/McClure. Marlin, who will be making his 646th career Nextel Cup start in Sunday's Advance 500 at Martinsville Speedway, is in the final year of his contract. Marlin said he has a few very preliminary discussions with others about potential rides for 2006 and beyond, but nothing substantive yet.(David Poole/ThatsRacin.com)(4-8-2005)
      UPDATE: FOX's Jeff Hammond said on the Martinsville Pre-race show, that he had heard one scenario had Jamie McMurray, driver of the #42-Texaco-Havoline Dodge for Ganassi, moving over to the #40 Coor's Light Dodge, with Busch Driver David Stremme possible in the #42. Also have heard that McMuarry could still end up in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge to replace retiring Rusty Wallace, with Stremme and Reed Sorenson moving up into the #40 and or #42.(4-10-2005)

    • Labonte Golf Tourney Raises over $130k: The Bobby Labonte Celebrity Golf Classic presented by ConAgra Foods raised more than $130,000 for the Bobby Labonte Foundation, officials from the foundation announced April 10. The Bobby Labonte Foundation supports numerous charities and non-profit organizations, including the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the North Carolina Quarter-Midget Association. The event took place over two days at the prestigious Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, N.C., with dinner and auction on April 4 followed by golf on April 5. In addition to Labonte, NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte, Tony Stewart, Jason Leffler and Johnny Benson participated, as did J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, Steve Addington, Labonte's crew chief and Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief. Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel, Marty Roe, lead-singer for Diamond Rio and Larry Ziegler from the PGA Champions Tour also participated.(Camp and Associates)(4-10-2005)

    • Edwards races, surprises crowd: Racing fans thought Carl Edwards would only be there [24 Raceway in Moberly MO] to sign autographs. As it turned out, the NASCAR star did more. Edwards, a 25-year-old Columbia [MO] native, drove on the same track as his younger brother, Kenny, in the Hornet car race at 24 Raceway in Moberly Saturday night. Driving in his first race, Kenny Edwards, 22, won the first heat. Carl Edwards finished in fifth place. Kenny Edwards again finished ahead of his brother in the feature race. He was third; Carl Edwards was seventh. Carl Edwards announced his plans to be on hand to watch his brother on Thursday. On Saturday, he flew to Moberly for the race in fellow Roush Racing driver Mark Martin’s jet. He returned to Martinsville, Va., for the Advance Auto Parts 500 race Sunday afterward.(Columbia Missourian)(4-10-2005)

    • Villeneuve in NASCAR? haven't heard this rumor in a few years......Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve has expressed an interest in driving in NASCAR, according to some who have talked with him, and that could be a good sign for NASCAR's proposed Canadian racing project. Last spring, when Villeneuve's F1 career seemed all but over, and he was searching for a ride, Villeneuve inquired about NASCAR opportunities. But last fall he managed to land another F1 ride, though it wasn't a great one. At 34, Villeneuve may well be nearing the end of his career on the international circuit. Some say that Villeneuve may not have the attitude for NASCAR's "got-to-get-along" world, or the gumption for the grinding 38-week-a-year tour. An intriguing aspect to NASCAR's Canadian venture is that Vancouver may be a player, because that beautiful city, just two hours north of Seattle, could give the sport its long-awaited Northwest anchor. Given the problems that NASCAR has had finding 800 acres and political support for construction of a track in the Seattle area itself, Vancouver could be a solution. And Vancouver has a racing tradition with street-course CART Indy-car races.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-10-2005)

    • Did ya know? #24-Jeff Gordon has been running at the finish of every race he’s ever run at Martinsville Speedway. That’s 24 in a row with 5 wins.(Gaston Gazette)
      Make is 25 races.(4-10-2005)

    • MRN Announcer Honored: Danielle Frye, an announcer for Motor Racing Network (MRN), was the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Alumni Public Relations Award from Troy University School of Journalism. Frye received the award during a special ceremony at the Alabama institution, Thursday, April 7. Frye, a 1993 communications graduate from Troy University, was NASCAR's senior manager of communications before taking the MRN post at the beginning of 2003. Frye also worked as a NASCAR public relations team representative and as a freelance writer for racing publications. While at Troy University, Frye was a member of the women's basketball team. Frye, her husband Jay and the couple's 15-month-old daughter Addison Rece, reside in Mooresville, N.C.(PR)(4-10-2005)

    • Hendrick may attend Martinsville: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick is leaning toward attending today's Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway. It's the first event at the track since a Hendrick plane crashed on the way to Martinsville last October. Engine builder Randy Dorton, General Manager Jeff Turner, President John Hendrick and Vice President Ricky Hendrick were among the 10 killed in the crash. Besides his brother and son, Rick Hendrick also lost two nieces.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
      NOTE: Hendrick is at the track today for the race.(4-10-2005)


      News from April 9, 2005

    • Ward wants Cup..not Busch/Truck ride: Ward Burton has been spending extra time this spring with his Wildlife Foundation, but he'd still rather be back racing. Burton has been idle this season, waiting for a car owner to make the call. And he's not willing to run Busch or Trucks. "Right now I still consider myself a Cup racer," Burton said. "Whether I get the opportunity to go back in the fashion I was before, we'll have to wait and see. I won't go back just to ride around. I'll go back with something exciting, with a name team, with the kind of support you need now more than ever. I miss a lot of it. But there's some of it I don't miss. The schedule going from this weekend until Thanksgiving with only one weekend off doesn't appeal to me."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-9-2005)

    • Bobby Labonte wins at Martinsville: #47-Bobby Labonte won the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, becoming the 12th driver to win at least one race in the three National Series [Cup, Busch, Trucks]. Not only has Labonte won a race in all three series but he did it at the same track: Labonte has won a Cup, Busch and Truck Series at Martinsville [which has to be rare since the Busch Series hasn't raced at Martinsville since 1994].(4-9-2005)
      AND - Labonte Truck Stuff: Labonte became the 50th different driver to win the truck series and, he and brother, Terry, became the first set of brothers to win in the series. Terry Labonte won at Richmond in Sept. 1995. The Labonte brothers have a combined eight starts in the Craftsman Truck Series (Bobby with five and Terry with three, all in 1995) and have two victories and six top-three victories.(JGR PR)(4-9-2005)

    • DW May Race Again..... Darrell Waltrip won't be closing out his competitive racing career today at Martinsville Speedway. The three-time Cup champion and current TV analyst failed to qualify for today's Kroger 250, missing by less than a hundredth of a second and leaving the door open for one more race in his Toyota Tundra. "It can't be your last race if you didn't race," he said. "That's the way I look at it."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-9-2005)

    • Coast Guard to sponsor Bliss at Texas: Haas CNC Racing announced the Coast Guard will serve as primary sponsor of the #0 Chevrolet driven by Mike Bliss for the running of the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway next weekend. “Since the Coast Guard sponsors our Busch Series entry driven by Justin Labonte, this was a great chance for them step into Cup competition for a weekend at the track where they rolled out their racing program just a year ago,” stated Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing. “Texas is home to the Labonte family and Justin’s father Terry, who is a part-owner of our Busch team, is scheduled to compete in a Hendrick Motorsports car at this event. Terry is also being inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame next week and we thought it would be nice to commemorate that occasion also. The fans in Texas have always been very supportive of the Labonte’s and Haas CNC Racing, NetZero and Best Buy are also all very supportive of this opportunity.” NetZero Best Buy Racing will return as the primary sponsor for the #0 Chevrolet for the upcoming event at Phoenix International Raceway.(NetZero Best Buy Racing)(4-9-2005)

    • Martinsville Qualifying Notes:
      * Scott Riggs won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Advance Auto Parts 500, lapping Martinsville Speedway in 19.588 seconds at 96.671 mph. Ryan Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 19.513 seconds, 97.043 mph, set Oct. 22, 2004.
      * This is Riggs's first career Bud Pole in 41 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. It is his second top-10 start in three races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his second top-10 start in 2005.
      * Riggs became the 12th driver to post poles in all three of NASCAR's major series. He has five poles on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and two in the NASCAR Busch Series.
      * Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 19.591 seconds, 96.657 mph and will join Riggs on the front row for the Advance Auto Parts 500. Newman has started from a top-10 starting position in all seven of his races at Martinsville. This is his fifth start of third or better here.
      * This is the second Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005. All three manufacturers have two Bud Poles this season.
      * Jeremy Mayfield (third) posted his third top-10 start in 20 races at Martinsville. His previous best start here was sixth in April 2001. It is his third top-10 start in 2005.
      * Rusty Wallace (fourth) scored his 33rd top-10 start in 43 races at Martinsville. It is his second start better than 21st in 2005, both in the past two races.
      * Kevin Harvick (fifth) posted his third top-10 start in eight races at Martinsville. All three of his top-10 starts have been from fifth. It is his first top-10 start this season.
      * Ken Schrader (11th) posted his best start since he started seventh at Talladega in September 2003.
      * There have been just two Bud Pole winners in the last six races at Martinsville. Jeff Gordon won four Bud Poles and Ryan Newman won two. Newman has started from a top-10 starting position in all six of his races at the Virginia short track. Gordon has posted 17 top-10 starts in 24 races at Martinsville, including top-five starts in eight of his last nine races here.
      * The race has been won from the Bud Pole 17 times at Martinsville, the most productive starting position. The second starting position has provided 14 winners, third 13 and fourth 11, for a total of 55 victories from the top-four starting positions.
      * Kurt Busch won the 2002 Old Dominion 500 from the 36th starting position - the farthest back a race winner has started at Martinsville.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(4-9-2005)

    • StockCarFans - Ramblings - Martinsville: We had two stoppages for rain today but they managed to get in qualifying for Sunday's Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway. And, we had a bit of a surprise as Scott Riggs nipped Ryan Newman for his first ever Bud Pole in Nextel Cup competition.
      Riggs was 3/1000th's of a second quicker than Newman and becomes the 5th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout....at this rate we'll have 35 drivers in that event!
      Rigg's previous best starting spot was 4th, which he's accomplished four times, the most recent of which was at Las Vegas last month.
      Last week a short track....five sets of ties in qualifying. This week another short track.....and no ties in qualifying. Go figure!
      Kevin Harvick (5th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 5th at Phoenix last November.
      Bobby Labonte (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Homestead last November.
      Ken Schrader (11th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 7th at Talladega in September of 2003! But it will only give him a better pit selection cause he crased in turn one of his second lap and will go to a backup for the race.
      Kyle Petty (19th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 18th at Atlanta last October.
      Mike Garvey (34th) has his career-best starting spot. He started 43rd in his only other start at Atlanta last month.
      Johnny Sauter (40th) makes his first start of the season.
      STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 13 Top-10 starts in a row. Greg Biffle has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
      (Stock Car Fans)(4-9-2005)

    • NASCAR beats the NBA: Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's Food City 500 Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway not only posted the track's highest rating ever (6.3), but it also earned higher ratings than ABC's NBA games in the four home markets that had their teams playing during race coverage. The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reports that more people watched NASCAR than the NBA in Boston, Dallas, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-9-2005)


      News from April 8, 2005

    • Irvan at the Track: during the rain delay at Martinsville Speedway qualifying, Speed Channel amd MRN Radio interviewed for Nextel Cup driver, Ernie Irvan, who is at the track promoting Race 2 Safety, which deals with trying to decrease the number of head injuries. For more info, check out the site race2safety.com.(4-8-2005)

    • Rusty: It's Not Newman...... Much has been made of the feud between Nextel Cup teammates Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Wallace clarified the situation a bit this week. He said his problem has not been with Newman, but instead with Newman's crew chief, Matt Borland. Wallace said the problem has been an unwillingness by Borland to share information. “The teams operate 100 percent separate, and they should not,” said Wallace who, like Newman, drives for Penske Racing South. “I know that, but they do, and nothing's being done about it, and it's just become such old news right now. You know, if he comes over and talks to me, I'd be happy to tell him anything I can. On the other hand, I went over the other day to talk to the crew chief about things, and he refused to tell me anything.” That is not the case with Wallace and his other teammate, Travis Kvapil, and his crew chief, Shane Wilson. “Travis and I did a test at Bristol, and we gave everything I could to Travis,” Wallace said. Wallace said he would like to see Borland do the same. “I really think that relationship will come around, but I really don't have a problem, believe it or not, the more I look at it, with the driver,” Wallace said. “The problem seems to be with the confidentiality problem with the crew chief, but we'll work that out.”(Kansas City Star)(4-8-2005)

    • Riggs wins the pole at Martinsville: #10-Scott Riggs won the pole for the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a lap of 96.671, a new event qualifying record, but short of the track record set in Oct 2004 of 97.043mph. The pole is Riggs first career pole and puts him in the 2006 Budweiser Shootout. The rest of the top five are: #12-Ryan Newman, #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #2-Rusty Wallace and #29-Kevin Harvick. The fastest Ford was #16-Greg Biffle who was 8th. Two short rain delay's held up the action a bit but they never lost the track. The fastest 43 drivers made the race. Missing the race were #92-Barrett, #61-Fuller, #27-Shelmerdine and #00-Long [spun on his 2nd lap]. Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnson was way down the chart and will start 37th [bet he wishes it rained].
      For qualifying results, see Jayski's Martinsville Starting Lineup/Grid/Qualifying Page.(4-8-2005)

    • Once Again, France denies NFL Rumor: The rumors that Brian France has sold shares of the family racing business to buy into an NFL franchise keep chasing the young NASCAR chairman and CEO like a rabid dog. The rumor flared up again two weeks ago when former NBA great Magic Johnson told USA Today, "It would be wonderful that Brian France would be interested in being a part-owner or owner in the Los Angeles franchise."
      "It may be wonderful, but I'm not interested, so that's where it stands," France said in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles office Thursday. "We've gotten to know each other through the NASCAR diversity council, and I've had dinner with Magic a couple of times, and I like him a lot," France added. "He knows I've had a home out here in Los Angeles before and all that stuff. We've never had a conversation regarding the NFL." France chairs the NASCAR board of directors, comprised mostly of his family members. NASCAR is a private company. He also owns a large chunk of the publicly traded International Speedway Corp. Both NASCAR and ISC are headquartered in Daytona Beach, FL. When asked about selling off his shares of NASCAR or ISC stock back to the family, presumably to finance an NFL bid, France would not discuss it. "We don't get into any of our family planning within the business," the 42-year-old executive said. "We do all kinds of financial transactions within the family. What I can tell you is that I'm heavily invested in the industry of NASCAR. I have a financial interest that, in my little world, is very important to me and I plan on keeping for a long time." When pressed for more information, France would not budge off the non-comment. "The public company (ISC) has various filings we've had, but we've never talked about the infrastructure of the private company and I can't get into that," he said. "I'd break the family tradition.I don't understand it," he said. "No. 1, I would have to hit the lottery to be able to afford an NFL team, the last time I checked," he said. "Economically, I'm not in that position. Secondly, I have a big interest in NASCAR. I have a huge financial and 20-years-of-my-life, interest in NASCAR. I'm in big-time sports. I don't need an NFL team to satisfy my sports needs." France said the persistent rumor that he wants to own a piece of the NFL has not hurt his effectiveness as NASCAR's leader, but he quickly added, "It's not helpful." France said he doubts he will manage NASCAR as long as his father, William C. France, who had control of the family company for more than 30 years. "I just don't think that will be the case for me," he said. "I don't see myself doing this until I'm 70 years old, but that should not be misconstrued that I'm out the door tomorrow morning."(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal), see past news/rumors about this on my NASCAR Personnel News page.(4-8-2005)

    • Trickle and Bickle: not NASCAR Cup but both used to drive in the Cup Series and I often get questions on where Dick Trickle is so......Veteran Wisconsin short-trackers and NASCAR drivers Rich Bickle and Dick Trickle have committed to racing in the Madison International Speedway opener May 1, the track announced. Trickle won two season titles at the track in the 1970s and Bickle two in the '80s.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(4-8-2005)

    • Harvick goes for Hat Trick UPDATE Labonte joins club: If Kevin Harvick wins the Kroger 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville, he will become the first driver to win in all three of NASCAR's top series in consecutive starts. Harvick won the Nextel Cup race Sunday at Bristol and followed with a win in the postponed Busch race on Monday. Mark Martin came closest to reaching the NASCAR triple in 1996 – winning a truck race at North Wilkesboro and a Busch event one week later at Lowe's Motor Speedway, then finishing second in the Cup race the next day.(Dallas Morning News)
      Only two driver have won a race in all three series in the same season, Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Terry Labonte in 1995.(4-8-2005)


      News from April 7, 2005

    • All-Star Race Likely Back at LMS in 2006: NASCAR's Nextel All-Star Challenge race is likely to return to Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte in 2006, but NASCAR isn't ready to say the race will remain there in the future, The Charlotte Observer reports. The paper says a vice president from Nextel, which sponsors NASCAR's Cup series as well as the all-star race, said that the company was happy with the Charlotte area's efforts for the race and indicated the event would likely come back in 2006. But NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter said nothing has been decided about the long term. "Every year, we revisit the idea of moving the all-star race," he said. The story says the all-star event creates an estimated $94 million impact on the region's economy in travel and tourism dollars.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-7-2005)

    • Sad News: Melvin Joseph, construction pioneer and owner of Melvin Joseph Construction, died on April 6, 2005 after a brief illness. He was 83. Joseph, of Georgetown, Del., oversaw construction during the late ’60s of the dual-use Dover Downs facility, which includes the one-mile motorsports track and the 5/8-mile horse track. Joseph had been a constant fixture at Dover International Speedway events, giving drivers the command to start their engines at every NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race in Dover since 1969.
      At the time of his death, Joseph served on the board of directors for Dover Motorsports, Inc. as vice president and director of auto racing for Dover International Speedway. He also served on the board of Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. Joseph was originally appointed to the board of what was then Dover Downs, Inc. in 1969. Joseph oversaw the complicated 1994 repaving project at Dover International Speedway that transformed the asphalt into the current concrete surface. Joseph also served as a consultant for the Dover Motorsports construction of Nashville Superspeedway, in Lebanon, Tenn., in 2000. Among many other career-long accolades, Joseph was a 2002 inductee into the Delaware Sports Museum Hall of Fame. Funeral arrangements are pending. More information will be posted on the Dover International Speedway website, www.doverspeedway.com.(4-7-2005)

    • Bristol Reports Best TV Ratings Ever: Bristol Motor Speedway says Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's Food City 500 earned a 6.3 final Nielsen Media Research rating as it drew a track record viewership of more than 9.75 million people. The rating is 5.0% higher than the 6.0 the race drew for Fox last year and is also 5.0% higher than the 6.0 earned by the 2004 Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, which aired the same weekend last year. The track says 6.9 million households viewed the race, a 7% increase from the 2004 spring race.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-7-2005)

    • More testing in Asheboro: At least five Cup teams and eight truck teams visited Caraway Speedway [Asheboro, NC] as part of their preparation for this weekend's races at Martinsville Speedway. #29-Kevin Harvick, #43-Jeff Green, #77-Travis Kvapil and the Evernham Motorsports duo of #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Jeremy Mayfield were Cup drivers who tested at the Randolph County track getting ready for Sunday's 500-lap race.(High Point Enterprise)(4-7-2005)

    • More on Drugs and NASCAR: NASCAR confirmed Wednesday that it has issued 40 to 45 drug tests during the past two years, a figure that includes multiple tests for some individuals. NASCAR only drug tests individuals based on reasonable suspicion that they are abusing a drug. Jim Hunter, NASCAR spokesman, said that Shane Hmiel has been tested 12 to 15 times since he was reinstated in February 2004. NASCAR suspended Hmiel on Sept. 18, 2003, for violation of the series’ substance abuse policy. NASCAR required Hmiel to attend counseling and periodic random testing as part of his reinstatement. The issue of drugs in sports has grown since recent government hearings on steroids in Major League Baseball. The House Committee on Government Reform, which held those hearings, is investigating performance-enhancing drugs in sports. The committee sent letters Tuesday to several sports organizations asking for their drug testing policy. NASCAR has not been asked to submit such information.(News and Record)(4-7-2005)

    • Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Kevin Harvick as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 3rd, Ken C. of Indianapolis, IN was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Ken picked Harvick 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 Harvick. This is the first time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Harvick.(Alan Taylor Communications)(4-7-2005)

    • Rusty wins Mid-race award: Rusty Wallace earned his first MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season by leading Sunday's Food City 500 at half-way mark. Wallace went on to finish the race in the 13th position causing the MBNA Mid-Race Leader $25,000 race-win bonus to go unclaimed. The bonus will increase to $30,000 for next week's race at Martinsville. The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to any eligible NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver who leads a race at the halfway mark and displays the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award decal on their race car. An additional $5,000 is earned if that driver also wins the race. If the race-win bonus goes unearned, the $5,000 rolls into the next week's award. Eligible drivers earn two points for winning the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award and another point if they also go on to win the race. The driver who earns the most points during the season will win the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award Championship. MBNA Mid-Race Leader will be eligible for $10,000 + $30,000 available bonus if they also win the Advanced Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway.(MBNA PR)(4-7-2005)

    • Terry going Retro: #44-Terry Labonte will return in his 1984 championship colors in the Texas spring race. GMAC will sponsor the car that resembles the Piedmont Airlines paint scheme Labonte drove from 1984-1986.(RacingOne see image there or on my #44 Team Scehemes page)(4-7-2005)

    • Kyle Busch in People: Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolets, is profiled in the April 11 edition of People magazine. The issue, featuring Jennifer Aniston on the cover, is on newsstands this week.(Hendrick Motorsports), Busch will also be a presenter on the Country Music Television Awards, see my TV Listings page for more info.(4-7-2005)

    • Scooby Doo on the #25 UPDATE Johnny Bravo on the #5: #25-Brian Vickers is scheduled to run a Scooby Doo scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. See an image on my #25 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2005)
      AND #5-Kyle Busch will run a Johnny Bravo scheme at Bristol in August. See an image on my #5 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2005)

    • VA Governor backs HOF: During the second annual Motorsports Day at the Capitol, Gov. Mark Warner enthusiastically pledged his support for Henrico County's bid on a NASCAR Hall of Fame that reportedly could cost at least $60 million and attract hundreds of thousands of annual visitors. "You can't underestimate what it would mean to bring it here," Warner said, standing before a white Ford donated by team owner Junie Donlavey and stamped with a "Virginians Racing for the Hall of Fame" logo. "It'd probably be as big an economic stimulus to the region as anything we're looking at." Richmond is competing against Atlanta; Charlotte; Kansas City, Kan., Daytona Beach; and the state of Michigan for NASCAR's first officially sanctioned museum.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-7-2005)

    • Testing at Sonoma coming up: Three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers are scheduled to attend a two-day test session at Infineon Raceway, April 19-20. This will be the first of two test sessions planned for the Sonoma Valley road course in advance of the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup weekend, June 24-26. The other test will take place June 7-8. Drivers schedule to participate in the April test are Kasey Kahne (#9-Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge); Carl Edwards (#99-Office Depot Ford); and Travis Kvapil (#77-Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge). Kahne is the only driver attending the test with prior NASCAR NEXTEL Cup experience on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course, having taken 31st last year as a rookie. It will be the first visit to the Sonoma Valley for Edwards and Kvapil. The test session will span from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Pacific) each day.(Infineon Raceway), testing it is free and open to the public.(4-7-2005)


      News from April 6, 2005

    • Plans for NEXTEL All-Star Challenge to be announced Today UPDATE: Nextel, NASCAR, Lowe's Motor Speedway and the Charlotte Local Organizing Committee will collectively announce plans for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on Wednesday, April 6th, where the best of NASCAR will battle it out on May 21. During the press conference, several new enhancements to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge week of activities will be announced.(LMS)(4-6-2005)
      UPDATE: Nextel Communications, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, NASCAR and the North Carolina Local Organizing Committee (LOC) today announced the events taking place during the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, the week of May 21 in Charlotte, N.C. The NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge, the first event of its kind to be officially sanctioned by NASCAR, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Trophy Tour and more ways for fans to vote in the Nextel All-Star Challenge Sweepstakes have all been added to the 2005 agenda in a collaborative effort by these parties to create a one-of-a-kind all-star experience. The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is the marquee event of the week and is a race between drivers who have won a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points race in the 2004 or 2005 seasons, as well as previous event champions who remain active in the series. The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge activities will include:
      NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Motorola The first NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge presented by Motorola will take place at 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, May 19, at the Charlotte Coliseum. The only event of its kind officially sanctioned by NASCAR, this inaugural contest will pit the nation’s favorite over-the-wall athletes against each other in seven head-to-head skills competitions designed to showcase the talents of NASCAR’s top crew members and identify the top pit crew specialists and overall pit crew. Components of the competition include individual and team contests for tire men, gas men and jack men, and the winners will earn more than $200,000 in guaranteed cash and prizes. Tickets for the event are available for $10 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster, Lowe’s Motor Speedway ticket office, at each stop of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Trophy Tour or by calling 1-800-455-FANS. At the event, charitable contributions can be made to NASCAR Day, a celebration of NASCAR spirit that benefits Victory Junction Gang Camp, Speediatrics and Speedway Children’s Charities.
      The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge field consists of drivers who have won a points race in 2004 or 2005, and former NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Champions who remain active. Fans will have five ways to vote in one driver among the top 50 in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver points standings who is not already in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
      Voting locations include: • Trackside at The Nextel Experience
      • Participating Nextel retail locations
      • The Nextel Racing Experience Events • Online at www.Nextel.com/allstar
      • Through their Nextel phones by texting “STAR” to 7827
      For more information about the sweepstakes, see the official rules at www.Nextel.com/allstar.(LMS)
      Purse and format announced, see my 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge for the minor changes and who is eligible.(4-6-2005)

    • Crown Royal Regular Season Debut at Martinsville: Crown Royal will make its regular season debut as a primary sponsor of Kurt Busch's #97 Ford this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. This will be the first of five races that the #97 will exhibit the Crown Royal colors. Previously, Busch drove the Crown Royal car to a sixth place finish in the non-points Shootout race during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. This week Kurt Busch participated in a broadcast television Public Service Announcement (PSA) on responsible drinking. The PSA is part of Crown Royal's commitment to promote responsible drinking with millions of NASCAR's adult fans through its "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." campaign. The PSA is scheduled to air throughout the summer and fall months. Crown Royal has unveiled a national television commercial starring the #97 Ford Taurus. Titled "Pace Car," the execution features the #97 racecar leading a fleet of automobiles in pace car formation through winding rural, suburban and city streets, eventually ending at a racetrack. The ad is punctuated with a voice over declaring, "Pacing is everything, especially when drinking," and closes with the brand's social responsibility tagline, "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." This marked the very first spirits ad since NASCAR announced it was allowing spirits companies to sponsor race teams.(Alan Taylor Communications), see image of the car on my #97 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2005)

    • Testing at Darlington: The following drivers are currently scheduled to test at Darlington Raceway. Please remember that the testing schedule is tentative and subject to change.
      #77-Travis Kvapil on Wednesday, April 6th
      and on Tuesday, April 26th #9-Kasey Kahne, #25-Brian Vickers, #38-Elliott Sadler, #40-Sterling Marlin and #4 Morgan McClure Motorsports.(Darlington Raceway)(4-6-2005)

    • Kvapil tests at the Rock: #77-Travis Kvapil spent Tuesday, April 5th testing at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-6-2005)

    • Motorsports Day and testing at Richmond: Join Richmond International Raceway at the Capitol to celebrate Motorsports Day at the Capitol. Governor Mark R. Warner and Richmond International Raceway president, Doug Fritz, will speak on behalf of Virginians Racing for The Hall of Fame. Then folks can go out to the track as NASCAR Busch Series teams make the first laps of 2005 around Richmond International Raceway. The public is invited to watch testing from the grandstands. Admission is free. #44-Justin Labonte, #10-Michel Jourdain, #22-Kenny Wallace and #32-Shane Hmiel will test their Busch Series cars.(Richmond International Raceway)(4-6-2005)

    • Congress not investigating NASCAR about drugs...yet: The House Committee on Government Reform, which is investigating performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, sent letters Tuesday to seven sports organizations requesting information on their testing policies. One sport won't be getting a letter right away: NASCAR. Robert White, spokesman for committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., said the committee has not decided whether to ask to review NASCAR's drug testing policy. "We're looking to see whether it makes sense for us to take a closer look at them," White said. "At this point, we don't know if it's something we want to do." The committee sent a letter to the NFL last week requesting its drug testing policy after a report that three Carolina Panthers got steroids from a South Carolina doctor. Tuesday, the committee sent letters to the NBA, NHL, Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer Federation, U.S. Tennis Association, USA Track and Field and USA Cycling.(News and Record)(4-6-2005)

    • Rusty's First win...19 years ago..today: April 6 marks the anniversary of #2-Rusty Wallace's first career win - coming on 4/6/1986 at Bristol - started 6th, led 3 times for 174 laps and cruised to victory in his 72nd career start.(Tom Roberts PR)(4-6-2005)

    • Bobby Labonte to run Alabama Grand Am race: #18-Bobby Labonte has added the July 29-31 [an off Cup weekend - the last one of the season] Grand American Rolex Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., to his 2005 Grand American Rolex Series race schedule. Barring unforeseen circumstances it will be Labonte's third race start -- two in a span of just one month -- of the four now-scheduled 2005 races in the #44 Pontiac-powered Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype. He will also have raced the car the previous month in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway with brother Terry Labonte during the Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race weekend. An Aug. 12 Rolex Series race, part of NASCAR's Aug. 14 Sirius at the Glen weekend, also is on the brotherly duo's Rolex Series' schedule. Terry Labonte, with whom Bobby will pair for the other two remaining scheduled Rolex Series races, is expected to be with son Justin Labonte for a Busch Series race scheduled for the same weekend. Also, word has it that Bobby Labonte will take a demonstration spin in the #44 Pontiac-Doran in pre-race ceremonies at the May 1 Aaron's 499 at Talladega Motor Speedway. However, his tight, pre-race schedule must first be massaged to allow him to undertake it.(Motorsport.com)(4-6-2005)

    • Bruton looks to buy the NHRA UPDATE: Bruton Smith, president and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, said last week he wants to acquire the National Hot Rod Association, a California-based drag race sanctioning organization. The association presents 23 national drag racing events, including the O’Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. It also conducts a racing series for import cars and 47 regional races, and it sanctions more than 100 drag strips across the country. "This is something I’m very interested in," Smith said. "If the powers that be decide we can buy it, we want to buy it. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from racers who said they would appreciate it if we did that, and I think it fits with what we do." When asked about a sale, NHRA’s vice president of public relations and communications, Jerry Archambeault, read a brief statement in which he denied the association was talking to Smith. But Smith said he recently talked about a deal with Wally Parks, the organization’s founder and a member of its board of directors. Smith said he also discussed the possibility with association President Tom Compton last year. In addition to Bristol Dragway, Speedway Motorsports owns NHRA drag strips in Las Vegas and Sonoma, Calif. NHRA owns and operates drag strips in Gainesville, Fla.; Pomona, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis and Atlanta. Any purchase would include the tracks, all racing series, sanctioning agreements and a television agreement with ESPN.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-3-2005)
      UPDATE: A source close to the scene, who preferred to remain anonymous, gave Racing Milestones a little background: “Smith won’t be building any more tracks for NASCAR competition. If any are built, it will be ISC doing it. So that leaves SMI with no growth opportunity. That means there’s nothing to spike the stock, not a good position if you want to grow.” Racing Milestones source went on. “So what’s the next best option? NHRA. Why? Because Smith not only would get NHRA, but their tracks, too. I don’t see a sale of NHRA, but the sanctioning body might unload a couple of tracks in a hurry.” How many millions will he have to part with for NHRA? Who knows? A little history. When former racer and track owner Billy Meyer bought IHRA from Larry Carrier back in 1988, all he got was contracts for the various races and Drag Review. There were no tracks included in the sale. Then Meyer became interested in obtaining NHRA or merging the two sanctioning bodies. So maybe if Smith wants to learn the obstacles he faces in obtaining a non-profit sanctioning body such as NHRA and turning it into a for-profit deal, he might contact Meyer. And what does NHRA have to say about all this? It’s probably best explained in a release by Jerry Archambeault, the sanctioning body’s vice president of communications and public relations, which is simply: “NHRA is not in discussions with Bruton Smith regarding the purchase of NHRA.”(Racing Milestones)(4-6-2005)

    • New NBC Hire: Alana Russo, previously Manager of Communications at MSNBC, was today named Manager, Communications, NBC Sports. The announcement was made by Mike McCarley, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. Russo will develop and execute strategic communications plans for NBC Sports and promote NBC's sports broadcast partnerships. She will be the primary media contact for horse racing and NASCAR, among other NBC Sports properties. Russo joins NBC Sports from MSNBC, where she oversaw national publicity efforts for "Hardball with Chris Matthews," "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" and events and specials, including MSNBC's coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election and "JFK: The Day That Changed America." Russo joined MSNBC as a publicist in 2002. Previously, she was a communications assistant at FOX Sports.(NBC)(4-6-2005)


      News from April 5, 2005

    • DW's last Truck Race at Martinsville: Preparing for his last race in the #11 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville Speedway, Darrell Waltrip reflects his most memorable moments at the famed oval where he's won 11 times. In 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts, Waltrip's best career finish is fifth at Martinsville (09/21/96). Waltrip may not race again, but the three-time Nextel Cup champion professes he's not out of the game. "I'm not going to race competitively again," said Waltrip, who finished 24th at the .526-mile oval last spring. "People need to realize something, I retired in 2000. Ever since then, everything I've done is for fun. It would be no different if you were a professional baseball player or a golfer and you still like to play the game. I still like to the play game. It's like going to Martinsville a few weeks ago and testing with David and Robert. I still want to do that. It's not that I'm not never going to get in a car or truck again. Until I don't think I'm physically capable of driving a car or truck around the racetrack, I'll probably hop in there every now and then just for fun." Dabbling in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since 1995, Waltrip has collected one top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Continuing his racing career, Waltrip's primary focus is his commitment to Toyota. "This is the best thing I've ever done," said Waltrip. "When I talk about desire, commitment and purpose, Toyota has the same goals I have. That's why I love working with them. I want to do whatever Toyota wants me to do, whether it's being a truck owner for the rest of my racing career or expanding into Busch or Cup."(DW Motorsports PR), click here to see am image of DW's ride for Martinsville, and yep, it has flames.(4-5-2005)

    • Why no points for Carl Long at Dover? and the #00?, see my Bristol Race/Award Results page why Long didn't get any points. And for Drivers/Owners Points [with race attempts] see my Drivers/Owners/Attempts Points after Bristol page.(4-5-2005)

    • The Force will be with Sadler and Jarrett at Phoenix: Storm troopers, a wookiee, Darth Vader and the Yellow M&M’S Brand Character M-Vader are all potential sights at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) on April 23, 2005. Add NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers and teammates Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett and the Star Wars Chocolate M-Pire is complete. This fun collaboration of characters is part a promotion between Masterfoods USA and the Lucasfilm for the May 19 release of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Masterfoods USA is debuting limited edition Dark Chocolate M&M’S in celebration of the year’s most anticipated theatrical release.
      M&M’S and UPS are uniting under the banner of the Star Wars Chocolate M-Pire but are separated by dark Darth and light Jedi sides. Supporting characters include Sadler’s ‘Darth Side’ team members and a specially designed #38 Dark Chocolate M&M’S Ford Taurus. UPS driver Jarrett and crew will channel the positive power of the Force through the efforts of the #88 UPS/Milk Chocolate M&M’S Ford Taurus representing the Jedi. Some of the popular M&M’S Characters are for the first time joining Jarrett on the #88 UPS/Milk Chocolate M&M’S Ford Taurus including Sadler’s personal favorite, Green. Action Performance Companies, the leader in licensed motorsports retail, is the official supplier of Star Wars themed NASCAR merchandise.(Action Performance/M&M's Racing/Evelvation Group), see images of the schemes on my #38 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2005)

    • 3 Doors Down scheme for Dale Jr. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run a #8 Chevy Rock & Roll - 3 Doors Down scheme at Richmond in September. See an image of the scheme on my #8 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2005)

    • Edwards goes green again, for National Garden Month: The #99 Scotts team will kick off National Garden Month this week when the green and white Scotts/Miracle Gro paint scheme returns to the Ford of Carl Edwards. In honor of National Garden Month, the #99 Scotts/Miracle Gro Ford will carry a special decal on the TV panel with the "Give a Garden* - Add Beauty to Life" logo throughout the month of April. "Give a Garden* - Add Beauty to Life" is this year's theme and has one simple premise - someone in your community can benefit by receiving a "garden". National Garden Month, an annual National Gardening Association (NGA) program, is a call to action that encourages everyone to get out and plant to help beautify our backyards and communities. The opportunities for making a difference through gardening are limited only by your imagination. For more ways to help celebrate National Garden Month log onto www.nationalgardenmonth.org.(Roush Racing)(4-5-2005)

    • Sad News, Not NASCAR but tragic: Automobile racing, regardless of the venue, is a dangerous business. It goes without saying that those who participate in the racing universe and those who ardently follow the action from the safety of the grandstands or their TV rooms understand the risks. But even the most rock steady fan of the NHRA and its Lucas Oil Sportsman division has truly been shaken and saddened by the freak accident in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday evening that claimed the life of Top Alcohol Dragster star Shelly Howard and her son, Brian. According to reports, the 59-year-old Shelly was making a test pass in a newly delivered racecar at Tulsa Raceway Park when the dragster's front end lifted vertically somewhere near half-track, sending it into an uncontrollable blowover. The car crashed heavily back onto the racing surface facing the starting line. Then, with her husband, Paul, looking on helplessly, the racecar accelerated back toward the starting line at high speed, crashing into the team's tow vehicle which was parked at the starting line with Shelly's son, 36-year-old Brian, sitting inside the cab. Shelly and Brian lost their lives almost simultaneously in what those in attendance have described as one of the sport's most horrifying mishaps. Police estimated the car hit the truck at 250 mph. And while the accident itself is an unspeakably freakish tragedy, the circumstances and magnitude of the two lives ultimately lost seem to add an even greater dimension of inexplicable sadness to what was witnessed. Shelly Howard was a standout racer, a former Division 4 champion, a former registered nurse who won respect from everyone she encountered with her quiet manner, unquestioned driving skills, and devotion to her family, fans and crew. She also leaves behind two daughters, Jennifer and Tracy, and a legion of friends who came to know and admire her through her NHRA exploits. Info on services can be found at shellyhoward.com.(ESPN.com)(4-5-2005)


      News from April 4, 2005

    • Harvick goes testing....after winning Busch race: Just how glamorous is big time auto racing? Well, as soon as Kevin Harvick was finished in victory lane Monday afternoon [after winning the Busch race] he took a helicopter to Asheboro, NC [Caraway Speedway] to test his cup car until dark for this weekend’s upcoming race at Martinsville. Crew Chief Todd Barrier, who is serving a four race suspension, joined his driver at the half-mile non-NASCAR [non Cup/Busch track] short track.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-4-2005)

    • Overnight Bristol TV Ratings: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway drew a 5.6 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 13 share from the nation's largest markets, today's Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating represents a 7.9% increase from the overnight rating for the 2004 spring Bristol race, which was contested on the last weekend of March. The numbers match the overnight figures from the spring Texas Motor Speedway race of 2004, when it was run on the first weekend of April, although those Nielsen figures were reported to be incomplete because one market was not included.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-4-2005)

    • Testing at Kentucky this week: Several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams are scheduled to test at the speedway this week. The Tuesday, April 5 schedule includes Petty Enterprises drivers #45-Kyle Petty and #43-Jeff Green along with Morgan McClure driver #4-Mike Wallace. Evernham Motorsports driver #19-Jeremy Mayfield and Hendrick Motorsports rookie #5-Kyle Busch are scheduled to test on Wednesday, April 6. They will be joined by the Chip Ganassi Racing R&D [#39?] Team. The Thursday, April 7 schedule features Biagi Brothers NASCAR Busch Series driver #4-Ryan Hemphill and Michael Waltrip Racing [#99].(Kentucky Speed PR(4-4-2005)

    • Fill In Crew Chief Takes Harvick to Victory Lane: Nothing was going to deny Kevin Harvick a trip to victory lane this weekend. With Scott Miller filling in as crew chief, Harvick went from worst to first in the Food City 500, collecting his first win in over fifty races. Miller's spectacular day earned him the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Miller led Harvick from the back of the pack not once, but twice. On the morning of the race, the #29 Goodwrench crew found a leak in the power steering system and replaced a faulty pump. For making a change to the car after it had been impounded, Harvick was sent to the back of the field for the start of the race. On top of that, Harvick had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop after two of his lug nuts were left untightened, once again sending him to the tail end of the lead lap. Despite the setbacks, Miller stuck with his game plan and inched Harvick back into the lead. "The last pit stop was one of the biggest factors in our win," said Miller after the race. "We brought Kevin (Harvick) in when the leader stayed out. The crew did an awesome job to get him out of the pits first. That's when our strategy fell into place. He had fresh tires and that's what he needed to take the lead and pull away." The panel of voters selecting the Crew Chief of the Race; including Robert Daski of the Lynchburg Daily News, a WYPALL Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; all thought Miller was the standout crew chief. Miller was awarded $1,000 for taking home Crew Chief of the Race honors. He is now tied with Bob Osborne, Alan Gustafson, 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.(4-4-2005)

    • Engine of the Future news, 2007? 2008?: Chevrolet engineers are expected to have their first version of NASCAR's proposed "engine of the future" ready for dyno testing by Christmas, according to Detroit sources. And Ford's Robert Yates and Jack Roush have started laying the groundwork for a new engine-development operation that would start work on a Ford version of that engine of the future. But Roush said Ford couldn't meet a deadline of having such a new engine ready for the 2007 Daytona 500, as NASCAR has proposed. It would have to be 2008 at the earliest, Roush said.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-4-2005)

    • Newman to Roush? There are reports that Jack Roush may be interested in Penske's #12-Ryan Newman for the #6 ride [to be vacated by Mark Martin], or perhaps even Newman and his crew chief Matt Borland, too.(Winston Salem Journal), a thought comes to mind....Not Bloody Likely.(4-4-2005)

    • No Crew Flip-Flop at DEI: For those who wondered if conditions at Dale Earnhardt Inc. were dire enough to swap the Nos. 15 and 8 crews and cars back to the original drivers--think again. "There will never be a flip back," says a DEI source, who adds that the 15 crew, formerly the No. 8, was disappointed with Earnhardt. "I don't think they would take him back. We said we would work with Michael (Waltrip) this year for us to get a young gun for next year. What's happened is fate, and we're going to make the most of it." Earnhardt echoed similar sentiments and reiterated his confidence in crew chief Pete Rondeau. "The way Pete has hung in there further constitutes my belief in him," he says. Earnhardt and Waltrip are 17th and 27th, respectively, in points.(Sporting News)(4-4-2005)

    • Eury Jr. to bolt DEI? Crew chief Tony Eury Jr., the key car chief in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s title runs the past two years, is reported to be one of hottest items in the garage, with several rival teams interested in hiring him away from Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he now runs Michael Waltrip's #15 team. It is unclear if rival Chevy teams are interested in Eury or Ford or Dodge team owners.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-4-2005)

    • No Roush or Hendrick car in top five: Neither a Hendrick [5 in the race] or a Roush [5 also] driver finished in the top five. The last time that happened was 90 races ago, on Aug. 11, 2002, at Watkins Glen.(Gaston Gazette)(4-4-2005)



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