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    APR 11-17, 2005

      News from April 17, 2005

    • Biffle wins at Texas: #16-Greg Biffle won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway by leading 219 of 334 laps. #41-Casey Mears made a late run after a caution and only took 2 tires and Biffle stalked Mears down within a few laps and won the race by just over 4 seconds over #42-Jamie McMurray. #48-Jimmie Johnson, #41-Casey Mears and #40-Sterling Marlin. The rest of the top 10 were #15-Waltrip, #97-Busch, #21-Rudd, #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #2-Wallace. It is Biffle's 5th career win and 2nd of 2005. #48-Johnson maintains the points lead over Biffle by 135. Biffle officially started 5th, but was in a backup car after crashing in practice on Saturday and had to fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag on Sunday.
      For race results and links to other site for results, see:
      Jayski's Texas Race Results Page.(4-17-2005)

    • Sad News: Gene Granger, 70, of 126 Highridge Drive, died Friday, April 15, 2005, at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. He was the husband of Ann S. Granger. The J. F. Floyd Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.(
      Granger, who has been away from the sport for a few years, was a racing statistician and well known NASCAR Historian, mainly in the 1960's thru 1990's. I remeber reading columns by Granger on the old Speedvision [now Speed Channel site] in the late 1990's when I started this site [Aug 1996]. He and David Green [not the driver] put out the 'On This Day in NASCAR' Daily Planners. Condolences to family and friends.(4-16-2005)
      AND Gene Granger, 70, of 126 Highridge Drive, died Friday, April 15, 2005, at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Born April 2, 1935, in Baltimore, MD, he was the son of the late Charles Edward and Anne Culp Granger. He was a sportswriter, a NASCAR historian, and a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He was of the Baptist faith.
      Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Ann S. Granger; two daughters, Gina G. Chapman and her husband, Bruce, of Spartanburg, and Gia G. Ellenburg and her husband, Scott, of Travelers Rest; two granddaughters, Ashley Wilkerson of Spartanburg, and Kristen Ellenburg of Travelers Rest; and three brothers, the Rev. Charles Granger, of Deland, FL, Marion Granger of Winter Haven, FL, and Richard Granger of Peachtree City, GA.
      Graveside services will be at 11:00 a.m., Monday, April 18, 2005 at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, conducted by the Rev. Thomas P. Groome, III and the Rev. Charles Granger. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 880 W. O. Ezell Blvd., Spartanburg, SC 29301. An online guest register is available at

    • Leffler out of the #11? Ward in? UPDATES - DENIED reports it has learned that the #11 Fedex Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy team may be planning on replacing Jason Leffler with Ward Burton as soon as Darlington. While denied by team officials, insiders say Burton would fill the seat for the remainder of the season before a permanent driver [Yeley?] would be named to take over the ride. Burton stated that he has not been spoken to in regards to the #11 car but currently had several other offers in play.(
      UPDATE - more on Ward, Indy 500?: With rumblings that the Nextel Cup Series "Silly Season" of driver hirings and firings could be ready to kick into gear, Ward Burton made an appearance at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday. The South Boston, Va., native was announcing a new marketing partnership between his wildlife foundation and Beretta that will promote firearm safety for kids, but he also spent several minutes answering questions about his NASCAR future. An Internet report yesterday linked the 43-year-old with possibly replacing Jason Leffler in the #11 Chevrolet of Joe Gibbs Racing. With the impending retirements of Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, and the expected departure of veterans such as Sterling Marlin from established teams, several other quality rides could be open by the end of the year. Burton, who has stayed busy managing his Halifax County preserve, doing charity work and developing an outdoors show for TV, said he wasn't in serious discussions with any team. He reportedly has been offered rides in the Cup, Busch and Truck series. "I won't come back if the right situation isn't there," he said. "I won't say Cup is my only choice, but it's the only one I'm considering." Burton said he also had been contacted about attempting the Indianapolis 500.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-17-2005)
      UPDATE 2 DENIED: Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs on Sunday denied published reports that Jason Leffler is on the way out of the #11 Chevrolet and Ward Burton is on the way in. Gibbs called Leffler on Saturday night at Texas to give a vote of confidence. "I called Jason and kind of laughed," Gibbs said. "We have a multi-year deal with Jason and with FedEx, so there is no truth to that. "I said, 'You don't have to worry about that,' and he said, 'I know.'" Joe Gibbs Racing has never released a driver on the Nextel Cup Series level in its history, and Gibbs said that Leffler has a three-year deal to drive the car. "We like long-term relationships with sponsors and team drivers," Gibbs said. "He's has been great, everything off the track. We have got to finish first and show improvement, which we have been doing." A source close to Burton also denied the rumor.(

    • Texas Race News and Notes:
      * Greg Biffle won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, scoring his fifth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 85th career start. His last victory came in California Speedway, five races ago.
      * Biffle became the second repeat-race winner in seven races in 2005. He joins Jeff Gordon who scored victories at Daytona and Martinsville this season.
      * Biffle remained second in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, his highest career points ranking and has ranked among the top five for the six straight races.
      * Biffle's first victory in three races at Texas is his first finish here better than 28th.
      * Biffle begins the 2005 season with five top-10 finishes, second only to Jimmie Johnson with seven.
      * Biffle won from the rear of the field after moving to the rear under penalty from his fifth-place starting position for use of a back up car. Kevin Harvick came from the rear to win at Bristol just two races ago. Harvick went to the rear in that race for adjustments made while under impound.
      * Biffle scored the fourth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Texas Motor Speedway. All of Roush's victories came here with four different drivers. This was Roush's 77th victory as a car owner and third this season.
      Notebook Items
      * Jamie McMurray (second) posted his third straight top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his best finish at Texas. His other two Texas finishes were a pair of 10th-place finishes. McMurray has scored two top-10 finishes in seven races this season. He climbed from 15th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      * Jimmie Johnson (third) scored his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson has scored top-10 finishes in 13 straight races, since Charlotte last fall. Johnson failed to lead a lap for the second race in 2005. He remained first in the point standings with a 135-point lead over second-place Biffle.
      * Casey Mears (fourth) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway. This ties his career-best finish set at Watkins Glen in August 2004. Mears has scored two top-10 finishes in seven races this season. Mears climbed from 23rd to 17th in the point standings.
      * Sterling Marlin (fifth) scored his fourth top-10 finish in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. Marlin scored his third top-10 finish in 2005 and climbed from 12th to sixth in the point standings. This is his highest points ranking since he was fifth after Kansas in September 2002.
      * Michael Waltrip (sixth) posted his third top-10 finish nine races at Texas. Waltrip scored his second top-10 finish in 2005. Waltrip moved from 30th to 24th in the point standings.
      * Rusty Wallace (10th) posted his fourth top-10 finish in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. It marked his fourth top-10 finish in 2005. Wallace moved from seventh to third in the point standings. This is his highest points ranking since he was third after Talladega in April 2002.
      * For the first time ever, three Chip Ganassi-owned cars finished in the top five: McMurray (second), Mears (fourth) and Marlin (fifth).
      * Mark Martin (20th) has been running at the finish in 29 consecutive races , the longest current streak.
      * Kyle Busch (21st) was the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender for the fourth time 2005.
      * After finishing 23rd in the at Texas, Ken Schrader has now gone 450 races since his last victory which came at Dover in June 1991.
      * Leading 219 laps in the Samsung/RadioShack 500, Biffle took the lead in laps led in 2005. He has led 559 laps in the first seven races of the season.
      * Seven of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Texas.
      * Looking ahead to the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.... only 17 drivers remain within 400 points of current point leader Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(4-17-2005)

    • StockCarFans Rumbleings - Texas:
      #16-Greg Biffle was about as close to total domination as you can get today at Texas Motor Speedway as he led 7 times for 219 laps on the way to victory in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500. And, when you figure he had to drop to the back at the start, impressive is the first word that comes to mind. Using a backup car after wrecking in practice yesterday, Biffle picked up his second win of the season (he becomes our second two-timer this year) and the 5th win of his Nextel Cup career (he's in a seven-way tie for 60th on the all-time list). Win #77 for Roush Racing was worth $522,250 (yikes!!) from the over $6.8M in posted awards.
      #42-Jamie McMurray (2nd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Martinsville last October.
      #41-Casey Mears (4th, and also in a backup car) tied his career-best finish today. He was 4th at Watkins Glen last August.
      #40-Sterling Marlin (5th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Martinsville last October.
      #15-Michael Waltrip (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Loudon last July.
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield (11th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Martinsville last October.
      #31-Jeff Burton (12th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Phoenix last November.
      #66-Hermie Sadler (29th) had his best finish since he was 23rd at Talladega last October.
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 13 Top-10's in a row.
      Greg Biffle has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Jamie McMurray (+29) and Jeff Burton (+29), followed by Casey Mears (+28), Matt Kenseth (+21), and Mike Bliss (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kasey Kahne (-32), followed by Tony Stewart (-21), Elliott Sadler (-20), and Jeff Green (-20). This is the second BD of the season for Kahne.
      Greg Biffle cut 25 points off Jimmie Johnson's lead today....its now 135. The "Stayin' Alive" line is up to 17, and if Johnson keeps stringing these Top-10's together we can forget that 400 point codicil in the "Chase" rules. We had three drivers move forward six spots in the points today. Sterling Marlin, Casey Mears, and Michael Waltrip all made the advance. Two drivers (Tony Stewart & Jeff Green) moved six spots in the negative direction. As for the privileged list for next week (regarding qualifying), Mike Wallace has earned the final exemption while Bobby Hamilton Jr will now have to time his way into the field. Bobby Labonte will still be in line for the Champions Provisional (should he need it).(Stock Car Fans)(4-17-2005)

    • No injuries in Roush fire: A fire Friday damaged a building at the Roush Industries complex in Livonia, Mich., owned by racing team owner Jack Roush. There were no injuries. Parts for military vehicles are manufactured in the affected building. "The good news is it was a building that had five different units with five sets of fire doors, so they closed the fire door on the unit and minimized the damage to the rest of the building," Roush said Saturday at Texas Speedway. "Happily, nobody was injured."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(4-17-2005)

    • Wallace to stand by for Labonte, Craven for Busch: It was reported on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning that #18-Bobby Labonte is feeling ill and Kenny Wallace will be standing by if Labonte needs to get out of the car. #97-Kurt Busch is still feeling sore from the Martinsville and Texas IROC wrecks and Roush Racing's Truck Series and Nextel Cup veteran driver, Ricky Craven will stand by if Busch needs to get out of the car.(Fox Texas pre-race show).
      Labonte and Busch will start the race and get all the drivers points and credit for the finish postion at Texas Motor Speedway.(4-17-2005)

      News from April 16, 2005

    • Newman to Roush? UPDATE 2 or to a Chevy team? DENIED 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)
      UPDATE: The hottest news on the corporate front is that Chevrolet executives may be making a run at Ryan Newman and crew chief Matt Borland, according to NASCAR sources. Newman apparently has one more year left [2006] on his driving contract with Roger Penske but Borland's contract is reported to be up at the end of this season. Now comes word Chevrolet is offering to set up a team for Newman and Borland for 2006, reported to be with engines supplied by Hendrick Motorsports.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2005)
      UPDATE 2: been told that there have been no conversations about Hendrick Motorsports supplying engines for a team with Ryan Newman and Matt Borland.(4-16-2005)

    • Penske buying out Rusty and Miller? Roger Penske is buying out the 48% share of Penske South that is owned by Rusty Wallace and his long-time business manager Don Miller.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2005)

    • Jarrett, Riggs and Herbie UPDATE 2 : #88-Dale Jarrett will help promote the movie "Herbie: Fully Loaded" with a special paint scheme at Richmond in May. This is the same movie, which features Lindsay Lohan, Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton, that was filmed during the 2004 Pop Secret 500 weekend Sept. 3-5 at California Speedway.(RacingOne)(1-7-2005)
      UPDATE - Another Herbie scheme: Scott Riggs will have the movie "Herbie: Fully Loaded" on his #10 Chevrolet at Daytona in July. As announced last month, Riggs will join #88-Dale Jarrett, who will race a Herbie paint scheme at Richmond [in May], as the second driver to promote the movie, which has scenes filmed at California Speedway.(RacingOne)(2-24-2005)

      UPDATE 2: UPS is partnering with Walt Disney Pictures for the feature film release of Herbie: Fully Loaded. UPS is bringing the famous red, white and blue colors of old 53, the beloved Volkswagen Beetle to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Dale Jarrett will reveal the special paint scheme he will race in conjunction with the release of Walt Disney Pictures’ Herbie: Fully Loaded. Walt Disney Pictures’ Herbie: Fully Loaded will be released nationwide on Friday June 24 and stars Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton.(UPS Racing)(4-14-2005)
      IMAGES Disney, UPS Racing, Valvoline Racing and Action Performance Companies Inc. announced details and unveiled vehicles that center around the upcoming summer feature film, Herbie: Fully Loaded. In Herbie: Fully Loaded, Actress Lindsay Lohan stars as Maggie Peyton, the new owner of the No. 53 “Love Bug.” In this installment of the popular Disney film series, Herbie takes on NASCAR® as the famous Volkswagen aims for the winner’s circle in stock car racing’s most challenging series. In September 2004, several scenes for Herbie: Fully Loaded were filmed at California Speedway during pace laps of the weekend’s NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series races. The movie will speed into theaters nationwide on June 24, 2005.
      As a way to welcome Herbie into the NASCAR ranks, the #88 UPS Ford Taurus, driven by Dale Jarrett, and the #10 Valvoline Chevy Monte Carlo, piloted by Scott Riggs, both will feature the “Herbie 53” paint scheme during two distinct NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events. Jarrett and the No. 88 UPS Racing team will salute Herbie during the difficult road course race at Infineon Raceway on June 26. Meanwhile, Riggs and the No. 10 Valvoline team will introduce Herbie to the most famous superspeedway in NASCAR – Daytona International Speedway – for the 400-mile midsummer night race on July 2. The #10 Valvoline/Herbie: Fully Loaded Chevrolet also will appear this fall during the 500-mile NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 13, 2005.
      See schemes of the cars on my #10 Team Scheme page and the #88 Team Scheme page.(Action Performace PR)(4-16-2005)

    • Stremme to 2005? Don't be surprised to see David Stremme in a Nextel Cup car before season's end. Stremme's testing last season at Nashville led to significant chassis developments for Ganassi Racing's Cup program, and he also filled in for Bill Elliott and tested the #39 at Daytona. In Busch, Stremme has bounced around three teams over the past three years, working under four crew chiefs. He could show what he's capable of if given an opportunity in a Cup car later this year, especially with the assistance of current crew chief Randy Cox.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-16-2005)

    • Final Martinsville TV Ratings Mixed: Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway earned a 5.1 final rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 13 share, today's Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. While the rating is 10.9% higher than the 4.6 overnight figure, it is down from 5.4 in 2004, when the race was a week later and was not on against the Masters golf tournament. CBS's coverage of this year's Masters, which was won by Tiger Woods in a playoff, was the weekend's highest rated sports show with a 9.8..(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-16-2005)

    • Ephedra ruling won't change MLB, NFL, NASCAR policies: Ephedra will remain a banned substance in at least three professional sports, even if a recent court ruling ends up putting the controversial dietary supplement back on store shelves. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, confirmed in an e-mail that ephedra will remain on baseball's banned substances list. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed ephedra, which league officials banned in 2002, would remain on the league's banned substances list. The Washington Post quoted NFL Players Association leader Gene Upshaw as saying, "The dangers are still there, as far as we're concerned.. .. We have enough concerns about this. It's still going to be on our banned list."
      NASCAR banned ephedra in January 2004 after a USA TODAY report quoted one racing team's trainer as estimating that 80% of crew members had tried supplements containing ephedra. "Based on what I've read about the court ruling, there's no reason for us to change," NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said Friday. The Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra in April 2004, saying supplements that contained the substance present "an unreasonable risk of illness or injury."(USA Today)(4-16-2005)

      News from April 15, 2005

    • Evernham Chopper to be auctioned off for Charity: Ray Evernham [#9,#19, #91 team owner] has combined his love of motorcycles with his charitable outreach effort, Racing for a Reason, and his commitment to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support a program that will raise money for the life-saving work of this charity. Evernham teamed up with legendary bike builder Dave Perewitz and PPG Automotive Refinish to design and build a custom chopper. The Charity Chopper features a fabulous finish from the PPG Vibrance Collection TM with a Liquid Crystal Orange topcoat and classic Perewitz flames. The Charity Chopper will appear with the PPG Show Truck at custom car and bike shows around the country. Evernham, Perewitz and PPG are teamed up with eBay, The World's Online Marketplace,, for monthly charity auctions of collectible items to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In the fall, The Charity Chopper will be up for bid on eBay beginning on September 30 and will end on October 9. Delivery will take place at the Texas Motor Speedway during the November race weekend where the winning bidder will be presented the bike by Ray Evernham and PPG representatives. For more information log on to (Check back soon as site will be going live in the next few days). For more information about the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and blood cancer, visit!Blue)(4-15-2005)

    • Irwin Tools back on the #97, first time in 2005: Kurt Busch’s #97 Ford Taurus sports the colors of IRWIN Industrial Tools at Texas for the first time this season. The IRWIN car will run the next six events through the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte on May 21st.(Roush Racing)(4-15-2005)

    • Fans to Decide First All-Time IROC Team After nearly three decades of legendary racing, the International Race of Champions (IROC) has partnered with title sponsor Crown Royal to give fans the opportunity to become part of racing history in selecting the first ever all-time IROC Team. Crown Royal and IROC today unveiled the program that will honor IROC's all-time great champions. Dubbed Crown Royal's Legends of Victory Lane, the program will represent the first all-time team in IROC history selected by the fans. Twelve finalists for this prestigious all-time team have been selected by an esteemed media panel, which has covered motorsports for a combined 100 plus years. Finalists were determined by panel nominations based primarily on drivers' IROC career performance.
      Starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, fans legal drinking age and above will have the opportunity to vote at IROC and NASCAR races across the country for the four drivers whom they consider the Legends of Victory Lane. Voting kiosks will be stationed at the Crown Royal Experience, an interactive racing exhibit for fans at track, or via the Internet at The final team will consist of four all-time legends, and will be honored at the final IROC race of the season in Atlanta in October. The finalists represent the three main racing disciplines of IROC racing - stock car, open-wheel and road racing - and include: Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Dale Earnhardt, Hurley Haywood, Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough.(Alan Taylor Communications)(4-15-2005)

    • NASCAR HOF tops Charlotte's 'must-have' list: The proposed NASCAR Hall of Fame has zoomed to the top of Charlotte's must-have list, racing past the long-simmering push for new museums and theaters. Led by a self-described "checkered flag team" of elected officials and private-sector power brokers, the NASCAR building has attracted a near-unanimous consensus, big-name architects and, most important, urgency. "It has huge momentum, compared with anything else," said Charlotte City Council member John Tabor, a Republican. The arts package, he said, was already in limbo anyway. With public budgets tight again, and thus limited money available for uptown tourist attractions, where does that leave the arts projects? Will this be a tortoise-hare matchup where everyone reaches the finish line eventually? Or will the arts projects eat NASCAR's dust? The next few months should be telling, as the city, county and state governments set their budgets and priorities for 2005-06. In the race for public and private cash, the hall of fame took the lead this spring, thanks to a May 31 deadline imposed by NASCAR. Charlotte and five other regions are competing for the tourist magnet, which could cost more than $100 million. Earlier this week, organizers announced they had selected a preferred city-owned site near the Charlotte Convention Center and hired the architectural firm founded by I.M. Pei, which designed the pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. NASCAR also has several other advantages. Organizers estimate that the hall of fame would draw 400,000 visitors per year. At this point, neither arts leaders nor hall of fame organizers have proposed a complete financing plan, making it difficult to know whether they will compete directly against each other for public money. That overlap could be limited, though, because the NASCAR project may draw corporate support from outside the Charlotte region, from national companies that sponsor the sport. Construction executive Luther Cochrane has his hands in both projects. He chaired last summer's arts task force, and he's now one of the "crew chiefs" of the NASCAR project.(Charlotte Observer)(4-15-2005)

    • Norris leaves Penske? UPDATE: hearing #12 Penske Racing car chief, Chad Norris, has left the team and has assumed the crew chief job with Matt Kenseth's #17 Busch Series team. Former crew chief for Kenseth [Busch], Charles "Cully" Barraclough left to take the #20 Busch Series crew chief gig.(4-14-2005)
      UPDATE: Robbie Reiser, who leads Kenseth's Cup team, is pulling double duty this weekend and expects to do so for the rest of the season. Chad Norris, former car chief for Ryan Newman's Penske South Nextel Cup team, has joined Roush Racing and is the heir apparent, Reiser said Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(4-15-2005)

    • Actor to promote recycling cell phones at Texas: Actor Richard Karn, who played Al in the sitcom Home Improvement and is the host of Family Feud, will take part in Sunday's prerace activities to inform fans about RadioShack's cellphone recycling program. The proceeds from recycled phones go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.(Dallas Morning News)(4-15-2005)

    • Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking #/12-Ryan Newman as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 10th, G.K. of New Port Richey, FL was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. G.K. picked Ryan Newman as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun by going to 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 Newman. This is the first time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Newman.(Alan Taylor Communications)(4-15-2005)

    • 2005 'Gong Show' on Speed? UPDATE 2: Roush Racing is negotiating with Speed Channel to turn its Gong Show -- the name given to Roush's tryout competition for a ride in the truck series -- into reality TV. The program would appear at the end of May.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-13-2005)
      UPDATE: been told that SPEED Channel has not talked to Roush about this since Spring 2004 ... there are no talks currently going on and certainly nothing planned for May.(4-13-2005)
      UPDATE 2: "We are very close to a deal. It's in lawyers' hands, working out details, but it's not Speed Vision [Speed Channel], as reported. It's not any of the current NASCAR broadcast partners. They turned it down, and so another company picked it up and when I can announce it I think it'll be huge." Geoff Smith President of Roush Racing - on the Gong Show reality TV show - told Claire B. Lang from XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.(4-15-2005)

    • Bruton to be honored Saturday: Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame will be honored at a dinner celebration and tribute on the evening of April 16, 2005, at the Panthers Den at Bank of America Stadium. Proceeds from the event will benefit Charlotte/Mecklenburg Senior Centers, Inc.
      The four 2005 inductees are:
      - Bobby Jones, collegiate and professional basketball player
      - Bruton Smith, motorsports pioneer
      - David Thompson, collegiate and professional basketball player
      - Hoyt Wilhelm, professional baseball player (posthumous award)
      John M. Belk, former Charlotte Mayor and recently retired chief executive of the Belk department store organization, is honorary chairman of the event. The gala event (formal business attire) will feature a cocktail reception with live music beginning at 7 p.m., followed by dinner at 8 p.m. The awards presentation ceremony will include video tributes to the inductees and introductions by friends and colleagues. A silent auction of sports memorabilia and other items will be held. Tickets to the charitable event are $150 each. For information or reservations, call 704-369-0383 or visit the website. The inaugural inductees of the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 were: Jim Beatty, the late Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Mullins and Floyd "Chunk" Simmons. Members of the 2005 Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame's selection committee that chose the 2005 honorees include Jim Babb, Jim Beatty, Jeff Beaver, John M. Belk, Dell Curry, Ron Green, Sr., Bill Hensley, Max Muhleman, Judy Rose, Dick Thigpen, and H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler. The Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame was established in the fall of 2003 as an entity to recognize and honor outstanding sports figures from the Charlotte region and to create greater public awareness of the area's rich sports history and heritage.(

    • More on possible #6 Drivers UPDATE 2:: Geoff Smith, the manager of Jack Roush's racing operation, must fill Mark Martin's seat when Martin retires at the end of this season, and he must also sign a new sponsor for that team. Martin was a proven product when Smith did his five-year, $60 million deal with Pfizer. But how many companies would be willing to risk making a deal like that for a little-known racer? And the price tag is now closer to $20 million a year to run a NASCAR team. "One of the reasons we hired Ricky Craven for the Truck series is there's the sense Ricky has never gotten the right break with first-rate equipment, so he is very hungry to prove he's got it in him to be successful. And he is a great guy, very compatible with our guys." Sterling Marlin is one name driver whose 2006 contract is up in the air. And Ryan Newman, NASCAR's premier qualifier, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for another ride, as has Michael Waltrip.(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)
      UPDATE: Virtually everywhere Ricky Craven goes, fans continually ask whether he'll be back in Nextel Cup racing soon. He already has turned down one marginal opportunity this season and instead chose stay with Roush, as he feels it's the best place for him to be at this point in his career. There indeed will be opportunities with Roush at the Cup level, as Mark Martin is retiring at the end of this season. Craven delicately sidesteps rumors that he may replace Martin in the Roush-owned #6 Ford or take over for Carl Edwards in the #99 if Edwards is tabbed to replace Martin next year. "Jack and I have had conversations, but our primary conversation and objective is to battle for the championship in the 99 truck," Craven said. "I still think there's an opportunity for me [to go back to Cup], but that's all predicated on us meeting our goals this year. ... If [that] happens, then I'll have made a pretty good argument for a year in a Roush Cup car. That's really only as far as it goes."(Yahoo Sports)(4-14-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams tested at Gateway International Speedway near St. Louis, Mo., Wednesday [4/13] in preparation for the Truck Series race there on April 30th. KFNS - motorsports reporter Brandon Mudd talked to Ricky Craven, driver of the #99 SuperChips Ford, who was among those testing there. Craven said there has been talk of his possible future in the #6 Ford that will be vacant at the end of the season with Nextel Cup veteran Mark Martin’s retirement. “I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t interest me and I’m not going to tell you that there hasn’t been some conversation, but it is so premature that it just doesn’t get any consideration. (Right now) I’m all about this Truck Series, all about the next 21 races.” Craven went on to say, despite what happens with that potential opening, he’s still paying close attention to Martin. “I’m watching Mark for other reasons. It’s primarily because I’m a big believer in Mark Martin and his career and his abilities and he’s going to battle down to the wire for this (Nextel Cup) title. He deserves it and I’m pulling for him.”(

    • Newman wins pole at Texas: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 192.582mph, his 3rd pole of 2005 and 30th Career pole, now 19th overall on the All-Time Pole List. Rounding out the top-five were #19-Mayfield, #9-Kahne, #21-Rudd and #16-Biffle. Missing the race were #92-Barrett, #34-LaJoie and #37-Lepage. #0-Mike Bliss has the only wreck in qualifying, smacked the wall but will NOT go to a backup car [per Bliss in a GM PR]. #25-Vicker's team changed engines before qualifying and have to go to the rear of the field at the start of the race on Sunday.
      See qualifying results, pole progression, starting lineup, other starting lineup links on my Jayski's Texas Qualifying/Starting Lineup Page.(4-15-2005)

    • Samsung/RadioShack 500 qualifying notes:
      * Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Samsung/RadioShack 500, lapping Texas Motor Speedway in 28.040 seconds at 192.582 mph. Bill Elliott holds the track-qualifying record of 27.803 seconds, 194.224 mph, set April 5, 2002.
      * This is Newman's 30th career Bud Pole in 123 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      * This is Newman's first Bud Pole and second top-10 start in four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway. His previous best start here was third in 2003.
      * This moves Newman to 22nd on the all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole list.
      * Jeremy Mayfield posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.062 seconds, 192.431 mph and will join Newman on the front row for the Samsung/RadioShack 500. It is Mayfield's fourth top-10 start in 2005 and his third top-10 start in nine races at Texas.
      * This is the third Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005. Chevrolet and Ford each have two.
      * Kasey Kahne (third) posted his second top-10 start in two races at Texas. He also started third here in 2004. It is his fourth top-10 start in 2005.
      * Ricky Rudd (fourth) posted his first top-10 start in 2005. It is his fourth top-10 start in nine races at Texas.
      * Greg Biffle (fifth) sixth top-10 start in 2005. His only start outside the top 10 was 23rd at Daytona. It is his second top-10 start at Texas – both top-fives.
      * Bill Elliott (15th) and Terry Labonte (43rd) each qualified for their third NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race this season.
      * Boris Said (40th) qualified for his fifth career oval-track race and his second race this season. Said has also competed in nine road-course races since making his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.
      * Three drivers failed to qualify for the Samsung/RadioShack 500: Kevin Lepage, Stanton Barrett and Randy LaJoie.
      * There have been six different Bud Pole winners at Texas Motor Speedway. Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) is the only repeat Bud Pole winner. Qualifying was canceled by weather for the inaugural race (1997).
      * No NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Texas has been won from a front-row starting position but six have been won from the top 10 - five from the top five.
      * Six of the eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Texas have been won from a starting position of seventh or better. Matt Kenseth started 31st in route to his victory there in the 2002 Samsung/RadioShack 500, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(4-15-2005)

    • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Texas: #19-Jeremy Mayfield made it interesting, but it was #12-Ryan Newman (again!) taking the Bud Pole today at Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's Samsung/ RadioShack 500. Newman's time of 28.040 (192.582 mph) was a little over 2/100th's of a second better than that of Mayfield.
      This is the third pole of the season for Rocket Ryan and the 30th of his Nextel Cup career.
      Mayfield (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Dover last September.
      #9-Kasey Kahne (3rd) has his best starting spot since he was on the outside pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway last October.
      #21-Ricky Rudd (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Talladega last October.
      #91-Bill Elliott (15th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at California last September (only four races).
      STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 14 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Greg Biffle has 6 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Kasey Kahne has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
      This place is awful fast, and we haven't seen a repeat winner in the eight runnings of this event. 5 Fords (3 of 'em Roush), 2 Chevys, 1 Dodge shows it can be a mixed bag when Sunday rolls around.(Stock Car Fans)(4-15-2005)

      News from April 14, 2005

    • Cingular Jacks: Taking a cue from college football, a round white decal with the Cingular Jack will be applied to the #31 Team Cingular Pit Crew helmets for each pit stop under 12.99 seconds throughout the season. Heading to Texas the pit crew has already earned nine “Jacks.”(RCR)(4-14-2005)

    • No Cowboy's/NASCAR Clash in Nov. at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway won't have to battle the Cowboys for fans this fall. The Cowboys have an open date Nov. 6, the date of TMS' long-awaited second Nextel Cup race, the Dickies 500. Cowboys officials said the scheduling is a coincidence. Regardless of the reason, TMS officials were overjoyed after the NFL schedule was released Wednesday. The absence of a Cowboys game probably ensures at least a near-capacity crowd.(Dallas Morning News)(4-14-2005)

    • Burton talks about TV Responsibility: Jeff Burton told "Sirius Speedway" (MRN/Sirius Satelite Radio) Wednesday that while TV networks bear some share of responsibility for televising incidents like the one that caused NASCAR to fine driver Shane Hmiel last week, the ultimate responsibility still lies with the drivers themselves. "This stuff happens on the spot, without you knowing you're on TV," he said. I have an in-car camera every week, and if some driver rolls by and gives me the finger n national TV, is that his fault? Is he going to get penalized? We have to hold ourselves to a high standard, and I support NASCAR in its efforts to clean things up. But where does it stop? The networks are the backup, backup, backup plan. They need to help keep things off TV that they don't want their viewers to see. But it's our responsibility as drivers not to put them in that position. We'd like them to help us out, but it's still our responsibility."(MRN/Sirius Satelite Radio)(4-14-2005)

    • Vickers learning a new language: #25-Brian Vickers this week participated in the first of his many upcoming Spanish lessons. The Thomasville, N.C., native had his initial tutorial with Berlitz International, a company renowned for its language instruction. Vickers is working to complete the first level of proficiency (10 courses), which should take approximately seven weeks.(HMS)(4-14-2005)

    • Burton tests at Phoenix UPDATE: Jeff Burton and the #31 Team Cingular tested at Phoenix International Raceway on Tuesday, April 12th and will again on Wednesday, April 13 in preparation for the Subway Fresh 500 April 23.(RCR)(4-13-2005)
      AND also #77-Travis Kvapil, #33-Clint Bowyer and #2-Rusty Wallace.(4-14-2005)

    • April is Alcohol Awareness Month As part of the drink smart campaign, Robby Gordon Motorsports will donate $10,000 from a $100,000 fund provided by Jim Beam bourbon, the “Official Spirit of Racing,” to officials from Rice University. The check presentation will take place in the #7 garage at Texas Motor Speedway, Friday at 2 p.m. The donation will fund the university’s implementation of The Century Council’s Alcohol 101 PlusTM education program and related alcohol education activities.(RGM)(4-14-2005)

      News from April 13, 2005

    • "Ukrop's Richmond Race Fest" . is coming in May! The Inaugural "Ukrop's Richmond Race Fest" is scheduled for Thursday, May 12th. The event will be held in downtown Richmond, VA in the "Shockoe Slip" area on Cary Street, between 9th and 14th streets from 6:30 to 8:30pm/et. Ukrop's Super Markets is sponsoring the event, which is a fund-raiser for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a facility for critically ill children, and a proud charity of NASCAR. The event is also being supported by Kleenex, Duke's, and Kellogg's brands, along with a number of other vendors that have made donations to Victory Junction Gang in exchange for rights to pass out product samples to the patrons attending the event. The Race Fest is being structured as a family friendly street party, and best of all it is FREE! It will incorporate live music and entertainment on 3 separate stages. Bands scheduled include. "The Taters" and "Vanishing Point", along with the "Whitlock's" of Radio Disney. Cary Street will be full of vendor sampling booths; show cars from some of your favorite Nextel Cup and Busch Series Teams; racing simulators; interactive displays and games. A NASCAR driver autograph session will also be held in the lobby of the James Center during this time, along with a silent auction benefiting the kids of Victory Junction Gang.(SMC 500)(4-13-2005)

    • IROC at Texas: This Friday, April 15, the Crown Royal IROC Series will race under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) for the second of four races. World of Outlaws driver Danny Lasoski's Crown Royal IROC Series victory at TMS last year was just the second time a driver representing short track open-wheel racing claimed a checkered flag in the series' 29-year history. Fresh off a win in the Champ Car season-opener, driver Sebastien Bourdias will be on the pole for the second consecutive IROC race. The win in the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.) was the 11th of Bourdias' career. The defending Champ Car World Series champion is competing in the IROC Series this season for the first time. Mark Martin is on track for a record-breaking year in the Crown Royal IROC Series. With his win in the season-opener at Daytona, Martin became the all-time series leader in wins with 12, surpassing Dale Earnhardt and Al Unser Jr. A Crown Royal IROC championship for Martin this year would not only give him the $1 million first place prize, but also the most championships in the history of the series with five.(Alan Taylor Communications), the race will be televised on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et and re-aired again at 1:30am/et.(4-13-2005)

    • Dale Jr. the only rookie winner at Texas: Only once in eight races at Texas has a Raybestos Rookie won the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his first career NEXTEL Cup Series win by 5.920 seconds over Jeff Burton in 2000. More Rookie Notes and stats on my Rookie of the Year page.(4-13-2005)

    • Victory Brand to be bought, could the #14 be back on the track? Legend Investment Inc. announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to acquire 100% of Victory Brand, LLC. Based in Coldwater, Michigan, Victory Brand is privately held developer and marketer of valued priced, premium cigarettes. Victory Brand started the production and the provisioning of product in December of 2004, and currently is distributed nationally by three of the top ten national distributors in addition to approximately twenty-five regional and local distributors. VB "Made In the USA" products are currently marketed in thousands of convenience stores including 5,800 Sunoco and A Plus outlets. The company projects revenue of $77,800,000 for the next twelve months.
      "We are thrilled at the opportunity to acquire Victory Brand. They have an outstanding product with a marketing and branding strategy using NASCAR racing that is a proven success. It is even more exciting that this is local," said Peter Klamka, President of Michigan-based Legend Investment Corp. Victory Brand, LLC is the primary sponsor of the #14, Nextel Cup Ford driven by John Andretti. Victory Brand is currently the only cigarette sponsor associated with NASCAR Nextel Cup racing. The #14 car is owned by ppc Racing of Mooresville, NC, and backed by the Ford Motor Company. John Andretti (driver of the #14 VB/ A Plus at Sunoco Nextel Cup Series Car) stated: "I work in an ultra competitive environment (NASCAR), and Victory Brand is in a very similar place, being that of the tobacco Industry. To be able to work together towards our collective goals is very exciting. We plan to grow both into being a force within our respective industries. The acquisition of Victory Brand LLC by Legend Investment Inc. will only accelerate this process." Steve Swick, CEO of Victory Brand, stated, "We are excited about the acquisition. Taking Victory Brand LLC into a public venue allows our current membership and venture partners, along with many of the 75 million loyal NASCAR fans, who have expressed an interest in shareholder participation, to share the spoils of future growth and profitability. We receive calls, almost daily, from racing fans inquiring as to how they can become investors and buy the stock. As a result of this acquisition ownership has become a viable option for all interested parties."(Yahoo Biz)(4-13-2005)

    • Skinner to run the #23 at Talladega: Bill Davis Racing says it will enter Mike Skinner in the team's #23 Dodge in the May 1 Aaron's 499 Nextel Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Bad Boy Mowers Inc. will sponsor the entry for Skinner, who is driving for the team in the Craftsman Truck Series this year. Skinner also drove the car in the season-opening Daytona 500, where he finished 30th after being caught in a wreck.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-13-2005)

    • Gaughan to Evernham in 2006? Evernham Motorsports is the Dodge mainstay and is expected to add a third car, with Brendan Gaughan, next season.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-13-2005)

    • McMurray to Shine On at Texas: The first of four special "Shine On" paint schemes will adorn the #42 Dodge driven by Jamie McMurray this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas "Shine On" paint scheme logo, which was used from 1913 to 1935, incorporates the language of "The Texas Oil Company." It also pays tribute to the many Texaco and Havoline employees and retirees who call Texas home.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), see images of the cars on my #42 Team Schemes page.(4-13-2005)

    • Darlington Day: Darlington Day looked back on the legacy of racing in South Carolina and supports its future. Drivers like Jeremy Mayfield and Tony Stewart spent the afternoon at the Governors Mansion Tuesday. It's an effort to rev up ticket sales for the upcoming race and to look back on the tradition of racing in South Sarolina. The Southern 500 left South Carolina and it was devastating for many race fans in the Palmetto State. Stock car racing's original superspeedway will once more serve as a groundbreaker for NASCAR, inaugurating an entirely new race weekend in May. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' 104th visit to Darlington Raceway will take place on Mother's Day weekend, and will be Darlington's first-ever full weekend of night racing. Racing represents much more than entertaining fans of the sport. Each of the races generates about $30 million for the state. Chad Prosser is with the state's parks and tourism, ""Absolutely. The NASCAR fans are wonderful fans, and they are a big economic base, not only for NASCAR, but for the state as a destination. We use these races not only to sell the Pee Dee area, but to sell the state as a whole." State leaders say it is important for fans to pack the stands to show NASCAR racing at Darlington won't be left in the dust. Get more information on the Dodge Charger 500 Weekend by calling (843) 395-8499.( Columbia, SC)(4-13-2005)

    • Dickerson may have a new gig UPDATE RCR? DEI?: Chassis and body guru Eddie Dickerson, who was released by Hendrick Motorsports after being arrested in the early-morning hours at Daytona in February (disorderly intoxication), could land at Richard Childress Racing, sources in the garage said.(Speed Channel)(4-11-2005)
      UPDATE: Former Hendrick Motorsports chassis director Eddie Dickerson will interview with Dale Earnhardt Inc. this week. DEI is starting an in-house chassis program, and Dickerson could use his magic to develop better-handling cars for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who complains about the drivability of his cars.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-13-2005)

    • An Odd Award for Jr.: The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has awarded NASCAR a "Jefferson Muzzle" for what it calls an "out of proportion" punishment to driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for swearing in a live television interview last October. NASCAR docked Earnhardt 25 points and fined him $10,000 for saying in an NBC interview that his victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway "don't mean (expletive) right now" because his late father had won there several more times. NASCAR officials came down hard on Earnhardt in response to increased Federal Communications Commission scrutiny of broadcast indecency last year. The FCC apparently has not yet ruled on whether NBC or its affiliates will be punished; FCC spokeswoman Janice Wise said if no ruling has been posted on the commission's Web site, it should be considered an "open item." While acknowledging that NASCAR is not a government entity and is entitled to punish drivers for using profanity, the Jefferson Center's Web site said "to punish Earnhardt in a manner so out of proportion to the offense sends a message far more dangerous than anything conveyed by the spontaneous expression of a relatively mild four-letter word."(USA Today)(4-13-2005)

    • More on Marlin, Stremme and Sorenson UPDATE: Sterling Marlin, says the team owner won't call him back about the status of Marlin's #40 car next season. "My contract is up after this year," Marlin says. "I guess you've got to make a change sometimes, but I'd like to know something soon so I can start looking." Marlin says a team was willing to buy out his contract last year, but he remained loyal to Ganassi. Multiple sources at Ganassi say Busch Series regular David Stremme will get the ride over Reed Sorenson because Sorenson is under 21 and the car's sponsor is Coors Light.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-13-2005)

    • Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Banquet: will be held tonight at the Texas Grand Ballroom in The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. Who will be honored:
      HOF Inductees: Terry Labonte, Lee Shepherd (posthumously)
      Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year: Tony Kanaan
      Bruton Smith Legends Award: Lloyd Tuby
      Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Sportsmanship Award: Kyle & Pattie Petty
      Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Vision Award: Dr. Dean Sicking
      * Terry Labonte won at Texas Motor Speedway in 1999 and is a two-time Nextel Cup Series champion (1984, 1996). He is retiring from the series after the 2006 season. Terry owns a Busch Series team for which his son, Justin, is the driver of the #44 Coast Guard car.
      * Lee Shepherd won four consecutive National Hot Rod Association championships in 1981-84. He was on his way to a fifth straight title when he died in a testing accident in Oklahoma on March 11, 1985.
      * Tony Kanaan won the June Bombardier Learjet 500k in June 2004 in a photo finish with teammate Dario Franchitti. Kanaan came back last October to clinch the IRL IndyCar Series Championship with his runner-up finish at Texas. Kanaan is testing and will not be in attendance at the banquet.
      * Kyle & Pattie Petty have long been known for their charitable work and contributions throughout the NASCAR community.
      * Dr. Dean Sicking has helped revolutionize safety in motorsports with his development of the SAFER barriers or "soft walls". He is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
      * Lloyd Ruby raced for more than 30 years in open-wheel cars, including 18 appearances in the Indy 500. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native has been called "The Greatest Driver Never to Win the Indy 500".(TMS PR)(4-13-2005)

    • Sad News: Joe Nemechek's maternal grandfather -- Frank Glowacki -- passed away Sunday evening in Lakeland, Fla. He was 91 years-old. The funeral is Wednesday, April 13th. Heath Funeral Chapel, 328 S Ingraham Ave. Lakeland, FL is handling the arrangements.(4-12-2005)

    • Sad News: Ronnie Weedon, one of the top drivers in local dirt-track racing, died Monday evening at his home in Pleasant Valley, Iowa. Weedon, winner of 504 feature races in a career that spanned seven decades, reportedly was working on one of his famed "00" cars at his home along the Mississippi River when the car apparently slipped off a jack. Scott County emergency personnel confirmed that they responded to an Emergency Medical Services call at the Weedon home Monday evening, but could not release further details. Shane Davis, track announcer at both the Davenport Speedway and Quad-City Speedway at the East Moline Fairgrounds, confirmed the 72-year-old's death after receiving a number of phone calls from friends in the racing circle. Davis said that drivers and friends had gone to Weedon's home Monday evening upon hearing the news. "He was the most loved and respected racer out there," said Davis, a former driver himself. "There wasn't anybody who had anything but love and respect for him." Davis said that Weedon had been in preparation for Friday's season opener at the Davenport Speedway at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. Davis said that Weedon had his newest car at the Quad-City Speedway on Sunday for Test & Tune Day. Davis said that it wasn't unusual for racers at the grass-roots level to be working on their cars alone, especially Weedon. Davis said Weedon's wife, Dee, who has served as Ronnie's pit crew, found her husband after the incident. The Weedons have three sons who also race -- Ronnie Weedon Jr., Rob Connors and Jerry Connors.(Quad-Cities Online/

      News from April 12, 2005

    • RC To Throw out first pitch: Nextel Cup and Busch Series team owner, Richard Childress, will make his Major League Baseball (MLB) pitching debut Thursday, April 14, at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, TX. Childress will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Texas Rangers take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05pm, three days before his three Cup series race teams compete in the NASCAR race in Ft. Worth on April 17. In addition to seeing Childress toss the first pitch, fans attending the Rangers game will have the opportunity to view the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet up close as it makes a warm-up lap around the warning track at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, providing for a unique photo opportunity. In attendance will be the winner of Cingular's VIP Sports Package sweepstakes, which provided fans with the opportunity to register to be a part of the excitement of baseball and motorsports. The grand prize winner will receive tickets to the Rangers-Blue Jays game April 14 and a VIP Experience to the Texas race April 17, including a meeting with Burton. Other fan-centric activities in Texas during the race week include the return of the Cingular Pit Stop to the Chevy Thunder at Sundance Square Festival in Ft. Worth.(Career Sports & Entertainment)(4-12-2005)

    • Rusty goes yellow at Texas IMAGE: 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 his Championship season] he raced for another sponsor since being with the Miller Brewing Company.(RacingOne/Kodak)(3-19-2005)
      IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #2 Team Schemes page.(4-12-2005)

    • Robby's Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR announced Tuesday that Robert [Bob] Temple, crew chief for the #7 Chevrolet driven by Robby Gordon in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $5,000 for a rule violation that occurred last week at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. During opening day inspection on April 8, the #7 was found to have an unapproved deck lid, a violation of Section 12-4-Q of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. That also violated Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing).(NASCAR PR)(4-12-2005)

    • Mears in a Fuji scheme at Texas: Casey Mears will pilot a green and white #41 Fujifilm Dodge this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Mears finished seventh at last year's spring event at Texas in a similar paint scheme with Fujifilm. Mears didn't experience the same luck in this car when it was painted up green at Atlanta three weeks ago. He was involved in a multi-car incident on lap one of the event.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(4-12-2005)

    • Testing at Talladega: #43-Jeff Green is scheduled to test at Talladega Superspeedway on Tuesday, April 12th. No word if any other drivers will test.(Talladega Superspeedway)
      AND #41-Casey Mears is testing at Talladega today and Wed. April 13th, and Richard Childress Racing [April 18-19th] and Evernham Motorsports [April 20th] will test with unknown cars/drivers.(4-12-2005)

    • Architect chosen for Charlotte HOF: Leaders of a campaign to bring the NASCAR Hall of Fame to Charlotte have selected renowned architect I.M. Pei's firm to design the proposed museum, which they're targeting for a city-owned site in Second Ward. Bids for the project, to be awarded by NASCAR, are due May 31, with a city to be chosen some time after the motorsports organization's annual awards banquet in December but before the Daytona 500 in February 2006. Local bidders anticipate the project will cost $75 million to $100 million to build. Tim Newman, head of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which is spearheading the NASCAR bid, told City Council members Monday night that representatives from Pei, Cobb & Freed would make their first visit to Charlotte on Tuesday. In addition, the Charlotte NASCAR campaign team has enlisted high-powered marketing and public-relations firm Interpublic Group to work on the project. Interpublic's client roster includes BofA as well as the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Chevrolet, Microsoft Corp. and Nike Inc.(Charlotte Business Journal)(4-12-2005)

    • Martin going for the Triple at Texas: #6-Mark Martin will be looking for the triple crown this weekend at Texas, running in the IROC, Busch and Nextel Cup races. Martin won in the IROC series in the first race of the season at Daytona and he'll be looking for his record extending 13th win in an IROC car. In addtion, Martin wil run Saturday's Busch race where he'll be looking for his third straight victory and record extending 48th series win. All in all Martin has boasted four wins at Texas, winning once in the Cup car and three in the Busch Series. Mark Martin will make his final run at the Nextel Cup title in 2005. Martin has dubbed 2005 as his "Salute to You" tour, a year in which he hopes to take the time to thank each and everyone that he feels played a role in his success, including team members, fans, NASCAR and the media.
      GET A BRICK: and plans for a Mark Martin museum that will be housed in Batesville, Arkansas, at the sight of his brand new Ford Dealership, scheduled to open Spring 2006. Martin plans to house each of his NASCAR trophies, select race cars and several other items he collected along his journey since leaving Arkansas in the late 70's. In order to share his return home with his fans, Martin has decided to start "The Road Home" brick program. Now fans can share in and be a part of Martin's effort to give back to the place he truly considers home. More info at

    • McDonald's to sponsor Elliott UPDATE and Evernham too: hearing that McDonald's will sponsor the #91 [#98?] Dodge and Bill Elliott at Michigan in June and California in September.(3-17-2005)
      UPDATE: McDonald's announced the company has entered into a partnership agreement with Evernham Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The agreement calls for McDonald's to be an associate sponsor on the #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger driven by 2004 Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne and the #91 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Charger that will be driven by [1988] NASCAR champion Bill Elliott at selected Nextel Cup events. The agreement includes a two-race McDonald's primary sponsorship on Elliott's car. The Bill Elliott Racing entry will carry the McDonald's paint scheme at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (June 19) and California Speedway in Fontana (Sept. 5). Kahne, 24, said that he welcomes the new partnership and is looking forward to being affiliated with McDonald's. McDonald's motorsports programs also include primary sponsorships in the Champ Car World Series with the Newman/Haas team and driver Sebastian Bourdais and in the NASCAR Busch Series with Team Rensi Motorsports and [#35] driver Jason Keller. More info on McDonalds, see's Racing)(3-28-2005)
      IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #91 Team Schemes page.(4-12-2005)

    • Beneficial to Sponsor Two RCR Teams IMAGE: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has teamed up with Beneficial in a multi-year associate sponsorship agreement for two of its NASCAR Cup Series teams. Beneficial will sponsor and have decal space on the "B" posts of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet of driver Kevin Harvick and the lower rear quarter panels of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet of driver Jeff Burton. It will also be the primary sponsor of the #31 Chevrolet for the June event at Michigan International Speedway. Finally, Beneficial will have status with the racing organization as the "Official Consumer Lending Company of RCR." More info on Beneficial at PR)(2-24-2005)
      IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(4-12-2005)

    • Jarrett to test at Kentucky: Dale Jarrett is scheduled to test his #88 UPS Ford at the Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, April 19. Fans can view testing from the designated area outside the Fan Center in Turn 3 at no charge.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-12-2005)

      News from April 11, 2005

    • Martinsville TV Ratings: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Advance Auto Parts 500 from Martinsville Speedway earned an overnight rating of 4.6 and an 11 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The 2004 spring race at Martinsville, which was run a week later and was not aired against CBS's coverage of the 2004 Masters golf tournament, drew overnight figures of 4.4/11 for the first portion from 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. before the race was red-flagged after the track surface broke up. It earned a 5.4/11 for the portion from 5 to 6:45 after repairs were made. There was no race on a comparable weekend in 2004, when Easter fell on April 11.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-11-2005)

    • Loomis Leads Gordon to Amazing Comeback, Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: #24-Jeff Gordon recorded one of the most stellar comebacks in NASCAR history this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Along with crew chief Robbie Loomis, Gordon turned a three-lap deficit into a win for the Rainbow Warriors. For leading his team to victory lane, Loomis won Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors.
      Most people counted Gordon out after a wheel vibration forced Gordon to make an unscheduled green flag pit stop on lap 46. The #24 Chevrolet was scored three laps down to the leaders, but through solid pit stops, the right chassis adjustments and an amazing driving display, Gordon collected his second win of the season. "When we ran into trouble, my first thought was that we had 450 laps to get into victory lane," said Loomis following the race. "I knew we had a great car. We all believed in each other and I knew that Jeff (Gordon) could get the job done."
      The panel of voters selecting the Crew Chief of the Race; including Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all agreed that Loomis' come from behind victory earned him top accolades. Loomis won $1,000 for winning the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. He joins Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Alan Gustafson, Pete Rondeau and Doug Richert in a tie for the Crew Chief of the Year award. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. For more information, visit PR)(4-11-2005)

    • DuPont looking to re-up with the #24: DuPont is close to extending its sponsorship of Jeff Gordon's #24 team of Hendrick Motorsports. DuPont's contract expires after this season.(News and Record)(4-11-2005)

    • Atlanta Dyno 'results': Dodge's #42-Jamie McMurray has surprised everyone by winning NASCAR's post-race chassis dyno testing at Atlanta two weeks ago. The test is designed to compare engine power at the rear wheels, using cars fresh from the track. Among the highlights: McMurray's car topped the charts, #38-Elliott Sadler's Ford was better than winner #99-Carl Edwards' Ford, and #48-Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet was noticeably off from last year's dyno testing at Michigan.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-11-2005)

    • Sad News: Clifford (Cliff) Timberman, a member of the Goodyear Racing team for 33 years, has died on Sunday from cancer. He was 71 years old. Timberman was a employee of Huggins Tire Company and worked for Goodyear in the NASCAR garage before retiring a couple of years ago. He was a NASCAR member since 1954. He also worked for race teams such as the NASCAR legend Tiny Lund in the 1960's. Visitation is Monday April 11 at the Powles Funeral Home in Rockwell, North Carolina from 7:00-8:30pm/et. The Funeral is 11:00am/et on Tuesday [April 12th] at St. Lukes United Church of Christ, Salisbury, NC.(4-11-2005)

    • Johnson's streak continues: #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 8th at Martinsville and has scored five victories and 12 top-10 finishes in the 12 races since Charlotte last October. Johnson is the only driver to score top-10 finishes in all six races in 2005.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(4-11-2005)

    • #14 team in trouble? The new team John Andretti has been driving [#14 ppc Racing] for this season may be in more trouble than anticipated. Last week the team announced it was cutting back to a limited schedule of Cup events, indicating sponsorship issues, and about a dozen men were reported let go. Now the team has been hit with a second round of crew cuts.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-11-2005)

    • Petty's son accepted to Military school: Austin Petty, the 23-year-old son of #45-Kyle Petty, has been accepted to Virginia Military Institute.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-11-2005)

    • Indy Goodyear test pushed back over asphalt concerns: The new pavement at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - its first repave since 1995 - has presented unexpected problems. Firestone abruptly cancelled its Indy 500 tire test after one day when drivers ran into trouble last Tuesday, and track officials asked Goodyear to postpone this week's scheduled Brickyard 400 tire test while the problems are addressed. Indy officials say they plan to grind the asphalt to make it smoother. According to sources, the track was too bumpy at the entrance to the corners, creating excessive tire wear in the turns. Firestone is the sole tire supplier for the Indy 500; Goodyear is the sole supplier for the Brickyard 400. Dodge's #12-Ryan Newman, Chevy's #24-Jeff Gordon and Ford's #170Matt Kenseth are scheduled to run the Goodyear test, which has been rescheduled for the last week of April. However, that will be cutting it close for the NASCAR drivers, because Indy 500 rookie testing is also scheduled then.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-11-2005)

    • Joe Gibbs Racing Drivers Make History on Saturday: With three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers winning their three respective races, April 9 marked yet another milestone in Joe Gibbs Racing's ongoing 14-year history. Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series undercard race at Martinsville Speedway. Following Labonte's Saturday triumph were Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity drivers Chris Bristol and Aric Almirola. The two Late Model drivers competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series won their respective races at Hickory Motor Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA. Bristol, in his #92 MBNA Chevrolet with associate sponsorship from Rockwell Automation and Cintas, started fifth in Hickory's 50-lap Late Model race and ended the race in first, becoming the first African-American driver to win in Hickory's 55-year history. The win also placed the 27-year-old Bristol in a three-way tie for first in the track's championship point standings.
      Almirola, in his #92 Home Depot Chevrolet with associate sponsorship from Rockwell Automation and Cintas, started sixth in the Motor Mile's 150-lap Late Model feature and finished first. It was the 20-year-old's first win of the 2005 season and his second top-three finish at Motor Mile. The Hispanic driver from Tampa, Fla., finished third in the March 19 Doughton Racing Products 300. Both cars are carrying the number 92 in tribute to the late Reggie White, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity program. The #92 is the number White wore throughout his football career, playing at the University of Tennessee before becoming a Hall of Fame defensive end in the National Football League. Also of note on Saturday was the seventh-place finish of 23-year-old Woody Howard in Saturday night's USAR Hooter's Pro Cup race at South Boston Speedway. Howard, Joe Gibbs Racing's recently signed development driver, started his first career Hooter's Pro Cup race in his Dean Motorsports entry from the outside pole before finishing a solid seventh in the 250-lap race. (True Speed Communication/Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-11-2005)

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