Hall of Fames Museums
MAY 30-JUNE 5, 2005
News from June 5, 2005
- Biffle wins at Dover: #16-Greg Biffle dominated the last half of MBNA Racepoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, leading 150 of the final 160 laps to win his 1st race at Dover, 4th of the 2005 season and 7th in his career. Biffle is the 27th driver to win at Dover. The rest of the top five were #5-Kyle Busch, #6-Mark Martin, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #2-Rusty Walllace. Johnson maintains the points lead but Biffle cut it to 46 points going into Pocono next week. #24-Jeff Gordon and #21-Ricky Rudd got wrecked early and ended their day on lap 41. #18-Bobby Labonte lost an engine for his 6th DNF of the season. #20-Tony Stewart finished 15th, a lap down, but had incidents with #24-Gordon [tapped and into the turn 2 wall], #48-Johnson and #10-Scott Riggs [who made a nice save]. There were only 7 caution periods for 33 laps [4 for legit debris, other for accidents] so we only had 11 drivers on the lead lap. Only five drivers led laps with 9 lead changes, Biffle led the most with 150. Biffle smacked the outside frontstretch wall with the rear of the car during a victory donut, no major damage.
For race results, see Jayski's Dover Race Results/Awards page.(6-5-2005)
- Labbe ill, Francis calling the shots: Slugger Labbe, crew chief for the #19 Dodge of Jeremy Mayfield is at the track, but feeling the effects of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and is resting in his motor home at Dover International Speedway, Team Director [and last years crew chief] Kenny Francis will call the shots today at Dover.(MRN Radio/FX TV Coverage)(6-5-2005)
- DuPont re-ups with the #24 and Gordon: DuPont and Hendrick Motorsports today announced the extension of DuPont's longstanding sponsorship of the #24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. The new pact builds on an association launched 13 years ago with a flashy "rainbow" paint scheme and a 21-year-old rookie driver named Jeff Gordon. Under the new contract, DuPont continues as the primary sponsor for three years, through the 2008 racing season, with the option to extend for an additional two years. Financial terms were not disclosed. The DuPont-Hendrick association began in 1992 with Gordon's Cup Series debut and his first full season in 1993, when he earned Rookie of the Year honors. The combination has since netted 72 wins and four championships in NASCAR's premier division.(Yahoo Biz)(6-5-2005)
- Dale Jr. discusses Hmiel: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he won’t turn his back on his friend Shane Hmiel in lieu of NASCAR suspending Hmiel for testing positive for a banned substance. The Bud Chevy driver said "It’s disappointing, but I won’t turn my back on my friend. I’ll help him however he needs to be helped. Just thinking about him this weekend, I know he’s probably down but that’s a tough one...that’s tough you know. It’s a mistake that you hate to see somebody make twice but he could still turn his life around so whatever I can do to help."(PRN's Garage Pass)(6-5-2005)
- Robby Gordon Wins Baja 500 Overall: Returning to his racing roots, NASCAR Team Owner/Driver Robby Gordon began his double-duty weekend with a stunning overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy-Truck victory in the 37th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race in Ensenada, Mexico. Leaving shortly after finishing the race to return to Dover, Del., to drive in Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race, Gordon charged to the front early in his #83 Red Bull Chevy CK1500 and stayed there, covering the brutally-tough 419-mile course in 9 hours, 10 minutes, 32 seconds, averaging 45.66 miles per hour. Gordon captured the 4-wheel vehicle win with a flawless, flat-free race over a boulder-strewn, silt-grabbing desert course in front of a massive crowd estimated at over 150,000 spread out along the course by Mexican tourism officials. The race featured a near-record 345 starters, from 20 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada and Japan, for round 3 of the six-race 2005 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series. The large field, competing in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, was the fourth-largest in the storied history of the summer desert classic and the most since the event record was set and then tied in 1976 and 1977. With a 17-hour time limit, the race course will remain open until 4 a.m. Sunday morning. Beating an impressive race-record field of 29 SCORE Trophy-Trucks for his first Tecate SCORE Baja 500 win in the marquee SCORE racing division for 800-horsepower, high-tech, unlimited production trucks, Gordon claimed his third overall 4-Wheel crown in the event and his fourth class win. His previous class wins were in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and his other two overall crowns were the last two years of that string.(Robby Gordon site)(6-5-2005)
- Dover Race News and Notes:
• Greg Biffle won the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, scoring his seventh
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 91st career start.
• This marked the sixth victory for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet also has six and Dodge has one.
• It marked Biffle’s fourth victory in 2005, the most of any driver this season. He also won at California,
Texas and Darlington.
• Biffle remained second in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, 46 behind of first-place Jimmie
• Biffle led two times for 150 laps including the final 16
• Biffle scored his first victory in six races at Dover International Speedway. It was second top-10 finish
in six races at Dover
• Biffle has scored nine top-10 finishes in 13 races this season, second only to Johnson with 10.
• Biffle scored the fifth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Dover International Speedway. (Mark Martin
scored the other four)) This was Roush’s 80th victory as a car owner and sixth in 13 races this season.
• Kyle Busch (second) posted his first top-10 finish in his first race at Dover International Speedway. Busch scored his
fourth top-10 finish in 2005. He climbed from 22nd to 19th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Kyle Busch has scored four top-five finishes in his last six races on NASCAR top three series. He won the NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He finished 25th in the
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Lowe’s. He won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover, finished 36th
in the NASCAR Busch Series race and finished second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.
• Mark Martin (third) posted his 23rd top-10 finish in his 38th race at Dover International Speedway. He scored his
sixth top-10 finish in 13 races in 2005. He climbed from 12th to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point
• Jimmie Johnson (fourth) posted his fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Dover International Speedway. He scored his
10th top-10 finish in 2005, more than any other driver.
• Rusty Wallace (fifth) scored his 21st top-10 finish in 43 races at Dover International Speedway. Wallace has scored
six top-10 finishes in 2005. He climbed from 11th to seventh in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Wallace
extended a 26-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August, the longest active streak.
• Six of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Dover.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (22nd) remained 15th in the point standings, 418 points behind point leader Jimmie Johnson.
• Elliott Sadler led 128 of the 400 laps in today’s race. He had led only 49 laps in the first 12 races this season. This is
the most laps that Sadler has led in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race in his career.
• Thirteen drivers remain within 400 points of current point leader Jimmie Johnson.
• Jeff Gordon (39th) posted his fifth DNF in 2005. He now has more DNFs than in all of 2004 when he had four. This
is the most DNFs since his 1999 season when he had seven. Gordon dropped from fifth to 11th in the NASCAR
NEXTEL Cup point standings. He is now 350 points behind point leader Johnson.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-5-2005)
- Rumblings - Dover:
Greg Biffle didn't take the lead today till lap 241....after that the only trouble he encoutered was when he slapped the wall doing his victory burnout! Greg Biffle dominated the second half of the MBNA RacePoints 400 today at Dover International Speedway and became the first driver to score 4 wins this season. Leading 150 of the final 160 laps (the only time he relinquished the top spot was during the final round of green flag pit stops) he nabbed his 7th career win (he's tied for 56th on the all-time win list) and the 80th for Roush Racing (their 6th of 2005). The win was worth $282,800 from the over $5.5M in posted awards.
22 cautions last week, today only 7. 21 different leaders last week, today only 5! Funny, the difference is like "night & day".
Kyle Busch (2nd) tied his career-best finish today. He was also the runner-up at Las Vegas in March.
Mark Martin (3rd) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Martinsville in April.
Rusty Wallace (5th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Martinsville in April.
Matt Kenseth (7th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Loudon last September.
Scott Riggs (11th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Bristol in April.
Travis Kvapil (17th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Bristol in April.
Jason Leffler (20th) had his best finish since he was 12th at Martinsville in April.
Bobby Hamilton Jr (21st) had his best finish since he was 11th at Las Vegas in March.
STREAKIN......Greg Biffle has 4 Top-10's in a row.
Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10's in a row.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Brian Vickers (+21), followed by Kyle Busch (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was a lonely Jeff Gordon (-34). It's all Hendrick Motorsports today in a hollow "Shaft".
Greg Biffle trimmed 25 markers from Jimmie Johnson's lead....it's down to 46 (like that means a whole lot!). With 13 down and 13 to go we're left with only 13 drivers above the "Stayin' Alive" line. Something lucky in those numbers?
Mark Martin (12th to 6th) advanced the most spots today, while Jeff Gordon (5th to 11th) fell the most. 3rd to 11th in the point standings are separated by only 119 points.(Stock Car Fans)(6-5-2005)
News from June 4, 2005
- Mayfield signs new contract with Evernham: Jeremy Mayfield will be driving for Evernham Motorsports for the foreseeable future. The 36-year-old driver has signed a multiyear contract with the Dodge team. "Year after year, he has shown that he can be a constant candidate to win races and make the Chase for the Nextel Cup," Ray Evernham said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. "He has been a great team player for Evernham Motorsports."(CBS Sportsline/AP)(6-4-2005)
- Dale Jr. and Mikey Talk: from a GM Racing PR - Saturday morning practice quotes at Dover International Speedway, Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports if DEI explained the accident between #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #15-Michale Waltrip in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway: "(Junior) got into him. That's how the wreck started. Junior apologized the Michael on Monday. They talked a couple of times during the week and we don't think we have any problems and it was definitely not intentional." Did Junior say anything more about why he made the mistake? "Just a mistake. He caught him faster than he thought he was. I think he was excited that.that car hasn't run in contention to win for while. That was probably the best that car's been all year.(GM Racing PR)(6-4-2005)
- Some Good Mikey News: The National Motorsports Press Association announced that Michael and Buffy Waltrip had been named first-quarter nominees for the NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award. The Waltrips were honored for Operation Marathon, a fund-raiser that raised more than $1 million for the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman. Michael Waltrip ran in the Las Vegas Marathon in conjunction with the project. Wife Buffy competed in a half marathon on the same weekend.(Gaston Gazette)
AND Victory Junction Gang Camp founders Kyle and Pattie Petty, along with NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip and his wife Buffy, dedicated the new Michael Waltrip Operation Marathon Sports Center at the 1 year birthday celebration on May 24th. The $1 million gift was made possible by the Waltrips’ Operation Marathon fundraising initiative, through the Michael and Buffy Waltrip Charitable Fund. The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of an 18-foot tall caricature statue of Michael Waltrip.(Michael Waltrip site)(6-4-2005)
- Martin says he will run Trucks full-time in 2006, he and Rusty will NOT share a ride: #6-Mark Martin's final season on the Nextel Cup probably won't be his last on the NASCAR circuit if Roush Racing obtains a sponsor for him in the Craftsman Truck Series.
"I'm excited about 2006 racing a Jack Roush truck in the Truck Series full time," Martin said Friday at Dover International Speedway.
Martin ruled out a return to the Nextel Cup next season, saying he would not be sharing a ride with the retiring Rusty Wallace or any other driver. He prefers to picture himself in somewhat of a development role for Roush, his car owner since 1988. Martin likes the Truck schedule, which would give him an additional 13 weeks off to spend with his family. But he plans to approach the competition with the same desire that has made him one of the great racers of his time.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-4-2005)
- #97 in Smirnoff colors at Dover: #97-Kurt Busch will run the Smirnoff Ice colors this week at Dover, Busch’s #97 Ford Taurus returns to the Sharpie colors for the next three races.(Roush Racing)(6-4-2005)
- Dover cracking down on unlicensed merchandise: As fans gather for this weekend's MBNA Racepoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, track owner Dover Motorsports Inc. is greeting vendors with a new twist on the old "buyer beware" adage - seller beware. Dover Motorsports officials were granted a Delaware Court of Chancery order allowing them to seize any track-related merchandise, counterfeit or otherwise, sold without their approval during race week, which began Monday. The order allows the seizure of counterfeit and noncounterfeit goods, including hats, tickets and T-shirts, sold without authorization on track property through June 8. It also allows the seizure of counterfeit goods offered for sale within three miles of the track, which covers pretty much the entire town, and on or within one mile of "park and ride" lots or other parking areas associated with the race. Anyone whose property is seized will get a copy of the court order, and the confiscated property will be held and inventoried pending a June 13 hearing for anyone wanting to argue that their merchandise was wrongly seized and should be returned. "We've been doing that for years," said Denis McGlynn, president and chief executive of Dover Motorsports. "You never know what's going to happen on race weekend." Last month, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, cooperating with NASCAR officials on "Project Raceday," seized more than 7,100 counterfeit items valued at $160,000 at Talladega Super Speedway in Alabama. In a related move, NASCAR introduced an official hologram seal in January to verify the authenticity of officially licensed NASCAR merchandise. Filing a similar complaint last week in Delaware Chancery Court against "John Doe and other persons unknown" Dover Motorsports obtained an injunction allowing local and state police, as well track security personnel, to seize goods during race week. The order is designed to protect a host of DMI trademarks, which range from "Monster Mile" and its related "Concrete Monster" design to "Dover Motorsports," "Dover Downs" and even "Dover" itself.(Delaware State News/AP)(6-4-2005)
- McNabb to visit Dover: Philadelpha Eagles [Jayski's team] quarterback Donovan McNabb is scheduled to make his first visit to Dover International Speedway today. McNabb will arrive with young drivers from the Urban Youth Racing League, which is based in Philadelphia. McNabb won't mingle with fans, but he is supposed to be part of a photo shoot featuring the Racing League and Nextel Cup star Jeff Gordon.(Delaware News Journal)(6-4-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Jimmie Johnson as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 29, Merle M. of Newville, PA was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns
$5,000 Challenge. Gary picked Newman as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com and entering before the weekly
deadline. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC)
on behalf of Johnson. This is the fifth time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Johnson.(Alan Taylor Communications)(6-4-2005)
News from June 3, 2005
- 2005 Purses a bit 'stagnant'? a chart that shows 11 of the 13 race purses for 2005 in the Nextel Cup races so far, didn't include Phoenix [first spring race there vs. Rockingham] or Darlington [1 500 mile race vs 400 mile spring race]. The Daytona 500 was up quite 10%, otherwise, not much of an increase over 2004...so far. See the full chart I compiled on my MISC Stats page.(6-3-2005)
- #14 Closing down? AND: hearing that ppc Racing is closing down it's Nextel Cup team and will not run the #14 team again in 2005. John Andretti was slated to run 5-7 more races in 2005.(6-1-2005)
AND John Andretti was in the Nextel Cup garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week, but there was no sign of the #14 Ford he had driven earlier this season. Many wonder if his team will return to the circuit on a limited basis, as had been reported earlier.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-3-2005)
- INC to be cut back to 60 minutes? UPDATE 2: hearing that Speed Channel is considering moving the Inside Nextel Cup show, currently at 90 minutes, back to the one-hour format later this summer.(5-10-2005)
UPDATE : from a Speed Channel interview with new VP of Studio Production Chris Long
SPEED: Let's talk about some of the other studio shows - any changes coming for Inside NEXTEL Cup?
LONG: I want that show to be all about letting the viewer feel what it was like to have been in that week's race -- like a driver or crew chief is sitting right there with them explaining all of the decisions made during the heat of battle. INC will return to the 60-minute format, we will utilize our access to in-car communication much more and I think it is fair to say you will see some talent adjustments there as well. See full article/interview at Speed Channel site: New Speed Channel VP of Studio Production Wastes No Time Getting to Work.(5-13-2005)
UPDATE 2: hearing the new talent adjustments includes replacing part of the 'expert panel': Johnny Benson and Michael Waltrip leaving and two younger drivers taking their places. The show will change back to 60 minutes on June 27th.(6-3-2005)
- Monster Action Figure: Dover International Speedway has created a new movable action figure that will be available all weekend at the track. It is an 8-inch tall action figure nicknamed "Miles the Monster" that can hold a 1:64 scale car in its hand.
The $10 toy will be available at www.doverspeedway.com following race weekend.[Actually it is already on the site](Delaware News Journal)(6-3-2005)
- Help for Blind Race Fans: Braille International Inc.[Bll] is a non-profit foundation that relies on donations from caring individuals. Among the many printed items that BII converts into braille, there's one item that they convert that is of particular interest to blind persons involved with NASCAR Racing. These items are brailled NASCAR Race Schedules for the blind. More info on this at Stock Car Gazette.(6-3-2005)
- Final TV Ratings for the Coca Cola 600: Final Nielsen Media Research numbers show that Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway earned a 6.1 rating and a 13 share, Street & Smith's Sports Business Daily reports. The rating is 22.0% higher than last year's 5.0, and the Daily says 10.2 million people watched this year's race, up 22.9% from the 8.3 million last year. For the first time since 2001, however, the NASCAR race earned a lower rating than ABC's broadcast of the Indy 500, which drew a 6.5/18.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-3-2005)
- Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Voting At Record Pace: A record 1.75 million votes have been cast for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award so far this season, and the 3.3 million-vote record set last season seems to be in serious jeopardy. By going to www.mostpopulardriver.com, NASCAR fans have cast over 1,750,000 votes, some of those surprising and some exactly what was expected. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the award the past two seasons, leads the voting this year as well, certainly no surprise. #24-Jeff Gordon is second, followed by #9-Kasey Kahne, #29-Kevin Harvick and #2-Rusty Wallace. Rounding out the top 10 are #20-Tony Stewart, #15-Michael Waltrip, #88-Dale Jarrett, #6-Mark Martin and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Voting for the more than 40 drivers eligible for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award, the only fan-based award in motorsports, began Tuesday, Feb. 1, at www.mostpopulardriver.com and continues through 11:59am/ct,
Monday, Nov. 21. Fans may vote once each day at the site.(Williams Company)(6-3-2005)
- Newman wants set Medical Crew in NASCAR: #12-Ryan Newman yesterday told the American College of Sports Medicine that NASCAR does an "overall excellent" job when it comes to driver safety but took the association to task in one area. Newman said NASCAR is remiss in not appointing a permanent safety and medical crew to travel the circuit, work crashes and provide medical attention for injured drivers. "It's a no-brainer, and I'm 100 percent in favor of it," said Newman, who addressed a seminar which was part of the ACSM's three-day meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center [Nashville, TN]. "It's simple. If you had to travel across the U.S. every year and had to see different doctors each place you went, would that be as good as having a doctor traveling with you who knows your medical history?" NASCAR currently permits each track to provide its own safety and medical personnel on a race-by-race basis. NASCAR, represented at yesterday's meeting by Gary Nelson, vice president of research and development, has said it will consider implementing a permanent traveling safety and medical crew.(Tennessean)(6-3-2005)
- Newman signs seat: #12-Ryan Newman became the third driver to sign a seat in the DuPont Monster Bridge Friday morning [Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin did last year]. "I figured when they put the seats up here they did it for money and that's when they said Jeff (Gordon) signed the deal. I knew he hadn' won a race here (since bridge was built). I think it's a cool deal to sign the seat. Everybody doesn't get an opportunity to do that. To win here last fall was awesome. We led 325 laps of the 400 and had a real fun day. It was definitely a lot more fun than the June race for us. We'll have to see (if they need to add more No. 12 seats). If they had built the bridge a couple of years ago they would have. We'll have to see if we can keep doing what we have been doing here."(Clear!Blue PR)(6-3-2005)
- Burton to run GoPhone again on the #31: #31-Jeff Burton’s Cingular Wireless Chevrolet will again carry the special paint scheme to promote Cingular Wireless’ new GoPhone, a prepaid or pay-as-you-go wireless service providing consumers with the ultimate level of freedom, control and choice of their wireless products and plans. With no annual contract or credit check, GoPhone is the perfect plan for the quick and painless wireless pit stop while still providing consumers with all of the latest products and services that have helped Cingular become the largest wireless carrier in the country.(RCR), see image of the car on my #31 Team Schemes page.(6-3-2005)
- Contreras looking at Cup and Busch Opportunities: Carlos Contreras, NASCAR's first Hispanic driver and only one to complete a full season in one of NASCAR's major series, is working to schedule additional races this year. In addition to his individual efforts, Contreras has been approached about both the Busch and Cup races at the Glen, as well as the Cup race at Sonoma, but as of
yet has not committed. Contreras says, "I need to be in a competitive ride so I can show everyone that I can compete at this level, and not just run for running's sake. That's been done." Contreras ran amongst the leaders all day in Mexico City, steady in the top 5. He also ran 3 full seasons in the Truck series (2000, 2001, 2002), finishing in the top 20 each season and 2nd in Rookie of the year to Kurt Busch (2000).(VMG PR)(6-3-2005)
- Dallenbach Brothers Return to Pike Peak: The Dallenbachs have not only one entry in this year Pike's Peak International Hill Climb with returning Open Wheel champion, Paul Dallenbach, but adds NASCAR racing's [NBC/TNT] Wally Dallenbach, Jr. to make it a family affair. This will be the 10th entry of a Dallenbach to the PPIHC with the first being in 1983. That is one of the reasons why Wally Dallenbach, Sr. chose this venue to receive his induction into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame last year. An annual event since 1916, the June 25th, 2005 date of the PPIHC marks the 83rd running of event. The race is a dangerous sprint of 12.4 miles, a test
of intelligence and awareness that begins at 9,200 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak the birthplace of America the Beautiful. The Dallenbachs' appearance together this year at the PPIHC is made possible through their sponsor, Air Synergy Labs, Inc, (ASL) manufacturers of the Vortex Valve. ASL is dedicated to making more horsepower with less fuel. Both #98 driven by Paul and #17 driven by Wally Jr. will be sporting Air Synergy Labs colors and equipped with the Vortex Valve.(realtime-marketing PR)(6-3-2005)
- WIX to Partner with Evernham Motorsports: WIX Filters has signed on as an associate sponsor of Evernham Motorsports' #91 NEXTEL Cup Series and #79 Busch Series race teams for four races in 2005. WIX's associate sponsorship will be in effect during the four races in which the #91 and #79 cars display the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper paint scheme. Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper,units of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. (the Alliance), are longtime WIX Filters customers. The Alliance has contracted with Evernham Motorsports to provide primary sponsorship of the #91 car during two NEXTEL Cup Series races and the #79 car for two Busch Series races. The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper paint scheme will be on the #91 Dodge Charger driven by NASCAR legend Bill Elliott in the NEXTEL Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21 and at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 6. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper also will sponsor the #79 Dodge Charger during two Busch Series races. Kasey Kahne, last year's NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, will drive the #79 car at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 16. Jeremy Mayfield, a
contender in the inaugural Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Championship, will drive the #79 car on Oct. 14 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. As part of the sponsorship agreement with WIX, the #1 Filter in NASCAR, the #91 and #79 Evernham race teams will display the WIX Filters
logo decal in a highly visible location just in front of the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper cars' rear tires. For more information about Auto
Value/Bumper to Bumper visit www.800autotalk.com. WIX Filters' Internet address is www.wixfilters.com.(WIX Filters PR)(6-3-2005)
- RCR Earnhardt Life Insurance News: NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt acknowledged on a life insurance application shortly before his death that he once had a dizzy spell during a race – apparently a 1997 event in South Carolina in which he crashed. The disclosure was contained in 41 previously sealed exhibits in a lawsuit against insurer United of Omaha, which refused to pay millions of dollars to Earnhardt's widow after he died in a crash at the Daytona 500 in 2001. United of Omaha claims the policy was never valid for Earnhardt because he had not taken a required physical. The exhibits were made public Thursday after several news organizations, including The Associated Press and The Charlotte Observer, went to court and asked for them. Testimony in the case continued Thursday. In the insurance application, submitted a month before the fatal crash, Earnhardt admitted in a handwritten note that he experienced "dizziness in race in Darlington" about three years earlier. Earnhardt crashed in the first turn of the 1997 Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C., after blacking out twice at the wheel. The note indicated that no cause was found for the dizziness and that Earnhardt returned to racing immediately and experienced no further symptoms. Richard Childress Racing, Earnhardt's employer, took out the $3.7 million policy with United of Omaha and is pursuing the matter on the family's behalf. Another insurer has already paid a $3.5 million claim.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-3-2005)
News from June 2, 2005
- Top-10 results of the fan vote for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge:
1) Martin Truex Jr. (competed in the All-Star Race)
2) Jamie McMurray
3) Jason Leffler
4) Ken Schrader
5) Ricky Rudd
6) Kyle Petty
7) Jeff Burton
8) Kenny Wallace
9) Dave Blaney
10) Kyle Busch
No totals and just the top 10.(6-2-2005)
- Robby racing in Mexico on Sat. Truex to practice the #7: #7-Robby Gordon will return to his racing roots to compete in his #83 Red Bull Chevy CK1500 Trophy-Truck in the SCORE Baja 500 on Saturday. The Three-time SCORE class point champion will once again pull double-duty, qualifying for the NEXTEL Cup event in Dover on Friday, flying to Ensenada, Mexico and racing the Baja 500 on Saturday and returning to Dover for the NEXTEL Cup event on Sunday For the first time in several years, the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be televised nationally on a delayed basis. With multiple showings, The Outdoor Life Network (OLN) will air the race as a one-hour primetime special. Aura 360, the Maine production and marketing company that has this year’s SCORE television rights, will produce the show. While Gordon is competing in the Baja 500 on Saturday, Martin Truex Jr. will help out Robby Gordon Motorsports by practicing the car in race-setup.(Robby Gordon Motorsports)(6-2-2005)
- Tragic News: Two people were killed Thursday in a crash at California Speedway in Fontana. A private car club was renting the speedway at the time of the crash. A Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a retaining wall and came to rest on the track's infield. Authorities said two people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. One person was pronounced dead at the scene. The second person in the car was transported by Mercy Air to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. That person later died. The track is home to the California 500, Nextel Cup 500, the Toyota Indy 400 and other motorsport events. The 2-mile D-shaped oval surrounds an infield portion used for road courses and a 13-turn interior test circuit. Private parties can rent the track to turn laps.(NBC4.tv)(6-2-2005)
- New racing movie records history of diversity in auto racing: "Black Wheels," a one-hour film exploring African-Americans in racing from as far back as 80 years ago, such as the black crew chief who was forced to pose as a janitor while helping a white driver win the 1934 Indy 500. At Dover International Speedway this weekend, Bill Lester will be the only African-American behind the wheel for any of the three major races, driving in Friday's MBNA Racepoints 200 in the Craftsman Truck Series. But NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, in its second year, is putting young minority drivers in position to develop in lower racing series. One of them is Joe Henderson III, a 19-year-old racing in NASCAR's Dodge Weekly Racing Series. His father, Joe, is a first-hand witness to the progress made in a generation, watching his son race throughout the Southeast after his own racing aspirations were dashed decades ago by tracks that didn't welcome him. Henderson III said his racing sparked interest in his friends, who otherwise "don't see racing as a sport for black people, just because they don't see anybody out there like them." That's where the history comes in, with the knowledge that even though there aren't many African-American racers right now, they have been a few in the past. l In 1924, the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes was created as an alternative for black drivers barred from the Indy 500. The race was part of the Colored Speedway Association, the racing version of the Negro Leagues. Charlie Wiggins, dubbed the Negro Speed King, won the Gold and Glory many times before it was disbanded in 1936. In 1934, he operated as the crew chief, in disguise, for the Indy 500 winner. He died in 1979. Joie Ray was the first African-American racer to be licensed by the American Automobile Association and was the first black driver to run in a NASCAR race, in 1952. Wendell Scott became the only African-American to win a NASCAR race, in 1963, and four times finished in the top 10 in the points standings despite running as an independent, without factory sponsorship. Scott's life was chronicled in the 1977 film "Greased Lightning," starring Richard Pryor. Recent history centers around the recently retired Willy T. Ribbs, and Lester, who continues the fight for monetary backing. Greg Calhoun, the co-founder of the Drive for Diversity Program, hopes "Black Wheels," brings African-American corporations and millionaires to NASCAR, not because they want to make money, but because they want to aid black racers. Rapper Nelly pulled a short-lived sponsorship a few years ago [#15 Truck].(See full story and quotes at the Delaware News Journal)(6-2-2005)
- New Chassis on the way for DEI: While some teams use chassis built in-house to incorporate details that make them more suitable to their driver's styles, DEI is taking a chassis it bought from a manufacturer and modifying it in an attempt to develop a feel that works best for Earnhardt Jr., Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. The chassis has been tested at Kentucky Speedway, but DEI has yet to try it in a race just yet. Truex almost drove the chassis at Charlotte, but went with a more proven car. Earnhardt thinks it will make a big difference once the refined car becomes part of his arsenal.(ESPN.com)(6-2-2005)
- Foundation pays fitting tribute to John Hendrick's memory: The Make-A-Wish Foundation presented Cathy Hendrick with a Chris Greicius Lifetime Giving Award in John Hendrick's name. Hendrick was killed, along with their twin daughers, in the crash of a Hendrick Motorsports team plane on Oct. 24. John Hendrick was nominated for the award late last summer, and in late September Selena Rogers, the president of the foundation's central and Western North Carolina chapter learned it had been awarded. About a week later, before the family ever knew about the honor, John was one of 10 people who died when a team plane crashed into a mountainside on the way to a race at Martinsville, Va. Rogers said she waited several months before telling Cathy Hendrick about the award, waiting for the right time. A few weeks ago, Rogers sent word to the family about the award and planning for Wednesday's luncheon began. When the time came for Cathy Hendrick to accept the award, she took her brother-in-law, Rick Hendrick, to the podium and let him do the talking. The Chris Greicius Award is named for the first child who inspired the Make-A-Wish program. Greicuis wanted to be a state trooper, so just before he died in 1985 some people made that happen for him for one day. After he was gone, they decided there must be other children with other wishes that could be granted. Cathy Hendrick said she tried to figure out what John would have done in accepting the award.
"He never would have come here to get this without having something to give back," she said. So after accepting the award, Cathy and Rick handed the Make-A-Wish folks a check for $100,000.(see full column and quotes at ThatsRacin.com)(6-2-2005)
- Busch attempting the triple at Dover: Kyle Busch will enter all three NASCAR events at Dover, Del. Hendrick
Motorsports will field his customary #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet in the NEXTEL Cup Series on Sunday, along with a #57 Shop Vac Chevy in Saturday's Busch Series event. The Las Vegas native will also race Billy Ballew's #15 Chevy Silverado in Friday's Craftsman Truck Series 200-lapper.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-2-2005)
- Rusty to name Dover car "Melvin": If #2 Miller Lite Dodge driver Rusty Wallace has his way, the car now known simply as PRS-054 will carry a special moniker after the running of Sunday's MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway. "We've been thinking about it since Melvin passed away a couple of months back and we think there's no better tribute we can pay to such a wonderful guy than to win the race and name our car after him," Wallace said of Melvin Joseph, a board member and Vice President and Director of Auto Racing at Dover International Speedway, who died suddenly on April 6. "I was very fortunate to really get to know Melvin well during the last 10 years and would love to honor him this way." The 83-year-old Joseph had been active in the NASCAR community for some 50 years, first as a car owner and then in his involvement with the one-mile high-banked Dover, Del., racing facility. He is credited with being a leader in the design and construction of the track that held its first NASCAR race in 1969.(Tom Roberts PR)(6-2-2005)
- Tweeden to join NASCAR Nation: SPEED Channel announced that Fox Sports Net personality Leeann Tweeden will join the cast of NASCAR Nation, serving as one of three new studio hosts beginning June 27 at 7:00pm/et/pt. Leeann is the perfect person to bridge the worlds of NASCAR and entertainment," said Chris Long, SPEED Channel VP of Studio Production. "NASCAR Nation is designed to explore the sport as a growing segment of pop culture, and Leeann is equally comfortable at the race track and the red carpet." Tweeden, who also will continue her position as the "Best Damn Insider" on FSN's Best Damn Sports Show Period, began her career in front of the camera as a model, moving to the small screen with hosting and correspondence duties on such shows as Fox Sports Net's 54321, Bluetorch and High Octane, FX's Toughman, ESPN's Fitness Beach and E!' Entertainment's Wild On.(Speed Channel)(6-2-2005)
News from June 1, 2005
- Skinner back in the #23 at Dover: Bill Davis Racing confirmed Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that Skinner and Scott Wimmer will team up at least two more times this year to compete in the upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway this month. Skinner most recently raced in the Coca-Cola 600 at LMS this past weekend, but fell out of competition early due to engine problems (started 22nd, finished 41st). He also piloted the #23 BDR Dodge last month at Talladega Superspeedway, where he was taken out of contention in the 25-car pileup on lap 132 of the 194-lap event (started 34th, finished 42nd). In February, he had an impressive performance in the #23 during the two weeks of Speedweeks competition, qualifying 13th during the time trials and finishing third—neck-and-neck with the Dale Earnhardt Inc. cars—in the first Gatorade 150 Duel, which lined him up seventh to start the 47th running of the Daytona 500. With barely 13 laps left to run in the 500, Skinner was collected in the ninth and final caution of the race, relegating him from a top-10 run to a 30th-place finish.
Skinner’s upcoming Nextel Cup Series entries are part of The History Channel’s launch of its inventive new series—“AutoManiac.” Hosted by pro wrestling and feature film star Bill Goldberg, AutoManiac episodes will focus on unique vehicles that have made a mark in history in the last century, including gangster cars, muscle cars, extreme bikes and more. The AutoManiac series premieres on The History Channel tonight (June 1) at 10:00pm/et. The #23 History Channel AutoManiac Dodge made its Nextel Cup debut this past weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and will run this weekend in the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, as well as later this month in the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 19. To learn more about AutoManiac, go to www.historychannel.com.(Bill Davis Racing)(6-1-2005)
- New crew chief for the #37: Glenn Darrow has replaced Billy Poindexter as crew chief for R&J Racing's #37 Dodge driven by Kevin Lepage in the Nextel Cup Series. Poindexter, who joined the team during the 2004 season, was released after Lepage failed to qualify at Richmond last month. Darrow, who previously worked as a mechanic for the team helped lead Lepage to a 12th-place finish in
Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-1-2005)
- NASCAR HOF Bid are IN - 5 cities going for it: Proposals to fund and construct a new NASCAR Hall of Fame were received Tuesday by NASCAR from five cities - Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., Daytona Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Kans., and Richmond, Va. Over the next 60 days, these proposals will be reviewed by NASCAR, with site visits scheduled for later this summer. NASCAR says it would like to have a final decision by the end of the year on where to build the sport's first official Hall of Fame.
"NASCAR is honored to receive proposals from these five cities that all play an important role in hosting NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events each year," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR Vice President of Licensing. "These five cities are all winners and are to be congratulated for their diligence and dedication to the Hall of Fame project. We now will get to work and study each of these proposals carefully and completely. Later this summer, we will schedule site visits to each of the five cities. We are excited about the prospect of partnering with one of these cities to produce a world-class facility that will enshrine the legends of NASCAR and give our millions of loyal fans a touchstone of the sport they love."\
NASCAR has enlisted the services of OnSport as a consultant during the evaluation process. OnSport previously worked on the development of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame projects. NASCAR announced last January its plan to develop a new Hall of Fame. Request for proposals were then sent to groups in Atlanta, Birmingham/Talladega, Ala., Charlotte. Daytona Beach, Kansas City, Richmond, and the state of Michigan. Since that time, Birmingham/Talladega and the state of Michigan opted not to participate in the proposal process.(NASCAR PR)(6-1-2005)
- Rondeau comments....contract issue? no sharing? MORE: Pete Rondeau said he signed a three-year contract when he agreed to be #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief before the Nextel Cup season that never was signed by owner Teresa Earnhardt. In the contract, according to Rondeau, there was a clause that stated he was to be given six weeks notice if performance was in question. “I just show up on Monday, and I’m out of a job,” he said on Saturday. Richie Gilmore, the director of motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, declined to comment on the contract or the clause. Rondeau, who was replaced on an interim basis by Steve Hmiel, said that wasn’t the only promise the company failed to keep. He said Earnhardt’s former team, which is now with #15-Michael Waltrip, never shared information. “There was probably a little bit of a sore spot between the old eight team and us,” said Rondeau, who was Waltrip’s crew chief last season. “Tony Eury Sr. (Earnhardt’s former crew chief), was supposed to be working amongst the two teams. I probably saw him once at Daytona and never saw him again after that. When you’re a single-car team in a multi-car organization, that’s not going to work.” Rondeau said he wasn’t aware of the communication problem Gilmore and Earnhardt cited as the reason for his dismissal. He reminded that the team was 11th in points and had five top-10s after a slow start. “What he got during the race was what he asked for,” said Rondeau, who does not plan to bring legal action against DEI. “During the first two races I was giving too much, but he didn’t want to know the changes (to the car). He just wanted to be the driver and let me be the crew chief, so I backed off. The latest thing I heard was he wasn’t getting enough. I’m not sure he knew what he wanted. Maybe he just wanted somebody to argue with on the radio, and I wasn’t interested.” Rondeau said Gilmore offered him a part-time job as the car chief for the #1 car the remainder of the season. Rondeau is supposed to make a decision by Monday, but because the car is scheduled for only four more races, he is leaning toward not accepting.
Rondeau said he has talked to several other teams about a crew-chief job.(The State)(5-29-2005)
UPDATE: Former Budweiser Chevrolet crewchief Pete Rondeau told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) host Dave Moody that he is baffled by his release from the team, saying he gave Dale Earnhardt, Jr., exactly what he asked for. "At the beginning, he said he wanted me to be the crewchief, and let him be the driver. I tried giving him information over the radio on race day, but he told me I was talking too much. I stopped giving him that information, and not long after, I was shown the door. Now they say I wasn't communicating. I'm not sure they even know what they want." Rondeau confirmed that a clause in his contract required him to be given six weeks notice in the event of any performance-related issues, but that Theresa Earnhardt never signed the contract. "I asked about it a couple of weeks into the season, and was told that `It fell through the cracks.' I signed the contract, but I never got it back. Looking at the way things turned out, I guess I understand why."
Rondeau said communication with Earnhardt was frequently a bone of contention, citing an incident at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season. "We had some issues at Talladega, and some things got said that I wasn't happy with. I told Junior that I wanted to talk with him about it after the race was over, but it never happened." He also repeated his assertion that he spoke only once with DEI Director of
Competition Tony Eury, Sr., with that conversation coming at Daytona in February. "I voiced my concerns about the lack of information being exchanged between the teams, but I ran into a stone wall. It became pretty clear to me that that's the way it was going to be, and there wasn't much I could do about it. I don't know if those people were all in denial or what, but it's interesting that last weekend at Charlotte, all three teams were int he trailer talking after every practice. Maybe it took me losing my job for them to figure that out."
Rondeau said he knew he was in for an uphill climb when he took the job, saying, "I wasn't sure the `team swap' deal was going to work from the start. There is a lot of competition between the teams, and the personalities of the two groups is completely different. I was afraid it was going to become an issue, and it did." He said he would like to remain in a crewchief's position, but does not consider
the carchief's job on the DEI #1 Chevy to be a viable option. "I'm out there talking to anyone who wants to listen," he said. "We'll see what happens."(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(6-1-2005)
- Coca-Cola TV Ratings...and Indy 500: The holiday weekend continued to make for less-than-scintillating TV ratings Sunday, as FOX walked away with a win thanks to its NASCAR coverageof the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. FOX averaged a 6.0 rating/12 share for the night (although, since its race telecast aired live, those numbers will change some in the final nationals) to beat second-place CBS' 5.6/11. ABC was third at 4.2/8, edging out NBC, 4.0/8. The WB barely registered with a 0.9/2. Coverage of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 put FOX on the pole at 7 p.m. with a 6.0/13. FOX held its lead at 8 p.m., even though its rating dipped slightly to 5.7/11. The NASCAR race closed with a 6.3/12 at 9 p.m.(Zap2It.com)
AND The NASCAR race drew a 4.8 rating and 10 share.(Indianapolis Star)
Indy 500: ABC's Indianapolis 500 broadcast on Sunday drew a 6.6 overnight rating and a 17 share, up 40% from last year and the highest since 1997. Danica Patrick, who became the first woman to hold the lead at the Indy 500, led several of the final laps before settling for fourth. The ratings during the last 15 minutes of the race spiked to 8.8/21. Last year's race, won by Patrick's Rahal-Letterman teammate Buddy Rice, drew a 4.7/11. Arie Luyendyk's victory in the 1997 race, which finished on a Tuesday because of rain, drew a 7.6/19. Each overnight rating point represents about 735,000 TV homes.(Philadelphia Daily News)
Coca-Cola 600: hearing the race pulled in a 5.1/10 overnight for Fox's coverage of the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, that's up +13% over last year's 4.5/9.(5-31-2005)
AND more: Overnight ratings for Fox's broadcast of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway were up more than reported yesterday. The actual Nielsen Media Research overnight rating was a 5.1, with a 10 market share, a 13.3% increase from the 4.5 overnight figure in 2004.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-1-2005)
- More on RCR insurance lawsuit: The public will be allowed to review an edited version of Dale Earnhardt's contract introduced as evidence in a lawsuit against an insurance company that denied a $3.7 million claim in his death, a judge ruled Tuesday.
But Superior Court Judge Kimberly Taylor, who has so far denied public access to evidence introduced to the jury in open court, ruled that attorneys for both Richard Childress Racing and insurer United of Omaha can argue that other exhibits admitted into evidence remain sealed. RCR has accused United of Omaha of cheating widow Teresa Earnhardt out of the payment after Earnhardt died in a crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. The racing team took out the policy and is pursuing the matter on the family's behalf. The company claims the policy was never valid for Earnhardt because he had not taken a required physical.(CNNSI/AP)(6-1-2005)
News from May 31, 2005
- Statement from Hernie Sadler: Hermie Sadler, driver of the #66 Peak Fitness Ford in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, and team owner Jeff Stec are committed to making Peak Performance Motorsports a solid venture in NASCAR's premiere series. Following an erroneous online report regarding his status with the team, Sadler offers the following statement to the public, the media and his fans.
"After the rumor of my departure from Peak Performance Motorsports was erroneously reported on several websites last week, I wanted to personally respond to all the media and fans. First of all, I am committed to staying with the Peak Performance Motorsports team for the entire 2005 season and am hopeful that relationship lasts beyond that. While we are disappointed with our performances so far this season, we are working together as a team to improve. Although we have a way to go, we are steadily making progress. It concerns me that a website [Jayski.com] would post a rumor that could be fatal to an up-start team such as ours without consulting with the team owner, public relations representative, or the driver. Not only do we have employees that may be affected, but this can also be detrimental to our hunt for additional sponsorship, which is vital to the growth of our team. Our team has done a great job of working to get better as a team and not pointing fingers at one another. We will continue to do that. Thanks to all the fans that have sent messages of support to the team and me. We look forward to a great run this weekend in Dover."(PSE-3 PR)(5-31-2005)
- Eury Sr. not happy with Dale Jr. UPDATE There were a record 22 cautions (one turned into red) during the Coca-Cola 600 last Sunday. One flew after Dale Earnhardt Jr. tagged teammate Michael Waltrip from behind. Tony Eury Sr., Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s director of competition, was not happy. Clearly. "I don't know what his (Junior's) problem is with Michael," Eury said, "but it will be fixed tomorrow--I guarantee it. He acts like he's friends with him, but every time he gets near him on the racetrack, he ends up wrecking him. DEI has enough problems. We don't need that."(Sporting News)(5-30-2005)
UPDATE - comments from Dale Jr.: "There's no problem between me and Michael," he said. "There's no problem between me and Michael and I think Michael understands that. He’s definitely not the person I wanted to run into tonight. It’s unfortunate. Hopefully everybody can come to terms with it one way or another. I know some guys on Michael’s team are probably upset and don’t really know. I mean, if you’re not in the race car, you don’t know what the hell’s going on out there, so I can’t expect anyone to understand what exactly was going on at that moment and time, and how we all came together and wrecked. The people that understand, they’ll move on and we’ll try to get better next week. … (Me and Michael) don’t get into the habit of running into each other. And we don’t really race each other that hard. We actually try to work together most of the time. It’s just unfortunate. We’re out there racing, and he happened to be the guy. It could’ve been anybody else. He’s the last person I wanted to run into, but we were all going for the same piece of real estate.”(Dale Jr Pitstop/Budweiser PR)(5-31-2005)
- Busch cameramen shove no big deal to NASCAR: After #97-Kurt Busch’s first accident Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600, I [Cup Scene Daily] rushed from the media center to the garage area to see Busch’s car pulling into his stall. A frustrated Busch left the garage area and head to his hauler to collect his thoughts. In route, right outside the garage, it looked as though he shoved a local TV news cameraman, Mike Thomas, aside. The cameraman felt the incident was no big deal and that he (the cameraman) was simply in the way of a frustrated driver. "It looked like he lowered his shoulder before he hit me, but I don't think he was trying to do anything on purpose," Thomas said. "He certainly didn't say anything to me to make me think I had done something wrong." Asked about the incident later, NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said the incident was a non-issue as far as the sanctioning body goes. “It’s no big deal to (NASCAR)”, said Jim Hunter.(Cup Scene Daily)(5-31-2005)
- Larry Foyt injured in Indy 500 wreck: former Nextel Cup and Busch Series driver, Larry Foyt was released from Methodist Hospital Monday afternoon and is expected to fly home to Charlotte Tuesday. Foyt was taken to the hospital Sunday following his crash in the Indianapolis 500 on lap 15. Foyt’s #41 ABC Supply/Dallara/Toyota spun entering turn one spinning backwards into the SAFER Barrier. Foyt sustained a compressed vertebra and a chipped disk in his lower spine. He was fitted with a back brace on Monday and released. He is expected to make a full recovery which could take up to six weeks.(Foyt Racing)(5-31-2005)
- Manufacturers not leaving: Billion-dollar losses by the U.S. automakers, sagging sales, loss of market share to foreign manufacturers, soaring health-care costs and high fuel prices. Sounds like trouble for the sport of NASCAR racing, which relies heavily on support from automakers to keep fleets of Fords, Chevys and Dodges on the track. Not so, say the automakers' representatives at the race tracks. "This is the time, when you are in difficult situations, when in fact you rely on racing even more to move your product," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. "I don't think racing is in any jeopardy at this point or that the racing program is going to be somehow eliminated. In fact, it's possibly the opposite. When you have programs like racing that work, and you have limited funds, that's when you start to really rely on those areas. Racing works. We know it works. ... It's solid as a rock."
Alba Colon, Nextel Cup program manager for General Motors, said her company isn't planning any changes either. "We are very committed to the deal," Colon said. "We are committed to NASCAR, and we have long-term contracts with our teams."
Ray Evernham, who fields Dodge Chargers and is sponsored by Dodge, said he worries about the finances of his sponsor and the other auto makers, but he's confident they'll stick with him and NASCAR. "I still believe American manufacturers realize this is a place where they need to be," he said. "It's still the best bang for the marketing buck. That's why we have so many Fortune 500 companies in NASCAR."
But there is concern in NASCAR about the health of the U.S. auto manufacturers. "The withdrawal of any one manufacturer in the series can have awful consequences throughout the garage," Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said. "If any one decided not to play any more, there would be a number of teams that would immediately be underfinanced to be able to compete with the people that had the budget." Smith said he sees only two scenarios that would cause any of the Big Three or Toyota, which now competes in the Craftsman Truck Series, to leave NASCAR. One would be if global consolidation eliminates a nameplate. The second scenario that could cause manufacturers to leave NASCAR is if one gained a huge competitive advantage on the track. "Historically, if one manufacturer comes in and makes a big investment that the others think alters the playing field, they quit," Smith said. "That is part of NASCAR's challenge, to try to keep the economic playing field somewhat level, with no one party too low or too high." Smith and others say that even with the evolution of NASCAR rules, which has created a type of car that has little resemblance to those on showroom floors, the "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" adage still applies.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-31-2005)
- Addington Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: The Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's longest and most exhausting race, lived up to the hype this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. On a record setting night of cautions, a seemingly endless streak of wrecks and blown motors finally climaxed with #48-Jimmie Johnson crossing the finish line inches over #18-Bobby Labonte. Although Labonte didn't leave with the victory, his performance earned his crew chief, Steve Addington, the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.
Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, started the race in 34th place [fell to the rear due to a transmission change also]. In the initial sages of the event, he didn't appear to have a car capable of climbing into the top-five, but Addington took advantage of the
numerous caution periods to adjust on the car and improve its handling. The panel of voters selecting the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race; including a reporter, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr; all cast their vote for Addington. Addington received $1,000 for winning the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. He now joins Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Alan Gustafson and Pete Rondeau in a tie for third place in the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings. Doug Richert stays in first place with three wins. Robbie Loomis is in second place with two wins. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(5-31-2005)
- Alabama NASCAR License Plates Available: Alabama motorist will have a chance to show their true racing colors Tuesday when the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles allows state race fans to begin purchasing "Race Plates" as their official registration license plates. The 20 distinctive license plates are sponsored by the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Eighteen current stars of the Nextel Cup Series are available to choose from, including Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Bill Elliott, Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip, Matt Kenseth, Jeremy Mayfield, Tony Stewart, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon, Kyle Petty, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jarrett, Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton.(Alabama Live)(5-31-2005)
- France Family Voted Newsmaker of the Half-Century by AARWBA Members: The France Family, whose vision and leadership turned NASCAR stock car racing from a loosely-organized Southern-based attraction into the country's second-most popular sport, Saturday was named Newsmaker of the Half-Century by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association during the annual AARWBA members breakfast. Newsmaker of the Half-Century, determined by vote of AARWBA members, is the most important event of AARWBA's 50th Anniversary Celebration. AARWBA is the country's oldest and largest organization of motorsports media professionals. The France family received 28.5 percent of the vote among 12 nominees for the award. A record number of AARWBA members participated, according to President Dusty Brandel. The Hulman-George family, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and responsible for building the Indy 500 into the world's largest single-day sporting spectacle, finished second in the voting with 26.3 percent. The two families combined to capture almost 55 percent of the total vote. Lesa France Kennedy, president of International Speedway Corp, was present for the announcement. She accepted a specially commissioned painting, by artist Hector
Cademartori, depicting the family's 50 years of achievement from Brandel and AARWBA 50th Anniversary Celebration Chairman Michael Knight. AARWBA also will donate $1,000 to Speediactrics at the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., in honor of the France family. Mario Andretti was third in the voting, with 8.2 percent. Roger Penske and the late Dale Earnhardt tied for fourth, each with 6.7 percent. Also nominated were: Kenny Bernstein, John Force, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, Wally Parks and Richard Petty. To learn more about AARWBA, please visit the AARWBA.org web site.(AARWBA)(5-31-2005)
- Why XM Radio let NASCAR go to Sirius [$$]: im part from an interview with Hugh Panero begins, XM Satellite Radio's (XMSR) CEO at Business 2.0: With NASCAR, he points out that XM has broadcast the sport since 2001. That experience gave him a finely honed sense of what the 2007-2011 rights were worth -- which, suffice it to say, he thought was a good deal less than the $107.5 million that Sirius wound up paying. (XM paid $15 million for the 2001-2006 rights.)(Business 2.0)(5-31-2005)
- Home Depot and Gibbs to build Playgrounds UPDATE Vote in KaBOOM Ice Cream: Home Depot today announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and the nonprofit group, KaBOOM! - www.kaboom.org, to build playgrounds for at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. The Racing to Play program is designed to build a NASCAR-themed playground in a single day just prior to a scheduled weekend NASCAR race. Tony Stewart, whose JGR Nextel Cup entry is sponsored by Home Deport, is scheduled to take part when the first playground is built June 16 in Jackson, Mich., prior to the Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Plans call for additional playgrounds in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Joliet, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Fontana, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega, Ala.; Kansas City, Kan; Atlanta, Ga.; and Phoenix, Ariz.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-28-2005)
HELP name Ice Cream: KaBOOM! - www.kaboom.org, is a national non-profit organization that was created in 1995 with a vision of great playspaces within walking distance of every child in North America. Over it’s short but illustrious history, KaBOOM! has become the leading authority on a child’s right to play, built hundreds of community playspaces and renovated thousands more. Through participant feedback, they have developed, tested and continually improved their simple, fun and rewarding community-build process. More info at www.kaboom.org.
To help out, go to the flavor graveyard at benandjerrys.com and vote for KaBerry KaBOOM!. If KaBoom wins, they will receive an estimated $10,000 and a huge PR campaign when they bring back the flavor. Last count had the flavor down by 2500 votes and today, May 31st, is the last day to vote. From now until the end of May, fans of KaBerry KaBOOM! can vote online to bring it back from Ben & Jerry's infamous Flavor Graveyard. The winning flavor will be available at Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops nationwide this fall. Not only that, but if KaBerry KaBOOM! wins, KaBOOM! will receive a portion of the proceeds for each scoop sold. So cast your vote today and bring back the flavor that supports a child's right to play!(5-31-2005)
News from May 30, 2005
- Labonte OK: #44-Terry Labonte went to a hospital for examination of his foot after hitting the wall in a wreck triggered by Dale Earnhardt Jr. spinning teammate Michael Waltrip on lap 247 in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Labonte was released after X-rays were negative.(High Point Enterprise)(5-30-2005)
- Menard and DEI? been hearing that John Menard, who's son Paul, runs for DEI in the Busch Series [#11 Menard Chevy] may be buying into ownership of DEI...not sue if in part or whole....or at all.(5-30-2005)
- Leffler Safe? UPDATE until the end of June?: Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said #11-Jason Leffler, who is ranked 36th in the points, isn't on the hot seat after missing his first race of the season. "FedEx and the whole group has been supportive of Jason, and he knows that," Gibbs said. "Obviously, a driver is going to feel pressure in a situation like this. None of us like going through this stuff. You want to make [FedEx] proud of your race team. They've been supportive through all of this, but the bottom line is you have to run well. Hopefully, we start making some races and this kind of goes away."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-28-2005)
UPDATE: hearing that Leffler has thru the end of June [4 races[ to up the performance or changes will be made. Who could be in the car? J.J. Yeley or Denny Hamilin...both Gibbs Busch Series drivers.(5-30-2005)
- Another Earnhardt: Another generation of the Earnhardt family visited victory lane at Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, Va., earlier this month. Jeffrey Earnhardt, son of NASCAR driver Kerry Earnhardt and the grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, won the Hornet Division feature two weeks ago. Earnhardt took the lead halfway through the 15-lap race for drivers age 12-16 and steered his four-cylinder car to victory lane, where he celebrated with his father and a group of Earnhardt fans. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-30-2005)
- Touring Series? Michel Jourdain [#10 Busch driver] was spotted having lunch with Busch Series director Joe Balash, NASCAR Mexico director Chad Little and Canada director Richard Buck at the Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week. The meeting was to discuss a world touring series that initially would draw stock car drivers from the United States, Mexico and Canada and eventually from abroad. "It would be a good idea to have a world series with those types of cars," says Jourdain, a Busch driver who was born in Mexico. "But I don't know what NASCAR's plans are right now."(Sporting News)(5-30-2005)