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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JUNE 6-12, 2005


      News from June 12, 2005

    • Tradegy at New York speedway: Tony White, an Oswego Speedway driver, was competing his Saturday's 25-lap limited supermodified when his car was involved in a lap 8 incident. The car came to rest on the back straightaway. The race was halted, and an Oswego Fire Department ambulance was called to the speedway which arrived at the track two minutes later, where members of the track safety crew were found performing CPR on White. White was given advanced life support treatment by Oswego Fire Department paramedics, and was transported to Oswego Hospital, where he died. White appeared to suffer a fatal heart attack. More at: pall-times.com and oswegodailynews.com.(6-12-2005)

    • Tradegy at Iowa raceway: One man is dead and another seriously injured after one race car struck two others in the pit area of a southeast Iowa race track. The Iowa State Patrol says 28-year-old Brenton Slocum, of Burlington, died after he was pinned underneath a race car he was working on at the 34 Raceway. Investigators say 16-year-old Michael Mott, of Wapello, is undergoing treatment at University Hospitals in Iowa City. The patrol says a sprint car driven by 61-year-old John Batchelor, of Illinois, exited the oval racetrack and was heading into the pit area of the track when is struck two cars in the pits.(kwqc.com) and more info about the people involved and the accident at: 34raceway.com and thehawkeye.com.(6-12-2005)

    • Sad News: Robert Ray "Bud" Hutchens, 63, father of Richard Childress Racing's Bobby Hutchen's, passed away Saturday, June 11, 2005, at his home. He was retired from Leaseway Motor Cars. Mr. Hutchens was an avid NASCAR fan and had cars that raced at Bowman Gray Stadium for over 40 years. Surviving are his wife of 46 years, Mrs. Carol Long Hutchens; two sons, Bobby Hutchens and wife Sharon, Kenny Hutchens and wife Robin, all of Winston-Salem. NC; a daughter, Lisa Thomas and husband Chris of Greenville, NC; seven grandchildren; and two sisters, Margaret Edwards and Nancy Tulbert, both of Winston-Salem. A graveside service will be conducted at 11:00am/et Monday, June 13, at Waughtown Cemetery with the Rev. Norwood Green officiating. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 this evening, June 12, at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Cancer Society, 4A Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407 or to the Bowman Gray Neurosurgery Dept., Medical Center Blvd. Winston-Salem, NC 27157.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-12-2005)

    • REVISED: yes...about 45 minutes after the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway, NASCAR revised the finishing order, pretty much from 5th thru 11th. #6-Martin was originally credited with UNOFFICIALLY finishing 5th and #42-McMurray 11th. After NASCAR reviewed the video and the scoring loops, the unofficial finishing order was revised and released, with #15-Waltrip moving up to 5th, #48-Johnson to 6th [and adding 4 points to his lead] and Martin back to 7th [cut down a right rear tire before the final yellow was thrown]. #2-Wallace was originally credited with 10h, but the revised order had him 11th and McMurray up to 10th. Is this normal? sure, NASCAR follows these procedures every week and usually around 12:00noon/et every Monday, the Official Results/Standings are posted, sometimes drivers may switch a position, usually the unofficial results mirror the official results. That is why most of my stats pages are not updated until Monday or Tuesday.(6-13-2005)

    • Edwards wins at Pocono: #99-Carl Edwards won the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway for his 2nd win of 2005, 2nd career win in his 27th race and gave owner Jack Roush his first ever win as a car owner at Pocono [Roush has now won at all the track Nextel Cup run at but Chicagoland, Kansas and Indy]. The race ended under caution after an wreck by #18-Labonte [no word on what caused it, no replays on the wreck], after the green-white-checker restart on lap 199. Rounding out the top five were #25-Brian Vickers, #01-Joe Nemechek, #5-Kyle Busch and #15-Michael Waltrip. Points leader, #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 6th and increased his points lead to 123 over #16-Greg Biffle, who finished 30th after having some brake trouble. Edwards started 29th, winning a race from worst starting position ever at Pocono, Terry Labonte had held that record, winning from 27th back in 1995. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept cutting down left front tires, the 2nd one did a lot of damage to the front left end of the car [even a fire], Dale Jr. finished 33rd, 6 laps down and is now 500 points behind in the Chase.
      For race results, see Jayski's Pocono Race Results/Awards page.(6-12-2005)

    • Busch Streak Gone: #97-Kurt Busch finished 22nd and ended a 48-race streak of ranking among the top 10. He dropped from eighth to 11th in the point standings. The streak began at Rockingham in February 2004.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-12-2005)

    • NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers Points after Pocono - 14 of 36 races [Revised]
      the 12 drivers in the chase as things stand:
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2062
      2) #16-Greg Biffle, 1939, -123
      3) #38-Elliott Sadler, 1781, -281
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 1759, -303
      5) #6-Mark Martin, 1734, -328
      6) #12-Ryan Newman, 1733, -329
      7) #29-Kevin Harvick, 1715, -347
      8) #2-Rusty Wallace, 1714, -348
      9) #24-Jeff Gordon. 1700, -362
      10) #20-Tony Stewart, 1682, -380
      11) #97-Kurt Busch, 1681, -381
      12) #42-Jamie McMurray, 1670, -392
      The top 12 in drivers points are still under 400 points back and in the Chase.
      For points see Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Pocono page.(6-12-2005)

    • Marlin to the #6? Sterling Marlin [#40 Dodge] is having discussions with Jack Roush about the possibility of replacing Mark Martin next year in the #6 Ford.(Gaston Gazette), also have heard that Marlin could go to the #21 Wood Brothers Ford with Ricky Rudd moving over to the #6.(6-12-2005)

    • More changes at MB2/MBV? Riggs to leave? UPDATE team hopes to keep Riggs: Following closely on this week’s promotion and transfer of top technical personnel, expect some major announcements from the MB Motorsports organization in the next couple of weeks. The team, which campaigns Nextel Cup cars with drivers #01-Joe Nemechek, #10-Scott Riggs and (part-time) #36-Boris Said, soon will announce the signing of a well-known sprint-car driver to an ARCA/Busch/Cup program [known as the ABC program] for 2006, sources close to the team said. This will be the first step in a full-blown driver-development program. That driver is said to be Kraig Kinser. The team has been a cooperation among the MB2 (Nemechek) and MBV (Riggs) teams, with sponsor Valvoline to now owning part of the MBV team. Valvoline apparently intends to sell its part of the operation to MB2 founding owner Nelson Bowers and associates, with Valvoline remaining as associate sponsor on Riggs's #10. Centrix, sponsor of Said's effort, will step up to the top position [primary sponsor of the #10].(Speed Channel Notebook), and hearing Scott Riggs, driver of the #10 MBV team could end up at Evernham, Penske [#2] or the #6 Ford of Roush Racing.(6-12-2005)
      UPDATE: Jay Frye, CEO/General Manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports, said on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning that the team plans to do everything it can to re-sign Scott Riggs and keep him in the #10 Chevy.(6-12-2005)

    • Third Yates Cup team in the works? Robert Yates Racing [#38-Elliott Sadler, #88-Dale Jarrett] officials say the believe they need to move toward a third team, and efforts are in the works. Team manager Eddie d'Hondt said Saturday that he is to meet Tuesday in Baltimore with official of Citi Financial, current sponsor of RYR's Busch team, to see about a Cup program. Doug Yates, RYR president and leader of Roush/Yates Engines, said he understands that RYR has fallen behind the two majors, Roush and Hendrick, and that expansion is a competitive necessity. "That's the thing Robert and I always thought, that getting more teams was getting kind of greedy," Doug said. "We look back now [and realize] we missed the boat on it a little with all the opportunities we had." The RYR philosophy, as seen by Robert, has been the old Junior Johnson method: Let lesser teams develop the drivers, then snatch them up for the top seats when they are ready. It's a new world, Doug says, hinting that he has seen it coming. Yates and d'Hondt agreed that driver development will be a significant part of the team's future efforts, although Cup drivers Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler have driven RYR's newly-founded Busch car all year. d'Hondt said RYR needed to get the team up and running, with a veteran baseline, before throwing a newcomer into the seat.(Speed Channel Notebook)(6-12-2005)

    • Rondeau sticking with DEI thru 2005, Menard to run some Cup races: Dale Earnhardt Inc. director of racing Richie Gilmore Saturday said #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s former crew chief Pete Rondeau has made a commitment to the organization for the rest of 2005. Gilmore said he was not aware if Rondeau was seeking other crew chief opportunities outside DEI. Gilmore confirmed plans to place DEI's other Busch Series driver, Paul Menard, in several Nextel Cup races later this season and said Rondeau would be involved.(NASCAR.com)(6-12-2005)

    • Looks like a 3rd full-time team for Evernham in 2006 UPDATE: Ray Evernham, chief of Dodge-backed Evernham Motorsports [#9, #19, #91], says chances are "better than 50%" that he will have a third Cup team in 2006. He said he has tentative agreements with significant sponsors, and he pulled up short when asked who would drive the car [Jayski Note: Brendan Gaughan has been rumored]. Evernham says he has constructed a building for the proposed new team and has personnel aboard. "I think you can get the team started and kind of take it from there. The sponsor is going to have to have realistic expectations. For a first-year team, to jump right up there and win races, there's not too many people who do that. "I'm fortunate enough to say I'm one of the people who have done it, but it's still very difficult. There are [drivers] out there that can win races, and the sponsor has to go into it realistically. Every sponsor says they want a top 10 car, top 10 driver, well, there's 15 top-10 cars out there, which one do you want?(Speed Channel)(6-11-2005)
      UPDATE: another rumor floating around has Casey Mears, current driver for #41 Ganassi Racing going to Evernham, with Reed Sorenson moving up from Busch into the #41 Target Dodge. And Scott Riggs, driver of the #10 MBV team could end up at Evernham.
      AND Valvoline also apparently will become at least partial sponsor of a proposed third team out of Evernham Motorsports, with driver to be determined.(Speed Channel Notebook)(6-12-2005)

    • New 2006 Sponsor for Ganassi....team? #40? Stremme? UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the signing of Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon to a multi-year sponsorship. The long-term agreement begins with the 2006 NASCAR season. Specific details are to follow at a later date. Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon is a restaurant chain that offers full-service casual dining, featuring Texas-style ambiance. There are over 300 locations nationwide.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)
      AND Though no further details were announced, sources tell the Observer the new sponsor will pair with Coors in sponsoring David Stremme in the #40 Dodges in Nextel Cup next year.(Charlotte Observer/David Poole)(6-9-2005)
      UPDATE: Although driver Sterling Marling has all but confirmed that he’s on his way out of the #40 Ganassi Dodge, team manager Tony Glover, a long-time associate of Marlin, said Saturday that he’s staying with the organization, despite rumors of an impending shake-up. "To be quite honest with you, what’s going on with Chip [Ganassi] and Felix [Sabates] and Sterling, I’m not exactly 100 percent sure of the plan” Glover said. "As far as me being back, I plan on being here a long time." Questions remain, however, about the future of general manager Andy Graves, who has been with Ganassi since his entry into stock cars in 2002. Next week at Michigan, Ganassi is expected to announce that David Stremme will replace Marlin in the #40 in 2006, with sponsorship split between Coors and Lone Star Steakhouse.(Speed Channel Notebook)(6-12-2005)

    • and More on Ganassi possible changes: How big a shakeup is in the works in the Ganassi Racing camp? Busch driver David Stremme is considered the heir apparent in the #40 to replace Sterling Marlin. He could do so for the last seven races of the season, and not jeopardize his rookie status for next season. Changes are expected involving the #41 team and driver Casey Mears. Sources say owner Chip Ganassi plans to clean the entire house, making way for Busch Series rookie sensation Reed Sorenson and crew chief Brian Pattie. Mears' crew chief, Jimmy Elledge, has been mentioned as a potential crew chief for Stremme. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-12-2005)

    • Race Notes - Pocono:
      • Carl Edwards won the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway, scoring his second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 27th career start.
      • Edwards is the second driver to win in his first race at Pocono Raceway. Richard Petty won the first race here in 1974.
      • Edwards led four times for 46 laps, including the final 15.
      • Edwards has scored six top-10 finishes in 14 races this season
      • Edwards climbed from ninth to fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, 303 behind first-place Jimmie Johnson
      • Edwards scored the first victory at Pocono Raceway for car owner Jack Roush. Roush finished second 11 times with four different drivers before scoring his first Pocono victory. This is Roush’s 81st victory as a car owner and seventh in 14 races this season.
      • This is the seventh victory for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has six and Dodge has one.
      Notebook Items
      • Brian Vickers (second) posted his career-best finish in 55 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. It is his first top-10 finish in his third race at Pocono Raceway.
      • Joe Nemechek (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in his 22 races at Pocono. He scored his third top-10 finish in 14 races in 2005, and his best since his victory last October at Kansas City.
      • Kyle Busch (fourth) posted a top-10 finish in his first race at Pocono Raceway. Busch scored his fifth top-10 finish in 2005. The Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender Busch has had a notable run in his last seven races, scoring five top-five finishes. He won the Truck and Busch race at Lowe’s. He finished 25th in the Cup race at Lowe’s. He won the Truck race at Dover, finished 36th in the Busch race, second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Dover and fourth at Pocono today. He has climbed from 26th to 18th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings in the last five races.
      • Mark Martin (seventh) scored his 26th top-10 finish in 37 races at Pocono Raceway. Martin has scored seven top-10 finishes in 2005. He climbed from sixth to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      • Rusty Wallace (11th) extended a 27-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August.
      • Six of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Pocono Raceway.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (33rd) dropped from 15th to 16th in the point standings, 504 points behind point leader Jimmie Johnson.
      • Kurt Busch (22nd) ended a 48-race streak of ranking among the top 10. He dropped from eighth to 11th in the point standings. The streak began at Rockingham in February 2004.
      • Jeff Gordon (ninth) posted his posted his 18th top-10 finish in his 25th race at Pocono Raceway. He returned to the top 10 climbing from 11th to ninth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He is now 362 points behind point leader Johnson.
      • Brian Vickers led 121 of the 200 laps in today’s race. This is the most laps that he has led in a single race in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.
      • Mike Garvey became the 41st different driver to lead in 2005. This was the first time that Garvey has led in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-12-2005)

    • Rumblings - Pocono:
      Maybe he was practicing his back flips during that rain delay last night... Carl Edwards led the final 15 laps today at Pocono Raceway and won the Pocono 502.5 under caution. In what was easily one of the worst events we've ever seen at a place that is usually pretty racey, Edwards grabbed his second win of the season (he won at Atlanta in March) and the 81st for Roush Racing (but unbelievably their first at Pocono). Roush has seven wins this season, and this one was worth $196,150 from the over $4.7M in posted awards. It's obvious they've gotta fix two thing before we come back here in six weeks.....
      First, junk the new gear rule for this joint. We're running slower than ever and the most spread out in history. There was virtually zero side-by-side racing today.....and we've grown used to seeing those five and six wide camera shots back up the frontstretch from turn 1.
      Second, Goodyear's gotta get their tires right. We had no less than seven cars have left front troubles today, and blaming it on the rumble strips seems to be a bit of a stretch. This certainly wasn't our first race with that "corduroy" (never heard it called that before...must be a New England thang).
      As evidence of how these changes have effected this race, today we had only 14 lead changes among 7 drivers. Last year's June race had 30 lead changes among 16 drivers, and July had 16 changes amongst 10 drivers. A disturbing trend indeed.....
      Brian Vickers (2nd) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 5th at Phoenix in April.
      Joe Nemechek (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Kansas last October.
      Terry Labonte (12th) had his best finish since he was 6th when we were here last July. BTW, all five Hendrick Motorsports cars finished in the Top-12.B Sterling Marlin (16th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Texas in April.
      Mike Garvey (25th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 41st at Atlanta in March.
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races. Kyle Busch has 3 Top-5's in the last 4 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Kyle Busch (+34), followed by Carl Edwards (+28 ), Jeff Gordon (+22), and Jeff Green (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Scott Riggs (-32), followed by Mike Bliss (-26), Scott Wimmer (-25), Matt Kenseth (-22), and Kurt Busch (-20).
      Mike Garvey led a lap today for the first time in his Nextel Cup career. He's the 41st different driver to lead this season....last year we had 50 different leaders during the season.
      Jimmie Johnson has stretched his margin over Greg Biffle to 123 points after today. The "Stayin' Alive" line has moved up to 12th.
      Carl Edwards (9th to 4th) and Jeff Green (31st to 26th) made the best moves forward today, while three drivers (Tony Stewart, Mike Bliss, and Kyle Petty) all fell five spots.(Stock Car Fans)(6-12-2005)

    • Streak gone: #12-Ryan Newman will start 17th at Pocono on Sunday, breaking a streak of 20 consecutive top 10 starts.(6-12-2005)

    • Double Duty at Pocono-Nashville WHO are the subs at Nashville?: two drivers are planning on running the Nextel Cup race at Pocono and the Busch Series race in Nashville:
      #40-Sterling Marlin will be running the Busch Series race at his home track of Nashville Superspeedway. He will be piloting the #40 for FitzBradshaw Racing.(Ganassi PR)
      AND This will be #99-Carl Edwards' first double duty weekend in two separate cities. Edwards will practice and qualify the #99 Stonebridge Insurance Ford in Pocono on Friday and Saturday morning then head to Nashville to race the #60 Charter Ford in the Busch race. Edwards will then return late Saturday night to race the #99 Ford in Sunday's 500-mile event.(Roush Racing)(6-10-2005)
      SUBS: if the race runs on Sunday, Hank Parker Jr. will run the #60 Ford for Carl Edwards and Johnny Benson will drive the #40 Dodge for Sterling Marlin.(6-12-2005)


      News from June 11, 2005

    • Harvick to the #2? UPDATE Harvick talks, denies and fumes: it was reported during Speed Channel's Texas Truck Series race that Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy was in negoatiations with Penske Racing to take over the #2 Miller Lite Dodge fielded by Penske Racing. This was reported as a rumor back in Febuary by NASCAR.com and the Winston Salem Journal. The big questions would be, Harvick is supposedly signed thru 2006 with a 2-year option, how does this effect Harvick's Chevy Busch and Truck programs [not gonna see Stewart in a Dodge Busch car] and if under contract can't image Richard Childress just letting Harvick go.(6-11-2005)
      UPDATE - denied by Harvick: from a GM Racing PR after qualifying at Pocono Raceway for he Pocono 500:
      KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Responds to Craftsman Truck TV broadcast comment on 6/10 reporting that Harvick would be making a move to Dodge: "I think that Ray (Dunlap, SpeedTV on-air talent for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) will probably be thoroughly embarrassed in the next couple of months there with everything we've been working on (contracts). The bad part about it is that I have another year on my contract with RCR and a couple of years with Chevrolet. I think if the facts would have at least been checked on and not just dreamed up over a couple of beers, we probably would have had a much better telecast on the Speed channel last night watching the Truck race. They need to worry about what the hell they're doing and things will be reported a little more accurately."
      (ARE YOU A WANTED MAN? ARE YOU GETTING CALLS?) "No, I haven't gotten calls from anybody because I'm not available. It's one of those things that's dreamed up. Richard and I are working on a lot of things to go forward in the future and there isn't any other home that's going to be available for me. It's unfortunate, but stuff happens. Like I say, in the next couple of months it'll be something that he'll probably regret. He'll be embarrassed about saying it."
      (WERE YOU WATCHING THE TELECAST LAST NIGHT?) "Yeah, the disappointing part about it is that I'm laying in my motor home and (Ron) Hornaday is pretty much annihilating them during the race. And they were talking about me driving another car and not even reporting on the race. That's the unfortunate part for GM Goodwrench and the race fans and everybody. They're not even worried about their own telecast. It's unfortunate. So I went to bed with a headache, to say the least. I was watching the race with the guys on my team and with Scott Wimmer, actually, and they all kind of looked at me and I (shrugged shoulders) said, 'Hey, you guys know how this world works.' So it was unfortunate. But like I say, it's pretty easy to put to rest and that's why I wanted to make sure that it didn't go any further. If all the facts were known with all the contractual stuff, it wouldn't even be reported."
      (WHAT ARE YOU AND RICHARD CHILDRESS WORKING ON LONG TERM?) "Oh, it'll be great. It'll probably catch you guys (media) off guard a little bit. But once we get it all done, it'll be awesome."
      (DOES IT INVOLVE OWNERSHIP?) "Oh, you never know."(GM Pocono Quotes/PR)(6-11-2005)

    • Menard and DEI? UPDATE denied: 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 sure if in part or whole....or at all.(5-20-2005)
      UPDATE: Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., strongly disputed rumors that millionaire businessman John Menard is attempting to buy the team. Talk of a potential sale was prevalent in the garage area at Pocono Raceway, where several drivers and owners from other teams confirmed that they had heard the rumor. “There is no truth to it at all,” Gilmore said. “John (Menard) is a great sponsor of ours, but that’s all it is. Over the years, many ‘players’ have tried to buy DEI. We’ve been contacted by owners of NFL and NBA teams about it. Teresa (Earnhardt) has no interest.” Menard’s son Paul drives the #11 DEI Chevy in the Busch Series.(Gaston Gazette)(6-11-2005)

    • Kvapil wins ARCA Race at Pocono: In the end, no one had anything for Penske Racing powerhouse #27-Travis Kvapil, who in his first ARCA RE/MAX Series attempt, handily won the Pocono 200 Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway, Kvapil also won the pole for the event. Kvapil crossed the final stripe just over two seconds ahead of #46-Frank Kimmel in second. Rounding out the top five were #9-Joey Miller, #11-Chad McCumbee [played Dale Jr. in ESPN's movie '3'] and #4-Michael Guerity. See results at ARCARAcing.com.
      Also: Ted Olswfski, who was injured in a crash during practice Friday, was released from Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. He was taken there as a precaution.(Times Leader)(6-11-2005)

    • Schrader not back in the #49 for 2005? UPDATE: Eddie Jones, general manager of BAM Racing's #49, says the team intends to begin discussions for 2006 shortly with sponsor Schwan's and that he expects a positive outcome. He is not as positive about current driver Ken Schrader, 50, who likely will take his act elsewhere next year. Jones did not say who might be in line to replace Schrader.(Speed Channel), Schrader has said in the past that Schwans is on the car for 2006 and he would drive the #49, then probably move onto the Truck Series.(6-11-2005)
      UPDATE: Few changes are anticipated for BAM Racing and the #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge team and driver Ken Schrader for 2006. Team owner Beth Ann Morgenthau said contrary to an erroneous Internet report Friday, plans are moving forward for the future. “While we’re certainly going to make the changes and additions we need to make to improve our race team now and in the future, we are very much planning on Ken Schrader remaining in our car, and every indication Kenny has given us is that he plans on remaining in our car,” Ms. Morgenthau said. “We’ve already begun discussions with Schwan’s in regards to our plans for 2006 and the future, as well as the years following that. We’ve discussed marketing and promotional plans for the future, and those involve Ken Schrader too.” Schrader, 50, has driven the #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge since the beginning of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, and has indicated publicly several times this year he plans on remaining in the car the rest of his Cup career.(Williams Company)(6-11-2005)

    • Mexican driver looks to make first Cup start at Sonoma: At Infineon Raceway, José Luis Ramírez will attempt to become only the second Mexican-born driver to compete in a NASCAR Nextel Cup race. Sponsored by Bay Area-based mortgage company Pro30.com, he will try to qualify the #52 Dodge for the Dodge/Save Mart 350, to be held at the Sonoma track June 26. Ramírez was among the nine Latino drivers showcased in NASCAR's Busch race held in Mexico City in March - the sport's first foray onto foreign soil. In the field of 43, he finished 31st, ahead of such Cup regulars as Jamie McMurray and Robby Gordon. Ramírez, 26, started his career in karting and Trans-Am road racing in his hometown of Mexico City before switching to stock cars. Now a regular in NASCAR's Grand National West Series, Ramírez has made 17 starts. He finished 10th in the series standings in 2004. In April, he crashed his Cup car during testing at Infineon Raceway, hitting the foam barriers at Turn 4. He suffered minor injuries to his right eye, right foot and back, but drove to an eighth-place finish two days later in a Grand National race at Phoenix International Raceway. Other than that late-day mishap, Ramírez came away statisfied with his performance on Sonoma's notoriously tricky 10-turn track. The only previous Mexican-born Cup driver retired before Ramírez was born. Mexican racing legend Pedro Rodríguez, who drove in six Cup races between 1959 and 1971, was NASCAR's Latino pioneer. A regular in sports car events at Daytona International Speedway, Rodríguez finished fifth in NASCAR's 1965 World 600 at Charlotte - his best Cup result. Sponsor Pro30.com - a major mortgage lender in the Latino community - chose Ramírez as its driver specifically because of his heritag/e, chief executive officer Bill Coleman said.(Sacramento Bee)(6-11-2005)

    • Rudd/Wood Brothers, haven't dicussed 2006...yet: #21-Ricky Rudd says he and the Wood Brothers have not gotten to the point of discussion about 2006. Rudd's three-year deal with the Woods is due for evaluation this season, and results so far have been disappointing. Rudd sounded sanguine [cheerfully confident; optimistic] about the team's performance overall. The cars have practiced well at most stops and have qualified well at several stops, "but we need to work on staying out of wrecks," said Rudd, who will make his 853rd career start, 766th consecutive, in Sunday's race here.(Speed Channel)(6-11-2005)

    • Tony and Jeff play phone tag: #24-Jeff Gordon hasn't talked with #20-Tony Stewart after the two exchanged barbs in separate interviews last week at Dover, but Gordon isn't losing sleep over it. "Tony gave me a call this week and left me a message, I called him back and left him a message," Gordon said. "I'm still not thrilled about what happened there and definitely not thrilled with what was said after the race, but it's hard racing. "I've been through this many times. I'm not going to pay any attention to it. I'm not going to worry about it. We've got a championship to win. I want to put it behind me and move on."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-11-2005)

    • Mach 1 gets sponsor for Pocono and MIS: Denver NC based MACH 1 Inc. announced today that UltraComp Trailers [ultracomptrailers.com] has signed on for a two race primary sponsorship beginning this weekend in Pocono, going through next weekend in Michigan. PJ Jones will pilot the #34 Chevy this weekend and again next weekend in Michigan. UltraComp Trailers is a subsidiary of Schantz & Sons, Inc. which has been in the trailer manufacturing business since 1952. UltraComp designs and manufactures large race transporters, food concession trailers, and enclosed gooseneck trailers to meet the desires of any customer. Their trailers range in size from 24' to 55' giving a variety of choices to their customers. UltraComp Trailers have a unique custom design to give the trailer a sleek and flowing look that separates UltraComp transporters from an ordinary freight trailer. The owners & employees at UltraComp Trailers are focused on the quality of their products and are committed to providing their customers with the best service.(MACH 1 PR)(6-11-2005)

    • Tide 2 Go at Pocono: The #32 PPI Motorsports Chevy for Bobby Hamilton Jr.'s paint scheme continues to be Tide to Go. It is promoting Procter and Gamble’s new instant stain remover that helps eliminate fresh food and drink stains. Tide to Go works well on tomato juice, ketchup, BBQ sauce, grape juice and coffee. It is convenient to carry in a briefcase, car, purse and kitchen. It is available in stores now.(PPI Motorsports), the scheme also ran at the Nextel Open and Dover.(6-10-2005)
      IMAGE see images of the car on my #32 Team Schemes page.(6-11-2005)

    • Waltrip wins the pole at Pocono: #15-Michael Waltrip won the Budweiser Pole for the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway with a lap of 169.052mph. It is Waltrip's first Bud Pole of 2005 and puts him in the 2006 Budweiser Shootout. Can ya believe? It is Waltrip's first pole in 456 races? since Michigan on June, 21 1991 [he finished 34th] and it is only his 3rd career Bud Pole in 620 races, his other pole also came in 1991..at Dover. #97-Kurt Busch will start 2nd, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, #42-Jamie McMurray and #10-Scott Riggs. Missing the race are #34-P.J. Jones, #27-Kirk Shelmedine, #92-Hermie Sadler and #00-Carl Long. Long was to use a backup car [Dodge instead of Chevy], but the motor wouldn't fit, so they withdrew. Sadler spun and wacked the turn 3 wall and never took a time. A few drivers smacked the wall on their attempts, which slowed their times: #24-Gordon, #34-Jones, #5-Busch were among those. #48-Jimmie Johnson, the points leader will start 21st and last weeks winner, #16-Greg Biffle, starts 23rd. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the best of the non-top 35 teams to make the race, starting 24th. #4-Mike Wallace was the slowest of the top-35 teams and will start 42nd, via points.
      TV: for some reason, qualifying was not shown lon live TV, but will be aired on FX at 5:00pm/et, today [June 11th] at the same time [thanks!] as Busch Series qualifying at Nashville will be shown [live] on Speed Channel. Cup qualifying will also re-air on Speed Channel at 12:00midnight.
      For qualifying results, pole progression and starting lineup and links, see my Jayski's Pocono Grid/Qualifying/Practice speeds Page.(6-11-2005)

    • Qualifying Notes - Pocono:
      • Michael Waltrip won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Pocono 500, lapping Pocono Raceway in 53.238 seconds at 169.052 mph. Kasey Kahne holds the track-qualifying record of 52.164 seconds, 172.533 mph, set June 11, 2004.
      • This is Waltrip’s third career Bud Pole in 620 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. His most recent Bud Pole came at Michigan in June 1991, 457 races ago.
      • Waltrip has posted just five top-10 starts in 39 races at Pocono.
      • This is Waltrip’s second start better than 18th this season. He started third for the Daytona 500.
      • Waltrip became the ninth different Bud Pole winner this season. He is the 17th different Bud Pole winner in the past 18 races at Pocono. Qualifying was canceled in June 2002.
      • Kurt Busch posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 53.356 seconds, 168.678 mph – and will join Waltrip on the front row for the Pocono 500. Busch has started from a top-10 starting position in four of his nine races at Pocono. This is his seventh top-10 start this season and his second time to post the second-quickest qualifying lap.
      • This is the fifth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005 [five different drivers]. Dodge has six Bud Poles and Ford has two. Qualifying was canceled at Dover.
      • Brian Vickers (third) posted his fifth top-10 start this season. He has started sixth or better in all three of his races at Pocono.
      • Jamie McMurray (fourth) posted his second top-10 start in his fifth Pocono race. He started seventh in August 2004. It is his second top-10 start this season and his first in timed qualifying. He started ninth last week when qualifying was canceled.
      • Scott Riggs (fifth) posted his first start better than 26th in his three Pocono races. It is his fourth top-10 start this season – all top-fives.
      • Ryan Newman (17th) failed to post a top-10 start for the first time this season and ended a streak of 20 consecutive top-10 starts. It is just his second start outside the top-15 in his seven races at Pocono.
      • Jeff Gordon (31st) posted his worst ever qualifying effort at Pocono and just his fourth start outside the top-20 in his 25 races here.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (34th) has posted just one top-10 start this season: fifth in the Daytona 500. After 14 races in 2004, he had started from the top-10 ten times.
      • Four drivers failed to qualify for the Pocono 500: Kirk Shelmerdine, P.J. Jones, Hermie Sadler and Carl Long.
      • Only five of the 47 drivers took both laps allocated for their qualifying effort.
      • The farthest back that a race winner at Pocono has started was 27th by Terry Labonte in the 1995 Pocono 500 [remeber when Gordon missed the shift].(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-11-2005)

    • Ramblings - Pocono:
      Michael Waltrip had a really good qualifying month of June in 1991. Just a mere 14 years later, he's at it again!
      Mikey got his 3rd career Bud Pole today at Pocono Raceway, and it came via a speed of 169.052 (53.238 sec). He won two poles waaaaaay back in June of 1991, at Dover and at Michigan in the #30 Bahari Pennzoil Pontiac. He also becomes the 9th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.
      He'll lead us to the green for the Pocono 500 will Kurt Busch alongside.
      Brian Vickers (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at California in February.
      Jamie McMurray (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Martinsville in April of 2004.
      Jeremy Mayfield (6th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Texas in April.
      Scott Wimmer (11th) has his career-best starting spot this week. His previous best was 14th at Darlington in March of 2004!
      Ken Schrader (19th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Martinsville in April.
      Greg Sacks (41st) makes his first Nextel Cup start of the season on Sunday. We last saw Greg in action at Homestead last November when he started 34th and finished 42nd.
      STREAKIN....Kevin Harvick has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.(Stock Car Fans)(6-11-2005)

    • Hermie back at Pocono..then to TV: It didn't take long for Hermie Sadler long to find a new ride, albeit a temporary one. Four days after resigning from the #66 Ford, Sadler was in the #92 Chevrolet at Pocono filling in for Stanton Barrett, who is running tonight's Busch race at Nashville Superspeedway. It's a one-race deal for Sadler. "I had planned on taking a couple weeks off just to regroup and get my thoughts together," Sadler said. "But they're in the same boat we've been in, working hard every week, trying to make it happen. I was glad to help them out. I came here with the attitude to come have a good time and see what happens." Sadler won't be available for fill-in duty next weekend at Michigan, as he will be helping cover the Busch race at Kentucky Speedway for FX.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-11-2005)


      News from June 10, 2005

    • Sadler to extend contract with RYR/M&M's UPDATE: there is a scheduled press conference at Pocono Raceway on Friday, June 10th to announce the driver Elliott Sadler will extend his contract with Robert Yates Racing and that M&M's will also extend it sponsorship contract of the #38 Ford.(PR)
      UPDATE: M&M’S Chocolate Candies announced today that it has extended its current contract with Robert Yates Racing (RYR) and driver Elliott Sadler as the primary sponsor on the #38 Ford through the 2008 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. “We are very proud of our involvement with Elliott Sadler and Robert Yates Racing since joining them in 2003,” said William Clements, Director of Sponsorships and Sports Marketing for Masterfoods USA. “It was an easy decision to extend this partnership as a result of our on-track performance and more importantly the relationships we have developed off the track. M&M’S stands for fun and Elliott helps make race day a lot more colorful.”
      “We couldn’t be happier with M&M’S decision to stay with our organization through 2008,” said Robert Yates, car owner of the #38 M&M’S Ford Taurus. “The #38 team has been very successful with M&M’S on board and Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. M&M’S has been an excellent partner to Robert Yates Racing. Our companies have many of the same values, both are based on family principles, and it’s exciting that we’re able to continue carrying their colors in the NEXTEL Cup Series.”
      The famous candy maker joined the NEXTEL Cup rank in 1997, running its first two seasons under the Skittles colors. The sponsorship transitioned to M&M’S Brand Candies in 1999. The 2005 season marks the ninth season for Masterfoods USA in NASCAR’s premier division and the third with Robert Yates Racing and Sadler.
      "I'm very lucky to have one of the best sponsorships in the business. Not because the support they give us on track, but the support they give me and my family and Robert and his family,” said Sadler, who currently sits third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship standings. “It's unbelievable to have a sponsor that's not always wondering about things you can do for them but what they can do for you. I can't tell you how proud I am to be the driver for a company with those practices.”
      “As Elliott matures into one of the premiere drivers in NASCAR, the timing of this renewal with M&M’S and the Mars family is perfect,” said Eddie D’Hondt, General Manager for Robert Yates Racing. “I foresee this team continuing to make its mark for many years with the support of one of the best sponsors in the NASCAR garage.”(Elevation Group PR)(6-10-2005)

    • Double Duty at Pocono-Nashville: two drivers are planning on running the Nextel Cup race at Pocono and the Busch Series race in Nashville:
      #40-Sterling Marlin will be running the Busch Series race at his home track of Nashville Superspeedway. He will be piloting the #40 for FitzBradshaw Racing.(Ganassi PR)
      AND This will be #99-Carl Edwards' first double duty weekend in two separate cities. Edwards will practice and qualify the #99 Stonebridge Insurance Ford in Pocono on Friday and Saturday morning then head to Nashville to race the #60 Charter Ford in the Busch race. Edwards will then return late Saturday night to race the #99 Ford in Sunday's 500-mile event.(Roush Racing)(6-10-2005)

    • Testing at Daytona: Testing in preparation for the 47th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and the fourth annual Winn Dixie 250 presented by Pepsico NASCAR Busch Series race will be held Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 14, 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. Drivers scheduled to test: #33-Kerry Earnhardt [both days], #0-Mike Bliss [on Tuesday if recovered from hernia operation] and Busch driver #67-C.W. Smith [Tuesday]. The test sessions are free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS)
      UPDATE: the #33-Earnhardt team canceled.(DIS)(6-10-2005)

    • No Toyota car in 2006? The rumors of an earlier than expected entry by Toyota into the Nextel Cup Series appear to be unfounded. There had been speculation that Toyota already had built and tested cars, but no one seems to have seen the car. Most insiders say Toyota, which competes in the Craftsman Truck Series, won't move up before 2007.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-10-2005)

    • TV Ratings from Dover UPDATE: hearing that the TV Ratings for the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway on FX was a 3.9 rating/10 share (6.1 million viewers), up +15% over last year's 3.4/9.(6-7-2005)
      UPDATE: FX says it recorded its highest figure ever for a NASCAR Cup race with a 4.9 Nielsen Media Research rating for Sunday's MBNA 400 at Dover International Speedway. The cable station says the race drew 6.1 million viewers. FX also says its three Nextel Cup events (two points races and the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge) this year averaged a 4.5 rating, up from the 4.0 last year. FX also says its coverage of Busch Series races this year has earned a 1.8 average rating, up 38 percent from the 1.3 last year, and an average of 2 million viewers per race, up from 1.5 million in 2004.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-10-2005)


      News from June 9, 2005

    • Vickers visits camp: On Tuesday, #25-Brian Vickers made the first of four scheduled trips to GMAC’s community outreach program, Team Focus. The weeklong summer camps provide fatherless boys ages 9-18 with leadership skills, guidance, Godly values and a continual relationship with a mentor. Vickers routinely spends time speaking with the youngsters about leadership, answering questions about racing and occasionally catching up with them on the baseball diamond or basketball court. In addition to visiting the Team Focus camp in Mobile, Ala., this week, Vickers will attend sessions in Michigan and Tennessee later this summer.(Brian Vickers site)(6-9-2005)

    • Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure may have to close CORRECTION NOT TRUE: Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure Inc. incurred a net loss for the quarter ended March 31 and says its auditors have expressed reservations about the company's ability to continue operating. The Denver, N.C., company, which operates a stock-car fantasy driving school at several tracks around the country, including one at Lowe's Motor Speedway, says in its SEC filing it has experienced a significant loss from operations, a result of investments necessary to achieve its operating plan. From the company's creation in 1998 through March 31, Dale Jarrett Racing has incurred net losses of nearly $4.8 million. The company has a working capital deficit of more than $1 million. The company says failure to secure equity financing, raise additional capital or attain profitable operations may result in the company depleting its available funds and not being able pay its obligations. This month, Dale Jarrett Racing announced it changed from a fiscal year ending June 30 to a calendar year ending Dec. 31 to better coincide with business planning and strategy.(Business Journal - Looks like they took the article off the site)(6-3-2005)
      CORRECTION: Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure says "We are not closing, in fact we are expanding our business:" Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, a company that has provided the thrill of driving a Nextel Cup car around NASCAR tracks nationwide to thousands of customers over the last 5 years, is going strong and growing every year. Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure is a publicly traded company under the symbol DJRT and files financial reports with the SEC every quarter. According to Tim Shannon, President, "Our first quarter, being winter, is traditionally our slowest. This is when the auditor usually is required to add the "going concern" statement which is based on only a few factors and does not accurately reflect the entire dynamic of the company. We have grown by 35% and more every year of the last four and have not had to raise any outside capital in the process and have no plans to do so in the near future. In fact, we are so pleased with our development that we have implemented a strategy to expand our business into other areas where the respected Dale Jarrett brand can bring benefit to companies and shareholders alike." Readers are encouraged to not only review all Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure filings with the SEC but to visit their website for more information about their unique product which features side by side racing and passing at www.racingadventure.com.(Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, 888-GO-RACE-1)(6-9-2005)

    • New 2006 Sponsor for Ganassi....team? #40? Stremme? Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the signing of Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon to a multi-year sponsorship. The long-term agreement begins with the 2006 NASCAR season. Specific details are to follow at a later date. Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon is a restaurant chain that offers full-service casual dining, featuring Texas-style ambiance. There are over 300 locations nationwide.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)
      AND Though no further details were announced, sources tell the Observer the new sponsor will pair with Coors in sponsoring David Stremme in the #40 Dodges in Nextel Cup next year.(Charlotte Observer/David Poole)(6-9-2005)

    • Kenny Wallace wins at Eldora: The $10,000 winner's paycheck was far from the standard amount that Nextel Cup or the Busch Series award. What's more, there were no points to be won, either. Yet Kenny Wallace had one of the best times he's ever had behind the wheel of a race car Wednesday night, winning the inaugural Nextel Prelude to a Dream late model modified stock car race at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway. Although the main event was just a 25-lap sprint, the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance saw plenty of action, including a surprise pole-winning performance by 70-something-year-old – he admits to being "somewhere between 75 and 70" – stock car legend Red Farmer, and a surprise appearance and strong fifth-place performance by semi-retired NASCAR great Bill Elliott. Given the success – and the nearly $75,000 raised for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp (Petty finished 13th out of 14 cars) – Stewart said what started out as an experiment will return for an encore performance next year. The finishing order was Wallace, followed by Stewart and sprint car ace Danny Lasoski. Ken Schrader was fourth, followed by Elliott, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte, Farmer, drag racer Ron Capps, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Green, Kevin Harvick, Petty and Mike Wallace, who was the only driver who failed to finish, suffering a blown motor midway through the race.(Yahoo Sports)(6-9-2005)

    • Garvey in the #66? hearing that Mike Garvey, who has made three races in the #75 car, will run in the #66 for a few races.(6-6-2005)

      AND II from the Mikegarveyfans.com site: Mike [Garvey] went to the #66 shop to sign the deal for the remainder of the year and get fitted for his seat and uniform after former driver Hermie Sadler resigns. The official announcement coming soon.(6-7-2005)
      OFFICAL - Garvey in the #66....six races: Peak Performance Motorsports owner Jeff Stec announced Mike Garvey as the driver of the #66 Ford. Garvey, a winner in the ASA and USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, will take over the driving responsibilities this weekend at Pocono. Jani-King, a long-time sponsor of Garvey, will follow him to the Nextel Cup Series for a six-race sponsorship package. “I don’t think words can explain how I felt when I got the news,” Garvey explained. “I was more shocked than anything. I want to thank Jeff Stec for giving me the opportunity, as well as all of the people I have worked with in the past who have helped me get this far.” Garvey has made three starts in the Nextel Cup Series in 2005. After qualifying for his first race of the season in Atlanta, he took the momentum to the Hooters Pro Cup Series where he notched his first win of the season the following week. Garvey left the ASA in 2004 tied for fifth all-time with Mark Martin with 22 series victories. Last season he posted wins in five of the 14 races in which he competed. Jani-King is the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchisor with over 10,500 franchise owners worldwide.(Mikegarveyfans.com), more info on Jani-King at janiking.com.(6-9-2005)

    • Stewart speeds, get ticket, takes lumps: Tony Stewart, 33, first wanted his day in court to answer a May 5 speeding citation in northeast Jackson County [Indiana], but he has since changed his mind about requesting a trial and decided to enter a deferral program. That program will allow the 2001 NASCAR champion to avoid any points on his Indiana driver’s license if he has no further traffic citations in the next year. Stewart’s early morning trip through Jackson County May 5 cost him $141 to pay for his entry into the deferral program. Stewart received a ticket for traveling 80 mph in an area north of Seymour where the speed limit is 55 mph. The ticket was issued by an Indiana State Police Trooper after Stewart was stopped while driving north on U.S. 31 just south of Reddington. Stewart was driving a black 2004 Humvee. On May 17, Stewart pleaded not guilty to the speeding charge and requested a trial date. Jackson Superior Court Judge Frank W. Guthrie had set a trial date of 1:30 p.m. July 26, but that trial won’t happen since Stewart entered the deferral program.(The Tribune-IN)(6-9-2005)

    • Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Jimmie Johnson as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway on June 5, Chastity M. of Fond du Lac, WI was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Chastity picked Johnson 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 sixth time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Johnson.(Alan Taylor Communications)(6-9-2005)

    • Rain Cancels Second Day of Testing at Infineon Raceway: The second day of a two-day NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test session was canceled on Wednesday at Infineon Raceway because of rain. #36-Boris Said, who has placed sixth the last two years at Infineon Raceway in the Dodge/Save Mart 350, posted the top time on Tuesday over the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course at 1 minute, 16.50 seconds [93.647mph]. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will visit the Sonoma Valley, June 24-26, for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 weekend. #7-Robby Gordon was scheduled for a one-day test on Wednesday, but will return to Infineon Raceway next Tuesday (June 14). Gordon is the only driver scheduled to return to the Sonoma Valley next week. "The rain hurt us today but we'll come out here next week and get some work in," said Gordon, winner of the 2003 Dodge/Save Mart 350. "I've always performed pretty well here and we can use the work to get ready for the race." Great tickets are still available for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 by calling 800-870-RACE or visiting www.infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway)(6-9-2005)

    • What is Andretti doing in Texas? John Andretti will be in the television booth during Friday night's Chex 400 at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway, serving as an analyst for SPEED's national broadcast of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. "Usually I am sitting behind the steering wheel so I guess this will be a little further away than usual," said Andretti, "but I am really looking forward to it. I've worked some with SPEED on its television programs in the past and I am a regular contributor to WIBC Radio (Indianapolis) but this will be my first shot as a color analyst for a live race broadcast." He has also worked on FOX Sports Net's Totally NASCAR show as a regular contributor, and the Brickyard 400 broadcast last year as color analyst for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Andretti, who has two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race wins, has not driven in the Truck series but follows it closely. "I'd love to try it sometime because it is great racing," Andretti said. "I love the side-by-side stuff and the close finishes. I can't think of a racer anywhere who wouldn't want to try the Truck series."(Williams Company), no word on Andretti's plans with ppc Racing and the #14 Cup team.(6-9-2005)


      News from June 8, 2005

    • Gaughan to relieve Bliss at Pocono: Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan will share driving duties in the #0 NetZero Best Buy Racing Chevrolet with Mike Bliss, who underwent successful hernia surgery Monday morning, for this weekend’s event at Pocono Raceway. “When it became obvious to us that Mike would need some help this weekend our thoughts immediately went to Brendan,” said Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing. “Brendan, along with Orleans Racing and its sponsor Jasper Engines and Transmissions, have been gracious enough to agree to let us borrow him for the weekend even though he is competing for his fifth win at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. A big part of what is great about this sport is the willingness of the competitors to jump right in and help each other out in situations like this. Our main focus is to make sure that Mike is healthy for the remainder of the season and whatever we need to do this weekend to make sure that happens is what we will do.” Gaughan will take part in the scheduled practice and qualifying sessions at Texas Motor Speedway before heading to Pocono Raceway Friday. Bliss plans to make several laps during practice for the Pocono 500 Friday afternoon before Gaughan takes over. Bliss is scheduled to qualify the car Saturday and start the race before giving up his seat in the NetZero Best Buy Chevy during the first possible opportunity.(NetZero Best Buy Racing)(6-8-2005)

    • New Crew Chief for Riggs? UPDATE: hearing that car chief Rodney Childers will take over the crew chief job at the #10-Scott Riggs Valvoline team, for Doug Randolph.(6-7-2005)
      UPDATE: The following personnel promotions at MB2 Motorsports were announced today. Ryan Pemberton has been promoted to team manager and will oversee the #01 Army and #10 Valvoline teams. He will continue as crew chief on the # 01 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek. Doug Randolph, who has been the crew chief on Scott Riggs' #10 MBV Motorsports entry since 2004, has been promoted to a management position as race coordinator and driver development manager. Rodney Childers, who has been the car chief for the #10 team since the beginning of the 2005 season, has been promoted to crew chief for Riggs' Valvoline Chevrolet. Frank Stoddard has been promoted to research and development manager and will continue as crew chief on Boris Said's #36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet for MB/Sutton Motorsports. "By making these promotions with our team personnel, we believe the entire organization will be stronger than ever," said Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "We have quality individuals leading the restructured departments and the changes will only enhance our program going forward as a multicar operation with a one team approach."(MB2 Motorsports PR)(6-8-2005)

    • Burton to test at VIR: Following the race in Pocono, Burton and Team Cingular will head to Virginia International Raceway for a test session Monday, June 13th [with Tuesday, June 14 as a rain date] in preparation for the upcoming Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.(RCR)(6-8-2005)

    • #675 for Rusty: #2-Rusty Wallace will be making his 675th consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start [684 races total] in Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. In 42 career starts on the triangular-shaped 2.5-mile Pocono track, he has recorded 4 wins, 9 top-5 finishes, 16 top-10 finishes and 3 poles. He ranks third in career laps led on the track with 735.(Tom Roberts PR), unless Rusty comes back in 2006 for the first three races, his consecutive streak will stop at 697.(6-8-2005)

    • Kvapil to run ARCA race: Penske Racing South has entered rookie #77-Travis Kvapil in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event on Saturday at Pocono Raceway in an effect to get Kvapil some seat time on the track.(Penske Racing)(6-8-2005)

    • Marlin says he is out at Ganassi, expects to finish year: Reports have recently circulated that Sterling Marlin might not drive the final seven races of the season for Chip Ganassi Racing. Marlin, the guest driver on yesterday's weekly NASCAR Nextel Cup conference call, said he "feels pretty certain they'll honor the deal," but added: "Some things are out of your hands." The veteran driver from Columbia said he is "100 percent sure I won't be back (with Ganassi) next year," and said he is currently looking for a new ride. Marlin also announced plans to run Saturday's Busch race at the Nashville Superspeedway.(Tennessean)
      AND When it comes to determining his future in the NASCAR Cup Series, it's a different matter. Marlin actively has several lines in the water trying to land a ride for next season. "I've been approached by some teams and I'm talking to some teams," Marlin said. Marlin said he hasn't officially received word that he won't be back for a ninth season with the team that Chip Ganassi bought from Felix Sabates in 2000. But Marlin knows which way the wind is blowing as Ganassi grows dissatisfied with not winning.(High Point Enterprise)(6-8-2005)

    • Driver honored: ARCA and part-time NASCAR driver, Bobby Gerhart Jr. was honored yesterday morning by the [Pennsylvania] House of Representatives for his success in the ARCA Series at Daytona International Speedway, where the 46-year-old driver from Lebanon became only the second series driver to win at Daytona three times. Gerhart won there in February. He also won in 1999 and 2002. State Rep. Peter Zug (R-Myerstown) presented Gerhart with a copy of a House resolution. Gerhart was joined by his crew chief and brother, Billy; Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli of Pocono Raceway; Don Radebaugh, ARCA media and public relations director; Andy Papathanassiou, director of driver development of Hendrick Motorsports, and several crew members. Also, Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll and Rep. John Payne (R-Derry Twp.), motorsports caucus chairman, took part in the ceremony, which could become an annual event on the House floor. He started 28 races in the NASCAR Nextel Cup (formerly Winston Cup) dating back to 1985. His best finish was a 17th at North Wilkesboro Speedway, which is no longer in operation.(Patriot News)(6-8-2005)

    • Waltrip and others to run Southwest race at Infineon: #15-Michael Waltrip announced that he will compete in the Blue Lizard Australian Suncream 200, which will take the green flag on Saturday, June 25th at 4:00pm/et at Infineon Raceway. The NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series race will span 64 laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. The two-time winner of the Daytona 500 (2001, 2003) will be joined by other NASCAR NEXTEL Cup regulars Kyle Busch (MRG Motorsports), Boris Said, Travis Kvapil (Snap-on Tools) and Hermie Sadler. Kvapil will pilot his Snap-on Tools Dodge as the company celebrates its 85th anniversary.(Infineon Raceway)(6-8-2005)

    • Mayfield and Kahne to test: #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #9-Kasey Kahne are scheduled to test at Carolina Motorsports Park, in Kershaw, S.C., next Thursday, June 16. The teams will use the test to prepare for the June 26 roadcourse race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.(Clear!Blue/Evernham PR)(6-8-2005)

    • Said Fastest During First Day of Testing at Infineon Raceway: #36-Boris Said posted the fastest time on Tuesday during the first day of a two-day NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test session at Infineon Raceway. Said, who has placed sixth the last two years at Infineon Raceway in the Dodge/Save Mart 350, turned the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in 1 minute, 16.50 seconds [93.647mph]. Jeff Gordon holds the track qualifying record of 1:15.968 [94.303mph], set in 2004. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will visit the Sonoma Valley, June 24-26, for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 weekend. Said was one of six drivers testing the course on Tuesday. #39-Scott Pruett and #42-Jamie McMurray both posted identical times of 1:16.60 [93.525], while #5-Kyle Busch clocked in at 1:17.25 [92.738]. Pruett, a road-race specialist and native of Sacramento, placed third in last year's event, while McMurray took second. #33-Brian Simo, a road-race specialist who will compete for Richard Childress Racing in Sonoma, ran a 1:17.49 [92.451]. #87-Chris Cook (NEMCO Motorsports) did not report a time.
      Testing resumes on Wednesday with a full day scheduled from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Pacific). #7-Robby Gordon is scheduled to join the group on Wednesday. Gordon, the 2003 Dodge/Save Mart 350 champion, has decided to make this a one-day test.
      Great tickets are still available for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 by calling 800-870-RACE or visiting www.infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway)(6-8-2005)

    • Eight drivers conclude testing at MIS: Eight drivers continued testing Tuesday at Michigan International Speedway, including #17-Matt Kenseth, #8-Dale Earnhardt, #91-Bill Elliott, #07-Dave Blaney, #20-Tony Stewart, #51-Stuart Kirby, Erin Crocker in the #98 Dodge ARCA car and Truck series driver Chad Chaffin in the #30 Germain Toyota with #2-Rusty Wallace making a testing appearance on Monday only. No official speeds were reported on Tuesday.
      Tickets are still available for all June 17-19 activities at MIS, with children 12 and under admitted free to Friday's ARCA RE/MAX Hantz Group 200 and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck's Paramount Health Insurance 200 on Saturday. In addition, tickets are still available for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Batman Begins 400 on Sunday, June 19. All tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.(MIS PR)(6-8-2005)


      News from June 7, 2005

    • Sad News: Larry Carrier, who helped start the race track now known as Bristol Motor Speedway, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 82. A developer, Carrier worked with Carl Moore and R.G. Pope in building the half-mile oval track, which opened in 1961. Carrier bought the track out of bankruptcy in 1985, gave ESPN exclusive rights to broadcast Bristol's night race for years, and built the seating capacity to 71,000 before selling the track to Bruton Smith in 1996 for $26 million. Bristol now seats 160,000 and hosts two NASCAR Nextel Cup races each year. Carrier and Moore also built the Bristol International Dragway and started their own sanctioning body, the International Hot Rod Association, in 1965. The dragway was part of the sale in 1996. Jeff Byrd, president and general manager of Bristol, called Carrier a leader in the racing industry whose contributions were monumental. "He had the foresight to know that NASCAR was going to be something big and he went out and built one of the greatest facilities of that time in 1961," Byrd said. "He will certainly be missed by all that were fortunate enough to know him or work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Shirley and the entire Carrier family." Carrier is a member of both the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the Drag Racing Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, and four children. Carrier's funeral was scheduled for Thursday at 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Blountville, with burial on Friday.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-7-2005)

    • Hermie in the #92: Hermie Sadler, who yesterday, left the #66 Peak Fitness Racing team, is listed on nascar.com's Pocono 500 entry list as the driver of the #92 Front Row Motorsports Chevy. Stanton Barrett usually drives the #92, but will be in Nashville for the Busch race and is Tony Raines, who also has seen time in that car.(6-7-2005)

    • Mike Ford new crew chief at the #11? UPDATE: hearing former #88 RYR and #9 Evernham Motorsports crew chief, Mike Ford, will be hired to take over the crew chief duties of the #11 Fed-Ex Chevy that Jason Leffler drives. Dave Rogers is the current crew chief, not sure if he would stay with Joe Gibbs Racing.(6-6-2005 - 12:00pm/et)
      UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing has hired veteran crew chief Mike Ford to oversee the #11 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team of driver Jason Leffler effective immediately. Dave Rogers, the #11 team's former crew chief and a member of Joe Gibbs Racing since 1998, will remain with the organization. "Despite extremely hard work by everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, the performance of the #11 team wasn't where it needed to be," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "The #11 team is still a new operation, and we believe that adding the experienced leadership of Mike Ford to an already exceptional crew will be invaluable as we shape the #11 into a winning race team. Dave Rogers has been and will continue to be a tremendous asset to Joe Gibbs Racing. He was an integral part of our championship seasons with Bobby Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002, and he put together an absolutely first class crew from scratch in his debut as a crew chief. Expanding our organization to three teams has been a massive undertaking, but one that will pay huge dividends in the near future. We believe that adding Mike's experience to a management structure that includes Jimmy Makar (senior vice president of racing), Greg Zipadelli (crew chief of the #20 team) and Steve Addington (crew chief of the #18 team) will help us to turn the #11 team around." A member of the motorsports community since the late 1980s, Ford's first crew chief position came with Bill Elliott in 2000. In four years together the duo logged four wins, including the prestigious Brickyard 400 in 2002. Ford moved to Robert Yates Racing in 2004, where he served as Dale Jarrett's crew chief through the first 11 races of this season.(JGR PR)(6-7-2005)

    • Jones in the #34 at Pocono and MIS: Denver, NC based MACH 1 announced today that PJ Jones will pilot the #34 Chevrolet Monte Carlo beginning this weekend at Pocono. Jeff Fuller, the teams primary driver is also committed to the #7 Busch car, a relationship that was established prior to MACH 1 team owner Chris Edwards tapping Fuller to drive his Cup car earlier this season. The non-companion races were identified as logistical challenges by MACH 1 with Fuller as their driver. The team searched for a driver that could step in and assist on the non-companion weekends. PJ Jones was selected and has agreed to drive for the team this weekend at Pocono and again next weekend in Michigan when the Busch cars will be in Kentucky. PJ competed at both Pocono and Michigan last year finishing 22nd at Pocono and 25th at Michigan.(MACH 1 PR)(6-7-2005)

    • Rusty talks a bit about the future: #2-Rusty Wallace is planning on making this year his last as a full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver, however, this might not be the last time we see him in a racecar at Michigan. "I'm retiring full-time from NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing," he commented. "But, I'm not going to say that I'll never get in a car again. I might run a few races in my Busch car. I have a lot of things I want to do. I want to help my son Steve. He's going to run in the second ARCA race here at Michigan in August, so I'm excited about that."(MIS PR)(6-7-2005)

    • Special Army theme for Nemechek at Pocono: #01-Joe Nemechek will commemorate the U.S. ARMY's 230th birthday with a camouflage paint scheme at Pocono in June.(RacingOne), see an image of the car on my #01 Team Schemes page.(6-7-2005)

    • Testing at Michigan: Several drivers participated in testing Monday to prepare for the upcoming Father's Day June 19 Batman Begins 400. Nine drivers took laps on the 2-mile MIS oval Monday, including #2-Rusty Wallace, #17-Matt Kenseth, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #91-Bill Elliott, #07-Dave Blaney, #20-Tony Stewart, Stuart Kirby in the #51 Competitive Edge car and NASCAR Craftsman Truck series driver Chad Chaffin in the #30 Germain Toyota. Erin Crocker also visited MIS to prepare for the Hantz Group 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series event in her #98 Evernham Motorsports Dodge. All nine drivers will be competing in race activities at MIS on June 17-19. No speeds were reported on Monday with most of the teams continuing to test Tuesday during the two-day MIS test session.
      Testing continues on Tuesday, June 7 with several drivers returning from Monday's session. Fans can view testing by visiting the viewing area near the MIS administration building off the main U.S. 12 entrance to the track. The viewing area will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and tickets for all of the June 17-19 events will be available for purchase in the MIS ticket office inside the administration building.
      Tickets are still available for all June 17-19 activities at MIS, with children 12 and under admitted free to Friday's ARCA RE/MAX Hantz Group 200 and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck's Paramount Health Insurance 200 on Saturday. In addition, tickets are still available for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Batman Begins 400 on Sunday, June 19. All tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.(MIS PR)(6-7-2005)

    • Hermie out? UPDATE 4 Sadler leaves team, Garvey in?: hearing that driver Hermie Sadler and the #66 Peak Fitness Racing team have parted ways effective immediately. No word on who will drive the car at Dover next week. Salder and the #66 team failed to make the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and four other races in 2005 and are out of the top-35 in owners points.
      UPDATE: been told by the team that this is untrue and that Hermie Sadler will be driving the #66 Peak Fitness Ford next weekend at Dover and for the balance of the 2005 season. The Peak Fitness Team is dedicated to improving their equipment and performance and feel good about the progress we have made since establishing the team on January 7, 2005.(Peak Fitness Team)(5-27-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Hermie Sadler denied an Internet report last night that he was exiting the #66 Ford. Car owner Jeff Stec called the Emporia native last night when he learned of the rumor. "There's no truth to that at all," said Sadler, who didn't make tomorrow's Coca-Cola 600 and is ranked 40th in points. "We'll be going to Dover next week."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-28-2005)
      UPDATE 3: 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)
      UPDATE 4: Hermie Sadler has officially resigned as driver of the #66 Peak Performance Motorsports Ford effective immediately. Sadler has attempted to qualify for all 14 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series events this season, successfully making eight races. The #66 currently stands 40th in the owners' points. Sadler, a veteran racer of 13 years in NASCAR's top three series, agrees that the split is amicable and is the right decision for all involved parties. "I appreciate the opportunity given to me at Peak Performance Motorsports, but I feel at this time it is best that I step aside and allow the team to search for the combination that will help it improve," stated Sadler. Team owner Jeff Stec will make announcement of the team's intentions for the race at Pocono later this week. "We know that Hermie gave us his best effort each week and we appreciate what he has done for the team," Stec said. "Peak Performance Motorsports has been proud to associate itself with Hermie and we wish him all the best."(PSE-3 PR)
      AND hearing that Mike Garvey, who has made three races in the #75 car, will run in the #66 for a few races.(6-6-2005)
      AND II from the Mikegarveyfans.com site: Mike [Garvey] went to the #66 shop to sign the deal for the remainder of the year and get fitted for his seat and uniform after former driver Hermie Sadler resigns. The official announcement coming soon.(6-7-2005)

    • Tragic News: A race car driver died of an apparent heart attack during a preliminary heat at a small-town track, the track's owner said. The car driven by Lyle Sherwood, 43, of Ulysses, Pa., veered off Woodhull Raceway on the backstretch Saturday night and came to rest on the infield. He was rushed to a hospital in nearby Corning, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Track owner Scott Drake said no other cars were caught up in the crash during an annual Firefighter Appreciation Night attended by more than 400 firefighters.(USA Today/AP)(6-7-2005)


      News from June 6, 2005

    • Richert Wins Fourth Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: Not even Miles the Monster could stop the tag team of Greg Biffle and Doug Richert this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Biffle blistered the intimidating high-banked, concrete oval in his Richert prepared Ford. The #16 Taurus took over the top spot on lap 241 and never looked back. Biffle led 150 of 400 laps before taking the checkered flag. His winning performance earned Richert his fourth Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award in 2005. Most competitors didn't consider Biffle a threat during the first half of the race, but Richert made several changes over the course of the event to dial in the #16 National Guard Ford. "We made a bunch of changes to loosen up the car," said Richert. "We did a bunch of wedge, probably six or seven rounds; air pressure; track bar; rubbers in; rubbers out. It was a lot. We changed enough to where it would be good at the end and that's all that mattered." On lap 375, Richert had his driver relinquish the lead to make his final green flag pit stop. Despite only 25 laps remaining in the race, and several cars opting for two-tires or fuel only, Richert took the extra time to change all four Goodyears before sending Biffle back on the track. The panel of voters; including Doug Lesmerises of the Wilmington News-Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all gave their vote to Doug Richert. With his fourth Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award, Richert stays in first place of the Crew Chief of the Year standings. Robbie Loomis is in second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Alan Gustafson and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third place. 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)(6-6-2005)

    • Lewis not happy with Buschwackers: Busch Series regular #25-Ashton Lewis Jr. had some harsh words for the Cup drivers who race semi-regularly in the support series. “Every incident that I’ve had this year, except for one of them, has been with a Cup guy,” said Lewis. “They always say that they’re coming down here to have fun and learn, but it’s not fun and learning for us. It’s us trying to make careers and run for a championship, and I think they take some chances they wouldn’t take in the Cup car and that’s unfortunate.” (Gaston Gazette)(6-6-2005)

    • Ganassi Shake-up imminent? Marlin, Mears out? Is a shakeup in the works in the Ganassi Racing camp? Sterling Marlin still hasn't been officially told what the plans are for the #40 Dodge in 2006, but he says he's not ready to retire. "I'd like to race another two or three years and then go fishing," says Marlin, who'll turn 48 on June 30. Marlin has spoken with several teams and hopes to have a plan solidified in the next two weeks. Busch driver David Stremme is considered the heir apparent in the #40. He could replace Marlin for the last seven races of the season, gaining experience while not jeopardizing his rookie status for next season. Changes are expected involving the #41 team and driver Casey Mears. Sources say owner Chip Ganassi plans to clean the entire house, making way for Busch Series rookie sensation Reed Sorenson and crew chief Brian Pattie. Mears' crew chief, Jimmy Elledge, has been mentioned as a potential crew chief for Stremme.(Sporting News)(6-6-2005)

    • Truex Jr. close to re-signing with DEI UPDATE: on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, DEI's Richie Gillmore said they are close to signing Martin Truex. Jr. to a 3-year deal [with a 3 year option] and the contracts are in the laywers hands and hope to have something to announce in a few weeks.(6-5-2005)
      UPDATE: If Martin Truex Jr. signs a new contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a Nextel Cup driver, as DEI officials would like, Bass Pro Shops, a part-time Nextel Cup sponsor for Richard Childress, will become Truex's primary sponsor next season. DEI has offered Truex Jr. a three-year contract. Childress officials says they expect Bass Pro (privately held, with about $1.6 billion in annual sales) to remain a part-time sponsor for Childress' operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-6-2005)

    • Biffle honors fallen soldier in car; to give trophy to injured: #16-Greg Biffle's racecar is sponsored by the National Guard, and Biffle had a picture of a young man named Ryan Doltz, a National Guard soldier, who was killed in Iraq exactly one year ago Sunday. It was taped to the roll bar of his racecar. Biffle also said "I'm so excited to win here in Dover (with) all the soldiers I met this weekend. I'm going to give the trophy to a soldier that's here this weekend. (He) lost his leg in Iraq, and he's up here from Walter Reed Hospital. He's around here somewhere. I can't wait to celebrate with him."(FoxSports)(6-6-2005)

    • NASCAR declines TV option with Fox after 2006 UPDATE: NASCAR declined an option to extend its TV contract with Fox Sports past the 2006 racing season, said Dick Glover, NASCAR's vice president of broadcasting and new media. Fox, NBC and Turner Sports are in the fifth year of a six-year, $2.4 billion contract to televise NASCAR races. NASCAR had to decide by May 31 whether to pick up its option with Fox through 2008. Glover said the move was made to end all of its television contracts simultaneously. "All it means is we've synced up the agreements with our broadcast partners," Glover said. "We've said all along we'd like to renew with all of them. That hasn't changed." Glover didn't disclose the size of the option. "Our contract runs through 2006, and we are continuing discussions with NASCAR about a new deal," Fox spokesman Dan Bell said. Former ABC Sports Executive Steve Solomon said ABC and ESPN are possible bidders for NASCAR's rights when the current agreements expire after the 2006 season.(Tennessean)(6-4-2005)
      UPDATE: Only half the NASCAR TV renegotiations story with Fox came out last week. NASCAR officials said they had decided not to renew the final two-year option with Fox for 2007 and 2008. But the real story, according to sources, is that Fox has proposed canceling that two-year option in order to sign a new six-year contract with NASCAR, for 2007 through 2112, for a slight bump in money. And Fox executives are reportedly pleased with David Hill's work last week at Charlotte in his negotiations with NASCAR. Hill is Fox's sports boss; his duties have also expanded to include running DirecTV, the satellite network. It is unclear what role DirecTV might play, if any, in any new Fox-NASCAR contract. NASCAR officials are very interested in expanding their sport's international television coverage.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-6-2005)

    • More of new 2006 models: Both Chevrolet and Ford have been busy working on their new models for Cup and Busch competition starting next season. Chevrolet will debut the newly-redesigned Monte Carlo at Daytona in February 2006, while Ford will switch from the Taurus (which is no longer being built) to the Ford 500 [other reports have the car being the Fusion] next year.(Yahoo Sports)(6-6-2005)

    • No Shifting at Pocono: Changes in NASCAR's gear rules mean competitors will not be able to shift through the turns this Sunday at Poco#"I disagree with the gear rule," Jeff Gordon says. "At Pocono, we'll be way down on RPM, and we won't be able to shift. It's like putting a restrictor plate on the cars at New Hampshire. We won't be able to pass, and that's not a good thing." Many competitors feel the lack of horsepower will produce single-file racing.(Sporting News)(6-6-2005)

    • What's Up with Waltrip and the #15? #15-Michael Waltrip's future with DEI is still up in the air. DEI's Richie Gilmore said he would like to keep Waltrip and sponsor NAPA, but the ultimate decision is up to team owner Teresa Earnhardt, who could make a move in the next few weeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-6-2005)

    • Trouble with Toyota? Honda looking? New Engine plans delayed? UPDATE: There are questions being raised about Toyota's commitment to a Busch series effort next season, and indications of a possible rift between NASCAR and the Japanese car maker about engine issues related to NASCAR's proposed engine of the future. NASCAR's meetings with the sport's four car makers about specifications for the engine of the future, tentatively designed to roll out in 2007, have been takin place since December. The Toyota engine, according to its rivals, has a technical edge in several respects, and the engine of the future project was in part designed to put all four car makers back on equal technical footing. The NASCAR-Toyota debate comes as word breaks that NASCAR and Honda are reported to be in talks for an engine program of some sort, still undefined, but apparently tied in with NASCAR's technical institute in Mooresville.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2005)
      UPDATE: NASCAR's controversial engine of the future suddenly appears all but dead, according to engine builders and car owners, after the latest round of meetings between NASCAR executives and a few Nextel Cup team owners. However, that would lock in the current Toyota and Dodge engine designs as still technically superior to the present Ford and Chevrolet engines. And it would leave Honda - widely expected to make a run into NASCAR racing - with a clean sheet of paper to design its own new NASCAR V-8, which rivals worry would be even better than any engine in the sport right now. NASCAR's engine of the future was to have debuted at California in February 2007. Now it has been pushed back to 2009 or 2010. Add to that, word that NASCAR is apparently working with Honda on an engine development operation for the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville [NC], and it's easy to see why the NASCAR garage here has been in such turmoil the past 48 hours. On the engine front, Ford's Jack Roush says that Toyota has the best engine design in the sport at the moment and Dodge has the second-best. GM officials agree, which is one reason that GM has been promoting NASCAR's proposed new engine. Ford's Roush, however, says that such a new engine would be very expensive, though he has reluctantly hired engine designers for the project.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-6-2005)



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