Hall of Fames Museums
JUNE 13-19, 2005
News from June 19, 2005
- Biffle wins at Michigan: #16-Biffle stayed out during the last caution and leader at the time [lap 168] #20-Tony Stewart stopped for 4 tires, and Biffle was never challenged after that and won the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway for his 5th win of 2005 and 8th career win. Biffle led 63 laps, #20-Stewart led the most with 97 and finished 2nd. Rounding out the top-5 were #6-Mark Martin, #17-Matt Kenseth and #99-Carl Edwards. Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 19th and his points lead has dwindled to 49. #24-Jeff Gordon fought an ill-handling car and finished 32nd and is now out of the chase as is #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. who finished 17th. Only 4 caution flags for 23 laps and 19 lead changes by 11 drivers.
For race results, see Jayski's Michigan Race Results/Awards page.(6-19-2005)
- #4 Crew Chief Carrier misses Michigan race: Crew Chief Chris Carrier for the # 4 Morgan-McClure Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo is at home in Bristol, TN this weekend due to emergency surgery on Thursday night. He has been in touch with the team via cell phone and will return for the Infinion Race. Steve Gray is serving as Crew Chief for the Lucas Oil team in today's Batman Returns 400 at Michigan International Speedway.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(6-19-2005)
- Michigan News and Notes:
• Greg Biffle won the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway, scoring his eighth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 93rd career start.
• This is the eighth victory for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has six and Dodge has one.
• Biffle remained second in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, but moved to 49 behind first-place Jimmie Johnson. Biffle gained 74 points on Johnson in this week’s race.
• Biffle scored his second victory at Michigan International Speedway. Biffle also won here last August.
• This is Biffle’s fifth victory in 2005. He also posted victories at California, Texas, Darlington and Dover. Biffle has scored 10 top-10 finishes in 15 races this season.
• Biffle led five times for 63 laps, including the final 31.
• Biffle scored the eighth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Michigan International Speedway. This was Roush’s 82nd victory as a car owner and eighth in 15 races this season.
• Four Jack Roush Racing drivers finished in the top 10: Greg Biffle (first), Mark Martin (third), Matt Kenseth (fourth) and Carl Edwards (fifth). The last time all five Roush cars finished in the top 10 was at Michigan last August.
• Tony Stewart (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in his 13 races at Michigan International Speedway. It marked his seventh top-10 finish in 2005. He climbed from 10th to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Stewart led 97 of the 200 laps, the most of any driver. This marked the third time in 2005 that Stewart has led the most laps in a race and did not win. He also led the most laps at Daytona and Martinsville.
• Mark Martin (third) posted his 26th top-10 finish in his 39th race at Michigan International Speedway. He scored his eighth top-10 finish in 15 races in 2005. Martin tied his best finish in 2005 for the third time.
• Martin led 10 of the 200 laps in today’s race. Martin moved into third in all-time laps led at Michigan International Speedway with 872 behind Cale Yarborough (1,308) and Bill Elliott (1,004).
• Matt Kenseth (fourth) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 12 races at Michigan International Speedway. Kenseth scored his third top-10 finish in 2005. Kenseth’s last top five (second) came at New Hampshire last September.
• Carl Edwards (fifth) scored his second top-10 finish in two races at Michigan International Speedway. Edwards has scored seven top-10 finishes in 2005. He remained fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Joe Nemechek (sixth) scored his third top-10 finish in 23 races at Michigan International Speedway. Nemechek finished third one race ago at Pocono. The last time he scored back-to-back top-10 finishes was at Talladega, Kansas and Charlotte last October.
• Rusty Wallace (10th) extended a 28-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August.
• Only four of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Michigan.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17th) dropped from 16th to 17th in the point standings. Earnhardt Jr. started 41st at Michigan, the worst starting position of his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.
• Jimmie Johnson (19th) has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 48
consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.
• Jeff Gordon (32nd) posted his posted his sixth finish of 30th or worse in 2005. He dropped from ninth to 12th in the
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and is now 406 points behind point leader Johnson.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-190-2005)
- Rumblings - Michigan:
• It was Roush Racing again today at Michigan International Speedway. This time it was Greg Biffle who took the Batman Begins 400 by not pitting, leading the final 31 circuits and outlasting Tony Stewart (who took four fresh tires on that last stop), capturing his 5th win of 2005 in the process. This was the 8th career Cup victory for Biffle (he's tied for 55th on the all-time win list with Kyle Petty), the 8th in '05 for Roush, and the 82nd win all-time for RR. The victory was worth $171,075 from the over $4.7M in posted awards. BTW, all five Roush Fords were in the Top-12 this week.
• Matt Kenseth (4th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Loudon last September. His Top-5 gives us 26 drivers at that level this season, last year we had 31 for the year.
• Scott Wimmer (16th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Fontana in February.
STREAKIN....Greg Biffle has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races. Kyle Busch has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
• This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Greg Biffle (+24) and Dale Earnhardt Jr (+24), followed by Michael Waltrip (+23), and Jeff Burton (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Brian Vickers (-34), followed by Robby Gordon (-31), Bill Elliott (-25), and Jeff Gordon (-23).
• Jamie McMurray led a lap today for the first time since he led twice for 15 circuits at Darlington Raceway last November. He's the 42nd driver to lead a lap this year....last year we had 50 of 'em.
• Greg Biffle shaved 74 points off Jimmie Johnson's lead this week....it's now down to 49 markers. Jeff Gordon also slipped below our "Stayin' Alive" line as just 11 drivers are currently in the "Chase". Tony Stewart (10th to 6th) advanced the most spots today, while Jeff
Green (26th to 30th) fell the most.(Stock Car Fans)(6-19-2005)
News from June 18, 2005
- Testing at Chicago Tuesday: On Tuesday, June 21, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers #9-Kasey Kahne, #18-Bobby Labonte and #45-Kyle Petty will be testing at Chicagoland Speedway in preparation for the July 10th USG Sheetrock 400, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event. Several Busch series teams will also test. The test is closed tp the public.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(6-18-2005)
- Sad News: Harold Sprinkle, who worked for many years with Travis Carter, passed away Tuesday at the age of 62. The service will be Monday night at 7:00pm/et at Voglers Funeral Home on Reynolds Road in Winston-Salem. He is survived by his wife
Linda. Memorial donations can be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(6-18-2005)
- Local Chicago Area Businesses Given Chance to be Official Small Business of the Race: Thanks to Office Depot, small businesses in the Chicago area are getting the chance to promote their company in a unique and exciting way. Office Depot is offering Chicago area small businesses the opportunity to be named the ...Office Depot Official Small Business of the Race... for the USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. As the ...Office Depot Official Small Business of the Race,... the winning small business will have its company name featured on the #99 Office Depot Ford, driven by Carl Edwards in the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10 The winner will also receive a $1,000 Office Depot Shopping Spree, a VIP NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend experience at the race and a small business makeover featuring apparel and an office facility upgrade courtesy of Cintas. Office Depot...s ...Official Small Business of the Race... promotion ends on June 30. Customers can enter now by filling out a form at computer workstations at any of the participating Office Depot stores, or online at www.officedepotracing.com.(6-18-2005)
- Robby tests at Sonoma: #7-Robby Gordon tested at Infineon Raceway this past week and said he ran faster then the track record.(MRN Radio MIS Qualifying coverage)(6-18-2005)
- Roush 2006 lineup complete.....almost: Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said Friday that the Roush lineup for 2006 is all but complete, with sponsors and drivers for four of its five Nextel Cup cars showing no major changes. DeWalt will return to Matt Kenseth's #17, National Guard/Subway/etc. to Greg Biffle's #16, Rubbermaid/Smirnoff and others with Kurt Busch's #97, and all races accounted for with Carl Edwards's #99. The million-dollar question, of course, has been who will take over for retiring veteran Mark Martin in the flagship #6. Sponsor Pfizer will leave after this season, as has been known for weeks, but Smith said the sponsor issue is more a matter of placing the right company with the right driver. Smith continues to hint that Jon Wood, still under contract with Roush while driving on loan in the Busch Series, could be the front-runner for the job. "We have at least one sponsor who is very interested in Jon," Smith said. Smith also dismissed reports that Valvoline, one-time primary sponsor of Martin and the #6, could return as sponsor of Martin's Roush-backed Craftsman Truck effort next season. Smith said Roush Racing has a company-wide supplier agreement with Quaker State [Pennzoil], and that such a nostalgic coupling would not be possible.(Ford Racing)(6-18-2005)
- Riggs hopes to be back in the #10 in 2006...if: Scott Riggs said Friday that he hopes to continue driving the #10 Chevrolet at MB2/MBV Motorsports in 2006, but the decision hinges largely on the team's sponsorship situation. Riggs' current sponsor, Valvoline, announced recently its plans to leave MB2/MBV following the 2005 season. "We've got a couple different fish on the line, but we're trying to figure out who's going to step up and be the primary," Riggs said. "Luckily, we're in a good position because it seems like we've had a lot of calls from people interested in doing it. I just want to make sure everything's secure there. [MB2 Motorsports CEO and general manager] Jay Frye assures me it is. I feel like it is." That's not to say Riggs, 34, isn't open to change. "I'm listening to other people talk to me," Riggs said. "I think there's definitely opportunities out there, but I haven't sat down with anybody to talk about the future except the 10 car."(NASCAR.com)(6-18-2005)
- Evernham hopes to run full 3rd team in 2006: Evernham Motorsports [#9, #19, #91] is close to getting the money needed for a third full-time entry in NASCAR's top series. The third full-time Nextel Cup entry would take over the #91 team that is now a part-time ride for Bill Elliott, team owner Ray Evernham said Friday. Elliott would not be the driver, but the NASCAR veteran, who cut back to a limited schedule in 2004, can remain affiliated with the program, the owner said. "I would love to run a third team," Evernham said. "We have the infrastructure in place. We've built the new building [in Statesville, N.C]. We have the people ready. We have the plan ready. But I'm not going to pull the trigger until I know the money's in place." Evernham said he hopes to have the finances for the third team in place by the end of July or August at the latest. Evernham's two main drivers are #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Jeremy Mayfield. He also has ARCA driver Erin Crocker on a developmental team, and he's working on getting her a solid Busch Series program for next year. As for Elliott, who is racing at Michigan International Speedway this week, the former Cup champion has the choice of doing what he wants.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-18-2005)
- Daytona Testing: Testing on Monday, June 20 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. Joe Ruttman will test the #09 Phoenix Racing CHEVY [not Dodge?] along with the Busch Series teams of #81-Kerry Earnhardt [testing for Dale Jr.], #30-Scott Riggs, #2-Clint Bowyer and #76-Chad Blount testing a 2nd Braun Racing Chevrolet. The test sessions are free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.(DIS PR)(6-18-2005)
- Newman smashes old track record to win pole: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway with a new track qualifying record of 194.232mph [the old record was from June 2001 by Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 191.149]. Twenty-six drivers broke the track record. The pole is Newman's 5th of 2005 and 32nd of his 131 races. Rounding out the top-5 are: #41-Casey Mears, #20-Tony Stewart, #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Jeremy Mayfield. #7-Robby Gordon was the fastest of the non top-35 drivers, qualifying 8th. #91-Bill Elliott will start 10th. The highest starting Ford is #97-Kurt Busch at 13th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., ill with the flu, didn't fare too well, running the 42nd fastest lap and will start 41st via owners points. #51-Stuart Kirby makes his first 2005 start. Missing the race: #92-McClure, #79-Cope, #34-Jones and #89-Shepherd.
TV: for some reason [again] qualifying was not on live TV, but can be seen via tape at 5:30pm/et on FX, leading up to the Busch race at Kentucky.
See my Jayski's Starting Grid/Qualifying/Practice Results Page for pole progression, qualifying results, starting lineup and links.(6-18-2005)
- Michigan Qualifying Notes:
• Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Batman Begins 400, lapping Michigan International Speedway in 37.069 seconds at 194.232 mph. He broke Dale Earnhardt Jr’s, track-qualifying record of 37.667 seconds, 191.149 mph, set Aug. 18, 2000.
• This is Newman’s 32nd career Bud Pole in 131 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races and came in his eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Michigan. It is his first Bud Pole at Michigan.
• Newman leads all drivers with five Bud Poles this season. He moved into a tie with Fonty Flock for 21st on the all-time Bud Pole list. Newman now holds the track record for Bristol, Charlotte, Martinsville, Michigan, New Hampshire and Phoenix.
• Michigan is now the second-fastest non-restrictor plate track in NASCAR, based on qualifying records. Atlanta is the fastest non-restrictor-plate track with a lap of 197.478 mph.
• The top-26 qualifiers bettered Earnhardt Jr’s 2000 time.
• Casey Mears posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 37.160 seconds, 193.757 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the Batman Begins 400. This is his first qualifying effort better than 15th this season. Mears has started from a top-10 starting position in two of his five races at Michigan.
• This is the seventh Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005. Chevrolet has five Bud Poles and Ford has two.
• Tony Stewart (third) posted his fifth top-10 start in 13 races at Michigan. It is his ninth top-10 start this season, including four of the past five races.
• Kasey Kahne (fourth) scored his first top-10 start in three races at Michigan and his eighth of 2005.
• Jeremy Mayfield (fifth) posted his 10th top-10 start in his 23rd Michigan race. Mayfield now has eight top-10 starts in 2005.
• Robby Gordon (eighth) posted his fourth top-10 start in 11 races at Michigan and his first top-10 start in 2005. This is his best start and his only top-10 since he started fifth here last June.
• Stuart Kirby (43rd) qualified for his fourth career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race and his first since Kansas in September 2002.
• Four drivers failed to qualify for the Batman Begins 400: Eric McClure, Derrike Cope, P.J. Jones and Morgan Shepherd.
• There were six sets of ties in the qualifying results: Jeff Gordon and Bill Elliott; Rusty Wallace and Kurt Busch; Jeff Green and Mike Bliss; Matt Kenseth and Scott Wimmer; Greg Biffle and Jason Leffler; Dave Blaney and Travis Kvapil.
• There have been six different Bud Pole winners in the past nine NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Michigan. Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte (two each) are the repeat Bud Pole winners in the eight-race period. Qualifying was canceled in August 2004.
• Forty-two of 71 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Michigan have been won from the first four starting positions (59 percent).
• Only 12 races at Michigan have been won from outside a top-10 starting position - all have occurred in the past 27 races there.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-18-2005)
- Ramblings - Michigan:
We usually call him Mr. Friday, this week he's Mr. Saturday, but I'm sure he'd like to be known as Mr. Sunday! Ryan Newman captured the Bud Pole yet again today at Michigan International Speedway for Sunday's Batman Begins 400 with a time of 37.069 (194.232 mph).
This is pole #5 for '05 and the 32nd of Newman's Nextel Cup career.
Casey Mears (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at The Brickyard last August.
Jeremy Mayfield (5th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Texas in April.
Bobby Labonte (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Phoenix in April.
Robby Gordon (8th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th when we were here last June.
Bill Elliott (10th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Fontana last September.
Joe Nemechek (11th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 9th at Texas in April.
Welcome Back: Stuart Kirby makes his first Cup start since Kansas in September of 2002! He started 42nd and finished 37th that day.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 21 Top-10 starts in the last 22 races.
Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
MIS is the type of track where you can hug the line or run high, wide, and handsome....and fuel mileage usually comes into play. Maybe Larry Mac will be able to use that calculator this week for the first time in awhile.(Stock Car Fans)(6-18-2005)
- Dale Jr. has the flu: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 16th in points and winless this season, has declined numerous interview requests this week. Earnhardt has had the flu, and team officials say he would rather let his performance on the track do the talking. He ran a fast lap Friday of 186.047, 35th-best in the first practice at Michigan International Speedway for the Batman Begins 400, then went 185.610, 42nd-best in the final practice in his #8 Budweiser Chevy.(Detroit Free Press)(6-18-2005)
News from June 17, 2005
- DEI Teams Now Sharing: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not pleased with the state of his team, which fell to 16th in the standings after last week’s 33rd-place finish at Pocono. However, he is happy with the communication between his #8 Budweiser team and the #15 NAPA team of Michael Waltrip since Steve Hmiel was named his crew chief last month. “It’s better than I ever remember it being,” he said. “We want both DEI teams to make the (championship) chase.” Waltrip’s team moved up two spots to #15 with a fifth-place finish at Pocono. “We’re struggling, but I know how hard we’re working,” Earnhardt said. “And seeing the 15 team have success gives me confidence that we’ll be able to pull out of this.”(The State)(6-17-2005)
- Not a good week for Goodyear: in light of the numerous tire problems with Goodyear at Pocono, this couldn't had been good news, at least no one was hurt: A Goodyear blimp crash-landed Thursday night in an industrial park, authorities said. The two people on board were not injured. The "Stars & Stripes" blimp went down shortly after taking off from Pompano Beach Air Park [FL], where it is based. Both people onboard were trapped briefly while electrical crews cleared the site, authorities said. The blimp lost most of its helium and was draped across some orange self-storage units in the industrial park. It's nose remained pointed into the air. Bad weather may have forced the blimp down. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time, authorities said. The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating. "It went right over our building and was making really loud noises," said Maryann Clark, general manager of a nearby restaurant. The blimp is one of three Goodyear blimps based in the United States. Goodyear leases about 32 acres at the air park as a blimp base, according to the park's Web site.(and see pic at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-17-2005)
- #51 CEM Team partners with Marathon Oil: Marathon Ashland Petroleum has begun a multi-year marketing partnership with Competitive Edge Motorsports (CEM), which starts this weekend at the Batman Begins 400. Stuart Kirby will be driving the Marathon #51 Chevy. Joe Auer, owner of CEM, said, "A number of people have been working on this deal for quite some time, and it's finally finished. This partnership with a major company like Marathon will bring our race team to a new level. We are very grateful that Marathon has agreed to become our primary sponsor. They are truly a great organization to work with." "We want to build this relationship with Marathon and build our race team one step at a time" Auer said. The partnership consists of a 12-race package throughout the rest of the 2005 season. Starting in 2006, CEM plans on being a regular in the Nextel Cup Series. CEM has been involved in one of NASCAR's top-tier divisions for the last three years. CEM is also unveiling their new driver, Stuart Kirby, a talented young driver out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. "Stuart is the type of guy we can build a long term marketing plan around," CEM team owner, Joe Auer, commented. Fox sportscasters, Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy have both called Kirby one of the most phenomenal young drivers they have seen in years. More information about CEM at www.cemotosports.net.(6-17-2005)
- MIS Medical Teams Ready for races: For two weekends each summer, the third-largest city in the state of Michigan sits amongst rolling pastures and tracts of hardwoods in the Irish Hills. Michigan International Speedway is the downtown area of that vast, temporary metropolis of parking lots, campgrounds and grandstands. Dr. John Maino, the medical director at MIS since 1985, is charged with developing and instituting a plan to meet the first aid and emergency care needs of that population, both on and off the track.
"The speedway is really a transient city in a tight, confined area, and we try and anticipate what can happen in a city of close to 200,000 people, and be ready in case it happens here. We cover the whole spectrum of the event," Dr. Maino said. "We call it show biz medicine, because what goes on here is on television and highly visible." Dr. Maino, who is employed as the medical director of the emergency department at Foote Hospital in Jackson, also serves as the medical examiner for Jackson County. For the races at MIS, he assembles a team of physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel who work in emergency medicine, or in the critical care wards of area hospitals.
Dr. Maino said his staff will deal with everything from injuries due to falls, bee stings, and dehydration outside the track, and a different class of injuries associated with the actual racing. There are ambulances stationed near each of the four turns, two additional ambulances at the infield medical center where there is also a medivac helicopter, and two mini ambulance units in the pit area.
Dr. Maino is credited with saving the life of NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan back in 1994 when a violent crash in a practice session left Irvan near death as he was pulled from the car. Dr. Maino performed an emergency tracheotomy on Irvan on the track before he was transported via helicopter to the hospital. "I consider myself very fortunate that someone of Dr. Maino's skill and expertise was here at MIS when that happened," Irvan said on a recent visit to the track. "He made all the right decisions in an emergency situation, and that saved my life. I'm eternally grateful for that."(Toledo Blade)(6-17-2005)
- Different look for Burton at MIS: This Week's Race Car at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Burton will have Beneficial being the primary sponsor on Jeff Burton's #No. 31 Chevrolet for Batman Begins 400 at MIS. The consumer lending company joined Richard Childress Racing's family of sponsors this season as an associate sponsor of the #29 GM Goodwrench and #31 Cingular Wireless teams driven in the NASCAR Cup Series by Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton, respectively, and is the official consumer lending company of RCR.(RCR), see an image of the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(6-17-2005)
- $384,000 in 2004 Fines Redistributed: NASCAR collected fines of $384,495 from 73 Nextel Cup penalties in 2004 and
redistributed the money to the top 25 drivers, The Wall Street Journal reports today. As a result, champion Kurt Busch, whose team was fined $21,000 for various infractions during the season, collected $84,588. The newspaper says the NBA, the NFL and MLB turn over the fine money they collect to philanthropic organizations.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-17-2005)
- Final Pocono TV Ratings up 7.7%: Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 5.6 and a 14 share, Street & Smith's Sports Business Daily reports. The rating is 7.7% higher than the 5.2 Fox
drew for the June 2004 race at the track.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-17-2005)
- Speed News expanded this Sat: With a huge weekend of racing on tap, SPEED Channel will air a special one-hour version of its popular SPEED News program this Saturday at 6:30pm/et. The program will include:
* A feature on World Track Cycling champion Marty Nothstein, an Olympic gold medalist at the 2000 games and silver medalist at the 1996 games, who is exploring a career in Funny Car drag racing. SPEED News cameras followed Nothstein for a day while he earned his alcohol funny car license at the Frank Hawley NHRA Drag Racing School in Gainesville, Fla.
* Reports from the 24 Hours of Le Mans from SPEED Channel's Greg Creamer and Dorsey Schroeder. (SPEED Channel will bring viewers 17.5 hours of LIVE coverage from the famed event beginning Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET.)
* Reports from the U.S. Grand Prix from Indy with Peter Windsor and Derek Daly. (SPEED Channel covers the event LIVE on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.)
* NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series highlights from Michigan with Ray Dunlap. (SPEED Channel covers the event LIVE on Saturday 3 p.m. ET)
* NASCAR Nextel Cup Series quailifying report from Michigan with Bob Dillner.
* Champ Car World Series qualifying report from Portland with Robin Miller.
* NHRA qualifying highlights from Englishtown, NJ.
* USAC Sprints & Midgets from Lima, Ohio.
* ARCA Re/Max highlights from Michigan.
News from June 16, 2005
- SpeedTV Driver of the Year 2nd Qtr Vote: Danica Patrick is the first woman nominated for SpeedTV's DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD in the second quarter 2005. Concluding an exciting month of May, Patrick, 23, becomes a breakthrough driver for the fan vote. Driving for Rahal/Letterman Racing her late race battle, with eventual Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, has attracted media attention around the World.
The list of nominated drivers includes Greg Anderson (NHRA) Greg Biffle (NASCAR ) Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car), John Force (NHRA) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws), Patrick and Wheldon of the IRL.
In its 39th year, the Speed Channel DRIVER OF THE YEAR's award for this quarter will be determined by an independent vote of the 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters and one vote based on the cumulative tally of fans' voting at www.speedtv.com.
At the end of the year a special, separate, vote will be held for the SPEED Channel 2005 DRIVER OF THE YEAR. The panelists will have their quarterly vote on June 22nd and the fan vote will close soon thereafter.(DOTY PR)(6-16-2005)
- Skinner in the #23 at Michigan: Mike Skinner will again pilot the #23 History Channel AUTOMANIAC Dodge in this weekend’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Skinner most recently raced the #23 AUTOMANIAC car in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. He was scheduled to drive the same car at Dover International Speedway just a couple of weeks ago, but rain forced NASCAR to cancel the Friday afternoon qualifying session, putting the brakes on the #23 Bill Davis Racing team’s plans to race that weekend. Since Skinner and the #23 BDR team do not run a full-time schedule in the Nextel Cup Series, they did not have enough owners’ points to make it into the show at Dover. The make-up date for the missed Dover race has yet to be designated. Skinner’s recent NASCAR Nextel Cup Series entries are part of The History Channel’s recent launch of its inventive new series—“AUTOMANIAC.” Hosted by pro wrestling and feature film star Bill Goldberg, AUTOMANIAC episodes 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 premiered on The History Channel at the beginning of June and airs every Wednesday at 10:00pm/et. To learn more about AUTOMANIAC, go to www.historychannel.com.
Before climbing into the #23 History Channel AUTOMANIAC Dodge this Sunday at MIS, Skinner will race the #5 Toyota Tundra truck Saturday in the 10th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race of the 2005 season.(Bill Davis Racing)(6-16-2005)
- Harvick cuts some grass: Kevin Harvick was in Hastings, MI Wednesday to mow the soccer fields at Tyden Park. Hastings resident Mary Parsons won the "I Can't Believe Kevin Harvick is Mowing my Lawn" promotion by Yard-Man, sponsor of the #33 Busch Series car owned Kevin Harvick, Inc. but chose to donate the lawn care to the town park. Harvick mowed the fields and then took pictures
and signed autographs for many of the more than 300 fans who turned out to see the NASCAR star.(Edelman PR)(6-16-2005)
- Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch in SI of Kids: #5-Kyle Busch and #24-Jeff Gordon are featured in the July edition of Sports
Illustrated for Kids magazine. Dubbed as a "Rookie to Watch," Busch answers questions about his racing career in the Teen bonus section.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-16-2005)
News from June 15, 2005
- Sad News: Reverend Pat Evans of the Racing for Jesus site passed away Sunday, he is survived by his wife Betty, their children, Rob Brannon and his wife Wendy, Cheryl and her husband Brian, and all in Pat's extended Christian family. Pat was 57 years old. See more at the Racing for Jesus site. This is the ministry that #89-Morgan Shepherd has on his car.(6-15-2005)
- Sorenson to the #41? Mears to the #91? #2? sources tell me it is a lock that Gannasi Busch Series driver, Reed Sorenson will drive the #41 Dodge in 2005. Where Mears will end up, last rumor had him possible at the third Evernham team #91, also hearing that Mears could end up in the #2 Penske Racing Dodge, as Penske does have a history with the Mears family [Casey's Uncle Rick won 4 Indy 500's for Penske and still works for Penske](6-15-2005)
- Testing at VIR: #07-Dave Blaney, #31-Jeff Burton, #5-Kyle Busch abd #25-Brian Vickers tested this week at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for the upcoming road-course events at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen.(RCR and HMS PR's)(6-16-2005)
- Menards to sponsor Gordon at Michigan: Robby Gordon Motorsports [RGM] will debut its #7 Menards Chevrolet at Michigan
International Speedway this weekend in the Batman Begins 400. This will be the first of three races Menards will serve as the team's primary sponsor, with races at Chicagoland Speedway and the second Michigan race in August. Menards, the country's third-largest home improvement store chain with more than 200 stores, serves as an associate sponsor on all of the RGM #7 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series entries. In addition, Menard Engineering Group, a separate company also owned by Menards' owner John Menard, builds the engines for the team's Nextel Cup cars."It's been a long time since I have had the opportunity to drive a Menards sponsored car," Gordon said. "John and I have had a long friendship and close working relationship, and the last time I drove a Menards’ sponsored car we almost won a pretty big race. With the way our team has been improving over the last four weeks or so, particularly with how much stonger the engine program has become, maybe this will be the turning point of our season and we'll win that big race that we've been looking for."
Gordon and Menard were co-owners in the Menards’ sponsored 1999 Indianapolis 500 effort where Gordon led the field by a wide margin
coming to the white flag, only to run out of fuel and finish fourth. In addition to Menards, the #7 Chevrolet will also have sponsorship from Fruit of the Loom, Harrah's and Jim Beam at Michigan. Harrah's will return to the track as the primary sponsor for the team's effort at Infineon Raceway next week, while Fruit of the Loom will take the team to Daytona for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona on July 2.(Robby Gordon Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #7 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2005)
- NASCAR Considers Buschwacker Rules: NASCAR officials are considering a plan for 2006 that would either handicap Nextel Cup teams appearing sporadically in Busch Series races or reward the Busch regulars, this week's NASCAR Scene reports. NASCAR Vice President Jim Hunter says the sanctioning body is looking at the possibility of a system that gives more points or money to the Busch-only teams on a weekly basis. NASCAR is trying to find a way to reward the Busch regulars without eliminating the Cup
competitors, who are popular with track owners who want to draw as many spectators as possible. "We're going to try to target more of the prize money to the teams that are running all of the Busch races, which should help them," Hunter said. "I think we'll have [some] form of a program like that in place for next year."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-15-2005)
- Goodyear called to the trailer UPDATE: Goodyear officials were called to the NASCAR trailer after 11 drivers blew out a total of 22 left front tires Sunday at Pocono. Goodyear product manager Rick Heinrich said Goodyear engineers noticed several setups that "were very abusive to the left front outside shoulder" of the tires and that low air pressure could have compounded the problem. "It's never the tires' fault, is it?" says crew chief Fatback McSwain, whose driver, Ricky Rudd, was the victim of six cut tires.(Sporting News)
AND Goodyear field manager Rick Heinrich blamed most of the problems on a combination of overly-aggressive chassis setups and running over the rough rumble-strip curbing at the inside edge of the tunnel turn.(Winston Salem Journal)
AND II see a large story dealing with the tire problem at Speedtv.com: Tire Failures: More Questions Than Answers.(6-13-2005)
UPDATE: Goodyear officials are scheduled to talk this week with NASCAR officials about the tire problems in Sunday's race at Pocono Raceway. Several teams had flat left front tires during the race. Ricky Rudd said he lost five tires. Kurt Busch blew a left front. Ryan Newman crashed after his left front blew late in the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost two tires. NASCAR officials met with Goodyear officials after the race. "I've been at it a long time and never seen anything like that,'' Rudd said after the race. Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales and marketing for Goodyear, says a combination of issues created the problems. He cited teams not running recommended air pressure, excessive camber (the amount a tire is tilted), and the rumble strips in turn 2. Stucker said Tuesday morning that Goodyear was examining what went wrong and if it needed to build a new tire for the Pocono race July 24. He said a decision would be made soon. "Our biggest concern is that the second Pocono race is not very far away,'' Stucker said. "The last thing we want to do is overreact to something. We certainly had a serious situation, but we don't want to do something that is going to make the situation worse. So, we're trying to get as much information as possible." The tire used at Pocono on Sunday was new to the track. Stucker said the tire had a stiffer sidewall and a different compound. The tire also is scheduled to be run again at Bristol in August.(Roanoke Times)(6-15-2005)
- Black Jack for Blaney: The #07 Chevy with Dave Blaney driving will sport the Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails paint scheme featuring Black Jack Cola for the Batman Begins 400.(RCR), image on my #07 Team Scheme page.(6-15-2005)
- Triple for Martin at Homestead: Mark Martin says he plans to run the season finales in Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series at Homestead in November. Martin plans to move to the Truck series after this season, pending sponsorship.(Roanoke Times)(6-15-2005)
- Justin Labonte fills in for Bliss at DIS test: With Mike Bliss still recovering from recent hernia surgery, NASCAR Busch Series driver Justin Labonte got behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero/BestBuy Chevy fielded by Haas CNC Racing during a one-day test session the Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 47th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2. Labonte, the son of two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte, was a perfect fit to fill in for Bliss during the test at the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. He wheels the #44 United States Coast Guard Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing in the Busch Series. Also testing at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday was C.W. Smith, who was shaking down his Busch Series car in preparation for the Winn Dixie 250 presented by Pepsico on Friday, July 2.
The Pepsi 400 Weekend will kick off with the Brumos Porsche 250 on Thursday, June 30 followed by Circle K Pole Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 and the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo on Friday, July 1. The 47th annual Pepsi 400 will cap off the patriotic weekend on Saturday, July 2. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 weekend and the 2006 DAYTONA 500, including all Speedweeks 2006 events, are on sale now, order your tickets online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-15-2005)
- What's up with Ty Norris? get asked, saw this,so........If Dale Earnhardt Jr. ever wonders whether there would be life for him after DEI, all he has to do is look to Ty Norris. Norris served as Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s vice president/director of motorsports for nearly eight years. But 16 months after leaving the post, Norris is thriving in a less pressure-packed environment as one of the principals behind the new Official NASCAR Members Club – though he still keeps tabs on his former employer. Launched in February at Daytona, the fan-based club has quickly grown to more than 10,000 members with little publicity or advertising. And Norris hopes the membership will continue to expand. "We're now going to start to turn on the faucet for acquisition in June and start to bring a lot more people in," said Norris, who is one of four senior vice presidents of the NMC. "Our desire is to be the largest-based affinity program ever created, and with 75 million fans to pull from, you'd think we could reach it." The NMC is a club for fans of the sport, with a frequent flyer-style program that awards members with discounts and other special offers that, according to Norris, include deals and access traditionally reserved for those within the garage. Memberships run $40 per year, but the return on investment is immediate: in the initiation kit, members receive roughly $700 in discount coupons and offers. While Norris realizes the NMC is a radical departure from his role at DEI – and from his subsequent 10-month stint as a vice president of Speedway Motorsports Inc. – he's at peace with himself and having a blast. While he won't give specifics about why he left DEI, Norris can't help but still feel some emotional attachment to the team – particularly with the organization's current struggles, most notably with Earnhardt Jr.'s under-performing #8 team. "It's really heartbreaking, to be honest with you," Norris said. "I left eight years of 24 hours a day laying on the concrete at the shop when I left. It's hard for me not to have an opinion about it. I'm disappointed they're not doing better. I still have a lot of passion for the place." Like many observers, Norris is baffled by some of the changes that have occurred since he left, including some of the same changes bandied about while he was still there.(see full article at Yahoo Sports)(6-15-2005)
- will Jerry Nadeau ever race again? What's he been up to lately? from a Q&A on NASCAR.com, Marty Smith answers: Quite honestly, it doesn't look as though Nadeau will ever return to the Cup Series ranks. I spoke with him Wednesday and he said the doctors continue to urge him not to return to racing. "Right now they can't sign me off to go back racing, but I'm not giving up on it," Nadeau said. "If something comes up that attracts me that I could do something else, I'll do it. But right now I'm just trying to stay fit. I'd love to find something to do, just don't know what to do. My whole life has been racing and that was taken away from." Nadeau asked me [Smith] to send a message to his fans. "I want to tell my fans, it's an unfortunate accident, and it's hard to come back from a coma right into racing. It's a more serious injury than I thought. I figured it'd heal the first year. But it's more than a year process. It's a long term injury."(NASCAR.com, Marty Smith)(6-15-2005)
- Woman winner at Stockton: Allison Duncan, piloting the #20 Miller Lite/NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, won her first NASCAR Havoline Western Late Model race and becomes the first female to ever win the feature main event at Stockton 99 Speedway. "This is the most awesome experience," said Duncan. "Winning my first Havoline Western Late Model race at Stockton 99 is just the best feeling. We've been close earlier in the season but tonight we did it. We did it with the great support from our sponsors Miller Lite, NAPA AUTO PARTS, Domino's Pizza, Berco Redwood, Inventory Sales, Chevrolet and Snap On. Our success on the track is due to the great driver development program between Bill McAnally Racing and Richard Childress Racing and their joint commitment to the Driver for Diversity Iniative. This is great and we can't wait to do it again." For more information on Bill McAnally Racing (BMR), Richard Childress Racing (RCR), and the Driver for Diversity Iniative (D4D) logon to www.billmcanallyracing.com.(BMR PR)(6-15-2005)
- Hermie Sadler in the Booth at Kentucky: Hermie Sadler, 1993 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of theYear, will join Mark Garrow and Phil Parsons in the broadcast booth for FX's coverage of the Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo Saturday night, live from the Kentucky Speedway. Sadler, who has experience reporting for MRN Radio, is excited about this opportunity to cover the Busch Series for FX. "The people calling the action play a major role in helping the viewers understand what is happening on the track and on pit road, and why. I look forward to using my experience and knowledge of the Busch Series to compliment the excellent job that Phil [Parsons] and Mark [Garrow] already do" stated Sadler. Glenn Jarrett and Hank Parker, Jr. will serve as pit reporters for the race. FX will begin its coverage from Kentucky with the pre-race show at 7:30pm/et. The green flag will fall at 8:12 pm. In addition to the race broadcast on FX, Sadler will also be in the booth to cover qualifying on Speed Channel, which begins at 5:00pm/et.(PSE-3 PR)(6-15-2005)
- New Campaign Features All-American Soap Box Derby Spokesperson Jimmie Johnson: NASCAR and All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) announced they have teamed up to launch the first-ever national advertising campaign centered around the Derby. The AASBD is one of the most established grass roots youth and family organizations in the United States and a NASCAR official youth initiative. The print and broadcast spots feature one of racing's most popular drivers Jimmie Johnson, the current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points leader, who was recently named the AASBD national spokesperson. Johnson is the official spokesperson for the Levi Strauss Signature brand, which is currently the title sponsor for the AASBD. A first for the AASBD in its 68-year history, the new campaign titled "Wind Tunnel" is part of NASCAR's effort to raise awareness for this great youth pastime. The 30-second commercial, created by Jump Co. of St. Louis, will break in June. Mirroring what takes place at NASCAR race shops, the spot shows Johnson assisting a group of children as they go through the steps of building an actual Soap Box Derby car. Johnson supports the kids in a simulated wind tunnel setting and helps fit the car with a cardboard template, illustrating some of the Derby's core values, such as: basic construction skills, teamwork, friendship and the completion of a project. The spot is set to air in NASCAR race broadcasts on FOX, FX, NBC and TNT as well as other NASCAR-related programming on SPEED Channel. The print campaign also shows Johnson working with a group of kids on a Soap Box Derby car. The advertisements will run exclusively in NASCAR-licensed publications, including NASCAR Scene, NASCAR Illustrated and NASCAR Games and Puzzles and will encourage consumers to get involved by joining local AASBD chapters. In Soap Box Derby, boys and girls ages 8-17 build gravity powered cars from kits with assistance from a parent or other adult and compete in more than 450 races in 170 cities across the country. Held annually since 1934 in Akron, Ohio, local race winners advance to the AASBD Championship, which will be held this year on July 30. To get involved or for more information on the AASBD, call (330-733-8723) or visit www.aasbd.com.(Alan Taylor Communications)(6-15-2005)
- Insurance Company claims RCR policy wasn't valid: A day after a judge ruled in favor of the late Dale Earnhardt's car owner in a trial pitting the racing team against an insurance company, the jury heard Tuesday from the insurance agent who sold the $3.7 million policy. Insurance agent Knox Hillman, of Concord, testified he was contacted by Bill Patterson, executive vice president of Richard Childress Racing, about obtaining more coverage on the driver. "He indicated a new contract was coming and he needed some life insurance to secure certain requirements of the contract," Hillman said. At Patterson's direction, Hillman said he obtained several proposals before narrowing them down to two, including one from defendant United of Omaha Insurance Co. Hillman said he filled out the application and gave it to another insurance broker, John Gorsline, who was authorized to contract with United of Omaha. He said Patterson paid $5,000 in January 2001 as part of an installment plan. Richard Childress Racing, Earnhardt's employer, was required to carry $7.2 million in insurance to cover the driver's base salary, according to a portion of Earnhardt's racing contract that was introduced as evidence in the trial. The amount included $3.7 million with insurer United of Omaha, which RCR claims cheated widow Teresa Earnhardt out of the payment after Earnhardt's death in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. RCR took out the policy and is pursuing the matter on the family's behalf. Another insurer has already paid a $3.5 million claim. United of Omaha claims the policy was never valid for Earnhardt because he had not taken a required physical.
On Monday, Superior Court Judge Kimberly Taylor ruled that Earnhardt's racing team won the lawsuit because the insurer failed to hand over key documents to RCR lawyers. The only issue now before the jury now is whether United of Omaha should pay the $3.7 million claim. The jury also heard testimony Tuesday from two insurance industry veterans testifying for the defense. Both said the life insurance policy on Earnhardt didn't exist because of key omissions, especially the lack of a physical. The judge said she already had decided that the insurance company was responsible for the policy..(ESPN.com/AP)(6-15-2005)
News from June 14, 2005
- Sad News: Dan Hamrick, Dodge's long time Truck Series Engineering Liaison passed away Friday night, services were held Monday. Note that in lieu of flowers, we are requesting that donations be made to: Bethlehem Baptist Church Building Fund, Hospice of Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Heights Drive, Shelby, NC, 28150.(6-14-2005)
more info and a column at Truckseries.com.(6-16-2005)
- Five Cup drivers to attmept Kentucky Busch race: Kentucky Speedway says five Nextel Cup regulars are expected to compete in Saturday's Meijer 300 Busch Series race. #99-Carl Edwards, who is attempting to drive complete Busch and Cup schedules this season, is expected to be joined by Cup regulars #16-Greg Biffle, #40-Sterling Marlin, #2-Rusty Wallace and #15-Michael Waltrip.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-14-2005)
- Terry Labonte in for Leffler at Sonoma UPDATE: Terry Labonte is expected to substitute for Jason Leffler in the #11 Fed-Ex Chevy in the June 26 race at Sonoma if Leffler fails to climb into the top 35 in points by then. Drivers in the top 35 are guaranteed starting spots. Labonte is the safety net for the team because he has a champion's provisional, which guarantees him a starting spot. Leffler has run just one road course race, a Busch race in 2000 at Watkins Glen. Leffler crashed at Pocono but remained in the same points position, 36th, meaning he has to improve by one spot Sunday at Michigan to lock in for the race at Sonoma. Leffler says he has wrecked so many cars that "we're bringing cars back to the track that aren't in the best shape" because the fab shop hasn't had enough turnaround time.(Sporting News)(6-13-2005)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing has hired two-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Terry Labonte to pilot the #11 Fed-Ex Chevrolet during the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. He replaces Jason Leffler, the #11 team's regular driver, for this one event. "Jason understands that our support of him continues, as he'll race this weekend at Michigan and return to the #11 at Daytona," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "A number of factors led to this decision. Where the #11 is in points, the typically high car count at Sonoma, the number of road course specialists other teams tend to enlist, the unique nature of road course racing - none favors a team outside the top-35 in points. With an experienced veteran in Terry, the #11 will benefit from his 25 years of Nextel Cup racing and his strong performances at road course venues." In addition to his championship-caliber talents, Labonte also brings road course success to the #11 team. Of his 22 career wins, two have come at a road course - the defunct Riverside (Calif.) Speedway in 1984 and 1985. And in his 54 career starts at road courses, Labonte has earned eight poles, 17 top-fives
and 26 top-10s while leading a total of 411 laps. "I've always enjoyed road course racing, and while no road courses were planned for this year, it's hard to say no when you have the opportunity to drive for an organization that's just as professional as Hendrick Motorsports,"
said Labonte, who is running a limited Nextel Cup schedule for Hendrick Motorsports. "We want to thank Hendrick Motorsports for allowing Terry to assist us with the #11 team at Sonoma," said Gibbs. "Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports helped get Joe Gibbs Racing up and running when we formed this team back in 1991, and 14 years later, we're once again appreciative of their help."(True Speed Communication/Hendrick Motorsports PR)(6-14-2005)
- Cope in the #79: Derrike Cope will be driving the #79 Chevy in Michigan. He said, "I will be going to the Michigan speedway to attempt the Nextel Cup race for Conely Motorsports. The car is a Chevrolet. They are a great group of people and I look forward to working with John and his team."(Derrike Cope site) and the team had a pretty good day of testing June 7th at MIS. Derrike Cope tested and is scheduled to drive at MIS. Cope helped the team to fine tune the suspension and put in some pretty fair times until shortly after the lunch break when the car suffered valve problems ending with having to pull the engine. With the new engine in place an hour and half later, Cope recorded times that were on par with #20-Tony Stewart the team shared a garage with.(Conely Motorsports)(6-14-2005)
- Judge rules in favor Childress: A judge ruled in favor of the late Dale Earnhardt's car owner Monday, saying an insurance company failed to share legal documents in the case over whether benefits should have been paid after the NASCAR star's death.
Earnhardt died Feb. 18, 2001, in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500. Superior Court Judge Kimberly S. Taylor issued the order against United of Omaha Life Insurance Co. following 12 days of proceedings. Taylor declined Richard Childress Racing's request to enter a default judgment of $3.7 million, plus interest, and triple that amount as allowed under state law. Jurors will return Tuesday to hear arguments about whether RCR is entitled to the monetary damages. Last week, attorneys for both sides discovered the legal department of Mutual of Omaha, the parent company of defendant United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., failed to share 18 pages of relevant documents before trial. Omaha Life attorney Stephen Coles asked Taylor to consider lesser sanctions and allow RCR attorneys to re-examine defense witnesses. Childress Racing claims United of Omaha failed to conduct a proper investigation before deciding not to pay the claim. The insurer denied the claim because several policy requirements, including a physical, were never completed. Childress Racing took out the policy on Earnhardt's behalf and made a $5,000 payment in January 2001. The policy was part of $7.2 million in benefits, according to the driver's contract, which was described in court. A $3.5 million policy with a second insurer, set up in 1996, was paid to Childress Racing and signed over to Earnhardt's widow, Teresa.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-14-2005)
News from June 13, 2005
- Gustafson Wins 2nd Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: #5-Kyle Busch may not have won the Pocono 500, but
he passed more cars during the 200 lap race than any other driver in the forty-three car field. The rookie sensation suffered two setbacks over the course of the event that would have ruined most team's weekend, but with leadership from crew chief Alan Gustafson, Busch rebounded from both incidents and finished his day in the fourth position. For his comeback, Gustafson was elected the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Kyle Busch tagged the outside retaining wall during his qualifying lap, forcing his team to make repairs to the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet. His team's post-impound work moved Busch to the tail-end of the field for the start of the race. Busch moved
up to the third position, but that wouldn't be his only charge through the field. Later in the race, Busch overshot his pit stall. The extra-long stop put Busch in ninth place when he returned to the track. The team made up for their miscue on their final green flag stop. With several teams experiencing tire failures during the race, Gustafson made the gutsy call to change only two tires before sending Busch back out. With the time the team saved by changing only two tires, Busch shot into fourth place.
The panel of voters; including Chuck Givler of the Easton Express Times, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; collectively agreed that Gustafson deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors. With four wins, Doug Richert is in first place of the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings. Alan Gustafson and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne 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)(6-13-2005)
- Overnight Pocono TV Ratings up 8.5%: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway earned 5.1 overnight rating and a 12 market share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 8.5% higher than the 4.7 Fox drew for the June Pocono race last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-13-2005)
- The Sprint Cup? Looks like the NEXTEL Cup Series will be no more in 2007. Get ready for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as the Sprint-NEXTEL merger gets finalized and the company's new name becomes attached to the NASCAR deal.(RacingOne)(6-13-2005)
- Gordon Shifts...loses tranny UPDATE correction:: Despite NASCAR's new gear rule that supposedly eliminated the ability to shift, word was that #7-Robby Gordon – ever the rebel – did shift, which is what caused the transmission failure that put him out of the race.(Yahoo Sports)(6-13-2005)
UPDATE - correction: been told that #7-Robby Gordon did not lose the transmission, the team had a oil line failure.(6-13-2005)
- Hamilton Jr. could go work for his Dad....if: Bobby Hamilton Jr. has one year left on his contract, but should his status in the #32 Tide ride change, he has a backup plan--race for his father. Bobby Hamilton Racing fields three teams in the Craftsman Truck Series and just opened a new shop. With sponsorship, BHR could start a Cup team. "We haven't figured out what we're doing yet," Hamilton Jr. says. "If Tide leaves--and there's been pretty strong rumors about them leaving--you have to be prepared for what happens. Dad's deal is there. It's always been there, but you hate to throw this deal away based just on rumors."(Sporting News), see my #32 Team News page for those past rumors.(6-13-2005)
- Martin fave wins Pro Cup race: Joey Logano, a 15-year-old whom Mark Martin has called a future Nextel Cup superstar, won the Hooters ProCup race Saturday night in Mansfield, Ohio. He became the youngest winner in series history; the previous youngest was Vickers at age 16.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-13-2005)