Hall of Fames Museums
JUNE 20-26, 2005
News from June 26, 2005
- Stewart wins at Infineon Raceway: #20-Tony Stewart won the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway for his first win of 2005, 4th on a road course, 2nd at Infineon Raceway and 20th of his career. It is Stewart's first win in 30 races, since Watkins Glen last August. #21-Ricky Rudd coasted to the finish [ran out of gas after the checkered flag]. #97-Kurt Busch, #2-Rusty Wallace and #88-Dale Jarrett round out the top-five. #16-Greg Biffle, who started 41st, led 8 laps and finished 14th, which coupled with #48-Jimmie Johnson's transmission problems, vaulted Biffle into the points lead by 22 points. This is the first time Biffle has led the Nextel Cup Drivers Points standings. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had trouble from the get-go, having a transmission problem, getting into #0-Mike Bliss and spun out and wrecked. Dale Jr. finished 42nd, 22 laps down and is now 18th in points, 543 points out of the lead and out of The Chase. #24-Jeff Gordon also fell victim to the Hendrick Motorsports transmission woes and after dominating the first 32 laps, finished up 33rd and is out of The Chase, -414 points. Two road course specialists finished in the top-10, #32-Ron Fellows finished 8th and #33-Brian Simo was 10th.
For more about the race, see my Sonoma/Infineon Raceway Race Info/Rundown Page for lap leaders, cautions, narratives, etc.
For race results see Jayski's Infineon Raceway Race Results/Awards page.(6-26-2005)
- Six Cup drivers qualify for Southwest race at Infineon UPDATE: Six of the seven drivers who attempted to do double duty in Saturday's Blue Lizard Suncream 200 for the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southwest Series as well as the Dodge/Save Mart 350 successfully achieved it, again led by Boris Said. Said put Ken Schrader's #99 Chevrolet into the field in eighth -- eight-tenths of a second behind pole winner Eric Holmes. Other two-timers included Travis Kvapil in 11th, Kyle Busch in 13th, Dave Blaney in 16th, Michael Waltrip in 25th and Chris Cook in 30th. Bill Davis Racing's shop foreman Tom Hubert, who made the Cup race in Kirk Shelmerdine's #27 Ford in 35th, did not post a qualifying speed for the Southwest Series race and failed to qualify.(NASCAR.com)(6-25-2005)
UPDATE - Results: For Tom Dyer of Corte Madera, the pendulum swung wildly during Saturdary's Blue Lizard Australian Suncream 200 at Infineon Raceway. To start with, the Jim Russell Racing School instructor had to pull off the grid to fix a radio problem and started last in the 42-car field. By Lap 16, he was 21st, and by Lap 28, he was 11th. When all the dust had cleared, he had beaten teammate Eric Holmes for the win in the prelude NASCAR AutoZone Southwest Series event to Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 for NASCAR Nextel Cup Series machines. The official margin of victory was .449 of a second over Holmes, who dogged Dyer to the end. Bryan Germone was third, followed by Kenny Shepherd and Chris Cook. Cook was the higest finisher of the six drivers who will race in the Cup race, the others, Kyle Busch 9th, Kvapil 12th, Blaney 32nd [transmission], Said 36th [accident] and Waltrip 41st as he withdrew from the race.(Infineon Raceway).(6-26-2005)
- Third Yates Cup team in the works? UPDATE Denied: 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)
UPDATE: Robert Yates Racing owner, Robert Yates [#38 and #88 Fords] said June 17th that hs is almost certain he will not have a third Nextel Cup team next season. Yates plans to continue fielding two Cup teams and a Busch Series team in 2006. "We're treating our Busch team more like it's a Cup team", Yates said. "I gives us a Saturday practice."(NASCAR Scene Magazine)(6-26-2005)
- Latest on 'Car of Tomorrow': Gary Nelson, NASCAR's vice president of research and development, expects the long-awaited NASCAR "Car of Tomorrow" to address the sport's next most worrisome safety problem: side impacts. Taller, boxier, and much more representative of their consumer car counterparts, the new evolution of the NASCAR machine is slated to begin on-track testing this fall with a projected 2007 introduction. "We're releasing specifications to the teams and we will begin testing this fall and continue testing into '06," said Nelson. "The testing we've done individually has gone well and if the teams continue to have that progress it's just then a matter of transitioning for the car owners, figuring out how best to transition it into their fleet." The new car is designed to make the cabin safer by moving the driver slightly toward the center and using a steel roll cage similar to current ones. The object is to create "crushable space" to dissipate crash energy around the driver. Just outside of that structure you try to absorb some energy. That's the difficult part because you never know what direction an impact may come from. With a strong roll cage and frame and the driver moved maybe a little more toward the center of the car, it provides a little more space for absorbing some energy, I think we've accomplished that with the car we've got now."(St Petersburg Times)(6-26-2005)
- Track Safety to focus on the catchfence area in the near future: The elusive nature of safety technology dictates that eliminating one problem will highlight another. With SAFER barriers greatly reducing injury from wall collisions, drivers and scientists alike expect car-to-car crashes to become the focus. "I think (deaths from barrier impacts) are going to drop off the radar screen, if you count after 2001," said Dr. Dean Sicking, a University of Nebraska professor who developed the SAFER barrier. The next step, Sicking said, is to look above the track's walls. DeLand's Tony Renna was killed in October 2003 when the IndyCar he was testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway went airborne in a turn and broke apart on a catchfence post. "Improving those could be a great benefit to the driver and the fan," Sicking said. "There is the potential - I don't think it's really happened yet - for some pieces of a car to go through the fence, which would be a horrible problem for the fan."(St Petersburg Times)(6-26-2005)
- Special on neurology of NASCAR TV Special in the works: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an Atlanta neurosurgeon and the network's senior medical correspondent, was in Concord, NC this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway filming an hourlong CNN medical special show scheduled for Sept. 25 about motor sports from a medical perspective. Among the topics: whether great racers are born that way or learn through training; staying hydrated on race day; and the survivability of crashes. "People are fascinated by the physics of a crash," says Gupta, who interviewed driver Carl Edwards in a Huntersville park for a segment on drivers as athletes. "I feel safer in my race car than on the street," Edwards told him. Oncoming traffic and variables beyond a driver's control are potentially deadly hazards, he said. Dedicated to a regimen of exercise and health, Edwards is emblematic of the new breed of drivers, a generation beyond the mythology of beer-swilling, pot-bellied racers, Gupta says. Gupta joined CNN in 2001. He has risen to be one of the network's most recognizable correspondents, known for knowledgeable reporting on medical trends, his weekend show, "House Call" (8:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays), and occasional specials on topics that have ranged from presidential health to memory.(Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2005)
- Jones in the #4 for Wallace at Infineon: P. J. Jones will be driving the #4 Morgan-McClure Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the Dodge/Save Mart 300 on Sunday, June 26. This one race decision is no reflection whatsoever of Morgan-McClure and Lucas Oil's commitment to Mike Wallace as the driver of the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy. The team is looking forward to having Wallace back in the car next week in Daytona for the Pepsi 400 and continuing the season long goal of moving up in the points race. The Morgan-McClure Lucas Oil Team is 35th in owner's points coming in to the Dodge/Save Mart 300.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports/Lucas Oil PR), Jone will have to fall to the rear of the field Sunday before the drop of the green flag, Wallace was scheduled to start 40th.(6-25-2005)
AND GIVE US THE UPDATE ON THE DRIVER SITUATION FOR THIS WEEKEND IN THE #4 LUCAS OIL CHEVY:
[Mike Wallace:] "They made a decision this morning. P.J. is going to race the car. I don't understand any of it. It caught me pretty much off guard. We race hard to get ourselves inside the top 35 and we're in the 35th spot. I guess management feels that P.J. can do a better job than me here."(GM Racing PR)(6-26-2005)
- Wheldon wins 2nd Qtr DOTY Vote: Indy 500 winner, and the Indy Racing League points leader, Dan Wheldon, edged NASCAR's Greg Biffle to win the vote for the Speed Channel Driver of the Year second quarter, 2005. Wheldon, who drives the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda for Andretti Green Racing, dominated the second quarter which mirrored his performance all year. After winning the Indy Japan 300 in April he topped that by winning the 89th edition of the Indy 500. Wheldon became the first Brit to win the Indy 500 since Graham Hill did it in 1966. He could be the first Briton to win Driver of the Year since Nigel Mansell accomplished the feat in 1993. In the professional vote only two drivers scored first place votes Wheldon and Biffle. Overall Wheldon scored 120 points to Biffle's 118. Biffle, in the #16 National Guard/Post It Ford, had three wins in the quarter and moved to within 46 points of Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series standings. Third place went to Biffle's Roush Racing teammate, Carl Edwards, who drove the Office Depot Ford to victory lane at the Pocono 500 and two wins in the NASCAR Busch series.
A total of 14 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting, including fourth place Steve Kinser, of the World of Outlaws series, fifth place went to NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie, Kyle Busch. Danica Patrick, who had 300,000 fans on their feet screaming as she battled Wheldon in the closing laps of the Indy 500, won the fan vote [which counts for 1 vote to go with 18 professional votes] and was sixth overall. In its' 39th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis. Wheldon will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix
wristwatch to be presented on Speed TV.(DOTY PR)(6-26-2005)
News from June 25, 2005
- Bobby Sr. tells Bobby Jr. to move on: That's the advice Bobby Hamilton Sr. offered his son, #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr., in regards to Hamilton Jr.'s ride with Cal Wells' #32 team. Ron Fellows, a road racing specialist, will drive for Hamilton Jr. this weekend because the team is outside the top 35 in car owner points and must qualify to make the race. Asked what he's told his son during this season, Hamilton Sr. said: "To find something else to drive," he said. "I mean, there's too many chiefs and not enough Indians there. They've got just enough employees to survive, barely get to a race track and survive a Nextel Cup deal. I think the world of the owner [Wells]. I know the crew chief and driver have a ton of talent together. Hopefully, they can land back on their feet someplace else.''(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2005)
- Infineon Raceway Unveils Wall of Fame: Legendary drivers Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin will retire from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series after the 2005 season, but their legacies will live forever at Infineon Raceway. Wallace and Martin, who have combined for three victories and three pole positions at Infineon Raceway over their careers, were honored during a ceremony on Friday in the Winner's Circle as the raceway announced the construction of a Wall of Fame. Wallace and Martin were honored as the Wall of Fame's first inductees - the ceremony took place during the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series weekend. The Sonoma Valley facility has featured the best in motor sports over the last 37 years, and raceway officials decided to establish a Wall of Fame, which will honor those who have excelled not only in their form of motor racing, but more importantly, at Infineon Raceway.
Both drivers were presented with granite plaques by Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. The plaques were etched with each driver's likeness, as well as their form of motor racing, and the date of induction. The plaques will be on display in the Wall of Fame, which is being constructed behind the main grandstand and will be open to the public.
"The Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame provides a wonderful means to celebrate the rich motor racing history of this facility," Page said. "Both Rusty and Mark have performed so well on this track and have done so much to build this sport in Northern California. I can think of no two names we'd rather feature as our first inductees."
Both Wallace and Martin have been road-course specialists at Infineon Raceway over the years. Wallace won the event in 1990 and 1996 and has two poles (1989, 2000). He has also led the most races (eight) and is fourth at the raceway in all-time earnings ($882,205). Moreover, Wallace placed outside the top seven just twice from 1989-1996. "I've always enjoyed coming to Sonoma and we've always run well here, so this is a big honor for me to be one of the first drivers to be inducted into the Wall of Fame," Wallace said. "The bottom line is that it has always been one of the most fun races of the year."
Martin, meanwhile, won the event in 1997, and has 13 top-10 efforts in 16 starts at Infineon Raceway. He has placed outside the top 10 just once since 1994, and is second in all-time earnings ($955,737). "This is a great honor for me," Martin said. "We've had some great races here and I will miss the road course, but it's an honor to know that I will always be a part of the history in Sonoma."
The Wall of Fame will include competitors from all forms of motor racing at Infineon Raceway, including NASCAR, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing, American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), open-wheel cars, sports cars, and more. It will also include those who have made significant contributions to the raceway over the years. A raceway committee will oversee the selection process on an annual basis.(Infineon Raceway)(6-25-2005)
- FOX wants the Daytona 500..exclusive? In NASCAR's negotiations for a new network package, some expect Fox to push for exclusive rights to the Daytona 500, since it doesn't have a shot [due to carrying the NFL in the fall] at carrying NASCAR's new 10-race championship playoffs [Chase for the Nextel Cup].(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2005)
- NASCAR Takes Engines to Examine UPDATE: Speed Channel's Bob Dilner reported on Speed News NASCAR Edition that NASCAR took ten engines from the teams after the race at Michigan. Three Dodge [#12, #9, #41], Four GM [#20, #15, #31, #48], Three Ford [#6, #17, #38]. The engines will be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC to determine how even the power, parts, etc are.(and from ThatsRacin.com)(6-20-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR's confiscation of engines from Michigan's top runners was unexpected, but engine men say they don't expect to get those engines back soon and that NASCAR has told them it won't be releasing any horsepower figures from its secret tests in Charlotte.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2005)
- Gibbs FanFest returns: The annual Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest returns in 2005, where from 9:00am to 2:00pm/et on Fri., Oct. 14, JGR’s drivers from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series will be available for autographs at the team’s recently renovated race shop in Huntersville, North Carolina.(JGR Site), see more on my Racing Charities page.(6-25-2005)
- Terry Labonte gets the #11 team in the top 35: with his 12th place finish at Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Terry Labonte helped the #11 FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy and regular driver get in the top 35 owners points for the first time this year. So Leffler is locked in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona next Saturday, which is an impound race. So who dropped out? #4-P.J. Jones was hired late Saturday to help keep the #4 Morgan McClure team and regular driver, Mike Wallace, in the top-35 owners points, had some problems late and finished 32nd and fell out of the top 35. The teams in the Top-35 bubble area:
34) #22-Scott Wimmer, 1292, +69
35) #11-Jason Leffler, 1228, +5
36) #4-Mike Wallace, 1223, -5
37) #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr., 1138, -90.(6-26-2005)
- Infineon Raceway Notes:
• Tony Stewart won the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, scoring his 20th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 228th career start.
• This is Stewart’s first victory in 2005. His last victory came at Watkins Glen in 2004, 30 races ago.
• Stewart became the eighth different race winner in 2005.
• Stewart moved to 29th on NASCAR’s All-time win list tied with Speedy Thompson.
• This marked the seventh victory for Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has eight and Dodge has one.
• Stewart climbed from sixth to fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings and is now 198 behind firstplace Greg Biffle.
• Stewart scored his second victory at Infineon Raceway. He also won here in 2001. It is Stewart’s fourth victory in 13 career road-course races.
• Stewart led three times for 39 laps, including the final 11, and led the most laps for the fourth time this season.
• Stewart has scored eight top-10 finishes in 16 races this season.
• Stewart scored the second victory for car owner Joe Gibbs at Infineon Raceway. Gibbs last won here when Stewart won here in 2002. This was Gibbs’ 43rd victory as a car owner and first this season.
• Ricky Rudd (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in his 17 races at Infineon. It is his third top-10 finish in 2005.
• Kurt Busch (third) posted his second top-10 finish and his best finish in his five races at Infineon Raceway. He scored his eighth top-10 finish in 2005.
• Rusty Wallace (fourth) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 17 races at Infineon Raceway. He scored his eighth top-10 finish in 2005. Wallace climbed from eighth to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings
• Wallace extended a 29-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August.
. • Dale Jarrett (fifth) scored his fourth top-10 finish in 17 races at Infineon Raceway. Jarrett has scored four top-10 finishes in 2005. He remained He climbed from 15th to 12th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Jimmie Johnson (36th) ended a 12-race run as leader of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Greg Biffle moved into the point lead for the first time in his NASCAR NEXTEL CUP career. Johnson has lost 145 points in the last two races.
• Seven of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Infineon Raceway.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (42nd) dropped from 17th to 18th in the point standings and is now 543 points behind point leader Greg Biffle.
• Jimmie Johnson (36th) has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 49 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.
• Jeff Gordon (33rd) posted his posted his seventh finish of 30th or worse in 2005, including five of the last six races, and dropped from 12th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He is now 414 points behind point leader Biffle.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-26-2005)
- Rumblings - Infineon Raceway:
Tony Stewart was much the best this afternoon and it was just a matter of time till he got by Ricky Rudd late (lap 100) to prove it. Tony won today's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway after dominating much of the second half (leading 39 of the 110 laps). This was Stewart's second road course win in a row, fourth r/c win in his career, his 20th win overall (he's tied for 29th on the all-time win list with Speedy Thompson), and he becomes our 8th different winner this season. Win #43 for Joe Gibbs Racing was worth $348,761 from the over $5.3M in posted awards.
Ricky Rudd (2nd) had his best finish since he was 2nd at Kansas last October. His Top-5 finish gives us 27 drivers at that mark this season.... last year's number was 31.
Kurt Busch (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Phoenix in April.
Rusty Wallace (4th) had his best finish since he won at Martinsville in April of 2004.
Dale Jarrett (5th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Bristol in April.
Elliott Sadler (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Talladega in April.
Ron Fellows (8th) was the best of the road-course ringers today.
Brian Simo (10th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was her in June of 2000 when he finished 36th. Fellows' and Simo's Top-10 finishes now bring us up to 36 drivers to score a T-10 this season, last year we had 39 of 'em.
Robby Gordon (16th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Darlington last November.
Boris Said (17th) had his best finish since he was 6th here last year (only six races).
STREAKIN....Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Elliott Sadler (+36), followed by Ron Fellows (+35), Greg Biffle (+27), Dale Jarrett (+25), and Jeremy Mayfield (+25). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jimmie Johnson (34), followed by Jeff Gordon (-32), Dale Earnhardt Jr (-32), Kyle Busch (-27), and Scott Pruett (-22). Sadler is now tied with Michael Waltrip and Kyle Busch with three Ops this season.
Joe Gibbs Racing also accomplished another win of sorts this weekend as Terry Labonte raced them into the Top-35 in Owners Points (by five markers over the #4). Jason Leffler will now have an exemption into the Pepsi 400 on Saturday, and Mike Wallace will have to qualify on time.
We've got a change at the top of the standings this week as Greg Biffle now leads Jimmie Johnson by 22 points. It's the first new leader we've had since JJ took the point leaving Las Vegas.
Johnson's troubles also brought two more drivers under the "Stayin' Alive" line as we've got 13 in the "Chase" at the moment.
We had three drivers (Dale Jarrett, Travis Kvapil, and Ricky Rudd) in the Top-30 advance three spots this week, while Carl Edwards (4th to 9th) fell the most positions.(Much more at Stockcarfans.com)(6-26-2005)
- Harvick finishes 7th in final Mesa Marin appearance: Brian Richardson was the class of the 28 car Late Model 'McMillin Homes Firecracker 100' at Mesa Marin Raceway winning over Burney Lamar and Eric Richardson. After getting caught up in a lap 4 accident, Kevin Harvick came back to finish seventh, minus the front body parts and the left front shock of his #29 car. With Mesa Marin sold and closing at the end of its 2005 season, it is the final race Harvick will run at the track. Harvick had two consecutive NASCAR Late Model wins at Mesa Marin.(in part from the Mesa Marin site)(6-25-2005)
- Daytona USA to sponsor Labontes: DAYTONA USA, the Official Attraction of NASCAR, will sponsor the #44 Doran Racing Pontiac Doran driven by NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions Bobby and Terry Labonte in the June 30 Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Daytona International Speedway. In the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year, Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NEXTEL Cup Series champion, and Terry, the 1984 and 1996 NEXTEL Cup champion, co-drove the #44 Daytona Prototype with Jan Magnussen and Bryan Herta to a ninth-place overall finish. The Brumos Porsche 250, which features the Daytona Prototypes as well as GT class machines, will kick off the Pepsi 400 Weekend on Thursday, June 30 with a new starting time of 7:15pm/et.(DIS)(6-25-2005)
- 'Gong Show' nets 1,700 applications: Roush Racing's "Gong Show" driver search drew approximately 1,700 applications, which have been whittled down to about 150, team president Geoff Smith said this week. Now, team owner Jack Roush, his drivers and crew chiefs will go through the entries to give their input before the list is reduced again to about 25. The finalists will then be taken to Martinsville Speedway and Darlington Raceway for their on-track auditions, with the winner or winners joining Roush's NASCAR race team. The whole process will be shown in 13 episodes on the Discovery Channel.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-25-2005)
News from June 24, 2005
- New Racing Simulators “Making Laps”: The latest innovation to bring excitement to the display areas around most all the NASCAR race tracks are the “new” Racing Simulators use by many corporate displays currently touring the Nextel Cup Circuit. The Motorsports Image (www.motorsportsimage.com Racing Simulator line of products has proven to be a winner everywhere race fans are. Many team owners, marketing executives and motorsports sponsors are heralding these racing Simulators as the newest and most effective way to entertain and market to racefans in several decades.
The Motorsports Image Simulators consist of several types of products all of which can be custom designed to meet the customer’s requirements. Probably the most creative is the award winning Sim Showcar which is a showcar that has the real driver’s seat inside that actually moves with the video game. A wide screen monitor is placed inside the front windshield and the race fan driver hops inside and uses the actual steering wheel, gas and brake pedals that the real drivers use. The seat has a motion base system installed underneath and that enables the driver to feel all the action out on the track as they drive the racing game. The bumps, the bank of the track, the vibration of racing all can be felt in this innovative new Simulator product. The most amazing thing about this product is several of the Sim Showcars actual run and have made parade laps around race tracks. The MSI (Motorsports Image) Sim Showcar recently achieved award winning status at the last International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (I.A.A.P.A.). The other two creative products now touring the tracks are the MSI racing Seat Sim and the MSI ¾ Scale Sim racecar.
The MSI Seat Sims consist of a roll cage equipped with real racing seats, big bazooka sounds and all the movement of the real race car inside the game. This Sim product simply rolls into place on its on base and is ready to race almost anywhere in a matter of minutes. Many other companies have used the Sims at their trade shows such as Motorola, Coca Cola, and many more companies representing corporate America and their products. All of the MSI Racing Simulators use common 110 Volt current and can be set up and running anywhere. For more information Motorsports Image can be contacted at 704-663-1023 or
- Gordon wins pole at Infineon Raceway: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Budweiser Pole for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway with a new track qualifying record of 94.325mph [the old record was from June 2004 by Gordon at 94.303]. Gordon was the only driver to run faster then the track record. It is Gordon's 5th pole at Infineon Raceway, 2nd of 2005, 7th road course pole and 54th career pole. #48-Jimmie Johnson will start 2nd, followed by #6-Mark Martin, #36-Boris Said and #7-Robby Gordon. 2nd in drivers points, #16-Greg Biffle, got off-course on his lap and will start 41st. Missing the race were: #02-Brandon Ash; #37-Kevin Lepage; #52-Jose Luis Ramirez, #66-Johnny Bornemann III, #92-Stanton Barrett.
For qualifying results, starting lineup/links, practice results, pole progression...and more on my Jayski's Starting Lineup/Qualifying/Practice Page.(6-24-2005)
- Final Michigan TV Ratings - Ratings Up, Share Down, close to same as 2004: Street & Smith's Sports Business Daily says the June 19 Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway drew a 4.76 rating and an audience share of 12, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The numbers for last year's race were not immediately available.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)
2004: from my 2004 TV Ratings Page [info came from these two sources too] - Final Nielsen Media Research numbers show Fox's broadcast of last Sunday's DHL 400 at Michigan International Speedway drew a 4.5 rating and 13 share, down 16.7% from 2003's 5.4/16.(6-24-2005)
- Hubert takes over for Shelmerdine UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing's Tom Hubert will attempt to get the #27 Kirk Shelmedine Racing Ford in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway. Hubert has ran road course races in the Nextel Cup, Busch and Truck Series for various teams. The #27 team has made 10 attempts but failed to make a race in 2005.(Sonoma Entry List)(6-21-2005)
UPDATE: Kirk Shelmedine Racing (KSR) would like to welcome aboard Tom Hubert to Pilot the #27 KSR Ford at Infineon Raceway. KSR would like to welcome aboard Napa Valley Ford and PumaTools.com as associate sponsors for the Sonoma race.
AND Hubert made the race and the team has picked up associate sponsorship from www.myracingteam.com.(KSR PR)(6-24-2005)
- Sonoma Qualifying Notes:
• Jeff Gordon won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Dodge/SaveMart 350, lapping Infineon Raceway in 75.950 seconds at 94.325 mph. He broke his own trackqualifying record of 75.968 seconds, 94.303 mph, set in 2004.
• This is Jeff Gordon’s 54th career Bud Pole in 417 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. He remains seventh on the all-time Bud Pole list.
• This is Jeff Gordon’s fifth Bud Pole in 13 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway. He broke a tie with Ricky Rudd for the most Bud Poles at Infineon.
• This is Gordon’s seventh career road-course Bud Pole. He has won five of the last eight Bud Poles at Infineon and went on to score victories in four of the races when he won the Bud Pole.
• Jeff Gordon became the third repeat Bud Pole winner this season, joining Ryan Newman (five) and Kasey Kahne (two).
• Jimmie Johnson posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 76.079 seconds, 94.165 mph – and will join Jeff Gordon on the front row for the Dodge/SaveMart 350. Johnson’s previous best road-course qualifying effort was 12th at Watkins Glen in 2002, his rookie season. He started from the Bud Pole at Watkins Glen last year when qualifying was canceled. He has two top-five finishes in his six road-course races with his best being fourth at Watkins Glen in 2003.
• This is the second front-row sweep for Hendrick Motorsports in 2005. Gordon started on the Bud Pole and Brian Vickers started second at California Speedway in February.
• This is the sixth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge has seven Bud Poles and Ford has two. Qualifying was canceled at Dover.
• Mark Martin (third) has posted 12 top-10 starts in his 17 Infineon races, including nine top-fives. It is his first top-10 start this season.
• Boris Said (fourth) qualified for his 16th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race – his 10th on a road course. It is his third top-10 start in six races at Infineon.
• Robby Gordon (fifth) posted his fourth top-10 start in eight races at Infineon Raceway. It is his second top-10 start this season – both in the past two races.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr, (10th) posted his first top-10 start in six races at Infineon and his second top-10 start in 2005.
• There have been nine different Bud Pole winners in the last 13 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Infineon Raceway. Jeff Gordon (1998, 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2005) is the only repeat Bud Pole winner in the 13-race period.(NASCAR Statsistical Services)(6-24-2005)
- Ramblings - Sonoma:
In a season that's been less than stellar, Jeff Gordon set a new track record today at Infineon Raceway for Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350...breaking his year-old mark. Gordon, the last driver to take a time, ran 94.325 mph (75.950 seconds) to take his second Bud pole of the season (he had the top spot at Phoenix in April) and the 54th of his Cup career. He'll be joined on the front-row by teammate Jimmie Johnson.
Mark Martin (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Richmond last September.
Boris Said (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole when we were here in June of 2003 (only 8 races).
Robby Gordon (5th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Michigan in June of 2004.
Terry Labonte (8th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Loudon in September of 2003! He's in for Jason Leffler this week in Joe Gibb's #11 Chevy.
Dale Earnhardt Jr (10th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Daytona in February.
The Road Course Ringers are well represented this weekend. Scott Pruett (9th), Tom Hubert (35th) and Ron Fellows (43rd) all make their first starts of the season. Brian Simo (22nd) makes his first start since he ran Watkins Glen for Junie Donlavey in August of 2001 (he started 42nd and finished 37th that day), and Chris Cook (28th) makes his first-ever NEXTEL Cup start.
STREAKIN....Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
Always a different story when we go left AND right, and I would suspect this weekend to be the same. Limited passing opportunites, no "lucky dog" rule, long yellow laps, keep the tranny in the car, keep it on the pavement, be lucky and pit before the yellow comes out.....like they don't have enough to think about already!(Stock Car Fans)(6-24-2005)
- Dallenbach racing this week...in the booth next week: Tomorrow marks ten years since Wally Dallenbach Jr. made his last
appearance in the famous race to the clouds. Busy with NASCAR's Busch
series, NBC NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series commentating and his own show, "Track & Trail" on the Outdoor Network, Wally Jr.'s excited to be back for this traditional race. Racing against younger brother Paul, the defending champion in the Open Wheel Division, Wally Jr. faces some tough competition, but the real challenge is the course itself. The Hill Climb, established in 1916, is a unique auto and motorcycle race of 160 drivers and riders, which combines a tricky gravel course, thin air two miles above sea level, cutting-edge technology, and gutsy drivers who reach for their dreams as they charge toward the sky. It is the second oldest motor sports event in the U.S. - Only the Indianapolis 500 is older. The course is a dangerous sprint of 12.4 miles, a test of intelligence and awareness. Racers take the straight-aways at 130 mph plus, challenged by 156 gravel turns, cliffs of 2,000 feet and NO guardrails!
"Vortex Valve made it possible for Paul and I to run together this year," says Wally Jr., "I'm here to make a great run and to show Paul who's boss". Paul and Wally Jr.'s appearance together this year at the PPIHC is made possible through their sponsor, Air Synergy Labs, Inc, (ASL) manufacturers of the amazing Vortex Valve. ASL is dedicated to making more horsepower with less fuel. Both # 98 driven by Paul and # 17 driven by Wally Jr. will be sporting Air Synergy Labs colors and equipped with the Vortex Valve. The 83rd running of the Pike's Peak International Hill Climb starts Saturday, June 25th.(Real-Time PR), no word on any TV coverage.(6-24-2005)
- Tracy worrying about 2005...not beyond: Although his contract with Forsythe Championship Racing expires after this season, Paul Tracy isn't sure where his future lies. "We haven't gotten down to talk about next year," the Toronto Champ Car driver said yesterday. "Right now is the beginning of the season for us, it's only four races in. Once we get to August, September, then we start talking about next year, and see where talks go." Tracy prefers not to look beyond that. "At the end of the day, if you're winning races consistently then all of the other things that are going to happen in the future will fall in line," he said. Tracy has long been rumoured to be leaving the Champ Car circuit. NASCAR's Nextel Cup series has been a popular suggestion for him. It's thought his "Thrill from West Hill" persona would mesh well with NASCAR's star system. Tracy, however, made no mention yesterday of aspirations to drive stock cars. His only stated goal outside of Champ Car is to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For the time being Tracy is focusing on the series he is competing in.(Ottawa Sun/CP)(6-24-2005)
News from June 23, 2005
- National Guard Team To Arrive In Style At Infineon: Earlier this week the call came in to the Roush Racing shop in Concord, N.C. that the National Guard had finalized special travel arrangements for the #16 team. After several weeks of planning, it
was confirmed that the team would arrive and depart from Infineon Raceway on Sunday in a CH 47 Chinook Helicopter. "We were able to do this last year and wanted to be able to do something for the guys again this year," said SFC John Metzler of the National Guard. "They work week in and week out to give the men and women of the Army National Guard great a car to root for on the track. The morale boost they've given to Guard soldiers everywhere this year with such an incredible season is immeasurable and we just wanted to be able to do something for them." The CH 47 Chinook is a tandem-rotor transport helicopter. It is 51 feet in length, weighs approximately 33,000 pounds, has a maximum payload of more than seven tons and travels at up to 150 mph. It requires three crew members and can
carry 33 troops. The first Chinooks were built in 1961 and were first used in combat during Vietnam War. By 1968, the Chinook had put in 161,000 hours of flying time, carrying 22.4 million passengers and 1.3 million tons of cargo. Chinook helicopters were also used to transport U.S. and allied troops in the Persian Gulf War. The CH 47 used to transport the National Guard crew this weekend will be
operated by three members of the National Guard. The Chinook will be brought in to Oakland, Calif. on Saturday for the early morning flight to Infineon Raceway. The team will meet the helicopter at 5:30 am for the 20-minute flight to the track as the garage is schedule to open at 6:00 am. Following the 110-lap event, the CH 47 will be brought back to the Infineon Raceway helipad where it will pick up the National Guard team to take them to Roush Air in Oakland.(Roush Racing)(6-23-2005)
- DEI E Store Online Now Open: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. announced the opening of the new E Store Online available through their official website - www.DaleEarnhardtInc.com. Items are available in the Exclusive, Legacy, Die Cast, Men, Women, Children, Collectible, Accessory and Featured Sections. You can get everything from a Martin Truex, Jr. or Paul Menard T-shirt, to a Michael Waltrip hat or a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. die cast. An entire line of Dale Earnhardt Legacy items are also available.
DEI joins other teams/drivers with their own online store: DW Store; Jeff Hammond's Collector¹s World; JR's Garage - Roush Racing; Mattkensethstore.com; Tony Stewart Store, Rusty Wallace store
- The Sprint Cup? UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: Sprint and Nextel Communications announced details surrounding the brand strategy and logo to be used upon completion of the companies' merger, expected in the third quarter of 2005, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. The new go-to-market brand name of the combined Sprint Nextel will be Sprint, with the Nextel name continuing as a key product brand. Given its broad market awareness and its history of innovation, the Sprint name was chosen as the lead go-to-market brand name for the new company.
Blending elements of Sprint's signature "pin drop" – representing clarity – and Nextel's bold yellow and black colors – which command attention – the new logo is a powerful symbol for the new Sprint as a forward-moving, energetic and dynamic brand. Additionally, in advertising, the new Sprint visual treatment will include the line, "Together with Nextel," as a reminder of the equity of these two strong brands coming together as one.
The new company will be committed to its partnership with NASCAR and its more than 75 million fans. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will maintain its current series branding through 2006, and decisions regarding the series name and branding beyond that season are expected to be made prior to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season opener in 2006. Sprint Nextel Corporation will serve as the corporate name of the combined company once the merger is approved.(Sprint)(6-23-2005)
- Andretti in Readers Digest: His Nextel Cup career might be on hold due to lack of sponsorship, but John Andretti is managing to get some exposure via a feature article in the July, 2005 edition of Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest used Andretti, who began this season in ppc Racing's #14 Ford until the team pulled out of the series, to explain car care and avoidance of passenger car problems in its latest issue. The segment has a photo of Andretti. "It's kind of neat, especially with a magazine I first saw when I was a kid because my grandmother subscribed to it," Andretti said. "My first thought was, 'I'll be in dentists' offices all over the country.'"(NASCAR.com)(6-23-2005)
- NASCAR TV Guides: this week, the June 26th issue of TV Guide is featuring four pairs of teammates: #38-Elliott Sadler and #88-Dale Jarrett from Robert Yates Racing; #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #15-Michale Waltrip of DEI; #48-Jimmie Johnson and #24-Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports; and #99-Carl Edwards and #6-Mark Martin of Roush Racing.(6-23-2005)
- Korbel Champagne to sponsor the #33 at Infineon: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Korbel California Champagnes have reached an agreement for a one-race sponsorship with 2000 SCCA Trans Am Champion Brian Simo piloting RCR’s #33 Korbel California Champagnes Chevrolet Monte Carlo in this weekend’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Established in 1882 in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley, Korbel Champagne Cellars produces the United States' most popular méthode champenoise champagne. Owned and managed by the Heck family since 1954, Korbel currently makes 10 champagnes and a limited amount of still wine. In a separate facility, Korbel also produces one of the country's most respected brandies. Korbel California Champagnes reminds race fans to “Celebrate Responsibly.” (RCR PR)(6-23-2005)
- Simo to run the #33 at Sonoma: some nice background about Brian Simo as folks may not know much about him: Brian Simo will return to NASCAR Nextel Cup racing this week, driving the #33 Chevrolet with Richard Childress Racing. Simo, of Carlsbad, Calif., will be up against NASCAR’s rule reserving 36 [including the champ prov for #11-Labonte] of the 43 starting positions for series regulars, but is confident of his chances of qualifying for a fourth career Cup start. “RCR has been great to work with and I’m really looking forward to racing with [crew chief] Bobby Leslie and [engine-builder] Danny Lawrence. I appreciate what Richard Childress and RCR have accomplished, and it’s great to have the opportunity to run with them,” Simo said. “There are only seven spots, so we’ll try to first make it into the field, then worry about the race. We can’t afford any mistakes in qualifying, so we probably need a less-than-fast run, but solid enough to get in the show.” Simo competed in three previous Cup races. In his last time out, with no testing or advance seat time, he qualified 15th of 48 drivers in only his second attempt at single-lap qualifying and raced as high as fifth place in his third race. He has also contested several NASCAR Busch Series races, where he led on two occasions before retiring with mechanical failures. He won the highly competitive Trans-Am Series championship in 2000 and was first or second in the series for five consecutive years. In sports cars, he has achieved success in every race he has entered – a 10-lap GTS win and a GTS1 podium finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, two IMSA GTS victories and two GT podiums in the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans.(Speed Channel)(6-23-2005)
- Fox TV Ratings on a record pace: As Fox prepares to air its final Nextel Cup race of the season on Sunday, the network says it is on the verge of setting an all-time high for its regular season broadcasts. Fox says it is averaging a 6.1 rating and a 14 market share for its first 11 events (through the June 12 Pocono race) and 9.833 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The rating is up 5 percent from the 5.8 last year, and the audience is up 6 percent from the 2004 audience of 9.275 million. Fox Sports research expects that this year's Nextel Cup coverage on the network will post a final 5.9 household rating, setting a new record for any NASCAR package.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-23-2005)
- Sad News: Belated sympathy note to #2 Miller Lite team's gasman Doug Ingold and his family for the passing of Doug's mother, Joyce Ingold, on June 11. Mrs. Ingold, 71, died suddenly while on a church trip in Nashville, Tenn. "She and my sister had been going on these great bus trips with her church for several years now. Mom was just stepping down off the bus at one of the stops on the Nashville trip when she just collapsed. They did everything they could to revive her, but there was nothing that they could do. They said it was coronary failure, but she didn't have any kind of medical history of heart problems. It may sound strange, but my whole family took a lot of comfort in the fact that mom died a really happy lady and she was doing what she loved doing - out there enjoying life with all her great friends from the church." Services for Mrs. Ingold were held last Wednesday (June 15) at Stanly Funeral Home. She was interred in the cemetery at Silver Springs Baptist Church in Aquadale, N.C.(Tom Roberts PR)(6-23-2005)
- Petty engineers travel to high-tech wind tunnel in Germany: As the ever-expanding engineering and technical side of
NASCAR Nextel Cup racing continues to grow, Petty Enterprises took a huge step to the forefront of wind tunnel testing this week. Accepting an invitation from Dodge Motorsports, Petty Enterprises spent this week in Stuttgart, Germany, at one of the world's state-of-the-art wind tunnels. The wind tunnel in Stuttgart, Germany is equipped with a rare and unique "Rolling Road" wind tunnel system. Cars travel on a belt and can simulate different pitches and angles. Used by Mercedes, Petty Enterprises hopes the facility will provide them with unmatched information. "The 'Rolling Road' wind tunnel can actually give us better, more realistic data
comparable to on-track conditions," stated Petty Enterprises General Manager Jerry Freeze. "We're hoping to use this data and compare it to the 'static' wind tunnels we use here in the States." Petty Enterprises has two main objectives while in Germany, but is keeping in mind the ultimate goal. "First, we are hoping to learn the tunnel and see how we can take advantage of it," continued Freeze. "Secondly, we want to try different adjustments to the car and gather the data. We are here to win too. The Dodge Charger is a completely new car this season. We want to continue to learn as much about this car as quickly as possible to get us in victory lane. This is a great opportunity for us." Petty Enterprises, which fields the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge driven by Kyle Petty, shipped their cars overseas a month ago. The cars were shipped in large
- More testing at Bondurant School: Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and Brian Vickers were at the Bob Bondurant School in Phoenix, AZ, Tuesday and Wednesday working with Mike McGovern. Then this afternoon, spent time on the track with Nick Lachey, AJ Descala, Marty Smith, and some other friends, who completed a one day "Intro to Racing" class. Then they jumped into the Bondurant Superkarts that do zero to 100 in six seconds, one inch from the ground and the fastest vehicle on the property.(6-23-2005)
- Aussie testing Truck: Two-time Australian V8 Supercar champion Marcos Ambrose is testing a NASCAR Craftsman Truck at two tracks in the Carolinas this week as part of his plans to join America's premier stock car circuit next year. Ford Racing is helping Ambrose, who won road racing's Supercar championship Down Under in a Ford Falcon in 2003 and '04 and is leading in this year's title chase. Ambrose, 28, tested Tuesday at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., and was at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., Wednesday. Ambrose is using a Ford pickup supplied by Roush Racing during the tests. Representatives from Roush's research and development group, including veteran crew chief Ben Leslie, are on site. Leslie has worked in the past with Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch. "This is the first step in a long process, a very long march," said Ambrose, who raced against the likes of current Formula One drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button in Europe during the late '90s. "I'll show what I can do. It's a challenge, but the sport's the same whether you're in open-wheel, V8 Supercars or NASCAR; it's man versus machine." Ambrose was at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn last weekend for the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck events. He was a guest of Ford Racing. Ambrose said he's prepared to relocate to North Carolina, home of NASCAR race shops. But he isn't expecting a free meal ticket. Ambrose is prepared to start in Craftsman Truck, if necessary, and work his way into the Busch Grand National series and then Nextel Cup.(Detroit Free Press)(6-23-3005)
- Earnhardt Squares Off Against 11-Year-Old Karter at Infineon: Not only did 11-year-old Andrew Wolocatiuk get to zip around the 16-turn, three-quarter karting Infineon Raceway track on Wednesday at speeds in excess of 50 mph, he did so against NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. The two drivers staged a five-lap challenge race as a promotion for this weekend's Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup weekend at Infineon Raceway. Earnhardt posted the victory in the five-lap race against young Wolocatiuk, but the Petaluma resident had a great time. "It was really cool. I didn't realize what a cool guy he was but he was great," said Wolocatiuk, a regular competitor in the Jim Russell Karting Series at Infineon Raceway. It was the first time Earnhardt Jr. had seen the twisting kart track at Infineon Raceway and he came away impressed. "I just had a really good time," he said. "I think if Andrew had a better kart he would have given me a run for my money. Maybe we can come out and do this again some time." Earnhardt Jr. competed in a corporate kart, featuring 15 horsepower and a top speed of 60 mph. Wolocatiuk drove a cadet kart, featuring 12 horsepower with a top speed of 55 mph. When the weight differential was factored in, the karts were equally prepared. Earnhardt Jr. gave Wolocatiuk his racing gloves as a souvenir following the challenge race. The two drivers staged four warm-up laps before the five-lap challenge race. Earnhardt took the lead on the second lap and won by three seconds.(Infineon Raceway)(6-23-2005)
News from June 22, 2005
- Jayski Bandalero finishes 2nd: Jason Haynes brought the #19 Jayski Bandoleo 2nd after starting 9th [of 18] at the Lowe's Motor Speedway's Hardee's Summer Shootout on Tuesday. Jason slowly moved up thru the field, masterfully handling the restart by choosing the outside lane to make up some track position and was making a run at the leader, but was held up by a slower lapped car [#38] which delayed Jason's run at the leader until late, crossing the checkers a car length behind....nice job! Peg, Drew and Jenny joined me for my first ever viewing of the Summer Shootout, which started at 7:30pm/et and ended at 10:30pm/et with a nice run by the Thunder Roadsters [won by Kyle Beattie] and a wild CrashCar race. With a record 226 race cars in the pit area, only three of the eight feature races in the Amoco Ultimate-sponsored program went the scheduled 20-lap distance as numerous spins and minor accidents slowed the action. Fireworks will light up the sky during round three of the 10-week Hardee's Summer Shootout Tuesday night, June 28. Kicking off the area's Independence Day celebration, the Amoco Ultimate-sponsored program will include the seven regular divisions of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing along with the radical CRASHCars. Spectator gates opens at 5 p.m. with feature racing at 7:30. The fireworks extravaganza will follow the racing program at approximately 10:15 p.m. Call 1-800-455-FANS.(see full article and results of all the classes at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(6-22-2005)
- #9 Front End Seized, Penalty on the way UPDATE 2: Speed Channel's Bob Dilner reported on Speed News NASCAR Edition that the #9-Kasey Kahne car had the front end confiscated by NASCAR for supposedly having an illegal spring loaded valance. Expect to hear some news on fines/penalties/points deduction by NASCAR, usually penalties are announced on Tuesdays.(6-20-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR officials have confirmed the confiscation of an adjustable - and thus illegal - front air dam from Kasey Kahne’s #9 Dodge team during the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway race weekend. According to NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter, the illegal part was found during a pre-race inspection on Friday and never made it to the racetrack aboard the team Evernham entry. Still, the team is set to receive some kind of punishment for possession of a device deliberately designed to breach the rules. "A penalty will be forthcoming -- I don't know what,” Hunter told NASCAR’s official website. “The rulebook says it cannot be adjusted, so it did not conform to our rules."(Speed Channel)(6-21-2005)
UPDATE 2 [well...not much of one] no word yet on any penalties/fines for this infraction, expected the word Tuesday as is usaully the case.(6-22-2005)
FINE ANNOUNCED: Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for the #9 Dodge driven by Kasey Kahne, was fined $10,000 for an unapproved front air dam extension, a violation of Section 12-4-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (parts and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook.(NASCAR PR)(6-22-2005)
- Penalties announced: NASCAR announced today that two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs have been fined for infractions during last weekend’s events at Michigan International Speedway. Both violations were found during pre-qualifying inspection.
Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for the #9 Dodge driven by Kasey Kahne, was fined $10,000 for an unapproved front air dam extension, a violation of Section 12-4-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (parts and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook.
Jimmy Elledge, crew chief for the #41 Dodge driven by Casey Mears, was fined $1,000 for unapproved body modifications after inspection, a violation of Section 12-4-1 and Section 12-4-Q.(NASCAR PR)(6-22-2005)
- Speed Channel to roll out new NASCAR Nation: SPEED Channel will unveil changes made to its nightly program NASCAR Nation on June 27 at 7:00pm/et/pt. Chris Long, SPEED Channel's new VP of Studio Production, has orchestrated the overhaul, changing the format, the set, the cast -- even the logo. "NASCAR Nation was always intended to be a lifestyle show," Long said. "We didn't want it to turn into another news show or driver reality show, so I felt some significant changes had to be made. We have done some things that I expect will raise the energy level quite a bit and put more of a focus on NASCAR as entertainment. "SPEED Channel already does a fantastic job with shows like Trackside, Inside NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR This Morning, and our goal is to give all of the studio shows their own individual look and feel," Long added. "We made some of these changes to give NASCAR Nation a very distinctive flavor. When
someone tunes into SPEED, we want them to immediately know what show they are watching." The new NASCAR Nation will feature Leeann Tweeden, along with newcomers Vicki Johnson and Craig Reynolds, in the studio. Original cast members Courtney George and John Willenborg will be joined by Charlotte's Shannon Spake in the field. "NASCAR lives at the intersection of sports and entertainment and the new look NASCAR Nation takes fans behind the scenes and puts them center stage," said Jeffrey Pollack, Managing Director of Broadcasting and New Media for NASCAR Digital Entertainment. The 30-minute show will originate live Monday through Thursday from the SPEED Channel studios in Charlotte, N.C.(SPEED Channel), so now we have NO daily NASCAR NEWS show to check out........anyhow......past news and rumors on this show and the shorter Inside Nextel Cup on my TV/Media News page.(6-22-2005)
- #38 Pit Crew WIns: For the third time this season the M&M’S Chocolate Thunder Pit Crew won the Checker’s/Rally’s Double Drive Thru Pit Crew Challenge Award. The M&M’S Team spent a total of 191.077 seconds on pit road to beat out their other
competitors. This victory positions the Chocolate Thunder Crew in a three-way tie with the #2 and #12 Penske Teams for the season lead.(M&M's Motorsports)(6-22-2005)
- Tragic News: The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb today announced that race official Henry Bresciani, 67, of Colorado
Springs, Colo., succumbed to injuries as a result of an accident during the first practice session for the 83rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Bresciani was giving competitors the finish flag at the summit of Pikes Peak when he was struck and killed by a mini-sprint car driven by Jay Stewart, a driver based in Peyton, Colorado. EMTs assigned to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb responded to the scene and began life saving procedures. They were then assisted by Event Medical Services paramedics and a Memorial Star Transport
Team. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Henry’s family and friends as they cope with this tragedy,” said Phil Layton, race director for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “It is very difficult to lose a member of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb family.” The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the second oldest motorsports event in the United States. An annual event since 1916, 2005 marks the 83rd running of the “Race to the Clouds”. The race is run on a 12-mile course that begins at 9,200 feet and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. It features a variety of automotive, semi truck and motorcycle classes with an average of 150 total competitors.(Pikes Peak International Raceway)(6-22-2005)
News from June 21, 2005
- #200 for Kenseth: #17-Matt Kenseth will start his 200th career Nextel Cup race this weekend at Infineon Raceway.(6-21-2005)
- Q&A: Danica Patrick TSN [The Sporting News]: Do you have aspirations to race in NASCAR?
Patrick: Only if the right situation came about would I think about leaving IndyCar. Honestly, I have to say that I've just always wanted to be an IndyCar driver. I race because it's fun, and I race because I love it, not because I want to make money. I wouldn't go race for a different team because they paid me a ton more money if I think I couldn't do as well as where I'm at. I think there's only so much money you need to be happy, and the rest of it is just problematic and costs you a lot of money when it comes to tax time.(Sporting News/Brandon Mudd)(6-21-2005)
- Marlin considering consultant role: Sterling Marlin yesterday said he will "consider" an offer to remain at Chip Ganassi Racing next year as a consultant — a move that would end his Nextel Cup racing career — but made it clear he hopes to land a new ride with a different team. "Chip and his people have made a really good offer," Marlin said from his home in Columbia, referring to a six-figure deal that would keep him at Ganassi Racing in a non-driving role. "The offer's on the table but I haven't given them my answer yet. I want to wait and see what happens." What Marlin is waiting on is word from "two or three really good" Nextel Cup team owners about his prospects of driving for them next year. "We've talked, but nothing has been decided yet," Marlin said. "Hopefully I'll know something soon." In addition to receiving an offer to remain with the team as a consultant, Marlin's longtime sponsor Coors also offered him a three-year personal-services contract. Marlin said he could take the Coors offer and continue to drive for another team, as long as it was not sponsored by a rival brewery. "I couldn't be a spokesman for Coors and race for some other (beer) company," he said. "But as long as there was no conflict I could do both. Coors and I go way back. They sponsored my car when I was 19 and racing at the Fairgrounds."
Another development over the weekend was an extension of Marlin's contract with FitzBradshaw Racing to continue to drive their car in a partial Busch Series schedule next year, but with one major addition: Marlin would be joined by his son Steadman. "I'd run about 20-25 races and Steadman would run the rest," Marlin said. "The details aren't worked out yet, but this could be a big chance for him." Marlin said he could run the Busch races even if he accepted the consultant offer from Ganassi. "Working for Ganassi and running Busch wouldn't be a problem," he said. "But I couldn't work for Chip and run Cup."(Tennessean)(6-21-2005)
- KaBoom Scheme at California: #20-Tony Stewart will race a KaBOOM! paint scheme at California in September. As part of the Racing to Play Program Home Depot has teamed up with KaBOOM! to build playgrounds in communities across the U.S. Last week, Stewart and the Home Depot team helped build a playground in Jackson, Michigan.(Racing One)
AND The Home Depot and NASCAR kicked off Racing to Play, a national partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM! in Jackson, Michigan on June 16th. The campaign, which features playground builds in ten cities nationwide, is designed to make a lasting impression in the lives of at- risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. Racing to Play kicked off with a playground build at the Jackson Arts and Technology Academy in Jackson, Michigan prior to the Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Tony Stewart and other members of Joe Gibbs Racing participated. "This program brings together two of my deepest interests -- racing and providing assistance to children in need," said Stewart. "In addition to building playgrounds, I hope that we can inspire these children to fulfill their dreams."(KaBOOM.org), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(6-21-2005)
- Graf wins at Portland: remember Klaus Graf? drove a few Cup races for BAM Racing in 2004 and was supposed to drive a few in 2005, but have heard nothing and he is not on the current entry list for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.....Klaus Graf entered Saturday’s Rose City 100 Trans-Am race at Portland International Raceway a rookie and left a veteran as the German graduate of Porsche Michelin Supercup competition won his first Trans-Am race in just his second start. Driving the #7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, Graf became the first German national to win a Trans-Am race since rallying World Champion Walter Rohrl in 1988. He is also the first rookie to win a Trans-Am race since Butch Leitzinger in 2002. Graf won the pole, but started fifth due to Trans-Am’s Fast Five Qualifying inversion. He drove through the field and took the lead for good from team owner Paul Gentilozzi when Gentilozzi’s Jaguar suffered a mechanical failure on lap 16. Graf wasn’t seriously challenged from there. “This feels great,” said Graf. “At Long Beach, we had the pace down, but we couldn’t finish the race. We focused on improving the car each session. I knew it was going to be tough in the race. It took me awhile to get my rhythm and set the brake bias. I ran behind Randy for awhile. Then I passed him in the Festival Curves and then Paul had a problem. I held my pace from there. This is very special, being accompanied by Walter Rohrl because he is a very, very famous driver in Germany,” added Graf. “He’s a World Champion in rallying and one of my heroes. He is one of the best race car drivers ever.” The race will air on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, June 26 at 1:00pm/et on SPEED Channel.(Speed Channel)(6-21-2005)
- Jones in a 2nd RGM car UPDATE: P.J. Jones is listed in a 2nd Robby Gordon Motorsports Harrah's Chevy for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway.(Sonoma Entry List)(6-21-2005)
UPDATE: RGM had entered P.J. Jones in the #71 Harrah’s Chevrolet as a second entry. However, after careful consideration, the team withdrew the car to concentrate fully on its primary car – Gordon’s #7 – given the importance of the event and the need to secure a solid finish. The #7 car will carry Jim Beam and Menards decals on the left and right quarter panels of the Harrah’s Chevrolet respectively.(RGM)(6-21-2005)
- Did ya Know? No driver has won a NASCAR national touring series championship with a car or truck carrying the number one [#1].(NASCAR Truck Series Pre-Race)(6-21-2005)
- Crown Royal back on the #97: The #97 Ford Taurus of Kurt Busch will be coated in Crown Royal purple and gold for the Sonoma road-course race at Infineon Raceway on June 26. This will be the second of six regular-season races that the #97 racecar will exhibit the Crown Royal colors. Previously, Busch drove the Crown Royal car to a sixth-place finish in the non-points Shootout race at Daytona International Speedway, and a 19th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in April. The Crown Royal Experience is a unique traveling Motorsports Museum spread over 10,000 square feet featuring multiple show cars and racing memorabilia from different racing series. The experience is open to fans 21 years of age and over at all NASCAR races. Crown Royal has unveiled a national television commercial starring the #97 Ford Taurus. Titled "Pace Car," the execution features the #97 racecar leading a fleet of automobiles in pace car formation through winding rural, suburban and city streets, eventually ending at a racetrack. The ad is punctuated with a voice over declaring, "Pacing is everything, especially when drinking," and closes with the brand's social responsibility tagline, "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." This marked the very first spirits ad since NASCAR announced it was allowing spirits companies to sponsor race teams. The ad can be viewed on the internet at www.crownroyalracing.com. Kurt Busch recently filmed a broadcast television Public Service Announcement (PSA) about responsible drinking. The PSA is part of Crown Royal's commitment to promote responsible drinking with millions of NASCAR's adult fans through its "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." campaign. The PSA is scheduled to air
throughout the summer and fall months.(Alan Taylor Communications)(6-21-2005)
- Borneman in for Garvey: John Borneman III is listed as the driver for the #66 Peak Fitness Ford for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway, Mike Garvey is the current regular driver.(Sonoma Entry List)(6-21-2005)
- Hubert takes over for Shelmerdine: Bill Davis Racing's Tom Hubert will attempt to get the #27 Kirk Shelmedine Racing Ford in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway. Hubert has ran road course races in the Nextel Cup, Busch and Truck Series for various teams. The #27 team has made 10 attempts but failed to make a race in 2005.(Sonoma Entry List)(6-21-2005)
- Chris Cook at Sonoma with Nemco Motorsports - Road course specialist and instructor Chris Cook will be attempting his first Nextel Cup event with Nemco Motorsports at Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA on June 26. Cooks first start this year came at the Mexico City Busch Series race where he started 16th and was running 10th with 22 laps to go before a spinning Denny Hamlin collected
Cook, who eventually finished 26th. Originally from Sonoma, Cook is excited about his first attempt in the Nextel Cup Series. "I have a lot of laps on that track and feel real comfortable in what Joe (Nemechek) has put together for us." The #87 Nemco Motorsports entry is still working on sponsorship for the event, but co-owner Chris Evans feels confident about the program. "Chris Cook is a natural road-course talent and does a fantastic job with all of our clients. Our opportunity offers sponsors the chance to participate at 1/3 the cost. The value and exposure should be tremendous." For more information, visit www.christinemariemotorsports.com (CMM PR).(6-21-2005)
News from June 20, 2005
- Some drivers practicing at Bondurant School: hearing some Cup drivers are going to school this week at the Bob Bondurant School in Phoenix, AZ getting ready for the race at Infineon Speedway this coming weekend. Been told that #38-Elliott Sadler and #88- Dale Jarrett are spending Monday with Bondurant Chief Instructor, Mike McGovern.(6-20-2005)
- Michigan TV Ratings Match up with 2004: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International
Speedway earned a 4.0 overnight rating and a 10 market share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The figures match the 4.0/10 overnight figures from Michigan's June race last year, which were down from 4.5/11 overnight in 2003.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-20-2005)
- RCR and United of Omaha Reach Settlement: A settlement has been reached in the trial brought by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) against United of Omaha insurance company in a case that arose out of the death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2001. The jury trial began May 23, 2005, in the Superior Court in Lexington, N.C. The parties reached a confidential settlement over the weekend of June 17. The settlement was reached after both parties had presented all of
their evidence and had a full understanding of the intentions of the other party. By settling the case, both parties were able to avoid further prolonged litigation which would have included appeals to the North Carolina appellate courts. Also, the settlement precludes any further
disagreements or litigation by both parties over the issues and subject matter of the lawsuit.(RCR PR)(6-20-2005)
- Pruett at Infineon Raceway: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and Chevron Corporation announced today that defending Grand Am Rolex Series Champion Scott Pruett will pilot a second Texaco/Havoline "Shine On" Dodge in the 110-lap Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on June 26. Pruett, a native of nearby Sacramento, Calif., will be
driving the #39 Dodge, which will be the fourth entry by CGRFS, with a paint scheme complementing teammate Jamie McMurray's #42
Texaco/Havoline "Shine On" Dodge. Pruett has 35 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts dating back to 2000, four of which have come at the 1.99-mile Infineon Raceway. He recorded his best finish of third at the track one year ago in the #39 Dodge, crossing the finish line directly behind CGRFS teammate McMurray. Pruett is currently tied for first place in the Grand Am Rolex Series standings with co-pilot Luis Diaz driving for the no. 01 CompUSA team based out of Chip Ganassi Racing's Indianapolis stable. Together, the duo have already amassed two victories and three poles this season, along with four podiums and five top-five finishes in just six starts.
The special paint schemes that McMurray and Pruett will be running are a part of the "Shine On" series of cars. The designs pay tribute to the iconic status of the star, which has led the way on the hood of a Texaco/Havoline car in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for over 18 years. The Star logo being showcased on the Infineon cars was introduced in 1936 and was used until 1963. McMurray has already competed with "Shine On" cars at Texas and Charlotte, and he'll also be running one at Talladega in October.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(6-20-2005)
- Mears back with Ganassi in 2006 more: during an interview on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, Casey Mears, driver of the #41 Target Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing, says he has been told that Chip Ganassi 'has plans for Mears', but Mears has not been told what those plans are.(NASCAR This Morning)(6-19-2005)
AND Is #41-Casey Mears the next driver headed out of the Ganassi stable? "We were hoping for a little more performance," Ganassi said of Mears' season before the race. "That's not to say that he's not going to be here next year. I talked to Casey the other day and I said, 'Hey, I've got a plan and you're in it.' That's what's going on right now. Is it nailed, nailed, nailed? No."(Detroit Free Press)(6-20-2005)
- Richert Wins 5th Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: Greg Biffle put on a heroic display in the Batman Begins 400 this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Along with crew chief Doug Richert, Biffle decided not to pit during the last caution period, moving him into the lead for the final green flag run. Even without fresh tires, Biffle pulled away from the competition,
winning the race by 1.675 seconds over second place Tony Stewart. For bringing Biffle his fifth win of the season, Doug Richert won the
Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. Tony Stewart relinquished the lead on lap 170 to pit for fresh tires. Unlike his victories at Darlington and Dover earlier this season, Doug Richert didn't call his driver in for tires during the late-race caution period. Biffle, who was running second at the time, inherited the lead and never looked back. "Here we had a car that was really good in the long runs," said Richert. "We thought that if we got good track position we could get a jump on the guys who did take fresh tires, and that's exactly what happened. Mark (Martin) had fresh tires and was coming up through the pack, but we had a good enough lead to keep him and Tony (Stewart) behind us. Now if the caution came out again, Mark Martin probably would have won this race. As it turned out, our strategy worked best." The panel of voters; including Mike Pryson of the Jackson Citizen Patriot, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; all cast their vote for Richert as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. With five wins this season, 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, each with one win. 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)(6-20-2005)
- Executive Changes at Hendrick: In a tactical realignment of his business entities, Rick Hendrick today announced personnel changes affecting the Hendrick Automotive Group (HAG), Hendrick Motorsports and, now, the Hendrick Companies. As part of the refreshed business model, Hendrick introduced longtime Automotive Group executive Jim Huzl as president and chief executive
officer of Charlotte-based HAG. In his new role, effective July 1, Huzl will oversee the direction of one of the nation's largest privately held
auto retailers with 68 franchises, 4,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in revenue. Sharing Huzl's former duties as HAG's chief operating officer will be three new senior vice presidents: Tom Blocker, East Division; Kirk Heppler, West Division; and Gary Davis, who will manage retail operations support. Huzl succeeds Jim Perkins, who will transition to become the first president and COO of the Hendrick Cos., an organization recently formed to manage strategic initiatives relative to Hendrick's various business enterprises. Perkins will continue to serve as a member of HAG's partnership committee.
Bobby Rice, a trusted friend and business associate of Hendrick since 1976, was named executive vice president of the Hendrick Cos. and special adviser to the chairman. Rice also will work in a consultative capacity with Hendrick Motorsports, which fields multiple stock-car racing teams in two different divisions of sanctioning body NASCAR..(HMS PR)(6-20-2005)
- New Tire at Pocono: Goodyear officials are reviewing the tire situation at Pocono and likely will decide this week whether to introduce a new tire for the second Pocono race July 24. Problems were not associated with this tire combination during tests or the race at Las Vegas, but there were plenty of problems June 12 during the Pocono 500. Goodyear's Rick Campbell says there still is time to change the tire combination for the next race at Pocono. Ricky Rudd, who had six cut tires at Pocono, says the tunnel turn at Pocono became rough over the winter. "It was like driving over a brick on the highway," he says. Rudd says he expects changes to be made in the track's surface.(Sporting News)(6-20-2005)
- No More Doubles for Rusty: #2-Rusty Wallace, who is retiring after this season, said he will rethink racing twice in one weekend. Wallace flew from MIS to Kentucky Speedway Saturday to compete in the Busch race, in which he finished 24th. He flew back late Saturday to prepare for Sunday's Cup race. "I'm a little tired after running Kentucky," Wallace admitted after finishing 10th at Michigan. "I was going to run the Busch race at (Indianapolis Raceway Park) before the Brickyard (in August), but I don't think I'm going to do that now."(Detroit News)(6-20-2005)
- Valvoline could be moving to Evernham Motorsports? The company has been associated with MBV and Nelson Bowers since 2001, but it is expected to sell its shares back to the team at the end of the season. Centrix Financial is expected to sponsor the #10 Chevrolet, which is being driven by Scott Riggs.(Sporting News)(6-20-2005)
- NASCAR Takes Engines to Examine: Speed Channel's Bob Dilner reported on Speed News NASCAR Edition that NASCAR took ten engines from the teams after the race at Michigan. Three Dodge [#12, #9, #41], Four GM [#20, #15, #31, #48], Three Ford [#6, #17, #38]. The engines will be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC to determine how even the power, parts, etc are.(and from ThatsRacin.com)(6-20-2005)
- Some drivers practicing at Bondurant School: hearing some Cup drivers are going to school this week at the Bob Bondurant School in Phoenix, AZ getting ready for the race at Infineon Speedway this coming weekend. Been told that #38-Elliott Sadler and #88- Dale Jarrett are spending Monday with Bondurant Chief Instructor, Mike McGovern.(6-20-2005)
- Marlin and Ganassi, Sorenson to a 4th team, Mears to stay: As a result, at a press conference later today Chip Ganassi will start reshaping the future of the team by formally announcing long-rumored changes that will yield Marlin's #40 Dodge to driver David Stremme. "It wasn't an easy decision, I'll tell you that," Ganassi said. "I'm sure if you were to ask Rick Hendrick if Tim Richmond or Geoff Bodine contributed to his team's overall success, he'd answer 'yes.' Sterling's done that for us, too, and that's why I'm not just cutting him loose, even though at the end of this contract I didn't owe him anything." Engineered by Ganassi, Marlin will get a substantial, six-figure, three-year personal services contract -- the money coming in equal parts from Ganassi and Coors. According to Ganassi, the changes won't stop with the #40 Dodge -- though such aren't scheduled to be formally announced today. Reed Sorenson, also recent grist in the rumor mill, will be moving up to Cup, too -- but not at the expense of Casey Mears, as many have predicted. Though all the parts have yet to fall perfectly into place, Ganassi is working toward fielding a four-car Nextel Cup effort in 2006. There's even a fairly substantial chance of Ganassi's Rolex Series effort growing from two to three DP cars in 2006.(Daytona Beach News Jourmal)(6-19-2005)
AND So...what is up with Marlin? David Stremme was officially introduced Sunday as driver of Chip Ganassi Racing's #40 Dodges for 2006, but that news was overshadowed by the announcement of Sterling Marlin's potential plans. Marlin, who has driven the #40 Coors entry for the past eight seasons, will finish out the 2005 campaign in that machine. But moving forward he has a decision to make. Team owner Felix Sabates said Marlin wants to compete full-time in the Nextel Cup Series next year, but has a lucrative deal on the table from Sabates and Chip Ganassi to "hang around." The personal services deal, which Chip Ganassi said was "well into the six-figures," also includes a full-time schedule Armando Fitz's #40 Busch Series entry, Sabates said. "Both Chip and I wanted to make sure he hung around with us," Sabates explained. "So I went to Coors and said, 'Hey, Sterling has been with us now for eight years and deserves for you guys to do something with him.' So he has a very lucrative deal just to hang around, really. He said he wants to (drive in Nextel Cup). But he told me yesterday he's not going to drive for somebody that doesn't have a competitive team. I hope he gets something, but if not he's got a full-time Busch ride for next year. If I was him, with the money we're paying him, I'd take the Busch ride. He's still going to be involved with us. That's an extension of our race team."(NASCAR.com)(6-19-2005)
AND MORE Marlin has not announced his plans for next year, though Ganassi said he has offered a personal-services contract to Marlin for more than $100,000 to serve as an 'ambassador.'"(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-20-2005)
- Ganassi Announcement Sunday at MIS UPDATE 3 2006 - Marlin out, Stremme in: Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates [owner's of tht #39, #40, #41, #42 teams in Cup] will be on hand for a special announcement on Sunday, June 19th at Michigan International Speedway regarding new sponsor activities and plans for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates).....#40 with Stremme???(6-16-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR’s Youth Movement has swept aside veteran Sterling Marlin. Months of speculation about the future of the 47-year-old racer from Columbia will end at a press conference tomorrow at Michigan International Speedway when David Stremme, 27, is introduced as Marlin’s replacement for Chip Ganassi Racing. “They decided they wanted a younger driver,” Marlin said yesterday from the track where he is preparing for tomorrow’s Nextel Cup race. “They’re going with Stremme.” Marlin said he “understands” that he will finish out the season in the #40 Dodge he has driven for the past eight years. “I think they may put Stremme in another car [#39?] for about four races,” he said, “but as far as I know I’ll run them all.”(Tennessean)(6-18-2005)
UPDATE 2: Lone Star Steakhouse announced Sunday at MIS a multi-year partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates on the #40 Dodge Charger with driver David Stremme for 17 races in 2006. Coors Light will sponsor the #40 Dodge Charger in the other 17 NASCAR Nextel Cup races next season.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates/Clear!Blue PR), no word on the sponsor for the other two races.(6-19-2005)
UPDATE 3: Coors Brewing Company announced today that they have extended their relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates [CGRwFS] in the Nextel Cup Series. The extension will include the primary sponsorship of the #40 Coors Light Dodge with CGRFS development driver and current Busch Series driver David Stremme for 17 races in the NEXTEL Cup Series in 2006. The partnership also includes associate sponsorship of the #40 during the other 19 Nextel Cup races. David Stremme joined the CGRwFS stable of drivers in 2002 when team owners Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates signed him as part of the CGRwFS driver development program. Currently he is driving the #14 Navy Dodge for FitzBradshaw Racing.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(6-19-2005)
AND In 2006, Stremme's Dodges will split sponsorship between Coors Light and Lone Star Steakhouse. Coors will grace the hood in 19 events, while Lone Star will be the primary sponsor in the other 17 races. Stremme will make his Nextel Cup debut at Chicagoland Speedway next month. He plans to test the speedway Monday. Ganassi said Stremme will run four Nextel Cup races in 2005 before running for rookie of the year next season [#39 team?].(NASCAR.com)(6-19-2005)
AND MORE: Stremme, the 2003 Busch rookie of the year, will run four races this season in the No. 39 Dodge. Included in those is the Sept. 10 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway along with races at Chicago, Charlotte and Miami.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-20-2005)