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    JUNE 26-JULY 3, 2005

      News from July 3, 2005

    • Stewart wins at Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway for his first win restrictor plate points win, 2nd win of 2005, 2nd in a row and 21st of his career. In a move I have never seen and that was very cool, Stewart turned the car around, stopped at the flag stand, got out of the car, climbed the fence and onto the flagstand, high fived the two flagmen and saluted the crowd, very cool. #42-Jamie McMurray held on for second after running in the top five most of the night, following was #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (after started 39th), #2-Rusty Wallace and #88-Dale Jarrett [now 10th in points]. #16-Greg Biffle. the points leader coming in to Daytona, was involved in a wreck when #15-Waltrip lost a tire on a restart and finished 36th. Biffle lost the points lead to #48-Jimmie Johnson, who finished 6th and now leads Biffle by 73 points.
      The rest of the top-10: #48-Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon, #4-Mike Wallace [started 43rd], #17-Matt Kenseth and #49-Kenny Schrader grabbed the 10th spot. Stewart led 151 of 160 laps, a new record. There were 9 cautions for 41 laps.
      For race results see Jayski's Pepsi 400 Race Results/Awards page.(7-3-2005)

    • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: No one came close to topping Tony Stewart this weekend at the Pepsi 400. Stewart led the parade for a record breaking 151 laps of the 160 lap event. Despite the field ganging up on the #20 Chevrolet, Stewart easily held on to the top spot to pick up his second consecutive win. Stewart's dominant night made his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, the easy pick for the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
      The panel of voters; including Buddy Shacklette of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all agreed that Zipadelli unquestionably deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors. "They (#20 team) came here with the right stuff," said Shacklette. "They were fast off the truck. I don't think Greg (Zipadelli) had to make very many changes all night. Obviously he did his homework. They were solid here in February and were solid here again. Greg is definitely the man of the hour."
      "That was one of the best cars that I've ever seen at Daytona," said Reiser. "No one stood a chance against it. Everyone is going to have to raise the bar on their superspeedway program before we go to Talladega or Tony (Stewart) will have another day like this. Greg (Zipadelli) had an awesome day and no one deserved to be Crew Chief of the Race more than him."
      Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Fatback McSwain, Greg Zipadelli 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 500)(7-3-2005)

    • Anderson Cup debut at Chicago: on the Wayne Anderson site, it lists Anderson as running the July Nextel Cup races at Chicago and New Hampshire, he will drive the #75 Dodge owned by Bob Rinaldi [the team Mike Garvey drove for before going to the #66. Anderson has competed in the NASCAR Truck Series, Busch North and ARCA among many other series. Anderson's website lists Wayne as the winningest driver in NASCAR All-Pro history.(7-1-2005)

    • Martin and Wallace honored at Daytona: #6-Mark Martin and #2-Rusty Wallace were honored Saturday night before their final race at Daytona International Speedway. The retiring NASCAR stars were given framed photos of the first cars they drove at Daytona in 1982 and greeted with a standing ovation during the drivers meeting before the Pepsi 400. The photos also contained head shots that Martin said reminded him of "Starsky and Hutch." "You got me beat with the mustache, but I've got the hair," Wallace said.(

    • 2006 Schedule: NASCAR’s 2006 Nextel Cup schedule should be released around its normal Labor Day announcement date. Expect no major changes of dates or venues in any of NASCAR’s top-three series for next year, sources said. Normand Legault, who is Canada’s leading automobile racing promoter, was a guest of NASCAR at the Pepsi 400. Look for a Canadian NASCAR Busch Series race in 2007, sources said.(Speed Channel)(7-3-2005)

    • NBC's Ebersol thanks NASCAR community: NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol thanked the "NASCAR community" Saturday for supporting him through what has been a difficult time. Ebersol's 14-year-old son, Teddy, was killed in a plane crash in November in Colorado. The pilot and a flight attendant also were killed. Dick Ebersol, Charlie Ebersol and co-pilot Eric Wicksell were injured. "I wanted to tell you all from the bottom of my heart, 'Thank you,'" Ebersol said, holding back tears. "This community more than any other in sports has been there for my family and for me through all of this." NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and team owner Rick Hendrick also have lost sons, and Ebersol said both reached out to him. "To Kyle and to Rick, who belong to the same club that none of you I hope will ever have to belong to, I owe so much," said Ebersol, who spoke during the pre-race drivers meeting and received a standing ovation. "You don't ever want to lose a child, but if you do, you want to have your faith in humanity renewed by the love and good works of the people around you trying to help you."(

    • Ford wants first female Cup winner: Ford executives have put a new twist on the female side of the NASCAR diversity program, by declaring it a battle now to become the first Detroit automaker to put a woman into victory lane at a Nextel Cup race. That considerably ups the stakes in the Ford-vs.-Dodge-vs.-Chevrolet campaign among women drivers. Dodge's Erin Crocker, set to make her Busch tour debut at Richmond in September, appears to have the upper hand at the moment. Two of General Motors' best hopes are Allison Duncan and Sarah Fisher. However the two, who drive for car owner Richard Childress, have been salted away on the West Coast, far from the limelight. And the question is if it's time for Childress to step up their development programs. Duncan, a sports-car racer turned stock-car driver, is running the weekly series at Stockton (Calif.) Speedway, where she won her first feature three weeks ago on the quarter-mile track. But running weekly 50-lappers on a quarter-mile in California is hardly a career path to NASCAR's Cup tour, even if Duncan is running in the top four regularly.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-3-2005)

    • Presley not happy with Wally: Singer Lisa Marie Presley, who performed several songs during pre-race ceremonies, had quite an experience when she rode around the superspeedway with former NASCAR Cup driver Wally Dallenbach. "I want to kick his [butt] right this minute," she said. "It would have been great if we just went around really fast in the middle of the track. But he perpetually wanted to make me feel like I was going to die every two seconds, riding me an inch from the wall."(

    • Rumblings - Daytona:
      And you thought the 400 stood for's minutes! After a nearly 3 hour rain delay we were treated to one of the best plate races we've had in years....and when you've got the winner leading 151 of the 160 laps, that's not a stretch! Tony Stewart's four-wide pass on the outside with 16 laps to go will be talked about for awhile, but the other drivers couldn't do a thing with him tonight as he was easily the dominant car. He survived the 9-lap shootout at the end (and we're talking almost 2AM here) to make it back-to- back wins on the season and #21 for his career. He's now tied for 26th on the all-time win list with teammate Bobby Labonte, Benny Parsons, and Jack Smith.
      Tony's the second driver to win this season from the pole.....Kasey Kahne did it at Richmond in May. Win #41 for Joe Gibbs Racing was worth $368,261 from the over $5.9M in posted awards.
      Jamie McMurray (2nd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Texas in April.
      Dale Earnhardt Jr (3rd) had his best finish since he was 3rd here in February.
      Mike Wallace (8th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Richmond last September. He's the 37th driver to score a Top-10 this season.....last year there were 39 drivers to hit that mark.
      Jason Leffler (18th) had his best finish since he was 12th at Martinsville in April.
      STREAKIN....Rusty Wallace has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Dale Earnhardt Jr (+36), followed by Mike Wallace (+35), Jamie McMurray (+31), Jeff Burton (+31), Ken Schrader (+30), Matt Kenseth (+29), and Ricky Rudd (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Scott Riggs (-39), followed by Kerry Earnhardt (-32), Bobby Hamilton Jr (-26), Boris Said (-24), and Michael Waltrip (-23). You know its a place race when 30% of the field is in the "Shaft".
      The fight for the final qualifying exemption has become a three-way battle. Mike Wallace is back fact, he's 34th! Scott Wimmer is now on the bubble as Jason Leffler and the #11 team are on the outside by 17 points going into next week.
      Jason Leffler led a lap tonight for the first time since he led twice for five laps at Kansas in October of 2003. He's the 43rd different driver to lead a lap this season.....last year we had 50 of 'em.
      Greg Biffle's time at the top was week. Jimmie Johnson reassumes the lead by 73 points as every spot in the Top-10 in the standings changed hands this week.
      We've still got 13 drivers above the "Stayin' Alive" line but Jeff Gordon has replaced Kevin Harvick as the last driver within 400 points of the lead. Check out 9th to 12th tho....four drivers separated by "3" points!
      We've also got our first "Mathematically Eliminated" line of the season this week. Everybody from 40th on down is out of the hunt. Jamie McMurray (10th to 7th) made the best move forward tonight, while three drivers (Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, and Casey Mears) all fell three spots in the standings.(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(7-3-2005)

      News from July 2, 2005

    • Eury Jr. misses Drivers Meeting for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Eury Jr. is the crew chief for #15-Michael Waltrip. Waltrip will not be sent to the rear of the field, but Eury Jr. will probably get a light fine by NASCAR as crew chiefs are required to attend the meeting.(XM Satellite Radio Rain Delay Coverage)(7-2-2005)

    • Bill France comments: NASCAR's Bill France made a rare public appearance during Busch Series qualifying, taking the opportunity to question Formula One officials and pronounce his own series almost set. France said after tracks near New York City and Seattle are completed and added to the schedule the circuit would be "in pretty good shape." That pronouncement would seem to rule out possible races in Canada and Asia, both rumored to be future NASCAR venues. "(With races in Seattle and New York) we would pretty much have the nation covered," said France, who balked at the idea of possibly expanding the 36-race schedule. Construction has not begun on either track. During his wide-ranging chat, France stopped short of expressing disappointment in the way F1 officials handled a dispute over unsafe tires at the U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago, but said, "When you have fans coming from all over and everybody there, you have to run that race."(St Petersburg Times)(7-2-2005)

    • No Decision on Marlin's 2006 plans yet: #40-Sterling Marlin, who will start 37th in tonight's Nextel Cup Pepsi 400, said no decision has been made about his racing plans next year. "There's still some discussions going on and hopefully I'll know something before long," Marlin said. Marlin has been notified that his driving contract will not be renewed next season with Chip Ganassi Racing, but he has been offered a "consulting" job with the team. He also has an offer to drive a limited Busch Series schedule for FitzBradshaw Racing, but indicated he would prefer a full-time Nextel Cup ride if he can land with a "competitive" team. Marlin said he has talked to "two or three owners," believed to include Richard Chidress and Jack Roush, and originally thought a decision might come this weekend. Yesterday he said it "will probably be later next month" before a decision is finalized.(Tennessean)(7-2-2005)

    • Evernham to still field the #91 team in 2006: [#9, #19, #91 owner Ray Evernham] COMMENT ON OWNERS' POINTS AND WHY YOU'RE MAKING THE ANNOUNCEMENT NOW: "The owners' points for the 10 will stay with MVB [to whatever number they use, the new #10 will use this years #91 points/race attempts for 2006, the 'new' 91 will be treated as a team with no owners points/attempts in 2006]. The 91 will probably run in selected races also (in 2006). My agreement with Bill Elliott is if Bill wants to drive until he's a hundred I'll supply a car for him. We were hoping a good partner would come and it has. We decided collectively that the best thing to do would be to go ahead and announce we have the infrastructure in place and we're doing this and it would be like The Field of Dreams so to speak. If you build it they will come. We've talked to several people, but we have not decided nor do we have a driver picked for next year."(ClearBlue PR)(7-2-2005)

    • Toyota still up in the air, but could run in 2006: Chevrolet and Ford are seeking approval for new models to race in the 2006 Nextel Cup Series, while Toyota has satisfied all requirements to submit a car to compete in Nextel Cup or the Busch Series next season. NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton on Friday said the sanctioning body had already looked at Chevrolet's new Monte Carlo and Ford's new model, which will be revealed to the media in Charlotte, N.C., on July 14. "We've had conversations with Toyota all along, even though they haven't officially thrown their hat in the ring," Pemberton said. "We've had good conversations with them and they're evaluating the Busch and Cup Series now -- though no decisions been made (on proceeding). They have done what they need to do by the (deadline), but they've made no official request to participate in 2006." Pemberton said the deadline for getting a vehicle through the approval process -- which includes wind tunnel and track testing -- to race in either Nextel Cup or the Busch Series next season is Sept. 1.(

    • Riggs has not be contacted by Evernham: Driver ofthe #10 MBV Motorsports car. Scott Riggs: "The only people I've talked to about another contract is the team I'm already with." He knows that Valvoline would love to have me over there (the new Evernham team), but as far as sitting down and talking to anyone about a

    • Donnie Allison book on the way: Donnie Allison, one of the toughest stock-car drivers who ever raced, has a new, no-holds-barred book coming out soon entitled, “As I Recall.” The book opens with the infamous 1979 last-lap Daytona 500 crash between Allison and Cale Yarborough and the brawl that followed. Allison said the book pulls no punches about his racing career and the people he raced with and against.(Speed Channel)(7-2-2005)

    • Nice Gesture: NASCAR’s Bill France, Jr. and Jim Hunter presented veteran racing photographer T. Taylor Warren with a plaque honoring him on his 80th birthday Friday.(Speed Channel)(7-2-2005)

      News from July 1, 2005

    • Truex Jr. says he signed with DEI for 2006: after winning the Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway Friday night, Martin Truex Jr. squashed the rumors and said he has resigned with DEI [Dale Earnhardt Inc] to remain with them and run the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006.(TNT Race Coverage)(7-1-2005)

    • Evernham Motorsports and Valvoline partner up, to use the #10 - IMAGES:Evernham Motorsports today announced that it has agreed in principle to form a partnership with Valvoline to create Valvoline Evernham Racing LLC, which will campaign the #10 Valvoline Dodge Charger for the 2006 season. Under the arrangement, Valvoline will be the primary sponsor on the #10 Valvoline Dodge Charger for a majority of the races and will be a major associate sponsor on the #10 Dodge Charger for the remaining races in the season. A driver and crew chief for the team will be announced at a later date. Much of the team personnel will transfer to the #10 team from Evernham Motorsports' #91 team. "This is the next step in our quest for a championship," said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "In today's competitive environment, you need a multiple-car team to win races and championships. When you have more race teams, it speeds your development and learning tremendously. With this expansion, we can compete more effectively against other multiple-car organizations. Having Valvoline as a partner - not just a sponsor - makes this an incredible program," Evernham said. "They have been a tremendous supporter of mine for many years, and our relationship has now grown into joint ownership of a team. Valvoline has a great history in this sport, and a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful. I look forward to winning championships with them." The third team will be housed out of the new third facility at Evernham Motorsports headquarters in Statesville, NC. It will lease engines and shop space from Evernham Motorsports and have full access to Evernham R&D. The team expansion allows Evernham Motorsports to continue to grow and advance its operations. The expanded stable also allows Evernham Motorsports to accelerate its R&D efforts, increase its test dates, enhance its ability to collect and analyze data, and make improvements more quickly and efficiently.
      "This is a new era in Valvoline's long racing tradition," said Valvoline Designated Team Owner Jim Rocco. "As is the case with our current team, Valvoline will leave the running of the team - the competition, personnel, equipment - to our partner," he said. "Valvoline's expertise is marketing and we will continue to make our NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing effort serve the needs of our family of brands which include: Valvoline, Eagle One and Zerex." For more information on Evernham Motorsports, visit!Blue / Valvoline PR)(7-1-2005)
      MORE and IMAGES: Ray Evernham will add a third team to his stable for 2006. The team will be co-owned by Valvoline with Jim Rocco listed as the offical team owner. Evernham said that the team will have Chris Andrews as crew chief and will use teammembers alredy in place at Evernham Motorsports. The members will come from exisiting members who now work on the development teams. Evernham insisted that Erin Crocker, his star pupil at the moment isn't ready to move up, but that he would be "very interested" in bringing Scott Riggs, current driver at MB2 on board. Rocco agreed and said that they would like to see Riggs, but that at this time no decision on a driver has been made.(Cup Scene Daily)
      IMAGES: see images for the new #10 Valvoline Dodge Charger on my first 2006 Team schemes page #10.(7-1-2005)

    • Sad News: Condolences to Gaye Joy, member of the board of directors of WAM (Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports) on the passing of her only sister and best friend, Brenda Broshears Harris, in Phoenix, June 18. Brenda leaves three grown children and five grandchildren, and was the favorite aunt of Gaye and Mike Joy's children, Scott and Katie. Services were Saturday in Brenda's hometown of Boonville, IN.(7-1-205)

    • As for Dale Jr. in the #3 and about the #3: If Junior [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] is gonna drive the No. 3 car someday, could it happen under the DEI roof? If so, Childress would have to give up ownership of the number -- and all the potential business opportunities that accompany it. "He's always said, ever since his daddy got killed, one of these days he's gonna drive a 3 car," [Tony Sr.] Eury said of Junior. "Just a remark he made a long time ago. Someday Richard [Childress] might give us the number and we'll run it out of DEI. Depends on how long Richard wants to keep doing it, you know." Richard? Any chance of giving up the No. 3? "No. As far as the 3, it's registered," Childress elaborated. "It's one of those deals . . . we're gonna keep doing what we've been doing, what Dale and I talked about years ago. We knew it was our number, and we had plans of doing things with it after he retired. We're gonna put those plans in effect soon."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-1-2005)

    • A.J. Foyt IV to NASCAR for Evernham? IndyCar Series [IRL] regular A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of A.J. Foyt, recently tested an ARCA car for Evernham Motorsports and might be in the team's plans for the future. "A.J. was very fast in the car, and we were very impressed with him," team owner Ray Evernham said. "He's probably going to run some Busch races for us later this year, and we'll do some further testing." The 21-year-old Foyt is in his third IndyCar season, but hasn't finished higher than ninth. "The kid's been struggling a little bit in the IRL," Evernham said. "He has a lot of people who believe in him. Who knows what's going to happen in the IRL shuffle? But he could be a guy who ends up in my driver-development program."(

    • Drivers Appear in Big Break All-Star Challenge: On Tuesday, July 5 at 9:00pm/et, several of NASCAR's stars steer for The Golf Channel airwaves by way of long drives and a few chips and putts all in the name of charity. The hour-long Big Break All-Star Challenge will be a spin-off of the network's successful reality series The Big Break. The popular show pits 10 highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness with the last contestant standing awarded their "Big Break," a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in select professional tournaments based upon the season's prize. Hosted by The Golf Channel's Brian Hammons and NBC Sports' and former Cup Champion Benny Parsons, this Big Break All-Star Challenge features drivers Dale Jarrett, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip competing in select series challenges, including the viewer-favorite glass-breaking challenge as well as a long drive competition.
      Just like in The Big Break, a player will be eliminated after each round. However, instead of receiving exemptions onto a professional golf tour, these drivers will be playing for charity. The winning driver will earn $5,000 for his selected charity, while the remaining drivers' charities will receive $2,000 courtesy of The Golf Channel. Taped at the The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, N.C. (near Charlotte), the drivers came out nice and relaxed. Once the cameras were rolling and the competition began their intensity heated up, with each trying to avoid being in the "pits" or being ribbed in the garage if they did not come out the winner.(Golf Channel PR)(7-1-2005)

    • Truex Jr. to the #2? UPDATE 2: on Fox's pre-race show for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip were asked who would be in the #6 Roush Racing Ford [t1o replace retiring Mark Martin] and #2 Pensek Racing Dodge [to replace retiring Rusty Wallace], for the #6 Hammond said is still up in the air [see some names mentioned on my 2006 Team Chart] and for the #2, Hammond said he keeps hearing the name Martin Truex Jr. popping up as he still has not been signed by DEI for 2006 [to drive the #1 Chevy in Cup next year](6-26-2005)
      UPDATE: when asked about the Truex rumor, Jeff Hammond says: "Anything is possible, but I do know that everybody at DEI expected to get Truex locked in by now. There's been a lot more pressure put on him, especially from the Penske organization. They've offered him a fairly lucrative contract to jump ship and go over there. When that's going on, it really challenges a guy's loyalty. DEI has been more than fair with Truex, but he's faced with a decision that could affect the rest of his career. From what I [Hammond] was told the other day, an offer had been given to Truex, and there was a decision made then not to sign the DEI contract. It puts a lot of people back in the position of almost playing poker with checking and raising. Now the onus is back on DEI and whether or not they want to raise the ante to try to keep him in their camp."(FoxSports)(6-29-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Martin Truex Jr. hasn't said why he hasn't yet signed a contract to remain with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he did say Thursday at Daytona that he is trying to seal a deal. "It's not done yet, and we are trying to get it done," said Truex. At least two top-level Nextel Cup teams have immediate openings for the 2006 season. Truex Jr. is in the final year of his contract with DEI, and as reigning Busch Series champion, it is natural that he has found himself in the rumor mill. For his part, Truex has been mum on his talks with DEI, which are being led by his father.(

    • Some Goodyear Tire Notes for Daytona: Both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend at Daytona . . . this is the same tire set-up that Goodyear brought to this track in February . . . Daytona is the only track at which teams will run this combination of left- and right-side tires this season, though it is similar to the set-up run at the other restrictor plate track on the schedule (Talladega) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in their tires at Daytona . . . the inflation in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Racing: "This is the same set-up we brought to Daytona in February, when we had a great deal of success during the race. Since teams have that race under their belts, we expect similar, positive results this weekend." If the race stays green for extended periods... the estimated pit window is every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage. See the full write up on my Daytona Race Info/Rundown page.(7-1-2005)

    • Pennzoil on the #99 for Daytona: Carl Edwards will sports a Pennzoil Platinum paint schemes [or should I call it paint decals now?] on the #99 Roush Racing Ford for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2nd. Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic motor oil is the most advanced product that Pennzoil has ever produced and is the latest product from the category leader. Pennzoil Platinum's ultimate-protection formulation is designed to stand up to today's most demanding engines. This new full synthetic motor oil combines a highly-refined base oil with a proprietary additive package to create a ground-breaking formulation to keep engines running at their full potential.(Coyne PR), no image...yet.(7-1-2005)

    • Stewart wins pole at Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart won the Budweiser Pole for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 185.582mph for his first pole since Chicago in July 2003 and his 8th of his career. The rest of the top-five were #10-Scott Riggs, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #36-Boris Said [best of the non top-35 drivers] and #01-Joe Nemechek. That puts all three MB2/MBV/MBSutton Motorsports drivers in the top five. Chevy has 8 of the top 10 starting spots, Ford's best is #38-Elliott Sadler starting 6th and the best starting Dodge is #2-Rusty Wallace at 9th. Points leader #16-Greg Biffle will start 18th and is the best starting Roush Racing driver. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was slow and will start 39th [the worse spot a winner has won from at Daytona is 38th by Bill Elliott in July 1988. The winner of the last two Daytona race, #24-Jeff Gordon will start 15th. Missing the race were #66-Mike Garvey and #00-Kenny Wallace. #73-Dan Pardus and #89-Morgan Shepherd both withdrew from the race before practice.
      For qualifying results, pole progression, starting lineup and links on my Jayski's Daytona Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(7-1-2005)

    • Some Jayski Qualifying Notes:
      WOW, a large fire in an RV in the infield around 7:20pm/et, the fire company got there quick and got it out fast...nice job! No one seriously hurt, one person had slight burns on their hand.
      #17-Kenseth only ran one lap, as the engine started overheating and wanted to protect the engine, if the team has to add water or pressurize the system, is would be an unapproved change and Kenseth would have to go to the rear.
      The #0-Bliss team is reporting that they have an engine problem as Bliss had a transmission problem qualifying and over revved the engine, but someone on the team reset the Tach and crew chief Bootie Barker has no proof there is a problem, the team already changed transmissions after practice and will have to go to the rear of the field anyway.
      After #18-Labonte went out, there was a slight delay as a turtle was on the track and he track worker seemed afraid of it, the TNT reported later that the turtle was ok and returned to the wild..(7-1-2005)
      UPDATE: been told that no drivers will have to go to the rear of the field.(7-2-2005)

    • Daytona Qualifying Notes:
      • Tony Stewart won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole for the Pepsi 400, lapping Daytona International Speedway in 48.496 seconds at 185.582 mph. Bill Elliott holds the track-qualifying record of 42.783 seconds, 210.364 mph, set Feb. 9, 1987 – prior to the advent of restrictor-plate racing. Ken Schrader holds the track restrictor-plate qualifying record with a lap of 46.434 seconds, 198.823 mph - set Feb. 7, 1988.
      • There have been 10 different Bud Pole winners in the last 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Daytona.
      • This is Stewart’s eighth career Bud Pole in 229 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • It is Stewart’s ninth top-10 start in 14 races at Daytona but only his third in timedqualifying. His last timed-qualifying top-10 start came in July 2000. This is his 11th top-10 start this season.
      • Stewart has never won in 25 restrictor-plate races but he has finished second in five. Four of his runner-up finishes came at Talladega. He finished second at Daytona in the 2004 Daytona 500.
      • Stewart became the 10th different Bud Pole winner this season. His most recent Bud Pole came at Chicago in 2003, 71 races ago.
      • Scott Riggs posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 48.539 seconds, 185.418 mph – and will join Stewart on the front row for the Pepsi 400. Riggs posted his second top10 start in his four races at Daytona and his fifth top-10 start in 2005.
      • This is the seventh Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge also has seven Bud Poles and Ford has two. Qualifying was canceled at Dover.
      • Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his fifth top-10 start in eight races at Daytona. This will be his 10th top-10 start in 2005.
      • Boris Said (fourth) posted his first top-10 qualifying effort on an oval track in his seventh career- oval-track race. This is his second top-10 start in 2005.
      • Joe Nemechek (fifth) posted his fourth top-10 start in 23 races at Daytona. It is his fifth top-10 start this season but his first since Texas. All three MB Motorsports teams qualified in the top five for the first time.
      • Jason Leffler (eighth) posted his best qualifying effort since he started sixth at Kansas in October 2003.
      • Kerry Earnhardt (10th) posted career-first top-10 start. His previous best start 20th at Daytona in July 2004.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-1-2005)

    • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Daytona: Tony Stewart captured the Bud Pole today for tomorrow night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 185.582 mph (48.496 sec) and it's his first top-spot since he captured the pole at Chicagoland Speedway in July of 2003! His 8th career pole gives us 10 different pole winners this season (and qualifiers for next February's Budweiser Shootout).
      Scott Riggs (2nd) will join Tony on the front row, and this is his best starting spot since he had the pole at Martinsville in April.
      Joe Nemechek (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at California in February.
      The Hendrick customer engine program is pretty strong.....could be their own teams may be asking for customer engines from now on. Teammates (and HMS customers) Riggs, Boris Said, and Nemechek all start in the Top-5 tomorrow night.
      Jason Leffler (8th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 6th at Kansas in October of 2003.
      Kerry Earnhardt (10th) has his career-best starting spot for tomorrow night. His previous best was 20th for this race last year.
      Bobby Hamilton Jr (12th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Atlanta in March.
      Hermie Sadler (21st) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Talladega last October.
      Kevin Lepage (24th) has his best starting spot since he started 8th when we were here in February.
      STREAKIN....Nobody, an empty category this week.(Stock Car Fans)(7-1-2005)

    • Leitzinger wins Rolex race at Daytona, Labontes highest NASCAR reps: Butch Leitzinger drove his #4 The Boss Snowplow Pontiac Crawford past the #19 Make A Wish/Air Force Reserve/Commercial Defeasance BMW Riley of Michael McDowell on the famed Daytona Superstretch with 23 laps remaining and led the rest of the way en victory in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Brumos Porsche 250. Leitzinger shared the car with Elliott Forbes-Robinson. It was Leitzinger's 11th career Rolex Series overall victory, which moved him to within two wins of all-time Rolex Series win leader James Weaver.
      The Brumos Porsche 250 featured four stars from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit, and while all four drivers were the only NASCAR pilots to turn any laps at Daytona International Speedway on this day due to heavy midday rains, it was not a banner evening. Two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte and his brother, 2000 NEXTEL Cup champion Bobby Labonte, were the highest-finishing NASCAR representatives. They came home 15th in the #44 Loctite/Henkel/DAYTONA USA Pontiac Doran, one lap down to the winners. Kyle Petty, who ran as high as second place at one point, came home 17th alongside co-drivers Tony Ave and Brian Tuttle in the debut race for the #7 Tuttle Team Racing Pontiac Riley. Tony Stewart, the 2002 NEXTEL Cup champion, worked his way up from seventh on the starting grid to third place at one point during his stint in the #20 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. However, problems with the car's heat exchanger forced a great deal of fluid out of the car as Stewart pitted to turn the car over to co-driver Andy Wallace. Stewart and Wallace wound up 22nd.(

    • Kenny in the #00 with Davis: Aaron's Sales & Lease and Kenny Wallace Racing have put together a deal with Bill Davis Racing to field the #00 Dream Machine [Dodge?] in Saturday Nights Pepsi 400 at Daytona. If more information is available it will be posted.(Kenny Wallace site)(6-28-2005)
      UPDATE: Wallace was originally listed in the #23 HIstory Channel Dodge and is now list in the #00 Aaron's Sale and Lease Dodge for Bill Davis. This was an announced race for Wallace in the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Chevy, not sure what happened. Either way, if qualifying gets rained out, neither team [#23/00 Davis, #00 MWR] would not have enough race attempts to make the race. Mike Skinner qualified the #23 for the Daytona 500 and other races as the team runs about once a month, Skinner was unavailable as the Truck Series runs at Kansas on Saturday at 3:00pm/et.(7-1-2005)

      News from June 30, 2005

    • Bank of America to sponsor NBC/TNT's 'Countdown to Green' Pre-Race Show: Bank of America announced an agreement with Turner Sports to be the presenting sponsor of the "Countdown to Green" pre-race program which airs on NBC's and TNT's national NASCAR broadcasts. Bank of America's agreement with Turner Sports to be the presenting sponsor of the NBC and TNT pre-race show "Countdown to Green" will commence on July 3, prior to the start of The Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Elements of the sponsorship include a Bank of America Countdown to Green set design, inclusion in TNT's weekly NASCAR national print advertisement in USA Today, on-air spots in the pre-race show and weekly race, a pre-produced enhancement segment in each pre-race show and event marketing.(LMS PR)(6-30-2005)

    • Eury Sr. thinks swap could had been a mistake at DEI: Cup Scene at the track at an interview DEI's Tony Eury Sr. gave: "We got a lot of bad press at the beginning at the first of the year on why it was running bad. I guess we made a bad move over the winter and our cars down there in the 8 shop weren't as good as we thought they were. When you get behind like that, it takes time to catch up. We're getting him a fleet of cars now and getting them better. When you got something good, I guess you should leave it alone. You know we won six races with him last year maybe it should have been left alone. But that's past and we got to get him in that Chase now, so everything's behind us and we're going forward from here and building (Dale Jr.) good cars and trying to get in that chase." As for the third team: "We're still debating on a driver. We don't real know what's going to happen yet. We had a deadline and we extended it with a couple of sponsors and drivers, right now we're just kind of in the middle of everything." BUT "Martin [Truex Jr.] will be in the #1 (Cup)car (next year).(Cup Scene Report from DIS)(6-30-2005)

    • Bank of America buys MBNA: Bank of America Corp. will buy MBNA Corp. in a stock and cash deal valued at $35 billion, combining the third- and fifth-largest credit-card companies in the country into what could be the largest.(Charlotte Business Journal), no word how this will effect the MBNA sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing or the MBNA Halfway Leader program.(6-30-2005)

    • MB2 Motorsports Announces Restructuring of Ownership: MB2 Motorsports announced today that Robert E. Sutton has expanded his ownership involvement with the company by joining current and founding owner, Nelson Bowers, as an equal partner with the multicar race team. Sutton was previously a co-owner of MB2's #36 Nextel Cup team. Jay Frye, MB2's general manager and chief executive officer since the formation of the racing organization in 1996, will continue with a minority ownership in the company. Sutton's expanded position will take effect immediately and MB2 Motorsports will become one entity with ownership of all of the company's race teams starting with the 2006 season. The company fields three cars in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series -- the #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, driven by Joe Nemechek; the #10 Valvoline Chevrolet, driven by Scott Riggs; and the #36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet, driven by Boris Said. The racing organization has a developmental program in progress with 20-year-old driver Joe Henderson of Franklin, Tenn. The company also has plans to have Kraig Kinser, the 19-year-old son of legendary sprint car racer Steve Kinser, join the developmental team. MB2 is currently based in Concord, N.C., but will be moving in August to a new shop in Mooresville, N.C. The new 144,000 square-foot complex will be more than three times larger than its current facility.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(6-30-2005)

    • Speed Adds Black Wheels to 2006 Lineup: SPEED Channel has reached an agreement with New Millenium Studios to air Black Wheels, a one-hour film exploring the history of African-Americans in motor sports, beginning in February 2006. Writer and producer Byron Hunter took on the project after spending time with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester.(SPEED Channel)(6-30-2005)

    • Bad News Bears scheme for Mayfield at Daytona: At this summer's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Jeremy Mayfield will sport some additional firepower on his #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger - that of Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear and Marcia Gay Harden, stars of the new Paramount Pictures comedy "The Bad News Bears," which opens nationally on July 22. Mayfield, a fan of the original "Bad News Bears" will carry the pin-striped signage for the new movie on the hood of his Dodge Charger to promote the comedy, which was first released in 1976. The #19 Dodge will feature a distinctive red and white paint scheme featuring baseballs and classic pin-stripes. "Bad News Bears" is a fresh take on the irreverent 1976 comedy hit, "Bad News Bears" follows a grizzled former minor league baseball player who is recruited to coach the Bears, a woefully inept Little League team, to a championship against their hated rivals, the Yankees. Richard Linklater is the director and Marcus Viscidi is the executive producer.(Clear!Blue PR), see an image of the scheme on my #19 Team Schemes page.(6-30-2005)

    • #92 team and Hermie get a sponsor for Daytona: Front Row Motorsports announced that they have partnered with Taco Bell for the Pepsi 400 race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 2nd. They will run the Taco Bell logo on their #92 Chevrolet driven by Hermie Sadler. “I am excited about the opportunity to drive the Taco Bell car in Daytona,” said Hermie Sadler. “I think we will have a strong car this weekend. I look forward to working with the crew to provide all the Taco Bell employees and their customers a strong finish on Saturday night.”
      "We are taking a brand new car to Daytona,” said crew chief Fred Wanke. “We built this Taco Bell car from the ground up, the guys in the shop have been working overtime to get it ready. We are anxious to see how this car will perform on the track for the first time. We are extremely optimistic about this weekend and the rest of year. We certainly appreciate Taco Bell partnering with us in Daytona.”(Front Row Motorsports PR)(6-30-2005)

    • Georgia Pacific or/and Tide to Roush? There have been reports that Roush is wooing both Georgia-Pacific and Tide as sponsors for his teams for 2006.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-30-2005)

    • Pardus in the #73 at Daytona: Dan Pardus has been entered in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway by Ed Rabbe, owner of the #73 ARC Dehooker Chevrolet. The #73 team has been dorment since driver Eric McClure left the team in March.(Entry List)(6-30-2005)

    • Sonoma TV Ratings UPDATE 2 New record for Infineon: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway earned a 4.6 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 10 market share, Street & Smith's Sports Business Daily reports. The rating is 4.2% lower than the 4.8 the race drew overnight in 2004, when it went on to earn a final 4.7/11.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-27-2005)
      UPDATE: Fox announced record-setting ratings for Cup events this year. Fox reported a 7% increase in ratings to a 6.0 from last season. Fox averaged 9.6 million viewers per race, about 600,000 more than last year. Seven races had record ratings this season: Daytona, California, Bristol, Talladega, Charlotte, Pocono and Sonoma.(News Record)(6-29-2005)
      UPDATE 2: NASCAR concluded its first half of the season on Fox on June 26, with its race from Sonoma, Calif., producing a 5.7 national household rating, up 21% over the same race last year. The figure assures a new record household rating --a 6.0-- for this year's 13 races on Fox and a record average number of viewers, at 9.6 million. In announcing the Nielsen Media Research data results, Fox crowed that its broadcast of NASCAR is the first major professional sports TV package to post a regular season household ratings record since Monday Night Football on ABC in 1981.
      During the Fox portion of this season (NBC/Turner begin airing Nascar second-half races this coming weekend), there were seven races that recorded record-high household ratings. Ratings in the Top 10 markets were up 9% over 2004 (3.8 vs. 3.5). Among the markets showing the biggest ratings increases were Dallas (up 27% to a 6.1), San Francisco (up 24% to a 2.6), Boston (up 23% to a 3.7), Atlanta (up 14% to an 11.2), and Chicago (up 13% to a 3.5). Fox also said that its regular-season Nascar races topped the complete NBA postseason telecasts on ABC, besting the NBA Finals in average viewership (9.6 million to 8.3 million) and in household rating (6.0 vs. 5.5). The ratings gains were not perfect, however, with some of the younger demos on the NASCAR telecasts down in the single-digits.(Mediaweek)(6-30-2005)

    • Rusty will test but not race at Iowa track: Rusty Wallace says he won't take part in the first race at the Iowa Speedway when it opens next summer. The legendary NASCAR driver is retiring from the Nextel Cup Series at the end of the season and designed the track which broke ground last week in Newton. Wallace says he will drive some laps at the track with his car to check the smoothness of the track and to "I'll drive the laps at the new track to make sure the consistency is right the racing's right on it before I sign off on it," Wallace says.Wallace says there are enough super speedways out there and the track of 7/8ths mile will fill a need. He says he believes it'll be "the most awesome speedway in the entire world that I've everworked on."Sanctioning bodies like ARCA and USAC are expected to hold events at the track and Wallace says down the road NASCAR events are a possibility. He says NASCAR "is totally in the loop" for everything they're doing at the Newton track.(Radio Iowa)(6-30-2005)

    • Smirnoff ICE and Busch helped race fans travel safely to Pepsi 400: Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch and his sponsor, Smirnoff ICE, helped some of the 200,000 fans traveling to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) arrive safely for this weekend's Pepsi 400 race. Smirnoff ICE, with Busch and his 'pit crew,' partnered with the Repair One Automotive of Daytona Beach to provide free automobile safety tests during the heavily-traveled summer months. Busch and his 'pit crew' checked tire pressure, headlights, fluid levels, belts, among other tests performed. The initiative was to further promote Smirnoff ICE's "Be Smart, Drink Responsibly" campaign. Smirnoff ICE will serve as primary sponsor of Busch's No. 97 racecar at the Pepsi 400. In his last race at DIS in February, Busch finished second in the season-opening Daytona 500.(Alan Taylor Communications)(6-30-2005)

    • Dale Earnhardt Foundation Joins with One, U2: The Dale Earnhardt Foundation has become the newest member of ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. The Dale Earnhardt Foundation hopes to mobilize some of NASCAR's 75 million American fans to support ONE. "NASCAR fans are generous and compassionate people who represent the best in American values," said Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. "By joining with ONE, we hope to mobilize that compassion to do more, for those with less, and support President Bush as he works with other G8 leaders on a historic plan to fight extreme poverty and disease in Africa." From Hollywood to the heartland, nearly ONE million Americans have joined with ONE, making ONE one of the fastest growing non-partisan issue campaigns in American history. Supporters of ONE have written more than 250,000 letters to the White House calling for a comprehensive plan to address global AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa at the early July G8 Summit in Scotland.
      "The NASCAR fans are joining forces with rock-n-rollers, students and priests in their pulpits." said Bono, lead singer of U2 and spokesperson for ONE. "Teresa Earnhardt, a great lady, is helping give ONE in America the volume that Africa needs."
      On July 2, members of the Dale Earnhardt Inc. motorsports team will wear ONE White Bands in solidarity with the Live 8 concerts happening around the world. Thanks to series sponsor Nextel, NASCAR fans at Daytona will see the ONE.ORG spot featuring Hollywood celebrities and faith leaders. In the meantime, NASCAR fans are encouraged to visit where they will find additional information and a link to ONE. (DEI PR)(6-30-2005)

      News from June 29, 2005

    • Congrats: Multi-team [#5, #24, #25, #44, #48] team owner, Rick Hendrick welcomed new granddaughter, Josephine Riddick “Ricki” Hendrick, today [June 29th] at 2:49am/et. Ricki is the daughter of the late Ricky Hendrick, Rick's son, who passed away in the Hendrick Motorsports airplane crash near Martinsville, VA last Oct. Ricki and mother Emily are doing fine.(6-29-2005)

    • #200 for Dale Jr: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled make his 200th career Nextel Cup start in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.(6-29-2005)

    • Valvoline to End Partnership with MB2 Motorsports: [as first reported at] Valvoline announced an agreement in principle to end its NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team partnership with MB2 Motorsports“ effective at the end of the current [2005] season. The racing sponsor/owner will sell its 50% share in the team to MB2 principals Nelson Bowers and Jay Frye and will no longer be primary sponsor of the #10 Chevrolet after the 2005 season. According to Valvoline Designated Team Owner Jim Rocco, the parting was an amicable one. "We have nothing but respect and admiration for (MB2) owners Nelson Bowers and Jay Frye," said Rocco. "Nelson and Jay gave us the opportunity to become more than sponsors when we took the historic step to become team owners." Regarding Valvoline's NASCAR plans beyond the 2005 season, Rocco said, "We will have something to announce soon." Valvoline, a division of Ashland Inc., has been serving American motorists longer than any other motor oil company and is a leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive and industrial products in more than 100 countries.(MB2 Motorsports), Valvoine is rumored to be going to Evernham Motorsports, possibly as the sponor of the 3rd team, #91 [or #98](6-29-2005)

    • Looks like a 3rd full-time team for Evernham in 2006 UPDATE 2: Ray Evernham, chief of Dodge-backed Evernham Motorsports [#9, #19, #91], says chances are "better than 50%" that he will have a third Cup team in 2006. He said he has tentative agreements with significant sponsors, and he pulled up short when asked who would drive the car [Jayski Note: Brendan Gaughan has been rumored]. Evernham says he has constructed a building for the proposed new team and has personnel aboard. "I think you can get the team started and kind of take it from there. The sponsor is going to have to have realistic expectations. For a first-year team, to jump right up there and win races, there's not too many people who do that. "I'm fortunate enough to say I'm one of the people who have done it, but it's still very difficult. There are [drivers] out there that can win races, and the sponsor has to go into it realistically. Every sponsor says they want a top 10 car, top 10 driver, well, there's 15 top-10 cars out there, which one do you want?(Speed Channel)(6-11-2005)
      UPDATE: another rumor floating around has Casey Mears, current driver for #41 Ganassi Racing going to Evernham, with Reed Sorenson moving up from Busch into the #41 Target Dodge. And Scott Riggs, driver of the #10 MBV team could end up at Evernham.
      AND Valvoline also apparently will become at least partial sponsor of a proposed third team out of Evernham Motorsports, with driver to be determined.(Speed Channel Notebook)(6-12-2005)
      UPDATE 2 - Evernham Motorsports to make 2006 announcement on Friday, July 1st at Daytona International Speedway, announcing news for the 2006 season.(6-28/29-2005)....nothing to do with Allstate...see that announcement below. Looks for it to be Valvoline as the sponsor of a third team.

    • France talks about the Chase/NASCAR NEXTEL Teleconference:
      Q. Just as a follow, I know you think Jeff Gordon is going to rally, but how detrimental will it be to the Chase if he, or Dale Earnhardt, also have a chance of missing it, don't make it?
      BRIAN FRANCE: "Well, this is a performance based sport and you've got to perform. Obviously they have big fan bases and there will be some disappointment in that, but I like no matter what happens, I love the mix of drivers that's shaping up. Rusty Wallace is making his run. He may have a shot at the championship for the first time in a while for him down the stretch. Mark Martin is having another good year on his final year, so he may have a shot, he will have a shot more than likely, who knows. But in the end, you've got to perform. You've got to get in, you've got to earn your way in, and that's what we always said. The events before the Chase didn't mean less importance; it means more importance, and I think you're seeing that now."

      Q. NBA and baseball have to deal with things like big market teams and small market teams. Going back to the Chase, obviously for you guy, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are big market teams. They are the big markets in the fans and they are the drivers that fans in the major markets, the Top 10 markets that you guys covet and like to have ratings from, they are the ones that are most recognizable in those markets. Do you feel if neither of those two drivers are in the Chase that it will have a debt mental effect on television ratings?
      BRIAN FRANCE: "Obviously the more star power you have, the better you feel. It's no different than the Yankees have to earn their way into the playoffs. So do our drivers. We can't have a system that's based on popularity at the moment. We have a system based on who can perform the best in that given year, and no matter what happens, the mix of drivers that we're likely to have will be terrific. You can argue it would be better if this person were in or out, but we'll have a terrific group of veterans and young drivers, and I hope it comes down to the last lap of the last race just like it did last year."

      Q. Your assessment of the Chase or your belief it's going to be a bigger field, is there any consideration to adding fan involvement, like a fan vote, especially this year with the possibility of Jeff and Dale not making the Chase, that the fans might vote one of them in to appease the networks and have that star power?
      BRIAN FRANCE: Not at all, because we have to be, and we will be, a performance based series, and you have to perform. You know what, the drivers would not want that either. They don't want to limp in on a fan vote. They want to earn their way in or not earn their way in. I hope we all the drivers that everybody likes, but, you know, sometimes it's time to see drivers have a moment. Greg Biffle is having his moment right now showing people how talented he has been for a long time. The stars are lining up and he's got a lot of confidence. That's a great thing for us. We'd love to see more of Greg Biffles, too. It's not just one driver or another. It's about performance and letting people who are earning it keep going.

      Q. Is there anything that would even make you consider changing anything with the points Chase the way it is now? I mean, certainly have asked you if there would be the Earnhardt factor or whatever, but, you know, looking at it as a whole, is there anything down the road that you guys might think of altering?
      BRIAN FRANCE: "Well, for this year, the answer would be zero, because we're trying to get, certainly, out of any issues of changing things in midstream. We would never do that. Down the road when we make adjustments, I have always said we would be open to them. But gosh, we had four drivers come down or five, actually, mathematically last year, three with a real, real chance down to the last lap that changed around, I think, seven times. It's hard to say, you know, it's not a great system and the best part of it all is what the drivers how they turn it up, how they step up the level of driving and their talents are showcased differently and that's what I like most."(NASCAR Statistical Service/NASCAR NEXTEL Teleconference Transcript)(6-29-2005)

    • Andretti to run at Trucks: don't know much about it and haven't seen an offical press release, but the NASCAR Statistical Services Truck Series entry list has John Andretti running the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy Truck at Kansas this there is no #14 ppc Racing Ford on the Pepsi 400 entry list and no comment from the team about future plans, but they are running a third full-time Busch team.(6-27-2005)
      MORE on my Truck Series page.(6-29-2005)

    • ESPY Nom for Busch: Kurt Busch is one of four nominations in the Best Driver category for the 2005 ESPY Awards. The 2005 ESPY winners will be announced during the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 13. The ESPYs will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes on July 17 at 9:00pm/et..(Alan Taylor Communications), others nominated are: NHRA's Greg Anderson, F-1's Michael Schumacher [won the exciting race at Indy], IRL's Dan Wheldon.(6-29-2005)

    • Lucky Dog Update: when asked about the Lucky Dog/Free pass being used at Infineon Raceway this past weekend, Larry McReynolds answers: "NASCAR installed the free pass back this year. It was not something that they did just before this race. They made that decision over the winter with the four road course races, two in Busch and two in Cup. But you're right. Last year, they did not have the free pass on road courses."(FoxSports)(6-29-2005)

    • Changes For #45 Team In 2006, new sponsors in 2006: Petty Enterprises has announced plans to restructure its primary sponsorship of the #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2006. The change is part of a broader initiative that will be announced in more detail in the coming months and will involve multiple corporate partners. “We’re excited with the possibilities of working with new sponsors and structuring our program to allow for our partners to share the assets of the #45 car throughout the season,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Although they will no longer be our primary sponsor, Georgia-Pacific and its Brawny brand has been a great partner for Petty Enterprises and for me personally. They have been supporting us since the mid ‘90s with our Craftsman Series truck program, and have been a valuable part of not only the racing team but the Charity Ride Across America and the Victory Junction Gang Camp as well.”
      In the course of discussing the coming years and evaluating the long-term objectives of the racing team, Petty Enterprises envisions a different kind of sponsorship model. In elaborating on the plans for 2006 and beyond, Petty stated that “… next year our program will provide us with the opportunity to leverage several promotional tie-ins and other marketing elements with a select group of complementary partners working together to do some pretty cool stuff. Because we will have multiple partners, the entry point dollar-wise for this program is significantly below what companies are paying to be full-time primary sponsors. We’ve had great reaction to this program already and we think it is an exciting way to be involved in our racing platform. We look forward to presenting this strategic marketing platform to potential partners/sponsors who are interested in being involved in a unique Nextel Cup marketing program.”(Williams Company)(6-29-2005)

    • Biffle got wrong idea says Johnson: Becoming the points leader was special for #16-Greg Biffle on Sunday at Infineon Raceway, but what he said made it better was the perceived slight he got from #48-Jimmie Johnson, who had been leading the points. Biffle noted how Johnson laughed after Biffle got off course Friday in qualifying and started 41st in the 43-car field. "I hate that he misunderstood it,'' Johnson said. "I know his team knows where I'm coming from because they were standing right there with me when I watched it on the Jumbotron when he went off the track. I was applauding him. I thought he did a great job saving the car. If you look on the video from qualifying, I'm clapping and commending him on his job of saving the car and you can see my lips say 'great save.' '' (Ronokae Times)(6-29-2005)

    • Four Cup Drivers in Grand-Am Event: Road racing isn’t over for several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competitors, even though last week’s event at Infineon is in the books. Four drivers will compete in Thursday night’s Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car series at Daytona and all will drive Daytona Prototype cars that can reach 185 mph. Tony Stewart (#20 Home Depot Chevrolet), last week’s winner at Infineon, will team with British sports car driver Andy Wallace in the #20 CITGO Pontiac Crawford. Bobby Labonte (#18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) and Terry Labonte will share driving duties in the #44 Daytona USA Pontiac Doran Daytona Prototype. And Kyle Petty (#45 Stars and Stripes Georgia-Pacific Dodge) will help drive a new Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype; he’ll share the wheel with team owner and driver Brian Tuttle of West Palm Beach, Fla.(NASCAR PR)(6-29-2005)

    • A purple #40 at Daytona: The #40 Dodge driven by Sterling Marlin will be sporting the Prilosec OTC purple and black paint scheme for this weekend's Pepsi 400.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), see images of the scheme on my #40 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2005)

    • Shepherd gets a sponsor for Daytona UPDATE: #89-Morgan Shepherd will be attempting to make the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, which will run Saturday, July 2nd. Shepherd has sponsorship from Cornerstone Bancard of Alpharetta, GA and hopes to debut a new paint scheme at Daytona on the #89 Dodge.(Morgan Shepherd site)(6-28-2005)
      UPDATE: been told the new scheme will not debut at Daytona but for Pocono in a few weeks.(6-29-2005)

    • Smirnoff Ice scheme for #97 at Daytona: Smirnoff ICE, with Busch and his 'Smirnoff Ice pit crew,' will partner with the Repair One Automotive of Daytona Beach to provide free automobile safety checks on Wednesday, June 29 (2:00-7:00 p.m.) in Daytona Beach. As part of Smirnoff ICE's "Be Smart, Drink Responsibly" program, the "Smirnoff ICE Summer Safety Zone," will check tire pressure, fluid levels, belts, headlights, turn signals, wiper blades and others. Busch's 'Smirnoff Ice pit crew' team will work in tandem with RepairOne's ASE certified, trained technicians to perform the safety checks. Busch will sign autographs for participating motorists of legal drinking age and safe driving literature will also be distributed to participating motorists. The Smirnoff ICE Summer Safety Zone will be located eastbound on International Speedway Blvd., just outside of Turn 1 of the Speedway in the Daytona Beach Kennel Club parking lot. The Pepsi 400, held on Saturday, July 2, is the second of three races this year where Smirnoff ICE will serve as the primary sponsor of Busch's #97 Ford.(Alan Taylor Communications)(6-29-2005)

      News from June 28, 2005

    • Sad News: Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) fabrication shop manager Paul Wise passed away this morning after a brief illness. He was 58. Wise was employed by RCR since January 2003 after spending two-and-a-half years in a similar position with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. All six RCR cars competing this weekend at Daytona International Speedway, in both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series, will carry "In Memory of Paul Wise" decals. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at Charity Baptist Church, 2420 Brantley Road in Kannapolis, N.C. The Rev. R.J. Hammond and the Rev. Gene Beaver will officiate. The body will be placed in the church one hour prior to the service. Internment will follow at Carolina Memorial Park in Kannapolis. The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, at Charity Baptist Church.
      Born Jan. 6, 1947, in Cabarrus (N.C.) County, Wise was the son of C. Winfred Wise and Ethel Howell Wise of Kannapolis. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War and was a recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal. He worked with many NASCAR teams during his career. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Paula Jean Wise, Feb. 14, 1975.
      In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Barbara Austin Wise; son, Jason Paul Wise and wife, Brittany Cromer Wise, and granddaughter, Jayleigh Austin Wise of Kannapolis; sister, Anne W. Watts and husband, Charles, of Raleigh; brothers, Phil Wise and wife, Lynda, of Kannapolis and Mark Wise and wife, Derlene, of Raleigh; along with 13 nieces and nephews.
      Memorials may be sent to the American Cancer Society, Dancers for Cancer, c/o Carolina Dance, 2353 Concord Lake Road, Suite 110, Concord, N.C. 28025.(RCR)(6-28-2005)

    • Special scheme for Busch at Daytona: Kyle Busch's #5 Chevrolet will sport a special paint scheme under the lights at Daytona. The red and blue car will feature the Cheez-it logo on the hood in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see image of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(6-28-2005)

    • New Co-Host for Inside Nextel Cup: Kyle Busch will co-host Inside NEXTEL Cup on July 4, joining SPEED Channel analysts Jimmy Spencer, Johnny Benson and Alan Bestwick. The show will air July 4 at 8:00pm/et.(Hendrick Motorsports), no word if this is full-time, a one week only deal and if Michael Waltrip will be back on the show. It has been rumored that Waltrip and Benson would be leaving the show and younger drivers would host the show. Also hearing that Kevin Harvick may join as a host in the future.(6-28-2005)

    • New Assoc. sponsor for Evernham - Allstate: Allstate announced a multi-year deal with Evernham Motorsports. The associate sponsorship will make Allstate the official auto, home, life and supplemental insurance, motor club and retirement products sponsor of the race team. Earlier this year, Allstate signed a multi-year agreement with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to become the title sponsor for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. As part of the sponsorship agreement, #9 driver and 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year Kasey Kahne, #19 driver Jeremy Mayfield and legendary driver Bill Elliott, along with Evernham Motorsports crew members, will display the Allstate logo on their race uniforms. Two new television ads currently in production will feature Evernham Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne in a race setting, yet with a humorous twist that challenges viewers to consider the unique circumstances in which they would need their insurance. One spot focuses on the new Allstate Your Choice Auto Insurance. In addition to unique race-themed advertising, Allstate will launch a national consumer promotion beginning July 1, offering the chance to win a trip and tickets to this year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and other prizes, including a meet and greet with Kasey Kahne and a ride in the official pace car. Committed to diversity and its growth in motorsports, Allstate will also work with members from Evernham Motorsports' driver development program, including Tommy Lane and Erin Crocker, on a broader diversity program with NASCAR. Lane, who is African-American, competes in the Late Model Stock Division at Hickory Motor Speedway, while Erin Crocker, the first female to join Evernham Motorsports, competes in the NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA Series. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through Allstate agencies, or in select states at and 1-800 Allstate.(Clear!Blue PR)
      AND Third Round of Exclusive eBay Auctions to Begin Thursday, June 30th, to benefit the Charity Chopper Fundraiser, helping to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This month's featured prize is an American Rodsmith, Evernham Signature Series bass fishing rod. The rod is autographed by Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports, as well as Bill Elliott, driver of the #91 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger. For more information about blood cancer, visit

    • Four fined for infractions at Sonoma: NASCAR announced Tuesday that penalties have been issued to four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations during opening day inspection at Infineon Raceway on June 24.
      Doug Richert, crew chief of the #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle, was fined twice for violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-17.2 (unapproved seat belt) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. He was fined $1,000 for an expired manufacturer’s date on the lap belt and another $1,000 for an expired manufacturer’s date on the shoulder harness.
      Philippe Lopez, crew chief of the #07 Chevrolet driven by Dave Blaney, was fined $1,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) for an unapproved steering wheel.
      Rodney Childers, crew chief of the #10 Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs, and Pat Tryson, crew chief of the #6 Ford driven by Mark Martin, were each fined $1,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q for unapproved fire suppression agents.(NASCAR PR)(6-28-2005)

    • New NASCAR Ads: NASCAR will debut two versions of its "Race to the Chase" television ad campaign this week, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Writer Scott Warfield says the ads, prepared by the Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., will feature Jeremy Mayfield and Mark Martin. One of the ads is scheduled to appear during TNT's airing of Friday night's Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway, and the second will appear in Speed Channel's coverage of Saturday afternoon's Craftsman Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. Both will also be shown in NBC's coverage of Saturday night's Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race at Daytona. The ads are scheduled to run through the first week in September.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-28-2005)

    • New Rookie of the Year Candidate: Despite the NASCAR national touring season being nearly halfway complete, three drivers announced over the weekend their intention of competing for their respective series' Raybestos Rookie of the Year awards. Former American Speed Association and Hooters Pro Cup standout #66-Mike Garvey in Nextel Cup, Busch Series driver Jerry Robertson and Craftsman Truck Series driver Clay Rogers have been added to the list of eligible Rookie of the Year contenders. ( Garvey, who is driving the #66 Jani-King Ford, began receiving rookie points at Michigan [in which he finished 36th, but is listed on the ROTY weekly press release of having only one point in the convoluted rookie of the year points system, he should have 9]. I do my best to explain the system and have a ROTY page each year to act as a guide for the fans.(6-28-2005)

    • 2006 models to be unvieled: Ford will unveil its new Cup car in Charlotte on the Thursday before the first New Hampshire race. Chevrolet will do the same with its new Monte Carlo right before the Allstate 400 (formerly the Brickyard 400) in Indy.(Yahoo Sports)(6-28-2005)

    • Toyota to leave IRL after 2006: Toyota, which has seen its engines overwhelmed on the IRL circuit this year, will withdraw from open-wheel racing after the 2006 season. The announcement was made Monday by the Japanese automaker, which will pull out of competition in both the IRL and Champ Car after next season. It entered the IRL in 2003 and Champ Car -- which was called CART at the time and included what is now the IRL -- in 1996. "This was simply a decision to move in another direction after having our major U.S. motorsports emphasis on open-wheel racing since 1994," Toyota senior vice president of U.S. motor sales J. Davis Illingworth said. "Just as our participation in IMSA sports car racing ran its course after 12 years, so has our U.S. open-wheel racing program after 12 years in the IRL and CART," Illingworth added. Toyota moved into NASCAR last year with a fleet in the Craftsman Truck series. There has been considerable speculation that the company will move up to the Busch series in 2006 or 2007 and eventually move into Nextel Cup, challenging Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge, which currently race in NASCAR's top stock car series. "We are continuing to explore our options in NASCAR," said Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports. "However, at the present time our continued focus is on the Craftsman Truck Series."(

    • Petty and Jones have an altercation after race UPDATE: After the race at Infineon Raceway concluded, an irate Kyle Petty [#45] tried going after P.J. Jones [#4/one race deal] in the garage area, presumably over a collision that took place at turn 11 midway through the race. Legendary driver Richard Petty, Kyle's father, reportedly had to step between the two to help break it up.(Contra Coast Times)(6-27-2005)
      UPDATE: We [Yahoo Sports] were there to witness a postrace "discussion" between P.J. Jones and Kyle Petty outside of the Petty hauler. The two had gotten together early in the race and Jones was attempting to offer an apology to Petty, but Petty would have none of it, instead throwing a towel at Jones and grabbing him by the collar. A heated exchange followed and an extremely angry Petty had to be restrained. Father Richard stepped in and calmed everyone down.(Yahoo Sports)(6-28-2005)

      News from June 27, 2005

    • Childress would welcome Dale Jr....if....UPDATE 2 denied: Richard Childress does not see Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc., after the season, but if that happens, his door is open. “Junior has his own deal working good at DEI, and I hope it all works out for him,” said Childress, who won six Nextel Cup championship with the late Dale Earnhardt. “I think it will (work out), ’cause it’s a really good organization. I also would say if he ever left there, I’d sure hope he’d come this way. I know what Dale Sr.’s vision and dream was with DEI,” Childress said. “It was to build that operation for Dale Jr., (sister) Kelly and his family. Dale Jr. has done a great job of representing DEI and what they want to do, so it’s a good deal.”(The State)(6-24-2005)
      MORE......Does "Little E" ever wonder if it might be better if he had moved on out of the DEI team his father founded and went to the Childress team his father drove for? "Yeah!" he says, cheer suddenly rising in his hoarse voice, his eyes brightening. "And I think about that. And that's still -- that's always an option." As the only man alive who could carry "3" on his door panels with public approval and indeed celebration, and with his Bud sponsorship willing to follow him wherever he goes, it would seem he could pick up the phone and virtually be there. "Right," he confirmed. "Yeah. Richard and I haven't really sat down at a desk to talk about it, but he owns the number '3' and I want to drive the No. 3 race car before I retire. I've told Richard I want to finish my career in his race car, or in a No. 3 car if he and Teresa [Earnhardt] can come to some agreement or whatever." He means a transfer of ownership of the number. His stepmother, Dale's widow Teresa, owns Dale Earnhardt Inc. and has the ultimate say, although Richie Gilmore runs the company for her. She rarely comes to races or appears in public and doesn't speak with the media. Earnhardt Jr. is under contract to her through 2007. But could something be worked out? And how long would it take? "Oh, if everybody was for it, less than 24 hours, I would assume," Earnhardt said. "But I don't see that happening. I mean, not everybody's going to be cool about it. I don't think Teresa would want me to leave, in the first place."(See very large and interesting column at the Orlando Sentinel)(6-25-2005)
      UPDATE 2: DEI, founded by Earnhardt Sr. when he was driving for Richard Childress, is now run by Earnhardt's widow, Teresa. Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother have had a rocky relationship. In an interview in Saturday's Orlando Sentinel, Earnhardt reiterated the notion that he might someday leave DEI. Reached Saturday at the track, Earnhardt said he was simply restating his desire to drive for Childress "years and years" down the road. "Nothing's going on, I promise you that," he said.(USA Today)(6-27-2005)

    • McSwain Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: Ricky Rudd was flying this weekend at Infineon Raceway. In his #21 Air Force Taurus, Rudd drove all the way from his twentieth place starting spot into the top-five. Rudd's biggest move of the race came with thirty-nine laps left in the event, when crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain made the gutsy call for his driver not to follow the leaders' pit strategy and had him remain on the track. Despite being close on fuel, Rudd never sputtered and hung on for a second-place finish. McSwain not only picked up his best finish of the season, but was awarded the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. Rudd was riding in twenty-fourth place when the caution waved on lap sixty-nine. Even though the leaders all came into the pits for four tires and fuel, Rudd stayed out and took over the fourth position. He took advantage of his newfound track position and muscled his way into the lead. With questionable fuel remaining and a set of worn out Goodyears, Rudd held off a hard charging Tony Stewart for several laps, before eventually succumbing to the #20 machine. This was #21 team's best finish of the 2005 season. The panel of voters; including the San Jose Mercury News, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all cast their vote for McSwain as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
      Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Fatback McSwain 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 500)(6-26-2005)

    • Ford and Chevy submit 2006 models, Toyota....? Ford and Chevrolet have submitted prototypes to NASCAR for the 2006 season. Ford's car is expected to be named the Fusion, and Chevrolet will retain the Monte Carlo brand. The big question surrounds Toyota. The NASCAR rulebook says "any new car model to be considered for approval for competition in the 2006 season must be submitted by the manufacturers to NASCAR for initial consideration not later than July 1." NASCAR officials will not confirm Toyota's intention to offer a stock car. There has been talk that Toyota will pull out of the Indy Racing League at the end of this season, which frightens the big three American automakers currently competing in NASCAR because of the generous budgets the Japanese company devotes to racing. An announcement regarding Toyota's intention could come as early as this weekend at Daytona--perfect timing for the July 1 deadline.(Sporting News)(6-27-2005)

    • Sorenson to the #41? Mears to the #91? #2? UPDATE Mears to the #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)
      UPDATE - Mears to the #2? There hasn't been a serious candidate to replace Rusty Wallace in the #2, but team owner Roger Penske pow-wowed with the Mears clan--including Casey Mears, driver of the #41 for Chip Ganassi Racing--at Michigan. Obviously, Rick Mears, a Penske consultant and four-time Indy 500 winner, could put in a good word for his nephew, and in the bigger (sponsorship) picture, Casey is exactly the type of young driver Miller Brewing is looking for to combat legions of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Bud fans. Penske also is developing Billy Wiese, a youngster who is racing midgets in the Midwest.(Sporting News)(6-27-2005)
      AND Two of the sport's top car owners, Roger Penske and Jack Roush, are trying to find new drivers to replace retiring Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin. Penske says he probably won't make a decision until September.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-27-2005)

    • Menard and DEI? UPDATE 2 engines? been hearing that John Menard, who's son Paul, runs for DEI in the Busch Series [#11 Menard Chevy] may be buying into ownership of DEI...not sure if in part or whole....or at all.(5-20-2005)
      UPDATE: Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., strongly disputed rumors that millionaire businessman John Menard is attempting to buy the team. Talk of a potential sale was prevalent in the garage area at Pocono Raceway, where several drivers and owners from other teams confirmed that they had heard the rumor. “There is no truth to it at all,” Gilmore said. “John (Menard) is a great sponsor of ours, but that’s all it is. Over the years, many ‘players’ have tried to buy DEI. We’ve been contacted by owners of NFL and NBA teams about it. Teresa (Earnhardt) has no interest.” Menard’s son Paul drives the #11 DEI Chevy in the Busch Series.(Gaston Gazette)(6-11-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been complaining about horsepower much of the season, and now it appears that DEI will be building a new engine shop, perhaps with Menard Engineering help. Owner John Menard's son Paul drives Busch cars for DEI. Menard Engineering also provides motors for Robby Gordon.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-27-2005)

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