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    JULY 11-17, 2005

      News from July 17, 2005

    • Stewart dominates at New Hampshire: #20-Tont Stewart won the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, leading 232 of 300 laps. The win is Stewart's 3rd of the season and 22nd of his career [now tied with Terry Labonte for 22nd on the all-time list]. It is Stewarts 3rd win in 4 races. Stewart climbed the fence again and got to the flag stand to salute the crowd. #97-Kurt Busch finished 2nd, followed by #18-Bobby Labonte [that'll squash those rumors], #5-Kyle Busch and #16-Greg Biffle. #24-Jeff Gordon was running 6th with 15 laps to go when he lost the brakes and ended up 25th a lap down, really hurting his chances to make the chase. #48-Jimmie Johnson faded towards the end and finished 13th and lost a bit of his points lead, down to a lead of 77 over #16-Biffle and Stewart is now only 85 behind Johnson. Gordon is now 15th, 538 points behind the leader and 120 out of 10th. There are now only 9 drivers under 400 points behind the leader, so the top-10 are the drivers currently in. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 13th, 477 behind the leader and only 59 points out of 10th.(7-17-2005)

      For race results see Jayski's Loudon Race Results/Awards page.(7-17-2005)

    • New Hamphire Race Notes:
      • Tony Stewart won the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, scoring his 22nd career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 231st career start.
      • Stewart’s last victory came at Daytona, two races ago.
      • This is Stewart’s third victory in 2005.
      • Stewart has won three of the last four races (Sonoma, Daytona and New Hampshire).
      • Stewart has scored top-five finishes in his last five races.
      • Stewart moved into a tie with Terry Labonte for 25th on NASCAR’s All-time win list.
      • Stewart remained third in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, and is now 85 behind first-place Jimmie Johnson and just eight points behind second-place Greg Biffle.
      • Stewart scored his second victory at New Hampshire International Speedway. Stewart also won here in July 2000.
      • This was Stewart’s 13th victory in 179 career superspeedway races.
      • Stewart led six times for 232 of the 300 laps raced - including the final 55, leading the most laps for the sixth time in a race this season.
      • Stewart has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 19 races this season.
      • Stewart scored the second victory for car owner Joe Gibbs at New Hampshire International Speedway.
      • This was Gibbs third victory as a car owner in 2005, all by Stewart.
      • This is the 10th victory for Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has eight and Dodge has one.
      Notebook Items
      • Kurt Busch (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in nine races at New Hampshire International Speedway; including four top-fives. He scored his 10th top-10 finish in 19 races in 2005 and climbed from 10th to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He is now 325 behind first-place Jimmie Johnson.
      • Bobby Labonte (third) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 21 races at New Hampshire International Speedway. Labonte scored just his fourth top-10 finish in 2005.
      • Kyle Busch (fourth) posted his first top-10 finish in his first race at New Hampshire International Speedway and his seventh top-10 finish in 2005.
      • Greg Biffle (fifth) posted second top-10 finish in six races at New Hampshire International Speedway. Biffle remained second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 77 points behind first-place Jimmie Johnson.
      • Rusty Wallace (eighth) extended a 32-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August. Wallace has scored 15 top-15 finishes in 19 races in 2005.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (ninth) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 12 races at New Hampshire International Speedway. He remained 13th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 477 points behind first-place Jimmie Johnson and 59 points behind 10th-place Dale Jarrett. He posted his third consecutive top-10 finish this season.
      • Jimmie Johnson (13th) has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 52 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004. Johnson has scored 13 top- 10 finishes in 2005, the most of all drivers
      • Six 10 of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at New Hampshire.
      • Nine drivers remain within 400 points of current point leader Jimmie Johnson with seven races remaining before the Chase begins in New Hampshire in September.
      • Jeff Gordon (25th) scored his ninth finish of 25th or worse in 19 races in 2005. He remained 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, now 538 points behind point leader Jimmie Johnson and 120 points behind 10thplace Dale Jarrett.(Information Provided by NASCAR Statistical Services [1-888-782-8725])(7-17-2005)

    • Rumblings - New Hampshire:
      Tony Stewart totally dominated again today (that's 3 of the last 4 for the #20 Home Depot Chevy) and went on to win the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway by a comfortable .0851 seconds. How dominant was he? He led six times for 232 one else led more than 22. This was win #3 for Tony this season, #22 in his Cup career, and he's now tied with Terry Labonte for 25th on the all-time win list. Win #45 for Joe Gibbs racing was worth $283,986 from the over $5.1M in posted awards.
      Kurt Busch (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Phoenix is April.
      Bobby Labonte (3rd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Lowe's in May.
      Kasey Kahne (6th) had his best finish since he won at Richmond in May.
      Ryan Newman (7th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Lowe's in May.
      STREAKIN....Tony Stewart has 5 Top-5's in a row.
      Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is NOBODY. It takes a 20 position move for this illustrious honor.....Dale Jarrett gets honorable mention with +18. DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-36), followed by Jamie McMurray (-23).
      Jimmie Johnson had 31 points trimmed from his lead's down to 77. Only the Top-10 are now qualified for the "Chase".
      Kurt Busch made the best move upward in the standings today....he advanced five spots from 10th to 5th. Elliott Sadler (5th to 9th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans)(7-17-2005)

    • Labonte not back with Gibbs? UPDATE 3: CBS Sportsline story reports: Although a former series champion, Bobby Labonte might not be back in the #18 in 2006. Stay tuned.(CBS Sportsline), however back in 2003, Labonte signed an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing thru the 2008 season.(7-14-2005)
      UPDATE: Bobby Labonte and team manager Jimmy Makar were noncommittal about reports that Labonte may be leaving car owner Joe Gibbs at the end of the season after 11 years, including the 2000 championship run. Labonte, according to other team owners, has been checking out the marketplace, and he is being mentioned for three possible rides: with Roger Penske, replacing retiring Rusty Wallace; with Ray Evernham, as a teammate with Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield; and with Nelson Bowers [MB2 Motorsports], if Scott Riggs leaves.(Winston Salem Journal)
      MORE Car owner Joe Gibbs is interested in hiring Busch series hotshot Reed Sorensen for a Nextel Cup ride next season, according to sources close to the situation. While Tony Stewart is Gibbs' hot driver at the moment, teammates #18-Bobby Labonte and #11-Jason Leffler have had disappointing results. Makar, while enjoying Stewart's dominating performances these last few weeks, has been struggling to right the staggering other two teams in the Gibbs stable. The Leffler team, new this season, has struggled to get its sea legs, despite new crew chief Mike Ford taking over two months ago. The Labonte team, on the other hand, has struggled since losing crew chief Michael McSwain last summer; those close to Labonte say that the relationship with Gibbs may have "grown stale."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)
      UPDATE 2: #18-Bobby Labonte said Saturday that it bothers him when people put his name in the rumor mill without even asking him whether anything's going on. So, Bobby, is there anything going on? "The real deal is there is no real deal," Labonte said at New Hampshire International Speedway, where he'll start 10th in Sunday's New England 300. "I have got a contract and I am driving the snot out of our car." Labonte's name first appeared in the NASCAR rumor mill during the Nextel Cup weekend at Infineon Raceway, with Labonte supposedly looking to leave the #18 Chevrolets despite having a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing that goes through 2008. The rumors surfaced again this week as discussion about who'll go where in 2006 picks up speed in the Cup garage. "Anytime you're not running good and there are things changing, people include you (in rumors)," Labonte said. "In some people's situations, sometimes they do help. But you don't know how bad it screws up a race team when people write something with no facts at all. You don't realize how bad it can screw up an organization when you're all trying real hard to make things work."( Poole)(7-17-2005)
      UPDATE 3: Even though Bobby Labonte has a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2008 Nextel Cup season, CBS Sportsline reports Labonte might not be back in the #18 car he's driven since the beginning of the 1995 season and in which he won the 2000 Cup Championship. What didn't get reported by CBS is a persistent rumor that Labonte, tired of the Nextel Cup grind but enamored with his Rolex Series Daytona Prototype ride, will swap to that series with Gibbs in 2006.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-17-2005)

    • Gordon says Loomis is his crew chief...long term, Bliss update The Punch: #24-Jeff Gordon's comment's from a GM Press Release and about his recent troubles:
      WHAT IS YOUR SITUATION WITH YOUR CREW CHIEF, ROBBIE LOOMIS? "As long as Robbie wants to be the crew chief, he's going to be the crew chief. He's a great guy. He works so well with this race team. We brought him here for a reason. And at no time have I doubted Robbie. There have been times when I've doubted myself. But I know we've got the right people in place and the right team and the resources we need. It really is disappointing to me that so much pressure is put on the crew chief because they usually are the first to go (laughs). And they usually are the first to blame. But, not within our team. That's not the case. It's usually the media and the fans that focus on that. Trust me, that's not the problem. The problem is not any one person. There won't be any changes there."
      HAVE YOU AND MIKE BLISS SETTLED YOUR DIFFERNCES?) "I've been racing with Mike for a long time. I've known Mike since I was 7 years old. We had our instance on the track and if it's not already settled, which I think it is, I've got way too much at stake on the race track to try to get back into the top 10 than to worry about what happened there. It's a non issue."(GM Racing PR)
      and from's Marty Smith: Ask Jeff Gordon if he has lost any faith in his crew chief and he'll grin. Chuckle, even. Robbie Loomis' job is not in jeopardy and never has been, Gordon says. "There is not going to be any other crew chief with me than Robbie Loomis," Gordon said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway. "He's the guy. As long as he wants to be the crew chief, he's going to be the crew chief." Gordon's recent struggles have raised questions about Loomis' job stability. Gordon maintains the problem isn't Loomis or his team. He cites lack of testing preparation as the primary culprit.(7-15-2005)
      MORE on Bliss: #0-Mike Bliss denied rumors of an altercation with Jeff Gordon after last week's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Gordon was bumped into the wall by Bliss late in the race. Gordon, who has raced against Bliss since he was a teen in sprint cars, said the incident was forgotten.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
      AND Jeff Gordon apparently didn't take lightly his on-track run-in with Mike Bliss during Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 that sent Gordon into the wall. Gordon, according to sources, confronted Bliss at the airport that night over the issue. But neither man wanted to discuss that yesterday.(Winston Salem Journal)
      AND II: Gordon's frustrations seemed to get the best of him last week after he was wrecked by Mike Bliss at Chicagoland. He criticized Bliss when talking to reporters, and there apparently was a confrontation between the two — possibly involving fisticuffs — at a local airport afterward. Gordon wouldn't answer questions about the airport incident. "Whatever happened between Mike Bliss and me, we're going to work it out on our own," he said. "I don't think it's anything that's worth even discussing. As far as I'm concerned it's over with." Bliss, who appeared to be recovering from a black eye, said there was some sort of fuss at the airport. "[Gordon] just came up and told me how upset he was," Bliss said. "I understood it. There was no swing. He was frustrated, and the wreck was the icing on the cake."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-16-2005)
      UPDATE: during NBC's Countdown to Green pre-race show at New Hampshire International Speedway, Bill Weber announced that NASCAR looked into an off-track incident between Jeff Gordon and said one punch was thrown and since it was away from the track, NASCAR planned no action against either driver. Gordon declined to be interviewed before the race.(7-17-2005)

    • Davis wins round one against Dodge: A U.S. District Court judge granted summary judgment in favor of Bill Davis Racing after determining BDR did not violate terms of an agreement with Daimler-Chrysler by working with Toyota Racing Development USA in 2002 and early 2003. Daimler-Chrysler terminated its Dodge support of BDR in 2003 after learning of its involvement with TRD, which the court said was permitted under the contract. The case now goes to trial on Daimler-Chrysler's contention that BDR conveyed confidential tech information to TRD and BDR's suit for substantial damages because of wrongful termination. No trial date has been set. "We are confident the remaining issues in the case will ultimately be resolved favorably to the interests of BDR," owner Bill Davis said in a statement.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-17-2005)

    • Craven NOT to the #6, will stay in the Truck Series: Ricky Craven won't replace Mark Martin in the No. 6 Viagra Ford for Roush Racing next year. Team owner Jack Roush indicated Friday that Craven will be back in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next season and that he is hopeful he can convince Martin to return for one more season in the No. 6 car before Jamie McMurray assumes the ride for 2007. Craven is in the first year of a two-year deal. The 46-year-old Martin had announced his intention to retire from the Nextel Cup series to run in the truck series next year. "Ricky's future is and really has been in the truck series in my world," said Roush. "Mark has agreed to come back in 2006 if I need him for the 6 car. Ricky was on the short list but he wasn't the only choice I had for the 6 car for 2006. I had to look at Ricky's progress and had to look at a number of things to make that final decision. But right now [it] looks like it's off the table. Mark has said he's coming back," said Roush. Craven said that he was "a little disappointed" that he won't be in the No. 6 car next year but he completely supports Martin and that if Martin returns, it would be an "excellent announcement" for Roush Racing. "That would be pretty exciting. He's a pillar of the sport. He could win the points championship this year and if he does, he should come back and defend his title," said Craven. Roush said he has been satisfied with Craven despite Craven's recent struggles that have seen him fall from a close second in the points race to a distant fifth. Craven said he enjoys racing for Roush and still has a burning desire to return to the Nextel Cup ranks some day.(Bangor Daily News)(7-17-2005)

    • Major Testing Changes for 2006? NASCAR is planning a major change in Nextel Cup testing for next season, limiting teams to six designated manufacturers tests. That means that all three carmakers - Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge - would each have to specify which six tracks they want their own teams to test at, and no other testing at any NASCAR track would be allowed. The Nextel Cup tour runs at 23 different tracks. Such a rule would keep multicar teams from testing at numerous different tracks. For example, Rick Hendrick's four primary teams can each test at seven different tracks, giving that operation a total of 28 tests, while in contrast, single-car team owners like Cal Wells can only test at seven tracks. Under the proposed new rule, which is still being debated, each manufacturer would have to pick six tracks and its teams could test at those six tracks on those six dates. NASCAR also wants to bar any testing during the final 10 races of the season. Car owner Jack Roush says he would suggest that NASCAR limit testing to the Friday before each race, at that specific track: "As we work toward impound races, which I'm in favor of, if we used each Friday as a test date at the particular track, NASCAR could supervise the tests ... and tracks could sell tickets, the media could swarm, and the guys could wreck their cars if they wanted ... and we would have people watching with some interest, which, after all, is why we do this sport. Everybody would be at the track, with hotel rooms already, with the same tires, so it's all relevant, and without us having to run all these tractor-trailers up and down the road ... it's got so much going for it I can't imagine they'd ever do it."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-17-2005)

    • Patrick Happy in the IRL: Danica Patrick is enjoying life very well right now. And no, she isn't thinking about leaving the Indy Racing League for some other series like say, NASCAR's Nextel Cup. "I saw (reigning cup champion) Kurt Busch at the ESPYs. I said, `I don't know how you do it? How do you do that many races?' He said, `It's hard. You don't have a life," Patrick said Friday after earning the outside spot on the front row when rain washed out qualifying for Saturday night's Firestone Indy 200. Patrick said she enjoys the 17-race schedule for the IRL's IndyCar Series as opposed to the 36-race schedule for Nextel Cup. That leaves her time for the other part of her life.(

    • Britney owner? Britney Spears, the sexy singer that NASCAR marketers have been trying to use as a promotional tool for the sport, may be back in the stock-car scene, according to NASCAR sources that report that Brian France is pushing to have Spears listed as a part owner of a Cup team, possibly with wealthy Indy-car team owner Carl Haas. According to one man familiar with the situation, car owner Cal Wells could be the beneficiary. Wells said yesterday that NASCAR executives have been working with him on some options but said that Haas and Spears weren't part of that project. NASCAR, in 2002, had hopes that Spears would play a role in a racing movie. Now plans for that movie may be dusted off and revived.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-17-2005)

      News from July 16, 2005

    • Racing for Nadeau unlikely: Doctors told Jerry Nadeau a few weeks ago to find something else to do besides driving a race car. But that cold reality doesn't preclude looking for work at a racetrack, and a new opportunity brought Nadeau back to New Hampshire International Speedway. "I'd say my career is pretty much over," Nadeau said yesterday, sitting inside the hauler of the #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet he drove until May 2, 2003 at Richmond International Raceway. "My whole life I've been racing, so all I know how to do is that. My goal now is to be in the business of racing." Nadeau might have discovered an industry niche this weekend. The Danbury, Conn., native returned to his home track to serve as a driver coach for Boston Reid, a 23-year-old prospect with Hendrick Motorsports in the Busch Series. "I enjoy doing that," Nadeau, 34, said. "I'm not like another driver afraid to give out secrets because I may never do it again. When you come to the track and don't do anything, it's boring because I used to race all the time. So when I'm doing something, it's good." It was the first trip to a NASCAR race since Daytona for Nadeau, whose left side still tingles "24 hours a day." It's a lingering effect from smacking the wall on the driver's side during Cup practice at RIR. Nadeau said healing from a head injury normally takes about 2½ years. While he has improved to walking and talking without difficulty, recent tests confirmed he isn't close to 100 percent. "I should have been dead, but I didn't die, so I'm alive and can't do what I used to do," he said. "It took me two years to figure it out."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-16-2005)

    • Mikey to Toyota? Roush? Ganassi? Waltrip is headed eventually to the Toyota camp - along with Eury Jr., according to one Detroit source very close to the situation - in what is reported to be a top-dollar project. "Toyota has offered Michael and Tony Jr. so much money they can't turn it down," the source said. Waltrip has been eyed for a Toyota ride for more than a year, in part because older brother Darrell runs a Toyota team on the Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR has been pushing Toyota to step up its presence in the sport, for the added marketing punch that would provide. And Waltrip could give Toyota quick credibility. Toyota isn't expected to field a Cup team until 2007, although a Busch team is a possibility in 2006. Toyota does have a formidable presence in the truck series. The Toyota option? "I don't even know when that's a possibility, and I need a job for next year," Waltrip replied. Roush said that Waltrip has talked with him about a ride: "And Michael is on the list, along with Sterling Marlin, Ricky Craven, Jamie - and Mark." Waltrip has also inquired about openings at Chip Ganassi's, according to sources. Waltrip declined to be specific. "We've just had talks," he said. "We've talked to a lot of people about next year. There are no real offers, just people interested. I've got a lot of options. There are some things in the works. Making this announcement will probably complicate that, before it comes clear. I'm just looking forward to getting into the best situation possible."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)

    • Martin could return to the #6 in 2006 MORE: Mark Martin continues to mull over whether he will stay on as driver of the #6 Ford as a favor to car owner Jack Roush. As reported last Wed, Jamie McMurray will take over that ride in 2007. Roush has a list of drivers they’re talking with about a 2006 deal. Martin says the whole team is on him hard to stay. “The first time the question was asked I laughed at ‘em and of course I said no. But, for many of us the six-car will always be my car, and Jamie McMurray is my choice to take the car over. When it first came up it was gonna be fine for me for them to find someone to fill the gap but they’ve been working on me pretty hard about the guilt of how that would be letting my team down and that’s why I’m considering it…because of my 18 years with Jack Roush and because of the team giving me everything they’ve got. If I turn my back on it, that will be for selfish reasons. It’s not what I wanna do, I think everybody knows that. 18 months is a whole lot longer than 6 months.” Martin says there arguments for both sides. “One side you could say I told them two years ago…and then you could come back and say, yeah, and Jamie McMurray was the guy you wanted. And I say yeah, Jamie’s the guy I wanted, Jamie’s the guy you guys wanted and we got him and that feels good. My greatest hope would be he could be in it in 2006. I know that Chip (Ganassi) says otherwise, but Chip has an option, and as far as I know he hasn’t exercised that option yet. I don’t mean to cause any problems but all I’m saying is there’s both sides and the perfect scenario would be if Jamie would drive it in 2006. If he doesn’t I would consider doing it rather than having to try to put together a one year race driver deal that would be tough from a marketing stand point and a team standpoint. My hope is to deliver Jamie a championship team. All I know is that when Jamie sits down in that thing they’re gonna see an immediate performance improvement over me, so, I’m anxious for them to get their hands on him as soon as possible."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-14-2005)
      MORE Mark Martin has said yes to another year behind the wheel for Jack Roush, and is willing to race the Nextel Cup tour another year, instead of retiring as planned in November. "Mark has agreed to drive for us again if Jamie McMurray is not available, and we don't expect Jamie to be," Roush said. "Mark said he would consider that if we thought the team was in jeopardy, and I do - to keep everybody in place and functioning. So, based on what Mark has told me, I expect Mark to be back in this car next year."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)

    • Dodge fastest at the Wind Tunnel and Dyno's: Dodge teams won NASCAR's wind-tunnel testing of Chicago's top finishers [#19-Jeremy Mayfield per Speed Channel's Bob Dilner], and Jimmie Johnson's Chevy, to everyone's surprise, pulled the weakest numbers, according to NASCAR sources. Dodge's Ernie Elliott won NASCAR's engine dyno testing of Michigan's top finishers, according to other NASCAR sources. NASCAR officials completely disassembled the Michigan engines of six top finishers and weighed every part, including the block, and also weighed the entire engine assembly. Ford's Jack Roush says that NASCAR could make a minimum engine-weight rule. The Ford engine block is much heavier than others, a disadvantage.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)

    • Congrats: Matt Lucas, #77 Penske-Jasper Racing's team engineer, and his wife Jessie welcomed their daughter to the family on Friday, July 15 at 8:52pm/et. Piper Joy Lucas weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces; she is 19 ½ inches long. The newest daddy on the #77 team said both of his girls are doing well. He also said, "It's a 77 thing. Maybe the 7 pounds 7 ounces is an omen."(Penske Racing PR)(7-16-2005)

    • Vickers wins pole at Loudon: #25-Brian Vickers won the pole for the New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a speed of 130.327mph for this 3rd career pole, first of 2005, so he is in the 2006 Budweiser Shootout. #9-Kasey Kahne will start 2nd, followed by #38-Elliott Sadler, #12-Ryan Newman and #97-Kurt Busch. Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnson will start 12th. #49-Ken Schrader and #45-Kyle Petty start 21st and 42nd respectfully, set by owners points. #37-Kevin Lepage gets the final spot in the field, being the slowest of the 8 non-top 35 teams in owners points to make the race. #00-Carl Long qualified for the race [starts 35th], but wrecked on his 2nd qualifying lap and will go to a backup car [from a Dodge to a Chevy]. Missing the race were #92-Joey McCarthy, #52-Derrike Cope, #75-Wayne Anderson and #92-Hermie Sadler.
      For pole progression, qualifying results, start lineup and lineup links on Jayski's Loudon Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(7-16-2005)

    • New Hampshire Qulaifying Notes:
      • Brian Vickers won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the New Hampshire 300, lapping New Hampshire International Speedway in 29.225 seconds at 130.327 mph. Ryan Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 28.561 seconds, 133.357 mph, set Sept. 12, 2003.
      • This is Vickers’s third career Bud Pole in 60 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races [first of 2005].
      • Vickers posted his first start better than 23rd in three races at New Hampshire. This is his eighth top-10 start in 2005.
      • Vickers became the 12th different Bud Pole winner this season.
      • Kasey Kahne posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.250 seconds, 130.215 mph – and will join Vickers on the front row for the New Hampshire 300. He posted his second top-10 start in three races at New Hampshire. It is his ninth top-10 start this season, including back-to-back Bud Poles at Darlington and Richmond.
      • This is the ninth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005 [with 8 different drivers], including each of the past four races. Dodge has seven Bud Poles and Ford has two. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June.
      • Elliott Sadler (third) posted just his third top-10 start in 13 races at New Hampshire. It is his 10th top-10 start this season. Sadler also qualified third for the NASCAR Busch Series race.
      • Ryan Newman (fourth) posted his 16th top-10 start in 2005 and his sixth in seven races at New Hampshire.
      • Kurt Busch (fifth), who has won the past two races at New Hampshire, posted his fourth top-10 start in nine races here.
      • Ted Christopher (38th) made the field for his fourth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. Three of Christopher’s races have been at New Hampshire. His series debut came at Watkins Glen in 1999.
      • There have been 10 Bud Pole winners in 21 races at New Hampshire. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman both have won three Bud Poles while Ricky Craven, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader and Rusty Wallace all have two. Newman has won the last three Bud Poles at New Hampshire. Qualifying has been canceled three times in the last seven races due to weather.
      • The race winner started in the top 10 in 11 of the 20 races at New Hampshire, including four of the past five.
      • The deepest in the field that a race winner at New Hampshire has started was 38th by Jeff Burton in July 1999.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-16-2005)

    • Ramblings - New Hampshire:
      Brian Vickers captured the Bud Pole today for Sunday's New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway for his first top-spot of the season. His time of 29.225 sec (130.327 mph) was good enough to knock Kasey Kahne from the pole and give Vickers his 3rd career Bud Pole Award.
      We've now had 12 different pole winners this season....same as last year.
      Kasey Kahne (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Richmond in May.
      Rusty Wallace (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Texas in April.
      Kyle Busch (7th) has his best qualifying position since he timed in 6th at Lowes in May.
      Ricky Rudd (14th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Richmond in May.
      Jeff Green (15th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 14th at Martinsville in April.
      Mike Garvey (33rd) has his career-best starting spot this week. His previous best was 34th at Martinsville in April.
      Ted Christopher (38th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 33rd at Watkins Glen in August of 1999! (only 3 starts) This will be only the second start for the #27 car of Kirk Shelmerdine....Tom Hubert put it in the field at Infineon last month.
      Morgan Shepherd (39th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 38th at California in May of 2004
      STREAKIN....Kevin Harvick has 3 Top-10 starts in a row.
      (Stock Car Fans)(7-16-2005)

      News from July 15, 2005

    • NAPA to the #6? hearing NAPA is talking with Roush Racing about being a sponsor on the #6 Ford in 2006, no idea if Michael Waltrip would do a one-year stint in the #6.(7-15-2005)

    • Lepage gets a sponsor UPDATE: looks as though R&J Racing's #37 with driver Kevin Lepage has got a primary sponsor for 15 of the last 18 races (Patron Spirits for the other three races. BoSPOKER.NET has just signed on and will be on the car this weekend at New Hampshire.(7-14-2005)
      UPDATE: R&J Racing announced its new sponsorship with . The team will be unveiling the car at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH on Friday, July 15th. The team has secured a 15 race sponsorship with, a is a fun, safe place to learn and play 'no cost' poker with people from around the world. All of the games on are for no cash value 'play money' chips. There is absolutely no charge to participate in the games. provides an ideal environment for you to learn a new game or practice playing a familiar one. "BoSPOKER is elated with the opportunity to join forces with R & J Racing," said William Griffiths, director of marketing for "Lepage's pure dedication to the sport is truly inspiring and we are looking forward to a great finish to this year of racing."
      "John and I are very excited to have on board with us", said Roger Craven. "It is a great company that provides a top notch service. There are so many people who want to learn how to play the game of poker and teaches people how to play with no risk since it is a free site. With the growing popularity of our sport and with the growing popularity of the game of poker, it is a good fit for both and R&J Racing."
      Driver Kevin Lepage is also looking forward to having his new sponsor on board with him this weekend. "This is very exciting for our racing team", said Kevin Lepage. "John and Roger told us right before we left for New Hampshire that the deal was done. The team and I were thrilled when they told us that had signed on as our primary sponsor for the remainder of the year. This is going to be a big boost for our racing program and I look forward to working with"(Integrated Marketing Solutions PR)(7-15-2005)
      IMAGES see what the scheme will look like this weekend at New Hampshire and then at Pocono and for the other 13 races at my #37 Team Schemes page.(7-15-2005)

    • Sad News: Roger Deppe, who Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and COO Joie Chitwood described as a “true part of what the Speedway is all about,” died July 14 while driving to his vacation home in Minnesota. Deppe worked over a half-century at the Speedway handling credentials and later other assignments and was one of the last employees dating back to the 1950s. His final race was the United States Grand Prix on June 19. Deppe was 83. “I’ve known him since 1996 when I came up here,” Chitwood said. “I would go to lunch with he and Robert McInteer (then Speedway safety director). At the lunches, he and McInteer would just go at each other, and I would just laugh. I think about the people who have been around the Speedway forever. Roger fit into that mode. He would be here whether he needed to be or not. That’s how much he loved the Speedway.” Deppe and his wife, Bea, were making their annual summer trek back to his native Minnesota when he suffered an apparent heart attack on the highway in Wisconsin. His wife was not injured. Deppe came to Indianapolis in 1952 as an engineer with Eli Lilly & Co. He worked with Lilly until his retirement in 1985. His involvement included construction of buildings in Greenfield, Ind., when the pharmaceutical firm expanded its facilities. He joined the Speedway in the mid-1950s as a part-time assistant to public relations director Al Bloemker handling media credential requests. Deppe still was doing media credentials when Gloria Novotney took over credential distribution in 1988. In later years, Deppe was in charge of the pit timing crew for races at IMS. Deppe maintained a desk in the Hall of Fame Museum following his retirement from Lilly and was a familiar figure to most of the Speedway employees and veteran media representatives. At the United States Grand Prix, Deppe helped feed information to foreign radio broadcasters. Hailing from Minnesota, Deppe held a deep passion for hockey and developed one for auto racing. Deppe was a Navy flier during World War II. He also was a life member of the 500 Oldtimers Club. Survivors include his wife and sons, David and Paul. Services are pending.(more at the IMS site)(7-15-2005)

    • DEI and Waltrip part ways after 2005: Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) and Michael Waltrip announced today they will no longer be together beginning in 2006. The DEI #15 NAPA Chevrolet has been driven by Michael Waltrip, a fan-favorite, in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for the past five seasons where he earned four victories, including two Daytona 500 wins in 2001 and 2003. "All of us at DEI want to thank Michael for all his contributions to our organization and wish him well as he moves on in his career," said Richie Gilmore, DEI's Vice President of Motorsports. "Dale and Teresa gave me an opportunity with a winning organization that I have been proud to be an integral part of for the last five years," Waltrip said. "My professional relationship with DEI is ending, but my personal relationships have ties that are deep-rooted. Therefore, my decision to leave DEI is a difficult one. Our individual visions for the future are taking different courses, but our goals are the same- to be successful in the premier division of NASCAR."
      "DEI's NASCAR Nextel Cup focus for 2006," continued Gilmore, "will be to sharpen every entity of our race teams by preparing the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, driven by Martin Truex Jr., and the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., for the championship. Additionally, we are working diligently with our current partner, NAPA, on returning to the #15 car."(DEI PR)
      NOTE: Watch Michael Waltrip on SPEED Channel's Trackside at 7:00pm/et for more on this announcement and possible news about his ride for next year. Some rumors floating around have him going to the #0 Chevy.
      AND Sources in the NASCAR garage indicate that Waltrip is working on a deal to drive for Hass CNC Racing next year. That team fields the #0 Chevrolets that Mike Bliss now drives. Sources say NAPA, which has been Waltrip's sponsor, could go with him, leaving DEI with the #8 Chevrolets driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #1 Chevrolets driven by Martin Truex Jr., who will move up from Busch to Nextel Cup in 2006.( Poole)(7-15-2005)

      News from July 14, 2005

    • Fusion is it for Ford and NASCAR in 2006 UPDATE - official:: Ford Motor Co. is putting a new face on its NASCAR Nextel Cup entry next year. The automaker is expected to announce as early as this week [Thurs July 14th in Charlotte] that the Ford Fusion will replace the venerable Taurus on North America's most popular racing circuit, said people familiar with the plan. After 20 years, Ford is pulling the plug on Taurus production early in 2006, and NASCAR rules require that race cars be based on showroom models. The Fusion arrives on dealer lots this fall. Fusion will enter the midsize car segment, where the competition dwarfs even the longtime rivalry between Ford and Chevy on the racetrack. In the midsize car market, it's Ford vs. Chevy vs. Toyota vs. Honda vs. Nissan. The entry-level midsize car, along with the larger Five Hundred sedan, represents Ford's latest effort to rebuild passenger car sales. Styling and price are more likely to lure buyers. Ford designed and engineered the Fusion to be more aggressive and nimble than the Taurus. It is priced starting at $17,995. Ford declined comment on specific plans to replace Taurus, promising to unveil details this week. NASCAR entries are subject to strict dimensional guidelines to ensure competitive racing, but to help sell the vehicles, manufacturers take great care to make certain that the cars on the track retain identifiable design cues.(Detroit News), see an image and past news on my Ford News page.(7-11/14-2005)
      OFFICIAL: Thirty-eight years. That’s how long it’s been since Ford introduced an all-new model and went NASCAR racing with that model at the same time. That 1968 car was the Ford Torino, which went on to be a hit in both the marketplace and on the race track. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson took the Torino to championships in both 1968 and 1969. Ford is confident the 2006 Ford Fusion will experience similar success, both on and off the track. “Fusion’s bold, new styling and its dynamic driving personality are very consistent with what you would look for in both a production car and a race car,” said Marty Collins, General Marketing Manager, Ford Division. "We believe that Fusion is a car that demands to be noticed, and in a sport like NASCAR, there’s going to be millions of race fans tuning in every week who are going to have a great opportunity to see Fusion in a winning situation, and associate that winning with the Ford brand.”
      Ford believes the demographics of the NASCAR audience and the customer interested in Fusion match up very well. “NASCAR fans, and the Fusion customer, both encompass a broad spectrum of America,” said Burt Diamond, global marketing manager, Ford Racing Technology. “One in three adult Americans consider themselves NASCAR fans, so that’s a huge population base that we have to work with in helping Ford Division market the car. We know the NASCAR fan base is more family-oriented, and is becoming more ethnically diverse and more affluent than ever before, so it really makes sense for us to feature this new car among these audiences.” The new Fusion production car and the new race version will start appearing together this Saturday when the first of nine Ford Racing Innovation Drives takes place at Kentucky Speedway [hmm...NASCAR gonna love that - lawsuit]. Several thousand consumers will get the first chance to drive the new production Fusion and other Ford products on the Speedway track, while the new NASCAR Fusion, unveiled today in Charlotte, will make its first public appearance at the event.(Ford Racing)(7-14-2005)

    • MB2 Close to Signing a sponsor for the old #10 team: It appears MB-2 Motorsports [currently the #10 Chevy with driver Scott Riggs, along with #01-Joe Nemechek and #36-Boris Said] is close to announcing a new sponsor to replace Valvoline which is leaving for Evernham Motorsports at the end of the season [and taking the #10 with it, this team is un-numbered for 2006]. Driver Scott Riggs says “I know that MB-2 is a lot closer to signing a contract with a sponsor and announcing that within the next week or two, so I know they’ve gotten closer and moved forward.” When asked if he would stay with the team is a full-time primary sponsor is signed, Riggs couldn’t say for sure. “Well, the chances are definitely a lot higher me staying with a sponsor than without.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-14-2005)

    • Latest on Will Ferrell's NASCAR movie: Wacky comedian Will Ferrell is roaring toward Charlotte to film a NASCAR comedy here this fall. Now, you might automatically imagine Ferrell exploring how fast he can go through a fast-food drive-through, and there will be plenty of Ferrell's silly screen antics. But experts say the movie represents something significant: This will be the first major studio project made in the state [North Carolina] in three years. The reason? The state is poised to get back in the race for film projects by offering more competitive funding incentives for filmmakers. According to sources close to the Columbia Studios project, Ferrell will be here from about September to December, filming at a Charlotte studio and at racetracks and nearby towns. The project was formerly titled "Talladega Nights," but that name has been dropped. It is now being referred to as "The Untitled Will Ferrell NASCAR Comedy." (Expect that to change.) Sources close to the project could not say where the film is set, or if that issue has been decided. The NASCAR comedy is slated for release sometime next year. "That film was set for Alabama," Frank Capra Jr., president of Wilmington's ScreenGem Studios, says of the Ferrell comedy. "The incentives -- or the promise of the incentives -- are what brought it to Charlotte." Some Carolinians might get into the act, too. At least some actors will be needed, and perhaps plenty of extras to fill racing grandstands.(Charlotte Observer)(7-14-2005)

    • New crew chief for Lepage: R&J Racing owners John Carter and Roger Craven announced the signing of Mark Tudor as the new crew chief for the #37 R&J Racing Dodge Charger. Glenn Darrow has been filling in as the teams interim crew chief since the Charlotte race in May and has been working with Mark to evaluate the teams needs for success. Tudor's first race as crew chief of the #37 R&J Racing Dodge Charger will be this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH. Before joining R&J Racing, Tudor started the 2005 season with Biagi Bros. Racing as the crew chief for Ryan Hemphill in the Busch Series.(Integrated Marketing Solutions)(7-14-2005)

    • NASCAR Sets Hall of Fame Site Visit Schedule: NASCAR will begin the next phase of the process for selecting the location for its Hall of Fame when it makes visits to the five prospective cities next month that are vying to serve as the home for the sport’s newest facility.
      On May 31, NASCAR received proposals to construct the Hall of Fame from Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Daytona Beach, Fla., Kansas City, Kan. and Richmond, Va.. Since that time, NASCAR has been reviewing and evaluating each city’s proposal. The schedule for site visits has been established and will be as follows: August 9 – Daytona Beach; August 16 – Atlanta; August 17 – Charlotte; August 18 – Kansas City; August 23 – Richmond. At each visit, members of NASCAR will meet with local organizing officials, tour the prospective site location and engage in detailed discussions regarding each proposal. The visit will conclude with a mid-afternoon press availability.
      “There has been a tremendous amount of excitement and enthusiasm generated with the Hall of Fame project and NASCAR is looking forward to visiting each site,” said Mark Dyer, NASCAR’s vice president of licensing. “We have been impressed by the caliber of proposals we have received and are appreciative of all of the effort and commitment that each city has invested. As this process continues, we’re even more conscious of the fact that the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be a world-class facility that will service our loyal fans for many, many years to come.”(NASCAR PR)(7-14-2005)

    • Hutchens II passes NASCAR mandated SFI 38.1 Specification: Safety Solutions announced the new Hutchens II which has passed the NASCAR mandated SFI 38.1 Specification. NASCAR officials were present and set-up the testing done at Delphi. The official request for approval to NASCAR will be submitted by the end of this week, although copies of the test data have been received by there officials. The Hutchens II combines a small carbon fiber spacer used to change the helmet tether pivot points to better control the occupant head motion early in the event. A single 3 inch Kevlar back strap drapes over the carbon spacer and anchors to the seat belt buckle, like a traditional Hutchens Device. The carbon spacer and strap harness combine to provide an all around better performing restraint with major benefits not only in frontal and angular frontal impacts tested in the stringent SFI 38.1 standard, but also in side and multiple impacts where some current restraints fail. For more information on the Hutchens II visit the website Solutions)(7-14-2005)

    • Congrats: Late News But Welcome to the Crew: The Kodak Racing team would like to extend warm wishes to the newest "little" member of the team. Clay Robinson, front tire changer for the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing crew, and wife Jenna welcomed Joseph "Joey" Andrew Robinson on June 23 at 3:08 am, EDT. Joey was 21.5 inches long at birth and weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces. Joey has two older sisters, Paige, 5, and Antonia, 2.(Penske Racing)(7-14-2005)

      News from July 13, 2005

    • Christopher to run the #27 at NHIS: been told that Modified Racer, Ted Christopher, will drive the #27 Kirk Shelmerdine Racing Ford in an attempt to make the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The team will also have a new associate sponsor. Green Valley Compressor the home of announced an associate sponsorship agreement with Kirk Shelmerdine for the #27 Nextel Cup Series Team. Green Valley Compressor is a family owned business located in Keller, Texas in the Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex just minutes from D/FW International Airport and the Texas Motor Speedway. is a full service on line store for high quality Puma Air Tools as well as Ingersoll Rand air compressors. Green Valley has been the Ingersoll Rand Southern Region dealer of the year for three straight years. More info at

    • Crew Chief Fined for Chicagoland Infraction: NASCAR announced today that David [not Larry] Hyder, crew chief for the #49 Dodge driven by Ken Schrader in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $1,000 for an infraction last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Hyder was fined for unapproved body modifications after inspection, a violation of Section 12-4-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR Rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook.(NASCAR PR)(7-13-2005)

    • Riggs fastest at Indy testing on Tuesday, shortened by Rain: Scott Riggs and the MBV Motorsports team led testing on a rain-shortened day July 12 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.244 mph in the #10 Valvoline Chevrolet. Riggs’ top lap ranks him as seventh-fastest to date in 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series private testing at the 2.5-mile oval. #16-Greg Biffle remains the fastest of 2005 testing so far, thanks to the lap of 181.963 he posted July 11. The top five overall in 2005 testing at Indianapolis, which includes test days on July 5-6 and 11-12, are Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Ken Schrader, Robby Gordon and Elliott Sadler. Ken Schrader was second-fastest of the day at 181.051 in the #49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge, and Jamie McMurray was third at 180.810 in the #42 Texaco Havoline Dodge. Weather forecasts called for heavy rains July 12 in Indianapolis, thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Dennis, but the 14 teams that elected to stay in town were able to find some track time. Brief, intermittent showers tested the patience of drivers and teams until heavier midday rain showers finally ended testing.
      Even though no driver has yet to approach Mears’ track record of 186.293 set in 2004 qualifying, Mears is confident that his record will be broken this year. The third and final round of private testing before the 12th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard continues July 18-19, with former race winners Dale Jarrett and Bill Elliott, scheduled to test both days along with former USAC standout Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Four-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon and Indiana native Tony Stewart will test July 19 only. Fans are welcome to watch testing July 18-19 from the South Terrace grandstands, located in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission is free.
      Speeds from Tuesday, July 12th:
      10-Scott Riggs, 181.244, 41
      49-Ken Schrader, 181.051, 21
      42-Jamie McMurray, 180.810. 44 36-Boris Said, 180.703, 25
      29-Kevin Harvick, 180.682, 25
      41-Casey Mears, 180.638, 32
      18-Bobby Labonte, 180.266, 53
      07-Dave Blaney, 179.614, 29
      37-Kevin Lepage, 179.605, 18
      45-Kyle Petty, 179.431, 49
      11-Jason Leffler, 178.813, 42
      2-Rusty Wallace, 178.694, 27
      66-Mike Garvey, 178.646, 11
      77-Travis Kvapil, 178.135, 43
      See Cummulative Test Speeds for all four days on my 2005 Testing Page.
      Tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 12th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, (317) 492-6700 locally or log on to quotes about practice, photos and more at the IMS Site)(7-13-2005)

      News from July 12, 2005

    • Indy Champ looking at NASCAR? UPDATE sooner? Dan Wheldon, this year's Indy 500 winner, was a guest at Chicago of [Robby] Gordon. Wheldon said he's looking at the NASCAR world for a possible career move, eventually.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-11-2005)
      UPDATE: Indy 500 Champ Dan Wheldon told Claire B. Lang (CBL) of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio (regarding the possiblity of making the move to NASCAR):
      CBL: Have you talked to some stock car teams seriously:
      Wheldon: "I have talked to some teams seriously, yes. I mean obviously my experience in this right now is zero. But there's certainly a lot of interest and there's certainly a lot of interest on my part so we'll just have to wait and see.
      CBL: What would it take to make the move?
      Wheldon: "I'd need to be obvioiusly in a very very good team I think have a lot of testing and the ability to race some Busch races and stuff like that. I gotta consider everyting, I'm a driver and you know you've got to look to the future and that's what I'm looking at. But, I haven't decided what I'm going to do as of yet."
      CBL: Do you have a deadline when you have to decide?
      Wheldon: "Yea I'm going to have to in the next three or four weeks for sure."(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(7-12-2005)

    • Final Chicago TV Ratings up 4% over 2004: NBC's coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race from Chicagoland Speedway delivered a 5.7 national rating and 13 share, up 4% from the same race last year (5.5/13 in 2004). The rating peaked between 6:30-7 p.m. ET with a 6.7/14 as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took the checkered flag for the first time this season. The top rated markets for NBC's coverage of Sunday's race were: Greensboro (12.6), Charlotte (12.1), Knoxville (11.9), Greenville/Spartanburg, SC (11.8), Columbus (10.4), Indianapolis (10.1), Nashville (9.8), Jacksonville (9.6), Raleigh-Durham (9.2), Orlando (9.2), Atlanta (9.2).(NBC PR)(7-12-2005)

    • Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. Announces Inaugural NASCAR Drivers Bobsled Race The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project announced Monday that it will organize a bobsled race involving 10 NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series drivers. The event will take place Jan. 5-9, 2006 in Lake Placid, N.Y. NASCAR veteran Geoffrey Bodine created the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project in 1992 after watching the 1992 Winter Olympic Games on television and noticing that USA Bobsled athletes competed with European-made sleds. At that time, the USA team had not won a medal since the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina, Italy. Bodine set out on a quest of a "Made in America" sled project that would provide USA Bobsled athletes with sleds designed involving NASCAR technology. He contacted good friend Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics to design the new sleds, hence the name Bo for Bodine and Dyn for Chassis Dynamics. At the 1994 games in Lillehammer the USA teams used the new Bo-Dyn sleds but still had no medal results. In 1998, the USA teams missed a medal by two hundredths of a second. The USA teams broke the drought at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games by winning both silver and bronze in the four-man competitions, along with gold in the women's competition. The USA team is now a constant medal winner on the World Cup circuit and the Bo-Dyn sleds are known as one of the best in the world, with their signature quietness when they are compared to other sleds coming down the mountain.
      Bodine now feels that it is time for his fellow NASCAR drivers to have a chance to drive a sled like he has and he wants to use the race as a fundraiser for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc. "With another track being built for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, I need to take the project to the next level, "says Bodine the 1986 Daytona 500 winner along with 18 other NASCAR wins. "Like NASCAR, the sport is about racing, rules and changes in technology, which mandates research and development and costs money. I need some other NASCAR people to assist me with the project. The best way is to get them into a bobsled environment and give them a feel for the sport. They will not be disappointed."
      The drivers will not be going from the top of the track with the standard Bo-Dyn sleds, but from the two-thirds start in training sleds that will still see speeds of 50 miles per hour. The sleds will be painted in the colors and with the sponsors of each driver. Following the competition, the Geoffrey Bodine Bobsled Fantasy Camp will begin giving NASCAR fans a chance to drive these same sleds, adding to the weekend's festivities. Bodine also feels that with the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy just a month after the event, the timing is perfect, as it will drive NASCAR interest in watching the United States compete in his Bo-Dyn sleds.
      "It's also a great weekend for both NASCAR teams, drivers and fans to come together in a different type of racing", added Bodine. "Just after Christmas and the New Year, the NASCAR family is, in general, looking for some way to get back out and compete". Bodine has spoken to many drivers and received very positive feed back. One of the drivers, Boris Said, is very excited and stated that he could not wait for the opportunity."My father (Bob Said) was an Olympic bobsled driver at the 1972 Games in Sapporo, Japan," remarked Said. "I used to ride sleds in Lake Placid and it is the fastest and most exciting racing experience I have ever had without a motor." For additional information on the NASCAR Drivers Bobsled event, please visit

    • Petty's in Newsweek: Kyle and Pattie Petty are featured in the national news magazine Newsweek this week as part of a new series, "Red, White and Proud." The series "honors those who make helping others their priority." The Pettys are noted in the prestigious national news weekly for founding the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Williams Company PR)(7-12-2005)

    • Owners spat over McMurray, Roush for sale?: Car owners Felix Sabates [#39,#40,#41,#42] and Jack Roush [#6,#16,#17,#97,#99] had a brief spat in the garage after Sunday’s race. At issue was Roush’s signing of Jamie McMurray to drive for him, beginning in 2007. Roush signed McMurray this week. McMurray’s team, owned by Chip Ganassi and Sabates, has a one-year option on McMurray for next season and is expected to exercise that. After the race, Sabates saw Roush and commented about the move. “I just said it was a great, great move hiring Jamie, so he’ll have a stable of great drivers, so when he sells the company, he’ll get a bunch of money,” Sabates said. “He’s been trying to sell it.” Roush responded to Sabates: “I’m not for sale, pal.” Roush walked away from Sabates soon after that comment.(News and Record)(7-12-2005)

    • 2006 Daytona Testing Dates set: Teams in the odd-number rankings in the car owner points after Sunday’s race [at Chicago] will test at Daytona on Jan. 9-11 with Jan. 12 as the rain date. Teams in the even-number rankings in the car owner points standings will test at Daytona on Jan. 16-18 with a rain date of Jan. 19. Of course, NASCAR allows some teams to switch test dates if needed.(News and Record)(7-12-2005)

    • NASCAR Takes Engines to Examine UPDATE 2: 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
      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)
      UPDATE 2: On the weekend of the Michigan race, NASCAR measured the strength of engines and came away satisfied with the parity of the teams. All three manufacturers were within one horsepower of each other.(Sporting News)(7-12-2005)

    • Wood to the #2? UPDATE: hearing that Busch driver, Jon Wood, recently tested the #2 Penske Racing Dodge.(7-10-2005)
      UPDATE: been told this didn't happen and has been denied.(7-12-2005)

    • Cope with another team, #52, at Loudon: per the site: Derrike Cope will be driving a Cup car in Loudon [NHIS} and possibly Pocono which is the #52 Dodge Intrepid for Rick Ware Racing. The sponsor is The crew chief, Ken Glenn, is someone Cope has worked with before at Cale Yarborough Motorsports. If things go well at Loudon they will probably go on to Pocono [July 24th]. Rick Ware and Cope have discussed some further plans for events in the future as well. Cope has also made Cup race attempts with the #55/#60 S.W.A.T. team and #79 John Conely team this season but has not qualified for a race.(7-12-2005)

    • Biffle fastest in Monday's test at Indy: Roush Racing teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth served notice that they will contend for victory in the 12th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard by posting the fastest laps in private testing July 11 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Biffle turned the fastest lap of the day at 181.963mph in the #16 National Guard Ford. Kenseth was just .22 of a mph slower at 181.742 in the #17 DeWalt Tools Ford. Roush Racing’s #97-Kurt Busch was fastest in two days of testing last week at 180.208. Weather forecasts call for the remnants of Hurricane Dennis to bring heavy rain to Indianapolis over the next several days, so the 23 NEXTEL Cup Series drivers and teams on hand at IMS took advantage of cloudy but dry skies – save for a few afternoon sprinkles – to turn a total of 1,988 laps on the 2.5-mile oval. Boris Said, who will attempt to qualify for his first Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, turned the most laps of any driver with 137. Unoffical speeds from Monday, July 11th:
      Car No., Driver, Speed, Total Laps
      #16-Greg Biffle, 181.963mph, 112 laps run
      #17-Matt Kenseth, 181.742, 90
      #49-Ken Schrader, 181.727, 47
      #7-Robby Gordon, 181.722, 45
      #38-Elliott Sadler, 181.495, 79
      #41-Casey Mears, 181.296, 90
      #01-Joe Nemechek, 180.751, 133
      #31-Jeff Burton, 180.402, 84
      #11-Jason Leffler, 180.270, 126
      #15-Michael Waltrip, 180.260, 95
      #29-Kevin Harvick, 180.060, 62
      #37-Kevin Lepage, 179.725, 27
      #42-Jamie McMurray, 179.674, 117
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 179.661, 134
      #2-Rusty Wallace, 179.633, 49
      #77-Travis Kvapil, 179.525, 92
      #18-Bobby Labonte, 179.506, 109
      #45-Kyle Petty, 179.265, 98
      #07-Dave Blaney, 178.813, 61
      #10-Scott Riggs, 178.477, 75
      #36-Boris Said, 177.298, 137
      #4-Mike Wallace, 177.110, 84
      #66-Mike Garvey, 174.795, 42
      Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, with more testing July 18-19. Drivers scheduled to participate next week include former Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winners Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Bill Elliott, Indiana native Tony Stewart, former USAC standout Kasey Kahne, Indiana native Tony Raines and Dale Earnhardt Jr., winner of the NEXTEL Cup Series race July 10 at Chicagoland Speedway. Fans are welcome to watch testing July 12, 18 and 19 from the South Terrace grandstands, located in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission is free.
      Tickets: To purchase tickets, camping or parking for the 12th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, contact the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, (317) 492-6700 locally or log on to quotes about practice, photos and more at the IMS Site)(7-12-2005)

      News from July 11, 2005

    • Dave in? Alan Out? hearing that long time Inside Nextel Cup host [Speed Channel. Monday's at 8:00pm/et] Allen Bestwick will leave the show sometime within the next month and Wind Tunnel's Dave Despain will assume host duties of the new look show. And as reported on June 28th, hearing Kevin Harvick will become a expert panelist on the show.(7-11-2005)

    • Penalties announced from Daytona: NASCAR announced Monday that fines have been issued to five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs resulting from rule violations leading up to the July 2 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
      Joel Shear, crew chief of the #09 Dodge driven by Johnny Sauter and Dan Kolanda, crew chief for the #89 Dodge driven by Morgan Shepherd, were each fined $10,000 due to unapproved upper rear coil spring mounts, a violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. The infractions were found during opening day inspection June 30.
      Shear was fined an additional $5,000 for violating NASCAR probation, a breach of Section 12-4-A.
      Harold Holly, [former] crew chief of the #32 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., was also fined $10,000 when post-qualifying inspection revealed violations of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (unapproved lubrication oil reservoir tank cover).
      Additionally, Glenn Darrow, crew chief for the #37 Dodge of Kevin Lepage, was fined $2,500 after being found in violation of 12-4-A and 12-4-Q (unapproved fuel cell foam) following opening-day inspection.
      Also, Tony Eury Jr., crew chief of the #15 Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip, was fined $500 because he missed the pre-race driver’s meeting, a violation of 12-4-A and 12-4-I (failure to attend driver’s meeting).(NASCAR PR), see more on penalties for 2005, where the money goes and more...on my 2005 Penalties page.(7-11-2005)

    • Six cars to the wind tunnel after Chicago: NASCAR officials plan to take six cars from Sunday's race to the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta [AG] to determine how the various manufacturers stack up on aerodynamic issues: the Chevrolets driven by #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart, the Fords of #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-Mark Martin, and the Dodges driven by #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #2-Rusty Wallace.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-11-2005)

    • Robby to run 2006 'double'? #7-Robby Gordon said he will run the Indianapolis 500 next May [and the Coca-Cola 600 later that day], and since he's a Chevy man, that likely means that General Motors would provide the motors, reversing a GM decision last year to pull out of the Indy Racing League at the end of this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-11-2005)

    • Hmiel Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr. may not have had the fastest car in the race, but the driver of the #8 Chevrolet, along with crew chief Steve Hmiel, outfoxed the competition and brought their team their first victory in twenty races. Hmiel made the gutsy call to take only two tires on the final round of pit stops, setting up Earnhardt Jr. to take over the lead on the ensuing green flag run. Hmiel's bold strategy brought the Budweiser team a win and earned him the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. Earnhardt Jr. was in fourth place when the caution flag waved on lap 243. After taking only two tires on his pit stop, Earnhardt Jr. was the first car to exit pit road, moving him into the second position. When the race returned to green, Earnhardt Jr. scooted past Scott Wimmer for the lead and held off the quickly ensuing #17 USG machine piloted by Matt Kenseth. Matt Kenseth held a commanding lead for the majority of the event, staying in the top spot for 176 out of 267 laps. Kenseth's run helped make Hmiel's decision on the final stop. The panel of voters; including Paul Skrbina of the Times of Northwest Indiana, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all gave the nod to Hmiel as the 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, Greg Zipadelli, Steve Hmiel 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)(7-11-2005)

    • Roush trying to keep Martin in the #6 for 2006: Jack Roush asked Mark Martin if he would consider taking one for the team--"an encore tour"--if Jamie McMurray were unavailable in 2006 to drive the #6 Ford. Roush was beaming ear to ear when he said, "He didn't tell me no."(Sporting News)(7-11-2005)

    • Banning testing at some non Cup tracks? NASCAR is considering banning Cup testing at Kentucky and Nashville and possibly other tracks, according to crew chiefs, who say NASCAR may also ban any testing anywhere during the season's final 10 events.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-11-2005)

    • All-Star Race to move? Look for the Nextel All-Star Challenge to move in 2007. Although the event will remain at Lowe's Motor Speedway next year, NASCAR is looking to move the All-Star race to Richmond International Raceway, a track that is closer to Nextel's headquarters in Reston, Va.(Sporting News)(7-11-2005)

    • Kenseth to stay at Roush: #17-Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champ, has no plans to move. Expect him to get his next contract with Roush Racing locked down early. Kenseth, who finished second on Sunday (his best finish of the season), reportedly is signed through the 2006 season and has no plans to change teams. "We've never had any problems," Kenseth says. "Roush has always been fair to me, and I feel like I've done the same thing. They've done great things for my career, and I can't imagine racing anywhere else."(Sporting News)(7-11-2005)

    • Chicago Overnight TV Ratings Down from 2004: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 Nextel Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway earned a 4.9 overnight rating and an 11 market share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 5.8% lower than the 5.2 overnight figure NBC drew for the Chicago race last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-11-2005)

    2005 Schedule
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