Hall of Fames Museums
JULY 25-31, 2005
News from July 30-31, 2005
Computer Crash these two days...see below or August 1-7 Past News page.
News from July 29, 2005
- EAS to Sponsor #66 at Indy: Peak Performance Motorsports announced a one-race primary sponsorship package by EAS, the world's leading manufacturer of cutting-edge sports nutrition products and widely known for fueling top athletes in all sports. The company will join PPM for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard next weekend. EAS will also be on board as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2005 season. EAS was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in October of 2004 and has since
continued its success as being "the brand that the pros use." Currently, EAS is the only brand with products certified for use by NFL players under the NFL/NFLPA certification program. EAS products are used by all 32 National Football League teams and more than 1,200 players.(PSE-3/Peak Performace Motorsports)(7-29-2005)
- 2nd Wood Brothers team? Jon Wood, dirver of the #47 ST Motorsports Ford in the Busch Series, immediate future
appears to be moving in the Nextel Cup direction. The status of current #21 Wood Brothers driver, Ricky Rudd for 2006 is unknown [his contract runs thru 2005 and retirement is a possibility]. There appears to be a good chance that Wood will advance to a Nextel Cup car, could be the #21 Ford or a 2nd team car. Eddie Wood, co-owner of the Wood Brothers team, said he is trying to put together a sponsor program to move Jon, his son, into Cup in 2006. It is possible the team could field two cars if Rudd decides to run next year. If Rudd were to retire, Wood could drive the #21.(paraphrased from the NASCAR Scene Magazine)(7-29-2005)
- Testing at Watkins Glen UPDATE / REVISED: Watkins Glen International has Nextel Cup testing scheduled on their track calander for Mon, Aug 1st and Tues Aug 2nd. No idea what teams/drivers will be testing, if I hear/see, it'll be posted. No idea if it would be open to the public.
UPDATE: NASCAR fever in the Southern Tier heats up next week as nearly 50 Nextel Cup and Busch Series cars and their drivers will take part in a two-day test at Watkins Glen International. The 47 cars scheduled for the Monday and Tuesday test sessions are a record for the annual pre-race event in preparation for the Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen weekend, Aug. 11-14.
Fans will have access to some of the outside perimeter grandstand seating to watch the test. Details are still being worked out as to what stands will be open. Hope is to have the new start-finish grandstand open if work on installing the former Nazareth Speedway seat-backed stands are completed this weekend.(Elmira Star Gazette)
AND - REVISED List: Watkins Glen International announced today that 45 cars are expected to test in preparation for the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Zippo 200 NASCAR BUSCH Series races, August 13 & 14. The test is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, August 1 & 2. Several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers are planning to test in a NASCAR Busch Series car perhaps to take on double duty when they come back to compete in two weeks. Among those expected to test in both cars are Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Elliot Sadler, Carl Edwards, Travis Kvapil, Robby Gordon and road course specialists Boris Said and Ron Fellows. Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett and Joe Nemechek will be testing in NASCAR Busch Series cars as well. The 45-car line-up also includes NASCAR drivers like Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch. Fans are encouraged to attend the test session on both Monday and Tuesday to watch between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. The first 50 fans to buy tickets to the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen and/or Zippo 200 events will get a free Thunder Road Tour ($25 value) and get a chance to "drive" the same track as these NASCAR stars. Fans that already have tickets to the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen and Zippo 200 event weekend will get FREE admission to the test session otherwise admission is $5 each day and fans can enter through Gate 4 or Gate 5. Call 866-461-RACE for details or visit www.TheGlen.com.
Tickets are still available for SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and the Zippo 200 NASCAR Busch Series race. This year NASCAR Busch Series joins the NEXTEL Cup Series for the first time during the annual SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen weekend, August 11-14. And the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will also make their second stop of the season at The Glen in the newly titled CompUSA 200 on Friday, August 12th.(Watkins Glen International PR)(7-28/29-2005)
- Sad News: Helmer Ellsworth Kenseth, age 96, of Cambridge, died on Wednesday, July 27, 2005, at his home. Helmer was born in Cambridge on April 16, 1909, son of Martin and Hilda (England) Kenseth. Kenseth was Matt Kenseth's grandfather. Kenseth driver the #17 DeWalt Ford for Roush Racing in the Nextel Cup Series. Those wishing to express their sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Willerup United Methodist Church. Nitardy Funeral Home, Cambridge, is assisting the family. See full obit for info and services at the Capital Times.(7-29-2005)
- Huffman out of the #12 Truck ride? Hamilton Jr. in? UPDATE 2 DW one more time: it was reported on Speed Channel's coverage of the Memphis Truck Series race by Ray Dunlap, that Robert Huffman, driver of the #12 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota in the Truck Series, would be replaced for the final ten races of the 2005 season with a Nextel Cup regular with "a clean uniform" but the driver couldn't be named due to contract issues. Word is that Bobby Hamilton Jr. could be the driver, not sure if that means Hamilton Jr. leaves the #32 PPI Racing job or will run double duty...but Chevy in Cup and Toyota in Trucks, both teams factory backed, seems unlikely.(7-23-2005)
UPDATE: Hamilton Jr. will run the #12 Toyota for DW in all but one or two races. Hamilton Jr. will do double duty, running the #32 car in all but one race as Ron Fellows will run the #32 car at Watkins Glen, so Hamilton will be free to run the #12 Truck at Nashville on the same weekend.(7-24-2005)
UPDATE 2: Joe Ruttman joined several Truck Series drivers in a Toyota test session at Nashville Superspeedway, and Ruttman hopes the "audition" will land him a ride as Darrell Waltrip's new driver. Bobby Hamilton Jr. also is on the list of possible replacements for Robert Huffman, who was released from Waltrip's #12 Toyota Tundra race truck last week. In the spring of 2001, Ruttman, at age 56, became the oldest winner in any of NASCAR's top divisions when he won a truck race at Colorado Springs.
Waltrip said he has a list of possible replacements for Huffman, "and Joe is on the list. He's here to impress me, and he's got that opportunity." Huffman's replacement will join #17-David Reutimann in the Waltrip stable. Reutimann, seventh in the standings, said he would be delighted to have Ruttman as a teammate.
Waltrip can empathize with Ruttman's desire to keep racing. Since retiring from Nextel Cup at the end of the 2000 season, the three-time champion has raced occasionally in the truck series. Yesterday, Waltrip said he intends to run one final race, Oct. 22 at Martinsville, Va., and then retire for keeps. "I know I said that last year," said the 58-year-old Waltrip. "But after qualifying was rained out I wasn't able to get in the lineup, so that doesn't count. This time I really mean it — it's my last race."(Tennessean)(7-29-2005)
- Herman to be part of the ARCA race broadcast crew: Kenny Wallace will add some ARCA RE/MAX Series flavor to his busy line-up during this weekend’s Wallace Family Tribute at Gateway Int’l Raceway in Madison, Illinois. In addition to racing in the Saturday night Busch Series Wallace Family Tribute 250, Wallace will provide the color commentating for the ARCA RE/MAX Series Shop ‘n Save 150 on Friday night, July 29th LIVE on SPEED Channel at 9:00pm/et. Wallace will join veteran play-by-play announcer Ralph Sheheen in the booth with regular ARCA cast members Lindsay Czarniak and Don Radebaugh featured on pit road.(Speed Channel)(7-29-2005)
News from July 28, 2005
- Irvan's Mission Gains Momentum: One prominent NASCAR team's drivers will be doing more than running laps around the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon July 17 as part of the New England 300; they'll be helping to promote the August 17 LAPS Walk, an inaugural event at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) that will help NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan combat the silent national epidemic of traumatic brain injury. Team MB2 Motorsports (with affiliate teams MBV and MBSutton) has agreed to carry the LAPS Walk logo underneath the "B" Pillar of each of the cars (driver side panel) during NASCAR races leading up to and including the GFS Marketplace 400 at MIS on August 21, 2005.
Teammates Joe Nemechek, who drives #01, a Chevrolet (sponsored by U.S. Army) and Scott Riggs, driving #10, also a Chevrolet (sponsored by Valvoline) feature the logo on their cars since the race at New Hampshire. The third team member, Boris Said, driving #36, again a Chevrolet (sponsored by CENTRIX Financial), will join Nemechek and Riggs in featuring the LAPS Walk logo when he joins the field in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. All three will be drawing attention to the LAPS (Leadership and Promotion of Safety) event, to be held the Wednesday of GFS 400 race week at MIS.
Aside from Ernie Irvan's history with the team, there's yet another link to the issue of brain injury awareness -- former #01 driver Jerry Nadeau was sidelined with a brain injury accident in 2003; Joe Nemechek is his replacement. Ernie Irvan's involvement in the cause was sparked by his own experience, when he crashed at MIS (in 1994). Initially not expected to recover from his injuries, he not only did so, but went on to race again [an won 3 more races]. A second injury at MIS (five years to the day of the first accident) prompted his retirement. "I'm personally very grateful to MB2 Motorsports for taking this leadership position with us in bringing positive attention to the LAPS Walk and our Race2Safety Foundation," said Irvan. "The funds we will be able to raise, including those going to support the valuable work of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, will go a long way toward reducing the incidence and severity of brain injury."
The LAPS Walk is a joint effort between Ernie Irvan's Race2Safety Foundation and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan that will become an annual event to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury. For a minimum $100 registration fee, participants can walk the racetrack with Ernie and other current and former NASCAR drivers by registering online at www.lapswalk.org or by calling 1-888-LAP-4-R2S (7-28-2005).
- Court Dismisses All Claims by Ford against Kasey Kahne: On July 28, 2005, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed all claims by Ford Motor Company against NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, in connection with
Kahne's move last year from Ford to drive a Dodge in Nextel Cup, the most prominent NASCAR series. The Court found "that the Kahne-Ford personal services agreement is not enforceable..." and that Kahne had been free to switch to Dodge and Evernham Motorsports when Ford failed to provide a full time Nextel Cup car as requested by Kahne for the 2004 season. Pointing to admissions by Ford racing executives, Dan Davis and Greg Specht, the court found that the contract had "intentionally left
open for future joint agreement" the "essential" terms of the actual series and team that Kahne would join, and that this was fatal to Ford's claim.
Kahne stated: "I'm thrilled that this decision sets the record straight that my move to Evernham Motorsports and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series was in good faith and didn't breach my Ford contract. My manager, Rod Moskowitz of MMI and I didn't publicly respond to Ford's attempts to smear me during this case because we were confident I'd be vindicated in court. Now that we've won, I'm glad to put this unfortunate action behind me. Dan Davis told me that I wasn't ready to move to Cup, and Ford tried to hold me back. I think my performance proved them wrong." After leaving Ford, Kahne was named NASCAR's 2004 Rookie of the Year.
The decision came down after Kahne's attorneys, Paul LiCalsi and David Baum of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, moved to throw the lawsuit out on the basis of the documents in the case and the testimony given by Ford executives during depositions. "As we said at the onset, this case was nothing more than an expression of Ford's frustration with its own failure to recognize Kasey's ability to race at the highest level of the sport", LiCalsi said. Baum added, "For the last year and a half, Ford and its team of lawyers have tried to bully Kasey in court and demonized him in the press as someone who did not live up to his obligations. The
court's decision is a complete rebuke of Ford's tactics."(Clear!Blue PR)(7-28-2005)
- So..who is in the #15 in 2006? UPDATE Menard to run #1 at Watkins Glen: with Michael Waltrip and DEI splitting, and NAPA's status with DEI or Waltrip up in the air, who, if anyone will be in the #15 Chevy? Does it go the way of the #1 team, as a part time team or a full-time gig? Been told that the plans are for DEI's #11 Chevy Busch Series driver, Paul Menard, to run one more full season in the Busch Series and run up to 7 Cup races, it could be in the #15 or a 4th DEI team if the #15 runs full time as DEI plan to do.(7-20-2005)
UPDATE - Menard to run at Watkins Glen in #1: DEI #11 Busch Series driver, Paul Menard will attempt to make his first DEI Cup start at Watkins Glen in the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen on August 14th. Menard will drive the #1 Kraft Chevy. Menard will run in the Busch Series in 2006 with select Nextel Cup starts and plans got a full-time Nextel Cup ride in 2007.(NASCAR Scene Magazine). but been told Menard will not be in the #15 car in 2006 or 2007.(7-28-2005)
- MB2 Close to Signing a sponsor for the old #10 team UPDATE #35? #02?: 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)
UPDATE: hearing the new team number will be either #35 or #02 and possible sponsors: Allstate, Big Lots or/and State Farm.(7-28-2005)
- Special Scheme for Biffle at MIS: #16-Greg Biffle is scheduled to run a #16 Prism National Guard car at Michigan in August. The hood of of the black and grey car will feature the Prismthegame.com web address; a game inspired by the National Guard. See an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2005)
- JR Motorsports gets first win: Mark McFarland won the Merchant's Tire and Auto Center 250 presented by BF Goodrich USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series race at Southern National Speedway (SNS) in Kenly, NC. The win is not only the first for McFarland, but it is the first for the Dale Earnhardt, Jr.-owned JR Motorsports team in a touring series. "I can't thank Dale Jr. and everyone at JR Motorsports enough for giving me the opportunity to drive this awesome car. WINFUEL has been just a super sponsor and Federal Mogul, Draco Springs and Enders shocks have been very good to us," said McFarland. You can catch the excitement of Mark McFarland's first Hooters Pro Cup win on Saturday, July 30 at 10:00pm/et on the Speed Channel.(Jr. Motorsports PR)(7-28-2005)
- #12 Crewman getting hitched on weekend off: Dennis Terry, the front tire changer for #12-Ryan Newman has made special plans for the series' off-weekend. Terry and his fiancae, Micki, are getting married Saturday in the historic city of Charleston, S.C. The team's jackman, Britt Goodrich, also will be in Charleston to attend the wedding.(Penske Racing)(7-28-2005)
News from July 27, 2005
- Hamilton Sr. to run Indy, maybe more, not retire?: Bobby Hamilton [#04] will try to qualify for the Aug. 7 Brickyard 400, his first race in NASCAR's top tier since he left at the end of the 2003 season. "If I can qualify, I'll be in the race," said Hamilton, who won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship last year and is currently third in the standings. "It's a no-pressure thing and I'm looking forward to it." Hamilton said he is dabbling in Nextel Cup for two reasons. He hopes to transfer some of the chassis technology to his truck racing team, and also help his son, Bobby Jr., get his [#32] car up to speed. Bobby Hamilton Jr. has struggled in his first full Nextel Cup season. "We're working together, helping each other," the senior Hamilton said. "We were at Indy testing last week and I had the quickest lap and Little Bobby the second-quickest. After Indy I may run a few more Cup races on some tracks that we need help on." Hamilton purchased the Nextel Cup car from PPI Racing, the team for which Bobby Jr. drives, and rebuilt it at his racing complex in Mt. Juliet. "It's a good car," he said. "I'm anxious to race it. I've still got a lot of buddies over there and it'll be fun to see them," said Hamilton, who has run five Busch Series races this season for Sadler Racing [#95] in addition to his full-time truck schedule. Hamilton hopes to eventually evolve his truck racing team into a Nextel Cup team, with his son driving for him. Earlier this year Hamilton said he intended to retire from driving at the end of this season in order to oversee his team and develop young drivers on a full-time basis. Since then those plans have become less definite. "I'll do what I think is best for my race team," he said. "It's hard to predict the future."(Tennessean)(7-27-2005)
- Tire Testing at Kansas: #07-Dave Blaney and #19-Jeremy Mayfield were at Kanasa Speedway Tuesday for a tire test at the request of Goodyear, NASCAR’s tire supplier. This was a previously unscheduled test, one that Goodyear, NASCAR and Nextel Cup drivers hope will head off the problems that turned the July 10 race at Chicagoland Speedway into a crashfest. Chicagoland and Kansas are fairly similar tracks. Because of that, Goodyear and NASCAR had planned to use the same type of tire at the two tracks in 2005. But that plan underwent some rethinking after Chicago. In that race, car after car went into concrete retaining walls after tires went flat. Fingers pointed in all directions afterward. Some drivers pointed at the tires, and others pointed at decisions made by the teams. That group said that the tires were being abused by teams in a quest to produce more speed — either by not following recommendations on inflation pressure or by opting for chassis setups that put unhealthy pressure on the tires. Goodyear said it just wanted to get to the bottom of the problem before the race at Kansas, which is scheduled for Oct. 9.(Kansas City Star)(7-27-2005)
- Daytona HOF bid reveals more: The Green Flag Committee has unveiled the second feature of its proposal for the NASCAR Hall of Fame -- the Tower of Champions Theater. "It is a high-tech and robotic 'Interactive Amphitheater' with the flexibility of presenting any number of highly entertaining NASCAR-themed productions," David Exline, the committee's creative director, said in a prepared statement. The staging facility will have a towering glass structure of two "magazine stacks" that house an ever-changing selection of vehicles from NASCAR races. The towering cars would be lit from inside and situated near the attraction's main entrance. The attraction is designed to allow frequent vehicle exchanges throughout the operating year. An automated conveyance system pulls each car from storage to a stage within the tower. Every movement is automated and can be seen from inside and outside the hall. The committee, the group working to get the Hall of Fame for Daytona Beach, previously revealed its Heritage Walk Gallery, an interactive center with a media montage presentation about NASCAR.(Daytona Beach News Journal), more info on the NASCAR HOF bids, other Hall of Fame and Museum news and links, see my Hall of Fame News and Links page.(7-27-2005)
- Buddy Baker runs 200mph at Daytona, Rusty's son tests: Despite having a week off from NEXTEL Cup competition, where he currently sits 4th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings, #2-Rusty Wallace was as busy as ever Monday, as his RWI Racing Busch Series operation completed tests at both Daytona International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway on the same day. In Daytona, racing legend Buddy Baker was behind the wheel of the #64 Miller High Life Dodge Charger, completing testing in conjunction with Racing Radios. Similar to the radio test Wallace completed at Talladega last year, in which he hit nearly 230 MPH, Baker wheeled the RWI Racing machine to an average lap speed of an even 200 MPH around Daytona's high banks. The ever-jubilant Baker was nothing short of thrilled at the opportunity stating, "That was a lot of fun, I have to tell you. Going that fast around here really brought back some memories, that's for sure. Blake Bainbridge and his guys really put together some first-class equipment and I'm really excited to have had the opportunity to do this."
On the other front, Wallace was present for his son Stephen's first speedway test, conducted at Kentucky Speedway. Stephen Wallace, the 2004 Snowball Derby Champion, wheeled a Penske Racing-prepared Dodge around the 1.5 mile oval in preparation for his first speedway start, the August 19th ARCA RE-MAX Series event at Michigan Speedway. Rusty's crew chief Larry Carter and the entire #2 Miller Lite team will handle Stephen's ARCA car. The test was manned by members of the RWI Racing Busch Series team, as well as representatives from Penske-Jasper Engines. To begin the test, the elder Wallace jumped behind the wheel of the #77 Kodak Dodge from Travis Kvapil's stable and completed a baseline lap of 32.65 seconds [165.390mph]. After some tweaking on the car's chassis set-up, it was Stephen's turn at the controls. By the end of his second outing, the younger Wallace had logged a best lap of 32.83 seconds [164.484mph], barely missing the time set by his father.(Rusty Wallace Inc. PR)
AND ........And there was Wallace squelching any expectations of seeing his son, fledgling racer Steven, in the seat of the struggling #77 Penske Dodge any time soon. "No, no, none of that," Wallace said. "Roger (Penske) gave Steven that opportunity to start testing him, like a little driver development stuff, then after he does that Dodge has paid for some races for Steven. He's going to run Chicago in a Dodge development car and we just want to give him all the seat we possibly can. It's all about the seat time. Once I get confident with him, I'll put him in my Busch car for some races, too."(Florida Today)(7-27-2005)
News from July 26, 2005
- VOTE: GM Goodwrench has sponsored a race car for 20 years. Now, for the first time ever, they're letting fans decide what it's going to look like. So get in on the excitement by voting for the 2006 standard paint scheme on the GM Goodwrench #29 car, driven by Kevin Harvick. Go to gmgoodwrench.com to vote.(7-26-2005)
- Highest TV Ratings for Turner of NASCAR race: Turner Network Television says its airing of Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway was the highest rated and most watched NASCAR event in its 21-year history of televising the sport [TBS and TNT]. The race was seen in 5.137 million households and drew a 5.7 rating, a 21% increase over 2004, TNT says. The network says its coverage of the July 17 New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway was seen in 4.954 million households and earned a 4.5 rating, a 5% increase over 2004.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter - Scene Daily)(7-26-2005)
- Two Crew Chiefs Fined for Pocono Infractions: NASCAR announced today that two penalties have been issued to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitors as a result of rules infractions this past weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Kenneth Glen, crew chief of the #52 Dodge driven by Derrike Cope, was fined $5,000 for an unapproved rear end gear ratio, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and Section 12-4-CC (violation of specified rear end gear ratio) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. This infraction was discovered during pre-qualifying inspection.
Shane Wilson, crew chief for the #77 Dodge driven by Travis Kvapil, was fined $1,000 for an unapproved body modification, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and Section 12-4-Q (parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR Rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. This infraction was discovered during pre-qualifying inspection.(NASCAR PR)(7-26-2005)
- Chex Most Popular Record Voting Pace Continues; Earnhardt Jr. Leads: Over 2.5 million votes have now been cast by race fans nationwide in the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award balloting, and the record of 3.8 million total votes cast last season seems destined to fall. The newest overall voting figures were released today prior to the only remaining off weekend for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2005. Race fans have been voting at www.mostpopulardriver.com, the official voting site. Since General Mills began sponsoring the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award at the beginning of the 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, well over 12 million votes have been cast by fans throughout the world. Fans vote at www.mostpopulardriver.com for the only fan-based official award in motorsports.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues to lead in the voting. Behind him in the current balloting are second-place Jeff Gordon, followed by Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson.
Voting for the more than 40 drivers eligible for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award, the only fan-based award in motorsports, began Tuesday, Feb. 1, at www.mostpopulardriver.com and continues through 11:59 a.m. CST, Monday, Nov. 21. Fans may vote once each day at the site.
The NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award dates back to 1956, making it one of the oldest and most traditional awards in NASCAR racing. It began as a simple poll of the drivers and later grew to incorporate all NASCAR Nextel Cup competitors. Later, it included all NASCAR members. Today, it is a prestigious award voted on by racing fans throughout the world. Through the years, voters' choices have ranged from the obvious to the surprising. Bill Elliott's 16 most popular wins tops all drivers. He is followed by Richard
Petty, who has won nine times. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win last year made him the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win the award in consecutive seasons, while his win in 2003 made him and his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won. Other past winners have included such notables as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.(Williams Company)(7-26-2005)
- Wallace's - Father/Daughter race against each other at Lowe's Summer Shootout: History will be made Tuesday night [July 26] at Lowe's Motor Speedway as Mike Wallace [driver of the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy in Cup] will race for the first time against his daughter Chrissy during the Summer Shootout in the Thunder Roadsters race. Mike is filling in for Tom VanWingerden in his Legends car and Thunder Roadster as Tom is high in the owner points, but unable to attend the races Tuesday night. The Legends car is in the Masters division (Chrissy races in the Semi-Pro Legends division), but the Roadsters are in the same class. This one off opportunity will put father and daughter in the same race for the first time in history.(Motorsportslounge)
Jayski Bandolero will be in action tonight as Jason Haynes go for a much needed victory in the #19 Jayaski.com/Victory Junction Bandolero, images of the car, info and points standings on my Jayski Bandolero page.
Vote for Jason: Speed51.com, a popular motorsports web site that covers short-track racing [run by Bob and Matt Dillner], is offering fans the opportunity to select the most popular driver in the Hardee's Summer Shootout at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
The online ballot, which can be accessed at www.speed51.com, features the top-20 drivers in each of the seven divisions of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing. Fan voting will determine a most popular driver in each of the three types of cars with the driver receiving the most votes claiming the overall award. Speed51.com will produce a complete web site for the overall winner, a prize valued at $4,500. The Hardee's Summer Shootout runs each Tuesday night through Aug. 16 on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Lowe's Motor Speedway. For information, call 1-800-455-FANS.(7-26-2005)
- Seperate Busch TV deal in the works? NASCAR has informed television networks that it may sell television rights to its Busch Series separately from its next Nextel Cup package, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Dick Glover, NASCAR vice president of broadcasting and new media, says the preference is maintain the current Cup-Busch packaging, but no decision has been made. Writer Andy Bernstein reports that insiders predict that Nextel Cup and Busch Series rights will sell for about $500 million a year in the next contract, up from $400 million a year in the current deals with Fox and NBC/TNT.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-26-2005)
- NASCAR Announces 2005 Diversity Scholarships: NASCAR announced the details for the 2005 diversity scholarship program. NASCAR will honor 12 students with the Wendell Scott Scholarship Award through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). This year will mark the fifth year that the scholarships have been awarded. Eight undergraduate and four graduate scholarships will be awarded to students based on a number of criteria. Students must attend any of the 39 UNCF-member colleges and universities or 39 HACU-member colleges and universities during the 2004-2005 school year. To qualify for the awards, students must carry a minimum grade point average, provide a nominating letter from a current faculty member of the student’s university and write a one-page statement demonstrating an interest in the motorsports industry. This year’s scholarship recipients are: Uralonda Prioleau (Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C.), Michael Coaxum (Claflin University), Tia Carter (St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C.), Crystal Wells (Wiley College in Marshall, Texas), Brandon Ellison (Lane College in Jackson, Tenn.), Kayla Strickland (Lane College), Vanesa Casado (University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.), Ricardo Contreras (Texas A&M University, Kingsville), Jose Cotto (Universidad Metropolitana in Cupey, Puerto Rico), Robert Dominguez (St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas), Monique Nelson (Texas A&M University, Kingsville) and Teresa Ernest (University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.). In addition to the Wendell Scott Scholarship Awards, NASCAR also awards scholarship funds to the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, the Urban Youth Racing School and North Carolina A&T University Motorsports Program. Wendell Scott was the most prominent African-American driver to compete in NASCAR’s premier division. Scott competed in 495 events in his 13 year career, tying him for 27th on the all-time list. He earned his only career win at Jacksonville (Fla.) Speedway Park in 1963. (NASCAR PR)(7-26-2005)
News from July 25, 2005
- Marlin to the #43? Contrary to the belief held by many, Sterling Marlin will not replace Dave Blaney in the Richard Childress Racing-owned #07 Chevrolet in 2006. On the surface, that move made sense, as the sponsor of the #07 is Tennessee-based Jack Daniels Whiskey, and Marlin is one of Tennessee's favorite sons. But it's not happening. [Yahoo] originally heard Marlin was heading to the #0 Chevy to replace Mike Bliss, but banter now has Marlin going to Petty Enterprises and the #43 to replace Jeff Green, as Marlin and his father Coo Coo have been longtime friends of the Petty family. Green isn't necessarily happy at Petty, anyway, as that team isn't giving him a car good enough to show off his talents. As for the #07 in '06, Blaney's not going anywhere – he's a lock to stay in the car for next season, providing a good buffer to teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. It doesn't hurt that Blaney is one of team owner Richard Childress' favorite people in racing.(Yahoo Sports)(7-25-2005)
- Yates still considering a third team UPDATE 2007?: It was not that long ago when Robert Yates Racing [#38 and #88] was a state-of-the-art team. It would be tough to argue that it still is. In fact, in one key area — cars on the track — the Yates operation is lagging behind such Nextel Cup teams as Roush Racing and Hendrick Motorsports [Jayski Note: but Yates has two cars in the Chase at current, Hendrick has...one]. Yates still just has two — one for Dale Jarrett and one for Elliott Sadler. While the Yates drivers are doing fairly well — they are both in the top 20 [actually top 10] in points this week — some think they could do better if they would add another car or two to the stable. Apparently, the folks at Yates have been thinking the same thing. “We’ve had a lot of discussions” about adding a third car, Jarrett said this week. Adding more cars is beneficial on several fronts. The most important of those is the data front. More cars means more tests, more laps and more information for engineers and crew chiefs to chew upon. Again, Yates is certainly aware of all that. “We do everything that we can with the people that we have now,” Jarrett said, “but there’s a sign that there is strength in numbers.”(Kansas City Star), Sterling Marlin has been rumors to being the driver for the third team if it happens.(7-22-2005)
UPDATE: Yates' proposed third team may be postponed until 2007, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-25-2005)
- More Labonte rumors...to Evernham? Fed-Ex to the #18, Interstate Batteries? what might happen next at [Joe] Gibbs' [Racing] is uncertain. While #18-Bobby Labonte insists he has no plans to leave Gibbs, that has not quieted the NASCAR garage, with the talk continuing, focused on the possibility car owner Ray Evernham would like to hire Labonte for his new third team [#10 Valvoline] next season. Gibbs may be moving his FedEx sponsorship from his new third team, with #11-Jason Leffler, to the team for which Labonte currently drives, which has been sponsored for years by Interstate Batteries, according to sources close to the team. And there could be more to the change, though it's not at all clear just what [Jimmy Spencer reported this last week on NASCAR This Morning]. And it's not clear just how Gibbs' Interstate Batteries sponsorship might be aligned next season. Interstate boss Norm Miller is a close friend of Gibbs and is the man whose sponsorship helped launch Gibbs in NASCAR more than a decade ago. But over the years, the Texas battery maker has watched bigger and bigger companies join NASCAR as sponsors.(Winston Salem Journal)
AND rumors have Michael Waltrip possibly being aligned with Interstate Batteries somehow in 2006.
HOWEVER: last week Joe Gibbs Racing sent this: Claification of Labonte/Gibbs Racing rumors:
1. Joe Gibbs Racing is not planning a sports car team for 2006 and while Bobby Labonte enjoys the Rolex races, he is still a full-time Cup driver and is signed with JGR through 2008.
2. Interstate Batteries will be back on the #18 Chevy in 2006, as they have been since 1992, one of the longest running primary sponsors/team relationships in NASCAR.
3. And, as pointed out through various articles and in Bobby Labonte's comments. The rumors are untrue and that's about all that can be said.(JGR team spokesman)(7-25/19-2005)
- Osbourne Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Pocono: Bob Osborne, crew chief of the #99
Taurus, had the unenviable task of bringing Carl Edwards from the back of the pack to the front this Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Knowing it would take more than just a fast race car, Osborne executed a risky pit strategy that landed his driver a top-five finish in the Pennsylvania 500. For moving Edwards through the field, Osborne was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
Edwards' double duty obligations made Osborne's day double tough. Edwards' Busch Series responsibilities had him racing in Fountain, Co on Saturday, forcing the team to use a substitute driver for time trials at Pocono. The team was penalized for the driver switch and had to start the Office Depot/Scotts Ford from the rear of the field. Track position comes at a premium at Pocono Raceway and Osborne knew that he had a tough chore ahead.
Osborne overcame his team's track position deficit by making a two-tire pit stop, not just once, but twice over the course of the race. Osborne's strategy moved Edwards into position to end the day with a fourth-place finish.
The panel of voters; including Chuck Givler of the Easton Express-Times, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; all gave Osborne the nod 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, Bob Osborne and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Greg Zipadelli, Steve Hmiel, Jimmy Fennig and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000.Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(7-25-2005)
- More on possible testing changes: NASCAR is contemplating revamping its testing procedures for 2006. Under the proposal, each manufacturer would receive six two-day tests at tracks that have Nextel Cup races. For example, the Chevrolet drivers would test on the same days at the same six places, the Ford drivers at presumably a slightly different six and the Dodge drivers at six. The tracks would have to be agreed upon by the owners of that brand. The current policy allows teams five two-day tests wherever they want, whenever they want. Daytona still would be mandatory for all teams. The goal of the change is twofold: to cut down on tire costs and to allow teams time to prepare for the car of the future, which is expected to make its debut in 2007. Goodyear would have engineering support on hand and sign out tires at the tests. Teams still would be allowed to test at tracks that don't have Cup races, but current tires would not be available.(Sporting News)(7-25-2005)
- Kahne to test at Kentucky: #9-Kasey Kahne is scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, July 27th. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway site)(7-25-2005)
- Kenseth not happy about new teammate? Speaking of Roush drivers, 2003 champion Matt Kenseth, who wrecked McMurray at New Hampshire, said on Sunday's TNT prerace show from Pocono that he might be teammates with Mac in 2007 and he might not [and he said cause his contract runs out at the end of 2006]. Kenseth wasn't happy to learn about McMurray's future arrival at Roush on the Internet.(Sporting News)(7-25-2005)
- Childress says all 3 teams will remain intact for 2006: [Team owner Richard] Childress said his three teams will return intact next season: "We're pretty much set on everything right now." All three drivers, #31-Jeff Burton, #29-Kevin Harvick and #07-Dave Blaney, will be back with their current crew chiefs, Kevin Hamlin, Todd Berrier and Philippe Lopez? "Yes, as far as I know," Childress said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-25-2005)
- Car of the future tested: NASCAR tested the prototype of the car of the future in the wind tunnel last week. The most dramatic change is a larger cockpit. The bodies will be completely different, according to series director John Darby.(Sporting News)(7-25-2005)
- Dale Jr. called to the NASCAR Trailer: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was called into the NASCAR trailer after the race to be reprimanded for exceeding the pit road speed on lap 53 when he raced out of the pits in an attempt to stay on the lead lap. He was penalized with a drive-through. His pit road exit speed was clocked at 143 mph. The pit road speed limit was 55 mph. Junior was told by NASCAR officials that they understood his desire to remain on the lead lap, but that they wouldn't tolerate his methods.(Yahoo Sports)(7-25-2005)