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AUGUST 1-7, 2005
News from August 7, 2005
- Waltrip to the #11? before end of the season? UPDATE Denied: Motorsport.com is reporting: Speculation has arisen that Michael Waltrip may vacate his seat in the #15 DEI Chevy prior to the end of the 2005 season. Rumors are swirling around the garage that Waltrip has been offered to drive the No. 11 Chevy at Joe Gibbs Racing for the last ten races of the season and next year. Both teams have denied the report.(Motorsport.com)(7-22-2005)
UPDATE: Micheal Waltip denied one of this weekend's hottest rumors that he will replace Jason Leffler in the Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Chevrolet starting at Watkins Glen. When asked directly by Yahoo! Sports, Waltrip emphatically said that he intends to honor the remainder of his contract – unless he's fired.(Yahoo Sports)(8-7-2005)
- Tony Stewart wins at the Brickyard!: #20-Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leading 44 of 160 laps, for his first ever win at his home track, setting off a prolonged celebration, doing a lap around, then a rever lap back to his turn 2 suite, got out of the car and climbed the wall to salute the people in his suite, then drove back to start-finish line, climbing the fence with his crew, who climbed the fence aa couple times. Stewart then laid down on the front stretch wall and gave interviews from there. It is Stewart's 4th win of 2005, the 23rd of his career and Stewart takes over the points lead after #48-Jimmie Johnson crashed late finished 38th. So Stewart also wins the NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus of is $90,000 for being the leader and winning the race. Johnson was taken to a local hospital for observation and to get checked out. Finishing 2nd was #9-Kasey Kahne, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, # 19-Jeremy Mayfield and #17-Matt Kenseth. Pole sitter, #38-Elliott Sadler ran in the top-10 all day until he had a tire go down around lap 151, lost a lap and finished 32nd, which knocked him out of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, wrecked midrace and finished 43rd and is pretty much out of the Chase. Nice runs by Petty Enterprises with #45-Kyle Petty finishing 13th and #43-Jeff Green was 15th. And #0-Mike Bliss had another good runm finishing 11th after hanging around the top-10 the last half of the race.
For my race rundown, caution narratives, race notes and more...see my Indy Race Info/Rundown Page
For race results and links, see Jayski's Brickyard 400 Race Results Page.(8-7-2005)
the sign at Dairy Queen in Coulmbus, IN
where Brickyard 400 winner Tony Stewart Lives
photo by Eric Hatton
- Bill Lester to make Cup start? NASCAR's top series could soon have its first African-American driver in nearly 20 years, as Bill Lester and team owner Bill Davis have discussed the possibility of putting Lester in a Nextel Cup car later this season. "We've kicked it around, definitely," Lester said Saturday. Lester, 44, has been a regular in NASCAR's Craftsman Trucks Series — stock car racing's equivalent to Class AA baseball — since 2002. If he qualified for a Cup race, he would become the first African-American driver to race in NASCAR's top series since Willy T. Ribbs, who ran three races in 1986. Lester said he has made it clear to Davis that his goal is to race in the Nextel Cup, and Davis has been receptive. "It's just a matter of all the planets lining up," Lester said. A graduate of the University of California-Berkley with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science, Lester quit a high-paying job at Hewlett-Packard in the late 1990s to pursue his hobby, sports-car racing, full time. He ran his first NASCAR race in 1999, a Busch Series race on the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Bobby Hamilton hired him to drive in the trucks series in 2002 and he moved to Davis' team last season. So far, Lester has shown speed but hasn't achieved consistent good finishes. He ranks 18th in the trucks series points standings this season, qualifying on the pole for two races but finishing in the top five only once.(USA Today)(8-7-2005)
- Penske down to two drivers for the #2...but who? Penske Racing South is down to two drivers in its search for a replacement for Rusty Wallace in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, but the team isn't saying who those drivers are. The team has been successful in keeping its opening out of the middle of most speculation so far. It may be early next month before a decision comes.(ThatsRacin.com/David Poole)(8-7-2005)
- Pruett to run triple at Watkins Glen: Pulling triple-duty in next weekend's race at Watkins Glen is Scott Pruett, who, if he qualifies for each, will drive Chip Ganassi Racing cars in Friday's Rolex Series race; Saturday's Busch Series race and Sunday's Nextel Cup race. If that isn't enough, in September Pruett is scheduled to test a CGR IndyCar at Watkins Glen for a race there later in the month.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-7-2005)
- Newman re-ups with Penske thru 2009: Penske Racing South President Don Miller said #12-Ryan Newman, whose original contract ran through 2006, signed a three-year deal through 2009 with an option for three more years. In an active "Silly Season" of lineup changes, Newman said he was courted by Roush Racing but had no intentions of leaving Penske. "I never had any temptation," he said. "I had teams looking at me for the first time in my career, and that was unique for me."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-7-2005)
- DEI close to signing Eury Jr.: DEI director of motorsports Richie Gilmore said he is close to signing Tony Eury Jr., an employee of 15 years who is currently crew chief for the #15 for Michael Waltrip. "The Eurys have never had contracts; they've always just been there," Gilmore said. "It's always been an agreement and a year-to-year deal and Tony Jr. has told me he's not going anywhere. We're working on a deal and it would be his first contract ever."(St Petersburg Times)(8-7-2005)
- Kahne to extend with Evernham UPDATE: Team owner Ray Evernham is expected to announce Saturday that #9-Kasey Kahne has signed a five-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2010, reports say.(Speed Channel)(8-6-2005)
UPDATE: Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports, announced a multi-year contract extension with Kasey Kahne as driver of the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger. Kahne said: "I'm real excited to be able to do this, to be able to sign with Ray for a lot longer with Evernham Motorsports, all our sponsors and partners we already have with Dodge and Siemens and all the great sponsors we have we'll keep on being able to work with. Just to know I'm going to have the same race team with the same group of guys working on it. I pretty much know all the guys at the shop. I know everybody, but guys come in and out every once in awhile that you don't know. It's a big deal for myself. Ray is a great car owner. He taught me a lot. He wants to win races and the championship as bad as anybody in auto racing, and that's the kind of person I want to be with. I think it's a great opportunity, and I'm looking forward to the future with Evernham Motorsports.(Clear!Channel PR)(8-7-2005)
- DEI has a driver for the #15...if NAPA stays UPDATE 2 Denials: If Dale Earnhardt Inc. [DEI] can keep NAPA as a sponsor for a third car next season, an already topsy-turvy "Silly Season" could get even wilder. DEI Director of Motorsports Richie Gilmore said yesterday the team is negotiating with the auto-parts supplier about staying with the #15 being vacated by Michael Waltrip after 2005. Gilmore said DEI already has lined up a driver to team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. for the 2006 Nextel Cup season. Gilmore wouldn't disclose a name but said it was someone prominent on another race team "that's been on our wish list for some time."
"[NAPA] has some options with us, Michael and some other race teams," Gilmore said. "We've put about a two-week window on it where they've got to make the decision and we've got to make a decision and go forward. But we have a driver kind of laid out, and everything laid out."(Richmond Times Dispatch)
MORE: The rumor mill says Matt Kenseth [#17 DeWalt Ford, contract thru 2006] will be leaving the Roush stable soon and that a spot at DEI [#15?] may be in his future.(RacingOne)(8-5-2005)
UPDATE: DEI's bid to hold sponsor NAPA to field a third team next season hinges on DEI's signing one particular, unnamed driver, which DEI executives yesterday said they didn't expect to happen. Earnhardt said he hopes to have a third team running next season, "But we don't know quite what we're going to do with that team." NAPA could stay with Michael Waltrip, who is finishing his DEI contract, and that could mean Waltrip would be able to field his own Cup team next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-6-2005)
UPDATE 2 - Denials: #17-Matt Kenseth and #41-Casey Mears on Saturday denied recent speculation that they would leave their respective teams in favor of driving the #15 Chevrolet at Dale Earnhardt Inc. "Am I going to DEI? No," Kenseth said following Nextel Cup Series practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I'm happy at Roush Racing."
"I'll say right now I'm 99.9 percent sure I'm going to be with Ganassi next year," Mears said. "We had a meeting a few days ago and everything looks real positive to do something for next year, and right now we're 100 percent effort to try to make something happen for here, next year, for Ganassi. Without making any announcements, we're trying to put things together for here at Ganassi."(NASCAR.com)
DRIVER HINT: Richie Gilmore, vice president of DEI, refused to name the driver, but dropped several hints saying he was currently in the Nextel Cup series, was younger than 30, marketable, and fast in Saturday's practice sessions. NAPA, the sponsor of that car, could choose to leave DEI and go with Waltrip to his next team. But Gilmore indicated the team would stay if DEI could sign the driver they are eyeing. Should they fail to get him, then DEI will essentially fold the team. Gilmore said Busch Series driver Paul Menard would drive seven Cup events next season, then move up full-time in 2007.(ESPN.com RPM) using the criteria Gilmore mentioned, in thee top 25 in Saturday's practice, who are under 30 and could be looking at rides: Brian Vickers, Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Kyle Busch. Why no Mears? read above the HINT part where he says he is staying at Ganassi.
UPDATE on HINT: folks at Hendrick Motorsports tell me Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch are both in the middle of multi-year deals with Hendrick Motorsports, so remove their names from the rumor mill.(8-7-2005)
- Waltrip close to making his 2006 plans known: per a GM Racing PR, Michael Waltrip, current driver of the #15 NAPA DEI Chevy said: "I'm getting closer, I think. I have a couple of meetings this week that might shed some light on where I'll be. Maybe by Watkins Glen or shortly thereafter I'll be able to tell what I'm going to do. Just don't have it all worked out yet. I feel pretty good about where I wind up."
as for leaving DEI before the 2005 season ends: "No, I would not ever do that no matter what. I mean, I would leave if they ran me off. I wouldn't hang around there. I wouldn't go I wouldn't do anything that would jeopardize what NAPA has put behind me and that team and what the contracts say that I will do. I can't imagine a scenario that you could paint that would that I would leave that place.(GM Racing)(8-7-2005)
- NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers Points after Indy - 21 of 36 races
the 10 drivers in the chase as things stand:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 2923
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2848, -75
3) #16-Greg Biffle, 2812, -111
4 )-#2-Rusty Wallace, 2705, -218
5) #97-Kurt Busch, 2646, -277
6) #6-Mark Martin, 2636, -287
7) #12-Ryan Newman, 2568, -355
8) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 2554, -369
9) #88-Dale Jarrett, 2493, -430
10) #99-Carl Edwards, 2487, -436
The top 10 in drivers points, 11th and back are over 400 points back and out of the Chase.
The top five fighting to get in:
11) #42-Jamie McMurray, 2475, -448, -12 out of 10th
12) #38-Elliott Sadler, 2463, -460, -24
13) #29-Kevin Harvick, 2405, -518, -82
14) #24-Jeff Gordon, 2400, -523, -87
For points standings see Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Indy page.(8-7-2005)
- Indianapolis Race Notes:
• Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, scoring his 23rd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 233rd career start.
• Stewart climbed from second to first in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, 75 ahead of second-place Jimmie Johnson. The last time Stewart led the point standings was at Homestead in November 2002 [when he won the championship].
• Stewart's last victory came at New Hampshire, two races ago. He scored his first victory in seven races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart has scored four victories in 2005, all in the last six races. He also won at Sears Point, Daytona and New Hampshire.
• Stewart has scored seven straight top-10 finishes, extending a streak that began with a second-place finish at Michigan.
• Stewart became the fourth different race winner in the last four races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the eighth different race winner in the 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races here.
• Stewart moved into a tie with Ricky Rudd for 24th on the NASCAR All-time win list.
• Stewart won the $90,000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus for winning the race and leading the point standings. It marked the third time in 2005 that the bonus has been won. Jimmie Johnson won it at Las Vegas ($30,000) and at Charlotte ($90,000).
• This was Stewart's 14th career superspeedway victory in 181 career superspeedway races.
• Stewart led the most laps for the seventh time in a race this season. He led 44 of the 160 laps raced.
• Stewart has scored 13 top-10 finishes in 21 races this season, tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most of all drivers.
• Stewart scored the second victory for car owner Joe Gibbs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bobby Labonte won for Gibbs here in 2000.
• This was Gibb's 46th victory as a car owner and fourth in 21 races this season.
• This is the 11th victory for Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has nine and Dodge has one.
• Kasey Kahne (second) posted his second top-five finish in two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kahne has scored six top-10 finishes in 2005. Kahne remained 21st in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 711 points behind first-place Tony Stewart.
• Brian Vickers (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It marked his sixth top-10 finish in
2005. Vickers remained 22nd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 716 points behind first-place Tony Stewart.
• Jeremy Mayfield (fourth) posted his second top-10 finish in 11 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He scored his fifth top-10 finish in 21 races in 2005. Mayfield remained eighth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings now 369 behind first-place Tony Stewart.
• Matt Kenseth (fifth) posted his third top-five finish in six races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kenseth climbed from 17th to 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 168 points behind 10th-place Carl Edwards.
• Jeff Gordon (eighth) climbed from 15th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, now 523 points behind point leader Tony Stewart and 87 points behind 10th-place Carl Edwards
• Jimmie Johnson (38th today) has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 54 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.
• Rusty Wallace (25th) extended a 34-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August. Wallace has scored 16 top-15 finishes in 21 races in 2005.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (43rd) finished last for just the third time in his career and the first time since February 2001. He dropped from 14th to 16th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, 627 points behind first-place Tony Stewart and 191 points behind 10th-place Carl Edwards.
• Six of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
• Eight drivers are within 400 points of current point leader Tony Stewart with five races remaining before The Chase begins in New Hampshire in September.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-7-2005)
- Rumblings - Indianapolis:
Tony Stewart finally got to the fence he's been looking to climb all his racing life today as he passed Kasey Kahne with 11 laps to go and went on to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard for his first-ever win at his beloved Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Our unforgivable tire problems continued today. By my scorecard it was five left-fronts and two right fronts. Take your choice.....new Goodyear tire this season or that silly NASCAR impound rule. Either way, we didn't have these type of problems as widespread as they are this year in season's
past.....and these guys have been playing with air pressure for years. A fix is needed, and quick! This was the 4th win of 2005 (and all in the last 6 races) for Stewart and the 23rd of his Cup career (he's tied for 24th on the all-time win list with Ricky Rudd). Win #46 for Joe Gibbs Racing was worth a paltry $554,661 from the over $9M in posted awards.
Kasey Kahne (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Richmond in May.
Brian Vickers (3rd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Pocono in June.
Jeremy Mayfield (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Lowe's in May.
Casey Mears (6th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Texas in April.
Sterling Marlin (9th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Texas in April.
Kyle Petty (13th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Bristol in April.
Jeff Green (15th) had his best finish since he was 15th at Pocono in June.
Mike Skinner (29th) had his best finish since he was 22nd at Daytona in February of 2004! (only 5 races)
STREAKIN....Tony Stewart has 7 Top-10's in a row.
Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Casey Mears (+34), followed by Carl Edwards (+26) and Tony Stewart (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ricky Rudd (-32), followed by Elliott Sadler (-31), Ryan Newman (-28 ), and Martin Truex Jr (-25). This is the first time this season that either Mears or Rudd have captured awards in the "Shaft".
We've got a new points leader as Tony Stewart flies by Jimmie Johnson to lead by 75 markers. Only the Top-10 are still above the "Stayin' Alive" line, but Elliott Sadler has fallen out and Carl Edwards has taken his place.
Mike Bliss (30th to 27th) made the best move forward today, while Scott Riggs (27th to 31st) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans)(8-7-2005)
- So...why didn't Johnson get to qualify at Indy? Jimmie Johnson, points leader and driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevy did not make a qualifying lap, and will start the Allstate 400 at the rear of the field because the car did not make it through inspection and get to the line in time. From a GM Q&A PR with crew chief Chad Knaus:
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH PASSING INSPECTION? We just had a little problem with the chain that holds the droop on
the right rear. NASCAR didn't like the way it was. It wasn't a big deal. We were trying to fix it; we just didn't have time. We didn't
come up here and test, so we spent a lot of time after practice trying to make sure we had the exact shock and spring package on the car that we wanted. It put us behind from the getgo. We left the garage about 15 minutes later than we were supposed to and that put us behind. And then when we had that issue with technical inspection, we just couldn't recover from that and get out there in time.
CAN YOU GIVE US A LAYMAN'S EXPLANATION OF THIS CHAIN AND HOW IT GOES THROUGH INSPECTION? When you watch the guys do pit stops and they jack up the car, there's a chain that holds the axle housing to the chassis, and that's what picks up the tire. NASCAR just didn't like the way that was. It was a little bit too snug for them. So we had to adjust it.
DID YOU AGREE WITH NASCAR'S DECISION TO NOT ALLOW YOU TO TAKE A LAP? Oh, yeah. We didn't make it, plain and simple. They've got a five-minute rule and they hold to that pretty true. I don't think we were the first one. I think the #38 car maybe even had than happen here a couple of years ago, I don't know. It happens from time to time. When you're in a compressed schedule like what we've got here because of the weather and then putting it into an impound situation. And then we weren't able to test. We were really trying to dot all our i's and cross all of our t's and we just got behind.
WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THIS? Well, me. I'm the crew chief. Ultimately. Look at the rule book. Everything is my fault.(GM Racing PR)(8-7-2005)
- #50, Spencer to announce sponsor at Indy UPDATE 3: The unveiling of a NASCAR Nextel Cup sponsor for Arnold Motorsports and driver Jimmy Spencer is scheduled for Saturday, August 6 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Arnold Motorsports)(8-1-2005)
UPDATE: the updated entry list for Indy shows Spencer in the #50 alliedbuildings.com [Allied Steel Structures] Dodge, assumming this is the sponsor, no announcement on the site.(8-5-2005)
UPDATE 2: Allied Steel has a motorsports section featuring the #50 Dodge, images there and also on my #50 Team Schemes page.
AND while not mentioning the sponsors name, the Naples Daily News reports: Don Arnold, the longtime Naples and Southwest Florida developer, will be up and at 'em early at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first order of business will be to gather with veteran race driver Jimmy Spencer and the team's new business associates in Gasoline Alley to announce corporate sponsorship that could carry throughout the remainder of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season and through the '06 campaign as well.(8-6-2005)
UPDATE 3: Jimmy Spencer, one of only twelve drivers to win in the NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch Series, and the Craftsman Truck Series will compete in eight more Nextel Cup events for Arnold Motorsports in 2005. The eight races will be sponsored by Allied Steel Structures. Allied will be the primary sponsor on Spencer's #50 Dodge at four selected races, and will also serve as an associate sponsor at four other Cup events this year. "We're excited about our new partnership with Jimmy Spencer and Arnold Motorsports, and equally excited about our involvement in NASCAR," said Mike Lassner, President, Allied Steel. "We look forward to Jimmy having great success this season and the opportunity for Allied Steel to leverage NASCAR and Arnold Motorsports to grow our business in 2005 and beyond."
Spencer and Allied Steel will also compete in the Nextel Cup events at: Bristol, August 27; Richmond, September 10; Loudon, September 18; Charlotte, October 15; Atlanta, October 30; Phoenix, November 13, and Homestead, November 20.(Arnold Motorsports PR)(8-7-2005)
- Purple Heart on the #01 at Indy UPDATE: Sunday is Purple Heart Day, and to honor recipients of the Purple Heart, Joe Nemechek's #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet will feature an image of a Purple Heart on the side of the car.(Lakeland Ledger)(8-4-2005)
UPDATE: Purple Heart Decal on #01 Army Car, Sunday, Aug. 7 is recognized as Purple Heart Day as a tribute to Soldiers who have received the Purple Heart. An image of the medal will be featured on the U.S. Army Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek during this weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The Purple Heart was first created on Aug. 7, 1792
by Gen. George Washington as a badge of distinction for enlisted Armed Forces personnel for "any singularly meritorious action." More info at www.purpleheart.org.(MB2 Motorsports).(8-7-2005)
News from August 6, 2005
- Dale Jr. and Eury Jr....back together in 2006? UPDATE 2: DEI Director of Motorsports Richie Gilmore pooh-poohed the idea of reuniting Earnhardt Jr. with Tony Eury Jr. if the #8 Chevrolet were to qualify for the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Earnhardt won a career-high six races last year with Eury as car chief. An offseason shake-up moved Eury to Waltrip's team as crew chief this year. "I would say that scenario would take away from both teams, so we wouldn't even look at that," Gilmore said. "That would affect both teams in a negative [way]." Gilmore said the possibility of naming Eury as Earnhardt's crew chief for next season hadn't been discussed much. "It's still too early," he said. "There's been a lot of talk outside of DEI but not at our company."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-5-2005)
UPDATE: Earnhardt said his own team is facing a post-season shakeup, with crew chief Steve Hmiel expected to return to technical director and with a new boss coming in. But Earnhardt said he's trying not to upset his own team right now: "For example, if we said Tony Eury Jr. was coming back to run our team, then our team right now might implode the rest of the year. "We definitely have to make some changes at the end of the season. But I don't have an answer to what we're going to do. I do want to work with Tony Jr. again. But personally I think we're both immature for our age... and the more mature we get, the easier it will be for us to work together."(Winston Salem Journal)(8-6-2005)
UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former car chief Tony Eury Jr. are making plans to reunite in 2006, with Eury taking over as the crew chief for NASCAR’s most popular driver. “Me and Dale Jr. are pushing pretty hard for it,” Eury said Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where practice for Sunday’s AllState 400 was washed out. “The people upstairs are the ones that have a problem with it. We’re trying to sort through that now. Me and him are gung-ho ready to go.” Eury, who was moved from car chief of Earnhardt’s car to crew chief of Michael Waltrip’s #15 car during the offseason after helping Earnhardt to six wins and a fifth-place finish in the championship chase, said a decision could be finalized in the next few weeks. Waltrip has announced he will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. after this season because the organization would not assure him that Eury would be his crew chief next year. Earnhardt has been looking for a full-time crew chief since Pete Rondeau, who began the season with him, was replaced by interim crew chief Steve Hmiel in May. “We’re supposed to have several meetings this week,” Eury said. “I’d say the next few weeks they ought to really know something about who is going where. We’re kind of waiting on NAPA (sponsor for Waltrip’s car) to tell us what they want to do, whether they want us to have a third car at our place.”(The State)(8-6-2005)
- No news on Marlin yet: "Nope, nothin' yet," #40-Sterling Marlin said as a reporter approached him in the infield at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where rain washed out a scheduled practice session yesterday. The veteran racer from Columbia is searching for a new Nextel Cup ride, having been informed that he won't be retained at Chip Ganassi Racing after this season — 16 more races. "I'm still talking to some people," Marlin said. "In fact I've had a couple of conversations this week. But there's a lot of things involved — sponsors and stuff like that — so I don't know anything definite yet." Marlin said he won't settle "for just any ride. I want to go with a team that can give me a good car, good motor, and a good pit crew. I want to be with a competitive team that can win races." And if such an opportunity fails to present itself? "It won't be the end of the world," Marlin said. "If I can get with a good team, that'll be great. If not … well, life goes on."
There had been speculation that Marlin might join Richard Childress Racing [#07], having been offered a ride there toward the end of last season, but Childress recently indicated he will stick with his present drivers. Another scenario had Marlin replacing retiring #6-Mark Martin at Roush Racing, but Roush is trying to talk Martin into racing one more year before turning the car over to Jamie McMurray in 2007. Another report has linked Marlin with Richard Petty's famous #43 as a replacement for Jeff Green. Marlin declined to comment on any of the reports, probably out of courtesy to the drivers who currently have the rides. "I figure we'll know something before long," said Marlin, "I'll keep looking and see what turns up."(Tennessean)(8-6-2005)
- McMurray wants Truce with Kenseth: #42-Jamie McMurray is ready to put an end to his three-week feud with #17-Matt Kenseth. McMurray was livid at Kenseth after being knocked out of a race three weeks ago at Loudon, N.H., and refused to return Kenseth's phone calls. They are due to become teammates when McMurray replaces Mark Martin at Roush Racing in 2007. Perhaps sitting in the rain all day Friday finally cooled McMurray off. "I need to find Matt this weekend and get it all worked out. It doesn't do any good to let it go on," he said. "It's probably somewhat my fault. I didn't call him back (because) I didn't really know what to say at the time. I'm over it."(Indianapolis Star)(8-6-2005)
- Toyota Testing at AMS UPDATE maybe not: Now just one unveiling remains [after Ford and Chevy] – Toyota, which has scheduled its mandatory on-track NASCAR test of its Camry for sometime next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Yahoo Sports)(8-5-2005)
UPDATE: On-again, off-again reports of Toyota's future plans continue to pop up here and there. Toyota officials continue to leave their NASCAR plans open-ended, saying they are committed to running well in Craftsman Trucks before proceeding to stock cars, either in Busch or Cup. One report said Toyota plans to test a car at Atlanta next week, but Toyota associates said Friday that was news to them. "Next week?" scoffed car owner Bill Davis, who has supervised Toyota's NASCAR developments. Toyota should announce its possible Cup and Busch plans in the "near future", according to partner Bill Davis. "I will tell you that [Toyota] will have an announcement in the near future. Asked when and where, Davis repeated, "In the near future."(Speed Channel)(8-6-2005)
- Sadler wins pole at Indy: #38-Elliott Sadler won the Budweiser Pole for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 184.117mph for his 2nd pole of 2005 and 4th of his career. His other pole this season was at Bristol. Starting next to Sadler will be #19-Jeremy Mayfield, followed by #15-Michael Waltrip, #9-Kasey Kahne and #25-Brian Vickers. #7-Robby Gordon is the highest starting non-top 35 team, running a lap of 181.943 and will start 13th. #44-Terry Labonte had to use a past champions provisional to make the field. #91-Bill Elliott made it on speed and #04-Bobby Hamilton makes his first race of 2005.
For qualifying results/starting lineup, see Jayski's Indy Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(8-6-2005)
- Some Qualifying Notes:
#2-Wallace got loose off turn 1 on his 1st qualifying lap and hit the wall a couple times spun into the grass, failed to finish the lap.
#48-Jimmie Johnson's car failed to make it thru tech inspection, was put on the 5 minute clock when his qualifying attempt came up, the team didn't make it, so Johnson didn't take a lap, and he will start at the back. Crew chief Chad Knuas said the rear end housing chain wasn't too NASCAR liking and the team didn't have enough time to change it.
#50-Spencer spun off exiting turn 4 and slid onto pit road, didn't hit anything, he had a flat right rear tire. It wasn't clear if Spencer would get a chnace, NASCAR's Mike Helton said they could change tires and were on the 5 minute clock wehn #1-Truex took the green flag, so the crew got new tires on and Spencer will get another shot. He has ran in all 11 of the Brickyard 400's. Spencer went out for another shot and pulled the car back in after the fender was rubbing and spencer couldn't get up to speed, he will miss the race.
#41-Mears smacked the wall three times after losing it off turn three, and took it to the garage.
Four drivers have been excused from their place in line to schedule: #99-Edwards, #45-Petty, #4-Wallace, #77-Kvapil
- Indy Qualifying Notes:
• Elliot Sadler won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the AllState 400 at
the Brickyard, lapping Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 48.882 seconds at 184.116
mph. Casey Mears holds the track-qualifying record of 48.311 seconds, 186.293
mph, set Aug. 7, 2004.
• This is Sadler’s fourth career Bud Pole in 234 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
This is his second Bud Pole and 11th top-10 start this season.
• This is Sadler’s second top-10 start in seven NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He started third and finished third here in 2004.
• Sadler became the fourth repeat Bud Pole winner this season.
• Jeremy Mayfield posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 49.166 seconds,
183.053 mph – and will join Sadler on the front row for the AllState 400 at the
Brickyard. He has started from a top-10 starting position in just three of his 11 races
at Indianapolis. Mayfield tied his season-best start set at Texas with his ninth top-10
start of 2005.
• This is the third Bud Pole for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has nine Bud Poles and
Dodge has eight. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June.
• Michael Waltrip (third) posted his fourth top-10 start in 12 races at Indianapolis.
Waltrip posted his third top-10 start in 2005.
• Kasey Kahne (fourth) scored his first top-10 start in two races at Indianapolis.
Kahne posted his 10th top-10 start in 2005.
• Brian Vickers (fifth) posted his second top-10 start in two races at Indianapolis.
• Bobby Hamilton (35th) qualified for his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races since
Homestead in 2002.
• There have been nine different Bud Pole winners in the 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
Series races at Indianapolis.
• The furthest back a race winner has started at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was
27th by Jeff Gordon in 2001.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-6-2005)
- Ramblings: Indianapolis:
Elliott Sadler was easily the fastest today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and he'll lead us to the green tomorrow in the Allstate 400. His time of 48.882 (184.116 mph) was almost 3/10th's of a second quicker than Jeremy Mayfield. Course, it would have been nice to see it live. For a race they spend so much time telling us is second in importance only to the Daytona 500 (and I'll agree with that since they gutted the Southern 500), it seems like they could have found 2 1/2 hours in their busy schedule. Instead they use Cup qualifying as a lead in to help the Busch ratings. Maybe they thought it would be boring.....after all, we had a couple crashes, a few spins, Mr. Excitement managed to spin in onto pit road and really not hit either wall much (and that seems impossible), and the points leader couldn't get through tech. Throw in all the go-home stories with the largest car count since February and seems like somebody out there in TV-land might have shown some interest, huh?
Jeremy Mayfield (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Texas in April.
Michael Waltrip (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Pocono in June.
Sterling Marlin (8th) had his best qualifying run since he started 7th at Darlington in May.
Ken Schrader (11th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Martinsville in April.
STREAKIN....Brian Vickers has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.
Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.(Stock Car Fans)(8-6-2005)
- Wood splits with Roush: Busch Series driver Jon Wood no longer is under contract with Roush Racing, with the split reported to be mutual. Wood, 23, had been considered to be a candidate for a Roush [#6] seat, but apparently the family-owned Wood Brothers have other plans. Wood had been on loan fom Roush to ST Motorsports in Busch [#47 Ford] this season.(Speed Channel)(8-6-2005)
- Michael Waltrip entertainment center gets zoning OK UPDATE: The Cornelius (N.C.) Board of Commissioners approved zoning Monday night for a race shop/ entertainment center headed by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Michael Waltrip. Waltrip appeared at Monday's meeting to push his vision for "Waltrip Racing World" at the former Movies at the Lake off Interstate 77 Exit 28. After about three hours of public hearing and debate, the board granted the conditional-use zoning necessary for him to begin work. Nearby neighbors complained that a motorcoach park planned as part of the complex would hurt their property values. Waltrip Racing World representatives agreed to a long list of conditions in order to get approval.(Charlotte Observer)(8-3-2005)
UPDATE: Michael and Buffy Waltrip announced Friday their plans to build an innovative racing facility in Cornelius, NC, adjacent to Interstate 77 entitled Waltrip Racing World. The Waltrip Racing World campus will encompass over eight acres and more than 110,000 square foot of buildings, housing the world’s first truly interactive race shop that will be accessible to the public. Waltrip Racing plans to relocate its existing NASCAR Busch Series team and driver development programs to this facility, which will serve as the centerpiece of the entertainment for the interactive fan experience. The facility is a former 12-screen movie theater, located in a very visible and highly trafficked location, lending itself perfectly to converting it to the fan friendly experience Waltrip wants. Waltrip Racing World will consist of a skywalk through the facility, live pit road practice sessions and team training, movies, retail store, restaurant and more including a 40-space private motor coach area. The Waltrip’s have partnered with Noah Lazes, a longtime personal friend and president of the ARK Group. Lazes is a resident of Cornelius and has a tremendous amount of experience developing entertainment oriented projects around the country and creating experiences that entertain people, including North Carolina’s largest annual music festival. Lazes is helping the Waltrips to put all the necessary pieces together to turn their exciting dream into a reality. Michael Waltrip continues to weigh his options as they relate to his future driving plans.(Michael Waltrip site)(8-6-2005)
- Evernham still meeting with drivers: Scott Riggs [driver of the #10 Valvoline/Checkers/Rallys Chevy] reportedly is under consideration to join Valvoline at Ray Evernham's new third team in 2006 [the #10 Valvoline Dodge]. Evernham said yesterday the team has been meeting with available drivers but has nothing locked in yet. "This is more about building the company and growing our partnership with Valvoline and to rush out and make a decision on a driver is not in our best interests," Evernham said. "We're trying to review that. Do you want a veteran? Do you want someone who has potential to produce and hasn't yet? We're going through the same things that probably the 6 car and the 2 car are. Finding the right fit nowadays is a lot harder." Riggs, who has had a contract offer from MB2 since May but was waiting on its sponsorship status, said he has set no deadline for a decision on whether to stay.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-6-2005)
- No Testing Limit or Tire Leasing? NASCAR may be reconsidering its proposed testing-limit and tire-lease concepts, garage sources said. NASCAR had offered the ideas as ways of reducing cost and travel for the teams. Apparently, however, the recent suit against NASCAR/ISC by Kentucky Speedway has caused NASCAR to back away. Kentucky is a popular testing site for Cup teams.(Speed Channel)(8-6-2005)
- Wallace's test at MIS and will race there: Rusty Wallace will be making his 44th and final start in the August 21, GFS Marketplace 400, while son Stephen Wallace will make his superspeedway debut during the August 19, ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200. In preparation for the special weekend at MIS, both Wallace's visited the 2-mile oval on Wednesday, August 3 for an ARCA RE/MAX Series testing day, where Rusty took to the wheel first to shake down the car, but quickly gave the wheel to son Stephen. The now 17-year old Wallace didn't take long to get up to speed, and turned a lap time of 40.20 on just his third lap, while eventually running a time of 40.10 during the morning session. "I drove the car and really bombed one lap off and ran pretty quick," said Rusty. "My lap time was 39.80. I told Stephen to take it nice and easy. I don't care if it takes all day long to get comfortable. On his third lap, I looked and saw 40.20. He has never been on the track before and I said 'Oh boy, here we go'. We're here preparing and doing some race runs and qualifying runs and hopefully coming away from this day with some confidence. Our goal today is just getting up to speed, make some changes, and don't put dents in anything. It's important to have a good, clean race on August 19. It's going to be tough weekend emotionally. I'm going to be here with Stephen on Wednesday night before the race and all day on Thursday. Nearly the entire #2 team is going to be here to support him," said Rusty. "The whole family will be here. It will be a great time. We don't dare leave the racetrack because we have so much racing going on that weekend. We've got Stephen in the ARCA car, my Busch car will be here and my Cup car will be competing. It's going to be a big weekend and I'm excited about it." Stephen shared his father's enthusiasm about racing during the same weekend at MIS. "It's a lot different racing at these big tracks like Michigan. It's wild. This is by far the biggest track I will have raced at," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing my dad race in his final event at MIS. Hopefully we can both be successful that weekend. My goal is to win at Michigan for my Dad and Roger Penske (who is supplying the car for Stephen in the race). I think we'll run around 10 ARCA and 10 Busch races next year. Hopefully we can make it to the Cup circuit a few years down the road."
Stephen Wallace wasn't the only driver participating in the ARCA RE/MAX Series test session with a famous race car driving father, or
driving for a NEXTEL Cup affiliated team. Kraig Kinser, son of World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser took laps around the 2-mile oval in a MBV Motorsports prepared car, the same team the fields NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entries for Joe Nemechek and Scott Riggs.
Kinser is also expected to make his ARCA RE/MAX debut in the August 19 Hantz Group 200 at MIS.(MIS PR)(8-6-2005)
News from August 5, 2005
- Back to School: hearing that #99 Carl Edwards will run a special Office Depot 'Back to School' scheme, probably at Watkins Glen, maybe a few more races. See an image of the scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2005)
- Sad News: Hunter James Kelly entered Heaven this morning, Friday, August 5, 2005. Hunter, the beloved 8-½ year old son of Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife Jill, staged a valiant lifelong battle with Krabbe Leukodystrophy. Hunter was the longest living survivor of infantile Krabbe disease and served as an inspiration to thousands of other children and their families. The Hunter's Hope Foundation was founded in his name to fund research into the fatal disease and to offer hope and support to its victims worldwide. Jim and Jill Kelly remain grateful for your continued prayers and support and ask that you respect their privacy as they mourn the sudden loss of their beloved son and offer comfort to his sisters Erin and Camryn.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to the Hunter's Hope Foundation. The Kelly Family has requested a private family viewing. A celebration of Hunter Kelly's life will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2005 at 1pm at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg.
Aside from his activities with the Hunter's Hope Foundation and the Kelly for Kids Charities, Jim Kelly is also part of the ownership
group of Frank Cicci Racing, a NASCAR Busch Series #34 race team sponsored by the Dollar General Corporation. The team is in Indianapolis this weekend for the running of the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. 2-time NASCAR Busch Series driver Randy LaJoie is the team's driver.; more on the Busch Series site.(8-5-2005)
- Checkers to sponsor the #10 in five races...for 2005: Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, today announced that it is accelerating its presence in the sport by signing on as the primary sponsor for five high profile, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races this season with the #10 MB2 Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs. This weekend’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard kicks off the five-race sponsorship package with Rally’s being the primary brand on the #10 Chevy. “This is our first year as the Official Burger and Official Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR. Halfway through the season, Checkers/Rally’s has already realized tremendous brand exposure on a national basis,” said Keith Sirois, President and CEO of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. “We have successfully activated our NASCAR and numerous track sponsorships at our restaurants throughout the country. Our NASCAR Combo is one of our best selling combos system wide. In addition, we have effectively integrated our sponsorships into our local, regional and national advertising messages for both consumers and franchising prospects, now, we look forward to adding a primary sponsorship of the No. 10 car to our already strong sponsorship initiative.”
The other four primary brand sponsored races will be:
--Sharpie 500, Bristol Motor Speedway – Checkers
--UAW-Ford 500, Talladega Superspeedway – Rally’s
--Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway – Checkers
--Ford 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway – Checkers
In addition to this primary sponsorship, Checkers/Rally’s becomes an associate sponsor of MB2’s #01 U.S. Army Team and driver Joe Nemechek. Checkers/Rally’s also retains promotional rights with MB2 for the 2006 NASCAR season. “We’re thrilled that Checkers/Rally’s has chosen to partner with MB2 as we strive to have a strong finish in 2005,” said Jay Frye, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of MB2 Motorsports. “We look forward to making Checkers/Rally’s first experience as a primary sponsor a memorable one and will continue to explore new opportunities for 2006.”
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. (www.checkers.com) is the largest double drive-thru restaurant chain in the United States. The Company develops, owns, operates and franchises quick-service Checkers and Rally's double drive-thru restaurants. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR. In 2005, the Company received the Nation's Restaurant News Hot! Again Award for its sizzling business performance.(MB2 Motorsports Site), not sure if this will be the news sponsor for the #10/#35/#02 [or whatever number it uses] in 2006. See an image of the Checkers and Rally car on my #10 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2005)
- Hammond named as Spokesperson for Racing Simulators: Motorsports Image, a racing/motorsports manufacturing company, specializing in designing and building Racing Simulators, is proud to announce Jeff Hammond as the spokesperson for their creative and innovative line of Racing Simulators. The company’s website features a new racing simulator demonstration video featuring Jeff Hammond: www.motorsportsimage.com. Racing team owners, motorsports marketing companies and motorsports sponsors are heralding these racing Simulators as the newest and most effective way to entertain and market to racefans in several decades. Jeff Hammond is a former two time NASCAR Cup Championship winning crew chief and television personality/announcer on FOX and the Speed channel. Hammond contributes to the race coverage on Fox and FX with booth
announcers, Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip and can be seen Speed Channels “Trackside Live” program.
The Motorsports Image Simulators consist of several types of products all of which can be custom designed to meet the customer’s
requirements. Probably the most creative is the award winning Sim Showcar which is a racing “NASCAR style” showcar that has a real
driver’s seat inside that actually moves with a racing video experience. Motorsports Image manufactures three types of racing simulators.
For more information Motorsports Image contact the company via their website www.motorsportsimage.com. See full PR there or on my TV/Media News page.(8-5-2005)
- Dale Jr. speaks about crew chief changes: Brandon Mudd of 590 the Fan, KFNS, (www.kfns.com), spoke with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who was in the St. Louis area yesterday for a Victory Junction Gang Camp function at Kenny Schrader's dirt track in Pevely, MO. Earnhardt said there is a good chance Tony Eury, Jr. could be the crew chief of the #8-Budweiser team next season. "Absolutely. Anything in this sport is a possibility. We've talked about that and no decision has been made. We've got to concentrate on making the Chase; we won't make a decision before that. I don't think I can sit here and honestly tell you who will be my crew chief next year. I really like working with Steve Hmiel and in a way, I think that we make a great team. Me and him together have a good way of...I don't know, we just have a good way of working together that seems to want to build success. I think if me and Steve Hmiel stuck together, we'd win some races. The only problem with that is he's been in this sport so long, he's overqualified. The things he was doing for the company before, those areas are now starting to suffer because of him having to come down and do the crew-chiefing side of it. So we need to figure it out. And I'm not sure if he wants to do it full-time or not, honestly, whether or not he wants to go back to that grind. We'll all have to just sit down and talk about it and see what everyone wants to do, but yeah, you have to consider that a possibility, me and Tony Jr. getting back together. Right now, though, we just don't know."(Brandon W. Mudd/590 The Fan, KFNS)(8-5-2005)
- Long not at Indy: #00/#80-Carl Long will not attempt to make the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Long was on the origianl entry list, but has been removed. The Carl Long site reports that Long's next attempt will be at Michigan [changed from Watkins Glen on Friday].(8-5-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Kurt Busch as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on July 24, Kimberly P. of Port Royal, PA. was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Kimberly picked Kurt Busch as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com and entering before the weekly deadline. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Kurt Busch. This is the sixth time this year that a donation in Busch's name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Communications)(8-5-2005)
- Mears speaks about McMurray, 2006 plans: Brandon Mudd of 590 the Fan, KFNS, (www.kfns.com), spoke to #41-Casey Mears, who was in the St. Louis area yesterday for a Victory Junction Gang Camp function at Kenny Schrader's dirt track in Pevely, MO. When asked about the situation between his car owner, Chip Ganassi and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, #42-Jamie McMurray, Mears said, "I guess I would be lying if I said it didn't (affect my focus) a little bit, not so much my focus as a driver, but but maybe it just distracts the organization a little bit. I think it's very clear now what Jamie's going to be doing for next year, he'll be running with us, the year after that, he's not." When asked where he (Mears) will be next year and if a certain blue deuce car is in his future, he said he believes he will still be with Ganassi. "As of right now, I'm going to be with Ganassi (next year). We haven't gotten any solid answers or solid information on exactly what it's going to be or where at, but every indication I get from Chip is that he wants me next year. We're hoping to get that all settled soon."(Brandon W. Mudd/590 The Fan, KFNS)
AND have heard that Mears could be driving the #39 car, sponsor unknown, but supposedly close to signing, with Reed Sorenson heading to the #41, the 4th Ganassi full-time team has been rumored before, but denied, as has Sorenson moving up from Busch.(8-5-2005)
- Patron back on the #37 at Indy: #37-Kevin Lepage will look to make his fourth career start in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. The team will be bringing a new car with them, which they recently tested at Indy. Patrón Tequila returns as a sponsor of the team. Crew chief Mark Tutor will try to find the right combination to get the #37 Patrón Tequila Dodge Charger a top-15 finish this weekend at Indy.(RJ Motorsports/Integrated Marketing Solutions PR)(8-5-2005)
- Terry Labonte to run DiTech sponsorship at Indy: Driving a #44 ditech.com Chevrolet, Terry Labonte this weekend will
start his 11th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The two-time champion has a pair of Cup dates remaining on his 2005 calendar: Oct. 9 at Kansas Speedway and Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Labonte's "Shifting Gears" tour will continue next season with 10 yet-to-be-announced races.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-5-2005)
- Tracy tests at Concord [Caraway], talks about NASCAR - CORRECTION: Paul Tracy said team owner Jerry Forsythe would like him to stay with the team. But Tracy has an opportunity that could lead him away from open-wheel racing after this season. Tracy drove a stock car for the first time Tuesday on a half-mile oval in Concord, N.C. -- an experience he called "a completely, completely different deal." It was Tracy's first spin in a heavy stocker after logging 231 Indy car races and 30 victories. Tracy used a rented former NASCAR Cup car to acclimate himself to driving a stock car. Next, he faces a key test Monday and Tuesday at Michigan International Speedway in a Cup car owned by Richard Childress Racing. "I just wanted to learn how to start the thing and know how to put it in gear," Tracy said. "I needed to know how to put the seat belts on. It went OK. The test will be real important. I have to qualify for the (Aug. 21) race on time." If all goes well, Tracy will try to qualify Childress' No. 33 Chevrolet when the Cup series returns to the Michigan track in two weeks. "If I qualify for the race, I'll be happy to finish on the lead lap," Tracy said. "I'll take the chance. I feel I have the driving ability. Racing is racing is racing."(Las Vegas Review Journal)
CORRECTION: have been told Tracy tested at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC, ran some laps, then on his second session, backed the car into the wall, no word on damage or if he continued to practice.(8-5-2005)
- MB2 Close to Signing a sponsor for the old #10 team UPDATE 2 #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)
UPDATE 2: It looks as though Scott Riggs will stay put with MB2 Motorsports. He's scheduled to be part of a sponsor announcement by the team today.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(8-5-2005)
- Simo in for Wallace at Watkins Glen? Or Jones? UPDATE: hearing that Brian Simo will drive the #4 Lucas Oil / Morgan McClure Chevy at Watkins Glen in place of regular driver Mike Wallace, who is driving Darrell Waltrip's #12 Truck this week at IRP. Wallace is looking at other options for that weekend, including possibly driving a truck in the Truck Series at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday August 13th.(Motorsports Lounge)(8-3-2005)
OR also hearing that P.J. Jones could be in the #4 Chevy at Watkins Glen, Jones drove the car at Infineon Racway, one way or the other, Wallace will not drive the car at Watkins Glen. Guess the #34 team is not going to Watkins Glen?(8-4-2005)
UPDATE: looks like Simo will not drive the #4 but P.J. Jones will be back in the car, Jones was hoping to get a road course car for the #34 Mach 1 team, but couldn't.(8-5-2005)
- Back to School Shopping at the Brickyard: You can outfit the entire family with pit stop speed as the Levi Strauss Signature "Fit Pit" Tour continues at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the NASCAR race weekend - August 5-6. Using Intellifit technology, in 10 seconds the Fit Pit scans a fully-clothed person and produces a print out recommendation of the perfect sizes and styles of Levi Strauss Signature Jeans. Indy NASCAR fans will be able to make purchases online from Walmart.com and finish their back- to-school
shopping faster than a NASCAR pit stop.(8-5-2005)
News from August 4, 2005
- Rusty is close to 20,000 laps led and 200 top-5's: #2-Rusty Wallace is approaching yet another milestone in his career. He has currently led 19,931 laps in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition. That makes him only 69 laps shy of leading an unbelievable 20,000 laps.
AND Rusty Wallace's runner-up finish at Pocono accounted for his 199th career top-five finish and now he is after his 200th. In 690 starts to date, he has finished in the top five in an impressive 28.8 percent of the races. He also has 343 top-10 finishes (in 49.7 percent of the races). He has 55 victories and 36 pole positions.(Tom Roberts PR)(8-4-2005)
- Racing Electronics breaks ground in NC: Racing Electronics, long time sponsor of the Jayski site and sponsor of the Scanner Freq page, has officially broken ground on our new Headquarters that will be located on Derita Road in Concord, NC. The announcement and building progress can be seen on their website: www.racingelectronics.com. The grand opening is planned for October of this year. RE won't be forgetting their loyal customers that are used to dealing with the RE New Jersey facility. RE will be downsizing their NJ operation and moving to a new, yet to be determined location.(8-4-2005)
- New Chevy to be announced Thursday UPDATE: on Thursday, August 4th, GM Racing will unveil the 2006 Monte Carlo NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, see some images of the real car and some from DEI on my Chevy News page.(8-2-2005)
UPDATE: Chevrolet will debut an all-new Monte Carlo SS race car for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series competition in 2006. The new car will carry the legendary name and heritage of the "SS" line, relating to a powerful, new V-8-powered production Monte Carlo SS that is making its debut on the 50th Anniversary of the introduction of the Chevrolet Small Block V-8 engine. The new race car was developed over a 14-month period using the full complement of engineering and design tools available to the people at GM Racing and Chevrolet. The company's engineers worked in concert with their key partners on pit lane, the real "customers" for the new Monte Carlo SS race car. The new race car retains the overall dimensions of the 2005 model, based on the sport's requirements. NASCAR continues to emphasize retaining stock dimensions, which means a good body design is essential for success in stock car racing. Unlike other manufacturers who race family sedans, Chevrolet remains the only marque in NASCAR racing that sells to fans the same two-door sports coupe that it races.
Following NASCAR approval, teams will begin building development cars in preparation for testing that leads up to its debut at Speedweeks. The car will make its competition debut at Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway in February, 2006. On the street, buyers of the new Monte Carlo SS will notice the similarities to the car that is the choice of NASCAR stars. The exterior features large headlamps that have a premium, jeweled appearance with three independent lighting units. These details complement other high-quality attributes to provide an overall feeling of solidity. All models receive a sporty rear spoiler. The muscular Monte Carlo SS has a new 5.3L small block V-8 developing 303 horsepower (226 kw) and 323 lb.-ft. (438 Nm) of torque, propelling it from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The 5.3L V-8 uses Displacement on Demand technology to regulate between eight-cylinder and four-cylinder operation, providing up to 8 percent improved fuel economy in certain driving conditions. The Monte Carlo SS has a distinct front-end appearance, with a
dual-split grille that has a black-diamond crosshatch pattern. The rear spoiler is unique, too, suggesting the purposefulness of NASCAR
spoilers. Corvette-inspired bright exhaust outlets also are standard on the Monte Carlo SS.
Like a tuned NASCAR racer, the Monte Carlo SS comes with a unique suspension as well. The FE4 suspension, which is tuned to provide a sporty ride that complements the 5.3L small-block V-8's performance. It offers increased stiffness and ride control, with reduced body lean and greater high-speed stability. The 34-mm hollow front stabilizer bar and 18-mm solid rear stabilizer bar are larger in diameter than
the bars of the two FE2 suspension settings, providing increased roll control. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels with W-rated P235/50R18 AL3
Goodyear Eagle RS-A performance tires are included with the FE4 suspension.(GM PR), added some more images on my Chevy News page(8-4-2005)
- Trickle back racing: longtime fan favorite and former Cup driver Dick Trickle returns to The Milwaukee Mile to compete in the Sunday, August 28 Governor's Cup Stock Car race, driving his own completely rebuilt racecar that he's driven with great success in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. The Wisconsin Rapids native now resides in Iron Station, NC, and remains one of the most popular Badger State race drivers to achieve success in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing. Trickle will race in the MARS Super Late Model division. Over 60 cars are expected from a four state area to challenge Trickle, who's won an estimated 1,200 short track stock car races in his illustrious career. Trickle is expected to take full advantage of two Friday afternoon, August 26 practice sessions. Always a Milwaukee Mile fan-favorite, Trickle won four of the 22 American Speed Association races he competed in at The Milwaukee Mile between 1978 and 2000. His best finish in six NASCAR Busch Series starts at The 'Mile was in 1984, when he started on the pole position and finished third behind race winner Sam Ard and the late NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki, a Milwaukee native. Details will be released in the near future on a special Dick Trickle race fan autograph session on race weekend. Ticket info by calling The Milwaukee Mile ticket office at (414) 453-8277, or by visiting www.milwaukeemile.com.(8-4-2005)
- Ford Racing Female Driver Development Program announced: Ford Racing will announce the creation of a Female Driver Development Program today in Indianapolis. Ford is partnering with Clorox and ST Motorsports [#46,#47,#59 in Busch Series] in the initiative.(Augusta Chronicle)
UPDATE: Ford Racing has joined forces with Clorox and ST Motorsports to create the Clorox/Ford Racing Female Driver Development Program, the first time a corporate sponsor and manufacturer have worked together to develop young, diverse talent. This multi-year commitment, announced here today at Lyn St. James' "Women in the Winner's Circle" luncheon, is designed to develop a
driver in USAC and graduate her to a NASCAR Busch Series team campaigned by ST Motorsports.
Alison MacLeod of Ontario, Canada, who two weeks ago scored her first career USAC Ford Focus Midget Series victory, and Destiney Hays of California are the first two drivers selected to participate in the program, which will be directed by noted chassis builder and USAC team owner Bob East. East, whose son Bobby will make his NASCAR debut Friday evening in a Roush Racing Ford F-150 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, has developed some of NASCAR's biggest names over the years. Ford Racing has a long history in developing diverse driver talent. Ford was an early supporter of Lyn St. James' road racing career in the 1980s, as well as a supporter of prominent African-American driver Willy T. Ribbs' road racing career in that same time frame. More recently, Ford supported Danica Patrick early in her career when she was racing in Europe, and last year did a formal test of four young women -- including MacLeod -- as part of a driver development pilot program. Currently, the company is also supporting the efforts of Michel Jourdain Jr.(Ford Racing/Campbell Company)(8-4-2005)
- Busch to help folks get home safe: Leading up to this weekend's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch will take his driving off the track by partnering with Crown Royal in its signature "Safe Rides Home" program. As part of this initiative to promote responsible drinking and getting home safely, Crown Royal and Busch will launch a fleet of #97 Fords in downtown Indianapolis, offering bar patrons rides in replicas of the purple and gold Crown Royal #97 Ford - some will even be personally
driven home by NASCAR champion Kurt Busch himself. On Thursday, August 4, from 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., consumers are encouraged to sign up at a special Crown Royal #97 taxi stand outside participating bars on Meridian Street (just north of Jackson Place) for a safe ride home. In total, 10 Crown Royal cars will be in rotation and residents within a 20-mile radius of Indianapolis that are 21 years of age or older are eligible for rides. There is a four-passenger limit per car. Consumers can sign up for free rides home at a specially decorated taxi kiosk in downtown Indianapolis as part of Crown Royal's "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly" program that promotes responsible drinking. For more information go: www.crownroyalracing.com
Crown Royal's integrated motorsports marketing plan includes primary sponsorship of the #97 car at six races during the 2005 season,
including the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. When Crown Royal is not a primary sponsor, the brand supports Kurt as an associate sponsor of the #97 car throughout the 2005 season.(Alan Taylor Communications)(8-4-2005)
- EAS to Sponsor #66 at Indy IMAGE: 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)
IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #66 Team Schemes page.(8-4-2005)
- Kirby back in action at Indy in the Marathon's "American Spirit": Stuart Kirby is ready to take the #51 Marathon Chevy to the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard knowing it will be one of his toughest challenges yet. After a very solid practice in Indy two weeks ago, the Marathon Chevy is poised to qualify at the Brickyard. "I think it will take a 49.50 (seconds) or better to make the race this weekend," Kirby said confidently. "Because of the new rules and the quantity and quality of entrants, however, it will be one of the toughest qualifying runs of the year." Competitive Edge Motorsports (CEM) and Stuart Kirby will attempt to make it three in a row for this young team. "The more time we spend together, the better we get. All the guys in the shop are doing an outstanding job with the preparation of these cars and getting the Marathon Chevrolet ready to compete," said team owner, Joe Auer. CEM is also sporting a different paint scheme for the Brickyard. Marathon's "American Spirit" motor oil will be on the #51 Chevy with the American Flag on the sides.(Competitive Edge Motorsports)(8-3-2005)
IMAGE see images of thre car on my #51 Team Schemes page.(8-4-2005)
- Wood Wins....Miss Teen International: Miss Teen Virginia, Jordan Wood [daughter of #21 Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood], was crowned Miss Teen International 2005 at the national pageant Saturday July 30 in Chicago. Jordan will tour the world promoting her platform, along with the morals and ethics of the Miss Teen International Pageant. Jordan is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. She is a Chi Omega sorority sister and is involved in many activities including, cheerleading, softball, and Spanish Club. Jordan enjoys dancing, traveling, NASCAR Racing, and volunteering. As the chosen winner of Miss Teen International Jordan Wood receives thousands of dollars in scholarship money and prizes, but more importantly the title will allow her the opportunity to help her chosen organization as its national advocate. Jordan has already begun advocating for public awareness of teenage dating abuse. To learn more about Jordan Wood and her platform visit her website at www.jordanwood.org.(Wood Bros Racing site)(8-4-2005)
- Speed Channel's NASCAR Nation isn't your father's NASCAR show: NASCAR Nation steers clear of typical race reporting, choosing instead to highlight the sport's growing role in today's American pop culture. But Chris Long, SPEED Channel's new VP of Studio Production and the architect behind the flashy new show, is quick to point out that NASCAR Nation is not the model for all future Speed Channel programming, simply another alternative for a rabid fan base that ranks among the most loyal in sports. To capture more of a mainstream entertainment flavor, the cast of NASCAR Nation does not include a single NASCAR driver or crew chief, instead opting for television personality and cover girl Leeann Tweeden to lead a hosting team that includes Vicki Johnson and Craig Reynolds. Field reporters John Willenborg, a contestant from season two of the NBC mega-hit The Apprentice, veteran sports reporter Courtney George, NASCAR.com columnist Marty Smith and newcomer Shannon Spake round out the team. The show itself gains a little celebrity status this year, as the untitled Will Ferrell NASCAR comedy will beginning filming scenes with Tweeden and Reynolds on the NASCAR Nation set in November. NASCAR Nation airs Mondays through Thursdays at 7 and 10 p.m. ET and PT.(Speed Channel)(8-4-2005)
News from August 3, 2005
- Fusion tests at Atlanta: Ford Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Dale Jarrett test drove the new 2006 Ford Fusion for the first time today in the official on-track NASCAR approval phase for the new car. The test took place Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in front of NASCAR officials. Jarrett took to the AMS track at approximately 1:15 p.m. this afternoon, and completed a series of approval runs for NASCAR. The Wood Brothers Racing team prepped and ran the car for Jarrett, who drives for Robert Yates Racing. The new Fusion race car was scheduled to go to the Lockheed wind tunnel later in the day in Marietta, Ga., for its final NASCAR approval stage. #88-Dale Jarrett said: "I think things went really well. I was pleased with the way the new Ford Fusion was as far as the balance entering and exiting the corner. It has a very nice look to it and performed well. We were able to achieve the speed that we were looking for, and hold on to the speed we needed in a 10-lap run. I was very comfortable in the car."(Ford Racing)(8-3-2005)
- 2nd Wood Brothers team? UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: Eddie Wood, co-owner of the Wood Brothers team, says that the team is looking to expand to a two-car team. "We're exploring that right now, but I don't see it happening for '06,'' Wood said in a statement from the team. "We're more concerned for the 21 car for '06 right now. But maybe by '07 we'll have a couple. I wouldn't want more than two. Two, I think, is enough to do what you want to do as far as having somebody to compare off of. When it gets down to it, each car goes to the race track, teammates or not. You hear a lot about teammates working together and you hear a lot about teammates not working together. It's all through the garage -- both sides of it. But, we would be looking in the next couple of years doing that.'' The Wood Brothers have primarily been a single-car team for more than 30 years. Ricky Rudd is the team's current driver. Rudd's three-year contract expires after this season and he's said he planned to decide if he wants to continue racing by late summer.(Roanoke Times)(8-3-2005)
- Congrats: #29 RCR Engineer, Scott Miller and wife Suzette, welcomed an addition to the family on July 22 at 5:00pm when Eva Margaret was born at 5 pounds, 5 ounces, and 18 inches long. Everyone is doing great.(8-3-2005)
- Johnny Herbert to NASCAR? doesn't say much in detail, but a BBC story has a quote by former F-1 driver, Johnny Herbert which says: The 41-year-old has returned to Formula One to become Jordan's new sporting relations manager and is charged with improving the team's public perception. But although he will resist any attempt to test the struggling car, Herbert says he will not retire just yet. "I am at Jordan for the long term but I am still wanting to race and I've got something coming on," he said. "I've always had an interest in NASCAR and it's something I have been working on for a year and I don't know where that's going to end up. "If it does happen that will restrict a little bit what I do but I am still going to be involved with it whatever happens. The racing is still a part of my life it is something I can still do."(BBC.com)(8-3-2005)
- #34 has sponsor for Indy, hopes to attract a primary: PEO Pros, #34 Mach 1 Racing and PJ Jones are discussing a 5 race deal with PEO Pros as a sponsor, with the intent of attracting a big name sponsor to be primary. Mach 1 will field the PEO Pros car first at Indy. More races are TBD. A major sponsor is needed to finish out the 2005 season as proper preparation for a 2006 campaign.(a PJ Jones site.(8-3-2005)
- NASCAR and the Moon: Experience a journey to the Moon, Mars and beyond when NASA brings its new interactive exhibit -- the Vision for Space Exploration Trailer -- to the NASCAR Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, Aug. 5-7. The Vision for Space Exploration Trailer is intended to put visitors' imaginations on the fast track to the farthest reaches of the Solar System, and inspire space enthusiasts as they embark on a simulated journey into space. Housed in a 53-foot-long tractor and trailer rig, the exhibit is designed to share with visitors NASA's exploration goal, which is to return to the Moon and travel to Mars and beyond.
The Vision for Space Exploration Trailer will be located in the Brickyard Plaza and open to the public during NASCAR hours, Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Aug. 6-7, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibit is handicapped accessible.(NASA Site)(8-3-2005)
- Triple Duty for Edwards: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Office Depot [AAA this week] Ford, will have a busy week leading up to Sunday’s Brickyard 400. After competing in a Ken Schrader exhibition race during the middle of the week in Pevely, Mo., Edwards will race in the USAC Silver Crown, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in Indianapolis.(Ford Racing)(8-3-2005)
- Testing ends at Watkins Glen: Over thirty drivers from the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series tested their skills before 9 am at Watkins Glen International Tuesday morning. The test continued until 4:30pm/et. Many NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers tested their Busch Series cars including Michael Waltrip in his #99 Michael Waltrip Racing Chevrolet. Carl Edwards tested both of his cars, including the Busch Series car from the Roush Racing and his NEXTEL Cup car yesterday. Ryan Newman also took to the track both days in his Penske Racing South Busch Series car. Other NEXTEL Cup drivers included Travis Kvapil, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Jeremy Mayfield, and Matt Kenseth. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers were not only testing their car set-ups but also the track improvements to the race track. Road course regular, Scott Pruett, driving the #39 for Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates shared his own feelings on the changes and improvements to the track. "I think that everything they are doing here is going to make tremendous improvements from a safety standpoint and a racing quality on the Cup side," Pruett explained. "Going down into the Inner Loop, the curves are smaller*we didn't want to get on the curves when we raced here last year and now you can use them fairly aggressively." Road course specialist, Terry Labonte was also on track testing the Joe Gibbs Racing #11 which he drove in northern California earlier this year. Other NASCAR Busch Series drivers included J.J. Yeley, Denny Hamlin, Reed Sorenson, and Martin Truex Jr. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 866-461-RACE or by visiting TheGlen.com.(WGI)(8-3-2005)
News from August 2, 2005
- Paul Tracy to run for RCR at Michigan UPDATE: Robin Miller of Speed Channel reports: It won't be official for a few days but Paul Tracy will make his long-awaited NASCAR debut in three weeks at Michigan, driving a fourth car for Richard Childress [probably the #33 team]. The 36-year-old Canadian and Champ Car's winningest active driver is expected to test at MIS this week. Tracy, who will have to qualify on speed, has been hinting for the past year or so he wants to try NASCAR full-time down the road.(Speed Channel)(7-31-2005)
MORE: After nearly two decades as an open wheel racer, Canadian Paul Tracy figures its time to sit in a race car with fenders. The 2003 Champ Car World Series champion has struck a deal with NASCAR team owner Richard Childress to test a stock car over the next two weeks with the eventual goal of competing in the Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21. Tracy will get behind the wheel of a stock car for the first time in his career on Tuesday at Concord (N.C.) Speedway in an ARCA car prepared by former stock car driver and now driving instructor Andy Hillenburg. Tracy then will head to MIS the day after the Brickyard to test the #33 Chevrolet for Childress. If everything falls into place, Tracy will make an attempt to qualify for the race at MIS, which he'll have to do based on speed. Regardless of the outcome of the next three weeks isn't ready to say he's moving to NASCAR. Tracy's interest in NASCAR dates back to 1999 when a friend showed him an article in a NASCAR publication that quoted Childress as saying he'd like to see Tracy in a stock car. Tracy isn't the first open wheel driver in recent years to dabble in the world of stock cars. Several have unsuccessfully attempted the transition into NASCAR, including past Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser, Scott Pruett, Christian Fittipaldi and most recently Mexican driver Michel Jourdain Jr., who ran in the Busch Series this year. Vasser drove two Busch races for Braun Racing in 2003, a year during which he raced in NASCAR, the Indy 500 and in his regular Champ Car ride. Tracy isn't ready to make any official announcements. "Check back with me in a couple of weeks," he said. "I'm going to drive a car a couple of times. I want to go do the race and then, think about what I want to do."(Yahoo!Sports)(8-1-2005)
UPDATE: Open wheel star Paul Tracy will test August 8-9 at Michigan International Speedway in Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) #33 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Chevrolet in preparation for the Aug. 21 GFS Marketplace 400. The Ontario, Canada native is the 2003 Champ Car World Series champion and has 30 victories, ranking him first among the series' active drivers and third all-time. Tracy is currently second in the 2005 point standings with two victories (Milwaukee, June 4; Cleveland, June 26), six top-five finishes and two pole positions after eight of 14 races. He finished second in the July 31 Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose (Calif.).
"Paul and I have talked about an opportunity like this for the past couple years and it has finally come together for Michigan," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "I'd like to thank Gerry Forsythe and Forsythe Championship Racing for allowing us the chance
to give this a try. This will be Paul's first shot in a stock car but he obviously has a great deal of talent and knows how to win races and
championships. We'll take a look at how things go after the test and, if all goes according to plan, get him ready for the Cup race the next
week." Tracy is looking forward to testing his driving skills again at the MIS oval. He competed in Champ Cars there 10 times (1992-2001),
earning four top-five and seven top-10 finishes and a pole position (2000). The 2000 pole speed set the track qualifying record at 234.949
mph (30.645 seconds). "I'm very excited about this opportunity especially at Michigan where I have a lot of experience," said Tracy. "Driving a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car will be totally new to me but my focus is to develop a package that will help Kevin (Harvick), Jeff (Burton) and Dave (Blaney) and their teams for the race weekend. I want to do whatever I can to help."(RCR)(8-2-2005)
- The Red Baron returns at Indy: Ken Schrader will be driving the #49 Dodge emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Red Baron frozen pizza products are distributed under the Schwan's Consumer Brands North America banner, which also markets other leading frozen-food retail brands. Schwan's Consumer Brands is a division of The Schwan Food Company, whose Schwan's Home Service business unit sponsors Schrader and the #49 BAM Dodge throughout the remainder of the season. "Last time we took the Red Baron Dodge out we were pretty fast at Charlotte. Maybe it's something about the black and red paint scheme that makes it look faster, I don't know. I do know this a brand new racecar we're bringing to Indy. The only laps it has turned all year were testing there a few weeks ago. It felt good then and it should feel good this weekend. We're hoping to go out there and have a lot of fun at Indy and bring home a 'major-like' finish; and I believe we can do that," said Schrader.(Williams Company), image of the scheme on my #49 Team Scheme page.(8-2-2005)
- Testing at Atlanta: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series cars took to the track today for the first time since a tornado hit Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 6. In a closed test session, NASCAR officials took data from a Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Bobby Labonte in the morning, and in the afternoon session, Dale Jarrett was behind the wheel in the new Ford Fusion. Official speeds were not released from the test session. "The track is absolutely no different than it was before the tornado," said Labonte. "From a competitors view, there is nothing that I saw today that would keep us from coming here in October." Great seats are still available for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 race weekend. Tickets can be obtained by calling (770) 946-4211 or online at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(8-2-2005)
- Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame winners: This year’s votes have been cast and tallied to determine who will be enshrined in the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame during the UAW-Ford 500 Event Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The 2005 inductees will be Kevin Harvick in the active driver category and Herb Thomas in the inactive driver category. The 2005 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. This year’s induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and will be emceed by Benny Parsons. Admission to the event is free to the general public, and race fans in town for the Sunday, Oct. 2 UAW-Ford 500 are encouraged to attend. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 in honor of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and up to two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on fans’ votes chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines established by the Davey Allison Memorial Park Board of Directors. To qualify for the “active” category, drivers must have achieved at least three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories through the season prior to nomination. For the “inactive” category, a driver must have won a minimum of 19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races or have achieved status as a former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion.(Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame site)(8-2-2005)
- Chase series planned on Speed: Speed Channel plans to launch a weekly show devoted solely to NASCAR's Chase For The Nextel Cup, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. The 10-week series, tentatively titled "The Chase Is On," is scheduled to air from 8:00 to 8:30pm/et Thursdays from Sept. 15 through Nov. 17. Ralph Sheehen will be the host, and the network is looking for a Nextel Cup driver to work with him on a show that is expected to be similar to the NFL Network's "NFL Playbook."(NASCAR Scene Newsletter)(8-2-2005)
- Watkins Glen Testing...no speeds: Almost fifty NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series cars teamed up for an open test today at Watkins Glen International in preparation for the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen and Zippo 200 events August 11-14th. Some of the driverss testing: #39-Scott Pruett (Tues. Only), #42-Jamie McMurray, #41-Casey Mears (Tues. Only), #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #5-Kyle Busch, #20-Tony Stewart, #36-Boris Said, #87-Chris Cook, #77-Travis Kvapil, #32-Ron Fellows, #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton (Tues. Only), #99-Carl Edwards (Tues. Only), #17-Matt Kenseth.
#29-Kevin Harvick shared his thoughts regarding the upcoming SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen. "I think if you make a mistake in turn one you're not going to lose a lap. So that's a good change. The curbs are knocked down and now you can run over them and the car won't jump around. I think the changes are for the good. Getting into the inner loop you're going to be able to pass someone whether the curb is there or not."
Ron Fellows, runner-up in last year's SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen, tested his #32 PPI Motorsports NEXTEL Cup car. Fellow's, an
experienced road racer, commented on the challenges of driving a Nextel Cup car at The Glen, "These cars require much more finesse and
I really enjoy that part of racing. That is the part that you need to continue to work on. They go fast in a straight line but the tough
part is to slow them down and get them through the corners, while still having a fast lap time. The more laps at a track like this the
better you're going to get."
Unfortunately for some, the test didn't go according to plan. Joe Nemecheck spun his Busch Series [#7] car twice in the morning session,
while Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, and Reed Sorenson all made contact with the barriers. Tomorrow will be the final day for the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series testing. Scott Pruett, Casey Mears, Michael Waltrip, and Jeff Burton will be in action, joining those testing today for one last opportunity to setup their cars in preparation for to the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen and Zippo 200 weekend, August 11-14. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 866-461-RACE or by visiting TheGlen.com.(8-2-2005)
- More on Hamilton running Indy: Bobby Hamilton comments on his Allstate 400 at the Brickyard attempt, "We have been working on some chassis stuff for my trucks and ended up building a cup car. We tested it in Indy and ran pretty fast with it. When I got it back home, I had the guys tear it down to see why we were so fast. It surprised me, but made me aware that my teams can compete. It's our first in-house car. We built it ourselves; we bought the chassis from PPI (Motorsports) and then put on our front and rear clips. We have a very good truck organization, but I'm smart enough to know that experience is what counts, and running a Cup team week in and week out is huge. We know we're against all odds going to Indy for the race. We'd like to run good but we don't want to get in the way of the guys running for the Chase. But, we buy our pit passes just like they do so we're going to have some fun if we make it." Hamilton raced in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from 1989-2002 winning four races and finishing a career high of ninth in points in 1996.(BHR PR)(8-2-2005)
- NASCAR eyes own news service: NASCAR Chairman Brian France believes racing is not being adequately covered by the nation's newspapers and wants to create the sport's own news service for newspapers, television and radio stations, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. "You're going to see us get into the content business, very similar in one respect to the NFL channel," France told a cable television industry summit, writer Andy Bernstein reports. "We're going to have to create content that is customized for media outlets." No time table for a launch or other details were reported.(NASCAR Scene Newsletter)(8-2-2005)
- Levi Strauss Signature Family of the Year: Levi Strauss Signature, the title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby (AASBD), announced that the Ringold family from Fredericksburg, Va. has been selected the 2005 "Levi Strauss Signature Family of the Year." The Ringold family was selected for its contributions to this great youth racing pastime by exemplifying the core values of the Levi Strauss Signature brand and the AASBD, which include: teamwork, dedication, competition, perseverance, sportsmanship and a sense of family. The family was nominated by Alvin Staples, director of the Fredericksburg AASBD chapter. Parents, Gregg and Janice, with children, Gennifer and Jonathan, and neighbors, Chris and Daniel, traveled to the 68th AASBD Championship in Akron, Ohio, last weekend, where they were honored during the championship award presentations on Saturday. The entire Ringold family is involved in their local Soap Box Derby
chapter. They are the first to arrive and the last to leave at every event they work including: clinics, inspection weekends and race days.
In addition to their own two children racing, Gregg and Janice have supplied a car and transportation for two neighbors who did not have
the means to race. An official Youth Initiative of NASCAR, the AASBD season runs year-round and is comprised of more than 450 races across the United States and overseas, culminating with the annual event in Akron. Boys and girls ages 8-17 build their own gravity-powered car from kits purchased from the AASBD, typically with assistance from a parent or other adult. Earlier this spring, the Levi Strauss Signature brand entered into a sponsorship agreement with the AASBD to become the title sponsor of
the organization's championship event in Akron, while NASCAR Nextel Cup driver [#48] Jimmie Johnson serves as the Derby's national
spokesperson.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(8-2-2005)
News from August 1, 2005
- NASCAR closes in on TV deal: The negotiations over NASCAR's future television contracts continue out in Beverly Hills, Calif., where Richard Glover reports the process is "right on schedule." NASCAR's energetic vice president of broadcasting and new media hints the sanctioning body's next multi-year deal will look much the same as the current contracts. The Fox/FX and NBC/Turner groups, who have enjoyed NASCAR Nextel Cup broadcast rights since 2001, each want to re-up and continue their split-season relationships with big-league stock car racing. The current $2.4 billion contract ends next season and Glover predicts the next contract will be signed and announced sometime in late November or early December. He said there could be some minor changes, "tweaks" as he called them, to the next big TV contract. The Daytona 500 is apparently some sort of wild card in the process, now that NBC/Turner enjoys the fruits of the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship playoff format. The Chase was added into the mix last season, the fourth year of the current contract.
The ABC/ESPN group, which lost broadcast rights to its competitors after the inaugural NASCAR television contracts were announced in 1999, wants to get back into the racing game. From 1979 through 1999, individual racetracks negotiated their own deals with the TV industry. NASCAR racing was scattered across the dial, with every major network, with the exception of Fox, televising races. NASCAR gathered up all those individual TV rights and went to the negotiating table armed with a racing package. When all was said and done, Fox/FX secured the first half of the Nextel Cup season while NBC/Turner got dibs on the second half of the schedule. Glover says there have been discussions about separating the Nextel Cup and Busch Series in the next TV package. The two series have been attached at the hip in all other previous contract negotiations. ESPN is seriously interested in the Busch Series. "It is one of the things that's being talked about and looked at," Glover said. "That is one of the things we are discussing -- maybe not all the Busch Series races being on a single network. But let's put that into context -- we talk about a lot of things during the negotiating process. It is our hope and belief, and we still think we will end up with packages very similar to what we have now."
Currently, Fox and NBC televise the Daytona 500 on alternating years, but apparently Fox apparently wants to make the race an annual fixture on its broadcast schedule. "That is something being talked about," Glover said. "On one hand it would be good to have same partner for that race every year. On the other hand, the race has been very successful in NBC's Olympic years. Again, that's something being talked about. We have to see where it goes."
Unless CBS or ABC comes rushing in with a surprising 11th-hour bid, the next NASCAR TV contract will look much like it does today.(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-1-2005)
- Rondeau finds a new home: Pete Rondeau has negotiated his release from Dale Earnhardt Inc. and joined Evernham Motorsports [#9, #19, #91]. Rondeau started the season as #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief but was removed from that position after 11 points races. He joined Evernham on July 18 as director of research and development.(Sporting News)(8-1-2005)