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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    AUGUST 29-SEPT 4, 2005





      News from September 4, 2005

    • Kyle Busch as 1st time winner: #5-Kyle Busch won the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway, for his first ever Nextel Cup win and becoming the youngest driver ever to win a race in the Cup Series, Donald Thomas was 20 yrs, 4 months, 6 days old when he won at Lakeland in 1952, Busch is 20 yr, 4 months, 2 days old. Busch led 95 of the 250 laps. Busch is also the 14th driver to win a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series and eighth to win a race and a pole in each series. #16-Greg Biffle was 2nd, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, #99-Carl Edwards and #20-Tony Stewart. #21-Ricky Rudd, starting last after missing practice and qualifying, finished 9th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost an engine late in the race finishing 38th and is now official out of the chase. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 7th and is now in the top-10 in points and currently in the chase as is #42-Jamie McMurray who finished 8th. #12-Ryan Newman and #24-Jeff Gordon fell out of the top-10 and out of the chase.
      For race results and links, see Jayski's California Race Results Page.(9-4-2005)

    • New Team, Wayens? Sean W. Holley, in partnership with with The Wayans Brothers, has established STAR Motorsports, Inc. STAR is composed of a unique mix of experienced motorsports professionals, experienced sports and entertainment executives, sports and entertainment celebrities, and most importantly diversity. STAR will lead by example to ensure that minorities, including women, will become more aware and more involved with motorsports in all facets of the business. STAR fully supports and develops initiatives that encourage diversity throughout the motorsports industry. STAR is committed to partnering with leading corporations, associations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions to foster this result. STAR will field competitive NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series teams. STAR Motorsports is announcing the launch of its first car, STAR-TEAM WAYANS, which will compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2006. The Wayans Brothers are credited for their stand-up comedy, television production such as In Living Color, and movies such as I’m Gonna Get You Sucka!, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, White Chicks, and Scary Movie 1 & 2.
      STAR acknowledges the tremendous and sincere efforts NASCAR has exercised in its Drive for Diversity. “NASCAR, under the direction of Tish Sheets, continues to be brilliant in its numerous efforts, and STAR looks forward to extending assistance to NASCAR in a cohesive manner to enhance this cause,” said Holley. The NASCAR industry already has significant gems of minority influence that transcend ethnic lines, in particular Sam Belnavis. “Sam is an extremely well-respected motorsports pioneer and executive, with a wealth of knowledge,” states Holley. “Someone, who I proudly watch and listen to!” STAR is developing its main operations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Additionally, STAR will have offices in the Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York areas.(Insiderracingnews.com)(9-4-2005)

    • Harvick to the #42? No Comment: Childress: Rumors here [California Speedway] are widespread that Kevin Harvick may be headed to Ganassi’s #42 Texaco Dodge, thus freeing Jamie McMurray to move to Roush Racing [#6] a year early [he signed for 2007]. Richard Childress, who owns the cars Harvick currently drives, wouldn’t comment directly on speculation that the team might be breaking up. Childress did, however, reminisce on the longstanding relationship between him and the late Dale Earnhardt. “He (Earnhardt) had a chance to leave,” said Childress. “I told him in 1985 after we had blown 11 engines that year and run horrible. I told him on the way back from Pocono, we met out by my pool, and I said, ‘Dale, you’re too good of a race driver to be here.’ He said, ‘We made a commitment commitment together, and we’re going to finish it together.’ That was 1985 and we came back next year and won 11 races and the championship, and the same thing in 1987, and the rest is history.”(Gaston Gazette)(9-4-2005)
      AND Kevin Harvick apologized to his team during Speed Channel's broadcast of qualifying for the critical comments he made about them at Bristol last weekend.(News and Record)(9-4-2005)

    • Sadler gets a surfboard: When Elliott Sadler was inducted into [California Speedway] this track’s “Walk of Fame,” an honor bestowed largely because of his victory in the Nextel Cup race run here a year ago, he also received “a Dennis Kemp original commemorative surfboard” as a gift from California Speedway. “We race our butts off 36 times a year,” said Sadler, but it’s times like this that make it all worthwhile.”(Gaston Gazette)(9-4-2005)

    • California Race Notes:
      • Kyle Busch won the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway, scoring his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 31st career start.
      • Busch became the youngest race winner in NASCAR's premiere division. He is 20 yrs., 4 mos. and 2 days. Donald Thomas won at Lakewood Speedway (GA) on dirt on Nov. 16th, 1952 at age 20 yrs., 4mos. 6 days. He was four days older than Busch. Busch is also the youngest Bud Pole winner in NASCAR's premiere division (California on Feb. 26th at age 19 yrs., 9 mos. and 24 days)
      • Busch became the third first-time race winner in 2005, joining Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
      • Busch became the 12th different race winner in 2005.
      • Busch has scored nine top-10 finishes in 25 races in 2005.
      • Busch led 95 laps, the most laps that he has led in a single race in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career. He became the 11th different driver to lead the most laps in a race this season.
      • This is Rick Hendrick’s 136th victory as a car owner and sixth in 12 races this season. It is the fifth victory for Hendrick at California Speedway, the most of any owner.
      • This is the 13th victory by a Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has 10 and Dodge has two.
      Race to the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
      • Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson Greg Biffle, Rusty Wallace, and Mark Martin have clinched a spot in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. • Kurt Busch will secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by starting the race this coming weekend in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
      • The most points a winner can score in a race is 190. The drivers ranked seventh to 10th in the point standings are all just 145 points or less ahead of 11th-place Ryan Newman The drivers ranked 11th thru 17th in the current point standings are all 174 or less behind 10th-place Jamie McMurray.
      • Eleven drivers will be racing for the four remaining unsecured spots in the 2005 Chase to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup at Richmond: Any of the following drivers have a mathematical opportunity to secure a spot in the Chase. The final determination of which drivers secure these spots cannot be made until the end of the race.
      • Jeremy Mayfield (+145 from 11th)
      • Carl Edwards (+86 from 11th)
      • Matt Kenseth (+11 from 11th)
      • Jamie McMurray (+1 from 11th)
      • Ryan Newman (-1 from 10th)
      • Jeff Gordon (-30 from 10th)
      • Elliott Sadler (-52 from 10th)
      • Dale Jarrett (-117 from 10th)
      • Kevin Harvick (-131 from 10th)
      • Joe Nemechek (-135 from 10th)
      • Brian Vickers (-174 from 10th)
      • Seventh-place Jeremy Mayfield will clinch if he finishes 39th or better at Richmond, regardless of any other driver’s performance.
      • Eighth-place Carl Edwards will clinch if he finishes 19th or better at Richmond, regardless of any other driver’s performance.
      • Ninth to 13th in the point standings are separated by just 62 points.
      Richmond May Spell Trouble for Some of the Chase Contenders
      • Dale Jarrett has finished 13th or worse in his last seven races at Richmond International Raceway.
      • Joe Nemechek has finished 18th or worse in his last four races at Richmond International Raceway.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-4-2005)

    • Rudd to race at Calif: Jon Wood, the son of Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood, qualified the #21 Motorcraft Ford 39th while filling in for Ricky Rudd, whose father died Tuesday. Rudd was expected to arrive in California later Saturday and will race on Sunday, starting from the rear of the 43-car field because of the driver change. "With what happened to Ricky's dad and the circumstances leading up to it, I don't think anybody is really in the right frame of mind," the younger Wood said. "I just kind of wanted to make sure I didn't wreck it for him. I was just there filling in a space that needed to be filled."(ESPN.com/AP)(9-4-2005)


      News from September 3, 2005

    • Marlin to MB2 in 2006? UPDATE 3: hearing that Sterling Marlin could be part of the MB2 Motorsports stable of drivers in 2006, replacing Scott Riggs. MB2 is also grooming 20-year-old World of Outlaws driver Kraig Kinser. The 20-year-old driver is part of MB2's driver development program and will make his MB2 debut today in the ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway. He qualified second for the ARCA event. Kinser, son of racing legend Steve Kinser, won Sunday's Knoxville National in central Iowa, the most prestigious event in the World of Outlaws series.
      the #10 Valvoline team with driver Scott Riggs is losing Valvoline as the sponsor and will change car numbers, hearing either #35 or #02, rumored sponsors include: Allstate, Big Lots or/and State Farm. Riggs had a contract extension on the table, but MB2 recently pulled it. Riggs could end up in Evernham Motorsports #10 Valvoline Dodge.(8-19-2005)
      UPDATE: Sterling Marlin has talked to MB2 Motorsports about taking over what's now the #10 car for next season. MB2 Motorsports GM Jay Frye says Marlin is on his short list. Sponsorship and a car number have not been decided, but the team has petitioned NASCAR for 02 or 35. Current driver Scott Riggs, who finished a career-high second at Michigan, is expected to continue with Valvoline and the No. 10 at Evernham Motorsports.(Sporting News)(8-22-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Sterling Marlin appears headed to MB2 Motorsports next season as a teammate of Joe Nemechek, although the veteran racer from Columbia said yesterday the deal is not finalized. "It's a good team with a good engine program," Marlin said. "Joe has won with it." Marlin is expected to take over the team's #10 Chevrolet [will be #35 or #02] currently driven by Scott Riggs. Riggs will move [with the car #10 and Valvoline] to Evernham Motorsports next year. "We're still talking," Marlin said of MB2. "We should know something soon."(Tennessean)(8-27-2005)
      UPDATE 3: been told the announcement will be soon, Marlin to the #35 Chevy for MB2 Motorsports.(9-3-2005)

    • New Charger Nose Status: Dodge teams have struggled with downforce-to-drag balance on the new Charger all year, but a new nose for 2006 could correct the problem. The design for the new nose has been submitted to NASCAR, and approval could come within the next couple of weeks, Dodge director of motorsports John Fernandez said Friday. Dodge has three drivers ranked in the top 10 (Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman) but has won only two of 24 races this year. Teams have complained that the current nose isn't very good aerodynamically and that the cross-haired grille collects debris and causes engine overheating. Fernandez said the Dodge nose is actually no worse at collecting debris than the Ford or Chevy nose, but that the aero issue is legitimate and has been addressed in the redesign.(Tampa Tribune)(9-3-2005)

    • No shortening of races planned: During the gasoline-shortage crisis of the 1970s, NASCAR shortened some races to conserve fuel. That won't happen during the current crisis, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. NASCAR cars run on high-octane gasoline that is produced for racing and supplied by Sunoco. About 100,000 gallons are used a year. Shortening races to save some fuel wouldn't make much of a difference "in the global scope," Poston said. The racing industry has been affected by the soaring gas prices "like everybody else," Poston noted. The cost of transporting cars, equipment and people around the country has risen substantially.(Tampa Tribune)(9-3-2005)

    • Stewart heads a list nominated for SpeedTV Driver of the Year: In the heat of the summer championship races also fired up as SpeedTV's Driver of the Year Award third quarter nominations are announced. Tony Stewart's drive to the top of the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings excited fans not only from both coasts, but, also his home state supporters with his victory at the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Driving the #20-Home Depot Chevrolet, for Joe Gibbs Racing, "Smoke" garnered victories at all kinds of tracks. The list of nominated drivers also includes Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car), Tony Kanaan (IndyCar Series), Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws), Eric Medlin (NHRA), Ryan Newman (NASAR), Dennis Setzer (NASCAR) and Martin Truex Jr. (NASCAR). In its 39th year, the Speed Channel Driver of the Year's award for this quarter will be determined by an independent vote of the 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters and one vote based on the cumulative tally of fans' voting at speedtv.com.
      At the end of the year a special, separate, vote will be held for the SPEED Channel 2005 Driver of the Year. The panelists will have their quarterly vote on September 14th and the fan vote will close soon thereafter.(Speed Channel)(9-3-2005)

    • Wood to practice/Qualify the #21 at Calif UPDATE: Jon Wood, driver of the #47 Clorax Busch Series Ford, will practice and possibly qualify the #21 Motorcraft Ford as driver Ricky Rudd is with family following the death of his father Al Rudd Sr. Plans are for Rudd to run the race Sunday night and extend his consecutive start streak to 777 races.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show/Sporting News)(9-2-2005)
      UPDATE: For the first time since 1964, a man with the last name of Wood is behind the wheel of the famed #21 Ford. Jon Wood filled in for Ricky Rudd during Friday's practice session at California Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Sony HD 500. Rudd was not at the track after attending the funeral of his father, Al Rudd Sr. earlier on Friday in Virginia. Al Rudd, Sr. died on Tuesday after a lengthy illness. Many teams, including all five Roush Racing Fords, are sporting decals on their cars in memory of Rudd Sr. Glen Wood, founder of the family-owned team, drove from 1953-64 and won four times. He competed twice in 1964, capturing one pole and one third-place finish. He earned a grand total of $530. Rudd's status for the remainder of the weekend is still to be determined.(Ford Racing)(9-3-2005)

    • Edwards wins pole at California: #99-Carl Edwards won the Budweiser Pole for the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway with a lap of 185.061mph for his first career pole in his 38th race. Edwards is now in the Budweiser Shootout. Edwards led three other Roush Racing drivers in the top four, with #6-Mark Martin starting 2nd, followed by #97-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle and non-Roush driver #48-Jimmie Johnson. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart starts 14th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 41st. Missing the race were #34-P.J. Jones and #4-John Andretti. Andretti had some sort of problem, couldn't make his run, and missed making it back to the line by the end of the 5-minute clock and didn't get to qualify, the #4 team is out of the top-35 in owners points. #92-Hermie Sadler is running a car that didn't get to the track until this morning as the hauler driver had trouble getting to the track and got only a very little practice time on Saturday, but ran a fast enough of a lap to make the race. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, qualifying 11th.
      For qualifying speeds, starting lineup, pole progression, rookie starts see Jayski's California Practice/Qualifying/Lineup Page.(9-3-2005)
    • California Qualifying Notes:
      • Carl Edwards won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the SONY HD 500, lapping California Speedway in 38.906 seconds at 185.061 mph. Kyle Busch holds the track-qualifying record of 38.248 seconds at 188.245 mph, set Feb. 26, 2005.
      • This is Edwards’s career-first career Bud Pole in 38 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. He joins Kyle Busch and Scott Riggs as the first-time Bud Pole winners this season.
      • This is Edwards’s first top-10 start in three races at California Speedway. He started 19th in each of his other races here.
      • Edwards became the 16th different Bud Pole winner this season. He became the 10th different Bud Pole winner in the 11 races at California – qualifying was rained out in 1999.
      • Mark Martin posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 38.854 seconds, 184.833 mph – and will join Edwards on the front row for the SONY HD 500. It is the fifth top-10 start for Martin this season and his fifth in 11 races at California. His most recent top-10 start here was in 2001.
      • This is the fifth Bud Pole for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 10 Bud Poles and Dodge has eight. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
      • Two drivers failed to qualify for the SONY HD 500: P.J. Jones and John Andretti (who did not take a qualifying lap).
      • Kurt Busch (third) posted his third top-10 start in seven California races. It is his 12th top-10 start this season.
      • Greg Biffle (fourth) posted his third top-10 start in six races at California – all in the past three races. It is his 16th top-10 start this season. Biffle was the fourth of the five Roush Racing entries to qualify in the top-10.
      • Jimmie Johnson (fifth) posted his third top-10 start in his seventh race at California. Johnson career-first victory came when he won the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California in April 2002.
      • This is the first time in the modern era that a car owner has scored a 1-2-3-4 sweep of qualifying. The previous best qualifying sweep for a car owner was when Hendrick Motorsports swept the first three starting positions at Michigan in June 2004.
      • J. J. Yeley (eighth) posted the best qualifying effort of his three-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career. Yeley started 32 and finished 41st in this race in 2004. He then started 36th and finished 27th at Atlanta in October 2004.
      • Ryan Newman (28th) posted his season-worst qualifying effort and failed to post a top-10 start for just the third time this season.
      • Jon Wood (39th) qualified for his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. However, Ricky Rudd is expected to return to the Motorcraft Ford in his place in the SONY HD 500.
      • Mike Garvey (36th) qualified for his eighth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, making the field for the first time since Pocono in July.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-3-2005)


      News from September 2, 2005

    • Jason finishes 3rd; $500 to Computer Fund: The 2005 Hardee's Summer Shootout Series was both memorable and trying. The season began with high hopes as we [Jason Haynes in the #19 Jayski Bandolero] immediately scored a 5th place finish in round 1. That 5th place came with a lack of power, so we decided to buy a new motor to pick up speed for round 2. The second week brought a second place finish, which ended up being the best of the season. From week 3-week 7 the brand new motor brought nothing but trouble and it was eventually replaced by the worn out motor from round 1. Round 8 brought a renewed vigor to the team, and we began placing in the top 5 once again. Being outside the top 5 in points, we worked extremely hard to climb back in. Round 9 saw another top 5 finish which put us within reach of our top 5 goal for round 10. I drove the hardest race I ever have in that final round and led most of the race before eventually finishing 3rd. While disappointed from not winning, I realized that we had accomplished much more and for that I was extremely proud.
      Through it all our team never lost sight of the real reason why we were racing so hard to win. It was not for the personal satisfaction, instead it meant that more money was being raised for the Victory Junction Gang Camp charity. Jay Adamcyzk and Jayski.Com helped support our racing efforts this season and we felt that it was necessary to give back to him and his goal of raising money for his namesake computer lab located at the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Through your efforts this season, approximately $500 will be donated to the camp to help sick children live out their dreams.
      Thanks to our associate sponsors for this season including Turn 2 Collision and Zoom Signs. Also thanks to Action Performance, Goodyear, and Southwest Greens for their donations to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Jason Racing PR)(9-2-2005)

    • Vote for IROC All-Time Team ends soon: Fan voting for the Crown Royal IROC Legend’s of Victory Lane program – representing the first all-time team in series history -- will conclude following the upcoming race weekend at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2005. The late Dale Earnhardt (stock car), Mario Andretti (open-wheel) and Hurley Haywood (road racing), lead their respective racing disciplines. Fans can vote for the four-driver all-time team by logging on to www.crownroyalracing.com. The final team will be honored at the last IROC race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29. In April, 12 drivers in the three racing disciplines were selected by an esteemed media panel based on their career performance in the Series. Other nominees include: Mark Donohue [MY VOTE], Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough. Go to www.crownroyalracing.com to cast your vote.(Speed Channel)(9-2-2005)

    • Bourdais won't rule out move to NASCAR: Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, on his way to a second consecutive Champ Car title, doesn't rule out a move to NASCAR in the future. "Before I say it is my dream to race in NASCAR, I need to see if I am good first," Bourdais said on a conference call Tuesday. "I'm not closing the door on it. I have a good time in the [IROC] stock cars. Maybe somebody will give me a chance to test and see if I'm good." Bourdais, 26, won the IROC event at Texas Motor Speedway in April, proving his skills against top NASCAR drivers on an oval track. He gets a short-track test Thursday night in the IROC race at Richmond. "I've received a lot of help from the NASCAR guys," Bourdais said. "This experience has taught me that NASCAR racing is a whole lot more than just turning left. I'm enjoying the whole thing."(Dallas Morning News)(9-2-2005)

    • Pearson's son racing in ARCA: Eddie Pearson, a tire specialist for Dennis Setzer's Craftsman Truck Series team and a crew member for T.J. Bell's Busch Series entry, will be back behind the wheel this weekend in the ARCA race at DuQuoin, Ill. Pearson will drive a #17 Ford painted blue and gold. If that number and those colors sound familiar, it's because in 1968 and '69, Pearson's father, David Pearson, rode a blue-and-gold #17 Ford to the Nextel Cup titles.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-2-2005)

    • "InTune TV" Teams with UPN to Create Educational Series; Episode Will Feature #66: Peak Performance Motorsports announced a one-race associate sponsorship package with "InTune TV." In conjunction with the partnership, "InTune TV" will be on-hand at the California Speedway this weekend for the Sony HD 500 to film the #66 Jani-King team and driver Mike Garvey for a segment in its show B In Tune. The show will debut on the UPN Network Saturday, September 10. The InTune Foundation Group, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, youth and young adults through music and the arts, will produce an all-new half-hour syndicated music television series in conjunction with the "InTune" monthly music education magazine. "InTune" magazine is currently distributed to media centers and music departments in over 20,000 middle and high schools in all 50 states. InTune TV Racing would not be possible without the efforts of Vanessa Tyler-Thompson. She has assisted in creating other partnerships in racing, which include associations with USAR Hooters Pro Cup driver Scott Seither, champion female racer Sunny Hobbs, and NASCAR driver Dan Pardus. For additional information about the foundation and its productions, logon to www.intuneracing.com or www.vanessalynnracing.com.(PSE-3 PR)(9-2-2005)


      News from September 1, 2005

    • Kenseth loses spotter after 2005: As #17-Matt Kenseth's spotter for the last six years, Mike Calinoff [stockcarcity.com] has experienced the highs and lows of NASCAR's top series. Certainly, Saturday night was the latest of milestones since he guided Matt to rookie-of-the-year honors in 2000. He was the "eyes in the sky" for the #17 Dewalt Ford when Matt delivered Jack Roush's long-awaited first title. But he's also witnessed the frustrations of maintaining a championship caliber team over the long haul. When the cars roll out at Daytona next February, Calinoff's unmistakable bass will be booming over #40-David Stremme's radio channel. In addition to his spotting duties, Calinoff will also oversee the day-to-day business aspects for the Ganassi Racing up-and-comer. There's an opportunity for growth with Ganassi, whereas the Roush spotter's gig didn't offer for the chance for advancement. And like any new relationship, Stremme's deal will be loaded with firsts -- first pole, first win and if Calinoff is lucky, a first title.(Sporting News)(9-1-2005)

    • Johnson to test at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to test on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in prep for the Nov. 6th Dickies 500. No word on if it is open to the public.(TMS)(9-1-2005)

    • 2006 #48 Scheme? UPDATE yep, more images: have posted what is supposed to be the new #48 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevy scheme for 2006, see it in my 2006 #48 Team Schemes page. Supposedly the new scheme will be officially unveiled on Thursday at a Lowe's store in CA.(8-30-2005)
      UPDATE - Lowe's Employee Designs New Paint Scheme For 2006 #48 car: Jimmie Johnson unveiled a redesigned version of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet today at the Lowe's store in Santee, Calif., just minutes from his hometown of El Cajon. The newly painted No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet was designed by a Lowe's employee and serves as the first major redesign of the car since Johnson assumed driving duties in 2001. The new design, one of six finalists, was the top choice of the more than 20,000 employees who voted. The scheme was submitted by Bryan Turnmire, a production artist at Lowe's corporate office in Mooresville, N.C., a fact that was unknown to the voters. Turnmire is a 14-year Lowe's employee, originally from Creston, N.C. The new paint scheme will debut at the Nextel Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, where hundreds of Lowe's employees who represent the top stores in the company will be in attendance. The #48 Chevrolet will make its full-time debut in the 2006 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. See my 2006 #48 Team Schemes page(9-1-2005)

    • Sad News: Ricky Rudd's father Al Rudd, Sr. died Tuesday evening following a lengthy illness. Arrangements for a private service are pending. According to the family, donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
      AND Wood Brothers Racing learned that Al Rudd, Sr., father of driver Ricky Rudd, passed away late Tuesday following a lengthy illness. The senior Rudd, a former racer himself, was instrumental in Ricky's career having fielded early entries in NASCAR competition with a family sponsored team under the Al Rudd Auto Parts banner. He also supported Ricky's Kart and Enduro racing. The team extends its deepest sympathy to Ricky and his entire family. There will be a private funeral service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.
      See more info on Al Rudd Sr. at Hamptonroads.com.(9-1-2005)

    • Gordon and Ellen: Four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to appear on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" next Monday [Labor Day, Sept. 5th]. Gordon will become the first NASCAR driver to appear on the syndicated program, which originates at NBC Studios in Los Angeles and has won two consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show. Check local listings for show schedules.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-31-2005)
      NOTE: actually #42-Jamie McMurray and #41-Casey Mears were to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Feb. 23, 2005, but supposedly were bumped.(9-1-2005)

    • Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Matt Kenseth as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 27, Linda H. of Paducah, KY was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Linda picked Matt Kenseth 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 Matt Kenseth. This is the fourth time this year that a donation in Kenseth's name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Communications)(9-1-2005)

    • Goodyear Tire Notes - California: This is the second consecutive race that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to California . . . both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . this is the fourth of five Nextel Cup race weekends on which this tire set-up will be run in 2005 . . . in addition to California (twice), this combination was run at Michigan (June only) and Chicagoland already, and will be run for the final time at Kansas next month . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . the inflation in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage. See the full tires notes, quotes and specs on my California Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-1-2005)

    • Bliss back in the #0 in 2006: per a NASCAR.com article, Conversation: Mike Bliss:
      Q: Looking long-term, have you and team owner Gene Haas begun discussing what your future plans are with Haas CNC Racing?
      Bliss: I talked with Joe Custer, our general manager [Tuesday] morning about where we're at now, and how do we get better because we're 26th or 27th in points. But it looks good for next year, and I was pretty pleased because I want to stay here. I see us becoming a really good team and I didn't want to go anywhere else. I think Joe feels that way, and the way I walked out of there it was pretty much a handshake and go on with next year.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2005)

    • New NASCAR Hire: NASCAR announced the hiring of Lazaro "Laz" Benitez Manager of East Regional Media Outreach. Benitez will be based in NASCAR's New York City office and will be responsible for communications planning and managing all media outreach efforts to raise awareness about NASCAR in the Northeast.(NASCAR)(9-1-2005)

    • Wally's World at Calif: Josh Duhamel, star of NBC's "Las Vegas," faces some high stakes on Sunday as he goes for a ride with NBC & TNT race analyst Wally Dallenbach on "Wally's World," and also serves as Grand Marshal for the Nextel Cup race at California Speedway, giving the "Gentlemen, start your engines" command.(NBC PR)(9-1-2005)

    • Earnhardt Jr. Participates In Pursuit Training With Roanoke PD: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was chased by two police cars Wednesday - and when the chase ended he got a pack on the back and a handshake from the officers instead of a ticket. Earnhardt Jr. participated in a pursuit training exercise with the Roanoke Police Department on the Texas Motor Speedway infield road course. Earnhardt Jr., wheeling a silver 2005 Chevrolet Corvette, was the chase subject as Roanoke's finest were in hot pursuit in fully loaded squad cars with the sirens blaring and lights flashing. Roanoke Lt. Robert Crawford, Officer James Johnson and Traffic Officer Gary Stroud joined Earnhardt Jr. during the simulation with Lt. Crawford and Officer Johnson driving the squad cars. Traffic Officer Stroud helped end the pursuit by pulling his vehicle across the road course to block Earnhardt Jr.'s path as well as throw down a "spike" strip to simulate an actual highway situation. Earnhardt Jr. admitted that this was the first time he has been involved in a police "chase." Earnhardt Jr.'s pursuit ended with Traffic Officer Stroud blocking the road, and the NASCAR star then broke into a series of doughnuts in the 'Vette, filling the speedway infield with tire smoke. "Doing doughnuts is always a good time," Earnhardt Jr. said with a smile.(TMS PR)(9-1-2005)

    • Yeley and Fedex Racing to Visit Boys and Girls Club: FedEx is hosting a special “racing camp” at the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Clubs to share the NASCAR racing experience with area youth. While there, FedEx will present the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Clubs (LABGC) with a $25,000 contribution to advance the non-profit organization’s on-going mission to inspire and empower young people in the Los Angeles area. During the event, more than 100 participating youth will have the opportunity to meet NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley, see the FedEx # 11 Chevrolet up-close and race radio-controlled cars against Yeley.(JGR PR)(9-1-2005)

    • Mikey gives LA Mayor a ride: Los Angles, CA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will ride to work in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race car with #15-Michael Waltrip on Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 9:00am from the Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Mayor Villaraigosa will be joined by Michael Waltrip, the two-time Daytona 500 winner who is in town in preparation for this weekend's Sony HD 500 race at the California Speedway. Waltrip will pick up the Mayor at Staples Center and give him a ride to City Hall in a NEXTEL Cup race car.(PR)(9-1-2005)

    • Mears going surfing: #41-Casey Mears will be hitting the waves of the Pacific Ocean with professional surfer Pat O'Connell while in California. O'Connell, the star of the movie "Endless Summer II," will be giving Mears surfing lessons at the Huntington Beach Pier on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Later that afternoon, O'Connell will be switching gears by receiving a ride-a-long at California Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-1-2005)


      News from August 31, 2005

    • Claification - Harvick: some reports/articles/columns report that Kevin Harvick's contract with Richard Childress Racing ends at the end of the 2005 season. That is not true. As reported many times, Harvick himself has said [6-15-05 and 8-30-05] his contract with RCR is through 2006. Back in March 2003 when the contract was signed, the terms were 3 year extension [2004-2006] with an additional 2-year right of first refusal. Back then GM Goodwrench, sponsor of Harvicks #29 Chevy in Nextel Cup, signed thru 2006.(8-31-2005)

    • Testing at NHIS: #6-Mark Martin and #10-Scott Riggs are testing today [8-31]at New Hampshire International Speedway in preparation for the Sylvania 300 on Sunday, September 18, which is the first race in the "Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup 2005." This is the second day of testing for both drivers.(NHIS PR)(8-31-2005)

    • Kaboom and Stewart at California: On Aug. 31 Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy will be participating in a KaBOOM! playground build at the Pomona (Calif.) YMCA and will be running a special paint scheme during the Sony HD 500 to help promote the build. Stewart said: "It's a pretty cool deal. It's a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM!. We've done some KaBOOM! builds in the past, and they're great because unlike an autograph session or other kinds of appearances, you know you're actually doing something. The Pomona YMCA build is the fifth of 10 playground builds we'll be doing this year, and all of them are done in a single day. All of the playgrounds are NASCAR-themed and they're all taking place in race markets. But I know that Joe (Gibbs, team owner) won't let me touch any power tools or anything with a sharp edge. So I might just be stuck shoveling gravel or something. But if my tools don't make some kind of noise or aren't capable of making mass destruction of something, I'll be a little disappointed."(JGR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2005)

    • Jarrett still not talking UPDATE: Among the contenders practicing Monday at Richmond was #88-Dale Jarrett, who declined interview requests in the wake of a controversial crash with #12-Ryan Newman at Bristol. Jarrett is scheduled to return Tuesday to test.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-30-2005)
      UPDATE: Jarrett was spun out for the second time of the night on lap 301 when Ryan Newman hit Jarrett from behind. Sixteen laps later, while racing with the lap down cars, Jarrett's car broke loose going into turn one and got into Newman. The UPS Team lost several laps during the caution period while making repairs and then Jarrett was slapped with a two-lap penalty for what NASCAR considered rough driving. "It wasn't our night," said a dejected Jarrett. "We had some handling issues early and then we kept getting hit. The handling on the car just wasn't right after Ryan got into me and I couldn't keep the car down in the corners. This pretty much seals our fate in regards to making the Chase," he added. "We went for so long this season without having issues like this. I guess we're due."(UPS Racing)(8-31-2005)

    • #4 to sport LA Dodgers Logo for California Race: The Morgan-McClure # 4 Lucas Oil Chevy will be carrying the LA Dodgers logo on the trunk lid for this weekend's Sony HD 500 at the California Speedway. "We are very proud to have the Dodgers riding along with us on our Lucas Oil Chevy this weekend in California" said Larry McClure, President and Team Manager of Morgan-McClure Motorsports. "I've always been a Dodgers fan and we look forward to having Tommy Lasorda visit with us at the track on Sunday."(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(8-31-2005)

    • Special scheme at Kansas for Mayfield: On October 9th at Kansas Speedway, #19-Jeremy Mayfield will race a special paint scheme featuring Mountain Dew's newest flavor, "Pitch Black". Mountain Dew Pitch Black combines the great taste of Mountain Dew with a blast of black grape flavor.(Action), see an image of the scheme on my #19 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2005)

    • The Stones and NASCAR: The Rolling Stones and NASCAR have partnered for a promotional video that rolls into cinemas nationwide September 2. At nearly 2 1/2 minutes, the NASCAR spot features "Driving Too Fast," a track from the Stones' new album, "A Bigger Bang," due out in the United States on September 6 through Virgin. Running through September 29, the ad will run on more than 5,800 movie screens, including those owned by leading theater chains, Regal and United Artists. Akin to a music video, the spot sheds light on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races on TNT. For the Stones, the exposure also coincides with their new world tour, which reaches Detroit Wednesday.(Yahoo)(8-31-2005)

    • Snap-on scheme for #29 at Charlotte in Oct: This year marks the 85th anniversary of Snap-On Tools, the global leader in professional tools. For the past 85 years Snap-On Tools has been providing its customers with their favorite hand tools, power tools, industrial tools, tool storage products, tool boxes, automotive diagnostics, and shop equipment. To commemorate this exciting anniversary, #29-Kevin Harvick will be drilling into the competition in a special Snap-On 85th Anniversary special paint scheme on October 15th at the Charlotte Nextel Cup event.(Action), see image of the scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2005)

    • Blaney and Burton testing at Milwaukee: Dave Blaney and the #07 Jack Daniel’s Racing Team and Jeff Burton and #31 Team Cingular are scheduled to test at The Milwaukee Mile on Wednesday, August 31 in preparation for the upcoming Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.(RCR PR)(8-31-2005)

    • Harvick tests at Milwaukee: Kevin Harvick and the #29 team tested at The Milwaukee Mile on Monday. While missing the Chase might have been a good reason to cancel the test, GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier continues to work to improve the team’s program for the final races and get a head start on next years season.(RCR PR)(8-31-2005)

    • Sprint Brings Thrill of NEXTEL Cup Series to Inner-City Youth: Sprint has partnered with NASCAR and Magic Johnson Theaters to bring the thrill of NASCAR to inner-city youth on Wednesday, August 31st. Children from Los Angeles area youth organizations will visit the Magic Johnson Theater in Inglewood, Calif. for a private screening of Herbie: Fully Loaded. The kids will also receive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series gift bags and have the opportunity to meet professional stock car drivers [none naamed..yet]. Kerry McGonigal, Director, Business Solutions at Sprint will present the Magic Johnson Foundation with a $2,000 check to benefit inner-city youth.(Business Wire)(8-31-2005)


      News from August 30, 2005

    • NC Auto Racing HOF to Honor Pearson and Yates: David Pearson and Robert Yates, two of racing's elite competitors, will be honored by the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame at its annual induction ceremonies on Oct. 12 at Mooresville's Charles Mack Citizens Center. Pearson, a three-time NASCAR champion and one of stock car racing's most celebrated drivers, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Yates, a championship team owner and engine builder, will receive the coveted Snap-On Golden Wrench Award for his outstanding contributions to the sport. "Both of these men brought something different to the sport," said Don Miller, co-founder and chairman of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. "David was an extremely talented driver and Robert was an equally talented engine builder before becoming a team owner. Both men set a competitive standard for the sport that continues to be the yardstick by which success is measured today."
      Pearson achieved everything possible in his NASCAR racing career that began in 1960 and lasted through 1986. His career statistics are nothing short of amazing. With 105 victories and 111 poles, he ranks second in both categories to Richard Petty on the all-time race winners' list and all-time pole winners' list. In starts, his 574 ranks him ninth on that all-time list. He also was crowned the 1966, 1968 and 1969 NASCAR Grand National Champion [now NEXTEL Cup].
      Yates has been one of NASCAR's premier engine builders for more than 30 years. He built the engines that carried Bobby Allison to his 1983 NASCAR championship and Petty to his 200th victory at Daytona in July 1984. After years of hard work under the hood, he took his career to the next level by purchasing a race team in the late 1980s. His two race teams have since posted more that 50 victories in addition to the 1999 championship in NASCAR'S premier division with driver Dale Jarrett.
      The 2005 induction ceremonies will be presented by Alltel in association with Snap-On Tools. Alltel provides communications to 13 million customers in more than 26 states and has information service clients in 54 countries and territories.
      Located in Mooresville, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame celebrates the rich heritage of motorsports and its cultural contributions to society. It opened its doors in 1994 and now welcomes more than 300,000 visitors annually. More than 38,000 fans visited the Hall of Fame during Charlotte race weeks in May 2005.
      A non-profit museum, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is dedicated to all forms of motorsports - from drag racing to stock cars. It houses more than 35 cars as well as numerous displays and showcases. Past inductees into the museum's Hall of Fame include Tim Flock, Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, Bill France Sr., Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Cale Yarborough, Ralph Moody Jr. and Dale Earnhardt. For more information about the museum and the ninth annual induction ceremony, log on to www.ncarhof.com.(8-30-2005)

    • Bristol TV Ratings up 15%: Turner Network Television says Nielsen Media Research ratings for TNT's coverage of Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway were up 15% from last year. TNT says the race earned a 3.9 U.S. rating (a 4.7 national cable rating), up from 3.4 (4.2 cable) in 2004. This year's race was seen in 4.25 million homes, up from 3.72 million homes last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-30-2005)

    • Sad News: NASCAR’s first chief scorer and timer, Joe Epton, passed away on August 29, 2005 in Green Cove Springs, Fla., at the age of 85. Epton was born on February 6, 1920 in Cherokee Springs, S.C. and began attending stock car races at the fairgrounds track in Spartanburg at a young age. He struck up a friendship with the legendary driver/promoter Joe Littlejohn, who staged the Spartanburg races, and soon Epton was working for Littlejohn in a variety of positions, including chief scorer. Epton became NASCAR’s chief timer and scorer in 1947 with the formation of the sanctioning body, and he held that position until 1985. His contributions to the sport helped bring the world of electronic timing and scoring to what it is today. During his tenure, Epton was known as one of the best-liked officials who counted many of the drivers as friends. He was always in the pit area prior to the races, chatting with competitors and crew alike. His large stature and ready smile will be missed by all who knew Joe Epton.
      The funeral service for Mr. Epton will be held on Thursday, September 1, at 9 a.m. at Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla., with Rev. Doug Harrell officiating. His family will receive friends on Wednesday, August 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lohman Funeral Home in Ormond Beach, Fla.
      In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in his memory to Central Baptist Church, 142 Fairview Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32114, and Living Legends of Auto Racing, P.O. Box 290854, Port Orange, FL 32129-0854. Condolences may be made via the family guest book at www.lohmanfuneralhomes.com.(NASCAR)(8-30-2005)

    • Harvick putting the pressure on RCR UPDATE to the #42? #77?: #29-Kevin Harvick, saying he’s putting pressure on [Richard] Childress to improve the team and could leave next year if his things don’t go the way he wants. “I’m checking things out and really just trying to see how it all goes,” Harvick said Friday. “We’ll race to the end of the year and see what happens.” Queried about his relationship with his car owner, Harvick added, “I think I’ve been leaning on him pretty hard … I just want to see some improvement in the whole organization.”(Speed Channel)(8-27-2005)
      UPDATE: After Kevin Harvick was caught up in the Jarrett-Newman [2nd] wreck, he got out of his car and ripped his team and his spotter on camera. “Happy” has been increasingly vocal in his public criticism of his RCR team, leading to speculation that he’s angling to leave for what he perceives to be greener pastures. The buzz is that he wants to replace Jamie McMurray next year in Chip Ganassi’s #42 Texaco Dodge, which would free McMurray to replace Mark Martin in Jack Roush’s #6 Ford in 2006, which in turn would mean Roush might allow Kurt Busch to leave to join Roger Penske’s team next year, replacing Rusty Wallace. And with Scott Riggs leaving MB2 Motorsports to drive Ray Evernham’s third [#10] car next year, soon-to-be-former-Ganassi-driver Sterling Marlin might take Riggs’s spot with MB2 next year.(Speed Channel), plus hearing Harvick could end up at Penske Racing, but in the #77 Dodge. Harvick was rumored to be going to the #2 a few months ago, but denied it saying he was getting ready to announce something special with RCR....obviously things have soured between Harvick and RCR, BUT Harvick is signed with RDR thru 2006.
      AND After the race [at Bristol], Kevin Harvick responded to a TNT report that he refused to get back into the team's car after it was repaired. Harvick's car was damaged when he slammed into Ryan Newman after Dale Jarrett spun Newman. "I didn't think they'd fix it,'' Harvick told NASCAR.com. "The throttle was hung wide open and they got it fixed, so I came back and got in it. It's disappointing, but what do you do?"(Greensboro News and Record)(8-30-2005)

    • GlaxoSmithKline and Labonte Fight Asthma with ACT at California: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will display a unique message paint scheme at California Speedway during the Nextel Cup Sony HD 500 race on September 4. The sponsorship is to help raise awareness of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and to motivate asthma patients to assess their level of control and encourage them to talk with their doctor about their asthma symptoms. GlaxoSmithKline will also bring an AsthmaControl mobile exhibit to the California Speedway on Sunday, September 4th to allow asthma patients to take ACT on site and to learn more about their asthma.(JGR), see image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2005)

    • Green gets his Wheaties: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Wheaties Dodge head to the two-mile California Speedway for Sunday's Sony HD 500. Green's Wheaties Dodge will be racing for a cause this weekend. For each lap that the team completes, Wheaties will donate $43 to "The First Tee," a national organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Green hopes to raise nearly $11,000 for the cause; that amount could double if he wins the race. (Williams Company), see image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2005)

    • Red Barons for KS this week: Ken Schrader and the #49 Red Baron Frozen Pizza Dodge return this week to the two-mile California Speedway. Driving a car emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week. 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 that include Tony's and Freschetta frozen pizzas, Pagoda Asian specialties, and Larry's potato side-dishes. 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.(Williams Company), see images of the scheme on my #49 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2005)

    • ISC and Bruton to buy Action? UPDATE: In an unusual pairing, the France family's International Speedway Corp. and Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports are teaming to buy Action Performance, which sells racing souvenirs, for a reported $13 a share, according to sources close to the negotiations. Action Performance and the Jack Roush-owned Team Caliber are the top two souvenir companies in the NASCAR world, and Daytona executives have been interested in acquiring souvenir rights to all NASCAR stars in order to package them as part of a stock-car racing "mall" at each of the Nextel Cup tour's top tracks.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-24-2005)
      UPDATE - OFFICIAL: International Speedway Corporation ("ISC"), Speedway Motorsports Incorporated ("SMI") and Action Performance Companies Inc. ("Action") today announced the following: ISC and SMI have partnered in a joint venture, which will conduct business under the name Motorsports Authentics, to create a leader in the production, marketing and sales of motorsports licensed merchandise, including apparel and souvenirs. Motorsports Authentics will operate as an independent company with ISC and SMI as equal owners. See more on my Collectible Links/News page. For more information about Action Performance go to www.action-performance.com.(SMI PR)(8-30-2005)


      News from August 29, 2005

    • Testing at Richmond: As the hours and minutes tick down to the waving of the green flag for the Chase weekend at Richmond International Raceway, several NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series teams have tests planned at the 3/4-mile facility. Test sessions at Richmond International Raceway are free to the public. Fans can enter the track through gate 70 on the frontstretch.
      The scheduled list of dates and drivers:
      Monday, August 29
      NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: #15-Michael Waltrip; #17-Matt Kenseth; #19-Jeremy Mayfield; #42-Jamie McMurray; #24-David Green [testing Gordon's car]; and #5-Kyle Busch
      Tuesday, August 30
      NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: #15-Michael Waltrip; #17-Matt Kenseth; #19-Jeremy Mayfield; #24-Jeff Gordon; #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; #88-Dale Jarrett
      Wednesday, August 31
      NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: #12-Ryan Newman; #22-Scott Wimmer
      Tickets and information for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Weekend are available online or by calling 1-866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR Site)(8-29-2005)

    • NBC/TNT Balking at TV $$: NBC Universal Sports and Turner Broadcasting have told NASCAR they won't pay the kind of double-digit television rights fee increases the sanctioning body wants, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. In a story attributed to multiple industry sources, the publication also says the two have also rebuffed NASCAR's request to move up the negotiating timetable. The story says the sides held only sporadic meetings this summer that made little progress in lining up a new contract to replace the one that expires after the 2006 season. NBC and Turner currently share NASCAR rights for the second half of each season, and the story says Turner will likely try to strike its own deal if NBC decides not to renew. Writer Andy Bernstein reports that NASCAR officials believe they can get the sort of 27% fee increases that the NFL got for its broadcast packages with Fox and CBS, noting that ABC and ESPN have expressed interest in carrying NASCAR races.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-29-2005)

    • Reiser Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Bristol: Matt Kenseth and Robbie Reiser brought a new meaning to the word dominance this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kenseth not only sat on the pole for the Sharpie 500, but led 415 of 500 laps before the #17 DeWalt Ford took the checkered flag. For sweeping the weekend, Reiser was voted the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Kenseth's victory snapped a 57 week winless streak and put the 2003 champ back in the thick of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He currently sits 11th the championship standings, only eleven points out of 10th. "This team hasn't run that well this year, but the last couple of weeks it's really been coming around," said Reiser. "These guys have stuck to it and I don't have one guy that has spent the season complaining. They've pretty much just gone to work. The last two months have been real strong for this team and these guys are behind it 100 percent. I think when everybody had written us out of the chase that was more than a challenge than anything else and they wanted to step up to the challenge and turn the thing around. There are a lot of guys on the 17 (team) that have been there a long time and those guys have a lot of pride and they aren't going to go down without a fight."
      The panel of voters; including Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal, a WYPALL Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; all cast their vote for Robbie Reiser as the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Doug Richert leads the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson, Bob Osborne, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Robbie Reiser and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(8-29-2005)

    • Papis Tests for Hendrick: Road-course driver Max Papis spent Aug. 23-24 testing with NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports at Road Atlanta in an effort to evaluate the team's gearboxes used specifically in a road-racing configuration. Papis drove the demanding Georgia course in one of Hendrick's NEXTEL Cup Series Chevrolets [#48], which was used as a backup race car at Watkins Glen, N.Y., the most recent road race on the circuit. The Italian driver, who tested Road Atlanta solely in race trim, gave excellent feedback throughout the two-day session and helped garner vital information for Hendrick Motorsports. Max Papis is a works driver for General Motors Racing. He drives Corvette C6.R's in endurance races such as the 24 hours of Le Mans and Cadillac CTS' in American Le Mans Series sprint races. He also keeps a busy schedule filling his time in the Grand-Am series where he pilots the TRG Pontiac prototype in selected sports car races. Max will return to Road Atlanta in four weeks time where he will drive a works Corvette C6.R in the ALMS Petite Le Mans event. Max Papis said, "First I must thank everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for presenting me with this opportunity. Everyone was so professional and helpful. This was my first time on a road course in a Cup car. To be able to do such a test in one of the best Cup cars, with one of the best teams was a great learning experience for me. I felt at home after the first twenty laps. To drive one of these cars really fast requires such finesse and focus, and I have to tell you that the engine is incredible! The car is like a rocket down the straights! I think my experience in different types of racecars really helped me in being able to evaluate and offer useful feedback to the team. I think we made good progress in evaluating the team's road race transmissions. It was all hard work, but for me it was fun. Not only because I had the opportunity to drive such a good car, but also because the guy's at Hendrick Motorsports were so good to work with. I would love to be able to work with them again."
      Ken Howes - VP Competition, Hendrick Motorsports: "The main reason we scheduled this test with Max was to evaluate the reliability of our transmissions in a road race set-up. We asked Max to drive for us because of his road racing abilities and his experience in a variety of different types of racecars. We felt he could help out. We also wanted his input on all aspects of the car. Another point of view. We now have lots of data to sift through. We learned a lot and are very pleased with Max' efforts. It was a very good test."(Max Papis site)(8-29-2005)

    • France squashes NFL rumor...again: Brian France denies rumors he is relinquishing his job as NASCAR chief executive officer to start an NFL franchise in Los Angeles. "I'm having a great time, and I have the support of our board and family, and we're having a great year," France said Saturday at Bristol. "We have the car of tomorrow coming up. I want to expand us internationally over the next five or 10 years, and I still want to stay on course with our diversity efforts." France added he's committed to push NASCAR's "big agenda" and won't rest until he makes "NASCAR the most exciting racing in the world."(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(8-29-2005)

    • No Decision on 2006 #11 driver; No FedX to #18: Joe Gibbs Racing Team Manager Jimmy Makar said no decision has been made yet on a driver for the team’s #11 FedEx-sponsored Chevrolet for next season. Makar said the team’s Busch drivers, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley, will each get seat time in the Cup car before the end of the year and are both in contention for the ride “if they show promise.” Makar also said the team definitely will run three cars in 2006, adding there was no truth to the rumors that FedEx could move to Bobby Labonte’s #18.(Speed Channel)(8-29-2005)

    • Latest on Busch/Roush/Penske: Hanging over Jack Roush at the moment is the Kurt Busch affair. Busch has signed a contract to drive for Roger Penske beginning in 2007, and he says he'd like to leave Roush at the end of this season. Roush has so far said no. However, Penske officials say they fully expect to get Busch for next season, though it may not be until October that they can get everything sorted out. Roush though shows no signs of yielding. "The structure that surrounds our business, we need rules for the technical aspects of it, and we need rules and guidelines and to make commitments that work for our business ... and I guess we're going to have some trials with those things right now to see if the structure we've got with our business works so we can make guarantees," Roush said of the Busch contracts. But I'm looking to Kurt being in my car next season, and for (sponsors) Newell-Rubbermaid, Sharpie and Diageo (Crown Royal), to the extent that they negotiate with one another and get happy with it in 2006. And then we'll make new plans for 2007."(Winston Salem Journal)(8-29-2005)



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