Hall of Fames Museums
SEPT 12-18, 2005
News from September 18, 2005
- Newman wins at New Hampshire: #12-Ryan Newman won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a exciting pass with 2 laps to go for his 1st win of 2005 and 12th of his career. Newman's win makes him the 13th different driver to win a race in 2005. It was Newman's first win in 34 races, since Dover in Sept last year. #20-Tony Stewart led 173 of 300 laps, including lap 298, before he and Newman dueled for the lead with Newman getting the win. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 3rd, followed by #16-Greg Biffle and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart increases his points lead to 20 over Biffle. #97-Kurt Busch wrecked early in the race but the team fixed the car and he finished 35th gaining an extra 24 points, but is now 10th in The Chase and 142 behind Stewart. #7-Robby Gordon, while running upfront, got together with #15-Michael Waltrip, Gordon then tried to back into Waltrip missed, tossed his helmet at Waltrip and used a 'bad word' during a TNT interview, so look for penalties on Tuesday or so. #9-Kahne wrecked when #5-Busch came up the track and hit Kahne, Kahne then drove around the track and waited for Busch and Kahne made a hard right accross Busch's nose, Busch was able to stop and get minimal damage. Many drivers were called to the NASCAR Trailer after the race.
See my New Hamp Race Info/Rundown Page, for race rundown, caution info, lucky dogs, race notes, lap leaders, etc.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski's New Hampshire Race Results/Awards page.(9-18-2005)
- Harvick staying at RCR in 2006 UPDATE but?: Kevin Harvick will be back behind the wheel of Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet for the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Series season. Speculation has fueled rumors that the 2001 NEXTEL Cup Series Rookie of the Year would move to another team at the end of this season. RCR President and CEO Richard Childress hopes to put that speculation to rest. "Kevin will be the driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy next season," said Childress. "He and I have committed to moving forward together in fulfilling our current agreement, which runs through 2006, and we anticipate being together for many years beyond that. Our focus is on continuing to improve our performance this year and being a championship contender in 2006."
Harvick is in his fifth year of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition, all with RCR, and has five victories, 30 top-five and 63 top-10
finishes, and four poles. He is currently 14th in this season's point standings with one victory, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
In his sixth season of driving in the NASCAR Busch Series for RCR, he has 16 victories, 60 top-five and 85 top-10 finishes, and 13 poles.
"Richard has made key additions to RCR that will benefit the organization," said Harvick. We are both committed to make 2006 a
successful season. I've always intended to fulfill my obligations to Richard, RCR and all of our sponsors."(RCR PR)(9-16-2005)
UPDATE the Winston Salem Journal reports.....Kevin Harvick has been noticeably unhappy this season. And even Friday's unusual announcement by car owner Richard Childress that he and Harvick would be living up to their contract and sticking together through the 2006 season hasn't diminished speculation that Harvick has something in the works. There's speculation that he might have a 2007 game plan with car owners Roger Penske or Chip Ganassi. The Ganassi option seems logical. Jamie McMurray has signed a 2007 contract to take Mark Martin's place with Jack Roush, so Ganassi has that hole to fill. So this year's version of NASCAR's annual game of musical chairs has taken on an unusual tone. Now, might Ganassi release McMurray to Roush for 2006, if Ganassi could get Harvick from Childress, and would that be enough inducement for Roush to release Kurt Busch to Penske for 2006?(Winston Salem Journal)(9-18-2005)
- NHIS Celebrates Rusty's "Last Call": New Hampshire International Speedway celebrates Rusty Wallace's "Last Call" at today's Sylvania 300 with a special presentation during the pre-race ceremonies. Rusty will be presented with an original painting by local artist Jane Gilltrap Bready. This unique painting commemorates Rusty's win in the inaugural Nextel Cup Series event at "The Magic Mile" in July of 1993 and his "Last Call" run today. Mark Martin, the inaugural event pole winner, is also celebrated in the painting. This tribute
to two NASCAR legends graces the cover of today's Sylvania 300 souvenir program. For more information on Bready's work, please visit www.janebready.com.(NHIS PR)(9-18-2005)
- Vickers car impounded UPDATE 2: the primary #25 Chevy failed inspection before the first practice and the team worked on the car and presented it before the 2nd practice [Happy Hour] and it failed inspection again and was impounded and confiscated by NASCAR. The team worked feverishly to get the back up car out and ready to pass inpsection to make a practice run but looks doubtful the car will get on the track, if so, Vickers will be qualifying a backup car with no laps at on it...and probably faces penalties/fines by NASCAR early next week.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)
NOTE: The #25 team was able to get the backup car thru inspection and Vickers got some laps in. Hendrick Motorsports says the car was not confiscated by NASCAR but the team forfitted the car to NASCAR when they decided they could do no more to make the templates fit.(9-16-2005)
UPDATE: The #25 Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports brought to New Hampshire International Speedway as the primary Nextel Cup car for Brian Vickers was in NASCAR's possession Friday after it failed inspection five times. "This was a brand new body that had never been raced," said Doug Duchardt, vice president of development for the Hendrick team. "We learned of a measurement issue during the inspection process and made attempts to correct it. But, after several tries, we decided to forfeit the car [to NASCAR] and go with our backup." The frustrated Vickers missed the first practice and got in just five laps in the second session for Sunday's Sylvania 300. "We made the decision to forfeit the car because we didn't feel it could be repaired in a reasonable amount of time," Duchardt said. "It was important to get out on the racetrack in the backup and prepare for Sunday. We have a very thorough system that should prevent these things, but something obviously fell through the cracks."(ESPN.com/AP)(9-17-2005)
UPDATE 2: Brian Vickers is running his backup car and feels glad to have it. His primary Chevrolet didn’t get through inspection on Friday, and NASCAR officials wouldn’t even let Vickers’ team go to a backup for qualifying without confiscating the primary car.
What was the Hendrick Motorsports strategy in trying to slip the car through? Was the Vickers car used as a test to see what the team could get away with? Had it passed, would the car have been passed to teammate Johnson, a title contender, at a later date? Or would its construction have been been mimicked in Johnson cars? Are there cars in Johnson’s stable with those characteristics already in place?
The problem was reportedly related to how, not whether, the car fit the aerodynamic templates used by inspectors. Officials “didn’t like the way” the templates fit.(Gaston Gazette)(9-18-2005)
- New Hampshire Race Notes:
• Ryan Newman won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, scoring his 12th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 143rd career start.
• Newman scored his second win at Loudon in eight races. He scored his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in the September 2002 race here.
• Newman scored his first victory of 2005. His last victory came at Dover in September 2004, 35 races ago.
• Newman has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 27 races in 2005.
• Newman became the 13th different race winner in 2005.
• Newman climbed from 10th to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• This was Newman’s 11th superspeedway victory in 112 career superspeedway races.
• Tony Stewart led the most laps for the ninth time this season, the most of all drivers. Kurt Busch has led the most in four races this season.
• Newman led three times for 66 laps including the final two.
• Newman scored the third victory for car owner Roger Penske at New Hampshire International Speedway. This was Penske’s 57th victory as a car owner and first in 27 races this season.
The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Is On
• As a result of his finish in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway Tony Stewart took the early lead in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by just 20 points over second-place Greg Biffle. Stewart along with nine other drivers will race over the remaining nine races of the 2005 season to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million:
• Eight drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at New Hampshire.
• Kurt Busch (35th today) started the 2004 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by scoring a victory at New Hampshire and scored top10
finishes in the first six races of the Chase.
• Seven of the 10 drivers who made it into the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup are doing so for the second straight year.
Greg Biffle, Rusty Wallace, and Carl Edwards are new to the Chase in 2005.
• Eight of the 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the first 27
races of the 2005 season. Five of the 10 drivers have scored multiple victories led by Stewart and Biffle each with five.
• Three of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top 10: Kenseth (third), Biffle (fourth) and Martin (seventh).
• Jamie McMurray (12th) climbed from 13th to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• A total of $1 Million will be paid to the driver who finishes 11th in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Additionally, the 11th-place driver will also join the top-10 drivers on the stage at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet in New York in December.
• Tony Stewart (second) has scored 13 straight top-10 finishes including 10 top fives extending a streak that began with a second-place finish at Michigan in June. Stewart has scored 19 top-10 finishes in 27 races in 2005, the most of all drivers. Stewart remained first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings for the seventh straight race..
• Matt Kenseth (third) scored his fifth top-10 finish in his last five races. Kenseth climbed from ninth to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fifth) scored his first top-five finish in his last nine races, since his victory at Chicagoland.
• Rusty Wallace (sixth) extended a 40-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 22 top-15 finishes in 27 races in 2005.
• Jimmy Johnson (eighth) dropped from fourth to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 60 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.(NASCAR Statistical Service)(9-18-2005)
- Rumblings - New Hampshire: Well, I'm Back! [Henry is...welcome back]
First of all, I want to take a couple lines here to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and contributions. There is a ton of devastion in
this area, and it's gonna be a long time till South Louisiana and Coastal Mississippi resembles anywhere like it used to look (if ever). There are an enormous number of people displaced, out of work, and just wondering if they should even come back. Thankfully, our damage was minor (relatively speaking). I went through one of these as a teen in 1965 (Betsy), and I never forgot it. I hazard to say no one down here will forget this one, either.
I've got a few gazillion emails to catch up on, and I've been working on getting my stats caught up for hours the last couple days (in between tarping a roof at the store....I've got a whole new respect for people who get up on hot metal roofs in 95 degree weather!), and I promise to answer each of those emails (just give me some time).
I want to thank Von for getting that fund going....it was certainly unexpected. Your response was overwhelming, and I will write to each and every one of you to express my thanks. I don't know that words can describe my appreciation....that people who know you only from reading a couple paragraphs would give of themselves so willingly is unbelievable. Again, Mickey & I thank you all.
Now, back to regular programming.....
We had a ding-dong battle to the finish today at New Hampshire International Speedway. Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart swapped the lead repeatedly during the final 20 laps, but in the end it was Newman who got the Gatorade bath in Victory Lane for his first win since Dover last September. This was career win #12 for Newman (he's 48th on the all-time win list), and the 54th for Roger Penske (57 if you count the three by Jeremy Mayfield when Michael Kranefuss was a partner). Ryan is the 13th different winner this season (equalling our total from last year) and he pulled down $248,866 from the over $5.1M in posted awards.
Lotsa short fuses today. You know, the last race I saw from my own couch was Bristol....so it was like I never left! Sure wish I had the hot dog stand outside the NASCAR trailer after the race (I'd have cleaned up!). It was SRO....Kurt Busch, Scott Riggs, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon, Michael Waltrip (and all of their respective car owners and crew chiefs as well). Pass the mustard!
I suspect the press release on Tuesday announcing the fines and penalties will be rather lengthy.....
Didn't take us long to get one of the "Chasers" upset.....three laps in and we've got a mad dash up pit road already.
Dale Earnhardt Jr (5th) had his best finish since he won at Chicagoland in July.
J. J. Yeley (34th) had his best finish since he was 27th at Atlanta last October (only two races).
STREAKIN....Tony Stewart has 13 Top-10's in a row.
Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10's in a row.
Greg Biffle has 5 Top-10's in a row.
The Rookie Report: Kyle Busch (27th) was the highest finishing freshman for the 18th time this season. Travis Kvapil was 41st.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Sterling Marlin (+26), followed by Greg Biffle (+22), Michael Waltrip (+21), and Kyle Petty (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-24), followed by Scott Riggs (-23), and Kurt Busch (-23).
In the "Chase" Standings, Tony Stewart has padded his lead....it's all the way out to 20 markers now! Ryan Newman advances seven spots (10th to 3rd), while Kurt Busch fell from 5th to 10th. Dale Earnhardt Jr (17th to 15th) and Jeff Burton (21st to 19th) made the best moves forward today, while Elliott Sadler (11th to 14th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans - see full CLASSIC Cup standings here)(9-19-2005)
News from September 17, 2005
- Two plus 12 equals friction: Asked if there was anything that Penske Racing teammates Rusty Wallace (No. 2) and Ryan Newman (No. 12) could share in the Chase, Wallace crew chief Larry Carter said, “Nothing that comes to mind.” Wallace and Newman have gotten almost as much publicity for their inability to get along as the five Roush Racing drivers that made the Chase have for getting along. But Carter said sharing information goes beyond getting along. “Rusty and Ryan have different driving styles,” he said. “I’m not sure if we knew what the 12 car was doing would benefit us. It might, but we don’t know. We just don’t know.”(The State)(9-17-2005)
- Busch out BEFORE end of season? sources close to Jack Roush say that Roush may indeed be releasing #97-Kurt Busch to Penske before the end of the season, though it still isn't clear just who Roush might have in mind to take that seat. Roush has steadfastly insisted he has no plans to release Busch.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-17-2005)
- Said to race a Sled: It's official. The number 36 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which chased the leaders last month at the NASCAR race in Watkins Glen, will have a presence in Lake Placid January 5-9, 2006. Except it will be a bobsled, not a race car. The NASCAR bobsled drivers race, coming to Lake Placid right after New Year's, received its first official entry Friday when Boris Said, a talented road racer who is the son of 1968 and 1972 Olympic bobsled driver Bob Said, committed to participating in the fundraiser being organized by Geoffrey Bodine's Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. His sponsor, Whelen Engineering, mirrored that by announcing their participation in
January. The event will be held at the Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid. It is hoped that other NASCAR drivers will join Said shortly for this friendly competition that will generate funds to support continuing research and development of equipment for the United States Bobsled Team. These race car drivers will use modified sleds in their team colors on the mile-long track that currently hosts annual World Cup and World Championship events in bobsled, luge and skeleton racing. Bodine, a NASCAR veteran, created the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project in 1992 after watching the Albertville Winter Olympic Games on television and noticing that USA Bobsled athletes competed with European-made sleds. At that time, the team had not won a medal since the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina, Italy. "Whelen Engineering is proud to announce our sponsorship of the first Bo-Dyn bobsled to compete in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge at Lake Placid in January," stated Phil Kurze, Whelen Motorsports Director. "Whelen has supported the efforts of Geoffrey Bodine and Bob Cuneo for the past five years to provide our athletes with equipment that is "Made in America" and I take personal pride in the fact that, also as President of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., I have the support of my company in this worthwhile fund raising endeavor. I issue a challenge to all other companies presently involved with racing or contemplating involvement with racing to come on-board and join us in our support of the United States Bobsled Team." For more information on this event, please log on to www.bodynbobsledproject.com. Tickets for the event go on sale October 1 at the Olympic Center Box Office in Lake Placid.(PR)(9-17-2005)
- Mark Green in for Petty MORE: Mark Green, Jeff's brother, is practicing and probably qualifying the #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at New Hampshire this weekend. Driver Kyle Petty has been feeling under the weather this week but plans to race the car on Sunday.(9-16-2005)
MORE Still fighting feelings of grief from his son's death at New Hampshire International Speedway more than five years ago, Kyle Petty will skip Friday's practice sessions and Saturday's qualifying at the track. Petty still plans to race on Sunday. "It's a funny thing, because I thought the longer I went, the easier it would get," Petty said in a telephone interview. "The truth is, the longer it goes, the harder it gets." Adam Petty was killed in an accident during a practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway in May 2000.
Petty has raced at New Hampshire several times since the accident, but it hasn't made him any more at ease there. He said the most recent race weekend at New Hampshire, in July, was particularly tough. "I struggled with just trying to do my job," Petty said. "I was mean to everybody. I just wasn't me."(USA Today)(9-17-2005)
- Stewart wins pole at New Hampshire: #20-Tony Stewart won the Budweiser Pole for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a lap of 131.143mph for his 2nd pole of 2005 and 9th of his career. #24-Jeff Gordon [1st race with new crew chief] starting 2nd, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [welcome back Tony Jr;], #17-Matt Kenseth and #10-Scott Riggs. The best qualifying Dodge was the #2 of Rusty Wallace at 7th. #7-Robby Gordon was the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed, qualifying 19th. Missing the race were: #00-Long, #89-Shepherd, #95-Barrett, #66-Garvey, #37-Raines and #27-Shelmerdine.
For pole progression, qualifying speed and order, practice speeds and starting lineup and links, see Jayski's Loudon Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(9-17-2005)
- New Hampshire Qualifying Notes:
• Tony Stewart won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Sylvania 300, lapping New Hampshire International Speedway in 29.043 seconds at 131.143 mph. Ryan Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 28.561 seconds, 133.357 mph, set September 12, 2003.
• This is Tony Stewart’s first career Bud Pole at New Hampshire and second of the 2005 season. His other pole came at Daytona in July.
• This is Tony Stewart’s ninth career Bud Pole in 239 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, fifth pole on a super speedway.
• Tony Stewart won at Loudon in July.
• This is Tony Stewart’s 14th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway.
• This is the 12th pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge has eight poles and Ford has five. Qualifying was cancelled at Dover and Watkins Glen.
• Jeff Gordon posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.058 seconds, 131.075 mph and will join Tony Stewart on the front row for the Sylvania 300. Jeff Gordon has started from a top-10 starting position in 12 of his races at New Hampshire.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his sixth top-10 start in 12 races at Loudon. His best start of the season.
• Matt Kenseth (fourth) scored his fourth top-10 start in 11 races at Loudon.
• Scott Riggs (fifth) posted his first top-10 start in four races at Loudon.
• Wayne Anderson will make his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series start in the Sylvania 300.
• Five Chase drivers qualified in the top-10. The slowest Chase driver is Greg Biffle who will start 26th in the Sylvania 300.
• There have been 11 different Bud Pole winners in the 22 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Loudon since July 1993. Qualifying has been canceled three times.
• Two of the 21 races at Loudon have been won from the pole: Jeff Gordon in August of 1998 and Ryan Newman in September of 2002. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Loudon was 38th by Jeff Burton in July 1999.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-17-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: By picking Kurt Busch as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond, VA, on September 10, Jerry D. of Gaffney, SC, was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Jerry 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 seventh time this year that a donation in Busch's name has been made to the NPCC.
The Chase for the coveted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is here, and so is your chance to win big. Fans who pick the correct finishing order
of the Gillette Young Guns - Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth by going to
www.gilletteyoungguns.com during the first six races of the "Chase" will have the chance to win $1 Million and a trip to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20.(Alan Taylor Communications)(9-17-2005)
News from September 16, 2005
- NHIS Tire Notes: This is the second consecutive race that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to New Hampshire . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck Series will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Cup tires will be branded Goodyear "Eagle" while the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded Goodyear "Wrangler" . . . this is the second straight week these teams have run this tire set-up, having run it at Richmond . . . in addition to New Hampshire and Richmond, major NASCAR teams will use this combination at Phoenix, Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis, Milwaukee and Pikes Peak this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less than in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 85-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR). for more tire notes, see my New Hamp Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-16-2005)
- Big, Brown Truck is Featured In EA Game: EA Sports' NASCAR Thunder is a game enjoyed not only by children and fans, but even by NASCAR drivers themselves. UPS Ford driver Dale Jarrett has a 10-year old son, Zachary, who is a fan of a variety of EA Sports games, including several NASCAR versions. Jarrett's teammate Elliott Sadler is another who enjoys the games played on equipment such as Xbox video game systems. UPS is now getting in on the action. UPS's big, brown truck is one of the featured vehicles individuals can race in the new EASports branded NASCAR video game, NASCAR '06 Total Team Control. Video game enthusiasts now have the ability to complete a virtual lap in the UPS package delivery truck as a fully-functioning vehicle. It marks UPS's first video game product placement of the truck. The idea developed in part due to the popularity of the "Race the Truck" commercial campaign UPS started in 2001 when it began its relationship with Jarrett as primary sponsor of the #88 Robert Yates Racing Ford. For five years, fans have been imploring to Jarrett to race the truck. With the new game, fans now have the chance to race the truck themselves.(UPS Racing)(9-16-2005)
News from September 15, 2005
- Dale Jr. buys Busch shop? Dale Earnhardt Jr is rumored to have purchased a building in the South Iredell Industrial Park in Mooresville, NC for Jr. Motorsports. The building used to be owned by a financial securities company (and a race shop before that) is down the street from Joe Nemechek's NEMCO Motorsports. The building is not extremely large, but is a comfortable size to house a Busch Series team, which is what Dale Earnhardt Jr is apparantly going to use it for. The South Iredell Industrial Park is located a few miles north of the Hwy 150 and 115 intersection in Mooresville, NC.(Motorsports Lounge PR)(9-15-2005)
- Long gets teammate at Dover: McGlynn Racing announced that Truck Series veteran, Ryan McGlynn, will be driving a second McGlynn Racing entry in the MBNA NASCAR Race Points 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 25th. Ryan will likely run #13 (pending NASCAR approval), and sport a brand new sponsor. The name of the sponsor and terms of the sponsorship agreement will be announced at a later date. McGlynn Racing's primary driver, Carl Long, will be racing at Dover driving the team's usual #00 car.(McGlynn MotorSports)(9-15-2005)
- Richmond TV Ratings: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway gathered a 3.3 Houeshold Rating on TNT with 3,676,000 households viewing and with 5,673,000 viewers.(Zap2it.com)
in 2004 the race on TNT had a rating of 3.5 and total households watching at 3,829,000.(9-15-2005)
- Another Wallace moves up: Chrissy Wallace, daughter of Cup driver Mike Wallace, will be making her late model stock car debut this Saturday at Concord Motorsports Park. Chrissy will be driving the #84 M.R. Williams sponsored car, owned by Karen Carlson and Robbie Clay. "I would like to thank Karen and Robbie for this opportunity," Chrissy Wallace told Motorsports Lounge Wednesday. "I want to also thank Marty Williams for sponsoring our effort this weekend."(Motorsports Lounge PR)(9-15-2005)
- NASCAR Engineers Help Design New Combat Vehicle: The U.S. military unveiled this week a concept combat vehicle that combines new blast-deflection technology with the safety features of a commercially available truck and NASCAR engineering. Everything from the materials to seating configuration has been rethought. Built on the skeleton of a Ford F-350 truck, the vehicle is called the ULTRA AP (Armored Patrol). Its builders melded some of the latest advancements in vehicle defense with the maneuverability and safety features of an "off-the-shelf" truck to develop a concept vehicle that may one day replace the familiar Humvee in the battlefield. The ULTRA AP was developed at the GTRI, which brought together engineers from the commercial automotive and military worlds. The idea was to save money by marrying advanced armor materials and designs with proven safety designs from the automotive industry. "By bringing together experienced commercial vehicle designers with experts in advanced materials and cutting-edge engineering, we are providing a test bed for evaluating technologies that can help the military develop true 'leap-ahead' concepts," said David Parekh, GTRI's deputy director. "By including persons with high-performance automotive engineering and NASCAR expertise as part of our team, we were able to root this advanced concepts project in real-world vehicle design."(LiveScience)(9-15-2005)
- New Hires at RCR: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has hired Tom Knox as its managing director of business development and promoted Jason Garrow to the director of sponsor services. Knox will be responsible for evaluating and pursuing new business
opportunities, leading the efforts to add to RCR's family of sponsors and technical partners and working with RCR's sponsor services group
to bring additional opportunities to its partners. The Wayne, N.J., native comes to RCR from Rusty Wallace, Inc., where he had been since 1999 and last held the position of vice president of business development. From 1997-99, he was a sales account manager with NASCAR's New York office. Knox earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Fairfield University in 1994 and a Master of
Business Administration in Marketing from Seton Hall University in 1997.
Garrow will oversee day-to-day business activities and client activation with current sponsors, manage sponsors' event and at-track
activities, work with RCR partners to leverage their sponsorship assets and help develop new marketing activities and services for RCR. The Marshall, Minn., native had been RCR's senior sponsorship manager since February 2003. A 1992 graduate of Augustana College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration/Economics, he earned a Master of Science degree in Sports Management in 1996 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.(RCR)(9-15-2005)
News from September 14, 2005
- WOW that didn't take long.....Loomis back to Petty in 2006: Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, today announced the organization's addition of championship-winning crew chief Robbie Loomis as executive vice president of race operations. In his new role, Loomis will head the day-to-day operations of Level Cross-based Petty Enterprises and its two full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams -- the #43 Dodges driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Dodges piloted by Petty."We are excited that Robbie will be rejoining Petty Enterprises," Petty said. "Robbie won races as a crew chief here, and then won a lot of races and a championship with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports. We have great respect for the entire Hendrick organization, and know that Robbie's experience with the Hendrick team has prepared him well for the role he will take on at Petty Enterprises. Robbie Loomis will direct our entire race operation, and we expect his experience and his ability to mold a team to help us get to the next level. Robbie has been a part of our family for a long time, and we're happy to have him come home." Loomis, 41, will leave his position as crew chief of Hendrick Motorsports' #24 Chevrolets. Before rejoining Petty, the Forest City, Fla., native will work as a consultant to Concord-based Hendrick Motorsports as the operation pursues the 2005 NEXTEL Cup championship with the #48 Chevrolets.
"We still have a job to do," said Loomis, who won a Cup title with driver Jeff Gordon in 2001 after coming to Hendrick from Petty Enterprises in 2000. "Our goal is winning that championship with Jimmie (Johnson), Chad (Knaus) and the #48 team. I'm here to support them in any way I possibly can. "Hendrick Motorsports opened my eyes to a whole different level of this industry. The experience has allowed me to see things from a new perspective and learn important lessons about business and life. I'm truly grateful to Rick, Jeff and the 500 people who make Hendrick Motorsports so special. "I was with the Petty family for 11 years before being blessed to work with Jeff and the #24 team. Kyle and Richard (Petty) are giving me an incredible opportunity to come home, back where I started my career, and I' m honored and excited to do that."(Williams Company/Hendrick Motorsports)(9-14-2005)
- Letarte Gordon's new crew chief starting at NHIS: With Robbie Loomis’ move back to Petty Enterprises, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today introduced Steve Letarte as crew chief of the #24 entries driven by Gordon, a four-time Cup Series champion. Letarte will call his first race Sunday at Loudon, N.H., less than 70 miles from his hometown of Cornish, Maine. Letarte, 26, has been with the #24 team full-time since 1996, winning three Cup titles under the tutelage of crew chiefs Ray Evernham, Brian Whitesell and Loomis. He has worked as a tire specialist, mechanic and car chief. “To have a chance like this with Hendrick Motorsports is incredible,” Letarte said. “I couldn’t ask to work with a better driver or a more talented group of people. I’m committed to continuing the winning tradition of this team, closing 2005 on a positive note and pushing toward Jeff’s fifth championship next year.” Letarte takes over a crew with a pair of pole positions and three victories this season. Only two NEXTEL Cup teams have more wins in 2005. “I’m sad to see Robbie leave,” Gordon said. “We made a great team and had more wins ahead of us, but the Pettys presented him with a fantastic opportunity. For him, it was time for a change and I’m happy he’s found the right fit. “I’ve worked with Steve for more than 10 years and we already communicate extremely well, both on and off the track. The team has a ton of confidence in his abilities, so we’re looking forward to the last 10 races of 2005 and getting an early jump on next year.”(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-14-2005)
- More on Dale Jr./Eury Jr. reuniting UPDATE 2 Official: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. will be reunited in time for Sunday's race at New Hampshire. Eury has been Michael Waltrip's crew chief this season. Tony Gibson, Waltrip's car chief, is likely to succeed Eury as crew chief and stay with the #15 team for the remainder of the season. Waltrip is leaving with NAPA at the end of the year to drive the #23 car for Bill Davis Racing[not announced yet, still speculated and expected]. With Tony Eury Jr. moving back to the #8 team, Steve Hmiel will return to his previous post as head of DEI's research-and-development operation and concentrate on building the intermediate-track version of "the car of tomorrow (COT)" for 2007. Hmiel says that several organizations are participating in the process, but it was important for DEI to get a head start, "since this will be the biggest change to come along in Cup since NASCAR moved to smaller cars in '81."(Sporting News)(9-12-2005)
UPDATE: Tony Eury Jr. will take over crew chief duties for #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. beginning this week in New Hampshire, ESPN's Mike Massaro confirmed with sources at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated [DEI]. Eury had been the crew chief for Michael Waltrip throughout the 2005 season but was a key member of Earnhardt's team up until the infamous personnel swap this past offseason with DEI teammate Waltrip. Earnhardt has had a sub-par 2005 season, already missing out on the Nextel Cup's 10-race playoffs. It already seemed in recent weeks as if Earnhardt is looking to next season, anyway. Eury Jr. stopped by his car at Michigan and helped his crew make some adjustments that Earnhardt said improved his #8 Budweiser Chevy. The two were separated at the end of last season because of their constant bickering -- the two are cousins -- and both have said the year apart helped strengthen the relationship.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2005)
OFFICAL: Dale Earnhardt Incorporated announced Wednesday that, starting this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway, Tony Eury Jr., will take over as crew chief for the #8 Budweiser Chevy. Eury Jr., who has been crew chief for DEI’s #15 Chevy this season, will be reunited with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who Eury Jr. worked with for eight seasons prior. The two will be paired for the remaining races of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season in preparation for 2006 where they will compete together for the NASCAR championship. “This is the best plan for us as a company,” Eury Jr. said. “We haven’t been in the same pit box this year, but we’ve been working closely as a team. Looking at where we want to be for 2006, it made sense to switch now and get that much further ahead.”
With the 2005 chase contenders decided, Richie Gilmore, DEI’s Vice-President of Motorsports, knew now was the best time for the restructuring. “After evaluating our programs for next season, we went back and looked at all the resources at our disposal,” Gilmore said. “By putting Tony Jr. back with Dale Jr. now, it enables us to start working towards our goals for next season. Those two can start finding their rhythm for next year, while Steve Hmiel can return his full focus on the technical aspect of our programs.” Hmiel, who has been the interim crew chief for the #8 team since May, will return to his position as Technical Director for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Tony Gibson, car chief for the #15 team, will serve as the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet crew chief for the remainder of this season. DEI’s line-up of teams will be stronger than ever for 2006 with three Nextel Cup teams and two Busch Series teams. Chance 2, which is co-owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr., is the defending Busch Series champions and currently leads in the series point standings.(DEI PR/Site)(9-14-2005)
- Yeley back in the #11: Joe Gibbs Racing Busch Series driver J.J Yeley will take the wheel of the #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet at New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend, it will be his second start in the #11 FedEx Monte Carlo and his fourth career Nextel Cup start. Yeley will stay in the car for the MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 25. Following Terry Labonte's 9th place finish at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 10, the FedEx Team remains in 35th place in owners points and currently sits 59 points out of 34th place. Yeley has made one previous start at New Hampshire International Speedway, starting tenth and finishing sixth in the 2005 New England 200 Busch series race on July 16 of this year. Yeley successfully tested at Loudon with the FedEx team on Tues., August 30. The Sylvania 300 marks Yeley's second start in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet and his second NASCAR Nextel Cup start of the 2005 season. Yeley qualified the #11 season-best eighth for the Sony HD 500 in California, but was forced to the garage early after a lap-two spin. Despite major repairs to the#11, Yeley returned to the track and brought home a 39th-place finish. In July, Yeley qualified the #20 Home Depot car for an injured Tony Stewart at Chicagoland Speedway but Stewart returned to the seat for the USG Sheetrock 400 the following day. Yeley has run every Busch series race on the 2005 schedule in the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet, recording three top-five and nine top-ten finishes to date. Yeley currently sits in 12th place in the Busch series standings only 77 points of out tenth.(JGR PR)(9-14-2005)
- Newman Tests at Kentucky: #12 Penske South Racing driver Ryan Newman wouldn't be surprised if the last wound up first when the 10-race "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20. "As far as the points go, we deserve to be 10th and 10th is what gets us in," he said. "We were a 10th place team after the 26th race and we'd like to be better than that, hopefully first team after the 36th. We have a team that's capable of being first. We'll see if we can do that." The 27-year-old driver opened his bid for his first series title with a test at Kentucky Speedway today. He said he is comfortable starting his second "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" just 45 points behind series leader Tony Stewart. The South Bend, Ind., driver used today's track time to acquire data
that may help him improve on last season's seventh-place showing in "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup." He drove to a total of three top-three
finishes during the 2004 title chase including a win in Dover, Del., a second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and a third-place
finish in Martinsville, Va.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-14-2005)
- Sad News: Condolences to #19 Evernham Motorsports driver, Jeremy Mayfield on the passing of his grandmother on Sept 8th. Lillian Davis Mayfield, 89, of Owensboro, died Thursday, September 08, 2005, at her home. She was born January 27, 1916 to the late Harvey and Elodia Raymer Smith in Breckenridge County. She was a homemaker, a member of St. Stephen Cathedral and she enjoyed gardening, working in her yard, and cooking. She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis X. “Zeb” Mayfield, who died June 19, 1997, two sons, Bobby Mayfield, who died September 8, 1995, and Barry Mayfield, who died May 28, 2004, and a grandson, Jonathan Clark, who died October 12, 1985. Funeral Services were Sunday and Monday. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Association, 723 Harvard Drive, Owensboro, KY, 42301.(Glenn Funeral Home )(9-14-2005)
- Players Extreme joins #4 as assoc sponsor: Blavod Extreme Spirits announced that Players Extreme vodka will be an associate sponsor on the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy, with driver Mike Wallace, beginning in Richmond this past weekend. The sponsorship, featuring a co-promotion with the team's Wide Open Performance - Enhanced Formula Energy Drink, will highlight the vodka's extreme smoothness and drinkability to NASCAR's 75 million fans. The first market for the combined distribution and marketing effort is
the state of Texas, where Eclipse Distribution Services, one of the fastest growing distributors, will be partnering with both brands to
increase market share throughout the entire state.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports)(9-14-2005)
- Mears tests at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway is hosting Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates #41 Target Dodge car with driver Casey Mears and crew chief on Tuesday [9/13] and Wed [9/14]. Here are some quotes from Tuesday's test: Jimmy Elledge - Crew Chief "We're here at the Nashville Superspeedway for a two-day test and we're researching the way the #41 Target Dodge reacts aerodynamically. This is a good, smooth, sensitive track so I think we'll take away some positives."(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(9-14-2005)
- Burton tests at Homestead: Jeff Burton and #31 Team Cingular tested Homestead-Miami Speedway Sept. 13-14 in preparation for the November 20 season finale.(RCR PR)(9-14-2005)
- Women Drivers Profiled: The Biography Channel starts a four-part series Girl Racers Sept 15th. The documentary profiles eight of the top female drivers. The program airs at 10:00pm/et.(9-14-2005)
- Stewart on Letterman TONIGHT....and: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, is scheduled to appear on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, Sept 14th [not the 13th, sorry folks been mixing up my days this week - DOH!], the airs at 11:30pm/et. Actress Reese Witherspoon and musical group Arcade Fire are also scheduled to be on the show.(Late Night with David Letterman Show site)
AND Tony Stewart will appear tonight on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman." There, Stewart and Letterman - both of whom are Indiana natives - will no doubt discuss their stirring victories at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart won the Aug. 7 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as a driver, while Letterman won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as an owner with his driver, Buddy Rice.
Stewart will maintain his national television presence with a Thursday [Sept 15th] morning visit to NBC's "Today" show. Following his trip to 30 Rockefeller Center, Stewart will appear on a variety of ESPN outlets, most notably ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" and ESPNEWS' "Hot List."
Continuing the ESPN theme, Stewart is on the cover of this week's ESPN Magazine. Writer Tom Friend spent a day with Stewart prior to the Labor Day weekend Nextel Cup race at California Speedway, and before the interview, talked with numerous friends and family members to complete one of the most in-depth profiles of the 24-time Nextel Cup race victor.(True Speed Communication)(9-14-2005)
News from September 13, 2005
- Sorenson Cup debut at Atlanta: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that NASCAR Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson will make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut during the Oct. 31 race weekend at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Discount Tire Co., the primary sponsor of Sorenson's #41 Dodge in the Busch Series, will increase its support of the 19-year-old driver by serving as the sponsor on his #39 Dodge Charger. In addition, Sorenson will attempt to qualify for the NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in the #39 Discount Tire Dodge in November. The paint scheme that Sorenson will be running in Atlanta and Texas is also a sneak peek at what his #41 Discount Tire Dodge will look like for the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season. Discount Tire Company made its foray into racing in 2004 with its sponsorship of a CGRFS entry in the NASCAR Busch Series. After running eight races in 2004, Discount Tire expanded its sponsorship to a full season this year. Discount Tire will continue its support of Sorenson in the Busch Series in 2006.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-13-2005)
- Sharpie leaving Roush? Sharpie will grace Kurt Busch's #97 Ford this weekend at New Hampshire, but there has been talk that the sponsor's parent company, Newell-Rubbermaid, could be interested in spending its money elsewhere in 2007. One possibility could be securing the naming rights to Bristol Motor Speedway.(Sporting News)(9-13-2005)
- Testing at Dover: Many drivers Busch drivers and Cup driver #5-Kyle Busch are scheduled to be testing Tuesday and Wednesday [Sept 13-14th] at Dover International Speedway. The test is closed to the public. Kyle Busch is scheduled to test on Wednesday.(Dover Intl Speedway PR)(9-13-2005)
- McMurray in the #97 instead of #6? here is a new one....from the Tampa Tribune: When Jamie McMurray [current #42 Texaco driver] joins Roush Racing in 2007, he may drive [Kurt] Busch's #97 Ford rather than Martin's #6 Ford as originally planned, Roush said. McMurray is scheduled to join Roush in 2007, after his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing expires. Busch is leaving no later than 2007 to take over Rusty Wallace's #2 Miller Lite Dodge at Penske Racing South in 2007. Busch's contract with Roush runs through next year.(Tampa Tribune), if so, what is the point of Martin staying another year?(9-13-2005)
- Mears to run #30? hearing the car number for the fourth Ganassi Racing team will be the #30 Home 123 Dodge for driver Casey Mears.(9-13-2005)
- Speed Reduces NASCAR Nation to one night, adds two shows and expands another: Beginning Sept. 19, SPEED Channel will air NASCAR Nation on Mondays only, making room for a pair of new shows focused on the NASCAR Chase for the NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR's annual "Silly Season."
"With 10 races to go in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, fans want to know about two things - the championship and what's going on with their favorite driver," said Hunter Nickell, SPEED Channel Executive VP & General Manager. "With adjustments to already existing SPEED programming and the addition of new shows like One-Track Mind, Back-Seat Drivers and The Chase is On, the network is uniquely positioned to deliver coverage that matches the viewers' interests in both areas."
One-Track Mind will be a weekly, long-form interview with each of the driver-crew chief combinations in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.
Back-Seat Drivers, hosted by NASCAR.com's Marty Smith and Shannon Spake, will be a weekly look at the hot topics in the NASCAR garage. If NASCAR fans are talking about it, Back-Seat Drivers will be talking about it. "Even if your favorite driver is Jeff Gordon, you still want to know what's going on at DEI or Roush Racing during Silly Season," Nickell added. "Back-Seat Drivers will talk about driver changes, crew changes, sponsors coming and going - everything is fair game."
In addition to the new shows, SPEED Channel also is expanding the popular Thursday night program Beyond the Wheel to a one-hour Beyond the Wheel - Chase Edition.
SPEED Channel's new weekday 7:00pm programming wheel (7 p.m., 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET & PT):
* Monday - NASCAR NATION (30 minutes)
* Tuesday - One-Track Mind (30 minutes)
* Wednesday - Back-Seat Drivers (30 minutes)
* Thursday - Beyond the Wheel (Expanded to one hour)
SPEED Channel also recently announced The Chase is On, a weekly preview of each of the 10 races making up NASCAR's Chase for the
NEXTEL Cup with Ralph Sheheen and 1999 Cup champion Dale Jarrett. The show debuts Thursday at 8:00pm/et and pt.(SPEED Channel)(9-13-2005)
- WIX Filters Extends Joe Gibbs Racing Sponsorship: WIX Filters has announced that it will extend its associate sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing through 2007, taking the mutually beneficial relationship into its 15th year of NASCAR competition. The Joe Gibbs Racing associate sponsorship is the cornerstone of WIX Filters' involvement in NASCAR - more teams use WIX Filters than any other filter, making WIX the #1 filter in NASCAR - and the filter manufacturer leverages its relationship with JGR in marketing communications efforts. Joe Gibbs Racing's NEXTEL Cup #18 car, driven by Bobby Labonte, and its #20 car, driven by Tony Stewart, offer powerful visuals and voices in WIX Filters advertising; WIX uses its track-side research in its public relations efforts; and customers benefit from at-track events, racing-related promotions and the assurance that thanks to teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, the filter they are buying has succeeded on the toughest testing ground around. In addition, Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs will make personal appearances on behalf of WIX Filters - a benefit that WIX shares with its customers, giving them a chance to bring a taste of NASCAR to their own events. WIX has been a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1993, just two years after Gibbs launched the race shop, and have continued a strong partnership ever since. Since 1939, WIX Filters has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX also has the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award, which recognizes the drivers leading the most laps in each race. For more info on WIX Filters' go to wixfilters.com.(PR)(9-13-2005)
News from September 12, 2005
- Fennig Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Richmond: Kurt Busch and Jimmy Fennig made Richmond International Raceway their personal playground this weekend in the Chevy Rock N Roll 400. Busch drove the #97 Crown Royal Ford
to his third win in 2005, leading the most laps along the way. His victory marked his eighth top-10 and 14th top-five for the season.
The #97 team's performance earned Jimmy Fennig the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. "Kurt Busch, he got up on that wheel," said Fennig. "The guys did an awesome job. It was a big team effort. We lost a couple of races this year because of faulty parts or bad things happening, but Kurt was on a mission tonight and got it. We had a good car. Our car was good on short runs and long runs. Now I'm going after that championship." The panel of voters; including John Markon of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; all voted for Fennig as the crew chief that did the best job. "He led the most laps and picked up the win," said Eury Sr. "There's really not a lot more that you could ask for. That's the kind of race that every crew chief hopes to have."
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson is in second place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for third place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Robbie Reiser and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for fourth 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)(9-12-2005)
- Busch Release Cutoff is mid-Oct: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said the cutoff date for releasing Kurt Busch to leave for Penske Racing South is mid-October. He added that Roush Racing and Busch’s sponsors are comfortable with leaving Busch in the #97 car next season. “At the same time, we’re trying to keep our eyes open for whether or not there is a substitution deal that is palatable for the sponsors, either short term or long term,” he said. Busch said the matter is in the hands of lawyers. Smith, who is a lawyer, said there are no apparent loopholes that would allow Busch to leave without a severe penalty. “In this environment that we’re in, where there are tens of millions of dollars at play, the penalty is almost beyond calculation when it comes to the cost of running a race team and having to rebuild it from scratch,” Smith said. “I couldn’t even total that. The only clean way to do it is just to release him from the contract.” Smith said the situation is the same for Chip Ganassi driver Jamie McMurray, who was signed by Roush Racing to replace Mark Martin in 2007. Martin is prepared to stay in the #6 car next season. “It’s done between us and Mark that he is going to come back if the window doesn’t open,” Smith said. “There’s a chance, but it’s only going to be open if Chip on his own and Jamie on his own separates.”(The State)(9-12-2005)
- So what happens if there is a tie for 10th place in The Chase? UPDATE: NASCAR's Jim Hunter was interviewed during TNT's Nextel Cup qualifying and was asked by Allen Bestwick what would happen if drivers are tied in the top-10 of drivers points? Hunter said, if two drivers are tied for 10th in drivers points after the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond, BOTH drivers would get in The Chase. It was later clarified that the only way the tie would allow an additional driver or driver to make The Chase would be if the tie was for 10th. If drivers are tied at 8th, the driver with the most wins [or 2nds, 3rds ,etc] get the spot, the other would be 9th, the 10th would be the final driver in.(9-9-2005)
UPDATE 8th is a tie: #99-Carl Edwards and #17-Matt Kenseth ended up tied for eighth in points, both with 3114. NASCAR ruled after the race that Edwards and Kenseth would start with the same number of points, 5015, when the playoff starts next week. Ninth-place points will not be awarded, NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said, and 10th-place Newman will be paid for 10th place, starting the fall run with 5005.(Speed Channel), nascar.com has it as Edwards with 5015 and Kenseth with 5010.(9-12-2005)
- #73 Team back to the track? Edward Raabe won't say yet who his race car driver will be, but [#73] Raabe Racing Enterprises is speeding ahead with an $8 million Nextel Cup race team in Daytona Beach. The team is based out of a 60,000 [not 6,000] square-foot facility at 1870 Mason Ave., formerly home to a plastics manufacturing company. The building has been refitted with everything from fabrication equipment for sheet metal and heavy steel, to a chassis dynamometer for engine tuning, to tooling needed for engine modifying. The facility also is home to a graphics operation that can wrap a race car or an 18-wheeler with race-team logos. Raabe Enterprises has a lease with the option to buy the building "but everything else is debt free. We have $8 million invested. It takes in the neighborhood of $10 million to $15 million a year to operate," the owner said.
The local team started the season at this year's opening race at Daytona International Speedway with [#73] Chevys bought from the established Morgan-McClure Motorsports team (headquartered in Abingdon, Va.). They also borrowed a driver, Eric McClure. In Daytona Beach, the team ran the Gatorade Twin 125s on Feb. 17, but did not qualify for the Daytona 500. The team competed in the second race of the season, the Auto Club 500 at California on Feb. 27. By the third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the team finished 32nd in a field of 43 at the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400. After three races on the season's schedule, McClure told Raabe he chose not to make the Atlanta race, the fourth race in the 36-race season.
That put the team out of racing so far this season, but Raabe said he hopes to finish out three or four races at the end of the season with an experienced driver, but he's not ready to say who. Meanwhile, the shop has continued to operate with about 14 employees, as support services to the local dirt, asphalt and drag race car drivers.
The new Raabe venture, he said, is well financed by himself, with John Baiamonte, an entrepreneur from Florida's West Coast. The team's only major sponsor now is Raabe's daughter's and son-in-law's company, ARC (Aquatic Re-lease Conservation) Dehooker (www.dehooker4arc.com), which makes fishing industry-related products in Port Orange. He is looking for an additional sponsor. Raabe said the ARC Dehooker company eventually will be moving to Daytona Beach -- and that 23,000 square feet of the racing enterprise building also will house ARC Dehooker. "We will possibly expand with a new building, but that is two years down the road at least," he said. When that occurs, Raabe said ARC Dehooker expects to hire about 75 employees.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-12-2005)
AND hearing one driver talking to the team is John Andretti, who is looking for a ride after the #14 ppc Racing team suspended operations and has been driving races here-and-there for #4 Morgan-McClure in Nextel Cup and #15 Billy Ballew truck series team.(9-12-2005)
- Chex Most Popular Voting Over 3 Million, Dale Jr leads: With voting now well past 3 million for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award, smashing the record for total votes in a season appears to be a foregone conclusion. A total of 3,119,000 votes have been cast, and the record of 3.8 million votes set last year should fall before fan voting ends in 10 weeks. Race fans have been voting at www.mostpopulardriver.com, the official voting site, since February 1. Since General Mills began sponsoring the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award at the beginning of the 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, well over 13 million votes have been cast by fans throughout the world. Fans vote at www.mostpopulardriver.com for the only fan-based official award in motorsports.
#8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues to lead in the voting. Behind him in the current balloting are second-place #24-Jeff Gordon, followed by #9-Kasey Kahne [top three NOT in the Chase], #20-Tony Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Rusty Wallace, #15-Michael Waltrip, #6-Mark Martin, #88-Dale Jarrett, and #48-Jimmie Johnson.
Voting for the more than 40 drivers eligible for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award, the only fan-based award in motorsports, began Tuesday, Feb. 1, at www.mostpopulardriver.com and continues through 11:59 a.m. CST, Monday, Nov. 21. Fans may vote once each day at the site.(Williams Company)(9-12-2005)
- Ince to PPI Racing UPDATE on Hamilton Jr.: former crew chief James Ince is back on the NASCAR Nextel Cup tour. #32 car owner Cal Wells has hired Ince to become team manager for driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. along with Eddie Dickerson, a veteran car builder and shop foreman. How driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. might fit into all this is unclear. Hamilton hasn't said much about his plans for 2006, and has been dodging questions on the issue for the past month.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2005)
UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton Jr. Saturday denied reports that his Nextel Cup [#32 PPI Racing] team is about to fold. "I know that's been going around but there's nothing to it," Hamilton, a Nashville native and fourth-generation racer, joined Cal Wells' PPI Motorsports team around mid-season last year, replacing Ricky Craven. He signed a three-year contract. Hamilton said of reports that began circulating during last week's race at California and continued in the days leading up to last night's race at Richmond International Raceway. "We've been hiring some new people and making plans and I expect to be back next year." Hamilton posted his best finish (11th) in the season's third race at Las Vegas Speedway. Since then the team has struggled, with an average finish of 30th. The Hickory, N.C.-based team fields only one car, and Wells said that puts it at a disadvantage to multi-car teams in terms of testing and technology. Wells said he would like to give Hamilton a teammate if he can find sponsorship for a second car. Hamilton was a winner in the Busch Series, and Wells continues to express confidence in his ability to compete in NASCAR's top division. Hamilton, while frustrated, likewise said he has faith in the team's potential. "It has won before (with Craven) and if we can get all the pieces to fit together it can win again," he said.(Tennessean)
AND PPI Motorsports recently added Eddie Dickerson and James Ince to its roster. Dickerson will be instrumental in chassis development; Ince will oversee the assembly shop. Team owner Cal Wells says, "I want to keep changing things up until I find the right combination." Wells says that Tide will return as sponsor in 2006.(Sporting News)(9-12-2005)