Hall of Fames Museums
SEPT 19-25, 2005
News from September 25, 2005
- Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, holding off teammate #5-Kyle Busch on a green-white-checkered finish to win for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd at Dover and 17th of his career. The win vaulted Johnson into the Points Lead, 7 over #2-Rusty Wallace. Wallace finished 3rd, followed by #6-Mark Martin and #12-Ryan Newman [the pole sitter]. #20-Tony Stewart, the points leader going into today action, had a tough day all day and even with two lucky dog passes still only finished 18th, 2 laps down. #17-Matt Kenseth had a tire go down early, lost a lap, got the luck dog, then late in the race had another tire go down, smacked the wall and retired the #17 Ford in 35th. #97-Kurt Busch finished 23rd, 3 laps off the pace after tire woes and is now 170 points back in 10th spot. Busch led the most laps with 192. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a stout car early in the race, but had brake problems, made an unscheduled pit stop, lost 7 laps and ended up 31st. #38-Elliott Sadler finished 6th and has a 40 point lead over #29-Kevin Harvick for 11th points place. No tempers or crazy wrecks this week, a few tire problems and debris on the track were about it.(9-25-2005)
For the race rundown, with caution info, lap leaders, some race notes and lucky dogs, see my Dover Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski's Dover Race Results/Awards page.(9-25-2005)
- Martin still to run Truck Series in 2006: Mark Martin's future is finally coming into focus and that includes another stint behind the wheel of the #6 Roush Racing Ford. Martin started the 2005 season thinking this would be his last year as a full-time Nextel Cup driver. Those plans changed in midstream when car owner Jack Roush signed Jamie McMurray to fill Martin's position. There was only one hitch. McMurray won't drive the #6 until 2007. Chip Ganassi keeps saying he will hold McMurray to his driving contract, which expires at the end of the 2006 season. Since the beginning of summer, Roush has been chasing Martin to stay put for one more campaign. Martin said he will continue with his grand scheme to form a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team under the Roush Racing umbrella. He plans to make his debut run in the truck at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. "The first truck is finished," he reported last week. "I sat in it on Monday." Martin, who has secured the #6 for truck competition next season [Kevin Harvick Inc rus Hornaday in the #6 this year], said he will make at least seven truck starts in addition to his hustling, bustling Nextel Cup schedule in 2006. Another driver, or drivers, will occupy the seat of the #6 Ford to fill out the remainder of the schedule. If Martin's long-range plans work this time, he will be a full-time NCTS driver beginning in 2007.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-25-2005)
- Newman going for the sweep UPDATE - didn't happen: #12-Ryan Newman won the pole at Dover for the Nextel Cup race and in the #39 Dodge for the Busch Series race at Dover. Newman is the first driver to sweep both the Cup and Busch Series poles at the same track since #9-Kasey Kahne did so at Richmond in May. Kahne won the Cup race but finished 4th [Edwards won]. As far as I know, no driver has ever won both poles and races in the Busch/Cup Series at the same track on the same weekend. Joe Nemechek won both races at Kansas last Oct, but only the Cup pole and Carl Edwards won both poles at Atlanta and the Cup race this past March, he is the only driver to get his first Busch win and first Cup win on the same weekend at the same track. So if Newman can win both races, he will be the first driver to sweep both the pole and win for both the Busch and Cup race at the same track in the same weekend.
One more step: Newman won the Busch Series race at Dover, so needs to win the Cup race to sweep.(9-24-2005)
No sweep: Newman finished 5th in the Cup race, so still no double pole/win sweep.(9-25-2005)
- NASCAR to threaten drivers at Dover: Behave or else UPDATE: If NASCAR has its way, the road rage that has erupted in recent Nextel Cup races is over. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Thursday that Mike Helton, the sanctioning organization's president, will tell the drivers before Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway that such behavior will no longer be tolerated and that they will risk being suspended if there is more on-track retaliation. "With what Mike is planning to do at the drivers' meetings on Saturday, prior to the Busch race, and on Sunday is going to sort of give our guys, I don't want to say a final warning, but I think they'll clearly understand that we're going to do what we need to," Hunter said Thursday in a telephone interview. "If we need to suspend people, then, starting at Dover, that's a possibility."(ESPN.com/AP)(9-23-2005)
UPDATE: In the drivers meeting prior to Saturday's Busch Series race, NASCAR president Mike Helton addressed the recent on-track incidents – which have included wrecks, retaliations, confrontations under caution and colorful language and gestures – seen in both Busch and Cup races. Helton warned drivers, crew chiefs and team owners that NASCAR "has had enough" of these on-track activities. He read aloud, word for word, from the official Busch Series rule book, Section 12-2 – the Emergency Action section. It states:
If the act or omission of a member is determined by a NASCAR official or supervisory official to constitute a threat to the orderly conduct of the event, that NASCAR official may take temporary emergency action against the member. Such emergency action may include ejection from the racing premises, suspension of membership and license, or any other action designed to remove the threat created by the member.
Helton then reminded those present that this was not a bulletin or a new rule. It had always been in both series' rule books and that starting immediately NASCAR will enforce the rule to the letter, meaning drivers and teams shouldn't be surprised to see severe penalties handed down in the future. Helton is expected to deliver an identical message during Sunday morning's Nextel Cup drivers meeting.(Yahoo Sports)(9-25-2005)
- Robby's Helmet to be auctioned off UPDATE 3 Bidding Over: Making some good from a tough situation, Robby Gordon on Tuesday pledged to further assist the Harrah’s Employee Relief Fund, which was established following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, by auctioning off his race helmet used in Sunday’s event at New Hampshire International Speedway. (9-20-2005)
UPDATE: The Robby Gordon eBay auction for the helmet Gordon wore during Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway will be reinstated at 10:00pm/et on Wed, Sept 21st [have it up on my Charities page]. Officials at Robby Gordon Motorsports, along with representatives of eBay, conferred on Wednesday afternoon and chose to allow Auction Cause, an on-line auction expert that assists non-profit organizations in maximizing fundraising efforts, to manage the process. Most notably, Auction Cause has the ability to properly pre-qualify bidders on the eBay site. The original bidding exceeded $10 million on Wednesday, and given the traffic on the site, it was difficult to determine the validity of all the bidders. The new auction will end on Saturday evening.(9-21-0005)
AND Robby Gordon and Michael Waltrip were on Speed Channel's Trackside and Mikey signed the helmet and both drivers apologized for thier part in the incidents at New Hampshire. Today is the final day to bid on the helmet until around 10:10pm/et.(9-24-2004)
UPDATE 3: the final winning bid was $51,100.00.(9-25-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Dover race 2 of 10 in the Chase:
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 5362
#2-Rusty Wallace, -7
#12-Ryan Newman, -12
#6-Mark Martin, -21
#20-Tony Stewart, -23 [5 wins, 4 2nds, gets spot]
#16-Greg Biffle, -23 [5 wins, 1 2nd]
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, -81
#99-Carl Edwards, -103
#17-Matt Kenseth, -124
#97-Kurt Busch, -170
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#29-Kevin Harvick, -40 out of 11th
#42-Jamie McMurray, -47
#24 Jeff Gordon, -72.(9-25-2005)
For points standing, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Dover page.(9-25-2005)
- How did 10 drivers in The Chase do at Dover:
#20-Stewart, 18th, 2 laps down, drops to 5th in points
#16-Biffle, 13th, 1 lap down, drops to 6th
#12-Newman, 5th, starys in 3rd
#2-Wallace, 3rd, up to 2nd, 7 points back
#17-Kenseth, 35th DNF, drops to 9th
#48-Johnson, WIN, take points lead
#6-Martin, 4th, moves up to 4th
#19-Mayfield, 7th, moves up a spot to 6th
#99-Edwards, 9th, moves up to 8th
#97-Busch, loses tire, 23rd, 3 laps down, stays 10th
- Unofficial "Classic" Points Standings - Top 15
....the old way, not the Chase after Dover, race 28 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4005
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 3825, -180
3) #2-Rusty Wallace, 3727, -278
4) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3727, -278
5) #6-Mark Martin, 3589, -416
6) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3489, -516
7) #97-Kurt Busch, 3466, -539
8) #12-Ryan Newman, 3400, -605
9) #99-Carl Edwards, 3358, -647
10) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3337, -668
11) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3222, -783
12) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3182, -823
13) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3175, -830
14) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3150, -855
15) #88-Dale Jarrett, 3085, -920
- Dover Race Notes:
• Jimmie Johnson won the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, scoring his 17th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 139th career start.
• Johnson scored his third victory in 2005. His last victory came at Charlotte in May, 16 races ago. Johnson also won at Las Vegas in March.
• Johnson has scored 17 top-10 finishes in 28 races in 2005.
• Johnson climbed from fifth to first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Johnson has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 61 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.
• Johnson won the $60,000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus for winning the race and leading the point standings after the race. It marked the fifth time in 2005 that the bonus has been won. Johnson also won it at Las Vegas ($30,000) and Charlotte ($90,000) while Stewart won it at Indianapolis ($90,000) and Watkins Glen ($10,000).
• This is Johnson’s 16th career superspeedway victory in 108 career superspeedway races.
• Johnson led four times for 134 laps including the final 28.
• Johnson scored the 10th victory for car owner Rick Hendrick at Dover International Speedway, the most of any owner. This was Hendrick’s 137th victory as a car owner and seventh in 28 races this season.
• Kurt Busch led 192 of the 400 laps raced, leading the most laps for the fifth time this season.
The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup-Week No. 2
• Jimmie Johnson took the point lead in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by just seven points over second-place Rusty Wallace. Johnson, along with nine other drivers, will race over the remaining eight races of the 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 Dover.
• Kurt Busch (35th at New Hampshire and 23rd at Dover) started the 2004 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by scoring a victory at New Hampshire and then followed with top-10 finishes in the first six races of the Chase. Busch is now 170 points behind point leader Jimmie Johnson.
• Eight of the 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the first 28 races of the 2005 season. Martin and Wallace remain winless in 2005. Five of the 10 drivers have scored multiple victories led by Stewart and Biffle each with five.
• Only two of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top 10: Mark Martin (fourth) and Carl Edwards (ninth).
• Ryan Newman (first at New Hampshire and fifth at Dover) is the only driver to score top-five finishes in the first two races in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
• Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin have each scored top-10 finishes in the first two races in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
• Elliott Sadler (sixth) climbed from 14th 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. The 11th-place driver will also join the top-10 drivers on stage at the Awards Banquet in New York.
• Kyle Busch (second) scored his third top-five finish in his last four races. He also finished second here in June.
• Tony Stewart (18th) ended a streak of 13 straight top-10 finishes that began with a second-place finish at Michigan in June. Stewart dropped from first to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings ending his seven-race streak as leader of the standings.
• Rusty Wallace (third) scored his fourth finish of sixth or better in his last five races. Wallace climbed from fourth to second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He extended a 41-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 23 top-15 finishes in 28 races in 2005.
Heading to Talladega
• Greg Biffle has never scored a top-10 finish at Talladega.
• Kurt Busch has scored three top-10 finishes in his last four races at Talladega.
• Mark Martin has scored only one finish better than 15th at Talladega in his last seven races there.
• Tony Stewart has finished second at Talladega four times, but has never won there.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-25-2005)
- Rumblings - Dover: Jimmie Johnson passed Mark Martin on lap 377, then held off his teammate Kyle Busch to take today's MBNA RacePoints 404 at Dover International Speedway. It was his third win of the season (he won at Lowe's in May and Las Vegas in February), his third at Dover, the 17th of his career (he's tied with Jeff Burton, Marvin Panch, and Curtis Turner for 37th on the all-time win list) and the 137th for Hendrick Motorsports. It was worth $296,641 from the over $4.9M in posted awards. Another Green/White/Checker today....and still we survived it! Lately, you could get in more trouble under caution!
Rusty Wallace (3rd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Pocono in July.
Mark Martin (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Pocono in July.
Elliott Sadler (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Infineon in June.
Kyle Petty (8th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Bristol in April.
Dave Blaney (20th) had his best finish since he was 20th at Pocono in July.
J. J. Yeley (25th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 27th at Atlanta last October.
STREAKIN.....Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
Kyle Busch had 3 Top-5's in the last 4 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Kyle Petty (+26), followed by Jeff Burton (+25), and Carl Edwards (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper is a tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr (-27) and Sterling Marlin (-27), followed by Bobby Hamilton Jr (-25), Matt Kenseth (-24), and Scott Wimmer (-20). Little E has the most Ops this season (5), but surprisingly (with the way his season has gone) this is his first BD of the year.
In the "Chase" Standings we had a major shakeup as Jimmie Johnson grabs the point by 7 markers over Rusty Wallace. We've got six drivers within 23 points of the lead, and everybody from 7th on down's got a major hill to climb.
In "Classic" points, Elliott Sadler has claimed that all-important 10th loser spot by 40 points over Kevin Harvick. Sadler (14th to 11th) and Kyle Petty (31st to 28th) made the best moves forward today, while four drivers (Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr) all fell two spots each.(Stock Car Fans)(9-25-2005)
News from September 24, 2005
- Yates looking for top crew chief for #38: Robert Yates Racing will likely go after a top-name crew chief [Tommy Baldwin? see my #38 Team News page for that] to serve as the leader of Elliott Sadler's #38 team next season, the team said Friday at Dover International Raceway. The two-car operation moved Todd Parrott back to head Dale Jarrett's #88 team this week. The two won the championship in 1999, but the pair split after the 2001 season. #38-Elliott Sadler will run the final nine races with engineer Kevin Buskirk atop the pit box. "I am just here on a temporary basis," Buskirk said. "We will gain back some of the momentum that we lost."(NASCAR.com)(9-24-2005)
- Biffle still sore, credit HANS for saving him: #16-Greg Biffle told Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio on Friday that it's clear to him that the HANS device saved his life after a very hard crash at Lowe's Motor Speedway testing this week. In fact, he's still hurting this weekend at Dover. "A good possiblity I wouldn't be alive," he said when she asked him what would have happened had he not had the HANS device on at LMS testing this week. "We were 33 laps into a run on a set of tires and the right front failed. It blew out and we went straight into the fence....I hit over 170mph. I mean I'm screwed up," he said. "My shoulders hurt my neck hurt. Then, (I) turned around and did it the next night, backwards. That's as hard as you hit. I mean I went down in the corner was three quarters in the way across the corner flat on the throttle and we're running 28.80's probably going 200 miles an hour. The thing hit the fence just so squared off I mean it was like nearly probably 60 degree impact angle in the fence. You know it was..unbelievable." Biffle is still sore at Dover.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(9-24-2005)
- Rudd still undecided: #21-Ricky Rudd still hasn't decided what he wants to do next year, and the Wood brothers are getting restless in getting an answer. If Rudd returns for another season, the Wood brothers would likely put Jon Wood, the third generation, in a Cup car for seven races to get his feet wet for a full Cup campaign in 2007. If Rudd doesn't come back, Jon Wood would get the ride full-time next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-24-2005)
- RCR Joins The Motorsport Industry Association: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has been accepted as the newest international member of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), and the UK association's first US-based NASCAR stock car racing team organization. The MIA works tirelessly to strengthen its network of contacts within the worldwide motorsport industry, including the NASCAR sector, and the membership for RCR will open up the world market through the MIA's membership on all continents.
Chris Aylett, CEO of the MIA, said "North Carolina, USA and Motorsport Valley in the UK are far closer than geography suggests. The culture of the motorsport businesses in both of these highly successful business communities is based on success. RCR's decision to join the MIA and become the first NASCAR team to do so cements the closeness of those relationships. The MIA will offer access to a truly global motorsport business network from which RCR will gain commercial and competitive advantage. I am delighted that this outstanding company has chosen to join our membership, and we look forward to helping them succeed in whatever way we can."
"RCR is honored to be the first NASCAR team to be accepted into the Motorsport Industry Association," said Richard Childress, president
and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "The process began when we hired Nick Hayes (former technical director for Cosworth) earlier this year to head our engine research and development program. Gaining a competitive edge in racing is very important, whether it's NASCAR,
Formula 1 or at the local dirt track. Being an MIA member will provide RCR with the opportunity to build relationships to achieve that edge
and we hope to be able do the same for other members."
The MIA is a truly global network and has a strong presence in both the UK and the US as well as a liaison office in the Far East. The
MIA offers a wide range of motorsport-specific services including market research, conferences, networking events and exhibitions, as well as a number of trade missions to events in the US, the Gulf, and the Far East. For more info on the MIA and its international events, see the-mia.com.(RCR PR)(9-24-2005)
- Pre-Race Activities at Dover:
* A special tribute to Rusty Wallace will include a proclamation by Governor Ruth Ann Minner, declaring Sept. 25, 2005 "Rusty Wallace
Day." Mayor Stephen Speed will present Wallace with a key to the City of Dover. Frank McKelvey, Sr. Executive Vice President of MBNA, and Denis McGlynn, CEO and president of Dover International Speedway, will also present Wallace with gifts.
* 43 lucky fans who have attended races at Dover International Speedway for 20 years or more will participate in pre-race, and will hold the American flag at each pit stall during the singing of the National Anthem. The winners were selected from an online promotion orchestrated by the Speedway.
* Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, will give the command "Gentlemen Start your Engines" on Sunday for the MBNA RacePoints 400. Cartwright is in Dover to promote "The Kelly's" an animated series about a stock car racing family. The series will debut immediately after the race on NASCAR.COM and will feature 18 short-form episodes optimized for broadband Internet viewing. New
episodes will appear weekly at NASCAR.COM.
* The 200-piece Tiger Marching Alexis I. DuPont High School from Wilmington, Del., will perform.
* A 40-piece United States Army Field Band will also perform throughout the ceremony.(DIS PR)(9-24-2005)
News from September 23, 2005
- Newman wins pole at Dover: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway with a fast lap of 158.102mph for his 6th pole of 2005 and 33rd of his career. #9-Kasey Kahne starting 2nd, followed by #5-Kyle Busch, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Jimmie Johnson. The best qualifying Ford was the #6 of Mark Martin at 7th. Points leader, #20-Tony Stewart qualified 31st. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed, qualifying 8th. Missing the race were: #89-Shepherd, #92-Sadler, #08-McGlynn, #34-McCarthy and #75-Anderson [who didn't make an attempt].(9-23-2005)
For starting lineup, qualifying results, practice speeds, qualifying order and more, see Jayski's Dover Practice/Qualifying/Lineup Page.(9-23-2005)
- Waltrip, NAPA to Bill Davis Racing - It's OFFICIAL: Michael Waltrip and NAPA Auto PartsS announced today they have entered into a partnership with Bill Davis Racing (BDR) for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. Nine victories and eight poles are shared between the parties including three Daytona 500 rings and a Southern 500 victory. Bill Davis Racing's achievements lured Waltrip to their High Point, N.C. race shop. "I like the way Bill does business and he has created a strong organization," Waltrip explained. "NAPA and I look forward to continuing our winning ways at Bill Davis Racing on the track, as well as extending our successful marketing efforts off the track." Waltrip and NAPA were teamed up by the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001 when their initial race together put them in victory lane at the Daytona 500. Since then, the pair has taken advantage of their union to create one of the strongest partnerships in the sport.
"Teaming with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. for the past five years has been the highlight of my NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career to date," continued Waltrip. "I look toward my future with NAPA and BDR with gratitude to DEI for the memories and friendships I have formed."
"It is no secret that our association with Michael has been a key ingredient of our marketing efforts," said Bob Susor, president of NAPA Auto PartsS. "Race fans associate NAPA Auto PartsS with Michael Waltrip and vice versa. Michael has promoted our brand in his own unique style. Moving forward, we are pleased to announce our continued support of Michael Waltrip and a new partnership with Bill Davis Racing. This begins a new chapter in NASCAR team sponsorship for NAPA. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the many successes NAPA has enjoyed during our tenure with DEI such as two NASCAR Truck Series Championships and two Daytona 500 victories. We will value our DEI association and wish them nothing but the best in their future efforts."
Next year will be Bill Davis Racing's 14th year of competition on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series level, the team's 19th year in NASCAR
competition. As a NASCAR team owner, Davis has worked with some of the sport's top drivers achieving wins in all three premier divisions
of NASCAR, totaling 18 victories, 100 top-five finishes and 250 top-10 finishes.
Davis currently fields one full-time NEXTEL Cup Series team with Scott Wimmer driving the #22 Caterpillar Dodge Charger. In 2004, Davis
expanded his operations to house three full-time truck teams in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The teams include Mike Skinner in the #5 Toyota Tundra, Bill Lester in the #22 Toyota Tundra, and Johnny Benson in the #23 Toyota Tundra.
"NAPA and Michael Waltrip are the perfect combination to re-establish our two-car Cup team in 2006," said Davis. "NAPA and Michael are held in high regard in our sport and have been successful in each Series they have competed. We plan to build on their success and create a very competitive team next year and beyond." There will be a Q&A session at the #22 CAT Racinghauler in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage at 10:10am/et Friday, Sept. 23.(Bill Davis Racing)), no mention of car number or if #22 driver, Scott Wimmer will be back.(9-23-2005)
- Petty's and Sprint Car Series? UPDATE 3: hearing there is supposed to be a press conference scheduled at Dover to announce the new sprint car league being formed by Petty Enterprises, called the National Sprint Car League?(9-21-2005)
UPDATE: Been told Tony Stewart is involved and hearing the Petty family has a financial interest in thsi new series that will go head-to-head with World of Outlaws with a couple of Speedway Motorsports tracks. Also hearing that 12 of the top 17 WoO drivers are going with the new series, including Steve Kinser. Look for an announcement from Dover on Friday.(9-22-2005)
UPDATE 2: Sprint car racing's biggest names have split into two separate series for 2006, drivers confirmed Wednesday. The World of Outlaws, owned by DIRT Motorsports, will retain five of its 18 full-time drivers — Altoona's Terry McCarl, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz — and plans to add more for 2006. Danny Lasoski, who drives for Tony Stewart Motorsports, represents one of 13 current Outlaws teams who have signed with the National Sprintcar League for the 2006 season. The group is backed by Petty Enterprises and has lured drivers such as Steve and Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Tim Shaffer. Lasoski said he would not run any Outlaws-sanctioned events next season, and was unsure what would happen regarding a possible non-sanctioned 2006 Knoxville Nationals. He added that NASCAR names such as Stewart, Kasey Kahne, the Pettys and Dave Blaney would field cars in the National Sprintcar League next season.(Des Moines Register)(9-23-2005)
UPDATE 3 - official: Richard Petty Driving Experience, a leader in providing high quality motorsports entertainment, announced the formation of the National SprintCar League. Steve Kinser, 19 - time World of Outlaws series champion, and 11 other current World of Outlaws drivers and teams have joined the newly formed NSL beginning in 2006. The NSL has signed the following twelve current World of Outlaws series drivers and teams to 3-year agreements beginning with the 2006 season: Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Danny “The Dude” Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana, Jason Sides, Brian Paulus, Brandon Wimmer, Shane Stewart and Jason Solwold. The series has also received commitments from 3 - time World of Outlaws series champion Sammy Swindell, 16 - time World of Outlaws championship car owner Karl Kinser and long time team owner Dennis Roth to run in 2006. The NSL is making significant progress in organizing the 2006 championship schedule and is in discussions with several corporate partners regarding series sponsorship. In addition, the group is in the process of securing a comprehensive television package for the series. See full press release at nationalsprintcarleague.com.(9-23-2005)
- New Hampshire TV Ratings up 21%: The Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway garnered a 3.4 Houeshold Rating on TNT with 3,786,000 households viewing and with 5,505,000 viewers and was 3rd behind the Chief-Radiers NFL game on ESPN [6.9 ratings] and interestingly enough the Post-Race show on TNT, just after the race [4:49 to 5:00pm/et] which had a 3.7 ratings, 4,113,000 households and 6,124,000 viewers.(Zap2it.com)
in 2004 the New Hampshire race on TNT had a rating of 2.8 and total households watching at 3,024,000.(9-23-2005)
- #97 Back in Crown Royal Purple at Dover: For the final time this season, the #97 Ford Taurus will be coated with Crown Royal purple & gold for the NASCAR Cup race at Dover International Speedway this Sunday, including a special logo that commemorates the Crown Royal Relief initiative. Previously, Busch drove the Crown Royal car to a victory at Richmond on September 10. To help aid relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims in the Gulf Coast area, Crown Royal and Diageo are auctioning on eBay a one-of-a-kind 2004 Chip Collins Custom Crown Royal Chopper motorcycle, including a helmet signed by the last two NASCAR Nextel Cup champions - Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. Bidding started on September 19 and will be open through September 29, more info on my Racing Charities page.
Voting for the Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane program has come to a close and now the four finalists that will be named to the first all-time IROC team will be announced and take part in special ceremonies at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Oct. 29 race weekend. The nominees include: Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Dale Earnhardt, Hurley Haywood, Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough.(Alan Taylor Communications), see an image of the car on my #97 Team Schemes page.(9-23-2005)
- Baseball says it is #2 in TV Ratings: Major League Baseball officials are beginning to dispute NASCAR's assertion that when it comes to television ratings, stock car racing takes a back seat only to the NFL. In the 2005 Nextel Cup series media guide, NASCAR proclaims itself "the #2 rated sport on television in the United States."
Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president/business, says when ratings for baseball's biggest events are included in the comparison, baseball's network television ratings were 23% higher than NASCAR's last year. "People can say whatever they want to say, but the facts speak for themselves," Brosnan says. "When it comes to network television, baseball is the No. 2 sport." Brosnan cites research from Nielsen Media, saying in 2004 NASCAR's 26 races televised on NBC and Fox averaged a 5.6 rating; that includes ratings for races in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the playoff-style championship format introduced last season. Baseball's 43 Fox telecasts in 2004, including playoffs and the All-Star Game, averaged a 6.9. One ratings point is equivalent to 1% of U.S. TV households.
NASCAR officials maintain their network ratings are higher than baseball's for most of the year, making them the No. 2 TV sport. "We know pundits are going to come up with various ways to dispute facts in every situation," NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said via e-mail. "However, we are proud to hold the No. 2 position on television."(USA Today)(9-23-2005)
- More on TNT not having a delay and highlights for this Sunday: NBC/TNT producer Sam Flood had a simple answer about why Robby Gordon's 'bad word' was not delayed and beeped out. "It's cable," Flood said. "TNT isn't on a delay, was never on a delay and will never be on a delay." The rules are much different for cable outlets like TNT. Currently, the FCC has the power to fine over-the-air radio and television broadcasters for indecency violations. For example, over-the-air outlets are prohibited from broadcasting excretory or sexual content between 6:00am and 10:00pm, when it is more likely that children will be watching. Cable channels, like TNT, do not have the same restrictions.
TNT has its final Nextel Cup Series race broadcast of the season Sunday at Dover. Among the pre-race features planned:
• A profile of last week's race winner, Ryan Newman
• A review of last weekend's wild race at New Hampshire
• Wally welcomes Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis to "Wally's World."[Lewis canceled, no reason]
- Biffle on "Yes Dear, Oct 5th": Jimmy (Mike O'Malley) and Greg (Anthony Clark) become partners in the next lawn mower race after Jimmy comes in last place due to a slow lawn mower, on YES, DEAR, Wednesday, Oct. 5 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Mark Cendrowski directed the episode written by Gigi McCreery and Perry Rein. NASCAR driver Greg Biffle guests stars as one of competitors in the lawn mower competition. Jimmy enters himself in an amateur lawn mower racing contest but is discouraged when he comes in last place in his first race. Seeing the disappointment in Sammy's face, Greg decides to finance the next competition as a way to bond with his son, who is part of Jimmy's pit crew. But when Greg starts acting like an owner instead of a sponsor, Jimmy pulls out of the race leaving an inexperienced Greg worried that he might have to step in.(CBS Entertainment PR)(9-23-2005)
- Dover Qualfying News and Notes:
• Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the MBNA RacePoints 400, lapping Dover International Speedway in 22.770 seconds at 158.102 mph. Jeremy Mayfield holds the track-qualifying record of 22.288 seconds, 161.522 mph, set June 4, 2004.
• This is Newman’s 33rd career Bud Pole in 144 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
• Newman moved to a tie with Fred Lorenzen on the [17th] all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole list.
• This is Newman’s second Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Dover.
• There have been five different Bud Pole winners in the last nine races at Dover, but only two in the past five. Jeremy Mayfield (both 2004) and Newman (June 2003 and September 2005) are the only repeat Bud Pole winners at Dover since the fall of 2001. Qualifying was canceled due to weather in September 2003 and June 2005.
• Kasey Kahne posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 22.919 seconds, 157.074 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the MBNA RacePoints 400. This is Kahne’s first start better than 12th in four Dover races.
• This is the ninth Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005 – but their first sine Pocono in July. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Ford has five. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Kyle Busch (third) posted his ninth top-10 start in 2005. Busch started 22nd and finished second in July - his only Dover appearance.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fourth) has started from the top 10 in five of his 12 races at Dover. It is just his fourth top-10 start this season, including each of the past two races.
• Jimmie Johnson (fifth) posted his sixth top-10 start in eight races at Dover. It is his 16th top-10 start in 2005 and his third in the past four races.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th by Kyle Petty in June 1995.
• Forty-four of 71 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Dover have been won from a top five starting position while only 13 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
• Six of the last nine NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Dover have been won from a top-five starting position.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-23-2005)
- Ramblings - Dover: It was a double-dip Friday for the Rocket Man today as Ryan Newman took the Bud Pole for Sunday's MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway with a time of 22.770 (158.102 mph). Scoop #1 was served earlier when he took the pole for tomorrow's Busch 200 miler. This was pole #6 on the season for Newman (no one else has more than two) and the 33rd of his NEXTEL Cup career. Newman will be joined on the front-row by Kasey Kahne....this is Kasey's best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Loudon in July.
Kyle Busch (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at California in February.
Scott Wimmer (16th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Pocono in July.
Kevin Lepage (35th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 24th at Daytona in July (only 4 races).
STREAKIN.....Jimmie Johnson has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
Mark Martin has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
Kurt Busch has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
Gonna be a long day for the "Chasers" on Sunday as this race can last an eternity.....especially if you're looking for the handle. Everybody seems to be playing nice so far (it is only Friday), but after Mike Helton gives them a talkin' to pre-race we'll see if it lasts.(Stock Car Fans)(9-23-2005)
- Dover Average Finish for the 10 drivers in The Chase:
#20-Stewart, 5.0, 2 wins
#16-Biffle, 18.0, 1 win
#12-Newman, 6.7, 3 wins
#2-Wallace, 12.6, 3 wins
#48-Johnson, 13.4, 2 wins
#6-Martin, 13.4, 4 wins
- Bill Davis Racing/Waltrip Announcement UPDATE 2 Mikey on Trackside: Bill Davis hopes to improve that situation [one car team] by having his second [Cup] entry return to the tour full-time next year. He intends to announce details of the program this week. Garage speculation in recent weeks has targeted Michael Waltrip as the driver [with NAPA as the sponsor]. "Like every one over here, we were looking at ways to get better," Davis said. "Going to a two-car team will help, with all the advantages that entails from testing and sharing information." Also of note, when Mike Skinner won a truck race a few weeks ago Davis became just the sixth owner in history to win in all of NASCAR's top three series, joining Jack Roush, Rick Hendrick, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress.(High Point Enterprise)(9-15-2005)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip said on this weeks Inside Nextel Cup show that he would announce his 2006 plans on Speed Channel's Trackside show from Dover, which airs this Friday at 7:00pm/et [re-air at 11:00pm/et].(9-21-2005)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip will announce Friday [on Trackside] that he has signed a one-year deal to drive a second car for Davis next season. Davis entered two cars in most races from 2000 to 2003 but cut back last season and now fields only Scott Wimmer's #22 Dodge. Wimmer hasn't had a top-10 finish this season and enters Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway 33rd in points. Waltrip will bring NAPA Auto Partss, his current sponsor at Dale Earnhardt Inc., with him to Davis; Waltrip, 42, announced in July that he would not return to DEI in 2006. Davis' team fields Dodges in Nextel Cup but doesn't receive technical or financial support from the automaker. Dodge sued the team in 2003 after it discovered team members were doing development work for Toyota's Craftsman Truck Series program. Though Waltrip says the lack of factory support has "probably been a disadvantage" for Davis, the possibility of aligning himself with Toyota — which hasn't announced plans to join Nextel Cup but is expected to do so in 2007 — was part of the attraction. "I guess it was a consideration on my part to see what might be next," Waltrip said.(USA Today), have seen the NAPA PR and it doesn't address the car number Waltrip will drive [#22? #23? #00?] nor if Scott Wimmer will be back in the #22 Caterpillar Dodge in 2006, although Caterpillar is signed with Davis until 2007.(9-23-2005)
News from September 22, 2005
- DEI to appeal Waltrip penalty: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(DEI) is going to appeal the points and monetary fine placed against the #15 NAPA Parts Chevrolet from last week's race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Chevrolet, was fined 25 driver points and $10,000 for allegedly using an "inappropriate gesture during a televised broadcast." Teresa Earnhardt, CEO and President of Dale Earnhardt, Inc, was also fined 25 owner points. "In looking at the tape, we don't see anywhere during the entire
incident where Michael did what he is accused of doing," said Richie Gilmore, Vice President of Motorsports for DEI.(DEI PR)(9-22-2005)
- Furniture Row Racing to make Cup debut at Dover: Furniture Row Racing will debut their #78 Chevy at the Dover International Speedway on September 25. T he newly formed stand-alone NEXTEL Cup team has signed veteran driver Kenny Wallace to a five-race deal headed up by team manger Joe Garone. "We’ll be testing before every race to make sure the car is competitive, so we do this CUP deal right,” explains Wallace. Based in Denver, Colorado Furniture Row Racing is the NEXTEL Cup Series newest team, formed and sponsored by Furniture Row Companies [furniturerow.com]. The company also sponsors the #78 car in the Busch Series driven by Jerry Robertson. Furniture Row Companies is the fourth largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailer. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Oak Express, Sofa Mart, Bedroom Expressions, Denver Mattress Company and Furniture Row Outlets. Furniture Row operates more than 250 stores nationwide; the company is among the "Top 15" national furniture retailers.(Furniture Row Racing site)(9-22-2005)
- CAT Chopper at Dover IMAGE: Some may have to do a double-take at the #22 Dodge of Scott Wimmer this weekend at Dover International Speedway, because it will have the CAT Chopper riding alongside it … well, on the side of it. Earlier this year on the Discovery Channel hit “American Chopper” series, the father-and-son duo—the Teutuls—created the “CAT Chopper.” The bike was featured on the popular series during the months of April and August and has been touring the country since its completion, traveling to CAT dealers for open houses, bike rallies and more. The original CAT Chopper will be on display at Dover International Speedway this Sunday just outside the Caterpillar hospitality tent. Go to cat.com and click on “showcases” to learn more about the CAT Chopper, but don’t forget to check it out for yourself this weekend at Dover.(Bill Davis Racing)(9-21-2005)
IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(9-22-2005)
- Waltrip and Gordon speak: on Speed Channel's new show, Back Seat Drivers, Robby Gordon said Michael Waltrip called him on Tuesday and apologized and even offered up a car from Michael Waltrip Motorsports if Gordon needs it, as Gordon said he is down on Intermediate Track cars [1 to 1.5 mile tracks]. But Gordon expects his team to have one ready for Kansas in a few weeks.(9-22-2005)
- Goodyear Tires Notes: This is the second consecutive race weekend that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Dover . . . this right-side code (D-6812) was also run at this track in 2004 and is unique to Dover . . . this left-side code (D-6852) will be run with a different right-side at California, Charlotte, Chicagoland, Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky (Busch and Truck only) in 2005 . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . unlike on other NASCAR ovals one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Dover . . . inflation on those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 90-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), for the rest of the notes, codes, quotes, see my Dover Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-22-2005)
- Wed Testing at Lowe's, Biffle and Stewart wreck again: NEXTEL Cup Series point leader Tony Stewart and championship contender Greg Biffle each crashed for the second time in less than 30 hours Wednesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway as five teams made final preparations for the Oct. 15 UAW-GM Quality 500. Neither Stewart nor Biffle were injured and both were able to drive their heavily damaged cars back to the garage area. Bouncing back from his hard crash Tuesday afternoon, Stewart was consistently quick throughout the testing session and recorded the fastest lap of the evening just moments before a cut right-front tire sent the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet into the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier. "I had just run a 28.88," Stewart said. "I'm thinking 'this is pretty good,' and then I get to Turn 3 and I'm thinking 'this isn't good.'" Stewart's lap of 28.887 seconds, 186.935 mph, was the fastest of the two-day session but Stewart was still befuddled by the track's levigated surface.
"It's better, but I only ran three laps yesterday so I'm not really able to make a comparison," he said. "All the rubber that's being put down is helping. But what scares me is that all the rubber is being put down in one groove, and I'm not sure we are going to be able to pass."
Biffle's day ended extremely early as he crashed hard in Turn 2 less than an hour after the green flag was unfurled. Out of race cars, the #16 Roush Racing team loaded up and headed home [10 minutes from the track]. Opting to only test on Wednesday, Kyle Busch said track conditions were improving as the session progressed. "It's getting better the more people run on it. I started off today really, really tight which is probably a good thing," Busch said about his #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. "The set-up we have for this place is dynamite. I'd like to be a little bit better but everybody always says that. I would like to be beating everybody by about two-tenths and that's what we're working toward." Busch was second fastest on the unofficial stopwatches at 185.452 mph while older brother Kurt was next at 184.237 mph in the #97 Roush Racing Ford. Scott Wimmer was clocked at 183.511 mph in the #22 Bill Davis Racing Dodge and Biffle posted a lap at 182.414 before his accident.
Tickets for all events during UAW-GM Quality 500 weekend, including round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
The unofficial speeds:
1. #20-Tony Stewart, 186.935;
2. #5-Kyle Busch, 185.452;
3. #97-Kurt Busch, 184.237;
4. #22-Scott Wimmer, 183.511
5. #16-Greg Biffle, 182.414.(LMS PR/Site)(9-22-2005)
- NBC/TNT Gone after 2006? ....word has already been leaked to the staff at NBC and TNT not to expect to come back following the 2006 [NASCAR Nextel Cup] season.(Yahoo Sports)(9-20-2005)
UPDATE: been told by folks at NBC/TNT that they have heard nothing that indicates NBC/TNT will not return in 2007 covering NASCAR racing.(9-22-2005)
- Race #100 for Mears: #41-Casey Mears will be making his 100th start in the NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend at Dover International Speedway in the #41 Target Dodge. "I can't believe I'm making my 100th start in the Cup Series," said Mears. "When I had the opportunity to run in the Busch Series four years ago, I thought it might be temporary. I really believed I would be back in an open wheel series. Today, I can't imagine racing in any other series but NASCAR. In 99 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts, Mears has accumulated two poles, two top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. The highlight of his stock car career came at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he captured the pole at a record-setting speed last season.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-22-2005)
News from September 21, 2005
- Testing at Lowe's - Wed: hearing that #16-Greg Biffle crashed again today, testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Biffle also crashed Tuesday, wrecking what he considered his best car and one that was going to be used in four of the nine remaining 2005 races. Also, heard #20-Tony Stewart did not test Wednesday [so far] after wrecking Tuesday.
MORE #16-Greg Biffle’s championship chances may have taken a severe blow after crashing in successive days during testing at Lowes Motor Speedway. Tuesday night a right front tire cut down on his National Guard Ford sending him crashing into the wall between turns one and two. The tire had run 35 laps. Wednesday afternoon Biffle got loose going in the same turn and backed into the wall. As for the first crash Biffle said “It’s unfortunate…it was my best racecar I had in the fleet…the fastest racecar I’ve had ever. Data showed a 170 mile per hour impact. It was a pretty tough hit…hardest hit I’ve had in a long time.” As for crash number two…”It was a brand new car but it’s not something we were depending on. It’s tough to come here and lose two cars because someone is not using their brain. They made changes to the race track and who knows what determination was made…was it suppose to be the same grinding as it was before? If that was what they were told then there’s no reason for alarm, but that’s obviously not what happened. Maybe it’ll be okay whenever all the cars are here running we’ll have to wait and see.” Biffle’s shoulders, left arm, and neck are all sore. The car that wrecked Tuesday was virtually destroyed and was slated for Charlotte, Kansas, Texas and Homestead. Biffle said it will take a lot of work however it does look fixable in time for Kansas.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-21-2005)
- Best Buy colors for Bliss: Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the #0 Best Buy Chevy for the first time this season as the Haas CNC Racing team heads to Dover International Speedway for this Sunday’s MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 400. Best Buy has been a co-primary sponsor on the #0 Haas CNC Racing entry all year. The event this weekend at “The Monster Mile” will mark the first time in which the #0 Haas CNC Racing Chevy arrives at the track and ready for action featuring the bold blue and yellow colors of Best Buy, North America’s leading consumer electronics retailer. In addition, the trunk of the Monte Carlo also will feature a tribute to the more than 1,200 Best Buy associates in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The message reads, “Hats off to Best Buy’s hurricane heroes,” followed by a listing of the affected stores and their markets. Best Buy had 12 stores that were affected by the hurricane, including four that remain closed. All employees who were displaced by the disaster have been accounted for, and many now are helping to rebuild their stores and their communities. Best Buy stores nationwide are collecting customer donations to the American Red Cross, and matching these donations with up to $2 million from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation.(NetZero Best Buy Racing / Motorsports Marketing Solutions PR), no images of the car found yet.(9-21-2005)
- Lepage to drive the #66 at Dover: Peak Performance Motorsports owner Jeff Stec announced today that NASCAR veteran Kevin Lepage will take over the driving duties for the #66 EAS Ford at Dover this weekend. Lepage opened the season with a stellar run in the Daytona 500 [in the #37 Dodge]. After qualifying ninth, Lepage battled all day and picked up an impressive eight-place finish. He has made 14 starts in the Nextel Cup Series this season. "This is a great opportunity for me, and as a racer, it's my goal to be on the track racing every opportunity I get," said Lepage. "I want to thank Jeff and his crew for working with me. I'm hopeful we can put together a solid race this weekend. I've had some success at Dover and I believe my experiences in the past will be helpful to the team."(PSE-3 / Peak Performance Motorsports), no word if Mike Garvey will be back in the #66 at Talladega the following week.(9-21-2005)
- Tuesday Testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway - Speeds: The pressure cooker that is the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup boiled over Tuesday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway as 13 teams kicked off testing for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 15. By the time the checkered flag was waved over the six-hour session, four race cars had been wrecked and opinions about the condition of the race track, which has undergone additional levigating since the Coca-Cola 600 in May, were swirling through the garage area like a small tornado.
"I don't know if it's the track or the combination of the track with the tires," said point leader #20-Tony Stewart after slamming the Turn 2 wall just 30 minutes into the session. "I don't remember any of the drivers asking them to make the changes here. You have to give 'Humpy' [Wheeler, track president and general manager] credit though. He's trying to make it better but it's kind of made it worse. After running three laps and destroying a car, it doesn't give us much to look forward to. We've got to figure out how we can run around here and not wreck. Maybe when we come back everything will be better," Stewart continued. "They had a car show here this weekend and the track is dirty, so who knows maybe we just need more laps on the track."
Title contender Mark Martin was third fastest on the unofficial stopwatches with a lap at 184.414 mph in the Viagra Ford but, like Stewart, has reservations about the track surface. "It's pretty messed up," was Martin's summation. "This is the world's greatest race track and it was awesome the way it was. It's messed up now. 'Humpy' has tried to make it better by fixing the lower groove in one and two but they shouldn't have manipulated this race track in the first place. Did you see the race last time? The race in May was an indication of what we are going to have this time."
Veteran Ricky Rudd, who had a fastest lap of 182.420 mph in the No. 21 Ford, offered a completely different opinion. "The track is making good grip and the tires are great," Rudd said. "The set-ups have changed so much since we were here in May and that's getting a lot of guys in trouble. We had strayed from our May set-up when we unloaded, but we got back to it pretty quickly. I'm not sure why these guys are complaining. We're running in the 29-second bracket in the heat of the day and that was absolutely unheard of before they ground the track."
H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway and a former boxer, compared the atmosphere in the garage area to a heavyweight title fight. "This is the biggest pressure cooker in sports today. It's almost like you are fighting for the heavyweight championship every week," Wheeler said. "There's a lot of pressure on these guys and they are taking these things to the edge—right to the edge of the cliff, and every once in a while you will go off the cliff. The track has been very hot. The track temperature was probably over 135 today. A lot of guys got out at 3 o'clock and there was no rubber on the track. As far as the track is concerned, I really don't see any problems, we've levigated the whole front straightaway and we also levigated up toward the wall. But if you're up there, you are already wrecked anyway. Everything else is the same as it was in May."
Stewart was finished for the evening following his accident, but plans to return Wednesday evening with a different car. Mike Bliss also walked away from a crash in Turn 2 and Boris Said bounced off the Turn 3 wall just five minutes into the session. "It just got loose," Said explained. "I caught it and barely hit the wall. It only tore up the body, not the suspension. I didn't feel like as big an idiot when I saw some of the veterans were having trouble." Just before 9 p.m. Greg Biffle slammed the outside wall in Turn 2. Biffle's car was heavily damaged but he was able to drive back to the garage area.
NEXTEL Cup Series testing for the Oct. 15 UAW-GM Quality 500 continues Wednesday evening [Sept 21st]. Cars will be on the track from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fans can watch the action from the frontstretch grandstand free of charge and should enter through Gate 5A which is located next to the ticket office in Smith Tower. Tickets for all events during UAW-GM Quality 500 weekend, including round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online.
The top-10 unofficial speeds:
1. #36-Boris Said 185.376
2. #16-Greg Biffle 184.938
3. #6-Mark Martin 184.414
4. #07-Dave Blaney 183.692
5. #31-Jeff Burton 183.636
6. #21-Ricky Rudd 182.420
7. #18-Bobby Labonte 182.168
8. #00-David Reutimann 181.996
9. #97-Kurt Busch 181.366
10. #22-Scott Wimmer 180.644.(LMS PR)(9-21-2005)
- Parrott splitting with RYR? or reassigned? UPDATE reassigned: hearing Todd Parrott crew chief for the Robert Yates Racing #38 M&M's team/Elliott Sadler are parting ways or Parrott may be reassigned with the organization, expect an announcement sometime this week.(9-18-2005)
UPDATE:Robert Yates Racing announced personnel changes for both NEXTEL Cup Series teams, as well as their Busch Series program. Effective immediately, veteran crew chief Todd Parrott will assume the role of crew chief for Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team, while Kevin Buskirk, engineer for the #38 M&M’S® Racing Team, will assume the role of interim crew chief for Elliott Sadler. Additionally, Raymond Fox, III, will serve as crew chief for the #90 CitiFinancial Team.
With both teams sitting outside the top 10 and having just missed the Chase for the Championship, RYR management decided to make immediate personnel changes for the remainder of this season in preparation for the 2006 NASCAR season. “In the business of NASCAR racing the responsibility to perform both to ourselves and our sponsors is and has, become increasingly more important,” said Eddie D’Hondt, general manager of RYR. “We are making this change in an effort to spark both of our teams to the performance level expected of us.” For more than two years, Parrott has served as crew chief with Jarrett teammate Elliott Sadler and the #38 M&M’S Racing Team. During that period, Parrott led Sadler to two wins (Texas in 2004 and the fall race at California in 2004), as well as a non-points victory with
their win in one of the Daytona 500 qualifying races in 2004. Additionally, Parrott guided Sadler to the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship last season with Sadler finishing the year in ninth place. It marked Sadler’s first time finishing in the top 10 in the point standings.
“We felt to improve the performance of the 88 team it was important to establish a leadership that has been lacking for the last few months,” said car owner Robert Yates. “Billy (Wilburn) did a great job of coming in here and working with the 88 and 38 teams to get them on the same page. Todd (Parrott) has a record that speaks for itself both with preparing race cars and making decisions in the pits. Todd has the skills, ability and talent to lead a race team, and he is committed to winning races.” Buskirk has served as the engineer for the #38 M&M’S Team since November 2003 and has been instrumental in preparing the cars Sadler has raced during the last two seasons. Buskirk will work in the interim crew chief capacity while the team actively searches for a permanent replacement for that position. “Kevin is an important part of not only the M&M’S Team but for all of RYR,” Yates said. “He has a lot of knowledge about race cars and what
needs to happen to make them perform. He’s been on top of the pit box for the last two years helping call adjustments so he is the ideal
person to fill this interim role for us.”
Fox, who has been with RYR since the organization opened for business in 1987, will take over the race day crew chief duties for the #90
CitiFinancial car throughout the remainder of the season. Fox will also continue in his current position with the #38 M&M’S Team.
All of the principal players involved in this announcement will be available for questions from the media at 9:00am/et this Friday in
the infield media center at Dover International Speedway. This is the only time that members of Robert Yates Racing will be made available
to discuss this subject.(RYR/Elevation Group PR)(9-20-2005)
AND The team has offered to reassign Wilburn, but he has not decided whether to stay. Kevin Buskirk, an engineer for Sadler's team, becomes Sadler's interim crew chief.(Roanoke Times)(9-21-2005)
News from September 20, 2005
- Holy Stolen Car: Roush Racing's "Batman Begins" Showcar stolen from Hotel in Ohio. Stolen on Saturday, Sept. 17th from Holiday Inn Express, 13300 Reynoldsburg-Baltimore, Pickerington, OH 43147. Stolen was the 2002 Ford F-350 hauler, NC Tag: AB 8527,
VIN #: 1FTWX32F32EB11091, IFTA #: 126832, Mileage: ~154,000 and Trailer, a 2003 Featherlite with NC Tag BN 29266, VIN #: 4FGL028293C058099 and the #6 'wrapped' as "Batman Begins" Ford showcar, Chassis #: RK-209 with engine and full running gear. Contact Officer Corey Flanagan of the Pickerington Police Department, 614 575 6911 if have any info about the theft. So...where was Batman?(9-20-2005)
- Testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway this week UPDATE 2: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20, and Wednesday, Sept. 21 in preparation for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 15. Teams fielding cars for the following drivers have indicated their intention to participate with more expected: #6-Mark Martin, #16-Greg Biffle, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #22-Scott Wimmer, #31-Jeff Burton and #97-Kurt Busch. Fans can attend both of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing sessions free of charge. Lowe's Motor Speedway's frontstretch grandstand will be open both days and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office.(LMS PR)(9-15-2005)
UPDATEd driver roster:
Tuesday, Sept 20: #0-Mike Bliss; #00-David Reutimann [M Waltrip's car]; #07-Dave Blaney; #09-Johnny Sauter; #6-Mark Martin; #16-Greg Biffle; #18-Bobby Labonte; #20-Tony Stewart; #21-Ricky Rudd; #22-Scott Wimmer; #31-Jeff Burton; #36-Boris Said; #97-Kurt Busch.
Wednesday, Sept 21: #00-David Reutimann; #09-Johnny Sauter; #5-Kyle Busch: #16-Greg Biffle; #22-Scott Wimmer; #31-Jeff Burton; #97-Kurt Busch.(LMS PR)(9-19-2005)
UPDATE 2: #20-Tony Stewart wrecked in testing, is ok, but called it a day and may or may not return to test on Wednesday.(PRN's Garage pass Radio Show)(9-20-2005)
- Red Barons back at Dover: Ken Schrader will be driving the #49 Dodge emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week at the Dover International Speedway, for Sunday’s MBNA Race Points 400. 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), Schrader also ran this cool looking scheme at Atlanta in March, the Nextel Open, Indy and California a few weeks ago, see an image of the scheme on my #49 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2005)
- NASCAR Race Points scheme: #18-Bobby Labonte will run a MBNA NASCAR RacePoints scheme at the Dover International Speedway, for Sunday’s MBNA Race Points 400. MBNA has added the Red Cross logo to the trunk deck. Labonte will be wearing a white fire suit with the American Red Cross logo on the front and 1-800-help-now on the back. The #11 FedEx Chevy of Joe Gibbs Racing will also carry the Red cross logo on the trunk. Fed Ex and MBNA are teaming up to take credit card and cash donations at the track on Saturday and Sunday to help with the Hurricane relief., see an image of the car and suit on my #18 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2005)
- Woods to Receive Prestigious Smokey Yunick Award: Glen and Leonard Wood of the Wood Brothers Racing team will receive the prestigious Smokey Yunick Award during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, annually recognizes those whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. Wood Brothers Racing is now equally owned by Glen Wood and his children, Eddie, Len and Kim, but the 80-year-old patriarch continues to play a role in the team's operations. Leonard Wood, Glen's younger brother, has been with the team since its inception. He served as chief mechanic as the organization grew into a championship contender during the 1950s and '60s. Recently celebrating his 71st birthday, Leonard Wood still works at Wood Brothers Racing as a fabricator and toils in the carburetor department of Roush-Yates Racing Engines. Wood Brothers Racing is fourth on the all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win list with 97 victories, all of which have been in Ford products. Wood Brothers Racing has won NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series races in six consecutive decades. Glen Wood was selected as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers during the sanctioning body's 50th anniversary in 1998. Eighteen of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers have driven for Wood Brothers Racing, including current driver Ricky Rudd. Glen Wood was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 2001 and became a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002. Leonard Wood received the Golden Wrench award from the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2001. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Ken Squier, Bill
Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Junie Donlavey and Jim Hunter. Tickets for the UAW-GM Quality 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, start at just $29 and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(More at lowesmotorspeedway.com) and for more about Smokey Yunnick, see smokeyyunick.com.(9-20-2005)
- Stewart Wins 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year Vote: Tony Stewart, who smoked the race tracks in NASCAR Nextel Cup series, fired up the voting among the media and the fans, easily winning the Speed Channel DRIVER OF THE YEAR third quarter, 2005.
"It's an honor to be named the third quarter Driver of The Year,” said Stewart, the 2002 Nextel Cup Champion. “I didn't do it alone, though, as I had a great race team in Joe Gibbs Racing providing me with great race cars". Stewart drove the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, into victory lane at the quarter’s opening race, the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway and hasn’t slowed to lookin his rear-view mirrors. Following an emotional win at the Allstate 400, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart - known as “Smoke” - took over the points lead and held it as the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup started this Sunday. During the 12 weeks of the third quarter Stewart amassed an unmatched record of five wins and no finish worse than eighth. In the fan voting Stewart garnered all the first-place ballots, except for one (where he was voted in second place). As a result he scored 150 points, or, more than double the 69 points tallied by Dan Wheldon, of the Indy Racing League, the second quarter winner. Britain’s Wheldon won two races, in the quarter, has all but wrapped up the Indy Car Series title. France’s Sebastien Bourdais, the reigning Champ Car World Series Champion and current series leader had one first-place vote and counted a total of 58 points. Bourdais, who drives for Newman/Haas Racing had a string of three consecutive wins. Fourth place went to King of the Outlaws Steve Kinser. Noteworthy, Stewart was first, Martin Truex Jr., of the NASCAR Busch Series, finished second and the IRL’s, Tony Kanaan, finished third as fans clicked their votes on the www.SpeedTV.com website. In its’ 39th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Stewart received a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV.(Speed Channel)(9-20-2005)
News from September 19, 2005
- Congrats to Pat and Elena Smith of the K9 Cabins in Troutman, NC on the birth of their daughter, Skyler Rae, born Monday, Sept 19th, weighing in at 7lbs, 6 ozs. The NASCAR connection? 1) my pooches Sandy and Barnee make their 2nd home at the K9 Cabins; 2) Pat Smith is the crew chief for Jason Keller and the #35 McDonalds Ford that is fielded by Team Rensi Racing in the Busch Series.(9-19-2005)
- Joe Gibbs Racing/Hurricane Katrina Help: Beginning Monday and continuing through Fri., Sept. 30, Joe Gibbs Racing will serve as a collection center for items that will be donated to those impacted by Hurricane Katrina. In partnership with Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization based in Boone, N.C., Joe Gibbs Racing will collect donations between 4-7 p.m. For more info on this and many other events, efforts, see my Hurricane Katrina page or Racing Charity page, or at www.joegibbsracing.com.(9-19-2005)
- Fines, Penalties and Probations Result from New Hampshire Infractions
NASCAR issued fines and penalties Monday to four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, resulting from rule violations this past weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway.
• Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Dodge, was fined $25,000 because of an on-track altercation with another competitor during a caution period and placed on probation for the remainder of the year. Kahne violated Section 12-4-A of the series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing). Kahne was also penalized 25 driver championship points and car owner Ray Evernham losing 25 owner championship points. “There have been a growing number of incidents lately where drivers have taken matters into their own hands. Such unsafe and inappropriate behavior has to stop,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. NASCAR will use whatever means necessary to stop it.”
Other fines and penalties issued Monday:
• Lance McGrew, crew chief for the #25 Chevrolet driven by Brian Vickers, was fined $10,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the year. The #25 team had its primary car confiscated after the weekend’s initial inspection process, due to an unapproved car body. Vickers was penalized 25 driver points and car owner Mary Hendrick was penalized 25 owner points. The team was in violation of Section 12-4-A and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules).
• Robby Gordon, driver of the #7 Chevrolet, was fined $25,000 for attempting to hit another competitor’s car during a caution period, and then throwing his helmet at another competitor’s car. Gordon also was fined $10,000 for use of improper language during a television interview during the race. Each fine was accompanied by penalties against Gordon of 25 driver points and 25 owner points against James Smith. In addition, Gordon has been placed on probation for the remainder of the year. In each instance, Gordon was in violation of Section 12-4-A. So Gordon loses 50 drivers points and 50 owners points.
• #15 Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip, involved in the on-track altercations with Gordon, was fined $10,000 and penalized 25 driver points because of an inappropriate gesture during a televised broadcast, while car owner Teresa Earnhardt was penalized 25 owner points. Waltrip was also in violation of Secton 12-4-A.(NASCAR PR)
updated points on Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after New Hampshire page.(9-19-2005)
- Reiser Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at New Hampshire: Matt Kenseth caught a bad break in
this weekend's Sylvania 300, literally. Following a routine stop for service, Kenseth's front brake locked up as he was exiting the pits and the driver of the # 17 DeWalt Ford was forced to plow around the track until he could reenter his stall. With crew chief Robbie Reiser
calling the shots, the crew fixed the problem and put Kenseth back in the hunt for a win. The team's rebound brought Kenseth a third-place finish and moved him ninth to fifth in the championship standings. For orchestrating his team's comeback, Reiser was awarded the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.
"We got a lug nut caught between the hat and the rotor," said Reiser. "The guys do an awesome job each week and today was no different. They never gave up. They fixed the problem and got him (Kenseth) back in it. We followed that up with a two tire pit stop to get back the track position we lost and everything fell into place from there. The crew had stellar stops all day. Hopefully we can keep this string going over the next nine weeks."
"The DeWalt guys did a great job," said Reiser. "We had great pit stops. Came back from that problem and didn't really tear anything up
and were able to work our way back through there through pit strategy and having a good car. It feels good to come here and get a good
finish and I look forward to going to Dover." The panel of voters; including Chuck Givler of the Easton Express-Times, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; voted for Reiser as the crew chief who did the most outstanding job.
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, Robbie Reiser and Robbie Loomis are tied for third place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe 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)(9-19-2005)
- Baldwin bolting Evernham? UPDATE: hearing that #9 crew chief, Tommy Baldwin could be leaving Evernham Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne. There had been rumors he could be headed to Hendrick Motorsports and #24-Jeff Gordon, but Hendrick Motorsports says they are committed to new crew chief, Steve Letarte, for the rest of 2005 and for the 2006 season.
UPDATE: hearing Baldwin could end up at the #38 M&M's/Robert Yates Racing team as Elliott Sadler's crew chief, replacing Todd Parrott.(9-19-2005)
- So why no 5-second time delay on race coverage? Some wondered why the "five-second rule", implemented after Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s slip last fall [at Talladega after winning], is not still in force [on Sunday at New Hampshire when #7-Robby Gordon said the 'S' word. That was not explained, although cable-vs.-network may have something to do with it. NASCAR vp/communications Jim Hunter said NASCAR had no plans to call for such a policy. "We're going to tell our athletes not to use bad language when talking on television, that's all," he said.(Speed Channel)
NOTE: last October, NBC announced plans to use the 5 second rule for the rest of the season, and supposedly beyond, no idea if that was carried over to TNT, which is on cable. Fox never implemented the rule and when asked a few months ago, said they wanted to keep it live. MRN Radio and PRN Radio both have a 7-second delay. Also, since I get questions all the time on this when a driver says damn, hell or a*s, those words are not considered 'bad' by the FCC and are said daily on network TV during the day and primetime and have been for years.(9-19-2005)
- New Crew Chief for the #32: PPI Motorsports (PPIM) announced today that James Ince, team manager of the #32 Tide/Downy Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the Nextel Cup Series will take on the additional role of crew chief effective immediately. Danny Gill, who has served as crew chief since July 20, has been released from PPIM to pursue new opportunities. “I was fortunate two weeks ago to have James Ince join my organization,” said Wells III, owner of PPI Motorsports. “We have been trying to do this for a very long time. He is a proven winner and with his vast array of experience, he was my first choice for the team manager position. However, after further review of the Tide team’s on-track performance, I feel it is necessary to have him assume the role of crew chief for the remainder of the season. I am trying to do everything I can to give Bobby all the necessary elements to excel in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and I feel James is the one who can help raise the overall performance level of this race team. Both driver and crew chief are winners so I believe this is a win-win situation for everyone involved. I want to thank Danny Gill for his assistance during our team’s transition period after the departure of Harold Holly, he came to us highly recommended by Bobby Hamilton Sr. and I appreciate everything he has done for PPI Motorsports and the Tide Racing program. I wish him much success in the future.”
Ince is no stranger to the crew chief ranks in NASCAR racing. A native of Springfield, Missouri, Ince has won in every series he has ever raced. At the helm, he has led NASCAR veterans Johnny Benson, David Green, Kevin Lepage, Ted Musgrave and Rich Bickle to their best all-time finishes. The spotlight was heavily shown on Ince starting in 2000 when he was paired for three seasons with driver Johnny Benson. Together they produced a total of 14 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes in NASCAR’S premier series. Their best result came in November 2002 when Ince guided Benson to his first career Nextel Cup victory at North Carolina Speedway. Ince’s most recent endeavor in the Cup Series was earlier this season when he served as crew chief for driver #66-Hermie Sadler during the first two events.(PPI Motorsports)(9-19-2005)
- Robby Comments on his actions and the wreck: #7-Robby Gordon finished the Sylvania 300 in 37th position Sunday, a result of a lap 190 spin courtesy of Michael Waltrip. The incident came following Gordon's pass of Waltrip for the fourth position. For a reason unknown to Gordon, Waltrip moved down the track and spun the #7 Jim Beam Chevrolet after it had made a clean pass of Waltrip's Chevrolet. "First and foremost, I want to apologize for the words I chose immediately after our race had ended," Gordon said. "We had a decent car and we were obviously hoping to give our sponsors Jim Beam, Harrah's and Menards a top-10 finish. For some reason Michael obviously wanted that spot a lot more than I did because he flat took me out as I was cleared in front of him. I let my emotions get the better of me and I apologize. We bumped door to door when I went around him, and I don't know if that made him mad or what. I don't know what it is, but he puts the bumper to me a lot, and this time he did what he set out to do. We basically destroyed a great race car, and unfortunately it's the people that work in the shop that really suffer. We didn't deserve that at all."
For his part, Waltrip said Gordon passed him "like he was in the desert or something." Gordon's reply: "We were clearly a better car at that point than Michael, and he was going backward. I wasn't the only guy to pass him, just the one he decided to wreck. He's right about the desert comment -- I pass guys clean all the time in the desert, just like I did in this case. I'm just sorry we didn't bring home a better result for Jim Beam."(Robbygordon.com)(9-19-2005)
- Goodyear test at Homestead last week: Goodyear conducted a tire test last week at Homestead in preparation for the season finale November 20. Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Green tested a variety of tires, but it's likely Goodyear will run the same compound the teams use at Texas. Burton says, "It's a challenge for Goodyear to find the perfect tire because the entry of the corners is a lot different from other tracks because of the multiple grooves and the variable banking." Goodyear says it will offer a product that has more grip.(Sporting News)(9-19-2005)
- Hall of Fame Racing Crew Chief? Philippe Lopez, a veteran crew chief who worked with the #07 Richard Childress-Dave Blaney team until last month when Childress decided to bring in Scott Miller to run that operation, has apparently moved to the new Roger Staubach-Troy Aikman team, which has been searching for sponsorship [Jayski Note: actually the team announced Texas Instruments as their sponsor on Aug 16th] and a driver for a planned Nextel Cup effort in 2006.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-19-2005)
- #21 Team Close to a Sponsor UPDATE:The Wood Brothers, #21 Ford with Ricky Rudd as the driver, are close to securing a final sponsor for next year. Motorcraft will return as a primary sponsor for a selected number of races, and the Air Force is expected to return as well. A third primary sponsor still is being sought.(Roanoke Times)(9-17-2005)
UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing continues to seek sponsorship for the #21 car for 2006. Driver Ricky Rudd has not publicly committed to driving the car beyond this year.(Sporting News)(9-19-2005)
- NASCAR Threatening stiff penalties for revenge on track: NASCAR was threatening very heavy penalties Sunday after tempers ran hot during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said after the race that penalties against several drivers involved in incidents Sunday would be announced by Tuesday, at the latest. "We're going to do whatever we need to do, whether it's to park a guy for a week or park a guy for nine weeks," Hunter said. "We're going to do whatever we need to do to prevent retaliation on the racetrack, particularly under the caution [flag], because under the caution they're endangering other people. There are safety vehicles riding around and they don't have rollcages and all the things these drivers have around them, so we'll do whatever we need to do." The race was marred by 10 caution flags, many of them brought out by collisions that sent one or more cars into the wall.
On lap 165 of the 300-lap race, rookie Kyle Busch bumped Kasey Kahne, last year's top rookie, sending him hard into the wall. Kahne restarted his battered car and drove it slowly along the bottom of the track until Busch came by in turn one. Kahne then shot up the track, hitting Busch in the left front. "There are times when things happen and you end up crashing and hitting other cars, but we just got taken out," Kahne said. "If people are going to run over you for no reason and think they're going to get away with it, you just go out there and ruin their day, too. That's the way I feel." NASCAR parked Kahne for the rest of the day and summoned the driver and team owner Ray Evernham to its hauler following the race.
Joe Nemechek and Mike Bliss collided on lap 191, sending Bliss into the wall on turn one. Seconds later, after the yellow flag was displayed, Michael Waltrip hit Robby Gordon, sending Gordon into the wall and spinning out Sterling Marlin. Gordon, his car smashed on both ends, waited until Waltrip came past again and tried to back into him, missing Waltrip and nearly hitting points leader Tony Stewart, who had to stop to avoid Gordon. Gordon then got out of his car, waited for Waltrip, feigned as if he was going to walk in front of the No. 15 and threw his helmet at the car, hitting it just below the driver's window. In a TV interview, Gordon said, "You know, everybody thinks Michael is a good guy. He's not a good guy. The caution was out and he wrecked me." Gordon then called Waltrip a name [something at starts with a S and ends with a T], which will likely cost Gordon a fine and points. Waltrip said he was just defending his position.
"I just stood my ground and he just kept coming and turned himself into the wall," he said. Told about Gordon's comments, Waltrip said, "Probably just heat of the moment stuff. I've never had a problem with Robby. I don't have any idea what he said or why he said it, but I know I didn't do anything wrong." Gordon and Waltrip were also brought to the NASCAR hauler following the race.(ESPN.com/AP)(9-19-2005)