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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    SEPT 26-OCT 2, 2005





      News from October 2, 2005

    • Jarrett wins big at Talladega: #88-Dale Jarrett, with help from #20-Tony Stewart, moved from 6th to 1st and won the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a last lap pass on a green-white-checkered finish. It is Jarrett's 32 career win, first since Feb 2003 at Rockingham, 98 races ago. Jarrett was the last driver to win at Talladega in a Ford in 1998. Jarrett is the 5th oldest driver to win a Cup race, at 48 years, 10 months, 6 days old. Harry Gant, Bobby Allison, Morgan Shepherd and Dale Earnhardt were older. Stewart held on to finish 2nd, retaking the points lead as #48-Johnson was involved in a couple of wrecks and finished 31st, falling to 4th in points. After some checking #17-Matt Kenseth was awarded 3rd, followed by #12-Ryan Newman and #99-Carl Edwards. #6-Mark Martin was involved in the first big wreck and finished 41st, dropping to 9th in points. The other Chase drivers who had trouble were #2-Rusty Wallace [25th] and #16-Greg Biffle [27th]. The race was slowed with 11 cautions for 33 laps. There were 50 lead changes among 20 drivers. Stewart led the most laps with 65. Jarrett led two laps, the 3rd and final lap. Jarrett breaks the Talladega record for fewest laps led by a winner, held by Bobby Hamilton in 2001 and one other driver.
      For my race rundown, laps led, DNF's, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Talladega Race Info/Rundown Page or Race Page.
      For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
    • Jayski's Talladega Race Results/Awards page.(10-2-2005)

    • McMurray's car flunks post-insp at Talladega: Following a weekend of rules controversies, Jamie McMurray’s #42 Chip Ganassi-owned Dodge flunked post-race inspection when right-rear quarter panel didn’t meet the minimum height requirement. No penalty will be issued, NASCAR officials said, because McMurray’s car was one of many that had been damaged in a wreck during the race.(Speed Channel)(10-2-2005)

    • What's Up with the NASCAR TV Deal? Richard Glover, NASCAR's vice president of broadcasting, called from his cell phone while dashing between meetings late last week to offer this update on television negotiations. "There is no update," Glover said. "There's no change. There's nothing to report." Glover is NASCAR's point man for negotiations over the next cycle of television broadcast rights for the Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR's current broadcast partners (NBC, Fox, TNT, FX) have the rights through the 2006 season based on the $2.4 billion contract signed in 1999. The current Nextel/Busch broadcast cluster started televising races in the 2001 season, replacing CBS, ABC, ESPN and others. NASCAR will announce the new contract by the end of this year, which explains why Glover was out of breath during our short call. "Things are running on pace with the schedule that we set," Glover said. "The television negotiations are continuing." The ABC/ESPN group has shown interest in returning to the fold in some capacity.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-2-2005)

    • Talladega Race News/Notes:
      • Dale Jarrett won the UAW-FORD 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, scoring his 32nd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 596th career start.
      • Jarrett scored his first victory in 2005. His last victory came at Rockingham in February 2003, 99 races ago.
      • Jarrett became the 14th different race winner in 2005.
      • Jarrett has scored just six top-10 finishes in 29 races in 2005.
      • Jarrett climbed from 15th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      • This was Jarrett’s second win at Talladega and ended a 13-race win streak held by Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway. He also won here in October 1998 and that was the most recent Talladega win by a Ford.
      • This was Jarrett’s 28th career superspeedway victory in 425 career superspeedway races and sixth victory in a restrictor-plate race.
      • The 50 lead changes in the UAW-FORD 500 were the most in a race this season.
      • Tony Stewart led 11 times for 65 of the 190 laps raced, leading the most laps for the 10th time in a race this season.
      • Jarrett led two times for two laps including the final lap. His last-lap pass for victory was the third in 2005. It also happened at Atlanta when Carl Edwards drove to victory over Jimmie Johnson and again at Charlotte when Johnson passed Bobby Labonte for the victory.
      • Jarrett scored the fourth victory for car owner Robert Yates at Talladega Superspeedway. This was Yates’ 57th victory as a car owner.
      • Kevin Harvick (10th) climbed from 12th to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      • Rusty Wallace (25th) extended a 42-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 23 top-15 finishes in 29 races in 2005.
      • J.J. Yeley led the first lap in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.
      • Jamie McMurray had led only one lap in 2005 coming to Talladega. He led 38 laps today, second only to Stewart who led 65.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-2-2005)

    • The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup-Week No. 3 Notes
      • As a result of his second-place finish in the UAW-FORD 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Tony Stewart re-took the point lead in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by just four points over second-place Ryan Newman. Stewart along with nine other drivers will race over the remaining seven races of the 2005 season to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million
      • Nine drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at Talladega.
      • Five of the Chase drivers were involved in accidents at Talladega: (Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch.
      • Seven of the Chase drivers led at Talladega earning lap leader bonus points.
      • Kurt Busch (35th at New Hampshire, 23rd at Dover and eighth at Talladega) 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 10th in the point standings, 180 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.
      • 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.
      • Three of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top 10: Matt Kenseth (third) Carl Edwards (fifth), and Kurt Busch (eighth).
      • Ryan Newman (first at New Hampshire, fifth at Dover and fourth at Talladega) is the only driver to score top-five finishes in the first three races in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
      • 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) scored his 14th top-10 finish in his last 15 races. Stewart climbed from fifth to first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and has led the point standing in eight of the last nine races, dropping to fifth at Dover one week ago..
      • Matt Kenseth (third) scored his sixth top-10 finish in his last seven races. Kenseth climbed from ninth to seventh in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-2-2005)

    • Heading to Kansas
      • Ryan Newman has scored three top-five finishes in four races at Kansas, the only driver to do so.
      • Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield have each scored three top-10 finishes in four races at Kansas.
      • Jimmie Johnson has scored two top-10 finishes in three races at Kansas.
      • Of the 10 Chase drivers, only Carl Edwards has not scored a top-10 finish at Kansas. Edwards has competed in only one race there. (NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-2-2005)

    • Rumblings - Talladega: It was another wreckfest today at Talladega Superspeedway, and in a race decided somewhere around turn 3 (we think) Dale Jarrett was declared the winner of the UAW-Ford 505. In a finish under caution, DJ gets his 32nd career win and his first since he won at Rockingham (where'zat) in February of 2003. The 1999 Cup Champion is 19th on the all-time win list, and win #57 for Robert Yates Racing was worth $239,833 from the over $5.3M in posted awards. Jarrett is the 14th different winner of the season. Last year we had 13 of 'em and 17 different drivers won in 2003.
      A note to Michael Waltrip.....when your rear end and drive shaft pass you on the track, it's not gonna be a good day!
      A note to Mark Martin.....evidently, you're under the mistaken impression that somehow we as fans have some power. If we had any power, the "plate" and the "Chase" would be a complete unknown in our sport. The only power we have is _knowing_ where the power really rests!
      Sterling Marlin (7th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Texas in April.
      Bobby Labonte (11th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Pocono in July.
      Dave Blaney (15th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Atlanta in March.
      Bobby Hamilton Jr (20th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Las Vegas in March. (Not bad for a guy who couldn't qualify on Friday, huh?)
      Tony Raines (22nd) had his best finish since he was 13th at Homestead in November of 2003!
      STREAKIN....Tony Stewart has 14 Top-10's in the last 15 races.
      Matt Kenseth has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Kevin Harvick (+32), followed by Brian Vickers (+21) and Tony Raines (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-33), followed by Scott Riggs (-29), Jeff Gordon (-25), Jimmie Johnson (-22), Kyle Busch (-20), and Dale Earnhardt Jr (-20). Sadler is now tied with Ryan Newman with three B/D's this season.
      J.J. Yeley led a lap today for the first time in his Cup career. He's the 49th different driver to lead a lap this season....last year we had 50.
      In the Owners Points battle for the 35th and final exempt spot, Mike Wallace and the #4 team have closed to just three points behind Yeley & the #11 bunch. As important as that may be for the rest of the season, it'll carry even more weight for year-end and the Daytona 500 of '06.
      Tony Stewart regains the "Chase" lead by four markers over Ryan Newman. The Top-6 are now separated by an even hundred points....last week that margin was 23.
      In "Classic" points, Kevin Harvick has claimed that 11th spot they all covet so much by 14 points over Jamie McMurray. Last week's leader for the 10th loser (Elliott Sadler) has fallen to 13th.
      Sterling Marlin (29th to 27th) made the only multi-position advance this week (in the Top-40), while Elliott Sadler (11th to 13th) and Jeff Gordon (14th to 16th) were the only drivers to fall more than one spot.(Stock Car Fans)(10-2-2005)

    • Driver changes at Talladega: #00 - Bobby Hamilton Jr. replaced Mike Skinner; #34 - Mike Skinner replaced Hermie Sadler..Tide is going on the #00 and Aaron's going to the #34 for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.(NASCAR Stats Services)(10-1-2005)
      AND the deal was with the #34 Front Row Racing team and #32 owner, Cal Wells, which failed to make the race with driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. So Wells made a deal with Chris Edwards, owner of the #34 Ford that Hermie Sadler qualified for the race. But since the #34 is a Ford this week [usually a Chevy], the Wells made a deal with Jenkins and Mike Skinner, moving Skinner to the #34 Ford and using the #00 car, which is really the #92 [owners points #192 Bob Jenkins the owner] and will run the #32 in the race with Tide as the sponsor. Running the race will NOT get the #32 team owner, Cal Wells, any owners points for the race, driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. will of course get drivers points since he will start the race in the car, but has to start in the rear of the field due to the drivers change. Sadler was supposedly compensated for letting the switch happen as well as the owners of the #34 and #192 [#00]. The #00/92 was an odd deal already, as a deal between Jenkins and #00 [#100] team owner Michael Waltrip to run Skinner and Aaron's along with the #00, similar to the deal between Waltrip and Bill Davis Racing to run the #00 Dodge with Aaron's and Kenny Wallace a few weeks ago.(10-2-2005)

    • OT to be paid: Hendrick Motorsports will pay more than $350,000 in back overtime wages to employees after an investigation found the racing company violated federal labor laws. The company, which designs, builds and races cars in NASCAR, acknowledged it failed to pay 214 salaried production workers $351,783 in overtime between July 2003 and July 2005. The U.S. Labor Department said it determined Hendrick violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. "We certainly wanted to make sure our employees received any compensation to which they were entitled, so we were glad to make the appropriate payments," Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex told The Associated Press on Saturday in an e-mail. "We've updated our internal policies and do not anticipate any ongoing issues."(ESPN.com/AP)(10-2-2005)

    • More II on Ferrell NASCAR Movie: The new 2006 action comedy set in the world of NASCAR started filming in Charlotte, N.C. in early September. During the UAW-Ford 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Ricky Bobby better known as Will Ferrell, had a NASCAR garage stall and sign between Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet and Scott Riggs #10 Checkers/Rally's Chevrolet. The #62, white Ford looks like an old sportsman car with the dirtiest engine ever seen at a race track. Filming took place in the garage on Saturday morning and on track just before the start of the ARCA RE/MAX Food World 300. The movie cast include: Sacha Baron Cohen [Ali G of HBO] as Jean Girard, Leslie Bibb as Carley Bobby, Gary Cole as Reese Bobby, Michael Clarke Duncan as Lucius Washington, Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby, John C. Reilly as Cal Naughton, plus Jon Glaser, David Koechner, Emmy Laybourne and Chris Parnell.
      The sponsors on the car were hilarious:
      Dr. Lane's Bath Salts for menopause and spider bites.
      Julio's Thongs for Men
      Tanya Rashard's Homemade Weaves & Extentions! The Best in Fake Hair
      Hullmont High School Ski Club
      Looking for fun, single, divorced, white male - 19 to 24 year old female in good shape for fun.(Insider Racing News)(10-2-2005)

    • Riggs Corn Maze: In 2004, the corn maze was Michael Waltrip's #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, 2005 brings us the Scott Riggs #10 Valvoline Chevy. Pam Griffin, who owns the farm at Hector's Creek near Raleigh, North Carolina, decided to build a corn maze when the decline in tobacco forced her family to rethink its way of life. She hired a specialist from Missouri who spent two days using a global positioning system to map and cut the maze, which offers visitors about a mile and a half of paths. Riggs entered the nine-acre, eight foot corn stalks and claimed he would have gotten lost without a guide.(Insider Racing News)(10-2-2005)


      News from October 1, 2005

    • Harvicks time tossed, fails post-qual inspection UPDATE Berrier tossed: #29-Kevin Harvick WAS to start 2nd at Talladega Superspeedway in the UAW-Ford 500 but the overflow tube for the fuel tank was missing along with venting problems and NASCAR disallowed Harvick's run and he will start from the rear of the field on Sunday.(Speed Channel's Trackside show)(9-30-2005)
      UPDATE - NASCAR comment on Harvick's qualifying run being disallowed at Talladega: NASCAR spokesman, Jim Hunter, addressed the media following qualifying with the following comment: "The No. 29 car's qualifying time has been disallowed. He (Harvick) will start Sunday's race from the rear. There were a couple of things in the rear area of the car did not comply with post-qualifying inspection. The trunk area was not sealed properly. It was not vented to the outside as prescribed in the rulebook. The shock doors inside the trunk area were opened and not secured. So there were several violations in the trunk area of the car. So there will probably be penalties coming out the first of the week. But that's why."(GM Racing PR)(9-30-2005)
      UPDATE 2: hearing that crew chief Todd Berrier, already on probation for the infractions at Las Vegas in March, has been escorted from Talladega Superspeedway and will not be calling the shots for the race on Sunday, no word on who will be the acting crew chief for Harvick.
      AND For the second time this year, Kevin Harvick will be without his regular crew chief after NASCAR found violations with the #29 Chevrolet. Crew chief Todd Berrier was removed from the track by NASCAR on Saturday, one day after NASCAR found multiple violations in post-qualifying inspection. Gil Martin, crew chief for Clint Bowyer in the Busch Series, will serve as Harvick's crew chief on Sunday in the UAW-Ford 500. Team owner Richard Childress will be atop the pit box with Martin. Childress declined comment on the situation. In March, Berrier was suspended for four races after NASCAR found an unapproved fuel filler and unapproved fuel cell vent in post-qualifying inspection at Las Vegas.(NASCAR.com)(10-1-2005)
      AND II: Crew chief Todd Berrier was suspended for Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway after Kevin Harvick's car failed inspection. Harvick qualified second for the race, but his Chevrolet was disqualified after NASCAR found three violations in the trunk area. Car owner Richard Childress was called into the NASCAR office Saturday morning and informed Berrier was ordered from the track. It's not clear how long the suspension will last. Berrier sat out four races at the beginning of this season when he was caught rigging Harvick's fuel tank. He also was fined $25,000 and the team was docked points. Childress spent an hour arguing with NASCAR on Berrier's behalf. "If I said what I wanted to say right now I'd probably be in bigger trouble than Todd," Childress said. "All I can say is it's a new era in NASCAR."(ESPN.com/AP)
      AND III PLEASE GIVE US YOUR OPINION ON THE SITUATION AND BERRIER BEING ESCORTED OFF THE PREMISES: [Childress] "Well, I don't think he was escorted. He was just told he needed to leave, to clarify that. The next thing is, I gave my opinion to NASCAR this morning. They know my feelings on the situation that's happened over the past few weeks and I'm going to leave it at that. Let you all figure it out."
      SOME THINGS HAVE HAPPENED WITH OTHER TEAMS LATELY WHICH HAVE NOT RESULTED IN A PENALTY. CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT: "I was very outspoken with NASCAR this morning and I'm going to leave it at that. I'm biting my tongue."(GMRacing PR)(10-1-2005)

    • Baldwin bolting Evernham? UPDATE 2: 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)
      UPDATE 2: Baldwin recently signed a contract with Evernham Motorsports that runs thru 2010. "The only way I would leave, I guess is if Ray [Evernham] threw me out," say Baldwin. "We're not talking with him," Yates Team Manager Eddie D'Hondt said. "He's got a pretty strong contract where he is and he's happy where he is." [Evernham and #9 Kahne](NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-1-2005)

    • Vote for the #07 Scheme at Texas: When driver Dave Blaney, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and the Jack Daniel's Racing Team hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, the #07 Chevy will be sporting a "Pride of Texas" paint scheme chosen by race fans in the Lone Star State. Beginning October 3, race fans and consumers can visit the Jack Daniel's racing website (www.jackracing.com/texas) and choose from three different paint schemes for the car - all specially designed to honor the great state of Texas. At the end of the month, folks at the Jack Daniel Distillery will tally all the on-line votes and host a special unveiling of the car in the Dallas/Fort Worth area prior to the Dickies 500. In addition to the new Texas-themed paint scheme, the #07 car will, as always, carry the RCR/Jack Daniel's sponsorship message of "Pace Yourself. Drink Responsibly." Race fans of legal drinking age will also be able to purchase a special gift pack at various retail outlets including Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and a Texas-themed commemorative t-shirt.(RCR PR), see the schemes on my #07 Team Schemes page.(10-1-2005)

    • #31 Crewman Update: During the Aaron's 499 at Talladega in May, Josh Yost, the jackman for Jeff Burton's #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, was injured in the pits when hit by Rusty Wallace's car. Yost has had several surgeries to repair damage to tendons in his ankle. He started walking again in July and is working with a physical therapist at least twice a week. He hopes to receive medical clearance to return to work at the Richard Childress Racing shop next month.(Alabama Live)(10-1-2005)

    • Parts confiscated by NASCAR at Talladega: NASCAR officials confiscated unapproved fuel cell foam from the #8 Budweiser Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #89 Dodge of Morgan Shepherd during pre-qualifying inspections. Shepherd failed to make the field. An unapproved window net was also taken from the #25 GMAC Chevy of Brian Vickers.(Alabama Live)(10-1-2005)

    • Another Brickhouse at 'Dega: Richard Brickhouse won the first event ever held at Talladega, the 1969 Talladega 500. Thirty-six years later, Brickhouse's nephew Jeremy Brickhouse, will be high above the speedway as spotter for Kurt Busch's #97 Ford team.(Alabama Live)(10-1-2005)

    • Lawsuit against NASCAR regarding NASCAR Drivers: 360: Two Middle Tennessee video producers are taking on NASCAR, claiming that the company stole their ideas for a reality television show they pitched in 2001. Andrew Baird, who resides in Sumner County, and Bill Balsley, of Williamson County, say the television program NASCAR Drivers: 360, now in its second season on cable's FX Network, is based on an idea they'd hatched. Baird and Balsley have sued NASCAR, its associated firms NASCAR Images and NASCAR Digital Entertainment, and Dave Hall, an agent who was to broker the deal. Yesterday several motions were heard in the suit in Sumner County Circuit Court as both sides prepare for a trial next August. "We allege that my clients went to NASCAR with the ideas, that they spoke with upper levels of management and that we had an oral agreement with them,'' said Andy Allman, attorney for Baird and Balsley. NASCAR's Nashville attorney, Eddie Wayland, said, "We feel the lawsuit is without merit and we intend to vigorously defend them against the lawsuit." The lawsuit, which seeks $20 million and punitive damages, alleges that Baird and Balsley created a program they titled Drafting. Each week, Drafting would follow two to three NASCAR drivers behind the scenes as they prepared for the upcoming weekend's race. They contend they first broached the ideas for the programs with Hall, former president of cable's now-defunct The Nashville Network. In August 2001, the pair said Hall agreed to represent them as an agent to push these "unique ideas to NASCAR," the suit states. A few months later, the two allege that Hall told them NASCAR was going to fund the proposed shows.
      NASCAR Drivers: 360 sends camera crews to follow a trio of stars from NASCAR's Nextel Cup and Busch series, giving a fly-on-the-wall perspective into their ups and downs on the track, at home, on the road and in the boardroom.(see full article at the Tennessean)(10-1-2005)

    • Restrictor Plates at Lowe's Motor Speedway? UPDATE 2: With less than rave reviews of the ever-changing track surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway from Chasers Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin afer a test last week, NASCAR officials are considering running restrictor plates on the cars in the October 15 race at Charlotte. Stewart and Biffle wrecked two cars apiece during the tests. After plowing his car at 170 mph into the Turn 2 wall, Biffle felt the aftereffects last weekend at Dover. "From the eye, the track looks good," Biffle says. But the tire compound doesn't work well with the track's new surface. NASCAR doesn't expect any relief until the track is repaved after the race.(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(9-26-2005)
      UPDATE:After laser-grinding the Lowes Motor Speedway track to help get another year of wear out of the 1.5-mile layout, track President Humpy Wheeler says the surface will have to be repaved for 2006. Wheeler said “I think what we’ve gotta do though is to study real hard, not just go pave over what we’ve got. I think we probably need to change some of the banking a little bit. Maybe put a different asphalt mix in to make it more stable and get ready for the new car NASCAR is going to bring out. That graduated banking has been around for a long time and it is affective in creating a second groove. What we want to do here is to make sure we have a second groove so you can have passing and lead swapping.” As for a published report concerning the use of restrictor plates after the track is repaved Wheeler said "I'm all for it, let's do it! It just makes better racing. You slow the cars down and you always have better racing. I don't think they're gonna do it...but...keep the rumor going! !"(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)
      UPDATE 2: NASCAR Nextel Cup Director John Darby would neither confirm nor deny rumors that the sanctioning body will mandate the use of restrictor plates at the October Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. #20-Tony Stewart and #16-Greg Biffle each crashed two cars at Lowe’s last week, as two rounds of computer-aided track grinding — a process known as “levigation” — have made the venerable 1.5-mile track extremely fast. “We carry restrictor plates on our truck 38 weeks a year,” Darby said Friday at Talladega. “They’re there for a lot of reasons, and if a situation ever creates itself that starts to look like it’s leading itself towards the direction that we’re going to have a tremendous amount of problems in the race … or something that we can’t predict or didn’t expect to see, that’s why we have the plates. … If we ever get in a situation where we have to use them, we’ll use them.”(Speed Channel)(10-1-2005)

    • More on McMurray/Busch moving on in 2006: #42-Jamie McMurray said leaving Chip Ganassi Racing a year early to join [#6] Roush Racing remains a possibility. "If people above me get things worked out and it happens, I'd rather be at Roush Racing next year because that's where my future is," said McMurray, who has a year left at Ganassi and signed with Roush for 2007. "It's going to be tough to stay with a team that you know you're not going to be with the following year." This week, #97-Kurt Busch affirmed #2-Rusty Wallace's comment at Dover that lawyers are working to move up Busch's departure from Roush Racing to Penske Racing South by a year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-1-2005)

    • Tracy offered another ride in another seires..to run Cup at Atlanta: Champ Car driver Paul Tracy is now being wooed by the brand new A1 Grand Prix series to drive for the so-called Team Canada entry. According to yesterday's edition of Autosport magazine owners of the A1 series have approached Tracy about driving in selected races after the Champ Car finale at Mexico City Nov. 6. But Charlie Johnstone -- Tracy's agent -- said Tracy "is not seeking" a job in the A1 series. The other issues facing Tracy include his deal with his Forsythe Championship Racing team. Tracy is slated to try to qualify a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Oct. 30. Contacted by The Toronto Sun, Forsythe public relations specialist Joe Kirklin was adamant that Tracy would be with the team in 2006 and even 2007. "Paul has a multi-year agreement with Forsythe for this year and beyond," Kirklin told the Sun. "We look forward to continuing to battle for the championship this season and winning more championships with Paul in the future." Johnstone, on the other hand, said yesterday that Tracy still has designs on debuting in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Oct. 30 in Atlanta with RCR. "Atlanta is still on as far as I know,"Johnstone told the Sun. Tracy has also been contacted by the Hall of Fame Nextel Cup team owned by former NFL quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.(Toronto Sun)(10-1-2005)

    • Best Western Joins Waltrip at BDR: Best Western International, the Official Hotel of NASCAR, announced that it has partnered with Bill Davis Racing (BDR) as an associate sponsor on the 2006 Dodge Charger driven in the NEXTEL Cup Series by Michael Waltrip. “We are thrilled to be teaming with Bill Davis Racing in 2006,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing for Best Western. “A respected member of the NASCAR community who has helped to set the standard for the sport, Bill brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated success to the business. With the addition of Michael, Bill Davis Racing provides us with a complete, marketable package.” Bill Davis announced last week his plans for re-establishing BDR as a multi-car team through a partnership with Waltrip. In January 2004, Best Western entered into a multi-year agreement as the Official Hotel of NASCAR. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons, the company has also served as an associate sponsor of Waltrip and the DEI-owned #15 NAPA Chevy. In addition, the hotel chain has partnered with Michael Waltrip Racing for the last two years, serving as primary sponsor of Waltrip’s Busch Series #99 Chevy for the 2004 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway; and the 2005 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. For more information, visit: bestwesternracing.com.(PR)(10-1-2005)


      News from September 30, 2005

    • Norris to help Waltrip: Ty Norris, formerly of DEI and Speedway Motorsports has been hired by Michael Waltrip to run Waltrip Racing World in Cornelius, NC off Exit 28 in I-77.(9-30-2005)

    • Sadler wins pole at Talladega, Harvick's time disallowed: #38-Elliott Sadler won the Budweiser Pole for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a fast lap of 189.260mph for his 3rd pole of 2005, 2nd at Talladega and 5th of his career. #29-Kevin Harvick WAS to start 2nd but the overflow tube for the fuel tank was missing and NASCAR disallowed Harvick's run and will start 42nd now. So, #88-Dale Jarrett will start 2nd followed by #12-Ryan Newman [best starting Chaser], #20-Tony Stewart and #01-Joe Nemechek. Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnso will start 9th, 2nd in points, #2-Rusty Wallace lost an engine during his 1st qualifying lap and will start 41st and then from the back after changing the engine. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 20th. #1-Martin Truex Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed, qualifying 17th. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr., who was fast in practice failed to qualify for the race, along with #09-Sauter and #89-Shepherd.
      For pole progression, practice and qualifying speeds, qualiying order, other links on Jayski's Talladega Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(9-30-2005)

    • #00 Team Note; been told the #00 is the #192, being allowed to use the #00 number with Mike Skinner driving and the #192 Front Row racing team getting the owners points and the credit for the race attempt, allowing them to keep the full season race attempts streak alive. #192 [#92] has run many drivers in 2005, Stanton Barrett, Tony Raines, Hermie Sadler, Eric McClure among others.(9-30-2005)

    • Gordon can tie Dale Sr. in restrictor plate wins: #24-Jeff Gordon can tie Dale Earnhardt for most restrictor plate victories with a win on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt won 11 times [restictor plate races, also won 2 races at Talladega before restrictor plates, 1983 and 1984 for a total of 13] at Talladega (8) and Daytona (3), including his final victory at Talladega five years ago. “Dale was the master of these types of races,” said Gordon, who has won two of the three restrictor plate races this season. “I’d love to get the win, but not because of any statistic or record. And it really doesn’t add any extra incentive because this team tries to win every race.”(in part from The State), Gordon has won 10 restrictor plate races: four races at Talladega, three Daytona 500's and three Pepsi 400's at Daytona.(9-30-2005)

    • Humpy makes first bid on Evernham Chopper Auction: Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, has taken the lead in the bidding for the custom Pro-street V-twin chopper created by Ray Evernham, Dave Perewitz and PPG that matches style, power and performance with a great cause in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Wheeler placed the first bid for the Custom Chopper for Charity at 12:01am/et when bidding opened on September 30. The bidding will run through October 9. The cause is also personal with Wheeler, who has had friends and colleagues affected with lymphoma, including Phylis Lipford, who has worked for Wheeler the past 23 years and currently serves as Manager of Ticket Services for the speedway. “This is a great bike and worthy effort to assist with this much-needed program,” said Wheeler. “I am proud to be the first bidder and get this auction started. Phylis and so many others who bravely battle leukemia and lymphoma are truly inspirations to me and so many others. Ray is truly gifted at what he does and is an excellent role model representing our sport. I hope others in our industry, including fans, are inspired to bid on the bike or contribute funds.”(Clear!Blue PR), for more info on the auction and other racing Charities events, see my Racing Charities page.(9-30-2005)

    • Garvey looking to return to Cup..in own car: After being replaced by Kevin Lepage as driver of the #66 Ford in Nextel Cup, Mike Garvey is working toward a return to the circuit in his own car. Garvey has been shopping for a race-ready car --- he prefers a Dodge --- and expects to be back in the sport within weeks. Unfortunately for him, the car supply has tightened after several drivers crashed at Charlotte in recent practice sessions. "We were hoping to make Kansas next week, but now it's looking like Martinsville," he said, adding that he's not bitter about his outcome with his old team. "It was a good opportunity, but it didn't work out," he said. "I learned a lot doing it, and we'll be back."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-30-2005)

    • Ganassi drivers visit the Gulf region: Three NASCAR drivers were shocked by the extent of the damage in the Gulf Coast when they flew down for a visit Thursday. The drivers know they’ve got a lot of fans on the coast and the trip was a chance for them to tell the people down there that they had fans too. The flight went to Waveland, Mississippi, Katrina’s ground zero. The mission was to swap out Charlotte SWAT team members protecting Carolina Medical Center’s (CMC) mobile hospital, MED-1. At MED-1 there was a surprise, drivers Casey Mears, David Stremme and Kevin Hamlin. For the drivers it was a first look at the devastation. “(We wanted) To show our support for the Carolina’s medical team,” said Hamlin. In five weeks, MED-1 has treated over 5,000 patients. “They give you all the time in the world,” said patient Wayne Lander. Down there, every new turn reveals damage. “It’s crazy,” said Mears. “There’s nothing here.”
      “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be able to see something like this, see how it’s affecting people,” said Hamlin. “It’s something I never want to have to experience.” Thursday life in the fast land slowed. Whether you’ve lost everything, are working around the clock, give help or are sick, like patients at MED-1, it helps knowing someone is rooting for you. “It’s nice to at least put a smile on somebody’s face,” said Mears. MED-1 is scheduled to return to the Queen City at the end of October. It has been deployed in the Gulf Coast since early September.(wcnc.com)(9-30-2005)

    • More on the Shock issue from Dover, expect NASCAR Rule: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said he expects NASCAR officials to issue a technical bulletin as early as Friday outlawing the trick shock absorbers used by Hendrick Motorsports teammates #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Kyle Busch in their 1-2 finish Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Instead of soaking up bumps, as shocks normally are designed to do, Smith said the Hendrick cars' shocks were designed almost to work in reverse; every time they hit a bump, the shocks jacked up the car's rear end for about 15 seconds. Because cars encounter frequent bumps at Dover, the shocks apparently kept the Hendrick cars' tails elevated about an inch beyond what NASCAR rules allow for most of the race, directing more air to the cars' rear spoilers and creating extra aerodynamic "downforce" that helped the cars stick to the track. Cheating? Not exactly, Smith said. "It was clearly an ingenious engineering exercise, and they ought to be commended for their ingenuity," he said. Johnson's team declined comment through a spokesperson.
      This explains why the two Hendrick cars failed an initial technical inspection by NASCAR officials Sunday night but passed the maximum-height requirement after they "settled," as NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston explained this week. Officials confiscated the Hendrick cars' shocks after the race, along with shocks from four other cars [#'s 2,12,6,16].
      Smith expects NASCAR to prohibit all teams from using such shocks beginning with the Oct. 9 race at Kansas Speedway. The Hendrick shocks wouldn't help in this weekend's race because downforce isn't a major concern at Talladega and teams typically try to get their cars as low to the ground as possible without violating NASCAR's minimum height requirements. Smith figures that Busch, a rookie, has been testing the system all season. "That didn't show up for a championship (contender) the day before Dover," Smith said. "That required a lot of effort, a lot of testing." Penske Racing president Don Miller, meanwhile, wondered why the Hendrick cars apparently were given a second chance to pass officials' maximum-height measurement. "All I can say is, if it comes in as too high, it should be black and white," Miller said. Said Poston, via e-mail: "When the (No.) 48 went up on the platform, it was initially high, but in a matter of seconds the car settled and it made the required height. Absolutely no one made an adjustment to the car; however, as often is the case, an inspector was under the car but did not touch it. The 48 only made one trip through inspection."(USA Today), see past news about this on my NASCAR news page or on 9/29/2005PAGE 2 of the News.
      AND more: There have been questions about whether Jimmie Johnson's winning car at Dover and the runner-up mount of his teammate Kyle Busch initially failed a post-race inspection because the rears of their cars were too high. NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said Thursday that there were no issues in the technical shed after the race. "All cars passed inspection," he said. Branham added that the shocks from six cars were taken to NASCAR's research center in Concord, N.C. Shocks were taken from the cars driven by Johnson and Busch as well as from the cars of Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace. "We just want to stay up to date with what teams are doing," he said. "It's a fact-finding mission similar to when we took engines at Michigan earlier this year."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-30-2005)

    • World Financial back on the #99 car: The #99 Ford of Carl Edwards will carry the World Financial Group (WFG) paint scheme this week. The WFG paint scheme was also carried on the #99 Ford earlier this year in Las Vegas.(Roush Racing)(9-30-2005)

    • Wednesday Night Races? Dover Motorsports officials make no secret of the fact they would like Nextel Cup dates at their tracks in Nashville, Memphis, and St. Louis. Dover Motorsports Inc. President Dennis Mcglynn told MRN Radio's NASCAR Today earlier this afternoon, "They have Monday Night Football why not have a Wednesday night Cup race? We think we can do that in those major markets where we have a huge population base near the facility itself and good ingress and egress to get everybody out of there so that they can get up and go to work early the next morning."(MRN's NASCAR Today)(9-30-2005)

    • Goodyear Tires Notes: This is the second consecutive race weekend that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Talladega . . . this is the only track at which NASCAR teams will run this tire set-up in 2005, though it is similar to the one run at Daytona . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Talladega . . . inflation on those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more on my Talladega Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-30-2005)

    • Talladega Qualifying Notes:
      • Ellott Sadler won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the UAW-Ford 500, lapping Talladega Superspeedway in 50.597 seconds at 189.260 mph. Bill Elliott holds the track-qualifying record of 44.998 seconds, 212.809 mph, set April 30, 1987 – prior to the implementation of restrictor-plates. Elliott also holds the restrictor-plate qualifying record at Talladega – 48.128 seconds, 199.388 mph, set May 4, 1990.
      • This is Sadler’s fifth career Bud Pole in 242 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. It is his second Bud Pole and fifth top-10 start in 13 races at Talladega. This is Sadler’s third Bud Pole and 15th top-10 start in 2005.
      • Dale Jarrett posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 50.727 seconds, 188.775 mph – and will join Sadler in the all-Robert Yates Racing front row for the UAWFord 500. This is his16th top-10 start in 38 races at Talladega. This is Jarrett’s seventh top-10 start in 2005.
      • Kevin Harvick’s time, which was second, was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection.
      • This is the sixth Bud Pole for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Dodge has nine. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
      • There have been 10 different Bud Pole winners at Talladega since 1998. Joe Nemechek (three), Elliott Sadler (two) and Stacey Compton (two) are the repeat Bud Pole winners in the 14-race period. Qualifying was canceled in October 2002.
      • Four of the Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Ryan Newman (third), Tony Stewart (fourth), Greg Biffle (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (ninth) and Carl Edwards (10th). Nine of the last 13 races at Talladega have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
      • Ryan Newman (third) scored his fifth top-10 start in eight races at Talladega. This is the 25th top-10 start for Newman in 2005, the most of all drivers.
      • Tony Stewart (fourth) posted his sixth top-10 start in 14 races at Talladega. It is Stewart’s 15th top-10 start this season.
      • Joe Nemechek (fifth) posted his eighth top-10 start in 2005. It is also his eighth top- 10 start in 22 races at Talladega.
      • Kerry Earnhardt (35th) qualified for his seventh NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, his third in 2005. Six of his races have been restrictor-plate races.
      • Forty-one of the 72 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Talladega have been won from the first four starting positions (57 percent).(NASCAR PR)(9-30-2005)

    • Ramblings - Talladega: It was Elliott Sadler's day at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday as he took the Bud Pole for Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 with a time of 50.597 sec. (189.260 mph). This is the third pole of the season for Sadler, and the fifth of his NEXTEL Cup career. Joining his teammate on the outside of the front row will be Dale Jarrett. What's that you say? You thought Kevin Harvick was out there? Well, other than three (count 'em, THREE) small problems in the trunk area that NASCAR didn't like he'd have been in that spot, but his time was disallowed and he'll start 42nd. After the shock fiasco at Dover last week, the garage area is starting to have that "Angry Mob" look to it.....

      This is DJ's best starting spot since he had the pole at Daytona for the 500 in February.
      Bobby Labonte (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Michigan in June.
      STREAKIN.....Jimmie Johnson has 3 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Ryan Newman has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
      A short Trouble Train today as we had 46 cars on hand. Bobby Hamilton Jr (for the second time this season) was a dnq along with Johnny Sauter and Morgan Shepherd.
      I [SCF] still think a good "Chase" scenario would be to have 10 plate races for the Championship.....course the CCU would be full before race three! These guys won't get much sleep this weekend.(Stock Car Fans)(9-30-2005)


      News from September 29, 2005

    • Gordon adds new associate sponsor: Carloans.com has come on board as a new associate sponsor for the balance of the 2005 season and will continue to support Robby Gordon Motorsports through 2006. The #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports will feature the yellow, black and silver Menard paint scheme this week. Gordon’s race-thrown helmet received 55 bids and raised $51,100 for the Harrah’s Employee Relief Fund. It also enjoyed being the number one watched item on eBay.(RGM PR)(9-29-2005)

    • Some ARCA/NASCAR stuff at Talladega: Jason Hedlesky, the spotter for #49 Ken Schrader in Cup and Carl Edwards Busch Series spotter, is resuming his ARCA career by teaming up with fellow Michigan native Hardcore Motorsports to field the EMP Dodge Charger in the race at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday afternoon. Hedlesky, who has been absent from the series for two seasons, has 16 ARCA races on his scorecard, but this is his first with Hardcore. Hedlesky's previous ARCA starts came behind the wheel of legendary NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey's machines when he was Donlavey's general manager. He competed in select races from 2000-2003, missed 2004 and returns this weekend. Hedlesky said he has enjoyed his change from general manager to spotter.(Keystome PR)
      AND MB2 Motorsports has entered Kraig Kinser in this weekend's ARCA RE/MAX race at Talladega Superspeedway. Kinser, who won this year's famed Knoxville Nationals in central Iowa, is a member of MB2's driver development program. Saturday's Food World 300 will be Kinser's second ARCA race. He qualified on the outside pole and finished eighth in his ARCA debut, Aug. 19th at Michigan. As in Michigan, Kinser's ARCA team in Talladega will be a joint venture between MB2 Motorsports and Andy Hillenburg Racing. Kinser will drive the #10 Chevy with sponsorship from CENTRIX Financial, U.S. Army and Checkers/Rally's. Doug Randolph, MB2's driver development manager, will be Kinser's crew chief. The team will also receive support from members of MB2's #01 and #10 Nextel Cup teams.(MB2Motorosports)
      AND II Erin Crocker will head to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend ready for her first visit there on the ARCA circuit. Crocker will pilot the #98 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Dodge Charger. This chassis has never raced, but has tested in Daytona in January 2005 and tested it at Talladega last week with. Crocker enters this weekend’s race after an impressive third place start/finish in her second visit to Nashville. Team Director Chris Andrews will continue to call the shots from the pit box this week. This will be Crocker’s fifth race carrying the banner for Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper, and her sixth race overall this year.(Clear!Blue PR)
      AND III: Aric Almirola, who has been competing in the Dodge Weekly Racing Series as a part of the Joe Gibbs Racing/Reggie White Diversity Program will make his ARCA debut in #2 Shaver Motorsports entry which will be adorned with the insignia of the new Joe Gibbs Performance Synthetic Racing Oil. Almirola is in his second year of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series competition. Also, this season he has competed in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events as well this season, where he has two top-10 finishes which came at Indianapolis Raceway Park and New Hampshire.(JGR PR)(9-29-2005)

    • Fruit of the Loom gone as #7 sponsor? been asked by many readers, looks like Fruit of the Loom is no longer a sponsor for #7 Robby Gordon and has been removed from his website robbygordon.com. Gordon was scheduled to run a Fruit of the Loom scheme at Talladega, but is Menards is listed as the sponsor on the NASCAR.com Talladega entry list. Fruit of the Loom was scheduled to run at Talladega, Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix.(9-29-2005)

    • #48/#5 too high in post race inspection at Dover? UPDATE 2: been told that the winning #48 Chevy that Jimmie Johnson drove to victory at Dover didn't meet the height reqiurements in post-race inspection and supposedly the #5 Chevy was too high also. #5-Busch finished a very close 2nd. Hearing the height was over 3/4" off in the rear of the cars. It was mentioned during the race broadcast that the two cars sat higher then other cars on the track. Was told that it was reported to the media that all cars passed inspection, not sure if their is a shock issue or if fines will be handed out, Tuesday is usually the day NASCAR announces such things [except for after New Hampshire last week]. The #5 team was fined back in March for having the quarter panels too high at Las Vegas and the #48 was fined after Vegas for being too low with Johnson winning and Busch finishing 2nd.(9-27-2005)
      UPDATE: For the second time this season, a cloud hovers over a 1-2 finish by Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. The shock absorbers from six cars, including those of Johnson and Busch, were confiscated after Sunday's race at Dover. They were taken for testing to see if they are in compliance with NASCAR rules. Johnson won the event and took the lead in the chase for the Cup championship as Busch finished a close second. Their shocks were taken after their cars had trouble passing post-race inspection. Johnson and Busch had a 1-2 finish tainted at Las Vegas when the rear of Johnson's car was too low and the right-rear of Busch's car was too high during post-race checks. Shocks were also confiscated at Dover from the cars of Penske Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace; and the Roush Racing cars of Mark Martin and Greg Biffle. Of the six, only Busch is not among drivers in the championship chase.(High Point Enterprise)(9-28-2005)
      UPDATE 2a: Spokesman Ramsey Poston said NASCAR, in postrace inspection, removed shocks from Johnson's and Busch's cars, the cars of Penske South teammates Ryan Newman (who finished fifth) and Rusty Wallace (sixth) and the Roush Racing cars of Mark Martin (fourth) and Greg Biffle (13th). All cars passed inspection, Poston said, and he did not expect any penalties from the shock examinations. "We took the shocks from all the cars that went through inspection so that we could make sure that teams are following new shock guidelines we issued last year," he said in an e-mail. "It was a lot like when we took the engines from several cars in Michigan; we just want to take a look to be sure everyone is following the rules."(Florida Today)
      UPDATE 2b: NASCAR apparently was listening to the chatter between several drivers and their crews Sunday at Dover. After hearing several teams talk about the unusual setup of Jimmie Johnson's winning Chevrolet, the sanctioning body confiscated the rear shock absorbers from six teams following the MBNA RacePoints 400. Several teams talked on their radios about the height of Johnson's right-rear quarter panel. Radio announcers from the Motor Racing Network even talked about it during the race. NASCAR confirmed Johnson's car originally flunked post-race inspection for being too high, but it later passed once the shock "settled." The second-place car from Kyle Busch, Johnson's teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, also was too high. If the rear of the car is high, it pushes up the rear spoiler and helps it gain traction in the corners. NASCAR took the rear shocks from Johnson and Busch, as well as those from Ford drivers Mark Martin and Greg Biffle and Dodge drivers Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace. Busch was fined earlier this year because his car was too high at Las Vegas; Johnson was fined at Las Vegas for being too low. Johnson won that race, too, and Busch finished second.(Augusta Chronicle)(9-29-2005)

    • More on the Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie: been told that Fasttrack is supplying the cars for the Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie, High, Wide, and Handsome. The cars being sent to Talladega for shooting this week include the Will Ferrell car sponsored by Laughing Clown Malt Liqour. There will be some older cars like a Sterling Marlin Kodak car, Bbobby Hamilton STP and Bill Elliotts McDonald car. Actors listed to be in the film include Sacha Baron Cohen [Ali G], Leslie Bibb, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Glaser and John C. Reilly.
      AND Darrell Waltrip has been busy lately, working on the new Pixar film, Cars, and has committed to an upcoming film featuring Will Ferrell as a racecar driver. "Larry, Mike and I are gonna be in the Will Ferrell movie," Waltrip said, referring to his fellow truck announcers. "I’m sure we’ll be in a booth calling a race somewhere."(Bristol Herald Courier), and see past news on this movie and others on my Movie News page.(9-29-2005)


      News from September 28, 2005

    • Congratulations to Jack Daniel’s Racing Team car chief Kirk Almquist and his wife Elisa on the birth of their first child. Kody Joseph Almquist was born on Tuesday, September 27 at 11:04 a.m. and weighed in at eight pounds four ounces.(RCR)(9-28-2005)

    • Dover TV Ratings down: TNT says its coverage of Sunday's MBNA Racepoints 400 from Dover International Speedway earned a 3.1 U.S. rating, down from 3.2 in 2004, but says its average for its seven Cup races this season was up 11% from 2004. TNT says its races this year included three of cable television's top NASCAR races of all time in household delivery, including the July 24 race at Pocono, (5.14 million households, 4.7 U.S. rating), the July 17 race at New Hampshire (4.95 million households, 4.5 U.S. rating), and the Aug. 21 race at Michigan International Speedway (4.89 million households, 4.5 U.S. rating).(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)
      AND Zap2it.com reports a 3.1 Rating with 4,842,000 viewers, last year it was 3.2 national rating and 5,001,000 viewers.(9-28-2005)

    • NBC takes over broadcasting races: NBC Sports begins its exclusive coverage of the final eight races in NASCAR's "Chase for the Nextel Cup" on Sunday live from Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. at 1:30pm/et with the "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show, followed by green flag racing at 2:00pm/et. NBC Sports will use 40 cameras to cover the action at Talladega this weekend, including 24 in-car cameras and a "Crew Cam" in the pits. Bill Weber hosts the "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show and serves as play-by-play commentator for NASCAR on NBC. Parsons and Wally Dallenbach provide analysis. Allen Bestwick is the lead pit reporter and Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum are pit reporters. NASCAR's "Chase for the Nextel Cup" continues on NBC next Sunday, Oct. 9 from Kansas Speedway and concludes Sunday, November 20 with the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NBC PR)(9-28-2005)

    • MB2 Motorsports New Home almost ready: The NASCAR Nextel Cup teams of MB2 Motorsports are scheduled to move into their new facility in Mooresville, N.C. the week of Oct. 10. The 144,000-square foot complex will give the multi-team organization more than three times the space of its current shop in Concord, N.C. "This will be our third shop since MB2 Motorsports was founded in the summer of 1996," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "Our first shop was in Mooresville, and when we look back at the size of that facility at 8,000 square feet and compare it to what we're about to move into, it really hits home how far we have come in a relatively short period of time." The state-of-the-art new MB2 headquarters, located in Iredell County east of I 77 at exit 33, will also include a fan-friendly viewing area of the spacious race shop.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(9-28-2005)

    • Target, #41 CGRFS and BCRF Team Up in the Fight Against Breast Cancer In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Target, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and Casey Mears will team up once again to promote breast cancer awareness to racing fans across the country. The #41 Target Dodge will sport a special pink paint scheme for the second year in a row that will carry the logo of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Mears will take the helm of the pink Dodge Charger for five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in October: Talladega, Kansas, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Martinsville and Atlanta. There are 30 million female NASCAR fans in the United States, and according to the most recent statistics, the chances of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her lifetime is about one in seven. Therefore, over four million of NASCAR's female fans may be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime. Mears will auction his one-of-a-kind BCRF helmet designed and donated by Troy Lee Designs on eBay with all of the proceeds going directly to BCRF. Mears will be wearing this special helmet in all five races in October. The bidding will run from October 1 through the end of month. Target and Action Performance have created a diecast replica of the pink #41 Target Dodge, as well as special Target/BCRF t-shirts and hats. These items will be sold online, at the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates shop and at Mears' trackside trailer. Target, Action, CGRFS and Mears have all agreed to donate the profits from the sale of these items to the BCRF. Target will unveil, for the second consecutive year, an exclusive line of pink-themed products. The pink product collection will be available online at www.target.com/breastcancer with select items available in stores starting October 1 through October 31. For more information about BCRF visit www.bcrfcure.org.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(9-28-2005)

    • Restrictor Plates at Lowe's Motor Speedway? UPDATE: With less than rave reviews of the ever-changing track surface at Lowe's Motor Speedway from Chasers Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin afer a test last week, NASCAR officials are considering running restrictor plates on the cars in the October 15 race at Charlotte. Stewart and Biffle wrecked two cars apiece during the tests. After plowing his car at 170 mph into the Turn 2 wall, Biffle felt the aftereffects last weekend at Dover. "From the eye, the track looks good," Biffle says. But the tire compound doesn't work well with the track's new surface. NASCAR doesn't expect any relief until the track is repaved after the race.(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(9-26-2005)
      UPDATE:After laser-grinding the Lowes Motor Speedway track to help get another year of wear out of the 1.5-mile layout, track President Humpy Wheeler says the surface will have to be repaved for 2006. Wheeler said “I think what we’ve gotta do though is to study real hard, not just go pave over what we’ve got. I think we probably need to change some of the banking a little bit. Maybe put a different asphalt mix in to make it more stable and get ready for the new car NASCAR is going to bring out. That graduated banking has been around for a long time and it is affective in creating a second groove. What we want to do here is to make sure we have a second groove so you can have passing and lead swapping.” As for a published report concerning the use of restrictor plates after the track is repaved Wheeler said "I'm all for it, let's do it! It just makes better racing. You slow the cars down and you always have better racing. I don't think they're gonna do it...but...keep the rumor going! !"(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)

    • Hendrick was nervous: Car owner Rick Hendrick watched nervously from his home the final laps of the race at Dover recovering from a touch of the flu; however that didn’t stop him from getting word to his rookie driver #5-Kyle Busch prior to racing teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for the win. “I called Doug Duchardt (V.P. of Development) and I said give Alan Gustafson (Busch’s crew chief) a message…tell him to tell Kyle not to do anything stupid…(laughs) Then when the flag dropped on the green, white, checkered I said evidently he didn’t get the message. So, Monday morning I said, you didn’t get my message? Kyle said…I got it….I wasn’t on him…I didn’t touch him! I said, well it was too close for me. But it was good race and a good result.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)

    • Lepage back in the #66 at Talladega: Peak Performance Motorsports owner Jeff Stec announced that NASCAR veteran Kevin Lepage will be back behind the wheel of the #66 EAS Ford for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. "The team enjoyed working with Kevin last weekend at Dover," said Stec. "Given Kevin's experience and success on restrictor plate tracks, we think he will help us out a lot this weekend at Talladega." In the season opener at Daytona, Lepage qualified eighth and finished ninth. Two radio stations will have associate sponsorship positions on the #66 this weekend. Charlotte, N.C.'s Ace & TJ Morning Show, and The Q, a Birmingham, Ala. station heard on 103.7 FM, will ride along in the draft with Lepage. Ace & TJ Morning Show can be heard weekday mornings in Charlotte Monday through Friday. The Q, a sister station to It is a sister station of Birmingham's KISS 95.1, is an entity of Infinity Broadcasting Systems, and is owned by Clear Channel Radio.(PSE-3 PR)(9-28-2005)

    • #4 MuzikMafia scheme at Talladega: MuzikMafia and Morgan-McClure Motorsports, along with Lucas Oil and Wide Open Performance Energy Drink, are pleased to announce that the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy will once again carry the likeness of a MuzikMafia artist. This time it will be Godfather Jon Nicholson, who releases his Warner Bros. debut today, an album that also marks the first release from the Rock 'N Soul branch of the MuzikMafia. Jon Nicholson's A Lil Sump'm Sump'm, with its rock and soul driven grooves and alt-folk and country roots, exemplifies the wide-open, all-encompassing artistic reach of the Mafia. Previous MuzikMafia/Morgan-McClure Motorsports collaborations featured Cowboy Troy's image and the MuzikMafia logos along with a specialty design paint scheme by the MuzikMafia's only visual artist, Rachel Kice. Those images were featured on the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at the Richmond International Raceway and in March 2005, Rachel attended the Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway as a guest of the #4 Lucas Oil team and painted on a platform in the infield during the race.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports)(9-28-2005)

    • Shine On Scheme for #42 at Talladega: The #42 Dodge will sport a special "Shine On" paint scheme this weekend, with the hood displaying the only hexagon Texaco logo ever released by the company. During this time (1963-1980) the company launched the very popular advertising slogan, "trust your car to the man that wears the star." The "Shine On" series of four different paint schemes pays tribute to Texaco/Havoline's successful NASCAR history while emphasizing the iconic status of the star. The other "Shine On" events included Texas (April 17), Charlotte (May 29) and Infineon (June 26).(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR), see schemes of each one on my #42 Team Schemes page.(9-28-2005)


      News from September 27, 2005

    • Martin the only one at Talladega: did ya know....#6-Mark Martin is the only Chase contender with a Nextel Cup race win at Talladega Superspeedway?(9-27-2005)

    • Partypoker as a sponsor? hearing partypoker.net could sponsor a third Yates car for 2006 team or take over as the sponsor on the #6 Roush Racing Ford.(9-27-2005)

    • #78 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR announced today that Joe Garone, crew chief for the No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Kenny Wallace in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $1,000 for an infraction during last weekend’s event at Dover International Speedway. Garone was fined for an unapproved fuel cell recessed well, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-U (unapproved fuel cell container) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. There were false panels inside the recessed well.(NASCAR PR)(9-27-2005)

    • Hall of Fame Racing Crew Chief? UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATEL Philippe Lopez, who was one of the first persons that the late Dale Earnhardt hired when he decided DEI should go Cup racing in 1998, has been named crew chief for the new Hall of Fame Racing operation. Hall of Fame partners Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Bill Saunders have given Lopez the job of putting together the Texas Instruments team that will compete on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2006. "My first priority is to get the shop up and running," says Lopez, who was working in the research and development department at Richard Childress Racing before taking the job with Hall of Fame Racing. "We are working very closely with Joe Gibbs Racing," adds Lopez. “That will give us a great advantage right from the start. Jimmy Makar (General Manager at Gibbs) has already been a big help in getting the ball rolling. "You can't put a price on what they will be bringing to the table as this team gets ready to go Nextel Cup racing. We are quickly getting the shop up and running, sourcing the equipment that we need and hiring the people that we want." Lopez says the team's relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing means he does not have to focus on building race cars "any time soon" as JGR will provide the team with Chevrolet Monte Carlos and engines as well as the technology needed to be competitive in the Nextel Cup Series.
      Hall of Fame Racing also announced the hiring of Len Batycki as vice president of marketing and John Fuller as comptroller. Batycki has worked in motorsports for more than 15 years. He joined North Carolina Motor Speedway in 1990, working there for almost six years, the last two as vice president of marketing. He moved to Richard Childress Racing in 1996 as vice president of business development. Batycki left RCR in 2002. Shortly afterwards, he was named senior vice president/motorsports group for Ogilvy PR Worldwide. In July 2004, he joined Doug Herbert Performance Parts as executive vice president and general manger. Fuller comes to Hall of Fame Racing from ppc racing. Fuller graduated from Clemson University in 1996 with a degree in accounting. He earned his CPA while working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Fuller joined ppc racing in 1999. Hall of Fame Racing's shop is located on Twin Lakes Parkway just off I-77.(PR)(9-27-2005)

    • Camo Scheme for Sterling at Talladega: In August of 2005, Coors Brewing Company launched a truly unique, one-of-a-kind package, the camouflage can. The 2005 Coors and Coors Light Camouflage Can is the ideal beer container for the American outdoorsman. This packaging will be available in certain markets through November 2005. To further leverage the unique camouflage can, Coors Light will take the packaging to the track! The Coors Light #40 car will be wrapped in the same camouflage pattern as the can for two of this fall's races at Talladega Superspeedway and Texas Motor Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-27-2005)

    • Harvick rumors won't die....to #11? UPDATE: #29-Kevin Harvick and car owner Richard Childress have said they intend to team again next season, the last year of their current contract, but that hasn't stopped speculation that car owner Joe Gibbs has been looking at Harvick for a full-time ride with his #11 FedEx-sponsored team.(Winston Salem Journal)
      BUT been told that there was a 'trade' discussed not too long ago, Harvick to Gibbs and Bobby Labonte to RCR, but it all fell thru and was never really serious.(9-26-2005)
      MORE: hearing talk was pretty strong that the Harvick-Labonte trade was moving along until the night of the Bristol race, and Gibbs decided he didn't want Harvick. Think both drivers are still looking to go to other rides but Harvick's comments at Bristol ended the Gibbs possibilities. So don't expect Harvick to go to the #11 car.(9-27-2005)

    • Rocker to have songs featured in The Chase promos: former Creed frontman Scott Stapp has announced a partnership with NASCAR that will see tracks from his solo album, The Great Divide, used in spots for the NASCAR Nextel Cup's Chase for the Championship. The alliance will culminate with Stapp performing the national anthem at the Ford 400 race in Homestead, Florida, on November 20. The Great Divide roars into stores two days later. It's not the first time Stapp has partnered with NASCAR. In December 2004, he sang a version of Creed's "Higher" at the auto-racing juggernaut's end-of-the-year awards show in New York City, a performance that drew the ire of his former bandmates.(MTV.com)(9-27-2005)

    • Bobby Allison Official Spokesperson for NASCAR Game: NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison, has reached an agreement to become the official spokesperson for the new NASCAR DVD Board Game, from Specialty Board Games. Set to hit shelves this fall, the NASCAR DVD Board Game incorporates the excitement of racing while testing the players' knowledge of one of the world's most favorite sports. Featuring a short and long track on a double-sided board, actual NASCAR footage, 5.0 surround-sound, and interactive DVD technology, the game provides the fans with a realistic experience that brings the excitement of NASCAR into the homes of fans, the object of the game being the first to complete a lap around either a Short Track or Superspeedway and enter Victory Lane. Allison will be making appearances this fall at NASCAR tracks and events, as well as in-store visits and appearances at consumer events and press interviews. In addition, Allison will be partaking in a tour of the markets in which upcoming NASCAR races will be taking place including the following locations: Talladega, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Miami. More info at bobbyallison.com.(9-27-2005)

    • Alabama Governor To Proclaim Sunday "Rusty Wallace Day": Alabama Governor Bob Riley will proclaim Sunday, Oct. 2 as "Rusty Wallace Day" in the state, joining Talladega Superspeedway in special recognition of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver during pre-race ceremonies before the start of the UAW-Ford 500. Wallace will officially retire from full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition at the end of this year, with this 2005 final season in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge titled "Rusty's Last Call." In addition to Gov. Riley's proclamation, Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch will present Wallace with a framed, one-of-a-kind print thanking him for the many memories he's created over the course of his 25-year career. Also, Wallace and his wife, Patti, will be granted lifetime passes to Talladega Superspeedway. The UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway will be start #699 in the series for Wallace, his 45th here. Great seats are still available to the UAW-Ford 500 event weekend Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at Talladega Superspeedway by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725).(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-27-2005)

    • RACEceiver Developers to receive 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award: Joe Vinson and Ken Pirkle, developers of the RACEceiver one-way communications system, will receive the 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the Busch Series race Friday night, Oct. 14, at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe's Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport's outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment, and it is in his honor the award is named. Vinson and Pirkle founded Innovative Spectator Products in 2001 based on the idea of producing a compact scanner race fans could use to monitor driver-team communications. The RACEceiver was introduced in 2004 and allows officials to warn competitors of on-track hazards, align cars for restarts and communicate other pertinent information to drivers during events. The World of Outlaws sprint car and late model series, the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series and Iowa's Knoxville Raceway are among the sanctioning bodies and tracks utilizing the RACEceiver. It is also used extensively by 600 Racing for all Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero races across the country. Previous winners of the Bobby Isaac Memorial Award include journalists Chris Economaki and Tom Higgins; promoters Hugh Deery, Henry Furr and John Moose; drivers Jack Ingram and Harry Gant; motorsports equipment manufacturer Brian Butler; and American Sprint Car Series founder Emmett Hahn.(LMS)(9-27-2005)


      News from September 26, 2005

    • Knaus Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Dover: Jimmy Johnson's victory at Dover International Speedway this weekend made both him and crew chief Chad Knaus winners. His win in the MBNA 400 moved him to the top point standings, giving him a seven point lead over second place Rusty Wallace, and brought Knaus the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. The most important call of the day came on the final round of pit stops. Knaus elected to change all four tires on the # 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, despite Mark Martin receiving only two tires on his pit stop. Johnson lost a spot on the track, but his fresh rubber paid dividends. He quickly took the lead on the restart and never looked back. "I wasn't concerned that one person took two tires," said Knaus. "I was concerned that everyone else was going to take two tires. Fortunately almost everyone took four. We had some good track position to where we had a lead with a couple of seconds gap that we could have taken two tires if we saw everyone else doing that. If we had to pit under green, we would have taken two tires, but under yellow I wanted to take four."
      The panel of voters; including a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all cast their vote for Knaus as the crew chief that did the best 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, Chad Knaus 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)(9-26-2005)

    • Changes to "The Chase" in 2006? There may well be a new rule on points for next year's championship chase, according to sources who say that NASCAR is considering a separate points system for the 10 leading drivers. Under that this season, Kurt Busch would not have lost as many points for his Loudon crash - Busch was credited with 41st-place points at Loudon, but under the proposed system he would have been credited with 10th place points, and would still be in the hunt. Of course, under such a new system, the worst finish a playoff driver would be credited with each weekend would be 10th - 134 points, losing at most 56 points to the tour leader. At Loudon, Busch finished 35th and got 58 points.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2005)

    • Busch to be let out of contract? McMurray in the #97 instead of #6? UPDATE 2: 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)(9-13-2005)
      UPDATE: Jack Roush confirmed on Sunday that Jamie McMurray, who is slated to move from Chip Ganassi Racing to Roush Racing in 2007, might wind up in the #97 Ford, which is being vacated by Kurt Busch. McMurray originally was pegged as the driver to take over the #6 Ford driven by Mark Martin. "Yes, there is a possibility of that," Roush said. "We're having discussions right now with sponsors and have several things on the table." Roush said he's close to finalizing his 2006 plans.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
      AND hearing Penske Racing and Roush Racing are close to working out as buyout deal for Kurt Busch so he can move to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2006 and not have to wait until 2007, for which Busch signed to start.(9-19-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace said lawyers are currently working to get Kurt Busch out of his contract at Roush Racing so he can drive the #2 Dodge at Penske Racing South next year. "I know he wants to drive the car next year," Wallace said. "They're trying to get everything worked out."(Augusta Chronicle)(9-26-2005)

    • 'No' to the new Dodge nose...again? NASCAR officials are not expected to approve the new aerodynamic nose piece that Dodge teams have been politicking for much of the season. Dodge teams are not pleased with that, pointing out that Ford and Chevrolet will both have new cars next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2005)

    • more on the Car of Tomorrow: NASCAR is expected to meet with owners this week to discuss the car of tomorrow. Top owners in the garage are worried about the cost; each new car is expected to cost $150,000-plus. Multiply that by 25 cars per team and the total will make it impossible for many organizations to stay in business. The first test of the restrictor-plate car of tomorrow is scheduled for October 3. NASCAR hopes to have the new car ready for competition for the 2007 season.(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(9-26-2005)



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