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    OCT 24-30, 2005

      News from October 30, 2005

    • Pattie in for Elledge at Atlanta..for a good reason #41 crew chief, Jimmy Elledge is back home in NC today as wife Kelley [Earnhardt] had a baby on Saturday, Kennedy Dale. Brian Pattie will be Casey Mears crew chief at Atlanta.(NASCAR This Morning)(10-30-2005)

    • Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? UPDATE 3 Holly too? Bootie staying: Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he's out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss' #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night's crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
      UPDATE: hearing Green has signed with the #0 and that Best Buy could be the full primary sponsor in 2006, not sure what NetZero would do, could follow Bliss to where he ends up, to another team or out of the sport.(10-21-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Jeff Green will drive the #0 for Gene Haas next season. The reunion of Green and former crew chief Harold Holly [currently Haas's #44 Busch crew chief] should produce a competitive team. The two won a Busch Series title together in 2000.(Sporting News), so wonder what happens to Bootie Barker, the current #0 crew chief.(10-24-2005)
      UPDATE 3: on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, #0 crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker, was asked about the Harold Holly rumor and said he and Holly are good friends and that he [Bootie] has a long term contract and expects to be back as the #0 crew chief in 2006. His comments: "Well, hey, I guess it's logical that rumor. Harold (Holly) and Jeff were together and did real well. But Harold and I are great friends and no animosity between us. I think what it was was just somebody needed a story, and they just put one out there because I'm signed. I've got a multi-year deal, and Gene Haas and the rest of the Best Buy car is happy with me. That could change. Everything changes in this sport, but as of right now, everything is good."(NASCAR This Morning)(10-30-2005)

    • New Tire Pressure Rule? UPDATE Last week's Charlotte tire debacle will prompt NASCAR to incorporate a minimum tire pressure rule, possibly by next weeek's trip to Atlanta.(RacingOne)(10-23-2005)
      UPDATE: NASCAR made Goodyear's recommended air pressures mandatory for yesterday's Craftsman Truck race and also will hold teams to the rule in today's Cup race. One truck crew chief called the policy ridiculous. The tire-blowing debacle two weeks ago at Lowe's Motor Speedway was cited as a reason behind the decision. But team owner Richard Childress believes the problems stem from NASCAR instituting a shorter spoiler this year. "It hasn't done anything for racing but cost the owners a lot of money," Childress said. "And to offset it, they put on a soft tire, and what do you get there? You get track records and high cornering speeds everywhere. It hasn't been nothing but a disaster."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-30-2005)

    • Edwards sweeps Atlanta: #99-Carl Edwards won the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2005 and his career, 2nd at Atlanta, being the first driver to sweep both Atlanta Cup races since Bill Elliott in 1992 and only the 6th driver to do so at the track. #24-Jeff Gordon follows up last weeks win with a 2nd place finish, followed by #6-Mark Martin, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [who led the most laps] and #17-Matt Kenseth. Points leader, #20-Tony Stewart finished 9th and coupled with #48-Jimmie Johnson's [2nd in points] finish of 16th, Stewart increases his points lead from 15 to 43. Three Chasers had bad days, #97-Busch, #2-Wallace and #19-Mayfield all had bad days and finished 36th, 37th and 38th respectfully and for all practical purposes are out of the hunt for the Championship. #39-Reed Sorenson, in his 1st career start, crashed late and finished 41st out of the race. There were 9 cautions for 39 laps and 11 drivers led laps with 25 lead changes.
      For my race rundown, laps led, DNF's, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page.
      For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
    • Jayski's Atlanta Race Results/Awards page.
      For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
    • Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page.(10-30-2005)

    • Driver Points Standing after Atlanta race 7 of 10 in the Chase:
      #20-Tony Stewart, 6100
      #48-Jimmie Johnson, 6057, -43
      #16-Greg Biffle, 6025, -75
      #99-Carl Edwards, 5993, -107
      #12-Ryan Newman, 5993, -107
      #6-Mark Martin, 5957, -143>BR> #17-Matt Kenseth, 5945, -155
      #2-Rusty Wallace, 5843, -257
      #97-Kurt Busch, 5840, -260
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5790, -310
      and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
      #42-Jamie McMurray, 3782
      #24-Jeff Gordon, -42
      #38-Elliott Sadler, -60
      #29-Kevin Harvick -71
      #01-Joe Nemechek -89
      For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
    • Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page.(10-30-2005)

    • "Classic" Points Standings - Top 15...the old way, not the Chase after Atlanta, race 33 of 36:
      1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4766
      2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4511, -255
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4422, -344
      4) #2-Rusty Wallace, 4215, -551
      5) #6-Mark Martin, 4205, -561
      6) #97-Kurt Busch, 4114, -652
      7) #99-Carl Edwards, 4092, -674
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4044, -722
      9) #12-Ryan Newman, 4043, -723
      10) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3998, -768
      11) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3782, -984
      12) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3740, -1026
      13) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3722, -1044
      14) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3711, -1055
      15) #01-Joe Nemechek, 3693, -1073

    • The Chasers...where do they start/finish at Atlanta:
      #20-Tony Stewart, starts 10th, finished
      #48-Jimmie Johnson, 12th, 16th
      #12-Ryan Newman, 1st, 23rd
      #16-Greg Biffle, 16th, 7th
      #99-Carl Edwards, 2nd, 1st
      #2-Rusty Wallace, 32nd, 37th
      #6-Mark Martin, 4th, 3rd
      #97-Kurt Busch, 30th, 36th
      #17-Matt Kenseth, 23rd, 5th
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 19th, 38th.(10-30-2005)

    • Driver Change - Hamilton Jr. In, Chaffin Out: on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, it was mentioned that Bobby Hamilton Jr.. who failed to qualify for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday in the #32 Tide Chevy, will take over the #92 Chevy that Chad Chaffin qualified. Chaffin was to start 43rd as will Hamilton Jr.
      AND PPI Motorsports (PPIM) through a partnership with car owner Bob Jenkins will race the #32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet with driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. in today’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “Bob and I forged a relationship at Talladega a few weeks ago,” said Wells. “And he was gracious enough to continue the partnership with PPIM at Atlanta. We are looking forward to fielding our #32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet in today’s event as well as accomplishing our goal for the weekend which is a top-25 finish.”(PPI Motorsports)(10-30-2005)

    • #21 Team Moving: The Wood Brothers Racing #21 team is moving to its third shop in the past two years. When the team decided to move from its long-time base in Stuart, Va., closer to the racing mecca around Concord, N.C., where most NASCAR teams are located, it took over Ricky Rudd's old shop in Mooresville, NC. But those quarters proved to be too cramped. Team co-owner Len Wood said the new shop — which the team will share with ST Motorsports, a Busch Series team now working with the Woods — is 129,000 square feet versus the 30,000-square-foot building that now houses the team. It is about four miles from Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-30-2005)

    • Atlanta Race Notes:
      • Carl Edwards won the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, scoring his third NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 46th career start.
      • Edwards scored his third victory in 2005. His last victory came at Pocono in June, 19 races earlier.
      • It was Edward’s second victory in three races at Atlanta.
      • Edwards scored the third sweep in 2005 joining Jimmie Johnson (Charlotte) and Jeff Gordon (Martinsville).
      • This was the first sweep at Atlanta since Bill Elliott swept both races in 1992.
      • Edwards has scored 15 top-10 finishes in 33 races in 2005.
      • This was Edwards third top-five finish in three races at Atlanta. Edwards finished third in his first race there in 2004.
      • Edwards climbed from fifth to fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, now 107 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.
      • Edwards led eight times for 115 laps including the final 36 laps.
      • Edwards scored the fifth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This was Roush’s 87th victory as a car owner and 13th in 33 races this season.
      • This is the 14th victory by a Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 16 and Dodge has three.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 142 laps, leading the most laps for the first time this season. Prior to today’s race he had led only 27 laps in 2005. The last time he led the most laps in a race was at Phoenix last November.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-30-2005)

    • Rumblings - Atlanta:
      Carl Edwards completed the Atlanta sweep today as he captured the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 in rather easy fashion....winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a comfortable 2.712 seconds. This was his 3rd win of they season (besides the spring race here he also won at Pocono in June) and he's now all the way up to 84th on the all-time win list. Win #87 for Roush Racing was worth $314,700 from the over $5.9M in posted awards.
      Dale Earnhardt Jr (4th) had his best finish since he won at Chicagoland in July. Jamie McMurray (6th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Daytona in July. Michael Waltrip (11th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Michigan in June. Mike Bliss (13th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Bristol in August. Johnny Benson (28th) had his best finish since he was 27th at Daytona in February of 2004 (only 6 races). STREAKIN....Carl Edwards has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      This Week's Elevator...UP: Operator of the Week is Jeff Burton (+33), followed by Michael Waltrip (+26), Jeff Gordon (+22), and Jamie McMurray (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Martin Truex Jr (-32), followed by Kasey Kahne (-29), Kevin Lepage (-29), Mike Skinner (-28 ), Ryan Newman (-22), and Jeremy Mayfield (-20). This was Op #2 for Burton, while Truex makes his first ever appearance in the "Shaft".
      Tony Stewart's lead in the "Chase" is now 43 markers. For all practical purposes, the "Chase" is down to the Top-7.
      In "Classic" points, Jeff Gordon gains the most spots (15th to 12th), while Jeremy Mayfield (7th to 10th) fell the same number of spots. That vaunted 11th spot is still in Jamie McMurray's grasp....but only by 42 points over Gordon.(Stock Car Fans)(10-30-2005)

    • NASCAR This Morning Picks for Atlanta:
      Jimmy Spencer - Greg Biffle - 553 points....7th (560)
      John Roberts - Jimmie Johnson - 580....16th (596)
      Kenny Wallace - Mark Martin - 582....3rd (585)
      (points = adding up their picks finish, so lowest leads)

      News from October 29, 2005

    • Reeses to take larger role on #29 in 2006? UPDATE 4 Official: hearing Reeses/Hershey will take a larger sponsorship role [up to a 1/3rd of the races?] on the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy that Kevin Harvick drivers for Richard Childress Racing in 2006. This is not seen on the 2006 Paint Scheme Votew winner at, where the Black & Silver paint scheme won the vote with 61% favoring, over 53,000 votes were tallied.(10-13-2005)
      UPDATE: GM Goodwrench/REESE'S Press Announcement...Richard Childress Racing will hold a press conference on Saturday, October 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(10-27-2005)
      UPDATE 2: nothing official yet..but on Speed Channel's NASCAR Live, it was reported that Reeses will be the primary sponsor for 12 races in 2006.(10-29-2005)
      UPDATE 3: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced that GM Goodwrench and The Hershey Company have joined forces as co-primary sponsors of RCR's #29 Chevy driven by Kevin Harvick in 2006. GM Goodwrench will be the primary sponsor for 24 races, including the Daytona 500. The Hershey Company, through its Reese's brand, will be the primary sponsor for 12 races, including the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We see this as a great opportunity to extend our NASCAR program with a brand like REESE'S," said Jim Moloney, General Director, GM Service and Parts Operations Marketing. "We have had a relationship with The Hershey Company through our involvement with Richard Childress Racing for five years now and it continues to grow and prosper. When we analyzed our GM Goodwrench sponsorship program, we saw a great opportunity to reach a much larger demographic audience by teaming up with The Hershey Company. While it may be strange for fans to see the #29 Chevrolet without GM Goodwrench as the lone primary sponsor, the opportunity for additional exposure generated by REESE'S is too good to pass up."(RCR PR)(10-29-2005)

    • Rudd to retire? Schrader to the #21 for 2006? UPDATE 5? one scenerio I am hearing is that Ricky Rudd, driver of the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, could retire at the end of 2005 with no fanfare. John Andretti would drive the #21 for a year, with Jon Wood staying in the #47 Busch Series Ford and moving up to Cup in 2007.(10-9-2005)
      UPDATE: now hearing Ken Schrader, driver of the #49 Schwan's Home Service, could replace Rudd in the #21, 'if' Rudd does retire, and possibly may bring the sponsor along with him. BAM Racing and Schrader have said in the past that they expected to be together in 2006 and Schrader said it was his last full-time season in 2006.(10-11-2005)
      UPDATE 2; RacingOne reports: Ken Schrader will run one more full NEXTEL Cup season in 2006 for BAM Motorsports. Schrader will shift to the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 joining Mark Martin as two more former NEXTEL Cup regulars finding homes on the truck circuit.(RacingOne)(10-12-2005)
      UPDATE 3: been told that Andretti in not a candidate for the #21 ride.(10-13-2005)
      UPDATE 4: seems most reports have Rudd going to the #42 ride or retiring, been told Schrader to the #21 is a done deal and will be announced soon.(10-24-2005)
      AND as for Schwan's, have heard two things....that they stay with the #49 BAM team OR that they go with Schrader to the #21 in some capacity. Who would drive the #49? hve heard Mike Bliss is a candiate as is Dave Blaney, both are also up for the #43 Petty Dodge also.(10-25-2005)
      UPDATE 5: Ken Schrader will be driving for the Wood brothers next season, replacing Ricky Rudd, sources close to the negotiations have confirmed. Neither the Wood brothers nor Schrader would discuss the situation. "It depends on what Ricky does," Schrader said. "We're waiting for Kenny or the Woods to make a comment, and then we'll comment," Tony Morgenthau, Schrader's current car owner, said. Rudd could now be key to the Chip Ganassi-Jack Roush-Roger Penske deadlock over drivers, if Rudd were willing to move to Ganassi's Texaco-sponsored team. Ganassi tried to hire Rudd a few years ago. Rudd spent several years as a Texaco-sponsored driver for Robert Yates. The future of Rudd's crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain is up in the air too. McSwain said yesterday he doesn't know if he'll be back with the Wood brothers next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-29-2005)

    • Truex wins IROC race at Atlanta: Martin Truex Jr. won the IROC race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his first IROC win in his 4th race, the 48th driver to win an IROC race. Mark Martin finished 2nd and clinced the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Championship, his 5th career championship, winning $1 million. Matt Kenseth finished 3rd, followed by Helio Catrobeves and Danny Lasoski. Truex finished 2nd to Martin in the championship standings.(10-29-2005)

    • Kenseth's New Spotter: been told that Bob Jeffrey will be handling the spotter duties for #17-Matt Kenseth for the remainder of the 2005 season while the team looks to fill the position permanently for 2006. Jeffrey, who is actively being sought after by several teams and drivers for the 2006 season, was voted the Best Spotter in NASCAR by The Sporting News in 2003 (the only year the publication conducted the "Best of NASCAR" poll). Jeffrey, who has been in NASCAR racing over 20 years, got his start in the Busch Series, where one of the first drivers he worked with was the late Dale Earnhardt and has worked with Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick and other drivers over the years.(10-29-2005)

    • It's in the mail for Wimmer: For Scott Wimmer, the news he wouldn't be back in Bill Davis' #22 Caterpillar Dodge came in the mail, two weeks after he'd been told his job was safe. "I'm kind of shell-shocked over that," he said. "Two weeks ago I was in the car, then I got a letter in the mail saying I'm out," he said. "But we'll move on and hopefully find something better."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-29-2005)

    • More on Labonte looking: #18-Bobby Labonte apparently is on the short list of "proven winners" NASCAR legend Richard Petty plans to consider as driver of the famed #43 beginning in 2006. Labonte, the 2000 Nextel Cup champion, has a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing that runs through 2008. But a source said Friday that Labonte had informed some crewmen two weeks ago that he would not be returning to the #18 Chevrolet in 2006. The team's primary sponsor is Interstate Batteries. A team spokesman said Labonte has been "noncommittal" about his plans for next season. The source added that though Labonte respects Gibbs and his organization, he wants a change of scenery.(Fort Worth Star Telegram), still hearing Labonte to the #42 Texaco Dodge.(10-29-2005)

    • Georgia Pacific to Hendrick? UPDATE: hearing that Georgia Pacific, current sponsor for #45 Kyle Petty, will go to Hendrick Motorsports in some capacity. Could be as a full associate and part-time primary one or more of the Hendrick teams, which are #5-Kyle Busch, #24-Jeff Gordon, #25-Brian Vickers, #44-Terry Labonte, #48-Jimmie Johnson. Petty had announced midseason Georgia Pacific would not be back, they were also rumored to be the new sponsor for Roush Racing's #6 with Mark Martin driving but looks like AAA will be the sponsor there. Georgia Pacific is scheduled to make an announcement of some sort at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday.(10-26-2005)
      UPDATE: Georgia-Pacific on Friday announced a multi-year agreement to put its Sparkle brand of paper towels on the #24 Chevrolet of four-time champion Jeff Gordon, beginning in 2006. Sheila Weidman, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Georgia-Pacific, said the associate sponsorship deal will not take away from its other NASCAR sponsorships, including qualifying night at Atlanta Motor Speedway's fall race, as well as primary sponsorship of Kyle Petty's #45 Brawny Dodge. G-P also is a sponsor of the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-29-2005)

    • Goodyear to test at Lowe's: Goodyear has a tire test scheduled Wednesday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., with a team from Evernham Motorsports. Goodyear officials want to do a test to collect data before work is done on the track to understand why so many teams had tire problems there a couple of weeks ago.(Roanoke Times)(10-29-2005)

    • Slugger to leave the #19? UPDATE 2: hearing #19 crew chief, Slugger Labbe could leave Evernham Motorsports at the end of the season, possibly going back to Robert Yates Racing, as the crew chief for #38-Elliott Sadler?(10-26-2005)
      UPDATE: Statement from Ray Evernham on the Leadership for the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger: "We have decided to make a change on the leadership team for the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger driven by Jeremy Mayfield. The team, led by Team Director Kenny Francis for the past three years, has shown great promise and potential. We've qualified for the Chase for the Championship for the second year in a row. But, we have high expectations for this team, both for the remainder of the 2005 season and for next year. We still have four races to run this season, all of which are on tracks where we've been successful. We're confident that we can re-energize this team to bring home solid finishes in these last four races and move up in the Chase for the Championship. We are already planning for next year, and we recognize that we need to make several changes to regain the momentum this team had earlier in the year and to ensure we have the right people in the right places to win races and a championship.
      As part of this change, Richard "Slugger" Labbe will no longer serve as crew chief for the team. Kenny Francis will continue to lead the team as he has the last three years, and Mike Shiplett, currently the car chief for the team, will share Labbe's duties with Francis. Slugger Labbe made good contributions to this team this year, and we wish him well as he pursues other opportunities."(ClearBlue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(10-27-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Richard "Slugger" Labbe said a lack of chemistry with Jeremy Mayfield was behind his departure from Evernham Motorsports this week. Mayfield has one top-20 finish since making the Chase for the Nextel Cup for the second consecutive year. "I just didn't fit in," said Labbe, who declined another position at Evernham. "We got in the Chase, and we've just been mediocre. I want to win and be in the top five every week." Labbe expects to join another team by next week's race at Texas.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-29-2005)

    • Truck Drivers Honored: Pilot Travel Centers awarded $50,000 to two long-haul truck drivers - one a professional driver and the other a driver of a NASCAR team transporter. Dubbed the Pilot Truck Driver Challenge, the program is in its second year of honoring the best driver in the NASCAR garage area and the best driver in its Driver Payback program. Among the qualifications for the award, the drivers must have a clean record, with no accidents and no speeding tickets. James and Sue Langley, of Jonesboro, La., were the non-NASCAR winners. He drives for Southern Cal Transport.
      And for the second year, a driver for one of Richard Childress Racing was the NASCAR winner. Frankie Nester has been with RCR for three years and drives the Cingular Chevrolet race cars and equipment from track to track for driver Jeff Burton. He previously drove for Roush Racing and a Busch team. "Before that, I was hauling furniture up north," Nester said."I think you guys have the hardest job in this sport," Burton said to all of the NASCAR transport drivers. "You're gone more. You're always here, you're always the first ones to be here and the last ones to leave." Burton said Nester previously said if he won, he would donate 10% of his winnings to charity and the driver said he would match it. Nester, of Stoneville, N.C., said they will select a charity and announce it at a later date. Pilot Travel Centers also donate unspecified amounts each year to NASCAR charities, including the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-29-2005)

    • New Goody's Commericals with Stewart: Goody's Headache Powders previewed its new commercials titled "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" on Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the new spots, Richard Petty welcomes driver Tony Stewart, knocking on his door bearing a casserole from his wife, Linda. As one might expect, everything happens fast in Goody's Country, which Petty explains to the new resident Stewart. "Tony Stewart joining Goody's just makes so much sense," said Darren Singer, vice president of marketing for Goody's. Stewart answered snickers from the audience by saying, "I know what you guys are thinking. Don't worry, that's what I was thinking, too." The new commercials were filmed on Hickswood Drive in Greensboro, N.C. Singer said residents allowed their homes and streets to be used for the two days of shooting and even brought out their lawn chairs to watch the events. The Pettys and Stewart chatted with them and signed autographs - and definitely left their mark. Goody's has been associated with NASCAR and the Petty family for 30 years. The company was an early and major contributor to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart also is a major contributor to the camp for children with life-threatening conditions. Goody's also presented a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Tony Stewart Foundation for the Victory Junction Gang.(PR)(10-29-2005)

    • No IROC at Richmond in 2006 UPDATE: International Race of Champions [IROC] officials said yesterday the series won't return to Richmond International Raceway next season. The all-star circuit raced in tandem with the Craftsman Truck Series on Thursdays the past two Septembers. RIR is cutting Thursday from its fall weekend and squeezing an IROC event into a two-day Busch-Cup schedule isn't feasible. Richmond was the shortest track to hold an IROC race in the series' 31-year history.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-28-2005)
      UPDATE: The IROC series will not return to Richmond next season. The series tentatively is scheduled to race next year at Daytona, Texas, Atlanta and Michigan or California.(Roanoke Times)(10-29-2005)

    • Wally's World at Atlanta: This week on "Wally's World," Chris Meloni [Jayski fave from SVU and Oz], star of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" replaces his detective badge for a seat belt when he takes a ride with NASCAR on NBC & TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach on the "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show which starts at 12:00noon/et on Sunday.(10-29-2005)

    • Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the second consecutive NASCAR Nextel Cup race weekend at Atlanta that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires . . . all three series in action -- Nextel Cup, Craftsman Truck and IROC -- will run the same tire codes, though the Cup and IROC tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the only NASCAR track at which this tire combination will be run in 2005 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta . . . the air pressure in the inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 60-65 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, codes and pressures on my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page.(10-29-2005)

    • Special Decal on the #16: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 National Guard/Charter Taurus, will carry a special decal on his car honoring the 48th Brigade of the Georgia National Guard, “It’s pretty special. All of the stories of the soldiers that are in the National Guard and other forms of the military that are serving, all of them are kind of a unique story. We read about and learn about a lot of unfortunate things that happen. A lot of the soldiers that are defending our country in Afghanistan and Iraq are National Guard reservists, which they like to call citizen soldiers—guys that drive UPS trucks and guys that work at the auto parts store. They’re National Guard reservists and they’re also the ones that support our country when we have these hurricanes."(Ford Racing)(10-29-2005)

      News from October 28, 2005

    • Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane named: After nearly three decades of championship racing, the International Race of Champions (IROC) and title sponsor Crown Royal made history today by announcing its first ever all-time IROC team dubbed the "Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane." Mario Andretti, the late Dale Earnhardt, Scott Pruett and Steve Kinser were named to the all-time team and were honored in a ceremony held at the year's final IROC race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      The all-time IROC team represents the three main racing disciplines - open-wheel, stock car and road racing. Andretti (open-wheel), Earnhardt (stock car) and Pruett (road racing) garnered the most fan votes to win their respective categories, while Kinser (open-wheel) earned the fans' wild card selection by amassing the most votes among all categories outside of the three winners. Nearly a quarter-million votes were cast during the five-month voting period.
      The four members of the Legends of Victory Lane team were presented with a custom crystal trophy by IROC Series President Jay Signore and Crown Royal Senior Brand Manager James Lorenz. Fans voted for the Legends team from a list of 12 finalists selected by a veteran, three-person media panel, which has covered motorsports for a combined 100-plus years. Finalists were determined by panel nominations based primarily on drivers' IROC career performance and included: Andretti, Kinser, Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser (open-wheel); Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough (stock car); and Pruett, Hurley Haywood, Tom Kendall and Mark Donohue (road racing). From April to September, fans 21 years of age and older had the opportunity to vote for one driver in each of three categories by visiting kiosks stationed at the Crown Royal Experience at NASCAR events or via the Internet at
      In its second year as title sponsor, Crown Royal continues to promote responsible drinking with its "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." campaign. At the conclusion of the Atlanta race, the IROC champion is awarded a $1 million first-place purse from Crown Royal. Mark Martin, winner of the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February and IROC Race #3 at Richmond International Raceway in September, leads the current Crown Royal IROC points standings. Champ Car World Series driver Sebastien Bourdais claimed Race #2 at Texas Motor Speedway in April.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-28-2005)

    • Testing at Homestead Scheduled: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series testing will take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway with test sessions scheduled for Monday, October 31 - Wednesday, November 2 and Monday, November 7 - Wednesday, November 9. The teams and drivers will be preparing for the upcoming Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      Several drivers currently in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup are expected to participate in the test sessions at Homestead-Miami Speedway including points leader Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson (2nd place), Ryan Newman (3rd), Carl Edwards (5th), Rusty Wallace (6th) , Mark Martin (7th) Kurt Busch (8th) and Matt Kenseth (9th). Driver participation is tentative and subject to change.
      The test sessions are closed to the general public until further notice due to repairs on the Speedway grandstands following Hurricane Wilma.
      For more information or to order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, please call (305) 230-RACE or log on the Speedway's official website -
      Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR Testing Schedule
      NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers/Teams
      (Driver/Team Participation Tentative, Subject to Change)
      Monday, October 31 - Tuesday, November 1
      #39-David Stremme; #41-Casey Mears
      Tuesday, November 1 - Wednesday, November 2
      #97-Kurt Busch; #41-Casey Mears; #10-Joe Nemechek
      Monday, November 7 - Tuesday, November 8
      #07-Dave Blaney; #0-Mike Bliss; #31-Jeff Burton; #29-Kevin Harvick
      Tuesday, November 8 - Wednesday, November 9
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.; #88-Dale Jarrett; #48-Jimmie Johnson; #9-Kasey Kahne; #45-Kyle Petty; #38-Elliott Sadler; #20-Tony Stewart; #1-Martin Truex Jr.*; #2-Rusty Wallace;
      * To test NBS #8 on Tuesday, Nov. 8; NNC #1 on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
      (Homestead-Miami Speedway PR)(10-28-2005)

    • Terry Labonte denies HOF gig UPDATE 2 maybe he will....: Native Texan Terry Labonte said he is not a candidate for the Cup ride at Hall of Fame Racing, the start-up team co-owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. "I've got a job," said Labonte, a two-time Cup champ who plans to retire in 2006. "I'm going to run 10 races for Hendrick Motorsports next year. That's for sure." Labonte's name surfaced here as a good fit for the Staubach-Aikman ride. The native of Corpus Christi carries with him a champion's provisional that would guarantee the team a starting spot in the season-opening Daytona 500 -- NASCAR's Super Bowl.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(10-9-2005)
      HOWEVER I keep hearing that 1984 and 1996 Cup Champ, Terry Labonte will run the #96 Hall of Fame Racing / Texas Instruments Chevy for the first five races of 2006 to take advantage of the past champions provisional, with Tony Raines running the car in all the remaining races exceot the road course, where a road course specialist will likely be hired. Expect the announcement to be initially made next Thursday [Nov 3rd] at Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX.(10-26-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Terry Labonte cleverly avoided the question when asked Tuesday at TMS if he might drive a few races next season for the new Hall of Fame Racing team of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. "I'm not going to run a full schedule," Labonte said. "And I have a 10-race deal with Hendrick Motorsports. And I'm definitely not driving at Talladega." That still leaves some options. Labonte could drive for Hall of Fame Racing in the Daytona 500 and a few other events at the start of the season, to ensure the team would qualify. Labonte has a past champion's provisional. The team would build up enough owners' points early in the season to ensure qualifying at the other events with a full-time driver, who is expected to be Tony Raines. The team is announcing its driver choices Thursday at TMS.(Dallas Morning News)(10-28-2005)

    • Are the Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray contract deals any closer? A: Yes. Now that team owner Chip Ganassi apparently has softened his stand against releasing McMurray from his contract one year early to join Roush Racing next season, the de facto three-way trade — McMurray to Roush, Busch to Penske, suitcases full of cash to Ganassi — could happen soon. Roush has always been willing to let Busch go to Penske a year early, provided the team gets another driver to take his place next season (preferably McMurray). And Roush Racing president Geoff Smith says he has convinced the #97 team's sponsors to extend their deadline for having a driver made final for next season. "My probability meter has gone from 2% to probably 50-50," Smith said.(USA Today)(10-28-2005)

    • #55 for Mikey? hearing Michael Waltrip will run the #55 in the NAPA Bill Davis Racing Dodge. DEI chose to keep the #15.(10-28-2005)

    • Newman wins 6th straight pole at Atlanta: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 193.928mph for his 7th pole of 2005 and 34th of his career. It is the 6th straight pole at Atlanta for Newman [his finishes in the other five races were: 10th, 29th, 5th, 17th, 14th] The rest of the top five are: #99-Car Edwards, #38-Elliott Sadler, #6-Mark Martin and #07-Dave Blaney. #1-Martin Truex Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, starting 8th and some nice runs by #66-Lepage 13th, #37-Skinner 15th, #23-Benson 19th and #00-Carl Long 20th. Reed Sorenson makes his first career Nextel Cup start in the #39 Discount Tire Dodge and #92-Chad Chaffin starts his 2nd career race. Ten drivers failed to make the race: #80-Yeley, #36-Said, #32-Hamilton Jr., #09-Sauter, #7-Gordon, #51-Kirby, #4-Wallace, #50-Spencer, #75-Garvey and #89-Shepherd.
      See practice speeds, qualifying order, pole progression and more on my Jayski's Atlanta Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(10-28-2005)

    • Martin to clinch IROC with a start: Mark Martin will clinch a record fifth career IROC championship when he takes the green flag on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His day will end celebrating in victory lane with the Crown Royal IROC Championship worth $1- million dollars. Final driver practice for the 2005 Crown Royal IROC season finale will take place on Friday. The Saturday race action will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel at 1:30pm/et. More info about the series on my 2005 IROC page or

    • Atlanta Qualifying Notes:
      • Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, lapping Atlanta Motor Speedway in 28.588 seconds at 193.928 mph. Geoffrey Bodine holds the track-qualifying record of 28.074 seconds, 197.478 mph, set Nov. 15, 1997, in the first qualifying session held on the 1.54-mile configuration.
      • This is Newman’s 34th career Bud Pole in 149 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • This is Newman’s seventh Bud Pole and 27th top-10 start in 2005 – both more than any other driver.
      • This is Newman’s sixth Bud Pole in eight races at Atlanta. It is his seventh front-row start here. His worst start here was sixth in October 2002.
      • Newman extended his record consecutive Bud Poles at Atlanta to six. Buddy Baker posted three consecutive Bud Poles at Atlanta (fall 1979-fall 1980). No other driver has posted more than two consecutive Bud Poles here. This is the most consecutive Bud Poles since Bill Elliott posted six straight at Talladega (spring 1985-fall 1987). The all-time record for consecutive Bud Poles at a track is held by David Pearson with 11 at Charlotte (October 1973-October 1978).
      • Carl Edwards posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.663 seconds, 193.420 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. He posted his third top-five start in as many races at Atlanta and his ninth in 2005.
      • This is the 10th Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005. Chevrolet has 13 Bud Poles and Ford has eight. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
      • Elliott Sadler (third) posted his fifth top-10 start in 14 races at Atlanta, all in the past six races here. It is his 19th top-10 start this season.
      • Mark Martin (fourth) posted his 25th top-10 start in his 40 races at Atlanta, but just his third in the past eight. Martin has just nine top-10 starts in 2005.
      • Dave Blaney (fifth) posted his sixth top-10 start in his 12 races at Atlanta but his first in the past seven. It is his fifth top-10 start this season.
      • Martin Truex Jr. (eighth) posted the best qualifying effort in his six-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.
      • Only four of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Newman, Edwards, Martin and Tony Stewart (10th).
      • Reed Sorenson (22nd) became the 10th different driver to qualify for his career first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race this season.
      • The last race won form the Bud Pole at Atlanta was by Bobby Labonte in the 1996 season finale NAPA 500.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(10-28-2005)

    • Ramblings - Atlanta: Ryan Newman took his 6th straight Bud Pole tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and he certainly lived up to his "Rocket Man" monicker. His time of 28.588 (193.928 mph) was almost a tenth of a second quicker than Carl Edwards and was good for his 7th pole of 2005 and the 34th of his NEXTEL Cup career. He's now clinched the contingency for most Bud Poles this season as his nearest pursuer is Elliott Sadler with four....but Ryan would win the tiebreaker as he has more outside poles.
      For Carl Edwards, this is his best starting spot since he had the pole at California in September.
      Dave Blaney (5th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Bristol in August.
      Martin Truex Jr (8th) has his career-best starting position this weekend. His previous best was 10th at Daytona in February.
      Brian Vickers (11th) had his best qualifying run since he timed in 9th at California in September.
      Mike Skinner (15th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Daytona in February.
      Johnny Benson (19th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 9th at Richmond in September of 2003!
      Carl Long (20th) has his career-best starting position this weekend. His previous best was 21st at Darlington in May.
      Reed Sorenson (22nd) makes his NEXTEL Cup debut this weekend. He'll go the full schedule for Chip Ganassi next season.
      Bobby Hamilton (26th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 17th at Homestead in November of 2002 (only 3 races).
      Chad Chaffin (43rd) makes his first Cup start since Martinsville last October. He started 37th and finished 39th that day.
      STREAKIN....Elliott Sadler has 6 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
      (Stock Car Fans)(10-28-2005)

    • Robby delivers for a good cause: Aid for Friends recipient Emma Kates was delightfully surprised when #7-Robby Gordon appeared at her door. Gordon and his race car were in Philadelphia yesterday [Wednesday, Oct 26] to help distribute meals to the program’s clients. Harrah’s, Gordon’s sponsor, had donated a $35,000 delivery van to the program. See slide show of the event at the Philadelphia Inquirer.(10-28-2005)

    • Lepage back in the of the season UPDATE: Kevin Lepage will return to the driver's seat of the #66 Peak Performace Ford this weekend for Atlanta, and will finish the season with the team.(PSE-3 PR)(10-25-2005)
      UPDATE: Vassarette will join Peak Performance Motorsports as a co-primary sponsor on the #66 Ford at Atlanta for the Bass Pro Shops 500 this weekend. Vassarette will appear on the rear quarter panels, as well as the TV panel of the car. "We are excited to have Vassarette on board," said team owner and Peak Fitness Clubs CEO Jeff Stec. "Peak Performance Motorsports continues to actively seek and add sponsors to its roster."
      "I am looking forward to the weekend at Atlanta to showcase our brand on the #66 Peak Fitness/Vassarette Ford. The team has continued to improve its performance over the past five weeks and it was a good opportunity for Vassarette to partner with Peak Fitness on a Nextel Cup car. As an Atlanta-based corporation, we felt our partnership with Peak Fitness would greatly benefit the company by being a part of one of the season's biggest racing events," said Art DeCesaro, general manager of Vassarette.(PSE-3 PR)(10-28-2005)

    • Dickerson-Wells split: #32 Tide Car owner Cal Wells had hired Eddie Dickerson, a well-known chassis man, to engineer new cars, but the two split two weeks ago.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2005)

      News from October 27, 2005

    • #6 sponsor? AAA? Georgia Pacific? UPDATE it's AAA: haven't heard anything concrete on who will be Mark Martins new sponsor on the #6 Roush Racing Ford in 2006, a few that have been rumored include AAA, who have sponsored the #99 Roush Ford of Carl Edwards in a few races this season; and Georgia Pacific has been rumored, as they are leaving the #45 Dodge of Petty Enterprises. Georgia Pacific will also hold a press conference at Atlanta this weekend but AAA seems to be the front runner in the rumor mill.(10-26-2006)
      UPDATE: AAA will become the primary sponsor of Roush Racing’s flagship #6 Nextel Cup Ford starting in 2006. In addition, veteran driver Mark Martin will extend his ‘Salute To You’ Tour and return to pilot the car for one more year in 2006, with Todd Kluever set to take over the reigns from Martin in 2007, Roush Racing announced today. “AAA is very pleased to be associated with the winning team of Roush Racing and Mark Martin. With the growing popularity of NASCAR, AAA is excited about its ability to contribute to the success of a sport that has captured the imagination and loyalty of tens of millions of fans, including many AAA members,” said AAA President Robert Darbelnet. With more than 48 million members in the United States and Canada , AAA is North America ’s largest motor club and membership organization. The not-for-profit association is best known for its legendary roadside assistance, comprehensive leisure travel and information services and its support of improved traffic safety and other consumer issues.
      “I’m real excited about AAA coming in with us,” said team owner Jack Roush. As one of the most well known and respected names in the country, “I think AAA can do a lot for the sport and be a cornerstone of our sponsorship group for years to come.”
      “It’s great to be partnered up with AAA,” said Martin. “They have a fantastic organization and a great reputation. My wife and I are both AAA members. I’m excited about the services they provide to many of our fans and I am looking forward to working with AAA.” Martin has finished second in the Nextel Cup standings on four occasions and is in the hunt this season for a run at the championship, currently sitting in seventh position as one of the 10 drivers eligible to win the chase. “Mark Martin has built a solid reputation as gentleman and winner on and off the racetrack,” said Darbelnet. “He is someone in whom AAA has confidence when speaking about the advantages of membership and AAA’s extensive highway safety activities.”
      In 2006, Martin will drive the #6 AAA Ford Fusion and then give way to Kluever in 2007. During the 2005 Nextel Cup Series, the AAA Auto Club Group was a primary sponsor of Carl Edwards’ #99 car. This experience gave AAA valuable first-hand knowledge of the benefits of participating in NASCAR with the Roush Racing team “I’m very excited to work with AAA,” said Kluever. “It’s great to see them move into a full-time sponsorship with Mark and the No. 6 car next year and then with me in 2007. It’s a dream come true for me and it’s great to have people here at Roush Racing and AAA that believe in me and I’m very excited about the opportunity. I consider the No. 6 car to be one of the top-five most legendary cars in NASCAR history. I don’t think that anybody will be able to replace Mark Martin. He has big shoes to fill, but I’ll do my best to try. It’s just very exciting to be in that No. 6 car and to be partnered with a great organization like AAA.”(Roush Racing), see images of the car on my 2006 #6 Team Schemes page.(10-27-2005)

    • PRN back in the booth at Atlanta: The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will broadcast from Atlanta Motor Speedway, bringing fans close to the racing action, with anchors, Doug Rice and Mark Garrow, calling the action. Helping on pit road are Steve Richards, Brett McMillan, Pat Patterson with Rob Albright and Chuck Carland in the turns. Director, Alicia Lingerfeldt, helps them put it all together. Rice said, "Atlanta Motor Speedway produces some of the most exciting racing and thrilling finishes in NASCAR and we can't wait to describe all the action which there is never a shortage of." The team will call Georgia-Pacific qualifying at 6:45pm/et on Friday night and on Saturday at 1:30pm/et; they will give the play-by-play of the Crown Royal IROC series finale. The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 will air starting at 12:00noon/et followed by the Diageo Post Race Show from AMS. Locally in Atlanta, PRN can be heard on WYAY 106.7 FM (Atlanta), WEKS 92.5 (Griffin) and WDEN 99.1 (Macon).(AMS)(10-27-2005)

    • Congrats: Congratulations to Mike and Edrina Schaefer who welcomed Katie Ann on Friday, Oct, 21. Katie Ann was 19 inches long and weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Edrina is the daughter of Doug and Kathy Bawel, car co-owner of the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge that Travis Kvapil drives.(10-27-2005)

    • Gil Martin on the #29 pit box at AMS: RCR's ACDelco Chevrolet Busch Series crew chief Gil Martin will spend his Busch Series bye week calling the shots on the #29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo for driver Kevin Harvick at Atlanta. Martin was the team's crew chief last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.(RCR)(10-27-2009)

    • Mears final 2005 race in the pink car: Casey Mears will make his final start in the pink #41 Target Dodge which showcases the pink ribbon logo of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The auction of his one-of-a-kind helmet donated by Troy Lee Designs continues through the week on eBay more info on my Racing Charities page, the auction ends late Oct 30th. All the proceeds from the auction, along with the pink racing products sold at, in the CGRFS gift shop and at Mears' trackside trailer, will go directly to the BCRF.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(10-27-2005)

    • Testing at Texas UPDATE: One of the busiest test sessions in speedway history will have drivers preparing Tuesday for the Dickies 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Cup drivers scheduled to test include: #31-Jeff Burton, #44-Terry Labonte, #17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Ryan Newman, #18- Bobby Labonte, #6-Mark Martin, #19-Jeremy Mayfield [thought he was out of tests?], #1-Martin Truex Jr. and #77-Travis Kvapil.(TMS PR)(10-25-2005)
      Tueday Testing update: #17-Matt Kenseth unofficially led Tuesday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup speed chart with a lap of 193.548mph. Other speeds reported were #1-Martin Truex Jr., 192.308; #6-Mark Martin, 190.678; #91-Jeremy Mayfield and #12-Ryan Newman, 188.811; #18-Bobby Labonte, 188.482; #44-Terry Labonte, 188.285 and #77-Travis Kvapil, 186.207. Other NEXTEL Cup testers were #97-Kurt and #5-Kyle Busch and #31-Jeff Burton.
      Speeds from Weds Testing:
      NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
      #44-Terry Labonte, 189.474 mph
      # 5-Kyle Busch, 189.341
      #31-Jeff Burton, 188.153
      #91-Jeremy Mayfield, 188.153
      #24-Jeff Gordon, 187.500
      NASCAR Busch Series
      #38-A.J. Foyt IV, 188.153
      #20-Denny Hamlin, 184.932
      #78-Jerry Robertson, 184.932
      Test session was incident-free.(TMS)(10-27-2005)

    • Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun at Martinsville Speedway [3rd], a $1,000 donation was made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Jimmie Johnson. This is the 11th time this year that a donation in Johnson's name has been made to the NPCC. Info on past contests and the drivers at Taylor Comm. PR)(10-27-2005)

    • Newman goes for 6th straight pole: #12-Ryan Newman has won five straight poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. He also has won five pole award at AMS's sister track, Lowe's Motor Speedway. If Newman wins the pole at AMS this weekend, Atlanta will become the track where he has won the most poles.(AMS) Newman will run the Mobil One scheme at Atlanta for the final time in 2005, see images of the scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.
      ALSO Penske Racing will hold their annual Penske Racing Hot Rod Picnic to benefit SCAN on Friday, Oct 28th in Mooresville, NC...more info on my
    • Racing Charities page.(Penske Racing)(10-27-2005)

    • Homestead testing cancelled for this week UPDATE: While the Homestead Speedway track [surface] itself was not damaged [from Hurricane Wilma], testing was cancelled this week for several Cup teams that included championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Other teams, including Roush Racing's five-car operation, were scheduled to test in the next two weeks. Speedway president Curtis Gray will know soon when, and if, testing can be held. But a decision could not be made until the lighting experts arrived from Iowa-based MUSCO to access the damage and time needed to repair 12 custom-built light poles on pit road and another on the back of the grandstand. Getting the speedway ready for racing takes precedent, but Gray hopes to make a two-day test date available for all.(Miami Herald)(10-27-2005)
      UPDATE: Cleanup, damage assessment and repairs continued Wednesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a decision on whether to permit testing before NASCAR's season-ending Ford Championship Weekend was still pending. Speedway president Curtis Gray said the damaged catch fencing that protects airborne cars and flying debris from leaving the racetrack should be repaired by the weekend. After an assessment of the 12 custom-built light poles that were destroyed on pit road, it also was determined there could be two open windows for testing between the Nextel Cup races in Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix, as originally scheduled. But Gray said NASCAR has the final say and wants to be ensured the track is safe before giving the green light.(Miami Herald)(10-27-2005)

    • Goody's unveils new ad campaign geared toward NASCAR: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been a long-time resident of Goody's Country, serving as the Goody's Headache Powders spokesperson for nearly 30 years. Tony Stewart has joined Petty and his son Kyle in a new advertising campaign for the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" that includes a commercial depicting the day Stewart moves into "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" and his appreciation for the speedy pace of life there. The first screening of the commercial will be during a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 28. Also at this event, as part of its continued support of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Goody's will present a check for $25,000 in Stewart's name to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their camp for seriously ill children and their families.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2005)

      News from October 26, 2005

    • Wimmer/BDR part ways after 2005: Bill Davis Racing announced today Scott Wimmer will finish the 2005 season as the driver of the #22 Caterpillar Dodge in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, but will not be returning behind the wheel of the #22 car in 2006. This will mark the conclusion of a four-year relationship in which car owner Bill Davis and Wimmer started in 2001, when Davis signed the young driver to a multi-year deal to drive for him in the NASCAR Busch Series. “Scott is a good driver and person. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at Bill Davis Racing and our sponsors when I say we wish him well,” said Bill Davis, team owner and president. “This is the part of this business I don’t like. Change isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is usually the best thing for everyone. I know it is what has made this sport grow and everyone grow who works in it. Scott is going to be successful and he most definitely still has a promising career ahead of him as a race car driver.” While racing together in the NASCAR Busch Series, Davis and Wimmer captured five wins, 17 top-five finishes and 37 top-10 finishes in 104 series starts. In 2002, Wimmer clinched four of the five wins in the last eight races of the season. “We had some exceptional success so quickly, when we got Scott in the Busch car,” Davis said. “We knew we had found a special person with a lot of talent, and just did the next natural thing by putting him in the Caterpillar car.” In late 2003, Davis called Wimmer up to replace Ward Burton as the full-time driver of the #22 Caterpillar car in the elite NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. A few months later in February 2004, Wimmer went on to finish third in his first Daytona 500 run. “Scott has gone above and beyond in representing Caterpillar and assisting with the sponsorship program,” Davis said. “It’s strong qualities like that, that are going to be only to his advantage as he moves on.”
      There will be two full-time NASCAR Nextel Cup teams housed at BDR’s High Point, N.C. shop next year. Davis announced in September, he had entered into a partnership with Michael Waltrip and NAPA AUTO PARTS to field a second car in 2006. BDR is still working to confirm its final plans for the #22 Caterpillar team’s 2006 season. “We are still working to find a replacement, which has not been designated at this time,” Davis said. “There are some very talented drivers out there right now without full-time rides for next year. Hopefully, we can get someone locked in very soon.”(Bill Davis Racing)(10-26-2005)

    • Marlin to run #14? UPDATE: hearing MB2 Motorsports will run the #14 [not the #02 or #35 as was rumored] on the 'old' #10 team [which is going with Valvoline and Riggs to Evernham Motorsports - but not the owners points]. Marlin's late father, Coo Coo ran the #14 for much of his career.(10-25-2005)
      OFFICIAL Marlin to MB2 #14: MB2 Motorsports announced that two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin has agreed to a multiyear contract to drive the team's #14 Chevrolet, beginning in the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. The #14 will replace MB2's #10, and the 2005 owner points earned from the #10 will transfer to the #14 [currently 32nd]. The new number is in honor of Marlin's father, Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin, who drove the #14 while competing in NASCAR in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Marlin passed away in August. "Sterling's experience, success and popularity bring a new dimension to our growing organization," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "He continues to have the desire to win. It's a great fit and we look for the #14 team to have a lot of success in 2006." Regarding sponsorship for Marlin's #14 Nextel Cup entry, Frye said that details are still being worked out with potential partners. "We're offering a unique sponsorship package," said Frye. "The package consists of three 12-race primary partnerships that come with a large 24-race associate sponsorship."
      "You look at MB2 and see a racing organization that is on the upswing," said Marlin. "The Army team and Joe Nemechek have proved that. This is a great opportunity to land with a first-class operation that has the necessary resources to be competitive. I still have some unfinished business as a driver and that's why I am really excited about joining MB2 Motorsports," Marlin added. "And to drive a car with the same number that my father drove makes the move even more special."(MB2 Motorsports)(10-26-2005)

    • Labonte to the #42? UPDATE 2: Hearing Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, is the top candidate to replace Jamie McMurray in the #42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge at Chip Ganassi Racing, which would allow #97-Kurt Busch to drive the #2 in 2006 and McMurray to head to Roush Racing and drive the #97. Both McMurray and Busch signed deals to go to those teams in 2007 and both are trying to get out of their contract to run with their new teams in 2006.(10-21-2005)
      UPDATE: Bobby Labonte could hold the key to the Jack Roush-Chip Ganassi-Roger Penske driver-swapping puzzle that has bedeviled the NASCAR garage area since July. Labonte's name has been circulating for months in the NASCAR rumor mill, though he has insisted several times he's not particularly interested in leaving Gibbs, his boss for more than a decade. However several car owners have said they are actively pursuing him, if he is available. Labonte's contract with Gibbs isn't up, but that would apparently not be a stumbling block if the two do decide to split.
      The scenario under debate: Labonte moving to Ganassi, who would in turn free Jamie McMurray to join Roush as a replacement for Kurt Busch next season and then as a replacement for Mark Martin in 2007. In turn, Roush could then release Busch to join Roger Penske as a replacement for Rusty Wallace, who is retiring at the end of this season. Kyle Petty, meanwhile, said if Labonte is looking, Petty Enterprises wants to talk to him: "Oh, gosh, yes, if Bobby were available, his name would be in our hat." Petty is in the market for a driver to take over Jeff Green's ride in the team's 43 car.(Winston Salem Journal)
      AND Queried about his plans for where he’ll drive in 2006, Bobby Labonte declined to offer any specifics. “It’s not in my best interest to tell you, so I’m not going to tell you,” said the 2000 NASCAR Cup champion. Labonte did confirm that he has two years left on his contract with Joe Gibbs, but he’s been rumored to be on his way out, possibly to drive for either Petty Enterprises or Chip Ganassi.(Speed Channel)(10-24-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Native Texan Bobby Labonte laughed off a rumor that he is being considered for the driver's job with Hall of Fame Racing, the start-up Cup team co-owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, has driven for Joe Gibbs Racing since 1995. Interestingly, Hall of Fame Racing's 2006 Chevrolets will be supplied by Gibbs, making the team a satellite operation of Joe Gibbs Racing. Labonte declined to divulge the duration of his current contract with Gibbs. "That's my business, not yours," Labonte said. "As far as I know, I'm driving their car."(Fort Worth Star Telegram), no mention of the #42 rumor........(10-26-2005)

    • Skinner in the #37 at Atlanta: Mike Skinner was hired this week to drive theón Tequila Dodge for this Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tony Raines, who drove the car at Michigan, has decided to concentrate on his job with Kevin Harvick’s Busch Series team the rest of the year. “This is a good chance for both of us,” said crew chief Terry Wooten. “We needsomebody like Mike to give everything he’s got; this is a chance for him to drive a car where the biggest goal is to run up front. We’re not racing for points. We’re racing to win.” Skinner won the first truck series championship in 1995. He’s ranked sixth in the current truck standings. He also will compete in Saturday afternoon’s truck series race at Atlanta. “This is a positive step for me and I hope a positive step for R&J Racing,” Skinner said. “I want to race. I don’t want to ride around in the back of the pack and they really seem committed to getting the car up to speed, running all 500 miles and posting a good finish. “If you’re going to run up front, win some money and get some good finishes, you’ve got to stay in there and keep your gloves on. They want to do that, so I’m going to slug away, too.”(RJ Racing PR)(10-26-2005)

    • So..who would drive the #49 in 2006 if Schrader leaves? have heard there are a few candidates to drive the #49 BAM Racing Dodge: Mike Bliss, Dave Blaney and the latest is Larry Foyt, who just announced he was starting a new Busch Series team. Foyt made some attempts in a 2nd BAM Racing Dodge last year. And what ever happened to Klaus Graf BAM Racing plans? no idea, but he recently won the 2005 Trans-Am Championship. As for the sponsor Schwans Home Service/Red Baron's Pizza, have heard they are staying on the #49 car and have heard they could leave the #49 end up on the #21 in some capacity IF Ken Schrader goes to the #21 Wood Brother's Racing Ford in 2006.(10-26-2005)

    • Jack Daniel's Texas Scheme to be unveiled Nov 2nd: Race fans in the Lone Star State have spoken and the special "Pride of Texas" paint scheme for the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy will be unveiled at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday, November 2nd. The special unveiling will take place at the AAC in the West Concourse at 6:30pm, prior to the Dallas Star's hockey game. The #07 Chevy will sport the special Texas-themed paint scheme in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6th. Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Jimmy Bedford will be on hand to sign autographs, and race fans are invited to bring their cameras and take pictures of the special Lone Star State design that won the most online votes among three different paint schemes. Race fans and folks in Texas have been going to the Jack Daniel's racing website ( for the past month and choosing their favorite from three different paint schemes for the car - all specially designed to honor the great state of Texas. Car owner Richard Childress, driver Dave Blaney and Bedford will also be making appearances throughout the weekend.(RCR PR), see the choice on my #07 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2005)

    • Special Scheme for Labonte at Atlanta: GlaxoSmithKline will display a unique message paint scheme on the #18 Chevrolet that Bobby Labonte will drive at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sponsorship is to help raise awareness of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and to motivate asthma patients to assess their level of control and encourage them to talk with their doctor about their asthma symptoms.(Joe Gibbs Racing), the ACT scheme was run at Calfornia in Sept., see an image of teh scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2005)

    • Chevy Clinches Manufacturers Championship: As a result of Jeff Gordon's win at Martinsville this past weekend, Chevrolet collected its 29th manufacturers crown and the 25th of NASCAR's Modern Era, which began in 1972. Since that year, GM Racing has earned 27 of the 34 manufacturers titles, with Chevrolet collecting 25 of those for an impressive 0.79 winning percentage (Buick has won the title twice). To date, Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 572 race wins, 448 occurring in the Modern Era. "To clinch the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Manufacturers Championship with four races remaining in the season is an impressive accomplishment. It has truly been a group effort with 10 different drivers, along with their respective teams and our team at GM Racing, contributing to this win for Chevrolet," said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing.(GM Racing PR), see a race-by-race breakdown, drivers who have the most best finishes for each manufacturer, all time manufacturers win list, and Manufacturers Champions list on my 2005 Manufacturers Championship Page.(10-26-2005)

    • Burton to visit school: Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, is scheduled to be the surprise guest speaker at a Dekalb County public high school student driver assembly on Thursday, October 27 in Doraville. While there, Burton will provide safe driving tips to students, talk racing and present Dekalb County with the Cingular Wireless Be Sensible Teen Driving Award for its eight years of commitment to teaching students about sensible driving.(Career Sports Entertainment PR)(10-26-2005)

    • Live Dale Jr. appearance on Bud site: will host a live webcast of Dale Earnhardt Jr's "One Night Stand" appearance from Atlanta this Thursday evening, October 27 at 8:00pm/et. You must be 21 years of age or older to enter the Budweiser site.(fingerprint inc. PR)(10-26-2005)

    • First All-Time IROC Team to be unveiled Friday: On Friday, October 28, 2005, In celebration of nearly 30 years of IROC racing and to honor the series' all-time great champion drivers, IROC and title sponsor, Crown Royal, will announce the four drivers named to the Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane - the series' first ever all-time IROC team as voted by race fans. The four-member team, which represents the three main racing disciplines of IROC racing - stock car, open-wheel and road racing - will be presented with a custom crystal IROC trophy by IROC and Crown Royal officials. From April to September, fans 21 and over had the opportunity to vote for the all-time team by visiting kiosks stationed in the Crown Royal Experience at NASCAR events or via the Internet at Nearly a quarter-million votes were cast during this period.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-26-2005)

      News from October 25, 2005

    • Triple Duty for Hamilton at Atlanta: Bobby Hamilton is going to attempt to qualify and run the Nextel Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend in his #04 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge. Hamilton also ran at Indy, starting 35th and finishing 27th. Hamilton will run in the in the Crown Royal IROC race and in the Truck Series race where he is seeking to repeat as the Truck Series Champ in the #04 Dodge Ram and is 5th in points. Hamilton tested at Atlanta in a truck and a Cup car.(BHR PR)(10-25-2005)

    • Special paint for Wimmer: The #22 Caterpillar Dodge of Scott Wimmer will feature a CAT AccessAccount signature blue paint scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. The special blue paint scheme highlights the recent rollout of the CAT AccessAccount, which is a new revolving charge account that enables customers to pay for parts, service and rentals at participating Caterpillar Dealers throughout the United States. For more information or to apply online, visit PR), see an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(10-25-2005)

    • 54 cars entered at Atlanta: there are 54 cars/teams entered for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, including: Mike Skinner in the #37 Bospoker Dodge, Bobby Hamilton in the #04 Dodge, Reed Sorenson in the #39 Discount Tire Dodge, #80-J.J Yeley will drive a 4th Gibbs car, the #80 Chevy; and Shane Hall is listed in the #96 Chevy owned by Larry Brotherton with Julian Burgess as the crew chief, don't know much more then that on the #96 [supposedly the old Ortec Racing Busch series team]. For the full list see my Jayski's Atlanta Entry List.(10-25-2005)

    • U.S. Micro to sponsor #50 at Atlanta: U.S. Micro Corporation announced that, for the second year in a row, it has become the primary sponsor of the #50 Arnold Motorsports Dodge for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 in Atlanta this week with Jimmy Spencer behind the wheel. U.S. Micro, a national IT asset management company, has been a NASCAR Nextel Cup sponsor for three seasons, as well as the "official computer provider" for the #50 Dodge team of Arnold Motorsports and primary sponsor for Atlanta's spring event. More information about U.S. Micro is available online at Motorsports PR)(10-25-2005)

    • Maintaining a Top-10 Standard #48-Jimmie Johnson is the only driver that has ranked in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after every race in 2005. He has ranked among the top-10 drivers since Atlanta in March 2004, 65 straight races, the longest current streak.[Johnson is a lock to extend the streak to at least 69 by the end of the year as he is in the Chase], the record is held by Dale Earnhardt with 174 weeks from Feb. 23, 1986 at Richmond to Mar 1, 1992 at Rockingham. When Johnson hits 69 after Homestead, the streak will be the 9th longest, just behind himself when he had a 70 race streak in 2002-2004.(10-25-2005)

    • Caution Periods and Laps up in 2005: in 2005, there have been 67 more yellow flags /caution periods in the 32 races than in the 2004 season after the same amount. So far in 2005, the drivers have run 85 more caution laps and ran 22 more total laps in 2005 [due to green-white-checker finishes]. See the chart I made on my Misc Stats and Info page.(10-25-2005)

    • Milestones at Atlanta: #88-Dale Jarrett is scheduled make his 600 career start at Atlanta, #31-Jeff Burton is scheduled to make his 400 career start.(10-25-2005)

      News from October 24, 2005

    • New Crew chief for #40? hearing that #17 car chief, Jeff Vandermoss, will leave and take the #40 Ganassi Racing team crew chief gig for 2006 when David Stremme takes over.(10-24-2005)

    • NASCAR considers TV moves: NASCAR is trying to create a six-race package for TNT into its next Nextel Cup television package, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Sources told the publication that NASCAR is looking at taking three races from Fox and three from ABC/ESPN for TNT, although the races have not been identified. In this week's issue, writer Andy Bernstein also says that NASCAR wants to give Fox a chance to bid before awarding the entire Busch Series schedule to ESPN for its ESPN2 channel, a move that was reported earlier. Bernstein also reports that NASCAR has told networks that it must have further discussions with Fox before making any final decisions on the new TV package.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-24-2005)

    • Early Martinsville TV Ratings down 5%: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Subway 500 from Martinsville Speedway drew a 3.8 overnight rating and an 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 5% lower than the 4.0 the race drew last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-24-2005)

    • Rowdy launches podcast Rowdy, the racing radio show you get on your cell phone, can now be heard on the internet too via a daily podcast. Podcast listeners download the show and listen to it on their computer or their portable mp3 player whenever they want. The show includes daily race news, plus driver interviews, expert commentary and fan opinion, and you can hear it using itunes or at Rowdy is still available every day on your cell phone, and you can sign up at 1-800-95-ROWDY or find out more at PR)(10-24-2005)

    • Addington Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Martinsville: #18-Bobby Labonte may have received two speeding tickets in this week's Subway 500, but they never slowed him down. With help from crew chief Steve Addington, Labonte overcame his pit road infractions to land a top-five finish, his best since the Coca-Cola 600. For leading his driver from the back to the front, Addington was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. "We had a really good car today," said Addington after the race. "Bobby (Labonte) knows how important track position is here (Martinsville) and was trying to get as much as he could on pit road. It ended up costing us twice. Fortunately our car was strong enough to get it back. We had the longest green flag run of the day after one of our penalties and that was a huge help. Our car was great on long runs and that allowed us to make up a lot of distance. If we didn't have to start in the back, we probably could have been battling the leader." The panel of voters, including Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser, split their votes on the crew chief of the race. Mulhern cast his vote for Pat Tryson, who overcame a brake problem on the #6 Ford. The Wypall representative and Reiser both voted for Addington.
      Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser, Chad Knaus, Steve Addington and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied 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 500)(10-24-2005)

    • More on Robby's Engines: #7-Robby Gordon has had a rough ride of it this season, as the stock-car tour's lone owner-driver. But in a most curious twist, Honda appears to be a looming player in the game. Gordon said that John Menard, the wealthy home-improvements businessman who owns the engine-building operation in England, Menard Engineering, that supplies his Nextel Cup motors, is negotiating a sale of that division to Honda for a second Formula One program. "But it won't affect our (Cup) engines next season," Gordon said. "Menard will continue to provide the engines, and he will also be a sponsor for 13 races." The Honda-Menard deal is figured to be part of an effort by the Japanese car maker to deal with Toyota in F-1. Menard is the father of Paul Menard, who is expected to move up to a part-time Cup ride with [#15] Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-24-2005)

    • #30 for Mears in 2006: Casey Mears says he'd love to have the #42 next season if Jamie McMurray leaves, but that's simply "not an option." Owners points for each car number determine provisionals, and Mears' #41 will be given to 2006 rookie Reed Sorenson next season to enable him to make each race. So where does that leave Mears? He'll have to rely on his qualifying prowess--and hope he doesn't run into mechanical issues. Mears was initially expected to drive the #39 next season but now says he'll be in the #30; Richard Childress plans to give up the number [used #30 a few years, switched to #07 for 2005](Sporting News)(10-24-2005)

    • Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? UPDATE Holly too? Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he's out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss' #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night's crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
      UPDATE: hearing Green has signed with the #0 and that Best Buy could be the full primary sponsor in 2006, not sure what NetZero would do, could follow Bliss to where he ends up, to another team or out of the sport.(10-21-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Jeff Green will drive the #0 for Gene Haas next season. The reunion of Green and former crew chief Harold Holly [currently Haas's #44 Busch crew chief] should produce a competitive team. The two won a Busch Series title together in 2000.(Sporting News), so wonder what happens to Bootie Barker, the current #0 crew chief.(10-24-2005)

    • Kenseth loses spotter after 2005 UPDATE: As #17-Matt Kenseth's spotter for the last six years, Mike Calinoff [] has experienced the highs and lows of NASCAR's top series. Certainly, Saturday night was the latest of milestones since he guided Matt to rookie-of-the-year honors in 2000. He was the "eyes in the sky" for the #17 Dewalt Ford when Matt delivered Jack Roush's long-awaited first title. But he's also witnessed the frustrations of maintaining a championship caliber team over the long haul. When the cars roll out at Daytona next February, Calinoff's unmistakable bass will be booming over #40-David Stremme's radio channel. In addition to his spotting duties, Calinoff will also oversee the day-to-day business aspects for the Ganassi Racing up-and-comer. There's an opportunity for growth with Ganassi, whereas the Roush spotter's gig didn't offer for the chance for advancement. And like any new relationship, Stremme's deal will be loaded with firsts -- first pole, first win and if Calinoff is lucky, a first title.(Sporting News)(9-1-2005)
      UPDATE: Sunday's Subway 500 at the Martinsville Speedway marked the final race of Mike Calinoff's six-year term as Matt Kenseth's spotter. The two mutually agreed that an early separation would afford Kenseth the time to audition a new spotter, and allow Calinoff the opportunity to begin handling the management chores for Rookie David Stremme. For the remainder of the season Calinoff, who was featured this weekend on NBC's Today Show, will serve as spotter for Reed Sorensen's Nextel Cup debut races in Atlanta and Texas, as well as Stremme's entry in Homestead and his remaining Busch Series events.(PR)(10-24-2005)

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