Hall of Fames Museums
OCT 31- NOV 6, 2005
News from November 6, 2005
- Hamlin to be named to #11 for 2006? UPDATE 3 OFFICIAL: hearing that Denny Hamlin will be named to drive the #11 FedEx Chevy for Joe Gibbs Racing full time in 2006 and run for rookie of the year, expect an announcement soon.(10-29-2005)
UPDATE: Denny Hamlin will be named as the driver for the #11 Fedex Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin, who is fifth in Busch Series points, has been auditioning for the ride in the last four races.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)
UPDATE 2: Denny Hamlin will have a full schedule of 70 races next year. Hamlin's move to the Nextel Cup Series [#11 FedEx car] next year is expected to be announced tomorrow [Sunday, Nov 6th], and Joe Gibbs Racing revealed yesterday the 24-year-old's 2006 plans will include a full season in the Busch Series.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-5-2005)
UPDATE 3: The #11 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has named Denny Hamlin as the driver for the remainder of the 2005 season and all of 2006. After a successful four-race tryout in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet where Hamlin scored two top-10 finishes and two top-10 qualifying efforts, the 24-year-old from Chesterfield, Va., has essentially been promoted from within the Gibbs organization. Hamlin is the regular driver for JGR's #20 NASCAR Busch Series team, where he is currently fifth in the championship point standings. Jimmy Makar, a veteran crew chief who now serves as JGR's senior vice-president of racing, concurs.
"Denny is ready for Nextel Cup. Each step he's taken to get to this point, he's excelled. Last year we put him in a few Craftsman Truck Series races and he always seemed to qualify and finish in or near the top-10. In his Busch debut, it was more of the same. He's run very well this year in his first full season of Busch, and if it weren't for some bad luck here and there, he'd probably have a win or two. We'd be holding Denny back if we didn't give him this opportunity." Hamlin will run for Rookie of the Year honors in 2006, as his Nextel Cup rookie status will be preserved this year by running only seven races. Hamlin will continue to drive the #20 car in the Busch Series full-time in 2006, getting as much seat time as possible at Nextel Cup venues where the Busch Series runs companion races. For the handful of race weekends where the Nextel Cup Series and the Busch Series race at different venues, Hamlin will follow a schedule similar to the one used this year by Carl Edwards, who is campaigning a full Nextel Cup and Busch Series schedule for Roush Racing.(True Speed Communication PR), see an image of the car on my 2006 #11 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2005)
- Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper to Sponsor Riggs in 2 races: Valvoline Evernham Racing, LLC has announced a partnership with Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper, one of the largest auto parts distribution and marketing organizations in the world, as primary sponsor of driver Scott Riggs during select 2006 NASCAR events. Riggs will pilot the #10 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper/Valvoline Dodge Charger in the Nextel Cup Series July race at New Hampshire and the September race at Richmond, where Riggs’ Evernham Motorsports teammates have won two of the last three Nextel Cup events. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will continue as an associate sponsor of Evernham Motorsports’ #9 and #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Chargers for all Nextel Cup races in 2006 and will receive branding on Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield’s uniforms, team transporters and pit equipment. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will also serve as primary sponsor for Evernham Motorsports’ #9 Dodge Charger in the Busch Series during the 2006 spring race at California and the fall race at Bristol.(Clear Blue PR)(11-6-2005)
- Tony gets a bridge at TMS: Texas Motor Speedway christened a new pedestrian bridge over its south infield tunnel as "Tony Stewart Bridge." The 2002 champion had been lobbying TMS President Eddie Gossage for the upgrade since nearly missing a drivers' meeting in 2004 when the Budweiser Clydsedales blocked the tunnel. Stewart owns Eldora Speedway in Ohio and has promised to return the favor by renaming his track's infield tunnel after Gossage.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-6-2005)
- Rudd to Penske or Retire? no to Ganassi MORE: Ricky Rudd said yesterday he has agreed to take the [#2] ride with Roger Penske, replacing Rusty Wallace next season, if Penske can't wrangle Kurt Busch from Jack Roush. "Roger and I have talked, but I really don't know how it will all work out," Rudd said. "We're all waiting to see. I'd really planned to leave the sport at the end of the season," Rudd said, revealing his plans after months of speculation. "And I told Eddie Wood (his car owner) that over the summer. But we were running so well that we didn't want to say anything. But then the phone started ringing. However there is only one man I'd answer the phone for." Penske, "If Roger needs me, I'll take the ride," Rudd said. Penske has signed Busch to drive in 2007 and wants Busch for 2006. But Roush won't release Busch unless car owner Chip Ganassi releases Jamie McMurray to take Busch's ride with Roush. And Ganassi won't release McMurray unless he can land another top driver: the top two names mentioned are Labonte and Rudd. But Rudd said yesterday he wasn't interested in taking the ride with Ganassi. So unless Ganassi can persuade Labonte to sign, it appears Penske is left with Wallace's seat still to fill. Rudd said he'll take that seat for one final season if Penske says he needs him.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-5-2005)
UPDATE - Penske and Sports Cars? Ricky Rudd said Saturday that he could end up driving for Roger Penske, possibly in the American Le Mans Series, instead of in NASCAR. Rudd, an expert road racer, said he will drive Penske’s #2 Dodge Nextel Cup car in 2006 if Kurt Busch isn’t released from his contract with Roush Racing. But regardless of how that works out — and he put the odds at about 50-50 — Rudd said he’d like to have a shot at driving one of Penske’s new Porsches in the ALMS. “I’m pretty much just standing by for the No. 2 (Penske Nextel Cup) car,” Rudd said. “There have been other ones that have come to me, but what I like about the No. 2 car is that everything that is needed, from financials to personnel, sponsorship — everything there is in place. It’s not a building or rebuilding situation, and that’s what’s appealing to me right now. Rudd said if he doesn’t go Cup racing in 2006, that he had “a house to build and a house to knock down, and that’s the most immediate thing on my list. Once we get that going and under control, and June or July rolls around, I might do a few road races if the right opportunity exists if I’m not in the No. 2 car.”
As for the future of crew chief Michael “Fatback” McSwain, Rudd said he expects him to stay with the Wood Brothers #21 Ford next year, when Ken Schrader will take over behind the wheel. “I think that’s all done,” Rudd said. “He had a lot of great offers, but I believe he’s all squared away, and that’s great for the Wood Brothers.” And Rudd said he’s turned down a number of inquiries from other Cup teams. “There are options out there, but I’ve basically declined the other options,” he said.(Speed Channel)(11-6-2005)
- Biffle upset at Johnson's testing: Whether it's his version of Chase for the Nextel Cup gamesmanship or genuine outrage, Greg Biffle believes Hendrick Motorsports violated at least the spirit of NASCAR testing rules by having Jimmie Johnson in a #25 car in Phoenix. "Johnson was driving the 25 car," Biffle said. "Does he race the 25 car? Why was he driving the 25 car?" Brian Vickers drives the #25 Chevrolets for the Hendrick team. Johnson drives the #48 Chevys. "Vickers wasn't even there," Biffle said. "And this isn't the first time. Everybody knows that they do it. ... I watched Chad Knaus (Johnson's crew chief) on TV brag about they saved all their tests for the Chase. It's not his test." NASCAR limits the number of one- and two-day tests each Cup team can do at tracks on the schedule. Many teams with championship aspirations save their sessions for late in the year so they can go to tracks in the Chase and prepare for races in the 10-race "playoff" to determine the title. "I was there filling in for the #25 team," Johnson said. "You can go back and look at other examples of driving filling in for teams. The #20 car (Stewart's) was there with a #80 on the side of it, with the 20 hauler, 20 team and 20 everything. But Denny Hamlin was driving it. "We go to NASCAR, we ask what we can do. We ask how we can help our teammates out and fill in. They tell us if it's right or wrong. So we're doing all that we can and we went down there and tested."(ThatsRacin.com)(11-6-2005)
- Edwards wins at Texas: #99-Carl Edwards won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 4th win of 2005 and his career. Edwards moves up to 3rd in points, only 77 behind leader #20-Tony Stewart who finished 6th, now has a 38 points lead over #48-Johnson. Just think, if it was the 'old system', Stewart would have a 302 point lead, how exciting would that be with 2 races to go? #6-Mark Martin lost the lead with 2 laps to go and held on to 2nd, followed by #17-Matt Kenseth, #41-Casey Mears and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Edwards is the 10th different driver to win at Texas in 10 races and is the 5th different Roush Racing driver to win at Texas [Martin, Burton, Kenseth, Biffle]. Edwards did his trademark backflip and did a perfect landing, always fun to see. Looks like a three driver race for the Chase: #20-Stewart, #48-Johnson and #99-Edwards. There were only 6 cautions for 27 laps and 11 drivers led laps with 20 lead changes. The race speed was 151.055mph, a new record.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF's, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Texas Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski's Texas Race Results/Awards page.(11-6-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Texas race 8 of 10 in the Chase:
#20-Tony Stewart, 6255
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 6217, -38
#99-Carl Edwards, 6178, -77
#16-Greg Biffle, 6133, -122
#6-Mark Martin, 6132, -123
#17-Matt Kenseth, 6120, -135
#12-Ryan Newman, 6081, -174
#97-Kurt Busch, 5974, -281
#2-Rusty Wallace, 5940, -315
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5848, -407
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#42-Jamie McMurray, 3912
#24-Jeff Gordon, -51
#38-Elliott Sadler, -52
#29-Kevin Harvick -81
#01-Joe Nemechek -167
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Texas page.(11-6-2005)
- "Classic" Points Standings - Top 15...the old way, not the Chase after Texas, race 34 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4921. 1st in the Chase
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4619, -302, 4th
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4582, -339, 2nd
4) #6-Mark Martin, 4380, -541, 5th
5) #2-Rusty Wallace, 4312, -609, 9th
6) #99-Carl Edwards, 4277, -644, 3rd
7) #97-Kurt Busch, 4248, -673, 8th
8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4219, -702, 6th
9) #12-Ryan Newman, 4131, -790, 7th
10) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 4056, -865, 10th
11) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3912, -1009
12) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3861, -1060
13) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3860, -1061
14) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3831, -1090
15) #01-Joe Nemechek, 3745, -1176
- The Chasers...where do they start/finish at Texas:
#20-Tony Stewart, started 16th, finished 6th
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 11th, 5th
#16-Greg Biffle, 7th, 20th
#99-Carl Edwards, 30th, 1st
#12-Ryan Newman, 1st [had to go to back], 25th
#6-Mark Martin, 8th, 2nd
#97-Kurt Busch, 18th, 10th
#2-Rusty Wallace, 26th, 22nd
#17-Matt Kenseth, 3rd, 3rd
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5th, 35th.(11-6-2005)
- Texas Race Notes:
• Carl Edwards won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, scoring his fourth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 47th career start.
• All four of his victories came in 2005. His last victory came at Atlanta, one race ago.
• Edwards joined Jimmie Johnson as the only drivers with two Chase victories. Johnson won at Dover and Charlotte.
• Edwards became the 10th different race winner in 10 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
• It was Edwards’ first victory in two races at Texas. He finished 19th here in April.
• Edwards has scored 16 top-10 finishes in 34 races in 2005.
• Edwards has climbed from sixth to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings in the last three races, now 77 points behind point leader Tony Stewart. Edwards ranked ninth in the point standings after the first race at New Hampshire.
• Edwards led five times for 82 laps including the final two laps.
• Edwards scored the fifth victory in 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway for car owner Jack Roush – all by different drivers. This was Roush’s 88th victory as a car owner and 14th in 34 races this season.
• This is the 15th victory by a Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 16 and Dodge has three.
• Matt Kenseth led three times for 149 laps, the most laps for the third time in a race this season.
• Casey Mears finished a career-best fourth for the third time. Mears also finished fourth at Watkins Glen in 2004 and here at Texas in April.
• Rusty Wallace (22nd) extended a 47-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 24 top-15 finishes in 34 races in 2005.
• The six cautions periods were the fewest in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Texas. The 151.055 mph average speed was the fastest NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-6-2005)
- Rumblings - Texas:
We had a Roush parade a couple races back at Kansas....today was the sequel. I said last week that Carl Edwards was backflipping himself into our hearts....today he's moved on down to the spleen! Carl Edwards led a Roush sweep today/tonight at Texas Motor Speedway and won the Dickes 500 by daylight (er...darkness) over teammate Mark Martin with Matt Kenseth finishing third. He's now gone back to back (he won last week in Atlanta) and captured his 4th win of the season and career. He's also the 10th different winner in 10 races at Bruton's "Palace on the Prairie". Edwards moves up to 68th on the all-time win list (talk about a rapid rise, huh?), this was win #88 for Roush Racing, and it was worth a sizeable $440,550 from the over $6.8M in posted awards. Hard to fault the strategy of pitting late and zooming by 'em on the restart with 11 to go. With the way Edwards was passing cars late tonight, it looked like a done deal.
Casey Mears (4th) tied his career-best finish today. He was 4th when we were here in April as well as at Watkins Glen in August of 2004.
Denny Hamlin (7th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 8th at Lowe's & Martinsville last month.
Martin Truex Jr (15th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Lowe's in May (only 4 races).
STREAKIN....Carl Edwards has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
Mark Martin has 4 Top-5's in the last 5 races.
Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Casey Mears (+31), followed by Carl Edwards (+29), Jamie McMurray (+29), and Jeff Green (+24). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Joe Nemechek (-33), followed by Jeremy Mayfield (-30), Kasey Kahne (-27), Ryan Newman (-24), and Bill Elliott (-23). All three Evernham Dodges at the bottom of the "Shaft" today.
Jimmie Johnson shaved five points off Tony Stewart's lead in the "Chase" this week. The margin is now 38. Jeremy Mayfield is mathematically eliminated and all Tony has to do is start one of the final races (I think he'll probably show up) and Rusty Wallace is out as well. Realistically, we're still only a three man race, with Carl Edwards replacing Greg Biffle as the third wheel. In "Classic" Points, no driver advanced (or fell) more than one spot in the Top-30.(Stock Car Fans)(11-6-2005)
- 'Iron Man' Car at Texas: At Texas, Terry Labonte will be driving a #44 Kellogg's Chevrolet with a retro paint scheme identical to the 1996 "Iron Man" car that commemorated his then-record-breaking string of consecutive Cup Series races. He bested Richard Petty's all-time record of 513 straight events and eventually ran the streak to 655. Labonte's historic run ended in 2000 and was later surpassed by Ricky Rudd.(HMS PR), see image on my #44 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2005)
News from November 5, 2005
- Changes at the #17, Kenseth not happy...and Get Well Roush Racing’s Matt Kenseth, who recently lost his spotter (Mike Califnoff) and car chief (Jeff Vandermoss left to take a crew chief gig at Ganassi #40 team) NOT his crew chief (Robbie Reiser), said poaching of race-team employees is worse this year then he’s ever seen before. “I think we’ll probably lose some people at the end of this year, probably more than we have before as a group at Roush Racing,” said Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion. “That happens. Roush has been really successful over the last three years, winning a couple championships and having all five cars in the Chase. When that happens, you always have other teams come in and offer them a bunch more money than they would offer them if we were running 15th every week. This year, I’ve seen a lot more teams come in and try to raid us than in years past and they seem to be more successful than they have in years past.”(Speed Channel)
Get Well Robbie Reiser, the Nextel Cup crew chief for #17-Matt Kenseth, wasn't in Texas on Friday. He was in Wisconsin with his ailing father.(ESPN.com/AP)(11-5-2005)
AND: Kenseth was without his crew chief, as Robbie Reiser was home with his ill father. "It's a lot different without Robbie being here," Matt Kenseth said. "I think it was hard for him to be away [Friday]. It's a little different group over there but Robbie's laid a great foundation, done a great job of organizing everybody, so even if you miss a person or two, everything keeps on right along."(NASCAR.com)(11-5-2005)
- Elliott's 2006 plans still unclear: Bill Elliott says he hasn't finalized his plans for next season but wants to drive in selected races for Evernham Motorsports. Elliott has run a partial schedule with car owner Ray Evernham's team since last season. He did five Cup races a year ago. This is his ninth Cup start.(Roanoke Times)(11-5-2005)
- NetZero goes with Bliss: Mike Bliss will leave the #0 CNC-Haas NEXTEL Cup ride and return to the Craftsman Truck Series full-time in 2006. The former series champion will bring current Cup sponsor NetZero with him to the #16 truck ride for XPress Motorsports.(RacingOne)(11-5-2005)
- Rusty on Dateline Sunday: #2-Rusty Wallace will be featured in a segment on Sunday's edition of 'Dateline NBC,' the signature broadcast for NBC News in primetime. In Sunday's show, noted co-anchor Stone Phillips interviews racing legend Wallace about his career and upcoming retirement. Sunday's program airs at 7:00pm/et on NBC-TV.(11-5-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns - Weekly Update: As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a $1,000 donation was made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Dale Earnhardt Jr. This is the third time this year that a donation in Earnhardt Jr.'s name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Comm)(11-5-2005)
News from November 4, 2005
- Designer Foose unveils a custom stock car for Jeff Gordon: The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show set the stage for an unprecedented union of automotive star power and horsepower as car designer Chip Foose, DuPont Automotive Finishes, Hendrick Motorsports and Action Performance Companies Inc. debuted a special edition #24 DuPont Chevy with a Foose-designed DuPont Hot Hues paint scheme. Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, who was on hand for the car's SEMA premiere, will pilot the "hot" machine during the 500-mile NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California Speedway in February 2006. Visit the company Web site at www.foosedesign.com for more information.(Action Performance PR) see an image of the scheme on my 2006 #24 Team Scehemes page.(11-4-2005)
- Record Falls In Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Fan voting: NASCAR fans have broken their own mark, voting in record numbers for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver award. A total of 3,900,523 votes have been cast so far this season (as of end of the day Thursday, Nov. 3), topping the previous mark of 3,852,309 votes cast in 2004. Race fans have been voting at www.mostpopulardriver.com, the official voting site, since February 1. Since General Mills began sponsoring the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award at the beginning of the 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, nearly 14 million votes have been cast by fans throughout the world. Fans vote at www.mostpopulardriver.com for the only fan-based official award in motorsports. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues to lead in the voting but is some 200,000 votes behind his pace of last season, when he won for the second straight year. Behind him in the current voting are Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson. Voting for the more than 40 drivers eligible for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award continues through 11:59am.ct, Monday, Nov. 21. Fans may vote once each day at the site.(Williams Company PR)(11-4-2005)
- No Cowboy's/NASCAR Clash in Nov. at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway won't have to battle the Cowboys for fans this fall. The Cowboys have an open date Nov. 6, the date of TMS' long-awaited second Nextel Cup race, the Dickies 500. Cowboys officials said the scheduling is a coincidence. Regardless of the reason, TMS officials were overjoyed after the NFL schedule was released Wednesday. The absence of a Cowboys game probably ensures at least a near-capacity crowd.(Dallas Morning News)(4-14/11-4-2005)
- Goodyear Tire Notes:. This is the second consecutive NASCAR Nextel Cup race weekend at Texas to
which Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires . . . all three series in action -- Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck -- will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Cup and Busch tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is one of only two NASCAR tracks at which this tire combination will be run in 2005, with Homestead being the other . . . this left-side code (D-6852) is also run with different right-side codes at California, Charlotte, Chicagoland, Dover, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . 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), for more notes, pressures and codes, see my Texas Race Info/Rundown Page.(11-4-2005)
- Newman wins pole at Texas...but wrecks: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 192.947mph for his 8th pole of 2005 and 35th of his career [tied for 18th all time]. BUT...Newman crashed on his 2nd lap in turn 4 after his right front tire blew and smacked the outside wall, came down the track and glanced off the inside wall. Newman will go to a backup car and have to fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag, but he still gets the #1 pick of the pit stall. Starting 2nd is #24-Jeff Gordon, followed by #17-Matt Kenseth [will move up to the pole position], #01-Joe Nemechek and #19-Jeremy Mayfield. Fastest in Friday's practice, #0-Mike Bliss qualified 6th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. starts 10th, points leader #20-Tony Stewartwill start 16th. #91-Bill Elliott was the highest non top-35 team, starting 9th. Five drivers failed to make the race: #39-Reed Sorenson, #7-Robby Gordon, #09-Johnny Sauter, #51-Stuart Kirby and #92-PJ Jones. #00-Carl Long withdrew after wrecking in practice. The starting 43 were also the 43 fastest cars.
For the Qualifying results, starting lineup, practice speeds and qualifying order, see my Jayski's Texas Practice/Qualifying/Lineup Page.(11-4-2005)
- Qualifying Notes - Texas:
• Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Dickies 500, lapping Texas Motor Speedway in 27.987 seconds at 192.947 mph. Bill Elliott holds the track-qualifying record of 27.803 seconds, 194.224 mph, set April 5, 2002.
• This is Newman’s 35th career Bud Pole in 150 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. He moved into a tie with Ned Jarrett and Fireball Roberts for 18th on the all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole list.
• It is Newman’s eighth Bud Pole and 28th top-10 start this season. He clinched the Bud Pole Award for the fourth consecutive year with his seventh Bud Pole of the season last week at Atlanta.
• It is also Newman’s third top-10 start in five races at Texas Motor Speedway, including a sweep of both Bud Poles this season. He also won both Bud Poles at Atlanta and is the only driver to sweep both Bud Poles at a track this season.
• Jeff Gordon posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.067 seconds, 192.397 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the Dickies 500. Only Newman and Gordon broke the 192-mph mark. Gordon posted his 17th top-10 start of 2005. It is his seventh top-10 start in 10 races at Texas Motor Speedway and his best qualifying effort here. He also started second in 1997 when qualifying was canceled.
• This is the 11th 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.
• There have been 16 different Bud Pole Winners this season, the most since there were 18 in 2001. That season tied 1997 for the most in the modern era.
• Matt Kenseth (third) posted his ninth top-10 start this season. It is his first start better than 13th in seven races at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Joe Nemechek (fourth) posted his 10th top-10 start this season and his fifth top-10 start in nine races at Texas.
• Jeremy Mayfield (fifth) posted his 14th top-10 start this season. It is his fourth top-10 start in 10 races at Texas, including both races this season.
• Five of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Newman, Kenseth, Mayfield, Greg Biffle (seventh) and Mark Martin (eighth).
• Bill Elliott (ninth), appearing in his ninth race of the season, posted his second top- 10 start in 2005. He has started from the top 10 in five of his 10 races at Texas.
• Terry Labonte (34th) qualified for his 14th race this season.qualifying.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-4-2005)
- Ramblings - Texas:
Ryan Newman grabbed the Bud Pole today at Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's Dickies 500 with a speed of 192.947 mph (27.987 sec)....but he'll start from the rear after he had a tire go down on lap two. Since he'll be forced to a backup car, he'll start 43rd and Matt Kenseth will inherit the top-spot. This is pole #8 for Newman on the season, his second in a row, and the 35th of his NEXTEL Cup career. He musta been real shook up by his wreck cause about an hour later he captured the pole for the Busch race, too.
Jeff Gordon (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Loudon in September.
Joe Nemechek (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Michigan in August.
Jeremy Mayfield (5th) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at the Brickyard in August.
Mike Bliss (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Michigan in August.
Bill Elliott (9th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 3rd at California in September of 2004.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.
(Stock Car Fans)(11-4-2005)
News from November 3, 2005
- OFFICIAL.....HOF Racing, #96, Terry Labonte and Raines UPDATEs: 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)
UPDATE 3 OFFICIAL: In a press conference today at Texas Motor Speedway, Hall of Fame Racing announced that Terry Labonte and Tony Raines will co-drive the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2006. Labonte, a two-time Cup Series champion and 22-time Nextel Cup race winner, will campaign the #96 DLP HDTV car in seven races, while Raines, the 1996 champion of the American Speed Association (ASA) and 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, will drive the #96 DLP HDTV machine in 29 races. Labonte will compete in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the four following races at Fontana (Calif.), Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol (Tenn.), as well as the two road course races at Sonoma (Calif.) and Watkins Glen (N.Y.). Raines will be the driver at all of the remaining Nextel Cup point races, including the non-point Nextel Open at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. See the full PR and lots of quotes on my #96 Team News and Links page....see an image of the car on my 2006 #96 Team Schemes page.(11-3-2005)
- Victory Junction Honored: The Victory Junction Gang received the award for "Best Sports Philanthropic Partnership" at the 5th annual Horizon Awards for Sports Business Wednesday night in Atlanta. The Horizon Awards, created by the Atlanta Sports Council, honors the thought-leaders and innovators in sports business industry. The "Best Sports Philanthropic Partnership" award recognizes the company and charity that had the most effective integrated partnership. Nominees and winners were selected for 11 categories by the Horizon Awards Voting Academy, a national body representing every sector of the sports business industry. The voting process was certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti and Wayne LLP, official business advisors to the Horizon Awards.(VJGC PR) more info on Victory Junction at victoryjunction.org and to help out fund the Jayski Computer Lab there, see my Racing Charities page.(11-3-2005)
- Slugger to leave the #19? to #38? UPDATE 3 to RYR as consultant: 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)
UPDATE 3: Beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Richard “Slugger” Labbe will serve as a consultant for all three Robert Yates Racing Teams (#88 UPS, #38 M&M’S®, #90 CitiFinancial-Busch). Labbe, who previously worked with the #19 Team, returns to RYR where he served as crew chief for the #28 Ford in 1998.(Elevation Group/RYR PR)(11-3-2005)
- Earnhardt, Gant, Guthrie, Roush and Wheeler to be inducted in IMHOF: While most everyone expected Dale Earnhardt to be among the five individuals that will be honored next April with induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, very few would have anticipated the overall strength of the Class of 2006 being what it is. "This is one heck of a class for 2006," declared IMHOF Executive Director Jim Freeman. "We are pleased to announce that we will induct Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Janet Guthrie, Jack Roush and Humpy Wheeler next April 27th."
Earnhardt, of course, is the seven-time Winston Cup champion and Gant is one of the all-time greats in both Cup and Busch racing. Guthrie is the first female to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Roush's race teams have won titles in drag racing, sports cars, Craftsman trucks, Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series. Wheeler is the long-time innovative promoter at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. While the quintet has a definite NASCAR flavor, three of the future inductees also have made names for themselves outside of the stock car world. Guthrie, and Wheeler have been involved in sports cars and Indy cars during their careers, while Roush has been successful in several different racing series.
Tickets will go on sale on November 7th for the 16th annual induction ceremony that will take place on the Thursday evening of the first race weekend of 2006 at Talladega. The induction will be held in the Speed Channel Dome at the Hall of Fame. In addition to the five inductees, the 2005 Driver of the Year will also be honored that evening.(IMHOF PR)(11-3-2005)
- Special Crew Member for Busch and Crown Royal scheme: Kurt Busch is hoping to regain last year's championship fortunes by adding one of Texas' favorite sons, Dallas Cowboys legend Tony Dorsett, to his Crown Royal #97 Ford team for Sunday's Dickies 500. Dorsett will join the Crown Royal team as an honorary pit crew member during the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Dorsett will meet with fans earlier in the day at the Crown Royal Experience Tent at the track. Crown Royal is the Official Whisky of Texas Motor Speedway.
AND The #97 Ford will be coated in Crown Royal purple and gold for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday. This will be the seventh and last 2005 regular-season race that the #97 racecar will exhibit the Crown Royal colors. Previously, Kurt Busch drove the Crown Royal car to a 23rd place finish at Dover on September 25.(Alan Taylor Comm. PR), see image of the scheme on my #97 Team Schemes page.(11-3-2005)
- Centrix to sponsor #10 at Texas: Scott Riggs will visit Texas Motor Speedway this weekend where he will pilot the #10 Centrix Financial/Valvoline Chevrolet in Sunday's Nextel Cup Series Dickies 500. The primary sponsorship on Riggs' car in Texas will be the blue, white and gold colors of Centril Financial. Valvoline, Riggsâ€™ major sponsor for the majority of the 36 point races, will take on an associate role during this weekend's race.(MB2 Motorsports)(11-3-2005)
- Haas CNC closes on property for new shop: #0-Haas CNC Racing will begin construction early in 2006 on a new 140,000 square foot facility in Kannapolis, NC after agreeing to a contract with the city to purchase nearly 23 acres in the Kannapolis Gateway Business Park. The deal will bring the 85-employee firm, which expects to add up to 70 jobs over the course of the next few years, to the city. As part of the contract, Kannapolis will provide a Level 1 incentive grant worth $212,243.85 over five years. "We're excited about the deal with Haas CNC Racing," said Patrick Pierce, partner, MarkPiercePoole Inc. "They are well-financed and provide a valuable presence in the Park. Their interest also validates the City's strategy to create a first class business park to help drive economic development "
Haas CNC Racing fields the #0 car driven [currently] by Mike Bliss in the NASCAR NEXTEL Series and the #44 car driven [currently] by Justin Labonte in the NASCAR Busch Series. The company intends to add one or more race teams over time to the site. Haas CNC Racing also operates a large automated CNC tool manufacturing company based in California. "We currently operate out of a 40,000 square foot facility and needed more space," said Joe Custer, general manager, Haas CNC Racing. "The Gateway Business Park's proximity to Concord Regional Airport, Lowe's Motor Speedway, and I-85 was a good fit for our firm." For more information about Haas CNC Racing, please visit www.haascncracing.com. For more information about the City of Kannapolis, please visit www.cityofkannapolis.com.(Businesswire.com)(11-3-2005)
- Goodyear to test at Lowe's UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: Goodyear booked track time Wednesday evening at Lowe's Motor Speedway to gather data on its tires following what took place in the UAW-GM 500 at the track on Oct. 15. In that race, blown tires led to numerous crashes and caution flags. In the aftermath, track president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler has defended the track's surface that was smoothed using a diamond-grinding machine.
Scott Riggs drove an Evernham Motorsports-owned Dodge in the test, which ran from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Riggs will drive for Evernham's team next season. Goodyear officials were hoping to better understand what happened last month and also to collect data that could be used in comparisons after the track is repaved next year. It was testing three tire compounds, including the one used in both races at LMS this year.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-3-2005)
- Dale Jr wins Wix Award: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his first award of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. The WIX Filters Lap Leader Award is presented to the driver who leads the most laps during each race in NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck racing series. The award includes a cash prize presented to the winning driver during a ceremony before the next race and an end-of-year payout and trophy for the driver who earns the most WIX Filters Lap Leader awards over the course of the entire season. Cash awards for the end-of-year honor are: $75,000 for the NEXTEL Cup Series; $20,000 for the Busch Series; and, $10,000 for the Craftsman Truck Series. In order to be eligible for the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award for a single event, drivers and teams in each series must run the WIX Filters decal on the front fender and use WIX oil or air filters in their vehicles. Additionally, for any year-end payout, teams must run the decal on the front fender for every race they participate in, with an allowance for one race, and they must always use WIX oil or air filters. Fans can sign up for the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award contest, make picks and try to beat Speed's John Roberts by visiting www.wixlapleader.com. WIX Filters' Internet address is www.wixfilters.com.(11-3-2005)
- #51 adds sponsorship: In addition to Marathon Oil, the #51 CEM team with driver Stuart Kirby announces two additional companies coming onboard for the weekend race at Texas. The first is New Holland, a brand of CNH, a global leader in agriculture, construction equipment and financial services, which will have a decal located in front of the rear tire. The second is American Eurocopter, a company specializing in the manufacturing of helicopters with a plant in the Dallas area, which will have a decal on the lower rear quarter panel.(CEM site)(11-3-2005)
- Long to drive Dream Machine at Texas: Carl Long will be driving the #00 RoadLoans.com / Aarons Dream Machine for
McGlynn Racing this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Fresh off his career-best qualifying effort in Atlanta, Long looks to top that performance this weekend in Texas. McGlynn Racing welcomes RoadLoans.com to the team and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Chris Goodman (Sr. VP, RoadLoans.com) and his team now and in the future. Driver Carl Long on driving the Aarons Dream Machine: "DW (Darrel Waltrip) has been wanting to drive the Dream Machine for a long time and since he owes me a favor for loaning my car to him a few years back, Michael (Waltrip) is letting me beat his brother to the punch and drive the Aarons Dream Machine this weekend. Maybe DW can bring the Dream Machine Jr. down to my place and cut my grass sometime."
Team Owner Ray McGlynn on new sponsors: "I want to thank our primary sponsor, Royal Administration, for allowing us the flexibility to move them all over the car and occasionally off the car to bring on new sponsors. The team is more consistent than ever and sponsors are beginning to realize they can join a small team like us while we are still growing and capitalize on NASCAR's enormous popularity at a level they can handle." This weekend's race also marks the arrival of the team's newest charitable organization, the Young Racers of America (YRA). As spokesman for the YRA, Carl Long wants to create further awareness for young racers and build a support system for youth drivers everywhere.(McGlynn Racing PR)(11-3-2005)
News from November 2, 2005
- 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Yearbook available to order: NASCAR fans can forever preserve all the great moments of the 2005 campaign by ordering the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 2005 Yearbook. The handsome, leather-bound coffee-table publication is the crown jewel of the NASCAR Library Collection. The book includes full-color action photography and chronicles each race from Daytona through the crowning of another NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion at Homestead-Miami. The yearbook can be ordered by calling 800-747-9287 or online at www.UMIbooks.com . Orders will be shipped in December, in plenty of time for the holidays.
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 2005 Yearbook includes season-ending statistics, a special preface outlining this year's Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, and an in-depth look at the final 10 races of the season that determine this year's champion. This is the same yearbook that is presented each year at the annual NASCAR Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, and through a special arrangement with NASCAR, is made available to the public as long as quantities last.
"NASCAR fans are so passionate about their sport and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Yearbook gives them that keepsake to draw upon year after year," said Mark Dyer, NASCAR vice president of licensing. "It's the best way for a fan to reflect upon the year and relive all the thrilling competition and drama that goes into a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season."
With more than 250 pages of race coverage, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Yearbook has been the only official book documenting the NASCAR season since 1988. For more info or to order, go to the UMI Site.(11-2-2005)
- RCR Shuffles Cup Series Crew Chief Lineup: Two of Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) NASCAR Cup Series teams will swap crew chiefs next week in preparation for the 2006 season. Scott Miller, current crew chief on the #07 Jack Daniel's team, will
assume the crew chief position on the #31 Cingular Wireless team with driver Jeff Burton for the final two races this season and next year.
Kevin Hamlin, current crew chief on the #31 Cingular Wireless team, will move to the #07 Jack Daniel's team for the rest of this season
with driver Dave Blaney. He will be assisted by Gil Martin who, it was announced in October, will be the crew chief for the team next year with new driver Clint Bowyer. Hamlin has been offered another position within the RCR organization at the conclusion of this season. "We're making these moves next week to get a head start on 2006," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "We had already announced that Gil was going to be the Jack Daniel's team crew chief for 2006 so it made sense to get him running as quickly as possible. We have put Scott Miller and Jeff Burton together on the Cingular Wireless team in an effort to take the success the team has had this season to the next level. Kevin Hamlin has been a valuable part of RCR for many years and we look forward to him continuing to contribute to our success in the future." Martin will remain as the crew chief for Bowyer and the #2 ACDelco team in their quest for the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series championship. Jeremy Bullins, the team's engineer who will also move to the #07 Jack Daniel's team next season, will assist Hamlin and Martin for the balance of the season. "This in no way will take away from the effort Clint, Gil and the ACDelco team will give toward winning the Busch championship," said Childress. "They've still got a good shot at it and Gil has great guys working for him on both teams so we won't let him get overloaded from either direction."(RCR PR)(11-2-2005)
- #55 for Mikey? UPDATE 2 Skinner NOT to the #22? BDR still looking: hearing Michael Waltrip will run the #55 in the NAPA Bill Davis Racing Dodge. DEI chose to keep the #15.(10-28-2005)
UPDATE - Skinner to the #22? Forget those Ward Burton returns stories for Bill Davis Racing next season. Mike Skinner will drive the Caterpillar Dodge #22 in 2006, teaming with Michael Waltrip in the NAPA #55.(RacingOne)(11-1-2005)
UPDATE 2: Bill Davis Racing reiterated and confirmed today, contrary to recent rumors, a new driver has not been signed to pilot the #22 Caterpillar Dodge in 2006. “We are still finalizing the details around the CAT Racing program for next year,” said Bill Davis, team owner and president. “Of course, we have our eye on what the ideal fit would be and are hoping everything works out that way.” Recent rumors have developed around Davis’ Toyota Racing driver, Mike Skinner, as being the next one to fill the seat of the #22, but Davis stated that is not part of the game plan. “I don’t know how stuff like this gets started, but none of that is true,” Davis said. “Skinner is a great driver and is doing a great job for us and Toyota in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. We’re all happy with that entire program and how it is progressing. We’re hoping it will be even more successful in 2006. I cannot stress this enough, but we are not going to do anything to distract from that. Skinner is the fulltime driver of the #5 Toyota Tundra and there are no plans, nor were there ever, to put him in the #22 car.” Davis is asking for everyone’s patience in this matter and wants to remind everyone that until BDR officially announces its plans, everything else is hearsay and pure speculation. “People don’t realize when they concoct stuff like this, how it can truly be detrimental to the business side of this sport,” Davis said. “I am working hard to get everything nailed down for next year and as soon as that is done I will be very eager to let everyone else know about it. Hopefully, we will be able to announce the future plans for the #22 team in the near future.”(Bill Davis Racing)(11-2-2005)
- Wind Tunnel Q & A: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. one of the quotes from Sunday's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain on SPEED Channel. Sunday Wind Tunnel guest was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt talked bout DEI crew shuffles, his desire to be a car owner and the possibility of teaming with Richard Childress in the future.
Despain: Is there ever a time that RCR could get you to drive the #3 car?
Earnhardt: Richard Childress is a great friend of mine. How he has treated me since my father passed away has amazed me. How that whole company looks at me and my family amazes me. It would be an honor for me to drive for Richard. I look at that way into the future. That is something that is an opportunity for us and I think it would be fun for me and Richard to do something like that in the future. We haven't sat down and decided that is what we will do, but maybe the last one or two years in my career, that's a possibility. I look forward to it. That is something we just leave laying out there it out there and joke about it, but if it is something that we want to do, we will do it.(see more quotes at Speedtv.com)(11-2-2005)
- Dickies to sponsor #66 at Texas IMAGES: Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. and Peak Performance Motorsports announced a one-race primary sponsorship package for the Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Fort Worth-based maker of the DICKIES brand of work wear is in its first season as the title sponsor for the fall Nextel Cup event, and has signed with the #66 Ford and driver Kevin Lepage to be the primary sponsor of the car for the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.(PSE-3 PR)(11-1-2005)
IMAGES see images of the car on my #66 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2005)
- Interstate Batteries Rewards Local Dealer: When Bobby Labonte competes at the Dickies 500 NEXTEL Cup Series event Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, the hood of his #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy will look a little bit different than most fans are used to seeing. Following a nationwide contest that Interstate conducted earlier this year, the car will carry the name of Main Street Getty, an Interstate Batteries dealer located in Tewksbury, Mass., a city of about 28,000 people, located about 20 miles north of Boston. In addition, IBS of Massachusetts, the Interstate Batteries distributorship that services Main Street Getty, will also adorn part of Labonte's hood. Both were winners of Interstate's '500 Miles of Fame II' promotion, a program designed to increase its dealers' focus on batteries and give them and Interstate's distributors a chance to be seen by millions of consumers both in person and on television in a location normally reserved for multi-million dollar corporate names. Winners not only receive an all-expense paid trip to the race, but will also get the opportunity to meet Labonte prior to the event. Interstate is one of the longest-running major sponsors in NEXTEL Cup racing having been associated with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1991.(Camp and Associates/JGR)(11-1-2005)
IMAGE: see image of the hood on my #18 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2005)
- Geek Squad on the #0 at Texas UPDATE - image: on geeksquad.com it is being reported that the #0 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and driver Mike Bliss will run a Geek Squad paint scheme at Texas Motor Speedway. Geek Squad works with Best Buy, a sponsor of the #0 team.(11-1-2005)
UPDATE: Cup driver Mike Bliss for the first time this season will find himself behind the wheel of Best Buy's Geek Squad #0 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as the Haas CNC Racing team heads to Texas Motor Speedway for this Sunday's NASCAR Dickie's 500. In addition to the new black and orange paint scheme on the car, uniformed Geek Squad agents will be dispatched to rescue media and NASCAR teams from unforeseen tech malfunctions (PR), see images of the car on my #0 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2005)
- Ford sues NC firm over racing device:Ford Motor Co. sued a North Carolina equipment supplier Tuesday, accusing the company of stealing trade secrets, breach of contract and trademark infringement. The case centers on the Ford Racing Kinematics Rig - a device Ford says it developed to collect, process and display data from the chassis systems of NASCAR race cars. According to a complaint filed in federal court in Detroit Tuesday, Ford's racing division contracted with L&H Technologies of Charlotte, N.C., last year to produce the device for Ford's exclusive use. As part of that contract, Ford says it provided L&H with technical details for the device and worked with the supplier to develop the device. Ford also says it provided L&H with components for the rigs and loaned the supplier Ford Racing cars to test the equipment. In its lawsuit, Ford says L&H produced the units for Ford as requested, but then began offering the same device to other NASCAR teams, using Ford's logo in its marketing materials.(Detroit News)(11-2-2005)
- Robby gets Dakar sponsor: Hummer Division and Robby Gordon Motorsports have joined together to take on the Dakar Rally, widely considered to be the most grueling off-road race in the world due to its brutal terrain and extreme environmental conditions. Gordon will lead his Team Dakar USA from behind the wheel of a HUMMER H3 race truck. His relationship with Hummer will also include driving an H3 in the 2006 Baja 1000 and Baja 500 desert races. “Team Dakar USA’s main objective will be to prove to the world that American innovation and determination can compete on the world stage,” said Gordon. “We started planning for this just after my first Dakar Rally, where we won two stages, and I know we are prepared and ready to take on the world.” Gordon’s H3 will consist of an H3 body paired with a specially developed chassis featuring a suspension designed by him and his Off-Road team. The H3 will be a tube-chassis vehicle similar to Trophy Trucks races in the famed Baja 1000, except that it will have a fully enclosed air-conditioned cockpit, including windshield and side windows. It will be powered by a production-based General Motors V8 engine.
The 16-stage Dakar race covers more than 6,000 miles (nearly 10,000 km) in just over two weeks. The 2006 Dakar begins on December 31 in Lisbon, Portugal and runs through Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, and Guinea before finishing in the capital city of Dakar, in Senegal. More information on the Dakar race is available at teamdakarusa.com. Information on HUMMER products is available at www.hummer.com. Robby Gordon was named by Off-Road retailer magazine in 2004 as one of the five most influential people in the off-road industry. He has
successfully owned and operated teams in the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series, CART, IRL and SCORE.(Robby Gordon PR)(11-2-2005)
- #32 Tests at Kentucky: #32 PPI Motorsports and driver Bobby Hamilton Jr., will be testing at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday, November 2 in preparations for this weekend's event at Texas Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 67 will be utilized.(PPI Motorsports)(11-2-2005)
- #92 Gets Sponsor for Texas: Front Row Motorsports announced that FOX Collision Center will sponsor the #92 Chevrolet driven by P.J. Jones at Texas Motor Speedway, for the Dickies 500. “I’m looking forward to driving the FOX Collision Center Chevrolet at
Texas,” commented driver PJ Jones. “The #92 FOX Collision Center car qualified well at Kansas and we fully expect another good run this weekend.” FOX Collision Center, Inc., with 9 full service body shops is owned and operated by Kansas native Todd Fox, an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in collision repair. He began his collision repair business in Wichita and operated four facilities before moving onto Tulsa, Oklahoma in spring of 2001. After just a few short months, FOX quickly became Tulsa’s premier Collision Center. There are currently 4 FOX Collision Center’s in Wichita. Their ninth center opened October 4th in Kansas at I-35 and Antioch.(Front Row Motorsports)(11-2-2005)
- Ward selected to Board: Ward Burton was selected Tuesday to sit on the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Gov. Mark R. Warner, who announced the selection, called Burton "a strong addition" to the board that oversees the troubled Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Burton is the president and founder of the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, which provides conservation education programs and manages a wildlife refuge system of protected land. He has served as spokesman for the Virginia State Parks in public service announcements since 2003. Burton succeeds C. Wilson McNeely IV, who resigned last week after six years of service.(USA Today.AP)(11-2-2005)
News from November 1, 2005
- Sad News: After a long and courageous fight, John Paul - DeLana Harvick''s father - has lost his battle with cancer. He passed away on Tuesday, November 1, 2005. In lieu of flowers or gifts, they are asking that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang Camp in memory of John Paul Linville. Donations should be sent to: Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, NC 27317.(Kevinharvick.com)(11-1-2005)
- Labonte to the #42? UPDATE 4: 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)
see UPDATE 2 and some notes on my #18 Team News page.
UPDATE 3: hearing that Bobby Labonte has signed with Ganassi Racing for next season. Supposedly they are only waiting for the lawyers to finish up with the paperwork. There was no mention as to whether or not Interstate Batteries would be going with him.(11-1-2005)
UPDATE 4: Perhaps the final piece to the puzzle is Ganassi securing a new driver for McMurray. Bobby Labonte has been in the rumor mill however Labonte, who is attending the 2005 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, told PRN’s Garagepass “I figure if you don’t run good you might as well start some stuff. Until something happens there’s nothing to say about it because there’s only two people that hold the
key to the situation and a lot of people can talk about it but they don’t know what they’re talking about.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)...clear as mud?(11-1-2005)
- More on the Busch McMurray 'swap': You get the feeling a formal announcement could come at any time, however Roush
Racing President Geoff Smith denies reports a deal has been cut between car owners Jack Roush, Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi involving the early release of Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray. Smith said “The fiction is the deal is done and the fact is the deal is not done. All the parties are working to try to have a solution that’s acceptable to everyone and we’re still a few pieces short although everyone is working in good faith trying to make it happen. My feeling is that we are at a 70-75% probability that it’s going to be done, but there are about twelve moving pieces and every single piece is conditioned on another. They all have to close or the whole thing unwinds.”
(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-1-2005)
- Dominos Should Fall this week - Busch-McMurray released? UPDATE 2 McMurray release DENIED:: This will be the crucial week for a decision, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith says, in the long-running driver-swap negotiations involving Jack Roush's Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi's Jamie McMurray, and Roger Penske. If it does happen, McMurray would join Roush [#97], and Busch would join Penske [#2]. "In order for it to work, there has to be a driver for Chip," Smith said. "Ten days ago it wasn't working for Chip, but now it can work, so I presume he's got somebody." That could be Ricky Rudd, who isn't saying what his 2006 plans are, but who is reportedly very close to a decision simply to retire at the end of the season. Or it could be Bobby Labonte. Or Labonte could be headed to Bill Davis, according to sources. If Labonte leaves Chevrolet's Joe Gibbs to join the soon-to-be-Toyota Davis team as Michael Waltrip's teammate, that would be a major pick up by Toyota, expected to join the Nextel Cup tour for the 2007 season. If Davis doesn't get Labonte, he will likely get Dave Blaney, according to sources. Blaney once drove for Davis. Penske officials, saying that Rudd isn't one of their options, agree that this is the week that will tell the tale, and they agree with Smith that the complicated deal will in fact be completed.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
UPDATE: ESPN's Mike Massaro is reporting that Roush Racing has released 2004 Nextel Cup Champ #97 Kurt Busch from his 2006 contract obligations, allowing Busch to go to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that Rusty Wallace will be retiring from at the end of 2005. ALSO Massaro is reporting that Jamie McMurray has been released from his 2006 Ganassi Racing contract to drive the #42 Texaco Dodge, allowing him to go to Roush Racing, taking over for Busch in the #97/#28 car or whatever number they will use with Crown Royal as the primary sponsor.(ESPN.com) So......who goes to the #42 Texaco Havoline Dodge? I am still hearing it'll be Bobby Labonte, and other reports have Ricky Rudd taking the #42 ride over.(10-31-2005)
UPDATE 2: Jamie McMurray has not been released from his 2006 contract commitments at this time.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-1-2005)
- BAM Uncertain of 2006 driver: #49 BAM Racing co-owners Beth Ann and Tony Morgenthau are uncertain who will drive the #49 Dodge next season after several major teams' negotiations intensified. BAM Racing co-owners Beth Ann and Tony Morgenthau are unwittingly in a high-stakes game of musical Nextel Cup drivers. The couple isn't sure if veteran Ken Schrader still will be sitting in the cockpit of their #49 Dodge, as he has for three seasons, or if he will be taking over Ricky Rudd's #21 Ford ride for the legendary Wood Brothers. "We're going to let the Wood Brothers say it," Beth Ann Morgenthau said Monday. "We're not going to say anything. [Schrader] popped it on us.'' The Morgenthaus are two seasons into a three-year deal with primary sponsor Schwan's. The 50-year-old Schrader said in February he planned to end his Cup career when that deal ended in 2007. The team publicists were considering a farewell tour called: ``Schrader's Schwan Song.''(Miami Herald)(11-1-2005)
- Penske to consolidate team headquarters: Penske Racing is moving its headquarters next year, leaving Reading, Pa., after the 2006 Indy Racing League season concludes, relocating to the company's new NASCAR facility in Mooresville, N.C. The move will allow the organization to consolidate its stock-car, Indy-car and sports-car teams in the 424,000-square-foot facility Roger Penske opened last year in the Charlotte suburb. "There is certainly a lot of crossover capabilities," said Tim Cindric, the president of the team's Indy-car program. "Definitely one of the motives is to put everything under one roof." Penske set his team's roots in Reading in 1973 after it spent its first seven seasons in Newtown Square, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Only A.J. Foyt Racing, which is now based in the Houston suburb of Waller, Texas, has stayed in one area longer. Foyt's team was founded in 1965 in Houston. Penske's Indy-car team has about 90 employees, most of whom are Pennsylvania natives. Cindric doesn't know how many people will follow the team.(Indianapolis Star)(11-1-2005)
- Honda and NASCAR: Although Honda has not made formal inquiries with NASCAR, certain engineers in the garage have been approached about a program that would begin in 2010.(Sporting News) and with Penske switching to Honda in the IRL.......(11-1-2005)
- Arnold to team up with Yates? hearing that Arnold Motorsports will team up with Robert Yates Racing to form a third team of sorts for Yates.(11-1-2005)
News from October 31, 2005
Brett Bodine driving NASCAR's COT
see a few more on my COT page
(Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images
- Car of Tomorrow Tests at Atlanta: Cars were on track at Atlanta Motor Speedway today, just one day after the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. With five race teams' participation, NASCAR tested the Car of Tomorrow in a day-long test session. Yesterday's race winner Carl Edwards was among the drivers testing. Joining him were Jeff Burton, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Petty and Brian
Vickers, all testing cars from their own teams and Brett Bodine driving NASCAR's representative car. "Safety tops the list of things that are different about this car," Gary Nelson, vice president of research and development for NASCAR said. "We have done a lot of things in the last four years to improve safety that are car of tomorrow items, but we put them on the car of today if they would fit. You can't just fit a bigger roll-cage, a different frame or different exhaust. The average race fan is going to see a taller, wider car that has been designed to enhance competition on the track." Drivers said they could tell a difference between the cars they drove yesterday and the Car of Tomorrow they drove today. "These drive a lot more like my Busch car," said 2004 Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. "They have a lot more air on the back of them. They are real stable getting into the corner compared to a Cup car." Truex addressed NASCAR's emphasis on safety. "You're always happy when they try and make things safer," said Truex. "It doesn't feel good when you hit the wall. They have done a good job with safety over the last two years. I haven't really seen anybody get hurt in the last couple years, so they've come a long way." Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet doesn't think the racing will change a lot from the fans perspective. "As far as racing goes, we are all going to have the same thing, everybody is still going to try and find advantages like they do now, so I don't see if being much different."(AMS PR)(10-31-2005)
- Atlanta Early TV Ratings down: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway earned a 3.9 overnight rating and an 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The overnight rating from the nation's largest television markets is down 7.1% from 4.2 last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-31-2005)
- Final Martinsville TV Ratings Up: Final Nielsen Media Research numbers show that NBC's broadcast of the Oct. 23 Subway 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a 4.7 rating and a 10 share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 6.8% higher than the 4.4 the race drew for the network last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), early ratings were down 5%.(10-31-2005)
- Osborne Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Atlanta: Bob Osborne, crew chief of the #99 Office Depot
Ford, and Carl Edwards notched their third victory of 2005 this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This was the duo's second Nextel Cup win of the year at Atlanta, giving them a clean sweep of the season's action at the track. Edwards led the race eight times for 115 laps, including the final 36, before taking the checkered flag of the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. For bringing Edwards the win,
Osborne was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
In the early stages of the event, Edwards didn't appear to be as stout as the other cars in the top-five. But as the race went on, the #99 Taurus only got stronger and stronger. "There were a lot of good cars in the race today," said Osborne after the event. "We started out loose. Most of the cars running up front were neutral at first and we couldn't get up to them, but they started to tighten up through the race. We did too, but that's what we needed. The car was its best at the end. This team has worked so hard and this weekend is a
real testament to that." The panel of voters, including a Wypall Wipers representative, Robbie Reiser and Tony Eury Sr., all voted for Osborne 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, Bob Osborne and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. 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 wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-31-2005)
- Condolences: John Darby, director of the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, wasn't at the race following the death of his mother.
His role was filled by Wayne Auton, who normally directs the Craftsman Truck Series. The series director works in the control tower with NASCAR president Mike Helton, race director David Hoots and other officials. They make the call on caution flags, rules violations and other issues that come up during a race.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-31-2005)
- Rudd to the #2? #97 to #28? MORE: Lee Spencer reports on Around the Track that Roger Penske spoke with Ricky Rudd
regarding taking over the #2 ride if Kurt Busch is not released from the #97 team. The #97 is expected to switch to the #28 in 2006. Around the Track runs on Fox Sports South [TV] at 10:30pm/et tonight.(10-30-2005)
MORE: Bobby Labonte might be the most popular driver in the garage right now when it comes to teams that need drivers. What team wouldn't want to tease potential sponsors with a former champion? He has been mentioned as a candidate to drive the Nos. 43, 42 and 22. If Labonte drives the No. 43 for Petty Enterprises, Shell looks good as the sponsor. If Labonte jumps into the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing ride, that opens the door for Jamie McMurray to move to Roush Racing to drive the #97 (which could switch numbers and become the 28). Kurt Busch could in turn take over the No. 2 Penske Racing car after Rusty Wallace retires. Roger Penske admitted in Atlanta that he had spoken to Ricky Rudd about possibly doing a one-year deal if Busch were not released, but the surest bet in the driver's roulette would be on Busch in the #2 at Daytona.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)
- Bridgestone/Michelin looking to get into NASCAR? When Goodyear's exclusive contract with NASCAR runs out, apparently at the end of 2007, both Bridgestone and Michelin are expected to bid for the new deal.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
- Baldwin leaving Evernham? UPDATE 4 Denied: 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)
UPDATE 3 - it's back... hearing once again that #9 Crew Chief, Tommy Baldwin will be parting ways with Evernham Motorsports, could be after Atlanta or at the end of the season, no word this time, where he would end up.(10-29-2005)
UPDATE 4: There were rumors Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for Mayfield's teammate #9-Kasey Kahne, wanted out [of Evernham Motorsports]. Baldwin said he's not going anywhere.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)
- Vickers to test 'Car of Tomorrow' at Atlanta UPDATE: Following Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway #25-Brian Vickers will remain in Atlanta to conduct a test session for NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports. He will be driving the next-generation NEXTEL Cup Series car, known as the "car of tomorrow." Several other teams that have built the new cars will be testing as well.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-28-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR's proposed car-of-the-future is to be tested today at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with Ford's Carl Edward, Chevy drivers Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton and Martin Truex Jr., and Dodge's Kyle Petty, along with NASCAR's Brett Bodine. The bigger, boxier car has been controversial, and some people in the NASCAR garage are insisting that it will never make to a starting line. NASCAR officials insist they hope to debut it next October at Talladega, with a full rollout in 2007.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
- Blaney Looking: Dave Blaney, current driver of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy, reported he had no change in the prospects in picking up a ride for next season. He did say he would consider going back to Bill Davis Racing to take over the #22 next season as replacement for released Scott Wimmer.(High Point Enterprise)(10-29-2005)
UPDATE - Blaney to the #49? Dave Blaney is under consideration for the #49 ride with Beth Ann Morgenthau [BAM Racing], replacing Ken Schrader, who is headed to the #21 Wood brothers. Blaney and the Morgenthaus have been talking since July, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
- Hamlin to be named to #11 for 2006? UPDATE: hearing that Denny Hamlin will be named to drive the #11 FedEx Chevy for Joe Gibbs Racing full time in 2006 and run for rookie of the year, expect an announcement soon.(10-29-2005)
UPDATE: Denny Hamlin will be named as the driver for the #11 Fedex Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin, who is fifth in Busch Series points, has been auditioning for the ride in the last four races.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)