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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    NOV 14-20, 2005





      News from November 20, 2005

    • Biffle wins the Battle, Stewart wins the War: #16-Greg Biffle took the lead late, with 8 laps to go and won the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by mere inches over #6-Mark Martin for his 6th win of the season and 9th of his career. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart finished 15th and won the 2005 Nextel Cup Championship over Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards by 35 points. Biffle gets the 2nd spot as he has 6 wins to Edwards 4. It is Stewarts 2nd Nextel Cup Championship, he won in 2002, becoming the 14th driver to win mulitple championships. Stewart's take for 1st place is $5,849,800. #17-Matt Kenseth was 3rd, followed by #99-Carl Edwards [Rosuh got the 1st four spots] and #41-Casey Mears, who was 3 seconds in the lead with 15 laps to go when a caution came of for debris when a spring rubber fell out of someone car and was in the groove. 2nd in points going into the race, #48-Jimmie Johnson had a right rear tire going down, stayed out too long and it popped and sent Johnson into the wall and out of the race and The Chase, dropping him to 5th in the points. There were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers with #99-Edwards leading the most laps with 94 and Mears with 75. Biffle on lead 9 laps, including the final 8. There were 8 cautions for 37 laps which allowed for a new race record speed of 131.431mph. #7-Robby Gordon jumped in the #7 without any track time all weekend and finished 14th. #5-Kyle Busch had trouble early and finished 41st with a DNF, but easily won the 2005 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award.
      For my race rundown, laps led, DNF's, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Homestead Race Info/Rundown Page.
      For race results and awards, and other site links, see my Jayski's Homestead Race Results/Awards page.(11-20-2005)

    • Driver Points Standing after Homestead race 10 of 10 in the Chase:
      #20-Tony Stewart, 6533
      #16-Greg Biffle, 6498, -35 [gets 2nd 6 wins to 4]
      #99-Carl Edwards, 6498, -35
      #6-Mark Martin, 6428, -105
      #48-Jimmie Johnson, 6406, -127
      #12-Ryan Newman, 6359, -174
      #17-Matt Kenseth, 6352, -181
      #2-Rusty Wallace, 6140, -393
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 6073, -460
      #97-Kurt Busch, 5974, -559 [suspended rest of 2005, 34 races]
      and the fight for 11th and the $1 million payoff for 11th
      #24-Jeff Gordon, 4174
      #42-Jamie McMurray, -44
      For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Homestead page.(11-20-2005)

    • "Classic" Points Standings - Top 15...the old way, not the Chase after Homestead, race 36 of 36:
      1) #20-Tony Stewart, 5199
      2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4984, -215
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4771, -428
      4) #6-Mark Martin, 4676, -523
      5) #99-Carl Edwards, 4597, -602
      6) #2-Rusty Wallace, 4512, -687
      7) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4451, -748
      8) #12-Ryan Newman, 4409, -790
      9) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 4281, -918
      10) #97-Kurt Busch, 4248, -951
      11) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4174, -1025
      12) #42-Jamie McMurray, 4130, -1069
      13) #38-Elliott Sadler, 4084, -1115
      14) #29-Kevin Harvick, 4072, -1127
      15) #88-Dale Jarrett, 3960, -1239
      (11-20-2005)

    • Four Tracks Jeff Gordon has never won at: There are four current race tracks the Nextel Cup Series runs on that #24-Jeff Gordon has not won at, Texas 0 for 10 with a best of 2nd in 2002, Phoenix International Raceway 0 for 14 with a best of 3rd in 2002 and 2004; Chicago 0 for 5 with a 2nd in 2003 being his best; Homestead 0 for 7 with a best finish of 3rd 2004. Gordon has won at 20 [18 active] of 24 tracks he has raced on including two not on the circuit any longer, North Wilkesboro and Rockingham.(11-20-2005)

    • Baldwin leaving Evernham? to Yates? UPDATEs MANY: hearing that #9 crew chief, Tommy Baldwin could be leaving Evernham Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne.(9-18-2005)
      UPDATE: hearing Baldwin could end up at the #38 M&M's/Robert Yates Racing team as Elliott Sadler's crew chief.(9-19-2005)
      more updates: see the #9 Team News and Links page for all the past rumors since Sept...getting kinda long.
      UPDATE 2 - Baldwin teaming up with Yates? hearing that Tommy Baldwin, former #9 Crew Chief for Kasey Kahne, will go to Robert Yates Racing in some fashion, crew chief/part owner. Also has been rumored that a current one car operation, such as #50 Arnold Motorsports or #66 Peak Performance could partner up with RYR, which could include ownership by Baldwin, something that was mentioned in the Evernham Motorsports release on Tuesday [see below or the #9 Team News and Links page for more on that]. Cabela's is the sponsor on the #66 car this week and have heard it could become a full-time sponsor in 2006. Expect some sort of announcement this weekend at Homestead.(11-17-2005)
      MORE the Yates-Baldwin press conference planned for Saturday morning has been canceled, what does it mean? no idea.(11-18-2005)
      MORE II: Tommy Baldwin's future plans apparently include a cooperative effort with Robert Yates Racing. It was announced earlier this week that Baldwin, who has been Kasey Kahne's crew chief at Evernham Motorsports, was leaving that team. And his desire to own a team is well-known.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-19-2005)
      UPDATE 100: on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, Bob Dilner said Baldwins plans to start his own Cup team, but not until the 2007 season...not sure what his 2006 plans may be, but still hearing it'll be with Yates.(11-20-2005)

    • Latest on Paul Tracy to NASCAR: Canada's Paul Tracy still has hopes that he will run in at least five NASCAR events in 2006, he told The Toronto Sun yesterday. Casually dressed and relaxed, Tracy was making the rounds of the NASCAR Nextel Cup garage [at Homestead] talking to teams about his chances for jumping to stock car racing next season. "I want to do a handful of races next year," Tracy said. "I had a nice meeting with (NASCAR boss) Brian France and talked to him about what's going on in Canada." Tracy has repeatedly said that he wants to be part of any race that NASCAR holds in his home country. "I am absolutely convinced that NASCAR will have one of its top races in Canada in 2007," Tracy said.(Toronto Sun)(11-20-2005)

    • Penske Talks about Kurt Busch: In an exclusive interview with Sporting News' Lee Spencer, Roger Penske expressed his feelings on the recent Kurt Busch incident in Phoenix and the future of the No. 2 car.
      TSN: Can you address the situation with Kurt Busch last weekend and how you expect to move forward?
      PENSKE: I hired Kurt Busch because I thought he was a great racecar driver. The situation that took place at Phoenix is unfortunate for him and certainly unfortunate for us. We stood by him 300 percent. Our sponsors stood by him. I think a lot of his peers stood by him. From my perspective, I think it's a lot better for something like this to happen now than if we have to deal with it in the future. I think the other thing is for every bad thing that happens, usually a good thing comes out. I think it's a wake up call for all of us in the sport. We're all under a tremendous magnifying glass here, and because of that we're going to have to watch the things we do. For Kurt, it's one of those things in life -- I have four sons and I could say there were defining moments as they grew up and now they're great guys. It's my personal goal to have the best race team and Kurt's going to be part of that. More at the Sporting News.(11-20-2005)

    • Kyle Busch admits mistake: #5-Kyle Busch attempted to mend fences with the media on Saturday, six days after abruptly walking out of the post-race winner's news conference at Phoenix. Last Sunday when a reporter challenged Busch's comment that the media had spread misinformation surrounding his brother Kurt Busch's reckless driving charge, the #5 Chevrolet driver stormed out of the question-and-answer session, only to return 25 minutes later. "I made a mistake, and I realize that," Kyle Busch said on Saturday. "Everything that was said was [during] a high emotion time. All the speculation and everything else, it was just a bad time for me."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-20-2005)

    • Homestead Race Notes:
      • Greg Biffle won the FORD 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway, scoring his ninth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 114th career start.
      • His last victory came at Michigan in June, 21 races ago.
      • Biffle’s 0.017 margin of victory over Mark Martin was the sixth closest finish since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.
      • It was Biffle’s second victory in four Homestead races – both in the past two races.
      • Biffle became the second repeat race winner at Homestead joining Tony Stewart (1999 and 2000).
      • Biffle scored his sixth victory in 2005, the most of all drivers.
      • Biffle scored 21 top-10 finishes in 36 races in 2005.
      • Biffle climbed from fourth to second in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He had the same points as third-place Carl Edwards but secured the final second-place points position because he had more victories (six) than Edwards (four).
      • Biffle led twice for nine laps including the final eight.
      • Biffle scored the third victory for car owner Jack Roush at Homestead. It was Roush’s 89th victory as a car owner and 15th in 36 races this season.
      • Carl Edwards led 94 laps, leading the most laps for the first time this season.
      • This is the 16th victory by a Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 17 and Dodge has three.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-20-2005)

    • Rumblings / Race Notes Homestead:
      We crowned a Champion, and had an exciting race to boot! Greg Biffle beat Mark Martin to the line by mere inches (actually, it was all of 0.017 seconds!) to take the Ford 400 today at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After passing Dave Blaney on lap 260 coming out of the final caution, Biffle was all-out to hold off Martin in a sweep of the top four spots for Roush Racing.
      This was Biffle's 6th win of 2005 (he tops that category) and second in a row at Homestead. His 9th career win (he's tied for 52nd on the all-time win list with Paul Goldsmith, Cotton Owens, and Bob Welborn) was the 89th for Roush Racing (15th this season) and was worth $308,675 from the over $5.1M in posted awards.
      Tony Stewart struggled most of the day but came home in 15th place to capture his second Championship (he won it all in 2002) and Biffle's win left him in a tie (which he wins on the first tie-breaker) with teammate Carl Edwards for second in the "Chase". Jimmie Johnson was eliminated early when he lost a right rear and crashed in turn 3 on lap 124.
      Dave Blaney (6th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Darlington in March of 2003!
      Kevin Harvick (8th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Pocono in July.
      Jeremy Mayfield (10th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Dover in September.
      Scott Wimmer (11th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Pocono in July of 2004!
      Mike Bliss (12th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Bristol in August.
      Todd Bodine (20th) had his best finish since he was 11th here in November of 2003.
      Reed Sorenson (28th) had his career-best finish today. He was 41st in his only previous start at Atlanta last month.
      Jimmy Spencer (31st) had his best finish since he was 28th at Bristol in August (only 6 races).
      STREAKIN....Carl Edwards has 8 Top-10's in the last 9 races.
      Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      The Rookie Report: Travis Kvapil (32nd) captures the award this week over Kyle Busch (41st). For the season, Busch was the top-finishing rookie 24 times, Kvapil 11 times, and Mike Garvey once.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Robby Gordon (+25), followed by Rusty Wallace (+24), and Dale Earnhardt Jr (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kyle Busch (-37), followed by Brian Vickers (-25), and David Stremme (-20). The Op of the Season goes to Little E with 5, while we had a tie between Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler for most BDs on the year.
      Jimmy Spencer led a lap tonight for the first time since he led one lap at Talladega in October of 2004. He's the 51st driver to have led a lap this season, besting last year's number of 50.
      In the final "Classic" Points, Dave Blaney was the only multiple position advancer today (29th to 26th). On the minus side, Jeff Green (27th to 29th) was the only driver to fall more than one spot.
      On the "Chase" side of things, Biffle's six wins make him second over Carl Edwards four (since they had identical totals of 6498 points).(Stock Car Fans)(11-20-2005)

    • Where did the Chasers start/finish at Homestead?
      #20-Tony Stewart, starts 20th, finished 15th, NEW CHAMP
      #48-Jimmie Johnson, 32nd, 40th
      #99-Carl Edwards, 1st, 4th
      #16-Greg Biffle, 7th, 1st
      #6-Mark Martin, 5th, 2nd
      #12-Ryan Newman, 2nd, 7th
      #17-Matt Kenseth, 17th, 3rd
      #2-Rusty Wallace, 37th, 13th
      Kurt Busch, not racing, suspended rest of 2005
      #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 19th, 10th.(11-20-2005)

    • Menard to help Robby out at Homestead: This coming weekend, #7-Robby Gordon will run the Baja 1000 in Mexico, a race he's won twice. He'll have Busch Series regular (and DEI driver) Paul Menard practice and qualify his #7 Chevy on Saturday for Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Homestead with Gordon racing in the race in on Sunday. Gordon now is running DEI engines.(Yahoo Sports)(11-15-2005)
      Updates about Robby at Baja on the Robbygordon.com site, Friday and Saturday. Supposedly Gordon will be back to run the car, but during Speed Channel's practice coverage, it was mentioned that if Menard practices and qualifies well, Gordon may let Menard race the car on Sunday.
      UPDATE 13th Robby Gordon finished 13th in the Trophy Truck division crossing the finish line at 5:06 a.m. Bob Shepard led the trucks to the line while Larry Roeseler won the overall in a class one car. Gordon averaged 34.944 mph for the 708 mile race. The team suffered two broken shocks. Gordon was out on course for 20h:17m. The winning Trophy Truck time was 15h:48m. Gordon will be at Homestead and will run the #7 Jim Beam Chevy in the race.(11-18/20-2005)

    • Last DAY to Vote for Most Popular Driver UPDATE one day to go: With just days remaining for nationwide fan voting, Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to lead the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award - but fans and fan clubs for other drivers appear to have picked up their support. Fan clubs and web sites for several drivers have urged their fans to vote regularly at www.mostpopulardriver.com, as votes have tightened to determine which drivers will finish in the top 10 of the final tally. Jeff Gordon is second in the voting, followed by Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson. The most coveted NASCAR award behind only the national driving championship itself, the Most Popular Driver is determined by an online vote by fans at www.mostpopulardriver.com. The winner will be announced during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Awards Banquet weekend, Dec. 2, in New York City. A record 4 million votes have been cast, and Earnhardt Jr. has led since voting began in February. The driver standings may change this final week, however, as fans hope to move their favorite drivers into the top spot before the balloting ends at 11:59am/ct [12:59pm/et], Monday, Nov. 21, the day after the final race of the season at Homestead, Fla. Bill Elliott's 16 most popular wins tops all drivers. He is followed by Richard Petty, who has won nine times. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win last year made him the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win the award in consecutive seasons, while his win in 2003 made him and his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won. Other past winners have included such notables as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.(Williams Company)(11-14-2005)
      UPDATE one day left to VOTE: been told some drivers can move up in the resutls if enough votes come in.....supposedly drivers with best chance of moving up in the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver voting if their fans jump on it before voting ends Monday are:
      Rusty Wallace from fifth to fourth
      Kevin Harvick from sixth to fifth (outside shot at fourth)
      Michael Waltrip from seventh to sixth (outside shot at fifth)
      Dale Jarrett from ninth to eighth
      Jimmie Johnson from 10th to ninth
      Elliott Sadler from 14th to 13th
      Ken Schrader from 16th to 15th
      Jeff Burton from 19th to 18th
      John Andretti from 24th to 23th and 22nd.(11-20-2005)


      News from November 19, 2005

    • Marlin's sponsor to be announced today UPDATE 2: MB2 Motorsports is scheduled to announce their sponsor at Homestead for Sterling Marlin, who will drive the #14 Chevy for the team in 2006. Hearing the sponsor will be Waste Management, who has sponsored Matt Kenseth in some 2005 Busch Series races and Bill Lester in a few Truck Series series.
      UPDATE: ...Waste Management, a Houston-based company that specializes in environment-friendly waste disposal, will be introduced this morning as one of Marlin's new sponsors. Waste Management will be aboard for the season-opening Daytona 500 and approximately one-third of the season. Two other corporate sponsors will be announced later. Marlin also said he won't be able to drive a partial Busch Series schedule for FitzBradshaw Motorsports next year as he had planned. "FitzBradshaw fields Dodges in the Busch Series and since I'll be driving a Chevy in the Cup Series I won't be able to run the Busch car," he said. The development also squelched the plans of Marlin's son, Steadman, to share the Busch ride. Marlin said his son is exploring some options "and hopefully something will turn up."(Tennessean)(11-19-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Waste Management and MB2 Motorsports announced the companies have formed a racing platform that will commence with the 2006 NASCAR season. The agreement calls for Waste Management to be a primary sponsor for 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races and a major associate sponsor for 24 other points races on MB2's #14 Chevrolet, which will be driven by Sterling Marlin. Waste Management's first primary sponsorship race will be the season-opening Daytona 500, Feb. 19. Waste Management is also an associate sponsor on MB2's #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, driven by Joe Nemechek. Jay Frye, MB2's chief executive officer and general manager is continuing to work out details with additional partners to join Waste Management as a primary/associate sponsor with the #14 team. Along with the MB2 partnership, Waste Management will continue as an Official Sponsor of NASCAR. The Company will work with NASCAR on its diversity initiative to make the sport "on and off the racetrack" look more like America. More info on Waste Management at wm.com.(MB2 Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on my #14 Team Schemes page.(11-19-2005)

    • Andrews son tests for Petty: hearing that Tim Andrews, son of #45 crew chief Paul Andrews, participated in a driver development test for Petty Enterprises this week at Kentucky Speedway.(11-19-2005)

    • Kurt Busch to attend Nextel Cup banquet? UPDATE: Car owner Jack Roush said Friday that he wasn’t sure whether fired Roush driver Kurt Busch would represent the team at the NASCAR Annual Awards Banquet Dec. 2 in New York [he will finish 10th]. Asked about the upcoming awards banquet, Roush added, “I’m not sure. I haven’t really contemplated that. I don’t know about the banquet. I don’t know what convention requires or what (series sponsor) Nextel will require there.”(Speed Channel)
      AND Q) Will Kurt Busch Represent Roush Racing at the NASCAR Banquet in New York?
      A) “I haven’t got a clue. I’m not sure. I hadn’t contemplated that. They said that the manager of the race track came and told me the 97 flag was going to be taken down from the flag stand on Sunday here and Kurt will not be involved in that procedure. Jimmy Fennig and I will go up and take the flag, but I don’t know about the banquet. I’m not sure what convention requires or what Nextel will require there. I’m just not sure.”(Ford Racing)
      UPDATE: hearing that Kurt Busch is planning on being at the Nextel Cup Banquet.(11-19-2005)

    • NASCAR overhauling its impound rules: The procedures were implemented for Nextel Cup races this season as a cost-cutting move and were used at more than half of the events. An impound weekend typically featured Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and a Sunday race. Following qualifying, cars were impounded and could not be altered until the race without penalty. Teams that opted to work on their cars before the race were forced to start at the back of the field. At non-impound races, cars could be worked on after qualifying and before the race.
      "This all boiled down to the balance between the show -- the garage area -- and the racetracks," NASCAR president Mike Helton said Friday, two days before the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It just didn't fit right for right now." The offseason change relieved teams from the need to have race and qualifying setups on cars. NASCAR officials had announced plans to use the current impound procedures for most of the 2006 Cup schedule. But the sudden impound changes are likely related to the ongoing negotiations between NASCAR and its television partners. NASCAR's current TV contracts expire at the end of the 2006 season, and it has been in negotiations with several networks on a new deal. The networks in negotiations have indicated a desire for increased on-track activity that could be broadcast. "In the overall scheme of things, it didn't fit the way we thought it would right now," Helton said. "We just wanted to back off that and take a look at it from a different angle. We just haven't found the right balance yet."(ESPN.com/AP)(11-19-2005)

    • Edwards wins pole at Homestead: #99-Carl Edwards, 3rd in The Chase, won the Budweiser Pole for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, for his 2nd pole of the season and his career. #12-Ryan Newman will start 2nd, followed by #9-Kasey Kahne, #5-Kyle Busch and #6-Mark Martin. Points leader by 52 points, #20-Tony Stewart will start 20th and 2nd in points, #48-Jimmie Johnson starts way back in 32nd. #09-Reed Sorenson was the highest non top-35 team and will start 15th. #15-Michael Waltrip and #11-Denny Hamlin both wrecked on their qualifying laps and have to go to backup cars. Five drivers failed to make the race: #92-Chad Chaffin, #00-Derrike Cope, #51-Mike Garvey, #89-Morgan Shepherd, #80-Carl Long. Long wrecked on his first lap and Shepherd spun before taking the green flag, was on the 5-minute clock, but couldn't get tires before the clock ran out.
      For starting lineup, qualifying results, links, practice speeds, qualifying order, pole prgression and more, see my Jayski's Homestead Ford 400 Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(11-19-2005)

    • Homestead Qualifying Notes:
      • Carl Edwards won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Ford 400, lapping Homestead-Miami Speedway in 30.673 seconds at 176.051 mph. Jamie McMurray holds the track-qualifying record of 29.816 seconds, 181.111 mph, set Nov. 11, 2003.
      • This is Edwards’ second career Bud Pole in 49 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • This is his second Bud Pole and 11th top-10 start in 2005.
      • This is Edwards’s first Bud Pole and first top-10 start in two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      • Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 30.675 seconds, 176.039mph – and will join Edwards on the front row for the Ford 400. He has started fourth or better in three of his four races at Homestead. Newman posted his seriesleading 29th top-10 start of the season. This is his 14th front-row start this year.
      • This is the ninth Bud Pole for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 14 Bud Poles and Dodge has 11. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
      • Kasey Kahne (third) has posted sixteen top-10 starts in 2005. He started fourth and finished 38th in his only NASCAR NEXTEL Cup appearance at Homestead (2004).
      • Kyle Busch (fourth) has posted 11 top-10 starts this season. This will be his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at Homestead.
      • Mark Martin (fifth) has posted just one other top-10 start in his seven races at Homestead: ninth in the inaugural race in 1999. This is his 11th top-10 start this season.
      • Four of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Edwards, Newman, Martin and Greg Biffle (seventh).
      • Todd Bodine (24th) qualified for his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race since Darlington in November 2004. Bodine, who won the NASCAR Craftman Truck Series race earlier today will also compete in the NASCAR Busch Series race later today.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-19-2005)

    • Ramblings/Qualifying Notes - Homestead
      It's only fitting that on Championship Weekend we've got a Ford on the pole for the Ford 400. #99-Carl Edwards captured his second Bud Pole of the season (and of his career) today, edging out Ryan Newman by .002 of a second. He'll lead 'em to the green on Sunday with a qualifying speed of 176.051 mph. His only other pole came at California in September.
      #9-Kasey Kahne (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Dover in September.
      #5-Kyle Busch (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Dover in that same September race.
      #41-Casey Mears (6th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 3rd at Chicagoland in July.
      #42-Jamie McMurray (8th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Pocono in July.
      #09-Reed Sorenson (15th) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. He lined up 22nd at Atlanta in his only other NEXTEL Cup start.
      #31-Jeff Burton (16th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 14th at Loudon in July.
      #39-David Stremme (22nd) has his career-best starting spot this week as well. His previous best was 31st at Chicagoland in July.
      Welcome Back a Red Hot #4-Todd Bodine (24th). This is his best starting spot since he lined up 24th at Atlanta in October of 2004.....and he's won three Truck races in a row.
      #7-Paul Menard (39th) has his career-best starting spot this weekend also (if he stays in the car....it's Robby Gordon's ride). His previous best was 40th at Watkins Glen in August.
      STREAKIN....#12-Ryan Newman has 5 Top-5 starts in the last 6 races.
      The final Trouble Train of the year looks the same as it's been most of the season. Chad Chaffin, Mike Garvey, Derrike Cope, Carl Long, and Morgan Shepherd are the dnq's this weekend, and for the #92 (attempted this weekend by Chaffin) that's 23 times this season they've failed to make the field. Gotta be some kinda award for perserverance.
      Hopefully (weather permitting) we'll crown a Champion tomorrow, and you can expect a ton of "If the race were to end now" scenarios all day long from the TV gang. Gonna be tough to surpass last year, tho..... (Stock Car Fans)(11-19-2005)

    • Goodyear's 2006 NASCAR Tire Lease Program to Deploy RFID Technology: Goodyear will start the 2006 racing season with a new tire leasing program for NASCAR's top three series and racing's first deployment of Radio Frequency Identification technology (RFID) in the form of an imbedded computer chip in the tires to help manage the leased inventory. The RFID technology will assist in the implementation of NASCAR's new controlled testing procedures which were developed by the sanctioning body to reduce private team testing next year in an effort to level the playing field for all teams. The new tire lease program will get its own test run this weekend at Homestead -Miami Speedway with the Craftsman Truck Series race. The RFID scanning equipment will quickly read the pertinent information imbedded in the sidewall of the tire. Dedicated Goodyear specialists will be on site at all races with a specially equipped transporter to run the program. Goodyear began exploring RFID technology in 1984 and in 1993 began the first field trial with more than 3,000 tires. The Goodyear Racing Division chose to launch that technology to help manage race tire inventories for the 2006 NASCAR season. Some Q&A about Goodyear's NASCAR Tire Lease Program and RFID Technology about Tire leasing:
      Q: How will the leasing program impact race teams for tire supply and cost?
      A: The teams should save money under this tire leasing program, because there will be reduced tire usage-the teams will use fewer test tires. Tire supplies at race events will remain the same.
      Q: Does a team get reimbursed for tires they leased but didn't use during a race event?
      A: Yes. Goodyear will issue a partial credit for unused, but Previously Mounted Tires that teams leased for the race. Used tires will be scrapped with no credit given.
      Q: What happens to the dismounted, unused tires?
      A: The previously mounted tires will be cleaned, identified as PMTs and then made available to NASCAR teams to lease at a discount for either race or test events.
      Q: How was it decided to implement tire leasing in 2006?
      A: Goodyear initially was asked by NASCAR to implement tire leasing for the 2007 race season. However, in mid 2005 NASCAR asked if we could move it up, and Goodyear was able to commit to the earlier date.(Goodyear PR)(11-19-2005)

    • Levi Strauss Signature Fit Pit tour makes final stop at Homestead: The Levi Strauss Signature Fit Pit makes its last NASCAR tour stop this weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway - November 18 through 20. Race goers will find one stop holiday shopping for the whole family without the hassle of dressing rooms or checkout lines. In just 10 seconds the Fit Pit Intellifit scanner produces individualized body measurements, helping shoppers find the perfect size and style of Levi Strauss Signature jeans. For more family fun, the Fit Pit features other elements to create the best jeans shopping experience. Additional activities include:
      * A digital photography station where consumers are virtually "transported" to a variety of environments and can then print and send pictures from www.levistrausssignature.com.
      * The EA Sports NASCAR Thunder game featuring top ranked NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Jimmie Johnson
      * Online kiosks where fans can purchase their Levi Strauss Signature jeans at Wal-Mart.com.(Alan Taylor Communications)(11-19-2005)

    • Fan on verge of winning $1million: As most NASCAR fans wait to see who will be crowned the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion on Sunday, November 20, Jeffery Rhoten of Bristol, TN will have his eyes on the finish line waiting to see if Jimmie Johnson made him an instant millionaire, as the winner of the Gillette Young Guns "Million Dollar Race to the Finish." Rhoten, who made his selection on Saturday, November 19 in Miami, has been tasked to select which of the Gillette Young Guns - Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will earn the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway. For more information you can visit www.gilletteyoungguns.com.(Alan Taylor Communications)(11-19-2005)

    • Chaffin hopes to stay in #92 in 2006: Chad Chaffin will attempt to make his third Nextel Cup race in four qualifying attempts today. "We've done a lot better than anybody expected," said Chaffin, who was released from two rides in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season. The Cup team Chaffin drives for is #92-Front Row Motorsports, a low-budget operation in Denver, NC. "They don't have a lot of resources but they really put a lot of effort into it," Chaffin said. "Just to qualify for a Cup race these days is a big deal, and we've made three of four so far." Chaffin said there is a chance he could drive for the team full-time next year. He also plans to run a limited Busch Series schedule for #16 Wayne Day Racing.(Tennessean)(11-19-2005)

    • Checkers Fields Two Cars this Sunday at Homestead: Checkers will field two cars at the NEXTEL Cup race this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, creating a unique "race within a race" that will give sports fans one more opportunity to gear up for the intra-Florida rivalry on the football field set for the following week Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Checkers Florida State University Seminole Chevrolet, racing head-to-head with Kyle Petty, who will drive the #45 Checkers University of Florida Gator Dodge. Checkers will donate $5,000 to the "race within a race" winner's charity of choice. 1:24 scale Gator and Seminole die cast cars are being sold as part of this program with a portion of the proceeds of the sale to benefit the scholarship programs at both universities. The cars will be available for purchase this Saturday and Sunday at all AmeriCrown merchandise trailers at the track, and can also be purchased online at gatorsnolesracing.com(PR). See images of the cars on my #10 Teams Schemes page and #45 Teams Schemes page.(11-19-2005)

    • Did ya Know? No #1 champ..ever UPDATE: No driver has won a NASCAR national touring series championship [Cup, Busch, Trucks] with a car or truck carrying the number one [#1].(NASCAR Truck Series Pre-Race)(6-21-2005)
      UPDATE: streak broken, #1-Ted Musgrave won the 2005 Truck Series Championship.(11-19-2005)


      News from November 18, 2005

    • Richert and Manion Win Crew Chief of the Year Award: After a season of fierce competition, the 2005 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge has crowned its champions. Doug Richert, of the #16 National Guard Ford, and Kevin "Bono" Manion, of the #8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, were each awarded Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year honors. At the conclusion of each Nextel Cup event this season, a panel of judges including a member of the local media, a Wypall Wipers representative, as well as Tony Eury Sr. and Robbie Reiser, selected the Crew Chief of the Race. The decision was based on who did the most outstanding job. It wasn't necessarily the winner of each race, but was certainly the leader who made the biggest difference for his team. Each Crew Chief of the Race was presented with a check for $1,000.
      Richert won the award five times throughout the 2005 season to clinch Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year honors among the Nextel Cup garage. "Its an awesome feeling, but I'm not in this position without everyone on this race team," Richert said, "The team has definitely come full circle, we have all the ingredients; we got the driver, we got the crew, we got the parts and pieces to work with, and the Roush/Yates engine program is second to none." He managed to hold off Bob Osborne of the #99 Ford, who finished the year strong, amounting four Crew Chief of the Race wins. Richert took home a grand prize of $20,000, courtesy of Wypall Wipers, for his efforts.
      Beginning at Daytona in July, Wypall extended the Crew Chief Challenge to the Busch Series garage. At each companion event, Reiser and Eury Sr. selected the most impressive crew chief of the day's race. Kevin Manion, Newt Moore, and Brad Parrott were each selected twice by the expert panel. A tie breaker was determined based on the point standings, which earned Manion the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year award for the NASCAR Busch Series. Manion was given a $5,000 grand prize. Wypall will return next year to continue the award, running both a full time Nextel Cup and Busch Series schedule. For more information about Wypall or the Crew Chief of the Year award go to wypall.com.(SMC 500)(11-18-2005)

    • Lots Happening with the Wood Brothers UPDATE 3 Little Debbie, Schader to the #21: 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: Wood Brothers Racing is in an expansion mode. The move to a new 129,000-square-foot shop began this week and will be completed by December 1, owner Eddie Wood says. Crew chief Fatback McSwain has been instrumental in hiring the additional crew members needed to operate two truck teams, two Busch teams and the #21 Cup ride. Drivers Bob East and Marcus Ambrose will be part of Ford Racing's developmental program in the Craftsman Truck Series. Jon Wood and Stacy Compton will drive the Busch cars. An announcement will come this weekend that Ken Schrader will drive the Cup car.(Sporting News)(11-14-2005)
      UPDATE 2: the announcement will come Friday morning at Homestead-Miami Speedway...supposedly the sponsors will be some of the sponsors currently on the #21 Ford and a sponsor brand new to the sport....no idea who...yet.(11-15-2005)
      UPDATE 3: hearing Little Debbie will sponsor the #21 and Kenny Schrader in 2006, not sure in what capacity, but supposedly as a primary in a number of races.(11-18-2005)
      UPDATE 4: Ken Schrader has joined the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Team. He’ll drive the famed #21 Ford Fusion during the 2006 Nextel Cup season. The car will be sponsored by the newest face in NASCAR ? Little Debbie, America’s #1 snack cake. “I look forward to establishing a winning tradition with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing and Little Debbie Snacks,” says Schrader. “Some of the most victorious drivers in NASCAR history have driven the Number 21 car. I intend to continue that winning tradition in 2006. Three years ago, I thought that 2005 could be my last season. However, when the opportunity to drive for the Wood Brothers and Little Debbie presented itself, it made my decision to continue driving in the Nextel Cup Series very easy,” says Schrader. “There is always excitement when a new company realizes the marketing potential of NASCAR for increasing its business and then decides to enter the sport. This is going to be fun!” Little Debbie will be the primary sponsor of the #21 car for 19 races in 2006. Motorcraft Quality Parts and the U.S. Air Force will rotate their sponsorship of the Ford Fusion for the remaining races during the 2006 season. Collegedale, Tennessee-based McKee Foods, a privately held, family-run company, has manufactured more than 150 billion Little Debbie snacks since 1960 — that’s enough to circle the 1.5-mile oval track at Homestead-Miami Speedway more than 1.3 million times. Little Debbie snacks have even orbited the Earth on the space shuttle, traveling more than 17,500 miles an hour. The #21 Little Debbie-sponsored car was unveiled following a news conference today at the Homestead Miami Speedway. A $21,000 check was presented to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund to offer immediate assistance to victims of Hurricane Wilma in southern Florida.(McKee Foods/Little Debbie), see images of the car on my 2006 #21 Team Schemes page.(11-18-2005)

    • Busch Police Report: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio released the police report of the Nov. 11 incident with Kurt Busch Thursday, along with a statement of how the "antagonistic" Busch was stopped for reckless driving and even refused a deputy's request to submit to a field sobriety test. But although the lengthy report details the belligerent manner in which Busch dealt with the officers involve- at one time, according to the report, saying, "You have no idea what you're doing. You have no idea who I am. You have to be the dumbest cops I've ever met" - it also says he later passed both a preliminary breath test and an eye test.
      An unnamed female passenger in the rented Ford Expedition told police that Busch was driving because she had had too much to drink. Busch told police he had consumed one margarita at a Mexican restaurant. According to the report, Busch's blood-alcohol level was .017 percent, well below the .08 intoxication limit in Arizona. Arresting deputy Glenn Powe had attempted to test Busch earlier on another breathalyzer machine, but it was found to be out of tolerance, police said. Busch was handcuffed, told he was being arrested for DUI, and brought to a command post, where he agreed to the other tests. There, "I did not see any obvious signs or symptoms of alcohol impairment," wrote one of the three deputies involved in the incident.
      But the Roush organization said it suspended Busch for his hostility toward the deputies involved. According to the report, Powe tried to stop Busch after he noticed the Explorer following another vehicle too closely, and swerving across a solid yellow line to avoid an accident after the first vehicle slowed to make a right turn. According to Powe's narrative, Busch handed the deputy his NASCAR credential in addition to his driver's license and rental car agreement. Powe wrote that he asked Busch if he worked for NASCAR, and received "a long-winded dissertation about his celebrity status, listing his accomplishments as if he were reading me his resume."
      After asking Busch to exit the vehicle, Powe wrote that the driver responded, "This is bull----." Later, according to Powe, Busch said, "You guys are a joke. Punks. Aren't you supposed to be directing traffic somewhere?" Powe wrote that Busch refused to finish the field sobriety test, saying, "I'm not doing this gay (expletive) test." Powe wrote that as he powered up the breathalyzer machine later found to be out of tolerance, Busch said, "You're only doing this because you're a Jeff Gordon fan."(Charleston Post and Courier and links to copis of the report at the Arizona Republic)(11-18-2005)

    • NASCAR.com's Munter gets a ride: Konica Minolta and race car driver Leilani Münter have joined forces for the 2006 NASCAR Elite Division Southeast Series Championship. Münter will also be running for the 2006 Rookie of the Year honors. "I am honored to be a part of the Konica Minolta family," said Münter, "They are a first class company and they make top quality products. I am proud to carry their colors as I race for the NASCAR Southeast Series Championship. 2006 is going to be an exciting year for me and I will be documenting my adventures with my Konica Minolta digital camera."(11-18-2005)

    • Newman to run 04 Dodge, Rusty/Kvapil the Charger: Don Miller, President of Penske Racing South told Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio that: "We wanted to run ( an 04 Dodge) one earlier in the season and Dodge asked us to hold off until we did some further testing but now we fully intend to run it here and if it works out like we think it will, we will probably run it again next season on certain race tracks. We had trouble with the 2005 being so pitch sensitive on smooth high speed one and a half mile race tracks. Everyplace else the other car is just fine. Definately the #12 is going to run an 04 this weekend." Miller says the 2 and the 77 will run the 2005 Dodge Charger this weekend at Homestead.(Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(11-18-2005)

    • Return of the Intrepid? UPDATE 2: It was reported during NBC's coverage of the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway that some Dodge teams would roll out a Dodge Intrepid in place of the Dodge Charger for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(11-14-2005)
      UPDATE: hearing a Penske Team and a Ganassi team are two of the team that may use an Intrepid at Homestead.(11-15-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Ray Evernham of Evernham Motorsports told Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio that he's going to run a 2004 dodge as a test this weekend in an effort to find why the Dodges have been struggling: "The car shows great numbers in the wind tunnel, it qualifies great but it seems to struggle in traffic. This week going to Miami, we're going to run a 2004 Dodge as a test....Just a comparison you know we'll basically have two cars with identical chassis set ups prepared by basically the same people just different bodies so hopefully we'll be able to get some feedback on how each car handles in traffic......Car number 9 with Kasey Kahne will run the older model and Jeremy Mayfield will run the 2005 Charger."(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(11-18-2005)

    • Phoenix TV ratings slip: NBC's broadcast of last Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 5.0 and a 10 share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 2% lower than the 5.1 NBC drew for last year's ninth race in the Chase For The Nextel Cup, the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-18-2005)

    • #77 Team....to be dissolved? UPDATE 2 Good News NOT TRUE: hearing Penske Racing South with dissolve the #77 Kodak team at the end of the 2005 season as Kodak is leaving as sponsor. No word on where Kodak will go or where Travis Kvapil will drive. Supposedly Penske will not be a two car [#2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman] team for long they are going to develop another young driver in the same ABC [ARCA, Busch, Cup] format that was successful with Newman.(11-16-2005)
      UPDATE: been told this is NOT true..and that Penske Racing worked things out to keep Kodak and that Travis Kvapil will drive the #77 Kodak Dodge in 2006.(11-17-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Kodak has reached an agreement to extend its sponsorship of the Penske-Jasper Racing Nextel Cup team, and Travis Kvapil, a Janesville native, will return as the driver, a team representative said Thursday. A rumor had surfaced one day earlier speculating that the team could be disbanded.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-18-2005)

    • Ducks at Homestead: The Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports, Inc. is pleased to announce that its First Annual Derby Duck Race is scheduled for Friday, November 18 at 8:00am/et. Nearly 9,500 rubber ducks will be dumped into the infield lake at Homestead-Miami Speedway and raced to the finish. Ten lucky winners will be decided as the first ten ducks enter the duck trap. Prizes include an all-expense paid trip to the 2006 Daytona 500, race tickets to select tracks and an opportunity to attend a race of choice as guests of the Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports, Inc. Stay tuned to the WAM website at www.waminc.org for updates and information regarding their Second Annual Derby Duck Race set to kick off during Daytona Speedweeks in February of 2006.(11-18-2005)


      News from November 17, 2005

    • Congrats: to NASCAR.com's Marty Smith and wife Lainie on the birth of their son, Cambron Reed Smith, born on Nov 11th, weighing 6lbs 13oz ...as heard on Speed's Backseat Driver show and the NASCAR Scene.(11-17-2005)

    • Driver Change at PPI? hearing Bobby Hamilton Jr. will probably not return as the driver of the #32 Tide Chevy for PPI Motorsports in 2006. Dave Blaney has been rumored for the #32 ride as well as the #22 Caterpillar Dodge ride, IF the #77 shuts down, Travis Kvapil could head to either the #22 or #32 teams.(11-17-2005)

    • Triple Duty Weekend at Homestead: two drivers will attempt to make all 3 races at Homestead:
      Driver, Cup ride, Busch, Truck
      Todd Bodine, #4 Chevy, #34 Chevy, #30 Toyota
      Mark Martin, #6-Ford, #9-Ford, #33-Ford.(11-17-2005)

    • Cabela's to sponsor #66 at Homestead IMAGES: Peak Performance Motorsports announced that its #66 entry will be sponsored by Cabela's (Cabelas.com) in the season-ending race at Homestead this weekend. Kevin Lepage will be backed by the nation's largest direct marketer and leading specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise for the Ford 400. "We are wrapping up the season on a high note with this announcement from Cabela's," said team owner Jeff Stec. "It's been an exciting year and we are pleased to welcome such a fine company on board for our final race of the season. We are hopeful of having a strong weekend and that we can carry our year-end momentum into 2006."(PSE-3 PR)(11-16-2005)
      See images of the schemes on my #66 Team Schemes page.(11-17-2005)

    • Kirby out of the #51 UPDATE: hearing Stuart Kirby and the #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports team have parted ways and the Phoenix Entry List now shows Bryan Reffner driving the car.(11-10-2005)
      UPDATE: Competitive Edge places Mike Garvey in the Marathon #51 car this weekend for the Ford 400 in Miami. This is not the first time Mike joined forces with Competitive Edge, as he drove for them in the Busch Series 2 years ago. “I am excited to get back with Competitive Edge and the Auers. It is a pleasure to work with such a professional group,” said Garvey. “It’s great to get Mike back in the car with Walter [Giles],” said team owner Joe Auer.(CEM PR)(11-16-2005)
      UPDATE 2: As the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Season draws to a close, many teams, including the Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Chevy, are adjusting their programs to improve performance in 2006. A recent evaluation of the racing effort has resulted in a mutual decision for Competitive Edge Motorsports and driver Stuart Kirby to go their separate ways. "We know that Stuart is popular with Marathon employees and racing fans, which made this a tough decision for both parties, but it needed to be made now to improve to the next level of performance," said team owner Joe Auer III. "NASCAR Nextel Cup racing demands that the team continually improve." A decision on a replacement for Stuart will be made during the off-season.(Competitive Edge Motorsports/CEM Site)(11-17-2005)

    • Stremme to attempt Homestead: David Stremme will attempt to qualify for his fourth NEXTEL Cup Series start this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the #39 Commit Dodge from the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates stable. It will be the second race this season for Stremme in the Commit car after its Charlotte debut. Previously in Cup competition this season, the South Bend, Ind. native drove the #39 Navy Dodge for CGRFS at Chicagoland Speedway and Richmond International Raceway (September race), and most recently piloted the #39 Commit car at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Lee McCall will serve as Stremme's crew chief this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. McCall joined Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates at the beginning of the 2001 season to lead the #40 team. McCall has amassed five wins as a crew chief at CGRFS, four with Sterling Marlin and one with Jamie McMurray.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-17-2005)

    • The Chase Scenarios: The Championship Scenarios at Homestead:
      If Tony Stewart wins the race he wins the title.
      1. If Stewart finishes 9th or better, he wins title
      2. If Stewart leads a lap and finishes 10th or better, he wins title-6,554
      If Jimmie Johnson wins the race (180 points + 5 points for leading a lap = 185 pts)-6,548 1. If Stewart finishes 12th or worse, Johnson wins title
      2. If Stewart does not lead a lap and finishes 11th or worse, Johnson wins title
      If J. Johnson wins the race and leads the most laps (180 +10 bonus pts = 190)-6,553
      1. If Stewart finishes 11th or worse, Johnson wins title
      2. If Stewart does not lead a lap and finishes 10th or worse, Johnson wins title
      If Carl Edwards wins the race (180 points + 5 points for leading a lap = 185 pts)-6,513
      1. If Stewart finishes 25th or worse AND
      If Jimmie Johnson finishes 9th or worse, Edwards wins title
      2. If Stewart does not lead a lap and finishes 22nd or worse AND
      If Jimmie Johnson does not lead a lap and finishes 6th or worse, Edwards wins title
      If C. Edwards wins the race and leads the most laps (180 + 10 bonus pts = 190)-6,518
      1. If Stewart finishes 22nd or worse AND
      If Johnson 6th or worse, Edwards wins title
      2. If Stewart does not lead a lap and finishes 21st or worse AND
      If Johnson does not lead a lap and finishes 5th or worse, Edwards wins title
      If Greg Biffle wins the race (180 points + 5 points for leading a lap = 185 pts)-6,498
      1. If Stewart finishes 30th or worse AND
      If Jimmie Johnson finishes 13th or worse AND
      If Edwards finishes 4th or worse, Biffle wins title
      2. If Stewart does not lead a lap and finishes 27th AND
      If Johnson does not lead a lap and finishes 10th or worse AND
      If Edwards does not lead a lap and finishes 2nd or worse, Biffle wins title If G. Biffle wins the race and leads the most laps (180 + 10 bonus pts = 190)-6,503
      1. If Stewart finishes 27th or worse AND
      If Johnson finishes 10th or worse AND
      If Edwards finishes 2nd or worse, Biffle wins title
      2. If Stewart does not lead a lap and finishes 25th or worse AND
      If Johnson does not lead a lap and finishes 9th or worse AND
      If Edwards does not lead a lap and finishes 2nd or worse, Biffle wins title.(ESPN.com)(11-17-2005)

    • 65 Cams at Homestead: The "Chase for the Nextel Cup" races to the finish line at the Ford 400, Sunday, 3:00pm/et from Homestead-Miami Speedway, live in high definition on NBC. Coverage begins with a special one-hour "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show, followed by green flag racing at 4:00pm/et. NBC's production arsenal for the Ford 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup finale will include 65 cameras, including eight cars with in-car cameras and three isolation cameras focused on the top three drivers in the championship "Chase." The "Tony-Cam," "Jimmie-Cam" and "Carl-Cam" will be isolated on points leader Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson (-52) and Carl Edwards (-87) respectively. NBC also will have a "Crew-Cam" mounted on the helmet of Stewart's rear tire carrier, Jody Forston, that will show the speed and pressure from his point of view during Stewart's pit stops.(NBC PR)(11-17-2005)


      News from November 16, 2005

    • #97 to #28? UPDATE 2 to #26: Lee Spencer reports on Fox Sports Net's Around the Track that the #97 Roush Tea, with new driver Jamie McMurray is expected to switch to the #28 in 2006. Around the Track runs on Fox Sports South [TV] at 10:30pm/et on Sunday's.(10-30-2005)
      UPDATE: hearing the new number could be #26, which Roush Racing used years ago with Johnny Benson and the Cheerios car.(11-12-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Roush Racing has decided to bring back the #26, replacing the #97, when Jamie McMurray steps into the car next season starting at Daytona. The sponsors of Kurt Busch's old ride - Sharpie, IRWIN and Crown Royal - will transfer over to the new number along with new paint schemes [an owners points]. Although Busch won the championship with the #97 in 2004, the move is a smart one from a marketing point of view. With the recent troubles for Busch, the rebranding will help build a new base for McMurray and the sponsors. The last time Roush ran the #26 was during the 1998-1999 seasons with driver Johnny Benson. Benson, who ran the Cheerios sponsored car at the time, posted 12 top-10 finishes in 48 races behind the wheel of the car. The #26 has seen multiple drivers and owners over the years, most recently with Todd Bodine and Haas-Carter Motorsports in 2002.(RacingOne image there)(11-16-2005)

    • Harvick joins "The Kelly's": #29-Kevin Harvick will appear on the 2005 series finale of The Kellys, the first animated series depicting the experiences of a stock car racing team. The final episode, "Harvick Dusts Team Kelly" will be available exclusively on www.nascar.com beginning Friday, November 18th leading into the season finale of the Nextel Cup Chase and the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I'm thrilled to be the first Nextel Cup driver featured on The Kellys," Harvick said. "I am a big fan of the show. I always wanted to be a cartoon when I grew up."
      The Kellys is an animated series, optimized for broadband viewing, about a dedicated racing family who are the most popular underdogs on the racing circuit. Harvick, appearing as himself, was chosen by NASCAR fans as one of the five most popular drivers in 2004 and a winner of the prestigious Brickyard 400, among his career accomplishments. The Kellys features other highly regarded voice-actors such as Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons; Rugrats; Kim Possible), Rob Paulsen (Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain; Land Before Time), Jess Harnell (Alf; Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Kath Souci (Rugrats; Winnie the Pooh) and Corey Burton (101 Dalmations; Toy Story 2).(NASCAR)(11-16-2005)

    • Wimmer knows what Busch is going thru: #22-Scott Wimmer, who was convicted last year in North Carolina of driving under the influence of alcohol knows what Kurt Busch is going through. Even though Busch, who was pulled over and charged with reckless driving, was not hit with a DUI over the weekend in Arizona. A Sheriffs Deputy suspected the presence of alcohol. “I feel for him” said Wimmer. “It’s a tough thing you have to go through in life. He’s strong. He’s a champion. He’ll get through it. He’ll be back and he’ll be back strong.” Scott has some advice for Kurt.”Stand up and admit he (Busch) made a mistake and move on. Everybody deserves a second chance and everybody makes mistakes and unfortunately you’ve got to go through life with something you don’t care to.” Wimmer said he worked through his situation with the help of his family and friends. “I know Kurt has a great family and a lot of great friends in the garage area and I’ll be there to support him. It’s something you hate to see people go through and you really need a lot of support through it and he’ll find out he’ll have a lot of support from everybody.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-16-2005)

    • Stewart clinches Gatorback Championship The race season isn't over quite yet, but #20-Tony Stewart has already clinched one championship. Stewart has put enough distance between himself and the remainder of the field to capture the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Championship prior to this weekend's season-ending race at Homestead, Fla. The Gatorback award, sponsored by Goodyear Engineered Products, goes each week to a driver posting the fastest lap while leading a Nextel Cup race. At the end of the season, the driver compiling the most fastest laps is declared the Gatorback champion for the season. Stewart, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, will receive the 2005 Gatorback Fastest Lap solid crystal trophy, along with check for $75,000, at the season-ending NASCAR banquet at New York in December. Stewart has dominated the Nextel Cup field by posting eight fastest laps this season. His closest challenge came from rival #16-Greg Biffle, who has recorded five fastest laps. With one race to go, Stewart is out of reach of the competition. Gatorback Poly-V belts were introduced at the 2002 Daytona 500 on rookie Cup driver Jimmie Johnson's pole-sitting racecar. Today, every Nextel Cup car uses the same straight-off-the-shelf belts that race fans can purchase from auto parts stores and installers. Goodyear has supplied belts to NASCAR for 24-years and is the exclusive NASCAR Performance licensee of automotive aftermarket belts and hose. For more information, visit goodyearbeltsandhose.com.(Goodyear PR)(11-16-2005)

    • A Yeley Story: Now you know the rest of the story. It was announced last at Phoenix that Chris Yeley will take over the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy next season. Chris Yeley? Yes, that's J.J. Yeley’s given first name. J.J. stands for Jimmy Jack, a combination of his uncle’s name Jimmy and his father’s name Jack. Yeley says “The two of them went in when I was born and took turns being with my mom. It was a lengthy labor unfortunately so they took the initials of the two. I actually got “Chris” as my given name about a week later. I like J.J., it’s a good racing name.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-16-2005)

    • Ameriquest as a sponsor? hearing Ameriquest will sponsor either Roush Racing in some capacity or the #21 Wood Brosthers team as a co-primary.(11-16-2005)
      UPDATE: been told Ameriquest will be the sponsor of the #16 Roush Racing Ford in the Busch series with a few of the Roush Cup drivers piloting the car.(11-16-2006)

    • Sherman to the #49? UPDATE 2 OFFICIAL: hearing Busch Series driver Brent Sherman could be headed to the #49 BAM Racing Dodge with Serta as the sponsor.(11-4-2005)
      UPDATE: Brent Sherman is expected to take over as driver of BAM Racing's #49 with Schwann's and Serta sharing sponsorship. Sherman, 31, currently drives the #10 Ford for ppc Racing in the Busch Series and has 25 career Busch starts. His best finish was ninth in the spring at Talladega.(Sporting News)(11-7-2005)
      UPDATE 2: Brent Sherman, the talented rookie driver from the Chicago metro area, will drive the #49 Dodge for BAM Racing beginning with the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season. Car owner Beth Ann Morgenthau made the announcement today. Runnerup only to the legendary Frank Kimmel for the 2004 ARCA championship, Sherman exhibited the consistency necessary for success in the major leagues of stock car racing. That came after his first full season in ARCA, when Sherman finished fourth in the final national standings. This past season, he has competed in 25 NASCAR Busch Series events with a pair of different teams. The 31-year-old Sherman is a native of North Barrington, Ill., on the northwest side of Chicago. Unlike many of those who will be running for Rookie of the Year in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series next season, Sherman has never started a race in the series. BAM Racing, completing just its fourth year of operation, is owned by the Morgenthaus, investors from Coral Gables, Fla. Ms. Morgenthau, whose initials make up the name of the team - BAM Racing - is the only female car owner in motorsports to become involved without prior family connections. General manager Eddie Jones is a veteran of the NASCAR Nextel Cup wars, enjoying a championship career as a crew chief, mechanic and team leader. Crew chief David Hyder has over 20 years of racing experience both driving and as a chief mechanic. Car chief Ron Otto is a former crew chief with years of successful experience in major league stock car racing.(Williams Company)(11-16-2005)

    • Cingular Wireless gives fan a chance at over a $1mil: Cingular Wireless is finishing the 2005 racing season with a bang by giving Race Talk Million winner Jessica Gilbert of Chamois, Mo., a chance to win $1,000,031 before the NASCAR Cup race in Homestead. Gilbert will attempt to start the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton from one of 18 keys. If the car starts, Gilbert will take home a check for $1,000,031. In addition, Cingular is also giving local fans the chance to register to play alongside her. If Gilbert starts the No. 31 car, one registered fan on-site will win $50,000. Customers and fans can register on-site from 12 – 5 p.m., with the drawing scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 17 at the Cingular Wireless store located at 5043 Sheridan Ave, Hollywood, Fla. For additional information, please visit www.cingular31.com.(11-16-2005)

    • Garvey in the #51 at Homestead: Competitive Edge places Mike Garvey in the Marathon #51 car this weekend for the Ford 400 in Miami. This is not the first time Mike joined forces with Competitive Edge, as he drove for them in the Busch Series 2 years ago. “I am excited to get back with Competitive Edge and the Auers. It is a pleasure to work with such a professional group,” said Garvey. “It’s great to get Mike back in the car with Walter [Giles],” said team owner Joe Auer.(CEM Site)(11-16-2005)

    • Daytona Gets More Time for HOF bid: An unexpected move by NASCAR has given Daytona Beach more time to line up public money to attract the coveted stock-car-racing hall of fame. NASCAR executives announced during the weekend that they would hold off on selecting a site for the hall until early next year. That gives lawmakers time to revive a plan during a special session next month to sell a NASCAR-themed license plate and use the proceeds to help finance Daytona's bid for the attraction. Daytona -- which is competing with Charlotte, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Atlanta for the hall of fame -- has proposed spending at least $70 million to overhaul Daytona USA and merge it with a new museum.(Orlando Sentinel)(11-16-2005)


      News from November 15, 2005

    • Speed Channel at Homestead: SPEED Channel will elevate its coverage of the final event in the NASCAR Chase for the NEXTEL Cup with a week's worth of at-track and off-site programming from South Florida, culminating with a four-hour live pre-race package Nov. 20 beginning at 11:00am/et. In addition to multiple live programs from the track, Speed Channel also will bring several of its studio shows to Miami, embracing the city's personality and style.
      Backseat Drivers (Wed, Nov. 16, 7pm/et) with NASCAR.com's Marty Smith and Shannon Spake will be shot on-location at a Miami-area sports bar, The Chase is On (Nov. 17, 8pm/et) with Ralph Sheheen and 1999 Cup champion Dale Jarrett will set up shop poolside at the Sheraton Bal Harbour and the crew from NASCAR Nation will soak up the star-studded nightlife of South Beach with NASCAR Nation On Location on Nov. 19 at 9pm/et. Monday's popular Inside NEXTEL Cup with Dave Despain, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Brian Vickers also will be shot on location at Homestead.
      On-track coverage will be highlighted by live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale Nov. 18 at 8pm/et. Speed plans 20 hours of programming from South Florida, up from 14 hours a year ago.(Speed Channel)(11-15-2005)

    • Baldwin gone from Evernham? UPDATE New Team Structure at Evernham: hearing #9 crew chief, Tommy Baldwin Jr. has left Evernham Motorsports, no word on where he is headed.
      MORE hearing this is true and that there could be some crew swapping between the #9 and #19. UPDATE 8: As the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season winds down, planning for 2006 is already well underway at Evernham Motorsports. For President and CEO Ray Evernham, it is anything but business as usual. Evernham is developing a new architecture for team success, one designed to foster better collective thinking, decision making and intellectual innovation. In 2006, Evernham will do away with the crew chief position on all of his race teams, instead installing a leadership team similar to many corporate structures. Each of the Evernham Motorsports Nextel Cup teams will have a Team Director, a Car Director and an Engineer. Evernham designed the new team structure with an eye toward the future and the continued evolution of the sport.
      #19: For 2006, the leadership and team members of Evernham Motorsports will shift their alignment to better share the knowledge and thought-processes throughout the organization. The team that comprises the #91 Evernham Dodge Charger today will move to the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, driven by Jeremy Mayfield. It will be led by Chris Andrews as Team Director. Kirk Almquist will be the Car Director and Tim Malinovsky will be the Engineer.
      #9: The #19 team will shift to the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, which Kasey Kahne will continue to drive. Kenny Francis will be the Team Director for the #9 team, Mike Shiplett will be the Car Director and Keith Rodden will be the Engineer.
      #10: The #9 team will support the new No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger and driver Scott Riggs. Rodney Childers is the acting Team Director, and the leadership team will be announced at a later date.
      The new team structure will be in effect for the final race of the 2005 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2005. Tommy Baldwin, Team Director of the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, will serve as a team consultant at Miami before moving on to pursue his dreams of running his own team. "Tommy will be leaving Evernham Motorsports to hopefully start his own operation," added Evernham. "He's very interested in being a team owner, and I want to help him get started just like Rick Hendrick helped me get started. I've known Tommy since he was 10 or 11 years old, and wish him the very best in the future."
      "I appreciate the opportunity to work with Ray for several years," said Baldwin. "I've learned an awful lot from him. I also appreciate him letting me move on and helping me accomplish what I want to accomplish in the future. I came to Ray some time ago and told him this is what I've wanted to do. He didn't have any problems with that. He was in the same position with Rick (Hendrick) when he wanted to move on. Ray has helped me through all this and helped my decision making. I'm thankful for his friendship. Kasey and I have talked about this," he added. "He's going to win plenty of races with me or without me. He just has a God-given talent. I'm not worried about that. I'm glad I've become really good friends with him, and hopefully we can carry that into the future."
      The remaining positions within the new team structure at Evernham Motorsports are expected to be named in the next few weeks.(Clear!Blue/Evernham Motorsports PR). See past rumors on Baldwin leaving on the #9 Team News and Links page.(11-15-2005)

    • Todd Bodine in the #4 at Homestead: Morgan-McClure President and Team Manager Larry McClure announced that Todd Bodine will be driving the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy at the final race of the 2005 season in Homestead, FL. "Todd is coming off two wins in a row in the Craftsman Truck Series and has the momentum we feel will help our Lucas Oil team be competitive at Homestead. We appreciate Todd stepping in to be a part of our effort this weekend."
      "I'm looking forward to it [driving the Lucas Oil Chevy]. Morgan-McClure has been a part of this sport for a long, long time. I have known Chris [Carrier, crew chief] for years and years and I'm very proud to help out this weekend at Homestead," said Bodine of his invitation to drive the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy. Bodine will have a busy schedule this weekend as he plans to compete in all three series events driving the #30 Germain Toyota in the Truck Series Ford 200 on Friday, the #34 Dollar General Chevy in the Busch Series Ford 300 on Saturday and the #4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet in the Nextel Cup Series Ford 400 on Sunday. Bodine has won six races in the Craftsman Truck Series to date, four of which have been in the 2005 season and has 15 career wins in the Busch Series. His best finish at Homestead in the Nextel Cup series was 11th in 2003.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(11-15-2005)

    • #9 and #19 get newe 2006 paint schemes: When the green flag falls at the 2006 Daytona 500 next February, the Dodge Chargers of Jeremy Mayfield and Kasey Kahne will be sporting bold new paint schemes reflective of the bold design of the popular Dodge Charger production vehicle. The new 2006 Dodge Dealers paint scheme provides Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield distinctive yet familiar team identities. The new scheme maintains the Dodge trademark red color and provides greater on-track visibility for Dodge Dealers. The #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger of Jeremy Mayfield will still feature the bright red hood with the signature Dodge Ram's head and branding for the Dodge Dealers. But, the Dodge Charger will carry black doors and fenders with red numbers on the side and white numbers on the roof. Mayfield drove a black car in several races in 2005, and made a special request for a cool black Dodge Charger for 2006.
      Kasey Kahne's #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger also will have a new look for 2006. His Charger will carry the same bright red hood and Dodge Ram logo as the #19, but will have white doors and fenders. The numbers on the side of the car will be black and the top of the car will be white. Diecast models of the new #9 and #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Chargers will be available through Action Performance beginning February. To purchase online, visit evernhammotorsports.com.(Clear!Blue PR), see images of the schmes on my #9 Teams Schemes page and #19 Team Schemes page.(11-15-2005)

    • Kluever to debut at Homestead? UPDATE...no...Wallace back in: many reports have Roush Racing's Truck Series driver, Todd Kluever running the #97 Ford at Homestead-Miami Speedway, making his Nextel Cup debut.(11-14-2005)
      UPDATE: from the Kenny Wallace site: Kenny was called by Jack Roush Monday afternoon and asked to race in the #97 Ford at the Homestead race with the thanks of the Roush Family of teams. "We've asked Kenny to return for an encore performance. He did a really nice job in a car that was not set up for him and he didn't have any practice in the car." Geoff Smith confirmed on Monday, ""We think Kenny deserves a chance with a car that is set up for him and with an entire weekend of work with the team." Also note this means that Kenny and hopefully Mike will race together with brother Rusty in his final Nextel Cup race.(Kenny Wallace site)(11-15-2005)

    • Busch was tested and below blood-alcohol content limit: An alcohol test taken by defending Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch showed the 27-year-old fell far short of the legal level for intoxication last Friday night near Phoenix International Raceway, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department said late Monday. Busch was charged with reckless driving near the raceway on Friday evening after he was clocked at 60-mph in a 45-mph zone by a Maricopa County deputy. Busch began fleeing from the deputy by running a stop sign and making erratic lane changes. Busch was pulled over less than three miles from the Phoenix track moments later after a second officer assisted in the pursuit. "Mr. Busch was administered a preliminary breath test at the command post which registered .017," Maricopa Sheriff's Lt. Paul Chagolla said. In Arizona, a person can be charged with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level at .08 or higher. A 170-pound male who consumes two drinks in two hours will have a blood-alcohol content of .01, according to estimates from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Web site. Chagolla said the decision to have Busch take a second breath alcohol test — this time on an Intoxilyzer 8000 machine — was at the sole discretion of the deputy. "It's all up to the investigating officer," Chagolla said. "He could have made that decision, but this is an experienced deputy sheriff who does many DUI arrests. You have to trust his decisions." Chagolla said Saturday that Busch had performed a preliminary breath alcohol test during Friday evening's roadside stop. Chagolla admitted Monday night, however, the chronology of events he originally reported was erroneous, and the initial breath alcohol test was conducted at the county's command post at the speedway. "The odor of alcohol, combined with dangerous driving, gave the officer the right to transport Mr. Busch," Chagolla said. Media reports from Chagolla on Saturday said the Intoxilyzer 8000 had failed.
      When asked why the .017 reading wasn't made available to the public on Saturday, Chagolla said he was still on a fact-finding mission. "Whatever information I had at the time is what I was going to release," Chagolla said. "And it's important to note that never at any point did the sheriff's office say he was impaired."
      Busch was suspended Sunday for the season's final two Cup events. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith defended the decision, saying Busch's actions violated contractual obligations with sponsor Crown Royal, whose parent company is Diageo. "Regardless of whatever level of [alcohol] presence was there while driving, we have some very strict sponsorship rules in place,," Smith told reporters. "We feel very strongly that those rules have been significantly breached." Busch and Roush Racing representatives could not be reached for comment Monday evening.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-15-2005)

    • Mike Wallace looking for a ride: Just a few months ago it was announced that Morgan McClure Motorsports decided to quit playing the "pull the driver out for this race" game with Mike Wallace, and had told him he would be their driver for the rest of 2005. But, as they did earlier in the season, they apparently changed their mind. Today Morgan McClure Motorsports announced Todd Bodine as their driver of the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy for the season finale NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead, FL. This announcement comes one day after Mike's brother Kenny Wallace was announced as the fill-in driver for the #97 Roush Racing Ford, which could have put the two in the final regular season NASCAR Nextel Cup race with their older brother Rusty, who is retiring from behind the wheel after Homestead.
      Motorsports Lounge talked with "Team ML" driver Mike Wallace this evening about the situation at Morgan McClure Motorsports as well as other issues surrounding this weekend. "They have to do what they feel they need to do," said Mike Wallace to Jason Stix Buckley. "They apparently feel the driver change will help them run better at Homestead, so that is that." With older brother Rusty retiring after this race, Mike was really hoping to race against him. "Kenny and I started this season racing against Rusty at Daytona, and it would be really cool if we could end it also in the same race. It would mean a lot to our family. Kenny is now in the #97 for the race, so now I need to find a ride. If a team out there wants a driver for the Homestead NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race, give me a call!" Even if Mike doesn't get that call for this memorable occasion, he will still be racing in Homestead. "This weekend I will be driving Rusty's Miller High Life car in the Busch Series race," Mike said. "Rusty's team has great equipment, so we are going down there to have some fun and win the race." But, that isn't all the fun for Mike this weekend. "We are going to go down and hang out with country singer Chris Cagle. We are going to watch him perform and just have a great time!"
      What does next season hold for Mike Wallace? "We will deal with next season after this weekend," said Mike. "Right now we are looking forward to seeing Chris Cagle, racing Rusty's car and hopefully getting a ride for the Nextel Cup race. Also, my daughter Chrissy will be racing her Pro Challenge car at Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday, so hopefully we both can bring home trophies this weekend!"(Motorsports Lounge PR)(11-15-2005)

    • Olsen and Vidovich win Toyota All-Star Showdown Features REVISED: Auggie Vidovich, of Lakeside, Calif. captured the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division feature while Mike Olsen, of North Haverhill, N.H. was the NASCAR Grand National Division winner in Saturday night's third annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway. Vidovich, who started eighth, dominated the final 50-lap segment of the 125-lap AutoZone Elite Division main event after taking advantage of the double file restart at lap 76 to pass Rip Michels for the lead.
      The victory by former Busch North Series champion Olsen in the 150-lap Grand National Division race came after a race of dramatic changes of fortune that produced 14 lead changes among five drivers. David Gilliland of the West Series was second, .828 seconds behind, followed by Busch North drivers Matt Kobyluck, Ryan Moore and Sean Caisse.(more at NASCAR.com, Racingwest.com or irwindalespeedway.com)(11-13-2005)
      REVISED: NASCAR announced that the unofficial results of Saturday's Toyota All-Star Showdown Grand National Division race at Irwindale Speedway have been revised, resulting in original runner-up David Gilliland being declared the winner. The car driven by Mike Olsen, originally listed as the winner in the unofficial results, failed post-race inspection. Olsen's crew chief, Harry Norcross, was determined to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components, and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR rule book. Olsen's car had unapproved right-side wheels which exceeded the maximum width of 9 ½ inches and were less than the 27-pound minimum weight. The violations dropped Olsen to 31st in the official race finish. Gilliland and all others in the event moved up one position as a result.(NASCAR)(11-15-2005)

    • Richert Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Phoenix: Doug Richert and the #16 National Guard/Post-it Ford were able to turn it around after a dismal week at Texas Motor Speedway to finish second at the Checker Auto Parts 500. Biffle led 189 laps, the most in the race, which is the 4th time this season he has done so. For his preparation getting the #16 Ford ready for Phoenix, Doug Richert was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Biffle fought hard in the Arizona sun, dominating most of the race. "Greg had to battle all day so we didn't gamble as far as tires go," said Richert. "We had a really good car; you don't get that too often, so we were hoping to capitalize. Overall, we were pleased with the 2nd place finish," continued Richert. The #16 Ford's turnaround from a lackluster performance could also be attributed to fast pit stops. "The guys have been great all year long; they know every second counts and they performed well today. We had problems in Texas, but we bounced back and put together some great pit stops for Greg." The panel of voters, including local NBC Sportscasters, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser, unanimously voted for Richert as the crew chief that did the best job.
      With his win, Doug Richert clinches the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year, racking up six wins overall. He will receive a check for $20,000 this weekend in Homestead. Bob Osborne is alone at second. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for third-place with three wins. Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser, Chad Knaus, Steve Addington and Robbie Loomis are tied for fourth-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied for fifth-place, each with one win. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(11-15-2005)

    • Miller Lite Comments: Kurt Busch will be with the Miller Brewing Company when he takes over the #2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2006. Asked if Penske Racing South was still confident that Busch was the right pairing for that sponsorship, the team president, Don Miller, said: "Absolutely. I see some qualities that he has that are excellent. But I've also seen some areas we need to work on." Although he is not yet with Penske, Busch was contacted by officials at Miller yesterday. "We've spoken with Kurt and we're confident he truly understands the significance of his behavior, particularly regarding the fact we cannot and will not tolerate any behavior that demonstrates a lack of responsibility in the consumption of alcohol," the company said in a prepared statement. "We're going to stand by Kurt, but we made it clear to him that we expect him to also stand by us by demonstrating behavior befitting a true champion."(New York Times)(11-15-2005)

    • Busch not to participate in Homestead events: A day after Roush Racing suspended Kurt Busch for the remainder of the season, officials at Homestead-Miami Speedway announced that the defending Nextel Cup champion will not participate in events leading up to Sunday's Ford 400. The unveiling of the 2004 Nextel championship banner at 1:00pm/et Tuesday has been canceled, speedway spokesman Phil de Montmollin said. The banner currently is on display, but Homestead had scheduled to formally honor Busch, who last year won the first Nextel Cup under the current chase format. Entering this Sunday's race he ranks ninth, 441 points behind leader Tony Stewart. ``It's not a real big deal for us, because the championship banner will be up,'' speedway president Curtis Gray said. Greg Biffle, fourth in the chase, will replace Busch at a question-and-answer session during the ``All-Star Welcome to Ford Championship Week,'' with Marlins' outfielder Jeff Conine. During the event from 6 to 9 p.m. at Conine's Clubhouse Grille in Hollywood, fans can view the Nextel Cup and win two tickets to the Ford 400.(Mercury News)(11-15-2005)

    • Red Baron's back on the #49: Kenny Schrader will drive a #49 BAM Racing Dodge emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Red Baron frozen pizza products are distributed under the Schwan's Consumer Brands North America banner, which also markets other leading frozen-food retail brands that include Tony's and Freschetta frozen pizzas, Pagoda Asian specialties, and Larry's potato side-dishes. Schwan's Consumer Brands is a division of The Schwan Food Company, whose Schwan's Home Service business unit sponsors Schrader and the #49 BAM Dodge throughout the remainder of the season. “We’ve got Red Baron back on the car this week and I know I’ve told this story before, but it means a lot to me. Red Baron was one of my first sponsors ever in the Cup series and we’ve always had a great relationship. Since the day of my first go around with Red Baron back in 1986, they have always kept my Mom’s freezer stocked with two Red Baron Frozen Pizzas... always! That’s really all you need to know about how I feel and what Red Baron has meant to me during my career", said Schrader.(Williams Company), see image of the car on my #49 Team Schemes page.(11-15-2005)

    • Aaron's to sponsor Long at Homestead in the #80: Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership has agreed to sponsor the Carl Long and Hover Motorsports endeavor this weekend at Homestead. Aaron's will be the primary sponsor featured on Stan Hover's #80 Dodge driven by Carl Long in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Carl Long site)(11-15-2005)

    • Chex Mix on the #43 at Homestead: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sunday’s Homestead-Miami 400. Green will be driving a #43 Chex Party Mix Dodge for this season-ending event.(Williams Company)(11-15-2005)

    • Menard to help Robby out at Homestead: This coming weekend, #7-Robby Gordon will run the Baja 1000 in Mexico, a race he's won twice. He'll have Busch Series regular (and DEI driver) Paul Menard practice and qualify his #7 Chevy on Saturday for Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Homestead with Gordon racing in the race in on Sunday. Gordon now is running DEI engines.(Yahoo Sports)(11-15-2005)

    • #18 Team wins Checkers Double Drive-Thru Challenge: The #18 Interstate Batteries/Madagascar Team with driver Bobby Labonte won the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge at the on November 13th at the Phoenix International Raceway with a pit-road-service time of 272.609 seconds. As the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, Checkers/Rally's recognizes the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team with the best pit road performance each week with a $10,000 prize. At the end of the season, Checkers/Rally's will award the $100,000 grand prize to the team that garners the most Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge wins throughout the race season. Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge takes place at all 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point races. To win, teams must finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time in pit lane. For details on the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge, visit checkers.com/nascar.(MARC PR)(11-15-2005)


      News from November 14, 2005

    • Overnight Phoenix TV Ratings down: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway earned an overnight rating of 4.0 from Nielsen Media Research and a 7 share in the nation's largest television markets, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The overnight rating is 13% lower than the 4.6 NBC drew overnight for last year's 35th Nextel Cup race, which was the Mountain Dew Southern 500 from Darlington Raceway. The Nov. 7, 2004, race at Phoenix, which was last year's 34th race, drew a 4.3 overnight rating.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-14-2005)

    • Last Week to Vote for Most Popular Driver: With just days remaining for nationwide fan voting, Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to lead the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award - but fans and fan clubs for other drivers appear to have picked up their support. Fan clubs and web sites for several drivers have urged their fans to vote regularly at www.mostpopulardriver.com, as votes have tightened to determine which drivers will finish in the top 10 of the final tally. Jeff Gordon is second in the voting, followed by Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Jimmie Johnson. The most coveted NASCAR award behind only the national driving championship itself, the Most Popular Driver is determined by an online vote by fans at www.mostpopulardriver.com. The winner will be announced during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Awards Banquet weekend, Dec. 2, in New York City. A record 4 million votes have been cast, and Earnhardt Jr. has led since voting began in February. The driver standings may change this final week, however, as fans hope to move their favorite drivers into the top spot before the balloting ends at 11:59pm/ct, Monday, Nov. 21, the day after the final race of the season at Homestead, Fla. Bill Elliott's 16 most popular wins tops all drivers. He is followed by Richard Petty, who has won nine times. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win last year made him the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win the award in consecutive seasons, while his win in 2003 made him and his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, the only father-son combination to have won. Other past winners have included such notables as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.(Williams Company)(11-14-2005)

    • Brothers Sweep, first since 1976: Kyle Busch won Sunday’s race at PIR, while brother Kurt took the spring race here. That makes them the first brothers to sweep both Cup races at one track in a single season since Donnie and Bobby Allison turned the trick in 1978 at Atlanta.(Speed Channel)(11-14-2005)

    • Kyle Busch walks out on press conference: There were two post-race press conferences for the winner at Phoenix. #5-Kyle Busch ended the first one abruptly when he found questions about dealing with his older brother’s problems tiresome. After a lapse of about a half hour, the race winner returned and clarified his position. “The only thing out there for us to do is acknowledge the contents of the police report and whatever Kurt Busch will say or release at a later time,” he said.(Gaston Gazette)
      AND In the PIR infield media center for the traditional winner’s interview, Kyle was queried about his emotions on the day when his brother was suspended following an encounter with local police Friday night. “The only thing I’m going to say is I’m behind my brother 100 percent and usually things in the media are false and that’s what it comes down to sometimes,” Kyle said. Soon after, USA Today reporter Chris Jenkins asked, “Kyle, what specifically has the media written this weekend that’s been false about your brother?”
      “I’m not going there, bud,” Kyle replied. “That was a really, really inappropriate question.” He then got up and stormed out of the media center, only to return some 15 minutes later.(Speed Channel)(11-14-2005)

    • Why no burnout at Phoenix? #5-Kyle Busch wasn't pleased with the second victory celebration of his Nextel Cup career. "I just want to apologize to all the fans for not doing my normal smoky burnouts," he told an estimated crowd of 105,000 from victory lane. "NASCAR wanted me to come directly to victory lane."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-14-2005)

    • Penske Behind Busch: Roger Pensek said before the race on NBC that the citation and Roush Racing Suspension of Kurt Busch will NOT change a thing and Busch will drive the #2 Miller Lite Dodge for Penske Racing in 2006. On Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel, Penske said he has already called the Sheriff and talked about doing somethign with the community and working things out.(11-14-2005)



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