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    DEC 26, 2005 - JAN 1, 2006

      News from January 1, 2006

    • Georgia NASCAR License Plates: Georgia racing fans can sign up for new custom license plates that show off their love of NASCAR beginning this week. And if racing's not your thing, the state will also offer license plates that honor doctors, emergency medical technicians, Purple Heart recipients, Elks and police officers hurt in the line of duty. The state is expecting to offer roughly 40 different NASCAR plates. Officials are working with the vendor to come up with the plate designs, which will include the NASCAR logo and either a specific driver or a general motorsports theme. But there's a catch: 1,000 people must apply for each tag before it goes into production. If the state does not receive 1,000 applications within two years, the customers who applied would receive a refund of their $25 manufacturing fee. Once the tag is produced, Georgians will have to pay a $25 specialty tag fee in addition to an annual registration fee and ad valorem taxes.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(1-1-2006)

      News from December 31, 2005

    • President Bush appoints Kahne: President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate three individuals and appoint seventeen individuals to serve in his Administration: The President intends to nominate Alexander A. Karsner, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary of Energy (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy). Mr. Karsner currently serves as Managing Director for Enercorp, LLC. Prior to this, he served as Director of Development & Senior Development Manager for Wartsila Power Development & Wartsila Diesel Development Ltd. He also served as Chief of Staff for the Honorable Moses Cheng Mo-Chi, former Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Earlier in his career, Mr. Karsner served as International Project Director for Tondu Energy Systems. Mr. Karsner received his bachelor's degree from Rice University and his master's degree from Hong Kong University. The President intends to nominate Donald R. DePriest, of Mississippi, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, for a term to expire on May 18, 2009. The President intends to nominate Vince J. Juaristi, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, for the remainder of a five year term expiring February 8, 2009. The President intends to appoint seventeen individuals to be Members of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, for two-year terms, including Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Dodge for Evernham Motorsports.(White House site)(12-31-2005)

    • Another NASCAR Movie in the works: Producer Barry Kemp has bought a screenplay set in the world of NASCAR racing. The film will be developed by Kemp’s production company, Bungalow 78 Productions, from the script by Jason Jordan and Matthew Lawton (National Lampoon’s Pledge This!, Blue Collar TV). The story will centre on an up-and-coming young driver who’s been dropped by his sponsor; he must team up with a female cosmetics executive to get back on top of the game.(Empire), Will Ferrell is filming a NASCAR movie which is expected to be in theatres in 2006.(12-31-2005)

    • Stewart's Indy win voted #1: Motorsports media from around the world have voted Tony Stewart's victory in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as NASCAR's top story of the 2005 season, via several weeks of on-line voting on NASCAR's media site. Stewart also produced the season's third-best story, according to the vote - his capturing the NEXTEL Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in the season's final race. In between those Stewart stories, at No. 2, was Carl Edwards' March weekend sweep of both the Busch Series race and the NEXTEL Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a 1-2 punch that propelled Edwards into championship contention in both series. Media members were given a list of 10 stories and asked to rank that list. Ten points were awarded for a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote, etc. The Stewart win at Indy accumulated a total of 873 points, 560 coming from 56 first-place votes. Edwards' sweep added up to 679. (A total of 99 media members participated.) Following are the rest of the top 10 stories, according to the final vote tally.
      No. 4 - Greg Biffle finishing second in NEXTEL Cup points, and having the most series wins. No. 5 - Jeff Gordon winning the Daytona 500 for the third time. No. 6 - The Busch Series hosting its historic first race in Mexico City. No. 7 - Ted Musgrave winning his first Craftsman Truck Series championship and becoming the oldest national series champion in NASCAR history. No. 8 - Martin Truex Jr. repeating as Busch Serie champion. No. 9 - Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kyle Busch winning two NEXTEL Cup events. No. 10 - Kasey Kahne finally getting his elusive first NEXTEL Cup victory at Richmond in May. (NASCAR)(12-31-2005)

    • Stewart wins at Fort Wayne: Tony Stewart won the USAC midget competition at Fort Wayne's Allen County Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. Dave Darland was second across the finish line, followed by Matt Estep. Stewart, who finished 11th in Thursday's race, was the fast qualifier in both races.(Indianapolis Star)
      AND NASCAR star Tony Stewart closed the U.S. Auto Club's 50th season of racing with a victory in a 60-lap midget feature race at the "Rumble in Fort Wayne." Stewart, the reigning Nextel Cup champion, started eighth and took the lead on the seventh lap, staying in front until the end. He has won at least one USAC race each year since 1991 except in 1999, when he was the NASCAR Cup rookie of the year. "I'm going to say this because I know my fans like my brutal honesty," Stewart told the crowd after his victory. "Every year, all the competitors go out to the bar and try to get me drunk so I can't run the next day. It didn't work this time." Stewart also raced in Fort Wayne on Thursday night, finishing 11th in a 60-lap feature race after crashing.(

      News from December 30, 2005

    • EMPA names HOF and Drivers of the Year: When the Eastern Motorsport Press Association holds its annual convention at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA at the end of January seven new names will be entered inthe EMPA Hall of Fame. During the same convention, attended by more than 100 professional media that cover the sport on a regular basis, NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart will receive the Al Holbert Memorial/EMPA Driver of the Year award for the third time and sprint car racing star Fred Rahmer will accept the Richie Evans Memorial/EMPA Northeast Driver of the Year award. Bobby Allen, winner of more than 251 sprint car races at more than 15 different speedways with a variety of organizations, will top the list of racers being inducted into the Hall of Fame. One of the all-time greats of Modified stock car racing Buzzie Reutimann [David's father] will be inducted along with one of the all-time great Modified car owners Dick Cozze; outstanding Dirt Modified car owner Joe Bullock; ten-time NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Bob Glidden; three time Cup champion Darrell Waltrip and Al Hamilton who has owned sprint cars that have won more than 400 features driven by numerous drivers. Special awards presented during the three day convention set for January 27-29th include a President's Award to six time American Racing Drivers Club champion Ray Bull; a one time EMPA Outstanding Achievement Award to former head of N.J. Motor Vehicles Motorsports Division Capt. John Wyckoff plus the T.Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year Award to Indy Racing League star Danica Patrick and veteran Nextel Cup racer Morgan Shepherd will receive the Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award. Other awards, to be announced at the convention, will include the Frank Blunk Memorial Award to an outstanding journalist, the Ace Lane Memorial Award to an outstanding photographer and the Art McHugh Memorial Award presented to an individual who works behind the scenes for the good of the EMPA organization. Those planning to attend must make their intentions known before January 15th to Ernie Saxton at 215.752.7797.(Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News)(12-30-2005)

    • Isaac Surpasses SFI Performance Specs for Head and Neck Loads: Isaac, LLC announces record setting performance for its damper-based, Intermediate model head and neck restraint. Testing to the SFI Spec 38.1 offset protocol, the Isaac system not only was at least as effective as competing models in classic measures such as neck tension, it was over four times more effective in reducing lateral head torque caused by side impacts. Isaac, LLC is based in Orlando, Florida. It specializes in protection from head and neck injuries. More info at and news on other devices on my Restraints page and other safety news/links on my Racing Safety Page.(12-30-2005)

      News from December 29, 2005

    • TV Deal...low? While NASCAR continues to celebrate its new eight-year, $4.48 billion television contract, investors aren't so sure it's a good deal. The new agreement represents nearly a 40% increase over the current contract, but some wonder whether NASCAR got enough. Even NASCAR chairman Brian France admits NASCAR will never catch the National Football League as the most popular sport on television. But at No. 2, stock-car racing could have demanded more, said one financial analyst. "We believe the announced contract is on the low end of the expectations," said Joseph Hovorka of Raymond James Financial. NASCAR will get about $400 million a year once the new contract starts in 2007. That's well short of the projected $573 figure Wall Street expected. Once the contract was signed, some Wall Street companies recommend its clients sell shares of International Speedway Corp., the company that owns half the race tracks in NASCAR. ISC dropped $5.70 a share when the contract was announced two weeks ago and hasn't recovered.(Augusta Chronicle)(12-29-2005)

    • Another Waltrip - BW: The voice that comes from the speakers at the Dirt Track Championships at Municipal Stadium [FL] may seem a bit familiar to race fans. That's because that voice is related to some of the more vocal figures in motorsports. Bobby Waltrip, brother of NASCAR's Darrell and Michael, has been announcing kart races for nearly seven years, including the dirt track races at Municipal Stadium for five years. "I found a little niche in this sport," Waltrip said. "I raced karts most of my life and now I get to make a living out of it." Waltrip, 51, started racing karts when he was 12 years old. Unlike his brothers, he never left the sport to pursue racing at a higher level. "I found something about it that kept me here," Waltrip said. "I raced for years and years until I quit for a couple of years to help Darrell with the construction of his Winston Cup team."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-29-2005)

      News from December 28, 2005

    • Carter to Bill Davis Racing: although it was announced at Penske Racing that former #2 crew chief Larry Carter was staying there in another capacity, saw this reported on in a Darrell Waltip article: "With my brother Michael being over at Bill Davis Racing, he's bringing NAPA and some resources. Davis brought back Dave Blaney, who is one of those consistent guys. If you put Blaney in a good car next year, Michael and Blaney could work well together next year. They brought in Larry Carter from the #2 car to help them. That's going to be a big plus. Derrick Finley has a few years under his belt as a crew chief. I see good things happening at Bill Davis Racing. But Michael has to stay out of trouble and finish races — that's got to be his number 1 priority.(FoxSports)(12-28-2005)

    • Prilosecotc to #31? hearing Prilosecotc will become an associate sponsor for #31 Jeff Burton and that a Prilosecotc paint scheme will run in 2006, Cingular Wireless is the primary sponsor for Burton and the #31 team. Prilosecotc had been with the #40 Ganassi Racing team and ran a scheme once a year with Sterling with the #14 team. See image of scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(12-28-2005)

    • NASCAR Restructures Regional Series in 2007: NASCAR announced it will restructure its regional touring series divisions beginning in 2007. Citing declining support for the Elite Division style of racing at all levels, NASCAR said it will focus its resources and efforts on those Divisions that will help build and sustain a better developmental program for the future. Following the 2006 season, the four current Late Model Elite Division Tours will be discontinued. The Elite Division tours were formed nearly 20 years ago, in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Northwest regions of the country. Beginning in 2006 and continuing in 2007, NASCAR will implement several Grand National Division changes in an effort to reduce the cost of competing in the Busch North Series (which will be re-named the Busch East Series) and the AutoZone West Series. These changes include a less-costly "spec" engine, as well as composite bodies.(NASCAR PR)(12-28-2005)

      News from December 26-27, 2005

    • nothing to report....happy holidays

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