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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JAN. 9-15, 2006





      News from January 15, 2006

    • Testing at Kentucky: #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #9-Kasey Kahne are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Monday, Jan. 16th; #4-Scott Wimmer is scheduled to test on Tuesday, Jan. 17th. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway)(1-15-2006)

    • McCreadie wins Chili Bowl: Tim McCreadie battled past Jay Drake to take command on the 35th round en route to capturing the coveted Golden Driller trophy at Tulsa Expo Raceway's 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Saturday night. After battling with former Chili Bowl winners Drake and Cory Kruseman most of the way, McCreadie slipped away in the final rounds to score the win over Drake, Kruseman, 15th-starter Brad Kuhn and 21st-starter Josh Wise. Some NASCAR drivers who ran the event were: Tracy Hines [finished 7th], P.J. Jones [11th], Kasey Kahne [13th]; Jason Leffler [14th] and Justin Allgaier24th/last].(FoxSports). More info on the Chili Bowl at www.chilibowl.com or racinboys.com. No update on Tony Stewart's arm injury or status, Stewart was listed in the F2 Main race but been told he did not race.(1-15-2006)


      News from January 14, 2006

    • Stewart flips again, Kruseman wins at Chili Bowl UPDATE Stewart is OK: Two-time Chili Bowl king Cory Kruseman outlasted P.J. Jones and a host of other challengers in Friday night’s hotly-contested 25-lap Warren CAT Qualifying night feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway’s 20th Annual O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Friday night’s feature was loaded with talent, it didn’t include NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. Stewart, who scratched from Wednesday’s card after a flip in hot laps, flipped wildly down the backstretch in his Friday night qualifying race after a heat race win. Shaken, the 2002 Chili Bowl winner was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. No word on any injuries. More info on the Chili Bowl at www.chilibowl.com or racinboys.com. Besides Stewart, other NASCAR drivers scheduled to be running some races there include Kasey Kahne, J.J. Yeley, Jason Leffler, Tracy Hines, Aaron Fike, A.J. Fike, P.J. Jones, Justin Allgaier and Damon Lusk.
      UPDATE: Tony Stewart, the reigning champion in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, was taken to a local hospital for a preliminary examination after he flipped his Midget car in the opening laps of last night's qualifying race for the 20th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. Complaining of pain in his right arm after the crash, Stewart was taken to the hospital where X-rays revealed no broken bones and a CT scan proved negative. In a precautionary measure, Stewart was fitted with a cast until a more extensive evaluation can be made by his own doctors on Monday. "I'm a little sore," said Stewart. "The doctors were great and did a pretty thorough evaluation of me. They didn't find anything broken, but just to be sure, they fitted me with a cast that I'll wear until I meet with my doctors on Monday. It looks a lot worse than it is. "In no way should this affect my upcoming test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, my plans to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona or my participation in Daytona Speedweeks."(True Speed Communication)(1-14-2006)

    • Death at Dakar AND another: Former top French skier Luc Alphand had victory in sight in the Dakar Rally after winning Friday's 13th stage marred by the death of a young boy hit by a race car. Alphand, driving a Mitsubishi, extended his overall lead by clocking the fastest time over the day's 348-km timed section on narrow dirt tracks between Labe, Guinea, and Tambacounda, Senegal. The boy, who had come with his parents to watch the rally pass just outside the Guinean village of Kourahoye, 25 km into the stage, was hit as he crossed the road. "A young boy that had come with his family to see the rally go by was hit by vehicle #420 of the car class while crossing the track," organizers said. "He immediately received treatment from the medical staff of the rally, but died during his transfer by helicopter to Labe." Saukans drives with Dambis Andris. Friday's stage runs from Labe to Tambacounda, Senegal. The boy is the second casualty of this year's rally after Australian motorcyclist Andy Caldecott died in a crash during the ninth stage on Monday. Alphand, the 1997 Alpine skiing World Cup champion, won the day's stage ahead of twice world rally champion Carlos Sainz of Spain and South African Giniel De Villiers, both driving Volkswagen Touraeg prototypes. Alphand, who was the world's best downhiller before switching to rallying, was more than 22 minutes ahead of De Villiers overall with two stages remaining before the race ends in Dakar on Sunday. In the motorcyle section, the KTM riders continued to dominate, filling the top six spots. Italian Giovanni Sala won ahead of Frenchmen Cyril Despres and Alain Duclos. Spaniard Marc Coma came fourth to retain the overall lead. The gruelling race across seven countries and covering more than 9,000 km started in Lisbon on Dec. 31.(ESPN.com/AP), NASCAR's Robby Gordon was in the race but his race ended after stage 8, see more on my #7 Team News and Links page.(1-13-2006)
      AND For the second day in a row, a boy died after being hit by a vehicle involved in the Dakar Rally. A support truck hit and killed a 12-year-old boy Saturday, said organizers of the cross-continental road race -- which ends Sunday. The truck struck the boy during the 14th stage on a road reserved for support vehicles. Police were investigating the accident, which occurred between the Senegalese cities of Tambacounda and Dakar.(ESPN.com/AP)(1-14-2006)


      News from January 13, 2006

    • Stremme feeling better: #40 Coors Light/Lonestar Dodge Driver David Stremme is feeling better after twisting his ankle and tearing all the ligaments in his right foot while using a leaf blower. The injury occured at his home near Charlotte several weeks before Christmas. Stremme said, “I’ve been fighting with the landscape company…they’ve not been showing up and they’ve been a pain in the butt. All my leaves were blowing across the street into my neighbor Joe Nemechek’s yard so I figured I needed to clean them up.” Stremme made sure he was okay to start the season by testing his foot riding go-carts. Stremme added, “I wish it had been my brake pedal foot instead of my gas pedal foot.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(1-13-2006)

    • NASCAR Teams head to England for help: NASCAR teams raided the Autosport International Racing Car Show in England this week in a quest for new technology to keep them ahead of rivals in Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck competition. Engineers from the Richard Childress Racing, Evernham Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Roush Racing and Robert Yates Racing were combing the 500 booths at Britain’s biggest motorsports show. “With NASCAR closing the box on what teams can do to the cars, we are looking for everything from materials to engineering and products, wind tunnels and aerodynamic resources,” said RCR boss Richard Childress, who was making his first visit to the show. He was accompanied by his new director of engine research and development — former Formula One engine designer Nick Hayes.(National Speed Sport News)(1-13-2006)

    • #51 Team Scales Back a bit: been told the #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports team will not run the full 2006 Cup season, opting out of the restrictor plate races [Daytona/Talladega] and attrempting as much of the other races as possible. Mike Garvey is scheduled to test the #51 Marathon Chevy at Las Vegas at the end of January.(1-13-2006)

    • Congrats: Penske Racing South's Ben Holm and wife Mildred (Skeetz) Holm are proud parents of Nikki Rose Holm, born on Jan 6th.(1-13-2006)





      News from January 12, 2006

    • NASCAR tests COT at Daytona: the NASCAR Car of Tomorrow tested for the first time at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. NASCAR Vice President for Research and Development Gary Nelson and his group began the latest round of on-track data acquisition for the Car of Tomorrow using the prototype produced by the NASCAR Research and Development Center and driven by Brett Bodine, NASCAR Director of Cost Research. Previous on-track sessions set performance baselines. Now, the quest to fine-tune those baselines begins at Daytona. The Car of Tomorrow, which is two inches taller and four inches wider than current NASCAR race cars, represents the sport’s next major step in safety and competition enhancements, and cost-reduction improvements. NASCAR is in the final stages of the five-year Car of Tomorrow project, and Thursday’s test marked another step toward the finished product.
      “The last part of the Car of Tomorrow is, ‘How does it run in traffic,’ ” Nelson said. “The only way you can do that is in traffic. You can't do that in the laboratory. You can't do that in the wind tunnel. And so we're working our way into that to close up the specification to where we have a very nice package that works on the race track and in traffic, and the leader and the overtaking cars are able to have the right amount of balance as they're running in clean or dirty air.” The tests that preceded Thursday’s – last October at Talladega Superspeedway, then at Atlanta Motor Speedway – featured the NASCAR prototype along with teams’ prototypes. Although Thursday’s Daytona test was open to teams, the NASCAR car worked in solitude, with Bodine’s laps building a framework of information to be used in the next test, next week. On Jan. 19, teams that have built Car of Tomorrow prototypes are scheduled to test with NASCAR at Daytona. Everyone will use the baselines developed in Thursday’s test to see how the cars react in traffic and drafting situations.
      Part of the future being tested Thursday included a wing rather than the usual spoiler attached to the car’s rear deck lid. NASCAR tested the wing briefly last October in Atlanta, but didn’t complete it because of a team’s engine problem. Most of Bodine’s runs today were done with the wing rather than the spoiler, and both he and Nelson say the possibility of using a spoiler adds to the pieces teams can use to tune their cars.


      The rear wing was added for this test session to give NASCAR more information on the handling characteristics of the new car design. (Photo Credit: NASCAR)

      "Today we’ve been able to tune it with bolt-on pieces, not cut fenders off and not cut quarter panels off, to change the balance of the car,” Bodine said. “And that’s one of our goals. We want a car that’s very tune-able, very adjustable, so maybe the car can be very adaptable to several race tracks instead of being track-specific.” Nelson said the idea of using a wing came from the Grand American Road Racing Association, where wings are common components in several different classes of sports car racing. “There's actually several theories that are working when we start experimenting with the wing,” Nelson said. “The wake that is left behind the car at speed is what affects the following cars. And so as we explore ways to have better competition on the track, we want to understand that wake. And a wing produces a completely different wake than a spoiler does.”
      “The wing is very adjustable,” Bodine said. “You can change the angle and the shape of the wing. We’re still in development. The wing on the car is strictly a prototype piece. By no means is that something that could be final, but certainly the concept is starting to prove itself worthy of continued investigation.” Part of that continued investigation will take place next Thursday, when Bodine – a former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitor – is scheduled to test in traffic with other cars.
      “We're establishing a baseline with the spoiler and the speed that it produces,” Nelson said. “Our plan is to have a car follow us next week with the spoiler, switch to the wing and have that same car follow us so we run the same speed with the spoiler, the same speed with the wing and get the feedback from the driver that's following on how that effects the turbulence.”
      Along with spoiler and wing configurations, the Car of Tomorrow also features a much more box-like front bumper that catches air rather than deflecting it. It’s one of several components that Nelson and Bodine say will help team owners with cost reduction; those components can be adjusted on the car, rather than having to be replaced. The goal is to produce a car that can perform at high levels at many different race tracks instead of just a few. “That is all going away for this car,” Nelson said. “The purpose of that is on the car owner side for the expense. If you have one size fits all, when you talk about the body of the car and the frame of the car, then how do you make that car run well at all the tracks? You bolt on aerodynamic devices, the spoiler, the wing or the splitter. You can't sit here in early stages of that kind of development and say what the end result is going to look like. All you can say is that the end result will be what turns out best in testing.” (NASCAR PR)(1-12-2006)

    • #0 Sponsorship/Driver Announcement UPDATE new number 66: Best Buy and #0 Haas CNC Racing will make a sponsorship and driver announcement on Thursday, Jan 12th.(PR), Jeff Green has tested the #0 Chevy in the past few weeks.(1-12-2006)
      UPDATE: Best Buy announced that it will sponsor the #66 [was #0] Haas CNC Racing team in the Nextel Cup Series with driver Jeff Green. "This is really good news for me and our team," said Green, the 2000 Busch Series champion. "Joining Best Buy Haas CNC Racing is a real thrill for me. With Best Buy coming on board and our plans for a new race shop, I think we have a pretty bright future ahead of us." Green said joining this team allows him to work with crew chief Robert (Bootie) Barker, who he has long admired. "We have the makings of a very good team. With Bootie as my crew chief, and a terrific crew and equipment to work with, I know I'm going to have a good year," said the Owensboro, Ken. native who, in addition to his 2000 Busch Series championship, owns 16 Busch Series victories and five top-5 finishes in Nextel Cup competition. "Haas CNC Racing is a top-notch organization and I think we will make some headlines in 2006." The Haas team has raced #0 since 2003, and in 2006 the team's Chevy will wear #66. This number was selected in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Best Buy, which opened its doors as Sound of Music in 1966 and is now North America's leading retailer of consumer electronics. While Best Buy will serve as primary sponsor on the #66 for a minimum of 12 races, Mike Linton, chief marketing officer for Best Buy, anticipates the #66 will have full sponsorship throughout the 2006 season, with additional announcements coming soon. "Our entry into the world of NASCAR last year was a fun experience--energizing both Best Buy employees and customers," Linton said. "As we looked to expand our presence this year, it was an easy choice to continue with the Haas CNC team. Anyone can do a sponsorship but not everyone can create a partnership and have fun at the same time. We know it's going to be a great season and that Jeff is going to be a great driver for the team." The Best Buy sponsorship will be highlighted on the #66 car as well as on driver and crew uniforms, trailers and merchandising items. Additionally the Best Buy Fun Zone Technology vehicle, a mobile unit featuring interactive technology displays, will make appearances at select races. Best Buy stores in key locations also will host driver and car appearances throughout the season. The Haas CNC Racing team is owned by Gene Haas, who founded Haas Automation in 1983. Based in Oxnard, California, Haas Automation is the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. Haas said the combination of a secure sponsorship combined with a championship-caliber driver and crew chief has created the most excitement at his 90-person race shop since it started in Nextel Cup racing in 2002. "There is a lot of excitement about this season--from Best Buy coming on as primary sponsor to Jeff Green taking over the car," said Haas. "We're looking forward to coming out of the gate strong at the Daytona 500 and being a contender for the championship." The race team is currently based in Harrisburg, NC, where it occupies a 40,000-square-foot building containing both the business offices and the garage where Haas cars are prepared for upcoming races. The team plans to break ground on a new state-of-the-art 140,000-square-foot shop on 23 acres at the Kannapolis, N.C., Gateway Business Park on Jan. 19.TMCnet), yes...the #66 will get the #0 owners points, as the #1 will use #15's from 2005 and the #61 team will use last years #66 points.
      IMAGE added of the scheme, see my #66 Team Schemes page for the image.(1-12-2006)

    • Dodge-Davis Lawsuit to go to jury trial: The Bill Davis-Dodge lawsuit is to go to jury trial in federal court in Michigan next week and could last two weeks. The long-running legal battle is over Dodge's decision two years ago to withdraw financial sponsorship of Davis' NASCAR team because of his racing ties with Toyota. Davis has Toyota truck teams and is expected to have one of Toyota's lead teams when Toyota steps up to the Nextel Cup tour in 2007.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-12-2006)

    • #78 team plans to run full schedule: #78 Furniture Row Racing, one of the few sponsor owned Nextel Cup teams, is scheduled to run 36 Nextel Cup races with Kenny Wallac and Jerry Robertson driving. Wallace is committed to run the first 5 Cup races of the season for Furniture Row Racing. Kenny Wallace states, "Furniture Row Racing has the resources, Joe Garone has the knowledge, and I'm very excited to help this new team get started." Robertson's explains, "To race in Cup is my ultimate dream. We've got a year under our belts in the Busch Series, and the team is working very hard to get competitive for Cup. Everybody's really excited." Owner Barney Visser says, “Our original 2005 NCS [Cup] plans were based on Kenny's NBS [Busch] sponsor commitment and scheduling. Our intention of running Kenny in 15 NCS races and the remainder with Jerry did not fully pan out, but it was a year of tremendous growth. Now, in 2006, Kenny has been approved to run as many races as possible, without interfering with his NBS commitment. This has put Jerry in a pinch hitter position for Cup. We are actively pursuing any top NBS teams that may be interested in having Jerry drive for them, with Furniture Row Racing supplying race engines, sponsorship, and technology. This will keep Jerry behind the wheel in the NBS while Kenny is racing in his select cup races.” Crew Chief is NASCAR vet Joe Garone. The Furniture Row Racing is Based in Denver, Colorado. Furniture Row operates more than 270 stores, in 30 states nationwide.(Furniture Row Racing site)(1-12-2006)

    • Edwards and Busch Finish Goodyear test at Atlanta: #99-Carl Edwards and #2-Kurt Busch completed today the second of a two-day tire test at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Goodyear tires. Busch was fastest today with an unoffical best lap of 184.620mph (30.03 seconds). Edwards' fastest lap was 183.450mph (30.22 seconds). With the new testing rules NASCAR has imposed this year, drivers covet the opportunity to gain extra time on the track. "This was beneficial to our team because it gave us the chance to come out here to a track I love and knock the rust off," said defending Atlanta race winner, Carl Edwards. "It was nice just getting back in the car and gaining a little extra seat-time." Tickets are on sale now for all three days of racing excitement during the March 17-19 Golden Corral 500 race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with ticket prices starting at $30. For fans who want to attend all three days or racing action, including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup races, three-day tickets start at $70 (quantities are limited). For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, 1-877-9AMSTIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(1-12-2006)

    • Carter to Bill Davis Racing UPDATE 2: although it was announced at Penske Racing that former #2 crew chief Larry Carter was staying there in another capacity, saw this reported on FoxSports.com 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)
      UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing will field three teams at Daytona; Mike Skinner will pull double duty between trucks and the #23 Cup car. Former Penske South [#2] crew chief Larry Carter has been retained as a consultant and will primarily assist Skinner's team through Speedweeks.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Crew chief Larry Carter, who led #2-Rusty Wallace into the Chase for the Nextel Cup in Wallace's final year in Cup racing, was a victim of a reorganization at Penske Racing South after Kurt Busch was named driver of the team's #2 Miller Lite Dodge at the end of last year. This week at Daytona, Carter was in Daytona helping driver Mike Skinner test a pair of #23 Bill Davis Racing Dodges. He said he hoped to have his next career step in place shortly. "I don't really know yet what I'm doing but I've got a couple opportunities that I'm looking at, and I'm probably going to be making a decision this week," Carter said. "There's nothing official yet, and I'm just down here helping Bill Davis with a couple of his cars, so we'll see what happens by the end of this week and into next week."(NASCAR.com)(1-12-2006)

    • Stewart flips, Lasoski wins at Chili Bowl: Danny Lasoski scored a wire-to-wire victory as the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals kicked off with Wednesday night's 25-lap Creek Nation Casino Qualifying Night main event. Lasoski fought off Steve Kinser for the win, with Jerry Coons, Jr., taking the show position. Tim McCreadie made a last lap pass of youngster Brady Bacon to snare the fourth and final transfer position to Saturday's championship main event. Tony Stewart scratched from the night after a wild flip in hot laps. Stewart has been rescheduled for Friday night's Warren CAT qualifying action. More info on the Chili Bowl at www.chilibowl.com or racinboys.com. Besides Stewart, other NASCAR drivers scheduled to be running some races there include Kasey Kahne, J.J. Yeley, Jason Leffler, Tracy Hines, Aaron Fike, A.J. Fike, Justin Allgaier and Damon Lusk.(1-12-2006)

    • COT to test at Daytona UPDATE 'Dead in the Water?': NASCAR will test the "car of tomorrow" Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 at Daytona International Speedway. Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said Jan. 10 that all the teams have been invited to the tests, but he is unsure how many will actually participate in the tests on the restrictor-plate track. About 12 tests for the car, which could debut in 2007, are being scheduled for 2006. Among one of the pieces NASCAR is testing is a wing that goes across the deck lid, Darby said. "There was a lot of favorable results from it," Darby said. "One thing a wing does is that it can duplicate the good parts of aerodynamics in regards to downforce and side-force things without creating the weight that a big spoiler would. It sits up off the deck lid a ways. We can use it a lot for testing purposes to learn more about what the car likes and what doesn't like and take it from there. We have got two choices. We can just go ahead and leave the wings on them or we can go back and take that information [for the spoilers]. It's a test piece for right now."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-10-2006)
      UPDATE: NASCAR's proposed "car of the future" appears to be dead in the water for the moment. Detroit car makers are putting on hold their own operations for the time being, saying that NASCAR executives aren't offering any clear directions on body configurations or timetables. NASCAR has planned an exhibition [at Daytona] today of its own in-house built version of the car, which was originally set to debut this fall at Talladega. But it appears no other stock-car teams will be participating. Another test of the car of the future in its quite different downforce configuration is expected in the next few days at Homestead, although it's still unclear how many, if any, NASCAR teams will participate.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-12-2006)


      News from January 11, 2006

    • Day 3 Testing - Daytona: #17-Matt Kenseth was the fastest in Wednesday's morning session, with a speed of 188.403mph in drafting sessions. #38-Sadler, #12-Newman, #41-Sorenson and #21-Schrader round out the top five drivers. The fastest Chevy was #24-Jeff Gordon, which was 10th fastest. Afternoon speeds: #24-Jeff Gordon was back at the top during Wednesday afternoon's drafting practice with a speed of 189.298mph, followed by #48-Johnson, #17-Kenseth, #40-Stremme and #1-Truex Jr. 19 drivers in 31 cars tested on Wednesday, opting opt was #78-Kenny Wallace.
      NOTE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammates Dale Eanrhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. swapped seats during Wednesday's afternoon test session to evaluate each other's race cars . . . Jeff Fuller, driving the #80 Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing, spun in the afternoon session but drove away without making any contact.(DIS PR)
      For the days speeds, speeds from the past few days, who is testing when and test schedule, see more on my 2006 Daytona 500 Testing Page.
      for images and some news from the track, see Cup Scene Daily - Day 3 blog.(1-11-2006)

    • Domino's sticks with Waltrip: Domino's Pizza is going the distance with two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip as they extend their partnership into the 2006 NASCAR racing season. Domino's will have an associate sponsorship throughout the 2006 racing season on Waltrip's #55 NAPA Dodge. Additionally, Domino's will be a primary sponsor on Waltrip's #55 Dodge during one NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race [supposedly Michigan in August]. The agreement also provides Domino's the opportunity to continue featuring Waltrip in NASCAR-themed commercials and promotions.(Domino's PR), see an image of the scheme on my #55 Team Schemes page.(1-11-2006)

    • Elliott wants to run 11-12 Cup races in 2006: Bill Elliott said Jan. 11 that he would like to run 10 to 12 races in 2006, but his only firm commitment is for the Daytona 500 in the #36 car for MB2 Motorsports. He would run the rest of the races for Evernham Motorsports [#91]. The 1988 Winston Cup champion retired from full-time racing after the 2003 season and has run a limited schedule the last two years for Ray Evernham. "My goal would be to run 10 or 12 races, that's what we've always said in the past," Elliott said. "We've kind of fallen short of that with the way things have fallen within Ray's camp. Right now, his main focus is to get his third-car deal with Scott Riggs and all those things in place. For me, this is an opportunity for me to come down and do this and let him to get his program in place and then work toward whatever we do as we continue on down the road."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-11-2006)

    • Rusty and Danica teammates: Danica Patrick, who finished fourth as a rookie in last year's Indianapolis 500, is teaming up with stock-car legend Rusty Wallace in one of racing's most storied events. They'll be partnered with Allan McNish and Boris Said in the 24 Hours of Daytona, Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway. Wallace, who retired from NASCAR last year, said Patrick, a Scottsdale resident,was impressive behind the wheel of the Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. "She got in the car and was all business," Wallace said. "My fastest lap was 1:47 flat (on the 3.56-mile road course), and Danica ran a 146.60. She outran me. I said, 'Guys, she's not hurting my feelings.' I was relieved she was able to get up to speed and run good."(Arizona Republic)(1-11-2006)

    • Knaus leaving #48 rumors were just that: Jimmie Johnson said he and crew chief Chad Knaus laughed at the off-season rumors that Knaus was about to leave the Hendrick Motorsports team that fields the #48 Lowe's Chevy for Johnson. "I think it started banquet week," Johnson said. "He called me and asked if I fired him and my response back was, 'No, are you leaving?'" Johnson did admit that he and Knaus were both frustrated near the end of the 2005 season as they again unsuccessfully chased a Nextel Cup title. "Last year was tough at the end and we were frustrated," Johnson said. "I give Chad a lot of credit for how hard he was working. It just didn't give us the results that we wanted. I think...the rumors kind of generated from that. And really, there was not any internal talk, there was not any discussion about a different crew chief, ever, and those rumors were something that we kind of laughed about and joked about."(ThatsRacin)(1-11-2006)

    • Hermie Sadler's UWF Launches 2006 Tour; Cup ride in 2006 UPDATE #00: The United Wrestling Federation, owned by NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler in partnership with TNA Wrestling, will launch its 2006 "Buckle Up" Tour next weekend in Sadler's hometown of Emporia, Virginia. Of the tours 32 events scheduled by the UWF, several of them coincide with NASCAR weekends, giving fans the opportunity to see big-time professional wrestling while in town for race weekends, including an April 1 show in Martinsville, Virginia and a May 25 show at Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, NC. The UWF will give discounts to NASCAR members and fans who have purchased tickets to races. Talent contracted by TNA include NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett, Team 3-D, AJ Styles, D-Lo Brown, and many others. For more information on events and tickets, visit www.uwfusa.com.
      AND hearing Hermie Sadler will drive a limited Nextel Cup schedule in the #00 Aaron's Rent car in 2006.(1-6-2006)
      UPDATE: Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership and Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. (MWR) are pleased to announce the extension of their motorsports partnership through 2008. Aaron’s will be identified as the primary sponsor on the No. 99 NASCAR Busch Series Aaron’s Dream Machine racecar for twenty-two Busch races each year of the agreement with Michael Waltrip as the driver. The 2006 schedule expands to include eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races with the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine and Hermie Sadler as the driver. Waltrip also continues a driver development program that will compete in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series with Ken Butler III competing in the Southern Division and Brett Butler driving in the Northern Division.(Shopaarons.com)(1-11-2006)

    • Newman's comments on Rusty: Q) Lookings back, is there a place where you wish you could have gone back and changed things with Rusty [Wallace, former teammate]? A) “It would have taken a different Rusty Wallace and a different Ryan Newman, and that wasn’t the situation. It probably never could have been any different than the way it was. We all know Rusty is the way he is and I’m the way I am. That wasn’t the best scenario for teammates. There wasn’t a point where we could have fixed it.”(Clear!Blue PR)(1-11-2006)

    • Edwards, Busch test tires at Atlanta: Kurt Busch sported new colors today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dressed in a brand new blue firesuit, Busch took his first laps in the historic #2 Miller Lite car. Busch and three-time Atlanta Motor Speedway winner, #99-Carl Edwards, were at the track today to assist Goodyear Racing Tires with the first of a two-day test session. Busch's new crew chief, Roy McCauley said, "Today, Goodyear is looking at wear, heat, overall lap times, grip level and load. Based on all the data taken during the test, they will choose the tire that will not generate too much heat, but provide enough grip to make the driver comfortable." Edwards posted the fastest unofficial time of the day with a lap of 189.993 mph (29.18 seconds), while Busch's fastest lap was 187.869 mph (29.51 seconds). Both times were comparable to race speeds. "Atlanta...man, this place is fast," said Busch. "I enjoy coming here. I think all the drivers enjoy coming to this race track. With the new testing rules, this test is beneficial for our team," said Busch. "Goodyear gets to use our resources to test their tires, but the biggest thing is we get track time." Tickets are on sale now for all three days of racing excitement during the March 17-19 Golden Corral 500 race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with ticket prices starting at $30. For fans who want to attend all three days or racing action, including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup races, three-day tickets start at $70 (quantities are limited). For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, 1-877-9AMSTIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(1-11-2006)


      News from January 10, 2006

    • Irvan, Nadeau and LaJoie take on the virtual world: A squadron of NASCAR drivers will take on the virtual racing world in the first-ever Race2Safety Showdown on January 24 at Quaker Steak & Lube, just up the road from Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The entire 40-car field was filled in less than 48 hours after it was announced. The 200-mile race will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.realracingonline.com, more info on my Ernie Irvan site or Racing Charities page.(1-10-2006)

    • UNC Charlotte Accepting Nominations for Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship: The Lee College of Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is now accepting applications for the 2006-2007 Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship. Lee College annually awards the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship to an outstanding high school graduate who has an affiliation with NASCAR and who exemplifies the late Alan Kulwicki's commitment to education and love of auto racing. More info and the link to apply on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(1-10-2006)

    • No new nose for the Charger: While Dodge teams are lobbying for concessions to make the one-year-old Dodge Charger more competitive, Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said Jan. 10 that it is unlikely they will get them. "We'll continue to watch the Dodge, but there are no changes on the table," Darby said. Dodge teams, which won only two races in 2005, still have the option of using the 2004 Intrepid, which two teams used at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-10-2006)

    • Flights for Race Teams offered: Teams now have something new to consider for the 2006 race season. CharterSearch, Inc, an Air Charter Management Company that has been in business since 1987, is working on a new program that will provide the Performance, Consistency and High Level of Service that NASCAR team's need. CharterSearch will be working this year to help provide the teams a lower cost option as the needs continue to grow with more new teams or higher demanding schedules on and off the track. USA Jet will be working exclusively with CharterSearch and provide the dedicated aircraft and crews which operate as a Part 121 carrier. They will be using three DC-9 Series aircraft that are configured in an executive/business class configuration to give the race crew members the comfort they need. More info at www.chartersearch.com.(1-10-2006)

    • Belmont to attempt Daytona 500: FansCrew.com announced that they will be in the ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway and plan to attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 in February. “We’ve entered into a sponsorship agreement with Andy Belmont,” David Westrick, co-founder of FansCrew.com said. “We will be working with Andy throughout the ARCA season and will be on the car he attempts to qualify for the Daytona 500.”(FansCrew.com PR via Catchfence.com), no word on car# or team.(1-10-2006)


      News from January 9, 2006

    • Sad News: Elizabeth Toomes Petty, wife of NASCAR champion Lee Petty and mother of NASCAR champion Richard Petty, passed away Sunday morning at age 88. She is survived by sons Richard and Maurice, as well as nine grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, one great great grandchild, two sisters and two brothers. Funeral services are to be held privately. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations by made to Level Cross United Methodist Church, Victory Junction Gang Camp or to Hospice of Randolph County.(Williams Company)(1-9-2006)

    • The New Wood Brothers Racing Shop to open: A new racing company expected to open Jan. 25 in Harrisburg, NC could help the town become a destination for auto racing enthusiasts. Wood Brothers Racing/JTG Racing Inc. will bring a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team [#21-Ken Schrader], two NASCAR Busch Series teams [#47-Jon Wood and #59-Stacy Compton] and two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams. A second Nextel Cup team will arrive in 2007. The teams' drivers are Ken Schrader, Stacy Compton, Jon Wood, Bobby East [CTS #21] and Marcos Ambrose [CTS #20]. The company will have a staff of 120, he said. Plans include hiring 20 more employees by the end of this year. It will cost about $750,000 to upgrade the 129,000-square-foot former warehouse on N.C. 49 at Caldwell Road. It will be able to house up to 70 racing cars and trucks. Wood Brothers Racing/JTC Racing Inc. has said it planned to invest $6.5 million and will bring new jobs in exchange for $76,914 in tax incentives from Cabarrus County and $20,787 from Harrisburg.(Charlotte Observer)(1-9-2006)

    • Kyle runs at Disney: Kyle Petty finished the Walt Disney World Marathon in 4 hours 42 minutes. He laughed when asked if he thought about ``going behind the wall.'' Petty said his knee began to bother him a lot around Mile 15. ''I walked a bunch so I wouldn't hurt it,'' he said. ``This is not what I do for a living. I do drive race cars, so I don't need to blow my knee out doing this. But it was a lot of fun. And the fans here are great, lining the course. Then you feel bad for walking, man.'' Some of the competitors recognized Petty and talked to him along the way. Petty said next year he might try to get in good enough shape to run Disney and the Miami Marathon, which is at the end of January. Petty was talked into running his first marathon by fellow NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip. They ran the Las Vegas Marathon last year. Petty finished in 4:14.(Miami Herald)(1-9-2006)

    • Stewart skips Daytona testing: Considering Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's dramatic Daytona victory in July, it's not surprising he's blowing off testing there this week to concentrate on competing in the 20th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. Smoke won the Chili Bowl title in 2002 and this year will face an expected field of 270 competitors, including Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski and Kasey Kahne. As happened last year, Mike McLaughlin will fill in for Stewart in the #20 Chevrolet during testing.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)

    • BDR to have three teams at Daytona: Bill Davis Racing will field three teams at Daytona; Mike Skinner will pull double duty between trucks and the #23 Cup car. Former Penske South [#2] crew chief Larry Carter has been retained as a consultant and will primarily assist Skinner's team through Speedweeks. Dave Blaney returns to BDR in the #22 Caterpillar Dodge and will be reunited with former Richard Childress Racing crew chief Kevin Hamlin. Michael Waltrip will make his debut for the organization in the #55 NAPA Dodge in February--the #22 and #55 will test next week, but former Winston West driver and current rear tire changer Tom Hubert will sub for Waltrip. Tony Anderson, a six-year BDR veteran who was the chief mechanic for the 22, has been promoted to car chief.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)

    • Busch tests at Lakeland: Kurt Busch was at Lakeland Speedway last Wednesday getting acquainted with his new team. Breaking in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge with Busch was crew chief Roy McCauley and new car chief Corey Tucker, who honed his skills on Ryan Newman's Penske team that won six races in nine Busch Series starts last year.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)

    • #31 Jackman back: #31-Jeff Burton's jackman, Josh Yost, who suffered cut tendons and ligaments and a shattered ankle when he was hit by Rusty Wallace's car on pit road in May at Talladega, returned to RCR in November and is expected to return to the roster for Daytona.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)

    • Congrats: MB2 Motorsports fabricator, Kenny Hough and wife Robin welcomed baby girl Kayla Marie Hough born at 11:58pm/et on Jan 7th, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz and 20 1/2inches long.(1-9-2006)

    • Stewart hands out awards at Eldora: Eldora Speedway capped the 2005 racing season with its awards banquet on Sunday by awarding nearly 100 trophies to drivers and car owners at the Eldora Ballroom. Track owner and Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart was on hand to help hand out the hardware, including points championships to Aaron Scott (Late Models), Scott Orr (Modifieds) Chad Kemenah (Sprints) and Mike Dirksen (Stock Car). Eldora also honored Sunoco American Late Model Series champion Brian Ruhlman and the series drivers.(Daytona Daily News)(1-9-2006)

    • Robby Gordon Dakar Update - 8th stage: #7-Robby Gordon is racing in the Dakar Rally, the world’s most grueling and logistically challenging auto race, started Dec. 31 in Lison, Portugal and heads approximately 6,500 miles south through Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar and into Morocco. From there, the race turns rugged as the field of more than 500 vehicles makes the incredible journey through Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Senegal, ending on Jan. 15th.
      Unofficially Team Dakar USA is out of the Dakar Rally. While the team battled overnight to make repairs to the Hummer's clutch and radiator apparently they did not make the ASO's allowed starting time. We will await word from the team for more details.
      AND Gordon’s attempt to win the famed Dakar Rally in his first try as a team owner/driver came within half an hour of becoming a reality before a large clump of camel grass hidden behind a huge sand dune ended his chances. Gordon was making the treacherous Special Stage run over open desert, in fading light, between Zouerat and Atar, Mauritania when he came over a dune and found the sandy crest breaking away under him. Instead of landing in soft sand on the other side the Hummer impacted a large patch of native grass filled with hard sand known as “camel grass.” The otherwise minor impact pushed the front bumper bar through the grill of the Hummer which punctured the radiator. Gordon his navigator Darren Skilton made repairs, then worked to extract the Hummer from the sand, but the effort caused the repaired damage to radiator to blow. Since it was dark and far from any roads, no assistance could reach them and the spare truck was also stuck, Gordon called for assistance which eliminated the H3 from the days race. Plans were to get the truck fixed for the next days race. At dawn the crew finally located the H3 team and replaced the radiator but it was now another race against time to make it to Atar to restart the next stage between Atar and Nouakchot, some 170 kilometers away. The official closing time for the restart was 1 p.m., but officials graciously allowed the H3 team a half-hour grace period to make the start. It wasn’t enough. The Hummer arrived one hour beyond the official allotted time and the Hummer was disqualified. Gordon still planned to reenter the race, accepting full-time penalties, so the team could get experience racing in the desert for next years event. The decision of the race officials, after much careful consideration, was still negative but they did grant the team the right to run the next day’s Nouakchot-Kiffa stage for experience. After completing the 9th Stage the Hummer will drive directly to Dakar for shipment home. Once back at the team’s headquarters in Anaheim, Calif., Gordon’s off-road crew will completely disassemble the H3 and begin preparations for the Baja 500 in June. See full release at robbygordon.com.
      For more info and to keep up with Gordon, see robbygordon.com or at dakar.com. Look for daily televised reports on OLN [Outdoor Life Network] daily at 4:00pm/et.(RGM PR)(1-8/9-2006)

    • NASCAR Drivers running Rolex 24 At Daytona: At least nine drivers with NASCAR ties are scheduled to test Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series cars Thursday through Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Jan. 28-29 running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Defending Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart and recently retired Rusty Wallace are on the entry list for testing. They will be teammates - but in different cars - for Howard-Boss Motorsports. Ganassi Racing driver Casey Mears will be part of Ganassi's driver lineup, which includes former Cup driver Scott Pruett, who still drives road-course Cup events. Two-time Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie is on the entry list, as are Mexican drivers Adrian Fernandez and Michel Jourdain, who ran partial schedules in the Busch Series last year. NBC commentator and former Cup driver Wally Dallenbach will also participate.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), also Northeast short-tracker Ted Christopher and former Truck/Busch Series driver David Donohue will run the race.(Elmira Star Gazette)(1-5-2006)
      MORE NASCAR Ties: other drivers with "NASCAR Ties":
      Christian Fittipaldi (Cup/Busch); Butch Leitzinger (Cup/Busch); Darrin Brassfield (Cup in 1989); Tommy Riggins (Cup/Busch); Jack Baldwin (Busch); Tommy Archer (Trucks); Mike Borkowski (Busch/Trucks); Tony Ave (Cup start); Chris Bingham (Busch); Ron Fellows is testing the #40 with Bingham this week in Daytona and could end up running the race.(Mike Paz, DIS PR Announcer)(1-6-2006)
      PLUS: NASCAR NBC Broadcaster and racing legend, Benny Parsons, will be the grand marshal of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.(1-9-2006)

    • Day 1 AM Speeds - Daytona: #24-Jeff Gordon led the morning sessions with a speed of 187.029mph. Gordon led a Chevy contingent in the top 3. He was followed by #48-Jimmie Johnson and #36-Bill Elliott. The new Ford Fusions made a strong debut, led by #17-Matt Kenseth with a speed of 186.023, 4th fastest. The Dodges still appear to be struggling, with the top Dodge being #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 12th fastest with a speed of 184.983mph.
      PM: #36-Bill Elliott's speed if 187.219mph was the fastest of today's afternoon session. Elliott was followed by #48-Jimmie Johnson, #38-Elliott Sadler and #24-Jeff Gordon.(Cup Scene Daily)
      Three drivers/teams not on the original list are testing: #23-Mike Skinner, #78-Kenny Wallace and #80-Jeff Fuller [4th Gibbs car]. One driver on the list has not seen on the speed charts: #13-Greg Sacks.
      See full rundown of Day 1- AM, PM and BEST speeds for the 20 drivers/37 cars on my 2006 Daytona 500 Testing Page
      See drivers times for Jan. 10th's Fan Fest on my Drivers Appearances page.(1-9-2006)



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