News from February 5, 2006
- Schrader and Waltrip to run #66 in Busch: UPDATE: the Yardman.com site has a NASCAR Racing section, listing Ken Schrader and Michael Waltrip as drivers of the #66 Yardman Ford for Brewco Motorsposrts in the Busch Series, no races listed.(Yardman.com)(2-2-2006)
UPDATE: Yard-Man by MTD is teaming up with veteran drivers Michael Waltrip and Kenny Schrader to become a primary sponsor of the Brewco Motorsports #66 Ford in the 2006 Busch series. Yard-Man, a leading manufacturer of lawn and garden tractors and walk-behind mowers, will have a primary role in 15 races, including Daytona, Bristol and Talladega. The #66 Yard-Man Ford makes its debut at Daytona on February 18, with Schrader behind the wheel. Throughout the remainder of the season Waltrip and Schrader will share driving responsibilities. (Yard-Man PR via BGNRacing.com)(2-5-2006)
- Robby 4th in off-road truck race: Robby Gordon, driver of the #7 Chevy in the Cup Series, finished 4th [1st Trick Truck] in the BITD Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker "425" in the Arizona desert. Gordon raced his Hummer H3 Jim Beam/Toyo Tires sponsored truck. The race was won by John Herder, followed by Gary Weyhrich and Chuck Hovey.(dirtnewz.com or bitd.com)(2-5-2006)
- Black Wheels to air Monday: Speed Channel reached an agreement with New Millenium Studios to air Black Wheels, a one-hour film exploring the history of African-Americans in motor sports, beginning in Monday, Feb. 6 at 9:00pm/et. The special will re-air during Daytona Speedweeks on Feb. 12 at 5:00pm/et. Writer and producer Byron Hunter took on the project after spending time with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester.(Speed Channel)(2-5-2006)
News from February 4, 2006
- Double Duty for Long at Daytona: Carl Long will be piloting the #80 Hover Motorsports Ford in this year's running of the Daytona 500. Long will also be at the wheel of the #28 FDNY Racing Chevy in the Truck Series race at Daytona. Sponsorship for both teams will be announced at a later date.(Carl-Long.com)(2-4-2006)
- Johnson on TV show Monday: Jimmie Johnson will make a primetime guest appearance on the Monday night episode of NBC's Las Vegas (9-10pm/et). In the episode, entitled "Urban Legends," Johnson, appearing as himself, is invited to judge a Chevy Custom Car Show taking place at the Montecito Casino. Johnson and his #48 Chevy are also featured in portions of the episode shot at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he is first approached to judge the car show. "It's definitely not as easy as it looks," said Johnson. "Fortunately, I got to play myself so I think that made it a little easier for me. I'm not sure how I would have done if I had to play someone else and read lines as that character. It was fun, but I think I'll stick to driving my race car."(Team Lowe's Racing/GMR Marketing)(2-4-2006)
- WAM to make gift presentation UPDATE: The Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM) will present a significant gift to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital at NorthEast Medical Center during a press conference Friday, February 3, in the Hamrick Theatre at NorthEast Medical Center [Charlotte area, NC]. The future hospital’s namesake, Jeff Gordon, will be in attendance during the presentation.(PR)(2-3-2006)
UPDATE: The Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM) announced its financial gift to the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital at NorthEast Medical Center in Concord, N.C. The gift of $200,000 given towards the playroom portion of the children's hospital is an opportunity for WAM to "kick off" a new initiative of the organization with its charitable works. "We appreciate WAM's donation to this project," Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion said. "The children's hospital means a lot to me, and I'm glad they've come on board to lend their support to the hospital and the children of this community."(WAM PR)(2-4-2006)
News from February 3, 2006
- Belmont back at Daytona Andy Belmont will be in Daytona Beach trying to qualify for the ARCA 200 and get his season off to a better start. The former local dirt track racer also will try to put a car into the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19. Belmont will try to qualify for the Daytona 500 is the same car [#59 Year One Ford] that Derrike Cope used last year. It was actually sitting in a show room in Braselton, Ga., and was owned by Year One, one of the country's largest sellers of restoration and performance parts for vintage and muscle cars. By the time Belmont had finished talking with Kevin King, president of Year One, he had the car, a Ford, and some sponsorship support from the company and had plans in place to take a crack at qualifying for the Daytona 500. GunBroker.com, the world's largest online auction of firearms and accessories, will sponsor Beck and be an associate sponsor on Belmont's Nextel Cup entry and his ARCA car. Belmont said he has sold his home in Penndel, PA and is having a home built in Mooresville, N.C. He has been living in his motor home next to his race shop in Lexington, N.C. His family will be joining him in Mooresville.(Phillyburbs.com)(2-3-2006)
- Penske likely to run Intrepids at Vegas & Calif: After #2-Kurt Busch tested both a 2004 Dodge and an 2005 model at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Penske Racing South expects to field 2004 models for both #12-Ryan Newman and Busch at California Speedway and Las Vegas. "We're going to use whichever car our team thinks is the better performer," team president Don Miller said Wednesday. "Right now, that looks like it's going to be the 2004." Dodge introduced the Charger nameplate last season, replacing the Intrepids it used from 2001-04. Both the '04 and '05 models are approved for use by NASCAR. Ray Evernham said his team plans to stick with Chargers for drivers #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #9-Kasey Kahne. While details have not been finalized, a number of Dodge teams are trying to schedule a group test at Nashville to see if they can come to a consensus before presenting an 2006 Charger to NASCAR to see if it can get a new nose approved.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-3-2006)
- Ward wants a ride: Ward Burton is quite matter-of-fact when reasoning his yearlong absence from NASCAR competition: The phone didn't just sit idle. He had opportunities to get back in the seat. Just couldn't get excited about any of them. So he held out. But as one of the most active Silly Seasons in recent memory came and went without resolution, Burton began to realize something: Some of this is my fault. It's not just going to fall in my lap. "There were a few offers," Burton said. "It wasn't as good as I'd have liked, and some of that is my fault, not being as proactive as I needed to be and relying on other people to do things for me. I didn't take time within the racing fraternity as I should have." That's not to say it was time wasted. Quite the contrary, in fact. Burton spent the year working on land conservation projects and spending considerable QT with his wife and children. "The loss of that year made me realize how much I love the sport, like the competition, like the camaraderie and intermingling with the fans, building sponsor programs, all of it," he said. Easier said than done. Anyone that knows NASCAR knows it is the consummate out of sight, out of mind business. Just walking back in after a year off is difficult for everyone, impossible for some. Burton is committed. He plans to be more visible at the racetrack in 2006, and is discussing possible sponsorship opportunities with NASCAR's brass and other industry movers and shakers "so I can bring something other than just myself to a team."(in part from NASCAR.com)(2-3-2006)
- Park has a ride? UPDATE 2 Busch Series: hearing Steve Park will drive a limited number of Busch Series races in 2006, possibly with the #31 Whelen Racing team.(1-31-2006)
UPDATE: From the Steve Park site "I'm thrilled to announce that I will be back in the #31 Whelen Engineering Monte Carlo for 10 select races during the 2006 Busch season. Everyone at Whelen & Marsh Racing has always been so good to me and I am so excited to be back behind the wheel of the Whelen machine."(2-1-2006)
UPDATE 2: Steve Park will be driving the Marsh Racing # 31 Chevy sponsored by Whelen Engineering in 10 select races during the 2006 season. "It is like a family member coming back home" said Phil Kurze, Whelen's Director of Motorsports. Kurze went on to say that "The kickoff race will be Las Vegas and we will probably be racing in both Richmond events, Darlington, New Hampshire, both Dover races, the October race at Lowe's and finish the season with Texas and Homestead. If Steve is able to secure a Craftsman Truck ride we will make some adjustments to our schedule to accommodate his obligations."(Whelen Racing)(2-3-2006)
- Roush signs developmental driver: Roush Racing announced that it has signed 19 year-old Canadian Peter Shepherd to a driver development contract. Shepherd will run select ARCA races in 2006 as a part of Roush Racing's driver development program.
Shepherd was selected as one of the 25 finalists for Roush Racing's Driver X competition in 2005, and was quick to impress. Following a stellar performance at Martinsville, Shepherd advanced to the second round of the competition at Darlington, where he continued to make an impression on team owner Jack Roush. Shepherd was able to impress not only on the track, but in the boardroom as well. During the filming of Roush Racing: Driver X, Shepherd participated in a comprehensive series of marketing and PR evaluations, scoring at the top of the list. Roush Racing is currently seeking sponsorship for Shepherd's 2006 campaign. Roush Racing will team with the Roulo Brothers to field Shepherd's #39 entry in selected 2006 ARCA events. Longtime ARCA Series and NASCAR competitors, the Roulo's have fielded cars for such drivers as Ken Schrader and Rich Bickle. In 2005, they fielded a car in six events for Roush driver Erik Darnell as a part
of the Roush Racing Driver Development program.(Roush Racing PR)(2-3-2006)
News from February 2, 2006
- NASCAR publicist arrested: see articles at ESPN.com/AP and the Charlotte Observer and another at the
- Jason Jarrett goes to work for Dad: Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure announced that Jason Jarrett has joined the team at its new corporate headquarters in Newton, North Carolina. Also, Troi Hayes, formerly the Senior Director of marketing at Talladega Superspeedway for International Speedway Corporation has also joined the company as the Senior Vice President of Marketing. In addition to being the son of Nextel Cup champion Dale Jarrett, Jason's own racing career has been extensive from its beginnings in the World Karting Association to the Nextel Cup Series. "I have been racing since 1992 and I am excited about this new opportunity with Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure," said Jarrett. While this new role will not be centered on getting behind the wheel, Jason likes being presented with new challenges. "For me, one of the best parts of driving a racecar has always been giving people great experiences and lifetime memories." The Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure provides people with an experience they will never forget by riding in or driving real Nextel Cup cars around NASCAR sanctioned tracks throughout the country. "Racing has been my life and I look forward to continuing my love for the sport by working with Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure and giving our customers that one-of-a-kind experience," explained Jason. More information is available on the Racing Adventure by visiting racingadventure.com.(PR Newswire)(2-2-2006)
- Wood Brothers to be inducted into VA HOF: Wood brothers: Glen and Leonard Wood [current owners of the #21 Nextel Cup team] are among eight Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2006 inductees at the 35th annual awards banquet in Portsmouth, VA on April 22. The Wood's have given more than 50 years to the growth of auto racing. They have been at it longer than any other continuous NASCAR Nextel Cup team. Among some top drivers the pair featured were: A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, Neil Bonnett, Kyle Petty and Ricky Rudd. The Wood Brothers team has featured 17 of NASCAR's top 50 drivers. The duo has 97 series wins, and many credit the brothers as inventors of the modern pit stop. The Hall, established in 1972, is for athletes, coaches, administrators and other contributors to Virginia sports. Candidates must meet certain criteria for induction. Among them, they must have lived in Virginia for at least four years or achieved national or international recognition while attending a Virginia college or university. For information on tickets call (757) 393-8031 or go to the Web site at www.vshfm.com.(from the Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-2-2006)
- McClure to Premiere #64: Eric McClure will be dividing his driving duties between the #60 in the ARCA REMAX Seriers, The Premier Motorsports #64 NASCAR Nextel Cup and the #85 Busch Series teams. McClure will participate in select NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series races in 2006 for The Premier Motorsports team.(Premier Motorsports site)(2-2-2006)
- Schrader and Waltrip to run #66 in Busch: the Yardman.com site has a NASCAR Racing section, listing Ken Schrader and Michael Waltrip as drivers of the #66 Yardman Ford for Brewco Motorsposrts in the Busch Series, no races listed.(Yardman.com)(2-2-2006)
News from February 1, 2006
- Testing at Las Vegas is over: the top five overall after three days of testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was: #99-Carl Edwards with a speed of 170.778 [Day 3 AM], followed by #9-Kasey Kahne [Day 3 AM], #66-Jeff Green [Day 1 AM], #2-Kurt Busch [Day 3 PM] and #38-Elliott Sadler [Day 1 AM]. 48 drivers ran laps. Slowest was #55-Michael Waltrip at 164.679 then #00-Hermie Sadler and #50-Larry Foyt. As far as heard, only #40-David Stremme and #12-Ryan Newman encountered the wall.
Speeds for each day and the final cumulative speeds the LVMS test can be seen on my Las Vegas Testing Page.(2-1-2006)
- Driver of the Year: In its 39th year, the Driver of the Year Award will be determined by an independent vote of an 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters and one vote based on a cumulative tally by fans voting at www.speedtv.com. That means that you, the fans, can help us decide the winner of the award by casting your vote right here for the driver you feel most deserves recognition for the 2005 season. The award encompasses all racing platforms including NASCAR, Champ Car, IRL, NHRA, SCCA, World of Outlaws and Sports Cars. The year-end winner is determined by 18 journalists’ secret ballots and the overall winner of the fan vote on www.speedtv.com. Fan voting for the 2005 Speed Channel Driver of the Year has begun. The winner will be announced exclusively on SPEED Wednesday, February 15th at 8:00pm/et.
2005 Speed Channel Driver of the Year Award nominees:
Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
Dan Wheldon (IRL)
Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car)
Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws)
Tony Schumacher (NHRA)
Greg Anderson (NHRA)(2-1-2006)
- Sad News - Dick Brooks: Former NASCAR driver and broadcaster Dick Brooks, 63, died earlier today, apparently of a heart attack. Brooks was the 1969 NASCAR Rookie of the Year. He won one race, the 1973 Talladega 500, and earned 93 top-10 finishes in 358 starts. He retired from racing following the 1985 season and went on to a successful career as a Motor Racing Network broadcaster.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)
AND The visitation will be held in the chapel of the Lanford Funeral Home, 257 N. Main Street, Woodruff, SC 29388 (864) 476-3101, from 1:00-2:00pm on Saturday, Feb. 4, followed by a 2:00pm service. Private burial will take place at 3pm. At this time, the family has not designated any memorial charity, but Lanford Funeral Home offered “A Arrangement Florist” in Spartanburg (864.576.9279) as a good choice of florists.(2-1-2006)
- Sad News - Tony Venturini: Tony Venturini, father of two-time ARCA Series driving champion Bill Venturini and grandfather of current series competitor Billy Venturini, died Wednesday, February 1st after a long, courageous battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. He was 77. Tony, of Chicago, Illinois, was the first line of three generations of Venturini’s who competed in motorsports. Tony began his career racing jalopies at Soldier’s Field in Chicago in 1952. During his racing career that lasted through 1959, Tony also raced at Rockford Speedway, O’Hare Stadium and Milwaukee. Tony was also a driver in Andy Granatelli’s Hurricane Hot Rod Association. Tony earned his living through the years as a Chicago-area gas station owner.
Tony’s son Bill, a veteran of ARCA and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, earned ARCA national championships in 1987 and 1991. Bill also has the distinction of being officially the fastest qualifier in ARCA history with a 205.432 mph qualifying run at Talladega Superspeedway in 1987.
Third-generation driver Billy Venturini finished a career-best 4th in ARCA RE/MAX Series points in 2004. Granddaughter Wendy is a broadcaster with Speed Channel. Tony is survived by sons’ Bill Venturini, Jack Venturini, Tony Venturini Jr., John Kaminski, Kenny Kaminski and daughter Caprice Towne. Visitation is from 11am to 8pm Sunday, February 5th at the Cumberland Chapel, 8300 W Lawrence Ave, Norridge IL 60706, phone (708) 456-8300. Funeral services will be held on Monday, February 6th with interment to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Elmwood IL, phone (708) 453-0184. All messages of well-wishes can be sent to Venturini Motorsports, 571 Pitts School Rd., NW, Concord NC 28027. Condolences go out to family and friends.(In part from ARCA Racing site)
AND In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made in Tony Venturini's honor to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Western North Carolina Chapter, 5950 Fairview Road Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28210.(2-1-2006)
- Kenny Wallace gets St. Louis Radio Show: UPDATE: Kenny will have another activity to keep him busy this year. “Starting 2/17 at 7 o’clock (PM) Central Time in St. Louis I’ll be on the Kenny Wallace show for KMOX radio,” Kenny tells us. “That is one of the largest AM stations in the United States, in 44 states. This is a radio station I grew up with my whole life listening to. It’s real good talk and sports radio I’m excited about it. I’ll broadcast from my motorhome on Friday nights. Rusty or some other special guests will do the show when racing in the Busch Series on Friday nights.” (KennyWallace.com)(1-6-2006)
UPDATE: KMOX announced today that Kenny Wallace, one of the most popular drivers on the NASCAR circuit, will host a special edition of the “Chrysler Jeep Sports Open Line” on KMOX throughout the stock car racing season. The program will air Friday nights at 7:00pm central time from February 17 through November 17, 2006.(KMOX PR). Wallace drives the #22 AutoZone Ford in the Busch Series and the #78 Furniture Row Chevy in the Cup Seires.(2-1-2006)
- Bodine and Germain testing at Vegas? in Cup car? UPDATE: hearing that Todd Bodine is testing the #03 Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week for Germain Racing, his Truck Series team.(1-30-2006)
UPDATE: Bodine tested a #03 Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, not much more info on it.(2-1-2006)
- Las Vegas Testing - Day 3:
AM Speeds: 28 drivers in 48 cars took to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesay, Feb 1st AM session. The fastest was #99-Carl Edwards with a speed of 170.778mph [track record is 174.904 set in Mar 2004], followed by #9-Kasey Kahne, #2-Kurt Busch, #12-Ryan Newman [Intrpid] and #17-Matt Kenseth. Fastest Chevy was #01-Joe Nemechek, 8th.
PM Speeds: 27 drivers and 47 cars took to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Wednesay, Feb 1st PM session. The fastest was #2-Kurt Busch with a quick lap of 169.694mph, followed by #07-Clint Bowyer, #01-Joe Nemechek, #9-Kasey Kahne and #16-Greg Biffle.
Speeds for the LVMS test can be seen on my Las Vegas Testing Page.(2-1-2006)
- Newman smacks wall: Five minutes into the final Las Vegas test session #12-Ryan Newman slapped the wall coming out of turn two flattening the right side of his #12 Dodge Intrepid. Newman drove the car back to the garage. Newman's team brought a pair of Intrepids while teammate Kurt Busch is driving a Charger and an Intrepid testing the down force of each body style.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(2-1-2006)
- Dodges: from some of the pictures that have been seen from the Las Vegas testing, looks like #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Kurt Busch are testing at least one Dodge Intrepid car. Didn't notice any of the other Dodge teams doing so.(2-1-2006)
News from January 31, 2006
- Daily NASCAR Shows: been told there will NOT be any daily NASCAR News type shows on Speed Channel in 2006 and have not heard of any plans for other networks/cable channels to have a daily NASCAR Show.(1-31-2006)
- Sadler added to Speed's Trackside: #38-Elliott Sadler will fill the fourth seat on Speed Channel’s popular Friday night show Trackside with Steve Byrnes, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds. Waltrip will continue to handle the first-half duties, with Sadler taking over for DW on July 7 at Chicagoland Speedway. Trackside, now in its fifth season, is a live, Friday night pre-event show from the site of each NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race.(Speed Channel)(1-31-2006)
- Bruton to make offer to buy NHRA: Speedway Motorsports [SMI] track owner Bruton Smith [Lowe's Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bristol, Texas, Infineon Raceway] says SMI will make a formal presentation in the next seven to ten days to purchase the National Hot Rod Association [NHRA]. The proposal was to be made last week however due to the death of the wife of NHRA director Wally Parks the meeting was postponed. “I hope that (the presentation) will mean something”, said Smith, "but we haven’t bought it yet. I expect to buy it but when I don’t know. They approached me about selling to me…that was the first indication and of course I got interested and so I’m still interested. They do what we do but in a different way…they forget to turn left…they go straight but they sell tickets and that’s what we do. If I buy it we’ll be doing the same thing.” If SMI completes purchase of the drag racing series Smith says the headquarters would be moved from Glendora, California to Las Vegas.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(1-31-2006)
- Labonte gets Heisman if he wins Daytona 500: Roger Staubach gave a speech to his new NASCAR team [#96 Hall of Fame Racing/DLP Chevy] last week in Charlotte. He was trying to pump up his charges for the daunting task at hand. Driver Terry Labonte wasn't at the shop that day. Staubach already dangled a special prize to his famous driver. "I told Terry if he wins the Daytona 500 next month, I'll give him my Heisman trophy," Staubach said. Labonte, racing his final Cup season, will drive seven races for the new team – the first five events and the two road-course races. Tony Raines will drive the other 29 Cup events. Using Labonte, a two-time Cup champion, is a smart move. It assures the team of making the field no matter how they qualify. Labonte has an automatic starting spot as a former champion. The plan is for Labonte to earn enough points in the first five races to guarantee Raines a starting spot every week. The top 35 teams in points are assured of making the 43-car field.(in part from the Dallas Morning News)(1-31-2006)
- Allied Steel Bldgs to Bill Davis Racing: Allied Steel Buildings Inc is taking a next step in their NASCAR involvement by joining Bill Davis Racing Teams during this year’s events. Allied is expanding its NASCAR involvement after serving as a part-time associate and primary sponsor of the #50 Arnold Motorsports car during the 2005 season. “Allied Steel is still fairly new to this sport, so it is an honor the company has chosen to come on board with us. It’s also an honor to get to carry the Allied Steel banner. It is a great company with great standards,” said Bill Davis, team owner and president. “We are really thrilled to be a part of NASCAR as a full-time sponsor for the new 2006 season,” said Allied’s President, Michael Lassner. “It’s such an honor to be affiliated with Bill Davis and his racing teams. They plan to be one of the best on the race track this year and we will do everything that we can to help them make that happen,” said Lassner.(eMediaWire), no word on which of BDR's teams it will be a sponsor for or at what level, primary or as an associate.(1-31-2006)
- Inside Nextel Cup Show returns on Feb 13th: Dave Despain will once again climb into the host's chair for SPEED's popular Monday night program Inside Nextel Cup, beginning Feb. 13 at 7:00pm/et. Joining Despain, will be veteran drivers Michael Waltrip and Kenny Schrader, both in new rides for 2006. Brian Vickers, the Hendrick Motorsports driver who joined the show late last
season, will return for 20 shows in 2006. "I think 2006 should be exciting for everyone - especially the fans of Inside Nextel Cup," said Vickers, the youngest national series champion in NASCAR history. "Kenny (Schrader) and Michael (Waltrip) are driving for new teams, the GMAC Racing team and I are ready and we're all optimistic about a new season. I've gained some valuable experience working with them and Dave (Despain) on the set, so hopefully I'll pass the SPEED rookie stripe to someone else and we'll bring viewers even more insight and entertainment. I appreciate the opportunity they've presented by welcoming me back to the program."
"It took a lot of courage for Brian to step onto a show that had changed for the first time in 10 years last year," said Chris Long, VP of Studio Production for SPEED. "We made some aggressive changes to a fan favorite SPEED show midway through the year and Brian did a great job blending in with the team. We're thrilled to have him back for 20 shows in 2006."(Speed Channel)(1-31-2006)
- Gordon, Superman and Daytona: #24-Jeff Gordon will run a special Pepsi Superman Returns paint scheme at Daytona in the Julu 1st Pepsi 400.(Pepsi Free Ride Site)(1-31-2006)
- Special CAT schemes: the #22 Caterpillar Dodge will run two special schemes with Dave Blaney, Ground Engineering Tools scheme at Michigan in June and E-Series Backhoe scheme at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. See the schemes on my #22 Team Schemes page.(1-31-2006)
- DirecTV to sponsor RCR? looks like DirecTV will be an associate sponsor on the #07 Jack Daniel's RCR Chevy Clint Boyer will drive in 2006. See the schemes on my #07 Team Schemes page.(1-31-2006)
- Putnam Joins PPI Motorsports: PPI Motorsports announced that Gary Putnam has been named competition director. Putnam, a ten-year veteran in the Nextel Cup Series rejoins his former crew chief James Ince. Ince and Putnam worked side-by-side during the 2000-2002 Cup seasons. “I am very pleased to have Gary Putnam join my organization,” said Cal Wells III, owner of PPI Motorsports. “He will be an invaluable asset to me as well as our crew chief. He adds a tremendous amount of depth to the Tide Racing program and will help us grow as we move forward into a multi-car team.”
“Any time you can bring back a quality crew chief that can do other things only strengthens your race team,” added Ince. “He was my car chief at MBV Motorsports and went on to do great things as a crew chief. I feel fortunate he was open to the idea of joining forces again. I consider him my equal. He’s almost like having my alter-ego around.” Putnam’s duties start immediately as the Tide/Downy Chevy takes part in test sessions at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Before joining PPIM, he served as crew chief at NEMCO Motorsports (2004-2005) and Petty Enterprises (2002-2004).(PPI Motorsports)(1-31-2006)
- Ganassi doesn't want wing: While the wing on the NASCAR "car of tomorrow" is intriguing, team owner Chip Ganassi said that he didn't want to see a wing on the cars. Ganassi said he is happy that NASCAR has had dialogue with the teams and considered their input - and he hopes that could include eliminating the idea of a wing on the cars. Ganassi has had experience with wings in open-wheel and road racing. "There better not be a wing on the car of tomorrow," Ganassi said. "It is an area that is wide open and rampant for cheating, and it's an area that's very hard to police. Why they would want to get involved in something that's hard to police, I have no idea."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-31-2006)
- Martin to run limited CTS sched, starts at Daytona: Mark Martin will kick off his 2006 Craftsman Truck Series schedule in the series’ season opening Daytona 250 on Friday, Feb. 17. Martin, who plans to run a limited schedule in both the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series in 2006, will compete in four races over Daytona Speedweeks, including the Budweiser Shootout, the IROC season opener,
the Craftsman Truck opener and the famed Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. It will mark Martin’s fourth career start in the truck series, his second
consecutive; he finished eighth in the ’05 series finale at Homestead. Martin won at North Wilkesboro in 1996 in his second career truck series start, and finished third in his first start at Richmond that same year. This will be Martin’s first venture in the series at Daytona, although he did take part in a truck at Daytona with teammate David Ragan two weeks ago.
“I’m excited to get out there in the truck,” said Martin, who plans to go full-time in the series in 2007. “We had a chance to test the truck at Daytona a couple of weeks ago and I really had a ball out there. I’ve been excited about the Truck Series for a while now, and I can’t wait to get out there in the #6 Ford and see what we can do against the competition. The truck is really fast and Mike Beam and the entire #6 crew have really put together an awesome team for David (Ragan) and myself for 2006 and we are really looking forward to sharing the Ford for 2006.” Martin will run a limited number of Truck races in 2006, sharing the seat with up and comer David Ragan. Martin will be in the seat for the first three races of 2006 at Daytona, Fontana and Atlanta before handing over the reigns to Ragan at Martinsville. Martin is currently scheduled to make seven starts in the #6 Ford.(Roush Racing PR)(1-31-2006)
- Boris Said unsure of future Cup plans: Boris Said hasn't heard his phone ring, so he is assuming he has no deal with sponsor Centrix and MB2 Motorsports for this year. The veteran road racer drove in nine races for the team in 2005. He said he was scheduled to run the Daytona 500 before the team was able to land Bill Elliott for that race. "The last I talked to Centrix, they shook my hand and said we're doing the Daytona 500 and haven't returned a phone call since," Said said Jan. 27. "I don't really know. I'm pursuing and looking for sponsors. I have something to offer to do a partial season and a chance to win two races, with a sponsor that maybe wants to get their feet wet. Maybe Centrix will return my calls, but right now, I don't know what to think but it's not good." Said will compete in the two Busch Series road course events with a "really great" team, he said.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-31-2006)
- Stremme Wrecks...is OK: Testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedwat was stopped for about a half-hour after the engine let go on David Stremme's #40 Coors Light Dodge. The car slipped in the oil and crashed getting into turn three. Stremme was seen and released from the infield care center. His team rolled out a backup Dodge Charger.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show), #48-Jimmie Johnson also spun, but didn't hit anything.(1-31-2006)
- Las Vegas Testing - Day 2:
AM Speeds: 44 drivers in 76 cars took to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Jan. 31st. The fastest in the AM test was #26-Jamie McMurray [his 2 cars were 1-2] with a speed of 169.316mph [track record is 174.904 set in Mar 2004], followed by #2-Kurt Busch, #6-Mark Martin, #17-Matt Kenseth and #31-Jeff Burton. Todd Bodine was in the #03 Chevy, Bobby Hamilton Jr. was in the #04 Dodge, Larry Foyt in the #50 Dodge.
PM Speeds: 44 drivers in 68 cars took to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Jan. 31st. The fastest in the PM session was #66-Jeff Green at 169.263, followed by #31-Jeff Burton, #42-Casey Mears, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #9-Kasey Kahne.
Speeds for the LVMS test can be seen on my Las Vegas Testing Page.(1-31-2006)
News from January 30, 2006
- #51 Team names driver and sched: #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports has teamed with driver Mike Garvey for the upcoming Nextel Cup season. Garvey is well-known in the racing circuit where he has driven in almost every racing series, including ASA, Craftsman Truck, Busch, and NASCAR Nextel Cup [in the #66, now #61 and #75 in 2005]. In 2005, Garvey qualified nine times for the Nextel Cup Series races, with his best finish of 25th place at Poco# The Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil #51 Chevy will open up the 2006 season at the California Speedway on February 26 with a fresh focus on elevating performance. Competitive Edge Motorsports will follow the California race with races at Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bristol and Martinsville. The Marathon Chevrolet #51 Team and Garvey will be testing in Las Vegas, January 30 to February 1. "The team has done an outstanding job with the 2006 body and the preparation is going as planned. The cars are really good. It should get interesting this year," said Garvey. "We're nearly ready for the new season, and we're looking forward to the upcoming tests at Las Vegas. With refreshed bodies and engines for the cars, an experienced driver, and a team with focused enthusiasm, we expect 2006 to be our best yet," Competitive Edge Motorsports owner Joe Auer concluded.(Yahoo Biz)(1-30-2006)
- Craven Charity Ride Raises Another $135,000: Despite some challenging weather conditions, Ricky's annual Snowmobile Ride for Charity completed a 35 mile ride on Saturday afternoon. The event raised an additional $135,000 for some of Ricky's favorite charities, bringing the Charity Ride's 9 year total to over $1.1 million. Ricky would like to thank the volunteers, sponsors, and participants that helped make this year's event a success.(Ricky Craven Site)(1-30-2006)
- Wood to run 7 Cup races, McSwain to crew chief UPDATE: Michael “Fatback” McSwain, who stepped down as crew chief from the Wood Brothers #21 Ford to oversee the team’s move from Mooresville, NC, to Harrisburg, NC, and the competition end of the team’s merger and expansion, will be back atop the pit box later this season. McSwain will be the crew chief for Jon Wood’s #47 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford, which will be entered in seven Cup races. And there could be more such work in the future. “Have I done my last (full-time) crew chiefing? Have I been on the pit box for the last time? I don’t know,” McSwain said. “Me personally, the only thing that I’d like to do that I haven’t done … I’d like to win a championship. If I could take a young guy who’s learning to be a Cup crew chief and help him or teach him, that’d be equally as gratifying as me doing it myself.”(Speed Channel)(1-26-2006)
UPDATE: Jon Wood will run a limited Cup schedule starting midsummer. Wood, a third-generation racer, will drive the #47 Ford, which is likely to be sponsored by the Air Force. It will be the first time in 14 years Wood Brothers Racing has fielded a second car. Fatback McSwain will be the crew chief.(Sporting News)(1-30-2006)
- Las Vegas Testing - Day 1:
AM Speeds: 24 drivers in 41 cars took to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday, Jan. 30th AM session. The fastest was #66-Jeff Green with a speed of 170.068mph [track record is 174.904 set in Mar 2004], followed by #38-Elliott Sadler, #6-Mark Martin, #31-Jeff Burton and #29-Kevin Harvick.
PM Speeds: 24 drivers in 40 cars ran the afternoon session with #38-Elliott Sadler as the fastest at 168.429mph, followed by #07-Clint Bowyer, #6-Mark Martin, #66-Jeff Green and #31-Jeff Burton.
Speeds for the LVMS test can be seen on my Las Vegas Testing Page.(1-30-2006)