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    FEB 6-12, 2006

      News from February 12, 2006

    • Jeff's on the front row for the Daytona 500: #31-Jeff Burton in the #31 Cingular Chevy, won the pole for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 189.151mph. The pole is Burton's first since Richmond in Sept. 2000, 190 races ago and only the third of his career. #24-Jeff Gordon went out late and scored the outside pole with a lap of 188.877. The two Jeff's are the only drivers locked in starting spots for the 500. The rest will gain their starting spot via the Gatorade Duels on Thursday [will cover here online live]. The rest of the top five are #88-Dale Jarrett, #38-Elliott Sadler and #48-Jimmie Johnson [later disallowed]. The best Dodge was #43-Bobby Labonte, who was 6th fastest. All the drivers who are in the top-35 of 2005 final owners points are in the race. Four drivers who are not locked in the top-35 have secured a spot in the race: #36-Bill Elliott, #32-Travis Kvapil, #00-Hermie Sadler and #96-Terry Labonte. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 39th fastest. #17-Matt Kenseth lost a tire just as he took the green flag and was the only driver not to record a speed. No wrecks or major incidents. See the qualifying results on my Jayski's Daytona 500 Qualifying/Grid Page.(2-12-2006)

    • Hamlin wins the Budweiser Shootout: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, the first time in Bud Shootout history that a rookie won the event. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd with a late race pass of #20-Tony Stewart, then #10-Scott Riggs [after getting the lucky dog pass] and #48-Jimmie Johnson. The race ended under a green-white-checker finish after a late caution. Pole sitter #21-Ken Schrader finished 14th after leading 18 of the first 20 laps. There were 14 lead changes by 9 drivers and 3 cautions for 13 caution laps. #55-Michael Waltrip, who started 21st/last and has been slow since unloading, was strong in the race and led 11 laps before finishing 11th. For the unofficial results and past news on the 2006 Bud Shootout, see my 2006 Budweiser Shootout page.(2-12-2006)

    • Team Limit proposal not happening? Jack Roush won't be the only car owner with five teams on the Nextel Cup circuit this season. Rick Hendrick will have five, too. So where does that leave Brian France's proposal to limit owners to just two or maybe three Cup teams? The stock-car world is still wondering just what France, NASCAR's CEO, was thinking when he announced, rather suddenly last September that he wanted to limit team ownership, ostensibly to open up the sport to more newcomers. But with the multimillion-dollar economic barrier to entry in his sport, France almost appeared to be thinking about an earlier, simpler era in its history. Five weeks after proposing a two- or three-team limit, France reset the number at four. And now it appears that everything has essentially been put on hold, at least until current sponsorship contracts run out, say in 2009. And it has become, in Kyle Petty's words, "a non-story." "If they limited us all to two, that would have made sense," Petty said. "Or three. But with four, it's not even an issue."(Winston Salem Journal)(2-12-2006)

    • New Assoc. for #32: #32 PPI Motorsports announced a one-race associate sponsorship with Yakety Yak Wireless Inc. (YYWI). The partnership spans throughout the upcoming Daytona Speedweeks which culminates in the sport’s season opener, The Daytona 500. Yakety Yak is excited to embark on this partnership which will help launch YYWI’s national marketing campaign for 2006. Yakety Yak Wireless Superstores will have its Franchisees across the nation participate in a marketing campaign counting down to the Daytona 500 with special in-store promotions. Travisd Kvapil drive the #32 Tide Chevy. For more information visit Motorsports site)(2-12-2006)

    • Sponsor for Lepage: Peak Performance Motorsports officials say the team has signed Mountain Dew AMP as sponsor for the upcoming events at Daytona International Speedway. Kevin Lepage will drive the #61 AMP Energy Drink car in the qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16. If he advances into the race, he will drive the Mountain Dew AMP car, marking the first time the company is a primary car sponsor for a Nextel Cup event.(NASCAR Scene)(2-12-2006)

    • The Johnson's Announce Charitable Foundation: Jimmie and Chandra Johnson announced today the creation of the "Jimmie Johnson Foundation" to aid charities that work with children and families. Johnson said the mission of the foundation is to fund five existing charities: the American Red Cross, Victory Junction Gang, Randy Dorton Memorial Fund, Make-A-Wish, and the Hendrick Marrow program. The foundation's first activity is an eBay online charity auction that started at the beginning of the year. The auction includes racing and sports memorabilia, but will separate itself from most online auctions by offering fans the chance to bid on experiences with celebrities and professional athletes. Mike Rucker of the Carolina Panthers as well as Marcus Giles and Mike Hampton of the Atlanta Braves joined the Johnson's in Daytona for the foundation announcement. Fans can bid on the souvenir items and experiences at
      The auction includes tickets to sporting events, impressive experiences from Hendrick Motorsports' Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Rick Hendrick. The experiences and items also include donations from Major League Baseball players Marcus Giles, Mike Hampton, Russ Ortiz and Cal Ripken, Jr; NFL players Mike Rucker, Howie Long, Brandon Short and Mark Rypien; NBA Chicago Bulls; bowler Parker Bohn, III; NHL player Mario Lemieux; Olympic gold medalists Dan Jansen and Mary Lou Retton; celebrities Nick Lachey, Tracy Lawrence, Freddy Holliday and Kendra Bentley Holliday from the Amazing Race 6 and professional poker player Annie Duke. In addition to the auction, 1,000 commemorative coins were produced. The coins have the foundation logo on one side and "Inaugural Fundraiser" with the official launch date "2-11-06" on the other. The coins may be purchased for a donation of $50 or more at All proceeds will benefit the foundation.(GMR PR)(2-12-2006)

    • Countdown #3: Top 5 Daytona 500 Moments Announced: Lee Petty’s 1959 Daytona 500 victory was historic for a variety of reasons. After all, it was a big, new race – at a big, new track. Daytona International Speedway also debuted that Sunday; the high-banked, 2.5-mile surface was unlike any track previously used by NASCAR competitors. Fast and wide, it produced numerous lead changes. Out of a starting field of 59 cars, three had the chance to win in the final laps. Petty and Johnny Beauchamp took the checkered flag seemingly simultaneously – joined at the finish line by the lapped car of Joe Weatherly. Initially declared the winner, Beauchamp went to Victory Lane for the celebration and trophy presentation. Petty asked NASCAR to seek photographic evidence of the finish – not an easy task in the days before real-time technology. Three days later, after viewing photos and video, NASCAR founder and president Bill France Sr. declared Petty the winner of the first Daytona 500. Another note: Lee Petty wasn’t the only family member to compete that day. His son Richard started sixth in the 1959 Daytona 500 – a formative step in the career of the driver who came to be known to all NASCAR fans as “The King.”(NASCAR Media)(2-12-2006)

      News from February 11, 2006

    • Hybrid Dodge? Dodge’s John Fernandez said a planned testing summit of Dodge Nextel Cup teams won’t take place until early next month. The group test will be conducted in an attempt to fix the aero imbalance and pitch sensitivity woes that have plagued the Dodge Charge since its introduction last season. Meanwhile, the major Dodge teams — Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Penske Racing South and Evernham Motorsports— each worked during the offseason to come up with different approaches to solve the Charger’s problems. Fernandez said Dodge may seek NASCAR’s OK for what he termed a “hybrid” car with better aero characteristics. “We’re hoping that we’ve solved the problem with the 2005 car,” he said, adding only that the hybrid “would be something a little bit different than the current Charger.”(Speed Channel)(2-11-2006)

    • Long/Hover get a sponsor: Stan Hover Motorsports announced that its #80 entry at the kick-off to the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup will be sponsored by RoadLoans, and driven by Carl Long. As the primary sponsor, RoadLoans puts the wheels in motion for NASCAR fans eagerly anticipating the start to the 2006 season. “It’s our business to put thousands of people, with all types of credit, behind the wheel of the car of their dreams,” said Chris Goodman, senior vice president and managing director, RoadLoans. “We’re honored to team with Stan Hover Motorsports as we put Carl Long behind the wheel of #80 Ford at the Daytona 500. This is a perfect fit for RoadLoans and a great way to let America’s 75 million NASCAR fans know that we are ready to support them in their automobile pursuits, even if it’s not on the race track.”
      “RoadLoans is a great complement to our racing team,” said Stan Hover, Stan Hover Motorsports. “Putting people in the driver’s seat is their business. We’re excited to team with them as they help to put our driver, Carl Long, in the driver’s seat of the #80 car.” For more information, visit Long site), looks like Roadloans will also sponsor the #61 team and Kevin Lepage, see an image of the #80 on my #80 Team Schemes page.(2-11-2006)

    • 2006 Critical for Jarrett's plans: #88-Dale Jarrett , a 21-year veteran, said this is "a very critical year" in terms of whether he will return to race in Nextel Cup next season at age 50. "I don't want to be out here driving around. I want to be competitive and that's why I continue to do it," he said. "These race cars have no idea how old I am when I sit down. I should be smarter, better driver as years go on. There's nothing I can't do in a race car at 49 that I couldn't at 39." Jarrett, the 1999 series champion, won at Talladega last fall, but finished 15th in points for the second consecutive year in a frustrating, inconsistent campaign. He finished in the top 10 in points seven straight years before slumping to 26th in 2003. Daytona has provided a good starting point for Jarrett in the past. He won the Daytona 500 in 1993 and finished fourth in the standings; again in 1996 and finished third. He won the race and the championship in 2000. He also won the Bud Shootout in 1996, 2000 and 2004.(St Petersburg Times)(2-11-2006)

    • Rick Hendrick comments on lawsuit: Car Owner Rick Hendrick made these comments Saturday afternoon at Daytona in response to those recently made by Diane Dorton, wife of Randy Dorton, Hendrick's head engine builder and one of ten people killed in the Hendrick Motorsports plane crash in October 2004. Others who died included Rick's 24-year-old son Ricky Hendrick, John Hendrick and his 22-year-old twin daughters Kymberly and Jennifer, Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Jeff Turner, Dupont Executive Joe Black, Scott Lathram, a pilot for driver Tony Stewart, along with the plane's pilots Dick Tracy and Liz Morrison. Mrs. Dorton has filed a lawsuit alleging the plane took off in bad weather because John Hendrick was in too much of a hurry and was unwilling to land at another airport other than the Blue Ridge Airport near Martinsville, Virginia.

      "Everybody who had family members on that flight suffered a lot. You know when you look at the pilots and how they were trained and what went on that day, you know it's just disappointing somebody takes things out of context and the facts aren't accurate. I know my brother (John Hendrick) was a white-knuckle flyer, and he had his two daughters on that plane and they waited an hour for the weather to clear. You know the plane landed in front of them and there was a plane that was going behind them that anyone could have gone on to if they wanted to. So, for someone to take a shot at him is totally disappointing and hurtful to my family - my mother, his wife and child.

      Then, for Diane to say that we turned our back on her or nobody helped her. I paid Randy's (Dorton) bonus in '04, paid him six months in '05. She's got a BMW. I paid her insurance. We had someone there helping her night and day. I met with her anytime she wanted to. You have insurance and to take care of people and that's what it's for. I don't understand the attack on my brother. Thought it was a cheap shot, disappointing and the facts we not true. The other statement about not getting any help is totally..when you've done as much as we've done and someone makes that kind of comment that's hurtful and disappointing. You know everybody suffered. It was a sad deal. It was an accident. Greensboro (air traffic controllers) made a mistake, the pilots made a mistake and everybody is hurt a lot. It's just really disappointing when you do the best you can and someone grandstands and doesn't get the facts straight."

      "My brother was a white-knuckle flyer, he was very afraid. He cancelled a lot of trips because he really didn't really like to fly. He had his two girls on the plane and one of the statements she (Diane Dorton) made he said "we got to go to that airport (Blue Ridge)" which is totally false. You know they waited an hour and he said, and I've talked to people, there were other pilots there (that heard John Hendrick say) "hey if we can't get in we'll just stay home." So, they wait an hour. A plane lands in front of them, meaning things were okay and they go up there. Two well-trained, as good as we've had, I've flown with those two pilots all the time and they simply made a mistake. The weather was not great and Greensboro made a mistake, they didn't alert them they were off course and it happened. That's something I live with. I've got a six month old granddaughter that will never know here dad. You know it's been hurtful to everybody, everybody lost and suffered. Accidents happen and we just have to go on."

      "You can do a lawsuit but you don't have to personally attack my family, my brother and you don't have to say the company hadn't helped when we've broken our back and been there and done things. Those are the two items that bother me. Lawsuits don't bother me I mean that's against the insurance company and that's why we have insurance. But when you attack my family personally, when we've done everything we can, I think, I was very disappointed in Diane and I think it was uncalled for and not accurate."

      Q) Hendrick's response to being asked about the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report that cited pilot error as the main reason for the crash:
      "They didn't mention as much about the failure of the Greensboro controllers didn't tell the pilots they were too low or off course. I was happy to hear them say that they graded our flight department on a scale of nine and we got a nine. Our guys try to do the best they can and we do everything we can to make it as safe as possible. Accidents happen, they happen all the time. The pilots were doing the best job they could. They were as trained as well as they could have been and had a lot of experience in bad weather. In our planes the pilots always make the decision when it's time to go and when to divert. Like I said my brother…. had a couple of pilots call me that fly him all the time and say we've cancelled numerous trips when the weather wasn't good and he'd drive and get his daughters. He had both of his daughters on that plane so that was just, I don't know what is was, a cheap shot and it wasn't true. The facts are the facts and they'll come out.

      Q) As to what changes they've made in regards to the team's flight plans:
      "We'll do the best we can to be safe and try to go into larger airports that have towers and so forth, but it could happen in a van going to the airport so accidents just happen. I think everybody does the best they can and that's what I live with. My wife has helped me a lot there she's said God has a plan and we have to accept it. It's hard and it hurts and you live with it every minute of every day there's something that reminds you of your friends and family. Life is never the same after one of those but that's just the way it is."(PRN's Garage Pass)(2-11-2006)

    • Blount to the #37 for full season: Chad Blount is using this weekend's ARCA RE/MAX Series event as a test session and said he has been hired to drive the #37 Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series for owner John Carter. Blount said the team is looking for sponsorship but plans to run the full 2006 Nextel Cup schedule. Blount is driving a Dodge prepared by Hagans Racing with assistance from Mark Gibson Racing.(, no word if Blount will enter the Rookie of the Year race which is now up to eight drivers.(2-11-2006)

    • Schwan's to #45? UPDATE 2: hearing that Schwan's Home Service, who sponsored the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in 2004-2005 with Ken Schrader, could be heading to Petty Enterprises to be the primary sponsor for Kyle Petty on the #45 Dodge for 10-12 races in 2006. Wells Fargo already announced they would run 12 races as primary. Also there is a rumor floating around, but unable to confirm it at all, the new Coca-Cola soft drink, Vault could sponsor Petty in some fashion.(1-24-2006)
      UPDATE: Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., a business unit of The Schwan Food Company, has announced its sponsorship of the #45 stock car owned by Petty Enterprises for the 2006 Nextel Cup season. “Everyone at The Schwan Food Company is thrilled to join the Petty racing team for the 2006 season. The team operates under the same values that are important to Schwan,” said Bill McCormack, executive vice president of administration and company spokesperson. The #45 car, driven by NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty, will carry the Schwan’s Home Service yellow-and-blue paint scheme for four races, which will be announced at a later date. Home Service will provide an associate sponsorship for the remaining races. “I’ve raced off and on against a Schwan sponsored car since 1985 and am really excited to finally be able to have them on my team,” said Petty, Petty Enterprises CEO (and #45 team driver). “The best part of this deal is my guys won’t have as far to go to get the great Schwan’s ice cream at the track. They are already clearing space on the transporter to haul the ice cream cooler.”(GoMarshall), Schwan's was the primary sponsor of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge the past two years.(2-8-2006)
      UPDATE 2: hearing the races Schwan's will be the primary sponsor are Bristol in March, Texas in April, Talladega in April and California in September.(2-11-2006)

    • Countdown #4: Top 5 Daytona 500 Moments Announced: DW wins, then dances … With the 1981, ’82 and ’85 series championships to his credit, Waltrip was still chasing the elusive Daytona 500 title in the latter half of his career. Coming into the ‘89 event, no one would’ve been surprised if his frustration had continued. The race was dominated by Ken Schrader, who led 114 of 200 laps. Waltrip, then 42, didn’t emerge as a challenger until the end, when he used fuel conservation to notch the win, in the “Tide Machine,” as his Tide-sponsored, Rich Hendrick-owned Chevrolet was called. Staying in the draft rather than pushing for the lead, Waltrip was able to stay on the track when Schrader, the leader, and Dale Earnhardt, running second, were forced to pit for fuel with 10 laps remaining. The move boosted Waltrip – who didn’t pit during the final 80 laps – into second place behind Alan Kulwicki. When Kulwicki slowed on Lap 196, Waltrip took the lead, desperately hoping he had enough fuel to reach the finish line. “Those last four laps, I think I had four heart attacks,” Waltrip said at the time, of he and crew chief Jeff Hammond’s strategy. “One lap I told him I was [out of fuel], then I said “No I’m not … Yes I am … No I’m not.”
      “DW” saved the best for last: After repeatedly screaming “I won the Daytona 500!” in Victory Lane, he spiked his helmet and performed his version of the “Icky Shuffle.” “I don’t know if I did the Icky Shuffle right or not, but if I didn’t it was the only thing I did wrong all week,” Waltrip said that day.(NASCAR Media)(2-11-2006)

      News from February 10, 2006

    • Davis loses Dodge lawsuit UPDATE 2: hearing the breach of contract lawsuit between DaimlerChrysler and Bill Davis Racing has been won by DaimlerChrysler/Dodge.(2-9-2006)
      UPDATE: DaimlerChrysler won a $6.5 million judgment Thursday against Bill Davis Racing in a breach of contract dispute in U.S. District Court in Detroit. A 7-member jury deliberated 4 hours after a 17-day trial before awarding the judgment to the Auburn Hills carmaker, which alleged that the North Carolina-based race team violated a six-year contract in 2003 by passing confidential Dodge Motorsports technology, parts and information to Toyota. The automaker said Bill Davis Racing helped Toyota develop a prototype Tundra racing truck for NASCAR.s Craftsman Truck series at the same time Davis was under contract to prepare DaimlerChrysler stock cars for the Winston Cup Series, now the Nextel Cup Series. After terminating its contract and suing Davis in federal court, DaimlerChrysler said it learned that Davis had signed a contract in February 2003 to provide a car to General Motors for the Winston Cup Series. DaimlerChrysler said both competitors used the information to develop engines for the Craftsman, Nextel Cup and Busch racing series. Bill Davis Racing denied the charges, countersued and sought $8.5 million to $9.8 million from DaimlerChrysler for breach of contract. The jury gave DaimlerChrysler what it asked for, $6.5 million. U.S. District Judge George Steeh gave Bill Davis Racing three weeks to file post-trial legal briefs, which could include a request to set aside the verdict. The company.s lawyer declined to comment on the verdict.(Detroit Free Press)(2-9-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Bill Davis Racing is disappointed with the decision of a federal court jury in Detroit that Bill Davis Racing breached its Motorsports Agreement with DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge division to race vehicles in NASCAR’s Cup Series. Bill Davis, President of Bill Davis Racing, stated, “We disagree with the jury verdict. We fully intend to exercise the opportunity extended by US District Court Judge George Steeh and ask the Court to set aside this verdict. If necessary, we intend to appeal the verdict to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Our racing sponsors and business partners have remained supportive during the legal process and our full effort remains focused on bringing success to their NASCAR programs.” Bill Davis Racing will not have any comment on this issue as the appeal process moves forward.(BDR)(2-10-2006)

    • New gig for Dennison: Jeff Dennison, former employee at Williams Company of America has a new position at Moore Consulting Group. He will be handling the public relations for #84 Clay Andrews Racing and driver David Gilliland in the Busch Series.(2-10-2006)

    • Ryan Newman Foundation releases book: The Ryan Newman Foundation announced the nationwide release of a book it has published entitled Pit Road PetsT: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets. The hardcover, 164-page book features first-person stories and intimate photographs of nearly 50 NASCAR celebrities and their pets. The Ryan Newman Foundation will donate 100% of its proceeds from the book to humane efforts, including the Humane Society of Catawba County's (Hickory, NC) new no-kill animal shelter and regional low-cost spay/neuter clinic serving eight counties in the heart of North Carolina's NASCAR country. Pit Road Pets: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets retails for $24.95 and is available from most major booksellers nationwide, more info and to buy the book, see the Ryan Newman Foundation site, also Ryan & Krissie Newman will be doing a book signing on 2/15, more info on my Racing Bookstore or Racing Charities pages.(2-10-2006)

    • Sad News - Bill Deese: Bill Deese slipped quietly and peacefully away to Heaven after fighting cancer for nearly three years, on February 6, 2006. Bill was born January 21, 1954, in Charlotte to parents William Curtis Deese, Sr., and Ruth Parker Deese. Survivors include his loving wife of 30 years, Sheila Thompson Deese, and their beautiful daughter, Mandy Lee Deese, of Charlotte. Other survivors include his mother, Ruth P. Deese, of Mt. Holly, and three sisters, Jan (Wayne) Beaty, Linda Capps, both of Mt. Holly, and Sherry Deese, of Charlotte. Niece Dana Capps and nephews Kevin Capps, Chad Beaty, Brent Thompson and Travis Thompson also survive. Mother-in-law, Hazel Thompson Hagler, and brother-in-law, Dan Thompson and wife, Brenda, are also left to keep him close in heart. Bill was preceded in death by his father, William "Curtis" Deese (2000), father-in-law, Lat H. Thompson (1985), and step father-in-law, Bruce Hagler (2006).
      Bill was a 1972 graduate of South Iredell High School, and a man of many self-taught talents. He was an accomplished metal fabricator, a skill at which he made a successful career. He is known for the custom street rods that he built, but is better remembered for his work in the racing industry where he worked for great teams owned by Joe Gibbs, Rick Hendrick, and most recently with Ray Evernham, where he was instrumental in the Research and Development department of Dodge Motorsports upon their return to NASCAR. His hands and mind were always busy as he designed tools to make life easier for the racing industry. In his pleasure time, he enjoyed flying remote controlled planes, going to car shows in his Chevy truck, and most recently fishing on Lake Norman with his family. Bill was a member of Wiggins Road Baptist Church in Mooresville, where he had served on the treasury committee, and assisted with grounds maintenance.(Charlotte Observer)(2-10-2006)

    • Daytona 500 Media Day, An interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr: some of the parts:
      Q. Do you think people underestimate your commitment to making the company that your daddy built [DEI] into what he dreamed it could be?
      A. Dale Jr: Yeah, I think so. I think people see -- you know, know what I want to do. I know I want to win a championship. I know I have sort of a vision of where I want to be at a certain age. But I don't look that far into the future and get specific. You know, I drive right off the hood. I look at where I'm at right now. I would love to drive the 3 on down the road, and Richard [Childress] knows that. I hate him talking about it, because I don't want to put it off on him, put any pressure on him or disrupt what he's trying to do with RCR to date. But he knows that. That's the extent of it. There's nothing more to it conversation-wise between me and him or anything. We've just made that clear to each other and dropped it.
      Q. Would you like to take over at DEI? A. Dale Jr: I'd love to take over at DEI. Me and Teresa will talk about that when the time comes. We'll talk about that before the time comes obviously. That's not in the near future. I think JR Motorsports is a natural process of a company growing from one rank to the next, and it can go as far as it wants to go. I am not going to stop it at this level or that level. We'll just see however profitable. It don't even have to be profitable. If it breaks even, we'll keep on racing.
      Q. Do you want to win a championship in the No. 3 car?
      A. Dale Jr: I mean, I could do it. We could do it now, but that would be just kind -- that would be a phoney tribute if we did it now. It just wouldn't feel right. I think it's something we can do whenever we want. I really seriously got to take my career -- I got to take my career seriously right now. I can't be fooling around with tributes and feel-good stories all the time. You know, we got to get down to business and race. When that opportunity comes to have that chance, we'll do that. I think -- I don't think a lot of people are ready for it. It's not even than a option. When the time comes, we want to do it, we'll do it, have a little fun with it. No, I just want to be -- I want to win a race with Budweiser as my sponsor, with that 8 on the side, with Tony, Jr. as my crew chief.(GM Racing PR)(2-10-2006)

    • DirecTV to sponsor RCR? UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATE: NASCAR partner DIRECTV has announced an official partnership with Richard Childress Racing (RCR), one of NASCAR’s premier racing teams. Through the partnership, DIRECTV will be an associate sponsor of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy and its driver, Clint Bowyer, during the 2006 Nextel Cup Series season. The association with RCR aligns DIRECTV with one of the sport’s most well-respected racing programs and one of the sport’s most exciting young drivers. DIRECTV also will be primary sponsor of the #07 Chevy at three Nextel Cup Series races this season at Martinsville (April 2), Pocono (June 11) and Talladega (October 8).
      As the nation’s leading digital TV service, DIRECTV has a long history with NASCAR, though this announcement marks the company’s first official sponsorship of a Nextel Cup team. The service has become an integral part of the sport by providing millions of fans the opportunity for the most enhanced, unique NASCAR viewing experience at home and trackside. DIRECTV has also become a critical piece of racing equipment for crew chiefs, as teams up and down pit road rely on the digital picture and sound to aid spotters and monitor car performance throughout the entire race. The partnership with RCR and Clint Bowyer will enable DIRECTV to create consumer marketing and retail promotions targeting NASCAR's loyal fan base. In addition, the relationship will provide DIRECTV the opportunity to increase awareness of its new DIRECTV Plus ® DVR among race fans and emphasize current and future features that will enhance their race viewing experience.(RCR Site)(2-10-2006)

    • Evernham Announcement UPDATE 2: not sure what this is about...yet, but on Friday, Feb. 10th at Daytona, Evernham Motorsports [#9,#10,#19] will announce plans for the Ingersoll-Rand Dodge Charger and its 2006 Road Racing Program, driver to be announced.(2-9-2006)
      UPDATE: rumors have the driver being either Ward Burton or Boris Said, could be a Busch Series deal.(2-9-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Evernham Motorsports and Ingersoll Rand announced the expansion of their partnership to include sponsorship of an Evernham Motorsports road course development program for the 2006 season. The new program extends the long-standing relationship that Ray Evernham, President and CEO of Evernham Motorsports, has enjoyed with Ingersoll Rand, and allows the organization to further develop its road course performance by tapping road racing veteran Boris Said to serve not only as a driver, but also as a coach. “Our goal is to build a championship race team and to do that you have to run well on the road courses,” Evernham said. “You can’t take a mulligan at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen. “Boris presented us with an excellent opportunity to improve our road course program by having him work with our teams on the cars as well as with our drivers. He has years of road course racing experience and has had success in NASCAR on the road courses.” Said will pilot the #9 Ingersoll Rand Dodge Charger in the Busch Series race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on March 5. He also will act as a technical consultant on the development of road course cars and serve as a driver coach to the Evernham Motorsports stable of drivers. Ingersoll Rand also will serve as the primary sponsor on a fourth entry in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for Evernham Motorsports at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 13. The driver of the #98 Ingersoll Rand Dodge Charger will be announced at a later date. In addition to the designation as the Official Air Tools and Compressors of Evernham Motorsports, Ingersoll Rand also will be the title sponsor of the Pit Training Facility at Evernham Motorsports and will be an associate sponsor of the #9 Ultimate Chargers Dodge Charger in the Busch Series for the duration of the season. Ingersoll Rand’s other five strategic brands, Bobcat, ClubCar, Schlage, Hussmann and ThermoKing will also be showcased as part of the primary sponsorship. As part of its sponsorship program, Ingersoll Rand will be offering its customers special offers and products like the Street Legal Thundergun air impact wrench that offers the durability and performance NASCAR pit crews rely on to turn 14-second, four-tire replacement pit stops. For more information about Ingersoll Rand, visit PR)(2-10-2006)

    • Ferrell's NASCAR Movie has a name: Moviegoers everywhere will see the name of NASCAR's Most Competitive Track in marquee lighting this summer, as Talladega Superspeedway officials announced today that the much-anticipated comedy starring Will Ferrell will be titled Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and is set for release by Columbia Pictures on Aug. 4, 2006. The movie, written by Ferrell & director Adam McKay, tells the story of NASCAR racing sensation Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell), whose "win at all costs" approach has made him a national hero. He and his loyal racing partner and childhood friend, Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly), are a fearless duo who thrill their fans by finishing most races in the No. 1 and 2 positions - with Cal always in second place. When a flamboyant French Formula One driver, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen), challenges him for the supremacy of NASCAR, Ricky Bobby must face his own demons and fight Girard for the right to be known as racing's top driver. To order tickets for any Talladega races/events, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342).(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(2-10-2006)

    • NASCAR HOF announcement 30-60 days: NASCAR president Mike Helton said Thursday the announcement of the site for NASCAR's Hall of Fame would be made within 30 to 60 days. France said the decision would be made by NASCAR's board of directors, including chairman Brian France, vice chairman Bill France Jr., executive vice president Jim France, vice president Lesa France Kennedy and Helton. Finalist cities for the hall are Daytona Beach, Atlanta and Charlotte.(Flordia Today)(2-10-2006)

    • Gillette Young Guns add two drivers: Gillette announced the addition of two of NASCAR's youngest and most talented drivers - #99-Carl Edwards and #26-Jamie McMurray - to the Gillette Young Guns team. Edwards and McMurray will officially join Gillette Young Guns #2-Kurt Busch, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #48-Jimmie Johnson and #12-Ryan Newman beginning with the 2006 NEXTEL Cup season-opening race at Daytona. Edwards and McMurray join a team of drivers that once again dominated the 2005 NEXTEL Cup season, with four of the six Gillette Young Guns competing for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Throughout the 2005 season, the Gillette Young Guns had 11 combined victories, 13 Bud Pole awards, 52 Top 5 finishes, 96 Top 10 finishes, and combined earnings of $35,413,740. Gillette will continue to leverage the Gillette Young Guns and its official status in the shaving products, alkaline battery and oral care categories with a comprehensive marketing communications program. The program includes consumer promotions, national sweepstakes, dedicated NASCAR print and broadcast advertising, licensing, interactive on-line consumer promotions, charitable contributions and at-track marketing. These activities will encompass multiple Gillette brands. Just prior to the Daytona 500 fans can visit for a sneak peak of the new Gillette Young Guns commercial. Edwards and McMurray will join the existing Gillette Young Guns team for two exciting promotional programs this season. The first, "Meet the 2006 GYG Drivers," will offer fans the chance to attend a race for a "meet and greet" with one of the Gillette Young Guns. The "GYG Insiders Guide to the Chase for the Championship" will provide fans with the drivers' exclusive strategies for winning, as well as insight into track strategy and drivers' strengths.(Alan Taylor Comminications), #17-Matt Kenseth and #29-Kevin Harvick are no longer part of the program.(2-10-2006)

    • Rusty to be named “Missouri Sports Legend”: Rusty Wallace will be named “Missouri Sports Legend” during the February 12th Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s annual Enshrinement Banquet and Ceremonies in Springfield, MO. Over 1,600 people are scheduled to attend the event, which is the largest annual sports banquet held in the state of Missouri. Inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Wallace will be receiving the highest level of recognition that the Hall of Fame bestows upon select members. Since the establishment of this award, the following individuals have been recognized: Stan Musial, Len Dawson, Payne Stewart, Jack Buck, Norm Stewart, Bob Broeg, Don Faurot, John Q. Hammons, Buck O’Neil, George Brett, Hank Stram, Lamar Hunt, and Red Schoendienst. Wallace will be the 14th Missouri Sports Legend. In addition, the Hall of Fame will induct 14 individuals from diverse sports backgrounds, including: St. Louis Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa, Kansas City Royals’ all-time saves leader, Jeff Montgomery and Bob Chandler, the creator of “BIGFOOT – The original Monster Truck”, to name a few.(RWI Racing PR)(2-10-2006)

    • Shepherd gets assoc sponsor: Cabell County-based ECO-FIRST, Inc. is entering NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series as an associate sponsor of #89 Victory Motorsports, fielding veteran driver Morgan Shepherd in the nation’s top stock car racing series. ECO-FIRST President Dana Tomes says the company’s agreement will run through the 2006 season, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 19. “We are very excited about having the opportunity to get involved in the Nextel Cup Series and particularly with being able to support someone like Morgan Shepherd,” Tomes said. “Morgan is truly an excellent person and a pleasure to work with.” As part of the sponsorship agreement, ECO-FIRST will become the “Official Environmental Services Provider” of the Hickory, North Carolina-based Victory Motorsports, LLC. ECO-FIRST, based in Lesage, provides environmental and industrial services, including hazardous waste cleanup and high pressure industrial cleaning. The ECO-FIRST name and slogan, “Making Earth a better place,” will be carried on Shepherd’s #89 Dodge Charger throughout this year’s 36-race Nextel Cup season.(ECO-FIRST PR)(2-10-2006)

    • McGlynn Racing to #74: looks like McGlynn Racing has changed their car number from #00 [#200 owners] to #74, with Derrike Cope driving. The Daytona 500 Entry list shows the new car number and a sponsor, MyGuardian911 and the manu being Dodge not Chevy.(2-10-2006)

    • Harvick comments on Gordon: #29-Kevin Harvick, who stepped into his seat at Richard Childress Racing the week after Dale Earnhardt died in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500, says no one has been able to replace Earnhardt as a voice for the drivers in the NASCAR Nextel Cup garage area. Speaking Thursday during NASCAR's annual Media Day, Harvick said longtime Cup star Rusty Wallace filled some of that void until he retired last year. "With him gone, I can't tell you who is going to step up," Harvick said. "It's like our biggest stars are involved in a lot of other things and not taking 100 percent interest in the sport now." Without saying his name, Harvick made it clear that he believes four-time champion Jeff Gordon should be filling Earnhardt's role as the unofficial drivers' representative to NASCAR. "There are people who should be more involved and you know who I mean," he said. Gordon shrugged off the apparent criticism, saying the sport has changed and no one can really replace the charismatic and often enigmatic Earnhardt. "I know people have asked me, `Why haven't you done that? Why haven't you done that?' I've never really felt like it was my place to do that," Gordon said. "I feel like over the years that I've been here that I've earned more respect, but I don't know if I'll ever have the type of respect that Dale had. I think we all play a certain role in doing it together as drivers. It is our responsibility to bring up certain issues and try to do our best to keep the sport growing. But the sport is growing. It's been doing good."(

    • Jack Daniel's sets pace with new public service announcement: Working with NASCAR and the Century Council, the Jack Daniel Distillery is launching a new public service announcement as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage adults of legal drinking age to drink responsibly and know their limits when consuming alcoholic beverages. The debut of the :30-second spot titled "Pace Yourself" will coincide with the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. The public service announcement features Master Distiller Jimmy Bedford - who's also a farmer - cruising the country roads of Lynchburg, TN in what at first glance appears to be a car. As the camera pans out, however, you see him on a tractor being followed by a long line of cars. As he travels at his own pace, he suggests that friends of Jack Daniel's do the same, reminding them to "know your limits, no matter what everyone else is doing around you. Pace Yourself. Drink Responsibly." The spot then directs viewers to, the Century Council's website to educate the public on drinking and driving laws in each state. The site's Blood Alcohol Educator (BAE) helps educate the public about Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels and how alcohol affects you as an individual. By using the BAE, a person can quickly learn how alcohol affects their BAC level in a safe and alcohol-free environment. In addition to national distribution of the PSA, the "Pace Yourself" spot will also be featured on the Jack Daniel's racing website,, as well as Richard Childress Racing's site PR)(2-10-2006)

    • Countdown: Top 5 Daytona 500 Moments Announced: The Daytona 500 spawns both memories and milestones, and as the countdown begins to the 48th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway, another countdown begins today – to the Best Five Daytona 500 Victories. #5 - With much of the East Coast immobilized by ice and snow, the 1979 Daytona 500 gained an immeasurable number of viewers on Sunday, Feb. 18. The first Daytona 500 carried live on network television [CBS], the event offered thrilling side-by-side racing against the backdrop of sparkling Florida sunshine. As laps wound down, millions watched as Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison dueled to the finish. In their last-lap dash to a win, Yarborough and Allison wrecked each other on the backstretch entering Turn 3. Seven-time series champion Richard Petty swept past them to claim the win. Then, it happened. Furious with each other, Yarborough and Allison climbed from their damaged cars and exchanged words. They were soon joined by Donnie’s brother Bobby and the argument escalated into a three-man tussle, on the grass infield, treating the day’s spectators and untold others on television, to one of the sporting world’s best-known fights. Grimy and sweating from several hours of racing, Allison and Yarborough unwittingly boosted national awareness for the sport, launching it on the first of what would be many popularity surges.(NASCAR Media)(2-10-2006)

    • State Farm teams up with Burton and Sorenson: Beginning with the Daytona 500 on February 19, 2006, State Farm will begin partnerships with NASCAR drivers #31-Jeff Burton of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and #41-Reed Sorenson of Chip Ganassi Racing. During the Daytona 500 on February 19, State Farm will debut two commercials featuring Jeff Burton and his State Farm agent. Throughout the 2006 NASCAR season, State Farm will advertise in nearly every NASCAR race. Commercials featuring Reed Sorenson will begin later this year.State Farm logo will appear on Burton's driver uniform and uniforms of pit crew during Nextel Cup and Busch Series races, on RCR trailer/transporter and pit equipment and in "fan walk" of RCR headquarters, museum, and The State Farm logo will appear on Sorenson's driver uniform and uniforms of pit crew during Nextel Cup and Busch Series races. In both cases, State Farm is sponsoring the drivers and not the cars. The State Farm logo will not appear on either car.(State Farm PR)(2-10-2006)

    • Aquarium may help Atlanta's chance of NASCAR HOF UPDATE: The Georgia Aquarium, with its overwhelming early foot traffic, is Atlanta's best case for luring the highly coveted racing shrine to Centennial Olympic Park, NASCAR's chief executive, Brian France, said Wednesday. But it's not all good news. France, the last word on the hall of fame decision, gave rival Charlotte two critical advantages in the hall of fame race: Lots of guaranteed money and superstar drivers and racing teams in its back yard. France walked through Atlanta's fish tank for the first time Wednesday after speaking at a business conference in Buckhead. Bernie Marcus, the aquarium benefactor and Home Depot co-founder, joined local business leaders to give him a private tour. North Carolina's legislature has already approved a hotel/motel tax and a $20 million land gift that will guarantee funding for nearly all of Charlotte's $137.5 million hall of fame. Georgia is only now putting together $32.4 million in public money for the hall, which organizers expect will cost about $92 million. Corporate support and bank loans will cover the balance, a fact that seemed to give France pause. "I think they'll get there," France said of Atlanta's financial effort. But, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charlotte's money is all wrapped up. What's more, France likes the fact that Charlotte is home base for nearly every driver and racing team in the sport.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-9-2006)
      UPDATE: Georgia lawmakers and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin are trying to show NASCAR more money. State and city officials moved Thursday to put more dollars behind Atlanta?s bid for a NASCAR hall of fame, including another $10 million in special tax breaks from the city of Atlanta, according to state Rep. Mark Burkhalter. Officials were reacting to comments made by Brian France, the racing?s chief executive, who suggested Wednesday that the money behind rival Charlotte?s bid was more secure — though Atlanta may have an advantage with the foot traffic generated by the Georgia Aquarium.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-10-2006)

      News from February 9, 2006

    • Golf Channel and NASCAR Drivers Raise Money for Charity: Riding on the success from a previous NASCAR The Big Break: All-Star Challenge edition (Dale Jarrett, Elliott Sadler, Jamie McMurray, Michael Waltrip and Rusty Wallace), some of NASCAR's best will once again perform their driving skills...on a golf course for a charity of their choice. These contestants will not only take on one another, they'll also take on some of the most demanding challenges from The Golf Channel's The Big Break reality series [airs on the Golf Channel Tuesday's at 9:pm/et]. The event is closed to the public, no word when it will air on the Golf Channel. The event will take place on Monday, Feb 13th with drivers Kurt Busch, Mike Skinner, Kyle Petty, Boris Said and Hermie Sadler playing.(2-9-2006)

    • NASCAR on NBC & TNT Begins Sixth Season This Weekend: As the green flag drops on the NASCAR Nextel Cup season, NBC and TNT have the next two weeks of racing covered from Daytona International Speedway, including exclusive live coverage of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500 on NBC. Live coverage begins this Saturday with TNT's broadcast of the Budweiser Shootout preceded by the "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show at 8pm/et. NBC presents Daytona Bud Pole Qualifying at 12noon/et Sunday. NBC will broadcast the 48th annual Daytona 500 live on Sunday, Feb. 19, with coverage beginning at 2:30pm/et, preceded and followed by coverage of the Torino Winter Olympics. The Daytona 500 is one of the most-watched sporting events of the year. The 2004 Daytona 500 was watched by 33.5 million viewers and posted a 10.6/24 national rating. In 2002, NBC's inaugural Daytona 500 set a record with 35 million viewers and a 10.9/26 national rating during the middle Sunday of NBC's coverage of the Salt Lake Olympics [2005 Daytona 500 on Fox 10.9/23 national rating/share]. The NBC & TNT broadcast crew, including play-by-play announcer and pre-race host Bill Weber and analysts Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach, will call the action from the booth, with Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum reporting from the pits.(NBC PR)(2-9-2006)

    • Speed Shows - NBC/24 returns; Stewart; Despain Special: The popular behind-the-scenes NASCAR program NBS 24/7 returns to Speed Channel in 2006 with a focus on the NASCAR Busch Series rookie class. NBS 24/7 - The Rookies debuts Feb. 13 at 9:30pm/et before moving to its regular 8:30 p.m. slot on Feb. 20 with the teams from FitzBradshaw Racing and Akins Motorsports once again in the spotlight with drivers Joel Kauffman and AJ Foyt IV. In addition to the three primary teams, NBS 24/7 - The Rookies also will keep an eye on Busch rookies Chris Wimmer, Burney Lamar, Mark McFarland and Todd Kluever, as well as partial season drivers, including Erin Crocker.
      AND Tony Stewart quietly turned over a pair of cars from his collection to celebrity customizer Will Castro a few weeks ago at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis. The first car, a Lamborghini, didn't raise many eyebrows, as A-list athletes and cool cars go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, Castro has worked on more Lamborghinis then he can remember. But the second ride was a little different -- a baby blue 1984 Cadillac Brougham hearse. Intrigued by the challenge, however, Castro and his crew from Unique Autosports in New York believe they are up to the task of customizing the unusual car for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points leader. "This will be, at the very least, a five-month project," said Castro, whose show Unique Whips airs Wednesday nights on Speed Channel at 9pm/et and pt. "We will do a complete job inside and out -- new wheels, new tires and custom paint. We'll add a custom top, an all new interior with a home entertainment system, plasma screens and a wet bar. It will be crazy." Stewart, who purchased the car in Cincinnati "just to mess with people," trusts Castro and his team to have some fun with the car. "I'm not going to tell Will what to do," Stewart said. "That would be like Will telling me how to drive. He is a genius and this is what he does."
      AND Dave Despain and the gang from Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel fill in the rest of the world on how the sleepy beach town of Daytona Beach became synonymous with racing in America, as Dave Despain on Assignment: Daytona Beach airs Feb. 19 at 10am/et, the morning of the Daytona 500. Over the course of an hour, viewers will be introduced to Daytona's true racing pioneers. It's a story that begins with the invention of the automobile, extends through the great depression, survives World War II and solidifies its place in history with the formation of NASCAR. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, entering its fourth season in 2006, returns to Speed Channel later the same evening, signing on at 9pm/et.(Speed Channel PRs)(2-9-2006)

    • Darnell wins Gong Show: From countless laps around Martinsville to a head-to-head match race in Darlington, viewers of Discovery Channel’s Roush Racing: Driver X saw the 2005 driver search unfold in their living rooms. When the dust settled, it was Erik Darnell who was named Driver X, and winner of a full-time ride in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
      Roush Racing: Driver X debuted October 24, the first of 13 episodes that began with 1,776 hopeful applicants being cut down to just 25 that would take to the track and compete to become the newest driver for Roush Racing’s Craftsman Truck Series team. Based on Roush Racing’s “Gong Show” driver search, Driver X allowed behind-the-scenes access to the driver selection process and on-track activity that served as one of the most intense, and not to mention expensive job interviews ever conducted.
      “It was an unbelievable opportunity to be chosen to compete in Driver X,” said Darnell. “Just to be chosen out of that many people was like winning the deal in itself. To go on and win, I can’t even explain how cool this is. I’m really looking forward to Daytona, and getting this season underway. I’m blessed to be afforded this opportunity, and I intend to make the most of it.”
      Darnell will head to Daytona early next week with his #99 Roush Racing Ford F-150 and make his first start for the team on Friday, February 17 in the GM FlexFuel 250. The Roush Fords were among the fastest teams in pre-season testing at Daytona, showing at the top of the charts in each session. Darnell and his new teammate, fellow Driver X competitor David Ragan were joined by veteran driver Mark Martin for the three-day test. “Based on what we were able to accomplish in testing down there, I think we’ll have a decent truck. I want to be able to learn a lot, and complete all the laps. Anything above that I’ll consider a success,” said Darnell. “We’ve got a great team and obviously a pretty good truck, so if I can hold up my end of it, maybe we’ll be able to bring home a solid finish.”(Roush Racing)(2-9-2006)

    • NASCAR and Historically Black Colleges and Universities Form Consortium: NASCAR announced a collaboration with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in an effort to further increase diversity in the sport. The NASCAR-HBCU Consortium will aim to increase the number and quality of job opportunities for African-American students in key racing and other related automotive business activities. The announcement of the Consortium came at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Members Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Mel Watt (D-NC) announced a Congressional Resolution recognizing the creation of the NASCAR-HBCU Consortium. The Members encouraged the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and other appropriate agencies of the federal government to provide suitable assistance and support to ensure the success of this effort. The groups will work together to help create opportunities for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees at participating HBCUs. NASCAR, UTI and HBCUs will work together to increase awareness, access to and participation by minority students in the NASCAR Technical Institute curriculum. These students will receive proper training to enter the NASCAR workforce or other related fields including automotive engineering and technology, automotive safety, sports marketing and other automotive industry areas.(NASCAR PR)(2-9-2006)

      News from February 8, 2006

    • Kurt Busch Resolves Arizona Traffic Incident: #2-Kurt Busch appeared in Aqua Fria Justice Court today and agreed to the terms proposed by the Maricopa County [Arizona] Attorney's Office and approved by the Court regarding a traffic incident that occurred on Nov. 11, 2005. "I am pleased to have this incident behind me," Busch said. "I have learned many lessons from the situation and one of them is that speeding should be saved for the race track. I am excited for the 2006 race season to begin and look forward to the racing activities at Daytona this week." Busch took responsibility for excessive speed, as well as citations for passing in a no passing zone and following another vehicle too closely. As part of the resolution, Busch will perform community service, which will be determined in the near future.(Penske Racing PR)(2-8-2006)

    • Schwan's to #45? UPDATE: hearing that Schwan's Home Service, who sponsored the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in 2004-2005 with Ken Schrader, could be heading to Petty Enterprises to be the primary sponsor for Kyle Petty on the #45 Dodge for 10-12 races in 2006. Wells Fargo already announced they would run 12 races as primary. Also there is a rumor floating around, but unable to confirm it at all, the new Coca-Cola soft drink, Vault could sponsor Petty in some fashion.(1-24-2006)
      UPDATE: Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., a business unit of The Schwan Food Company, has announced its sponsorship of the #45 stock car owned by Petty Enterprises for the 2006 Nextel Cup season. “Everyone at The Schwan Food Company is thrilled to join the Petty racing team for the 2006 season. The team operates under the same values that are important to Schwan,” said Bill McCormack, executive vice president of administration and company spokesperson. The #45 car, driven by NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty, will carry the Schwan’s Home Service yellow-and-blue paint scheme for four races, which will be announced at a later date. Home Service will provide an associate sponsorship for the remaining races. “I’ve raced off and on against a Schwan sponsored car since 1985 and am really excited to finally be able to have them on my team,” said Petty, Petty Enterprises CEO (and #45 team driver). “The best part of this deal is my guys won’t have as far to go to get the great Schwan’s ice cream at the track. They are already clearing space on the transporter to haul the ice cream cooler.”(GoMarshall), Schwan's was the primary sponsor of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge the past two years.(2-8-2006)

    • Raybestos Rookie Contender Notes: #1-Martin Truex Jr., #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-J.J. Yeley, #40-David Stremme, #41-Reed Sorenson, #07-Clint Bowyer, #49-Brent Sherman, and #92-Chad Chaffin plan to compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year in 2006. The 2006 season is the first in the history of the Raybestos Rookie program where two organizations have fielded multiple entries with first-year drivers. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will have David Stremme and Reed Sorenson behind the wheel while Joe Gibbs Racing will have Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley. The 2006 Raybestos Rookie class is the largest since eight drivers competed for the award in 2000. The most drivers to compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year is 10 in 1994 (Jeff Burton, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, John Andretti, Steve Grissom, Mike Wallace, Ward Burton, Loy Allen, Billy Standridge and Curtis Markham). Since 1975, Scott Wimmer and Jeff Gordon are the only Raybestos Rookies to score a top-five finish in the Daytona 500. Wimmer placed third in 2004 while Gordon finished fifth in 1993. Since 1975, only three Raybestos Rookies have won the pole position for the Daytona 500: Loy Allen (1994), Mike Skinner (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2002). Gordon is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a Gatorade Duel qualifying race at Daytona in the sport's modern era [1972 to present]. Gordon won his qualifying race in 1993. Denny Hamlin joins Ryan Newman as the only Raybestos Rookies to compete in the Budweiser Shootout. Hamlin earned his way into the special event by winning the pole for the 2005 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2002, Newman started eighth and finished 15th, completing all 70 laps of the race.
      The way to the NASCAR NEXTEL championship is to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Since 1979, SIX Raybestos Rookie of the Year drivers have gone on to win a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title: Dale Earnhardt (1979), Rusty Wallace (1984), Alan Kulwicki (1986), Jeff Gordon (1993), Tony Stewart (1999, 2005) and Matt Kenseth (2000). At least one Raybestos Rookie has won a Bud Pole in each of the last 10 years (1996-2005). There has been a first-time Bud Pole winner in each of the last 19 years (1987-2005).(Raybestos PR)(2-8-2006)

    • Special JD schemes: #07-Clint Bowyer is scheduled to run a Jack Daniel's Country Cooler's scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedweay in May for the Coca-Cola 600 and a Jack Daniel's Soprano's scheme at Las Vegas in March. See my 2006 Cup Schemes page to view each image.(2-8-2006)

    • Bad Boy Mowers back on the #23: #23-Mike Skinner will run a third car for Bill Davis Racing in the Daytona 500 with Bad Boy Mowers as the primary sponsor. The #23 Bad Boy Mowers Dodge Charger at Daytona International Speedway is Chassis No. 62 … It was last run in the 2004 Daytona 500 and helped carry Scott Wimmer and the Cat Racing team to a third-place finish (started 26th). Bad Boy Mowers is teaming up with Bill Davis Racing to sponsor Mike Skinner and the #23 team in the 2006 Gatorade Duel and Daytona 500. This will not be the first time Bad Boy Mowers, Inc. has participated in the NEXTEL Cup Series with Davis. Bad Boy Mowers was an associate sponsor on the #23 car at Texas Motor Speedway in April 2004, when Dave Blaney brought home an 11th-place finish, and then last year Bad Boy Mowers teamed up with Skinner and BDR at Talladega Superspeedway in May. Founded in 1998 and based in Batesville, Ark., Bad Boy Mowers, Inc. is a manufacturer of zero-turn commercial lawn mowers. Rick Viers will serve as crew chief of the #23.(BDR PR)(2-8-2006)

    • Timken teams up with JGR: The Timken Company announced that it has entered into an agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to become an official technical partner of the NASCAR racing organization. The partnership, which provides product development and technical engineering support, will be leveraged across JGR's multiple team operations in the Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series. For the last two years, Timken has worked collaboratively with the JGR engineering team to develop and test technologies that improve the car's powertrain performance, delivering longer life, improved fuel economy and higher horsepower availability. Products like specialty steels from the company's Latrobe, Pa., operations and Timken RacePac, an integrated hub and bearing assembly specially designed for NASCAR teams, demonstrate an ongoing commitment to safety, reliability and high performance for the motorsports industry.(Timken PR)(2-8-2006)

      News from February 7, 2006

    • Richmond Testing dates set: Nearly all Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series drivers are expected to participate in important test sessions leading into the May 5-6 doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Busch Series drivers will visit Richmond’s 3/4-mile oval on March 28-30, while NEXTEL Cup Series drivers will test on April 11-13. Under NASCAR’s new testing guidelines set for this season, Richmond is the only short track where NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series drivers are permitted to test. Overall, only six NEXEL Cup Series tracks and four Busch Series venues will host official test sessions. Teams are still permitted to test at tracks that are not part of their respective series schedules. The tests will be crucial for the teams, especially since Richmond International Raceway hosts two NASCAR weekends each season, including the 26th race of the NEXTEL Cup Series season, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. After that race on Saturday, September 9, only the top 10 drivers and those within 400 points of the series leader will be eligible to win the NEXTEL Cup Series championship. Those drivers will battle it out against a full field each week over the last 10 races in the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.” Details regarding the grandstand hours for fans will be announced shortly.(RIR PR)(2-7-2006)

    • Hendrick Motorsports Plane Crash - lawuit filed: The wife of one of the people who died in the Hendrick plane crash has filed a new lawsuit that places partial blame for the crash on John Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports. Those allegations come from Diane Dorton, who claims Hendrick's desire to get to the race on time may have contributed to the deaths of the ten people in that crash. In a claim she filed on behalf of husband Randy Dorton she claims there were a sequence of events leading up to the crash that could have been avoided. She also claims that they could have also chosen not to go at all. Randy Dorton called Diane on the morning of October 2, 2004. The conversation involved Randy's delay flying to the Subway 500 race in Martinsville. Randy built engines for NASCAR and for Hendrick race teams. Dianne said Randy told her he was supposed to fly by helicopter, but the helicopter was grounded due to bad weather. They'd fly in a Hendrick Motorsports plane instead. Randy waited in the Hendrick hangar for more than an hour. He called Dianne and told her he didn’t think they'd go. He called 47 minutes later and said "we're going." It's not clear who gave the go order for the trip. It's an alleged conversation between pilot Richard Tracy and Hendrick Motorsports president John Hendrick that's part of a negligence and misconduct lawsuit against Hendrick Motorsports.
      The suit claims Tracy proposed flying to Danville instead of the Blue Ridge airport due to the weather and that Hendrick said that option was unacceptable because they'd be too far from the track and late for the race. Danville is farther away from the track than Blue Ridge. "He told us that and I feel certain that he would stay by what he said," said David Burgess, Dianne Dorton's attorney. Burgess said the grounded helicopter pilot was part of that conversation and could be called to testify. A separate lawsuit against Hendrick Motorsports alleges at least 27 other planes aborted landings at Blue Ridge due to weather. Diane said the lawsuit isn't about money. She said it's about finding the truth about what happened to Randy, what happened onboard the plane, addressing accountability and making future airplane travel safer for her friends in NASCAR. 6NEWS asked Hendrick Motorsports for their side of this story. They refused, saying they can't talk about a legal matter.(

    • NTSB: Flight crew error led to Hendrick plane crash that killed ten: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has ruled that flight crew error is the probable cause of the plane crash near Martinsville than killed ten people in October 2004. The NTSB ruled today the crew failed to properly execute the published instrument approach procedure at Blue Ridge Airport [VA]. The Hendrick Motorsports plane crashed into the side of Bull Mountain in Patrick County after attempted a landing at the airport. All ten people aboard were killed, a loss felt across the entire NASCAR family. Investigators say navigational confusion involving the plane's GPS readings led the crew to approach the airport well above the typical altitude and descend to landing altitude almost seven miles past the airport. At that point, the plane began to climb, and had it turned to the right instead of remaining on a generally straight course, it still would have avoided Bull Mountain. Such a right turn is the standard missed approach procedure employed at the airport. The plane was attempting to bring members of the Hendrick family and company employees for that day's race at Martinsville Speedway.(

    • UPS Awards five Scholorships: UPS continued its commitment to helping NASCAR better reflect a changing workforce and fan base by awarding another five UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarships. The latest awards bring to more than $300,000 the financial assistance provided by UPS to minority students who want to attend the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI). This class, for the first time since the scholarship’s 2002 introduction, features five students with the same ethnic background of Hispanic origin. Candidates for the UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarship must meet NTI admission criteria at its suburban Charlotte, NC [Mooresville], location and must demonstrate automotive-related career goals and work experience as well as financial need. The latest recipients receiving these UPS scholarships include: Jason Corbett, Discovery Bay, CA; Angel Hernandez, Warsaw, NC; Gilbert Limon, Junction, TX; Victor Navarro, Colorado Springs, CO; and Silverio Olvera, Jr., Waco, TX. Last year, UPS expanded its motorsports diversity involvement with an additional $20,000 in scholarships awarded as part of the NASCAR College Tour. UPS again will join the tour this fall on visits to four campuses of historically black or Hispanic institutions to help judge the competition among student presentations.(UPS PR)(2-7-2006)

    • Gordon to use holograms to authenticate signature: #24-Jeff Gordon will begin using sequentially numbered holograms to authenticate his signature on collector's items and merchandise. John Bickford, the vice president and general manager of Jeff Gordon Inc., said the idea originated after the company that oversees Gordon's business interests discovered many forgeries on eBay. "We felt we had a responsibility to the fan to do all we could to protect them," said Bickford, who estimated JGI spent more than $50,000 on development. "Hopefully other athletes will see the value in this, and they'll begin to use a similar process. I anticipate I'll be getting calls from business agents of people like Barry Bonds or A-Rod." The hologram will make its debut Friday during the For Race Fans Only program on QVC. Within a few months, fans will be able to register the items at Today)(2-7-2006)

    • Robby gets new assoc, sponsor: InterActive Financial Marketing has signed an associate sponsorship agreement with Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) for the 2006 Nextel Cup Series season. IFMG’s associate program will include branding on the team’s #7 RGM Chevy and an extensive nationwide marketing campaign featuring Robby Gordon in television and radio commercials, specifically customized for each participating Chevrolet partner’s dealership and region. IFMG also plans to develop supporting in-store POP materials for its dealers and special trackside hospitality at select NASCAR events. “Having a sponsor like Interactive Financial Marketing Group is a perfect match for our team.” said Gordon. “Chevrolet is an important part of our team and when we sat down with IFMG and learned of their goal to help Chevrolet dealers sell more cars to NASCAR fans it made a lot of sense. The program they’ve put together for their Chevrolet dealers is great, and I look forward to growing our relationship together for many years.”
      “IFMG is excited to offer our partner Chevrolet dealers the ability to tap into the ever-expanding fan base of America’s fastest growing sport, NASCAR. This opportunity will allow our dealers to distinguish themselves from their competitors and provide the NASCAR fan with a truly unique car buying destination and experience,” said Travis B. Weisleder, President and COO, Interactive Financial Marketing Group. With automotive dealer partners in 48 states, IFMG specializes in obtaining high quality special finance customers from its family of brands including hundreds of the most recognized Internet addresses and vanity phone numbers in the industry including,, 1-800-CAR-LOAN and 1-800-AUTO-LOAN. For more information or to become part of the CARLOAN.COM race team, contact IFMG at 804-225-1880 or visit PR)(2-7-2006)

    • Edwards to appear on '24': While in Southern California last week to promote the Nextel Cup race at California Speedway in Fontana on Feb. 26, Carl Edwards filmed a small role for an episode of 24 [Fox, Monday's at 9pm/et/Jayski Fave] scheduled to air April 3. "The best part was they gave me a line to read," Edwards said. "The cameras started to roll, and as I was walking over to shake the other character's hand, I realized my palms were a little sweaty, which doesn't happen very often."(USA Today)(2-7-2006)

    • McClure to Premiere #64 UPDATE: Eric McClure will be dividing his driving duties between the #60 in the ARCA 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)
      UPDATE: Eric McClure, a former Late Model division regular at Lonesome Pine Raceway, announced Monday he has signed to drive the full 2006 ARCA season with the Owensboro, Ky.-based Premier Motorsports Racing Team driving the unsponsored #60 Chevy. McClure's Busch and Cup schedule hasn't been finalized but he knows he'll run about five races in each series, with the Daytona 500 and the March 12 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway definitely on the Cup schedule. His Busch and Cup runs will mostly occur when ARCA is sharing a venue such as Michigan in the Cup series and Nashville in the Busch Series. "We're going without sponsorship, but Dan is committed to doing it, so I'm going with him," McClure said.(Kingsport Times-News)(2-7-2006)

    • Speed: NASCAR Five Years Later: Speed Channel will air NASCAR Five Years Later, a one-hour special look at the sport of NASCAR five years removed from the loss of motor sports icon Dale Earnhardt, who died in a racing accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. The program will debut Feb. 14 at 8:00pm/et as part of Speed Channel's 70-plus hours of Speedweeks coverage from Daytona Beach. NASCAR Five Years Later, narrated by veteran motor sports broadcaster Eli Gold, will examine the global reaction to the tragedy and how it affected the sport in immeasurable ways. A definitive catalyst for change in the area of safety, Earnhardt's death also changed the entire demographic and marketing angle of NASCAR, instantly elevating his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the top of the list of fan favorites. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, as well as NASCAR President Mike Helton and Earnhardt's former crew chief Larry McReynolds are among those lined up to discuss the impact the man known as "The Intimidator" had and continues to have on the sport of NASCAR. (Speed Channel)(2-7-2006)

      News from February 6, 2006

    • Sponsor named for Elliott and #36 MB2 team: MB2 Motorsports announced that Ginn (pronounced Ghin) Clubs & Resorts will be the primary sponsor on Bill Elliott's #36 Chevy during Daytona Speedweeks, including the Feb. 11 Budweiser Shootout and the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. Based in Celebration, Fla., Ginn Clubs & Resorts is a privately held resort development and management firm, specializing in exclusive leisure lifestyle and vacation destination communities in the United States. "This is our first venture into motorsports sponsorship and what a thrilling beginning," said Bobby Ginn, president and CEO of Ginn Clubs & Resorts. "To be associated with MB2 Motorsports and the legendary Bill Elliott in the Daytona 500 is a tremendous opportunity to convey our message to the worldwide network of NASCAR fans. The partnership will also provide a special excitement to our communities at Ginn Clubs & Resorts." Ginn Clubs & Resorts Ginn Clubs & Resorts is a privately held resort development and management firm which specializes in exclusive leisure lifestyle and vacation destination communities across the U.S. More info at Motorsports PR) see an image of the car on my #36 Team Schemes page.(2-6-2006)

    • Dodge Test at Kentucky UPDATE postponed: Drivers from Evernham Motorsports, Penske Racing South, Chip Ganassi Racing and Petty Enterprises are expected to have a joint test session on Monday [Feb 6th] at Kentucky Speedway. The endeavor will be an attempt to come to a consensus as to what changes can be made to the 2005 Charger to make it competitive while racing in traffic. So far, the four major Dodge organizations have yet to come to an agreement, which hindered attempts to get a change from NASCAR. As of now, Penske Racing South is expected to field 2004 Dodge Intrepids at California Speedway and Las Vegas. Once a decision is reached, Dodge is expected to submit a new nose to NASCAR to see if it will be approved for this season.(NASCAR Scene), the Kentucky Speedway site lists three drivers testing on Monday, Feb 6th: #12-Newman, #40-Stremme, #42-Mears. Also....Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(2-4-2006)
      UPDATE: Dodge teams planning a joint test at Kentucky Speedway on Monday had to postpone the session due to snow in the area. Originally, drivers from Evernham Motorsports, Penske Racing South, Chip Ganassi Racing and Petty Enterprises planned to test together in an attempt to come to a consensus as to what changes can be made to the 2005 Charger to make it competitive while racing in traffic. The owners have yet to determine a new date for the test.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-6-2006)

    • More night races coming? there are rumblings that next year's [2007] Cup schedule will have some schedule changes to accomodate ESPN's new contract. Two more night races are rumored and the possibility of a second Vegas race, in the "Chase," has been discussed.(RacingOne)(2-6-2006)

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