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    FEB 13-19, 2006

      News from February 19, 2006

    • Johnson wins the Daytona 500: #48-Jimmie Johnson led late and without suspended crew chief Chad Knaus, won the 2006 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway with a green-white-checkered finish. #42-Casey Mears [career best finish] finished 2nd, followed by #12-Ryan Newman, #38-Elliott Sadler and #20-Tony Stewart. The rest of the top 10: #07-Bowyer, #25-Vickers, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #21-Schrader and #88-Jarrett. There were 18 leaders, a new track record. Pole sitter, #31-Jeff Burton in the Cingular Chevy, got involved in a late wreck and finished 32nd. Petty Enterprises started off good, until #45-Petty got caught up in an early wreck, but #43-Bobby Labonte was running in the top-15 until he got caught up in the Burton-McMurray wreck. #27-Kirk Shelmerdine, with support from Childress Vineyards, had a nice run and finished 20th, his career best. #20-Stewart and #24-Gordon tangled, #20-Stewart and #17-Kenseth tangled. Stewart and #5-Busch were penalized for aggressive driving during he race.
      Race Results on my Daytona Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Daytona page.
      Race Rundown: see my Daytona 500 Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(2-19-2006)

    • Daytona 500 Notes:
      • Jimmie Johnson won the 48th running of “The Great American Race” - the 2006 Daytona 500 - scoring his 19th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 148th career start.
      • Johnson’s last victory came at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October 2005, six races earlier.
      • Johnson’s first victory in nine Daytona races is also his first in a restrictor-plate race.
      • Johnson moved to 31st on NASCAR’s all-time winners list, tying Davey Allison, Buddy Baker and Fonty Flock.
      • Johnson, who finished fifth in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, begins the 2006 season atop the point standings.
      • Johnson has ranked among the top-10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings for 70 straight races, a streak that began after race No. 4 at Atlanta in March 2004.
      • Johnson led four times for 24 laps including the final 17.
      • It was his Johnson’s fifth straight top-10 finish at Daytona extending a streak that began here in 2004.
      • Johnson has won at least one race each season 2002 – 2006, five consecutive years.
      • Johnson scored the 10th victory for team owner Rick Hendrick at Daytona. It is Hendrick’s 141st victory as a car owner and sixth Daytona 500 victory with four different drivers [GBodine, DWaltrip, JGordon and now Johnson].
      • Team owner Rick Hendrick has won at least won race each season 1986 – 2006, 21 consecutive years.
      Notebook Items
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr., led the most laps (32) in the 2006 Daytona 500. The last time he led the most laps in a race was at Atlanta last October, the only time in 2005 that he lad the most laps.
      • The 18 different leaders in the 2006 Daytona 500 set an all-time record for the most leaders at Daytona. The previous record was 15 set in 1974, 1989 and 1996 – all in the Daytona 500.
      • Three of the top-10 finishers in the 2006 Daytona 500 finished in the final top 10 in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      • Casey Mears (second) scored his career-best finish. It marked his first top-10 finish in seven races here.
      • Ryan Newman (third) scored his best finish at Daytona. It marked his second top-10 finish in nine races here.
      • Elliott Sadler (fourth) scored his fourth top-10 finish in 15 races at Daytona. It marked his best Daytona finish since he finished second in this race in 2002.
      • Tony Stewart (fifth) scored his fifth straight top10 finish at Daytona. Stewart has scored eight top-10 finishes in 15 races at Daytona.
      • Clint Bowyer (sixth) was the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contender in the 2006 Daytona 500. All seven of the 2006 Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders competed in the Daytona 500.
      • Joe Nemechek (33rd) has been running at the finish in the last 33 races, a streak that began at Bristol last April, the longest current streak.
      • Only once since 1979 has the winner of the Daytona 500 gone on to win the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship in the same year: Jeff Gordon (1997). Three other drivers won the Daytona 500 also became the NASCAR champion in the same year: Lee Petty (1959), Richard Petty (1964, 1971, 1974 and 1979) and Cale Yarborough (1977).
      • The race leader at the halfway point in the Daytona 500 has failed to win in the last 14 years. Dale Earnhardt Jr., was the leader at lap 100 in the 2006. The last driver to lead at halfway and win was Davey Allison in 1992.(NASCAR PR)(2-19-2006)

    • Rumblings - Daytona 500:
      Jimmie Johnson took command late, survived a green/white/checker finish (though we finished under yellow), and led the final 17 laps to take his first ever Daytona 507.5 today at Daytona International Speedway. This was win #19 for Johnson (he's now tied with Davey Allison, Buddy Baker, and Fonty Flock for 31st on the all-time list), the 6th for Hendrick Motorsports in the 500, and the 141st overall for HMS. JJ's share of the over $18M in posted awards was a cool $1,505,124.
      Casey Mears (2nd) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 4th, and he's done that three both Texas races last year and at Watkins Glen in August of 2004. He was the only other driver to top $1M in earnings today at $1,095,766 (and who was it that put him in the "field-filler" category just a couple weeks ago?).
      Elliott Sadler (4th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Bristol last April.
      Clint Bowyer( 6th) had his career-best finish today. He was 22nd in April at Phoenix in his only other NEXTEL Cup start.
      Ken Schrader (9th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Lowe's in May.
      Kasey Kahne (11th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Richmond in September.
      Kirk Shelmerdine (20th....and we're doing handstands!) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 26th at Talladega in May of 1994 (!!!) and his take today was a sweet $272,008.
      David Stremme (28th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Chicagoland last July (only 4 races).
      STREAKIN....Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      The Rookie Report: In what could be the deepest rookie class ever, Clint Bowyer (6th) takes the point early. He was followed today by Martin Truex Jr (16th), Brent Sherman (21st), David Stremme (28th), Reed Sorenson (29th), Denny Hamlin (30th), and J. J. Yeley (41st).
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Clint Bowyer (+31), followed by Brian Vickers (+28 ), Terry Labonte (+26), and Kirk Shelmerdine (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Carl Edwards (-38 ), followed by Jeff Burton (-31), Jamie McMurray (-31), Bobby Labonte (-27), Kyle Petty (-27), Kurt Busch (-25), Jeff Gordon (-24), and Jeff Green (-21). A good chunk of the field was involved in the "Shaft" this week.(from

    • Hendrick Keeping Knaus: Chad Knaus was sent home from Daytona, but he's not in danger of being sent packing from Hendrick Motorsports. Team owner Rick Hendrick said Knaus still has two years left on his contract, but Hendrick has no intentions of letting him go. "We want him, he wants us, Lowe's is happy, life is good," Hendrick said. "We're going to renegotiate. This was a little bump in the road, but we're going to put it behind us and go on." Knaus signed a five-year extension with Hendrick on May 26, 2003, but Hendrick said he hopes to have a new deal done by the end of this season.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(2-19-2006)

    • Labonte to run Intrepid at Calif: #43-Bobby Labonte will drive the 2004 Dodge Intrepid instead of the Charger in next week's Nextel Cup race at California. "Bobby came straight out of the Chevy into the Dodge camp,'' said Labonte's teammate/owner Kyle Petty. "He's not run a downforce Dodge car. So he's going to give us an honest assessment of where the Intrepid is compared to where the Monte Carlo is. For us, we feel it's a great opportunity for us to be able to use a driver of his caliber and say this is what it is.'' All of the Dodge teams are gathering data on the Charger for a test at Kentucky Speedway next month. The first test earlier this month was canceled due to weather, putting the teams further behind. If no solution is found, Dodge owners hope NASCAR will grant them some concessions on the spoiler to create more downforce. #12-Ryan Newman will race the Intrepid in the next five races.(

    • Gillette Prostate Cancer Challenge: Gillette announced the launch of the Gillette Prostate Cancer Challenge, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the risks, symptoms and benefits of early detection of prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men. Gillette is teaming with the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) Foundation and sports partners Major League Baseball and six NASCAR drivers - The Gillette Young Guns, to educate men about the risks related to prostate cancer, the fastest-growing men's health issue today. Men can participate in the Gillette Prostate Cancer Challenge by logging on to, and taking the important steps of knowing their risks, talking to their doctor and telling their friends. The Challenge will begin with events surrounding this week's Daytona 500, when Gillette Young Gun Ryan Newman will serve as spokesman for the NASCAR portion of the program. Newman also will be featured in a Public Service Announcement (PSA). This year, Gillette and the NPCC will have screening vans present at major events throughout the country. The vans will provide free prostate cancer screenings, as well as information on topics such as prevention strategies, diagnostics and symptoms of the disease. For more information about the NPCC, visit Taylor Communications)(2-19-2006)

    • #01 Fire at Daytona UPDATE: around 9:20am/et, it was reported on Speed Channel's NASCAR Live the there was a fire in the engine compartment of the #01 US Army Chevy that Joe Nemechek drives, supposedly oil collected in a heat shield and caught fire and was quickly put out. No report on an engine change, but ut was reported that the #01 would start at the rear of the field due to engine problems in the Gatorade Duel on Thursday.
      UPDATE: The MB2 Motorsports #01 Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek suffered a small fire in the engine compartment this morning around 9:00am/et as the crew prepared for the Daytona 500. The fire that a crewmember termed as 'No big deal' started after pieces of rubber under the exhaust header ignited. The crew was forced to change the wiring harness and the aluminum heat shield next to the header. The car will be starting from the back, but they had already been relegated there after being forced to change an engine yesterday. The engine that was changed Saturday was from the same batch that produced the engine that had blown up during Thursday's Twin Qualifying race.(Cup Scene Daily)(2-19-2006)

    • Teamsters Send Message with banner Flying over Daytona 500: The Teamsters Union denounced Waste Management Inc. (WMI) for its ongoing assault on minority sanitation workers by commissioning a plane to fly a 50-foot banner over the Daytona 500 speedway for two hours that read, "WMI and NASCAR Want Some Drivers to Lose." WMI, the nation's largest private trash hauler, is a sponsor of NASCAR's diversity programs despite attempting to impose deep wage, retirement, health care and pension benefit cuts on its predominantly minority sanitation truck drivers in Washington D.C. and New York. The company's work force is overwhelmingly African American and Latino. NASCAR's steering committee is chaired by basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson.(Yahoo Biz), Waste Management also is the sponsor of the #14 Chevy driven by Sterling Marlin.(2-19-2006)

    • #48 Team on the phone with Knaus: When #48-Jimmie Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, was suspended last week after Johnson's car failed post-qualifying inspection, Knaus packed up and headed home to Charlotte, NC. He was banned from all remaining Speed Weeks events, and NASCAR will consider expanding the penalty after today's Daytona 500. Since Knaus went home, NASCAR has approved the Hendrick Motorsports crew chief's post-practice telephone and e-mail communication with his team and Johnson in preparation for the 500. The team has adjusted to communicating with Knaus from four states away. Johnson, though, would prefer his 500 didn't play out this way. "We talk at night and work on a game plan for the next day and work on that test matrix, if you will," Johnson said, "and come back and have a conference call the next evening and talk about what worked and what didn't. It's definitely a different way of working on a race car. I've never been through it and certainly hope we're never in this position again."(Palm Beach Post)(2-19-2006)

    • NBC - 76 cameras for Daytona 500: The 2006 Daytona 500 on NBC, broadcast in high definition, will deploy 76 cameras (including 10 cars with 3-camera in-car rigs) around the 2.5-mile speedway. NBC will feature a "Crew-Cam" - a helmet-cam worn by a jack-man in Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew while performing pit stops. In addition, NBC will have "Squash-Cam," a lipstick-sized camera buried in the grass in the tri-oval that gives viewers the effect of being "squashed" by the cars speeding by. The NASCAR on NBC coverage is anchored by play-by-play announcer and pre-race host Bill Weber, joined by analysts Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach. Pit reporters Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum complete the team. The "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show will feature NBC's "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno driving the pace car; Fergie, the best-selling group The Black Eyed Peas, singing the National Anthem; and a performance by legendary rock band Bon Jovi; and also will include a feature on "The Big One," major wrecks at Daytona. Daytona International Speedway holds the record for most cars crashed at once, 38, on February 13, 1960, on the second lap in a 73-car Sportsman 250-mile race.(NBC PR)(2-19-2006)

    • No sponsor or crew for Shelmerdine...yet: #27-Kirk Shelmerdine was still searching for a sponsor and a pit crew Saturday, one day before the biggest race of his career. "We're shaking the bushes," said Shelmerdine, a former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt and a surprise qualifier for the Daytona 500. Shelmerdine said few big-time sponsors have shown interest. As for a pit crew, he said paying a Busch Series team was an option, but that many of them had tight schedules because they have to travel to California next week and then Mexico.(

      News from February 18, 2006

    • Teresa doesn't expect to see #3 run again UPDATE: [DEI Team owner] Teresa Earnhardt doesn't believe anyone -- including her stepson, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- will bring the #3 the late Dale Earnhardt made famous back to Cup racing."Contrary to popular belief, everyone cannot be replaced," Teresa Earnhardt said. "Legends live on forever. I don't think the #3 will ever be driven by anyone else." The rare public comment from Teresa Earnhardt comes from a one-hour television show, "NASCAR Five Years Later," that will air tonight on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et. The #3 has not been used in the Cup series since Earnhardt's death. NASCAR controls car numbers and assigns them to team owners on an annual basis. Richard Childress has maintained control of the #3 since Earnhardt's fatal crash. Earnhardt Jr., who drives the #8 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company his father formed and his stepmother now runs, said again recently he would like to drive the #3 before the end of his Cup career. "I really think that'll happen," Earnhardt Jr. told Earnhardt Jr. said his desire to drive the #3 does not mean he has any short-term plans to leave DEI. At the Speedweeks media day on Thursday, Earnhardt Jr. said he'd like to run DEI one day. "I'd love to take over at DEI," he said. "Teresa and I will talk about that when the time comes, but that's not in the near future." Earnhardt Jr. started JR Motorsports, which owns a team that plans to run in the Busch Series this year.(Thatsracin)(2-14-2006)
      UPDATE Childress wants to retire the 3: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress said he agrees with Teresa Earnhardt and hopes NASCAR will retire Dale Earnhardt's #3. NASCAR never has retired a number.(Dallas Morning News)(2-18-2006)

    • Speed Adds New NASCAR Show: Speed Channel will launch a new weekly series during Daytona Speedweeks [actually after], as 7 Days debuts Feb. 20 at 8:00pm/et. Each week, Speed Channel cameras will follow a different person as they prepare for the NASCAR race weekend. Drivers, crew members, team owners, track officials, even fans - no one is off limits as 7 Days takes viewers behind the scenes from a new perspective every Monday night. The first show will focus on Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs. The Feb. 27 episode will feature Roush Racing's Doug Richert, crew chief for Greg Biffle's #16 National Guard Ford.(Speed Channel)(2-18-2006)

    • Kenny subs for Mike UPDATE: Kenny Wallace, who missed making the Daytona 500, is practicing the #09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Dodge in Saturday's Happy Hour practice for the Daytona 500. Mike was in an accident in the Daytona Truck Series race and has been diagnosed with a post concussion syndrome. Mike hopes to be cleared to run the Daytona 500, if not Kenny will run the #09.(Speed Channel's Happy Hour TV Coverage)
      UPDATE: Mike Wallace reported on Speed's NASCAR Live that hs went to the hospital and has been cleared to race in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.(2-18-2006)

    • NASCAR considers additional points for winning: NASCAR chairman Brian France said that NASCAR is considering changing the points system to allow more points for winning.(Dallas Morning News)(2-18-2006)

    • Kurt Busch has ears pinned back...literally: #2-Kurt Busch has a new team, new cars and a new pit crew. He also has a new look. Busch saw a cosmetic surgeon in the offseason, and came out with his once-prominent ears pinned back closer to his head. "Yeah, a little slicker," Busch said Friday, grinning. "I've got it working in the draft now." Busch said he wasn't quite clear on the details of the procedure -- he was under sedation -- but he definitely is pleased with the result. "I've wanted to do it for a few years now, but never had the time," he said. The new look has turned a few heads in the garage.(

    • Yates: Ban Cheaters: Veteran NASCAR [#38, #88] car owner Robert Yates said Friday that if #48-Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief Chad Knaus was found guilty of deliberate and flagrant cheating by NASCAR that he should be banished from the sport for life. If Knaus merely skirted the rules, Yates added, than probation would be the appropriate punishment. “If what he did, there was language in the rules about not doing that particular thing, then he ought to go race the Talladega Short Track the rest of his life,” Yates said of Knaus. “If the (NASCAR rule book) language covered that area … gone. Just gone forever, because that’s just stealing. If (what Knaus was caught with) was a hydraulic system, or a little winch that pulls a cable so the rear-end housing … pulls his body down, outta here, outta from now on. That’s a device. That’s clear,” Yates said. “If it was a creation that was not covered by the language or intent, then I think he needs to be on probation for a while.” Knaus was ejected from Daytona 500 Sunday after NASCAR inspectors discovered he had altered a rear jack bolt to move the rear window on the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in an attempt to improve aerodynamics. After ejecting Knaus, NASCAR sent him back to North Carolina for the remainder of Speedweeks and said that next week it may levy additional penalties, including a longer suspension and point fines.(Speed Channel)(2-18-2006)

    • Miller Challenges Bud UPDATE: Miller Brewing Company is kicking off a new era in its 35-year history of motorsports sponsorship by boldly declaring its confidence in Kurt Busch's ability to drive the #2 Miller Lite Dodge to victory lane. Miller's chief marketing officer Tom Long today sent a letter to Anheuser-Busch vice president of brand management Marlene Coulis, betting the beer-market leader that Miller Lite driver Kurt Busch will finish ahead of Budweiser driver #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the final 2006 Nextel Cup Series season standings. The terms of the friendly wager: The losing sponsor must change the paint scheme on its car to match the winning brand's car for one Nextel Cup Series points-paying race next year. Budweiser has until the start of Sunday's season-opening race to accept the Miller challenge.
      Fans can win BEER: Earlier this week, Miller Lite announced that legal-drinking-age consumers can register to win its "When Kurt Wins, You Could Win" sweepstakes online at until 11:59am/et Sunday, Feb. 19. If Busch takes the checkered flag in Daytona Beach, then 500 randomly selected registered fans will win a year's supply of Miller Lite. (See the official contest rules online.)(Tom Roberts PR)(2-17-2006)
      UPDATE: Anheuser-Busch's response came quickly: "I sincerely doubt we're considering it," said Brian Eaton of Busch's Public Affairs Office. Though Anheuser-Busch didn't formally say no, that's only because they don't want to entertain the idea. Better to leave their race car driver to speak for the company, though he was caught by surprise. "You're joking, right?" the Bud driver said when asked. "No … That's something dreamed up by the guys in Milwaukee."(

    • Milestones at Daytona: #38-Elliott Sadler is scheduled to make his 250th start and #99-Carl Edwards is scheduled to make his 50th career Nextel Cup start.(2-18-2006)

    • Davis Sticking with it: Bill Davis said a recent $6.5 million judgment against his Bill Davis Racing #22,#23,#55 in Cup] team will not force him out of business. Dodge sued BDR for breach of contract and the jury awarded the judgment Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court in Michigan. The jury decided that BDR had given confidential Dodge information to Toyota while the team was developing a truck for Toyota. Dodge terminated its Cup contract with BDR in May 2003 after it discovered BDR's building of Toyota trucks and promptly filed suit. Davis plans to appeal the verdict, but said Feb. 17 that if it stands, his race team will not fold. He fields three full-time trucks for Toyota and one full-time and one part-time team in Cup. He plans to run two full-time Cup teams for Toyota in 2007.(NASCAR Scene)(2-18-2006)

    • Dale Earnhardt Tribute/Candle Ceremony: Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is once again asking fans to remember Dale Earnhardt on Saturday, February 18. Tribute plans are set for both Mooresville [NC] and Daytona. A beautiful candle-light tribute will be held outside DEI’s headquarters in Mooresville, NC from 6-8 pm on Saturday, February 18. That evening, DEI’s building will be closed and illuminated with candles. Commemorative decals will be distributed to all in attendance. DEI’s gates will remain open until midnight for those that cannot attend between 6 and 8 pm, but still want to pay tribute to the legendary Dale Earnhardt. Fans that cannot attend the ceremony at DEI are encouraged to light a candle in remembrance at home that evening. In Daytona, all NASCAR Busch Series cars will carry a commemorative decal during their race on Saturday. Additionally, on lap three of Saturday’s Busch race, fans will be encouraged to stand and proudly display three fingers.(DEI Site)(2-18-2006)

    • Dale Earnhardt Tribute: ESPN Classic remembers legendary driver Dale Earnhardt on the five-year anniversary of his death with a marathon tribute on Saturday, February 18th from 6:00-11:00pm/et. The full schedule is as follows:
      6 pm ET: SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt
      7 pm ET: 3 Nation: The Life and Legacy of Dale Earnhardt
      8 pm ET: 1991 Hanes 500
      10 pm ET: SportsCentury: Dale Earnhardt
      Then on Sunday, Feb 19th at 8:00pm/et, don't miss the movie "3" starring Barry Pepper as Dale Earnhardt.

    • NASCAR HQ Moving to NC? UPDATE Denied: Might NASCAR be moving its headquarters from Daytona Beach, Fla., to Concord? That's the speculation here, with NASCAR buying more land in the Concord area, where it already has a significant presence, with its research-and-development center. Any such NASCAR move could be related to its plans for a Hall of Fame near Charlotte.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-17-2006)
      UPDATE: Brian France, CEO of NASCAR, debunked one rumor very quickly this afternoon. France said quite forcefully the rumors suggesting NASCAR would be moving its headquarters to the Charlotte area were unfounded. France did say the sanctioning body was continuing to increase it's presence in the Queen City however, the headquarters would stay in Daytona.(CircleTrackplus)(2-18-2006)

      News from February 17, 2006

    • Shelmerdine to sell ride? or pick up a sponsor? UPDATE: #27-Kirk Shelmerdine in his sixth long-shot try made the field for the Daytona 500. Shelmerdine, 47, was NASCAR's top crew chief in the 1980s and early 1990s, winning four championships with Dale Earnhardt. He abruptly left the Richard Childress team after 1992, went into semi-seclusion, and began pursuing a somewhat quixotic career as driver. This week, Shelmerdine's #27 entry amounted to a last chance. "If we didn't make it, I didn't know what I was going to do next week," he said after the heats. I was going to have to sell a bunch of stuff. I'd have had to sell the car and a lot of my old Ford stuff from last year." Basically put him out of business? "Yep," Kirk said. "But I didn't have much to lose." However it falls right now, Shelmerdine seems to have a lot to gain. Last place in the 500 pays about $275,000, and the bundle could go much higher if, say, Valvoline, which was shut out of the race when Scott Riggs failed to meet criteria, decides to buy Shelmerdine out [Jayski NOTE: Riggs runs a Dodge, Shelmerdine is a Chevy, have to use the same car]. Shelmerdine smiled his cat smile. "My lawyer's here, they can come talk to her," he said. "I don't know what we're going to do. The plan was to get through today in good shape. Now it's time for a new plan."(Speed Channel)
      AND Thursday night, as Shelmerdine continued a massive effort to control his emotions, that #27 Chevrolet looked like a Rolls Royce. Beginning today, it might as well be. A few decent sponsors, and at least one prominent one (Valvoline, which bankrolls Scott Riggs' #10 car), might be ready to deal for a little logo placement in Sunday's big show. "The quarterpanels are open," said Shelmerdine, who smiled broadly and added, "the price has gone up."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-17-2006)
      UPDATE: on Speed's NASCAR Live, #10 Dodge car owner said it was decided not to buy a ride for Riggs.(2-17-2006)

    • Petty gets another sponsor for 4 races: The names of TBC Corp.'s Tire Kingdom, Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers and National Tire & Battery properties will appear on NASCAR driver Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge at various races this year. "We believe that involvement with NASCAR is a natural progression in our marketing efforts," says Bob Crostarosa, TBC's vice president of marketing. "TBC (has) reached an agreement with the Petty race team that presents the Tire Kingdom brand as the primary sponsor of the car driven by Kyle Petty for the Darlington, S.C., race on May 13, and for the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Race in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 14," say TBC officials. "The car will carry the Merchant’s Tire & Auto Centers logo for the Richmond race on May 6 and the National Tire & Battery logo in Atlanta on March 19. Additionally, the three brands will be identified as associate sponsors throughout 2006 for all other Nextel Cup races."(

    • Orange No Bump Drafting Lines: The Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway provided the first test of NASCAR’s hastily devised rules for “bump drafting.” Bright orange lines were painted to define areas where bump drafting was to be allowed. It was open season on the back straight, but the only other area where cars were allowed to “bump freely” were relatively short strips exiting turn four and entering turn one. Bump drafting in the curved areas of the track — including the tri-oval area and the start-finish line — was supposedly taboo.(Gaston Gazette)(2-17-2006)

    • NASCAR Member Club First Anniversary: On Feb. 10, 2005, the Official NASCAR Members Club was unveiled to the world at Daytona International Speedway. One year later, NASCAR's designated fan initiative is booming right along, tooling up for its second season with its sights set on breaking new ground for its Members and the sport they love. The Official NASCAR Members Club is the first organization of its kind in professional sports, and it's designed to bring the passion and excitement of NASCAR racing directly to its fans. As NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France stated in the latest issue of the Club's OFFICIAL MEMBER Magazine, it's about making the NASCAR experience personal. The Local Chapter Organization currently features 1,000 Chapters nation-wide, including Hawaii and Alaska, with more in the pipeline. ONMC Members have access to VIP Members only areas at the pre-race Driver Introduction Stage at NASCAR events, preferred seating at NASCAR events on and off the track and special ticket, travel and merchandise packages, among other benefits. ONMC is $59.95 for 12 months a year, find out more about the ONMC by visiting on the web at www.NASCAR.COM and clicking the Members Club tab on the home page or by calling 1-877-MY-NASCAR.(NASCAR PR)(2-17-2006)

    • Nadeau Signs with Clay Andrews Racing: Jerry Nadeau is making his return to NASCAR racing. Nadeau will be a consultant for the newly-formed #84 Clay Andrews Racing and driver David Gilliland in the NASCAR Busch Series. Nadeau begins immediately as the team prepares for their 2006 season debut at the California Speedway in the Stater Bros. 300. "I've been waiting for the right opportunity to make a return to the sport I love," said Nadeau. "I feel that this is it. Clay (Andrews) and general manager, Rich Gautreau, have put together a winning team in a very short time. I really want to help this team grow. This is also a great chance to work with a very promising driver," explained Nadeau. "David (Gilliland) is a very mature driver with a lot of talent. Hopefully I can give him that extra guidance to run up front." Nadeau is a seven year veteran of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series with over 170 Cup starts. He was a consistent threat before a practice crash in May of 2003 put a halt to his driving career. Nadeau has one win, 19 top-ten and nine top-five finishes in his Nextel Cup career. The experience and wisdom of Nadeau will make an immediate impact on Raybestos rookie candidate Gilliland. "This is pretty special for me," said Gilliland. "I'm going to be a rookie this season, but I think a person of Jerry's talents can really accelerate the learning curve. He is a winner, and has proven that in and out of a race car. I'm really looking forward to working with him." Clay Andrews Racing is looking to build a reputation as one of the fastest-growing teams in the Busch Series. They have acquired a 28,000sq ft. state-of-the-art race shop in Statesville, N.C., and owner, Clay Andrews, has already appointed winning personnel. Motorsports professional Rich Gautreau is the general manager and veteran crew chief Billy Wilburn will help lead Gilliland in 2006. The team plans to run a partial schedule in 2006 while securing sponsorship for the long-term future.(MCG PR)(2-17-2006)

    • New Bumper for Talladega: NASCAR is working on a new front bumper for its race cars it hopes will be ready by the April race at Talladega. The bumper would be softer and deprive the drivers of the ability to bump or slam draft without harming the bumper and the car's aerodynamics.(Florida Today)(2-17-2006)

    • Subway increases sponsorship: Subway Restaurants will heighten sponsorship efforts with #16-Greg Biffle of Roush Racing in its third year of team sponsorship. Subway restaurants made its first Nextel Cup Series appearance as a team sponsor in 2001. Today, Subway restaurants are set to be the primary sponsor of the #16 National Guard/Subway Ford Fusion at 11 Nextel Cup Series races in 2006, including two entitlement races. The Subway Fresh 500 will take place at Phoenix International Raceway on April 22 and the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 22. For more information about the Subway restaurant chain, visit Newswire)(2-17-2006)

    • Tire Leasing Problems? UPDATE: NASCAR's new tire-leasing rules could be doomed for early failure, judging from teams' reactions. Car owners aren't happy at getting only a 25 percent billing credit on any unused $400-plus tires, so some are scuffing every set they have, leaving Goodyear with only used tires at the end of a weekend. The tire-leasing rules were designed to limit testing, but Robert Yates' team said it has enough tires stockpiled for at least 20 tests this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-16-2006)
      UPDATE: Could it be possible Goodyear has come up with the first true cost saving measure team owners can't circumvent? has learned the new leasing program actually pays a rebate to car owners at the end of the year. More to the story as it unfolds.(CircleTrackplus)(2-17-2006)

    • Knaus looking to get canned? UPDATE denied: By the way, a rumor floating around the garage says that [#48 crew chief Chad] Knaus has been trying to get out of his contract at Hendrick so that he can move to Evernham Motorsports, and that he might be trying to get fired to accomplish that goal.(Yahoo Sports)(2-16-2006)
      UPDATE 1a: Daytona’s most ridiculous rumor was that Knaus got himself kicked out of the Daytona 500 because he’s trying to get fired from his job at Hendrick Motorsports so he can go back to work for his old boss, Ray Evernham. Not only is the rumor untrue, it is patently absurd. Knaus worked for Evernham twice, once as one of Jeff Gordon’s original “Rainbow Warriors,” the second time very briefly after Evernham formed his own team. After that, the two split for good, perhaps because their personalities are so similar. Don’t expect them to work together again any time soon.(Speed Channel)
      UPDATE 1b: been told by Hendrick Motorsports Knaus is not looking to leave the #48 team.(2-17-2006)

    • Marlin to a backup car: What looked to be a very successful run at Daytona International Speedway for Sterling Marlin turned into a nightmare when an incident under caution damaged the #14 Waste Management Chevy, forcing the team to a backup car for Sunday's Daytona 500. Marlin showed a strong performance in Thursday's first of two Gatorade Duel 150-mile qualifying races, starting eighth and running as high as fourth several times. Then on Lap 58 of 60, the caution flag waved, setting up a green-white-checkered restart. As Marlin followed the field across thestart-finish line for the final caution lap, he was caught off guard as several other racecars slowed to avoid debris and the result was a wrecked racecar. By going to a backup car he will be forced to start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(2-17-2006)

      News from February 16, 2006

    • USA Weekend Special: The Feb. 19th issue of USA WEEKEND spotlights five of the greatest NASCAR racers in history in a poster: Bobby Allison, Robert Glen Johnson Jr., Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons. Dennis McCafferty brings these legends together and gets them talking about the good old days of NASCAR and Allison¹s infamous fistfight with Cale Yarborough. Check your local newspaper to read this article and get your very own poster!(USA WEEKEND Magazine PR)(2-16-2006)

    • Cingular Launches New Media Net Racing Portal: With the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet in the pole position for the big race in Daytona on Sunday, Cingular Wireless is giving race fans the chance to follow all of the exciting racing action this weekend and all year from their wireless handset. Cingular's new MEdia Net Racing Portal will allow many of its 54 million customers real-time access to the most up-to-date and content-rich motorsports information available from any wireless carrier, putting them almost as close to the action as the drivers.
      The Cingular MEdia Net Racing Portal will showcase a wide variety of exclusive motorsports content available only from Cingular. In-depth information will include top stories from around motorsports, as well as pre- and post- race reports, real-time statistical information on in-race leaderboards and individual driver news. Speed freaks and gear heads will also be able to show off their forecasting skills with Fantasy Racing presented by Cingular, one of the most user-friendly fantasy racing games available in wireless format. Driver selections and up-to-date score-tracking can be managed from the ease and convenience of the wireless handset. Fantasy participants will be able to compete against other Cingular customers nationwide for the chance to win great prizes.
      "The Cingular MEdia Net Racing Portal will give motorsports enthusiasts quick access to the most comprehensive racing information available," said David Garver, Executive Director of High Growth Segments and Sponsorships at Cingular Wireless. "We want to feed the passion of the race fan by providing compelling interactive content and creating a unique wireless experience for our customers."
      "The Cingular MEdia Net Racing Portal is a great way for fans to follow me - and my fellow competitors - throughout the entire season," said Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet and pole-sitter for this weekend's race in Daytona. "With all of the news alerts and race reports, fans won't miss a minute of racing excitement. This is another example of how Cingular is leading the way in providing wireless motorsports content."
      For the second year in a row, Cingular has reached a deal to become the Official Wireless Sponsor of, one of the most popular fan destinations on the Internet for breaking racing news, information and statistics. The deal makes Cingular the exclusive wireless licensee to all Jayski content, allowing it to offer popular Jayski content, including up-to-date driver news, race summaries and "Silly Season" gossip. Cingular will continue with its Jayski text alerts throughout the season. "I am looking forward to continuing my relationship with Cingular and adding their customers to the hundreds of thousands of fans who already rely on for NASCAR news," said Jayski Founder Jay Adamcyzk. "Partnering with Cingular to create Jayski content into a wireless format is yet another way that we are able to deliver breaking NASCA R news and information to fans in the quickest way possible. We will continue to look for new ways to develop interactive content as the season progresses."
      Additional Cingular MEdia Net Racing Portal features include a variety of action-packed racing games, the Virtual Crew Chief Enter-to-Win sweepstakes, challenging motorsports trivia questions as well as racing-themed ringtones and wallpapers. Cingular customers can access the MEdia Net Racing Portal on their wireless handset by launching the MEdia Net option and then visiting the main Sports home page. There is no subscription fee to access the Portal but standard MEdia Net data usage charges apply. Download charges start at $1.99 for games, ringtones, and wallpapers. MEdia Net can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis ($.01 per KB), or included in a MEdia Net or MEdia Bundle package. These packages range in price from $4.99 for 1MB of data usage to $19.99 for unlimited data usage.
      About Cingular Wireless: Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving 54.1 million customers. Cingular, a joint venture between AT&T Inc., formerly SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corporation, has the largest digital voice and data network in the nation -- the ALLOVERTM network -- and the largest mobile-to-mobile community of any national wireless carrier. Cingular is a leader in third generation wireless technology. Its 3G network is the first widely available service in the world to use HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover, the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Details of the company are available at

    • Gordon wins 2nd Duel: #24-Jeff Gordon won the 2nd Gatorade Duel 150 with #5-Busch finishing 2nd followed by #26-McMurray, #43-Labonte and #6-Martin. #7-Gordon and #09-Mike Wallace raced their way into the Daytona 500, with #10-Riggs and #78-Kenny Wallace just missing the Daytona 500. #32-Kvapil finished 26 but gets in by speed. With #7-Gordon racing into the Daytona 500; #27-Shelmerdine gets the final spot by speed with #96-Labonte starting 43rd using the Past Champions Provisional. Fifteen drivers fail to make the Daytona 500. See race results on my Gatorade Duel 150's Race Results page.(2-16-2006)

    • Sadler wins 1st Duel: #38-Elliott Sadler won the 1st Gatorade Duel 150 with #99-Edwards finishing 2nd followed by #8-Earnhardt Jr., #48-Johnson and #17-Kenseth. #36-Elliott and #61-Lepage raced their way into the Daytona 500, with #23-Skinner and #74-Cope just missing. #00-Hermie Sadler finished 29th/last but gets in by speed. With Elliott racing into the Daytona 500. #7-Gordon is now in the race at least by speed. Three drivers are now locked in by speed #32-Kvapil, #00-Sadler and #7-Gordon; #96-Labonte is locked in by a Champ Prov. If 2 of the the #32, #7 or #96 race in, #27-Shelmerdine, and then #15-Menard could get in by speed. See race results on my Gatorade Duel 150's Race Results page.(2-16-2006)

    • UPS Puts Big, Brown Truck on Race Track: NASCAR fans have waited a long time to see Dale Jarrett “race the truck.” Now, there really is a UPS race truck. To prepare UPS’s 2006 TV commercials for the popular “Race the Truck” campaign, the company ignored animation possibilities and instead built a real racing truck, starting with a 20-year-old, 250,000-mile workhorse UPS package car. A team of highly qualified fabrication specialists transformed the old truck, dropping in a 514-cubic-inch factory Ford SVO crate motor that generates 620 horsepower and 700 pounds of torque. The engine, in turn, was fitted with a two-stage nitrous oxide injection system that boosts its output to 800 horsepower, allowing for low gear burnouts and an estimated top speed of nearly 150 mph on the track. During NBC’s Daytona 500 broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 19, viewers will get their first glimpse of the modified UPS package car in two new spots. What began as a way for UPS to create awareness for its NASCAR sponsorship has since grown in popularity as fans everywhere are ready for Jarrett to race the truck. But as with any good race car, there’s testing required to get driver, pit crew and race truck ready.
      Jarrett, driver of the #88 UPS Ford Fusion for Robert Yates Racing, puts custom-made Goodyear tires to the test as he maneuvers the UPS race truck in the first of the new commercials, “Brakes.” As Jarrett completes a lap and attempts to stop, team members discuss whether he has enough braking power to offset the momentum behind a four-ton vehicle. Jarrett begins fishtailing as he brings his speedy UPS vehicle to a halt, convincing the team of the need for adjustments. “Draft” illustrates the force behind the UPS race truck by showing its effects on a father and his young son as they watch a NASCAR practice trackside. One car passes and blows their shirts; another passes and nearly causes the dad to lose his hat. When the brown truck passes, the boy is elevated horizontally as he holds onto his father’s hand to avoid being blown away. Subsequent commercials titled “Burnout,” “Lug Nuts” and “Sponsor” will debut throughout the 2006 NASCAR season.(UPS PR)(2-16-2006)

    • Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - Daytona: We ran the Gatorade Duel 160's (not a typo) today at Daytona International Speedway and set the field for Sunday's Daytona 500. Elliott Sadler won Duel #1 (both were extended to 64 laps via the green/white/checker rule) and he'll start 3rd on Sunday. Jeff Gordon (who was already assured of the outside pole on Sunday) won Duel #2. Jeff Burton copped the Budweiser Pole last Sunday (and became the first qualifier for next year's Bud Shootout) with a speed of 189.151. It's the third top-spot of Burton's career (he won the pole at Richmond in September of 2000 and at Michigan in August of 1996).
      Jamie McMurray (6th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Pocono last July.
      Dale Earnhardt Jr (7th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Dover last September.
      Kyle Petty (12th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 10th at Richmond in September of 2003!
      Ken Schrader (23rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Bristol last August.
      Welcome to Brent Sherman (29th).....he'll make his first ever Cup start on Sunday.
      For my money the story of the day (and I live for these) is Kirk Shelmerdine (42nd). Little did we know last Sunday when he qualified 7th amongst the have-nots (edging out Paul Menard by 7/1000th's of a second!) that we'd make it that far down the qualifying list today. Here's hoping this will lead to a little more sponsorship down the line and a chance for Kirk to make a few more races (tho his car made three races last year Kirk only qualified it Pocono in July).
      STREAKIN....Carl Edwards has 4 Top-5 starts in the last 5 races. Mark Martin has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.(StockCarFans)(2-16-2006)

    • #66 adds asscoaite sponsor: Best Buy Haas CNC Racing and SanDisk Corporation announced that SanDisk has signed on as an associate sponsor of the #66 Chevy, driven by Jeff Green. SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage products, will have its logo displayed on the quarter panels of the #66 Best Buy Chevy throughout the 2006 season. In addition, the SanDisk sponsorship will be highlighted on team uniforms, trailers and merchandising items. SanDisk will also have a presence in the Best Buy Fun Zone Technology vehicle, a mobile unit featuring interactive technology displays that will make appearances at select races. The SanDisk logo will appear on the #66 Best Buy Chevy in the Feb. 16 Gatorade Duel 150 event, and the Feb. 19 Daytona 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.(GMR/Best Buy Racing PR)(2-16-2006)

    • Atlanta HOF bid looking for $$: Georgia lawmakers are trying to win NASCAR's hall of fame for downtown Atlanta with millions of new dollars from Dale Earnhardt license plates and airport rental cars. Leaders in Georgia's House will soon introduce legislation to shift additional money to the hall of fame project from Georgia's new NASCAR license plate and Atlanta's 10-year-old rental car tax. This would be on top of the $32 million in public incentives already on the table. The added money will help the local bid team seal a deal with NASCAR in a hall of fame race that could be Atlanta's to lose, said state Rep. Mark Burkhalter (R-Alpharetta), the No. 2 man in the House who's become the attraction's point man under the Gold Dome.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-16-2006)

    • COT opposition: One garage source says the current opposition by NEXTEL Cup Series car owners to building cars that meet NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow specifications is the current state of the specifications - in flux. If NASCAR could clearly define the specifications construction would begin almost immediately. Teams that have built cars have complained no sooner than they get a car finished, they have to cut part of it up because the specs changed.(CircleTrackPlus)(2-16-2006)

    • More on the #48 infraction: A respected source in the garage area reports NASCAR officials had a little help discovering the ingenious manner of cheating which lead to the ejection of Chad Knauss from the remainder of the Daytona activities. To add salt to the wound inflicted on the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team, this source reports the finger pointing that led officials to the infraction came from within the Chevrolet camp.(CircleTrackPlus)(2-16-2006)

    • Prilosecotc to #31? UPDATE: hearing Prilosec OTC will become an associate sponsor for #31 Jeff Burton and that a Prilosec OTC paint scheme will run in 2006, Cingular Wireless is the primary sponsor for Burton and the #31 team. Prilosec OTC had been with the #40 Ganassi Racing team and ran a scheme once a year with Sterling with the #14 team.(12-28-2005)
      UPDATE: Prilosec OTC announced new sponsorships with Richard Childress Racing's #31 Nextel Cup Series team and NASCAR. Starting with the 2006 season, both relationships will elevate Prilosec OTC's marketing efforts within NASCAR. "Success in our business is measured by performance," said Richard Childress. "Prilosec OTC is all about performance in treating frequent heartburn with an over-the-counter medicine. Thanks to Prilosec OTC, frequent heartburn is something I don't worry about all of the time. We're proud to have Prilosec OTC as a member of the #31 Cup team." Later this season, Prilosec OTC, proud sponsor of NASCAR will unveil the Victory of a Lifetime Sweepstakes. This sweepstakes will award the Grand Prize winner and, accompanying friends and family, a NASCAR season, that up to now, fans have only dreamed of. 2006 will also mark Prilosec OTC's inaugural season as a "Proud Partner of NASCAR." Prilosec OTC's NASCAR relationship includes heartburn remedy category exclusivity and will allow Prilosec OTC to integrate NASCAR marks into all Prilosec OTC, NASCAR related marketing initiatives. Prilosec OTC's Major Associate sponsorship of RCR's #31 Chevy will be highlighted by a unique one-race paint scheme each season that will transform the orange #31 Cingular Chevy into a purple racing machine. Throughout the NEXTEL Cup Series season, Prilosec OTC will be positioned on Jeff Burton's firesuit and the lower rear quarter panel of the #31 Cingular Chevy.(Yahoo Biz), still no word on which race the scheme will be run but see the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(2-16-2006)

    • How the fields for the Gatorade Duels are set: The front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineups for the Gatorade Duel qualifying races were set by today's qualifying. #31-Jeff Burton will start on the pole for the first Gatorade Duel and #24-Jeff Gordon will start on the pole for the second. Starting positions in the Gatorade Duel races are determined by qualifying speeds. The participating eligible highest ranked 35 in 2005 car owner points are assigned to Gatorade Duel races based on their standing in the 2005 final car owner points: odd-numbered ranked car owners compete in the first Gatorade Duel; even-numbered owners in the second. Owners who failed to finish in the top-35 of the 2005 car owner points will be assigned to a Gatorade Duel based on qualifying times: the highest qualifying owner to the first Duel; the next to the second and alternating through the remaining entries.(NASCAR Statistical Services)
      See my Gatorade Duel's Page for the starting lineups.(2-12-2006)
      NOTE: #96-Terry Labonte was moved from the 1st Duel to the 2nd Duel, so both races have 29 drivers.(2-16-2006)

      News from February 15, 2006

    • Knaus expected gone longer the Daytona: Although NASCAR will wait until next week to decide on its final penalties for Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and the #48 Lowe's Hendrick Motorsports team, Johnson hinted Thursday that he expects Knaus to be missing from the team for the next few races. Knaus was ejected from Daytona 500 Sunday after NASCAR inspectors discovered he had altered a rear jack bolt to move the rear window on the #48 in an attempt to improve aerodynamics. After busting Knaus, NASCAR sent him back to North Carolina for the remainder of Speedweeks and said that it may levy additional penalties to the team next week. Johnson met with press for about 10 minutes prior to Wednesday’s first Daytona 500 practice sessions. Twice he hinted that Knaus’s suspension would extend beyond Daytona. Referring to Darian Grubb, the team’s lead engineer and fill-in for Knaus at the Daytona 500, Johnson said, “Darian Grubb’s … been our engineer for the race team, he’s been on the (pit) box. He was going to be on the box next to Chad through this year, but now he’s going to be solo on the box for the first few races.” Later, Johnson added of Knaus, “Unfortunately, he stepped over the line. It’s something that he admits, and feels terrible about. He’s at home going crazy over this … He’ll be back after just a couple of weeks at home.”(Speed Channel)(2-15-2006)

    • New Scoring System for NASCAR in 2007? NASCAR will likely use an outside vendor for its timing and scoring in 2007. Swiss watchmaker Tissot entered into a partnership as NASCAR's "official timekeeper" to develop a new timing system that could be implemented in 2007. "We'll test some of their products," NASCAR vice president of corporate marketing Steve Phelps said. "If that works out well, and we think they can improve the timing of NASCAR, they will be our timing and scoring partner starting in 2007." Tissot is currently the official timekeeper of the MotoGP World Championship. And Omega, a corporate cousin to Tissot, does timing for the Olympics. Currently, NASCAR uses software from a Dutch company, AMB i.t., to time qualifying and races.(NASCAR Scene)(2-15-2006)

    • Petty fined in 2004 by Dodge: Kyle Petty did a favor for Richard Childress Racing and driver Kevin Harvick in 2004, and he paid $45,000 for it. Dodge fined Petty $45,000 when the veteran relieved Harvick in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol in August 2004. Harvick complained that he had lost feeling in his left arm and Petty, a Dodge driver, took over for Harvick in the RCR Chevrolet. Petty, whose car was already out of the race, did not have permission from Dodge to drive the Chevy, and Dodge promptly fined him for breaching their contract. Dodge didn't announce the fine, but it was revealed in depositions released during their recently completed trial involving Bill Davis Racing. "Initially it was a shock just because that's just a given in the sport - if a driver is down, everybody rallies and tries to help him out," Petty said Feb. 11. "Kevin was sick; Kevin felt bad, so I drove the car. When I got a phone call and a legal letter that said I owed them $45,000, that was a little bit of a shock. But at the same time, they were exactly right. I have a contract to drive for Dodge." Dodge Motorsports Director of Operations John Fernandez said Feb. 10 that he believed Petty's violation of their contract was inadvertent but that the manufacturer must protect the sanctity of its contracts.(NASCAR Scene)(2-15-2006)

    • #74 McGlynn Racing gets sponsor for some races: #74 McGlynn Racing announced today that Sundance Vacations will co-sponsor the Derrike Cope driven Nextel Cup Dodge for the Daytona 500 on February 19th. Sundance Vacations will be featured on the car and on the team uniforms. Sundance Vacations will also be featured as a Primary sponsor for three races this season, the first at Dover (June 4), Pocono (June 11) as well as the race at Chicagoland Speedway (July 9). Sundance Vacations is a wholesale travel company headquartered in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania that operates offices nationwide. Sundance Vacations is negotiating with the team and former Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope to outline the details for a full season sponsorship. When the agreement is finalized, Sundance will join My Guardian 911 as co-sponsor for the season. Further details will be released when available. (McGlynn Racing PR)(2-15-2006)

    • Some Goodyear Tire Notes for Daytona: This is the first time Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Daytona . . . all three major NASCAR series -- Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck -- as well as IROC, will use the same tire codes throughout Speed Weeks . . . the only difference will be that the Craftsman Truck tires will be stamped with the "Goodyear Wrangler" brand, while the other three series will be stamped "Goodyear Eagle" . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in their tires at Daytona . . . air pressure in the inner liner must be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more notes/specs on my Daytona 500 Race Info page.(2-15-2006)

      News from February 14, 2006

    • Bump Drafting Issue Resurfaces UPDATE NASCAR draws line on bump-drafting: Even though he finished a respectable third in the 72-lap exhibition sprint, defending Nextel Cup champion #20-Tony Stewart was livid afterward. Stewart had just finished a race that saw he and the 20 other contestants narrowly dodge, only by good fortune and luck, major accidents at the sprawling 2½-mile track. The reason for Stewart's ire was the bump drafting, which entails intentionally slamming into the car in front of you. The purpose is actually to push the next car along – and some drivers assert it's a necessary move – but do it at the wrong time or at the wrong angle, and wrecks easily can ensue. And wrecks at restrictor plate tracks have the potential to be especially brutal. Really, bump drafting isn't drafting at all. It's legalized road rage – legal, at least, in NASCAR terms. There are laws prohibiting this obviously unsafe maneuver on highways, so why aren't existing rules in NASCAR's books against unsafe or overaggressive driving being enforced when it comes to bump drafting? NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said after Sunday's race that the sanctioning body has tried to come up with different ways to, at the very least, control bump drafting. But, Hunter noted, sanctioning body officials have to be cautious to make major changes in one area, lest they unwittingly compromise safety in yet another area. Hunter says NASCAR has explored "softening up" front bumpers on cars so that there will be less resulting impact and damage – and thus less chance for a car being knocked out of control – when bump drafting occurs. Again, laudable, but not entirely realistic. Hunter also said NASCAR is reluctant to simply penalize every driver that bump drafts, as some of the allegedly guilty might actually be victims of circumstance, such as being unable to avoid impact when a car in front suddenly checks up.(Yahoo Sports)(2-13-2006)
      UPDATE NASCAR draws line on bump-drafting: NASCAR will post additional officials in the turns at Daytona International Speedway to monitor the act of bump-drafting between cars on the track, according to Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for the sanctioning body. And left up to make the call, he said Tuesday, officials could penalize drivers for such contact. Pemberton said the officials would begin monitoring the situation beginning with Thursday's Gatorade Duals, twin 150-mile qualifying races that will set the remainder of the field for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. "I think what we are going to do over the week as the races unfold," Pemberton said, "we may have some zones that we post added officials in where me might be forced to make a call of a bump draft that is unnecessary. The straightaways, obviously, don't appear to be a problem. But we're working on it. We've talked to the competitors about the problem and we may be put in the position that we have to make some calls that we really don't want to make."
      The act of bump-drafting occurs when a driver makes contact with his and another vehicle in front of him on the race track with the front bumper of his car. The "hit" is normally used to push the car in front past a car beside it. The practice has become fairly common at Daytona and Talladega, however, following Sunday's Budweiser Shootout, defending series champion Tony Stewart said the act of bump drafting could lead to another death at the 2.5-mile track. As far as penalties are concerned, Pemberton said it could be "a pass through as far as coming down pit road. It could be anything. ... This is a serious matter. "Everybody has to remember, we don't drive these things. The drivers are in control, they have the pedals they can push and the steering wheel they can turn. To leave it in our hands when we're not out there ... they may get a call that they didn't bargain for."(NASCAR Scene)(2-14-2006)

    • Johnson could had lost car to NASCAR: After his #48 Lowe's Chevrolet was disqualified after post Daytona 500 qualifying inspection there was a chance Jimmie Johnson was going to lose his primary car for the 500. However according to NASCAR's Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; "We are not going to take the car. They'll be able to run that car. There are some things we need to work on when we get in the garage area Wednesday morning but the cars fine." Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby explains, "A lot of times you can hold an illegal part or piece in you hand. Then there's other situations where you use what is a very acceptable, very normal and very legal piece on the car and create a procedure that turns that part into something that it shouldn't do." Darby went on to explain what his inspectors found following pole qualifying. "Basically the pannard rod adjusting bolt had an additional clamp on it which enabled that adjusting rod to not only adjust the pannard bar but while the pannard bar was being adjusted it jacked the rear window up." The 48 team must now correct the illegal part for the car to be able to return to the track.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(2-14-2006)

    • Teresa doesn't expect to see #3 run again: [DEI Team owner] Teresa Earnhardt doesn't believe anyone -- including her stepson, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- will bring the #3 the late Dale Earnhardt made famous back to Cup racing."Contrary to popular belief, everyone cannot be replaced," Teresa Earnhardt said. "Legends live on forever. I don't think the #3 will ever be driven by anyone else." The rare public comment from Teresa Earnhardt comes from a one-hour television show, "NASCAR Five Years Later," that will air tonight on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et. The #3 has not been used in the Cup series since Earnhardt's death. NASCAR controls car numbers and assigns them to team owners on an annual basis. Richard Childress has maintained control of the #3 since Earnhardt's fatal crash. Earnhardt Jr., who drives the #8 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company his father formed and his stepmother now runs, said again recently he would like to drive the #3 before the end of his Cup career. "I really think that'll happen," Earnhardt Jr. told Earnhardt Jr. said his desire to drive the #3 does not mean he has any short-term plans to leave DEI. At the Speedweeks media day on Thursday, Earnhardt Jr. said he'd like to run DEI one day. "I'd love to take over at DEI," he said. "Teresa and I will talk about that when the time comes, but that's not in the near future." Earnhardt Jr. started JR Motorsports, which owns a team that plans to run in the Busch Series this year.(Thatsracin)(2-14-2006)

    • HOF: What Happened in Daytona Qualifying: Representatives of the new Hall of Fame Racing team owned by the famous quarterbacks got called to NASCAR's version of the woodshed Sunday after its first official laps at Daytona. A post-qualifying inspection revealed a carburetor that wasn't within regulations. NASCAR threw a yellow flag on the first play. Terry Labonte's qualifying run for the Daytona 500, a respectable 28th on speed in the #96 DLP Chevy, was disallowed. He will start at the back in his qualifying race Thursday, but he has a guaranteed spot in the 500 as a past Cup champion. No additional penalties are expected from NASCAR until after the race, but all indications are that the violation was minor. "This is the last thing in the world Roger, Troy or I would ever do," said Bill Saunders, the managing general partner of HOF. "Not in a million years would we want something like this our first time out of the box." Inspection violations are common in NASCAR. Unfortunately, the thought of cheating often comes with it. Regardless of how it looks, no one is suggesting Aikman or Staubach – neither of whom has arrived at Daytona – attempted to cheat.
      "I think it was a mistake," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. "That doesn't make it right, but I don't think there was any intent to gain a performance advantage." The engine came from Joe Gibbs Racing, the team that leases equipment and shares info with HOF. "We don't touch our engines," Saunders said. "We don't put the carburetors on. We don't even have the tool to check it, because we don't take the carburetors off the engines." Saunders said J.D. Gibbs, Joe's son and president of JGR, apologized to the HOF crew. "J.D. is sick to his stomach over this," Saunders said. "In all their years in NASCAR, they've never had an engine infraction. We'll probably get a fine, but J.D. said he was paying it." J.D. Gibbs wanted to comment but Saunders asked him not to. The problem probably was a manufacturing defect. Saunders said the person he feels the worst for is HOF crew chief Philippe Lopez. "He got placed in a box he didn't deserve," Saunders said. "He had nothing to do with this." HOF got lumped together with the announcement Sunday that Jimmie Johnson's car also was disqualified from its Pole Day run. The #48 Lowe's Chevy had a device installed that raised the rear window after inspection, giving the car an aerodynamic advantage. It got crew chief Chad Knaus booted from the Daytona 500.(in part from the Dallas Morning News)(2-14-2006)

    • Will Ferrell Official Spokesman for NASCAR Day 2006: The NASCAR Foundation announced that Will Ferrell, star of Columbia Pictures' upcoming NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, will serve as the official spokesman for NASCAR Day 2006. Set for Friday, May 19, NASCAR Day celebrates the spirit of NASCAR by encouraging fans to get their NASCAR Day lapel pins, which will be available in exchange for a $5 donation at along with their favorite NASCAR apparel.(NASCAR PR)(2-14-2006)

    • Knaus Ejected from 2006 Daytona 500 Activities UPDATE 2 Hendrick Responds: NASCAR announced today that NASCAR Nextel Cup Series crew chief Chad Knaus has been ejected from any further participation in 2006 Daytona 500 activities as a result of a rules infraction discovered following pole qualifying runs Sunday. Knaus is the crew chief for the #48 Lowe's Chevy driven by Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR said the #48 car failed post-qualifying template inspection in the rear window area [had a device installed that raised the rear window after pre-aualifying inspection]. The qualifying time posted by the #48 was disallowed and Johnson will have to start at the rear of the field in the first of two 150-mile qualifying races Thursday. The qualifying time of the #96 DLP Chevy driven by Terry Labonte was also disallowed. NASCAR officials said an unapproved carburetor was found on the 96 car. Labonte will also have to start from the rear of the field in Thursday’s qualifying races. Additional penalties for both cars will be determined following the Daytona 500.(NASCAR PR)(2-13-2006)
      UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today responded to NASCAR sanctions levied against crew chief Chad Knaus following Sunday's Daytona 500 post-qualifying inspection at Daytona International Speedway. "We understand NASCAR's position," Hendrick said. "Our expectations for the team remain high. It's a deep, championship-caliber group and they'll step up this weekend." Darian Grubb, lead engineer for the #24 and #48 Hendrick Motorsports teams, will immediately assume Knaus' at-track duties in preparation for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. "It's obviously disappointing to miss the biggest race of the year, but I'm confident in Darian and the rest of my teammates," Knaus said. "There's been a lot of effort put into the Daytona 500 and I know the team will be successful with the support they'll receive from the entire organization."(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(2-13-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Knaus cannot appeal the deci-sion, and Darian Grubb, the lead engineer for Johnson and Jeff Gordon's teams, will assume Knaus' duties at the track in preparation for Sunday's race. This is the seventh time Knaus has been fined and/or suspended by NASCAR for infractions on one of his cars. The first two came in 2001 when he was working on Stacy Compton's car. The other five have come with Johnson. He has been fined a total of $74,250, and this is the third suspension he will serve. Knaus also was suspended two races and fined $35,000 last March at Las Vegas when Johnson's race-winning car was found to be too low. He appealed the suspension, and NASCAR overturned it but put him on 90 days probation and kept the fine and the 25-point docking. In September at Dover, Johnson's car failed postrace inspection but later passed on a second attempt. NASCAR did not punish the team but did rewrite a rule about shock absorbers that Knaus had found a way to work around.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-14-2006)

    • Testing at Kentucky Tuesday: #12-Ryan Newman, #32-Travis Kvapil and #7-Robby Gordon are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 14th. Fans can view testing for free from the designated area outside Turn 3. Tests usually begin at 9:00am, and last until about 5:00pm. Test times will vary based on team objectives. The Kentucky Speedway Gift Shop is offering a 15% discount on online and in-store purchases through Monday, March 13.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(2-14-2006)

    • Race for Victory (Junction - Jayski Computer Lab) was run on Feb 12th with Craig Burmeister winning. The Race for Victory event raised $1655 for the Jayski Computer Lab at Victory Junction....Thank You. And as of Feb. 1, 2006, the Victory Junction Jayski Computer Lab has recieved 318 gifts for a total of $51,752 (of $75,000 or 69%)

    • Earnhardt still among top sellers: Five years after his death, Dale Earnhardt remains one of the top sellers in NASCAR merchandise. The drivers whose merchandise sold the most at Superstore:
      1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
      2. Jeff Gordon
      3. Tony Stewart
      4. Jimmie Johnson
      5. Kasey Kahne
      6. Dale Earnhardt
      7. Rusty Wallace
      8. Mark Martin
      9. Elliott Sadler
      10. Ryan Newman.(USA Today)(2-14-2006)

    • BAM Racing gets assoc. sponsors: Fire-Dex, Inc. is proud to announce its associate sponsorship of BAM Racing, the NASCAR Nextel Cup team, their #49 Dodge Charger, and driver Brent Sherman. Fire-Dex will run a season-long associate sponsorship throughout 2006, while also being a featured sponsor on the car’s deck lid for 5 races. The Fire-Dex patch will appear on the driver’s left arm, as well as the left arm of the pit members. Two of the BAM Racing pit crew members will also wear Fire-Dex hoods. Fire-Dex will be hosting Brent for autograph signings at the largest fire service trade show: the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, IN, and will have the car in their booth at both FDIC and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Show in Dallas, TX.(G&G Marketing)
      AND American Liberty Mortgage will be a sponsor of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge of rookie driver Brent Sherman in the the Nextel Cup Series. With every online loan application or an application called into their office mentioning Nascar enters fans into quarterly drawings for NASCAR race tickets with VIP garage access included to the race of the fans choice in 2006. More info at
      IMAGE see an image of the car on my #49 Team Schemes page.(2-14-2006)

    • Countdown #1: Top 5 Daytona 500 Moments Announced: Stymied in so many other attempts, Dale Earnhardt won the 1998 Daytona 500 by beating a pack of pursuers to the finish line after grabbing the lead on the final pit stop with less than 30 laps remaining – a win made sweeter by all the frustration that preceded it. Four times prior to 1998, Earnhardt had led the Daytona 500 with 10 laps remaining only to lose it in some unlucky fashion. When he completed his cool-down lap in ’98 and spun in celebration in the infield grass, crews along pit road swarmed to his famous black #3 Chevrolet as he drove toward Victory Lane, greeting “The Intimidator” with congratulatory shouts and hand slaps. “I cried a little bit in the race car on the way to the checkered flag," Earnhardt said that day. "Well, maybe not cried, but at least my eyes watered up.” Adding to the poignancy was a pre-race meeting with a young fan. A girl in a wheelchair offered Earnhardt a lucky penny to put in his car, and he ran the entire 200 laps with the coin affixed to his dashboard. Said Dale Earnhardt: “That’s pretty special.”(NASCAR Media)(2-14-2006)

    • 10-12 Races for Elliott: Bill Elliott is driving the #36 Chevy for MB2 Motorsports in the Daytona 500 and hopes to run 10-12 races with both MB2 and Evernham Motorsports [#91/98] this season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-14-2006)

    • Rusty and Scott Inducted: Rusty Wallace and Wendell Scott were inducted into the Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame Monday night [Feb 13th] at the Rotary Club of Oceanside in Daytona Beach, FL.. Stock Car Hall of Fame is a fundraising event to benefit "Camp Rotary" for clients of the Association of Retarded Citizens, Interact Club of Atlantic High School, Volusia County Sheriff's Department 100 Deputies 100 Kids, Stewart Marchman Center, YMCA Youth Campaign, Project Harmony, Bill Walter Melanoma Race, polio eradication and other local, national and international charities. More info at

      News from February 13, 2006

    • Stewart wins Driver of the Year Award: While Tony Stewart achieved many goals on the way to his second NASCAR Nextel Cup series championship he also earned one of the most coveted titles in auto racing as he was voted the Speed Channel Driver of the Year presented by Gillette M3 Power by a wide margin. Stewart, who was born and resides in Indiana, won the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and totaled five wins and two poles winning the vote in the third quarter. “It’s an honor to be named Driver of the Year,” said Stewart. It’s something I take a lot of pride in, especially since one of the guys I’ve always looked up to in racing – A.J. Foyt – won this award back in 1975. Although all of his wins came in his torrid third quarter Stewart consistently maintained his points lead in the Chase for the Cup as the series drew to a close, in November, at the Homestead Miami Speedway. A humble Stewart added “and while this award recognizes the driver, I want to recognize my team – Joe Gibbs Racing. Their hard work, knowledge and never-ending support allowed us to win a second championship. I couldn’t have done it without them.” Professionals, who voted - in a secret ballot - for a single driver, gave Stewart 12 votes out the 17 cast. He also won the fan vote. Indy 500 winner, and IndyCar Series Champion, Dan Wheldon, scored three votes and the NHRA’s Tony Schumacher, and World of Outlaws, Steve Kinser tallied one vote apiece. There were almost 20,000 votes on the website. Stewart counted 10, 210 votes, while Champ Car titlist, winner of an IROC race, Sebastien Bourdais, garnered 3,463 votes. Third place, Wheldon, winner of Driver of the Year for the second quarter took 2,423 votes. In its’ 40th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. completed a secret ballot and and a fan vote on combined to determine the winner. Stewart received a trophy, a custom made motorcycle and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV. President of the Speed Channel Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(Speed Channel)(2-13-2006)

    • "NASCAR Angels" Program to Help Families/Local Communities: NASCAR and MagicDust Television announced a partnership with Litton Entertainment to distribute the syndicated original programming series titled, "NASCAR Angels." The agreement was announced by Mark Dyer, NASCAR Vice President of Licensing and Consumer Products, Bill Miller, MagicDust Television and David Morgan, President and CEO, Litton Entertainment. "NASCAR Angels" is a new television show in development for Fall 2006 from NASCAR's Automotive Licensing team. Created to drive consumer education about the need for regular vehicle maintenance, "NASCAR Angels" will showcase every aspect of the Aftermarket chain: service, technicians and the parts that make the cars go. The show will offer opportunities for sponsorship and product integration. NASCAR and its exclusive distributor, Litton Entertainment, debuted the weekly half-hour program at last week's gathering of television programming executives (NATPE) in Las Vegas. In its first day on the market, stations in five of the nation's ten largest markets agreed to carry the show, including ABC-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as well as WSB-ABC in Atlanta, one of the nation's highest rated stations. The series will shoot 22 original episodes on location in major NASCAR race markets.
      "NASCAR Angels" will hit the road each week with a simple mission: to help families and communities with their transportation needs. Whether it's getting to work, to a doctor's appointment or fire trucks responding to an emergency, many families and communities rely on their vehicles to get them where they need to go and to help save lives. Each week a different NASCAR driver will help introduce the family or person that will be helped. From fixing up a family's old car or a school in need of bus repair, "NASCAR Angels" are there to help make life a little easier. The show will feature top NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs giving deserving families the chance to go behind-the-scenes to meet their heroes and get an up-close-and-personal glimpse into the NASCAR experience. Back in the shop, with the help of some pros from neighborhood garages and the products of NASCAR Performance partners, "NASCAR Angels" are working under a deadline to complete each mission as technicians race to put cars back into tip-top condition. Each week is a new adventure as the "NASCAR Angels" explore America and make viewers smile, while making a difference.(NASCAR PR)(2-13-2006)

    • Rudd to be honored in VA: Chesapeake, VA native and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Norfolk Sports Club at its 61st annual jamboree March 2, 2006 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.(Virginian Pilot Print Edition via

    • Tryson back to work: Pat Tryson, crew chief for Mark Martin’s #6 AAA Roush Racing Ford Fusion, had his appendix removed last week after suffering an attack of appendicitis. Tryson was back at the track this week, a little sore, but mostly back up to speed.(Ford Racing)(2-13-2006)

    • Kahne heads to Wash DC on Monday: #9 rriver Kasey Kahne was one of 17 people picked to be appointed to President Bush's council on service and civic participation Sunday. Kahne, a 25-year-old driver who finished 13th in the Nextel Cup standings last season, was scheduled to travel to Washington, D.C. on Monday for a council dinner and then a meeting at the White House. Others appointed include: actress/singer Hilary Duff, actor Stephen Baldwin, singer Michael W. Smith, actress Patricia Heaton and USA Basketball head Jerry Colangelo.(

    • Countdown #2: Top 5 Daytona 500 Moments Announced: The 1976 Daytona 500 began as always, with a full field and the high hopes of each driver. But it wound down to two drivers – Richard Petty and David Pearson – battling for the victory. They traded the lead for 45 of the final 46 laps, racing bumper-to-bumper and door-to-door. On the final lap, Petty and Pearson entered Turn 4 side-by-side; they collided and crashed into the outside wall, bouncing off of it, down the frontstretch. An oft-forgotten fact: after he and Petty collided, Pearson’s car also hit that of Joe Frasson, who had shot down pit road to avoid him. Petty’s #43 Dodge and Pearson’s #21 Mercury finally stopped along the infield grass without crossing the finish line. Both drivers were fine. Their cars were not. Petty – who still holds the record for the most Daytona 500 wins (seven) – could not get his car restarted. The collision had pushed the radiator into the fan blade and kept it from running. Pearson, meanwhile, had pushed in his clutch. He managed to keep his engine running with minimal momentum but it was enough to propel him back onto the frontstretch and across the finish line at approximately 20 mph – enough to claim the checkered flag and the only Daytona 500 victory of his storied career.(NASCAR Media)(2-13-2006)

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