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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    FEB 20-26, 2006





      News from February 26, 2006

    • Kenseth comes from the back to win @ Calif: #17-Matt Kenseth took the lead late in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway after starting 31st with a green-white-checkered finish.. It is Kenseth's first win of 2006, first since Bristol last August and 11th of his career. #48-Jimmie Johnson backed up his Daytona 500 win with a 2nd place finish, followed by #99-Carl Edwards, #9-Kasey Kahne and #31-Jeff Burton. #16-Greg Biffle lead 168 laps until his engine let go, finishing 42nd. 2005 Nextel Cup champ, #20-Tony Stewart finished last [43rd] when his engine expired. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured 11th after being down a lap and getting a lucky dog pass. Johnson maintains the points lead, 39 points over #42-Casey Mears, who finished 7th. There were 7 cautions for 26 laps. There were 18 lead changes with 9 leaders.
      Race Results on my Daytona Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.
      Race Rundown: see my California Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(2-26-2006)

    • Dale Jr.'s show gets 8 more episodes: Speed Channel has picked up an option for eight additional episodes of "Back in the Day" with Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 30-minute program, which airs Mondays at 9:00pm/et on the Charlotte-based network, is a journey through the history of NASCAR with an emphasis on the 1970s. "This is the right show on the right network at the right time," Speed vice president of programming Robert Ecker said in an e-mail. "The decision to place the full-season order was a virtual no-brainer. Dale Jr.'s obvious affection for the material and his clever approach to presenting it instantly and understandably struck a responsive chord with the audience. We are eager to respond to the demand for additional episodes as quickly as we can."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-26-2006)

    • Barrett's sponsor? during Auto Club 500 qualifying, #95-Stanton Barrett was shown during his lap with a new sponsor hairofdog.com...so what is it? Hair of the Dog Energy Drink, a very cool looking paint scheme.....Barrett qualified for the race and will start 30th.(2-25-2006)
      IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #95 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2006)

    • California Notes:
      • Matt Kenseth won the 2006 Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, scoring his 11th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 222nd career start. Kenseth won from 31st, the deepest a race winner has started at California Speedway.
      • Kenseth scored his 100th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup top-10 finish. It was his fifth top-10 finish in nine races at California Speedway.
      • Kenseth’s last victory came at Bristol in August 2005, 14 races earlier.
      • It was Kenseth’s first California victory in nine races there.
      • Nine of 11 Kenseth’s victories have come on superspeedways.
      • Kenseth moved into 49th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list.
      • Kenseth finished seventh in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and now ranks third after two races.
      • Kenseth led four times for 40 laps including the final 33. He did not lead the most laps.
      • Team owner Jack Roush scored the first “triple” since Phoenix in October 2001 when Jeff Burton won the Busch and Cup races and Biffle won the Truck race. Mark Martin won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race here on Friday. Greg Biffle won the Busch race on Saturday with Kenseth giving him the “triple” with his victory today.
      • This was team owner Jack Roush’s 90th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory.
      • Roush has scored two NASCAR Craftsman Truck victories, five NASCAR Busch Series victories and four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories at California Speedway.
      • Kenseth has won at least one race each season 2002– 2006, five consecutive years.
      • Jack Roush has won at least one race each season 1997-2006, 10 consecutive years.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(2-26-2006)

    • More Notebook Items
      • Jimmie Johnson has finished first and second in the first two races in 2006. He remained first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Johnson has ranked among the top-10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings for 71 straight races, a streak that began after race No. 4 (Atlanta) in March 2004.
      • Greg Biffle led the most laps (168) in the Auto Club 500. The last time he led the most laps in a race was at Phoenix last November.
      • Jimmie Johnson (second) has finished first or second in four of his seven races at California Speedway.
      • Carl Edwards (third) scored his best finish at California Speedway. It marked his fourth straight top-10 finish in four races here. Edwards has finished (in order) sixth, fifth, fourth and third at California since September 2004.
      • Kasey Kahne (fourth) scored his third top-10 finish in six races at California Speedway.
      • Jeff Burton (fifth) scored first top10 finish at California Speedway since April 2000. It is his fourth top-10 finish at California Speedway in 12 races.
      • J. J. Yeley (eighth) was the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contender in the 2006 Auto Club 500.
      • All seven of the rookie contenders have competed in both races in 2006 and four scored top-15 finishes in today’s race.
      • Johnson (second in 2005), Jamie McMurray (fourth), Edwards (fifth) and Martin (seventh) also finished in the top 10 in this race one year ago
      • Joe Nemechek (27th) has been running at the finish in the last 34 races, a streak that began at Bristol last April, the longest current streak.
      • Tony Stewart (43rd) ended a 30-race streak of running at the finish, that began at Phoenix last April.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(2-26-2006)

    • StockCarFans - Rumblings - California: Matt Kenseth captured the Auto Club 502 at California Speedway over Jimmie Johnson for his first win since Bristol last August and had to survive a green/white/checker to do it. This was career win #11 for Matt (he's solo in 49th all-time) and the 90th for Roush Racing in NEXTEL Cup competition. Matt's win was worth $324,991 from the over $5.9M in posted awards. Pretty good haul this weekend for Cactus Jack....Truck win on Friday, Busch win yesterday, and Cup today. And he had two drivers (Kenseth & dominant Greg Biffle) lead 201 of the 251 circuits to boot!
      Kasey Kahne (4th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at The Brickyard last August.
      J. J. Yeley (8th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 25th at Dover last September.
      Scott Riggs (19th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Michigan last August.
      Reed Sorenson (21st) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 28th at Homestead last November.
      STREAKIN....Carl Edwards has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      Casey Mears has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      The Rookie Report: J.J. Yeley (8th) was the top finishing freshman today. He was followed by Denny Hamlin (12th), Clint Bowyer (14th), Martin Truex Jr (15th), Reed Sorenson (21st), David Stremme (33rd), and Brent Sherman (37th).
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is a lonely Matt Kenseth (+30). DOWN: The Big Dropper is Greg Biffle (-40), followed by Tony Stewart (-31). Can't get much slower in the "Shaft".
      Early in the season we get some wild swings in the point standings and this week is no exception. Carl Edwards (43rd to 21st) made the best move forward while Bill Elliott (18th to 39th) and Kirk Shelmerdine (20th to 41st), two drivers not entered this weekend, each fell 21 spots.(StockCarFans)(2-26-2006)

    • Kenseth and Stewart...still no speak UPDATE speak: #17-Matt Kenseth says he has yet to hear from #20-Tony Stewart about last weekend's incident in the Daytona 500 that sent Kenseth into the wall. "I'm sure we'll talk eventually," Kenseth said Friday at California Speedway. "I don't feel like I need to go talk to him because I didn't feel I was in the wrong at all. Obviously, he does, but I don't feel like I did anything wrong." Stewart ran Kenseth into the grass in turn 3 last weekend. That came after Stewart said Kenseth nearly caused him to spin by taking the air off his spoiler earlier in the race. "He started the whole thing, and I finished it," Stewart said after last week's race. NASCAR penalized Stewart for aggressive driving after Kenseth hit the wall. Stewart had to restart at the rear of the field. Series officials did not talk to Stewart about his post-race comments this week and didn't plan to talk to him this weekend. Kenseth admits the incident has been difficult to forget. Kenseth ran well until the incident. He finished 15th; Stewart placed fifth.(Roanoke Times)(2-25-2006)
      UPDATE: Tony Stewart has had a busy weekend even before starting today's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at California Speedway. Stewart said he talked to Matt Kenseth about last week's incident at Daytona this weekend and spoke with Kyle Busch for about 90 minutes Friday night. Stewart was one of a few drivers who complained about Busch's aggressive driving at Daytona. Stewart was upset with Kenseth at Daytona after Stewart nearly spun while running underneath Kenseth. Later, Stewart ran Kenseth down the track and into the grass. Kenseth spun back up the track and hit the turn-3 wall. Stewart declined to reveal details of that conversation. "What we talk about is between Matt and me," Stewart said.(Roanoke Times)(2-26-2006)

    • Martins's Museum/Dealershop scheduled to open: Roush Racing’s Mark Martin will open his all new Ford dealership, Mark Martin Ford-Mercury, and museum on Monday, Feb. 27th in Batesville, Arkansas. Martin started construction on the state of the art facility over a year ago and is pleased with the fruition of his work. “It’s just an awesome thing to be able to bring back all of these cars and trophies to the place where it all started and the place that I consider ‘home,’ said Martin. “We have a lot of stuff on display at the museum and I hope that all of the fans will get a chance to come out and share in all of the memories with us. Growing up I couldn’t wait to get out of Batesville and go out and see what I could do,” added Martin. “I went off seeking my fame and fortune and I was fortunate to work with a lot of great people and have a lot of success. Now it’s time to bring all of that back home where it belongs to Batesville.” The state-of-the art museum features several of Martin’s past cars, including the #6 Viagra Coca-Cola 600 win car, the ’90 Folgers Thunderbird, the #60 Win Dixie Busch car, Martin’s 2005 IROC car that he used to win his record fifth championship, and the ’89 Strohs Thunderbird. Each car is a part of a display that includes hi-tech mantrons that tell the story of each piece of history. The museum also has on display a variety of other memorabilia, including several of Martin’s past race helmets and historic firesuits. There are also several personal photo books on display that chronicle Martin’s early success, as well as thousands of pictures and newspaper articles that show Martin shows Martins climb from local dirt track sensation to NASCAR legend.(Roush Racing PR)(2-26-2006)


      News from February 25, 2006

    • COT blueprints delivered to teams; Testing upcoming: Nextel Cup Series teams are in the process of being visited by a NASCAR representative bearing blueprints for the "car of tomorrow," which is set to debut on a limited basis in 2007. "We've been giving them out. We've been making shop trips with [NASCAR official] Randy Hedger over the past few weeks, trying to finalize all that with the teams," NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton said Friday afternoon at California Speedway. Pemberton added that Gary Nelson, who'd been heading up the car's development for NASCAR, will now begin accompanying Hedger to visit the teams. Earlier this week, Nelson left NASCAR to begin his own company; which signed NASCAR as its first client. The only areas of the car not finalized involved the wing and front splitter configuration. "We're trying to make our adjustments based off the team information when we do our track tests," Pemberton said. Track tests are tentatively set for March 27 at Bristol and April 3 at Martinsville.(SceneDaily.com)(2-25-2006)

    • Hill & Shelby to receive Eagle One-Shav Glick Award: Motor racing icons Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby will be in attendance at the NASCAR Auto Club 500, at California Speedway, to accept the seventh annual Eagle One-Shav Glick Award. The two were voted co-recipients by a panel of national and California motorsports writers. Presented by car-care products company Eagle One in honor of the recently retired, long-time motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times, the award will be presented to Hill and Shelby during pre-race ceremonies. It is symbolic of distinguished contributions to motorsports in California. Hill, in 1961, became the first American to win a Formula One world championship. He also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, the 12 Hours of Sebring three times and numerous other national and international racing events. Shelby, who was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1992, has gained fame as a driver, designer/builder and team manager. In 1959 he won the24 Hours of Le Mans and also set land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. After health problems caused his retirement as a driver in 1960, the Cobra sports car he designed and built became the first American-conceived car to win the World Manufacturers Grand Touring Championship in 1965. As a team manager he helped Ford GT win the World Grand Touring title. Said Glick of both icons, "Hill and Shelby are both products of that era in the 1950s and 60s that has become known as the glory years of sports car racing, a time when ingenuity and industry were rewarded in the racing fraternity. Both were winners and both carried the California trademark with great success on the world racing scene." Previous winners were Dan Gurney, Wally Parks, Parnelli Jones, Rick Mears, Les Richter and J.C. Agajanian.(Valvoline PR)(2-25-2006)

    • Johnson admits chief went too far: #48-Jimmie Johnson admitted Friday that suspended crew chief Chad Knaus erred in judgment by utilizing a device to raise the rear window of the #48 Lowe's Chevy to gain an aerodynamic advantage during Daytona 500 qualifying. "Chad is an innovator and has pushed hard on a lot of fronts, but it just isn't worth it, to be honest," Johnson said. "I think [the suspension] sent a message to all the teams. It sent a message to Chad. We've got to walk on the right side of the line." Johnson, who continued to reiterate his Daytona 500 winning car passed post-race technical inspection, is confident he will be a Nextel Cup title contender this season despite losing Knaus to a four-race suspension. "I think we've got to spin this and make it a positive for our race team," Johnson said. "And we're making our race team stronger right now by going through this. I hope it gives us what we need to win a championship."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-25-2006)

    • Gordon trades the familiar fire and flames for a Chip Foose special: Initially unveiled last fall at the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas, the #24 DuPont Hot Hues Heat Waves and Flames Chevy is set to burn up the track at California Speedway during the 500-mile Nextel Cup Series race on Sunday. The car represents an unprecedented union of automotive star power and horsepower as award-winning car designer Chip Foose, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, DuPont Automotive Finishes, Hendrick Motorsports and Motorsports Authentics Inc. came together to fire up this hot machine. Foose, whose custom creations are made for private individuals, television, film and automobile manufacturers, had a distinct vision in mind when he set about creating the Heat Waves and Flames machine. While at the SEMA show, Foose explained how he used a combination of DuPont Hot Hues paints - primarily Blackened (Hot Hues No. 759196) and Starry Night (Hot Hues No. 754870) - to create the base striped color scheme that serves as the foundation of the Heat Waves and Flames design. The car also incorporates the following Hot Hues(tm) colors as accents: Snow Storm, Atomic Tangerine, Lemon Glow, Dragon Fire and Sassy Orchid. For Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports, the Foose-designed car provides a unique showcase for DuPont, the #24 team's longtime sponsor. Motorsports Authentics (formerly Action Performance) was instrumental in generating the multi-brand merger of industry powerhouses and is producing die-cast replica versions of the elaborate #24 DuPont Hot Hues Heat Waves and Flames 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The collectibles, which will be available in a variety of collector scales, will feature the same DuPont Hot Hues paints and Heat Waves and Flames design seen on the full-size race car when it races this weekend. The Foose-designed DuPont Hot Hues Heat Waves and Flames Chevrolet is the first major special that the #24 team has exhibited in the 2006 race season.(Motorsports Authentics PR), see images of the car on my #24 Team Schemes page and see www.hothues.dupont.com for 2 new free wallpaper downloads of the Heat Waves and Flames car and race helmet.(2-25-2006)


      News from February 24, 2006

    • Strike Three for Hmiel - Banned for Life: NASCAR officials confirmed Friday that former NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck Series driver Shane Hmiel failed a third drug test and has been banned from NASCAR for life. Hmiel failed two prior tests in 2003 and ’05, and NASCAR officials said Friday that he failed a third within the past week, prompting his banishment.(Speed Channel)
      AND Driver Shane Hmiel has been suspended from competition for life by NASCAR after failing a third substance abuse test. "Shane failed to fulfill the prescribed rehabilitation program scheduled by NASCAR," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. "As a result, Shane has forfeited his opportunity to compete in any NASCAR-sanctioned events." Asked if there is any possibility of Hmiel racing in NASCAR sometime in the future, he said, "No, it is a lifetime ban." Hmiel, the 26-year-old son of longtime crew chief and team official Steve Hmiel, was first suspended in September 2003 after failing a test. He completed a required rehabilitation program and was reinstated for NASCAR competition in February 2004. But he was suspended again last June after failing a second substance abuse test. NASCAR had laid out a road map for Hmiel's possible reinstatement in 2007 that included medical and psychological reviews and frequent testing. NASCAR said Hmiel failed one of those tests. NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, based on "reasonable suspicion," allows the sanctioning organization to broadly administer tests virtually anytime, anywhere.(ESPN.com/AP)(2-24-2006)

    • Penske plans to keep running Intrepids: Penske Racing South General Manager Don Miller said on Friday that the team plans on racing 2004 Dodge Intrepids at all 1.5.- and 2.0-mile tracks for the foreseeable future. Penske drivers #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman both brought Intrepids for Sunday’s Auto Club 500, as did Petty Enterprises for #43-Bobby Labonte. All the other Dodge teams brought the aerodynamically troublesome Dodge Charger, which was introduced last year. Asked how long Penske would campaign the two-year-old Dodges, Miller was blunt. “As long as Dodge will let us,” he said.(Speed Channel)(2-24-2006)

    • Tharp named NASCAR PR Mgr: NASCAR announced that Kerry Tharp will manage public relations for NASCAR's three national racing series and the weekly and touring series. In his new role, Tharp will be responsible for all at-track media procedures, public relations for the Research and Development Center and NASCAR media events in Charlotte, N.C. “Kerry will further reinforce our at-track public relations efforts to ensure that we continue to be responsive to media requests and vigorously promote the sport,” said NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter. “Kerry’s ability to develop personal relationships and work with others will be a benefit to all.” Tharp joined NASCAR’s PR team in April 2005 as director for NASCAR’s licensing office in Charlotte and worked with NASCAR’s licensees to provide public relations support and strategy. He will transfer from his role in NASCAR’s Charlotte licensing office to NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. and will report to Ramsey Poston, NASCAR’s managing director of corporate communications. Prior to joining NASCAR, Tharp spent 26 years in college sports public relations, 20 of which he was the Associate Athletics Director/Sports Information Director at the University of South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in PR from Western Kentucky University and a Masters Degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee.(NASCAR PR)(2-24-2006)

    • #5 Team featured on Frosted Flakes box: In commemoration of the #5 Kellogg's team bringing home two wins and Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, Kellogg Company has packaged more than six million boxes of Frosted Flakes featuring driver Kyle Busch on the front. The special edition box also highlights "A Triumph of Teamwork," with members of the No. 5 Kellogg's crew showcased on the back. The packaging will hit stores throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom in the coming weeks.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(2-24-2006)

    • Robby's finish ave improves with DEI power: #7-Robby Gordon’s average finish since switching to DEI engines at Phoenix International Raceway last fall is 11.7. The proof is in the numbers: an eighth-place performance at Phoenix, a 14th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and skirting the top-10 in 13th at the Daytona 500. Gordon’s in good company. Only #12-Ryan Newman (7.3), #20-Tony Stewart (8.0), #6-Mark Martin (9.3), #42-Casey Mears (9.7) and #16-Greg Biffle (11.3) have higher average finishes over the same [3 races] stretch.(RGM PR)(2-24-2006)

    • California Qualifying Notes:
      • Kurt Busch won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Auto Club 500, lapping California Speedway in 38.485 seconds at 187.086 mph. Kyle Busch holds the track-qualifying record of 38.248 seconds at 188.245 mph, set Feb. 26, 2005.
      • This is his first top-10 start in 2006.
      • This is Kurt Busch’s fourth Bud Pole in 186 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • This is Kurt Busch’s first Bud Pole and fourth top-10 start in eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California Speedway.
      • Busch became the 10th different Bud Pole winner in the 12 races at California Speedway, joining Joe Nemechek (1997), Jeff Gordon (1998), Mike Skinner (2000), Bobby Labonte (2001), Ryan Newman (2002), Steve Park (2003), Kasey Kahne (May 2004), Brian Vickers (September 2004), Kyle Busch (February 2005) and Carl Edwards (September 2005). Jeff Burton (1999) started from the pole when qualifying was canceled.
      • Greg Biffle posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 38.671 seconds, 186.186 mph – and will join Kurt Busch on the front row for the Auto Club 500.
      • This is the first Bud Pole for Dodge in 2006. Chevrolet won the Bud Pole at Daytona.
      • Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his fourth top-10 start in seven races at California .
      • J.J. Yeley (fourth) posted his third top-10 start in three races at California.
      • Denny Hamlin (fifth) posted a top-10 start in his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at California.
      • Jeff Burton (fifth) posted his second straight top-10 start in 2006. The last time Burton posted back-to-back top-10 starts was in April 2003, at Martinsville and California when he started 10th in both races.
      • Five drivers failed to qualify for the Auto Club 500: Travis Kvapil, Hermie Sadler, Derrike Cope, Randy Lajoie and Morgan Shepherd. Mike Skinner and Chad Chaffin withdrew prior to qualifying.(NASCAR Media PR)(2-24-2006)

    • Ramblings - California Speedway: Kurt Busch grabbed the Bud Pole today at California Speedway for Sunday's Auto Club 500 with a lap of 38.485 (187.086 mph).....and it's just the 4th top-spot of his career. His last start from the pole was at Homestead in November of 2004, and you know that's a day the NEXTEL Cup Champion of 2004 will remember. He'll be joined on the front-row by former teammate Greg Biffle. This is his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Richmond last September.
      J. J. Yeley (4th) had his career-best qualifying effort today. His previous best was 8th when we were here last September.
      Scott Riggs (14th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Talladega last October.
      Stanton Barrett (30th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 23rd at Bristol last April (only 8 races).
      Mike Garvey (35th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 32nd at Pocono last August (only 3 races).
      STREAKIN....Mark Martin has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
      Greg Biffle has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
      Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
      In 11 races at Fontana, it's Ford over Chevy 6-5.....Dodge has been shut out. The only driver with more than one victory here is Jeff Gordon....he's been in Victory Lane three times. Oft times this race turns into a "fuelish" event....look for Larry Mac to start counting backwards from Lap 250 pretty early on Sunday.(Stockcarfans.com)(2-24-2006)

    • New Official Sites: for Reed Sorenson, a sponsor racing site: Discount Tire, America's largest tire store, and primary sponsor of NASCAR Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson [and assoc on the #41 Cup car] and the #41 Discount Tire Dodge, announced the launch of the Car #41 Fan Club at www.DiscountTireMotorsports.com.
      AND for Jeff Green, a sponsor site at Best Buy Racing.(2-24-2006)

    • Injured Fan Unnoticed at Daytona UPDATE: As tens of thousands of race fans left the Daytona 500 on Sunday evening, a Longwood man lay unnoticed in a pool of blood 15 feet from a main road, police said Monday. It was more than seven hours before Robert Eugene Faulkner woke up with little memory of what happened. Troopers think the 39-year-old was struck from behind by a pickup about 6:30 p.m. as he walked to his car parked near the Daytona Flea and Farmers Market, Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Miller said. "It's just amazing that he would lay there that long," Miller said. "How did somebody not see the crash?" Troopers found a piece of a truck's mirror at the edge of Tomoka Farms Road, near the entrance to the flea market's parking lot, Miller said. The lot, a popular spot for race fans, was full during the Daytona 500, but troopers did not know how many vehicles were parked there. Faulkner woke at 2 a.m. with a cut on his head, scrapes on his face and a swollen left ankle. He then drove himself to his parents' Seminole County house, more than 42 miles away. "He's stubborn and determined. He just knew he needed to be at work," his sister, Sherrie Atkinson, said while visiting Faulkner at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. He was transferred there Monday morning to see a neurosurgeon. He had more than a dozen staples in his head. When Faulkner walked in the door of his parents' home Monday, his father saw that he was covered in blood. Perry Faulkner had been waiting for his son, who has lived with his parents in Longwood for the past several months, because he had not been able to reach him all night. Robert Faulkner had driven to the race alone and parked at a home near the flea market. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan met up with some friends at the speedway and walked back to his car after the race ended. "He said he heard a squeal," Atkinson said. "He doesn't remember anything after that." Faulkner was thrown, his sunglasses going in one direction and his cell phone in the other, his sister said. She found those items but couldn't spot his Earnhardt hat. Investigators think the mirror they found at the scene came from a dark-colored Ford F-150 truck, made between 2004 and 2006, Miller said. "I can't believe people just walked by and didn't do anything," Atkinson said. Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to call the Highway Patrol at 407-737-2200 or *FHP on their cell phone.(Orlando Sentinel)(2-21-2006)
      UPDATE - real nice....: A woman called police saying she has a key piece of evidence that could help solve a hit and run accident that happened after the Daytona 500. But she won't give it up unless she gets paid [what a sweetheart huh?]. When Robert Faulkner was hit by a vehicle along Tomoka Farms Road, everything went flying. His hat, cell phone, sunglasses went in different directions. Now a woman says she found the hat, but she's holding it for ransom. Now, to add insult to injury, a woman called FHP and said she found the injured man's hat and she'll give it back for a price. "She wants a reward for finding the hat," Atkinson said. FHP would like to know when the woman found the hat and if she happened to see a man lying unconscious on the ground in a pool of his own blood. However, the woman said she will give no information until she sees some money. "I just can't believe somebody would ask for a reward," Atkinson said. FHP said, right now, they can't charge the woman with any crime, but they would still like to talk to her. As for the bounty on the hat, Atkinson and her brother agree, information on the hit and run driver is much more valuable. "We both feel the same way, she can keep the hat," she said. Faulkner is recovering at home. His brain is bruised and he has a lot of cuts and scrapes. FHP believes it was a 2004 to 2006 Ford F-150 that hit him. If you have any information, please call the Florida Highway Patrol.(wftv.com)(2-24-2006)


      News from February 23, 2006

    • Fox Sports Signs DW to extension: FOX Sports and Darrell Waltrip have agreed upon a multi-year contract extension that expands the top-rated NASCAR network's relationship with the sport's premier analyst into the new television rights contract that commences with the 2007 season. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Chairman David Hill and FOX Sports President Ed Goren. "I love FOX Sports," said Waltrip. "I love being part of a big sports family. David Hill and Ed Goren have embraced me. I have said it before, it's like being part of a championship race team. They have surrounded me with the best of the best - Jeff, Larry, Mike, Steve and all the others. Plus, FOX also has the best folks that work behind the scenes. I love my job and now I get to do it for a long, long time!" Prior to joining FOX Sports in 2001, legendary stock car driver Darrell Waltrip compiled 84 wins and three Cup series championships in an outstanding NASCAR career. He was voted the Most Popular Driver twice (1989-90) and was the proud recipient of the prestigious Bill France Award of Excellence in 2000, honoring his lifetime of achievements. In 2003, Waltrip was elected into the National Motorsports Hall of Fame, an honor followed by an induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2004, Waltrip's autobiography, DW: A lifetime Going Around in Circles, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. FOX Sports drops the green flag on its 2006 NASCAR on FOX season this Sunday, Feb. 26 (3:30pm/et) in Fontana, CA, with a live presentation of the Auto Club 500. Over 60 cameras and 100 microphones will be strategically placed in and around California Speedway as NASCAR on FOX presents the first of 14 Nextel Cup races in high definition and Dolby 5.1 audio. In 12 years of existence, FOX Sports has earned 63 Emmy Awards, including six in five years of NASCAR coverage, more than any other network during the same stretch of time. David Hill and Ed Goren are the Executive Producers of FOX Sports. Bill Brown is Senior Producer. Scott Ackerson is the Coordinating Producer of the NASCAR on FOX Prerace show.(FoxSports PR)(2-23-2006)

    • Special Scheme for Harvick at Calif: #29-Kevin Harvick will drive a specially wrapped #29 Icebreakers Ice Cubes gum NEXTEL Cup race car in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.(California Speedway PR)(2-20-2006)
      IMAGE: see images of the scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page.(2-23-2006)

    • Explanation of why no points penalty for #48: Examples:
      Points penalty
      Last March at Las Vegas, #29 crew chief Todd Berrier welded the fuel filler so it looked like it was full of fuel when it wasn't.
      Two weeks ago at Daytona, the Hall of Fame Racing's #96 car qualified with an unapproved carburetor.
      According to NASCAR, those two infractions warranted not only a fine but a reduction of 25 driver and owner points because the fuel filler and the carburetor were absolutely unapproved parts. NASCAR was able to walk over to the car and confiscate those pieces, and their use was premeditated. The pieces were specifically made to skirt NASCAR's rules.
      No points penalty
      Last fall during qualifying at Talladega, Berrier and the #29 team had some trap doors in the trunk that weren't properly sealed off. The shocks were open when they were supposed to be closed. And some hose clamp that holds the fuel-filler pipe in place came loose. The next thing you know, Kevin Harvick's car had air underneath the car, going up through the trunk and escaping out a hole in the back of the tail light. In that instance, no unapproved parts or pieces were used.
      During Daytona 500 qualifying this year, crew chief Chad Knaus and the #48 team put a sleeve over the trackbar adjuster. Like the #29 car at Talladega last fall, all of those parts and pieces were still part of the car that they raced in the Daytona 500.
      so....Points penalty: In simple terms, here's the pattern. If you maliciously put something on a car that's made or machined, and it's an unapproved piece that can be confiscated, the team will be fined, the crew chief will be suspended and the driver and owner will lose 25 points.
      No points penalty: If you take something that's already on the car and use it to beat the spirit of the rule, then it warrants a suspension and a fine, but it does not warrant the loss of 25 driver and owner points. See Larry McReynolds full article at FoxSports.(2-23-2006)

    • Special JD schemes UPDATE: #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 a Jack Daniel's Soprano's scheme at Las Vegas in March. See the schemes on my #07 Team Schemes page.(2-8-2006)
      UPDATE - HBO's Sopranos to sponsor #07 Chevy at Las Vegas: The Soprano will join the NASCAR ranks by sponsoring Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) #07 Chevy and driver Clint Bowyer in the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The one-race sponsorship is part of HBO’s marketing campaign to promote the hit drama’s season premiere, which will air Sunday, March 12 at 9:00pm/et. The Sopranos logo will be showcased on the hood and on the quarter panels of Bowyer’s #07. Some of the show’s other businesses are also getting into the act, as the Bada Bing logo will be on the car’s rear quarter panel. The #07 team’s crew uniforms will also include a patch advertising Satriale’s Pork Store.(RCR PR), See an image on my #07 Team Schemes page.(2-23-2006)

    • #61 signs sponsor to multi-race deal: Peak Performance Motorsports today announced that its #61 entry will be sponsored by RoadLoans in a multi-race Primary and Associate Sponsorship deal for 2006. The Internet-based auto finance company teams with Peak Performance as it puts NASCAR veteran Kevin Lepage behind the wheel of the #61 RoadLoans.com Ford when it rolls into California for the Auto Club 500. The RoadLoans.com #61 Ford will first hit the track at the California Speedway on Feb. 24, 2006 as it gears up for the NASCAR season.(Peak Fitness Racing)(2-23-2006)

    • Speed Channel Opens Season with Strong Ratings: NASCAR RaceDay, the revamped high-energy NASCAR pre-race show on SPEED, opened the season with strong numbers from Daytona, scoring an average Nielsen Rating of 1.72 (1,118,000 households) and peaking at 2.34 (1.5 million households) for the live, 2.5-hour program. In 2005, the SPEED pre-race show NASCAR This Morning averaged a Nielsen Rating of .68. Overall, SPEED delivered a 12 percent increase in Daytona Speedweeks ratings over a year ago, with nine shows scoring above a full 1.0 Nielsen mark and several peaking above a 2.0. On the track, coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, the Crown Royal IROC Series event and the ARCA Re/MAX Series were among the highest rated SPEED programs over the network's 10 days of Speedweeks coverage. Top 10 SPEED Shows from Daytona Speedweeks by Nielsen Rating average (households in parenthesis):
      1. NASCAR Live! (Feb. 12, afternoon) -- 2.00 (1,300,000 HH)
      2. NASCAR RaceDay (Feb. 19) - 1.72 (1,118,000 HH)
      3. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (Feb. 17) - 1.69 (1,101,000 HH)
      4. NASCAR Live! (Feb. 12, evening) - 1.36 (885,000 HH)
      5. NASCAR Nextel Cup Series practice (Feb. 11) - 1.16 (755,000 HH)
      6. NASCAR Live! (Feb. 11, evening) - 1.12 (731,000 HH)
      7. Crown Royal IROC Series race (Feb. 17) - 1.09 (708,000 HH)
      8. NASCAR Live! (Feb. 11, afternoon) - 1.05 (686,000 HH)
      9. NASCAR Live! (Feb. 18) - 1.02 (664,000 HH)
      10. NASCAR Nextel Cup Series final practice (Feb. 18) -- .99 (647,000 HH)(Speed Channel)(2-23-2006)


      News from February 22, 2006

    • Rachtman to serve as #31 honorary crewman: Riki Rachtman, host of the nationally syndicated radio program ‘Racing Rocks’ [racingrocks.com] and former host of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball [a Jayski fave - still have tapes of it], will join #31 Team Cingular this weekend as an honorary crew member, serving as gas runner. Rachtman is a big fan of Team Cingular driver Jeff Burton and has vowed to shave his head when Burton claims his next victory.(RCR PR)(2-22-2006)

    • ARG! - Pirates scheme for Sadler at RIR: Elliott Sadler's #38 M&M's Ford is scheduled to feature the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" at Richmond in May with the M&M;s dressed up like pirates.(RacingOne), see image on my #38 Team Schemes page.(2-22-2006)

    • Jackson Hewitt scheme on the #16 at Calif: Greg Biffle's #16 Roush Racing Ford will feature a Jackson Hewitt paint scheme this weekend at California Speedway.(Roush Racing PR), see an image on my #16 Team Schemes page, supposedly will run at Martinsville also.(2-22-2006)

    • Centrix on the #14 at Calif: Sterling Marlin will pilot the #14 Centrix Auto Finance Chevy in this weekend’s event at California (MB2 Motorsports PR). Waste Manahement was the sponsor at Daytona and will be for 11 more races with Centrix being on the #14 for another race in 2006. The team is still looking for more sponsorship for the remsining races.(2-22-2005)

    • Pedigree for Sadler at Calif: Elliott Sadler’s #38 Ford Fusion will carry the primary colors of Pedigree, the Official Pet Care of NASCAR, for the first of four races during the 2006 season at California Speedway in the Auto Club 500.(Elevation Group PR), no word on the three other races, but see a scheme of the car on my #38 Team Schemes page.(2-22-2006)

    • Different Scheme and new spotter for Newman: New spotter Danny Culler joins the Alltel/Mobil 1 team this weekend. Culler, a long-time spotter in the sport, has worked with several NASCAR Cup drivers, including Dale Earnhardt [Culler was the spotter for Brian Vickers in 2005]. The #12 Dodge features the Mobil 1 paint scheme this weekend. Newman's latest victory, at New Hampshire International Speedway in September was in a Mobil 1 car. Newman will race chassis PRS-20 in the Auto Club 500 on Sunday. PRS-20 last raced in the 2005 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where it finished seventh. PRS-20 is the oldest chassis in the team's stable [and NOT a Charger].(Penske Racing), see the Mobil 1 scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(2-22-2006)

    • Toyota denies Dodges claim: A Toyota executive denied the company was looking for confidential Dodge information and also said the company would not pay for Bill Davis Racing's defense in recent litigation with Dodge. DaimlerChrysler won a $6.5 million jury award in a breach of contract lawsuit Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court in Michigan. The jury decided that BDR had given confidential Dodge information to Toyota during the time BDR was developing a truck for Toyota. "If we were going to copy people's stuff, it wouldn't be people running at the back, let me put it that way," Toyota Racing Development Senior Vice President/General Manager Lee White said in a jab at Dodge. Dodge terminated its Cup contract with BDR in May 2003 after discovering BDR was building Toyota trucks and promptly filed suit. BDR filed a counterclaim and asked for more than $9 million in the case, which went to trial in mid-January. The bill could climb toward $9 million if attorney's fees and other penalties are awarded to DaimlerChrysler, according to Robert Thackston, who represented Dodge in the suit. White and Davis continue plans to debut two Toyota Nextel Cup teams in 2007. "There is no moving back from the deal that we have. I'm sure he is going to appeal it or whatever he can do," White said. "That's his program and it's really nothing to do with us. He's never asked [for us to pay it]."(NASCAR Scene)(2-22-2006)

    • Another Dallenbach Racing: Jake Dallenbach, 15-year-old son of former racer and current NBC NASCAR analyst Wally Dallenbach Jr., has joined the Legends racing program at Lil' Texas Motor Speedway and already has scored his first victory. In just his fourth race in a Legends car, Jake recently won the Legends Semi-Pro feature event on the 7/8-mile road course located in the infield of Texas Motor Speedway.(TMS PR)(2-22-2006)

    • Shelmerdine got some help UPDATE: #27-Kirk Shelmerdine was rolling his car toward his hauler to get ready to go home following Thursday's qualifying races when a NASCAR official told him to roll it to the inspection line. He didn't know it, but out of the 58 cars trying, he was one of the 43 that had qualified for the Daytona 500. Shelmerdine, who crew-chiefed for the late Dale Earnhardt in the 1980s, is a one-man team with no sponsor, no pit crew and no money for tires. He didn't find a sponsor, but he did find a pit crew and received a donation for the tires from a random family in the infield. Earnhardt's former boss, Richard Childress, flew Shelmerdine's son, who had never been to Daytona, on his private plane. In turn, Shelmderdine put Childress Vineyard on the hood of his car. ''Without a big corporate deal it was hard to pull off,'' Shelmerdine said. ''People jumped in and helped like the Lopez family. ... They paid the whole tire bill, but I don't think they want us to talk about that. They are some devoted Dale Sr. fans.'' Shelmerdine not only finished on the lead lap, but wound up 20th. ''We couldn't keep up with the other cars, but I guess we beat all the wrecked ones,'' he said. ''I'll be glad to go home and rest. It's been a heck of a week.''(Allentown Morning Call)(2-20-2006)
      UPDATE: When Welcome, NC - based Kirk Shelmerdine crossed the finish line in 20th-Place at the Daytona 500 on Sunday, he did so flying the Black and Gold colors of Apex Electric Company on the #27 Chevy his hood. Apex Electric Company is based in Apex, NC, and owned by Cary, NC businessman Mike Howington. Howington has supported Kirk Shelmerdine Racing at races in the past, but the relationship was never party to such a big "Cinderella Story" that Shelmerdine provided at the 2006 Daytona 500. "I cannot describe how proud I am of Kirk for finishing ahead of so many strong entries in this year's race" said Howington, adding, "To have the Apex name on the hood of his car and provide exposure for the area as well as my business was only the icing on the cake"! With the success at Daytona, the 2006 season looks to be a great one for the #27 Chevy of Kirk Shelmerdine, and look for the Apex name to appear at a track near you soon as discussions are underway to the Shelmerdine / Apex Electric relationship to full-time status.(Apex Electric Company PR). Shelmerdine is not on the Auto Club 500 Entry List and his site Kirkshlemerdine.com says he is going out to Califonria Speedway, but at this point, word is that Shelmerdine is unsure if he will race or not..(2-22-2006)

    • Skinner in the #37 for some races: been told that Mike Skinner will run some Nextel Cup races in the #23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge as sponsorship permits and the #37 R&J Racing Dodge in some races. No word on what happened with Chad Blount's full time ride with the #37. Skinner will run the #37 at California this coming weekend.(2-22-2006)

    • #51 Team makes 2006 debut at Calif: The Competitive Edge Motorsports Marathon #51 Chevy team and driver Mike Garvey are ready to get their season under way in California. The team is excited about their enhanced product, with new bodies on the cars and a new engine program with help from General Motors. “We’ve improved some things over the winter to increase our efforts this year,” said team owner Joe Auer of Competitive Edge Motorsports. “Our bodies are better, engines are getting where they need to be, and overall infrastructure is growing. Our goal is to get into all 20 races we enter, and really become more competitive this year.” After testing 12th quickest in Las Vegas recently, Garvey and the team are confident about California.(CEM PR)(2-22-2006)


      News from February 21, 2006

    • Gary Nelson resigning from NASCAR UPDATE: on the Speed Channel 'crawl' this afternoon: SPEED reporter Bob Dillner has learned that Gary Nelson, NASCAR's VP of Research and Development, will submit his resignation Wednesday. Nelson has been in charge of the development of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow.
      UPDATE: Gary Nelson, NASCAR vice-president of research and development, announced today he is leaving the sanctioning organization to form his own company. "It has been a lifelong dream of mine to have my own company that specializes in safety, performance and other technology-driven aspects of motorsports," said Nelson. "I've been thinking about it for a long time and now is a good time to do it. 'Nelson & Associates’ will be open for business right away and I’m delighted that NASCAR will be my first client.” With NASCAR as a client, Nelson will continue his efforts on the Car of Tomorrow and other safety initiatives for the racing industry. “Gary has been a great contributor to NASCAR’s success,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton, “beginning as a crew member, then as a championship crew chief and, most recently, as a leader in NASCAR’s commitment to safety. “This is something he has always wanted to do and it will be a great opportunity for Gary to take advantage of his racing knowledge and make it available to the entire motorsports industry. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Gary in this new role,” Helton said. Nelson will use his quarter-century of experience in NASCAR racing and make it available to other forms of racing. The 52-year-old native of California won the 1982 Daytona 500 and the 1983 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship with driver Bobby Allison. It was Allison’s only Championship. Three years later, Nelson again won the Daytona 500 this time with driver Geoff Bodine. Nelson became NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Director in 1992 and was named Vice President of NASCAR’s newly formed Research and Development facility in 2002.(NASCAR)(2-21-2006)

    • #96 HOF and JGR to appeal penalties: Hall of Fame Racing has an engine lease program with Joe Gibbs Racing, and the unapproved carburetor came with the engine supplied to Hall of Fame Racing. "Joe Gibbs Racing provides all of the engines and carburetors for Hall of Fame Racing," said Gibbs.  "We are responsible for any issues having arisen from the unapproved carburetor that was taken by NASCAR in Daytona.  It is never our intention to put any unapproved parts on any of our race cars or those of our partners.  We will join Hall of Fame Racing in appealing the severity of the penalty."(JGR PR)(2-21-2006)

    • #48 and #96 Penalties Announced:
      NASCAR announced today that four penalties have been issued to two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, as a result of rule violations this past weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
      Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, has been fined $25,000 and suspended from all NASCAR events until March 22, 2006 [thru Atlanta race]. Knaus has also been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2006. The penalties come because of an unapproved template modification to the rear window area, violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-3.12.1 (A) (unapproved template modification.) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule book. The violation was discovered during Feb. 12 post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500. On Feb. 13, NASCAR ejected Knaus from further participation in Daytona 500 activities as a result of the violation.[No Point Penalties]
      Three penalties were assessed to the #96 Chevrolet team, due to the use of an unapproved carburetor, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book. Crew chief Philippe Lopez was fined $25,000; driver Terry Labonte was penalized with the loss of 25 driver championship points; and car owner William Saunders was penalized 25 owner championship points. This rule violation was also discovered during post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500.(NASCAR PR)(2-21-2006)

    • Piece of #2 car goes into the stands: have seen nothing of this, but noticed it during the race and have seen video, the rear bumper cover of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that Kurt Busch drivers, came off during a wreck on lap 188 and flew over the catch fence and into the stands during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The piece looked like it flew through an opening in the stands. Have heard nothing more seen any reports at all about any injuries, and sources at the track say no injuries were reported.(2-21-2006)

    • Bowyer best rookie at Daytona: #07-Clint Bowyer scored his first top-10 finish in his second career NEXTEL Cup Series start and took top rookie honors in the first race of 2006. He placed 22nd in his only other NEXTEL Cup Series start in April 2005 at Phoenix International Raceway. Other Raybestos Rookies to score top-10 finishes in the Daytona 500 (since 1975): 1979: Dale Earnhardt, eighth 1980: Jody Ridley, 10th 1989: Rick Mast, sixth 1991: Bobby Hamilton, ninth 1993: Jeff Gordon, fifth 2000: Matt Kenseth, 10th 2002: Ryan Newman, seventh 2004: Scott Wimmer, third. Where the Raybestos Rookies finished at Daytona: #07-Bowyer finished 6th; #1-Truex Jr. 16th; #49-Sherman 21st; #40-Stremme 28th; #41-Sorenson 29th; #11-Hamlin 30th; and #18- Yeley 41st. Unofficial Raybestos Rookie standings: Bowyer 16; Truex Jr. 10; Sherman 9; Stremme 8; Sorenson 7; Hamlin 6; Yeley 5.(Raybestos PR)(2-21-2006)

    • NASCAR Restructures Executive Management Team: NASCAR announced multiple management changes, effective immediately, that will position NASCAR to continue its strong growth and more efficiently manage business decisions and communications throughout the company and the industry. Paul Brooks will be taking on additional responsibilities as senior vice president and will continue his role as president of NASCAR Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment. Brooks will now oversee all broadcasting, new media, entertainment, corporate administration, corporate communications, diversity, international business and business affairs. Steve Phelps is promoted to chief marketing officer (CMO) and will oversee all NASCAR corporate marketing, industry marketing, brand and consumer marketing, multi-media, sales, licensing, business development and The NASCAR Foundation. Phelps will relocate to Daytona Beach, Fla. from New York City. Phelps will report to Brian France. Phelps joined NASCAR as vice president of corporate marketing last July following a 15-year career with the National Football League (NFL) and most recently, the top sales executive for Wasserman Media Group. Taking over for Phelps in New York will be former NFL and Viacom executive Jim O’Connell. O’Connell will serve as vice president of corporate marketing and will manage NASCAR’s New York office and all corporate marketing initiatives. O’Connell will report to Phelps. NASCAR President Mike Helton will continue to interface with all NASCAR departments with direct management of all areas of competition, research and development, events and operations, and the touring and weekly series. Helton continues to report to Brian France and serve on NASCAR’s Board of Directors. NASCAR Chief Financial Officer Todd Wilson and General Counsel Gary Crotty will continue their current duties and report to Brian France. NASCAR and its affiliated companies currently employ 886 people. The company is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. and has key offices throughout the country. NASCAR offices are located in the following markets: New York City, Corporate Marketing; Los Angeles, Calif., Broadcasting and NASCAR Digital Entertainment; Charlotte, N.C., and Bentonville, Ark., Licensing; and Concord, N.C., home to NASCAR’s Research and Development Center.(NASCAR PR)(2-21-2006)

    • Mears Comments on being the possible points leader: Circletrackplus.com reports/comments - Does Casey Mears know something we don't? In a teleconference transcript from Dodge Motorsports, Mears responded to a question [which was from the media and read: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE POINTS LEADER?] about being the Nextel Cup Series points leader and here's what he said, "We kinda thought about that, too. We thought about the scenarios if they are going to take points away from the 48 car. In that case we'd be leading the points. It's awesome. Obviously it's one event. Next week everything can completely turn around and go backwards, but leading into California we've got a lot of confidence. That's been a good race for me. It feels great. Obviously I've left Daytona in worst shape." CircletrackPlus.com contacted NASCAR immediately and 1:30pm/et, a source stated that Casey was not the points leader but Jimmy Johnson. Who's right here? Mears or NASCAR? (CircletrackPlus.com), Mears said 'IF" and NASCAR has not made any announcement on a #48 Team penalty as of 3:30pm/et. NASCAR issued a PR, the #48 team had no points penalties, so Johnson stays as the points leader.(2-21-2006)


      News from February 20, 2006

    • 37 million watch Daytona 500: NBC's coverage of the 2006 Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb 19th attracted 37 million total, unduplicated viewers and drew a record 11.3 household rating and 23 share, the highest NASCAR rating in history and the most viewed Daytona 500 ever, according to fast national data from Nielsen Media Research. The 11.3/23 makes NBC's only three Daytona 500 broadcasts three of the top four highest rated and most viewed Daytona 500s ever (NBC 2002 and Fox 2005, 10.9; NBC 2004, 10.6). Last year's coverage of the Daytona 500 on Fox drew a 10.9/23. Yesterday's rating peaked with a 13.6 between 6-6:30 p.m. "I am thrilled that we were able to give NASCAR this record-breaking rating for the exciting sport of stock car racing," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. The top ten metered markets for yesterday's broadcast of the Daytona 500 on NBC were: 1. Greenville, S.C. 24.7/39 2. Greensboro, N.C. 23.0/37 3. Orlando, Fla. 22.7/39 4. Indianapolis, Ind. 21.2/34 5. Charlotte, N.C. 21.0/36 6. Knoxville, Tenn. 19.2/31 7. Jacksonville, Fla. 18.7/29 8. Nashville, Tenn. 17.8/30 9. Dayton, Ohio 17.7/30 10. Louisville, Ky. 17.3/28.(NBC PR)(2-20-2006)

    • Johnson's winning car inducted in Daytona USA: Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team were reunited with their Daytona 500-winning #48 Lowe's Chevy at DAYTONA USA on Monday morning for the Eckrich Champion's Breakfast. After celebrating his first Daytona 500 victory on Sunday night, Johnson, owner Rick Hendrick and substitute crew chief Darian Grubb were up bright and early to induct the winning racing machine into DAYTONA USA. The #48 car will rest inside Gatorade Victory Lane at DAYTONA USA for the next 364 days and will be returned to the team before the start of the 49th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2007. Johnson, Hendrick and Grubb participated in a fan forum inside the attraction and received their winning Daytona 500 leather jackets from Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig and Gatorade presented the 2006 Daytona 500 champ with a framed photo from Victory Lane.(DIS PR)(2-20-2006)

    • Kvapil to test at Kentucky: #32-Travis Kvapil, who opened the 2006 Cup Series season with a 27th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway yesterday, is scheduled to test his #32 Tide Chevrolet at Kentucky Speedway Feb. 21. Tests usually begin at 9:00 a.m., and last until about 5:00 p.m. Test times will vary based on team objectives. Fans can view testing for free from the designated area outside the speedway Fan Center.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(2-20-2006)

    • Scalpers Snagged: Scalpers hovering around Daytona International Speedway found themselves to be the target of a sting conducted by Daytona Beach police this past weekend, authorities said. Undercover officers arrested 14 people for peddling tickets along International Speedway Boulevard said Sgt. James Newcomb, of the Daytona Beach Police Department. The ticket hawkers were arrested and brought to the county jail after they sold tickets to undercover officers who posed as race fans looking for a good seat. The most expensive ticket bought was $150 more than the retail value, Newcomb said. Anyone who offers or sells a ticket for more than $1 above the retail price is charged with the resale of an amusement ticket, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 in fines or 60 days in jail. Buyers don't face any penalties because it isn't illegal to purchase a scalped ticket. The ticket peddlers pose a problem for police because they block traffic along International Speedway Boulevard and restrict pedestrian flow into the Speedway. Newcomb said most of the ticket sellers were from out of town and he hopes this weekend's operation would deter scalpers from selling again.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-20-2006)

    • Felix 1 spot from being bald: Felix Sabates, minority owner at Chip Ganassi Racing, told CGR driver Casey Mears that he would shave his head if Mears won the Daytona 500. Sabates' mane is safe, barely. Mears finished a career-best second in the #42 Texaco Havoline Dodge.(Dallas Morning News), plus, besided winner Johnson, Mears was the only other driver to have over a $1million in winnings at the Daytona 500 with $1,095,766.(2-20-2006)

    • All 73: Three drivers have competed in all 73 restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega:
      #6-Mark Martin (2 Talladega, 0 Daytona wins)
      #21-Ken Schrader (1, 0)
      #15-Michael Waltrip (1, 3)
      Plus all three ran the one-off restrictor plate race at New Hampshire, but that was not a drafting/aero track.(2-20-2006)



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