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MAY 15-21, 2006
News from May 21, 2006
- Martin to return for 2007 All-Star Race: Though he plans to retire from Nextel cup competition after this season, 2005 Challenge champion Mark Martin said he plans to participate in next year's Challenge.(USA Today)(5-21-2006)
- Baldwin Rumor [not here] false: Both Robert Yates Racing teams - Fords driven by #88-Dale Jarrett and #38-Elliott Sadler - struggled at Lowe's Motor Speedway in preparation for the Nextel All-Star Challenge, and it only got worse when it was reported that Sadler's crew chief, Tommy Baldwin, was fired Friday night. However, Baldwin wasn't fired. In fact, he was working Sadler's pit stall during the Nextel Open qualifying race.(Augusta Chronicle)(5-21-2006)
- Germain and Bodine could move up to Cup...with Toyota..UPDATE: The hottest Toyota driver in NASCAR is Todd Bodine, who has won five of the past eight Truck races and who leads the tour standings, ahead of teammate Ted Musgrave. The two ran 1-2 the last time out, at St. Louis' Gateway track three weeks ago. So, with Toyota's Cup teams and executives apparently running out of time to line up all the six or seven Nextel Cup drivers they'll need next year, Bodine, 42 and a 14-year NASCAR veteran, would seem a logical option. But Bodine said he has had no calls, and said he's having so much fun running for the Germain brothers (who own a number of luxury-car dealerships with $1 billion a year in sales) that it would take "a boatload of money to leave." Bodine said he and the Germains have studied stepping up to Cup racing with Toyota. But they haven't found sponsorship for what he estimates would be a $20 million to $30 million step.(Winston Salem Journal), the team did test an #03 Chevy at Las Vegas this past Jan.(5-20-2006)
UPDATE: The Germain Motor Co. is on the fast track in NASCAR, and not all of it deals with drivers Todd Bodine and Ted Musgrave ranking first and second in the Truck Series point standings. Steve Germain, who owns the Columbus teams with brothers Rick and Bob, yesterday [Friday] said plans are under way to attempt to qualify for as many as five or six Nextel Cup races this season.
The family’s first race probably would be the Brickyard 400 on Aug. 6 at Indianapolis. There also are tentative plans to enter races at Michigan, Atlanta, California and Texas in an attempt to gauge whether a team with Bodine as driver would be ready to run as many as 15 or 16 races in 2007. "We’re interested in the Cup series, and it looks like we might do a limited schedule," Steve Germain said. "At this point, we’ll be at Indianapolis. We’d like to be in five or six races to help us understand the scope of Nextel Cup. We have a pretty good understanding of Cup, but we want firsthand experience so we can be confident before committing the resources for next year. We’re taking this one step at a time." The Germains own Toyota and Lexus dealerships in Columbus and Florida and got into NASCAR to promote their dealerships and help Toyota get a foothold in truck and stock car racing. Both truck teams are based in Concord, N.C., which is considered the heart of NASCAR country.(Columbus Dispatch)(5-21-2006)
- Red Bull Shop...and rumors: Mears? Sadler? Knaus?: Toyota's Marty Gaunt has turned the lights on over at Roger Penske's old shop [in Mooresville, Lakeside Park], hired about 40 people for NASCAR's newest team, and is now looking for a couple of good men to run Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull [Toyota] Camrys on the Cup tour next season. #42-Casey Mears may be signing with Red Bull for 2007, leaving Chip Ganassi. Mears, in the final year of his Ganassi contract, was courted by car owner Richard Childress, either to fill Kevin Harvick's ride if Harvick had decided to leave, or to run a fourth Childress car. #38-Elliott Sadler [but is signed with RYR thru 2008] may also be signing with Red Bull, leaving Robert Yates, who is already dealing with the defection of Dale Jarrett to Toyota's Michael Waltrip for 2007. #48-Crew chief Chad Knaus, who has put Jimmie Johnson in the thick of the Nextel Cup championship race for four years now, may also be getting a major offer from the Red Bull team, though his current contract with car owner Rick Hendrick runs through 2007. Hendrick just extended Johnson's contract through 2010, but Knaus said that no one has talked with him about a contract extension. And mum's the word with Gaunt. When will he name drivers? "We haven't put a timetable on it, though obviously we'd rather do it sooner than later. When the time is right, we'll do it," Gaunt said. "We're going to run three races near the end of the year; hopefully we can clarify which three soon. And we'll be doing some testing throughout the year.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-21-2006)
- Mayfield to Davis? Waltrip? #19-Jeremy Mayfield is also in middle of a lot of Toyota talk, perhaps leaving Ray Evernham to take a Toyota ride next season with [#22/23] Bill Davis, perhaps even taking a third Toyota ride with Waltrip, who indicated last week that he had a third major sponsor in the works.(Winston Salem Journal), but Mayfield re-upped with Evernham last year and is supposedly signed thru 2008.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-21-2006)
- 2005 All-Star Print Available: Mark Martin autographed All-Star art prints are now available from NASCAR Licensed Artist Garry Hill. Each print is personally hand signed by race winner Mark Martin and also signed and numbered by Hill. A limited number of
prints and artist's proof prints are available to the public. This is the 19th year that Garry Hill has had the honor and privilege of officially commemorating the annual all-star classic for the series' sponsor (First with R.J. Reynolds and now with Nextel). For additional information see www.garryhill.com.(5-17/21-2006)
News from May 20, 2006
- Johnson wins the Nextel All-Star Challenge: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway after getting caught speeding entering pit road early and just missing the invert [they inverted 10 cars after the the 1st segment, he was 11th] to win his 2nd career All-Star race and 7th overall Cup race at LMS [five pts races and two all-star races]. #29-Harvick was 2nd, followed by #24-Jeff Gordon, There were two red flags, one for a rain delay, then one to clear up a seven car wreck on lap 50. Johnson won $1,055,077. There were 8 lead changes among 6 leaders.
See my All-Star Challenge Page for the Nextel Open/Challenge/Segments results, winnings[$$], starting lineups for each segment, practice speeds, formats, history and more.(5-21-2006)
- Riggs wins Nextel Open: #10-Scott Riggs, the pole sitter, won the Nextel Open, leading all but the 1st lap and dominating the race to advance to the Nextel Challenge All-Star race and will start that race 19th. #45-Kyle Petty won the Nextel/NASCAR.com fan vote and will start the Challenge 20th, he finished the Nextel Open 22nd. Finishing 2nd in the Open was #66-Jeff Green, #25-Brian Vickers, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J.J. Yeley. #42-Casey Mears and #4-Scott Wimmer were the only cars that wrecked in the race.(5-20-2006)
- Knaus/Hendrick: No Negotiations: Chad Knaus was left out of the recent round of contract extensions at Hendrick Motorsports, and the crew chief said Friday he's not received indication that he'll get one. "I love my job. I love my team. I love it at Hendrick Motorsports," Knaus said during preparations for the Nextel All-Star Challenge. "But no one has talked to me about staying beyond 2007." Driver #48-Jimmie Johnson and sponsor Lowe's both signed three-year extensions this week that keep them with Hendrick through the 2010 season. But Knaus is still working under his old deal, which expires at the end of next year. Knaus was included in the last round of extensions, which came in May, 2003. Not getting one this week created speculation through the garage that something was amiss.(Associated Press)(5-20-2006)
- 4th Childress Team? Jarrett considered: Before Dale Jarrett accepted Michael Waltrip's offer to run Toyotas on the Nextel Cup tour next season, Jarrett considered a ride with Chevrolet's Richard Childress, in a fourth Childress car, as part of a six-year package, according to sources close to the situation. Under the proposed Jarrett-Childress deal, Jarrett would have signed on for three more seasons as a driver, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and UPS would not only have followed Jarrett to Childress' but would have agreed to another three years of sponsorship beyond 2009, according to sources. However the deal never came down, in part because Childress was leery of expanding to a fourth team, given the problems he had when expanding to a third Nextel Cup team.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-20-2006)
- Stewart-Yocum Radio Show: Sirius Satellite Radio, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR starting in 2007, announced that two-time and reigning Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will host a live weekly talk show exclusively on Sirius. Debuting in January, Tony Stewart Live will air exclusively on Sirius' upcoming 24/7 NASCAR channel, providing Sirius listeners with the ultimate insider's perspective on auto racing. The weekly, two-hour show will feature Stewart - who has never been shy about expressing his opinions in 27 years of racing - taking calls from listeners, talking with prominent guests and covering the spectrum of motorsports - from NASCAR to open-wheel racing and beyond. Matt Yocum, who is a pit reporter for the NASCAR broadcasts on FOX/FX and NBC/TNT, will be Stewart's co-host on Tony Stewart Live. Preview editions of Tony Stewart Live, hosted by Stewart, will begin airing exclusively on Sirius in October 2006. Stewart will also be featured in Sirius' NASCAR related marketing and advertising. Beginning next year, Sirius will be the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR, broadcasting all Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series races live on a specially created, 24/7 NASCAR channel. "It's an honor to be a part of Sirius and its commitment to NASCAR," said Stewart. "Our show will allow us to speak with the fans on our terms, where we're free to talk about anything and everything, from racing and rock-and-roll to our travels across America. It's a unique opportunity, and we plan to make the most of it." Click on www.sirius.com to listen to Sirius live, or to purchase a Sirius radio and subscription.(True Speed Communications PR)(5-20-2006)
- Garvey will return to Nextel Cup, new crew chief: Mike Garvey, absent from the Cup circuit for the past three weeks, said his #51 team [owned by Joe Auer/Competitive Edge Motorsports] is entering this weekend's Nextel Open and next week's Coca-Cola 600 more prepared than it has been for other races this year. He said the team skipped three races to work on its cars, and it appears to have paid off based on the results of a recent test session at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "We decided that showing up at the track not ready to race is worse that not showing up at all," Garvey said. "We needed to step back and reorganize a bit." His team plans to run 15 more races this year and is trying to secure the services of veteran crew chief Butch Hylton, who will be with the team at Lowe's this weekend.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-20-2006)
- More help for Waltrip: Joe Shear, crew chief for the #43 Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Busch Series team, is in the Nextel Cup garage this weekend helping with the #55 Waltrip-Jasper Racing car and driver Michael Waltrip. Shear said he was working as crew chief for the team for the Nextel Open, but beyond that nothing has been solidified.(SceneDaily.com)(5-20-2006)
- New Chevy Engines: One of four proposed new Chevrolet NASCAR Cup engines - which have been under top-secret development by the Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, Childress and DEI camps - has already finished its first dyno run, according to sources, and two more versions are expected to be on the dyno in the next week or so. Chevy execs have been tight-lipped about the project, which is designed in part to meet the Toyota challenge next season. Mark Kent, GM's racing boss, and Pat Suhy, GM's NASCAR field director, would only say the new engine - whichever version is selected to be officially submitted to NASCAR by the Sept. 1 deadline - is on the fast-track. "We hope it's a Toyota-killer.... or that it's at least as good as the Toyota," Kent said. Toyota's Truck V-8 is considered the best-designed engine in NASCAR today, but NASCAR has said it will try to rein in some of the Toyota design aspects in its new Nextel Cup engine. NASCAR officials have spent more than a year articulating some 70 engine parameters in order to create a tighter box for all four manufacturers to meet in their various engine designs. However Toyota engineers have, according to their rivals, been able to. Chevrolet's engine design is the oldest on the Nextel Cup tour, OKed in 1996. A 1999 proposed redesign and a 2003 proposed redesign were both rejected by NASCAR.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-20-2006)
- Ware Racing Plans more races: Ware Racing has entered [and will start 26th] a #30 Dodge with driver Mike Wallace in Saturday's Nextel Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The number coincides with sponsor pro30.com, a loan service. "We're hoping to make [Wallace] happy here and convince him to drive some more for us," team owner Rick Ware said. "We'll see how it plays out."
Wallace said he anticipates continuing to race for Phoenix Racing in the Busch Series at least through the Daytona race in July and will see what happens with Ware Racing. The Ware Racing team will not compete next weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 but has plans to run both Cup races at Dover with driver Donnie Neuenberger and both Cup races at New Hampshire with Ted Christopher. Christopher, a well-known Busch North and Modified driver, will bring sponsorship from QualityMetric. Neuenberger will bring sponsorship from Plan B Technologies.(SceneDaily.com), the team also used the #52 in two race attempts.(5-20-2006)
- Talladega TV Ratings: the rain delayed Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway ran on Monday, May 1st,scored a 2.5 with a 8.2 share with 3,455,000 viewers. No word on the FX coverage ratings.(Zap2It.com), see more on the ratings for the season on my TV Ratings Page.(5-20-2006)
- NASCAR Members Club to hold Inaugural National Convention UPDATE: The Official NASCAR Members Club (ONMC) will hold its inaugural national convention this week in Charlotte, with members from 34 different states coming together for the two-day event. Highlighting the ONMC's first national convention is a kickoff awards celebration on Thursday night for hundreds of the club's most avid members and their guests. The ONMC, a membership organization created early last year by the sport to recognize its most loyal fans, is kicking off the 2006 national convention on Thursday, May 18, with an awards celebration at the Charlotte Convention Center. NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace will host the event, with partners, tracks, champion drivers, teams and members being presented with various awards. On Friday, May 19, the ONMC will present workshops for local chapter presidents at Joe Gibbs Racing's Huntersville, N.C. campus. Five workshops will hit on topics ranging from how to work with local businesses to how to organize charity events and manage NASCAR programs in their communities.
In addition to Thursday's awards banquet and Friday's workshops, ONMC members that attend the convention will also be given preferred seating and discounted ticket deals to Wednesday's Pit Crew Challenge, Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Quaker Steak & Lube 200 and Saturday's NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. The ONMC, which includes as charter members 15 legendary NASCAR Champions including Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Benny Parsons, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and ONMC National Membership Chairman Richard Petty, currently has more than 1,100 local chapters across all 50 states. More info at nascar.com/members_club.(5-18-2006)
UPDATE: see a story on the convention at NASCAR.com: ONMC kicks off first national convention .(5-20-2006)
- Edwards pledges $100k if he wins All-Star Race: #99-Carl Edwards has pledged to donate $100,000 of his winnings should he be fortunate enough to claim the million-dollar first prize up for grabs in the 90-lap Nextel All-Star Challenge Saturday, May shootout. "Officials of organizations such as ours would probably do back-flips to get that kind of help from a single source," said Major General Thomas A. Sadler, USAF (Ret.), SCC executive director. "We'll let Carl do the back-flips, but I can tell you that we would certainly be grateful and appreciative of his generosity should he be fortunate enough to win the All-Star race." Sadler was referring to Edwards' trademark post-race celebration of doing a back-flip off the side of his racecar after each win. The 26-year-old Roush driver isn't the only one pledging financial support to SCC programs should he win Saturday's race. Bruton Smith, chairman of the board of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), has said he will match the $100,000 donation with an Edwards victory. More info about Speedway Children's Charities at speedwaycharities.org.(SCC PR)(5-20-2006)
News from May 19, 2006
- Kurt Busch donates $1 million to Victory Junction: The Kurt Busch Foundation donated $1 million to Victory Junction Camp in a ceremony Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The donation will fund an indoor 28,000-square foot facility for sports and will be called the Kurt Busch Superdome. "I can't believe I was able to come together with the Pettys and put this program together. It's a good launch for the Kurt Busch Foundation and how serious I am about it and the initiative to try to get kids into sports and put a smile on their face at the end of the day. We'll have some fun with it. I've been to the camp quite a bit and this will make it to where I really want to be there and put my hands in the mix and make a difference with the children. When you go to camp and see what Victory Junction Gang Camp is all about, it looks like a candyland to children. It's very special to me, and to have fun with it is the No. 1 thing. Your heart pours out to them (kids at Victory Junction Camp). They can't live ordinary lives or sign up for Little League baseball in their community. You feel like you can make a small impact in their lives if they've got a place where they can fit in together and all feel welcome." ESPN covered the announcement, as did SPEED. Two Charlotte TV stations and a Greensboro station were on hand, along with XM Satellite Radio and several local radio stations.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-19-2006)
- What is up with Bill Elliott? Bill Elliott, now running a partial Cup schedule [#00 Burger King Chevy], said Thursday that he's weighing several offers for next season. He has been mentioned as a possible part-time replacement for Dale Jarrett in Robert Yates' #88 Ford, with younger drivers running the balance of the schedule. Elliott also is among the candidates to drive a Toyota Camry in Cup next year. "There are several good options out there," Elliott said. "Within a month I should have an idea what I'm going to do." He said he'd like to work out a deal that would serve as a steppingstone for his son Chase, 10, should he desire to pursue a career in NASCAR. "That's one of the things I'll look at," he said, adding that the reason he chooses to run a maximum of 12-15 races a year is so he can spend more time with his family. For so many years it's been about what I was doing," he said. "I want life to be more about what we are doing."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-19-2006)
- Ford looking to add teams: A Ford official said Thursday that the manufacturer would like to add "a couple more cars'' to its Nextel Cup roster, although he wouldn't give a timetable. A couple more teams could help Ford keep its young drivers, something Ford and its teams haven't been able to always do. Dale Jarrett's departure to Toyota after this season opens one ride, but several Ford drivers are signed through at least 2008. That could create limited opportunities for the nearly 10 drivers being groomed by Ford's Cup teams. Ford, whose drivers have won two of the past three titles, has the fewest Cup teams competing with eight -- five with Roush Racing, two with Robert Yates Racing and one with the Wood Brothers. Toyota is scheduled to have six teams next year when it enters the Cup series. Greg Specht, manager of racing operations for Ford, says the manufacturer has a goal of more teams. "Ideally, we'd like to have 10-12,'' he said. "We're really looking at our current teams to see how can we expand and grow at a rate that is going to maintain quality.'' Specht wouldn't say if Ford would have additional teams for next season. NASCAR's limit of four Cup teams eventually will force Roush Racing to drop a team or transfer it to a partner. The Wood Brothers could add a second team in the near future. Robert Yates Racing could add a third car next season, depending on sponsorship. Ford has at least 10 developmental drivers between its program and those of its Cup teams. Only two are expected to move to Cup for 2007. Roush Racing announced months ago that Todd Kluever would replace Mark Martin in Cup next season with Martin moving to the truck series. Also expected to move to Cup full time next season is 24-year-old Jon Wood, a third-generation member of the Wood Brothers.(Roanoke Times)(5-19-2006)
- Kahne wins pole for Nextel Challenge: #9-Kasey Kahne went out 16th of 18 drivers and won the pole with a time of 122.296 seconds on the 3 laps run with a 4 tire pit stop, starting 2nd is #48-Jimmie Johnson then #2-Kurt Busch, #24-Jeff Gordon and #12-Ryan Newman. Two drivers were penalized for speeding entering pit road [20 second penalty]. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [will start 17th] and #19-Jeremy Mayfield [will start 18th] and last years winner, #6-Mark Martin will start 16th after a lug nut missing penalty [5 seconds] Qualifying results and strating lineup on the 2006 Nextel Challenge Qualifying Order, Results, Starting Lineup page. Qualifying will reair tonight at 12midnight on Speed Channel.(5-19-2006)
- Riggs wins pole for Nextel Open: #10-Scott Riggs won the pole for the Nextel Open with a speed of 186.509mph, followed by #11-Denny Hamlin, #66-Jeff Green, #18-J.J. Yeley and #31-Jeff Burton. Had quite a few incidents during the qualifying with #27-Shelmerdine, #51-Garvey, #38-Sadler and #45-Petty all spun with all but the #27 getting damage, #45-Petty will go to a backup car and #38-Sadler may have to. #01-Nemechek spun on his first lap and stopped, turned around and drove back to pit road and started his 2nd lap over. #37-Skinner withdrew. Qualifying results and strating lineup on the 2006 Nextel Challenge Qualifying Order, Results, Starting Lineup page.(5-19-2006)
- Ramblings - Nextel Challenge:
First, Scott Riggs took the pole for the NEXTEL Open with a time of 28.953 seconds (186.509 mph) over Denny Hamlin. He'll lead 'em to the green for the 30 lapper tomorrow night....and you better hurry cause it'll be over before you know it! Tough night for a bunch of drivers. Elliott Sadler (who's not used to starting his night this early) didn't make it past turn two of his first lap, and Kyle Petty shortened his car up a few feet in the rear on his second lap (also in turn two). Sadler'll start shotgun tomorrow night while Kyle's
first lap time was good enough for 20th position. Mike Skinner and the #37 car withdrew so we'll start 29 in the Open. The winner will advance to the Challenge as well as one driver voted in by the fans.
Things stayed the same for Ray Everham later, tho....as Kasey Kahne took the pole for the biggie, the NEXTEL Challenge, over Jimmie Johnson. We used the same format we've used the last couple years (with a pit stop in amongst three laps) so the crew can share the glory this week! Our defending "Challenge" winner, Mark Martin, will start 16th. Hard tires.....new paving.....and a cool $1M to the winner.(Stock Car Fans)(5-19-2006)
- #37 gets sponsor for All-Star race: Atomic-X, makers of the leading non-carbonated Energy Drink, announced their sponsorship of the #37 R & J Racing Nextel Cup Team for the All-Star Weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 19th and 20th. The Atomic-X machine will be driven by accomplished NASCAR veteran driver Mike Skinner and will don the brands bright orange color and logos during NASCAR's marquee event for race fans. Atomic-X CEO Sam Perricone II views NASCAR racing as an effective way to build brand awareness around the world and is excited about the impact it will have on product sales. Atomic-X is now available in 25 States and has recently begun expansion into other countries around the world. The increased popularity of non-carbonated beverages has helped the brand increase sales over 300% during the past 12 months and is continuing to make it a top-seller at many major grocery and convenience store chains. More info about Atomic-X at drinkatomicx.com.(Atomic X PR), the team withdrew and never made a practice lap.(5-19-2006)
- Red #41 Scheme: The #41 Target team with driver Reed Sorenson is running the reverse colors of its primary paint scheme for the third consecutive race. What is red is white and visa versa. The scheme will also run in next weekend's race at Lowe's in addition to the October event at the track, and it will run in July at Daytona.(Chip Ganassi Racing w/ Felix Sabates PR), see an image on my #41 Team Schemes page.(5-17/19-2006)
News from May 18, 2006
- #1 Pit Crew win Pit Crew Challenge: Martin Truex Jr's #1 Bass Pro Shops Team put on an outstanding show on Wednesday night at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena en route to capturing the second annual NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge and the $70,100 prize. The #1 Team won over the #9 Team with 25.44 seconds vs. 31.71 [with penalties].(See more at RacingOne.com), see my TV LIstings page for airings.(5-18-2006)
- Shelmerdine gets sponsor for Nextel Open: Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine has signed a three-race agreement to sponsor Kirk Shelmerdine's #27 Chevy in the Nextel Open on Saturday in hopes of transferring into the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In addition to the Nextel Open, Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine will sponsor Shelmerdine in the May 28 Coca-Cola 600 and the Oct. 14 Bank of America 500, both at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Additional races could be added later this season. Shelmerdine has made two starts this season with $335,333 in winnings. He finished 20th in the Daytona 500 and started 22nd in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. His driving career began in 1981 with one start; he made 18 of his 25 career starts in 2004. Shelmerdine is best known for his achievements while working as Crew Chief for Richard Childress Racing. Between 1986 and '92, he led Dale Earnhardt to four of his seven NASCAR Cup Championships. His crew-chief statistics include 46 wins among 246 top tens, 142 top fives and 14 pole positions. The Philadelphia native started Kirk Shelmerdine Racing in 2002. Catdaddy is a flavored Moonshine with a hint of both sweet and spice; its secret recipe uses flavors that are not found in any other spirit. Distilled in the heart of the North Carolina by Piedmont Distillers, Catdaddy celebrates the rich mythology and mystique of America's moonshine history. For more
information on Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, please visit catdaddymoonshine.com.(3-G Sports PR)(5-18-2006)
- NASCAR and Ethanol fuel? The Indy Racing League is leading the way on alternative fuels, beginning a two-year transition to ethanol. NASCAR? Those dinosaurs are still burning dinosaurs. Last year, General Motors officials privately asked NASCAR to consider switching to ethanol. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, made a similar public plea to NASCAR CEO Brian France. Their appeals didn't gain much traction. But that doesn't mean it was a bad idea. "It fits the racing mode, and we would definitely be in favor of any move that moves us away from dependence on foreign oil," said Brent Dewar, vice president of sales, service and parts for GM. Dewar, who became an ethanol evangelist after overseeing GM's successful sale of ethanol-ready cars in Brazil, said the automaker plans another round of lobbying NASCAR to switch.(see full story at the Associated Press), NASCAR will use Sunono unleaded fuel in 2007 after years of using leaded gasoline.(5-18-2006)
- Newman visits fan: As part of Alltel's "Go Racing with Ryan" promotion, NASCAR Driver Ryan Newman made a visit to the North Raleigh Alltel retail store and surprised Louisburg resident, Sherwood Wood. Wood will receive a trip to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 9 and have the opportunity to get his name on the #12 Alltel Dodge for that race. Newman will surprise other random Alltel customers throughout the season at various Alltel retail stores when the Alltel Dodge show car is in town. More info on my #12 Team News and Links page.(5-18-2006)
- RCR to Sponsor Local Soap Box Derby: Richard Childress will lend support to his racing roots June 3 at Hobby Park in
Winston-Salem for the Winston-Salem Area Soap Box Derby presented by Richard Childress Racing. The winner of this All-American Soap Box Derby "local race" will advance to the 69th annual All-American Soap Box Derby presented by Levi Strauss Signature, July 22 in Akron, Ohio. Childress was a teenager in the late 1950s when he and his brother, Larry Childress, went door to door in downtown Winston-Salem soliciting shop owners for funding to purchase a soap box derby kit. Nearly 50 years later, the wheels and axles from that soap box derby racer are on display in the RCR Racing Museum on the RCR campus. For further information, visit the web site of the Winston-Salem Area Soap Box Derby at wsasbd.com.(Richard Childress Racing PR)(5-18-2006)
- Special National Wild Turkey Federation on the #1 in All-Star Race: The National Wild Turkey Federation's flying turkey logo will appear on the DEI, Bass Pro Shops sponsored #1 race car, driven by 2-time Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr., at the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge on May 20 th at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bass Pro Shops salute to the NWTF is a part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach.(Bass Pro Shops PR), see images on my #1 Team Schemes page.(5-18-2006)
- Lepage in #49 BAM Dodge with State Water Heaters: BAM Racing is pleased to welcome driver Kevin Lepage and primary sponsor State Water Heaters to the #49 team for the upcoming race weekends at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Lepage will pilot the #49 State Water Heaters Dodge Charger in the upcoming Nextel Open/Nextel All-Star Challenge event as well as in the
Coca-Cola 600 over the Memorial Day weekend. Lepage has one prior start with BAM Racing this season which came at Darlington Raceway. BAM Racing expects to have an announcement regarding its plans for the remainder of the 2006 season in the near future, possibly as early as the upcoming race weekend at Dover.(BAM Racing PR)(5-18-2006)
News from May 17, 2006
- Dates, Sites Set for 2006 NASCAR National Series Awards Ceremonies: While the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion and the rest of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competitors will celebrate on familiar ground at the world-famous Waldorf=Astoria hotel in New York at season’s end, the top teams in NASCAR’s other two national series will be “going to Disney World.”
On Dec. 1, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Ceremony will again take place at the venerable Waldorf in Midtown Manhattan, which first hosted the ceremony in 1981. The following week, on Dec. 8 and Dec. 10, the champions of the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will be feted at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, Fla. The 867-room Victorian-themed Grand Floridian resort is just outside the gates of Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park on the grounds of Walt Disney World.(NASCAR PR)(5-17-2006)
- #88 RYR Team Penalty Upheld: On May 17, 2006, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Robert Yates Racing. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following pre-race inspection on May 6, 2006 for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20.12.2D “Unapproved rear sway bar mounting for use other than anti-roll.”
The penalties assessed were:
• Loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Robert Yates.
• Loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship Driver Points for driver Dale Jarrett.
• $25,000.00 fine and suspension until June 7, 2006 for crew chief Richard Labbe.
The Commission had deferred the fine and suspension against the crew chief until the appeal hearing could be convened. The Appellants did not contest the legality of the sway bar configuration, but appealed the severity of the penalties. The Commission found that the penalties assessed are consistent with recent penalties for infractions of such a blatant nature. In reaching its decision, the Commission also notes that a warning for a lesser violation in the same area of the car had been issued at an earlier event.
Therefore it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner. The Commission further instructs NASCAR to adjust the ending date of the crew chief suspension to June 14, 2006 [thru Pococo] to remain consistent with the original 4-week suspension period. The Commission: Russell Hackett, Lyn St. James, George Silbermann, Chairman.(NASCAR PR)(5-17-2006)
- RYR Response to NASCAR Appeal Denial: The #88 UPS Team will race the next four weeks without the services of crew
chief Slugger Labbe after the NASCAR Appeals Committee denied the appeal submitted by Robert Yates Racing on Labbe’s behalf. As a result, Jason Burdett, car chief for the #88 UPS Team, will assume the crew chief role at the track in preparation for Saturday night’s All-Star Challenge and during the course of Labbe’s suspension. “We’re disappointed but respect the decision of the appeals committee and accept the results,” Labbe said. “Jason Burdett is a long time employee of RYR and deserves this opportunity. Jason has been involved with the #88 team for years as car chief and certainly understands the handling of the race car and the different things that I would communicate to Dale Jarrett. He’s the best person to do this for our #88 team because the communication has already been started with the driver and crew members.”
“We’re just going to go do the same things we’ve been doing all year,” Burdett said of his added responsibilities. “We have a pretty good support group and we all work so close together that it should be pretty seamless.” Jerry Pitts, RYR’s ARCA crew chief, and Travis Geisler, engineer on the #90 RYR Ford that competes in the NASCAR Busch Series, will assist Burdett as needed.(RYR PR)(5-17-2006)
- Go-GURT scheme for Labonte at LMS: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Go-GURT Dodge team head to the
1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Nextel All-Star Challenge. Labonte's drive will mark the return of the famed #43 Dodge to the All-Star Challenge. The #43 Dodge last ran the All-Star race in 2000 with John Andretti behind the wheel. Labonte will be supporting the colors of Go-GURT Portable Yogurt. It is the first-ever yogurt in a tube, the perfect snack for on-the-go kids. Labonte will
debut the #43 Go-GURT Portable Yogurt Dodge this weekend. The car will also race during the Coca-Cola 600 the following weekend.(Petty Enterprises/Moore Consulting Group PR)(5-17-2006)
- Special Irwin Scheme for the #26 at the All-Star race: #26Jamie McMurray will drive the #26 Irwin Marathon Saw Blade Ford Fusion for this weekend's NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Roush Racing PR)(5-17-2006)
- UPS Undecided on future, either RYR or MWR; Bill Elliott to Yates?: With sponsor UPS suddenly NASCAR's top free agent, at least two teams' immediate futures appear to hang in the balance. Robert Yates Racing, which loses Jarrett's services at season's end, can't pick a replacement until it learns if UPS will remain. And if UPS opts to follow Jarrett to Michael Waltrip Racing, that operation would field three Toyotas instead of two next season. The one certainty is that Jarrett's move, formally announced May 13, leaves owner Robert Yates facing a scenario he thought was two years off. Expecting Jarrett to finish his career with the team in 2008, RYR began grooming Stephen Leicht and Matt McCall as possible replacements this season.
While the sponsor, be it UPS, Busch Series sponsor CitiFinancial or another entity, will play a role in selecting Jarrett's replacement, Yates says a veteran could figure in the mix. The question is whether the veteran would drive the full year or split time with one or two younger drivers as Yates works toward a permanent replacement. Team Manager Eddie D'Hondt said Bill Elliott could be the veteran if that plan is followed. Waltrip said he has sponsorship secured for two cars and has talked with UPS. If the company comes aboard, he'd gladly field three teams next year. In a statement, Peggy Gardner, UPS Spokesperson, said the company "is excited about its continuing role in NASCAR," but that its policy is not to comment about "our future plans or sponsorships."(SceneDaily,com)(5-17-2006)
- Third Waltrip car? UPDATE 2 well...maybe: hearing that Michael Waltrip Racing [MWR] may field a third Nextel Cup team in 2007, could be part-time, with Burger King and Domino's Pizza as the sponsor. That is if UPS or another sponsor team up with Waltrip's Toyota that Dale Jarrett will run in 2007.(5-15-2006)
UPDATE: According to MWR spokeswoman Brooke Hondros, the team does not presently plan to field three Nextel Cup Series teams in 2007. Hondros said MWR is preparing two Nextel Cup teams and two Busch Series teams, all of which will run Toyota Camrys.(NASCAR.com/Marty Smith)(5-16-2006)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip says he could expand his Toyota Cup operation to three teams next season. Waltrip is set for at least two teams. He and Dale Jarrett will be the drivers. "We'd like to have three teams," Waltrip said at Darlington. "We think that'll give us the best chance to compete against the guys who are winning races now. There's a timetable that will come into play. ... We could start a third team if we could get another sponsor."(Roanoke Times)(5-17-2006)
- Fellows in the #32 at Infineon Raceway, and Watkins Glen: A brand new NASCAR Nextel Cup chassis built by world famous racing engineering firm Pratt and Miller should provide Ron Fellows with renewed hope to earn his first victory in stock car's top series next month in California. Fellows tested the much heralded chassis -- one he will use in his attempt to win the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway June 25 in the #32 PPI Motorsports Chevy -- at Virginia International Raceway yesterday. Fellows has a long and hugely successful history with Pratt and Miller who have prepared his winning #3 Corvettes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours at Daytona and for his three American Le Mans Series GT1 championships. Even though it was his first time in the new car yesterday, Fellows already was confident it will fare much better than the car he had in 2005 at Infineon when he earned a top-10 finish. A big part of Fellows' hopes for the #32 Chevrolet this time around is that Pratt and Miller purpose built the car with him in mind. But it was on the track where Fellows saw a huge improvement over many of his previous Cup cars. Nextel Cup points leader #48-Jimmy Johnson -- who Pratt and Miller also built a road course chassis for -- was at VIR yesterday with Fellows. "We compared very favourably with Jimmy's speeds," Fellows said. "That's really good to have that kind of benchmark." Fellows said the car still has some handling issues but he is confident the team will work them out before the Infineon race. "At Infineon you need a car that is really good in the turns," he said. "We are sure we will be able to get this car to unload near perfect next month." He said he was sharing information with the #48 team and in return was able to gauge his progress off of another Hendrick Motorsports team -- the #25 Chevrolet of Brian Vickers -- who was running an in-house chassis. Fellows hopes to get on another round of tests for team owner Cal Wells after the Infineon race to prepare for Nextel Cup's second road course event in August at Watkins Glen.(Toronto Sun), Travis Kavpil is the regular driver of the #32 PPI Motorsports Chevy. but the team is mired outside the top-35 in owners points.(5-17-2006)
- Petty's and Toyota? DENIED: Kyle Petty told Benny Parsons on his nationally syndicated "Fast Talk" radio program [PRN] Monday night that Petty Enterprises would certainly consider switching to Toyota if it made the team more competitive. While Petty said nothing is currently on the horizon with the Japanese manufacturer, PE would be open to doing anything to help the team win.(RacingOne)(5-16-2006)
UPDATE: Kyle Petty told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) Tuesday that comments attributed to him concerning interest in Toyota were taken out of context. "Benny Parsons asked me if I would be interested in talking to Toyota, if it would benefit the team," said Petty. "I told him that I would never say never, but that we are extremely happy with what we have (with Dodge) and have
no plans to change. We haven't talked to anyone at Toyota, and we don't plan to."(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(5-17-2006)
- Bowyer featured on CMT: #07-Clint Bowyer will be featured on this week's installment of "Hot Shots of NASCAR" on CMT Insider. In addition to Bowyer's segment, this week's CMT Insider hits the road with Brad Paisley, explores the music of Johnny Cash's son John Carter Cash along with profiling singer Jewel. The episode will air Saturday, May 20 at 1:30pm/et on CMT.(RCR PR)(5-17-2006)
- #5 Team Takes PIt Crew Honors at Darlington: Kyle Busch's over-the-wall crew won its second Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge by spending the least amount of time on pit road in Saturday's Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway. Busch's crew, which spent 350.021 seconds on pit road during the NEXTEL Cup event, is now in a four-way tie for first place in the season-long competition. The crews of Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler and Jimmie Johnson also have two wins each. Busch's #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet team consists of: Rick Pigeon (jackman), Jeremy "JD" Holcomb (front-tire carrier), DJ Richardson (front-tire changer), Jason Jones (rear-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Brad Pickens (gasman), Jason Dalrymple (catch can), and Whit Satterwhite (eighth-man). The team's crew chief is Alan Gustafson and the pit crew coach is Mark Mauldin. Busch's over-the-wall crew, part of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, will be awarded the weekly $10,500 prize. A bonus of $105,000 will be presented by Checkers/Rally's to the team with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(5-17-2006)
- Kyle and Pattie Petty Honored: Action for Children North Carolina, North Carolina's premier statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth, will honor NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and wife Pattie Petty with the inaugural North Carolina Children's Lifetime Legacy Award this Thursday [May 18th] in Charlotte. The award will be given to the Pettys in recognition for their founding of and continued commitment to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, located on 75 acres in Randleman, N.C., in the Piedmont Triad area. The Children's Lifetime Legacy Award event will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2006, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Founders Hall, located in the Bank of America Corporate Center in downtown Charlotte. Tickets to the
benefit are $200/individual and $350/couple. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Action for Children. For more information, visit www.ncchild.org.(VJGC PR)(5-17-2006)
- Bo-Dyn officials announce 2nd Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge: Representatives of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project and the
New York Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid announced Monday that the second Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge will return to the two-time Winter Olympic village January 5-7, 2007 at the Verizon Sports Complex. The event will feature race car drivers piloting specially-made bobsleds down Lake Placid's icy chute in fun races geared to raise money for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. The 2006 edition was televised on ESPN2 and SPEED. Whelen Engineering has officially entered the first sled in the 2007 competition. "It is with equal pleasure that Whelen Engineering Company is once again the first corporation to make a financial commitment to the sponsorship of a Bo-Dyn Bobsled to compete in the second annual Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge," said Phil Kurze, Director of Motorsports for Whelen Engineering and President of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. "In addition, Whelen Engineering has provided a significant financial contribution for the research and development of a revised design of the Bo-Dyn bobsled. We support the Made-in-America philosophy and want to make certain that the USA Bobsled Teams are competitive in Vancouver. We are hopeful that other corporations in the USA will join us in our support of these efforts." Race winners in 2006 were Boris Said, son of Olympic bobsledder Bob Said, and Kevin Lepage of nearby Shelburne, Vt. Fan packages, interactive offerings and event merchandise will be announced at a later date. The television shows of the 2006 Bodine event are now available for purchase on DVD at www.bodinebobsled.com.(PR)(5-17-2006)
News from May 16, 2006
- Grand Opening of Racing Electronics: Racing Electronics [long time sponor of Jayski and title sponsor of my Frequencies Page] announces the Grand Opening of their new World Headquarters in Concord, NC. The event will take place from May 17th thru the 28th. The new facility is conveniently located at 840 Derita road, half way between the Chip Ganassi Racing & Roush Racing complex's and the NASCAR R & D Center. In celebration of the event, Racing Electronics will be offering a 10% Grand Opening discount on all purchases made at their beautiful new facility during this promotion. Free tours are available daily for visitors to see the equipment being manufactured. Racing Electronics providee communications equipment , worldwide offering a full line of 2-way radio communication equipment, scanners & accessories, as well as a new assortment of gift items.(RE PR)(5-16-2006)
- Stewart to field cars for Mopar All Star Showdown: Tony Stewart has entered six cars in Sunday's Mopar All Star Showdown at Concord Motorsport Park. He will field three cars in each of the divisions competing in 50-lap features USAC Sprints and USAC Midgets. Stewart's trio of drivers -- Josh Wise, Levi Jones and Kyle Nicholas will pull double-duty driving in both divisions. The midget feature on Sunday, May 21st will be the second race of the 2006 season. While the USAC sprints will make their North Carolina asphalt debut, the midgets actually raced on the quarter-mile paved oval on the frontstretch at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1998. The winner of that race was Stewart. For more info and tickets, see MetrolinaBrand.com. Concord Motorsport Park is located on highway 601 north of Midland and south of Concord, NC.(PR)(5-16-2006)
- Nextel Pit Crew Challenge: May 17th: As the kick-off event to NASCAR’s all-star week in Charlotte, NC, the Nextel Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman focuses attention on drivers’ seven-member pit crews.
Good, timely work in the pits can win or lose races, and Wednesday night’s second annual competition at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C., is a time for those crew members to shine. A total of 24 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup pit crews will compete for an overall grand prize of $70,100. Each of the seven over-the-wall pit-crew positions will compete for a $10,000 prize.#9- Kasey Kahne’s pit crew is the defending overall champion. The event begins at 7:00pm/et. All tickets are $10; all seats are general admission. Pit crews eligible for this year’s competition include all those from teams qualified for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge – all 2005 event winners and any additional winners through May 15. Also eligible are the winner of the 2005 NEXTEL Open, #25-Brian Vickers, and the fan vote winner from the 2005 NEXTEL Open, #1-Martin Truex Jr. If there are no new event winners, the remaining positions go to the highest-ranked teams in the car owner standings who aren’t otherwise eligible for Saturday’s all-star event. This year, those are the pit crews for #31-Jeff Burton, #42-Casey Mears, #38-Elliott Sadler and Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate #11-Denny Hamlin. Prize Money: $70,100 to the winning team; $10,000 to each pit-crew position champion.(NASCAR PR)(5-16-2006)
- Leffler/Braun Racing get sponsor for Phoenix Cup race: Jason Leffler and Braun Racing are going NEXTEL Cup racing later this year at Phoenix International Raceway. Fort McDowell Resort Destination will step-up their motorsport’s program by becoming a primary sponsor in the NEXTEL Cup division for one race later this year. “It’s undisputed the coverage Fort McDowell will receive by stepping up to the next level at Phoenix later this year. Fort McDowell was very impressed by Jason’s performance in the Busch series race last month (at Phoenix) and this is a perfect opportunity to test the waters at a higher level,” explained Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation President Raphael Bear. In addition to their new commitment to Braun Racing at the Cup level, the Fort McDowell Resort Destination logo will be displayed as a major associate sponsor on Leffler’s #38 Great Clips Chevy at the California and Phoenix Busch races later this year. The nation’s newest enterprise, the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Convention Center, opened in December 2005. For more information please visit www.ftmcdowell.org.(Braun Racing site), the team used the #08 in 2005 with Shane Hmiel, no word if they will continue to use the number or another.(5-16-2006)
- Menard to move up in 2007: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was addressing fans at a sponsorship gala and revealed a pair of intriguing tidbits to the gallery: Earnhardt said it is his understanding that Paul Menard will run a full Nextel Cup schedule in the #15 Chevrolet in 2007.(NASCAR.com/Marty Smith)(5-16-2006)
- Petty looking for a sponsor for select races: The #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty has announced sponsorship opportunities for selected races remaining in 2006. The up-coming months offer one-of-a-kind opportunities to be a part of the
resurging Petty Enterprises organization. "We have some races that are open throughout the rest of the season", said Petty. "We were left to fill a void a few weeks ago when a sponsorship deal for us didn't pan out. It was supposed to be about a nine-race deal. That left us to fill some holes, but fortunately those holes are great opportunities for companies to capitalize on." Races include the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the Sharpie 500 at Bristol and the season-ending Ford 400
at Homestead-Miami. Other races include events in major markets such as Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Richmond. "We are now looking for another new partner to join the Petty family. We are working hard to do that for this season. We feel that we offer something
different at Petty Enterprises. We are looking for a partner that wants to be a part of the excitement that we're building," said Petty. The team will next participate in this weekend's All-Star activities at the Lowe's Motor Speedway [with Coca-Cola as the sponsor]. In fact, Petty's sponsors have put up $250,000 to be donated to Victory Junction Gang Camp if Petty is voted into the All-Star race by the fans. Go to votekylepetty.com for details.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing)(5-16-2006)
- NC Historic Marker to commemorating 1st race: North Carolina Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue and other dignitaries will be part of a very special ceremony to dedicate a new State of North Carolina Historic Marker commemorating the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race, forerunner of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on Wednesday May 17, 2006 at 10:00am/et at the site of the old Charlotte Speedway on Little Rock Road, between I-85 and Wilkinson Blvd. off Exit 32 on I-85
Directions: From I-85 south, take the Little Rock Rd. exit (exit 32). Turn left off the exit and pass the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the right. The ceremony site will be on the right just past the Courtyard.
From I-85 north, take the Little Rock Rd. exit (exit 32). Turn right off the exit and pass the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the right.
The ceremony site will be on the right just past the Courtyard.(PR)(5-16-2006)
- Kluever to be released from Roush Racing? DENIED RacingOne is hearing Todd Kluever could be released from Roush Racing due in part to both his lackluster performance in the Busch Series [#06 Ford] this season and the proposed cap for NEXTEL Cup teams, which would force Jack Roush to eliminate one of his cars. Kluever had been named to take over the #6 NEXTEL Cup ride [AAA Ford] from the retiring Mark Martin next year, but if Roush is forced to eliminate one of his teams to fit under the cap of four, that team may be the one to go. The AAA sponsorship could then be shifted to Greg Biffle's #16, which will reportedly lose the National Guard sponsorship after this season. Kluever, who is scheduled to make his Cup Series debut [in the #06 3M Ford] at Chicagoland, has only one top-10 finish in the Busch Series this season. He also sits 23rd in the points.(RacingOne), hard to imagine Roush just letting the #6 number go bye-bye.
UPDATE: been told by Roush Racing representatives that there is no truth to the rumor regarding Todd Kluever being released from Roush Racing. There has been no change in plans regarding his future at Roush and that Kluever will still be in the #6 AAA Ford in 2007.(5-16-2006)
- Humpy Picks Edwards to win All-Star Race: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, thinks #99-Carl Edwards, just four years removed from those rough-and-tumble short-track wars, will collect the $1 million prize Saturday night for winning the 22nd running of NASCAR's NEXTEL All-Star Challenge annual all-star spectacular. Wheeler named Edwards as his selection Monday during his annual pick-the-winner press conference in downtown Charlotte. Known for his promotional flair and Karnac-type ability, Wheeler has correctly picked the winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge 10 times in the past 17 races. Its three-segment format-40 laps, 30 laps and 20 laps-and the $1 million first-place prize combine to make the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge NASCAR's most unique race. Staying with his short-track theme, Wheeler selected former USAC open-wheel star #9-Kasey Kahne as his dark horse pick. Even though he finished second to Mark Martin in last year's NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, #38-Elliott Sadler has not visited victory lane since 2004 and thus is not qualified for this year's all-star race. Wheeler says the Emporia, Va., native will remedy that by winning the NEXTEL Open. Veteran #21-Ken Schrader is Wheeler's dark horse selection for the Open. On-track activities for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge kick off Friday night with qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and the NEXTEL Open. In addition to qualifying, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete in the Quaker Steak & Lube 200. Tickets start at $20. Tickets start at $21 and may be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-16-2006)
- Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Voting Continues: Online fan voting began April 3 for this year's Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees, and on Saturday, Oct. 7, two new names will be added to this prestigious list. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR's greatest names and a tribute to one of racing's brightest stars - the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans' vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines. Fans may vote for their driver of choice through July 15 by visiting talladegawalk.com. Voting is limited to one vote per day.
Active driver nominees for 2006 include: Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton, Morgan Shepherd, Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart. Inactive driver nominees for 2006 include: Rusty Wallace, Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith, Rex White and Speedy Thompson. On Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005, Kevin Harvick and Herb Thomas became the most recent drivers to be enshrined. In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway. For additional information, visit www.talladegawalk.com.(TSS PR)(5-16-2006)
- Seaberg wins latest Truck Driver Challenge: On Thursday May 11th [doesn't say where..Darlington?] the Nextel Cup transport drivers showed their skills behind the wheel as part of competition for the 2006 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge. Each driver was judged on his ability to navigate a chicane course safely. At the conclusion of the day's event Jeff Seaberg, transport driver of the #10 Evernham Racing team, and Brent Davis of Peak Fitness Racing, showed that they are one of the best in the garage. Jeff and Brent tied for first place edging out Penske's Bill Lewis of the #2 team. "The course was pretty tight, it was very challenging," said Seaberg, "it was a great time we all had a lot of fun." "When I was in the cab on the course the competition was definitely on my mind," remarked Brent Davis, "I want to be a contender to win it all." With Davis and Seaberg off to a hot start, you can expect the action to pick up in the next event. Throughout the 2006 race season Pilot Travel Centers will host a series of challenges to reward the Nextel Cup transport driver who demonstrates safe and responsible truck driving, all year long. At the end of the season the winner will walk away with $50,000 and the coveted title "The 2006 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge Champion."
The next Pilot Truck Driver Challenge event will be held Monday May 22nd at the Charlotte Knights Baseball Stadium from 5-9pm.(Marketing 500)(5-16-2006)
News from May 15, 2006
- Lowe's extends with #48 team and Johnson: Lowe's announced a multi-year extension of its primary sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and the #48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Under the new agreement, Lowe's will continue its primary sponsorship of the #48 Chevrolet through the 2010 racing season. Johnson, 30, also signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that keeps him behind the wheel through 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed. The pacts build upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Hendrick Motorsports selected Johnson, who at the time had never started a Nextel Cup race, to pilot the new Lowe's-sponsored #48 Chevrolet. Now in the midst of its fifth full season, the team has posted 21 victories and four top-five points finishes. For more information on Team Lowe's Racing, visit Lowesracing.com.(GMR Marketing/Hendrick Motorsports PR), hearing cew chief Chad Knaus and Hendrick Motorsports are working on extending Knaus' deal to be the #48 crew chief.(5-15-2006)
- ESPN Sports Poll Tabs NASCAR as Top Racing Series: NASCAR tops the list as the favorite type of motorsports according to fans polled from January-December 2005 on ESPN.com. It received 59.5% of the votes compared to the next-highest total of 13.4% for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Following in third place were motorcycle events at 9.7, Formula 1 with 6.3, the Indy Racing League (IRL) with 6.1, Champ Car World Series with 1.4 and other racing series at 0.4. NASCAR also led the 2004 version of the ESPN Sports Poll, with fans sampling conducted from January through February of that year. In the 2004 poll, NASCAR led with 57.6% of fans’ response, followed by the NHRA with 13.9, motorcycle events with 9.8, the IRL with 6.8, Formula 1 with 6.0, Champ Car World Series with 1.8 and other racing series at 0.5.(NASCAR PR)(5-15-2006)
- Another Wheeler - Velocity expands into NASCAR: Velocity Sports & Entertainment, the leading sports and entertainment marketing agency, announced today an aggressive expansion of its NASCAR business. Effective May 22, 2006, Velocity will commence operations in Charlotte with one of the industry's most respected executives, Trip Wheeler leading the charge. Velocity has a long history in NASCAR, dating back to the 1980's for sponsors such as Amoco, Nestle and Quaker State. For eight years, Velocity served as Promotional Activation agency for NASCAR's New York office helping league sponsors effectively activate their rights. More recently, the agency has been actively engaged with NASCAR team sponsors such as FedEx, Vitamin Water and ConAgra Foods. Velocity's efforts will be spearheaded by Wheeler, an industry veteran of 16 years. In his role as Vice President and General Manager of the Charlotte office, Wheeler will be responsible for blending his account management responsibilities with business development. He'll be asked to support the growth of Velocity's motorsports business. Wheeler's roots in motorsports reach far deeper than his post college career. He grew up in the sport watching his father, H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler (President and COO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.) help fuel NASCAR's rise.(PR)(5-15-2006)
- Larry Mac...owner? hearing Fox broadcaster Larry McReynolds is looking into becoming a NASCAR team owner again, supposedly with John Dangler. Supposedly a Busch Series deal in 2007 that would move up to Nextel Cup in 2008, McReynolds was part owner of the ill-fated BANG Racing team in 2004.(5-15-2006)
- New Team plans to debut later this year: H&K Motorsports says they have signed Socko Energy Drink as the primary sponsor of their #58 Dodge and continue thru 2008. The team plans to race later this season and have Truck Series team. H&K Motorsports is based in Denton, TX with a secondary shop in Statesville, NC. No driver has been named, but fomer Cup driver, Trevor Boys [1983-1993] had been mentioned in a Fort Worth Star Telegram article back in March to run at Texas, but the team was not ready for the race. Larry Pryor will be the crew chief. Socko Energy is the flagship product of Bliss Beverage from Scottsdale, AZ.(H&K Motorsports PR)(5-15-2006)
- Ford furious with Jarrett's defection UPDATE:: Ford officials are none too pleased with the apparent loss of Dale Jarrett, who will announce his decision to join Michael Waltrip Racing later this weekend (live on SPEED, Saturday at 12:00pm/et). All but two of Jarrett's 32 career Cup wins have come behind the wheel of a blue-ovaled automobile, as did his 1999 Winston Cup title. In addition, Jarrett's father, Ned, won both of his Cup titles as a Ford factory driver, and Dale Jarrett Ford is one of the largest Ford dealerships in the country, located in Monroe, NC about one hour north of Darlington. Priority number one for the suits in Dearborn? Making sure the rest of their camp stay put, in particular Jarrett's current teammate Elliott Sadler.(FoxSports), actually Ned Jarrett drove a Chevy for most of the 1961 season when he won his first championship.(5-13-2006)
UPDATE: Ford officials responded quickly to [Saturday's] announcement that 1999 NASCAR Cup champion Dale Jarrett is leaving the manufacturer for a Toyota team in 2007. Shortly after Jarrett and his future team owner Michael Waltrip held a joint news conference to make the announcement, Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology, issued a statement concerning the loss of Jarrett from Ford and team owner Robert Yates. We're obviously not happy Dale is leaving Robert Yates Racing because he's been a champion and a great ambassador for Ford fans," the statement read. "We understand his decision, but we are disappointed. Toyota is going to have its work cut out for them competing in Nextel Cup, no matter how much they plan on spending. Our plan is to keep winning races and championships."(SceneDaily.com)(5-15-2006)