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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    MAY 22-28, 2006





      News from May 28, 2006

    • Kahne wins Coca-Cola 600: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, leading 158 of 400 laps, for his third win of 2006 and 4th of his career. It is the first Dodge to wins the race since Richard Petty in 1977. #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd, breaking his streak at three straight wins of the event, followed by #99-Carl Edwards [spun once, was a lap down], #6-Mark Martin and #17-Kenseth. Rounding out the top-10 were #31-Burton, # 16-Biffle, #26-McMurray, #11-Hamlin and #41-Sorenson. #8-Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th. #20-Tony Stewart crashed early in the race when he cut a tire, Stewart was taken to a local hospital, checked out, treated and released. Stewart was still sore after a hard wreck in the Busch race Saturday, and held his right arm as he was led to the ambulance. #24-Gordon wrecked late in the race and finished 36th. #10-Scott Riggs, the pole sitter and led many laps, had a late poor pitstop when he stalled twice and finished 13th. There were 37 lead changes among 16 drivers and 15 cautions for 65 laps [last year there were 22 for 102 laps].
      Race Results on my Charlotte Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Charlotte page.
      Race Rundown: see my Charlotte Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(5-28-2006)

    • Charllote Race News and Notes:
      • Kasey Kahne won the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, scoring his fourth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 84th career start.
      • This is Kahne’s third victory in 2006, tying Jimmie Johnson for the most this season. Kahne’s last victory came at Texas in April 2006, five races earlier.
      • Kahne won from a ninth-place starting position. All three of his other victories came from the Bud Pole.
      • Kahne’s first victory came at Richmond in May 2005. His other three wins have all come on SMI-owned 1.5-mile superspeedways.
      • Kahne scored his seventh top-10 finish in 12 races this season.
      • Kahne led the most laps for the fourth time in his career (only two produced victories- Richmond and Lowe’s). This marked the first time in 2006 that Kahne led the most laps in a race.
      • Kahne led seven times for 158 laps including the final 30 laps in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
      • Kahne has won a race each season 2005-2006, two consecutive years.
      • This marked team owner Ray Evernham’s 10th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory and first at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
      • Evernham Motorsports has won at least one race each season 2001– 2006, six consecutive years.
      Notebook Items
      • Jimmie Johnson (second) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his ninth straight top-10 finish in 10 races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, all seventh or better. Johnson remained first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, now 109 points ahead of second-place Matt Kenseth.
      • Carl Edwards (third) scored his sixth top-10 finish in 2006. He tied his best finish in 2006 set at California. It is his third straight top-10 finish in three races at Lowe’s. Edwards climbed from 17th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      • Mark Martin (fourth) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2006. It was his in 21st top-10 finish in 43 races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He climbed from fourth to third in the point standings. One year ago he ranked 12th in the standings after 12 races.
      • Matt Kenseth (fifth) scored his eighth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his seventh top-10 finish in 14 races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He climbed from third to second in the point standings. One year ago he ranked 23rd after 12 races.
      • Jeff Burton (sixth) has climbed from 21st to eighth in the point standings since Martinsville.
      • Three races ago Greg Biffle was 232 points behind 10th. With his seventh-place finish, Biffle is now 86 points behind 10th. Biffle has climbed from 23rd to 13th in points in the last three races. After 12 races in 2005, he ranked second in the point standings.
      • Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender Denny Hamlin (ninth) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 2006. It marked his second top-10 finish in two races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
      • Two Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contenders finished in the top-10: Denny Hamlin (ninth) and Reed Sorensen (10th). At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 12 races this season.
      • Dave Blaney (32nd) extended a 30-race streak of running at the finish that began at Pocono last June, which is the longest current streak.
      • Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have each scored top-15 finishes in 11 of the 12 races in 2006.
      • Tony Stewart has finished 43rd (California) and 42nd (Lowe’s) in 2006. Stewart never finished worse than 33rd (first Phoenix) in his 2005 Championship season. However, in 2002 Stewart began his first Championship season with a 43rd-place finish in the 2002 Daytona 500. Stewart dropped from second to fourth in the point standings.
      • Dale Jarrett (43rd) scored the worst finish of his 615-race career. Jarrett finished last for just the second time. The first time that he finished last was at Sears Point on June 11, 1989. (42nd in a 42-car field).(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-28-2006)

    • Rumblings - Lowe's Motor Speedway: Kasey Kahne led early and often tonight at Lowe's Motor Speedway and took the Coca-Cola Pit Stop 600 by a comfortable margin over Jimmie Johnson. In a race where we saw more action in the pits and less racing than we've ever had in Charlotte (thanks to a miniscule fuel cell), it was Kahne getting his third win of the season and the fourth of his career (the first one not from the pole, btw). Kahne is now tied for 68th on the all-time win list. Kasey's victory was worth a healthy $428,114 from the over $6.4M in posted awards....and this was win #10 for Ray Evernham.
      Carl Edwards (3rd) had his best finish since he was 3rd at California in February.
      Reed Sorenson (10th) equaled his career-best finish tonight. He was also 10th at Atlanta in March.
      Jeff Green (12th) had his best finish since he was 11th here last May.
      STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      Jeff Burton has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      This Week's Elevator...UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Jamie McMurray (+25) and Robby Gordon (+25), followed by Jeff Green (+23) and Paul Menard (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Gordon (-23), followed by Kevin Harvick (-22) and Brian Vickers (-20).
      Scott Riggs led today (8 times for 90 laps) for the first time since he led once for 19 laps at Michigan last August. He's the 39th driver to lead a lap this season....last year's number was 51.
      Jimmie Johnson lengthens his points lead tonight to 109 over new second-place driver Matt Kenseth. It's looking more and more like the "Chase" will once again be a ten-man event as the spread from 1st to 10th is now beyond that all-important 400 point level. Carl Edwards (17th to 14th) and Reed Sorenson (23rd to 20th) made the best moves forward tonight while Brian Vickers (21st to 27th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans)(5-28-2006)

    • COT to test at LMS on Tues/Wed UPDATE: Eight teams fielding Chevrolets and Dodges tentatively plan to attend the "car-of-tomorrow" (COT) test Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The two-day test will be the first for many of the teams with cars built under revised specifications after NASCAR recently took cars to the wind tunnel to examine the proposed noses and tails developed by each manufacturer. Neither Ford nor Toyota will be represented by cars on the track. Those teams planning to test are Richard Childress Racing (#31-Jeff Burton), Hendrick Motorsports (#25-Brian Vickers), Evernham Motorsports (#10-Scott Riggs), Chip Ganassi Racing (#42-Casey Mears), Joe Gibbs Racing (#11-Denny Hamlin with #18-J.J. Yeley and #20-Tony Stewart also possibly getting in the car), MB2 Motorsports (#01-Joe Nemechek), Dale Earnhardt Inc. (one car with #1-Martin Truex Jr. and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and Penske Racing South (#12-Ryan Newman). NASCAR plans to phase in the car of tomorrow over three years, beginning in 2007 at mostly short tracks and road courses. The 1.5-mile tracks, such as the one near Charlotte, are not scheduled to have the cars race there until 2009. NASCAR has left the door open for 2008 if teams adjust quicker to the new cars than anticipated.(SceneDaily.com)(5-26-2006)
      UPDATE: NASCAR is considering a substantial aerodynamic overhaul to the rear end of its “Car of Tomorrow,” two months after it gave teams what were supposed to be final specifications for the car, which will be phased in over three seasons, starting in 2007. The end result, according to several team officials who spoke under condition of anonymity, is that months of work and millions of dollars of expenditures could essentially be wasted because the data gathered so far will be worthless if the aerodynamic configuration of the car changes significantly. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp told SPEEDTV.com Saturday that NASCAR is looking at cutting up to six inches of the rear end of the COT design, which Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton confirmed. “We’re talking about it,” said Pemberton. “The manufacturers are looking at some different things and we are, too. With running the wing, it’s given us a lot more options of what we can do with the body from some of the things that we’d worked on early on when it was just a spoiler. We’re looking at all that.”(Speed Channel)(5-28-2006)

    • Busch allegedly taps attendant before 'Cars' MORE..accidentally: A vehicle being driven by #2-Kurt Busch allegedly made contact with a part-time employee of Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night at a movie premiere. Busch was arriving for the premiere of the Disney movie "Cars" in the infield of Lowe's. He allegedly made contact with a parking attendant. "Kurt's vehicle allegedly made contact with this person around the knee area," said Jerry Gappens, the senior vice president of events for Lowe's. "He continued working, then later had it checked out and everything was fine." The unnamed employee also was working at the speedway yesterday. No police report had been filed with the Concord police department as of yesterday afternoon. According to Gappens, Busch met with Lowe's President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler to let him know what had happened. Busch had no comment yesterday. Both NASCAR and Lowe's Motor Speedway have looked into the incident, and both have said they are out of the situation. "All we're aware of is there was an incident at the premiere, and we're not involved in it," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. "It's not a NASCAR incident. It's not in our jurisdiction. The parties involved in it, we'll leave it to them to resolve it." Gappens said it was the track's opinion it was a non-event, and no further action would be taken by the speedway.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
      MORE: Kurt Busch accidentally struck a Lowe's Motor Speedway security guard with his car on his way to Friday night's premiere of the Disney movie Cars, according LMS senior vice president Jerry Gappens. Gappens said the 2004 Nextel Cup champion was in a police escort to the track when the guard tried to cut off the line. He said a track official inside of Busch's car told him to keep going, at which time Busch made contact with the knee of the guard. He said the guard completed the final 15 minutes of his shift before going to the track hospital, where he was checked out and cleared. Gappens said the guard returned to work on Saturday.(more at NASCAR.com)(5-28-2006)

    • Robby Gordon to pull Triple Duty in NASCAR and Baja: Robby Gordon plans to drive three different race cars in two countries on the same weekend next weekend [June 2-4]. Gordon will defend his title in the Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico, where he will drive two different vehicles, and will also drive his #7 Nextel Cup Series car in Dover. Having pulled the famed Indy-Charlotte double three times, Gordon is accustomed to the difficult travel logistics necessary to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, but the challenge of racing in the Baja 500 and Dover NASCAR races presents an even greater test. The 37-year-old driver will travel approximately 11,200 miles by air during the odyssey (nearly half the distance around the world) and more than 1,100 miles on the ground. Less than eight hours after the completion of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, his journey will begin with his first cross-country flight to Ensenada where he will spend three days practicing (or pre-running) both a Red Bull/Toyo Tires-sponsored Chevrolet CK1500 Trophy Truck and a Jim Beam/Toyo Tires-sponsored Hummer H3. Gordon will make the 2,800-mile flight to Dover on Thursday evening before practicing and qualifying his Mapei and Menards-sponsored #7 Chevy Friday. Following Friday's NASCAR sessions, he will again return to Ensenada where he will take the green flag in the Baja 500 at approximately 9am/pt Saturday. He will start the Baja 500 in the Trophy Truck and drive approximately half of the race before turning the wheel over to his teammate Andy McMillin who will take the truck to the finish line (McMillin campaigns the Team Gordon truck full-time in the SCORE International Off-Road Series). Shortly after Gordon starts the 500, his father, Bob, will start in the Hummer H3 where he will also drive half way and then turn the truck over to the younger Gordon who will in all likelihood complete the 424-mile course in the H3. Immediately following the completion of the estimated seven-hour race, which begins and ends in Ensenada, Gordon will re-board his plane and take an overnight flight to Dover where he will start the Neighborhood Excellence 400 Sunday at 2:10pm/et.(RGM PR)(5-27-2006)

    • Arnold Motorsports Closes Team/Shop: The two-and-a-half year experiment for Florida businessman Don Arnold in Nextel Cup has come to a close. According to a former employee, the #50 Nextel Cup shop shut down last month, and the building at 160 Performance Road in Mooresville the team had occupied is on the market. Employing journeyman drivers Todd Bodine, Derrike Cope, and Jimmy Spencer among others during its short tenure in the Nextel Cup Series, the team last attempted the Daytona 500 with Larry Foyt behind the wheel.(Frontstretch)(5-28-2006)

    • Stewart OK after Busch wreck at LMS: #20-Tony Stewart has been cleared to drive in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., after crashing in Saturday night's Carquest 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's. Stewart, driving for Kevin Harvick Inc., in the Carquest 300, spun in turn four and impacted the SAFER barrier on lap 10 of the 200-lap race. After being transported to the speedway's infield care center, he complained of discomfort in his right shoulder. As a result, NASCAR medical personnel dispatched Stewart to Carolinas Medical Center University for precautionary X-rays. Those X-rays proved negative.(True Speed Communication)(5-28-2006)

    • Nemechek's Car Damaged in practice: Joe Nemechek's #01 US Army Chevy was damaged when the blown-out side window from Reed Sorenson's #41 Target Dodge slammed into Nemechek's car during Saturday's practice. The impact shifted the radiator in Nemechek's car and caused the right front tire to blow.(Roanoke Times)(5-28-2006)


      News from May 27, 2006

    • Yates gets a Roush Chassis, to run Roush cars; 'big-name' driver ready to sign? The team [Robert Yates Racing] has been heavily involved with youngsters Matt McCall and Stephen Leicht, who have been running a combination of Busch and ARCA races in trying to get them ready for the Cup level. But with neither driver ready to step in to replace Jarrett, who will depart next year for Toyota, they both could end up elsewhere sooner rather than later. “Some of it was really the decision of mine is to try and get the two Cup teams right and have maybe one Busch team and get rid of the other stuff,” Robert Yates said. “Our great plans were to do all this stuff, but it wasn’t working, so we took all the energy and took it and relocated it. It’s all an effort to perform better. We are not going to run ARCA. We are going to focus on our two Cup deals and the #90 car (Busch). That will be shared between Elliott and both of our drivers. I’m working very hard to get full-time Busch work for both of the development drivers (Leicht and McCall) because they need to be running every week.” One immediate mechanical change is that the team has purchased its first Roush Racing chassis and will begin using Roush cars. They are also searching for a driver to replace Jarrett and, perhaps, a new sponsor if UPS moves on. Robert Yates hinted that he had a big-name driver ready to sign on the bottom line — if the team can improve its results.(Speed Channel)(5-27-2006)

    • Gordon hopes to run 'double' again soon: Robby Gordon told Sirius Speedway (MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio) that the door is not closed on a driver running both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day, and that he is considering attempting the Indy/Charlotte double next season. "They changed the starting time for the Indy 500, but Indianapolis also changed time zones," he said. "It's still possible for someone to do both, and I may try it again next year. I've come close to winning the Indy 500 before, and it's still a goal of mine at some point in my career. But I'm not interested in `doing the double' just for the sake of doing it. I want to be competitive in both races, with a chance to win. I'm not interested in riding around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the middle of the pack. If I can't be compeitive and have a chance to win, I won't do it."(MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio)(5-27-2006)

    • Sad News: Ron Perry: Ronald Douglas Perry, 58, of Troutman, NC, passed away on Wednesday, May 24, 2006. Perry was Parts Manager for Ganassi Racing. He was a Vietnam Veteran, having served in the US Marine Corps. Mr. Perry was a recipient of the Purple Heart. He is survived by his fiance, Marsha Feltz, of Mooresville; children, Chase Perry and wife, Megan, of Dunn, and Nicole Wolcott and husband, Stephen, of Concord; brothers, Fred Perry, of Montague, NY, Ed Perry, of Mt. Dora, FL, and Dennis Perry, of Fulton, NY; and sister, Brenda Arnold, of Fulton, NY. Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm/et Sunday, May 28, 2006, at the Cavin-Cook Funeral Home Chapel, Mooresville, NC. A memorial service will be held at a later date in New York. The family will receive friends from 6:00 - 8:00pm/et Saturday, May 27, 2006, at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, and from 1:00 - 2:00pm/et, Sunday, prior to the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 222 S. Church St., Suite 303, Charlotte, NC 28202. Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, is serving the family of Mr. Perry.(Charlotte Observer - Guestbook)(5-27-2006)

    • Man Loses Both Legs in Non-Racing Accident at LMS Dirt Track: A foundation has been set up for Chris James following an accident on Wednesday night at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Injuries stemming from the incident required the amputation of both of James’ legs. James is a regular driver with the Redneck Racing Series and CRASHCar division at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He pilots the #38 “Rimer Rocket.” The 40-year-old James is married to his wife Lori and has two children, Lynn (19) and Mandi (17). James was injured while volunteering to drive a “packer” car at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Wednesday night prior to the World of Outlaws event at the track. James has driven “packer” cars for several years and was helping to get the track in shape for the night’s racing. James got out of his car to allegedly remove a piece of debris from the track and was subsequently hit by another “packer” car, pinning him against his car and the wall. James was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has undergone several operations, including one that resulted in both of his legs being amputated below the knee. James will remain in the hospital for an unknown period of time. More info on how to donate and the wreck at 51sportsracing.com.(5-27-2006)

    • Labonte to unveil cereal packages UPDATE: On Friday, May 26 at Speed Street, #43-Bobby Labonte will unveil two limited-edition cereal packages, a Cheerios package featuring Labonte and his family and a Honey Nut Cheerios package featuring Labonte and "The King" Richard Petty. The new packages welcome Labonte and his family to the Cheerios Racing / Petty Enterprises family.(Axiom PR)(5-26-20006)
      UPDATE: Bobby Labonte, driver of Petty Enterprises’ #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, will soon be racing into Supermarkets throughout the country on limited-edition boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios, Labonte unveiled the new packages today at an event at Speed Street, the annual racing festival in Charlotte. Specially marked 15-ounce Cheerios packages welcome Labonte and his family to the Cheerios Racing Family. Specially marked 20-ounce Honey Nut Cheerios packages feature Labonte and “The King” Richard Petty, who drove the #43 to [most of his] 200 wins during his career.(General Mills PR)(5-27-2006)

    • Hawk leaves NASCAR? According to an industry source, Don Hawk and NASCAR have parted ways. Hawk has served as the NASCAR Director of Regional Racing Development — which oversees the touring divisions, including the Busch East and Whelen Modified Series — for the past three seasons. Hawk could not be reached for comment.(The Day)(5-27-2006)

    • K&M's Logo To Be Run on #99 at LMS: Office Depot announced that K&M Storage of Dodge City, KS, will become the "Official Small Business of NASCAR, courtesy of Office Depot" for the remainder of the 2006 Nextel Cup race season. The winning company is being celebrated at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where K&M Storage owner Duane Nietling will join with driver Carl Edwards, Roush Racing owner Jack Roush and Tony Ueber, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Office Depot, to unveil the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion. The car features the new K&M Storage logo that will make its debut on track during the Coca-Cola 600. The new K&M logo is being featured on the TV panel (rear panel on a NASCAR racecar) of the #99 Office Depot Ford Fusion during this weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Throughout the rest of the season, the logo will be on the car's b-post (located between the front and rear windows). As part of the prize package, Office Depot is also printing a year's supply of new business cards, letterhead and envelopes for K&M to use. Plus, K&M receives a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot, as well as the advice of a small business expert to K&M take full advantage of their new business and marketing assets. To kick off K&M Storage's role as the "Official Small Business of NASCAR," Nietling and three guests are spending a VIP weekend in Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600, including a tour of the Roush Racing shop, and the opportunity to meet Edwards and the Office Depot #99 team. More info on Office Depot Racing at officedepotracing.com.(PR)(5-27-2006)

    • LMS Tire Notes: This is the first time Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to the track . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will run the same tire set-up this weekend . . . this is the only track at which NASCAR teams will run this tire set-up in 2006 . . . as on all ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window for the Coca-Cola 600 is every 36-40 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), se full tire notes, pressures, codes on my Charlotte Race Info/Rundown Page.(5-27-2006)

    • Panch to be honored: Marvin Panch, the oldest living winner of the race now known as the Coca-Cola 600, will be recognized during the prerace ceremonies for Sunday's Nextel Cup event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Panch, 79, will be honored as part of the race's festivities as he celebrates the 40th anniversary of his win in the race.(SceneDaily.com)(5-27-2006)

    • Sadler injured but is OK.....more: at the end of Speed Channel's Trackside show Friday, Jeff Hammond dove off the stage into the crowd, which caught Hammond [unlike the Penske crewman at the Nextel Challenge], Elliott Sadler, driver of the #38 M&M's Ford for RYR, was also on the show, and before Hammond did his dive, he dared Sadler to join him, after Hammond's successful dive, Sadler attempted his dive and slipped, supposedly sustaining some sort of head injury. The camera's moved away for the scene, Steve Byrne's the host of the show, mention Sadler may had injured his head, closed up the show and they signed off. As of 8:55pm/et, have not heard any updates on if Sadler is injured and if he is, how serious. Anything I find out off official nature will be posted.
      UPDATE: John Roberts mentioned as Speed Channel's Tradin' Paint show that Sadler is fine after his mishap and will race on Sunday.
      MORE-PR: Elliott Sadler, driver of the #38 Ford in the Nextel Cup Series, sustained only minor injuries on Friday evening after a fall from a stage in Uptown Charlotte during the taping of the television program “Trackside Live” broadcast on The Speed Channel. After rain showers earlier in the evening, Sadler slipped from the outdoor stage due to the wet surface bruising his left thigh. He sustained no other injuries as previously reported. Sadler was seen by an onsite medical team and left under his own power. He will compete in the scheduled NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Elevation Group PR)(5-26-2006)
      AND: Today before the start of Cup practice at Lowes Motor Speedway Elliott Sadler told Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio that he feels fine after falling from the SPEED Trackside LIVE Stage last night. "I'm fine. I got a little bruise on my left leg from where I landed on the side of the stage last night. But everything else is great. I didn't even hit my head on anything. Everybody was kind of jumping to conclusions [the initial reports from Speed said he hit his head] but as far as me I'm fine. Everything's cool. I'm going to race tonight and tomorrow night. I got a sore left leg so I might limp a little bit but other than that I'm in good shape." Sadler did not even appear to be limping as he got in his #38 M&M's Fordo for practice this afternoon at LMS.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(5-27-2006)


      News from May 26, 2006

    • Another Toyota Team? hearing that Wyler Racing [#60 Jack Sprague in Truck Series] will be another Toyota team that makes the move up into the Nextel Cup Series in 2007 running in the COT [Car of Tomorrow events) . The team is currently in discussions with sponsors and potential drivers. There is also the possiblity of the team fielding a Toyota entry in the Busch Series in 2007. Wyler Racing will continue to field at least one truck in the Craftsman Truck Series as well.(5-26-2006)

    • Stewart to sport POWERade scheme at Dover: #20-Tony Stewart will take on the infamous Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway on June 4, 2006 with a little extra power behind his ride and a little extra support for his charity. While Stewart’s orange Chevrolet is recognized by NASCAR fans everywhere, the #20 will sport a different kind of orange in Dover after it’s decked out in custom POWERade Orange graphics to support the launch of the new, commemorative clutch bottle of the popular sports drink and to raise money for the Tony Stewart Foundation. Stewart will officially unveil the new racecar following the personal delivery of multiple cases of POWERade 32oz Orange to a Home Depot location in Atlanta on May 31st. As part of the initiative, POWERade is donating $100,000 to the Tony Stewart Foundation.(Coca-Cola/POWERade PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2006)

    • "Design Dale’s Ride” Coloring Contest - VOTE: Ten finalists have been selected in The UPS Store "Design Dale’s Ride" coloring contest. The contest, which was open to submissions from April 1 to April 29, offered kids ages 5 to 12 a chance to design this year’s The UPS Store/Toys for Tots #88 Ford, which NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett will race in November. From May 20th to May 29th, the public is invited to vote online for their favorite design by visiting The UPS Store web site, www.theupsstore.com.
      The ten finalists, chosen out of more than 2,500 contest entries, are:
      Annabelle H., California, age 12
      Colin G., New York, age 10
      Gracie V., Washington, age 9
      Hannah W., Pennsylvania, age 10
      Jaret J., Indiana, age 8
      Kyle K., Michigan, age 10
      Lindsay M., Virginia, age 8
      Mohnish R., New Jersey, age 9
      Quinlan S., Washington, age 11
      Victoria S., Texas, age 10
      A panel of judges including representatives from The UPS Store and UPS Racing selected the finalists. The contest winner will be determined by online voting (25%), and a panel representing The UPS Store (25%), UPS Racing (25%) and Dale Jarrett, Inc. (25%).
      The winner will receive a trip to the Pepsi 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla., on July 1 for the unveiling of the car; a hometown viewing party to watch the car race on Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway; a custom-fit, autographed racing suit to match the one Dale will wear, and a Crayola prize pack including Crayola Color Explosion, Crayola Twistables and Crayola Erasable Markers. Additionally, the winner’s school will receive 10,000 free copies from The UPS Store along with an art supplies package for the art department, courtesy of Crayola.(PR)(5-26-2006)

    • Kenseth running R&L Carriers colors at LMS: This Sunday, at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth will pilot the yellow and green #17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion. R+L Carriers joined Roush Racing in January as an associate sponsor on the #17 DEWALT team, but this weekend becomes the primary on the car driven by Kenseth. For the first time since 1997 R+L Carriers, the family owned trucking company out of Wilmington, Ohio, will be the primary sponsor on a car in NASCAR's top division. The Coca-Cola 600 marks the first of three races during the 2006 season in which R+L Carriers will serve as the primary sponsor for Kenseth and Roush Racing's #17 NEXTEL Cup team. The other two races are the July race at Daytona and the October race at Martinsville. Based out of Wilmington, Ohio, R+L Carriers is a family owned and operated company that with over 40 years of committed service to their customers, has grown to be one of today's leaders in the Less than Truckload (LTL) industry. With nearly 10,000 employees, R+L Carriers Inc. currently services 49 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and all of Canada.(Roush Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2006)

    • Dale Earnhardt Legend Leadership Award Winners Named: The Dale Earnhardt Foundation has named the individuals and organizations to receive its annual Legend Leadership Award. The Dale Earnhardt Legend Leadership Award was established to recognize deserving individuals and/or charitable organizations that offer outstanding solutions to problematic issues we all face, either in our local communities or daily lives. The Legend Leadership Award highlights the importance of leadership in improving people's lives and to showcase resourceful leaders that are bringing about positive change. By recognizing and sharing the stories of these leaders, The Dale Earnhardt Foundation hopes to inspire others to become leaders in their own communities.
      In honor of Dale Earnhardt's record seven NASCAR Cup Championships; The Dale Earnhardt Foundation will annually award up to seven grants of up to $7,000 each. The winners were honored during a special ceremony at the corporate headquarters of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. on Dale Earnhardt Day, April 29, 2006. Each winner will also receive a signature trophy and have their names prominently displayed at Dale Earnhardt Inc. for the following year. The cash award will be in the form of a grant to a winning charitable organization. In the case of an individual winner, the cash award is restricted for the educational support and/or tuition assistance of the winner, or a member of the winner's immediate family, in pursuing a secondary education at an accredited institution. For more information and to obtain an entry form, visit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation website at www.TheDaleEarnhardtFoundation.org. Founded in 2002 by Teresa Earnhardt, The Dale Earnhardt Foundation was established to carry on Dale's name and good works through charitable causes he supported during his lifetime.
      2005 Legend Leadership Award Winners
      Suitcases for Kids (Aubyn Burnside) - Hickory, NC
      Cribs for Kids Program - Maternity Care Coalition - Philadelphia, PA
      Operation Caring Through Sharing (Brenda George) - Ormond Beach, FL
      Animals for Alex (Welland Burnside) - Murrells Inlet, SC
      The Child Connection - Louisville, KY.(see full explanation of each and more at the DEI site)(5-26-2006)

    • Tragic News: Spencer Clark: Nineteen year-old NASCAR Busch Series driver Spencer Clark died late Sunday night in a single-car accident on Interstate 40 about forty miles east of Albuquerque, NM. Clark, who was a passenger in the truck, was returning to his native Las Vegas after spending the last couple of weeks preparing a car in the Charlotte area for this weekend’s West Series race at the Irwindale Speedway. As his truck and trailer were navigating the tricky crosswinds over the Sandia Mountain range, an unexpected gust of wind began a short sequence of events that ultimately led to the vehicle overturning. Clark was pronounced dead on the scene. Clark made his Busch Series debut at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past March with the help of local Las Vegas sponsor, Allegiant Air. Clark qualified the car 33rd and finished 35th after a day of learning and adapting to the high-level competition. The day was even more special to Spencer as he had grown up winning multiple main-events on the bullring located just outside turn two of the superspeedway and had been able to race in front of some of the same people that had supported him from the very beginning of his career. In eight career NASCAR West Series races, Clark had recorded three top-5 finishes and a pole at Phoenix in January. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.(Motorsports Management PR)(5-22-2006)

      SERVICES: Funeral services for Spencer Clark will take place on Thursday, May 25. Visitation will take place from 2-4 p.m. at Canyon Ridge Christian Church located at 6200 Lone Mountain Rd. Services will begin at 4 p.m. followed by a procession to Palm Mortuary on N. Jones Rd. for his burial. A reception will be held at the church at 7 p.m. Friends and fans are invited to attend.(5-24-2006)
      AND Spencer was ejected along with driver Andy Phillips, a former University of Hawaii football player from Phoenix who was part of Spencer's race team. A spokesman for the New Mexico state police said its highly unlikely either would have died had seat belts been worn. We'll never know why they weren't used or what caused Phillips to lose control of the truck. On Thursday, Spencer was eulogized, buried and celebrated. A special tribute will be held Saturday night at the start of the NASCAR Weekly Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Bullring. Spencer's #23 Legends Car will be driven around the track one last time in a memorial lap as other drivers stand nearby.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(5-26-2006)


      News from May 25, 2006

    • Riggs wins pole for Coke 600: #10-Scott Riggs won the Bud Pole for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a speed of 187.865 for his 1st pole of 2006 and 2nd of his career [40 races ago at Martinsville in April 2005]. Teammate #19-Jeremy Mayfield will start 2nd, followed by #48-Jimmie Johnson, #18-J.J. Yeley and #43-Bobby Labonte. #44-Terry Labonte qualified 34th for his final Coke 600. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #70-Sauter, #44-Labonte, #40-Stremme, #32-Kvapil, #78-Wallace, #15-Menard, #4-Wimmer and #74-Cope. Missing the race were: #55-Waltrip [his first miss since 10/1998 at Phoenix, 261 races], #61-Chaffin, #51-Garvey, #34-Blount, #49-Lepage, #00-Sauter, #95-Barrett, #27-Shelmerdine, #37-Long and #72-Davis. Qualifying will re-air on Speed Channel on 5/26 at 2:00am/et and 3:00pm/et and 5/27 at 12:00am/et.
      See the qualifying results, starting lineup, pole progression, non Top-35 drivers on my Charlotte Qualifying/Lineup/Grid Page.(5-25-2006)

    • Charlotte News and Notes:
      • Scott Riggs won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Coca-Cola 600, lapping Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 28.744 seconds at 187.865 mph. Elliott Sadler holds the track-qualifying record of 27.948 seconds, 193.216 mph - set Oct. 13, 2005.
      • This is Riggs’s second career Bud Pole in 82 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. This is his first Bud Pole and first top-10 start in 2006. His other Bud Pole came at Martinsville last spring.
      • This is Riggs’s second top-10 qualifying effort in five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. His other top-10 here was in October 2004.
      • Riggs became the eighth different Bud Pole winner this season.
      • Jeremy Mayfield posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.832 seconds, 187.292 mph – and will join Riggs on the all-Evernham Motorsports front row for the Coca-Cola 600. This is Mayfield’s sixth top-10 start in 25 races at Charlotte, but his first since October 2000. It is just his second top-10 start in 2006.
      • This is the fifth Bud Pole for Dodge in 2006. Chevrolet and Ford each have three. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his eighth top-10 start this season. It is also his eighth top-10 start in 10 races at Charlotte.
      • J.J. Yeley (fourth) posted his fourth top-10 start of the 2006 season. Yeley is making his career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at Charlotte.
      • Bobby Labonte (fifth) Labonte posted his fourth top-10 start in 2006. It is his 14th top-10 start in 27 races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
      • Johnny Sauter (14th) qualified for his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race since Phoenix in November 2005.
      • Ten drivers failed to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600: Kevin Lepage, Hermie Sadler, Chad Chaffin, Michael Waltrip, Stanton Barrett, Mike Garvey, Chad Blount, Carl Long, Kirk Shelmerdine, and Kertus Davis. The last time Waltrip failed to qualify for a race was at Phoenix in October 1998. The last time there was a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race without a Waltrip participating was the final race of 1975.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-25-2006)

    • Ramblings - LMS:
      Ray Evernham Dodge's swept the front-row tonight at Lowe's Motor Speedway as Scott Riggs took the Bud Pole for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 with a time of 28.744 sec (187.865), barely edging out teammate Jeremy Mayfield by less than 1/10th of a second. This is Riggs' second career top-spot (his other one came at Martinsville in April of 2005) and will qualify him for next February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.....he's entrant #8 thus far.
      Jeremy Mayfield (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at The Brickyard last August.
      Welcome Back Johnny Sauter (14th). This is his best starting spot since he lined up 13th at Richmond last May (only 6 races).
      Terry Labonte (24th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 20th at Michigan last August (only 12 races).
      STREAKIN....Greg Biffle has 11 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Denny Hamlin has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
      The Trouble Train is a long (and surprising) one tonight as 10 cars failed to make the field. Kevin Lepage, Hermie Sadler, Chad Chaffin, Michael Waltrip, Stanton Barrett, Mike Garvey, Chad Blount, Carl Long, Kirk Shelmerdine, and Kertus Davis all miss the race.....but don't be surprised if we some some financial wheelin' and dealin' by race time. At the very least I would suspect we'll see those NAPA decals on some car Sunday Night.(Stock Car Fans)(5-25-2006)

    • Sadler good at Yates thru 2008 UPDATE: Though #38-Elliott Sadler’s name continues to be bandied about in the pool of Silly Season rumors, a Robert Yates Racing representative confirmed that Sadler is under contract with the team, through the end of the 2008 season.(Speed Channel)(5-22-2006)
      UPDATE: While saying there is an out in his contract if he wished to exercise it, Elliott Sadler said Thursday he has no intention of leaving Robert Yates Racing. With Dale Jarrett already leaving at season's end to go to Michael Waltrip's Toyota team, speculation has now transferred to teammate Sadler. "I'm not unhappy; I'm just frustrated with the way we've been running," Sadler said at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "That is two different scenarios. There's a difference in being unhappy and being frustrated. I'm frustrated just because I want to run good." As far as his contract goes, Sadler says he's staying put. "I've been reading stuff about, 'Contract this and contract that,' and I haven't even looked at my contract," the driver of the #38 Ford said. "I don't think that's important. Yes, I do have an out if I want an out, but who cares? I want to get this team running. My responsibility is to put that 38 car up front each and every week." Sadler said he hasn't received any offers from other teams. He also said he's not in a rush to look into the "out" clause. And he said his plan is to return to the team owned by Robert and Doug Yates next year. "I plan to come back. I think it's my duty," Sadler said. "I love my sponsor. They take care of me very well. I've loved working with Robert and Doug, and they have pretty much taken the company back in their arms and in their control, and they want to make things happen."(SceneDaily.com)(5-25-2006)

    • New BAM crew chief; Lepage hopes to sign thru 2007: Greg Conner has replaced Ron Otto as crew chief for BAM Racing's #49 Dodge. Conner came to BAM with driver Kevin Lepage earlier this month after both started the year with the No. 61 Peak Performance team, which was sold to Front Row Motorsports. Lepage replaced driver Brent Sherman. "When I came to this deal, that was part of the deal to bring him along just to have the transition of what the driver feels and if he says this, what it means and how to adjust the car," Lepage said. "Now that he has taken over the full-time deal, I think it's going to make this program stronger, quicker." Lepage, who joined the team for the Richmond race, said he expects to sign a contract soon that will keep him at BAM through the 2007 season. "We're still talking. This looks like where I'm going to be through this year and next year," he said. "Do I have contract signed, sealed and delivered? No. But we've been talking and everything is leaning toward it is going to happen. Right now, all I want to do is run good and get this race team back up where it needs to be."(SceneDaily.com)(5-25-2006)

    • Hendrick plans to keep Knaus: #48 crew chief, Chad Knaus isn't going anywhere says team owner Rick Hendrick. When the contract for Jimmie Johnson and his sponsor Lowes was extended until 2010 last week, one loose end had yet to be tied. Chad Knaus, crew chief for Johnson is currently under contract to the team until 2007 and when his name wasn’t among those who were re-signed last week, speculation began that perhaps Knaus would soon be headed for the door. Knaus has been under the microscope after he was caught cheating and forced to sit out for four races at the start of the year and the rumors began to fly that perhaps Knaus would be forced out or would leave to start his own team as his mentor Ray Evernham did several years ago. There’s no problem with the Knaus contract according to team owner Rick Hendrick. “I don’t know how that all got out on the street that we weren’t re-upping Chad,” Hendrick said Thursday at Lowes, as teams get ready for the Coca-Cola 600. “Usually with crew chiefs a year in advance is enough, so we’re happy with Chad and I think Chad is happy. He plays a big part not just in the 48 team, but in our whole organization. We look for Chad to be with us for a long time. We’ve already talked about this week trying to going ahead and finish up the contract and go ahead and put that to bed.”(Cup Scene Daily)(5-25-2006)

    • Air Force Airman to be honored at Coke 600: Air Force Senior Airman Dan Acosta, will be attending the Coca-Cola 600 NEXTEL Cup race on 28 May at Lowe's Motor Speedway. SRA Acosta was wounded in Western Baghdad on Dec. 7, 2005. He was part of an EOD team assigned to locate and disarm an explosive device, which his team did, and they located a second device, but missed the third, which was tripped and as a result of the explosion lost his left arm and severely injured both of his legs. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation and wants to eventually return to his EOD unit. SRA Acosta will be the Air Force recipient of the Stonewall Jackson Award for Patriotism that will be given out during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race activities. Also attending the race will be Lt. Gen Dennis Larsen. Lt Gen Larsen is the Vice Commander, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. AETC recruits, trains and educates more than 370,000 men and women for the Air and Space force and the nation. In addition, the #21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion, which the Air Force is an Associate Sponsor, will be running a special Air Force primary paint scheme.(Air Force PR)(5-25-2006)

    • Backhoe scheme on #22 CAT car at LMS: Dave Blaney and the Caterpillar #22 car will sport a special paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend. It will feature the new Caterpillar E-Series Backhoe Loaders. Three models from the Backhoe Loader Line have been updated, including the 416E, 420E and 430E. The newly styled Cat 416E Backhoe Loader has been worked into the design of Bill Davis's #22 car for the Sunday night race. To learn more about all the features of the new Caterpillar E-Series Backhoe Loaders, visit www.CAT.com.(BDR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(5-25-2006)

    • Another Wallace in Cup? Stephen Wallace told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) that he is working to schedule a handful of Nextel Cup starts with his father's Rusty Wallace, Inc., team. "I've been beating it into my father's head 365 days a year to do something," said Wallace. "I've got him about 90-percent there, and I think we'll have some kind of announcement soon. We've got the groundwork in place for a lot of ARCA and Busch racing in the next year or so, but I want to run a couple of Cup races, too. I know we're in this for the long haul, and there's plenty of time. But I want to do it." Wallace was at Michigan International Speedway Tuesday watching David Stremme test an RWI ARCA car, in preparation for running the Hantz Group 200 there on June 16th.(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(5-25-2006)

    • Special #07 Scheme at LMS: Clint Bowyer’s #07 Chevy will sport a Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails paint scheme during this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 festivities at LMS. Bowyer will travel to the Pocono Mountains on Tuesday to participate in the Stock Car Experience at Pocono Raceway to help familiarize himself with the tricky, triangular-shaped track. Bowyer has yet to race or see the 2.5-mile racetrack.(RCR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes age.(5-25-2006)

    • Burton could test in Canada UPDATE NO: Jeff Burton probably will be the driver chosen to test a 750-horsepower Chevy on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve June 19 or 20 [2006]. By then, Canadian Formula One Grand Prix race promoter Normand Legault hopes to have confirmed a summer 2007 race in the Busch Series, a circuit populated by many Nextel Cup stars and by drivers being groomed for the top league. Legault expects to renew an Ile Notre Dame race-site lease soon with the city of Montreal, his landlord. The ink might not even be dry on that document when he announces a NASCAR race. The timing of a mid-June stock-car test would be ideal - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a temporary road course, will be in full race trim for the June 23-25 Grand Prix weekend, and Burton will be a short flight away, having run a Nextel Cup race in Brooklyn, Mich., on June 18.(Montreal Gazette)(5-23-2006)
      UPDATE: Jeff Burton is not scheduled to test a Busch Series car in Montreal as speculated by the Montreal Gazette.(RCR)(5-25-2006)

    • Jellen up to the Challenge: Peter Jellen, Transport Driver for the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Team [J.J. Yeley], was all smiles Monday, after his driving skills earned him the victory in the second Chicane Course of the 2006 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge. The Chicane took place at the Charlotte Knight's Baseball Stadium. Each competitor was judged on his ability to avoid obstacles and navigate the course safely. The course consisted of six stations each requiring an array of skills. Bill "Stump" Lewis, of the #2 Penske Racing team, was leading the challenge until the final station, when a bumped cone deduction gave Jellen the victory. 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." For more information on the challenge visit pilottruckchallenge.com.(5-25-2006)

    • Preparing a Texaco celebration: The 2007 season will mark Texaco/Havoline’s 20th year as a sponsor in NASCAR. From Davey Allison to Mears, Texaco/Havoline has a rich history in the sport. To commemorate its history, Texaco/Havoline is printing a one-of-a-kind book filled with photos and stories submitted by fans, drivers, crew members and media. Fans can submit their favorite story, interesting tale or special moment in their life involving the Texaco/Havoline race team beginning May 24 at www.texacohavoline42.com or by calling 800-518-0028.(PR)(5-25-2006)

    • Forbes: Roush Most Valuable: Forbes magazine says Roush Racing is currently the most valuable organization in NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch series competition, with a net worth the publication estimates at $218 million. In its June 5 edition, Forbes says Roush's five Cup and six Busch entries have lined up sponsorship estimated at $108 million this year and have earned $8.3 million on the track this season. Hendrick Motorsports ranks second with a value of $146 million for four Cup and two Busch entries. Forbes calculates the team's sponsorships are producing $77 million revenue this year. Joe Gibbs Racing ranks third ($103 million), followed by Richard Childress Racing ($100 million) and Chip Ganassi Racing ($79 million).(SceneDaily.com)(5-25-2006)

    • Darlington TV Ratings: the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway on Fox scored a 4.8 rating with a 10 share and total viewer 7,861,000. The rating was down from 2005 [5.6/11] but was the highest rated sproting even of the weekend, beating out the NBA playoffs [3.5/9, 4,795,000],(Zap2It.com)(5-25-2006)


      News from May 24, 2006

    • Rudd tests sports car at Mid-Ohio..could race: On the heels of this morning's announcement that Al Unser Jr. will co-drive the #8 GlycoMax Porsche Doran with brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle in next weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, NASCAR star Ricky Rudd turned laps in the Synergy Racing Daytona Prototype at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today with an eye toward competing in future Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve events. On Wednesday, Rudd turned laps in the #8 GlycoMax Porsche Doran at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, which will host the Rolex Series next month, for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank, on the weekend of June 23-25. No deal has been announced for Rudd to drive in any 2006 Rolex Series events. Rudd was joined at Mid-Ohio by 2005 EMCO Gears Classic winner Elliott Forbes-Robinson, who is an instructor at the course. "I love the track," said Rudd. "I've always enjoyed road courses and I really like the new surface at Mid Ohio, even though this is my first time here. I've always been fascinated with Grand-Am. Right now, I'm just trying to get rid of all of the habits I learned in NASCAR, because these cars are so different from stock cars. I am lucky that Elliott took me around the track today because there's really nobody better to learn this place from than him." The Virginia native is also no stranger to other Rolex Series circuits, as Rudd posted a season-best runner-up NEXTEL Cup finish at Infineon Raceway last year. The Infineon circuit was also the site of Rudd's last NASCAR victory, which came in 2002. The Sonoma, Calif. venue will host to the Rolex Series in 2006 for the season's penultimate race on the weekend of August 24-26.( grandamerican.com)(5-24-2006)

    • Mayfield to Davis? Waltrip? UPDATE no way: #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.(5-21-2006)
      UPDATE: #19-Jeremy Mayfield says he working hard to help his team turn around their 2006 season and denies garage area gossip he's looking for another ride. Mayfield told PRN's Garagepass; "As far as me out looking that's defiantly not true, I haven't been out looking nowhere for nothing. I have a contract with Ray (Evernham) I'm driving for Ray and Dodge. My head has been down working on our own stuff trying to get our own stuff better. Our deal is hard enough as it is let alone start throwing the rumors and all that stuff around."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-24-2006)

    • Hamilton Honored: Bobby Hamilton, the owner/driver of the Bobby Hamilton Racing #18 Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series [along with the #04 and #4 trucks as owner], has been named the first-quarter winner of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award for 2006. Hamilton, a former Nextel Cup driver who scored four career wins in the Cup series before turning to trucks, announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with a form of head and neck cancer. He turned the driving duties of his popular No. 4 Dodge over to his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr., in order to concentrate on treating the disease. In conjunction with series sponsor Craftsman, Hamilton helped organize Tuesday night’s “Craftsman for a Cure” charity event, a program that allowed fans to meet and race go-karts with some of their favorite drivers. Proceeds from the event – as well as from an ongoing online auction of racing memorabilia – will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life as well as the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Speed Channel)(5-24-2006)

    • Martin/Labonte Milestones: #6-Mark Martin is scheduled to make his 650th series start on Sunday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, while Bobby Labonte is scheduled to make his 450th series start. Next wekk at Dover, #24-Jeff Gordon is scheduled to make his 450th series start [consecutive also].(5-24-2006)

    • Johnson looking for 4th straight Coke 600: Nine [actually 10] times in NASCAR history, drivers have won a particular event at least four consecutive times. Jimmie Johnson can join this elite group on Sunday by winning the Coca-Cola 600 for a fourth consecutive time. Following is a rundown of the previous nine instances.
      Driver Race Track Years
      Dan Gurney Motor Trend 500 Riverside 1963-66
      Richard Petty Nashville 400 Nashville 1964-67
      Richard Petty Old Dominion 500 Martinsville 1967-70
      Richard Petty Gwyn Staley 400 North Wilkesboro 1970-75
      Richard Petty Capitol City 500 Richmond 1970-74
      Darrell Waltrip Holly Farms 400 North Wilkesboro 1981-84
      Darrell Waltrip Valleydale 500 Bristol 1981-84
      Rusty Wallace Hanes 500 Martinsville 1993-96
      Jeff Gordon Food City 500/Spring Race Bristol 1995-98
      Jeff Gordon Mountain Dew Southern 500 Darlington 1995-98
      (NASCAR PR and made additions myself)(5-24-2006)

    • Goodyear Supports Tire Choice for Coke 600 weekend: Comments from Greg Stucker, Goodyear director of race tire sales and marketing:
      Q: Describe the tire to be used this weekend for the Busch and Nextel Cup races. How has it changed?
      A: We have a completely redesigned right side tire. It utilizes a new mold shape to address the tremendous loads that we measured in our tire test last fall. When this is combined with our harder tread compound, we get the more conservative setup.
      Q: How did these tires perform, from your perspective, in last weekend's All-Star events?
      A: We continue to see what we expected from our Goodyear Eagle tires in terms of tire wear, temperatures and appearance following last weekend's NASCAR racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Because of the new track surface and the changing conditions that you expect to experience between day and night racing, our tire selection was designed to err on the side of safety.
      Q: Some drivers and teams have said your tires are too hard and cause handling problems due to less grip. What is your reaction to this?
      A: Things went well in our recent tire tests, as well as throughout all of the racing activities last weekend. We're seeing that the conservative nature of these tires may require some teams to make changes in car setups and some drivers might have to adjust their driving styles.
      Q: What challenges do the new track surface present?
      A: The fact is that during the day, the sun brings out some of the oil in the fresh asphalt, causing it to get slick. We recognize that. But, overall, new pavement generates a lot of grip and a lot of heat. We must design a tire that works for all 43 different cars and drivers racing in both the daytime and in cooler evening conditions.
      Q: How does the racing change as the sun goes down and it gets cooler at a night race?
      A: We know the cars will be faster at night than during the heat of the day. We saw this last weekend. While teams are able to change setups from afternoon to evening, the tire has to work in all conditions, so that may necessitate the need for car setup and driving style adjustments.
      Q: What do you anticipate as we head into NASCAR's longest race on Sunday?
      A: We're comfortable with what we've seen with our tire recommendation and feel very good going into next weekend's Busch Series race and Nextel Cup Coca-Cola 600.(Goodyear PR)(5-24-2006)

    • Shepherd sells? UPDATES: haven't heard official, but the rumored sale of Morgan Shepherd's #89 team looks like it has been completed to Bryan Mullet, with Kertus Davis scheduled to drive in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the #72 Dodge [changed from #89, supposedly Shepherd may attempt a race late in the season using it], the sponsor Dutch Quality Stone and Shepherd's crew chief, Doug George.(5-22-2006)
      UPDATE: A new NASCAR race team plans to run 16 Nextel Cup races this year, beginning with this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the team announced. CJM Racing, based in Hickory, NC, will field Busch Series regular Kertus Davis in the their #72 Dodge Charger. The car will be sponsored by Dutch Quality Stone, team manager Keith Smith said during festivities to announce the new operation. The team has plans to run the full 2007 season. Busch Series competitor David Gilliland will drive the car at Infineon Raceway. The team will use more than one driver during the remainder of the 2006 season as it builds in preparation for a full schedule next year. Doug George will be the crew chief of the new team. George most recently served as crew chief for Morgan Shepherd's #89 entry, and has many years of prior racing experience. In addition to carrying primary sponsorship from Dutch Quality Stone, Smith said CJM also has several associate sponsors committed for the remainder of the season, including Dodge, ECO-FIRST, and others.(CJM Racing PR)(5-24-2006)

    • And Morgan Shepherd's plans? A deal for Morgan Shepherd and Christian business men Bryan and Tony Mullet of Dutch Quality Stone reached. Bryan and Tony Mullet, by their work with Morgan Shepherd and the "Victory In Jesus Racing Ministries", have seen the benefits and many lives touched by Morgan through that ministry. The Mullets have made it possible for the "Victory In Jesus Ministry" with Morgan Shepherd to operate for a number of years by the purchase of his race team. With this deal the ministry and racing will be separate. Morgan will retain the NEXTEL Cup #89 and the "Victory In Jesus Racing" name. The Mullets will introduce their new team, CJM Racing LLC #72 team, at the Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend. Kertus Davis will drive the #72 for that race. With the help of race fans, Morgan can continue to work toward his goal of putting a young deserving driver in the "Victory In Jesus Racing" #89 to bring heighten awareness to the "Victory In Jesus Ministry". Morgan Shepherd will be in the #0 car of Johnny Davis this weekend for the Busch Series CarQuest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Anyone interested in funding the "Victory In Jesus Racing" logo on the Davis car at Lowe' please contact Morgan by e-mail at morganshepherd.com.(PR)(5-24-2006)

    • Red Hot Chili Peppers Visit Roush: Before their performance during Saturday nights NEXTEL All Star event, the famed Red Hot Chili Peppers made a trip to the Roush Racing NEXTEL Cup shops in Concord, N.C. The four band members, Anthony Kiedis, Flea, John Frusciante, and Chad Smith, took a quick tour through the Roush shops with hosts Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards then it was outside to perform their first ever pit stop with the assistance of the #16 Ameriquest Busch team. The Red Hot Chili Peppers also spent some time with Roush Racing's up and coming stars, Erik Darnell and David Ragan.(Roush Racing PR)(5-24-2006)

    • New Head-Neck Restriant Certified: Safety Solutions has just announced the New Hutchens Hybrid head and neck restraint. The Hybrid is already SFI 38.1 Certified. The testing was witnessed by NASCAR Head and Neck Restraint Committee member John Melvin who commented that he liked the device. The Hybrid was officially submitted to NASCAR for evaluation last week. The device has already been in use in NHRA Funny Cars and borrows a number of attributes from Safety Solutions and LFT Technologies R3 and Hutchens II. The device features a low back to help get into and out of the race car and a short back section with a wide chest strap and two front buckle attachments to make it the most secure head and neck restraint on the market. For more information on the device see www.hutchensdevice.com.(Safety Solutions PR)(5-24-2006)

    • DLP to be used in premire of CARS at LMS: Texas Instruments DLP Cinema technology has been exclusively chosen as the digital cinema projection technology for the worldwide premiere of Disney/Pixar's thrilling new computer-animated feature, CARS at Lowe's Motor Speedway Friday May 26th [sold out]. Manufacturers Barco, Christie, and NEC are supplying a total of twelve DLP Cinema projectors to pull off an amazing feat of lighting up four custom built 115-foot screens for first ever multi-screen outdoor projection event. The world premiere will take place on Friday May 26th in the heart of NASCAR country at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC before a crowd of 30,000 movie and sports fans. The twelve DLP Cinema projectors will deliver an incredible 240,000 combined lumens and 35 trillion colors to light up the four 115' screens that will be positioned around turn two of the Speedway. This represents the largest square footage delivery of a movie ever. To top off the weekend, the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy [see image on the #96 Team Schemes page] rolet will be wrapped as the movie's main character, Lightning McQueen, for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Nextel Cup race on Sunday, May 28th.(HOF Racing PR)(5-24-2006)


      News from May 23, 2006

    • "Dale: The True Story" to debut in 2007: NASCAR Images and CMT films will release an authorized Dale Earnhardt documentary titled "Dale: The True Story" before next year's Daytona 500, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Plans call for airing the 90-minute film narrated by Paul Newman in markets where NASCAR races are scheduled. National Cinema Vice President/Digital Programming Dan Diamond, whose company is promoting the film, says the company also expects limited runs in major non-race markets such as New York, Denver and Seattle. Paramount Home Video will handle the film's DVD release late next year, while CMT will air it after it runs in theaters. The story says Richard Childress Racing, the team the seven-time NASCAR Cup champion drove for, and Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team he founded and which is now run by his widow, Teresa, are cooperating in the production. Tickets to the screenings in each market are expected to be $12.50 each and will include a souvenir magazine produced by Street & Smith's, the parent company of NASCAR Scene and SceneDaily.(SceneDaily.com)(5-23-2006)

    • RYR GM relesased? UPDATE: hearing that Robert Yates Racing [#38 and #88 teams] and team general manager Eddie D'Hondt have parted ways.
      UPDATE: Robert Yates, NASCAR car owner, announced today that he is re-evaluating the structure of the organization and has made a change in personnel at the management level of Robert Yates Racing (RYR). As part of the process, Eddie D’Hondt has been released from his position as general manager for RYR, effective immediately. “We are re-evaluating the way we are doing business from the top down,” Yates said. “This is a performance-based business and we have to evaluate the performance of where our cars are now. That begins with understanding our cars.” Doug Yates, head engine builder for RYR and son of Robert Yates, said the decision to make a change at the management level is a result of the Yates family reasserting themselves as the managers of their family-owned business. One of the first actions the team is taking is moving Raymond Fox, III back to the Nextel Cup shop where he will work with the #38 M&M’S Team and serve as a liaison between the Busch and Nextel Cup Series teams. “Raymond is very key to our organization,” Yates said. “The Busch program is important to us but we need his help elsewhere in the company and right now that is at the Cup shop where he’s worked since we started this organization.”
      “Eddie (D’Hondt) did a good job for us,” he said. “But this is our company and Robert and I have decided we need to get our arms around our company. We’re not happy with where we’re at as a race team. We need to reassert key people including ourselves.”(RYR PR)(5-23-2006)

    • New Wind Tunnel planned in Concord: A second incentive grant is in the works for the $40 million Haas CNC Racing wind tunnel proposed for a site near the Concord Regional Airport. Coming on the heels of a three-year, $626,668 incentive grant given the green light last week by Cabarrus County, Concord City Council on Monday set a public hearing for a second incentive grant for the project. The public hearing is slated for June 8. Concord City Manager Brian Hiatt said the incentive would come in the form of the city’s committal to provide electrical service and a $4 million investment towards electrical infrastructure at the Ivy Cline Road site. Hiatt said the city had plans to build an electrical substation at the site in the future, but the city will expedite its construction for the wind tunnel. He said because of the project’s size, the substation would be needed for the site. A fire station is also planned for a portion of the property where the wind tunnel would sit. The wind tunnel would be for commercial use, allowing motor sports and car manufacturers to perform aerodynamic testing and research on cars. Haas officials said that only 10 of its kind exist worldwide. Last year, Haas received up to $400,000 in incentives from Cabarrus County and Kannapolis when Haas moved its race car shop from Harrisburg to Kannapolis Gateway Business Park.(Kannaspolis Independent Tribune)(5-23-2006)

    • Kyle Busch fined for traffic infraction: #5-Kyle Busch was fined $150 plus court costs after being found guilty of improper driving this morning in Henrico General District Traffic Court. Busch was originally ticketed for reckless driving after an incident near the corner of South Laburnum Avenue and Williamsburg Road on April 12. He appeared in court this morning with attorney Toby Vick and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-23-2006)

    • Rookie News and Notes: #11-Denny Hamlin was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the May 13 Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway. Hamlin finished 10th, scoring his fourth top-10 of the 2006 season. He grabbed top rookie honors for the fifth time in 11 races. Hamlin has racked up two top-five finishes this season, more than any other freshman driver. At least one of the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 11 races this season. Two Raybestos Rookies rank among the top-20 in the NEXTEL Cup Series championship standings: Hamlin (13th) and Bowyer (16th). Matt Kenseth is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the Coca-Cola 600. Kenseth captured the 2000 600-mile race by .573-seconds over Bobby Labonte. Jimmie Johnson is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the pole in 46 previous Coca-Cola 600 races at Charlotte [NOTE: Dale Earnhardt Jr.also won the pole as a rookie in 2000]. Johnson took the top starting spot for the 2002 race. Only TWO Raybestos Rookies have led the most laps in the Coca-Cola 600: Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 175 laps in 2000 while Jimmie Johnson led 263 laps in 2002.(Raybestos PR), see points and more notes on my Rookies Page.(5-23-2006)

    • Ned Jarrett Amazed at NASCAR exhibit: An art exhibit brought back fond memories for NASCAR champion and local legend Ned Jarrett. “NASCAR Inspired,” a collection of more than 200 pieces of racing-themed artwork, opened last month at the Hickory Museum of Art. Jarrett saw the exhibit for the first time recently. He was impressed. “This is amazing,” he said, looking around at paintings, sculptures and more.(more at the Hickory Daily Record and hickorymuseumofart.org)(5-23-2006)


      News from May 22, 2006

    • NASCAR sticking with smaller fuel cells for Coke 600: While the cars in the Nextel All-Star Challenge had the smaller fuel cells in them Saturday night, the true test of the change will come in the May 28 running of the Coca-Cola 600. Although drivers have lobbied against the 13-14 gallon fuel cell being used instead of the 22-gallon one, NASCAR will go with the smaller fuel cell. The sanctioning body made that decision before testing earlier this month so that drivers could get the weight in their cars adjusted during their test sessions. "That deal is going to happen," Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said after the all-star race. "Even now that we've raced it, we had short runs and everything. We still don't have enough true live race data to pull it off."(SceneDaily.com)(5-22-2006)

    • Sadler good at Yates thru 2008: Though #38-Elliott Sadler’s name continues to be bandied about in the pool of Silly Season rumors, a Robert Yates Racing representative confirmed that Sadler is under contract with the team, through the end of the 2008 season.(Speed Channel)(5-22-2006)

    • JumpFly.com to Join McGlynn Racing: #74 McGlynn Racing and driver Derrike Cope announced JumpFly.com as the newest sponsor to the #74 NEXTEL Cup Series team. JumpFly.com professionally develops, implements and manages Google, Yahoo and MSN pay-per-click accounts, enabling clients to maximize Internet advertising results while saving time and money. JumpFly.com will make their debut appearance at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 28 for the Coco-Cola 600 and will remain an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2006 season. In addition, JumpFly.com will create and manage the team's online advertising campaign to aide in the search for additional sponsors to help further the growth and development of the McGlynn Racing team.(McGlynn Motorsports PR)(5-22-2006)

    • RYR Hopes to hear from UPS on decision soon; 4 Cup teams? UPDATE 2 Mears? Vickers?: Robert Yates Racing hopes to hear in the next two to three weeks whether UPS will return as a sponsor [on the #88 team], team general manager Eddie D'Hondt said Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. UPS is trying to decide whether to stay with RYR, move with current RYR driver Dale Jarrett over to Michael Waltirp Racing, where Jarrett will run a Toyota starting in 2007. or go to another team. "We're still talking with them," said D'Hondt, who added that there is no timeline for UPS to decide. "In three weeks time, I think we'll all know what we're all doing." The team is still in the early stages of looking for a replacement. It has two development drivers - Stephen Leicht and Matt McCall - currently running part-time Busch schedules. "There is a chance you may see them in a Cup car to get a race under their belt as the year goes on," D'Hondt said. "That's not written in stone, but it has been talked about. We're not going to rush them beyond what they are capable of. ... A year from now, I think Matt and Stephen will be ready." D'Hondt said eventually RYR would like to have four Nextel Cup teams and two Busch Series teams. "We're setting ourselves for a good future; we just have to live with what we're going through now," D'Hondt said.(SceneDaily.com)(5-20-2006)
      UPDATE: RYR is also waiting to hear if #88 team sponsor UPS will remain with RYR next year, move to the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota team with Dale Jarrett or go to another team entirely. If UPS moves to Waltrip’s organization, that may bump the team from two to three cars. Waltrip’s own Toyota will be sponsored by NAPA and a second team car will fly the Burger King colors in 2007, leaving UPS as a possible sponsor for a third MWR car. On the driver front, the Yates crew is said to be hot after Casey Mears, the biggest remaining name free agent.(Speed Channel)
      AND Who's the lead candidate for the #88 (possibly UPS) Ford in 2007? One name mentioned more than once is Brian Vickers, driver of the #25 GMAC Chevy owned by Rick Hendrick.(CircleTrackPlus.com)
      UPDATE 2: In response to the CircleTrackPlus.com posting up on the site today. The "Unsubstantiated Rumors' as they're classified as on the Web-Site are in fact just that. Vickers and Hendrick Motorsports remain committed to each other.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-22-2006)

    • More Tire Testing at Indy: Goodyear will bring #20-Tony Stewart, #9-Kasey Kahne and #38-Elliott Sadler back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 30 for one more day of testing a new tire compound to be used in the Nextel Cup Allstate 400 in August. Those three drivers tested tires for Goodyear at the track earlier this month. "We're just going to do a confirmation test and make sure what we selected there for that race is going to be good, and we'll be ready to go," Goodyear marketing and tire sales director Greg Stucker said Saturday night.(SceneDaiy.com)(5-22-2006)

    • "Sucking Air"? engines at the Daytona 500? It's taken a while for word to leak out, but the big Daytona 500 trick this season - which NASCAR discovered but made no announcement about - concerned engines "sucking air" to gain horsepower. That's the word from a top NASCAR crew chief, who asked not to be named, and it was confirmed by a top car owner, who likewise asked not to be named. "When they did the chassis-dyno tests on the Daytona engines, they found that a number of teams had made huge gains in horsepower, from 18 to 25 more horsepower over the last chassis dyno tests of restrictor-plate engines," the crew chief said. "You couldn't pick up that much horsepower with a restrictor-plate engine if you worked for seven years on it. And those teams picked up that much in just one year? It's because they were sucking air. You wouldn't believe how many teams at Daytona were sucking air."
      NASCAR rules are strict about sucking air - getting extra air into the engine cylinders by bypassing the restrictor plates that are designed to limit horsepower by choking down the air - and the penalties can be stiff. However no penalties were levied at Daytona. One key trick apparently was semi-legal - using a steel gasket instead of an aluminum gasket, and taking advantage of the gap of 10-thousandths-of-an-inch created when engine heat distorts the steel gasket. NASCAR officials realized they had a problem when they discovered that some of Daytona's fastest qualifiers were using engines that couldn't pass NASCAR's post-qualifying manifold leak tests. NASCAR officials were unable to confirm the legality of front-row qualifiers Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon until six hours after qualifying had ended. In response, NASCAR quietly changed some of its rules for Talladega, and some teams that had qualified very fast at Daytona were noticeably slower.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-22-2006)

    • Petty wins VOTE more: Kyle Petty and the #45 MyCokeRewards Dodge finished 22nd in the Nextel Open. At the conclusion of the race Petty was announced as the winner of the Nextel Fan Vote. Petty was then awarded the opportunity to race in the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Comments from Petty after he learned of the fan vote: "I think this is big, but I think it's big for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. We just appreciate all the fans that voted. I really hope they know how much they have helped touch the lives of the children that will be affected by this. Coca-Cola and our other partners, Wells Fargo, Schwan's and Tire Kingdom have really supported this program. I think this really shows how much people really care about the camp and the kids. I really believe the fans were voting for the camp and not for Kyle Petty. That really means a lot. We just really, really, appreciate all the fans that voted."(Moore Consulting Group)
      NOTE: have not seen any voting totals as of yet.(5-20-2006)
      UPDATE: As the result of the successful “Vote Kyle, Reward Victory Junction” campaign, Kyle Petty captured the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge fan vote and drove the MyCokeRewards #45 Dodge car to an eighth place finish in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway today. Through tremendous support from family, friends, sponsors, NASCAR fans and members of the NASCAR community, Petty earned the wildcard spot in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. As a result, Coca-Cola, Schwan's, Wells Fargo and Tire Kingdom are donating $275,000 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp -- a camp for chronically and critically-ill children. Kyle and Petty Enterprises also donated the purse money won in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge from Petty's eighth place finish, bringing the total donation to Victory Junction to $398.967. “This campaign was all about the kids,” said Petty. “Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Schwan's and Tire Kingdom developed a great program to honor me and reward Victory Junction at the same time. The money being donated will go towards sending more kids to the camp and continuing our overall mission of serving chronically and critically-ill children.” In addition to driving the #45 Dodge's special MyCokeRewards primary sponsorship paint scheme in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, Petty will carry the scheme in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28. Petty had a strong run in the All-Star Challenge. Petty started 20 th , but the team only had one way to go. Petty's MyCokeRewards Dodge was handling well and the car was to the liking of Petty. Petty moved up as he stayed patient and cars crashed. Petty's Dodge was also faster on longer runs. He made passed on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and moved in on Dale Jarrett in the final 20 lap segment. Petty finished a strong 8th.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)
      RESULTS: the top vote getters from nascar.com:
      1. #45-Kyle Petty 101,966
      2. #1-Martin Truex Jr. 50,018
      3. #38-Elliott Sadler 38,797
      4. #11-Denny Hamlin 18,863
      5. #31-Jeff Burton 18,376
      6. #7-Robby Gordon 15,401
      7. #49-Ken Schrader 10,021
      8. #25-Brian Vickers 18,616
      9. #07-Clint Bowyer 7,374
      10. #42-Casey Mears 7,310
      (NASCAR.com)(5-22-2006)



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