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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JUNE 27-JULY 2, 2006





      News from July 2, 2006

    • Marco Andretti to Ganassi...in Cup? UPDATE Denied: not much to report...but on the Fox Sports pre-race show at Sonoma, it was just mentioned in their news of the week, IRL driver Marco Andretti could be headed to Ganassi Racing as the driver of one of the three cars?(6-25-2006)
      UPDATE - Denied: Indy Racing League rookie Marco Andretti will be in Kansas City, Kan., this weekend, but he's not going to NASCAR. As he prepared to head for Kansas Speedway for Sunday's Kansas Lottery Indy 300, the 19-year-old third-generation racer seemed truly puzzled when queried about driving NASCAR stock cars in his future. Several print media reports and FOX-TV commentators, during the pre-race segment of last Sunday's telecast from Sonoma, Calif., had Marco being a candidate to join Chip Ganassi's Nextel Cup team. "Absolutely not. No way. No talk about NASCAR with anyone," the youngest Andretti said. "I don't know where that rumor started, but that's a part of our sport." Andretti insisted it was news to him when he received a recent call from his cousin, John Andretti, a NASCAR veteran currently racing in the Busch Series. "Man, you're actually the third person who told me -- next to John," Andretti said Wednesday. "He called me and said, 'Man, why don't you tell me these things?' I told him he just told me for the first time." Marco is a rookie Indy car driver under contract to his father's Andretti Green Racing organization. "Man 19 years old I'm just happy to be where I am. I'm definitely loving to be where I am here at AGR for the next three years," Andretti said.(Express Times)(7-2-2006)

    • DEI to 4 Cars in 2007? UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Vice President of Competition Richie Gilmore said Friday morning that the team is mulling an expansion to four Nextel Cup cars in 2007, up from two cars now. DEI already has committed to a third Cup car in 2007 for its full-time Busch Series regular driver, Paul Menard [#15 Chevy], but Gilmore said a fourth car is an option, possibly in concert with MB2 Motorsports. “We do want to make some determinations by the end of July about how many teams we will have next year,” Gilmore said. “Right now, we know we’re locked in on three Cup teams … next year. Moving that to four is a possibility for us right now. We hope to have that locked in by the end of July. We’re looking at all our options right now. Space is an issue with us right now, and that’s why we’re looking at MB2. That was one of the biggest reasons we were looking at MB2. We could help with resources and they could help with space.”(Speed Channel)(7-1-2006)
      UPDATE: DEI has asked Tony Eury, Sr., to become crew chief of DEI's fourth Cup team next season, if it happens.(Ford Racing)(7-2-2006)

    • Roush comments on Said's team/NASCAR rules: Car owner Jack Roush, who is selling #60-Boris Said cars and engines in exchange for tutoring Roush’s drivers on road racing, was thrilled with Said’s fourth-place run at Daytona,. “NASCAR’s got some new words in their rulebook that I don’t understand yet called an affiliation, so we’re affiliated with Boris and the No Fear guys,” Roush said. “I hope it’s OK with NASCAR. We helped them with the engineering. We put an engineer with them. We helped them with the car. Boris helped us with our road race stuff, which was a benefit to us at Sears Point, and I see the prospect of helping one another as we go down the road. There are strengths in our program and strengths in Boris that will make everything we do together stronger.”(Speed Channel)(7-2-2006)

    • Reutimann testing for MWR at Nashville: David Reutimann will be testing the #00 Burger King Cup Car for Michael Waltrip Racing at the Nashville Superspeedway on Monday, July 3.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(7-2-2006)

    • Spurrier attends Pepsi 400: South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier stopped by the Pepsi 400, He became interested in auto racing after ex-South Carolina sports information director Kerry Tharp, took a position with NASCAR. But even Spurrier seemed a little surprised to visit with the media before the race. "Me being up here, it must be a slow time or something," Spurrier said. "You don't have much to do." He doesn't claim to be a NASCAR expert but has become friends over the years with Dale Earnhardt Jr. over the years. "He pulls for the Gamecocks," Spurrier said. "So obviously I pull for him."(Florida Today)(7-2-2006)


      News from July 1, 2006

    • Stewart wins 2nd Pepsi 400 in a row: #20-Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd win in a row in this event, his 26th win of his career and his 2nd win of 2006. Stewart led 86 of 160 laps and came from 6th to 2nd before passing surprising #60-Boris Said to win the race, #5-Kyle Busch helped push Stewart and finished 2nd, followed by #2-Kurt Busch, #60-Boris Said, #17-Matt Kenseth, #38-Elliott Sadler, #42-Casey Mears, #26-Jamie McMurray, #29-Kevin Harvick and #07-Clint Bowyer. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, even thou leading 8 laps, was never a factor and finished 13th. #24-Jeff Gordon got caught up in a late wreck and finished 40th and out of the race, dropping him out of the top-10 in points. #16-Biffle also was involved in the wreck and fell out of the top 10, with #5-Busch and #11-Hamlin move back up into the top 10 points. There were 29 lead changes among 15 drivers and 6 cautions for 19 laps.
      Race Results on my Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points page.
      Race Rundown: see my Daytona Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-1-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Daytona [17 of 36 races]:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 2501
      #17-Matt Kenseth 2493 -8
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2234 -267
      #9-Kasey Kahne 2209 -292
      #20-Tony Stewart 2202 -299
      #6-Mark Martin 2177 -324
      #31-Jeff Burton 2152 -349
      #5-Kyle Busch 2095 -406
      #29-Kevin Harvick 2088 -413
      #11-Denny Hamlin 2048 -453
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(7-1-2006)

    • Daytona Race Notes:
      • Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, scoring his 26th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 265th career start.
      • Stewart climbed to 21st on NASCAR’s all-time winners list - tied with Fred Lorenzen.
      • Stewart scored his second victory in 2006. Stewart also won at Martinsville in April.
      • This was Stewart’s second straight Pepsi 400 victory. Stewart has scored nine top-10 finishes in the last nine restrictor-plate races, including six straight top-fives. This is Stewart’s 15th victory on a superspeedway.
      • Stewart won from the second-place starting position. One year ago he won this race from the Bud pole.
      • This is Stewart’s second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 16 races at Daytona. He has scored six top-10 finishes in the last six races at Daytona.
      • Stewart scored his ninth top-10 finish in 17 races this season.
      • Stewart climbed from seventh to fifth in the point standings.
      • Stewart led six times for 86 laps, including the final three in the Pepsi 400, leading the most laps for the fourth time in 2006. He has led the most laps in four of the last six restrictor-plate races.
      • This is team owner Joe Gibb’s 50th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory and his third at Daytona.
      • Joe Gibbs Racing has won at least one race each season 1993-2006, 14 consecutive years.
      Notebook Items
      • Kyle Busch (second) scored his eighth top-10 finish in 17 races in 2006. It was his first top-10 finish in four races at Daytona. He climbed from 12th to eighth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
      • Kurt Busch (third) scored his sixth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fourth straight top-10 finish - extending a streak that began at Pocono. It is his fifth top-10 finish (all top fives) in 12 races at Daytona.
      • Boris Said (fourth) scored his second top-10 finish in two races in 2006 - both in the last two weeks. It was his first top-10 finish in three races at Daytona. He also led in his first race other than a road-course event.
      • Matt Kenseth fifth) scored his 11th top-10 finish in 2006. This was his fifth top-10 in 14 races at Daytona.
      • Kevin Harvick (ninth) extended a 29-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, the longest current streak.
      • Ryan Newman finished 11th at Daytona and extended a streak of five straight top-15 finishes.
      • Jimmie Johnson (32nd) remained first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, but is now just eight points ahead of second-place Matt Kenseth.
      • Johnson has been ranked among the top 10 for 86 consecutive races, tying Darrell Waltrip for eighth in consecutive races in the points top-10 since the current point system was established in 1975.
      • At least one of the 2006 Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 17 races this season. Clint Bowyer finished 10th, posting his fourth top-10 finish in 2006 including both races at Daytona.
      • The 15 different leaders in the 2006 Pepsi 400 is a record for this event.
      Streaks that Ended at Daytona
      • Greg Biffle (31st) dropped from ninth to 11th in the point standings and ended a streak of seven straight top-10 finishes, the longest top-10 streak of his career that began at Richmond in May.
      • Denny Hamlin finished 17th at Daytona and ended a streak of seven straight top-15 finishes.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-1-2006)

    • Rumblings - Daytona Race Notes: Tony Stewart took the Pepsi 400 for the second year in a row tonight at Daytona International Speedway in a race that finished under caution. When the yellow flew somewhere on the backstretch of lap 160, Tony was in the midst of trying to hold off the Busch boyz (Kyle & Kurt)....and we'll never know what could have happened. Tony's second win of the season (he took Martinsville in April) was the 26th of his NEXTEL Cup career tying him with the "Golden Boy" Fred Lorenzen for 21st on the all-time win list. Victory #50 for Joe Gibbs Racing was worth $369,586 from the over $6.1M in posted awards.
      Kyle Busch (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Phoenix last November.
      Boris Said (4th, and now he _is_ that noted oval-tracker) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Watkins Glen last August. His previous best finish on an oval was 27th twice.....at Daytona in February of 2005 and at Texas in April of 2005. Said's Top-5 now gives us 24 drivers at that level this season.....last year we had 30.
      Elliott Sadler (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Martinsville in April.
      Ken Schrader (12th) had his best finish since he was 9th when we were here in February.
      David Stremme (16th) tied his career-best finish tonight. He was 16th at Chicagoland last July.
      Mike Wallace (23rd) had his best finish since he was 19th at Talladega last October (only seven races).
      STREAKIN....Kurt Busch has 4 Top-10's in a row.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the week is Casey Mears (+33), followed by Jeff Burton (+24), Kevin Harvick (+23), Dale Earnhardt Jr (+22), and Clint Bowyer (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Gordon (-36), followed by J. J. Yeley (-26), Jimmie Johnson (-23), and Martin Truex Jr (-21). This was the third Op for Mears as well as the third BD for Gordon this season.
      The points got a lot tighter tonight (at least at the top) as Jimmie Johnson's lead over Matt Kenseth is down to 8 points. Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon fell out of the Top-10 as Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin took their place. Kyle Busch (12th to 8th) made the best move forward tonight while teammate Jeff Gordon (8th to 12th) went in the opposite direction.(Stock Car Fans)(7-1-2006)

    • Jarrett has fracture in hand: #88-Dale Jarrett traveled to Daytona a little worse for the wear after injuring his hand in the accident that took him out of the race at Infineon Raceway last weekend. Jarrett was diagnosed with a fractured left hand on Thursday evening at Daytona in addition to a stretched ligament. A good qualifying effort [7th] however, did a lot to help ease the ache. "Yeah, a good race car kind of makes you forget about your aches and pains," Jarrett laughed after his qualifying run.(UPS Racing site)(7-1-2006)

    • Stewart to run DEI car at LMS Busch race: Tony Stewart will drive a DEI entry in the October Busch Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The car will carry sponsorship from Goody’s Headache Powders, which will run a contest in conjunction with the race. As part of the promotion, Goody’s will choose a Mayor of Goody’s Country. That person will then get their picture on the hood of the #8 DEI Chevy. The nomination period ends July 23 at the conclusion of the Goody’s 250 NASCAR Busch Series Race weekend at Martinsville Speedway.(more info at the DEI Site)(7-1-2006)

    • Nice Save by Truck Series team crew member: Marty Brice typically assists setting up the pit stall for ppc Racing’s No. 10 Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International race team at select Truck Series races. However, early Thursday morning, Brice, a sergeant with the City of Coatesville (PA) Police Department, saved a man’s life during the ravaging flood waters that hit the Northeast this week. Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Brice, who was near the end of his shift, was assisting a neighboring department at an area known for flooding, when he noticed a car floating on the opposite side of the flooded area. Brice went to where the vehicle had stopped after not seeing anyone exit the car but after shining a spot into the car, he quickly saw a man frantically waving his arms to get someone’s attention for help. Brice saw the unidentifiable man, removed his gun belt, jumped out of his patrol car and swam some 40 to 50 feet to the disabled vehicle. The man inside had about 10 inches of air space, which quickly decreased as each minute passed. Brice, having no other equipment on him, tried breaking the passenger window with his badge. Brice finally retrieved a rock from the bottom of the flooded street and began beating it against the glass window several times until it broke. “He had his face up against the ceiling,” said Brice to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The guy was coming through the window as soon as I broke it. It was just like in the movies. I thought: This guy is not going to drown right in front of me. I had to do something because the water was rising fast.” Brice, 43 and a 17-year veteran of the Coatesville Police Department, will not be at this weekend’s NCTS race at Kansas Speedway, due to his police duties. “I wish the team the best,” said Brice. “I’ll be sitting home and watching the race on TV, cheering them on.”(ppcRacing.com)(7-1-2006)

    • EA Taps EllIott Sadler as cover athlete for NASCAR 07: Electronic Arts announced that its EA SPORTS branded NASCAR videogame, NASCAR 07, will feature Nextel Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler on the cover. The longtime gamer has been heavily involved in all aspects of EA's NASCAR franchise since he joined the Cup ranks in 1999, including taking home the championship trophy from last years' EA SPORTS Drivers Gaming Competition in Bristol, TN, making him the perfect driver to showcase on the cover. "I'm thrilled that EA has chosen me as their cover athlete for the game this year," said Sadler, driver of the #38 M&M's Ford Fusion for Robert Yates Racing. "I've been a big fan of this game for a while now and play it as often as I can whether I'm on the road or at home."(PR)(7-1-2006)


      News from June 30, 2006

    • Said wins pole at Daytona: #60-Boris Said upset the field and won the Budweiser Pole for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd career pole and 1st ever on an oval, with a speed of 186.143mph. Starting 2nd is #20-Tony Stewart, followed by #40-David Stremme, #24-Jeff Grodon and #01-Joe Nemechek. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start deep in the field at 36th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #60-Said [pole], #40-Stremme, #32-Kvapil, #55-Waltrip, #27-Shelmerdine, #00-Sadler and #61-Chaffin. Missing the race were: #4-Wimmer, #34-Blount, #49-Lepage, #78-Wallace and #72-Davis. See the qualifying results on my Starting Grid/Qualifying Page.(6-30-2006)

    • Special paint for Kahne and Mayfield at Daytona UPDATE 2 Challenger: #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Jermey Mayfield will be running another special paint scheme again this weekend, promoting an advertising campaign for Chrysler that will be announced Saturday, July 1st as Kahne will participate in a major press announcement for Chrysler with Richard Petty.(Evernham Motorsports/ClearBlue PR), see an image of the cars on my #9 Team Schemes page and #19 Team Schemes page, "Ask Dr Z" scheme.(6-30-2006)
      UPDATE: Tomorrow [July 1st] it is expected that the Dodge will unveil a new production car as part of its Daytona activities. Fans are invited to attend the event to see Richard Petty and Kasey Kahne showcase the new car.
      AND Chrysler also is expected to unveil details an employee-pricing discount plan for consumers in a campaign that will feature DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche [Dr Z].
      UPDATE 2: Chrysler is crashing the muscle-car party with plans to build a production version of the Dodge Challenger coupe that debuted as a retro-styled concept car in January at the Detroit auto show. The automaker plans to herald the return of the Challenger at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona, Fla., on Saturday, according to people familiar with the plans. The Challenger concept, a rear-wheel drive coupe, drew raves from enthusiasts for its old-school looks and growling 425-horsepower V-8 engine.(Detroit News)(6-30-2006)

    • Final Infineon TV ratings drop: Infineon Raceway officials say Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup race earned a 5.1 rating from Nielsen Media Research. The rating is 10.5% lower than the 5.7 the race earned last year, but it was the highest-rated sports event televised last weekend and the second-highest rating in the race's history.(SceneDaily.com), see season ratings and chart on my 2006 TV ratings Page.(6-30-2006)

    • David Green and Johnny Sauter to Attempt Brickyard 400: David Green and Johnny Sauter [#70] will both enter the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard with their Busch Series teams. Brewco Motorsports will attempt to make its first Cup start of the season, while Sauter's Haas CNC Racing team ran at Charlotte in May.(NASCAR Scene Print)(6-30-2006)

    • Bank of America Cup? UPDATE - No: When word of the shake-up [Nextel personnel] first broke in April, Sprint executives insisted they were committed to continuing the NASCAR sponsorship, despite reports otherwise that the new powers were less than interested in NASCAR. Now, according to sources familiar with the situation, there are reports that Bank of America executives are interested in acquiring the title sponsorship to the Cup series.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-26-2006)
      UPDATE - No: from a Transcript - NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France: Q) Along with the potential name change with the merger, the rumors continue to pop up about the possible change of the sponsor. Has there been any discussions at all about Nextel/Sprint getting another company to buy out the contract?
      BRIAN FRANCE: None whatsoever. They have got one of the great positions, the greatest position perhaps, in sports. They are obviously going through a change post their merger trying to get their company in a place that takes the most advantage with NASCAR. But they are focused on how to build around the sponsorship that Nextel brought into the merger. So none whatsoever.(NASCAR)(6-30-2006)

    • Stewart wins IROC road race at Daytona: Tony Stewart is one step closer to a Crown Royal IROC championship by taking the win on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart was dominant taking home the bonus points for most laps led with 17 (of 20) circuits at the head of the field. Road racing expert Max Papis hounded Stewart throughout the last half of the race and finished second. NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Ryan Newman finished third.(IROCRacing.com). Rounding out the top five were Papis, Ryan Newman, Scott Sharp and Scott Hornish.(DIS Site)(6-30-2006)

    • 12 year old girl wins "Design Dale's Ride" contest - IMAGE: The UPS Store hosted the "Design Dale's Ride" coloring contest and invited kids to design the special paint scheme for Dale Jarrett's #88 The UPS Store/Toys for Tots Ford. Jarrett will race the winning design on Sunday, November 5, 2006, at Texas Motor Speedway to kick-off The UPS Store's holiday season - and its Toys for Tots donation drive. Twelve-year-old Annabelle Huffman from Napa, CA took the "championship cup" in the coloring contest. The contest winner was determined by online voting and a judging panel representing The UPS Store, UPS Racing and Dale Jarrett, Inc.(DaleJarrett.com), see images of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page (6-30-2006)

    • Papis hopes to run races at Watkins Glen; during Speed Channel's coverage of the IROC race at Daytona, Jeff Hammond mentioned that road racer Max Papis is looking to run the Busch North and Busch Series races at Watkins Glen and could be in the #78 Furniture Row Chevy that Kenny Wallace normally drives, in the Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen in August.(6-30-2006)

    • Sad News - Bill Gazaway: Long-time NASCAR official Bill Gazaway passed away in the Atlanta area on Thursday. "Bill was one of those pioneers who did a lot of good things during his time at NASCAR," said NASCAR Vice Chairman William C. France. Gazaway was born February 16, 1930, and raised in Atlanta, Ga. He was in the Marine Corps from 1947 to 1951, serving as an instructor in motor maintenance. Gazaway went on to build engines for Delta Airlines and later opened a competition garage in Atlanta. In 1960, Gazaway was a NASCAR team owner with his cars making seven starts; four with Tiny Lund as his driver, two with Joe Caspolich and one by Gazaway himself. This lone venture into the ranks of NASCAR drivers came at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 30, where he started 44th and finished 45th. Gazaway drove his Oldsmobile a total of one lap before the rear end failed. He came to NASCAR as a technical inspector in 1963, maintaining that job until 1967 when he was given the position of Assistant Technical Director under William O. Taylor. Gazaway assumed the role of Competition Director in 1968 after the Taylor's death; it was a position Gazaway would hold for 10 years. During that time his title changed to National Technical Director and then Winston Cup Grand National Competition Director. In 1979, he was named the Director of Racing Operations & Competition Director. He was promoted to Vice President of Competition in 1984, a position he held until his retirement from NASCAR in 1987. He is survived by his wife Gwen, daughter Alicia and several grandchildren.(NASCAR)(6-30-2006)

    • Jeff Gordon to run for 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona: In a press conference at Daytona International Speedway today, SunTrust Racing car owner/driver Wayne Taylor (and his Surrey Sport LLC company) and SunTrust Racing announced that four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will co-drive the No. 10 SunTrust Racing car with Taylor and his fellow 2005 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli in the 45th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27-28, 2007.(grandamerican.com)(6-30-2006)

    • Daytona Qualifying Notes:
      • Boris Said won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Pepsi 400, lapping Daytona International Speedway in 48.350 seconds at 186.143 mph. Bill Elliott holds the track-qualifying record of 42.783 seconds, 210.364 mph, set Feb. 9, 1987 – prior to the advent of restrictor-plate racing. Ken Schrader holds the track restrictor-plate qualifying record with a lap of 46.434 seconds, 198.823 mph - set Feb. 7, 1988.
      • This is Said’s first Bud Pole and second top-10 start in three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Daytona.
      • This is Said’s second career Bud Pole in 23 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • It is Said’s best-ever qualifying effort other than on a road course. His previous best oval-track start was fourth in this race in 2005. He has only one other start better than 26th in 11 oval-track races: 12th at Talladega in May 2005.
      • Tony Stewart posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 48.478 seconds, 185.651 mph – and will join Said on the front row for the Pepsi 400. Stewart posted his 10th top-10 start in 16 races at Daytona.
      • This is the fourth Bud Pole for Ford in 2006. Dodge has eight Bud Poles and Chevrolet also has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • David Stremme (third) started 32nd in his only other race at Daytona. This will be his best start in 20 career races.
      • Jeff Gordon (fourth) has posted 17 top-10 starts in 28 races at Daytona, including third in his career-first attempt here. He has three Bud Poles at Daytona – two in this event.
      • Joe Nemechek (fifth) posted five top-10 starts in 25 races at Daytona – all in the July race.
      • Kirk Shelmerdine (27th), who posted his career-best finish of 20th in the 2006 Daytona 500, qualified for his third race of 2006 – all restrictor-plate races.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(6-30-2006)

    • Ramblings - Daytona Qualifying Notes: Boris Said (that noted oval-tracker) pulled a world class shocker today at Daytona International Speedway as he captured the Bud Pole for tomorrow night's Pepsi 400. With a speed of 186.143 mph (48.350) he bested Tony Stewart (remember there was a little friction between those two last week) by over a tenth of a second. This is Said's second career top-spot....his first was at Infineon Raceway in June of 2003. He becomes the 11th different qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout when we return here for Speedweeks 2007.
      Tony Stewart (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Talladega in April.
      David Stremme (3rd) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best starting position was 4th at Darlington last month.
      Joe Nemechek (5th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Texas last November.
      Dale Jarrett (7th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 4th at Talladega last April.
      Martin Truex Jr. (8th) equals his career-best starting spot this weekend. He also started 8th at Atlanta last October.
      Travis Kvapil (15th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 12th at Martinsville last October.
      Mike Wallace (18th) has his best starting spot since he started 15th at Kansas last October (only six races).
      Michael Waltrip (19th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 19th at California last September.
      Tony Raines (21st) has his best starting spot since he lined up 12th at Martinsville in April.
      STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.(Stockcarfans.com)(6-30-2006)

    • Daytona Rookie Notes: Denny Hamlin was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the June 25 Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon (Sonoma, Calif.) Raceway. Hamlin finished 12th and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the ninth time this season. Hamlin stretched his lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings to 31 points (185-154) over Clint Bowyer entering the July 1 Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-15 in all 16 races this season. Hamlin is 11th in the NEXTEL Cup Series championship standings, nine points behind 10th-place Kevin Harvick. He holds an 11-point advantage over 12th-place Kyle Busch. Travis Kvapil was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2005 Pepsi 400, scoring a 23rd-place finish. Kvapil was the only first-year driver to finish on the lead lap. Greg Biffle is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the Pepsi 400. Biffle won the race in 2003, scoring his first career win in the Nextel Cup Series. Biffle crossed the finish line 4.102 second ahead of second place finisher Jeff Burton and led only once, covering the final 21 laps. He was the only Raybestos Rookie to score a win during the 2003 season. Since 1975, only three Raybestos Rookies have scored a top-five finish in the Pepsi 400: 1979: Dale Earnhardt, third 1993: Jeff Gordon, fifth 2003: Greg Biffle, first (Raybestos PR) See rookie points, best for each race, rookie history and more on my Rookies Page.(6-30-2006)

    • Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will be running different tire codes at Daytona this weekend . . . Cup teams will be running the same tire set-up they ran at Daytona in February. . . Busch Series teams will be running the Talladega tire set-up from this past April . . . the Busch cars run a larger fuel cell than the Cup cars at Daytona and can go farther on a set of tires, therefore Goodyear decided to bring a more wear resistant tire set-up for them ... as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams in both series are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see the full notes, trie codes and pressures on my Daytona Race Info Page.(6-30-2006)

    • Cheez-It on the #5 at Daytona: Kyle Busch's #5 Chevy will carry a Cheez-It design in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The familiar "Tony the Tiger" paint scheme will be replaced with red, blue and yellow flames surrounding the well-known Cheez-It logo.(Hendrick Motor Sports PR), see an image of the car on my #5 Team Schemes page.(6-30-2006)

    • Shamu scheme on the #48 at Daytona: Shamu will be featured in a special paint scheme on the #48 Lowe's Chevy that Jimmie Johnson drives. The paint scheme is part of SeaWorld's introduction of its new Shamu show, "Believe," open now at all three SeaWorld parks. In addition, Lowe's will offer Build and Grow Kids' Clinics when the Team Lowe's Fan Experience visits SeaWorld Orlando Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2 during park hours, and at the more than 1,250 Lowe's stores nationwide, Saturday, July 8 at 10 a.m. The clinics offer young fans the opportunity to build wooden No. 48 race cars featuring the Shamu paint scheme that Johnson will race in Daytona.(GMR/Team Lowe's PR), see images of the car on my #48 Team Schemes page(6-30-2006)


      News from June 29, 2006

    • Changes coming in 2007 for the Chase: NASCAR chairman Brian France promised slight changes to the sport's championship format, hoping to add more drama to the 10-race title hunt. "What I have always said about the Chase was we needed a few years under our belt to see how it evolves, how it changes in strategy, see how the actual formula we have really works," France said Thursday. "Now in our third year ... it's the ideal time for us make adjustments." France did not specify what areas will be changed in an offseason facelift that will take effect in 2007. The Chase for the Nextel Cup was devised by France when he took over as chairman in 2004. The format was designed to spice up a stale championship race in which winners were running away with the title and routinely clinching before the season finale. France wanted more excitement and a dramatic playoff system that could compete with the NFL for television ratings. The result was the Chase, which uses the first 26 races of the season as a qualifier to set up the title run. The top 10 drivers in the standings automatically make it in, and any drivers within 400 points of the leader are also eligible. They then compete over the final 10 events to decide the championship.
      "We'll be looking at nothing new -- everything that we'll be looking at has been brought up by various people the last couple of years," France said. "Just various things that we think will build what we're hoping for, which are big moments and a bigger stage for the drivers. That's what the Chase has always been about. It's about showcasing their skills."(ESPN.com/AP)(6-29-2006)

    • Ward Burton looking to make comeback in 2007 UPDATE: Ward Burton will be at Daytona International Speedway on Friday as a part of a ceremony honoring the past 10 winners of the Daytona 500. He hopes his next trip to NASCAR's crown jewel will be as a driver. The 2002 Daytona 500 winner said Monday he is negotiating with two "established teams'' a return to the Nextel Cup Series that he hasn't been a part of since being fired by owner Gene Haas in 2004. One possibility is the #88 car of Robert Yates Racing that is open in 2007 because of Dale Jarrett's departure to the new Toyota team of Michael Waltrip Racing. "That would certainly be an opportunity if it came to fruition,'' Burton said. "It would pump me up. I'd be just excited as when I first made Cup in '94, maybe more so.' Burton would not confirm discussions with RYR, but indicated his talks have been with owners of multi-car organizations which have struggled recently. Burton said there have been no discussions with Toyota, which will field at least six cars under three owners in 2007. "One of the things we're working on is the sponsor,'' said Burton, which makes the #88 car more viable since its deal with UPS is up after this season. "I'm working on a couple of things to try to bring something home.''
      Burton, 44, said there'd been negotiations about putting him in a car this weekend at Daytona that fell through at the last minute. He'd like to enter a couple of races before the end of this season to begin his comeback. Burton has spent much of the past year-and-a-half focusing on family and The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, which has a mission to "conserve America's land and wildlife through wise stewardship while educating children and adults about the natural resources that will shape America's future.'' Burton tried to mend a few bridges after his split with Haas, but that never happened. "There were phone calls, either hung up on or whatever,'' he said. "That's just the way they handled things.'' Burton is confident he can return to the top-10 form he had in 1999 and 2000, when he had a combined 33 top-10s for Bill Davis Racing with Tommy Baldwin Jr. as his crew chief. Baldwin Jr. now is Sadler's crew chief at RYR, which gives Burton another connection to that organization. "I wish I could tell you more,'' Burton said. "I can tell you I am talking to a sponsor as we speak and car owners as well. I've got my fingers crossed that one of these exciting deals will come true.''(more at NASCAR.com)(6-27-2006)
      UPDATE: latest fro Lastcowboys.com: It’s been almost two months since I [Lastcowboys.com] dropped the Ward Burton to Robert Yates Racing rumor on all of you, and it continues to swirl around in the rumor mill. Have now been anonymously informed that this is a done deal. As said, this was anonymous, so have no way of substantiating it, unless Ward or someone in his camp would like to confirm or deny it personally. According to this anonymous source (as well as from Ward’s recent satellite radio interview), Ward’s silence or state of limbo is not due to the absence of a deal, but rather because he is waiting on the green light from both sponsor and team before he can make it official to the media and race fans.(LastCowboys.com)(6-29-2006)

    • Pruett not thinking about Nextel Cup: How far have the conversations progressed for Scott Pruett to succeed Casey Mears at Chip Ganassi Racing? "We've joked about it a couple times," said Pruett, 46. Pruett runs for Ganassi's Grand American Rolex Series team and has filled in at road courses Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International for the last four years. Still, Ganassi doesn't have Pruett on his list: "Not really. We had a talk, and Scott said if he was five years younger, he wouldn't let me get anybody else. But he just enjoyed his life pretty well as it was and wants to win the Grand Am championship." Added Pruett: "I'd like to be, but I'm a realist. ... (Teams are) looking for the next best young kid. There's a lot to be said for that. If I come in, I'd be here one or two years. When you're talking about a 19- or 20-year-old kid, you're talking (about him staying) 20 years." The three-car Ganassi Cup team has two rookies — Reed Sorenson and David Stremme — in its stable. Mears, 28, signed two weeks ago to run with Hendrick Motorsports in 2007, leaving a hole to fill. "Right now everybody's being considered," Ganassi said. "There are a lot of good drivers out there, good people, and we're going to give it a shot, pick the best driver and go with it."(USA Today)(6-29-2006)

    • New sponsorship for Morgan-McClure? UPDATE: hearing that Morgan-McClure Motorsports signed a deal recently with Rockford-Montgomery Labs, Inc. to a 3-year sponsorship of the #4 Chevy. No word if they will co-sponor with Aero Exhaust or go on a 2nd team car that Morgan-McClure Motorsports has been wanting for years. Supposedly the announcement will se soon.(6-27-2006)
      UPDATE: Rockford-Montgomery Labs, Inc., the exclusive distributor of the NASCAR Race Face brand premium sunscreen, has signed-on to the Aero Exhaust #4 Morgan-McClure Nextel Cup Series Chevy as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2006 Nextel Cup Season. Race Face is the only officially licensed sunscreen by NASCAR and comes in 4 licensed variations: Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and an American Flag label, each carrying the NASCAR brand bar. Race Face is available in SPF 15 and SPF 30 Water Resistant UVA/UVB formulas in 2 fl oz. and 8 fl oz. sizes. "We are very pleased to have Rockford-Montgomery Labs, Inc., partner with us for the rest of the 2006 season. We are looking forward to a long-term relationship with Rockford-Montgomery that will bring success to their business and to this race team. We have won three Daytona 500's, something no other single car team has accomplished," said Larry McClure at the Abingdon, VA based race shop on Thursday morning. Bryan Hunsaker, CEO of Aero Exhaust, said, "We are very pleased that we were able to bring together RACE FACE, a NASCAR officially licensed product with Aero Exhaust, an Exclusive NASCAR Performance Partner. The NASCAR mark sets these products apart from their competition and the combined association on the #4 car only enhances that accreditation."(Market Wire PR)(6-29-2006)

    • Special Air Force scheme on the #21 at Daytona: The United States Air Force is outfitting its #21 race car with a different look when it rolls onto the track at the Pepsi 400 this weekend. The car's paint scheme synchronizes with the Air Force's Special Operations Command shield imprinted on the hood of the car. "We honor all of our Airmen when we run the Air Force paint scheme, but since this race falls so close to the 4th of July holiday; we decided to honor our special operations units. They are a group of folks who fly under the radar and rarely get the spotlight," said Capt. Jonathan Ness, Chief of Event Marketing Branch, Air Force Recruiting Service Strategic Communication Division. "AFSOC has more than 12,000 extremely well-trained and deployable Airmen who are matched and equipped with some highly specialized aircraft. And to top it off, they are always prepared for worldwide deployment," Captain. Ness said. In addition to honoring the special operations forces with a new paint scheme, Maj. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, AFSOC Vice Commander, plans to conduct a formal induction ceremony for 40 young men and women enlisting into the Air Force on race day. Air Force Special Operations Command which was established May 22, 1990 is a major command and the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command, a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, FL.(Wood Brothers Racing site), see an image on my #21 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2006)

    • Marlin to drive Camp Boggy Creek scheme at Daytona: When Sterling Marlin climbs behind the wheel of his #14 Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevy for this weekend's Pepsi 400 at Daytona, he'll be stepping into a piece of art. Three campers from Camp Boggy Creek, a summer camp for seriously ill children, started their creative engines and put their own design to the Ginn Clubs & Resorts car for Saturday night's race. With only a blank template in hand, the three children let their imaginations race, collaborating to make their vision become a reality with millions of spectators viewing the creation this weekend. Camp Boggy Creek, based in Eustis, Fla., falls under the Hole In The Wall Camps umbrella which is also home to Randleman, N.C.-based The Victory Junction Gang Camp. Tori Tiger (15), Jake Westfield (13) and Zachary Robinson (10) were the three lucky children from Camp Boggy Creek chosen to participate in the creation. Complete with flashy colors, racing stripes, polka dots and stars, the #14 Chevy is sure to stand out when it roars around Daytona International Speedway. The deck lid of this weekend's #14 Chevy will carry an Easter Seals logo. The nonprofit organization won a spot on the Ginn Clubs & Resorts car in a charity go-cart event earlier this month between Marlin and Bill Elliott. The official unveiling of the car will take place Thursday, June 29 near the infield media center at Daytona International Speedway.(MB2Motorsports PR),see an image of the car on my #14 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2006)

    • FedEx Home Delivery Car at Daytona: For the first time this season, the #11 Chevy of Denny Hamlin will sport a primarily white paint featuring "Spot" the dog on the hood to highlight the residential delivery service. FedEx Home Delivery service connects customers to virtually every residential address in the U.S. What makes this service special is its residential-only delivery network and the flexibility to customize delivery to suit a recipient’s need for delivery within a certain time by choosing from three premium service upgrades.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on my #11 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2006)

    • IROC races tonight in Daytona, on road course: The Crown Royal International Race of Champions returned to track action Wednesday for a four-hour session at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) with driver practice in preparation for the series’ road race at DIS Thursday night, June 29. Drivers getting behind the wheel for the first time were 2005 Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave along with Nextel Cup drivers Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth. Musgrave, who is starting on the pole in the 20-lap, 71.2-mile road race, was grateful to get a few pre- practice tutored runs in a street car by David Donohue before embarking on the course in the IROC cars. Later in the day the Crown Royal IROC Series finally got a chance to test out the wet weather package after a downpour late Wednesday afternoon at DIS. IROC’s road race specialist, David Donohue strapped into the Crown Royal IROC cars, equipped with Goodyear Eagle Radial rain tires, and took to the 3.56-mile road course with headlights on, windshield wipers and defoggers going and all the creature comforts for running in wet weather. Donohue said, The Goodyear rain tires held up great. As far as I was concerned, the feel of the car remained very consistent. It's a raceable package and it was fun sliding around a little out there. They've done a lot with the racetrack in recent years with paving the infield track and the puddles that were there when I first went out receded very quickly. If we wind up running in the rain I'm confident everyone will be pretty comfortable." Race three is scheduled to start at 10:00pm/et Thursday [June 29th] night, which will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel immediately following the Grand American Brumos 250 at DIS.(IROC PR), see the starting lineup and more info about IROC on my 2006 IROC page.(6-29-2006)


      News from June 28, 2006

    • Cingular Giving Fan a Chance to win Burton's Pay-Day at Daytona: Once the green flag drops at the Daytona Beach stock car race on July 1, Russell Tillson will be in the stands cheering for Jeff Burton and the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy harder than anyone else. That's because when Burton wins, he wins. Even if Burton doesn't win, Tillson still wins. Thanks to a unique promotion by Cingular, Tillson is guaranteed of winning the same amount of money that Burton earns during the race, no matter where he finishes in the 43-car field. Tillson was randomly selected for the opportunity to "Win Jeff Burton's Pay-Day" from more than one million entries submitted between February and June. The sweepstakes was part of Cingular's Virtual Crew Chief program that aired during race telecasts on FOX and FX this year, prompting viewers to answer race-specific questions via wireless text messaging or online at foxsports.com, with the results revealed on-air during the race broadcast. Information about the sweepstakes was provided on Cingular31.com. As part of the grand prize, Tillson will get to travel to his first ever Daytona Beach race and root for the bright orange Cingular Chevy at one of motorsports' most famous tracks. Regardless of how Burton performs, Tillson is guaranteed an attractive payout. During last year's race, payouts ranged from $368,261 for the winner down to $80,725.(Career Sports & Entertainment/Cingular PR)(6-28-2006)

    • Gordon engaged MORE: on the Fox Sports pre-race show at Sonoma, Darrell Waltrip said that Jeff Gordon got engaged over the weekend to girlfriend Ingrid Vanderbosch, a model.(6-25-2006)
      MORE: When Jeff Gordon broke the news at Sonoma that he and girlfriend Ingrid Vanderboush were engaged to be married the racing media not only was curious how he proposed but also if there was a prenuptial agreement since Gordon was forced to give up millions following his bitter divorce to Brooke Sealy. Asked in a light-hearted way during the Infineon Raceway post race press conference Jeff chuckled and said “I think she knows that I’m a lot smarter the second time around. I guarantee you one thing...she’s got a much better guy this time around and I’ve got an amazing girl this time around to. I can’t say there’s any big story to the engagement. We’ve actually been holding it to ourselves for about a month. Because we didn’t do it the traditional way and get down on one knee and go to some fancy restaurant or Eiffel Tower or something we held onto it for a while until we were ready to tell people.” Gordon chose to break the news to family and friends who live in and around his hometown in California. “As much as we travel you’re not typically in a place where you can get a bunch of people together. We wanted to let our family know first obviously and so it was great to be able to do that.” As far the pre-nup thing? Jeff smiled and said, “You’ll have to ask her.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(6-28-2006)

    • F-1 Car in Vickers future? Sometime next season, Brian Vickers might get to drive a Formula 1 car owned by Red Bull. And he could easily become the face of the energy drink now that he's signed to drive the #83 Toyota Camry for Team Red Bull when it enters Nextel Cup competition next year.(SceneDaily,com)(6-28-2006)

    • Cup teams test at Milwaukee UPDATE 2: Up to eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup cars, as Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Evernham Motorsports and Penske Racing South will test at The Milwaukee Mile on Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28. On the heels of the June 23rd Truck Series race, and the June 24th Busch Series event, Gordon and company will be getting in some valuable track time, preparing their cars for Nextel Cup race tracks that have similar characteristics to The Milwaukee Mile, including Pocono Raceway, Martinsville Raceway and New Hampshire Int'l Speedway. During the two day Nextel Cup team test, by presenting a Milwaukee Mile NASCAR event ticket stub from either the June 23rd Truck Series or the June 24th Busch Series races, NASCAR fans will gain FREE admission to the Grandstand between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Only those Mile fans with a ticket stub from The Mile's Truck or Busch series races will be admitted. This is a private team test.(Milwaukee Mile PR)(6-25-2006)
      UPDATE: been told the following teams are at the Milwaukee Mile on Tuesday: #2-Busch; #19-Mayfield; #24-Gordon; #48-Johnson; #25-Vickers; #5-Busch; #42-Mears; #41-Sorenson; #40-unmarked [Stremme?] and a Hendrick Car of Tomorrow with David Green driving.(6-27-2006)
      UPDATE 2: If you're into numbers and know your NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, car numbers 2, 5, 24, 25, 48, 40, 41, 42 and 19 were testing Tuesday at The Milwaukee Mile, on the heels of The Mile's big AT&T 250 Busch Series - Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 Truck Series race weekend. In appreciation of our NASCAR supporters, the grandstands are open to this private team test to any Milwaukee Mile NASCAR fan who presents a ticket stub from The Milwaukee Mile's June 23 or 24 NASCAR events, Wednesday June 28 from 9:00am - 5:00pm. "The reason we test here at Milwaukee is that this track is 'rubbered-in' the best it can be. We are limited on tires and race tracks we can test at, and with all the rubber laid down on the track from the weekend, it really saves our tire wear," said 2004 Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch. So what can point leader Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers learn with their Hendrick Motorsports teams, in addition to Ganassi Racing and their drives David Stremme, Reed Sorenson and Casey Mears, or for that matter, Jeremy Mayfield? "This track is very similar to New Hampshire, Phoenix, some small ideas apply to Indy," Kurt Busch said. "But The Mile is a sentimental track for me, as I tested here the last three years with my old team just trying to get ready for some of the flat tracks and what it can help you do when you get down to the 'Chase' and how you have to gain points. Hendrick Motorsports also practiced with their Car of Tomorrow at America's Legendary Oval. Most of the teams are expected to return Wednesday. No official times were recorded.(Milwaukee Mile PR)(6-28-2006)

    • Cinnabon featured on the #43 at Daytona: Bobby Labonte will race a specialty-schemed #43 Pillsbury/Cinnabon paint scheme this weekend in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(6-28-2006)

    • Different Look for #66 at Daytona: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy will carry co-primary sponsorship in this weekend's Nextel Cup Series event at Daytona. The black car will carry decals on the hood promoting Best Buy, as well as Yellow Transportation, the sponsor of the #00 Haas CNC Racing Chevy that Johnny Sauter drives in the Busch Series. Best Buy's logos will appear on the car's upper quarter panels, while Microsoft Windows Live One Care will have its logos displayed on the lower quarter panels.(GMR Marketing/Haas CNC Racing PR)(6-28-2006)

    • Garth Brooks and NASCAR and Gordon? Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio reports that Country Music star Garth Brooks was at the Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway today. He met with execs of the speedway and representitives of Jeff Gordon's Foundation. He flew into the Concord Airport on a private jet. CBL hears that an "event" is in the works.(6-28-2006)

    • The King to run 1972 Charger at Goodwood Festival of Speed: Richard Petty, the winningest driver in the history of NASCAR’s premier series, will be reunited with his 1972 Dodge Charger race car next month in England in one of the largest and most diverse celebrations in motorsports – the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Held on the grounds of historic Goodwood House in West Sussex and hosted by the Earl of March, the Goodwood Festival of Speed celebration (July 7-9) brings together the greatest competition cars and drivers from all eras of motorsports. Petty will drive his restored 1972 Dodge Charger in the Hillclimb competition on the 1.16-mile course, which is the principal attraction of the Festival of Speed. It’s one of the ’72 Dodge Chargers from Petty Enterprises that carried Petty to his fourth of seven series championships. In 31 starts in the car, Petty had eight wins along with 25 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. “It’s an honor to represent Dodge at the Goodwood Festival of Speed,” said Petty. “It’s such a prestigious event and one that is popular worldwide. The names that have been a part of this Festival throughout the years are true champions. It’s always special when you’re invited to be a part of something as big as this.” Spectators will not only get to see Petty and his 1972 Dodge Charger in action, but will also see former Formula One driver Jochen Mass pilot a NASCAR Nextel Cup 2006 Dodge Charger up the hill at Goodwood. Petty will be making exhibition runs in the ’72 Dodge Charger all three days during the Festival. For more information on the Goodwood Festival of Speed, visit www.goodwood.co.uk.(Clear!Blue PR)(6-28-2006)

    • Hershey's scheme for Harvick at Daytona, to make S'Mores: The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate brown will don the #29 RCR Chevy hood of Kevin Harvick this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. The Hershey Milk Chocolate bar is one of five special paint schemes The Hershey Company will run throughout the 2006 season. Hershey’s driver Kevin Harvick and members of the Richard Childress Racing Team will light up the infield on Thursday, June 29, at Daytona with a S’mores campfire event. Celebrating this quintessential summertime snack, Hershey’s will distribute more than 2,000 S’mores kits complete with graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars to fans staying in the infield to celebrate race week at Daytona International Speedway. Randomly selected kits will contain invitations to join Harvick and the Team for “s’more” fun around the campfire. Local Boy Scout Troops will get the campfire started; while Smoky the Bear looks on to ensure a safe party in the Fan Zone.(RCR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page.(6-28-2006)

    • Johnson's Team Earns Pit Crew Challenge Win at Infineon: Jimmie Johnson's team extended its lead in the season-long Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge by winning the award in Sunday's Dodge/ Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The victory was the fourth of the season for the #48 Lowe's pit crew. They also picked up wins at Daytona, California, and Charlotte. Tony Stewart's, Elliott Sadler's and Kyle Busch's crews are tied for second place with two wins each. Johnson's team will be awarded the weekly $10,500 prize. An additional $105,000 will be presented to the pit crew with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Johnson's over-the-wall crew, which spent only 109.657 seconds on pit road during the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event, includes: Chris Anderson (jackman), Art Simmons (front-tire carrier), Mike Trower (front-tire changer), Ron Malec (rear-tire carrier), Tim Ladyga (rear-tire changer), Rich Gutierrez (gasman), Mike Knauer (catch can) and Sean Kerlin (eighth-man). The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season with the Nextel Cup Series. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(6-28-2006)

    • Bires beats Kenseth and Stewart: On a night when 10,000 fans crammed around Madison International Speedway to see two of NASCAR's biggest names, not only did the stars put on a show but so did a comparative unknown who walked away with the victory Tuesday night at the All-Star Challenge. Kelly Bires, a 21-year-old from Mauston, won the 100-lap feature, fighting off a charge by Cambridge native Matt Kenseth during the final 11 laps. Bires' fastest lap around the half-mile oval was 18.252 seconds. Kenseth finished second. Bobby Wilberg was third. Tony Stewart, defending Nextel Cup champion, finished eighth but made perhaps the biggest jump in the field. He started 19th.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(6-28-2006)

    • Karter tests Elliott owned Dodge truck: Multi-time national kart champion Alan Rudolph raised a few eyebrows in the world of stock cars as he impressed with a strong two-day test in a Bill Elliott-owned Dodge Craftsman Truck. The test was held at Peach State Speedway outside Jefferson, Ga. Rudolph’s fastest lap of 19.1sec on the one half-mile high-banked oval eclipsed a baseline time run by Elliott earlier during the test, and was several tenths quicker than either of the other drivers in attendance. Rudolph has been coaching Elliott’s son Chase in karting competition this year, in the Colorado state region. The stock car legend was able to see Rudolph in action during a recent race, and after Rudolph’s dominant win, Elliott offered him a test in a Dodge powered Craftsman Truck. “He did real well in the test,” said Elliott. “I was totally surprised. He ran very consistent, even though I didn’t have much time to work with him. I think if we can give him an opportunity he’ll do real well. He’s well spoken and he understands promoting. I hope I can help him with some opportunities.”(Speed Channel)(6-28-2006)


      News from June 27, 2006

    • Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine to sponsor Shelmerdine at Daytona: Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine will again adorn the Kirk Shelmerdine Racing #27 Chevy for Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Positive fan response to the initial partnership between Catdaddy and Shelmerdine was so overwhelming, the additional race was added to the sponsorship agreement. Later this season Catdaddy will be on the car for the Oct. 14 Bank of America 500, also at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Additional races could be added. "It's great to have Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine back on board for Daytona," Shelmerdine said. "The reaction to the sponsorship at Charlotte, inside and outside the garage, was very positive, and because of it, there's a lot of interest in our efforts; the exposure really elevated our race team. We're headed to Daytona confident we'll have a solid qualifying effort and a good run in the Pepsi 400." For more information on Catdaddy Carolina Moonshine, please visit catdaddymoonshine.com.(3-G Sports PR)(6-27-2006)

    • Red Target Scheme to run rest of 2006: The Target paint scheme will be switching to a primarily red scheme with a white Bullseye on the hood of Reed Sorenson's #41 Dodge for the remainder of the season starting with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. The scheme was first introduced during the night races this past May.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) see images of the scheme on my #41 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2006)

    • Vice President to attend Pepsi 400: Vice President Dick Cheney will attend the 48th annual Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Vice President Cheney will speak to race fans during pre-race ceremonies for the mid-summer classic as well as meet NASCAR drivers, teams and executives during his visit to "The World Center of Racing."
      "We're honored that Vice President Cheney will visit Daytona International Speedway and participate in Pepsi 400 pre-race festivities," Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. "Vice President Cheney continues the tradition of high-profile elected officials that have visited the 'World Center of Racing'." In the 1984 Pepsi 400, the late President Ronald Reagan gave the starting command from Air Force One. Reagan, who became the first sitting President to attend a NASCAR race, witnessed Richard Petty earn his 200th NASCAR win. President George H.W. Bush attended the 1992 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, and current President George W. Bush served as the Grand Marshal for the Pepsi 400 during his 2000 presidential campaign. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld attended last year's 2005 Pepsi 400.(DIS PR)(6-27-2006)

    • New sponsorship for Morgan-McClure? hearing that Morgan-McClure Motorsports signed a deal recently with Rockford-Montgomery Labs, Inc. to a 3-year sponsorship of the #4 Chevy. No word if they will co-sponor with Aero Exhaust or go on a 2nd team car that Morgan-McClure Motorsports has been wanting for years. Supposedly the announcement will se soon.(6-27-2006)

    • Ward Burton looking to make comeback in 2007: Ward Burton will be at Daytona International Speedway on Friday as a part of a ceremony honoring the past 10 winners of the Daytona 500. He hopes his next trip to NASCAR's crown jewel will be as a driver. The 2002 Daytona 500 winner said Monday he is negotiating with two "established teams'' a return to the Nextel Cup Series that he hasn't been a part of since being fired by owner Gene Haas in 2004. One possibility is the #88 car of Robert Yates Racing that is open in 2007 because of Dale Jarrett's departure to the new Toyota team of Michael Waltrip Racing. "That would certainly be an opportunity if it came to fruition,'' Burton said. "It would pump me up. I'd be just excited as when I first made Cup in '94, maybe more so.'' Burton would not confirm discussions with RYR, but indicated his talks have been with owners of multi-car organizations which have struggled recently. Burton said there have been no discussions with Toyota, which will field at least six cars under three owners in 2007. "One of the things we're working on is the sponsor,'' said Burton, which makes the #88 car more viable since its deal with UPS is up after this season. "I'm working on a couple of things to try to bring something home.''
      Burton, 44, said there'd been negotiations about putting him in a car this weekend at Daytona that fell through at the last minute. He'd like to enter a couple of races before the end of this season to begin his comeback. Burton has spent much of the past year-and-a-half focusing on family and The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, which has a mission to "conserve America's land and wildlife through wise stewardship while educating children and adults about the natural resources that will shape America's future.'' Burton tried to mend a few bridges after his split with Haas, but that never happened. "There were phone calls, either hung up on or whatever,'' he said. "That's just the way they handled things.'' Burton is confident he can return to the top-10 form he had in 1999 and 2000, when he had a combined 33 top-10s for Bill Davis Racing with Tommy Baldwin Jr. as his crew chief. Baldwin Jr. now is Sadler's crew chief at RYR, which gives Burton another connection to that organization. "I wish I could tell you more,'' Burton said. "I can tell you I am talking to a sponsor as we speak and car owners as well. I've got my fingers crossed that one of these exciting deals will come true.''(more at NASCAR.com)(6-27-2006)

    • Haas pleads not guilty: NASCAR [#66 Cup, #00 Busch] team owner Gene Haas pleaded not guilty to charges of tax fraud and witness intimidation Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Haas, who owns the Haas CNC Racing team with Nextel Cup driver Jeff Green and Busch Series driver Johnny Sauter, is accused of orchestrating a scheme, through the Haas Automation business he operates, that created approximately $50 million in bogus expenses to avoid paying more than $20 million in income taxes. "We know this is going to be a long fight, but we feel that the government has been overzealous in pursuing this case," said Haas attorney Kenneth Barish in a statement last Friday when Haas was released on bail. "Mr. Haas looks forward to going home and going back to work running Haas Automation and his other businesses. "But more than anything else he wants to prove that he is innocent." The company says the tax issues revolve around a former employee and that the charges will not impact Haas' businesses. The Haas CNC Racing team also plans to continue business as usual.(SceneDaily.com)(6-27-2006)

    • Lopez Wins Crew Chief of the Race Award: Prior to this weekend's Dodge/Save Mart 350, the #96 DLP HDTV team's best finish was a 16th place run at Pocono Raceway, but thanks to a crafty pit strategy from crew chief Philippe Lopez, Terry Labonte left Infineon Raceway with a 3rd place finish to boot. Lopez's day earned him the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.(Wypall PR)(6-27-2006)

    • Bourdais wins 2nd Qtr DOTY Award: Sebastien Bourdais' on-track domination, of the Champ Car Series, was matched by the voting for Second Quarter Driver of the Year. No other driver, at the premier levels of United States motorsports, had a winning percentage of 75% in this period. The driver of the McDonald's Lola Ford-Cosworth had three wins, in four races, and, also took two poles. In the voting, by an elite panel of print and broadcast journalists, the 27-year-old French-born driver, who resides in Tampa, FL, was not seriously challenged. The only thing that slowed him, slightly, was that his bid for five-straight victories, this year, was cut short with a third place at Portland, Oregon earlier this month. That made him four-for- four podiums during the quarter. Bourdais took 11 out of the 16 first place votes - that were cast - and totaled 115 points. The voting could be considered an upset as Indy 500 winner, Sam Hornish, Jr., ended up second in voting with two first-place votes and totaled 66 points. It was a record 14th win at the Brickyard by his Team Penske Racing. Although Hornish won from the pole that was his only victory in the quarter. NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne's two Nextel Cup victories earned him three first-place votes and totaled 65 points for third. A total of 17 drivers scored points in the second quarter voting. In its' 40th year Driver of the Year is unique because it is the oldest award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis. A separate one-driver vote will determine the 2006 Driver of the Year. Bourdais will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix, wristwatch. The trophy presentation is scheduled for Saturday, July 8th at the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto, Cananda.(DOTY PR)(6-27-2006)


      News from June 26, 2006

    • Bank of America Cup? When word of the shake-up [Nextel personnel] first broke in April, Sprint executives insisted they were committed to continuing the NASCAR sponsorship, despite reports otherwise that the new powers were less than interested in NASCAR. Now, according to sources familiar with the situation, there are reports that Bank of America executives are interested in acquiring the title sponsorship to the Cup series.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-26-2006)

    • Overnight Sonoma TV ratings match 2005: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway earned a 4.6 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating and a 10 market share, matching 2005's numbers, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.(SceneDaily.com)(6-26-2006)

    • Childress interested in Gilliland: [#07,#29,#31] team owner Richard Childress said Sunday [at Infineon Raceway] that he is among those interested in signing David Gilliland to a contract. Gilliland, currently driving without a contract for a part-time, unsponsored entry in the Busch Series, has seen his stock skyrocket since winning the June 17 Busch race at Kentucky, then getting a weak car into Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Sonoma. "He's probably the hottest young commodity out there today," said Childress, who currently fields three Cup cars and won six Cup championships with the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. "There are several teams here that will be after him, but he'd definitely be a good fit for us." Childress noted that Gilliland's good character and family background (his father Butch was also a NASCAR driver) play into the 30-year-old's favor. Childress didn't shy away from expressing his interest in Gilliland, but said the driver might be better served to get more time in the Busch Series. Gilliland has just seven career Busch starts and made his Cup debut Sunday. "I think he has all it takes to become a Cup driver, I'll put it like that," Childress said. "I think he could win races in the Cup Series. I believe if I was him, I'd run a few more Busch races (first)."(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(6-26-2006)

    • Raines status in the #96 car: #96 Hall of Fame Car owner Roger Staubach said before the race that the team will look at how the team's regular driver, Tony Raines, performs in the second half of the season to determine if he'll drive for the team next season.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2006)

    • Davis back in the #72 at Daytona: The CJM Racing team accomplished their mission this weekend in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway. Driver David Gilliland qualified the #72 Dutch Quality Stone Dodge in the 31st position, the first time the Bryan and Tony Mullet owned entry had qualified for a Nextel Cup event. Gilliland finished in 32nd position, 2 laps down with a tight car. The next race for CJM Racing will be the Pepsi 400 at Daytona with Kertus Davis will be behind the wheel of the #72 entry. And Gilliland is not scheduled to run any more races in the #72.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(6-26-2006)

    • Vickers to drive for Red Bull Racing MORE: it was announced by Brian Vickers on Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain that Vickers has signed with Red Bull Racing to drive one of their two Toyota's in 2007. Bill Elliott will drive for the team in three races and could run for the team full time in 2007, he will supposedly drive Dodge's in the three 2006 races.(6-25-2006)
      MORE: As revealed this evening on Speed TV, Team Red Bull formally announces a multi-year agreement with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series champion, to race the #83 Red Bull Toyota Camry starting with the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season. Rumors notwithstanding, more official information on the new team, including the second 2007 driver, will be made available later this year.(Red Bull Racing PR)(6-26-2006)

    • Chevy engine to submit new engine: General Motors officials plan to submit their proposed new Cup engine to NASCAR executives for review in mid-August, ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline. GM hopes for a quick answer from NASCAR so that its teams can get started on the new engine if it's approved.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-26-2006)



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