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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JULY 10-16, 2006





      News from July 16, 2006

    • Sad News - Bob Brooks: The chairman of the Hooters restaurant chain, Robert Brooks was found dead at his [Mrytle Beach, SC] home Sunday morning, according to information from the Horry County coroner's office and a funeral home director. He was 69. It was unclear Sunday how Brooks died, but the coroner's office told The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News that an autopsy would be performed Monday. Brooks' companies sponsored Alan Kulwicki's team when Kulwicki won the Cup championship in 1992. On April 1, 1993, Brooks' son Mark was killed along with Kulwicki and two others in the crash of a Hooters-owned plane that was attempting to land at the Tri-Cities Airport at Bristol, TN. Services are pending.(AP Sources)(7-16-2006)

    • Kyle Busch wins at Loudon: #5-Kyle Busch dominated late and won the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, for his 1st win of the year and 3rd of his career. A late race caution caused the race to go into "overtime", for eight additional laps, causing three drivers who were running in the top-5 with 3 laps to go to run out of gas [#11-Hamlin, #41-Sorenson and #38-Sadler], #99-Edwards finished 2nd, followed by #16-Biffle, #6-Martin & #29-Harvick. Rounding out the top-10 were #11-Hamlin, #31-Burton, #9-Kahne, #48-Johnson & #10-Riggs. #20-Stewart was leading early in the race and got tangled up with #12-Newman who was 2 laps down at the point, sending Stewart into the wall and out of contention, Stewart's team got the car fixed and he finished 37th, but is now out of the Chase and 11th in points. Newman, who won the pole, had another incident on the track and ended up 39th after the team made repairs. #48-Johnson's points lead increases a tad to 68 over #17-Kenseth. #8-Earnahrdt Jr. lost an engine just after midway and finished dead last 43rd after running in the top-10 up to that point. There were 21 lead changes among 11 drivers and 11 cautions for 49 laps.
      Race Results on my Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points page.
      Race Rundown: see my Loudon Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-16-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Loudon [19 of 36 races]:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 2789
      #17-Matt Kenseth 2721 -68
      #31-Jeff Burton 2478 -311
      #5-Kyle Busch 2455 -334
      #6-Mark Martin 2451 -338
      #9-Kasey Kahne 2445 -344
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2428 -361
      #29-Kevin Harvick 2408 -381
      #24-Jeff Gordon 2342 -447
      #16-Greg Biffle 2342 -447
      and fighting for 10th
      #20-Tony Stewart 2331 -11 out of 10th and the chase
      #11-Denny Hamlin 2324 -18
      #99-Carl Edwards 2196 -146
      #2-Kurt Busch 2136 -206
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(7-16-2006)

    • PENALTY REPORT: Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
      32 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 20
      31 PT Speeding entering pit road Lap 79
      00 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 92
      12 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 96
      32 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 96
      00 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 97
      32 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 102
      49 TE Speeding entering pit road Lap 117
      49 TE Speeding entering pit road Lap 199
      25 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 200
      66 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 210
      88 TE Speeding entering pit road Lap 212
      2 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 234
      21 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 268
      PT - Pass through
      TE - Tail end of the longest line
      SG - Stop and Go
      OL - One lap
      ND - NASCAR discretion
      MCI - Must come into pits
      (NASCAR Statisical Services)(7-16-2006)

    • Rumblings - New Hampshire - Race Notes: It was every crew chief's worst nightmare.... A fairly long overtime led to fuel nerves up and down pit road today, but Kyle Busch had enough to outlast Carl Edwards and win the Lenox Industrial Tools 308 at New Hampshire International Speedway. This was the 3rd career win for the younger Busch, his first of 2006 (we've had 11 different drivers grace Victory Lane this season), and moves him into a tie for 86th on the all-time win list. Win #146 for Hendrick Motorsports was worth $242,175 from the $5.2M+ in posted awards.
      Greg Biffle (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Darlington in May.
      Mark Martin (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Lowe's in May.
      David Stremme (11th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 16th twice....at Daytona in July and at Chicagoland in July of '05.
      Dave Blaney (13th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Homestead last November.
      Sterling Marlin (16th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Richmond in May.
      Scott Wimmer (20th) had his best finish since he was 19th at Bristol in March.
      Kevin Lepage (30th) had his best finish since he was 28th at Talladega in April (only six races).
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 8 Top-10's in the last 9 races. Kevin Harvick has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
      This Week's Elevator...UP: The Operator of the Week is Scott Riggs (+32), followed by Greg Biffle (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Ryan Newman (-38 ), followed by Tony Stewart (-32), Kurt Busch (-28 ), Joe Nemechek (-25), and Kenny Wallace (-23). Newman's BD is #3 for the season....he's now tied for the top spot in that category.
      We've got a race for the final exempt spot....that all-important 35th place on the owner points list. The #40 car of David Stremme is now only 13 points behind the #21 of Ken Schrader. The pressure could shift after next week, and with Indy coming up in two weeks there might be some sleepless nights in the offing.
      It's looking more and more like 12 guys for 10 spots in the "Chase". Greg Biffle moves in this week and Tony Stewart falls out. 9th to 12th is now separated by just 12 points! Jimmie Johnson pads his lead by 17 markers....it's now 68. Kyle Busch (8th to 4th) makes the best move forward this week while Dale Earnhardt Jr (3rd to 7th) and Tony Stewart (7th to 11th) fall the most spots.(Stock Car Fans)(7-16-2006)

    • New Hampshire Race Notes:
      • Kyle Busch won the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, scoring his third NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 61st career start. All three of Busch’s victories have occurred on a superspeedway.
      • Busch scored his first victory in 2006. His last win came at Phoenix last November 2005, 20 races ago.
      • This was Busch’s first victory and second top-five finish in three races at New Hampshire.
      • Busch scored his 10th top-10 finish in 19 races this season, including top-five finishes in the last three. He has scored five straight top-15 finishes.
      • Busch climbed from eighth to fourth in the point standings, the highest points position of his 61-race career.
      • Busch led five times for 107 laps including the final 69, leading the most laps for the first time in 2006 and the second time in his career laps. He also led the most laps at California in September 2005, when he scored his careerfirst victory.
      • This is team owner Rick Hendrick’s 146th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. Hendrick has scored six victories in 2006. It also is Hendrick’s sixth victory at New Hampshire International Speedway tying Jack Roush for the most.
      • Hendrick Motorsports has won at least one race each season 1986-2006, 21 consecutive years. Notebook Items
      • Carl Edwards (second) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 2006 and his first top-10 finish in four races at New Hampshire.
      • Greg Biffle (third) scored his 10th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fourth top-10 finish in eight races at New Hampshire and his third straight top-five finish here. Biffle climbed from 11th to 10th in the point standings, 11 points ahead of 11th-place Tony Stewart.
      • Mark Martin (fourth) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 2006. This was his 13th top-10 in 23 races at New Hampshire. He has scored top-15 finishes in his last five races at New Hampshire.
      • Kevin Harvick (fifth) scored his 10th top-10 finish 19 races in 2006, including the last three races. It is his sixth top- 10 finish in 11 races at New Hampshire. Harvick extended a 31-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, the longest current streak.
      • Jeff Burton (seventh) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 13th straight top-15 finish extending a streak that began at Texas in April. It marked his 10th top-10 finish in 23 races at New Hampshire.
      • Jimmie Johnson (ninth) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 2006, the most of all drivers. He remained first in the point standings, now 68 points ahead of second-place Matt Kenseth. Johnson has been ranked among the top 10 for 88 consecutive races. Johnson has scored nine straight top-15 finishes at New Hampshire.
      • Denny Hamlin (sixth) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 2006.
      • Matt Kenseth (14th) ended a streak of seven straight top-10 finishes at New Hampshire.
      • Kurt Busch (38th) ended a streak of five straight top-10 finishes that began at Pocono.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (43rd) ended a streak of three straight top-10 finishes at New Hampshire.
      • At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 19 races this season.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-16-2006)

    • 2007 Testing, Talladega added, 5 to be chosen: NASCAR is expected to give Cup teams one more open test session next season. That would give teams seven tests at tracks that host Cup races. Those are the only times teams can test at such tracks. The tests will include Daytona and Talladega. The Talladega test is expected to be for the car of tomorrow. Series officials passed out ballots to crew chiefs to vote on the remaining five tracks to test. No final count has been made, but the five tracks are expected to be Lowe's Motor Speedway, Richmond, Homestead, Las Vegas and Indianapolis. Daytona testing is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 8-11 and Jan. 15-18. The sessions will be divided based on what the car owner points were after last weekend's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Teams in odd positions will go one week and teams in the even spots will go the other weekend.(Roanoke Times)(7-16-2006)

    • Leicht to make Cup debut at Indy? UPDATE 2 at Pocono: hearing the RYR Busch Series driver Stephen Leicht, will attempt to make the Brickyard 400 at Indy in a third RYR Ford.(7-10-2006)
      UPDATE: Robert Yates Racing hopes to get development driver Stephen Leicht approved for the Allstate 400 next month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 19-year-old driver tested at the track Monday and will test again Wednesday in preparation for his possible Nextel Cup debut in the #90 RYR Ford.(SceneDaily.com)(7-11-2006)
      UPDATE 2 - Pocono: Robert Yates Racing development driver Stephen Leicht will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut July 23 at Pocono Raceway. Leicht, who was sixth-fastest among drivers Wednesday during the Cup test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said Friday that the plan is for him to run Pocono and then at the Brickyard in RYR's #90 Ford. Leicht has nine Busch Series starts with the best finish of 10th at Kentucky. He has driven in two restrictor-plate Busch Series races. The 19-year-old driver who won the 2005 ASA Late Model Series title is considered a candidate to compete in Nextel Cup next season for the Yates team. Either Raymond Fox III or Butch Hylton will serve as crew chief for the car, said Leicht, who has never raced at Pocono.(SceneDaily.com)(7-14-2006)
      UPDATE 3: Robert Yates Racing announced that Stephen Leicht, driver of the #90 CitiFinancial Ford, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at Pocono Raceway on July 23. Leicht, nineteen years of age, will also attempt to become the youngest driver to compete in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 6. Leicht wrapped up a two day test session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this week, posting the sixth-fastest time among drivers on Wednesday. RYR will utilize Matt McCall, co-driver of the #90 CitiFinancial Ford, for the Busch Series event at Martinsville Speedway on July 22. This will be the first Nextel Cup event for CitiFinancial Racing. They joined Robert Yates Racing in 2005 for a partial season and currently compete full-time in the Busch Series.(RYR PR)(7-16-2006)

    • Blewett wins Modified race at NHIS; Stewart 9th; Edwards 39th: John Blewett, III of Howell, N.J. drove to his second consecutive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory of the 2006 season in the New England 100 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Blewett passed James Civali of Meriden, Conn. on the final lap, just prior to the final caution period occurring, and won the race in a yellow/checkered flag finish. Reggie Ruggiero was third, followed by Eddie Flemke and Mike Stefanik. Two Nextel Cup drivers ran the race with Tony Stewart finishing 9th and Carl Edwards 39th. Both NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers were making their first series start.(NASCARtouring.com)(7-16-2006)


      News from July 15, 2006

    • Elliott fulltime with Red Bull in 2007? According to sources in the garage, Bill Elliott, also known as 'Awesome Bill from Dawesonville', will return full-time to NASCAR Cup competition as Brian Vickers' teammate at Team Red Bull in 2007.(source Ford Racing)(7-15-2006)

    • Danica gets offer from Cup team: Danica Patrick said Friday she has received a preliminary offer from a NASCAR Nextel Cup team for the 2007 season and doubts an IRL IndyCar Series team can match the money being discussed. However, she also said she prefers to stay in open-wheel racing, and that preference could play a part in her decision. “The money doesn‘t really matter,” Patrick said after qualifying at Nashville. “If the top teams came to me, no matter what the number was, and I thought I had a chance to win, I‘d really think about it. Winning is what puts me in headlines.” Meanwhile, IRL team owner Michael Andretti indicated he might - given the right circumstances - be interested in hiring Patrick, but echoed her sentiment that not many open-wheel teams are able to generate the sponsorship money to pay multi-million dollar retainers. Danica Patrick acknowledged Friday that financial numbers have been discussed with a Nextel Cup team, but declined to say which one. “I haven‘t seen an offer, but I‘ve heard about one,” she said. When asked which team made the offer, she said, “I‘m definitely not at liberty to say.” (Speed Channel)(7-15-2006)

    • Sadler deadline - Saturday? Sadler to the #19? Mayfield to Toyota? UPDATE 3: Elliott Sadler has until Saturday to tell Robert Yates whether he plans to drive the #38 M&M's Ford next year. With Dale Jarrett leaving at the end of the year, Yates might have to fill two seats. Two drivers reportedly on Yates' short list are Ward Burton and Stephen Leicht.(Orlando Sentinel)
      UPDATE 1: hearing Elliott Sadler, current driver of the #38 M&M's Ford for RYR, will go to he #19 Evernham Motorsports Dodge with current driver there, Jeremy Mayfield going to one of the three Toyota Teams, most likely Michael Waltrip Racing and the #00 car.
      AND Speed Channel's Bob Dilner on NASCAR Live, that rumor has Sadler going to the #19 and COULD be taking the M&M's sponsorship with him.
      UPDATE2 : #55-Michael Waltrip, who will graduate to team ownership with Toyota next year, says he has offered a job to driver #19-Jeremy Mayfield, who recently has expressed dissatisfaction with his current situation at Evernham Racing. "The ball's in his court," Waltrip told Speed Channel after his qualifying run Friday at New Hampshire, referring to Mayfield. "Hopefully it will all come together, and as soon as it does we'll let the world know." That, meanwhile, would open the seat in Evernham's #19 Dodge for Elliott Sadler, who apparently is looking for a way out of his deal with Robert Yates. Other reports say Sadler could take sponsor M&Ms with him to the #19, although that could not be confirmed. Robert Yates and Doug Yates were not at the track Friday, although Slugger Labbe, crew chief for Sadler teammate Dale Jarrett and the #88, hinted, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Mayfield would complete the lineup for Waltrip's three-car Toyota stable. Waltrip will drive one of the cars, with NAPA sponsorship [#55]. He has hired Jarrett and landed sponsor UPS for the second car [#?], and Mayfield would drive the so-far-vacant third car [#00], to be backed by Domino's and Burger King. Mayfield had no comment on the reports. Sadler denied he had had any negotiations with Evernham, and he has a year left on his contract with Yates. He admitted he had had a long talk with Yates this week at the Indianapolis tests.(Speed Channel)(7-14-2006)
      UPDATE 3:Sadler denied that he's had discussions with Evernham or anybody from Evernham Motorsports about leaving Robert Yates Racing, but admitted there have been discussions with other teams.(NASCAR.com)
      AND Sadler insists his overriding commitment is winning for his team and sponsors. The latest speculation has Sadler taking the #19 Dodge of Evernham Motorsports when Jeremy Mayfield leaves to drive a Toyota for Michael Waltrip. At least one Internet site says Sadler must give Yates a “staying or going” statement this weekend. ”I don’t know about any deadline or date or anything like that,” Sadler said after qualifying 18th for Sunday afternoon’s Lenox Industrial Tools 300. “Robert and I talked at Indy [during a recent test]. Our conversation was that we’re not running as well as we’d like; he’s frustrated and I’m frustrated; what do we need to make it better; what direction do we take? We ran a Roush chassis at Chicago [qualified 29th, finished 32nd], but that didn’t seem to be the answer. That was pretty much our 45-minute conversation. So far as a deadline for deciding about next year: I don’t have one; I don’t think Robert has one; M&Ms doesn’t have one. I haven’t made up my mind what I’m going to do. This is the only uniform I’ve had on in four years, so I can see myself driving this 38 Ford again next year."(Ford Racing)(7-15-2006)

    • Carpentier may test with unknown Busch team: IRL and Champ Car veteran Patrick Carpentier is exploring NASCAR options at New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend. Carpentier is meeting with a Busch Series team on Saturday morning to firm up a test session that could lead to running some ARCA and Busch series races. "For me, it's new beginning," said Carpentier said. "I really enjoyed open wheel, too, but I like long races, close races and ovals, so it was a good fit. The last few years NASCAR gets more and more popular so that Formula One guys now look at NASCAR. The sport has grown so much, and we all know what the open wheel split hasn't helped the last few years."(USA Today)(7-15-2006)

    • Roush helping RYR: Car owner Jack Roush is offering what help he can to revive Robert Yates Racing. #38-Elliott Sadler drove a chassis last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway that Yates purchased from Roush. Robert Yates Racing, a Ford team like Roush, has struggled this season with most of its woes on tracks 1.5 miles and longer. Sadler ran well in practice but struggled in the race and finished 29th. "I do have great empathy and sympathy for Robert [Yates] and Doug [Yates] and I wish them well,'' Roush said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway. "I don't want to see them lose those sponsors and to lose their viability. That's not what I want.''(Roanoke Times)(7-15-2006)


      News from July 14, 2006

    • Montoya Schedule? BUT: no word when Juan Pablo Montoya will run his first race [Watkins Glen? MIS? Calif] but been told he will run in a combined 22 events, scattered thruout Nextel Cup, Busch and ARCA.
      BUT: McLaren boss Ron Dennis has made it very clear that Juan Pablo Montoya will not be able to drive a Dodge Nextel Cup car for Chip Ganassi until the end of his contract at the end of the year – unless a financial deal of some kind is made in the interim. There is a DaimlerChrysler link between the two camps, but that does not seem to have helped smooth the waters. “He is a contracted McLaren driver and it will stay that way until the end of his contract unless there is some other commercial arrangement between ourselves and the NASCAR team, or Juan himself,” Dennis said Friday at the French Grand Prix. He added that Montoya would not be allowed to test for Ganassi this year, and that the contract extended beyond the end of the racing season. “There is a conflict of sponsors, advertising campaigns and a whole raft or reasons why that is not a practical proposition.”(Speed Channel site)(7-14-2006)

    • Tony Stewart Foundation Donates another $1 Million for Victory Junction: #20-Tony Stewart today announced his foundation's second donation of $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Located in Randleman, N.C., the Victory Junction Gang Camp is dedicated to creating empowering experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in memory of their son Adam. This is Stewart's third major contribution to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, with his first donation having come in 2001 thanks to the collective efforts of Stewart, The Home Depot, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. When Stewart competed in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, he pledged $100 for every lap he completed, with The Home Depot, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing each matching Stewart's donation. And after completing all 600 laps, $240,000 was raised for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. In November of 2003, the Tony Stewart Foundation pledged $1 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Foundation met that goal by hosting benefit concerts at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center in Paducah, Ky., and by staging the Nextel Prelude to the Dream - a dirt track race among Nextel Cup drivers at the Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. This year's Nextel Prelude to the Dream was originally scheduled for June 7, but rain postponed it to Sept. 6. Nonetheless, drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley will join Prelude veterans Petty, Harvick, Kenseth, Labonte and others in raising even more money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart now has cumulative unrestricted donations totaling over $2 million to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. He is a founding member of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, along with the Pettys, actor Paul Newman and the Bahre family - owners of New Hampshire International Speedway.(Tony Stewart Foundation PR)(7-14-2006)

    • Ernie Irvan's second annual L.A.P.S. Walk event date changed at MIS: The date for Ernie Irvan's second annual L.A.P.S. Walk event at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) has been changed from Wednesday, August 16th to Thursday, August 17, 2006. Irvan and the Brain Injury Association of America have chosen to change the date of the walk to better accommodate the schedules of the NASCAR drivers who want to walk alongside Irvan in this event. More info on the event on my Racing Charities page.(7-14-2006)

    • Newman wins pole at New Hampshire: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a speed of 129.683mph for his 2nd pole of 2006 and 37th of his career. #31-Jeff Burton will start 2nd followed by #25-Brian Vickers, #5-Kyle Busch and #20-Stewart. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 25th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #78-Wallace, #40-Stremme, #32-Kvapil, #4-Wimmer, #49-Lepage, #55-Waltrip, #95-Barrett and #00-Elliott made the field using the Champions Provisional. Missing the race were: #61-Christopher, #34-McCarthy, #74-Cope and #89-Shepherd. See the qualifying results/ starting lineup, pole progression and more on my Loudon Starting Grid/Qualifying Page.(7-14-2006)

    • Ramblings - New Hampshire Qualifying Notes: It was Ryan Newman by an eyelash.... Newman grabbed his second Bud Pole of the season today at New Hamphshire International Speedway by .007 seconds over Jeff Burton for Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 300. The 37th top-spot of his career was accomplished with a lap of 29.370 sec (129.683 mph).
      Kyle Busch (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Phoenix in April.
      Reed Sorenson (9th) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 13th at Texas in April.
      Tony Raines (15th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 12th at Martinsville in April.
      Carl Edwards (17th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 7th at Darlington in May.
      Kenny Wallace (19th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 17th at Phoenix last November.
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
      There's a pretty good chance we'll see the winner come from inside the Top-10 starters this weekend. We've had 22 races here, with 18 former wins represented by drivers in this week's field. Of those 18 victories, the drivers in the Top-10 have accounted for 15 of 'em (six of those on the front row!). Sounds like horses for courses.... (Stock Car Fans)(7-14-2006)

    • Loudon Qualifying Notes:
      • Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Lenox Industrial Tools 300, lapping New Hampshire International Speedway in 29.370 seconds at 129.683 mph. Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 28.561 seconds, 133.357 mph - set Sept. 12, 2003.
      • This is Newman’s 37th career Bud Pole in 171 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • This is Newman’s second Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in 2006.
      • Newman became the fifth repeat Bud Pole winner in 2006. Kasey Kahne (four), Greg Biffle (two), Kurt Busch (two) and Jeff Burton (two) are the other multiple Bud Pole winners thi season.
      • This is Newman’s fourth Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in nine NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Qualifying was canceled in two of his nine races – giving him four Bud Pole sin seven qualifying attempts here.
      • Newman is the only repeat Bud Pole winner and one of only three different Bud Pole winners in the last eight races at New Hampshire. Newman has four of those Bud Poles while Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers have one each. Qualifying was canceled twice.
      • Jeff Burton posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.377 seconds, 129.651 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the Lenox Industrial Tools 300. Burton posted his sixth top-10 start in 23 races at New Hampshire, and tied his career-best set in September 2000.
      • This is the ninth Bud Pole for Dodge in 2006. Chevrolet has five Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • Brian Vickers (third) has started from the top 10 in two of his five New Hampshire races.
      • Kyle Busch (fourth) started seventh and 30th in his previous two races at New Hampshire.
      • Tony Stewart (fifth) has posted 10 top-10 starts in 15 races at New Hampshire.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(7-14-2006)

    • Ryan Newman Foundation kicks off Big Fix Rig in New Orleans: #12-Ryan Newman, and his wife Krissie have been named spokespeople for the National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT). Their first project for the initiative was welcoming the Big Fix Rig into New Orleans, Louisiana. Krissie Newman traveled to New Orleans with Ryan Newman Foundation Executive Director Rosalie De Fini on July 11 to christen the Big Fix Rig, a new 53-foot mobile spay/neuter clinic capable of performing 120 cat sterilization surgeries per day as part of the effort to reduce pet overpopulation nationwide. The mobile clinic was funded by grants from the PETCO Foundation and the Leonard X. Bosack & Bette M. Kruger Charitable Foundation. Welcoming the Big Fix Rig into Louisiana kicks off a major spay/neuter program in the Gulf Coast. Leading animal welfare organizations-the ASPCA, PetSmart Charities, the Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and United Animal Nations-have joined in an effort to fund $3.2 million in support of spay/neuter programs in the hurricane affected areas of Mississippi and Louisiana. The National Spay/Neuter Response Team is an initiative of the Humane Alliance, which is a nonprofit public, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Asheville, North Carolina. One clinic that is slated to open in 2007 is the Ryan Newman Foundation Spay/Neuter Clinic at the Humane Society of Catawba County's multipurpose animal welfare facility that is being constructed this year. The Ryan Newman Foundation pledged a donation of $400,000 to build the clinic, which will serve eight counties in the heart of NASCAR country in North Carolina. While in the Gulf Coast for the Big Fix Rig kick-off, Krissie Newman and Rosalie De Fini took time to visit the Humane Society of South Mississippi and St. Francis Animal Sanctuary. Both organizations received a grant from the Ryan Newman Foundation for Hurricane Katrina Pet Rescue. More info at www.ryannewmanfoundation.org.(7-14-2006)

    • Gordon/Montoya Tradin' Paint Special to be re-aired TONIGHT: The wheels of Juan Pablo Montoya's move to NASCAR may have been put into motion on SPEED back in June of 2003 in the network special, Tradin' Paint. The Columbian Formula One star, and then driver for Frank Williams' factory BMW operation, swapped vehicles with Jeff Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports #24 DuPont Chevrolet NASCAR Nextel Cup Series entry at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On Friday night, July 14, SPEED will once again air Tradin' Paint at 10:30pm/et, immediately following a replay of Nextel Cup Series qualifying from New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.(Speed Channel PR)(7-12/14-2006)

    • Budweiser Shootout Update - midpoint: With the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup at the halfway point, 19 drivers are already eligible to compete in the season-opening 2007 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. The record number of entries for the all-star event is 22, set in 2004. The 2007 event will be the 29th running of the invitation-only event, and includes active drivers that are past winners of the race and all 2006 Budweiser Pole Award winners during the 36-race Nextel Cup season.(fingerprint inc./Budweiser PR), see more about the Bud Shootout, the 19 drivers eligible, all time poles and more on my 2007 Budweiser Shootout Page.(7-14-2006)


      News from July 13, 2006

    • One count dismissed in Haas case: One of the two counts of witness intimidation in the indictment of NASCAR team owner Gene Haas has been dropped. The U.S attorney's office asked for the dismissal of the charge because the five-year statute of limitations had expired. The charge stemmed from a May 10, 2001, conversation, and the indictment, while handed down by the grand jury in October 2005, was not filed until June 8, 2006. Haas, who owns the #66 Nextel Cup team of Jeff Green and the #00 Busch Series team of Johnny Sauter, still faces five counts of tax fraud and one count of witness intimidation. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which revolve around his Haas Automation business and not the race team. The company has blamed a former employee for the tax troubles.(SceneDaily.com)(7-13-2006)

    • Edwards to run triple duty at NHIS; Stewart in a Modified too: #99-Carl Edwards aside from running his normal Cup and Busch schedule this weekend, is scheduled to run in Saturday’s Whelen Modified race. With running all three races, Edwards will log 600 laps and more than 634 miles around the 1.058-mile speedway. And before arriving in New Hampshire, Edwards will compete in a 100-lap shootout at a local dirt track in Middletown, N.Y. Once in New Hampshire, Edwards will prepare for three races; Sunday’s Cup race and two races on Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, Edwards will run a Ford Mustang in the Whelen Modified race scheduled for a 1:10pm/et start. Following the Modified race, Edwards will move to his #60 Ameriquest Ford Fusion to compete in the Busch series race, with a scheduled start of 3:00pm/et. On Sunday, Edwards will turn another 300 laps around the New Hampshire International Speedway for the running of the LENOX Industrial Tools 300. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 1996, when Steve Park completed 631 laps in a two day span (September 7-8).(Roush Racing)
      AND while many drivers will be doing the double, running both the Cup and Busch Series races, Tony Stewart will run the Cup and the Whelen Modified race, in a car owned by Curt Chase the father of a Joe Gibbs Racing employee, Mark Chase. Stewart hasn't raced a Modified since 2003 at Thompson International Speedway in CT. Foxwoods Resort Casino of Mashantucket, Conn., will sponsor Stewart in the New England 100 on behalf of the American Cancer Society. Foxwoods Resort Casino will make a donation equivalent to Stewarts race winnings in the New England 100 to the American Cancer Society through the Racing Against Cancer program. This is the fifth year that Foxwoods has joined Racing Against Cancer for a promotion at NHIS.(Racing Against Cancer/JGR PR)(7-13-2006)

    • New Hampshire Rookie Notes: #41-Reed Sorenson was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 9 USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Sorenson scored a seventh-place finish, his fourth top-10 in 20 career Nextel Cup Series starts and his second in the last four races. He led the race once for six laps, the third event he has led in 2006. Sorenson claimed top Raybestos Rookie honors for the fourth time this season. Three Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10 at Chicagoland, the most freshman drivers to finish in the top-10 in a race this season: Sorenson, #07-Clint Bowyer (9th) and #18-J.J. Yeley (10th). Denny Hamlin leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by 24 points (202-178) over Bowyer entering the July 16 LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Bowyer scored his second consecutive top-10 finish and fifth of the 2006 season at Chicagoland. He also moved up two spots in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings to 16th entering the race at New Hampshire. Bowyer trails 15th-place Casey Mears by 54 points. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-15 in all 18 races this season. Hamlin is 12th in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He is three points behind 11th-place Greg Biffle and 50 behind 10th-place Jeff Gordon. Hamlin holds an 82-point lead over 13th-place Kurt Busch.(Raybestos PR), see full rookie notes, standings and history on my Rookies Page.(7-13-2006)

    • New Hampshire Goodyear Tire Notes: NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will be the same tire codes at New Hampshire this weekend . . . this is the third time this season that Nextel Cup teams have run this exact combination of left- and right-side tires, and the fourth time for Busch Series teams . . . both series ran this tire set-up at Phoenix and Richmond earlier in the year, while Busch teams also ran these codes three weeks ago at Milwaukee . . . as on all most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 85-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR) For more notes. pressures, codes...see my Loudon Race Info/Rundown Page.(7-13-2006)

    • #400 for Mayfield at NHIS: #19-Jeremy Mayfield will make his 400th career Nextel Cup start this weekend at New Hampshire International Raceway. His first start came at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1993 (10/10/93).(Clear!Blue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(7-13-2006)

    • Auto Value on the #10 at NHIS: For the first time Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will be the primary sponsor on Scott Riggs’ #10 this weekend at NHIS as part of a two race partnership. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s next race will be at Richmond in the fall.(Clear!Blue/Evernham PR), see an image of the scheme on my #10 Team Schemes page(7-13-2006)

    • Gordon looking to talk with Kenseth: When #24-Jeff Gordon arrived in Indianapolis on Wednesday, he said he was looking for #17-Matt Kenseth - and not just to push him out of the way like he did at the end of Sunday's race in Chicago. "I'd certainly like to see him before I leave here," Gordon said before the third day of testing began. "I was hoping just to see him here because I figured we'd all be here."(Associated Press)(7-13-2006)

    • Hendrick Marrow Program Present Gordon with Award: #24-Jeff Gordon is no stranger to giving. Through The Jeff Gordon Foundation, he has provided support to several organizations committed to helping children with chronic illnesses and their families. Now, two of these partner organizations have given Gordon something in return. On Saturday, July 8, Gordon was presented with an award in recognition of his devoted support of The Marrow Foundation and the Hendrick Marrow Program. The award presentation took place at the Jeff Gordon Network Fan Event at Chicagoland Speedway in front of 240 of Gordon's most loyal fans. Courtney Hurd, Manager of The Marrow Foundation's Hendrick Marrow Program, presented Gordon with the award on behalf of both organizations. Founded in 1997 by Rick Hendrick in partnership with The Marrow Foundation, the Hendrick Marrow Program works to increase public awareness of the need for marrow and blood cell donors by providing funds for marrow donor recruitment drives, and financial assistance to patients and their families for uninsured transplant-related expenses.(pprplus.com)(7-13-2006)

    • Burton to visit ESPN and Online Chat: Prior to his arrival at New Hampshire International Speedway for the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 race weekend, #31 Team Cingular driver Jeff Burton will spend Thursday, July 13 in Bristol, Conn. at the ESPN campus. Burton is scheduled for a day-long media tour of various ESPN programs including Mike and Mike in the Morning, Sportscenter, ESPNews, ESPN.com, Cold Pizza, ESPN Radio and EOE, ESPN's in-house production company.(RCR PR)(7-12-2006)
      CHAT: fans can chat with Burton at ESPN.com on Thursday, July 13th at 3:50pm/et.(7-13-2006)


      News from July 12, 2006

    • Different Sponsor for the #21 at Loudon: Ken Schrader, driver of the #21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion will have Sunbelt Cereals as his sponsor at New Hampshire Interntional Speedway. Mckee Foods Corporation manufactures Sunbelt Cereals and also Little Debbie snack cakes, which is one of the primary sponsors on the team.(Wood Brothers Racing)
      AND Little Debbie has begun discussing sponsorship of the famed #21 car with WoodBrothers/JTG Racing for the 2007 NEXTEL Cup series. In February 2006 at the Daytona 500, the Little Debbie brand made history as the stylish, new Little Debbie Ford Fusion #21 car rolled onto the track. Since that first exhilarating race, the response to their NEXTEL Cup sponsorship from both customers and employees has been exceptionally positive. Now, on the eve of the debut of the bright yellow #21 Sunbelt Ford Fusion, McKee Foods has indicated their interest in continuing to sponsor the #21 car for the 2007 season. Discussion is underway with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing and a decision is expected by Labor Day.(McKee Foods PR), see an image of the bright yellow car on my #21 Team Schemes page.(7-12-2006)

    • Indy Testing Day 3 - over: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup testing is underway today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a three-hour rain delay this morning. Forty-two drivers plan to turn laps after rain washed out testing Tuesday. Testing is scheduled to continue until 6:00pm/et.
      Day 2 [Tuesday, July 11th] was washed out by rain, testing is scheduled to continue, Wednesday, July 12th at 8:00am/et.
      Day 3 Speeds: #41-Sorenson was fastest 65 cars on Wednesday's final day of testing at Indy with a speed of 181.892mph, which was also the fastest overall of the 2-day test [Monday and Wed...Tues was rained out], followed by #2a-Busch, #4-Wimmer, #21-Schrader and #38a-Sadler. #04-Bobby Hamilton Jr., #16-Greg Biffle and #5-Kyle Busch each contacted the wall, no word on damage, no injuires reported.
      See speeds from Day 1 and Day 3, plus overall....on my Indy Testing News/Speeds page.(7-12-2006)

    • Montoya could debut at Michigan or Calif in a stock car UPDATE: Juan Pablo Montoya has suddenly become the hottest property in NASCAR, and folks at Michigan International Speedway would like to make the former Formula One star at home there as soon as possible. MIS management contacted Montoya's new race team, Chip Ganassi Racing, on Tuesday to invite the Colombian to run both the ARCA Re/Max and Busch Grand National races at the Irish Hills track during the Nextel Cup weekend in August. Bill Janitz, MIS public relations director, confirmed contact with Chip Ganassi Racing. "We would be proud to welcome back an MIS champion in August, perhaps in an ARCA or Busch race, or both," Janitz said. Montoya is booked to drive the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge, which Casey Mears will vacate, in 2007. As a NASCAR rookie, Montoya may need to have gained superspeedway stock car experience before he would likely be allowed to start in the Daytona 500, the first race of the series next season. He could do that at MIS Aug. 18-19, or at California in September or Talladega in October. "Michigan is big, fast and wide," Janitz said. "It would make a lot of sense for Montoya to race here next month. He knows the track and he's a winner at MIS."(Detroit Free Press)
      UPDATE: Juan Pablo Montoya is no longer competing in Formula One, but when he will start driving in NASCAR for Chip Ganassi Racing is still to be determined. Team owner Chip Ganassi said Wednesday he has not received the details of Montoya's release from his McLaren-Mercedes ride in F1, and he does not know when the 30-year-old Colombia will be allowed to test and/or race. The owner said he hoped to have Montoya in a car by the middle of August.(SceneDaily.com)(7-12-006)

    • Danica tells Dad..no to NASCAR BUT.....: Danica Patrick's father clarified his stance today: While he wants the Indy-car driver to switch to NASCAR; she's not so interested even though her contract with Rahal Letterman Racing is set to expire at the end of the season. "I'd be a fool not to want her there, and if you were her father you would, too," T.J. Patrick said after his comments last weekend ignited a media frenzy. "But it's not my decision . . . and I don't believe she wants to do (NASCAR). She wants to stay here (in the IRL), she wants to run Indy, she wants to win the Indy 500. That's her goal." Danica Patrick has been unavailable for comment. T.J. Patrick said he spoke to Danica on Monday so she understood what he told a reporter working for the Tribune Co.[Ed Hinton Orlando Sentinel/Chicago Tribune] "She kind of laughed and said, 'What did you do?' " he said. "It's gotten blown out of proportion so much. No one said a thing when I went with her to the NASCAR race in Phoenix (in April). She talked with (NASCAR team owner) Jack Roush and stuck her head inside Kurt Busch's car. No one said a thing."(Indianapolis Star) BUT: A season's worth of setbacks and upcoming free agent status has IRL IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick thinking about something she never gave that much thought to — NASCAR. "It's important for me to know what's out there and who is interested in me and who will give me the best chance to win," she told USA TODAY in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where she will be presenter at the ESPY Awards being taped tonight. "NASCAR is so big, how can you ignore it?" Patrick, 24, says it's been a "frustrating" and "confusing" season as Rahal Letterman Racing has struggled mightily. A year after capturing three poles and leading the Indy 500, Patrick has struggled along with her team's two other drivers who only have two top-five finishes among them. "My priorities haven't changed," says Patrick, whose contract is up at the end of the season. "I still want to be a winning IndyCar driver. If I'm given an opportunity to drive for an IndyCar team and win races, I'm going to do it." But if the right opportunity isn't there, she has her eye on NASCAR. "I think I'm capable to taking on the challenge, but it would have to be with the right team and with the right deal," she said. "Then I would consider it. Until then, I'm investigating what the interest level is."(USA Today)
      and MORE: Danica Patrick might one day drive in NASCAR, but she doesn't expect it will be next year. "I wouldn't say it was that big of a chance (of going) next year, but I'd say it's a fairly larger chance in the future," she said Tuesday from Los Angeles. Patrick also said her father, T.J., was within his right as her manager to investigate options in NASCAR, which was what he did Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.(Indianapolis Star)(7-12-2006)

    • Sylvania colors for Bowyer at NHIS: Clint Bowyer's #07 Chevy will sport an orange, white and black Sylvania paint scheme this weekend at NHIS. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American lighting operation of OSRAM GmbH. Together they are the second-largest lighting and materials enterprise in the world, serving customers in more than 140 countries. Bowyer's standard primary sponsor, Jack Daniel's, is featured on the car's lower-rear quarter panel and on the trunk lid this week.(RCR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(7-12-2006)


      News from July 11, 2006

    • Could Montoya be dropped from F-1 ride? UPDATE 3 released from F-1 ride: The Spanish TV station Tele 5, which broadcasts F1 races is reporting that Juan Pablo Montoya may be dropped by McLaren and replaced for the rest of the year by Pedro de la Rosa. There is a certain amount of logic in all of this as Montoya wants to start preparations to go into NASCAR as soon as he can. The key point in all this is that McLaren is partially-owned by DaimlerChrysler and Montoya will be driving next year in a Dodge, an American brand also owned by DaimlerChrysler. Thus it makes sense for let Montoya get on with his new project and not force him to stay on racing in a series where he has no future and little to gain. All that is really needed is some kind of a financial settlement. De la Rosa should be able to score points, as he did when Montoya was out with injury last year, and he is sure to be highly motivated as he wants to convince the team that he is the best man to be Fernando Alonso's team mate next year.(grandprix.com)(7-10-2006)
      UPDATE: Juan Pablo Montoya’s Formula 1 career may be over sooner than anybody thought after McLaren announced on Tuesday morning that the Colombian will play no further part in the 2006 season. The team issued a statement saying that test driver Pedro de la Rosa will take Montoya’s place in the second race seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen with immediate effect, starting from this weekend’s French Grand Prix. McLaren said Montoya’s departure was by mutual agreement to enable him to adjust to his new life in NASCAR.(itv-f1.com)
      UPDATE 2: In an expected move, F1 team McLaren announced Tuesday that driver Pedro de la Rosa would replace Montoya in the seat of the team's car, effective immediately. "Juan Pablo is an exciting driver and immensely likeable character who will undoubtedly make a successful transition to the NASCAR scene," said Ron Dennis, McLaren CEO and chairman. "We have agreed that with so many things happening in Juan Pablo's life right now, he should take some time out of the car and prepare professionally and personally for the future." The move allows Montoya, who lives in Miami with his family and wife Connie – who is pregnant with the couple's second child (due in September) – to begin testing immediately with his new NASCAR team. "We believe that Juan Pablo's decision to move to NASCAR is very important for him professionally and we will give him every support to ensure that it is a successful transition," said Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice president.(Yahoo Sports)
      UPDATE 3: Chip Ganassi, the team owner who signed Montoya to the NASCAR deal, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he does not yet know the details of the driver's release from McLaren. "But if Juan is available earlier than we expected, our program for him will definitely get an early start," Ganassi said. In making the announcement Sunday, Ganassi said that Montoya would likely make a few starts in the Busch Series after the F1 season ends in October. Asked Tuesday if the possibility of having Montoya in NASCAR earlier than expected means he also could run a few Nextel Cup events this year, Ganassi said, "It's certainly possible, but that's about the third or fourth step in this whole situation. We need to know all the details first before we start making plans."(ESPN.com/AP)(7-11-2006)

    • New Company Launched for NASCAR Driver Development: Over the last several years, team owners - particularly in the NASCAR arena - have been clamoring to find new talent. They are reaching deep into the grassroots levels and trying to secure the best young prospects. With this in mind, veteran NASCAR notable Mike Calinoff, has formed Driver Development Services, LLC -- a full service company dedicated strictly to cultivating new talent. In addition to a menu of services offered, DDS has merged with the successful Team Full Throttle. More info on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(DDS/TFT PR)(7-11-200)

    • Race Car Parts: Competitive Used Parts, Inc. has reopened at 505-C Pitts School Rd. in Concord, NC. Originally incorporated in 1994, C.U.P. was established to provide a consignment warehouse for New and Used Race Car Parts to make racing affordable for everyone.(7-11-2006)

    • Could Montoya be dropped from F-1 ride? UPDATE 3 released from F-1 ride: The Spanish TV station Tele 5, which broadcasts F1 races is reporting that Juan Pablo Montoya may be dropped by McLaren and replaced for the rest of the year by Pedro de la Rosa. There is a certain amount of logic in all of this as Montoya wants to start preparations to go into NASCAR as soon as he can. The key point in all this is that McLaren is partially-owned by DaimlerChrysler and Montoya will be driving next year in a Dodge, an American brand also owned by DaimlerChrysler. Thus it makes sense for let Montoya get on with his new project and not force him to stay on racing in a series where he has no future and little to gain. All that is really needed is some kind of a financial settlement. De la Rosa should be able to score points, as he did when Montoya was out with injury last year, and he is sure to be highly motivated as he wants to convince the team that he is the best man to be Fernando Alonso's team mate next year.(grandprix.com)(7-10-2006)
      UPDATE: Juan Pablo Montoya’s Formula 1 career may be over sooner than anybody thought after McLaren announced on Tuesday morning that the Colombian will play no further part in the 2006 season. The team issued a statement saying that test driver Pedro de la Rosa will take Montoya’s place in the second race seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen with immediate effect, starting from this weekend’s French Grand Prix. McLaren said Montoya’s departure was by mutual agreement to enable him to adjust to his new life in NASCAR.(itv-f1.com)
      UPDATE 2: In an expected move, F1 team McLaren announced Tuesday that driver Pedro de la Rosa would replace Montoya in the seat of the team's car, effective immediately. "Juan Pablo is an exciting driver and immensely likeable character who will undoubtedly make a successful transition to the NASCAR scene," said Ron Dennis, McLaren CEO and chairman. "We have agreed that with so many things happening in Juan Pablo's life right now, he should take some time out of the car and prepare professionally and personally for the future." The move allows Montoya, who lives in Miami with his family and wife Connie – who is pregnant with the couple's second child (due in September) – to begin testing immediately with his new NASCAR team. "We believe that Juan Pablo's decision to move to NASCAR is very important for him professionally and we will give him every support to ensure that it is a successful transition," said Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice president.(Yahoo Sports)
      UPDATE 3: Chip Ganassi, the team owner who signed Montoya to the NASCAR deal, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he does not yet know the details of the driver's release from McLaren. "But if Juan is available earlier than we expected, our program for him will definitely get an early start," Ganassi said. In making the announcement Sunday, Ganassi said that Montoya would likely make a few starts in the Busch Series after the F1 season ends in October. Asked Tuesday if the possibility of having Montoya in NASCAR earlier than expected means he also could run a few Nextel Cup events this year, Ganassi said, "It's certainly possible, but that's about the third or fourth step in this whole situation. We need to know all the details first before we start making plans."(ESPN.com/AP)(7-11-2006)

    • Danica Patrick to NASCAR...on 2007? UPDATEs: Danica Patrick could become the next star driver to defect from another major racing series to NASCAR. "I'm trying to get her here [into NASCAR]," said T.J. Patrick, father of the woman who dazzled the motor racing world last year by nearly winning the Indianapolis 500, but has struggled with a mediocre Indy Racing League car ever since. T.J. Patrick, who has managed his daughter's career since her childhood, was at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, holding exploratory talks with some Nextel Cup teams and sponsors about the possibility of Danica leaving the IRL for NASCAR as early as next year. Her contract expires with the IRL's Rahal-Letterman Racing team, co-owned by TV comic David Letterman, at the end of this season. In addition to considering NASCAR, the Patricks are negotiating with other IRL teams -- and appear unlikely to renew with Rahal-Letterman next year. Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman racing, declined comment through a spokesperson. Danica, 24, wasn't at Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR race. T.J. and Danica's mother, Bev, came to the Joliet track because "we've had some inquiries" from NASCAR teams, T.J. said. The Patricks were in the Nextel Cup garage area as guests of the powerful Roush Racing team, which fields five Ford teams.(Orlando Sentinel/Ed Hinton)(7-10-2006)
      UPDATE: Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said while T.J. Patrick was a guest of the team, no discussions took place in regards to his daughter's racing future. Representatives from some other NASCAR teams — including Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Evernham Motorsports, Robert Yates Racing and Team Red Bull — also said they have yet to speak to the 24-year-old from Roscoe, Ill. A spokesman for Rahal Letterman Racing said the team had no comment other then to say discussions to extend Patrick's contract — which expires after the season — are ongoing. Neither Danica nor her father could be reached Monday. "That father is doing all the pushing here," said Rusty Wallace, a former NASCAR driver and current commentator on ABC/ESPN IRL broadcasts. "What needs to happen is that Danica has to come and make the decision ... She's the best lady driver I have ever seen."(USA Today)
      AND some quotes: "She's certainly had an impact on open-wheel racing," NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said. "I'm not privy to any conversation she's had with any team, but NASCAR would certainly welcome Danica Patrick." When asked about Patrick on Monday at Indianapolis while taking a break from testing for next month's Allstate 400, Martin admitted he was still getting over the shock of Sunday's announcement that Juan Pablo Montoya will compete in the Cup Series in 2007. "Oh, wow, you know, that would be another huge one for sure," Martin said during a teleconference. I think it would be great, absolutely fantastic. She is definitely a major, major, major draw. It would be fantastic to see her getting involved at this stage in her career, which is in the early stages. It would give her enough time to really adapt to the cars and everything and make a go of it."(in part from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-11-2006)

    • Harvick's Over-the-Wall Crew Quickest in Chicago: Kevin Harvick's over-the-wall crew collected its second Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win of the season Sunday by spending the least amount of time on pit road during the USG Sheetrock 400. Harvick's #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet spent 192.847 seconds on pit road during the 400-mile race. The winning performance by the #29 crew lifted Harvick to a fourth-place finish. Harvick's over-the-wall team, which also picked up pit crew challenge honors at Richmond International Raceway in May, includes: Nick Terry (jackman), Josh Mick (front-tire carrier), Jason Pulver (front-tire changer), Matt Krueter (rear-tire carrier), Clint Pittman (rear-tire changer), Brian Englehart (gasman), Scott Naset (catch can), Rick Tulbert (2nd gas can) and John Goodwin (eighth-man). The team is led by crew chief Todd Berrier. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The competition awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)
      AND Checkers/Rally's offers fans the chance to win a Fully Loaded Ford F-150, a Winnebago weekend in Talladega, food giveaways and more, more info at www.fullyloadedsummer.com.(7-11-2006)

    • Hermie hopes to get TNA to sponsor him in some 2007 races: Hermie Sadler he hopes Total Nonstop Action (TNA) can serve as his primary sponsor for between 6-8 Cup races in 2007. “I definitely think that’s an area they’re interested in,” Sadler said, “and I’m certainly interested in partnering up with them any chance I can get since I’m already in business with them anyway, so it’s just a natural fit.” Sadler currently runs the United Wrestling Federation (UWF), and through that he is licensed to run TNA “house” (non-televised) shows. TNA enjoyed the benefit of forging a relationship with Sadler this past April, as the promotion received extensive media attention after Sadler teamed with FOX announcer Jeff Hammond and Team 3D to face TNA Champion Jeff Jarrett, “Showtime” Eric Young and America’s Most Wanted in an eight-man lumberjack match. TNA confirmed Sadler’s assertion that no official agreements have been forged between the two for ’07, although it was clearly noted that the relationship is strong. So far in 2006, Sadler has run six Cup races with the MBA Motorsports team he co-owns in the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Ford/Chervy. That sponsorship came via Michael Waltrip Racing, which will field Toyotas in 2007. Although a Japanese automaker is coming into NASCAR and Japan is arguably the world’s biggest hotbed for professional wrestling, Sadler said there have been no conversations with Toyota about him or TNA. Sadler said preferably the 6-8 races would come around the time of pay-per-view events to give TNA the most bang for its buck.(Long Island Press)
      Also: Hermie sadler has agreed to join the Speed Channel broadcast team for Truck Series races at Memphis this weekend, as well as Nashville and Las Vegas. Sadler joined the speed team at Kentucky last weekend after working two Busch series races earlier this year on FX.(7-11-2006)

    • 600th Consecutive Start for Martin: #6-Mark Martin will make his 600th consecutive Cup start this weekend when the green flag drops on Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway. The run is currently the longest running streak in NASCAR and the fifth longest of all-time. Ironically, Martin made his 500th consecutive start in 2003 at New Hampshire in September. Martin's streak dates back to Feb. 14, 1988 when he first teamed with Jack Roush in the Daytona 500. Martin ran his first Cup race in 1981, running a total of five races, while winning two poles and earning a pair of top-10 finishes. The following year he ran a full season. Martin was unable to find adequate sponsorship and ran only a handful of Cup races from 1983-87, before hooking up with Roush in 1988. During that span Martin and Roush have finished inside the top-10 of the final point standings 15 times, including four runner-up finishes and 12 top-five finishes.(Roush Racing PR)(7-11-2006)

    • The New King of England: Richard Petty, driving his famous 1972 Dodge Charger, wowed the crowds at 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) brought together the greatest competition cars and drivers from all eras of motorsports. Petty drove 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.(Clear!Blue PR - images)(7-11-2006)

    • Martin could return to Cup part-time in 2007: #6-Mark Martin, who was expected to retire from racing full-time in Nextel Cup after this year, says that he hasn't determined his schedule for next season yet and could be interested in running more Nextel Cup races. Martin originally planned to retire from full-time Cup competition in 2005, but after Kurt Busch announced plans to leave Roush Racing at the end of 2006, team owner Jack Roush asked Martin to forego his plans and return for a 19th year with the Ford Cup team. Busch eventually left Roush at the end of the 2005 season. This season Martin has been quiet about his 2007 plans, saying that he's learned to never rule out anything after announcing and then changing his plans in 2005. Martin, who is currently sixth in the Cup point standings, has plans to race full time in the Craftsman Truck Series next year. Asked about his goals for his final season during a teleconference from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Martin offered a surprising answer Monday. "I haven't made the final determination on what [the] 2007 race schedule is going to look like for me," he said. "Roush Racing hasn't presented me with the truck contract yet, although if they would have I would have signed it and that would be done. I know what they're doing and so I would consider doing a limited Cup schedule if it was with the right team and if I did so, to answer your question, the Brickyard would be on that, the Daytona 500 would be on that, races like Michigan and Dover and some of those races that might be in conjunction with the truck racing or whatever."(SceneDaily.com)(7-11-2006)

    • New Company Launched for NASCAR Driver Development: Over the last several years, team owners - particularly in the NASCAR arena - have been clamoring to find new talent. They are reaching deep into the grassroots levels and trying to secure the best young prospects. With this in mind, veteran NASCAR notable Mike Calinoff, has formed Driver Development Services, LLC -- a full service company dedicated strictly to cultivating new talent. In addition to a menu of services offered, DDS has merged with the successful Team Full Throttle. More info on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(DDS/TFT PR)(7-11-200)

    • Race Car Parts: Competitive Used Parts, Inc. has reopened at 505-C Pitts School Rd. in Concord, NC. Originally incorporated in 1994, C.U.P. was established to provide a consignment warehouse for New and Used Race Car Parts to make racing affordable for everyone.(7-11-2006)


      News from July 10, 2006

    • Indy Testing Day 1 is over: Fifty eight cars took to the track in the morning session of testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fastest was #8-Earnhardt Jr. with a speed of 177.518mph, followed by #20-Stewart 177.319, #21-Schrader 177.186, #31b-Burton 177.103 and #99b-Edwards 176.599. Slowest were #22-Blaney 133.227 [must had been a problem, one lap only] and #37-Long 167.370. Carl Long is in the #37, not John Andretti as the PR had and Stephen Leicht is a third RYR Ford, the #90.
      Afternoon session: 63 cars took to the track in the afternoon session with #7a-Gordon being the fastest at 177.204mph, followed by #21-Schrader 176.963, #4-Wimmer 176.353, #8-Earnhardt Jr. 175.723 and #90-Leicht 175.398. Slowest were: #22-Blaney 168.748 and #70-Sauter 169.632
      At least five cars have hit the wall at Indianapolis during day one of testing for the Brickyard 400. In the morning session #40-David Stremme, #34-Chad Chaffin, #17-Matt Kenseth and #14-Sterling Marlin tore up sheet metal. Marlin's hit was the hardest as his car punched a hole in the turn two wall. Marlin was not injured. He said, "This is the car we ran at Pocono. We made a little change and went back out there and the car never gave a warning...nothing. Got to turn two and it snapped sideways so I don't know if something was on the track, cut a tire or what. No warning, no nothing. During the afternoon session #16-Greg Biffle brushed the wall. Meanwhile Kenseth has crashed four times in the last 24 hours. Twice during Sunday's race at Chicagoland Speedway, once on the track during the Indy test and once on his way to the Indy test. His rental car was stopped at a stop light when he was slammed from behind by a student driver. Nobody was hurt. Kenseth said the driver and the instructor wanted to stop and talk with Kenseth about fixing the damage however he needed to get to the track. Kenseth said; "They wanted to fix it but I didn't care if the bumper was laying on the ground or not. It was a rental. I'd rather pay for it then mess with that."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)
      BEST Speeds: #8-Earnhardt Jr., 177.518 was the fastest overall of 39 drivers who tested 63 cars, followed by #20-Stewart, #7a-Gordon [fastest in the afternoon session], #21-Schrader and #31b-Burton. Slowest were #70b-Sauter 169.882 and #60a-Said 171.308.
      See speeds on my Indy Testing News/Speeds page.(7-10-2006)

    • Wood Brothers Racing: One, Two or No Teams? UPDATE 2 will be back: Eddie Wood isn’t being flippant when he says, “We might have one car, two cars or no cars next year. Heck, we might all be gone from here. Who knows? Right now, I don’t.” The co-owner of Wood Brothers Racing expects to have at least one Ford next year, either for his son, Jon, or current driver #21-Ken Schrader. “Jon’s not under contract, so I’ll let him go if he gets a good offer somewhere else,” Wood said minutes before the Pepsi 400. “The deal with us is, our sponsorships are year-to-year. Little Debbie is pleased and the Air Force is pleased, and we think MotorCraft is pleased. We’d really like to have all three of them back. We can’t make a lot of plans until we get all those deals in place. Ideally, we’d like a Fusion for Jon and another for Ken. We’d like to get the Clorox people to come aboard on a car for Jon. But, honestly—right now—I can’t begin to say what we’re gonna do next year. But, yeah, I think we’ll have something out here.”(Ford Racing)(7-3-2006)
      UPDATE: Eddie Wood's family has been in the racing business on the NASCAR circuit since 1953. Team owner Eddie Wood said he's not sure it will last beyond this season. Wood said he doesn't have sponsorship lined up yet for next season and without it, the family operation might have to close. The team hopes to have two full-time Nextel Cup Series cars next year - one for Ken Schrader and a second for Wood's son, Jon. "We can't make a lot of plans until we get all those (sponsorship) deals in place," Wood said. "Ideally, we'd like a Fusion for Jon and another for Ken. Honestly, right now I can't begin to say what we're going to do next year, but I think we'll have something out there."(Augusta Chronicle)(7-6-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Things are alive and well at Wood Brothers/JTG Racing contrary to previous reports. Eddie Wood told MRN Radio's NASCAR Today weekday news program that the reports of the Wood Brothers possibly closing their doors at season's end are totally inaccurate. "Some stuff I said was taken out of context, it got in the media and there's absolutely no truth to it. When we (Wood Brothers Racing and ST Motorsports) set out on this project our goal was to have 2 - 2 - 2 (2 Craftsman Truck, 2 Busch Series, and 2 Nextel Cup teams). We have 2 Truck and 2 Busch teams and the 1 Cup team. We are working to expand the Cup program to 2 teams and we are really close to getting that done. We're alive and well and looking forward to 2007."(7-10-2006)

    • Mayfield Frustrated, comments on Evernham UPDATE Evernham speaks: #19-Jeremy Mayfield isn't happy with the way his team is performing this year. And he doesn't seem to think team owner Ray Evernham is taking enough of a hands-on approach to fixing what's wrong. "I haven't talked to Ray much," Mayfield said Friday morning. "We don't see Ray much. I don't know. He encourages us when he is around but we haven't seen him much lately." Mayfield said he is surprised that Evernham hasn't been at the track. "He used to be on top of stuff like this pretty hot and heavy and he's letting it take its course, I guess," Mayfield said. Mayfield added: "He is here today, isn't he? I don't think he is here today." Evernham wasn't. Reached by cell phone at Kentucky Speedway on Friday evening, where he was overseeing developmental driver Erin Crocker in the ARCA series, Evernham said he and Mayfield already had talked to clear the air. "I don't think he's upset with me," Evernham said. "I'm sure he's frustrated that we're not performing." With high-profile rides available at two new Toyota teams, Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull, for next season, Mayfield sounds as though he would entertain the idea of leaving Evernham if he didn't have a long-term contract. "I've got a contract through next year and I've got two years after that, so I can't talk to nobody," Mayfield said. "So I'm sitting here like a sitting duck. What I do know is we've got to get running better." Evernham said Mayfield hasn't said anything about wanting to out of his contract. "Not to my knowledge," Evernham said. "And again, we're good enough friends (that) we can sit down and talk about anything like that."(ESPN.com/AP)
      BUT Mayfield said on Speed Channel's Trackside that the comments were taken out of context and while hs is frustrated with how his team has performed but there is no problems between himself and team owner Ray Evernham.(7-8-2006)
      UPDATE: Statement by Ray Evernham from Chicagoland on Sunday morning. "My commitment to building a championship caliber motorsports organization for numerous racing series and multiple teams has never wavered. Neither has my commitment to providing the best people and resources for our race teams. What has changed is my job. I'm running a significant business with operations in the US and the UK. I have tremendous responsibilities to our sponsors and business partners away from the race track. That's been my focus this season. And, that's why I've put smart, talented people such as Sammy Johns, competition director, Mark MArdle, engine program director, and Dr. Eric Warren, engineering director, in charge of day-to-day operations at the track. Jeremy and I talked this weekend, and we're on the same page. We're both unsatisfied with the performance of his team. We know the potential is there and that Jeremy is a talented driver. It's frustrating when you can't quickly find the solution. That doesn't mean we aren't trying. Jeremy and I are going to continue to work on getting this team where it needs to be. There's a lot of racing left this season and I'm confident that we can get this program on track."(Clear!Blue PR)(7-10-2006)

    • Elliott still pondering return to full-time: Bill Elliott, who last ran a full NASCAR Cup schedule in 2003, is still considering a return to full-time action in 2007. Elliott, who is running a limited schedule this year, said he'd prefer to run a 12-to-15 race schedule, depending on sponsorship, but he's keeping all his options open. "Whether I will do a full-time deal next year or not, I don't know at this time," Elliott said earlier this week. "I'm still playing my options as far as what is available. I won't say, 'Yes' and I won't say, 'No.'" Almost three years later, he says he still has a passion for racing. "I still enjoy the race and racing has been a part of my whole life," Elliott said. "It's hard to get it out of your system. If the opportunity doesn't come along then I'll be satisfied with running a limited schedule or whatever. We'll have to see what cards are laid out in the next couple of months and make a decision from that."(SceneDaily.com)(7-10-2006)

    • Dodge's Response to the signing of Montoya: Mike Accavitti, Director of Dodge SRT and Motorsports Marketing, comments on Juan Pablo Montoya joining Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2007. "We're thrilled to have Juan Pablo Montoya join the Dodge Motorsports family and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. We've had the honor of having him drive for our McLaren Mercedes program in F1 and to now add him to our roster in NASCAR really demonstrates how we integrate our motorsports programs around the world. He is a tremendously talented driver who has succeeded in every series in which he has competed, and we're confident that he will quickly adapt to a Dodge Charger and oval track racing. We're also excited about the loyal following of F1 fans he will bring to NASCAR and Dodge. He is a popular driver around the world, and this brings excellent visibility for the Dodge brand in number of countries. Hats off to Chip Ganassi for a great addition to his team. We look forward to seeing Juan Pablo in victory lane."(Clear!Blue PR)(7-10-2006)

    • Sad News: Dick Schroder, 66, died Monday, July 3, 2006, at his residence. He was a founder and president of C-Line Engineering, which supplies oil pans and parts to many racing teams.(courier-journal.com)(7-10-2006)



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