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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    JULY 31-AUGUST 6, 2006





      News from August 6, 2006

    • Johnson wins at Indy: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 4th win of 2006 and 22nd of his career. Johnson came back from 38th early in the race when he lost a left front tire and had to pit just before the 4th caution, but didn't lose a lap and slowly came back to win the race, leading 33 laps. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 2nd, followed by #29-Kevin Harvick, #07-Clint Bowyer, #6-Mark Martin, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kyle Busch, #20-Tony Stewart, #99-Carl Edwards and #11-Hamlin-c (14-r)
      . #31-Jeff Burton, the pole sitter and who led the most laps, fell back late and finished 15 [revised from 12th]. #9-Kasey Kahne was involved in an accident on the last lap while running 9th, finished 36th and fell 4 spots in the points to 11th and out of the Chase. There were 9 leaders with 18 lead changes and 8 cautions for 24 laps (counting the last lap caution)
      Race Results on my Indy Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Indy page
      Race Rundown: see my Indy Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(8-6-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Indianapolis [21 of 36 races]:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 3124
      #17-Matt Kenseth 3017 -107
      #31-Jeff Burton 2749 -375
      #29-Kevin Harvick 2733 -391
      #5-Kyle Busch 2733 -391
      #6-Mark Martin 2712 -412
      #11-Denny Hamlin 2648 -476
      #24-Jeff Gordon 2627 -497
      #20-Tony Stewart 2619 -505
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2612 -512
      and fighting for 10th
      out of 10th and the chase
      #9-Kasey Kahne -37
      #16-Greg Biffle -115
      #2-Kurt Busch -174
      #99-Carl Edwards -232
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(8-6-2006)

    • PENALTY REPORT:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
      38 TE Pitting before pit road is open L3
      48 TE Pitting before pit road is open L40
      19 TE Pitting before pit road is open L57
      34 PT Speeding entering pit road L125
      66 TE Pitting before pit road is open L143
      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)(8-6-2006)

    • 'Dale' to premiere in February 2007: The documentary-style movie, entitled Dale, will be released in theatres and includes original, never-before-seen footage of Earnhardt's racing career and personal life, as well as family photos and historical interviews with the seven-time champion that give the viewer an unprecedented look at the man Earnhardt truly was. The documentary-style movie, entitled Dale, will be released in theatres and includes original, never-before-seen footage of Earnhardt's racing career and personal life, as well as family photos and historical interviews with the seven-time champion that give the viewer an unprecedented look at the man Earnhardt truly was. A local premiere is planned for October in Charlotte for the Earnhardt family, NASCAR's drivers and industry insiders, and a national premiere is slated for February in conjunction with the Budweiser Shootout.(more at NASCAR.com)(8-6-2006)

    • Elliott's shop puts engine in lineup: It might not have been big enough to get Gordon Pirkle to sound the siren at the Dawsonville [GA] Pool Room, as he has for all of Bill Elliott's poles and victories, but the folks from Dawsonville pulled off a victory of sorts in qualifying for the Allstate 400. Mike Skinner, driving a #37 Dodge prepared in the Elliott shops in Dawsonville, sped to the 17th starting spot in Saturday's time trials. His R and J Racing entry was built by Evernham Motorsports. The engine was prepared by Elliott's brother Ernie, who also played a key role in the setup of the car, according to John Carter of Toccoa, GA one of the owners of the team. "I can't tell you how much Ernie Elliott has helped us," Carter said. And Bill Elliott, whose #00 Burger King Chevy was 26th fastest, seemed as happy as Carter to see his old friends and crew members like Jim Barfield and Russ Bales put a car in the 400, where seven went home. "I'm really proud for those guys," Elliott said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-6-2006)

    • Rumblings - Race Notes - Indy: Jimmie Johnson was a "survivor" this afternoon..... Coming back from a blown tire, making a late charge in a 14 lap run for the checkers, he captured the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard over Matt Kenseth today under caution for his 4th win of the season (tying him with Kasey Kahne for most wins this year) and the 22nd of his NEXTEL Cup career (he's now tied with teammate Terry Labonte for 26th on the all-time win list). This was win #147 for Hendrick Motorsports and their 5th in this event. Jimmie Johnson becomes the second driver to do the Daytona/Indy double.... Dale Jarrett accomplished that feat in 1996. The victory was worth $452,861 from the over $9.3M in posted awards....and that includes $120K for the NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus. They might wanna consider renaming that contingency....the only winner this season has been Johnson and he's cleaned it out for $210K total on three occasions.
      Kevin Harvick (3rd) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Dover in June.
      Clint Bowyer (4th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 5th at Phoenix in April.
      Tony Raines (11th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Rockingham (Where's Dat?) in November of 2003!
      STREAKIN....Kevin Harvick has 5 Top-10's in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 10 Top-10's in the last 11 races.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Kyle Busch (+30), followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr (+25) and Tony Stewart (+24). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kasey Kahne (-32), followed by J. J. Yeley (-28 ), Greg Biffle (-26), Robby Gordon (-26), Jeremy Mayfield (-26), and Mike Skinner (-20). This was BD #3 on the season for Kasey.
      Kenny Wallace led a lap today for the first time since he led once for three laps at Richmond in September of 2002! He's the 44th driver to lead a lap this season....last year's number was 51.
      Johnson's win today tacked another 10 points onto his lead over Matt Kenseth....it's now 107. Their "Magic Numbers" are getting up there as well ....they're not far from clinching. Clint Bowyer (19th to 17th) made the only multiple position advance today (in the Top-40), while Kasey Kahne's last lap wreck put him on the outside looking in at the "Chase" with a four position drop (7th to 11th).(Stock Car Fans)(8-6-2006)

    • Indy Race Notes:
      • Jimmy Johnson won the 2006 Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, scoring his 22nd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 168th career start.
      • Johnson moved to 26th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list, tying Terry Labonte.
      • This was Johnson’s fourth victory in 2006, tying Kasey Kahne for the most this season. Johnson also won at Daytona in February, Las Vegas and Talladega.
      • Johnson became just the second driver to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same year, joining Dale Jarrett (1996).
      • Johnson won the race from the fifth-place starting position. He ran as low as 39th on lap 40.
      • Johnson scored his 17th top-10 finish in 21 races this season. He has top-15 finishes in 19 of the 21 races this season.
      • Johnson has been ranked among the top 10 for 90 consecutive races.
      • Johnson remained first in the point standings, extending his point lead to 107 over second-place Matt Kenseth.
      • Race winner Johnson led three times for 33 laps, including the final 10, in the Allstate 400.
      • This was team owner Rick Hendrick’s 147th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. Hendrick has scored seven victories in 2006. It marked Hendrick’s fifth victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the most of all car owners.
      • Hendrick Motorsports has won at least one race each season 1986-2006, 21 consecutive years.
      Notebook Items
      • The 35 cars to finish on the lead lap sets the all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup record for a completed 400- or 500- mile race.
      • Jeff Burton led 87 laps, leading the most laps for the first time since Phoenix in October 2001, 169 races ago. That race was also his last victory.
      • Matt Kenseth (second) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006 and his fourth top-10 finish (all top fives) in seven races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      • Kevin Harvick (third) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Harvick moved to fourth in the point standings but is only 158 points ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne.
      • Harvick extended a 33-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, the longest current streak.
      • Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contender Clint Bowyer (fourth) scored his career-best finish and sixth top-10 finish in 2006. This was his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      • Mark Martin (fifth) scored his 10th top-10 finish 21 races in 2006. It was his eighth top-10 finish in 13 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      • Kyle Busch (seventh) extended a streak of seven straight top-15 finishes that began at Michigan in June.
      • Jeff Burton (12th) scored his 15th straight top-15 finish extending a streak that began at Texas in April. • At least one of the 2006 Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 21 races this season. Clint Bowyer (fourth) has been the highest finishing rookie in four races in 2006.
      • Robby Gordon finished 35th in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This marked his 100th consecutive start without a victory. Gordon last won at Watkins Glen in August 2003.
      • Ken Schrader finished 14th in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This marked his 500th consecutive start without a victory. Schrader last won at Dover in June 1991.
      • Michael Waltrip failed to qualify for the 2006 Allstate 400 ending a 940-race streak of a Waltrip in the starting lineup. The streak began at Riverside in January 1976.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-6-2006)

    • Checkers/Rally's to sponsor #37 & Skinner at Indy: Checkers/Rally's has stepped up to be the primary sponsor on Mike Skinner's #37 Dodge Charger for Sunday's 400-mile race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Skinner's R&J Racing entry qualified 17th in Saturday's time trials. The effort was the fastest among teams that needed to qualify on time. "It's really exciting that we're carrying the colors of the Official Burger of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard," said team owner Roger Craven. "We have a veteran driver in Mike and plan on giving Checkers/Rally's plenty of coverage in one of NASCAR's biggest races of the season." Sunday's NEXTEL Cup race will mark the first start for the #37 team in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. R&J Racing, owned by Craven and John Carter, is currently in its third season of Cup racing. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will be Skinner's third event of the weekend. He competed in Friday's Truck Series race and Saturday's Busch Series event at ORP.(DMF Communications)(8-6-2006)

    • Pocono Combatants Called in by NASCAR to talk: #20-Tony Stewart, #07-Clint Bowyer and #99-Carl Edwards were called to the NASCAR hauler Saturday for a chat with NASCAR president Mike Helton. Those three drivers were involved in a crash two weeks ago at Pocono when Stewart deliberately turned into Bowyer, causing Bowyer to hit Edwards. No one was saying exactly what was discussed, but no doubt Helton warned the drivers to mind their manners today in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.(Dallas Morning News)(8-6-2006)

    • Larry Foyt done driving - Foyt Auction news: Larry Foyt, who ran 66 NASCAR Busch Series races during the 2001/2002 seasons and 23 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in 2003/2004, has not been seen since except for the past three Indianapolis 500 mile IndyCar races. It seems father, A.J. Foyt has recently decided it is time for Larry to step up and take a lead in the family business whether it's what he wants or not. “(A.J.) knew I didn’t want to quit driving, so that’s hard,” Larry said. “But, realistically, am I going to get a good ride? Probably not. At first it was tough for me to swallow, because I didn’t want to quit driving. But in the long run it will be a good opportunity. I’m just learning right now, hanging out. I certainly don’t want to be the boss’ son coming in here trying to run things. I’m just watching how A.J. wants things done, watch our people and other teams. We just have to start taking our operation to the next level." Complete public auction liquidation for A.J. Foyt Racing, Mooresville, N.C. will be August 23 - August 27, 2006. More info on my #14 Foyt Team News and Links page.(Insider Racing)(8-6-2006)

    • Indy Goodyear Tire Notes UPDATE 2 Caution at lap 15: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the only track on the circuit at which this combination will be run this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at IMS . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire . . . Goodyear conducted two tests at the Speedway this year. Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Elliott Sadler tested in April and in June Kahne and J.J. Yeley tested. Estimated Pit Window: Every 34-36 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), for the full notes, tire codes, pressures, more, see my Indy Race Info / Rundown Page.(8-5-2006)
      UPDATE Goodyear Statement on Tire Wear at Indy: Goodyear released the following statement after Saturday's practice for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires: "Through the final practice session on Saturday, Goodyear engineers reported tire wear is improving. As with all "green" track surfaces, we see rather high tire wear that will slow down as the track rubbers in. That is the case here this weekend. Also, a number of cars were running with their left front tires under the recommended air pressure inflation. Some teams experienced classic overdeflection failures as a result. Our engineers say the solution to the situation is for the teams to run higher air pressure in their left front tires. Based on our analysis, in the incident during today's practice it appeared the left front tire on Kurt Busch's car had been underinflated. There could have been a puncture. We are not sure if it was low air pressure or a puncture that caused the tire to go down."(Goodyear PR)(8-6-2006)
      UPDATE 2 - Caution Lap 15: NASCAR will throw the caution 15 laps into the Allstate 400 so teams can check tire wear at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a Goodyear spokesman said Sunday morning. NASCAR also will require a mandatory minimum air pressure of 16 pounds in the left-front tires. For about a year, the sanctioning body has had mandatory right-front air pressures but not for those on the left-front. Goodyear came into the weekend recommending 18 pounds of pressure in the left-fronts but lowered that to 16 for the 160-lap race today on the famed oval. There could be more mandatory cautions depending on tire wear. A full fuel run at the track is about 34-40 laps.(SceneDaily.com), on Speed Channel's Raceday, they aired part of the drivers meeting and it was mentioned that Goodyear asked for two cautions, one around lap 15 and a 2nd one around lap 40.(8-6-2006)

    • 100th win for a Marlin at Nashville: Steadman Marlin [who is looking for a full time Truck/Busch ride], driving a fire-engine red #711 that his late grandfather, Coo Coo Marlin, made famous decades ago, swept to victory in a 75-lap Late Model feature at Music City Motorplex [Nashville].. "This was the 100th victory for the Marlin family here at the (formerly) Fairgrounds," he said. "That's been me, granddad and dad (Nextel Cup star Sterling). I didn't know that till this week when somebody figured it up and told me about it." Marlin, 25, drives a limited schedule in the local series in which his grandfather won four track championships and his father won three. The race was just Marlin's seventh of the season at the track where his family made so much history over the years. Steadman is running a partial Busch Series schedule for Nashville-based Sadler Racing.(Tennessean)(8-6-2006)


      News from August 5, 2006

    • Montoya's first test could be at Lakeland: Team owner Chip Ganassi said former Formula One driver and Champ Car champion Juan Pablo Montoya, once he is contractually free, will make one of his first stock car tests at USA Speedway in Lakeland before a scheduled Nextel Cup campaign in 2007. Montoya is under contract with the McLaren F1 team, though he has been replaced as driver. "If he's made available, I'm sure it'll be at Lakeland," Ganassi said. Ganassi said he also expects to see defending Indy Racing League champion Dan Wheldon test a Nextel Cup car after his season ends Sept. 10. "We haven't formally talked about it, but we both know it's coming, so that's good," he said.(St Petersburg Times)(8-5-2006)

    • Elliott still has not decided: Bill Elliott says he is within a couple of weeks of deciding what he'll do next season. The semi-retired former series champion, who won this race in 2002 and is at the Brickyard this year driving Michael Waltrip's #00 Chevrolet, has been courted by several teams, including some that plan to field Toyotas next year. "I'm still waiting on a few things to come together," said Elliott. "The folks that I've talked to still haven't decided what we're going to end up doing. I'm going to try to put things together a little bit more in the next couple of weeks."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-5-2006)

    • Sponsorship changes at the #18? The #18 Chevy of J.J. Yeley could see its sponsorship split among three companies — including Interstate Batteries — each of whom would be the primary sponsor for 12 races and an associate for the remaining 24.(Speed Channel)(8-5-2006)

    • Senator Jeff Burton? After his racing career is over the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy driver plans to explore the political arena. “I’ve had the good fortune to spend a little bit of time with Senator (John) Kyl of Arizona quizzing him a little bit about what he does and how the Senate works” said Burton recently. “One of the things I’ve become discontented with politics is that I think that there are a lot of people in politics for the wrong reason. I could go into it without really having an agenda other than trying to do the right thing. I’m not going to do it now, but at some point in my life I’m going to look into it and see if there it’s something I could be successful at and if it’s something that I would enjoy. We’ll see what happens when that time comes.” Burton, a Republican who lives nears Charlotte wouldn’t be satisfied running for local or state office. “No, I’m gonna run for U.S. Senate if I do it. I want to do it at a big level. I think I’d have a chance in North Carolina to win and I’d want to have an impact on a national level. The people I’ve talked to said I have a chance so we’ll see.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(8-5-2006)

    • Knaus Extends with Hendrick Motorsports: #48 Nextel Cup Series crew chief Chad Knaus has signed a contract extension that will keep him with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2010 racing season, mirroring the organization's recent agreements with driver Jimmie Johnson and team sponsor Lowe's. Financial terms were not disclosed. "Chad is one of the great young minds in NASCAR and a key member of our organization," said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. "He's done an unbelievable job building the Lowe's team into a championship contender and we're excited about continuing our relationship with him." In December 2001, Knaus was named crew chief of Hendrick's #48 Lowe's Chevys driven by Johnson, then a Cup-level rookie. The team earned the pole position for its first race, the 2002 Daytona 500, and has since posted 60 top-five finishes, 102 top-10s and a series-leading 21 victories in only 167 starts. Johnson has raced each of his four full seasons with Knaus as crew chief, never finishing outside the top five in championship points. The team is currently first in the 2006 standings with three wins, seven top-five performances and 16 top-10s, best among all Nextel Cup competitors. Knaus' contract was set to expire following the 2007 NASCAR season.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(8-5-2006)

    • Johnson Foundation to build 4-Lane Bowling Alley at Victory Junction: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced its commitment to raise $600,000 to build Victory Lanes, a four-lane bowling alley at Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C. In support of its NASCAR Nextel Cup driver, Lowe's, through its Charitable and Educational Foundation, announced it would fund half of the project with a $300,000 donation. Fans may donate to the cause as well by visiting jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org, a limited edition Victory Lanes commemorative coin is available with a donation of $48 or more. Johnson said he hopes the coin and the worthy cause will appeal to NASCAR fans. The first 100 donors will have their coins autographed by Jimmie Johnson. The Victory Lanes coin is featured on a special #48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Chevy unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The car features the Jimmie Johnson Foundation logo on the hood and is scheduled to run in the Busch Series race at California Speedway on Sept. 2. Johnson said his and Chandra's foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. The foundation strives to help everyone, particularly children, pursue their dreams. Lowe's said it supports the Johnson's commitment to community projects.(Jimmie Johnson Foundation PR)(8-5-2006)

    • Blaney back with BDR in 2007: Bill Davis Racing Competition Director Tommy Baldwin confirmed that Dave Blaney will drive one of the two [#22, #23] BDR entries in 2007, and said an announcement should come soon regarding the other seat.(NASCAR.com)(8-5-2006)

    • Raines back in #96 in 2007: Tony Raines is expected to be back behind the wheel of the Hall of Fame Motorsports #96 Chevy next season.(Speed Channel)(8-5-2006)

    • Da Matta In Critical Condition UPDATE: Cristiano da Matta suffered severe head injuries Thursday after striking a deer during Champ Car testing at Elkhart Lake, Wis. The 32-year-old Brazilian was airlifted to Theda Clark Medical Center hospital where he underwent surgery Thursday night. His condition was critical. “After arriving at Theda Clark Medical Center, a head CT scan showed Cristiano had suffered a subdural hematoma," stated Dr. Chris Pinderski, Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs. "He was urgently taken to the operating room for surgical removal of the hematoma and is now being observed in the intensive care unit.” The next 24 hours will be crucial for the 2002 CART champion as doctors try to reduce the swelling in his brain. According to an eyewitness, da Matta was heading for Turn 6 at Road America when the deer ran out in front of him and struck the right front of his RuSPORT Lola. The deer caromed into the cockpit as da Matta smashed into the tire barrier with his foot still planted on the throttle. Safety crews extracted him on a backboard and applied an oxygen mask as he was taken to a helicopter. In the wake of the crash, RuSPORT announced that Justin Wilson and the #9 team will not participate in the final day of Champ Car testing at Road America. da Matta was coming off his first podium of the season, a second place last Sunday at San Jose.(Speed Channel)(8-4-2006)
      UPDATE: Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta remained in intensive care with a serious head injury Friday, a day after his race car collided with a deer that had wandered onto the track during a test session at Road America. Champ Car series spokesman Eric Mauk said the driver was in the intensive care unit at Theda Clark Memorial Hospital in Neenah, where he was airlifted to and had surgery to remove a ruptured blood vessel in his head. Road America media director Julie Sebranek said she had never heard of a similar incident at the track. "The race track has been here for 50 years. It's highly, highly unusual," Sebranek said Friday. An 8-foot chain link fence topped with barbed wire circles the 628-acre property, which is surrounded by wooded terrain and farm fields. When asked how the deer got onto the property, Sebranek said: "They have been known to jump the 8-foot fences."(Associated Press)(8-5-2006)

    • Sad News: Mark Alan Westbrook (Brook), 52, of Pinebluff, NC died Friday, July 28, 2006, at his home. A memorial service was held at 6:00pm/et, Monday, July 31, at Pinecrest High School Auditorium with Father Jim Buchholz and the Rev. Gregg Newton officiating. The present owner of Broad Street Bar/Grill and Catering, Mr. Westbrook owned several bars in Southern Pines that still bear the family name. NASCAR competitors and fans will remember his previous establishments, Brooks, Fat Puppies and Bucketheads. He was an avid supporter of NASCAR and the events held at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham. He worked with NASCAR, Moore County Emergency Communications, Moore County Sheriff's Department, Southern Pines Police Department, Pinehurst Police Department, Moore County Building Inspector, and was a N.C.-licensed auctioneer. Mr. Westbrook is survived by his wife, Sharon Monroe Westbrook; his step-mother, Louise Westbrook, of Pinehurst; a brother, Donald Lee Westbrook and wife, Kathryn, of Ocean City, Md.; two sisters, Sheri Lynn Westbrook, of Pinehurst, and Barbara W. Phillips and husband, Brian, of Sarasota, Fla., and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to FirstHealth Hospice, 150 Applecross Rd., Pinehurst, NC 28374, or UNC Oncology Department, Chapel Hill, NC.(8-5-2006)

    • Burton wins pole at Indy: #31-Jeff Burton won the Budweiser Pole for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 182.778mph for his 3rd pole of 2006 and 5th of his career. Burton went out 2nd and only #07-Bowyer and #2-Busch came close to grabbing the pole. #07-Bowyer will start 2nd, followed by #2-Kuet Busch, #9-Kasey Kahne [went out last] and #48-JImmie Johnson. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 31st. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #37-Skinner, #40-Stremme, #34- Chaffin, #00-Elliott, #78-Wallace, #4-Wimmer, #32- Kvapil and #60-Said. Missing the race were: #15-Menard, #55-Waltrip [said he wouldn't buy his way in this time], #70-Sauter, #49-Lepage, #90-Leicht, #04-Hamilton Jr. and #61-Cope. See the qualifying results on my Indy Qualifying/Grid Page.(8-5-2006)

    • Ramblings / Qualifying Notes - Indianapolis When you start qualifying at 10AM, oft times it's not how but when. Jeff Burton once again proved that truism today.... Jeff Burton went out second and took the Bud Pole for tomorrow's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard with a time of 48.240 (182.778 mph)....barely edging out Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch (and barely in this case means .007 seconds!). Burton's third top-spot of the season puts him one behind Kasey Kahne for that contingency....and this was the 5th pole of Burton's NEXTEL Cup career.
      Clint Bowyer (2nd) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 3rd at Darlington in May.
      J. J. Yeley (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
      Robby Gordon (9th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 5th at Infineon in June of 2005.
      Ken Schrader (11th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 7th at Bristol last August.
      Tony Raines (13th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 12th at Martinsville in April.
      Jeremy Mayfield (15th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the outside pole at Dover in June.
      Mike Skinner (17th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 15th at Atlanta last October (only five races).
      Chad Chaffin (25th) has his career-best starting spot for Sunday. His previous best was 31st at Martinsville in April.
      STREAKIN....Jeff Burton has 4 Top-10's starts in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
      The Trouble Train was crowded and rather significant today. With 50 cars on hand, the early outs were: Paul Menard, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Sauter, Kevin Lepage, Stephen Leicht, Bobby Hamilton Jr., and Derrike Cope. Mikey is reportedly keeping his checkbook in his pocket this week....(Stock Car Fans)(8-6-2006)

    • Indy Qualifying Notes:
      • Jeff Burton won the NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, lapping Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 49.240 seconds at 182.778 mph. Casey Mears holds the trackqualifying record of 48.311 seconds, 186.293 mph - set Aug. 7, 2004.
      • This is Burton’s fifth career Bud Pole in 424 NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • This is his third Bud Pole and ninth top-10 start in 2006. He became the just the second driver to post more than two Bud Poles in 2006, joining Kasey Kahne (four). Greg Biffle (two), Kurt Busch (two), Denny Hamlin (two) and Ryan Newman (two) are the other multiple Bud Pole winners this season.
      • This is Burton’s first Bud Pole and first start better than 16th in 13 NEXTEL Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His previous best start here was 16th in 1999.
      • Burton became the 10th different Bud Pole winner in 13 races at Indianapolis. Jeff Gordon (1995, 1996 and 1999 and Ernie Irvan (1997 and 1998) are the only repeat Brickyard Bud Pole winners.
      • Clint Bowyer posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 49.242 seconds, 182.771 mph – and will join Burton on the front row for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Bowyer posted his fourth top-10 start of 2006 in setting his career-best starting position in his 23rd NEXTEL Cup race. This is the best-ever start by a Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender at Indianapolis.
      • Burton and Bowyer gave car-owner Richard Childress the first front-row sweep since Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield started on the front row for Evernham Motorsports at Charlotte in May of this season. It is the only car-owner front-row sweep at Indianapolis and just the second time that a manufacturer has won the top-two starting positions here. Ricky Rudd and Darrell Waltrip started 1-2 in Fords.
      • This is the seventh Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has nine Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • Kurt Busch (third) posted his second top-10 start at Indianapolis and eclipsed his previous best start of sixth, set in 2003. It is his 15th top-10 start in 2006. He is tied with Greg Biffle (seventh today) for the most top-10 starts this season.
      • Kasey Kahne (fourth) tied his best Indianapolis qualifying effort set in 2005. His other Brickyard start was 12th in 2004.
      • Jimmie Johnson (fifth) posted his third top-10 start in five Indianapolis races. His other two starts here were 37th (2000) and 42nd (2005).
      • Ken Schrader (11th) posted his best start since he qualified seventh at Bristol in August 2005.
      • Mike Skinner (17th) was the fastest of the drivers that had to make the field on time and qualified for his second race this season.
      • Chad Chaffin (25th) posted his career-best qualifying effort. His best start in his previous seven Nextel Cup races was 31st at Martinsville in April.
      • Six drivers qualified for their first race at Indianapolis: Bowyer, J.J. Yeley (sixth), Denny Hamlin (14th), David Stremme (24th), Chaffin, and Reed Sorenson (41st). The last time there was not a Waltrip in the field was the final race of the 1975 season at Ontario (Nov. 23, 1975).
      • The third-place starting position is the only position to produce more than one race winner at Indianapolis: Jeff Gordon (1994 and ’98) and Bobby Labonte (2000).
      • The Brickyard 400 has been won from a top-10 starting position seven of 12 times.
      • The furthest back a race winner has started at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was 27th by Jeff Gordon in 2001.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(8-5-2006)


      News from August 4, 2006

    • NC County asks NCDOT to name section of highway after Parsons: Wilkes County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution yesterday asking the N.C. Department of Transportation to name a 5-mile section of U.S. 421 in honor of racing legend Benny Parsons. Parsons is building a home in the Wilkes County community of Parsonville, where he grew up. He plans to live in the county and open a vineyard. Work on this request has been going on for several months, and the timing wasn't linked to Parsons' announcement last week that he is being treated for lung cancer. The 5-mile section would take in a stretch of highway between the Maple Springs community and the Watauga County line. Wilkes is putting the request on a fast track by faxing the resolution to the state in hopes that the N.C. Board of Transportation can consider it during Thursday's meeting. A section of U.S. 421 in eastern Wilkes was named in honor of racer and team-owner Junior Johnson in May 2004. If the latest request is approved, drivers would travel on the Junior Johnson Highway on one end of Wilkes County and the Benny Parsons Highway on the other.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-4-2006)

    • Dodge's Fernandez to Ganassi? UPDATE 2: Hearing that Dodge Motorsports Director, John Fernandez, will assume the General Managers position at Chip Ganassi Racing on July 1st. Fernandez would replace Andy Graves, who stepped down a few months ago.(6-19-2006)
      UPDATE: Dodge’s motorsports czar, John Fernandez, rumored to be headed to Chip Ganassi’s team to replace deposed team manager Andy Graves, is apparently still with Dodge — for the moment, anyway. A Dodge representative said Fernandez was still at his office in Michigan, while Ganassi’s people declined comment on whether Fernandez was going to work for the team.(Speed Channel)(6-24-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced Friday John Fernandez, former Director of Dodge Motorsports, has accepted a new position with the organization to serve as Managing Director of its Concord racing operation. "John has been involved in racing for a long time as an engineer with Dodge and as head of its racing programs," said Chip Ganassi. "I am very excited to add someone to the team that has so much experience in a number of different areas. He brings so much to the table." Fernandez will manage all aspects of the organization's racing operation in North Carolina, including overseeing all four teams, as well as the engine, fabrication and paint shops. Fernandez' move to CGRFS follows a long career with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, where he served for 35 years.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-4-2006)

    • General Mills Extends Partnership with Petty Enterprises: Petty Enterprises announced General Mills will continue their primary sponsorship support of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series. A partner of Petty Enterprises since the summer of 2000, General Mills, and its Cheerios/Betty Crocker brands, will continue to grace the side of the famous "43" driven by 2000 Nextel Cup champion Bobby Labonte. The announcement was made Friday by Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President of Petty Enterprises, and Bob Welch, Director of Trade Marketing for General Mills. "We are very proud to have General Mills continue their support of our organization," said Loomis in making the announcement. "Their support of Petty Enterprises, the '43' team, and Bobby Labonte make it possible for us to get back into victory lane. That's our number one goal. It's important for us that we do that with General Mills.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(8-4-2006)

    • Gilliland signed? with Yates? #28? UPDATE 3 - Press Conference postponed: hearing Busch Series driver, David Gilliland has signed with Robert Yates Racing to run in Nextel Cup in 2007, no word if it is the #38, #88 or #90. Supposedly the announcement will come at Indy next week.(7-28-2006)
      UPDATE: All signs are indicating that former Chino Hills resident David Gilliland will drive a NASCAR Nextel Cup car for Robert Yates Racing next season. In addition to a morning Internet report that said Gilliland has signed a deal with Yates, industry sources said Gilliland and Yates will announce their partnership during the upcoming race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway confirmed a Yates news conference scheduled for 1:15pm local time on Friday, Aug. 4. Gilliland did not return a phone call today, but said Thursday, ``We're getting close on a few really good offers.'' Asked if something was likely to be done in the next week, Gilliland said, ``Yeah.'' A secretary at RYR said team owner Robert Yates and son Doug Yates were not in the team's race shop today, which marked the beginning of the final Cup off-weekend of the season. Yates spokeswoman Rhonda King said, ``We have nothing confirmed to announce at this time.'' Sources said Gilliland is likely headed to the #38 M&M's car being vacated by Elliott Sadler at the end of the season. Gilliland attended the Nextel Cup race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday and ``showed up for an interview on Speed (Channel) while eating a bag of M&M's and proclaiming they were his favorite candy,'' according to a report by the network's Tom Jensen.(San Bernardino County Sun)(7-29-2006)
      UPDATE 2: hearing the #28 could return to RYR with Gilliland driving and M&M's sponsoring, the 2006 #38 owners points going to the #28 [first 5 races of 2007],(7-31-2006)
      UPDATE 3 Postpones Press Conference: been told the Robert Yates Racing Press Conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been canceled for this weekend, it was scheduled for this afternoon around 1:00pm/et, supposedly to announced David Gilliland as a new driver for one on RYR Cup teams, no word why it was canceled. Confimed from sources at the track that the press conference has been canceled and will end up being held later in August.
      UPDATE 3a: Despite postponing a Friday afternoon press conference in which Robert Yates Racing was expected to introduced David Gilliland as the driver of its #38 Ford for next season, nothing has changed with the team's plans to hire the driver. The announcement will come later this summer, once all the details of the contract can be finalized. "We're just trying to get all of our 'i's' dotted and 't's' crossed before we announce our new driver," co-owner Doug Yates said Friday. "I think everybody knows who it is. We just want to make sure everything's right. We're looking forward to our future. It's just the timing. We're trying to do a lot of things really fast, as everybody knows, and sometimes when you do that you just have to take your time and make sure you get it all right. There's no change in the direction for us. The timing just didn't work out for today."(SceneDaily.com)(8-4-2006)

    • Villeneuve signed with NASCAR team? no....Tagliani yes? Jacques Villeneuve must now forget formula 1, even if the 1997 champion of the world refuses to believe in it. According to information's obtained by the Newspaper of Montreal, Villeneuve could be in NASCAR as soon as next year. According to received information, Villeneuve has already signed a conditional agreement with a NASCAR team if he does not find a ride in Formula 1. Villeneuve would spend a first season in the Busch series so that he can be familiarized with the world of the professional stock car before reaching the Nextel Series.
      BUT Jacques Villeneuve did not sign anything in NASCAR. The person in charge for the public relations of the Canadian driver contradicted Friday the news of the Newspaper of Montreal. Yan Lefort clearly explained the steps of Villeneuve to find a ride in 2007. “Jacques asked his entourage to take information and to make research concerning all the options which could be offered to him for the future, Mr. Lefort specifies. Options being absolute priority BMW and F1; option 2 elsewhere, and elsewhere it has there only the NASCAR which interests it. Therefore, there are contacts in F1 as in NASCAR, but there is no preliminary agreement as it is mentioned in the Newspaper of Montreal this morning.”
      Another driver from Quebec, Alexandre Tagliani declared Thursday that he had offers on the table for two races in Busch series this year and that it was probably going to agree to try the experiment.(Translated and Paraphrased from French thru Google from radiocanada.ca and canoe.com)(8-4-2006)

    • #51 Team ceases operations, sponsorship to Petty's UPDATE 2 Garvey?: been told that the #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports team has ceased operations and have confirmed that Marathon Petroleum Company will become major associate sponsor with Petty Enterprises with the #45 Dodge of Kyle Petty being most involved in the sponsorship as an associate sponsor at most races and primary sponsor of the #45 for a few races with the #43 Dodge of Bobby Labonte featuring the Marathon Petroleum Company logo at some races.(8-1-2006)
      UPDATE: Marathon Petroleum Company announced that the company's sponsorship in the Nextel Cup series is being moved to a new race team. The new sponsorship will begin with the Allstate 400 race at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. “Marathon is proud to move our sponsorship to the #45 Petty Enterprises team, with driver Kyle Petty,” said Mary Ellen Peters, senior vice president, Marketing. “The team is owned by Richard Petty, the man known as the ‘King of NASCAR.' We believe this move provides a continued presence for Marathon in all of the remaining races this season.” In addition to the Brickyard assosiate sponsorship [Tire KIngdom is the primary at Indy], the #45 car will carry the Marathon Brand as the primary sponsor for four races: Michigan, Bristol, Richmond, and Atlanta. Marathon also will be an associate sponsor on the car for this season's remaining races. “We're grateful that Competitive Edge Motorsports is allowing Marathon Oil to transfer their sponsorship,” said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. “We are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with Marathon , starting this weekend at one of the biggest events of the season.”(Petty Racing PR)(8-3-2006)
      So what happens with Garvey? Mike Garvey is out of a Nextel Cup ride. His former team, [#51] Competitive Edge Motorsports, has been idled, and the sponsor, Marathon Oil has switched to Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge. But Garvey said Thursday that that's not all bad. Even though he qualified for four races this year he had grown weary of trying to race without enough funds, equipment, testing or crew members. "We did the best we could with what we had," Garvey said. He said he's talking to some teams about running some Busch races later this season, and he plans to run either Busch or Hooters Pro Cup next year.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-4-2006)

    • Soap Box Derby Racing and Back to School Shopping at the Brickyard: Back-to-school shopping starts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the Levi Strauss Signature Fit Pit during the NASCAR race weekend - August 4-6. In 10 seconds, Intellifit's award-winning body scanner sizes a fully-clothed person and produces a personalized recommendation for the perfect pair of Levi Strauss Signature jeans. NASCAR fans can finish their shopping at the provided online kiosks by visiting Target.com and Walmart.com. Children, ages 7 to 14, can race Soap Box Derby cars on a racetrack outside of the Fit Pit. As the title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby, the Levi Strauss Signature brand has incorporated the ultimate family activity into its nationwide Fit Pit tour. The All-American Soap Box Derby is a youth initiative of NASCAR.(Alan Taylor Comm)(8-4-2006)

    • Reutimann and Wallace win at Night of Stars races: David Reutimann won the first of two 10-lap Dirt Modified shootouts during Ken Schrader’s annual M&M’s Night of Stars at I-55 Raceway Wednesday night. Kenny Wallace won the the second race.(MWR PR)
      Heat 1 Results: David Reutimann; Ken Schrader; Kenny Wallace; Matt Kenseth; Rick Crawford; Brendon Gaughan; Martin Truex Jr; and Steven Wallace.
      Heat 2 Results: Kenny Wallace, Ken Schrader, Rick Crawford, Matt Kenseth, David Reutimann, Steven Wallace; Martin Truex Jr, and Brenden Gaughan(8-4-2006)

    • The 'King' on Larry King CHANGED to Friday, Mikey and Dale Jr also: Richard Petty will be a special guest on CNN's "Larry King Live" Thursday night, August 3 [moved to Friday, August 4th - Mideast crisis will air tonight]. The program airs from 9:00-10:00pp/et. Petty, the winningest driver in Nextel Cup history, will discuss the upcoming release of "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" Petty was also recently a voice in the Pixar animated feature "Cars"(PR)(8-2-2006)
      AND: Michael Waltrip will appear on CNN’s Larry King Live Friday night at 9:00pm/et. He and drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Richard Petty will square off in a verbal spar with the stars of Talladega Nights, Will Farrell and John C. Reilly.(MWR PR)(8-3/4-2006)


      News from August 3, 2006

    • Wally to take Mr Big out for a drive: Sunday on the "Bank of America Countdown to Green" pre-race show, Mr. Big gets a taste of life in the fast lane - "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star Chris Noth, former star of "Sex & the City," goes for a ride with Dallenbach around the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway in "Wally's World."(NBC PR)(8-3-2006)

    • Tire Testing at Atlanta: #26-Jamie McMurray and #7-Robby Gordon will be tire testing for Goodyear at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 8 and 9. The session is closed to the public both days.(AMS PR)(8-3-2006)

    • Teams Test at VIR: A number of Nextel Cup and Busch series teams tested Tuesday and Wednesday at VIRginia International Raceway in preparation for the upcoming races at Watkins Glen International on August 5-6. On Tuesday, Evernham Motorsports (#9, Kasey Kahne; #10, Scott Riggs; #19, Jeremy Mayfield), Joe Gibbs Racing (#11, Denny Hamlin; #18, J.J. Yeley), Roush Racing (#99, Boris Said) and Furniture Row Racing (#78, Max Papis) ran on the 2.25-mile VIR North Course. On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports (#5, Kyle Busch) and CJM Racing (#72, Dale Quarterley) were joined by Busch teams from McGill Motorsports (#36, Max Papis) and Biagi-DenBeste Racing (#4, Auggie Vidovich II).(VIRginia International Raceway)(8-3-2006)

    • Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Lucas Oil Join Forces for Indy: Morgan-McClure President Larry McClure announced that the #4 Chevy that Scott Wimmer drives will be sporting the familiar red Lucas decal on the hood for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard this weekend. "We have a good relationship with all the folks at Lucas Oil and are proud to have the opportunity to represent them as a primary sponsor in this one-race deal for Indy. Lucas has been an associate sponsor this year and we continue to use and promote their products through our race team. We are proud to have them back on the car in Forrest Lucas's home state." Lucas Oil joins additional sponsors Aero Exhaust, Race Face, Kodak, Wide Open Performance Energy Drink, Coyote Ugly Saloons, Players Extreme Spirits and Tuff Country for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. Lucas Oil served as the primary sponsor for the Morgan-McClure # 4 Chevy in 2005 and has long been involved in the American racing industry through multiple vehicle sponsorships and racing event promotions, at all levels.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(8-3-2006)

    • HANS Device Featured at 5th World Congress of Biomechanics: HANS Performance Products, known for the internationally award winning head and neck restraint, the HANS Device, was featured today at the 5th World Congress of Biomechanics in Munich, Germany. Hubert Gramling, a Safety Consultant to the FIA Institute for Motorsports Safety, presented an update on HANS Device performance, that he co-authored with Bob Hubbard, to congress members from around the world. Hubbard a Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, along with well-known racer Jim Downing, developed the HANS Device. As an engineer for Mercedes, Hubert worked with Bob in the 1990's to help adapt the HANS Device for formula car cockpits. When asked to comment, Dr. Hubbard said: "We are pleased to have Hubert speak on behalf of HANS Performance Products. Hubert has assisted us with many ideas and knows the HANS Device extremely well." The 5th World Congress of Biomechanics is being hosted by The Institute of Biotechnik e.V., the Technical University of Munich and Munich University of Applied Sciences. It brings together biomechanical experts to review experimental and applied technologies in all areas of biomechanics. More than 2,000 participants from the top industrial nations such as Asia, India, Central and South America and countries in Eastern Europe are expected to attend. Details and information about the 5th World Congress of Biomechanics are available on their website wcb2006.org. Details and information about HANS Performance Products are available on the company's website hansdevice.com.(PR)(8-3-2006)

    • Dale Jr. to star in Payback, thank his sister Kelley: #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will surprise sister Kelley Earnhardt Elledge with a new custom Chevrolet Tahoe SS in the Speed reality series, Payback on Aug. 9 at 10:00pm/et. Kelley, who handles much of Earnhardt, Jr.'s personal business dealings, is the oft overlooked hero behind the driver's successful marketing, licensing and promotional machine. Bud Brutsman, producer of Payback, talked about this episode: "As a NASCAR fan, it was great to see Junior outside his element. I think he had a lot of fun putting this together with us. You can tell how much Kelley means to him and it's really cool to see a brother and sister that close together."(Speed Channel PR)(8-3-2006)

    • Indy Rookie Notes: Denny Hamlin was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 23 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin scored his second win of the 2006 season in the race, crossing the finish line 1.510 seconds ahead of second-place Kurt Busch. He grabbed top rookie honors for the 11th time in 20 races. Hamlin enjoys a 48-point lead (223-175) over Clint Bowyer in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 6 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-15 in all 20 races this season. Jamie McMurray’s third-place finish in 2003 is the best by a Raybestos Rookie in 12 previous Brickyard 400 races. The best starting position by a Raybestos Rookie at Indianapolis is third by Casey Atwood in 2001. Johnny Benson holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie at Indianapolis and is also the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps in the race. Benson led three times for 70 laps to earn WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race honors in the 1996 event. A Raybestos Rookie has posted multiple victories SEVEN times in NASCAR Cup history: Davey Allison (two wins in 1987), Stewart (three wins in 1999), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two wins in 2000), Kevin Harvick (two wins in 2001), Johnson (three wins in 2002), Kyle Busch (two wins in 2005), and Denny Hamlin [two wins so far in 2006)(Raybestos PR), see the full rookie report on my 2006 Rookies page.(8-3-2006)

    • Raines gets a ride in F-16 Fighter: Former Indiana resident Raines, driver of the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy for Hall of Fame Racing got the ride of his life Aug. 1 courtesy of the 181st Fighter Wing based in Terre Haute, Ind. Col. Chris "Bert" Colbert gave Raines an orientation flight, and the two spent a little more than an hour flying over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 6, and parts of Indiana and Illinois. "That was awesome," Raines said. "I can't believe I got to do that. It was just absolutely incredible. We took off, and we were at the Speedway in about eight to 10 minutes. We flew right down the main stretch. I just can't even describe the feeling and the adrenaline. The rolls, the loops, the G-forces; it was incredible. It's something I've always wanted to do, and it was everything I thought it would be." Raines spent the morning in Terre Haute getting a flight physical and then learning about the F-16D in which he would fly. He was given instruction about entering and exiting the aircraft, how to handle g-forces and emergency procedures. If Raines didn't have enough excitement in his day, after the flight he headed to Interstate 70 to make the 73-mile journey to Indianapolis to throw the first pitch at the Indianapolis Indians/Toledo Mud Hens Triple-A baseball game at Victory Field. Raines, who pitched in high school at LaPorte, Ind., threw a fastball, a little low and outside.(True Speed Communication PR)(8-3-2006)

    • NASCAR Pleased with Unleaded Fuel Test so far: NASCAR officials were pleased Monday with their first test of unleaded fuel and remain on schedule to have the gas in all of its series by 2007. The unleaded gasoline was used in Saturday night's Busch Series race in St. Louis, the first of a four-week test run of the fuel. NASCAR competition director Robin Pemberton said there were no major problems reported after the race. "A lot of the engine builders shared information with our inspectors and there weren't any issues," Pemberton said. "You might have seen some extra wear and tear on some internal pieces, but the engine-builders have been working on unleaded fuel since we announced it was coming and no one had any problems." A handful of ARCA cars also used unleaded fuel during Friday night's race in St. Louis, including driver Cale Gale's winning entry. NASCAR had planned to move away from gasoline with lead-based additives by 2008, but is now targeting next season. The Busch cars will continue to use unleaded fuel for three more weeks, and the Truck Series will begin a two-race trial run Friday night in Indianapolis and then in Nashville in August. Following those events, NASCAR will switch back to the regular gasoline while NASCAR, Sunoco officials and team engine builders evaluate the unleaded fuel. Both series will then switch back to the unleaded gasoline on Sept. 23 for the remainder of the season. All ARCA cars will test the unleaded fuel in a race at Talladega to give engine builders a chance to examine the use of the gasoline in restrictor plate engines. A decision on using unleaded fuel in the Nextel Cup Series isn't expected until the end of the season, but Pemberton said the Cup cars won't test it this year.(Associated Press)(8-3-2006)

    • Special CAT scheme at Indy: The gleaming silver and black #22 CAT Financial Dodge driven by Dave Blaney plans to make its mark in the 2006 Brickyard 400 at Indy. See an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(7-5-2006)
    • MORE: This weekend, the #22 car with driver Dave Blaney will feature special graphics to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Cat Financial. Cat Financial is the financial arm of Caterpillar Inc., which is a technology leader and the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, natural gas and diesel engines, and industrial gas turbines.(BDR PR)(8-3-2006)


      News from August 2, 2006

    • Aikman to be inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame: Hall of Fame Racing will truly become Hall of Fame Racing on Saturday [August 5th] when #96 team owner Troy Aikman is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio [along with the Hall of Fame game featuring Jayski fave the Philadelphia Eagles vs the Oakland Raiders - NBC 8pm/Sat]. Aikman co-owns the team with 1985 Hall of Fame inductee Roger Staubach and managing partner Bill Saunders. The team gets engines, cars and technical assistance from Joe Gibbs Racing, owned by 1996 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs.(HOF Racing PR)(8-2-2006)

    • CarMax on the #31 at Indy: CarMax, the nation's largest retailer of used cars, will join RCR’s #31 Cingular Chevy as an associate sponsor for The Brickyard 400 and the upcoming Sony HD 500 at California Speedway Labor weekend. Based in Richmond, Va., CarMax currently operates 71 used car superstores in 34 markets throughout the United States and offers consumers a no hassle way of purchasing a car.(RCR PR)(8-2-2006)

    • Johns Manville joins Robby as co-primary at Indy: This weekend’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard will mark the first appearance in 2006 for Johns Manville as the co-primary sponsor of the #7 Menards Chevy of Robby Gordon. Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. Jim Beam, Harrah’s and CarLoan.com will serve as associates.(RGM PR)(8-2-2006)

    • Fox to crew chief Leicht: Raymond Fox will be handling the crew chief duties this weekend for the #90 CitiFinancial Ford. Drover Stephen Leicht and Fox first paired up in 2005 when Leicht made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Memphis Motorsports Park, where he finished 13th. Butch Hylton had been Leicht's crew chief, but was named #88-Dale Jarrett's crew chief recently when Slugger Labbe and #38 crew chief Tommy Baldwin parted ways with Robert Yates Racing.(CitiFinancial Racing PR)(8-2-2006)

    • Alltel Fastap scheme at Indy for Newman: Beginning Aug. 6th at the Brickyard 400, the #12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman will introduce a special paint scheme in support of Alltel's new LG AX490 phone. The new silver and black design resembles the sleek car form of the LG AX490 - the first and only phone to feature a Fastap keypad. This keypad integrates the traditional 12-number keypad with raised buttons for each letter of the alphabet. In addition to the Fastap keypad, the LG AX490 comes pre-loaded with exclusive Ryan-Newman themed content including ringtones, wallpapers and a special 'Racing with Ryan' game.(Penske Racing PR(8-2-2006)

    • Robby to deliver meals: on Thursday, August 3rd, The Harrah’s Foundation will donate a new $40,000 Chevrolet Colorado meal delivery truck to Meals on Wheels, Inc., a non-profit meal delivery service for Central Indiana homebound elderly and disabled. Following presentation of the delivery truck, Robby Gordon will drive the Harrah’s #7 Chevy race car to the nearby Indianapolis homes of two Meals on Wheels clients to deliver meals.(PR)(8-2-2006)

    • 'Safe Ride Home' Designated Driver Program Comes To Indianapolis: on Thursday, August 3, #26-Jamie McMurray tests his skills on the city streets during the Crown Royal "Safe Rides Home" program in downtown Indianapolis. As part of this designated driver initiative, McMurray will team with his primary race sponsor, Crown Royal and its parent company Diageo, to deploy a fleet of replica purple and gold #26 Ford Fusion cars that will be offering local bar patrons free, safe rides home for two nights. To show his commitment to the program on the kickoff night, McMurray will get behind the wheel of one of the vehicles and provide free rides home to select consumers who sign up at a special Crown Royal #26 taxi stand. This marks the second straight year the program has visited Indianapolis prior to the Brickyard race. After servicing many Indianapolis residents with safe rides home last year [with Kurt Busch], Crown Royal has added a second night to the program. "'This year we decided to expand the program to two nights, allowing us to cover more ground over a longer period of time," said Jim Lorenz, Senior Brand Manager, Crown Royal. "This signature program continues to build upon its successes as the perfect vehicle to promote responsible decision-making." McMurray's appearance will launch the two-day program that aims to drive hundreds of Indianapolis residents home safely prior to the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard on August 6. The program is set to take place in Meridian Park (by Jackson Place) on Thursday, August 3, and Broadripple (Guilford Avenue) on Friday, August 4. Marked kiosks will accept "fares" from 8:00pm - 1:00am on both nights. In total, 10 Crown Royal Ford Fusions will be in rotation and residents within a 20-mile radius of downtown Indianapolis that are 21 years of age or older are eligible. There is a four-passenger limit per car.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(8-2-2006)

    • Inta Juice and Randy Moss Sponsoring Haas, Green at Brickyard 400: One of the nation's fastest-growing smoothie and juice bar franchises is heading to the nation's most prestigious speedway. Inta Juice has signed an agreement to sponsor Haas CNC Racing and the #66 Inta Juice Chevy driven by Jeff Green in this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Randy Moss, professional football player and Inta Juice executive, will grace the quarter panels of the #66 Inta Juice Chevrolet. This will mark the first time that the likeness of a NFL player has been on a Nextel Cup car. Inta Juice has launched aggressive growth goals that includes targeting nearly 100 total stores nationwide, either open or with franchise agreements in place, by the end of 2006. The company also plans to double in size by the end of 2008. Inta Juice is looking to grow their brand in front of the 250,000 fans that are expected to be at Sunday's race. More info on the company at intajuice.com.(Moore Consulting Group/GMR Marketing PR)(8-1-2006)
      IMAGEs added of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(8-2-2006)


      News from August 1, 2006

    • Parsons comments on cancer treatment and Indy: Benny Parsons told listeners of PRN’s “Fast Talk” radio show Monday night that after almost a week of treatments for lung cancer he’s still feeling alright and will be in Indianapolis this weekend for NBC’s coverage of the Brickyard 400. Parsons, who has received over two-thousand emails from fans around the world wishing him well, said it’s been overwhelming and thanked everyone for their prayers and support. Among the emails are those from cancer survivors including a word of encouragement from seven time Tour De France champion Lance Armstrong who told Benny to keep fighting and that his foundation would help if needed. Parsons said; “They want me to be assured that they won, I can win. Everyone that I talked to in this disease...they all says attitude has so much to do with it. If you feel like you can, you’ve got a better shot than if you don’t feel like you can. The doctors told me that we feel like we can win so I’m trying.” Apparently Benny Parsons speaking out about his condition is having an influence on others. Reportedly when one race fan heard Benny had lung cancer he threw away his cigarettes.(PRN's Fast Talk with Benny Parsons)(8-1-2006)

    • #43 scheme at Indy - Totino's MEGA Pizza Rolls: #43-Bobby Labonte will be racing a special paint scheme on the side of the famed '43' at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Allstate 400. Labonte will be racing the Totino's MEGA Pizza Rolls Dodge. Totino's MEGA Pizza Rolls are 2X bigger than regular Totino's Pizza Rolls brand pizza snacks. Labonte is one of only five full-time active drivers to have won this race, in 2000.(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR)(8-1-2006)

    • Shepherd to run limited sched in 2006 with new partner: #89-Morgan Shepherd and Christian businessman Dana Tomes are teaming up to put Shepherd’s #89 Racing With Jesus Dodge back in Nextel Cup racing. The duo announced the formation of Faith Motorsports, LLC effective August 1, and plan to attempt to qualify for the August 26 race at Bristol, as well as the September 9 race at Richmond, September 17 at Loudon [NH] and October 22 at Martinsville. The team has built and tested its first short and intermediate track car and are planning to run a full schedule in 2007. “We are building this team from the front office to the shop rather than the opposite direction,” Tomes said. “We are getting our administrative and sponsorship efforts in order and then tackling the race operations aspects of the team.” The team’s administrative and sponsorship efforts will be handled from offices in West Virginia, where Tomes lives and operates several business ventures, while race operations will be housed in a 13,000-square-foot shop in Hickory, NC, near Shepherd’s home in Conover, NC. The team’s race operations will be overseen by Shepherd and will operate with a limited shop staff and crew this fall, but plan to add personnel and equipment as sponsorship is generated. Shepherd will drive the car this fall and plans on running the full schedule in 2007. “We attempted Loudon last month and tested at Pulaski, so we think we have a pretty good car to take to Bristol,” Shepherd said. “We will make the needed changes race to race to make sure that we have a quality program in place before the off-season.” The team will keep Shepherd’s original car #89, and will return to his trademark dark green and yellow paint scheme. The team’s new website can be found at racewithfaith.com and morganshepherd.com.(PR)(8-1-2006)

    • Murry in the #37 at Watkins Glen: during the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama televised on Sunday, road racer Dave Murry mentioned he would drive the #37 car at the Watkins Glen Nextel Cup series race next week. Murry's website has this posted: "will be driving in the Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen, August 13. I will be in the #37 Upstate New York Dodge Dealers Association Dodge Charger. It will be with Gary Trout Autosports/R & J Racing". [Trout is also teaming with Front Row Motorsports for Indy](8-1-2006)


      News from July 31, 2006

    • Baldwin back to Davis Racing? yes...:Baldwin supposedly is headed back to Bill Davis Racing (nothing about Ward Burton) and Labbe is looking at options.
      UPDATE: Bill Davis Racing (BDR) announced today that Tommy Baldwin Jr. will join the organization serving as Competition Director for its Nextel Cup Series multi-car efforts, effective August 1, 2006. Baldwin returns to the team after having spent four seasons with the organization from 1999-2002. Included in Baldwin’s responsibilities as competition director will be overseeing Bill Davis Racing’s conversion to Toyota for the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Baldwin will work closely with leaders from Toyota Racing Development, Inc. (TRD) and Triad Racing Development, Inc. (a technical partner to TRD) to ensure a smooth transition and will also work with existing Bill Davis Racing crew chiefs to guarantee an efficient and effective transformation to Toyota.(BDR/NASCAR PR)(7-31-2006)

    • Menard and Red Bull? UPDATE: Paul Menard is listed on the Red Bull Racing site as one of their drivers, been asked about that....no idea. As far as I know, Menard will drive the #15 Menard's Chevy for Dale Earnhardt Inc for 2007 in the Nextel [Sprint] Cup Series, have not heard of that plan changing.(7-31-2006)
      UPDATE: the Red Bull site has moved Menard's profile from Driver to Athlete, been told by DEI folks he will drive the #15 Chevy for DEI in 2007 in Nextel Cup and Menard is considered a Red Bull Atlete which endorses the products and wears a helmet similar to Robby Gordon in the Nextel Cup Series.(7-31-2006)

    • Crew Chiefs out at Yates?: UPDATE 4: Hearing that Robert Yates Racing has released crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin and Slugger Labbe.(7-30-2006)
      UPDATE:Baldwin supposedly is headed back to Bill Davis Racing (nothing about Ward Burton) and Labbe is looking at options.(7-31-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Robert Yates Racing told its organization on Monday that its two Nextel Cup crew chiefs, Tommy Baldwin and Slugger Labbe, would no longer be with the team, a source has told NASCAR.COM. Baldwin and Labbe were brought to RYR amid great fanfare by team manager Eddie D'Hondt, but D'Hondt was fired on May 23. With Baldwin and Labbe gone, RYR has experienced a complete turnover of its top personnel. Veteran crew chief Butch Hylton is rumored to be Jarrett's crew chief for this week's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.(NASCAR.com)(7-31-2006)
      UPDATE 3: Robert Yates Racing announced today that veteran crew chief Butch Hylton will assume crew chief duties for the #88 UPS Racing Team in an interim capacity beginning with this weekend’s All State 400 at the Brickyard. Hylton has been with Robert Yates Racing since the end of June and served as crew chief for development driver Stephen Leicht at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago.(RYR PR)(7-31-2006)
      UPDATE 4: Baldwin will be replaced by Charles "Cully" Barraclough as crew chief of the #38 team and Elliott Sadler. Baldwin's departure was by mutual decision as he left for an opportunity to become a team manager at another team, an RYR spokesman said. That team likely will be Bill Davis Racing, where Baldwin was crew chief from 1998 to 2002.(SceneDaily.com)(7-31-2006)

    • Bill Weber Staying with TNT: With NASCAR's current TV deals expiring this season, networks with new deals kicking in next year are putting together on-air lineups. A piece of those puzzles settled early: TNT, airing six midseason NASCAR Nextel Cup races next year, will announce Monday that Bill Weber will be the host and call play-by-play on its races. Weber said he "talked briefly" to ABC/ESPN, which next year inherits NASCAR late-season coverage from the current joint venture of NBC and TNT that Weber currently hosts. But Weber says he always figured he'd stick with TNT. Turner Sports executive producer Jeff Behnke says Weber won't be allowed to appear on any other network's NASCAR coverage, given "he'll be the face of our coverage." But Behnke says its possible next year TNT will use announcers who also appear on ABC/ESPN or Fox, which next year will continue to cover early-season NASCAR races. ABC/ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys suggested Sunday that the Disney network probably will require exclusive use of its NASCAR announcers given that, in picking up all NASCAR Busch Series races and adding a daily show on car racing, ABC/ESPN will have "a year-round commitment to covering racing." (USA Today)(7-31-2006)

    • Wimmer looking for 2007? Hearing #4-Scott Wimmer is looking for a ride next season, as his contract with the #4-Morgan-McClure Motorsports team is a one-year deal thru 2006. Wimmer has fielded some offers from a couple of "pretty good" Busch Series teams, but hasn't committed to anything yet.(7-31-2006)



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