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    AUGUST 7-13, 2006

      News from August 13, 2006

    • Gilliland in the #38 at Michigan or is it fill in?: Busch series driver David Gilliland will replace Elliott Sadler as the driver of the #38 M&M's Ford for Robert Yates Racing, beginning next Sunday in the GFS Marketplace 400 in Brooklyn, Mich., ESPN's Mike Massaro reports. Sadler previously announced he was leaving Yates at the end of the season. Sadler has signed with Evernham Motorsports, which on Friday fired driver Jeremy Mayfield. This weekend, driver Bill Elliott is replacing Mayfield in Watkins Glen. Earlier this year, Gilliland became the first non-Nextel Cup driver to win a Busch Series race this season.(
      OR As David Gilliland contemplates his immediate future with Robert Yates Racing -- namely whether or not to lose his rookie status in 2007 by taking a Nextel Cup ride now -- sources close to RYR told the organization is also in discussion with Jeremy Mayfield about a potential fill-in role in the #38 Ford. Mayfield, released by Evernham Motorsports earlier this week, would only be a temporary fill-in for Yates, and would not sign a multi-year deal. Sources said Gilliland is expected to man the #38 Ford for the final 12 races, but his participation in the fall race at Talladega remains in doubt. He has not yet been approved for racing on NASCAR's superspeedways. Mayfield's termination from Evernham Motorsports earlier this week opens the seat of the #19 Dodge for the current driver of the #38 Ford, Elliott Sadler. Sadler may be in the #19 before season's end, depending largely on the resolutions of various contractual agreements, sources said.(

    • Robby talking to other teams about working together: #7-Robby Gordon confirmed informal discussions with fellow single-car entries #96 Hall of Fame Racing, co-owned by former NFL quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, and #32 PPI Motorsports, owned by Cal Wells, who like Gordon came with a background in Indy-car and off-road racing. Gordon also has been linked to Robert Yates' Ford [#38 & #88] team, which is in rebuilding mode, and Toyota, which is coming to Nextel Cup next year. "It would be easier for us not to have to change our whole fleet, but we've been known to do things that aren't the easiest," Gordon said. "If we're not looking at every opportunity, then we're not doing our jobs." Gordon's plans include returns to the world's two most grueling off-road races, the Baja 1000 in the Mexican desert in November and the 6,500-mile Dakar Rally in January. He also hinted that he probably hasn't run his last Indianapolis 500.(Indianapolis Star)(8-13-2006)

    • Harvick wins at Watkins Glen - revision 2:: #29-Kevin Harvick won the AMD at the Glen, Watkins Glen International for his 1st road course win, 2nd win of 2006 and 7th of his career. Harvick made a nice pass of #20-Tony Stewart with 7 laps to go, Stewart ended up 2nd, followed by #26-Jamie McMurray, #7-Robby Gordon [1st top 5 of the year], #99-Carl Edwards, #40-Scott Pruett, #38-Elliott Sadler [could be last run in the #38, also went off course in the kitty litter on lap 4, but recovered], #12-Ryan Newman [was 9th the first results, then back to 8th], #5-Kyle Busch [was 5 laps down and got 5 lucky dog passes...a record] and #11-Denny Hamlin [#60-Boris Said was dropped from 6th to 31st]. The front row starters didn't do too well, Pole sitter #2-Kurt Busch was leading on lap 53 and headed to the pits just as the 6th caution came out, Busch was 2 feet from the line when the stop light came on, Busch kept going and made his pit stop [he would had driven thru, there would had been no penalty] and was penalized after his pit stop then was sent to the end of the longest line at the restart, which was 40th at the time, for pitting when pit road was closed. Busch was running 11th with a lap to go and got tangled up in one of the last lap incidents and finished 18th. The outside pole sitter, #9-Kasey Kahne got into Busch on the 1st lap, fell back was running in the top 15 late in the race until on the final lap got off course and into the litter and finished 22nd. keeping him 11th in the points. #8-Dale Earnahrdt Jr. started 11th, but was never much of a factor but finished 18th and held on to 10th in the points. There were 11 leaders with 14 lead changes and a record 10 cautions for 22 laps.
      Race Results on my Indy Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Watkins Glen page
      Race Rundown: see my Watkins Glen Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(8-13-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Watkins Glen [22 of 36 races]:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 3241
      #17-Matt Kenseth 3117 -124
      #29-Kevin Harvick 2918 -323
      #31-Jeff Burton 2879 -362
      #5-Kyle Busch 2871 -370
      #6-Mark Martin 2815 -426
      #20-Tony Stewart 2794 -447
      #11-Denny Hamlin 2782 -459
      #24-Jeff Gordon 2756 -485
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2726 -515
      and fighting for 10th
      out of 10th and the chase
      #9-Kasey Kahne -54
      #2-Kurt Busch -172
      #16-Greg Biffle -180
      #99-Carl Edwards -191
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(8-13-2006)

      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
      90 PT Jumping the restart Lap 1
      15 PT Running through the loop Lap 6
      4 TE Excessive speed entering pits Lap 28
      4 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 28
      01 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 54
      2 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 54
      43 SG Removing equipment from pit area Lap 55
      2 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 62
      4 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 62
      17 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 62
      22 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 62
      34 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 62
      55 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 82
      55 TE Commitment line violation Lap 82
      12 30 seconds Running through the loop Lap 90 [recinded]
      32 30 seconds Running through the loop Lap 90
      61/60 30 seconds Running through the loop Lap 90 [added]
      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)(8-13/14-2006)

    • NBC in Cleveland Ohio did air the Cup on it's NBC stattion there, WKYC-TV - Channel 3, they showed the Cleveland Indian's baseball game, do NOT send complaints to me, but to the station at or

    • Waltrip says Mayfield is out of MWR picture: While it's not yet official that Jeremy Mayfield will drive for Bill Davis Racing next year, Michael Waltrip said the driver won't be part of his three-car program in 2007. Released by Evernham Motorsports last week, neither Mayfield nor his business agent have returned calls from NASCAR Scene. But sources at Indianapolis indicated that Mayfield had struck a deal to team with Dave Blaney at BDR. Last month at New Hampshire, Waltrip had said that Mayfield would be his top candidate to join a program [for the #00 Toyota] that will also include Dale Jarrett. But Sunday morning at Watkins Glen, Waltrip said Mayfield's out of the equation. "He and I have pretty much figured out that it wasn't going to work out," Waltrip said. "I don't know where he's going to wind up. But he's looking at other deals, I think." The search, meanwhile, continues for Waltrip. "We've talked to a few guys and are working with the sponsors to try to get the guy that they want and couple that with the guy we want," Waltrip said. "That process has taken a little bit longer than we hoped it would. But nothing has happened to this point to where we don't think we can get a cat that we can be successful with."(

    • Domino's to be primary sponsor for Waltrip at Michigan: Domino’s Pizza appear as the primary Nextel Cup Series team sponsor of racing veteran, #55-Michael Waltrip August 18-20 at Michigan International Speedway. Waltrip will be the first driver to compete in a Domino’s Pizza Nextel Cup car [since the late 1980's] when he takes the wheel of the #55 Domino’s Pizza vehicle next Friday [in practrice and qualifying]. As part of its 2006 motorsports program, Domino’s Pizza has been, and will continue to be an associate sponsor of Waltrip’s #55 Nextel Cup Series team. Waltrip previously carried the Domino’s Pizza banner as his primary sponsor of his #99 Busch Series team twice in 2005 and once in 2004. Domino’s partnerships extend to Michigan International Speedway, branded “MIS Delivered by Domino’s Pizza” and will feature fan entertainment, displays, signage, product sampling and guest hospitality throughout the race weekend. More information on the Company can be found on the web at's/Clear!Blue PR), see an image of the car on my #55 Team Schemes page.(8-13-2006)

    • once again...Martin has no ownership plans UPDATE 2007 plans: #6-Mark Martin's racing future remains unresolved, but he is eliminating one possible option for 2007 - he won't own a Nextel Cup race team. Martin said Friday that he shot down that idea floated by Jack Roush, his current team owner who will soon be restricted to four race cars. "Jack would like me to own two teams - own one and drive one," Martin said in the Watkins Glen International garage area. "I just don't have that much left in me," he continued. "I'm a fighter, and I've got a lot of fire and desire. If I wanted to, I could do that." But Martin, who has yet to sign a Craftsman Truck Series contract with Ford for next season, doesn't want the responsibility and hassle that comes with team ownership. "I would be miserable," Martin said. "I would work right down to my knees. That's not what I want for my future. I want some time. I want some friends. I want to be there for family and friends. I want to do some other things and still race. I can do that with the truck series, and we'll see what works out from there." Martin's ideal racing schedule would be a full-time Craftsman Truck Series ride complimented by up to a dozen Nextel Cup races. He can't do that with Roush. Martin said Busch Series driver Todd Kluever will drive the #6 entry full-time next season. Martin left the door open for any number of scenarios in 2007, including a full-time Cup ride. "I'm not going to say I won't do a full schedule, because it could happen, but I don't see it," Martin said. Martin said the rumor about racing a Cup car with Robert Yates Racing has no merit. The two men made a joke about a union after hearing about the speculation. "It was just a joke," Martin said of his conversation with Yates. "I said, 'How much am I supposed to give you [to drive your car]?"(
      UPDATE: on Speed Channel's NASCAR Raceday, Mark Martin was asked about his 2007 plans, Martin said it is highly unlikely that he will be back full-time in Cup next season and WILL drive the full 2007 Craftsman Truck Series schedule AND is working on a deal for run 12 companion Cup races, but is looking for a car and sponsor. Martin said the truck team is fully sponsored.(Speed Channel's NASCAR Raceday)(8-13-2006)

    • Latest on the Mayfield-Evernham legal battle: Jeremy Mayfield's immediate legal challenge to the terms of his firing by Evernham Motorsports has been resolved. Mayfield, who was released Monday, filed the request for an injunction in North Carolina Superior Court in Iredell County. Whether he could have gotten in the #19 car Friday is unclear as Bill Elliott pracaticed and qualified at Watkins Glen International. There was a hearing on the injunction Friday in North Carolina, and the parties had agreed in principle to settle after the hearing, a Dodge spokesman confirmed Friday night. The two sides released a statement Saturday morning: "Jeremy Mayfield, Mayfield Motorsports, Inc., and Evernham Motorsports LLC announced that they have agreed to end their relationship effective immediately. The parties agree that it is in their mutual best interests to go in different directions and wish each other success in the future." Elliott Sadler is expected to take over the #19 car in 2007 but possibly will take over the driving duties soon.(, looks like at Michigan next weekend.(8-13-2006)

    • Rumblings - Notes - Watkins Glen:
      We had a short-track disguised as a road course today.... In a slam-bang affair, Kevin Harvick bested Tony Stewart in a five lap shootout to take the AMD at the Glen for his second win of the season. Harvick's first road course victory was the 7th of his career (he's tied for 57th on the all-time win list) and the 79th for Richard Childress Racing. His share of the over $4.7M in posted awards was $223,161. We started early today with a wild first corner....heck, we hadn't gone 50 yards before the give & take went away! The 10 cautions were a race record, and we saw a seven-car job (we don't see those often here) on lap 63.
      Jamie McMurray (3rd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Dover in June.
      Robby Gordon (4th) had his best finish since he was runner-up here last August. His Top-5 gives us 25 drivers at that level this season.....last year's number was 30.
      Scott Pruett (6th) gives us 34 drivers with a Top-10 finish this season.... last year we had 43 drivers to score a Top-10.
      Jeff Green (15th) had his best finish since he was 12th at Lowes in May.
      STREAKIN....Kevin Harvick has 6 Top-10's in a row.
      Denny Hamlin has 4 Top-10's in a row.
      Kyle Busch has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      Kyle Busch sure has to love that "Lucky Dog", huh?
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Reed Sorenson (+28 ), followed by Jamie McMurray (+21).
      Jimmie Johnson stretched his meaningless lead over Matt Kenseth today to 124 points. Kasey Kahne is 54 points out of the "Chase" in 11th after this race, and our "Mathematically Eliminated" Line has jumped all the way up to 27th. Johnson's Magic Number is now an almost clinching 38th. All he needs to do is finish 38th or better the next four races and he's guaranteed into the "Chase"
      We had three drivers advance two spots in the standings today. Tony Stewart (9th to 7th), Jamie McMurray (19th to 17th), and Elliott Sadler (22nd to 20th) all made multiple position moves. Casey Mears (15th to 18th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans)(8-13-2006)

    • Watkins Glen Race News and Notes:
      • Kevin Harvick won the 2006 AMD at Watkins Glen International, scoring his seventh Nextel Cup victory in his 200th career start.
      • This was Harvick’s second victory in 2006. He also won at Phoenix in April.
      • Harvick scored his first victory at Watkins Glen and first victory on a road course.
      • Harvick won the race from the seventh-place starting position.
      • Harvick scored his 13th top-10 finish in 22 races this season, including top-10 finishes in the last six races.
      • Harvick climbed from fourth to third in the point standings, now 246 ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne.
      • Harvick extended a 34-race streak of running at the finish, the longest current streak.
      • Kurt Busch led the most laps for the first time since Dover in September 2005, 31 races ago.
      • Race winner Harvick led two times for 28 laps including the final four laps in the 2006 AMD at the Glen.
      • This was team owner Richard Chidress’s 79th Nextel Cup victory. Childress has scored two Nextel Cup victories at Watkins Glen. His other victory was scored by Robby Gordon in 2003.
      Notebook Items
      • Tony Stewart (second) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006. It is his sixth top-10 finish in eight races at Watkins Glen. He climbed from ninth to seventh in the point standings, 122 points ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne.
      • Jamie McMurray (third) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2006. It is his first top-10 finish in four races at Watkins Glen International.
      • Robby Gordon (fourth) scored his second top-10 finish in 2006. It is his sixth top-10 finish in eight races at Watkins Glen International, all top-fives.
      • Carl Edwards (fifth) scored his 11th top-10 finish 22 races in 2006. It is his first top-10 finish in two races at Watkins Glen International.
      • Kyle Busch (ninth) extended a streak of eight straight top-15 finishes that began at Michigan in June.
      • Jeff Burton (11th) scored his 16th straight top-15 finish extending a streak that began at Texas in April.
      • At least one Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in every race this season.
      • Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contender, Denny Hamlin finished 10th in his first race at Watkins Glen International. It marked his 10th top-10 finish in 2006, the most among the rookie contenders.
      • Kyle Busch was awarded a lap back as beneficiary of rule five times in the AMD at the Glen, a record for the most “Lucky Dogs” to be awarded a driver in a race since the program’s inception at Dover in September 2003.
      • The 10 cautions set the record for the most at Watkins Glen. The previous record was eight cautions set in 1988.
      • The 14 lead changes tied the record for the most in a race at Watkins Glen set in 1991.
      • Jimmie Johnson has been ranked among the top 10 for 91 consecutive races.
      • Michael Waltrip finished 36th in the AMD at the Glen. This marked his 100th consecutive start without a victory. Waltrip last won at Talladega in September 2003.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-13-2006)

    • Fans to Honor Richmond at Watkins Glen: Fans with an eye to the sky Sunday morning prior to the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen likely are going to see an unusual banner being towed by plane. The banner's message in the air above the road course in the mountains of New York state's Southern Tier won't be an advertisement for some company or product. Instead, it will read, "Tim Richmond We Miss You--Your Fans." The banner is the idea of Mark Weaver, who lives near the Glen, along with Walt and Brenda Wombough of Neptune, N.J., and other friends, all of whom remain fans of the driver who died of AIDS on Aug. 13, 1989. It's a play off the banner that Richmond had towed over Daytona International Speedway in February of 1988 after NASCAR officials barred him from competing in the Daytona 500, ostensibly because of a failed drug test. That banner read: "Fans I Miss You--Tim Richmond."
      "We're doing this to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Tim's win at Watkins Glen on Aug. 10, 1986 when NASCAR brought its big-time series and drivers back to the track after an absence since 1965," Walt Wombough advised in an e-mail. "It's also 17 years to the day of Tim's passing.(ThatsRacin) and see:
      Richmond was 'one of kind' - Fans to honor 1986 Glen winner's legacy today at WGI by Al Losey of the Elmira Star Gazette and;
      Remembering Tim Richmond - Part 1 and
      Remembering Tim Richmond - Part 2 by Matt McLaughlin of Racing Stalkers.(8-9/13-2006)

    • When a Driver Rating from this race a year ago is a perfect 150.0, it’s obvious that the team had it dialed in the last time out. Tony Stewart dominates NASCAR’s pre-race Loop Data statistics for The Glen, ranking first in 10 categories, including Driver Rating, Fastest Early in a Run, Late in a Run, Fastest on Third Straightaway, Fastest in Turn 9, Turn 10, Turn 11, Turns 2 to 4, Fastest on Restarts and Speed in Traffic. Road course standouts Robby Gordon (#7 Menards/Johns Manville Chevy) and Boris Said (#60 Sobe-No Fear Ford) are always threats to win at Watkins Glen. Gordon, who won at The Glen in 2003, has the fourth highest Driver Rating (112.9) heading into this Sunday’s event. He finished second to Stewart at The Glen a year ago. In seven career starts there, he has five top-five finishes. Said’s 113.6 Driver Rating ranks third highest and he leads two pre-race Loop Data categories – Fastest on the Frontstretch and Fastest on the Backstretch. Said looks to improve upon last year’s third-place showing. A compilation of Loop Data statistics from the five tracks left in the Race to the Chase could be a good forecaster in projecting how the top drivers may perform during this stretch. That compilation – from races in 2005 and 2006 – shows Stewart has the best Driver Rating (111.8) at these remaining tracks: Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol, California and Richmond. As previously documented, Stewart’s strongest track is The Glen, with his perfect 150.0 rating. Greg Biffle (#16 National Guard/Subway Ford) is next over the upcoming five-race stretch with a rating of 105.6 followed by Kenseth at 100.4. On the flip side, Jeff Burton (#31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet), currently in third place in the standings, is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself over the next five weeks. Burton’s 73.8 Driver Rating at the next five race tracks is the lowest among the series’ top 14 drivers.(NASCAR PR)(8-13-2006)

    • Nextel Cup drivers to compete in drift competition: Nextel Cup drivers #9-Kasey Kahne, Bill Elliott, #16-Greg Biffle, #7-Robby Gordon and #42-Casey Mears are scheduled to take part in the Aug. 31 Mopar D1 All-Star Duel at Irwindale Speedway in California. The exhibition pits eight Nextel Cup drivers against eight D1 Professional Drift Grand Prix Series drivers. Vaughn Gittin Jr., Rhys Millen, Samuel Hubinette, Yasuyuki Kazama and Ken Nomura are already pledged to the D1 team. The NASCAR drivers will compete in drift cars provided by D1. An autograph session is part of the event, and all proceeds will benefit the Kasey Kahne Foundation, which supports charitable organizations that care for chronically ill children and their families.(

      News from August 12, 2006

    • DEI and Dale Jr casually working on a new contract UPDATE: With #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. set to become a free agent at the end of next season, constant but casual negotiations are under way to [at Dale Earnhardt Inc.] re-sign NASCAR's most popular driver. "We talk about it all the time," director of motorsports Richie Gilmore said. "It's different when you work on his contract because it's business, it's family. It's very complicated when you work with Dale Jr. and (stepmother/team owner) Teresa because there's so many different parts to it. It's his dad's business and it's complicated. I know Teresa wants it to be Dale Jr.'s and Kelley's and Kerry's (also Dale Earnhardt's children) someday because that's what Dale built it for and that's in the long-term plans." Gilmore said he personally avoids the talks though he is the team's highest-ranking executive in the racing operation. Earnhardt Jr. is signed to a typical driver contract, he said. "Never mix business and family and when you do, you let the family handle it," he said. Earnhardt has several times entertained the idea of driving the #3 Chevrolet made legendary by his late father [he has been quoted as saying he'd like to drive the #3 towards the end of his career], but that number is owned by Richard Childress Racing. Still, Gilmore thinks Earnhardt Jr. will remain at DEI. At least, he hopes so. "It's tough to tell," he said. "You never know how things are going to happen, but you would think so, with the name on the building and the billboard."(St Petersburg Times)(8-9-2006)
      UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says negotiations concerning his new contract with DEI are "coming along alright." Junior says "I haven't really messed with it here in the last month but we've got plenty of time to sort that out. They're showing what they want and we're showing what we want and we'll all have to kind of continue to compromise and I think that's going really well."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(8-12-2006)

    • Labonte not worried about Parrott leaving: #43-Bobby Labonte said he didn't expect Petty Enterprises to miss a beat despite the defection of crew chief Todd Parrott to Robert Yates Racing. With Greg Steadman as interim crew chief and executive vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis taking a more hands-on role. Steadman, Petty Enterprises' director of competition, is likely not auditioning for the permanent job of crew chief. "Of course, if Greg goes out and wins two or three races, we'll find a different competition director," Loomis said. "We want some body for the long haul, not a short-term thing," said Labonte, who reaffirmed that he was staying with Petty. "We've got a great base. We've just got to find the right person who will grow with the organization. We don't necessarily have to move forward quickly but we have to move forward very smart on the decisions we make to bring the right race cars to the race track the right setups before we ever get there."(USA Today)(8-12-2006)

    • To The Back [4]: #14-Marlin [engine change]; #6-Martin [engine change] and #16-Biffle [backup car]; #90-Goossens [engine]; #41-Sorenson who wrecked in Happy Hour practice, the team plans to repair the car and not go to a backup car.(8-12-2006)

    • First Time for Dodge at Watkins Glen and... #2-Kurt Busch is the first driver in Nextel Cup history to put a Dodge on the pole at The Glen. The last time there was an all-Dodge front row in a major professional auto race was in 1999 in an FIA GT race. Jean-Phillipe Belloc and Olivier Beretta swept the front row in their Chrysler Oreca Viper GTS cars. Those cars also finished one-two in the race. No Dodge has ever won a Nextel Cup race here.(Corning Leader)(8-12-2006)

      News from August 11, 2006

    • Bobby Allison and Shop Rat at MIS: not sure what this is about, but NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison is scheduled to appear at a press conference on Friday, August 18th at Michigan International Speedway "to talk about Shop Rat".(, but the site mentions it has something to do with charity.(8-11-2006)

    • Todd Parrott Returns to RYR; Steadman to Crew Chief the #43 UPDATE:: Petty Enterprises and Robert Yates Racing jointly announce crew chief Todd Parrott will return to Robert Yates Racing. Greg Steadman, on an interim basis, will take over the crew chief duties on the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Bobby Labonte effective immediately. Parrott has years of experience at RYR and helped lead the organization to a championship with driver Dale Jarrett in 1999. Steadman is no stranger to the crew chief position. A long-standing employee of Petty Enterprises, Steadman is known as one of the top mechanical minds at the shop. Steadman will work hand-in-hand with Loomis, who will take a more active role on the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge.(Petty Enterprises PR)(8-9-2006)
      UPDATE: Parrott will take over the #38 M&M's Ford crew chief duties as of the Michigan race next weekend.(Speed Channel Qualifying Coverage/Dillner and McReynolds)(8-11-2006)

    • Latest on Da Matta: Doctors caring for Cristiano da Matta say the Champ Car driver continues to show steady progress. Da Matta suffered a serious head injury eight days ago after colliding with a deer while testing at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. "Most of his sedation has been removed," said Champ Car medical director Chris Pinderski. "Cristiano is moving all of his extremities spontaneously, as well as responding to physical stimulation."(Dallas Morning News)(8-11-2006)

    • Kurt Busch wins pole at Watkins Glen: #2-Kurt Busch won the Budweiser Pole for the AMD at the Glen with a speed of 122.966mph for his 3rd pole of 2006, 2nd of the year at a road course and 6th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #9-Kasey Kahne, followed by #12-Ryan Newman, #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 11th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #60-Said, #32-Fellows, #90-Goossens, #4-Wimmer, #19-Elliott, #55-Waltrip, #15-Menard and #34-Simo. Missing the race were: #49-Cook, #78-Papis, #27-Hubert, #37-Murry, #72-Quarterly, #92-Miller and #02-Ash. For qualifying results and starting lineup, see my Watkins Glen Starting Grid/Qualifying Page.(8-11-2006)

    • Ramblings - Qualifying Notes - Watkins Glen: Kurt Busch pulled off the road course sweep (at least as far as the pole is concerned) today at Watkins Glen as he took the Bud Pole for Sunday's AMD at the Glen with a time of 71.727 sec (122.966 mph)....more than 6/10th's better than Kasey Kahne. This is the third pole of the season for Busch and the 6th of his NEXTEL Cup career.
      Robby Gordon (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Infineon in June of 2005.
      Elliott Sawyer (12th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 8th at Dover in June.
      Scott Pruett (13th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 9th at Infineon in June of 2005 (only three races).
      Bill Elliott (31st) is in the Evernham #19 this weekend. Stay tuned for more legalese from both the Evernham and Mayfield sides.
      Marc Goossens (27th) makes his first NEXTEL Cup start this weekend for Robert Yates in his #90 Ford.
      STREAKIN....Kurt Busch has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.
      Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.(more at Stock Car Fans)(8-11-2006)

    • Watkins Glen Qualifying News and Notes:
      • Kurt Busch won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the AMD at the Glen, lapping Watkins Glen International in 71.727 seconds at 122.966 mph. Jeff Gordon holds the trackqualifying record of 70.798 seconds, 124.580 mph - set Aug. 8, 2003 – in the most recent qualifying session at Watkins Glen. Qualifying was canceled by weather in the past two seasons.
      • This is Busch’s sixth career Bud Pole in 206 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
      • This is his third Bud Pole and series-leading 16th top-10 start in 2006. It is his second Bud Pole on a road-course this season.
      • Busch became the third three-time Bud Pole winner in 2006 joining Kasey Kahne (four) and Jeff Burton (three), Greg Biffle (two), Denny Hamlin (two), Ryan Newman (two) are the other multiple Bud Pole winners this season.
      • This is Busch’s first Bud Pole and fifth top-10 start in six race at Watkins Glen, including both of the past two seasons when qualifying was canceled. Busch has improved his starting position each race since he started 20th in his first Watkins Glen race in 2001.
      • Busch became the 14th different Bud Pole winner in 24 races at Watkins Glen.
      • Kasey Kahne posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 72.387 seconds, 121.845 mph – and will join Busch on the front row for the AMD at the Glen. It is his 14th top-10 start in 2006. Kahne posted his first start better than 11th in three races at Watkins Glen. It is his career-best road-course start.
      • This is the 10th Bud Pole and fifth front-row sweep in 2006 for Dodge. Chevrolet has seven Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • Ryan Newman (third) posted his fourth top-10 start in five races at Watkins Glen.
      • Jeff Gordon (fourth) posted his ninth Watkins Glen top-10 start in his 14th race here.
      • Jimmie Johnson (fifth) has posted his first top-10 qualifying effort at Watkins Glen He started on the front row in both of the past two races when qualifying was canceled. His best start in his other two races here was 12th in 2002.
      • Robby Gordon (sixth) posted his fourth top-10 start in eight races at Watkins Glen.
      • Greg Biffle (41st) posted his worst start of the season and tied his career-worst start, which was also on a road course (Infineon – 2005). He failed to qualify in the top-10 for just the seventh time this season, but the fifth in the past six races.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(8-11-2006)

    • Mayfield out..totally at Evernham? UPDATE 2 yep: hearing Evernham Motorsports has released #19 driver Jeremy Mayfield from driving duties for the rest of the season, no word if the contract situation has been resolved if he has been released....or if he will drive again this season in the Cup series.(8-10-2006)
      UPDATE: Jeremy Mayfield has been released from Evernham Motorsports, team owner Ray Evernham said Friday at Watkins Glen International. "He has been terminated, and I honestly don't want to discuss the terms with that," Evernham said. Mayfield was replaced for this weekend's race by former Cup champion Bill Elliott on Tuesday. When contacted by NASCAR.COM, Mayfield said he knew nothing of the driver change. Evernham, however, said his team contacted Mayfield Motorsports' agent on Monday and began the discussions. There was no immediate announcement of a full-time driver in the No. 19 Dodge, although it has been speculated that Elliott Sadler will likely move to the car. Whether that will happen before the end of the season is unknown for sure, Evernham said. "The decision to make a change in the 19 had nothing to do with whether [a driver change] could or could not happen," Evernham said. "It would make the most sense if we could do that, for sure."(
      MORE: Jeremy Mayfield, whom Ray Evernham said he terminated on Monday, was hoping to stall the firing by getting a temporary injunction Friday. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 11:30am/et in North Carolina Superior Court in Iredell County. "Jeremy Mayfield has been terminated,"Evernham said. "We have 2007 plans in place. We hope to be able to announce them soon." While Mayfield is expected to drive for Bill Davis Racing beginning next year, a source familiar with the situation said that team doesn't have an immediate ride available for the driver. Evernham Motorsports, though, is looking for a driver for the rest of the season and owner Ray Evernham would welcome the chance to get a jump on 2007 if the driver he's signed for next year were to become available sooner. That driver is expected to be Elliott Sadler, who may be available by the Aug. 18-20 Michigan Cup race weekend if Robert Yates Racing grants his release after Watkins Glen. For now, Bill Elliott is in the #19 Evernham Motorsports Dodge and Sadler remains in RYR's #38 Ford. Evernham said the reasoning behind the change was simple from his perspective. "Purely the performance of the car and the team is not where it should be to represent sponsors," he said Friday. "It's out of the top 35 in points now and that was really the big trigger on making a change. We just haven't delivered as a group on what we should be doing, so we needed to make some changes." A wreck at Indy knocked the #19 team out of the top 35, meaning its not guaranteed a starting spot for the AMD at the Glen. "It's one of those where as hard as you try to turn things around if they're not working, sometimes you just have to make a change to get it to work and it's certainly not been because of a lack of effort," Evernham said. Elliott is currently scheduled to attempt two more races for Michael Waltrip Racing and three for Team Red Bull. Evernham is expected to utilize the former champion's talent as often as possible until a more permanent replacement for the #19 team is found. "The decision to make the change in the 19 had nothing to do with whether that could or couldn't happen," Evernham said of Elliott's availability. "It would make the most sense if we could do that, for sure. ... But I can tell you that just having Bill Elliott back in the car is pleasant again." A phone call to Dale Cagle, Mayfield's business agent, was not immediately returned on Friday. RYR co-owner Doug Yates isn't sure what the future holds. While it's not been announced yet, David Gilliland will take over for Sadler, either sometime this year or next. "All that just happened, so we have to look at that and see what works," Yates said of potentially releasing Sadler prior to year's end. "We haven't really talked about that right now, but I'm not saying it's out of the question." If so, would Gilliland run more than seven races, making him ineligible for rookie of the year honors in '07? "David and I have talked about that," Yates said. " ... He feels right now he'd rather be in the car as much as he could, so that's the most important thing."(

    • Watkins Glen Rookies News and Notes: #07-Clint Bowyer was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 6 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bowyer posted a fourth-place finish in the race, his best effort in 22 career Nextel Cup Series starts. His previous best was fifth earlier this season at Phoenix (race No. 8). This is Bowyer’s second top five and sixth top-10 finish of his career. Bowyer took Rookie of the Race honors for the fourth time this season. Denny Hamlin finished 10th at Indianapolis, his ninth top 10 of the season and third consecutive. Hamlin holds a 41-point edge over Bowyer in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering Watkins Glen. Hamlin is seventh in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings, best of any Rookie. He is 64 points behind sixth-place Mark Martin and 21 ahead of eighth-place Jeff Gordon. At least one Rookie has posted a top-10 finish in each of the last five races. A Rookie has finished in the top 15 in all 21 races this season. Kyle Busch was the Rookie of the Race in the 2005 race at Watkins Glen, posting a 33rd-place finish. The best finish by a Rookie at Watkins Glen is second by Ryan Newman in 2002. Only one other Rookie has scored a top-five finish at Watkins Glen: Robby Gordon, who placed fourth in 1997. The best qualifying effort by a Rookie at Watkins Glen is second by Greg Biffle in 2003. A Rookie has led a lap in three of the past four races at Watkins Glen: 2002: Newman (twice for 11 laps) 2003: Biffle (once for 23 laps) 2003: Jamie McMurray (once for one lap) 2004: Brendan Gaughan (once for seven laps). Biffle holds the record for most laps led by a Rookie at Watkins Glen, holding the top spot once for 23 laps in 2003.(Raybestos PR) for the rest of the notes, rookie standings and history see my Rookies Page.(8-11-2006)

    • DLP Racing to Cup in 2007? not much info, but lots of fluff in a PR that says [1993 Busch Series Champ] Steve Grissom has joined DLP Racing to pilot the un-sponsored #07 Chevy for the 2006-2007 Busch Series season. SUN Management Group, Inc. will be exclusively handling the sponsorship acquisition for the 2006 - 2007 racing season. SUN will also be handling all of the public and media relations, advertising, and marketing for DLP. Total Sponsorship package is $15,000,000 for 70 races, including all of the Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series races. SUN and DLP are filling sponsorships immediately for 2006 and 2007. Packages are designed for one race, 4 races, or the entire season and can be negotiated due to the company’s needs. Corporations wanting to get involved in NASCAR Busch Series, or NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, with a great organization at a low entry cost, with a “corporation-friendly” contract and perks, or would like to hear more information about DLP, Steve Grissom, and Doug Flutie’s Autism Foundation.(

    • ABC Sports Will Carry ESPN Brand: The ESPN look is moving to ABC. ESPN will become the brand for all sports programming carried on ABC, starting with the debut of ABC's college football season on Sept. 2. "ESPN on ABC" will begin with the College Football Countdown, followed by regional college football games that day. The first prime-time college football series on broadcast television, "Saturday Night Football," will debut at 8pm with Notre Dame at Georgia Tech. "Our collection of multimedia sports assets is unmatched in the industry, and we will now extend the ESPN brand across all platforms," said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, on Thursday. The new approach covers all production efforts, including on-air, graphics and branding. Sporting events on ABC will be promoted on ESPN. "ESPN has been infused with ABC Sports' history of innovation, and we are committed to building upon that legacy as we continue to serve fans and our partners more effectively through ESPN on ABC," Bodenheimer said. The network will acquire NASCAR's Nextel Cup next year, including the Chase for the championship. ABC already features the NBA finals, Indy 500, Rose Bowl, Belmont Stakes, British Open, World Cup, WNBA, MLS and the Little League World Series, broadcasting 500 hours of sports a year.(Associated Press)(8-11-2006)

    • NASCAR Fuel Fillers come to the street..soon:The gas cap, long left sitting on trunk lids or dangling from cars as they leave gas stations, will become a thing of the past on many Ford Motor Co. models in the coming years. At an automotive industry conference near Lake Michigan, the company announced Wednesday that the venerable cap will disappear on its new 2008 Lincoln MKS full-sized car model, and eventually all Ford models will be without them. Replacing the caps will be a flap that opens under pressure from the gas pump nozzle. The flap will fit snugly to the nozzle to stop fumes from escaping, company officials said. "It eliminates the inconvenience of forgetting to put your gas cap back on after refueling," said Mark Fields, Ford executive vice president and president of the Americas. The new cap came from Ford's NASCAR racing experience and has been used on the Ford GT sports car, Fields said. Eventually Ford will get rid of the caps on all of its vehicles, although it has no timetable to do that, said Said Deep, a company spokesman. The change likely will be made when models are updated, but could be retrofitted onto existing models, Deep said.(AP/Northwest FL Daily News)(8-11-2006)

    • Quarterley to attempt Watkins Glen in the #72: Nextel Cup team CJM Racing and owners Bryan & Tony Mullet announced that Dale Quarterley will drive the #72 Dutch Quality Stone Dodge this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The team and Quarterley tested last week at Virgina International Raceway. Crew Chief Doug George feels the team and driver have good chemistry and feel good about the car they are bringing.(CJM Racing PR paraphrased), some info on Quarterly at and and from the 2005 season)(8-11-2006)

      News from August 10, 2006

    • Sponsor changes at the #25 and #16? UPDATE: hearing National Guard could end up being the sponsor, either whole or in part, of the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy that Casey Mears will drive in 2007. No word if current #25 primary sponsor, GMAC, stays as a co-sponsor or would leave the team. National Guard currently sponsors the #16 Roush Racing Ford of Greg Biffle, supposedly Subway could step up full time or be co-sponsors with Ameriquest [sponsors a slew of Roush Racing Busch cars] or 3M.(7-30-2006)
      UPDATE: been told that Ameriquest has done a multi-year deal with Roush Racing to sponsor the 16 Ford and Greg Biffle. As for the #25, GMAC will back in some form in 2006.(8-10-006)

    • Driver dies at Knoxville: Sprint-car driver Steve King died [Thursday] this afternoon from injuries suffered in a crash during Wednesday night’s Knoxville Nationals, hospital officials and the family confirmed. King, 33, of Jetmore, Kan., was pronounced dead at 3:32 p.m., Mercy spokesperson Gregg Lagan said. Preliminary reports from Knoxville Raceway indicate the wreck involved only King and happened when a part broke, sending his #88 car into the Turn 3 fence during a preliminary feature. King was taken by helicopter to Mercy late Wednesday night to undergo treatment for a brain injury, according to his Web site. Knoxville race director Ralph Capitani said earlier today that Nationals races would go on as scheduled. “Our hearts, our souls, our prayers are certainly with the family,” Capitani said. There have been 15 racing-related deaths at Knoxville, according to Capitani and Des Moines Register research. The most recent death was June 16, when Courtney Roger Schuur of Fridley, Minn., was killed during a sprint-car exhibition race held as part of a once-a-year “old-timers” event. An family update on King’s Web site — — also confirmed King died this afternoon. “He loved you all,” a note on the Web site said. “Thank you so much for your support. Please keep our family in your prayers. Arrangement details will be posted [at ] once they have been made.” The 46th Knoxville Nationals are scheduled to conclude Saturday night.(Des Moines Register)(8-10-2006)

    • Martin back in the #6 in 2007? UPDATE 2: hearing it is possible that Mark Martin may drive yet another full season in the #6 Ford for Roush Racing, seems the team doesn't think Roush Racing Busch Series driver Todd Kluever is quite ready for a full-time ride in the Nextel Cup Series.(8-5-2006)
      UPDATE: Roush Racing’s Nextel Cup lineup for 2007 is set, a high-ranking source within the team told eam Ford Racing Sunday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the last detail to be worked out a multiple sponsorship package for one car. The plan right now at Roush remains for Mark Martin to drive a Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2007, though that could change.(Ford Racing)(8-7-2006)
      UPDATE 2: #6-Mark Martin has talked about racing in some Cup races next season although he's scheduled to compete full time in the Truck series next year. Todd Kluever is scheduled to take over Martin's Cup ride next year. So, if Martin runs in select Cup races, whom will it be with? Roush Racing is above the NASCAR-maximum four teams per organization. Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said an option could be to have Martin drive for Boris Said's #60 team. Said receives support from Roush Racing. Smith said he does not see Yates as an option, although it's a fellow Ford team. Another option, though, could be for Martin to return full time and give Kluever another year of seasoning in the Busch series or give Roush another year to find a replacement.(Roanoke Times)(8-10-2006)

    • SRT scheme back for #9 and #19 teams at Watkins Glen: #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Bill Elliott will be running special Dodge SRT paint schemes this weekend, promoting Dodge’s line of SRT (Street and Racing Technology) vehicles. It is the same scheme that was on the cars at Infineon Raceway in June.(Evernham Motorsports/Clear!Blue PR), see images on my #9 Team Scheme page and #19 Team Scheme page.(8-10-2006)

    • #66 Car to Help Promote Best Buy "Te@ch" Program: The #66 Best Buy Haas CNC Racing entry will carry a special paint design this weekend at Watkins Glen International to help raise awareness for the Best Buy Teach (te@ch) program, which rewards K-12 teachers and schools nationwide for demonstrating innovative use of technology to improve students' classroom experience. Best Buy will announce the winner of its $250,000 Teach Award Monday, August 14, the day after the Watkins Glen race. Since 2003, the Best Buy Teach program has awarded more than $9.5 million to K-12 schools across the U.S., serving as the cornerstone of its community and philanthropic work. Each winning school may use its Teach Award to purchase additional consumer electronics technology at Best Buy to extend, expand, or enhance current and future classroom curricula. Each year, 1,200 classrooms across the U.S. are selected for a $2,500 Teach Award for demonstrating how interactive technology makes learning fun for students. Additionally, 36 K-12 schools each receive a $15,000 Teach Award for exceptional classroom innovation with technology. Each district of those 36 schools was invited to apply for the $250,000 Teach Award, to be announced August 14. Best Buy accepts voluntary applications from teachers and schools across the nation via an online process, open from July through September 30. A list of all $15,000 and $2,500 Teach Award-winning schools, as well as a link to the 2006 award application, can be found at Marketing PR)(8-10-2006)

    • The Elliott-Mayfield PR UPDATE 2 but cannot use Past Champ Provisional:: Evernham Motorsports announced Tuesday it will bring back past NASCAR champion and Evernham driver Bill Elliott to pilot the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger at Watkins Glen. Elliott drove for Evernham Motorsports full-time from 2001 to 2004, then part time in 2005. Elliott went to victory lane for Evernham Motorsports four times, including winning the prestigious Brickyard 400 in 2002. Jeremy Mayfield, who has been driving the #19 Dodge this season, will not participate in the Watkins Glen event. No decisions have been made regarding his long-term future with the team. The decision was made after efforts to get the struggling #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger back on the right track have not progressed as quickly as needed. The team is currently 36th in the NASCAR Nextel Cup owners’ points standings, which means it does not have a guaranteed spot in Sunday’s event. Elliott brings a champion’s provisional, which means the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger is confirmed in the starting lineup and does not need to qualify solely on speed. “This team has a great deal of potential and we just haven’t met the expectations this year,” said Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. “We will do whatever we need to get this car in the show for Watkins Glen. It’s important to our sponsors and it’s important to this team. Having Bill in the driver’s seat gives us this guarantee. I believe in our system, our process and our people, and am committed to getting this program where it needs to be.” Evernham noted that the team has finalized its long term plans for 2007 and expects to announce those plans in the coming weeks.(Evernham Motorsports/Clear!Blue PR)
      UPDATE - No Champ Provisional Allowed: NASCAR's official entry list Tuesday showed Elliott subbing for Mayfield, and the team later released a statement confirming the switch. It said Mayfield's long-term future with Evernham is undecided - but his name had been removed from the company letterhead. "This team has a great deal of potential and we just haven't met the expectations this year," car owner Ray Evernham said in a statement. "We will do whatever we need to get this car in the show for Watkins Glen. It's important to our sponsors and it's important to this team." That meant putting Elliott in the car because as a former NASCAR champion, he should have been assured a spot in the field. But in a statement released on Wednesday, Evernham Motorsports said, ""Unfortunately the timing was such that NASCAR will not provide us with the provisional."(FoxSports/Associated Press)(8-9-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Because Bill Elliott was not on the entry list as Jeremy Mayfield's replacement by the July 31 entry deadline, he is unable to use a past champions provisional this weekend at Watkins Glen, NASCAR confirmed Wednesday. Elliott was named the driver of the #19 Evernham Motorsports car on Tuesday.(

    • McMurray & Robby Complete Tire Test at Atlanta: #26-Jamie McMurray and #7-Robby Gordon tested tires Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finishing a two-day test for Goodyear. After a slow start to yesterday's session, McMurray, driving the same unnumbered car he drove yesterday, laid down the fast lap today with a circuit of 177.690mph (31.20 seconds). Robby Gordon drove his yellow #7 Chevy to a lap of 176.220mph (31.46 seconds). With the new testing rules NASCAR has imposed this year, drivers covet the opportunity to gain extra time on the track. "Every year we get more competitive," Gordon said. "We collect our own data in-house and with NASCAR restricting the tests this year, we get the same number as everyone else. That has leveled the playing field a lot." To see the stars of the NEXTEL Cup series battle for 500 miles in the Bass Pro Shops 500, call (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211, or visit for ticket information.(AMS PR)(8-10-2006)

    • Hellmann’s on the #10 at Watkins Glen as assoc: The #10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger of Scott Riggs will carry associate sponsorship from Hellmann’s Mayonnaise this weekend. Riggs will also drive for Hellmann’s in the upcoming Busch Series race at Dover as part of the Ultimate Chargers Busch program.(Evernham Motorsports/Clear!Blue PR)(8-10-2006)

    • Fellows back in the #32: Ron Fellows is back in the #32 Tide Ride for PPI Motorsports at Watkins Glen International. Car owner Cal Wells agreed to sign the road course specialist to drive for PPIM at the two Cup road course events shortly after last year’s Watkins Glen race concluded. [Regular driver Travis Kvapil will sit out the race this week] Last season, Fellows drove the Tide Ride for PPI Motorsports in both road course events. He started 43rd and finished 8th at Infineon Raceway (the best result of the year for PPI). And at Watkins Glen International, he started 37th (lined up on owner points due to rain) and finished 25th after a mechanical issue ended the driver’s top-10 run The AMD at the Glen marks Fellows 15th NASCAR Nextel Cup race of his career. He will be attempting to start in his ninth NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the 2.45-mile road course.(PPI Motorsports site)(8-10-2006)

      News from August 9, 2006

    • NASCAR sued for racial discrimination: A former African-American crewman who once worked on NASCAR's Winston Cup circuit sued the governing body of the U.S. stock car series on Tuesday for race discrimination and breach of contract. David Scott, who worked as a motorcoach driver to one of the racing teams, claimed NASCAR executives deceived him and did not fulfill promises of a job following a well-publicized 1999 racial incident involving white motorcoach drivers, according to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court that seeks unspecified damages. Scott was harassed by at least two white motorcoach drivers from different racing teams, including being called "n-word" and an incident where he was confronted by the pair with one wearing a white pillow case over his head imitating a Ku Klux Klansman, according to the complaint. When the incident was reported in the media, the complaint said, top NASCAR executives flew Scott back home to North Carolina promising him a future job, but while negotiations continued over the next five years, a job never materialized. Scott seeks back pay and compensatory damages for loss of employment benefits and mental suffering. NASCAR was not immediately available for comment.(Reuters)(8-9-2006)

    • RDM team may look outside NASCAR for drivers: New Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports co-owner Eddie D'Hondt told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) host Dave Moody Tuesday that he may look outside the established NASCAR system for drivers. "We have two drivers in mind right now," said D'Hondt, "and we hope to have an announcement on that, plus sponsorship and manufacturer affiliations within the next three to four weeks. I wouldn't necessarily be surprised to see NASCAR teams begin to recruit drivers from the Grand American Rolex (Sports Car) Series in the near future. I'm not saying it will necessarily be us, but with (co-owner) Bill Riley's connections in sports car racing, it might be."(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(8-9-2006)

    • Latest on Purvis: Jeff Purvis is now at his Clarksville, TN home to begin the recovery process after being seriously injured in a highway accident on Saturday near Cullman, AL. Purvis, who competes with the Dirt Late Model Series, was visited today by series Founder and Director Mike Vaughn. "Jeff is now at home, sitting up and in good spirits," Vaughn reported. "He has fractures of his C1, and C5 vertebra in his neck, compression fractures of the T2 and T6 vertebra in his back, a separated sternum, and he has a gash in his head that took 24 staples to close. He has seen pictures of the aftermath of the accident and he's very thankful that no one lost their life in the accident." Purvis, his wife Margo, his son Clay, crew chief Matt Angel, and crewmembers Rocky Angel and Ben Britt were traveling in his race team's transporter on Saturday from Clarksville to the Dirt Late Model event at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL. The transporter blew a left-front tire while traveling southbound on I-65 near Cullman, AL at 3:15 p.m., swerved across the median into the northbound lane, struck another car, and then hit the guardrail before overturning in a ditch. The six occupants of the transporter vacated the vehicle just seconds before it caught fire, and became engulfed in flames. The transporter then burned to the ground, destroying everything inside, including the race car, and all of the parts and equipment. See more at

    • Kurt Busch first to drive on new LVMS high banks: #2-Kurt Busch on Tuesday became the first driver to turn laps on Las Vegas Motor Speedway's new pavement and high-banked turns. The Las Vegas native drove a car from the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) which was painted to resemble his #2 Miller Lite Dodge. Busch had nothing but praise for the new asphalt surface and 20-degree banked turns as he exited the car. "First, I am honored to be here to take the first laps on the new track," Busch said. "I just can't wait for the completed product, because what's available right now is so much speed. Everything about it is right -- the transitions into the corners, the new banking, the speed that it's going to (generate). When we qualify here, it'll be beyond the track record. It's hard to tell right now exactly how fast it will be, but I think it will be five-to-10 miles per hour quicker. And what that means for a lap time is probably two or three seconds. It's that much quicker. And what teams are going to have to do to adjust to all this newness is going to be incredible. I can't wait for the test session we have here in January." Busch wasn't the only NASCAR driver to tour the track today. Fellow Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan, who competes in the Truck Series, also turned laps in an RPDE car. "I liked the old track, so I'm not one of those guys that didn't like the old LVMS configuration," said Gaughan, who drives the Orleans Racing Dodge. "I got to talk to the guys who constructed it and they're really proud of it. There are no seams where the banking rises. Las Vegas Motor Speedway's front straight lends itself to a much more friendly and racy straightaway. At Charlotte, Atlanta and Texas, with their flat double-dogleg, it can get dicey where you get a little nervous getting through there. This place seems like you're going to be able to go two or three-wide at the start-finish line much easier than those other tracks. You'll definitely be able to run more grooves. Like Homestead, where they went to multiple banking, the top groove could be pretty quick. I can't wait for the Goodyear tire test here next week. Then the Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is the first event on the new surface." Tickets for the Sept. 23 Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on LVMS' repaved, high-banked 1.5-mile superspeedway are now on sale and may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at PR)(8-9-2006)

    • Bowyer tests at SC road course: On Wednesday, August 9, #07-Clint Bowyer will spend the day at Carolina Motorsports Park, a 2.2-mile road course in Kershaw, S.C. testing transmissions as the Nextel Cup Series heads into its final road race of the season.(RCR PR)(8-9-2006)

    • #200 for Harvick: #29-Kevin Harvick will make his 200th career Nextel Cup Series start this weekend during the running of the AMD at The Glen on Sunday, August 13th. Among active drivers to reach this feat, Harvick will be the 26th driver to do so behind Kurt Busch who has 204 career Nextel Cup Series starts.(RCR PR)(8-9-2006)

    • Pruett to run the #40 Dodge at Watkins Glen: This weekend road racing veteran Scott Pruett will be behind the wheel of the #40 Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Dodge [David Stremme is the regular driver]. This will be Pruett's second start in the #40 Dodge this season. This weekend Pruett will be pulling the triple play. Friday night he will be driving the #01 car in the Grand American Series, Saturday he will be in the #1 car for Phoenix Racing in the Busch Series and Sunday he will be driving the #40 car in the Nextel Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International. Pruett has 36-career Nextel Cup Series starts dating back to 2000, four of which have come at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International. He recorded his best finish of second at the track three years ago in the #39 Dodge. His average starting position at the Glen is 20th and his average finish is sixth. Overall, he has ten starts on road courses and his highest finish is second at Watkins Glen in 2003. Crew Chief Steve Lane and the #40 Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon crew are taking chassis No. 311 for the second road course race of the season. Pruett tested this car at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) earlier in June before racing it in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway later that month.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(8-9-2006)

    • NASCAR Angels to Premiere week of Sept. 18: NASCAR, in partnership with MagicDust Television, will launch “NASCAR Angels” this fall with the first episode airing the week of Sept. 18 on local stations nationwide. Hosted by former Nextel Cup Series Champion and current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace and reporter Shannon Wiseman, “NASCAR Angels” will hit the road each week with a different NASCAR driver and the Angel Automotive Technicians to help families and communities with their transportation needs. The new half-hour, weekly syndicated television series, which is presented by Goodyear Gemini Automotive Care, will shoot 22 original episodes on location in major NASCAR race markets. The show will feature top NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs giving deserving families the chance to go behind-the-scenes to meet their heroes and get an up-close-and-personal glimpse into the NASCAR experience while their car is fixed. Distributed by Litton Entertainment, “NASCAR Angels” is scheduled to debut across more than 95% of the country including ABC-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston as well as WSB (ABC) in Atlanta, and many more highly-respected broadcast stations. Superstation WGN will also be carrying “NASCAR Angels” as a one-hour block set for Sundays Noon-1:00pm/et. Current Nextel Cup Series drivers including Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray will appear on the program. Crew chiefs such as Doug Richert, Greg Zipadelli and Tommy Baldwin Jr., will participate as well. The original 22 episodes, which the number one rated stations in seven of the top-10 markets have agreed to carry, will be shot in Orlando/Daytona Beach, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta and Philadelphia.(NASCAR PR)(8-9-2006)

    • “NASCAR RaceDay” Personalities Race School Buses at LMS UPDATE Wendy Wins: A School Bus battle of epic proportions will be waged Tuesday night during the final round of the 13th annual Summer Shootout Series on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Members of SPEED Channel’s “NASCAR RaceDay” crew, including Jimmy Spencer, John Roberts, Wendy Venturini and Rutledge Wood, are among those scheduled to wheel the behemoth creations in a winner-take-all slobberknocker that is sure to leave metal mangled and hearts broken. Prior to banging bumpers on the race track, the “NASCAR RaceDay” personalities will sign autographs on the grandstand concourse beginning at 6:15pm/et. A full slate of Legends Car, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing is also on tap and championships will be decided in each of the seven divisions. More info at
      UPDATE: In the School Bus slobberknocker, Wendy Venturini of SPEED Channel's "NASCAR RaceDay" program piloted a purple bus, complete with pink flames, to victory thanks to a bump-and-run move that would be the envy of any Nextel Cup driver. With water spraying from her damaged radiator, Venturini rammed leader Kenny West's Stock Car Steel and Aluminum bus in Turn 4 of the final lap. The collision knocked West's bus sideways, and Venturini took advantage. She drove to the outside, bounced off the wall and beat West to the checkered flag. Other competitors in the wild-and-crazy School Bus battle were "NASCAR RaceDay" personalities John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer and Rutledge Wood along with Lug Nut, the world's fastest mascot.(LMS PR), Highlights from the school bus race can be seen on NASCAR Raceday this Sunday between 11:00am - 1:00pm/et.(8-9-2006)

    • Haas trial delayed: The tax fraud trial of NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series team owner Gene Haas has been postponed from Aug. 15 to Jan. 27, 2007, at the request of Haas' attorneys. The trial could take up to six weeks to determine whether Haas, through his company Haas Automation, devised a scheme that created approximately $50 million in bogus expenses to avoid more than $20 million in taxes. Haas, who owns Haas CNC Racing with drivers Jeff Green (#66-Nextel Cup) and Johnny Sauter (#00-Busch), has pleaded not guilty. Haas Automation officials have blamed the activities of a former company employee for the tax problems and have indicated that Haas has personally paid the taxes in question. According to the U.S. attorneys, if convicted on all counts in the original indictment, Haas could face 19 to 41 years in prison. One of the two counts of witness intimidation has been dismissed.(

    • Kyle Busch's Team Claims Pit Crew Win at Indy: Kyle Busch's #5 Kellogg's pit crew earned its fourth win of the season in the weekly Checkers / Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, moving them into a tie with Jimmie Johnson's pit crew for first-place in the season-long contest. "My crew worked on my car all day long making major adjustments," offered Busch. "We missed it in qualifying and had a terrible pit stall selection for the guys to work with. They dealt with it, gave me awesome stops and got me positions on the track with each stop." Busch's over-the-wall team spent just 230.550 seconds on pit lane during Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This is the crew's second win in the last three NEXTEL Cup events-they also took top honors in the July 16 race at New Hampshire International Raceway. "I think Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) told the team at the start of the race over the radios, 'heroes don't make a team, a team makes heroes,' and that's what we have been rolling with," said Busch. Checkers/Rally's will present the team with the weekly $10,500 check awarded to the crew that spends the least amount of time on pit road each week. In addition, a $105,000 bonus will be rewarded to the season champion at the completion of the 36-race NEXTEL Cup schedule. Busch's over-the-wall team includes: Rick Pigeon (jackman), Jeremy "JD" Holcomb (front-tire carrier), DJ Richardson (front-tire changer), Jason Jones (rear-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Brad Pickens (gasman), Jason Dalrymple (catch can), and Whit Satterwhite (eighth-man). The pit crew coach is Mark Mauldin.
      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 Communications PR)(8-9-2006)

    • Busch's wedding footage to air: #2-Kurt Busch and wife Eva's wedding footage is scheduled to air on Wednesday, August 9th on The Insider, hosted by Pat O'Brien and Lara Spencer. Check local listing for channel and time, it airs in the Charlotte on WBTV-TV Channel 3-CBS at 7:30pm/et.(8-9-2006)

    • McMurray & Robby Test Tires at Atlanta: #26-Jamie McMurray and #7-Robby Gordon tested tires today at Atlanta Motor Speedway as part of a two-day tire test for Goodyear at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gordon was laid down the fastest lap with a circuit of 182.009 mph (30.46 seconds) in his #7 Chevrolet. McMurray drove an unnumbered primer colored car to a fast lap of 178.149 mph (31.12 seconds). With the new testing rules NASCAR has imposed this year, drivers covet the opportunity to gain extra time on the track. "It was nice coming out here to Atlanta to do a tire test today," McMurray said. "We brought a brand-new car out here so we were able use this first part of this as a shake-down run. We used the first couple hours to get the car balanced, so it is very beneficial to have this opportunity." To see the stars of the NEXTEL Cup series battle for 500 miles in the Bass Pro Shops 500, call (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211, or visit for ticket information.(AMS PR)(8-9-2006)

      News from August 8, 2006

    • Starr to Yates? on Sunday's Speed Report [Speed Channel 8:00pm/et, Sunday's], Bob Dillner reported that Robert and Doug Yates took Truck Series driver, David Starr to dinner and could end up in one of RYR's rides, possibly the #88 Ford, replacing Dale Jarrett in 2007.(8-8-2006)

    • Mayfield 'doubts' he will be back at Evernham UPDATE 4 Mayfield out at Watkins Glen, Elliott In: While #19-Jeremy Mayfield told reporters Saturday that he doubts he'll be back with Evernham Motorsports next year, team owner Ray Evernham said no decisions have been reached. Asked following qualifying for the Allstate 400 if Mayfield has inquired about his release, Evernham said they'd discussed a number of things. "But we haven't made any decisions," Evernham said. "The first thing we honestly both said was, 'Let's fix this first, because no matter what we decide to do, we can't leave this thing like it is. We have to prove that we can do it. Jeremy's got options, the same as many other drivers. Why wouldn't he? He's been in the Chase two years in a row. If I was a team owner starting a new team, he'd be one of the guys I'd be looking after, too." Mayfield has struggled this season, working with a new crew after Evernham swapped his teams following the 2005 season. Mayfield is coveted by Michael Waltrip Racing and is believed to be a candidate at Bill Davis Racing as well. It's widely believed that Elliott Sadler [currently with RYR in #38 and has been granted his release for 2007] will replace Mayfield, once Mayfield's granted his release. Evernham said such a decision isn't entirely his own. "That's not all up to me," Evernham said. "We have all these [sponsorship] partners. That's a decision that would have to be sat down and talked about between a lot of people."(
      AND Jeremy Mayfield is close to signing a deal to drive next season for Bill Davis Racing, multiple sources told on Saturday. Mayfield, who has a year and two option years remaining on his contract with Evernham Motorsports, would not comment on specific plans for 2007. But he admitted a return next season to the No. 19 Dodge, which reportedly already has been offered to Elliott Sadler, was unlikely. "I doubt I'm staying,'' Mayfield said after qualifying 15th for Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. According to sources, Mayfield already has toured the facilities at Bill Davis Racing and agreed in principal to a multi-year deal to drive one of the organization's two Toyotas next season. Team director Tommy Baldwin confirmed on Friday that Dave Blaney would drive the other car.(
      UPDATE 2: It was hard to figure out what was worse for Evernham Motorsports in the Allstate 400 - Kasey Kahne dropping out of the top 10 in points or Jeremy Mayfield's #19 team dropping out of the top 35 in the car owner standings. Mayfield also has had trouble figuring things out all season, and an accident helped relegate him to a 41st-place finish. His team dropped behind #40-David Stremme's in points and he won't be locked in for the Aug. 13 race at Watkins Glen. Evernham was asked after the race if he would consider putting a road-course ace into the car to make sure it qualifies. "I'm going to get together tomorrow with all the other parties and make a decision," Evernham said. "We've just got to sit down and figure it out."(
      UPDATE 3: Bill Elliott is now listed as the driver of the #19 Evernham Motorsports Dodge for Watkins Glen per's entry list, looks like Mayfield will sit the road course race out since the #19 is now out of the top-35 in owners points, Elliott running the #19 guarantee's the team will race at Watkins Glen since Elliott has the past champions provisional to use and none of the other non top-35 teams have a past champ in their cars.(8-8-2006)
      UPDATE 4: Jeremy Mayfield may be free to leave Evernham Motorsports for Bill Davis Racing sooner than he expected. Bill Elliott will be in the #19 Dodge that Mayfield has driven for EMS since 2002 this weekend at Watkins Glen International, according to the Nextel Cup entry list released by NASCAR on Tuesday. Jeremy Mayfield has been driving the #19 Dodge since 2002. Contractual agreements remain to be settled before it can be decided if Mayfield will be out the remainder of the season. Team owner Ray Evernham could not be immediately reached for comment. Mayfield, who said last weekend at Indianapolis he likely would not be at Evernham Motorsports next season, said he had not been contacted by Evernham about a switch. "It's not professional, that's for sure,'' said Mayfield, who crashed on Lap 82 of Sunday's race and fell out of the top 35 in owners' points that guarantee a spot in the next race. "That's the way everything has worked around here for a while.'' A spokesperson for Evernham Motorsports said discussions with Mayfield Motorsports management began on Monday.(, see the entry list on my Watkins Glen Entry List page.(8-8-2006)

    • Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports updates - NO Manufacturer yet: Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports wishes to clarify their position about the report they will field Toyota's: "As discussed in our announcement on Friday, Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports is currently in discussions with multiple vehicle manufacturers for our new organization. We have not confirmed our decision as to what vehicle manufacturer we are aligning with, therefore any reports of Toyotas, Chevys, Fords or Dodges confirmed as RDM's manufacturer are erroneous. RDM will make official announcements in the very near future, not just about manufacturer, but also sponsors and drivers. Please stay tuned."
      AND Also another error the team wishes to clarify: "For additional clarification of the article, Bob and Bill Riley did not "help" NASCAR create its Car of Tomorrow. The Car of Tomorrow is NASCAR's vehicle. Rather, we pointed out that the Rileys specialize on a few aerodynamic components that will be found on this new racing vehicle - namely the nose "splitter" and the rear wing. Both components are similar to those used in sports car racing, vehicles that Riley Technologies has designed and built for many years."(Autopasse Inc./RDM PR), see full announcement and the Toyota report on my Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports team news page.(8-8-2006)

      News from August 7, 2006

    • Goossens to make Nextel Cup debut at Watkins Glen in the #90: CitiFinancial Racing announced that they will sponsor Marc Goossens in his Nextel Cup Series debut this weekend at Watkins Glen International. Goossens will attempt to qualify the Robert Yates Racing’s #90 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion for Sunday’s AMD at the Glen. Goossens, the road course ace from Belgium, made his Busch Series debut at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez where he started sixth and finished ninth for CitiFinancial Racing. “Marc did a great job for us in Mexico,” said Doug Yates. “We feel like he adds a lot of depth to our road course program. He tested for us at VIR last week to prepare for this weekends race and did very well. We have high expectations for all of our teams this weekend.” Goossens, who has been road course racing for more than 10 years, has competed in the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona and the 12 hours of Sebring. “I’ve been to Watkins Glen in the Grand Am Series and I'm looking forward to returning to a track that I have some experience on,” said Goossens. “Hopefully my experience will help us get CitiFinancial a great finish.”(CitiFinancial PR)(8-7-2006)

    • Sad News - Lynn Barkdoll: Lynn Patricia Barkdoll of Fletcher, NC passed away on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, at St. Joseph's Hospital after a valiant battle with cancer. She was born in England and moved to the United States in 1987. She worked in banking and was a Certified Fitness Trainer in North Carolina. She was a member of Fletcher United Methodist Church. She is survived by her husband, Steve [former Andy Petree Racing General Manager for many years and now works for Phoenix Racing in the same capacity]; one son, Austin; and one daughter, Kerby, all of the home; her parents, Tom and Irene Muckell of Hoddesdon Hertz, England; in-laws Dollie Barkdoll of Garrison, Iowa, and Phil and Linda Barkdoll of Vinton, Iowa; many close cousins; and several nieces and nephews; three dogs, Kelsey, Trish and her special Sophie; a wonderful caregiver, Jane Hendrix; and many close friends. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Fletcher United Methodist Church with the Revs. Ed Hillman and Steve Combs officiating. Burial will follow at Shepherd Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Victory Junction Camp, 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, N.C., 27317. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements. An online register is available at News)(8-7-2006)

    • Talladega Nights takes #1 at the Box Office: Will Ferrell's NASCAR spoof "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" enjoyed life in the fast lane with a No. 1 finish in the weekend box office race, taking in $47 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. "It's one of those movies - pardon the pun - firing on all cylinders. When you have Will Ferrell and NASCAR, you just know you are going to have a crowd pleaser. But this was way beyond expectations," said Rory Bruer, president of distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Also entering the box office race with a surprising debut was the animated movie "Barnyard: The Original Party Animals," placing second with $16 million. Overall, box office revenue for the top dozen films was up 17 percent over the same week last year, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., which tracks box office performance. As for "Talladega Nights," he said: "It's reinvigorated the box office. Everybody loves Will Ferrell. You know you are going to have a good time and NASCAR is an utterly American sport." Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" earned another $11 million to place third with attendance dropping 46 percent over the previous week. "Pirates" has earned $380 million after five weeks in North America theaters.(Associated Press)(8-7-2006)

    • Former NASCAR driver Purvis injured in wreck UPDATE: Retired NASCAR Busch Series driver Jeff Purvis was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Hospital Saturday night after sustaining injuries in a wreck, while en route to Talladega, Ala., to race in the dirt track series. Purvis, along with his wife, Margo, son Clay, crew chief Matt Angel, and another Clarksville resident were heading toward Talladega for the Saturday night race when the accident occurred. Margo, who was not injured, told The Leaf-Chronicle publisher Gene Washer, the hauler veered out of control after the blown tire, crossed the medium into traffic, hitting two cars, then hit some tree before coming to a stop. Margo told Washer everybody exited safely, only seconds before the hauler burst into flames. The hauler, dirt track cars and equipment were a total loss. Purvis had two fractures in his neck and back, and was airlifted to Vanderbilt at 7:50 p.m. Clay had sore ribs, and Angel was wearing a neck brace, Margo said. Margo told Washer that Jeff was talking when he was loaded onto the helicopter. Margo said Clay was sleeping in a bunk when the wreck occurred. Jeff jumped up to protect Clay, and was tossed around the living quarters inside the hauler. Purvis returned to dirt track racing last season, after a nearly 20-year career in the ARCA, Busch and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He was top-10 in the Crate Series points standings.(Leaf-Chronicle)(8-6-2006)
      UPDATE: Race driver Jeff Purvis was expected to be released from a Nashville hospital Sunday night and taken to his home in Clarksville for continued treatment of injuries sustained in a crash Saturday night on I-65 in Alabama. A Vanderbilt University Hospital spokeswoman said Purvis was listed as "a no-information" patient and could not give an update on his condition. Attempts to contact family members were unsuccessful.(Tennessean)(8-7-2006)

    • Blaney back with BDR in 2007 UPDATE with CAT: 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.(
      UPDATE: Dave Blaney will be back in the Caterpillar Inc. car for the 2007, team owner Bill Davis said Sunday morning. "(Caterpillar director of racing operations) Greg Towles has indicated to us all along that Dave Blaney has done a good job in the car and done a good job with the sponsors and he'd be perfectly happy to have him back (in the car) and so would we," Davis said as preparations for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard were under way. "I guess it's as close to (being) official as you can say." Davis was a little more guarded about recent rumors that Jeremy Mayfield will join his operation in a second Toyota Camry for 2007. "We're not in a position to announce anything, but certainly we've talked to Jeremy a lot and we have an understanding," Davis said of the current Evernham Motorsports driver. "Nothing's ever official until it's official so we don't talk about it, but certainly, like a lot of people in this garage, we'd like to see him come to our team." Davis said he has a letter of intent for a sponsor for the second team. Better things, finally, are happening with Blaney's car. Starting with the race at Chicagoland Speedway last month, Blaney finished 17th, 13th and 16th before faltering a little in Sunday's race with a 29th-place finish. "It's been a lot of little things, no one big blaring obvious deal," Davis said of the upturn. "Certainly the Michael (Waltrip) deal was an enormous distraction at the first of the year. He came in and struggled and really disrupted the shop and had us changing our cars and doing crazy stuff. Five or six weeks ago, I took the stance that I didn't know what else we could do to help him - he'd had several different combinations of cars and bodies and chassis and crew chiefs - and we needed to get back to basics and do the things we'd always done and do what works (for Blaney's car). And that's what we've done." Davis also is looking forward to putting the team's Dodge days in the past. BDR has been without factory support from Dodge for three years and has been involved in continued legal battles with the company. "It has been a struggle and a distraction and a financial burden, which has been huge, and now to have all that basically behind us and have Toyota poised and ready to come in here, it's a huge relief for us," Davis said. "For everybody that has stuck with us and been loyal to us, from employees to associates to sponsors, we certainly appreciate those people and look forward to getting back on track and back to where we were."(Peoria Journal Star)(8-7-2006)

    • Ford Re-evaluating their plans: Roush Racing and Ford officials say they are re-evaluating their plans in the face of a) the Toyota challenge, b) the debacle at Robert Yates Racing, and c) the failure of some young recruits to pan out, thus leaving holes open at Yates's and, possibly, Roush's. Sources say Roush and/or Ford have offered Mark Martin $8m to stay yet another year in the #6 car. Martin, who had planned to retire after 2005, stayed one more year to help Roush plug a gap after the departure of Kurt Busch last summer. Meanwhile, Todd Kluever, Roush's top gong show tryout racing the past three years in Trucks, has not shown the kind of progress expected, and newcomers Stephen Leicht (Yates), David Gilliland (Yates) and Danny O'Quinn are not considered ready for big-time competition. If Ford adds a team in 2007 (assuming it can plug the holes at Yates's), it likely will be under the Wood Brothers banner, with Jon Wood at the wheel and Ken Schrader minding the #21 one more year. That, of course, will depend on the Woods finding financing.(Speed Channel)(8-7-2006)

    • Martin back in the #6 in 2007? UPDATE: hearing it is possible that Mark Martin may drive yet another full season in the #6 Ford for Roush Racing, seems the team doesn't think Roush Racing Busch Series driver Todd Kluever is quite ready for a full-time ride in the Nextel Cup Series.(8-5-2006)
      UPDATE: Roush Racing’s Nextel Cup lineup for 2007 is set, a high-ranking source within the team told eam Ford Racing Sunday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the last detail to be worked out a multiple sponsorship package for one car. The plan right now at Roush remains for Mark Martin to drive a Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2007, though that could change.(Ford Racing)(8-7-2006)

    • 250 treated at Indy due to heat: About 250 people were treated for heat-related illnesses during Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, said Indianapolis Motor Speedway spokesman Ron Green. That compares with 225 people who were treated in May during the Indy 500 when temperatures were unseasonably hot. The National Weather Service said Sunday's high was the same was it was that day -- 89 degrees. Green said track officials were prepared for the August heat and had cooling-off tents set up around the track. Sunday's heat at the Brickyard wasn't as bad as in 2002, when the high on race day was 96 degrees -- three degrees short of the record for the date.(CNNSI/Associated Press)(8-7-2006)

    • Dodge Commits to NASCAR: Dodge Motorsports has lost two of its top executives in the past month, but the automobile manufacturer still intends to be a big player in NASCAR. "Our commitment to NASCAR remains very strong," Dodge official Mike Accavitti said before Sunday's race. "The only thing that's changed is some people have retired, but that happens when you've been with a company for a while." Speculation about Dodge's future in the stock car series increased when Dodge Motorsports chief John Fernandez announced Friday he was leaving DaimlerChrysler to take over as managing director of Chip Ganassi's team based in Concord, N.C. Accavitti said Dodge has picked a replacement and hopes to make that announcement soon. "We've identified a candidate for John's job and that's going through the internal approval process now," he said. Bob Wildberger, another top executive, also is retiring, and Accavitti said a search for his replacement has begun.(USA Today)(8-7-2006)

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