Hall of Fames Museums
AUGUST 14-20, 2006
News from August 20, 2006
- Bill Davis Racing to announce Cup drivers at Bristol UPDATE Mayfield signs with BDR: on Speed Channel's NASCAR Live Friday, Bob Dillner reported that Bill Davis Racing will make his driver announcements for 2007 at Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend, as reported Dave Blaney will return to the Caterpillar car in 2007, it has been rumored that Jeremy Mayfield will drive the 2nd Toyota, no word on a sponsor and no word on Bill Lester's plans as he was rumored as having a shot at the 2nd BDR Cup ride in 2007.(Speed Channel's NASCAR Live)(8-19-2006)
UPDATE - Mayfield signs with BDR: Jeremy Mayfield has signed a 3-year contract with options with Bill Davis Racing. BDR will make the formal announcement during a press conference Friday [at Bristol] when the organization will map out it's plans for 2007 and beyond. Team General Manager Mike Brown says Mayfield "Is everything we've been looking for. He's the kind of driver that was available that was marketable. Obviously he's had success the last couple of years winning races and being in the chase. It's exactly what we needed to facilitate a multi-year deal with a new and exciting sponsor." Brown likes the Mayfield-Tommy Baldwin driver/crew chief combo saying "Tommy's spent a couple of years with him at Evernham so he knows what he likes in cars. From that standpoint we've got a bonus there." Mayfield may not race competitively the rest of this season however he is expected to test beginning next week at Kentucky and Nashville.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(8-20-2006)
- Kenseth wins at Michigan: #17-Matt Kenseth won the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway for his 2nd win at the track, 3rd win of 2006 and 13th of his career. Kenseth led the most laps with 87 [of 200] dominating the 2nd half of the race. #24-Jeff Gordon finished 2nd, followed by #20-Tony Stewart, #9-Kasey Kahne, #6-Mark Martin, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.[who led 40 laps], #16-Greg Biffle, #41-Reed Sorenson, #11-Denny Hamlin and #19-Elliott Sadler [in his first race in the #19 and the first top 10 of the year for the team]. #38-David Gilliland lost a tire mid-race and finished 38th in his first run for Robert Yates Racing. Pole sitter #31-Jeff Burton came into the race 4th in points, never led a lap and lost an engine early to finish 42nd, dropping to 9th in points. #2-Kurt Busch wrecked twice, finishing 40th and out of the race and is pretty much out of the chase. #99-Carl Edwards ran strong all day, but something went amiss at the end of the race and he finished 22nd, pretty much ending his shot at the Chase. #9-Kasey Kahne finished 4th and picked up 5 points on 10th place #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 49 points out of 10th and pretty much the only driver not in the top 10 who have a chance to make it in The Chase. There were 11 leaders with 26 lead changes and a record 10 cautions for 36 laps.
Race Results on my Michigan Race Results/Awards Page.
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after MIchigan page
Race Rundown: see my Michigan Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(8-20-2006)
- Shepherd tests, plans to attempt Bristol: The #89 Faith Motorsports crew and driver Morgan Shepherd spent the day Wednesday, August 16, working on chassis and suspension setups at the Motor Mile Speedway in Pulaski, VA. Shepherd said the team gained nearly one-half second from the lap times turned in during a similar test at the track three weeks ago. "Everything we did, we improved the car," Shepherd said of adjustments made during the test. "At the end we had a real good balance with the car and a lot better grip than we started with." The test session was the second on the 4/10-mile oval in recent weeks by the Faith Motorsports team in an effort to try to get the #89 Racing With Jesus Dodge Charger as good as possible before next week's qualifying attempt at Bristol. Dana Tomes, general manager at Faith Motorsports, said the crew in the Hickory shop has been working feverishly since the team's formation to present a quality product. "We can't appreciate enough what the guys are doing and the efforts they have made," Tomes said. "This crew is determined to show up at Bristol and put an effort together that hasn't been seen in a while." The team will leave for Bristol on August 24.(Faith Motorsports site)(8-20-2006)
- NASCAR a viable option for Villeneuve: Jacques Villeneuve believes that NASCAR is his only viable alternative should he, as seems likely, not continue racing in Formula 1 next year. The former world champion acrimoniously split with BMW after the Hungarian Grand Prix, after the 35-year-old was dumped in favour of test driver Robert Kubica for the race in Budapest. With no competitive options available in F1 for 2007, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar champion seems set to follow Juan Pablo Montoya to the Nextel Cup. “These days, NASCAR isn’t a step down from F1,” Villeneuve said in an interview with F1 Racing. “And, because of that, it’s something you can do without thinking you’re giving up on your career – just as Montoya has done. “Le Mans, sports cars, DTM, IRL, Champ Car? Well, I’m sorry, but they’re all a step down from F1. NASCAR isn’t.” If the Canadian continues to race, he says it will only be in a top category, and while the Indy 500 is still a blue riband event, Villeneuve considers the current IndyCar Series to be shadow of its former guise when he was a front-runner. “An F1 team wouldn’t seriously consider a Champ Car driver or an IRL driver these days, but they look closely at GP2 drivers all the time. In fact an F1 team would probably consider a NASCAR driver before a Champ Car driver or an IRL driver – perhaps they’d even prefer to consider a Moto GP rider."(itv.com/f1)(8-20-2006)
- Dale Jr's XM Radio show doing well: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and XM Satellite Radio proved to be a lethal combination for XM's phone lines last Tuesday night. Earnhardt, Jr., who hosts his own show on XM, "Dale Jr's Unrestricted," featured a call-in show this week. From 8:00 - 9:00pm/et, 13,496 attempts were made to dial into the show, which eventually blew out XM's NASCAR call-in lines. "Dale Jr's Unrestricted" airs Thursdays, 7:30-8:00pm/et on NASCAR XM, channel 144.(XM Radio PR)(8-20-2006)
- Johnson and the Levi Strauss Signature brand Launch Racing Webisodes: #48-Jimmie Johnson and the Levi Strauss Signature brand have launched a series of webisodes featuring Johnson and his smart-talking sidekick, "Lil'JJ". This is type of webisode is believed to be a first for a NASCAR driver. "Creating the Lil' JJ webisodes was a great experience," said Johnson. "I really enjoyed working with the Levi Strauss Signature brand on this project which shows a different fun side of my personality." The webisodes can be accessed through levistrausssignature.com.(Alan Taylor PR)(8-20-2006)
- Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Michigan Glen [23 of 36 races]:
#48-Jimmie Johnson 3365
#17-Matt Kenseth 3307 -58
#29-Kevin Harvick 3048 -317
#6-Mark Martin 2970 -395
#20-Tony Stewart 2959 -406
#24-Jeff Gordon 2931 -434
#5-Kyle Busch 2922 -443
#11-Denny Hamlin 2920 -445
#31-Jeff Burton 2916 -449
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2881 -484
and fighting for 10th
out of 10th and the chase
#9-Kasey Kahne -49
#16-Greg Biffle -189
#99-Carl Edwards -244
#2-Kurt Busch -279
For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(8-20-2006)
- Rumblings - Michigan Race Notes: It was Matt Kenseth's day today at Michigan International Speedway as he took the GFS Marketplace 400 by a diminishing 6/10's of a second over Jeff Gordon. Kenseth's win was his third of the season and 13th of his Nextel Cup career (he's now tied for 46th on the all-time win list with Dick Rathman and Tim Richmond). Win #93 for Roush Racing was worth $221,091 from the over $5M in posted awards.
Kasey Kahne (4th) had his best finish since he won here in June.
Travis Kvapil (21st) had his best finish since he was 21st here in June.
Michael Waltrip (23rd) had his best finish since he was 23rd at Infineon in June.
Derrike Cope (34th) had his best finish since he was 33rd at Martinsville last October (only six races).
Hermie Sadler (35th) had his best finish since he was 32nd at Martinsville last October (only seven races).
STREAKIN....Denny Hamlin has 5 Top-10's in a row. Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10's in a row.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Tony Stewart (+30), followed by Jamie McMurray (+23) and Reed Sorenson (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Burton (-41), followed by Kyle Busch (-28 ), Kurt Busch (-24), and Ryan Newman (-21). Burton was just one off the all-time record... the most you can fall is 42 spots in this game.
Hermie Sadler led a lap today for the first time since he led one lap at Talladega in October of 2004. He's the 45th different driver to lead a lap this season....last year's number was 51.
Elliott Sadler accomplished Job 1 today for Evernham Motorsports. They're back in the Top-35 in Owner Points and will be exempt for next week's event (and we know how just one slip at Bristol in qualifying could mean the end of your weekend). Sterling Marlin and the #14 team are now out and must time in next week. They're just 22 points behind the #45 team of Kyle Petty and may want to consider staying out to get some of those valuable bonus points. Kyle leads Sterling by 15 points in that category....and we're getting to where that can make the difference over whether you race or not.
Jimmie Johnson's lead (that'll be down to 5 markers plus or minus in three weeks) is down to 58 over Matt Kenseth after today. The top three look safe for the "Chase", but 4th to 11th is separated by only 138 points with three to go. Johnson and Kenseth can clinch next week, btw. Jeff Gordon (9th to 6th) made the best move forward today, while Jeff Burton (4th to 9th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans.com)(8-20-2006)
- Michigan Race News and Notes:
• Matt Kenseth won the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway, scoring his 13th Nextel Cup victory in his 243rd career start.
• This was Kenseth’s third victory in 2006. He also won at California and Dover.
• Kenseth moved into 46th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list tied with Tim Richmond and Dick Rathmann.
• Kenseth scored his second victory at Michigan International Speedway and 11th victory on a superspeedway. His last
victory at Michigan came in June 2002.
• Kenseth won the race from the third-place starting position.
• Kenseth scored his 13th top-10 finish in 23 races this season.
• Kenseth remained second in the point standings, now 475 ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne.
• Kenseth led the most laps for the third time in 2006 and the first time since Chicagoland, five races ago.
• Kenseth led six times for 87 laps including the final 32 laps in the GFS Marketplace 400.
• This was team owner Jack Roush’s 93rd Nextel Cup victory. Roush has scored nine Nextel Cup victories at Michigan.
• Jack Roush Racing has won at least one race each season 1997-2006, 10 consecutive years.
• Jeff Gordon (second) scored his 10th top-10 finish in 2006. It marked his 19th top-10 finish in 28 races at Michigan International
Speedway. This is Gordon’s sixth runner-up finish at Michigan. Gordon climbed from ninth to sixth in the point standings and
is 99 points ahead of 11th place Kasey Kahne.
• Tony Stewart (third) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 10th top-10 finish in 16 races at Michigan. Stewart climbed
from seventh to fifth in the point standings, 127 points ahead of 11th place Kasey Kahne.
• Kasey Kahne (fourth) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Michigan. Kahne is
now 49 points behind 10th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr..
• Mark Martin (fifth) scored his 11th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 27th top-10 finish in 42 races at Michigan International
Speedway. Martin climbed from sixth to fourth in the point standings, 138 points ahead of 11th place Kasey Kahne.
• Kevin Harvick (11th) extended a 35-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, the longest
current streak. Harvick ended a streak of six straight top-10 finishes that began at Daytona in July.
• At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 23 races this season. Reed
Sorenson finished eighth and Denny Hamlin finished ninth, the seventh time in 2006 that two or more rookies finished in the top
10. For Hamlin it marked his 11th top-10 finish in 2006, the most among the rookie contenders.
• Kyle Busch (39th) ended a streak of eight straight top-15 finishes that began at Michigan in June.
• Jeff Burton (42nd) ended a streak of 16 straight top-15 finish that began at Texas in April. Burton’s last DNF came at
Talladega in October 2005. Burton dropped from fourth to ninth in the point standings and is just 84 points ahead of 11th-place
• Point leader Jimmie Johnson (13th today) has been ranked among the top 10 for 92 consecutive races. He now leads secondplace
Matt Kenseth by just 58 points.
• The 10 caution periods set the record for the most at Michigan since 1969. The previous record was nine caution periods set in
five previous races.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-20-2006)
- Edwards being watched: Apparently NASCAR was not very happy with Carl Edwards after he ran into Dale Earnhardt Jr after Dale Jr won the Busch Race and got into Edwards going for the race win late in the race. Edwards was in the NASCAR hauler for quite some time Sunday morning and Dale Jr was talked to also. Word is that if Edwsrds pulls anything like that again...coupled with the Pocono pit road deal they are considering parking Edwards for a race.(8-20-2006)
News from August 19, 2006
- More on the rumored RYR/RGM buyout/merger: [see the original rumor, source & denials on my #7 Team News and Links page] While Doug Yates spent the week denying a report that his Robert Yates Racing organization had been sold, he's not ruling out allowing someone to merge with his company to help it expand.
Robby Gordon Motorsports officials have not denied that their company is speaking with RYR, among others, about forming some sort of partnership for the future. As a single-car operation, Gordon's team is at a disadvantage in the Nextel Cup garage. RYR team co-owner Doug Yates said that no deal had been made or would be made to sell his team, he paused noticeably when asked to clarify as to whether there was the possibility that a portion of his organizaion could merge with another. Asked to specify whether he could rule out selling part of his program, Yates defined how difficult the situation is for a two-car team trying to compete with larger programs. If, and Yates heavily emphasized the if, he did alter the structure of his team, the plan would be to expand immediately.(in part from SceneDaily.com)
AND more from Ford Racing PR at the Yates/Gilliland quotes: DOUG YATES, continued - IS YOUR TEAM CONSIDERING ALIGNING WITH SOMEONE? IS THAT WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO COMPETE? "There's no doubt that you have to grow to be to that level. NASCAR set the limit at four times, that's what was out there and if you're going to compete, you've need the resources of four teams. I think we all agree on that. How you get there is things we've been kicking around. It's tough to grow, it's tough to find great sponsors like M&M's. They're just not around every corner, so how do you do that? We've been exploring opportunities and that's some of the things that are swirling. Robby's [Gordon] not buying our whole place [never reported that here], I want to put that to rest. Man, you guys caused us a lot of pain, I'll tell you that. That Jayski guy is killing me. I want to tell you something: If you guys weren't talking about us, I'd really be worried. Because the reason you guys are talking about us is because you expect more of us, and I appreciate that. And we are determined to get back to where you can say some good things about us when we get there."
YOU MENTIONED ROBBY'S NOT BUYING "THE WHOLE THING." IS THERE A SENSE THAT THERE MIGHT BE A PART OF IT THERE? "We're looking for opportunities to grow our business. We have to make smart decisions for the future. My dad is at the point in his career where if he's making every decision of every day he wants to pass the torch off. And I've got a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders. Sometimes you need some energy to help you get there. So, we're going to see how things shape up and make the best decision for our organization, our people, to get a chance to get our cars in victory lane. That is the goal. How you get there, those are
tough decisions. But the goal is to get our organization back where we can win the Brickyard, we can win the Daytona 500, we can have four teams that are competing at a very high level every week. That's a tough 'how to we get there?' And that's what we're looking for."(Ford Racing PR)(8-19-2006)
- Sponsor changes at the #25 and #16? UPDATE 2: 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 signed 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)
UPDATE 2: National Guard will move to the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and will team up to co-sponsor the team.(8-19-2006)
- Schrader/Wood to split time in 2007? hearing Ken Schrader, driver of the #21 Little Debbie's/Motorcraft/Air Force Ford, and Jon Wood, who is running the full Busch Series with the #47 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team this year will share the #21 Ford in 2007, witrh Wood running seven races and Schrader the other races.(8-19-2006)
- Waltrip hopes to name 3rd driver soon; Reutimann? Martin? Labonte?: Michael Waltrip said Friday he is close to signing a driver to fill his third car [#00 Toyota], which will be sponsored by Domino's Pizza and Burger King. Waltrip and Dale Jarrett [#33? #44?] already are signed to drive Toyotas for Michael Waltrip Racing next year, and Waltrip needs to fill that remaining seat. "I'd really like to get a kid or somebody that is young and try to work with them and see if they're the deal or not," Waltrip said. "You can't ever tell who is. We have a plan to get the guy that we want still, and hopefully in the next week we can do it." Waltrip already has a "youngster" in the not-so-young 36-year-old David Reutimann who will run the rest of the Busch Series events this year and will drive the entire Busch season next year. "Certainly he's somebody that we've considered running both," Waltrip said. "He's always hauled the mail in everything he's gotten in, so he is a possibility. If you will, we have to appreciate and think about every option that is available because it is getting late and the sponsors are getting nervous and they want us to show them who their guy is going to be." Waltrip said he checked with Mark Martin to see if he had any interest in the ride and Martin left the door open. But Waltrip said he would like someone to run a full schedule and only would run a combination of drivers if no other drivers he wants are available. "I saw Terry Labonte said that he would race if it paid enough," Waltrip said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-19-2006)
- Kluever confident he will be in the #6 Cup Ford in 2007 UPDATE: Despite a steep learning curve, Todd Kluever is confident with his talent and job security as he prepares to take over Mark Martin's Nextel Cup Series seat in the #6 Roush Racing Ford next season. Martin, 47, is expected to run a full NASCAR Trucks Series slate in 2007. But since Kluever hasn't run well, it has been rumored the 20-year veteran will stick around Cup another season. Another possible scenario that has been floated is that Martin will run a 12-race Cup schedule and will run full-time in the Trucks Series, giving Kluever an additional season of experience in Busch. Kluever said in a telephone interview Tuesday that team owner Jack Roush has not indicated to him that he is dissatisfied with his results. "The rumors are just that - they're speculation," said Kluever, who spent one season in Trucks before moving to Busch this year. "In all honesty, and I've talked to Mark about this, I'm worried about this weekend. I'm not really worried about next year. I'm very realistic, I live for the weekend. Rumors are rumors and if I go out and win the Busch race this weekend, they all seem to disappear. ... The plans are still that I will be driving the #6 (Cup) car next year."(in part from the Capital Times)(8-18-2006)
UPDATE: Jack Roush isn't convinced that Todd Kluever is ready to slide into Mark Martin's seat in the #6 car next season.
"We need to see how he does in these [Nextel] Cup races and see what our sponsors say,'' Roush said after watching Kluever qualify 38th for Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway. The outcome could have an affect on whether Martin, 47, runs a part-time or fullt-ime schedule in NASCAR's premier series next season. Martin is going under the assumption Kluever will be in the 6 and he'll be running a part-time schedule, although Roush said he wouldn't hesitate to put any of his veteran drivers in the car if Kluever isn't ready. Martin said there have been no discussions with Roush about him staying in the 6. "The 6 car is set right now,'' he said before qualifying 14th. "Todd's going to drive the car. ... The whole plan for 2006 has been to work as hard as we could to get Todd ready to take over the 6 car. We're still doing that.''(NASCAR.com)(8-19-2006)
News from August 18, 2006
- Dale Jr. featured on ESPN.com From the Comedy Central studios to the Budweiser One Night Stand music event, ESPN.com tagged along last Thursday with Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, as he made his rounds in New York. The end result is an ESPN eTicket feature piece that gives an upclose and personal account of NASCAR's most popular driver as he deals with fame, ownership, and transition. To read "The Son Also Rises" by Wright Thompson, go to ESPN.com or click here.(fingerprint, inc. / Budweiser Racing PR)(8-18-2006)
- M&M’S Chocolate Candies Names Gilliland Driver Of The #38: Masterfoods USA announced Friday that David Gilliland will be the new driver for its M&M’S Chocolate Candies sponsored entry in the Nextel Cup series effective immediately. Gilliland
will be behind the wheel of the M&M’S #38 Ford for the remainder of the 2006 season and will compete full-time on the Nextel Cup circuit beginning in 2007, the first year of a three year agreement between the driver and Yates Racing. Todd Parrott returns as crew chief of the #38 this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. “We are proud to announce David as the driver for M&M’S Chocolate Candies,” said William Clements, director of Sponsorships and Sports Marketing for Masterfoods USA. “NASCAR fans, like M&M’S consumers, are extremely loyal and passionate and we are excited to continue our partnership with the Yates family. Our 39,000 associates worldwide welcome David to the Mars, Incorporated family and look forward to seeing him behind the wheel of our colorful M&M’S Ford.”
“It’s great to welcome David to our organization,” said Doug Yates, who will be listed as the team owner of the #38 beginning in 2007. “His track record is impressive and with his drive and dedication, he’s a great fit for the M&M’S Team. We are also excited to have Todd Parrott return as the leader of the #38 Team. We believe his knowledge partnered with David’s ability is the right combination to return our team to the front of the field.”(Elevation Group PR), see full PR and more quotes on my #38 Team News and Links page, who is Gilliland? see his site at davidgilliland.com.(8-18-2006)
- Burton wins pole at Michigan: #31-Jeff Burton won the Budweiser Pole for the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 187.936mph for his 4th pole of 2006 and 6th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #19-Elliott Sadler [in the first race in the ride], #17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Ryan Newman and #29-Kevin Harvick. #38-David Gilliland qualified 26th in the first effort in the RYR Ford. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 17th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #19-Sadler, #55-Waltrip, #32-Kvapil, #74-Cope, #15-Menard, #06-Kluever, #49-Lepage and #00-Sadler. Missing the race were: #4-Wimmer, #34-Skinner, #61-Chaffin, and #78-Wallace. See the qualifying results on my Michigan Qualifying/Starting Grid page.(8-18-2006)
- Irvan & Nadeau back on the track at MIS: Ernie Irvan, Jerry Nadeau and Rusty Wallace are no longer NASCAR drivers, but they still took a lap around Michigan International Speedway on Thursday. Irvan and Nadeau, who both retired from racing after suffering traumatic brain injuries, were joined by Wallace, current NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Greg Biffle and Scott Wimmer and former Irvan crew chief Larry McReynolds for the Leadership and Awareness to Promote Safety (LAPS) Walk around the speedway's two-mile oval. More than 600 supporters raised money through a pledge drive to participate and help raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries. "MIS has bent over backwards to try and make it where we can have (the walk) closer to race day," said Irvan, who started the event last year in conjunction with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan. Irvan suffered a brain injury in [August] 1994 at MIS but came back and won the 1997 Miller 400. Irvan retired from racing in 1999 after suffering a second brain injury at MIS. Nadeau suffered a career-ending brain injury in 2003 [at Richmond im May]. Irvan said it is important to wear seat belts in cars and helmets when riding motorcycles, bicycles or skateboards. "It's simple," Irvan said. "The cure is out there. All it is is prevention." McReynolds missed last year's inaugural event but made sure to participate this year. He was Irvan's crew chief during the 1994 accident at MIS, which happened during a practice run. "The caution came out and the spotter came on the radio and said, 'Larry, it's us,' " McReynolds said. "The worst thing in the world that can happen to a crew chief is when you ask the driver is he OK and you hear nothing on that radio. The way I see it, we're working on a great cause here and we're doing it with, in my book, the greatest group of fans in the world -- the NASCAR fans." For more information, visit www.lapswalk.org or www.race2safety.com.(Detroit Free Press)(8-18-2006)
- da Matta update 8/18: Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta remains hospitalized 15 days after colliding with a deer that ran onto the Road America track in Elkhart, Wis. Champ Car Series medical director Dr. Chris Pinderski said da Matta could be moved out of intensive care as soon as today. As of Thursday, he had not yet fully regained consciousness at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wis., but no longer was using a ventilator, Pinderski said in a statement. Pinderski said da Matta is showing gradual improvement and becoming more alert each day.(Miami Herald)(8-18-2006)
- Special Paint for #96 at Texas in November: The #96 DLP HDTV Chevy that Tony Raines drivers will sport a speicial Navy Blue, Silver and white scheme at the Novemeber race at Texas Motor Speedway. It is designed after co-owners Roger Staubach and and Troy Aikman's Dallas Cowboy colors and to honor their inductions into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to reflect upon their accomplishments in their first year in the Nextel Cup Series. Plus it is running at sponsor Texas Instruments DLP HDTV home base.(Hall of Fame Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #96 Team Schemes page.(8-18-2003)
- Ramblings - Qualifying Notes: Jeff Burton is certainly on a qualifying roll..... Burton continued his hot streak today at Michigan International Speedway as he took the Bud Pole for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 with a time of 38.311 sec (187.936 mph). This is the third top-spot in the last six races for Burton, his 4th of the season (he's tied with Kasey Kahne for most poles now), and the 6th of his Nextel Cup career. Elliott Sadler (2nd) gets off on the right foot with his new employer. This is his best starting spot since he had the pole at Talladega in April.
Matt Kenseth (3rd) has his best starting spot since he qualified 3rd at Texas last November.
Greg Biffle (6th) has his best starting spot since he grabbed the Bud Pole at Richmond in May.
Casey Mears (7th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 3rd at Richmond in May.
Sterling Marlin (10th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 9th at Talladega in April.
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.
Jeff Burton has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
(Stock Car Fans.com)(8-18-2006)
- Qualifying News and Notes:
• Jeff Burton won the Nextel Cup Series Bud Pole for the GFS Marketplace 400, lapping Michigan International Speedway in 38.311 seconds at 187.936 mph. Ryan Newman holds the trackqualifying record of 37.069 seconds, 194.232 mph - set June 18, 2005.
• This is Burton’s sixth career Bud Pole in 426 Nextel Cup Series races.
• This is Burton’s fourth Bud Pole and 10th top-10 start in 2006. He moved into a tie with Kasey Kahne for the most Bud Poles this season. 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 second Bud Pole, but just his seventh top-10 start, in 26 Nextel Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. He posted his career-first Bud Pole here in this race in 1996.
• There have been nine different Bud Pole winners in the past 11 Nextel Cup races at Michigan. Bobby Labonte (both 2003) is the only repeat Bud Pole winner in the 10-race period since August 2001. Qualifying was canceled in August 2004.
• Elliott Sadler posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 38.488 seconds, 187.071 mph – and will join Burton on the front row for the GFS Marketplace 400. Sadler posted his sixth top-10 start in 16 races at Michigan,
• This is the 40th career Bud Pole for Richard Childress Racing. It is the fourth Bud Pole for RCR in 2006, which ties their career best set by Ricky Rudd in 1983 and Dale Earnhardt in 1990.
• This is the eighth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has 10 Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
• Matt Kenseth (third) has started from the top-10 in just two of his 15 races at Michigan. He started fifth in August 2004 when qualifying was canceled. This is his first qualifying effort better than 13th.
• Ryan Newman (fourth) has started from the top-10 in eight of his 11 races at Michigan, including five topfives. This is his 11th top-10 start in 2006 and his fifth straight.
• Kevin Harvick (fifth) has posted just five top-10 starts in 12 races at Michigan.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-18-2006)
- Evernham says Sadler talks started in July: Team owner Ray Evernham says that talks with Elliott Sadler began in July, but at that time they centered around a potential fourth Nextel Cup team. Sadler, who drove for Robert Yates Racing through last Sunday's AMD at the Glen, confirmed Wednesday that he would drive Evernham Motorsports' #19 Dodge the remainder of this season. "He was under contract with Yates, and we didn't have a place to put him at that time, so we initially started looking at what we could do in the future with our fourth program," Evernham said in a national teleconference. Evernham pointed out the team's top goal is returning to the top 35 in owner points. Sadler must qualify for the race based on speed this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Evernham's other two teams, with drivers Kasey Kahne and Scott Riggs, are locked into the field for the GFS Marketplace 400. To help get ready for the event, Sadler and his new team tested together at Kentucky Speedway earlier this week. They're working on the other area that Evernham sees as needing improvement for the team.(SceneDaily.com)(8-18-2006)
- Steven Wallace to run some Cup races in 2007: Rusty Wallace is giving son Steve plenty of racing opportunities this year in anticipation of starting him in Nextel Cup the latter part of 2007. He'll run him in the remaining 11 Busch races this season and in some ARCA events. "It's all about seat time in the car," said Rusty. "We made a commitment to go racing. Steve is our driver." As part of the program, Wallace will send his son to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Arizona. "We'll get Boris Said to teach him road racing," Wallace said. "We'll keep cramming racing down his throat." Greg Wallace, who is 26 and a Wake Forest graduate, raced late models around the Southeast for a few years before deciding he wanted to finish college and get into sports management. Presently, he's in charge of the www.rustywallace.com Web site, which has won international awards. As a spotter at his brother's ARCA and Busch races, he knows where Steve is on the track at all times and where he's headed in his racing career.
"There's no doubt he's got the natural speed and ability to get the job done," said Greg of Steve's performance so far. "If anything, we got to teach him to tone down and finish races. We talk four or five times a day. He's just crazy about racing and calling a million, zillion girls. Sometimes, I think he may have sucked in too much carbon monoxide." Next year, Rusty Wallace, who is also working as an analyst for ABC/ESPN covering the Indy Racing League, has mapped out a full Busch season for Steve. And he says he'll start his son in the final five Cup events of the year.(Detroit Free Press)(8-18-2006)
- Michigan Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the third time that NASCAR Nextel Cup teams will run on this specific set-up of left- and right-side tires in 2006 . . . in addition to earlier running on these tire codes at Michigan, teams ran this set-up at Dover
as well . . . Cup teams also ran this left-side code (D-4060) with a different right-side at Chicagoland last month . . . both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams will run on the same tire codes this weekend . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Michigan . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see the full notes, with air pressures, codes on my Michigan Race Info/Rundown Page.(8-18-2006)
- #4 and Lucas Oil Partner at MIS: Morgan-McClure President Larry McClure announced that the # 4 Chevy will be sporting the familiar red LUCAS decal on the hood for the second time this year in the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this weekend. Driver Scott Wimmer finished 31st in the rain shortened (129 lap) 3M Performance 400 in June at Michigan and will be making his 100th NASCAR Nextel Cup start once he qualifies for the GFS Marketplace 400. LUCAS Oil joins additional sponsors Forward Air, Aero Exhaust, Race Face, Kodak, Wide Open Performance Energy Drink, Coyote Ugly Saloons, Players Extreme Spirits and Tuff Country for the GFS Marketplace 400 at MIS. Lucas Oil served as the primary sponsor for the Morgan-McClure # 4 Chevy in 2005.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(8-18-2006)
- Sherman wins pole for ARCA race: former driver of the #49 BAM Dodge and current driver of his family owned part-time #04 Nextel Cup team, Brent Sherman gave his team a boost by winning the pole with a lap of 184.601 mph on Thursday at Michigan International Speedway for today's ARCA Hantz Group 200. Steve Wallace, the defending champion, will start from the outside pole.
Sherman, 32, coming off a second-place finish in the ARCA race at Nashville last week, bristles at the notion he is a journeyman driver. But he has endured a sporadic career the last two years. He bounced from team to team in the Busch series last season and then landed with BAM Racing this year to compete in the Cup series. He made six starts with the team, including a top finish of 21st in the Daytona 500, and failed to make three other starts. Sherman left the team in May. Now working for a family-run team, Sherman has surrounded himself with the crewmen who were with him in 2003 and '04, when he finished second in the series point standings. Sherman said he has fielded a few calls from interested Cup owners, but that's about it. For now, he is happy to have a chance to show what he can do in the ARCA series. "Everything is good with this situation," Sherman said. "I want to win some races, but I would love to run for a top-notch organization, even in the Busch series, even in ARCA. I would love to see what I could do."(Detroit News)(8-18-2006)
- Michgan Cup race to air in Canada: To support the growing NASCAR fan-base in Canada, NASCAR and NASCAR Canada have made the necessary arrangements for this weekend's GFS Marketplace 400 race from Michigan International Speedway to be televised live in Canada. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race will air this Sunday (August 20) at 2:00pm/et on Rogers Cable Television and Bell ExpressVu. The race will air live in its entirety and includes a free preview of the Emmy-Award winning NASCAR IN CAR package, featuring six in-car channels, live team audio and real time race data. The race was not initially scheduled to air in Canada. Bell ExpressVu is offering its free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 441-446. Channel 440 will provide the network broadcast with full commentary and analysis. Bell ExpressVu will also offer High Definition coverage of the race, however the channel number has yet to be confirmed. Rogers Cable Television will offer its free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 446-452. Subscribers can tune in to channels 85 and 445 for digital coverage of the race and channels 1 and 59 for analog coverage. High Definition coverage of the race will be available on channel 483. NASCAR Canada supports the continued growth of the NASCAR fan base and further extends the popular NASCAR brand in Canada through sponsorship and licensing opportunities, marketing initiatives, multi-platform media programs and grassroots projects. Established in June 2004, NASCAR Canada is a joint relationship between NASCAR and TSN, and is operated by TSN Events.(channelcanada.com)(8-18-2006)
News from August 17, 2006
- Mayfield claims Evernham's absence hurt team [Crocker implication]: Jeremy Mayfield claims in court documents that team owner Ray Evernham's "close personal relationship" with development driver Erin Crocker distracted his team and kept the owner from being an instrumental part of the #19 Nextel Cup team, whose struggles this year eventually led to Mayfield's firing. Mayfield made that allegation in his lawsuit against Evernham Motorsports filed Aug. 9 in North Carolina Superior Court in Iredell County after Evernham Motorsports informed Mayfield Motorsports Inc. on Aug. 7 that Mayfield would not drive the car in the Aug. 13 race at Watkins Glen. Evernham responded in an affidavit that he has worked diligently to make sure that the #19 team had the personnel and resources to be successful. See full report on SceneDaily.com.(8-17-2006)
- Talladega Nights car in Mooresville: The feature car from the recently released movie, "Talladega Nights," is now on
display at Memory Lane Historical and Motorsports Automotive Museum, located at 769 River Hwy., Mooresville, NC, 28117. This colorful #26 Wonder Car was featured in the movie filmed in the Charlotte area and starring Will Ferrell. Museum hours are Monday - Friday, 10 - 5. The car will be on display along with 150 other automobiles from horseless carriages and other antique autos to
current racecars, more info at memorylaneautomuseum.com.(8-17-2007)
- #51 Team Selling Inventory: As of last week, the #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports Nextel Cup team have closed their doors and moved their sponsorship to the Petty organization. With that said, the team is selling their entire inventory at reduced rates, check out their website at www.cemotorsports.net for more info.(8-17-2006)
- Speed Report colors on Hermie Sadler's #00 at Bristol: When Hermie Sadler's #00 MBA Motorsports Chevy rolls into
Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend for the Sharpie 500, it will be carrying the colors for a new show on Speed Channel, The SPEED Report. The new show, which airs Sunday nights on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et, is hosted by Drew Johnson and Nicole Manske. Sadler is looking forward to taking The SPEED Report entry to the track. "I have had the opportunity to be a part of some neat promotions and paint schemes, and this car is at the top of the list. The design of this car says a lot about the new attitude of SPEED and how they cover racing of all types. I look forward to a fun weekend."(Speed Channel PR)(8-17-2006)
- Wally's World at MIS: TNT Broadcaster Wally Dallenbach cooks up another exciting Wally's World segment as he drives Food Network Chef Mario Batali around the track. Chef Mario, a Northport, MI. resident, will be grilled by Dallenbach as they compare which is hotter, the kitchen or the racetrack. Wally's World will air during the Bank of America Countdown to Green on TNT, hosted by Bill Weber at 2:00pm/et.(TNT PR)(8-17-2006)
- Winning car 'stolen' from Victory Lane: A man jumped into a NASCAR race car and tried to drive away before he was stopped by track officials, who didn't know he was an actor and the apparent heist was a prank for a commercial. Justin Philpott, a 16-year-old NASCAR competitor, was taking part in an awards ceremony at the Altamont Motorsports Park on Sunday when the actor jumped a fence and hopped into his Chevrolet, the Tracy Press reported Thursday. "I heard my race car start up and slide away, so I turned around and started yelling and running after it," said Philpott, a third-generation racer. "No one knew what was going on." The stunt was cut short when track officials blocked the car's path with tow trucks, the newspaper reported. Philpott's older brother, also a racer, chased down the car, pulled out the unidentified man and tackled him to the ground. The incident was caught on tape and widely circulated on the Internet. The "thief" turned out to be an actor filming a scene for a commercial for one of Philpott's sponsors, TaxBrain.com. The Philpotts had not been told about the commercial beforehand, Justin Philpott said. A spokeswoman for Altamont's parent company, Riverside Motorsports Park, said only a few track officials knew the prank would take place. A spokesman for TaxBrain.com did not return calls for comment.(ESPN.com/AP see the video link there)(8-17-2006)
- Sadler out at RYR as of Monday? Gilliland in at MIS? UPDATE 2: Elliott Sadler cleaned out his locker Monday at Robert Yates Racing, clearing the way for David Gilliland to take over the #38 M&M's Ford. Gilliland, 30, will make his second Nextel Cup start, his first for RYR, Sunday in the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Gilliland's name has been painted on the #38 M&M's Ford Fusion, and all signs point to a formal announcement within days. Gilliland will be in the car as early as Tuesday for testing at Kentucky Speedway. Sadler most likely will be released from his contract with RYR this week, and he is expected to take over the #19 Dodge Dealers Dodge at Evernham Motorsports, which became open when Jeremy Mayfield was released last week.(Sporting News/Greg Engle), Todd Parrott is expected to take over #38 crew chief duties at MIS. An announcement was expected on Monday, August 14th, but it didn't happen.
UPDATE: David Gilliland returned to the site of his nationally-recognized June 18 "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" Busch
Series victory today when he tested the #38 Robert Yates Racing Nextel Cup Series Ford at Kentucky Speedway. The 30-year-old said he is close to having the chance to try to duplicate that success in the Nextel Cup version of the car if he signs a full-time deal to fill the seat rumored to have been recently vacated by veteran Elliott Sadler. "We're getting closer. I believe I'm going to finish off the year in the car and I'm real excited," Gilliland said. "It's just a great opportunity. After we won the Busch race here, it opened up a ton of doors. (Owners) Robert and Doug (Yates) have been great and everyone at M&M's is willing to give me an opportunity. Hopefully, we can take full advantage. It definitely happened faster than a lot of people thought it would. We worked hard to get here and feel I deserve to be here." Gilliland put the #38 through its paces under the watchful eye of new, yet familiar, veteran Crew Chief Todd Parrott. He formerly served as crew chief for the #88 Robert Yates Racing car [and also the #38 with Sadler] and returned to the team this week following a 22-race stint with Petty Enterprises and the #43 car of Bobby Labonte. "Today has been awesome," Gilliland said. "Todd is a winner and has a lot of experience in the Nextel Cup Series. That's what we're going to need. We want to do everything we can to cut our learning curve and get to the front as soon as possible."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(8-15-2006)
UPDATE 2: no announcement yet from RYR, but with Sadler officially being named to the #19 Dodge on Wednesday, plus Gilliland being added to nascar.com's entry list, looks like Gilliland will be in the car this weekend at MIS.
AND on Friday morning [August 18th] at Michigan International Speedway "M&M’S Chocolate Candies To Announce Future NASCAR Plans".(8-17-2006)
- Fruity Cheerios Scheme on the #43 at Michigan: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Fruity Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Labonte will be racing the colorful Fruity Cheerios paint scheme this weekend.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(8-17-2006)
- Energizer back on the #7 at MIS: this will mark the fourth time Menards/Energizer will share sponsorship of the #7 Chevy that Robby Gordon drives. Jim Beam, Harrah's and CarLoan.com will serve as associates.(RGM PR)(8-17-2006)
- New Associate Sponsor for #17: Rinnai Corporation: DEWALT announced that Rinnai Corporation has joined its #17 racing team as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2006 Nextel Cup Series season. Based in Peachtree City, Ga., Rinnai is the world's largest gas appliance manufacturer offering a complete line of tankless water heaters, ductless heaters, fireplaces and cooking appliances. The Rinnai logo will be featured on the deck lid and, in selected races, the TV panel of Roush Racing's #17 DEWALT Ford Fusion driven by Matt Kenseth.. For more information about the Rinnai Corporation and the Rinnai tankless water heater product, visit www.foreverhotwater.com.(Roush Racing)(8-17-2006)
- Domino's to be primary sponsor for Waltrip at Michigan UPDATE: 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 practice 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 www.dominos.com.(Domino's/Clear!Blue PR), see an image of the car on my #55 Team Schemes page.(8-13-2006)
UPDATE: Waltrip will also act as at-track spokesperson for Domino’s as it announces a new dessert item – Brownie Squares – to its menu. Domino’s will give out approximately 60,000 Brownie Squares to NASCAR teams and race fans attending this weekend’s race activities. Available in most Domino’s stores starting this week and nationwide beginning August 21, Domino’s customers who order a large pizza at regular menu price will receive an order of Domino’s new oven baked Brownie Squares absolutely free.(Domino's/Clear!Blue PR)(8-17-2006)
- Trout Unlimited receives $10,000 grant from Ryan Newman Foundation: When Ryan Newman, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver of the Penske Racing #12 Alltel Dodge, isn't racing he can often be found fishing in the company of his dogs. Newman's favorite pastime has become one of his passions that is supported by his charitable foundation, which he co-founded with his wife, Krissie, in 2005. Recently the Ryan Newman Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Trout Unlimited whose mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. The foundation is also working with the conservation organization to develop programs that enable individuals to help protect rivers, lakes and streams.(Ryan Newman Foundation)(8-17-2006)
- Four Truck Series teams conclude tire tests at LVMS: Four Truck Series teams concluded tire tests for Goodyear at Las Vegas Motor Speedway tonight. The next time they see the track will be Smith's Las Vegas 350 on Saturday, Sept. 23. Each of the four participating manufacturers were represented: Dodge (Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas), Chevrolet (Dennis Setzer), Toyota (Todd
Bodine) and Ford (Rick Crawford). The track qualifying record of 165.320mph was set by Mike Skinner in 2004 [the Nextel Cup track record in 174.904mph, set in 2004], and the teams ran in the 170mph in race trim [reports from Tuesday had the speeds close to 180mph]. Tickets for the Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Sept. 23 may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.(LVMS PR)(8-17-2006)
News from August 16, 2006
- Sadler to the #19 at MIS OFFICIAL: Elliott Sadler will take over the #19 Dodge at Evernham Motorsports beginning with this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway, a team official confirmed to The Associated Press. Sadler secured an early release from Robert Yates Racing late Tuesday evening, clearing the way for him to replace Jeremy Mayfield beginning Sunday, according an Evernham official who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been made.(Associated Press), plus there is a scheduled announcement by Evernham Motorsports for a brief update from Ray Evernham and the new driver of the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger today at 11:30am/et.
OFFICIAL: Evernham Motorsports announced today that it has named Elliott Sadler to drive the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger beginning this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Sadler, who had his first win at Bristol in 2001, has three career wins, seven poles and 16 top fives in 271 starts, brings his hard-charging driving style, fun-loving personality and broad fan appeal to Evernham’s three-car NASCAR Nextel Cup program. He joins Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger and Scott Riggs, driver of the #10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger. The 31-year-old native of Emporia, VA, will start his career at Evernham Motorsports this weekend in the backyard of his new primary sponsors – Dodge and the Dodge Dealers. While the terms of his relationship with Evernham Motorsports were not announced, he does have a long term commitment to the program.
“It’s truly an honor to drive for Dodge and Ray Evernham and to be a part of this team,” said Sadler. “I admired Ray as a crew chief and now as a team owner and business leader. His operation is impressive. When you look at the engineering resources, the talented guys on the team, the marketing programs, the facilities and the way he and his directors run things, you can tell that this is a powerhouse organization that is focused on winning races and championships. I look forward to providing some of those wins and hopefully competing with Kasey and Scott for the championship next year.”
Sadler is also excited about his new relationship with Dodge. “My family’s business has a Dodge dealership in Franklin, VA, so it will great to represent Dodge and all the dealers across the country,” he added. “They have some amazing cars and trucks, and I’ll be trading in my current truck for a Ram SRT-10 right away.” Ray Evernham, president and CEO of Evernham Motorsports, said Sadler brings the right chemistry, personality and driving skills to round out his stable of NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers. “So much of the success of a team depends on having the right blend of chemistry and communications,” said Evernham. “Elliott will be a great fit with our team right away and will bring the competitive drive and the ability to communicate with the team what the Dodge Charger needs to perform at its best. I think he’s the key that will place this team firmly on the path to success.” Sadler will get his first experience in a Dodge Charger on Wednesday when his team goes to Kentucky Speedway to test. “We’re looking forward to having Elliott join the Dodge family,” said Mike Accavitti, director of Dodge SRT and motorsports product planning and marketing. “He’s got great star power, he’s a talented driver and has excellent potential to be a champion. He’s a perfect fit for the Dodge brand.”(Clear!Blue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(8-16-2006)
- Testing at Kentucky UPDATE: #66-Jeff Green, #23-Bill Lester, #1-Martin Truex Jr., Evernham Motorsports [no driver/team# listed] and #38-RYR,driver TBA [Gilliland?] are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, August 15th.(Kentucky Speedway PR), Gilliland is rumored to be testing the #38.
AND David Gilliland returned to the site of his nationally-recognized June 18 "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" Busch
Series victory today when he tested the #38 Robert Yates Racing Nextel Cup Series Ford at Kentucky Speedway. The 30-year-old said he is close to having the chance to try to duplicate that success in the Nextel Cup version of the car if he signs a full-time deal to fill the seat rumored to have been recently vacated by veteran Elliott Sadler. Bill Davis Racing driver Bill Lester, Haas wheelman Jeff Green and Dale Earnhardt, Inc., pilot Martin Truex, Jr., also turned laps at the speedway today. The Haas team tested a "car of tomorrow" in addition to its primary #66.(Kentucky Speedway PR), no mention of Evernham Motorsports testing.(8-15-2006)
UPDATE: Elliott Sadler will get his first experience in a Dodge Charger on Wednesday when his team goes to Kentucky Speedway to test.(Clear!Blue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(8-16-2006)
- Petty Brings New Colors to Michigan: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Oil Dodge team
will head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, located in the city of Brooklyn, for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Petty will debut the Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil scheme for the first time this season. It's a "home" race for the brand because Marathon has a regional office located in nearby Findlay, Ohio. Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil will be the primary sponsor for three more races this season and an associate on both cars [#43 and #45] the rest of the year.(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR), see an image of the car on my #45 Team Schemes page.(8-16-2006)
- Downhome Punch at MIS for Bowyer: Clint Bowyer’s #07 Chevy will feature a Jack Daniel’s Downhome Punch paint scheme this weekend at MIS. John Carlson of Grove City, Ohio is the lucky winner of the Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails “Chose Your Favorite Car” sweepstakes. In addition to a Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails Racing Party Pack, Carlson will attend this weekend’s race at MIS as a guest of Jack Daniel’s and meet Bowyer on Sunday morning prior to the race.(RCR PR) see an image of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(8-16-2006)
- Michigan Rookie News and Notes: #11-Denny Hamlin was the Rookie of the Race at Watkins Glen, finishing 10th and took top rookie honors for the 12th time this season. He collected his 10th top-10 of the 2006 season and scored the best finish by a first-year driver on a road course this season. Hamlin maintains a comfortable lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings. He holds a 44-point edge (233-189) over #07-Clint Bowyer entering the August 20 GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Hamlin is eighth in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings. He is 12 points behind seventh-place Tony Stewart and 26 ahead of ninth-place Jeff Gordon. A Rookie has finished in the top 15 in all 22 races this season. #41-Reed Sorenson was the Rookie of the Race in the 3M Performance 400 this past June at Michigan. Sorenson placed fifth in the rain-shortened event after leading the race once for three laps. He was the only Raybestos Rookie to finish inside the top-10 and the only first-year driver to lead a lap in the event. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the August race at Michigan (since 1975) is a third place effort by Tony Stewart in 1999. Only one Rookie has won the pole position for the August race at Michigan since 1975: Davey Allison, who captured the top starting spot for the 1987 race. A Rookie has finished in the top-10 in six of the past seven August races at Michigan: 1999: Tony Stewart, third 2000: Matt Kenseth, eighth 2001: Casey Atwood, 10th 2002: Jimmie Johnson, seventh 2003: Greg Biffle, fourth 2004: Kasey Kahne, fifth Ryan Newman holds the all-time Raybestos Rookie record for most poles (6), most top-fives (14) and most top-10s (22) in a season. At least one Raybestos Rookie has won a Bud Pole in each of the last 11 years (1996-2006).(Raybestos PR), see the full rookie notes, standings, history and more on my 2006 Rookies Page.(8-16-2006)
- Baldwin new crew chief for Waltrip: Tommy Baldwin, recently hired by Bill Davis Racing to oversee competition, is now serving as crew chief for Michael Waltrip in his #55 Waltrip-Jasper Racing Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series. Waltrip had been using Joe Shear as a crew chief since Charlotte in May. "I have a new crew chief with Tommy Baldwin on the box," Waltrip said during a teleconference Tuesday. "Tommy has really taken over the NAPA car, and hopefully this weekend, his signature or his presence will be something that will help us continue going at the level that we are used to. In the two weeks we've had him, he's made a very big difference for our team," Waltrip said. "He's a proven crew chief and knows the ins and outs of a race car. I have the utmost confidence in him and the decisions he makes in the NAPA pit. It's comforting to me as a driver to know that I have someone as knowledgeable as Tommy on the other end of the radio so that I can concentrate on doing my job on the track."(SceneDaily.com)(8-16-2006)
- Kahne Double-Clutches (and confirms) Sadler Rumors: #9-Kasey Kahne may have given Knoxville television stations a scoop tonight. Kahne was visiting East Tennessee and signing autographs at NASCAR Speedpark in Sevier County. Speculation is mounting that Elliott Sadler will join Kahne as a teammate next season– although there’s been no official confirmation from Ray Evernham Motorsports– or Sadler himself. Tonight, asked about the situation– Kahne took things one-step further– saying Sadler may join the team in time for this weekend’s race at Michigan. Here’s his quote: “The 19 (car) hasn’t performed at all this year, and actually has been bad at most of the tracks. They’re out of the top-35 in points, so Ray is changing some things around there. I think Elliott Sadler is gonna be in the car this weekend. I think, maybe (smile). I don’t know for sure. I’m pretty sure he is. It’s gonna be good. I mean, next year he’s gonna be my teammate for sure, whatever happens this year."(Wogan on Sports)(8-16-2006)
- Kenny Wallace plans to run full-time in Cup and Busch in 2007: From kennywallace.com: Note to Fans – “Howdy all, I would just like to let you all know that everything with Kenny Wallace is still great. I will drive the #78 car next year full time in Cup, the #22 next year full time in Busch and still do my normal SpeedTV duties. I will say the phone has been very busy today with offers of full time BGN and Cup ride offers, but I am more then happy with my current teams and am glad I will be running a full season with each. Everything is good people! And thanks for everything, you are the best fans in racin. See you at the track!” AND "Andy O'Hara from PPC called me last night to inform me that AutoZone [Wallace's Busch Series sponsor] will not be returning next year on any race car full time. AutoZone felt that it was best if their advertising budget was best spent on commercial spots instead of on a race car."(kennywallace.com)(8-16-2006)
- NBC in Cleveland Ohio UPDATE: didn't air the Nextel Cup race from Watkins Glen on it's NBC affiliate there, WKYC-TV - Channel 3, they showed the Cleveland Indian's baseball game, do NOT send complaints to me, but to the station at WKYC.com or NBC.com.(8-13-2006)
UPDATE: NASCAR fans sent a loud message to WKYC (Channel 3) -- one that still will be echoing in October. The station pre-empted NBC's coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup race in Watkins Glen on Sunday to air an Indians game. Racing fans promptly filled up the voice mail and the e-mail baskets at the TV station. As a result, the station is in discussions about swapping another Indians game for the one it planned to air Oct. 1 [Kansas], which again would conflict with a NASCAR telecast on NBC. The station did not intend to anger racing fans, said Terry Moir, director of programming for the NBC affiliate in Cleveland. When the station made a deal in March to televise 20 Indians games, NBC's racing schedule still was tentative, Moir said. As game day drew closer, the station began to explore airing the race on a delayed basis, either later Sunday afternoon or overnight. Channel 3 and other stations have managed to do that with some programming when it conflicts with local sports telecasts. But, Moir said, NBC's broadcast rights do not include allowing delayed telecasts of NASCAR races. (The Speed channel has a deal for race replays, with a three-hour telecast of Watkins Glen set for 2:30pm/et Thursday.) Channel 3 could have tried to swap games with SportsTime Ohio, which televises most Indians games. But Moir said the station already had swapped games with STO in July and did not want to do it again so soon.
Channel 3 accordingly stuck with the Indians game, and the station had a pretty good one for baseball fans. ``It was never our intention to upset people,'' Moir said. So with another Indians/NASCAR conflict looming in October, she said: ``We're going to see if maybe we can exchange a game with SportsTime.''(Beacon Journal)(8-16-2006)
- Tailgate of a Lifetime Tailgating Championship at MIS: The winner of Celebrity chef Mario Batali's the Tailgate of a Lifetime Tailgating Championship will be selected during the finals at the Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, August 19. In addition to the all-expense paid trip to MIS to compete for the championship title, the winner will also go home with $10,000 cash and a tailgating prize pack from Lifetime. In 2006, The Tailgate of a Lifetime will play host to a projected 50,000 NASCAR fans! Following the NASCAR Busch Series Carfax 250, all race ticket holders will be invited to the Michigan International Speedway Watertower field where all will be invited to take place a massive tailgating celebration and concert performance. More info at tailgateofalifetime.com.(Hunter PR)(8-16-2006)
- Four Truck Series teams test tires at LVMS: four Truck Series teams are testing tires for Goodyear in a closed session on Las Vegas Motor Speedway's new pavement and banked turns Tuesday and Wednesday: #14-Rick Crawford [Ford], #85-Dennis Setzer [Chevy], #30-Todd Bodine [Toyota] abd #77-Brendan Gaughan [Dodge]
For three of the four drivers, it was their first time out on LVMS' new pavement and high-banked turns. Having won the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 300 and last year's Truck Series Las Vegas 350 at LVMS, Todd Bodine perhaps knows his way around the 1.5-mile superspeedway better than any of the other participating drivers. The new banking surprised Bodine. "I'll tell you, I was a little skeptical at first, riding around in a (stock) Tundra," Bodine admitted. "But then I got in the race truck and I was very impressed. The track itself - the shape, the entries and exits, the corners - they're much better than they appear to be. I think it's going to be a really good track to race on. I've won here in Busch and Truck and I've always loved coming to Vegas. Hopefully we can get our truck just as good as it was last time." "It's a big, big change," said Chevrolet's Setzer. "It's a huge change - I cannot believe how much has been changed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The banking's going to be fun to work with, I think. It's got some characteristics unique to Vegas already. We'll see how it works." Testing will continue Wednesday at 4 p.m. The session is not open to the public.(images at LVMS.com), hearing top speeds early in the session reached 180mph, the Nextel Cup track record in 174.904mph, set in 2004.(8-16-2006)
News from August 15, 2006
- Robby buying RYR? UPDATE 2 Denied: The LTN Radio Network has learned that Robby Gordon has purchased Robert Yates Racing, #88 and #38 Cup teams and #90 Busch Series team to be effective this week [Chevy sheet metal at California?]. The Yates-Roush engine program is not included in the sale. No word on the status of the contracts between RYR and sponsors M&M/Mars and Citifinancial, and how they will be affected by the sale.(LTN Radio Network), if this is true...
UPDATE: a representative from Robert Yates Racing says this is NOT True and will not happen, denying that Yates is selling to Robby Gordon.
UPDATE 2: A report that Robby Gordon Motorsports [RGM] has purchased Robert Yates Racing's Cup and Busch Series teams was denied by officials with RGM Tuesday. But, John Story, CEO of Robby Gordon Motorsports, said the two teams have spoken about a possible merger of some sort. "As Robby stated several months ago, we have talked to a number of people both in and out of NASCAR about expanding, with the ultimate goal of fielding a championship-caliber team," Story said. "To be competitive in NASCAR's Cup series today, you've got to have multiple teams. So, yes, we've spoken [to RYR officials], but we've spoken with other people also. "That any sort of deal has been completed between the two teams is completely erroneous." According to the Internet story posted by the LTN Radio Network, the purchase of RYR by Robby Gordon Motorsports would be "effective this week." Story said the need to expand to multiple teams has led to discussions with a number of organizations currently competing in the series, including Hall of Fame Racing and PPI Motorsports among others. "Not surprisingly, a number of teams have contacted us as well," Story said. "But you can't just take two single-car teams and put them together and say you are now a multicar team. It's just not that easy. There are a number of issues that come into play." Those issues, he said, include concerns such as shop space, manufacturer representation, sponsorships and driver selection. "If you make a move like that," he said, "you have to make sure you're in lock step with one another. If anything changes, you have to agree on what the new path will look like."(SceneDaily.com)
UPDATE 3 from RGM: "The rumor that we have consummated a deal to purchase Robert Yates Racing is just that, a rumor. As we publicly stated several months ago, we have spoken to a number of organizations about the idea of aligning resources with the goal of creating a championship-caliber program. In today's NASCAR, great people and multiple teams are two of the requirements needed to win a championship and there are really only two ways for us to get there. The first is to find additional marketing partners for a second, third and fourth car, and the other is to align with another team that is interested in the same opportunities. For months we have been talking to multiple sponsors and teams, and while one of those teams is Robert Yates Racing, we have not purchased Robert's program."(John Story, General Manager and CEO, Robby Gordon Motorsports)(8-15-2006)
- Dale Jr. & DEI tests at Nashville: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is at Nashville Superspeedway testing the #8 Budweiser Chevy today.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(8-15-2006)
- Fellows side of the penalty: The Nextel Cup officials stole a top 10-finish from Toronto's #32-Ron Fellows Sunday at the Watkins Glen AMD at the Glen. Fellows was trying to avoid a huge wreck in the chicane on the final lap of the race by cutting across the so-called "bus stop" at the Glen. "They told us in the drivers' meeting we had to come to a complete stop if we missed the chicane," a still steamed Fellows said yesterday. "But I wasn't trying to gain a position I was just avoiding a wreck. Drivers go down pit lane at 180mph. on ovals to avoid accidents and they are never penalized." Fellows was knocked to 32nd from tenth after the race by NASCAR. The worst of it was that Fellows had a top-10 car, maybe even a car capable of winning his first Nextel Cup race to go with his five wins in the Busch and Truck series.(Toronto Sun)(8-15-2006)
- More news on Mayfield: It has been reported that Jeremy Mayfield (released by Ray Evernham Friday) might be in the #38 Robert Yates Racing Ford beginning this week at Michigan. Mayfield certainly seems to be available. However, it appears David Gilliland, who has been working his way through the junior NASCAR ranks, is going to be the choice come next season for Yates and it has also been reported he could step into the car immediately with Elliott Sadler, already reportedly hired by Evernham for the #19 car next season, starting his new job next week [at MIS]. Some have said that Gilliland, who has not been approved for superspeedways including Talladega coming Oct. 8 during The Chase, might want to protect his rookie status for next year. Some in the know have said it’s not his decision but it’s up to Yates as to whether he wants the new kid to run for rookie honors in 2007. Meanwhile, there’s also was the suit filed by Mayfield to try to keep his ride with Evernham. That has allegedly gone through a negotiation and settlement phase and the settlement was reportedly scheduled to be presented to the judge in court in Statesville, N.C., Monday.(Ford Racing)(8-15-2006)
- Lucky Dog Pass Stats: so far in 2006, after 22 races, three drivers have made all the races and not used a Lucky Dog/Lap Back pass: #20-Stewart, #25-Vickers and #31-Burton. #5-Kyle Busch is the new leader with 8 lucky dog passes used after getting 5 of them awarded at Watkins Glen. #96/44-Labonte [13 of 22 races run], #14-Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield [21 races/no current ride] are next with 7 each. In 2006, two drivers have benefitted from the Lucky Dog pass and won the race: #2-Kurt Busch at Bristol and #9-Kasey Kahne at Michigan. #26-McMurray [2nd at Dover], #8-Earnhardt Jr. [3rd at Atlanta], #99-Edwards [3rd at Charllotte] and #16-Biffle [4th at Richmond] are the drivers this year to get a top five after using the pass. Since the Lucky Dog Pass came to be at Dover in September 2003, six drivers have won seven races after getting the pass. For more, who got the passes for each race and totals along with some tidbits, see my Lucky Dog page.(8-15-2006)
- #100 for Wimmer and Vickers: #4-Scott Wimmer and #25-Brian Vickers are scheduled to make their 100th starts in Nextel Cup this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.(8-15-2006)
- Kluever going for 2nd Cup start, this time at MIS: Todd Kluever will be attempting his second Nextel Cup Series start this weekend in the GFS 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Kluever will compete in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series races in his #06 3M Ford Fusion. Kluever’s first Nextel Cup start came at Chicagoland Speedway last month resulting in a 41st-place finish. Kluever ran the entire race, but a NASCAR penalty from hitting the commitment cone on pit road during a green-flag pit stop cost him two laps which he could never recover.(Roush Racing PR)(8-15-2006)
- Bowyer’s Team Garners Pit Crew Challenge Win at Watkins Glen: Clint Bowyer’s #07 pit crew garnered the Checkers / Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge win in Sunday’s Nextel Cup event at Watkins Glen International. Checkers/Rally’s will award the Jack Daniels crew with the $10,500 prize given each week to the team that spends the least amount of time on pit road. In addition, the crew that has earned the most pit crew challenge wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus. “It’s pretty exciting for the Jack Daniel’s Team to win for the second time this year, especially at Watkins Glen where we essentially pit the car backwards,” said #07 crew chief Gil Martin. “That throws a lot of teams off their game but our guys never missed a beat. Clint did a great job getting on and off pit road so this award is truly the result of a total team effort.” Bowyer’s over-the-wall team, out of the Richard Childress Racing stable, spent just 88.019 seconds on pit lane during Sunday’s AMD at The Glen. “The over-the-wall guys struggled a bit a couple weeks ago at Indianapolis so I’m really proud of them for bouncing back in a big way,” continued Martin. “Too often those guys get in trouble when something goes wrong on pit road so it’s important that they get the recognition they deserve when things go right.” Bowyer’s over-the-wall team includes: Carey Wimbish (jackman), Dail Long (front-tire carrier), Shane Westerberg (front-tire changer), Dustin Stanley (rear-tire carrier), Tommy Wallace (rear-tire changer), Ron Liddell (gasman), Clint Almquist (catch can) and Troy Welty (windshield). The team’s pit stop coordinator is Corinne Mauldin. The crews of Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson continue to lead the season-long competition with four wins each. Tony Stewart’s team is in second place with three wins.
The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The competition awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(8-15-2006)
- Lewis looking at other rides...including Cup: hearing that Ashton Lewis Jr. is talking to several Truck and Busch teams regarding 2007--and has some preliminary interest from a Cup team [no idea which one]. His current Busch team, #25 Team Rensi, would like Lewis back in 2007, if they can find a sponsor. Team Marines is leaving the team at the end of the 2006 season.(8-15-2006)
News from August 14, 2006
- Watkins Glen Overnight TV Ratings down: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's AMD at the Glen Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International earned a 4.0 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 10 market share. The rating, which was reported by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily, is 7% lower than the 4.3 NBC earned overnight last year.(SceneDaily.com), see the ratings for each race and blurbs on my TV Ratings page.(8-14-2006)
- Starr to Yates? UPDATE denied: 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)
UPDATE: David Starr looks you square in the eyes and says: He has not been offered a ride with Robert Yates Racing for next season nor has he talked to anyone at RYR. "I haven't taked to him at all," Starr said. "I don't know where a rumor like that gets started but it's not true, I have not talked to anyone connected with Robert Yates Racing."(Insider Racing)(8-14-2006)
- Results Revised NOTE 2 and UPDATED: the unofficial results that were posted originally on NBC and nascar.com [Leaderboard/and unofficial results - but they were corrected later] have been revised by NASCAR Media. #12-Newman was 9th, now is 31st; #32-Fellows was 10th, now 32nd WHY? on the last lap both ran thru the inner-loop, bypassing it without stopping and were penalized 30 seconds, dropping both to the end of the lead lap.
REVISION 2: the last 2 weeks sure are cofusing - another revision...this time:
Position Changes: No. 12 - 31st to 8th; No. 60 - 6th to 31st. -- no reason given.
OFFICIAL results will be released sometime Monday, usually sometime after 12noon/et, so the results/points could change again as is the case each week as NASCAR reviews the scoring loop feeds and video. Official Results are posted.(8-13-2006)
UPDATEs: Both #60-Boris Said and #32-Ron Fellows were denied top 10-finishes in the AMD at the Glen on Sunday after receiving 30-second penalties from NASCAR officials for an incident on the final lap of the 90-lap event. Said, who crossed the finish line in sixth after a demanding day, and Fellows, who was 10th, ended up 31st and 32nd, respectively. Both overshot the Inner Loop and were penalized for not stopping at the exit before blending back into the race. #40-Scott Pruett, who had been seventh, moved up a spot to sixth in the final results as a result of Said's misfortune [as did #38-Sadler, from 8th to 7th].(Elmira Star Gazette)
AND #12-Ryan Newman's broken motor mounts proved to be the least of his problems in a NASCAR post-race that saw him first assessed a penalty then have it lifted. Newman raced in the top three entering the closing laps of the AMD at the Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup race Sunday. With about 15 laps to go, the motor mounts broke in his car. Then he made contact with Boris Said, and both went through the inner loop. After the race, NASCAR first deemed that Newman had not stopped - as required - after the slip, and he was docked a 30-second penalty, dropping him to 31st. The call was later reversed, and the finishing order recalculated with Newman in eighth. Said, meanwhile, dropped from sixth on the initial report to, ironically, 31st in the final rundown [when assessed the penalty]."The motor was just sitting there flopping around, and the throttle was hanging on me wide open," Newman said of the final laps with his Penske Racing South Dodge. "I was using the kill switch to shut it off. That's why I dropped back those last two laps. It was hanging really bad. I had my hands full. Boris got into the back of me. I don't know what I did or what he did. It doesn't matter. I was using up a lot of the race track, and he turned me around. We kept going and finished the race." Said, running under the Front Row Motorsports [#61] banner with his #60 No Fear Racing team, was a little less understanding of the final-lap incident. "I really wanted fifth, and I was disappointed in Ryan Newman," he said. "He was running out of gas on the last lap, and it's OK to block one way, but he blocked me once and moved twice, and I got into him. I couldn't help it. I was already committed to that side, so I was disappointed in that."(SceneDaily.com)
AND II: Boris Said was originally listed sixth but was moved to 31st after a postrace video review showed NASCAR he failed to stop when he bypassed the Inner Loop during a last-lap accident. The same review moved Ryan Newman, listed originally in 31st, into eighth place.(Buffalo News)
AND III and a full Said story at Ford Racing.com......that should cover it.(8-14-2006)