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    SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2006

      News from September 17, 2006

    • Martin waiting on Roush contract for Truck ride UPDATE almost done, rookies vie for #6 gig: #6-Mark Martin said Friday that he’s still waiting for Roush Racing to give him a contract for his Craftsman Truck Series ride for next season, but until he gets it, he’s keeping his Nextel Cup options open. The only thing he knows for sure he won’t do next year is drive the Roush #6 Cup car he’s manned since 1988. And that may be the reason his NCTS deal isn’t done. Todd Kluever, the heir apparent for the #6 Roush Ford Fusion, has struggled mightily in the Busch Series this year, leading to rumors that he might not move up to that ride next year. And that, in turn, has fueled speculation that Roush would try to get Martin to stay another year in the Cup car. Nothing Martin said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway quashed those rumors. “It is my intention to drive the #6 truck (in 2007),” Martin said. “We just don’t have it done yet. … I’m not worried about it. We’ve had this planned for over a year now. They (Roush) didn’t present me with a contract a year ago because they knew they were going to talk me into driving the #6 car, I think. I think they haven’t proceeded very quickly on this truck thing this year, because they knew something else might happen. I know (Roush Racing President) Geoff Smith and I’m not saying he’s manipulative or anything like that, but he’s pretty smart.” Until the deal’s done, though, Martin hasn’t closed any doors. “I would imagine if they’d present me with a contract, I’d sign it, then that would be it,” Martin said of the Roush truck deal. “But they haven’t yet. Some details still aren’t worked out yet on it. In the meantime, there are some very interesting opportunities.”(
      UPDATE: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said he has reached a verbal agreement with Mark Martin and his sponsors for Martin to drive Roush’s #6 Truck Series entry full-time next season. Smith also said Martin’s replacement in the #6 Cup car would come from among four Roush prospects: Todd Kluever, Erik Darnell, Danny O’Quinn or David Ragan. Kluever was the anointed choice but has lost his locked-in status on the basis of a disappointing showing in the Busch Series this year. “The plan for almost two years has been to have Mark be the flagship driver for our truck program,” Smith said Sunday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. “… There were some open business issues involving a sponsor and Ford that we had to get out of the way. From Mark’s point of view, they might be getting out of the way a little slower than they should have. From my point of view, they probably got out of the way in a more typical fashion. On a handshake basis, those details are out of the way and now I have to get the paperwork done,” said Smith. “I think it’s a formality now.”
      As for the #6 AAA Cup car that Martin is vacating, Smith said, “The #6 Cup car will be driven by one of our rookies next year. That was our plan from the get-go and that plan will stay in place. The only thing that’s changed at all about the plan … is that we have more of a luxury of being able to put three more rookies in our program and make it an evaluation process involving four drivers instead of just Todd Kluever.” Smith said the winner from among the four rookies would get the Cup ride full-time. It will not rotate among the drivers. “We’ll just pick one and that will be it.” The apparent deal with Martin opens the door for the veteran to do a 10-12 race deal with another Cup team next year, perhaps with [#88] Yates' or Boris Said’s #60 Ford team.(

    • Allmendinger to Red Bull? UPDATE: Murmurs in Champ Car circles say Red Bull, which carries a personal services contract with AJ Allmendinger, might like to see the young American in Nextel Cup, where it hopes to strike big in 2007 in partnership with Toyota. With so much money and fame up for grabs in NASCAR, it has become a challenge to keep promising open-wheel drivers away from the France family circus. It could prove difficult for Owner Carl Russo and Champ Car to hold onto Allmendinger, especially if he starts winning.(Autoweek)(4-9-2006)
      UPDATE: Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger wears a Red Bull helmet as one of the drivers endorsed by the energy-drink maker, so maybe that's why Team Red Bull Competition Director Elton Sawyer was one of the first people to talk to Allmendinger on pit road after his Truck Series debut Saturday at New Hampshire. Sawyer and Team Red Bull General Manager Marty Gaunt were both in attendance as Allmendinger finished 13th in his debut after wrecking his Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra in qualifying. Could the 24-year-old Allmendinger, who has four wins in Champ Car this year in a season driving for two different teams, be Brian Vickers' teammate when Team Red Bull takes to the track next season as part of the initial Toyota Camry Nextel Cup effort? "That's a tough question," Gaunt said on whether Allmendinger could be Nextel Cup ready. "He did a hell of a job for his first time out. He finished 13th in a backup truck. He did real, real good. He wanted to try this, and when he was switching rides, he got hold of [Bill Davis] and you've got to give him a lot of credit for going out and doing what he did here today." Gaunt said TRB is still a month away from naming a driver and a possible sponsor for that car. "We still have a lot of pieces to put together," Gaunt said. "We're still looking at all the [driver] candidates that are options, It is a crucial decision, so we have to make sure to make the right one." Allmendinger, who still might return to Forsythe Championship Racing on the Champ Car circuit next year and used the NHIS event to test the NASCAR waters, plans on competing in the Oct. 8 truck race at Talladega. "Red Bull has been a great driver-sponsor/athlete sponsor of mine for the last three years," Allmendinger said Saturday. "Over this year with my success and switching to the Forsythe team, we've been able to really have a strong relationship and they [Red Bull] enjoy the atmosphere in Champ Car as well. Right now, I was just trying to see what it was like and my focus is still on the rest of the year in Champ Car and more than anything just trying to please Red Bull and win races in that."(

    • Rudd Rumors: Ricky Rudd may be waking up again from his semiretirement, or at least putting feelers out that he's getting restless sitting on the porch. Rudd hasn't been seen since he subbed for injured #20-Tony Stewart at Dover in June. But now he's lined up to test a Toyota car of tomorrow at Talladega on Oct. 9, during NASCAR's next planned test of the controversial new model. Rudd would be testing in a model for a Toyota Truck team that now fields Trucks for Jack Sprague. Rudd said he's been offered Toyota Cup rides next season, but hasn't said yes or no as of yet. And there is speculation that General Motors may want to make Rudd a Nextel Cup offer for next year, too. Already there is widespread speculation that Richard Childress may be ready to expand to a fourth Nextel Cup team. Rudd and Childress were once GM teammates.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-17-2006)

    • Harvick wins at New Hampshire: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway for his 2nd Cup win in a row, his 4th of the year and 9th of his career. Harvick also takes the Nextel Cup drivers points lead for the first time in his career. Harvick dominated the race, leading 196 of the 300 laps and is only the third driver in 24 races at NHIS to win from the pole. #20-Stewart finished 2nd, followed by #24-Gordon, #11-Hamlin, #25-Vickers. The rest of the top-10 were #19-Sadler in 6th then #31-Burton, #18-Yeley, #22-Blaney [two top-10's in a row] and #17-Kenseth. Two Chasers had problems, #48-Johnson has engine problems early after starting 7th, then got caught in a wreck and finished 39th. #5-Busch got involved in an early accident with #66-Green, then got back on the lead lap, fell off the lead lap again when #07-Bowyer got loose and into the #5 which spun and smacked the wall, finishing just ahead of Johnson, 38th. There were 10 leaders with 27 lead changes and 10 cautions for 47 laps.
      Race Results on my New Hampshire Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after New Hampshire page
      Race Rundown: see my New Hampshire Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(9-17-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after New Hampshire [27 of 36 races]:
      #29-Kevin Harvick 5230
      #11-Denny Hamlin 5195 -35
      #17-Matt Kenseth 5189 -41
      #24-Jeff Gordon 5180 -50
      #31-Jeff Burton 5166 -64
      #6-Mark Martin 5155 -75
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5149 -81
      #9-Kasey Kahne 5120 -110
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 5091 -139
      #5-Kyle Busch 5084 -146
      and fighting for 11th
      #20-Tony Stewart in 11th
      #16-Greg Biffle -313
      #99-Carl Edwards -353
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.
      The CLASSIC/OLD way:
      1) #17-Matt Kenseth 3924
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3774 -150
      31) #29-Kevin Harvick 3671 -253
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin 3513 -411
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon 3491 -433
      6) #20-Tony Stewart 3473 -451(2 wins)
      7) #5-Kyle Busch 3473 -451 (1 win)
      8) #31-Jeff Burton 3473 -451
      9) #6-Mark Martin 3471 -453
      10) #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3462 -464
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne 3434 -490

      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
      #5 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 3
      #01 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 29
      #22 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 97
      #21 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 193
      #61 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 200
      #21 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 200
      #21 TE Speeding exiting pit road Lap 200
      #01 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 209
      #10 TE Pitting before pit road is open Lap 265
      #96 PT Jumping the restart Lap 270
      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 Statistical Services)(9-17-2006)

    • New Hampshire Race Notes:
      • Kevin Harvick won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, scoring his ninth Nextel Cup victory in his 205th career start.
      • Harvick has posted victories in three of the last six races, also winning at Watkins Glen and Richmond. This is his fourth victory in 2006. Harvick won at Phoenix earlier this season.
      • Harvick extended a 39-race streak of running at the finish that began at California in 2005, the longest current streak.
      • Harvick won the $60,000 Nextel Leader Bonus for winning the race and leading the points at the end of the event.
      • Harvick moved into 56th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list.
      • Harvick’s victory today was the 16th Chevrolet victory in 27 races in 2006. That victory clinched the 2006 Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet - the 30th time that they have won the Manufacturers’ Championship, including each of the last four years.
      • Harvick has scored 11 straight top-15 finishes, extending a streak that began at Daytona in July.
      • Harvick became the fifth different race winner in the last five races at New Hampshire International Speedway.
      • Harvick scored his first victory in 12 races at New Hampshire International Speedway and sixth victory in 159 races on a superspeedway.
      • Harvick won the race from the Bud Pole, the third time in 24 Nextel Cup races at New Hampshire that a driver won from the pole. This marked the sixth time in 2006 that a race was won from the Bud Pole.
      • Harvick scored his third straight top-10 finish at New Hampshire International Speedway.
      • Harvick climbed from third to first in the point standings, 35 points ahead of second-place Denny Hamlin This is the first time that Harvick has been the point leader in his 205-race career.
      • Harvick led the most laps for the second time in 2006. Harvick also led the most at first Richmond.
      • Race winner Harvick led seven times for 196 laps including the final 84 laps.
      • This is team owner Richard Chidress’ 81st Nextel Cup victory and his second at New Hampshire International Speedway. His other victory here was by Robby Gordon in November 2001.
      Notebook Items
      • Tony Stewart (second) scored his 15th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 10th top-10 finish in 16 races at New Hampshire. Stewart remained 11th in the point standings with a 313-point lead over 12th-place Greg Biffle This is the first year that Stewart will not finish among the top-10 since his first full-time season in 1999. Stewart missed The Chase by 16 points. He is chasing the $1 million bonus for finishing 11th in the final point standings. Jeff Gordon finished 11th in 2005 and Jamie McMurray finished 11th in 2004, the inaugural year of the Chase.
      • Jeff Gordon (third) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2006 and his 13th top-10 finish in 24 races at New Hampshire. • Denny Hamlin (fourth) scored his 14th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his second top-10 finish in two races at New Hampshire International Speedway. It was his 10th straight top-15 finish.
      • Hamlin was the highest finishing rookie for the 14th time in 2006.
      • Brian Vickers (fifth) scored his first top-10 finish in his last seven races and his sixth top-10 finish in 2006. It was his first top-10 finish in six races at New Hampshire International Speedway.
      • At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 27 races this season.
      • Elliott Sadler (sixth) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2006 and his fourth in 16 races at New Hampshire.
      • Jeff Burton (seventh) scored his 16th top-10 finish in 2006 and his 11th top-10 finish in 24 races at New Hampshire.
      • Dave Blaney (ninth) scored his second top-10 finish in 2006, both in the last two races.
      • Jimmie Johnson (39th today) dropped from second to ninth in the point standings. He has been ranked among the top 10 for 96 consecutive races. Johnson has been running at the finish in all 27 races in 2006.
      The Chase Divers
      • Race #27 at New Hampshire marked the first of the 10 races in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup. Five of the 10 Chase drivers finished in the top 10. All 10 of The Chase drivers changed points positions at New Hampshire.
      • Kevin Harvick climbed from third to first in the point standings. Harvick is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time. He is one of five “first-timers” to compete in The Chase.
      • Harvick’s 35 point lead over second-place Denny Hamlin is the biggest point lead after Race #1 in the threeyear history of The Chase.
      • Denny Hamlin climbed from fifth to second in the point standings. Hamlin is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time. He is the first Raybestos rookie contender to compete in The Chase.
      • Matt Kenseth dropped from first to third in the point standings. He is now 41 points behind point leader Harvick. Kenseth is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for the third straight year. He is one of just three drivers to do so. Kenseth finished eighth in 2004 and seventh in 2005
      • Jeff Gordon climbed from ninth to fourth in the point standings. Gordon is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for the second time in three years. He is one of just two drivers that have competed in two of the three. Gordon finished third in 2004 and 11th in the 2005 final standings.
      • Jeff Burton climbed from eighth to fifth in the point standings. Burton is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time.
      • Mark Martin climbed from seventh to sixth in the point standings. Martin is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for the third straight year. He is one of just three drivers to do so. Martin finished fourth in 2004 and 2005.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr., dropped from sixth to seventh in the point standings. Earnhardt Jr. is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for the second time in three years. He is one of just two drivers that have competed in two of the three. Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth in 2004 and 19th in the 2005 final standings.
      • Kasey Kahne climbed from 10th to eighth in the point standings. Kahne is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time.
      • Jimmie Johnson dropped from second to ninth in the point standings. Johnson is competing in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup for the third straight year. Johnson finished second in 2004 and fifth in 2005.
      • Kyle Busch dropped from fourth to 10th in the point standings. He is one of five “first-timers” to compete in The Chase.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-17-2006)

    • Interesting Stat - only one Birthday winner: Cale Yarborough is the only Cup driver to ever win a points paying race on his birthday, which is March 27. In 1977 at North Wilksboro Speedway and 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NOTE, since much email was first recieved with guess's, a few items were covered and checked: Richard Petty never won on his birthday [July 2nd] [in Cup] and neither did Jeff Gordon [August 4th]. In fact, the Brickyard 400 has only been held on Gordon's birthday once, in 2002, when Bill Elliott won. Gordon's first Brickyard 400 came on August 6, 1994.(8-6-2004)
      WHY do I mention this? #48-Jimmie Johnson turned 31 today and had a shot as Johnson started 7th, but had trouble from the start, wrecked and will not win, so the 'record' will stand.(9-16/17-2006)

      News from September 16, 2006

    • NASCAR Sticking to decision on Grubb Suspension: Although Kevin Grubb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he does not recall being asked to submit to a drug test after his crash at Richmond last week, a NASCAR spokesman says series officials remain firm about his suspension. NASCAR suspended Grubb indefinitely after he refused to submit to a drug test. NASCAR suspended Grubb in 2004 for violating the series' substance abuse policy. Part of his reinstatement earlier this year was that he had to take random drug tests. Grubb told the Times-Dispatch he was "foggy'' after his accident last week and that he doesn't "remember most of being at the track.'' Asked if Grubb's comments might change NASCAR's stance, spokesperson Kerry Tharp said: "NASCAR made multiple requests for him to submit to a test and we're comfortable on our position with that.''(Roanoke Times), see more on the Busch Series site.(9-16-2006)

    • Robby hopes to expand to 2-car team in 2007..with Ford? #7-Robby Gordon, who had been trying to arrange a merger with Robert Yates Racing in recent weeks, has changed his strategy for 2007. He's now working to build his own multicar team. And that team could be using Fords, not his current make, Chevrolet. "I'm done talking to other teams. [They] just don't have an interest, to be honest with you," Gordon said Friday. "We're going to keep our own little program, and we're going to build it." Gordon says talking about the merger detracted from his team's efforts. "We talked a lot with Yates, obviously, and once that didn't happen, I'm going to say it put us behind, by spending our time and effort to do that," Gordon said. "We should have put our time and effort into our own stuff." Gordon says he's had serious discussions about adding a second team. He's confident he'll land a deal to run a limited schedule. Who that driver might be is up to the sponsor, Gordon said. When asked specifically about which way he was leaning in terms of a manufacturer for next year, Gordon declined comment.(Scene

    • Lester hopes to run Cup in 2007: Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester's plans for next year are uncertain, but he remains optimistic about finding sponsorship to run in the Nextel Cup Series. Lester said running a part-time Nextel Cup schedule could be a possibility rather than a full-time return to the truck series. "It's still up in the air, but we're hoping to see what shakes out," he said. "The biggest thing is communicating that we need support." Lester is the only African-American competing in NASCAR's top three touring series. He has made two Cup starts this season, qualifying 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March as the first black driver in NASCAR's premier series in nearly 20 years.(USA Today)(9-16-2006)

    • Still no word on MWR's #00 driver: David Reutimann met with Burger King executives Tuesday but says he has no idea if he will drive the #00 Burger King/Domino's Pizza Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing in the Nextel Cup Series in 2007. "The meeting seemed to go well," Reutimann said Friday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. "It's really hard to tell. I kind of find myself leaving these meetings probably knowing less than I did when I went. There are some decisions to be made by the higher powers, and I am not in on that decision-making process." Reutimann, third in the Truck Series standings driving for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, already knows he will run full time in the Busch Series next year for Michael Waltrip. All he is waiting for is word whether he will run any Nextel Cup races as part of the first year of the Toyota Camry program.(

    • NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver Award up to 2 Million Votes: The two millionth vote was cast this week as race fans logged onto to support their favorite driver in the race for the coveted NASCAR NMPA Chex® Most Popular Driver award. This milestone is the halfway point to topping last year's total of 4 million votes. The current list of top-ten drivers in no particular order includes Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr.[bet he is the leader], Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip. Competition is still in high gear since some of these drivers are separated by only 500 votes. Race fans are encouraged to make their vote count and get their driver in the running by logging on to the Chex Most Popular Driver Website once a day, each day, through Monday, November 20, 2006 at 11:59am/ct. The award has been given annually since 1956 and the top winner of the competition is Bill Elliott with 16 total wins and "The King" Richard Petty follows in second with nine. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has three consecutive wins in the voting competition, with his most recent win coming in 2005. General Mills began sponsoring the award in 2002 and since then more votes have been received than ever before in the history of the award. With this latest landmark, 15.5 million total votes have been received.(Elevation / General Mills PR)(9-16-2006)

    • The Hat Man appears: this Sunday [Sept 17th] on Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain has two special guests, Ed Hinton of the Orlando Sentinel/Chicago Tribune, who always has some fun opinions will co-host the show....and one of the most often asked questions I get: "What Happened to the Hat Man?", well Dave will be talking to Bill "Hat Man" Brodrick (former Unocal NASCAR Rep.). Wind Tunnel airs live on Sunday at 9:00pm/et [with re-airs Monday at 12:00am/et and 10:00am/et].(9-16-2006)

    • Track Walk to Benefit Irwin and Petty Camps: The NASCAR Foundation will host the Track Walk at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday, Spet. 16th in celebration and honor of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr.[both died at NHIS in 2000]. The walk will raise awareness with funds to benefit the charitable initiatives supported by the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Kenny Irwin Jr. Foundation. More info on my Racing Charities Page.(9-16-2006)

      News from September 15, 2006

    • Peters to RCR? Dodge released Timothy Peters as driver of the Craftsman Series #4 truck, Bobby Hamilton Racing announced Tuesday. However, Peters shouldn’t be without a ride for long. After racing for two seasons with Bobby Hamilton Racing, Peters is expected to sign with Richard Childress Racing as early as this weekend in New Hampshire. Phone messages left with Richard Childress Racing were not immediately returned, and Peters said he couldn’t comment on his future. “I’m not at liberty to say anything,” he said. In 17 Truck Series races this season, Peters has one top-10 finish - placing sixth on June 23 at Milwaukee. He has three career top-10 finishes in 33 Truck Series starts, and is currently 19th in the points standings. “We brought Timothy Peters in as a rookie, and with some seat time under his belt he has proven to be a hot commodity,” team owner Bobby Hamilton said in a release. A potential deal with RCR would join Peters with Danville native Peyton Sellers, who is in RCR’s development program, and South Boston native Jeff Burton. For now the plan is to team back up with his Bailey’s South Boston team for the Bailey’s 300 late model race at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 1.(Danville Register Bee)(9-15-2006)

    • Harvick wins pole at New Hampshire: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Pole for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a speed of 132.282mph for his 1st pole of 2006, 1st since Richmond last Sept. and 5th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #24-Jeff Gordon, #2-Kurt Busch, #12-Ryan Newman and #11-Denny Hamlin are the top-5, rounding out the top-10 are #40-Stremme, #48-Johnson, #16-Biffle, #7-Gordon and #21-Schrader [1st top 10 start of the season]. #8-Earnhardt Jr. qualified 13th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #45-Petty, #32-Kvapil, #55-Waltrip, #61-Chaffin, #4-Wimmer, #49-Lepage, #89-Shepherd and #27-Christopher. Missing the race were: #30-Barrett, #34-Blount, #46-Long, #74-Cope and #78-Wallace. The fastest 43 drivers made the race and #61-Chaffin made the race in a backup with no laps on the car and just beating the 5 minute clock as the final driver to go out and make an attempt. See the qualifying results, starting lineup and more on the New Hampshire Qualifying/Grid Page.(9-15-2006)

    • Where do the Chase drivers start at NHIS?
      #17-Kenseth starts 25th
      #48-Johnson 7th
      #29-Harvick, 1st on the pole
      #5-Busch 16th
      #11-Hamlin 5th
      #8-Earnhardt Jr. 13th
      #6-Martin 26th
      #31-Burton 22nd
      #24-Gordon 2nd
      #9-Kahne 33rd

    • New Hampshire Qualifying Notes:
      • Kevin Harvick won the Nextel Cup Series Bud Pole for the Sylvania 300, lapping New Hampshire International Speedway in 28.793 seconds at 132.282 mph. Ryan Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 28.561 seconds, 133.357 mph - set Sept. 12, 2003.
      • This is Harvick’s fifth career Bud Pole in 205 Nextel Cup Series races.
      • This is his first Bud Pole and 11th top-10 start this season. He became the 12th different Bud Pole winner in 2006.
      • This is his first Bud Pole at New Hampshire. He became the 12th different Bud Pole winner here. Harvick has started from the top-10 in five of his 12 races at New Hampshire.
      • Kurt Busch (five), Kasey Kahne (four), Jeff Burton (four), Greg Biffle (two), Denny Hamlin (three) and Ryan Newman (two) are the multiple Bud Pole winners this season.
      • Jeff Gordon posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.909 seconds, 131.751 mph – and will join Harvick on the front row for the Sylvania 300. Gordon posted his 14th top-10 start in 24 races at New Hampshire. This is Gordon’s 10th front-row start here.
      • This is the 10th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has 12 Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
      • Kurt Busch (third) posted his Series-leading 19th top-10 start of 2006. It is also his career-best among his six top-10 starts in 12 races at New Hampshire.
      • Ryan Newman (fourth) has posted 12 top-10 starts this season and eight in 10 races at New Hampshire. This is his sixth top-five start here.
      • Denny Hamlin (fifth) and David Stremme (sixth) put multiple rookies in the top-10 starters for the 13th time this season. Hamlin started 12th and finished sixth in July - his career-first start at New Hampshire. Stremme started 22nd and finished 11th in July - his career-first start here.
      • Ken Schrader (10th) posted his season-best start and his best since he started seventh at Bristol in August 2005. This is the best start for the Wood Brothers since Ricky Rudd started second at Martinsville last October.
      • Four of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Harvick, Gordon, Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson (seventh).
      • Kyle Petty (27th) was the fastest of the drivers that were required to qualify in time.
      • Ted Christopher (43rd) made the field for his sixth Nextel Cup race and his first since this race last season. Five of his six races have been at New Hampshire. Christopher will become the 71st different driver to compete on the Nextel Cup circuit this season.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-15-2006)

    • Elliott back to roots; no word on 2007 plans yet: Bill Elliott is going back to his roots this weekend, racing his own car at the track where he learned to drive race cars. Elliott will run his Late Model car in the feature event at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, where he once was a regular competitor. "That place has a lot of history for me," Elliott said. "I've been going there since the early '70s." Elliott last raced at Dixie in 1991. As in his early years, Elliott will be racing on Saturday with an engine prepared by his brother, Ernie Elliott. His new car was taken for a shake-down run on Thursday by dirt racing veteran Ray Cook. "I think it'll be competitive," Elliott said. Elliott's 2007 NASCAR plans are uncertain. He's weighing several offers and expects to decide soon.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-15-2006)

    • Stremme's spotter featured in book: Mike Calinoff, who is the spotter for Nextel Cup driver #40-David Stremme, is one of the main characters in the opening chapter of recently released, "Book of Fate", by best-selling author Brad Meltzer. Calinoff, who helped Meltzer research President Bush's 2004 visit to the Daytona 500, is depicted as a retired NASCAR driver who accompanies the President in the motorcade. The "Book of Fate" logo also appeared on the FitzBradshaw #12 in the Busch Series race at Richmond. Read Chapter 1 at

    • Chevy holds their own 'Gong Show" At Caraway Speedway this week, General Motors officials set up cars in Chevy's version of the"Gong Show" [Rosuh Racing does it years running drivers to run a Truck team]. Drivers ran in a Ron Hornaday-prepared Busch car. Two days of testing at Caraway, with a platoon of engineers from Richard Childress' operation, under the watchful eyes of GM racing execs Pat Suhy and Alba Colon, then the group will go next month to a Georgia dirt track and then to Nashville's high-banked concrete track. The drivers being tested are: Jeff Earnhardt [Dale Sr's grandson via Kerry], Joey Logano, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Colin Braun, Chase Austin, Landon Cassill, Jeremy Clements, Marc Davis, Jay Gerst, Drew Herring, Woody Howard, Tim McCreadie, Chad McCumbee, Josh Richards, Jason Sarvis and Kody Swanson. One of last year's diversity drivers, Allison Duncan, is running this year for Childress at the same Virginia track at which Jeff Earnhardt is running. But there's no word yet on whether Childress plans to move Duncan up next season. Car owners Childress and Rick Hendrick were the most visible in this round of testing, but Kevin Harvick, who has his own NASCAR teams in addition to his day job with Childress on the Nextel Cup tour, is expected to have some input, too, along with several other Chevy teams.(in part from/see full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(9-15-2006)

    • New Hampshire Goodyear Tire Notes: Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck teams will run the same tire codes this weekend at NHIS, though the Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle" while the Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought to New Hampshire for the Nextel Cup Series earlier this season . . . Cup teams also ran this tire set-up last weekend at Richmond . . . this is Goodyear's intermediate tire set-up, and will be run on both Nextel Cup cars and Craftsman Trucks at Phoenix in 2006 . . . this combination has also been run by Truck Series teams at Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Mansfield, Memphis and Milwaukee this year . . . as on most NASCAR one-mile ovals, teams will not run liners in their tires at New Hampshire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 90-95 laps, based on fuel mileage (Nextel Cup)(Goodyear PR), for the full notes, tire pressures, codes and more, see the New Hampshire Race Info / Rundown Page.(9-15-2006)

    • Dover to be televised in Canada: The Dover 400, not initially scheduled to air in Canada, will now be shown in its entirety on TSN's dedicated High Definition channel, TSN HD, on Sunday, September 24 at 12:30pm/et. Bell ExpressVu will also provide the network broadcast with full commentary and analysis on Channel 440, as well as a free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 441-446. Rogers Cable Television will offer its free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 446-452. Subscribers can tune in to channels 1, 85 and 445 for digital coverage of the race and channel 59 for analog coverage. Rogers Television will also provide High Definition coverage of the race on channel 483.(

      News from September 14, 2006

    • Mayfield could run #15 Truck at Atlanta UPDATE at Vegas: on Speed Channel's Inside Nextel Cup Monday, Jeremy Mayfield was interviewed and said he was talking to the #15 Billy Ballew Racing Truck Series team about possibly running a truck at Atlanta for the team in October. Mayfield said he also expects to test for Bill Davis Racing and Toyota for the rest of the season.(Speed Channel's Inside Nextel Cup)(9-6-2006)
      UPDATE: Jeremy Mayfield will get a leg up on the competition before the 2007 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on Las Vegas Motor Speedway's new high banks. Mayfield, who has run every Nextel Cup race held at LVMS, will compete in the Smith's Las Vegas 350 Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday, Sept. 23. It will be the first race held at the speedway since the banking in the turns was raised from 12 to 20 degrees and the pit road was moved 275 feet closer to the grandstands. Mayfield will drive the #15 Chevy for Billy Ballew. Ballew is no stranger to Victory Lane in the Truck Series or at LVMS. Shane Hmiel won the 2004 Smith's Las Vegas 350 driving for Ballew and Las Vegas' Kyle Busch has won four races in the past two years for Ballew. Tickets for the Smith's Las Vegas 350 are on sale by calling the speedway at 1-800-644-4444 or logging on to PR)(9-14-2006)

    • Partners buy into Arrington: Pendergast Partnership LLC has bought 75% of Arrington Manufacturing, according to Joey Arrington, president. The deal was completed Aug. 25, said Alan Armstrong, one of five partners with Pendergast of Rowayton, Conn. Armstrong was at the Arrington plant at the Patriot Centre industrial park on Wednesday. Arrington will remain as chief executive officer, and no changes among the company's 25 employees are planned, Armstrong said. Arrington makes racing engines for Dodge cars in NASCAR's Busch and Craftsman Truck series vehicles, Armstrong said. Armstrong said Pendergast "heard about them (Arrington) and approached them" about the purchase. He would not release financial details of the deal. Joey Arrington previously denied that the company was for sale. "I was mad," he said Wednesday of the denial. "The rumor got started before I was ready to talk about" the impending sale. Arrington also said he believes that "loose lips sink ships," and that was another reason for his response. Arrington said a press release that will be available today would explain the transaction more completely.(Martinsville Bulletin - one day link)(9-14-2006)

    • Wyler Racing to test COT at Talladega with Rudd driving: Wyler Racing, who curently field a Truck Team for driver Jack Sprgaue, announced that it will take part in NASCAR’s “Car Of Tomorrow” test session at Talladega Superspeedway on October 9th. Behind the wheel of their Toyota Camry will be veteran NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd. “We are very excited about this opportunity,” said team owner Jeff Wyler. “We feel this is the perfect time to expand our organization. We bring tremendous value to the table for potential sponsors especially with Toyota entering into the NEXTEL Cup Series and with the personnel we have assembled.”
      “I’m really excited about getting the opportunity to test the Toyota Camry COT for Wyler Racing and Toyota,” said Rudd. “This will be my first time testing the COT so I’m really looking forward to the test and giving as much feedback to the team as possible.” For Wyler Racing, the test is a chance for the young team to assist Toyota and glimpse at what the future could hold. Although testing a NEXTEL Cup car, Wyler Racing is firmly committed to its NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series effort. “While we are excited about the Cup opportunity, the focus remains on the #60 Con-way Freight Toyota and helping Jack Sprague to win his fourth Series championship," stated team president David Wyler.(Wyler Racing PR)(9-14-2006)

    • NASCAR Drivers to Perform Top Ten List Wed on Letterman UPDATE: The 10 NASCAR drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup -- Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin -- will present a special Top Ten List on The Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, Sept 13th, the show is broadcast weeknights (11:35pm-12:37am/et/pt) on the CBS Television Network.(NASCAR PR)(9-12-2006)
      UPDATE - The List:
      The Subject: Things Never Before Said by a NASCAR Driver:
      10) Kasey Kahne: "Anyone Know How to Drive a Stick"
      9) Jeff Gordon: "Does this gas taste funny to you"
      8) Jeff Burton: "I don't care much for country music or beer"
      7) Mark Martin: "Switch the "R" and "C" in 'Racing and you get 'Caring'
      6) Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "Wow, Letterman Looks so young in person"
      5) Denny Hamlin: "Your're looking at a guy who ca driver 500 miles without taking a Leak"
      4) Kyle Busch: "A Truely Great Driver doesn't mind asking for directions, am I right, Ladies?"
      3) Kevin Harvick: "It would be nice if the guys in the pits occasionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something"
      2) Jimmie Johnson: "The Nextel Cup is great, but what I'm really excited for is The Late Show ventriloquist week"
      1) Matt Kenseth: "If You think I'm fast in my car, you should see me in the bedroom"
      (from watching the Late Show with David Letterman)(9-14-2006)

    • NASCAR Stamps available: NASCAR fans and collectors looking to support their favorite drivers can now do so in a way previously unavailable - by mailing it in. Backed by a lineup of impressive cars and drivers, Xpress It Postage introduces the first-ever United States postage officially licensed by the individual race teams and drivers, featuring cars and drivers on First Class and Postcard postage. Xpress It Postage's lineup features the first-ever, actual U.S. Postage to be released featuring an official racing stock car. The inaugural release, a 39-cent First Class offering, depicts the historic #3 Richard Childress Racing, GM Goodwrench Chevy. The postage is being made available in sheets of 10, and as part of two limited edition cachet envelopes. Non-cancelled cachets will also be available. Other 39-cent postage includes the #24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevy, the #9 Kasey Kahne Dodge and the #48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevry and more. Gordon is also the subject of the first 24-cent postcard postage, playing off his car number. Releases will eventually be available in both 39-cent and 24-cent denominations. Future Xpress It Postage releases will feature the work of artist Garry Hill, of Garry Hill Automotive Fine Art, the Art of History. All postage releases will be available for a limited time only and some will be produced in limited quantities. The cachet envelopes will be limited to the number cancelled on the release date. Xpress It Postage will produce and release postage of new drivers and cars every few weeks. A Release Calendar is available at The postage is produced by Endicia, an authorized vendor of the U.S. Postal Service.(PR)(9-14-2006)

    • NASCAR considering giving more points to race winners: When Kasey Kahne came perilously close to not making the Chase For The Nextel Cup despite a series-high five victories, the debate raged during the Richmond race weekend on how a win should affect determining the Chase field. The question: Whether the driver with the most wins in a season might qualify as a wild card or whether a win should be worth more points in general. NASCAR is considering adding more points for a win. The sanctioning body increased the points margin between first and second place from five to 10 points in 2004 when it instituted the Chase format. "We're looking at what effect it would make to award more points," NASCAR Managing Director of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston said Sept. 9. "But at this point, nothing is done. It is important for us to get through this season so we have three full seasons to look back on." Two drivers - Jeff Burton and Mark Martin - made the Chase without a win, while Tony Stewart (two wins) and Greg Biffle (one win) are 11th and 12th, respectively, in points and out of Chase contention. Burton noted that the point system does not reward a team for winning as much as it penalizes a team for performing poorly. "That is something nobody really puts any emphasis on, the penalty for doing poorly," Burton said. "If you have a terrible, terrible race, that is a huge penalty that you pay."(in part from

    • Lucky Dog Pass Stats: so far in 2006, after 26 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, #14-Sterlin Marlin and #40-David Stremme [24 races run] are the leaders with 8 lucky dog passes used. 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.(9-14-2006)

    • Schrader's Team Grabs Pit Crew Win in Richmond: #21-Ken Schrader's pit crew claimed the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win in Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400, becoming the 13th Nextel Cup team of the season to capture the weekly competition. The pit crew win, which helped lift Schrader to a season-best seventh-place finish, was the result of the #21 U.S. Air Force/Little Debbie/Motorcraft Ford Fusion spending the least amount of time on Richmond International Raceway's pit road - 418.964 seconds. "They've been solid all year," said Schrader of the #21 pit crew. "Enthusiasm is a very infectious disease. The better the car has been running the better they've been in getting us in and out of the pits. I'm glad this happened because they certainly deserve to be recognized." Schrader's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Brandon Pegram (front-tire carrier), Mike "Andretti" Smith (front-tire changer), Dwayne Doucette (rear-tire carrier), Chris McMullen (rear-tire changer), Jimmy Watts (gasman), James Rhoades (catch can) and Mike Hartman (eighth man). The pit crew coach is Gary Smith and crew chief is Michael "Fatback" McSwain. 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)(9-14-2006)

    • New Hampshire Rookie Notes: #11-Denny Hamlin finished 15th in the September 9 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway to clinch a spot in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Hamlin is the first Raybestos Rookie to qualify for the Chase. He is fifth in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings, 20 points behind leader #17-Matt Kenseth. #11-Hamlin led the Richmond race once for 19 laps, the only Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in the event. #07-Clint Bowyer was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at Richmond, scoring a 12th-place finish. He took top rookie honors for the sixth time this season. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top 15 in all 26 races this season. #48-Jimmie Johnson owns the best points finish by a Raybestos Rookie, placing fifth in the championship standings in 2002. Hamlin leads Bowyer by 44 points (251-207) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 17 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.(Raybestos PR), See standings, history, more notes on the 2006 Rookies page.(9-14-2006)

    • Labonte Races for Books: For every lap #43-Bobby Labonte completes from now until the end of the season Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will donate 43 books per lap, which will be distributed to children in need, through nonprofit partner First Book. If Labonte completes every lap, a total of more than 135,000 books will be donated through Spoonfuls of Stories.(Petty Racing PR)(9-14-2006)

    • NASCAR Personal/Drivers Jumping on Thursday: Carl Edwards, Joe Nemechek, Jack Roush and members of the Nextel Cup #99 team will experience a different kind of speed as they participate in once-in-a-lifetime jumps with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, "The Golden Knights" on Thursday, September 14th. Each jumper will freefall at more than 100 m.p.h. while tethered to a member of the Golden Knights before opening their chutes and flying safely to the ground at Maxton Airport, Laurinburg, NC.. The Golden Knights, based at nearby Fort Bragg, N.C., annually perform more than 27,000 jumps before an estimated 12 million people.(PR)(9-14-2006)

      News from September 13, 2006

    • Get Well: Bob Tomlinson, a fixture in the NASCAR garage [Team Mgr for Cale Yarborough, worked for Eel River Racing] since the early 1970's, is losing his battle with cancer. Tomlinson is known to owners, drivers, NASCAR Officials, and the crews alike. Tomlinson is doing a stint at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem and staying at Hawthorne Inn, 420 High St - rm 227, Winston Salem NC 27101.(9-13-2006)

    • Ganassi waiting on Montoya: Chip Ganassi Racing officials are still waiting anxiously for Juan Pablo Montoya to get in one of their race cars, according to this week's NASCAR Scene. Montoya still has not gotten out of his Formula One contract. He was replaced after announcing in July that he will drive the #42 Ganassi Dodge in Nextel Cup Series beginning next season but is not allowed to even test a Cup car until the F1 season ends Oct. 22. Once he is allowed to test, Montoya could possibly race in Busch and Nextel Cup before the 2006 season ends, Ganassi Managing Director John Fernandez said Sept. 9. After the F1 season ends, there are four race weekends where Montoya could race: Atlanta (Cup) and Memphis (Busch) Oct. 28-29; Texas Nov. 4-5; Phoenix Nov. 11-12; and Homestead Nov. 18-19. If Montoya were to become available earlier, Fernandez said he would entertain running him in ARCA races Oct. 6 at Talladega and Oct. 15 at Iowa Speedway. Which races Montoya will do depends on how he feels during the tests. "We want to make sure that he's ready, so we want to make sure that he progresses at the rate he wants to progress at," Fernandez said. "He's a veteran driver, and he will tell us when he is ready to step up from ARCA to Busch and Busch to Cup." Fernandez said pulling Casey Mears out of the #42 car early for Montoya is unlikely. Mears is headed to [#25] Hendrick Motorsports next year. "We would probably run a fourth team," Fernandez said. "Casey has done a great job for us. We're hoping to get him a win before he leaves."(

    • Speaking of Montoya....Congrats: Juan Pablo Montoya became a father for the second time this morning. Montoya's wife Connie gave birth to their second child, Paulina, in Miami. Paulina was born in Florida at around 9:00am, and both mother and daughter are reported to be in good health and spirits. Montoya, who has spent time between the US and Colombia since he left the McLaren team, became a father for the first time in April last year, to son Sebastien.(

    • Hornish to test Busch/ARCA cars for Penske? maybe not..yet: [see past news on the #77 Team News & Links page] - [Sam] Hornish said he has yet to discuss with Team Penske plans for testing ARCA or Busch Series cars this fall. But he sounded very much committed to open-wheel racing. "I still want to win some more (Indianapolis) 500s," he said. "That's the big thing. I've still got three more to go to get anywhere near (four-time winner) Rick Mears." Hornish leads the IRL in all-time wins (18) and is the only multiple champion. He implied that testing or racing stock cars would be done to complement his open-wheel career. "Right now we're focused on IndyCar stuff. We want to continue doing that throughout the year," he said. "We ... have not had much of an opportunity to sit down and figure out what our plan is. With the IndyCar series being consolidated down into a short amount of months and having the opportunity where I could probably run 10-12 races whether they be ARCA or Busch or whatever in my free time, it gives me the opportunity to have a little bit more practice time."(St Petersburg Times)(9-13-2006)

    • Grubb suspended indefinitely UPDATE: NASCAR announced today that Busch Series driver Kevin Grubb has been suspended indefinitely, after failing to comply with the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. Grubb, 28, driver of the #56 Chevy, was suspended after violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-E (failure to comply with substance abuse policy: refusal to submit to required testing) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book. This is the second time Grubb has been suspended indefinitely. The first suspension was in March 2004, after Grubb tested positive for banned substances. Grubb was reinstated on June 7 of this year. He has since participated in five NASCAR Busch Series events. The reinstatement required Grubb to comply with the stipulations of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, which include periodic testing.(NASCAR PR)(9-12-2006)
      UPDATE: Grubb was punished for refusing to take a drug test after an accident ended his run in the Emerson Radio 250 on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. Grubb was suspended indefinitely in March 2004 for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. He was reinstated June 7 with the understanding he would submit to periodic drug testing. Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications, said several attempts were made to persuade Grubb to submit to a test Friday night. "He was on a program where he agreed to be tested at any time," Hunter said. "He, for whatever reason, refused to be tested." Hunter said doctors and "medical liaisons" were involved. Grubb said the force of the accident, which came on Lap 2 in the Busch Series race, made things "foggy" shortly thereafter. He was treated and released from the infield care center after the crash. "I don't remember most of being at the track," Grubb said. "I had people pulling me in 20 different directions. I ended up leaving, from what I understand." Grubb said he woke up Sunday morning, still feeling "terrible" and unable to remember what day it was. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion. "I'm guessing that explains me acting crazy at the track," Grubb said. "I didn't know what was going on."
      Grubb said he called NASCAR officials Monday morning when he heard of the suspension. He was directed to talk to Dr. David L. Black, who is in charge of NASCAR's substance-abuse program. He set up the program for reinstatement that Grubb was on, and will be the person to set up a program if he were to try to be reinstated again. "Kevin was reinstated based on the recommendation of Dr. Black," Hunter said. "The reason he needs to talk to Dr. Black is that if he hopes to be reinstated again, then he needs to talk to him." Grubb said he has called Black several times but has yet to receive a return call. A call to Dr. Black's office late yesterday afternoon was not returned by press time. Grubb said he still is feeling the aftereffects, sleeping a lot and feeling "pretty foggy." He says he's confident he and NASCAR will come to an agreement, and reiterates he didn't suffer a relapse. He says he's fine with officials observing him or testing him as often as necessary. "I've been clean the whole time," Grubb said. "The next day, once I found out all the things that happened, I offered to take it. I'm ready to put the ball in action. I'm sure we'll get something situated out of that. I worked very hard to get my life back to where it was. I don't see it being thrown away in one night."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-13-2006)

    • Former Team Owner Donlavey Draws a Crowd at RIR: Few people in motorsports are as popular, respected and gracious as Junie Donlavey. The Richmond, Va., native fielded [#90] Ford-based cars in NASCAR’s top division for more than 50 years, dating to the old Daytona Beach highway/beach course, and the first Southern 500, Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. His list of drivers includes many of stock car racing’s top-50, several of them in most meaningful halls of fame. But the sport began passing him by in the mid-90s and left him in its dust in recent years. He had neither the finances, nor the personnel nor the business connections to keep up with the mega-teams that seemed to have unlimited funds. Despite not fielding cars since 2002 and keeping only two employees on the payroll, Donlavey’s presence in the garage at Richmond on Saturday attracted a throng of drivers, crewmen, officials and fans. “This is what I miss the most,” said Donlavey, whose only Cup victory in 863 starts came with Jody Ridley at Dover in 1981. “I miss the people and the friendships and the story-telling you can only get in racing, Oh, I’ve still got eight or nine cars in my shop [across town from RIR], but I’ve sold a bunch of them, too. I’ve got people coming to see them all the time, from ARCA and NASCAR and some other series. I’ll get rid of ‘em if I can because I don’t have any use for them. There’s no way in the world I’d try to make a comeback now. As far as racing’s concerned, I’ve done all I’m gonna do.”(Ford Racing)(9-13-2006)

    • Home Depot and KaBOOM up for award: The Home Depot and KaBOOM! have been selected as a finalist for the US Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen Business Partnership award. They were nominated for their "Racing to Play" program where they built 10 playgrounds in race markets (also built 10 last year) with Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing. The next round is a "Peoples Choice" selection determined by a vote through their website (voting ends on September 15th). They are only a few hundred votes behind, to vote, go to The Home Depot's Racing to Play program is an initiative designed to make a lasting, positive impression in the lives of at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. Now in its second year, the program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2006 and is a partnership between the company, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. More info at

    • Helmet to be signed by Indy 500 winners..then auctioned off: By its journey's end, a race driver's helmet will have crisscrossed continents, met every living winner of the Indianapolis 500 and helped a camp for seriously ill children. At least that's Al Pearce's plan for the unused, full-face helmet that has been autographed by 13 of the 25 surviving Indy 500 winners so far. Once all the signatures are gathered, the helmet will be auctioned on eBay and the sale price will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp. See more on my Racing Charities page.(9-13-2006)

    • Kyle Petty to Share Four of His Favorite Films on TCM: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will take viewers on a ride with NASCAR driver Kyle Petty on Saturday, Sept. 16, as he introduces and discusses with TCM weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz his love for the quintessential Hollywood classic Casablanca to the controversial cult film Freaks (1932). Petty exchanges his racecar driving status for a role as a devoted fan of classic film by hand-picking four of his favorite movies and sharing with viewers what he has come to love about each one.
      The film schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):
      12pm: Freaks (1932)
      1:15pm: Grand Prix (1966)
      4:30pm: D.O.A. (1950)
      6pm: Casablanca (1942)
      Petty's day of co-hosting with Ben Mankiewicz on TCM will precede the first race in the chase for the Nextel Cup Championship. Coverage begins live on Sept. 17 at 12:30pm/et on TNT.(Turner PR)(9-13-2006)

      News from September 12, 2006

    • Alabama Track Complex Bears Name of Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Gulf Coast Entertainment announced plans to construct a major motorsports and entertainment park in southern Alabama. The investor group has narrowed its site choices to a location in Mobile County in the area across from the University of Mobile and two potential sites in adjacent Baldwin County--one on the Foley Beach Express and the other in central Baldwin County. The project - which is to include an asphalt speedway, a road course, a drag strip and a dirt track - will be named "Alabama Motorsports Park, A Dale Earnhardt Jr. Speedway." Joining the motorsports star and a diverse group of investors from various southern states in participation in the project are Kelley Earnhardt Elledge and Kerry Earnhardt, marking the siblings' first professional collaboration. "Our family business is racing and it's been our business for three generations," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Kelley, Kerry and I want to continue the family business with hopes that the next generation of Earnhardts will want to be involved in the sport. This new venture with the Alabama Motorsports Park provides yet another avenue in which the Earnhardt family can participate. The site plan developed by HOK Sport of Kansas City includes parking, a significant RV resort, multiple music theaters and an arena and reserves land for commercial, residential and light industrial activities. The schedule calls for the project to be completed in the fall of 2009. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has provided input on the lighted, 75,000-seat, 7/10-mile oval. Features will include pedestrian/vehicle tunnels and banking and multiple grooves to promote close racing with extensive passing opportunities. Kerry Earnhardt has provided input on both the track and on a freshwater lake that investors believe will attract national fishing events. The 3.5-mile road course will feature two distinct but connected segments to enhance testing on the track. The 1/4-mile drag strip and 3/8-mile dirt track will be designed to attract national events. The park's website,, will provide future project and construction updates.(PSE-3 PR)(9-12-2006)

    • NASCAR buying CASCAR UPDATE Official: [after years of rumors...] NASCAR today will unveil a Canadian-based stock car series that will feature a season-long points battle among the country's best drivers and end with the awarding of the Canadian Tire Cup. The Toronto Sun has learned that a deal to sell CASCAR -- Canada's top stock car racing series -- to the France family business that is NASCAR will be made official at a news conference today in Toronto and that Canadian Tire has signed on as the title sponsor. The deal, which has been two years in the making, will see NASCAR sanction a national stock car racing series in Canada on the foundation that has been laid by Tony Novotny and his wife, Linda, over the past 20 years. "It's finally going to happen," Linda Novotny said yesterday. At the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal last month CASCAR also became the first stock car series to race on an active Formula One track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It is the same track where the NASCAR Busch Series will hold its first-ever Canadian race in 2007. Robbie Weiss, NASCAR's international director, is flying in from his Los Angles office to make the proclamation about his company's future in the Great White North and while his office would not reveal why he is visiting Toronto, it's not likely just another glad-handing affair where Brian France gets his hands on some of that Canadian Tire money.
      Speaking of CASCAR, all of a sudden it seems to be the place to be for two of Quebec's top open wheel racing drivers. A week ago Patrick Carpentier, a veteran of both Champ Car and the Indy Racing League, drew high praise for his sixth-place finish after he climbed into the Dave Jacombs Racing #88 Ford for CASCAR's Labour Day Classic at Cayuga Speedway. And this past Saturday at Montreal's Autodrome Ste. Eustache, 19-year-old Andrew Ranger, driver of the #27 MiJack Conquest Racing Lola in Champ Car, drove the same car to a 13th-place finish in his first try in the big sedans. Both Carpentier and Ranger have been paying attention to the NASCAR talk in their home province and both are likely to make bids to be part of the show there next season.(Toronto Sun)
      UPDATE: In support of its initiatives across Canada, NASCAR announced the creation of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Scheduled to launch in May 2007, the series includes a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Canadian Tire – an iconic Canadian brand with strong national presence. The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will operate nationally in Canada with a schedule of 10-12 races (May-October). The series will provide new racing opportunities for teams and drivers from the former CASCAR series. The official NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule, point fund and tracks will be announced at a later date. The series will receive support from NASCAR’s extensive resources, including competition, research and development, marketing, licensing and communications. A dedicated staff will operate the series, with NASCAR Canada providing additional support in sponsorship, licensing, marketing and media initiatives. In addition to becoming title sponsor of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Canadian Tire, the most-shopped general merchandiser in the country, will become the official automotive retailer of NASCAR in Canada. Canadian Tire will offer exclusive customer promotions, seasonal marketing programs and national advertising and in-store programs in partnership with NASCAR Canada. As part of the partnership agreement and its continued focus on being first-to-market with new and exciting products, Canadian Tire will explore licensing opportunities, including developing a new line of NASCAR products for the automotive aftermarket.
      TSN, a NASCAR broadcast partner for more than 20 years, will help market the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and draw new fans to NASCAR and stock car racing in Canada. Among these efforts, TSN is developing a monthly magazine-style show that will showcase the many aspects of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. The program will spotlight the stars of the series, race news, updates and highlights.(NASCAR PR)(9-12-2006)

    • Stewart, Yeley & Hamlin to help open Arena Racing season: Arena Racing USA will open its inaugural, 15-race season in Charlotte, N.C., on Wed., Oct 11 at the Cricket Arena on Independence Blvd. Among the participants will be the three drivers from Joe Gibbs Racing's Nextel Cup Series stable - #20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J.J. Yeley. Tickets went on sale at 10:00am/et on Tues., Sept. 12. Tickets can be ordered by calling Ticketmaster at 704-522-6500 or by going online to Advanced sales of reserved seats are $22 while adult general admission is $17 and general admission for children age 12 and under is $7. Arena Racing USA features half-scale stock cars capable of 100 mph, but are confined to a 1/10th mile banked, indoor race track. The track is portable and fits inside the confines of a hockey rink. The champion of the inaugural Arena Racing USA season in Charlotte will be crowned after the season finale on March 31, 2007. More info at Only a handful of slots remain in the 56-team field that will compete at Charlotte.(Truespeed Communications/JGR PR)(9-12-2006)

    • Congrats: Sporting News NASCAR writer Matt Crossman and his Emily are the proud parents of Lily Grace Crossman who came into the world at 5:42 a.m. Sept. 11. Lily was 6 lbs., 3 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long.(9-12-2006)

    • Testing at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway is scheduled to play host to test sessions for Evernham Motorsports drivers #9-Kasey Kahne and #10-Scott Riggs along with Hall of Fame Racing driver #96-Tony Raines Sept. 12, and the new Nextel Cup Series Toyota Team Red Bull Thursday and Friday, Sept. 14-15. Fans are able to view testing for free from the designated area outside the speedway Fan Center off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Rte. 35.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-12-2006)

      News from September 11, 2006

    • Labonte and Petty get new Crew Chiefs: In an effort to prepare for the 2007 season, Petty Enterprises announces crew chief changes on both the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Veteran Bill Wilburn has been hired to crew chief Kyle Petty and the #45 Dodge team. In addition, championship crew chief Paul Andrews will now handle the same duties for #43-Bobby Labonte. Greg Steadman returns to his position as Director of Competition. The changes are effective immediately.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(9-11-2006)

    • Chevy Rock & Roll Race and Commercial Breakdown of 9-9-2006:
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:36pm/et
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:50pm/et
      Total minutes: 194
      Minutes of race broadcast: 135
      Minutes of commercials: 59
      Total number of commercials: 119
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 78
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 17
      Restarts missed due to being away at commercial: 2.(see full report at

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