Hall of Fames Museums
SEPTEMBER 19-24, 2006
News from September 24, 2006
- Sit With Jimmy: In response to Kenny Wallace’s recent accusation that Jimmy Spencer is out of touch with race fans, "Mr. Excitement" unveiled his own Daytona 500 ticket package on Sunday’s NASCAR RaceDay at Dover, Del. More info at sitwithjimmy.com.(9-24-2006)
- Jeff Burton wins at Dover: #31-Jeff Burton won the Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway for his 1st win of 2006 and first in 175 races ago, at Phoenix in Oct 2001, the 18th of his career and vaults the #31 Cingular Wireless driver into the points lead for the first time since May 1999. Burton led only 6 laps, the final 6 laps, dueling with #17-Matt Kenseth [who led the most laps 215] until passing Kenseth on lap 394. Kenseth then ran out of fuel on the final lap and finished 10th. Rounding out the top 10 were: #99-Edwards, #24-Gordon, #2-Busch, #16-Biffle, #1-Truex Jr. [best career finish], #43-Labonte, #07-Bowyer and #17-Kenseth. Points leader, #29-Kevin Harvick was running in the top-10 when his engine failed on lap 366, dropping him out of the points lead. Three other Chasers had rough days with #9-Kasey Kahne getting caught up early in a #20-Stewart spin finishing 38th, #5-Kyle Busch lost an engine and finished 40th and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had some tire issues, finishing 21st down 3 laps. There were 9 leaders with 12 lead changes and 10 cautions for 48 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 Dover Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(9-24-2006)
- Unofficial Driver Points Standing after Dover [28 of 36 races]:
#31-Jeff Burton 5351
#24-Jeff Gordon 5345 -6
#17-Matt Kenseth 5333 -18
#11-Denny Hamlin 5333 -18
#29-Kevin Harvick 5297 -54
#6-Mark Martin 5276 -75
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5249 -102
#48-Jimmie Johnson 5215 -136
#9-Kasey Kahne 5169 -182
#5-Kyle Busch 5127 -224
and fighting for 11th
#20-Tony Stewart in 11th
#16-Greg Biffle -217
#99-Carl Edwards - 242
For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(9-24-2006)
- Unofficial "Classic" Points Standings
...the old way, not the Chase after Dover:
1) #17-Matt Kenseth 4068
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3898 -170
3) #29-Kevin Harvick 3738 -330
4) #31-Jeff Burton 3658 -410
5) #24-Jeff Gordon 3656 -412
6) #11-Denny Hamlin 3651 -417
7) #6-Mark Martin 3592 -476
8) #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3562 -506
9) #20-Tony Stewart 3537 -531
10) #5-Kyle Busch 3516 -552
11) #9-Kasey Kahne 3483 -585
- DOVER PENALTY REPORT:
Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
9 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 11
20 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 11
48 TELL Rolling a tire beyond the center of pit road L 24
4 TELL Excessive speed exiting the pits L 100
4 TELL Excessive speed exiting the pits L 167
49 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 185
61 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 206
22 TELL Excessive speed exiting the pits L 299
55 TELL Excessive speed entering the pits L 296
18 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 324
PT - Pass through
TELL - Tail end of the longest line
SG - Stop and Go
OL - One lap
ND - NASCAR discretion
MCI - Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-24-2006)
- Rumblings - Race Notes Dover:
Jeff Burton has been knocking on the door all season and today the #31 Cingular Wireless team kicked that door in. Burton passed Matt Kenseth with six laps to go today at Dover International Speedway and went on to win the Dover 400 by almost 8 seconds, and we beat the rain by all of about 10 minutes. Burton broke a 175 race losing streak (his last win was at Phoenix in October of 2001) for his 18th career win (he's now tied with Geoffrey Bodine, Neil Bonnett, and Harry Gant for 35th on the all-time win list). He's the 12th different winner of 2006, and the third winner in a row for Richard Childress (he now has 82 all-time). The victory was worth $230,370 from the over $5M in posted awards. We had great racing today for the final 20 laps or so....maybe the best stretch we've seen in a long time. Both Kenseth & Burton were working overtime to make sure they kept their cars off each other, and they were successful....proving it can be done! The decision by the #17 Dewalt Team to stay out on that last caution and not take fuel may come back to haunt them. Check back in about 8 weeks and we'll see just how big those 36 points are.
Carl Edwards (2nd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Loudon in July
Kurt Busch (4th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Pocono in July
Greg Biffle (5th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Loudon in July
Martin Truex Jr (6th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 7th at Lowe's in May of 2005
Bobby Labonte (7th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Bristol in March
Kyle Petty (25th) had his best finish since he was 21st at Infineon in June
David Gilliland (27th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 32nd twice....once at Infineon in June and again at Fontana earlier this month
Stanton Barrett (35th) had his best finish since he was 33rd at Phoenix in April (only three races)
STREAKIN....Matt Kenseth has 6 Top-10's in a row
...Denny Hamlin has 9 Top-10's in the last 10 races
...Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-5's in the last 6 races
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Martin Truex Jr (+27), followed by Dave Blaney (+26). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Scott Riggs (-32), followed by Robby Gordon (-27), Kevin Lepage (-26), Joe Nemechek (-21), and Ryan Newman (-20).
We have a new "Chase" leader as Jeff Burton assumes the points lead by six markers. We've got a spread of 18 points 1st to 4th.
In "Classic" points six positions in the Top-10 changed hands. We had five drivers advance two spots, and Kyle Busch fell four spots (6th to 10th).(Stock Car Fans)(9-24-2006)
- Dover Race News/Notes:
• Jeff Burton won the Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway, scoring his 18th Nextel Cup victory in his 431st career start.
• This is his first victory in 2006 and first at Dover in 26 races here. His most recent victory came at Phoenix in October 2001 – 176 races ago.
• Burton became the 12th different race winner in 2006.
• Burton climbed to 35th on NASCARS all-time win list, tied with Geoffrey Bodine, Neil Bonnet and Harry Gant.
• Burton won the $10,000 Nextel Leader Bonus for winning the race and leading the points.
• Burton won the race from the 19th-place starting position. Matt Kenseth also won the spring race at Dover from 19th.
• Burton climbed from fifth to first in the point standings, the biggest gain among the top 10. He is six points ahead of second-place Jeff Gordon.
• This is the seventh time in his career that Burton has held the point lead. He last held the point lead after California in May 1999.
• Burton led the final six laps in the Dover 400, the only laps he led during the race.
• This is team owner Richard Chidress’ 82nd Nextel Cup victory. Childress has scored four victories at Dover. His last Dover victory was by Dale Earnhardt in the 1993 Budweiser 500.
• Burton’s victory was the 17th Chevrolet victory in 28 races in 2006.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-24-2006)
- Dover Notebook
• Carl Edwards (second) scored his 14th top-10 finish in 2006 and his second top-10 finish in five races at Dover.
• Jeff Gordon (third) scored his 14th top-10 finish in 2006. It marked his 17th top-10 finish in 28 races at Dover. Gordon climbed from fourth to second in the point standings and is now just six points behind Burton.
• Kurt Busch (fourth) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 2006. It marked his fourth top-10 finish in 13 races at Dover.
• Greg Biffle (fifth) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fourth top-10 finish in nine races Dover.
• Martin Truex Jr. (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie for the first time in 2006.
• Denny Hamlin (ninth) scored his 11th straight top-15 finish.
• Matt Kenseth (10th) scored his sixth straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Michigan in August.
• Jimmie Johnson (13th) has been ranked among the top 10 for 97 consecutive races. Johnson has been running at the
finish in all 28 races in 2006. Johnson climbed from ninth to eighth in the point standings.
• Four rookies finished in the top-15 at Dover: Truex (sixth), Clint Bowyer (eighth), Denny Hamlin (ninth) and Reed
Sorenson (11th). This is the fourth time this season that four rookies posted top-15 finishes.
• At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 28 races this season.
• Kevin Harvick (32nd) ended a 39-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, which
was the longest current streak. Mark Martin takes over the streak, running at the finish in the last 35 races. Martin’s
streak began at Kansas City one year ago.
• Harvick also ended a streak of 11 straight top-15 finishes that began at Daytona in July.
• Tony Stewart (33rd) remained 11th in the point standings. He has a 217-point lead over 12th-place Greg Biffle
who finished fifth. This is the first year that Stewart will not finish among the top-10 since 1999, ending a seven-year
streak. Stewart missed The Chase by 16 points. Stewart 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.
• Chevrolet clinched the 2006 Manufacturers’ Championship at Loudon- the 30th Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet. Chevrolet has won the Manufacturers’ Championship in each of the last four years.
• Matt Kenseth led 215 laps in the Dover 400, leading the most laps for the fourth time in 2006. Kenseth also led the
most at Las Vegas, Chicago and second Michigan.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-24-2006)
- The Chase Drivers
• Four of the 10 Chase drivers finished in the top 10 in the Dover 400.
• Six of the 10 of The Chase drivers changed points positions at Dover.
• Jeff Burton climbed from fifth to first in the point standings. He is one of five “first-timers” to compete in The Chase.
• Jeff Gordon climbed from fourth to second in the point standings. Gordon is competing in the 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.
• Matt Kenseth remained third in the point standings. He is now 18 points behind point leader Burton. Kenseth is competing in the 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.
• Denny Hamlin dropped from second to fourth in the point standings. Hamlin is competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time and is the first Raybestos rookie contender to compete in The Chase. He is 18 points behind point leader Burton.
• Kevin Harvick dropped from first to fifth in the point standings. Harvick is competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time. He is also one of five “first-timers” to compete in The Chase.
• Mark Martin (14th today) remained sixth in the point standings. Martin is competing in the 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., remained seventh in the point standings. He is competing in the 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 finished fifth in 2004 and 19th in the 2005 final standings.
• Jimmie Johnson climbed from ninth to eighth in the point standings. Johnson is competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup for the third straight year. Johnson finished second in 2004 and fifth in 2005.
• Kasey Kahne dropped from eighth to ninth in the point standings. Kahne is competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup for first time.
• Kyle Busch remained 10th in the point standings. He is competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup for
first time and is one of five “first-timers” to compete in The Chase.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-24-2006)
- NASCAR Angels premieres: Nothing unites America like the automobile. Across the country every day, millions of people turn the ignition and depend on their vehicles to get them where they need to go. That's where the NASCAR Angels come in… The NASCAR Angels hit the road with a simple mission: to help people and to fix broken cars. It's Extreme Home Makeover meets Pimp My Ride, NASCAR-style. The twist? The Angels dream team has only three days to complete the entire project. With the help of NASCAR partners, the NASCAR Angels fix rides and give people a NASCAR experience they'll never forget. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while. That's NASCAR Angels…transforming cars, enhancing lives. "NASCAR Angels" will complement the consumer education efforts of the automotive industry's "Be Car Care Aware" campaign and the Fall release of its new Car Care Guide - a first-of-its-kind reference guide for motorists which covers typical service occasions and major components, systems and parts with service interval recommendations, a maintenance log and more. The original 22 episodes, which the number one rated stations in seven of the top-10 markets have agreed to carry, will be shot in Orlando/Daytona Beach, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta and Philadelphia. More info at nascar.com/special/angels/ and check local listings for TV Times or see a PDF of stations and scheduled air time at NASCAR Angels Schedule page.(9-24-2006)
- Tide gone from PPI? UPDATE: hearing Tide will NOT being going to RYR as a sponsor and will NOT be back as a full primary sponsor in 2007 on any Nextel Cup team, currently Tide sponsors the #32 PPI Motorsports Chevy that Travis Kvapil drives.(7-9-2006)
UPDATE: After struggling for several seasons against the three- and four-car teams that have become the norm in Nextel Cup, single-car team owner Cal Wells still is in search of an alliance with another team that would help take his program to the next level.
However, Wells is losing primary sponsor Tide at the conclusion of the 2006 season, and driver Travis Kvapil also been courted by other teams. Sources within the garage indicate that Wells has been talking to several teams – including Yates – about a possible alliance for next year, which also makes Wells a potential Ford team next year should a deal with Yates be made. Wells currently campaigns Chevrolets. As of now, Wells also has no manufacturer commitment for 2007.(Yahoo Sports)(9-23-2006)
UPDATE 2: Tide officials have yet to inform Cal Wells of their 2007 plans, but the owner of PPI Motorsports is working as if he needs a new primary sponsor for his #32 Chevy. "I'm not working as though they're coming back. I'm working as if they're potentially an associate - only because I don't know," Wells said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. "In the past, we've always [re-signed] with them early, but this year they've got a lot of [internal things to deal with]." Wells sited new executives within the company as well as increased distribution costs as factors that will come into play as the sponsor decides its next step. Wells is working to secure primary sponsorship for Travis Kvapil's team, and needs it in place before making a formal offer to Kvapil. The driver said that he has a feeling Tide won't be a full-time sponsor with any organization next year. Kvapil said he hasn't heard from Michael Waltrip of late and he doesn't see Michael Waltrip Racing as an option. Wells said Tide isn't talking with other teams, and that he's given the company numerous proposals to study. "I think Tide may now have an idea of what their plans are, but they haven't shared them with me yet," Wells said. "We have been talking about [the fact] we have another deal cooking and when would we announce that versus when would they make their plans known. Are they gonna stay with us on this other deal? Are they going to do their own car? What are they going to do?"(SceneDaily.com)(9-24-2006)
- Gordon says Vickers not a teammate: Technically, Brian Vickers is Jeff Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate. Well, for nine more races at least. Certainly, Gordon doesn't seem to mind that Vickers is leaving after this season, especially not after some hard driving led to some harsh words on Friday. "He's my teammate, but he's not my teammate because he's moving on next year," Gordon said. "I raced him harder than he wanted me to race him earlier in the race. I could give all the reasons and excuses, but it doesn't do any good." The two raced each other hard at New Hampshire, and Vickers rankled Gordon when he wouldn't let the former champ pass. Gordon, fourth in the points standings, even complained on the radio to his team that he hoped Vickers knew that he was racing for a championship. "It did cost us time, Gordon said. "Right now he's in a tough position. He's moving on to a new team. He hasn't been able to win races like other guys at Hendrick Motorsports. He wants it bad and he's driving hard and I think it was just a little lapse in judgment." Vickers finished fifth; Gordon third. Vickers will drive for Team Red Bull in 2007. "It's not a guy that's out there trying to help you win a championship," Gordon said.(FoxSports/AP)(9-24-2006)
- Park hopes to have full-time ride in 2007..not Cup: Steve Park, a former NASCAR Cup competitor, has dabbled in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the Busch Series this year. He placed second in the Sunoco 150 Busch East Series race at Dover on Friday. "We're looking to get back full time in '07 or '08 and hopefully we'll be able to make an announcement in a month," said Park, who has 181 Cup starts in his career. "We're not looking at Cup because of the money factor. "Trucks is what we originally looked at but now they're contemplating going to the Busch Series." Park has run in only 10 truck events and six Busch events this year. "I have kind of enjoyed the time off," he said.(SceneDaily.com)(9-24-2006)
News from September 23, 2006
- Bye-Bye Restrictor Plates? A NASCAR test session next month at Talladega Superspeedway for its new car [Car of Tomorrow/COT] will help series officials determine if they can use larger holes in a restrictor plate there and at Daytona. Gary Nelson, a former Cup series director who consults NASCAR, says he hopes NASCAR's car of tomorrow will allow series officials to someday get rid of the carburetor restrictor plates that limit horsepower and keep speeds around 190 mph at Daytona and Talladega. Teams have been asked to bring engines they'd normally use at a track like Michigan or Charlotte to the test, which will be held Oct. 9, the day after the Talladega race. Former driver Brett Bodine, who leads NASCAR's efforts on the new car, says the plan is to see what size of a restrictor plate can be used [Ricky Rudd is also scheduled to test the COT there for Wyler Racing]. The new car, which debuts at Bristol next spring, is larger than and not as sleek aerodynamically as the current car. That should allow NASCAR to increase the size of the holes in the restrictor plate and give drivers more throttle response. The new car is scheduled to run at Talladega next fall during the championship chase. Nelson said the biggest purpose of the test is to figure out the engine package for the races at Daytona and Talladega and "maybe there is an alternative or elimination of the restrictor plate down the road.'' Nelson made it one of his goals when he became the Cup series director in 1991 to get rid of restrictor plates. He never did before moving to another position at NASCAR in 2002 and later starting his own research and development company. NASCAR has used restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega since 1988. Before the change, Bill Elliott ran a qualifying lap of 212.809 mph at Talladega. Elliott Sadler won the pole there last spring in the most recent Cup race with a lap of 188.511 mph.(Roanoke Times)(9-23-2006)
- Special 60th for Lowe's on #48 at LMS: #48-Jimmie Johnson will run a special paint scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 14th to honor the 60th Anniversary of Lowe's Home Improvement opening. See an image on my #48 Team Schemes page.(9-23-2006)
- TV Ratings down at all but 2 races in 2006: TV ratings from NASCAR's first championship chase race weren't impressive - the Loudon race pulled a 3.1 rating on TNT (which Neilsen said translates to 4.792 million viewers), down 12% from the 2005 race.
In comparison, NBC's Labor Day Sunday prime-time coverage of the California 500 pulled a 5.1 (8.4 million viewers); and NBC's NFL Sunday prime-time game Sept. 17 pulled an 11.9 rating (18.4 million viewers). ESPN, which will return to major coverage of NASCAR next summer, also scored big with the NFL, an 8.2 rating (12.570 million viewers) and 7.1 (10.495 million viewers) for its two Monday-night games on Sept. 11. Only two of the year's 27 races have had gains, the Daytona 500 and Martinsville.(Winston Salem Journal), see ratings and past info on my 2006 TV Ratings page.(9-23-2006)
- More on the Roush Racing/Fenway Sports Group 'deal': Team owner Jack Roush said there is not yet an offer on the table from John Henry's Fenway Sports Group as the entity discusses buying into Roush Racing with team President Geoff Smith. Roush said Friday that he's not sure when the sides will next talk but added that's not out of the ordinary. "I don't do the money very well," Roush said with a smile at Dover International Speedway. "Right now, there are discussions going on. There's not a deal on the table. There may not be a deal that makes it to the table. What do I think the chances are that John Henry will become an investor in the Roush organization? On one day it looks like the glass is a little more than half full; on other days it looks like it's definitely [less] than half full. And I don't get a report every day on what's going on." Roush said talks are sometimes conducted via email, but added that several members of FSG were at the team's North Carolina shops prior to the race at New Hampshire. If an agreement is reached, Roush said he wouldn't sell more than 50 percent of the organization to Henry's FSG, which is a separate entity from the partnership that owns the Boston Red Sox. And he said this simply isn't a way to get around NASCAR's ownership rules, which will eventually limit him to fielding four full-time Nextel Cup Series teams. If an agreement were reached, Henry would be an investor in Roush Racing, not fielding teams under the Fenway Sports Group umbrella as a separate entity. "Our plan is to operate four NASCAR stock car racing teams past this decade," Roush said. "We think if I can spread my base and do an expanded marketing and sponsorship involvement program that would have a component of interest in the Northeast that we'd be stronger through that." Anyone thinking this is Roush's way of preparing to retire is mistaken according to the owner. "For anybody that thinks Jack is looking for a way to get off stage now, or in the foreseeable future or that retirement's my plan, just hide and watch [me]," he said. "I'm not going to retire. I'm not trying to back away from the races. I'm not trying to put somebody between me and the race teams. One of my challenges my managers have on the race teams is, 'How do we get Jack out of the way so we can do what we need to do.'"(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2006)
- Andrews son wins Busch East race: Tim Andrews competes in the fledgling Busch East Series sporadically, so it is rare that he gets to share the same track as the Nextel Cup drivers. Those are days the son of Nextel Cup crew chief Paul Andrews [#43-Bobby Labonte] relishes, a chance to open the eyes of some of the top teams in NASCAR. Andrews got an extra-special experience in the Sunoco 150 Busch East race at Dover International Speedway on Friday. He passed former Cup driver Steve Park on lap 148 and held the lead through a green-white-checkered finish to record his first career victory in what turned out to be a 157-mile race.(Delaware News Journal)(9-23-2006)
News from September 22, 2006
- Jeff Gordon wins pole at Dover: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Budweiser Pole for the Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 156.162mph for his 1st pole of 2006, 1st since Sonoma in June 2005 [47 races] and 55th of his career, tying Bill Elliott for 6th All Time Poles Won. This is the 14th straight season Gordon has won a pole, the longest current streak and 3rd longest of all time. Starting on the outside pole is #10-Scott Riggs [but the team changed engine and will have to go to the rear of the field Sunday]. The rest of the top-10 are #17-Kenseth, #12-Newman, #01-Nemechek, #99-Edwards, #41-Sorenson, #16-Biffle, #6-Martin and #2-Busch. #8-Earnhardt Jr. qualified 13th [same as last week]. #18-Yeley wrecked on his first lap off turn 1 and backed into the wall, will have to go to a backup car. #10-Riggs said he missed a shift during his qualifying lap, may have to change engines and would have to go to the rear of the feild at the start of the race, but would keep the good pit stall. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #49-Lepage, #45-Petty, #55-Waltrip, 32-Kvapil, #74-Cope,#06-Ragan, #61-Barrett and #4-Wimmer. Missing the race were: #89-Shepherd, #78-Wallace, #34-Blount and #52-Neuenberger. See the qualifying results on my Dover Qualifying/Grid Page.(9-22-2006)
- Where do the Chasers start at Dover:
#29-Harvick starts 25th
#8-Earnhardt Jr. 13th
- Ramblings - Dover Qualifying Notes: The Chase rolls on and for the second week in a row we've got a "Chaser" in the top-spot. Jeff Gordon took the Bud Pole today for Sunday's Dover 400 with a time of 23.053 (156.162 mph) for his first pole of the season and 55th of his Nextel Cup career. This is his first pole since he led 'em to the green at Infineon Raceway in June of 2005, and he's the 13th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Scott Riggs (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.....but there's a chance they'll change engines so he may have to drop to the back.
Joe Nemechek (5th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Daytona in July
Carl Edwards (6th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 3rd at Talladega in April
Reed Sorenson (7th) has his career-best starting spot this week. His previous best was at Loudon in July when he started 9th
Kevin Lepage (11th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 6th at Kansas last October
Derrike Cope (31st) has his best starting spot since he lined up 31st at Texas in April of 2004 (20 races)
Welcome David Ragan! He'll start 37th this week in a Jack Roush Ford for his Cup debut.
STREAKIN....Kurt Busch has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races
Only three "Chasers" in the Top-10 spots this week could lead to a little tippy-toeing early on Sunday. This place has been known to chew up more than a few cars.....they don't call it the Monster Mile for nothin'.(StockCarFans.com)(9-22-2006)
- Dover Qualifying Notes:
• Jeff Gordon won the Nextel Cup Series Bud Pole for the Dover 400, lapping Dover International Speedway in 23.053 seconds at 156.162 mph. Jeremy Mayfield holds the trackqualifying record of 22.288 seconds, 161.522 mph - set June 4, 2004.
• This is Gordon’s 55th career Bud Pole in 465 Nextel Cup Series races. He moved into a tie with Bill Elliott for sixth all-time on the Bud Pole winners list.
• This is Gordon’s 14th consecutive year to score a Bud Pole, every season since his full-time career began in 1993. He ended a 47-race streak without a Bud Pole – the longest of his career.
• Gordon became the 13th different Bud Pole winner in 2006. This is his 13th top-10 start in 2006.
• This is Gordon’s third Bud Pole and 18th top-10 start in 28 Nextel Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway, but his first Bud Pole here since June 1996.
• Gordon became the third different Bud Pole winner in the past eight races at Dover International Speedway. Ryan Newman had three Bud Poles and Jeremy Mayfield two since 2002. Qualifying was canceled twice in the eight-race period.
• Scott Riggs posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 23.068 seconds, 156.060 mph – and will join Gordon on the front row for the Dover 400. It is his fourth top-10 start this season, Riggs had not started better than 15th in his previous five races at Dover.
• This is the 11th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has 12 Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
• Matt Kenseth (third) posted his fifth top-10 start in 16 races at Dover. Kenseth had just eight top-10 starts in the first 22 races of the season, but has posted four in the past six races.
• Ryan Newman (fourth), who started 38th in his career-first Dover race (June 2002), has posted nine top-10 starts in 10 races here – all top-fives. This is only qualifying effort that did not result in a front-row starting position for Newman since September 2002 when he started fourth in his second race here. His other non-front row starts were when qualifying was canceled in September 2003 (fifth) and again in June 2005 (fourth).
• Joe Nemechek (fifth) posted his ninth top-10 start in 25 races at Dover. It is also his eighth top-10 start of 2006 but just his second in the past 11 races.
• Reed Sorenson (seventh) was the highest qualifying rookie and posted his career-best qualifying effort.
• David Ragan (37th) qualified for his career-first Nextel Cup race. He became the 86th driver to attempt to qualify this season and the 72nd to compete in 2006.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-22-2006)
- Latest on Martin's plans..back in 2008? Mark Martin says he's working to secure sponsorship so he can compete in the #60 No Fear Racing Ford for 10-12 Nextel Cup races in 2007. And he's not ruling out the possibility of returning to the series full time in 2008. For next season, however, Martin plans to compete full time in the Craftsman Truck Series for Roush Racing, though he does not have a contract yet. No Fear, owned by driver Boris Said, crew chief Frank Stoddard and businessman Mark Simo, has competed in four races with Said this season. The team has a business partnership with Roush Racing. As far as the possibility of competing for Robert Yates Racing next season, Martin says that is "unlikely at this point in time." He says that his heart simply isn't into competing full time in the Cup series for another year. "I really do want to do a limited Cup schedule to complement their truck program that they're going to offer me," Martin said. "That's where we are today." Martin added that there have been more opportunities come up than he would have ever expected for him. He says he keeps reminding himself of one simple fact: "What is it that I want to do? I've got to keep my eye on that target and do what I want to do and not what someone else wants me to do." Martin says he's eyeing those 13 weekends off in the truck series and hopes to combine his seasons to include chances to win in both series. "I would do Nextel Cup if somebody could offer me 13 weekends off more than what I have this year," he said. Asked about the amount of money being offered some drivers and if he had a magic number, Martin quipped, "Not a realistic one." But he's not ruling out full-time Cup racing forever. "I can do this truck thing, and I get a chance to catch my breath. I would say that there is a good chance that I'd come back full time in '08," he said. "I don't know what I want to do, and I'll never know until I get a break. I haven't had a day off, I don't feel like, in 19 years. Yes I've had a day off, but I haven't missed a test, I haven't missed a practice day or a qualifying day or a race day in 19 years, and every year I do more and more and more to stay competitive."(SceneDaily.com)(9-22-2006)
- Sharp to sponsor Ragan at Dover: Sharp AQUOS, maker of LCD TVs with Vikuiti™ technology from 3M, has secured the primary sponsorship of the #06 Ford driven by David Ragan at Dover International Speedway this weekend. Ragan, who currently competes in the Craftsman Truck Series, will make his Nextel Cup Series debut in the Dover 400 on Sunday. “We’re happy to join with 3M to sponsor the car and make NASCAR fans aware that Sharp AQUOS LCD TVs are made with 3M Vikuiti technology and help us deliver amazing picture quality to AQUOS customers,” said Bruce Tripido, Sr. Director and Group Leader of Marketing for Sharp’s Product and Marketing Group. The Sharp Electronics’ Sharp Vikuiti paint scheme is scheduled to run as the major associate sponsor on both #06 Fords in the Busch and Cup Series at Phoenix November 11 and 12.(Roush Racing PR)(9-22-2006)
- Jeff Gordon Foundation is launching the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital Bear on QVC with a $10.00 donation from every bear purchased directly benefiting the children’s hospital. Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, is scheduled to appear on QVC’s “For Race Fans Only” live from Dover International Speedway on Friday, September 22, 2006. The show airs from 9 -10pm/et.
For more information, visit www.jeffgordonfoundation.org.
- RCR Forms Partnership with Metris: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is investing in a multi-million dollar partnership with Metris to utilize the Belgium-based company’s integrated metrology solutions for use in the production of the nine-time NASCAR champion racing organization’s engines and race cars. Metris, with U.S. operations in Detroit, California and Virginia, will supply RCR with proven high-technology metrology systems, both contact and optical, and the expertise to improve the aerodynamics and boost the performance of its engines. The partnership is another strategic move in RCR’s continuing bid to boost the performance of its cars with winning technology. “We’re partnering with Metris because of its impressive range of advanced metrology products,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “We’re confident that the expertise its engineers have demonstrated will help us to push the performance of our race cars to the next level. The technology involved in NASCAR today continues to grow and RCR’s partnership with Metris will put us on the cutting edge in both the engine and fabrication shops.” Metris provides integrated solutions for automotive and aerospace metrology. The portfolio comprises Coordinate-Measuring Machines (CMM), Optical CMM, 3D Laser Scanners, Laser Radar and iGPS systems along with Focus, the leading inspection and reverse engineering software. “Having Metris’ equipment on-site at RCR will help facilitate our engine and body fabrication sides of the business,” said Bobby Hutchens, RCR’s vice president of research and development. “On the fab side, it will provide us with the technology to more precisely duplicate our bodies and, on the engine side, will ensure that both the parts we purchase from outside sources as well as those produced by RCR’s Okuma Technology Center meet our current specifications.” More info about Metris at www.metris.com. (RCR PR)(9-22-2006)
- Ex-employee's lawsuit claims improprieties in engine shop at RCR UPDATE Statement by Childress: .A lawsuit filed by a former Richard Childress Racing employee includes specific allegations that engines the team used in events at 2006 Speedweeks at Daytona were designed to defeat NASCAR rules. The team denies the allegations. Anthony Corrente, who lost his job as assistant manager for engine research and development for RCR earlier this year, filed his suit Wednesday in Mecklenburg County superior court. It alleges wrongful termination, defamation and breach of contract against the team, which fields Nextel Cup cars for #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton and #07-Clint Bowyer. Corrente said he inspected an engine from Harvick’s #29 Chevy after the Budweiser Shootout and found it had been altered to allow more air to enter, which would be contrary to the purpose of carburetor restrictor plates used at the Daytona track. “Inserts were placed in the four outside corners of the cylinder head where the manifold is attached,” the lawsuit says. When tightened, the bottom of the bolts hit these inserts, leaving room for air to get in between the intake manifold and the cylinder head. Such air would get to the engine beneath the restrictor plate, which is designed specifically to limit the flow of air. More air means more power, at least in theory. The suit also says that Burton won the pole for this year’s Daytona 500 with another engine that had the same modifications. Burton’s engine passed NASCAR inspection following the qualifying session. David Hart, a spokesman for Richard Childress Racing, said Thursday that Corrente’s allegations are untrue. “We will deal with them in the courts,” Hart said. Corrente left Joe Gibbs Racing in July 2005, signing a three-year contract with a two-year renewal option at RCR. He said he was fired after a conversation with Harvick in May during a test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, where Harvick’s team had tested an engine built to Corrente’s specifications that differed from what the team had been doing. See full story by David Poole at ThatsRacin.(9-21-2006)
UPDATE Statement by Richard Childress: The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding allegations made in a lawsuit filed by a former employee: "The allegations made about RCR in a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled former employee are absolutely untrue. Specifically, our cars passed NASCAR inspection both before and after qualifying for the 2006 Daytona 500. Additional allegations made are also untrue. We will make no further comments until after the issue is resolved in a court of law."(RCR PR)(9-22-2006)
- Dover Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought to Dover earlier this season . . . this set-up has also been run at Michigan by Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams in 2006 . . . teams in these two series ran this left-side code (D-4060) with a different right-side code at Chicagoland . . . unlike on other NASCAR one-mile ovals, teams are required to run liners in their tires at Dover . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 90-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more tire notes, codes, air pressusres on the Dover Race Info / Rundown Page.(9-22-2006)
- Petty Driving Experience brings Safe Driving Program to Texas A&M University: Richard Petty Driving Experience will bring its Safe Driving Program to Texas A&M University Sept. 28-29 with hands-on training and demonstrations intended to make Aggies more safety conscious when behind the steering wheel. It will be the first university-oriented program of its type offered in Texas. The four half-day sessions will allow 160 Texas A&M students to participate in the safe-driving program that will be staged at one of the large parking areas at Post Oak Mall. The morning class will run from 8 a.m. to noon and the afternoon class will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Vehicular accidents claimed the lives of 15 Texas A&M students last year. The safe-driving program is divided into four areas and is designed to educate students about the dangers associated with motor vehicles. Students will participate in behind-the-wheel training through modules that include skid control, braking skills, crash avoidance and a tailgating/following distance exercise. The program is intended to create awareness by placing students in compromising situations in a controlled environment. Professional driving instructors will coach the students through corrective responses during each stage of the safe driving modules. For more information, call 1-800-BE-PETTY or visit www.1800bepetty.com.(PR)(9-22-2006)
- Rowdy hosts Buck and Bass to host pre-race activities at Dover: "Bass" Masters and "Buck" Fever, the hosts of Rowdy, the daily racing radio show you get on your cell phone, will be hosting pre-race activities prior to driver introductions for both the Busch and Cup races this weekend at Dover. The festivities will include parachute jumpers, fireworks, a BMX bike stunt show, a Dodge Caliber car contest giveaway, and if they're lucky, even the chance for Buck and Bass to lead a full-fledged marching band around the high-banked concrete oval (the challenge will be getting the band to turn in the apex of the corner). Buck and Bass will also be joining the folks at WDSD-FM radio (92.9) in the Dover area on Friday night from 8-10 PM and Sunday morning from 6-10 AM for racing talk and driver interviews. Race fans who want to check out Rowdy should visit www.rowdy.com or www.rowdypodcast.com for
the downloadable version of the show.(9-22-2006)
News from September 21, 2006
- Goodyear tire test at Talladega UPDATE 3: Five teams will participate in a Goodyear tire test Sept. 18-19 at the newly repaved Talladega Superspeedway, Goodyear officials confirmed Saturday. None of the five drivers is in Chase contention, so no title contender will have an advantage when the Nextel Cup Series competes at the track Oct. 8. The five drivers who will participate will be #1-Martin Truex Jr., #12-Ryan Newman, #25-Brian Vickers, #32-Travis Kvapil and #40-David Stremme.(SceneDaily.com)(9-3-2006)
UPDATE: Rookie David Gilliland has never raced at Talladega Superspeedway, so he gratefully accepted an invitation to participate in the Sept. 19-20 Goodyear tire test at the newly paved track. The addition of the Robert Yates Racing driver will add a Ford to the group. Goodyear plans on bringing its Charlotte left-side tire to see if it will be able to stand the increased heat resulting from the new pavement. Goodyear plans on using the same tire for the Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck Series events during the Oct. 7-8 weekend.(SceneDaily.com)(9-17-2006)
UPDATE 2: the test will be held Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006.(TSS PR)(9-20-2006)
UPDATE 3: Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., David Stremme, Travis Kvapil, Dave Gilliland and Brian Vickers participated in the tire tests [at Talladega]. During testing, drivers are allowed to attach computer sensors to the cars that measure several factors, including suspension travel. Track General Manager Rick Humphrey said one team gave the new track surface a rousing stamp of approval. "They said when they got here they thought their equipment might not be working because it wasn't recording any suspension travel," he said. "They finally realized it was just because the track is so smooth. The bumps are gone." The drivers said the new surface has not resulted in an increase in speeds, but they did find a dramatic decline in tire wear during tests. Several said the minimal tire wear could result in some major strategy changes during Talladega's UAW-Ford 500 race. Where Talladega Superspeedway's surface was notoriously rough on tires in the past, tire wear is minimal now and drivers will likely try to improve track position by just taking two tires or maybe no tires at all on some pit stops, drivers said.(Alabama Live), no speeds or incidents reported. See video/slideshow of the track and testing at RacingOne.(9-21-2006)
- NASCAR Hires new Director of Security: NASCAR has named Gary L. Gardner, a veteran Supervisory Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as its new Director of Security. Gardner will oversee all aspects of NASCAR’s corporate and event security. Gardner, 58, retired from the FBI in 1999 after 32 years of service. Near the end of his FBI career, Gardner joined the bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. During that time, he directed the design and development of a national interactive computer communications capability and information service used exclusively for the law enforcement/ criminal justice/public safety community. Gardner also serves as the First Vice President of the Charlotte InfraGard Chapter, a public/ private sector organization involved in the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructures. He is a decorated U.S. Army Ranger veteran and is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in Administration of Criminal Justice.(NASCAR PR)(9-21-2006)
- Texas to honor Labonte in final Cup start: Terry Labonte will retire from the Nextel Cup Series career following the Nov. 5 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. To salute his long and successful career, Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR are planning a special celebration in honor of “Texas Terry” during the Nov. 2-5 Dickies 500 race weekend. “Terry Labonte is one of the great champions of our sport,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “He has made a lifetime of memories for race fans, and we are planning a number of special ways to say ‘thanks’ to one of Texas’ great sports legends. Also, fans attending the Dickies 500 race weekend will be able to participate in this tribute to Terry.” The two-time Cup series champion (1984, ’96) is one of only 14 drivers in NASCAR history to win multiple Cup series titles. His career features 22 wins, including a trip to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway in 1999. In 11 starts at TMS, Labonte has five top-10 finishes as well as a pole position in 2000. Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR have “Texas-sized” plans to honor Labonte leading up to and throughout the Dickies 500 race weekend.
One of those special honors for Labonte will directly involve the fans, who will have an opportunity to sign a giant greeting card designed especially for “Texas Terry.” It will be located in the “10 Years Strong Experience” exhibit, located in the midway area near Gate 4, throughout the race weekend. On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 2, the “All-Star Tribute to Terry Labonte” will be held in the Texas Grand Ballroom on the ninth floor of The Speedway Club. The special dinner gala will honor the career of Labonte and benefit Speedway Children’s Charities, Texas Chapter. The evening will also include a live auction featuring items from Terry’s career courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports. To reserve a table or seats, contact Speedway Children’s Charities at (817) 215-8421.
On Sunday, Nov. 5, prior to the start for the Dickies 500, Texas Motor Speedway, in association with NASCAR, will present a special pre-race salute to Labonte. NASCAR and key sponsors through the years will present special gifts to Terry and his family on stage at the start/finish line. Fans will enjoy an exciting video tribute to Labonte on the NEXTELVision screens.
During driver introductions prior to the Dickies 500, Labonte will be the final driver introduced, regardless of his qualifying position. He and his wife, Kim, will be given a parade lap around the track in a Chevrolet Corvette so fans can have a chance to show their appreciation. All other drivers will receive a parade lap in the bed of Chevy Silverado trucks. Following the command for “Gentleman, Start Your Engines,” Terry will lead the field on the parade lap before falling back to his qualifying position for the pace laps.
In addition to the pre-race festivities honoring Labonte, the official Texas Motor Speedway Collector’s Edition Souvenir Program will highlight his career. An eight-page special section will be included in the Dickies 500 edition focusing on the life and accomplishments of “Texas Terry.” Fans also will receive a special Terry Labonte poster that will be inserted in each program. For ticket information regarding the Nov. 3 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350k, Nov. 4 Busch Series O’Reilly Challenge and Nov. 5 NEXTEL Cup Series Dickies 500, contact the speedway ticket hotline at 817-215-8500 or go online to www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS PR)(9-21-2006)
- More on the Speed Channel/RCR Wheels Report: per NASCAR Live with Eli Gold, Kevin Harvick comments, "We have an inspection process that happens every week. The ironic part about it is that our wheels are taken to the racetrack by a wheel company every week. Really, the only thing you can touch is the valve stem. And the report was, that, you know, I don't even know, laser cut
holes in the wheels. So, there's really no possible way that you could even wind up knowing what corner that the wheels are going to be mounted on, because the tires are already mounted when you get to the race track. If somebody would have just done their homework for thirty seconds or a couple of minutes and just figured out exactly what they were doing, they would have realized they would have realized that it's virtually impossible to do what they reported. So, it's just unfortunate that we've spent the whole week talking about Bob Dillner instead of talking about our win, and that's unfortunate for the Speed Channel that they are where they are in their journalism state of reporters."(MRN Radio)(9-21-2006)
- Waltrip Racing - 2006 Softball Champs: Waltrip Racing clinched their first-ever Totally Racin’ Softball League championship last night at Walter Safrit Park in Kannapolis (NC). The team, consisting of crew members from both Darrell Waltrip Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing led by Coach Scott Stallings, won three of four games outclassing Chip Ganassi Racing and Evernham Motorsports to win the title. 2006 Tournament Scores from Tuesday, September 19th: · Chip Ganassi Racing 13 vs. Waltrip Racing 12 · Evernham Motorsports 14 vs. Waltrip Racing 15 · Chip Ganassi Racing 7 vs. Waltrip Racing 16 · Chip Ganassi Racing 11 vs. Waltrip Racing 12.(MWR PR), see an image of the team and more info at racecityresumes.com/softball/.(9-21-2006)
- Graham named crew chief for Shepherd: Veteran NASCAR crew chief and former car owner Jim Graham will serve as crew chief of the #89 team through the end of the current race season, the team announced September 20. Graham, who has served as crew chief on an interim basis during races earlier this month at Richmond and Loudon, earned the position because of the team's improvements shown at the track. Graham has been with Faith Motorsports since its formation on August 1 and previously served as a crew member. He has been involved in NASCAR racing for more than 20 years and has previously served as a crew member, crew chief and car owner with various race teams. "Jim realizes that we all wear many hats and in addition to crew chief duties he will have to do a lot of other jobs as well, but his leadership is showing," said team co-owner and driver Morgan Shepherd. The team had previously used veteran crew chief Gere Kennon at Bristol, but Kennon had other racing commitments which prevented him from traveling with the team to Richmond and Loudon, which resulted in Graham being named interim crew chief for those races.(racewithfaith.com)(9-21-2006)
- Hornish wins 3rd Qtr DOTY award: Although Sam Hornish, Jr.'s IndyCar title came down to the last lap, of the last race of the series, he was easy winner in the voting for Third Quarter Driver of the Year. Hornish, driving the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara-Honda, won the Indy 500 earlier in the year and won three out of the eight races in this quarter with a second and third place finish. He also had one pole during this period. In the voting, by an elite panel of print and broadcast journalists, Hornish got a majority of the first-place votes. Hornish, a prior quarterly winner, took nine out of the 17 first-place votes and totaled 115 points. Kevin Harvick, who took two wins, clinched a spot in the Nextel Cup series, and has a commanding lead in the Busch Series with three wins in the period, was second in the ballot earning five first-place votes with a total of 81 points. AJ Allmendinger, who broke into the win column in the Champ Car World Series earlier this year, had three victories and garnered two first-place votes, totaled 69 points in the Forsythe Championship Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth. Matt Kenseth, a former champion in Nextel Cup, took the only other first-place vote finishing fourth in the voting with 68 points. A total of 15 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting. In its' 40th year Driver of the Year is unique because it is the oldest award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States. A panel of 17 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9,6,4,3,2,1 basis. A separate one-driver vote will determine the 2006 Driver of the Year. In recognition of the honor, Hornish will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix, wristwatch. The trophy presentation will take place later this year.(DOTY PR)(9-21-2006)
- Papis [not Said] testing the #78 at Kentucky: Before heading to Dover, the #78 Furniture Row team will test this week in Kentucky, with driver Max Papis filling in for regular driver Kenny Wallace.(Rocky Mountain News)(9-21-2006)
- Dover Rookie News and Notes: #11-Denny Hamlin was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 17 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Hamlin finished fourth and moved into second-place in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings. He is just 35 points behind leader Kevin Harvick. Hamlin scored his fifth top-five and 14th top-10 finish this season and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 14th time in 27 races this season. Hamlin posted his 10th straight top-15 finish and led the race once for four laps. The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead the Nextel Cup Series championship standings is Jimmie Johnson in 2002. Johnson led after the Kansas event (race No. 28). A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top 15 in all 27 races this season. Tony Stewart owns the best points finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the sport’s modern era, placing fourth in the championship standings in 1999. James Hylton holds the best points finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the sport’s history, a second-place effort in 1966. Hamlin leads Clint Bowyer by 52 points (260-208) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 24 Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson is the only Raybestos Rookie to win both Nextel Cup races at Dover. Johnson swept both events in 2002, and led the most laps in each race. Johnson is the only first-year driver to lead the most laps in the fall race at Dover (four times for 170 laps) and is the most recent freshman driver to lead a lap at the one-mile Delaware speedway. The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie for the fall race at Dover is third by Tony Stewart (1999), Brian Vickers (2004) and Busch (2005). The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in the fall race at Dover is Jimmie Johnson in 2002 (four times for 170 laps). He is also the most recent Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five finish in the fall event.(Raybestos PR), for more rookie notes, standings, history...see the 2006 Rookies Page.(9-21-2006)
- Medaire Provides Lifesaving Medical Solutions to Vickers: MedAire, a company that serves the business and general aviation industry with lifesaving medical solutions, is providing a MedLink medical advisory subscription service and medical kits for #25- Brian Vickers, Nextel Cup Series Driver and 2003 Busch Series Champion. Vickers is the first motor-sports driver to take advantage of MedAire’s medical offerings. Should Vickers or his associates become ill while traveling by private aircraft or while on the ground, they will have 24/7 access to MedAire’s MedLink Global Response Center located in Phoenix, Ariz., where board-certified emergency care physicians will assess the medical emergency and help treat the patient remotely. During flight-based emergencies, MedLink physicians access MedAire medical equipment on board and recommend treatment for ailments ranging from heart and asthma attacks to respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. More info on MedAire can be found at www.MedAire.com.(MedAire PR)(9-21-2006)
News from September 20, 2006
- Benny is back at Dover; Wally's World: Benny Parsons, who missed TNT’s New Hampshire broadcast, was back behind the microphone Monday night at Performance Racing Network hosting his weekly “Fast Talk” radio program. Benny, who is undergoing treatments for lung cancer, told listeners “I feel pretty good now. I was tanked out on Friday. I went to see the doctor before my trip to Loudon and my blood levels were just way down so they said you need to go to the hospital and get some intensive care.” As for this weekend Benny is good to go saying “Right now I don’t see any reason why I can’t be in Dover. I don’t have any treatments this week. My radiation is now behind me…I don’t do any chemotherapy until next week, so this week I’m clean. I feel I’ll get better each day as the week progresses and by Saturday I’ll be ready to go to Dover and call the race Sunday.” The great news is Parsons’ tumor continues to shrink. “We talked about it two or three weeks ago that I had an 80-percent reduction in the tumor to where it started. Talking to my doctors they feel like we’re going to be okay in this deal and the next time I have a scan we’re going to be okay. If not, I’ll be awfully disappointed.”(PRN's "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons" radio show)
AND: TNT's Wally Dallenbach will take 2006 World Champion figure skater Kimmie Meissner for a twirl around the track in another segment of Wally's World.(TNT PR)(9-20-2006)
- Terry Labonte to run 'Tribute Car' in final Cup race..at Texas: Having been nicknamed "The Iceman" early in his career, two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte is widely known for his cool, calm and collected demeanor. But even he was surprised following the unveiling of his #44 Kellogg's/Terry Labonte Tribute Chevy at Texas Motor Speedway on Tuesday evening. Labonte, in town to give driving tips to members of the Dallas Cowboys prior to a session with the "Team Texas" racing school, was unaware he
would also be pulling the car cover off the Monte Carlo SS he will pilot in his final NEXTEL Cup Series race, the Nov. 5 Dickies 500 at TMS. "It was quite a surprise," said Labonte, a native of Corpus Christi who was joined by speedway president Eddie Gossage and Cowboys players for the reveal. "It's a truly unique race car, that's for sure. I've never seen anything quite like it. I'm definitely looking forward to showing it off to all the fans here in November and hopefully giving the car a good run. Everyone did a great job keeping this a secret because I had absolutely no clue it was happening." The vision of car designer Jim Gravlin, the scheme features moments from Labonte's 1996 championship and each of his dozen Cup victories with Hendrick Motorsports since 1994. The images include his infamous 1995 win at Bristol, Tenn., the historic 2003 Southern 500 triumph at Darlington, S.C., and his 1999 victory at Texas, which is appropriately showcased on the hood. The rear bumper of the car is inscribed simply with, "Thanks for the memories."(TMS PR), see an image of the scheme on mt #44 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2006)
- DirecTV back on the #07 at Dover: For the third time this season, Clint Bowyer's #07 Chevy will sport a DIRECTV paint scheme. DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital television service provider. DIRECTV is also the official satellite television service provider of NASCAR. The team's customary primary sponsor, Jack Daniel's, will be featured on the car's lower-rear quarter panels and deck lid. (RCR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2006)
- Smith to Ginn? UPDATE: hearing that Regan Smith, currently driving the #35 McDonald's Ford for Team Rensi in the Busch Series, will go to Ginn/MB2 Motorsports [#01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin] in 2007 to run a Cup/Busch schedule.(9-19-2006)
UPDATE: The following quote is attributed to Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2 Motorsports: "Since Bobby Ginn purchased a majority interest in MB2, it is the goal of the company to expand its racing operations. MB2 is currently evaluating a number of different expansion scenarios and combinations for the 2007 season. And yes, Regan Smith is a potential candidate to fill our expansion needs. He will be testing an MB2 car in Kentucky tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept 20th). Ryan Pemberton and Doug Randolph will oversee the test session."(MB2 Motorsports PR)(9-20-2006)
- Six Flags Paint Scheme on the #20 Chevy at Dover: The hood of the #20 Home Depot Chevy will feature Six Flags graphics to commemorate the strategic partnership with The Home Depot and to launch the Fright Fest in-store promotion. From Sept. 29 through Oct. 31, over 1,000 The Home Depot stores nationwide will offer discount coupons to 12 Six Flags parks. Discounts range
from "Buy One Get One Free" to "Save $15 to 10% Off." Coupons are available at stores within a 150-mile radius of Six Flags-branded U.S. theme parks. Motorsports Authentics and Six Flags have a licensing agreement for the production of 3,400 1/24-scale die cast cars to be sold online and through Motorsports Authentics dealer networks.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2006)
- Cotton Owens honored: An estimated 1,500 fans attended "Cotton Owens Day" at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.
"This is the largest honor I have ever had," said Everett "Cotton" Owens, who was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. "(All of these people) just show how many good friends that I do have. I feel real good knowing that I have all of these friends. I am very lucky." Gov. Mark Sanford attended the event and surprised Owens with The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest award for service. "Cotton and other pioneers really got NASCAR started," said Sanford, who is seeking his second term in the November elections. "And NASCAR has had a remarkable amount of significance in the Carolinas. It's always a privilege to be in the company of a legend, and what we have here today is a legend that lives in our own midst." A friend and former driver for Owens, two-time Winston Cup champion David Pearson, was present to help celebrate the day. "It's real great that we can honor him, but it should have been done a long time ago," Pearson said. "We had a real good relationship (when we were working together) and it's still real good. In fact, we go out and eat together quite a bit on Sundays after church." While driving for Owens in 1966, Pearson won the NASCAR Grand National Championship (now known as the Nextel Cup). During their five seasons together Owens and Pearson combined for 27 wins in 170 races. "It's an honor to be here, and I appreciate them inviting me," said Ned Jarrett, another one of Nascar's 50 Greatest Drivers. "Cotton Owens is one of the pillars of NASCAR. He certainly deserves the honor that is being bestowed upon him." As a car owner and driver, Owens collected 41 wins and 38 poles in 487 races.(GoUpstate.com)(9-20-2006)
- New Sponsor for the #49, starting at Dover: BAM Racing announced that WhatsOnline.com, a subsidiary of Abble Media, as primary sponsor of the #49 Dodge starting this weekend at Dover International Speedway. The first peek anyone will get of WhatsOnline.com will on Sunday afternoon. Abble Media has timed the "sneak peek" launch of WhatsOnline.com to coincide with the website's primary sponsorship of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge driven by Kevin Lepage this weekend in the Dover 400. In light of the recent personnel changes taking place at BAM Racing, the addition of WhatsOnline.com as a repeat primary sponsor in 2006 and 2007 is an additional step in the reorganization process for the team. The full-featured official launch of WhatsOnline.com is expected in mid-October.(BAM Racing PR-pdf)(9-20-2006)
- Chevrolet Scores 30th All-Time Manufacturers' Cup Title: #29-Kevin Harvick’s victory of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday helped make history for Chevrolet, securing the 400th victory for the Monte Carlo and clinching the 2006 Manufacturers’ Cup Championship for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series. With nine races left in the season, Chevrolet has collected its 30th all-time manufacturers’ crown and 26th in NASCAR’s Modern Era (1972 – present) in NASCAR’s premier racing series. "Chevrolet is proud to be the winningest name in racing,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “Our success in NASCAR is a result of many hours of hard work and dedication from all the men and women on our Chevy race teams. We also know that a strong performance in racing helps to generate the same strong performance in the marketplace, and we’re pleased with everyone's efforts to keep the Chevy bowtie out front on and off the track.”
A total of seven different Chevrolet drivers have contributed to 16 victories in 27 races to date. Chevy Monte Carlo SS drivers who posted wins this season include #48-Jimmie Johnson (four), #29-Kevin Harvick (four), #24-Jeff Gordon (two), #20-Tony Stewart (two), #11-Denny Hamlin (two), #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (one) and #5-Kyle Busch (one). The 2006 Manufacturers’ Cup Championship continues Chevrolet’s history of success in North America’s most popular racing series. Since NASCAR’s Modern Era began, GM has earned 28 of 35 possible manufacturers’ championships with Chevrolet collecting 26 titles for an impressive 80 percent championship record (Buick has won the title twice).
Mark Kent, director of GM Racing: “Chevrolet has a storied history in NASCAR competition with 465 race wins since the Modern Era began in 1972. To clinch the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Manufacturers’ Championship with nine races remaining in the season is an impressive accomplishment for Chevrolet and its teams. It has truly been a group approach with seven different Chevy drivers sharing in this result. This cooperative effort among the teams, in concert with the technology and support provided by GM Racing, has made this championship special for all concerned. We are extremely proud to capture our fourth consecutive manufacturers’ championship.”(GM Racing PR), see more on the Manufacturers Championship Standings/News page for more.(9-20-2006)
- Petty Enterprises Testing in Nashville: The #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge rolled off the truck this morning at the Nashville Superspeedway to begin testing with driver Bobby Labonte behind the wheel. Kyle Petty is also in town observing as the crew and crew chief, Paul Andrews, tackle the right set-up on the 1.33-mile concrete D-shaped oval. "We decided to come to Nashville to work on some general set-ups for the car to use in the near future. I guess you could say we're doing some R & D, but it mainly consists of finding new ways to set the car up. I believe this is Bobby's first test run on this particular track in a Petty car so we should have some interesting results by this afternoon," said Andrews. When asked about his thoughts on the "Car of Tomorrow" Andrews said, "It's definitely going to take some time to adjust for all of us. The main reason for the COT is driver safety, but also to make the
competition closer and more even across the board. The wing on the back end of the car is supposed to help the driver, especially in traffic where the air can get taken off the back, to have more control and not have to deal with the issue of being loose. I guess the jury is still out on the whole deal and will be for awhile, but we do what NASCAR tells us to do. The primary reason for the COT is to make our drivers safer, so that's always a positive thing and we'll all have to adapt."(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(9-20-2006)
News from September 19, 2006
- Boston Red Sox owner in talks to buy part of Roush: While Roush Racing president Geoff Smith isn't sure where discussions with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group will lead, he doesn't envision a scenario in which Jack Roush would relinquish control of the operation. Negotiations have been ongoing throughout the summer, Smith said late Tuesday afternoon. He's not sure what percentage of the team - which competes in all three of NASCAR's national series - could be sold, if any, but expects one thing to remain the same. "I can't see Jack Roush giving up control of Roush Racing," Smith said. "I don't see that as an outcome." Roush and Henry, who heads the NESV partnership, have been friends for several years, sparking occasional rumors that Henry was looking to buy into Roush Racing. In the past, though, Smith said the two sides were just discussing marketing possibilities, not a sale. The two were seen together on Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway and Roush Racing released a statement Tuesday that confirmed discussions about selling an interest in the team were ongoing.(in part from the SceneDaily.com)
AND: According to multiple executives briefed on the negotiations, Fenway Sports Group is in talks to buy as much as 50 percent of privately held Roush Racing, the class of NASCAR, for something north of $50 million. No deal is imminent, these executives cautioned, and the negotiations, which have started and stopped before, could still falter. Both the Fenway Sports Group and Roush Racing confirmed the talks, but both said there is no agreement. Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, called the Red Sox unit "attractive partners" because of its marketing capabilities, particularly in the Northeast. Said Mike Dee, president of Fenway Sports Group: "If these discussions are fruitful, we will be happy to talk about them."(in part from the Boston Globe)
AND II: “Roush Racing confirms,” said Geoff Smith president of Roush Racing, “It has entered into discussions to sell an interest in Roush Racing to Fenway Sports Group, Boston. Should these discussions ultimately materialize into a definitive agreement Roush Racing will provide further information on the topic.”(Roush Racing PR)(9-19-2006)
- Sponsor change on the #29? UPDATE: hearing that GM Goodwrench will not return as the primary sponsor of Kevin Harvick's #29 RCR Chevy in 2007, supposedly Reese's/Hershey's will return as a co-sponsor and a gasoline and lubricant supplier would be the other co-primary.(9-16-2006)
UPDATE: During the PRN's "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons" radio show Monday night car owner Richard Childress commented briefly on rumors that GM Goodwrench would not be back to sponsor Kevin Harvick's Chevy in 2007. "There's always rumors out there swinging around. We're talking about 'em right now...we're looking at what we're going to do next year and right now our plans are Goodwrench and Hershey for next year but who knows what can happen in the sport...things change."(PRN's "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons" radio show)(9-19-2006)
- Bill Elliott to attempt Kansas in #37: #37 R&J Racing announced that 1988 Cup Champ Bill Elliott will be in the #37 car (Dodge?) at Kansas Speedway next weekend. "We are extremely excited to announce that after a few weeks off to restructure our program, we have signed Bill to drive the #37 car. We feel that after joining forces with Ernie Elliott, we finally have achieved the success with our program that our team deserves." R&J Racing also has signed a deal with Vision Motorsports Marketing out of Atlanta to handle sponsorship and PR for them. "We feel that the #37 team has made huge strides towards developing their program and we believe with the right marketing partner they would be a force to challenge for the win each weekend." said Vision Motorsports
Marketing Vice President Adam Loser. R&J Racing and Vision Motorsports Marketing are working on their sponsorship program with opportunities still available for the Kansas race.(Vision Motorsports Marketing PR)(9-19-2006)
- Junior Johnson to Receive Smokey Yunick Award Prior to Bank of America 500: Junior Johnson, whose driving skills took him from the dusty back roads of North Carolina to the auto racing hall of fame, will receive the Smokey Yunick Award Saturday night,
Oct. 14, during pre-race ceremonies for the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Instituted in 1997 by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, the award annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. "Junior Johnson not only excelled behind the wheel of a stock car, but was also a championship team owner who brought several major corporations into the sport as sponsors," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler,
president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "His impact was far reaching, and he played a very important role in helping elevate the sport to the status it enjoys today. Smokey wanted this award to honor those who rose from humble beginnings and through hard work and dedication made a major impact on stock car racing," continued Wheeler, who will present the award. "The blue-ribbon panel that selects the recipient made an outstanding choice of which Smokey would be very proud."
Like many of stock car racing's pioneers, Johnson honed his driving skills running moonshine in the North Carolina mountains. His first NASCAR start came in the 1953 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and he won 50 races before hanging up his helmet in 1966. Johnson's greatest success, however, came as a car owner where he won 139 races and six championships in NASCAR's premier division. His drivers included Fred Lorenzen, Curtis Turner, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte. Throughout his career, Johnson was an industry leader in mechanical innovation and many of the sport's top crew chiefs and mechanics learned their trade while working under his leadership. In addition, his race cars were among the first to carry sponsorship from major consumer brands and Johnson was responsible for bringing R.J. Reynolds and NASCAR officials together, a meeting that resulted in a 33-year series sponsorship. In 1990, Johnson was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1998 was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Ken Squier, Bill
Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Junie Donlavey, Jim Hunter and Glen and Leonard Wood.(LMS PR)(9-19-2006)
- Ganassi teams testing at Nashville: Although Chip Ganassi Racing does not have a Nextel Cup Series car vying for the "Chase for the Championship" in 2006, that doesn't deter them from looking for a few wins before the season wraps up. #42-Casey Mears and his team is at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway concrete oval today looking to improve their chances to snag a future win at the Kansas Speedway. "We decided to come to the Nashville Superspeedway to basically "shakedown" the Havoline Dodge before we take her to Kansas. #41-Reed Sorenson was coming here anyway with Steve Boyer, our head guy over the "Car of Tomorrow" program at Ganassi Racing, so we decided since Reed would be here testing the COT that it would be a great place to work on the #42 too", explained Mears' crew chief Donnie Wingo. Testing is closed to the public.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(9-19-2006)
- No more Roush Gong show; Ragan in the #06 at Dover? UPDATE Ragan at Dover: Geoff Smith, head of Roush Racing, "We are committed to a rookie in the (#6) car. There are tremendous long-term business advantages to doing a program with a rookie, if the rookie can get the job done. And we expect any of our rookies to get the job done. We have been able to put four of our Gong Show drivers in rides this year to scrutinize them: Todd [Kluever]; David Ragan, splitting duties with Mark in Trucks; Erik Darnell, rookie-of-the-year leader in Trucks; and Danny O'Quinn. "One of those guys will be in the six [Cup car]. And by the time we get to Kansas City, we have to be done. We haven't had home runs out of the box with all four, but David and Erik have done extremely well. And Danny and David are only 20 years old. So we feel very good about where we are." Smith said he and Roush have thus canceled this year's Gong Show.(Winston Salem Journal), look for David Ragan to run the #06 Ford in the Dover Cup race.(9-18-2006)
UPDATE: Ragan to attempt Dover Cup race in the #06: Roush Racing announced that David Ragan will attempt to make his first attempt at a Nextel Cup Series start in the #06 Ford this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Ragan is currently competing in the Craftsman Truck Series. "I've looked forward to this day for a long time," said Ragan. "I never thought that the day would come this soon. It just goes to show that hard work and determination really can pay off. I have gotten a lot of racing experience in the Craftsman Truck Series that will help race with the guys in the Nextel Cup Series. I'm looking forward to working with Frank Stoddard and the #06 Ford team." Ragan will also make his second Busch Series start of the 2006 season in the #50 Barr-Nunn Ford when he competes in the Dover 200 on Saturday. "This is an awesome opportunity to get some more experience in the NASCAR Busch Series," said Ragan. "The guys with the #50 team had a great run with Danny O'Quinn here in the spring. It's a really good opportunity to get some valuable seat time to help me get familiar with Dover. I've never raced here so every lap I make is really going to help me."
"I see a lot of potential in these young drivers," said Jack Roush. "This will give us an opportunity to evaluate David Ragan and it will also give him valuable experience running in both series at Dover. Dover International Speedway is a very challenging track, but I know David will perform to the best of his ability."(Roush Racing PR)(9-19-2006)
- Kahne, Riggs and Yeley test at Kentucky: Chase for the Nextel Cup contender Kasey Kahne fine tuned elements of the intermediate track program for his #9 Dodge Dealers Dodge during a Kentucky Speedway test on Monday. Kahne used the valuable test time to hone his intermediate track skills that will prove helpful in upcoming events at Kansas Speedway, Lowe's Motor
Speedway and ultimately Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Chase for the Nextel Cup finale. The only Dodge representative in the Chase for the Nextel Cup said he will rely on the input of not only his team, but teammates #19-Elliott Sadler and #10-Scott Riggs while pursuing a first series title. Riggs and Joe Gibbs Racing driver #18-J.J. Yeley also turned test laps. Yeley are scheduled to return Tuesday, Sept. 19. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-19-2006)
- COT Testing at Milwaukee: hearing that "Car of Tomorrow" [COT] was tested Monday [and also on Tuesday] at the Milwaukee Mile with Aric Almirola testing for Joe Gibbs Racing and David Green testing a Hendrick Motorsports COT Chevy. Ganassi Racing will test the COT at Milwaukee later this month.(9-19-2006)
- Kurt Busch tests COT at Greenville Pickens: the Greenville News has pictures and video of #2-Kurt Busch testing a "Car of Tomorrow" [COT] on Monday. The car ran with Goodyear and Hoosier tires [due to Goodyear leasing rules, teams need tires, Hoosier is NOT coming back to Cup]. See more at the Greenville News.(9-19-2006)
- Issue with #29 and #31 cars after race at NHIS UPDATE's NASCAR denies; RCR & Speed's statements: FoxSports/Speed's Bob Dilner reports: have learned that there was an issue with the winning car of #29-Kevin Harvick and also his teammate, #31-Jeff Burton, in postrace tech [at New Hampshire Intl Speedway in the Cup race]. That issue surrounded the actual [wheel] rim of the race car. The team apparently manipulated that rim to act as a bleeder valve to release air pressure from that rim. In English, it was performance advantage for the RCR team. Now, it was not against anything in the rule book so there won't be any fines or points penalties later on this week, but they have been told not to do it again.(more at FoxSports)(9-18-2006)
UPDATE: Race winner Kevin Harvick and his teammate, Jeff Burton, did not have any problems in post race tech Sunday night at Loudon. Late Sunday night, it was reported that the Richard Childress Racing teams had manipulated their rims to act as a bleeder valve to release air pressure from the rim. According to NASCAR however, the issue of the rims never surfaced during post race tech. “We’ve been checking valves and valve stems for about 4 months now,” said Jim Hunter Vice President of Corporate Communications for NASCAR said Monday. “What it was, was one reporter trying to make something that wasn’t there. Then another reporter went on TV and reported it as fact, when it was actually totally untrue. It was one reporter’s unsubstantiated fantasy,”(Cupscene.com)
AND The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding
allegations in the media after the Sept. 19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway that two of RCR's teams had manipulated the rules: "Reports in the media, specifically on SPEED TV, that one or more of our NEXTEL Cup Series teams was found by NASCAR to be manipulating the rules yesterday at New Hampshire International Speedway are false and misleading. Our cars passed post-race inspection and officials at NASCAR assured us last night and again today that no one from RCR was told at any time not to bring a part back to the race track. The reported events and conversations did not happen. Our focus remains on two of our teams competing for the championship and the other finishing as high in the points as possible.(RCR PR)
SPEED statement: SPEED issues the following response to statements made by NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing regarding a story filed by SPEED reporter Bob Dillner during the Sept. 17 LIVE broadcast of The SPEED Report. "SPEED reporter Bob Dillner has a strong record of solid reporting from the NASCAR garage; so there is no rational reason for us to consider that the events and conversations he related to SPEED viewers are anything other than the truth," said Chris Long, SPEED Executive Producer for NASCAR programming.(SpeedTV.com)
AND Kevin Harvick told Sirius Speedway that he believes a rival team was behind Sunday's SPEED TV report alleging that NASCAR had discovered issues with the team's right-front wheels. "I absolutely think it was a plant from another team," said Harvick. "NASCAR didn't say anything, so it's pretty obvious to me where it came from. It's an attempt to try and distract us from what we're
doing, but they're going to have to do a lot better than that." Harvick said he knows who planted the story, but declined to name names.
(Sirius Speedway/MRN Radio)(9-18-2006)
UPDATE 3: Car owner Richard Childress told Benny Parsons during Monday night’s PRN's “Fast Talk radio show" that a Speed Channel report that RCR manipulated a rim giving the 29 car a performance advantage at New Hampshire was not true. Childress said reporter Bob Dilner “Got some bad information and he talked about it before he knew all the facts." Childress fielded many phone calls from various sponsors about the story, but he did not chastise Dilner. “I’ve got to say something for Bob Dilner. He did not report that on purpose. He didn’t do it out of anything derogatory to RCR or Jeff or Kevin. Its part of you guys (the media) job sometimes…you report things and maybe you don’t get the whole story.” Meanwhile the incident brought back some fond memories to the long-time car owner who won six championships with Dale Earnhardt. “All it did was made me think back to the days when Dale and RCR was winning and running good. You know, nobody ever loses…if you’ve ever heard that story...it’s because somebody’s doing something wrong to win. So, naturally with Kevin’s performance the last few weeks and RCR’s performance this year, people are going to say things.”(PRN's "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons" radio show)(9-19-2006)
- Burton's Team Claims Pit Crew Win in New Hampshire: Jeff Burton's #31 pit crew earned its second Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win in Sunday's NEXTEL Cup event, helping boost the Chase driver to a seventh-place finish in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. "Our pit crew has been a big part of Team Cingular's success this season," said Scott Miller, crew chief for the #31 Cingular Chevy. "Everyone has worked extremely hard to do their part, and we have seen the result of that on the track. I am very proud of the pit crew's efforts and look for it to continue throughout the final nine races in The Chase." Burton's over-the-wall crew, which spent a winning 171.097 seconds on pit road, consists of: Josh Yost (jackman), Kevin Nervenga (front-tire carrier), Joe Zielinski (front-tire changer), Jason Fowler (rear-tire carrier), Aaron Smith (rear-tire changer), Larry Hartle (gasman), Rich Burgess (catch can) and Wes Adams (windshield). The pit crew coordinator is Corrine Mauldin. Burton's team is one of 13 different pit crews to have won the weekly competition, which pays $10,500 for each win. In addition, a bonus of $105,000 will be awarded to the pit crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule. With nine races remaining, the $105,000 bonus is still up for grabs with the over-the-wall crews of Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch leading the standings with four wins each. Clint Bowyer's and Tony Stewart's teams are tied for second with three wins. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season with the Nextel Cup Series. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(9-19-2006)
News from September 18, 2006
- Commercial Breakdown for the Sylvania 300/New Hampshire: from cawsnjaws.com:
Total number of commercials: 130
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 79
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 21
Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos: 18
Total amount of time these brief promos took during broadcast: app. 3 min.
Restarts missed due to being away at commercial: 0
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:24 P.M.
End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:47 P.M.
Total minutes: 203 minutes
Minutes of race broadcast: 140
Minutes of commercials: 63
(Jayski Note: that would be 9 minutes of commercials in 30 minutes - less then a sitcom in primetime)
(see the full report at CawsnJaws.com)(9-18-2006)
- RYR one car team in 2007? UPDATE 2 Nope..looks like Martin; BUT can't run both?.... Robert Yates Racing co-owner Doug Yates told reporters in Richmond, Va., his team could shrink from two cars to one if sponsorship isn't found for its #88 [currently driven by Dale Jarrett with UPS as the sponsor](USA Today sidebar)(9-15-2006)
UPDATE: Despite recent dire predictions that he may have to shutter his #88 Ford team next year for lack of a sponsor, car owner Robert Yates told SPEEDTV.com on Saturday that he’s close to inking a deal for next season — and he hopes the driver of the #88 in 2007 will be Mark Martin. “From my side, we’re getting pretty optimistic,” Yates said following “Happy Hour” practice for the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. “We’re given and getting some good (sponsor) opportunities … I think it’s going to happen, and I’m anxious and I’m happy that we’re getting the cars better. … I think it’s all going to end up on the positive. I think I may have a job for a while longer.” Last week at Richmond, Yates said he might have to close the #88 team down next year, because he didn’t have a sponsor, but events of the last few days have changed his mind about 2007. Asked if things had changed in the last week, Yates said, “Big time,” adding, “I turned upbeat this week.” Asked how close he was to a sponsor deal, Yates said, “It could happen this week. The sooner, the better, but I want to make sure we get our cars right. We’re gaining on that quite a bit. It needs to happen. Right now, I’m very optimistic that we’ll be in good shape and good to go for another season.” The team owner said he wanted a veteran driver and that could mean Mark Martin, who Yates’s son, Doug, has talked to about moving over from Roush Racing. “I know Doug has talked to him … he’s interested,” said Yates. “That’s the feedback I get. I haven’t talked one on one with him.” Martin said Friday he hadn’t talked to Yates but left the door open for options outside of Roush next year.(Speedtv.com)(9-16-2006)
UPDATE 2 - can't do Cup full-time? Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said Mark Martin's Truck Series contract that is in the final stages of preparation will not allow him to run a full Nextel Cup schedule in 2007. "You can't do both," Smith said emphatically before Sunday's Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Smith said Martin's best option for a partial Cup schedule if that's what he desires will be in the #60 team that Roush Racing manages with Boris Said. He smiled when told that Robert Yates continues to put Martin on his wish list to drive the #88 next season.(NASCAR.com)(9-18-2006)
- Engine News - Dodge pulls engine plans; Chevy engine approved? Dodge executives have joined Ford in unexpectedly withdrawing plans for a new NASCAR engine for 2007, Dodge's Mike Accavitti, the company's new racing boss, said yesterday.
The moves by Ford and Dodge portend a looming engine-rules debate in the Nextel Cup garage, since Toyota will have a new engine for its tour debut next February. And it is unclear just what is at play in this growing engine debate. Ford's Jack Roush said that NASCAR has changed its 2007 engine plans several times this season, leading to his decision. Chevrolet officials are awaiting word from NASCAR about their own proposed new engine. Chevrolet's current engine design is the oldest on the tour, and NASCAR has rejected GM's last two proposed new engines. Dodge's Accavitti said that it's his understanding that NASCAR has already approved the new Chevrolet engine, though GM officials say they have heard nothing yet. Accavitti said that Dodge plans to come back with another engine-package design next year for 2008.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-18-2006)
- Walker to BDR truck team? sponsor 360 OTC? hearing there will be an announcement soon that past World of Outlaws Gumout Champion Tyler Walker will be behind the wheel of Rockford-Montgomery's #36 360 OTC Toyota Tundra in the Craftsman Truck Series, fielded by Bill Davis Racing.(9-18-2006)
- Unser Jr to NASCAR? Al Unser Jr. is the latest driver interested in moving into stock-car racing.(Winston Salem Journal)....that is all it says concerning a move to NASCAR.(9-18-2006)
- Benny sits out: Bill Weber on fellow TNT broadcaster Benny Parsons who sat out the race at New Hampshire due to illness: "He spent a couple hours in the hospital this week but he just called an hour ago and told me that the hospital kicked him out
so that he could go home and watch the race."(TNT PR)(9-18-2006)
- Power Outage at NHIS causes problems, sets #27 back 4 laps: A power outage left only NASCAR’s generator-driven apparati up and running at the start of the race at New Hampshire. The governing body generously shared its power with television, so that the broadcast booth, along with the space housing race officials, could be air-conditioned. As a result, the pre-race prayer and singing of the national anthem were conducted for TV audiences only. The whole affair was staged, and most of the capacity crowd didn’t know it was taking place. In fact, while the prayer was being delivered, the crowd was taking part in “the wave,” and practically no one was standing at the beginning of the anthem. Gradually, fans became aware that something was going on because they could see the pit crews standing at attention on pit road. Since TV couldn’t fully eliminate from its live pictures all evidence that the fans didn’t know what was going on, TNT anchor Bill Weber had to mention afterward that there had been a power outage. During the first caution period, power was restored.(Gaston Gazeete)
AND Electrical power to the New Hampshire track blinked out just minutes before the start of Sunday's race. But the 300-mile event started right on time, thanks to generators that kept all of NASCAR's equipment, including timing and scoring, up and running.
The TV broadcast by TNT was also able to continue without interruption until full power was restored after just four laps had been run.
Ted Christopher's [#27 Chevy] car was held in the garage until after the power came on because his spotter, who apparently was stuck on an elevator, had note reported to the spotters' stand at the top of the grandstand. Christopher started the race four laps behind. Officials said an auto accident away from the racetrack knocked down high voltage lines and caused the brief outage.(FoxSports/AP)(9-18-2006)
- New car chief for Labonte? hearing that besides a new crew chief, Paul Andrews, Rick Bourgeois is the new car chief for #43-Bobby Labonte.(9-18-2006)