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    OCTOBER 23-29, 2006

      News from October 29, 2006

    • Dodge Mum on Model Change UPDATE: And Dodge's Mike Accavitti, the new racing boss, continues to say no-comment on reports his company will follow GM's lead and badge its own car of tomorrow under the new Avenger logo.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2006)
      UPDATE: Mike Accavitti, Dodge's head of racing, declined to confirm his company's plans to follow GM and use NASCAR to market its revived Avenger. Accavitti said that the Avenger is still just "a concept car debuted in Paris," despite a NASCAR tech bulletin listing the Avenger as 2007-ready for Cup racing.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-29-2006)

    • Stewart wins at Atlanta: #20-Tony Stewart won the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the 2006 season and 28th of his career [tied for 17th overall with Rex White]. Stewart led the most laps with 146. #48-Johnson finished 2nd to close the points lead to 26 over #17-Kenseth who finished 4th after fighting with #8-Earnhardt Jr. for 3rd. #16-Biffle got he 5th spot with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #01-Nemechek and #7-Robby Gordon. Some Chasers had rough days with #9-Kahne wrecking and finished 38th and #6-Martin got caught up in a big wreck towards the end of the race and finished 36th. #31-Burton had some tire problems finished 13th. #29-Harvick just didn't have a good car, finishing 4 laps down in 31st. #5-Kyle Busch lost it early in the race, damaged the front of the car and was never a factor, finishing 27th, 4 laps down. Looks like a 5 driver race for The Chase. There were 9 cautions for 39 laps and 7 drivers lead the race with 24 lead changes.
      Race Results on my Atlanta Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page
      Race Rundown: see my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(10-29-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Chase Points Standing after Atlanta [33 of 36 races]:
      #17-Matt Kenseth 6008
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 5982 -26
      #11-Denny Hamlin 5943 -65
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5924 -84
      #31-Jeff Burton 5924 -84
      #29-Kevin Harvick 5887 -121
      #24-Jeff Gordon 5862 -146
      #6-Mark Martin 5807 -201
      #9-Kasey Kahne 5798 -210
      #5-Kyle Busch 5759 -249
      and fighting for 11th
      #20-Tony Stewart in 11th 4298 points
      #99-Carl Edwards -285 out of 11th
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(10-29-2006)

    • Unofficial "Classic" Points Standings
      ...the old way, not the Chase after Atlanta:
      1) #17-Matt Kenseth 4743
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 4665 -78
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick 4328 -415
      4) #20-Tony Stewart 4298 -445
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin 4261 -482
      6) #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4237 -506
      7) #31-Jeff Burton 4231 -512
      8) #24-Jeff Gordon 4231 -512
      9) #5-Kyle Busch 4148 -595
      10) #6-Mark Martin 4123 -620
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne 4112 -631
      12) #99-Carl Edwards 4013 -730
      13) #16-Greg Biffle 3771 -972
      14) #42-Casey Mears 3616 -1127
      15) #25-Brian Vickers 3589 -1154

    • Rumblings - Atlanta: Dale Earnhardt Jr stayed out....Tony Stewart came in and got four fresh ones, and it was pretty much over. Tony Stewart got by Little E with 11 to go tonight and went on to win the Bass Pro Shops 500 (I'd say he liked that trophy just a little, too!) at Atlanta Motor Speedway over Jimmie Johnson for his 4th win of the season and second in Hampton. Win #28 for Tony in his career moves him into a tie for 20th on the all-time win list with another Cup Champion....Rex White. This was the 53rd victory for Joe Gibbs Racing and it was worth $373,286 from the slightly over $6M in posted awards.
      Robby Gordon (10th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Watkins Glen in August.....and let the roll-bar padding wars begin!
      David Gilliland (15th) tied his career-best finish today. He was also 15th at Talladega last month.
      STREAKIN....Carl Edwards has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races.
      This Week's Elevator...UP: The Operator of the Week is Joe Nemechek (+32), followed by Kyle Petty (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kasey Kahne (-30), followed by Kevin Harvick (-29) and Mark Martin (-29). The bottom end of the "Shaft" is populated by nothin' but Chasers this week.(Stock Car Fans)(10-29-2006)

    • Atlanta Race Notes:
      • Tony Stewart won the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, scoring his 28th career Nextel Cup victory in his 281st career start.
      • Stewart moved into a tie for 20th on NASCAR’s All-Time win list, with Rex White.
      • It is Stewart’s fourth victory in 2006. He also won races at Martinsville, the second Daytona race and Kansas.
      • Stewart became the only driver to post multiple victories in the first seven races of the Chase.
      • Stewart scored his second victory in 16 races at Atlanta. It is his third straight top-10 finish at Atlanta. Stewart last won here in March 2002.
      • Stewart scored his 18th top-10 finish in 2006.
      • Stewart’s victory today was the 21st Chevrolet victory in 33 races in 2006.
      • Stewart won the race from the 11th-place starting position, marking the first race in the last six at Atlanta that a driver has won from outside the top 10.
      • Stewart remained 11th in the Championship standings. He has a 285-point lead over 12th-place Carl Edwards, who finished seventh.
      • Stewart led seven times for 146 of the 325 laps raced, leading the most laps for the fifth time in 2006, but the first time since the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.
      • This is team owner Joe Gibbs’ 53rd Nextel Cup victory and sixth in 2006: Stewart (four) and Denny Hamlin (two). This was Gibbs’ eighth Nextel Cup victory at Atlanta.
      Notebook Items
      • Race No. 33 at Atlanta is the seventh of the 10 races in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup.
      • Five of the 10 Chase drivers finished in the top 10.
      • Seven of the 10 of The Chase drivers changed points positions at Atlanta.
      • There have been six changes in the second-place points position in the seven Chase races.
      • Jimmie Johnson has been second in points after Atlanta in all three years of the Chase.
      • Four of the Chase drivers led at Atlanta: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (95), Jeff Gordon (44), Kevin Harvick (nine) and Jeff Burton (one).
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton are tied with 5,924 points with three races remaining. Earnhardt Jr. claims the fifth-place points position by the tie-breaker system which is based on finishes. Both have one victory and one secondplace finish. Earnhardt has three third-place finishes as compared to Burton with one.
      • The top five in points are separated by just 84 points.
      • Four of the seven races in the Chase have been won by Chase drivers.
      • Matt Kenseth has scored six top-15 finishes in the seven races in The Chase, the only driver to do so.
      • Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon are the only Chase drivers to score four top-10 finishes in the seven races in the Chase.
      • Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have each led in five of the seven races in the Chase.
      • Jimmie Johnson is the only Chase driver to post six top-10 starts in the seven races in the Chase.
      • Johnson has scored 21 top-10 finishes in 2006 and seven top-10 finishes in 11 races at Atlanta.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) scored his 15th top-10 finish in 2006 and his ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at Atlanta.
      • Matt Kenseth (fourth) scored his 20th top-10 finish in 2006 and his seventh top-10 finish in 14 races at Atlanta.
      • Greg Biffle (fifth) scored his 14th top-10 finish in 2006 and his fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Atlanta.
      • Denny Hamlin (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie for the 16th time in 2006.
      • At least one of the 2006 Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 33 races this season.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-29-2006)

    • Race not to be seen in St Louis area: Due to the St. Louis Cardinals [congrats] winning the World Series and conducting its Victory Parade Sunday afternoon, the local NBC affiliate [Channel 5/KSDK] will cut into the race around 1:30pm/ct and returning to the race at approx. 4:30pm/ct. So parts of the race will not be seen. Complaints to or The race will also re-air on SPEED, Thursday, Nov 2nd at 2:30pm/et.(10-29-2006)

    • Lester's plans up in the air: Bill Lester said his racing plans for 2007 likely won't be set before this season ends at Homestead, Fla., next month. "It's just like last year," Lester said. "I didn't do a deal until Homestead, and I don't expect anything to be different." Lester, who drives the #22 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing, said he would like to return to the truck series and run some Nextel Cup events. He ran two Cup races this year, at Atlanta in March and at Michigan in June.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Bill Davis Racing announced it's 3-driver Truck Series team at Atlanta and Lester was not part of that announcement.(10-29-2006)

    • Results of #66 Crewman MRI Reveals Torn Knee Ligaments: Phillip Gee, jackman for the #66 Best Buy Haas CNC Racing Chevy, suffered ligament damage to his left knee last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Gee, who injured the knee following a pit stop during the Nextel Cup Series race at Martinsville, underwent an MRI on Wednesday morning, October 25. Joe Custer, general manager of the Haas CNC team, said the MRI revealed tears in both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) of Gee's knee, which will likely require surgery. Doctors estimate Gee will be sidelined from performing pit crew duties for a period of six months to a year. Mike Casto, who serves as jackman for Haas CNC Racing's #00 Busch Series entry, will fill in for Gee this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Haas CNC Racing management will then decide on a race by race basis who will handle jackman duties for the #66 team.(Best Buy Racing PR)(10-29-2006)

    • Chevy to decrease Truck Series support: Although General Motors announced only a modest loss in the quarter just past, the knife has come to marketing and NASCAR. Chevrolet officials revealed that the company would end its direct sponsorship of teams in the Craftsman Truck series, where it had backed two teams this year -- Morgan-Dollar's #85 [Dennis Setzer] and #46 [many drivers] and the Xpress #16 [with Saturday's winner Mike Bliss]. Chevrolet will continue to support its Truck teams, under the Silverado name, with technical and parts support, so the brand will remain established in the series, which has become largely a works series.(

      News from October 28, 2006

    • Sad News - #55 Jackman passes: Bill Davis Racing statement on the passing ofr Steve Spahr, #55 NAPA Team Jackman: "Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with Steve's family," said Bill Davis, owner of Bill Davis Racing. "Steve was an important part of the Bill Davis Racing family for many, many years. He was a quiet mentor to his peers and was both respected and well-liked by everyone on our race team and many others within the Nextel Cup garage. He will be missed and remembered fondly by everyone associated with our team." Spahr, 48, worked both at the shop and at the track performing a wide range of tasks from engine tuning to suspension work in the shop and in the past had served as the jackman for the #22 team. Most recently, Spahr was the jackman for the #55 NAPA Racing team. A long-time employee of Bill Davis Racing, Spahr had recently been hospitalized with a tear of the aorta and had undergone surgery in the Greensboro, N.C. area. Spahr was recovering at home with his family when he passed away suddenly Friday evening.(BDR PR)(10-28-2006)

    • Hornish to race in Nov. Phoenix Busch race? UPDATE 3 yep: Reports that IRL champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will make his stock car debut next month at Phoenix in a NASCAR Busch Series car are premature, a Team Penske spokesman said Friday night. A recent story cited unidentified sources as saying the Penske team will enter Hornish in the Busch races at Phoenix and Homestead in November, as well as running him in selected Busch and ARCA events next season before launching a full-time Nextel Cup career in 2008. "Roger Penske has said publicly that we are considering a plan that would allow Sam to race in some Busch and ARCA races next year, for sure, along with his IRL schedule," Chris Schwartz, director of marketing and communications for the Penske team, told The Associated Press. "That's all in motion and it's a goal of ours to get him into a Busch race this year," Schwartz added. "But he hasn't even tested a (stock) car, yet. We hope to get that accomplished soon and we hope to get him in the Phoenix (Busch) race and maybe the Homestead (Busch) race, too. But nothing is done yet."(Associated Press)(10-14-2006)
      UPDATE: Hornish could run the Busch Series race at Phoenix next month if he feels he is ready, Penske Racing officials confirmed. Hornish has tested a stock car at North Carolina (Rockingham) Speedway and plans to test at Iowa Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway before deciding whether to run at Phoenix, Penske Raacing South President Don Miller said Saturday. "We're going to let him get the feel of the car," Miller said. "If he decides that he's ready, we could theoretically do that [Phoenix race]." Matt Gimbel, the crew chief for the #39 Penske Racing South Busch Series team, will direct the effort. Hornish is committed to run in the IRL for 2007. "That is his primary deal," Miller said. "We don't want to interfere with the primary program because that wouldn't be good for the team overall."(
      UPDATE 2: been told that Hornish will run the Phoenix and Homestead Busch races with in the #39 Mobil 1 Dodge, offiicial announcement to come later this morning.
      UPDATE 3: Penske Racing officials announced Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to qualify for two NASCAR Busch Series races this season. Hornish will pilot the #39 Mobil 1 Dodge at the Nov. 11 Phoenix and Nov. 18 Homestead events. Penske Racing will expand its Busch Series effort in 2007, splitting duties between Hornish and fellow Penske drivers #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Kurt Busch. Hornish has tested the Busch car twice already, at Kentucky and Iowa.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-28-2006)

    • Truex Jr. wins IROC race at Atlanta; Stewart wins IROC championship: #8-Martin Truex Jr. won the Crown Royal IROC race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. #17-Kenseth ended up 2nd and #20-Stewart was third, clinching 2006 Crown Royal IROC Championship and the $1 million. #12-Newman was 4th, followed by #1-Musgrave, #6-Martin, #46-Kimmel, #16-Papis, #11-Kinser, #06-Hornish, #10-Taylor and #08-Sharp. More at and my 2006 IROC page.(10-28-2006)

    • Roush's #06 team limited to one more race in 2006: Roush Racing can only enter the #06 in one more Nextel Cup race this year because of the team limitations imposed by NASCAR, team president Geoff Smith confirmed Saturday. Roush already has its fifth full-time team grandfathered in on the four-team NASCAR Cup limit. Teams are also allowed to enter an extra team for a rookie to get ready for next season. Smith said Roush Racing interpreted that limitation to mean seven races with any rookie, but NASCAR informed the team at Martinsville last week that it could run only one more race - the eighth Nextel Cup attempt overall for the #06 car this year. The #06 has attempted to run six events (including one where the team failed to qualify) with Todd Kluever and two with David Ragan. That final race for the #06 will be Phoenix with Kluever at the wheel. Smith said it is the team's plan to run Ragan in whatever races he is eligible for the rest of the year in the #60 No Fear Racing car, which has an affiliation with Roush. Ragan originally was supposed to drive the #06 car at Atlanta this weekend. When Roush Racing found out last week it could only run that car one more time this year, it withdrew the car and planned to have No Fear enter Ragan in the #60. Before it could get the new entry filed, NASCAR ruled that Ragan was not approved to run the 1.5-mile Atlanta track in the Cup race because of struggles at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday. Smith said the team is fine with the limitation imposed.(

    • Graves to Toyota: Toyota yesterday signed Andy Graves to be the company's NASCAR field manager for its 2007 Nextel Cup debut season. Graves spent the past five years managing Chip Ganassi's Dodge teams.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2006)

    • Borland to Red Bull? A shakeup is looming for the Roger Penske operation, with Toyota's Red Bull team reportedly making a run at crew chief Matt Borland to take the helm of Brian Vickers' team next season. Borland is #12-Ryan Newman's crew chief at Penske's.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2006)

    • Nicorette Increases 2007 Program with Jeff Gordon: Nicorette nicotine gum will expand its Nextel Cup program next season, expanding its involvement with #24-Jeff Gordon to four races, officials announced Friday at Atlanta. They also commended the 173 NASCAR officials and crew members who quit smoking with their product this season. Gordon will run a special Nicorette paint scheme for four races next season: Las Vegas (March 11), Chicago (July 15), Richmond (Sept. 8) and Atlanta (Oct. 28).(AMS Pit Notes)(10-28-2006)

    • Mayfield to run the #09 car at Phoenix & Homestead: Jeremy Mayfield, who will run the #36 360 OTC Toyota in the Nextel Cup Seires for Bill Davis Racing in 2007, will run the #09 Miccosukee Gaming Dodge for Phoenix Racing/owner James Finch at Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mayfield is running the #15 Chevy truck this weekend in the Truck Series race at Atlanta.(

    • Seaberg win Pilot Truck Driver Challenge: Evernham Motorsports hauler driver Jeff Seaberg, who steers the #10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge to the track each week, was named the 2006 Pilot Truck Driver Challenge winner Friday at AMS. Seaberg claimed his $50,000 check and large trophy in front of a room full of his peers and a smattering of media members. Seaberg claimed the title by acing a comprehensive test of driving ability, alertness and dedication to his profession. The competition included safety checks, spot quizzes and navigating through driving courses. Joe Gibbs Racing's Peter Jellen finished second and picked up $5,000, and Penske Racing's Bill Lewis was third, earning $2,500. Pilot Travel Centers also announced plans for increased purse money for next season's challenge, upping second- and third-place prizes to $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-28-2006)

    • Martinsville final TV ratings down: NBC's broadcast of last Sunday's Subway 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.1 and a 9 market share, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 13.6% lower than the 4.7 NBC earned for the race last year.(, see more news and the season TV Ratings chart on the 2006 TV Ratings page.(10-28-2006)

    • Atlanta Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the first time Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to the track . . . teams in both the Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck Series will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Nextel Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle" and the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the only track on which NASCAR teams will run these tire codes in 2006 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 60-64 laps.(Goodyear PR), see full report, tires codes on my Atlanta Race Info Page.(10-28-2006)

      News from October 27, 2006

    • New ESPN2 NASCAR Show UPDATE: Clint Bowyer, J.J. Yeley and Jeremy Mayfield, will be featured during this weekend's premiere of "NASCAR Driver's Non-Stop." The reality-based show accompanied Bowyer recently on his vacation to Myrtle Beach, S.C. and to the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway. The program also highlights Bowyer's go-kart exploits at Muddy Creek International Speedway, located near his North Carolina home. "NASCAR Driver's Non-Stop" premieres Sunday, November 5 [NOT October 29] at 10:00pm/et on ESPN2 with re-air on November 12 at 10:00pm/et; two more shows, also at 10:00pm/et will have Casey Mears, David Stremme and David Gilliland featured on Nov. 19 and 26.(10-27-2006)

    • Dodge and Chevy to change models in 2007? UPDATE Impala for Chevy in 2007 COT races: Beginning in 2007, Dodge and Chevrolet will campaign new models in Nextel Cup competition, Yahoo! Sports has learned. Dodge will run the Avenger, while Chevrolet will run the Impala SS, according to sources with some of NASCAR's manufacturers. The change also was indicated in a technical bulletin distributed to all teams last week. Both Dodge and Chevy soon will announce that they have been given approval by NASCAR to change to the new models, with Chevy's announcement possibly coming as soon as this week. According to the sources, the stock car version has been approved for use by Dodge teams for both the current Nextel Cup car as well as the Car of Tomorrow version, starting next season. The switch from Monte Carlo to Impala could signal the end of the Monte Carlo name from the Chevrolet lineup, as its rear-drive design [NOTE: the Monte Carlo is front wheel driven - verified at the site] is used on its model alone and at the present time, no replacement is on the drawing boards at GM. However, unlike its Dodge counterpart, the Impala SS will only be used by Chevrolet teams for their Car of Tomorrow, according to sources. Manufacturers and NASCAR also are continuing to move forward with plans to change all of the models used in the Busch Series, perhaps as soon as the 2010 season. That change would put smaller, sportier models into competition, like the retro-designed Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger – as well as the Toyota Solara.(Yahoo Sports)(10-24-2006)
      UPDATE: After a decades-long hiatus from stock car racing, Chevy's legendary Impala nameplate - enhanced with the SS performance designation - will once again compete in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) in select races of the 2007 NASCAR season. Chevy's Car of Tomorrow entry, slated to make its first run at Bristol in March of 2007, will be an Impala SS and will share the NNCS schedule next season with the current Monte Carlo SS. The Car of Tomorrow will share both the 2007 and 2008 racing seasons with the current race car design until its first full season in 2009. The new car is scheduled to race at sixteen events in 2007, consisting of those at tracks less than a mile and a half in length, the road courses and the second Talladega race. In 2008, all races at tracks two miles or more in length are expected to feature the new design. Chevrolet introduced the Impala in 1957 as a 1958 model (50 years ago next year) and drivers immediately took to the big car, racing it first on the beach at Daytona, then at Daytona International Speedway in 1959. Redesigned that year, Bob Welborn scored a victory with the new model for the qualifying race of the 1959 Daytona 500 - the first 500 at the Speedway. Success continued for Impala with consecutive NASCAR championship titles in 1960 (Rex White) and again in 1961 (Ned Jarrett). In 1963, stock-car legend Junior Johnson ran 32 races of the 55-race schedule in the famous white No. 3 Impala owned by Ray Fox and collected seven wins, 12 top-fives, 13 top-tens and nine poles.(GM Racing PR), images of the 2007 #48 Lowe's Chevy Impala on the 2007 #48 Team Schemes page.(10-27-2006)

    • Ragan finds a way to talk to Stewart: With last week's on-track run-in with Tony Stewart still fresh in his mind, David Ragan came to Atlanta with reconciliation on his mind. Knowing that it might be hard to get Stewart alone, Ragan bid $5,750 at Thursday night's Speedway Children's Charities auction to buy the pre-race ride around the track with Stewart. "I've never spoken to Tony before; I'm kind of happy he knows my name actually, but not for these reasons," Ragan said. "This will give us a chance to talk a little bit." Ragan, the son of former NASCAR driver Ken Ragan, triggered a three-car wreck last weekend in Martinsville, taking out Ken Schrader and Tony Stewart, angering both veterans. Stewart had a few choice words for the young driver after the accident, and Ragan knows that he can't start his career in Nextel Cup making enemies. "Tony, he criticized me a lot after last week, and when a champion does that, it's good to go talk to him," Ragan said. "I think I'll ask him his thoughts, what I should have done different, just introduce myself so that if I step out of line in the future he'll come and talk to me about it." Ragan was expected to attempt to qualify for both Saturday's Craftsman Truck race and Sunday's Nextel Cup race, but NASCAR did not approve him to compete in the upper level event. He is still hopeful that he will be approved before next weekend's race in Texas. "I was disappointed, but at least I'll be running the truck race here," Ragan said. "I'm happy; I'm just 20 years old, and I'm here in the truck series."(AMS Pit Notes)(10-27-2006)

    • Tracy Committed to Champ Car; will not run NASCAR in 2007: Paul Tracy has decided to remain loyal to Champ Car and abandon plans to participate in NASCAR in 2007. Tracy participated in six NASCAR Busch Series races in 2006 and showed signs of potentially having a successful career in stock cars.(Player Management International PR)(10-27-2006)

    • Bodine back in the #4 at Atlanta; Ward at Texas UPDATE: SPEED's Bob Dilner reported on the SPEED Report that Todd Bodine is scheduled to be back in the #4 Morgan McClure Sports Chevy at next weeks Atlanta race and Ward Burton could be back in the car at Texas on the first weekend in November.(10-23-2006)
      UPDATE: Ward Burton will return to drive the #4 Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5. will provide performance & media updates throughout the weekend. Ward Burton #4 t-shirts will be available for sale through in the coming days. Any individual or company who would like to support Ward Burton and Morgan-McClure, see McClure Motorsports)(10-27-2006)

    • Maurice Petty, Barney Hall to enter NMPA hall of fame: Another member of stock car racing’s “royal” family and the sport’s longtime radio voice make up the National Motorsports Press Association’s hall of fame class for 2007. Maurice Petty was head engine builder for more than 30 years at Petty Enterprises and helped guide his brother, Richard, to 198 of his NASCAR-record 200 career wins, while Barney Hall has been working on radio broadcasts for nearly five decades. Maurice Petty, 67, helped his brother win seven poles, seven Daytona 500s and 120 poles. He also made 26 starts as a driver at the Cup level, with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964. He stepped away from full-time involvement in 1985, but helped Dodge work with its motors when it returned to NASCAR’s top series. Petty was diagnosed with polio as a child and now needs a walker and a scooter to get around. Hall, now 74, was working for a radio station in his hometown of Elkin when he got a job as the public address announcer at the track in Bristol, Tenn. Within a couple of years, he was working for what would become Motor Racing Network, where he still works today. The NMPA’s hall of fame is part of the Stock Car Racing Museum at Darlington Raceway. Induction ceremonies will be held in Charlotte during the NMPA’s annual convention in January.(Thatsracin)(10-27-2006)

    • Fans can help soldiers at AMS: Fans shopping at the souvenir trailer at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend will have a chance to assist severely wounded and disabled soldiers. The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes has partnered with the track to sell "hero" wristbands at 45 souvenir rigs.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-27-2006)

    • Steve Smith keeps points lead in Chase Tracker game: Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers scored six points in the Nextel Chase Tracker game to extend his lead over former Green Bay Packer Aaron Taylor to seven points (42-35). Smith correctly identified the position of Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet) in the standings; Taylor did not earn any points this week. Derek Lowe of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jerry Stackhouse of the Dallas Mavericks each identified two drivers’ positions to move into a tie for third-place with 34 points. Smith, a Pro Bowl WR for the Carolina Panthers, is the third different athlete to lead the Chase field for two consecutive weeks. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady led the first two weeks and former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen led the next two. Other notable performances this week came from Floyd Mayweather Jr. and William Henderson. Each contestant filled out the Chase Tracker grid with their Chase predictions prior to the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.(NASCAR Media)(10-27-2006)

    • Newman wins open wheel race in GA: #12-Ryan Newman returned to his open-wheel roots Wednesday night and emerged victorious in the South Georgia Motorsports Park 100. The event, part of the Premier Racing Association’s Silver Crown series, featured Silver Crown “Big Cars” and NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney and Newman. Newman, driving the No. 192 car, qualified second earlier in the day with a time of 17.169 seconds, just behind series point leader Chet Fillip. However, the PRA’s Silver Crown series mixes things up a bit by inverting the top six. The qualifiers must draw for their spot after qualifying and after the selection, Newman moved back one spot to third, while Fillip was relegated to sixth. Marc Jessup began up front. After a brief autograph session with all of the drivers, the 100-lap race began with Newman quickly moving into second in the race’s opening laps.(Penske Racing PR)(10-27-2006)

    • Final 2006 race for Jim Beam: This weekend's event will mark the final appearance of the 2006 Nextel Cup Series season for Jim Beam as the primary sponsor of Robby Gordon's #7 Chevy. Dedicated to socially responsible drinking, Jim Beam launched its awareness program, drink smart, in 1995 as an educational program that communicates the importance of responsible consumption by adults of legal purchase age that choose to drink. drink smart means: If you're of legal age and you choose to drink, do so responsibly; Do not drink if you're under 21; Don't drive drunk; If you can't drink smart - don't drink at all. Harrah's, Menards and will serve as associates.(RGM PR)(10-27-2006)

    • Rookie News and Notes Atlanta:
      #11-Denny Hamlin was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Oct. 22 Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin finished second, .544 seconds behind race winner Jimmie Johnson. He claimed his sixth top-five and 16th top-10 finish and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the 15th time this season. Hamlin is fourth in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings, 47 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. He leads fifth-place Jeff Burton by one point and sixth-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 47. Hamlin leads Clint Bowyer by 54 points (277-223) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 29 Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top 15 in all 32 races this season. Reed Sorenson was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the March race at Atlanta (race No. 4) earlier this season, scoring a 10th-place finish. Kyle Busch was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2005 Bass Pro Shops 500, posting a 12th-place finish. Busch also led the race once for four laps. Since 1975, the late Kenny Irwin is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole at the fall race in Atlanta. Irwin grabbed the top spot for the 1998 Bass Pro Shops 500. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the fall race at Atlanta (since 1975) is second by Dale Earnhardt in 1979. Earnhardt finished one-half car length behind winner Neil Bonnett.(Raybestos PR), see rookie standings, history, facts on the 2006 Rookies Page.(10-27-2006)

    • Martin plans to run some Truck races in 2007..for Ford: Mark Martin said Thursday that he probably will drive in five to 10 races in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 in a Ford. He said he also probably will run five to 10 races in the Busch Series, driving a Chevrolet. Martin is driving the #01 Chevrolet for MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing] in 20 Nextel Cup races next season. Martin has raced in the truck series 11 times this season, winning five of them.(Dallas Morning News)(10-27-2006)

    • IROC series season concludes at Atlanta: Crown Royal IROC XXX will conclude the 2006 season on Saturday, October 28, 2006 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The $1 million Race Four finale will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel at 3:00pm/et. The Crown Royal IROC Series returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the third consecutive year to award $1 million to the series’ champion. 2006 will mark IROC’s fifth appearance at AMS, having staged final events in 1979 and 1980. The 2006 championship will be decided among the top four in the current points standings: Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Max Papis and Ryan Newman; all others are mathematically eliminated. The rest of the field are: Martin Truex Jr., Sam Hornish Jr., Frank Kimmel, Mark Martin, Scott Sharp, Wayne Taylor/Max Angelelli [Tatlor will run at Atlanta], Steve Kinser and Ted Musgrave. By calculation there are nearly 50-million different possible orders of finish. It will come down to bonus points and the final running order before the championship is decided. If Kenseth wins and maximizes the bonus points, as he did in the opener at Daytona, Stewart will need to finish third or better to clinch the title. Stewart was the IROC Series runner-up in 2001. A Crown Royal IROC title in 2006 would give Stewart six different series title to his collection of national championships. His five national titles include: USAC National Midget champion (1994 & ’95), USAC Sprint Car (’95), USAC Silver Crown (’95), IRL IndyCar Series (’97) and NASCAR Nextel Cup (2002 & ’05). Race bonus points in addition to winning the race in Atlanta could make Kenseth the first two-time $1 million Crown Royal IROC champion: He won the inaugural $1 million Crown Royal IROC championship in 2004. Papis and Newman are tied at 39-points. Mathematically, Papis, or Newman, could win the championship if Stewart finishes 11th or worse, Kenseth places out of the top-five, and either driver would have to win the race and collect the maximum bonus points (8). More at and my 2006 IROC page.(10-27-2006)

    • #83 now the #84 for Atlanta: A.J. Allmendinger will run the #84, not the #83, on the Red Bull Dodge at Atlanta. The team had planned to run #30 with Bill Elliott and run a special scheme to honor Elliott's 30 years in Cup racing [Elliott will be in the #37 Dodge]. But Red Bull signed Allmendinger as their 2nd team driver this past week to run the full 2007 season in the #84 Toyota. Allmendinger was to run the #83 [which will be run by Brian Vickers in 2007] and the entry list changed Wednesday to #84. Allmendinger may not even get a chance to run the car this week if qualifying at Atlanta is cancelled as rain is forecast all day Friday and Friday night [100%]. Qualifying is scheduled for 7:10pm/et and be televised on SPEED.(10-27-2006)

    • Kurt Busch interview on Sirius Friday: #2 Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch will be the featured guest on Friday's SIRIUS Speedway show, a highlight of the programming on SIRIUS Satellite Radio's NASCAR Radio Channel 128. Non-subscribers to SIRIUS can log on to on Thursday and Friday and receive a free trial to access the media player and some 75 channels of commercial-free music, exclusive sports, talk and entertainment channels. It's quick and easy - and there's absolutely no commitment. Busch's interview is set to air at 3:15pm/et on Friday.(PR)(10-27-2006)

      News from October 26, 2006

    • Schumacher to run Cup road courses? Rumors that Michael Schumacher has signed a $10 million deal to drive the two NASCAR road races at Sears Point (Infineon) and Watkins Glen in 2007 could not be substantiated at [] launch time.(

    • McDonald's scheme for #9 at Atlanta: Kasey Kahne will drive the #9 McDonald's/Dodge Dealers Dodge at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Kahne also ran a McDonald's scheme at Chicago and this will be the same but the decklid will feature vitaminwater.(Clear!Blue PR), see a couple images of the scheme on the #9 Team Schemes Page.(10-26-2006)

    • Allmendinger dropped from Champ Car ride for final race: SPEED has learned that 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice has been tabbed by Gerry Forsythe to replace A.J. Allmendinger in the Champ Car season finale Nov. 12 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Allmendinger announced earlier this week he was leaving Champ Car for NASCAR next year and Forsythe decided to look for the future. "We've got to think about '07 and this will be a good audition for Buddy," said Forsythe, who called Allmendinger on Thursday morning to inform the five-time winner his services were no longer required. Besides giving Rice a long-awaited chance, this also means Champ Car will have an American in the starting lineup since Allmendinger was the lone Yank this season.(Speed Channel)(10-26-2006)

    • Best Buy on #66 rest of season; Jackman injury update: Best Buy, which has served as the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing in a number of races this season, will have its logo displayed on the hood of the #66 entry in each of the season's final four Nextel Cup Series events. Phillip Gee, jack man for the #66 Haas CNC Racing entry driven by Jeff Green, underwent an MRI examination of his injured left knee on Wednesday morning, October 25. No results of that examination have not been released. Gee, who injured the knee following a pit stop during Sunday's Nextel Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, is expected to be out for the remainder of the season, according to team officials. Gee said doctors did not detect any broken bones in their initial examination, but scheduled the MRI to determine if there is any ligament or cartilage damage to the knee. Mike Casto, who serves as jack man for Haas CNC Racing's #00 Busch Series entry, will fill that role on the #66 entry during Gee's recuperation.(Best Buy Racing PR)(10-26-2006)

    • COT Testing at Iowa UPDATE: Three NASCAR Nextel Cup Teams - among the top teams in auto racing - will conduct the first Cup Series tests in Iowa racing history this week at Iowa Speedway. Tests begin Tuesday and run through Friday with the public viewing area open each day from 9:00-5:00. Teams from Joe Gibbs Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Penske Racing will test the Car of Tomorrow beginning at 9:00am Tuesday and continue through 5:00pm Wednesday, weather permitting. The Penske Racing Busch Series Team is scheduled to test Thursday and Friday, 9:00-5:00. Penske Racing drivers #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman are among the drivers scheduled to test drive the "Car of Tomorrow" at Iowa Speedway.(Iowa Speedway PR/Site)(10-24-2006)
      UPDATE: Two Nextel Cup Teams - Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates - and Penske Racing – successfully tested the “Car of Tomorrow” this week at Iowa Speedway. Penske Team drivers, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch, along with Ganassi Team driver, Kevin Hamlin, tested different models of the “Car of Tomorrow” Tuesday and Wednesday in Iowa. The tests were the first Cup Series tests ever conducted on the new 7/8 mile asphalt oval track designed by former Nextel Cup Champion, Rusty Wallace.(Iowa Speedway site and images of the cars on their Gallery)(10-26-2006)

      News from October 25, 2006

    • PRN back at Atlanta: The Performance Racing Network [PRN] is ready to tackle all of the action during the October 27-29, 2006 NASCAR Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Bass Pro Shops 500 is race number seven in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and the competition for the title has never been tighter with the top 8 teams separated by only 99 points. PRN will broadcast Friday's qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops 500, Saturday's Crown royal IROC race event and Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup event. Immediately following the Nextel Cup race, Rice and Garrow will also host the Crown Royal Post-Race Show. Fans can call in at 1-800-771-TALK (8255) to discuss the weekend's event. PRN's broadcast crew consists of anchors Doug Rice and Mark Garrow; pit reporters Brett McMillan, Pat Patterson, Brad Gillie and Sean Pragano and turn announcers Chuck Carland and Rob Albright.
      PRN's broadcast will be heard on more than 465 stations nationwide, XM Satellite Radio Channel 144 and on The events can be heard locally on WYAY 106.7 FM - the Eagle.
      PRN broadcast schedule for Atlanta Motor Speedway:
      Friday, October 27: 7:00 p.m. - Qualifying for the Bass Pro Shops 500
      Saturday, October 28: 3:00 pm - Crown Royal IROC Race Event
      Sunday, October 29: 2:00 p.m. - Bass Pro Shops 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race
      Immediately following NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Race - Crown Royal Post-Race Show.(Performance Racing Network), PRN will also cover the race at Texas next week.(10-25-2006)

    • Labonte Racing Cascadian Farms Dodge at Atlanta: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cascadian Farms Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500. Labonte will be racing the Cascadian Farms Dodge for the first time this season. In 1998, with the addition of Muir Glen tomatoes, Cascadian Farm became part of Small Planet Foods. In 2000, Small Planet Foods was purchased by General Mills, giving Cascadian Farm the opportunity to bring quality products to even more people around the country. Cascadian Farm has become a leading grower, manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of delicious organic products, from frozen fruit to breakfast cereal.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing), more info on Cascadian Farms at, see images on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-25-2006)

    • #55 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR announced today that Tommy Baldwin Jr., crew chief for Michael Waltrip’s #55 Dodge Nextel Cup Series team, has been fined $5,000 for rule violations during last Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. The fine resulted from violations of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used in the event that do not conform to NASCAR rules); 20-17B(3) (entering the car servicing area without a fire-resistant uniform); and 20-17.1A(3) (entering the car servicing area without a helmet) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(10-25-2006)

    • Red Bull testing at Kentucky: Team Red Bull is scheduled to test a Nextel Cup car at Kentucky Speedway today [Oct 25th], no word on the driver. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway site)(10-25-2006)

    • Green's #66 Team Becomes 15th Checkers/Rally's Pit Crew Winner at Martinsville: Jeff Green's #66 over-the-wall crew became the 15th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team to earn a win in the weekly Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition by claiming the honor in Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. The Best Buy crew, which spent the least amount of time on Martinsville's pit road (285.023 seconds), helped lift the team to an eighth-place finish. The #66 over-the-wall crew, which earned $10,500 for the win, consists of: Phillip Gee (jackman), Michael "Shrek" Morneau (front-tire carrier), Kelly Kellis (front-tire changer), Zach McGowan (rear-tire carrier), Daniel Smith (rear-tire changer), Robby Maschhaupt (gasman) and Derick Jennings (catch can). The pit crew coach is Wayne Holden. With four races remaining on the NEXTEL Cup circuit, the pit crews of Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart are tied for first place in the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge standings. The crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule will be presented with a $100,500 bonus. Checkers/Rally's will present the crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule with a $100,500 bonus. To date, Checkers/Rally's has paid out $336,000 in Nextel Cup Series prize money during this season. 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 Communications PR)(10-25-2006)

      News from October 24, 2006

    • Official...Allmendinger to drive 2nd Red Bull car in 2007, #84: 2006 Team Red Bull formally announces a multi-year agreement with American open-wheel race car driver AJ Allmendinger to race the #84 Red Bull Toyota Camry for the 2007 Nextel Cup season. AJ completes the 2007 driver line-up for Team Red Bull that already includes 23- year-old Brian Vickers, who’ll pilot the #83 Red Bull Toyota Camry. Rick Viers, the veteran crew chief who guided the 24-year-old Californian through two successful NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races for Bill Davis Racing earlier this year, also joins Team Red Bull in the same role for 2007. A former Toyota Atlantic champion and Champ Car rookie of the year, AJ currently stands second in the 2006 Champ Car World Series standings with five race wins. To speed up his acclimation to stock car racing, Bill Elliott has graciously agreed to step aside and let AJ take on driver duties in the Team Red Bull entry for the upcoming 2006 Nextel Cup races at Atlanta and Texas. More info on the Red Bull teams at Bull Racing PR), see quotes from Allmendiner on the #84 Team News and Links page.(10-24-2006)

    • #06 Withdrawn from Atlanta after Ragan not approved: Roush Racing has withdrawn its #06 Ford from the entry list for this weekend's Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after driver David Ragan wasn't approved to compete on 1.5-mile tracks at the Nextel Cup level. The team announced last week that Ragan would run both the Craftsman Truck Series race and the Cup race at Atlanta as he prepares to take over for Mark Martin in the team's #6 entry next season. First, though, Ragan needed approval from NASCAR to step up to that level. Currently, he's only cleared to race on tracks 1 mile or less in length in Cup. The 20-year-old has made just two Cup starts thus far, at Dover and this past Sunday at Martinsville. Ragan was involved in two accidents at Dover, where he finished 42nd after completing just 46 laps. He finished all 500 laps at Martinsville on Sunday, but angered a number of his fellow competitors in the process after making contact with Dale Jarrett and Ken Schrader, among others. "Currently he's approved to participate at NASCAR tracks 1 mile in length or less," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Tuesday of Ragan's Cup eligibility. "There is an approval process in place and his status will continue to be reviewed on a weekly basis. "We take a lot of things into consideration: Experience, qualifications, that type of thing. There's a NASCAR committee that convenes on this each week and they'll continue to review any application that he makes regarding the rest of the series." While Ragan is cleared to race the truck series event at Atlanta, he was not on the entry list as of Tuesday afternoon. That, though, could still change by the time practice begins on Friday.(

    • Martinsville overnight TV ratings down: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Subway 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a 3.5 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating and a 7 market share, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The 3.5 represents a 7.9% drop below the 3.8 NBC earned overnight for the 2005 race.(

    • #9 Dodge “Nitro” scheme to run at Texas: At the upcoming Nextel Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, Evernham Motorsports’ driver Kasey Kahne will race a special kind of “hot” rod – a Dodge Charger sporting a special paint scheme promoting the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro. Kahne won the spring race at the speedway, one of his series-leading six wins this season. The Dodge Nitro is a mid-size SUV with bold styling and masculine swagger. The R/T model comes standard with a 4.0 liter SOHC V-6 engine, performance suspension and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels with performance tires. Optional features include entertainment and communication technologies, including MP3, CD, DVD, USB, VES (video entertainment system) and the new MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System. MyGIG allows consumers to use touch screen or voice commands to control all of Nitro’s entertainment and communication technologies, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive for storing music and photos. Kahne’s #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge “Nitro” will carry electrifying red and yellow lightening bolts across the hood and doors, along with an image of the unique Dodge Nitro on the nose. The rear quarter panels and trunk will continue the lightening bolt theme, capped by a bright yellow spoiler. For more information on the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro, visit!Blue PR)(10-24-2006)

    • Charlotte Final TV ratings drop 17.3% UPDATE - correction 7.8%: NBC's broadcast of last Saturday night's Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.2 and an 8 market share, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 17.3% lower than the fall Charlotte race earned in 2005.(
      Oops - CORRECTION: NBC's broadcast of the Oct. 14 Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.7, not 4.2 as reported last week, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports, down 7.8%.(

    • Said set to run at least 7 races in 2007: Frankie Stoddard, at Martinsville as #06-David Ragan's crew chief, told [Yahoo Sports Bob Margolis] that he and partners Boris Said and Mark Simo have a deal to run seven Nextel Cup races next season with the #60 Ford Fusion.(Yahoo Sports)(10-24-2006)

    • #32 Tide Team jackman racing for ISCARS Championship: Nextel Cup Series PPI Racing #32 Tide [Travis Kvapil] team jackman. ISCARS driver Eric Wilson, is on the verge of clinching the 2006 ISCARS Dash Touring Championship this Saturday, October 28. Wilson picked up his first career win in April at Hickory Motor Speedway and motored to a point lead he has yet to relinquish all season long. The driver of the #4 Huntington House/John Boy & Billy Pontiac Sunfire has won four races this season and is returning to the track where he picked up his most recent win in September. Danny Bagwell is Wilson’s closest challenger, fifty points back. Bagwell has momentum on his side after beating Wilson to the checkers two weeks ago at Hickory Motor Speedway in the Firecracker 150 and at Shenandoah Speedway in July.(ISCARS PR)(10-24-2006)

      News from October 23, 2006

    • Mario Andretti to be honored Monday: Legendary Race Car Driver Mario Andretti to Receive Title of Commendatore from the Republic of Italy Italy Celebrates Extraordinary Career of Native Son on Monday, October 23, 2006 at the Columbus Citizens Foundation, 8 E. 69 St., New York City, NY. Andretti, 66-years old, will be awarded the title of Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana from Antonio Bandini, Consul General of Italy to New York in recognition of Mario's remarkable career and good character, which have reinforced a positive image of Italians throughout the world. In a career that spanned an unprecedented five decades, Mario Andretti has achieved prominence in almost every category of motor racing. He has been Formula One World Champion, Indy 500 winner, Daytona 500 winner, four-time Indy Car National Champion, USAC National Dirt Track Champion and three-time winner of 12 Hours of Sebring, among others. He has been named Driver of the Year in three different decades, Driver of the Quarter Century, and Driver of the Century by the Associated Press and RACER Magazine. Present at the ceremony will be members of the Andretti racing dynasty, including his son Michael, a retired Indy car champion and owner of Andretti Green Racing, and his 19-year old grandson, Marco, who in 2006 was named Rookie of the Year by the Indy Racing League.(PR)(10-23-2006)

    • Commercial Breakdown for the Subway 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown from the race on Sunday afternoon. There was one restart missed completely; and one in which when they returned from commercial the green flag was waving (too close to call it).
      Total number of commercials: 143
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 72
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 30
      Restarts missed due to being away at commercial: 1
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:43pm/et
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:44pm/et
      Total minutes: 241
      Minutes of race broadcast: 173
      Minutes of commercials: 68
      see full report at

    • Bodine back in the #4 at Atlanta; Ward at Texas? SPEED's Bob Dilner reported on the SPEED Report that Todd Bodine is scheduled to be back in the #4 Morgan McClure Sports Chevy at next weeks Atlanta race and Ward Burton could be back in the car at Texas on the first weekend in November.(10-23-2006)

    • Tide gone from PPI? UPDATE 3: 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?"(
      UPDATE 3: been told that not only is Tide not returning to the #32 PPI Motorsports team as thier sponsor in 2007, but that Tide will not sponsor any teams/cars in any of the three NASCAR National Series [Cup, Busch, Trucks].(10-23-2006)

    • Crew Chief Changes Planned at Roush Racing: Jack Roush confirmed Sunday that a multi-team, crew chief shakeup is in the works in his five-team Nextel Cup operation [#'s6,16,17,26,99], but he said he hasn't decided which crew chiefs to pair with which drivers, though veteran Jimmy Fennig "might be a good choice" for David Ragan [in the #6] next season. Will Wally Brown be back as Carl Edwards' crew chief? "That's one of our dream-team packages," Roush said. "Wally Brown is one of my heroes; he's done a great job. But his dad, in Pennsylvania, isn't doing well, and Wally is missing his dad, and we've been talking, and Wally may have a change in venue, and in his career. If we lose Wally, it would be a huge loss."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-23-2006)

    • Petty Enterprises Notes: #43-Bobby Labonte finished third Sunday at Marrtinsville to score his fourth top 10 finish in the last five races.
      - Labonte has scored two consecutive top five finishes- the first time since Fontanta (Race 10) and Richmond (Race 11) of 2004
      - The Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team has a total of 8 top 10 finishes this season. Kyle Petty has two top-10 finishes this season.
      - Petty Enterprises has a total of 10 top 10 finishes so far in 2006. That total is the most for the organization since 1999 when they had 19 with John Andretti and Kyle Petty
      - Sunday's Subway 500 was the first time both PE cars finished in the Top-10 since Phoenix of 1999 (Race 32). Kyle Petty finished 7th and John Andretti 8th in that race.
      - Labonte's finish on Sunday was the best for PE since Bristol (Race Six) of 2001 when Andretti finished second.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(10-23-2006)

    • Revelocity Racing partners with PPI Motorosports: Revelocity Racing, in preparation for a NASCAR racing debut, has signed a letter of intent to partner with [#32-Travis Kvapil/Tide Chevy] PPI Motorsports. "After meeting with Cal [Wells, the owner] and his team, we realized PPI Motorsports has the experience and talent we're looking for to help our team become successful," Jason Hager, CEO of Revelocity Racing, said. "Our intent is for Revelocity Racing and PPI Motorsports to work together, functioning as a multi-car organization and allowing us to be more competitive as a team." PPI, a North Carolina based team, was established in 1979 by Calvin (Cal) Wells III. The company has experience NASCAR Winston Cup, Off-Road, CART, Busch and Toyota Atlantic racing programs, and currently is home to the #32-Tide Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team. PPI Motorsports has earned wins in nearly every division in which it has competed, and celebrated their 25th year of racing in 2005. PPI Motorsports currently occupies an 80,000 square foot facility in Hickory, NC, which has been the home of their NASCAR Nextel Cup efforts since 1999.(Revelocity Racing PR)(10-23-2006)

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