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  • MORE NEWS/RUMORS
    OCTOBER 30-NOVEMBER 5, 2006





      News from November 5, 2006

    • Latest on the #88 Sponsor situation: As for the Robert Yates Racing's #88 Ford Fusion, [team owner Robert] Yates insists it will race next year, with a sponsor announcement likely by the season-ending race in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The car owner hinted strongly that he’s looking at a novel approach to multiple primary sponsors for the #88: One primary for the first half of the season, another for the second half. “I’ve finally got some choices to where we’ll be able to run the car and run it well and run it with good sponsorship,” Yates said. “We’ve got a couple of different scenarios and I’ve got to make a decision pretty quick.” Regarding the driver for the #88, Yates said he has several good ones to choose from. The only hold up now is getting the sponsor(s) inked on the dotted line.(Ford Racing)(11-5-2006)

    • Red Bull Finished for 2006, gearing up for Daytona: Word in the garage is that there were many very unhappy faces in the Red Bull camp on Friday after A.J. Allmendinger failed to qualify for Sunday's Dickies 500. Sources within the team say Allmendinger's qualifying speed, which was an embarrassingly slow 10 mph off the pole speed, raised some questions about the Dodge cars and engines the team has been using. The team now is finished for the 2006 season. Their original plan was to run only three races this season in preparation for their official debut with Toyota Camrys next year, but they failed to qualify (once due to rain) each time. The team will focus on a rigorous testing schedule for Allmendinger, who now is scheduled to make his Cup debut in the Daytona 500 in February 2007.(Yahoo Sports)(11-5-2006)

    • Franchitti visits Texas: During Saturday's Nextel Cup Happy Hour practice session at Texas Motor Speedway, open wheel veteran Dario Franchitti was an observer on top of Jeff Burton's hauler. His visit was purely business. Franchitti shares a business relationship with one of Burton's team sponsors and the Scotsman was invited to attend and speak at a dinner in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Yahoo's Bob Margolis had a chance to chat with Franchitti, and the conversation turned to Franchitti's future. There had been some speculation during the summer that Franchitti perhaps was interested in a NASCAR ride. Obviously the interest was in passing – or maybe a way to leverage a better deal from his current team – as Franchitti acknowledged that he would be back in his Indy Racing League ride with Andretti Green Racing for the entire 2007 season. He also expects to race the entire season in the American Le Mans Series with AGR teammate Bryan Herta in AGR's recently announced Acura/Courage program. Might there be a NASCAR ride somewhere down the road for Franchitti? "Not in the immediate future," Franchitti said.(Yahoo Sports)(11-5-2006)

    • Stewart wins at Texas: #20-Tony Stewart won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd straight win [won at Atlanta last week], 5th win of the 2006 season, 29th of his career and becomes the 12th different winner at Texas in 12 races. Stewart led the most laps with 278. #48-Johnson finished 2nd [for the 2nd race in a row] to take over the points lead over #17-Kenseth by 17 points. The rest of the top-10 were #29-Harvick, #5-Busch, #07-Bowyer, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #42-Mears, #24-Gordon, #2-Busch and #11-Hamlin. Other Chasers: #17-Kenseth 12th; #6-Martin 22nd; #9-Kahne [lost an engine with 10 laps to go while running 2nd] and #31-Burton [lost a tire on lap 91 and wrecked] finished 38th. There were 12 cautions for 51 laps and 13 drivers lead the race with 23 lead changes.
      Race Results on my Texas Race Results/Awards Page.
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Texas page
      Race Rundown: see my Texas Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(11-5-2006)

    • Unofficial Driver Chase Points Standing after Texas [34 of 36 races]:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 6157
      #17-Matt Kenseth 6140 -17
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6079 -78
      #11-Denny Hamlin 6077 -80
      #29-Kevin Harvick 6052 -105
      #24-Jeff Gordon 6000 -157
      #31-Jeff Burton 5973 -184
      #5-Kyle Busch 5924 -233
      #6-Mark Martin 5904 -253
      #9-Kasey Kahne 5867 -290
      and fighting for 11th
      #20-Tony Stewart in 11th 4488 points
      #99-Carl Edwards -357 out of 11th
      For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(11-5-2006)

    • Unofficial "Classic" Points Standings
      ...the old way, not the Chase after Texas:
      1) #17-Matt Kenseth 4875
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 4840, -35
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick 4493, -382
      4) #20-Tony Stewart 4488, -387
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin 4395, -480
      6) #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4392, -483
      7) #5-Kyle Busch 4313, -562
      8) #24-Jeff Gordon 4311, -564
      9) #31-Jeff Burton 4280, -595
      10) #6-Mark Martin 4220, -655
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne 4181, -694
      12) #99-Carl Edwards 4131, -744
      13) #16-Greg Biffle 3829, -1046
      (11-5-2006)

    • Rumblings - Texas: Tony Stewart had 'em covered again today (for the second week in a row) and even with a couple of late cautions, a green/white/checker, and a late charge by Jimmie Johnson.....Stewart won today's Dickies 508.5 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 5th win of the season, becoming the 12th different winner in the 12 races at this venue. Career win #29 for Tony puts him in 20th solo on the all-time list, and was worth a staggering $521,361 from the over $7.1M in posted awards. This was the 7th win on the season for Joe Gibbs Racing (they won 10 in 2000) and their 54th all-time. The last two weeks we've run 664 laps.....Tony's only led 414 of 'em.
      Clint Bowyer (5th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at California in September.
      Mike Bliss (23rd) had his best finish since he was 12th at Homestead last November (only 4 races).
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-5's in a row.
      This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Kyle Petty (+24) and Matt Kenseth (+24), followed by Tony Raines (+22) and Martin Truex Jr (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-35), followed by Robby Gordon (-30), Kasey Kahne (-29), Brian Vickers (-26), and Ken Schrader (-24).
      One big happening today.....Kyle Petty moves ahead of Sterling Marlin in 35th on the Owner Points list. That means he's exempt into next week's race and Sterling will have to qualify on time. As we head into 2007 with so many new teams you don't want to have to sweat it out thru the Duals to make the Daytona 500, so we'll keep an eye on this one for the next two weeks.
      Every spot changed in the Chase today, and our new leader is Jimmie Johnson with a 17 point margin over Matt Kenseth. Just five races ago Johnson was 165 points in arrears in 8th place. Realistically, it's down to a five man "Chase" with just two races to go, and the drivers in 3rd, 4th, and 5th are gonna need some help.(Stock Car Fans)(11-6-2006)

    • Race Notes - Texas:
      • Tony Stewart won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, scoring his 29th career Nextel Cup victory in his 282nd career start.
      • Stewart moved into sole possession of 20th on NASCAR’s All-Time win list.
      • This was Stewart’s fifth victory in 2006 and third in the last six races. He also won races at Martinsville, second Daytona, Kansas and second Atlanta.
      • Stewart’s three victories in the Chase are the most by a non-Chase driver since the program began in 2004.
      • Stewart scored his first victory in 10 races at Texas. Stewart has scored seven top-10 finishes at Texas. It is his third straight top-10 finish at Texas.
      • Stewart scored his 19th top-10 finish in 2006.
      • Stewart won the race from the eighth-place starting position.
      • Stewart led the most laps for the sixth time in 2006, the most among all drivers.
      • Stewart led eight times for 278 of the 339 laps raced. This is the most laps led in a race by any driver at Texas. The previous record was 219 laps held by Greg Biffle set in April 2005.
      • Race winner Stewart led the final 16 laps in the 2006 Dickies 500 at Texas.
      • The 12 caution periods tied the record for the most in a Nextel Cup race at Texas set in April 2000.
      • This was team owner Joe Gibbs’ 54th Nextel Cup victory and his first Nextel Cup victory at Texas.
      • Joe Gibbs Racing has won at least one race each season 1993-2006, 14 consecutive years.
      • Stewart’s victory today was the 22nd Chevrolet victory in 34 races in 2006.
      Notebook Items
      • Jimmie Johnson (second) was eighth in points after the first four races in the Chase (after Talladega), then 156 points behind, then point leader Jeff Burton. Four races later, Johnson has climbed from eighth to first in the point standings, gaining 173 points in the last four races.
      • Six of the 10 Chase drivers finished in the top 10. All 10 of The Chase drivers changed points positions at Texas.
      • Five of the Chase drivers led at Texas.
      • First and second are separated by just 17 points. The top five in points are separated by 105 points.
      • Four of the eight races in the Chase have been won by Chase drivers
      • Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon are the only Chase drivers to score five top-10 finishes in the eight Chase races.
      • Jimmie Johnson has scored four top-five finishes in the eight Chase races, the most among the Chase drivers.
      • Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to lead in six of the eight races in the Chase. He has scored 40 lap leader/bonus points, the most among all drivers.
      • Tony Stewart is the only driver to post multiple victories in the first eight races of the Chase. Stewart has scored five top-five finishes during the Chase, more than any other driver.
      • Kevin Harvick (third) scored his 18th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his third top-10 finish in eight races at Texas.
      • Kyle Busch (fourth) scored his 18th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his first top-10 finish in four races at Texas.
      • Clint Bowyer (fifth) scored his 10th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his first top-10 finish in two races at Texas. Bowyer was the highest finishing rookie for the eighth time in 2006.
      • At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 34 races this season.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-5-2006)

    • A fan could win $500,000 today at Texas: One of five fans could win $500,000 today. One will win at least $50,000. For Dickies' second annual Race For The Riches promotion, five previously selected fans drew numbers from 1 to 43 that corresponded to drivers' starting position. If a fan's selected driver wins, the fan will win $500,000. If no one's driver wins, the fan with the highest finisher will win $50,000. Ray Ross of Texarkana drew #88-Dale Jarrett. Linda Gurkin of Willis, Texas drew #29-Kevin Harvick. Diana Siegmund of St. Louis drew pole-sitter #25-Brian Vickers. Troy Nishikawa of Redmond, Wash., drew #22-Dave Blaney. Matthew Writt of Essex, Md., drew defending Dickies champion #99-Carl Edwards.(Dallas Morning News)(11-5-2006)

    • Bowyer NOT heading to the back at Texas: I had it listed below that #07-Clint Bowyer was going to the rear/back of the field before the drop of the green flag of the DIckies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway due to an engine change, been informed that is NOT the case as the car had a miss in the engine at the end of Friday's practice, which proved to be a spark plug, but the problem was remedied without having to change the motor. Two drivers will have to start at the rear, #40-Stremme who wrecked in the first practice Saturday and has to go to a backup car [was to start 17th] and #6-Martin who was in a late Happy Hour practice wreck and has to go to a backup car [was to start 28th](11-5-2006)

    • Terry Labonte to make final career start Sunday: "Texas" Terry Labonte will make the 848th and final start of his NASCAR Nextel Cup Series career in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, and the two-time Cup champion will receive quite a send-off. The pre-race activities will be centered around Labonte, and there will be plenty of opportunity for his home state fans to say farewell to the 49-year-old Corpus Christi native. In addition to a special video tribute and gift presentations to Labonte, Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR worked jointly in providing a special pre-race tribute for him. Labonte will be the final driver introduced, regardless of his qualifying position, and he and his wife, Kim, will be given a parade lap around the track in a Chevrolet Corvette at the front of the field of driver parade vehicles.
      Following the command for "Gentleman, Start Your Engines," Labonte will lead the field on the parade lap before falling back to his qualifying position for the pace laps. Justin Labonte will be alongside his father as the two will pace the 43-car Nextel Cup Series field prior to the green flag. Justin will be driving the 1978 Stratagraph Chevrolet Monte Carlo that his father drove to his first Cup win at Darlington Raceway in 1980. Terry will be in the special paint scheme Chevy Monte Carlo featuring some of the top wins in his career, including his 1999 win at Texas, which is portrayed on the hood. Race fans also will have the opportunity to pen their best wishes to Labonte on a giant eight-foot tall postcard located in the "10 Years Strong Experience" outside Gate 4 on the frontstretch. Labonte will also run a special tribute paint scheme on the #44 Chevy, see images on the #44 Team Schemes page.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(11-3/5-2006)

    • Outside the Lines ESPN: #31-Team Cingular driver Jeff Burton is scheduled to be a guest on ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' Sunday, November 5 from Texas Motor Speedway. The Emmy Award winning series will air live at 9:30am/et.(11-2/4-2006)
      MORE In a garage in High Point, N.C., Toyota is preparing for its debut on the NASCAR scene. Its entry marks the first time a Japanese manufacturer will be allowed to compete in NASCAR and some are criticizing Toyota's lavish spending and technological onslaught. Toyota insists it has earned its way here and that, with 10 U.S. manufacturing plants, Toyota has become a part of the American automotive landscape. "Outside the Lines," (Sunday 9:30am/et - ESPN) takes a look at Toyota's arrival in stock-car racing. For more, click here. The show is scheduled to re-air at 12:00noon/et Sunday, Nov 5th on ESPNEWS and at 3:30am/et on Nov. 6th on ESPN2.(11-5-2006)

    • Sports Car Driver looking for NASCAR gig: Visiting both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series garages at Texas Motor Speedway was 18-year-old sports car phenom Colin Braun. Braun, who hails from nearby Ovalo, Texas, already has made a name for himself in sports cars as the youngest driver ever to win a professional sports car event. Now he has set his sights on a career in NASCAR. "This is where I want to be," Braun said. "This [has] the best drivers that there are and that’s who I want to race against." Braun was one of 16 who took part in last month's GM Driver Evaluation program, which tested drivers from across the country on three different types of tracks. Word is that Braun did very well in his first time in a stock car. Although he is set to once again drive for Grand American Series champion Krohn Racing in 2007, he'd like to get his NASCAR career started by running the Busch Series road course events at Mexico City, Montreal and Watkins Glen. Braun hopes that a good showing in one of those races would spark interest in a team giving him a full-time Busch ride.(Yahoo Sports)(11-5-2006)





      News from November 4, 2006

    • Burton and Childress to announce new partnership UPDATE 2: on Friday, November 3rd at Texas Motor Speedway, #31 team owner, Richard Childress and driver Jeff Burton, along with a New Sponsor Representative will be announcing a new partnership for the 2007 NASCAR season.(RCR PR)(11-3-2006)
      UPDATE: on Speed Channel's NASCAR Live, Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Cingular Chevy for RCR, said LENOX Industrial Tools will be a major associate sponsor for the team in 2007 and be the primary sponsor at Richmond in May and New Hampshire in July.(Speed Channel's NASCAR Live)(11-3-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Lenox Industrial Tools has partnered with Richard Childress Racing and driver Jeff Burton in a multi-year sponsorship agreement beginning with the 2007 Cup season. LENOX will be an associate sponsor throughout the season on Burton’s #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy. The LENOX logo will appear on the rear quarter panels of the car just behind the rear wheels. In addition, LENOX will serve as the primary sponsor of the #31 in two races during the 2007 season – May 5 at Richmond International Raceway and July 1 at New Hampshire International Speedway (located less than 150 miles from LENOX’s home headquarters). This season’s July New Hampshire event was known as the LENOX Industrial Tools 300. LENOX, which will utilize the partnership through marketing and advertising initiatives, has an extensive product line including the LENOX Gold bi-metal reciprocating saw blades; LENOX Gold bi-metal utility blades and knives; LENOX ARMOR Rx+ bi-metal coated band saw blades for cutting structurals and tubing; and the LENOX all-in-one screwdriver, just to mention a few. For more information see www.LENOXsaw.com.(RCR PR)(11-4-2006)

    • Looks like Martin to run for Wood Brothers in Truck Series: #6-Mark Martin still doesn't know what his limited Craftsman Truck Series schedule will look like next year, but he said Friday that Wood Brothers/JTG Racing is working to secure the sponsorship. "We're waiting on the Woods to come up with a sponsor," Martin said. "... I can't give you answers [yet], but I don't expect things not to work out. They're looking to secure the sponsorship and we're looking at Daytona to be the first one." The team currently runs two full-time truck teams with #21-Bobby East and #20-Marcos Ambrose. It has committed to run a truck for Stacy Compton next year, with the driver or drivers for the other truck still being determined. It is expected that rookie Kelly Bires will compete at least part-time in the second truck.(SceneDaily.com)(11-4-2006)

    • Home Depot gift cards to benefit KaBOOM: The Home Depot announced it will donate 5% of sales of three newly designed gift cards to the Company's nonprofit partners:, KaBOOM!, The Home Depot Foundation and Hands On Network. Consumers may choose from these uniquely themed gift cards and purchase amounts in any denomination at The Home Depot stores nationwide through November 6.(11-4-2006)

    • SPEED to get inside look at Ganassi Racing: SPEED will deliver an inside look into the business of racing with a pair of one-hour Racing Incorporated specials focusing on the motor sports operations of multi-team owner Chip Ganassi. Given unprecedented access to race shops and meetings for about three weeks in August, the specials will air Nov. 15 and 16 at 8:00pm/et/pt.(SpeedTV PR)(11-4-2006)

    • No Plates planned at Texas: Despite Brian Vickers blistering Texas Motor Speedway with a pole-winning speed in excess of 196mph, NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter said restrictor plates will not be used in Sunday’s Dickies 500 to slow the speeds of the cars down. Probably not, anyway. At Talladega last month, NASCAR said it wouldn’t slow the cars down either, but reversed themselves on race morning, when they issued smaller restrictor plates. “That was Talladega and this was Texas,” Hunter said. “But if you’re asking me, ‘Is this in concrete?’ No it isn’t.” Hunter said the qualifying speeds were unusually high because of the extremely cool weather late in the day, when the sun had set. During Saturday’s practice, speeds should drop into the low- to mid-190 mph range.(Speed Channel)(11-4-2006)

    • Special scheme for Jarrett at Texas: As Dale Jarrett races around the 1.5-mile oval of Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) this Sunday, he'll take pride that his newly designed ride is going to benefit children all around the country, starting in Texas. Dale's #88 The UPS Store/Toys for Tots Ford will sport a specially designed paint scheme, created by 12-year old California native, Annabelle Huffman, during the UPS Store's annual "Design Dale's Ride" coloring contest. The appearance of the specialty paint scheme at TMS will officially kick off The UPS Store's Toys for Tots donation drive this holiday season. Fans are asked to bring one new, wrapped toy to the speedway and deliver it to one of several on-site drop off points. Annabelle Huffman will look like a hero to 30 of her closest friends while cheering along the UPS Store/Toys for Tots Ford from her home in Napa Valley, CA, and you can be a hero in your community by contributing this year to the Toys for Tots toy drive.(PR), see an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2006)

    • RGM Donates $20,000 to the University of Houston: Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) announced on Friday a $20,000 donation to the University of Houston to fund The Century Council’s Alcohol 101 Plus program and related alcohol education initiatives. Robby Gordon, team owner and driver of the #7 Jim Beam Chevy car, presented the donation to school officials at Texas Motor Speedway. The University of Houston grant is part of a larger donation given to RGM by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. and its Jim Beam bourbon brand in support of the Beam Global’s drink smart responsibility platform, aimed to educate consumers on how to make responsible decisions about alcohol. The grant funds will supplement other investments in an environmental management framework to change attitudes and behaviors regarding alcohol among all of University of Houston students. 2006 marks the fourth year that Beam Global Spirits & Wine has brought attention to responsible drinking through Jim Beam and its motorsports platform. For more information on Jim Beam and drink smart, visit www.jimbeam.com and www.drinksmart.com.(Business Wire)(11-4-2006)


      News from November 3, 2006

    • Tums to be assoc sponsor for Ganassi in 2007/2008: After providing Americans with fast heartburn relief for more than 75 years, TUMS is speeding into Nextel Cup racing as an associate sponsor with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). The brand has signed a two-year deal that begins with the 2007 season. As part of the deal, the TUMS logo will appear on the rear decklid of the #41 Dodge, driven by Reed Sorenson, throughout the season. In addition, the car will feature a TUMS paint scheme during the April race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. David Stremme’s #40 Dodge will carry the TUMS logo on its B post throughout the season and also will feature a full TUMS paint scheme at Chicagoland Speedway in July. TUMS branding also will be visible on driver and crew uniforms and on team equipment. TUMS is already a familiar friend to NASCAR fans. During the past two seasons TUMS has reached out to them with sampling programs at several tracks featuring a fleet of golf carts. Samplers on the golf carts traveled around the track and into the campgrounds, meeting fans where heartburn strikes.(Tums PR), see images of each car on the #40 Tums Schemes page, #41 Tums Schemes page(11-3-2006)

    • Where is Marty? [Waldo?] been asked by many readers: where is Marty Smith? looks like he is formerly of nascar.com as his columns and videos are no longer there, have not heard anything for sure and emails go un-answered, but hearing Smith has signed with ESPN/ESPN.com/ABC to do TV and other duties, but have heard nothing official. Smith has been doing some NASCAR reporting on ESPNews Monday nights most of the season.(11-3-2006)

    • 3M to sponsor Biffle and Kluever in 2007: 3M Company and Roush Racing announced today that 3M will sponsor the #16 3M Ford Fusion in seven Nextel Cup races and the full Busch Series in 2007. Greg Biffle will represent 3M in the Nextel Cup Series and will share driving responsibilities with Todd Kluever in the #16 3M Ford Fusion for the 2007 Busch Series. Biffle is scheduled to drive 19 Busch races for 3M in the 2007 season. Kluever will drive the remainder of the schedule, beginning with the season-opening race February 17th at Daytona International Speedway. Biffle drove the #16 3M Post-it Ford in nine Nextel Cup races in 2005, winning at California and Texas on his way to finishing second in the Nextel Cup Championship. In 2007, 3M will again activate its sponsorship through a comprehensive marketing communications programs on several levels throughout the year, including customer hospitality, product promotions and at-track marketing.(Roush Racing PR), so much for the rumors of Biffle going to the #88 RYR Ford in 2007.(11-3-2006)

    • Aerosmith team up with ESPN/ABC NASCAR Coverage in 2007: The rock bansd Aerosmith is collaborating with ESPN/ABC on its coverage of NASCAR for 2007.  While full details of the Aerosmith alliance with ESPN/ABC will be revealed later, the band is recording a special live version of its immortal “Back In The Saddle” that will be an integral part of the network’s NASCAR telecasts in 2007. The taping will take place Saturday, Nov. 4 at the band’s concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “Other than being an astronaut, there are two things I can think of that can give you the same rush as sitting on a rocket: driving down the straightaway at Talladega at 200 miles an hour, and being the lead singer in Aerosmith,” said Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. The members of Aerosmith – Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer -- are all NASCAR enthusiasts, and their relationship with the sport was highlighted in 1999 when driver Kenny Wallace drove the Aerosmith-sponsored #55 Chevy in the Nextel Cup Series event at Phoenix. ESPN and ABC will have live coverage of the final 17 races of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series, including the entire 10-race “Chase for the Nextel Cup” on ABC. In addition, ESPN2 will be the home of the Busch Series, starting with the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17.(ESPN PR)(11-3-2006)

    • New Racing Programming at ESPN: ESPN is complementing its extensive coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA racing in 2007 with ESPN2 Garage, a new block of programming dedicated to the automotive and motorsports world. Debuting Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007 the block will satisfy automotive, motorcycle and motorsports enthusiasts with 19 different shows that feature nearly every facet of the industry – from car auctions to custom-car programs to an animated series and reality shows. The programming will be aired on ESPN2 from 5:00 to 6:30om/et on weekdays, from 10:00am to 12noon/et on Saturdays and from 10-11an/et on Sundays. ESPN2 Garage programming will cover topics ranging from car preparation (Matching Numbers, Garage Wars), automotive auctions (The Bidding Wars, RM Classic Car Auctions), how-to help (Import Racers, GearZ), racing programs (Race Wizard with Ray Evernham, Michael Waltrip Racing: A New Era), automotive entertainment/reality (P.I.P.E.S., King of the Street) and even an animated series about a family of motorsports fans entitled The Pits. The first group of shows in ESPN2 Garage will debut in the first quarter of 2007, beginning January 6, with other groups to run in the second, third and fourth quarters of the year. ESPN2 is seen in 91.7 million homes.(ESPN PR)(11-3-2006)

    • Vickers wins pole at Texas with new track record: #25-Brian Vickers won the Budweiser Pole for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a new track record speed of 196.235mph for his 1st pole of 2006 and 4th career pole. Four drivers ran faster then the old track record of 194.224 that was run in April 2004 by Bill Elliott [who failed to qualify today]. Starting on the outside pole is #19-Sadler, #2-Busch, #9-Kahne and #48-Johnson are the top-5, rounding out the top-10 are #11-Hamlin, #38-Gilliland, #20-Stewart, #7-Gordon and #8-Earnhardt Jr. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth starts 36th. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #49-Bliss, #15-Menard, #78-Wallace, #45-Petty, #4-Ward Burton, #55-Waltrip, #32-Kvapil and #44-Terry Labonte [had to use a past champions provisional]. Missing the race were: #34-Chaffin, #37-Elliott, #61-Lepage, #72-Skinner, #60-Ragan, #74-Cope and #84-Allmendinger. See the qualifying results/starting lineup on my Texas Qualifying/Grid Page.(11-3-2006)

    • Where do the Chasers starts at Texas: (by points position)
      #17-Matt Kenseth starts 36th
      #48-Jimmie Johnson 5th
      #11-Denny Hamlin 6th
      #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th
      #31-Jeff Burton 29th
      #29-Kevin Harvick 21st
      #24-Jeff Gordon 23rd
      #6-Mark Martin 28th
      #9-Kasey Kahne 4th
      #5-Kyle Busch 11th.(11-3-2006)

    • This week on "Wally's World: star of NBC's "Friday Night Lights, Minka Kelly puts down her pom-poms and hits the track for a high-speed ride around TMS with NBC & TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach. Kelly portrays Lyla Garrity, Panthers cheerleader and girlfriend of star quarterback Jason Street, in the NBC television drama.(NBC PR)(11-3-2006)

    • PRN Heads to Texas: The Performance Racing Network heads to the Lone Star State this weekend for the Dickies 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race Sunday November 5th. PRN's race coverage begins with pole qualifying Friday, November 3rd starting at 4:30pm/et. Anchors Doug Rice and Mark Garrow will be joined by PRN reporters Pat Patterson, Chuck Carland, Brett McMillan, Steve Richards, and Rob Albright. Saturday November 4th, it's the O'Reilly Challenge Busch Series race at Texas Motor Speedway beginning at 1:30pm/et. Sunday, PRN broadcasts the Dickies 500, the first of three final stops in the Nextel Chase for the Championship. Airtime is 1:30pm/et. The race broadcast is immediately followed by the PRN Post Race Show presented by Crown Royal during which listeners are invited to call 1-800-771-TALK to discuss the race or the 2006 Nextel Cup season.(PRN PR)(11-3-2006)

    • Ramblings - Qualifying Notes: Not only is everything bigger in Texas, it's faster too! Brian Vickers shattered the track record today and captured the Bud Pole at Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's Dickies 500 with a time of 27.518 sec (196.235 mph). It's his first pole of the season (his last came at Loudon in July of 2005) and 4th of his NEXTEL Cup career and gives him entry into next February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.....meaning we'll have our first Toyota sighting of 2007. We've got 15 qualifiers (plus former Shootout winners) with only two more chances left. The top four qualifiers all broke the old qualifying mark set by Bill Elliott in April of 2002.
      Elliott Sadler (2nd) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Michigan in August.
      Robby Gordon (9th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 9th at Loudon in September....but after last week's post-race TV interview he may wanna consider a career in politics!
      Bobby Labonte (13th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Bristol in August.
      STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10 starts in a row.(Stock Car Fans)(11-3-2006)

    • Qualifying Notes Texas:
      • Brian Vickers won the Nextel Cup Series Bud Pole for the Dickies 500, lapping Texas Motor Speedway in 27.518 seconds at 196.235 mph. He broke Bill Elliott’s track-qualifying record of 27.803 seconds, 194.224 mph - set April 5, 2002. The top eight drivers bettered Elliott’s time.
      • This is the fastest qualifying lap since Geoffrey Bodine posted a lap of 197.478 mph at Atlanta in November 1997.
      • This is Vickers’ fourth career Bud Pole in 111 Nextel Cup Series races.
      • This is his first Bud Pole and 11th top-10 start in 2006. He became the 15th different Bud Pole winner this season.
      • This is Vickers’ first Bud Pole and first top-10 start in five Nextel Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. His previous best start here was 13th in 2004.
      • Vickers became the ninth different Bud Pole winner in 12 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      • Elliott Sadler posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 27.637 seconds, 195.390 mph – and will join Vickers on the front row for the Dickies 500. Sadler posted his fourth top-10 start in 10 races at Texas. It is his third second-place start here.
      • This is the 12th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has 15 Bud Poles and Ford has five. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol and the second Atlanta race.
      • Kurt Busch (third) has posted just two top-10 starts in eight races at Texas – both this season.
      • Kasey Kahne (fourth) has posted his fourth top-10 start in five Texas races – all fourth or better.
      • Jimmie Johnson (fifth) has posted three top-10 starts in his seven races at Texas.
      • David Gillliand (seventh) posted his second top-10 start in his 13 Nextel Cup races. This is his first race at Texas in any of NASCAR’s top-three series.
      • Terry Labonte used a past champion’s provisional to make the field for what is slated to be his final Nextel Cup race.(NASCAR Statiscal Services)(11-3-2006)

    • Final Atlanta TV ratings up 2.1% NBC's broadcast of last Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.8 and a 10 market share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 2.1% higher than the 4.7 the race earned in 2005.(SceneDaily.com), see my TV Ratings page for the 2006 chart and past news.(11-3-2006)

    • Dale Jr. under the weather at Texas: #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is under the weather going into day one [Friday] at the Texas Motor Speedway. He's got a bad sore throat, but said it was better than it was yesterday. When asked if he had gone to the infield medical center to gain some relief Dale Jr. replied, "No, I just took some Tylenol." [sponsor plug](PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-3-2006)

    • Combo's for Gilliland: #38-David Gilliland will have the Combo's paint scheme on the #38 Ford at Texas Motor Speedway, the scheme has run a couple other races this season, see images of the scheme on my #38 Team Schemes page.(11-3-2006)

    • Agency honored on Vickers car at Texas: GMAC Insurance has declared Al Boenker Insurance of Fort Worth, Texas, as the winner of the GMAC Insurance Agency Pole Position promotion. As part of the grand prize, the agency will be honored with its name on the television panel of the #25 GMAC Chevy that Brian Vickers will drive in Sunday afternoon's Nextel Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(11-3-2006)

    • Texas Tire Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought to Texas for teams in all three major NASCAR series earlier this season . . teams in all three series will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Nextel Cup and Busch Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle" and the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the only track on which Nextel Cup teams will run this exact combination of tires this season, though this left-side code (D-4008) will be run with a different right-side code at California, Kansas and Homestead . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 60-65 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, pressures, codes on the Texas Race Info / Rundown Page.(11-3-2006)


      News from November 2, 2006

    • Trust fund set up for #55 jackman's family: A trust fund has been established for the children of the late Steve Spahr, a longtime Bill Davis Racing employee, who died last Friday. Spahr has been working as a jackman on the #55 Waltrip-Jasper Racing team that has an affiliation with BDR this season. Fans can contribute to the Trust Fund for Jenna and Hailey Spahr, BB&T, 2835 Randleman Road, Greensboro, N.C., 27406. Spahr, 48, had recently undergone surgery for a tear of the aorta and was recovering at home when he died.(SceneDaily.com)(11-2-2006)

    • Dallas Cowboy colors for the #96 at Texas: The importance of the race will be highlighted by a special paint scheme on Raines’ #96 DLP HDTV Chevy. The regular blue, black and green paint scheme will be replaced by dark blue and silver as a tribute to Aikman and Staubach’s incredible football careers in Dallas. A small number 8 (Aikman) will appear on the left C-post of the car and a small 12 (Staubach) will appear on the right C-Post. Each of their signatures will appear beneath their respective numbers. On Wed., Nov. 1, eleven members of Hall of Fame Racing’s pit crew and shop team were scheduled to go skydiving with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights. The jump occurred at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.(HOF Racing PR), see images of the car on my #96 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2006)

    • Robby Gordon fined and docked points for roll bar padding incident UPDATE Gordon to appeal: NASCAR announced Wednesday that Robby Gordon has been fined and issued two point-standing penalties, for rule infractions during this past Sunday’s Nextel Cup Series event at Atlanta. Gordon, the driver and owner of the #7 Chevy, has been fined $15,000; he also has been penalized with the loss of 50 driver championship points and 50 car owner championship points. Gordon also has been placed on probation by NASCAR until Dec. 31. Gordon violated Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-N (intentionally causing a caution condition during the race) – of the NASCAR Rule Book. In addition, Gordon’s crew chief Greg Erwin has been fined $10,000 due to violations of Sections 12-A and 12-4-N – and 9-4-A (crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his/her driver, car owner and team members). Erwin also has been placed on probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR PR), see full history of the reason for the penalty on my #7 Team News and Links page.(11-1-2006)
    • UPDATE: Gordon Plans to Appeal Penalty

      Robby Gordon Motorpsorts released a statement Wednesday night that did not address whether Gordon was innocent but indicated it would appeal the penalty. "We strongly believe the penalty imposed on the team, crew chief and driver, Robby Gordon, are excessive and fall well outside of any reasonable precedence set by NASCAR in dealing with many similar incidents in the past," Gordon's team said in a statement. "We do intend to appeal the severity of this penalty."(SceneDaily.com)(11-2-2006)

    • Graves to Toyota UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATE: Andy Graves will be formally introduced Friday at Texas Motor Speedway as the director of Toyota’s Nextel Cup efforts for 2007. Graves, who spent the better part of a decade at Hendrick Motorsports before becoming team manager at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, has experience with Toyota, having worked with the Japanese automaker in 2000, when he worked with Ganassi’s CART open-wheel program. In addition to Graves talking about his new gig, Toyota is also expected to introduce its NASCAR Busch Series lineup for 2007.(SpeedTV.com)(11-2-2006)

    • 'Cars' featured on the #10 of Riggs at Texas: There is a different paint scheme this weekend on the #10 Valvoline Dodge that Scott Riggs drivers as they are promoting the release of Disney’s ‘Cars’ movie on DVD.(Clear!Blue PR)(11-2-2006)

    • Red Bulls Major League Soccer team featured on the #84 at Texas: Heading into this weekend’s Dickies 500 Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Team Red Bull is partnering with the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team to roll out a soccer-themed paint scheme for the #84 race car. With his keen eyes, New York Red Bulls goalkeeper and avid NASCAR fan Jon Conway gets to indulge in tin-top racing from his perch on top the Team Red Bull pit box. Driven by now-former, American open-wheel sensation AJ Allmendinger, the blue #84 Dodge features the New York Red Bulls logo on the hood and side panels and the dynamic bull and soccer ball on the rear quarter panel. The car also features a logo decal of the The MLS Cup, which is the league’s championship finale slated for the following Sunday, November 12 at Pizza Hut Park in nearby Frisco, Texas. Then on Saturday and Sunday, the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team joins the party as they drop in from the skies above Texas Motor Speedway prior to the start of the Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series races.(Red Bull Racing PR)(11-2-2006)

    • Stremme tests at Kentucky: #40-David Stremme tested at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday, Nov 1st, in preparation for the races at Texas and Homestead.(Kentucky Speedway site)(11-2-2006)

    • Johnson's Crew Takes Lead in Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge: Jimmie Johnson's over-the-wall crew took over sole possession of first place in the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition by taking top honors in Sunday's NEXTEL Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the fifth pit crew win of the season for Johnson's team and it broke a three-way tie with Tony Stewart's and Kyle Busch's crews. Johnson's crew, which spent 316.721 seconds on pit road, will earn $10,500 for the weekly honor and is one step closer to the $105,000 bonus Checkers/Rally's will present to the crew with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Johnson's No. 46 over-the-wall crew, which spent only 109.657 seconds on Atlanta's pit road includes: Chris Anderson (jackman), Art Simmons (front-tire carrier), Mike Trower (front-tire changer), Ron Malec (rear-tire carrier), Tim Ladyga (rear-tire changer), Rich Gutierrez (gasman), Mike Knauer (catch can) and Sean Kerlin (eighth-man). 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 $346,500 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 checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(11-2-2006)

    • GM Looking to tie win record: Team Chevy heads to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) for race 34 of the 36-race NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) season and the seventh race of the 10-race Chase to the Nextel Cup (Chase). A win for the Bowtie brand at TMS will tie the Modern Era all-time season win record at 22 trips to victory lane. Tony Stewart's win last Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway scored the 21st win of the 2006 season for Chevy. It was the 594th all-time victory for Chevrolet in NNCS competition (470 Modern Era wins).(GM Racing PR)(11-2-2006)

    • Hamlin to wear special helmet at Texas: For the fifth race this season, #11-Denny Hamlin will wear a helmet designed especially for him by a patient from a local Children's hospital. Alexis Hakalmazian, a 15-year old Keller student and patient at the Cook Children's Medical Facility, designed the helmet named "Healing Hands Coming Together in Search of a Cure," for Hamlin to wear for all Nextel Cup activity this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. "The opportunity to wear helmets designed by patients like Alexis means a lot to me and I know this whole team takes a lot of pride in racing out there for them," said Hamlin. "A lot of these kids can't make it to a race so we try to give them the next best thing and represent them at the track. Hopefully they feel like part of our team. Plus, these helmets always seem to bring me luck in races so I owe them a big thank you."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(11-2-2006)

    • Robby Gordon gets ready for Dakar: With the world's most grueling off-road race 10 weeks away, Robby Gordon lead the 19-member Team Dakar USA team through its final test session leading up to the Dakar Rally which begins Jan. 6 in Lisbon, Portugal. The three-day test earlier this week in the desert of the Southwestern United States in Gordon's purpose-built Toyo Tires/HUMMER-sponsored H3, included navigator Andy Grider and provided all members, including those new to the program this year, what the Dakar experience may entail. Battling similar terrain the team will encounter in the early stages of the 16-stage event through Portugal, Spain and Morocco, as well as the latter stages of Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, Gordon is confident in the team's ability and their chances of capturing the overall title. Gordon and crew will encounter some of the most difficult terrain and environmental conditions known to man on the more than 6,000-mile 17-day journey from Lisbon to Dakar. From torrential rain to blinding sandstorms, Dakar is a test of man as well as machine. Over the last 29 years, competitors from across the globe have made survival the No. 1 priority in the punishing race. With testing complete and Team Dakar USA set to take on the challenges that the Southern European and African continents have to offer, Gordon's participation in his third consecutive Dakar will bring the race to the forefront in the United States and Canada.(RGM PR)(11-2-2006)


      News from November 1, 2006

    • Triple duty at Texas: a few drivers will attempt to do triple-duty at Texas Motor Speedway, running in the Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Truck Series races:
      Clint Bowyer will run the #07-Jack Daniel's Chevy in the Nextel Cup race; #2-Timberland Pro Chevy in the Busch Series race and the #46-Jack Daniel's Chevy in the Truck Series.
      Kyle Busch will run the #5-Carquest Chevy in Cup, #5-Lowe's Chevy in Busch and #15-Chevy in the Truck race.
      Mile Skinner will run the #72-Chevy in Cup, #12-Chevy in Busch and #5-Toyota in the Truck race.(11-1-2006)

    • Ragan in the #60 at Texas UPDATE: In addition to racing in the Truck Series race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, David Ragan will also attempt to make his third start in the Nextel Cup Series, driving the #60 Pennzoil Ford in the Dickies 500.(Roush Racing PR)(10-31-2006)

      UPDATE: David Ragan has received NASCAR's approval to run at Nextel Cup tracks 1.5-miles and less and will attempt to qualify the #60 No Fear Racing Ford [sponsored by Pennzoil] Friday for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Roush Racing had sought to get Ragan approved to attempt his third Cup start last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but that approval was denied. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Tuesday afternoon that Ragan had been approved for Texas and would be under observation, standard procedure for drivers approved to advance to the next level.(SceneDaily.com)(11-1-2006)

    • Kraft on the #41 at Texas: The Kraft Foods logo will adorn the upper-rear quarter panels of the red and white #41 Target Dodge that Reed Sorenson this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-31-2006)

    • #07 to carry Texas themed paint scheme: Clint Bowyer’s Jack Daniel’s #07-Chevy will carry a special Texas-themed paint scheme. Texas residents, 21 or older, voted online for one of three designs from April 1-June 4 and over 50% of those who voted chose the winning scheme. Die casts of this weekend’s car will be available for sale trackside at the Jack Daniel’s souvenir trailer.(RCR PR), see the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes Page.(11-1-2006)

    • #32 Jackman wins Driver Championship: Eric Wilson, jackman for PPI Motorsports and the #32-Tide/Downy race team with driver Travis Kvapil won the ISCARS Championship after finishing eighth in the ISCARS Championship 150 at Florence Motor Speedway on Saturday night. The final margin of victory was 22 points. Finishing second in the championship standings was Danny Bagwell and winning the race was Johnny Chapman.(PPI Motorsports)(11-1-2006)


      News from October 31, 2006

    • Borland to Red Bull? UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATE: Penske Performance president Tim Cindric would not rule out the possibility of crew chief changes during the offseason, but said rumors that Matt Borland would leave Ryan Newman's #12 Dodge program for Team Red Bull's new operation were "just speculation." "When you don't have a season you expect to have ... there's always speculation," Cindric said. "I think we're going to look at how we are this season and what's best move going forward to ensure we have better season next year."(St Petersburg Times)(10-31-2006)

    • Sad News: M. Verne Joy, 91, passed away peacefully Oct. 30, at home in Athol, Mass. Joy is the father of Fox broadcaster Mike Joy. A 1938 graduate of Parks Air College of St. Louis University, Mr. Joy was an aeronatutical engineer at Lockheed in Burbank, Calif. where he helped design the famed P-38 Lightning, and the Hudson bomber. In 1942, Verne oversaw restoration to flying condition of the first Japanese Zero fighter downed by allied forces. Test flying the Zero to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses was of great help to the air war in the Pacific. He later was materials control manager for production of the Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk. In March 1952, Verne joined the Fuller Brush Company's home office in Hartford, CT, named chief engineer in 1954, and national industrial sales manager in 1960. He was named vice president in 1969, and elected to the company’s board of directors. Mr. Joy retired in 1975 to Petersham, Mass., where he enjoyed mechanical restoration projects, served on the town finance committee, and was elected tothe Board of Selectman.
      Verne is survived by his wife Jean (Peters) Joy of Whitinsville, MA; sons Michael Kinsey Joy of Mooresville, NC and David Sullivan Joy of S.Windsor, CT; daughters Susan Jean Winters of Athol, Caroline Anne McKenney of Whitinsville, 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, his younger brothers Stephen and Oliver, and a daughter, Marian, from his first marriage. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations the Gardner Visiting Nurse Hospice Program, 34 Pearly Ln, Gardner, MA 01440.(10-31-2006)

    • Chipganassiracing.Com Expands To Include Spanish Version of Website: Largely due to the addition of Juan Pablo Montoya to Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' (CGRFS) Nextel Cup Series lineup for 2007, the team announced its official website www.chipganassiracing.com would expand its online arsenal to include a fully-functioning microsite in Spanish, located at espanol.chipganassiracing.com. Montoya's vast international fan base, in addition to NASCAR's growing fan base worldwide, now has the ability to stay informed on his historic move from Formula One to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series as the pilot of the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger next season. Anchored by the CGRFS homepage, which also includes the recently launched online store (store.chipganassiracing.com, future plans for the Spanish site include rolling out additional team content and audio clips specifically catering to the Spanish speaking market.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-31-2006)

    • myAutoLoan.com to be an assoc sponsor on the #34 at Texas: myAutloan.com will be an associate sponsor of the #34 Front Row Motorsports entry driven by Chad Chaffin at Texas Motor Speedway, for the Dickies 500. "I look forward to driving the myAutoloan.com car at Texas," commented driver Chad Chaffin. "The guys have been working real hard to get the cars ready each week. I'm confident we will put together a strong showing this weekend." myAutoloan.com is a subsidiary of Horizon Digital Finance, L.L.C., and a nationally-licensed direct-to-customer, Internet-based auto financing marketplace utilizing Preferred Placement technology and processes. They are located in Irving, Texas. More information, visit myAutoloan.com.(FRM PR), Chaffin switches to the #34 this week, while Kevin Lepage will drive the #61 FRM Dodge at Texas.(10-31-2006)

    • Petty to deliever food in Wisconsin and Texas: Today, Kyle Petty starts his morning by loading a Schwan's Home Service truck. After that, he'll help drive the route, delivering the goods. Petty, who drives the #45 Schwan's car, will be here because customer service managers at the Schwan's sales and distribution center in Ashwaubenon won a regional sales contest. After his work day is finished, Petty will meet fans, sign autographs and display his show car from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Simon Bay Park Square mall in Ashwaubenon. Schwan's also will have a truckload sale of frozen foods during the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to Holiday House, which helps people with disabilities in Manitowoc County, and Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp in North Carolina. It'll be good practice for Petty, who'll do it all over again the next day [Nov 1st] with a Schwan's driver in Beaumont, Texas.(Green Bay Gazette)(10-31-2006)

    • Montoya to run remaining 2006 Busch races UPDATE 2: Juan Pablo Montoya most likely will run the remaining three Busch Series races this year, team owner Chip Ganassi confirmed Sunday morning. Ganassi was pleased with Montoya's debut, an 11th-place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park. Whether Montoya, who will run a full season in the #42 Texaco Dodge for Ganassi next year, will make his Cup debut this season remains to be seen, Ganassi said.(SceneDaily.com)(10-29-2006)
      UPDATE: NASCAR's John Darby, who watched Montoya in the Memphis race with keen interest, said that Montoya could run in the Nextel Cup season finale at Homestead, too, if Ganassi and Montoya both feel comfortable with that.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-30-2006)
      UPDATE 2: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today Juan Pablo Montoya and the #42 Texaco/Havoline NASCAR Busch Series team is scheduled to compete in the final three races of the 2006 Busch Series season, including Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. This upcoming weekend's Busch event at Texas Motor Speedway will be the fourth stock car competition for the Colombian native since he joined the CGRFS organization in late September. The 31-year old driver also participated in his first official NASCAR sanctioned test at Homestead-Miami Speedway last week.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-31-2006)

    • Edwards to deliver school supplies to Katrina Affected School: On Wednesday, November 1st, #99-Carl Edwards and Office Depot are delivering more than $65,000 in classroom supplies, including 30 new Toshiba computers, to Earl Travillion Attendance Center (ETAC) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, an elementary school that was hit by Hurricane Katrina just over one year ago. ETAC was selected out of more than two million entries nationwide as the winner of Office Depot's "Great Tools For Your School Sweeps" and will be receiving prizes including classroom supplies from Office Depot as well as Toshiba laptop computers, Sanford writing and erasing products, 3M products including overhead and LCD projectors, new Sauder desks for teachers and computer mouse products from Microsoft. Teachers will be receiving $99 Office Depot Gift Cards, the school is receiving a $9,999 scholarship and each student will receive a backpack with school supplies. Edwards will drive up in his racecar, followed by a hauler filled with the supplies and products. This will be followed by a school assembly where Edwards will present the supplies and answer students' questions.(Office Depot/Edelman PR)(10-31-2006)


      News from October 30, 2006

    • Atlanta overnight TV ratings UP: NBC earned an overnight Nielsen Media Research rating of 4.2 and an 8 market share for Sunday's broadcast of the Bass Pro Shops 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 7.7% higher than the 3.9 NBC earned overnight for the 2005 race.(SceneDaily.com), the final ratings in 2005 were 4.7 rating and a 10 share, see my TV Ratings page for the 2006 chart and past news.(10-30-2006)

    • ESPN Deportes Radio Becomes the Spanish Language home of NASCAR Racing: In a continued effort to better serve the Latino sports fans in the U.S., ESPN Deportes Radio and MRN Radio, the primary source for NASCAR stock car racing and related radio programming, announced today a five-year agreement that makes ESPN Deportes Radio the exclusive Spanish-language radio home of NASCAR racing's premier events, it was announced today by Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and David Hyatt, President of MRN Radio. Under the terms of the agreement, ESPN Deportes Radio will provide up-to-the minute NASCAR news and information, highlighted with coverage of NASCAR's three largest racing series - the NEXTEL Cup, the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. The agreement will provide ESPN Deportes Radio exclusive access to a vast amount of content that will fuel ESPN Deportes Radio's NASCAR coverage beginning with the 2007 season. ESPN Deportes is the brand under which ESPN Inc. has been serving U.S. Hispanic sports fans since 2000. In addition to ESPN Deportes Radio, the only around-the-clock national Spanish-language radio network in the U.S., the roster of branded initiatives now includes ESPN Deportes TV; ESPNdeportes.com, the leading Spanish-language sports site in the U.S.; ESPN Deportes La Revista, the only general sports Spanish-language magazine in the U.S.; and ESPN Deportes Wireless, which offers mobile phone subscribers images of their favorite Latino sports stars.(MRN Radio PR)(10-30-2006)

    • Johnson re-ups with Levi Strauss: Jeans, Johnson a Perfect Fit: For Levi Strauss Signature jeans, Jimmie Johnson is the perfect fit. After three years of a successful partnership, the mass retail brand recently extended its sponsorship with the NASCAR driver and Hendrick Motorsports through the 2009 calendar year. As part of the three-year agreement, the Levi Strauss Signature brand will continue to be the official apparel sponsor of Johnson, as well as the official jeans of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team. The Levi Strauss Signature brand will continue to feature the El Cajon, Calif., native in its national marketing and public relations programs.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(10-30-2006)

    • Bass Pro Shops 500 Race and Commercial Breakdown of 10-29-06:
      Total number of commercials: 154
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 83
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 31
      Restarts missed due to being away at commercial: 0
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:50pm/et
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:38pm/et
      Total minutes: 228
      Minutes of race broadcast: 154
      Minutes of commercials: 74
      See full report at cawsnjaws.com.(10-30-2006)

    • Elliott honored before race: Before Dawsonville, Ga., native Bill Elliott started his 57th Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, he was honored in a special presentation and proclamation at driver introductions by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. "He's been our hometown favorite for 30 years," Perdue said during the announcement. "He's our own Bill Elliott." Elliott's 57th career start at Atlanta Motor Speedway didn't end the way he was hoping for. Elliott's car was battling engine problems and had to retire from the Bass Pro Shops 500 after completing only 146 laps. "It just got worse and worse, and we ended up having to quit," said Elliott. "We were hoping for a caution to get it straightened out, but it never worked out."(AMS Pit Notes)(10-30-2006)

    • Wells hopes to secure #32 sponsor soon: Cal Wells hopes to secure sponsorship for his #32 PPI Motorsports Chevy shortly, saying there are still just a few details to be ironed out. One of them is the identity of the driver, as Travis Kvapil is exploring other options while waiting to see if Wells gets a deal locked down. "I'm talking to anybody who's willing to talk right now. Just kind of exploring options and seeing what's out there," Kvapil said Oct. 29. "If I go back to the [Craftsman] Truck Series, it's going to be a move for the long term, not just for a year or two. ... I'm going to have to do something pretty quick here, because it would be nice to know where we're going to land." Wells hopes to spend this week working out the final details of a sponsorship that could allow him to keep Kvapil. "There are details still to pull together that, if it all comes together, are going to be pretty profound," Wells said. "We would like to keep Travis, but he's got some other opportunities, so we'll see how that goes." Wells had hoped to announce his deal earlier this month, but said the presentation is important. "From an agreement perspective, we're there, done," he said. "But there's just some details that are going to be very positively impactful to the whole program and we're just not at the point of being able to do [the announcement]."(SceneDaily.com), current sponsor, Tide, is rumored to be leaving the sport.(10-30-2006)



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