Hall of Fames Museums
NOVEMBER 6-12, 2006
YESTERDAY and BEYOND..
- ESPN announces NASCAR broadcast crews/plans: NASCAR will return to ESPN and ABC in 2007 led by host Brent Musburger, an accomplished and prominent sports commentator; Rusty Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR champion who made his debut as an analyst in 2006; and play-by-play announcer Jerry Punch, a veteran of ESPN's previous NASCAR coverage. Television newcomer Andy Petree, a former team owner and the 1993-94 championship-winning crew chief for the late Dale Earnhardt, will join Punch and Wallace as an analyst for a booth with nearly 90 years experience in motorsports. The trio will team with veteran pit reporters with a combined 45 additional years of motorsports experience - Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro. ESPN also is planning for a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute NASCAR Countdown show to immediately precede all Nextel Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series races televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. Musburger will serve as NASCAR Countdown host for all races airing on ABC, including the Chase for the Nextel Cup and select ESPN races including Daytona and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. NASCAR Countdown will be telecast from a new, state-of-the-art mobile pit studio that also will be an integral part of race telecasts. All telecasts will be in high-definition. ESPN also announced that 1999 NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett will join Punch and Petree in the booth for select NASCAR Busch Series races on ESPN2 and ABC. And to get fans prepared for the new season, NASCAR Now will debut on ESPN2 on Feb. 5, 2007, marking the network's first-ever daily program solely dedicated to NASCAR. NASCAR Now will deliver the most up-to-date news and information each Monday through Friday evening.
ESPN's comprehensive coverage also will extend to its new media platforms, with extensive coverage on ESPN.com - the leading online sports destination that reaches as many as 20 million fans per month. Among the many features will be a weekly Monday Rundown, Wallace's weekly Rusty Nails It column and regularly updated Nextel Cup Power Rankings. In addition, ESPN.com will continue to collaborate with the popular Jayski's Silly Season Site that features news, rumors and commentary on the happenings in NASCAR. Additionally, ESPN Motion, ESPN360 and the ESPN PodCenter will deliver comprehensive multimedia race coverage including select live video, on-demand online video and podcasts.(ESPN PR), for the full PR, plans, other shows and commnets, along with Talent/Production Briefs, see my TV/Media News Page.(10-12-2006)
- Impound Rules: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Impound Procedures In 2006
see my 2006 Impounding Rules.
- Winners of a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series races: see my Misc Stats page for this and many others.
News from November 12, 2006
- Harvick wins at Phoenix: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Checkers Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway to sweep both Cup races there in 2006, his 5th win of 2006 and 10th of his career. Harvick led the most laps with 252 of 312. #48-Johnson finished 2nd [for the 3rd race in a row] to increase his points lead over #17-Kenseth to by 63 points. If Johnson finishes 12th or better at Homestead-Miami he will win the 2006 Nextel Cup Championship. The rest of the top-10 were #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #6-Martin, #9-Kahne, #2-Busch, #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #31-Burton. Only two Chasers out of the top-10: #17-Kenseth 13th and #5-Busch 38th after getting involved in a late race crash. There were 10 cautions for 58 laps [a ~9 minute red flag during the last caution] and 7 drivers lead the race with 12 lead changes.
Race Results on my Phoenix Race Results/Awards Page.
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Phoenix page
Race Rundown: see my Phoenix Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(11-12-2006)
- Unofficial Driver Chase Points Standing after Phoenix [35 of 36 races]:
#48-Jimmie Johnson 6332 - 12th or better at Homestead to win championship
#17-Matt Kenseth 6269 -63
#29-Kevin Harvick 6242 -90
#11-Denny Hamlin 6242 -90
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6217 -115
below are eliminated from the championship
#24-Jeff Gordon 6165 -167
#31-Jeff Burton 6107 -225
#6-Mark Martin 6059 -273
#9-Kasey Kahne 6013 -319
#5-Kyle Busch 5973 -359
and fighting for 11th
#20-Tony Stewart in 11th 4488 points [clinched]
For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(11-12-2006)
- Unofficial "Classic" Points Standings...the old way, not the Chase after Phoenix:
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5015
2) #17-Matt Kenseth, 5004, 11
3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 4683, 332
4) #20-Tony Stewart, 4609, 406
5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4560, 455
6) #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4530, 485
7) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4476, 539
8) #31-Jeff Burton, 4414, 601
9) #6-Mark Martin, 4375, 640
10) #5-Kyle Busch, 4362, 653
11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 4327, 688
12) #99-Carl Edwards, 4286, 729
13) #16-Greg Biffle, 3890, 1125
- Yates decsion by Homestead; team with DEI? UPDATE: Robert Yates said Saturday that the fate of his #88 team will be known prior to heading to Homestead, Fla., next week for the Nextel Cup season finale. While Yates would provide no specifics, Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Steve Hmiel said there have been negotiations between the two entities. The negotiations have centered on DEI's purchasing the team's shop and equipment, as DEI has long been looking for a way to expand its capacity. The team will begin fielding a third full-time Nextel Cup Series team when Paul Menard moves to Cup next season. Hmiel said the negotiations have not involved simply buying the rights to the #88, which would bring with it the owner points earned by Dale Jarrett this season. If, however, DEI bought the shop and equipment, with Yates fielding only the #38 on his own, DEI could acquire the #88's owner points as part of a larger purchase. "If we can have more capacity, the number would be a bonus," Hmiel said at Phoenix International Raceway. "We've heard Team Red Bull has made an offer to buy the number, but we're not looking to buy just the number." A number of obstacles remain, as RYR fields Fords and DEI runs Chevrolets, so it would have to be determined whether the shop was split into two separate entities; or whether RYR ran on its own or struck a deal with another Ford operation, perhaps Wood Brothers Racing. That would leave Robert Yates Racing with just the #38 team next season. RYR has fielded two teams on a full-time basis since 1996, but is losing both driver Dale Jarrett and sponsor UPS from its #88 after the season. Yates systematically danced around the issue on Saturday, saying only that he had four options to consider. Talk in the garage is that a decision by Yates must come by Tuesday. Yates said fielding just one car is an option, especially after crew chief Todd Parrott reminded Yates that he once fielded his two cars out of separate shops. And whether or not a deal is struck with DEI, Yates said he'll still be in the sport next year with the #38 team and driver David Gilliland.(SceneDaily.com)(11-12-2006)
UPDATE: Car owner Robert Yates has offered more details concerning the make-up of RYR in 2007 and it’s appears it will still be a two-car operation. Reports Saturday indicated several teams were interested in purchasing the #88 operation and its owner points. However, just prior to Sunday's green flag at Phoenix Yates said “I actually have looked at that but what’s on the horizon, and is here now, I don’t think that’s gonna be the deal. It’s gonna be more expanding instead of getting rid of anything. I need to know and everybody will know as soon as we can get it all figured out but it looks pretty good right now.” While a decision could be reached this coming Tuesday, Yates said “Everybody needs to know where they’re headed when they come home from Homestead. That’s out agenda and I think we can meet that timeline. The facts are we’re gonna run a really good positive 38 team. We also have an opportunity to run a very good 88 team, and we’re still looking at opportunities of maybe growing it on into the bigger full scope of four teams.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-12-2006)
- Sponsor changes at the #25 and #16? UPDATE 5 Ameriquest to #16: hearing National Guard could end up being the sponsor, either whole or in part, of the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy that Casey Mears will drive in 2007. No word if current #25 primary sponsor, GMAC, stays as a co-sponsor or would leave the team. National Guard currently sponsors the #16 Roush Racing Ford of Greg Biffle, supposedly Subway could step up full time or be co-sponsors with Ameriquest [sponsors a slew of Roush Racing Busch cars] or 3M.(7-30-2006)
UPDATE: been told that Ameriquest has signed a multi-year deal with Roush Racing to sponsor the #16 Ford and Greg Biffle. As for the #25, GMAC will back in some form in 2006.(8-10-006)
UPDATE 2: been told the National Guard will move to the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and will team up to co-sponsor the team with GMAC.(8-19-2006)
UPDATE 3 - Roush still waiting on National Guard: Roush Racing is still awaiting word on whether the National Guard will return as primary sponsor on the #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle next year. "We don't have an indication on what they are going to do for next year," Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said Saturday. "That is being more closely maintained by them. Sometimes it's typically later in the year when they have all of their options decided." Even if the team loses that sponsorship, there are other sponsors to fill in the gaps. That car has had several sponsors, such as Subway, which have been the primary sponsor for select races in the past couple of years. "We're covered," Smith said. "It's only a question of how the car is going to be allocated among those sponsors."(SceneDaily.com)(8-28-2008)
UPDATE 4: Roush Racing will announce Sunday that Ameriquest Mortgage, currently a sponsor for Roush in the NASCAR Busch Series, will step up and take over as the primary sponsor of the #16 Nextel Cup Ford driven by Greg Biffle. Biffle's sponsor, the U.S. Army National Guard, will leave the organization.(Sporting News)
OFFICIAL: Ameriquest Mortgage Company, a national mortgage lender, announced today a partnership with Roush Racing to serve as the primary sponsor of the #16 race car driven by Greg Biffle for the 2007 Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) season. Biffle, the 2005 series runner-up, will sport the black and gold Ameriquest Racing colors on the #16 Ford Fusion for nearly the entire 36-race schedule.
Throughout the 2006 season, Ameriquest sponsored four of Roush's NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) teams, which includes drivers Biffle, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. The Ameriquest Dream Team won five races in 2006. Ameriquest plans to activate its 2007 primary sponsorship with Roush Racing with a comprehensive marketing communications program, including on-line consumer
promotions and sweepstakes, dedicated NASCAR broadcast advertising, at-track / off-track mobile marketing, customer hospitality and on-going public relations. In addition, Ameriquest, proud sponsor of the American dream, will continue to be the official mortgage company of Roush Racing in 2007. For more information about Ameriquest Mortgage Company, visit www.ameriquest.com and Racing at ameriquestracing.com.(Alan Taylor PR), 3M will be the primary sponsor for 7 races on the #16 in 2007.(11-12-2006)
- Wrigley to sponsor Montoya for 3 races in 2007? UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing will announce that the William Wrigley Jr. Co., through its Wrigley gum brand, will be a primary sponsor for three races on the #42 Nextel Cup Dodge [main sponsor Texaco] driven by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007 and 25 races as an associate sponsor for the #41 Busch Series car driven by Reed Sorenson.(Sporting News)(11-12-2006)
UPDATE: The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company will make its NASCAR debut with a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix
Sabates (CGRFS) that features Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint, Big Red, Juicy Fruit and Winterfresh brands. Wrigley will sponsor rising stars Reed Sorenson and David Stremme, who will drive the #41 Dodge in the first 25 Busch Series races in 2007, and former Indianapolis 500 champion and Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who will drive the #42 Big Red Dodge in three Nextel Cup races for the 2007 NASCAR season. Sorenson and Stremme will alternate as the driver of the #41 car on the first 25 races of the Busch Series. Their car will feature a rotating paint scheme of Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, and Winterfresh brands. Wrigley will be an associate sponsor of the car for the remaining 10 races. When Montoya grabs the wheel of the #42 Big Red Dodge for three Nextel Cup races, his car and uniform will feature a bold black-and-red Big Red color scheme. Wrigley, through its Big Red brand, will also be an associate sponsor of the car for the remaining 33 races.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-12-2006)
- Long wins Late Model Race: #46-Carl Long, piloting the #1 Romeo Guest Construction Ford for Long Brothers Racing, was victorious in Saturday night's [11/11] championship late model race at Orange County Speedway [NC]. Long, a former track champion who started his racing career at Orange County, showed he stills knows how to get around the legendary 3/8th-mile oval.(Carl Long Site)(11-12-2006)
- Roush finalizing plans with Villeneuve: UPDATE no plans: Roush Racing appears to be finalizing plans to put former Indy 500 champion and F-1 star Jacques Villeneuve in a Ford for several Busch Series races next year. Although the schedule isn't set, it'll almost certainly include the Saturday afternoon, Aug. 4 road race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in his hometown of Montreal.(Ford Racing)(10-13-2006)
UPDATE:Any hopes that Canada's Jacques Villeneuve might be part of NASCAR's Roush Racing team next season appear to be over. Villeneuve had been in talks with the elite team about driving in 2007 as part of their Busch Series squad as a prelude to jumping to the Nextel Cup side. But yesterday Roush Racing general manager Geoff Smith said there is now only a remote chance of Canada's only Formula One champion joining the team next season. "We're nowhere in that regards for '07," he said yesterday. "There are just general discussions that are going on, but I don't see us being able to make an arrangement to pull together a program where we are today. It's possible that we do something. It's an outside shot given the timing of the year."(Calgary Sun)(11-12-2006)
- Latest on Goodyear Strike: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the striking United Steelworkers of America are heading back to negotiations. The company and the union on Thursday announced they will meet, possibly as early as next week.
Goodyear first announced Thursday morning it was sending its negotiators to Cincinnati, where talks had been taking place up until 15,000 Steelworkers went on strike Oct. 5, and hoped the union would join them. In the afternoon, the USW said it was willing to talk as well. Goodyear has placed its latest contract proposal to the Steelworkers on its negotiations Web site, www.goodyearnegotiations.com. As part of the company's release of its third-quarter earnings report Thursday morning, Goodyear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Keegan told financial analysts that the company now preferred to directly address its 15,000 striking Steelworker employees. The previous three-year contract expired July 22, but was extended on a day-by-day basis until early October when negotiations broke down. Goodyear is losing $30 million to $35 million a week in operating income because of the strike, Keegan said.(more at Ohio.com) and past news on this abd how it effects NASCAR on my Sponsors News page.(11-12-2006)
- Phoenix Penalty Report:
Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
#72 TE Speeding exiting pit road L74
#72 PT Speeding entering pit road L98
#55 TE Pitting before pit road is open L187
#45 TE Speeding exiting pit road Ll89
#7 TE Pitting before pit road is open L226
#16 OL Running the stop and go sign L276
#07 TE Pitting before pit road is open L306
PT - Pass through
TE - Tail end of the longest line
SG - Stop and Go
OL - One lap
ND - NASCAR discretion
MCI - Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-12-2006)
- Rumblings - Phoenix: Kevin Harvick's had quite a year.... From about lap 139 to the end today it was pretty obvious the only two drivers with a chance to win would be Harvick or Jimmie Johnson...and it was formful to the end. Kevin Harvick led 252 of the 312 circuits today and captured the Checker Auto Parts "500" presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International Raceway by a quarter of a second today over Johnson. This was the fifth win of the season for Harvick (which when you couple it with nine in the NASCAR Busch Series...oh, and a Championship there too....makes for more than a little hardware to display) and the 10th of his NEXTEL Cup career. He's now tied for 50th on the all-time win list with Donnie Allison, Sterling Marlin, and Greg Biffle. Kevin's sweeper at Phoenix was worth $216,825 from the almost $5M in posted awards....this was win #83 for RCR Enterprises.
Elliott Sadler (17th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Dover in September.
STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-2's in a row. Denny Hamlin has 4 Top-10's in a row. Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-10's in a row.
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Jimmie Johnson (+27), followed by Tony Raines (+20) and Scott Riggs (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kyle Busch (-29), followed by Greg Biffle (-28 ), Jamie McMurray (-26), and Michael Waltrip (-23). Hendrick Motorsports had both ends of the "Shaft" bracketed this week. David Gilliland led a lap today for the first time in his Cup career. He's the 48th different driver to lead a lap this season....last year we had 51 different leaders.
Some interesting point observations: We'd have a much closer race in "Classic" points than we have in the "Chase". Johnson's margin over on the original side would be only 11 markers. It's also interesting that the top three are exactly the same in both scenarios...and they were also the three drivers at the top when we started the Chase in Loudon.(Stock Car Fans)(11-12-2006)
- Race Notes - Phoenix:
• Kevin Harvick won the 2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, scoring his 10th career
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 213th career start.
• Harvick moved into a tie for 50th on NASCAR’s All-Time win list, tied with Donnie Allison, Greg Biffle and Sterling
• This is Harvick’s fifth victory in 2006. He also won races at Phoenix in April, Watkins Glen, second Richmond and
second New Hampshire.
• Harvick is the third driver in 2006 to sweep both races at a track this season. He joined Denny Hamlin (Pocono) and
Kasey Kahne (Charlotte).
• Harvick is the only Chase driver to score two victories in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
• Harvick won five races in the first five seasons in his career (between 2001-2005). Harvick has five victories this season.
• Harvick scored his second victory in eight races at Phoenix. Harvick has scored three top-10 finishes at Phoenix, all top
• Harvick is the fourth different driver to post back-to-back victories at Phoenix.
• Harvick scored his 19th top-10 finish in 2006.
• Harvick’s victory today was the 23rd Chevrolet victory in 35 races in 2006.
• Harvick led four times for 252 laps, leading the most laps for the third time in 2006.
• Race winner Harvick led the final 30 laps in the 2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix.
• This was team owner Richard Chidress’ 83rd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. Childress has scored six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories in 2006.
• Five drivers All drivers are in the 156-point window which is the maximum points that can be gained or lost during a
single race and remain mathematically eligible to win the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship in the final race
• If Johnson finishes 12th or better or leads a lap and finishes 13th or better or leads the most laps and finishes 15th or
better at Homestead, he will clinch the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship, regardless of any other drivers
performance. Johnson has five victories in 2006 and would also win in case of a tie because of his six second-place
• Jeff Gordon (-167) is mathematically eliminated from winning the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship as
soon as Johnson starts the race at Homestead.
• Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch are more than 190 points behind point leader Johnson and
have been mathematically eliminated from winning the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship.
• Denny Hamlin (third) scored his 19th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his first top-10 finish in three races at Phoenix.
Hamlin was the highest finishing rookie for the 17th time in 2006.
• Jeff Gordon (fourth) scored his 18th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his 13th top-10 finish in 16 races at Phoenix.
• Carl Edwards (fifth) scored his 19th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his fourth top-10 finish in five races at Phoenix.
• 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. Johnson has gained 219 points in the last five races, the result of five straight
finishes of first or second and is first in the point standings for the second straight race.
• Stewart remained 11th in the Championship standings. He has a 323-point lead over 12th-place Carl Edwards who
finished fifth. Stewart is mathematically assured the 11th-place points position and the $1 million payout.
• Eight of the 10 Chase drivers finished in the top 10 at Phoenix.
• Five of The Chase drivers changed points positions at Phoenix.
• Five of the Chase drivers led at Phoenix earning valuable lap leader bonus points.
• First and second are separated by 63 points with one race remaining. The top five in points are separated by 115
points which makes them all mathematically eligible to win the 2006 Championship.
• Five of the nine races in the Chase have been won by Chase drivers
• Matt Kenseth has scored eight top-15 finishes in the nine races in The Chase, the only driver to do so.
• Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are the only Chase drivers to score nine top-25 finishes in all nine Chase races.
• Jimmie Johnson has scored five top-five finishes in the nine Chase races, the most among the Chase drivers. Johnson has
finished first or second in the last five races in the Chase.
• Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon are the only Chase drivers to score six top-10 finishes in the nine races in the Chase.
• Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to lead in seven of the nine races in the Chase.
• Jimmie Johnson has scored 45 lap leader/bonus points in nine races in the Chase, the most among all drivers.
• Jimmie Johnson is the only Chase driver to post seven top-10 starts in the nine races in the Chase.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(11-12-2006)
- Jeff Gordon make appearance in ESPN's MNF Booth in Charlotte: #24-Jeff Gordon will make a special guest appearance in ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the Carolina Panthers Monday in Charlotte. Gordon, the winningest active drive and the current all-time money leader, will join ESPN’s Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser in the second quarter to discuss racing, football and other topics. The ESPN telecast will also feature taped highlights of Theismann and sideline reporter Suzy Kolber at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. The popular MNF personalities are expected to get behind the wheel for a thrilling ride of their own Saturday night at nearby Lowe’s Motor Speedway as part of their visit to Carolina. Fans who attend the Monday Night game will also have the opportunity to see a specially-wrapped ESPN stock car that was created as part of NASCAR’s return to ESPN and ABC in 2007. The vehicle will be parked alongside ESPN The Truck in an open lot at the intersection of S. Mint and Quincy Streets in Charlotte, just a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium.(ESPN PR)
News from November 11, 2006
- Ward close to being named #4 driver in 2007: After a long hiatus, Ward Burton is slated to be the full-time driver of the #4 next year. "We haven't completely signed the deal, but we've agreed on one," team owner Larry McClure said. "So it looks like he'll have a good shot at being back in the car next year." Burton's last gig as a full-time driver ended here at Phoenix back in 2004 when he broke a rear end about two-thirds of the way through the event and finished a disappointing 40th in Gene Haas' #0 [now #66] Chevy. To the consternation of his fans, Burton fell off the NASCAR landscape for a time after that. Offers came Burton's way for rides that would have been less than competitive, and he has admitted in the past that perhaps he was a little too picky when he turned them down. When McClure and driver Scott Wimmer agreed to part ways this fall, an outcry from Burton's fans was answered. McClure put the Virginia native behind the wheel of the #4 Chevy for a one-off race at Burton's hometown track in Martinsville in October. Burton started 35th in the Subway 500 and ran respectably all afternoon. Simply staying on the lead lap is an accomplishment on the half-mile Virginia bullring, and Burton kept the Chevy on the same circuit as the leaders to go the full 500-lap distance and finish 26th. Todd Bodine already was slated to start in the #4 car at Atlanta the following week, so Burton's rabid fans had to wait a little while longer to see if he would return. He did just that at Texas Motor Speedway, qualifying in the back of the pack in 37th and finishing one lap off the pace in 25th. Burton's fan base is a big part of the reason why the team is about to put him behind the wheel for the 2007 season.(Yahoo Sports)(11-11-2006)
- 2007 #26 Crown Royal scheme to debut at Homestead: Although the 2006 season is coming to a close in less than 10 days, Roush Racing driver Jamie McMurray is already looking forward to the 2007 season and with the strong support from Crown Royal, the #26 team will get a great head start. In the 2006 season finale at Homestead/Miami Speedway, McMurray will be showcasing the new 2007 Crown Royal paint scheme on his #26 Ford Fusion. “It’s really neat that Crown Royal is running the ’07 paint scheme down in Miami,” McMurray said. “Everyone wonders what new paint schemes will look like when they hit the track in Daytona next February. I think it’s great that Crown Royal is giving the fans a chance to check out next year’s car a little early.” The #26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion will have a completely different look in 2007. With the help of renowned NASCAR illustrator Sam Bass, the Crown Royal car has received a makeover during the last five months. Bass, who is well known throughout the NASCAR industry, played a major role in creating the new look for Crown Royal.(Roush Racing PR)(11-11-2006)
- Sadler to test COT at the Rock: #19-Ellliott Sadler plans to test the Car of Tomorrow (COT) at North Carloina Speedway in Rockingham, NC on Wednesday, Nov. 15th.(11-11-2006)
- Biffle and Tryson To Team Up For 2007 Season; Fennig to the #6 UPDATE 2 McMurray?: Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will be paired with Greg Biffle, driver of the Roush Racing #16 Nextel Cup Ford Fusion [no sponsor mentions, so far 3M has been announced] for the 2007 season. Tryson has been the crew chief for veteran driver Mark Martin for the past three seasons. Tryson is one of only three crew chiefs to lead his team to a position in the Chase for the Nextel Cup every year since its inception in 2004 and looks to continue that record with Biffle. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Greg in 2007,” said Tryson. “Obviously our top priority for next season is getting Greg back in the Chase. He’s a great driver and I hope to continue my personal streak of making the Chase with him.”
“I’m looking forward to the 2007 season and working with Pat Tryson,” said Biffle. “I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with Pat but he’s had a good record with Mark in making the Chase three years in a row, so hopefully we won’t stop his streak next year.”(Roush Racing PR), no word on who will replace Tryson on the #6 Ford that rookie David Ragan will drive, other sponsors of the #16 car or plans for current #16 crew chief Doug Richert.(11-10-2006)
UPDATE: In a series of moves at Roush Racing, Jimmy Fennig will serve as rookie #6-David Ragan's Nextel Cup Series crew chief next season, with Pat Tryson moving over to lead #16-Greg Biffle's team. Doug Richert, Biffle's current crew chief, said Friday that he's not yet sure what he'll be doing next season. Richert offered no specifics about his future. "Not real sure," he said. "There's a lot of stuff going on, but nothing certain."(SceneDaily.com)(11-10-2006)
UPDATE 2: That leaves only Jamie McMurray without an assigned crew chief for 2007 yet. One tantalizing option for that ride could be Matt Borland, who’s sitting out the final two races of 2007 and might be leaving Penske Racing South. “I heard a rumor that he packed up his stuff and left,” Roush said of Borland. “If he were on the street, I’d be very interested in talking to him. If he’s under contract, I have no interest in him.”(SpeedTV.com)(11-11-2006)
- Brian France in accident....is OK UPDATE investigation/911 call: According to a Daytona Beach police report, Brian France crashed his Lexus four-door sedan into a tree just outside his condominium on Marina Point Drive. Police said Magnolia Avenue resident Shirley Hill saw France enter the parking lot of the Chart House restaurant just after 9pm/et. Monday and plow into a tree on the property. At that point, the 44-year-old France backed up his car and slid into the underground parking garage of the nearby Marina Point condominium, where he has a unit, the report shows. Hill called police and reported the wreck. Police Chief Mike Chitwood said officers called France downstairs that night to ask what had happened. France did not return a telephone call to The Daytona Beach News-Journal on Wednesday, but the report shows he told police he was drinking a soda and driving when he "bumped something" and the drink spilled in his car. Officers inspected the interior of the car and found the remains of the soda on the dashboard and front seat, the report shows. They also spotted debris from a palm tree on France's passenger door, but no damaged tree in the Chart House parking lot, the report states. It is not clear why Hill was driving behind France on Beach Street and what France actually struck. Hill could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Chitwood said officers at the scene did not ask France to perform a field sobriety test because, "He did not smell of alcohol or anything like that."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-9-2006)
UPDATE: A witness told police NASCAR boss Brian France was driving recklessly and hit more than a tree as he sped home to his riverfront condominium earlier this week. Now, Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood, after speaking to witness Shirley Hill, has launched an internal affairs investigation to determine whether officers who responded to France's condo on Marina Pointe Drive on Monday night handled the incident correctly. "If I find out that someone gave him (France) a break because of his last name, someone is going to have to look for a new job," Chitwood said Thursday afternoon. More at the Daytona Beach News Journal and listen to the 911 call there.(11-10-2006)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR issued a brief statement on the matter late Friday afternoon, which read, "“Brian France cooperated fully with the Daytona Beach Police Department on Monday night at the time of the incident and remains available for any follow up questions they might have. France accidentally brushed against a tree or roadside stump on the narrow road leading to his apartment. No one was injured. The car he was driving had some minor damage. He went on to his condo and cooperated fully with police officers who had been called to the scene by a 911 operator. France said a coke he was holding spilled into his lap as he was driving into his condo complex, momentarily diverting his attention from the road.”(Speed Channel)
Also see a report at the Associated Press site.(11-11-2006)
- Dodge/BDR Settle: A settlement has been reached in the 2003 lawsuit by Dodge against car owner Bill Davis. In February, Dodge won a $6.5 million settlement against Davis, who campaigned Dodges in the Cup series when he began developing Toyota’s Tundra NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Davis has dropped his appeal of the judgment and all parties involved apparently agreed to settle and put the issue behind them.(SpeedTV.com)(11-11-2006)
- Borland to Red Bull? UPDATE 5 Borland on leave..personal reasons: 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)
UPDATE 2: Penske Racing South president Don Miller said Sunday that he expects to have crew chiefs Matt Borland (#12-Ryan Newman) and Roy McCauley (#2-Kurt Busch) back next year leading their respective cars. Borland had been rumored to move to a Toyota [Red Bull Racing] team. Miller also said he expects the new nose Dodge teams will get next year should prove to be a big benefit for the team.(Speed Channel)(11-6-2006)
UPDATE 3: however, been told that Borland will not be with the #12 team at Phoenix, supposedly team engineer Mike Nelson will be Newman's crew chief for the last two races.(11-7-2006)
UPDATE 4: Matt Borland, crew chief for Ryan Newman, will miss the final two races of the 2006 Nextel Cup season. Borland is taking "some personal time off," and team engineer Mike Nelson will lead Newman's efforts this weekend at Phoenix and next weekend at Homestead, a Penske Racing South spokesperson said Wednesday.(SceneDaily.com)(11-9-2006)
UPDATE 5: Ryan Newman said Matt Borland, his crew chief his entire Nextel Cup career and the best man at his wedding, "won't be back next year" in the same capacity. He could return in another role, Newman speculated. Borland was allowed to miss the final two races of the season to attend to personal matters and was replaced on an interim basis by engineer Mike Nelson. "He's in a position with his two children and wife that they need him to spend more time at home, and that's way more important than what we do at the racetrack," Newman said.(St Petersburg Times)(11-11-2006)
- Dodge Presents Viper SRT10 to Kahne: Dodge Motorsports presented #9-Kasey Kahne with a new Dodge Viper SRT10 sports car at Phoenix International Raceway Friday morning to mark his circuit-leading six victories and spot in the Nextel Chase for the Championship. The Dodge Viper SRT10 Roadster and Coupe, with "Race Inspired, Street Legal" styling and performance, are the ultimate American sports cars and icons of the Dodge brand. The Dodge Viper SRT10 Roadster and Coupe offer an 8.3-liter 510-horsepower V-10 engine with acceleration of 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the low 12-second range. The distinctive styling features Dodge's signature crosshair grille design, deep-cut side scallops, swept-back fenders and lowered hood lines.(Clear!Blue PR)(11-11-2006)
News from November 10, 2006
- MB2 Motorsports Announces 2007 Lineup: MB2 Motorsports announced that its 2007 lineup will include a roster of seven drivers, entries in all three of NASCAR's national series and a driver development program. MB2's expansion started to take shape following an ownership change in July when real estate developer Bobby Ginn purchased majority interest in the 10-year-old racing organization. “Bobby has given us an opportunity to take this team to the next level and there’s nothing more exciting than that,” said Jay Frye, MB2’s CEO and general manager. “Our foundation is strong with a team mixture of experience and youth. Every piece we put together for 2007 was carefully thought out with the future in mind. We want to be a team to contend with over the next
MB2's 2007 lineup of drivers/crew chiefs will be as follows:
Nextel Cup Series: * MB2 will field three Nextel Cup teams. MB2 newcomers Mark Martin (47-years-old) and rookie Regan Smith (23) will co-drive the #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. Martin will drive in 20 point races plus the Bud Shootout and Nextel All Star Challenge. Smith will drive in the remaining 16 point races. Ryan Pemberton will continue to serve as crew chief on the #01 car.
* Sterling Marlin (49) will continue to drive MB2's #14 Chevrolet with Richard "Slugger" Labbe handling the crew chief duties.
* Joe Nemechek (43) will switch from the 01 Chevy to the new #13 team. Nemechek will be reunited with crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who was recently hired by MB2. Sospenzo was Nemechek's crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports in 2002 and 2003. The twosome
combined to score a victory at the 2003 spring race in Richmond, Va. Team sponsors for the #13 and #14 will be announced at a later date.(MB2 Motorosports PR), Busch and others team info on the #01 Team News and Links page.(11-10-2006)
- Headbanger Rachtman to get head shaved on NASCAR Raceday: In February, at the Daytona 500, TV and Radio personality, Riki Rachtman, was on stage at the Chevy fanfest in front of thousands of fans. As a fan of Nextel Cup driver #31-Jeff Burton, Riki told the audience that when the driver of the # 31 Cingular Wireless Chevy won a race he would shave his head
bald. After a winless streak of 5 years, Jeff Burton scored a victory at Dover. That was Sept 24th. Live on “NASCAR Raceday” (Speed TV) host and NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace challenged Riki to come to the Phoenix NASCAR race and have his head shaved live
on the show. “NASCAR Raceday” is the definitive pre-race program that gets fans pumped and ready for the adrenaline rush of each race. After taunts from the other hosts Jimmy Spencer and John Roberts, Riki reluctantly agreed. "You gotta respect a man of his word," said Chris Long, Speed VP of Production. "NASCAR Raceday” is the ultimate fan show and we love that Riki is going to honor his promise to Jeff Burton on our show and in front of the NASCAR fans."
“I have always been a fan of the program “NASCAR Raceday,” said Riki Rachtman. “At first I thought, how cool. I get to be a guest on the show. Then when it sunk in why I was going to be on the show, I got a little nervous.” Riki also claims he dug up some dirt on Kenny Wallace and he will reveal it on the program.
Who is Riki Rachtman ? The answer depends on who you ask. Many remember Riki as the host of the highly rated MTV show, “Headbangers Ball” [a huge Jayski Fave]. Today he is a regular on the music channel, VH1. Yes, many people still know Riki from the world of rock n’ roll. Riki has a passion for NASCAR as much as he has for music. In the spring of 2003, “Racing Rocks! with Riki Rachtman,” debuted. In October of 2006 United Stations EVP/Programming Andy Denemark, made the announcement from the network’s New York City Headquarters that “Racing Rocks with Riki Rachtman” had secured its 100th affiliate. “Racing Rocks with Riki Rachtman” is a two-hour weekly long-form program that provides rock fans coast-to-coast with news, exclusive insights, interviews and dedicated coverage from the world of NASCAR, primarily the Nextel Cup racing series. The show is driven by the star power of its host and NASCAR’S massive fan base.(PR)(11-10-2006)
- Ramblings - Phoenix: Jeff Gordon won practice then won the Bud Pole today at Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts "500" presented by Pennzoil with a time of 26.773 (134.464 mph) for his second top-spot of the season (he captured the point at Dover in September) and the 56th of his Nextel Cup career. Wonder how many times they'll start a question with "Since this is one of the tracks you've never won at".... Kevin Harvick will join Gordon on the front row.
Dale Earnhardt Jr (4th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Dover in September of 2005!.
Joe Nemechek (5th) has his best starting spot since he timed in 5th at Dover in September.
Michael Waltrip (19th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 19th at Daytona in July.
Ward Burton (24th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Martinsville in October of 2004 (only five races).
Welcome to Brandon Whitt (37th). He'll make his first ever Nextel Cup start in the #72 Dutch Quality Stone Chevy. He has a Craftsman Truck Series win on his resume....at Memphis in July of 2005.
STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt Jr has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.(Stock Car Fans)(11-10-2006)
- Phoenix Qualifying Notes:
• Jeff Gordon won the Bud Pole for the Checker Auto Parts “500” presented by Pennzoil, lapping Phoenix International Raceway in 26.773 seconds at 134.464 mph. Ryan Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 26.499 seconds, 135.854 mph - set Nov. 5, 2004.
• This is Gordon’s 56th career Bud Pole in 472 Nextel Cup Series races. He moved into sole possession of sixth on the all-time Bud Pole winners list, breaking a tie with Bill Elliott.
• This is his second Bud Pole and 17th top-10 start in 2006. He became the eighth repeat Bud Pole winner this season.
• This is Gordon’s second Bud Pole and ninth top-10 start in 16 Nextel Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
• Kevin Harvick posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 26.871 seconds, 133.973 mph – and will join Gordon on the front row for the Checker Auto Parts “500”. Harvick posted his fourth top-10 start in eight races at Phoenix and his 14th top-10 start in 2006.
• This is the 13th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2006. Dodge has 15 Bud Poles and Ford has six. Qualifying was canceled at the first Bristol and second Atlanta races.
• Brian Vickers (third) has posted five top-10 starts in six races at Phoenix and has not started worse than 14th here.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fourth) has posted just two top-10 starts in his nine Phoenix races. This is his 150th race without a Bud Pole.
• Joe Nemechek (fifth) has posted just four top-10 starts in 15 races at Phoenix.
• Michael Waltrip (19th) was the fastest of the drivers required to qualify on time.
• Brandon Whitt (37th) qualified for his career-first Nextel Cup race and will be the 77th different driver to compete in at least one Nextel Cup race this season.
• Bill Elliott used a past champion’s provisional to make the field – the second consecutive week that the past
champion provisional had been employed. Terry Labonte used it in Texas.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(11-10-2006)
- Kurt Busch Becomes Honorary Deputy in Arizona: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and NASCAR driver #2-Kurt Busch are on better terms than they were a year ago, when Busch was involved in a highly publicized confrontation with Arpaio's deputies But it might be a stretch to call Arpaio and Busch friends. When Busch and his handlers showed up at Arpaio's office for a photo opportunity Thursday afternoon, Arpaio greeted him as "Kyle," the name of Busch's brother, who also races. "I'm not a racetrack guy," Arpaio said later. "I don't get involved in racing." Nevertheless, Arpaio was happy to declare Kurt Busch an honorary deputy one year after he was pulled over by deputies before the 2005 Checker Auto Parts 500. Busch is back in town for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500. Last fall, officers pulled Busch over about two miles from Phoenix International Raceway after catching him driving recklessly. He became combative when they tried to determine if Busch were intoxicated. The report said Busch eventually submitted to a preliminary sobriety test, registering a 0.017 blood-alcohol level. That fell far below Arizona's impairment limit of 0.08. Busch's Roush Racing employers kicked him out of his car for the final two races of the season. Busch was issued a misdemeanor citation for reckless driving. He plea-bargained the charges to a speeding ticket, paid a $580 fine and agreed to perform 50 hours of community service, including filming a safe-driving public service announcement. Thursday's appearance brought a brace of television cameras to Arpaio's office. "I wouldn't do this with everybody, quite frankly," Arpaio said, "Because everybody isn't as famous as he is. But because he's famous, he can get the message out. His word means something." Asked what he planned to do with the badge, Busch said, "I plan to put it up in the trophy room. It's something that's very special to me. It's a perfect memento to what's gone on the past year here in Phoenix."(in part from the Associated Press)(11-10-2006)
- Chip Ganassi Racing signs Brady Bacon: Open-wheel standout Brady Bacon has signed on to become a part of the Chip Ganassi Racing driver development program. For the remainder of 2006, Bacon will be the feature driver at Keith Kunz Motorsports, filling in for injured teammate and fellow Ganassi prospect Bryan Clauson. The 2006 Southern Midget Racing Series champion, Bacon finished third this past weekend in the USAC National Sprint Car race in what was his first outing at the prestigious Eldora Speedway in Ohio.(Brady Bacon site)(11-10-2006)
- Busy Weekend for Hermie Sadler: Although not racing this weekend in Phoenix, Hermie Sadler will still be busy. Sadler will once again join the SPEED Crew as a pit reporter for Friday night's Truck Series in Phoenix. After the race, Sadler will catch a
flight to Boston, MA to appear at the New England Auto Show at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston along with TNA Wrestling Stars AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels prior to a TNA Wrestling event Saturday night in East Hartford, CT. For more information on the appearance, visit www.uwfusa.com.(11-10-2006)
- NASCAR sponsorships set off liquor industry spat: Pernod Ricard has said it will pull out of an industry-funded responsible-drinking organization in a dispute over the group's support of liquor sponsorships in auto racing. In a letter sent to the Century Council and obtained by MarketWatch, the France-based spirits maker resigned its membership, although its departure won't be effective until November. While that could give them time to work out some kind of compromise, the missive from Alain Barbet, the company's U.S. president, put the issue in fairly stark relief: "We at Pernod Ricard firmly believe that is inappropriate for the distilled spirits industry to engage in sponsorship of motor sports," he wrote. "We also believe strongly that any involvement of the Century Council in these sponsorship activities runs the risk of damaging [its] well-earned credibility . . . and undermining its message of responsibility."(full story at MarketWatch.com)(11-10-2006)
- Driver change at the #72 UPDATE: have seen nothing official but Brandon Whitt, former Truck Series driver [and winner] is now listed on the Entry List as the driver of the #72 CJM Racing Chevy at Phoenix. Mike Skinner had driven the car at the last few races.(11-9-2006)
UPDATE: Brandon Whitt, former Truck Series veteran and race winner will pilot the #72 Dutch Quality Stone Chevy for CJM Racing in an attempt to qualify for this weekend’s Checker Auto Parts 500 on November 12 at Phoenix International Raceway. “To say I’m thrilled to have a shot at my first NEXTEL Cup race is an understatement,” says Whitt. After two seasons in Craftsman Trucks, Whitt is excited for a chance to be a player on NASCAR’s biggest stage – the penultimate event in the hotly-contested Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. But simply making the race will not be enough for the competitive young driver. “PIR is a track where I’ve always had great results,” Whitt continues, “and (CJM Racing crew chief) Doug George has a lot of good notes for the track as well. I think we could end up surprising a lot of people.”(Brandon Whitt site)
AND Whitt recently announced that he and his Brandon Whitt Racing team will attempt to make their second ARCA RE/MAX Series start on February 10, 2007 in the Daytona ARCA 200 in the #51 Brandon Whitt Racing Toyota. Brandon Whitt Racing's (BWR) first ARCA appearance came this past season at Chicagoland Speedway.(11-10-2006)
- Phoenix Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR 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 same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought to Phoenix for Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams earlier this season . . . this is also the same tire set-up that teams in all three major NASCAR series ran at New Hampshire and Richmond in 2006 . . . in addition, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series teams have also run these codes at Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Mansfield (trucks only), Memphis and Milwaukee this year . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one-mile or less than one mile in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix. Estimated Pit Window is every 90-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see full report, codes, air pressures on the Phoenix Race Info / Rundown Page.(11-10-2006)
- Lucky Dog Pass Stats: so far in 2006, after 33 races, two drivers have made all the races and not used a Lucky Dog/Lap Back pass: #20-Stewart and #31-Burton. #14-Marlin, #88-Jarrett, #01-Nemechek is the leader with 10 lucky dog passes used. In 2006, two drivers have benefitted from the Lucky Dog pass and won the race: #2-Kurt Busch at Bristol and #9-Kasey Kahne at Michigan. #26-McMurray [2nd at Dover], #8-Earnhardt Jr. [3rd at Atlanta], #6-Martin [3rd at Kansas], #99-Edwards [3rd at Charllotte], #43-Labonte [3rd at Martinsville], #16-Biffle [4th at Richmond and 5th at Dover in Sept] are the drivers this year to get a top five after using the pass. Since the Lucky Dog Pass came to be at Dover in September 2003, six drivers have won seven races after getting the pass. For more, who got the passes for each race and totals along with some tidbits, see my Lucky Dog page.(11-10-2006)
- Ash to attempt Phoenix with a new look: #02-Brandon Ash will attempt to make the Checkers Auto Parts 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway. PIR was the team's first start of the 2006 season and the Checker Auto Parts 500 will mark the last start this year. In April at the Subway Fresh 500, Ash qualified in the 40th spot to finish in 43rd after transmission problems [also ran at Infineon Raceway and finished 38th]. The #02 Sprinter Trucking Dodge Intrepid will sport a new paint scheme in this weeks event. The team felt their last race of the season deserved a fierce and fast look. The bold and aggressive flames echo the teams feelings going into this race and the 2007 season. Brandon and Tiffany welcomed a baby girl, Aleah Ash, into the world on October 29th. Ash on Phoenix…"This will be the all around best effort of our career as a team. The support from our sponsor Sprinter Trucking has once again allowed us to purchase superior and more of the equipment we need to make a better showing each time we hit the track. This weekend we'll have the whole package. As a team we're leaps and bounds above where we were at the beginning of the year. Now that we have the equipment we need, we've begun to focus on what it will take to make the car faster."(Ash Racing Team PR), see an image of the car on my #02 Team Schemes page.(11-10-2006)
News from November 9, 2006
- Congrats: to Adam Alexander and wife Audra welcome baby boy Kade Ashton, who came in to the world at 2:26pm/et. eight pounds, two ounces, 20 and 3/4 inches long.(11-9-2006)
- Osbourne reunites with Edwards starting at Phoenix; Brown to the #26 then JGR: Roush Racing crew chief Bob Osbourne will return to the #99 Office Depot Ford and reunite with driver Carl Edwards, effective immediately, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith confirmed for ESPN.com Wednesday. "That's true. We're making the move in preparation for ," Smith said. Osbourne began the 2006 season as crew chief of the #99, but in April team owner Jack Roush made the decision to shake up his Nextel Cup Series crew chief lineup, sending Osbourne to direct Jamie McMurray's struggling #26 team. In doing so, he tabbed Roush's director of engineering Wally Brown to lead Edwards' #99 program. Neither team saw marked improvement. Neither has won a race in 2006. Smith said Brown will assume the crew chief role on McMurray's team for the final two races of the 2006 season in Phoenix and Homestead, but would not crew chief in 2007. Smith said it is his understanding that Brown is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in an engineering role. It is uncertain at this time, Smith said, who will serve as McMurray's crew chief in 2007.(ESPN.com/Marty Smith)(11-9-2006)
- Holiday Inn/RCR Cup debut Nov 19th UPDATE: no real details, but on the Holidayinn.com site, it shows [bottom right corner] a #29 Holiday Inn Chevy [which has been raced by Jeff Burton for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the Busch Series] but it has a driver 'greened' out and says "November 19: The Last Race, A Cup Debut, A New Teammate", the teammate could be Scott Wimmer, who has been testing for RCR lately and has been rumored to be running a partial Busch/Cup scheduled for RCR in 2007, possibly in the #33 4th RCR Chevy.(11-8-2006)
UPDATE: Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts will expand its winning Busch Series program with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in 2007 to a full season of competition with co-drivers Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer. The program is the next step of this season’s 10-race program with Burton behind the wheel of the #29 Holiday Inn Chevy. In those ten starts, Burton earned one victory (June 3 at Dover International Speedway in Delaware), five top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Wimmer is also scheduled to drive RCR’s #33 Chevy with sponsorship from Holiday Inn, in this season’s Nextel Cup Series season finale, Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It’s an honor to be able to continue and grow our relationship with an American icon like Holiday Inn,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Jeff Burton, Pat Smith (crew chief) and the entire team have done a solid job on the competition side and the folks at Holiday Inn have done a great job in promoting their program to their customers. We’ve had pretty good success the past couple of years running a two-driver program and we think that will only continue with the Holiday Inn team in 2007.” Burton and Wimmer will split the 35-race season down the middle, though which driver runs an 18th race is yet to be determined. Plans for 2007 also call for Wimmer to compete in two still-to-be-determined Nextel Cup Series events in RCR’s #33 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS with primary sponsorship from Holiday Inn. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive for Richard Childress and his Busch Series program,” said Wimmer. “Being teamed up with Jeff Burton, and having Kevin and Clint (Bowyer) to draw from, is one of the big reasons why I decided to drive for RCR. I’ve raced in NASCAR for almost six years and have never had a teammate. It’s something I’ve always been missing in my career so I’m really looking forward to it, especially with someone the caliber of Jeff Burton. Growing up in the Midwest, I think I had every birthday party from the time I can remember until I was 14 or so at a Holiday Inn Holidome so it’s great to be driving for them. We had a lot of fun in those Holidomes and I’m looking forward to having just as much fun in their race cars.” Call 1-800-HOLIDAY or log onto www.holidayinn.com for more information or to book a reservation.(Richard Childress Racing PR)(11-9-2006)
- Geoff Bodine to attempt Daytona 500: Geoffrey Bodine, 57, will attempt to qualify for February's Daytona 500 despite having been out of the Nextel Cup Series for more than two years. Bodine said he has lined up a sponsor for the race but has revealed no details.(Tennessean)(11-8-2006)
UPDATE: At 57, Geoff Bodine has found an elixir that he says has revitalized his arthritic body. Now, he hopes to attempt to qualify for February's Daytona 500 with the company behind that nutritional drink as his sponsor. Bodine started taking the nutritional, fruit-based drink MonaVie in April and says he's never felt better. The company approached Bodine with the idea of running a car at Daytona. Bodine, who hasn't driven a Nextel Cup car in more than two years, said he's up for the challenge. "I wasn't looking to get back into racing, believe me, but this opportunity came along and it's a good opportunity," Bodine said Wednesday. He said most of his family has tried the MonaVie juice, which is sold only through a network of individuals and costs more than $30. "It's got rid of the majority of my arthritic pains," he said. "I've felt the benefits of it and now I'm trying to get the brand name out and show the world this product." With his sponsor in tow, the 1986 Daytona 500 winner is looking for a team he hopes can help him have the kind of run he had at Daytona in 2002, when he finished third in the Daytona 500 with a small, independent team. "We know it's going to be tough and that's why we are looking for a good team that runs well on super speedways," Bodine said. "I've got a good sponsor and they understand the financial obligation that it's going to take to get an established team involved. If we don't get a good car we won't go. I'm confident we're going to find a good car and team and we'll do this." Bodine's last time in a stock car was 2005, when he made a few Busch Series efforts. "I wasn't looking for this, but I'm happy they want to do this with me and it might go farther," Bodine said. "I've been very happy with the time that I've had off from racing." During that time, Bodine stepped up his involvement in helping to raise money for the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team, which uses BoDyn sleds that he helped develop. Bodine will host the second annual Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge at Lake Placid from Jan. 4-7. He's also working on a project to retrofit a bobsled for paraplegics, with those sleds now being tested at the Salt Lake City Olympic bobsled run. One of his other business ventures, Geoff Bodine's World of Cars near Jacksonville, Fla., recently closed, Bodine said. Earlier this year he launched a virtual museum at the Web site www.geoffbodinemuseum.com.(Elmira Star Gazette)(11-9-2006)
- New scheme for Kahne rest of 2006: #9-Kasey Kahne will carry Chrysler Financial on-board the #9 Dodge for the remainder of the season.(Clear!Blue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(11-9-2006)
- Cookies Scheme for Harvick at Phoenix: Kevin Harvick will get behind the wheel of the #29 Reese’s Milk Chocolate Layered Cookies Chevy. Reese’s Milk Chocolate Layered Cookies have the candy taste you love with a big cookie crunch.(RCR PR)(11-9-2006)
- AAA Insurance for Martin at Phoenix: Mark Martin will run the special “Insurance” Paint scheme on the #6 AAA Ford for the final time this season at Phoenix this weekend.(Roush Racing PR)(11-9-2006)
- Grand-Am test for Gordon in Dec: Jeff Gordon will test a Grand-Am Pontiac at Homestead-Miami Speedway on December 5-6 in preparation for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January. Gordon will team up with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor in the #10 Pontiac Riley in the endurance race. Angelelli and Taylor tested at Daytona on November 6-7. Angelelli’s lap time of 123.544 mph in Monday afternoon's session was the fastest of the two-day test.(gordononlinew.com)(11-9-2006)
- Richard Petty Named Grand Marshal For 2007 Rolex 24: Richard Petty, international motorsports icon and NASCAR's all-time wins leader with 200 victories, has been named Grand Marshal for the 45th anniversary of the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 27-28. As Grand Marshal, Petty will give the starting command, "Drivers start your engines," to kick off the legendary twice-around-the-clock sports car endurance race. Petty earned his 200th and final NASCAR victory in the 1984 Pepsi 400 with
President Ronald Reagan in attendance. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the kick off event to the international motorsports calendar as well as the season-opening race for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. A star-studded field of champion drivers, including four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, will compete on Daytona's historic 3.56-mile road course in the ultimate test of man and machine. Tickets for the 45th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(Petty Racing PR)(11-9-2006)
- Phoenix Raybestos Rookie Notes: #07-Clint Bowyer was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 5 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Bowyer finished fifth, his fourth top-five and 10th top-10 of the 2006 season. He scored his first top-five finish since he placed third at California (race No. 25). Bowyer collected Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the eighth time this season. #11-Denny Hamlin finished 10th at Texas, his 18th top-10 finish of the 2006 season. Hamlin is fourth in the Nextel Cup Series championship standings, 80 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson and two behind third-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hamlin leads fifth-place Kevin Harvick by 25 points. Hamlin leads Clint Bowyer by 51 points (284-233) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Nov. 12 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top 15 in all 34 races this season. Bowyer was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in April’s race at Phoenix, scoring a fifth-place finish. Only four Raybestos Rookies have scored top-five finishes in 20 races at Phoenix: 1999: Tony Stewart, FIRST 2004: Kasey Kahne, fifth 2005: Kyle Busch, FIRST 2006: Clint Bowyer, fifth. Stewart is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps at Phoenix, leading three times for 150 laps. Three Rookies have won pole positions at Phoenix: Stewart, Casey Atwood (2001) and Ryan Newman (2002).(Raybestos PR). See the full report, standings, history and more on my 2006 Rookie Page.(11-9-2006)
News from November 8, 2006
- Congrats: Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, married Ingrid Vandebosch in a small, private ceremony in Mexico on November 7. Congrats to the bride & groom.(gordononlinew.com and see story at usmagazine.com)(11-8-2006)
- ESPN debuts a "This is SportsCenter" commercial today [Wednesday] with Jimmie Johnson.(Roanoke Times)(11-8-2006)
- Boxing Decklid on the #8 at Phoenix: Budweiser is sponsoring the HBO Pay-Per-View battle royale Saturday night, November 18, and to promote the fight, the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet will carry a special decklid this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Bud team fight for their own title in the Chase for the Nextel Cup.(fingerprintonline.com)(11-8-2006)
- Dale Jr. Opts out of Young Guns Program; Kahne In?: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won't renew his membership in the Gillette Young Guns program next year as he seeks to refine his endorsement strategy, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.
The razor company is in the process of formulating plans for 2007 and is not expected to make an announcement on changes until February at Daytona International Speedway, staff writer Michael Smith reports. The Young Gun program this year included Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray and Carl Edwards.(SceneDaily.com), hearing Kasey Kahne is in line to replace Earnhardt Jr.(11-8-2006)
- Dale Jr. tapes PSA: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has taped a public service announcement about Internet safety for children. It will be aired on NBC. He becomes just the third sports figure to appear in one of the PSA ads, joining Pat Riley and John Madden.(Tennessean)(11-8-2006)
- Buckshot back racing: former Cup and Busch Series driver, Buckshot Jones has entered a #00 in the 39th annual Snow Ball Derby for Mid-South Motorsports owned by Skoot Rice.(Buckshot Jones Group MSN), other drivers with NASCAR connections include Dave Mader, III, Stanley Smith, Butch Miller, Steve Wallace and Travis Kittleson.(11-8-2006)
- Spoonfuls of Stories Paint Scheme for the #43 at Phoenix: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Dodge team head to the flat one-mile Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500.
Labonte will be showcasing the Spoonfuls of Stories logos this weekend on the famous #43 Dodge. Labonte and the team are currently involved in Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories "Race for BOOKS!" Throughout the final 10 races of the season for every lap Labonte completes Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will donate 43 books to kinds in need across the country through nonprofit partner First BookR. Through the first eight races Labonte has earned over 100,000 books heading into this weekend's event. The total number of books earned has been a direct result of the team's strong performance of late. Labonte has scored over 1,000 points in the last eight races. He has finished in the top 10 in four of those races and twice in the top five. Labonte was wrecked out of the first 'Chase' race in
Loudon and since then has finished no worse than 17th.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(11-8-2006)
- Sirius Hires Producers of NASCAR Programming: SIRIUS Satellite Radio announced that Daniel Norwood and Paul Pabst have joined the company as Executive Producers of SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, launching in 2007. They report to Steve Cohen, SIRIUS' Vice President of Sports Programming. Norwood, formerly of WFNZ Radio in Charlotte, N.C., and Pabst, formerly of ESPN, will be responsible for creating and overseeing the day to day operation of SIRIUS' NASCAR channel, which launches in January. The channel will air 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will include live races, plus daily and weekly talk programs, including Tony Stewart Live, a two-hour radio show hosted by the two-time and reigning Nextel Cup Series champion. Starting in 2007, SIRIUS will be the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR, broadcasting all Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series races live. Click on www.sirius.com to listen to SIRIUS live, or to purchase a SIRIUS radio and subscription.(Sirius Satellite Radio PR)(11-8-2006)
- Leffler and Braun Racing Make Return to the Nextel Cup at Phoenix IMAGE: Jason Leffler and Braun Racing are approaching what will be their busiest and most challenging weekend of the 2006 season as they prepare to pull double duty at Phoenix International Raceway. Leffler, a Long Beach, CA native, will compete in Saturday's Busch Series event, piloting the #38 Great Clips Chevy, and the Nextel Cup Series race in the #71 Fort McDowell "Yavapai Pride" Chevy, both entries fielded by Braun Racing. Leffler, who currently sits 13th in the Busch Series driver point standings, has competed on and off in the Nextel Cup Series for five seasons for a total of 62 career starts. He made his Nextel Cup debut in 2001 with Chip Ganassi Racing and in his rookie season, captured his first pole at Kansas Speedway and finished the season fourth in the Rookie-of-the-Year battle. Over the next several seasons, Leffler competed part-time in the series, often pulling double duty while running full-time in the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series. Leffler's most recent Nextel Cup start was in the 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Following that event, Leffler joined Braun Racing to compete full-time in the Busch Series. To date this season Leffler has three top-five, seven top-10 finishes and two poles. Additionally, this weekend will mark Braun Racing's first attempt of the season to compete in a Nextel Cup event. Last year, Braun Racing fielded a car in two Cup events including Atlanta and Bristol [#08 Chevy with Shane Hmiel]. For additional information about Fort McDowell, visit www.fortmcdowelldestination.com.(Braun Racing PR/site)(11-7-2006)
IMAGE: see an image of the #71 Scheme on my #71 Team Schemes page.(11-8-2006)
- Texas Pit Crew Win Moves Stewart's Team into First-Place Tie in Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge : Tony Stewart's over-the-wall crew moved into a tie for first-place in the season-long Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge by taking top honors Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. It was a double win for the #20 crew, which helped boost its driver to a winning performance in the Dickies 500 race at the 1.5-mile oval. With two Nextel Cup races remaining, Stewart's and Jimmie Johnson's pit crews are tied for first with five victories each. Kyle Busch's crew is in third with four wins. If there's a tie after the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 19), the team that finishes highest in the driver point standings will be awarded the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru season championship with the $105,000 bonus. Stewart's over-the-wall crew, which earned $10,500 for being the top crew in Texas, consists of: Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Ira-Jo Hussey (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff Patterson (gasman), Brian Larson (catch can) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa. To date, Checkers/Rally's has paid out $357,000 in NEXTEL Cup Series prize money during this season. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(11-8-2006)
- NASCAR Hall of Fame moving forward: A few financing points aside, NASCAR says it's ready to move forward with the construction of a 19-story office tower to occupy one corner of its planned NASCAR Hall of Fame property. The tower plans now surpass what the sport had pitched earlier this year, with 400,000 rentable square feet instead of 300,000 in a glass-and-concrete tower at Stonewall and Caldwell streets. The building also would hold a new, 40,000-square-foot ballroom for the adjacent Charlotte Convention Center. But NASCAR, which secured an option to build the tower on city land this spring, asked for its third extension of the option, which originally was supposed to expire in September. NASCAR and city officials said they need another 15 to 30 days to settle unresolved issues:
• Deciding how much NASCAR's tower developer, Lauth Property Group of Charlotte, will pay to help construct an 830- to 840-space parking deck and truck dock.
• The amount of contingency funds for construction.
• How much the city would realize from any future sale or refinancing of the tower.
• What the city's responsibility would be to Lauth "in the very unlikely event," as a city document put it Monday, that the hall of fame is not built.
"We're close" to an agreement on the lease option, Kimble said, "but we're not there yet." The City Council voted Monday to extend the option to Dec. 12, although Kimble said NASCAR probably will exercise the option Nov. 28. NASCAR is committed to seeing the tower portion through, said Mark Dyer, NASCAR's vice president of licensing. Dyer apologized to council members for the delays and said he has already spoken to several potential tower tenants. "The impact, I think, will be significant," he said. The hall is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009.(Charlotte Observer also see an article at SceneDaily.com)(11-8-2006)
- Bowyer and crew chief to fly in F-16s: On Wednesday, November 8, Bowyer, along with his crew chief Gil Martin, are scheduled to fly the friendly skies in F-16s courtesy of the 56th Fighter Wing based out of Luke Air Force Base in Goodyear, Ariz. Luke Air Force Base is the largest and only active-duty F-16 training base in the world with more than 200 F-16s assigned. The host command at Luke is the 56th Fighter Wing, under Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force. More than 470 pilots graduate
from Luke annually and proceed to combat assignments throughout the world. The 56th Fighter Wing also trains more than 700 maintenance technicians each year. The unique opportunity presented itself back in April when Bowyer visited Luke on behalf of PIR's "Salute to Military Families" program.(RCR PR)(11-8-2006)
News from November 7, 2006
- #10 crew member/Harvick scuffle UPDATE 3: reported on Speed Channel's SPEED Report by Bob Dillner, per FoxSports.com:
Emotions definitely flowed over to the postrace activities as the guys walked to the garage area. After the Dickies 500, the #10 and the #29 teams were coming down the entrance way to the garage area where all of the teams bring their pit boxes. There was an altercation between the #10 team and Kevin and DeLana Harvick. Apparently, Kevin and DeLana both got knocked down. NASCAR's Jim Hunter told me they are investigating the situation wholeheartedly and expects that there will be fined and penalties either Tuesday or Wednesday. "After the fact, right out of the moment, everybody's pretty hot-headed (and) got to running their mouth a little bit," Richard Childress Racing Director Mike Dillion said. "That's about all it was. Somebody got shoved, and they're sorting it out now. But they shoved Kevin and his wife down in front of the pit box is what was bad. Everybody out here has done it in their racing career at some point in time. It's just unfortunate. The guys need to let the drivers handle it. One of the NASCAR officials got hurt trying to stop the box," Dillion continued. "That's pretty bad, too. Hurt his ankle so they took him to the infield care center." A lot of people were called to the NASCAR trailer after this race, including Rodney Childers, the crew chief for Scott Riggs and the #10 team. He's responsible for the actions of everybody. DeLana and Kevin Harvick were both brought in as well. Several eyewitnesses were brought in. In fact, Roger Penske was up there talking to NASCAR President Mike Helton and Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby and everybody that was looking at the incident.(11-5-2006)
UPDATE: been told the #10 Crew Member has been suspended for the rest of the season.(11-7-2006)
UPDATE 2: Sirius Speedway has learned that NASCAR will announce later today that it has indefinitely suspended Craig "C.C." Curione, the front tire carrier for Scott Riggs' #10 Dodge, for his role in a postrace altercation Sunday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Curione was identified as the member of Riggs' Evernham Motorsports crew who shoved Kevin Harvick from behind while he and his wife, DeLana, were walking to the infield media center following the Dickies 500. The Harvicks and NASCAR official John Sacco all fell, landing in the path of the #10 team's war wagon, which hit Sacco and left him with a sprained ankle. The Harvicks were not hurt.
Spokesman Kerry Tharp said earlier today, "NASCAR has been looking into this postrace incident since it occurred. It's something we take very seriously. An announcement regarding a course of action could come as early as Tuesday." A spokeswoman for Evernham Motorsports said the team has cooperated with NASCAR's investigation, and will have no comment until a final determination has been made.(Motorsports Soapbox)(11-7-2006)
OFFICIAL Penalty: NASCAR announced today that Craig Curione, a crew member for the #10 Dodge team, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR and fined $10,000 for a rule violation he committed following last Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. The action resulted from violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing; involved in an altercation with another Competitor) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule book.(NASCAR PR)(11-7-2006)
MORE: Statement from James Rocco – Valvoline Evernham Racing, Designated Team Owner: “After a comprehensive internal review of the post-race incident between Kevin Harvick and a member of the #10 team, Valvoline Evernham Racing supports NASCAR’s decision to indefinitely suspend the involved crew member. We apologize to Kevin and DeLana Harvick, NASCAR, our partners and our fans for this incident. The behavior demonstrated by the involved crew member was in violation of the Valvoline Evernham Racing Employee Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated. We concur with NASCAR’s ruling and will not appeal the suspension or fine.”(Evernham Motorsports/Clear!Blue PR)(11-7-2006)
- Discount Tire scheme for Stremme at Phoenix: This week the #40 Dodge will be sporting the red, black and white colors of Discount Tire Company. The company, a longtime partner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS), is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the #40 transport drivers, Tim Beaver, made it to the semifinal round of the Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge. This is the inaugural year for the event that has hauler drivers maneuvering though an obstacle course to test their skills such as parallel parking and backing up around curves. Last week's run at Texas Motor Speedway was the final run of five made throughout the season. Beaver, a Mooresville, N.C. native, finished third overall to win the $5,000 prize.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-7-2006)
- Kluever to run Phoenix in #06: Todd Kluever will be attempting his fifth Nextel Cup start this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He will be driving the #06 3M/Sharp AQUOS Ford for Roush Racing. Kluever will be competing in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series races at Phoenix this weekend.(Roush Racing PR)(11-7-2006)
- Shepherd gets a sponsor for Phoenix: RaceZingMania, a manufacturer and marketer of racing related merchandise will sponsor the #89 Racing With Jesus Dodge at Phoenix next weekend, Faith Motorsports announced November 2. Team co-owner and driver Morgan Shepherd said the team is making final preparations to the car and plan to leave for the Checker Auto Parts 500 on November 7. "We appreciate very much RaceZingMania and the support they have shown us," Shepherd said. "Without them stepping up we would not have been able to go to Phoenix." RaceZingMania is based out of Crested Butte, CO, and markets its merchandise directly to sponsors through internet sales. Its products include die casts, apparel and other items related to racing and other sports.(racewithfaith.com)(11-7-2006)
- Long to drive 2nd McGlynn entry at Homestead: Veteran Carl Long is slated to drive a second McGlynn Racing entry at Homestead-Miami. Carl will drive the #46 MILLSTAR Tools Dodge in the finale of the 2006 NEXTEL Cup season. Select sponsorship opportunities remain for this final race. Also for Phoenix, Vialafil.com & Sundance Vacations to be co-primary sponsors of the #74 McGlynn Racing Dodge for the Checker Auto Parts 500 November 12th at Phoenix International Raceway.(McGlynn Racing site)(11-7-2006)
- Chevy ties win record: Tony Stewart's win brings the total 2006 NNCS Chevy victories to 22, tying the most wins in a season by the Bowtie brand in the Modern Era [1972 to present]. Chevrolet drivers took the checkered flag 22 times in 1980 and again in 2004.(GM Racing), Chevy's all-time NASCAR Cup record is 25 wins in 1958, Buick holds the modern era record with 25 in 1982 and the alltime record is held by Ford with 48 in 1965.(11-7-2006)
News from November 6, 2006
- Barcardi to be Nemechek's sponsor? hearing that Barcardi will sponsor the new MB2 Motorsports [to be Ginn Racing] #13 Chevy that Joe Nemechek will drive in 2007. Nemechek current drives the #01 US Army Chevy for MB2, but Mark Martin/Regan Smith will run the car in 2007.(11-6-2006)
- Kvapil back to the Truck Series? on Speed Channel's SPEED Report, Ray Dunlap reported that 2003 Truck Series Champ could be headed back to the Craftsman Truck Series full time in 2007, possibly driving the #6 for Roush Racing. No word if Kvapil would still drive full time in Nextel Cup and stay with Cal Wells and the #32 Chevy.(11-6-2006)
- Chase Changes Coming? UPDATE: A highly placed source within NASCAR said that changes to the format for the 2007 running of the Chase for the Nextel Cup will not be announced until January, probably during the annual Lowe’s Motor Speedway Media Tour. Although the official did not disclose specific changes, there is widespread sentiment among teams and drivers that race winners ought to receive a higher bonus than the 10-point margin a winner now receives compared to second-place finishers. Another, though considerably more controversial, option would be to score the drivers in The Chase separately than the other 33 cars in each race. Thus, the highest-finishing Chaser would get 10 points, while the driver who finishes last would receive just 1 point.(Ford Racing)(11-4-2006)
UPDATE: NASCAR will not adopt a separate points system for the drivers in the Chase for the Nextel Cup next year, according to Chairman Brian France, who was on hand Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the Dickies 500. What is likely to change, France said, is the 400-point threshold for drivers outside The Chase being eligible for it. And he said NASCAR is on its timetable to re-evaluate The Chase after the completion of its third running. “Listen, if you look at history in sports, playoff formats are adjusted quite a bit over many years,” France said. Teams are added, conferences are changed around, teams are moved in and out. It all affects who makes the playoffs. Baseball went to another round of playoffs. Lots of changes happen. It should not be looked at as unexpected [in NASCAR]. Right now, we have a good [points] battle. That’s why we never said we were going to do a big change. We just said we were going to look after three years—it was enough time to look at how three years had unfolded and see if there were any adjustments we could make to the format.”(Ford Racing)(11-6-2006)
UPDATE 2: "We're going to do something to make the win more important,'' France said. "That's something very important. There will be some other adjustments that we consider and they'll be small, by definition, modest changes. It won't be a revelation.''
France stated a winner might benefit in ways other than more points."It may not just be that,'' France said. "There's lots of ways to make a win more important.'' What about a separate points system for the title contenders? Some drivers have suggested NASCAR adapt that. "I don't think you're going to see races within a race and all that other stuff,'' France said. Another area of debate is the Chase field. The top 10 drivers and anyone within 400 points makes the Chase. So, what about expanding the field? "No, it's not on the table,'' France said. "We like the 10. Ten races, 10 drivers.''(Roanoke Times)(11-6-2006)
- Texas Overnight TV Ratings down: NBC's broadcast of Sunday's Dickies 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 4.0 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating a 7 market share, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports.
The results are down 9.1% from the 4.4/8 the race earned overnight last year.(SceneDaily.com) see past TV Ratings News and chart for year on my TV Ratings page.(11-6-2006)
- Principal Financial Group to be primary sponsors of #01 & #14 at Phoenix: The Principal Financial Group, the nation’s
401(k) leader and premiere benefits provider, will be the primary sponsor on #14-Sterling Marlin’s and #01-Joe Nemechek’s MB2 Motorsports’ Chevys in this weekend’s Nextel Cup race -- the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. MB2’s Principal Financial Group Chevys – Marlin’s #14 and Nemechek’ s #01 – will make their first appearance on the Phoenix one-mile track during Friday’s practice, which begins at 1:35pm/et. “We’re excited about the Principal Financial Group joining our team,” said Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2. “The company has been involved in the past as a NASCAR sponsor and we’re
elated about MB2 being selected for its first venture as a primary sponsor. The U.S. Army, Nemechek’s main sponsor at 34 Cup races, will have an associate status on the #01 car in Phoenix. Marlin's associate sponsors will be Waste Management and Ginn Clubs & Resorts. The Principal, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is the on-air sponsor of Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500. The
race will be televised on NBC, beginning at 3pm/et. For more information about The Principal Financial Group, visit www.principal.com.(MB2 Motorsports PR/site), see images of the cars on the #01 Team Schemes page and #14 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2006)
- Commercial breakdown for the Dickies 500:
Total number of commercials: 159
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 85
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 23
Restarts missed due to being away at commercial: 0 (one restart came at the very second the network returned from commercial-too close to call)
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:41pm/et
End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30pm/et
Total minutes: 289
Minutes of race broadcast: 214
Minutes of commercials: 75
Item of interest this week: NBC gave us the last 52 minutes of the race uninterrupted from commercials. Undoubtedly this was due to the 'NFL Football Night in America' show (immediately to be followed by the Colts vs. Patriots game) that was scheduled to begin at 7:00pm/et. See the full report at cawsnjaws.com.(11-6-2006)
- Dyno Testing at Texas: NASCAR had the cars of #49-Mike Bliss, #4-Ward Burton, #22-Dave Blaney, #32-Travis Kvapil and #78-Kenny Wallace [2 Dodge's, 3 Chevy's, no Ford's] tested on the chassis dyno after the race. The device measures horsepower to the rear wheels.(Roanoke Times)(11-6-2006)
- New Nextel Cup GM for Roush: Max Jones, who has led the Craftsman Truck and Busch series programs at Roush Racing the past two years, was named general manager of the Nextel Cup program yesterday.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-6-2006)
- Yates doing better: Robert Yates was back in the Nextel Cup garage at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, a weekend after health concerns kept him home from the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta. Instead of being at the track, Yates made a pair of hospital visits back in North Carolina, being treated for stress. "I don't think I stress, but other people think I do," Yates said Saturday. "Some medication fixed me up, I just needed some help last week. I had a little similar deal about a year-and-a-half ago. Really the same thing and the same [medication] cured it. Maybe I learned and won't let it get back in that situation. I feel good now, but I had a couple of rough days." After his first trip to the hospital, Yates doesn't even remember leaving to return home. That experience really caught his attention. "I went back as soon as I woke up - I didn't want to die at home, so I went back," Yates said. "I drove to the hospital twice and they kept sending me home. But then when I got back the second time, I had a hard time getting out. I had to go find the doctors [via phone] at the soccer field somewhere to get out of there on Saturday. But I feel good now. I was planning on going to Atlanta; I wanted to go because I felt like our cars were going to run good, and they did. But I had to take care of my system and I think I've got that straightened out."(SceneDaily.com)(11-6-2006)