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  • MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
    JANUARY 7-13, 2008


      News from January 13, 2008

    • Frye named Red Bull GM: Red Bull Racing Team [#83-Vickers, #84-Allmendinger] announced Jay Frye as General Manager effective January 14, 2008. Frye brings on board 16 years of experience in the NASCAR industry, most recently with a 12-year stint as CEO and GM of Ginn Racing (formerly MB2 Motorsports). “Red Bull along with Toyota has all the necessary tools to compete at a very high level. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with an organization that has unlimited potential,” says Frye. With a long-standing history of industry success, Frye completes Red Bull Racing Team’s search for a GM, since the position was vacated in June 2007. Guenther Steiner, who joined the team in 2006 with extensive Formula One technical expertise, will continue to work as Technical Director and focus fully on delivering advanced engineering performance and technology. Red Bull Racing Team's focus on superior and precision engineering paired with Jay Frye's industry expertise is certain to lead to consistent and successful results in 2008.(Team Red Bull PR)(1-13-2008) Comment

    • Wood Brothers, JTG Split Stock-Car Operation: Wood Brothers Racing and JTG Racing have changed their business model, but the two are still working together in a marketing and technological partnership, JTG Racing owner Tad Geschickter said Saturday afternoon. Geschickter will still be responsible for finding sponsorships for both the teams he owns and the Wood Brothers teams. The teams will have separate directors of competition and separate budgets. The Wood Brothers will field the #21 Sprint Cup Ford (with multiple drivers likely including Ken Schrader, Jon Wood and Marcos Ambrose [......and Bill Elliott]) and the #21 truck with Jon and Keven Wood in the seat. JTG Racing will field a Cup car in four races for Ambrose as well as Nationwide Series cars for Ambrose (#59) and Kelly Bires (#47) and a truck for Scott Lagasse Jr. (#20). Geschickter said that he changed crew chiefs for Ambrose in the Nationwide Series as Walter Giles (a fellow Australian to Ambrose) has come over from his position as director for race engineering at DEI.(SceneDaily.com)
      AND This season, the two organizations will continue to work out of a 120,000-square-foot shop in Harrisburg, N.C., that currently houses pairs of teams in Cup, Nationwide and the Truck Series. [Bill] Elliott will test the #21 car Monday-Wednesday at Daytona and compete in all Speedweeks events that car will contest, including the Feb. 9 Bud Shootout, the Gatorade Duel qualifying race on Feb. 14 and the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. The team has sponsorship for nine Cup races from the U.S. Air Force, with Jon Wood driving; and for 14 weekends from the Little Debbie brand of snack cakes. Little Debbie will be on the car for the Daytona 500, but Tasmanian Marcos Ambrose will be the primary driver of the #21 in the other Little Debbie races. Elliott will drive the #21's other Cup races, with most of their sponsorship in place, Eddie Wood said. He said the team had primary sponsorship available for six races. Geschickter said Ambrose would also drive four races in JTG Racing's #47 Little Debbie Sprint Cup car, at Indianapolis, Kansas, Atlanta and Homestead.(NASCAR.com)(1-13-2008) Comment

    • Park has a ride: Steve Park announced today on Press Pass on Sirius NASCAR Radio 128 that he has signed to run the full NASCAR Camping World East Series schedule with Waste Management as sponsor. He is in Daytona talking to numerous Craftsman Truck Series team owners as well and told hosts Alex Hayden and Steve Post "I just know in my heart that I can still win races."(Sirius NASCAR)(1-13-2008) Comment

    • Long to run the #08 at Daytona: Carl Long is running the Daytona 500 with the #08 E&M Motorsports team with sponsorship from Millstar Tools and Rhino's Energy Drink. The team will be testing their #08 Dodge at Daytona on Monday. Long is also scheduled to drive at Bristol with California and Las Vegas as a possibilities.(Carl Long Racing)(1-13-2008) Comment

    • Chili Bowl to Be Televised Live for First Time RESULTS: For the first time ever, race fans can watch the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals featuring a who's who of racing stars, including NASCAR's Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, who'll battle aboard 800-hp midgets for one of the most coveted trophies in motorsport. Broadcasted live worldwide by HBO Pay-Per-View, the star-studded dirt track race takes place on Saturday, January 12, 2008 from Tulsa, Okla. Since its 1987 inception, the annual Chili Bowl has built a reputation as one of the premier and most unique motorsports events in America. Champions from various racing circuits travel to Tulsa's QuikTrip Center during auto racing's winter break for the opportunity to compete on the indoor, quarter mile-banked dirt oval in front of a sold-out crowd lucky enough to secure tickets the summer before. Motorsports Media Entertainment is promoting the broadcast in conjunction with HBO Pay-Per-View and title sponsor Lucas Oil. NeWave TV Productions of Tinley Park, Ill. is handling the event TV production. General Tire and Dodge are presenting sponsors. The live broadcast on Saturday, January 12 begins at 8:00pm/et, with an immediate pay-per-view replay and additional replays on Sunday. The HBO Pay-Per-View racing telecast has a suggested retail price $24.95 and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes in the United States and Canada and millions more worldwide. Ordering information is available at www.hbo.com.(HBO PR)(12-7-2007)

      Thursday RESULTS: Brad Kuhn won Thursday's Warren CAT Qualifier, Tony Stewart was 5th. Cole Whitt made a lap 20 pass of defending Chili Bowl champion Tony Stewart to snare the fourth and final lock-in position to Saturday night's 50-lap Chili Bowl championship main event. Stewart rounded out the top five and will start from the front row of one of Saturday night's "B" Main events as he tries to become the first back-to-back winner in Chili Bowl history, see Chilibowl.com for the story and all the results.(1-11-2008)
      Friday RESULTS: Just when it looked as though Jason Leffler was going to win Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts Qualifying event at Tulsa Expo Raceway's Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals, his hired gun foiled his victory plans. California native Damion Gardner, piloting Leffler's Pace Electronics/Team ASE #71g, made the top side of the ¼-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center work over the latter stages of the 25-lap feature and swept into the lead on the 22nd lap to snare the win. Working his way from deep in the field, USAC ace Dave Darland slipped around Leffler on the final round to take second, with Leffler settling for the show position. Kasey Kahne batted past Ron Shuman on the 24th circuit to take the fourth and final lock-in position to Saturday night's 50-lap Chili Bowl championship main event. Gardner, Darland, Leffler and Kahne join Wednesday night's top four (Josh Ford, Aaron Fiscus, Jerry Coons, Jr., and Bryan Clauson) and Thursday's top four (Brad Kuhn, Jon Stanbrough, Shane Cottle and Cole Whitt) as the dozen drivers locked into Saturday night's main event, which will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View. The balance of the record 274 competitors will battle it out for the remaining dozen starting positions through Saturday's Bass Pro Shops slate of Chili Bowl championship feature events, which get under way at 1:00 p.m., see Chilibowl.com for the story and all the results.(1-12-2008)
      Saturday results: Damion Gardner went from outside looking in to looking back at everyone as he scored a dominating victory in Saturday night’s 22nd annual Chili Bowl. Gardner was a last-minute entry for the biggest midget race of the year but he wound up being the class of the record 284 entries in front of a standing-room only crowd of 13,000. Starting on the outside of the front row, Gardner took command in Turn 1 and led all 50 laps despite 10 caution flags and a couple of challenges from Dave Darland. Darland, the USAC veteran from Kokomo, had to settle for second after starting fourth while Shane Cottle came home third. Defending champ Tony Stewart started 13th and ran eighth in the main event after capturing one of the B features while fellow NASCAR ace Kasey Kahne dropped out early with mechanical trouble.(more at SPEEDtv.com and at chilibowl.com)(1-13-2008)


      News from January 12, 2008

    • Morgan-McClure Motorsports closes shop MORE: #4-Morgan-McClure Motorsports closed its doors today [Friday], laying off 28 employees and further damaging any slim hopes the last Virginia-based Sprint Cup team has of competing in its 26th season. Team Manager and co-owner Larry McClure said earlier this afternoon that if the team did not find sponsorship money by the end of today, there would be mass layoffs. The layoffs happened around 3pm. "It's been a good 25 years," McClure said after the announcement. "Circumstances made us take a step back." McClure said he and co-owner and President Tim Morgan would work with their marketing team to continue to search for sponsorship to run the full season. They are working on an agreement to have Mike Wallace drive the #4 Chevy in the Daytona 500, a race Morgan-McClure has won three times. McClure did say if sponsorship came together in the next several weeks, the team would have cars available to race at Daytona.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-11-2008)
      UPDATE: Morgan-McClure Motorsports President Tim Morgan announced today that operations will be scaled back until a sponsor or investor is found. Many employees were laid off but the organization still remains ready to head to Daytona if a sponsor signs up in time. Tim Morgan, President of Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced today at 3:00pm/et that, "We are basically closing the doors on 25 years of NASCAR racing if we don't find a sponsor. We have been searching for sponsorship for months and decided that if nothing materialized, we would have to cancel testing and release most of our employees." Morgan continues, "We will continue our marketing efforts and still try to put something together but we cannot continue the way we are today."
      Larry McClure, Team Manager said, "We will continue to search for sponsorship and if something becomes available, we have the cars ready to go to Daytona. This is a very hard day for me. I've had a lot of fun racing and it's just hard to believe it might come to this. I would like to say thanks to all our fans who have remained loyal through all these years and to thank everyone who has ever supported us in any way, whether it be through this race team or our dealerships. We are still the best bargain in NASCAR if we could just find the right sponsor." Morgan-McClure Motorsports was a force to be reckoned with in the 90's when they won three coveted Daytona 500's, two of them back-to-back. MMM completes 25 years of history that includes 14 wins, 63 top-5's, 146 top-10's and 13 poles.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(1-12-2008) Comment

    • NASCAR Settles with Family of Plane Crash victim: NASCAR has agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement with a man who lost his wife and son when a NASCAR owned plane slammed into their Sanford Florida home. That plane crash last July set off a massive fire. Joe Woodard lost his wife Janice and his 6 month old son Josiah. In the home next door four year old Gabreila DeChat died and her brother 10 year old Daniel Happy is still recovering in the Shriners’ Burn Center in Cincinnati. The plane was piloted by Dr. Bruce Kennedy the husband of Lesa France Kennedy president of International Speedway Corporation. NASCAR pilot Michael Klemm was also killed. DeChat’s parents were also burned but have since recovered from their injuries. Woodward’s attorney wouldn’t discuss the terms of the settlement.(Fox News Orlando), past news on the crash at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(1-12-2008)

    • Kentucky Speedway lawsuit against NASCAR/ISC dismissed APPEALED: Today on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio at approximately 11:15am/et, SIRIUS host Steve Post reported that the U.S. District Court in Kentucky has dismissed the anti-trust lawsuit filed by Kentucky Speedway against NASCAR and ISC alleging the two worked together to restrict the Kentucky track from acquiring a NASCAR Cup race. SIRIUS host, Steve post: "Breaking news and to my knowledge you are hearing it first right here on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio. We just have word that the courts in Kentucky, the case Kentucky vs. ISC, have entirely dismissed this case. It looks like the whole thing has been thrown out."
      AND A judge has ruled in favor of NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. in an anti-trust lawsuit filed by Kentucky Speedway's owner. U.S. District Court Judge William O. Bertlesman's opinion was issued Monday morning. In it, he ruled that even by granting Kentucky Speedway the benefit of the doubt on all reasonable inferences, the track failed to make a case. Kentucky Speedway alleged that NASCAR, which is privately held by members of the France family and sanctions races, conspired with ISC, which is publicly traded but under majority control by the Frances, to keep track Kentucky from getting Sprint Cup races. NASCAR and ISC had sought a summary judgment from the court before a trail that had been scheduled for March. Kentucky Speedway has the right to appeal Bertlesman's ruling.(Thatsracin)(1-7-2008)
      NASCAR Statement: NASCAR is very pleased by the U.S. District Court’s ruling to dismiss this case. It puts an end to any question about which locations and dates NASCAR can operate its races. Like other sports such as the NFL, MLB and the NBA, NASCAR can host its events where it decides is best for the sport and its fans.(NASCAR PR)
      Kentucky Speedway Statement: In response to today's decision in the antitrust suit brought by Kentucky Speedway against NASCAR and ISC, Stanley Chesley, attorney for Kentucky Speedway stated: "We are disappointed in the Court's decision, both for ourselves, for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and for all those fans who have been hurt by what we believe are NASCAR's and ISC's anticompetitive actions toward Kentucky Speedway. We are convinced that there are serious issue of both fact and law, and we intend to appeal."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(1-8-2008)
      UPDATE: The Kentucky Speedway formally notified the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday that it will challenge a federal judge’s decision to dismiss its antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. “We’re moving forward,” Stan Chesley, the speedway’s lead lawyer, said Friday. “We wanted to move on that appeal as quickly as we could.” U.S. District Court Judge William Bertelsman on Monday ruled in favor of NASCAR and ISC by dismissing the lawsuit filed by the Kentucky Speedway more than two years ago. NASCAR and ISC filed a joint motion for summary judgment last summer and on Nov. 19 the opposing sides presented arguments before Bertelsman in U.S. District Court in Covington. The track sued in July 2005, alleging NASCAR and ISC violated federal laws by restricting which tracks host Sprint Cup (formerly Nextel Cup) races. In an amended complaint filed last year, the speedway said it wanted to develop “objective factors” for the awarding of Cup races; for the France family to give up control of either ISC (a public company that operates tracks and whose majority of voting stock is owned by the Frances) or NASCAR (a private company owned by the Frances); and for ISC to sell at least eight of the 12 tracks it owns that host Cup events. It also sought more than $200-million in damages.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(1-12-2008)

    • BAM Racing teams up with sponsorship agency: RainMakers International announced that it has signed a services agreement with BAM Racing to sell sponsorship on the #49 car. RainMakers is focused on bringing family oriented and moderately priced sponsorships to national and international businesses. This sponsorship is a revolutionary new sponsorship program -- over one year in development. The program's use of high-tech programming and patent-pending systems makes possible low-cost season-long space on the car for a limited time introductory price of only $4,995. The sponsorship includes high-tech turnkey marketing components for those who secure their sponsor space. RainMakers is the exclusive seller of this specially priced package. The marketing components include, but are not limited to, a promotional video customized for each sponsor, a sponsor promo-pack that includes a royalty free image license, a comprehensive sweepstakes campaign customized for each sponsor, a race website customized for each sponsor, four recorded messages for the sponsor's telephone "on-hold" system, and a chance to become a primary sponsor for one race in 2008. The introductory price of $4,995 is discounted for a limited time from the program's regular price of $10,080 and is subject to change without notice. However, even at the full price, sponsors would invest just $280 per race for a sponsor space on a Sprint Cup car, nearly the same size as other more traditional sponsor spaces costing thousands per race. To learn more about the program, log on to www.49team.com.(PrimeNewswire)(1-12-2008)

    • To 'Boogity' or not to 'Boogity': Long time readers of Darrell Waltrip's columns know that every year he likes to take an annual poll as he try to keep my finger on the pulse of fans, the media, the TV critics, and the racing community as a whole. DW would like to see where everybody is concerning one issue in particular: To "Boogity, boogity, boogity!" or not to "Boogity, boogity, boogity!" DW takes a lot of heat, and it seems like it's mostly from insiders, about using the "Boogity, boogity, boogity!" catchphrase before every race. DW has been told that the saying "is ridiculous," and that "it doesn't make him sound very intelligent." Every year he feels like he almost have to defend starting a race with those words, but he does travel a lot all over the country and talks to fans — from little guys that are five, six, seven years old, teenagers, old race fans, new race fans, senior race fans, perimeter race fans, you name it, but they always come up to me and say, "Man, I can't wait to get the NASCAR season started again and to hear those magic words..." and they are not talking about "Gentlemen, start your engines." The last three years the vote has been held and it's been 60-40 pretty much across the board, 70-30, 60-40. As long as it's above 50%, DW is going to keep doing it.(vote at FoxSports.com), it was at 15% as of Saturday evening, then the poll was removed due to technical difficulties.(1-12-2008)

    • Sherman Testing Indy Pro Cars: There’s been no shortage of open-wheel racers switching to NASCAR. Now we have someone going the other way. Former Cup [#49 BAM Racing] and Busch [now Nationwide] Series driver Brent Sherman has tested for Panther Racing’s Indy Pro Series car. Sherman isn’t a stranger to open-wheelers, though. He spent two years racing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. In 2000 he tested a Toyota Atlantic car.(Palm Beach Post)(1-12-2008)


      News from January 11, 2008

    • Air Force returns to the #21 in 2008, Wood to drive: Wood Brothers Racing announced the United States Air Force will not only be the primary sponsor for nine Sprint Cup Series races in 2008, but will also play a role in the Wood Brothers' upcoming campaign in the Craftsman Truck Series as an associate sponsor. The United States Air Force is entering its eighth year of marketing, recruiting and sponsorship of the Wood Brothers' family-based team. Third-generation drivers-and cousins-Jon Wood and Keven Wood will share the Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford F-150 entry in the Craftsman Truck Series for the 2008 season. Jon is the 26-year-old son of Eddie Wood; Keven is the 23-year-old son of Len Wood. Jon Wood is anxious to get back to racing after the off-season break. "I'm very enthusiastic about this year's schedule as I will be representing the United States Air Force in both the Sprint Cup Series and Craftsman Truck Series," said Jon, a two-time winner in the Truck Series. "It'll be a lot of fun to share time with Keven in the truck because it's something we've always known would happen-and now it's here." Jon and Keven are grandchildren of Glen Wood, who founded the team in 1950 and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Crew chief Gene Nead will lead the efforts of the #21 Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup Series. John Monsam will return as the crew chief for the #21 F-150 in the Craftsman Truck Series.(Wood Brothers Racing PR)(1-11-2008)

    • Five Cup races planned for Said in 2008: Fresh from winning his second straight Bodine Bobsled Challenge at Lake Placid, N.Y., #60-Boris Said has set his schedule for the 2008 season. Now a regular on ESPN's “NASCAR Now,” Said is to drive in only five Sprint Cup races this season, starting with the Daytona 500. “But we could be in a little trouble there,” said Said. “There are only six spots open and there are seven Toyotas going for them. We've made it every time before, but Ford is the only program without a new engine this season.” Plus, Said's Carlsbad-based No Fear team hasn't had as much time in the Car of Tomorrow, which will be making its Daytona International Speedway debut with the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, as most other teams in the garages. In addition to the Daytona 500, Said plans to enter the second Sprint Cup race in Daytona in July plus the road races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen and the fall race at Talladega. He also plans to run the three road-course races in the Nationwide Series plus selected sports car races to include the 24 Hours of Daytona (in a Mustang GT) and the 12 Hours of Sebring.(San Diego Union Tribune)(1-11-2008)

    • Wimmer not running Daytona 500; Shelmerdine will make attempt: Scott Wimmer won't race in the Daytona 500 this year as he had hoped. Wimmer drives part time in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Richard Childress Racing, but Kirk Shelmerdine, who won four championships as a crew chief with the team, drove RCR's fourth [#33] car in the opening Sprint Cup testing this week at Daytona International Speedway. "It was a race that maybe we were going to run but we weren't 100% sure; we didn't have sponsorship," said Wimmer, who placed third in the 500 in 2004. "Kirk ended up coming with some sponsorship dollars. I'll still be there in the Busch car, and I'm looking forward to doing some more testing in the Cup car and maybe running some races after Daytona."(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(1-11-2008)

    • Sad News - Hank Schoolfield: Henry "Hank" Palmer Schoolfield Jr., 79, of Winston-Salem passed away Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008, at Silas Creek Manor. He was born in Reidsville on July 5, 1928, to Henry Palmer and Margaret Wheeler Schoolfield. Mr. Schoolfield was president and owner of Universal Services Inc., which is a public relations and advertising agency with Universal Printers and Southern MotoRacing divisions. He was a publisher and editor of Southern MotoRacing, a bi-weekly tabloid newspaper with emphasis on motor racing news from the Southeast. He also covered major national and international events. Auto-racing clients have included a variety of tracks. The longest-running of these relationships were with North Wilkesboro Speedway, from 1961 until it closed in 1996; and seasonal weekly racing in Winston-Salem' s Bowman Gray Stadium from 1961 to 2004. He founded the Southern MotoRacing publication in 1964. Also in 1964, he co-founded Universal Racing Network in a partnership with radio announcer Bob Montgomery, and became the network' s sole owner when Montgomery died in 1971. The network produced and syndicated radio broadcasts of as many as 16 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) races yearly with as many as 300 stations. He was on the production staff for the first ' live' television broadcast of stockcar races, a closed-circuit venture of TelePrompter Corp. for Daytona 500 in 1967 and 1968. His recreational activities included fishing, and until recent years, hunting. Mr. Schoolfield is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Thelma H. Schoolfield; and a daughter, Judy S. Holstrom, and her husband Bruce of King. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel, with the Rev. Lee Strange officiating. Burial will follow at Shiloh United Methodist Church Cemetery in Julian. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Jan. 11, at the funeral home. He was loved and will be missed by his family, friends and the racing world. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 4A Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407.(Winston Salem Journal/Guest Book)(1-11-2008)
      Comment by Fox's Mike Joy at FoxSports.com: With the passing of Hank Schoolfield Thursday in Winston-Salem, N.C., I wanted to share a few of my thoughts: Hank was a stalwart and a pioneer of racing news in print, radio and television, and had a lifelong devotion to the sport that is seldom seen today. We were friendly competitors when I ran Motor Racing Network radio, which broadcast the races not carried by Schoolfield's Universal Racing Network. When MRN eventually acquired the rights to URN's tracks, Hank refused Bill France, Jr.'s offer of compensation. The highly-principled and independent reporter preferred to fold his radio network rather than be bought out by NASCAR. I'll always admire Hank for his energy, his independent spirit, and the great success he had in promoting the sport he loved.(1-11-2008)

    • Makoto's sponsorship for Front Row: Tom Cobb, owner of Makoto's Seafood and Steakhouse of Japan in Melbourne and Palm Bay and the Makoto's Ginger Dressing brand will once again be an associate sponsor on the Front Row Motorsports Sprint Cup [supposedly 2 teams in Daytona #34-Driver TBA and #37-McClure] team for Speedweeks at Daytona. No driver has been named.(Florida Today)(1-11-2008)

    • Petty's Victory Invitational Golf Tournament announces sponsors: Kyle Petty's Victory Invitational Golf Tournament has announced a partnership with financial services company Wells Fargo & Co. for the NASCAR-themed golf benefit scheduled to take place in the Greater Phoenix area on Thursday, February 28, 2008. Wells Fargo will join Kyle Petty's Victory Invitational as a Victory-level sponsor, which lends naming rights to the California-based company for the post-tournament awards luncheon: the Victory Lane Luncheon Sponsored by Wells Fargo.
      AND Kyle Petty's Victory Invitational Golf Tournament has announced a partnership with sports television programmer Turner Sports, Inc. for the NASCAR-themed golf benefit scheduled to take place in the Greater Phoenix area on Thursday, February 28, 2008. The Time Warner subsidiary will join Kyle Petty's Victory Invitational as a Victory-level sponsor, which lends naming rights to the company for the pre-tournament player breakfast.(PRs), more info about the Golf Tournament on the Racing Charities Page.(1-11-2008)

    • Clint Bowyer Racing names driver: Clint Bowyer Racing has tabbed dirt late model standout Shannon Babb to handle the driving duties for its newly formed dirt late model team in 2008. The team, owned by Clint Bowyer, driver of Richard Childress Racing's #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy, will be entering its first year of competition among the elite ranks of Dirt Late Model competition. The team plans to compete in more than 60 nights of racing from early February to late November. Clint Bowyer Racing will call Welcome, N.C., home for the 2008 season. The team will start the year with three new chassis in its shop. Clements Automotive will provide Chevrolet engines. The Bowyer/Babb combination plans to make its debut at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 4.(Clint Bowyer Racing)(1-11-2008)


      News from January 10, 2008

    • Stanley Tools to sponsor Sadler: Stanley Tools will have a fresh new look in 2008. NASCAR fans will now see the familiar yellow and black colors of the Stanley brand on Elliott Sadler's Gillett Evernham Motorsports #19 Dodge at a dozen races plus the All-Star race during the upcoming Sprint Cup season. The Stanley brand has served as a co-primary sponsor on the #10 Dodge at Gillett Evernham Motorsports since 2006 as well as an associate sponsor. Stanley will sponsor the #19 Dodge for 12 races in 2008, including races at Las Vegas, Phoenix (April 12), Richmond (May 3), Pocono (June 8), Infineon, Indianapolis, Michigan (Aug. 17), New Hampshire (Sept. 14), Lowe's (Oct. 11), Texas (Nov. 2) and both Bristol races plus the All-Star race in Charlotte. In addition to the #19 primary sponsorship, Stanley will continue its involvement as an associate sponsor on the #9 Budweiser Dodge of Kasey Kahne and the #10 Valvoline Dodge of Patrick Carpentier. Stanley logos will also be on Carpentier's #9 Dodge for the Nationwide Series race in Montreal. More information about The Stanley Works can be found at stanleyworks.com.(GEM PR), see an image of the scheme on the #19 Team Schemes page.(1-10-2008)

    • Villeneuve not to run full season? On SPEED's coverage of Preseason Thunder testing coverage from Daytona, that things are up in the air with Jacques Villeneuve and the #27 [was #36] Bill Davis Racing team. Villeneuve was to run for the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award, but supposedly now, will run the first five races of the 2008 Sprint Cup season and see where the team is after those races and if they get in the top-35 in owners points and the guaranteed spot.(1-10-2008)

    • New Crew Chief for Vickers: Red Bull Racing Team announced Kevin Hamlin [no relation to Denny] to crew chief the #83 Red Bull Toyota Camry piloted by Brian Vickers for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. Hamlin’s past crew chief roles include his most recent stint with Dave Blaney’s #22 Toyota, preceded by nine years of crew chief duties with RCR drivers including Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. To date, Hamlin has amassed nine Cup wins; five of those with Earnhardt Sr. Despite Hamlin’s “nine” theme, there are no plans to change the #83 to #89. Red Bull Racing Team Competition Director Elton Sawyer: “Finding the right crew chief for the 83 team was a pivotal decision in an effort to restructure the foundation on that team. We need a crew chief with not only the right experience and background to work effectively with our driver and crew, but someone who also shares the same vision for success. We found that package with Kevin Hamlin. Our focus between now and Daytona is not only getting our cars up to speed for the season opener, but also getting Kevin up to speed working with Red Bull, Brian (Vickers) and the 83 team.”(Red Bull Racing PR)(1-10-2008)

    • NASCAR announces pit road rule changes: NASCAR officials distributed two rules changes that will be in affect this season in regards to pit road regulations: “Cars may not be pushed past the flag person at the end of the pit road. Unless otherwise authorized, once the race is underway, cars may be started by hand pushing in the pit area only, but under no circumstances is any car to be hand pushed more than three pit boxes away from their assigned pit box or into the acceleration zone or onto the race track from the pit area. Cars may not receive any assistance after the white flag has been displayed, except those cars making pit stops …”.
      “A team member must be in contact with the outside tire(s) until the outside tire(s) reach the inside half of the pit box before the car leaves its assigned pit box. Any tires let in the outside half of the assigned pit box, or beyond, will result in a time or other penalty.“ These changes came about as a way to promote a safer pit road after several incidents occurred during the 2007 season where tires were being knocked around like projectiles by cars on pit road because they were not under the control of crew members. NASCAR felt like they had to take control of these tires better and this policy is something that teams will have to follow as the 2008 season starts.(FoxSports)(1-10-2008)

    • RCR reaches agreement with Garage company: Richard Childress Racing has agreed to licensing terms with garage interiors and home storage market leader, Slide-Lok, for the categories of garage cabinets, garage flooring, Slat-Wall storage and closet systems for a multi-year term. Slide-Lok's most recent licensing agreement with Richard Childress Racing, which comes in the wake of their latest announcement with NASCAR, Inc. and Roush Fenway Racing, includes the signing of Richard Childress Racing's drivers #29-Kevin Harvick and #31-Jeff Burton. The RCR drivers will be notably featured in Slide-Lok's new "Racing Garage" product line which will brandish the names, numbers, color schemes and signature logos of the top drivers of NASCAR integrated into Slide-Lok's patented plywood garage cabinets, Slat-Wall storage, closet systems and garage floor coatings. The unveiling of the new Slide-Lok Racing Garage line is set for early 2008. For more information on Slide-Lok garage cabinets, garage floor coating systems, garage storage and their patented, innovative design advantages, contact Slide-Lok directly at 800-835-1759 or visit them on the web at www.slide-lok.com.(Marketwire)(1-10-2008)

    • Chili Bowl to Be Televised Live for First Time UPDATE: For the first time ever, race fans can watch the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals featuring a who's who of racing stars, including NASCAR's Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, who'll battle aboard 800-hp midgets for one of the most coveted trophies in motorsport. Broadcasted live worldwide by HBO Pay-Per-View, the star-studded dirt track race takes place on Saturday, January 12, 2008 from Tulsa, Okla. Since its 1987 inception, the annual Chili Bowl has built a reputation as one of the premier and most unique motorsports events in America. Champions from various racing circuits travel to Tulsa's QuikTrip Center during auto racing's winter break for the opportunity to compete on the indoor, quarter mile-banked dirt oval in front of a sold-out crowd lucky enough to secure tickets the summer before. Motorsports Media Entertainment is promoting the broadcast in conjunction with HBO Pay-Per-View and title sponsor Lucas Oil. NeWave TV Productions of Tinley Park, Ill. is handling the event TV production. General Tire and Dodge are presenting sponsors. The live broadcast on Saturday, January 12 begins at 8:00pm/et, with an immediate pay-per-view replay and additional replays on Sunday. The HBO Pay-Per-View racing telecast has a suggested retail price $24.95 and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes in the United States and Canada and millions more worldwide. Ordering information is available at www.hbo.com.(HBO PR)(12-7-2007)
      UPDATE: As a special treat leading up to the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which will be telecast live on pay-per-view on Saturday, January 12, NASCAR.com and Foxsports.com will stream a special webcast of the final qualification night live from Tulsa's QuikTrip Center. On Friday, January 11 at 10:30pm/et, racing fans can log on to NASCAR.com and Foxsports.com to watch the live stream webcast of the second Twin B feature (15 laps) followed by the A feature (25 laps). Notable driver entries scheduled for Friday's qualification heats include defending champion Tony Stewart, fellow NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne and Jason Leffler, former two-time Chili Bowl champion Cory Kruseman, multiple USAC champion Dave Darland, and road racer PJ Jones. The live webcast will be hosted by veteran broadcaster Ken Stout and include color commentary by Dave Argabright, Larry Rice, Dr. Pat Sullivan and pit reporting by Matt Yocum. On Friday, January 11 at 10:30pm/et, racing fans can log on to NASCAR.com and Foxsports.com to watch a special live stream webcast of the final night of qualifications.(Motorsports Management PR)(1-10-2008)


      News from January 9, 2008

    • NASCAR Day 2008 - May 16th: The NASCAR Foundation announced that it will celebrate "Five Years of Caring" May 16 during the fifth anniversary of NASCAR Day. Present for the announcement at Daytona International Speedway was country music superstar Garth Brooks. As part of his role, Brooks will appear in a print, radio and television advertising campaign that will debut during the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008 (FOX, 2:00pm/et). Past celebrity supporters for NASCAR Day include Will Ferrell and Kelly Clarkson. More info at foundation.nascar.com or Jayski's Racing Charity page.(NASCAR PR)(1-9-2008)

    • Gibbs retires as coach of the Redskins UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing [#11,#18, #20] resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday. The Redskins said in a statement that Gibbs will remain part of the Redskins family and serve as a special adviser to owner Dan Snyder.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2008)
      UPDATE: The retirement of Joe Gibbs from coaching the Washington Redskins caught some members of his race teams by surprise including driver Kyle Busch. “Yeah, I figured he had one more year left (on his NFL contract) so I figured he was gonna keep diggin’. I don’t know what his decision process was about resigning but I’m sure it will be for the better of Joe Gibbs Racing.” The decision by Gibbs may mean he’ll spend more time with his race teams this year and Busch thinks that would be a good thing. “I think it’ll be fine. I don’t think it’s going to hurt any. Whenever we need something you go to Joe and you tell him that we need something and he’s like fine…go get it…do what you’ve got to do and we’ll figure out how to pay for it later, so that will pay dividends here in what we need.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)
      UPDATE 2: The following is a statement from J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) since October 1997, about the return of his father, Joe Gibbs, to JGR after spending the past four years as head coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. “Obviously, it’ll be great to have him back here on a regular basis. It’s a biased opinion because he’s my dad, but there’s so much that he brings to the table. He has such a gift for leading a team. He’s been coaching for 40 years and a leader of this race team since we formed it in 1992. Having him back will be a huge encouragement to our 430 families and a benefit to all of our corporate partners. I know my dad loves the Redskins and thinks the world of Dan Snyder (Redskins Owner). As a huge Redskins fan myself, I’m thrilled he will remain in partnership with Dan as a consultant, helping the Redskins wherever he can in the years to come. As far as my role with the team goes – nothing changes, just like nothing really changed when he went back to the Redskins in 2004. I guess it’s a good thing I never moved into his office. We’re all working really hard to win races and championships, just like we always have.”(JGR PR)(1-9-2008)

    • Tire issues at Daytona: #99-Carl Edwards told reporters tire blistering appeared to be an issue with the new race car on Tuesday. Edwards said his Ford experienced blistering with its right front Goodyear tire. #5-Casey Mears blew a right front tire before his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy car brushed the wall. #41-Reed Sorenson blew a right rear tire and spun his Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge. "I believe every set we've put on that's (blistering) been the limiting factor in single car runs and in the draft," Edwards said. "I don't think it's a function of the draft. We have worked with the camber a little bit and gotten it better. That's the #1 issue right now." Goodyear's Rick Heinrich acknowledged issues with tires. "We have a new car and we have a new tire and what these test sessions are all about is for the teams to experiment and get dailed in and to figure out where they need to be when they come back for Speedweeks," he said. "Right now we've got, some of the teams have got a lot of heat in the right front tires and we have seen some blistering but then what the situation is from there is it's up to the team to make adjustments and improve on that condition." #19 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge driver Elliott Sadler said his team also experienced some blistering but he wasn't concerned. "I think this is a normal issue in winter testing until we get some rubber down on the race track," he told reporters. "By the time we have the 24-hour race and stuff like that, there will be plenty of rubber down, we'll slide around a little bit more and tire problems will take care of themselves."(Florida Today)
      AND Despite a bunch of blistered Goodyear tires Tuesday in Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway and one crash that might have been a result of that issue, NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said don't expect any tire changes before Speedweeks 2008. Pemberton said teams were using a different tire at Daytona than was used in the COT's previous outing on a similar racetrack, last October at Talladega Superspeedway. He said the Daytona tire had "more stagger," or more circumference from the right to the left side to aid the cars' turning.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2008)

    • Safety Meeting News: Seats and helmets were hot topics at NASCAR's annual safety meeting for drivers and crew chiefs Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway. Attendance is mandatory for the gatherings, which continue this month with a second Sprint Cup test and sessions for the Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series. Tom Gideon, safety director for GM Racing, said drivers were particularly interested in new seat specifications in the wake of Ricky Rudd's Sept. 2 crash at California Speedway. Rudd, who made a NASCAR-record 788 consecutive starts, suffered a severely separated left shoulder and missed five races, the first time he had been sidelined by an injury. "They have rigid seats now with shoulder and head support, and they want to make sure there's nothing in the seat to hurt the shoulder," Gideon said. "There can be edges of the seat that can get into the shoulder, and that might have happened in Ricky's case."(USA Today)(1-9-2008)

    • Testing at Nashville: Michael Waltrip Racing took time Wednesday, January 9 for a team test at Nashville Superspeedway. Drivers Michael Waltrip and Michael McDowell tested two Sprint Cup cars on a sunny day in Middle Tennessee.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(1-9-2008)

    • No urgency on Johnson extension with Hendrick: neither #48-Jimmie Johnson nor Hendrick Motorsports has much sense of urgency to extend a contract that expires after the 2010 season. "We want to race with Jimmie Johnson as long as Jimmie Johnson wants to be racing and we've had discussions around that," Hendrick general manager Marshall Carlson said. Carlson said discussions will "probably take their own pace," presumably, he said, because "the discussions have been, 'Hey, would you like to look into something long-term?' and there have been affirmatives on both sides." Hendrick Motorsports signed four-time champion Jeff Gordon to a lifetime driver contract in 1999, which included an equity stake in his and what became Johnson's team. He is officially listed as Johnson's car owner. "The sport has changed a lot since Jeff formed that deal with Rick," Johnson said. "It's hard for me to even think of that. It's nothing I've ever thought was possible. I certainly would look at that and would love that opportunity. I don't plan on going anywhere else. This is home for me. In a way, I feel like we already have that understanding." Lowe's sponsorship agreement with Hendrick for the #48 Chevrolet also expires after the 2010 season.(Yahoo Sports)(1-9-2008)

    • Benning to test at Daytona: ARCA driver Norm Benning plans to test the #57 NBR Sprint Cup car [Chevy?] in Daytona. (NBR) Norm Benning Racing has secured a Car Of Tomorrow and Engine and will be testing in Daytona for the Daytona 500. Testing the week of January 14th.(Norm Benning site)(1-9-2008)

    • Daytona testing Session 1 is over - DAY 3 PM Speeds: Daytona testing is over for the first session with #18B-Busch being the fastest in a drafting session, Busch was also fast in the AM practice. #17B-Kenseth was 2nd, followed by #41B-Sorenson, #24B-Gordon and #1B-Truex Jr. No incidents were reported.(NASCAR Media). On SPEED's coverage of practice, it was reported that Carl Edwards helped test the #28 Yates Racing Ford, #5-Mears lost an engine and the #16 and #1 teams each brought a third car for Wednesday test, didn't see them listed on the speed chart, they were #16C-Biffle and #1C-Truex Jr. See the speeds on the Daytona Testing page.(1-9-2008)

    • SPEEDs - Day 3 AM - Drafting: Toyota once again took the fastest speed in drafting practice, with #18-Busch being the fastest in the AM session at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday with a fast lap of 187.786mph. 2nd fast was #84B-Allmendinger [fast in drafting and single car runs] then #16A-Biffle, #2B-Busch and #48B-Johnson [fastest in all the single car runs so far]. 25 teams and 41 cars practiced.(NASCAR Media), see the speeds on the Daytona Testing page.(1-9-2008)


      News from January 8, 2008

    • New site for Yates? Travis Kvapil ran two cars on Monday at Daytona testing, one in gray primer and another black with orange numbers both with the Yates Racing logo and the following site on the quarter panels - sponsoryates.com.(1-8-2008)

    • Crew Chief Switch at Yates: on SPEED's coverage of testing at Daytona, it was reported that Todd Parrott will be #28-Travis Kvapil's crew chief in 2008 and Cully Barraclough will be with #38-David Gilliland. Parrott had been Gilliland's crew chief.(1-8-2008)

    • AAA leaves NASCAR and #6 team after 2008: AAA's national motorsports sponsorships will hit the end of the road after the 2008 season. The primary sponsor on Roush Fenway Racing's #6 Ford [David Ragan] and the official auto insurance for International Speedway Corp. tracks, AAA has decided that it will not renew those deals at the end of this season. AAA's exit at ISC could open the door for Nationwide Insurance, the new title sponsor of NASCAR's #2 circuit, formerly known as the Busch Series. ISC tracks are the site for 19 of NASCAR's 36 Sprint Cup events. Sources say that ISC has reached out to Nationwide and possibly other insurance companies in an effort to fill that category beginning in 2009. Nationwide owns status as the official insurance company at Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks. AAA's status as the official auto club and auto insurance of the Indianapolis 500 also will end after this season. AAA made its decision this early in the year based on deadlines that were in its agreements.(SportsBusiness Journal/SceneDaily.com)(1-8-2008)

    • Petty Enterprises Completes Move to Mooresville N.C.: Petty Enterprises is the newest resident of Race City, U.S.A. As of January 7, the organization began operating completely out of their, 115,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, N.C. Since its inception in 1949 through the 2007 season, Petty Enterprises had been based out of Level Cross, N.C. Intertwined in the movement of man and machine is a renewed commitment to winning that produced such a successful legacy. "This is an exciting time to be a part of the Petty Enterprises' family," said Executive Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "NASCAR is going in a new direction with the new car, so we felt this was the right time to make our transition. The fact that the move was finished ahead of schedule shows our determination."(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(1-8-2008)

    • Dakar race cancellation, lost money, angers Robby Gordon: #7-Robby Gordon arrived for testing at Daytona International Speedway on Monday with a pack on his back and a chip on his shoulder. Gordon had planned to skip the three-day test for his Sprint Cup team to drive in the Dakar Rally in North Africa. Those plans changed on Friday when organizers canceled the event because of the Dec. 24 slayings of French tourists in Mauritania -- where eight of the 15 stages were scheduled to be held and -- and direct threats of terrorism from al-Quida-linked militants. Gordon said he was upset because the Amaury Sports Organization that puts on the rally had no backup plan for a race that he estimated cost Robby Gordon Motorsports out of California $4.5 million to prepare two cars to send overseas with full crews. "They did not have a plan," Gordon said as he shook his head in disbelief. "That's the part I'm mad about. Cancel the race for safety. I'm with you. Good. But there was no reason to cancel the whole entire event with 16 days or racing. We could have run Martinsville or a couple of specials. Us racers, we like to race. Just get creative. They're right there in Portugal [where] they have a Formula One track down the street. Get creative. Do something to keep the show in place. I can't believe they gave up that easy." It was the first time the 30-year-old event, one of the biggest competitions in automobile racing, was canceled. Gordon said the ASO has promised to pay back the $360,000 entry fee, but he's not sure how he will recoup other losses for his team and sponsors. Officials with the ASO could not be reached for comment. Gordon heard of the cancellation less than an hour before the race was to begin.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2008)

    • Keller tests for GEM: Jason Keller, who set a Nationwide Series record last season with his 422nd career start, is testing Gillette Evernham Motorsports' #98 Dodge Charger at Daytona, an effort tended by test team director Pete Rondeau. "We're going to run a schedule similar to what we did with the #98, our R&D team, last season," GEM's Keith Barnwell said after getting down from Daytona's spotters' stand. "At this point, we're not exactly sure what that schedule will be." Barnwell said the car wouldn't participate in the tests at Las Vegas and California due to the logistical difference of "taking a van to Daytona Beach and only being able to put a certain number of people on a plane to the West Coast." Keller, who has previous Cup starts on his resume in the former "standard car," as well as a test last season for GEM and one a couple of weeks ago at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in his native South Carolina, said the Car of Tomorrow's higher profile and center of gravity resulted in as-advertised handling characteristics, but said he appreciated the better forward visibility in the car.(NASCAR.com)(1-8-2008)

    • Haas CNC Racing announces Marketing Hire: Hass CNC Racing continues to take major strides in identifying itself as a mainstay in the Sprint Cup Series. With its most recent addition, the team announced Mike Verlander will serve as Director of Business Development. Verlander brings his experience from MCG Sports where he managed business development for Joe Gibbs Racing. Verlander has worked with leading teams including Evernham Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. He has introduced and managed corporate partners through the highest levels of NASCAR. Verlander will begin duties immediately from Haas CNC Racing facilities.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(1-8-2008)

    • Carmichael could drive for DEI in 2008: Mark Martin said DEI is negotiating to sign motocross star Ricky Carmichael to drive a full Camping World East Series (formerly Busch East) schedule this year. "Ricky has the fire, desire and talent to do this stuff,'' said Martin, who worked with Carmichael at Ginn Racing before the merger with DEI last season.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2008)

    • Martin: First day of testing a waste of time: #8-Mark Martin said it was "idiotic" for NASCAR to only allow drivers to do single-car runs on the first day of testing at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR does not permit drivers to practice drafting in packs - and thus race conditions - on the first day, meaning Monday is a long day of cars running by themselves around the mammoth 2.5-mile speedway. Drivers expect that NASCAR will allow drafting beginning on Tuesday afternoon. "I feel that we're wasting our time with single-car runs," Martin said during the lunch break on Monday. "We should be drafting already, but it is what it is. We do get to start drafting tomorrow afternoon, so that's half a day sooner than we might have. Once we start drafting, we're really working on racing. The rest of this stuff is idiotic, with the [questions between driver and team]: 'Does this help? Not help? Is that faster? Is it not faster? Can you tell anything?' That's what we're doing right now."(SceneDaily.com)(1-8-2008)

    • Defending Champion Stewart Seeks Chili Bowl Repeat: Tony Stewart knows a thing or two about world-class venues and motorsports events surrounded by high publicity and international intrigue. And yet it is a Midget-car contest held each January inside a converted rodeo arena and livestock hall in Oklahoma that Stewart calls “the best race of the year for me.” Stewart declares, “Yeah, if I could run only one race a year, and I had to pick, it would definitely be the Chili Bowl.” He is referring to the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, the 22nd annual edition of which will be held Jan. 8-12 inside the Tulsa Expo Center. Saturday night’s headline action will be televised live, for the first time, on HBO Pay-Per-View. The Chili Bowl, in Stewart’s opinion, is “the toughest race to win,” and he should know. Twice, in 2002 and ’07, he has emerged as the victor in the Saturday-night A-Main finale, one of the most coveted short-track events in America. This year, some 280 plus Midgets are expected to haul to Tulsa for the mid-winter classic. Watch the live television broadcast of the 2008 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 8:00pm/et. The HBO Pay-Per-View telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes in the United States and Canada and millions more worldwide. Order directly from your digital cable or satellite TV system or contact your provider's customer service for details. A subscription to HBO is not required. Visit hbo.com.(PR)(1-8-2008)

    • SPEEDs - Day 2 PM: #96A-Yeley took over the leader board Tuesday afternoon as drafting practice started. Speeds only jumped up just under 3mph, with Yeley running 187.359mph, #2B-Busch was 2nd fastest, followed by #18B-Busch, #78B-Nemechek and #17A-Kenseth. 45 cars practiced.(NASCAR Media) Two incidents occurred during the afternoon session when #5-Casey Mears brushed the wall when a tire let go and #41-Reed Sorenson spun.(RacingOne)(1-8-2008)

    • SPEEDs - Day 2 AM: #48-Johnson continues to be the fastest after funning both of Monday's sessions as the quickest, on Tuesday AM, Johnson ran 184.763mph, followed by #27B-Villeneuve, #28B-Kvapil, #5B-Mears and #84B-Allmendinger. #42-Montoya was the fastest Dodge at 21st of the 45 cars that took laps. Martin Truex Jr. is back in the #1 DEI Chevy, Aric Almirola tested the car on Monday. There could be some drafting runs on Tuesday afternoon.(NASCAR Media), see the speeds on the Daytona Testing page.(1-8-2008)

    • Johnson signs with CAA to broaden his appeal: #48-Jimmie Johnson has signed Creative Artists Agency to represent him in marketing, licensing and endorsement deals. Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports, will lead a team that will attempt to capitalize on Johnson's success on the track. Johnson's signing is the latest win for CAA Sports, which represents more than 350 athletes, including LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Sidney Crosby, LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and David Beckham. CAA Sports football agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra also last week signed Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in this year's NFL draft. In recent months, CAA Sports has signed the New York Yankees, the AVP Tour and MMA brand TapouT as well. Johnson considered eight agencies before selecting CAA Sports and Wasserman Media Group as his finalists.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(1-8-2008)


      News from January 7, 2008

    • Martin and DEI announce 2008 Cup Schedule: Mark Martin will race in 26 Sprint Cup events in 2008, including 24 point races and two non-point events. Martin will kick off the 2008 season and his tenure in the #8 U.S. Army/Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy with his record-extending 20th-consecutive Budweiser Shootout. Highlights of Martin's 2008 schedule include the 50th running of the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400 and Sprint Cup All-Star event. Martin will share the #8 ride with rookie Aric Almirola, who will run the remaining 12 events in the car. Martin will enter in the first four point races of the season before handing the wheel over to Almirola at Bristol (March 16) and Martinsville (March 30). "I think it's going to be an exciting season," said Martin, who will enter his 26th year of Cup racing. "I'm so excited to be behind the wheel of the #8 U.S. Army Chevrolet and to be working with Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the #8 Team. It's an incredible honor to drive the #8 car for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and we are excited about moving into the season. Martin will compete in both the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 before making his 700th career start at California Speedway in February.(DEI PR), see Martin's schedule on the #8 Team News and Links page.(1-7-2008)

    • 3M Donates Two Full Paint Schemes to Red Cross for the 2008: 3M, in partnership with Roush Fenway Racing, announced that it will donate the #16 Ford’s full paint scheme to the American Red Cross for two races during the 2008 Sprint Cup season. 3M will also donate space on the rear quarter panel of the car where the Red Cross logo will appear in eight other races during the year. For more information on donating blood, or to make an appointment, call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or log on to www.givelife.org. Greg Biffle will drive the Red Cross Ford at Talladega Superspeedway on April 27 and at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9. He will also appear in television and radio public service announcements to support the mission of the Red Cross. 3M has a long history of supporting the Red Cross through in kind contributions of disaster relief supplies. Last year, the 3M gave generous financial contributions to the Twin Cities Area Chapter of the Red Cross—and its employees gave over 2,000 units of blood. For more information about 3M, including the latest product and technology news, visit www.3M.com. (Roush Fenway Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #16 Team Schemes page.(1-7-2008)

    • Johnson wins 2007 Driver of the Year Award: #48-Jimmie Johnson crushed the competition for Driver of the Year - 2007, much like he trampled his rivals on the way to his second-straight Nextel Cup Series championship. It was also Johnson's second-consecutive title in the United States most prestigious award in auto racing because the voting is done by an elite panel of journalists and broadcasters from coast-to-coast. The California-born driver becomes only the third driver to achieve this honor after Darrell Waltrip (1981-1982) and teammate, Jeff Gordon (1997-1998). "I am truly humbled to be honored as Driver of the Year. I appreciate this award and the recognition from the press," said Johnson. He added "they watch every race and for them to think I did the best job is awesome!" About the only surprise was that the vote, while conclusive, wasn't unanimous. In the year-end ballot each panelist votes for only one candidate. Johnson tallied 14 votes, while Champ Car champion, Sebastien Bourdais, earned two votes, the World of Outlaws' - Donny Schatz - and Carl Edwards, a Cup regular and Busch Series champion, also received one vote apiece. Johnson, who also won the fourth quarter ballot, will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a later date. Go to www.dotyaward.com to see a new website devoted to Driver of the Year news, opinions and reader comments.(DOTY PR)(1-7-2008)

    • New tire changers for Johnson in 2008: Jimmie Johnson said he expects to have two new tire changers with his Hendrick Motorsports team in 2008. Rear-tire carrier Ron Malec, the car chief, remains with the #48 team as does Kenneth Purcell, who was jacking the car during the latter part of 2007. Front-tire carrier Art Simmons also will return, a team spokesman confirmed Sunday night in clarifying Johnson's earlier remarks over the team's changes. "It was a tough thing, we've won championships with these guys," said Johnson, who was at Daytona International Speedway testing Sunday for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. "But we just felt like we could be a little faster and we needed to make some changes. It didn't go over easily with everybody, but [crew chief] Chad [Knaus has] got to make those decisions and we feel it will make our team stronger." Rear-tire changer Tim Ladyga has moved to the #24-Jeff Gordon team, Johnson said.(SceneDaily.com)(1-7-2008)

    • Riley still interested in NASCAR ownership: Bill Riley, whose family is well known in the building of open-wheel and road-racing chassis, has not soured on NASCAR after his fledgling Riley/D'Hondt Racing has closed its doors. The #91 Toyota team ran one Cup race in 2007 after Riley and Eddie D'Hondt announced its formation in 2006. Riley had moved his company from Indianapolis to Charlotte, in part to be more connected to NASCAR. "Eddie and I were promised a lot of things and had a lot of signed documents and promises, and they just didn't work out," Riley said. "It was simple as that. ... It's not an easy place to get in. It's not like you can walk in and beat the 48 team [of Jimmie Johnson]. But that's where you need to be in motorsports. You need to be involved with that series. I'd like to try," Riley said Friday at Daytona International Speedway where his company had several cars testing for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. "There's some people talking to me, but I'm really taking my time with it. I have quite a bit of commitments with sports-car racing right now. ... The next time I get an opportunity to come in, I will be a bit more cautious [with potential sponsors] and a bit slower."(Scene Daily)(1-7-2008)

    • Daytona Test Notes - Session 1, Day 1: #7-Robby Gordon will test his Ford since the Dakar Rally race was cancelled; #20-Tony Stewart will test at Daytona for the first time in three years [due to the change to Toyota and the COT]; Jason Keller will test a 4th Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge; Kirk Shelmedine will test for his old boss, Richard Childress, in the #33 Chevy.
      SPEEDs - Day 1 AM: 2007 Cup Champ #48-Johnson was the fastest in the opening round of practice at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 184.782mph, followed by #5-Mears, #27B-Villeneuve, #84B-Allmendinger [2 cars, other was 6th] and #24A-Gordon. #42-Montoya was the fastest Dodge, 13th fastest and #28A-Kvapil was the fastest Ford at 14th. 26 drivers in 42 cars took to the track. The #1 DEI Chevy has Aric Almirola driving.
      SPEEDs - Day 1 PM: #48A-Johnson was fastest again of the 45 cars that tested on Monday, with a speed of 184.672mph in a Chevy. The rest of the top-5 were #5B-Mears, #18-Busch [Toyota], #84B-Allmendinger and #27B-Villeneuve. The fastest Ford was #28-Kvapil, 8th; the fastest Dodge was #42-Montoya, 14th. Slowest were #1B-Almirola [subbing for Truex Jr.] and #70B-Mayfield.
      OVERALL Day 1: #48-Jimmie Johnson posted the fastest lap on the first day of NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing for the Sprint Cup Series with a lap of 184.782 mph in the morning session. Rounding out the top three were #5-Casey Mears at 184.475 mph and #18-Kyle Busch in his new ride at Joe Gibbs Racing at 184.064. The test session is the first shake down that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams have had with the new winged car (Car of Tomorrow) at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500. A surprise visitor during the first day of testing on Monday was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who stopped by DIS to see how his new Hendrick Motorsports teammates - Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears - were doing. Earnhardt Jr., who left Dale Earnhardt Inc. to join Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 50th running of the Daytona 500, will shake down his new ride - the #88 Chevrolet - during next week's second wave of Sprint Cup Series testing. Nationwide Series veteran Jason Keller is testing a #98 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge during this week's test ...Kirk Shelmerdine is behind the wheel of the #33 Richard Childress Racing Chevy.(DIS PR)(1-7-2008)



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