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  • MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
    APRIL 28-MAY 4, 2008


      News from May 4, 2008

    • Latest Stewart Rumor...Bass Pro Shops? There has been no official word from either side, but it is becoming increasingly likely that #20-Tony Stewart will indeed leave car owners Joe and J.D. Gibbs at the end of this season, to start his own team, under the Rick Hendrick Chevrolet [with Haas CNC?] umbrella, possibly with Bass Pro Shops as his sponsor. If Stewart does depart, that would leave the Gibbses looking for a new driver. Joey Logano's chances of getting the nod? Sunday's Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway could offer clues. Logano is to start from the pole.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-4-2008) Comment here

    • Target leaving Ganassi at end of 2008? UPDATE 2: There are persistent rumors that Chip Ganassi may be in financial deep water, with his long-time sponsor Target [sponsor of #41-Reed Sorenson and sometime sponsor of #40-Dario Franchitti] likely announcing by the end of the year it will be ending its association with the race team.(Yahoo!Sports)(4-10-2008)
      UPDATE: Steve Eastman, Target Vice President: "The 19-year partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive partnerships in motor sports. Our race program has proven successful and we in fact have a solid base of sponsors in place. We continue to build on the excitement and momentum around the program and look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary next year... Any rumors regarding an end to the partnership are simply without merit."(Target Communications)(4-10-2008)
      UPDATE 2: Target, according to sources, may be reconsidering its NASCAR sponsorship. Target has been sponsoring Dodge owner Chip Ganassi [#41 Reed Sorenson] for several years, though still without a major win.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-4-2008) Comment here

    • Toyota staying out of Stewart negotiations: Toyota officials don't want to lose #20-Tony Stewart to another manufacturer, but they won't get involved in negotiations to keep the two-time Sprint Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing after his contract expires in 2009. "We're not a company that gets in the middle between owners and drivers," Lee White, the general manager of Toyota Racing Development, said before Saturday's race at Richmond International Raceway. "If there is a manufacturer out there that is spearheading or brokering or promoting an activity like this, I can promise you it will not be Toyota. We don't consider that to be our role in the garage." There has been speculation that Chevrolet is behind a move to lure Stewart, who uses the manufacturer for his Sprint car organization, to CNC Haas Racing. Part-ownership of the team also is on the table, which Stewart has acknowledged. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say Tony really likes to win," White said. "I think Tony's best opportunity to win races, multiple races, and continue to threaten for championships is right where he is."(ESPN.com)(5-4-2008) Comment here

    • Logano wins ARCA race at Rockingham: Joey Logano, in the #25 Venturini Motorsports-prepared Joe Gibbs Racing Oil-Gresham & Associates Chevy, led 257 of 312 laps to conquer the "Rock" in his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series start in the Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway. Logano also earned the Aaron's Lap Leader award for leading the most laps. Outside of a late-race wrestling match with Ken Schrader and mid-race battle with Michael Annett and Matt Hawkins, Logano had nary a challenger during the 500 kilometer/312-mile race.(more info and results at ARCARacing.com)(5-4-2008)

    • Smith rookie of the race at RIR: #01-Regan Smith scored a 21st-place finish at Richmond and claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the second consecutive race and for the fifth time in 10 races this season. Smith unofficially leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by one point (97-96) over #77-Sam Hornish Jr. Smith has been the top Raybestos Rookie in all three short track races this season.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), for standings, history and more, see my 2008 Rookies page.(5-4-2008) Comment here

    • Field Set for Carolina 500 at the Rock: Joey Logano, who paced Friday’s ARCA RE/MAX Series practice at Rockingham Speedway, edged Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by a mere 0.080 second Saturday to earn the pole position for this weekend’s Carolina 500. Logano, who will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing in June [at Dover], posted a lap of 146.645 mph, 24.549 seconds, in a Chevrolet. Stenhouse, driving a Roush Fenway Racing Ford, turned a lap on the 1-mile track of 146.169 mph, 24.629 seconds. “I feel pretty confident for tomorrow,” Logano said. “I think we got a really good car for the long run. We were able to move around a lot in practice yesterday and try different things. Traffic is gonna be a bear out there, so it’s gonna be staying out of trouble most of the night.” Stenhouse said he didn’t expect for be second quickest. “To come out here and pick up a second, I was pretty surprised,” Stenhouse admitted. “I figured we’d be top five or 10. I didn’t really know we’d be on the front row. The guys changed a little bit on the car from out last qualifying run yesterday [Saturday]. I just got into the gas and it stuck.” Rounding out the top 10, respectively, were: Justin Lofton, Dodge; Michael Annett and Jack Bailey in Toyotas; Matt Carter, Ford; Justin Marks, Toyota; Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet; Ken Butler, Toyota; and Austin Dillon, Chevrolet.
      Tony Stewart is scheduled to wave the green flag on the Carolina 500, signaling the reopening of The Rock, at noon on Sunday. For more information or to order tickets for the May 4 ARCA RE/MAX Series Carolina 500 and the Nov. 1 Hooters Pro Cup American 200, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit rockinghamspeedway.com.(5-4-2008) Comment here


      News from May 3, 2008

    • Labonte supposedly agrees to contract extension with Petty's: Bobby Labonte has reached an agreement to remain in the #43 car at Petty Enterprises after this season, sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. Labonte has been widely speculated as a candidate to drive the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing, but Petty officials have remained adamant that he will spend the rest of his career with the organization and that he is determined to be the driver that puts the 43 back into Victory lane. David Hovis, a spokesman for Petty Enterprises, said the team had nothing to announce Saturday about Labonte's future. "We still remain 100% convinced that Bobby will be with Petty Enterprises next season," Hovis said. Sources said Labonte's new deal will be announced as soon as details concerning a new sponsor are worked out. General Mills, Labonte's current sponsor, will be on the fourth car at RCR next season.
      Robbie Loomis, the vice president for racing operations at Petty, has been the most outspoken on Labonte's commitment to Petty Enterprises. He remained that way on Saturday. "As far as I know Bobby Labonte will be with us for a long time," he said before the Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. "I feel confident where we're at with Petty Enterprises and with Bobby. In due time Petty Enterprises will have a lot of announcements coming forward." One is that a Petty has finalized a deal with New York-based Medallion Financial as a business partner. Loomis said that could come within the next month to six weeks. The other concerns Labonte's new sponsor. General Mills, Labonte's current sponsor, will be on the fourth car at RCR next season. Loomis said negotiations for a new sponsor are going well, noting Labonte's "brand is clean like the Petty's."(ESPN.com), one rumored sponsor for the #43 team has been Caterpillar, whose deal with Bill Davis Racing and the #22 Toyota runs out at the end of 2008.(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • Edwards re-signs with Roush UPDATE 2: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing has signed a multi-year stay with the team on Thursday. His old contract was thru the end of 2008.(PRN's Garage Pass)
      UPDATE: Carl Edwards said Friday he signed a multiple-year contract extension to continue driving the #99 Ford, a decision that takes NASCAR's most sought-after free agent off the market. "I'm staying with Roush," Edwards said. "I looked at everything and I talked to everybody and, for me, the number one thing is looking into the future and saying, 'Where can I win the most races and have the most success?' I just feel like for me, personally, this is where I want to be for the near future." He negotiated the contract himself with Geoff Smith, president of Roush. "It took us about a week and a half of going back and forth with just little things and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world for the contract I got," he said. "If I was dealing with someone that I didn't trust or that I felt like I couldn't just kind of air everything out with, then I'd probably have to have an agent, but dealing with Geoff from day one has been very easy at Roush for me, so it was really pretty simple. Besides, I feel like I know what I need more than anyone else. I know what I want to make me happy and this is cool." It's not clear if sponsor Office Depot will remain on the car. A spokeswoman for the company said only they are continuing their negotiations with Roush.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-2-2008)
      UPDATE 2: Roush said he was battling two rival car owners for Edwards' services. One of the men in the running for Edwards was apparently Chevy kingpin Rick Hendrick. The other was apparently Joe Gibbs, with backer Toyota; Joe and J. D. Gibbs and Toyota executives may well be resigned to the distinct possibility that Tony Stewart could be leaving their team at the end of this season and thus made a quick -- and high-priced -- run at Edwards to fill that seat. Whether that means the Gibbs and Toyota will play hardball to keep Stewart or will look for another championship-caliber driver is unclear.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-3-2008)
      UPDATE 3: On Friday Edwards announced that he had renewed his contract with Roush Fenway Racing, keeping him behind the wheel of the # 99 Ford for an additional three years.(Athlon Sports)
      AND on the Fox pre-race show, Chris Meyers said Edwards salary would be $6 million a year.(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • NASCAR appoints panel to look into changing drug-testing policy: NASCAR president Brian France has appointed a group of company officials to an interim committee that will study the sport's drug policy, vice president of communications Jim Hunter said Friday. The group, whose members Hunter said have "been around a long time and know the sport," will report back to France with any recommendations "within six weeks or so." Among the topics they will survey, Hunter said, is whether or not to add a staff substance abuse expert and whether or not random testing should be implemented. Currently, drivers are drug tested only under "reasonable suspicion." Any change to the policy, Hunter said, wouldn't likely take place until the 2009 season.(ESPN.com)(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • Bowyer wins at Richmond: #07-Clint Bowyer won the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway for his first win of 2008 and 2nd of his career after #18-Busch and #88-Earnhardt tangled with a couple laps to go, sending the leader, #88-Earnhardt Jr. into the wall. #18-Busch held on to 2nd, with the rest of the top-10 being #8-Martin, #20-Stewart, #1-Truex Jr., #12-Newman, #99-Edwards, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon and #9-Kahne. #11-Denny Hamlin dominated most of the race, leading 381 of 382 laps before having a right front tire going down, giving way to Earnhardt Jr until he tangle with Busch, Hamlin finished 24th. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 15th on the lead lap. Points leader coming in to the race, #31-Burton finished 11th, but lost the points lead to #18-Busch 1495 to 1477 points. There were 11 cautions for 62 laps and 4 lead changes amongh 4 drivers.
      Richmond Race Results Awards Page.(5-3-2008)

    • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Richmond race 10 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 1495 [2 wins]
      2) #31-Jeff Burton 1477 -18 [1 win]
      3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1391 -104
      4) #07-Clint Bowyer 1372 -123 [1 win]
      5) #29-Kevin Harvick 1350 -145
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin 1349 -146 [1 win]
      7) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1318 -177 [1 win]
      8) #20-Tony Stewart 1297 -198
      9) #16-Greg Biffle 1269 -226
      10) #99-Carl Edwards 1230 -265 [would be 7th if no 100pt penalty][3 wins]
      11) #12-Ryan Newman 1212 -283 [1 win]
      12) #9-Kasey Kahne 1162 -333
      other chase contenders
      13) #24-Jeff Gordon 1156 6pts out of 12th
      14) #6-David Ragan 1106 -56
      15) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 1104 -58
      16) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya 1096 -66
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Richmond page.(5-3-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Darlington
      no changes in who is in or out, the order got changed a bit and the points between 35th and 36th is now 71
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      32) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing 799 +113
      33) #44-Reutimann/Waltrip Racing 767 +81
      31) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing 760 +74
      34) #01-Smith/Dale Earnhardt Inc 759 +73
      35) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing 757, 71 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis 686 -71 points out of 35th
      37) #70-Sauter/Haas CNC Racing 648 -109
      38) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing 640 -117
      39) #40-Franchitti/Ganassi Racing 629 -128
      40) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing 572 -185
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(5-3-2008)

    • Richmond International Raceay Penalty Report:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
      1 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 66
      2 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 129
      3 #42 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 206
      4 #84 Non-compliant refueling (overflow container) TE 208
      5 #15 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 220
      6 #83 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 221
      7 #48 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 230
      8 #96 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 230
      9 #99 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 231
      10 #83 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 231
      11 #00 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 231
      12 #15 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 231
      13 #31 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 231
      14 #09 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 232
      15 #28 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 234
      16 #00 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 261
      17 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 261
      18 #5 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 355
      19 #55 Safety violation MCI 355
      20 #26 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 366
      21 #11 Intentionally causing a caution 2 Laps 392
      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 Statistics)(5-3-2008)

    • Richmond International Raceway Fast Facts
      .. Clint Bowyer won the Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400, his second victory in 83 Sprint Cup Series races. His other win came at New Hampshire in September 2007.
      .. This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2008.
      .. This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in five races at Richmond.
      .. Kyle Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in seven races at Richmond and tied his best finish here for the second time. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2008.
      .. Mark Martin (third) posted his 24th top-10 finish in 45 races at Richmond.
      .. Regan Smith (21st) was the highest finishing rookie.
      .. Denny Hamlin led 381 laps, setting the record for the number of laps led in a 400-lap race at Richmond. He eclipsed the mark of 369 set by Bobby Allison in September 1979. The record for laps led all-time at Richmond is 488 of 500 on the .500-mile configuration by David Pearson in September 1970.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-3-2008)

    • TMS's Gossage offer Dale Jr. $100k to run Indy car; Dale Jr turns it down: IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick recommended on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s XM Satellite Radio show Thursday evening that if the NASCAR superstar ever wanted to swap cars and run an Indy car that Texas Motor Speedway would be the place to give it a shot. Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage is wholeheartedly backing that recommendation by Patrick and giving Earnhardt Jr. 100,000 reasons why "The Great American Speedway!" is indeed the ideal choice. Gossage is offering $100,000 to Earnhardt Jr. if he would pay the IndyCar Series a visit and compete June 7 in the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway. Gossage is open to presenting Earnhardt Jr. $100,000 in cash or a check to his favorite charity for that amount if that is more to his liking.(TMS)
      AND Dale Earnhardt Jr. ON EDDIE GOSSAGE OFFERING HIM $100,000 TO RUN THE INDY CAR RACE. “He thinks I’m a cheap date I guess. I wouldn’t be able to do it, my conscience wouldn’t let me. If they offered me more money, my conscience wouldn’t let me feel comfortable with doing it. I know his intentions are well and we had that discussion with the billboard thing and I totally understand what his approach is advertising now. If I had the opportunity if I was there testing my car and somebody had their car there, I’d like to jump in it and run a couple of laps but that would be the extent of the adventure.”(Team Chevy PR)(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • FreeCreditReport.com Extends Partnership with Yates Racing: Yates Racing announced that Experian Consumer Direct, the leading provider of online direct-to-consumer credit reports, scores, and monitoring products, will sponsor the #38 entry for an additional number of races for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. Yates Racing driver, David Gilliland, who pilots the #38 FreeCreditReport.com Ford Fusion, will continue to feature the company's website, www.FreeCreditReport.com. Gilliland has a history with Experian Consumer Direct as a sponsor, racing the #38 FreeCreditReport.com Ford Fusion for a total of eight races in the 2008 Sprint Cup series as well as driving the FreeCreditReport.com Ford 19 times in the 2007 Nationwide Series. "It's wonderful to know that our #38 team will continue to be partnered with FreeCreditReport.com," commented Gilliland. "They have been a wonderful sponsor to our team and it is very comforting to know that we're going to showcase our #38 FreeCreditReport.com Ford for more races this year. Everyone at Yates Racing has worked extremely hard this year to yield strong finishes every week, and we look forward to continuing that tradition for FreeCreditReport.com." Experian Consumer Direct and the FreeCreditReport.com sponsorship will be featured at Richmond International Raceway this weekend in the Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400.(Yates Racing)(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • Keselowski testing for Haas CNC: Dale Earnhardt Jr's [JR Motorsports] Nationwide Series driver, Brad Keselowski has already tested for the #70 Haas CNC Racing Sprint Cup team at Nashville Superspeedway and he might test with them Monday and Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Haas CNC Racing General Manager Joe Custer declined comment on his future drivers Friday, but said he hoped to get some things solidified this weekend. With Rick Hendrick owning half of JR Motorsports, the team for which Keselowski drives in the Nationwide Series, and Haas CNC Racing being a Hendrick affiliate, Keselowski’s participation with the team makes sense. “We’re going to figure that out this weekend,” Keselowski said on whether he would test with Haas CNC Racing at Charlotte. “It looks like I might go down there Monday and Tuesday and just help them out. We’ll see.” Whether Keselowski would actually drive in a Sprint Cup race for the team, the driver said he didn’t know and would take things “one step at a time.”(SceneDaily)(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • Petty's Visit VA Medical Center: While in Richmond this week, Richard and Kyle Petty visited with paralyzed veterans in the Spinal Cord Injury Unit of Richmond’s Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. The two spent time with seriously wounded troops and met with members of the Paralyzed Veterans Virginia Mid-Atlantic Chapter. The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) will adorn the hood and sides of Kyle Petty’s #45 Dodge this weekend for the Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Petty Enterprises recently donated sponsorship of the #45 Dodge to the PVA for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The organization will join the team again at the Pocono 500 held on June 8 at Pocono Raceway. The Petty’s were proud to spend their afternoon with some of our nation’s service men and women. They are longtime supporters of the armed forced and have a deep appreciation for the commitment and sacrifice made by American troops. The PVA, founded in 1946, works to ensure that all veterans, people with disabilities, and their families have everything they need to thrive. For more information on the organization, visit www.pva.org.(Petty Racing), see images of the PVA.org car on my #45 Team Schemes page.(5-3-2008)

    • The Rock is Racing Again: Joey Logano led ARCA RE/MAX Series practice Friday at Rockingham Speedway, but only in the final minutes of the three-hour session as festivities began for Sunday's Carolina 500 - the reopening of "The Rock". Throughout Friday's practice at the 1-mile track, Matt Carter, the series point leader and son of former NASCAR crew chief and team owner Travis Carter, sat atop the speed chart. But in the session's final minutes, Logano's team placed a new set of tires on his Joe Gibbs Racing Oil-Gresham & Associates Chevrolet, allowing him to leap over Carter and into the No. 1 position with a 25.111-second, 143.363-mph lap. Carter, in his Stine Seed-NuSouth Lemonade Ford, wasn't far behind at 25.121 seconds, 143.306mph. Rounding out the top five, respectively, were Michael Annett and Justin Marks, both in Toyotas, and Dexter Bean in a Chevrolet. Austin Dillon, grandson of NASCAR championship car owner Richard Childress, posted the 13th quickest lap. Driving his Garage Equipment Supply Chevrolet, Dillon recorded a lap of 25.852-second, 139.254-mph lap. Defending series champion Frank Kimmel was 17th quickest, while Chad McCumbee was 18th fastest. Craftsman Truck Series regular Johnny Benson, a former Cup winner at Rockingham, practiced Ken Schrader's Four Winds Motorhomes Dodge. Schrader was in Richmond for Sprint Cup qualifying. He will be at Rockingham Saturday for qualifying. Veteran James Hylton, who finished second to Richard Petty in the Grand National [now Sprint Cup] standings in 1967, hit the wall during practice and had to settle for 48th quickest. Qualifying for Sunday's race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the second round of time trials set for 2:30 p.m. Tony Stewart is scheduled to wave the green flag on the Carolina 500, signaling the reopening of The Rock, at noon on Sunday. For more information or to order tickets for the May 4 ARCA RE/MAX Series Carolina 500 and the Nov. 1 Hooters Pro Cup American 200, please contact the speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit rockinghamspeedway.com.(5-3-2008) Comment here

    • Chase Notes: Matt Kenseth's third Bottom 10 finish in 9 races put him back to 19th in the race to the chase and 120 points out of 12th, but the Killer Bees need look back no farther than 2005, when they made up more than 13 spots and 192 points after race #9. Still, the 17 car doesn't want to drift back much further before making a run this summer. Juan Pablo Montoya's strong run at Talladega has landed him on the all-important bubble spot (12th place) in The Race to the Chase. Giving chase are names like Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Kenseth and Kurt Busch, all with at least one Chase under their belts. See more on my Chase Stats after Talladega page, also past stats on my Chase Stats after Phoenix page and Chase Stats after Texas page.(5-3-2008)


      News from May 2, 2008

    • DEI picks up option on Truex, good thru 2009 UPDATE not yet: When there’s been talk about potential free agents for 2009, #1-Martin Truex, Jr. has had his name passed around in more than one story or conversation. There’s one hitch. His current deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc is good through next season according to team president Max Siegel. “We have an option that we’ve picked up for 2009, so that’s always reported in a confusing way. We love Martin and we’re having discussions about extending it for a long-term deal, but we’re good through 2009. He’s important to our organization…we’re giving him everything we possibly can and what he needs to win and be happy here long term.” Siegel also thinks the on track performance of all four DEI cars is on the upswing. “I think we’re making significant progress. The #15 team’s performance on a weekly basis is indicative of how we’ve elevated the program. We’ve got to stay very patient and focused. If you look at the #1 team and the #8…we’re doing great…got some consistency with our engines and the energy is just fantastic.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-28-2008)
      UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. holds an option on Truex that it wants to exercise, but Truex has to agree to the terms under the language of his existing deal.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-2-2008) Comment here

    • Biffle plans to re-sign with Roush, not talking to other teams: #16-Greg Biffle says he isn't interested in entertaining offers from other Sprint Cup organizations outside of Roush Fenway Racing, much less signing with them. Biffle said on Friday at Richmond International Raceway that "my 100% intent" is to work an extension with Roush Fenway, adding he's not curious to see what other opportunities might be out there. "There are a lot of great teams and great opportunities out there," said Biffle, whose contract expires at the end of this season. "I am making my decision kind of how [Dale] Earnhardt Jr. did, and it's about winning races and championships and contending for the title and having good equipment. There are a lot of teams that have that, but I feel comfortable where I'm at with Roush Fenway."(ESPN.com)(5-2-2008) Comment here

    • Childress talking to 3-4 drivers for 4th team: Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress said he's talking to three or four drivers for the fourth team he will start next season with General Mills as the primary sponsor. Childress would not identify the drivers, but said all currently compete in the Sprint Cup Series. "We hope to have something to announce in the next three or four months," he said.(ESPN.com)(5-2-2008) Comment here

    • What is up with Jerry Nadeau? Pictures, posters and other keepsakes adorn a wall in Jerry Nadeau's office. Helmets, diecast cars and T-shirts sit on shelves, untouched except by dust. Among this montage of memories, two framed items stand out. One is a photo of Nadeau's car beside runner-up Dale Earnhardt's black #3 moments after Nadeau had won the 2000 season finale at Atlanta. Earnhardt's left hand juts out of his car, his index finger saluting Nadeau on his first and only NASCAR Winston Cup victory. "That is the ultimate picture," Nadeau says with a widening grin. A head injury suffered five years ago today in a crash at Richmond International Raceway turned Nadeau's ultra-focused life into tumult. Racing defined Nadeau, and even today, he still struggles to accept that he'll never compete in NASCAR's top series again.(5-2-2008) Comment here

    • New Crew Chief for Robby: #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports and crew chief Frank Kerr have parted ways, Walter Giles is Gordon's new crew chief.(RGM)(5-2-2008) Comment here

    • Red, White & Blue M&M's at Indy: #18-Kyle Busch is scheduled to run a special Red, White, and Blue Summer Fun M&M's car in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2008. See the image on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2008)

    • Newman and the Mummy team up at Chicago: #12-Ryan Newman is scheduled to race aspecial paint-schemed car during the LifeLock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 12th. Kodak and Universal Pictures have teamed up and will run the special movie scheme: The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. See the image on my #12 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2008)

    • Avis scheme for Newman at Pocono: #12-Ryan Newman is scheduled to be driving a special paint scheme in the Pennsylvania 500 at the Pocono Raceway August 3rd. This special red and white paint scheme features the AVIS logo on the hood, as well as the rear quarter panel. See the image on my #12 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2008)

    • More on the Nationwide COT: “We are working very hard on the COT,” [Nationwide Series Director Joe] Balash explains. “We’ll utilize the NASCAR 110-inch wheelbase certified chassis, and it will be interchangeable between the Sprint Cup and Nationwide garages. [But] we’re going to do something unique with the bodies to give the Series its own look as opposed to the past.” The last point is a reminder of the dangers posed by creating a Nationwide car too much like their Sprint Cup cousins; and when you talk to Balash, you sense his focus at ensuring the next generation of Nationwide vehicles create a unique driving style all their own. “We want [the new car] to drive somewhere between a Truck and Cup car,” he says. “And we’ve been working with drag and downforce to be somewhere in between. We want the car to drive a little easier than a Sprint Cup car; [and while] there are some components of the body that are the same, we’ve relocated them. For example, we’ve moved the rear deck lid forward, and the same distance we moved it forward, we’ve moved the front of the body forward, helping the car turn just a little bit better in the corner. It’s been great to see from concept to the car in the wind tunnel.” When that concept becomes reality, the timeframe is still very much TBD. “My hope is to introduce the new car next year,” says the series director. “We’re looking at an August timeframe based on the conversations we’ve had with owners and others in the garage.”(Frontstretch.com)(5-2-2008) Comment here

    • Hamlin on pole at Richmond: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole for the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 126.198mph, for his 1st pole of 2008 and 6th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #8-Mark Martin, followed by #1-Truex Jr., #10-Carpentier, #41-Sorenson, #42-Montoya, #18-Busch, #19-Sadler, #9-Kahne and #12-Newman. Points leader #31-Burton will start 33rd and #88-Earnhardt Jr will start 22nd. The eight go-or-go-homers [non top 35] to make the race are: #10-Carpentier [4th], #22-Blaney, #84-Allmendinger, #78-Nemechek, #70-Sauter, #09-Marlin, #45-Petty and #96-Yeley. The fastest 43 cars made the race. Four drivers did not make the race: #40-Schrader, #33-Wimmer, #34-Andretti and #21-Wood.
      For pole preogeression, qualifying order and results and starting lineup, see my Richmond Qualifying Page.(5-2-2008)

    • IMPOUND: the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway will be the 2nd IMPOUND race of 2008, there are five impound races in 2008, both Talladega races, both Richmond races and Daytona in July. For more info, see my Impounding Info page.

    • Stewart tests at New Smyrna: Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Joey Logano was down to test two days including Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway [FL]. #20-Tony Stewart arrived Wednesday morning and spent most of the day in his ride testing various setups and parts as the team prepared for Saturday night's 400-mile race at Richmond International Speedway. "Since they paved it we can come down and run 40, 50, 60 laps, and it doesn't seem like the sun affects it that much," said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's longtime crew chief. "We just come down to put new parts on the car, run them, trying to get some driver feedback and some data. You look for a place that doesn't change a lot with the sun and the temperature. We've got a good short-track tire that we race at Richmond and with that it seems like it works pretty good on the surface here. We feel like we get decent data back." Logano, who will drive in the ARCA Series race for Billy Venturini this weekend at Rockingham, turned 130 laps on Tuesday, but turned the ride over to Stewart on Wednesday. The 17-year-old Logano has been biding his time until he turns 18 on May 24, so he can make his first of 18 NASCAR Nationwide starts this year May 31 at Dover.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-2-2008)

    • Richmond Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the same exact combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought for Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams to run at Phoenix three weeks ago . . . Nationwide teams also tested this set-up during an open test here in March . . . this is the first time teams have raced on this tire set-up at Richmond . . . in addition to Richmond and Phoenix, other NASCAR tracks at which this exact combination is scheduled to be run are New Hampshire, Milwaukee and Memphis . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. The estimated pit window is every 95-100 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR) See the full report, codes, pressures and more, see my Richmond Race Info page.(5-2-2008)

    • Bobby Labonte Celebrity Golf Classic raises over $100,000: Bobby Labonte and wife Donna hosted the fifth annual Bobby Labonte Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic on Tuesday, April 29 with over 100 participants taking part at the Ballantyne Resort Golf Course. The Golf Classic was preceded the night before by a dinner, silent and live auctions and a concert by country music artist Eric Church at the Ballantyne Resort Lodge. The activities ended with an awards luncheon Tuesday afternoon. All proceeds raised for the Bobby Labonte Foundation during the two days benefitted charities including the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Over $100,000 was raised for the Bobby Labonte Foundation through the tournament and auctions. One of the highlights of the auction included Ms. Lynda Petty, the wife of Richard, who bid on an autographed Brett Favre Jersey. The item was won by Ms. Petty who will place the jersey in the Richard Petty Museum. The Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre have been favorites of the entire Petty family throughout the years.(Breaking Limits PR)(5-2-2008)

    • Kennametal Back Onboard the #40: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced in late March an expansion of its current partnership with Kennametal to include primary sponsorship for multiple NSCS races this 2008 season. Kennametal made its primary sponsorship debut at Martinsville Speedway earlier this year and is going for its second run this weekend at RIR on the #40, to be driven by Ken Schrader. Kennametal, a longtime CGRFS partner, supplies tooling and machining technology to the team's Charlotte and Indianapolis-based racing shops. In addition, Kennametal provides the team's engineers and machinists with a myriad of opportunities to further refine their skills in order to gain optimum performance through Kennametal's internal university program.(CGRFS) See images of the scheme on my #40 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2008)

    • The ONLY practice for the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over, the top-5:
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 123.412
      #8-Martin 122.895
      #9-Kahne 122.733
      #11-Hamlin 122.549
      #19-Sadler 122.249
      slowest: #43-Andretti only 1 lap at 84.874 and #21-Wood 119.607
      most laps run: #8-Martin 91; #2-Busch & #77-Hornish Jr. 82
      Average speed - all laps counted - nascar.com
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 119.863 [fastest lap]
      #70-Sauter 119.633 [32nd]
      #84-Allmendinger 119.607 [26th]
      See speeds, laps run, average speed on my Richmond Practice Speeds page.(5-2-2008)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Richmond
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 12th fastest
      #40-Ken Schrader, 24th
      #22-Dave Blaney, 25th
      #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 26th
      #70-Johnny Sauter, 32nd
      #45-Kyle Petty, 35th
      #33-Scott Wimmer, 39th
      #09-Sterling Marlin, 42nd
      if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 43rd
      #96-J.J. Yeley, 45th
      #21-Jon Wood, 46th
      #34-John Andretti, 47th/last
      See speeds, laps run, average speed on my Richmond Practice Speeds page.(5-2-2008)
    • NASCAR drivers, Virginia officials encourage local teens to stop texting while driving: Nationwide Insurance teamed up with NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer and Landon Cassill, DRIVE SMART Virginia, the Virginia State Police, Henrico County School officials and the Richmond International Raceway to raise awareness among Virginia teens about DWD –Driving While Distracted. To drive home the message that multitasking behind the wheel puts drivers and their fellow motorists at risk, Nationwide hosted an event at Hermitage High School. Students and community members were able to see firsthand the impact text messaging has on their driving abilities while racing in a NASCAR simulator. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted drivers account for nearly four out of five crashes in the U.S. The problem is especially bad for young drivers. In a survey by Nationwide Mutual Insurance of 1,200 drivers, a third of Gen Y-ers admit to always multitasking while driving and 37 percent send text messages while driving. Distractions that take a driver’s eyes off the road even for just seconds put drivers and their passengers at great risk. Nationwide and the National Safety Council developed www.NationwideSmartRide.com, a Website to provide parents and teens free tools and resources to help develop safe drivers and reinforce smart behavior. It is available free to anyone regardless of whether they are a Nationwide customer.(Nationwide PR)(5-2-2008)

    • Jim France Named Recipient of Pocono Raceway's Bill France Award of Excellence: James C. (Jim) France, vice chairman/executive vice president of NASCAR and chairman/CEO of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) has been named the 2008 recipient of Pocono Raceway's Bill France Award of Excellence. The Pocono Raceway Bill France Award of Excellence has been presented annually to the person, corporation or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the sport of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing. This prestigious award, first presented in 1977, is dedicated to the inspiration of William H.G. France, founder of NASCAR. Jim France is the son the late William H.G. ("Big Bill") France and, brother of former president and chairman/CEO of NASCAR, the late William C. ("Bill Jr.") France. He grew up in the early years of stock car racing, living and learning every aspect of the sport from his own experiences, and from his father and brother. Jim joined ISC in 1959 working in all phases of operations. He was elected to the ISC board in 1970 and has served as the company's secretary, assistant treasurer, vice president, chief operating officer and executive vice president before being named the company's president and chief operating officer in 1987.He was also named to the NASCAR Board of Directors in November 2000. The Pocono Raceway Bill France Award of Excellence, a beautifully sculptured and highly polished piece of anthracite coal mined in Pennsylvania, will be presented to Jim France at an award ceremony on Saturday, June 7, 2008. This ceremony is part of the festivities leading up to the June 8, 2008 Pocono 500 Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway.(Pocono Raceway), Jim France joins the prestigious list of Pocono Raceway's Bill France Award of Excellence winners listed on my Awards page.(5-2-2008)


      News from May 1, 2008

    • Final Talladega TV Ratings up: NASCAR on Fox got back on track last weekend with a strong 5.7/13 (9.0 million viewers) for Sprint Cup racing from Talladega. That's a +6% gain over last year's 5.4/14 and it marks the first time in a month that a FOX NASCAR race has enjoyed year-to-year ratings growth (only one race in the last month was actually down, two others were flat year-to-year). Sunday's 5.7/13 also made the Talladega race the weekend's highest-rated sports programming. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is now averaging a 6.3/13 (10.5 mill.), a +3% gain over last year's 6.1/13 (10.2 mill.). Sunday's Talladega coverage kicked off with an expanded pre-race show that posted a 3.0/8 (4.5 mill.) from 1pm until the 2:22pm/et green flag. The expanded pre-race show earned the same rating as last year's 53 minute pre-race show.(FoxPR), see more about the TV Ratings on my 2008 TV Ratings page.(5-1-2008) Comment here

    • Marlin in the #40 at Darlington: Sterling Marlin will rejoin Chip Ganassi Racing as a temporary replacement for injured #40-Dario Franchitti at the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Darlington. Marlin said he also will be a standby for Franchitti for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte [Lowe's Motor Speedway, Coke 600]. Veteran driver Ken Schrader has been signed to replace Franchitti for Saturday’s Cup race [at Richmond]. Marlin already was scheduled to drive for #09 Phoenix Racing at Richmond. Marlin said he will test at Charlotte for Ganassi on Monday and Tuesday. He will not participate in the Sprint Cup All-Star race on May 17 in Charlotte. His daughter — a senior at Columbia Academy — is graduating from high school that weekend.(Tennessean)(5-1-2008) Comment here

    • Lauren Wallace..."I'm a hundred miles away, son, ready to strike": I get asked about 'Lauren Wallace' [no, it is NOT Warren, see geico.com or geicogarage.com], often, saw this article and figured I'd post it for folks to check out: The toughest, coolest, most ruthlessly ambitious driver in motorsports was born in Richmond, resides in Chicago, doesn't have a driver's license and is more familiar with the nuances of Hamlet than those of Denny Hamlin. Meet Lauren Wallace, the fictitious pre-adolescent pepperpot whose quest to replace distant cousin Mike Wallace behind the wheel of the No.7 GEICO Racing Camry is the premise for a series of popular and wickedly funny television commercials created for GEICO by the Richmond-based Martin Agency. Many believe Lauren to be a flesh-and-blood prodigy who one day will shove opponents out of his way on the high banks at Daytona. That perception is a tribute to the work of Eddie Heffernan, a 14-year-old actor who has breathed honest-to-goodness life into Lauren's voice, mannerisms and ill-concealed contempt for his adult cousin. "As an actor, I can sort of relate to [Lauren the driver]," said Heffernan, who will not appear at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. "I'm probably not as cocky as Lauren is, but I understand his passion. Believe me, when I need to be, I can be pretty competitive." Nor is that the only similarity. Lauren is a take-no-prisoners go-kart driver. Heffernan, a freshman at a Chicago-area public high school, says laps at a go-kart track near Nags Head, N.C., have long been personal highlights of his family's vacation trips to the Outer Banks. "Every Christmas, I used to ask my parents for a go-kart," he said. "One year, I actually got one. I drove it until it broke down." See full story at the Richmond Times Dispatch.(5-1-2008) Comment here

    • Hamlin Announces Foundation at Richmond: #11-Denny Hamlin will launch his new charitable foundation with the running of the Denny Hamlin 175 at Southside Speedway, the track where he cut his teeth in Late Model racing, in Midlothian, Va. on Thursday, May 1. The Denny Hamlin Foundation will focus primarily on raising awareness and funding for the specific needs of individuals afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis and will donate all proceeds from the charity event to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). Moving forward, in addition to CFF, the foundation also will support chronically ill children with other debilitating illnesses.(PR)(5-1-2008)

    • Charter colors for Robby at RIR: Robby Gordon will race the #7 Charter Communications Dodge this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.(RGM), see image of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2008)

    • ESPN on ABC Talladega TV Ratings Score Big Jump from 2007: ESPN on ABC's live telecast of Saturday's Aarons 312 Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway scored big increases in ratings and household impressions over last year's race, continuing an upward trend to series TV numbers in 2008. The race earned a 2.6 rating and 2,962,000 household impressions, increases of 28 and 29%, respectively, over the same categories for last year's ABC telecast (2.1; 2,291,000). The event also earned the largest numbers for a Nationwide Series race on the ESPN networks since live NASCAR racing returned to ESPN in 2007, eclipsing the previous high of 2.4/2,699,000 for the March, 2007, event from Las Vegas that aired on ABC. The Talladega telecast also earned large increases across the board in important demographic categories, increasing 67% in Males 18-34, 50% in males 55 and older and 44% in persons 55 and older. Cable ratings for the series have also increased in 2008. The average rating for the five Nationwide Series events that have aired on ESPN2 is 1.9, a 10% increase over the 1.7 from this point last season. ESPN2 numbers do not include the rain-delayed event from California Speedway in February that was run on a Monday. ESPN's multi-platform approach to NASCAR coverage is also showing increases in areas other than television. ESPN.com's motorsports section has grown 32% in visits during 2008, and ESPN's Fantasy Racing was up 43% in visits and 15% in page views during the Talladega weekend as compared to the same weekend last year. ESPN-owned Jayski.com was up 16% in visits during Talladega weekend.(ESPN PR)(5-1-2008)

    • Steak-umm debut at Richmond: #01-Regan Smith and his team will be unveiling a new sponsor at Richmond -- Steak-umm, the best known sandwich steak brand in the country. The company is using a special Steak-umm paint scheme on the #01 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet to promote their burgers.(DEI), see image of the scheme on my #01 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2008)

    • Kenseth Back in Black: For the second time in 2008, Matt Kenseth’s #17 Ford will be painted black with the DEWALT NANO Technology paint scheme. Kenseth will also sport these colors at Darlington, the All-Star race, Bristol and the second Richmond race in 2008. The #17 crew will be unloading car RK-574 this weekend at Richmond, a brand new car.(Roush Racing), see images of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2008)

    • Richmond Rookie Notes: #01-Regan Smith was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the April 27 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Smith scored a 21st-place finish and captured top rookie honors for the fourth time in nine races this season. He also led the race once for one lap and was the only Raybestos Rookie to lead at Talladega. Smith and #77-Sam Hornish Jr. share the lead in the Raybestos Rookie standings (86-86) entering the May 3 Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Since 1975, Brian Vickers (2004) and Morgan Shepherd (1981) are the only Raybestos Rookies to win a pole for the spring race at Richmond. Since 1975, only one Raybestos Rookie has won the spring race at Richmond: Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2000. Earnhardt Jr. led the race just once covering the final 31 laps and officially scored his second career win by .159 seconds over Terry Labonte. Only once since 1975 have TWO or more Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10 in the Crown Royal 400. In 1979, Joe Millikan finished sixth followed by Terry Labonte, who claimed an eighth place finish.(Raybestos/Camp & Assoc), see standings, history and more on my 2008 Rookies Page.(5-1-2008)

    • Bahre Makes Large Donation To Loudon: Bob Bahre has sold his NASCAR racetrack in Loudon, but he's not forgetting the track's neighbors. Without fanfare, Bahre gave Loudon selectmen $450,000 this month and asked them to split it between a half dozen churches, the town library and students struggling to afford college. He said he didn't want them to make a big deal about where the money came from. Bahre helped many community organizations in the 20 years he ran the New Hampshire International Speedway before selling it last fall for $340 million. Library trustees and church elders are considering how to spend the money, and Merrimack Valley High School predicts the gift will help up to 15 of their students attend college in the fall.(wmur.com)(5-1-2008)

    • Nationwide TV Coverage Change: Friday night's ESPN production of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Richmond International Raceway has been moved to ESPN Classic and also will be simulcast on ESPN360.com and SPEED. The telecast begins at 7pm/et with NASCAR Countdown. The change was made to accommodate NBA playoff game six between Washington and Cleveland. Additionally, for fans without ESPN Classic, a special encore presentation of the race from start to finish will air that evening following the NBA game beginning at approximately 9:30pm on ESPN2.(ESPN)(5-1-2008) Comment here

    • Race Fever 2008 Raises over $171,000 thanks to Drivers and Fans: More than 1,300 race fans, from 30 states and Canada, helped raise over $171,000 to benefit the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) Foundation at the 23rd Annual Race Fever. Race Fever was held Friday evening, April 25, in the Speed Channel Dome at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. The event was hosted by racing legend Darrell Waltrip, former Auburn basketball coach Sonny Smith, and media personality Mike "The Bagman" Bagley. A total of 16 Sprint Cup and Nationwide drivers made appearances at Race Fever-many repeat attendees including Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte, Kurt Busch, David Ragan, Joe Nemechek, Marcos Ambrose, A.J. Allmendinger, Brian Vickers, Paul Menard, Kevin Lepage, Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland, Scott Wimmer, Kelly Bires, Brad Coleman and Cale Gale. Race Fever is the largest source of unrestricted funds for the AIDB Foundation, the private fundraising arm of AIDB. Through five campuses in Talladega and nine regional centers throughout Alabama, AIDB serves more than 13,500 children and adults who are deaf, blind and multidisabled each year.(PR)(5-1-2008)

    • MWR Adds Chief Marketing Officer to Executive Staff: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) expanded the depth of its executive staff today, announcing the hiring of Terry Bassett as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer as part of the young company's organizational growth. Bassett, with over 20 years of sports marketing experience, will oversee the sales, marketing, media relations, licensing and sponsor service divisions for MWR, entering its 15th month competing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup level. Bassett comes to MWR after a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins and previously worked for International Speedway Corp and Penske Motorsports, Inc. Several executive additions have solidified MWR since company founder Michael Waltrip formed an equal ownership partnership with Rob Kauffman in October of 2007. Calvin Wells III serves as the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, with Larry Johns serving as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Eric Warren as Vice President and Technical Director and Ty Norris as Vice President and General Manager.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(5-1-2008)

    • Dale Jr. to interview Danica on radio: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to interview popular Indy Racing League driver Danica Patrick this week during his XM radio show, "Dale Jr. Unrestricted." The interview with Patrick, who won the Indy Japan 300 in April, will air nationwide on the XM Sports Nation Channel 144 this Thursday at 7:30pm. Encore broadcasts will air at 10:30pm on Thursday and 1:30pm and 6:30pm on Saturday.(5-1-2008)


      News from April 30, 2008

    • Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer...on the #43 IMAGES added: This weekend at Richmond, the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge of Bobby Labonte will sport a special paint scheme to promote the new movie, Speed Racer, which opens across the country May 9. The paint scheme is reflective of Speed Racer’s Mach 5, the car driven by the character in both the classic 1960s animated series and the new live action family film. Labonte: "I appreciate NASCAR allowing us to have a little extra 'speed' this weekend. It's really cool to have the new Speed Racer movie on the side of the #43 Dodge for Richmond. Any young boy that grew up in the '70s watched Speed Racer. I know I did. To a kid that dreamed of growing up to be a racecar driver, that was the coolest show on television. They haven't given me a sneak preview yet, but I'm sure I'll check it out in the theaters."(Petty Racing/MCG Sports), add some cool images of the scheme to my Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • Kvapil gets sponsor for Richmond: Yates Racing announced that Discount Tire, America's largest independent tire retailer, will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for this weekend's Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, May 3rd. "This has been such a tremendous week for our #28 team," stated Kvapil. "We just left Talladega with our best finish of the season so far, and now we have Discount Tire as our sponsor for Richmond this weekend. There's a lot of momentum right now at Yates Racing, and thanks to all the wonderful sponsors we've enjoyed partnerships with already this year, we're very grateful that companies recognize our increased performance both on and off the track. Discount Tire is a fantastic company and I am proud that they chose to partner with our #28 team at Richmond." Saturday night's race will mark the first time Discount Tire has been a primary sponsor in Sprint Cup Series. Discount Tire has been a sponsor in the Nationwide Series since 2004. Discount Tire provides sales of tires, wheels and related accessories and services through mail order, Internet and retail stores. They currently operate more than 650 stores across the country.(Yates Racing)(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • No #21 driver named yet for RIR UPDATE Jon Wood in: The Wood Brothers have not announced who will drive for its [#21 Ford] car this week at Richmond, but Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive for the team at Darlington Raceway the following weekend.(Roanoke Times), Schrader?(4-28-2008)
      UPDATE: Jon Wood will drive the #21 Air Force Ford Fusion at this weekend’s Sprint Cup event at the Richmond International Raceway. The 26 year old driver will be attempting to qualify for his second start of the 2008 season, after qualifying 12th at Talladega Superspeedway last week.(Wood Brothers Racing)(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • BB&T colors return on the #07: After showcasing a DIRECTV paint scheme the last two races, Clint Bowyer's #07 Chevy will be wrapped in burgundy and gold BB&T colors this weekend in Richmond. Jack Daniel's, Bowyer's mainstay primary sponsor, will be featured on the car's lower-rear quarter panels and deck lid. BB&T is the primary sponsor of Bowyer's #2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in the Nationwide Series and also sponsored the #07 at Martinsville in March.(RCR), see images of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(4-30-2008)

    • Stewart/Yocum to help Shephard at Richmond: Morgan Shepherd’s Faith Motorsports Dodge will hopefully be making a lot more trips around the Richmond International Raceway this weekend, thanks to the generosity of two of the veteran driver's modern-day heroes. Two-time Sprint Cup Champion #20-Tony Stewart and broadcaster Matt Yocum will provide tire sponsorship to the #89 team this weekend in an effort to help Shepherd build on last week's 13th place run at Talladega. Shepherd was a surprise call-in guest to the Tony Stewart Live radio show on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio on Monday evening, and before the conversation between Shepherd and the two hosts was over the duo had come aboard as tire sponsors for Friday night's Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond. “You say you need some tires for this weekend,” Yocum said during the interview. “How about if Smoke and I each buy you a set of tires.” Stewart and Yocum said they would each set Shepherd up with a set of tires for this weekend’s 250-lap event at the .75-mile track at the Virginia State Fairgrounds. Stewart followed up by saying he would provide as many tires as Shepherd might need this weekend. Stewart went on to talk about how many modern-day fans of NASCAR don’t appreciate the personal dedication that Shepherd and many other racers from his era put into the sport. “I know how much you put into it personally and I can appreciate it,” Stewart said. “We’ll make sure you have plenty of tires for this weekend.”(PR)(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • Dale Earnhardt honored at Dale Earnhardt Day: The Hershey Company honored the life and career of racing legend Dale Earnhardt with the unveiling of a replica of a large fan photo mosaic during the Dale Earnhardt Day celebration in Mooresville, N.C. on Tuesday. Bearing Earnhardt's likeness, the 6-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide mosaic is comprised of approximately 1,400 photos from fans across the country, including actress Carmen Electra, racing team owner Richard Childress and drivers Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr. The mosaic, previewed to fans, will serve as a permanent tribute to "The Intimidator" at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) headquarters in Mooresville when completed later this year. In recognition of Earnhardt's impact on the racing world, Hershey is paying tribute to Dale Earnhardt by producing a series of Collector Edition Dale Earnhardt Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bars and Kit Kat Wafer Bars. The specially moulded bars feature a distinctive on-bar design, including Earnhardt?s signature and stylized #3. The Collector Edition bars will be available at select retail outlets nationwide while supplies last. Hershey is also encouraging fans to honor the racing legend by inviting them to visit www.hersheys.com/dale to upload a photo for inclusion in the permanent mosaic and to make a donation to The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Fans can still upload their photos and tribute messages through June 3 for inclusion in the final mosaic.(PR)(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • Kvapil gets sponsor for Darlington: Fayetteville’s [NC] Lafayette Ford will sponsor driver #28-Travis Kvapil in the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. Lafayette Ford and the #28 car have a vaunted history. Fred Lorenzen, NASCAR’s “Golden Boy” of the 1960s, scored virtually all of his wins with sponsorship from the dealership while driving for the Holman-Moody team. In 1964, he won five consecutive starts, with the last being the Rebel 300 at Darlington.(Fayetteville Observer)
      AND: Yates Racing announced that LaFayette Ford, who sponsored the #28 with driver Fred Lorenzen from 1962-1967, will again sponsor the #28 entry but this time with driver Travis Kvapil for the Sprint Cup series race at Darlington Raceway on May 10th. Kvapil's #28 will sport a paint scheme reminiscent to that of Fred Lorenzen's during the 60's when LaFayette Ford sponsored Lorenzen's #28 machine. The Darlington 500 will mark the first time LaFayette Ford has served as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series since the dealership was associated with Lorenzen. LaFayette Ford is proud to be Fayetteville, North Carolina's only family-owned and operated Ford dealer. They have been serving the Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, and surrounding areas since 1949.(Yates Racing)(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • PRN-MRN dispute over New Hampshire continues: With fewer than two months before Sprint Cup cars take to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval, there is no resolution on the question of which radio network will broadcast the events. The dispute between Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network for the radio rights for New Hampshire races will remain in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire for the time being. Both sides had filed lawsuits over the rights, which stem from the sale of the track from the Bahre family to Speedway Motorsports Inc. earlier this year. The track has a contract with MRN, which is owned by International Speedway Corp, a track-operating rival of Speedway Motorsports. Speedway Motorsports owns PRN and wants PRN to broadcast its events. PRN filed suit in New Hampshire a day before MRN sued PRN in Florida in March. PRN claims the contract is unenforceable. An injunction hearing was scheduled for today in Florida state court, but it has been postponed because the New Hampshire case was filed first. MRN has now asked for the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire to issue an injunction to allow it to broadcast the events this year. No hearing date has been set. The NASCAR race weekends are June 27-29 and Sept. 12-14. MRN’s contract with NHIS requires it to give the track 25 percent of all advertising revenues. That has resulted in revenues of more than $750,000 for the track in the last seven years, according to court records. That would mean that MRN has taken in approximately $3 million in advertising revenue for New Hampshire events the last seven years, averaging approximately $429,000 a year.(SceneDaily)(4-30-2008) Comment here

    • ESPN Wins Seven Sports Emmy Awards AND Fox: ESPN won seven Sports Emmy Awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences last night in New York, including ESPN.com taking all three of the “New Approaches” categories for online and broadband entries. “The Sports Emmys we received reflect the rich diversity of offerings across ESPN and our ability to not only cover and report on sports, but to inform, entertain and inspire, both on television and online,” said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN and ABC Sports. ESPN.com was honored for “Ray of Hope” (Long Form), Fantasy Football Now (Coverage) and “Death Race 2007” (General Interest). NASCAR returned to ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 last year, and the three networks shared the Emmy for Technical Team Remote. ESPN won 17 Sports Emmys for its NASCAR coverage in the 1990s. Also, College GameDay was cited in the Studio Show Weekly category, Sunday NFL Countdown’s “Fear” took top honors among Short Features and Ali’s 65 won in Editing. ESPN has now won 14 Sports Emmys in the Feature category, including seven in the last six years. Overall, ABC has now won 160 Sports Emmy Awards since they were first given in 1980, while ESPN has won 123 in 21 years of eligibility.(ESPN)(4-29-2008)
      AND FOX Sports led all broadcast networks with five Sports Emmy Awards, including two major honors for outstanding sports series and sports special. The winners were announced last night [4/28] during the 29th Annual Sports Emmy Awards by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at ceremonies held in New York. NASCAR on FOX won two statuettes, one for Outstanding Live Sports Series and one for Outstanding Technical Team Remote. In its seven seasons of coverage, NASCAR on FOX has been recognized for Outstanding Sports Series three times and this year’s recognition brings the series Emmy total to 12. Since its inception in 1994, FOX Sports’ has won 76 Emmy Awards.(Fox PR)(4-30-2008)


      News from April 29, 2008

    • Marlin back in the #40 at Darlington? Schrader at Richmond UPDATE 2: Sterling Marlin may drive again for Chip Ganassi Racing as a substitute for the injured Dario Franchitti in the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Darlington. Marlin drove eight seasons for Ganassi in the #40 Dodge before being replaced prior to the 2006 season. Marlin said nothing had been made official. “They’ve mentioned Darlington,” Marlin said. “I told them it’s whatever they want to do.” Marlin is committed to driving for Phoenix Racing in Richmond in Saturday night’s Cup race. He said his remaining schedule with the race team is not set. He signed a 10-race deal with Phoenix Racing prior to the season. Marlin finished 22nd in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 — the first Cup race he qualified for this season. Marlin also is scheduled to compete in six Late Model races at Music City Motorplex beginning on May 10, but he said a Cup ride would take priority. Franchitti broke his left ankle in a crash on the 11th lap of Saturday’s Nationwide race at Talladega. It has not been determined how many races Franchitti will miss.(Tennessean), the #09 is not listed on the Richmond entry list...yet. Other drivers I have heard under consider for the #40 ride at Richmond include Ricky Rudd, Tony Raines, Mike Bliss, Dennis Setzer and Ken Schrader. Hearing Franchitti is having a carbon fiber cast put on Tuesday and the plan is for him to be back at Charlotte [All Star race May 17th].(4-29-2008)
      UPDATE: hearing that Ken Schrader will driver the #40 Dodge at Richmond, subbing for the injured Dario Franchitti.(4-29-2008)
      UPDATE 2: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Dario Franchitti was re-evaluated this week by his doctors and will sit out this weekend's Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will drive the #40 Kennametal Dodge on Saturday for the 400-lap event. Franchitti was seen by Dr. Terry Trammel and Dr. Kevin Scheid in Indianapolis, Ind. on Monday. The doctors confirmed the slight fracture in Franchitti's left ankle. Franchitti will be fitted for a carbon fiber brace later this week. His status behind the wheel of the #40 Dodge will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. Schrader is confirmed to race for CGRFS in Richmond only. Franchitti will also be in Richmond with the #40 team.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates).(4-29-2008) Comment here

    • Wimmer to run 4th RCR car ar Richmond: Scott Wimmer will attempt to qualify for his first Cup Series race of the season this weekend at RIR driving the #33 Camping World Impala SS, giving RCR four entries in the Crown Royal 400. Wimmer was behind the wheel of the #33 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2006 (St. 24 Fn. 12) and most recently at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (St. 21, Fn. 31) in July 2007.(RCR)(4-29-2008) Comment here

    • Randy Moss starting truck team? UPDATE: During the prerace report on SPEED at Kansas Speedway, Rick Allen reported that New England Patriot wide-receiver Randy Moss is starting a new truck team with plans to race toward the end of the year. A formal announcement is expected some time next week.(4-27-2008)
      UPDATE NFL All-Pro Randy Moss Forms NASCAR Program: New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss announced the formation of Moss Motorsports, LLC with its intended participation to begin in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Moss anticipates that the team will debut at some point in the second half of the 2008 season and run selected races through the conclusion of the year. The partial schedule is a prelude to a full-time campaign in 2009. Sponsors and manufacturer alignments will be announced at a later date. "We don't have all of the details in place just yet, but I am very excited about Moss Motorsports becoming a part of NASCAR," Moss said. "I am by nature a very competitive person and this is an outlet for me to compete at another level. There are some pretty awesome challenges in building a program like this from the ground up, but I am looking forward to it. That's just another aspect of the competition - you want to find the best people available and you're competing with all the other teams out there. We're starting to look at who the best people are and working on getting them to be a part of our team." Moss is a ten year veteran in the National Football League and was a first-round draft pick in the 1998 draft out of Marshall University. He has been a NASCAR fan for several years including sponsorship of a local dirt track program and recently made the decision to get involved with the ownership of a NASCAR team. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the Urban Youth Racing School and furthers his youth advocacy while holding the same honor with American Youth Football. A major component of the Moss Motorsports program will be the continued involvement and support of youth programs. "There are a lot of NASCAR fans in the locker room," Moss said. "We've seen a lot of football players get involved - guys like Dan Marino and Troy Aikman to name a couple. I think it's a good fit and gives some of the companies I am already working with an additional outlet. It's a smart move on the marketing side of things but on the personal side of things I think it's going to be a lot of fun."
      Moss has kick started his efforts by contracting with Integrity Sports Marketing, LLC - a leading motorsports marketing company in NASCAR. "We know it takes time to build a team from the ground up, and we have some good people working with us to get that process started," Moss said. "We are talking to the manufacturers, and we're already evaluating some drivers. Eventually I'd like to be able to have our team work with some of the young guys that are working hard to make it up the ladder, but right now it might make more sense to find a driver with a lot of experience to get us started. But we really don't have anyone in mind. We'll look at who is available and find someone that can help us compete and win as quickly as we can." Moss believes Moss Motorsports will give his current marketing partners another avenue to gain exposure and will open doors for new companies that want to work with him. "The companies I already work with now have a chance to get some exposure to another group of dedicated sports fans," Moss said. "And we'll have an opportunity to build some relationships with an entirely new group of companies as well. We'll have a chance to do some pretty cool things between the football side and the racing side. That's a part of the equation that most of the other teams don't have, so we already have a competitive advantage over them. Once we get everything in place we look forward to competing on the race track too."(Moss Motorsports/Integrity Sports Marketing), no drivers or sponsors have been named or announced.(4-29-2008) Comment here

    • Elledge named the Wypall Wipers’ “Crew Chief of the Race” in Talladega: Jimmy Elledge, in his first race as crew chief of the #42 Juicyfruit Gum/Wrigley Dodge Charger driven by Juan Pablo Montoya, has been named Wypall Wipers’ “Crew Chief of the Race” in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. In an effort to improve the team’s performance this season, Chip Ganassi, owner of the #42 team, assigned Elledge to assume crew chief duties for Montoya beginning in Talladega. After starting 26th and even falling as far back as 32nd, Elledge and his team still managed to finish second, earning Montoya his first top-10 finish in 2008. Elledge and Montoya showed instant chemistry it takes to produce impressive results after only one race together in the Sprint Cup series. The 2008 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge is a season-long contest that will determine the best crew chiefs in the Sprint Cup garage. Following each Cup race, a panel will vote to determine which crew chief demonstrated the most outstanding strategy and leadership during the race. It isn’t necessarily the crew chief that goes to Victory Lane, but the crew chief that makes the biggest difference for his team. Representatives from Wypall Wipers, together with FOX/SPEED television analyst Jeff Hammond, and three of NASCAR’s top crew chiefs who represent Wypall, including Todd Berrier of Richard Childress Racing’s #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy team, Bob Osborne of Roush Fenway Racing’s #99 Office Depot Ford team, and Kenny Francis of Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ #9 Budweiser Dodge team, make up the panel of judges. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly top wins will be honored as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead, Fla. The Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge will continue throughout the remainder of the 2008 season and spotlight the men behind the machines. For more information, log onto www.Wypall.com.(4-29-2008)

    • Edwards gets his crew chief back: This weekend’s race at Richmond marks the return to the racetrack for Bob Osborne, crew chief of the #99 Office Depot team. Following a rule infraction at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 2, Osborne was placed on a six-week suspension from NASCAR. In the time that Osborne was away from the track, interim co-crew chiefs Chris Andrews and Robbie Reiser accumulated one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Had it not been for an engine failure in Atlanta, the win total may have been two. Edwards was leading the race when he was forced to retire from the event early.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-29-2008) Comment here

    • Talladega's overnight TV ratings up from 2007: Fox's broadcast of Sunday's Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway earned a 5.2 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating and an 11 share in the nation's largest television markets, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 2% higher than the 5.1 Fox earned overnight for the race in 2007. ABC's broadcast of Saturday's Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race earned a 2.3 overnight rating, the Daily said, up 9.5% from the 2.1 the race earned in 2007.(SceneDaily)(4-29-2008) Comment here

    • Andrews leaves MWR? hearing former crew chief Paul Andrews has parted ways with Michael Waltrip Racing. Andrews had been the crew chief of the #55 NAPA Toyota of Michael Waltrip until March then took on the role as a manager at MWR.(4-29-2008)

    • Harvick Visits Shell Oil Company Off-shore Platform “Brutus”: #29-Kevin Harvick made a unique stop in route to this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway. Harvick visited the Shell off-shore oil and gas production platform, Brutus, on Thursday [April 24th]. Brutus, the largest of five Shell signature deepwater tension lake platforms, is located 160 miles off the shore of New Orleans, Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. The 35,000 ton platform is home to as many as 150 Shell staff members who spend two weeks at a time at the facility. Located in over 3,000 feet of water, the platform is used for the initial processing and transportation of oil and gas to shore. “After today’s visit I have a whole new appreciation for the Gulf of Mexico and "America's Energy Coast (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) and the importance this Region plays to our US Energy Supply”, commented Harvick. During his visit Harvick had the opportunity to meet and greet the staff of Brutus and joined them for lunch in the galley. A comprehensive tour of the facility followed before heading back to New Orleans. “I was impressed with the focus and attention to safety that is part of the Shell culture”, continued Harvick. “The staff has great pride in their facility and what they do. These are very focused employees that use extremely advanced technology to get energy out of the ground and deliver it to people across the country every day. ” Harvick was joined by Shell executives along with local radio sports talk show host, Bobby Hebert, former NFL/Saints QB.(PR)(4-29-2008)

    • The Wrigley Company Agrees to Merger with Mars: The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company announced that it had reached an agreement to merge with Mars, Incorporated, one of the world's leading confectionery and consumer goods companies. As a result of this transaction, Wrigley will become a private company and part of one of the world's premier family-owned companies. The combined organization will have a product portfolio containing some of the world's most recognizable and well-loved confectionery brands -- including Orbit, Extra, Doublemint, M&M's, Snickers and Mars -- as well as leading food, beverage and pet care brands, totaling over $27 billion in global sales. Mars, Incorporated, will acquire 100% of Wrigley's outstanding shares and all of its outstanding options will be cashed out. The Wrigley Company will operate as a separate, stand-alone subsidiary, keeping its headquarters in Chicago and continuing its civic and philanthropic involvement, both locally and in its communities around the world. Additionally, Bill Wrigley, Jr. will continue serving as the Company's Executive Chairman. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including stockholder approval and certain governmental regulatory clearances. Both parties are committed to working to close the transaction as soon as possible, with the merger expected to be completed within six to twelve months.(MSN Money Central), NO WORD how or if this merger will effect M&M's sponsorship of the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch and the #42 Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya.(4-29-2008) Comment here

    • 7th Annual Dale Earnhardt Day Set for Tuesday, April 29 TODAY: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will host the seventh annual Dale Earnhardt Day at its corporate headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. on Tuesday, April 29th. The event, which celebrates the birth date of the seven-time NASCAR Champion, also serves as a major benefit for the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, with a percentage of the event's merchandise sales being donated to the Foundation. The event, which is themed "Behind the Legend, He was One of Us," will run from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and will feature a variety of activities and displays for the entire family. Personal photos, mementoes and trophies highlighting Dale's personal & professional life through the decades of the '70s, '80s and '90s, will be on hand at the event.(DEI) more info on my Racing Charities page.(4-17-2008)
      ESPN's "NASCAR Now" To Broadcast Live from Dale Earnhardt Day: ESPN's "NASCAR Now" will broadcast a special one-hour show live from Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Tuesday, April 29 from 6-7pm/et. The show will highlight Tuesday's annual Dale Earnhardt Day event that honors the birthday of the seven-time NASCAR Champion and serves as a major benefit for the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. The show will be on hand for the event, which runs from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and will feature a variety of activities and displays for the entire family, and will originate live from the location at 6 p.m. There will be an official ceremony at 3 p.m. with ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch serving as the event's official emcee. In addition, Dale Earnhardt Inc drivers will be on hand to sign autographs at different times during the event. In addition to ESPN, Tanner in the Morning of Charlotte, N.C.'s WSOC-FM 103.7 will host a live radio broadcast from 6-10 a.m., Sirius Satellite Radio will be on hand in the afternoon and Primetime with the Packman from Charlotte's WFNZ-AM 610 will broadcast live from the event from 3-7 p.m.(DEI) Comment here

    • Richard and Kyle Petty Make 'Pit Stop' to Meet Paralyzed Veterans at Richmond VA Hospital: Richard and Kyle Petty, in advance of the Crown Royal Presents Dan Lowry 400, May 3 at the Richmond International Raceway, will drop by to meet paralyzed veterans at Richmond's Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center on May 1, 2008. The legendary duo will visit with seriously wounded troops and meet leaders and members of Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) Virginia Mid-Atlantic Chapter. The Pettys are longtime supporters of Paralyzed Veterans' work to ensure that those who have served and sacrificed have everything they need to thrive. Petty Enterprises recently donated the primary sponsorship of their No. 45 Dodge at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway to Paralyzed Veterans. Petty Enterprises announced in November 2007 that Paralyzed Veterans will serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Dodge Avenger for two races during the 2008 Sprint Cup season. The events will be the Crown Royal Presents Dan Lowry 400, May 3 at the Richmond International Raceway and the Pocono 500, June 8 at the Pocono Raceway. The organization will be an associate sponsor on the #45 Dodge for the remaining 34 races of the season. For more information, visit www.pva.org/petty.(Petty Racing), see images of the scheme on my #45 Team Schemes page.(4-29-2008) Comment here


      News from April 28, 2008

    • DEI picks up option on Truex, good thru 2009: When there’s been talk about potential free agents for 2009, #1-Martin Truex, Jr. has had his name passed around in more than one story or conversation. There’s one hitch. His current deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc is good through next season according to team president Max Siegel. “We have an option that we’ve picked up for 2009, so that’s always reported in a confusing way. We love Martin and we’re having discussions about extending it for a long-term deal, but we’re good through 2009. He’s important to our organization…we’re giving him everything we possibly can and what he needs to win and be happy here long term.” Siegel also thinks the on track performance of all four DEI cars is on the upswing. “I think we’re making significant progress. The #15 team’s performance on a weekly basis is indicative of how we’ve elevated the program. We’ve got to stay very patient and focused. If you look at the #1 team and the #8…we’re doing great…got some consistency with our engines and the energy is just fantastic.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-28-2008) Comment here

    • More testing at Nashville this week: Arriving just days after Talladega, big name teams will be at the Nashville Superspeedway for two days of testing, Tuesday, April 29 and Wednesday, April 30. Scheduled to test are Hendrick Motorsports (Chevy) with four cars, drivers TBD; #22-Dave Blaney of Bill Davis Racing (Toyota); #01-Reagan Smith of Dale Earnhardt Inc (Chevy); Haas CNC Racing (Chevy) one car driver TBD; #96-Hall of Fame Racing (Toyota) driver TBD; Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) with one car, driver TBD; and David Stremme testing for Penske Racing (Dodge).(Nashville Superspeedway)(4-28-2008) Comment here

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Aaron's 499
      Total number of commercials: 135
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 75
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:31 PM
      Total minutes: 211
      Minutes of race broadcast: 154
      Minutes of commercials: 57
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      'Mystery Debris' cautions: 0
      Total race brdcst time 154 Total comm. brdcst time 57
      See full post and commercial stats at CawsnJaws.com.(4-28-2008) Comment here

    • Eight drivers each led their first laps in '08 in Paul Menard, Ken Schrader, Juan Pablo Montoya, Regan Smith, David Stremme, David Gilliland, A.J. Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler.(ESPN Research)(4-28-2008)

    • Restrictor Plate Competition Up…Again: The new car matched – and exceeded – the boom in competition from the last visit to a restrictor plate track (February’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway). There were 52 lead changes among 20 drivers during Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. The Daytona 500 saw similar numbers – 42 lead changes among 16 drivers. Sunday’s 20 different leaders is tied for eighth all-time in Sprint Cup Series competition. The 52 lead changes topped both Talladega races from last season. In the 2007 spring race, there were 42 lead changes; in the fall contest, there were 41. There was also a jump in Green Flag Passes for the Lead, a Loop Data statistic that accounts for lead changes all around the track (not only at the start/finish line). Sunday’s race saw 84 Green Flag Passes for the Lead, compared to 67 during the last race held at Talladega.(NASCAR)(4-28-2008) Comment here

    • Roush-Yates Engines to Support USAC Series: Roush-Yates Engines will be the new sole authorized engine rebuilder for the USAC Ford Focus Midget Series. Instituting Roush-Yates Racing Engines as the authorized rebuilder for the Ford engines powering the series reinforces Ford Racing's commitment to the series and to providing competitors world-class quality and service. "When we approached Doug Yates and his team at Roush-Yates Racing Engines with this opportunity they jumped at the chance to get involved," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. "It was an easy decision for us - they are the best in the business and have the resources to provide the best possible product to the series, and together, this puts us in a great position to manage the growth of the series."
      "This will give us a tremendous opportunity to expand as well as further our involvement in racing," said Jon Giles, general manager of special projects for Roush-Yates Engines. "It puts us a step closer to becoming the complete source for Ford Racing engines." Roush-Yates Engines has been working hard to understand the needs of the USAC Focus Midget Series competitors and will first focus on ensuring the engine rebuild service is available to competitors. Rebuilds on the 2.0L Ford ZETEC engines used in the series will consist of a long block swap during the first phase of the program and cost $3995.00. Roush-Yates Engines currently develops and builds Ford Racing engines for NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck competition. In addition, it is now developing and building the powerplants for Ford entries in the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype and KONI Challenge sports car series.(Ford Racing)(4-28-2008)



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