News/Rumors
   MAIN PAGE
   Cup Series
   Nationwide Series
   Truck Series
   Search the Site
   Advertise/Contact



PAST NEWS
PAGES 2008

  • 5/12-5/18
  • 4/28-5/4
  • 4/21-4/27
  • 4/14-4/20
  • 4/7-4/13
  • 3/31-4/6
  • 3/24-3/30
  • 3/17-3/23
  • 3/10-3/16
  • 3/3-3/9
  • 2/25-3-2
  • 2/18-2-24
  • 2/11-2-17
  • 2/4-2-10
  • 1/28-2-3
  • 1/21-1/27
  • 1/14-1/20
  • 1/7-1/13
  • Hall of Fames/Museums
  • NASCAR News
  • Testing News





  • MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
    MAY 5-11, 2008


      News from May 11, 2008

    • Burton still has run every lap: UPDATE: #31-Jeff Burton is the lone Sprint Cup driver who has completed every lap (3,297) of competition this season. Burton also has completed 77.5% of the total laps (2,555 of 3,297) running in the top 15 and leads all drivers with the most runs on the lead lap (3,277 of 3,297).(RCR)(5-8-2008)
      UPDATE: Burton completed all 367 laps at Darlington Saturday night.(5-11-2008) Comment here


      News from May 10, 2008

    • Busch Wins at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2008 and his 7th career win. He dominated the later stages of the race and led 169 laps on the night. #99-Carl Edwards was second, with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Jeff Gordon, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #6-David Ragan, #17-Matt Kenseth, #11-Denny Hamlin, #28-Travis Kvapil, #22-Dave Blaney, and #10-Jeff Burton (who continues his streak of finishing every lap this season). Pole sitter #16-Greg Biffle broke a transmission midway through the race and finished 43rd. There were 8 cautions for 31 laps and 15 leaders with 35 lead changes.
      Darlington Race Results Awards Page.(5-10-2008)

    • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Darlington race 11 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 1690 [3 wins]
      2) #31-Jeff Burton 1611 -79 [1 win]
      3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1556
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin 1500 -190 [1 win]
      5) #07-Clint Bowyer 1490 -200 [1 win]
      6) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1442 -248 [1 win]
      7) #99-Carl Edwards 1400 -290 [would be 4th without 100 pt penalty] [3 wins]
      8) #20-Tony Stewart 1397 -293
      9) #29-Kevin Harvick 1396 -294
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon 1326 -364
      11) #16-Greg Biffle 1308 -382
      12) #6-David Ragan 1266 -424
      other chase contenders
      13) #12-Ryan Newman 1264 -426 [1 win]
      14) #9-Kasey Kahne 1264 -426
      15) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 1230 -460
      16) #42-Juan Montoya 1190 -500
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington page.(5-10-2008)

    • Darlington International Raceay Penalty Report:
      Car #, Reason, Penalty, Lap Issued
      1 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 2
      2 #12 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 64
      3 #20 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 141
      4 #18 Lug nut(s) not installed MCI 141
      5 #66 Lug nut(s) not installed MCI 141
      6 #40 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 142
      7 #10 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 201
      8 #55 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 250
      9 #77 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 278
      10 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 281
      11 #05 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 281
      12 #43 Removing equipment from assigned pit area SG 303
      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)(5-10-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Lowe's:
      one change in the top 35 as Hornish falls out and Blaney jumps in. The points between 35th and 36th is now 18
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      30) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing 878 +72
      31) #44-Reutimann/Waltrip Racing 873 +67
      32) #41-Sorenson/Ganassi Racing 872 +66
      33) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing 851 +45
      34) #01-Smith/Dale Earnhardt Inc 835 +29
      35) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis 824, 18 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing 806 -18 points out of 35th
      37) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing 730 -94
      38) #40-Franchitti/Ganassi Racing 690 -134
      39) #70-Sauter/Haas CNC Racing 679 -145
      40) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing 654 -170
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(5-10-2008)

    • Darlington International Raceway Fast Facts
      .. Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500, his ninth victory in 125 Sprint Cup Series races.
      .. This is his third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2008.
      .. This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in four races at Darlington Raceway.
      .. Busch became the 43rd different race winner at Darlington and at 23 years, eight days – the youngest. He beat Terry Labonte (9/1/1980) by nine months and eight days.
      .. Carl Edwards (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish of 2008 and his fourth in five races at Darlington.
      .. Jeff Gordon (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 2008, tying his season best set at California. It is his 19th top-10 in 28 races at Darlington.
      .. Michael McDowell (28th) was the highest finishing rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-10-2008)

    • John Andretti gets Indy 500 ride: John Andretti will attempt to qualify for his ninth Indianapolis 500 in the #24 Roth Racing car. Andretti, who started 24th and finished 30th last year in a Panther Racing-prepared car in his first Indy 500 since 1994, will replace Jay Howard in the seat for the race. Howard, the 2006 Firestone Indy Lights champion, passed the Rookie Orientation Program earlier in the week and practiced May 6. He has finishes of 22nd, 14th, 13th and 13th in IndyCar Series races this season. "As a result of the days lost due to weather, and losing our chief engineer (David Cripps) days before the start of this month, we found ourselves behind the 8-ball," team president Margaret Roth said. "John brings with him a wealth of experience, which can help us build two competitive cars for the 500. Jay will be back at Milwaukee. He has our full support. He's a great driver."
      "I want to feel it out a little bit, and see what we can do," Andretti said on the way to pit lane for the tail end of practice preceding qualifications for the first 11 spots in the 33-car field. He topped 220 mph on three laps. Team owner-driver Marty Roth will attempt to qualify for his fourth 500-Mile Race in the #25 car. He has a high finish of 24th in 2004.(Roth Racing), Andretti skipped Darlington and Lowe's testing to find an Indy 500 ride and Jeff Green attempted and failed to get the #34 Chevy into the race at Darlington.(5-10-2008) Comment here

    • Labonte supposedly agrees to contract extension with Petty's UPDATE 2: 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)
      UPDATE 2: from an ESPN.com post from #43 crew chief Jeff Meendering: "As for reports that Bobby Labonte has signed with the team, I don't think that anything is set in stone there. They are getting really close on working everything out. But to say anything is set in stone might have been some speculation. When everything started blowing up with that story, the guys on our team never paid any attention to that. We have really good management here that takes care of that and allows us to go to the track and race. I still feel like Bobby will be here next year, but I know they're not totally done with it. I think they're getting close, though."(ESPN.com)(5-10-2008) Comment here

    • Stewart praises Goodyear: Only two months ago, #20-Tony Stewart angrily blasted Goodyear after the Atlanta race, saying the company had given him "the most pathetic racing tire I've ever been on in my professional career." But it was a joyful, smiling Stewart who praised Goodyear for its research and hard work in delivering tires that helped the Joe Gibbs Racing star to his first win Friday night on NASCAR's oldest superspeedway, Darlington Raceway. "I really want to give Goodyear a pat on the back," he said. The company made two trips since March to test tires on Darlington's slick, new surface, repaved at a cost of $7 million for the first time since 1995. The results were absolutely perfect for Stewart. "I'm the first one to tell them when they screw up and I want to be the first one to tell them when they do a good job, too," Stewart said.(ESPN/AP)(5-10-2008) Comment here

    • Problems with #99 rear housing? #24-Jeff Gordon would like NASCAR to look into the way Roush Fenway Racing is adjusting the rear housing on Carl Edwards' #99 Ford to create a competitive advantage. Edwards has won three times on 1.5-mile tracks this season and was in position to win a fourth before having late engine problems. Many in the garage said during testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway earlier this week that the yaw created -- Edwards' car appears to be going sideways on the straightaway, creating more side force heading into the turns -- by turning the rear housing to the right gives Edwards a competitive advantage. " ... NASCAR knows it's happening," Gordon said on Friday at Darlington Raceway. "They are the ones that see the cars come through inspection. They see it. When cars can't even get on the scales because they're running sideways, it's something they need to address." Series director John Darby said there are no plans to further police the rear housing adjustment, noting NASCAR already has a rule restricting more than a quarter-inch change plus or minus. He added that Hendrick Motorsports, for which Gordon drives, was the first to experiment with the rear-housing adjustment on the new car and that Edwards' #99 team was one of the last. "They [complain] when we've got too many rules and then they want us to create more," Darby said of teams in general. "The process is so simple. There are limits on how far they can go."(full story at ESPN.com)(5-10-2008) Comment here

    • #08 gets sponsor for Lowe's races: #08-EM Motorsports owner John Carter announced that Natural Styles, creator of “Fueled Up Beyond All Recognition (FUBAR) Performance Drink" and "FUBAR Performance Bar" will become the primary sponsor for the #08 Sprint Cup Series team. This association will begin with the Sprint Showdown, which takes place May 17th, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Tony Raines will pilot the EM Motorsports Dodge Charger in the event. Natural Styles, a Mesa Arizona based operation, has production facilities in Utah and California with a line up of new age - functional, "All Natural" beverages and 100% Organic performance bars.(Tony Raines.com)(5-10-2008) Comment here

    • Busch Wins at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2008 and his 7th career win. He dominated the later stages of the race and led 169 laps on the night. #99-Carl Edwards was second, with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Jeff Gordon, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #6-David Ragan, #17-Matt Kenseth, #11-Denny Hamlin, #28-Travis Kvapil, #22-Dave Blaney, and #10-Jeff Burton (who continues his streak of finishing every lap this season). Pole sitter #16-Greg Biffle broke a transmission midway through the race and finished 43rd. There were 8 cautions for 31 laps and 15 leaders with 35 lead changes.
      Darlington Race Results Awards Page.(5-10-2008)

    • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Darlington race 11 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 1690 [3 wins]
      2) #31-Jeff Burton 1611 -79 [1 win]
      3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1556
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin 1500 -190 [1 win]
      5) #07-Clint Bowyer 1490 -200 [1 win]
      6) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1442 -248 [1 win]
      7) #99-Carl Edwards 1400 -290 [would be 4th without 100 pt penalty] [3 wins]
      8) #20-Tony Stewart 1397 -293
      9) #29-Kevin Harvick 1396 -294
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon 1326 -364
      11) #16-Greg Biffle 1308 -382
      12) #6-David Ragan 1266 -424
      other chase contenders
      13) #12-Ryan Newman 1264 -426 [1 win]
      14) #9-Kasey Kahne 1264 -426
      15) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 1230 -460
      16) #42-Juan Montoya 1190 -500
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Darlington page.(5-10-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Lowe's:
      one change in the top 35 as Hornish falls out and Blaney jumps in. The points between 35th and 36th is now 18
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      30) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing 878 +72
      31) #44-Reutimann/Waltrip Racing 873 +67
      32) #41-Sorenson/Ganassi Racing 872 +66
      33) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing 851 +45
      34) #01-Smith/Dale Earnhardt Inc 835 +29
      35) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis 824, 18 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing 806 -18 points out of 35th
      37) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing 730 -94
      38) #40-Franchitti/Ganassi Racing 690 -134
      39) #70-Sauter/Haas CNC Racing 679 -145
      40) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing 654 -170
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(5-10-2008)

    • Darlington International Raceay Penalty Report:
      Car #, Reason, Penalty, Lap Issued
      1 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 2
      2 #12 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 64
      3 #20 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 141
      4 #18 Lug nut(s) not installed MCI 141
      5 #66 Lug nut(s) not installed MCI 141
      6 #40 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 142
      7 #10 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 201
      8 #55 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 250
      9 #77 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 278
      10 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 281
      11 #05 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 281
      12 #43 Removing equipment from assigned pit area SG 303
      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)(5-10-2008)

    • Darlington International Raceway Fast Facts
      .. Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500, his ninth victory in 125 Sprint Cup Series races.
      .. This is his third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2008.
      .. This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in four races at Darlington Raceway.
      .. Busch became the 43rd different race winner at Darlington and at 23 years, eight days – the youngest. He beat Terry Labonte (9/1/1980) by nine months and eight days.
      .. Carl Edwards (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish of 2008 and his fourth in five races at Darlington.
      .. Jeff Gordon (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 2008, tying his season best set at California. It is his 19th top-10 in 28 races at Darlington.
      .. Michael McDowell (28th) was the highest finishing rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-10-2008)


      News from May 9, 2008

    • NASCAR Schedules National Series Awards Shows: NASCAR announced the lineup for its three top series’ 2008 postseason awards shows, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony’s return to the Waldorf=Astoria hotel in New York City. The Dec. 5 Waldorf event will continue a tradition begun in 1981 for NASCAR’s premier series. The event will be held in the Waldorf’s Grand Ballroom. Television broadcast information will be announced at a later date. This lineup is a change from recent seasons, when the NASCAR Nationwide Series was the finale. This year, that event will preface the New York show. The rundown follows:
      • Nov. 17: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; Seminole Hard Rock; Hollywood, Fla.
      • Nov. 22: NASCAR Nationwide Series; Portofino Bay Hotel; Orlando, Fla.
      • Dec. 5: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Waldorf=Astoria; New York.(NASCAR PR)(5-9-2008)

    • Special scheme for Labonte in #43 at Chicago: #43-Bobby Labonte will drive a special paint scheme marking the 50th Anniversary of the King's first NASCAR race. Labonte is scheduled to drive the car on July 12, 2008 at the LifeLock.com 400 in Chicagoland. See image on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-9-2008)

    • NASCAR claims electrical fire caused fatal plane crash: NASCAR officials claim an electrical fire caused a fatal plane crash near Orlando last year that killed two aboard the aircraft and three on the ground, but federal investigators do not necessarily agree with that claim. The NASCAR accident summary is included in Friday's release of reports by the National Transportation Safety Board into the July 10 [2007] crash of the NASCAR airplane. It claims the pilots were overcome by fumes and were incapacitated. The NTSB says it is still investigating the crash, with a final report of the cause likely in the summer. NTSB reports say a radar unit malfunctioned and caused a burning smell the day before the crash, but NASCAR claims the radar unit did not cause the fire that led to the crash. NASCAR's insurance company earlier this year reached a settlement with a man whose wife and 6-month-old son were killed when their home was hit by the plane. The crash also killed NASCAR pilot Michael Klemm and the husband of a NASCAR executive, as well as a 4-year-old child in the second house that was hit.(Associated Press)(5-9-2008)

    • Kurt Busch's Superdome opens soon: The “Grand Opening” of the new Kurt Busch Superdome at the Victory Junction Gang Camp is set for Tuesday, May 20 at 2:00pm/et. The project was announced in May 2006, with Kurt announcing the donation of the initial $1 million in support of the project. The 28,000 square-foot facility will provide opportunities for indoor sports in a climate-controlled environment. "It’ll be like seeing a dream come true to finally get the doors open and see all the kids enjoying themselves,” said Kurt. “It’s been a labor of love for all of the people involved and I’m so proud and grateful to have the opportunity to make a contribution in this manner to the Petty camp.” Final details on the event will be announced within the next 10 days. Several sports and entertainment celebrities are expected to be on hand.(TRPR)(5-9-2008) Comment here

    • Darlington Goodyear Tire Notes: With the complete re-pave of Darlington Rcaeway since last season, Goodyear has tested extensively at the track and brought a new combination of left- and right-side tires for teams to race on this weekend . . . Goodyear ran it's first two-day test at Darlington with drivers #16-Greg Biffle, #24-Jeff Gordon and #12-Ryan Newman in mid-March, and settled on it's right-side tire recommendation during that session . . . the tire manufacturer scheduled a one-day continuation test with the same drivers for early-April, and confirmed it's left-side recommendation at that session . . . Darlington is the only track at which NASCAR teams are scheduled to run this specific combination of left- and right-side tire codes this season . . . however, teams will run this right-side code (D-4130) with a different left-side code at Charlotte later this month . . . teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 54-58 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see full report, codes, pressures and more on my Darlington Race Info page.(5-9-2008) Comment here

    • Happy Hour practice for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the top five:
      #11-Hamlin 179.651
      #18-Busch 179.174
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 179.141
      #9-Kahne 178.731
      #24-Gordon 178.510
      slowest: #70-Sauter 171.065 & #07-Bowyer 172.125
      no speed listed: #84-Allmendinger
      most laps run: #6-Ragan 25
      note: the track qualifying record is held by Ward Burton, in March 1996 [after the track was repaved the last time] 173.797mph
      incidents: got another one in the wall as #41-Sorenson slapped the turn 2 wall and crushed the right front of the car and will have to go to a backup car for qualifying this afternoon, the 4th driver to a backup; late in the session, #48-Johnson spun off turn 4, held it off the outside wall, and kissed the inside wall, doing some damage to the left front and the splitter...this is a backup car already, but it is repairable. Then just after the track went green again, #15-Menard came off turn 4, scraped the wall, then came down and slapped the inside wall, the #15 will go to a backup; then in turn 2, #7-Gordon scraped the wall, but the car looks repairable.
      See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-9-2008)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers [go-or-go-homers] run in Happy Hour practice at Darlington
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #40-Sterling Marlin, 12th
      #22-Dave Blaney, 20th
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 23rd
      #45-Kyle Petty, 26th
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 29th
      #96-J.J. Yeley, 33rd
      #21-Bill Elliott, [has past champ provisional to use if needed], 38th
      #34-Jeff Green, 39th
      if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
      #70-Johnny Sauter, 44th
      #84-AJ Allmendinger, no speed, didn't practice
      See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-9-2008)


      News from May 8, 2008

    • Hendrick Motorsports reopens museum: Check out Rick Hendrick's first Chevrolet. Watch a dissected Impala SS "Car of Tomorrow" being pieced together. See the cars and memorabilia of Casey Mears, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. These are just a few things visitors can do now that Hendrick Motorsports has reopened its museum. The 15,000-square-foot facility, which was closed the last four months for renovations, pays tribute to nearly 25 seasons of Hendrick Motorsports history and offers fans the latest in team-related apparel and merchandise. Admission to the museum is free of charge. Throughout the year, the museum will exhibit a rotating stable of famous Chevrolets -- such as an original All-Star Racing entry, multiple Daytona 500 champions and the inaugural Brickyard 400 winner. Featured currently are cars driven by Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Ken Schrader and Ricky Hendrick, among others. Visitors will be met at the entrance by the Monte Carlo SS that Johnson drove at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch the 2007 Sprint Cup Series title. The Hendrick Motorsports museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visitors can find special announcements, extended race-week hours, driving directions and additional information related to the museum at www.HendrickMotorsports.com.(HMS)(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Hamlin lends name to restaurant: #11-Denny Hamlin will be lending his name and star power to one of Salisbury's [NC] more popular restaurants. In coming months, The Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre, located at the Salisbury Mall, will be changing its name and look to become Denny Hamlin's Grille 11. The "11" refers to Hamlin's number for Joe Gibbs Racing. The extensive changes to the restaurant will be made through a licensing agreement between Celebrity Ventures Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Hamlin. Bob McCarthy, a partner and concept development vice president for Celebrity Ventures, said Hamlin will have his own private "owner's box" at the restaurant and can be expected to be making visits to the Salisbury location and a like-named restaurant in Asheville. This is Celebrity Ventures' first restaurant with a NASCAR driver. McCarthy put the transformation of the restaurant in Salisbury at 90 to 120 days. He said the restaurant's footprint will stay the same, but its audio-visual package will be enhanced dramatically, besides some cosmetic changes. The extensive menus offer appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, steak, seafood and desserts.(Salisbury Post)(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Lopez and HOF Racing part ways? hearing that #96 Hall of Fame Racing and Competition Director [and former crew chief], Philippe Lopez parted ways on Tuesday.(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Stewart gives few hints about future: #20-Tony Stewart returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday to help Chevrolet unveil its new midget-car engine, an appearance that prompted another round of questions about Stewart's plans and whether they might include IndyCars. "There's a part of me that thinks running at Indy and in IndyCar is a chapter of my life that is closed," he said. "Then there is the emotional part of me that says, 'Never say never.' I don't know if I'll ever get in an IndyCar again, but if that happens, it's going to be a long way down the road because I have a lot of commitments on the NASCAR side." Stewart has been running with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1998, and his current contract doesn't expire until the end of next season. Yet he's already fielding offers from other teams and said last month he had discussed terminating the deal early, depending on which offer he accepts. Some of those offers also include ownership of a team. Many believe Stewart, who turns 37 on May 20, is looking to move in part because he has long ties to Chevrolet, one of the Cup series' manufacturers. JGR is now using Toyotas, and Stewart remains winless this season after winning 32 times in his first nine years on the Cup circuit. While Stewart acknowledged he considered Chevy's deal with his own open-wheel teams a personal endorsement, he brushed off the suggestion that he was upset with driving a Toyota. "It wasn't weird when we started the program," he said. "It wasn't weird then, and it's not weird now. When we started our (open-wheel) program, Mopar provided us with engines and both sides understood." As so often happens when the Indiana native visits the speedway, however, the discussion quickly turned to one of his favorite subjects -- the Indy 500 -- and whether he would still like to race here. The answer: Only if it's a full-time gig in the IRL. "If I was going to come to Indianapolis again, I don't want to come and show up for the month of May," he said. "If I am going to do it, I need to start at Homestead. I need to run all of the races leading up to the month of May to really feel like I am being fair to the team and being fair to myself. ... As long as I'm driving a stock car, that basically takes that part of it out of the equation."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • #18 team wins 1st Qtr Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: The #18 M&M’s Team for Joe Gibbs Racing recorded one win and has been in the top five of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series championship point standings through the first eight races of the season. As a result of their outstanding work on the track and in the pits the team has been named the first quarter finalist for the 2008 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award is given quarterly throughout the Sprint Cup season. At the end of each quarter, the winning pit crew is determined by a vote of each team’s crew chief. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award and a check for $100,000 awarded at the 2008 National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Media Luncheon in New York City. 2008 #18 M&M’s Pit Crew: Michael Lepp, Pit Crew Coach; Jeff Fender, Jackman; Nick O’Dell, Front-Tire Changer; Brad Donaghy, Front-Tire Carrier; Jack Seminara, Rear-Tire Changer; Kenny Barber, Rear-Tire Carrier; Tom Lempe, Gas man; Jason Hinson, Catch Can; Steve Addington, Crew Chief.(Mechanix Wear)(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Office Depot to MWR? Hearing Office Depot, currently the sponsor for #99-Carl Edwards, is considering a move to Michael Waltrip Racing with driver #00-Michael McDowell. UPS has been rumored as a possible sponsor for Edwards and Roush Racing in 2009.(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Darrell Waltrip Racing Experience to open in Fall of 2008: Belle Island Village – along with three-time Cup Champion and FOX Sports analyst Darrell Waltrip and fellow motor sports veteran Jeff Hammond – announced key components of the Darrell Waltrip Racing Experience, scheduled to open in fall 2008 at Belle Island’s themed development, located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, TN. The new $5 million, 27,000-square-foot racing-themed attraction promises to place visitors in the driver’s seat with diverse and highly interactive components to showcase the racing experience from all vantage points of today’s motor speedway. Included in the Darrell Waltrip Racing Experience, visitors will find:
      * a variety of racecar simulators integrating virtual reality
      * competition remote-controlled cars that race around a mini-Bristol Motor Speedway replica
      * an interactive theater and a soundstage with an actual studio-quality media set, hardwired to allow either live television production with editing capabilities or guests’ interactive fun, such as seeing what it is like to sit in Darrell Waltrip’s studio chair on race day
      * interactive pit crew area with images of Darrell Waltrip and his former Crew Chief Jeff Hammond
      * both permanent and rotating exhibits, such as a variety of actual stock cars that have won racing events
      * an exhibit that commemorates the history of stock car racing
      * an “Infield Experience”
      * a gift shop and a Victory Lane arcade with the latest in NASCAR and racing-related games
      “Anyone who isn’t a die-hard racing fan when they get here will be when they leave,” Waltrip said. “We’re making sure this place is a true 'experience,’ including the sights, sounds, smells, atmosphere, motion and intensity of racing that give people an opportunity to know what it feels like to be part of a real stock car race, from a lot of different perspectives.” According to Waltrip, it will take the average guest approximately two and a half hours to see all of the attraction, given the range of components within the facility. More info at belleisland.com/dwre.htm.(PR)(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Richmond TV Ratings higher: For the second straight week, NASCAR on Fox posted a year-to-year increase as Saturday's race from RICHMOND averaged a 4.5/9 (7.3 million viewers). That's up +5% over last year's 4.3/11, which aired on a Sunday due to a Saturday rain-out. This is FOX's best NASCAR rating for a Saturday night race since 2006. Saturday's race opened at a 4.0/9 at 7:51p, and peaked at a 5.5/11 from 11-11:30p. For the night, FOX was the top-rated network among both Households (4.3/8), and Adults 18-49 (2.5/9), easily outrating the competition. Remarkably, every time FOX has aired a Saturday night race over the last seven-plus years the race has won the night among Adults 18-49, a perfect 12 for 12 record. Season-to-date, Sprint Cup racing on FOX is averaging a 6.1/12 (10.1 million viewers), up +3% over last year's 5.9/13. Currently, Sprint Cup racing on FOX is the top-rated sport in season.(Fox), see Ratings per race and more on my 2008 TV Ratings page.(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Darlington Rookie Notes: #01-Regan Smith was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the May 3 Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Smith scored a 21st-place finish and captured top rookie honors for the fifth time in 10 races this season. He has been the top Raybestos Rookie in all three short track races. Smith leads the Raybestos Rookie standings by one point (97-96) over #77-Sam Hornish Jr. entering the May 10 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway. Since 2001, two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions at Darlington Raceway: Kurt Busch (2001) and Kasey Kahne (2004). The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap at Darlington is Kasey Kahne, who led three times for 24 laps in the 2004 spring race. The most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in the Sprint Cup Series is Denny Hamlin. Hamlin captured the top starting spot for the 2006 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway (56 races). Denny Hamlin is the only Raybestos Rookie to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup since the program was created in 2004.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), for standings, history, past winners, see my 2008 Rookies page.(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • Fuel Prices hitting Race teams too: As gas prices soar across the country, the thought of paying $6.25 a gallon would make any consumer cringe. Yet that's what it costs in NASCAR, where race teams use a special Sunoco 260 GTX unleaded fuel to fill their cars. Although the gas is free -- part of Sunoco's agreement as NASCAR's official fuel supplier -- it doesn't mean car owners and drivers aren't feeling the pain at the pump. "It affects all of us, anybody that's in business," said car owner Richard Childress. "Getting our cars to the racetracks costs a ton in gas money for the haulers. Bringing our people to the tracks, the rising costs of jet fuel. It's very, very expensive to do what we're doing." Childress, owner of a highly successful race team, isn't complaining. Nor are the drivers who pull in multimillion dollar salaries and don't flinch at $85 fill-ups on their luxury SUV's. But no one in NASCAR is immune to the weakening economy and rising costs on fuel. Just because they can afford it, doesn't mean they aren't feeling the pinch. Under Sunoco's deal with NASCAR, teams are provided free fuel at any sanctioned test, practice or race for all three top divisions. A company spokeswoman said it's impossible to determine just how much fuel is used per weekend because of fluctuations in schedules, weather and the teams' practice times each week. When teams tested earlier this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway, their gas was once again free. But the good teams test a lot, traveling all over the South to facilities not sanctioned by NASCAR. Sunoco doesn't cover those all-day sessions, and a race team typically brings a 55-gallon drum of gas to get them through the test. Even so, there are critics who complain that NASCAR races are dipping into the national supply. But NASCAR officials claim the amount of fuel being used -- less than 175,000 gallons per year on the Sprint Cup Series -- doesn't come close to the 366 million gallons that Americans average in daily usage. So NASCAR has no current plans to shorten races, as it did in the early 1970s when OPEC hoarded oil to increase prices, causing long lines at the pumps.
      But the pain is still felt away from the track, where teams have noticed a significant increase in transportation costs. From sending diesel-chugging haulers across the country to transport the race cars, to the exorbitant jump in jet fuel, costs are soaring in simply getting drivers, crews and equipment to each event. With diesel fuel now over $4.00 a gallon, and each hauler holding roughly 300 gallons, fill-ups now cost more than $1,200 for a truck that only gets between 4.5 and 7.5 miles per gallon. The real pinch, though, comes in jet fuel. Many team owners shuttling crew members, and drivers flying private planes on weekends, are considering cutting down on the luxuries. Many drivers own their own planes and use them for personal and professional travel. But at about $4.30 a gallon, Carl Edwards estimated it costs him $2,000 a trip to fill his airplane -- not worth it for a spur-of-the-moment vacation. Many also consider themselves lucky to be at the highest level of racing. Fuel isn't free outside of NASCAR, and as high as the ARCA level, teams are paying for gas to get to the track and once they get there.(in part from the Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2008) Comment here

    • The Second practice for the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway is over, the the top five were:
      #84-Allmendinger 178.679
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 178.640
      #22-Blaney 178.620
      #18-Busch 177.249
      #16-Biffle 176.676
      slowest: #17-Kenseth 171.441 and #10-Carpentier 172.457
      most laps run: #18-Busch 42; #9-Kahne, 41
      note: the track qualifying record is held by Ward Burton, in March 1996 [after the track was repaved the last time] 173.797mph
      incidents: #66-Riggs and #10-Carpentier both hit the wall during the session, but only Riggs will be forced to a backup car. #70-Sauter will also go to a backup car.(SceneDaily)
      See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-8-2008)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers [go-or-go-homers] run in the 2nd practice at Darlington
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #84-AJ Allmendinger, 1st
      #22-Dave Blaney, 2nd
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 6th
      #70-Johnny Sauter, 7th
      #40-Sterling Marlin, 8th
      #96-J.J. Yeley, 19th
      #34-John Andretti, 23rd
      #21-Bill Elliott, [would use past champ provisional] 43rd
      if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
      #45-Kyle Petty, 37th
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 44th
      See all the speeds on my Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-8-2008)


      News from May 7, 2008

    • Dale Jr. Talks Openly about His Grief, Growth and New Gig In Latest ESPN The Magazine Cover Story: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has spent the seven years since his fathers death learning how to live without him. In the cover story for ESPN The Magazine, All Grown Up, Dale Jr. talks in depth publicly for the first time about the pain of losing his dad, who was killed in a crash at the Daytona 500 in 2001. Writer Marty Smith reveals that since Junior left the family business, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (and affiliation with Dale Sr.s third wife Teresa Earnhardt), for NASCAR juggernaut Hendrick Motorsports this season, hes finally feeling like himself again. "When my dad died, I was numb, blind. I just kept moving. Going. Doing. It was horrible. The further away from it I get, the more I understand how I went through it. Dale Earnhardt Jr. I didnt talk about it because it wasnt something I wanted to preach. Oh, I lost my Daddy, woe is me, and I gotta go through life without him. I didnt want that message. I aint got nothing against her. She might have something against me, I dont know." (Dale Earnhardt Jr. regarding Teresa Earnhardt, who declined to be interviewed for the story.) ESPN The Magazine was granted exclusive access to Juniors property and Whiskey River, the replica Wild West town hes built on his 200 acres of land in North Carolina. The issue is on newsstands Wednesday, May 7. ESPNthemag.com will exhibit a complementary photo gallery and a behind the story by Smith, who lost his own father while writing the piece on Dale Jr. See the full story at ESPNthemag.com.(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • Mears says he is good thru 2009: from a Casey Mears Press Conference Transcript: In the last week or two we've had a lot of discussion about Tony Stewart and his contract situation moving forward, and your name has popped up a couple times in different discussions just because of the fact that he's going to be a free agent and obviously that would be a big coup. How do you feel about your position at Hendrick going forward, and do you think you're solid in there for the foreseeable future? "No, I feel good. We're solid for next year and definitely focused on moving forward. Rick has stated that several times, that things are where they're going to be, and we're moving forward for next year. We're just getting started again."(GM Racing)(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • Wood Brothers Racing Brings Back Mercury Paint Scheme: Wood Brothers Racing will be placing its 1971 Mercury paint scheme on the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion in Darlington this weekend for the Dodge Challenger 500 on Saturday night, May 10th. Bill Elliott will drive the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion with the vintage paint scheme. The candy apple red and white COT with the signature gold numbers will commemorate a time in Wood Brother's racing history when David Pearson drove the #21 to five wins and eight pole starting positions at Darlington Raceway. The #21 Purolator Mercury moved back into the racing scene when Leonard Wood recently restored the race car that was housed in the Darlington Raceway Museum for over 30 years. David Pearson and Carl Edwards brought modern and classic race cars together again in a media event for the newly surfaced raceway in April. Pearson made laps in the original Mercury as Carl Edwards followed in the new COT style race car. Leonard Wood stood by and buckled Pearson in, as he did as Pearson’s crew chief years ago. Scenes of the special feature will air during the pre-race show NASCAR Raceday on Speed Saturday, May 10th at 5:00pm/et.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #21 team Schemes page.(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • Waltrip to make 700th career start: #55-Michael Waltrip will be competing in his 700th Sprint Cup race when the 11th event of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, the Dodge Challenger 500, gets underway at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. He is currently tied with Buddy Baker for 13th on the all-time starts list.(MWR)(5-7-2008)

    • Four Race Tracks Tony Stewart has never won a Cup race at: There are four current race tracks the Cup Series runs on that #20-Tony Stewart has not won at [a Cup race]:
      California 0 for 14 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
      Las Vegas 0 for 10 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
      Talladega 0 for 19 with a best finish of 2nd [6 times] in 2001,2002,2005,2006
      Darlington 0 for 15 with a best finish of 4th in 2001 & 2002
      Stewart has won at 18 of 23 tracks he has raced on, didn't win at Rockingham which is no longer active for Cup racing.(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • MRN to air June New Hampshire race; PRN in Sept: Motor Racing Network will handle the radio broadcast of the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races June 28-29 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway, spokesman Wes Harris of MRN parent company International Speedway Corp. said Tuesday afternoon. Motor Racing Network, owned by the France family-controlled ISC and rival Performance Racing Network are involved in lawsuits over the radio broadcast rights stemming from PRN parent company Speedway Motorpsorts Inc.'s purchase of the track in January. PRN typically broadcasts the Nationwide and Cup races from SMI tracks. A partial settlement in their court battles has resulted in MRN being granted the exclusive broadcast rights for June and for the two sides to enter mediation in hopes of settling which network will broadcast the September 2008 weekend as well as the 2009 and 2010 weekends, Harris said. If the two sides can’t agree on a settlement on what should happen beyond June, they will return to court in 60 days, according to court documents.(SceneDaily)(5-7-2008)
      AND - PRN gets New Hampshire rights beginning in September: Performance Racing Network will broadcast all Nationwide and Sprint Cup races from New Hampshire Motor Speedway beginning with the September 2008 race at the track. PRN is the radio network of new NHMS owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. and traditionally broadcasts events at SMI tracks. A dispute over the radio rights occurred after the sale because SMI rival International Speedway Corp. had a contract for its Motor Racing Network to do the races. SMI argued in court documents that the MRN contract was invalid. The two sides have agreed to a partial settlement in the case and will go to mediation for the remainder of the dispute. MRN will broadcast the upcoming races in June at the track. After that, PRN will broadcast the events, PRN President Doug Rice and ISC spokesman Wes Harris confirmed Wednesday morning.(SceneDaily)(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • Marlin back in the #40; Franchitti update: Former CGRFS driver Sterling Marlin will drive the #40 Dodge Challenger in this Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway, while its full-time driver Dario Franchitti continues to recover from a race injury he received in the NNS event at Talladega Superspeedway last month (April 26). At this time, Marlin is confirmed to drive for CGRFS at Darlington only. He raced full-time for CGRFS when the team started in 2001 and drove for CGRFS from 2001-2005 tallying 172 starts, four wins, three poles, 24 top-fives, 57 top-10s and led a total of 1,444 laps. Marlin also tested the #40 Monday and Tuesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway
      Franchitti Update: Dario Franchitti, full-time driver of the #40 CGRFS Dodge, will sit out this weekend's NSCS race at Darlington Raceway. Franchitti was fitted for a carbon fiber brace last week but will take another weekend off to give his ankle more time to heal. His status behind the wheel of the #40 Dodge will continue to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
      Speical Scheme: The #40 Dodge will feature the new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 on its hood this weekend in Darlington, S.C. Powered by a 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine that produces 425 horsepower, the Challenger SRT8 is true to its historical roots, but with modern features that customers expect like SIRIUS Satellite radio, UConnect hands-free phone and MyGIG infotainment system featuring a 30 gig hard drive. For more information about the new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, go to www.dodge.com.(CGRFS)(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • Armed Forces Unite for Major Military Tribute by NASCAR Drivers: Six Sprint Cup drivers and two Nationwide Series drivers will lead all NASCAR fans in the USO Salute the Troops Memorial Day tribute to the armed forces on Saturday, May 24th, and Sunday, May 25th, at Lowe's Motor Speedway to kick off a nationwide effort to raise funds for military families worldwide. All will drive specially designed cars supporting branches of the military. Participating drivers include #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #07-Clint Bowyer, #8-Mark Martin, #21-Jon Wood, Brad Keselowski, Cale Gale and NHRA's Tony Schumacher. Several of those drivers, including Mark Martin, Jon Wood and Brad Keselowski were at Lowe's Motor Speedway today for the unveiling of the special cars. Distinguished members of the military kicked off the Salute the Troops tribute in grand style with a military color guard presentation and the presentation of the cars that will run in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day and the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals the previous weekend to show their support for America's armed forces. The USO Salute the Troops program hopes to raise funds for American military families in need through the effort. The NASCAR and NHRA team owners, sponsors, drivers and employees donated the space on their cars to collectively thank the armed forces at the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, Coca-Cola 600 and O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Diecast models and officially licensed merchandise of the participating drivers will be available for sale through Motorsports Authentics. "It is an honor for Motorsports Authentics to be a part of this program with Speedway Motorsports, General Sadler, Victory Management and the teams," said Mark Dyer, president of Motorsports Authentics. "All of the men and women serving selflessly in the military are heroes and we recognize their immense sacrifice. This is a great opportunity to recognize, celebrate and support them in a meaningful way. Our sincere hope is that people will come out in force to show their support of this program and to help the heroes among us." Lowe's Motor Speedway, Motorsports Authentics, Victory Management Group and the NASCAR and NHRA teams and their respective sponsors developed the program. JHE Productions and Lowe's Motor Speedway will collaborate to create a fantastic pre-race tribute presentation. Two major organizations will work together to promote the Salute the Troops Memorial Day Tribute and support the event's fundraising efforts: The USO and Speedway Children's Charities.(PR) see images of the cars on my Team Schemes pages: #88, #24, #48, #07, #8 and #21 plus the #88 NNS Team Schemes page and #77 NNS Team Schemes page.(5-7-2008) Comment here

    • Big Red back on the #42: Wrigley's Big Red brand will once again adorn the hood of the #42 Dodge Charger that Juan Pablo Montoya will pilot at Darlington Raceway this weekend. This will be the third race for the Big Red paint scheme this season.(CGRFS) see images of the scheme on my #42 Team Schemes page.(5-7-2008)

    • Jack is back on the #07: After a three-race hiatus, Clint Bowyer's #07 Chevy returns to its traditional black and white Jack Daniel's paint scheme this weekend at Darlington. Jack Daniel's will be the primary sponsor on RCR's #07 entry for the remainder of the 2008 schedule with the exception of Dover in June and Watkins Glen in August when DIRECTV will assume the primary sponsorship position.(RCR)(5-7-2008)

    • Harvick approaching DNF record: #29-Kevin Harvick has not recorded a DNF in 54 consecutive races, which is the longest active streak. Harvick holds the modern era (1972-present) record with 58 consecutive races without a DNF (10/3/2002-8/1/2004).(RCR)(5-7-2008)

    • Waltrip Honors Friend, McDowell Pays Special Tribute to Mother: For Brain Cancer Awareness week May 4-10, Michael Waltrip designed a special paint scheme for the #00 Toyota Camry to honor his dearly departed friend Max Helton who was instrumental in establishing Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) in 1988. "Max was a really special person in my life," Waltrip said. "I cherished the time I spent with him and the positive influence he had on me. We will miss him, but we will never forget him." Helton's vision came to life with the help of Darrell and Stevie Waltrip and so many others. Michael befriended Helton in the late 80's as he began work in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing community providing ministries for drivers, team members, family and friends. "I don't believe our racing family would have the continuity and the family atmosphere it has if it wasn't for Max and MRO," Darrell Waltrip said. "Max came to my wife Stevie and me in Riverside, California in 1987 and said he wanted to start a ministry in NASCAR. He said he was willing to move to North Carolina. We were excited because he was an ordained minister. When he came to NASCAR, people immediately fell in love with him. I am so proud of Michael Waltrip and Michael McDowell for recognizing his accomplishments. Max meant a lot to everyone in this sport." This weekend is also Mother's Day and Michael Waltrip wanted to also pay tribute to mothers with a "Love You Mom" decal on the back of the #00 Toyota Camry. "We put a special note on McDowell's car to all the mothers watching the race on Saturday," Waltrip said. "Our mom is an important part of our lives. I love the fact that we are racing on Saturday, so that we can spend Mother's Day with her at home on Sunday." McDowell was a huge supporter of the idea because he wanted to show admiration for his mom that he lost to pancreatic cancer at age 45 when he was only 21. "I wanted to pay tribute to my mom," McDowell said. "In addition to MW's 'Love You Mom' decal, I'm also running one I designed to honor my mom. She had such a positive impact on my life. Everybody that knew her loved her. She was just a happy person. I miss seeing her smiling face, but I know she's with me every day. My wife Jami and I want to wish all the mother's a Happy Mother's Day."(MWR)(5-7-2008) Comment here


      News from May 6, 2008

    • Testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway is over: Sprint Cup testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway ended Tuesday evening, with 51 cars running laps, the fastest was #26-McMurray at 185.720mph in a Ford followed by the Dodge of #12B-Newman, the Toyota of #84-Allmendinger, #66B-Riggs in a Chevy and the Dodge of #10-Carpentier. There were six minor incidents during the 10 hours of testing. A.J. Allmendinger, Robby Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch each brushed the yellow outside SAFER barriers. All five cars received only minor damage and each driver was able to drive back to the garage area. Regan Smith was a double-dipper, making contact with the outside wall twice. He was able to drive into the garage following each fender-bender.(LMS PR)
      See all the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page and Best Speed Overall by Driver - Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing.(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Kvapil gets sponsor for Darlington UPDATE image: 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)
      UPDATE: see images of the scheme on my #28 Team Schemes page.(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Truex to Penske? with UPS? UPDATE UPS denies: hearing that Martin Truex, current driver of the #1 DEI Chevy, could be headed to a 4th Penske Racing team with UPS as the sponsor.(5-4-2008)
      UPDATE - UPS denies negotiating with any team: UPS officials released a statement Monday saying the company is not currently in negotiations with any specific Sprint Cup team or driver. UPS currently sponsors the #44 driven by David Reutimann. Michael Waltrip Racing Vice President Cal Wells has said that UPS has had preliminary discussions with six teams about what cars and drivers they would have open for 2009 and "UPS is doing exactly what they should be doing. We either earn the business back or we won’t." But to say that UPS has started negotiations with any team is not accurate, according to a company official. "As of this date, UPS is not engaged in formal active sponsorship negotiations with any NASCAR Sprint Cup driver or race team," read the statement, attributed to UPS Director of Sponsorship & Events Ron Rogowski. With Dale Jarrett's retirement this year, UPS is looking for another face for a long-term campaign. One of the drivers often mentioned is #99-Carl Edwards, who right now is sponsored by Office Depot. Roush Fenway Racing and Office Depot currently are in an exclusive negotiating period for Edwards. "UPS went to six or eight race teams, visited them, to get all the inventory that they all had," Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith said Saturday. "And from that, they told us they would cut it down amongst the teams. There's been no negotiating."(SceneDaily.com)(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Schrader back in the #70 UPDATE nope..it is Sauter: Ken Schrader will drive for the #70 Haas CNC Racing team at Darlington Raceway, said team competition director Matt Borland.(SceneDaily)(5-5-2008)
      UPDATE: Johnny Sauter will drive the #70 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Darlington Raceway, according to an updated Sprint Cup Series entry list for the Dodge Challenger 500. The original entry list had Ken Schrader driving this weekend. Sauter has driven for the team at Phoenix and Richmond this year. He has qualified for both races on speed but has been caught up in accidents in both events with finishes of 37th and 33rd.(SceneDaily)(5-6-2008)
      Comment here

    • Martin named the Wypall Wipers’ “Crew Chief of the Race” in Richmond: Gil Martin, crew chief of the #07 BB&T Chevy driven by Clint Bowyer, has been named the Wypall Wipers’ “Crew Chief of the Race” in Saturday’s Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Some say it was being in the right place at the right time, but cautious instruction from Martin is what empowered Bowyer to drive the #07 BB&T Chevy to victory in Saturday night’s race. After starting deep in the field, (31st) Bowyer carved his way up to 16th on lap 129 resulting from a successful pit stop by the Martin-led team. Increasing track position and then maintaining that spot was Martin’s main concern, coaching Bowyer to be patient as he steadily made his way to the front. Bowyer eventually took over the lead following a collision between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch with two laps to go and sailed to the victory. 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 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.(5-6-2008)

    • Hamlin injured but OK to drive: Just when #11-Denny Hamlin thought things couldn't get any worse, he fell hard on his left hip playing basketball and could hardly walk when he arrived Monday for testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'd like to say I was going up for a dunk, but I think everybody knows that ain't true," Hamlin said. "When I went up, the person was lower than I was and I kind of clipped over his shoulder and I was horizontal to the ground -- that was bad. It popped and it doesn't feel good at all. I couldn't lay on it last night, and it ain't getting much better." The injury came roughly 24 hours after Hamlin led a record 381 of the first 382 laps at Richmond International Raceway, only to lose a coveted win on his hometown track when he cut his right front tire. He had to intentionally stop his car on the track to bring out the caution needed to head to pit road for a tire change.(full note at ESPN/AP)(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • No additional penalties for Hamlin, Waltrip: #11-Denny Hamlin won't be further penalized for intentionally bringing out a late caution in Saturday night's race at Richmond even though there is precedent for it. No further penalty also is expected against #55-Michael Waltrip for intentionally wrecking #5-Casey Mears, NASCAR officials said on Monday. Hamlin was given a two-lap penalty when he stopped on the track with a cut tire with less than 10 laps remaining. NASCAR officials believed it was an intentional move to bring out the caution and allow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch the opportunity to close on then-leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. A spokesperson for the governing body said during Monday's test session at Lowe's Motor Speedway that there would be no further punishment. But in 2004, Earnhardt was docked 25 points and fined $10,000 for intentionally bringing out the caution at Bristol. In the 2002 running of the All-Star race, Kurt Busch was fined $10,000 for intentionally spinning out Robby Gordon to bring out a caution. Meanwhile, Waltrip was parked with about 40 laps remaining when he intentionally took out Mears after Mears got into him a few laps earlier. Officials said the hit Waltrip took in points -- he finished 37th and fell a spot to 32nd in points -- was severe enough.(ESPN.com)(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Kyle Busch named 1st Quarter Driver of the Year: #18-Kyle Busch crushed the competition on the track and in the ballots as he won 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2008. Busch won a total seven races in NASCAR's top-three series, Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series. Although he leads in the Cup standings with a second place this past weekend in Richmond, voting only considered results through the previous event at Talladega Speedway. In the voting Busch took 14 first-place ballots, and none lower than a third place totaling 142 points. Cup rival Roush/Fenway driver Carl Edwards' three wins earned him one first-place vote and a total of 72 points. Danica Patrick, who drives for Andretti Green Racing, whose record-setting first win in top level IndyCar Series for a woman, garnered two first place votes and totaled 51 points in third place. Ashley Force, daughter of the 1996 Driver of the Year beat her famous father, John Force last week in Atlanta in NHRA's funny car division was fourth in the voting with 49 points. A total of 17 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting, including fifth place Jason Meyers, in the World of Outlaws who won three of the first six races. In related news, ESPN's award winning writer and broadcast journalist Terry Blount has been added to the panel.(DOTY PR)(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway is over: Sprint Cup testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway ended Tuesday evening, with 51 cars running laps, the fastest was #26-McMurray at 185.720mph in a Ford followed by the Dodge of #12B-Newman, the Toyota of #84-Allmendinger, #66B-Riggs in a Chevy and the Dodge of #10-Carpentier.#88-Earnhardt wrecked and called it a night, #01-Smith and #2-Busch had contact with the wall.
      See all the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page.(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing - Session 2, Day 2: Fifty-one cars took to Lowe's Motor Speedway in the afternoon session in Day 2 of Sprint Cup testing. #83-Vickers was the fastest in a Toyota at 181.830mph, followed by #18B-Busch (Toyota), #8-Martin (Chevy), #99-Edwards (Ford) and #19B-Sadler (Dodge). Slowest cars were #08B-Raines and #01B-Smith. There is one final test session Tuesday night until 9:00pm/et.
      See the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page.(5-6-2008) Comment here

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing - Session 1, Day 2: The 2nd day of testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the first session in the morning, was only run by only 9 drivers driving 13 cars. Johnny Sauter is in the #70 and Jeff Green tested the #34 Chevy instead of regular driver John Andretti. No Fords tested in the 1st session. The fastest was #88B-Earnhardt Jr. at 182.593 followed by #31-Burton, #24-Gordon, #70-Sauter and the Dodge of #42-Montoya. Slowest of the 13 cars was #34-Jeff Green.
      See the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page.(5-6-2008) Comment here


      News from May 5, 2008

    • Indiana Jones Scheme for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch's #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry will sport a special Indiana Jones-themed paint scheme, and Busch will wear a matching fire suit during the Dodge Challenger 500 Sprint Cup race in Darlington, South Carolina, on May 10. The special paint scheme features: Movie title decals on the hood, trunk and TV panel; An image of Indiana Jones with his iconic hat and whip on the left rear panel; and The M&M'S Brand Red, Green and Yellow characters sporting various Indiana Jones-themed outfits. The M&M'S Brand Racing team also plans to feature fun Indiana Jones-themed activities for fans attending the Darlington race, giving them a literal taste of the adventure.(PWR New Media), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-5-2008) Comment here

    • All Star Race increased to 100 laps: Twenty-One drivers are eligible for the Sprint All-Star Race with one race to go, three drivers from the Sprint Showdown will transfer to the All-Star race, the 1st and 2nd place drivers and one fan vote [the driver needs to finish on the lead lap]. Drivers not already eligible for the Sprint All-Star Race who have been approved by for Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements include, but are not limited to, competing in a Sprint Cup Series event during the 2007 or 2008 seasons; finishing in the top 50 of the final 2007 Sprint Cup Series point standings or attempting to qualify for a 2008 Sprint Cup Series event as of March 10, 2008. The Sprint Showdown will consist of 40 laps, 60 miles, and will be run in two 20-lap segments. The Sprint All-Star Race is now 100 laps [was 80 in 2007], 150 miles (run in four segments of 25 laps each). Green flag and yellow flag laps will be counted during segments 1, 2 and 3. Only green flag laps will be counted during segment 4. All restarts will be double file and the free pass rule is maintained throughout the event. The Purse is and event record $3,308,251 with the winner getting at least $1,012,975. See fast facts for the Showdown and the All-Star race, the schedule, eligible drivers, history and more on my 2008 All-Star Page.(5-5-2008) Comment here

    • Richmond Overnight TV Ratings up slightly: NASCAR on Fox notched a slight increase for the second straight week with a 4.2/8 for primetime racing from Richmond. Saturday night's 4.2/8 is a tenth of a point gain over last year's 4.1/10 when the race was rained out of its schedule window and aired on Sunday afternoon. FOX's 4.2/8 in primetime was good enough to win the night, narrowly beating out second-place CBS's 4.0/7. FOX's primetime advantage will likely grow larger when the nationals are released and NASCAR delivers its typical meter-to-national improvement. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is averaging a 5.5/11, +2% better than last year's 5.4/11.(Fox), see Ratings per race and more on my 2008 TV Ratings page.(5-5-2008) Comment here

    • Analysts say T-Mobile may acquire Sprint; T-Mobile Series? UPDATE: Sprint Nextel may be a takeover target, according to one of the nation’s largest investment banking firms. Deutsche Telekom, owner of T-Mobile and the world’s sixth largest phone company, may consider acquiring Overland Park-based Sprint to block a price war in the mobile phone industry, analysts for Merrill Lynch said today. The Wall Street firm said Sprint’s operational problems and shaky position in the U.S. wireless industry may force the company to cut prices even further to attract customers. T-Mobile generally is considered to be the low-cost alternative among the top five U.S. mobile phone companies. Last week, Sprint introduced an unlimited voice and data wireless plan that undercut other U.S. companies. Lynch, which advises its clients to sell Sprint shares, said it is not aware of any acquisition discussions.(Kansas City Star)(3-7-2008)
      UPDATE: Deutsche Telekom AG is considering a bid for Sprint Nextel Corp., according to a media report Monday. Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom did not immediately comment on the report in The Wall Street Journal. Were it to make such a deal, it would catapult its T-Mobile wireless unit to the top spot in the U.S. market. n its report, The Wall Street Journal said deliberations were at "a preliminary stage and management may very well turn away," according to the people it quoted. Any bid, the paper's sources said, "could still be weeks, or even months away."(Yahoo Biz/AP)(5-5-2008) Comment here

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400
      Total number of commercials: 104
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 73
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:35 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:25 PM
      Total minutes: 230
      Minutes of race broadcast: 186
      Minutes of commercials: 44
      Number of missed restarts: 2
      See full rundown at CawsnJaws.(5-5-2008)

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing - Session 1, Day 1: The first day of testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the first session in the morning, only 6 drivers driving 10 cars made runs. Teams/Drivers are allowed to test in four of the six sessions. The fastest in the Day 1 morning session was #88B-Earnhardt Jr at 182.352mph [the record pole speed is 193.216 from Oct 2005 and last May's pole speed was 185.312mph, both in the 'old' style car, not the COT], followed by #31B-Burton, #70-Keselowski, #29B-Harvick, #24-Gordon and #07-Bowyer, who was slowest of the 6 drivers at 177.026.
      See the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page.(5-5-2008) Comment here

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing - Session 2, Day 1: In the 2nd/afternoon session of testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway there were 60 cars that took to the track, the fastest was #18B-Kyle Busch at 179.736mph (Toyota) followed by #99-Edwards (Ford), #31-Burton (Chevy), #2B-Busch (Dodge) and #19B-Sadler. Slowest were #50-Stanton Barrett and #08-Tony Raines. No accidents or incidents were reported.
      See the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page.(5-5-2008) Comment here

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing - Session 3, Day 1: #19B-Elliott Sadler (Dodge) led the final test session Monday evening at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. His top speed was 186.245 mph. 62 too to the track during the session. #84-Allmendinger (Toyota) was second, followed by #29B-Harvick (Chevy), #18-Busch (Toyota) and #26-McMurray (Ford). Slowest were #00-Michael McDowell and #08-Tony Raines. #66-Scott Riggs spun during the session, but did not hit anything.
      See the speeds and notes on my Lowe's Motor Speedway Testing page.(5-5-2008) Comment here



    2008 Race Results
    2008 Sprint Cup Schedule
    Jayski's Silly Season Cup News Page
    Jayski's Silly Season Main Page

    the Jayski site is owned and served by:

    SITE DISCLAIMER
    and Jayski site SEARCH
    click here

    This page designed by Jayski LLC, 1996-2016© All Rights Reserved.
    Jayski's® is a registered trademark of Jayski LLC
    Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without permission or credit.