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    JUNE 2-8, 2008

      News from June 8, 2008

    • Montoya gives Ganassi an earful; JGR looking at Montoya? UPDATE denied: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya requested a face-to-face meeting with his boss and got it the day before the Indianapolis 500, when owner Chip Ganassi flew to North Carolina to talk with his emotional driver. The early morning meeting Saturday let Montoya express his frustrations over the race team's direction, including the firing of crew chief Jimmy Elledge, a move Montoya vehemently opposed. "I told him everything I was thinking and how it was," said Montoya, who finished 30th. "The hope of the meeting is that everything that has happened turns into results. I need to run better. That's what will calm me down." Meanwhile, there is speculation that Joe Gibbs Racing may make a run at Montoya to fill the seat Tony Stewart is expected to leave at the end of the season.(Chicago Tribune)(5-29-2008)
      UPDATE: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who is on his third crew chief this season, says he is getting more settled with new crew chief Brian Pattie. A few weeks after venting frustration over his crew chief situation, Montoya said don’t translate that frustration into his looking to leave Chip Ganassi Racing, which brought him into Sprint Cup racing full time last year. “People have got to understand that I’ve got a long commitment to Chip [Ganassi],” Montoya said Friday after qualifying at Pocono Raceway. “This is where I am and this is where I am going to be for a couple of years.”(SceneDaily)(6-8-2008) Comment here

    • Kahne wins at Pocono: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway for his 2nd win of the season and 9th of his career and his 5th from the pole. Kahne led 69 or 200 laps, the most of any driver. #83-Vickers finished 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #31-Burton, #48-Johnson, #2-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards and #8-Martin. #84-Allmendinger finished 12th, his career best. Drivers who ran well but had problems late include #20-Stewart [speeding penalty], #16-Biffle [speeding penalty], #99-Edwards [flat tire]. Points leader coming into the race, #18-Busch wrecked early in the race and finished 43rd [last], even after the crew worked to get the car back on the track but with not much attrition in the race, Busch made up no spots and Busch lost it late in the race and spun, then parked the car. The best finishing rookie was #00-McDowell at 27th. There were 23 lead changes among 12 drivers and 10 cautions for 38 laps.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Pocono Race Results Awards Page.(6-8-2008)

    • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Pocono race 14 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 2084 [4 wins]
      2) #31-Jeff Burton 2063 -21 [1 win]
      3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1939 -145
      4) #99-Carl Edwards 1856 -228 [would be 3rd without 100 pt penalty][3 wins]
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin 1800 -284 [1 win]
      6) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1799 -285 [1 win]
      7) #16-Greg Biffle 1781 -303
      8) #24-Jeff Gordon 1767 -317
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne 1719 -365 [2 wins]
      10) #29-Kevin Harvick 1690 -394
      11) #07-Clint Bowyer 1679 -405 [1 win]
      12) #20-Tony Stewart 1614 -470
      other chase contenders
      13) #6-David Ragan 1607 -477 [7 pts out of the chase]
      14) #12-Ryan Newman 1604 -480 [-10][1 win]
      15) #17-Matt Kenseth 1580 -504 [-34]
      16) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 1558, -526 [-56]
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Pocono page.(6-8-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Michigan:
      the big change is #66-Riggs is back in the top 35 and #55-Waltrip is out
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      31) #01-Smith/Dale Earnhardt Inc 1,120, +56
      32) #41-Sorenson/Ganassi Racing 1,118, +54
      33) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing 1,105, +41
      34) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing, 1,086, +22
      35) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing 1,076, 12 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing 1,064, -12 points out of 35th
      37) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing, 936, -140
      38) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing, 901, -175
      39) #40-Franchitti/Ganassi Racing 888, -188
      40) #78-Nemechek/Furniture Row, 752, -324
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(6-8-2008)

    • Pocono Raceway Penalty Report:
      Car #, Reason, Penalty, Lap Issued
      1 #1 Non-compliant refueling (overflow container) TE 26
      2 #2 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 40
      3 #77 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 59
      4 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 68
      5 #38 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 68
      6 #10 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 68
      7 #7 Safety violation TE 80
      8 #55 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 105
      9 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 121
      10 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 122
      11 #40 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 122
      12 #10 Excessive speed - Exiting pits PT 153
      13 #22 Excessive Speed-Entering pits PT 159
      14 #16 Excessive speed - Exiting pits PT 165
      15 #20 Excessive speed - Exiting pits PT 171
      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)(6-8-2008)

    • After 13 races in 2004-2007, worst spot a future chaser was? after 13 races in the four previous Sprint Cup Chase's, what was the worst spot a future Chaser [in that season] was in after that 13th race? In 2007, #2-Busch was 17th in the points, 88 points from the 12th spot
      (in 2007 the drivers in the chase increased from 10 to 12)
      In 2006, #11-Hamlin was 11th in points, 80 points from the 10th spot
      In 2005, #17-Kenseth was 22nd in points, a whopping 278 points from the 10th spot
      In 2004, #19-Mayfiend was 15th in points, 99 points from the 10th spot.
      This year there are 13 drivers within 278 points of the 12th spot after 13 races
      The drivers who won the last four Sprint Cup Chase Championships were no deeper then 6th after 13 races:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson was 2nd in 2007 #48-Jimmie Johnson was 1st in 2006 #20-Tony Stewart was 5th in 2005 #97-[now in the #2]-Kurt Busch was 6th in 2004 after 13 races. For more, see my Chase Stats after Dover page.(6-8-2008)

    • Kyle Busch's Triple Race Weekend:
      Truck Series [started 17th/last, finished 2nd] at Texas, J.R. Norris practiced & qualified the #51 Miccosukee Resorts/NOS Energy Toyota in the 17th spot, Busch had to fall to the rear of the field before the race, and was able to finish 2nd to Ron Hornaday. See more on my Truck Series site.
      Nationwide Series at Nashville Superspeedway: [started 5th, finished 20th] Willie Allen practiced the #32 Dollar General Toyota of Braun Racing 21st fastest in Happy Hour on Friday. Busch was able to get to Nashville in time to qualify the #32 car in the 5th starting position. Busch finished 20th at Nationwide. More info on my Nationwide Series site.
      Sprint Cup: [started 10th/last, finished 43rd] Busch qualified the #18 M&M's Toyota 10th for the Pocono Raceway at Pocono Raceway. During the 1st practice Saturday, Busch wrecked and will go to a backup car, so he will have to fall to the rear of the field on Sunday. Busch wrecked early in the race, the crew giot him back out, but he could not make up any positions, spun again and finally parked the car, finishing 43rd/last.(6-8-2008)

    • No plans to shut down the #01 team: #01-Regan Smith isn’t listening to rumors about his team’s future. He’s just focusing on getting better. Smith’s team doesn’t have full sponsorship and is running a DEI logo on the hood this weekend. Smith is 32nd in driver points and the team is 32nd in owner points. The team changed crew chiefs in mid-May and Dan Stillman is entering his second week as the full-time crew chief. “The past five weeks, [we] have really started getting some good consistency down and especially the past couple of weeks here, we’ve actually run better than where we’ve finished,” Smith said Friday. “For a team coming from where we came from at the beginning of the year to now that’s a good thing. And for me as a driver that’s a good thing because I was beating myself up, and you question if you can do it or if everything you’re doing is wrong or what’s going on. It’s good for all of us. It’s just rumors,” Smith said about talk that DEI might shut down the 01 team. “They’ve been out there all year long and I’m sure they’ll be out there to the end of the season and all that stuff. That’s fine. We know what the situation is and I’ve talked to Teresa [Earnhardt] and management numerous times and I know the situation. The race car is going to be on the race track and that’s all that matters.”(SceneDaily)(6-8-2008) Comment here

      News from June 7, 2008

    • Sad News - Jim McKay: Jim McKay, 86, a longtime television sports journalist, has died of natural causes in Maryland, according to a statement from the McKay family. McKay is best known for hosting "ABC's Wide World of Sports" and 12 Olympic Games. McKay won numerous awards for journalism, including the George Polk Memorial Award and two Emmys -- one for his sports coverage, the other for his news reporting -- for his work at the 1972 Munich Olympics, which were tragically affected by the Black September terrorists' attack on the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village. In 1988, McKay was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1968, McKay won the first of his 13 Emmy Awards, becoming the first sports commentator to receive that honor. McKay was the first American network sports commentator to visit mainland China. In 1991, he visited Cuba to interview Fidel Castro. McKay was with "ABC's Wide World of Sports" since its inception in April 1961. Jim McManus (McKay's real name) was born in Philadelphia on September 24, 1921, and moved to Baltimore when he was 15.(

    • Cup Drivers Scheduled to test at Infineon Raceway: Six Sprint Cup Series drivers are scheduled to visit Infineon Raceway on Tuesday, June 10, for a one-day test session. NASCAR drivers expected to attend the test day include #96-J.J. Yeley, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #6-David Ragan, #38-David Gilliland, #28-Travis Kvapil and #21-Marcos Ambrose. Most of the drivers will test the challenging 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team. Testing runs from 8:30am - 4:30pm/pt and is open to the public, FREE of charge. For more information call 800-870-RACE. Several NASCAR Camping World Series West teams and drivers are also expected at the test session, including Bennett Lane Winery drivers Mike David and P.J. Jones, Fairfield's Jim Inglebright and drivers from Bill McAnally Racing out of Sacramento. These teams are preparing for the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, on Saturday, June 21. The drivers will return for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR weekend, June 20-22, at Infineon Raceway. For tickets, call 800-870-RACE or visit Raceway)(6-7-2008)

    • Happy Hour Practice for the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway is over, the top-5 fastest:
      #99-Edwards 164.769
      #9-Kahne 164.102
      #19-Sadler 163.949
      #8-Martin 163.920
      #17-Kenseth 163.890
      #18-Busch, pts leader in a backup is 16th fastest
      slowest: #45-Labonte 159.256 & #77-Hornish Jr. 160.496
      incidents: #77-Hornish crashed and will go to a backup car, #07-Bowyer spun, but had no damage.
      The practice is scheduled to be televised via tape on SPEED at 5:30pm/et.
      See the speeds run, ave speed, laps run on my Pocono Practice Speeds page.(6-7-2008)

      News from June 6, 2008

    • Verizon in talks to buy Alltel UPDATE2 bought, no NASCAR: Verizon Wireless is in talks to buy Alltel Communications LLC, the country's fifth-largest wireless carrier by subscribers, for $27 billion, according to news reports. If consummated, an acquisition would be the biggest telecom deal since AT&T Inc. bought BellSouth Corp. at the end of 2006. Adding Alltel's 13.2 million subscribers to Verizon Wireless' 67.2 million would create the largest wireless carrier in the country, far ahead of AT&T Inc. with 71.4 million customers. Talks are at a sensitive stage, according to CNBC and The Wall Street Journal. Both reports cited unnamed sources close to the discussions. Representatives of Verizon Communications Inc. and Alltel had no comment Wednesday.(Associated Press)(6-5-2088)
      UPDATE: Verizon Wireless said Thursday it would buy rural mobile phone service provider Alltel Corp for $28.1 billion, including debt, which would vault it to first place in the U.S. market ahead of AT&T Inc. Under the deal, Verizon Wireless would acquire the equity of Alltel for $5.9 billion and take on an estimated $22.2 billion in debt, mostly incurred when Alltel was taken private in November in a leveraged buyout by TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Group Inc's GS Capital Partners. Verizon Wireless said the deal would create savings of $1 billion in the second year after closing, which is targeted for the end of 2008, pending regulatory approval. It forecast total savings of more than $9 billion by 2011, driven by reduced capital and operating expenses. Verizon Wireless and Alltel, which has more than 13 million customers, together would have more than 80 million customers. AT&T ended the first quarter with about 71 million customers.(, no word on how or if this would effect the sponsorship [which is good thru 2008] of the #12 Penske Racing Dodge of Ryan Newman, whose primary sponsor is Alltel.(6-6-2008)
    • UPDATE 2: Industry insiders say Verizon will likely discontinue the Alltel brand, and NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed yesterday that the sanctioning body’s contract with title sponsor Sprint will not allow Verizon to re-brand Penske Racing’s #12 Alltel Dodge, driven by Ryan Newman. The contract allows Alltel to remain in the sport, as long as it does not change teams or brand names.(Motorsports Soapbox)(6-6-2008) Comment here

    • Biffle-Roush close to a deal: Roush-Fenway Racing is very close to signing driver #16-Greg Biffle to a new multi-year contract. “It looks like we’re down to the wire on it”; Biffle said following practice at Poco#Biffle went onto say, “I suspect to have it wrapped up by Michigan I would think. You’ll see me in the 16 for a few years, that’s what it’s looking like. Roush has made a pretty strong offer…plus my cars are fast…all the things a guy wants…all the ingredients are there. I think that’s the decision I’m going to make."(PRN's Garage Pass)(6-6-2008) Comment here

    • “The Man in Black” Program to Honor Earnhardt and Cash: Delbert McClinton, Taylor Earnhardt and Tommy Cash were guests today of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where Dale Earnhardt and Johnny Cash were honored as two of the greatest American icons ever. Meant to continue the legacies of both men, “The Man in Black” program provided music fans and race supporters the ultimate historical crossroad between Country Music and NASCAR. Taylor Earnhardt, Dale’s daughter, and Tommy Cash, Johnny’s younger brother, spoke at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where country recording artist Delbert McClinton and Mark Dyer, president and CEO of Motorsports Authentics, were both present. Also in attendance were NASCAR artist Sam Bass and Marshall Grant, former bassist for the Tennessee Two. “The Man in Black” car with Earnhardt’s famous paint scheme was unveiled with Cash and Earnhardt’s names and likenesses on the sides and hood of the car. The first car in a multi-year series that will continue the legacy of Earnhardt by teaming him up with other iconic American personalities, puts one of the most influential American musicians on the hood of the car of NASCAR’s most respected driver of all-time. Motorsports Authentics, through its Action Racing Collectables die-cast brand, will be offering a collectible version of the limited edition #3 Dale Earnhardt/Johnny Cash car. Pre-orders are being taken on, and at Motorsports Authentics authorized dealers nationwide. Chase Authentics, the authentic trackside apparel of NASCAR, will also offer Cash and Earnhardt fans an opportunity to express their love of both men through an array of apparel items such as hats, t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts. In addition to Thursday’s unveiling and special guitar presentation from Sam Bass, it was announced today that QVC will go live from Nashville on Friday night with its “For Race Fans Only” show. Set to air from 7 - p pm/et live from the Musicians Hall of Fame, “For Race Fans Only” will celebrate the “Man in Black” program and give Cash and Earnhardt fans around the world a unique opportunity to see this historic convergence of NASCAR and Country Music.(Motorsports Authentics PR), see more a Comment here

    • McMurray denies reports of leaving Roush: Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Crown Royal/IRWIN Tools Ford Fusion, will make his 200th career Sprint Cup start this weekend at Pocono. McMurray met with reporters this morning, and quickly dismissed a report from earlier this week that said he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the year.
      McMURRAY "The same thing that I'm doing this year: the Crown Royal, #26, with Roush Fenway."
      "I don't know. I'm not a speculator."
      "No, I have not."
      "Not that I am aware of."
      "Not that I'm aware of. It's hard to answer questions because anything I answer will lead to the next question, and there's not really anything to talk about. I don't know where he got his story, and so it's certainly drawn attention to something that - it's, I don't know how you can say it, it's like whenever there's not anything to talk about, and you tell the truth, you feel like you need to add to the story so you can make people believe you. But, there's not anything to talk about."
      "Yes. Certainly, we want to run better. I'm at an incredible organization, and we have all the cars and people that are capable of running to win every weekend. So, the move from Ganassi to here I really hoped was going to be able to put me in the chase every year, and that we'd contend to win races on a regular basis, and our performance hasn't been as good what's expected - whether it's from me, the race team or the sponsor. So, you want to continue to get better, and the car of tomorrow has brought some new challenges. The first four or five races we didn't run bad, but we just seemed to have bad luck or freaky things would happen to us, and it just put us in a really bad position. But the last four or five weeks have been pretty good, and you just try to continue and build on that. The thing about racing is that if you run well for four weeks everything's great, and if you run bad for two it seems like you need to go find somewhere else to drive, they say. Everything is fine here. I don't really know what the basis of his story was."
      "Well, when all of it came up, we just all talked and I never asked to get out of my contract and they never said that they were going to release me from my contract. There was never any discussion of any of that. So, we just were all trying to figure out where it came from." (Ford Racing PR)(6-6-2008) Comment here

    • Bowyer good at RCR thru 2009: #07-Clint Bowyer met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and talked about his contract extension with Richard Childress racing and other topics.
      Richard (Childress) exercised his option for 2009 and we are just working on a long term deal right now. I don't know.
      As far as I am concerned, yes.
      Yes, absolutely, yea, yea.
      Yes, absolutely. Nobody wants to shuffle around year to year, you want to know where you are at and know you that your team is underneath you and every thing's put in place for long term. Nobody wants to be bouncing back and forth and see the guys in the silly season year after year, that has to be torture. Not knowing where you are going to be and worrying about that all the time and trying to stay focused on the task at hand at the same time; I think that would be pretty tough.(Team Chevy PR)(6-6-2008) Comment here

    • Kvapil gets sponsor for Pocono: Yates Racing announced Friday that DISH Network will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for this weekend's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 8. "We are thrilled to have DISH Network as our sponsor this weekend at Pocono," stated Kvapil. "There is a lot of momentum and excitement right now at Yates Racing and we are honored that DISH Network wanted to participate in our program. We are always very grateful that companies recognize our increased performance both on and off the track this season and I'm looking forward to an exciting weekend at Pocono for our #28 DISH Network team."(Yates Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #28 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2008) Comment here

    • Kahne on pole at Ponoco: #9-Kasey Kahene won the Coors Light Pole for the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway with a speed of 170.219mph. for his 1st pole of 2008 and 15th of his career. #48-Johnson will start 2nd, followed by #8-Martin, #01-Smith [best career start], #78-Nemechek, #99-Edwards, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #84-Allmendinger, #66-Riggs and #18-Busch. #70-Leffler makes his first Cup race since Indy in August 2005. The go-or-go homers who made the race: #78-Nemechek [5th], #84-Allmendinger [8th], #66-Riggs [9th], #40-Franchitti [14th], #10-Carpentier [24th], #70-Leffler [26th], #21-Elliott [29th] and #45-Labonte takes a past champions provisional to make the race. #96-Yeley misses the race and #34-Rains withdrew before qualifying.
      For starting lineup, qualifying results, pole progression, see my Pocono Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results Page.(6-6-2008)

    • Pocono Raceway Qualifying Fast Facts:
      .. Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole for the Pocono 500 with a speed of 170.219 mph / 52.873 seconds.
      .. This is Kahne’s 15th pole in 158 career Sprint Cup Series races.
      .. This is Kahne’s first pole of the season. His previous best start was second at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kahne now has eight top-10 starts this season.
      .. This is Kahne’s second pole and sixth top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. His previous pole came in June of 2004, which was a track qualifying record of 172.533 mph.
      .. Jimmie Johnson (second) notched his 11th top-10 start of 2008 and 10th at Pocono.
      .. Mark Martin (third) notched his sixth top-10 start of 2008 and 29th at Pocono.
      .. Regan Smith (fourth) was the fastest-qualifying rookie.
      .. Joe Nemechek (fifth) was the fastest of those drivers required to make the field on time.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-6-2008)

    • Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
      #00-Michael McDowell, 166.276, starts 39th
      #01-Regan Smith, 168.745, starts 4th
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 167.345, starts 24th
      #40-Dario Franchitti, 167.939, starts 14th
      #77-Sam Hornish, 165.071, starts 41st

    • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
      Chevy: #48-Johnson, 169.856, starts 2nd
      Dodge: #9-Kahne, 170.219, starts 1st
      Ford: #99-Edwards, 168.517, starts 6th
      Toyota: #84-Allmendinger, 168.479,starts 8th

    • Pocono Tire Notes: This is the first time that Goodyear has brought these tire codes to Pocono, though Sprint Cup teams did run this exact combination of left- and right-side tires at Bristol earlier this season . . . Cup teams also tested this tire set-up during a successful open test at Pocono in mid-May . . . compared to the tire codes run at Pocono in 2007, there have been no performance changes to this left-side code (D-4158), while this right-side code (D-4160) features a different compound and construction for enhanced grip and performance . . . as on all NASCAR's ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 32-34 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see the full tire notes, pressures and more om my Pocono Race Info page.(6-6-2008)

    • Kyle Busch win record in three series: #18-Kyle Busch has 10 victories across NASCAR's three national series, which is only four short of the all-time record set by Kevin Harvick in 2006 [Harvick didn't win a Truck race], if you count drivers who have won at least one race in each series in a season, it has happened five times:
      1995: Terry Labinte - 3 Cup wins, 1 Nationwide win and 1 Truck win, 5 total
      2003: Kevin Harvick - 1, 3, 1, 5
      2005: Kyle Busch - 2, 1, 3, 6
      2006: Kyle Busch - 1, 1, 1, 3
      2008: Kyle Busch - 4, 4, 2, 10

      News from June 5, 2008

    • #31 will hit the 'Road to Beijing' with new paint scheme: To drive excitement for Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, AT&T Inc. today announced a new paint scheme for Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) #31 AT&T Chevrolet, driven by Jeff Burton. Burton will circle the Pocono Raceway in a paint scheme featuring the AT&T USA five-ring logo and images of U.S. Olympic Team hopefuls gymnast Nastia Liukin and swimmer Michael Phelps. "We're excited to integrate our support for professional stock car racing and AT&T Team USA into this fresh and unique paint scheme," said Jamie Butcher, vice president of Sponsorships and Employee Communications. Burton said: "We're in the midst of an exciting season, and the AT&T Racing team is thrilled about the new look. The Olympic Games only come around every two years, and it's an honor to show our support for AT&T Team USA hopefuls." "It's an amazing honor to be featured on Jeff Burton's race car and to know that we have great support from fans, AT&T and the AT&T Racing team as we prepare for the Olympic Games," Liukin said. "The new paint scheme looks awesome." Liukin is currently focused on qualifying for her first Olympic Games. She now has nine world medals (four gold and five silver), tying the mark of nine world medals held by Shannon Miller, who has earned more world and Olympic medals than any other U.S. gymnast (16 total). Phelps said: "The excitement and encouragement we receive from fans around the Olympic Games is incredible, and it really motivates us to compete at our very best. The new paint scheme will help drive that enthusiasm for the Olympic Games, and it's a privilege to be showcased on the #31 AT&T Chevrolet." Phelps is the most decorated swimmer in World Championships history and is a 20-time world-record holder. He captured eight medals - six gold and two bronze - at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, becoming the first American to win eight medals in one Olympiad. The new paint scheme was unveiled today at the 2008 Visa Championships at Boston University's Agganis Arena, where Liukin and the USA's other top gymnasts begin the final steps toward earning berths on the U.S. Olympic Team. The race car will tour the country to promote excitement for the 2008 Olympic Games and support for Team USA until its race track debut at the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway in August. "It is exciting to see AT&T taking Olympic sponsorship outside the traditional boundaries," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Having USA Gymnastics and Nastia representing the Olympic movement within NASCAR is a tremendous testament to the relevance of the Olympic Games, and the sense of pride that we all have around the U.S. Team." Today's announcement is the latest move by AT&T to help U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes train and compete for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. AT&T is an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team and provides significant financial support, products and services to the U.S. Olympic Committee. AT&T will also serve as the official telecommunications services partner of the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2008 Olympic Games. In addition to supporting USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming, the company serves as an official partner for several National Governing Bodies, including USA Track & Field and USA Diving. Team USA enthusiasts who want to stay connected to their favorite U.S. athletes can log on to the AT&T blue room ( to enjoy webcasts of events and exclusive interviews with AT&T U.S. Olympic Team hopefuls. The blue room currently features "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team," the online series available only on the AT&T blue room Team USA site. Liukin and Phelps are also featured in AT&T Tips and Training program episodes - original productions that provide fans access to sport-specific training tips from several elite U.S. Olympic Team hopefuls. Liukin is in the latest AT&T Home Turf episode - a series of streaming video webisodes in which athletes grant fans a behind-the-scenes peek of life off the clock. AT&T U-verseSM TV customers can also connect with U.S. Olympic Team hopefuls with AT&T Tips and Training and "USA Gymnastics: Behind the Team" via AT&T Team USA On Demand. These sponsorships are an important part of AT&T's mission to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else. Additional information about AT&T's sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team is available at For more information on AT&T's products and services, visit For more information on AT&T racing news, visit Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2008) Comment here

    • Blaney testing in Milwaukee next week: #22 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Dave Blaney has scheduled a two-day test at the Milwaukee Mile for next Tuesday and Wednesday [June 10-11].(BDR PR)(6-5-2008)

    • No sponsor for Robby at Pocono: For the first time this season, #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports will be racing a "back in black" unsponsored race car. For sponsorship opportunities available for the top-35 team see contact info at, see an image of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page(6-5-2008)

    • TNT Starts its 6-race run at Pocono: Turner Network Television (TNT) is gearing up for its 2008 Sprint Cup Series six week race package by unveiling new, exclusive on-air features and announcing drivers who will join the set during the network's extensive 90 minute pre-race coverage. Current Sprint Cup drivers who will join TNT's pre-race show each week include #11 Denny Hamlin (Pocono), #99 Carl Edwards (Michigan), #42 Juan Montoya (Sonoma) and #31 Jeff Burton (New Hampshire). TNT will also showcase both new and veteran NASCAR faces in weekly series called NASCAR Future Stars, featuring the future faces of the Sprint Cup Series, and the Pride of NASCAR, which will highlight six racing legends such as Bobby Allison, Raymond Parks, Ernie Irvan and Marvin Panch among others. TNT's Wally Dallenbach hops back in the car for Wally's World, this time joined in a second car by Kyle Petty as they get behind the wheel of stock cars and demonstrate to viewers the nuances of each racetrack and break down the strategy required to be successful each week. Finally, pit reporter Lindsay Czarniak will uncover little known facts and stories from each of the race locations in a weekly segment called Lindsay on Location.(TNT PR)(6-5-2008) Comment here

    • Stewart wins Prelude to the Dream: the fourth annual Old Spice Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway was won by Tony Stewart, just beating Robby Gordon. The rest of the results of the race held June 4th at Eldora Speedway: 3) Clint Bowyer, 4) Kenny Wallace, 5) Denny Hamlin, 6) Matt Kenseth, 7) Kevin Harvick, 8) Jimmie Johnson, 9) Ken Schrader, 10) Kyle Busch, 11) David Reutimann, 12) Ryan Newman, 13) Red Farmer, 14) Jeff Gordon, 15) Cruz Pedregon, 16) Ray Evernham, 17) Ron Capps, 18) Carl Edwards, 19) Aric Almirola, 20) Dave Blaney, 21) JJ Yeley, 22) Kasey Kahne, 23) Bobby Labonte, 24) Mark Martin [DNS], 25) Bill Elliott [DNS].
      Winner's average speed: 32.494 mph
      Time of race: 27:41.858
      Margin of victory: 1.502 seconds
      Cautions: 7 (Lap 2: Yeley spin T3; Lap 6: Yeley spin T3; Lap 8: Labonte spin T2; Lap 9: Yeley spin T4, Newman, Farmer contact T2; Lap 11: Blaney, Stalled T2: Lap 16: Almirola, Stalled Frontstretch; Lap 19: Evernham, Spin T2)
      Lead changes: No Lead Changes
      Lap leaders: Stewart 1-30
      Attendance: More than 23,000
      Broadcast: HBO Pay-Per-View
      Following victory lane, Tony Stewart presented Kyle Petty with a check for $1,000,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp! Much more on the way in the coming hours at Comment here

    • Haas team to appeal penalties UPDATE: With severe penalties looming, Haas-CNC Motorsports has decided to appeal NASCAR's ruling that the team's cars were illegally altered for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, sources told's David Newton. NASCAR handed down its most severe penalties yet concerning alterations to its new car on May 28, when the crew chiefs and car chiefs for Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter were suspended six races apiece for tampering with the rear wings on their Chevrolets at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Additionally, crew chiefs Bootie Barker and Dave Skog were fined $100,000 each. Derick Jennings and Thomas Harris, the car chiefs, were not fined but their suspensions are unprecedented. All four must sit out until the July 12 race in Chicago, and are on probation through the end of the year. Riggs and Sauter were each docked 150 driver points, penalties that severely hurt the struggling teams. The cars are both fielded by Haas-CNC Motorsports, which was docked 150 owner points for each Chevrolet. Haas general manager Joe Custer is listed as the owner for Riggs' #66, and Margaret Haas is listed as the owner of Sauter's #77. Gene Haas, who actually owns the fledgling two-car team, began serving a two-year prison sentence for tax evasion in January. The team is widely believed to be for sale, and two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has acknowledged he's received an offer to buy the organization.( AND Haas CNC Racing has appealed its penalties for unapproved wing mounting locations discovered during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a team spokesman confirmed Wednesday. NASCAR penalized the #66 and #70 teams and drivers 150 points as well as issuing six-week suspensions the crew chiefs and car chiefs for both cars. In addition, the crew chiefs were fined $100,000. The team spokesman would not elaborate on the nature of the appeal. The 150-point penalty was the most for a violation of the template rules for the new NASCAR model being used in the Sprint Cup Series. The suspension for car chiefs also was unprecedented. Because the penalty is under appeal, the team could opt to bring back its car chiefs and crew chiefs for the races this weekend at Pocono Raceway, or it could opt to sit them out, thinking that the suspensions might eventually be reduced instead of eliminated. The appeal is tentatively scheduled for June 9.(SceneDaily)(6-5-2008)
      NOTE: the points penalty stays in effect and is not recinded unless the appeal is won and the team gets some/any/all points back. So the #66 must qualifying for the race and is NOT in the Top-35 of owners pts. Comment here

    • Steak-umm adds 2nd race to DEI sponsorship: Steak-umm has added an additional NASCAR race sponsorship to its 2008 campaign with an agreement to serve as the primary sponsor of the #8 Chevy driven by Mark Martin in this weekend's Pocono 500 Sprint Cup Race at Pocono Raceway. Steak-umm previously sponsored rookie-of-the-year leader Regan Smith's #01 car in the May Richmond Sprint Cup race, and will again serve as the primary sponsor of Martin's #8 Chevy in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono in August. Steak-umm also serves as an associate sponsor on the #8 car for the full 2008 season.(Yahoo Biz), see images of the scheme on my #8 Team Schemes page of #01 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2008) Comment here

    • Pocono Rookie Notes: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the June 1 Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway. Hornish Jr. scored an 18th-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the fifth time in 13 races this season. #00-Michael McDowell led the Dover race once for one lap, the first time he has led in eight Sprint Cup Series starts. Other Raybestos Rookies that have led a lap this season: #10-Patrick Carpentier (four), #40-Dario Franchitti (1) and #01-Regan Smith (1). Hornish Jr. and Regan Smith are tied for the lead (127-127) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the June 8 Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. This is the fourth tie for the lead in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings this season. Three Raybestos Rookies have guaranteed starting positions at Pocono: Smith, Hornish Jr. and McDowell. Franchitti and Carpentier must qualify on speed. Franchitti will be attempting to make his first Sprint Cup Series start since April 12 at Phoenix. Franchitti has been sidelined since he fractured his left foot in an accident April 26 in a Nationwide Series race at Talladega. The only Raybestos Rookie to win the Pocono 500 (26 races) is Denny Hamlin. Hamlin won the 2006 race 1.328 seconds over second-place Kurt Busch and became just the third Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five finish in the June race at Poco# He also became the first Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps (six times for 83 laps) and is one of just six rookies to lead a lap in the June race at Pocono (since 1989). Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions for the June race at Pocono: Hamlin and Kasey Kahne, who captured the top starting position for the 2004 race. Only once since 1975 have two or more Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10 in the June race at Pocono: Tim Richmond finished ninth and Ron Bouchard placed 10th in the 1981 Mountain Dew 500. 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 (59 races).(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see Rookie history, standings and more on my 2008 Rookies page.(6-5-2008)

      News from June 4, 2008

    • Villeneuve teams up with Green-Legault on Cup team UPDATE: a little crude but the La Presse [Canada in French] reported that former F-1/CART driver, Jacques Villeneuve who was teamed up with Bill Davis racing and started the season in ther #27 Toyota [attempting just the Daytona 500] has teamed up with former CART team owner Barry Green and promoter of the Grand Prix of Canada, Normand Legault. The team needs sponsorship and could allign itself with another Cup team, Ganassi Racing was mentioned.(Translated thru Google from La Presse)(6-3-2008)
      UPDATE: Barry Green is denying reports that he and Jacques Villeneuve are attempting to raise money to start their own Sprint Cup team. A report in La Presse indicated that Green and Villeneuve had joined forces with Canadian Grand Prix promoter Normand Legault in a bid to raise enough funds to have Villeneuve run his own team under the umbrella of an existing Sprint Cup organization, such as Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports or Richard Childress Racing. But Green tells that they have no plans to field a team in NASCAR, rather, they are looking for a sponsor which will help facilitate a NASCAR ride. "We're trying to find a primary sponsor for Jacques," said Green, who has been working with Villeneuve on the business side of his NASCAR career. "The Sprint Cup series is very competitive and to launch a new team doesn't make much sense." Green says Legault is a longtime friend of Villeneuve's and he is doing everything he can to help him achieve his goal of racing in the NASCAR series.( Comment here

    • Three Roush drivers hit milestones at Pocono: #16-Greg Biffle and #26-Jamie McMurray will make their 200th career Cup starts at Pocono. In support of McMurray’s 200th Sprint Cup start, the #26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion will carry a special “200” decal on the lower hood in this weekend’s Pocono 500. And #17-Matt Kenseth will start in his 300th straight Cup race.(6-4-2008)

    • Ambrose tests at VIR with Wood Bros: Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose has completed his first test with Wood Brothers Racing in preparation for his Sprint Cup debut at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California in three weeks time. Ambrose drove the famous #21 Wood Brothers Ford in an open test at Virginia International Raceway which was attended by the majority of the Sprint Cup field. Ambrose completed 38 laps for a total of about 85 miles (136kms) and was conservatively in the top five cars at the end of the day, which was not officially recorded or timed. Ambrose will make his debut in NASCAR’s top ranks in a Little Debbie-backed Wood Brothers Ford Fusion at Sonoma on June 22. He will then run a further seven events for Wood Brothers at New Hampshire, Watkins Glen, Michigan, California, Dover, Texas and Phoenix. Ambrose will also drive four Sprint Cup events for JTG Racing, the first of which will be at Indianapolis in August. He will also run at Kansas, Atlanta and Homestead for that team.(BAM Media PR)(6-4-2008) Comment here

    • Kodak makes 2008 debut on the #12: Pocono is the first of six races in which Kodak is the primary sponsor of the #12 Dodge Charger driven by Ryan Newman. Kodak also will serve as the primary sponsor for Newman's car at Chicagoland, Watkins Glen, California, New Hampshire and Atlanta.(Penske Racing), see images of the car on my #12 Team Schemes page.(6-4-2008) Comment here

    • Kyle joins Wally in Wally's World: TNT's Wally Dallenbach hops back in the car for Wally's World, this time joined in a second car by Kyle Petty as they get behind the wheel of stock cars and demonstrate to viewers the nuances of each racetrack and break down the strategy required to be successful each week.(TNT PR)(6-4-2008) Comment here

    • Menard testing at VIR: #15-Paul Menard and his Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team will test today at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for this month's race at Infineon Raceway. In addition to today's test, Menard participated in a one day test session at the track in April where the driver of the #15 Menards Chevrolet piloted a late-model around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course.(Co-Pilott Motorsports Marketing)(6-4-2008)

    • Leffler returns to the #70 car: In addition to Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, Jason Leffler will attempt to qualify for the Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday in the #70 Haas CNC Racing entry.(Braun Racing PR)(6-4-2008) Comment here

      News from June 3, 2008

    • Kyle Busch trying to be first to do the triple: #18-Kyle Busch, who leads the Sprint Cup Series standings, will run that series' events at Pocono Raceway, the Pocono 500 on Sunday afternoon in addition Busch also plans on being at Texas Motor Speedway for Friday night's Craftsman Truck Series race, the Sam's Town 400. Then, on Saturday night, he'll be in the Nationwide Series at Nashville Superspeedway for the Federated Auto Parts 300 presented by Dollar General. This is unprecedented to say the least. No driver has ever attempted to run in all three NASCAR national series on one weekend at three different tracks. Due to the intense travel challenges, Busch will take part in only one qualifying session this weekend – at Pocono, in the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. At Nashville, Busch will be in the #32 Toyota for Braun Racing. Tennessee native Will Allen will sub for Busch during practice and qualifying. At Texas, Busch will be in the #51 Toyota for Billy Ballew Motorsports, but qualifying and practice in the truck will be handled by J.R. Norris.(NASCAR PR)(6-3-2008) Comment here

    • Been asked: how does #18-Kyle Busch's 2008 Cup Season start compare to others [since the current points system started in 1975]? Busch's start would rank 10th best with 2050 points. in 1977 Cale Yarborough had 2176 points and 6 wins [so he would have 2296 points using the extra 10 points winners get now per win], 2nd would be Ernie Irvan in 1994 at 2130 points after 13 races [adjusted to 2190 for three wins] and third best would be Dale Earnhardt in 1987 at 2119 [adjusted to 2239 for 6 wins]. Last seasonJeff Gordon led after 13 races with 2059 points and 3 wins.(6-3-2008)

    • Addington named the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race in Dover: Steve Addington, crew chief of the #18 Combos Toyota driven by Kyle Busch, has been named the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday’s Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway. The Addington-led team captured its fourth win of the season on Sunday after Busch raced near the front of the 43-car field for practically the entire afternoon. 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 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

    • NASCAR on Fox TV Ratings & Viewership Rise in 2008: Putting the brakes on a two-year trend, overall viewership figures for the Emmy Award-winning series in 2008 rose year-to-year for the first time since 2005, posting an impressive 5.7/12 average national household rating and share (9.4 million viewers), up +2% over last year's 5.6/13 (9.3 million). NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on FOX concluded its season as the top-rated and most-watched regular season sport from February through June for the eighth consecutive year. Eleven out of the thirteen NASCAR Sprint Cup points races on FOX either grew or equaled last year's viewing levels, a first for the sport on the network. In addition to households, NASCAR on FOX also posted year-to-year increases in the sports' traditionally strong male demographics. The rating for men age 35-54 was up +5% (6.5 vs. 6.2) over last season, while ratings in the broader male, 25-54 category were up +2% (5.4 vs. 5.3).
      NASCAR on FOX concluded its 2008 campaign with two big races. First, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (5/25), the Coca Cola 600, the longest race of the season, posted a 4.7/10 household rating (7.6 million viewers), +4% over the 2007 race and was the top-rated and most-watched event of the holiday weekend. This marks the eighth straight year that the Coke 600 on FOX delivered a larger audience than the Indy 500 4.6/13, (7.2 million). Last Sunday, in the FOX season finale, the race from Dover scored a 4.5/11 (7.1 million viewers), and was the top-rated event for the weekend. The Dover race a year ago was washed out on Sunday and posted a 2.3/7 when run on Monday.(FOX)(6-3-2008) Comment here

    • Racing Resources Says …
      * Kyle Busch won the Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway after starting the race third. Busch scored his eighth career victory in his 127th career race. Busch's previous victory came at Darlington. Busch scored his fourth victory in 2008, the most in the series. Three of those victories have come in the past five races. Busch scored his seventh straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Texas. This is Busch's first victory in seven races at Dover. His previous best Dover finish was second (twice). It marked his fifth top-five finish in seven races at Dover.
      * Busch's win marked Toyota's fifth victory in 2008. Chevrolet and Ford each have three wins, and Dodge has two.
      * Greg Biffle led the most laps, leading three different times for 164 laps total.
      * This was the fifth victory for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008.
      * Busch led four times for 158 laps, including the final 74.
      * Carl Edwards (second) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 2008. Edwards has scored top-10 finishes in his past four races, extending a streak that began at Richmond. Edwards has finished third or better in the past four races at Dover.
      * Busch remained first in the points standings. Busch gained 48 points in the race. He is now 142 points ahead of Jeff Burton -- the largest championship lead so far this season.
      * Busch has won 10 races in NASCAR's three National divisions (four in Cup, four in Nationwide, two in Trucks). Busch is the only driver to score nine top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes in 13 races this season.
      * Biffle (third) scored his fifth straight top-10 finish at Dover.
      * Matt Kenseth (fourth) scored his third top-10 finish in his past three races.
      * Jeff Gordon (fifth) scored his fourth straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Richmond. He climbed from 10th to sixth in points.
      * Burton (eighth) is the only driver to score top-15 finishes in all 13 races this season.
      * Sam Hornish Jr. (18th) was the highest-finishing rookie.
      * Kevin Harvick (38th) extended the longest streak of running at the finish of 57 races that began at Kansas in October 2006.
      * A Lap 18 accident involving 11 cars (Nos. 07, 9, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21, 29, 43, 66 and 88) resulted in a 15-minute, 42-second red flag. Six of the top 12 in points were involved in this accident, resulting in a shuffle in the points standings.
      * Only six cars finished on the lead lap, the fewest in a race this season.(

      News from June 2, 2008

    • Champion Mortgage to sponsor #00 Toyota: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that Champion Mortgage will sponsor the #00 Toyota Camry and driver Michael McDowell for a minimum of 10 races beginning at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Champion Mortgage, a leading mortgage lender, is a well known name in the Northeast and has been expanding its mortgage lending across the US since the Champion brand became a division of Nationstar Mortgage LLC in 2007.(MWR PR), see an image of the car on my #00 Team Schemes page.(6-3-2008) Comment here

    • Dover TV Ratings: Sprint Cup Racing on Fox concluded its 2008 campaign with a 4.2/10 for the race from Dover yesterday to rank as the top-rated event for the weekend. Last year's race which was rained-out and rescheduled on a Monday afternoon posted a 2.2/7 and was not included in the 2007 season average. For the 2008 season, Sprint Cup racing averaged a 5.2/11 in the meters for 13 races, flat with last year's average for just 12 races.(Fox)(6-2-2008) Comment here

    • McMurray out at Roush at end of 2008? #26-Jamie McMurray will be driving for another team next year, according to one report Sunday citing unidentified sources. McMurray finished 10th Sunday. However, McMurray denies the report.(, hearing Crown Royal could stay with Roush Fenway Racing, teaming up with Greh Biffle [who is expected to re-sign with Roush] in 2009. No word if Roush Fenway Racing would field a fifth team in 2009 or drop down to the mandated max of four Cup teams, which will go in effect for the 2010 season.(6-2-2008) Comment here

    • Ganassi and Penske? Preposterous: Rumors that have surfaced recently about a possible alliance between Chip Ganassi [#40,#41,#42] and Roger Penske [#2,#12,#77] in NASCAR racing, or of a possible Penske buyout of Ganassi's stock car team? Both men field Dodges in Sprint Cup racing, and at the recent Indianapolis 500, won by Ganassi driver Scott Dixon, the two pillars of the sport reportedly appeared a lot more chummy than usual. Sunday at Dover, Mike Accavitti, director of Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing Communications, said he had read the rumors but scoffed at them. "Absolutely preposterous," Accavitti said. "That would be like putting the Hatfields and McCoys together."(Sporting News)(6-2-2008) Comment here

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Dover
      Total number of commercials: 130
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 76
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:51 PM
      Total minutes: 231
      Minutes of race broadcast: 174
      Minutes of commercials: 57
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions': 1
      See the full report at Comment here

    • Busch almost loses helmet: #18-Kyle Busch almost had to go to a backup helmet this weekend. His helmet was stolen from the garage Friday night, but track security officers caught the culprit. "Somebody snuck in the garage with the cleanup crew and stole it," Busch said. "Somebody saw it happen, I guess, and they told security guards outside. They were checking everybody that was leaving and they found him and brought the helmet back." Did the helmet have any special significance to Busch? "It didn't matter," he said. "It's not a lucky helmet." But Busch now has two victories with that helmet, including Atlanta. "On second thought, it might be a lucky helmet," team owner Joe Gibbs said.( Comment here

    • Ambrose eyeing Cup: Marcos Ambrose was encouraged, but also somewhat realistic following his recent Sprint Cup test at Pocono International Raceway. The Tuesday-Wednesday test marked his first time in a Cup car [actually Ambrose practiced a 2nd Robby Gordon car at Watkins Glen in 2007 before qualifying was rained out] and his first time at the three-sided, 2.5-mile track in the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. “It went OK, pretty good,” the 31-year-old Australian said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. “But it was a difficult place to get in a Cup car for the first time. I went there to get in laps and get a feel for that kind of [Cup] car. We ran in the middle of the pack most of the day. Another few tenths [of a second] would have been nice, but, still, I learned a lot about these Cup cars. The adjustment [from Nationwide to Cup COT car] is as tough as everyone said it would be. And Pocono is about as hard a track to learn as I’ve ever seen. I know we have plenty of work to do, but we got better as we went along and got a good feel for where we are.” Ambrose will run a handful of Cup races this season, some in the Wood Brothers’ #21 Ford and some with #47 Ford-based JTG Racing. He’ll run Sonoma and Watkins Glen for the Woods, plus a race in Michigan and one in Loudon [New Hampshire]. “I can’t remember the others he’ll do for us,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said Saturday. “It’s on a calendar somewhere at the shop. I’m sure of those four, but there are maybe three or four more he’ll do for us.” Ambrose also will do at least Indianapolis, Kansas, Atlanta, and Homestead in the #47 Fusion of JTG Racing.(Ford Racing)(6-2-2008) Comment here

    • Sad News - Bill Connell: William (Bill) D. Connell, Sr. (1947 - 2008) passed away Saturday morning [May 31st] at 9:07am/et. He was at Northeast Medical Center in Concord, N.C. Bill was preceded in death by his father and mother Mr. Demarcus William Connell, and his father-in-law William McKinley Steedley. Bill is survived by his wife Sherry Steedley Connell, daughter Angela and grandson Jordan Connell, son Mark and daughter-in-law Heather Connell, and his younger sister Vickie and brother-in-law Skip Kress. Bill was also a Vietnam War veteran serving in the U.S. Navy. He was best known for his thirty-four years of motorsports broadcasting which included twelve years of producing and hosting his own, regional network television show The PROS In Motorsports. During his glorious broadcast career Bill was also cast in three motion pictures: Last American Hero, Greased Lightning, and Stroker Ace. After losing a kidney to cancer in March of 1998, Bill continued to battle his health which led to his early retirement in May 2003, after the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where Bill called his final NASCAR event. His family will be receiving friends this Tuesday, June 3, from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. at Linn-Honeycutt Funeral home in Landis, N.C. They will celebrate Bill's, blessed life Wednesday, June 4, 4p.m at Dayspring Community Church in China Grove, N.C. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Dayspring Community Church building fund, P.O. Box 967, China Grove, N.C. 28023 or The North Carolina Kidney Foundation.(6-1/2-2008)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #29-Harvick has been running at the finish in 57 consecutive races [almost lost it at Dover], the longest current streak, next up is #07-Bowyer at 50 consecutive races. Harvick holds the modern era (1972-present) record at 58 (10/3/2002-8/1/2004) then Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53 [Indy in 1996 thru Martinsville in the spring of 1998. The all-time record for the longest streak of NOT having an DNF is 84 races held by Herman Beam from April 30, 1961 thru March 10, 1963.(6-1-2008)

    • Burton's streak ends: #31-Jeff Burton finished eight in the Best Buy 400 Benefiting Student Clubs at Dover International Speedway, but was one lap down, ending a streak of 17 straight races of finishing on the lead lap. That was the best streak since matt Kenseth, who had 18 straight races in 2006-2007. Burton's streak started at LMS in Oct 2007. Jeff Gordon has the best streak since 1993. Gordon ran 21 straight races from June 1998 thru Feb 1999.(6-2-2008)

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