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MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
JULY 21-26, 2008
News from July 27, 2008
- Johnson wins at Indy: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 2nd win at the track, 2nd of the season and 35th of his career. Johnson took the lead on a two-tire stop with 10 laps to go. The race was filled with tire-related problems on the track and many cautions for the teams to pit. #99-Edwards finished 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin, #19-Sadler, #24-Gordon, #26-McMurray, #9-Kahne, #31-Burton and #84-Allmendinger [first career top-10]. There were 11 cautions for 52 laps and 26 lead changes among 16 drivers.
For race results, awards and more, see my Indy Race Results Awards Page.(7-27-2008)
- UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Indy race 20 of 36]:
1) #18-Kyle Busch 3004 [7 wins]
2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2751 -253 [1 win]
3) #31-Jeff Burton 2733 -271 [1 win]
4) #48-Jimmie Johnson 2689 -315 [2 wins]
5) #99-Carl Edwards 2684 -320 [3 wins][would be 2nd w/out 100pts penalty]
6) #24-Jeff Gordon 2539 -465
7) #16-Greg Biffle 2460 -544
8) #11-Denny Hamlin 2453 -551
9) #9-Kasey Kahne 2441 -563
10) #20-Tony Stewart 2399 -605 [+39]
11) #17-Matt Kenseth 2366 -638 [+6]
12) #07-Clint Bowyer 2362 -642 [1 win][2 pts ahead of 13th]
13) #29-Kevin Harvick 2360 -644 [2 pts out of 12th]
14) #6-David Ragan 2306 -698 [-56]
15) #83-Brian Vickers 2230 -774 [-132]
16) #12-Ryan Newman 2218 -786 [-144]
17) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 2146 -858 [-216]
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Indy page.(7-27-2008)
- Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono:
#00 is now out and #66 moves back into the top 35, by 14 pts
The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
32) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 1597 +115
33) #01-Smith/DEI: 1572, +90
34) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1522 +40
35) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 1496 14 points ahead of 36th
these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
36) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1482 14 points out of 35th
37) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1433 -63
38) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing: 1335 -161
For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(7-27-2008)
- Race Fast Facts - Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Jimmie Johnson won the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, his 35th victory in 239 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races
This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2008
This is his second victory and third top-10 finish in seven races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Carl Edwards (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2008.
Denny Hamlin (third) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Patrick Carpentier (18th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 253 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-27-2008)
- Lucky Dogs....Who got a lap back on each caution at Indianapolis: (and their finish)
Caution 1: none, no cars a lap down
Caution 2: none, no cars a lap down that are on the track
Caution 3: #77-Hornish Jr.
Caution 4: #77-Hornish Jr.(2)
Caution 5: #88-Earnhardt Jr.
Caution 6: #70-Leffler
Caution 7: #7-Gordon
Caution 8: none, #83-Vickers was eligible, but caused the caution
Caution 9: #29-Harvick (still 14 laps down)
Caution 10: #29-Harvick (still 13 laps down)
Caution 11: none awarded with 10 or less laps left in race
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway Penalty Report:
Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
1 #15 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 4
2 #55 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 4
3 #45 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 5
4 #29 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 14
5 #2 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 14
6 #47 Commitment Line Violation TE 15
7 #42 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 29
8 #01 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 29
9 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 47
10 #44 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 47
11 #17 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 47
12 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 48
13 #43 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 97
14 #43 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 97
15 #44 Rolling a tire(s) beyond the center of pit road. TE 99
16 #42 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 106
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)(7-27-2008)
- Racing Resources Says …
* Jimmie Johnson won the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Johnson won the race from the Coor's Light pole starting position. He is only the second driver to win at Indy from the pole. Kevin Harvick won at Indy in 2003 from the pole.
* Johnson scored his 35th-career NSCS victory in 239 career races. He climbed from fifth to fourth in the points standings. This is his second series victory in 2008. He also won at Phoenix in April, 12 races ago. Johnson scored his second victory in seven races at Indy. He scored his third top-10 finish in seven races at Indy. Johnson led 71 of the 160 laps raced including the final 10 laps.
* Chevrolet scored its fifth victory in 2008. Toyota has eight wins, Dodge has four while Ford has three.
* The winner at Indy has gone on to win the Championship six times.
* This marked the first time since 1998 that the reigning Champion won the Brickyard 400.
* A Chevrolet has won the last six races at Indy, a streak that began in 2003.
* Hendrick Motorsports has won six of the 15 races at Indy, the most of all teams.
* 17 of the 20 races in 2008 have been won from a top-10 starting position. The only three races in 2008 that were not won from a top-10 starting position were at Richmond when Clint Bowyer won from the 31st starting position, at Infineon with Kyle Busch winning from 30th and New Hampshire where Kurt Busch started 26th.
* Carl Edwards finished second, scoring his 14th top-10 finish in 20 races this season, the most by any driver. He dropped from fourth to fifth in the standings, five points behind fourth-place Johnson.
* Denny Hamlin finished third, posting his best finish in three races at Indy. Hamlin climbed from 12th to 8th in the standings.
* Elliott Sadler finished fourth, posting his best finish in 2008. It was his best finish since he finished fourth in the 2006 Daytona 500. It was his second top-five finish in 10 races at Indy.
* Jeff Gordon finished fifth, posting his 12th top-10 finish in 15 races at Indy.
* In all 15 series races at Indy, the pole winner has led the first lap.
* A mere six points separate 11th-place Matt Kenseth, 12th-place Clint Bowyer and 13th-place Kevin Harvick with six races remaining in the Race to the Chase.
* Tire issues were anticipated and became the issue of the race with competition cautions occurring as determined by NASCAR. The anticipation was noted on Saturday and Goodyear responded bringing in their Pocono tires as backups to be used in emergency. NASCAR scheduled the first three competition cautions at Laps 14, 30 and 48 and NASCAR adjusted with the on-track problems. It became clear that the tires were lasting only nine-12 laps. The first competition caution was displayed on lap 15 during the second caution of the day. The second came with the third caution for debris from the No. 42 of Juan Pablo Montoya when he blew a tire on the backstretch on Lap 28. The third was scheduled for Lap 48. However, Matt Kenseth blew a tire doing severe damage to the right-rear of his car on Lap 46. Kenseth ended a streak of eight top-10 finishes in the last nine races, finishing 38th. The fourth competition caution was scheduled for Lap 64 and everyone made it without incident. The fifth competition caution was scheduled for Lap 83 and all cars completed the 12 laps of green-flag racing without incident as tire supplies were dwindling. The sixth competition caution was displayed on Lap 83 and the seventh on Lap 99. On Lap 107, Brian Vickers blew an engine. The ninth competition caution was displayed on Lap 123 followed by the tenth on Lap 139. The 11th and final competition caution was displayed on Lap 151.
* The longest green-flag run of just 12 laps came from lap 35 to lap 47. While actually 13, the final lap was not run at "speed."
* Kenseth (38th) dropped from eighth to 11th, Kevin Harvick (37th) dropped from ninth to 13th, Brian Vickers (42nd) dropped from 14th to 15th and Kurt Busch (40th) remained 18th.
* Jeff Burton hit a bird on the restart of Lap 106.
* The race featured 26 lead changes among 16 drivers. Both are records for Indy.
* The race had 11 cautions for 52 laps, also a record [laps] at Indy
* The top 10 consisted of two Toyotas, three Chevrolets, three Fords and two Dodges.
* The highest finishing rookie of the year contender was Patrick Carpentier, who finished 18th.(ESPN.com)(7-28-2008)
- Challenging Circumstances At Brickyard Balanced By Increase In Green-Flag Passing: With teams clearly responding to the challenges presented by tire wear during Sunday’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the race produced a solid increase in green-flag passing compared to last year. There may have been a record number of caution laps for the race, 52. But the green-flag passing numbers, gathered by NASCAR’s Loop Data, showed a total of 1,545 green-flag passes during Sunday’s event, up from 1,431 during last year’s Indy race – a difference of 114 passes. “I felt like there was a lot of good racing today … I think there was a lot of passing; I know I had to pass a lot of cars,” race winner Jimmie Johnson said. Johnson drove a brilliant race throughout, racking up dominant statistics across the board. Along with a race-high 71 laps led, Johnson boasted a near-perfect Driver Rating of 147.3 (a perfect rating is 150.0), an Average Running Position of 2.5 and 36 Fastest Laps Run. He was also one of only two drivers to run all 160 laps in the top 15 (second-place finisher Edwards was the other).(NASCAR PR)(7-27-2008) Comment here
- Rusty says Newman was fired; Newman says 'no' UPDATE: Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman never were pals when they competed as teammates at Penske Racing. Now, the two men have a major difference of opinion over the circumstances of Newman's departure from the No. 12 Dodge at the end of this season. Newman has said repeatedly that he and team owner Roger Penske discussed his situation a few weeks ago when Newman decided he wanted to move on. Wallace insinuated on Friday that Newman was fired. "I'll clear this leaving thing up," Wallace said. "He didn't leave. Roger called Ryan up to his office and said, 'I don't need your services next year.' Ryan didn't come to him and say he's leaving. You all need to write that. That's exactly how it went down. Obviously, there was some bad blood there when that happened. I love Roger, so I'm going to help clear up the story for him."
However, in a clarifying statement shortly thereafter, Penske said: "I have read Rusty's comments and it is important for everyone to understand that I did not fire Ryan. His contract runs though 2008 and we sat down and agreed that we were not going forward beyond this year." Newman was told about Wallace's comments about an hour later. "I don't know what Rusty is trying to prove, but that's not the case," Newman said. "Roger and I agreed not to continue our association. If anything, it was me more than him. Our goals didn't align." Wallace, now a broadcaster for ESPN, was Newman's teammate from 2002 through 2005. Their relationship was strained during most of those four seasons.(ESPN.com)
AND Newman said Friday at Indy that it wasn't the case, that Roger and he decided mutually not continue.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-26-208)
UPDATE: A day after Rusty Wallace said Roger Penske essentially fired Ryan Newman from the #12 car after the 2008 season, Penske said Wallace didn’t know what he was talking about. “I have read Rusty’s comments and it is important for everyone to understand that I did not fire Ryan,” Penske said in a statement. “His contract runs through 2008 and we sat down and agreed that we were not going forward beyond this year.” Penske’s statement matches what Newman said after he heard about Wallace’s comments Friday – that it was a mutual decision. On Saturday, after Newman qualified third at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard for the second consecutive year, he seemed vindicated by Penske’s agreement. “That’s what I said,” Newman said. “I made some jokes about Rusty and all, but the bottom line is what he said wasn’t true and we’ll go on.”(Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)(7-27-2008) Comment here
- Two Soldiers in the #8 pit at Indy: Two decorated soldiers from the Indianapolis Recruiting Battalion -- Sgt. 1st Class John Adams and Sgt. 1st Class Robert Groff - will be guests of Mark Martin and the #8 U.S. Army team for Sunday's running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Adams earned the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions in Iraq on Oct. 13, 2004, when he captured an Iraqi insurgent as he was completing an improvised explosive device along the roadside of a major supply route. Adams' actions prevented the device from being detonated, saving countless lives and avoiding a disruption along a road that supplied American troops with fuel and provisions.
Groff earned the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions in Iraq on April 9, 2004, when his fuel convoy was attacked by insurgents. Groff repeatedly braved the crossfire and exploding IEDs to lead wounded civilian drivers and other soldiers to the safety of his Humvee until 11 people filled the vehicle. He stayed with the vehicle and its occupants and defended it for more than 20 minutes until help arrived to transfer them to safety. As part of the program, each soldier will have an action figure and a page on the America's Army Web site (www.americasarmy.com), which will feature his biography, photos and a video that recounts his story of heroism. The action figure, which is roughly 4 inches long, also comes with a trading card with an abbreviated version of their story.(IMS Site)(7-27-2008)
- Tires could be an issue at Indy UPDATE 2: Tire wear could be a serious issue in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday based on the problems some of the Sprint Cup teams were having in the two practice sessions Saturday afternoon. Right-side tires were wearing down to the cords for some teams after only five or six laps on the 2.5-mile quad-oval. All the teams will receive an extra set of tires for the race -- 10 instead of nine -- as needed. NASCAR officials plan to throw a competition yellow Sunday after about 15 laps. "The track is pretty abrasive and wears down tires pretty fast," Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker told ESPN. "We've seen this new car is a little tougher on right-side [tires] because it transfers more weight." Another problem Saturday was the lack of rubber laid down on the track from the cars making laps. The dust and tiny rubber pieces from the tires were accumulating on the bumper of the cars rather than staying on the track. More rubber on the track adds grip and makes it easier for the cars to turn. A few teams went through four sets of tires in practice Saturday. Teams are given eight sets of tires for practice and qualifying.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2008)
UPDATE: Following are comments from NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton, regarding tires for Sunday’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: "We've got enough tires for Sunday's race and there will be up to 10 sets per team. Not everybody is going to use all of their tires in the last practice session. There may be some teams that keep an extra set behind. There’s only one NASCAR series that's here this weekend, and you don't get a chance to put enough rubber on the track. If you make a tire that lasts during practices, when you get into the race then they have issues with handling. It's always a challenge here. It's a ‘one-off’ tire that Goodyear builds for this place.
The track is very abrasive because we don't run on it very often. Goodyear's doing the best they can. It's a situation we do see probably every time that we come here.”(NASCAR)(7-27-2008)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR held a press conference Sunday morning, there will be a competition yellow Sunday after 10 laps [unless a caution comes out sonner], plus they will monitor the tires for other possible competition yellows AND they have Pocono tires on hand if the Indy tires become a problem, but the whole field would have to switch if the Pocono tires are mandated by NASCAR.(SPEED's Raceday)(7-27-2008)
UPDATE 3: Goodyear trucked in extra shipment of tires Sunday morning for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard amid complaints about excessive wear during practice Friday and Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the new shipment of tires, which were intended to be used at Pocono Raceway next week, could be used during the 160-lap, 400-mile race. If needed, the Pocono tires would be implemented unilaterally across the 43-car Sprint Cup Series field. Pemberton said there would be at least two NASCAR-mandated caution flags to check wear during the early stages of the race, with the first occurring on Lap 10.(USA Today)(7-27-2008) Comment here
- Franchitti to run limited schedule the rest of the season: Dario Franchitti is set to remain in NASCAR with Chip Ganassi Racing for the remainder of the year and will compete in a limited number of races, primarily in the Nationwide Series, following the closure of his Sprint Cup series [#40] team last month. Franchitti is set to stay focused on NASCAR for now after pondering the options he was offered by Chip Ganassi, following their meeting two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway. Franchitti plans to compete in seven Nationwide Series races, alternating with fellow rookie Bryan Clauson at the wheel of the #40 Fastenal Dodge.(Autosport)(7-27-2008) Comment here
- Run all the Brickyard races: four drivers will have run all 15 Brickyard 400's since it first ran in 1994:
#24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins]
#43-Bobby Labonte [1 win]
#8-Mark Martin [best 2nd once]
#31-Jeff Burton [best 5th once]
#21-Bill Elliott had run in the previous 14, but failed to qualify for the race.(7-27-2008)
- TIRES: NASCAR held a press conference Sunday morning, there will be a competition yellow Sunday after 10 laps [unless a caution comes out sonner], plus they will monitor the tires for other possible competition yellows AND they have Pocono tires on hand if the Indy tires become a problem, but the whole field would have to switch if the Pocono tires are mandated by NASCAR.(SPEED's Raceday)(7-27-2008)
UPDATE: Goodyear trucked in extra shipment of tires Sunday morning for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard amid complaints about excessive wear during practice Friday and Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the new shipment of tires, which were intended to be used at Pocono Raceway next week, could be used during the 160-lap, 400-mile race. If needed, the Pocono tires would be implemented unilaterally across the 43-car Sprint Cup Series field. Pemberton said there would be at least two NASCAR-mandated caution flags to check wear during the early stages of the race, with the first occurring on Lap 10.(USA Today)(7-27-2008) Comment here
News from July 26, 2008
- Ganassi-Waltrip merger? Car owner Chip Ganassi pulled the plug on Franchitti's team a month ago, in a shocker that left 71 people without jobs. That move by Ganassi has led to intense speculation about Ganassi's NASCAR future. Some of that speculation includes the possibility of some merger between Ganassi and the Michael Waltrip operation, which is also struggling and may be down to one sponsor next season for that three-car operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2008) Comment here
- McMurray to RCR? UPDATE 3 Denied: hearing that Jamie McMurray, currently the driver of the #26 Crown Royal/Irwin Tools Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, will be the driver of Richard Childress Racing's 4th team, to be sponsored by General Mills and supposedly will be the #33 Chevy. No word if Roush will run the fifth team in 2009 or drop down to four teams a year early. RFR will need to drop to four teams after the 2009 season.(7-25-2008)
UPDATE: On Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, owner Jack Roush was quick to defend his driver, Jamie McMurray -- right after he said he would not allow any of McMurray's four Roush Fenway Racing teammates to be pilfered from his team -- while pointedly omitting McMurray. "Jamie is important to me," Roush said. "But today, Jamie is not the driver that's been productive, to the extent that the other four are. I look forward to, and certainly expect, great things from Jamie, but the productivity has not been there at this point."
McMurray, whose current contract runs through the end of 2009 and who last won in the 2007 Pepsi 400 at Daytona -- 37 races ago -- is 22nd in the standings, with only three top-10 finishes this season in the #26 Ford.(NASCAR.com)(7-26-2008)
UPDATE 2: [Tony] Stewart said that Ryan Newman is just one of three drivers on his short list [for the 2nd team, the #4 Chevy]. Presumably, Martin Truex Jr. and Jamie McMurray are the other two. And Stewart is battling car owners Joe Gibbs and Richard Childress, who are both also looking for drivers. McMurray's future with car owner Jack Roush has been up for debate the past several weeks, and the speculation has become intense that Roush would be releasing McMurray. But apparently sponsor Crown Royal is pushing Roush to keep McMurray in the fold, and as tough as good sponsors are to find, that could well end that whole debate. McMurray has been mentioned as being on Childress' short list for his new fourth team. But Childress now appears to be back in the market trying to sign Truex. A Childress-Truex deal was in the works earlier this year, until Teresa Earnhardt, who owns DEI, said she would hold Truex to the option year on his current DEI contract for 2009.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2008)
UPDTE 3: Jamie McMurray squelched reports on Saturday that he may be on his way out at Roush Fenway Racing. "If you guys want to print the truth, the truth is I'll be there with Crown Royal [as a sponsor]," McMurray said after his qualifying lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It's 100 percent." McMurray's name had been connected with the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing. Sources close to the situation said RCR made a run at him, but couldn't get him out of the final year of his contract at Roush. "Richard is looking for a driver and I'm somewhat flattered to have my name on the list that another owner would want you," McMurray said. "But I will be in this car and not at Richard Childress Racing."(ESPN.com)(7-26-2008) Comment here
- Newman's search narrowed down: #12-Ryan Newman said Friday at Indy that he has his search for a new ride narrowed down, just doesn't have everything finalized, it is more a matter of paperwork and finalizing everything before he can announced something.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-26-2008) Comment here
- Carpentier hopes to know 2009 plans by mid-August: Rookie #10-Patrick Carpentier said he should know by mid-August what car owner has planned for him for 2009. "And it all depends on sponsors, you know," said the popular Carpentier. "I expect to be back next year, yes…. but I'm sure Dario Franchitti expected to run the full season too."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2008) Comment here
- Earnhardt Banners removed in Kannapolis NC: Kannapolis NC Tourism officials say the removal of Dale Trail banners from around the city does not mark the end of the Dale Trail attraction. The banners were removed Thursday upon the request of Castle & Cooke, developer of the North Carolina Research Campus, owned by billionaire David Murdock. DeSales Wagster, president and CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the Dale Trail remains extremely popular with visitors to the CVB welcome center, and she hopes the attraction could be restructured to include more historical markers and audio tours. “I think people want more content and more information about Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” Wagster said. The Dale Trail leads race fans on a tour of locations important to the life of the late NASCAR legend and Kannapolis native Dale Earnhardt. She said the CVB was recently approached by Castle & Cooke about the removal of the banners, which had become somewhat tattered. “All this was very friendly,” Wagster said. “No, Murdock did not intimidate us to take down the Dale Trail. It was like neighbor doing for neighbor.” Officials have said Castle & Cooke’s request to remove the banners was in preparation for a VIP guest expected [Oprah?] to tour the research campus today with Murdock. Officials said they could not confirm whom the VIP guest would be. Wagster said she hoped to work with Castle & Cooke to find a way to mesh both motor sports marketing and the research campus. “Motorsports is science to a degree, and the research campus is science,” Wagster said. “So we may be able to blend these two things.” On July 18, Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg issued a memo to Kannapolis City Council saying the Dale Trail banners would be permanently removed. Legg said the city planned to spend $25,000 this year on improvements to Dale Earnhardt Plaza in Cannon Village. Wagster said the banners will soon go up for sale on eBay.com, with plans to use the funds to pay Kannapolis back for their removal.(Kannapolis Independent Tribune)(7-26-2008) Comment here
- Johnson on pole at Indy: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coor's Light Pole for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.963mph for his 2nd pole of 2008 and 15th of his career. #8-Martin will start 2nd followed by #12-Newman, #9-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #19-Sadler, #2-Busch, #26-McMurray, #99-Edwards and #17-Kenseth. #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 11th, points leader #18-Busch will start 19th and #31-Burton starts 32nd.
The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #10-Carpentier, #70-Leffler, #47-Ambrose, #84-Allmendinger, #66-Riggs, #78-Nemechek, #96-Yeley and #45-Terry Labonte [using a past champions provisional]. Missing the race are #21-Elliott, #08-Sauter, #34-Raines and #50-Barrett.
For the starting linup, qualifying results, order, pole progression, see my Indy Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order Page.(7-26-2008)
- Radio coverage at Indy: ESPN and the IMS Radio Network once again will provide extensive live television and radio coverage of on-track action at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Race Day TV coverage on the ESPN networks starts with “NASCAR Now” atam/et Sunday, July 27 on ESPN2. Coverage shifts to ESPN at 1:00pm/et with the pre-race show, “NASCAR Countdown,” and flag-to-flag race coverage starts at 2:00pm/et on ESPN. Qualifying coverage starts at 10am/et Saturday, July 26 on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com, which also will feature practice coverage at 2:00pm/et that day.
Race Day radio coverage will start on the IMS Radio Network at 1pm/et Sunday, July 27 with a one-hour pre-race show. Live race coverage starts at 2pm/et. The IMS Radio Network will cover qualifying at 10am/et Saturday, July 26, with a one-hour qualifying wrap-up show at 5pm/et that day. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard radio broadcast also will be available on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel and on the Web at NASCAR.com. A Spanish-language version of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard coverage also will be broadcast in Indianapolis on WEDJ-FM 107.1. In addition to coverage all across America, the IMS Radio Network’s broadcast of the race will be available around the globe. LeSea Broadcasting will provide coverage via short-wave radio.
The on-air IMS Radio Network team the 15th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Bob Jenkins and Doug Rice, co-hosts; John Andretti, driver analyst; Donald Davidson, historian; Jerry Baker, Turn 1 reporter; Kevin Lee, Turn 2 reporter; Rob Albright, Turn 3 reporter; Chuck Carland, Turn 4 reporter; and Brett McMillan, Kevin Olson, Jake Query and Brad Gillie, pit reporters.(IMS PR)(7-26-2008)
- Happy Hour Practice for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
slowest: #00-McDowell 168.483 and #01-Smith 169.754
no speed listed: #44-Reutimann
incident: #7-Gordon's car caught fire, but Gordon says the car is ok and it was from the tire dust on the headers
See the speeds on my Indy Practice Speeds page.(7-26-2008)
- 3rd Practice for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
slowest: #01-Smith 167.948 and #78-Nemechek 170.142
See the speeds on my Indy Practice Speeds page.(7-26-2008)
News from July 25, 2008
- Office Depot/Old Spice to be co-primaries for Tony Stewart in the #14: Office Depot and Old Spice will serve as co-primary sponsors of Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet Impala SS Sprint Cup Series entry beginning in 2009. Officials from the two companies, as well as from Stewart-Haas Racing, made the announcement today near Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products and services, along with Old Spice, the No. 1 antiperspirant/deodorant stick and body wash choice for guys in the United States, have entered into multi-year agreements with Stewart-Haas Racing to sponsor the new entry driven by Stewart. In addition, both Office Depot and Old Spice are official NASCAR partners, successfully leveraging their relationships with NASCAR and their race team sponsorships as powerful marketing platforms for their brands.
"To have Office Depot and Old Spice throw their support behind me and this race team makes me extremely proud," said Stewart, who announced on July 10 that he had acquired a 50% stake in what is now known as Stewart-Haas Racing. "These are two partnerships that make a lot of sense. Office Depot focuses on small business owners, and with my role as a driver and owner next year, I'm both their spokesman and their customer - and I have been for years, because with two USAC teams, two World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series teams and three race tracks, you need a smooth-running office if you expect your business to run right. Old Spice has been with me for nine years, but our 10th year together is obviously going to be pretty big. This is a major commitment for the Old Spice brand, and we're going to make sure the success we've enjoyed over the years continues."
"Tony is a successful entrepreneur who has an impressive record as a small business owner. This is one of the reasons why he is such a
perfect fit for Office Depot," said Chuck Rubin, President of North American Retail for Office Depot. "We believe that Tony's passion to win and relentless pursuit of excellence truly embody the essence of the Office Depot brand and represent the commitments we make every single day to help our customers be successful."
Old Spice, a brand of Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (P&G), is the official antiperspirant/deodorant of NASCAR, and its longstanding
partnership with Stewart has helped Old Spice become the leader in its category, as well as the male body wash category. "We've really valued our relationship with Tony and have been growing our partnership for over nine years now," said Alex Keith, P&G Beauty, General Manager, North America Deodorants. "It's been a great program for Old Spice, and when he came to us with the opportunity to make it
even bigger, we knew it was the right move. We're absolutely thrilled to be on board."
Also supporting Stewart's Office Depot/Old Spice effort in 2009 will be Chevrolet. The winner of 31 manufacturer's championships since coming to Sprint Cup in 1955, Chevrolet adds another powerful team to its already potent lineup with the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing.Putting an exclamation point on Stewart's new ride for 2009 is that his red and black Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet will carry the #14, made famous by the legendary A.J. Foyt. "Tony and I have been friends for a long time," said Foyt, a winner of four Indianapolis 500s, the 1972 Daytona 500 and the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans. "I think I first met him when he was running Midgets. It was quite a while ago so I don't actually remember where and when. A few times he drove the Silver Crown car I had with George Snider back in the mid-90s and I gave him his first test in an Indy car in Phoenix (in 1995) and he ran pretty quick as I recall. In addition to being quick, he's always told it how it is. I don't think there's anyone better to carry the #14."
Stewart has always admired what Foyt, currently an IRL IndyCar Series owner, accomplished in a driving career that began in 1957 and spanned such racing divisions as Indy car, NASCAR, USAC and sports car racing. "A.J. has always been my hero and will always be No. 1 on my hero list, with the best part being that we are really good friends," Stewart said. "We obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for one another. I remember him calling me after I won my first Cup championship in 2002 and I remember how much it meant to have him call that night and congratulate me. We really do have similar pasts and carry a lot of characteristics that are the same. He is one of the greatest icons in racing worldwide and to be compared to him in any way is always a huge honor. We came up through the same types of cars, from Sprint Cars to Midgets, and then I went to the IRL and moved into NASCAR. A.J. ran Indy cars for a long time and still came into stock car racing and was successful. There aren't a lot of guys that can go from car to car and still win races. It was something that A.J. was really good at and something that we have been very fortunate to replicate. He has given a lot back to racing and has been one of its biggest supporters. Without guys like him, guys like me wouldn't have had a chance to succeed."(True Speed Communication PR), see all the other past news/rumors on the #66 Team News and Links page AND no word if the #14 will be the #66 or #70 team, Stewart's 2nd team will run the #4 and not use the #66 or #70 in 2009. See images of the car on my #14 Team Schemes page.(7-25-2008) Comment here
- New look for the #99 in 2009: Aflac unveiled its sleek new look for Roush Fenway Racing's #99 Aflac Ford driven by Carl Edwards. Beginning next season, Edwards, who has a multi-year primary sponsorship with Aflac, will race in one of the most formidable-looking cars in 2009. With the main color jet black and the secondary colors shades of green and blue, this ride will be
hard to miss -- even at speeds of 200 mph. Aflac revealed the new color scheme during a circuit stop in Indiana with Edwards present. The new paint scheme will debut in February 2009 at Daytona International Speedway. The current scheme [which can be seen on my #99 Team Schemes page] will run at Indy this weekend [July 27th]. at the Auto Club Speedway [Calif] on August 31st and at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Oct 11th.(PRN Newswire), see images of the car on my new 2009 #99 Team Schemes page.(7-25-2008) Comment here
- Ambrose to debut #47 team at Indy: Little Debbie, Marcos Ambrose and JTG/Daugherty Racing hope to get a jump-start on their future during this week’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard when the new team makes its Sprint Cup Series debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team, which plans a full-time schedule next year, will make four selected appearances this year, kicking off with one of the biggest races of the stock car season. JTG Racing currently fields a pair of Nationwide Series cars with Ambrose and Kelly Bires as drivers. The team’s expansion into the Sprint Cup Series this year includes the use of the #47 Ford Fusion. “We’ve planned for this for years,” said team co-owner Tad Geschickter. “It’s every racer’s dream to compete at the highest level. This is our first step and we’re proud to take it with Little Debbie and Marcos. We have done a lot of testing leading up to this first race, and will use this weekend as our first benchmark versus the competition. We will leave this weekend with a clearer view on the things we need to work on as we prepare to run full time next season.”(JTG Racing PR)(7-25-2008) Comment here
- DEI names interim crew chief for Truex: Mike Greci will serve as #1-Martin Truex's interim crew chief beginning this weekend, the team said Thursday. Greci replaces Kevin Manion, who begins serving his six-race suspension after Dale Earnhardt Inc. lost its appeal this week. Grechi first worked with Truex when Truex competed in what is now called the Camping World East series earlier this decade.
Manion can return at Richmond in early September.(Virginian-Pilot)(7-25-2008) Comment here
- Barrett to attempt to make Brickyard 400: This upcoming Sunday, the NOS Energy Drink team will head into Indy to attempt tp make the Allstate 400 race at The Brickyard. Piloting the #50 Chevy, team driver Stanton Barrett will look to erase the heartbreak of the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600, where despite valiant efforts, the car failed to qualify for the main events. The Allstate 400 is the third of four Sprint Cup events that the SKI Motorsports NOS Energy Drink team plans to participate in this season. This will also be the first time since 1999 that Barrett has a chance to drive in a Sprint Cup event at one of the most legendary race tracks on earth, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The sheer number of fans at The Brickyard is always incredible,” said Barrett. “We’ve got a good car, a great engine, and I’m looking forward to qualifying on Saturday.”(SKI Motorsports PR)(7-25-2008) Comment here
- McDowell trains with local law enforcement at high speeds: #00-Michael McDowell trained with law enforcement on a high-speed course and spoke about NASCAR safety at Metro Community College's Blue River [Indepndence, MO] campus Thursday [July 24th]. McDowell drove a police car in a simulated high-speed chase behind another law enforcement official. He also drove the car on a skid course covered with water. "The pursuit was the highlight for me. It felt like I was in a race - maybe a little too much. They said I wasn't allowed to beat and bang on them like I was," McDowell said. "It's just like a race in a sense. Your adrenaline gets going and you get kinda pumped so you're in the zone, and the officers have to deal with that all the time" McDowell spoke about the safety innovations in NASCAR, including the new car and SAFER barrier at Kansas Speedway. He demonstrated the helmet and HANS device that drivers wear for head and neck support by placing them on a fan in the crowd. "Our sport is not only for entertainment, it's to help manufacturers develop street cars and make them safer everyday. It's fun to be a part of that development," McDowell said. "Unfortunately, I was the crash test dummy at Texas this year - I pretty much put everything to the limit."(Kansas Speedway PR)(7-25-2008) Comment here
- Indy Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the first time Goodyear has brought this tire set-up to Indianapolis Motor Speedway . . . this combination of left- and right-side codes was selected after a tire test with Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brian Vickers at the Speedway on April 22-23 . . . the chief tire issue expected this weekend is expected early in practice as teams put down a layer of rubber on the abrasive racing surface . . . as typically seen on the grooved racing surface at Indianapolis, tire wear is expected to be high during the early practice sessions . . . in anticipation of this extreme tire wear situation, teams will have two extra sets of tires for practice and qualifying this weekend (up to eight sets) . . . IMS is the only track at which Sprint Cup teams will run this particular tire set-up this season . . . 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 Indianapolis . . . 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 report and more on my Indy Race Info page of Tire Notes by race page.(7-25-2008)
- Fans Vote Bobby Labonte, Rex White Into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: The votes are in for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees. Bobby Labonte won by the closest margin in history for active driver, while Rex White won the inactive driver category by a landslide. Labonte and White will be enshrined to the Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 4, during the AMP Energy 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR's greatest names and a tribute to one of racing's brightest stars - the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans' vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines. White, 78, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be inducted as this year's inactive driver. White won the 1960 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) championship as a driver/owner, recording six wins and 35 top 10s in 41 starts. He is one of just six driver/owners in history to win a series championship. Fan voting for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame began on April 15. In addition to Labonte, active driver nominees this year included: Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton, Morgan Shepherd, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader and Carl Edwards. White competed against inactive drivers, Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith and Speedy Thompson. In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have
bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway. For additional information, visit talladegawalk.com.(TSS PR)(7-25-2008)
- Ford's Dan Davis Honored: Dan Davis, who will retire as director of Ford Racing Technology on Aug. 1 after 11 years at the post, was honored with the first Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation's "Leadership Award" in a surprise announcement at the foundation's annual luncheon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. Foundation founder Lyn St. James presented Davis with the award, which honors individuals or organizations that have taken extraordinary measures and shown outstanding initiative in promoting diversity within the racing industry. The current Ford Women's Driver Development Program features Stephanie Mockler and Alison MacLeod, who both run USAC Midgets for famed team owner Bob East. Davis noted during his acceptance speech that Ford had reviewed the resumes of 250 female drivers as part of the process of starting the Development Program. The group was narrowed down to four drivers, who then went through extensive testing before two were selected to start the program. Ford Motor Company has been a long-time supporter of diversity in
- Qualifying Order for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #16-Biffle, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #38-Gilliland. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #08-Sauter, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #96-Yeley. See the full qualifying order on my Indy Qualifying Page.(7-25-2008)
- 2nd Friday practice for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
slowest: #34-Raines 168.976 and #50-Barrett 172.549
incidents: #47-Ambrose lost an engine and the team replaced it and Ambrose got out for a few laps
See the speeds on my Indy Practice Speeds page.(7-25-2008)
- Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the final Friday session
if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
#10-Patrick Carpentier, 7th fastest
#70-Jason Leffler, 18th fastest
#84-A.J. Allmendinger, 20th
#66-Scott Riggs, 27th
#78-Joe Nemechek, 33rd
#96-J.J. Yeley, 37th
#21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 39th
#45-Terry Labonte [PC1], 43rd
if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
#47-Marcos Ambrose, 44th
#08-Johnny Sauter, 45th
#50-Stanton Barrett, 46th
#34-Tony Raines, 47th/last
See the speeds on my Indy Practice Speeds page.(7-25-2008)
- Kahne on Live with Regis and Kelly: #9-Kasey Kahne will be making a pit stop in New York City before he heads to Indianapolis for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Kahne will appear during the Friday, July 25 episode of "Live with Regis and Kelly" and will chat with Kelly Ripa and guest co-host David Duchovny about the Allstate 400 and his involvement with the Allstate Teen Safe Driving Pit Stop program. Check your local affiliates for air times.(PR)(7-24-2008)
News from July 24, 2008
- Totino's scheme at Indy for Labonte: This weekend for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Dodge team will sport the colors of Totino's Pizza Rolls. Labonte, the 2000 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard champion, will auction off his helmet
from this weekend to benefit the Bobby Labonte Foundation. The auction will begin the week leading into the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. Go to www.bobbylabontefoundation.org to learn more about the Totino's Pizza Rolls helmet and other helmet auctions.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(7-24-2008) Comment here
- Carpentier out of the #10 for Pocono UPDATE 2 Labonte in: Patrick Carpentier will concentrate on racing in the Nationwide Series race at Montreal on August 2. The Sprint Cup Series will be in Pocono the same weekend and Gillett Evernham Motorsports has asked Carpentier to leave his seat in the # 10 Dodge for the race in order to ensure the best possible finish in Montreal. The replacement for Carpentier has not yet been determined, but Bill Elliott could be considered.(Translated thru Google from Canoe Sports)(6-22-2008)
UPDATE: Gillett Evernham Motorsports has announced that SUBWAY restaurants will sponsor Patrick Carpentier's #9 Dodge in the Aug. 2 Nationwide race at Montreal. Tom Reddin, CEO of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, said Carpentier will focus solely on the Montreal race during the weekend instead of racing in both Montreal and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono the same weekend. Reddin said the new relationship with SUBWAY restaurants is part of the team's overall plan to build a solid foundation for the future.(Gillett Evernham Motorsports PR), NO word on who will drive the #10 at Pocono.(6-24-2008)
UPDATE 2: Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced that Terry Labonte will drive the #10 Charter Dodge in the Aug. 3 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Labonte, 51, the 1984 and 1996 Sprint Cup series champion, will substitute for Patrick Carpentier who is racing in the Nationwide Series race that weekend in his hometown of Montreal. "I think anyone who follows our sport knows the caliber of driver and
person Terry Labonte is," said Tom Reddin, Gillett Evernham Motorsports CEO. "We appreciate Terry's willingness to step in and help us out for a weekend." Labonte owns 857 starts in his career including six in 2008 with Petty Enterprises. He finished 30th at Pocono in June. Carpentier is a veteran open wheel driver who moved to NASCAR late last season and is racing the #10 Dodge fulltime in the Sprint Cup Series. He finished second in the Montreal race last year and will pilot the #9 Subway Dodge in the race on Aug. 2.(GEM PR)(7-24-2008) Comment here
- Stremme the favorite to replace Newman? Rusty Wallace Inc. to Cup? Sam Hornish Jr. said Tuesday that nobody has spoken to him about moving from Penske Racing's #77 Dodge to replace the departing #12-Ryan Newman next season, and that he has no idea who will ultimately end up in the ride. Sources close to the situation continue to tell Sirius Speedway that David Stremme is the leading candidate for the ride, but whether or not those sources are correct, it seems likely that Stremme will find his way back to the Sprint Cup ranks next season, one way or another. Stremme has turned down a number of offers to return to the Sprint Cup Series this season -- holding out for a ride that he feels is capable of running up front -- while serving as a test driver for Penske Racing. I [Dave Moody] believe that Stremme may have already received a commitment from Roger Penske for a full-time Cup ride in 2009.
AND: Yet another option for career advancement landed on Stremme's doorstep Tuesday, when an executive for ABC/ESPN confirmed that Rusty Wallace could continue as a network analyst if he moves his race team to the Sprint Cup Series. ESPN Vice President of Motorsports Rich Feinberg said that while the network did not allow Wallace to own a Cup team when he was first hired in 2006, the addition of team owners Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty to the lineup has prompted a change in policy. Feinberg said, "The choice for Rusty to go into Cup racing is Rusty's, and we have relayed our position to him on that." Wallace has not yet commented publically on the possibility of RWI jumping to Cup in the near future. But if he does, Stremme will obviously be at the top of his list of potential drivers.(Motorsports Soapbox)(7-24-2008) Comment here
- 200th start for Mears: #5-Casey Mears will make his 200th career Sprint Cup Series start this Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his previous 199 starts, Mears has earned one win (Lowe's Motor Speedway in May 2007), 12 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-24-2008) Comment here
- First Stock Car Start at the Brickyard for Hornish: This will be Hornish's first Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however he is no stranger to the 2.5-mile oval - he has a total of seven IndyCar Series starts at Indy. In that series, he has one win and one pole at the famed speedway.(Penske Racing PR)(7-24-2008)
- McMurray Wheels Taxi as Part of Crown Royal Designated Driver Program: For the fourth consecutive year, Crown Royal will celebrate one of motorsports famed cities by providing Indianapolis residents and bar patrons an alternative ride home. As part of Crown Royal's signature "Safe Rides Home" designated driver program, #26-Jamie McMurray will hit the streets of Indianapolis to provide free, safe rides home for adult bar patrons. McMurray will get behind the wheel of replica No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusions on Thursday, July 24 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. to kickoff the program, which will be available both Thursday and Friday evenings. In total, eight Crown Royal Ford Fusions will be in rotation both nights and residents within a 20-mile radius of the signup location that are 21 years of age or older are eligible.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(7-24-2008)
- Indy Rookie Notes: #10-Patrick Carpentier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 12 LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Carpentier took top rookie honors for the second consecutive race and for the third time this season. He was credited with a 30th-place finish. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by six points (171-165) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the July 27 Allstate 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Juan Pablo Montoya was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Brickyard 400, scoring a second-place finish 2.982 seconds behind Tony Stewart. Montoya's second-place finish is the best by a Raybestos Rookie in 14 previous NASCAR races at Indianapolis. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-10 in each of the past nine consecutive Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see full rookie notes, history, standings on my 2008 Rookies page.(7-24-2008)
News from July 23, 2008
- Tony Stewart donates bulletproof K-9 vests: Tony Stewart is donating bulletproof, stab-proof vests to police dogs in Indiana and four other states. Stewart, a Columbus native, donated the money to provide 30 vests for the Indiana State Police K-9 unit and 10 for police dogs waiting for vests in Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Minnesota. Susie Jean of Socorro, N.M., requested a grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation for vests for the 14 dogs currently in the Indiana State Police unit. Stewart upped the amount to cover more vests upon learning the state police unit was expanding to 30 dogs. The vests cost $695 each, according to Jean's Web site, meaning 40 vests would total nearly $28,000. Stewart will present the vests to state police Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont.(Associated Press/Indianapolis Star)(7-23-2008) Comment here
- Gillett Evernham interested in free agent drivers: Tuesday Gillett Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham spoke to Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody about the possibility of bringing Ryan Newman or any other free agent drivers to his race team for next year.
Host, Dave Moody: "Are you now, have you ever, or do you anticipate active negotiations with Ryan Newman for a spot in your stable next year?"
Ray Evernham: "We have not negotiated with Ryan but we have put out the feeler that we would be very interested, certainly, in talking to Ryan about the future as would probably all the other car owners but we've not spoken with Ryan or negotiated with him. But, yes, we are interested in talking to him."
Moody: "So if your phone rings and he does [call] you back are we talking about a fourth car?"
Evernham: "Mr. Gillett and I would love to expand to four cars. So if that's going to happen it has to happen quickly but there are opportunities to grow Gillett Evernham Motorsports. But, again, that depends on drivers and sponsors and there are sponsors available with the proper drivers."
Moody: "Would it be safe to assume then that Ryan Newman might not be the only top notch driver in the final year of his contract that you might have reached out [to] at this point?"
Evernham: "Yeah, absolutely, but there's no sense in doing a fourth team unless it can add to what we're already building and to start a fourth team without the proper sponsorship or a driver that can add to the program just doesn't make sense. There are a couple of drivers available and there are some sponsors out there that are talking to other teams, too, besides us to put packages together. But if we were to be able to put that package together to strengthen Gillett Evernham we'd certainly do it. The guys that are out there that have been talking to people, certainly that we have spoken to or are interested in speaking [to], are the same guys everybody else has talked to: Ryan Newman, Casey Mears and Martin Truex are the guys that are in the hot rumors right now."(Sirius NASCAR Radio)(7-23-2008) Comment here
- Prilosec OTC Scheme for Burton at Indy: Prilosec OTC's major associate sponsorship of RCR's #31 kicks into high gear this weekend in Indianpolis as Burton and the #31 team transform their bright orange #31 AT&T Chevy into a purple Prilosec OTC racing machine for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.(RCR PR) See images of the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(7-23-2008)
- Lowe's and #48 Team "Racing for Relief" in July: Lowe's and Jimmie Johnson will be "Racing for Relief" at the Chicago and Indianapolis races this month to raise funds for the American Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of the recent Central U.S. floods and tornadoes. As part of Racing for Relief, the Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of the#48 Lowe's Chevy. Lowe's will donate $48 for each lap Johnson completes in the Chicagoland 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 12 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition, if Johnson wins either race, Lowe's will donate $4,800 per victory.(GMR Marketing PR)(7-11-2008)
UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson's efforts on the track raised $12,816 to benefit the American Red Cross as part of Lowe's Racing for Relief program. Johnson completed 267 laps at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Lowe's had pledged $48 per lap completed. The funds raised will help the Red Cross to provide food, clean-up supplies, counseling and other assistance to victims of the recent Central U.S. floods and tornadoes.(GMR Marketing PR)(7-23-2008) Comment here
- Kyle Busch wins second quarter driver of the year award: #18-Kyle Busch just keeps winning. The 23-year-old Sprint Cup star has won second-quarter voting for 2008 Driver of the Year, repeating his victory in the first-quarter balloting. Busch won a total of four races in NASCAR’s top two series—three in Cup and one in Nationwide—during the quarter that ran from May 3 to June 29. He continues to lead the Cup point standings. In the second-quarter voting, Busch totaled 103 points as he took seven of 14 first-place votes and was listed on every ballot, with only one vote below second place. He handily beat Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, whose two IndyCar Series victories earned him five first-place votes and a total of 85 points. World of Outlaws star Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, had one first-place vote and was third in the voting with 48 points. The late Scott Kalitta, the Funny Car driver who died in a crash on June 21, got the other first-place vote.(Associated Press)(7-23-2008) Comment here
- Three drivers participate in day one of Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta: UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch, along with #66-Scott Riggs and #28-Travis Kvapil, hit the pavement Monday to test combinations of tire compounds and set ups for Goodyear. With two full days of testing, Goodyear is working to ensure the ideal tire for October's race. "I think it will be a lot better direction than what Goodyear had here in the spring. They came here and tried to be cautious with the tire," said Steve Addington, crew chief for the #18 team, referring to noted tire shortcomings during the Kobalt Tools 500. "Now, they've seen what they needed to see and that's the reason we're down here, to try to help them get the tire to where fans will see better racing.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(7-22-2008)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch, along with Cup Series drivers Travis Kvapil and Scott Riggs, each participated in the second and final day of tire testing by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch, testing in a fully-decaled #18 M&M's Toyota, posted a best lap of 180.662 mph (30.69 seconds). Riggs was the fastest of the group in his red and gray primer Chevrolet with a Haas CNC logo on the hood as he reached 180.994 mph (30.63 seconds), while Kvapil's primer white, decal-free Yates Racing Ford hit 175.101 mph (31.66 seconds).(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(7-23-2008) Comment here
- Sears Auto Center on the #10: Patrick Carpentier and the Sears Auto Center/Valvoline crew have enjoyed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors at both Daytona and Chicagoland. They’re looking to earn top rookie honors again at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.(Gillett Evernham Motorsports PR)(7-23-2008)
- Big Red Slim Pack on the #42: The #42 Dodge will sport the Wrigley's Big Red Slim Pack paint scheme this weekend for the Brickyard 400 at IMS. Indy will be the fifth time this season Montoya's car will carry the bold red colors of Big Red.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(7-23-2008)
- Edwards helping Stenhouse at ARCA test: Tuesday at Nashville Superspeedway 18 drivers took part in preparation for the upcoming Nashville ARCA race. On hand for the open test was NASCAR veteran Carl Edwards, who was assisting Roush Fenway Racing development driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. as Stenhouse was turning his first laps at Nashville.(ARCARacing.com)(7-23-2008)
- Associate sponsor for #34 team at Indy: doorstopnation.com will be an associate sponsor of the #34 Front Row Motorsports entry driven by Tony Raines at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Doorstop Nation was founded in 2005 by self professed doctor of doorstopology Joe Laracuente and it has gained a loyal and growing following, not a small accomplishment considering Laracuente is a 20 year old St. Louisan. For more information check out doorstopnation.com.(Doorstop Nation PR)(7-23-2008)
News from July 22, 2008
- No third team for Stewart Hass in 2009: From Tony Stewart Live Monday night:
Question: "There are rumors of a third Cup car joining Stewart-Haas Racing for 2009. Is that true?"
Stewart: "That is not true. One of the guys asked if we were ever going to grow it to a four car team. And that is exactly what the plan will be eventually but right now we're going to concentrate on getting these two Cup cars exactly where they need to be, contenders to win a championship each year before we expand."(Sirius NASCAR Radio)(7-22-2008) Comment here
- Office Depot to Stewart UPDATE 3 Stewart granted release from Gibbs: been told that Office Depot will be the sponsor for Tony Stewart, who likely will run the #14, in 2009 when he drives for Haas CNC Racing which is will buy in to. Hearing the announcement of the buy and deal will be made in Indianapolis the week NASCAR is in Indy for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, July 27th.(7-3-2008)
UPDATEs Stewart Expected to Name Car Number, Sponsors on Friday: Tony Stewart has finalized his car number and sponsors for next season, his first as co-owner of Stewart HAAS racing. Stewart will drive the #14 car the number once campaigned by his racing hero, A.J. Foyt. Old Spice and Office Depot will sponsor the Chevys. Old Spice is a long-time Stewart sponsor in Nationwide Series. Office Depot will be moving to Stewart from Carl Edwards' Roush Fenway car. An official announcement will be made Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Cup Scene Daily)(7-22-2008)
see other UPDATEs and past news on the #66 Team News and Links page.
UPDATE 2: Haas CNC Racing general manager Joe Custer has applied for his team to trademark the #14, which is expected to be the number next season for Tony Stewart, who will co-own and drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning in 2009. The trademark application covers a variety of products – everything from paper goods to luggage, knives, air fresheners, video featuring racing themes and several other items. The application was filed July 2, according in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database.(SceneDaily.com)(7-22-2008) Comment here
- Sorenson 'working on' contract negotiations with Ganassi: Reed Sorenson is in the final year of his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing, though he could return to the #41 Sprint Cup team next year. Sorenson raced in the Nationwide Series last weekend at Gateway International Raceway and was asked what the status of his contract negotiations with Ganassi is. "We're working on it right now," Sorenson said. "Working on it." Driver David Reutimann, who joined Sorenson at the news conference, interjected: "How's it going?" "Working on it," Sorenson said with a smile. Sorenson didn't disclose any further details.(SceneDaily.com)(7-22-2008) Comment here
- Harvick rain delayed at Oxford: UPDATE: he wins The TD Banknorth 250 featuring Kevin Harvick against a field of top local and regional drivers was postponed Sunday because of rain. Race officials said qualifying heats would resume Monday afternoon, weather permitting. Rain remained in the forecast and there was a flash flood watch in effect through Monday evening. Taking advantage of an off week for Sprint Cup drivers, Harvick chose to spend the weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway. He finished second in his qualifying heat to earn a spot in the feature race.(Associated Press)(7-21-2008)
UPDATE: Monday Kevin Harvick added the winner's trophy from the Super Bowl of short track racing to his collection. The Bakersfield, Cal. native drove away from the field in the late stages to win the TD Banknorth Oxford 250 Monday at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Me.(Hartford Courant)(7-22-2008) Comment here
- Testing at Kentucky this week: Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to test this week at Kentucky Speedway. On Monday, 7/21 the Penske R& D team will be at the track. On Tuesday, 7/22 it's R&D teams for Hendrick Motorsports, Penske, and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. On Wednesday, 7/23, Hendrick Motorsports continues. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-21-2008)
UPDATE: Also testing on Wednesday, 7/23 will be the Michael Waltrip Racing R&D team.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-22-2008)
News from July 21, 2008
- ESPN's Sprint Cup Coverage Launches with Big Week Leading to Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: The Sprint Cup Series returns to ESPN with a full week of NASCAR-related programming July 21-28, culminating with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 27, at 1 p.m. ET. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is the first of 17 Sprint Cup events on the ESPN networks to close out the 2008 NASCAR season. The first six air on ESPN, with the final 11 on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. ESPN's coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway includes a live telecast of Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday, July 26, at 10 a.m., and live coverage of two practice sessions for the Sprint Cup cars on the famed 2.5-mile track, all on ESPN2. ESPN360.com, the signature broadband TV network, and ESPN MobileTV, the company's 24/7 mobile video network, also will simulcast the race, qualifying and the two practice sessions. ESPN Deportes, ESPN's domestic Spanish-language channel, will simulcast the race. Sprint Cup champions will be an integral part of ESPN's coverage team at the Brickyard, including analyst Dale Jarrett who will work with Andy Petree and Dr. Jerry Punch in the booth. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Tech Center, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. The pre-race NASCAR Countdown show from the ESPN pit studio will feature analysis by Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham, with host Allen Bestwick and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.(ESPN PR)(7-21-2008) Comment here
- Truex Penalties Upheld: On July 21, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Dale Earnhardt Inc. regarding the #1 car. The appeal concerned four penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from opening day inspection on July 3, 2008 at the Sprint Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway. The Appellants did not contest the rules violations, but argued that the penalties were too severe for the infractions. The Appellants explained that rigorous checks and balances in the fabrication process were in place at DEI and could offer no explanation as to why the roof failed to meet the inspection templates. They argued that the infractions were minor in nature, not deliberate, and that the resulting lowered roof was a disadvantage according to their wind tunnel findings. The Commission found that the infractions were clear-cut. The roof was low across a broad area. Accordingly, the penalties that were issued are warranted. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The periods of the suspensions are to be adjusted from the date of this hearing. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(National Stock Car Racing Commission PR)(7-21-2008) Comment here
- Labonte in the #45 at Indy: UPDATE: Terry Labonte will be back behind the wheel of the #45 Marathon Oil Dodge this weekend at the Brickyard. Kyle Petty had been secheduled to return to the car. The team is now guaranteed to make the race with Labonte having the most recent past champion's provisional.(7-21-2008)
UPDATE: Kyle Petty's break from the Sprint Cup circuit has been extended by one race. Terry Labonte, who has driven the past six races in the #45 car while Petty served as an analyst for TNT, will be in the car again for Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Petty Enterprises officials want to take advantage of Labonte's past champion's provisional -- Labonte won titles in 1984 and 1996 -- to guarantee the car will be in the field for one of the biggest races of the year. Officials said this was only temporary and Petty will return to the car.(ESPN.com)(7-21-2008) Comment here
- Regan Smith wins at Riverside: Regan Smith not only made good on his promise in 2007 to return for the 2008 Carquest Pro Stock Tour IWK 250 - but his promise to win the race. Smith delighted over 10,000 fans at Riverside International Speedway Saturday night with a NASCAR-style celebration after taking the checkered flag. Fellow DEI driver Aric Almirola finished 7th in the race.(CheckerstoWreckers.com)(7-21-2008) Comment here
- Busch, Kenseth come up short in ASA race at Iowa: All weekend long Tim Schendel was fast around the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway as he was able to back up those fast times in practice and qualifying by taking the ASA Midwest Tour Rasmussen Group Twin 75's. Schendel took the checkered flag while Jonathan Eilen would hold off Matt Kenseth and Donny Reuvers for second. Kenseth, who was making his first visit Iowa Speedway, was pleased with his third place finish. Kyle Busch flew through the field after starting 11th and took over the top spot on lap 8. Busch would then dominate by pulling away from the rest of the field to the halfway break. At the start of the second half, Busch would lead the first four laps until he fell off the pace and retired with mechanical problems.(ASA Midwest Tour)(7-21-2008)