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  • MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
    JULY 28-AUGUST 3, 2008




      News from August 3, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 #14-20: so where do things stand with news and rumors in the Sprint Cup Series? Let's break down a few a day for the next week or so, also see my 2009 Team Chart for all the teams
      #14 The team that Tony Stewart will own and drive for in 2009 with Office Depot and Old Spice as the co-primary sponsors on the Chevy. The team will be known as Stewart Haas Racing, was Haas CNC Racing and ran the #66 and #70, will switch to #4 and #14 with Stewart in the #14 and the second driver [Newman?] in the #4. If the #66 stays in the top 35 in owners pts, it will probably switch to #4 for the other driver since Stewart has a past champion provisional to use. No word on crew chiefs for the team. Bootie Barker and Dave Skogs are the crew chiefs currently for the team
      #15 All indications are that Paul Menard will be back in this ride with sponsor from Menard's. There were some rumors that Menard could be headed to a 3rd Yates team, but not much came of that and DEI denied it. Teresa Earnhardt was rumored to be selling DEI, but that was also denied, saying DEI may be interested in a partner but not to sell
      #16 Greg Biffle re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing thru 2011 and 3M also signed on as the primary sponsor, the team will probably still use a few other sponsors like DISH Network in a few races,
      #17 Kenseth is supposedly signed at Roush Fenway Racing thru 2009, so he could be the next big free agent. Looks like the sponsorship package will remain as it has been the past few seasons: DeWalt, USG, Carhartt and R&L Carriers. No word on any crew chief changes
      #18 Kyle Busch, crew chief and sponsor all stay the same, no word of any changes
      #19 Elliott Sadler recently signed thru 2010. No word if Best Buy or McDonald's will be back in 2009.
      #20 Stewart leaves after the 2008 season to run for his own team [#14 Stewart Haas Racing]. Home Depot supposedly will be back as they are signed thru 2009, but could have a lesser role. Crew Chief Greg Zippedelli returns, supposedly to work with driver Joey Logano, who would run for Rookie of the Year. Unless Logano doesn't do well the rest of 2008, this ride seems to be his. Newman was rumored, but supposedly to a 4th JGR team. Truex Jr. was another rumored driver for the #20. Gibbs recently said it was highly doubtful JGR would start a 4th team.
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 00-5
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 6-12
      (8-3-2008)

    • Sad News - Frances Spencer: Frances Veronica Spencer, 81 [Jimmy Spencer's Mother], of Salem Boulevard, Berwick, died July 31, 2008 in Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Edgar Robert Spencer; daughters, Christine Frances Spencer, North Carolina, Justin Judith and her husband, Sinagar, Connecticut, Pamela Catherine Spencer, Berwick; sons, Edgar Jr., Shickshinny, James Peter and his wife, Patricia, North Carolina, Paul Nicholas and his wife, Stacey, Berwick, Gary Frances and his wife, Laurie, Berwick; grandchildren, Edgar III., Kristen, Dink, Jimmy, Katrina, Jerry, Paul Jr., Katie and Terra; great-grandchildren, Sierra, Brayden, Samantha Breauna; sisters, Carla Manik, Old Forge, Barbara Freeman, Beach Haven. Private memorial services will be held today at 3 p.m. from the Clarke Piatt Funeral Home, Inc., 6 Sunset Lake Road, Hunlock Creek, PA, with the Rev. C. Glenn Neely officiating. There will be no calling hours. Memorial contributions may be made to the SPCA, 524 E. Main Street, Fox Hill Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 18702.(Times Leader)(8-3-2008)

      Last race for FreeCreditReport.com on #38: on SPEEDtv's NASCAR Raceday, David Gilliland said the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway would be the last race for sponsor FreeCreditReport.com on the #38 Yates Racing Ford. The team still has it's sponsoryates.com web site active.(8-3-2008) Comment here

    • Edwards wins at Pocono: #99-Carl Edwards won the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway for his 4th win of 2008 and 11th of his career. #20-Stewart was 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #6-Ragan, #07-Bowyer, #9-Kahne, #8-Martin, #26-McMurray and #24-Gordon. #88-Earnhardt Jr. ran out of fuel and finished 12th and points leader, #18-Busch was running 4th with 2 laps to go and made a pit stop for a splash of gas, took a while to get the car re-started and finished 35th. There was a 41 minutes red flag for rain from 4:51pm to 5:32pm/et. Then a few laps under yellow not long after that but then the rains went away and the race finished all 200 laps. There were 25 lead changes among 13 drivers and 7 cautions for 31 laps.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Pocono Race Results Awards Page.(8-3-2008)

    • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Pocono race 21 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 3059 [7 wins]
      2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2883 -176 [1 win]
      3) #99-Carl Edwards 2874 -185 [4 wins][would be 2nd w/out 100pts penalty]
      4) #48-Jimmie Johnson 2859 -200 [2 wins]
      5) #31-Jeff Burton 2833 -226 [1 win]
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon 2678 -381
      7) #9-Kasey Kahne 2592 -467 [+91 pts ahead of 13th]
      8) #16-Greg Biffle 2589 -470 [+88]
      9) #20-Tony Stewart 2569 -490 [+68]
      10) #11-Denny Hamlin 2547 -512 [+46]
      11) #29-Kevin Harvick 2520 -539 [+19]
      12) #07-Clint Bowyer 2512 -547 [1 win][+11]
      CHASE contenders
      13) #17-Matt Kenseth 2501 -558 [11 pts out of 12th]
      14) #6-David Ragan 2466 -698 [-46]
      15) #12-Ryan Newman 2339 -786 [-173]
      16) #83-Brian Vickers 2309 -774 [-203]
      17) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 2264 -858 [-248]
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Pocono page.(8-3-2008)

    • Race Fast Facts - Pocono Raceway:
      Carl Edwards won the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500, his 11th victory in 142 Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2008.
      This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Pocono Raceway.
      Tony Stewart (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 20 races at Pocono Raceway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2008.
      Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 14 races at Pocono Raceway.
      Michael McDowell (24th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 176 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-3-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Watkins Glen:
      no one dropped out or climbed back into the top 35, but the spread between 35th and 36th is 4pts
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      31) #7-Gordon/RGM 1688 +115
      32) #01-Smith/DEI: 1660, +87
      33) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 1636 +63
      34) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1607 +34
      35) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 1577 4 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1573 4 points out of 35th
      37) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1539 -38
      38) #96-Yeley/Hall of Fame Racing: 1381 -196
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(8-3-2008)

    • Pocono Raceway Penalty Report:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
      1 #29 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 1
      2 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 1
      3 #55 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 2
      4 #42 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 3
      5 #2 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 7
      6 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 8
      7 #84 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 22
      8 #78 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 52
      9 #28 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 89
      10 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 131
      11 #28 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 132
      12 #7 Too many crewmembers in contact with pit service area TE 132
      13 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 138
      14 #31 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 166
      15 #18 Commitment Line Violation PT 198
      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)(8-3-2008)

    • Lucky Dogs....Who got a lap back on each caution at Pocono: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: none, no cars a lap down
      Caution 2: #42-Montoya, 40th/out
      Caution 3: none, no cars a lap down that are on the track
      Caution 4: #00-McDowell, 24th
      Caution 5: #01-Smith, 25th
      Caution 6: #45-McCumbee, 17th
      Caution 7: #7-Gordon [still down 1 lap], 37th
      (8-3-2008)

    • Racing Resources Says …
      * Carl Edwards won the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway from the 15th-place starting position. It was Edwards' 11th career Sprint Cup victory in 142 races, and fourth win of the season.
      * This marked only the fourth race in 2008 that has been won from outside a top-10 starting position. The other three races were at Richmond when Clint Bowyer won from the 31st starting position, at Infineon with Kyle Busch winning from 30th and in New Hampshire when Kurt Busch started 26th. The lowest starting position of a race winner at Pocono is 29th by Carl Edwards in June 2005.
      * Edwards climbed from fifth to third in the point standings.
      * Edwards' last victory came at Texas in April, 14 races ago. It was his second victory in eight races at Pocono. He led 53 of the 200 laps, including the final 14 laps.
      * Mark Martin led 55 laps, the most in the race.
      * Ford scored its fourth victory in 2008, all by Edwards. Toyota has eight wins, Chevrolet has five and Dodge has four.
      * Roush/Fenway Racing scored its third Pocono victory. Their other two wins at Pocono came in 2005.
      * Tony Stewart finished second, scoring his 10th top-10 finish in 21 races this season. He tied his best finish in 2008 of second set at Atlanta earlier this season. Stewart climbed from 10th to ninth in the standings.
      * Jimmie Johnson finished third, posting his ninth top-10 finish in 14 races at Pocono. Johnson remained fourth in the standings.
      * Kevin Harvick finished fourth, posting just his second top-10 in the past 11 races. He climbed from 13th to 11th in the standings, just 19 points ahead of 13th-place Matt Kenseth.
      * David Ragan finished fifth, posting his third top-10 in the past four races. Ragan remained 14th, just 46 points behind 12th-place Clint Bowyer.
      * A mere 19 points separate 11th-place Kevin Harvick, 12th-place Clint Bowyer and 13th-place Matt Kenseth with five races remaining in the "Race to the Chase."
      * Rain stopped the race at Lap 131 with a 41-minute red flag. Leader Carl Edwards, along with several other front-runners, pitted just prior to the rain. Johnson restarted 21st, Edwards restarted 22nd and Jeff Gordon restarted 23rd. Kahne was the leader at the time of the rain delay. Nineteen cars did not pit prior to the rain delay.
      * Point leader Kyle Busch had damage to the right side of his car from an incident when he hit the wall under speed. Busch pitted with three laps remaining for fuel and then was under a pass-through penalty and credited with a 36th-place finish.
      * Kurt Busch ran out of fuel on lap 161 while leading. He finished 38th
      * The race featured 25 lead changes among 13 drivers. The race had seven cautions for 31 laps.
      * The highest-finishing rookie of the year contender was Michael McDowell in 24th.
      * The race had five Chevrolets, three Fords, one Dodge and one Toyota in the top 10.(ESPN.com)(8-4-2008)

    • NASCAR is scheduled to throw a competition caution after lap 20 at Pocono Raceway today. Teams cannot refuel prior to the competition yellow.(8-3-2008)

    • Nice Gesture: A 10-year-old boy [from Rhode Island] who lost some very special NASCAR mementos in a house fire received a special gift Friday. Zach Gusasini was all smiles as the fire marshal presented him with decals, T-shirts, autographed hats and a special die-cast racing car with his favorite driver's signature. #96-J.J. Yeley's race team sent the items after hearing about Zach and the fire that destroyed nearly everything in his bedroom last month.(turnto10.com)(8-3-2008)


      News from August 2, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 #6-12: so where do things stand with news and rumors in the Sprint Cup Series? Let's break down a few a day for the next week or so, also see my 2009 Team Chart for all the teams
      #6 David Ragan is signed thru 2008, he has said he is staying and Roush has said the same. The team needs a sponsor since AAA announced a year ago that they are out at the end of 2008. If McMurray leaves and the #26 goes away, Crown Royal or Irwin Tools could move over to the #6.
      #7 All indications are that Robby Gordon will be back in 2009 as a one car team. Rumors of Gillett's son buying the team were denied and have heard nothing since. No word if Jim Beam, Mapai or Camping World will return as sponsors in 2009.
      #8 Aric Almirola takes over full-time in 2009, Mark Martin will move to Hendrick's #5 car full time. US Army on does one year deals, no word if they will be back or head to another team such as Bill Davis Racing or Red Bull Racing as was rumored a while back. Hearing the Army is due to make their decision on sponsorship very soon.
      #9 Have heard of no changes for the team or driver Kasey Kahne. Even with Budweiser selling to an overseas company, Budweiser doesn't seem to be getting out of motorsports
      #10 Things seem to be up in the air with this team. Patrick Carpentier is having a decent rookie year, he qualifies well, but fell behind in owners points when he missed the Daytona 500 and two races when qualifying was rained out. Carpentier expects to know his 2009 plans by August 15th. Ryan Newman has been rumored to this ride or a 4th GEM ride. The team is also looking for a full time sponsor, but has had Valvoline and some other sponsors most of the season.
      #11 Have heard of no changes for the team or driver Denny Hamlin.(8-2-2008)
      #12 Newman and Penske Racing have agreed to part ways at the end of 2009. Hearing Alltel is good as the sponsor for one more year as the merger with Verizon will not be finalized until sometime in late 2009. David Stremme is expected to be in this ride, but it has drug on a while and other drivers have surfaces as candidates, including Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr. and Jamie McMurray. Penske could also start a 4th team.
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 00-5
      (8-2-2008)

    • Practices the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway have been cencelled due to rain. Been told the rain flooded the main tunnel leading into the infield and the track workers used a fire truck to pump the water out of the main tunnel.(8-2-2008)

    • #21 unwraps Cosmic Brownies at Pocono: Bill Elliott will be reaching for more than just speeds nearing 165 mph at Pocono this weekend in the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford Fusion. The team will be reaching for an intergalactic like adventure in the Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Paint scheme on Sunday, August 3rd. Elliott will start the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 in the 37th position. The team’s new Crew Chief David Hyder, who took over duties in Indianapolis, is working toward giving Elliott a more consistent feel in the #21. The team has also acquired Head Engineer Hoyt Overbagh and Shock Specialist Dean Johnson. In addition to enhancing the team's engineering efforts with new personnel, the #21 Ford will be sporting a new look with the psychedelic Cosmic Brownies logo on the hood. The logo reflects the tasty treat that was developed in 1999 and has quickly become one of McKee Foods (parent company of the Little Debbie brand) most popular products.(Wood Brothers Racing), see image of the scheme on my #21 Team Schemes page.(8-2-2008)

    • Goodyear Announces Actions to Address NASCAR tires: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced actions focused toward solving the tire issues that hampered last weekend’s event at the Brickyard. Stu Grant, General Manager, Global Race Tires for Goodyear, said engineers are working around the clock to completely understand the issues, and as part of the forward plan, the company is enlisting the knowledge and experience of the NASCAR racing industry to address the short and long term elements of the plan.
      “We have a proud history in racing with 54 continuous years of NASCAR involvement, and have enjoyed worldwide success in all forms of racing,” Grant said, “but all should be assured that no one was more disappointed than we were with the events in Indianapolis. “We are the first to admit that we missed the mark with the combination for this race. There are many reasons, but they are only important today from the perspective that we learn from those issues and move forward successfully.” Grant said that he has shared Goodyear’s forward focus with NASCAR and the sanctioning body was supportive. Next steps include:
      • Completing the extensive post-race analysis in process that includes all internal aspects of tire design and manufacturing and discussions with key external stakeholders, including representatives from NASCAR, team owners , crew chiefs and drivers to gain insight to information that will provide clarity to the final analysis.
      • Engaging research scientists and engineers, including available assets and modeling capabilities from the Sandia National Laboratories, to develop a range of potential short-term solutions.
      • Scheduling a fall track test at Indianapolis with multiple participants to test solutions to full fuel stop capabilities and test again in the spring of 2009 to fine-tune the specific race setup.
      • Accelerating discussions with appropriate NASCAR representatives, team owners, drivers, crew chiefs and track management on any future tire. Among elements already being considered are larger overall diameters, wider section widths, and larger bead diameters.
      • Developing future tires as a long term solution, looking proactively at the vehicle, tire, setup and track combinations for a complete package to assure only the highest level of performance for NASCAR’s racing fans.
      “The knowledgeable people in our business understand the solution to this issue involves all elements of the equation,” Grant said. “We are committed to working to bring those elements together in a manner that will produce consistent great racing. “Our responsibility is to provide a tire that works with all of the variables, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” Grant said. “We have been performance partners wit h NASCAR for more than 50 years and we are absolutely committed to remain in that role for another 50 years."(Goodyear PR)(8-2-2008) Comment here

    • #9 team wins 2nd Qtr Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: The #9 Budweiser Dodge team from Gillett Evernham Motorsports put together one of the most remarkable streaks of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season during a five-week span in late May and early June. During the period, Kasey Kahne won the Sprint Cup All-Star event, two regular-season point races and finished second in another race to move from 14th to seventh in the driver standings. Kahne's performance on the track was matched by the flawless effort of the Bud Crew on pit road. That performance has earned the #9 over-the-wall team second-quarter accolades and a berth as the second of four finalists for the 2008 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award is given quarterly throughout the Sprint Cup season. At the end of each quarter, the winning pit crew is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award and a check for $100,000. The presentation will be made at the 2008 NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Media Luncheon in New York City in December. The 2008 #9 Budweiser Pit Crew: Brett Cumming, Pit Crew Coach; Eric Wilson, Jackman; John Royer, Front-Tire Changer; Jason Gay, Front-Tire Carrier; Jim Carbon, Rear-Tire Changer; Kevin Duncan, Rear-Tire Carrier; Mark "Tank" Probus, Gas man; Rick Pennington, Catch Can; Kenny Francis, Team Director. For more information, call 800.222.4296 or visit www.mechanix.com.(Mechanix Wear)(8-2-2008) Comment here

    • Newman Commits to Stewart-Haas? UPDATE 2: hearing that Ryan Newman has agreed in prinicipal to drive for Stewart Haas racing in 2009.(7-30-2008)
      UPDATE: Ryan Newman has reached a verbal agreement to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing next season, a NASCAR source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Wednesday. The deal could take up to a month to finalize and announce as negotiations continue for car sponsors. Newman reached the agreement after Joe Gibbs Racing was unable to nail down sponsorship to start a fourth team. JGR president J.D. Gibbs confirmed on Sunday at Indianapolis that Newman no longer was a factor in the team's plans and that a fourth team was unlikely for 2009. Stewart will drive the #14 and Newman the #4. Newman also has been pursued by Evernham Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Petty Enterprises since announcing he would not return to Penske Racing next season, sources said.(ESPN.com)(7-30-2008)
      UPDATE2: Amidst all the speculation surrounding Ryan Newman's future, the driver and even his wife maintain no official deal has been signed to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Despite several online reports that the driver of the #12 Penske Dodge verbally agreed to join Stewart-Haas in 2009, Newman issued a statement Friday saying, "I am still working on my 2009 plans at this time. I have no timetable on finalizing anything at this point." Also, a blog posted this week from wife Krissie Newman said, "Don't get too excited just yet." Nevertheless, Newman said he doesn't have anything on paper. "I've got my search pretty narrowed down I just don't have everything finalized," he said last week. Newman said there is no time frame for his decision, but admits time is of the essence and said the sooner he can work out an agreement the better in order to prepare for the 2009 season-opener in Daytona.(NASCAR.com)(8-2-2008) Comment here

    • Mears to Petty's? Robbie Loomis says that Petty Enterprises is trying to find a balance between protecting its points position and preparing for the future. That's why the team has a series of drivers effectively sharing its #45 in the Sprint Cup Series in the coming races. Loomis, Petty's vice president of racing operations, is at Pocono Raceway this weekend, where the team has Chad McCumbee entered in the race. Next week, Kyle Petty returns for the first time since the Coca-Cola 600 in May at Lowe's Motor Speedway to attempt the race at Watkins Glen International. Then two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte, who raced while Petty worked in the TNT broadcast booth for six races, will return at Michigan International Speedway. Beyond that, the team doesn't have plans to announce, though Loomis expects Petty to race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The group is looking to add a third car for next season and is also interested in bringing Casey Mears into the fold. Loomis said that running the third car in a minimum of seven to 15 races would be ideal. He also says the organization is definitely interested in Mears, who has announced plans to leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season. It appears that Mears would be in line for the #45 as it is the only full-time ride available. Bobby Labonte has already signed to drive the #43 next season. "Mears is definitely on our list," Loomis said. "I think Mears is probably, to me, one of the top guys available in the garage." He said that Mears would be a perfect fit for the team. "He definitely brings some stability, can run real good on the road courses, and I think Casey's a very well-rounded driver, and I think he's in a real hard situation," Loomis said. "You look at a lot of drivers that are the fourth guy of a team, he's behind some real star power. It's hard not to be a little bit beat before you show up at the track."(SceneDaily)(8-2-2008) Comment here

    • MWR Softball Champs: Michael Waltrip Racing has won their 3rd consecutive Championship in Bob Hubner's Totally Racin' Softball League. It wasn't easy for MWR, they had to win 2 tournament games in a row against Roush-Fenway Racing. Other teams competed were - Chip Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Red Bull, Michael Waltrip 2, Stock Car Steel, Haas CNC Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing.(PR)(8-2-2008)

    • Congrats to....... RCR crew member and Clint Bowyer tire changer Daniel Rankin. Rankin wed Mandy Moore a former NASCAR Late Model Driver from Tennessee on July 17th.(8-2-2008)


      News from August 1, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 car# 00-5: so where do things stand with news and rumors in the Sprint Cup Series? Let's break down a few a day for the next week or so, also see my 2009 Team Chart for all the teams
      #00 Haven't heard much on this team, they could end up not running in 2009 as no sponsors have been announced. Driver Michael McDowell has been rumored to a Penske ride, but haven't heard much else.
      #01 the team has run without a full time sponsor all season, Regan Smith could return if DEI chooses to stick with four cars and sponsors can be found or the team could fold and DEI scale back to a 3 car team [#1, #8, #15]. There were rumors a few weeks ago that Teresa Earnhardt was looking to sell or find investors, but they were refuted
      #07 Clint Bowyer re-signed thru 2011, Jack Daniel's is good thru 2009. BUT rumors have places UPS as Bowyer's new sponsor, so what becomes of Jack Daniel's? hearing they could rotate around the other RCR cars, #31 and #29 [like Reese's, Prilosec & Lennox has in the past and DirecTV with the #07], doubtful General Mills would allow that on the 4th team. Been told UPS will NOT go to RCR, that Jack Daniel's will stay on the #07, but could have a driver swap, with Bowyer going to the #33 and General Mills?
      #1 Bass Pro Shop's was rumored to Stewart Hass but they are signed with DEI thru 2009. Martin Truex Jr. was rumored to Penske with UPS [looks unlikely now], RCR's 4th team [supposedly still a possibilty] and Gibb's #20. DEI says they have an option on Truex for 2009, Truex doesn't agree BUT supposedly, Truex will be back with DEI and re-sign soon, possibly thru 2011. There were rumors a few weeks ago that Teresa Earnhardt was looking to sell or find investors, but they were refuted
      #2 Have heard of no changes with the Miller Lite team and Kurt Busch is signed thru at least 2009.
      #3 get asked often, will RCR use the #3 again. That is a big NO, at least until/if his grandson, Austin Dillon, who runs the #3 in Late Models, advances into Cup. Looks like Dillon may run the Truck Series in 2009.
      #4 looks like Morgan McClure Motorsports will not be back. They are selling off inventory at last check of their site and Tony Stewart announced that his second Stewart Haas Racing team will use the #4, possibly for Ryan Newman, who supposedly has agreed to sign with Stewart to drive there in 2009.
      #5 this ride will change, but it is locked in for 2009. Mark Martin takes over for Casey Mears. Martin will run the full season for the first time since 2005 since son Matt quit racing. Carquest and Kelloggs back as co-sponsors. Mears is rumored to about every open ride, but it would be cool to see a Mears back with Penske.(8-1-2008)

    • Carpentier hopes to know 2009 plans by mid-August UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATE: Gillett Evernham will decide Aug. 15 if Carpentier will be with the team in 2009. A boost to Carpentier's contract renewal would be a top-35 finish in owner's points, guaranteeing his Dodge a starting spot in the first five races of next season. Carpentier is four spots behind that cutoff, still forced to qualify his way into each race. But he has only missed three races this year, two because rain canceled qualifying and the third for a blown tire. Qualifying, Carpentier says, is the easy part.(USA Today)(8-1-2008) Comment here

    • New Crew Chief for the #21: during SPEED's TV coverage of Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway, it was mentioned that David Hyder [former crew chief at the #21 in 2006, #49 BAM Racing, and the #00 MWR team] is now the crew chief of the #21 Wood Brothers Racing team for driver Bill Elliott/Jon Wood/Marcos Ambrose. Elliott is in the car this weekend at Pocono.(8-1-2008) Comment here

    • Raines in the #70 for two races: during SPEED's TV coverage of Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway, it was mentioned that Tony Raines, who is running the #70 Haas CNC Racing Chevy at Pocono, will also run the car at Michigan in two weeks. Max Papis will be in the car next week at Watkins Glen. Unless #66-Scott Riggs, currently in the top-35 of owners points and guaranteed a spot at Pocono, slips out of the top-35. At Infineon Raceway, Riggs and Papis swapped teams, trying to get the #66 back in the top-35 of owners points.(8-1-2008) Comment here

    • As for the UPS sponsorship? after hearing all kinds of rumors about the UPS sponsorship [currently at Michael Waltrip Racing in the #44 of David Reutimann], some which included: Truex to Penske with UPS [see #1 Team News and Links page in early May]; to Richard Childress Racing and the #07 and driver Clint Bowyer [see #07 Team News and Links page] with Jack Daniel's sponsorship either rotating around some of RCR's other teams, like the #29 and #31 OR going to Stewart Haas's 2nd team, the #4 Chevy; and to Stewart Haas's #4 team with Ryan Newman driving. BUT am now hearing the deal with RCR is close to being done with Bowyer's team. No word on what will happen with Jack Daniel's...IF this happens..of course.(8-1-0008) Comment here

    • Double Duty this weekend: Five Cup drivers will hopscotch between tracks this week, alternating primary duties at Pocono with the Nationwide Series event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. #07-Clint Bowyer, #99-Carl Edwards, #6-David Ragan, #16-Greg Biffle and #44-David David Reutimann all will compete in Saturday’s event north of the border as well as Sunday’s Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500.(Pocono Record)(8-1-2008)

    • Johnson on pole at Pocono: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coor's Light Pole for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway with a speed of 168.215mph for his 3rd pole of 2008 and 16th of his career [he has won 3 races from the pole, including last weeks race at Indy]. #8-Martin will start 2nd followed by #38-Gilliland, #24-Gordon, #17-Kenseth, #12-Newman, #9-Kahne, #83-Vickers, #16-Biffle and #2-Busch.
      The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #70-Raines, #78-Nemechek, #10-Labonte, #84-Allmendinger, #45-McCumbee, #00-McDowell, #21-Elliott and #96-Yeley, Missing the race was #34-Chaffin.
      See pole progression, qualifying results, starting lineup and more on my Pocono Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(8-1-2008) Comment here

    • Pocono Raceway Qualifying Fast Facts
      Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 with a lap of 53.503 seconds, 168.215 mph.
      This is his 16th pole in 240 Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third pole and 16th top-10 start in 2008.
      This is his second pole in 14 races at Pocono Raceway.
      Mark Martin (second) posted his ninth top-10 start of 2008 and his 30th in 44 races at Pocono Raceway.
      David Gilliland (third) posted his first top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. It is his first in 21 races this season.
      Sam Hornish Jr. (26th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-1-2008)

    • Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
      #00-Michael McDowell,165.010, starts 35th
      #01-Regan Smith, 164.751, starts 36th
      #77-Sam Hornish, 165.514, starts 26th

    • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
      Chevy: #48-Johsnon, 168.215, starts 1st
      Dodge: #12-Newman, 166.784, starts 6th
      Ford: #38-Gilliland, 167.187, starts 3rd
      Toyota: #83-Vickers, 166.522, starts 8th

    • Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the second time Goodyear has brought this combination of left- and right-side tires to Pocono Raceway, having successfully raced on these codes at the track in June . . . Sprint Cup teams have also raced this tire set-up earlier this season at Bristol . . . 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 34-36 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, codes, pressures on my Pocono Race Info page and for the season, see my Tires Stats page.(8-1-2008)

    • Qualifying Order for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway 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 #55-Waltrip, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #18-Busch. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #00-McDowell, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #10-Labonte. See the full qualifying order on my Pocono Qualifying Page.(8-1-2008)

    • Friday practice for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway is over, the fastest;
      #48-Johnson 166.784
      #8-Martin 166.380
      #99-Edwards 166.302
      #24-Gordon 166.079
      #1-Truex Jr. 165.972
      slowest: #34-Chaffin 158.083 & #00-McDowell 163.292
      no wrecks or incidents, Kahne was 43rd of 44, then noved up to 27th late, he ws on the pole here in June
      #48-Johnson's team MAY change the transmission, if so, Johnson would have to start the race at the rear.
      See speeds from two sources, with laps run, fastest lap, average speed on my Pocono Practice Speeds page.(8-1-2008)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Pocono Raceway:
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 12th fastest
      #96-J.J. Yeley, 14th
      #70-Tony Raines, 23rd
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 24th
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 29th
      #45-Chad McCumbee, 30th
      #10-Terry Labonte [PC1], 35th
      #00-Michael McDowell, 43rd
      if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
      #34-Chad Chaffin, 44th/last
      See speeds from two sources, with laps run, fastest lap, average speed on my Pocono Practice Speeds page.(8-1-2008)

    • Some drivers in the ARCA race at Pocono:
    • Almirola to run Pocono ARCA race: Aric Almirola, part time driver od DEI's #8 Chevy in Cup, has entered Saturday's ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Pocono, driving a #29 U.S. Army Chevy for Hickson Motorsports.
      Johnson's brother to run ARCA race at Pocono: Jarit Johnson, Jimmie's brother, is scheduled to pilot the GermaneRED / Germane Tooling Group Chevy in ARCA Pennsylvania 200 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday August 2nd. Other sponsors that have joined support for the program include: Fox Realty, Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships and The Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Johnson and the team will receive support as well from Johnson Excavation and RFL Clothing. Johnson has one previous start in the ARCA Series, in August of 2005 at Michigan.(ARCA Racing)(8-1-2008)
      Chrissy Wallace to make ARCA debut: Germain Racing driver Chrissy Wallace [and Mike's daughter] will make her ARCA RE/MAX Series debut this weekend at Pocono Raceway driving in the Hattori Racing Enterprises #01 Germain Toyota Camry. Wallace, a graduate of late model stock car racing, has run three Craftsman Truck Series races this season.(ARCA Racing)(8-1-2008)

    • #100 at Hamlin: It's only fitting that #11-Denny Hamlin reaches a significant Sprint Cup milestone at the place that put the third year driver on the map. This weekend will mark Hamlin's 100th start in the Sprint Cup Series and his stats show that he has been an extremely consistent performer. Building on a record-setting rookie campaign in 2006, Hamlin has recorded four wins, six poles, 51 top-ten finishes in 99 career starts, and has finished the season as high as third in the NNCS points standings.(JGR PR)(8-1-2008)


      News from July 31, 2008

    • Former crew chief involved in Mooresville wreck: A man with two previous drunk driving convictions was responsible for a deadly crash on Brawley School Road [Mooresville NC] on Thursday morning, according to state troopers. And investigators say Tim Kohuth will face a third DWI charge as a result of Thursday's collision. He was allegedly drunk when he crashed a flatbed truck into an SUV, killing a man in the SUV and injuring the man's wife. Neighbors say Kohuth was driving the truck because his personal vehicle has a Breathalyzer test connected the ignition, a result of Kohuth's previous DWI convictions. The crash happened around 11 a.m. Thursday on Brawley School Road and Mallard Way. The victim's wife was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. Kohuth remains in Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. An N.C. state trooper is standing by at the hospital to take him into custody when he's released. He'll be charged with DWI, and investigators expect more charges to follow. According to NASCAR.com, Kohuth is a former crew chief and general manager for the [now defunct] Ultra Motorsports #2 truck.(wcnc.com)
      more at Ray Dunlap's [covers NASCAR for SPEEDtv] personal blog - raydunlap.net.(7-31-2008)

    • Congrats: Jeff Dickerson, agent with Motorsports Management International and spotter for Kyle Busch, and Crystal Holloway welcomed a baby girl today. Contessa (Tessa) Fay Dickerson is 18.5 inches long, 7 lbs., 10 oz. Mother and Tessa are doing well, and Dickerson plans to be back at work for Busch at Pocono on Sunday.(7-31-2008)

    • Get Well - Herman Sadler: Well Wishes go out to Herman Sadler, Jr., the father of Hermie and #19-Elliott Sadler. Mr. Sadler was airlifted from Emporia, VA to a Richmond hospital yesterday morning after suffering from difficulty breathing. Mr. Sadler returned home Thursday evening and is doing better.(7-31-2008)

    • Childress Champions Pediatric Trauma Research: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and the Richard Childress family announced at a press conference today that they have teamed up to form what will become the nation’s most comprehensive Institute for Pediatric Trauma. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will focus on key areas in treatment, education and training, research and prevention of pediatric trauma. The Institute’s goal is to help pave the way for others in the nation searching for ways to help save the lives of severely injured children and help those who survive on the road to recovery. The Childress family has donated $5 million to the Medical Center to initiate the project, which will get underway later this year. Wake Forest Baptist and the Childress family are currently working with a number of corporations and individuals to raise the additional $20 million to establish the Childress Institute. Because of significant programs and infrastructure in place at Wake Forest Baptist, the Institute will be able to devote most of the monies to research, education, treatment and prevention and to raising the national awareness about childhood injuries. The project will also help expand our state-of-the-art pediatric emergency department for the Triad region. The Institute will also work with national and regional research groups to pool knowledge and data that can be shared with healthcare providers nationwide. For more information about the institute, visit www.childresspediatrictrauma.com or www.wfubmc.edu, or call 866-635-8190.(for the full PR with quotes, see my Racing Charities page or the RCR site)(7-31-2008)

    • Carfax to sponsor Kvapil at MIS: Yates Racing announced that Carfax, the most trusted provider of vehicle history information, will sponsor the #28 entry and driver Travis Kvapil for the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on August 17th. The race marks the first time that Carfax has been a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series. The premiere of the #28 Carfax Ford Fusion will take place on August 17th, 2008 for the 3M Performance 400. "We're thrilled to expand our presence in NASCAR to the Sprint Cup Series by teaming up with Yates Racing to sponsor the #28 Carfax Ford Fusion," said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. "Travis is having his best season yet as a Sprint Cup driver and we join the millions of NASCAR fans in cheering him on during the race. Anyone at Michigan International Speedway or watching on TV is in for a fun-filled race weekend, beginning Saturday with the Carfax 250." Carfax is a wholly-owned subsidiary of R.L. Polk & Co. and uses the unique 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) found on vehicle dashboards and title documents to generate a detailed Vehicle History Report on any used car or light truck. For more information, visit www.carfax.com.(Yates Racing PR), Hitachi is the sponsor this week for the #28, see my #28 Team Schemes page for images of the Hitachi car.(7-31-2008)

    • Manufacturers sticking with Cup: With four manufacturers each spending an estimated $100 million-plus annually in NASCAR's premier series, the financial benefit of their involvement must be significant. Despite the industry's gloomy economic outlook, automakers still consider NASCAR a showplace for its showrooms, which makes racing expenditures worthwhile. General Motors will slice some motor sports programs as part of $10 billion in budget cuts, and auto analysts have warned Chrysler might consider bankruptcy protection in the face of declining sales. But industry observers aren't expecting manufacturers to desert the sport as in the 1970s. Those fans apparently root with their wallets. Ford claims a 400% return on its marketing investment in NASCAR, says Dan Geist, the company's North American motor sports marketing manager. Geist says Ford tracks the purchasing history of NASCAR fans for six months after visiting promotional events or its racing website. More than 60% of Ford owners are race fans. "Racing is a critical piece of influencing consumers," Geist said. "The only reason we race is to sell cars, trucks and SUVs. … If it makes sense, we continue; if it doesn't, we stop." Chevrolet marketing manager Terry Dolan said NASCAR's 10-month schedule offers plenty of exposure as does the day-long experience of a race. At Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, Chevy had an 80,000-square-foot display featuring 40 vehicles, including many hybrids and more-fuel-efficient versions of the larger classes favored by race fans. Toyota entered Cup as a means of pushing its new Tundra. Though sales are slumping, the company recently reorganized and expanded its NASCAR marketing department. David Wilson, senior vice president of Toyota Racing Development, said research shows "people are coming into dealerships that never would have" because of NASCAR.(in part from USA Today)(7-31-2008) Comment here

    • Special show about Indy and the tires: With apologies and promises it will never happen again and investigations still underway looking at just what went wrong at last weekend's Brickyard 400, SPEED will take NASCAR fans deep inside the real-time crisis management exercise at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Adding a special edition of its popular behind-the-scenes documentary series NASCAR Confidential, SPEED and NASCAR Media Group will use their exclusive access to examine, from multiple perspectives, what went on last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when dangerous and excessive tire wear took center stage. Entitled NASCAR Confidential: What We Learned at Indy, the one-hour special will premiere Friday at 6pm/et and re-air Saturday at 11pm/et.(7-31-2008)

    • Chaffin in the #34 at Pocono, names assoc sponsors: Continental Fire & Safety will be an associate sponsor of the #34 Front Row Motorsports entry at Pocono Raceway for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. The #34 will be driven by Chad Chaffin. For information Continental Fire & Safety please visit their website at continentalfireandsafety.com.(FRM PR), also Doorstopnation.com will be an associate sponsor for the #34 at Pocono.(7-31-2008)

    • Richert's contract with DEI includes unique confidentiality, charity clauses: Dale Earnhardt Inc. required crew chief Doug Richert to endorse the Dale Earnhardt Foundation and required him to keep information learned about the Earnhardt family while he was a crew chief confidential as part of his contract with the team. The contract was entered as an exhibit to a lawsuit DEI filed in North Carolina court to rule that it had proper cause to fire Richert earlier this season and no longer owes money to him. DEI filed the complaint July 18 in North Carolina Superior Court. DEI fired Richert after the Richmond race this year, and its complaint states that it has received notification from Richert’s attorney claiming a breach of contract. The DEI complaint states that Richert’s 2008 salary was $475,000 plus $50,000 in guaranteed bonuses. It said it fired Richert for poor performance of the car, his failure to work with the other crew chiefs and for not following procedure in ordering parts. DEI Vice President John Story said he could not comment on the suit. Richert did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Richert had signed a three-year deal with DEI last December to be the crew chief of the #01 team, driven by Regan Smith this year. He has a nine-month non-compete clause following termination of the contract. The contract appears fairly typical for crew chiefs and includes a confidentiality section over technical data as well as a morals clause.
      But there are a few items unique to DEI:
      • In the confidentiality section, confidential information includes “all personal and/or non-public matters relating to Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, or their families, experiences or circumstances” gathered during his employment. Richert also was not allowed to write a book, short story, article or screenplay based on his experiences and cannot participate in any interviews relating to DEI, Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt and their families. He was allowed to do at-track interviews that focus on the car or drivers and their performance as it relates to the race.
      • Richert also agreed to a clause to “endorse the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation shall be the primary, non-religious charity to which Employee principally devotes Employee’s support and the time Employee spends on charitable matters.” He also agreed to do free appearances on behalf of the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.(SceneDaily)(7-31-2008) Comment here

    • Steak-Umm on board with Martin at Pocono: Mark Martin will run a special Steak-Umm's paint scheme this weekend at Pocono on the #8 DEI Chevy. The scheme is the same as Martin ran earlier this year at the Pocono race in June. Martin has never won at Pocono, but he has posted second-place finishes there six different times and has finished third there on four more occasions.(DEI PR), see images of the scheme on my #8 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2008)

    • Pocono Rookies Notes: #10-Patrick Carpentier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the July 27 Allstate 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Carpentier logged an 18th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the third consecutive race and for the fourth time this season. #01-Regan Smith and #00-Michael McDowell both led the 2008 Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. Smith and McDowell each led once for one lap. Two or more Raybestos Rookies have led a lap just twice in 15 races at Indianapolis (2001 was the other). Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by four points (173-169) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 3 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Denny Hamlin won both races at Pocono Raceway in 2006. He became the first Raybestos Rookie to sweep both races at the 2.5-mile track since the facility began hosting two Sprint Cup Series races in 1982. Hamlin also won both poles at Pocono in 2006 and is the only Raybestos Rookie to accomplish the feat since 1982.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see rookie history, standings and more on my 2008 Rookies page.(7-31-2008)

    • Indy win pushes Johnson's Racing for Relief over $25,000: #48-Jimmie Johnson's efforts on the track this weekend raised $12,480, which includes $4,800 for a victory finish, to benefit the American Red Cross as part of Lowe's Racing for Relief program. After nearly three and a half hours, Johnson completed 160 laps at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Sunday. The $12,480 is in addition to the $12,816 raised earlier this month during the race at Chicagoland, pushing the total Lowe's will donate to the Red Cross to more than $25,000. Lowe's had pledged $48 per lap completed for both races and an additional $4,800 for either race if Johnson finished in first place. 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.
      In addition to Racing for Relief, Lowe's stores across the Midwest are serving as official cash donation sites for the United Way 2008 Midwest Flood Recovery Fund to support long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts to areas devastated by the recent floods. The in-store donation program has been extended through August 3, 2008, with Lowe's matching in-store customer donations up to a total of $100,000. 70% of donations to the fund will help the Red Cross provide immediate needs such as food and shelter and 30% of the funds will support longer term relief efforts through local United Way partner agencies. Donations to the American Red Cross for the Central U.S. Floods and Tornadoes response may be made at participating Lowe's stores throughout the Midwest, online at www.redcross.org, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.(Lowe's Racing PR)(7-31-2008)

    • Kurt Busch testing and Road Atlanta UPDATE 2: In preparation for the Aug. 10 return to road course racing at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Kurt Busch, Pat Tryson, and crew are scheduled to be testing at Road Atlanta Tuesday (7/29/08). "We like Road Atlanta because it offers a layout that pretty much covers it all," Pat said of the the 2.54-mile road course located in Braselton, Georgia. "It has the 'esses' and 12 turns, including one that runs downhill."(Penske Racing PR)(7-24-2008)
      UPDATE: Kevin Harvick and the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Racing team are testing at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., on Tuesday and Wednesday [July 29-30] of this week in preparation for the Centurion Boats at the Glen on August 10th.(RCR PR)
      AND been told others are testing, including: #01-Ron Fellows, #1-Truex, #5-Mears, #6-Ragan, #7-Gordon, #8-Almirola, #9-Kahne, #10-Carpentier, #15-Menard, #21-Ambrose, #24-Hendrick, #31-Burton, #42-Montoya, #43-Labonte, #45-Petty, #48-Johsnon, #60-Said, #77-Hornish, #96-Brad Coleman/PJ Jones. Also NNS teams #17 Roush and #40-Franchitti.(7-29-2008)
      UPDATE 2: Testing at Road Atlanta was delayed approximately an hour Tuesday after Elliott Sadler crashed hard into a barrier. Sadler was not injured. The hit was so hard the front suspension was pushed up near the firewall. It was not immediately known if something broke on his car. Nearly two dozen teams turned laps preparing for next week.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-30-2008)
      UPDATE 3: hearing only #7-Robby Gordon tested at Road Atlanta on Wednesday, July 30th.(7-31-2008)


      News from July 30, 2008

    • AT&T Team USA Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway: To drive excitement for Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, #31-Jeff Burton will circle 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. Luikin is currently focused on qualifying for her first Olympic Games and has nine world medals (four gold and five silver), tying the mark held by Shannon Miller, who has earned more world and Olympic medals (16 total) than any other U.S. gymnast. Phelps is the most decorated swimmer in World Championships history and is a 20-time record holder. Most recently, he recorded two world records and has 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. 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. In addition to sporting new colors this weekend at Pocono, Burton will also wear a special AT&T Team USA firesuit and sport a custom designed American Flag helmet. Both the firesuit and helmet will be auctioned off following the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 with all the proceeds benefiting one of the Olympic charities.(RCR PR), see a few images of the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2008)

    • Kyle Petty Statement on the Passing of Close Friend 'Click' Baldwin: "Words cannot describe what "Click" Baldwin has meant to me, my family and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Back in 1995, he and I, along with a few other close friends, were just a group of guys that wanted to ride our motorcycles across the country. We found out that we could raise some money for charity while doing it and the Kyle Petty Charity Ride was born. While it had my name on it, "Click" was a driving force behind the ride. There has never been a more giving human being. He was more than a friend; he was like a brother to me. Please keep his wife Diane, his daughter Chelsea, his Mom, his brother and his Carolina Harley-Davidson family in your thoughts and prayers. We have lost a great one."(Petty Racing PR).
      MORE: The Baldwin Family would like to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult period. Diane Baldwin requests the use of restraint from questions and inquiries to the staff until her return. They too are suffering from shock and grief and need time to heal and reflect. Arrangements will be made once the family is able to return home. In lieu of flowers, the dealership is asking for donations towards “Bricks for Click” to be a part of their memorial sidewalk at the dealership. Each brick will have a personal message inscribed on the brick from the donor. Bricks can be purchased at the dealership with one’s personal message in remembrance of this motorcycle icon, “Unlike Any Other”. For further information on the accident, video and reports can be viewed at www.kpax.com. Recent video footage of Click on his latest ride is available at www.kylepettycharityride.com/virtual_ride.(carolinaharley.com)(7-30-2008)

    • DW selected "Nashvillian of the Year": NASCAR legend and FOX Sports Broadcast analyst Darrell Waltrip has been selected to receive the prestigious "Nashvillian of the Year Award" from the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Nashville on Friday, August 1st at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. The "Nashvillian of the Year Award" will be presented in the Crown Ballroom on the 10th floor at noon. Waltrip will be the 27th recipient of the award which was first awarded to Martha Rivers Ingram in 1980. Waltrip, a three time Winston Cup Champion, owns Darrell Waltrip Honda/Volvo in Franklin, TN where he currently lives with his wife Stevie. He has two daughters, Jessica and Sarah.(PR), see full post on my Awards page.(7-30-2008) Comment here

    • Johnson to run Bristol truck race UPDATE: ESPN2's NASCAR Now reported that Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to drive the #81 Chevy for Randy Moss Motorsports in the Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It will be Johnson's first Truck Series race. Johnson wants to get more seat time at Bristol since he has never won there.(7-29-2008)
      UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson has announced he will make his CraftsmanTruck Series debut in the #81 Kobalt Tools Silverado fielded by Randy Moss Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20. “Watkins Glen and Bristol are two tracks where I really want a win,” said Johnson. “I enjoy racing at Watkins Glen and for some reason always seem to be a little better there than Sonoma. We’ve had some top fives so hopefully this will put us in the win column." He continued, “As for the trucks, I am really looking forward to that. I have never run a truck race so it should be fun. Heck, my brother Jarit has run more than me, but it’s going to be a good time. I’m excited to run Randy’s truck. Hopefully we can get them a good finish.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(7-30-2008) Comment here

    • "Mirrors" scheme for #96 at Pocono: DLP HDTV is teaming up with 20th Century Fox to support the upcoming action thriller, "Mirrors," in a promotional partnership for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race Aug. 3 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. "Mirrors," starring Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton and Amy Smart and directed by Alexandre Aja, will be featured on J.J. Yeley's #96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry during the race, while Sutherland will serve as grand marshal of the event and will give the "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" command. Since DLP Technology uses millions of microscopic mirrors to produce stunning pictures on the best HDTVs, the connection with this new movie and the DLP HDTV Toyota Camry is particularly well-suited. In "Mirrors," which opens in theatres everywhere Aug. 15, Sutherland portrays a troubled ex-cop who must save his family from an unspeakable evil that is using mirrors as a gateway into their home. The movie will be shown nationwide in a digital format at select theatres on DLP Cinema projectors. DLP leads the cinema movement from film to digital movie theatres powered by DLP Cinema Technology with over 6,700 screens in more than 40 countries.(True Speed Communication/Hall of Fame Racing PR), see an image of the hood on my #96 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2008)

    • Cheesy scheme for Mears for Pocono: Cheez-It, the world's best-selling cheese cracker, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears this weekend at Pocono Raceway. This is the second time this season [Texas in April] that "The Big Cheese" will decorate the hood of the #5 Chevy. Cheez-It also will be a primary sponsor at Michigan [August] and California's Auto Club Speedway [August] later this season.(HMS PR), see an image of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2008)

    • Avis scheme for Newman: #12-Ryan Newman will run a red and white Avis [rental cars] in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. This is the first and only race this year that Avis has served as the primary sponsor for the No. 12 Dodge in 2008. In honor of this weekend's #12 Avis Dodge, Avis is inviting motorsports enthusiasts to experience the unique service and benefits of its award-winning technology with a special discount on its car rentals. To receive up to 25% off rentals, racing fans must mention Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number W009404 at the time of reservation by calling 1-800-331-1212 or visit www.avis.com and enter the AWD number when prompted. This week, the #12 Avis Dodge pit crew traveled to Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C., to take part in NASCARnival Nights. As part of the event, the #12 pit crew did a pit stop demonstration for the 125 campers. The pit crew also participated in the night's "Beach Blast"-themed activities - they took turns in the dunking tank, played with water guns and just enjoyed time with the campers.(Penske Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #12 Team Scheme page.(7-30-2008)

    • Ken Howes honored at Indy with True Grit Award: Ken Howes was honored Sunday with the C&R Racing True Grit Award, which exemplifies outstanding achievement in racing and acknowledges dedicated crew chiefs and mechanics in the motor sports industry. Howes, Hendrick Motorsports' vice president of competition, was presented the award by Chris Paulsen, the president and owner of C&R Racing Inc. The honor is bestowed twice annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, prior to the Indianapolis 500 and Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Previous winners of the NASCAR True Grit Award include Barry Dodson, Ray Evernham, Jimmy Fennig, Tony Glover, Jimmy Makar, Buddy Parrott, Ryan Pemberton, Robby Reiser, Glen Wood and Leonard Wood.(Hendrick Motorsports site)(7-30-2008)

    • Bowyer tests at Nashville: #07-Clint Bowyer and the RCR Jack Daniel's team tested at Nashville Superspeedway on Tuesday, July 29 in an effort to fine-tune their mile-and-a-half program.(RCR PR)(7-30-2008)

    • Race #1400 for BDR: When #22-Dave Blaney takes the green flag for the start of the Pocono race Sunday, it will mark Bill Davis Racing's 1,400th NASCAR start. Since 1988, BDR drivers have made 333 Nationwide Series starts, 328 Craftsman Truck Series starts and 738 Cup Series starts.(BDR PR)(7-30-2008)


      News from July 29, 2008

    • Indy TV Ratings Increase: ESPN had a final household coverage rating of 5.1 for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, a 3% increase from last year's 4.9. Household impressions were 4,888,964, up 5% from last year's 4,657,433. Viewership 6,667,729, up 1% from last year's 6,573,536. This race is ESPN's most-viewed auto race ever. The NASCAR Nationwide Series ORP event was on ESPN and had a final rating of 1.5, up 6% from last year's 1.4 on ESPN2. For NNS season on cable (ESPN and ESPN2), they are up 17 percent from last year (not including the California race that was rain-delayed and run on Monday).(ESPN)(7-29-2008) Comment here

    • NASCAR apologizes for Indianapolis tire fiasco: NASCAR apologized Tuesday for the tire fiasco that ruined its prestigious race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and vowed to avoid a repeat. A durability issue with the tires Goodyear brought to Indy forced NASCAR to call cautions every 10 to 12 laps on Sunday to slow the action and force teams to change their tires before they failed. The longest run under the green flag was 13 laps, and Jimmie Johnson claimed the victory at the end of a seven-lap sprint to the finish in the second-slowest race in the 15 years NASCAR has competed at the Brickyard. "I can't say enough how sorry we are and it's our responsibility being NASCAR that we don't go through this situation again," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition. "The race didn't come off like we had hoped, the fans didn't get what they exactly wanted and we'll do everything in our power - it won't happen again, I can tell you that much." NASCAR must first figure out why Goodyear's tires struggled so mightily at Indianapolis. The only thing that is certain is that the tire compound Goodyear selected was not strong enough when combined with NASCAR's current car. Goodyear plans to return to Indianapolis later this year to conduct another tire test. NASCAR is currently working on a new testing policy that would give teams more testing dates and freedom to choose the tracks. NASCAR officials spoke Tuesday morning with both Goodyear officials and Indianapolis president Joie Chitwood, as all parties tried to move forward. Track chairman Tony George was adamant in an interview with The Indianapolis Star that the surface was not a factor in Sunday's debacle. Pemberton agreed there is nothing wrong with the track, and in admitting NASCAR is deeply affected by the fiasco, vowed the issue will be corrected before next year's return. "It hurts us whenever we have a weekend like we had," Pemberton said. "There's nothing worse than coming away from a race and knowing the result was ... it wasn't even close. It wasn't even in the 25th percentile of what we're capable of doing and what we do week in and week out."(Associated Press)(7-29-2008) Comment here

    • Petty skipping Pocono too, not back in 2009? UPDATE: #45-Kyle Petty is expected to skip his second straight race next week at Pocono since his deal with TNT ended, team officials said. "We're still working through a few things," said Robbie Loomis, the vice president of racing operations at Petty Enterprises. The most likely candidate is Chad McCumbee, who attempted to qualify the car at Texas earlier this year. Terry Labonte, who replaced Petty on Sunday to guarantee the car got into the field, already has agreed to drive for Gillett Evernham Motorsports next week in place of #10-Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier is racing in the Nationwide Series in Montreal on Saturday and won't pull double duty. Loomis declined to speculate on whether Petty will drive the #45 car next season.(ESPN.com)(7-28-2008)
      UPDATE: Petty Enterprises announced its driver lineup for the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge through the August 17th Sprint Cup race at the Michigan International Speedway. Chad McCumbee, Kyle Petty and Terry Labonte will each compete in one event over the next three weeks. "Chad, Kyle and Terry will be competing at places where they have all had success in the past," said Petty Enterprises Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "That should put the #45 team in the best position possible to gain points on the teams in front of us in owner points. Everyone at Petty Enterprises is committed to doing whatever it takes to get this team back inside the top-35. That is one of our highest priorities as an organization." McCumbee, 23, will attempt to make his first Sprint Cup start of the season this weekend at the Pocono Raceway. He made his first career Sprint Cup start at Pocono in 2007, finishing 25th. McCumbee also picked up an ARCA RE/MAX Series victory at Pocono last year. He currently competes full-time in the Craftsman Truck Series where he is 12th in points.
      Petty will return to the seat of the #45 Dodge for the August 10 event at Watkins Glen International. This will be the first start for Petty since the Coca-Cola 600 in May. His hiatus included at six-race stint in the TNT Sports booth where he covered the Sprint Cup Series. "We're all excited to see Kyle back in the #45 Marathon Dodge at Watkins Glen," said Loomis. "He has been a great road course racer throughout his career. I know he is looking forward to it as well so we are going up there with a lot of confidence that we will have a solid run."
      Labonte, who has competed in seven races in the #45 Dodge this season, will make his eighth start at the Michigan International Speedway on August 17th. He owns seven top-fives, 13 top-tens and two poles in his career at Michigan.(Petty Racing PR)(7-29-2008) Comment here

    • Truex to re-sign with DEI? UPDATE 4: [see past news and runors on this on my #1 Team News and links page] Martin Truex Jr., who has been speculated as a candidate for every driver opening in the Sprint Cup garage, isn't going anywhere. The 28-year-old New Jersey native has agreed in principal to a two-year deal that will keep him at Dale Earnhardt Inc. through the 2010 season, multiple sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sources said an official announcement is expected any day, and that details with multiple sponsors remain to be finalized. Truex, asked if he has an agreement, said: "We're getting there, yeah. Things are going well right. I'm pretty happy. I just want to think about racing this weekend." He has been linked most strongly with the #12 car at Penske Racing,#4 at Stewart-Haas Racing and #33 at Richard Childress Racing. The organization also is negotiating a long-term deal to keep #15-Paul Menard, who has improved from 34th in the point standings last season to 26th. Max Siegel, the president of global operations at DEI, would not comment on negotiations. But Siegel has been emphatic that Truex was a driver he wanted to build the company around.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2008)
      UPDATE 3: Martin Truex Jr. said Saturday after Sprint Cup practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that a published report saying he had reached an agreement in principle to remain at Dale Earnhardt Inc. for two years was not true. Though Truex may well drive for DEI next season, his immediate reaction when asked about the story that appeared on ESPN.com was: "It's [expletive]. I don't know what the hell [the reporter] is talking about. He doesn't know what he's talking about." Truex said he has been involved in fruitful negotiations with DEI's management. "We've been talking a lot," Truex said. "Things have been going well. We're working on some stuff, and that's what I told him." John Story, DEI's vice president of motorsports operations, indicated he has been involved in every aspect of the negotiations and declined comment on the assertions in the story.(NASCAR.com)(7-27-2008)
      UPDATE 4: Dale Earnhardt Inc.s Martin Truex Jr. reportedly was involved in a raised-voice spat with DEI President of Global Operations Max Siegel Saturday night, accusing Siegel of leaking a story to ESPN.com that Truex had agreed to a two-year contract extension. Truex angrily denied the story on Saturday and reported had it out with Siegel that evening.(Ford Racing)(7-29-2008) Comment here

    • Latest on Indy Tires: Goodyear officials will most likely test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before this year ends in an effort to remedy the tire problems that marred Sunday's Allstate 400 Sprint Cup race at the track. After Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Juan Pablo Montoya each had tire problems early in the race, NASCAR officials opted to continue to use competition cautions to check the tire wear. The sanctioning body had announced prior to the race plans to throw the caution flag on lap 15, then continued the practice throughout the event, with the final competition caution coming on lap 150. Goodyear officials said that the combination of the Indy track surface and NASCAR's new car caused the tires to wear quickly and that they'll look into the problem. "Obviously, the tread wear didn't improve as we thought it would for the first of the afternoon," Goodyear spokesman Greg Stucker said. "Actually we don't have the answer as far as why that didn't happen, so we've got to go back and look at that and try to figure out how to make it better." He noted this was the same compound that teams used in this event a year ago. Sunday's race marked the debut of NASCAR's new car at the 2.5-mile track, though it is the 20th series race featuring the model. "This was the same compound we raced last year and the wear improved over the course of the day last year to the point where we could run the full stops," Stucker said. "That didn't happen today, so we need to understand why." He said Goodyear will work to assess the cause of the problems. "We're going to do our best to try to turn it around, we're going to talk with the race track, figure out what can we do about the race track, try to understand a little bit more, try to work with NASCAR and try to figure out what to expect from the car and the teams," he said. "We're the tire supplier, we take it onto our shoulders, we've got to improve it, but … it's the package, so we need to understand the whole thing together and try to make it better." He pointed out that nobody was at fault for the problems, but that this is something the group will work diligently to resolve. Goodyear held a tire test at the track in April, but opted not to bring the tire from that session because of concerns about grip. Last year, the Cup drivers had a full-field test at the track, but the lack of that this season was not an issue, Stucker said. "We had full-scale testing as far as we're concerned, I mean we had a tire test," he said. "We didn't have an open test like we did last year, certainly we didn't have as many cars on the race track as we did last year, so again that's a difference. But you try to use all that [in] your decisions."(SceneDaily)(7-29-2008) Comment here

    • Stewart involved in altercation at ORP UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart expects to be fined by the U.S. Auto Club for an "altercation" with an official during Thursday night's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park. The incident occurred after points leader Tracy Hines, who drives for one of Stewart's two National Midget teams, got into the wall and there wasn't a track official or push truck present to help get the car back in the race. Hines' crew reportedly attempted to change a right rear flat and get him back into the race before another restart. As the crew pushed the car to the front of the straightaway, a USAC official indicated it was too late. Stewart then came down to pit lane to get an explanation for the call. He reportedly knocked the headset from the official's head and then shoved him. "We had an altercation," Stewart said Friday at IMS, "It was a situation [where] we didn't understand a call they made." In a statement Friday, USAC official Kevin Miller acknowledged that there was an incident but would not say who was involved.(ESPN.com and see video at wthr.com)(7-27-2008)
      UPDATE: Stewart was fined $10,000 and his team was placed on probation Monday following an altercation last week at the USAC's National Midget race in Indianapolis. Stewart was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct and conduct detrimental to racing. USAC said in a statement that Stewart was involved in an on-track incident Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park related to one of his Midgets driven by points leader Tracy Hines. Hines had scraped the wall and pitted for a tire change, but his car was not deemed ready to re-enter the race in time to rejoin the field for the restart. Stewart then came down to pit lane to get an explanation for the call. He reportedly knocked the headset from the official's head and then shoved him. "USAC immediately assessed the incident and it was determined that unacceptable behavior detrimental to the sport had occurred, and that the professionalism and the integrity of the series and its promoters had been severely compromised," Jason Smith, USAC's vice president of racing operations, said in the statement. "While we respect the passion of our teams in the spirit of competition, we regret this incident occurred and are dedicated to averting a recurrence in the future."
      Stewart, who apologized Monday, also agreed to pay for the costs of new radios and uniforms for USAC officials. "My own misinterpretation of USAC policies in place at the time led to confusion and elevated emotions," Stewart said. "I'm very passionate about my race team and will stand up for them when I think something isn't right. Obviously, I handled this particular situation the wrong way, and if I had to do it over again, it never would've happened."(ESPN.com)(7-29-2008) Comment here

    • Finalists For IMHOF Class of 2009 Announced: Twenty-one racing legends have been nominated by a panel of international motorsports journalists for possible induction to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009, officials announced Monday. The field of nominees was expanded to twenty-one this year over the usual twenty because of a tie in votes. The group will be narrowed to five inductees when the final round of voting begins July 30th.
      Representing IndyCar in the top-21 are: J.C. Agajanian, Clint Brawner, Pete DePaolo, Ted Horn and Troy Ruttman.
      From Sprint Cars are: Tommy Hinnershitz and Jan Opperman.
      Representing NASCAR are: Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Carl Kiekhaefer, Bud Moore, Marvin Panch, Raymond Parks, Maurice Petty, Rex White and Lee Roy Yarbrough.
      From sports cars is Brian Redman.
      Representing the NHRA is Ronnie Sox. Several nominees careers' spanned multiple series, including: from NHRA & NASCAR, Raymond Beadle; from AMA & NASCAR, Paul Goldsmith and from AMA & IndyCar, Sam Hanks.
      The next Induction Ceremony is set for Thursday, April 23, 2009, and consists of a reception, banquet and awards ceremony. Individual tickets are $125 or a table of eight may be reserved for $1,000 by calling 1-256-362-5002.(TSS PR)(7-29-2008)

    • Sad News - "Checker" Carmichael: Ronnie "Checker" Carmichael, 49, died in a work-related accident on Monday, July 28th. Carmichael, the brother-in-law to #34 NSCS and #24 NNS team owner Bob Jenkins, volunteered as a crew member for several teams over the past twenty years. Carmichael is survived by his wife Mary Neal, and daughters Kristin and Amanda.(FRM PR)(7-29-2008)


      News from July 28, 2008

    • Sprint Cup Series Live from Pocono on ESPN: The unique, triangular shape of Pennsylvania's Pocono Raceway always presents a challenge to NASCAR teams, and ESPN will have live, flag-to-flag coverage of the 500-mile Sprint Cup Series at Pocono, telecast presented by Cheez-It, on Sunday, August 3, at 1pm/et. Coverage from Pocono Raceway includes a live telecast of Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Aug. 1, at 3:30pm/et and coverage of practice sessions from 10am - 12:30pm/et on Saturday, Aug. 2, all on ESPN2. All programming also airs in high definition and is simulcast on ESPN MobileTV. The race replays on Monday, Aug. 4, at 1pm/et on ESPN Classic. Dr. Jerry Punch will be lead announcer for ESPN's coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will be pit reporters with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Tech Center. The pre-race NASCAR Countdown show from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, with Rusty Wallace and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

    • ARCA Chaplain Bill Krick Hospitalized: ARCA Chaplain Bill Krick remains hospitalized following heart surgery earlier this week but the ARCA community continues to support the long-time champlain of Focus Motorsports Ministries. Saturday afternoon at Berlin Raceway, ARCA members Andy Belmont, Mark Gibson and Mike Allgaier led the charge. Get well messages and prayers may be mailed to Focus Motorsports Ministries, Bill Krick, Chaplain, 2497 Governors Pointe, Concord, NC 28025-2425. More info at ARCA Racing.(7-28-2008)

    • Budweiser Shootout Returns to Daytona in 2009: The Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR's season-opening event, will return in 2009 as part of Budweiser's multi-year sponsorship renewal with Daytona International Speedway. "For more than 30 years, race fans have circled the Budweiser Shootout on their calendars in the way baseball fans look toward Opening Day," said Tony Ponturo, vice president of Global Media and Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "February is the start of our important spring selling season, and big events such as the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500, plus the Super Bowl, NHL and NBA All-Star weekends, provide a powerful combination to excite consumers and energize our wholesaler family."
      "We're pleased and excited to welcome back Anheuser-Busch's sponsorship of the season-opening Budweiser Shootout," said Speedway President Robin Braig. "Together, Anheuser-Busch and Daytona International Speedway look forward to providing our fans with a memorable event to start the 2009 NASCAR season at 'The World Center of Racing.'"
      The multi-year agreement for the Budweiser Shootout includes exclusive alcohol and non-alcohol malt beverage sponsorship of the race weekend, four new interior track wall signs, and sponsorship of the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party televised by Speed Channel and the popular post-race infield concert. The 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is scheduled for Feb. 7.
      The "Great American Lager" will continue to sponsor the "Great American Race" as the Official Beer of Daytona International Speedway, the Daytona 500 and the track's numerous annual events. Budweiser, sponsor of Kasey Kahne and the #9 Budweiser Dodge, retains significant at-track presence through the Budweiser Bistro concession area in the Sprint FANZONE, a major presence on the infield scoring tower, use of the Speedway's logo and Daytona 500 logo, Sprint FANZONE and on-track visits by the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and will continue to offer its "Green Team" recycling programs to help keep Daytona International Speedway clean. Anheuser-Busch is also the exclusive beer and malt beverage advertiser of the Daytona 500 national broadcast on FOX.(DIS PR), who is in the race, rules, history and all time poles on my 2009 Shootout page.(7-28-2008) Comment here

    • Newman not going to the #20 car: Strike Joe Gibbs Racing from the list of potential employers for Ryan Newman. Newman's name has been most prominently mentioned to land with Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Sources close to the situation said he also has had discussions with JGR, Richard Childress Racing and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. An RCR official said on Friday that he expected Newman to go to Stewart, and JGR president J.D. Gibbs said on Sunday it was unlikely the driver of Penske Racing's #12 could join his Toyota team. "It would be hard," Gibbs said before the Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Another time, another day, maybe. He's a great individual. You would love to have him on your team. It's just all those ducks aren't in a row." Gibbs did say he was getting closer to naming a driver to replace Tony Stewart in the #20 next season. Joey Logano, the 18-year-old sensation in the Nationwide Series, remains the front-runner for that spot. Gibbs also said speculation JGR would expand to four teams in 2009 was unlikely. "Next year would be hard," Gibbs said.(ESPN.com)(7-28-2008) Comment here

    • Stremme has talked to Penske about #12 gig: David Stremme, currently a test driver at Penske Racing and Nationwide Series driver for Rusty Wallace Racing, said he has talked with Penske officials about driving the #12 Sprint Cup car next season. The team is looking for a replacement for Ryan Newman, who will leave the team at the end of the year. “We’ve talked,” Stremme said Saturday at O’Reilly Raceway Park. “Obviously, I’m doing testing for them. But there are a lot of opportunities open, too. Who wouldn’t want to be racing for Roger Penske? He’s very successful in motorsports. I like how they do their program.”(SceneDaily)(7-28-2008) Comment here

    • Commercial breakdown, driver focus, and links related to the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
      Total number of commercials: 113
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:01 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:50 PM
      Total minutes: 220
      Minutes of race broadcast: 178
      Minutes of commercials: 51
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of mystery cautions (no debris shown): 0
      Number of nasty bird deaths 1
      See more on my 2008 Commercials page.(7-28-2008) Comment here

    • Roush Miffed At Goodyear: Team owner Jack Roush got a second-place finish in Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from Carl Edwards, but he was not in a good mood. Roush said that because his team wasn't invited to the Goodyear tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April that involved only three drivers, his engineers and crew chiefs had no idea what to expect this weekend. "We only missed by an inch," he said. "This is a game of inches, but Goodyear didn't give us a chance to test here. We were one change behind all the time during practice." Goodyear tires were wearing out so quickly on the right side of the cars Sunday that NASCAR instituted "competition yellow" flags every 10 to 12 laps. That didn't help one of Roush's drivers. Matt Kenseth blew a tire on the 47th of 160 laps. The other Roush Fenway Racing drivers, Jamie McMurray and Greg Biffle, finished sixth and eighth. So it was hardly a bad day for the Ford team. Asked what NASCAR and Goodyear can do to prevent such a situation from occurring again, Roush said, "You need to go talk to Chad Knaus winner Jimmie Johnson's crew chief. He said it wasn't going to be a problem with this tire. He and Goodyear have something figured out that the rest of us don't."(Tampa Tribune)(7-28-2008) Comment here



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