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    AUGUST 4-10, 2008

      News from August 10, 2008

    • Labonte taken to hospital after nine-car wreck at Watkins Glen is OK: One of the worst road-course crashes in years brought out a red flag with eight laps to go Sunday in the Centurion Boats at The Glen Sprint Cup race Sunday at Watkins Glen International. #43-Bobby Labonte limped away from the terrifying nine-car accident and was transported to a local hospital. Petty Enterprises officials said Labonte was evaluated and released from the hospital and has no injuries. The red flag lasted 43 minutes. The crash started when #00-Michael McDowell and #38-David Gilliland bumped door panels as they came around Turn 11, the final turn on the course. The collision caused both cars to slide across the track and slam hard into a tire barrier. Gilliland's car bounced back sideways on the track before it was T-boned by Labonte's car, sending pieces of sheet metal flying into the air as both cars were destroyed. Labonte's No. 43 Dodge spun to the inside barrier before coming to a stop. Labonte climbed out quickly but visibly was in pain..(

    • Kyle Busch wins at Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International for his 8th win of 2008 and 12th of his career. #20-Stewart finished 2nd followed by #21-Ambrose [his best career finish in 3 races, after winning his first Nationwide race on Saturday], #42-Montoya, #1-Truex Jr., #29-Harvick, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards and #2-Busch. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 22nd after leading 33 laps, was leading when caution came out before he could pit and fell back. There was a 45 minute red flag for a big wreck involving 9 drivers/cars with 8 laps to go. There were 8 lead changes among 5 drivers and 4 cautions for 9 laps.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Watkins Glen Race Results Awards Page.(8-10-2008) Comment here

    • Labonte taken to hospital after nine-car wreck at Watkins Glen is OK: One of the worst road-course crashes in years brought out a red flag with eight laps to go Sunday in the Centurion Boats at The Glen Sprint Cup race Sunday at Watkins Glen International. #43-Bobby Labonte limped away from the terrifying nine-car accident and was transported to a local hospital. Petty Enterprises officials said Labonte was evaluated and released from the hospital and has no injuries. The red flag lasted 43 minutes. The crash started when #00-Michael McDowell and #38-David Gilliland bumped door panels as they came around Turn 11, the final turn on the course. The collision caused both cars to slide across the track and slam hard into a tire barrier. Gilliland's car bounced back sideways on the track before it was T-boned by Labonte's car, sending pieces of sheet metal flying into the air as both cars were destroyed. Labonte's No. 43 Dodge spun to the inside barrier before coming to a stop. Labonte climbed out quickly but visibly was in pain..(

    • UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Watkins race 22 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 3254 [8 wins]
      2) #99-Carl Edwards 3012 -242 [4 wins]
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3010 -244 [2 wins]
      4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2985 -269 [1 win]
      5) #31-Jeff Burton 2945 -309 [1 win]
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon 2754 -500
      7) #20-Tony Stewart 2744 -510
      8) #9-Kasey Kahne 2713 -541 [+107 pts ahead of 13th]
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin 2689 -565 [+87]
      10) #16-Greg Biffle 2689 -565 [+83]
      11) #29-Kevin Harvick 2670 -584 [+64]
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth 2628 -626 [+22]
      CHASE contenders
      12) #07-Clint Bowyer 2606 -648 [1 win] [22 pts out of 12th]
      14) #6-David Ragan 2539 -715 [-89]
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Watkins Glen page.(8-10-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Michigan:
      #84-Allmendinger is in top 35 first time ever; #66-Riggs falls back out and down to 37th
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      31) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1770 +109
      32) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 1767, +106
      33) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 1682 +21
      34) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1674 +13
      35) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1669 8 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1661 8 points out of 35th
      37) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 1616 -53
      38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1469 -200
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(8-10-2008)

    • Watkins Glen International Race Fast Facts:
      #18-Kyle Busch won the Centurion Boats at The Glen, his 12th victory in 136 Cup Series races.
      This is his eighth victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2008.
      This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in four races at Watkins Glen International.
      #20-Tony Stewart (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in ten races at Watkins Glen International. It is his 11th top-10 finish in 2008.
      #21-Marcos Ambrose (third) posted his first top-10 finish in just his third Sprint Cup Series race.
      #10-Patrick Carpentier (20th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 242 points over #99-Carl Edwards.
      Kyle Busch, who won the Nationwide Series race at Mexico City and at Infineon, became the first driver in NASCAR history to win three road-course races in the top three national series in the same season.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-10-2008)

    • Lucky Dogs....Who got a lap back on each caution at Watkins Glen: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #78-Nemechek, 38th
      Caution 2: #41-Sorenson, 31st
      Caution 3: #7-Gordon, 27th
      Caution 4: none awarded with 10 or less laps left in race

    • Watkins Glen Penalty Report:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
      1 #78 Safety violation PT 44
      2 #12 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 78
      3 #12 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 78
      4 #6 Crewmember(s) over the wall too soon TE 79
      5 #12 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 80
      6 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 82
      7 #12 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 82
      8 #00 Safety violation MCI 84
      9 #41 Safety violation MCI 84
      10 #78 Safety violation MCI 88
      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)(8-10-2008)

    • Next up for DEI: Menard's contract: So where is #15-Paul Menard in terms of his contract status with DEI beyond this season? Asked about a timetable, Menard indicated talks are under way. “Soon. In a couple of weeks,” Menard said of a decision. “We were not waiting on anybody [to decide]. We’ve just got to make sure everything is right before we do anything.” Menard carries the family company sponsorship and can take that to any team willing to field cars for him. While he insisted that he wasn’t waiting on #1-Martin Truex Jr. to make a decision, he did say that was important for DEI as a whole. “It helps the whole organization so I was happy to see that,” Menard said. “It gives us some stability and now we can go forward with some plans for next year.” DEI Vice President of Motorsports John Story said Friday that he hopes to get Menard signed soon. “We’re working really hard on it,” Story said. “It’s not signed, but I think it’s real close.” With Menard, DEI hopes to still have a four-car operation next season. Story indicated Friday that the team has sponsorship for Aric Almirola in the #8 car. The team is currently sponsored by the U.S. Army, which does only one-year deals. Almirola, sharing the ride this season with Mark Martin, takes over driving duties full time next year. “We have nothing to announce on the 8… there’s still some available inventory on the 8 but, by and large, it’s a funded program,” Story said Friday when asked whether the U.S. Army was coming back with Almirola. “The 1 is settled [with Truex]. The 15 is good [with Menard]. We’re talking to a lot of people about the 01 [currently driven by Regan Smith]. The fact of the matter is now that Martin has settled his position for next year, our sponsorship talks are accelerating quickly because there are a lot of people that have a lot of interest in DEI but they wanted to take a wait-and-see attitude as well.”(SceneDaily)(8-10-2008) Comment here

    • Citifinanacial to sponsor #38 in four races: CitiFinancial announced that it will sponsor the Yates Racing #38 Ford Fusion and driver David Gilliland in four Sprint Cup Series races beginning at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 17. The #38 will also sport the CitiFinancial and Citi paint scheme at Fontana, Richmond and Texas.(Yates Racing PR)(8-10-2008)

      News from August 9, 2008

    • McCumbee to Cup; announcement soon? Hearing that the deal for Truck Series driver Chad McCumbee has been finalized for the move to Sprint Cup in 2009, and an announcement is expected sometime within the next week. McCumbee currently drives a few Cup races for Petty Enterprises and has been rumored to be going there full time in 2009.(8-9-2008)

    • Mears or Truex to the #33? UPDATE: Richard Childress is still looking for the right driver to add to his Cup team. He said earlier this year that Richard Childress Racing plans to add a fourth Cup driver for next season, joining Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. But the search has dragged on longer than Childress expected. "You've got to find the right person," Childress said Sunday. "You don't want to mess up the other three (teams). But we're still working on it and I think we'll get it done in the next couple of weeks." Two of the leading candidates for the RCR ride appear to be Casey Mears, who will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season, and Martin Truex Jr., whose future at Dale Earnhardt Inc. remains up in the air.(AP/
      UPDATE: with Truex now re-signed with DEI to stay there for another year, it looks like Casey Mears is the front runner to be RCR's 4th driver BUT am hearing that Mears could end up in the #07 Jack Daniel's's Chevy with Clint Bowyer moving over to the 4th team, sponsored by General Mills/Cheerios, supposedly using the #33. The teams could switch owners points so Bowyer is not out of the top-35 in owners points and Mears would have to qualify the #07 for the first five races of 2009.(8-9-2008)

    • Latest on Truex UPDATE 5 re-signs with DEI: #1-Martin Truex Jr. said he is closer to deciding whether he will be back with Dale Earnhardt Inc. next year. And that’s about all he’d say about his future on Friday at Pocono Raceway. DEI plans to pick up its option on Truex for next season but they have yet to come to terms. “Yeah I’m closer [to deciding] – what else do you’ve got, there’s got to be something we could talk about that is better than that,” Truex said after qualifying. He later added, “You’ll know soon. It’s coming.”(SceneDaily)(8-12-2008)
      UPDATE: hearing that Truex is talking to Richard Childress Racing about the 4th team ride and a deal could be reached soon.(8-3-2008)
      UPDATE2: on SPEEDtv's NASCAR Raceday, it was reported that Truex Jr. said he is getting closer to re-signing with DEI.(8-2-2008)
      UPDATE3: Richard Childress is still looking for the right driver to add to his Cup team. He said earlier this year that Richard Childress Racing plans to add a fourth Cup driver for next season, joining Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. But the search has dragged on longer than Childress expected. "You've got to find the right person," Childress said Sunday. "You don't want to mess up the other three (teams). But we're still working on it and I think we'll get it done in the next couple of weeks." Two of the leading candidates for the RCR ride appear to be Casey Mears, who will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season, and Martin Truex Jr., whose future at Dale Earnhardt Inc. remains up in the air.(AP/
      UPDATE 4: #1-Martin Truex Jr. finalized an agreement on Wednesday to return to Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season with other longer-term plans in place, sources close to the situation said. Truex will discuss his joining forces with DEI on Friday at Watkins Glen International. The deal ends speculation that Truex would leave the company he has been with since making the move from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Nationwide Series team in 2004. 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 is also negotiating a long-term deal to keep Paul Menard, who has improved from 34th in the points standings last season to 28th.(
      UPDATE 5 - Truex re-signs with DEI: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops. Max Siegle, President of DEI, John Story, VP of Motorsports Operations for DEI all met with the media at Watkins Glen and discussed contract renewal, the state of DEI and plans for the future, and more. The transcript in part:
      ON RE-SIGNING WITH DEI: TRUEX JR: “I’m excited and I’m glad to put an end to all the rumors and get rid of all the speculation and solidify my position at DEI. I’m looking forward to running the Bass Pro Shops #1 the rest of this year and next year. I’m looking forward to doing great things with the company and moving forward. This season has been kind of up and down for us, but I really believe in my race team. I believe in the things we’re doing at the shop that we can contend to win races and get back to the forum we had last year. I’m looking forward to starting that off this weekend here at Watkins Glen. We’ve run well here in the past. I’ve always had good success here in everything we’ve ever driven. Last year was a really good race for us here, probably one of the best I’ve ever driven at this race track. So I’m looking forward to the weekend. So hopefully we’ll start this thing off and have a good run this weekend and keep things going throughout the rest of the season and get prepared good for next year.”
      SIEGEL: “We’re very excited to have Martin back for 2009. And as he said, he’s a very important part of our program and he knows how much we appreciate him and all of our drivers at DEI. We’ve been focused on the long-term future of the company and putting a lot of resources in the competition area. John Story and the rest of the management team have done a tremendous job at elevating all of our programs and we’re excited to give him all the support that we can to compete for a championship.”
      IS IT A ONE-YEAR DEAL AND CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR DECISION TO STAY WITH DEI? TRUEX JR: “Yeah, it’s through 2009 for right now and a little bit down the road we’re going to look at doing some long-term stuff. Right now we just really want to focus on getting the performance back that we had last year and that we had at the beginning part of this year. I think a lot of it has been distraction. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s been hard. It’s been tough dealing with all the rumors and quite frankly, I think a lot of people have been very critical of DEI for the wrong reasons; for reasons that I don’t think were fair to them or anybody that works at that company that puts their heart and soul into what they do.
      STORY: “As far as our 2009 program, obviously our goals have not changed. Four cars is our objective for next year: Certainly the #1 with Martin, the #15 with Paul Menard, the #8 with Aric Almirola, and Regan Smith in the #01. But we are all still working to round out sponsorship on the #01 car. The goal remains to run all four teams next year.”(in part from a team Chevy/GM PR)(8-9-2008)

    • Smith talks about missing Watkins Glen: Statement from Rookie-of-the-Year leader #01-Regan Smith regarding not running this weekend at Watkins Glen "The guys put a great deal of effort into the entry, and I appreciate that they tried to accommodate my desire to race in front of my hometown fans in upstate New York. I'll be there to support Ron (Fellows) and my guys any way I can, and I look forward to getting back in the car next week at Michigan".(DEI PR)(8-9-2008) Comment here

    • Franchitti hopes to talk to RCR about 4th ride: Dario Franchitti has been talking to teams and manufacturers about driving next season – in all sorts of series. “I haven’t talked to anybody in the IndyCar Series yet,” Franchitti said. “I’ve talked to a lot of other places, though.” Franchitti said he will talk to other teams in NASCAR, though he said he hasn’t spoken to Tony Stewart about the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing ride. Richard Childress Racing’s fourth car is a possibility, he said. “I speak to Richard all the time,” Franchitti said. “We haven’t spoken specifically about the fourth car yet, but that’s a subject I’m definitely going to talk to him about, for sure.”(SceneDaily)(8-9-2008) Comment here

    • Aaron's to #44 team in 2009? hearing that Aaron's will move from the #00 and sponsor the #44 car for a partial Sprint Cup schedule and a partial Nationwide schedule in 2009. No word on if the driver will David Reutimann, curretn driver of the #44 UPS/MWR Toyota or Michael McDowell, current driver of the #00 Toyota for MWR.(8-8-2008) Comment here

    • Schrader may be back with BAM and/or RCR: Don't expect to see Ken Schrader in a Sprint Cup race anytime soon. But when it happens, he will drive for Beth Ann Morgenthau [#49 Toyota] and perhaps Richard Childress [#33 Chevy]. "The BAM team swears they're coming back," Schrader said. "Childress said I might run a couple of races. I don't give a (care). Whatever happens. I've got a bunch of stuff I want to do. It isn't any problem." In the past two years, Schrader has raced only 18 times in 57 races, including just five of 21 this season, earning $496,309. In those five events, he has driven for BAM, Childress, Chip Ganassi and Haas CNC Racing. His best finish came with BAM at Las Vegas on March 2 when he wound up 21st. He last hit the track in Charlotte on May 25 where he finished 33rd in the Coca-Cola 600 while driving for Childress. Since then, Schrader's name can't be found in the Sprint Cup results, which suits him just fine. "I'm not retiring," he stressed. "There just comes a time when you don't have anything to drive." After a 37th-place finish at Martinsville on March 30 with Morgenthau, the team announced it was switching to Toyotas from Chevrolets and would miss the next two races at Texas and Phoenix. There was hope the team would be up and running by Talladega on April 27. But a primary sponsorship deal once planned for the majority of the season has been scaled back to a portion of the season. Now it looks like BAM may return in the fall. That means Schrader can do anything he wants. And even though the NASCAR silly season is in full swing, Schrader's name is never mentioned as a possible replacement driver for 2009 because of his advanced age. "It's not going to be. It's not going to be," he said. "That's just the way the sport is. I don't have a problem with that. I was there a long time and it isn't any biggie."
      To replace his NASCAR fix, and as has he has done all his life, Schrader does not sit still. He can be found racing a car in the ARCA series and at his first love — racing on a dirt track some place in the United States. He was at his own track, I-55 Raceway in Pevely, last Saturday night, racing his late model in the Tri-Track Challenge, where he finished fifth in the 40-lap feature. He also owns a NASCAR Craftsman Truck team, and he will race that truck at Bristol on Aug. 20. As well, he owns a car that is driven by former Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael in the Camping World East Series.(St Louis Post Dispatch)(8-9-2008) Comment here

    • Happy Hour practice for the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International is over, the fastest:
      #48-Johnson 121.815
      #7-Gordon 121.790
      #21-Ambrose 121.523
      #29-Harvick 121.484
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 121.262
      slowest: #28-Kvapil 117.595 and #66-Riggs 117.889
      incidents: #18-Busch thought he has some problems with the engine, but the team decided not to change the engine; #84-Allmendinger stopped on the track and needed a push; #6-Ragan wrecked and will have to go to a backup car
      For the speeds, laps run, ave speed, see my Watkins Glen Practice Speeds page.(8-9-2008)

    • Labonte's Featured on ESPN2's Driven to Hunt Sunday Sprint Cup drivers and former champions Terry and Bobby Labonte will be featured on an episode of the ESPN2 series Driven to Hunt on Sunday, August 10, at 7am/et and 9:30am/et. The brothers participate in a whitetail deer hunt in Kansas.(8-9-2008)

      News from August 8, 2008

    • Qualifying and practice for the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International were both cancelled due to rain. The field was set by the rules book, owners pts, race attempts. So #18-Busch will start 1st, followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #31-Burton, #24-Gordon, #9-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #20-Stewart and #11-Hamlin. Two drivers/teams will miss the race #60-Said and #34-Simo. Boris Said will run the #45 for Kyle Petty, See the starting lineup on my Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order Page.(8-8-2008)

    • Silly Season 2008 #83-99: 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
      #83 Brian Vickers signed thru 2009, no changes known with this team. Sponsor is the team owner
      #84 A.J. Allmendinger has come on strong in the last month, having the #84 almost in the top-35 of owners points. Allmendinger is waiting on Red Bull to see if his option for 2009 will be picked up. If not, Scott Speed could move into the spot. If Allmendinger is signed. Red Bull could start a 3rd team for Speed, but only if they found a sponsor. The US Army is one rumored sponsor, but they could stay at DEI's #8 or go the Bill Davis Racing.
      #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. is signed thru 2012, sponsorship is in place, besides getting Mark Martin as a teammate again, no changes heard of with this team.
      #96 J.J. Yeley got released August 7th with the team solidly out of the top 35 in owners points. Brad Coleman will drive the rest of the season starting at Michigan on August 17th. As for 2009, Coleman, who was slated for a second Hall of Fame Racing car in 2009, looks like he will drive the #96. No word if the team will still move ahead with a 2nd team or table that until the #96 can get in the top-35. Have not heard anything about DLP leaving the team.
      #99 Carl Edwards was a big free agent heading towards 2009, was courted a bit, but decided to re-sign with Roush thru 2011 and gets a new full-time primary sponsor in Aflac and a black paint scheme. No other changes known
      And that is it for the team/driver rundowns so far for 2009
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #00-5
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #6-12
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #14-20
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #21-29
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #31-41
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #42-49
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 #50-78

    • Kobalt not to sponsor Truck Series, Craftsman back with NASCAR..but: Kobalt Tools, the Lowe's brand that was considered the leader to be the title sponsor of the NASCAR truck series, has withdrawn from the bidding, sources say. Craftsman is in its final season as the title sponsor. With Kobalt stepping away, the door is open for Craftsman to renew its status as the official tool of NASCAR, which the brand had hoped to retain even though it was not renewing title sponsorship of the series.(Sports Business Daily), hearing Craftsman may return as the sponsor of the Truck Series.(8-8-2008)

    • NAPA back with Mikey UPDATE: hearing there will be an announcement this afternoon at Watkins Glen that NAPA Auto Parts will re-up with Michael Waltrip Racing to be the sponsor for the #55 car tht Michael Waltrip drives in the Sprint Cup Series.(8-8-2008)
      UPDATE: NAPA and Michael Waltrip Racing announced today the extension of one of the longest sponsor/driver relationships in NASCAR history. Michael Waltrip will carry the blue and gold colors of NAPA AUTO PARTS for the ninth-consecutive season starting at the 2009 Daytona 500. It marks one of the longest running relationships in Sprint Cup Series competition. "I have celebrated my greatest racing moments wearing NAPA colors and we have enjoyed some wonderful on-track and commercial success," said Waltrip, the driver of the #55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. "Both of my Daytona 500 wins were with NAPA. The launch of my own race team was with NAPA. We have been together so long. It's hard to think of one without the other."
      "Michael Waltrip is a terrific spokesman and brand ambassador for NAPA," said Bob Susor, president of NAPA AUTO PARTS. "In fact, our research indicates that Michael Waltrip and NAPA AUTO PARTS have become synonymous to many race fans. The bond we have forged has helped us sell a lot of auto parts through the years and we are pleased to have Michael represent us again in 2009." Waltrip won the 2001 Daytona 500 in his first Sprint Cup race with NAPA. In total, Waltrip has put NAPA in victory lane six times [2 Gatorade Duels races and 4 Cup points wins] and has posted 21 top-five and 43 top-10 finishes along with scoring two pole positions. In 2007, Waltrip launched his own team as part of Toyota's inaugural season in Sprint Cup competition and currently fields three Cup teams and one Nationwide Series team.(NAPA/MWR PR)(8-8-2008) Comment here

    • BAM Racing loans out crew people: While BAM Racing undergoes a complete restructuring of its race team and conducts an ongoing sponsor search, it has taken a unique stance regarding a select few employees. Crew chief David Hyder, shock specialist Dean Johnson and along with others are still under contract to BAM Racing, but team owner Beth Ann Morgenthau decided to "loan them out" to the Wood Brothers race team until the BAM Racing #49 returns to the track sometime later this year. According to Mrs. Morgenthau, "We have a number of cars prepared at the shop and our guys were just itching to get back to the race track - as we all are. I made the decision to help out the Wood Brothers by making several of our key personnel available, included David and Dean. The benefit to BAM is that they will continue to learn these new cars and be in a better position to make the BAM Racing Toyota competitive when we return. Right now we are in continuing negotiations with more than one potential sponsor and we are planning to continue racing in the Sprint Cup Series in the near future."(BAM Racing PR)(8-8-2008) Comment here

    • Allmendinger waiting on Red Bull for 2009 plans: #84-AJ Allmendinger's situation is unique to the NASCAR garage. Red Bull not only sponsors his team, it owns the team, too. Executives at Red Bull's Austrian headquarters make the final decision on its athletes, and are rarely around to banter with. That, in turn, creates a disconnect with its Mooresville, N.C.-based NASCAR team, Allmendinger says, and ultimately leaves him wondering whether Red Bull plans to pick up the option on his current contract. "The assumption in the garage is that I'm back at Red Bull, but they have the option and haven't picked it up yet," Allmendinger said. The main obstacle Allmendinger faces is teammate Scott Speed, the former Red Bull Formula One driver who has experienced notable success in both the Craftsman Truck Series (he won at Dover earlier this year) and ARCA. Red Bull corporate executives like Speed. His brash attitude is the corporate mantra personified, and he's escalating rapidly through the stock car ranks.(full story at Comment here

    • Police search for stabbing suspect at Pocono 500: Police are still seeking witnesses of an apparent attempted homicide outside the Pocono International Raceway this weekend. Michael Gualtieri, 43, of Long Island was stabbed in a parking area outside the raceway Sunday, Pocono Mountain Regional Police said. He was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest to repair damage to his heart caused by the chest wound, and police said last night he remained in critical condition. Police said they have executed a search warrant in the case, but did not identify a suspect or release any further information. In addition to the stabbing, police said they dealt with a series of other problems inside or outside the raceway Sunday, including reports of car accidents, fights and public intoxication.(Allentown Morning Call)(8-8-2008)

    • Said to run #45 at Watkins Glen: With approval from Ford, Boris Said will step into the Petty Enterprises #45 Dodge to replace Kyle Petty in the Centurion Boats at The Glen this weekend. With qualifying rained out, Said failed to make the field in his #60 No Fear Racing entry. He said prior to qualifying being postponed Friday that he had another ride lined up as long as he could get Ford approval. Late Friday, he said he had gotten that. Petty confirmed that the plan is for Said to drive his car. The race was going to be Petty’s first since the Coca-Cola 600 in May. Petty has missed the last nine races for his TNT commentary obligations, his daughter’s wedding and for the team to continue evaluate its program with drivers Terry Labonte and Chad McCumbee. Petty said the team has discussed all week the possibility of putting Said in the #45 car if qualifying was rained out. Once it was announced qualifying was canceled, the team began putting Said’s seat in the car and adjusting the pedals. Soon after qualifying was postponed, Said had to drive his Nationwide Series car for practice and had not yet had time to confirm that he had gotten permission from Ford and would drive for the Pettys. Said raced for the Wood Brothers last year in a similar situation. Said had previously stated that a rainout would cost his team about $250,000 as he failed to make the show with his No Fear Racing group. Said needed to get in Sunday’s race via qualifying and spoke of his situation prior to NASCAR's decision to cancel the session. That’s the risk part-time teams like Said’s take when trying to make Sprint Cup races. “It’s disappointing,” Said said. “I hope in the future NASCAR could tweak the rules where if they cancel qualifying and they know Saturday might be better weather, maybe they could lock the top 35 in but keep a half-hour to go qualify the go-or-go-homers. We put so much money into coming up here and not even to get a chance to qualify is a little disappointing."(SceneDaily)(8-8-2008) Comment here

    • Watkins Glen Tire Notes: As on all NASCAR road courses, Sprint Cup Series teams will run the same Goodyear Eagle tire code (D-4110) on all four tire positions at Watkins Glen . . . this is the second consecutive year and the fourth consecutive road course race that Goodyear has brought this code for teams to run . . . in addition to the road courses, this tire code has also been run on the right-side at Martinsville for the past two years . . . teams in NASCAR's Nationwide Series will run a different tire code (D-4112) this weekend at Watkins Glen . . . NASCAR teams do not run inner liners in their tires on road courses, including this weekend at Watkins Glen. . . . in addition to its regular road course tires, Goodyear has brought 600 wet weather Eagle radials for teams in the Nationwide Series to run this weekend . . . Goodyear, NASCAR and the Nationwide Series made history at Montreal last weekend, running its first-ever points-paying race in the rain . . . The estimated pit window is every 30-32 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more notes, tries pressures, more on my Watkins Glen Race Info page.(8-8-2008)

      News from August 7, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 #50-78: 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
      #50 Stanton Barrett has attempted three races and has one or two more. NOS is the sponsor, no word on 2009 plans.
      #55 Hearing NAPA will return as Waltrip's sponsor in 2009. Rumors have Michael Waltrip Racing and Ganassi Racing possibly merging to form a 4-car team.
      #60 a part time team, Boris Said has attempted 3 races in 2008 and plan on two more. No word on 2009 plans, but Said would love to run a full slate of races.
      #66 Haas CNC Racing becomes Stewart Haas Racing in 2009 and this team will use the #4, Rumored drivers include Ryan Newman [the strongest rumor], Martin Truex Jr was rumored but he will re-sign with DEI to stay at the #1. Scott Riggs could be in the mix, but doubtful. Could Stewart's friend and now free agent driver, J.J. Yeley get a shot? Rumored sponsors include UPS and Burger King.
      #70 Will switch to the #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
      #77 Sam Hornish Jr. says he will be back and looks like sponsor Mobil 1 will be back, no changes known.
      #78 Joe Nemechek is signed thru 2009 and the sponsor, Furniture Row Motorsports is the owner, so no changes known.
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 00-5
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 6-12
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 14-20
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 21-29
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 31-41
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 42-49

    • Budweiser Shootout To Have Different Look, New Format In 2009: The 2009 Budweiser Shootout will have a different race format and a new method for qualifying. NASCAR's top officials, from Chair & CEO Brian France to President Mike Helton, have worked with Anheuser-Busch and Daytona Int'l Speedway (DIS) to recreate the event as part of A-B's sponsorship renewal with DIS. In the past, pole winners from the previous year have automatically qualified for the non-points race, which is considered the unofficial kickoff to the Sprint Cup season. But when Coors replaced Bud as the official beer of NASCAR and took over entitlement of the Coors Light Pole Award, A-B sought to separate its marquee event from the award. The specifics of those changes are still being finalized. Changes are expected to be announced later this month. The 2009 race is scheduled for February 7, the weekend prior to the Daytona 500.(Sports Business Daily), see my 2009 Budweiser Shootout page for past news, past winners, all-time pole winners list and what the lineup would be using the old format -- it will be corrected when the new format is announced.(8-7-2008)

    • Sunday, OTL to Examine Diversity in NASCAR Sunday's Outside the Lines, scheduled to air on ESPN at 9:30am/et and at 12noon/et on ESPNEWS, will look at minorities and women who work on the NASCAR circuit. This past June, former NASCAR official Mauricia Grant filed a discrimination lawsuit against the stock-car racing association. In light of Grant's lawsuit, OTL will explore the work culture inside the NASCAR community.(ESPN PR)(8-7-2008)

    • Report: Grant's background includes restraining order, DUI arrest: The former racing official who has accused NASCAR of racial discrimination and sexual harassment in a $225 million lawsuit had a restraining order filed against her by a former boyfriend and was arrested for driving under the influence, The Associated Press has learned. Mauricia Grant, who filed her suit against NASCAR in June, also was charged with driving with a suspended license while still employed as a technical inspector for NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series. An attorney for Grant said his client did not refute anything in her past, but previous actions have no bearing on the suit that alleges 23 specific incidents of sexual harassment and 34 specific incidents of racial and gender discrimination during her time working for NASCAR. "Ms. Grant's alleged prior actions are totally irrelevant to this suit," attorney Benedict P. Morelli said in a statement. "NASCAR must obey the law and should focus its full attention on improving the discriminatory and hostile work environment to which employees are subject." But NASCAR indicated Thursday her past actions are a reflection on Grant's character, and vowed to continue fighting her claims. NASCAR asked for and was granted a three-week extension on filing its response to her suit, and the new deadline is Friday. "Clearly, these revelations show that there are always at least two sides to every story," NASCAR said in a statement to the AP. "We are confident that over the course of this process even more facts will come to light and justice will be served." Court documents reviewed by The AP showed that Grant has legal issues dating back to a 2002 restraining order filed by an ex-boyfriend.(in part from AP/, see past news about the lawsuit on my NASCAR vs. Grant lawsuit page.(8-7-2008)

    • DISH Network to Sponsor Gilliland at the Glen: Yates Racing announced that DISH Network will sponsor the #38 entry with driver David Gilliland for this weekend's Centurion Boats at the Glen on Sunday, August 10. The DISH Network car will feature its TurboHD paint scheme, promoting its new line of all-HD programming packages and 1080p movie offerings. DISH Network has been a sponsor in NASCAR since 2007 [with the #16, #17, #99 Roush cars and once this season on the #28 Yate Ford].(Yates Racing PR)(8-7-2008)

    • DEI to field Fellows in #01; Smith to #81 UPDATE2: Coming off his sixth career NASCAR win last weekend at Montreal, veteran road course specialist Ron Fellows will pilot the Dale Earnhardt Inc. #01 Chevy in the Centurion Boats at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 10. Leading rookie-of-the-year candidate Regan Smith will drive the #81 DEI entry in the race and be back in the #01 car the following week at Michigan. Fellows drove the #01 car in a strong performance at Sonoma earlier this year. The veteran driver was running top-five when he was caught up in a late-race accident. Prior to that, he was no stranger to Dale Earnhardt Inc., having competed in road course races for DEI in 2003-04. He finished seventh in 2003 at Infineon and second at Watkins Glen in 2004 in the DEI #01 Chevy. This will be Fellows’ 47th NASCAR start. The road course ace has compiled six wins, 13 top-fives, 17 top-10s and five poles in 46 combined starts in NASCAR’s top three series. This will be Fellows' 11th Sprint Cup start at Watkins Glen International, where he has finished top five on three previous occasions, including second there in the DEI #1 car in 2004. In addition, Fellows has started eight Nationwide races at The Glen, having led 189 laps, with three wins, four top-five and five top-10 finishes.(DEI PR)(8-5-2008)
      UPDATE: hearing that DEI has decided not to field a 5th team for Regan Smith at Watkins Glen and the #81 will be or has been withdrawn.(8-6-2008)
      UPDATE2: DEI has withdrawn the entry of its #81 Sprint Cup car for Regan Smith for Watkins Glen this weekend after NASCAR informed the team that it couldn’t put Smith in that car because of the four-team limit. Teams are permitted to enter a fifth car for a maximum of seven races for a rookie to get the driver familiar with Sprint Cup competition. Smith, an upstate New York native, has 20 starts this year, and NASCAR determined he did not fit the criteria for the fifth-car exception, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Wednesday. DEI would have been allowed to put Aric Almirola in that car because Almirola has five starts this year, Tharp said. Almirola, who will take over driving the #8 car next season, already was entered in the #8 car for The Glen in place of veteran Mark Martin, who is driving the majority of the Cup races this year while Almirola fills in the rest. “We brought it to their attention that [Smith] would not be permitted to run in the fifth car,” Tharp said. “We told them they could move Aric Almirola into that fifth entry. They went back to discuss it and decided not to enter the fifth car.”(SceneDaily)(8-7-2008) Comment here

    • Chase stats after Pocono: The record for consecutive race changes in the Chase field during the final 13 races of the first 26, is six straight, set in 2005. With Matt Kenseth dropping out and Clint Bowyer bouncing back in at Pocono, that record has been tied and could be broken with another change in the top 12 at Watkins Glen. Last year saw the least amount of races where the Chase field changed over the final 13, only two. 2005 takes the prize for the most field changes in the final 13, at 11. Places 7-12 are still very much at risk, and we might be down to two serious contenders outside the top 12, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan. Watkins Glen will be another big test for Ragan, who has had a very solid sophomore season, but was 32nd at W-G last year. Kasey Kahne probably is sweating it out this weekend as well, with a 22nd and 26th the last two times out at The Glen. Brian Vickers and the #83 team's got caught on pit stop rotation at Pocono and two straight tough races now has the Red Bull team 203 points out in 16th place. It will take a mighty charge to get back into legitimate contention. See more on the Chase Stats after Pocono page.(8-7-2008)

    • No rain tires for Cup, but maybe NNS: As of Wednesday, forecasters were saying that there was a 50% chance of rain for Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen and a 40% chance for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. Could more history be written this weekend? Not in the Sprint Cup series. NASCAR officials have torpedoed the chances for that. NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter on Wednesday laid out the guidelines for racing on wet pavement. “We’ll likely continue to use rain tires in Nationwide Series road course races, but not in Sprint Cup,” Hunter said. “We have the flexibility to reschedule postponed Cup races to Monday, or even Tuesday, something we can’t do with our other national series.”(Kansas City Star)(8-7-2008) Comment here

    • Watkins Glen rookie notes: #00-Michael McDowell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 3 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. McDowell scored a 24th-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the fourth time this season. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by five points (176-171) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 10 Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie at Watkins Glen is second by Ryan Newman in 2002. Only one other Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-five finish at The Glen: Robby Gordon, who placed fourth in 1997. The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie at Watkins Glen is second by Greg Biffle in 2003. Greg Biffle holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie at Watkins Glen, holding the top spot once for 23 laps in 2003. The most Raybestos Rookies to finish inside the top-10 at Watkins Glen three in 1993. Bobby Labonte placed seventh followed by P.J. Jones (eighth) and Kenny Wallace (ninth).(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see rookie history, notes, standings on my 2008 Rookie Page.(8-7-2008)

      News from August 6, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 #42-49: 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
      #42 Juan Pablo Montoya says he is committed to staying at Ganassi Racing in 2009 and beyond. Have heard nothing about sponsors Texaco or Wrigley leaving. Montoya had been rumored to the #20 ride at JGR, but he flatly denied it. Also there are rumors that Ganassi Racing could merge with Michael Waltrip Racing and form a four-car team with #41, #42, #44/00, #55 teams.
      #43 The 4th Richard Childress Racing team announced they will have General Mills/Cheerios/Betty Crocker as the sponsor, leaving PE to look for a new sponsor. When Boston Ventures bought a majority stake in Petty Enterprises, it was announced that driver Bobby Labonte had signed thru 2010.
      #44 David Reutimann says he is back with MWR in 2009, hearing that it was announced at MWR that UPS would not return in 2009 as the sponsor, they could be headed to Stewart Haas with the 2nd car, the #4 Chevy or to RCR with Clint Bowyer. Reutimann still has been rumored to a couple rides, including Petty Enterprises #45 and RCR's 4th team with General Mills/Cheerios as the sponsor. There are rumors that MWR and Ganassi Racing could merge and form a 4 car team, so the #44 or #00 could close. The #44 could go back to Petty's if they start a 3rd team
      #45 Kyle Petty said he plans to run 10-30 races in 2009, will take the 6-weeks off to broadcast the Cup races on TNT. Supposedly Wells Fargo and Marathon Spirit Oil will return in some capacity. Petty could also run with Petty Enterprises as a part time team with PE running two-full time teams. Chad McCumbee, Casey Mears or Scott Riggs could end up in the 2nd full-time ride. If MWR goes to two cars or merges with Ganassi, they could run the #55 and #00 and the Petty's could have the #44 back for the 2nd full time team. Petty has said no matter what his schedule is, he would run the #45 car. Boston Ventures bought a majority stake in Petty Enterprises.
      #47 Marcos Ambrose moves up to run full time in 2009 with the newly formed JTG/Daugherty Racing. They have run the #47 in one race so far, with plans to run three more. No word if they keep the #47 or change, maybe #59, which is the number Ambrose runs in the Nationwide Series. Little Debbie's supposedly will sponsor the team in some fashion, no word if a full season or for a few races.
      #48 no changes know at all for Jimmie Johnson and Lowe's Racing. Sponsor, Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are all signed thru 2010.
      #49: BAM Racing attempted the first 6 races of 2008, switched to Toyota for a race and then suspended operations. Supposedly they were to attempt Indy and Pocono, but the sponsorship never came thru. They lost crew chief David Hyder and shock specialist Dean Johnson to the Wood Brothers. No word if they will return in 2009.
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 00-5
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 6-12
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 14-20
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 21-29
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 31-41

    • Yeley to sit Watkins Glen out? UPDATE 5 Yeley released, Coleman in rest of year: hearing that P.J. Jones will drive the #96 DLP Hall of Fame Racing Toyota at Watkins Glen in place or regular driver J.J. Yeley. Yeley failed to qualify for the last road course race at Infineon Raceway in June. Jones recently tested the #96 at Road Atlanta.(8-5-2008)
      UPDATE: Jones has replaced Yeley on the Watkins Glen Entry List.(8-5-2008)
      UPDATE 2: P.J. Jones will drive the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at the Watkins Glen International road course. Jones, who has seven Sprint Cup starts at The Glen with two top-10 finishes, takes over for Hall of Fame Racing's regular driver J.J. Yeley. "We appreciate P.J. helping out the team this weekend at Watkins Glen," said Tom Garfinkel, co-owner of Hall of Fame Racing. "P.J. is an experienced road racer and we look forward to having a great run with him in the DLP Toyota."(Hall of Fame Racing PR)(8-5-2008)
      UPDATE 3: hearing that Yeley may not return to the #96 ride after Watkins Glen, no word if Jones takes over or if Tony Raines would come back or if the team has Brad Coleman take over.(8-6-2008)
      UDPATE 4: hearing that Brad Coleman will drive the #96 starting at Michigan and for the rest of the year.(8-5-2008)
      UPDATE 5: Hall of Fame Racing officials announced that Nationwide Series driver Brad Coleman, who has been under contract as a test driver for Hall of Fame Racing since November 2007, will make his Sprint Cup Series debut by piloting the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in the Aug. 17 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Coleman will replace J.J. Yeley who has been released by the team.(Hall of Fame Racing PR)(8-6-2008) Comment here

    • Martin to the 2008? hearing that Mark Martin may get started on his ride a few races early and running the #5 Carquest/Kelloggs Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the final four races [Atlanta , Texas, Phoenix, Homestead] of the 2008 Cup season. Casey Mears currently drives the car. Martin is slated to drive the #8 US Army Chevy for DEI in 3 of the 4 final 2008 races, with Aric Almirola in at Phoenix.(8-6-2008) Comment here

    • So...what did the points standings look like a year ago after Pocono and 21 races?
      all made it into the chase five races later
      1) #24-Jeff Gordon 3236 [6th in 2008, finished 2nd in 2007]
      2) #11-Denny Hamlin 2870 -366 [12th,10th]
      3) #17-Matt Kenseth 2825 -411 [4th,13th]
      4) #31-Jeff Burton 2763 -473 [8th,5th]
      5) #20-Tony Stewart 2749 -487 [6th,9th]
      6) #99-Carl Edwards 2682 -554 [9th,3rd]
      7) #48-Jimmie Johnson 2624 -612 [1st,4th]
      8) #5-Kyle Busch 2611 -625 [5th,1st]
      9) #29-Kevin Harvick 2600 -636 [10th,11th]
      10) #07-Clint Bowyer 2552 -684 [3rd,12th]
      11) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 2437 -799 [11th,17th]
      12) #2-Kurt Busch 2399 -837 [7th,18th]
      #8-Earnhardt, Jr. was 13th, 7 points out
      Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. are the three drivers who were in the top-12 last year and in the chase, who are currently out of it and doubtful to get in. Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are three drivers who were not in the 2007 Chase and are in the top-12 now.(8-6-2008)

    • As for the UPS sponsorship? UPDATE: 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)
      UPDATE:/ the UPS saga continues, hearing that UPS will NOT be going to RCR in any form as none of the four sponsors wanted to give up space or races [#07-Jack Daniel's, #29-Pennzoil, #31-Caterpillar and #33-General Mills]. So it seems UPS could be headed to Penske or Stewart Hass? (8-6-2008) Comment here

    • Nemechek tests in Colorado: Joe Nemechek was in Pueblo Monday afternoon testing the #78 Furniture Row Chevy for Sunday's Sprint Cup road course race at Watkins Glen International. There's a 2.2-mile road course at Pueblo Motor Sports Park and Nemechek tested there before this season's earlier road race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. Nemechek qualified 24th at Sonoma and finished 26th in the race. "We did it before we went to Sonoma and we qualified good and ran good there," team manager Joe Garone said. " What Joe liked about it was No. 1 he was able to test the same week. If you go to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) and those other places you have to do it the week before. That's tough for us because of travel." Garone explained what the team hopes to gain by testing at Pueblo Motorsports Park. "It tells you whether your car is in the ball park or not," Garone said. " It's not exactly the same obviously but it's enough to tell if the brakes work, the steering works and it drives well or not. It's what we call a functions test to see if all the functions of the car are working right. You don't do a setup on the car because you don't race there but it still gives you some good direction."(Rocky Mountain News)(8-6-2008) Comment here

    • Robby Gordon would love to add Riggs/2nd team: #7-Robby Gordon may not have full sponsorship for his Sprint Cup team next season, but he doesn't seem too worried about his prospects. In fact, the driver is talking about the potential of adding a second team to his Robby Gordon Motorsports organization. For now, though, Gordon is focusing on running a pair of races on the Watkins Glen International road course this weekend. Based on his history, the driver expects to excel. Gordon finds himself pelted with questions about his sponsor lineup for next season. As the economy tightens and a list of teams seek sponsorship, Gordon has found himself running some races without a primary sponsor. "Right now, next year looks a lot like it did this year, where we have sporadic events," the owner/driver told a national teleconference with reporters Tuesday. "So there is opportunity. Obviously, sponsors and everybody wants to be involved with a team that can win races. I look at this weekend as an opportunity of putting our team in victory lane. There's only been three teams this year that have been in victory lane. So if we could pull it off, that would be big."
      Gordon says that his role as owner/driver has built in a little more flexibility than some would have when it comes to racing with a car that needs sponsorship. This season, he has primary backing from Jim Beam, Mapei, Camping World and Charter, and he picked up a race from Valvoline. He has also run some races without anything on the hood, including the road course event at Infineon Raceway. Still, Gordon remains confident that his team will weather the storm. He has formed an alliance with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, one in which he gets support from the three-car Dodge organization, and has never fallen out of the top 35 in owner points despite changing manufacturers shortly before the season-opening Daytona 500. Gordon knows that a second car would likely boost the performance of his organization, but he's not rushing to add another effort. He admits, though, that Scott Riggs, whose status with the team now known as Haas CNC Racing is unclear as Tony Stewart prepares to take it over next year, would be someone he'd look at should that become a possibility. "I think Scott Riggs is a very good race car driver," Gordon said. "[Am I] committed to running a second car? You know, we'd love to run a second car. I think our team and our facility and our systems and procedures and policies, all that stuff, is in place now to run a second car. Gordon seems confident that the sponsorship will work itself out for next season. Gordon will run the full Sprint Cup schedule either way, but full sponsorship would certainly make his task less difficult. "We know what it takes as far as sponsorship to go and do this thing," he said. "And I feel confident that we'll get a sponsor for next year, and we'll able to continue on. I also have a lot of confidence that Jim Beam will return with us, as well."(SceneDaily)(8-6-2008) Comment here

    • DIRECTV back on the #07: This weekend at Watkins Glen, Clint Bowyer's #07 Richard Childress Racing Chevy will feature a blue and white DIRECTV paint scheme.. Jack Daniel's, Bowyer's traditional primary sponsor, will be featured on the car's deck lid and lower-rear quarter panels.(RCR PR), see images of the scheme on my #07 Team Schemes page.(8-6-2008)

    • Childress-Howard Motorsports to Make Grand-Am Series Debut: The #4 AT&T Daytona Prototype Pontiac Crawford fielded by Childress-Howard Motorsports will make its 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series debut Aug. 8 in the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. Sports Car racing legend Andy Wallace and multi-time Rolex Series champion Andy Lally will be the co-drivers. It will be the third time the duo has co-driven an entry after competing in two races in another series last year. CHM is a joint effort between Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, and Rick Howard, president of Howard Motorsports. The announcement of the team's formation was made Jan. 21 during the NASCAR Media Tour stop at RCR. Current plans are to compete in at least one other race this season and then the full season in 2009.(RCR PR)(8-6-2008)

    • McMurray to wave green flag: For the first time ever, #26-Jamie McMurray will be on the other side of the flag stand for the start of a race. This Friday evening McMurray will be the honorary starter for the Crown Royal 200 Grand-Am race at Watkins Glen International. Along with honorary starter duties, McMurray will also present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. The Crown Royal 200 Grand-Am race is scheduled to start at 6:30pm/et on Friday evening, and will air at 8:00pm/et on SPEED.(RFR PR)(8-6-2008)

    • ESPN adds racing site: ESPN announced the acquisition of - the world's leading independent motor racing website. covers Formula 1 (, Moto GP & Superbike (, Rally (, off road Rallies (, Endurance Sports-Cars and Kart racing. For more info see

      News from August 5, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 #31-41: 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
      #31 Jeff Burton is signed thru 2010. AT&T will leave after working out a deal with AT&T/NASCAR to switch from Cingular to AT&T to stay thru 2008. The new sponsor, Caterpillar, moves over from Bill Davis Racing's #22 Toyota. See an image of the car on my #31 Team Schemes page. Also, IF UPS sponsors Clint Bowyer's car in 2009, Jack Daniel's may sponsor some races with the #31 and #29.
      #33 The 4th Richard Childress Racing team has a sponsor already, General Mills/Cheerios/Betty Crocker, but no driver has been named. Rumored drivers include Martin Truex Jr., Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Scott Wimmer, Jamie McMurray and Stephen Leicht. Childress hopes to name the driver by mid August. Since this is a new full-time team, the driver will need to qualify for the first five races in 2009. And you could see driver movement, with Bowyer or Burton moving to the #33 and the new driver in the #07 or #31
      #34 No word on 2009 plans for Front Row Motorsports. The team has attempted 19 of 21 races with five drivers and a few sponsors.
      #38 Supposedly driver David Gilliland will be back in 2009. Yates Racing is still looking for full time sponsors for this car and the #28 team, and if found may expand to three teams.
      #40: The Ganassi Racing team that shut down in July. Driver Dario Franchitti still has not said what his future plans are past seven or so Nationwide races he will drive in 2008 for Ganassi. Who knows, he could end up in the #33. If Ganassi can find a sponsor for the team, it could return in 2009. Also there are rumors that Ganassi Racing could merge with Michael Waltrip Racing and form a four-car team with #41, #42, #44, #55 teams.
      #41 Supposedly, Ganassi is looking to re-sign driver Reed Sorenson, even after the poor 2008 season so far. Target was rumored to be leaving, but both Ganassi and Target have denied that. So it looks like Sorenson and Target could both return in 2009. Also there are rumors that Ganassi Racing could merge with Michael Waltrip Racing and form a four-car team with #41, #42, #44/00, #55 teams.
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 00-5
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 6-12
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 14-20
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 21-29

    • Driven to the Outdoors schemes to be run: The timing for the "Driven to the Outdoors" program is the third quarter ...which aligns with the launch of hunting season. A program targeted towards the outdoors enthusiasts is a solid, strategic fit with the NASCAR fan. Four drivers will run special "Driven to the Outdoors". At Bristol three drivers will run the schemes: #1-Truex Jr., #07-Bowyer and #15-Menard. And #29-Harvick will run the scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedwat in October. See images of the schemes on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(8-5-2008)

    • Sprint Cup Series Live from Watkins Glen on ESPN: The Sprint Cup Series makes its second and final appearance of the season on a road course this weekend, and ESPN will have live, flag-to-flag coverage of the event from Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10, at 1pm/et. The historic road racing facility is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Coverage from Watkins Glen also includes a live telecast of Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Aug. 8, at 3pm/et, and coverage of practice sessions earlier that day at noon and Saturday, Aug. 9, at 1:30pm/et, all on ESPN2. All programming also airs in high definition and the race is simulcast on ESPN Deportes. The race replays on Monday, Aug. 11, at 1pm/et on ESPN Classic [and this week on ESPN2 at 3am/et]. As part of the 60th anniversary celebration of Watkins Glen, ESPN Classic airs the track's 1988 Sprint Cup race on Thursday, Aug. 7, at 2pm/et. The race originally aired on ESPN.(8-5-2008)

    • Pocono TV Ratings earn 4.5: ESPN officials say Sunday’s coverage of the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway earned a 4.5 Nielsen Media Research rating, matching the 2007 figure for the same race. The network says ESPN2’s coverage of Saturday’s Napa Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, earned a 1.5, up 7.1% from a 1.4 last year.(SceneDaily), for the season ratings by race, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(8-5-2008)

    • New sponsor for the #10 at MIS & Talladega: Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced that Tow Truck in a Box will sponsor Patrick Carpentier's #10 Dodge at the Michigan and Talladega Sprint Cup races. "We are honored to have Tow Truck in a Box join us on the #10 Dodge as well as our Nationwide car," said Carpentier who made the announcement Friday in Montreal. "Michigan, Talladega and Watkins Glen {Nationwide] are all very different tracks but I know we will represent Tow Truck in a Box well." Tow Truck in a Box is new automotive tool. It allows any driver stuck in snow, sand, mud, or ice to easily dislodge their auto without effort. The product comes with 3-patented traction plates made of aircraft quality alloy. It's easy to use and assembles in seconds. The tool is lightweight and comes in a carry case the size of a child's lunch box. The product works on all cars, SUVs, and small trucks. It's received critical acclaim winning numerous awards including being a 2-time MotorTrend/TruckTrend "Outstanding Product" winner". More info at PR)(8-5-2008)

    • Riggs looking around, pretty sure he is out at Haas UPDATE: Scott Riggs, driver of the #66 for Haas CNC Racing which will become the #4 Stewart-Haas car next year, is already talking with others about his future. "I'm 99.99999 percent sure I won't be here next year," Riggs said Friday. Joe Custer, the team's general manager, said, "no one is out," but expect a decision on the driver lineup next week. "We're wide open on it," he said. "A deal is not done until it is inked so for us to say we're about there means we are not there. I can tell you we are working on them."(
      UPDATE: With the thought that Scott Riggs won't be asked to stay with the Stewart-Haas, Riggs said he has been in talks with other teams about 2009. "I've been having a lot of conversations," he said. "I'm trying to figure out what is going to happen with me. I know this organization is on the way up and going to have a great group of guys and drivers coming on board. It will be interesting to see where my feet land and I've been talking to a lot of people, but right now I'm focused on what we are doing and trying to be the best we can be for the rest of this year."(, hearing that Riggs has talked to Bill Davis Racing, Yates Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports and that sponsor State Water Heaters could move with him.(8-5-2008) Comment here

    • Man Critical after Pocono Raceway Stabbing: A 43-year-old man is in critical condition today after being stabbed in the heart at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, police said. Michael Gualtiere, of Seaford, on Long Island, N.Y., was treated at the infield care center at the raceway around 7pm/et and flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital Center where he remains in critical condition after surgery, according to Pocono Mountain Regional Police. Police said they are executing a search warrant on a vehicle involved in the incident and they have identified a person of interest. Police believe the public is not at risk and the investigation is ongoing.(Pocono Record)(8-5-2008)

      News from August 4, 2008

    • Silly Season 2008 #21-29: 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
      #21 The team will be back in 2009, but no idea who will drive. Bill Elliott, who is running a limited schedule, has said he plans to retire at the end of the season. Marcos Ambrose, who has run a race in the #21 will run a full Cup schedule with JTG Daugherty Racing in 2009. Jon Wood has attempted a few Cup races and a few Truck races, but have no heard if he plans to run the #21 full-time, or any series in 2009. As for sponsorship, Little Debbie will supposedly go with Ambrose. Motorcraft and the US Air Force may be back but have not heard.
      #22 Bill Davis Racing said when Caterpillar announced they were leaving and heading to the #31 RCR team, that the #22 would be back full time in 2009 and that they hoped to sign Dave Blaney to continue with the team. One rumored sponsor was the U.S. Army, currently with the #8 car of DEI. BDR also announced they planned to step up and run a 2nd full time team in 2009. They have run the #23/#27/#36 teams in the past and Bill Davis said they may talk to Jacques Villeneuve, who could return to BDR if he can bring sponsorship with him. Rumors have floated about that BDR could merge with Red Bull Racing [#83,#84] or BAM Racing, who suspended operations after six races but may come back late this year.
      #24 Jeff Gordon is signed with Hendrick to a 'lifetime' contract and DuPont is signed thru 2010.
      #26 Roush Fenway Racing needs to trim from five teams to four team AFTER the 2009 season. A few times this season, rumors have cropped up that driver Jamie McMurray may be the driver out of a ride or that he may leave of his own accord. At Indy, Jack Roush made a comments on his drivers and never mentioned McMurray, leading to more speculation. Supposedly McMurray was heading to Richard Childress Racing until the buyout became too high. But hearing another team owner [no idea how] made an offer and McMurray will leave this team at the end of the season. No idea if Crown Royal stays with Roush [and maybe moves to the #6 which needs a sponsor] or goes with McMurray. And does Roush get another driver for the #26 or go down to four team a season early?
      #28: No word on Travis Kvapil's 2009 plans, but he has said he hopes to stick with Yates and has not been part of the rumor mill. The team has used 12-13 different sponsors in 2008 and no word on a full time sponsor in 2009. Rumors have the team possibly expanding to 3 cars, if sponsorship can be foound for this car and the #38 of David Gilliland.
      #29 Kevin Harvick is signed thru 2010 and it looks like Pennzoil/Shell will return as the sponsor. If UPS comes over to the #07 Bowyer team, Jack Daniel's may be a part time primary for the #29 and #31.
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 00-5
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 6-12
      See past posts: Silly Season 2008 # 14-20

    • Verizon/Alltel hopes to continue sponsorship: Scott Ford's speaking appearance at a July 22 gathering of the Rotary Club of Little Rock produced a couple of anecdotes related to the planned $28.1 billion sale to Verizon Corp. The CEO of Little Rock's Alltel Corp. said Verizon was interested in continuing the sponsorship of Ryan Newman's #12 Dodge Charger on the NASCAR circuit. Ford described the publicity gained from the Alltel car as providing a 6-1 advertising leverage. He said the only better investment, on a cost-per-eyeball basis, was Alltel Arena in North Little Rock. Newman's #12 car, sporting Alltel's familiar blue and white colors, won the Daytona 500 back in February.(Arkansas Business), for Verizon to keep the sponsorship, they would have to keep the Alltel brand. AT&T was allowed to switch from Cingular on the #31 car for about 18 months after Cingular and Alltel were grandfathered in after Nextel/Sprint became the Cup Series sponsor in 2004.(8-4-2008) Comment here

    • Haas "In Good Standing" With NASCAR: Often lost in the circumstances involving the formation of Stewart Haas Racing is the fact that one of those two namesakes currently resides in federal prison. But unlike Michael Vick--who may face further discipline from the NFL following his release--Gene Haas will be welcomed back into NASCAR with open arms. "He's in good standing with NASCAR, that's all they told us, and that's all we need to know," team General Manager Joe Custer told the Press Sunday morning. Haas reported to prison in January to serve a two-year term after pleading guilty to one count of tax fraud. That followed a plea bargain resulting in the dismissal of several charges, which included reporting false race team expenses. "They were dropped," Custer said of charges related to the race team. "That's the point. It they're dropped, they're not an issue." Stewart was unable for comment, as his spokesperson, Mike Arning, cited the driver's interest in focusing on his current team, Joe Gibbs Racing.(see full story at Long Island Press)(8-4-2008) Comment here

    • More driver plans for the #45: Kyle Petty said that his not racing the last two weeks is different than his situation earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway when he was pulled from the Petty Enterprises #45 car. With the team currently 273 points [now 242 after McCumbee's 17th at Pocono] outside of the top 35, Petty said it only makes sense to use the rest of the season to evaluate drivers. Petty, speaking following a taping of “Tradin’ Paint” at Pocono Raceway, was originally scheduled to drive at Indianapolis last week and then Pocono. He had missed the previous seven races because of his daughter’s wedding and then to do commentary during TNT telecasts. Petty said no one should read into this as new majority owner Boston Ventures trying to push him out. “We’re so far back in points, it really is going to give us an opportunity to evaluate a lot of things,” Petty said. “[Texas] was a different deal. We’re all on the same page on this and everything is going according [to the plan]. … I was mad at Texas, and you know I’m not going to hide it if I’m mad about it. We don’t have a shot of getting back in the top 35, and so when you get to that position, then you can try a lot of different stuff.”
      He said he will race at Watkins Glen next week before Terry Labonte, who drove during most of his absence, returns at Michigan. Petty likely will run the seven races from Bristol through Talladega. Chad McCumbee, who qualified the #45 for the Pocono race, will run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October and likely will drive in the majority of the final five races after that, Petty said. And what about next year? Petty said he is still doing his six races in the broadcast booth for TNT. He said he was open to running a limited schedule, ranging from 10 to 30 races. Marathon and Wells Fargo should return as sponsors, Petty said. Petty said he is agreeable to running a third part-time car for the team if it wants to have two other full-time drivers. If there is a third team, Petty said he would still drive the #45. He drives the #45 as a tribute to his son, Adam, who was killed in a crash during Busch Series practice in 2000 at New Hampshire.(SceneDaily)(8-4-2008) Comment here

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500:
      Total number of commercials: 136
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 65
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 36
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:01 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:51 PM
      Total minutes: 290
      Minutes of race broadcast: 230
      Minutes of commercials: 60
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions: 1 (one debris caution occurred during a commercial break, and the debris was never shown)
      Total race brdcst time 230 Total comm. brdcst time 60
      See more on my 2008 Commercials page.(8-4-2008)

    • Fellows in the #01, Smith in the #81: The Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International entry list is out, it shows the #01 DEI Chevy with Ron Fellows driving and Regan Smith, the regular driver of the #01 in a 5th DEI car, the #81 Chevy [yes a 5th team, see note below], crew chiefed by Rich Lavalette. Max Papis is listed in the #70, Brian Simo in the #34, Marcos Ambrose in the #21, Kyle Petty is back in the #45. Boris Said in the #60. Reed Sorenson is listed in the #41, he was replaced by Scott Pruett in the car at Infineon Raceway, but the #41 team is safely in the top-35 in owners points, so Sorenson may run the car. Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott are not listed in any car, so the past champions provisional will not come in to play, unless one of them is hired by another team for a ride. NOTE: teams cannot run a 5th full time car [except Roush Fenway Racing's 5th car which was grandfathered in], but a team can run a 5th car in up to 7 races in a season for a young/rookie driver. See the entry list on my Watkins Glen Entry List page.(8-4-2008)

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