Hall of Fames/Museums
MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
AUGUST 11-17, 2008
News from August 17, 2008
- Busch clinches top spot in Chase:: With his 2nd place finish in the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway means #18-Kyle Busch has clinced a spot and the top spot in The Chase, he will start the Chase with at least 5080 points with three races to go before the Chase.(8-17-2008)
- Edwards wins at Michigan: #99-Carl Edwards won the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway for his 5th win of 2008 and 12th of his career. #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #6-Ragan, #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #8-Martin, #83-Vickers, #29-Harvick, #19-Sadler and #26-McMurray. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 23rd after leading 43 laps, when he hit the wall late. There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for 27 caution laps.
For race results, awards and more, see my Michigan Race Results Awards Page.(8-17-2008)
- Sad News: Steve “Big Guy” Helwig, services: Steve “Big Guy” Helwig, car chief for the CJM Racing Nationwide Series car driven by Jason Keller, died this morning at home, a team spokesman confirmed. Helwig, 53, was diagnosed with leukemia in June. Helwig had been involved in racing for more than 30 years, including many with ppc Racing. Keller took a solo lap prior to the second practice session Friday at MIS in Helwig's honor.(SceneDaily.com)
SERVICES: Memorial Service Announcement for Steve "Big Guy" Helwig
Visitation: Monday, August 18th 6-9 pm
Raymer Funeral Home, 16901 Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078 (704-892-9669)
Memorial Service: Tuesday, August 19th 2 pm
Raymer Funeral Home, 16901 Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078
Memorials in his honor may be made to: Perception Ministries (PMC Life), 736-D St. Andrews Rd., PO Box 134, Columbia, SC 29210.(8-15-2008)
Obit: Mr. Helwig, age 53, died Friday, August 15, 2008 at his residence. Born July 25, 1955 in Buffalo New York he was a son of the late Wallace and Alice Brush Helwig. 'Big Guy' a NASCAR crew chief was employed with NASCAR and CJM Racing for 30 years and a Harley Davidson enthusiast.
Memorial services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Tuesday August 19 in the Chapel of Raymer Funeral Home with Rev. Kenny Crosswhite officiating. The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Funeral Home and following the memorial service.
Known and loved by all, he leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Linda D. Helwig, sons; Thomas Simmons and wife JoAnne of Syracuse, NY, Doug Simmons and wife Kirsten of Laurinburg, NC, Michael Simmons and wife Nicole of Beaufort, SC; grandchildren, Alex, Jack, Brooke, Tyler and Kristina; brothers, Paul Helwig and wife Vickie, Jeff Helwig and wife Lois; sister, Debbie Schuyler and husband Chip all of NY and his NASCAR family.
Memorials in his honor may be made to Perception Ministries, P.M.C., 736 D St Andrews Road #134, Columbia SC 29210.
Arrangements by Raymer Funeral Home, Huntersville. Guest Book.(Charlotte Obsever)(8-17-2008)
- UNOFFICAL Drivers Points Standings [after Michigan race 23 of 36]:
1) #18-Kyle Busch 3429 [8 wins]
2) #99-Carl Edwards 3207 -222 [5 wins]
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3127 -302 [2 wins]
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3084 -345 [1 win]
5) #31-Jeff Burton 3080 -349 [1 win]
6) #20-Tony Stewart 2871 -558
7) #16-Greg Biffle 2854 -575
8) #29-Kevin Harvick 2812 -617 [+103 pts ahead of 13th]
9) #24-Jeff Gordon 2791 -638 [+82]
10) #17-Matt Kenseth 2783 -646 [+74]
11) #9-Kasey Kahne 2756 -673 [+47]
12) #11-Denny Hamlin 2735 -694 [+26]
13) #07-Clint Bowyer 2709 -720 [1 win] [26 pts out of 12th]
14) #6-David Ragan 2709 -720 [-26]
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Michigan page.(8-17-2008)
- Michigan International Speedway Fast Facts:
.. Carl Edwards won the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo, his 12th victory in 144 Sprint Cup Series races.
.. This is his fifth victory and 17th top-10 finish in 2008.
.. This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in nine races at Michigan International Speedway.
.. Kyle Busch (second) posted his third top-10 finish in eight races at Michigan. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2008.
.. Busch became the first driver to clinch a position in the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Based on his eight victories to this point of the season he will begin the Chase with the lead in the point standings.
.. David Ragan (third) posted his career-best finish and his second top-10 finish in four races at Michigan.
.. Sam Hornish Jr. (22nd) was the highest finishing rookie.
.. Busch leads the point standings by 222 points over Edwards.
.. Edwards swept both race this weekend – the first sweep since Kyle Busch swept Chicagoland in July.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-17-2008)
- Michigan Penalty Report:
Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
1 #21 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 18
2 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 98
3 #45 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 180
4 #84 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 180
5 #42 Driving thru more than three pit boxes TE 180
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)(8-17-2008)
- Lucky Dogs....Who got a lap back on each caution at Michigan: (and their finish)
Caution 1: no drivers a lap of more down
Caution 2: #43-Labonte, 27th
Caution 3: #84-Allmendinger, 28th
Caution 3: #1-Truex Jr., 16th
Caution 3: #8-Martin, 6th
Caution 3: #48-Johnson, 17th
Caution 7: none awarded with 10 or less laps left in race
- NASCAR hands out revised testing policy to crew chiefs at Michigan: NASCAR handed out a proposed testing policy to Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs Saturday afternoon. The proposal was much like the one already floated last month, where each organization would get 24 test days in addition to the preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway. Organizations would be allowed to test only two cars but could have all of their drivers present. Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said that the most significant revision is that a team will be allowed to bring an additional transporter with a third car in case one gets wrecked during the test session. Darby said NASCAR will continue to get input from crew chiefs with a target date of Sept. 1 for any final revisions.(SceneDaily.com)(8-17-2008) Comment here
- Goodyear plans additional tests at Indy: Goodyear has set a pair of tire tests for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of a caution-filled Brickyard 400 last month where NASCAR had to limit green-flag runs to 13 or fewer laps because of issues with excessive tire wear. Goodyear will return to the famed 2.5-mile oval Sept. 22-23, likely with three teams. One of those will be the #45 Petty Enterprises team, a Goodyear spokesman confirmed Saturday. The second test will be Oct. 6-8 with likely more than 10 teams.(SceneDaily.com)(8-17-2008) Comment here
- Morgan-McClure Owners Not Happy Over Losing #4: The morning of Aug. 15 was not pleasant for the owners and fans of Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Hundreds of miles from the hills of Southwest Virginia, a persistent rumor turned into a harsh reality. In an press conference at Michigan, it was confirmed that Ryan Newman will drive the #4 Chevy next season for the new Stewart-Haas team in the Sprint Cup Series. For 25 years, that yellow # 4 was closely intertwined with the Abingdon-based MMM Chevy. "There's some sweat and history in that number 4. We feel like it ours," MMM co-owner Tim Morgan said. According to Morgan and team general manager Larry McClure, the # 4 is still registered under the name of the MMM team. NASCAR owns all the numbers that are used in the series, however. McClure and Morgan, who assumed they had a right of refusal for any potential number switch, were clearly frustrated when contacted Friday. Despite Friday's announcement and the lackluster economic climate, the leaders of MMM are still holding out hope for a return to the track. In fact, select team members are still working at the expansive race shop in Abingdon.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-17-2008) Comment here
- Racing Resources Says …
* Carl Edwards won the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo at Michigan International Speedway. He won won from the 27th-place starting position, only the second race in Michigan history to be won from lower than 25th. Edwards also finished first in the Nationwide Series Carfax 250 on Saturday, only the second Nationwide/Cup sweep in 2008. Kyle Busch swept at Chicagoland. It was only the second weekend sweep at Michigan. Mark Martin swept in 1993. Edwards scored his 12th Cup victory in 144 career races. He remains second in the points standings trailing leader Busch by 222 points.
* Edwards has scored five victories in 2008, winning at California, Las Vegas, Texas, the second Pocono race and second Michigan race. Edwards' last victory came at Pocono, three races ago. He scored his second victory in nine races at Michigan. Edwards led 84 of the 200 laps raced, including the final 18. That was the most led by any driver in the race.
* Ford scored its fifth victory in 2008, all by Edwards. Toyota has nine wins, Chevrolet has five while Dodge has four.
* Roush Fenway Racing has scored 19 wins at Michigan: 11 in Sprint Cup, four in Nationwide and four in Craftsman Truck.
* All five Roush Fenway cars finished in the top 10. The team has won six of the last 12 races at Michigan.
* Busch finished second, scoring his 14th top-5 finish in 23 races this season, the most among all drivers.
* David Ragan finished third. He tied his career-best finish set at Richmond last fall.
* Ragan and Clint Bowyer are tied in 13th, each with 2,709 points and just 26 points behind 12th-place Denny Hamlin with three races remaining in the Race to the Chase.
* Marcos Ambrose, who finished third a week ago at Watkins Glen, had an engine failure in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford on Lap 18, spreading oil on the track. He finished 43rd.
* Lap 90 saw Reed Sorenson and Chase contenders Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart running four-wide in Turn 4 with Gordon and Johnson making contact. Johnson pitted on Lap 91 with a cut tire/fender rub and Gordon suffered a flat on Lap 96 hitting the wall and bringing out the third caution of the race on Lap 98. Gordon had serious damage, spending 61 laps behind the wall for repairs. He returned briefly before taking the car behind the wall for his fourth DNF of the season and a 42nd-place finish.
* Gordon dropped from sixth to ninth in points, just 82 points ahead of 13th-place Ragan and Bowyer.
* Chase contender Kasey Kahne went to the garage on Lap 132 with his car losing power. Kahne dropped from 8th to 11th in the standings.
* A late race caution on Lap 180 of a scheduled 200 for debris had the field pit except for Ragan and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Edwards beat Busch out of the pits. On the restart, Earnhardt got into the backstretch wall.
* Chase contender Denny Hamlin was running 13th on Lap 194 when his engine failed. Hamlin dropped from ninth to 12th in the standings, just 26 points ahead of 13th-place Bowyer and Ragan.
- Busch clinches top spot in Chase:: With his 2nd place finish in the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway means #18-Kyle Busch has clinced a spot and the top spot in The Chase, he will start the Chase with at least 5080 points with three races to go before the Chase.(8-17-2008)
- Coleman to make Cup debut: For 20-year old Brad Coleman, historic Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, the 2-mile D-shaped oval nestled in the scenic Irish Hills region, will serve as the setting for his Sprint Cup Series debut. Coleman will drive the #96 DLP Hall of Fame Racing Toyota in 7-10 races in 2008 and starts from the 43rd place Sunday at MIS.(8-17-2008)
- Sad News - Joe Dixon: Joe L. “Joey” Dixon, age 50, died Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at his home after battling cancer for 3 years & critically ill for the past 2 weeks. He was born October 6, 1957 in Iredell County, NC, the son of Betty Hayes Dixon and the late Wilbur Lavern Dixon. He was a 1975 graduate of A.L. Brown High School, Kannapolis, NC. He married his wife, Janet Hunter Dixon on December 20, 1980. He was employed in the NASCAR racing industry and has worked for Joe Gibbs Racing for the past 10 years as the Engine Parts Coordinator. He also coached and played on the NASCAR softball league and the NASCAR football team. He faithfully attended the weekly bible studies at JGR. The funeral will be 4:00 P.M. Monday, August 18, 2008 at Charity Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. R.J. Hammond officiating also delivering eulogies will be Joe Gibbs, former Head Coach of the Washington Redskins Football team and owner of JGR and Bob Dyer, chaplain of JGR and Brian Martain, asistant chaplain at JGR and Ron Bushey of Charity Baptist. Burial will follow at Carolina Memorial Park, Kannapolis, NC. More information can be found at the Whitley Funeral Home web site.(8-17-2008)
- Second ex-ISC employee pleads guilty in extortion scheme: Todd Polakoff, a former International Speedway Corp. employee, has became the second of two former ISC employees to plead guilty to one count of extortion conspiracy in association with the failed attempt to put a race track on Staten Island. Polakoff will be sentenced Oct. 16 in U.S. District Court in New York, according to court records. He was scheduled to go to trial earlier this week. Polakoff and his supervisor, WIllilam Kilgannon, were among 62 people indicted in February as part of a wide-ranging, 80-count federal indictment that targeted alleged Mafia members, including three high-ranking members of the Gambino crime family. Kilgannon and Polakoff were former employees of ISC subsidiary North American Testing Co., which handles design and construction for ISC. Polakoff worked for NATC between November 2005 and December 2006 as a project manager on the Staten Island development project. Kilgannon worked as director of construction for NATC from May 2005 to December 2006 and was Polakoff's supervisor, according to ISC. Both Polakoff and Kilgannon pleaded guilty last week to the count accusing them of accepting a $9,000 check from the owner of a trucking company. Kilgannon will be sentenced Oct. 27.(SceneDaily.com)(8-17-2008) Comment here
News from August 16, 2008
- Danny Sullivan offers to buy Bill Davis Racing: Danny Sullivan, the "Spin and Win" driver who won the 1985 Indianapolis 500, has put an offer together to purchase the Bill Davis Racing operation in NASCAR. Sullivan, one of the most popular IndyCar drivers when he raced for team owners Roger Penske and Rick Galles, told SI.com on Friday that he has discussed a deal with Bill Davis. Davis confirmed those discussions to SI.com at Michigan International Speedway. "I've been pursuing it but haven't gotten a response from him (Bill Davis)," Sullivan told SI.com in a telephone interview. "He's still dreaming on the price. I have a partner who has lined up the money to do this and we've been kicking around on some stuff. He is (Davis) off on the numbers and had some bigger people chasing it. The last time I talked to him (Davis), I had the money but didn't get the documents that we requested." Davis confirmed the conversations with Sullivan but expressed some curiosity over some of Sullivan's statements. "We've had some conversations," Davis said. "I just heard some of those quotes and I was pretty amazed by them. We've continued to talk to Danny. We've talked to several people, yes. All we've ever talked about with anybody is the entire operation. Davis admitted the only reason he is open to selling his team is the skyrocketing costs involved to keep a competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup team on the track during the grueling season. Davis also has a highly-successful NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series operation.(Sports Illustrated)(8-16-2008) Comment here
- Grubb to be Stewart's Crew Chief in 2009? Darien Grubb, engineering manager for Hendrick Motorsports' #5 and 88 Chevys, is the lead candidate for the crew chief position for Tony Stewart's #14 Chevy in 2009, sources close to Stewart-Haas Racing told ESPN.com on Saturday. Grubb, those same sources said, has been offered a contract. Stewart-Haas officials declined to comment Saturday. If Grubb ultimately opts to accept Stewart-Haas' offer, it would add yet another layer to the Hendrick/Stewart-Haas relationship. SHR will run Hendrick chassis and engines -- as Haas/CNC Racing currently does -- and having an established Hendrick disciple in-house would only increase the crucial line of communication between the two organizations.(ESPN.com)(8-16-2008) Comment here
- Roush Fenway in running for UPS sponsorship: UPS was linked to Roush Fenway Racing three months ago when the organization was looking for sponsorship for Carl Edwards. Aflac ended up sponsoring Edwards, but Roush Fenway Racing still might land UPS as the organization still needs a sponsor for David Ragan. Talks with UPS are continuing as UPS has not committed to a team in 2009, Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith confirmed. Michael Waltrip Racing is not expected to retain UPS, and Roush Fenway needs a sponsor to replace AAA for Ragan. "We are a candidate," Smith said in an email. "We don't know at this time whether or not we will win. … Of course it would be fantastic to be associated with UPS." UPS has been linked to several drivers and organizations. Gillett Evernham Motorsports still needs a sponsor for its # 10 car and has not committed yet to current driver Patrick Carpentier. Stewart-Haas Racing still needs a sponsor for Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Inc. still needs sponsorship for its # 01 car, driven this year by Regan Smtih. Yates Racing still needs sponsors for its drivers as well.(SceneDaily.com)(8-16-2008) Comment here
- Fireball to be honored: Apopka [FL] will honor hometown hero and the late NASCAR star Glenn "Fireball" Roberts on Saturday, Sept. 6. The fund-raising event, held at the suggestion of Roberts' daughter, Pam Roberts of Rockledge, will feature Roberts' famous #22 race car and Roberts memorabilia his daughter donated to the Museum of the Apopkans and other exhibits. Roberts, considered among the best drivers to ever race in NASCAR, was born in Tavares and moved to Apopka with his family before reaching school age. The family moved to Daytona Beach following his sophomore year at Apopka High.(Florida Today)(8-16-2008)
- Latest on Mears 2009 plans: RCR Announcment at Bristol? Although multiple sources say Casey Mears is headed to Richard Childress Racing next season, Mears contends it's not a done deal. Mears said on Friday at Michigan International Speedway that he is talking to more than one team about his Sprint Cup future. Penske Racing also has had discussions with the Hendrick Motorsports driver about replacing Ryan Newman in the #12. "Hopefully, I can get something squared here soon," Mears said. "I'm still not sure yet exactly what's going on. Hopefully, we can get something sorted out real quick. It's still up in the air on what is going on. I'm not going to say what team 'cause I don't know. If I knew I'd give some answers." Sources said RCR continues to work out details as ESPN.com's Terry Blount reported last week that would put Mears in the Jack Daniels sponsored #07 currently being driven by Clint Bowyer, who would move to the #33 that will be sponsored by General Mills. The switch would have to be made because General Mills reportedly isn't comfortable with Mears because of his association with rival sponsor Kellogg's at HMS. RCR then would petition NASCAR to move the points from the #07 to the #33 so Bowyer would be guaranteed a spot in the first five races next season. Asked about the possible switch, Bowyer said, "We're still working on that." RCR owner Richard Childress, who made Friday a target date to name his fourth driver more than a month ago, said "things aren't totally in place yet. Nothing is done," he added. "Nothing has been signed yet."(ESPN.com)(8-16-2008)
UPDATE: Barring a major snag Richard Childress Racing will introduce Casey Mears as its fourth driver next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. Team owner Richard Childress declined to comment, saying only that he hoped to name a driver soon. Mears said on Friday at Michigan International Speedway that he has signed nothing and continues to talk to more than one organization. But sources said RCR already has made tentative plans for a press conference next Saturday. To be finalized are details of a deal that would put Mears in the Jack Daniels-sponsored #07 currently being driven by Clint Bowyer, who would move to the # 33 that will be sponsored by General Mills. The switch would be made because General Mills reportedly isn't comfortable with Mears because of his association with rival sponsor Kellogg's at HMS. RCR then would petition NASCAR to move the 07 points to the #33 so Bowyer would be guaranteed a spot in the first five races next season.(ESPN.com)(8-16-2008) Comment here
- Happy Hour: for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway over, the fastest:
slowest: #01-Smith 175.285 & #96-Coleman 174.991
#84-Allmendinger scraped the wall 15 minutes into the session, suffering minor damage to the right side of the car.
For speeds, see my Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(8-16-2008)
- Pit Stall selections: pole sitter #83-Brian Vickers' team chose the first pit stall selection for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Outside pole sitter, #48-Jimmie Johnson chose the next stall with an opening in front of it, stall 11, #66-Scott Riggs chose the last pit stall. See the full pit stall selections on my Michigan Pit Stall Selection page.(8-16-2008)
- Carpentier hopes to know 2009 plans by mid-August UPDATE 2: 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)
UPDATE 2: Comments from #10-Patrick Carpentier about his future plans with GEM: “You know, I really wish I’d know because they haven’t told me. We talked and they said ‘We need a little bit more time’ so I said that’s fine. We’re going to start talking to other teams too and other guys. I know a couple of teams talked to Robert and we’ll see what happens. I like this team. I’d like to stay there. I think the #10 is getting better and better and the guys do such a great job. For me I’d be disappointed not to keep going on the work that we’ve been doing so hopefully it works well for us and I’m right here where I’m at for next year.” IS THERE A SENSE OF URGENCY? “For me, I would have signed myself in January for three years [laughs]. We’ll see. You know it’s their decision and I’m pretty confident it’s going to stay the way it is. I know a few sponsors seems to want to get back and we’ve got most of the season for next year so we’re waiting on a few things but if it works out we’ll be there. They told me it’s looking good right here. They
said just be patient. We need to change a few things around and then we’re going to let you know but it’s most likely going to be positive. So hopefully that’s what it is and they said if not they’ll let me know so we’ll see what it is.” (Raybestos/Camp & Assoc PR)(8-16-2008) Comment here
- Ward's son to race at South Boston: South Boston Speedway is steeped in history in its 51 years of racing action and the name Burton is one of the many reasons America's Hometown Track has garnered so much success over the years. Saturday night, a new generation of Burton competitors will make his debut at South Boston Speedway in the Italian Delight 150 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race program. The five-race program will get underway at 7pm/et. Ward Burton's son, Jeb, who turned 16-years-old on Aug. 6, will make his debut in racing action on the four-tenths mile when he competes in a pair of 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division events. When Jeb Burton straps into his number 27 Limited Sportsman Division ride Saturday, he will be able to look toward the grandstands and see sections named in honor of his father and also his uncle, Jeff, who is still competing on the Sprint Cup Series. And, that is something young Jeb hopes to be able to duplicate someday in the future. Before garnering success on the Sprint Cup Series, both Ward and Jeff Burton cut their racing teeth at South Boston Speedway, much the same way Jeb hopes to do. Jeff Burton won eight Late Model Stock Car events at America's Hometown Track, while Ward Burton collected four Late Model triumphs on the famed track. Jeb Burton's plans in 2008 are to finish out the remaining Limited Sportsman Division races at South Boston Speedway and then set his sites on a Limited Sportsman Division championship in 2009 before hopefully continuing his climb up the NASCAR ladder.(South Boston Speedway PR)(8-16-2008)
- Goodyear MIS Tire Notes: Teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes this weekend at Michigan . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought for Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck teams to run at this track this past June . . . in addition to Michigan, this is the same tire set-up that major NASCAR teams have run at Dover this season . . . Nationwide teams have also run this set-up at Kentucky . . . this left-side tire code (D-4134) is also run with a different right-side code at both Texas and Chicagoland . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Michigan . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The etimated pit window is every 40-44 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see the full report, codes and pressures on my Michigan Race Info page.(8-16-2008)
News from August 15, 2008
- Citifinanacial to sponsor #38 in four races UPDTE: 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)
IMAGE: see images of the car on my #38 Team Schemes page.(8-15-2008)
- Newman's 2009 plans to be announced Friday? UPDATE Official: #12-Ryan Newman will be introduced as the second driver at Stewart-Haas Racing on Friday at Michigan International Speedway, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Wednesday. Newman reached a verbal agreement with Tony Stewart a few weeks ago, but details about his sponsor and other contractual details had to be ironed out before the deal could be officially announced. Stewart, who recently took over 50% of Haas CNC Racing, will drive the #14 sponsored by Office Depot and Old Spice. Newman will drive the #4, with Burger King, U.S. Army and UPS being mentioned as potential sponsors. Newman also was pursued by Evernham Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Petty Enterprises after announcing he would not return to Penske Racing next season. Newman will be reunited with Matt Borland, now the competition director at Stewart-Haas. Borland was Newman's crew chief at Penske for 12 of his 13 Cup victories. Attempts to reach Newman and Stewart were unsuccessful.(ESPN.com)(8-13-2008)
UPDATE: Stewart Haas Racing announced the Ryan Newman would be the driver of their 2nd team, the #4 Chevy. No sponsor or crew chief was announced. Newman said the contract is multi-year, but no exact term mention.(8-15-2008)
UPDATE 2 - the press release: Stewart-Haas Racing has signed Ryan Newman to a multi-year contract to drive the team's #4 Chevrolet beginning with the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. Newman, winner of 13 Sprint Cup races, including this year's Daytona
500, will be a teammate to Tony Stewart, the two-time Sprint Cup champion who will drive the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet in
2009. The announcement pairs two Indiana natives and two former United States Auto Club (USAC) champions under one roof. "We're obviously very excited to have Ryan join our team," said Stewart, who will serve as both driver and owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, with
Stewart owning Newman's #4 entry. "Long before Ryan came to NASCAR, I knew he was talented. His success in USAC has continued in stock cars, and to have someone of his caliber as my teammate makes both the driver part of me and the owner part of me very happy."
"All I want to do is win, and Tony is a proven winner as both a driver and a team owner," Newman said. "Tony is a racer who has seen all sides of this sport. He knows what it takes to win, and I know that he's going to give me everything I need to be successful. We share the same goals, the same background and the same mindset. There's a comfort level at Stewart-Haas Racing that's very unique, and it's why I've made it my new home." Newman, who enjoys fishing and restoring vintage cars, resides in Statesville, N.C., with his wife, Krissie.(True Speed Communications PR)(8-15-2008) Comment here
- Earnhardt and the Duke: In an effort to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dale Earnhardt and also to introduce the man known as "The Intimidator" to millions of new NASCAR fans, Motorsports Authentics in June launched a two-year program pairing NASCAR's most famous driver with legends from the entertainment world. By featuring singers, songwriters, actors and other icons on the hood of Earnhardt's famous #3 Chevrolet, NASCAR fans can remember and learn what the "Man in Black" was all about. In addition to a personal connection, Dale also shares iconic characteristics with the legends that will be featured on the cars throughout this series. The second car in the Legend series, "Dale and The Duke," features one of Earnhardt's heroes -- John Wayne. Taylor Earnhardt and Marisa Wayne Ditteaux on Thursday were guests of the Fort Worth Stockyards, where Dale Earnhardt and John Wayne were honored as two of the greatest icons in American history. Meant to continue the legacies of both men, the "Dale and The Duke" program paired these legends together as part of the Enduring Legends Series.(Motorsports Authentics PR)(8-15-2008)
- Vickers on the pole at MIS: #83-Brian Vickers won the Coor's Light Pole for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 188.536mph for his 1st pole of 2008. fifth career pole and 1st pole ever for Red Bull Racing. #48-Johnson will start 2nd followed by #19-Sadler, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #24-Gordon, #10-Carpentier, #44-Reutimann, #01-Smith, #16-Biffle and #66-Riggs..
The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #10-Carpentier, #66-Riggs, #45-Labonte, #00-Skinner, #70-Raines, #78-Nemechek, #21-Ambrose and #96-Coleman. Missing the race was #08-Sauter.
See qualifying resultes, pole progression, starting lineup on my Michigan Starting Lineup/Qualifying Page.(8-15-2008)
- Michigan Qualifying Fast Facts
Brian Vickers won the Pole Award for the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo with a lap of 38.189 seconds, 188.536 mph.
This is his fifth pole in 159 NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2008.
This is his first pole in 10 races at Michigan International Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 18th top-10 start of 2008 and his ninth in 14 races at Michigan International Speedway.
Elliott Sadler (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his ninth in 23 races this season.
Patrick Carpentier (sixth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
- UPS Interested in Truck Series Sponsorship? Craftsman announced late last year that it would not return as title sponsor. The start of the post-Craftsman era officially begins in six months, but a sponsor has not emerged. Another tool manufacturer, Lowe's Kobalt Tools, was reported for much of the summer to be the front-runner, but dropped out in recent weeks. Other companies that sources said looked closely at the Truck Series were Old Spice, before committing to Tony Stewart's new Sprint Cup team, and the U.S. Army, which ran into conflicts due to the multiyear commitment NASCAR prefers in its title sponsors (usually five years or more). NASCAR is eager to land a sponsor, but the lack of one so far doesn't raise a black flag on the series. "In a perfect world, you know what you're doing financially, partnerwise, as soon as possible. They'd ideally like to be in activation mode, right now, gearing up with the new sponsor. I also think they have the discipline that if they wanted to have a deal done at any costs, they would have had a deal done. They'll be eager, but they won't be desperate. There is a difference between the two. NASCAR doesn't get desperate, they don't need to be desperate. They'll wait until they find the right overall package, but I'm sure they're in deal mode more today than five months ago." [said Zak Brown, CEO and founder of Just Marketing, an Indianapolis-based marketing group with various motorsports clients.] Where might that deal lead? Brown said the likely candidates remain companies that would fit the rugged, masculine image of the Truck Series, not unlike the current sponsor, Craftsman. One of his clients -- UPS, a company famous for its trucks -- is said to be intrigued and looking at the series. (ESPN.com)(8-15-2008) Comment here
- Buddy Baker inducted in to Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Buddy Baker was among seven legends of motorized sports inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The induction ceremony was Wednesday night in Detroit. Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500 as well as back-to-back Coca-Cola 600s (1972 and '73). On March 24, 1970, Baker became the first driver to break the 200 mph barrier at Talladega Superspeedway. Baker collected 19 wins, 202 top-five finishes and 311 top-10s. After retiring from competition, Baker made a second career as a television commentator. His father, Buck Baker, also is a member of the MHFA. Other 2008 inductees include open-wheel driver Michael Andretti, drag-race champion John Force, the late sports-car racer Richie Ginther, motorcyclist Wayne Rainey, multi-sport champion Paul Goldsmith and pilot Betty Skelton. (NASCAR.com)(8-15-2008) Comment here
- Dale Jr. - Shifting Gears available on DVD this fall: Hammerhead Entertainment and Team Marketing have partnered to bring Dale Jr. - Shifting Gears, the five-episode ESPN sports documentary featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his unprecedented move to Hendrick Motorsports,to DVD this fall. Pre-sale orders are being taken now at NASCAR.com and DaleJr.com. The DVD will feature all five episodes, plus never-before-seen bonus footage of commercial shoots, video outtakes and bloopers.(JR Motorsports PR)(8-15-2008)
- Qualifying Order for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #43-Labonte, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #42-Montoya. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #10-Carpentier, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #00-Skinner. See the full qualifying order on my Michigan Qualifying Page.(8-15-2008)
- Friday practice for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway is over, the fastest:
slowest: #08-Sauter 178.381 & #45-Labonte 181.077
#12-Newman, after taking to the track, had no power, the crew changed the engine, and Newman got out on the track late
For speeds, see my Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(8-15-2008)
- Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Michigan International Speedway:
if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
#66-Scott Riggs, 30th fastest
#00-Mike Skinner , 32nd
#10-Patrick Carpentier, 33rd
#78-Joe Nemechek, 34th
#21-Marcos Ambrose, 38th
#70-Tony Raines, 40th
#96-Brad Coleman, 42nd
#45-Terry Labonte [PC1], 43rd
if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
#08-Johnny Sauter, 44th/last
For speeds, see my Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(8-15-2008)
News from August 14, 2008
- Quick Lane to sponsor #21 at Bristol: Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center will celebrate the opening of its 500th store by sponsoring the famed #21 Ford, driven by Bill Elliott, in the August 23 Sprint Cup night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Our sponsorship of the #21 Fusion for the Bristol event is the perfect race to coincide with our major milestone of opening up our 500th store," said Tom Suttles, national Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center manager. "It is a great opportunity for us to expose our brand to NASCAR fans for the first time at arguably one of the most watched races of the year." The Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center brand provides no-appointment-necessary, while-you-wait automotive quick service for all makes and models, even on evenings and weekends. The work at Quick Lane is performed by factory-trained technicians, using Motorcraft parts and lubricants. "Our race team is really excited to put the Quick Lane brand in front of NASCAR fans for the first time in Bristol," said Team Owner, Eddie Wood. "We've had a long relationship with Ford and we're happy to have their new brand with us out on the track." For more information, visit www.quicklane.com.(Motorcraft PR), see an image of the car on my #21 Team Schemes page.(8-14-2008)
- Hamlin donates motor home to MRO: from FedEx Racing PR - Talk about your donation to Motor Racing Outreach - Denny Hamlin: "MRO has been a friend to the drivers, teams and everyone affiliated with the sport for a long time so I was really happy to be able to help them out. It seems like everyone in the garage supports MRO in one way or another and they deserve the recognition. By donating my motor home to them I hope it will save them some money in lodging and I think it will really give them the opportunity to do more and more within in the sport. I know we'll all benefit from that - and I am proud to support their efforts."(FedEx Racing PR)(8-14-2008)
- New website for Jeff Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon announced the latest releases in his Jeff Gordon Collection of fine wines, a 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and a 2006 Carneros Chardonnay. At the same time, a website dedicated solely to the wines was launched as www.jeffgordonwines.com. Gordon’s wines are now available in four varietals; and a fifth wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, “Joie de Vivre,” available only in 1.5-liter (magnum) bottles, will be released in October.(PRPlus PR)(8-14-2008)
- NASCAR, Alliance to Save Energy Team up: NASCAR and the Alliance to Save Energy have teamed up in a number of ways to "drive forward" the Alliance's Drive $marter Challenge campaign designed to save drivers hundreds of dollars on gasoline and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alliance Drive $marter Challenge car care tips will be featured on NASCAR's reality television show NASCAR Angels, which enters its third season airing on 200 broadcast TV stations around the country. In addition, the "NASCAR Performance Live" weekly radio show (Wednesday 7-8 pm/et) which airs in 150 markets nationally and on Sirius Satellite Radio, is featuring humorous Alliance campaign PSAs -Honey I'm Home and Baby Talk. The PSAs provide driving and vehicle maintenance tips and direct radio listeners to the Drive $marter Challenge website for more tips to cut gas costs and improve the environment. The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy, and national security.(PR)(8-14-2008)
News from August 13, 2008
- Michigan Rookie Notes: #10-Patrick Carpentier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 10 Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Carpentier scored a 20th-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the fourth time in the last five races and for the fifth time this season. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by three points (176-173) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 17 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the August race at Michigan (since 1975) is a third place effort by Tony Stewart in 1999. Since 1975, only ONE Raybestos Rookie has won the pole position for the August race at Michigan: Davey Allison in 1987.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see full report, standings, history on my 2008 Rookies Page.(8-13-2008)
- Chase Notes: The greatest comeback in Chase history is Matt Kenseth's charge over the final four races in 2006. After an 18th at Watkins Glen, Kenseth stood 162 points out of 10th place. Here's what he did from there:
Michigan 3rd 170 points
Bristol 1st 190 points
California 7th 151 points
Richmond 2nd 175 points
Mark Martin overcame a 72 point deficit in the first Race to the Chase in 2004. Here's his four race chart in 2004:
Michigan 2nd 175 points
Bristol 13th 124 points
California 3rd 175 points
Richmond 5th 155 points
WHAT'S SAFE? In 2006, Tony Stewart seemed relatively safe in 7th place, 122 points ahead of 11th place. Stewart missed the Chase. Sixth place Jeff Gordon fell back into the danger zone with his 29th at the Glen, and now sits just 148 points ahead of 13th place Clint Bowyer.
For the seventh consecutive race, we saw a change in the Chase field as Matt Kenseth replaced Clint Bowyer in 12th, finishing 12th to Bowyer's 22nd at the Glen. Kenseth could gain more ground at Michigan this Sunday. We now have nine drivers fighting for seven spots at risk. David Ragan lost 43 precious points to 12th place with his 30th at the Glen, but he should a contender for a top five at MIS after getting an eighth in June. California should be another opportunity for the Roush Fenway driver. Leaving Michigan, you will need a 586-point lead over 13th place to be assured a spot in the 2008 Chase, even if you don't start any of the three remaining races. Kyle Busch enters Michigan with a 648-point margin over 13th and should wrap up the first clinch spot at MIS. See my Chase Stats after Watkins Glen page.(8-13-2008)
- McDowell could be looking for a ride UPDATE 3: #00-Michael McDowell, the Michael Waltrip Racing rookie, said Friday that he may be on the market for a new team, depending on MWR’s sponsorship search. He’s already spoken to several teams about his driving future, including Petty Enterprises. Petty official Robbie Loomis said Friday that McDowell is among a small group of three or four drivers being considered for the team’s #45 car next season. McDowell said MWR has an option on him, but if it does not secure a sponsor for him in the next few weeks, he may have to look elsewhere for a ride. Casey Mears and Chad McCumbee have also been mentioned as candidates for Petty’s #45 car. Other options that potentially could be available to McDowell include Chip Ganassi Racing’s #41 car and Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ #10 car. There are also openings at Penske Racing and Richard Childress Racing.(SceneDaily)(8-9-2008)
UPDATE: Mike Skinner is listed in the Michigan entry list as the driver of the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota field by Michael Waltrip Racing, no word on what is up with regular driver Michael McDowell.(8-11-2008)
UPDATE 2: Michael McDowell said he supports Michael Waltrip Racing's decision to replace him with Mike Skinner in the 3M Performance 400 this weekend at Michigan. McDowell, whose #00 team is currently outside the top 35 in owner points, said in a statement that he's in favor of doing "whatever it takes to improve the performance of our team. No driver wants to get out of the car, but I understand that every part of our program needs to be evaluated, and that certainly includes me. I plan to support Mike Skinner and our team any way I can, and hopefully learn some things that will help when I get back in the car."(SceneDaily)(8-12-2008)
UPDATE 3: Mike Skinner will assist Michael Waltrip Racing in efforts to evaluate its 18-month-old full-time Sprint Cup Series program by racing the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota at Michigan, Bristol and California. "Michael Waltrip Racing is fully committed to our sponsors, the success of our race teams and ensuring Michael McDowell, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and I have the necessary tools to succeed as drivers," Waltrip said. "We've asked Mike Skinner to evaluate areas where we can improve our on-track performance. I thought he did a really nice job of working with Red Bull and A.J. Allmendinger earlier this year and our #00 Champion Mortgage team could use the same experienced insight. We feel the same way about Michael McDowell as we did when we signed him," Waltrip said, "But this is the toughest, most competitive form of racing in the world and I know Michael and MWR can benefit from Skinner's input." Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Michael McDowell is scheduled to return to his seat at Richmond.(MWR PR)(8-13-2008) Comment here
- Hendrick teams help out: The #5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST pit crew traveled to Randleman, N.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 12 to participate in the "NASCARnival" at Victory Junction Gang Camp. The crew performed pit stops for campers before allowing them to try it themselves. The team also participated in other carnival activities, including hot-air balloon rides. Crew chief Alan Gustafson was the camp's special guest in the "dunk tank" for the evening's festivities. Hendrick Motorsports and CARQUEST are scheduled to host members of the Charlotte, N.C., and Cabarrus County (N.C.) Boys & Girls Clubs at the Hendrick Motorsports complex on Wednesday, August 13th. Besides touring the 5/88 shop and the engine department, the kids also will get to attempt a pit stop with the Kellogg's/CARQUEST pit crew. Crew chiefs Tony Eury Jr. and Chad Knaus, along with Dion "Rocco" Williams of the #24 pit crew, will meet with club members to discuss the importance of education, setting goals and reaching them.(HMS PR)(8-13-2008)
- Congrats: to Eric "Pee-Wee" Hoyle and his wife Amy, who became proud parents last Friday to a healthy baby boy-Cayden
Eric Hoyle. Hoyle is currently a mechanic and the catch can man on the #41 Target Dodge. He has been with Ganassi Racing since 2003. This is the couple's first child.(CGRFS PR)(8-13-2008)
- NASCAR Now Visits JGR on Wed: NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information show, will visit the
headquarters of one of the top teams in NASCAR, Joe Gibbs Racing, for a special hour-long program on Wednesday, August 13, at 5pm/et. NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith will be on-site in Huntersville, N.C., with Nicole Manske hosting the program from ESPN's high definition studios in Bristol, Conn. In addition to a look back at the history of JGR since its inception in 1991, NASCAR Now will have live interviews with the man who started it all, Joe Gibbs, along with his son, J.D. Gibbs, who now runs the entire operation. NASCAR Sprint
Cup points leader Kyle Busch and his crew chief Steve Addington also will be live guests, along with Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin, 18-year-old NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Joey Logano and Camping World East driver Marc Davis. Smith also takes a tour of the shop with Tony Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, as tour guide to give viewers an inside look at the inner workings of JGR. Smith talks with Zipadelli about his experience at JGR and his relationship with Stewart, who is leaving JGR at the end of the season. Smith also sits down
with Stewart to discuss his years at JGR, this season and his future.(ESPN PR)(8-13-2008)
News from August 12, 2008
- Sorenson still working on 2009 plans with Ganassi: part of a #41-Reed Sorenson transcript from Dodge Motorsports about his status with Ganassi Racing and his 2009 plans:
Q: WHAT IS YOUR STATUS FOR 2009? WILL YOU BE COMING BACK TO CGRFS?
A: We're working on it right now. The past month or so I've been testing a lot and going out of town a lot. Just this past week, I was
down in Nashville for two days testing and have been out of town. We're working on (a new contract) pretty hard and we'll see what we can come up with pretty soon.
Q: WOULD YOU CONSIDER GOING TO ANOTHER TEAM?
A: I've just been trying to focus on what's going on with our race team from a week-to-week basis. The whole organization has been struggling on these mile-and-a-half tracks. There's been a lot of stuff going on back in the shop with the 40 team (Franchitti) getting shut down and people moving around. That was a pretty big change for everybody. Just trying to get better on the bigger tracks has been our main focus.(Dodge Motorsports)(8-12-2008) Comment here
- McMurray to run special Sharpie scheme at Bristol: For the second time since 2006, Sharpie, title sponsor of the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, will partner with Jamie McMurray in the race that fans consistently vote their favorite in the Sprint Cup Series. Sharpie is backing McMurray in a bold new Sharpie paint scheme. The bright green and black design supports the launch of the new Sharpie Pen, the first Sharpie that doesn't bleed through paper. Already a hit at retail, Sharpie Pen is perfect for all everyday writing needs at home, work and school. To support the Sharpie Pen launch, the 2008 race is being tagged, "Sharpie 500 Presented by the NEW Sharpie Pen." Sharpie was a sponsor of Roush Fenway's Racing #97 (now #26) Ford from 2002-2006, winning a championship with Kurt Busch in 2004. The Sharpie car has won the Sharpie 500 once with Busch taking the checkered flag in 2003. In addition to the new Sharpie Pen, the Sharpie team of products includes the Sharpie Retractable marker offering one-hand click convenience, the Sharpie Retractable Ultra-Fine marker with its thin tip for precise marking and writing on small spaces, and Sharpie MINI "go anywhere" markers that can be easily attached to backpacks, key rings, golf bags and more. Available in 39 colors and 18 tip sizes, Sharpie products are available wherever office supplies are sold. Visit www.sharpie.com for more information.(Sharpie/Roush Fenway Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #26 Team Schemes page.(8-12-2008)
- Watkings Glen TV Ratings: ESPN's coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen, which included a red flag of more than 40 minutes, earned a 3.6 final household coverage rating, down from last year's 4.1. The telecast had 3.4 million household impressions, down from last year's 3.9. Final ratings from the telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Watkins Glen on ABC will be available Thursday.(ESPN), see season ratings by race and more on my 2008 TV Ratings page.(8-12-2008) Comment here
- DEI names Hutchens VP of Competition: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has named NASCAR veteran Bobby Hutchens vice president of competition. Hutchens, who previously served as general manager of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines after a long tenure with Richard Childress Racing, will oversee all competition efforts at Dale Earnhardt Inc., including its four Sprint Cup teams. Hutchens' new position came as the result of a joint decision between DEI and RCR. The championship-winning NASCAR racing organizations have a long history of
successful collaboration including, among others, ECR Engines and the RAD aerodynamics program that also included Andy Petree Racing. Hutchens, who graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1982, is highly regarded in Sprint Cup racing for his research, development and computer testing accomplishments. Hutchens has managed and developed all facets of RCR's R&D program, while overseeing RCR's engineering, engines, engine R&D, manufacturing, chassis R&D and aerodynamics programs. He was named general manager of ECR Engines when the program was put together in May 2007.(DEI PR)(8-12-2008) Comment here
- Logano to make Cup debut at RIR: The plan is finally in place for Joey Logano to begin his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, with a handful of races scheduled this season in Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. A source close to the team said Saturday that Logano will run “six or seven” Sprint Cup races with sponsorship from Gatorade between now and the end of the 2008 campaign, in an effort to gain NASCAR approval for Logano to run for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors next season. Plans call for the 18-year old Connecticut native to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond International Raceway on September 6th, with additional races to be announced within the next 2-3 weeks. He will also run the ARCA ReMax Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for Venturini Motorsports, to satisfy NASCAR requirements for him to compete in the 2009 Daytona 500.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-12-2008) Comment here
- Testing at Gateway: been told that #18-Kyle Busch- and #22-Blaney) are scheduled to test on Tuesday and Wednesday [8/12-13] at Gateway International Raceway. The testing is closed to the public.(8-10-2008)
UPDATE: also testing is Michael Annett in a Bill Davis Racing Cup car.(8-12-2008)
- Randy Moss' NASCAR Venture Featured on ESPN TODAY: ESPN's primetime newsmagazine E:60 will return for 14 weekly episodes beginning Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 7pm/et. The multi-subject program, on a scheduled break since May 13, will air each Tuesday at that time through Nov. 11. On Tuesday's episode, E:60 cameras follow New England Patriots Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss as he begins his venture as a race team owner in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. In the process, Moss explains why he decided to become a
team owner, the challenges of establishing himself in the sport and what his ownership means for minorities in NASCAR. E:60 was given an all-access look as Moss announced his deal at Daytona, made his initial visit to his race shop in Charlotte, N.C., and attended his first
race as NASCAR team owner in Kentucky. E:60's Rachel Nichols reports.(ESPM PR)(8-12-2008)
- Driver plans for the #21 thru RIR: Marcos Ambrose will be in the Wood Brothers’ #21 Fusion at Michigan International Speedway and again at California Speedway on Aug. 31. Bill Elliott will drive the car on Aug. 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Jon Wood, son of team co-owner Eddie Wood, will drive it at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6.(Ford Racing)(8-12-2008)
- Racing Resources Says …
* Kyle Busch won the Centurion Boats at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. He won from the first-place starting position, the ninth race at Watkins Glen won from that position. Busch became the first driver to score three victories on road courses in a single season winning at Mexico (Nationwide Series), Infineon (Sprint Cup) and Watkins Glen. Busch scored his 12th-career NSCS victory in 136 career races. He remained first in the points standings with a 242-point lead over second-place Carl Edwards. Busch's last Cup victory came at Chicagoland three races ago. Busch has won four of the last seven Cup races.
* The last five races at the Glen have been won from a top-10 starting position.
* Busch scored his first victory in four races at Watkins Glen. Busch became the 16th different race winner at Watkins Glen. He led 52 of the 90 laps raced including the final 26 laps. That was the most led by any driver in the race.
* Busch finished second in the Nationwide Zippo 200 at the Glen on Saturday.
* Busch has scored eight Cup victories, six Nationwide victories and two Truck Series wins this season. Busch has led 1,131 laps this season, the most among all drivers.
* Toyota scored their first victory at the Glen. Toyota has nine wins, Chevrolet has five while Dodge and Ford each have four in 2008.
* Joe Gibbs Racing scored their fifth victory at the Glen.
* Joe Gibbs Racing has won five of the last seven races at Watkins Glen. Tony Stewart won the other four.
* Stewart finished second, scoring his 11th top-10 finish in 22 races this season. He tied his best finish in 2008 of second set at Atlanta and the second race at Pocono. Stewart climbed from ninth to seventh in the standings.
* This was Gibbs' fifth 1-2 finish and second in a row at Watkins Glen.
* Marcos Ambrose finished third, scoring his first top-5 finish in just three career Cup starts. Ambrose started 43rd in the race.
* Ambrose scored the first top-5 finish for the Wood Brothers since Ricky Rudd finished fourth at Bristol in August 2005.
* Juan Pablo Montoya (fourth) scored his best finish in two races at Watkins Glen. Montoya finished sixth at Infineon earlier this season.
* Martin Truex Jr. (fifth) scored his third top-5 finish in 2008. It marked his best finish in six career road course races.
* Jimmie Johnson finished seventh, posting his fourth top-10 finish in seven races at Watkins Glen. Johnson climbed from fourth to third in the standings.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 22nd, He dropped from second to fourth in the points standings.
* 22 points separate 12th-place Matt Kenseth from 13th-place Clint Bowyer with four races remaining before the Chase.(ESPN.com)
News from August 11, 2008
- If Sadler wins at MIS, $1 million to charity: Elliott Sadler and the #19 Stanley Tools Dodge now have a million more reasons to win the Aug. 17 race at Michigan International Speedway. Primary sponsor Stanley Tools will make a $1 million donation to the Children's Miracle Network if Sadler wins the 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at MIS. The incentive is part of the "Racing for a Miracle" program created by Stanley Tools, the Ace Hardware Foundation, and Children's Miracle Network. "Racing for a Miracle" is a multi-dimensional program that benefits sick and injured kids as well as the hospitals that provide their care. In addition to the race, Sadler is encouraging Ace Hardware patrons to go to one of the country's 3,800 Ace Hardware stores during the month of August to buy a $1 "Racing for a Miracle" icon. All donations go to a local Children's Miracle Network hospital. As part of "Racing for a Miracle," Sadler will visit Sparrow Hospital,
the Children's Miracle Network area hospital in Lansing, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 14 prior to the weekend's race at MIS. He will race remote control cars with young patients, sign autographs, tour the hospital and present a special miracle child with an award for winning a helmet design contest. The program culminates at MIS that Sunday, as Elliott Sadler's #19 Stanley Tools Dodge will carry a new look on their car. The logos of Children's Miracle Network and Ace Hardware will adorn the TV panel for one race only to encourage others to continue to race money for sick and injured kids.(GEM PR)(8-11-2008)
- Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Centurion Boats at the Glen:
For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race.
Total number of commercials: 112
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 21
Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 15
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 40 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:01 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:21 PM
Total minutes: 200
Minutes of race broadcast: 153
Minutes of commercials: 47
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions': 1
Total race brdcst time 153 Total comm. brdcst time 47
See the more on my 2008 Commericals page.(8-11-2008) Comment here
- Testing at Kentucky: Cup teams are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway Monday [8/11], including #1-Truex Jr., #8-Almirola, #01-Smith, R&D/Bob Schact Motorsports [ARCA?]; on Tuesday [8/12]the R&D Test teams of Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Gillett Evernham Motorsports are scheduled, no drivers posted for those. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway)(8-11-2008)