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    SEPTEMBER 1-7, 2008

      News from August 31, 2008

    • Johnson wins at California: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway for his 3rd win of 2008 and 36th of his career. Starting from the pole, he dominated throughout the race, leading 227 laps. It was the first time a driver has won the California race from the pole. #16-Biffle finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #9-Kahne, #44-Reutimann, and #07-Bowyer. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th. The battle to make the Chase remained unchanged with #6-Ragan and #9-Kahne still trying to get into the top 12. #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #31-Burton locked themselves into the chase. #16-Biffle only needs to start at Richmond to be locked in. There were 22 lead changes among 9 drivers and 8 cautions for 34 caution laps.
      For race results, awards and more, see my California Race Results Awards Page.(8-31-2008) Comment here

    • UNOFFICIAL Drivers Points Standings [after California race 25 of 36]:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 3751 [8 wins]
      2) #99-Carl Edwards 3547 -204 [6 wins]
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3386 -365 [3 wins]
      4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3323 -428 [1 win]
      5) #31-Jeff Burton 3234 -517 [1 win]
      6) #16-Greg Biffle 3159 -592
      7) #29-Kevin Harvick 3132 -619 [+187 pts ahead of 13th]
      8) #20-Tony Stewart 3110 -641 [+138]
      9) #17-Matt Kenseth 3081 -670 [+109]
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon 3074 -677 [+102]
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin 3065 -686 [1 win][+93]
      12) #07-Clint Bowyer 2989 -762 [1 win][+17]
      CHASE contenders
      13) #6-David Ragan 2972 -779 [17 pts out of 12th]
      14) #9-Kasey Kahne 2945 -806 [-44]
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.(8-31-2008)

    • California Fast Facts:
      Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500, his 36th victory in 244 Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2008.
      This is his third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway.
      Greg Biffle (second) posted his third top-10 finish in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 11th top-10 finish in 2008.
      Denny Hamlin (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Auto Club Speedway.
      Patrick Carpentier (18th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 208 points over Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-31-2008)

    • Lucky Dogs....Who got a lap back on each caution at California: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: none, no one a lap down
      Caution 2: #26-McMurray, 24th
      Caution 3: none, no one a lap down
      Caution 4: #08-Sauter, 42nd
      Caution 5: #12-Newman, 16th
      Caution 6: #10-Carpentier, 18th
      Caution 7: #43-Labonte, 21st
      Caution 8: #1-Truex, Jr., 19th

    • California Penalty Report:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
      1 #26 TE Pitting before pit road is open 4
      2 #2 TE Pitting before pit road is open 43
      3 #96 TE Spedding Exiting Pit Road 44
      4 #55 TE Speeding Entering Pit Road 45
      5 #2 TE Crewmembers over the wall too soon 43
      6 #2 TE Intentionally causing a caution 43
      7 #26 TE Pitting before pit road is open 147
      8 #26 TE Outside half of the pit box tire violation - not in contact 147
      9 #83 TE Outside half of the pit box tire violation - not in contact 182
      10 #00 TE Pitting before pit road is open 182
      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)(8-31-2008)

    • If the Chase started now the drivers in:
      1) #18-Kyle Busch 5080 [8 wins x 10 bonus pts]
      2) #99-Carl Edwards 5050 [6 wins, 5 wins x 10 pts = 50pts*]
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5030 [3 wins]
      4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5010 [1 win]
      5) #31-Jeff Burton 5010 [1 win]
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin 5010 [1 win]
      7) #07-Clint Bowyer 5010 [1 win]
      8) #16-Greg Biffle 5000
      9) #29-Kevin Harvick 5000
      10) #20-Tony Stewart 5000
      11) #17-Matt Kenseth 5000
      12) #24-Jeff Gordon 5000
      * lost the bonus for win at Las Vegas due to penalty.(8-31-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Richmond International Raceway:
      #84-Allmendinger jumps up to 31st, #7-Robby Gordon falls to 35th, and #77-Hornish falls out of the top 35.
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      31) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1935, +42
      32) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 1932, +39
      33) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 1931, +38
      34) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 1930 +37
      35) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon Motorsports: 1911 18 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1893, 18 points out of 35th
      37) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1856 -55
      38) #10-Carpentier/Gillett Evernham Motorsports 1622 -289
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(8-31-2008)

    • Racing Resources Says....
      * Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Johnson posted his 36th career victory in his 244th race. He has passed Mark Martin for 17th on the all-time wins list. He posted his third victory of the 2008 season; he also won at Phoenix and Indianapolis. Johnson posted his third victory at Auto Club Speedway in his 12th start. He is tied with Jeff Gordon for most victories among all drivers there.
      * Johnson has finished in the top three in eight of his 12 Auto Club Speedway starts, including the past four races. He won the race from the pole, the first time in 17 races at Auto Club Speedway that the race was won from the pole. Johnson scored his fourth series victory from the pole; his previous win from the pole came in his previous victory at Indianapolis.
      * Johnson led 228 of the 250 laps, the most laps ever led by a driver in a single event at Auto Club Speedway. This is the fifth time in 2008 that Johnson has led the most laps, and he has won three of those races.
      * Johnson, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards combined have won the past eight races of the season: Johnson has won two races, and Busch and Edwards have each won three.
      * Hendrick Motorsports scored its seventh victory at Auto Club Speedway, the most of any team. Hendrick Motorsports posted its fourth victory of the 2008 season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also has a victory.
      * Greg Biffle, who finished second, posted his second second-place finish of the season.
      * David Reutimann, who finished ninth, posted his career-best finish.
      * Johnson and Kasey Kahne, who finished eighth, are the only drivers who finished in the top 10 who started there.
      * Patrick Carpentier, who finished 18th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
      * The top 10 consisted of three Chevys, three Fords, three Toyotas and a Dodge.(

    • Petty Enterprises still working on 2009 driver lineup: Robbie Loomis, vice president for racing operations at Petty Enterprises: "As far as driver lineup for next year, we are very aggressive on moving forward…but we are facing the fact that, based on where our cars are running right now, we won't be able to get that A-level driver as a teammate with #43-Bobby Labonte. So we have to create that player: like Brett Favre at Green Bay. We're still working on those plans. Kyle [Petty] will run some races next year. And Bobby will have a teammate that we hope can grow into that B-level or A-level player."(Winston Salem Journal)(8-31-2008) Comment here

    • Coleman Expects to drive #96 again this year: Brad Coleman was hoping to be racing at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. Now he's unsure of exactly when he will get back in the seat of a race car. But he expects it will be before the end of the year. The 20-year-old driver started the season as a development driver for Hall of Fame Racing and is under contract with the team for 2009. Coleman drove the #96 Hall of Fame Racing Sprint Cup car at Michigan, but has not raced the car since then. "I've learned how to deal with adversity in this business," Coleman said. "You can have something bad happen at any time. You can be having the best year of your career and then before the year is over, it will turn into your worst pretty quickly. You've always just got to remember to keep your head up and never give up. … I have no idea [about my 2009 schedule]. I want to get as much seat time as I can." Coleman tested the Cup car this past week at Kansas Speedway in a Goodyear tire test and the team has indicated that it is still committed to his development.( Comment here

      News from August 30, 2008

    • Mixed Reactions to Bud Shootout Changes: How do drivers feel about the decision to change the rules governing next year's season-opening Budweiser Shootout exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway? Well, it depends whether you're in or out. Michael Waltrip, who finished 11th in the 2008 Shootout, would have needed to win a pole in the last 12 races to make the field in 2009 under the current rules. Instead, with the decision to include six teams from each of the four manufacturers, there's an excellent chance for two of Waltrip's team cars to make the field next February. Carl Edwards, who missed the 2007 edition because he failed to win a pole the previous year, thought he secured a spot with his run last week at Bristol. It turns out that he's one of five Roush Fenway Racing drivers who will represent Ford in the 2009 Shootout. Edwards is in favor of the new rule. On the other hand, 2008 pole-winners Paul Menard and Joe Nemechek find themselves on the outside looking in. For Nemechek's Furniture Row Racing team, the change was a huge blow. Nemechek said someone like Boris Said, who only runs a limited schedule, no longer gets additional benefit from winning a pole.(
      AND: Ryan Newman says it does seem odd that Daytona International Speedway executives don't want the defending Daytona 500 winner in their season-opening Bud Shootout next spring. Since Newman and new teammate Tony Stewart will be leaving their current teams at the end of this year and driving next year for a new team, they both will be ineligible for the Shootout. Ironic, since the Daytona 500 this year was Stewart-versus-Newman. Adding more irony: Joey Logano, who has yet even to run a Cup race, will be in the Shootout, in Stewart's Toyota. And even more irony: David Stremme, who will likely be taking Newman's ride with Roger Penske, would be in the Shootout instead of Newman. Stremme, whose only Cup run this year was at Talladega in April, where he finished 28th, has never won a Cup event. Newman has 13 career wins. "The new Shootout doesn't seem to be about drivers, but about manufacturers," Newman says. "It's a changed race all the way around. (Winston Salem Journal)
      AND: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he has no problem with the changes in the qualifying rules, but he has a big problem with a long final segment. "Fifty laps is forever on that track," Earnhardt said. "It would be a lot more exciting for the fans and a lot more fun for us if we only did 10 laps at the end." #11-Denny Hamlin, who won the race as a rookie in 2006, said he agrees with Earnhardt. "Only racing 10 laps at the end would be way better," Hamlin said. "The tires go away pretty fast at Daytona, but they still would have a lot of grip for just 10 or 15 laps. We could really go all out and the racing would be a lot closer."( Comment here

    • Allmendinger uncertain of driving plans for next season: Red Bull Racing's #84-AJ Allmendinger is still uncertain about whether he will return to his Sprint Cup team next season. The driver has previously stated he'd like to stay with the group, but he says he continues to wait to hear from the team. "Phone is silent as can be from their end," he said. " … I've stated I'd like to be back next year, but I just want an answer. I need to know I'm racing somewhere next year." Almendinger and his team are outside the top 35 in the owner standings, though they have been on the line of making that field and were in it for one week. Allmendinger says that the team has improved to the level where he expects top finishes week to week.( Comment here

    • Hornish unsure of points, team swap: Sam Hornish Jr. says he hasn't had any conversations with Penske Racing officials regarding a possible move from the team's #77 Dodge to the #12 for 2009, or a possible points swap between the two. "All I know about it is that no decision has been made," Hornish said Friday while at Auto Club Speedway. "I just know they need a driver for the 12 car." Teammate Ryan Newman's impending departure means the Penske organization has one driver opening to fill. Putting Hornish in the 12 would likely placate primary sponsor Alltel and would guarantee the driver a spot in the field through a minimum of next season's first five races (when final owner points from 2008 are used).( Comment here

    • Pit Stall selections: pole sitter #48-Jimmie Johnson's team chose the first pit stall selection for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Outside pole sitter, #84-A.J. Allmendinger chose the next stall with an opening in front of it, stall 12A, #10-Patrick Carpentier chose the last pit stall. See the full pit stall selections on my Calfironia Pit Stall Selection page.(8-30-2008)

    • Happy Hour Practice: for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #22-Blaney 176.199
      #24-Gordon 174.571
      #48-Johnson 174.448
      #31-Burton 174.406
      #84-Allmendinger 174.364
      slowest: #21-Ambrose 168.248 & #08-Sauter 167.871
      #88-Earnhart, Jr. and #00-Skinner made slight contact with each other near the end of the session but no real damage to either car.
      See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-30-2008)

      News from August 29, 2008

    • Carpentier says he's a free agent: Canadian #10-Patrick Carpentier says “It’s over,” at the end of the year, after his one season with Dodge car owners Ray Evernham and George Gillett. “They hired Reed Sorenson for next year, so it’s over,” Carpentier says. “They’re working on a fourth team and looking for sponsorship, but you know how that goes.” So Carpentier says he’s a free agent. “I’m talking with other teams to see what’s out there,” the Montreal native says.(Winston Salem Journal), see earlier information about Carpentier on my #10 team page.(8-29-2008) Comment here

    • Chase Notes: six drivers are still in the 'danger zone': 7-Greg Biffle +141 ahead of 13th place, 8-Kevin Harvick +129, 9-Jeff Gordon +108 look to be in good shape. It gets more precarious for 10-Matt Kenseth +78, 11-Denny Hamlin +57 and 12-Clint Bowyer +12. In the first Race to the Chase in 2004, Kasey Kahne came to Bristol in 10th place, six points ahead of Jeremy Mayfield. He finished 21st and dropped to 11th place, 26 points out, and ended up missing the inaugural Chase. Saturday night, Kahne got caught up in the big wreck and dropped out of the Top 12 with a 40th place finish. He's now stuck in 14th spot, 56 points out of Clint Bowyer in 12th. David Ragan overcame a 27th starting spot to post a career-best 10th at Bristol and draw within 12 points of the Top 12. Ragan and the #6 team look poised for a big run at California and could leave Fontana with a spot in the Top 12. Carl Edwards clinched his spot in The Chase (third in his career) in grand fashion, but Dale Junior's 18th, Jimmie Johnson's 33rd and Jeff Burton's 42nd meant all three will have to wait until Fontana to uncork the champagne. If you look at Fontana #1 and both Michigan's, Denny Hamlin has finishes of 41-14-39 and Clint Bowyer has finishes of 19-26-20. David Ragan has finishes of 14-8-3 and Kasey Kahne has 9-2-40. See more on my Chase Stats after Bristol page and Chase Scenarios on my 2008 Chase page.(8-29-2008)

    • Earnhardt Jr. visits his recruits: Hundreds of young recruits have arrived at Naval Station Great Lakes in the last few days, and 88 of them belong to a special "Dale Jr. Division," which was named after #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Navy's first celebrity-sponsored recruiting effort. The Navy and Earnhardt have a one-year, $800,000 speaking-appearance contract, started as a way to attract a few of NASCAR's millions of fans to the Navy. In a separate deal, the Navy also sponsored a car on Earnhardt's [#88 Nationwide] team this year. On Wednesday, recruits who joined the Navy under Earnhardt's name got to meet him. As the new arrivals received shots, dental exams, and heard the first of many barked orders, Earnhardt flew in a Learjet from his North Carolina home to Milwaukee, hopped on a helicopter to Waukegan, and arrived at the North Chicago base in a Navy minivan. Earnhardt began his three-hour visit in the dining hall, walking over to a table with seven recruits from his division, a team of photographers and a television camera following him. Recruits at other tables stared in silence, unable to ask what was going on because talking is forbidden during meals at boot camp. "You're going to see lots of cool things, a lot of scary stuff," Earnhardt told the recruits, five women and two men. He polled them one by one, asking why they joined the military, and almost every recruit said they wanted to pursue more education but didn't have the money for college. Earnhardt, who has not served in the military, said his days at Oak Ridge Military Academy near Greensboro, N.C., made him consider enlisting, but the pull of the racetrack was stronger. He walked up and down the aisles of the nervous young men and women, sitting perfectly still, and handed them patches with the "Dale Jr." division logo. The recruits won't be allowed to put the patches on their uniforms, but they'll be carrying a Dale Jr. Division flag whenever they march across the base.(Chicago Tribune)(8-29-2008)

    • Calif Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will run the same tire codes at California [Auto Club Speedway] this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought for teams in these two series to run at this track earlier this season . . . California is the only track at which NASCAR Teams will run this exact tire set-up in 2008, though this right-side tire code (D-4150) is scheduled to be run with a different left-side at Kansas in late September . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 40-44 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR) See the full notes, codes, pressures and more on my California Race Info page and for race-by-race, see my 2008 Tire Notes page.(8-29-2008)

    • Paul Menard Visits Set of CSI Miami: Prior to heading out to the Auto Club Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Paul Menard had a busy day in Hollywood. As a guest of the studio, Menard visited the set of CSI Miami and had the opportunity to meet members of the cast. "I'm a big fan of CSI and have been for a few years," Menard said. "Today was definitely a memorable experience and it was interesting to see behind the scenes. It really gave me an appreciation for how much effort it takes to put a show like CSI together and the result, I'd say, is pretty impressive."(Co-Pilot PR)(8-29-2008)

    • Sad News - Phil Hill: Phil Hill, a reserved Californian who became a gifted race-car driver and the only American-born driver to win the Formula One international auto-racing championship, died Thursday. He was 81. Hill died at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula of complications from Parkinson's disease, said John Lamm, a close friend who is also editor-at-large of Road & Track magazine. Hill won the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1961. He also was the first American to win the 24-hour endurance race at Le Mans, France, -- a race he would win twice again -- and he won the Sebring 12-hour race three times, among many other victories.(The Italian-born Mario Andretti, whose family immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, won the Formula One title in 1978.) Hill won his Formula One championship in the season's penultimate race in Monza, Italy, after he had swapped the series lead all year with his Ferrari teammate Wolfgang von Trips of Germany. In the same race, Trips died in a crash that also killed 14 spectators. As a result, Ferrari did not participate in the season's final race at Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Hill was unable to celebrate his championship in his home country. Hill, despite driving with safety gear that paled by today's standards, never suffered a serious injury in his career. He retired from driving in 1967 at 39. Philip Toll Hill was born in Miami on April 20, 1927, and was raised in Santa Monica. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991. Hill is survived by his wife, Alma, son Derek of Culver City, daughter Vanessa Rogers of Phoenix, stepdaughter Jennifer Delaney of Niwot, Colo., and four grandchildren.(Los Angeles Times)(8-29-2008)

    • Kurt Busch talks to Arizona Wildcats Football team: #2-Kurt Busch returned to college yesterday at the University of Arizona in Tucson. No, he didn't enroll in any classes, but he certainly did a first-class job in presenting a motivational speech to the 2008 Arizona Wildcat football squad. "Kurt is definitely an impressive representative for NASCAR, for Penske Racing and for all his sponsors," said head coach Mike Stoops. "We were so pleased to have him here back on campus to talk to our team. I am certain that he made a great number of new race fans here today. We just hope that he'll take us up on our offer to come back and see us play this season."
      "I've been here for over 10 years now and I've never seen anyone talk to our guys and have the impact that Kurt did here today," said Wendell Neal, director of equipment operations for the Wildcats. "He had their undivided attention for all 25 minutes. The way he was able to relate what he does to what they will experience was so impressive."
      "It was a lot of fun and a great experience to get back down to my old school," said Busch, who attended classes here in 1997-1998. "We were able to tour the new athletic complex before heading over to the practice field. My mission was to motivate the guys by making analogies of the importance of preparation and teamwork in both sports. I was really amazed at their interest level and the great questions they asked after giving my little talk to them. Coach Stoops is a great leader and he certainly made us feel at home. Thanks also to Frankie Acosta of the alumni department and to Paul Corliss and the staff at Phoenix International Raceway for helping make it happen."(TRPR)(8-29-2008)

    • Sad News - Kenneth Campbell: Kenneth Campbell, Team Manager for Jay Robinson Racing passed away just after midnight Friday August 29, 2008. Kenneth had been sick and in the hospital for much of the last month. Kenneth’s career in racing spanned for more than thirty years. Kenneth is survived by his wife of twenty five years Kim, his daughter Taylor and his two sons Carson and Braden. He is also survived by his Mother and many other immediate Family Members. His Race Team was in California when Kenneth passed. Many of the Team including Jay Robinson, Kenny Wallace, Derrike Cope, Curtis Aldridge, Kertus Davis, Stacey Carlson, Elaine Hughes, Gene Allnutt and Cindy Woosley held a gathering just after his passing to Honor his life.(Jay Robinson Racing)(8-29-2008)

    • Johnson on pole at California: #48-Jimmie Johson won the Coor's Light Pole for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 180.397mph for his 4th pole of 2008 and 17th pole of his career. #84-Allmendinger will start 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #9-Kahne, #10-Carpentier, #19-Sadler, #1-Truex, Jr., #22-Blaney, #2-Busch, and #8-Almirola. #18-Busch will start 11th. #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 18th.
      The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #84-Allmendiner, #10-Carpentier, #78-Nemechek, #96-Schrader, #00-Skinner, #45-Petty, #21-Ambrose, and #08-Sauter. Missing the race was #70-Raines.
      See the pole progression, qualifying results and starting lineup on my Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order page.(8-29-2008)

    • California Qualifying Fast Facts
      Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pepsi 500 with a lap of 39.912 seconds, 180.397 mph.
      This is his 17th pole in 244 Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth pole and 19th top-10 start in 2008.
      This is his first pole in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway.
      AJ Allmendinger (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2008 and his first in two races at Auto Club Speedway. This is his best career start.
      Jeff Gordon (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 17th in 25 races this season.
      Patrick Carpentier (fifth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-29-2008)

    • Qualifying Order for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club 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 #29-Harvick, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #9-Kahne. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is ##00-Skinner, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #84-Allmendinger. See the full qualifying order on my Pepsi 500 Qualifying Page.(8-29-2008)

    • Friday Practice for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #99-Edwards 178.913
      #48-Johnson 178.656
      #83-Allmendiner 178.059
      #19-Sadler 177.800
      #83-Vickers 177.773
      slowest: #66-Riggs 172.790 & #08-Sauter 167.220
      #55-Michael Waltrip was held 15 minutes at the start of the session for being late through inspection last weekend at Bristol.
      See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-29-2008)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Auto Club Speedway:
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 3rd fastest
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 18th
      #00-Mike Skinner, 29th
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 31st
      #70-Tony Raines, 38th
      #96-Ken Schrader, 40th
      #21-Marcos Ambrose, 41st
      #45-Kyle Petty, 42nd
      if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race:
      #08-Johnny Sauter, 44th
      See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-29-2008)

      News from August 28, 2008

    • Monster to sponsor Robby: Monster Energy Drink will be the sponsor for #7 Robby Gordon Dodge at Auto Club Speedway, see an image of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(8-28-2008)

    • "Day of Reckoning" scheme for Skinner at Calif - IMAGE: Affliction Entertainment and Michael Waltrip Racing have teamed up to race for the checkered flag in the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. This year's Sprint Cup Series race at the two-mile D-shaped oval will find Waltrip's #00 Toyota, driven by veteran driver Mike Skinner, fully wrapped in Affliction Entertainment's "Day of Reckoning" graphics promoting the upcoming Oct. 11 MMA Pay-Per-View event from Las Vegas. In addition to Affliction's sponsorship of the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 entry, the company will work with Auto Club Speedway to promote "Day of Reckoning" to the multitude of fans who attend the events planned at the world-famous speedway this Labor Day weekend. Utilizing the venue's multiple promotional opportunities, Affliction and Auto Club Speedway have packaged an entertaining mixture of promotional opportunities to make the fans aware of Affliction's upcoming event. Roy Englebrecht Events, Donald J. Trump and Affliction Entertainment in association with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino present Affliction "Day of Reckoning" featuring the WAMMA heavyweight elimination match between Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tickets are available online at or by calling 702.739.FANS. Ticket prices range from $75 to $500. Arlovski vs. Barnett is available live on cable and satellite Pay-Per-View and closed circuit television.(MWR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(8-26/28-2008)

    • Sad News - Joe Pratt: AARN - Area Auto Racing News, advertising director and Motorsports Show manager, Joe Pratt, passed away late Sunday [Aug 23rd] night. Pratt had been ill over the last several years, and in the last year had been fighting an uphill battle with various complications related to his condition. Pratt of Woolwich Twp., formerly of Deptford. Age 48. Husband of Cindy (nee Watkins). Brother of Edward Pratt of Bellmawr, Richard Pratt of Sewell, John Pratt of Fl., Elizabeth Johnston of Glassboro, Clara Hughes of Alabama and the late Robert Pratt. Services will be this Thursday at Boucher Funeral Home 1757 Delsea Drive, Deptford, NJ 08096 from 6-8:30 p.m. Cards can go to Cindy Pratt, 19 Wayne Drive, Woolwich, NJ 08085.
      In lieu of flowers, donations can go to Gift of Life Transplant Foundation, 401 N. Third St., Philadelphia, PA 19123.(Area Auto Racing News)(8-28-2008)

    • Dale Jr. to visit set of The Office: It's going to be just another day at "the Office" for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who hopes to gain his third berth in the Chase Sunday at the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Before reaching Fontana, Earnhardt will be at Universal Studios today to watch cast members tape a scene for his favorite sitcom, "The Office." The scene will involve actors Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski. "I'm really excited about getting to go see them film," he said. "It's a great opportunity for me because I'm such a big fan. I just think it's great. It's kind of like `Cheers' and `Seinfeld' were in their heyday. To me that's what it's like for this generation or for this decade."(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(8-28-2008)

    • Goodyear complete test at Kansas, more tests planned: In preparation for the upcoming NASCAR race weekend at Kansas Speedway (Sept. 26-28), The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company held a test at the track on Tuesday and confirmed it's tire recommendation. Taking part in the test were Martin Truex Jr. in the #1 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy and Brad Coleman in the #96 Hall of Fame Racing Toyota. "We were able to confirm the intended race recommendation as an appropriate tire setup for the upcoming race at Kansas next month," said Rick Campbell, Goodyear's NASCAR project manager. "We were very pleased with the results of the test as both drivers were able to complete long runs on the specified tire combination with positive feedback on grip and performance. The right-side tire has already seen action at both Fontana with the Cup and Nationwide cars and Kansas with the Craftsman Trucks earlier this year, while the left-side is a new code incorporating an updated construction that has a strong track record at the intermediate tracks this year." Additionally, this right-side tire code (D-4150) will be run at California Speedway again this coming weekend. Goodyear will continue it's aggressive testing program throughout the coming months. Already scheduled are confirmation tests at Dover (Sept. 3), Atlanta (Sept. 16), and Homestead (Oct. 14), with two large scale test sessions planned at Indianapolis (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8).(Goodyear PR)(8-28-2008)

    • Grubb to be Stewart's Crew Chief in 2009? UPDATE: 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 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.(
      UPDATE: Tony Stewart says he has signed a new crew chief for his Stewart-Haas racing #14 Chevy for next season but could not yet reveal who it is. Answering questions from race fans at Texas Motor Speedway Tuesday night, Stewart told the crowd the deal was done Monday evening. Stewart also says he has a verbal commitment from a sponsor for his second car and driver Ryan Newman, but the deal is not quite ready to be announced.(PRN's Garagepass)(8-28-2008) Comment here

    • Sherwin-Williams to sponsor Biffle at Kansas: The Sherwin-Williams #16 Ford, driven by Greg Biffle, will race in the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway which will be held on Sunday, September 28. This opportunity has been made possible as a result of Sherwin-Williams partnership with 3M, Biffle's sponsor. During the months of September and October, Sherwin-Williams will be featuring a NASCAR Race Promotion in their stores on select 3M products. More info at, see an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(8-28-2008)

    • California Rookie Notes: #01-Regan Smith was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 23 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Smith scored a 14th-place finish equaling his best effort in 29 Sprint Cup Series starts. He also finished 14th this season at Martinsville Speedway (race No. 6). Smith claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the seventh time in 2008. Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by two points (181-179) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 31 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings since the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (race No. 18), a span of seven consecutive races. Smith has captured Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in all four Sprint Cup Series short track races this season. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-five in three of the four previous August races at Auto Club Speedway. Brian Vickers (2004) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole in four previous August races at Auto Club Speedway. Kyle Busch became the first Raybestos Rookie to win at Auto Club Speedway when he captured the 2005 Pepsi 500. Busch scored his first Sprint Cup victory by .554 seconds over Greg Biffle and is the only Raybestos Rookie to win in 16 Sprint Cup Series races at the 2.0-mile speedway.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), for rookie history, standings and more, see my 2008 Rookies page.(8-28-2008)

      News from August 27, 2008

    • Burton to make 500th career start: #31-Jeff Burton will add his name to an exclusive list on Sunday when he takes the green flag at Sunday's Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway for his 500th career start in NASCAR's premier series. He will become the 29th driver to reach the 500-start mark. He is also 30th all-time with 20 victories. Over 16 years of Cup Series competition, Burton has compiled 114 top-five and 205 top-10 finishes. To commemorate his 500th Cup Series start, Burton will be honored at a roast on Sat., Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway. ESPN broadcaster Allen Bestwick will serve as the roastmaster, with team owner Richard Childress, fellow RCR drivers Kevin Harvick and Bowyer, ESPN broadcaster and recently retired Cup Series driver Dale Jarrett and AT&T's director of national sponsorships Tim McGhee as roasters.(RCR PR)(8-27-2008) Comment here

    • Hall of Fame Racing announces Driver Plans for Upcoming Races: Rookie Joey Logano will drive the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in five Sprint Cup Series races for Hall of Fame Racing, team officials announced Wednesday. Logano, who is under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and will drive the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sprint Cup starting in 2009, will pilot the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in five Sprint Cup races in 2008, beginning at New Hampshire. Logano will also drive the #96 at Kansas, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Martinsville and Texas. Logano, 18, will make his Sprint Cup debut next weekend at Richmond driving the #02 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hall of Fame Racing receives chassis, engines and manufacturing support from Joe Gibbs Racing. Veteran Ken Schrader, who started seventh and finished 21st in the DLP HDTV Toyota last weekend at Bristol, will drive the #96 Toyota in this weekend's Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif then at Richmond, Dover and Talladega. Brad Coleman, who has been under contract as a test driver for Hall of Fame Racing since November 2007, will continue to test for the team in the coming weeks. "Ken Schrader brings practical experience and stability to our race team that will help in a lot of ways," said Tom Garfinkel, co-owner of Hall of Fame Racing. "Brad did a great job testing for us at Kansas this week, and Ken will be an asset to Brad as we continue to get him more laps in a Sprint Cup car."(Hall of Fame Racing PR), Logano is also schedule to run TWO races for JGR in the #02 Home Depot Toyota, at Richmond and Atlanta.(8-27-2008) Comment here

    • Edwards and Busch placed on Probation: NASCAR announced that it has placed #18-Kyle Busch and #99-Carl Edwards on probation for the next six races in the Sprint Cup Series, as a result of their on-track incident last Saturday at the conclusion of the race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch and Edwards both violated Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing; hitting another competitor’s car after the race had concluded) of the 2008 NASCAR rule book. The probation takes effect beginning with this weekend’s event at Auto Club Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(8-27-2008) Comment here

    • Target to return to Ganassi in 2009: Target has agreed to an extension that should afford him [Chip Ganassi] to run two Cup cars next season and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya is committed to him. If he had lost either, as many had speculated would happen, the end indeed would be near. Ganassi president Steve Lauletta made it clear that Ganassi has no plans to merge. He said that the organization without a doubt will field two teams next season and that, if sponsorship comes along, it easily could go to three or four teams. He could sign another open-wheel driver [to fill Sorenson's #41 ride], perhaps Dan Wheldon or Scott Dixon off his own IndyCar Series team. He could bring back Franchitti, which Lauletta said is a possibility based on the way Franchitti has performed in the Nationwide Series car.(in part from Comment here

    • Kentucky testing today: Three Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to test at the Kentuckt Speedway today [8/27]: all with their R&D Test team - Michael Waltrip Racing; David Stremme with Penske Racing; and Brad Keselowski with Hendrick Motorsports. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway site)(8-27-2008)

    • Logano tests in FL: Joey Logano, who was named Monday as Tony Stewart's 2009 replacement in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, tested at New Smyrna Speedway on Tuesday with his future team. Logano is expected to make his first Sprint Cup start next weekend at Richmond [in the #02 Home Depot Toyota.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-27-2008)

    • Smoke Show brings in $217k: #20-Tont Stewart made a special visit Tuesday to Texas Motor Speedway to conduct the inaugural “Smoke Show” fantasy camp to benefit the Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter and the event raised a record $217,000. That total makes the “Smoke Show” the largest grossing single-day event in the history of SCC-Texas Chapter. The “Smoke Show” benefitting SCC was born from a public relations event with Stewart last year that was held with a select group of media. The concept was transformed into a fund-raising event and Stewart was more than willing to participate once again. Twenty-nine participants, who paid between $6,000 and $8,250 for the day, enjoyed the full race experience, complete with driver suit, parade laps, driver introductions, Victory Lane celebration and two 10-lap driving sessions where they got behind the wheel of a stock car. The group even got some driving tips and, of course, some good-natured ribbing from Stewart. The money raised will be distributed to non-profit organizations across Denton, Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties.(TMS PR)(8-27-2008)

    • Bowyer helps promote new New Hampshire law: On Monday, Aug. 25, #07-Clint Bowyer was in Concord, N.H. to help promote changes New Hampshire's "Move Over" Law which took effect on Aug 5, 2008. The changes provide additional protection to public safety personnel by specifying that motorists are required to slow down and give clearance to stationary vehicles displaying blue, red or amber emergency lights at the scene of any roadside emergency or incident. The state's "Move Over" law took effect in 2005. The changes, which were passed in the 2008 legislative session, are intended to include tow truck operators and highway workers by specifying amber warning lights in the requirement to yield during highway breakdowns, crashes or other incidents. Forty-four other states already have similar legislation. Bowyer rode with New Hampshire State Police and handed out tickets to the Sept. 14 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(RCR PR), also see an article at Foster's Daily Democrat.(8-27-2008)

    • Mears Cheez-it scheme at Calif: Cheez-It, the world's largest-selling cheese cracker, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears this weekend at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Cheez-It already has been the co-primary sponsor two times this season -- at Texas Motor Speedway in April and at Pocono Raceway last month.(HMS PR), see images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(8-27-2008)

    • Kvapil to run the Hitachi "Inspire the Next" scheme at California: Yates Racing announced that Hitachi Power Tools (Hitachi Koki USA, Ltd.), which offers an extensive line of professional grade power tools and accessories will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for the Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. The Yates Racing Ford will feature Hitachi's global "Inspire the Next" branding on the #28 Ford. The primary sponsorship kicked off last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which represented the first time Hitachi Power Tools has been a primary sponsor in NASCAR's most elite division, the Sprint Cup Series.(Yates Racing PR)(8-27-2008)

    • Pepsi scheme for Gordon at Calif: Jeff Gordon will drive a specially painted #24 DuPont/Pepsi Chevy in the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speeday.(Performance PR Plus), see an image of the scheme on my #24 Team Schemes page (not the Pepsi Stuff one)(8-27-2008)

      News from August 26, 2008

    • Clinch Scenarios at California: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #48-Jimmie Johnson and #31-Jeff Burton control their own Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup destiny this weekend. With certain Auto Club Speedway finishes – outlined below – they will join #18-Kyle Busch and #99-Carl Edwards, who have already secured spots in the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup. To clinch a Chase spot, a driver needs to leave Auto Club Speedway with a 196-point lead over 13th place.
      Dale Earnhardt Jr. is currently 350 points ahead of 13th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Earnhardt will clinch if he finishes:
      • 40th or better
      • 41st or 42nd and leads at least one lap
      Jimmie Johnson is currently 348 points ahead of 13th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Johnson will clinch if he finishes:
      • 40th or better
      • 41st and leads at least one lap
      Jeff Burton is 274 points ahead of 13th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Burton will clinch if he finishes:
      • 15th or better
      • 16th or 17th and leads at least one lap
      • 20th and leads the most laps
      Six other drivers can clinch this weekend as well, but do not control their own destiny. Unlike Johnson, Earnhardt and Burton, all six must increase their current points lead over 13th place in Sunday’s race. Below are those drivers who can mathematically reach the 196-point margin over 13th position this weekend:
      #20-Tony Stewart: Is 170 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 26 points.
      #16-Greg Biffle: Is 141 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 55 points.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: Is 129 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 67 points.
      #24-Jeff Gordon: Is 108 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 88 points.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Is 78 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 118 points.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: Is 57 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 139 points.
      #07-Clint Bowyer, currently 12th in the series standings, cannot clinch a Chase position at Auto Club Speedway under any scenario, assuming #6-David Ragan starts Sunday’s race.(NASCAR PR)(8-26-2008) Comment here

    • Bristol TV Ratings down: ESPN's live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway earned a 3.5 household coverage rating, down from a 4.1 for last year's telecast on ESPN. Viewers were 4,996,647, down 13% from 5,735,433 in 2007. Coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol on ESPN earned a 1.4 household coverage rating, down from a 1.5 for last year's race that aired on ESPN2. Viewers were 1,748,983, down 12% from 1,993,590 in 2007.(ESPN), see other races and 2008 TV Ratings on my 2008 TV Ratings page.(8-26-2008) Comment here

    • Budweiser Shootout format/rules announced UPDATE: The 2009 Budweiser Shootout will see changes in driver eligibility and race format. Officials from Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR and Anheuser-Busch will outline the changes in a press conference today. Since the race started in 1979, the field has been restricted to pole-sitters from the previous season and past event winners. With the Coors beer brand now sponsoring NASCAR's pole awards, Budweiser wanted to change the eligibility requirements for the Shootout. The Shootout will remain an invitation-only, non-points, sprint event but will see several tweaks.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-26-2008)
      UPDATE: The 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona will have a new format that puts more emphasis on the series’ four manufacturers – and the same star-power appeal that has become a season-opening tradition for the Sprint Cup Series and its fans. The 31st annual season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway will be held on Saturday night, Feb. 7, with a field of 24 cars representing the top teams from Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota that will showcase the close competition in NASCAR’s premier series. That lineup will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer, based on the final 2008 car owner points [NOT driver points]. The race distance will be increased from 70 laps to 75 (187.5 miles) on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The race will have two segments, of 25 and 50 laps. Both green- and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments, there will be a 10-minute pit stop at which time teams will pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular Sprint Cup event. All work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted. Starting positions will again be determined by a blind draw, at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Thursday night, Feb. 5, on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4. The Budweiser Shootout – a “non-points” event for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors – was first held in 1979, and originally known as the Busch Clash. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won this year’s shootout.(NASCAR)
      as things stand after Bristol, these are the 24 drivers
      (based on current CAR OWNER points)
      Chevy: #88-Earnhardt Jr, #48-Johnson, #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #07-Mears
      Dodge: #9-Kahne, #12-Penske Racing, #2-Busch, #19-Sadler, #42-Montoya, #43-Labonte
      Ford: #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #6-Ragan, #26-McMurray, #28-Kvapil?
      Toyota: #18-Busch, #20-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #83-Vickers, #44-Waltrip Racing, #55-Waltrip.
      So no #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #33-Bowyer?
      (8-26-2008) Comment here

    • Chip Ganassi comments on Sorenson: Chip Ganassi, Team Owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: "After much internal discussion over the last few months we agreed that parting ways with Reed was the right decision for all of us. The business side of sports is never easy and this was just a business decision that was made on both our parts. We wish Reed nothing but the best."(CGWFS PR)(8-26-2008)

    • Sorenson to GEM? UPDATE 3 confirmed: during the radio broadcast of qualifying for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, PRN's Doug Rice reported that there are reports that #41-Reed Sorenson could be headed to Gillett Evernham Motorsports. When asked, Sorenson was evasive but didn't deny the rumor. Later in the broadcast it was mentioned Sorenson could be headed to a 4th GEM team or could replace Patrick Carpentier in the #10 GEM Dodge.(8-22-2008)
      UPDATE: Reed Sorenson isn’t exactly pleased with how his Chip Ganassi Racing team is running but he said he is still deciding what to do in 2009. Sorenson reportedly is being wooed by Gillett Evernham Motorsports. “Nothing’s happened yet,” Sorenson said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I don’t really have anything to talk about right now. I don’t have anything [firm] right now. Stuff is going on but nothing has happened yet.” Sorenson said he expects things to get solidified for 2009 in the next month. “I’ve been here for five years, and obviously we’re not running where we should be – that goes for all of us, whether it be Chip [Ganassi], Juan [Pablo Montoya] or me or the crew chiefs,” said Sorenson, who has competed in Cup the last three seasons with Ganassi. “Everybody is kind of discouraged on how we are running. We’re testing every week just trying to get it better. We seem to be struggling trying to do that. I’ve got a lot of time built into this company. It means a lot to me. Target means a lot to me. I like everything. It’s just we’ve got to figure out how to run better.” If Sorenson went to GEM, he likely wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500. “I don’t think anybody wants to go to Daytona outside the top 35,” Sorenson said. “That’s not something you want to do. I’ve never been in that position. I don’t think I want to be in that position.”(SceneDaily)
      AND Reed Sorenson is apparently moving to Gillett Evernham Motorsports next season, multiple sources at Bristol Motor Speedway said on Friday. But where that leaves rookie Patrick Carpentier is unclear, as the team may release him or add a fourth car. No word yet on Sorenson’s replacement at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, a team that like many in the garage is fighting sponsor woes with Texaco definitely gone and Target rumored to be leaving, too.(Ford Racing)(8-23-2008)
      UPDATE 2: Reed Sorenson appears headed to Gillett Evernham Motorsports to drive the #10 car next year, according to Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates. Sorenson, in his third year in Sprint Cup with the Ganassi team, said Friday that he did not have anything done yet for 2009, and Chip Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said in a phone interview earlier in the day that they were still in talks with Sorenson. “From my point of view, his contract is over,” Sabates said. “I think Reed is today as good as he’s ever going to be. If somebody else wants to put him in a car, fine with us. We have a pretty good idea that he’s going to drive the 10 car. I wish him good luck.” A spokesman for Gillett Evernham Motorsports said the team had no comment. Patrick Carpentier currently is the driver of the #10 Dodge.(SceneDaily)(8-24-2008)
      UPDATE 3: Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced today that Reed Sorenson has signed a multi-year contract to join the team for the 2009 Sprint Cup season and beyond. "I'm pretty pumped up about this," said Sorenson who started racing at age six before winning 250 quarter midget races and 84 Legends races. I can't wait to get in their cars, I really believe in what they are doing with their program with all their wins and poles this year. Ray Evernham and the Gilletts are going to give us the equipment we need to go out and be a contender each weekend and eventually race for a championship."
      "We will announce Reed's sponsorships and car number in the near future," said Tom Reddin, CEO of GEM. "He is a highly marketable young driver who knows how to win races, and has a long career full of promise ahead of him."(GEM PR)(8-26-2008) Comment here

    • Edwards gives MIS trophy to wheelchair-bound teen: A wheelchair-bound Michigan teen got a special gift from one of his heroes over the weekend. Pat and Teresa Byrnes took their son Cody to the Michigan International Speedway so he could see his favorite driver, #99-Carl Edwards, race. "Carl happened to be walking by and we gave him a thumbs up and Cody gave him a thumbs up and he saw his flag waiving on the back of Cody's chair. And so he stopped, turned around and came back and he came over and he signed his wheelchair and he signed his shirt," said Teresa Byrnes. The Byrnes were already excited that Cody got to meet his hero, but they weren't prepared for what Carl Edwards told Cody next. "He looked at him and he said, 'Hey buddy, I'll tell you, if I win that trophy today, now that's if I win, I'll give you that trophy'," Teresa recalled. The Byrnes say they began to realize Edwards could win the race when he moved from the 27th spot to first place in about 60 laps. Pat Byrnes says that's the most nervous he's ever been during a race. Edwards did win that race. Carl Edwards signed the trophy for Cody with the initials NGU, which means never give up. "Cody, everyday he wakes up and sees it. It's like he's realizing it's really his and he'll get excited and squeal, for someone to work so hard to get that trophy and then to say, 'Here, you can have it'. That is the kindest gesture anybody has ever done," said Teresa.( Comment here

    • Robby to visit military base, run special scheme at RIR: Robby Gordon will visit soldiers assigned to the Warrior in Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Lee, VA on behalf of Operation Homefront Thursday, September 4. The visit coincides with Jim Beam's efforts to help increase awareness of Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance and morale to U.S. troops and their families. Additionally, the #7 Jim Beam Dodge will sport a special red, white and blue paint scheme featuring Operation Homefront under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. Jim Beam formed an association with Operation Homefront earlier this year when it recognized the organization had the same commitment and values as the Jim Beam brand - true character, integrity and doing the right thing. Gordon will arrive at Fort Lee, Thursday, September 4 at 1:15pm and will begin signing autographs at 1:30pm. The visit to the Warriors in Transition Unit will take place at 2:30pm.(Jim Beam Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(8-26-2008)

    • Testing at Milwaukee: DEI is among the Sprint Cup Series teams testing today, Tuesday, August 26 at The Milwaukee Mile. Wisconsin native #15-Paul Menard and teammates #01-Regan Smith and #8-Aric Almirola are testing today. Joining them are 'Cup teams Richard Childress Racing and driver #29-Kevin Harvick, Haas Automation with #66-Scott Riggs and Hendrick Motorspors with #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Grandstands open, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(The Milwaukee Mile PR)(8-26-2008)

    • Kyle Busch wins at Milwaukee: Kyle Busch notched his name to the prestigious list of winners at the legendary Milwaukee Mile by driving to his first career victory at the facility Sunday afternoon in the “Wisconsin All Star 100 with Matt Kenseth” super late model race that co-headlined the Governor’s Cup Weekend. Busch fielded his own super late model to race against Kenseth and the touring stars of the ASA Midwest Tour. Kenseth returned to his home state to defend his victory earned last August in a 50-lap super late model event. Fresh off his second place finish in the Sprint Cup Series race in Bristol, Tenn. the night before, Busch arrived at The Mile early Sunday morning ready to race. He set the pace in practice, beat Kenseth for quick time in the 39-car field and started 11th with the series-mandated inversion.(more at the Milwaukee Mile site)(8-26-2008)

      News from August 25, 2008

    • JGR to announce new #20 driver Monday UPDATE 2 Logano named to #20 ride: Joe Gibbs Racing has called a 2pn/et Monday news conference to introduce Joey Logano as the full-time driver of the #20 next season, according to a racing source. The 18-year-old phenom will replace Tony Stewart, who will be a driver-owner at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. "We still aren't ready to come out and say here's definitely the plan,'' Gibbs said. "So Monday is our press conference.'' Gibbs also would not acknowledge that Home Depot will be on the car even though it has another year on its contract with JGR or that Greg Zipadelli would stay on as crew chief of the #20. But he did acknowledge that Home Depot has been a great partner "so we'd love to see that go on.'' Logano is expected to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond in three weeks [either in the #02 JGR Toyota or #96 HOF Toyota].(
      UPDATE: Logano will take the wheel next season of the #20 Toyota Camry Sprint Cup Series race car currently driven by Tony Stewart, the Bristol Herald Courier has learned. Logano’s move – rumored and dissected for months – was confirmed Saturday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the start of the NSCS Sharpie 500 by a high-ranking official affiliated with one of NASCAR’s premier motorsports manufacturing teams. “Joey Logano … next year is going to be the 20 car,” said the Toyota official, who did not want to be named because a Monday announcement is expected by Joe Gibbs Racing.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2008)
      UPDATE2: Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that The Home Depot will continue its sponsorship of the Sprint Cup #20 Toyota team in 2009 and beyond, and that Joey Logano, one of the sport’s brightest emerging stars, will take over the duties behind the wheel of one of NASCAR’s most successful race teams. Logano will make his NASCAR Spirit Cup series debut on Sept. 6 at Richmond International Raceway in a Home Depot sponsored car featuring a reverse color scheme and bearing the #02. In addition, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Toyota Sprint Cup Series for the past 10 years, will remain atop the pit box as Logano’s crew chief. See the full PR on my #20 Team News and Links page.(Joe Gibbs Racing site), see an image of the #02 Hme Depot car on my #02 Team Schemes page.(8-25-2008) Comment here

    • New Hire by Roush Fenway Racing: Fenway Sports Group (FSG), a premier sports marketing agency that specializes in representation, sponsorship sales, event marketing and strategic marketing consulting, announced it has appointed Brian Corcoran as Executive Vice President, Business Development & Motorsports. Corcoran will oversee day-to-day operations for FSG's NASCAR division which includes Roush Fenway Racing and Yates Racing. He is tasked with identifying and developing new sponsor and revenue opportunities for both teams. Corcoran comes to FSG after spending the last six years as Managing Director, Corporate Marketing for NASCAR. He was instrumental in securing Nextel Communications as the entitlement partner of the Nextel Cup Series and Nationwide Insurance as lead sponsor of NASCAR's secondary circuit which is often compared to Triple-A baseball. Corcoran also played key roles in securing new sponsors, including Enterprise, Office Depot, AMD, TISSOT, AutoZone and Domino's Pizza. In February 2007, FSG purchased 50 percent stake in Roush Racing, one of NASCAR's largest and most successful teams, to form Roush Fenway Racing (RFR). The team fields five cars in the Sprint Cup Series and currently has three drivers, Carl Edwards (2nd), Greg Biffle (7th) and Matt Kenseth (10th) in the Chase for the Cup and four drivers in the top 13 in Cup standings with David Ragan currently in 13th place. This merger marked the first time that owners of a professional franchise in one of the four major leagues have partnered with a NASCAR team. Through RFR, FSG also provides marketing and sponsorship services to Yates Racing.(PR)(8-25-2008)

    • Yates plans to run two teams in 2009: Team owner Doug Yates is still seeking sponsors for #28-Travis Kvapil and #38-David Gilliand for 2009. The Yates teams are 24th and 26th in the owner standings and have pieced together partial sponsorships throughout this season. “Hopefully we can nail some things down where we can make some announcements,” Yates said. “It’s come a long ways. I think it’s looking a lot better. We’re trying to selling our teams with our drivers in place. That’s our primary objective. They have done a nice job for us this year and we are working on building some quality teams here.” Yates indicated that the team has had conversations with Paul Menard, who could bring the family sponsorship from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Menard said Friday that he has not made a decision on next year. Yates said Saturday that his organization’s focus right now is on Kvapil and Gilliland. “That [Menard deal] is something that a lot of people have looked at,” Yates said. “Our primary objective is to sell what we have now and we’ll see how it unfolds.” Yates said the goal is to have two cars again next year. “We pieced it together this year and made it happen,” Yates said. “Hopefully we can solidify some stuff, and even if we don’t get two fully solid, we feel if we can get close to that, we can keep it going.”(SceneDaily)(8-25-2008) Comment here

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