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MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
SEPTEMBER 1-7, 2008
News from September 7, 2008
- Dodge not to support Truck Series in 2009: The struggles in the U.S. automobile sales market are trickling down to racing, with the latest blow coming to the Truck Series. Dodge will not provide any financial support to any teams in the series in 2009, Dodge Motorsports senior manager Mike Delahanty said. "We'll have no factory-funded teams," Delahanty told ESPN.com. Delahanty said the manufacturer's involvement with the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series is unaffected. See the full story on my Truck Series site.(9-7-2008)
- Johnson wins at Richmond: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, after the race was delayed a day due to tropical storm Hanna. #48-Johnson won for the 2nd race in a row, 4th win of the season for Johnson and 37th of his career. #20-Stewart finished 2nd [and was not happy he didn't win], followed by #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #8-Martin, #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #44-Reutimann [ties his career best from last weekend] and #2-Busch. #07-Bowyer finished 12th and beat #9-Kahne [19th] and #6-Ragan [32nd], to grab the final spot in The Chase. There were 22 lead changes among 10 drivers and 14 cautions for 71 caution laps.
For race results, awards and more, see my Richmond Race Results Awards Page.(9-7-2008)
- September 16, 2007's Cup race at New Hampshire was the first time all 43 cars that started a Cup race finished it since NASCAR mandated the 43-car rule in 1998.
UPDATE: and on September 7, 2008, the Cup race at Richmond was the 2nd race that all 43 cars that started a Cup race finished it since NASCAR mandated the 43-car rule in 1998.(9-7-2008)
- Race Fast Facts - Richmond:
Jimmie Johnson won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, his 37th victory in 245 Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his fourth victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2008.
This is his third victory and fourth top-10 finish in 14 races at Richmond.
Tony Stewart (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 20 races at Richmond. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2008.
Denny Hamlin (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Richmond.
Michael McDowell (20th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 207 points over Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-7-2008)
- UNOFFICAL Chase Drivers Points Standings [after Richmond race 26 of 36]:
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 5040 [4 wins]
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5010 [1 win, 2nd, 3rd, 3-4ths]
5) #07-Clint Bowyer 5010 [1 win, 2nd, 3rd, 4th]
6) #11-Denny Hamlin 5010 [1 win, 7-3rds]
7) #31-Jeff Burton 5010 [1 win, 1-3rd]
8) #20-Tony Stewart 5000 [3-2nds]
9) #16-Greg Biffle 5000 [2-2nds]
10) #24-Jeff Gordon 5000 [1-2nd, 3-3rds]
11) #29-Kevin Harvick 5000 [1-2nd, 1-3rd]
12) #17-Matt Kenseth 5000 [2-3rds]
* lost the bonus for win at Las Vegas due to penalty
• To start the Chase, all 12 drivers have their point totals reset to 5,000.
• After the reset, Chase drivers get 10 bonus points for each victory thus far this season.
• Those new totals produce the Chase seedings.
• For drivers starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seedings are determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Richmond page.(9-7-2008)
- Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at New Hampshire:
#00-McDowell moves into the top 35 and RGordon is out
The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
31) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2029 +81
32) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 2009 +61
33) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 2001, +53
34) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1969 +21
35) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1959 11 points ahead of 36th
these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
36) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1948, 11 points out of 35th
37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1942 -17
38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1767 -192
For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(9-7-2008)
- UNOFFICAL Classic Drivers Points Standings [after Richmond race 26 of 36]:
1) #18-Kyle Busch 3878 [8 wins]
2) #99-Carl Edwards 3671 -207 [6 wins]
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3576 -302 [4 wins]
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3488 -390 [1 win]
5) #31-Jeff Burton 3384 -494 [1 win]
6) #20-Tony Stewart 3285 -593
7) #29-Kevin Harvick 3283 -595
8) #16-Greg Biffle 3280 -598
9) #11-Denny Hamlin 3235 -643 [1 win]
10) #24-Jeff Gordon 3221 -657
11) #17-Matt Kenseth 3132 -746
12) #07-Clint Bowyer 3116 -762 [1 win]
13) #9-Kasey Kahne 3047 -831 [2 wins]
14) #6-David Ragan 3039 -3039
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Richmond page.(9-7-2008)
- Who got a lap back on each caution at Richmond: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #77-Hornish, 38th
Caution 2: #44-Reutimann, 9th
Caution 3: #28-Kvapil, 17th
Caution 4: #45-Petty, 24th
Caution 5: #00-McDowell, 20th
Caution 6: #6-Ragan, 32nd
Caution 7: #99-Edwards, 13th
Caution 8: #43-Labonte, 21st
Caution 9: #10-Carpentier, 25th
Caution 10: #66-Riggs, 31st
Caution 11: #96-Schrader, 27th
Caution 12: #18-Busch, 15th
Caution 13: #45-Petty (2), 24th
Caution 14: #66-Riggs (2), 31st
- Richmond Penalty Report:
Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
1 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 37
2 #7 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 38
3 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 97
4 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 104
5 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 116
6 #16 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 123
7 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 164
8 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 165
9 #18 Too many crewmembers in contact with pit service area TE 213
10 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 228
11 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 228
12 #18 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 228
13 #78 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 229
14 #83 Intentionally causing a caution 2 Laps 296
15 #83 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 297
16 #21 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 316
17 #41 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 360
18 #15 Removing equipment from assigned pit area TE 371
19 #96 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 371
20 #41 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 371
21 #15 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 371
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)(9-7-2008)
- Racing Resources Says …
* Jimmie Johnson won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday. Johnson posted his 37th career victory in his 245th race. Johnson posted his fourth victory of the 2008 season. Johnson also won at Phoenix, Indy and the second California race a week ago. He posted his third victory at Richmond in his 14th start. Johnson has won three of the past four races at Richmond. He finished 30th at RIR in June. Johnson won the race from the third-place starting position and led 32 of the 400 laps raced, including the final nine laps.
* David Reutimann led 104 laps in the race, the most of the day and the most in his career.
* Johnson, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards combined have won the past nine races of the season (each has won three).
* Hendrick Motorsports scored its 10th victory at Richmond. Hendrick posted its fifth victory of the 2008 season.
* Tony Stewart posted his fourth second-place finish of the season. He has not won a race since Watkins Glen in 2007, 40 races ago.
* Jeff Gordon (eighth) has gone 31 races without a victory, tying his longest streak between victories.
* Michael McDowell, who finished 20th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
* The top 10 consisted of six Chevrolets, three Toyotas and one Dodge. The highest-finishing Ford was Edwards in 13th.
* All 43 cars were running at the finish, the fifth time in NASCAR history that has occurred.
* The 2008 Chase is made up of four teams: Hendrick Motorsports with Gordon, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Joe Gibbs Racing with Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Stewart; Roush Fenway Racing with Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Edwards; and Richard Childress Racing with Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton.
* Kasey Kahne (19th) failed to make the 2008 Chase, finishing 13th in the final points, 69 points behind 12th-place Bowyer.(ESPN)
- Rain out winners: so far in 2008, there have been six qualifying sessions rained out with the sixth being todays race at Richmond. In the six races run, all six winners have come from the top 10:
California, February, winner #99-Edwards started 9th, #48-Johnson started 1st finished 2nd
Bristol, March, #31-Burton 8th, #48-Johnson 18th
Michigan, June, #88-Earnhardt Jr. 3rd; #18-Busch 13th
Chicago, July, #18-Busch 1st
Watkins Glen, August, #18-Busch 1st
Richmond, September, #48-Johnson 3rd; #18-Busch 15th
- Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, #18-Busch got to choose first since he starts first [quals rained out] and choose the stall #1, #99-Edwards who starts 2nd took stall #17, the next with an opening in front of it and #48-Johnson who starts 3rd, took stall #5. See who took what stakk on my Richmond Pit Stall selections page.(9-7-2008)
News from September 6, 2008
- Sorenson to bolt early? Do not be surprised if #41-Reed Sorenson leaves Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates before the year ends. Sources close to the situation say the relationship between the driver and the team owner are, to put it mildly, strained.(Ford Racing), Sorenson recently signed with GEM to run for them in 2009, no word if it would be in the #10 or a 4th car.(9-6-2008)
- Carpentier to the #21? Len and Eddie Wood may be looking at signing Canadian Patrick Carpentier as their Cup driver next year. Carpentier is apparently out at Ray Evernham’s, and he’s looking for a new ride. “I haven’t talked to anyone and I don’t plan on talking to anyone until I get my cars working better,” Eddie Wood insisted. “But I do like Patrick.”(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2008) Comment here
News from September 5, 2008
- GEM sues Robby Gordon: Gillett Evernham Motorsports has filed suit against Robby Gordon saying the owner/driver of Robby Gordon Motorsports violated terms of a tentative agreement that would have sold his team to GEM for $23.5 million earlier this year. The deal, agreed to Jan. 29, was pending an audit and other due diligence from GEM, which could have adjusted the price.
If the deal had gone through, Gordon would have had a four-year driving contract with GEM that would have paid him $3 million annually plus 45 percent of race winnings as well as insurance and other provisions customary for NASCAR driver agreements – a package likely worth at least $5 million annually. Gordon also could have had a spot on the team’s board of directors. GEM would have acquired Gordon’s shop and property in Charlotte. As part of the agreement, GEM pledged to provide Gordon with all “racing infrastructure” and to support the Gordon’s car “in substantially the same manner in which GEM supports its most supported car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup” for the 2008 season. Three days after the agreement was signed, GEM and Gordon announced a technical, manufacturing and marketing partnership. At that time, GEM owner George Gillett, in an interview with NASCAR Scene, stated that he did not buy Gordon’s operation and was more likely to add a fourth car to his stable and hoped Gordon would add a second or third car to his.
“We categorically reject the allegations that are contained in the complaint, and the truth will come out if the case proceeds,” Gordon said in a statement released through his race team. “In the meantime, we think it is best to allow that to happen in the court proceedings rather than in the media. Therefore, although we have much to say, we won’t be making a further statement about it at this time.” GEM spokesman Drew Brown said the team would not comment on the lawsuit. See full story at SceneDaily or my #7 Team News and Links page.(9-4-2008) Comment here
- Grubb to be Stewart's Crew Chief in 2009 UPDATE 2: 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)
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)
UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart took a big step Friday toward upgrading the personnel at Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Darian Grubb will move from his role as engineering manager at Hendrick Motorsports to crew chief for #14-Stewart. "This is another key step in the equation of us getting on our feet next year and getting pointed in the right direction," Stewart said from the infield media center at Richmond International Raceway. "We've got a team leader now, somebody I feel very confident and comfortable with." "It's a very huge moment for me, everything I've looked forward to in my life," said Grubb, a native of Floyd, Va. "Just to get the opportunity with Tony, the capability he has as a driver and past champion, the future heading forward is very bright." Stewart has yet to name a crew chief for teammate #39-Ryan Newman. He declined to comment on whether Jay Frye, the general manager at Team Red Bull, would be coming to his team in a similar role. "When we have something to tell you, we'll tell you," he said.(ESPN.com)(9-5-2008) Comment here
- Richmond races postponed until Sunday: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway has been postponed from Saturday night Sunday, September 7th at 1pm/et. The race will be televised on ESPN. The Nationwide Series race, scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed to 6:30pm/et on Sunday, September 7th.(9-5-2008)
- Qualifying at Richmond cancelled: qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway was canceled and the field set by the rules book/owners points/race attempts, See the starting lineup on my Richmond Starting Grid/Qualifying page. #34-Raines, #09-Marlin and #02-Logano will miss the race. #18-Kyle Busch will start 1st with #99-Edwards 2nd.(9-5-2008)
- Latest Statement from Richmond International Raceway about postponed races: Due to inclement weather from Tropical Storm Hanna, NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway officials have announced all weekend activities, including tonight’s Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race, as well as tomorrow night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race have been postponed to Sunday.
The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled to start at 1:00pm/et. Sunday. The Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will follow the Sprint Cup Series race at 7:00pm/et.
All Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race tickets will be honored at the gate Sunday for the 1:00pm Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
All Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race tickets will be honored at the gate Sunday for the 7:00pm Emerson Radio 250.
Track parking lots will open at 7:00am/et Sunday. The track credential office, NASCAR registration, media center and press box all will open at 7:30am/et. The Sprint Cup Series garage will open at 8:00am/et.
Sprint Cup Series Hospitality, Suites, Pit Stop Club and Green Flag Zone will open at 8:00am. Sprint Cup Series TORQUE Club guests will also enter at 8:00am. Grandstand gates for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race will open at 10:00am. Sprint Cup Series Pre-Race pit pass access is from 8:00 – 11:45am/et.
The Nationwide Series garage will open at 3:00pm/et. Nationwide Series TORQUE Club and Suite guests will enter at 5:00pm. Grandstand gates for the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will open at 6:00pm.
The Three Days Grace concert is tentatively scheduled to run from 11:15 a.m. – Noon on the frontstretch on Sunday. Fans can obtain passes to view the concert from the track at the Chevy Fan Fest display on the Midway.
The Richmond International Raceway ticket office will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00pm/et Saturday. Tickets for both races can also be purchased at the main ticket office, Gate 40, Gate 80 and on the Commonwealth Mall, at the will call building, on Sunday. Sprint Cup Series tickets start at $80 and Nationwide Series tickets start at $40. Tickets for both races can also be purchased online by clicking here. More info about Park and Ride, Parking and more can be found at rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-5-2008)
- Hunt Brothers Pizza to Participate in Chevy Rock and Roll 400 The #70 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet will make its next appearance at the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Speedway Saturday, September 6. Johnny Sauter will steer the Hunt Brothers Chevy under the bright lights of “America’s Premier Short Track.” Hunt Brothers Pizza will serve as a secondary sponsor on the #66 car driven by Scott Riggs at Richmond as well. “The Hunt Brothers car has made some very positive finishes this season during the first year of our NASCAR sponsorship,” said Scott Hunt, executive of Hunt Brothers Pizza. “We look forward to improving our standing for the remainder of the season and sharing our brand with the millions of faithful NASCAR fans next year as well.” To celebrate their NASCAR partnership, Hunt Brothers is sponsoring a Free Fill-Up Sweepstakes. Through October 27, 2008, visitors to www.freegasfreepizza.com will have the opportunity to sign up for a chance to win free gas and free pizza for a year.(PR), see images of the #70 and #66 Hunt Brothers Pizza car on my #70 Team Schemes page and #66 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2008)
- Tire 'check' done at Dover UPDATE: #43-Bobby Labonte and #8-Mark Martin were the drivers who were drafted by Goodyear to perform what they both called "a tire check" for the company at Dover International Speedway on Wednesday [9/3]. Labonte and Martin each took to Dover's high-banked, one-mile oval throughout the day in single-car runs, trying to ensure that Goodyear chooses the best tire compound for the Camping World RV 400 presented by AAA that will be held at the "Monster Mile" on Sept. 21. "It's just about tires. Goodyear's brought two different compounds of tires for us to test," said Labonte. "The tire test sometimes consists of trying different compounds and constructions, but this is more of a 'tire check' just to make sure everything's OK with the tire." It is standard operating procedure for Goodyear to conduct a tire test at virtually every race track in preparation for a Sprint Cup race. "Goodyear does the picking [of drivers] and they do a lot of testing, so obviously they don't have me and Mark [Martin] do all of the testing," Labonte said. "They kind of pick and choose with these guys here and these guys there." And since Dover is one of the races involved in the Chase, it was no coincidence that none of the championship contenders were asked to participate. "They've spread [testing] around a lot this year," Martin said. "I think when you're getting right on top of the Chase that they try not to choose Chase guys because that might give them an advantage or something."(Delaware News Journal)(9-4-2008)
UPDATE: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company tested at Dover International Speedway this past Wednesday and confirmed a new right-side tire for when Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars race at the "Monster Mile" on September 19-21. Participating in the test at Dover were Bobby Labonte in the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge and Mark Martin in the #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy. "We made three long runs on each car during the heat of the afternoon, and were very happy with the results," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "Our goal was to provide a slight increase in grip without negatively impacting tire temperatures or wear, and we feel like we accomplished just that." The new right-side code (D-4186) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4134) that was successfully raced at Dover earlier this spring. Goodyear is in the midst of a busy testing schedule, starting with last week's visit to Kansas Speedway and this week's stop at Dover. In the coming weeks, Goodyear will hold confirmation tests at both Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 16) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 14), and conduct two large scale tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8).(Goodyear PR)(9-5-2008) Comment here
- Logano to attempt to make Cup debut at RIR: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at will mark #02-Joey Logano’s first career Sprint Cup Series start if he makes the field during qualifying Friday evening at Richmond International Raceway. This is a relatively new race car that has been tested by Logano, most recently last month at New Smyrna Speedway. In addition to Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400, Logano will attempt to qualify for one other Sprint Cup race in 2008 for Joe Gibbs Racing – the Oct. 26 event at Atlanta Motor Speedway nearby The Home Depot’s headquarters in Atlanta. Logano will pilot the #96 Toyota for Hall of Fame Racing in five Sprint Cup races in 2008, beginning with the Sept. 14 New Hampshire race. Logano will also drive the #96 machine at Kansas, Charlotte, Martinsville, and Texas.· Logano will make his 12th career Nationwide Series start in Friday night’s Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond. In 11 Nationwide Series starts thus far this season, Logano has notched one win, three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Logano will have Wally Brown as his crew chief in both races with the #02 Home Depot Toyota.(JGR PR), see a few images of the #02 Home Depot Toyota that Logano will run on my #02 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2008)
- The one and only practice for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over, the fastest:
#88-Earnhardt Jr. 121.327
slowest: #77-Hornish 119.011 and #21-Elliott 118.634
incident: #16-Biffle smacked the wall with the right rear and did slight damage to the car
See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Richmond Practice Speeds page.(9-5-2008)
- Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Richmond:
if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
#02-Joey Logano, 10th
#96-Ken Schrader, 25th
#21-Bill Elliott, 32nd
#70-Johnny Sauter, 34th
#34-Tony Raines, 35th
#00-Micheal McDowell, 36th
#10-Patrick Carpentier, 37th
#09-Sterling Marlin, 38th
if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
#45-Kyle Petty, 39th
#78-Joe Nemechek, 44th
#77-Sam Hornish Jr., 45th
See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Richmond Practice Speeds page.(9-5-2008)
- Richmond Tire Notes: Teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Richmond 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 Richmond earlier this season . . . with this being Goodyear's intermediate/flat track set-up, major NASCAR teams have a lot of experience on these tire codes . . . in addition to Richmond, teams in NASCAR's top-three series will run this specific tire set-up at Phoenix, New Hampshire, Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis and Milwaukee this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one-mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. The estimated pit window is every 100-110 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more notes, pressures on my Richmond Race Info page.(9-5-2008)
- Chase Stats going into RIR: 7-Kevin Harvick +160 and 8-Tony Stewart +138 are in great shape, 9-Matt Kenseth +109, 10-Jeff Gordon +102, and 11-Denny Hamlin +93 are in pretty good shape, and 12-Clint Bowyer +17 will have a long week. Bowyer's 10th place at California gained him 5 points on 13th place David Ragan (who finished 13th but led a lap), but he lost 8 points to 14th place Kasey Kahne (who finished 8th). Last year was the first year that a driver didn't drop out of The Chase at Richmond.
2004-Jeremy Mayfield roared back from 14th place and 55 points out to unseat 9th place Kasey Kahne with a dramatic win vs. Kahne's 24th place finish.
2005-Ryan Newman entered Richmond one single point off Jamie McMurray in 10th place. Newman managed a 12th place finish while McMurray bowed out with a 40th.
2006-Kasey Kahne went to Richmond 30 points out of 10th place Jeff Burton and 75 points out of 8th place Tony Stewart. Kahne stormed to a 3rd place finish, Burton registered a 9th, but Stewart saved Burton by falling to an 18th and missed the Chase.
2007-13th place Dale Earnhardt Jr. rolled into Richmond 128 points out of 12th place Kevin Harvick and 141 points out of 11th place Kurt Busch. There was no drama to be found that night as Dale Jr. limped to a 30th place finish, Harvick was 7th and Busch was 9th.
Clint Bowyer can land in his second straight Chase by repeating his May win at RIR. David Ragan finished 3rd in the September race last year and Kasey Kahne won the spring race in 2005 and got a 3rd in the fall race in 2006.
CLINCH SCENARIOS[a little different then what NASCAR has below]
(need a 196 point advantage over 13th place going into Richmond)
1—Kyle Busch, +783, clinched at Michigan
2—Carl Edwards, +575, clinched at Bristol
3—Jimmie Johnson, +414, clinched at California
4—Dale Jr,, +351, clinched at California
5—Jeff Burton, +262, clinched at California
6—Greg Biffle, +187, only needs to start Richmond
7—Kevin Harvick, +160, needs to finish 42nd
8—Tony Stewart, +138, needs to finish 35th
9—Matt Kenseth, +109, needs to finish 25th
10—Jeff Gordon, +102, needs to finish 23rd
11—Denny Hamlin, +93, needs to finish 20th
12—Clint Bowyer, +17, needs to win [or finish ahead of Kahne & Ragan]
See more on my Chase Stats after California page.(9-5-2008)
News from September 4, 2008
- NASCAR agrees to purchase Grand-Am Series: NASCAR Holdings today announced an agreement to acquire the Grand-American Road Racing Association. The future move will allow for resource sharing between Grand-Am and NASCAR while both organizations continue to operate independently. NASCAR Holdings is the legal operating entity that includes the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and many of its subsidiaries. Grand-Am and NASCAR will combine marketing and communications efforts to include brand management, research, marketing and public relations. Grand-Am consists of six racing series, including the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, which has millions of loyal fans. The two racing brands will continue to independently sanction and officiate race events for their own series and there will be no change in management. Roger Edmondson will continue to serve as president of Grand-Am. The Grand-American Road Racing Association was established in 1999 and is based here.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-4-2008) Comment here
- Bono back for Truex Jr.: As the Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway for Saturday’s Chevy Rock and Roll 400, #1-Martin Truex Jr. has another reason to be excited: the return of crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and car chief Gary Putnam. Manion and Putnam had been serving six-race suspensions due to infractions found on the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy at Daytona in July. “It’s going to be great having Bono and Gary back,” continued Truex. “We’ve really missed not having them at the track and I know that they’ve hated not being there. Those guys are an important part of the team, and not having them at the track each weekend has been tough. The guys on the team fought through it as best they could, but that’s asking a lot of them.” Mike Greci served as interim crew chief during the suspensions, and Truex thanked him for his efforts. “Mike did a great job under tough circumstances,” Truex said. “He went from leading our Camping World East Series efforts to working on Cup cars. Those are two different deals. He worked hard and kept us focused. I can’t thank him enough.”(DEI PR)(9-4-2008) Comment here
- McDowell Returns to the #00 at RIR: Michael McDowell returns to his #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) after stepping out for three consecutive races for Mike Skinner to evaluate the Michael Waltrip Racing organization. “I learned a lot of positives from Mike Skinner,” McDowell said. “Mike gave me confidence that my feel for the car is correct, so now I need to utilize my practice better. It is important for me to chase a feel and not the board. Mike does that really well it doesn’t matter if he is running 40th, 25th or 20th. He’s still chasing what ultimately he thinks is going to race well. As a young guy and a rookie, you are always trying to prove yourself and how you do that is being up on the board. Sometimes I found myself just trying to put up a solid lap rather than what I needed to run 400 to 500 miles. It’s a balance. You compare yourself to your teammates and you compare yourself to the rookies and the other guys at your level and you are trying to be the best of that group.” McDowell has a new outlook reentering the .75-mile D-shaped oval thanks in part to Skinner and will apply the knowledge he gained from observing practices and races from the spotter’s stand and listening to his team’s communication while absent from the #00 Toyota.(MWR PR)(9-4-2008) Comment here
- Richmond Rookie Notes: #10-Patrick Carpentier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 31 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Carpentier took top rookie honors for the fifth time this season. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by one point (182-81) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 6 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings since the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, a span of eight consecutive races. Smith has captured Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in all four Sprint Cup Series short track races this season. The only Raybestos Rookie to win the September race at Richmond is Tony Stewart, who captured the 1999 Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Stewart scored his first Sprint Cup Series win by 1.115 seconds over Bobby Labonte. Denny Hamlin won the pole for the 2006 September race, one of three poles he won during his initial Sprint Cup Series season. He became the fourth Raybestos Rookie since 1975 to win the pole for the fall race at Richmond. The others: Dale Earnhardt (1979), Bobby Labonte (1993) and Jimmie Johnson (2002) are the others [all past series champs].(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos) and see rookie history, standings and more on my 2008 Rookies Page.(9-4-2008) Comment here
- Berlin City returns to sponsor the #10 at NHMS: Berlin City Auto Group – serving consumer automotive needs in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – will sponsor Patrick Carpentier’s #10 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge at the Sept. 14 Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Carpentier drove the Berlin City Dodge to the pole position at the Loudon, N.H. track in June becoming only the second Canadian to win a Sprint Cup pole. The Berlin City Auto Group, with dealerships throughout New England, specializes in the sales, service and parts for eighteen automotive manufacturers and pre-owned vehicles. The Berlin City Auto Group ensures their excellence in customer service with their Over the Top Care by Down to Earth People.(GEM PR)(9-4-2008)
- Target Donates to Hurricane Relief: Target is donating more than $300,000 in product for relief packages to support Hurricane Gustav relief assistance efforts, in partnership with the Red Cross. Target is donating product for a total of 40,000 relief packages, 40,000 emergency food packs, and an additional 10,000 comfort kits and emergency food packs. Target is also providing additional critical support to this effort by offering The Salvation Army a vacant Target store in Texas to stock relief product and providing the American Red Cross use of the parking lot in the Covington, L.a., Target store for their Central Command Center.(CGWFS PR)(9-4-2008)
- Kyle Busch Tops Tony Schumacher In Battle of Top Guns at zMAX Dragway: Kyle Busch and Tony Schumacher, the top drivers this season from NASCAR and the NHRA, dueled Tuesday at zMAX Dragway @ Concord to promote the upcoming playoff events at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In the coming weeks, the legendary motorsports complex will become the world's first to host both the NHRA Countdown to One with the Sept. 11-14 NHRA Nationals and the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 11. Racing identically prepared Toyota Camry pace cars, Busch and Schumacher matched up for a best two-out-of-three on the concrete quarter-mile dragway. The only advice that the five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Schumacher gave his opponent was, "Don't wait to leave on green." Apparently, that advice was more than enough, as "Rowdy" Busch beat "The Sarge" Schumacher off the line and onto victory to go up 1-0. Schumacher, ready for revenge, was a little too anxious at the start of the second race, red-lighting to give Busch the win by default. But a last minute amendment to the rules by Lowe's Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith, gave the competitors one more race, winner take all. Busch used a .102-second reaction time to again beat Schumacher off the line and onto victory with the best pass of the day, a 14.544 elapsed time and top speed of 97.33 mph. Afterward, Busch celebrated by honking the horn and feigning a bow out the side of the car window. Despite the loss, Schumacher was all smiles, joking that after only three races, "I already don't like him."(LMS PR)(9-4-2008) Comment here
News from September 3, 2008
- Stremme named 2009 #12 Driver: Penske Racing today announced that David Stremme, 31, will pilot the #12 Alltel Dodge for the 2009 Cup Series season. Stremme is currently ranked 12th in the 2008 Nationwide Series driver points standings after starting 24 of 27 races. Driving for Penske Racing alumnus Rusty Wallace, Stremme has posted five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. In April 2008, Stremme was announced as an official Penske Racing test driver and has accelerated the understanding of the new Cup Series Dodge that made its full-season debut in 2008. “We’re pleased to have David join Penske Racing as the driver of the #12 Alltel Dodge,” said Roger Penske. “His past accomplishments and current experience as our NASCAR test driver, as well as his character and desire for success, make him a good fit into our culture.” Alltel has been a longtime partner of Penske Racing, and the near-decade association between the two organizations has produced impressive results with 23 victories and 55 pole positions in Cup, Nationwide and ARCA. Stremme is only the second driver in Penske Racing history to wear the Alltel blue-and-white. “Alltel is proud to welcome David into our ‘Circle’ and have him behind the wheel of the #12 Alltel Dodge in 2009,” said Frank O’Mara, chief marketing officer, Alltel Wireless. “We look forward to having him serve as an ambassador for Alltel both on and off the track.”
“It’s an honor to join Penske Racing as the driver of the #12 Alltel Dodge,” said Stremme. “To be a part of Penske Racing’s 40-plus-year legacy has been a longtime dream of mine. I cannot wait to join my new teammates and work to get the #12 into the 2009 Chase.”(Penske Racing PR)(9-3-2008) Comment here
- Sad News - Ed Justice Sr.: Ed Justice Sr., the last of the three famous brothers whose stickers rode on winning race cars around the world and whose automotive lubricants and additives rode inside many a winning race engine and transmission, died Sunday, Aug. 31, from kidney failure. He was 87. Ed and his brothers, Zeke and Gus, had always been in business together, starting with a bicycle-rental company they formed while the three were teenagers in Paola, Kan. A friendship with an Amoco gas station owner named Bill France lead to their participation in the founding of a new sanctioning body named NASCAR. Their sponsorship decals were on many of the first NASCAR entries. The 1950 Darlington race saw the first "Justice Brothers" crew shirts, another innovation. That same year one of their sponsored cars--a Kurtis Kraft--won the Indy 500 with Johnnie Parsons driving. Race teams around the world continue to use their products. Last year, Justice Brothers decals rode on winning entries in Le Mans, Baja, NHRA, NASCAR, IRL and CART. Among others, Ed is survived by his son, Ed Jr. Justice Brothers today makes more than 100 products. You can read about the company and its history at www.justicebrothers.com. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, in Sky Rose Chapel at Rose Hills cemetery in Whittier, Calif.(Autoweek)(9-3-2008)
- Making The Chase: Berths In NASCAR’s Playoffs Will Shake Out At Richmond
Seven spots remain up for grabs in the Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup. Two Chase berths will be clinched once the green flag flies at Richmond. Both #16-Greg Biffle and #29-Kevin Harvick need only to start the Richmond race to clinch a Chase berth. So, realistically, five spots remain. While listing every clinch scenario would fill up uncountable pages (and hours), the below scenarios are the simplest. The following are the clinch scenarios that would lock up Chase spots for #20-Tony Stewart, #17-Matt Kenseth, #24-Jeff Gordon and #11-Denny Hamlin regardless of how any other driver finished (assuming there are no ties for most laps led at Richmond):
* Finish 36th
* Finish 37th and lead at least one lap
* Finish 40th and lead the most laps
* Finish 26th
* Finish 28th and lead at least one lap
* Finish 30th and lead the most laps
* Finish 24th
* Finish 25th and lead at least one lap
* Finish 28th and lead the most laps
* Finish 21st
* Finish 22nd and lead at least one lap
* Finish 25th and lead the most laps
After that, the points get tighter and the scenarios that much more intriguing. #07-Clint Bowyer is 12th, 17 points ahead of David Ragan and 48 points ahead of #9-Kasey Kahne. There are a number of different scenarios that could play out that would give Bowyer a Chase spot, but simply put: Bowyer can clinch a spot by either winning or finishing second and leading the most laps or third and leading the most laps.
Ragan is in a similar clinching position. Regardless of other drivers’ finishes, Ragan clinches if he wins and leads the most laps. Other clinching scenarios – involving certain finishes by both Bowyer and Kahne – also exist for Ragan. Kahne’s road is bumpier. At Richmond, he needs to finish 48 points ahead of Bowyer and 31 points ahead of Ragan to clinch a spot.(NASCAR) and see more on my Chase Stats Page.(9-3-2008)
- Calif TV Ratings down: ESPN’s ratings for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., were down from the same races a year ago. Sunday night’s Sprint Cup event earned a 3.9 household coverage rating with 5,637,651 viewers, down from last year’s 4.3 rating with 6,379,941 viewers. The race was the sixth and final event of the season to air on ESPN. For its six races, ESPN averaged a 4.12, down seven percent from last year’s 4.41 average for five races. The final 11 races of the 2008 season are scheduled to air on ABC while produced by ESPN. Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race earned a 1.1 household coverage rating and 1,433,645 viewers on ESPN2, down from last year’s 1.3 rating with 1,737,379.(ESPN), for TV Ratings by race, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(9-3-2008)
- Sad News - Mike Silver: Michael David Silver, 58, of 16 Salem Acres passed away Sunday, August 31, 2008. A lifelong resident of Buncombe County. He was Owner & Operator of Craggy Motors, was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Weaverville [NC] and former member of Newbridge Baptist Church, a 1968 graduate of Erwin High School, attended Montreat-Anderson College and was a Vietnam Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Surviving are his wife, Karen Elaine Rice Silver, of the home; son, Andrew Michael “Andy” Silver [Ganassi Racing] of Mooresville; daughter, Katie Marie Silver Hensley & husband, Michael of Candler; mother, Earline Arrowood Silver Ingle & husband, Bill of Asheville; mother-in-law, Lois Sawyer Rice of Asheville; brothers, Ronnie Silver [former Busch Series driver] & wife, Gracie and Terry Silver all of Asheville; brothers-in-law, Bryan Rice & wife, Margo of Asheville and Blix Rice and wife, April of Easley, SC; several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church of Weaverville. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Chuch of Weaverville (Missions), P.O. Box 247, Weaverville, N.C. 28787. See more at andersrice.com.(9-3-2008)
- Franchitti back to the IRL in 2009: Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced they will be adding former IndyCar Series and Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti as a teammate of the 2008 Indy 500 winner and current points leader Scott Dixon, as the driver of the #10 Target Honda. In addition, Chip Ganassi Racing and Target announced the details of their joint plans to take their partnership into its 20th season and beyond. Chip Ganassi, Team Owner: “It is going to be very exciting to have Dario in one of our IndyCars next year. I have always admired his competitive spirit when he raced against us and have really grown to see more of what he is about this season while he raced in NASCAR. When there was a possibility of an opening on our IndyCar team, the only person I thought about was Dario. This is going to be a great move for Dario and for our team. There is little in my racing career that I am more proud of than my team’s partnership with Target. We will be entering our 20th year with Target in 2009 and we could not be happier."
Gregg Steinhafel, CEO, Target:“We are excited about our relationship with Ganassi in both their IndyCar and along with Felix Sabates in their NASCAR operations, and we look forward to celebrating our 20th year with the team in 2009. This program has had tremendous success over the years, and we look forward to even more success in the years to come.”
Dario Franchitti, Driver #10 Target Honda Dallara: “Part of the reason that I signed with Ganassi last year was because of how many options that Chip has at his disposal for a driver. You can do almost any form of racing that you want. With unification and the new schedule having more road and street courses it made me think about this more and more. I have really enjoyed this last season in stockcars and have not completely closed that chapter of my professional career but the opportunity that arose was just something I could not pass up. I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one of those Target cars and be a teammate to Scott Dixon. Target is a tremendous sponsor and they and Chip always give you everything you need to win.”(Chip Ganassi Racing PR), so Franchitti will NOT be back in the Sprint Cup car full time in 2009 and he will not run any more Nationwide races in 2008 with Bryan Clauson taking over the #40 ride in the NNS.(9-2-2008)
UPDATE: Dario Franchitti will step aside the remainder of his 2008 Nationwide races to provide more developmental seat time for Bryan Clauson. Therefore, Clauson will pick up the majority of the remaining races on the 2008 NNS schedule, piloting the #40 Fastenal Dodge.(CGWFS PR)(9-3-2008) Comment here
- Humpy to be honored: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler will be honored at Carolina Speedway on Friday Night September 5th as the inaugural inductee into the Carolina Speedway hall of fame. The Belmont, NC native will be the guest of honor during the inaugural 'Hall of Fame 50' event.. The 50 lap Carolina Clash Super Late Model feature will pay $5,000 to win. "I promoted there in 1963 with R.P. Harrison Jr, who built it," said Humpy Wheeler. "I had to do just about everything, write press releases, prepare the track, get the change, deal with drivers and fans, park cars, whatever it took.I would give nothing for all that." The event will be the third round of the Carolina Clash 'Countdown to the Cup Championship Series'. This will be the first of an annual Hall of Fame race that will induct one individual each season. A special garden is being constructed in front of the main grandstand entrance to honor the select few. "I am elated at being the inaugural inductee, said Wheeler. "It is a great honor and privilege for me." The gates will be open at 5:00pm/et with racing at 8:00pm/et. To learn more about Carolina Speedway and the inaugural 'Hall of Fame 50' visit www.carolinaspeedway.net.(9-3-2008)
- Robby to visit military base, run special scheme at RIR UPDATE: 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)
UPDATE: #7-Robby Gordon, will visit soldiers assigned to the Warrior in Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Lee, Va. on Thursday [Sept 4], on behalf of Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance and morale to U.S. troops and their families. Gordon will also make a brief stop at the PX to sign autographs. Rusty Wallace, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and host of the nationally syndicated television program NASCAR Angels, will join Gordon on-site to salute U.S. Army SPC Joshua Grant of Chesapeake, Virginia with a car make-over. SPC Grant was wounded while serving his country in Iraq and is receiving treatment at Fort Lee while continuing his military duties. In its third season, NASCAR Angels focuses on how the racing and automotive care communities can help deserving individuals in need of a transportation fix.(NASCAR PR)(9-3-2008)
- More testing at Milwaukee UPDATE: Three Sprint Cup Series teams are testing, Tuesday, September 2 at The Milwaukee Mile. On track until 5pm are Penske Racing with driver David Stremme, Hendrick Motorsports with Casey Mears and Ganassi Racing with Juan Pablo Montoya. Grandstands are open, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(The Milwaukee Mile)(9-2-2008)
UPDATE: The Sprint Cup Series teams of Penske Racing with David Stremme and Ganassi Racing with Juan Pablo Montoya are testing today, Wednesday, September 3, at The Milwaukee Mile. Grandstands are open, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(PR)(9-3-2008)
- #07 injured list: After undergoing back surgery three weeks ago, Barry Sheppard, transporter driver for RCR’s #07 Jack Daniel’s team of Clint Bowyer, is recovering at home in Stuart, Va. Sheppard is hoping to be back to work when the Sprint Cup Series visits Kansas Speedway at the end of the month. Clint “Ratto” Almquist is on the injured reserve list after suffering ligament damage to his right shoulder in a mountain bike accident last week. Almquist, a mechanic and catch can man for the #07 team, won’t be at the track this weekend. Chad Haney, Bowyer’s car chief and catch can man in the Nationwide Series, will fill Almquist’s role on pit road.(RCR PR)(9-3-2008)
- Kurt Busch visits NHRA race: #2-Kurt Busch made his first visit to an NHRA event, the US Nationals in Indianapolis, the day after competing in the Pepsi 500 at California Speedway. Attending as a guest of Don Prudhomme, Busch quickly realized how monumental the moment was in his life. “I was walking with (Don) and I said 'stop for a second. This reminds me of the time that I walked with Roger (Penske) on the grid for the Indianapolis 500.' He laughed. He giggled at that.” Operating on four hours of sleep, Busch was wide awake to the sights and sounds of an NHRA event. “It's just a whole different world. I love it. I knew it would be about like this but, I had no idea the sound and intensity and thrill that goes through your body on the start finish line.”(competitionplus.com)(9-3-2008)
News from September 2, 2008
- AT&T Looking at ways to continue marketing to NASCAR fans: AT&T won't be able to sponsor the #31 Sprint Cup car of Jeff Burton next year, but that doesn't mean it will be nowhere to be seen around NASCAR tracks. The company is still weighing its options on how to market to NASCAR fans without having its logos on a car. "Obviously having to step away from the Cup Series, we’ve been approached by every other racing circuit out there – teams, drivers, racing leagues,” said Tim McGhee, AT&T director of national sponsorships. “We’re evaluating all of our opportunities right now." AT&T has spent significant money on advertising as well as sponsoring segments on the Sprint Cup telecasts. "We can’t do anything at the track, but we’re going through our 2009 media planning, and we did a significant media buy on Fox, TNT, ABC, ESPN [this year]," McGhee said. "I wouldn’t be surprised if we retained a presence on the broadcast because it does deliver a very desirable audience to us."(SceneDaily.com)(9-2-2008) Comment here
- Announcement of new drug policy imminent: NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday that the sanctioning body would announce an expansion to its drug-testing policy "shortly -- in a couple weeks." NASCAR currently tests drivers for "reasonable suspicion" and imposes some of the harshest penalties for failed drug tests in professional sports. France said the expansion of the policy will deal with the testing end of the equation but stopped short of saying NASCAR would incorporate random testing.(NASCAR.com)(9-2-2008) Comment here
- Roush Fenway's Ragan in running for UPS sponsorship: UPDATE: done deal? 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)
UPDATE: UPS has reportedly reached to a multiyear agreement with Roush-Fenway Racing to sponsor David Ragan and the #6 Ford next season, with an official announcement expected within the next two weeks. UPS will leave Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the 2008 campaign, after backing Dale Jarrett and David Reutimann for the last two years. Ragan is in his second year of Sprint Cup competition, and ranks as one of NASCAR’s most improved drivers.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-2-2008) Comment here
- NASCAR Prodigy Joey Logano on E:60 TONIGHT The next edition of ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine E:60 on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7:00pm/et, will feature a round-the-clock look at 18-year-old NASCAR prodigy Joey Logano – at the track, in the pits, on his boat, at home and at play. Starting in quarter-midget cars at age 6, Logano has been ahead of the competition for 12 years. Logano drives in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, where earlier this year he became the youngest winner ever in the series, taking a checkered flag just three weeks after his 18th birthday. Next year holds a bigger challenge for Logano as he will replace Tony Stewart in the Joe Gibb Racing #20 Home Depot Toyota on the Sprint Cup level. Still, Logano is a kid at heart. E:60 correspondent Tom Farrey spent time recently with Logano for an up-close profile of the young driver many in NASCAR call “Sliced Bread.”(ESPN PR)(9-2-2008)
News from September 1, 2008
- Jay Frye offered position at Stewart Haas: Longtime Sprint Cup Series team executive Jay Frye [currently with Red Bull Racing] has been offered a contract by Stewart Haas Racing, and is mulling a departure from Team Red Bull before season's end to accept a management position at SHR, ESPN.com has learned. Sources close to Stewart Haas confirmed Monday that Frye is the man they've targeted to run the organization's day-to-day operations. He is expected to accept, sources said, and would be titled vice president/general manager.(ESPN.com)(9-1-2008) Comment here
- Hurricane altering hauler routes home: As Hurricane Gustav bellows closer to the Gulf Coast, forcing millions from their homes, NASCAR hauler drivers are looking for higher and dryer roads to get them back to North Carolina on Monday. National weather forecasters upgraded the hurricane watch to a warning for an area of more than 500 miles, from Louisiana near the Texas border to the Alabama-Florida state line forcing the majority of Sprint Cup team hauler drivers to change their southern route home on Route 40 and head north.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2008) Comment here
- Latest on the #12 ride UPDATE 2: Marty Smith of ESPN reports that he was told by Penske Racing that Brad Keselowski [JR Motorsports in the NNS] was never offered the #12 Dodge [ride] Jonathan Gibson, vice president at Penske, tells [Smith] they've spoken with a lot of drivers, but made just one offer -- and that's to the individual they plan to sign. All signs point to that person being David Stremme, but Gibson would not confirm Stremme as the team's leading candidate.(ESPN.com)(8-28-2008)
UPDATE: Brad Keselowski said he visited Penske Racing last week but did not have an offer on the table to drive the Sprint Cup #12 car next season. "I just went down and said, 'Hi,' and checked everything out, looked at their beautiful building," Keselowski said Friday at Auto Club Speedway. "I only live like a mile from the place. I heard it's a cool shop, and I had to check it out." Keselowski said the Penske officials asked him what his contract situation was, and Keselowski said he was committed to JR Motorsports. Penske Racing is looking for a replacement for Ryan Newman. Penske test driver David Stremme is considered one of the candidates for that ride. "I basically told them flat out that I have a contract to drive for JR Motorsports, and I'm committed to it," Keselowski said. "The biggest thing is I've got a good ride. We won last week, so it has to be pretty good. We're winning races and we're happy, so why [mess] with that?(SceneDaily.com)(8-30-2008)
UPDATE: David Stremme doesn't seem worried at all about talk that other people have possibly spoken to Penske Racing about driving the #12 Sprint Cup car next year. Stremme, who signed earlier this year as a test driver for Penske to go along with his Nationwide Series driving duties for Rusty Wallace Racing, has been considered the primary candidate for the job the last few weeks. Stremme said that he might be able to talk about his future next week. "I don't have anything [to say]," a terse but polite Stremme said Saturday at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway. "We'll see [what happens]." When asked if he was worried about the talk that Penske's people talked with Brad Keselowski (Keselowski says he was never offered the ride), Stremme said he wasn't. "Talk to them at Penske, they probably know what's going on," Stremme said.(SceneDaily.com)(9-1-2008) Comment here