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  • MORE SPRINT CUP NEWS/RUMORS
    SEPTEMBER 15-21, 2008




      News from September 21, 2008

    • 1-2-3 finishes: Roush Fenway Racing had a 1-2-3 team finish, something that is not too common, see the list, from 1997 thru current.
      Last 1-2-3 Finishes
      2008: Dover, 9/21 - Roush Fenway Racing: #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards
      2008: Bristol, 3/16 - RCR: #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #07-Bowyer
      2005: Homestead, 11/20 - Roush*: #16-Biffle, #6-Martin, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards
      2005: Texas, 11/6 - Roush: #99-Edwards, #6-Martin, #17-Kenseth
      2005: Kansas, 10/9 - Roush: #6-Martin, #16-Biffle, #99-Edwards
      2005: Richmond 9/10- Roush: #97-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #16-Biffle
      1997: Daytona 500, Hendrick Motorsports: #24-Gordon, #5-Labonte, #25-Craven
      *Finished 1-2-3-4.(9-21-2008)

    • Biffle wins at Dover: #16-Greg Biffle won the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway after winning last week at New Hampshire for his second win of 2008 and 14th of of his career. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 2nd, followed by #99-Edwards, #8-Martin, #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #07-Bowyer, #31-Burton and #55-Waltrip. Other chase drivers: #20-Stewart finished 11th, #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 24th [3 laps down] and #11-Hamlin 38th [had rear-end gear problems]. #18-Busch, the points leader before the chase, lost an engine and finished last/43rd, coupled with the 34th at New Hampshire, has Busch in 12th and down 210 points with 8 races to go. There were 15 lead changes among 9 drivers and 10 cautions for 45 caution laps.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Dover Race Results Awards Page.(9-21-2008)

    • UNOFFICIAL Chase Drivers Points Standings [after Dover race 28 of 36]:
      1) #99-Carl Edwards 5390 [6 wins]
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5380 -10 [4 wins]
      3) #16-Greg Biffle 5380 -10 [2 wins]
      4) #31-Jeff Burton 5308 -82 [1 win]
      5) #29-Kevin Harvick 5289 -101
      6) #07-Clint Bowyer 5284 -106 [1 win]
      7) #20-Tony Stewart 5277 -113
      8) #24-Jeff Gordon 5272 -118
      9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5261 -129 [1 win]
      10) #17-Matt Kenseth 5223 -167
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin 5197 -193[1 win]
      12) #18-Kyle Busch 5180 -210 [8 wins]
      Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Dover.(9-21-2008)

    • With #18-Kyle Busch's last two race finishes of 34th at New Hampshire and 43rd at Dover, if the old/classic points system was still in place, Busch would had dropped out of 1st, 33 points behind #99-Carl Edwards.(9-21-2008)

    • UNOFFICAL Classic Drivers Points Standings [after Dover race 28 of 36]:
      1) #99-Carl Edwards 3978 [6 wins]
      2) #18-Kyle Busch 3978 -33 [8 wins]
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3916 -95 [4 wins]
      4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3739 -272 [1 win]
      5) #31-Jeff Burton 3682 -329 [1 win]
      6) #16-Greg Biffle 3660 -351 [2 wins]
      7) #29-Kevin Harvick 3572 -439
      8) #20-Tony Stewart 3562 -449
      9) #24-Jeff Gordon 3493 -518
      10) #11-Denny Hamlin 3422 -589 [1 win]
      11) #07-Clint Bowyer 3390 -621 [1 win]
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth 3355 -656
      13) #9-Kasey Kahne 3262 -749 [2 wins]
      14) #6-David Ragan 3227 -784
      (9-21-2008)

    • Race Fast Facts - Dover International Speedway
      Greg Biffle won the Camping World RV 400 presented by AAA, his 14th victory in 214 Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2008.
      This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 13 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 20 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2008.
      Carl Edwards (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Dover International Speedway.
      Michael McDowell (29th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 10 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-21-2008)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Kansas:
      #84-Allmendinger moves back in and #00-McDowell drops out
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      32) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2220 +98
      33) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 2195, +73
      34) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 2133 +11
      35) #7-Gordon/RGM: 2130 8 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 2122, 8 points out of 35th
      37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 2052 -78
      38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1877 -253
      For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(9-21-2008)

    • Dover Penalty Report:
      Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
      1 #2 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 1
      2 #38 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 13
      3 #10 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 13
      4 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 64
      5 #11 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 65
      6 #19 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 66
      7 #88 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 143
      8 #22 Removing equipment from assigned pit area S&G 144
      9 #10 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 145
      10 #43 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 158
      11 #38 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 158
      12 #26 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 163
      13 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 163
      14 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 171
      15 #77 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 173
      16 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 186
      17 #77 Excessive speed - Exiting pits PT 189
      18 #01 Excessive speed - Exiting pits PT 246
      19 #21 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 261
      20 #42 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 293
      21 #77 Safety violation MCI 311
      22 #2 Safety violation MCI 313
      23 #42 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 351
      24 #44 Car/truck pitting out of the assigned pit box OL 352
      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)(9-21-2008)

    • Gordon-GEM Lawsuit dropped - no merger UPDATE Penske Engines: Robby Gordon Motorsports and Gillett Evernham Motorsports today announced that they have agreed on terms for the resolution of the issues growing out of their former plan to merge the two teams. Disagreements over the merger led to the recent filing of a lawsuit to have the court determine the parties’ rights under the merger agreement. As part of the resolution, the lawsuit will be dismissed and the merger will not proceed. Management personnel for the two teams acknowledge that there were misunderstandings, but both sides acted in good faith throughout, and in the end it was circumstances beyond their control that caused the merger not to proceed.(RGM/GEM PR)(9-19-2008)
      UPDATE: #7-Robby Gordon will lease engines from Penske Racing for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season beginning next weekend at Kansas. Gordon has used Gillett Evernham Motorsports engines all year, but when the two organizations resolved a lawsuit Friday in which they opted not to merge, that also dissolved their engine agreement. "He's never leased engines before," Gordon said of team owner Roger Penske."This is a big deal for us. It's a great opportunity and we're just going to work hard to make it work." Gordon said he went to Penske three weeks ago when it became evident his relationship with GEM was at risk. He said Penske promised then to help out, and "one thing about Roger, he's a man of his word." Gordon said it is too early to determine if the deal could spill over into next season, but he didn't rule it out "if it works out for both parties."(ESPN)(9-21-2008) Comment here

    • Loomis Courted by Stewart-Haas UPDATE Loomis says no: Sirius Speedway has learned that Petty Enterprises Vice President of Racing Operations Robbie Loomis is now at the top of Stewart-Haas Racing’s wish list, as they attempt to hire a new Vice President/General Manager. Red Bull Racing’s Jay Frye recently turned down the job in favor of remaining in his current position, and sources says Stewart-Haas is now interested in talking with Loomis.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-20-2008)
      UPDATE: Petty Enterprises vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said he is not entertaining an offer from Stewart-Haas Racing. Loomis' name surfaced when Jay Frye opted to remain general manager at Team Red Bull. "All of my interests are to continue to do what I'm doing, and that is get the #43 back in Victory Lane," Loomis said. "All of my focus is here with Petty Enterprises." (ESPN)(9-21-2008) Comment here

    • Report: NASCAR dismisses two officials named in Grant lawsuit: Two officials suspended after an inquiry into harassment claims by a former NASCAR inspector have been dismissed. A NASCAR official confirmed their dismissals to NASCAR Scene, a weekly magazine. The two officials, identified previously by the Associated Press as Tim Knox and Bud Moore [NOT the former #15 car owner], are accused in a $225 million lawsuit of exposing themselves to Mauricia Grant, a former co-worker. Grant, who is black, filed the lawsuit in June, which detailed more than 50 instances of alleged racial and sexual harassment. She claims that she was fired in October 2007 for complaining about the way she was treated on the job after she started working for NASCAR in January 2005. NASCAR sent a team of investigators from its human resources and legal offices to Kentucky after the suit was filed. Shortly thereafter, Knox and Moore were placed on indefinite administrative paid leave. In court filings, NASCAR has denied Grant's allegations.(ESPN.com/Wire), see past news on my Lawsuit: Grant vs. NASCAR page.(9-21-2008)

    • Ex-technical inspector files complaint, claiming discrimination: A former technical inspector filed a complaint against NASCAR with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging racial discrimination, a hostile work environment and wrongful termination. Dean Duckett, who is black, said discrimination started in May 2001 and lasted until NASCAR fired him from his job in the Cup series on Nov. 14, 2007. Duckett told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would consider a lawsuit if NASCAR refused to offer him his old job back. Duckett said his problems started last Nov. 10 when he got into a heated argument with another official the night before the Phoenix race. "I said to him, 'I ought to cut you.' I don't carry no blades or nothing like that," Duckett said. "It basically came out in the heat of the moment. We got into each others faces but nothing happened. My roommate pulled me away and said, 'C'mon guys leave it alone,' and we left." Duckett said he apologized, made up with the official and thought the incident was squashed. Instead, he said he was called the next day to NASCAR's at-track office and was sent home. Duckett said he was fired by Cup Series director John Darby and human resources director Star George.
      Duckett was named in Mauricia Grant's $250 million lawsuit against NASCAR, alleging racial and sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Her lawsuit claimed Duckett was reprimanded and ultimately fired last November for using "aggressive language toward a white co-worker." Duckett denied harassing Grant, though he acknowledged NASCAR suspended him with pay for two weeks. Duckett was accused by Grant of dumping water on another female official to simulate a wet T-shirt contest. "She lied about that part," Duckett said. "NASCAR suspended me for that and I still don't even know why they did that." Duckett, who said he now works two jobs and is falling behind in bills, said Grant was mostly telling the truth.(in part from ESPN.com/AP)(9-21-2008)

    • F1 McLaren boss heads to NASCAR UPDATE 2: Steve Hallam, McLaren's head of race operations, is to leave the team at the end of this year to move to NASCAR. Hallam joined McLaren in 1990 after almost a decade at Lotus, where he race engineered for Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. Having helped engineer Mika Hakkinen to world title success with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, Hallam moved to a more senior role within the team's race engineering department. McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh has paid tribute to Hallam's contribution to the team. "Since joining us in 1990, Steve has become a senior member of our track operations team, doing a fantastic job," explained Whitmarsh. "He informed us of his decision to leave some time ago but, since he is totally professional, it goes without saying that we are entirely comfortable with his continuing his work with us until the end of the season. Next year we will all miss him greatly, but we nonetheless wish him all the very best in his new adventure." Hallam is to take up a senior position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Autosport)(9-13-2008)
      UPDATE: Another big name in Formula One is jumping ship and will be coming to the Sprint Cup series in 2009. While Steve Hallam is a name virtually unknown, in the United States, he’s considered the one of the leading engineers in that world-wide circuit and he’ll be joining Michael Waltrip Racing according to a highly-placed source at MWR who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Hallam, currently head of McLaren Mercedes Race Operations, engineered World Champions such as Brazil’s Ayrton Senna, Britain’s’ Nigel Mansell, and Mika Hakkinen of Finland. He leaves a huge operation with an annual racing budget, reportedly, in excess of $400 million the largest budget in the series for the two-car team. Hallam’s exact position is not defined as yet, according to the same source. Eric Warren will continue as vice president and technical director. An official announcement is expected by the end of the week.(Franckly Spreaking)(9-19-2008)
      UPDATE 2: One of the most decorated engineers in Formula One over the past three decades will join Michael Waltrip Racing this winter as Director of Race Engineering for the second-year Toyota team. Steve Hallam, a 56-year-old Englishman, will leave his post as Head of Race Operations for McLaren Racing and join MWR's NASCAR Sprint Cup operation following the conclusion of the Formula One season. Hallam has established himself as a respected engineer and manager of the past 27 years in Formula One, participating in 430 Grand Prix, winning five World Championships while working for only two teams: Team Lotus and McLaren Racing. "Steve is a remarkable asset for any organization and I'm proud that he is joining ours," said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. "He will be in a key position that will both allow him to learn about the NASCAR world while implementing the knowledge he has gained over the past 30 years in Formula One. This is another step that shows our employees, sponsors and all of NASCAR that MWR is serious about our desire to elevate our organization to an elite status in the Sprint Cup garage. Steve will galvanize the relationship between MWR and Toyota and ensure all of the tools available will be utilized properly. I'm ecstatic as an owner but maybe more so as a driver because I know I will feel the benefits of his work."(MWR PR)(9-21-2008) Comment here

    • Three Roush-Yates engines stolen UPDATE 2 - image: Thieves made a fast getaway after taking three NASCAR racing engines from a well-known race shop in Mooresville. Police say someone broke into the Roush/Yates engine shop and got away with three of the big Ford engines used by the team in the Nationwide and Truck Series. The engines are worth $50,000 each. "These are not everyday engines, these are NASCAR specific engines, you can't put them in a car, plus they are Roush Yates engines, very specific," said Mooresville Police Lt. Joseph Cooke. The engines were taken sometime Monday night from the shop off Mazeppa Road. One of the workers said he knew it was going to be a bad day when he came to work and saw a big hole in the wall. The hole is big enough for thieves to get inside, then open the door. Each of the engines weigh more than 500 pounds. They're kept on rollers and that made it easy for thieves to roll them into a cargo van they happened to steal from another race team. "They stole a Penske rental truck, like a cargo van and used the cargo van to load up the engines and take the engines away." The thieves dumped the van, but made off with the engines. Unless they are in the racing business, they may find them tough to unload. "Those are specialty items you'd have to be in NASCAR or the racing business to use them, you can't just put these engines in your car." If you can help Mooresville Police, call them at 704-664-3311, or South Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-658-9056. If your information leads to an arrest, you be eligible for a reward.(WBTV CBS 3 site)(9-18-2008)
      UPDATE: NASCAR team owner Doug Yates said it appears the thieves who broke into the Roush Yates Racing Engines facility in Mooresville, N.C., recently and stole three engines “knows the facility and knows the engines.” The break-in took place Monday at the shop located on Mazeppa Road. The engines, valued at $50,000 each, were built specifically for use in the NASCAR Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series. “We have security on the building,” Yates said. “But the area where they broke in, the motion sensor didn’t pick it up. If they had gone any further in the shop [it would have].” Yates said sheetmetal had been peeled away to allow the thieves to gain access to the shop.(SceneDaily)
      UPDATE 2: from the Mooresville NC Police - Case Number #2008004567 Issued: September 17, 2008 Issued by Lt. Cook: On the night of 09/15/08 suspect(s) broke into Roush Yates Engines and took three Ford 358 cubic inches Roush/Yates NASCAR racing engines valued at $50,000.00 each. If anyone has information related to the case or information leading to the recovery of the engines call Mooresville Police Department at 704-664-3311 or The Mooresville South Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-658-9056 for a monetary reward. A photograph of a similar engine is on my Engines News/Rules page.(9-21-2008) Comment here

    • Clauson to test Ganassi's #40 Cup car at LMS: Bryan Clauson will drive the #40 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge during the Sprint Cup test session next Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Clauson, who has competed in select Nationwide Series events this year and will run the entire season next year, could make his first Cup start later this season. Dario Franchitti drove the #40 car for the first half of the season before a lack of sponsorship resulted in the team being shut down. Crew chief Steve Lane remained with the team and will lead the test, while Franchitti has moved over to Ganassi’s IndyCar Series stable. Where the 19-year-old Clauson would make that first start is still to be determined, but Atlanta has been mentioned as a possibility. Clauson has spent time testing a Cup car at non-NASCAR tests.(SceneDaily)(9-21-2008) Comment here


      News from September 20, 2008

    • NASCAR Amends Substance Abuse Policy: NASCAR announced today it has amended its longstanding substance abuse policy to include random testing beginning in 2009. The amended policy mandates that all drivers in NASCAR’s three national series be tested prior to the start of the 2009 season. Team owners must also verify that all licensed crew members have been tested by a certified lab prior to the start of the season. In addition, NASCAR will test its officials prior to the start of the 2009 season. Drivers, over-the-wall crew members and NASCAR officials thereafter will be subject to random tests throughout the year. “We have made a very good policy even better with the addition of random tests,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “NASCAR’s policy has long given us the ability to test anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Random tests now provide us and the industry with additional information.” NASCAR’s substance abuse policy has always prohibited the misuse or abuse of any drug. This means that a violation of the policy can be triggered with the use of any drug or medication if NASCAR believes it has been abused or misused. NASCAR’s sweeping policy of reasonable suspicion remains in effect. Penalties for violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy will continue to be among the toughest in sports – immediate suspension from competition. Competitors that violate the policy will continue to be required to meet detailed criteria prescribed by NASCAR’s outside experts in order to be considered for reinstatement. While it is possible that a competitor could receive a lifetime ban for just one violation, a third violation will automatically result in a lifetime ban. NASCAR will continue to work with its outside experts at AEGIS Sciences Corporation and Dr. David L. Black. AEGIS, which has worked with NASCAR on designing and implementing its substance abuse policy, is the largest independent sports and forensic certified testing laboratory in the United States. AEGIS personnel will be responsible for the administration of all preseason and random substance abuse tests.(NASCAR PR), also an interesting article: Expert questions lack of banned substances list in new drug policy by David Newton of ESPN.(9-20-2008) Comment here

    • New look for the #24 in 2009: Jeff Gordon announced on QVC's shopping show "For Race Fans Only" that the primary paint scheme will change on the #24 DuPont Chevy in 2009. The primary scheme seemingly changes whenever there's a new occupant in The White House. Gordon raced the rainbow-themed DuPont Chevrolet from 1993-2000 while Bill Clinton occupied the highest office in the land. Gordon experienced his greatest career success in the rainbow car. In 2001, he changed to the fire and flames scheme and raced that for the next 8 years while George Bush ran the country. And now, the third -- and likely, final -- incarnation of the DuPoint paint scheme will be raced in 2009 and beyond. The new 2009 DuPont paint scheme is expected to be unveiled during the week leading up to the October 11 race at Lowes Motor Speedway.(Gordonline.com), am hearing the base color will be BLACK.(9-20-2008) Comment here

    • Goodyear to test twice at Indy in next two weeks: Goodyear will conduct a NASCAR tire test Sept. 22-23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, continuing its development of a racing tire for the 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This initial test on the 2.5-mile oval will feature one Sprint Cup Series car equipped with technology to gather data that will be used to construct tires for a major NASCAR Goodyear tire test Oct. 6-8 at IMS that will feature up to 14 cars. The 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2009 at IMS. Tire-wear issues in the first “Car of Tomorrow” race at IMS prompted NASCAR to call six competition cautions at this year’s event. “We’ve set a very aggressive schedule to come up with the right tire recommendation for the 2009 race at IMS,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of global race tires. “This is the first test of two we have scheduled for this fall, and our intention is to return again in the spring.” 2009 tickets: Ticket orders are being accepted for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, via mail or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.(IMS PR)(9-20-2008) Comment here

    • NC Auto Racing HOF to induct Parsons & Matthews: NASCAR's 1973 Winston Cup champion and former TV analyst Benny Parsons and legendary car builder Edwin "Banjo" Matthews will be honored Oct. 8 during the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremonies at the Citizen's Center in Mooresville, NC. Parsons, who passed away in January 2007 due to complications from his battle with lung cancer, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Matthews, who died in 1996 of heart and respiratory disease, will be honored with the Snap-on Golden Wrench award. Tickets for this year's induction ceremonies may be purchased by contacting the NCAHOF (704) 663-5331. The NCAHOF is a not-for-profit organization that supports Stop Child Abuse Now and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser.(NCAHOF PR)(9-20-2008) Comment here

    • Dover Tire Notes: Goodyear held a tire test at Dover with the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevrolet (Mark Martin) and #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge (Bobby Labonte) on September 3 . . . based on that test, Goodyear decided to bring back a different right-side tire than it ran at the track earlier this season . . . "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," according to Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales . . . the new right-side code (D-4186) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4134) that teams ran here before . . . teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Dover this weekend . . . in addition to Dover, this left-side code has been run with a different right-side code at Texas, Michigan (twice), Chicagoland and Kentucky (Nationwide only) already this season . . .unique among NASCAR's one-mile ovals, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Dover . . . air pressure in those inner lines should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 75-80 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see pressures, codes and more on my Dover Race Info page or see codes for each race on my 2008 Tire Notes page.(9-20-2008)

    • Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway, #24-Gordon got to choose first since he won the pole and took stall #1, #8-Martin who starts 2nd took stall #11, the next with an opening in front of it and #11-Hamlin who starts 3rd, took stall #2 right behind Gordon. Since there are only 42 pitstall, pitstall 39 will be used by two teams #96-Schrader and #43-Labonte until another teams drops out of the race and one of the teams will move to the open stall. Usually the driver who is running in the highest position will get to use the stall first. Of not, it is in the plans for Dover to reconfigure the pit road so there are enough stalls for all the cars. See who took what stall on my Dover Pit Stall selections page.(9-20-2008)

    • Happy Hour Practice for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #99-Edwards 151.656
      #16-Biffle 151.229
      #48-Johnson 151.089
      #17- Kenseth 150.647
      #12-Newman 150.634
      slowest: #96-Schrader 145.755 and #41- Sorenson 146.466
      Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 1:50 - 2:50pm/et and will be televised via tape at 6:00pm/et on ESPN2.
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-20-2008)

    • 1st Saturday practice for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 152.588
      #99-Edwards 152.278
      #16-Biffle 151.719
      #17-Kenseth 151.688
      #48-Johnson 151.668
      Slowest: #96-Schrader 146.466 and #7-Gordon 146.544
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-20-2008)

    • Allmendinger / Menard may be in different 2009 rides: Seats for 2009 are filling fast in the Sprint Cup Series, and two new names have emerged as possible job candidates. #15-Paul Menard indicated Friday he could leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season, and AJ Allmendinger is still without a new contract at Red Bull Racing. Neither driver wanted to discuss their future after qualifying at Dover International Raceway, but when asked if he was considering rides with both DEI and Yates Racing next season, Menard said "Yes. We'll let you know when we get to it," Menard added. Menard drives the #15 for DEI and the car is sponsored by his father's midwest-based hardware chain. The family could move the sponsorship and Menard elsewhere, and Yates is considered a candidate because it has both the room to grow its two-car operation and is in need of financial support.
      Allmendinger, meanwhile, has been in limbo as Red Bull decides the future of its race team now that former F1 driver Scott Speed is waiting in the wings. Speed is favored by executives for the Austrian-based energy drink maker, which invested heavily in developing Speed for Formula One. When he lost his ride in that series, Red Bull sent him back to the U.S. to learn stock cars and he's been very good in both the Truck Series and lower-level ARCA Series. It could mean that Allmendinger, despite marked improvement in the second half of this season, could lose his ride in the #84. Allmendinger declined to comment Friday on his future. Should the team not re-sign him, or offer him just a temporary one-year deal while Speed continues to develop, Allmendinger could look elsewhere and one seat still open is the #41 at Chip Ganassi Racing. Reed Sorenson is leaving that team at the end of the season, and Ganassi has yet to name a replacement.(Associated Press)(9-20-2008) Comment here

    • Kvapil gets a 2-race sponsorship: Yates Racing announced today that Academy Sports + Outdoors, a leader in the sports and outdoor industry, will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for the Talladega and Texas races in the remaining Sprint Cup Series schedule. The primary sponsorship will debut at Talladega Superspeedway on October 5th for Kvapil’s scheduled 100th career start in the Cup series. The sponsorship marks the first time Academy Sports + Outdoors has been a primary sponsor in any of NASCAR’s numerous divisions.(Yates Racing PR)(9-20-2008) Comment here

    • Almirola wins East race at Dover: There was a set of bookends in Friday’s Camping World Series East Sunoco 150. For Aric Almirola, it was the end of a whirlwind week. For Matt Kobyluck, it was the arrival at the top of a mountain he’d been climbing for a decade. Almirola won the race, driving home the #30 car that he took over from Jeffrey Earnhardt earlier this week. It was a drive-by win for Almirola in his first – and maybe only – Camping World series race. The driver will take over the #8 ride in the Sprint Cup series full-time next year. Kobyluck drove home behind an attention-grabbing one-two battle between Almirola and second-place finisher Marc Davis. Almirola said he found out on Wednesday that he’d be driving in the race, and was asked what he knew about the Camping World Series before race day. “Nothing,” Almirola replied. “I’ve watched, because I have a vested interest in it, because of working at DEI and them having three Camping World cars. It’s an awesome series. These guys race really, really hard. As far as who was who and who I could race and couldn’t race, and who I had to look out for, I didn’t know anything. I went into this completely blind.” Thirteen cars finished the day on the lead lap. Steve Park was fourth, followed by Bobby Hamilton, Jr. in fifth. Matt Hirschman, Ricky Carmichael, Jody Lavender, Austin Dillon and Bryon Chew rounded out the top 10.(DIS site)(9-20-2008)


      News from September 19, 2008

    • Next merger rumor - Ganassi and GEM? Since early July, Ganassi's future existence has been linked to a merger with virtually every multi-car team left in the sport. The car owner had lunch with Michael Waltrip at Daytona; immediately, rumors sprouted up the two were joining forces. Since then, rumors have swirled that anyone from Roger Penske to Robby Gordon was buying Ganassi out, or that the owner was looking to get out of the business altogether. Like Gordon's team, CGRFS is a prime target for any interested owner due to his organization's "locked in" qualifying spots (both are in the Top 35) as well as his race shop's prime real estate. Built in 2004, the top-notch facility was built right next to the Concord airport, and is just a heartbeat away from Charlotte for teams looking to move closer to racing's central hub.
      Speculation peaked on Thursday, when multiple sources told SI.com Ganassi was planning to join forces with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Gillett has been looking to add a fourth car since buying a 50% share in Evernham Motorsports last season. Rumored to be brokering a deal to buy Bill Davis Racing this week, negotiations on that side have fallen through. Bill Davis Racing officials had no comment on the process, but all indications are their organization is still up for sale -- just not to GEM. (A spokesman for Gillett Evernham Motorsports said the team won't comment on any merger speculation). That prompted a strong response from Ganassi, who told SI.com he adamantly denies anything's going on with Gillett. Ensuring SI.com he's here to stay in NASCAR for the long haul, Ganassi claimed in an exclusive interview he has no plans to merge with any organization at this moment -- with plans to run his two cars full-time in 2009.(Sports Illustrated)(9-19-2008) Comment here

    • NHMS TV Ratings up: ABC earned a 3.2 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating and a 6 share for its coverage of Sunday's Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Last season, the overnight was 2.9 rating with a 6 share. For past races and the season, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(9-16-2008)
      UPDATE: ABC’s First Chase Race Shows 15% Ratings Growth from 2007. ESPN on ABC’s telecast of the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup last Sunday from Loudon, N.H., earned a final national household rating of 3.8, up 15% from last year’s 3.3. The telecast averaged 6,098,377 viewers, an 18% increase from the 2007 race that also aired on ABC. One of the largest gains was in the Males 35-54 demographic, which was up 28%.(9-19-2008) Comment here

    • Drivers visit Walter Reed: Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and other NASCAR drivers and team owners visited soldiers Thursday at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They walked through the hospital wards and talked with the wounded, signed autographs, posed for pictures, and for Biffle, gained perspective. "Everytime I come here, it's a pretty overwhelming experience," said Biffle, the winner last week at New Hampshire. "This is my fifth year in a row coming. To see the dedication that these men and women have that have served our country and continue to serve our country, it makes you feel pretty small. Compared to what they have done and what they do for us ... its a pretty grounding experience, I think, for all of us." Busch, whose #18 car was on display at the hospital, said it was an honor to visit the men and women who allow drivers to perform on Sundays. "It's a great event that we are able to come out here and see them and put some smiles on their faces," he said. "And see that they are not only ready to get back at it, but they are disappointed they are not where they want to be." Following the tour of the hospital, Biffle, Busch, and other drivers including Ryan Newman and Scott Riggs signed autographs before a dinner event.(http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/nascar/cup/news/story?id=3596662)(9-19-2008) Comment here

    • Jeff Gordon on pole at Dover: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coor's Light Pole for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 157.061mph for his 3rd pole of 2008, 4th at Dover and 66th pole of his career [Gordon has won 17 races from the pole and is 4tl in All-Time Poles]. #8-Martin will start second and just missed the pole with a speed of 157.054, starting 3rd is #11-Hamlin, followed by #2-Busch, #16-Biffle, #07-Bowyer, #38-Gilliland, #17-Kenseth, #26-McMurray and #88-Earnhardt Jr. Chase leader #99-Edwards will start 22nd. The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #21-Ambrose, #78-Nemechek, #84-Allmendinger, #70-Raines, #10-Carpentier, #45-Petty, #00-McDowell and #96-Schrader. Missing the race are #34-Chaffin, #08-Sauter and #50-Barrett [withdrew]
      See starting lineup, qualifying results/order, pole progression and more on my Dover Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(9-19-2008)

    • Dover Qualifying Fast Facts
      Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Camping World RV 400 with a lap of 22.921 seconds, 157.061 mph.
      This is his 66th pole in 537 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third pole and 20th top-10 start in 2008.
      This is his fourth pole in 32 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Mark Martin (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2008 and his 28th in 45 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Denny Hamlin (third) posted his third top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his ninth in 28 races this season.
      Patrick Carpentier (17th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-19-2008)

    • Qualifying Order for the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #15-Menard, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #12-Newman. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #45-Petty, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #78-Nemechek. See the full qualifying order on my Dover Qualifying Page.(9-19-2008)

    • Friday practice for the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #24-Gordon 156.461
      #48-Johnson 155.952
      #8-Martin 155.844
      #17-Kenseth 155.844
      #16-Biffle 155.783
      slowest: #08-Sauter 145.891 and #96-Schrader 150.301 [in the backup car]
      no speed listed: #50-Barrett as he wrecked on his first lap
      incidents: #96-Schrader smacked the wall in turn 4, and will go to a backup car
      #77-Hornish Jr. spun off turn 2 and looped the car on the back stretch, did NOT hit anything
      #50-Barrett got into the wall, left some parts on the track
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-19-2008)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Dover:
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #70-Tony Raines, 25th
      #21-Marco Ambrose, 27th
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 29th
      #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 32nd
      #77-Sam Hornish Jr.,33rd
      #45-Kyle Petty, 37th
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
      #34-Chad Chaffin, 43rd
      if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
      #96-Ken Schrader, 44th
      #08-Johnny Sauter, 45th
      #50-Stanton Barrott, no speed
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-19-2008)

    • Bobby Labonte Lends “Helping Hand”: When West Virginia’s Pratt Elementary School needed funds to update its playground and shelter facilities, Hamburger Helper was there to lend a “helping hand.” Courtesy of the Hamburger Helper “My Hometown Helper” grant program and Bobby Labonte, Pratt Elementary received $15,000 to make some much needed improvements to the children’s park. Labonte was at Pratt Elementary today for the park’s ribbon cutting ceremony that re-opened the revitalized recreation area. The Hamburger Helper “My Hometown Helper” grant program winners were selected by a panel that reviewed applicants’ essays of 250 words or less, describing how the grant would benefit their community project. Labonte served as a guest judge that helped determine the winners. Over $200,000 in grants has been awarded this year, including Pratt Elementary. Other grants have helped communities purchase new band equipment, fund a tornado warning system, among other projects. Labonte attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Pratt Elementary this afternoon. The driver of the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge signed autographs and raced remote control cars against students and their families.(Breaking Limits/General Mills PR)(9-19-2008)

    • Gordon to run Menard's scheme at Dover: After regaining a spot in the coveted top-35 owner’s point standings last weekend in New Hampshire, Gordon and his #7 Menards Dodge team head to Dover International Speedway seeking to increase the gap in the tight points race and to improve upon their 19th place finish at the “Monster Mile” earlier this year.(RGM PR), see images of the Menard's scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(9-19-2008)


      News from September 18, 2008

    • Allgaier to run limited Nationwide schedule for Penske Penske Racing announced the signing of 22-year old Justin Allgaier to drive in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier, currently ranked fifth in the 2008 ARCA Re/Max driver points standings, will drive a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2008 and 2009 for Penske Racing, as he continues to develop as a driver.(Penske Racing PR) see more about such deals and development drivers on my Driver Development News and Links page.(9-18-2008) Comment here

    • Chase Stats/Notes: #17-Matt Kenseth's 40th at Loudon plunged him 97 points further back from the lead in The Chase, now 177 points out in all. In 2006, eventual champ #48-Jimmie Johnson opened 139 down in 9th place in the 10-driver Chase. #18-Kyle Busch has been fast from the first time he laid eyes on Dover Downs. He has five top 5s in seven starts, including a win in this year's June race and two second-place finishes in 2005. A podium finish would put him back on track in the 2008 Chase. #24-Jeff Gordon had a much better finish in mind for N.H. than the 14th he got, and now goes to Dover in 11th place, 99 points down and in bad need for a strong finish, like the fifth he collected at Dover in June. #20-Tony Stewart opened the Chase with an 8th place run, but Dover is a big challenge as he hasn't carded a top 5 there since 2004. #99-Carl Edwards opened the Chase with a rock solid 3rd and his last four Dover finishes are 2-3-1-2. #16-Greg Biffle made a great pass late on Jimmie Johnson and charged to his first win of the year at Loudon and his last four Dover finishes are 5-6-2-3. See more on the Chase Stats after New Hampshire page.(9-18-2008)

    • NASCAR Angel's returns for 3rd season: NASCAR, Magic Dust Entertainment and Litton Entertainment, have announced that “NASCAR Angels,” the reality program that fixes the cars and trucks of deserving individuals across the country, has secured a third season of production. New for Season Three, “NASCAR Angels” will be broadcast on Hallmark Channel, in addition to the program’s nationwide lineup of 200 locally syndicated television stations. “NASCAR Angels,” will premiere on Hallmark Channel, a top-10 rated cable network available in over 83 million homes and the leader in family friendly programming, on Sundays beginning October 5th at 8:00am/et. Goodyear Gemini, the show’s presenting sponsor for the past two seasons, has renewed its commitment to the program providing the help of its automotive technicians and products to perform amazing repairs on vehicles for the deserving families chosen to be highlighted on the show. The half hour weekly series is hosted by former Sprint Cup Series Champion and current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace and NASCAR.COM talent Shannon Wiseman. Nominations for potential recipients can be made by visiting www.nascar.com/auto/angels.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2008)

    • Petty promotes prostate awareness: Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty is a prostate cancer survivor. Son Kyle Petty remains highly involved in battling the disease through his Stay on Track for Better Prostate Health awareness program. Petty's "Prostate Inspection Pledge" is encouraging men to go for annual screenings and if diagnosed, to assemble a multidisciplinary pit crew of healthcare experts. Pharmaceutical company Sanofil-aventis is donating $1 for every prostate awareness pledge to the Prostate Cancer Education Council.(USA Today)(9-13-2008)
      FREE SCREENINGS: Depend, a Kimberly-Clark brand, is sponsoring free prostate cancer screenings throughout the weekend at the FanZone at Dover International Speedway. The Drive Against Prostate Cancer mobile unit will be open from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The screenings will take place on Sunday between 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Males who participate will receive a free T-shirt and can enter for a chance to win a VIP package to the May 2009 Dover race weekend from ZERO -- The Project to End Prostate Cancer. The screening consists of a blood test and does not require an appointment or health insurance. The test takes less than 10 minutes. Physical exams will be available if requested. For information, visit Depend.com.(Delaware News Journal)(9-18-2008)

    • Lowe’s Activates ‘Racing for Relief’ in Dover: In response to Hurricane Ike, Lowe’s and #48-Jimmie Johnson will be “Racing for Relief” at the Dover International Speedway this weekend to raise funds for the American Red Cross. Funds raised will help to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of Hurricane Ike and other 2008 hurricanes. As part of Racing for Relief, the Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of the #48 Lowe’s Impala SS. Lowe’s will donate $48 for every lap of the scheduled 400 laps [could total $19,200] that Johnson completes in the Dover 400 at the Dover International Speedway on September 21. In addition, if Johnson wins the race, Lowe’s will donate an additional $4,800. Funds raised through Lowe’s Racing for Relief will supplement an existing $1 million Lowe’s donation to the American Red Cross. More than 1,575 Lowe’s stores nationwide are serving as official cash donation sites to benefit the American Red Cross relief efforts throughout the 2008 hurricane season. Lowe’s will match in-store contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000. Since partnering with the Red Cross in 1999, Lowe’s has raised more than $17.5 million for disaster relief. Anyone interested in making a donation to the American Red Cross may visit participating Lowe’s stores, donate online at www.redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).(Team Lowe's PR)(9-18-2008) Comment here

    • Court file indicates NASCAR settlement in fatal plane crash: NASCAR has verbally agreed to a settlement stemming from the death of one of its employees, pilot Michael Klemm, after he and Dr. Bruce Kennedy were killed when a plane owned by the racing company crashed last year, court records show. The Daytona Beach News-Journal viewed part of the Klemm court file earlier this week before the file was sealed. A handwritten document in the court file reflected $2.4 million "wrongful death claim approved." Eric Latinsky, an attorney for Klemm's widow Wendy and the couple's three sons, would not confirm the amount, saying he and NASCAR officials had agreed to keep the settlement confidential. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, when reached Wednesday, said he knew a settlement was in the works but was unaware of the amount or stipulations of the agreement. "The purpose (of the settlement) was to make sure the Klemm children could continue their education and be taken care of," Latinsky said Wednesday. "It was a confidential settlement and one of the main concerns was, in light of losing Michael at such a young age, how would (the sons) be able to attend college in the future." The Klemms' three sons are 18, 21 and 23, court documents show.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-18-2008)

    • Last 2008 race for Interstate Batteries: The Camping World 400 at Dover International Speedway is the sixth and final 2008 event during which Dallas-based Interstate Batteries will serve as the primary sponsor of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that Kyle Busch will drive.(JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(9-18-2008) Comment here

    • Tire testing at Atlanta and Daytona UPDATE: Goodyear will test Daytona International Speedway with #6-David Ragan and #15-Paul Menard's Sprint Cup teams next Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 16-17). Goodyear's other scheduled tests looking ahead to the 2009 season include Indianapolis (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and Las Vegas (Dec. 10-11) other upcoming tests to confirm 2008 race recommendations include Atlanta (Sept. 16) and Homestead (Oct. 14)(Goodyear PR)(9-12-2008)
      AND the second Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2008 is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 with #18-Kyle Busch, #28-Travis Kvapil and #66-Scott Riggs as the test drivers. In preparation for the upcoming Pep Boys Auto 500 on October 24-26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is conducting a second tire test to ensure the preeminent tire is ready. Busch, Kvapil and Riggs will return for the second tire test for Goodyear at the 1.54-mile track on September 16. The session is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(9-15-2008)
      UPDATE: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway this week and tested to come up with a new right-side tire that will give Sprint Cup cars more grip when the series visits the track on October 24-26. Participating in the one-day test this Tuesday were the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Kyle Busch), #28 Yates Racing Ford (Travis Kvapil) and #66 Haas-CNC Racing Chevy (Scott Riggs). Those teams were selected because they also participated in a tire test at Atlanta on July 21-22, and Goodyear engineers felt that bringing back the same teams and drivers would maintain continuity and build upon the results of the first test. Using the results from that prior test, Goodyear returned with several potential race combinations to evaluate, and chose the one that worked best. "The spring race at Atlanta was the first for the new car on this track, and many people felt we were too conservative in our tire selection," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of global racing. "We have returned to the track twice for testing since the race in order to develop a tire combination that provides a higher level of grip under race conditions. Based upon the data and driver feedback at the test this week, we believe that we've found a solid package for the fall race." Goodyear's new right side tire code (D-4188) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4152) the tire supplier brought for the Cup cars to run at Atlanta this past March 7-9.
      Goodyear has had a busy week of testing, not only visiting Atlanta but also holding a two-day session with the #6 Roush-Fenway Ford (David Ragan) and #15 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevrolet (Paul Menard) at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Upcoming still in 2008 are two tire tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and one each at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 14) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Dec. 10-11).(Goodyear PR)(9-18-2008) Comment here

    • Dover Rookie Notes: #01-Regan Smith was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 14 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Smith scored a 23rd-place finish and grabbed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the eighth time this season. Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by three points (186-183) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 21 Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings for 10 consecutive races dating back to Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The 2006 fall race at Dover marked the first time three Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10: Martin Truex Jr. (fourth), Clint Bowyer (eighth) and Denny Hamlin (ninth). Jimmie Johnson is the only Raybestos Rookie to sweep both Sprint Cup races at Dover. Johnson won both events in 2002 and led the most laps in each race. Johnson is the only first-year driver to lead the most laps (four times for 170 laps) in the fall race at Dover. The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie for the fall race at Dover is third by Tony Stewart (1999), Brian Vickers (2004) and Kyle Busch (2005).(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see rookie standings, history and more on my 2008 Rookies page.(9-18-2008)

    • Barrett and the NOS Energy Drink Team to attempt 2 races at Dover: Coming out of nowhere, the NOS Energy Drink #30 car hurtled to a top-20 finish at 2007’s fall Dover Nationwide Series race. With that auspicious start boosting it forward, the NOS Energy Drink NASCAR program took off and raced forward into 2008 with a plan to be the leading energy drink in NASCAR. Now, with less than a third of the season remaining, the NOS NASCAR team revisits the track that began the journey last September. With a double dose of racing scheduled for the #30 and #50 cars, team driver Stanton Barrett knows that this weekend will be action packed. “I love Dover. It’s one of my favorite tracks, very fast and a good place to race” said Barrett. “Last season, we had a great first race for NOS at Dover - I’m looking forward to seeing everyone from NOS and FUZE out there supporting the team this weekend, just like last year.” Barrett has qualified very well at the Dover track over the course of his career, with two of his nine starts there in the NASCAR Nationwide Series coming from within the top-10. He’ll need to translate that success over to the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, as the #50 NOS Energy Drink Chevy will be qualifying with the group of go-or-go-homers near the end of the order.(PR)(9-18-2008) Comment here

    • New animated NASCAR TV Show planned: Fox has extended its relationship with comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, greenlighting an animated pilot presentation from Foxworthy about a dysfunctional family set in the world of NASCAR. Twentieth Century Fox TV is onboard to produce. Untitled animated laffer comes from Foxworthy and "10 Items or Less" exec producers Nancy Hower and John Lehr. Foxworthy, Hower and Lehr will write and exec produce, while Parallel Entertainment's J.P. Williams will also exec produce. Foxworthy will also lend his voice to the presentation, with other voice actors to be determined later.(variety.com)(9-18-2008) Comment here


      News from September 17, 2008

    • Latest on Petty Enterprises in 2009: frpm a Dodge Motorsports PR/transcript:
      Q: WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE FOR THE SECOND PETTY CAR FOR NEXT YEAR?
      Robbie Loomis, Executive VP of Racing Operations – Petty Enterprises: There’s no secret that we’ve been working our way through it since we took on our new partners with Boston Ventures and David Zucker – the new CEO. We’re still navigating our way through our direction. It’s obvious that we want to bring in a young guy with Bobby Labonte’s experience and try to build from there. We’re excited about this past weekend. We’re working a lot with Chad McCumbee and will probably take some looks at Chad this season for sure in another five races. We’re excited about where we’re going in the future with that…also excited about having the experience of Bobby Labonte on our side.
      Q: WILL KYLE (PETTY) BE IN THE CAR NEXT YEAR?
      RL: Oh yeah. Kyle’s going to be back in (the 45 car) this weekend in Dover and some other races lined up for him during the end of the year. We’ll see Kyle and I’m sure you’ll see Kyle out there next year. As everyone knows, with all the sponsorship dependent on how you put all these programs together, we’re trying to work our way through it right now.
      Q: IS ONE OPTION NEXT YEAR FOR PETTY ENTERPRISES THREE CARS, ONE WITH A LIMITED SCHEDULE WITH KYLE DRIVING IT?
      RL: It definitely is. We’ve had a lot of discussion on that in staff meetings each week. Dave Zucker – our CEO – is trying to put a lot of things together on the sponsorship front and that’s one of the avenues that we’ve talked about. If we could run a third car on a limited schedule – even if it is a minimum of five to seven races – it does help us prepare and get a little bit of information in our circle and also prepare an easier transition when we go to three cars in 2010 when everyone gets this economy rolling again.
      Q: AND A THIRD CAR IS CONTINGENT ON SPONSORSHIP?
      RL: Yes sir. 100%.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-17-2008) Comment here

    • GEM to buy BDR? UPDATE denied: According to multiple sources, a deal is in the works for George Gillett, majority owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, to buy out Bill Davis' Sprint Cup operation — including the #22 team, the Toyota affiliation, Triad Racing Development and their engine shop. While Gillett could not be reached for confirmation, Gillett Evernham Motorsports Vice President and Managing Director of Competition Mark McArdle told FOXSports.com on Sunday that GEM was searching for a fourth car with a spot inside the top 35 in the owners standings. McArdle would not elaborate on which team or any possible terms, but Bill Davis has made it no secret in the garage that he is open to offers. "We're looking forward to having a fourth car next year to help us with our current business plans," said McArdle. "That's where we stand. To get a sponsor, they want to know that you're going to be there to race on Sunday." Although a deal has not yet been finalized, sources say Toyota has approved the plan. Davis will continue to field a Craftsman Truck Series team and add a Nationwide Series program to his High Point, N.C., operation. Davis, who was attending the debut NHRA event at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., could not be reached for comment. Sources in the garage said that Davis' current Cup driver, Dave Blaney, inquired last week about rides for next season.(FoxSports)(9-15-2008)
      UPDATE: from a Dodge Motorsports PR:
      Q: IN SPITE OF RECENT PUBLISHED REPORTS, CAN YOU PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON DODGE’S DIRECTION IN MOTORSPORTS – IN PARTICULAR NASCAR AND GILLETT EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS?
      Mike Delahanty, Sr. Manager – Dodge Motorsports: I just want to respond to these recent reports regarding Gillett Evernham Motorsports – specifically regarding Bill Davis Racing and speculation that GEM would leave Dodge. It’s nothing but pure speculation. Dodge and Gillett Evernham have a long history that dates to our return to Sprint Cup racing (2001). Dodge and GEM have a long-term contract in place. We plan to continue as partners in NASCAR. We’re aware and have had discussion about GEM’s interest in adding a fourth car, but there’s never been discussion about running anything but a Dodge. Anything beyond that, we classify as pure speculation. We’re pleased to see the turnabout in the competition side at GEM and absolutely look forward to many more Victory Lane celebrations together.”
      Q: WHAT ABOUT DODGE’S COMMITMENT TO MOTORSPORTS…HAS IT CHANGED?
      MD: I don’t know how many times we have to keep saying it, but we are committed….we have long-term contracts in place…not only with Gillett Evernham, but with Penske Racing…with Petty (Enterprises) and with Chip Ganassi Racing. We’re committed to the sport. We’re committed to these guys…I don’t know how many times we have to repeat it.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-17-2008) Comment here

    • Ricky Carmichael to attempt ARCA 'Dega race UPDATE: Ricky Carmichael, a 10-time AMA national motocross champion from 1997 - 2006, will attempt to make his ARCA RE/MAX series debut at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3. Carmichael, a rookie on the Camping World East Series this season for Ken Schrader Racing, has been entered into the event at the 2.66-mile speedway by Kevin Harvick Inc. With three top-5 finishes and six top-10's Carmichael, 28, is eighth in the Camping World East Series standings after 11 of 13 events this season.(Hartford Courant)(9-17-2008)
      UPDATE: Two Talladega rookies, Joey Logano and Ricky Carmichael, were at Talladega Superspeedway today as part of a two-day ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Test. While both drivers have extensive racing resumes, neither had tackled the high banks of Talladega until today. “It’s pretty fun, I’ve had a good time with it so far,” said Logano. “This is my first time doing superspeedway stuff. I did some Proving Grounds stuff with the Cup guys before, but that’s the only similar thing I’ve been through.”
      “It’s pretty exciting,” said Carmichael. “Everyone was saying ‘oh we’re just doing single car runs this morning’ but it’s new for me. I’m having a good time. The guys at KHI (Kevin Harvick Inc.) are fast. I’m just enjoying it and trying to get as much seat time as I can.” Although Carmichael has competed at Daytona before, he says the 2.66-mile Talladega seems much larger than the 2.5-mile track in Florida. “My first thought when I came to Talladega was ‘wow this place is huge’. I couldn’t believe how much bigger it was, and I mean, I thought Daytona was big.” Both drivers are expected to compete in the Oct. 3rd ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 at Talladega.(TSS PR)(9-17-2008) Comment here

    • Allmendinger's future to be decided by end of week?: Red Bull Racing's driver, former open-wheel racer A. J. Allmendinger, has made great strides since his stock-car debut last season, although his future with the team is still up in the air. In addition, Team Manager Jay Frye has former F1 driver Scott Speed waiting in the wings. Speed has been nothing short of remarkable this season, winning both Craftsman Truck series and ARCA stock car races. He leads the drivers’ standings in the ARCA series. Speed will make his Sprint Cup debut this fall [at Lowe's Motor Speedway], and all signs point to him running a full Cup season next year. A decision on Allmendinger’s future is expected by week’s end.(Yahoo Sports)(9-17-2008) Comment here

    • Triple Duty for Johnny Sauter: Fresh off a top-20 finish at New Hampshire [in the #70], Johnny Sauter looks forward to a triple duty weekend at Dover International Speedway. Sauter will pilot the #08 FUBAR All Natural Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series. In addition, he will be behind the wheel of the #78 Chevy in the Nationwide Series and the #12 Dodge in the Camping World East Series. “I just want to race as much as I possibly can,” said Sauter. “Anytime someone comes to me with an opportunity to race, no matter what series or division, I’m all for it.”(9-17-2008)

    • Carpentier says he's a free agent UPDATE: 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)(8-29-2008)
      UPDATE: Patrick Carpentier is officially a free agent as the driver says that Gillett Evernham Motorsports has told him it does not have a sponsor for him for next season. Carpentier had been free to talk to other teams, but GEM had first right of refusal until Tuesday. GEM could still find a sponsor for Carpentier, but the former open-wheel driver believes that likely will not happen. GEM already has three drivers under contract for next year – current drivers #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Elliott Sadler as well as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Reed Sorenson. “We’re talking to a couple of teams, and some of them seem to have a good interest,” Carpentier said. “Hopefully we do [find something], but you never know in racing.” Carpentier’s business partner, Robert Desrosiers, said he was optimistic that Carpentier could find a ride with another team. “There are still some good rides [that] are available,” Desrosiers said. “We’re talking to all these guys. … Now that Patrick is free, I believe one of these teams will be interested in sitting down with us.”(SceneDaily)(9-17-2008) Comment here

    • Special scheme at Texas for Martin: The VAULT “Honoring the Uniform: Calling for Support” program will be highlighted as part of a special camouflage paint scheme on the #8 U.S. Army Chevy driven by Mark Martin during the Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 (Nov. 2) at Texas Motor Speedway. VAULT is the title sponsor for the pre-race show and is presenting a live concert by REO Speedwagon. People are encouraged to write messages of support on pre-addressed postcards, which can be found on special camouflage-themed VAULT 12-packs, at VAULT displays in participating retail stores or online at DrinkVault.com and MyCokeRewards.com, while supplies last. The postcards can be dropped in the mail with a first-class stamp and will arrive at a USO collection center for security screening before being distributed to U.S. troops during the holiday season. The VAULT postcard program replicates the popular service previously operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, which allowed the American public to send mail addressed to “any service member” for more than 17 years before being discontinued in 2003 due to security concerns. In addition to sending postcards, people can help raise up to $100,000 for the USO by visiting MyCokeRewards.com through the end of the year and turning the points they earn by drinking Coca-Cola products into a cash donation. My Coke Rewards points found under caps and on packaging of more than 60 products from Coca-Cola North America can be donated to help support the continuing efforts of the USO to provide a home away from home to U.S. troops wherever they serve.(BusinessWire)(9-17-2008)

    • Jeff Gordon Visits Capitol Hill: #24-Jeff Gordon will be visiting Capitol Hill on September 16, 2008, to raise political awareness of the life-saving potential of umbilical cord blood transplants. Throughout the day, Gordon and Chief Executive Officer of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), Jeffrey W. Chell, MD, will meet with key members of the House and Senate to advocate for increased funding of the C.W, Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and for full funding the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI).(Jeff Gordon Foundation)(9-15-2008)
      UPDATE: Jeff Gordon stepped away from his on-track duties earlier today [Tuesday, Sept 16th] to visit Capitol Hill. Gordon met with key lawmakers, including the House of Representatives North Carolina delegation, to urge their continued support of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). The NMDP, a nonprofit organization, serves a vital role in the U.S. health care system by facilitating unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants to treat patients with more than 70 diseases including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Through the Jeff Gordon Foundation, he has advocated for the NMDP and the need for Congress to support the use of publicly donated umbilical cord blood to save the lives of patients with life-threatening diseases who need a transplant.(PRPlus PR)(9-17-2008)

    • Big Red scheme for Montoya: The #42 Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya will carry the bold red scheme of Big Red for this weekend’s 400-lap race in Dover. The #42 Dodge will carry the Big Red Slim Pack colors in one more event after Dover this season at Martinsville Speedway. Montoya will be celebrating his birthday this weekend at Dover. He turns 33 on Saturday.(CGWFS PR), see my #42 Team Schemes page for the image of the car.(9-17-2008)


      News from September 16, 2008

    • Frye to stay at Red Bull: Jay Frye announced in a team meeting Tuesday that he has agreed to remain as the general manager of NASCAR’s Team Red Bull [#83-Vickers, #84-Allmendinger]. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Sports, Frye expressed his desire to continue the course he’s laid out for the fledgling stock-car organization. “I’ve been given a unique opportunity to build this team into something great,” said Frye, who has been at the helm of the two-car Sprint Cup team owned by the Austrian energy-drink giant since January. Frye’s decision puts to rest any speculation that the Rick Hendrick protégé would leave Red Bull to take a similar position at Stewart Haas Racing. When asked about the Stewart Haas offer, Frye replied, “I’ve always wanted to stay here. I love where I’m at. This is the perfect job.” After meeting with Red Bull executives in Austria two weeks ago, Frye left convinced of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s strong commitment to building the NASCAR organization into a championship contender.(Yahoo Sports)(9-16-2008) Comment here

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #29-Harvick has been running at the finish in 71 consecutive races, the longest current streak and a NEW modern era record, next up is #07-Bowyer at 64 consecutive races. The all-time record for the longest streak of NOT having an DNF is 84 races held by Herman Beam from April 30, 1961 thru March 10, 1963. Kevin Harvick held the modern era (1972-present) record at 58 (10/3/2002-8/1/2004) unil he broke it himself in 2008. Next up is Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53 [Indy in 1996 thru Martinsville in the spring of 1998.(9-16-2008)

    • Racing Resources Says …
      * Greg Biffle won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Biffle posted his 13th career victory in his 213th race and his first victory of the 2008 season.
      * Biffle became the 11th different race winner in 2008, ending a 33-race winless streak that dated to Kansas last September. It was Biffle's first victory at New Hampshire in his 13th start.
      * While only his second year in the Chase, Biffle has scored victories in all five years of the Chase.
      * Biffle became the eighth different race winner in the last eight races at New Hampshire. All five Chase openers at New Hampshire have been won by a Chase driver. Eight of the last nine races at New Hampshire have been won from a top-15 starting position. Biffle won from the ninth-place starting position.
      * Biffle led 58 of the 300 laps, including the final 12 laps.
      * Jimmie Johnson led 96 laps, the most of the day.
      * Roush Fenway Racing scored its seventh victory at New Hampshire, the most of any owner in the 28 Cup races at Loudon.
      * Jeff Gordon (14th) has gone 32 races without a victory, his longest streak between victories.
      * Regan Smith, who finished 23rd, was the highest finishing Rookie of the Year contender.
      * This is the seventh win for Ford in 2008. Toyota has nine wins, Chevrolet has seven and Dodge has four.
      * The top 10 consisted of five Chevrolets, two Fords, two Toyotas and one Dodge.
      * The top-five finishers were all Chase drivers. Eight of the top 10 were Chasers.
      * By virtue of his third-place finish, Carl Edwards emerged as the new points leader replacing Kyle Busch at the top of the pile. Busch had held the points lead for 17 straight races, since Richmond in May.
      * Kyle Busch finished 34th and left New Hampshire ranked eighth, 74 points behind Edwards.
      * Six Chase drivers each earned lap leader bonus points at New Hampshire: Biffle, Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Edwards. Chase driver Johnson led the most laps, gaining 10 bonus points.
      * Joey Logano (32nd) made his career first NSCS start.
      * Clint Bowyer (12th) made his 100th career NSCS start at New Hampshire.
      * Reed Sorenson (22nd) made his 100th career NSCS start at New Hampshire.(ESPN)(9-16-2008)

    • Top-5's, Top-10's: #18-Kyle Busch leads all drivers after 27 races in 2008 with 15 Top-5 finishes followed by #99-Edwards at 12. #99-Edwards has the most Top-10's after 27 races with 20, followed by #18-Busch with 17. Full-time drivers who have run all 27 races in 2008 with no top-10 finishes are #77-Hornish Jr. and #15-Menard. Seven drivers have not scored a Top-5 and ran all 27 races: #7-Gordon [last top-5 at Watkins Glen 8/2007], #15-Menard [none so far], #26-McMurray [last at Daytona, a win 7/07], #28-Kvapil [none], #43-Labonte [last at Martinsville in 10/2006], #44-Reutimann [none] and #77-Hornish Jr.[none].(9-16-2008)


      News from September 15, 2008

    • Hamilton Jr. to Cup? Nationwide Series driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. said Team Rensi Motorsports [#25 Ford] will close its doors in December if a new sponsor to replace Smithfield Foods isn’t found by then. Efforts to reach team president Ronnie Russell were unsuccessful, but a source close to the team confirmed Hamilton Jr.’s statements. Crew chief Chris Wright remains with the team, though a source said nearly half of the team’s payroll was cut via layoffs. Hamilton Jr. said he has been “fishing around” for other rides. “I’m about 40 percent, talking to a Cup deal,” Hamilton Jr. said. “I’ve been on the phone several times with a top-notch organization on the truck side. The Nationwide cars, there’s just none out there. Everybody I’ve talked to, if you’ve got a sponsor, they’ll take you. There are some when you could run a handful of races whenever a Cup guy doesn’t want to. I wouldn’t turn my back to that because it’s in really good equipment. I’d like to run full time but if you can’t, you’ve got to take what you can take.” Hamilton Jr. said he even could end up owning his own Nationwide team next season. The five-time series winner isn’t ready to quit driving.(SceneDaily)(9-15-2008) Comment here

    • Ganassi-Waltrip merger? UPDATE: Car owner Chip Ganassi pulled the plug on Franchitti's team a month ago, in a shocker that left 71 people without jobs. That move by Ganassi has led to intense speculation about Ganassi's NASCAR future. Some of that speculation includes the possibility of some merger between Ganassi and the Michael Waltrip operation, which is also struggling and may be down to one sponsor next season for that three-car operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2008)
      UPDATE: The hottest rumor floating around the Cup garage this weekend [at New Hampshire] is that Chip Ganassi still is trying to make a deal with another team to keep himself in NASCAR. This week it was supposedly an arrangement with Michael Waltrip Racing, which would expand to four cars and put Montoya in a Toyota.(Yahoo Sports)(9-15-2008) Comment here

    • Testing at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday: Four NASCAR teams involved in the Chase for the Sprint Cup are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway Tuesday, Sept. 16. The #88 Hendrick Motorsports team of fourth-seeded Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is expected to join the #24 team of 10th-seeded stable mate Jeff Gordon [with Brad Keselowski driving]. The #20 team of Tony Stewart is expected to join its Joe Gibbs Racing partner #11 team of Denny Hamlin. David Stremme is expected to turn laps with his new Penske Racing #06 team. Hamlin is the #6 Chase seed and Stewart is seeded eighth. Specific test drivers and media availability are to be determined. Fans can view testing from the designated area outside the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center in Turn 3 for free. Tests usually begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Times will vary based on team goals.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-15-2008)



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