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  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    NOVEMBER 2009

    Go to a certain date in this month:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30


      News from November 30, 2009

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week – Day 1: #48-Jimmie Johnson will collect an armful of awards later this week as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week wraps up its inaugural Las Vegas run on Friday at Wynn’s Las Vegas Resort. On Monday, as Champion’s Week began in the 2009 champion’s hometown of El Cajon, Calif., it was Johnson and his wife, Chandra, handing out the awards – nearly $1 million in grants divided among schools in California, North Carolina and Oklahoma. The donations from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education in the amount of $922,000 were made public during ceremonies at Jimmie Johnson’s former elementary school, Crest Elementary, in El Cajon. In all, 26 schools – 11 in the San Diego area – received grants from the foundation from the 80 institutions applying for awards in science and technology, accelerated reading, outdoor classrooms and athletic facilities and other programs. (A complete list of 2009 grant recipients and programs can be found at www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.)
      “This is what the foundation is all about, being able to give back to communities in need,” said Johnson, the first driver to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles. Chandra Johnson, co-founder of the foundation, added, “I am particularly excited about the projects in Oklahoma as this is our first opportunity to give back in my home state.” The assembly was the first of three events the champion attended Monday in the Golden State. He also journeyed a few miles north to the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, where he interacted with service personnel and their families and enjoyed a concert by the rock band Saving Abel. “I’m so proud of our sport and the way we support the men and women that support our country,” said Johnson. “Anything we can do to give back to our armed service men and women and thank them for what they do; I’m all for it.” The day ended with a fan fest at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store in the San Diego suburb of Santee.(NASCAR)(11-30-2009)

    • Some highlights of Johnson’s schedule leading up to Friday night’s awards ceremony:
      * Tuesday [Dec 1st] – Johnson will wrap up the California portion of Champion’s Week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana where he’ll have breakfast and visit with 700 of the speedway’s invited guests. Johnson will participate in a print roundtable at 9:30am/pt and will be available for affiliate interviews at 11:45am/pt. Meanwhile, NASCAR Sprint Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year #20-Joey Logano will embark on a day-long media tour of Las Vegas print, affiliate and broadcast media.
      * Wednesday [Dec 2nd] – The champion’s Las Vegas celebration begins at 10:00am/pt with the Chasers for Charity Fanfest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. The free-admission portion of the event includes a red-carpet walk by the champion and other 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, car displays, live music, reduced-price concessions and a raffle drawing. A Charity Roast of Johnson will be held at 1:30pm/pt in the speedway’s Blackjack Club and is open to the first 300 people who respond (information at www.lvms.com). A $250 tax-deductible donation to Speedway Children’s Charities includes a private reception with Johnson and Chase participants plus reserved seats and parking. The event will be shown on closed-circuit television in the Neon Garage.
      * Thursday [Dec 3rd] – The annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards event will be held from 1:00-2:45pm/pt in the Venetian Showroom at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Johnson will be joined by the rest of the top 12 drivers in the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, plus Raybestos Rookie of the Year Joey Logano and other annual award winners. Race fans will get to see Johnson and fellow Chase drivers participate in a Victory Lap parade in their show cars on Las Vegas Boulevard – the city’s legendary “Strip” – beginning at 3:15pm/pt at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. “Mr. Las Vegas,” Wayne Newton, will drop the green flag to start the event. The lap includes a pit stop and “burnout” at the Spring Mountain Road intersection before returning to the MGM Grand at 4:00pm/pt. SIRIUS NASCAR Radio will carry live coverage of the Victory Lap.
      Following the Victory Lap, fans will have the opportunity to have their questions answered by the Chase drivers at the NASCAR After the Lap Presented by Tissot from 4:30-5:30pm/pt (doors open at 3:00pm) at the MGM/Hollywood Theater. The Official Partners of NASCAR now have the ability to utilize Champion’s Week to culminate their fan-centric promotions (i.e. Unilever’s Real Fan of the Year, Ford I Drive One promotion and ASK.com’s year-long Trivia Challenge). This week, fans will be able to submit their questions via Street Tour, AFLAC Pit Stop and Twitter to their favorite Chase drivers and hear the drivers respond to those questions at this event. SIRIUS NASCAR radio will broadcast the event live and NASCAR.com will be producing a Video on Demand that will be available on its website afterwards. The Tissot Watch presentation to the top 12 drivers will also take place at this event. That evening, from 7:00-9:00pm/pt, Johnson and other Chase drivers will join Tony Stewart at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino as he presents the third annual “Stewie Awards,” live on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio. The event, which honors the best, boldest and funniest moments of the 2009 NASCAR season, will take place at the Rio’s Masquerade Village and is open to the public.
      * Friday [Dec 4th] – Johnson formally accepts his 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship awards. He, his family and his Hendrick Motorsports team will participate in traditional photos during the afternoon, before attending the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony that evening at Wynn’s Las Vegas. SPEED will televise the event live from 6:00 pm -10:00pm/pt (9:00pm - 1:00am/et). SIRIUS NASCAR Radio 128 and MRN Radio will also broadcast the ceremony live nationwide.

    • 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week Preview: Now it's time for 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson to reap the rewards of a record-setting season. Johnson, who drives the #48 Lowe's Chevy owned by Hendrick Motorsports, heads west for the inaugural Champion's Week in Las Vegas – and the celebration of Johnson's unprecedented fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup title. The 34-year-old El Cajon, Calif., native wrapped up the 2009 championship a week ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway capping a season in which Johnson won seven races and gave the Hendrick Motorsports organization its record 12th NASCAR national-series crown. Johnson will have much to do during a busy, two-state Champion's Week schedule that features more fan involvement than ever. The week culminates with the formal NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday night.
      * Monday – Johnson will attend three events beginning with an 11 a.m. PT student assembly at Crest Elementary School in El Cajon, Calif., the school Johnson attended. His Jimmie Johnson Foundation will award grants to 11 San Diego-area schools. Johnson will then host an interactive fan fest for United States Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton, Calif., from 3-7 p.m. PT followed by a homecoming celebration at Lowe's, 9416 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, Calif., from 7-10 p.m. PT.(NASCAR)(11-30-2009)

    • Jay Guy, Furniture Row Racing Mutually Part Ways: Furniture Row Racing and crew chief Jay Guy have mutually agreed to part ways as was announced today by the team's general manager Joe Garone. "We wish Jay all the best -- he is a good friend who worked hard to help bring us to where we are at," said Garone. "Jay was a true asset to our organization the past three years and we support him with his new opportunity." Garone went on to say that the atmosphere at the Denver-based shop is upbeat as the team prepares to compete in all of the 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010. "The future is exciting at Furniture Row Racing," added Garone. "We are continuing to expand our resources to run a full schedule next year and are on the right track towards giving our driver Regan Smith the best tools possible to race competitively on a weekly basis."(Furniture Row Racing), no word on the new crew chief for Regan Snith will be.(11-30-2009)

    • New crew chief for Keselowski: Jay Guy will be crew chief for Brad Keselowski and the #12 Penske Racing Dodge in 2010. Guy heads to Penske Racing following a three-year stint at Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. The 36-year-old Lancaster, Penn., native says he's looking forward to building a program around a driver with Keselowski's potential. "(Keselowski) has definitely won a lot of races in the Nationwide Series," Guy said. "There's a great upside to him. This is what I've worked for the last 20 years, to have an opportunity such as this with a company like Penske Racing."(FoxSports), no word on what plans are for former #12 crew chief Roy McCauley.(11-30-2009)

    • Danica to make some sort of announcement UPDATE 3 and NNS suit image added: no idea what exactly it means, but GoDaddy.com, mentions on their webiste godaddy.com to check back on Monday, November 30th for a BIG announcement WITH Danica Patrick.(11-26-2009)
      UPDATE: looks like the announcement will happen on ABC's Good Morning America. Also hearing that Patrick is entered in the ARCA race at Daytona in Februday.(11-29-2009)
      UPDATE2: Danica Patrick signed a three-year deal with Andretti Autosport to remain with Go Daddy as Danica's primary IndyCar sponsor into 2012. Patrick originally signed with Go Daddy and Andretti's team in late 2006 and appeared in her first Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial the next year. At that time she was well-known as the first woman ever to lead during an Indianapolis 500 race. Since that time, Patrick won her first IndyCar race, as a Go Daddy Girl, in Japan, and starred as a Go Daddy Girl in the Most Watched Super Bowl commercial of 2009. The 2010 GoDaddy.com #7 car was officially unveiled before a national television audience of an estimated five million people this morning in New York City's Times Square. The sleek IndyCar should be easy to follow on the track next season given its bright green and orange Go Daddy design. At Danica's side for today's unveiling was Andretti Autosport team owner and legendary racer Michael Andretti, who served as Danica's race strategist last season. Meantime, rumors about Danica's racing future have had tongues wagging for months, but no confirmation on anything beyond IndyCar yet today.(GoDaddy.com)(11-30-2009)
      UPDATE 3: Danica Patrick confirmed a sponsor deal to drive an IndyCar for the next three years on Monday -- and her plans to drive a part-time schedule for JR Motorsports in NASCAR's Nationwide Series in 2010 remain on track as well, a source close to Patrick said. That, according to the source, had to take place before she could finalize any plans in NASCAR. There was no mention on Good Morning America of her NASCAR plans, but the source said those could come within the next one to two weeks. The plan is to debut Patrick in the ARCA race at Daytona International Speedway in February and earn approval from NASCAR to compete in the Daytona Nationwide race. Patrick is expected to run in 10 to 13 Nationwide events, with perhaps another ARCA race or two. The source said negotiations include putting Patrick in the #7 she drives in IndyCar and not the #5 that currently is the second car at JR Motorsports.(ESPN)
      AND OOPS While IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick talked only about her non-NASCAR plans Monday morning, a photo on her Web site might have said more about her possible NASCAR plans than she did. The website had a picture of her as her Web site loaded that showed her in a GoDaddy.com uniform with a Chevrolet emblem and what appears to be a JR Motorsports logo and the Nationwide Series logo. The photo was later changed to her IndyCar Series uniform. The picture was small and only appeared on the screen for a few seconds. A representative of IMG, which represents Patrick, declined comment, and a JRM spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment (SceneDaily), many readers captured and sent the image, which is posted on my Misc Drivers page - Danica Patrick section.(11-30-2009)


      News from November 29, 2009

    • Victory Lap Returns: The Top 12 drivers of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will complete a Victory Lap along Las Vegas Boulevard, kicking off in front of M&M’s World. The lap will take drivers north on Las Vegas Boulevard until they reach Spring Mountain Road. At Spring Mountain Road, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion will treat fans to a “Victory Lap Burn Out” before heading south with the other 11 drivers. During the lap all stock cars will take part in an authentic pit stop. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory Lap is scheduled for Thursday, December 3, 2009 from 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm.

    • Donlavey to be honored with award: The Tim Sullivan Memorial of Excellence award for 2010, from the Motor Racing Heritage Association, goes to Junie Donlavey. Donlavey is noted for his many contributions for many decades as a car owner [#90 Ford most of the time, 45 years and 863 starts]. Donlavey also helped start many driver Sprint Cup careers, including Ricky Rudd, Bobby Hillin Jr, Jody Ridley, Ken Schrader, James Hylton, Ramo Stott and Robby Gordon. Ridley won the first Sprint Cup race [and only] for Donlavey in the 1981 Mason-Dixon 500 at Dover International Speedway. Donlavey is retired now and living where has always hailed from in Richmond, VA. The Motor Racing Heritage lifetime achievement award goes to Bob Coolidge, the vice president of the Living Legends of Auto Racing who has been involved in racing for many years. The Motor Racing Heritage Association thanks the Living Legends of Auto Racing for having the presentation of the awards, scheduled to be held at their charity auction on February 9, 2010 at the Indigo Golf Club in Daytona Beach, FL.(11-29-2009)

    • Sad News - Doris Gammons:
      Mrs. Doris Hinceman Gammons, 80, resident of Archdale, died Friday, November 27, 2009, at High Point Regional Hospital. She was born August 24, 1929, in Rowan County, a daughter of Grady and Jesse Hinceman. Mrs. Gammons had served as Executive Director of the Richard Petty Museum for twenty years.
      Surviving are one son, H. Carter Williams, Jr. of Tulsa, OK. One daughter, Sharon Phillips of Tulsa, OK. Five Grandchildren. Five Great-Grandchildren. Three brothers, Grady Hinceman of Taylorsville, Donnie Hinceman of Granite Quarry and Terry Hinceman of CA. Two sisters, Greta Peeler of Granite Quarry and Jerri Basinger of Salisbury.
      Funeral service will be at 1:30pm/et Sunday at the chapel of Cumby Family Funeral Service in Archdale with Reverend Gary Rutherford officiating. Entombment will follow at Floral Garden Memorial Park Mausoleum.
      Funeral arrangements are by Cumby Family Funeral Service in Archdale. Online condolences may be made at www.cumbyfuneral.com.(Greensboro News & Record)(11-29-2009)


      News from November 28, 2009

    • Sad News - Ernie Gahan: Ernie Gahan, the 1966 NASCAR Modified national champion, passed away Thursday night at his home in Cranberry Isles, Maine at the age of 83. Gahan, originally from Dover, N.H., got his start in auto racing at his hometown track – Dover Speedway – in 1948 after serving more than two years as an Army military policeman in Germany following Word War II. After getting his start at Dover, Gahan competed in the NASCAR Sportsman division until 1965, when he moved over to Modifieds. Gahan compiled 6,560 points during his 1966 run to the title to distance himself from runner-up Bugs Stevens and third place Ray Hendrick. Driving a 1936 Chevrolet coupe, Gahan won 15 of the 71 races he entered that season, but led Hendrick by just 48 points heading into the season finale in Atlanta, Ga. Hendrick was caught up in an early race accident and Gahan crossed the line 10th to earn the crown.
      Gahan made 11 starts in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 1960-66. He was bestowed the Buddy Shuman Award for outstanding contributions to NASCAR following an incident in which he helped Tiny Lund rescue Marvin Panch from a fiery crash prior to the 1963 Daytona 500.
      Winner of an estimated 300-plus races during his nearly three decades as a racer, Gahan was a member of the inaugural New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 1998 and was a 1990 New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame inductee. Additionally, he is a member of the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and Beach Ridge Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. Gahan was in attendance at the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Awards Banquet as many of the NASCAR Modified champions gathered to kick-off the celebration of 60 Years of Modified Champions. He was honored for his 1966 title at the 2008 Spring Sizzler at Stafford. "Ernie was part of the Modified legacy that has helped make NASCAR what it is today. He was a great racer and true New England legend," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president for corporate communications. "On behalf of NASCAR and the France family, our thoughts and prayers go out to Gahan's family and friends." Arrangements are pending and will be made available at a later time.(localracing.nascar.com)(11-28-2009)

    • Kyle Busch may run full Nationwide season in 2010? #18-Kyle Busch hasn't announced he'll defend his Nationwide Series championship next year, but Busch indicated over lunch earlier this week in Miami Beach there might be a scenario under which he would try for a second title. As it stands now, Busch intends to run all the Nationwide races that are companion events to Sprint Cup events in 2010. His schedule also may include a few stand-alone Nationwide events during off-weeks for Cup. "I think 24 to 27 (races) is what we're planning," Busch said. "The races haven't been quite all worked out yet." Whatever the final number, Busch has to run the bulk of the Nationwide schedule in his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to keep sponsors interested in the program. "We're going to do a combination next year where Kyle's going to run, (and) we're going to split that car up some," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "We love being on the Nationwide side, because it allows you to bring in young guys. Whether its crew guys, pit crews, drivers—we've got (driver) Matt DiBenedetto next year for sure and one other young guy, and it gives them an opportunity." Busch also admitted that how well he starts the season may factor into whether he lobbies Gibbs to run the full Nationwide schedule. Eleven of the first 12 Nationwide races are companion events. The fifth race of the season, at Nashville, is scheduled for April 3, an open week for the Cup series. Asked whether there might be circumstances under which he would defend his title, Busch nodded. Gibbs shook his head emphatically, indicating, "No."
      "I'll talk him into it," Busch said.(Sporting News)(11-28-2009)


      News from November 27, 2009

    • Sorenson could end up at Braun Racing: Reed Sorenson won't be part of the new Richard Petty Motorpsorts driving stable following the planned RPM-Yates Racing merger. He has driven for Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series, but no deal for next year has been announced. "Reed has a formal offer from a team now that would be a mixture of Cup and Nationwide," said Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson. "I feel really good about Reed and what he can do."(SceneDaily)(11-27-2009)

    • Final Rookie News and Notes: #20-Joey Logano is the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano captured top rookie honors 26 times in 36 races and officially claimed the honor by 33 points (270-237) over #82-Scott Speed. He finished the season with one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes and placed 20th in the final series championship standings. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory came in his 20th career start. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The year-end payout for 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is $75,000, the same amount Darrell Waltrip earned from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for his 1982 Cup series championship. Logano will earn a grand total of $114,500 from Raybestos brand Brakes for his efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006).(Raybestos/Camp & Associates) and see rookie history, standings on my 2009 Rookies page and race by race notes on my 2009 Rookies race-by-race page.(11-27-2009)

    • Hamlin's crew wins Tissot award in Homestead: In Sunday's (Nov. 22) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Denny Hamlin's #11 crew won the Tissot competition. The effort by the #11 FedEx crew played a key role in Hamlin's fourth race victory of the season. Hamlin's #11 Joe Gibbs Racing crew consists of: Jonathan Sherman (front-tire changer), Brandon Pegram (front-tire carrier), Mike Hicks (rear-tire changer), Heath Cherry (rear-tire carrier), Nate Bolling (jackman), Scott Wood (gasman), John Eicher (catch can) and Bobby "Spike" Christenson (windshield). The team's crew chief is Mike Ford and the pit crew coach is Paul Alepa. The athletic director for Joe Gibbs Racing is Michael Lepp. The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award went to the team which spent the least amount of time on pit road and finished on the lead lap in each of the 36 Sprint Cup point races. The winning team earned $5,000 and a Tissot watch for each race.(Tissot), see past Tissot award winners and season standings on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-27-2009)

    • Biffle's Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Season Championship: Greg Biffle's #16 over-the-wall crew captured the 2009 Tissot Pit Road Precision Award season championship, a per race competition designed to recognize and reward the extraordinary talents of pit crews in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Biffle's crew came out on top by winning the Tissot competition six times during the 36-race Cup schedule. Jeff Gordon's #24 crew was second with five wins while Jimmie Johnson's #48 crew came in third with four wins. For winning the season-long Tissot Pit Road Precision Award title the #16 team will receive a $100,000 bonus from Tissot plus Tissot watches for the pit crew members and driver. The #16 Roush Fenway Racing crew will also receive an all-expense paid trip from Tissot to Las Vegas to accept the prize money and watches at the Champion's Week NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Award Ceremony, Thursday, Dec. 3, 1:00pm/et in the Venetian Showroom at The Venetian. The #16 over-the-wall 3M crew, which helped Biffle finish seventh in the final driver points, consists of: Todd Zeigler (front-tire changer), Collin Pasi (front-tire carrier), Kyle Power (rear-tire changer), Kevin McDowell (rear-tire carrier), Rodney Fetters (jackman), Billy Manchester (gasman), Ryan Dextraze (catch can) and Chris Elliott (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Erwin and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward. "Those guys are near perfect every week and the entire team knows what a role they have played in our 2009 season," said Erwin. "Their confidence is amazing and they really believe in each other. I couldn't be happier for everyone involved with that program. The 3M Pit Bulls truly deserve to win the 2009 Tissot Pit Road Precision Award." The total payout, including the $100,000 season championship bonus, was $280,000. Tissot has been the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR since 2006. The company is also the official timekeeper for a number of other sports, including the MotoGP World Championship, the Ice Hockey World Championship and the Cycling World Championship.(Tissot), see past Tissot award winners and season standings on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-27-2009)

    • Martin sets wins in a season for a #5 car: Mark Martin made 2009 the most successful season ever [in term of wins] for the #5 car in terms of wins, Martin won five races in 2009, the most ever by the #5 car. The car #5 has won a total of 39 races in 1277 starts. Below are the top four seasons for wins by the #5 car.
      Year, Driver, Wins
      2009, Mark Martin, 5
      1995, Terry Labonte, 3
      1994, Terry Labonte, 3
      1984, Geoff Bodine. 3
      Most Wins in car #5: Terry Labonte with 12
      BUT Terry Labonte won the 1996 Sprint Cup Championship running the #5 car, winning 2 races.(ESPN and Racing Reference)(11-27-2009)

    • Daytona Enhancing The Superstretch Experience: As part of its ongoing effort to continue improving the race-day experience at the "World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway will add a new interactive fan area adjacent to the Superstretch grandstands outside Turn 3. Construction on the enhancements has already started and will be completed in time for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 14. Included in the 136,000-square foot interactive fan area will be amenities such as a go-kart track, kids play area, Ferris Wheel, show cars and a fan hospitality area called the SPEED Trackside Tavern, among other attractions. The enhancements will necessitate the removal of grandstand seats on the Superstretch, which will be utilized at other International Speedway Corporation facilities in the future. Also for the 2010 DAYTONA 500, ticket options on the Superstretch have been made even more affordable for race fans, with the popular $55 seating area expanded to include additional rows. Single-day DAYTONA 500 admission and new lower prices have been implemented on all other Superstretch seats. The Superstretch enhancement comes on the heels of two other fan-friendly initiatives recently announced. Already under construction is phase one of the frontstretch renovation on the old dog track property behind the Keech and Lockhart Grandstands that will deliver amenities such as:
      * Two additional gate entrances
      * Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the frontstretch grandstands
      * New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4
      * New and improved directional signage, landscaping and lighting
      Additionally, a new start time has been announced for the 2010 Daytona 500. In response to the race fans' desire for an earlier start time for NASCAR's signature event, "The Great American Race" is scheduled for a 1:00 pm/et start –2 ˝ hours earlier than 2009 and the earliest start for the Daytona 500 since 2003. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-27-2009)


      News from November 26, 2009

    • Sorenson could end up at Braun Racing: Reed Sorenson won’t be part of the new Richard Petty Motorpsorts driving stable following the planned RPM-Yates Racing merger. He has driven for Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series, but no deal for next year has been announced. “Reed has a formal offer from a team now that would be a mixture of Cup and Nationwide,” said Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson. “I feel really good about Reed and what he can do.”(SceneDaily)(11-27-2009)

    • Final Rookie News and Notes: #20-Joey Logano is the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano captured top rookie honors 26 times in 36 races and officially claimed the honor by 33 points (270-237) over #82-Scott Speed. He finished the season with one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes and placed 20th in the final series championship standings. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory came in his 20th career start. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The year-end payout for 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is $75,000, the same amount Darrell Waltrip earned from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for his 1982 Cup series championship. Logano will earn a grand total of $114,500 from Raybestos brand Brakes for his efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006).(Raybestos/Camp & Associates) and see rookie history, standings on my 2009 Rookies page and race by race notes on my 2009 Rookies race-by-race page.(11-27-2009)

    • Hamlin's crew wins Tissot award in Homestead: In Sunday's (Nov. 22) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Denny Hamlin's #11 crew won the Tissot competition. The effort by the #11 FedEx crew played a key role in Hamlin's fourth race victory of the season. Hamlin's #11 Joe Gibbs Racing crew consists of: Jonathan Sherman (front-tire changer), Brandon Pegram (front-tire carrier), Mike Hicks (rear-tire changer), Heath Cherry (rear-tire carrier), Nate Bolling (jackman), Scott Wood (gasman), John Eicher (catch can) and Bobby “Spike” Christenson (windshield). The team’s crew chief is Mike Ford and the pit crew coach is Paul Alepa. The athletic director for Joe Gibbs Racing is Michael Lepp. The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award went to the team which spent the least amount of time on pit road and finished on the lead lap in each of the 36 Sprint Cup point races. The winning team earned $5,000 and a Tissot watch for each race.(Tissot), see past Tissot award winners and season standings on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-27-2009)

    • Biffle's Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Season Championship: Greg Biffle's #16 over-the-wall crew captured the 2009 Tissot Pit Road Precision Award season championship, a per race competition designed to recognize and reward the extraordinary talents of pit crews in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Biffle's crew came out on top by winning the Tissot competition six times during the 36-race Cup schedule. Jeff Gordon's #24 crew was second with five wins while Jimmie Johnson's #48 crew came in third with four wins. For winning the season-long Tissot Pit Road Precision Award title the #16 team will receive a $100,000 bonus from Tissot plus Tissot watches for the pit crew members and driver. The #16 Roush Fenway Racing crew will also receive an all-expense paid trip from Tissot to Las Vegas to accept the prize money and watches at the Champion's Week NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Award Ceremony, Thursday, Dec. 3, 1:00pm/et in the Venetian Showroom at The Venetian. The #16 over-the-wall 3M crew, which helped Biffle finish seventh in the final driver points, consists of: Todd Zeigler (front-tire changer), Collin Pasi (front-tire carrier), Kyle Power (rear-tire changer), Kevin McDowell (rear-tire carrier), Rodney Fetters (jackman), Billy Manchester (gasman), Ryan Dextraze (catch can) and Chris Elliott (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Erwin and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward. "Those guys are near perfect every week and the entire team knows what a role they have played in our 2009 season," said Erwin. "Their confidence is amazing and they really believe in each other. I couldn't be happier for everyone involved with that program. The 3M Pit Bulls truly deserve to win the 2009 Tissot Pit Road Precision Award." The total payout, including the $100,000 season championship bonus, was $280,000. Tissot has been the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR since 2006. The company is also the official timekeeper for a number of other sports, including the MotoGP World Championship, the Ice Hockey World Championship and the Cycling World Championship.(Tissot), see past Tissot award winners and season standings on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-27-2009)

    • Martin sets wins in a season for a #5 car: Mark Martin made 2009 the most successful season ever [in term of wins] for the #5 car in terms of wins, Martin won five races in 2009, the most ever by the #5 car. The car #5 has won a total of 39 races in 1277 starts. Below are the top four seasons for wins by the #5 car.
      Year, Driver, Wins
      2009, Mark Martin, 5
      1995, Terry Labonte, 3
      1994, Terry Labonte, 3
      1984, Geoff Bodine. 3
      Most Wins in car #5: Terry Labonte with 12
      BUT Terry Labonte won the 1996 Sprint Cup Championship running the #5 car, winning 2 races.(ESPN and Racing Reference)(11-27-2009)

    • Daytona Enhancing The Superstretch Experience: As part of its ongoing effort to continue improving the race-day experience at the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway will add a new interactive fan area adjacent to the Superstretch grandstands outside Turn 3. Construction on the enhancements has already started and will be completed in time for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 14. Included in the 136,000-square foot interactive fan area will be amenities such as a go-kart track, kids play area, Ferris Wheel, show cars and a fan hospitality area called the SPEED Trackside Tavern, among other attractions. The enhancements will necessitate the removal of grandstand seats on the Superstretch, which will be utilized at other International Speedway Corporation facilities in the future. Also for the 2010 DAYTONA 500, ticket options on the Superstretch have been made even more affordable for race fans, with the popular $55 seating area expanded to include additional rows. Single-day DAYTONA 500 admission and new lower prices have been implemented on all other Superstretch seats. The Superstretch enhancement comes on the heels of two other fan-friendly initiatives recently announced. Already under construction is phase one of the frontstretch renovation on the old dog track property behind the Keech and Lockhart Grandstands that will deliver amenities such as:
      * Two additional gate entrances
      * Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the frontstretch grandstands
      * New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4
      * New and improved directional signage, landscaping and lighting
      Additionally, a new start time has been announced for the 2010 Daytona 500. In response to the race fans’ desire for an earlier start time for NASCAR’s signature event, “The Great American Race” is scheduled for a 1:00 pm/et start –2 ˝ hours earlier than 2009 and the earliest start for the Daytona 500 since 2003. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-27-2009)


      News from November 25, 2009

    • Best Buy moving to the #43? IMAGE added Team officials familiar with RPM's personnel moves tell The Associated Press that sponsor Best Buy will move from Sadler's car next season to Petty's famed #43 with AJ Allmendinger as the driver. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the changes have yet to be announced. Stanley Tools will become the sole primary sponsor for Sadler. Both Best Buy and Stanley had shared Sadler's car this season.(Associated Press)(10-28-2009)
      IMAGE see an image of the Best Buy scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(11-25-2009)

    • Hyder staying at the Wood Brothers: David Hyder will continue in his role as crew chief with the #21 Wood Brothers Racing team and driver Bill Elliott in 2010. Hyder, 42, is enjoying his second stint leading the #21 Ford and is under contract with the team through the end of the 2010 season. "I've really enjoyed my time with the Wood Brothers," Hyder said. "We'll continue to run a limited schedule and build the program with Bill behind the wheel."(FoxSports), #49 BAM Racing recently said that Hyder would return to them as crew chief in 2010.(11-25-2009)

    • Final Chase TV ratings posted: After averaging a 3.8 rating for its coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in both 2007 and 2008, ABC's average for the 10 Chase races was a 3.5 for 2009. ESPN2's average rating for 26 NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts in 2009 was a 1.4, down from a 1.5 average in 2008 but even with the final average for 2007.(ESPN). See last weeks rating, race-by-race chart and past season comparision on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-25-2009)

    • Roush Racing helps out NC Auto Racing HOF: For many, being able to give to others during this holiday season will be a difficult task. But it is not always the gift of tangible goods or money that can mean the most to its recipient. A recent event took place at the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville, NC. On Thursday, November 19th, the NC Auto Racing HOF mailbox on Knob Hill Road was struck and destroyed by a customer. One of the museum's volunteers, an 80-year-old man, went outside to try to resurrect the mailbox. Watching him struggle with this task from across the street was someone from Roush Fenway Racing, who dispatched a group of their shop workers to come over and help. They poured cement for the new post, fabricated the mailbox, and installed it on the same day. All of this was done without their being asked to do so, and without any payment whatsoever. Replacing a mail box doesn't seem like a big expense but to small non-profit organizations like the Hall of Fame, it has an impact.(NCARHOF)(11-25-2009)

    • Kvapil talking to Front Row, but still looking: Travis Kvapil could drive for Front Row next year when that organization plans to expand to two full-time teams. "Nothing yet," Kvapil said. "I talked to the guys here at Front Row, and it sounds like they're definitely interested in putting something together, but really we haven't had any negotiation. We haven't done anything to put any sort of agreement together. I've been talking to a lot of teams. There's not a lot of opportunities out there. These guys, I really like the direction they're going. They've got some things in the works to make them a better team manufacturer-wise, technical-wise."(SceneDaily)(11-25-2009)

    • Aero package for restrictor-plate races being evaluated: NASCAR hasn't ruled out the possibility of making aerodynamic changes to the Sprint Cup cars for Daytona that could require a test at the track prior to Speedweeks in February, NASCAR President Mike Helton said Monday. Helton talked about changes to the Cup car during a luncheon prior to the NNS/NCWTS Awards Banquet tonight. One piece of the Cup car that could get changed is the aero package for Daytona and Talladega. Cars went airborne in each of the Talladega races this year [#99-Edwards in May and #39-Newman in November]. NASCAR has wind-tunnel tests scheduled in a couple of weeks for the Cup car focused on restrictor-plate tracks. "[We're] specifically looking at the chemistry of the roof flaps because we have the ability through the camera angles and data collection to learn more about the incidents [at Talladega], particularly the 39 [of Ryan Newman] at Talladega this past October. We can learn more," Helton said. "We will do things over the offseason and if it is a major change for Daytona, we may have to do something [test] there to take a look at it. We'll have to wait and see what we find out from the wind tunnel and a complete evaluation." As far as any rule changes for the car for races not at Daytona and Talladega, Helton said only to anticipate subtle changes. "I don't see anything glaring that has to be fixed, and there is not an overwhelming consensus of anything major [to change]," Helton said. "I still won't sit here and tell you there won't be something. … We always put out a rule book and then we put out a lot of [technical] bulletins along the way."
      "I couldn't sit here and tell you today that the wing is there forever on the Cup side," Helton said. "I couldn't tell you that the [front] splitter as we know it on the Cup car will exist forever. I can tell you we are going to learn a lot with the Nationwide car that has a different configuration to it aerodynamically and we'll learn from that and we'll see what happens." Helton said since the first introduction of the Cup car in 2007 there have been at least 25 subtle changes in the rules.(in part from SceneDaily)(11-25-2009)

    • Blue Changes at Yates Shop: The building used by Yates Racing in Concord, N.C., soon will be gutted and prepared to expand into a four-car Sprint Cup garage when the merger with Richard Petty Motorsports is completed. The building was used to field two cars owned by Yates/Hall of Fame Racing in 2009. With the merger it will expand to the #9 of Kasey Kahne, #19 of Elliott Sadler, #43 of AJ Allmendinger and #98 of Paul Menard. The building is expected to be painted the famous Petty Blue since the organization will take on the RPM name.(ESPN Insider)(11-25-2009)

    • Sprint Experience Reaches 500,000 Fans in 2009: Recently, Sylvia Anderson from Garden Hill, Ontario became the 500,000th NASCAR fan to enter the Sprint Experience, an interactive fan pavilion Sprint provides at every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. To commemorate the milestone, Anderson was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience, courtesy of Sprint, by celebrating with the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Not only did Anderson take part in the post-race celebration with the 2009 NSCS champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday evening, but she also presented the Chase for the Sprint Cup leader flag to Jimmie Johnson, current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader, during driver introductions for the Nov. 22 Ford 400. Anderson and her husband, Rob, enjoyed Sunday's race from an upgraded seat inside the Sprint suite.
      The Sprint Experience, a 10,000-square-foot interactive pavilion, travels to every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Fans who visit the pavilion are able to drive 3-D race simulators, play games for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series-branded prizes, and view Johnson's 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion's trophy. Interactive displays allow fans to learn more about Sprint products and services, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, the wireless application that delivers real-time, race-day statistics and telemetry from all 43 NSCS drivers and offers video on demand from NASCAR.com, SPEED and more. By reaching the 500,000-visitor mark, attendance at the Sprint Experience is up nearly 50% from the 2008 season.(Sprint PR)(11-25-2009)

    • Canada Speedway project closer to becoming a reality: The idea of a major motor speedway in Fort Erie is speeding towards the finish line. At Monday's regular council meeting, a presentation was made by a representative from Urban and Environmental Management Inc., a consultant acquired by the proponents hoping to build the Canadian Motor Speedway on 823 acres of land adjacent to the QEW between Bowen and Thompson Roads. While at the podium, Richard Brady said his client has a "sense of urgency" with the project moving forward and hopes it can be given approval before the end of the year. Following his presentation about different measures being taken to mitigate concerns about noise and environmental impact, he petitioned council to request a staff report be presented at the next council-in-committee meeting on Dec. 7th.
      Jay Mason, one of the proponents hoping to bring the one-mile oval track and 2.5 mile road course to Fort Erie said this project has been in the works for over five years and it's nice to see it move forward. He said the concerns of residents will not be by-passed and if the speedway is approved, those concerns will be implemented into the plan. With a revised noise study due to be received by the middle of December, Mason said environmental concerns are also very important. Plans for the proposed speedway also involve a research and development centre operated by McMaster University, hospitality facilities, a commercial shopping area, restaurants and more. The project is expected to generate millions of dollars for the Town and will create 100 full time jobs and 2,500 part time jobs. Once approved by the Town, the project will also need approval from the Niagara Region which may occur on Dec. 9th. Jeff Gordon will also be affiliated with the $150 million facility if it is built. The proposal indicates plans to seat 65,000 race fans with the potential to expand to 100,000.(in part from the Fort Erie Times)(11-25-2009)


      News from November 24, 2009

    • Wingo named Ragan's crew chief: Roush Fenway Racing announced that Donnie Wingo has been named crew chief of the #6 UPS team with driver David Ragan. Wingo joined Roush Fenway at the beginning of the 2009 season as crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #26 team. The duo most recently captured a win earlier this month at Talladega and Wingo is looking to build on that momentum with Ragan heading into the 2010 season.
      "It's an honor to have the opportunity to work with David Ragan next season as well as our sponsor UPS," said Wingo. "UPS has been a great sponsor in NASCAR for years and I'm truly looking forward to the chance to get the #6 Ford the finishes it deserves. I'm glad to remain with Roush Fenway Racing because I believe in the success we'll be able to achieve in 2010."
      "Roush Fenway is looking to build the strongest possible teams and sometimes we do that by restructuring personnel," said owner Jack Roush. "Jimmy Fennig's experience and judgement are impeccable so we made the decision to re-assign him to head up our testing operations to try and make that department stronger. The requirement for us to reduce from five to four Sprint Cup teams allowed us to move Donnie Wingo to the #6 to fill that void. I think Donnie brings a wealth of experience to our organization having won races for multiple teams including our organization and we are anxious to see if he can challenge David Ragan and help him to realize the potential he showed in 2008. I think these moves will help our organization overall and we're hopeful that David and Donnie will together take UPS and the #6 Ford to victory lane in 2010." Former #6 UPS crew chief Jimmy Fennig will continue at Roush Fenway Racing by overseeing the team's R&D testing efforts.(RFR)(11-24-2009)

    • Brian France fights to keep court documents sealed UPDATE: NASCAR chairman Brian France filed a civil complaint against his ex-wife, Megan France, last year, a few months after the couple divorced in Florida. They married in California in 2005. Lawyers persuaded Mecklenburg [County, NC] Judge Todd Owens to seal the court file from public inspection, an unusual move in a court system that typically allows widespread access to courtrooms and documents. On Friday, France's attorneys petitioned a Mecklenburg judge to bar the public from the courtroom as arguments in the case unfold. It's unclear exactly what the dispute involves, but the matter is being heard in family court and apparently involves domestic issues. France's attorneys argued Friday that a confidentiality agreement is at the heart of the case, and that it shouldn't be breached in open court hearings.(see full story at the Charlotte Observer)(11-14-2009)
      UPDATE: NASCAR has asked a federal court to stop lawyers for suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield from collecting information from the ex-wife of chairman Brian France. Mayfield's attorneys subpoenaed Megan France last week requesting documents about a lawsuit filed against her by Brian France. The attorneys also asked for joint tax returns and mail addressed to Brian France. NASCAR filed a motion in U.S. District Court on Monday asking that Megan France be barred from producing the documents. The Frances were divorced in April 2008, and Brian France sued his ex-wife in North Carolina Superior Court in September of that year. All documents relating to that case were sealed in December.(Associated Press)(11-24-2009)

    • Knaus commits to Johnson thru 2015: Chad Knaus has committed to being #48-Jimmie Johnson's crew chief at least through the 2015 season, team owner Rick Hendrick said on Tuesday. Hendrick is working on a deal to keep Knaus at Hendrick Motorsports through the length of his racing career. But, at least for the next five seasons, his role will be as the crew chief for the driver who on Sunday won a record fourth straight Sprint Cup title. That will coincide with the length of Johnson's new contract extension. "Chad and I have talked about what he would like to do down the road," Hendrick said on a NASCAR conference call. "Chad and I are looking at other things to secure his future and investments.(ESPN)(11-24-2009)

    • Final Homestead TV ratings posted: ABC's live coverage of the Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 22 earned a final national household rating of 3.6, averaging 5,606,608 viewers. The rating was down from a 4.0 [with a 7 share] for last year's event that also aired on ABC.
      ESPN2's live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 at Homestead earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, down from a 1.6 rating for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,685,543 viewers.(ESPN). See last weeks rating, race-by-race chart and past season comparision on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-24-2009)

    • Hendrick misses Homestead race UPDATE: A family emergency will keep team owner Rick Hendrick from celebrating a record-tying ninth Sprint Cup championship for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick's 29-year-old niece Alesha Gainey, the daughter of John Hendrick who was killed in the 2004 plane crash near Martinsville Speedway, is undergoing an emergency liver transplant in North Carolina. "Rick obviously wishes he could be here . . . [but] Rick's priority at this point is to support his family at this crucial time," Hendrick Motorsports general managers Marshall Carlson said.(ESPN)(11-22-2009)
      UPDATE: As much as Rick Hendrick wanted to be a part of Jimmie Johnson's record-breaking run on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his family's needs were more important. Instead of watching Johnson win his fourth straight Sprint Cup title, Hendrick was at hospital in North Carolina as his 29-year-old niece, Alesha Gainey, underwent a liver transplant. Gainey is the daughter of Hendrick's brother, John, who, along with two other daughters, was killed in a 2004 Hendrick Motorsports plane crash on the way to Martinsville Speedway. Hendrick said the surgery went well and Gainey, although not completely out of the woods, is in stable condition and recovering in intensive care.(ESPN)(11-24-2009)

    • Kellogg's moves from the #5 to #99: Kellogg's will sponsor Carl Edwards next season following a 16-season stint with Hendrick Motorsports [on the #5 and #44 cars]. Kellogg's will be the primary sponsor for two races on the #99 Ford and an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season.(FoxSports)(11-24-2009

    • Injunction dropped at Mayfield's request: The U.S. District Court judge who initially granted an injunction that lifted driver Jeremy Mayfield's suspension for what NASCAR says was a May 1 drug test that was positive for methamphetamines has rescinded the injunction at Mayfield's request. U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen vacated the injunction in a three-sentence ruling Monday. Mayfield never did get back on the track after obtaining the July 1 injunction that lifted his May 9 suspension. The U.S. Court of Appeals granted NASCAR's request for a stay of the injunction July 24, and Mayfield has been suspended since then and has sold his team. Mayfield then requested that the injunction be permanently dropped so the case can move quickly. The earliest a trial would be is September 2010, and the only consequence for not having the injunction is that Mayfield would not be able to race in NASCAR until a decision is made at trial. Last week, NASCAR filed a motion it hopes will end Mayfield's lawsuit by asking Mullen to rule on the filings instead of there being more investigation into the issues. Mayfield has yet to file a response to that motion, but his attorney has called that motion a desperate move.(SceneDaily)(11-24-2009)

    • Gilliland could return to JGR: David Gilliland could possibly return in a fourth Joe Gibbs Racing car [ran the #02 Farm Bureau Toyota in three races for Gibbs] if it runs select races next year, team President J.D. Gibbs said. Gilliland also has driven for #09 Phoenix Racing this year and is a candidate for that ride, one of the few open rides with sponsorship for next season.(SceneDaily)(11-24-2009)

    • Sen. Kyl Sees a Jimmie Johnson Era for NASCAR: #48 came through on Sunday to win the NASCAR crown, but for racing's biggest fan in the Senate, Jimmie Johnson is more than just the 2009 champ. Johnson, says Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, is now a living legend, already having captured three straight Sprint Cup victories. "It might not just be Jimmie Johnson's year," says Kyl. "It might be his era." Kyl should know: He's been a race fan since a kid, is called Senator NASCAR by friends and even guests on an Arizona radio show Mondays to review the weekend's race.(usnews.com)(11-24-2009)

    • Gibbs working on contact extension for Busch: J.D. Gibbs say he's close to re-signing #18-Kyle Busch and hopes to have the contract completed before the 2010 season.(FoxSports)(11-24-2009)

    • Addington moving on UPDATE: during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Monestead-Miami Speedway, Andy Petree of ESPN2 reported that Steve Addington, former crew chief for #128-Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, informed JGR he woul leave and is moving on. No word what team or job he is going to.(11-20-2009)
      UPDATE: Bob Dillner reported on the SPEED Report that Addington is talking to Penske Racing about being #2-Kurt Busch's crew chief in 2010, supposedly the hold up is that Addington wants a 3-year contract. Have also heard Addington is under consideration to be Brad Keselowski's crew chief in Penske's #12 Dodge. No word what plans are for current #12 crew chief Roy McCauley.(11-24-2009)

    • Annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at LMS:Shoppers from around the country will descend upon Lowe's Motor Speedway for special savings on 2009 merchandise at the 17th annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out Nov. 27-28 [Friday and Saturday]. On the biggest shopping weekend of the year, fans will be welcomed by a colorful array of nearly 20 souvenir rigs lining the front entrance of the speedway, featuring souvenirs from top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and more. At this two-day event, special deals will be available with driver hats and t-shirts as low as $5 and Lowe's Motor Speedway T-shirts starting at just $3. Sam Bass, the official artist of Lowe's Motor Speedway, will have posters, holiday die-casts and copies of his book "The NASCAR Art of Sam Bass" available to shoppers at reduced prices. A special die-cast trailer will also be on hand to sell the scaled-down collectable cars at prices hard to resist. As part of the tradition of the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out, shoppers spending $50 or more on souvenirs or race tickets Friday, Nov. 27, will get to feel like real NASCAR stars when they are given the opportunity to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the 1.5-mile superspeedway. This opportunity is available Friday only.
      Event hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm/et on Friday and Saturday. Information about the Nov. 27-28 Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out at Lowe's Motor Speedway and ticket sales for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 17 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 can be obtained online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by contacting the Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3202.(LMS) and tix by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(11-24-2009)

    • Demolition of Talladega Grandstands Steadily Progressing: Crews are steadily progressing on the demolition of Talladega Superspeedway’s frontstretch grandstands as part of a two-phase $13-million grandstand renovation project. More than half of the stadium’s grandstand will be replaced with larger seats and wider aisles in time for the April 25, 2010 Aaron’s 499. The remaining seats will be replaced in time for the Oct. 31, 2010 AMP Energy 500. The demolition process is completed in four steps, with crews working simultaneously to cut out the old seats, remove any old hardware, break up the concrete and finally remove the debris. Soon crews will follow behind the current demolition crew and begin laying forms and pouring new concrete for the aisles and seat platforms. The old seats will be sold as a set of 4 for $99 and come with a certificate of authenticity. Only 1,000 sets will be sold. Purchases can be made at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/My1969DegaSeats. All sets are sold as-is and must be picked up. No seats will be shipped. For more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(11-24-2009)

    • MIS receives prestigious award: Michigan International Speedway has been recognized by the Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame because of the impact the racetrack annually makes on Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Track President Roger Curtis accepted the Business Excellence Award on behalf of the speedway. MIS was the only Michigan business to receive an award from the Ohio-based group during a ceremony Thursday night. “This is a very special award and we are honored to have received it,” Curtis said. “Even though we are located in Michigan, the impact we make on the Toledo and Northwest Ohio area is immeasurable. However, it goes both ways because many of our race fans come from the same Northwest Ohio area and we appreciate all the support we receive from them each and every year.” MIS has made a tremendous economic impact to area businesses in the Toledo area during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends. More than 100,000 race fans annually attend the speedway’s events twice a year – a boon to the region. Hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations from as far away as Toledo, about 65 miles southeast of the speedway, see the benefits of having racing in the Irish Hills of Michigan.
      The Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame was created to encourage, promote, and recognize outstanding entrepreneurship, family business and business excellence. The program was formed to foster and honor entrepreneurial success and business innovation and excellence in the region. The EBE Hall of Fame fosters and strengthens the entrepreneurial spirit in the region, and the annual awards program recognizes and honors some of the region’s most outstanding entrepreneurs and business leaders. The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2010 will go to customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. New customers can log onto www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing for 2010.(MIS)(11-24-2009)


      News from November 23, 2009

    • Johnson to light up the Empire State Building: On Tuesday, Nov. 24th, #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion is scheduled to flip the switch to light the Empire State Building's world-famous tower lights blue, white and yellow to celebrate "Jimmie Johnson Day" in New York City. New York Yankee outfielder Johnny Damon will introduce Johnson at the lighting ceremony, which is scheduled to start around 2:30pm/et. The Empire State Building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets in New York City. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.esbnyc.com.(11-23-2009)

    • Hendrick Motorsports Championship Notes:
      NINTH TITLE: With Jimmie Johnson's performance today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports secured its ninth car owner's championship in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition [1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009], tying the organization with Petty Enterprises for the all-time lead [All records I see show PE having 10 Cup championships: 1954, 1958, 1959, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979. Car owner Rick Hendrick has won nine of the past 15 Sprint Cup titles.
      COMPARISONS: In the major American professional sports leagues, Hendrick Motorsports' nine Sprint Cup owner's championships are tied for ninth behind only the New York Yankees (27 World Series titles), Montreal Canadiens (24 Stanley Cups), Boston Celtics (17 NBA titles), Los Angeles Lakers (15 NBA titles), Toronto Maple Leafs (13 Stanley Cups), Green Bay Packers (12 NFL championships), Detroit Red Wings (11 Stanley Cups) and St. Louis Cardinals (10 World Series titles). The other teams with nine championships are Petty Enterprises (NASCAR owner's championships), the Chicago Bears (NFL) and the Oakland Athletics (MLB).
      ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2009 Sprint Cup car owner's championship is the 13th [9 Cup, 1 NNS, 3 CWTS] for Hendrick Motorsports across NASCAR's three national series -- a new all-time record. In the car owner category, the organization has won nine titles in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also has won a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship, which came in 2003.
      FOUR-PEAT: After earning the 2009 Sprint Cup championship, Jimmie Johnson is now the first driver ever to capture the honor in four consecutive seasons. With his 2006-2008 titles, Johnson tied the legendary Cale Yarborough, who recorded three in a row from 1976-1978.
      KNAUS SETS THE STANDARD: Chad Knaus is the only crew chief ever to win more than two consecutive Sprint Cup titles (he now has four in a row), and his championship total (also four) ties him for second with Kirk Shelmerdine among crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Only Dale Inman (eight titles) has more.
      FIRST AND 10: A Hendrick Motorsports driver led the championship points after every Chase for the Sprint Cup race in 2009. Mark Martin, who entered the Chase with the points lead, led following the first three Chase races, and Jimmie Johnson led after the final seven. It marks the first time since the format's inception that one organization has led the points after each Chase race.
      NOT A FIRST: Hendrick Motorsports' run of four consecutive championships is not a first in NASCAR -- or for the team. In the 1990s, drivers Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 1998) and Terry Labonte (1996) combined to win four straight Sprint Cup titles for the organization. No other team has won more than three in a row.
      THE OTHER GUYS: In major American professional sports, only three teams have won more than four championships consecutively: the Boston Celtics' eight NBA titles starting with the 1958-59 season and ending in 1965-66; the New York Yankees' five World Series rings from 1949-53; and the Montreal Canadiens' five Stanley Cups from 1956-60.
      A RARE FEAT: Hendrick Motorsports, the New York Yankees and the Montreal Canadiens are the only teams in any of the major American professional sports leagues to win four or more consecutive championships on more than one occasion. Hendrick Motorsports accomplished the feat 1995-98 and 2006-09; the Yankees did it 1936-39 and 1949-53; and the Canadiens recorded titles 1956-60 and 1976-79.
      THREE SWEEP: Hendrick Motorsports is the first NASCAR team ever to capture the top-three spots in the championship standings with Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon finishing 1-2-3 in the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Hendrick Motorsports drivers have qualified 15 times for the Chase, the most of any team since the playoff format went into effect in 2004. In each year that Hendrick qualified three drivers, the organization earned the championship.
      WINNING PERCENTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the most efficient team in major American professional sports, earning nine titles since its inception in 1984 for a 34.6 all-time title-winning percentage. The Celtics rank second with 17 titles in 64 seasons (26.56 percent), while the Yankees are third with an all-time winning percentage of 25.47 percent (27 championships in 106 seasons).
      SINCE 1984: No other major American professional sports team has earned more championships than Hendrick Motorsports since 1984, the organization's inaugural season. The Los Angeles Lakers have collected seven championships in that time, while the New York Yankees (MLB) and Edmonton Oilers (NHL) have scored five titles apiece.
      25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON: Hendrick Motorsports wrapped up its 25th anniversary season today at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Founded in 1984, the organization has posted 188 Sprint Cup wins (second all-time), which is an average of more than seven trips to Victory Lane annually.
      HOW 2009 STACKS UP: Hendrick Motorsports drivers scored the second-most top-five finishes (48) and top-10s (76) in the organization's history during the 2009 campaign. The team's 13 Cup wins tie this season with 2004 for the team's third-highest one-year total. Hendrick scored the most wins (18), top-five finishes (57) and top-10s (84) in 2007.
      STILL ROLLING: Hendrick Motorsports never has run a Sprint Cup campaign without winning a pole position (1984-2009), and this season the team scored 12, including a career-best of seven from Mark Martin. The team's all-time season record was set in 1986, when Geoff Bodine and Tim Richmond combined for 16 pole positions.
      WINNING WAYS: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 24 straight seasons (1986-2009), the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick's first Daytona 500.
      ANOTHER ONE FOR CHEVY: Chevrolet captured its 33rd Sprint Cup manufacturers' championship this season after winning 18 races. Johnson led all Chevy drivers with seven victories, and Hendrick Motorsports contributed 13 of the 18 wins.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-23/24-2009)

    • Inspection Time: NASCAR officials announced after the race that all cars had passed technical inspection at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR also announced that the cars of #11-Denny Hamlin, #31-Jeff Burton, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Mark Martin would be confiscated and taken to the series research and development center in Concord, N.C. for a thorough inspection. (Racin' Today)(11-23-2009)

    • Overnight Homestead TV ratings posted: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's FORD 400 Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway earned a 3.2 overnight rating with a 6 share. That is down from last season Nov. 16th race at Homestead, a 3.7 ratings with a 7 share. The final rating in 2008 for Homestead was a 4.0 rating and a 7 share. See last weeks rating, race-by-race chart and past season comparision on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-23-2009)

    • Evernham looking to be involved with race team again: Former car owner and crew chief, Ray Evernham, said prior to Sunday's season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway that he hopes to get a series of legal issues resolved in the coming weeks that may pave the way for a return in some capacity with a race team. "Unfortunately for me, there are a lot of legal things going on right now. And there will be more legal things to come," said Evernham, who remains a minority stockholder in what is now known as Richard Petty Motorsports and also serves as a color analyst on ESPN television race broadcasts. "I'm not 100 percent sure [what I'll be doing next year]. Right now I have a contract on the table from ESPN -- and I love working for ESPN. I have a blast with what I do there. We'll have to see. I'm not going to say that I'll never be back over here. I just don't know in what capacity."
      Evernham has made no secret of his desire to rid himself of his minority stake in RPM, which previously was known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports -- and before that was simply Evernham Motorsports, in which he was founder and majority owner. "I've got some meetings next week. There is a lot going on where we've got to get some clear communication on -- things that are going on and where I fit in all that," Evernham said. "I own a percentage of everything as a stockholder. I am a stockholder in that business today." He also has a non-compete deal with Gillett-Evernham that he would like clarified -- if not severed altogether. That could clear the way for him to return to the garage in some capacity with another race team beginning as early as next season. Evernham added that he has not spoken with majority owner George Gillett on any consulting issues since last May.(NASCAR.com)(11-23-2009)

    • BAM announces featured artist for Daytona 500; crew chief returns: Warner Music Nashville (WMN) and BAM Racing (BAM) announced that Larry the Cable Guy will be the featured artist on the #49 BAM Toyota for the 2010 Daytona 500. BAM Racing owner, Beth Ann Morgenthau said, "We're thrilled to be able to have this dual unveiling before the end of the year to give fans a hint of what's in store form Warner Music Nashville and BAM Racing for 2010. The new fan program has already generated a lot of interest, and I'm also delighted to be able to introduce the fist artist so soon. It's exciting to think that this is just the first of many entertainers who will be featured on our racecars throughout the year." In response to what seems to be the most pressing question, Beth Ann Morgenthau released the following statement concerning the driver of the BAM Racing #49: "We are currently talking to a number of drivers who aren't under contract for 2010. At this point we haven't eliminated from consideration any driver who is a free agent."
      In addition, both WMN Vice President of Marketing, Kelli Cashiola and Morgenthau discussed details of the partnership's new VIP Fan Experience. The VIP Fan Experience is a fan-centered project that allows enhanced access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race team and WMN recording artists. Fans can immediately sign up in the VIP program at www.VIPFanExperience.com. Larry the Cable Guy, in a prepared statement, used the following analogy to describe the level of access for the VIP Fan Experience, "If you were anymore 'inside' you'd be a roadie and ridin' shotgun at 190mph!" Included in the press conference was SPEED TV's Bob Dillner's announcement of BAM Racing's new 30-minute, weekly internet radio show "BAM Spirit . . . the BAM Racing Story" available at www.RaceTalkRadio.com.(BAM PR) AND - Crew Chief: Morgenthau said David Hyder would be returning to the team as crew chief; Hyder has been working with the Woods and Bill Elliott this season. The driver has yet to be announced. The engines will likely be provided either by Joey Arrington or Toyota's High Point race engine department. Morgenthau said the team would run the full 36-race tour.(MikeMulhern.net), see images of the scheme on my #49 Team Schemes page.(11-23-2009)

    • Logano named 2009 Rookie of the Year: #20-Joey Logano scored a 24th-place finish and was the top rookie in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors 26 times in 36 races this season. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He finished the season with one win, three top-fives and seven top-10 finishes. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006). YOU OFICIALLY CLINCHED RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TONIGHT. "All right, cool. That's cool. That was one of our big goals this year. It's pretty neat to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year. I appreciate that," said Logano.(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos) and see more, plus rookie history, notes on my 2009 Rookies page.(11-23-2009)

    • F1 Drivers check out NASCAR at Homestead: Sebastian Vettel believes Formula 1 can learn something from NASCAR after making a visit to the Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead. The world championship runner up made his first visit to a NASCAR race courtesy of Red Bull, and got to spend some time with the team's drivers and learn about the series and its appeal in America. Vettel said F1 should take note of the spectacle NASCAR provides for its fans. "Here in NASCAR you have more than 100.000 people coming to see the races, it's always a big show," said Vettel. "So I think there's a lot of things we can learn because sometimes that's what people complain about, that Formula 1 is not exciting enough. Obviously the cars are very different, so it depends on what you like, but still if you're interested in motorsports, I think you can be very passionate about Formula 1, but I think for the show there are things we can learn. "It's always a huge crowd, always packed and I think this is something we can learn in Europe, to make it more interesting for that many people." The German admits to being curious about driving a stock car on an oval, and would like to have the chance to test one day, while stressing that his focus is on F1 for the forseeable future. "To have a try probably yes [I would like to], and to see how it is on the oval," said Vettel. "Speaking to Juan and other drivers, obviously the cars are much heavier, lazier, there's a lot more movement, whereas a Formula 1 car is very sharp and reactive and everything happens very fast - you have to catch the car quickly. Here you're sliding and making a lot of movements with the steering wheel. To have a try in a test would be nice." As well as Vettel, former McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen also visited Homestead this weekend as a guest of Penske Racing.(Autosport)(11-23-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Ford 400: This was the last race of the 2009 season. For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. ABC was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 118
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 18
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:15 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:40 PM
      Total minutes: 205
      Minutes of race broadcast: 159
      Minutes of commercials: 46
      Number of missed restarts: 0 One restart occurred right as broadcast returned from commercial—too close to call
      Number of 'mysterious cautions' (reason for caution not given): 1
      Number of commercial-free moments at the end of the race broadcast: 35 Thanks ESPN
      Total race brdcst time 159 Total comm. brdcst time 46
      See selected drivers and link to the report on my 2009 TV Commercials page.(11-23-2009)

    • Win 188 for #11: with #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it was car #11's 188 win in the Sprint Cup Series, only 10 wins behind the #43, which has 198. See more on my Wins by Car Number page.(11-23-2009)

    • Edwards gets shut out in 2009 after winning 9 races in 2008: #99-Carl Edwards, who won a Sprint Cup Series-high nine races in 2008, did not win any Sprint Cup Series races in 2009 after finishing 7th at Homestead. Only two other times in series history has a driver won more races one season and been shut out the next. Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson both won 13 times in 1965, but were winless in 1966 as Jarrett only ran half the season in 1966, still finishing 13th in the points and Junior Johnson only ran seven more races in 1966 before retiring. Rex White won 8 races in 1962 but failed to win a race again in his career in 31 starts in 1963-1964.(ESPN)(11-23-2009)

    • Six drivers who won in 2008, did not win in 2009: Six drivers were shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2009 after winning at least one race in 2008: #16-Greg Biffle last won at Dover in September 2008 and lost a 6 season win streak in jeopardy. #31-Jeff Burton last won at Charlotte in October 2008 and had won at least one race a year for 3 straight seasons coming into the 2009 season; #99-Carl Edwards last won a year ago at Homestead and won 9 races in 2008 with a two-year streak; #33-Clint Bowyer last won at Richmond in May 2008 and had a 2 season streak; #39-Ryan Newman last won the 2008 Daytona 500 and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. last won at Michigan in June 2008 after a winless 2007.(11-23-2009)


      News from November 22, 2009

    • Hamlin wins at Homestead: #11-Denny Hamlin won the FORD 400 Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 4th win of the season and 8th of his career. It is the first win for Toyota at Homestead. Hamlin started 38th, the farthest a driver has started and won at Homestead. #31-Burton finished 2nd [for the 2nd race in a row] followed by #29-Harvick, #2-Busch, #48-Johnson [the 2009 Sprint Cup Champion], #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #1-Truex Jr. and #44-Allmendinger. Johnson wins his 4th NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in a row, the first driver ever to so in NASCAR's 61 year history. Johnson was presented a check by Sprint for $6,520,800. Rick Hendrick becomes the first owner to finish 1-2-3 in the final Cup standings with Johnson, Martin and Gordon finishing 1-2-3.
      There were 7 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps and 18 lead changes among 10 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 23 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 23 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 25 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Homestead Race Results Page.(11-22-2009)

    • Final UNOFFICIAL 2009 Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Homestead, Chase race 10 of 10; Season race 36 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [7 wins], 6652, finished 5th
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 6511, -141, 12th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 6473, -179, 6th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 6446, -206, 4th
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin [4 wins], 6335, -317, WON
      6) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 6309, -243, 22nd
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 6292, -360, 14th
      8) #42-Juan Montoya, 6252, -400, 38th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 6175, -477, 23rd
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 6128, -524, 17th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 6118, -534, 7th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5929, -723, 20th
      For the drivers points standings, see my Drivers Points Standings.(11-22-2009)

    • Final UNOFFICIAL 2009 Sprint Cup CLASSIC
      the OLD way - Driver Points Standings [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson (X), 5156
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon (X), 5090, -66
      3) #14-Tony Stewart (X), 5085, -71
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin (X), 4806, -350
      5) #5-Mark Martin (X), 4762, -394
      6) #2-Kurt Busch (X), 4758, -398
      7) #16-Greg Biffle (X), 4541, -615
      8) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (X), 4503, -653
      9) #18-Kyle Busch, 4457, -699
      10) #39-Ryan Newman (X), 4447, -709
      11) #99-Carl Edwards (X), 4398, -758
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4389, -767
      13) #9-Kasey Kahne (X), 4388, -768
      14) #33-Clint Bowyer, 4359, -797
      15) #00-David Reutimann, 4221, -935
      16) #83-Brian Vickers (X), 4122, -1034
      (X) a chase driver.(11-22-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at the Daytona 500 and first 5 races of 2010:
      No changes, the spread between 35th and 36th dropped to 96 points (was 114)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2790, +155
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2731, finished 96 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2635, finished 96 points out of 35th
      37) #71-BLabonte/TRG Motorsports: 2215 -516
      BUT...with the #26 team closing down and one of the RPM teams [likely the #44] closing down when Yates Racing and RPM merge, if those teams do not 'sell' the owners points/car number to another team, #82 and #71 could move into the top-35 in 2010.
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race. With the exception of the start of the season when the top 35 is locked in for the first five races [Daytona, Auto Club, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol]
      For the owners points standings, see my Owners Points Standings.(11-22-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      #11-Denny Hamlin won the FORD 400, his eighth victory in 151 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in five races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #31-Jeff Burton (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2009.
      #29-Kevin Harvick (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in nine races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #20-Joey Logano became the youngest Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award winner (19 years, 5 months, 28 days).
      Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship by 141 points over Mark Martin.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-22-2009)

    • Finish positions of the 2009 Chase Drivers at Homestead:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Homestead)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, WON
      2) #5-Mark Martin, starts 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 9th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch, 6th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 25th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 8th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 14th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 20th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 15th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 165th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 38th/DNF
      (11-22-2009)

    • Infraction Sheet/Penalty Report - Homestead:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #7, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End, Drivers Change
      #21, 52, Removing equipment from assigned pit area, Pass Thru
      #47, 81, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #34, 101, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #34, 109, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #88, 118, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #55, 118, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #42, 155, Disobeying a NASCAR request, 2 Laps, Agressive Driving
      #14, 156, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #7, 194, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #96, 196, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      (NASCAR Statistics)(11-22-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Drivers who got a lap back on each caution at Homestead: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #82-Speed, 27th
      Caution 2: #17-Kenseth, 13th
      Caution 3: #43-Sorenson, 40th/DNF
      Caution 4: #34-Andretti, 33rd
      Caution 5: #34-Andretti (2), 33rd
      Caution 6: #34-Andretti (3), 33rd
      Caution 7: #14-Stewart, 22nd
      (11-22-2009)

    • ESPN Classic Paying Tribute to NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson: On the day after winning his history-making fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, Jimmie Johnson will be the subject of a tribute on ESPN Classic on Monday, Nov. 23. ESPN Classic will replay highlights of the four races in which Johnson won his championships, starting with the 2009 event from Homestead-Miami Speedway at 1:00pm/et. The 2008 race airs at 4:00pm/et, followed by the 2007 race at 7:00pm/et. The race from 2006, in which Johnson won his first title, airs at 10:00pm/et.(ESPN)(11-22-2009)

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion to appear on Multiple ESPN Platforms Monday: As has become a tradition, the newly-crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will appear on multiple ESPN platforms Monday, November 23, 2009 during a visit to ESPN’s campus in Bristol, CT.
      ESPN First Take will host the champion for an interview at 11:40am/et on ESPN2, followed by a live chat on ESPN.com at 12:30pm/et. ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will welcome the champion for a live interview at 1:10pm/et.
      A live appearance on ESPNEWS at 2:10pm/et will precede an interview on the Scott Van Pelt program on ESPN Radio at 2:25pm/et. The final live interview will be on ESPN’s Outside the Lines at 2:40pm/et.
      Before departing Miami, the champion will start his day with an 8:10am/et phone interview on the popular Mike and Mike In the Morning program on ESPN Radio (simulcast on ESPN2). A recorded interview will air on the evening SportsCenter on ESPN Deportes.

    • ESPN Classic Returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway: With long-dormant North Wilkesboro (NC) Speedway scheduled to re-open late in 2010, ESPN Classic will bring NASCAR fans back to the 0.625-mile short track with a look at the 1989 Holly Farms 400, a NASCAR Winston Cup race. A one-hour highlights program airs Monday, Nov. 23, at 12noon/et.

    • Some Homestead facts:
      - Jack Roush-owned Fords have won this race the past five years.
      - Jimmie Johnson's average finish this season is 11.3. Mark Martin, the runner-up in points, has an average of 13.7. The best average finish belongs to Tony Stewart (10.1).
      - Juan Pablo Montoya's average finish at Homestead is only 22.0.
      - The best Homestead average finish among Chase drivers belongs to Carl Edwards (6.4), who won the Ford 400 last year.(NASCAR This Week)(11-22-2009)

    • New option for Homestead pit road: NASCAR drivers have been getting used to a slightly new Homestead-Miami Speedway rule this weekend – the way they enter pit road. Drivers in the past had to use the access road (which serves mostly as a deceleration lane) between turns 3 and 4 but now they enter pit road as they do on most tracks when they come off of Turn 4. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Sunday that a pass-through penalty in the past would cost a driver two laps because he would have to slow down on the access road. He noted that in the Truck series race Friday, a pass-through for Kyle Busch resulted in him losing one lap, much like it would at most other tracks. “Part of it is trying to create a more fair environment for the competitors,” Darby said in the Homestead-Miami Speedway garage prior to the Ford 400. “There’s some tracks that a trip down pit road is going to be a two- or three-lap penalty – your Martinsvilles, your Bristols – but if we have the opportunity to make a change at a bigger track to make it more in line with the other tracks we race at, we should do that for the competitors.” NASCAR never had a speed limit on that access road. “If you drive slow [on it], it’s not a problem, but our competitors aren’t used to driving slow,” Darby said. “If you force them to use the access road, like we have in the past, then you get into situations where there is no speed limit on that portion – if you go too fast, you slide off, you wind up in the grass and you end up creating a bigger mess.” Drivers can still use the access road entering the pits if they have a problem and they will still use the access road between turns 1 and 2 when exiting pit road.(SceneDaily)(11-22-2009)

    • Volkswagen and NASCAR? UPDATE: The head of Volkswagen's motor sports program is at Homestead-Miami Speedway, fueling speculation that automaker is interested in joining Toyota as the second foreign manufacturer in NASCAR. Top NASCAR officials confirmed to The Associated Press that Hans-Joachim Stuck plans to meet with the sanctioning body. The officials requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the meeting. The topic of the meeting was unclear. Earlier this season, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the sanctioning body is open to accepting new manufacturers into the sport. The only requirement is that manufacturers must have production plants in the U.S. Volkswagen has a plant under construction in Tennessee, and the facility is scheduled to build midsize sedans in 2011.(Associated Press)(11-21-2009)
      UPDATE: VW says they are not interested in NASCAR. But are looking at bringing their VW, Audi and Lamborghini brands to Grand Am and that is why they were in Homestead talking to NASCAR, which owns and runs Grand Am.(SPEED's Ralph Sheheen)(11-22-2009)

    • Hendrick misses Homestead race: A family emergency will keep team owner Rick Hendrick from celebrating a record-tying ninth Sprint Cup championship for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick's 29-year-old niece Alesha Gainey, the daughter of John Hendrick who was killed in the 2004 plane crash near Martinsville Speedway, is undergoing an emergency liver transplant in North Carolina. "Rick obviously wishes he could be here . . . [but] Rick's priority at this point is to support his family at this crucial time," Hendrick Motorsports general managers Marshall Carlson said.(ESPN)(11-22-2009)

    • Robby Gordon Clinches Off-Road Title: Following a dominating season, Robby Gordon and the #77 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires team were named the 2009 Overall Series and Trophy Truck division Champion for the Tecate SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series. Gordon clinched the championship with his top-five finish in the Baja 1000 on Saturday, November 21st. Throughout the 2009 Tecate SCORE International Off-Road Racing season, Gordon raced in all five events and finished in the top-ten in each race. Additionally, Gordon actually scored two wins throughout the five race season. The 2009 Tecate SCORE International Off-Road season kicked off in January with the Laughlin Desert Challenge where Gordon dominated the competition, winning the unique two-day event. Gordon returned to victory lane following the PRIMM 300 in early September, when he missed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in Richmond, VA.
      "I'm so pleased with the progress Robby Gordon Off-Road made throughout the 2009 SCORE International Off-Road season," commented Gordon. "When the season began, we didn't even know that we were going to compete in the entire season. But after winning the Laughlin Desert Challenge in such dominating fashion, we knew that we could make a run for the championship. The guys did a great job continually building and preparing the trophy truck, which made it easy to run upfront. I'm very proud of our success. Returning to my roots to win two of five races is great, but capturing the championship is very exciting and rewarding. The entire Robby Gordon Off-Road team is extremely thankful for such great sponsors. Because of the support of Monster Energy and Toyo Tires, we have experienced great success this season."(RGM)(11-22-2009)

    • Knaus Wins Second-Consecutive Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year Award: For the second consecutive season, Chad Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy, was named the coveted 2009 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year. The announcement was made Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway prior to the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale. After capturing his fifth Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race in 2009 during last weekend's race at Phoenix, Knaus moved out of a tie with Darian Grubb, crew chief for the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy and driver Tony Stewart. Grubb finished the season with four Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race awards. Presenting the 2009 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year trophy to Knaus was Wypall Wipers Category Manager Tom Merrill and Jeff Hammond, who also serves as a spokesperson for Wypall Wipers. In addition to the limited edition trophy, Knaus received a check for $20,000.00. The 2009 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge has been a season-long contest that has strived each week to determine the best crew chiefs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage.(Wypall PR)(11-22-2009)


      News from November 21, 2009

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale Live on ABC: The 2009 season finale for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is this weekend at Florida's Homestead-Miami Speedway as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ends with the crowning of the champion. ESPN's live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Ford 400 airs Sunday, Nov. 22, on ABC and ABC HD beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30pm/et. The race's green flag is scheduled for 3:30pm/et. Also from Homestead, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Nov. 20, at 3:00pm/et, as well as coverage of final practice on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 3:00pm/et.
      Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage, with analysis by 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett and two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
      Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, co-owner of a winning team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham in the ESPN pit studio.

    • Race Coverage of the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 22, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 3:15 pm/et
      special Sports Center on ESPN at 1:00pm/et; ABC pre-race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx 3:30pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 23 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 23 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 25 at 12:00pm/et

    • SportsCenter Special Originates from Homestead on Championship Day: ESPN's flagship program SportsCenter will present a 90-minute special from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 1:00pm/et, following NFL Countdown on ESPN. The telecast will lead up to NASCAR Countdown on ABC at 2:30pm/et. SportsCenter presented by AutoZone at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship will be hosted by Allen Bestwick and will give NASCAR fans the opportunity to see things that go on prior to a race that they normally don't get to see. Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, will be a special on-site reporter for ESPN and look at some of the dirty jobs of NASCAR. Rowe's voice has been heard by NASCAR fans as the narrator of segments during ESPN's coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season.
      ESPN's Dave Burns will spend the program shadowing the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson, taking viewers behind-the-scenes as the car goes through final race preparation and NASCAR inspection. And ESPN's Marty Smith will shadow Johnson himself in the hours before he attempts to make history as the first driver to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.
      The program also will include a heartwarming story of how the building of Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1994 and 1995 helped bring the Homestead area back from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Andrew, one of the worst natural disasters in history, on Aug. 24, 1992. Joining Bestwick in the ESPN Pit Studio will be analysts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Ray Evernham. Several NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers also are expected to stop by the studio during the course of the program.

    • Happy Hour practice for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over for the final practice of the 2009 season, the fastest, slowest and notes:
      #31-Burton 165.736
      #29-Harvick 165.375
      #5-Martin 165.067
      #1-Truex Jr. 165.022
      #39-Newman 164.604
      Slowest: #36-McDowell 158.386 & #08-TLabonte 159.811
      incidents: none reported.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on my Homestead Practice Speeds Page.(11-21-2009)

    • Saturday's first practice: for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, the fastest, slowest and notes:
      #5-Martin 168.177
      #11-Hamlin 167.884
      #48-Johnson 167.863
      #39-Newman 167.822
      #18-Busch 167.811
      Slowest: #96-Darnell 160.810 & #36-McDowell 161.040
      incidents: #96-Darnell slapped the wall and scraped the right side of the car, there are no sponsors on the #96. #42-Montoya got high and scraped the right side of the car.
      The final Happy Hour practicew of 2009 is scheduled to start run from 2:50 to 3:50pm/et and be televised on ESPN starting at 3:00pm/et, but with the college football game just starting the 4th quarter at 2:30pm/et, good chance it won't start on time.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on my Homestead Practice Speeds Page.(11-21-2009)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Homestead: The selections of pit stalls for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been made.
      Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #82-Speed took pit stall 3, the first with an opening behind it.
      #47-Ambrose, who starts 3rd, took the 14th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #21-Elliott, who starts 9th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Homestead Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-21-2009)

    • ESPN Radio Revs Up NASCAR Coverage: RaceDay to Originate from Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN Radio will be dialed in throughout the final week of the 2009 NASCAR season providing comprehensive coverage as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heads for the checkered flag. Listeners and simulcast viewers (Mike & Mike in the Morning and the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN2, The Herd with Colin Cowherd ESPNU) will get to hear from ESPN NASCAR experts as well as NASCAR drivers. Rusty Wallace, Marty Smith, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Jarrett are among those expected to contribute. Weekend morning's RaceDay will originate from Homestead-Miami Speedway, sight of Sunday's final race.
      Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 am/et M-F): Rusty Wallace (Friday); co-hosts Greenberg & Golic will also feature NASCAR during some daily "What's Everyone Talking About" segments
      The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 am - 2 pm/et M-F): NASCAR will be featured during several daily "Spanning the Globe" segments; Homestead preview coverage Friday and re-cap Monday; NASCAR content will be included in podcasts posted after each show
      Scott Van Pelt Show (2-4 pm/et M-F): post-Homestead reaction and discussion; Homestead preview Friday and re-cap Monday
      Doug Gottlieb Show (4-7 pm/et M-F): Marty Smith (Friday); Sprint Cup winner Monday
      RaceDay with Pat Patterson (6-7am/et, Saturdays, Sundays): Saturday RaceDay will feature an interview with NASCAR Truck series champ Ron Hornaday who recently joined Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon as a four-time NASCAR Champ, and the latest from the Nationwide Series where Kyle Busch needs to only start Saturday to pick up his first big time NASCAR title. Sunday RaceDay will focus on Jimmie Johnson as he attempts to make history with his run for a fourth consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship.(ESPN)

    • Volkswagen and NASCAR?: The head of Volkswagen's motor sports program is at Homestead-Miami Speedway, fueling speculation that automaker is interested in joining Toyota as the second foreign manufacturer in NASCAR. Top NASCAR officials confirmed to The Associated Press that Hans-Joachim Stuck plans to meet with the sanctioning body. The officials requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the meeting. The topic of the meeting was unclear. Earlier this season, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the sanctioning body is open to accepting new manufacturers into the sport. The only requirement is that manufacturers must have production plants in the U.S. Volkswagen has a plant under construction in Tennessee, and the facility is scheduled to build midsize sedans in 2011.(Associated Press)(11-21-2009)

    • Championship drivers rarely win final race: in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series [1949 thru current], only one in the modern era [1972-present] and only six drivers in 61 seasons who won the Sprint Cup Series Championship also won the final race of the season:
      the six drivers who won the season championship and final race of season
      1998: Jeff Gordon won at Atlanta Motor Speedway
      1971: Richard Petty won at Texas World Speedway
      1965: Ned Jarrett won at Dog Track Speedway in Moyock, NC
      1957: Buck Baker won at Greensboro Fairgrounds, Greensboro, NC
      1956: Buck Baker won at Wilson Speedway, Wilson, NC
      1955: Tim Flock won at Orange Speedway, Hillsboro, NC
      (11-21-2009)

    • Six drivers who won in 2008, no wins in 2009: Six drivers could be shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2009 after winning at least one race in 2008: #16-Greg Biffle last won at Dover in September 2008 and has a 6 season win streak in jeopardy. The drivers with the current streak of consecutive seasons with at least one win a year:
      #31-Jeff Burton last won at Charlotte in October 2008 and has won at least one race a year for 3 straight seasons coming into the 2009 season; #99-Carl Edwards last won a year ago at Homestead and won 9 races in 2008 with a two-year streak going; #33-Clint Bowyer last won at Richmond in May 2008 and has a 2 season streak; #39-Ryan Newman last won the 2008 Daytona 500 and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. last won at Michigan in June 2008 after a winless 2007.(11-21-2009)

    • Miccosukee to sponsor #37 at Homestead: SPEED's Hermie Sadler reported on NASCAR Live that #37-Travis Kvapil will carry the colors of Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort as the car normally sponsored by Miccosukee failed to qualify for the race when David Streem spun on his qualifying lap Friday for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(11-21-2009)

    • Wave Energy to sponsor #36 team in 2010: Wave Energy Drink has agreed to an extension of their NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsorship program with Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2010 and will appear as the primary sponsor in 14 select events, beginning with the Daytona 500 next February. Wave Energy Drink will be an associate sponsor for the remaining 2010 races and will be the primary sponsor for the All-Star race in May. In addition to the Daytona 500, Wave Energy Drink will appear as the primary sponsor at the following 2010 events: Atlanta (3/7), Texas (4/18), Richmond (5/1), Charlotte (5/22 & 5/30), Michigan (6/13), Daytona (7/3), Watkins Glen (8/8), Atlanta (9/5), Dover (9/26), Kansas (10/3), California (10/10), Texas (11/7) and Homestead (11/21).(Wave Energy PR)(11-21-2009)

    • Hamlin to have knee surgery: #11-Denny Hamlin will have arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday to repair some minor damage to his right knee, he said Friday. Hamlin was originally scheduled to have the surgery during an off week this summer but elected to postpone it until after the season. "There's tears in there," he said. "[The surgery is to] basically scope it out. I just have problems with it when I get out of the car, it really is stiff and the joints really hurt, so it's something that needs to be done for the long run."(SceneDaily)(11-21-2009)

    • NASCAR And Craftsman Name Winners Of NASCAR Craftsman Wrenchman Awards: Craftsman and NASCAR have announced the winners of the first annual NASCAR Craftsman Wrenchman Award. The Wrenchman Award recognizes behind-the-scenes NASCAR crew members from each of the three national NASCAR Series who "turn the wrenches" in the shop and along pit row, but rarely get the recognition they deserve. Winners were announced at The Wrenchman Award Ceremony in Miami from November 20-22.
      The winner from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was chosen by online fan voting. Winners from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series were selected by a committee.
      The NASCAR Craftsman Wrenchman Award SM winners include:
      •Andrew Mason, Shop Foreman, Richard Childress Racing # 29, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
      •Ramie Jones, Team Engineer, Braun Racing #32, NASCAR Nationwide Series
      •Bob Rahilly, Truck Chief, Jim Rosenblum Racing #28, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
      All NASCAR Craftsman Wrenchman Award winners will receive a cash prize of $14,000 and $10,000 in Craftsman gift cards. At The Wrenchman Award Ceremony in Miami, the winners were also rewarded with a trophy from NASCAR and Craftsman representatives. The two-foot trophies were specially designed in the shape of a wrench for each winner.(NASCAR)(11-21-2009)

    • Mayfield holds auction: Jeremy Mayfield sat in the back of his large barn Friday morning about 800 miles from where NASCAR's season-ending weekend was kicking off. Several hundred people surrounded him, listening intently as a fast-speaking auctioneer sold dozens of items. Banned from driving by NASCAR after testing positive for methamphetamines, Mayfield has become an auction fanatic. Only this time, he was selling his own stuff, ranging from a second home, land, cars, dirt bikes and bulldozers to weed-whackers, humidifiers and sunglasses. If it was all sold by the end of the day it would be worth about $5 million, money needed to help his ongoing court fight to be reinstated to the sport. "Obviously, this will help financially," Mayfield said. "But it's also what I like to do." And besides a few old pieces of sheet metal for sale and the racing hats worn by some of the visitors, there were few signs of NASCAR on the premises. Mayfield walked around his land with a smile, but also determined to prove that he's not a drug user. His wife, selling clothes and shoes in another section of the facility, took a harder stand against how others in the sport have treated them. "It's hurtful when you've been with people who you thought were your family for 17 years and then you're kind of left out here," Shana Mayfield said, referring to other drivers and their wives. "You kind of feel like you're out in the middle of a field and the vultures are after you. Nobody is standing up for you or trying to help you. That's a hard feeling, and it hurts. And everyone will know the truth before it's over with." The legal fight has cost Mayfield his race team and has put him into debt, although he disputed claims that he owes his former attorney money. "I've paid Bill Diehl a lot of money," he said. "We'll get it worked out."(Associated Press)(11-21-2009)

    • Giuffres out of Milwaukee Mile deal: In unusually caustic language, the presumptive promoter of the Milwaukee Mile on Friday accused the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board and its chairwoman, Susan Crane, of sabotaging a proposed operating agreement. "Apparently, Sue Crane and her board just simply don't understand business, business protocol or good faith contract negotiations," Frank and Dominic Giuffre wrote in a letter to the board. "We now have no intention of going anywhere with Sue Crane and her board, because you quite simply can't be trusted," they wrote. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm out of auto racing," Frank Giuffre said Friday afternoon. The Giuffre group would have become the fourth promoter in six seasons, following State Fair Park, Milwaukee Mile Holdings (2006-'08) and Wisconsin Motorsports. NASCAR included the Mile on its 2010 Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series schedules. Officials have said they want to return but won't do so until debts left by the previous promoter are satisfied. Wisconsin Motorsports LLC, led by Claude Napier, left owing NASCAR upward of $1 million for 2009. With the Mile contract a dead issue, at least for now, those races and the future of the track are again in doubt. A NASCAR official could not be reached for comment.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-21-2009)


      News from November 20, 2009

    • Johnson wins pole at Homestead: #48-Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a lap of 173.919mph for his 4th pole of the season and 23rd career pole. #82-Speed was 2nd fastest followed by #47-Ambrose, #5-Martin, #14-Stewart, #29-Harvick, #39-Newman, #16-Biffle, #21-Elliott and #33-Bowyer.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #82-Speed, #21-Elliott, #78-Smith, #02-Gilliland, #36-McDowell, #71-BLabonte, #37-Kvapil and #08-TLabonte [using a past champions provisional].
      Five drivers who failed to qualify: #87-Nemecehk, #66-Blaney, #70-Skinner, #13-Papis and #09-Stremme.
      See qualifying results, pole progression, starting lineup on my Homestead Qualifying Results/Starting Lineup page.(11-20-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the FORD 400 with a lap of 31.049 seconds, 173.919 mph.
      This is his 23rd pole in 291 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth pole and 26th top-10 start in 2009.
      This is his second pole in nine races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His first Homestead pole came in 2007. He finished seventh that race.
      #82-Scott Speed (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2009 and his second in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This matches his best career start (Homestead, 2008; Chicagoland, 2009).
      #47-Marcos Ambrose (third) posted his first top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his sixth in 36 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-20-2009)

    • Homestead starting spots for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Homestead)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, on the pole, 1st
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 20th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch, 12th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 5th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 23rd
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 8th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 38th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 7th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 25th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 24th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 33rd.(11-20-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Maimi Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 20, 2009 at 3:10pm/et.
      TV: ESPN2 - 3:00pm/et
      Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted.
      48 cars/drivers are listed. 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 #83-Vickers.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #47-Ambrose.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #71-Bobby Labonte with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #82-Speed.
      See the full qualifying order on the Homestead Qualifying Page.(11-20-2009)

    • Friday practice: for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, the fastest, slowest and notes:
      #2-Busch 173.433
      #42-Montoya 173.138
      #33-Bowyer 172.922
      #39-Newman 172.227
      #20-Logano 172.068
      Slowest: #08-Labonte 164.564 & #70-Skinner 167.931
      incidents:#42-Montoya lost it off turn 4 and slid down the front stretch, but didn't hit anything.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on my Homestead Practice Speeds Page.(11-20-2009)

    • Homestead practice ranks for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Phoenix)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 21st fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 14th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 17th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch, 1st
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 6th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2nd
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 11th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 26th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 4th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 13th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 7th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 24th.(11-20-2009)

    • Homestead practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC3], 20th fastest overall
      #09-David Stremme, 25th
      #71-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 29th
      #82-Scott Speed, 30th
      #78-Regan Smith, 32nd
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 36th
      #02-David Gilliland, 38th
      #08-Terry Labonte [PC2], 48th, using a past provisional
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #36-Michael McDowell, 40th
      #13-Max Papis, 43rd
      #37-Travis Kvapil, 44th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 45th
      #70-Mike Skinner, 47th
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Kahne considering leaving RPM after 2010: from a Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Kasey Kahne Open Interview done at Homestead:
      Q) HOW MUCH WILL YOU TRY AND STAY IN THE LOOP WITH RPM MANAGEMENT ON WHAT'S GOING ON?
      Kahne: "I use to try and stay in the loop and then things don't happen that they say will. At this point, I have one year left (on my RPM contract). I want to do the best job for Richard Petty Motorsports in my final year. It's up to them what happens. They do their thing and I'll do mine. All I can do is make myself better at driving race cars and communicating with Kenny Francis. If I do that, I'll be happy next season."
      Q) SO YOU'LL TRY AND LOOK ELSEWHERE NEXT YEAR?
      Kahne: "Yeah."
      Q) REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS NEXT YEAR, WILL NEXT YEAR BE YOUR LAST YEAR WITH RPM?
      Kahne: "That's hard to say. Come January, I can start looking around; I can talk to other people. I would imagine the Gillett's are going to talk to me at that point. But as of right now, the Gillett's haven't talked to me and I'm just kind of doing my job, doing the best that I can through the end of the season. The ups and downs of the team has made it difficult for me to really say, 'Man, I'm going to be here for 10 more years.' I really don't know what's going to happen. Truthfully, I don't know what's going to happen right now."(Dodge Motorsports Transcript)(11-20-2009)

    • Addington moving on: during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Monestead-Miami Speedway, Andy Petree of ESPN2 reported that Steve Addington, former crew chief for #128-Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, informed JGR he woul leave and is moving on. No word what team or job he is going to.(11-20-2009)

    • Jeff Gordon to stay full-time another few years: #24-Jeff Gordon will drive through at least the 2013 season for Hendrick Motorsports, team owner Rick Hendrick said Friday. There has been speculation that Gordon, who has a lifetime deal with HMS, will retire within the next couple of years. The speculation arose in part because of Gordon's back problems and in part because he wants to spend more time with his family. "He's committed to at least 2013, maybe 2014," Hendrick said. "I'm hoping he's going to drive a bunch of more years. We know it's going to be at least three or four." Hendrick said he's also negotiating a new deal with DuPont, the primary sponsor on Gordon's car since he entered the Sprint Cup Series in 1992. DuPont's contract is due to expire in 2010 and Hendrick said the company will remain on the #24 at least for a good portion of the races through the end of Gordon's career.(ESPN)(11-20-2009)

    • Johnson & Lowe's extend with Hendrick UPDATE Knaus? Lowe's Companies Inc. will continue its successful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports after signing a three-year agreement that secures primary sponsorship of the #48 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Driving the #48 Lowe's Chevys will be current points leader and three-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who has signed a five-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that will keep him with the organization through 2015. Johnson and Lowe's previously were signed through the 2010 season. The new pacts build upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Johnson was selected by Hendrick Motorsports to drive for the new Lowe's-sponsored #48 team. After nearly eight full seasons, the driver-sponsor relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR.
      "Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports are a key part of our marketing efforts and outreach to our more than 225,000 employees," said Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "We believe this is the best combination in racing, and we're proud to have Jimmie carry the Lowe's name in NASCAR." Since his first full-time Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson has earned a series-leading 47 victories and only twice has finished outside the top two in championship points. Of the 16 NASCAR drivers who have recorded 40 or more wins, just three -- Herb Thomas, David Pearson and Richard Petty -- have higher career winning percentages.
      "Lowe's commitment to the 48 team and Hendrick Motorsports is tremendous and has been a source of pride for me personally," said Johnson, 34, who never has had a primary sponsor other than Lowe's in Sprint Cup competition. "We've built a championship team together, and I'm proud the 48 will carry the Lowe's colors for many more years."
      Through 35 of 36 races in 2009, the #48 Lowe's team led by crew chief Chad Knaus has posted 15 top-five finishes, 23 top-10s and a series-high seven wins. Johnson leads the championship standings with a 108-point margin over teammate Mark Martin going into Sunday's season finale at Homestead.
      "Lowe's took a chance on us back in 2001, and it's not a stretch to say this whole thing would never have been possible without them," said Rick Hendrick, who co-owns the #48 team with driver Jeff Gordon. "When you have a partner put that much faith in you, it's incredibly rewarding to see them be successful. They're a company with values and practices that we admire and learn from in our own business, and we feel very fortunate to continue this amazing ride together. Jimmie is charting new territory in our sport, and that's due to a combination of natural talent and unsurpassed work ethic. How he's committed himself is just incredible, and it shows in everything that he does -- not just on the racetrack. There's no question that he's one of the great champions in all of sports, and he's not done yet."(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-20-2009)
      UPDATE: Hendrick added that he's working on a lifetime deal for Chad Knaus, the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson. Hendrick tried to sign Johnson, who's on track to win an unprecedented fourth straight championship on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, to a lifetime contract as well, but "I couldn't borrow enough money to make it work."(ESPN)(11-20-2009)

    • Busy weekend for Robby Gordon: The final race weekend of the 2009 season will also mark one of the busiest weekends of the year for #7-Robby Gordon. Before going to Homestead-Miami Speedway to compete in the 400-mile race on Sunday afternoon, Gordon will travel to the Baja Peninsula to compete in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, November 19-22. The Baja 1000 will mark the fifth and final event in the Tecate SCORE International Off-Road Series 2009 Championship, which Gordon is currently leading. Robby's Remarks – "It's going to be a very physical and exhausting weekend for me," said Gordon. "The Baja 1000 is not an easy event, but I'm confident that my guys prepared an extremely competitive trophy truck for me. Hopefully we'll be able to complete that race with a strong finish and secure the championship. As soon as we're done there, we'll be headed back to Miami for the Sprint Cup Series finale. I'm very excited to have Matt Crafton work with the MAPEI / Menard's team to help practice and qualify our Camry. Matt's a great driver, and I'm sure that he'll do a great job preparing the car. Hopefully we'll be able to get a strong finish this week in our Cup program as well. A good finish at Homestead would be a great way to build motivation and excitement for the 2010 season at the RGM shop." (RGM)(11-20-2009)

    • One final triple for 2009 by Kyle Busch: With #18-Kyle Busch participating in Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race, as well as Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Homestead, Busch will make his 84th 85th and 86th overall starts in 2009 across NASCAR's top three series. By merely starting Saturday's Nationwide Series race, Busch will clinch the series championship, his first in NASCAR.(JGR)(11-20-2009)

    • Homestead Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action this weekend will be running the same right-side tire code (D-4136), teams in the Sprint Cup Series will be running a different left-side code (D-4220) . . . Sprint Cup teams ran this same right-side code with a different left-side code at Homestead in 2008 . . . this left-side code features a compound change to give the cars more grip, compared to what was run at Homestead last year . . . in addition to Homestead, Cup teams ran this exact combination of left- and right-side tires at both races at Texas this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Homestead . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage (Sprint Cup). See full notes, tire pressures, codes and more on my Homestead Race Info pgae - Goodyear section.(11-20-2009)

    • M&M'S Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR at Homestead: Cynthia Peace, grand prize winner of the M&M'S Seeks the Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR Contest, will receive a VIP experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway that includes meeting Kyle Busch and viewing all three season-ending races in style. An avid NASCAR fan for more than a decade, Peace attended her first race at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., in 1999. She has completed the Richard Petty Driving Experience, her favorite track is Bristol Motor Speedway, her favorite driver is Kyle Petty, and she is excited to share her VIP experience at Homestead with family from California, Oklahoma and Texas. Peace and her husband Bobby are parents of 16-year-old daughter Kelsey and live in Havana, Ill.(JGR)(11-20-2009)

    • History Awaits: Johnson Closing in On Fourth Straight Title: #48-Jimmie Johnson needs to finish 25th or better in Sunday's Ford 400 to become only the first driver to win four consecutive championships. Johnson now leads second-place Mark Martin by 108 points. Even if Martin were to win and lead the most laps on Sunday – a 195-point day – Johnson would clinch with that 25th-place finish. The clinch scenarios change if Johnson leads laps. If he leads at least one lap, Johnson will clinch with at least a 27th-place finish. If he leads the most laps Sunday, he needs at least a 28th-place finish. A phenomenal Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has put Johnson in this position. Over the nine races, Johnson has four wins, six top fives, eight top 10s and an average finish of 7.0. It is the third Chase in which Johnson has won four races. He also did it in 2004 and 2007. The statistics don't bode well for a Mark Martin comeback, but anything can happen. Since the current points structure was implemented in 1975, the largest deficit ever overcome in the final race was 30 points by Alan Kulwicki over Davey Allision in 1992. So, clearly, the 108-point gap to Johnson seems daunting – but not impossible. Martin has gained more than 108 points on Jimmie Johnson in a single race nine times their 266-race head-to-head career – including once at Homestead. A couple of other numbers to mull over: Johnson has finished worse than 25th 47 times in his 290-race career. If Martin does end the season in second, it would be the fifth runner-up points finish of his career. Richard Petty has the most career runner-up championship finishes, with six.(NASCAR)(11-20-2009)


      News from November 19, 2009

    • ESPN Radio Revs Up NASCAR Coverage: RaceDay to Originate from Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN Radio will be dialed in throughout the final week of the 2009 NASCAR season providing comprehensive coverage as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heads for the checkered flag. Listeners and simulcast viewers (Mike & Mike in the Morning and the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN2, The Herd with Colin Cowherd ESPNU) will get to hear from ESPN NASCAR experts as well as NASCAR drivers. Rusty Wallace, Marty Smith, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Jarrett are among those expected to contribute. Weekend morning's RaceDay will originate from Homestead-Miami Speedway, sight of Sunday's final race.
      Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 am/et M-F): Rusty Wallace (Friday); co-hosts Greenberg & Golic will also feature NASCAR during some daily "What's Everyone Talking About" segments
      The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 am - 2 pm/et M-F): NASCAR will be featured during several daily "Spanning the Globe" segments; Homestead preview coverage Friday and re-cap Monday; NASCAR content will be included in podcasts posted after each show
      Scott Van Pelt Show (2-4 pm/et M-F): post-Homestead reaction and discussion; Homestead preview Friday and re-cap Monday
      Doug Gottlieb Show (4-7 pm/et M-F): Marty Smith (Friday); Sprint Cup winner Monday
      RaceDay with Pat Patterson (6-7am/et, Saturdays, Sundays): Saturday RaceDay will feature an interview with NASCAR Truck series champ Ron Hornaday who recently joined Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon as a four-time NASCAR Champ, and the latest from the Nationwide Series where Kyle Busch needs to only start Saturday to pick up his first big time NASCAR title. Sunday RaceDay will focus on Jimmie Johnson as he attempts to make history with his run for a fourth consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship.(ESPN)

    • Final Phoenix TV ratings down: ABC's live coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway earned a final national household rating of 3.3, down from the 3.6 earned for the portion of last year's race that aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 5,172,384 viewers. Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix aired live on ESPN2 and earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.1, down from the 1.3 rating earned for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,419,953 viewers (ESPN). See last weeks ratings, along with race-by-race postings and comparision chart on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-19-2009)

    • Final race for Jack Daniel's in NASCAR MORE...image: After five years of partnership, Jack Daniel's announced in September they would be discontinuing their NASCAR sponsorship with the conclusion of this weekend's race. In honor of their association with Richard Childress Racing, Jack Daniel's has placed the name of every driver, crew member and administrative person who was part of their program at RCR on the hood of this weekend's #07 Chevy that Casey Mears drives. This will be the last time fans can purchase Jack Daniel's souvenirs from the #07 merchandise trailer. And, Mears will be making his final autograph appearance there on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 12:15pm/et and Mears will make his "last call" at the Jack Daniel's Experience on the same day at 12:00pm/et.(RCR)(11-19-2009)
      MORE: Leave it to Jack Daniel's to come up with a personal touch for their finale as primary sponsor for Richard Childress Racing's #07 Chevy this weekend in Homestead-Miami Speedway. Just like Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel personally made sure his recipe for Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 was always carried out by human touch. After five seasons with RCR, Jack Daniel's and the people of parent company Brown-Forman wanted to show their appreciation in a very personal way for this weekend's race in South Florida. So, they placed the names of everyone who worked on the program since partnering with RCR in 2005 right on the hood of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy. Drivers, crew chiefs, crew members and administration personnel are all being honored with approximately 140 names placed all around the words "Jack" and "Thanks" on the hood. "The last five years in the sport has been fun and exciting, to say the least," said Dave Stang, Assistant Vice President of Brand Awareness for Jack Daniel's. "It took a ton of people, and all those fantastic fans, to help Jack get its responsible drinking message communicated throughout the USA and beyond. We recognize them all with this little token of appreciation, Jack would be proud." During their time with RCR in NASCAR, three drivers drove the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet. Dave Blaney in 2005, Clint Bowyer 2006 to 2008 and Casey Mears in 2009, who collectively earned two victories, two pole awards, 21 top-five and 61 top-10 finishes.(RCR), see an image of the hood on my #07 Team Schemes page.(11-19-2009)

    • Official: McMurray to the #1 car: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that they will add Jamie McMurray as a teammate of #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, to drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. McMurray will return to Ganassi whom he raced for from 2002-2005. Bass Pro Shops will once again return for their fifth season as one of the primary partners on the #1 Chevy. The Jamie McMurray Foundation (JMF), created in 2006, was formed to promote awareness of, and raise funding for, research, education and support for individuals and families affected by autism. The JMF is dedicated to bringing the financial backing and support of the NASCAR community, together with the passion and commitment of the autism community to promote better understanding of this challenging disability. Bass Pro Shops, of Springfield, Missouri, will enter their fifth season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as one of the primary sponsors of the #1 Chevy.(Earnhardt Ganassi)(11-19-2009)

    • Fuel Injection in 2011?: Several sources, including a NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief and a manufacturer's representative, have confirmed that the sanctioning body intends to replace carburetors with fuel injection on Sprint Cup engines in 2011. The move has been discussed for several years, but in a meeting between NASCAR representatives and representatives of the manufacturers held after the Talladega race, the plan was reportedly presented to those in attendance.(Orlando Sentinel)(11-19-2009)

    • Sterling Marlin....retiring? denied: Sterling Marlin plans to enter Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway [Marlin is not on the entry list, but the #70 Chevy driver is listed as TBA-to be announced, so maybe.....] then, after over 30 years of life in the fast lane, will "probably" hang up his helmet. "Will I miss it? Yeah, in some ways," said Marlin, 52, who raced his way out of the Carter's Creek tobacco fields and into international fame with back-to-back Daytona 500 victories in '94 and '95. "But in some ways I'll kinda be glad when it's over. The sport has changed. It's not much fun any more."(Racin' Today)(11-17-2009)
      UPDATE: been told that Marlin says he is not retiring but would think about retiring in the off-season because it just wasn't fun anymore. Marlin has no plans to drive at Homestead. Marlin can be heard on a scheduled radio interview, Thurssday, Nov 19th on Race 2 Win Radio around 1:20pm/et.(11-19-2009)

    • One track left with no win for Hendrick: Homestead-Miami Speedway is the only racetrack on the current Sprint Cup schedule where Hendrick Motorsports has not won a race. The organization, which will wrap up its 25th anniversary season this weekend, has recorded eight top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in 10 Cup events (39 starts) there (HMS). It is also the only race track that #24-Jeff Gordon has not won a Sprint Cup race and for #48-Jimmie Johnson, Homestead is one of six race tracks on the Cup circuit he has not won at [the others being Watkins Glen, Infineon Raceway, Chicago, Michigan and Bristol.(11-19-2009)

    • What is up with Scott Riggs: Scott Riggs has had a lot of free time lately, 6 months to be exact. So when the former Nascar Sprint Cup series driver got a call from his former late model team, the Bahama, NC native jumped at the opportunity to go out and play. The recent free agent is looking for his second career Myrtle Beach 400 race victory, and recently spent Monday November 16th Testing at Myrtle Beach. He spent the day getting reacquainted with the track regarded as one of the toughest short tracks in the country. "The track has a lot less grip than it did 10 years ago," Riggs stated after spending some time out on the track before making some changes to the car. But he said the lack of grip and the challenging nature is what gives Myrtle Beach its character, and that's what makes it so gratifying when you run well. So on Saturday November 21st and Sunday November 22nd the crafty veteran will make his return to Myrtle Beach Speedway driving the Romeo Guest Construction #2 Ford Fusion.(Myrtle Beach Speedway)(11-19-2009)

    • Homestead Rookie Notes: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 15 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Logano posted a 21st-place finish and took top rookie honors for the 25th time this season. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 36 points (238-202) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the November 22 Ford 400 at Homestead. Tony Stewart is the only Raybestos Rookie to win in 10 previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Stewart captured the inaugural Ford 400 in 1999 by 5.289 seconds over Bobby Labonte. The only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole in 10 previous races at Homestead is Jamie McMurray. McMurray won his first-career pole at the 2003 Ford 400 on the way to claiming Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. McMurray claimed a ninth-place finish in the race, his 13th top-10 finish of the 2003 season. Ryan Newman holds the all-time Raybestos Rookie record for most poles (6), most top-fives (14) and most top-10s (22). Denny Hamlin holds the record for most earnings by a Raybestos Rookie ($6.6 million in 2006). More than one Raybestos Rookie has posted victories in their rookie season only three times: Morgan Shepherd and Ron Bouchard (one each in 1981), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two) and Matt Kenseth (2000), Jimmie Johnson (three) and Ryan Newman (2002).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), and see rookie history, standings, records, notes and more on my 2009 Rookies page.(11-19-2009)

    • RCR, no wins at Homestead: Homestead has been a bit of an Achilles Heel for Richard Childress Racing and is one of the few race tracks where team owner Richard Childress hasn't earned a Sprint Cup Series victory. As a company, RCR's best finish at HMS came in 2003 and in 2008 when Kevin Harvick finished second. In 29 starts, RCR has four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes at the mile-and-a-half, progressively-banked oval with drivers Dave Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Green, Harvick and Mike Skinner. Auto Club Speedway, Kansas and Las Vegas are the other tracks on the current schedule where RCR has yet to visit Victory Lane.(RCR)(11-19-2009)

    • Hall of Champions to be enshrined at HMS: "Hall of Champions" – Homestead-Miami Speedway Champions Club – 12:30-1:00pm/et. Homestead-Miami Speedway, in conjunction with NASCAR President Mike Helton, will enshrine the inaugural class of the Homestead-Miami Speedway Hall of Champions in the Champions Club high above Turn 1 on Saturday, Nov. 21st at 12:30pm. Inaugural inductees include Cup Champions "The Gentleman" Ned Jarrett, "The Matador" Bobby Allison and reigning three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson.(HMS)(11-19-2009)

    • Buzz Aldrin to pace the Ford 400: What was once thought impossible came true 40 years ago when the world witnessed the first ever moon landing. Homestead-Miami Speedway will celebrate the 40-year anniversary of this incredible accomplishment by honoring the "best of the best"—the NASA Apollo astronauts—during NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 20-22). Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin will headline pre-race ceremonies as Honorary Race Chairman for Sunday's Sprint Cup Ford 400. As one of the world's most recognizable astronauts—the second human to step foot on the moon—Aldrin will be honored on-stage during pre-race festivities before getting into a 1969 Ford Mustang to lead the pace car and race field. For great seats and hospitality options for Ford Championship Weekend, call (866) 409-RACE or visit THEChampionshipTrack.com. To learn more NASA and the 40th Anniversary of Apollo visit: www.nasa.gov or www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.(HMS)(11-19-2009)

    • National Anthem at Homestead: Anika Noni Rose—voice of lead-character Tiana in Disney's upcoming film "The Princess and the Frog" is scheduled to be singing the national anthem for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.(HMS)(11-19-2009)

    • All Remaining Tickets for Coke 600 and All-Star Race on sale: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 and May 22 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway are on sale now. Beginning at $49, a wide selection of grandstand seating options are available for the Coca-Cola 600, including a number of premium frontstretch seats. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $30. In addition to the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, tickets are also available for the May 21 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race; Windstream Pole Night Qualifying on Thursday, May 27; and the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 powered by CARQUEST NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday night, May 29. The Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office, located on the second floor of Smith Tower, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS)(11-19-2009)


      News from November 18, 2009

    • MWR wraps up testing with Salo and Trulli: Michael Waltrip Racing officials were pleased with the outcome of a two-day test with Formula One drivers Jarno Trulli and Mika Salo behind the wheel of the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna, FL. "Both Jarno and Mika have done really well," said Steve Hallam, Executive Vice President of Competition for Michael Waltrip Racing and a 27-year Formula One veteran. "They have both delivered competitive lap times. They bring a different perspective to our ears. We are able to hear about the cars in a different way. Also, Trevor (Bayne) being here is very useful because he is articulate and able to relate their experiences to reality. It has been a really positive test and has brought good value to us."
      "They wanted to test our NAPA Auto Parts Toyota and see what our sport is all about," Waltrip said. "They did an outstanding job and were turning some pretty quick times. We were just as serious about this two-day test as they were. We brought down an entire crew. Toyota, our team and engineers fully supported this effort. We were 100% committed to giving it our all just like we would at any of our tests."
      On Tuesday, Diamond-Waltrip Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne climbed into the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota seat to shake down the car before Salo took to the wheel for the first time during his one day of testing. For over two years, Salo searched for an opportunity to test a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Ironically, Salo knew MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman for a little over a year, but what he did not know was that he co-owned multiple NASCAR teams until recently. "Thanks to Rob, I was able to test a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for the first time in my life," said Salo, who turned 208 laps in the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. "I was very comfortable out there and had a lot of fun. I was quick and I know that if I had today to test, I would be a lot quicker. Now, I want to have 42 other cars around me and see what it is really like. I have never raced on an oval before and New Smyrna is a good place to do my first run. I would be scared if we were at a high speed circuit. I was just trying to get the feel of the car with the changes they were making. At the beginning, I was running to get comfortable. The car is a lot heavier and has a lot of power. I was comfortable in the car and that's basically what I wanted. They made different changes. They changed springs, bars and so forth. We tried different things so I could understand what everything does."
      As Salo tested, Trulli observed. Midday the two were surprised when they had a visit from one of the locals - - Mark Martin. "All of a sudden, Mark Martin was here at New Smyrna," Salo said. "He sat down in front of me and I listened. I learned some things from him during his time here. I also learned some things from Michael, David (Reutimann) and Marcos (Ambrose) when I attended the race at Phoenix International Raceway." Trulli turned his first laps Wednesday morning. Climbing out of the car for the first time he said he was shocked by the differences between Formula One and NASCAR. "In the beginning, it was a big shock for me," said Trulli, who turned nearly 300 laps today. "It was the first time in my life I was leaving pit road in a closed cockpit. I needed to get used to that feeling of not having my head out. I'm used to being in a stiff car on the ground. The Cup car moves around a lot. It requires skill, feeling and understanding. There are so many different factors and you need to be a smart person to be aware of what is happening around you."
      By the one hour lunch break, Trulli had a better feel for the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry. "Running here at New Smyrna is easy and very exciting, but racing here might be difficult," Trulli said. "It would take a lot of experience. I prefer a high speed circuit, but at least I have a taste and know the feeling. Today, was important for me to understand what I have to do to get better. In driving the car, I must understand the car. I have to trust it. The center and exit of the corner are important. Braking is crucial here." Trulli is thankful to MWR and Toyota for the opportunity and admitted his interest was sparked when Juan Pablo Montoya made his move to NASCAR. "I didn't know about NASCAR until Juan Pablo Montoya made his move," Trulli said. "The world has changed and everyone is looking at different Series. I haven't signed with anyone yet and I've talked to teams. My door is open right now."
      MWR benefited just as much from the test as did Salo and Trulli. "We have two enormously talented drivers that showed interest in trying NASCAR," said Ty Norris, Vice President and General Manager for Michael Waltrip Racing. "MWR wanted to participate because we are always interested in recruiting talent and we have a great desire to expand to a fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup team in the near future. We know the talent pool currently racing in NASCAR, so it is of great interest to us to evaluate talent from other racing disciplines. It just adds another international element to our organization."(Michael Waltrip Racing)(11-18-2009)

    • Final race for DeWalt on the #17: This weekend will mark the end of an era for Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing. After more than a decade serving as the primary sponsor for Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 team, DEWALT will run its last race aboard the No. 17 Ford Fusion this weekend at Homestead. One of the most successful partnerships in NASCAR history, the duo of Kenseth and DEWALT teamed for the 2000 Rookie of the Year Award, the 2003 Championship and the 2009 Daytona 500 win during their 10-plus year tenure together.(RFR)(11-18-2009)

    • Siemens to sponsor the #43; Sorenson thanks RPM: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Siemens Dodge at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Sorenson is behind the wheel of the #43 for the final time for Richard Petty Motorsports. SORENSON: "I want to thank the Richard Petty Motorsports organization for giving me the chance to race the #43 Dodge this year. I did the best I could and tried to represent the number and company in a way that would make Mr. Petty and our sponsors proud. I learned a lot this year. The opportunity to work with people like Richard Petty and Dale Inman is something that I'll never forget. I also want to thank all of the people that I've worked with this year. I know that everyone put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into getting us to the racetrack every week. I wish we could send them off with a win. They are all first class people and I look forward to hopefully working with some of those people again in the future wherever that takes us."(RPM)(11-18-2009)

    • Junior Johnson to host 'Shinefest': NASCAR Legend Junior Johnson is scheduled to host the inaugural Carolina 'ShineFest in Madison, N.C. Saturday, Nov. 21-Sunday, Nov. 22. Johnson, recently selected to the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will appear during both days of the event. The Carolina 'ShineFest will entertain, educate and honor important parts of North Carolina's historical and cultural past. The event will focus on North Carolina's rich Moonshine history while allowing event attendees to get a glimpse of the history that led to the creation of stock car racing. More info on my Racing Charities page.(11-18-2009)

    • Edwards going for win, had 9 wins in 2008: #99-Carl Edwards, who won a Sprint Cup Series-high nine races in 2008, is still looking for his first Cup win in 2009 heading into Sunday's season finale at Homestead. Only once in series history has a driver won more races one season and been shut out the next. Ned Jarrett won 13 times in 1965, but was winless in 1966. He ran only half the season in 1966 and still finished 13th in the points.(Roanoke Times)(11-18-2009)

    • NASCAR asks judge to make ruling on Mayfield case: The legal jockeying in the Jeremy Mayfield-NASCAR case continued Tuesday as the sanctioning body requested that U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen should rule in its favor based on the pleadings that already have been filed and without the two sides continuing to investigate the issues. NASCAR filed its motion Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte.(see full story at SceneDaily) and past news about it along with info on Friday's auction at Mayfield's on my #41 Team News and Links page or Drug Policy page.(11-18-2009)

    • Bowyer's Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Award in Phoenix: Clint Bowyer's #33 crew captured the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's (Nov. 15) NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. It was the third Tissot win of the season for Bowyer's crew and the second straight win for a Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team. Last week's Tissot winner was the RCR teammate of the #33 – the #29 crew for Kevin Harvick. Bowyer's #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road – 170.217 seconds -- during the Checkers O'Reilly Auto Parts 500. The quick stops lifted Bowyer to a seventh-place finish. Bowyer's over-the-wall crew, which earned $5,000 for the win, consists of: Jason Pulver (front-tire changer), Austin Craven (front-tire carrier), Dustin Niecaise (rear-tire changer), Matt Kreuter (rear-tire carrier), Nick Terry (jackman), Bryan Smith (gasman), Chad Haney (catch can) and Scott Brewer (eighth man). The team's crew chief is Shane Wilson. With one Sprint Cup race remaining – Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway – the crews for Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon are the only teams in contention to capture the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award season championship. Biffle's crew leads the competition with six wins while Gordon's team is second with five wins. If there's a tie, the team which finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup driver point standings will be awarded the Tissot season title. The season-champion crew will receive $100,000 plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver.(Tissot), see race-by-race news, standings and more on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-18-2009)


      News from November 17, 2009

    • NASCAR Now Originates from Homestead for Season Finale: NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, will close out its 2009 season with four shows originating from Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of this weekend's final races of the NASCAR season. Allen Bestwick will host the programs with analysts including Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, Ray Evernham and Dale Jarrett, and reporters Mike Massaro, Nicole Manske and Marty Smith.
      The first program from Homestead airs Friday, Nov. 20, at 12:30am/et (late Thursday night), with another airing Saturday, Nov. 21, at 12:30am/et (late Friday night). The one-hour weekend edition airs Sunday, Nov. 22, at 10:am/et with a preview of that day's NASCAR Sprint Cup finale at Homestead, with the final NASCAR Now of the season airing at 10:00pm/et Sunday. Massaro hosts half-hour editions of NASCAR Now from ESPN's high definition studios in Bristol, Ct., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 1:30am/et (late Tuesday night), and Wednesday at 6:00pm/et. Smith will report from Miami for both programs.

    • #39 to feature U.S. Army All-American Bowl: The hood of Ryan Newman's #39 U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevy for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will showcase the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, an annual football game featuring the nation's top 90 high school seniors. The 10th anniversary U.S. Army All-American Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The all-star classic -- East vs West match-up -- will be televised live on NBC, 1:00pm/et. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl alumni include many current NFL and college standouts including Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings), Chad Henne and Ted Ginn Jr. (Miami Dolphins), Reggie Bush (New Orleans Saints), Vince Young (Tennessee Titans), Mark Sanchez (New York Jets), Tim Tebow (University of Florida Gators), Terrell Pryor (Ohio State Buckeyes), Demarco Murray (Oklahoma Sooners) and Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame Fighting Irish). Gerald Christian, a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection from Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., will attend Sunday's season finale race and will be recognized on stage during prerace ceremonies. A nationally-ranked tight end and linebacker, Christian has verbally committed to play at the University of Florida. Other south Florida area high school stalwarts who have been selected to play in the upcoming U.S. Army All-American Bowl are: Brandon Linder and Michael Palardy, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Ft. Lauderdale; Ivan McCartney, Miramar High School, Miramar; Jaylen Watkins, Cape Coral High School, Cape Coral; and Matt Elam also of Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach.(US Army Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page.(11-17-2009)

    • McMurray supposedly signs with EGR: Apparently, a one-year deal was inked last Wednesday between Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and is expected to be announced sometime on Tuesday. Kevin "Bono" Manion is expected to continue on as the crew chief.(FoxSports)(11-17-2009)

    • Roush's Smith not retiring: Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith has decided to delay his retirement. Smith said because of tough economic times and the merger between partner Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports that he will stay on at least through the 2010 season. Smith is handling a lot of the paperwork in the merger that he said is agreed to on all major issues and should be announced soon. He also plays a major role in bringing sponsors to the cars for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Smith has yet to wrap up a full season of sponsorship for the #17 of Matt Kenseth.(see more at ESPN Insiders)(11-17-2009)

    • Busch's truck team "not looking good", maybe back to Ballew in 2010? During a testing session for the upcoming Snowball Derby [Dec. 2-6] at Five Flags Speedway located in Pensacola, Florida, had a chance to ask Kyle Busch how things were progressing with the truck team he's been trying to put together.
      Q: You and your truck team --- how are things progressing on that?
      A: It's going nowhere fast. I've got no shop to put my stuff in, my builders can't build a building in three years, got no hauler, no trucks no equipment….so, it's pretty late in the year. Obviously we're already to Homestead; we only have two months before Daytona so it's a short amount of time to put a lot together. I don't think it's going to happen. So if Billy's [Ballew] got an open seat for me over at Ballew, I'd be happy to take it again and hopefully we can get Miccosukee to return. They've been a great partner for us, as well as Toyota.
      Q: So it looks like you are going back to Billy Ballew next year?
      See Nancy's full interview on my Camping World Truck Series site.(11-17-2009)

    • BAM plans to tun Toyota's: BAM Racing owner Beth Ann Morgenthau came on Race Talk Radio Monday night, announcing their #49 car will run full-time in 2010 under the Toyota Camry banner. With sponsorship from Warner Records, the team is expected to return to full-time competition, running all 36 races for the first time since the 2007 Cup Series season. Driver and crew chief announcements will come at a later date, but regardless the team will have its own show on RTR every Wednesday night next season.(RTR)(11-17-2009)

    • Sterling Marlin....retiring?: Sterling Marlin plans to enter Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway [Marlin is not on the entry list, but the #70 Chevy driver is listed as TBA-to be announced, so maybe.....] then, after over 30 years of life in the fast lane, will "probably" hang up his helmet. "Will I miss it? Yeah, in some ways," said Marlin, 52, who raced his way out of the Carter's Creek tobacco fields and into international fame with back-to-back Daytona 500 victories in '94 and '95. "But in some ways I'll kinda be glad when it's over. The sport has changed. It's not much fun any more."(Racin' Today)(11-17-2009)

    • Goodyear to test bigger tire: Goodyear will again test the taller, wider tire again with Roush Racing at Phoenix Intenrational Raceway on Dec. 8 and 9.(FoxSports)(11-17-2009)

    • New Ford engine to run at Homestead: Ford will run its new FR9 engine next week at Homestead, said Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations. The plan is for #6-David Ragan to run the car at Homestead, Hervey said. It will be the second race for the engine. The restrictor-plate version was run at Talladega with Ragan and #17-Matt Kenseth. This will be the first time the unrestricted version has run in competition.(Roanoke Times)(11-17-2009)

    • RCR cars to support "call 811":
      Richard Childress is a strong advocate for safety and protecting the community and environment. All four Richard Childress Racing (RCR) teams are supporting the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and its "Call 811" initiative this week in Homestead to help educate fans about the importance of calling 811 before doing any digging or excavation activity. A quick and easy call to 811 helps to protect people from unintentionally hitting underground pipelines, infrastructure and utility lines, which can put the community and environment at risk. As part of the race teams' support, the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy will feature a logo on the deck lid that will read, "811 Know what's below. Call before you dig." In addition to support from RCR and Shell, CGA is also working with driver Joey Logano to help communicate the "Call 811" message at an appearance during race weekend.(RCR)(11-17-2009)

    • Sad News - Ken Spikes: Rev. Ken Spikes passed away Monday, November 16 at Phoebe-Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany. Rev. Spikes was the owner/operator of a heavy equipment company. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and an active member of the Listonia Christian Mission. He is survived by his wife, Miriam Dean Spikes; four daughters and their husbands; six grandchildren and their spouses; and five great-grandchildren, Emma McBryant, Lola McBryant, Bailey McBryant, Brodie McBryant, and Tucker VerSteeg. Spikes ran 16 Cup races from 1964 thru 1970, including the 1967 Daytona 500. Spikes best finish was 10th at Atlanta in 1964, his first start. Service info at raineyfuneral.com.(11-17-2009)

    • Sad News - Bill Pittard: Bill Pittard, a well known and respected member of the racing souvenir community passed away Sunday, November 15th from a lengthy illness at the age of 75. He owned and operated Bill's Racing Souvenirs out of Graham, NC from the early 70's until his health faltered over the past decade. Widely known as a pioneer in the business of trackside souvenir sales, he helped usher in the era of respected and licensed traveling souvenir vendors following NASCAR's top divisions. A lifelong racing enthusiast, he was also retired from AT&T. He is survived by his dear wife Barbara, son Michael, and granddaughters Amber & Nicole. The Visitation & Funeral and are both being held on Wednesday November 18th at Eastlawn Baptist Church, 432 N. Sellars Mill Road, Burlington NC 27217. Visitation will be at Noon and the Funeral will be held directly after at 2:00pm.(11-17-2009)

    • Homestead to hold NASCAR Hauler parade: The celebration of NASCAR's Championship finales at Homestead-Miami Speedway kicks into high gear this Wednesday, Nov. 18, as race-car haulers en route to Ford Championship Weekend will gather downtown Miami, rumble across MacArthur Causeway, on to South Beach and up Ocean Drive. At the parade's conclusion near 9th Street, fans are invited to a FREE South Beach fan festival at Lummus Park that will feature the Championship-contending drivers in two of NASCAR's top series. Drivers scheduled to participate include Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and Ron Hornaday Jr. of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Top 5 drivers in the Championship standings of both series will be available for autographs, as well as a Q&A session. All three of NASCAR's top series will be crowned during Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 20-22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and phenomenal seats are still available for NASCAR's series-crowning weekend by calling (866) 409-RACE or by visiting THEChampionshipTrack.com.
      Haulers are tentatively scheduled to depart from Bicentennial Olympic Park downtown Miami at 2:30pm/et, with an estimated arrival at Lummus Park set for 3:00pm/et.(HMS)(11-17-2009)


      News from November 16, 2009

    • The Entry List for the FORD 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points:
      #02-David Gilliland (53rd in owners pts/2 attempts)
      #08-Terry Labonte [past champ 1996] (50/7)
      #09-David Stremme (2009 Race Winner as owner)(38/35)
      #13-Max Papis (43/20)
      #21-Bill Elliott [past champ 1988](44/12)
      #36-Michael McDowell (40/35)
      #37-Travis Kvapil (45/26)
      #66-Dave Blaney (42/35)
      #70-TBA (58/3)
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 2000](37/35)
      #78-Regan Smith (41/19)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/35)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (39/35)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,08,21,82,87,36,66
      missing the race would be [5]: #'s 37,13,78,70,02
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Homestead Entry List.(11-16-2009)

    • NASCAR Now Originates from Homestead for Season Finale: NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will close out its 2009 season with four shows originating from Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of this weekend’s final races of the NASCAR season. Allen Bestwick will host the programs with analysts including Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty, Ray Evernham and Dale Jarrett, and reporters Mike Massaro, Nicole Manske and Marty Smith.
      The first program from Homestead airs Friday, Nov. 20, at 12:30am/et (late Thursday night), with another airing Saturday, Nov. 21, at 12:30am/et (late Friday night). The one-hour weekend edition airs Sunday, Nov. 22, at 10:am/et with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup finale at Homestead, with the final NASCAR Now of the season airing at 10:00pm/et Sunday. Massaro hosts half-hour editions of NASCAR Now from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Ct., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 1:30am/et (late Tuesday night), and Wednesday at 6:00pm/et. Smith will report from Miami for both programs.

    • Robby thanks Jim Beam, Crafton to help out: The Phoenix Sprint Cup race was the final appearance of Jim Beam on the hood of Robby Gordon’s #7 Toyota and the end of a five-year partnership between the two companies. “Jim Beam has been a great partner to the Robby Gordon Motorsports organization since its formation back in 2005,” said Gordon. “I really hoped that we would be able to bring home a stronger finish than 22nd for their last race to show our appreciation for everything they have done." Prior to racing in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Robby Gordon will travel to the Baja Peninsula to race the #77 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Trophy Truck in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, November 19-22. The Baja 1000 marks the fifth and final competition in the 2009 Tecate SCORE International Off-Road Championship, which Gordon is currently leading for both the Trophy Truck division and the Overall SCORE Desert Series. While Gordon works to clinch the SCORE Championship, the Robby Gordon Motorsports team will work to prepare and perfect their Toyota Camry with the help of Matt Crafton. Crafton is set to practice and qualify the #7 MAPEI / Menards Toyota, turning the wheel back over to Gordon for the 400-mile race on Sunday afternoon.(RGM)(11-16-2009)

    • Overnight Phoenix TV ratings down: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500(k) Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway earned a 2.9 overnight rating with a 6 share. That is down from last season Nov. 9th race at Phoenix, a 3.4 ratings with a 6 share. The final rating in 2008 for Phoenix was a 3.6/7 before the race was moved over to ESPN2 for the final 34 minutes when it ran long due to two red flags. See last weeks ratings, along with race-by-race postings and comparision chart on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-16-2009)

    • One week left in the Chase: #48-Jimmie Johnson is closing in on history and doing so in style. Johnson victory at Phoenix in Week 9 boosted his points lead over second-place Mark Martin to 108 points. Johnson will clinch a record fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship if he finishes 25th or better in the Chase finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      •So now, Martin's predicament begs the question: How many times has Mark Martin gained more than 108 points on Jimmie Johnson, in a single race? The answer is nine times including once at Homestead, in 2005.(11-16-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #00-David Reutimann has the longest current streak of finishing races at 40 races of drivers who have ran all the races. The next driver with the most is: #42-Montoya with 37 and #07-Mears with 36 straight races without a DNF.
      Three drivers have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #42-Montoya, #00-Reutimann and #07-Mears
      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 [Beam didn't run all the races, but did not have a DNF in 84 straight consecutive races that he ran].
      Clint Bowyer holds the modern day (1972-present) at 83, next is Kevin Harvick at 81 [also had a 2nd streak of 58], then Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53.
      The Most in 2009: #66-Blaney has the most DNF's in 2009 with 28 [in 30 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 27 [in 30 starts]. Both of these teams are start-and-parkers for most races. The most DNF's among drivers who have run all the races in 2009: #77-Hornish Jr. with 8, followed by #96/#71-BLabonte with 7.(11-16-2009)

    • Phoenix Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. ABC was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 111
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 22
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:15 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:23 PM
      Total minutes: 188
      Minutes of race broadcast: 140
      Minutes of commercials: 48
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
      Total race brdcst time 140 Total comm. brdcst time 48
      See selected drivers, past races and links on my 2009 TV Commercials page.(11-16-2009)

    • Bobby Allison Named Ford 400 Honorary Starter: With a history dotted with legendary family names like Petty, Earnhardt and Allison, NASCAR runs deep in tradition. Homestead-Miami Speedway will honor that tradition by naming Miami-native Bobby Allison as Honorary Starter for the Ford 400 during NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend, Nov. 20-22. One of NASCAR's most beloved competitors, the 1983 Sprint Cup Champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner will wave the Green Flag to start NASCAR's Championship-finale Ford 400 on Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In addition, Allison will be honored during pre-race festivities and be available to fans via exclusive hospitality appearances. For great seats and hospitality options for Ford Championship Weekend, please visit THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(11-16-2009)

    • Grand Marshal named for Ford 400: Stock cars weighing in at 3400 pounds tearing around a 1.5-mile oval, trading paint and burning rubber, charging through dust and debris. Competing for motorsports' ultimate prize—the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway —can be a dirty job, so who better to deliver the most famous words in racing at NASCAR's Nov. 22 Championship finale than Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs"? Creator and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated series, Rowe will provide the Grand Marshal command of "Gentlemen, start your engines!" to the 43 Sprint Cup drivers competing in the Nov. 22 Ford 400, the headline event of NASCAR's series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend. "I'm very proud to be the Grand Marshal of the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Championship," said Rowe, CEO of mikeroweWORKS.com. For great seats and hospitality options for Ford Championship Weekend, please visit THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(11-16-2009)


      News from November 15, 2009

    • some Texas schemes added #07 Choctaw Casino Resort, #42 Hispanic Heritage Month / Dream In Color, #43 Valvoline, #44 Ford drive one Ford, #87 NEMCO, #88 National Guard, #98 Menards/Vertus, #99 Aflac

    • Johnson wins at Phoenix: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway for his 7th win of the season, leading the most laps and winning his 47th race of his career. #31-Burton finished 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin #5-Martin, #1-Truex Jr. [pole sitter, his first top-5 of the season], #2-Busch, #33-Bowyer, #42-Montoya, #24-Gordon and #00-Reutimann. Johnson's win and Martins 4th place finish allowed Johnson to open up a 108 point lead, so Johnson just needs to finish 25th or better and nothing Martin can do to catch him, Johnson could finish further back if Martin does. Heff Gordon is eliminated when Johnson starts the car at Homestead. There were only 4 cautions for 23 yellow flag laps and there were 9 lead changes among 4 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 16 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 16 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 18 at 12:00pm/et
      For race results, awards and more, see my Phoenix Race Results Page.(11-15-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers finish at Phoenix:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Phoenix)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, WON
      2) #5-Mark Martin, starts 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 9th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch, 6th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 25th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 8th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 14th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 20th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 15th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 165th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 38th/DNF
      (11-20-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Phoenix, Chase race 9 of 10; Season race 35 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [7 wins], 6492, finished 1st
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 6384, -108, 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 6323, -169, 9th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 6281, -211, 6th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 6207, -285, 25th
      6) #42-Juan Montoya, 6203, -289, 8th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 6171, -321, 14th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 6140, -352, 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 6081, -476, 20th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 6016, -476, 15th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 5972, -520, 16th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5826, -666, 38th
      For the drivers points standings, see my Drivers Points Standings.(11-15-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson(X), 4996
      2) #14-Tony Stewart(X), 4983, -13
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon(X), 4940, -56
      4) #5-Mark Martin(X), 4635, -361
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin(X), 4611, -385
      6) #2-Kurt Busch(X), 4593, -403
      7) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya(X), 4454 -542
      8) #16-Greg Biffle(X), 4420, -576
      9) #39-Ryan Newman(X), 4353, -643
      10) #18-Kyle Busch, 4310, -686
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne(X), 4276, -720
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4265, -731
      13) #99-Carl Edwards(X), 4252, -744
      14) #33-Clint Bowyer, 4224, -772
      15) #00-David Reutimann, 4103, -893
      16) #83-Brian Vickers(X), 4019, -977
      (X) a chase driver.(11-15-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Phoenix International Raceway:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil, his 47th victory in 290 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his seventh victory and 23rd top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his fourth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 13 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
      #31-Jeff Burton (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 21 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2009.
      #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Phoenix International Raceway.
      #20-Joey Logano (21st) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 108 points over Mark Martin. He needs to finish 25th or better at Homestead-Miami Speedway to clinch his fourth championship.
      Jimmie Johnson has now won 18 times in the Chase. He now has won four times in the Chase on three different occasions.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-8-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Homestead:
      No changes, the spread between 35th and 36th only dropped 3 points to 114 points (was 117)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2744, +191
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2667, 114 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2553, 114 points out of 35th
      (no other teams are within 500 owners points of 35th)
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owners points standings, see my Owners Points Standings.(11-15-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Phoenix: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #07-Mears, 27th
      Caution 2: #99-Edwards, 16th
      Caution 3: #7-Gordon, 22nd
      Caution 4: none as drivers who were up for it were involved with the caution.(11-15-2009)

    • Race Coverage of the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, November 15, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 3:15 pm/et; pre-race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx 3:31pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 16 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 16 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 18 at 12:00pm/et

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Phoenix on ABC: Only two races remain in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and this weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 15. ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race is presented by Goodyear and airs on ABC beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30pm/et. The race’s green flag is at 3:30pm/et. Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Ray Evernham in the ESPN pit studio.

    • Hendrick denies having a deal with Danica: Rick Hendrick said Sunday he has no deal to bring IndyCar superstar Danica Patrick to NASCAR, and there's no certainty she'll even be driving stock cars next season. "I just think that they are not even close to making a decision on whether to even do it this year or next year," Hendrick said of Patrick and her representatives at IMG. "You never know until it's done. You never know until it's signed. And anybody can change their mind. When you get down to the nitty gritty of any deal, it's always complicated. There can always be someone who comes back and says `I can't do it because of this.' So until it's done, it's not done. And that's the honest truth." Patrick is reportedly in the final stages of a contract that would partner her on a limited Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports, the team owned by both Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. But speaking before Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway, Hendrick called the reports "premature" and insisted nothing is imminent. "I think everything is an option, and it's just too early to really comment on it," he said. "I can't give you anything concrete, because there isn't anything concrete right now. Nothing is imminent until it's signed. Too many things can happen." Hendrick, who just returned from a weeklong vacation in Israel, said there have been no new developments in talks with Patrick and that IndyCar remains her first priority. Existing contracts she has in that series could also complicate a potential venture into NASCAR. Patrick has said very little about her 2010 plans, including an apparent contract extension to stay with Andretti Green Racing. Part of that holdup is a pending change of team ownership, which is expected to be transferred solely to Michael Andretti.(in part from the Associated Press)(11-15-2009)

    • NASCAR meets with Keselowski: NASCAR chairman Brian France and other top officials talked to rookie #12-Brad Keselowski before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway about his over-aggressive driving that has angered several drivers. "It's hard to bust a guy for being aggressive, but there's a fine line between being aggressive and destructive," Series director John Darby said. "From listening and talking to people, he's already got a few drivers upset. Typically if you leave it alone you get a worse situation, so we'll talk to him." Keselowski said the meeting was good and that he was impressed that France was part of it. "It's the first time I've ever had a conversation with him," Keselowski said. "It's good to know he cared enough to be there and is paying attention to what is happening in the sport." The meeting was called in response to Saturday's Nationwide Series race at PIR in which Keselowski reignited his feud with Denny Hamlin. Asked if he thought the meeting was necessary, Keselowski smiled and said, "I don't have all the answers." Darby said there are no plans to talk to Hamlin and he's not worried that the retaliation will take place in the Cup race.(in part from ESPN)(11-15-2009)

    • Earnhardt crew treated after wreck: Six pit crew workers for #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. were involved in a car accident Sunday morning on the way to Phoenix International Raceway, but all of them are expected to work the Checker Auto Parts 500 Sunday afternoon, team officials confirmed. All six men were treated and released at the PIR Infield Care Center after their vehicle was T-boned at an intersection near the track. Crew chief Lance McGrew was not in the accident and didn't want to speak about the incident Sunday morning when approached at the #88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevy hauler in the Sprint Cup garage. Earnhardt will start 18th in Sunday's race.(ESPN)(11-15-2009)

    • Best Western to sponsor Reutimann: Phoenix-based Best Western will be primary sponsor of David Reutimann's #00 Toyota at Phoenix International Raceway next April.(Arizon Republic)(11-15-2009)

    • Tony Stewart's "the Stewie" awards return: SIRIUS XM Radio announced that Tony Stewart will host the third annual ‘Stewie Awards,’ the acclaimed awards show that honors the most memorable moments of the NASCAR season. The ‘Stewies,’ which first debuted in 2007 and features Stewart’s entertaining and irreverent take on the best, boldest and funniest moments from the recently concluded season, will be awarded during a live broadcast hosted by Stewart and Matt Yocum from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday, December 3 (10:00pm – 12:00pm/et / 7:00 – 9:00pm/pt). The live broadcast will air on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, available to listeners nationwide on SIRIUS channel 128 and XM channel 128 with the “Best of SIRIUS” programming package. The two-hour event will feature live interviews with the 2009 champion and other drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Las Vegas, plus other special guests. Stewart and Yocum will announce the nominees in the award categories in the coming weeks. Following the announcement of the nominees, fans around the country can determine the winners by casting their votes online at sirius.com/stewieawards.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(11-15-2009)


      News from November 14, 2009

    • Pit Stall Selections - Phoenix: The selections of pit stalls for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway have been made.
      Pole sitter #1-Truex Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #2-Busch took pit stall 13, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #5-Martin, who starts 10th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Phoenix Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-14-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500(k) Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway is over. The first practice earlier was rained out and NASCAR combined some time with Happy Hour practice. The fastest:
      #48-Johnson 132.348
      #5-Martin 132.275
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 132.018
      #1-Truex Jr. 131.878
      #2-Busch 131.868
      slowest: #34-Andretti 127.786 and #66-Blaney 127.991
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on my Phoenix Practice Speeds Page.(11-14-2009)

    • 2009 Chase Drivers Phoenix Happy Hour practice standing:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Phoenix)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1st fastest overall
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 2nd
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 7th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch, 5th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 11th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 17th [best ave speed 128.421]
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 18th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 25th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 13th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 10th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 23rd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 15th
      (11-14-2009)

    • Three drivers attempting triple duty at Phoenix: Two drivers will be aiming to make history this weekend by becoming the first to win in all three NASCAR national series at Phoenix International Raceway — Kyle Busch [#18 Cup, #18 NNS, #51 CWTS] and Kevin Harvick [#29 Cup, #33 NNS, #4 CWTS]. And Kevin Conway is attempting to make all three races [#70 Cup, #26 NNS and #71 CWTS]. Busch came close to scoring the feat last weekend at Texas when he won both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, but fell just short when he ran out of gas a few laps short of the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, relegating him to a 11th-place finish. Both Busch and Harvick have won at Phoenix in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Conway will be attempting to make his Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series debuts. Conway is guaranteed a spot in the NNS race, the Cup and Trucks race, he needs to qualifying by speed to make the races.(11-11-2009)
      UPDATE: Texas was the third time Busch had won the Trucks and Nationwide races in a weekend and gone on to go for the triple in the Cup series. What makes it more amazing is that he's the only driver to have won those first two races and even had an opportunity for the triple. Stranger still, was this was his worst finish when going for it. Here are Busch's Cup results after winning the Truck and Nationwide races in the same weekend:
      Year -- Track -- Finish
      2009 -- Texas -- 11th
      2009 -- California -- third
      2007 -- Phoenix -- eighth
      Terry Labonte is the only other driver to get a top-5 in all three series in a weekend, at Richmond in 1995.(ESPN)(11-12-2009)
      Now only two: For the Cup race Busch qualified 7th, Harvick 31st and Conway failed to qualify. All three are guaranteed to make the NNS field and as for the Truck Series which ran Friday night, Harvick still has a shot to do the Triple as he won the Truck race, Busch finished 2nd and Conway 19th. For the Nationwide race Harvick qualified 3rd, Busch 4th and Conway 35th.(11-14-2009)

    • Labonte expected back in #71 UPDATE: Bobby Labonte is expected to remain driver of the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy in 2010. An announcement is expected to take place Saturday [morning around 11:00am] at Phoenix International Raceway.(FoxSports)(11-13-2009)
      UPDATE: TRG Motorsports announced NASCAR Cup Series Champion Bobby Labonte will be the full-time driver of the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Additionally, TaxSlayer.com has signed a multi-race primary sponsorship agreement with TRG for 2010. "I'm really excited about the opportunity that I'll have next year with both TRG Motorsports and TaxSlayer.com as a sponsor," Labonte said. "Each time I've run with the team this year I've enjoyed the experience, and I'm looking forward to filling the seat full time next year and really building on what we've started. I have gotten to know the management team at TaxSlayer and they are great people. I am looking forward to representing them next season." TaxSlayer.com made its debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at this year's race at Watkins Glen International Raceway, and will have served as the primary sponsor of the #71 a total of six times in 2009, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "Everyone at Taxslayer.com is very excited to continue our relationship with TRG Motorsports and Bobby Labonte," stated Eubanks. "TRG and TaxSlayer both exhibit a phenomenal product and unbelievable quality. Headed in to next season, we're looking forward to showcasing our service to the entire NASCAR community, especially as tax season approaches."(TRG Motorsports)(11-14-2009)
      UPDATE 2: Bobby Labonte has signed a one-year contract to drive TRG Motorsports' car in 2010 -- and at least for the season-opening Daytona 500 he'll have a teammate in TRG's hoped-for full-time second car. On Saturday morning at Phoenix International Raceway, TRG owner Kevin Buckler and Labonte announced the deal and a 12-race primary sponsorship with TaxSlayer.com, a provider of online tax preparation software, that Buckler hopes will be the first of several.
      One of the biggest short-term decisions TRG must make is which car manufacturer to align itself. Buckler said he hopes to have that decision made right after Homestead. "We're talking to several manufacturers right now, we're in the middle of some strong negotiations with them, and as usual we have to do what's best for the team," Buckler said. "I tend to be very, very loyal about stuff, maybe too much so; but I've got a lot of partners and other people to consider here, and our final decision needs to be based on what's best for TRG Motorsports."(NASCAR.com)(11-14-2009)

    • Michael Waltrip Racing extends with Toyota: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced the extension of its partnership with Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The new agreement will keep the emerging organization with the manufacturer through the end of 2012. In 2010, MWR will field the #00 Aaron's/Tums/Best Western Toyota full-time with driver David Reutimann, the #55 Toyota with Michael Waltrip on a limited basis and the #56 NAPA Auto Part Toyota full-time with Martin Truex Jr. Additionally, MWR signed a two-year technical alliance extension with JTG-Daugherty Racing to field the #47 Toyota with driver Marcos Ambrose. MWR receives engines from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) out of Costa Mesa, California, along with Red Bull Racing. TRD's Salisbury, N.C., facility supports MWR's vehicle dynamics and development, aerodynamics, tire data analysis and race strategy programs. This announcement comes on the heels of MWR announcing 100% renewal with its existing sponsors, a new relationship with TUMS as a primary and associate sponsor on the #00, a two-year extension with JTG-Daugherty Racing and a new partnership with its NASCAR Nationwide Series team with Gary and Blake Bechtel forming Diamond-Waltrip Racing to field Camrys for 18-year-old phenom Trevor Bayne.(MWR)(11-14-2009)

    • Another sponsor for Newman? UPDATE: Stewart Haas Racing is scheduled to make a sponsorship announcement regarding #39-Ryan Newman in 2010 on Sunday morning. One possibility is Bass Pro Shops, though no announcement has been made of a decision by that company to leave Earnhardt Ganassi [and supposedly they are signed with EGR thru 2010]. Bass Pro Shops currently sponsors Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Chevy [with Jamie McMurray rumored as the driver in 2010]. Truex is leaving for Michael Waltrip Racing [#56 NAPA Toyota] in 2010.(NASCAR This Week)
      UPDATE: not Bass Pro Shops but.........Tornados foods will be the primary sponsor of Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy next April at PIR and at four other races.(Arizona Republic)(11-13-2009)

    • Another sponsor for Newman? UPDATE: Stewart Haas Racing is scheduled to make a sponsorship announcement regarding #39-Ryan Newman in 2010 on Sunday morning. One possibility is Bass Pro Shops, though no announcement has been made of a decision by that company to leave Earnhardt Ganassi [and supposedly they are signed with EGR thru 2010]. Bass Pro Shops currently sponsors Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Chevy [with Jamie McMurray rumored as the driver in 2010]. Truex is leaving for Michael Waltrip Racing [#56 NAPA Toyota] in 2010.(NASCAR This Week)
      UPDATE: not Bass Pro Shops but.........Tornados foods will be the primary sponsor of Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy next April at PIR and at four other races.(Arizona Republic)(11-13-2009)
      UPDATE 2 - Tornados Joins Stewart-Haas Racing: Stewart-Haas Racing has announced a two-year partnership with Tornados, a brand of Dinuba, Calif.-based Ruiz Foods, in a press conference Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Tornados, the bold taste of savory meats, real cheeses and zesty sauces rolled in a crispy seasoned crust, will adorn Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy as a primary sponsor for five Sprint Cup races beginning in 2010, and when not serving as a primary, will take associate sponsor status on the car's lower-rear quarterpanel. Teammate Tony Stewart will also carry Tornados on a portion of the lower-rear quarterpanel of his #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. The agreement extends through the 2011 season, where Tornados will again be the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team for five Sprint Cup races. "We're very proud to partner with Tornados for the next two years," said Stewart, who in his first year as a driver/owner has notched five wins for Stewart-Haas Racing, including the non-point NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in May. "They're new to the sport and we aim to make their entry into NASCAR a positive one that will grow their business, and ultimately, grow their involvement within the sport and Stewart-Haas Racing."
      The #39 Tornados Chevy will debut in March at Atlanta and will return in April at Phoenix, in July at Daytona, in August at Michigan before culminating its season run as Newman's primary sponsor with an October visit to Martinsville. "In this sport, we're always on the go, whether we're at home or at the track," said Newman, winner of the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. "Tornados is an ideal partner for us because a lot of times we have to eat quick, especially at the track. Now, we don't have to sacrifice taste for speed. They're a welcome addition to Stewart-Haas Racing and we look forward to many successful years with them." Tornados offer variety and convenience, contain zero grams trans fat, and are available in a wide variety of innovative flavors that are perfect for breakfast, lunch, For more information about Tornados, please visit www.MyTornados.com.(Stewart-Haas Racing) See images of the Tornados scheme on my 2010 #39 Team Schemes page(11-14-2009)

    • TRG and #71 team get assoc for final two races: The last two races of the year have Victory Lane Wealth Solutions as an associate sponsor with TRG Motorsports and Bobby Labonte on-board the #71 Chevy. In addition to its associate sponsorship, Victory Lane Wealth Solutions will donate 10% of its profits directly to the Bobby Labonte Foundation.(TRG)(11-14-2009)

    • Wingo to stay at Roush UPDATE Fennig? #26 Crew chief Donnie Wingo appears to be headed back to Roush Fenway Racing next season in a capacity still to be determined. Wingo's future with the organization has been uncertain since it was revealed in late July that driver Jamie McMurray's #26 team would go away and sponsor Crown Royal would move to Roush driver Matt Kenseth's team next year. The breakup of McMurray's team is part of a downsizing by Roush Fenway to conform to NASCAR's new four-car limit set to take effect in 2010. Asked on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway if there would be a place for Wingo next season at Roush Fenway, team co-owner Jack Roush said, "The answer to that is yes." Wingo later backed up his boss' assertion. "I don't think the plan is finalized for next year but we have spoken and he says he's got a place for me there next year and I'm real happy about that," he said. "It's where I want to be right now and I hope I can end my career here. ... I'm just looking forward to whatever they have for me in the future, whatever I can do to help."(SceneDaily), on SPEED's Happy Hour coverage, it was mentioned at Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the #6 Ford of David Ragan with Roush Fenway Racing, will go to Roush's R&D area and Donnie Wingo will become the crew chief of the #6 team.(11-8-2009)
      UPDATE: #6-David Ragan doesn't expect Jimmy Fennig to be his crew chief in 2010. "Yeah, I would say there will be some change in the crew chief role,'' Ragan said on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "As far as who and when and all that stuff, that's to be determined. We still feel like we don't want to lose focus on the last two races and start planning for 2010 too early. As soon as the checkered flag falls on Homestead all of our thoughts will be on 2010 and preparing a stronger team.'' Ragan said Fennig, who has been at Roush Fenway Racing for 13 years, wants to head up an R&D department for the organization. "He's been a teacher and crew chief and mentor and really taught me a lot the last couple of years,'' said Ragan, in his third full season in the Sprint Cup series. "Ninety percent of what I know today I learned from Jimmy Fennig. A lot of things are changing at Roush Fenway. I'm sure right after Homestead, Jack [Roush] and [general manager Robbie Reiser] will make those decisions.'' Fennig said he is waiting for management to tell him what he will be doing next season.(ESPN)(11-14-2009)

    • Nadeau looking to go racing in 2010: Jerry Nadeau, who suffered a head injury in a crash at Richmond in 2003 and has not competed in NASCAR since, was at the track Friday. He's trying to find funding for a Grand Am ride for next season.(Roanoke Times)(11-14-2009)

    • Richard Petty says with merger nearing completion: Richard Petty said the Richard Petty Motorsports-Yates Racing proposed merger is still in the hands of the lawyers, but with the likelihood of it happening, RPM had to begin its staff reductions this week. Sources indicated more than 150 people were laid off earlier this week or were told they would be laid off after the season ends next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. RPM, which fields four teams, and Yates, which fields two, announced in September they planned to merge – and with NASCAR's four-team limit, the staff reductions were anticipated. "If we're going to do what we're going to do, we've got to start somewhere," Petty said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "This is basically where we're starting." Many of those laid off were in the engine shop and the car manufacturing department, sources said. The new organization will use Roush Yates Engines and likely will be based in the current Yates shop in Concord, N.C. – about 45 miles from the current RPM shop in Statesville, NC. "I think we're moving there to the [Yates shop near the] airport," Petty said. "As far as I know. Tune in next week."(SceneDaily)(11-14-2009)

    • Danica to JR Motorsports? Maybe Not: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says a deal to put Danica Patrick in his Nationwide Series car isn't imminent, and even if it were, JR Motorsports wouldn't necessarily have the funding for the IndyCar Series' most popular driver. Multiple media outlets have reported in recent weeks that Patrick was on the verge of signing with JRM for a part-time Nationwide schedule next season while continuing to run the Indy Racing League. Patrick and JRM share a sponsor in GoDaddy.com, but Earnhardt says it doesn't make the deal a cinch. "We've had a relationship with GoDaddy, so that makes us look like a nice fit, but they're moving (next year), so we don't really have it anymore," Earnhardt said after Sprint Cup practice Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "We're having to search around." JRM's #88 Chevy currently driven by Brad Keselowski is sponsored by GoDaddy.com, but the company will move to Cup next year to back the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin at Hendrick Motorsports, which has an alliance with JRM. Earnhardt says JRM has only "three-quarters to half a season" of sponsors for the #88 in 2010. Earnhardt says the lack of funding is what's driving JRM's interest in Patrick, who also has been pursued by Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. Patrick also has met with Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing, and Earnhardt says he's talked to her along with Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick. Patrick lives in the Phoenix area, but offseason sponsor commitments are expected to keep her from attending Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500. "She's very interested in trying NASCAR, and a lot of people weren't sure whether she was serious or not, but she is serious," Earnhardt said. "There's a lot to learn there for her. She's got to get in the cars. She's got a lot of (stuff) to do before she ever takes the green flag for anything. But she's talked to a lot of people. I've spoken with her a couple of times just about the lifestyle and the difference in the series vs. what she does now." Besides GoDaddy, Patrick has sponsorship ties to Motorola's Boost Mobile brand and Tissot. Earnhardt believes she might be able to bring those companies to NASCAR, though without some TV advertising campaigns that could be considered risqué.(in part from the USA Today)(11-14-2009)

    • Eight 2008 pole sitters shut out so far: with one race left to qualifying for, Homestead, there are eight drivers who scored a pole in 2008 that have not in 2009. #9-Kahne has a six season pole streak on the line [he has won at least one pole in each of the last six seasons]. Other drivers who won a pole in 2008 and none in 2009 are: #16-Biffle [2 straight season with a pole], #88-Earnhardt Jr.[2], #99-Edwards [2], #87-Nemechek[1], Patrick Carpentier [1 - has no ride], #98-Menard [1] and Travis Kvapil [1 - no ride]. See 2009 pole winners, some stats and facts and all time pole winners on my Pole Winners page.(11-14-2009)

    • Brian France fights to keep case quiet: NASCAR chairman Brian France filed a civil complaint against his ex-wife, Megan France, last year, a few months after the couple divorced in Florida. They married in California in 2005. Lawyers persuaded Mecklenburg [County, NC] Judge Todd Owens to seal the court file from public inspection, an unusual move in a court system that typically allows widespread access to courtrooms and documents. On Friday, France's attorneys petitioned a Mecklenburg judge to bar the public from the courtroom as arguments in the case unfold. It's unclear exactly what the dispute involves, but the matter is being heard in family court and apparently involves domestic issues. France's attorneys argued Friday that a confidentiality agreement is at the heart of the case, and that it shouldn't be breached in open court hearings.(see full story at the Charlotte Observer)(11-14-2009)

    • Last race for Jim Beam on the #7 car: Robby Gordon and the #7 team welcome Jim Beam back to the hood of Gordon's Toyota to mark the sponsor's final appearance in the five season partnership. In honor of Veteran's Day, Operation Homefront will serve as an associate sponsor. Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency and morale assistance to U.S. troops and their families. Robby's Remarks – "Jim Beam has been a great partner for the past five years," said Robby Gordon. "I would like to thank them for their support through the years. They have been with me since we started the team in 2005, helping build our Cup team and aiding in its success. In the spring race at Phoenix, we had a really good car and had a great run going. Unfortunately we were ultimately caught up in an accident, which ruined our chances of a strong finish. Hopefully, we'll have a strong car this weekend that can bring home a great finish to show our appreciation and celebrate our partnership with Jim Beam." More info at robbygordon.com.(RGM)(11-14-2009)

    • Kevin's Krew One Last Time: This will be the final Kevin's Krew [#29-Kevin Harvick] gathering of at-risk children for the 2009 season. Sponsored by Shell-Pennzoil, the group of school-age children will be treated to raceday at the track, lunch, Shell hat and T-shirt and a personal meeting with Harvick prior to driver introductions in the PIR Victory Lane area.(RCR)(11-14-2009)

    • NASCAR rated with 5th best Drug Testing in sports: The Wall Street Journal examined antidoping policies of 22 major sports or governing bodies and gave them a "clarity quotient" based on the presence of a policy, its accessibility to the public, severity of sanctions for offenders and administration of the code itself. A score of 100 is the gold standard, below 50, insufficient. NASCAR's policy is rated 5th of 22 with a score of 90.
      NASCAR: Has nine racing series with close to 2,000 drivers. The misuse or abuse of any drug or alcohol is a violation. Even prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that may cause a driver "to have a competitive advantage or diminished or impaired ability to perform" on the day of the event are banned. Competitors are subject to out-of-season testing, preseason testing, random testing and testing for cause. Positive test result means an indefinite suspension. Competitors are offered a treatment program to undergo and afterward may seek reinstatement. No drivers' union to contend with and an obligation to protect spectators allow for strict policy.
      The four sports ahead of NASCAR: International Boxing Federation / U.S. Boxing Association; International Olympic Committee; International Tennis Federation; International Association of Athletics Federations (track & field).(Wall Street Journal)(11-14-2009)

    • Tommy Baldwin Racing to be featured on MSNBC show: Tommy Baldwin Racing will be featured on MSNBC's "Your Business" Program this Sunday, November 15th at 7:30am/et. Producers of the hit small business show were recently in town to do a feature story on NASCAR team partner, Tommy Baldwin Racing and how their small-business approach pays dividends through its sponsorship with Wave Energy Drink. Back in October, the MSNBC production crew attended the Bank of America 500 NASCAR event at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, spending the days in between filming several segments from the race shop headquarters of Tommy Baldwin Racing. At the race track, cameras filmed the frenetic pace of the #36 Wave Energy Drink team, while a boom microphone jostled for space in the tight garage. When not filming in the garage area, cameras trailed Baldwin and Wave Energy Drink executives through the entire property-in the team transporter, on pit road for qualifying and behind closed doors for proprietary meetings.
      The Tommy Baldwin Racing/Wave Energy Drink program will air this Sunday, November 15th at 7:30am/et with a rebroadcast on Saturday, November 21st at 5:30am. On November 16th, the episode will be featured on MSNBC's "Your Business" official website and can be viewed any time, along with a complete transcript. The show, hosted by J.J. Ramberg, focuses on the world of America's small business entrepreneurs, featuring profiles, news, tips and advice. The shows official website can be found by visiting, yourbiz.msnbc.msn.com.(11-14-2009)

    • Mobil 1 and Toyota UPDATE: not quite sure what this is all about, have heard nor seen anything but......Mobil 1 Racing and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A to make announcement about 2010 NASCAR season Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, scheduled to be attending the announcement are Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota; Michael Waltrip, owner of Michael Waltrip Racing and driver of the #55 NAPA Toyota; Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD; Harold Shablom, Global Motorsport Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties.(PR)(11-13-2009)
      UPDATE: ExxonMobil and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) unveiled a new technological partnership in which ExxonMobil will provide its Mobil 1 racing oil technology and products to TRD- supported NASCAR teams. Kicking off at the start of the 2010 NASCAR season, TRD-supplied NASCAR engines will be filled with specially modified motor oil based on the same technology available to consumers in Mobil 1 Racing oils, which were unveiled in April. The TRD-specific motor oils will deliver outstanding power via unique low-friction synthetic lubricant technology combined with boosted levels of anti-wear additives to protect and extend the life of engine hardware. Formally announced before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the collaboration will pair Mobil 1, the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR," with one of NASCAR's top engine manufacturers. With this new partnership, ExxonMobil's racing oil technology will now provide performance and protection for the TRD-supported Red Bull Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR teams.(Toyota PR)(11-14-2009)

    • 2010 Watkins Glen tickets on sale: Tickets for the 2010 season at Watkins Glen International will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, November 14. The great deals and new options for the 2010 season give fans more ways to save and more choices then ever before. The Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen has some of the biggest savings with general admission tickets starting at only $60 and reduced priced McDonald's Family Grandstand tickets, $65 for adults and $20 for kids 15 and under, returning. New in 2010 - fans will also have the option of purchasing Sunday-only reserved grandstand seats to this event. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return for their 25th Running at The Glen, August 5-8, when they compete in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, August 8th. Tickets for the entire 2010 season will go on sale to the general public on November 14, 2009. For more information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or log on to the official website at www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(11-14-2009)

    • Speedway In Lights at Bristol Motor Speedway is open: Nearing the $5 million mark in monies raised for children's agencies in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, AutoTrader.com Speedway In Lights at Bristol Motor Speedway began adding to that total Nov.13 with yet another new, spectacular display. Proceeds from Autotrader.com Speedway In Lights Powered by TVA benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, a non-profit foundation dedicated to distributing funds to qualified children's charities. Funds from the foundation directly aid children in the Tri-Cities area. Tickets for Speedway In Lights, open nightly 6-10 p.m., Nov. 13-Jan. 2, are available at the BMS gate. More info on my Racing Charities page.(11-14-2009)

    • Fans can "Ask the GM" of Atlanta Motor Speedway: For fans eager to pick the brain of a veteran of the racing industry, Atlanta Motor Speedway's newest online feature, "Ask the GM," will provide just this opportunity with Ed Clark, president and general manager of AMS. Atlanta Motor Speedway recently added "Ask the GM" to the track's official website, giving fans the opportunity to question and gain insight from Clark. Upon visiting the "Ask the GM" webpage, fans can submit questions to Clark and one or more questions will be answered and posted online each week. Fans can "Ask the GM" by clicking the "Ask the GM" link under the "Contact" tab on the Atlanta Motor Speedway homepage or by visiting atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(11-14-2009)


      News from November 13, 2009

    • Clinching Scenarios: What Johnson Can Do To Lock Up The Championship: With two races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the standings by 73 points over second-place #5-Mark Martin and 112 points over third-place #24-Jeff Gordon. With the standings tight as the season comes to a close, everyone wants to know what Johnson has to do to clinch the title. The largest points deficit overcome with two races remaining was 85 by Alan Kulwicki in 1992.
      Phoenix: For Johnson to clinch at Phoenix International Raceway, he will need to lead by 195 points after the race. Currently up 73 points, he'll need to gain 122 points by the race's end. If he does that, he will clinch no matter what any other driver does.
      Homestead: For Johnson to clinch at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will need to average a fourth-place finish over the final two races, or fifth and a lap led in each of the final two races, or sixth and the most laps led in each of the final two races. If he does that, he will clinch no matter what any other driver does.
      MARTIN if Martin wins and leads the most laps at Phoenix, he would become the new championship leader if Johnson finishes 14th or worse and doesn't lead a lap.(11-11-2009)
      GORDON if Gordon wins at Phoenix and leads the most laps [195 pts, would have 6380], he could leave Pheonix with the points lead IF Martin finishes 5th [155 pts] or worse and leads no laps and Johnson finishes 27th [82 pts] or worse and doesn't lead a lap.(11-13-2009)

    • Truex Jr. wins Phoenix pole: #1-Martin Truex Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500(k) Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway with a lap of 135.120mph [in his first lap, even his 2nd lap of 134.887 would had won the pole] for his 3rd pole of the season and 4th career pole. #2-Busch was 2nd fastest followed by #48-Johnson, #9-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, #16-Biffle, #18-Busch, #14-Stewart, #07-Mears and #5-Martin.
      Supposedly it is the first time ever that the #1 car has been on the pole and the #2 car starting 2nd.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #71-Labonte, #13-Papis, #09-Gilliland, #66-Blaney, #87-Nemechek, #82-Speed, #36-McDowell and #37-Raines.
      The three drivers who failed to qualify: #78-Smith, #70-Conway [so won't be running the triple] and #02-Ash.
      See qualifying speeds, starting lineup, pole progression on my Phoenix Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results.Order Page.(11-13-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, November 13, 2009 at 5:45pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 - 5:30pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway is posted.
      46 cars/drivers are listed. 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 #6-Ragan.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #5-Martin.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-McDowell with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #71-Labonte.
      See the full qualifying order on the Phoenix Qualifying Page.(11-13-2009)

    • Friday practice: for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, some results/notes:
      #77-Hornish Jr. 133.884
      #9-Kahne 133.675
      #18-Busch 133.645
      #16-Biffle 133.576
      #11-Hamlin 133.501
      slowest: #70-Conway 128.944 & #02-Ash 129.580
      incidents: #9-Kahne scraped the turn 2 wall and did some minor damage to the right side of the car.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on my Phoenix Practice Speeds Page.(11-13-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers practice Friday at Phoenix:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Phoenix)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 7th fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 8th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 10th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch, 25th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 9th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 6th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin, 5th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 17th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 2nd
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 21st
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 15th.(11-13-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Phoenix:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #09-David Gilliland, 22nd fastest overall
      #71-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 23rd
      #82-Scott Speed, 27th
      #78-Regan Smith, 31st
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 33rd
      #37-Tony Raines, 37th
      #36-Michael McDowell, 38th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 40th
      these drivers would miss the race if things stayed the same:
      #13-Max Papis, 42nd
      #02-Brandon Ash, 45th
      #70-Kevin Conway, 46th

    • Robby down to 8 races in 2010?: #7-Robby Gordon, who has run a full Sprint Cup schedule as a driver/owner since 2006, says he has enough sponsorship for only eight races in 2010. "I'm looking at a lot of weekends off,'' a frustrated Gordon said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. Gordon said he has two four-race commitments from sponsors for next season. One of his major sponsors, Jim Beam, announced earlier in the year that it would not return to the sport. "Nobody is spending money,'' Gordon said. "Everybody is cutting the fat out of everything. To be in racing you have to be a pretty big company.'' Gordon said many of the larger teams are making deals for well less than the market value because they can afford to, but that runs teams like his out of business. "It's sponsorship suicide,'' said Gordon, who is 34th in points. Gordon said NASCAR needs to create a unified marketing plan so every team is on a level playing field. He said there are so many different plans now that sponsors are confused. He expects to see more start-and-park teams next season than ever, adding he doesn't plan to be one. "I don't know what we're going to do,'' Gordon said. "We're going to continue to work hard to sell races through March of next year. After that I'm looking at a lot of weekends off.''(ESPN)(11-13-2009)

    • Labonte expected back in #71: Bobby Labonte is expected to remain driver of the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy in 2010. An announcement is expected to take place Saturday [morning around 11:00am] at Phoenix International Raceway.(FoxSports)(11-13-2009)

    • Aflac and LMS to honor motorsports media: Aflac and Lowe’s Motor Speedway will once again honor the best in motorsports media with the annual Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin. The 2009 Awards will be presented during the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Media Tour in January 2010. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Catlin Awards, which were created in honor of motorsports media pioneer Russ Catlin. The Awards are presented to individuals who capture the passion, excitement and compelling stories of motorsports through distinguished journalism. Russ Catlin Award winners receive a special plaque to commemorate their achievement along with a $1,000 scholarship to the school of their choice, paid by Aflac. As in years past, professors and faculty from the Indiana University School of Journalism provide an independent review of all entries to determine the winners.
      The categories for the 2009 Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence are:
      * Writing entries for daily newspapers
      * Writing entries for other forms of written media (internet, weekly, etc.)
      * Broadcast entries for local radio and television
      * Broadcast entries for national radio and television
      * Photojournalism entries
      Entries must be postmarked by December 4, 2009. More info at lowesmotorspeedway.com/aflacaward.(Breaking Limits)(11-13-2009)

    • Carquest returns to sponsor #5 team: Carquest Auto Parts has extended its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and the #5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin through the 2011 NASCAR season. The two-year pact will showcase Carquest with primary sponsor placement in eight points races annually beginning in 2010. When its red, white and blue shield is not on the hood, Carquest will maintain a significant presence on the #5 Chevys as a major associate sponsor. "Carquest is pleased to be an eight-race primary sponsor of Mark Martin and the #5 team for the 2010 NASCAR season," said Temple Sloan III, president and CEO of General Parts/Carquest Auto Parts. "In our eight years as a partner of Hendrick Motorsports we have enjoyed many successes, and this year has been tremendous. As the Official Auto Parts supplier to Hendrick Motorsports we are proud to have Mark, Alan Gustafson (crew chief) and the team partnering with us. Winning is the goal our team strives for every day, both on the track and in our stores." For more information about Carquest, visit www.Carquest.com.(Hendrick Motorsports)
      So the #5 team has sponsorship set for 30 of 38 races [36 points races, all-star and Bud Shootout]: GoDaddy.com for 20 races: Carquest for 8 races and Delphi for 2 races. No word on Kellogg's plans for 2010.(11-13-2009)

    • "The King" To Lead Field At Phoenix In WWII Jeep: This weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), the Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) and "The King" Richard Petty will honor our nation's veterans in a unique way. Petty, a long-time supporter of America's troops and veterans, will lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field on Sunday in a restored 1946 Willy's Jeep. This tribute will put a fitting final touch on Veterans Day weekend. In keeping with Petty tradition, fans will have the opportunity to win this "workhorse of World War II" after it leads the field around the one-mile oval. The vehicle will be raffled off in an effort to raise awareness and money to support America's Paralyzed Veterans. Prior to the parade laps, the Jeep will be on display outside of PIR where fans can purchase their raffle tickets for $20, or three tickets for $50. More info on the raffle and to order tickets, see my Racing Charities page. When longtime supporters of the Paralyzed Veterans donated the Jeep to the organization, at "The King's" leadership, Petty's Garage stepped up to help with the restorations.(MCG Sports/PVA.org)(11-13-2009)

    • Latest on RPM 'layoffs' and switches: The dominos continue to fall at Richard Petty Motorsports. When Keith Barnwell was released on Tuesday, that left #44-A.J. Allmendinger sans spotter. On Thursday, the decision was made to reunite Allmendinger with former spotter Tony Hirschmann, who had been reassigned to #43-Reed Sorenson in the crew chief swap. Sorenson's crew chief Sammy Johns will spot for him this weekend. Kevin Buskirk, who was #19-Elliott Sadler's crew chief earlier this season, is expected to make the calls on the #43 pit box. Pete Rondeau, who served as the director of research and development at RPM since July 2005, was also released on Tuesday. The former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's ready to become a road warrior again and is interested in any upcoming crew chief openings.(FoxSports)(11-13-2009)

    • #71 has sponsor for Phoenix: #71-Bobby Labonte comes off of a 31h-place finish in his CBR MotorCars TRG Motorsports Chevy in Texas and is looking to improve significantly on last week's finish. Labonte will carry CBR MotorCars as the primary sponsor on the hood of his #71 Chevy. CBR MotorCars is an industry leader in securing high-end automobiles for luxury car enthusiasts.(TRG Motorsports)(11-13-2009)

    • Some Chassis selections for Phoenix: compiled from some pre-Phoenix press releases, some chassis selections and history:
      #00-David Reutimann The #00 Aaron's Dream Machine for this week is chassis #651. This is a brand new Aaron's Dream Machine.
      #07-Casey Mears will race Chassis #258. This is the same car Mears raced to 21st and 18th-place finishes at Martinsville in April and October, respectively. This is the same Chevy that Mears drove at PIR earlier this year, where he finished 20th.
      #1 Martin Truex Jr. The #1 Rain-X team will bring chassis #908 to Phoenix this weekend. This chassis was last used for the fall 2009 Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville (10/09), helping Truex to qualify third.
      #2-Kurt Busch #2 The car of choice for this weekend out of the "blue deuce" stable is the "PRS-576" Miller Lite Dodge. Its impressive track record includes the second at Phoenix last November and the third there in April, along with a sixth at New Hampshire last September, a third there in June and sixth there in September and a 12th at Richmond on May 2. In the six races that the team has used this car, they have posted a 5.3 average finish and they led laps in five of those races.
      #5-Mark Martin: crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #5-538 for Sunday's race at Phoenix. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to victory at PIR in April and at New Hampshire in September.
      #6-David Ragan will be unloading chassis RK-613 as the primary, was last ran Dover and finished 24th. The Backup: RK-573 Last ran Martinsville fall 2008 – finished 13th. The Estrella Center (SLIC - 8531) in the Desert Mountain District was selected for Phoenix race. The center is recognized for its outstanding improvement across all major business elements on the district's Balanced Scorecard.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and JGR team will unload JGR 256 this weekend at Phoenix, a brand new car from the JGR stable. Secondary JGR 246 raced two weeks ago at California and is the car Hamlin drove to a win at Richmond in September. FedEx Ground Atlantic Region will ride along and will be have "ATLC" on the wing caps of the #11 to recognize the team for being selected as a top performing region in various customer service metrics.
      #12-Brad Keselowski ands the Penske Racing Dodge team will use chassis PRS-622 during Sunday's 500-mile event. PRS-622 last raced in October at Auto Club Speedway where it crossed the finish line in the 16th position with David Stremme driving.
      #14-Tony Stewart This car debuted at Phoenix in April. After only being tested in the wind tunnel, Chassis #14-535 hit the racetrack in impressive fashion, as Stewart used it to qualify sixth and lead once for 19 laps before finishing second, which at the time was the best finish for Stewart-Haas Racing. Chassis #14-535 returned to another flat track via New Hampshire in June, but its time on the racetrack was short after it crashed in practice. It was repaired with new front and rear clips for its return trip to New Hampshire in September. There, Chassis No. 14-535 led four times for 52 laps before a loose axle cap forced an unscheduled pit stop, which resulted in a 14th-place finish. The November trek to Phoenix will mark the car's third career start.
      #18-Kyle Busch: Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500k will be the first-ever start for JGR #261.
      #26-Jamie McMurray and the Irwin Marathon team will be unloading chassis RK-637 at Phoenix, last raced at New Hampshire, Sept. finishing 18th
      #29-Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis #285 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevy was previously raced in September at Richmond where it finished ninth and New Hampshire where it finished 32nd. It was also raced last month at Martinsville where it finished 10th.
      #31-Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis #280 from the RCR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2009, this Caterpillar Chevy was put through its first paces at Chicago in July where the 16-year veteran was credited with a 37th-place finish after being collected in a late-race multi-car incident. Most recently, this #31 racer finished 23rd when the series visited Kansas last month.
      #33-Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis #255 from RCR's Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2009, this Chevy debuted at Atlanta in March, where Bowyer recorded a sixth-place finish, a 36th-place finish at Charlotte in May, and a 10th-place finish at New Hampshire. Most recently, Bowyer raced this car to a 19th-place finish at Martinsville in October.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya are bringing chassis #909 to Phoenix this weekend. This is a brand new chassis.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe's Chevy will run chassis number 540 in Sunday's race in Phoenix. He last drove it to a runner-up finish at Martinsville in October. Backup chassis number 520 has won four of its five starts (Richmond, Fall 08, Martinsville Fall, 08, Phoenix, Fall 08 and Martinsville, Spring 09).
      #71-Bobby Labonte and the TRG Motorsports Chevy will roll out chassis number 243, was last seen on-track in Kansas where it qualified in 26th position with Labonte behind the wheel, and finished 43rd after being involved in a wreck.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. HMS engineers and crew chief Lance McGrew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-541. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September. He spent most of the race inside the top 10 and was running fourth when he was involved in an accident with 17 laps remaining. He finished 35th.
      #99-Carl Edwards and Aflac Racing team will be unloading chassis RK-647. Edwards raced this Ford Fusion three times in 2009, at Richmond in May and both New Hampshire races.
      (Team/Driver PRs)

    • HANS continues to find counterfeit post anchors: Court ordered discovery proves counterfeit HANS post anchor issue in IMPACT RACING Products' helmets is more far reaching than originally reported. HANS Performance Products is continuing its free anchor replacement program both direct and through its authorized dealer network. HANS Factory Trained Dealer, Racing Radios has been servicing the NASCAR teams and leading support in NHRA comes from Factory Trained Dealer Simpson Performance Products. Simpson CEO Chuck Davies said, "Like the people at HANS, we take safety very seriously. Racers trust our products and we're proud our trackside services are able to help racers."
      HANS CEO Mark Stiles said, "We didn't create this situation but it is vitally important that racers have full confidence in their HANS Device." He continued, "We have always been impressed with Simpson Performance Products' commitment to safety and service. They have helped tremendously to minimize any concerns our customers may have. " As the 2009 season comes to an end, HANS is encouraging all racers to make a special effort when they inspect their gear for the 2010 season. Details of the program, other information and program updates are available at hansdevice.com, by calling HANS direct at 1-888-HANS-999, or by contacting one of the 200 authorized North American HANS factory trained dealers nationwide.(HANS)(11-13-2009)

    • 3M extends partnership with NASCAR: 3M and NASCAR announced an agreement for 3M to expand the categories for which it holds exclusive NASCAR marketing rights to include bandages, first aid supplies, braces, supports and hot & cold therapy products. For nearly 10 years numerous 3M products associated with automotive, industrial, professional and home use applications have been designated as exclusive NASCAR licensed products with the rights to use NASCAR-themed marketing elements in advertising and promotional materials. The 3M products range from hearing protection to automotive care and refinishing products, adhesive tapes, abrasives and many more. With this expansion of the agreement, 3M Nexcare bandages and first aid tapes, ACE, Futuro and Tru-Fit support devices and certain other 3M medical products will be permitted to carry the prestigious NASCAR mark on packaging, promotional elements and related media. 3M's association with motorsports spans decades and has taken many forms over the years. In addition to holding multiple NASCAR Officially Licensed product categories, 3M is a long-time sponsor of NASCAR racing as primary sponsor for Roush Fenway Racing's #16 3M Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR)(11-13-2009)

    • WWE Hall of Famer named Honorary Race Official at PIR: Sgt. Slaughter, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend and the former United States Marine who earned his famous ring name during service to his country, has been named an Honorary Race Official for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International Raceway. The WWE Hall of Famer will attend the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 as part of a promotional partnership between Phoenix International Raceway and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for WrestleMania XXVI, which will be held in Arizona in March 2010. Sgt. Slaughter will appear on the pre-race ceremonies stage with PIR President Bryan R. Sperber to welcome NASCAR fans, drivers, and teams to the Valley of the Sun for the Semi-Final Showdown in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In addition to his time on the pre-race stage, Slaughter will act as the honorary pace car driver before Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series Able Body Labor 200. Tickets for the November NASCAR event weekend at Phoenix can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(11-13-2009)

    • ISC close to selling Staten Island land UPDATE: International Speedway Corp is nearing a deal to sell 676 acres of land in Staten Island, New York, on which it had hoped to build a track, the race track owner's chief executive said on Wednesday. "We do have a sale that we do think will occur in the near future," CEO Lesa France Kennedy said in a telephone interview. "We have more details to work out."(Reuters)(10-24-2009)
      UPDATE: International Speedway Corp. (ISC) has found a buyer willing to pay $80 million for more than 676 acres on the West Shore — the largest privately-owned piece of undeveloped industrial land in the city and the place where the race car company's plans to build a NASCAR track crashed and burned. ISC announced this afternoon a deal to sell the land to KB Marine Holdings for $80 million — nearly $30 million less than ISC paid to buy and assemble the property, a former oil tank farm, back in 2004. KB Marine Holdings plans to use the property for port-related and warehousing uses, and was recently formed to acquire underused properties in port cities, a spokesman said. The preliminary details on the purchase agreement were released today and the deal is expected to close no later than Feb. 25. KB Marine Holdings put $1 million down on the deal. ISC dropped its race track proposal in 2006 in the face of mounting political opposition to the plan, and a deal in 2007 to sell the land to international warehouse developer ProLogis fell through.(Staten Island Live)(11-13-2009)


      News from November 12, 2009

    • Clinching Scenarios: What Johnson Can Do To Lock Up The Championship: With two races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the standings by 73 points over second-place #5-Mark Martin and 112 points over third-place #24-Jeff Gordon. With the standings tight as the season comes to a close, everyone wants to know what Johnson has to do to clinch the title.
      Phoenix: For Johnson to clinch at Phoenix International Raceway, he will need to lead by 195 points after the race. Currently up 73 points, he'll need to gain 122 points by the race's end. If he does that, he will clinch no matter what any other driver does.
      Homestead: For Johnson to clinch at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will need to average a fourth-place finish over the final two races, or fifth and a lap led in each of the final two races, or sixth and the most laps led in each of the final two races. If he does that, he will clinch no matter what any other driver does.
      AND if Martin wins and leads the most laps at Phoenix, he would become the new championship leader if Johnson finishes 14th or worse and doesn't lead a lap.(11-12-2009)

    • Living Legends treasurer accused of stealing: The stepdaughter of legendary NASCAR engine and car builder Ray Fox was arrested Tuesday after police said she embezzled more than $20,000 from an auto racing organization headed by her stepdad. Deborah Sue Burdick was charged with grand theft after South Daytona investigators said she pilfered about $21,000 from the Living Legends of Auto Racing, according to an arrest report. Living Legends, founded in 1993, recognizes, honors and promotes the pioneers of beach and stock car racing. The organization has more than 600 members from around the world, according to its Web site. The 56-year-old Burdick, who was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail on Tuesday afternoon on $10,000 bail, did not return a phone message. Police said she had been siphoning the money since April 2006. Fox, now in his 90s, was an early NASCAR engine and race car builder, as well as an engine inspector in his later years. He is also president of Living Legends of Auto Racing, based in South Daytona. He did not return a call for comment. Based on police reports, it's not clear why the money was taken. Burdick's husband told detectives she provides financial assistance for her son. Two Living Legends board members told investigators that Deborah Sue Burdick's gambling problem is why she stole, the report states. When Burdick was confronted by Coolidge at a board meeting in August about the $7,500 check, Burdick said "she needed the money," and she did not have her mother "or anyone to turn to," the report states.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-12-2009)

    • NASCAR Illustrated honors Mark Martin: #5-Mark Martin is the NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year presented by Old Spice for 2009. Martin will officially accept the award in a prerace ceremony at the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2009. NASCAR Illustrated chose to honor the 50-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver because of his exceptional talent and extraordinary class. His return to a full schedule in 2009 underscored his ability and gave fans another chance to appreciate his humility and graciousness. This is the third time Martin has received a Person of Year honor – but only the first that he has been the sole honoree. Martin is the cover subject of the December 2009 issue of NASCAR Illustrated, which will be available on newsstands across the country the week of Nov. 24.(SceneDaily)(11-12-2009)

    • Three drivers attempting triple duty at Phoenix: Two drivers will be aiming to make history this weekend by becoming the first to win in all three NASCAR national series at Phoenix International Raceway — Kyle Busch [#18 Cup, #18 NNS, #51 CWTS] and Kevin Harvick [#29 Cup, #33 NNS, #4 CWTS]. And Kevin Conway is attempting to make all three races [#70 Cup, #26 NNS and #71 CWTS]. Busch came close to scoring the feat last weekend at Texas when he won both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, but fell just short when he ran out of gas a few laps short of the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, relegating him to a 11th-place finish. Both Busch and Harvick have won at Phoenix in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Conway will be attempting to make his Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series debuts. Conway is guaranteed a spot in the NNS race, the Cup and Trucks race, he needs to qualifying by speed to make the races.(11-11-2009)
      UPDATE: Texas was the third time Busch had won the Trucks and Nationwide races in a weekend and gone on to go for the triple in the Cup series. What makes it more amazing is that he's the only driver to have won those first two races and even had an opportunity for the triple. Stranger still, was this was his worst finish when going for it. Here are Busch's Cup results after winning the Truck and Nationwide races in the same weekend:
      Year -- Track -- Finish
      2009 -- Texas -- 11th
      2009 -- California -- third
      2007 -- Phoenix -- eighth
      Terry Labonte is the only other driver to get a top-5 in all three series in a weekend, at Richmond in 1995.(ESPN)(11-12-2009)

    • USG returns to sponsor #17 at Phoenix: The #17 Ford of Matt Kenseth will carry the blue and red colors of USG Sheetrock for the third and final time this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. This week’s car will be The #17 USG SHEETROCK Ford promoting the DUROCK cement board Next Gen logo (RFR). See images of the regular USG scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2009)

    • “Luckiest Dog” to adorn the #18 car: A special guest will ride along with #18-Kyle Busch for Sunday’s Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway courtesy of primary sponsor Pedigree, as an image of “Kasey,” a four-year-old rescue dog, will adorn on Busch’s #18 Pedigree Toyota. Proud owners Joan and Charles Petit of Kellar, Texas, submitted the winning entry for Pedigree’s “Luckiest Dog” contest and will be treated to a three-day/two-night trip to the race, where they’ll see their four-legged friend’s face turning laps around the mile oval in-person. As the Pedigree Racing driver treks further West for this weekend’s festivities, he’s hoping – unlike was the case at Texas – that Kasey the rescue dog makes him the “Lucky Dog” that brings home his second Sprint Cup win at Phoenix and finish the job he started a week earlier.(JGR)(11-12-2009)

    • PVA.org colors on #43 at Phoenix: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The Paralyzed Veterans of America and radio station AM570 KLAC – Los Angeles, Calif. are holding a “Help a Hero” radio campaign on Thursday, November 12, 2009 from 3 p.m. – 2 a.m. (eastern). The campaign is designed to raise funds and awareness for the Paralyzed Veterans. Radio Listeners will be asked to call in and make a donation of $45 or more to “Help a Hero”. Additionally, there is an online auction site (click HERE) with over 60 prizes that will help raise funds for PVA. Four Star Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr. - Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, will sit on top of the #43 pit box this weekend as a guest of Sorenson and the Petty team.(RPM). See images of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2009)

    • #78 team tests at Pikes Peak: To prepare for another strong Phoenix performance in Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the Denver, Colo-based Furniture Row #78 Chevy team of Regan Smith conducted a test session earlier in the week at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. "We had another good test session at Pikes Peak," added Smith. "The last time we raced in Phoenix we also tested at Pikes Peak and it was a huge benefit. We're looking for similar results this weekend. We really want to close out the season on a positive note with solid results in Phoenix and at the season finale in Homestead (Nov. 22)." Running a part-time 20-race Sprint Cup schedule in 2009, the Furniture Row team is gearing up to run a full 36-race slate in 2010. "There's a lot of buzz at our Denver race shop right now," offered Smith. "Both the team roster and the shop size are expanding. We all have an upbeat feeling heading into next season. Running all 36 races is going to make us a better team. It's been fun and we're even going to have more fun."(FRR)(11-12-2009)

    • Starbucks makes NASCAR debut to be associate on #1: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Starbucks Coffee Company will provide NASCAR fans attending this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) a taste of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Starbucks latest coffee innovation, through an extensive trackside sampling effort. Beginning Friday, Nov. 13, the thousands of NASCAR fans in attendance at PIR should be on the lookout for a fleet of Starbucks branded golf carts combing the race-track property passing samples of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew. Starbucks ambassadors will be ready to introduce race fans to an instant coffee that is full bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks coffee they have already come to know and love. As part of the promotion, both the Starbucks and Starbucks VIA Ready Brew logos will have associate sponsor placement on the TV Panel of the #1 Rain-X Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr.(EGR)(11-12-2009)

    • Phoenix Rookie Notes: #82-Scott Speed was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 8 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway finishing 18th and took top rookie honor for the eighth time this season. #20-Joey Logano leads Speed by 36 points (237-201) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the November 15 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix. Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart are the only Raybestos Rookies to win at Phoenix in 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Stewart won from the pole in 1999 and Busch captured the 2005 event. Stewart is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps in a race at Phoenix. He led the 1999 race three times for 150 of the event’s 312 laps. Three Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions at Phoenix, all coming in the fall race: Tony Stewart (1999), Casey Atwood (2001) and Ryan Newman (2002). The most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a Sprint Cup Series race is Joey Logano. Logano captured the 2009 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ahead of second-place Jeff Gordon (18 races ago).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), for Rookie history, standings and facts, see my 2009 Rookies page.(11-12-2009)

    • Richard Petty Raceway opens Friday: NASCAR's all-time wins leader Richard Petty and Phoenix International Raceway have teamed up to open Richard Petty Raceway, a 1/16-mile go-kart track on the Midway that is the first such permanent karting facility located within a major NASCAR venue. Petty and Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger will appear at the grand opening of the track, scheduled for 2:00pm on Friday, November 13.(PIR)(11-12-2009)

    • Chase Notes heading into Phoenix: #48-Jimmie Johnson's mind-numbing streak of 33 Chase races with no worse than a 15th place finish, 29 top 10s, 22 top 5s and 11 wins, ended in the early mishap at Texas. #5-Mark Martin fell 35 points of maximizing the opportunity and #24-Jeff Gordon came up 66 points short. Johnson's 73-point advantage is still the second largest in Chase history with two to go. Johnson's trouble at Texas prevented the first-ever "early clinch," meaning he could have been the first champion in the six years of the Chase sew it up before Homestead. Carl Edwards finished 39th while Kasey Kahne finished 33rd, and Kahne now leads Edwards by 41 points for 10th place [and the final place for a banquet appearance]. See year-by-year comparison and more on my Chase Stats after Texas page and Chase History, rules and more of my 2009 Chase History & Rules page.(11-12-2009)

    • Ash to attempt Phoenix: #02-Brandon Ash Racing will be attempting their second race with the Efusjon Energy Club as there primary sponsor for the Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. See images of the car on my #02 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2009)

    • USARacing Pro Cup race at North Wilkesboro in 2010: The dark cloud of uncertainty that has hung over North Wilkesboro Speedway for the last 13 years might have been lifting, but that didn’t keep it from raining as new track owners announced plans to revive the historic facility. Still, little could have dampened the spirits of the crowd of 250 racing legends, media, local dignitaries and fans that gathered for the occasion. Racing, at long last, is coming back to North Wilkesboro. News of a USARacing Pro Cup event scheduled for Oct. 3, 2010, had already been released. The Speedway Associates Inc. ownership group that consists of Alton McBride Sr., Alton McBride Jr., Dave Ehret, John Burwell, Bosco Lowe and Terri Parsons wasn’t finished. According to McBride Jr., the track will also host next year’s American Speed Association 300-lap season finale in November, as well as a Pro All Stars Series event.(Stock Car History Online)(11-12-2009)


      News from November 11, 2009

    • Rain-X to sponsor Truex at Phoenix: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Shell Lubricants announced that the Rain-X brand will make its second appearance as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. for the Nov. 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Rain-X made it’s NASCAR debut as the primary sponsor for Truex and the #1 team for the NSCS race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 20. The #1 Chevy bright yellow and blue design draws inspiration from the yellow and blue color scheme that has become synonymous with the Rain-X® brand. Race fans should be sure to look for the Rain-X logo on the hood of the #1 Chevy along with the giant “beaded” rain drops running off the windshield and down the sides of the front quarter-panels. More info about Rain-X at www.rainx.com (EGR). See images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(11-11-2009)

    • Waltrip serious about Trulli test: Michael Waltrip Racing officials say the team is serious about the upcoming NASCAR test for former Toyota F1 driver Jarno Trulli. Trulli will be driving a Sprint Cup series Toyota Camry on November 16th & 17th at the half-mile New Smyrna Speedway in Florida, a test that he has stressed he will be doing just for fun. Mika Salo, also a former Toyota driver in the team's debut season in Formula 1, will be joining him. Team owner Michael Waltrip is taking the opportunity to run Trulli in one of his cars seriously, even while reminding that the Italian's intentions are initially just to sample stock cars and ovals for the first time. "He just wants to try it out," Waltrip told AUTOSPORT. "But we're serious about the test, Toyota is supporting it, our team, engineers, everybody is into the test. We will give it all the effort that we would give to any test. I don't know what Jarno's plans are. I know he is just doing it for fun, but I know that it's going to be important for him to do it. He's a race car driver, he'll want to be as fast as anyone and so we're going to make sure that he has all the support that he needs to be able to accomplish that." Trulli, who already had a seat fitting at MWR's shop in North Carolina last week, is expected to attend Sunday's race at Phoenix, before driving a Cup car for the first time next week.(Autosport)(11-11-2009)

    • Kurt Busch names winning car ”Patriot”: #2-Kurt Busch has decided to name his Texas winning car, the “PRS-702” Miller Lite Dodge…”Patriot”…”We’ve been kicking around potential names for the car since the other night and it just kept on coming back to ‘Patriot,’” Kurt said from Phoenix on Tuesday morning. “With what all occurred last week in Texas, we wanted to name the car with a tribute to all of our brave military men and women who are serving our country. The fact that we had our special Operation Homefront color scheme on the car and all their representatives and the soldiers there helping us celebrate the big win sealed the deal. Like Eva said, and I quote, ‘It’s the patriotic thing to do in naming the car ‘Patriot.’
      Busch picked up another $10,000 bonus for Operation Homefront with his win last Sunday at Texas, bringing the total of Miller Lite’s donation to $220,000. Kurt is asking for fans to participate by texting T-R-O-O-P-S to 90999 or visit MillerLite.com/vets to make a $5 donation, which will be added to your phone bill. “That was really cool to have our Operation Homefront friends with us at Texas to celebrate the big win,” Kurt said. “The program working with those guys has been very enjoyable and gratifying. We’re so proud to have carried their colors and to have been able to add some money to the cause. We hope the fans will continue to text in those donations.”(Tom Roberts PR)(11-11-2009)

    • Mears getting married in January: #07-Casey Mears, along with his fiancée Trish Grablander and their daughter Samantha, went directly from Ft. Worth to Phoenix to spend time with friends and family. Phoenix is where they met and started the romance that will lead up to their January 2010 wedding.(RCR)(11-11-2009)

    • Great deal on limited-edition NASCAR prints by Garry Hill: Garry Hill, whose motorsports paintings have captured most of the greatest names in NASCAR history, is offering a special deal for the holiday season. An order of two or more limited-edition prints before Nov. 26 will receive free shipping (within the continental U.S.), which, in other words, is a potential savings of $170. For additional information and to see all the original paintings and limited-edition prints, visit www.garryhill.com.(NASCAR This Week)(11-11-2009)

    • Newman Reflects on Veterans Day, Army Sponsorship: The timing was only appropriate for Ryan Newman to reflect on what it has meant to drive a race car sponsored by the U.S. Army. He spoke about the sponsorship the day before Veterans Day, an annual United States holiday observed on Nov. 11 to honor military veterans. "My Army heart is heavier this week based on what happened in Fort Hood last week," said Newman, driver of the #39 U.S. Army/Haas-Automation Chevy. "Since tomorrow (Wednesday) is Veterans Day, every citizen needs to sit back and offer remembrance to our Veterans for their unselfish commitment and fight to preserve freedom. I am so proud to drive the U.S. Army car, it's been an eye-opening experience this year with the Army as our primary sponsor. I've had the privilege of visiting with so many Soldiers at Army bases, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at the track. They are my heroes and it's an incredible feeling and honor knowing that our Stewart-Haas Racing team represents more than one million Soldiers in the NASCAR world. That is awesome!"(U.S. Army Racing)(11-11-2009)

    • WIX Filters Inks Deal with Richard Petty Motorsports: WIX Filters has signed on with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 as an associate sponsor of the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, WIX is offering their customers the unique opportunity to join the WIX team to cheer the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Banking 500 in October 2010 and the ability to treat their best customers or salespeople to a once in a lifetime race weekend. The associate sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports provides WIX secondary brand placement on the #43 car, and driver and pit crew suits, pit box and car hauler for the entire 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It also puts WIX as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup paint scheme for the October 2010 NASCAR Banking 500 at Charlotte.(Camp and Assoc)(11-11-2009)

    • Three drivers attempting triple duty at Phoenix: Two drivers will be aiming to make history this weekend by becoming the first to win in all three NASCAR national series at Phoenix International Raceway — Kyle Busch [#18 Cup, #18 NNS, #51 CWTS] and Kevin Harvick [#29 Cup, #33 NNS, #4 CWTS]. And Kevin Conway is attempting to make all three races [#70 Cup, #26 NNS and #71 CWTS]. Busch came close to scoring the feat last weekend at Texas when he won both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, but fell just short when he ran out of gas a few laps short of the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, relegating him to a 11th-place finish. Both Busch and Harvick have won at Phoenix in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Conway will be attempting to make his Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series debuts. Conway is guaranteed a spot in the NNS race, the Cup and Trucks race, he needs to qualifying by speed to make the races.(11-11-2009)

    • Almirola files lawsuit: Aric Almirola has filed a lawsuit in North Carolina Superior Court alleging that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. have breached their contract with him. Almirola, who drove in seven Sprint Cup races this year for the team before his car was parked because of a lack of sponsorship, filed the complaint last Thursday. DEI had announced last year that Almirola would run a full season in 2009, but the organization later merged its Cup operation with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The complaint does not detail the circumstances surrounding the breach-of-contract claim and asks the court to refer the matter to arbitration. Almirola had filed two notices of a claim last month, and he had until Thursday to file the actual complaint. He is dismissing his claim against Chip Ganassi Racing and EGR co-owner Teresa Earnhardt but proceeding in the one against EGR and DEI. The team had no comment.(SceneDaily)(11-11-2009)

    • J.J. Yeley - Ready to Race Again: For former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver J.J. Yeley, being forced to sit idle and watch races as opposed to driving in them has been one of the toughest things he's had to endure since he first began racing 16 years ago. Everything changed the night of Aug. 22 for the Phoenix native when the Sprint Bandit car he was driving at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., quickly turned Yeley into a passenger on a wild, hair-raising ride. The race had just restarted for the third time when the 2003 USAC Triple Crown champion, who was running third at the time, took off into turn one. As he went into the corner, his car caught the track, flipped and barrel-rolled at least eight times. Although Yeley thought he had nothing more than a sore neck following the crash, he soon learned that he had fractured three vertebrae. Since that night, Yeley has worn a neck collar and undergone neck surgery, where doctors fused two vertebrae with screws and a metal plate. And now, just a month after the outpatient surgery, the 33-year-old is working out daily to rebuild the muscles in his neck and shoulders. So far, his healing process has been speedy, above average according to the specialists and doctors Yeley has spoken with in the last two months. With one more test to pass, he hopes to be cleared by doctors in December, which he says is just in time for the 2010 racing season. With that in mind, Yeley, who has 95 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts and 118 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, has been working the phones, talking to prospective teams and sponsors about a return to the sport that he loves. Being a spectator has refueled Yeley's passion, and he is ready to race again.
      Will you have an announcement soon about your plans for 2010? "That's been the major hurdle. Obviously, the economy has hurt every form of racing there is. We're getting closer and closer to getting something 100 percent signed. Hopefully, in the next two to three weeks, things will go like they are looking and we'll be able to make an announcement and let everyone know what's going on with J.J. Yeley and the future for 2010."
      See interview including Yeley's comments about the accident, rehab, recovery, the Chili Bowl, on my MISC Drivers page - JJ Yeley or at True Speed Communication)(11-11-2009)

    • Dale Earnhardt Sr. honored by NC Motorsports Association: The North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) announced that Dale Earnhardt Sr. will be the 2010 Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award Recipient. Earnhardt will be honored on January 25th, 2010 at the NCMA's 4th Annual Motorsports Industry Awards Banquet. Past recipients have included; Benny Parson's (2007), Richard Petty (2008) and Richard Childress (2009). In addition, 10 Industry related organizations were announced to be awarded at the upcoming banquet for their 2009 achievements and contributions to the industry. The announcements were made during the NCMA's Annual Membership Luncheon held at Lowes Motor Speedway.(NCMA)(11-11-2009)

    • Tyrese Gibson to perform national anthem at PIR Cup race: Actor, model, and R&B star Tyrese Gibson will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 15. Tyrese will replace Brian McKnight, who was previously scheduled for the performance, but had a last-minute scheduling conflict. In 1994, Tyrese Gibson's star was born when he was featured in a memorable Coca-Cola commercial. Riding the heat of the commercial, Tyrese landed guest appearances on the hit TV shows "Martin" and "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper," and became the face of Tommy Hilfiger at the age of 17. He signed a record deal with RCA Records and completed his first self-titled debut album in 1998, which featured the smash hit "Sweet Lady." His platinum-selling debut earned him a Grammy nomination and the American Music Award for "Best New Artist." Over the summer, Tyrese starred in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which brought back all of the key elements from the first film, including director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg. In 2010, Tyrese can be seen in "Legion," a Sony Screen Gems horror film co-starring Dennis Quaid. For tickets to the November NASCAR event weekend at Phoenix International Raceway – with prices as low as $25 for Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 – can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(11-11-2009)

    • Kansas Speedway presented American Flag Flown in Afghanistan: Kansas Speedway has been presented an American flag that was flown aboard an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Tail #321 during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 09-10. “On behalf of the entire Kansas Speedway staff, we’re honored to be presented this flag by Maj. Matthew Weinshel and we will proudly display it in our offices,” said Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger. “We’re thankful for all of the brave men and women in our military who protect our freedom on a daily basis. The staff at Kansas Speedway was fortunate to meet several US Special Operations Command members, including Maj. Weinshel, prior to our 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and many of those that joined us on that day are currently serving overseas.” Maj. Weinshel changed units to the 82d Combat Aviation Brigade in December, 2008, specifically Task Force Saber. Task Force Saber is the tip of the spear in the aerial fight against insurgents in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar. It’s comprised of two troops, OH-58D Kiowa Warriors, one company of AH-64D Apaches, two UH-60C Blackhawks, one company of Pathfinders and aviation unit maintenance troop, a forward support troop and a headquarters element. Maj. Weinshel was the pilot during this operation. The US Special Operations Command took part in a special pre-race ceremony in 2008, delivering the pace car for the Kansas 400.(Kansas Speedway)(11-11-2009)

    • Brian McKnight to perform national anthem at PIR: E1 Music recording artist and 16-time Grammy nominee Brian McKnight will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 15. In a career spanning nearly two decades, McKnight has earned a spot in contemporary music history, with seven platinum and multi-platinum album releases and the sale of over 20 million records worldwide. In 1999, McKnight's single "Back at One" from the album of the same name reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts, maintaining that position for eight weeks. Tickets for the November NASCAR event weekend at Phoenix International Raceway – with prices as low as $25 – can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(11-11-2009)


      News from November 10, 2009

    • ABC’s Texas TV Ratings Stays Even With Past Two Years: ABC’s live coverage of the Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 8, earned a final national household rating of 3.7, the same rating the event earned on ABC in both 2007 and 2008. The telecast averaged 5,826,842 viewers. ESPN2’s live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 7, earned a final national household coverage rating of 0.9, down from the 1.2 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 1,152,187 viewers (ESPN). For race-by-race news and the comparison chart over last three seasons, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-10-2009)

    • #1 Chevy deemed too low UPDATE: The #1 Bass Pro Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. failed a post-race inspection when NASCAR officials found the height of the car was too low. The violation was discovered because the #1 Chevy was the random car selected for inspection after the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Truex finished 14th. Any penalties for the team will be announced on Tuesday, NASCAR officials confirmed. NASCAR also is taking three cars back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. -- the #2 Dodge of race winner Kurt Busch, the #24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon, who finished 13th, and the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin, who finished fourth. NASCAR also will take three engines to the R&D Center -- the #2 Dodge, the #11 Toyota motor of driver Denny Hamlin, who finished second, and Gordon's. The winning car and the engines from the top two finishers always are inspected in the R&D Center.(ESPN)(11-9-2009)
      Penalties Issued For Car #1 Team: NASCAR announced penalties for the car No. 1 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a violation that occurred during post-race inspection last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. The team was penalized for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (front of the car did not meet the required height specification; too low in post-race inspection). Crew chief Kevin Manion was fined $50,000 and remains on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Car owner Teresa Earnhardt and driver Martin Truex Jr., were penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner and 50 championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR), the #1 team was also docked 25 driver/owner points after Chicago for the car being too high.(11-10-2009)

    • Event Schedule for 2009 Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week: As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season nears conclusion – the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway just a few weeks away – 2009 Champion's Week celebrations have taken shape. Las Vegas, Nev., is the host city for this year's Champion's Week festivities, which culminates on Friday, Dec. 4 with the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas. This year, SPEED will televise the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony live with two re-airs. The awards ceremony is the series champion's formal celebration. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony can also be heard on Sirius NASCAR Radio (SIRIUS channel 128 and XM channel 128 with the "Best of SIRIUS"), and on MRN Radio. Though the awards ceremony is the traditional focal point, a full roster of exciting events is planned for this year's Champion's Week, many with fan involvement. This year's awards ceremony marks the first time in the sport's history that fans will join drivers, team owners and industry leaders in celebrating the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Approximately 300 tickets are available to fans, which are being distributed by tracks, NASCAR partners, top-12 drivers and teams through various fan promotions.(NASCAR), see the schedule, TV Times and more on my 2009 Sprint Cup Awards page.(11-10-2009)

    • Harvick's Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Texas: Kevin Harvick's crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's (Nov. 8) NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It was the first Tissot win of the season for Harvick's #29 crew, which became the 18th different winner of the 2009 pit road competition. Harvick's Chevy Impala SS spent the least amount of time on pit road (221.751 seconds) during the Dickies 500. The winning effort by the #29 crew helped Harvick post a fifth-place finish in Texas. Harvick's over-the-wall crew, which earned $5,000 for the Tissot win, consists of: DJ Richardson (front-tire changer), Erik Pringle (front-tire carrier), Jonathon Billy (rear-tire changer), Mike Hodges (rear-tire carrier), Corey Wimbish (jackman), Mike Morrison (gasman) and Cruz Gonzales (catch can). The team's crew chief is Gil Martin. With two races remaining in the 2009 season, three teams are in contention to capture the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award season championship which carries a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. #16-Greg Biffle's crew leads the competition with six wins, followed by five wins for #24-Jeff Gordon's crew and four wins for Jimmie Johnson's crew. If there's a tie in the Tissot competition after the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 22), the team which finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup driver point standings will be awarded the Tissot season title.(Tissot), see race-by-race news, standings and more on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-10-2009)

    • RPM Engine shop to shut down UPDATE: What's left of the original Evernham Motorsports engine shop is expected to shut down on Monday, according to multiple sources. Richard Petty Motorsports will retain the necessary personnel to complete the final two races of the season when engine duties will revert to Roush Yates engines with the move to Ford. With the merger of RPM and Yates Racing, the Petty crew chiefs were told that each team would be able to keep 17 crewmen per team. The overall reduction for the organization is expected to be 200 of 250 employees once the deal is complete.(FoxSports)(11-9-2009)
      UPDATE: The NASCAR workforce shrunk by 47 people on Monday as Richard Petty Motorsports took the first steps toward shutting down its engine department in Concord, NC. RPM is making reductions in its staff with the impending merger with Yates Racing. Additional cuts are expected in the car shop in Statesville, N.C. on Tuesday. Sources said on Sunday that the three remaining teams expected to join forces with Yates will retain 17 crewmen per team. But given the move to Ford — which started at Talladega with #19-Elliott Sadler on Oct. 30th and continued this past weekend with #44-AJ Allmendinger at Texas, there's no need to continue building new Dodge cars or engines. The engine department will continue to employ 14 employees through the end of the season to assist in the organization for the final two races. Roush Yates Engines will supply powerplants for the team in 2010.(FoxSports)(11-10-2009)

    • NASCAR Touring And Weekly Series Champions Week Underway: Champions Week is underway in the center of NASCAR racing as six 2009 series champions converge on the Charlotte area for a week of activities leading up to the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet.
      NASCAR champions Jason Bowles (Camping World Series West), George Brunnhoelzl III (Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Donny Lia (Whelen Modified Tour, Philip Morris (Whelen All-American Series), Andrew Ranger (Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1) and Ryan Truex (Camping World Series East) will be honored at the end of the week during awards ceremonies at the Concord Convention Center.
      Tuesday will see the six champions participate in an extensive media tour in the Charlotte area. The day will start with local television and radio appearances followed by the Second Annual NASCAR Toyota Champions/Media Go-Kart Showdown presented by Sirius XM Radio at Victory Lane Karting. The Sirius NASCAR Radio show "Tradin' Paint" will broadcast live from the event. Following the karting challenge, the champions will depart for appearances at Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Performance Racing Network (PRN). The day will conclude with a photo shoot at the under-construction NASCAR Hall of Fame and a VIP dinner at the Sam Bass Gallery.
      The rest of the week's activities will be highlighted by the Jim Hunter Golf Invitational on Wednesday, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series State Champions Dinner on Thursday and the Driver Briefings Friday morning. The week will then close with a pair of banquets. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet will take place Friday evening at the Concord Convention Center with track and state champions to be honored along with Morris, the national champion. The NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala, which will honor the championship seasons of Bowles, Brunnhoelzl, Lia, Ranger and Truex, will be held at the same venue on Saturday evening. Both banquets will be streamed live online at nascarhometracks.com.(NASCAR PR)(11-10-2009)

    • Press Conference at North Wilkesboro UPDATE: on Tuesday November 10th at 1:30pm/et there will be a press conference at The North Wilkesboro Speedway, located on US 421 in North Wilkesboro, NC. In a show of "Community Unity" Speedway Associates Inc. has opened this press conference to the public requesting that they come and sit in the stands to hear of plans to have racing back at the track in 2010. More info at Save The Speedway.(11-8-2009)
      UPDATE: The ASA Late Model Series Presented by GM Performance Parts announced that the 'King's Ransom 300' has found a new home at the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway. The event will once again be televised and draw the top short track drivers from around the country to compete. "After talking with the new ownership group at North Wilkesboro Speedway, I know that we share the same vision of reviving short track racing", stated Ron Varney ASA Late Model Series President. "North Wilkesboro Speedway has a long history of short track racing and we are very excited to be able to carry on that tradition", finished Varney.
      "On behalf of the Speedway Associates Team and North Wilkesboro Speedway, we are incredibly honored to have the ASA Late Model Series bring it's famed Kings Ransom 300 to our historic speedway. We commend everyone with ASALMS for working so very hard to continue the mission in saving short track racing abroad", stated Alton McBride Jr. President & Director of Operations SAI (North Wilkesboro Speedway). For more information about the ASA Late Model Series visit www.asalatemodels.com.(ASA Late Model Series PR)(11-10-2009)

    • Tickets on sale for Dover's May races: Race fans can reserve great seats for the May 14-16, 2010 race weekend at Dover International Speedway, featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as tickets are currently on sale. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Dover ticket office at 800-441-RACE or online at DoverSpeedway.com. Tickets for Dover's "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" weekend, Sept. 24-26, 2010, will go on sale to the public on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. Returning fans still have the opportunity to renew their same seats for the September 2010 race weekend until Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009. Dover International Speedway continues to offer event ticket insurance for all events, along with an array of ticket options including special three-day ticket packages, all-inclusive hospitality packages, early buy discounts, and a variety of payment plans.(Dover International Speedway)(11-10-2009)


      News from November 9, 2009

    • Overnight Texas TV ratings down: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 3.2 overnight rating with a 6 share. That is slightly down from last season Nov. 2nd race at Texas, a 3.4 ratings with a 6 share. For race-by-race news and the comparison chart over last three seasons, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-9-2009)

    • Sorenson and Mears candidates for #09 ride in 2010 UPDATE: Casey Mears, currently running the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy for Richard Childress is a leading candidate for the #09 Phoenix Racing ride in 2010. Reed Sorenson, out of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports ride after the 2009 season is also a candidate for the #09 ride.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)
      UPDATE: Casey Mears and Reed Sorenson are among the four drivers #09 Phoenix Racing is considering for the 2010 Sprint Cup season. The Spartanburg-based organization will run David Gilliland this weekend at Phoenix and David Stremme in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. If neither earns the ride through performance, then Mears and Sorenson will become the front-runners, general manager Mark Reno said. Reno said both drivers have called him inquiring about the #09. "A lot of good candidates," he said. See more at ESPN Insider.(11-9-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Dickies 500/Texas:
      Total number of commercials: 123
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 25
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:15 pm/et
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:59 pm/et
      Total minutes: 224
      Minutes of race broadcast: 174
      Minutes of commercials: 50
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
      Number of times a replay of Johnson's wreck on lap three was shown: 13
      Number of minutes Jimmie Johnson's car was in the garage under repair: 68
      Number of times Jimmie Johnson's car was shown being worked on during the race broadcast: 17
      Number of times Chad Knaus was shown working on Jimmie's car following the wreck: 5
      Number of times a replay was shown of Carl Edwards' wreck: 5
      Total race brdcst time 174 Total comm. brdcst time 50
      See drivers spotlighted, link to full report and past races on my 2009 Commercials page.(11-9-2009)

    • #1 Chevy deemed too low: The #1 Bass Pro Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. failed a post-race inspection when NASCAR officials found the height of the car was too low. The violation was discovered because the #1 Chevy was the random car selected for inspection after the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Truex finished 14th. Any penalties for the team will be announced on Tuesday, NASCAR officials confirmed. NASCAR also is taking three cars back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. -- the #2 Dodge of race winner Kurt Busch, the #24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon, who finished 13th, and the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin, who finished fourth. NASCAR also will take three engines to the R&D Center -- the #2 Dodge, the #11 Toyota motor of driver Denny Hamlin, who finished second, and Gordon's. The winning car and the engines from the top two finishers always are inspected in the R&D Center.(ESPN)(11-9-2009)

    • Earnhardt-Ganassi staying with Chevy: Toyota and Richard Childress, who is part of the joint venture which currently supplies Chevrolet engines to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, gave co-team owner Chip Ganassi an ultimatum for a decision on manufacturers next year. Following several early morning meetings at Texas Motor Speedway, EGR opted to stay with Chevrolet. Ganassi spoke with General Motors Racing manager Mark Kent in a closed-door meeting inside the #1 team's transporter Sunday morning at Texas Motor Speedway and Alba Colon, GM Racing's Chevrolet program manager, camped out in front of the hauler for part of the morning. He also met with Toyota senior manager Andy Graves before making his decision. When asked for a comment after his meetings, Ganassi said "It's nobody's business."(FoxSports)(11-9-2009)

    • RPM Engine shop to shut down: What's left of the original Evernham Motorsports engine shop is expected to shut down on Monday, according to multiple sources. Richard Petty Motorsports will retain the necessary personnel to complete the final two races of the season when engine duties will revert to Roush Yates engines with the move to Ford. With the merger of RPM and Yates Racing, the Petty crew chiefs were told that each team would be able to keep 17 crewmen per team. The overall reduction for the organization is expected to be 200 of 250 employees once the deal is complete.(FoxSports)(11-9-2009)

    • Kvapil to Front Row ride in 2010 UPDATE: Travis Kvapil, who failed to qualify the #37 Front Row Motorsports Dodge at Charlotte and started and parked at Martinsville the following week, is expected to run the #37 car [Chevy? Dodge?] full-time in 2010.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)
      UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports plans to field two NASCAR Sprint Cup cars full time in 2010, but who will drive them is still to be determined, team owner Bob Jenkins said Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Jenkins also said the team likely will change manufacturer from its current Chevy [Dodge is also used with #37 team sometimes]. He wouldn’t name which manufacturer the team was going to use. “We’ve identified a lot of areas of our program where we can improve without spending a ton of money,” Jenkins said. “I think [2010] is going to be a good year for us. … The economy has helped our team. Our business model is not built [around] a $20 million sponsor. People have become available, equipment has become available.” As far as drivers, Jenkins said he has been happy with John Andretti keeping the #34 team in the top 35 in owners points. It is 35th with a 135-point cushion [now 117 points] on the Red Bull Racing #82 team of Scott Speed. The #37 car has attempted 25 Cup races this year. Whether Andretti and Raines return remains to be seen. Travis Kvapil and David Stremme are the drivers most often mentioned as potential candidates for that ride. “We’ve talked to six guys, plus we’re pretty happy with John and Tony,” Jenkins said. “It’s not like we’re looking to change across the board or anything. We’ve talked to all the usual suspects. We’re going to try to narrow it down over the next couple of weeks. We haven’t had any serious discussions with anybody. I’m pretty loyal to the guys that we have. I want to get through this season, see where things stand, take a breath and then figure out what we want to do. It’s been hard to be critical because John has done exactly what we’ve asked him to do. Same thing with Tony. I don’t know if you will see any dramatic changes, but we will add the second [full-time] car next year.”(SceneDaily)(11-9-2009)

    • Special Pre-Sale Event for Texas Tickets: In a year where Texas Motor Speedway has offered its lowest ticket price ever for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with the $20 "Backstretch Buster" seats, sold $1 seats in a special promotion for the June IndyCar Series race and unveiled a special two for $99 Dickies 500 frontstretch ticket package, "The Great American Speedway!" is extending a thank you Sunday to all its fans attending the Dickies 500. Dickies 500 fans received a "thank you" flier that also will give them the exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets – and secure the best available seats – to next year's Samsung Mobile 500 through a special online pre-sale code on the flier. In addition, fans that purchase a Samsung Mobile 500 ticket during the pre-sale period of Monday and Tuesday will receive a free ticket to The Dallas Morning News Qualifying Day for the Sprint Cup Series and Rattlesnake 150 ARCA RE/MAX Series race, both of which will be held Friday, April 16. The Samsung Mobile 500 is scheduled for Sunday, April 18. Tickets for the Samsung Mobile 500 – as well as the O'Reilly 300 Nationwide Series race Saturday, April 17 – will go on sale to the public Wednesday, following the close of the two-day, pre-sale period. For additional information, contact the TMS ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(11-9-2009)

    • Watkins Glen donates prints to USS New York crew: Over the years, Watkins Glen International has worked very hard to show its support of the men and women of the United States military, but its most recent donation is a first for the historic road course. With the help of the drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup and IndyCar Series, The Glen was able to donate specially signed and framed prints to the captain and crew of the U.S. Navy's newest addition – the USS New York. These prints are the only ones signed by all of the drivers from each series and are just the latest of The Glen's efforts which have included military discounts on tickets, featuring all branches in pre-race ceremonies, supporting the Climb to Glory Charity at nearby Fort Drum, and a wide range of fly-overs. The top drivers of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series signed one of the event posters for the 2009 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen that was designed by renowned artist Sam Bass. The sailors of the USS New York will find the names of almost every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver that competed at The Glen this year. The donation was made following a request from the U.S. Navy for items and memorabilia from major sites and attractions around New York State to be placed in the soon-to-be commissioned ship. The goal is to enhance the connection between the ship and the state for which it is named as well as provide numerous displays throughout the ship to represent various aspects that have formed the culture of New York.
      The USS New York is the fifth ship in the LPD 17 San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock ships to be built. It is very unique from the other four ships of this class for two specific reasons. The first, and most important, is that steel from the World Trade Center wreckage was used in the construction of the bow stem of the ship. The bow stem is the part of the ship that reaches the farthest forward where it cuts through the water and also helps provide hull integrity. The second is that state names have typically been reserved for submarines but an exception was made in the case of the USS New York. George Pataki was the Governor of New York in 2001 and, following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, he sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, asking the Navy to please revive the name USS New York and give it to a surface ship that would fight in the war on terror. The USS New York is currently docked in New York City for its commissioning ceremony which will be held on Saturday, November 7. The general public is welcome to tour the state-of-the-art ship until Wednesday, November 11. More information about the USS New York can be found by visiting www.ussnewyork.com.
      Tickets for the entire 2010 season will go on sale to the general public (non-renewal customers) November 14, 2009. For more information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or log on to the official website at www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(11-9-2009)


      News from November 8, 2009

    • Kurt Busch wins at Texas: #2-Kurt Busch won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season and 20th of his career. #18-Kyle Busch led 232 laps and was in position to win the race and set history by winning the Cup, Nationwide and Truck race same weekend/ same track, then ran out of fuel with two laps to go and finished 11th. #11-Hamlin finished 2nd, followed by #17-Kenseth, #5-Martin, #29-Harvick [who was 2nd but ran out of fuel and got passed by three cars], #14-Stewart, #33-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #31-Burton and #44-Allmendinger. On lap 3, points leader #48-Johnson was involved in a wreck and hit the inside wall, the crew took just over an hour to repair the car and get Johnson out so he could make laps and finished 38th. Johnson's points lead went from 184 to 73 over #5-Mark Martin. There were 5 cautions for 26 yellow flag laps and there were 13 lead changes among 4 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 9 at 3:30am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 9 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 11 at 12:00pm/et
      For race results, awards and more, see my Texas Race Results Page.(11-8-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers finish at Texas in the Dickies 500:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Texas)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 38th, wrecked lap 3
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 13th
      4) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 37th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 6th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, WON
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 8th
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 12th
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne, 33rd
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 39th
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin, 2nd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 26th.(11-8-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Texas, Chase race 8 of 10; Season race 34 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6297, finished 38th
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 6224, -73, 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 6185, -112, 13th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 6126, -171, WON
      5) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 6119, -178, 6th
      6) #42-Juan Montoya, 6061, -236, 37th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 6050, -247, 8th
      8) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 5975, -322, 2nd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 5973, -324, 12th
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5898, -399, 33rd
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 5857, -440, 39th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5777, -520, 26th
      For the drivers points standings, see my Drivers Points Standings.(11-8-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Texas, race 34 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #14-Tony Stewart (X), 4895
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon (X), 4802, -93
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson (X), 4801, -94
      4) #5-Mark Martin (X), 4475, -420
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin (X), 4446, -449
      6) #2-Kurt Busch (X), 4438, -457
      7) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (X), 4312, -583
      8) #16-Greg Biffle (X), 4299, -596
      9) #39-Ryan Newman (X), 4245, -650
      10) #18-Kyle Busch, 4183, -712
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne (X), 4158, -737
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4151, -744
      13) #99-Carl Edwards (X), 4137, -758
      14) #33-Clint Bowyer, 4078, -817
      15) #83-Brian Vickers (X), 3975, -920
      16) #00-David Reutimann, 3969, -926
      (X) a chase driver.(11-8-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Texas Motor Speedway:
      #2-Kurt Busch won the Dickies 500, his 20th victory in 326 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and 19th top-10 finish in 2009. His last win came on March 8 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 14 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      #11-Denny Hamlin (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 18th top-10 finish in 2009.
      #17-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 15 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      #82-Scott Speed (18th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 73 points over #5-Mark Martin.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-8-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Phoenix:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now down to 117 points (was 135)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2647, +158
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2606, 117 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2489, 117 points out of 35th
      (no other teams are within 500 owners points of 35th)
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owners points standings, see my Owners Points Standings.(11-8-2009)

    • Penalty/Infraction Report - Texas:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #34 Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End, Engine
      #21 Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End, Transmission
      #77, 4, Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area, Tail End
      #71, 53, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #77, 87, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #82, 88, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #24, 175, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #43, 289, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Pass Thru
      (NASCAR Statistics)(11-8-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Texas: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: #12-Keselowski, finished 35th
      Caution 4: #31-Burton, 9th
      Caution 4: none awarded as the cars involved in the caution were up for the lucky dog
      Caution 5: #6-Ragan, 17th
      (11-8-2009)

    • Dickies American Worker of the Year WINS $1 million UPDATE: On Saturday, Nov 7th, 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year Michael McGee to randomly select one of the 12 Chase drivers at Texas Motor Speedway. If the driver McGee selects takes the checkered flag at the Dickies 500 on Sunday, McGee will become an instant millionaire. McGee, an agricultural teacher and horse training business owner from Broken Bow, OK, was named the 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year on Friday, October 30 at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas. As the promotion's winner, McGee received $50,000 and an all-access, VIP trip for two to the Dickies 500 this weekend, which includes all track activities, a tour of the track's garage, a view of the race from exclusive seats in the Dickies suite, and most importantly, the chance to turn his $50,000 prize into $1 million.(Dickies/Edelman)(11-4-2009)
      UPDATE: At a press conference in his honor, McGee randomly selected Kurt Busch, one of the 12 Race for the Chase drivers, to help make him an instant millionaire. If Kurt Busch wins the Dickies 500 on Sunday, November 8, McGee will win $1,000,000.(Dickies/Edelman)(11-7-2009)
      UPDATE 2: with #2-Kurt Busch winning the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Dickies American Worker of the Year Michael McGee won $1 million.(11-8-2009)

    • Kyle Busch going for triple at Texas RESULTS 2 for 3: Kyle Busch attempts to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three national series races - Sprint Cup [#18 M&M's Toyota], Nationwide [#18 Toyota] and Camping World Truck Series [#51 Toyota] - in the same weekend when he competes in the Dickies 500, O'Reilly Challenge and WinStar World Casino 350k, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway. In Sprint Cup competition, Busch has three top-six finishes and 207 laps led in his last four TMS starts, including a best of third in the 2008 Samsung 500. In Nationwide action, he has been a dominant force and will arrive having won three consecutive races. In the truck series, he still is seeking his first win, but has finished runner-up in three of his last four visits, the most recent being in this event last year. Busch nearly pulled off the triple earlier this season at California's Auto Club Speedway, winning Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in the same day and finishing second the following day in the Sprint Cup Series race. Busch has 59th career wins among NASCAR's top three divisions. Busch has won in all three of NASCAR's top divisions at six tracks: Auto Club Speedway, Phoenix, Bristol, Dover, Chicago and New Hampshire. Of the 30 tracks to host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at each circuit at least once and has won at 22 of them. The eight venues where Busch has raced but not scored a victory are Martinsville, Pocono, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead, Iowa, Milwaukee, Memphis (now closed) and Montreal.(many different PR's)(11-4-2009)
      RESULTS: Busch started the #51-Toyota 12th in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Texas and won the race
      Busch started the #18-Toyota 6th in the Nationwide Series race Saturday afternoon at Texas and won the race, so he is 2 for 2.
      Busch started 5th in the #18 M&M's Toyota at Texas in the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, led the most laps at 232, but ran out of gas and finished 11th.(11-8-2009)

    • Brian France discusses TV Coverage: Dustin Long of the Virginian Pilot / Roanoke Times ran into NASCAR Chairman Brian France on Sunday morning before the race at Texas Motor Speedway and got the chance to sit down with him for 15 minutes alone in the NASCAR hauler discussing some of the various issues that have arisen recently in the sport.
      me. Q: What is your feeling of the comments TV commentators made to me in the Frankly Speaking series and the things were said on the ABC broadcast last weekend at Talladega.
      BRIAN FRANCE: Clearly, this is a sport that has a lot of opinions and most other sports channel their thoughts and criticisms differently and that is an unusual thing that we have to have people within the sport openly just criticizing as we go along but maybe that's something very unique in NASCAR that no other sport has to sort out. We'll sort it out.''
      Q: Some fans may look at your comment as NASCAR is trying to quiet the commentators and keep them from telling the truth per say, can you clarify your feelings on the subject:
      See the transcript of what France said at the Virginian Pilot.(11-8-2009)

    • Bobby Labonte could return to #71, but still looking: Former Cup champion [2000] Bobby Labonte said he has liked working with the TRG Motorsports team in the few races he has run in the #71 Chevy this year and it has shown him enough to make that car a possible seat for him in 2010. Now whether he actually drives for the team, which has indicated it wants to sign him for 2010, is still to be determined. Labonte, whose car will be sponsored by CBR MotorCars this weekend, said he wasn't sure when he would know what he's doing in 2010, but he felt confident he would have a Sprint Cup ride. Labonte is still considered to have a chance at the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi car and the 2000 Cup champion's name is often mentioned with any other possible opening [rumored to be Jamie McMurray as the new driver]. He drove most of this year with Hall of Fame Racing, which has used Yates Racing to field its cars this year. He will run the final three races this season for TRG Motorsports, where he has had four starts.(SceneDaily)(11-8-2009)

    • Jeff Gordon hands over keys to his Corvette: On Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, #24-Jeff Gordon handed over the keys to his personal Corvette to new owner Richard Sivulich, the winner of the 2009 The Jeff Gordon Foundation Corvette Raffle. Sivulich, of Highland, Ind.., traveled to Texas to meet Gordon and receive the keys and title to the 2008 Z06 Corvette which was previously owned by the 82-time winner. This year's ceremony was particularly special as Emily, Mycah and Jordan, the three young ladies featured in the corvette raffle commercial, assisted with the presentation. The Jeff Gordon Foundation launched this year's Corvette Raffle -- now in its fourth year -- in early April and sold out all 5,000 tickets by mid-September. Tickets purchased for this raffle support the Foundation's fight against pediatric cancer, their support of the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital and the Texas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. As part of the festivities, Sivulich and the three girls assisted Gordon in presenting the Texas Chapter Speedway Children's Charities with a check for $100,000. A $15,000 check was also presented to the Children's Medical Center in Dallas in honor of Emily, Mycah and Jordan. For more information about this year's TEN Match campaign and The Jeff Gordon Foundation visit www.jeffgordonfoundation.org.(JGF)(11-8-2009)

    • Wingo to stay at Roush: #26 Crew chief Donnie Wingo appears to be headed back to Roush Fenway Racing next season in a capacity still to be determined. Wingo's future with the organization has been uncertain since it was revealed in late July that driver Jamie McMurray's #26 team would go away and sponsor Crown Royal would move to Roush driver Matt Kenseth's team next year. The breakup of McMurray's team is part of a downsizing by Roush Fenway to conform to NASCAR's new four-car limit set to take effect in 2010. Asked on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway if there would be a place for Wingo next season at Roush Fenway, team co-owner Jack Roush said, "The answer to that is yes." Wingo later backed up his boss' assertion. "I don't think the plan is finalized for next year but we have spoken and he says he's got a place for me there next year and I'm real happy about that," he said. "It's where I want to be right now and I hope I can end my career here. ... I'm just looking forward to whatever they have for me in the future, whatever I can do to help."(SceneDaily), on SPEED's Happy Hour coverage, it was mentioned at Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the #6 Ford of David Ragan with Roush Fenway Racing, will go to Roush's R&D area and Donnie Wingo will become the crew chief of the #6 team.(11-8-2009)

    • New track blower, uses vacuum:
      After six months of research and a year of development, Rob Brush believes he has a better alternative to help dry race tracks. The project manager for a steel fabrication company in Canada has designed a track dryer that travels about twice the speed as the current jet dryers used at NASCAR tracks. Rather than just blow hot air on the track as the jet driers do, Brush's vehicle also uses a vacuum to suck up water akin to a Shop-Vac. "With eight of these units at Daytona International Speedway, we could dry the track in under an hour," Brush said, estimating he could cut the current drying time in half. Brush has built a prototype that was given a successful trial run by NASCAR when a shower followed Sprint Cup qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway two months ago. Brush is expecting to meet with NASCAR officials in Daytona Beach, Fla., in two weeks before bringing the prototype dryer to the season finale at Homestead, Fla. The invention could be a boon for NASCAR, which has been plagued by rain this year (three Cup races were delayed a day and three were shortened by bad weather). The dryer also would fit with NASCAR's green initiatives because it runs on propane. Brush estimates it would burn less than 500 gallons to dry Daytona vs. 3,000 gallons of jet fuel. Brush has attended several races over the past two seasons, taking nearly 4,000 photos in researching the dryer.(USA Today)(11-8-2009)

    • Toyota committed to NASCAR: Lee White, president of Toyota Racing Development, said Toyota's departure from Formula One has no bearing on its NASCAR program, but he also said NASCAR should learn from F1's mistakes. "Leaving Formula One was not an easy decision to make," White said Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. "Obviously, it affects a lot of people, and a lot of those people are friends of ours, so we feel for them. But it should have no effect whatsoever on our NASCAR program, our NASCAR plans and our NASCAR future. We remain completely committed to NASCAR and NASCAR is completely committed to us."
      White's biggest concern at the moment is finding a way to compete with Hendrick Motorsports and its Chevrolets. Jimmie Johnson probably is headed for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Sprint Cup title and Hendrick drivers hold down the top three spots in the standings. "The Hendrick organization is a tier higher than everyone, including other teams from that manufacturer [Chevrolet]," White said. "So give Hendrick credit. They've done a fantastic job. We don't begrudge them that. We just want to work hard and find ways to beat them." White understands the Hendrick domination has left a perception of a lack of competition, but he doesn't blame NASCAR. "It's very hard to legislate competition," White said. "How can you legislate against Hendrick other than making their life miserable by checking their cars every week and taking them apart? Oh, wait. They did that and it didn't work. I give NASCAR credit for trying. They are doing the best they can. Some of these things just take time until someone figures out how to get as good as they are."(ESPN)(11-8-2009)

    • Toyota looking to stick with current teams: Toyota has contracts to supply parts and engineering support to eight Sprint Cup teams. White said the manufacturer isn't pursuing deals with more but didn't rule out adding to its stable. "That's a possibility," he said. "Any team that chose to run a Toyota product would be evaluated and then decisions would be made whether engineering support would be provided." White said Toyota has had discussions with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, which is mulling a switch from Chevrolet, "but we have discussions with a lot of people."(SceneDaily)(11-8-2009)

    • Press Conference at North Wilkesboro: on Tuesday November 10th at 1:30pm/et there will be a press conference at The North Wilkesboro Speedway, located on US 421 in North Wilkesboro, NC. In a show of "Community Unity" Speedway Associates Inc. has opened this press conference to the public requesting that they come and sit in the stands to hear of plans to have racing back at the track in 2010. More info at Save The Speedway.(11-8-2009)

    • Fairgrounds Speedway closes: The end came quicker than expected for Fairgrounds Speedway [formerly Nashville Speedway] as track operator Danny Denson has decided to cancel the scheduled season-ending All-American 400. The race had originally been set for last weekend but was postponed due to a rainy forecast and rescheduled for the end of the month. Denson reconsidered, but Wednesday decided to cancel the race and close the track due to ongoing problems with Metro. "There had been so much negative attention that we decided to go and end it now," said Denson, referring to plans by Mayor Karl Dean, and the Fair Board vote, to shut down the entire Fairgrounds next June 30. "It's impossible to promote a race in this kind of atmosphere. It's all over. It's a sad day for our sport and our city," he said. The track opened in 1958 on a Metro-owned site that had hosted some form of racing since 1904. The closing of Fairgrounds Speedways leaves Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County as the only major-league race track in Middle Tennessee. That track is considered unsuitable for local-division racing. "I don't know where young drivers just starting out are going to race," said Sterling Marlin, a three-time track champion whose son Steadman and daughter Sutherlin raced at the Fairgrounds this season.(Nashville City Paper)(11-8-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway to Host Accident Avoidance Workshops: Atlanta Motor Speedway will play host to a series of Accident Avoidance Workshops in November and December, providing student drivers the opportunity to simulate emergency situations often overlooked in driver's education courses. The Accident Avoidance Workshop is a two-part program designed to prepare student drivers to respond to emergency situations. Each participant will attend a 150-minute classroom session, followed by a four and a half hour session of emergency driving simulation the following weekend. Each student-parent team participates in their own vehicle, allowing young drivers to experience their own car's capabilities. Parents sit in the passenger seat, as the driver experiences first hand the effects of losing control, distracted driving and insufficient following distance in a controlled environment. The program costs just $195 for seven total hours of training and $10 will be donated to each participating student's respective school's PTSA. Due to limited classroom availability in the Accident Avoidance Workshops, interested students are encouraged to act now. For more information, dates and times or to register for the Accident Avoidance Workshops, call (770) 971-0571 or visit www.accidentavoidanceworkships.org. Accident Avoidance Workshops Dates are scheduled for 11/18, 11/21-21; 12/16, 12/19-20.(AMS)(11-8-2009)


      News from November 7, 2009

    • Race Coverage of the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 8, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 3:15 pm/et; pre-race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx 3:31pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 9 at 3:30am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 9 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 11 at 12:00pm/et

    • Sprint Cup Series Live from Texas on ABC: The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is down to three races to go and this weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for 500 miles on Sunday, Nov. 8. ESPN's live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Dickies 500 airs on ABC beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30pm/et. The race's green flag is scheduled for 3:30pm/et. Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio.
      AND: Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be featured in episodes of the ESPN signature series SportsCentury airing this week on ESPN Classic. The episode featuring Earnhardt airs Thursday, Nov. 5, at 11:00am/et, while the Petty program airs Sunday, Nov. 8, at 8:00am/et.

    • Pit Stall Selections - Texas: The selections of pit stalls for the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #24-Gordon chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #9-Kahne took pit stall 14, the first with an opening in front of it.
      #2-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 13th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #99-Edwards, who starts 6th.
      (Pit stalls are chosen in order, by where the car qualifies)
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Texas Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-7-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is over, the top five and some notes:
      #48-Johnson, 186.670
      #99-Edwards, 186.265
      #11-Hamlin, 185.810
      #16-Biffle, 185.503
      #21-Elliott, 184.894
      slowest: #55-Waltrip 179.128 and #36-McDowell 179.689
      no speed listed: #34-Andretti (team changing engine); #70-Skinner
      incident: #29-Harvick smacked the wall in turn 2, but car looks repairable
      See practice speeds, average speeds, lap run on my Texas Practice Speeds Page.(11-7-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers practiced in Happy Hour at Texas:
      (in order of chase points standings coming into Texas)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, was 1st fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 29th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 15th
      4) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 14th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart, 20th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 12th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 16th
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne, 37th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 2nd
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3rd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 34th.(11-7-2009)

    • see images of the #12 Penske Racing Dodge and #6 UPS Road Code schemes that will run at Texas in the Dickies 500 on my Paint Scheme Gallery

    • Some more 2010 schemes: added #16 Post-It and #17 Crown Royal for 2010, which joins others schemes recently added: #9-Budweiser Ford, #18-Interstate Batteries, #19-Stanley Tools Ford, #24-DuPont, #24-National Guard, #48-Lowe's, #48-Kobalt Tools, #99-Silver Aflac. See links to them on my Paint Scheme Gallery

    • Kyle Busch going for triple at Texas RESULTS 2 for 2, 1 to go: Kyle Busch attempts to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three national series races - Sprint Cup [#18 M&M's Toyota], Nationwide [#18 Toyota] and Camping World Truck Series [#51 Toyota] - in the same weekend when he competes in the Dickies 500, O'Reilly Challenge and WinStar World Casino 350k, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway. In Sprint Cup competition, Busch has three top-six finishes and 207 laps led in his last four TMS starts, including a best of third in the 2008 Samsung 500. In Nationwide action, he has been a dominant force and will arrive having won three consecutive races. In the truck series, he still is seeking his first win, but has finished runner-up in three of his last four visits, the most recent being in this event last year. Busch nearly pulled off the triple earlier this season at California's Auto Club Speedway, winning Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in the same day and finishing second the following day in the Sprint Cup Series race. Busch has 59th career wins among NASCAR's top three divisions. Busch has won in all three of NASCAR's top divisions at six tracks: Auto Club Speedway, Phoenix, Bristol, Dover, Chicago and New Hampshire. Of the 30 tracks to host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at each circuit at least once and has won at 22 of them. The eight venues where Busch has raced but not scored a victory are Martinsville, Pocono, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead, Iowa, Milwaukee, Memphis (now closed) and Montreal.(many different PR's)(11-4-2009)
      RESULTS: Busch started the #51-Toyota 12th in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Texas and won the race
      Busch started the #18-Toyota 6th in the Nationwide Series race Saturday afternoon at Texas and won the race, so he is 2 for 2.
      Busch starts 5th in the #18 M&M's Toyota at Texas in the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday and finished ?.(11-7-2009)

    • Kahne back running new Dodge engine: #9-Kasey Kahne, who qualified 2nd for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, confirmed that he is competing with Dodge's latest R6 V-8 engine. "The engine is running awesome. It just felt really good," said Kahne, winner of the spring race here in 2006. "I could feel the racetrack around the whole corner and down the straightaways. It was really about all I had. I'm looking forward to this weekend. We've made some really nice gains in our engine shop here the last few months."(Racin' Today)(11-7-2009)

    • Fallen soldiers to be honored at Texas race: When practice ended Friday afternoon, a large U.S. Army logo was painted on the frontstretch grass at Texas Motor Speedway. The logo included a message: "God Bless Our Fort Hood Troops." This weekend is a somber time at TMS. NASCAR is racing only 130 miles up I-35 from the site of the tragedy at Fort Hood, where 13 people were killed and 31 others injured Friday in a senseless shooting rampage. TMS president Eddie Gossage decided to add the logo to honor the fallen soldiers. TMS employees are wearing black armbands the rest of the weekend. A moment of silence will be observed before the start of each race.(ESPN)(11-7-2009)

    • Sad News - Salvatore Logano: Nineteen year old NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie and Middletown, CT native #20-Joey Logano will be racing with a heavy heart this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Logano's grandfather, Salvatore Logano, died Friday after a battle with lymphoma. Salvatore Logano was 85. The Portland native and World War II US Navy veteran starred in numerous sports. He was a member of the Portland Sports Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame. Joey Logano was competing Saturday in the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Challenge and will drive in the Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway (Hartford Courant). For the remainder of Salvatore Logano's obituary and services info, go to the Hartford Courant.(11-7-2009)

    • Sorenson and Mears candidates for #09 ride in 2010: Casey Mears, currently running the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy for Richard Childress is a leading candidate for the #09 Phoenix Racing ride in 2010. Reed Sorenson, out of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports ride after the 2009 season is also a candidate for the #09 ride.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)

    • No news on a crew chief for Kurt Busch: from an Open Interview with #2-Kurt Busch:
      ANY UPDATE ON THE CREW CHIEF SITUATION FOR THE 2 CAR NEXT YEAR?
      Busch: "No news. We still have good candidates outside and inside. We've come this far, we might as well just finish it off is what the mentality is right now. We don't know what next week will bring us. There could be some changes, but it could just be the same thing. We don't' know."(Dodge Motorsports PR)(11-7-2009)

    • RCR Promotes Joe Foss Institute's Veterans Program: Richard Childress Racing will run decals on its race cars this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway promoting the Joe Foss Institute's Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program. The Joe Foss Institute, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization inspired and founded by Medal of Honor Recipient, General Joe Foss and his wife, Didi Foss. Its vision is to encourage an informed patriotism and to be nationally recognized as the premier organization promoting patriotism through personal contact in schools and with youth groups. The Veteran's Inspiring Patriotism program is designed to inspire patriotism, public service, integrity and an appreciation for America's freedoms. The program's emphasis is on the freedoms, liberties and rights which are protected under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. This educational program is designed for grades K-12 and consists of a 30-50 minute presentation that includes a video, a personal testimony from a veteran and a question & answer period. This program is delivered at no cost to schools and does not promote any political, religious or military organization or agenda. In addition, all schools are eligible to receive free American flags for their classrooms and copies of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. For more information visit www.jfiweb.org.(RCR)(11-7-2009)

    • Dickies American Worker of the Year gets shot at $1 million UPDATE: On Saturday, Nov 7th, 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year Michael McGee to randomly select one of the 12 Chase drivers at Texas Motor Speedway. If the driver McGee selects takes the checkered flag at the Dickies 500 on Sunday, McGee will become an instant millionaire. McGee, an agricultural teacher and horse training business owner from Broken Bow, OK, was named the 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year on Friday, October 30 at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas. As the promotion's winner, McGee received $50,000 and an all-access, VIP trip for two to the Dickies 500 this weekend, which includes all track activities, a tour of the track's garage, a view of the race from exclusive seats in the Dickies suite, and most importantly, the chance to turn his $50,000 prize into $1 million.(Dickies/Edelman)(11-4-2009)
      UPDATE: At a press conference in his honor, McGee randomly selected Kurt Busch, one of the 12 Race for the Chase drivers, to help make him an instant millionaire. If Kurt Busch wins the Dickies 500 on Sunday, November 8, McGee will win $1,000,000.(Dickies/Edelman)(11-7-2009)

    • Kvapil to Front Row ride in 2010: Travis Kvapil, who failed to qualify the #37 Front Row Motorsports Dodge at Charlotte and started and parked at Martinsville the following week, is expected to run the #37 car [Chevy? Dodge?] full-time in 2010.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)

    • Newman meets with NASCAR over Talladega wreck: #39-Ryan Newman met with media at Texas on Friday and dicussed some issues:
      Q. Obviously a lot of frustration and concern for you last weekend. I believe you mentioned thinking about things from an engineering standpoint. Looking at it from an engineering standpoint, could you talk about what your frustrations were last week, what you see? I've had a lot of people email me and say did the wing cause the car to lift as opposed to a spoiler. Talk about everything from your helmet getting wedged in the roll cage, to the car lifting up. From an engineering standpoint, are there things you see that could be done differently that would have prevented some or all of that?
      RYAN NEWMAN: Always, because every crash is different and every situation is different, whether your car gets spun around by another car or it just takes air by itself. Ultimately, yeah, there's things that I feel can and should be done. I sat down with [NASCAR's] John Darby and Robin Pemberton Wednesday morning. We talked about two different things, the extra indication of myself from the accident scene and secondly the reason why we're in that position in the first place, which is to me more important. From an aerodynamic standpoint, ultimately our biggest thing is to keep the racecars on the ground. Crashes have always been a part of racing. There are fans that like that. Sometimes that adds to extra excitement, don't get me wrong. When we can bounce off each other, get the car fixed, go back out and try to win a race, I understand that part of it. Keeping the racecars on the ground is how we keep the drivers and especially the fans safe. So that's the one thing. From an ironic standpoint, that's why I was probably the most frustrated after the race last weekend, was I was in the media center talking about the very same thing on the last lap of the spring race. To live out what my frustrations were from six months before was difficult, as well.
      From an engineering standpoint, whatever we can do speed-wise and aerodynamically to keep the cars on the ground, in particular things in the back of the car, when it sees the air first for downforce, keep the lift out of the back of the cars is what we need to focus on. There has been testing done. I learned some of that stuff on Wednesday morning talking to Mr. Darby and Mr. Pemberton, that they have tested. But I don't know that they have tested everything. I don't know that you can test everything. But obviously more testing needs to be done in order to make it safer for everybody. Speed is a part of it. The faster you go, the more likely you are to take lift. We were talking before, an airplane takes off at 160 miles an hour. We're 40 miles an hour above that at times. There's plenty of potential for a car to take lift, whether it's going forwards, backwards or sideways. We have to take everything into consideration, as drivers, as teams, as a sanctioning body, to control that situation.
      Q. Specifically, do you think a spoiler on the back would not have caused the lift? Are there specific things you recommended to NASCAR?
      RYAN NEWMAN: That's kind of my point from our conversation, is 'Do you think' is not the answer. We have to do testing so that we know. Yeah, I think there might be potential for a spoiler to react differently than a wing for sure. I don't know that it's the answer. As we've seen before, I believe it was Matt Kenseth's Nationwide crash, his car got airborne with a spoiler on the back of it. That's not the answer, that's not the fix. I've been parts of crashes with spoilers on the back of them and a wing on the back of them unfortunately. That's not the fix. Can it be a part of the fix? Yeah, potentially. Is it a better alternative in conjunction with other things you can do to the car? Maybe. Those are the things that NASCAR and the teams have to test collectively so that we can make it safer and better for the drivers and, like I said, more importantly, the fans.(in part from a Chevy Racing transcript)(11-7-2009)

    • Scott Wimmer to purchase speedway: NASCAR driver and Wausau native Scott Wimmer along with Wausau area land developed Ron Wimmer announced their purchase of State Park Speedway. The Speedway, located in the Town of Rib Mountain, just outside of Wausau, WI was put up for sale at the end of the 2009 race season. "State Park Speedway has always been special to me," says Scott Wimmer, "It's where I got my start in racing, so to be able to keep SPS as a racetrack and support the racing community that supported me is pretty exciting." More info at asamidwesttour.com.(11-7-2009)

    • New publisher for NASCAR Yearbook: NASCAR fans will once again have the opportunity to recapture moments from the past season with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Yearbook as Round 5 Inc. announced today that it has been named publisher of this classic title, which is also part of the NASCAR Library Collection. The coffee-table publication includes season-ending statistics, a special preface outlining this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and an in-depth look at the final 10 races of the season that determine this year's champion. The 224-page collectible recaps the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with in-depth editorial written by noted motorsports journalist Bob Zeller and full-color photos from today's best sports photographers. Yearbooks can be ordered by calling (888) 460-7169, or online at round5books.com. Orders will be shipped in early December.(NASCAR), more info about books, see my Book News page.(11-7-2009)

    • Coke Zero Tickets on sale: On Saturday, Nov. 7, race fans will have their first opportunity to purchase tickets for Daytona International Speedway’s racing doubleheader on July 3, 2010 – the 52nd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Rolex Series 250 Grand-Am sports car race. Single-day Sprint Tower seats are available starting at $150 and ticket prices for frontstretch grandstand seats start at $40. Also available beginning on Saturday, Nov. 7 will be tickets to the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 2, where the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car will make its race debut. To buy tickets or more info, go to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-7-2009)

    • Milwaukee Mile deal could get done: The Wisconsin State Fair Park Board on Friday unanimously agreed to work with local businessmen Frank and Dominic Giuffre on an contract to promote races at the Milwaukee Mile. The board said it would try to reach agreement as soon as possible. The new group is tentatively called the Historic Milwaukee Mile Operating Group LLC. Craig Barkelar, the fair's interim executive director, said both sides hoped to finalize a deal in a matter of days. Besides the Giuffre brothers, the new group includes billionaire John Menard; John Kaishian, owner of the Crystal Ridge ski hill in Franklin and longtime owner of the old Hales Corner Speedway; and the Decker family, owner-operators of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Giuffre's group replaces Historic Mile LLC, led by Tony Machi, which failed after several months of negotiations to come up with the needed funds to satisfy NASCAR and fair officials. Assuming the deal passes muster with NASCAR and fair negotiators, the next step for the Giuffres is to secure arrangements to host two NASCAR races next June 18 and 19 at the track.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-7-2009)

    • Bruton to build race tracks in the Mid East? Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., is in negotiations to build three race tracks in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. It is not clear yet if Smith and SMI would assist in ownership and/or operation of the facilities, or simply construct them and hand over the keys to the Emir of Qatar and his royal family, but Smith said Friday that he hopes to have all the details worked out soon, perhaps within another week. Smith said he was approached about construction of the tracks by the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani -- and not the other way around. The Emir was in the international news recently for reportedly offering 400 million euros to purchase the former Elysee Palace Hotel in Paris. The Emir is said to be a great fan of all forms of auto racing, and several of his representatives met late last week with Smith and his associates to put the finishing touches on an agreement to have SMI build the three tracks in Qatar. That didn't quite come to pass, but Smith said the two parties are moving closer toward finalizing everything so construction can begin. Smith said the preliminary plan is to have each track seat no more than 40,000 and that he has been informed the Emir has a unique plan in mind for filling them.(NASCAR.com)(11-7-2009)

    • Cancer in remission for TMS president: During NASCAR race weekend in April, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage gathered a small handful of friends in his office overlooking Turn 1 to share some news. Usually when Gossage has something to say, drum rolls and neon lights aren't enough. But this time, the master promoter was void of fanfare. He was understated and to the point. "He told us he had cancer," said Kyle Petty, a longtime close friend of Gossage. "It was four or five guys sitting in that office and we're a lively bunch when we're together. We were quiet. It was hard to take. Honestly, I was shocked, crushed and devastated. I think when anybody tells you that they've been diagnosed with cancer, your mind goes to the worst place." Gossage knew he'd need his friends if he was to get through a difficult year of hospital visits and chemotherapy. He wasn't sure what to expect, only that doctors caught the cancer early enough to treat it aggressively. Now, seven months later, Gossage is doing what he's done since the track opened in 1997: Trying to sell as many tickets as he can for a NASCAR race in Texas. Prior to Sunday's Dickies 500, he'll take pride in stepping on a makeshift frontstretch stage to welcome fans and drivers at prerace introductions. "The cancer is now in remission," said Gossage, who still won't disclose what type of cancer he had. "I'm just thankful to all my friends. They really helped me get through it. I've never been through anything like that in my life." At the time he told his buddies, Gossage and his wife, Melinda, had decided to keep the news private. Only a few folks in the TMS management group were even aware at the time of Gossage's condition. Gossage returned to work around Labor Day and is back to a normal schedule. He's lost 30 pounds and doesn't want to gain them back. The beard has returned, with more gray than before. And Gossage has what looks like a buzz cut. He has several Texas Motor Speedway hats that he wears in public.(in part from ESPN.com, see full article there)(11-7-2009)


      News from November 6, 2009

    • Sprint Cup Series Live from Texas on ABC: The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is down to three races to go and this weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for 500 miles on Sunday, Nov. 8. ESPN's live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Dickies 500 airs on ABC beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30pm/et. The race's green flag is scheduled for 3:30pm/et. Dr. Jerry Punch will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio.
      AND: Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be featured in episodes of the ESPN signature series SportsCentury airing this week on ESPN Classic. The episode featuring Earnhardt airs Thursday, Nov. 5, at 11:00am/et, while the Petty program airs Sunday, Nov. 8, at 8:00am/et.

    • Jeff Gordon on pole at Texas: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap of 191.117mph for his 1st pole of the season and 68th career pole, Gordon has now won at least one pole every season for 17 straight seasons and has won 17 races from the 1st starting position. David Pearson holds the all-time record with at least a pole a year for 19 years [1962-1981], followed by Richard Petty at 18 years [1960-1977], then Jeff Gordon at 17. Ryan Newman is the next highest active driver at 9 straight years with at least one pole. #9-Kahne was 2nd fastest followed by #2-Busch, #14-Stewart, #18-Busch, #99-Edwards, #5-Martin, #16-Biffle, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #33-Bowyer.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #02-Gilliland, #70-Skinner, #71-Labonte, #82-Speed, #78-Smith, #87-Nemechek, #36-McDowell and #21-Elliott.
      The four drivers who failed to qualify: #37-Raines, #66-Blaney, #13-Papis and #09-Bliss.
      See qualifying results, pole progression and starting lineup on my Texas Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(11-6-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Texas:
      #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Dickies 500 with a lap of 28.255 seconds, 191.117 mph.
      This is his 68th pole in 579 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ha s now won a pole in 17 consecutive seasons.
      This is his first pole and 24th top-10 start in 2009. His last pole came at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2008.
      This is his second pole in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      #9-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 18th top-10 start of 2009 and his seventh in 11 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      #2-Kurt Busch (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 17th in 34 races this season.
      #20-Joey Logano (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(11-6-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2009 at 4:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED - 4:30pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. 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 #17-Kenseth.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #29-Harvick.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #82-Speed with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #13-Papis.
      See the full qualifying order on the Texas Qualifying Page.(11-6-2009)

    • Friday practice: for the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is over, the top five:
      #33-Bowyer 189.381
      #16-Biffle 188.706
      #48-Johnson 188.633
      #24-Gordon 188.627
      #99-Edwards 188.383
      slowest: #34-Andretti 177.743 [lost engine] and #96-Darnell 182.834
      incidents: #13-Papis pancaked the right side of his car, smacking the turn 2 wall; #26-McMurray & #00-Reutimann also scraped the turn 2 wall early in practice; #34-Andretti lost an engine early in practice. Late in practice, #09-Bliss smacked the turn 2 wall hard, pancaked the right side and will go to a backup car. With 15 minutes left in practice, #31-Burton, who was 4th fastest at the time, smacked the turn 2 wall hard and may go to a backup car.
      See practice speeds, average speeds, lap run on my Texas Practice Speeds Page.(11-6-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice on Friday at Texas:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 17th fastest overall
      #02-David Gilliland, 30th
      #82-Scott Speed, 31st
      #71-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 32nd
      #37-Tony Raines, 34th
      #70-Mike Skinner, 38th
      #36-Michael McDowell, 39th
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC3], 45th but would use the past champ provisional
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #66-Dave Blaney, 41st
      #09-Mike Bliss, 43rd
      #78-Regan Smith, 42nd
      #13-Max Papis, 44th

    • Tums to sponsor Reutimann: TUMS announced a multi-year partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) to sponsor David Reutimann’s #00 Toyota Camry starting with the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. TUMS will be prominently displayed as the primary sponsor on the #00 Toyota Camry for five races during the 2010 and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons with Coca-Cola 600 winner Reutimann as the driver. The brand also will have visibility as a full-time associate sponsor beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach. TUMS will continue to be featured as a primary sponsor for one race and a full-time associate sponsor on the #42 Chevy driven by Juan Pablo Montoya through a partnership with Target.(Michael Waltrip Racing), see an image of the scheme on the MWR site or on my 2010 #00 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2009)

    • Stremme to run #09 at Homestead..and 2010?: David Stremme, who has been replaced by Brad Keselowski in the #12 Penske Dodge, will drive the #09 Chevy for Phoenix Racing at Homestead — a race Keselowski had signed on to do. For 2010, Stremme has two options to consider. One, return to the Nationwide Series and drive for Rusty Wallace (who Stremme accompanied to Las Vegas earlier this week) and/or drive for the Bob Jenkins' owned [#34 or #37] Front Row Motorsports.(FoxSports)(11-6-2009)

    • Little Debbie re-ups with Ambrose: McKee Foods, a family bakery best known for their Little Debbie brand, announced that they will once again sponsor ‘Awesome Aussie’ Marcos Ambrose and the #47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota Camry in 2010 [Little Debbie sponsored the #47 for 18 races in 2009]. Chris McKee, EVP of Marketing & Sales, says the sponsorship of Ambrose has paid dividends in 2009. “Marcos is a tremendous driver and a great spokesperson for our Little Debbie brand. Little Debbie is all about adding simple fun and enjoyment to life and Marcos’ ever-present smile and upbeat attitude really illustrates our brand message. We are impressed with his performance in his first full season in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing and we are excited about the possibilities for next year. 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Little Debbie Brand –so it’s a big year for Little Debbie and I think it is going to be a big year for Marcos and JTG-Daugherty Racing.” 2010 will mark the fifth consecutive season that Little Debbie has been a business partner with JTG-Daugherty Racing. Team co-owner Tad Geschickter is proud of the partnership. “Little Debbie is a great, family-oriented brand and we are proud to help promote their products. In a year when many sponsors are leaving the sport, I’m thankful for their continued support of our team. We look forward to rewarding them with an even bigger return next season on the track and in the stores.”(JTG-Daugherty Racing), see images of the #47 Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcake scheme that is scheduled to run at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead on my #47 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2009)

    • MAPEI returns to the #7 at Texas: The familiar blue and yellow MAPEI colors return to Robby Gordon’s #7 Toyota Camry this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the Dickies 500.(RGM), see images of the #7 MAPEI scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2009)

    • Francis Ferko at TMS: Former Plano, Tex. resident Francis Ferko, who sued NASCAR and ISC earlier this decade for a second race at Texas Motor Speedway, now calls Chicago home. He's attended two Sprint Cup events this year. His seven-year-old grandson, Alex Ferko, is scheduled to meet Cup driver Tony Stewart at TMS today.(Racin' Today)(11-6-2009)

    • Harvick to host kids at Texas: #29-Kevin Harvick and Shell-Pennzoil will host a group of at-risk children from area schools to attend Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The children are treated to a day at the track which includes lunch, a free Shell T-shirt and hat, which is all capped off with a personal visit by Harvick just before driver introductions. This program is in it’s second season and the coordinator, California Police Officer Todd Smith, says it has grown from five students the first event, to the 75 that attended their recent race at Auto Club Speedway.(RCR)(11-6-2009

    • Special 'Cup Cake' scheme for Ambrose at Texas: Little Debbie Racing's Marcos Ambrose will be driving the #47 Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcake Toyota in the final three races of the 2009 Sprint Cup season: Texas, Phoenix and Homestead (Little Debbie Flickr page), the scheme was designed by NASCAR artist Sam Bass. See images of the car on my #47 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2009)

    • NASCAR takes ABC to task for 'boring' race: Almost everybody who watches TV sports is an instant critic. One exception: Sports leagues themselves, who almost never publicly criticize the networks that cover them. And when it comes to ESPN, and its various TV platforms including ABC, the last criticism you'd expect is that the worldwide leader in hype wasn't enthusiastic enough about something it had paid to cover. But NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, in a blog posting on nascar.com, specifically knocked ESPN/ABC's coverage of Sunday's Sprint Cup race in Talladega, Ala. At issue: Whether the race was boring.
      Usually, TV sports analysts go to great pains to avoid even hinting what they're showing is boring. But Poston suggested ESPN/ABC analysts, including Dale Jarrett, "certainly weren't happy with the race and felt compelled to remind viewers of that virtually every lap. ... And along the way, ABC missed a lot of very good racing." On Sunday's race on a long track with steep banks, NASCAR cited safety reasons for prohibiting so-called bump-drafting to provide extra room between cars on turns. Although ESPN/ABC let viewers eavesdrop on driver Tony Stewart asking his crew during the race to tell him something interesting "so I don't fall asleep out here," Poston says the event had "seriously intense racing." ESPN, in a statement, said only that it had a "strong telecast" and had no comment on Poston's post.(USA Today)(11-6-2009)

    • Gossage says Patrick needs to promote NASCAR: Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage believes Danica Patrick needs to take advantage of her entry into NASCAR by doing more to promote her involvement. "She needs to understand that she has to take an active role in the promotion of the sport," Gossage said Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway. "If I were one of her advisors, I would encourage her to do a lot more." Patrick is close to reaching an agreement to drive a partial Nationwide Series schedule next season for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports team, while she continues to race full time in the IndyCar Series. Gossage wants to see Patrick make the most of her NASCAR debut by helping track promoters, sponsors and NASCAR take advantage of her mainstream celebrity status. "That's something that I don't think some people around her in Indy car emphasize to her as much as they should," Gossage said. "I think people in NASCAR will encourage her to take a more active role."(ESPN)(11-6-2009)

    • Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action this weekend will be running the same right-side tire code (D-4136), teams in the Sprint Cup Series will be running a different left-side code (D-4220) . . . Sprint Cup teams will be on the same tire combination they ran at Texas in April . . . Cup teams also ran this right-side code with a different left-side at both Texas races in 2008 . . . Cup teams will run this same exact tire set-up at Homestead in two weeks . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressures in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage. See tire pressures, codes and more on my Texas Race Info page.(11-6-2009)

    • Conway to attempt Phoenix triple: Kevin Conway and ExtenZe Racing announced that they will attempt to run all three NASCAR national series races – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (no team named or mentioned), NASCAR Nationwide Series (#26 ExtenZe Chevy) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (#71 ExtenZe Chevy) – at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend. Conway has never raced at Phoenix International Raceway, much less competed in NASCAR's top three divisions in one weekend, but he is set to attempt to qualify for his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series debut at the one-mile oval. "I've never been accused of doing things normally," said Conway. "To make my Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series debut at a track that I have never even seen is pretty ambitious but I am excited to have this opportunity with ExtenZe. For ExtenZe Racing to pull this together in such a short amount of time is nothing short of a miracle. Everyone on this ExtenZe team is pumped to give it our best shot in Phoenix." ExtenZe will appear as Conway's primary sponsor in all three races. Together they will attempt to compete in 850 miles of racing at Phoenix International Raceway.(ExtenZe Racing PR)(11-6-2009)

    • Gossage to pay tribute to "The Boss": Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage always has been the boss at the speedway since it opened in 1997, but Friday he will be paying tribute to "The Boss." No, not Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith, but Bruce Springsteen. Gossage was presented the special invitation to serve as guest DJ on E Street Radio, a dedicated channel for Springsteen on both XM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Gossage, a Springsteen fan for more than three decades, will choose his favorite songs and share some stories related to his appreciation of Springsteen throughout the one-hour show beginning 3:00pm/ct Friday on XM's Channel 58 and Sirius' Channel 10.(11-6-2009)

    • Bobby Labonte could be 26th driver with 200th top 10: #71-Bobby Labonte could earn his 200th series top 10, becoming the 26th driver to do so. Those who have are:
      Year: Date, Track, Driver
      2008: 7/12, Chicago, Tony Stewart
      2008: 4/12, Phoenix, Jeff Burton
      2003: 6/15, Michigan, Sterling Marlin
      2002: 6/16, Michigan, Jeff Gordon
      2001: 6/17, Pocono, Dale Jarrett
      1997: 8/31, Darlington, Mark Martin
      1996: 7/21, Pocono, Rusty Wallace
      1993: 10/3, N. Wilkesboro, Harry Gant
      1992: 3/29, Darlington, Bill Elliott
      1991: 8/24, Bristol, Ricky Rudd
      1990: 8/25, Bristol, Terry Labonte
      1989: 6/18, Pocono, Dale Earnhardt
      1984: 10/21, Rockingham, Dave Marcis
      1984: 2/26, Richmond, Darrell Waltrip
      1979: 10/14, N. Wilkesboro, Benny Parsons
      1978: 3/19, Atlanta, Cale Yarborough
      1977: 10/9, Charlotte, Buddy Baker
      1974: 7/20, Nashville Fairgrounds, Bobby Allison
      1971: 7/18, Trenton, James Hylton
      1969: 6/26, N.C. Fairgrounds, David Pearson
      1966: 9/5, Darlington, Jim Paschal
      1966: 4/9, Greenville, Richard Petty
      1965: 5/15, Winston-Salem, Ned Jarrett
      1958: 7/25, Monroe, Buck Baker
      1957: 6/15, Tenn.-Carolina, Lee Petty
      (NASCAR)(11-6-2009)

    • Goodyear News Release -- Daytona test: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company brought 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to the Daytona International Speedway for a test this past Monday and Tuesday for Daytona 500. The goal was to build upon the information gathered during a test at Daytona on September 22-23 and finalize the tire recommendation for next year's Daytona 500.
      Participating in this week's test were A.J. Allmendinger (#44 Ford), Marcos Ambrose (#47 Toyota), Kurt Busch (#2 Dodge), Kyle Busch (#18 Toyota), Erik Darnell (#96 Ford), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (#88 Chevy), Sam Hornish (#77 Dodge), Matt Kenseth (#17 Ford), Brad Keselowski (#12 Dodge), Sterling Marlin (#09 Chevy), Jamie McMurray (#26 Ford), Paul Menard (#98 Ford), Juan Pablo Montoya (#1 and #42 Chevy), David Ragan (#6 Ford), David Reutimann (#00 Toyota), Regan Smith (#78 Chevy) and Scott Speed (#82 Toyota).
      The September test featured four teams and provided a baseline from which to start. Goodyear returned this week with a greater number of cars to better simulate race conditions. Cars tend to move around more when running in a big pack at Daytona, which then has an effect on the tires with the highly worn track surface. The highlight of this week's test was three different drafting sessions involving all the cars. The group ran a 25-lap run on Monday afternoon, a 15-lap run early Tuesday morning and a 30-lap run shortly after that. In the Monday session, all the cars were on the same tire set-up. On Tuesday, four different combinations were used throughout the field. One other wrinkle was that the teams integrated a new rear shock package mandated by NASCAR. Overall, Goodyear was pleased with the results. "We're very happy with the results of this week's test," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of race tire sales. "Overall grip and wear was good, and we also improved the appearance of the tire over the course of a run compared with the past. Like always, our engineers will review all the data and finalize the race recommendation for next year's 500 so we can start production. This was a big undertaking, not only for us but for NASCAR and all the teams that made time in their schedules to come down to Daytona and participate. With the large draft runs, we were able to more accurately simulate race conditions."(Goodyear PR)(11-6-2009)

    • Some Chassis selections for Texas: compiled from some pre-Texas press releases, some chassis selections and history:
      #00-David Reutimann will run chassis #625 this week. This Aaron's Dream Machine has seen action in three races with a best finish of 4th at Las Vegas.
      #07-Casey Mears will pilot Chassis #248 from the RCR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. This chassis previously raced this year at both New Hampshire Motor Speedway events finishing 11th in June and 13th in Sept., Pocono Raceway in June finishing 14th, Richmond International Raceway finishing 30th in September and Auto Club Speedway finishing 11th in October. This Choctaw Casino Resort Chevy was upgraded prior to the ACS race last month.
      The #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boat team will bring chassis #082 to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis finished sixth and led 61 laps at Darlington. The chassis was also used at Fontana (2/09), Dover (5/09), and Chicago (7/09).
      The #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Kurt Busch will be debuting their brand new "PRS-702" Miller Lite Dodge Charger at Texas this weekend.
      The #6 UPS Road Code Ford of David Ragan will be unloading chassis RK-615 at Texas this weekend which last ran Kansas and finished 35th.
      #11-Denny Hamlin team will unload JGR 256 this weekend at Texas. This car last ran two weeks ago at Charlotte where Hamlin led 54 laps before engine trouble forced him from the race. This car scored a fifth-place finish at Kansas and second-place finish at New Hampshire.
      The #12 Penske Dodge team and driver Brad Keselowski will use chassis PRS-708 during Sunday's 500-mile event. PRS-708 is a brand new car to the #12 Penske Dodge Charger fleet.
      #14-Tony Stewart and the Stewart Haas Racing team are bringing a brand new racecar [Chassis No. 14-564] to Texas which has only been tested in the wind tunnel.
      #18-Kyle Busch: Sunday's Dickies 500 will be the second-ever start for #257. It made its debut last month at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, where Busch started a distant 34th. The Las Vegas native survived a mid-race scrape with the wall and rallied for a 13th-place finish.
      The #26 Crown Royal Ford of Jamie McMurray will be unloading chassis RK-640 at Texas this weekend which last run at Dover Sept. 2009 and finished 28th.
      #29-Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis #285 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This Sheel/Pennzoil Chevy was previously raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June where it finished 34th, Richmond in September where it finished ninth and Martinsville Speedway last month where it finished 10th.
      #31-Jeff Burton will pilot chassis No. 289 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Caterpillar Chevy that will be put through its first paces this weekend.

      #33-Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 257 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. A former #07 chassis, this Chevy debuted at Indianapolis in 2008, where Bowyer finished 19th. Most recently, Bowyer raced this Impala SS to a sixth-place finish at Charlotte last month.
      #39-Ryan Newman will drive Chassis No. 39-508, which has twice seen action during the 2009 season. It made its debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September finishing 9th. The car's second outing, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas resulted in a 22nd-place finish.
      The #42 Dream In Color team are bringing chassis #819 to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for Juan Pablo Montoya. This is one of the favorite chassis' in the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing stable. It has run at Atlanta in September (3rd), Michigan in August (19th), Pocono in August (2nd), California last month (3rd) and most notably Indy where Montoya led 116 laps and had a win in sight until a late race penalty eliminated his chances (11th).
      #48-Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe's Chevy will run Chassis #552 at Texas, this chassis has run four times in 2009, winning at Dover in September, a 3rd at both Michigan [June] and Chicago as well as a 4th in the 2nd race of the season at Michigan.
      The #78 Furniture Row Chevy team will roll out a new Furniture Row chassis for driver Reagn Smith at Texas.
      The #88 AMP / National Guard Chevy engineers and crew chief Lance McGrew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-556 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The car was last raced at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 4, where he led 41 laps before suffering an engine issue with 41 laps to go. This was the first chassis that McGrew built for Earnhardt from the ground up. It debuted at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.
      The #99 Aflac team of Carl Edwards will be unloading chassis #RK-587 at Texas this weekend. This Ford Fusion last raced at Richmond in September and finished 15th.(Team/Driver PRs)

    • see images of the #12 Penske Racing Dodge and #6 UPS Road Code schemes that will run at Texas in the Dickies 500 on my Paint Scheme Gallery

    • Shelby Autos returns to sponsor Vegas race: Shelby Automobiles, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc., will return in 2010 as the sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shelby teamed up with LVMS this past March for the Shelby 427. Next year's event on Feb. 28 will be called the Shelby American to honor the 45th anniversary of the Shelby G.T. 350 and 427 Cobra introductions in 1965. March's race was known as the Shelby 427 and featured a 427-mile, 285-lap race. The event will return to its traditional 400-mile, 267-lap distance in 2010. The 2010 NASCAR Weekend will kick off with qualifying for the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Friday, Feb. 26. The Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is set for Saturday, Feb. 27. Tickets for all 2010 events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, including the Shelby American on Sunday, Feb. 28, can be purchased by calling 1-800-644-444 or online at www.lvms.com. Neon Garage, Lucky 7 Preferred parking and driver introduction passes also are on sale.(LVMS)(11-6-2009)

    • Napa’s Goines Enjoys Ride of Lifetime at Infineon: Napa’s Howard Goines took the ride of a lifetime on Friday at Infineon Raceway. Goines, who is 88 and battling prostate and bone cancer, piloted his newly-restored 1929 Model A Ford around the world-famous road course, marking the first time he has been behind the wheel in six months. “I never thought this would happen. To be able to drive around the track three times, that’s a lifetime memory,” said Goines, a Bay Area resident for more than 65 years. “The doctor said I couldn’t drive, but I guess I proved him wrong.” Goines began restoring the Model A three years ago, but was unable to finish the project because of illness. Good friends Larry Aldrich, Jerry Belden, Ken Midile, George Smith, Randy Stegman and his grandson, Jordan Heath, completed the restoration. Once complete, Heath decided to contact Infineon Raceway to see if his grandfather could tour the road course. It was a total surprise for Goines, as he came through the front gate at Infineon Raceway on Friday morning. “I’ve been around these cars for 45 years, and it was really nice to get out here on the track and see what it’s like,” said Goines, who has restored more than 10 Ford Model A machines over the years. “I can’t believe my grandson helped set this up. What a great surprise.” In all, four of Goines’ restored Model As paraded around the track, driven by friends and family. More than 15 people also came out to watch Goines fulfill his dream. It was truly an emotional day. “My grandfather taught me how to drive a stick shift in a Model A when I was younger, so to be here with him and ride around the track with him was really special,” Heath said. Goines, who was born in Spiro, Okla., served in the Army-Air Force and spent most of his professional career as an iron worker and finally at Dymo Industries. He has been married to his wife, Elsie, for 67 years.(Infineon Raceway)(11-6-2009)

    • Take the bus at Texas: Fans can put away their keys and leave the driving to us as Texas Motor Speedway is once again offering special bus trips from seven local and regional locations for the Nov. 8 Dickies 500. TMS has partnered with local and regional media outlets to provide bus trips departing from Dallas/Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Tyler/Longview, Ennis, Weatherford, Hillsboro and Ardmore, Okla. Each bus trip consists of round-trip motorcoach transportation to Texas Motor Speedway, VIP pit tour, complimentary food and beverage, and a frontstretch ticket for $159. Media partners 98.7 KLUV(DFW), The Oklahoman & wimgo.com (Oklahoma City), 105.7 KYKX (Tyler/Longview), 106.9 KRVF (Ennis), 95.9 KFWR (Weatherford), 92.1 KTFW (Hillsboro) and 95.7 KKAJ, 92.7 KTRX, 107.1 KYNZ and 1240 KVSO (Ardmore, Okla.) will facilitate the bus trips from each location. For more information about departures from each respective location, visit the media partners' websites or contact the TMS ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(11-6-2009)

    • Tickets available for Texas: Texas Motor Speedway has spared no expense to ensure that its loyal fans can make it to the Dickies 500 NASCAR triple-header weekend. For the November race weekend, the entertainment dollar has been stretched as TMS has offered reduced backstretch prices with the "Backstretch Buster" seats, located along the first two rows of the backstretch, going for just $20 and the additional backstretch seating just $40. There also is the Dickies 500 Weekend 4-Pack, which offers frontstretch tickets for all four days of action including the Dickies 500, O'Reilly Challenge Nationwide Series race and WinStar World Casino 350k Camping World Truck Series race to go along with tickets for qualifying and practice sessions for all three series starting at just $133. See how cost-conscious fans looking to stretch their entertainment dollar have taken advantage of the number of ticket specials Texas Motor Speedway has offered up to combat the economic times. More info about tickets at texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(11-6-2009)


      News from November 5, 2009

    • see images of the #12 Penske Racing Dodge and #6 UPS Road Code schemes that will run at Texas in the Dickies 500 on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(11-5-2009)

    • Final Talladega TV ratings: ABC’s live coverage of the AMP Energy 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Nov. 1 earned a final national household rating of 4.2, the highest rating so far among the seven races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The telecast averaged 6,627,058 viewers. In the past two seasons since ESPN returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007, the Talladega race has been the highest-rated race among the 10 races in the Chase. The race scored a 4.6 rating in both 2007 and 2008 (ESPN). View race-by-race TV Ratings, the TV Ratings Chart, comparisions and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(11-5-2009)

    • Dodge and Chevy leaving NASCAR? NO: The three major car racing circuits -- Formula One, NASCAR, and Indy Car -- have built a multibillion dollar business. Formula One revenue, including sponsorships and broadcast fees, is estimated at $3.9 billion a year, which is more per event than either the NFL or The Premier League of soccer clubs. Toyota has elected to pull out of Formula One because of cost considerations. The world’s largest car company has lost money for more than a year. Reuters estimates that Toyota has spent $300 million per year on its Formula One campaign. Honda (HMC) pulled its cars from the circuit earlier this year.
      The Toyota retreat can be added to news that the Obama Administration has pressured Chevy and Dodge to pull out of the NASCAR racing series to save $250 million a year [the only thing ever reported on Obama pressuring Chevy/Dodge ended up being an April Fools joke]. The two companies have been pillars of NASCAR and there are no other auto firms with large enough budgets to replace them.(MSN's Money Central blog by Top Stocks writer Douglas A. McIntyre, an editor at 24/7 Wall St, who from reading his stuff is not a big fan of the manuafactures in racing or much of a fact checker using an April Fools hoax in his post)
      HOWEVER both GM/Chevy and Dodge reps have said over and over, that both Chevy and Dodge are committed to the sport, for at least 2010 anyway.(11-5-2009)

    • Congrats: NASCAR's Richard Walkup and Martha joyfully announce the arrival of Anna Kaitlyn Walkup, born October 24th, 6 lbs, 8 oz, 18 3/4 in.(11-5-2009)

    • Chase Notes / Facts: Chad Knaus pitted #48-Jimmie Johnson at the right time and stole a sixth place at Talladega, putting tons of daylight between the #48 and the nearest contenders. Texas doesn't look promising for his challengers as Johnson has four podium finishes [1st, 2nd, 3rd] in his last six starts at TMS. He ran his Top 15 or better Chase streak to a simply amazing 33 races. Update on the highlights of that streak:
      * No finish worse than 15th
      * 29 Top 10s out of 32 races
      * 22 Top 5s
      * 20 Podium Finishes
      * 11 Wins
      Kurt Busch threatened to clinch Chase I early in 2004, but a blown engine in race #6 at Atlanta caused a 42nd place finish and allowed Johnson to make a strong run that stopped just 8 points short of overtaking Busch at Homestead. Johnson led by 183 points at this time last year but only managed a 15th at Texas and that kept the #48 from clinching at Phoenix. #5-Mark Martin leads #24-Jeff Gordon by only 8 points heading to TMS. #42-Juan Pablo Montoya is 55 behind in 4th place and #14-Tony Stewart is 95 out in fifth. If Johnson decides to skip Texas to make it interesting, all four would be knee deep in the championship hunt. #11-Denny Hamlin's blown engine at Dega dropped him 11 points behind Carl Edwards for 10th place and the final speaking spot at the Las Vegas banquet. See year-by-year comparision after 7 races, race-by-race for 2009 on my Chase Stats page after race 7 page and Chase history, see how things would had looked back to 1975 if the Chase was used, Chase rules and more on my 2009 Chase Rules and History page.(11-5-2009)

    • Special Operation Homefront scheme for Kurt Busch: #2-Kurt Busch continues racing to support fundraising efforts for Operation Homefront this weekend at Texas. Miller Lite is donating $200,000 to the organization dedicated to serving our military families in need. This amount will grow by an additional $10,000 if Kurt and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge can achieve another top-10 finish in this weekend's race at Texas. He already scored one such bonus when he finished 10th in the Oct. 17 NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kurt is also asking for fans to help in this worthy cause. You can do so in several manners. To make a $5 donation, just text the word T-R-O-O-P-S to 90999. The charge will appear on your wireless bill. Alternatively, visit millerlite.com/vets to make a donation and learn more about the great work of Operation Homefront. Fans attending this weekend's race can contribute to Operation Homefront by purchasing a "postcard" from the Kurt Busch (or Penske Racing) souvenir trailer. Fans will be able to inscribe the card with a personalized message to a serviceman or woman overseas. Penske Racing will submit the cards and 100% of the proceeds collected to OHF and the cards will be included in care packages sent directly overseas. The "Blue Deuce" will carry another cool paint scheme this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.(Tom Roberts PR), see images of the scheme on my #2 Team schemes page.(11-5-2009)

    • Edwards' Team Captures Tissot Pit Road Award in Talladega: Carl Edwards' crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. It was the second Tissot win of the season for the #99 crew and the ninth win for a Roush Fenway Racing team. Edwards' Ford Fusion spent the least amount of time on pit road (191.014 seconds) during the AMP Energy 500 at the Alabama 2.66-mile oval. Edwards' over-the-wall crew, which earned $5,000 for the Tissot win, consists of: Greg Donlin (front-tire changer), Jeremy Dyer (front-tire carrier), Brandon Hopkins (rear-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Craig Pope (jackman), Joe Karasinski (gasman) and Norm Lowe (catch can). The team's crew chief is Bob Osborne. With three races remaining in the 2009 season, three teams are in contention to claim the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award season championship which carries a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Greg Biffle's #16 crew leads the competition with six wins, followed by five wins for Jeff Gordon's #24 crew and four wins for Jimmie Johnson's #48 crew. If there's a tie in the Tissot competition after the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 22), the team which finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup driver point standings will be awarded the Tissot season title (Tissot). For race-by-race, standings and more, see my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(11-5-2009)

    • Vertis makes debut on #98: The #98 Ford of Paul Meanard will unload the Vertis / Menards Ford Fusion for the first time this season. Vertis Communications is a premier provider of targeted advertising and marketing solutions to America's leading retail and consumer services companies.(Yates Racing)(11-5-2009)

    • Hendrick could be break record with a 1-2-3 finish: #48-Jimmie Johnson is almost assured of an unprecedented fourth consecutive Sprint Cup title, but Hendrick Motorsports has another dominance record it can achieve. Rick Hendrick can become the first team owner in NASCAR history to sweep the top three spots in the standings. With three races remaining, Hendrick drivers hold down first, second and third with Johnson, #5-Mark Martin and #24-Jeff Gordon, respectively. #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who drives for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, is 4th, 47 points behind Gordon and #14-Tony Stewart [tech alliance with Hendrick] is 87 points behind Gordon in 5th. Hendrick is the only organization to claim the top two spots in the standings since the modern era began in 1972. Terry Labonte won the 1996 championship when teammate Jeff Gordon finished second. Gordon also was second to Johnson in 2007.(read full story at ESPN)(11-5-2009)

    • NASCAR President to guest DJ on Siruis today: NASCAR President Mike Helton will stop by SIRIUS XM's Elvis Radio studio on the Graceland grounds to play his all time favorite Elvis songs during his special guest DJ session on Thursday, November 5 at 12:30 pm/et, Elvis Radio, SIRIUS channel 13 and XM channel 18.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(11-5-2009)

    • Some Season Stats so far:
      With three races remaining some stats:
      * 14 different race winners
      * 10 different Coors Light Pole winners
      * 42 drivers led at least one lap
      * 35 drivers have scored at least one Top 10 this year
      * Average Margin of Victory of 1.138 seconds
      * 16 races with an MOV under one second
      * Average of 10 leaders per race
      * Average of 20 lead changes per race
      * Average of 25 green flag passes for the lead all along the track
      * Average of 3,131 green flag passes per race
      * 53% of the cars finished on the lead lap
      * 83% of the cars were running at the finish.(NASCAR)(11-5-2009)

    • Texas Rookie Notes/Facts: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the November 1 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega. Logano scored a third-place finish, his third top-five and seventh top-10 of the season. He claimed top rookie honors for the fourth consecutive race and for the 24th time in 2009. Logano scored top-10 finishes in both Talladega races this season (he finished ninth in the Aaron's 499 in April). Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 37 points (236-199) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the November 8 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in four fall races at Texas is fifth-place by Clint Bowyer in 2006. Bowyer is the only Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five in four fall races at Texas. Only once in 17 races at Texas has a Raybestos Rookie won the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win by 5.920 seconds over Jeff Burton in 2000. The best start by a Raybestos Rookie in four fall races at Texas is third by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007. The most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in the Sprint Cup Series is Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier captured the top starting spot for the 2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (53 races).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), see rookie standings, history, facts and more on my 2009 Rookies page.(11-5-2009)

    • Special guest in #43 pit: Air Force Gen. William M. Frasier III will sit on the #43 Valvoline Dodge pit box this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway as a guest of driver Reed Sorenson and Richard Petty Motorsports.(RPM)(11-5-2009)

    • Space Shuttle pilot to be honored at TMS: USMC Lt. Col. Doug Hurley, who piloted the space shuttle Endeavor this summer and a Texas Motor Speedway season ticket-holder, will be honored during the Dickies 500 pre-race ceremonies as well as making a unique presentation to TMS President Eddie Gossage, two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, Sprint Cup Series team owner Joe Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Greg Zipadelli. TMS will hold a press conference immediately following the Sprint Cup drivers meeting for the presentation as well as the announcement from Gossage on how Hurley will be honored. Gossage is keeping the arrival a surprise to the Texas Motor Speedway fans and will only hint that some type of aircraft will be involved. Hurley, a United States Marines Corps colonel who has been a Texas Motor Speedway season ticketholder since 2005, has been briefed on the plan and is looking forward to participating in the American Racing Custom Wheels Pre-Race Show leading up to the Dickies 500. Hurley will be part of the American Racing Custom Wheels Pre-Race Show that begins at 12:00pm/ct and features a one-hour concert by ZZ Top beginning at 12:30pm. Fans can purchase an American Racing Custom Wheels Pre-Race Show "Mosh Pit" ticket for $79 that allows them to watch the concert and Sprint Cup Series driver introductions directly in front of the stage. The "Mosh Pit" ticket must be accompanied by a Dickies 500 race ticket and can not be used separately. Frontstretch tickets remain for the Dickies 500 and are available by calling (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(11-5-2009)

    • Milwaukee Mile promoter pulls out UPDATE: Tony Machi, whose investor group wanted to promote races at the Milwaukee Mile, told Wisconsin State Fair Park officials on Tuesday that his group is pulling out. Machi's decision means the future of the historic racetrack is in jeopardy. The 106-year-old track is the oldest continuously operated speedway in the country. Machi said Tuesday that his group, which includes local businessman Jim Beaudoin, could not reach agreement with NASCAR. NASCAR has scheduled two races next summer at the track, but wanted Machi's group, Historic Mile LLC, to pay sanction fees run from last summer's races as well as the fees for the two races next summer. Machi said he had funding for the 2010 races, but could not come up with funds to pay NASCAR. With Historic Mile out, the focus now shifts to the Giuffre brothers, local businessmen who have promoted races at the track before. The Giuffres had made their intentions known months ago, but State Fair officials elected to negotiate with Historic Mile first.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-4-2009)
      UPDATE: Despite the latest setback in signing a new race promoter, racing at the Milwaukee Mile in 2010 remains a possibility, a NASCAR spokesman said Wednesday. After a three-month process, Historic Mile LLC informed State Fair Park on Tuesday that it could not secure the financing necessary and would withdraw as the prospective promoter. Almost immediately, park management turned its attention to a group led by Frank Giuffre, a former promoter, and his brother, Dominic. That group was rejected in August, when the park board of directors instead chose to sign a letter of intent with Historic Mile. The racetrack is on the agenda of a fair board meeting Friday. "We're in touch with the fair board, and Milwaukee is a very important market to us and we're considering every option available," said Ramsey Poston, managing director of corporate communications for NASCAR. Poston refused to place a timeline on the decision-making process. Throughout its discussions with NASCAR, Historic Mile faced deadlines that were extended numerous times. NASCAR has scheduled Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series races for June 18-19. The Giuffres ran the track from 1985-'91 and had negotiated for promotion rights again before the 2006 season. Although Frank Giuffre has been critical of the board's selection process, he has maintained interest and has produced letters of credit from local banks for $10 million each. "We're just excited about reviving racing in Milwaukee. We hope to conclude negotiations on Friday," Giuffre said. Giuffre said his investor group includes billionaire John Menard; John Kaishian, longtime owner of the old Hales Corners Speedway; and the Decker family, owner-operators of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River. Poston said NASCAR had no feelings, positive or negative, about the Giuffre group.(Milwaukee Journal)(11-5-2009)


      News from November 4, 2009

    • NASCAR to implement rookie orientation program: NASCAR will implement a one-day rookie orientation seminar next February for newcomers to its three national touring series. The annual program will be designed for rookies and drivers 22 and under, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday. It will focus on NASCAR rules and policies as well as the adjustment to competing on the national stock-car circuit. "It's something we've been looking at for the last two or three years," Poston said. "We looked at what all the other leagues do, and one thing we realized is all the other leagues do this, and there seems to be a lot of benefit both for the league and their participants." The program will include University of Central Florida professor Dr. Richard Lapchick of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports to address professional and personal conduct and Aegis Laboratories' Dr. David Black to address the NASCAR substance-abuse policy. NASCAR Chairman Brian France also would be one of the presenters with other NASCAR executives, NASCAR's medical liaisons, series directors, veteran drivers and track operators. "We want to do this to touch base with drivers that are new to the national series and make sure that they have an opportunity at their very start to get face-to-face with NASCAR executives, to understand the sport and who we are," Poston said. "It's really to welcome to the national series, welcome them to the sport and also to answer any questions that they have." NASCAR has an 18-year-old age limit for its three national touring series and has toyed with the idea of increasing the age minimum for the Sprint Cup Series. Poston said that is still under consideration.(SceneDaily)(11-4-2009)

    • Kyle Busch going for triple at Texas: Kyle Busch attempts to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three national series races - Sprint Cup [#18 M&M's Toyota], Nationwide [#18 Toyota] and Camping World Truck Series [#51 Toyota] - in the same weekend when he competes in the Dickies 500, O'Reilly Challenge and WinStar World Casino 350k, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway. In Sprint Cup competition, Busch has three top-six finishes and 207 laps led in his last four TMS starts, including a best of third in the 2008 Samsung 500. In Nationwide action, he has been a dominant force and will arrive having won three consecutive races. In the truck series, he still is seeking his first win, but has finished runner-up in three of his last four visits, the most recent being in this event last year. Busch nearly pulled off the triple earlier this season at California's Auto Club Speedway, winning Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in the same day and finishing second the following day in the Sprint Cup Series race. Busch has 59th career wins among NASCAR's top three divisions. Busch has won in all three of NASCAR's top divisions at six tracks: Auto Club Speedway, Phoenix, Bristol, Dover, Chicago and New Hampshire. Of the 30 tracks to host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at each circuit at least once and has won at 22 of them. The eight venues where Busch has raced but not scored a victory are Martinsville, Pocono, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead, Iowa, Milwaukee, Memphis (now closed) and Montreal.(many different PR's)(11-4-2009)

    • New Cup team to debut in 2010: Raymond Key, younger brother of NASCAR Nationwide Series team owner Curtis Key, announced he is currently assembling a Sprint Cup Series team with assistance from Key Motorsports. Key's Sprint Cup team, Keyed Up Motorsports, plans to debut in the 2010 Daytona 500. Key Motorsports, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, is providing technical and engineering support as well as engines, personnel and shop space to Keyed Up Motorsports for the Sprint Cup effort. Key Motorsports, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, is providing technical and engineering support as well as engines, personnel and shop space to Keyed Up Motorsports for the Sprint Cup effort. "I am excited to be working with Raymond and Keyed Up Motorsports on the Sprint Cup program," Curtis Key said. "Raymond has traveled with our Truck and Nationwide teams and has been a lot of help to us. He has wanted to start his own team and he feels it is the right time." Keyed Up Motorsports will field Chevrolets purchased from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., with the team being committed to the the first five races on the 2010 Sprint Cup Series schedule which include Daytona, California, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol. Curtis and Raymond Key, both Virginia businessmen who developed their companies from humble beginnings, have selected #90 for the Keyed Up Motorsports entry, a number that is rich in Virginia racing history [#90 was run for decades by Virginia based Junie Donlavey, winning once at Dover]. While no announcements were made regarding a driver or sponsor for the #90 Keyed Up Motorsports Sprint Cup Series team, team owner Raymond Key says it will not be a start and park team.(HardcoreRaceFans)(11-4-2009)

    • #08 team to attempt Texas UPDATE: The #08 Carter/Simo Racing team will make the trip west to Texas Motor Speedway to compete in the Dickies 500 on November 8th.(Carter/Simo Racing)
      AND the NASCAR Entry list has Derrike Cope listed as the driver of the #08 Toyota.(11-3-2009)
      UPDATE: the entry list now shows the #08 team as withdrawn from the event.(11-4-2009)

    • No Danica at Phoenix UPDATE but Daytona? Don't look for Danica Patrick to make her first NASCAR Nationwide Series start in the #5 JR Motorsports car at Phoenix International Raceway in two weeks, according to NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick. When asked before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega if Patrick, who has signed to stay in the IndyCar Series with team owner Michael Andretti, would make her first NASCAR start near her Scottsdale, Ariz., home, his answer was short and simple. "No," Hendrick said. "That's not going to happen."
      According to sources within the NASCAR garage area, Patrick's asking price to compete in Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races is $300,000 per race. If she were to run a truck race and a Nationwide race on the same weekend, the price is $600,000. Even with the sheer amount of publicity that Patrick would bring to NASCAR, team owners don't appear interested in paying that price.(Sports Illustrated)(11-4-2009)
      UPDATE: Danica Patrick is nearing completion of a two-year contract with JR Motorsports, the NASCAR Nationwide Series operation owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and a source close to the negotiations described them as "in the final phase." The partnership is expected to make its on-track debut during next February's Daytona Speedweeks. Both the Patrick and Earnhardt camps declined comment. Patrick will compete in NASCAR's second-largest series for JR Motorsports while continuing to race full-time for Andretti Green Racing in IndyCar. Earnhardt and Patrick already have a corporate connection, in current sponsorship deals with GoDaddy.com. The Web site registration service is a sponsor on JR Motorsports' #88 Chevy, which has been earned four Nationwide Series wins this season with Brad Keselowski at the wheel. Keselowski is leaving the team at season's end to drive for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. GoDaddy.co, also recently signed on to sponsor Hendrick's #5 Chevy beginning in 2010. That car is currently driven by Mark Martin, who is signed through 2011.(ESPN)(11-4-2009)

    • Aflac Partners with ScottsMiracle-Gro on the #99: Aflac, primary sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing the #99 Aflac Ford that Carl Edwards drive, has announced a partnership with ScottsMiracle-Gro, giving the company primary sponsorship for six Sprint Cup races in the 2010 season. The partnership extends Scotts relationship with Carl Edwards, who earned his first Sprint Cup victory in 2005 in the Scotts-sponsored car. Scotts currently is the co-primary sponsor of Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Scotts paint schemes will appear on the #99 Ford for the following races: Daytona Shootout (February), Atlanta (March), Bristol (March), Texas (April), Richmond (May), and Charlotte (May). The 2010 season will mark the sixth consecutive season that Edwards will compete full time in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.(RFR)(11-4-2009)

    • Toyota leaving F1: Toyota is pulling out of Formula One racing, the world's largest automaker announcing Wednesday that it needs to cut costs and focus on its core business. "Based on the current economic environment, we realize we have no choice but to withdraw from Formula One," Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at a news conference. "This has been a very painful decision for the company." Toyota follows Honda Motor Co. as the second major Japanese automaker to withdraw from the sport in the last 11 months. Toyota officials called the withdrawal from F1 complete, making a return to the sport when and if conditions improve unlikely. Toyota, the world's largest car manufacturer, is seeking to cut costs as it expects to post an operating loss for the six months ended Sept. 30. It is due to report earnings Thursday. The company posted its worst-ever loss in the financial year at the end of March.(Associated Press)(11-4-2009)

    • Milestone start for Mears: #07-Casey Mears will make his 250th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, a mark that started with a 21st-place start and 27th-place finish in the 2003 Daytona 500. Since then, the 31-year old driver has earned one victory (Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte, May 2007) 12 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes, along with three pole awards. For the first time, the #07 Chevy will have Choctaw Casino Resort on board as the primary sponsor this weekend. Located in Durant, Okla., this is Choctaw's first venture into NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing.(RCR)(11-4-2009)

    • Special scheme for Montoya at Texas UPDATE: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a special paint scheme on his #42 Target Chevy for the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.(TMS)(10-27-2009)
      UPDATE:Target partnered with four Hispanic influencers to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with its annual Dream In Color campaign, which celebrates diversity. The campaign features Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates driver Juan Pablo Montoya. The #42 Target Chevy team will run a very special Dream In Color paint scheme at Texas Motor Speedway. The 2009 dreamers were selected by Target for their compelling and encouraging stories and their passion to inspire greatness in others. Please visit target.com/dreamincolor for more information.(EGR)(11-4-2009)

    • #6 car to support Boys and Girls Clubs: The #6 UPS Ford of David Ragan will carry a special Boys and Girls Clubs of America design in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The UPS Foundation and BGCA launched a program - Road Code- this year to help teach teens across the country the importance of safe driving. On Nov. 5, NASCAR driver David Ragan will unveil his newly designed UPS-sponsored race car which sports a Boys & Girls Club logo and the handprints of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas members who participate in the UPS Road Code safe driving program. These Club teens were on hand to assist Ragan in presenting his new Ford Fusion car and to enjoy watching a racing demonstration in Dallas. The Salt Lake City UPS Freight Center will be the featured Maximum Center at Texas Motor Speedway. The center will have its three-letter alpha code, SLC, on the wing of the #6 UPS Ford.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-4-2009)

    • Dickies American Worker of the Year gets shot at $1 million: On Saturday, Nov 7th, 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year Michael McGee to randomly select one of the 12 Chase drivers at Texas Motor Speedway. If the driver McGee selects takes the checkered flag at the Dickies 500 on Sunday, McGee will become an instant millionaire. McGee, an agricultural teacher and horse training business owner from Broken Bow, OK, was named the 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year on Friday, October 30 at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas. As the promotion's winner, McGee received $50,000 and an all-access, VIP trip for two to the Dickies 500 this weekend, which includes all track activities, a tour of the track's garage, a view of the race from exclusive seats in the Dickies suite, and most importantly, the chance to turn his $50,000 prize into $1 million.(Dickies/Edelman)(11-4-2009)

    • Milwaukee Mile promoter pulls out: Tony Machi, whose investor group wanted to promote races at the Milwaukee Mile, told Wisconsin State Fair Park officials on Tuesday that his group is pulling out. Machi's decision means the future of the historic racetrack is in jeopardy. The 106-year-old track is the oldest continuously operated speedway in the country. Machi said Tuesday that his group, which includes local businessman Jim Beaudoin, could not reach agreement with NASCAR. NASCAR has scheduled two races next summer at the track, but wanted Machi's group, Historic Mile LLC, to pay sanction fees run from last summer's races as well as the fees for the two races next summer. Machi said he had funding for the 2010 races, but could not come up with funds to pay NASCAR. With Historic Mile out, the focus now shifts to the Giuffre brothers, local businessmen who have promoted races at the track before. The Giuffres had made their intentions known months ago, but State Fair officials elected to negotiate with Historic Mile first.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-4-2009)


      News from November 3, 2009

    • Two-Day Goodyear Tire Test For 2010 Daytona 500 Wraps Up: On Monday and Tuesday [Nov 2-3], 17 drivers with 18 cars were in attendance for a two-day Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the 2010 Daytona 500. The list of drivers testing tire compounds for Goodyear included #17-Matt Kenseth, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #26-Jamie McMurray, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #2-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #6-David Ragan, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-Brad Keselowski, #00-David Reutimann, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #78-Regan Smith, #44/43-A.J. Allmendinger, #82-Scott Speed, #96-Erik Darnell, #98-Paul Menard and #09-Sterling Marlin. Drivers toured the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval shaking down Goodyear tires in both single car and drafting sessions. Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch said the drafting sessions consisted of 15, 20 and 30-lap runs. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-3-2009)

    • Make-A-Wish helping boy meet Dale Jr.: Life hasn’t always been easy for 4-year-old Bryce Tory, a Simi Valley youngster born with a congenital heart defect. But on Sunday, Bryce was all smiles when he learned his ultimate wish, to meet his favorite professional race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Texas this week, had been granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties. The foundation surprised Bryce and his parents, Yvonne and Dave Tory, on Sunday with a party at MB2 Raceway in Newbury Park to announce the news. Bryce and his family will be given a police and firefighter escort as they leave their home in Simi Valley for the airport on Thursday. Once in Texas, they will catch a helicopter ride to the racetrack to meet NASCAR driver Earnhardt Jr. and possibly see his #88 race car.(see full article at the Ventura County Star)(11-3-2009)

    • More layoffs after 2009 season?: Teams have predicted that the unemployment lines following the season finale at Homestead will exceed the numbers we witnessed following 2008. Under NASCAR's four-car rule, Roush Fenway Racing loses one team under its roof and another across the street at Yates Racing. While employees have been told there will be movement in the ranks with the potential of a Richard Petty Motorsports/Yates merger, in either case a minimum of two teams will dissolve — the #26 and the #44. The #96 Hall of Fame Racing team will no longer use the services of Yates Racing in 2010. However, the #98 team could remain under the Yates banner — and not RPM — in order to keep Paul Menard in the fold. Regardless, the four teams (98, 9, 19 and 43) are expected to operate under one roof.(FoxSports)(11-3-2009)

    • Delphi continues relationship with Hendrick Motorsports: Delphi announced that it will continue its associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports during the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. Delphi will be the primary sponsor for two Sprint Cup races with driver Mark Martin in the #5 Delphi/GoDaddy.com Chevy. The race details will be announced in the near future. Additionally, Delphi will be an associate sponsor of all Hendrick Motorsports 2010 Sprint Cup entries. Delphi will continue to be featured on the uniforms of all Hendrick Motorsports drivers for the 2010 season, including four-time Sprint Cup champion #24-Jeff Gordon, three-time defending Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Mark Martin. "Our long-standing relationship with Delphi has been fantastic," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "The association has been incredibly important to our company from both a quality and technology standpoint, and we look forward to having Delphi continue as a key partner for the 2010 season."(HMS)(11-3-2009)

    • #08 team to attempt Texas: The #08 Carter/Simo Racing team will make the trip west to Texas Motor Speedway to compete in the Dickies 500 on November 8th.(Carter/Simo Racing)
      AND the NASCAR Entry list has Derrike Cope listed as the driver of the #08 Toyota.(11-3-2009)

    • Allmendinger In Fords Remainder of 2009 Season: AJ Allmendinger makes his Ford Racing debut this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver will race the remaining three races of the 2009 season in a Ford Fusion. Race fans will recognize the familiar "Petty Blue" and red paint scheme on #44 for the rest of the season. Last week at Talladega, Elliott Sadler drove a Ford to a ninth-place finish. Allmendinger will be the only Petty driver in a Ford in any of the remaining 2009 races. "This is exciting stuff. It's like a new beginning for Richard Petty Motorsports. Whenever you do something new you are a little bit excited and a little bit nervous because you haven't done it before. Elliott drove a Ford for us at Talladega last week and everyone was really positive about the experience. It's our turn this week tire testing a Ford in Daytona and we'll drive one at Phoenix and Homestead as well."(RPM)(11-3-2009)

    • What is Bobby Hillin Jr. up to? racing this weekend: Retirement is never easy for a race car driver but in 2000, after 18 years of racing, Bobby Hillin, Jr. decided it was time to move on. Question was.what now? Applying the ambition and drive he had from success in racing at a very young age, Hillin founded T-Rex Companies with just one truck and a prayer. Today, he overseas two companies. Texas ReExcavation, L.C., a non-destructive sub-surface vacuum excavation company, and T-Rex Engineering & Construction, L.C., a subsea design and fabrication concern that caters to the offshore oil & gas industry. More info on my Nationwide Series page.(11-3-2009)

    • Earnhardt Ganassi to Toyota? So, what's the holdup in EGR's decision to remain with Chevy or move to Toyota? Perhaps it's the "E" in EGR. Can anyone really imagine the Earnhardt name associated with Toyota? Since Teresa Earnhardt is not at the racetrack on a weekly basis, that might be a tough answer to get. And with the current General Motors situation, Chevy is in no position to offer EGR a new and improved deal. Maybe Chip Ganassi believes delaying the decision will prevent the current engine builders from sabotaging the cars? But since Ganassi didn't want to answer the question of manufacturers on Sunday, what do we know? Richard Childress Racing's engine department — which supplies motors for EGR — was expecting a call on Friday from the Ganassi camp regarding their status for next season. It never came. Principals at EGR are expected to meet with Toyota again on Tuesday. EGR has had discussions with Joe Gibbs Racing about supplying engines for next season. Apparently Toyota Racing Development, which provides Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing with engines, does not have the capacity at this time to be a supplier for EGR.(FoxSports)(11-3-2009)

    • New driver of #1 announced this week? An announcement on the driver that will replace #1-Martin Truex Jr. could come this week, sources close to the situation said. Jamie McMurray, who is losing his ride at Roush Fenway Racing because the organization has to reach the four-car cap, is one candidate. Bobby Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, is the other. EGR co-owner Chip Ganassi wants McMurray. Bass Pro Shops, which will sponsor the #1 for 20 races next season, isn't sure he fits the image.(read more at ESPN Insider)(11-2-2009)
      UPDATE: It's no secret that Bass Pro Shops has a contract to sponsor the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing car that McMurray is slotted to drive next year. And it's no secret that Bass Pro Shops wants to move to the #39 car with Ryan Newman. Now, this is not a knock on BPS, which has offered tremendous support to many racing programs in and beyond NASCAR. But McMurray's contract with EGR has been prepared but lacking signatures for some time. No, McMurray is not going to apply for his NRA membership any time soon, but he will go above and beyond for his sponsors whether it's Bass Pro or anyone else.(FoxSports)(11-3-2009)

    • TRG would like Labonte to return: Torrey Galida, a former Ford and Roush Fenway Racing executive who most recently was president of the motorsports division for sports marketing company Millsport, has taken a new job as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of #71-TRG Motorsports. One of his main priorities will be finding sponsorship so the team can race every race in 2010. Galida said the team plans to make its first partial-season sponsorship announcement in a few weeks. TRG Motorsports has run the full season, mostly with David Gilliland and Bobby Labonte in the driver's seat. Galida said the team would like for Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, to drive next year.(SceneDaily)(11-3-2009)

    • Robby Gordon running Baja 1000: The Southern California construction industry remains in the doldrums. And violence in Mexico is still a problem. Despite that double dose of bad news, officials of SCORE are looking forward to a strong Baja 1000 off-road race Nov. 19-22 to complete the 2009 season. More than 275 entries are expected for the 42nd edition of the desert classic, which will start and finish in Ensenada for the 20th time. The star of the show will be Sprint Cup driver Robby Gordon, who leads the overall and TrophyTruck points races going into the 673-mile season finale. For the past decade, Gordon has run SCORE events when his NASCAR schedule permitted. This year, breaks in the NASCAR schedule enabled Gordon to run in three of the first four SCORE events. H skipped the Sept. 12 Sprint Cup race in Richmond, Va., to compete in a SCORE event at Primm, Nev. Gordon won that race to widen his SCORE points lead going into the Baja 1000. Gordon will fly from Ensenada after finishing the 1000 to compete in the NASCAR season finale at Homestead, Fla.(San Diego Union Tribune)(11-3-2009)

    • Sad News - Johnny Fultz: Johnny Fultz, son of Jeff [part-time NNS/ARCA driver] and Angela Fultz, tragically lost his life in an automobile incident (supposedly Friday night/Sat morning). He was 21 years old.(Jeff Fultz site), no other details found.(11-1-2009)
      SERVICES: There will be a viewing on Sunday, November 8, and the funeral will take place on Monday, November 9, at Hodapp Funeral Home in Westchester, Ohio. Address is 8815 Cincinnati-Columbus Road, Weschester, Ohio 45069; 513-777-843. In lieu of flowers a contribution fund has been set up at Bank of America for his baby son: Bank of America, 368 W. Plaza Drive, Mooresville, NC 28117 - Payable to: Jonathan Edward Fultz, Jr. Contribution Fund.(11-3-2009)

    • Sad News - Phil Good: Philip (Phil) Jon Good, age 54, of Ball Ground, passed away on Friday, October 30, 2009 at Northside Hospital Atlanta. He was employed as a Field Service Engineer with Siemen's for 35 years, a nascar driver and head baseball coach of the 12U East Cobb White Sox. He was a loving husband, father and brother. Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, from the Chapel of South Canton Funeral Home. Survivors include his wife, Lorraine Good, Ball Ground; son, Jacob Good, Ball Ground; daughters, Sarah and Rachel Good, Ball Ground; mother, Donita Kennedy, Panama City, FL; brothers, Larry Gear, Flowery Branch, Dr. Michael Good, Marietta; sisters, LaRue King, Kennesaw, Amanda Robinson, Villa Rica; several nieces, nephews and cousins. The family will receive friends from 2:30 until 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 12U East Cobb White Sox, 200 Longleaf Ct., Canton, GA 30114. South Canton Funeral Home & Chapel, 3147 Marietta Hwy., Canton, GA 30114 (770) 479-3377.(South Canton Funeral Home & Chapel), Good ran in eight Sprint Cup races from 1984-1988 with best finish of 17th at Richmond and Dover in 1985.(Racing References)(11-3-2009)

    • NASCAR Honored: The fans are making their voices heard. NASCAR is listening. And experts in the field of social media now rank NASCAR No. 1. When NASCAR formed a Fan Council for fan input and advice on important topics related to the sport, the last thing anyone expected was an award – let alone two awards. But in recent weeks, this unique "advisory board" of the sport's most avid fans has earned national acclaim by winning the Forrester Groundswell Award in the Business-to-Consumer Listening category and the Vision Critical 2009 Panel of the Year Award.(NASCAR)(11-3-2009)

    • Dover Motorsports writes down value of Memphis track: Without its NASCAR and National Hot Rod Association events, Memphis Motorsports Park, which was going to be sold for $10 million before the potential buyer couldn't secure financing, has dropped in value by $7.478 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Dover Motorsports, which announced Friday it was closing the Memphis facility that included a .75-mile oval where NASCAR conducted one Camping World Truck and one Nationwide series race a year, noted the write-down in its third quarter results. Dover had been listing the value of the Memphis track as $10 million, so with the write-down it now lists the facility's value without its NASCAR and NHRA events as $2.522 million. Dover also noted that its NASCAR weekend in September saw lower attendance, sponsorships and corporate spending as a result of the weak economy and poor weather. For the first nine months of 2009 - which is virtually Dover's entire racing season with the exception of the Memphis Nationwide race - Dover has recorded a net loss of $1.324 million compared with a net profit in 2008 of $6.398 million.(SceneDaily)(11-3-2009)

    • Atlanta partners to offer low hotel rates for 2010 Kobalt Tools 500: Atlanta Motor Speedway has again partnered with a number of area hotels to provided discounted room rates as low as $59 for fans attending the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend on March 5 - 7. Continuing a program that makes attending NASCAR race weekends at Atlanta Motor Speedway more affordable, the Speedway's current partner hotels feature room rates of no more than $120 and do not require a multi-night stay. Of the partner hotels, six feature rates of $70 or less for the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend. Race fans can directly access the list at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/fans/hotels/.(AMS)(11-3-2009)


      News from November 2, 2009

    • The Entry List for the Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points:
      #02-David Gilliland (56th in owners pts/1 attempt)
      #08-Derrike Cope (50/7)
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 Race Winner as owner)(38/33)
      #13-Max Papis (42/18)
      #21-Bill Elliott [past cham 1988](44/11)
      #36-Michael McDowell (40/33)
      #37-Tony Raines (46/26)
      #66-Dave Blaney (41/33)
      #70-Mike Skinner (63/1)
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 2000] (37/33)
      #78-Regan Smith (42/17)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/33)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (39/33)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,21,82,87,36,66,37
      missing the race would be [5]: #'s 13,78,08,02,70
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Texas Entry List.(11-2-2009)

    • Notes/Facts after Talladega Superspeedway:
      # Jamie McMurray won the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. This marked McMurray's first win in 15 races at Talladega.
      # McMurray became the 14th different race winner in 2009.
      # This was the first victory by a Ford since Matt Kenseth won at California in February.
      # McMurray became the first non-Chase driver to score a Chase victory since Greg Biffle at Kansas in 2007, ending a 23-race streak of victories in Chase races by a Chase driver.
      # McMurray scored his fifth top-10 finish in 15 races at Talladega. He started Sunday's race in the 22nd-place position.
      # McMurray scored his second restrictor-plate victory in 29 career restrictor-plate races. He also won at Daytona in July 2007.
      # McMurray scored his third Cup victory in his 255th career start.
      # This was the third victory by Roush Fenway Racing at Talladega.
      # Jimmie Johnson holds the points lead by 184 over second-place Mark Martin. This is the largest points lead in the 2009 Chase.
      # The biggest points comeback with three races remaining occurred in 1990 when Dale Earnhardt came from 49 points behind to win the title.
      # The biggest points lead overcome with three to go in the Chase was 26 points by Jimmie Johnson in 2006. Interestingly, Johnson was minus-9 points with three to go in 2007. In 2008 he was the points leader and never looked back.
      # Kasey Kahne (second) tied his best Talladega finish. Kahne has competed in 24 career restrictor-plate races without a victory. It was his best finish in the 2009 Chase. He climbed from 11th to ninth in points.
      # Joey Logano (third) was the highest-finishing rookie.
      # Greg Biffle (fourth) scored his best Talladega finish in 14 races there. It was his second straight top-10 finish at Talladega. He finished seventh there in April. He climbed from eighth to seventh in points.
      # Jeff Burton (fifth) ended an 18-race streak of finishes of 14th or worse.
      # Jimmie Johnson (sixth) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 16 races at Talladega.
      # Johnson's worst finish in the last 33 Chase races is 15th (Texas and Homestead in 2008).
      # Johnson, who failed to lead, ended a 13-race streak of leading a lap at Talladega. Johnson led in just one of the four restrictor-plate races this season (two laps at the first Talladega race). Johnson has led in 27 of the 33 races this season, the only driver to do so.
      # Elliott Sadler (ninth) extended a 14-race streak of leading a lap at Talladega.
      # McMurray led five times for a race-high 32 laps, including the final 11. Before Sunday, he had led just one lap all season (the first Pocono race).
      # Casey Mears (25th) is the only driver to finish on the lead lap in the last five races at Talladega.
      # Martin (28th) remained second but lost 66 points on first-place Johnson.
      # Kurt Busch finished 30th in his 350th career start.
      # Martin Truex Jr. finished 31st in his 150th career start.
      # Tony Stewart (35th) ended a 55-race streak of running at the finish.
      # Denny Hamlin (38th) was the lowest-finishing Chase driver at Talladega.
      # The top 10 consisted of four Chevrolets, three Fords, two Toyotas and one Dodge.(ESPN.com)(11-2-2009)

    • Keselowski in the #12 at Texas? UPDATE: Brad Keselowski will begin driving a Penske Racing Dodge in the Sprint Cup series starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski will take over for David Stremme in the #12 Dodge, multiple sources have told FOXSports.com.Keselowski, who finished eighth in Sunday's Amp Energy 500 and is currently third in Nationwide Series points, was announced as Roger Penske's latest addition on Sept. 1.(FoxSports)(11-2-2009)
      UPDATE: Brad Keselowski will compete for Penske Racing in the final three NASCAR Cup Series races of the 2009 season. Keselowski will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the upcoming races at Texas (Nov. 8), Phoenix (Nov. 15) and Homestead (Nov. 22). Over the final three Cup Series events of 2009, Keselowski will step in for David Stremme and work with the Penske Dodge team in the car that will become his full-time ride next season. "Penske Racing wants to give Brad an opportunity to work with the team and get to know the race car as we prepare for the 2010 season," said Roger Penske. "These three races will provide a good base for both Brad and the team as we head into next year. Penske Racing also thanks David Stremme for his contributions to the team this year. We wish David the very best moving forward."(Penske Racing PR)(11-2-2009)

    • New driver of #1 announced this week? An announcement on the driver that will replace #1-Martin Truex Jr. could come this week, sources close to the situation said. Jamie McMurray, who is losing his ride at Roush Fenway Racing because the organization has to reach the four-car cap, is one candidate. Bobby Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, is the other. EGR co-owner Chip Ganassi wants McMurray. Bass Pro Shops, which will sponsor the #1 for 20 races next season, isn't sure he fits the image.(read more at ESPN Insider)(11-2-2009)

    • Overnight TV ratings down: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Amp Energy 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway earned a 3.8 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 5 percent lower than the 4.0 ABC earned overnight for its broadcast of the fall Talladega race in 2008, when the event was run on the first weekend of October. The 3.8 is 11.8 percent higher than the 3.4 ABC earned overnight for its broadcast of the Texas Cup race on the first Sunday in November of 2008.(SceneDaily)(11-2-2009)

    • Tire Test at Daytona: More than a dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected Monday morning for a two-day, Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway. Goodyear engineers are working on a tire that will be used during Speed Weeks 2010. The tests will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Spectators are welcome to watch at no charge from the Oldfield Grandstands.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-2-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 AMP Energy 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. ABC was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 113
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 26
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:01 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:48 pm
      Total minutes: 227
      Minutes of race broadcast: 175
      Minutes of commercials: 52
      Number of missed restarts: 0 one time the restart was occurring right as the broadcast came back from commercial—too close to call
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
      Number of debris cautions (debris shown): 1
      Number of times No-Doz was suggested for the fans in an overheard radio conversation: 1 Tony Stewart
      Total race brdcst time 175 Total comm. brdcst time 52
      See more drivers info and links on my 2009 Commercials page.(11-2-2009)

    • Johnson needs 402 points: So, if #5-Martin wins the final three Sprint Cup races [Texas, Phoenix & Homestead] and leads the most laps, he would score 585 points [195x3] for a total of 6649 points. #48-Johnson has 6248, so Johnson needs to score 402 points in the final three race, IF Martin were to win all three. Which is an average of 134 points a race for the three remaining races. Finishing 10th is 134 points. So Johnson needs to finish 10th or better in the three remaining races [or total 402 points], and nothing Martin or any other driver can do to overtake Johnson.(11-1-2009)

    • NASCAR will crack down on aggressive driving: UPDATE 2: NASCAR plans to crack down on aggressive driving and bump drafting beginning with Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, particularly regarding two-car breakaways that have become commonplace with the new car. Track officials hope they got the attention of drivers when they parked #55-Michael Waltrip for pushing #48-Jimmie Johnson's car through the corners during Friday's second practice. "It at least sent a good point of conversation out there in the Motorhome 500 lot,'' series director John Darby said after Saturday's qualifying was rained out. The new car has presented a problem because two cars that match up well are able to pull away from the pack.(ESPN.com)(11-1-2009)
      UPDATE: At the drivers meeting Sunday morning in Talladega, NASCAR President Mike Helton warned drivers that there would be no pushing or bump drafting allowed in the turns through the entire race, including the last lap. The penalty for a first offense will be a drive through; on the last lap it will be a time or position penalty. Any offenses beyond the first will be NASCAR's discretion. See Helton's quotes at Hampton Roads.(11-1-2009)
      UPDATE: NASCAR's change in the rules to forbid bump-drafting in the turns worked as planned for the most part and should not be blamed for the single-file racing fans saw for much of the first half of the Sprint Cup Amp Energy 500 Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "A lot of 500-mile races, when you listen to the teams, they work on their cars, they get their cars to handle and then they log laps during a small portion or the middle third of the race in order to have their equipment ready for the end of the race," Pemberton said in the garage after the event. "It's not uncommon of any 500-mile race that you see that. … [The accidents that] happened today, we didn't have any major incidents in the corner. "The two wrecks that happened, they happened in the free zone where we weren't monitoring the bump-drafting or anything like that." NASCAR never issued a penalty in Sunday's race. There were times when Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said something to a crew chief. "If it was something that was a warning that was like the final warning, we would have put it out on the main channel and we didn't do that," Pemberton said. "These guys are very good at what they do. It takes them a very short period of time to figure out the best way around these race tracks.(SceneDaily)(11-2-2009)

    • Tryson could leave Penske early...if UPDATE: If #2-Kurt Busch isn’t a factor in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship entering the season finale in Homestead next month, don’t be surprised to see crew chief Pat Tryson make an early exit from the #2 Dodge team. “If we find ourselves out of championship contention, that’s when we’ll make a big change and maybe get the new (crew chief) in there and get a couple races under our belt before we show up back in Daytona,” said Busch, who is currently sixth and 121 points behind Johnson in the Chase standings. Tryson announced last month that he’ll leave the Penske organization at season’s end and become Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010.(Racin' Today)(10-16-2009)
      UPDATE: Tryson said there are no plans for him to step aside and begin his new job now that Busch is 312 points behind Johnson.(ESPN.com)(11-2-2009)

    • Mayfield attorney says he's owed money: Charlotte-based attorney Bill Diehl says suspended Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield hasn't paid him for services. Mayfield recently replaced Diehl and his firm with celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos. Diehl said the driver owes him "a lot" for defending him in his lawsuit against NASCAR. Mayfield brought suit against the governing body after being suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. Court documents have since revealed he tested positive for methamphetamines. Diehl wished Mayfield luck with his case, but said, "I'm going to get paid." Diehl, whose fee is $1,000 per hour, said he doesn't believe Mayfield is as financially strapped as has been reported. He said his firm has asked to be paid and will seek legal action if this doesn't happen. Diehl would not say how much Mayfield owes him, but said, "We worked very hard."(ESPN.com)(11-2-2009)

    • Fans to sponsors a team at Homestead...#08 team? Matt Ferguson was watching a Sprint Cup race in March when he turned to his wife with what at first seemed like another one of his crazy ideas. He wanted to sponsor a car. Well, not just him. He wanted to devise a plan where all fans would have an opportunity to sponsor a car. So he began researching, hired an agent and developed a program. It's called FanCar, and you can learn more about it at FanCar.com. It's really simple. For $20, fans who sign up will get their name on the car of an established team owner with a driver already in place. The plan is to debut the FanCar in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The owner and driver will be announced on Monday, so fans will know whom they're backing. "This is not some start-up team," said Ferguson, a 32-year-old businessman from College Station, Texas. "This isn't their first race, and they're not a start-and-park team. We're not going to have somebody who doesn't know what they're doing or isn't respected by other drivers." He is a familiar name and is guaranteed to be in the field. But if this works, Ferguson plans to have another FanCar in the 2010 Daytona 500 and as many races as he can next season. If it works really well, he'll try to sponsor two cars.(full story at ESPN.com)
      DRIVER? TEAM? hearing the the driver will be Terry Labonte for Carter/Simo Racing in the #08 Toyota at Homestead in the season finale. BUT Terry Labonte will not be guaranteed to make the race. His brother, Bobby Labonte, is scheduled to run the #71 TRG Chevy at Homestead. The #71 as is the #08 teams, are both not in the top-35 in owners points, so each Labonte has to race their way in or fall back on the past champions provisional. If both need it, Bobby would get to use it first as he won the Sprint Cup Championship in 2000 and Terry last won it in 1996.(10-30-2009)
      UPDATE 2: FanCar announced it will sponsor two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte and Carter/Simo Racing at the Ford 400 on Nov. 22 in Miami. More information at www.fancar.com and invest $20 to be a sponsor of Terry Labonte's #08 Toyota Camry at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We started FanCar to support drivers like Terry Labonte, a former Cup champion and an old-school, no-nonsense competitor," said Matt Ferguson, founder of FanCar. "Now it's up to the fans to get behind Terry and Carter/Simo Racing at Miami and join the FanCar team."
      After becoming a sponsor, fans will be able to vote on the paint scheme as well as the overall message that Labonte's #08 Camry will carry during the Miami race. Participating fans will receive a certificate of sponsorship as well as a digital photo of the car. If the sponsorship is chosen as a gift, FanCar will send along an electronic gift card to the person selected. All funds raised by FanCar will go directly to the funding of the #08 Camry driven by Terry Labonte in Miami-no development costs or transaction fees subtracted.
      "It's a great honor and a privilege to be the first driver of the FanCar," said Terry Labonte, driver of the #08 Carter/Simo Toyota Camry. "NASCAR fans have given me so much in my career, but FanCar takes that fan support to a whole new level."(Verve Sponsorship Group)(11-2-2009)

    • 14 Winners in 2009: #26-JamieMcMurray Mayfield victory at Talladega in November made it 14 different race winners in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. There were 12 different race winners all of last season. There are six race winners from last season still awaiting their first victory of 2009: #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle, #33-Clint Bowyer, #31-Jeff Burton, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #39-Ryan Newman. The record for most different winners in a season is 19 in the 1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001 seasons.(11-2-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #00-David Reutimann has the longest current streak of finishing races at 38 races of drivers who have ran all the races [after both #14-Stewart and #39-Newman wrecjed at Talladega]. The next driver with the most is: #42-Montoya with 35 and #07-Mears with 34 straight races without a DNF.
      Three drivers have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #42-Montoya, #00-Reutimann and #07-Mears
      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 [Beam didn't run all the races, but did not have a DNF in 84 straight consecutive races that he ran].
      Clint Bowyer holds the modern day (1972-present) at 83, next is Kevin Harvick at 81 [also had a 2nd streak of 58], then Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53.
      The Most in 2009: #66-Blaney has the most DNF's in 2009 with 27 [in 29 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 25 [in 28 starts]. Both of these teams are start-and-parkers for most races. The most DNF's among drivers who have run all the races in 2009: #96/#71-BLabonte with 6.(11-1-2009)

    • Construction begins on Daytona Frontstretch Renovation: Construction on phase one of Daytona International Speedway’s frontstretch renovation will begin this week. Phase one of the frontstretch renovation will be focused on the old dog track property located behind the Keech and Lockhart Grandstands and will include new fan amenities such as:
      * Two additional gate entrances
      * Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the frontstretch grandstands
      * New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4
      * New and improved directional signage, landscaping and lighting
      Construction is expected to be completed for Speedweeks 2010 and the 52nd annual Daytona 500. Tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500, which start at $55, as well as other Speedweeks 2010 events, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-2-2009)

    • MIS to allow dogs in Graves Farm Campground: In an ongoing effort to help fans make their race weekends more affordable, Michigan International Speedway is allowing dogs in its Graves Farm Campground for the 2010 season. Many race fans who are pet owners incur costs to board their dogs when they head to the Irish Hills track for its NASCAR events. Opening the Graves Farm Campground to campers and their dogs will give fans the opportunity to camp with their pups. Rules apply for race fans and their dogs in the Graves Farm Campground:
      * The campground is open to dogs only.
      * Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times
      * Dogs must remain within the confines of the pet owners’ campsite
      * Leashed dogs may be walked on the walking trail
      * All owners must clean up after their dog
      * Dogs are not permitted in the New Holland Fan Plaza or through the ticket gates unless they are service dogs
      Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike. The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2010 will go to renewal customers and new customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. Current, 2009 customers will have the chance to renew at the best pricing available when they receive their renewal packets. New customers can log onto www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing for 2010.(MIS)(11-2-2009)


      News from November 1, 2009

    • McMurray wins at Talladega: #26-Jamie McMurray won the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway under a green-white-checkered finish that ended under caution for his 1st win of the season and third of his career. #9-Kahne finished 2nd, followed by #20-Logano, #16-Biffle, #31-Burton, #48-Johnson, #55-Waltrip, #09-Keselowski, #19-Sadler and #71-Labonte. The other Chasers finished as follows: #83-Vickers 13th, #99-Edwards 14th, #42-Montoya 19st [caught in final accident], #24-Gordon 20th [caught in final accident], #5-Martin 28th [caught in final accident], #2-Busch 30th [caught in final accident], #14-Stewart 35th [caught in accident with 4 to go], #39-Newman 36th [caught in accident with 4 to go], and #11-Hamlin 38th [lost engine].
      The first "big one" came with 4 laps to go, even though it only collected 5 cars. #39-Newman checked up to keep from getting into #14-Stewart. #47-Ambrose got into the back of Newman causing him to spin out of line, he turned backwards, flipped upside down, end over end, and landed on the hood of #29-Harvick. #19-Salder was also collected. Newman flipped a couple more times and the car came to rest on its roof. Safety crews had to flip the car over and cut the roof off to get Newman out but he was able to walk to the ambulance under his own power. The red flag was out for 13 minutes during cleanup. After the red flag was lifted, several drivers including #5-Gordon, #24-Gordon and #42-Montoya ran out of gas, further delaying the restart of the race for the finish.
      Then coming to the white flag #09-Keselowski appeared to get in the back of #2-Busch, spinning him into traffic and collecting a number of cars and causing NASCAR to throw the caution flag.
      There were 6 cautions for 23 yellow flag laps and there were 60 lead changes among 26 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, November 2 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, November 2 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 4 at 12:00pm/et
      For race results, awards and more, see my Talladega Superspeedway Race Results Page.(11-1-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Talladega Superspeedway:
      Jamie McMurray won the AMP Energy 500, his third victory in 255 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 15 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
      The 26 different leaders is tied for second-most all-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The 60 lead changes is ninth-most all-time.
      Kasey Kahne (second) posted his second top-10 finish in 12 races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2009.
      Joey Logano (third) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Talladega Superspeedway.
      Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 184 points over Mark Martin.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(11-1-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers finished at Talladega Superspeedway:
      (in points order at start of the race)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, finished 6th
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 28th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 20th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 35th
      5) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 19th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 30th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 36th
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 38th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 14th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 2nd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 13th.(11-1-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Talladega, Chase race 7 of 10; Season race 33 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6248, finished 8th
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 6064, -184
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 6056, -192
      4) #42-Juan Montoya, 6009, -239
      5) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 5969, -279
      6) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5936, -312
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 5908, -340
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 5846, -402
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5834, -414
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 5811, -437
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 5800, -448
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5692, -556
      For the drivers points standings, see my Drivers Points Standings.(11-1-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Talladega, race 33 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4752
      2) #14-Tony Stewart, 4745, -7
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4673, -72
      4) #5-Mark Martin, 4315, -430
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4271, -474
      6) #42-Juan Montoya, 4260, -485
      7) #2-Kurt Busch, 4248, -497
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 4157, -588
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 4118, -627
      10) #9-Kasey Kahne, 4094, 651
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 4091 -654
      12) #18-Kyle Busch, 4043, -702
      13) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3986, -759
      14) #33-Clint Bowyer, 3932, -813
      15) #83-Brian Vickers, 3890, -855
      16) #00-David Reutimann, 3854, -891
      (11-1-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Texas Motor Speedway:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now up to 135 points (was 123)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2565, +185
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2515, 135 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2380, 135 points out of 35th
      (no other teams are within 500 owners points of 35th)
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owners points standings, see my Owners Points Standings.(11-1-2009)

    • Penalty Report - Talladega:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #9 Pre-Race, engine change, to the rear
      #1 41, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, pass thru
      #07 42, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, pass thru
      #96 42, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, pass thru
      #14 50, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #39 50, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #48 50, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #26 50, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #2 50, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #2 52, Crewmember(s) over the wall too soon, tail end
      #16 92, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires, pass thru
      #11 138, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #14 184, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #29 184, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #19 184, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      (NASCAR Statistics)(11-1-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Talladega: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: #20-Logano, 3rd
      Caution 3: #16-Biffle, 4th
      Caution 4: #2-Busch, 30th
      Caution 5: #43-Sorenson, 16th
      (11-1-2009)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Talladega (or seemed to)?
      41st: #66-Blaney, 12 laps
      #87-Nemecheck, who has been starting and parking some races, was caught in the first wreck on lap 5.
      (only count a team with a history of start and park, not a wreck or engine blow and only if 25% or less of race completed)(11-1-2009)

    • NASCAR will crack down on aggressive driving: UPDATE: NASCAR plans to crack down on aggressive driving and bump drafting beginning with Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, particularly regarding two-car breakaways that have become commonplace with the new car. Track officials hope they got the attention of drivers when they parked #55-Michael Waltrip for pushing #48-Jimmie Johnson's car through the corners during Friday's second practice. "It at least sent a good point of conversation out there in the Motorhome 500 lot,'' series director John Darby said after Saturday's qualifying was rained out. The new car has presented a problem because two cars that match up well are able to pull away from the pack.(ESPN.com)(11-1-2009)
      UPDATE: At the drivers meeting Sunday morning in Talladega, NASCAR President Mike Helton warned drivers that there would be no pushing or bump drafting allowed in the turns through the entire race, including the last lap. The penalty for a first offense will be a drive through; on the last lap it will be a time or position penalty. Any offenses beyond the first will be NASCAR's discretion. See Helton's quotes at Hampton Roads.(11-1-2009)

    • Chevy dropping SS version of Impala: Chevy is transitioning to Impala in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series beginning in 2010 as a result of the SS version being phased out of production in mid-2009.(Chevy PR)(11-1-2009)

    • 150 Talladega starts for Roush: Roush Fenway will make its 150th Sprint Cup start at Talladega this weekend. Talladega is the eighth track in 2009 that the team has accomplished this feat. The first seven were Bristol, Charlotte, Daytona, Dover, Martinsville, Michigan, Pocono and Richmond.(Roush Fenway PR)(11-1-2009)

    • NASCAR will crack down on aggressive driving: UPDATE: NASCAR plans to crack down on aggressive driving and bump drafting beginning with Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, particularly regarding two-car breakaways that have become commonplace with the new car. Track officials hope they got the attention of drivers when they parked #55-Michael Waltrip for pushing #48-Jimmie Johnson's car through the corners during Friday's second practice. "It at least sent a good point of conversation out there in the Motorhome 500 lot,'' series director John Darby said after Saturday's qualifying was rained out. The new car has presented a problem because two cars that match up well are able to pull away from the pack.(ESPN.com)(11-1-2009)
      UPDATE: At the drivers meeting Sunday morning in Talladega, NASCAR President Mike Helton warned drivers that there would be no pushing or bump drafting allowed in the turns through the entire race, including the last lap. The penalty for a first offense will be a drive through; on the last lap it will be a time or position penalty. Any offenses beyond the first will be NASCAR's discretion. See Helton's quotes at Hampton Roads.(11-1-2009)

    • Sad News - Johnny Fultz: Johnny Fultz, son of Jeff [part-time and Angela Fultz, tragically lost his life in an automobile incident (supposedly Friday night/Sat morning). He was 21 years old.(Jeff Fultz site), no other details found.(11-1-2009)

    • Sad News - "Skimp" Latford SERVICES: Leslie "Skimp" Hart Latford, co-founder of the Grand National Racing Wives Auxiliary which became known as The Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports Inc. in 2004, died Friday, October 30, 2009, after a brief illness at Union Regional Hospital in Monroe, N.C. She was 74. The wife of the late Bob Latford [NASCAR historian, developed Sprint Cup point system], she was instrumental in the design of the race souvenir programs at Charlotte and Atlanta speedways when her husband oversaw public relations for those facilities in the 1960s and '70s. A Concord, N.C., resident and a retired school teacher in Cabarrus County, she was described by the couple's daughter as a "true racing wife", who was heavily involved in all of the racing community's activities. A Vermont native, she is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth "Betsy" Latford-York, of Monroe, N.C., and three grandchildren, Chad Latford-York, Trent Latford-York, and Kendal Elizabeth Latford-York, all of Monroe. Service arrangements are incomplete at this time.(10-31-2009)
      SERVICES: The family will receive friends from 7:00 to 8:00pm/et, Tuesday, November 3, at Hartsell Funeral Home in Concord, NC. Services will be held at 8:00pm/et in the Hartsell Funeral Home Chapel. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association of NC, 3801 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 190, Raleigh, NC 27607. Hartsell Funeral Home-Concord will be serving the Latford family.(Charlotte Observer)(11-1-2009)

    • Talladega announces renovations; new ticket prices: Immediately following the AMP Energy 500, construction crews will descend on Talladega Superspeedway and begin work on a two-phase $13-million grandstand renovation project. More than half of the stadium’s grandstand will be replaced with larger seats and wider aisles in time for the April 25, 2010 Aaron’s 499. The remaining seats will be replaced in time for the Oct. 31, 2010 AMP Energy 500. Accompanying the renovations is a new pricing structure for many Talladega seat locations. Single-day seats in the Gadsden, Lincoln, Anniston and Talladega Towers have been reduced to $95 from $120. Two-day tickets in the Allison Grandstands, one of the best values in all of motorsports, have been further reduced to $49 from $60. Race fans will also find new lower prices on certain infield camping locations. Phase One of the renovation project will span from the Gadsden grandstands in Turn Four through section C of the OV Hill South grandstands in the Tri-oval. New 21-inch seats with armrests and cupholders will replace the current 17-inch seats and seat aisles will also be widened to 48 inches from 36. Grandstand renovations also include the building of new premium level seats and additional ADA seating at the top of various sections. New semi-ambulatory seats will also be spread throughout the stadium to accommodate fans.(TSS PR)(11-1-2009)

    • Racing for Wildlife preserves Talladega mountain ridge: Racing for Wildlife, a organization spearheaded by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman to preserve land for hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities, announced its first property acquisition this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The 1,100 acres along the eight-mile ridge of Rebecca Mountain in the Talladega National Forest will allow the U.S. Forest Service to complete a portion of the Pinhoti Trail, which connects Rebecca Mountain to the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. The property will be available for hiking, camping and recreation.(Alabama Live)(11-1-2009)


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