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  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    OCTOBER 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, 30, 31


      News from October 31, 2009

    • Race Coverage of the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 1, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:19pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      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

    • Pit Stall Selections - Talladega: The selections of pit stalls for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway have been made. Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #5-Martin took pit stall 29, the second pit with an opening in front of it.
      #24-Gordon, who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the first stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #07-Bowyer, who starts 19th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Talladega Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-31-2009)

    • Qualifying rained out; Johnson on pole: Rain at Talladega, AL cause qualifying for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway to be cancelled and the field has been set by the NASCAR rule book: Top 35 in owners points, past winner as owner [#09], then the remaining seven cars by race attempts. It is the sixth time qualifying has been rained out this season. #48-Johnson will start on the pole followed by #5-Martin, #24-Gordon, #14-Stewart, #42-Montoya, #2-Busch, #39-Newman, #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards, #9-Kahne, and #83-Vickers. The #37-Tony Raines team withdrew this morning so there were only 43 attempting the race. No one was sent home. See the starting lineup on the Talladega Qualifying / Starting Lineup Page.(10-31-2009)

    • Kurt Busch talks about progress on new crew chief: from a Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Kurt Busch [#2 Miller Lite Dodge] Open Interview - Talladega:
      WHERE DOES YOUR TEAM STAND WITH GETTING A NEW CREW CHIEF FOR NEXT YEAR? IS THERE ANY INTEREST IN STEVE ADDINGTON?
      Kurt Busch: "I feel like what we've done internally at Penske Racing has been smart; we've been patient. We still find ourselves with an outside shot at the championship and that's what we're going to base our decision off of when we do make a change or move somebody in. A guy like Steve Addington, to hear the news, you have to talk to a guy like J.D. Gibbs before you move on and find out what the story is and if he's available. Those are the types of guys we'd love to talk to and see if we can match up."(Dodge Motorsports)(10-31-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 31 -- 2004: Martin Truex Jr. finishes 37th in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in his Cup series debut. Truex also gets his first Cup series DNF that day when his engine dies after 259 laps of the 325-lap race.(NASCAR.com)

    • Kurt Busch will run the older Dodge engine at Talladega: from a Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes - Kurt Busch [#2 Miller Lite Dodge] Open Interview - Talladega:
      CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH WORKING WITH JASPER ENGINES? "That's our engine shop and that's where we build the horsepower that we need for the open motors and the restrictor-plate motors. We've phased in our R6 for this race. The 12 [Stremme] and 77 [Hornish Jr.] cars for Penske Racing will be racing the new engine (R6). I'll still have the R5 package because of the durability questions. The power still shows the same. For us being in the Chase, you can't afford to have an engine failure. We needed to go with the given. With those guys running the new R6 engine, it helps us get ready for Daytona in 2010."(Dodge Motorsports)(10-31-2009)

    • Sad News - "Skimp" Latford: 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)

    • NASCAR happy with Talladega speeds: NASCAR is happy with the speeds of the Sprint Cup cars in practice and there are no plans to change the restrictor plates for qualifying or the race this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Friday night. Sprint Cup teams are using restrictor plates with holes 59/64ths of an inch in diameter, which is 1/64th of an inch smaller than what was used in April at Talladega. The entry blank for the race specifically states that NASCAR can change the restrictor plates after practice Friday. With temperatures in the 60s but a little wind that possibly slowed down the cars, the top speed in first practice Friday was 195.944 mph and the top speed in final practice was 193.154 mph. Last April, the top speed in first practice was 197.472 while in second practice it was 194.904.(SceneDaily)(10-31-2009)

    • NASCAR holds "town hall"; plans changes to car in 2011: NASCAR held invitation-only meetings at their Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. this week to discuss the future of the sport. On Tuesday, the meeting focused primarily on competition with drivers Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle joining crew chiefs, engineers and technical directors. A second meeting was held on Wednesday with team owners and principals as a follow-up to the discussions held in May. The primary focus of the meetings: How can NASCAR help the competitors to make the sport stronger? Participation was encouraged according to three principals that spoke on the grounds of anonymity. Some of the high points included:
      # How can we make the overall product better?
      # While there won't be any sizeable changes in the rules package for 2010, NASCAR wanted to make sure that competitors understood that an open door policy exists.
      # What can the sport do to make participation more cost effective for the competitors?
      # How do the cars maintain product identification for the manufacturers and remain racy. And once the new Nationwide Series cars come to fruition, how does the sport keep the sportier model from overshadowing the less sexy Cup car. (FoxSports)
      AND NASCAR will make modifications to the Sprint Cup Series car for the 2011 season. At a meeting on Oct. 19, following the races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, manufacturers were told changes would be made "from the centerline to the bumper on down," a source familiar with the situation told FOXSports.com. The alterations will be made to the front fascia - the upper and lower nose of the car. Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said "there was a good open dialog" with manufacturer representatives to discuss what aesthetic changes could be made to the car to improve brand identity. The current car has come under scrutiny from competitors and fans alike for having less resemblance to a showroom model than previous editions. Pemberton said styling changes are almost anticipated given that the car will soon meet the four-year mark. NASCAR is also concerned the sportiness of the new Nationwide Series Car of Tomorrow will have a tendency to overshadow the current Cup car [see images of the Nationwide COT cars on my 2010 Nationwide paint schemes page]. The new Nationwide Series car will be run in four races starting next season. Certainly, the Nationwide COT will provide ideas for future generations of the Cup car. (FoxSports)(10-31-2009)

    • Testing ban has Martin still racing: Now we know why Mark Martin agreed to return to Hendrick Motorsports full time for two years after this season. Testing. Or the lack of it. Martin said on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway he would not have re-upped had testing returned to what it was before being banned at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks at the start of this season.(read more at ESPN Insider)(10-31-2009)

    • Racing returning to North Wilkesboro? North Wilkesboro [N.C.] Speedway, a cornerstone in stock car racing's foundation and a track that occupies a special place in grassroots racing fans' hearts, will reopen next year with a coveted date in the USARacing Pro Cup Championship Series, it was announced Saturday during the drivers meeting prior to the series season finale Strutmasters.com 250 at South Boston Speedway. Scheduled for Oct. 3, 2010, the race will be on the traditional fall weekend that for many years hosted NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series from NASCAR's inception in 1949 until the track closed after its fall race in 1996. Its two Cup dates were then moved to New Hampshire and Texas. But with the dawn of the 2010 racing season, the 0.625-mile track will again assume its rightful place in the stock car racing community. “We are extremely pleased to be the first national touring racing series to return to the true roots of stock car racing,” USARacing Managing Partner Larry Camp said. “We know the people of Wilkes County and the surrounding area of North Carolina have missed stock car racing on this storied track. “All of us at the USARacing Pro Cup Series are proud to be a part of this rebirth. Personally, I know the Staley family, Junior Johnson and the many stock car racing purists will mark Oct. 3, 2010, as a red letter day in the sport. I know Benny Parsons would be extremely proud of (his wife) Terri for helping return stock car racing to the county that he and his family so dearly loved.” In addition to Mrs. Parsons, the new ownership group consists of Alton McBride Sr., Alton McBride Jr., Dave Ehret, John Burwell and Bosco Lowe.(Stock Car History Online)(10-31-2009)

    • ZZ Top Trio To Serve As Grand Marshals For Dickies 500: The group known as the “Little Ol’ Band from Texas,” the legendary rock band ZZ Top, will serve as grand marshals for the Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The trio of Billy F Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard will give the command to the 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to start their engines prior to the start of the Dickies 500. The group, celebrating its year-long 40th anniversary, will headline the American Racing Custom Wheels Pre-Race Show with a free concert at the Nov. 8 Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. ZZ Top will be the featured act during the 2½ -hour pre-race show that also will include the RE/MAX Skydiving team, Texas Christian University Marching Band, U.S. Army Reserve Command, 11th Aviation Command and the 7-158th Aviations Regiment. The American Racing Custom Wheels Pre-Race Show, which begins at 11:45am/ct, will have ZZ Top take the stage on the speedway’s frontstretch beginning at 12:30pm for a one-hour set. ABC-TV, which will broadcast the Dickies 500, is scheduled to air ZZ Top performing one of their hits from the American Racing Custom Wheels Pre-Race Show during the network’s pre-race show leading up to the Dickies 500. The concert is free to all fans with a race ticket. Race fans can get up close and personal with the band next to the frontstretch stage by purchasing a special “Mosh Pit” ticket. For $79, fans can enjoy a front row spot as well as enjoy the rest of the prerace activities, including driver introductions, from that vantage point. To purchase a special “Mosh Pit” ticket or tickets to the Dickies 500 call (817) 215-8500 or visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(10-31-2009)

    • Rittenberry moves to PBIR: Jason Rittenberry has been named president and chief executive officer of Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida. Rittenberry will be replacing Ron Dixon, who will be moving on from the day to day operating role he has held for the past year. Rittenberry, 34, comes to Palm Beach International Raceway from Memphis Motorsports Park, where he has served as vice president and general manager since 2001 and will report directly to the Management Committee of the partnership group that owns PBIR. (PBIR)(10-31-2009)


      News from October 30, 2009

    • Happy Hour/Final Practice for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is over, the fastest:
      #33-Bowyer 193.154
      #55-Waltrip 192.116
      #48-Johnson 191.214
      #43-Sorenson 191.016
      #2-Busch 190.863
      slowest: #66-Blaney 180.041 & #77-Hornish 178.490. 38 cars have been on track.
      notes: NASCAR spent much of the session warning drivers to not drive so agressively during practice. Midway through the session, #55-Waltrip was temporarily parked by NASCAR after bump drafting in the corners.
      See speeds, ave speed. laps run and more on my Talladega Practice Speeds Page.(10-30-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers practice in Happy Hour at Talladega Superspeedway:
      (in current points order)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3rd fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 16th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 6th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 12th
      5) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, did not practice
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 5th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 18th
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 10th
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 29th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 14th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 13th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 28th
      See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Talladega Practice Speeds Page.(10-30-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers in Happy Hour at Talladega Superspeedway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #36-Robert Richardson, 21st
      #82-Scott Speed, 22nd
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 23rd
      #13-Max Papis, 30th
      #78-Regan Smith, 32nd
      #37-Tony Raines, 36th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 37th
      #71-Bobby Labonte, did not practice (has past champ provisional)
      this driver would miss the race if things stayed the same:
      #09-Brad Keselowski, did not practice
      See speeds, ave speed. laps run and more on my Talladega Practice Speeds Page.(10-30-2009)

    • The First Practice for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is over, the fastest:
      #9-Kahne 195.944
      #11-Hamlin 195.944
      #98-Menard 197.701
      #98-Darnell 194.595
      #20-Logano 194.149
      slowest: #37-Raines 181.415 & #66-Blaney 180.203
      incidents: Several cars bumped off each other early in the session causing #33-Bowyer to spin and #77 Hornish to suffer sheetmetal damage. Bowyer's crew will repair his car, Hornish will go to a backup.
      See speeds, ave speed. laps run and more on my Talladega Practice Speeds Page.(10-30-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers practice in the first Friday practice at Talladega Superspeedway:
      (in current points order)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 13th fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 26th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 16th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 25th
      5) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 36th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 20th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 19th
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 17th
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 2nd
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 6th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 1st
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 33rd
      See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Talladega Practice Speeds Page.(10-30-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice in the 1st session at Talladega Superspeedway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #78-Regan Smith, 24th
      #09-Brad Keselowski, 37th
      #71-Bobby Labonte, 38th
      #82-Scott Speed, 39th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
      #36-Robert Richardson, 41st
      #13-Max Papis, 42nd
      #37-Tony Raines, 43rd
      this driver would miss the race if things stayed the same:
      #66-Dave Blaney, 44th
      See speeds, ave speed. laps run and more on my Talladega Practice Speeds Page.(10-30-2009)

    • Qualifying Order for the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is posted. 44 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 #5-Martin.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #7-Gordon.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-Richardsom with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #78-Smith.
      See the full qualifying order on the Talladega Qualifying Page.(10-30-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 30 -- 1966: The Allison brothers, Bobby and Donnie, compete in the same Cup Series race for the first time. In their 231 common races, Bobby finishes in front of his brother 146 times. On this day, however, Donnie beats his brother, finishing ninth in the American 500 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Bobby finishes 41st in the 44-car field, retiring after 57 laps with a blown engine.(NASCAR.com)

    • Allmendinger charged with DWI: UPDATES: fined by team: For the second time in a week a NASCAR driver is in trouble with the law. A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #44 car, was arrested for drunk driving, Mooresville police say. Allmendinger was pulled over around 1:30 a.m. Thursday along Highway 150. According to police, Allmendinger blew a .08, which is the legal limit in North Carolina. Last week Mooresville police say alcohol was a factor in an accident involving NASCAR driver and team owner Michael Waltrip. Officers investigating the accident suspected Waltrip was drinking, but when he was given a field sobriety test, he registered a .06. In North Carolina the legal limit is .08.(News Observer)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE: The Richard Petty Motorsports driver, according to the police report, was driving a 2007 Lexus when he was pulled over at 1:27 a.m. He was released to others at the owner's request. Police said he blew a .08 on a breathalyzer test. He has a court date for Dec. 18. "I made an error in judgment last night for which I take full responsibility," Allmendinger said in a statement released by RPM. "I went out to dinner and I had a couple of drinks. I honestly felt fine but I obviously should have erred more on the side of caution particularly given what I do for a living. It was a bad judgment call and I apologize for that ... To my fans, sponsors, team and NASCAR. If anything good can come of this then hopefully I can be an example of being more aware of drinking responsibly and if even if you feel fine, take a cab, call a friend ... just don't risk it. I will do my best to make it right and use this to learn myself and hopefully educate others." RPM officials said Allmendinger will be in the car this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.(ESPN.com)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE 2: A statement from Richard Petty: "I am deeply disappointed this has happened. AJ has accepted full responsibility for his actions and will work to make this right. On behalf of everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports we sincerely apologize to our fans and partners."(RPM PR)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE 3: AJ Allmendinger, driver for the #44 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Allmendinger has violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. (NASCAR PR)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE 4: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that it has taken the following actions in response to the incident involving driver A.J. Allmendinger: “We are disappointed with his actions. A.J. has told us that he has accepted full responsibility for his actions and will do what is right. We have placed A.J. on probation through the end of the 2010 racing season. In addition, he will be fined $10,000 which will be donated to charity.”(RPM PR)(10-30-2009)
      UPDATE 5: AJ Allmendinger was administered a breathalyzer prior to Friday's first Sprint Cup practice at Talladega Superspeedway. Allmendinger has been placed on probation by NASCAR through the end of the season and, according to sources close to the situation, will be monitored closely by the governing body during that time. Allmendinger said he hopes the incident will not impact his future. "It's not the first I've ever made. It's the biggest mistake I've made to this magnitude. A lot of people make mistakes and get a second opportunity.''(ESPN.com)(10-30-2009)

    • Choctaw Casino Resort sponsoring Mears at Texas: Richard Childress Racing has partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for a one-race primary sponsorship of the #07 Choctaw Casino Resort Chevy in the November 8 Dickies 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The Choctaw Casino Resort, in Durant, Oklahoma, approximately 105 miles northeast of Texas Motor Speedway, is undergoing a major expansion. Projected to open in February 2010, the new casino will be 110,000 square feet and house approximately 3,000 slot machines, 30 poker tables and 40 table games. Jack Daniel’s, the primary sponsor of the #07 team for the majority of the season, will serve as an associate sponsor for the Texas Motor Speedway race and will return to its primary position for the final two races of the season.(RCR PR)(10-30-2009)

    • McGrew will stay with Earnhardt, Jr.: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick has named Lance McGrew the full-time crew chief of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevys driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series. The 41-year-old McGrew assumed the role May 28 on an interim basis. "I have total faith in Lance and what he's capable of accomplishing with Dale Jr.," Hendrick said. "There was a lot of pressure with how he came into this deal, and the way he's handled it has been extremely impressive. Lance is confident in himself and in his decisions, and all the outside distractions aren't going to faze him. He's a strong-willed guy who will keep his eye on the ball and not settle." McGrew will complete the final four races of the 2009 schedule, beginning with this weekend's AMP Energy 500 at Talladega, Ala., and return in 2010, which will mark the 11th full-time Sprint Cup season for Earnhardt.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(10-30-2009)

    • Steve Addington looking at options: Steve Addington said he was "surprised" by the change that will put replace him as Kyle Busch's crew chief and plans to explore all options inside and outside of Joe Gibbs Racing. On Tuesday, JGR announced that Dave Rogers, who has worked in JGR's Nationwide Series program will take over as crew chief of the #18 following Sunday's race at Tallaadega Superspeedway. Is it possible that Addington will leave JGR for another Sprint Cup Series team? "That would be ironic," Addington said Friday morning at Talladega. "Yes, I'm going to look at everything." One of those options could be the #2 Penske Racing car of Kurt Busch, which is losing Pat Tryson to Michael Waltrip Racing after this season. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. also could be in the market for a new crew chief, but Addington said he has yet to be contacted by anyone high up at Hendrick Motorsports.(ESPN.com)(10-30-2009)

    • New associate sponsor for Robby: Coburn Supply Company has joined Robby Gordon Motorsports as an associate sponsor of the #7 this weekend in Talladega. Coburn Supply Company has been recognized for many years as a leader in the wholesale distribution of quality plumbing products.(RGM PR)(10-30-2009)

    • 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)

    • Mayfield holding auction: Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield is selling items worth about $5 million on the auction block next month [November 20th] as part of a favorite hobby of the N.C. resident. During the past year, the former driver has faced a swarm of controversy, including alleged drug abuse and a suspension from NASCAR. But the auction isn’t because Mayfield is on hard times – he says his auction is an annual tradition on the farm. “I think this is going to be huge because we've got so much different stuff,” said Mayfield. “Got some land involved in it, heavy equipment, tools… it should be fun. It's all I do all the time is try to find the nearest auction around, just trying to get a deal and just trying to outbid somebody. It's kind of competitive and sometimes I've ended up with stuff I didn't want just cause I got excited and started to bid against somebody.” The auction includes 475 acres of land, a home under renovation, jewelry, guns and cars from Mayfield’s personal collection. “He has a good fan base and I believe the fans will come out and support him during auction,” said Will Lilly of Iron Horse Auction Co.(news14.com)(10-30-2009)

    • JTG-MWR to continue alliance: UPDATE: JTG Daugherty Racing has extended its technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing for another season, JTG Daugherty co-owner Tad Geschickter confirmed Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. The two organizations began a technical alliance this year with the JTG Daugherty crew working out of the MWR shop. MWR builds the cars, and then the JTG Daugherty team works on them there. Officials from both teams have been saying for weeks that they wanted the alliance to continue. JTG Daugherty driver #47-Marcos Ambrose, in his first full season, is 17th in the Sprint Cup standings.(SceneDaily)(10-25-2009)
      UPDATE: Marcos Ambrose and JTG Daugherty Racing will continue to run out of the Michael Waltrip Racing stable for the next two seasons after JTGD and MWR confirmed this week that the two teams will continue to operate under a technical alliance for 2010 and 2011. Ambrose, who is under contract for JTG Daugherty Racing for 2010 and 2011, is excited by the continuity that this deal brings to his racing program, having benefitted from the relationship greatly as part of an impressive first season in the top-flight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(10-30-2009)

    • Drivers who won in 2008 and have yet to win in 2009: #16-Greg Biffle last won at Dover in September 2008 and has a six year streak of winning a race every year. #31-Jeff Burton last won at Charlotte in October 2008 and has a three season streak; #99-Carl Edwards last won the 2008 season finale at Homestead and has a 2 year streak; #33-Clint Bowyer last won at Richmond in May 2008 and has a two year streak; #39-Ryan Newman last win was the 2008 Daytona 500 and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. last won at Michigan in June 2008 after a winless 2007. See All-time winners list, active winners, many winner stats, crew chief wins and more on my All-Time Winners page.(10-30-2009)

    • Subway returns for Edwards: The #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Carl Edwards will carry the Subway paint scheme this weekend. The Subway crew will be unloading chassis RK-650 this weekend. This is the same Ford Fusion that Edwards raced at Daytona in July. He started that race fifth and finished fourth. In his previous 10 starts, Edwards has one top-five and three top-10 finishes at Talladega with an average start of 16.2 and average finish of 24.5. Edwards has completed 83.5% of his laps attempted at Talladega.(RFR), see images of the scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(10-30-2009)

      Talladega Tire Notes: Teams in both of these NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Talladega this weekend, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tire codes that Sprint Cup teams ran at this track earlier this season . . . on the Cup side, this left-side tire code (D-4138) was run at Talladega last season, while this right-side code (D-4224) was introduced this year . . . this is the first time Camping World Truck teams will run either of these two tire codes . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Talladega . . . air pressures in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 34-36 laps, based on fuel mileage. (Goodyear), for tire pressures, codes and more, see my Talladega Race Info - page - Goodyear section.(10-30-2009)

    • Zecol returns to #98: The #98 team will unload the Zecol / Menards Ford for this weekend's AMP Energy 500. Zecol produces Professional quality, High Performance automotive chemicals and additives.(Yates Racing PR)(10-30-2009)

    • Engine Builder Showdown winners: On Oct. 21, Matt Pennell and Scott Vester built their Chevrolet R07 engine in record time (22 minutes and 57 seconds) to win the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown at Hendrick Motorsports. Pennell, a Hendrick Automotive Group (HAG) technician, partnered with Vester, a Hendrick Motorsports engineer, to win the event. Twelve teams, each of which partnered a HAG technician with a Hendrick Motorsports engineer, participated in the two-day competition, which is held in honor of the late engine builder Randy Dorton and sponsored by MAHLE-Clevite.(HMS), see more on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.(10-30-2009)

    • Sad News - Buzz Woodward: Benton H. "Buzz" Woodward Jr., 79, of South Coatesville, PA, died on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, at his farm, which has been in the family since 1850. Buzz was the husband of Mary Brown Woodward, with whom he shared 49 years of marriage on Oct. 10. He worked on the family dairy farm and started an auto repair shop. In 1965, he started Woodward's Towing, which he operated until his death. Buzz's passion was auto racing and he was a member of NASCAR and the Pen-Mar Racing Club. He built and competed in his own car in 13 Sprint Cup Series events during his career, earning five top-10s. Woodward's debut came during the 1956 season, when he competed at Langhorne. Starting 19th in the field of 41, he emerged with a 16th-place finish. He had a solo appearance during the 1957 season at Syracuse, starting 17th out of 24; he wound up eighth. During the nine-race schedule of the 1958 season, he finished 40th in the year-end standings. After finishing 24th during his season opener at Daytona Beach, he finished no worse than 16th during the rest of the year and only had one DNF. During his one race of the 1959 season in a field of 25 at Reading, he finished with a career-best fifth place. His final career race in 1961 at Norwood earned him a seventh-place showing. Surviving him, in addition to his wife, Mary, is a daughter, Rebecca Jane Woodward; a stepson, Emidio Tranquillo; a sister, Jean Herr; two granddaughters, Tiffany Meece and Kimberly Hulse; three great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and a lifelong friend, Harry Johnston. In his memory, contributions may be made to the Chester County Association for the Blind, 71 S. First Ave., Coatesville, PA 19320; or Neighborhood Hospice, 795 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380. Service info and online condolences at www.harrismountainfuneralhome.com(Daily Local News)(10-30-2009)

    • Dover Motorsports shuts down Memphis track: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that it was ceasing all operations at Memphis Motorsports Park and that it would not be promoting any events in Memphis in 2010. As previously announced, the Memphis facility had been under an agreement of sale to Gulf Coast Entertainment but Gulf Coast was unable to secure financing. "This was a difficult decision for us, but one that ultimately was dictated by economics," said Denis McGlynn, President and CEO of Dover Motorsports. "We greatly appreciate the many years of dedication shown by our Memphis employees and their efforts to make Memphis such a great destination for the racing community - from racing fans and drivers to sponsors, team owners and sanctioning bodies. For all concerned, including the Memphis community, it is truly sad to see Memphis Motorsports Park taken off the racing schedule. NASCAR has approved the realignment of our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events from Memphis Motorsports Park to our Nashville and Gateway facilities." The realigned events and dates are as follows:
      NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nashville Superspeedway, April 2, 2010, (together with NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 3, 2010)
      NASCAR Nationwide Series, Gateway International Raceway, October 23, 2010.(Dover Motorsports PR)(10-30-2009)

    • Sen. McCain named Grand Marshal at Phoenix: Arizona Senator John McCain will act as the Grand Marshal for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 15. The role will mark a return to Phoenix International Raceway for the Grand Canyon State's senior senator, who also appeared as Grand Marshal before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track in April 2006. As Grand Marshal, McCain will appear on the pre-race ceremonies stage with Phoenix International Raceway 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. Following driver introductions, McCain will deliver the familiar "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" command to the 43 starters in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field. 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).(Phoenix Raceway PR)(10-30-3009)


      News from October 29, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 29 -- 1950: Lee Petty wins the final race of the Cup Series season for his only victory in 1950. The win at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, N.C., is significant because it enables Petty to have at least one win in each of his first 13 seasons.(NASCAR.com)

    • Allmendinger charged with DWI: UPDATES: placed on probation: For the second time in a week a NASCAR driver is in trouble with the law. A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #44 car, was arrested for drunk driving, Mooresville police say. Allmendinger was pulled over around 1:30 a.m. Thursday along Highway 150. According to police, Allmendinger blew a .08, which is the legal limit in North Carolina. Last week Mooresville police say alcohol was a factor in an accident involving NASCAR driver and team owner Michael Waltrip. Officers investigating the accident suspected Waltrip was drinking, but when he was given a field sobriety test, he registered a .06. In North Carolina the legal limit is .08.(News Observer)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE: The Richard Petty Motorsports driver, according to the police report, was driving a 2007 Lexus when he was pulled over at 1:27 a.m. He was released to others at the owner's request. Police said he blew a .08 on a breathalyzer test. He has a court date for Dec. 18. "I made an error in judgment last night for which I take full responsibility," Allmendinger said in a statement released by RPM. "I went out to dinner and I had a couple of drinks. I honestly felt fine but I obviously should have erred more on the side of caution particularly given what I do for a living. It was a bad judgment call and I apologize for that ... To my fans, sponsors, team and NASCAR. If anything good can come of this then hopefully I can be an example of being more aware of drinking responsibly and if even if you feel fine, take a cab, call a friend ... just don't risk it. I will do my best to make it right and use this to learn myself and hopefully educate others." RPM officials said Allmendinger will be in the car this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.(ESPN.com)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE 2: A statement from Richard Petty: “I am deeply disappointed this has happened. AJ has accepted full responsibility for his actions and will work to make this right. On behalf of everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports we sincerely apologize to our fans and partners.”(RPM PR)(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE 3: AJ Allmendinger, driver for the #44 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Allmendinger has violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. (NASCAR PR)(10-29-2009)

    • Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame inductions: Fans voted in July for the 2009 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees, and on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 7:00pm during Talladega Superspeedway’s AMP Energy 500 weekend, two new names will be added to this prestigious list: Morgan Shepherd and Jack Smith. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega at Davey Allison Memorial Park is both a focal point saluting NASCAR’s greatest names and a tribute to one of racing’s brightest stars – the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans’ vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines.(TSS)(10-29-2009)

    • Final Martinsville TV Ratings posted: ABC's live coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a final national household rating of 2.9, down from the 3.3 rating for last year's race that also aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 4,702,038 viewers. ESPN2's live coverage of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park earned a final household coverage rating of 0.9, averaging 1,161,156 viewers. No direct comparisons can be made to the 2008 race as the event was simulcast on both ESPN Classic and SPEED.(ESPN), see race-by-race, year comparison, ratings chart and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-29-2009)

    • Dodge on the way out?: UPDATE: Four months after exiting a U.S.-funded bankruptcy reorganization, Chrysler Group is about to unveil a product roadmap that relies heavily on vehicles from Italian partner Fiat while abandoning many of the U.S. carmaker's own models. The plan, due to be unveiled Nov. 4, involves the reintroduction of Fiat's premium, sporty Alfa Romeo brand to the U.S. starting in 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported. Chrysler also will introduce the 500, Fiat's tiny car that is popular in Europe, to Americans. It won't, however, attach the Fiat name to it. Chrysler meantime is preparing to phase out many of its current models, particularly Dodge cars, the Journal said.(MSN Money), doesn't mentioned which Dodge models will be part of the phase out or how this move will affect the teams in NASCAR that run the Dodge Charger.(10-29-2009)
      UPDATE: According to the Wall Street Journal, which claims access to people who have seen Fiat's plan for Chrysler, many of the recent rumors regarding current models are incorrect, and Chrysler will incorporate more Fiat Group products than expected. Vehicles planned for the US, according to the Journal article, include a replacement for the Chrysler Sebring, based on a Fiat design. The PT Cruiser, Sebring, Avenger, Compass, Caliber, and Patriot will all have their final year in 2012, with even the popular Dodge Caravan ducking out; the Chrysler Town & Country will be Chrysler's sole minivan, according to the article, though historically the Caravan has sold better. The Nitro will also be dropped. To be kept are the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.(allpar.com)(10-29-2009)

    • Bobby Labonte visits RGM? hearing that Bobby Labonte, who drove the #96 Hall of Fame Racing Ford for the majority of the 2009 season and will finish out the season in the #71 TRG Chevy, recently visited Robby Gordon Motorsports. Supposedly Robby Gordon is considering starting a 2nd team for 2009. Gordon owns and driver the #7 Toyota. And having a driver with a past champion provisional [Labonte won the 2000 Cup Championship] would be attractive to sponsors and a start up team with no owners points as Labonte has a past champions provisional to use.(10-29-2009)

    • "Get on the 88" scheme at Talladega: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy will have a different look this weekend, thanks to the "Get on the 88" promotion from AMP Energy. More than 105,000 fans signed up to put their names on the #88 Chevy or pit wall banner for this weekend's AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The #88 Chevy will feature more than 70,000 names on its black-and-green paint scheme for this weekend's race, while the additional names will appear on the pit wall banner. The fans who signed up to "Get on the 88" can go to www.AMPEnergy.com to find out if their names are on Earnhardt's Chevrolet or pit wall banner. By entering the same e-mail address used during registration, fans can search a grid on the car to see where their names are located. Earnhardt Jr. has led all but two of the 19 Sprint Cup races he has entered at Talladega for a total of 655 laps. Interim crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 engineers have chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-475 for this weekend's 500-mile event at Talladega. Earnhardt Jr. last drove this chassis to a 39th-place finish Daytona in July after being in involved in a mid-race accident. Before that, Earnhardt Jr. raced this chassis to a season-high second-place finish at Talladega in April.(HMS), see images of the "Get on the 88" scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(10-29-2009)

    • Sadler to help out home build:
      Elliott Sadler, driver of the #19 Stanley Dodge/Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, is providing a helping hand to assist a Habitat for Humanity home build for a Birmingham, Ala. family before heading to Talladega Superspeedway for the Nov. 1 Sprint Cup Series race weekend. The Habitat for Humanity build is taking place Thursday, Oct. 29 from 1-3 p.m. at 4900 Michigan Ave., Birmingham, Ala. Sadler is encouraging race fans interesting in lending a hand to stop by. Sadler, a 34-year old native of Emporia, Va., is showing his support on behalf of sponsor Stanley and partner Do It Best. Sadler comments: “I’m excited for the chance to help build a family a place to call home. Habitat for Humanity does great work all over the country and it’s for such a great cause. I’ve been able to help on a couple of builds over the last couple years and it’s something that I really enjoy. I’m lucky to have Stanley as a sponsor - each year they go out of their way to support a lot of great causes." Sadler’s #19 car always features two ribbons next to his name above the driver’s side door—a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon in honor of his mother and a puzzle piece autism ribbon in honor of his niece.(RPM)(10-29-2009)

    • Pop-Tarts on the #5: Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway marks the final outing for the Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST paint scheme. Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, adorned the car at Las Vegas, Bristol, Tenn., and Concord, N.C., this season.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(10-29-2009)

    • Sad News: Dick Thompson: ARRANGEMENTS: Dick Thompson, a pioneer of NASCAR public relations, died Oct. 28, 2009. He was 74. Thompson was the first public relations director at Martinsville Speedway and was only the second full-time public relations representative in NASCAR. H. Clay Earles, Campbell's grandfather and founder of Martinsville Speedway, hired Thompson in 1966. Thompson had previously been a racing reporter for the Roanoke (Va.) Times. He immediately set to work to put Martinsville on the racing map and quickly did so, using every strategy and gimmick possible to draw attention to the famed half-mile track. He was extremely successful, helping Earles guide the track into the new era of NASCAR racing. Thompson retired in January 2005 after nearly 40 years of service.(National Motorsports Press Association)(10-28-2009)
      ARRANGEMENTS: The funeral service for Dick Thompson will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 30, 2009 at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Martinsville, VA, with Pastor Kathy Gochenour officiating. Burial will be at Roselawn Burial Park in Martinsville. The family will receive friends on Thursday evening at Norris Funeral Services, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and other times at the home. Online condolences may be made at www.norrisfuneral.com.(10-29-2009)

    • 82nd Airborne Chorus performing National Anthem at Talladega: The 82nd Airborne Division's "All-American" Chorus from Ft. Bragg, N.C., will perform the national anthem prior to the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Jeff Dubiel, Vice President of Sports for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages will give the drivers' command as Grand Marshal and Ken Strnad, Senior Marketing Manager, AMP Energy Brand Team, will wave the green flag as Honorary Starter. The primary mission of the 82nd's Chorus is serving the soldiers of the U.S. Army and Fort Bragg. However, their dynamic performances have led to an increased demand for them to perform throughout the continental United States. Appearing in their maroon berets and ascots, the troopers of the "All-American" Chorus are truly ambassadors for the 82nd Airborne Division and the United States Army.(TSS)(10-29-2009)


      News from October 28, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 28 -- 1951: Danny Weinberg wins his only Cup Series race in his fifth start, taking the checkered flag in the in a 200-lap race on the half-mile dirt track at Marchbanks Speedway in Hanford, Calif. All 17 of Weinberg's Cup starts, from 1951 to 1964, are in the West -- 15 in California and two at Phoenix. He finishes his Cup career with seven top-fives and nine top-10s.(NASCAR.com)

    • Best Buy moving to the #43? 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 No. 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)

    • Richardson to drive #36 at Talladega: UPDATE: Robert Richardson Jr. will attempt to qualify for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway behind the wheel of Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Toyota. Richardson Jr. has four career starts at the famed Alabama track. He has posted a top-20 finish in all four outings at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. The 26-year-old driver has completed 98 percent of the laps he has attempted and has led one lap around the monstrous track. Mahindra Tractors will appear as the primary sponsor of the #36 Toyota as they attempt to run all 188 laps this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.(TBR/Everest-Marketing Group)(10-27-2009)
      UPDATE: Wave Energy Drink announced their support of Mahindra Tractors as the primary sponsor on Tommy Baldwin's #36 Toyota this weekend at Talladega. Though Wave recently announced their sponsorship extends through the remainder of the 2009 season, this event was previously sold into Baldwin's program. Wave will still be on the car as an associate sponsor at Talladega. "We welcome them on board and wish Robert Richardson and Mahindra Tractors all the best this weekend at Talladega," said Jason Wolter, Wave VP of Marketing. "We're glad that Tommy [Baldwin] has some additional support for this event-anything that makes his program stronger helps us all bring synergy to a deserving program," he added.(Wave Energy Drink)(10-28-2009)

    • Congrats - Chip Goode: New Addition to the Target Family: Pit crew coach and rear tire carrier for the #42 Target team, Chip Goode, welcomed a new addition to the family. Goode and his wife, MacKenzie, are the proud new parents of a healthy baby girl. Quinby Tate Goode was born on October 20.(EGR)(10-28-2009)

    • Sad News: Dick Thompson: Dick Thompson, a pioneer of NASCAR public relations, died Oct. 28, 2009. He was 74. Thompson was the first public relations director at Martinsville Speedway and was only the second full-time public relations representative in NASCAR. H. Clay Earles, Campbell’s grandfather and founder of Martinsville Speedway, hired Thompson in 1966. Thompson had previously been a racing reporter for the Roanoke (Va.) Times. He immediately set to work to put Martinsville on the racing map and quickly did so, using every strategy and gimmick possible to draw attention to the famed half-mile track. He was extremely successful, helping Earles guide the track into the new era of NASCAR racing. Thompson retired in January 2005 after nearly 40 years of service.(National Motorsports Press Association)(10-28-2009)

    • New Ford engine not in full time use until mid-2010: Although Ford is getting its new FR9 engine ready for Sprint Cup competition this weekend, it's unlikely all Ford teams will be using the new engine full time until the middle of the 2010, engine builder Doug Yates said Tuesday. The engine will make its debut this weekend in the restrictor-plate race at Talladega Superspeedway in the Roush Fenway Racing cars of David Ragan and Matt Kenseth. It likely will also be used at a race track where the air running through the engine is unrestricted by the end of the season. But a full rollout, if Roush Yates Engines has the eight full-time teams it expects to have, won't even be done for the start of the 2010 season. One of the reasons the engine is being introduced at Talladega is so that it could be used with confidence next year at the Daytona 500. Yates said their unrestricted engines can generate 900 horsepower; a restricted engine generates about 450 horsepower. Ford officials had predicted earlier this year that the new engine would roll out sometime in the second half of the season, although Talladega is a little later than anticipated. The new engine could impact the handling of the car as it should give it a slightly lower center of gravity. Yates said all the teams that test at the Goodyear tire test Monday and Tuesday at Daytona will have the current engine and not the new engine.(SceneDaily)(10-28-2009)

    • Liberty Medical on the #43: This November, Liberty Medical is sponsoring #43-Reed Sorenson in observance of American Diabetes Month, to help raise awareness of this dangerous disease that has reached epidemic proportions. Liberty Medical is also a proud sponsor of The American Diabetes Association, which observes American Diabetes Month every November. Liberty Medical Supply, Inc., a Medco Health Solutions Inc., company, is the nation's largest provider of blood glucose testing supplies and related services to people with diabetes, serving over one million diabetes patients. Liberty also offers a full service pharmacy to meet patients' medication needs and provides education to help its patients better manage their health conditions.(RPM PR)(10-28-2009)

    • Earnhardt Jr. presenting at CMA Awards: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make a pit stop with country's finest when he appears as a presenter at the Nov. 11 Country Music Awards, the Nashville-based CMA tells People Magazine. Earnhardt is part of a round of presenters announced by the CMA for ceremony, which will air on ABC. Others include LeAnn Rimes, Kellie Pickler, Julianne Hough, and nominees Randy Houser (for new artist and video of the year) and Jake Owen (for new artist), along with the network's Robin Roberts and the stars of ABC's Wednesday night comedy The Middle, Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn.(People.com)(10-28-2009)

    • Final BB&T race for Bowyer: Talladega will mark the final race of the 2009 season where #33-Clint Bowyer's Chevy will sport the burgundy, white and gold paint scheme of Winston-Salem, N.C.,- based BB&T. The sponsor will once again support Bowyer's efforts for the 2010 season.(RCR PR), for an image of the car, see my #33 team paint scheme page.(10-28-2009)

    • Forsyth Tech names motorsports school after Childress: The motorsports technology program at Forsyth Technical Community College has been renamed Richard Childress Race Car Technology at Forsyth Tech. Richard Childress Racing has a long-standing relationship with Forsyth Tech and employs a number of its graduates. Forsyth Tech has been named a Center of Excellence for Motorsports by the North Carolina Motorsports Consortium. Childress was on-hand for the announcement held on the campus in Winston-Salem, N.C.(RCR PR)(10-28-2009)

    • Johnson's Crew Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson's crew took top honors at Martinsville Speedway, winning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Sprint Cup race. It was the fourth Tissot win of the season for the #48 crew, which has played a key role in Johnson's dominating performance in the first six Chase races, including his runner-up finish at Martinsville. Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road (329.445 seconds) during the TUMS Fast Relief 500. Johnson's over-the-wall crew consists of: Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Art Simmons (front-tire carrier), Jon Lucas (rear-tire changer), Andy Brown (rear-tire carrier), Kenneth Purcell (jackman), Rich Gutierrez (gasman), Mike Knauer (catch can) and Ron Malec (eighth man). The team's crew chief is Chad Knaus. Johnson's crew along with the crews of Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon are in a close competition for the Tissot season title with four races remaining. Biffle's crew leads with six wins, Gordon's crew is second with five wins and Johnson's crew is in third with four wins.(Tissot)(10-28-2009)

    • Backstretch Buster seats sold out at Texas: Fans have responded once again to the popular “Backstretch Buster” tickets as the $20 seats have sold out for the Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Nov. 8 at Texas Motor Speedway. The $20 seats, located along the first two rows of the backstretch, are the most inexpensive ticket ever offered at Texas Motor Speedway for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and the special was implemented this year in an effort to offset the challenges of the difficult economic climate. The “Backstretch Buster” special debuted with the Samsung 500 Sprint Cup Series race in April and promptly sold out as well. Fans that missed out on the “Backstretch Buster” seats for the Dickies 500 can still take advantage of other fan friendly deals. On the backstretch, rows three and higher are priced at $40 per seat and the popular 7-Eleven Family 4-Pack offers four tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola beverages for just $159. For those looking for a deal on the frontstretch, the limited Dickies 4-Packs remain available. Starting at $133, the Dickies 4-Pack provides a ticket to all four days of action (Nov. 5-8) including the Dickies 500, O’Reilly Challenge Nationwide Series race and WinStar World Casino 350k Camping World Truck Series event. The 4-Pack also includes qualifying and practice sessions for all three series as well. For more ticket information, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS)(10-28-2009)


      News from October 27, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 27 -- 2002: One week after winning at Martinsville, Cup Series driver Kurt Busch wins the NAPA 500 at Atlanta for his second consecutive victory. It is the only time in his 10-year, 19-win career Busch has won consecutive Cup races.(NASCAR.com)

    • Richardson to drive #36 at Talladega: Robert Richardson Jr. will attempt to qualify for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway behind the wheel of Tommy Baldwin Racing’s #36 Toyota. Richardson Jr. has four career starts at the famed Alabama track. He has posted a top-20 finish in all four outings at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. The 26-year-old driver has completed 98 percent of the laps he has attempted and has led one lap around the monstrous track. Mahindra Tractors will appear as the primary sponsor of the #36 Toyota as they attempt to run all 188 laps this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.(TBR/Everest-Marketing Group)(10-27-2009)

    • BAM Racing forms alliance with Warner Music Nashville: BAM Racing and Warner Music Nashville announced a strategic marketing alliance that will give WMN exclusive promotional opportunities with the NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team. Under the agreement, WMN artists will have the opportunity to participate in branding and promotional programs at NASCAR events, including artist tie-ins, sponsorships and promotional appearances, as well as exclusive positioning for their images and branding on BAM's #49 racecar, show cars, transporter and pit equipment. The first BAM promotional event with WMN artists is scheduled to take place on February 6, 2010 at the Daytona International Speedway.(BAM Racing PR)(10-27-2009)

    • Talladega Rookie Notes and Facts: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the October 26 TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Logano scored a 12th-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the third consecutive race and for the 23rd time this season. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 29 points (227-198) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the November 1 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The only Raybestos Rookie to win the AMP Energy 500 is Ron Bouchard. Bouchard won the 1981 Talladega 500 by inches over Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte in a photo finish. Two Raybestos Rookies have won the pole for the AMP Energy 500 since 1975: Geoffrey Bodine (1982) and Jimmie Johnson (2003). The late Davey Allison holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in the AMP Energy 500. Allison led seven times for 77 laps on his way to a second place finish in 1987. Ryan Newman holds the all-time Raybestos Rookie record for most poles (6), most top-fives (14) and most top-10s (22).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos) and see rookie standings, hosatory and more on my 2009 Rookies page.(10-27-2009)

    • New crew chief for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of #18-Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington. "There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that? You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out." Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007. "Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season." Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."(ESPN)(10-25-2009)
      UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Dave Rogers will be assuming the duties as crew chief for the Sprint Cup Series #18 Toyota starting with the November 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Steve Addington, who has served as crew chief for the #18 team the previous five seasons will be reassigned to a position within JGR following this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway. Rogers is currently in his fourth season as crew chief on the #20 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for JGR. He led the team to JGR's first Nationwide Series Owner's Championship in 2008 amassing nine victories, six poles, 16 top-five finishes and 26 top-10 finishes despite utilizing four different drivers over the course of the season. The team has captured another five wins thus far this season under Rogers' leadership. He first joined JGR in 1998 and spent six seasons from 1999 to 2004 working under Greg Zipadelli with the #20 team, including the team's 2002 Championship season.(JGR PR)(10-27-2009)

    • Sadler officially in a Ford at 'Dega: Elliott Sadler’s #19 Stanley car will race as a Ford for the first time in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Sadler is racing the Ford Fusion in preparation for Richard Petty Motorsports switch to Ford beginning in 2010. Sadler will return to his familiar #19 Dodge entry for the final three races of 2009. ON DRIVING A FORD AT TALLADEGA: “Richard Petty Motorsports is working with Ford Racing as we get ready to make the full-time switch at Daytona in 2010. Since this is the final restrictor plate race of the season, we made the decision to run a Ford to get some work done in advance. This will be our first time to practice and work on a Fusion under real race conditions. It should help us get ready to make a strong showing at Daytona and put us in the best position to start next season. I’ll be back in a Dodge at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead, but since it’s important to start a season off on the right foot we thought we’d try to get a head start.”(RPM)(10-27-2009)

    • Chase stats going into Talladega: #48-Jimmie Johnson's torrid run in Chase VI continued Sunday with another podium finish at Martinsville. Since finishing 24th at Talladega in the fourth Chase race in 2006, Johnson has accomplished the following over the last 32 chase races:
      * No finish worse than 15th
      * 28 Top 10s out of 32 races
      * 22 Top 5s
      * 20 Podium Finishes [top 3]
      * 11 Wins
      The #48 figures to hang out in the back at Talladega on Sunday, and make a run to the front over the last 10 to 15 laps. A top five at Dega would encourage the Sprint Cup engravers to get to work. Johnson's Dega finishes in the last three title runs: 24th in 2006, 2nd in 2007 and 9th in 2008. Johnson's 118-point lead over Mark Martin is not his greater margin after six Chase races. Last year, he led by 149 at the six-race mark. The difference is, Talladega was race #4 on last year's schedule. While Jimmie Johnson may hang in the back Sunday, #5-Mark Martin and #24-Jeff Gordon must go for it. Given the fact the #5 and #24 are the only two within one race range of Johnson, it figures the title will be won by one of the three Hendrick teammates.
      After six Chase races [of 10], #48-Jimmie Johnson has the 2nd largest points lead of any of the 6 Chases [2004-2009]. The points leaders after six races in each of the 6 chase seasons:
      2009: Jimmie Johnson 118 points ahead of Mark Martin
      2008: Jimmie Johnson 149 points ahead of Greg Biffle
      2007: Jeff Gordon 53 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson
      2006: Matt Kenseth 30 points ahead of Kevin Harvick (Johnson was 3rd -41 and won the Chase)
      2005: Tony Stewart 15 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson
      2004: Kurt Busch 96 points ahead of Jeff Gordon
      (season champ in bold), see year-by-year comparision after 6 races, race-by-race for 2009 on my Chase Stats page and Chase history, how things would had looked back to 1975 if the Chase was used, on my 2009 Chase Rules and History page.(10-27-2009)

    • Griese apologizes for Montoya 'Taco' remark UPDATE suspended: ABC college football analyst Bob Griese apologized Saturday a comment he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya during the network's broadcast of Ohio State's 38-7 victory over Minnesota. The network was promoting its broadcast of Sunday's NASCAR race from Martinsville while showing the top five drivers in the Sprint Cup Series standings on screen. Fellow broadcaster Chris Speilman asked where Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya was (Montoya dropped from the top five after finishing 35th last week at Charlotte). Griese replied, "He's out having a taco." As the game neared its end, Griese offered an on-air apology. "Juan Pablo Montoya, he's one of the best drivers in NASCAR," Griese said. "Just want to apologize for the comment I made earlier in the ballgame."(USA Today)(10-24-2009)
      UPDATE: ESPN broadcaster Bob Griese has been suspended one week for a remark he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz says Griese will not be working a game this week. Krulewitz says ESPN has spoken to Griese and "he understands the comment was inappropriate." During ESPN's broadcast of the Minnesota-Ohio State game Saturday, a graphic was shown listing the top five drivers in NASCAR's points race. Fellow analyst Chris Spielman asked where was Montoya, who is Colombian. Griese replied he was "out having a taco." He has twice apologized on air for the remark. Montoya is declining to comment on Griese's suspension. He brushed off the remark Sunday, and said he'd never heard of Griese.(Associated Press)(10-27-2009)

    • Edwards hopes to meet with injured fan: #99-Carl Edwards is looking forward to one aspect of returning to Talladega Superspeedway one week from this Sunday. He hopes to be able to meet in person with Blake Bobbitt, the young woman whose jaw was broken when a piece of Edwards' #99 Ford flew into the frontstretch grandstands as the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race reached its wild and controversial conclusion this past April. "We text back and forth," Edwards said. "And I think she's going to come down and say hey at Talladega, so that's cool." Bobbitt had to be helped to a local hospital after the incident. Then 17 (she since has celebrated her 18th birthday and graduated from high school), Bobbitt underwent reconstructive surgery where two plates had to be inserted in her jaw, which was then wired shut for six weeks. Edwards said he called Bobbitt recently and had a "really positive conversation" with her. "A piece of my car hit her in the face. I just felt bad. I wanted to talk to her about it," Edwards said. "I just wanted her to know that everybody on my team was behind her and wanted to help her. She's doing OK. She had a broken jaw. We didn't talk at length about her injuries -- but the way I understand it, it broke her jaw and knocked [some of] her teeth out. So it was a bad deal. It was right before she graduated high school, so that was tough. From what I can tell, she handled it well." Edwards said when he discovered Bobbitt and seven other fans had been injured (the rest were relatively minor injuries) as a result of his airborne car slamming into the catch fence, it was a horrible feeling. "That's the worst feeling I've had in racing," Edwards said. "When I landed in my airplane in Washington [D.C.] after that race -- I was going to a Ford appearance -- Randy [Fuller], my PR guy, told me, 'Look, there were some people injured.' That was a really bad feeling." Edwards said he looks forward to meeting in person with Bobbitt -- even if he's not all that pumped about participating in the upcoming race at Talladega. "She's really nice and she's a pretty cool chick," Edwards said. "We've been talking a little bit and I think she's gonna come out to the race. Hopefully, we'll be able to meet up, but that was crazy. I hope nothing like that happens again."
      Rick Humphrey, the president of Talladega Superspeedway, hired an outside engineering firm to examine what could be done to his track's infrastructure to improve safety in the aftermath of Edwards' accident. Humphrey recently announced that the catch fence along the frontstretch has been raised an additional eight feet, from 14 to 22 feet.(in part from NASCAR.com)(10-27-2009)

    • Andretti's defends NASCAR's late call: #34-John Andretti defended NASCAR's decision not to throw a caution when he couldn't move his disabled car from the finish line at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Andretti crashed on the frontstretch during the next to last lap of the race, and NASCAR apparently believed he could move his car out of the way in time for the field to race its way across the finish line. Because he couldn't, the caution wasn't called until the cars were coming out of the final turn and quickly closing in on Andretti. "It wasn't a bad call," Andretti said in a statement on Monday. "To me, I wasn't in a great position, but I wasn't in an overly dangerous position. NASCAR focuses on the race itself, and they want to see the winner come across the finish line. It's probably the call I would've made. I would've gotten out of the way if I could've. But I had a couple of issues. The car was too damaged." It's second time since the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship that NASCAR waited until the last moment to call a caution for an accident near the start/finish line. A similar incident occurred last month in the Chase opener at New Hampshire. Race-winner Denny Hamlin said he thought Andretti's car did not pose a threat to the other competitors and NASCAR made the right call.(Associated Press)(10-27-2009)

    • Special scheme for Montoya at Texas: #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)

    • NASCAR Foundation grants $100G to Childress Institute: NASCAR President and The NASCAR Foundation Board Member Mike Helton presented Richard Childress and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma (CIPT) with a $100,000 grant from The NASCAR Foundation during Richard Childress Racing's 40th Anniversary dinner. Approximately 12,400 children under the age of 18 die each year from traumatic injury. At the same time, more than 30 trauma centers in the U.S. have closed since 2001, and many others have cut back on the services they offer. The donation was made in an effort to continue funding the critical research and physicians needed to counter this number one killer of children. "The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma serves a great need within the medical community, and we are proud to help fund the research that is working to reduce the occurrence of death by traumatic injury among young people," said Helton. "Richard and Judy [Childress] have demonstrated their giving nature and that of the NASCAR industry with their commitment to giving back to those who need it most." The NASCAR Foundation and CIPT have also partnered on an online auction of a fiberglass pig statue sponsored by Richard Childress Racing for its 40th anniversary celebration. The statue is part of the Pigs in the City community art initiative hosted by Uptown Lexington, Inc., in Lexington, N.C, and is autographed by more than 40 NASCAR stars. The auction ends today [Oct 27th], more info on my Racing Charities page.(10-27-2009)

    • AeroDyn Wind Tunnel honored: President and CEO of AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, Mr. Gary W. Eaker, received the 2009 Freedom Award at a September 17 ceremony in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. AeroDyn Wind Tunnel, is the recipient of the 2009 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award in the Small Business category, specializes in wind tunnel testing for automotive racing. Located in Mooresville, NC, 5 of AeroDyn Wind Tunnel's 21 employees have served or are serving in the military. Employer support of the military is a company policy, detailed in AeroDyn Wind Tunnel's "Commitment to Guardsmen, Reservists and their Families" section of their employee handbook. The company offers outstanding support to its activated National Guard and Reserve employees and their families by providing differential pay during deployment; continued employee and enrolled family members' medical and life insurance benefits during active duty. The company also provides ongoing support and contact via video, phone calls and emails between the deployed employee and their family. Prior to the deployment of an employee, AeroDyn Wind Tunnel closes its 24-hour business for an entire night so that all employees and their spouses could attend a farewell boat cruise. AeroDyn Wind Tunnel actively recruits National Guardsmen and Reservists because of their values, education, training, leadership skills and teamwork. The company has received multiple ESGR state awards including two Patriot Awards, an Above and Beyond Award and the 2008 Pro Patria Award.(Secretary of Defense)(10-27-2009)

    • TV commercial features Windshear Wind Tunnel: Windshear, the first full scale rolling road wind tunnel in the U.S., is now being featured in a Lexus commercial airing throughout the U.S. When Lexus needed a way to demonstrate its 2010 ES model, it found the solution at Windshear. It was filmed during a three-day production in July. Windshear, Inc., headquartered in Concord, N.C., operates the only commercially available full-scale single-belt, rolling road wind tunnel in the world. The firm's clients include top-level motorsports organizations from NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One as well as auto manufacturers. Windshear is an independently operated entity of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool builder in the world.(10-27-2009)

    • Talladega Offering Kids Meal For AMP Energy 500 Weekend: Talladega Superspeedway officials announced a special kid's meal package that will be offered during the AMP Energy 500 weekend. The package consists of a Smucker's Uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookie and juice box and includes an activity pad with crayons. The meal is a deal at only $4. Families will find great deals on attending Talladega's Friday and Saturday events as well. Children 11 and under are admitted free of charge to the General Admission grandstands with a paid adult. There will be numerous activities for children during the HALLOW-DEGA festivities as well. A costume contests, pumpkin seed-spitting contest, haunted maze and hall of mirror are just a few of the many activities. Tickets are still available to the Oct. 30 – Nov.1 AMP Energy 500 weekend. To purchase, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(10-27-2009)

    • Texas Motor Speedway expects 400,000; Dickie's leaving?: Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, said he expects attendance and revenue for the Nov. 8 Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race to remain about flat with last year's numbers. He expects 175,000 to 185,000 in attendance for the Sunday race, and about 400,000 for the entire weekend. "If people are getting worked up about 105,000 at a Cowboys game, we call that a bad day on Saturday," Gossage said in a recent interview with the Dallas Business Journal. About 240 of the track's 15,000 Backstretch Buster seats, which sell for $20 and $40, remain available. The venue's high-dollar RV parking spaces are sold out. "We're having a hard time with the corporate clients who a year ago bought 500 tickets and this year bought 200," Gossage said. "I think that's settling down some." Already looking to next year, Gossage said he is in talks with sponsors willing to take the place of Dickies, which has not renewed its sponsorship of the Sprint Cup race for 2010.(Dallas Business Journal)(10-27-2009)

    • Pocono Raceway owner honored: WVIA announced Dr. Joseph Mattioli as the 2009 Great Pennsylvanian. To celebrate WVIA-TV will premiere a new biographical film, Dr. Joseph Mattioli: Always Moving Forward, on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. on WVIA-TV. It will also be shown in the Abeloff Theater on the East Stroudsburg University campus that night. Dr. Mattioli is the sixth Great Pennsylvanian in WVIA's original series. The impact of Dr. Joseph Mattioli's Pocono Raceway has gone far beyond the world of auto racing to become an economic and social center of Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains region. Dr. Joseph Mattioli: Always Moving Forward is a one-hour WVIA original documentary film celebrating the life and accomplishments of Dr. Joseph Mattioli, from his humble beginnings in the rural coal regions of Northeastern Pennsylvania to becoming an incredible businessman, all the while living life by two rules: always do what you love and always move forward. The Mattioli family's philanthropic efforts in education and health care continue to improve the lives of everyone they touch. More info and schedule at wvia.org.(10-27-2009)


      News from October 26, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 26 -- 2002: Two weeks after winning his first Cup race in his second start, Jamie McMurray wins his first Nationwide Series race, the Aaron's 312 at Atlanta. He leads only the final lap -- when race leader Joe Nemechek runs out of gas -- and wins by 10.796 seconds over Michael Waltrip.(NASCAR.com)

    • The Entry List for the AMP Eneregy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points:
      #09-Brad Keselowski (2009 Race Winner as owner)(38th in owners pts/32 attempts)
      #13-Max Papis (44/17)
      #36-Michael McDowell (42/32)
      #37-Tony Raines (45/24)
      #66-Dave Blaney (40/32)
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 2000] (37/32)
      #78-Regan Smith (41/16)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/32)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (39/32)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,82,87,66,36,37,13
      missing the race would be [0]: #'s 78
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Talladega Entry List.(10-26-2009)

    • IMPOUND: the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is the third and final IMPOUND race of 2009, there are THREE impound races in 2009, both Talladega races [April & Nov] and Daytona in July. For more info, see my Impounding Info page

    • Overnight TV Ratings for Martinsville: The metered market sports overnights for this weeks Martinsville Speedway Sprint Cup Series Race is lower then in 2008. The Tums Fast Relief 500 earned a 2.5 overnight rating with a 5 share. In 2008 on Oct 19th the overnigth rating was 2.9 with a 6 share. The final TV Ratings was 3.3/7. See the race-by-race TV Ratings and chart on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-26-2009)

    • Window World Returns to #34 Chevy: The blue-and-white paint scheme of Window World will be back on the Front Row Motorsports #34 car when it hits the high-banked, 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. After making its motorsports sponsorship debut earlier this season in NASCAR's Daytona 500 – and its Indy Racing League debut in the Indianapolis 500 – America's largest window replacement company is ready to go racing again with John Andretti in Sunday's AMP Energy 500. In addition to the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, Window World sponsored Andretti's ride in five other Sprint Cup races in the 2009 season. "I really can't think of a smarter company in the sport right now," said Andretti, driver of the #34 Window World Chevrolet. "I've gotten to know a lot of people in the Window World family and I'm really impressed with their commitment. They saw an opportunity to get their name in front of a whole new audience and they've really taken advantage of it."
      "Getting involved with this sport has been a real thrill and a business success story for us," said Todd Whitworth, CEO of Window World. "We got our feet wet with the Daytona 500 and felt it was pretty successful, so we added a few more races in the season. Then the opportunity to partner with John and Richard Petty for the Indianapolis 500 was something you can only dream about. It just makes sense to come back now and show our support to John and the Front Row Motorsports team. Talladega is always a huge race on the schedule and it makes sense to support John in this race."(Breaking Limits), see images of the car from earlier in the season on my #34 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2009)

    • Sad News - Vic Irvan: Vic Irvan, President and Co-Owner of Irvan-Smith, Inc. and father of former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan, lost his battle with stomach cancer on Sunday night [Oct 25th]. Irvan is survived by wife Jo Ann Graves Irvan; son Ernie Irvan and daughters Sheryl Bradford and Tracy Smith. Funeral arrangements: Visitation Wed. 10/28/09 from 6:00-8:00 at Wilkinson's Funeral Home in Concord, NC
      Funeral Thurs. 10/29/09 at 3:00 at Wilkinson's Funeral Home chapel and graveside at Oakwood Ccemetery in Concord.(10-26-2009)

    • Sad News - John E. Dillen: John E. Dillen, 65, died unexpectedly October 23, 2009. His life revolved around his love of stock car racing [was an part of the #13/#88 ThorSport truck series team]. Preceded in death by parents, Ellis and Dorothy Dillen and mother-in-law, Betty McKinney; he is survived by wife, Tracy; children, Jennifer (Ed) Dickens, Michael and Susan Dillen; grandchildren, Bryce Jonathon and Grace Ann Dickens; father-in-law, Jim McKinney; and all of his extended racing family. Services will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., with Dr. Walter S. Chisholm officiating. Interment at Hillside Memorial Park. Friends may call at the funeral home 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Lifebanc, 20600 Chagrin Blvd., Cleveland 44122.(Akron Beacon Journal)(10-26-2009)

    • added some schemes from Martinsville [links fixed] to the Paint Scheme Gallery: #1 Vasoline Men's, #2 Miller Lite / Operation Warrior, #7 Schrock Cabinetry, #18 Halloween M&M's, #24 National Guard.com, #33 BB&T, #33 Cheerios Hauler, #34 A&W Rootbeer, #37 Long John Silver's, #43 McDonald's Monopoly, #44 Coleman Natural Foods and #73 Dodge of Josh Wise added to the Paint Scheme Gallery

    • Goodyear to test 'Big' Tire again: Goodyear is set to test the larger tire it is developing on Dec. 8-9 at Phoenix International Raceway. Roush Fenway Racing, which did the test at Richmond earlier this month, will again do the test since it has a car to accommodate the larger dimensions.(Roanoke Times)(10-26-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Tums Fast Relief 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: 107
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 34
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:30 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:22 pm
      Total minutes: 232
      Minutes of race broadcast: 182
      Minutes of commercials: 50
      Number of missed restarts: 0 however two restarts occurred right as the race returned from commercials—too close to call
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
      Number of debris cautions (debris shown): 1
      Total race brdcst time 182 Total comm. brdcst time 50
      See more drivers info and links on my 2009 Commercials page.(10-26-2009)

    • Most consecutive top-10 finishes at a track: #48-Jimmie Johnson has a little streak of 14 [now 15] straight top-10 finishes at Martinsville. After finishing 35th there in his debut, Johnson finished sixth and ninth, then pulled off a little run of 11 top-5 finishes in 12 races. That's a record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at Martinsville. With another on Sunday, Johnson [did] will become the sixth driver to have a run of 15 or more top-10 finishes in a row at a track. The list, courtesy of none other than Mike Forde, NASCAR's Sultan of Stats:
      Dale Earnhardt, 18, North Wilkesboro
      Richard Petty, 18, North Wilkesboro
      Dale Earnhardt, 15, Richmond
      Benny Parsons, 15, Bristol
      Richard Petty, 15, Dover
      Jimmie Johnson, 15, Martinsville
      (ESPN)(10-23/26-2009)

    • Own A Piece of Talladega Superspeedway History: Race fans that want to bring home a piece of historic Talladega Superspeedway will have that opportunity immediately following the 2009 AMP Energy 500. As part of a massive frontstretch grandstand renovation, the track is selling a limited number of original seats from the inaugural 1969 Talladega 500. "Ever since we announced our grandstand renovation project, our fans have inquired about purchasing the old seats," said Talladega Superspeeedway President Rick Humphrey. "We are offering a limited number, so anyone that wants to own a piece of history needs to act fast." The seats will be sold as a set of 4 for $99 and comes 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. Tickets prices start as low as $40 for the AMP Energy 500. To order, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(10-26-2009)

    • Darlington Raceway receives Landscape Design Award: Darlington Raceway has received the prestigious Landscape Design Award from the Landscape Critics Council of South Carolina. The award is given annually to a business in the state of South Carolina that exhibits well manicured and unique landscape displays. The award is voted on by members of the Landscape Critics Council of South Carolina. Darlington's new tunnel entrance, infield camping areas, hospitality village and main administration entrance played a large role in swaying voters to select Darlington Raceway as the Landscape Design Award winner. Tickets to the 2010 Southern 500, as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series Darlington 200 are on-sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(10-26-2009)


      News from October 25, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 25 -- 2000: Dale Earnhardt wins the 76th and final race of his Cup career, coming from 18th place in the final laps of the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Kenny Wallace finishes second and Joe Nemechek third in cars owned by Andy Petree.(NASCAR.com)

    • Hamlin wins at Martinsville: #11-Denny Hamlin won the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway under a green-white-checkered finish for his 3rd win of the season [most ever in a season for Hamlin] and 7th of his career. #48-Johnson finished 2nd, followed by #42-Montoya, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #26-McMurray, #39-Newman [pole winner], #5-Martin, #14-Stewart and #29-Harvick. The five other Chasers finished as follows: #83-Vickers 11th; #2-Busch 17th; #99-Edwards 20th; #16-Biffle 25th and #9-Kahne 32nd.
      There were 15 cautions for 77 yellow flag laps and there were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers.
      Scheduled TV Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, October 26 at 2:30am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, October 26 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, October 29 at 12:00pm/et
      For race results, awards and more, see my Lowe's Motor Speedway Race Results Page.(10-25-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Martinsville Speedway:
      #11-Denny Hamlin won the TUMS Fast Relief 500 (61st Running), his seventh victory in 147 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third victory and 17th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in nine races at Martinsville Speedway.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 16 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his 21st top-10 finish in 2009.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Martinsville Speedway.
      #20-Joey Logano (12th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 118 points over Mark Martin.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-25-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Martinsville, Chase race 6 of 10; Season race 32 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6098, finished 2nd
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5980, -118, 8th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 5948, -150, 5th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 5906, -192, 9th
      5) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya 5898, -200, 3rd
      6) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5858, -240, 17th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman 5786, -312, 7th
      8) #16-Greg Biffle 5748, -350, 25th
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 5746, -352, 1st/WON
      10) #99-Carl Edwards 5685, -413, 20th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5659, -439, 32nd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5568, -530, 11th
      For the drivers points standings, see my Drivers Points Standings.(10-25-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Martinsville, race 32 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1). #14-Tony Stewart, 4682
      2). #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4602, -80
      3). #24-Jeff Gordon 4565, -117
      4). #5-Mark Martin, 4231, -451
      5). #11-Denny Hamlin, 4217, -465
      6). #2-Kurt Busch, 4170, -512
      7). #42-Juan Montoya, 4149, -533
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 4058, -624
      9). #16-Greg Biffle, 3997, -685
      10). #99-Carl Edwards, 3965, -717
      11). #18-Kyle Busch, 3920, -762
      12). #9-Kasey Kahne, 3919, -763
      13). #17-Matt Kenseth, 3895, -787
      14). #33-Clint Bowyer, 3805, -877
      15). #00-David Reutimann, 3764, -918
      16). #83-Brian Vickers, 3761, -921
      (10-25-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers finished at Martinsville Speedway:
      (in points order at start of the race)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, finished 2nd
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 8th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 5th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 9th
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 17th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3rd
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 25th
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 7th
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne, 32nd
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 20th
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin, 1st/Won
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 11th.(10-25-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Talladega Superspeedway:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now up to 123 points (was 98)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2493, +195
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2421, 123 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2298, 123 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.(10-25-2009)

    • Infraction Report - Martinsville:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #17, 10, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires, tail end
      #55, 45, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #88, 89, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #9, 90, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, tail end
      #88, 129, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #9, 278, Commitment Line Violation, tail end
      #9, 301, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #6, 302, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires, tail end
      #33, 429, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, pass thru
      #82, 496, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      (NASCAR Statistics)(10-25-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #14-Tony Stewart has the longest current streak of finishing races at 55 races of drivers who have ran all the races. The next driver with the most is: #39-Ryan Newman & #00-David Reutimann with 38 straight races without a DNF.
      Five drivers have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #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 26 [in 28 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 24 [in 27 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.(10-25-2009)

    • Top-5's, Top-10's: #24-Jeff Gordon leads all drivers after 32 races in 2009 with 16 Top-5 finishes, followed by #14-Tony Stewart with 15 and #48-Jimmie Johnson with 14. #24-Gordon has the most Top-10's after 32 races with 23. #14-Stewart is next at 22 and #48-Johnson next with 21.
      Two drivers have run all the races in 2009 and have not scored a top-10 finish: #12-Stremme and #98-Menard. Seven drivers have not scored a Top-5 and ran all the races: #98-Menard, #12-Stremme, #07-Mears, #1-Truex Jr., #43-Sorenson, #26-McMurray and #6-Ragan.(10-25-2009)

    • New crew chief for Kyle Busch? Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of #18-Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington. "There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that? You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out." Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007. "Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season." Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."(ESPN)(10-25-2009)

    • Gibbs has no plans to return to Redskins: Hall of Fame former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Sunday he has no plans to return to the struggling team. Gibbs laughed when asked at Martinsville Speedway about rumors and Internet reports that he could return to the team as an adviser or even general manager. "That's what it is. Talk," the owner of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams said. "Right here's where I'm GMing."(Associated Press)(10-25-2009)

    • Gordon, most 2nd place finishes in season since 1980: #24-Jeff Gordon has eight second-place finishes in 2009, tied for the most since 1980, plus Gordon has five more races to have the most:
      Year -- Driver -- Second-place finishes
      1983 -- Darrell Waltrip -- eight
      2009 -- Jeff Gordon -- eight
      1996 -- Dale Jarrett -- seven
      1996 -- Terry Labonte -- seven [1996 champ]
      1994 -- Dale Earnhardt -- seven [1994 champ]
      1981 -- Bobby Allison -- seven
      1981 -- Harry Gant -- seven
      (from ESPN and updated since)(10-25-2009)

    • JTG-MWR to continue alliance: JTG Daugherty Racing has extended its technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing for another season, JTG Daugherty co-owner Tad Geschickter confirmed Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. The two organizations began a technical alliance this year with the JTG Daugherty crew working out of the MWR shop. MWR builds the cars, and then the JTG Daugherty team works on them there. Officials from both teams have been saying for weeks that they wanted the alliance to continue. JTG Daugherty driver #47-Marcos Ambrose, in his first full season, is 17th in the Sprint Cup standings.(SceneDaily)(10-25-2009)

    • McMurray close to signing new deal? UPDATE: hearing that Jamie McMurray is close to signing a deal to drive the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy in 2010, announcement could come the week following Martinsville.(10-21-2009)
      UPDATE: It's not etched in stone, but the speculation surrounding Jamie McMurray-to-Earnhardt Ganassi Racing isn't exactly written in chalk, either. Neither McMurray nor anyone at EGR has confirmed the move, but garage-insiders say there's a strong likelihood the driver of the Roush Fenway Racing #26 Fusion will replace Martin Truex Jr. in the #1 Chevy next year. The wild-card in the scenario is the sponsor. Bass Pro Shops would like to have an "outdoorsman" type of driver, one who'll appeal to their customer base. To some degree, Truex Jr. fulfilled that role; less so McMurray, who's not exactly the world's most passionate hunter, fisherman or camper.(Ford Racing)(10-25-2009)

    • Keselowski to test for Penske: Brad Keselowski will continue to gain Sprint Cup Series seat time with the #12 Penske Dodge during the Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2-3. This will be the second time Keselowski gets to work with his future employers since he was signed by the team on Sept. 1. Keselowski joined the #12 team and crew chief Roy McCauley last month at Daytona along with David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose. Goodyear officials used that test to help establish a baseline for the November test. Goodyear has opened testing to the entire Cup garage and hopes to attract at least 30 teams in an effort to set up drafting to closer simulate race conditions to prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500. In Keselowski's absence, Kelly Bires will test the #88 Chevy for the Nationwide Series test at Talladega Superspeedway.(FoxSports)(10-25-2009)

    • Lake Speed to be inducted into Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: The six-member class, which will be honored at the 48th annual BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Weekend July 30-31, 2010:
      Lake Speed: Jackson native and most prominent driver in state history; 18-years on the NASCAR circuit that produced one win (Darlington, SC 1988) and 75 top ten finishes; six-time U.S. Karting Association Champion and World Karting Champion prior to NASCAR competition. Others include: Henry Armstrong (Boxer), Allen Brown (NFL), Bob Coleman (track), Frank Dowsing (college football), Ken Toler, Sr. (tennis).(Hattiesburg American)(10-25-2009)


      News from October 24, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 24 -- 1999: The Burton brothers, Jeff and Ward, finish 1-2 for the third time in the 1999 season. Jeff wins all three, including a .337-second victory on this day in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.(NASCAR.com)

    • added some schemes from Martinsville to the Paint Scheme Gallery: #1 Vasoline Men's, #2 Miller Lite / Operation Warrior, #7 Schrock Cabinetry, #18 Halloween M&M's, #24 National Guard.com, #33 BB&T, #33 Cheerios Hauler, #34 A&W Rootbeer, #37 Long John Silver's, #43 McDonald's Monopoly, #44 Coleman Natural Foods and #73 Dodge of Josh Wise added to the Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-24-2009)

    • Griese apologizes for Montoya 'Taco' remark: ABC college football analyst Bob Griese apologized Saturday a comment he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya during the network's broadcast of Ohio State's 38-7 victory over Minnesota. The network was promoting its broadcast of Sunday's NASCAR race from Martinsville while showing the top five drivers in the Sprint Cup Series standings on screen. Fellow broadcaster Chris Speilman asked where Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya was (Montoya dropped from the top five after finishing 35th last week at Charlotte). Griese replied, "He's out having a taco." As the game neared its end, Griese offered an on-air apology. "Juan Pablo Montoya, he's one of the best drivers in NASCAR," Griese said. "Just want to apologize for the comment I made earlier in the ballgame."(USA Today)(10-24-2009)

    • Sadler in a Ford at Talladega AND more races: Richard Petty Motorsports driver Elliott Sadler will drive a [#19] Yates Racing Ford in next weekend's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Sadler, who drove for Robert Yates Racing before moving to RPM, said it will be for only one race. RPM and Yates are in the final stages of a merger that will move RPM from Dodge to Ford in 2010. RPM owner Richard Petty said last week at Charlotte he hoped to use a Yates car for at least one race this season. Officials close to the situation said on Friday at Martinsville Speedway the plan is to put Sadler in the Ford regardless of whether the merger is finalized.(ESPN)(10-23-2009)
      UPDATE: #44-AJ Allmendinger will run the last three races of the Sprint Cup season in a Ford Fusion, a team source told FOXSports.com. According to a Dodge source, #19-Elliott Sadler will drive a Ford beginning next week at Talladega and finish the season driving for the make. Their Richard Petty Motorsports teammates, Kasey Kahne and Reed Sorenson, will continue to drive Dodges for the rest of the year. RPM is currently in talks to merge with Yates Racing in 2010. Whether or not the deal goes through, RPM's majority owner George Gillett has said his organization will run Fords next year. Unlike the other RPM teams, Allmendinger's #44 car is not under contract with Dodge so the switch is able to be made early. Sadler's #19 team was let out of its contract. Additionally, RPM General Manager Roobie Loomis confirmed Friday that Allmendinger will drive a Ford at Daytona International Speedway during the Goodyear tire test on Nov. 2-3. That Ford will be equipped with the new FR9 engine, allowing the team to work on the balance of the car as the engine is located differently than the current Dodge engine.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)

    • Ask.com? Menards to #07 team?
      Sources say Ask.com could come aboard the fourth [Richard Childress Racing #07 Chevy] car for a partial schedule, but [Casey] Mears could just as easily lose the ride to Paul Menard, who can bring a full sponsorship. Doug Randolph [the new #07 crew chief], coincidentally, was Menard's crew chief at Dale Earnhardt Inc. And hearing John Menard is pushing for his son to drive for RCR in 2010, but Paul [#98 Menards Ford] wants to remain in his current situation.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)

    • Where may some of the drivers looking end up in 2010? Those drivers looking for rides in 2010 — #07-Casey Mears, #96/71-Bobby Labonte, #43-Reed Sorenson and #12-David Stremme — qualified sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively at Martinsville. How their futures pan out could depend on the status of Jamie McMurray, who remains the top candidate for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi ride. Mears could stay put in the #07 if sponsorship can be found. Labonte is a strong candidate for one of the two TRG [#71 team] Racing rides. Sorenson is the favorite for the vacancy at Braun Racing [Nationwide Series ride] and Stremme's name has been mentioned for the #34 Front Row Motorsports car[currently a Chevy] (where he would be reunited with crew chief Steven 'Bones' Lane) or in a Nationwide car with Rusty Wallace Inc.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)

    • Mayfield Injunction likely to be recinded: 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 now likely will be the one who rescinds the injunction. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided Friday to send NASCAR's appeal of the July 1 injunction back to District Court Judge Graham Mullen, who has since indicated that he would rescind the injunction based on new evidence and injunction standards. That, according to court filings, would be fine with Mayfield, who never did get back on the track after obtaining the July 1 injunction and having his suspension lifted. The appeals court 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 has asked to have the injunction issue sent back to Mullen so it could be dropped and 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.(see full story at SceneDaily)(10-24-2009)

    • Evernham to race one final time at Wall: Ray Evernham is returning to his Modified racing roots at Wall Stadium one final time for the Sunday, October 25th (weather forecast forced postponement from Sat.) "Tommy Comerford Memorial" (the late 11-time Modified main event winner) - then will hang up his driving gloves for Modified racing following the event. He began his multifaceted and nationally successful career at Wall Stadium, won his Modern Stock race and driving title there, ran his first Modified stock car race on the third mile oval and won the first ever Modified race on the new pavement on Opening Night 1991. Evernham, a seven-time Wall Stadium Modified winner and the 1977 Modern Stock champion, will have top flight equipment at his command as he will be at the wheel of the Blewett Motorsports No. 1 tour type Modified. The "Tommy Comerford Memorial" will feature two 66-lap main events for tour type Modified stock cars offering each winner a cool $6,600 payday. A total purse of $40,000 is up for grabs at present and that could climb as the event approaches. At present, over 30 tour type Modified entries have been received. Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. Information and Modified entry forms are available by calling 732-681-6400 and at www.wallspeedway.com.(Victory Management Group)(10-24-2009)

    • Sad News - John Nicholas Hedlesky: Condolences to Jason Hedlesky, spotter for #99-Edwards, and family on the lost of Jason's father, John , who passed away on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009, at home with his family at his side. John was employed by Verizon Telephone Company for more than 20 years. In addition to his wife, Anna, John is survived by two sons, Jason (Nicole) Hedlesky of North Carolina and Jared Wheeler of Clinton; two stepsons, Lee and Mark; two stepdaughters, Cheryl and Michelle; and three sisters. He was preceded in death by a sister. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Hickman Cancer Center. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.handlerfuneralhomes.com.(Daily Telegram)(10-24-2009)

    • Creek Medicine Man Restores Balance To Talladega: Strange occurrences and urban legends have swirled around Talladega Superspeedway since its inception forty years ago. But instead of focusing on rumors and myths during its Halloween race weekend, the historic track turned to a much more symbolic and meaningful ceremony to prepare for welcoming thousands of race fans. Creek Medicine Man Robert Thrower performed a traditional Native American blessing ceremony today on the start-finish line and asked for balance to be restored to the land. “Most everything in Native American belief is about keeping balance,” said Thrower. “Sometimes people and places can get out of balance and that unbalance may be perceived as something bad. What we did today was bless the track and ask for reconciliation so that balance can be restored. “ Thrower comes from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. He has been a traditional medicine man for nine years, and his family has a long history of performing traditional medicine. His great-grandmother was the last tribal medicine woman. The ceremony was opened with Thrower offering a prayer in his native Muscogee language. He then asked for reconciliation and the restoration of balance while burning a collection of ceremonial offerings in a small bowl. The ceremony was then closed with another prayer. Tickets prices start as low as $40 for the AMP Energy 500. To order, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(10-24-2009)

    • Seats remain for Phoenix Sprint Cup race: The thrill of NASCAR action at Phoenix International Raceway is just three weeks away, and tickets are available for each night of racing in the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil event weekend. Great seats remain for select grandstand areas and can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223). For added convenience, the Phoenix International Raceway Ticket Office will be open seven days a week leading up to the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil event weekend, giving race fans more time to buy tickets in person in the days before the green flag. The PIR Ticket Office will open for special hours on Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25, on Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1, and again on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Normal weekday ticket office hours in the weeks leading up to the event are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.(Phoenix International Raceway)(10-24-2009)


      News from October 23, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 23 -- 1955: In his seventh Cup Series start, Joe Weatherly finishes fourth in the Wilkes 160 at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway for his first top-five finish. Weatherly wouldn't get his first victory until 1958 on his way to 20 wins in 230 starts before his death at Riverside in 1964.(NASCAR.com)

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goes Short Track Racing Live on ABC: The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins its final five races this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on NASCAR's smallest track, the half-mile Martinsville Speedway, for 500 laps on Sunday, Oct. 25. ESPN's live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race is presented by Goodyear and will air on ABC. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown at 1:00pm/et and the race's green flag is scheduled for 1:43pm/et. ESPN's coverage of the final 11 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule airs on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ESPN's coverage from Martinsville also includes NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Oct. 23, at 3:00pm/et, practice on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 10:00am/et and same-day coverage of final practice on Saturday at 6:30pm/et, all on ESPN2.
      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. Also this week, ESPN Classic airs an episode of the signature series SportsCentury featuring NASCAR star Tony Stewart on Monday, Oct. 26, at 8:00am/et.

    • Saturday weather looking poor at Martinsville: Saturday forecast: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly before 2pm. High near 69. South wind between 13 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. See weather links on my Martinsville Race Info Page - weather section(10-23-2009)

    • Newman on pole at Martinsville: #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a lap of 96.795mph for his 2nd pole of the season and 45th career pole [Newman has only won 3 races from the pole]. #24-Gordon starts 2nd fastest followed by #1-Truex Jr., #5-Martin, #00-Reutimann, #07-Mears, #20-Logano, #96-Labonte, #43-Sorenson and #29-Harvick.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #82-Speed(18th), #37-Kvapil(25th), #87-Nemechek(28th), #71-Gilliland(35th), #09-Marlin(38th), #66-Blaney(39th), #36-McDowell(42nd) and #64-Cope (43rd).
      The one driver who failed to qualify: #73-Wise.
      See qualifying results, pole progression, qualifying ordewr and starting lineup on my Martinsville Qualifying/Starting Lineup page.(10-23-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Martinsville Speedway:
      #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 (61st Running) with a lap of 19.563 seconds, 96.795 mph.
      This is his 45th pole in 292 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. It also ties him with Buck Baker for 11th on NASCAR's all-time pole winners list.
      This is his second pole and 16th top-10 start in 2009.
      This is his third pole in 16 races at Martinsville Speedway.
      #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 22nd top-10 start of 2009 and his 25th in 34 races at Martinsville Speedway.
      #1-Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his second top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his 10th in 32 races this season.
      Joey Logano (seventh) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-23-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers will start at Martisnville Speedway:
      (in current points order)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, starts 15th
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 4th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 2nd
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 13th
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 37th
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 21st
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 20th
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 1st/pole
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne, 26th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 29th
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin, 17th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 24th.(10-23-2009)

    • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
      Chevy: #39-Newman, 96.795, starts 1st
      Dodge: #43-Sorenson, 95.995, starts 9th
      Ford: #96-Labonte, 96.010, starts 8th
      Toyota: #00-Reutimann, 96.117, starts 5th

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Friday, October 23, 2009 at 3:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 - 3:00pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway is posted. 44 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 #20-Logano.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #55-Waltrip.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #66-Blaney with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #82-Speed.
      See the full qualifying order on the Martinsville Qualifying Page.(10-23-2009)

    • Friday practice for the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway is over, the top-five:
      #5-Martin 96.156
      #42-Montoya 96.132
      #24-Gordon 96.122
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 96.015
      #00-Reutimann 99.010
      slowest: #73-Wise 91.775 & #64-Cope- 93.322
      most laps run:
      incidents: late in practice #12-Stremme spun around off turn 4, didn't hit anything, #77-Hornish Jr. spun and hit the wall, doing damage to the rear of the car, the team will pull out a backup car.
      See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Martinsville Practice Speeds Page.(10-23-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers practice on Friday at Martisnville Speedway:
      (in current points order)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 9th fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 1st
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3rd
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 39th
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 23rd
      6) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2nd
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 38th
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 6th
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne, 11th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 34th
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin, 13th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 22nd
      See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Martinsville Practice Speeds Page.(10-23-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice on Friday at Martinsville:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #82-Scott Speed,12th fastest overall
      #37-Travis Kvapil 27th
      #87-Joe Nemechek 28th
      #71-David Gilliland 29th
      #36-Michael McDowell 32nd
      #09-Sterling Marlin 33rd
      #66-Dave Blaney 35th
      #64-Derrike Cope 43rd
      this driver would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #73-Josh Wise, 44th/last
      See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Martinsville Practice Speeds Page.(10-23-2009)

    • Rain at Martinsville: as of 12:25pm/et, rain stopped at Martinsville Speedway just after 11:00am/et. The track is just about dry and the Sprint Cup cars are scheduled to practice from 12:30-1:30pm/et. Qualifying has been pushed back 30 minutes and is now scheduled to start at 3:40pm/et [instead of 3:10pm/et] and will be televised on ESPN2. Radar still looks pretty clear as of 12:25pm/et
      See weather links on my Martinsville Race Info Page - weather section
      Forecast for Friday: Cloudy skies with a few showers this afternoon. High 71F. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
      Saturday forecast: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly before 2pm. High near 69. South wind between 13 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.(10-23-2009)

    • Cope withdraws #75; will run #64: Derrike Cope says on his website, "I will be driving the #64 Sprint Cup car for Larry Gunselman at Martinsville, VA. I withdrew the #75 car because it looks like rain is eminent for Friday and the opportunity for me to drive was available."(Derrike Cope site).
      So with Cope withdrawing the #75, there are 43 cars entered for the race, so no team will go home among the go-or-go homers this week.(10-23-2009)

    • New Ford Engine to debut at Talladega: After months of anticipation, Ford Racing announced that the FR9 engine will make its debut under the hood of Matt Kenseth’s #17 DeWalt Ford Fusion and David Ragan’s #6 UPS Ford Fusion in next week’s Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. “I’m very excited about the debut of the FR9,” said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “All of us are anxious to see it in competition for the first time. Those of us who have been involved in this project agree that one of the biggest hurdles we’ve faced in making this transition to the FR9 this year has been the fact the current Ford engine is still so competitive, along with the economics of obsoleting the inventory of the current engine and parts. This has been a tough year for us and our teams on the track, especially since we had such a strong 2008, and the priority for everyone this year has been solving the on-track performance, which has slowed down the rollout of the FR9.”
      Code-named FR9, this new piece is the first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine to ever come out of Ford Motor Company. Its design has been spearheaded and developed by famed engine builder Doug Yates and Ford Racing engineer David Simon. “This puts us on a level playing field with the rest of the competition and it’s something we’re excited about working on,” said Yates, who has been involved with the project since it began three years ago. “Right out of the box the engine is really impressive power-wise. We feel like it’s going to give us some advantages aerodynamically where, perhaps, we can tape the cars up more and run the engines hotter. The oiling system is designed for a racing engine and, to this day, the current engine has done a great job for many years, but we’ve got to remember when I started 20 years ago the block was already in existence. So a lot of things have changed,” continued Yates. “The demands have changed. The RPM and the power levels have changed tremendously, and to have an opportunity to have something new and move forward makes this an exciting time to be part of Ford.”
      Some of those crucial decisions included an all-new platform for FR9 with no carry over components or dimensions from the current production-based 351 engine. Elements such as the induction exhaust, valvetrain, cooling, lubrication and sealing systems have all been improved for greater efficiency and performance. While the restricted version of the engine will debut next week, it has yet to be determined when FR9 will hit the track at an unrestricted venue.(Ford Racing)(10-23-2009)

    • Mayfield on ESPN’s Outside the Lines Sunday: Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield tells reporter Steve Delsohn, in Mayfield’s first one-on-one nationally televised interview, that NASCAR is using his situation to scare the sport's marquee drivers who he says use drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine. The interview airs on Outside the Lines on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 9:00am/et on ESPN.
      Some quotes from Outside the Lines: “I wish I could sit here and say ‘No, it’s not over,’ but realistically, I would have to have a sponsor, or own my own team, or find a ride, and all those are virtually impossible with the baggage that comes along with me now.” -- Jeremy Mayfield, on whether his NASCAR career is over.
      “No, they could never be confused for methamphetamine in a confirmation.” -- Dr. Anthony Butch, director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, which performs drug testing for U.S. Olympic athletes, the NFL and the NCAA, on whether a combination of Adderall and Claritin-D could cause a positive test for methamphetamine.
      “You use me as an example to let everybody know who may have already tested positive for marijuana, cocaine or whatever, that they haven’t got anybody for, and it puts the fear of God in everybody in the whole sport. I was a good example, a good pawn who wasn’t going to cost them any money at all. I was worth more to them as a failed drug test then I am as a driver, owner for my own team.” – Jeremy Mayfield.(ESPN)10-23-2009)

    • Martinsville Tire Notes: Teams in both of these NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Martinsville this weekend, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tire codes that teams in these two series ran at Martinsville this past March . . . this left-side tire code (D-4108) has been run at this track since last season, while this is the first year for this right-side tire code (D-4230) . . . while this left-side is unique to Martinsville, this right-side was also run on all four tire positions at the Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway earlier this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville. The estimated pit window is every 125-135 laps for the Sprint Cup cars, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear), for tire pressures, codes and more, see my Martinsville Race Info - page - Goodyear section.(10-23-2009)

    • Robby has new colors at Martinsville: Robby Gordon and his #7 team are gearing up for Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Earlier this week the team announced that NASCAR veteran Doug Richert will be calling the shots on No. 7 for the remainder of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Also new this weekend is the sponsor for the #7 – Schrock Cabinetry will adorn the hood of Gordon’s yellow and blue Toyota. Robby’s Remarks – “I’m very excited to have Schrock Cabinetry on the hood of our Camry this weekend,” said Gordon. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to put on a strong showing for Schrock Cabinetry and all of our other partners this weekend. Martinsville is one of the toughest tracks we race on, especially from an equipment standpoint. Putting 43 drivers on track with the long straight-aways and the tight corners makes for interesting racing.”(RGM)(10-23-2009)

    • Hendrick Motorsports One Victory Shy Of Tying Martinsville Mark: Since the 21st Century began, NASCAR's Sprint Cup teams have been faced with not only overcoming the traditional mechanical challenges presented by Martinsville Speedway, but also trying to figure a way to defeat Hendrick Motorsports at the circuit's shortest track. Ever since Jeff Gordon won his first race at the tough paper clip-shaped track in September 1996, Hendrick Motorsports has gained strength at the speedway, similar to that exhibited by Petty Enterprises in the 1960s and '70s. By the time the 1990s ended, Gordon had three victories at the track. It was 2003, however, when the Hendrick Motorsports domination began.
      Gordon swept the track's two races in 2003. Then, teammate Johnson collected his first Martinsville win in October 2004. However, there was no jubilation as Johnson and the rest of the motorsports community learned after the checkered flag that a Hendrick Motorsports' team plane had crashed on a foggy Virginia mountain that morning en route to the race. Among the losses were Rick Hendrick's son, his brother, two nieces and the organization's engine department head Randy Dorton. Tony Stewart's helicopter pilot also was on the ill-fated plane. From that day forward, Denny Hamlin is the only driver to have won at Martinsville since that day who doesn't have a connection to the plane crash. Gordon swept the 2005 races, while Stewart and Johnson split the 2006 events. Johnson then won three straight before Hamlin broke his string of victories in March 2008. Johnson returned to the victory podium in October 2008 and has been there ever since.
      With Johnson winning this year's spring race at Martinsville, he now has claimed five of the track's last six Sprint Cup events. His 41st career Sprint Cup victory in March provided Hendrick Motorsports with its 10th win in the last 13 Martinsville races. Overall, Hendrick has collected 18 Martinsville victories, just one shy of tying Richard Petty as the winningest car owner in the track's history.(Darnell CommunicationsGlaxoSmithKline)(10-23-2009)

    • Most consecutive top-10 finishes at a track: #48-Jimmie Johnson has a little streak of 14 straight top-10 finishes at Martinsville. After finishing 35th there in his debut, Johnson finished sixth and ninth, then pulled off a little run of 11 top-5 finishes in 12 races. That's a record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at Martinsville. With another on Sunday, Johnson will become the sixth driver to have a run of 15 or more top-10 finishes in a row at a track. The list, courtesy of none other than Mike Forde, NASCAR's Sultan of Stats:
      Dale Earnhardt, 18, North Wilkesboro
      Richard Petty, 18, North Wilkesboro
      Dale Earnhardt, 15, Richmond
      Benny Parsons, 15, Bristol
      Richard Petty, 15, Dover
      Jimmie Johnson, 14, Martinsville
      Eight others, 14.(ESPN)(10-23-2009)

    • Michael Waltrip involved in accident, is OK MORE: #55-Michael Waltrip crashed into a motorcycle Wednesday night while trying to make a U-Turn and was given a field sobriety test by a Mooresville police officer, a report states. Waltrip was attempting a U-turn on Perth Road around 7:49 p.m. when his Lexus collided with a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The motorcyclist was transported to Lake Norman Regional Center. According to the police report, Waltrip was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, but passed a field sobriety test at the scene. Waltrip was given a Breathalyzer and blew a .06, under the North Carolina legal limit of .08, the report states. Waltrip was cited for failure to yield. He was not injured in the accident. The Sprint Cup driver and team owner was involved in an accident in [April] 2007. The North Carolina Highway Patrol charged him with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Those charges were later dismissed.(WCNC)
      MORE Mooresville police say alcohol was a factor in an accident Wednesday night involving NASCAR driver and team owner Michael Waltrip. Officers investigating the accident suspected Waltrip was drinking, but when he was given a field sobriety test, he registered a .06. In North Carolina the legal limit is .08. Police say Waltrip was leaving the parking lot of a shopping center and when he pulled out, he attempted to do a U-turn around a cement median. Waltrip pulled out just an as on-coming motorcyclist was approaching. The motorcyclist, identified by police as Ronald Hausman of Mooresville, slammed into the driver's side door or Waltrip's Lexus. The police report on the accident says Waltrip "was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol." He was given a field sobriety test and passed a "walk and turn" test and a "one leg stand" test. "He did not meet the criteria for the DWI, however it was indicated as a contributing factor…on the accident report," said Captain Phil Blocker of the Mooresville Police. Waltrip was given a citation for failing to yield the right of way. Waltrip lives in a gated estate in Sherrills Ford. His home is secluded from the road. There was no answer when reporter Rad Berky buzzed at the front gate after this latest accident. Attempts to reach the rider of the motorcycle were also unsuccessful.(WCNC)(10-22-2009)
      AND Mooresville police are reporting that NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip has been ticketed after getting involved in a traffic accident with a motorcycle. Waltrip was driving a 2008 Lexus on Argus Lane when he turned onto Perth Road and attempted to make a U-turn when a 1980 Harley Davidson driven by Ronald Richard Hausman struck the driver’s side door. Hausen told police that he turned onto Perth Rd. from River Highway when Waltrip turned into his lane of travel. Mooresville police suspected Waltip of being under the influence and was given a sobriety test on the scene and had a blood alcohol content of .06 which is below the legal limit. Hausman was taken to the hospital where he later told police that he drank two beers prior to the accident. Waltrip has been charged with failure to yield.(WSOCTV.com)(10-23-2009)


      News from October 22, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 22 -- 2000: Sterling Marlin makes his 500th Cup Series start and finishes 33rd in the Pop Secret Microwave 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Marlin completes 328 laps, finishing 65 laps behind winner Dale Jarrett.(NASCAR.com)

    • Almirola files papers against EGR: Aric Almirola has filed paperwork in North Carolina Superior Court indicating that he has a breach-of-contract dispute with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Almirola, who competed in seven Sprint Cup races this year for the team before his [#8 Chevy] car was parked because of a lack of sponsorship, filed the notice in the Charlotte court last Friday [10-16], asking for 20 days to file a complaint in the matter. This type of request results in a summons to the other party and typically is filed to start a civil action but the person hopes the matter gets settled before having to file the lawsuit specifics. Almirola indicates that the nature of his claim is breach of contract and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Almirola filed two notices, one against EGR and DEI and another against Chip Ganassi Racing and team co-owner Teresa Earnhardt. Almirola had a contract with DEI, which merged its Cup operation with Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2008 season to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. He has until Nov. 5 to file an actual complaint. "We're disappointed at the situation with Aric but are hopeful that we will come to an agreement soon," EGR spokesman John Olguin said. Almirola has 26 career Sprint Cup starts, with a career best finish of eighth at Bristol in March 2008. He drove in 17 races in 2007 and 2008 as he shared the ride with Mark Martin in the #8 Chevy at DEI.(SceneDaily)(10-22-2009)

    • Vist Wood Brothers Museum: If race fans have some extra time this weekend while at Martinsville Speedway, consider visiting the Wood Brothers' Museum at 21 Performance Drive, Stuart Virginia, 24171 - located just 30 miles west of Martinsville off of route 58. Admission is free. The #21, 1971 Wood Brothers' Purolator Mercury Cyclone will be on display, along with a host of other Wood Brothers' memories, including a 2009 race car. The museum will be open from 9:00am/et to 5:00pm/et Friday, October 23, 2009 and Saturday, October 24, 2009. Any questions, directions, please log on to www.woodbrothersracing.com – or call at (276) 694 – 2121.(10-22-2009)

    • Congrats to Jay Guy: It's a Baby Girl for Carrie and Jay Guy. Carrie Guy, wife of #78-Furniture Row Racing crew chief Jay Guy, gave birth to the couple's first child – Ansley Sophia – Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo., a suburb of Denver. Ansley weighed in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. Word from the maternity ward is that mother and the little Guy are doing fine.(10-22-2009)

    • Stavola back in NASCAR? MORE: Friday's Sports Business Daily is reporting - Semi-retired driver Terry Labonte and former team owner Bill Stavola are both getting back into NASCAR full-time as co-owners of a new race organization. StavolaLabonte Racing will field cars in the Sprint Cup Series, possibly next year, with Labonte driving initially.(Sports Business Daily, need subscription)(10-9-2009)
      MORE: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion [1984, 1996] Terry Labonte, who is preparing to run his fifth race of the season this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, hopes to compete in as many as eight to 10 events in 2010. Labonte as back this weekend in the #08 Carter/Simo Toyota, which is running a partial schedule this year. Labonte finished 24th in the Daytona 500 for Prism Motorsports and has run three races this year for Carter/Simo Racing. “If I end up running some more races next year, I felt like there are some tracks I haven’t been to in years, and I don’t have as much experience in these cars,” said the 52-year-old Labonte. “If I run eight, 10 races next year, I need to get as many laps as I can. I’ve got to learn as much as I can about these cars.” Labonte said he and former car owner Billy Stavola have tossed around the idea about starting a team. “He’s a good guy and was in the sport for a long time and had a good reputation,” Labonte said. “He would be a good guy to be associated with. We’re kind of kicking around the idea. On the one hand, it’s the perfect time to get in because you would be able to hire people today that you would not have had a chance two years ago. On the other side of the coin, I’ve never seen it so hard on the sponsorship side.” As far as running a full season, Labonte said he doesn’t think he has it in him. As far as the remainder of this year goes, Labonte said if the team has a good run in the NASCAR Banking 500 this weekend, he might run the car again later this year.(SceneDaily)(10-22-2009)

    • US F1 eager to let Kyle Busch take the wheel in 2011: US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor is so enamored with Kyle Busch, he keeps very informed on what the Sprint Cup driver is doing "on a daily basis almost." Windsor would like to eliminate "almost" in 2011. "If he wanted to drive for us in 2011, we'd certainly be keen on that," Windsor says. "I think there'll be a lot of speculation about that as time goes on. If I was Kyle, I'd be saying to myself, yeah, those guys all talk the talk, let's see what they do, let's see what the car's like. Let's see what the race shop is like. Fair enough. We're going to do a good job. I know when Kyle gets to see it, I'm pretty sure it'll get his pulse rate going." Busch already has shown some interest. Windsor says he met with the driver's business team after being approached about the team. Though he hasn't met Busch yet, Windsor is convinced the 58-time winner in NASCAR (16 victories in Cup, 28 in Nationwide, 14 in Camping World Trucks) has the talent to complete the difficult switch from stock cars to open wheel. "I've watched him a lot and have massive respect for him," Windsor says. "I know people who know him very well. I believe Kyle can win a world championship in Formula One. I think he's got exactly the right talent, the right approach. I'd love to see him in a Formula One car. If he wants to jump in our car next year for doing some demonstrations here in the States, he's very welcome to do that." Busch's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing won't expire until after next season, and there've been no indications he is planning to leave. But Busch, 24, did express interest in F1 when asked shortly after US F1's launch in February. "It's definitely something I wouldn't shoot down," the Las Vegas native said. "If I could win a championship (in NASCAR) in the next two or three years then I wouldn't mind going doing (F1) for a few years and coming back. I think I'd still be young enough that if I could win a championship by 25, go run Formula 1 for a few years and be back (in NASCAR) by 28." Windsor wants to make US F1 a destination for young American upstarts such as Busch by employing only American drivers. But when the team makes its March debut in Bahrain, Windsor says its two drivers probably will be foreign born.(USA Today)(10-22-2009)

    • Chase Stats / Notes: #48-Jimmie Johnson's amazing run in Chase VI continued Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway with his win, the third in five Chase races. Since finishing 24th at Talladega in the fourth Chase race in 2006, Johnson has accomplished the following over the last 31 Chase races:
      * No finish worse than 15th
      * 27 Top 10s out of 31 races
      * 21 Top 5s
      * 19 Podium Finishes
      * 11 Wins
      Next is Martinsville, where Johnson has won four of five Chase races and has collected Top 5s in 10 of the last 11. Even though #24-Jeff Gordon surrendered the late lead at Charlotte, his fourth place finish moved him from fifth to third in the standings, now 45 points out of 2nd place #5-Mark Martin and 135 out of the lead. Gordon is almost as good as Johnson at Martinsville, and can challenge for the win Sunday. Martin's 17th cost him 78 points on the lead. See more stats, season-to-season comparison's, race-to-race amd more on my Chase Stats after LMS page, and history of the Chase, the Chase if it went back to 1975 and other stats on my 2009 Chase News and Rules page.(10-22-2009)

    • #44 crew to donate winnings; new sponsor: Richard Petty Motorsports' #44 pit crew for driver AJ Allmendinger has so far claimed two Tissot Pit Road Precision awards and finished runner up in the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge in May when it worked as the #43 Petty team. Now the crew wants to play a role in something more important than racing—battling breast cancer and helping kids. The crew voted last week to donate a majority of the prize money it earned through the Tissot awards and pit stop competition to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Victory Junction. #44 Jackman Ed Watkins: "You rock and roll every Sunday supporting the race team and AJ in giving him fast pit stops. But this gives us an opportunity to support the community. We wanted to do something in the fight against breast cancer. We also wanted to find a way we could give underprivileged children a chance to attend the victory junction camp and experience the great campus the Petty's have up there." Allmendinger's #44 Dodge will carry a Coleman Natural Food paint scheme this weekend at Martinsville Speedway in Allmendinger's 76th career start.(RPM)(10-22-2009)

    • Jeff Gordon Foundation pledges $2.5 million: The Jeff Gordon Foundation commemorated A Decade of Caring -- it's 10th anniversary -- with friends and supporters at VanLandingham Estate on Oct. 14th where Gordon announced his Foundation will be donating and pledging $2.5 million this year. The Foundation's funding will support several initiatives including the development of the Pediatric Pulmonary Lab and Community Outreach Program at the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital, the establishment of the Jeff Gordon Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Riley Hospital for Children and the funding of the Phase I Long-Term Follow-Up Program focused on the effects of treatment on the health and quality of life of cancer patients. "Looking back at the past 10 years it's amazing to see the tremendous growth of the Foundation and the number of children that we have been able to help," Gordon said. "I am also pleased that we are able to provide such a large commitment this year even in these difficult economic times." Since its inception in 1999, The Jeff Gordon Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million to the country's top childhood health organizations. To assist the Foundation this year a campaign called TEN Match was created to gather support and to celebrate the Foundation's 10-year anniversary. For every donation of $10 or more, Gordon will personally match the contribution. Through generous donors, great strides in the support of pediatric cancer research and treatment and the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital continue to be made.(JGF)(10-22-2009)

    • Ambrose heading back to Tasmania in off season: Like many drivers, #47-Marcos Ambrose spends days or weeks at a time away from home, working away from the track. As the season winds down, the Aussie knows a trip to the homeland is just what he needs to recharge from the hustle and bustle. Following the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ambrose will go to Tasmania for two months. "The idea of going back to Australia is for my kids to see family and friends," Ambrose said. "For me, I will also use the time to get my body in shape and get my head back in the game. I will think about what I need during the year and how I am going to be better. It's all about reinvigorating myself and doing a good soul search about who I am, what I am all about and what I need to do to be better."(MWR)(10-22-2009)

    • Martinsville Rookie Notes: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the October 17 NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Logano scored a fifth-place finish, his second top-five and sixth top-10 finish this season and grabbed top rookie honors for the 22nd time this season. He is just the third Raybestos Rookie to finish in the top-five in the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The others were Ron Bouchard (fifth in 1981) and Jeff Gordon (fifth in 1993). Logano is the first Raybestos Rookie to score a top-10 at Lowe's Motor Speedway since Jamie McMurray placed seventh in 2003. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 29 points (226-197) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 25 Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Since 1974 only two Raybestos Rookies have won at Martinsville: Earl Ross (1974 fall race) and Morgan Shepherd (1981 spring race). Only one Raybestos Rookie has won a pole for the fall race at Martinsville (since 1975): Ryan Newman in 2002. Denny Hamlin owns the best finish by a Raybestos® Rookie at Martinsville since Morgan Shepherd won the 1981 spring race. Hamlin finished second in the 2006 fall race, .544 seconds behind race winner Jimmie Johnson. The most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in the TUMS Fast Relief 500 (since 1974) is 79 by Earl Ross in 1974 [won the race]. 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 (51 races).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), see rookie standings, history and notes on my 2009 Rookies page.(10-22-2009)

    • Gordon's Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Charlotte: Jeff Gordon's crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Gordon's #24 crew, which also won the pit road award the previous week in California, has five Tissot season victories and has moved within one win of the lead. The Tissot leader with five races remaining in the 2009 campaign is Greg Biffle's #16 crew with six pit road wins. Along with the $5,000 prize money for each weekly Tissot win, the crew with the most wins following the 36-race Cup schedule will collect a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Gordon's DuPont/Transformers Chevy Impala SS spent the least amount of time on pit road during the 334-lap, 500-mile race (271.888 seconds). The quick pit stops helped Gordon to a fourth-place finish in the NASCAR Banking 500. Gordon's pit crew consists of: Clay Robinson (front-tire changer), Mike Houston (front tire carrier), Tim Ladyga (rear-tire changer), Jeff Knight (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Cook (jackman), Caleb Hurd (gasman), Jamie Frady (catch can) and Andy Kruep (eighth man). The pit crew coach is Greg Morin.(Tissot), for season standings and race-by-race wins, see my 2009 Pit Crew News & Awards page(10-22-2009)

    • Vaseline colors for Truex at Martinsville: Vaseline MEN Lotion returns as primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Vaseline Men made it's NASCAR debut as primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. at Dover International Raceway on Sept. 27. Vaseline will have an onsite tent manned by brand ambassadors to help educate NASCAR Fans on the importance of skin health and Vaseline Men Lotion at Martinsville Speedway this weekend.(EGR), see my #1 Team schemes page for images of the scheme.(10-22-2009)

    • Kurt Busch's wife wins: #2-Kurt Busch's wife, Eva Busch, was the star of the show in her foray into the horse show arena. Eva, riding her Arabian show horse, "C.J.," claimed two blue ribbons, winning both her classes and taking the highest overall score in Saturday's "Lighten Up Dressage" at the Latta Plantation Equestrian Center in Huntersville, N.C. "I'm so proud of Eva," said Kurt. "She came home the big winner in her first-ever competition. That's really impressive." "Yeah, and it really helps to have the great equipment when you're competing out there," Eva said with a chuckle.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-22-2009)

    • Fan Activities For HALLOW-DEGA Announced: Talladega Superspeedway announced a list of HALLOW-DEGA fan activities set for the AMP Energy 500 weekend, Oct. 30 – Nov.1. "Our plans are coming together for the World's Largest Halloween Party," said Talladega Superspeedway President Rick Humphrey. "Best of all, there will be something for everyone. We have activities for the kids and parents too."
      Activities for Saturday, Oct. 31 include:
      · The SPEED Scream Contest on the SPEED stage
      · The Sprint Costume Contest in the Sprint display
      · A haunted maze located in the display area
      · A fortune teller that will peer into the future
      · A wax hands interactive display
      · A Pumpkin Seed Spitting Contest in the display area
      · Halloween characters roaming throughout the display area
      · A hall of mirrors and much more
      For information on attending HALLOW-DEGA, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(10-22-2009)


      News from October 21, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 21 -- 1984: Bill Elliott beats Harry Gant in a photo finish of the Warner H. Hodgdon American 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway for his first of four Cup Series victories at the Rock.(NASCAR.com)

    • Sirius to broadcast RCR festivities: SIRIUS NASCAR Radio's "Tradin' Paint," with Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers, will broadcast live from Richard Childress Racing Thursday, Oct. 22, from 11:00am - 3:00pm/et as RCR celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Anticipated guests on tomorrow's show include: Owner Richard Childress, drivers Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Casey Mears, plus RCR development drivers Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon and Ryan Gifford. Tomorrow evening, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio's Claire B. Lang will host her nightly show, "Dialed In," from 7:00-10:00pm/et from the Richard Childress Racing dinner gala, benefiting "The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma." Anticipated guests include: Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Richard Childress, Chocolate Myers, Junior Johnson, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison and NASCAR President Mike Helton. Much more info about RCR Day on my Racing Charities page.(10-21-2009)

    • #55 Jackman injured in pits UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing jackman Tony Cardamone was taken to a local hospital after colliding with another crew member during a pit stop for #55-Michael Waltrip during the NASCAR Banking 400 on Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, team and NASCAR officials said. The nature of his injuries were not specified, but he was awake and alert when he was taken to the infield medical center.(SceneDaily)(10-17-2009)
      UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing jackman Tony Cardamone was taken to a local hospital after colliding with another crew member during a pit stop for Michael Waltrip during the NASCAR Banking 400 on Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, team and NASCAR officials said. An MWR spokesman reported that Cardamone suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out for the remainder of the season.(SceneDaily)(10-18-2009) UPDATE 2: Michael Waltip, driver/owner of the #55 NAPA Toyota was asked: What is the update on Tony Cardamone who was injured last Saturday night at Charlotte?, Waltrip said: "After a visit to his doctor yesterday, he was diagnosed with a hair-line fracture of his ankle and has torn ligaments. He won't be able to jack the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for the remainder of the season. I called Tony Saturday night after the race and asked him how he was. All he wanted to talk about was the messed up pit stop. The NAPA team was running good up to that point. We were fast and on the lead lap. We had a chance to get a good finish. He hated that he fell. I had to remind him that his ankle was broken and to get over it. I just love his type of attitude and it's the attitude all my NAPA guys have. They are awesome."(MWR)(10-21-2009)

    • Berrier to be Burton's new crew chief? UPDATE 2: Crew chief Todd Berrier has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Scott Miller on the #31 Chevy at Richard Childress Racing. Berrier is currently crew chief for RCR's #07 team.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)
      UPDATE - decision on crew chief is near: #31-Jeff Burton met with members of the media at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and discussed his thoughts on the status of his team: HOW CLOSE WOULD YOU SAY YOU GUYS ARE TO RESOLVING THE CREW CHIEF SITUATION ON THE #31 FOR NEXT YEAR? “We’re real close. I don’t have a definite date but we’re real close to having all that figured out. There’s a lot of things that are changing at RCR. There’s a new way of doing business going into next year and in the midst of that crew chief search for the #31. We’re really optimistic that we have that put to bed and we’ll be able to talk about that fairly soon.”(Chevy Racing)(10-16-2009)
      UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing continues to retool team leadership with its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams. Following this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, Todd Berrier will take over the crew chief duties of the #31 Caterpillar team with driver Jeff Burton while Doug Randolph assumes Berrier’s duties on the #07 Jack Daniel’s team with driver Casey Mears. Starting this week at Memphis Motorsports Park, Dan Deeringhoff will replace Randolph in his return to the #29 Holiday Inn team with drivers Burton, Clint Bowyer and Stephen Leicht in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Scott Miller, who has led the #31 team since 2005, will move fulltime to the director of competition position he was named to in September. Minimal changes will also be made among crew members for the #07 and #31 teams. The crew chief position for RCR’s development program will be named later. “I said previously that RCR would continue to adjust our team lineups in order to have the right personnel in place and this is the next step in that process,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Todd, Doug and Dan are all proven winners so the goal of these moves is to put them in the best situations to continue that success. I’m confident that making these changes now will be a benefit to the teams for the rest of this season as well as in preparing for 2010.”(RCR)(10-21-2009)

    • McMurray close to signing new deal?: hearing that Jamie McMurray is close to signing a deal to drive the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy in 2010, announcement could come the week following Martinsville.(10-21-2009)

    • Johnson vs other drivers comparison: #48-Jimmie Johnson's stats over the last eight years with five races reaming in his 8th year, compared to the 5 other greats with multiple wins and championships in their 1st full 8 seasons in the modern era [1972 to present]:
      * Johnson's Career 1st 8 years – 2002 to 2009
      o 46 wins, 114 top fives, 176 top tens, three back to back championships
      * Richard Petty's Career 1st 8 years (modern era) – 1972 to 1979
      o 50 wins, 156 top fives, 181 top tens, 4 championships
      * Cale Yarborugh's Career 1st 8 years (modern era) – 1973 to 1980
      o 55 wins , 158 top fives, 172 top tens 3 back to back championships
      * Darrel Waltrip's Career – 1st 8 years – 1975 to 1982
      o 51 wins, 129 top fives, 154 to tens, 2 Championships
      * Dale Earnhardt's Career 1st 8 years – 1979 to 1986
      o 20 wins, 93 top fives, 143 top tens, 2 championships
      * Jeff Gordon's career 1st 8 years – 1993 to 2000
      o 52 wins, 129 top fives, 166 to tens, 3 championships
      (Stagged Special)(10-21-2009)

    • Special NAPA scheme for Waltrip at Martinsville: The #55 Toyota Camry of Michael Waltrip will once again have the NAPA Adaptive One Brake Pads paint scheme. Adaptive One Brake Pads are designed to reduce noise and brake dust without sacrificing the 'stop-on-a-dime' braking power. Waltrip will start in his 47th race at Martinsville Speedway in his 754th NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Earlier this season, Waltrip rallied back from being down a lap – three times -- to race his way onto the lead lap to finish 13th in the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500.(MWR), see an image of the Adaptive One Brake Pads scheme on my #55 Team Schemes page.(10-21-2009)

    • Penske Racing Hauler driver wins: Congratulations goes out to Bill "Stump" Lewis for claiming the first-place prize in the 2009 Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge. The final segment of the annual contest for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team transport drivers was held over the weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway and "Stump" was presented his trophy and $35,000 first-place check on the stage prior to Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500. "This one's especially sweet," said the popular veteran driver, who shares the over-the-road duties with wife, Cindy. "It's my third big trophy and I was up against a bunch of young bucks this time around." "I guess you could call Stump the Brett Favre of what we do out here," Cindy offered. "I'm so proud of him. He just keeps on getting better…in everything he does…" The last time Stump was a winner in the contest, he bought Cindy a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. "This time around, we're going to spend the money on getting things done around the house, like putting in an irrigation system for the yard." "But first, we'll have a big party to celebrate and have all the team over," said Cindy.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-21-2009)

    • Some more 2010 schemes 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

    • Halloween scheme for the #18: Kyle Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will sport a special paint scheme on his #18 M&M's Toyota this weekend at Martinsville Speedway showcasing M&M's Halloween Fun Packs since Halloween night is just around the corner. Of the 30 tracks that will host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at 28 of them at least once and won at 22 of them. This weekend, he'll compete at two of the six venues where he has not been victorious. In addition to Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville, Busch will fly to Memphis Motorsports Park to compete in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(JGR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page(10-21-2009)

    • Tire test at LMS: Goodyear completed a two-day tire test Tuesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway with #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota), #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Chevy), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford) and #19-Elliott Sadler (Dodge).(Roanoke Times)(10-20-2009)

    • Danica and JR Motorsports/MWR? ESPN.com has confirmed that IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick is talking with JR Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing about running a limited schedule of about eight Nationwide Series races -- plus a few Truck and maybe ARCA events -- in 2010. Kevin Harvick Inc. could be a player. But sources say those aren't the only options as Patrick begins preparing for a potential NASCAR career after her IndyCar career is over.(see more at ESPN Insiders)(10-21-2009)

    • Last 2009 race for National Guard on the #24: This season, Gordon and the #24 team helped bring awareness to the National Guard's community initiatives, which were showcased on the #24 DuPont/National Guard Chevy in seven Sprint Cup Series events. This weekend's race at Martinsville marks Gordon's final event of the year with the National Guard. In six of the seven outings with the National Guard on the hood of his #24 Chevy this season, Gordon has scored a top-five finish. His best effort was a win at Texas Motor Speedway in April, while he also scored runner-up finishes at Atlanta in March, Michigan in June and Chicagoland in July. He finished fifth at Darlington in May and third at Richmond in September. This weekend at Martinsville Speedway, the National Guard's official Web site -- nationalguard.com -- will be showcased on the hood of the #24 DuPont/National Guard Chevy. Crew chief Steve Letarte has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-524 for Sunday's race at Martinsville. Gordon has raced this car twice in 2009, picking up a fourth-place finish at Martinsville in March and a third-place finish at Richmond in September.(HMS)(10-21-2009)

    • Some Georgia Racing Greats to be honored: the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame will be holding their 2009 Induction banquet at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, which is housed at the Dawsonville City Municipal Comples this Friday, Oct. 23 at 6:00pm. Among the inductees are former NASCAR drivers Bob Burcham, Ronnie Sanders, Tommie Irvin and Buck Simmons. More info at thunderroadusa.com.(10-21-2009)

    • Sad News - George Alsobrook: George Lunsford Alsobrook, age 75, of Paulding County, passed away Sunday, October 18, 2009. He was born February 23, 1934, in Blue Ridge, GA, and was preceded in death by his father, Gordon Walter Alsobrook, mother, Pauline Alsobrook Thompson, and wife, Mary Alice Cain Alsobrook. Mr. Alsobrook was a U. S. Army veteran of the Korean War. He raced in NASCAR in the late 50's and early 60's, racing at Daytona International Speedway and other tracks in the southeast. Mr. Alsobrook was a member of the Bartlett Lodge #134 in Hiram, the Nobility Club and the Shrine Club. He owned and operated Alsobrook Junk Yard for over 50 years, and was a school bus driver for Paulding County School System for 34 years.
      Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at 3:00 PM, from Clark Funeral Home Chapel, with Reverend Wayne Morris officiating. Interment will follow in Sweetwater Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Yaarab Shrine Hospital Fund, 400 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (404-872-5818). Clark Funeral Home in Hiram, GA, is in charge of arrangements.(10-21-2009)

    • Drivers to appear on Raw: #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Joey Logano are scheduled to serve as special guest hosts of WWE's Raw in Buffalo, N.Y., this Monday night [10/26]. The show airs on the USA Network at 9:00pm/et.(WWE) and there are many other driver appearances posted on my DRIVER APPEARANCES page.(10-21-2009)

    • 65,000-Plus Fans Will Give Starting Command at Martinsville: For the first time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, all fans attending the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday will serve as the 'Grand Marshals' and 'Official Starters' for the event. Tums, Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series drivers and crews will salute the fans during pre-race activities leading up to the final honors of giving the command 'Gentlemen, Start Your Engines' and the waving of the green flag for the start of the 500-lap event. During pre-race ceremonies, the 43 drivers and crews will thank the fans for their support with a special salute. The drivers and more than 400 crew members will take part in the tribute to say thank you to all race fans. On a few occasions, fans have been invited to join the designated Grand Marshal in giving the command 'Gentlemen, Start Your Engines'. At the Tums Fast Relief 500, fans will not only give the command to start the engines, but also participate in starting the race. All fans attending Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event will receive a 12" x 15" commemorative green flag when they arrive at their seats. Following the lead of the NASCAR flagman, all 65,000 fans will participate in the start of the 500-lap race, waving their own green flag. Sprint Vision will present congratulatory messages from several drivers and the NASCAR community throughout the morning leading up to the start of pre-race ceremonies. Fans also will see the VIP introductions at the opening of the driver's meeting on Sprint Vision. Tums returns as the title sponsor for the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the .526-mile track for the second consecutive year. The Tums Fast Relief 500 is the sixth of 10 races that make up the Chase for the Sprint Cup and the final short-track race of the season.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-21-2009)


      News from October 20, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 20 -- 1968: Charlie Glotzbach wins the National 500 at Charlotte for his first Cup victory. Glotzbach finishes 7 seconds ahead of Paul Goldsmith. David Pearson finishes third, the only other car on the lead lap. Glotzbach makes 124 starts from 1960 to 1992 and finishes his career with four Cup wins and 12 poles.(NASCAR.com)

    • Some more 2010 schemes 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

    • Final LMS TV Ratings down: ABC’s live coverage of Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., earned a final national household rating of 3.5, averaging 5,484,745 viewers. The rating was down from a 3.8 for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. ESPN2’s live coverage of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the same track earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, averaging 1,711,780 viewers and up from the 1.1 for last year’s rain-delayed race that also aired on ESPN2.(ESPN) For last race, race-by-race and the comparision chart, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-20-2009)

    • Three team testing at Little Rock: Three Sprint Cup teams are testing today [10-20-2009] at Rockingham Speedway's 'Little Rock', their 1/2 mile Martinsville-like short track: #48-Jimmie Johnson. #09-Sterling Marlin and #34-John Andretti.(10-20-2009)

    • New crew chief for Robby in 2010? UPDATE: hearing that Robby Gordon's current crew chief, Kirk Almquist, will leave the team at the end of the 2009 season, supposedly to retire and head back to California.(9-19-2009)
      UPDATE: Robby Gordon Motorsports announced Doug Richert as the crew chief of the #7 Camry for the remainder of the 2009 season. Richert, a NASCAR veteran with more 25 years of experience and 15 Cup wins, will assume the crew chief responsibilities starting at Martinsville this weekend. “Doug brings experience and knowledge to our team, which I hope will help elevate our Cup performance. He has spotted for us since early June, but we are happy to have Doug come on board as crew chief this weekend. He will fill this role for the final five races, and we will see where it goes from there,” commented Robby Gordon. “I am really looking forward to this opportunity. Even though I have helped Robby and the #7 team as a spotter, I haven’t been associated directly with a team since last May. This opportunity will allow me to be more hands-on in the decisions of the #7, which I hope will directly improve the team’s performance. I am looking forward to the rest of the year and continuing to push forward,” commented Doug Richert.(RGM)(10-20-2009)

    • #42 Target Crew best in the pits 3rd Qtr: Juan Pablo Montoya's #42 Target Chevy pit crew has proven that they have the speed, power and performance to help their driver earn a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and to run at the front of the field. The team is now in third place in the Chase standings with six races to go, and has earned two poles, six top-fives and 16 top-10 finishes so far this year. That's why the #42 Target team won the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award for the third quarter - the only authentic competition voted on by crew chiefs. It is the first time the #42 team has won the award. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award is given quarterly throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and the winning pit crew is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award and a check for $100,000 is awarded at the 2009 NASCAR banquet and awards ceremony.(Victory Management Group)(10-20-2009)

    • 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: Kurt Busch told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway wth Dave Moody Monday that the search is narrowing for a 2010 crewchief for the Miller Lite Dodge. "We've got a guy internally that we're extremely interested in," said Busch. "I'm also going to sit down with our team president, Tim Cindric, tomorrow to talk about some of the other people that he has spoken to about the job. I have a long list of emails and messages from guys who have contacted me and are interested in the job, and that's a good thing. Old guys, young guys, experienced guys, and not-so-experienced guys; we've heard from them all." Busch repeated his earlier assertion that if he falls out of championship contention, outgoing crewchief Pat Tryson could be cleared to leave the team before the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Sirius NASCAR Radio)(10-20-2009)

    • All cars cleared after post race inspection: All of the cars that NASCAR took back from Lowe's Motor Speedway following Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500 Sprint Cup race have cleared inspection and there are no issues. The cars of race-winner #48-Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate #5-Mark Martin and Roush Fenway Racing's #16-Greg Biffle were inspected Monday, and all were cleared, according to a NASCAR spokesman. Officials typically take two cars (the winner and at least one other) back to the sanctioning body's research and development center in Concord, N.C., for a closer look, and the two it took back after Dover – Johnson and Martin – were legal but pushed the limits of certain tolerances, NASCAR officials said. In the three weeks since that race, NASCAR has taken the Johnson and Martin cars, as well as others, back to the center.(SceneDaily)(10-20-2009)

    • Burton says decision on crew chief is near UPDATE: #31-Jeff Burton met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed his thoughts on the status of his team: HOW CLOSE WOULD YOU SAY YOU GUYS ARE TO RESOLVING THE CREW CHIEF SITUATION ON THE #31 FOR NEXT YEAR? "We're real close. I don't have a definite date but we're real close to having all that figured out. There's a lot of things that are changing at RCR. There's a new way of doing business going into next year and in the midst of that crew chief search for the #31. We're really optimistic that we have that put to bed and we'll be able to talk about that fairly soon."(Chevy Racing)(10-16-2009)

      UPDATE: Sirius Speedway has learned that a press conference will be held early next week to announce personnel changes on Jeff Burton's #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team, including the signing of crewchief Todd Berrier. Berrier will replace Scott Miller, who was recently promoted to Director of Competition at RCR. Berrier has been a crew chief in the RCR organization since 2002. Sources close to the team say a meeting was held this week between Childress, Miller and Berrier to implement a transition plan, and to decide which members of Burton's over-the-wall and race day crews will be retained. Sources say some personnel changes will be implemented as soon as next week, with an official announcement expected on Tuesday.(Sirius Speedway)(10-20-2009)

    • Stewart to tell if the Whopper is...: #14-Tony Stewart will go head-to-head with a lie detector machine to answer a list of questions. Among the queries will be a question about whether he likes the Whopper-brand hamburger served by one of his sponsors, Burger King. The session will begin at 1:00pm/et, Tuesday, Oct 20th. This is a live Web event, so you must log onto bk.com/TruthAboutTony to see how Stewart fares against the lie detector. What makes this fun is the fact Stewart will be asked several other questions, presumably about his personal life.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-20-2009)

    • Raikkonen: I could race in NASCAR...but: 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen reveals that his options are entirely open as to what the future might hold. Kimi Raikkonen has joked that he could race in the North American NASCAR series in 2010 should he so desire – as he remained adamant that he still has 'no plans' beyond the end of the current F1 season. The 2007 world champion is being dropped by Ferrari – for whom he has driven since that title-winning campaign – at the end of the year in favour of Fernando Alonso, the man Raikkonen beat by just a single point two years ago. However, Raikkonen insists he has yet to make any decisions regarding next season, when it has similarly been suggested that he might further indulge his nascent forays into rallying by way of a more full-time switch, or even follow in the wheel tracks of fellow former grand prix stars Jacques Villeneuve and Juan-Pablo Montoya by heading across the Pond to NASCAR, a mooted destination for 'Singapore-gate' protagonist Nelsinho Piquet too. "I have no plans," Raikkonen is quoted as having said by The Associated Press, almost two years to the day to when he claimed his first and thus far only F1 title at Interlagos. "I do what I want with my life. I could race there (in NASCAR) if I wanted – but I'm not one of the biggest fans of NASCAR."(Crash.net)(10-20-2009)

    • NASCAR seeks recruits at JCSU: The NASCAR College Tour visited Johnson C. Smith University last week, and a group of about 50 students gathered at Biddle Hall to hear from African Americans the stock car racing company hopes represent a significant part of its future. There was Marc Davis, a 19-year-old driver and team owner in NASCAR's Nationwide Series. There was Arionne Allen, a 23-year-old who went through NASCAR's Diversity Internship Program. There was Mike Phillips, a senior manager for track services, who helps run emergency crews at Lowe's Motor Speedway. For the past nine years, NASCAR has sent a team of officials every year to historically black colleges and universities. The goal is to recruit minorities into a sport that hasn't always welcomed them. JCSU was the last of five stops on this year's tour; the others were at Clark Atlanta and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Virginia State University in Petersburg, and Delaware State University in Dover. The college tour dovetails with NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, a 5-year-old initiative that tries to develop minority and female drivers and pit crew members.(Charlotte Observer)(10-20-2009)

    • Jr. Nation fans to have names on the #88: At this year's AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, thousands of members of JR Nation will see their names on Earnhardt's #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy as part of the AMP Energy "Get on the 88" promotion, which has ended. See an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.
      The more than 70,000 fans who signed up to "Get on the 88" can go to www.AMPEnergy.com to see where their names will be on the No. 88 AMP Energy "Get on the 88"/National Guard Chevrolet that Earnhardt will drive Nov. 1 at Talladega Superspeedway. AMP Energy unveiled the special paint scheme at www.AMPEnergy.com last weekend.(10-19/20-2009)

    • Notes/Facts after Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      * Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This marked the sixth victory by Johnson at Lowe's, tying him with Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for the most by any driver at that racetrack. Johnson did it in 17 races while Waltrip took 34 and Allison took 36 races.
      * This was the 22nd straight Chase race won by a Chase driver.
      * This marked Johnson's third win in the first five races in the 2009 Chase. Johnson has won at least one race in every year of the Chase: 2004 (four wins), 2005 (two), 2006 (one), 2007 (four) and 2008 (three). He is the only driver to score three wins in the first five Chase races.
      * Johnson scored his 46th career victory in his 286th start. Johnson moved into a tie for 13th with Buck Baker on NASCAR's all-time wins list. It was Johnson's eighth career victory from the pole.
      * Johnson holds the points lead by 90 over second-place Mark Martin. This is the largest points lead with five races to go -- the previous was 69 by Johnson in 2008. The largest points lead overcome with five to go was 146 in 2006 by Johnson.
      * Johnson scored his sixth victory in 2009, the most by any driver this season. This is the eighth consecutive season that Johnson has won a race (2002-2009).
      * Johnson scored his first top-5 finish in his past six races at Lowe's.
      * Hendrick Motorsports scored its series-leading 16th victory at Lowe's, the most by any team. Johnson scored the 12th win for Hendrick this season.
      * Johnson led five times for a race-high 92 laps, including the final 14. He extended a 16-race streak of leading a lap at Lowe's. With his lead in Saturday's race, Johnson has led in 42 of the 55 Chase races. He has led in 26 of 31 races this season, a series best.
      * Johnson's worst finish in the past 31 Chase races (since Lowe's in October 2006) is 15th (Texas and Homestead in 2008).
      * Matt Kenseth (second) scored his third top-10 finish in his past four races at Lowe's.
      * Kasey Kahne (third) extended a five-race streak of top-10 finishes at Lowe's.
      * Jeff Gordon (fourth) scored his fourth top-10 finish in the past five races at Lowe's. He extended a five-race streak of top-15 finishes at the track.
      * Rookie Joey Logano (fifth) was the highest-finishing rookie.
      * Kyle Busch (eighth) extended a five-race streak of top-10 finishes at Lowe's.
      * Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) posted his first top-10 finish in his past 20 races.
      * Tony Stewart (13th) has been running at the finish in the past 54 races, the longest current streak.
      * Kevin Harvick finished 18th in his 275th consecutive series start at Lowe's. This was Harvick's 317th career start.
      * Martin (17th) ended a streak of seven straight top-10 finishes. He extended a six-race streak of lead-lap finishes at Lowe's.
      * Bobby Labonte finished 31st in his 575th consecutive start, the second-longest current streak behind Jeff Gordon. This was Labonte's 577th career start.
      * Juan Pablo Montoya (35th) posted his fifth finish of 28th or worse in six races at Lowe's. Montoya dropped from third to sixth in points.
      * Denny Hamlin (42nd) was the lowest-finishing Chase driver.(ESPN)(10-20-2009)

    • Kids' Zone To Make Debut at Martinsville Speedway: Martinsville Speedway has been considered a family track for all if its 62 years, but for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on October 25, it will be just a little more child friendly than in the past. One section of the display area has been declared a "Kids' Zone" for the Tums Fast Relief 500 weekend with games, souvenirs and food aimed at the younger crowd. There will be two inflatable games for the youngsters to play on, The Moon Walk and The Slide. The concession items in the Kids' Zone will not only be kid favorites, but kid priced. There will be chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cotton candy, chips, fruit cups and Capri Sun juice boxes. Nothing will be over $2. There will also be plenty of youth oriented souvenirs … three trailers full. Digger, FOX TV's racing cartoon star, will have a trailer, along with the Kid's Stop trailer and the Kidz Rock trailer. There are some great ticket prices for kids during the TUMS Fast Relief 500 weekend. Children's tickets in the Clay Earles Tower are only $10 when purchased with an adult ticket. Children 12 and under will be admitted free to the Kroger 200 on Saturday, October 24 and Farm Bureau Pole Day on Friday, October 23. Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, October 25, the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, October 24 and the Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Day on Friday, October 23 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Ticket prices range from $25 to $77 for the TUMS Fast Relief 500.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-20-2009)


      News from October 19, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 19 -- 1958: Richard Petty finishes second-to-last, 23rd, in the #2 Oldsmobile, in the Wilkes 160 at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. It is his fifth and final start in the #2. Petty will not start a race in a single-digit car again until 1986 in Charlotte when he finishes 38th in D.K. Ulrich's #6 Chevrolet.(NASCAR.com)

    • The Entry List for the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points:
      #09-Sterling Marlin (2009 Race Winner as owner)(38th in owners pts/31 attempts)
      #36-Michael McDowell (42/31)
      #37-Travis Kvapil (45/23)
      #64-Mike Wallace (49/17)
      #66-Dave Blaney (41/31)
      #71-David Gilliland (37/31)
      #75-Derrike Cope (52/6)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/31)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (39/31)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,82,87,66,36,37,64
      missing the race would be [1]: #'s 75
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Martinsville Entry List.(10-19-2009)

    • Some more 2010 schemes 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

    • Overnight TV Ratings down for LMS: ABC's broadcast of Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte earned a 3.0 overnight rating with a 6 share. Down over 2008's over night rating of the same race [held 10/11/2008] with a 3.5 rating with a 7 share for the overnights. 2008's final national household rating was 3.8 with a 7 share. For last race, race-by-race and the comparision chart, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-19-2009)

    • Hamlin subbing for Busch in Truck race: Denny Hamlin will take to the track in the #51 Miccosukee Resort/Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota Tundra at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, October 24, 2009 in the running of the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Kyle "Rowdy" Busch, who has typically piloted the Billy Ballew Motorsports entry at companion races, will be at Memphis Motorsports Park with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Busch leads the Nationwide Series Driver Points Championship. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin will step-in for Busch and pilot the Billy Ballew Motorsports NASCAR Camping World truck at Martinsville, Virginia track for the first time since the spring 2008 event. In his last appearance for Ballew in 2008, Hamlin led 64 laps but was caught-up in an on track incident causing rear end damage relegating him to a 21st-place finish. Hamlin has three career Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville, posting a best finish of eighth-place in 2006.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(10-19-2009)

    • Rudd retired from NASCAR but...: Although Ricky Rudd no longer races in NASCAR, he hasn't stopped competing. He's racing a mountain bike. Rudd, who rides a mountain bike about 12 miles a day four times a week, entered a race about a month ago. It was his first mountain bike race. He said he finished about the middle of his age group in the 11-mile race. "I entered my 50-year-old class and got my butt kicked,'' Rudd said smiling. "I wasn't really ready for it, but I thought I'm just going to see where I'm at. Unfortunately, it was a lot of hills and that's where I'm weak at.''(Roanoke Times)(10-19-2009)

    • LVMS to host fan, charity event during NASCAR Champion's Week: Las Vegas Motor Speedway and NASCAR are bringing Champion's Week to the race fans. Speedway and NASCAR officials have created the Chasers for Charity Fanfest to be held Dec. 2 in the Neon Garage and Blackjack Club at LVMS. The event will include a free-admission fan event throughout the afternoon as well as a charity roast of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. The fanfest will serve as the kickoff for NASCAR's inaugural Champion's Week in Las Vegas.
      "One of the key elements to bringing NASCAR Champion's Week to Las Vegas was creating an event for race fans," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "This event will bring the drivers and the fans closer together and raise money for charity in the process. We're very appreciative of NASCAR's efforts to make this a special fan event that we hope becomes a tradition during Champion's Week."
      The event will consist of a charity roast of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. The fanfest will feature appearances by the champion as well as drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The charity portion of the event will begin with a procession of the Chase drivers and the champion through the Neon Garage. A reception in the speedway media center will follow the procession, with credentialed fans having an opportunity to mingle with the drivers. The event will culminate with the roast in the Blackjack Club. Admission to the reception and roast is $250 per person and will be limited to the first 300 people due to space limitations. Proceeds from the event will benefit Speedway Children's Charities.
      The fanfest will allow fans free admission to the Neon Garage beginning at 11:00am on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Live entertainment and car displays will entertain race fans for the early part of the event. At approximately 2:00pm, the Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers and the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will arrive and walk a red carpet through the Neon Garage. The roast will be shown via closed-circuit television throughout the Neon Garage. Over the next few weeks, the speedway will be announcing more elements of this inaugural event. To purchase tickets to the roast, please log on to lvms.com or call 1-800-644-4444.(LVMS)(10-19-2009)

    • Aaron's increases their sports marketing budget: Aaron's has boosted its sports marketing budget by 10% — about $1 million a year — inking deals with the University of Alabama, NASCAR [Michael Waltrip Racing's #00 Toyota] and Philips Arena, home to the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and NHL's Atlanta Thrashers. Aaron's, which has seen its sales grow during the Great Recession, leases and sells residential and office furniture, consumer electronics, and home appliances and accessories. With an 18% increase in customers compared with a year ago, Aaron's has the cash flow to spend on sports sponsorships, which the company has found to be a very effective way to reach its target market: households with annual incomes of $50,000 or less. Aaron's has existing sports partnerships with Georgia Tech, the University of Texas and NASCAR's Michael Waltrip Racing. "Companies continue to tighten their marketing dollars," said William Chipps, senior editor at IEG Sponsorship Report. "It doesn't surprise me that Aaron's has ramped up [its sports marketing]. They've been involved in sponsorships for years. They've played a lot in motor sports." Aaron's sponsorship with NASCAR, in particular, "gives them a chance to directly communicate with people who tend to be their customers," Chipps said. IEG has seen other "value retailers" increasing their sports sponsorships, as the economy has sagged, to more effectively reach their customers, he said. "Dollar General has also been increasing its involvement with motor sports, too," Chipps said. And Aaron's is looking for even more sponsorship opportunities, Aaron's CEO Robin Loudermilk said. "A lot of opportunities are coming our way and we're taking advantage of it to increase our exposure," he said. "Sports marketing will be a major part of marketing in our foreseeable future."(in part from the Atlanta Business Journal)(10-19-2009)

    • Johnson has largest points lead after 5 Chase races:after five Chase races [of 10], #48-Jimmie Johnson has the largest points lead after five races of any of the 6 Chases [2004-2009]. The points leaders after five races in each of the four seasons:
      2009: Jimmie Johnson 90 points ahead of Mark Martin
      2008: Jimmie Johnson 69 points ahead of Jeff Burton
      2007: Jeff Gordon 68 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson
      2006: Jeff Burton 45 points ahead of Matt Kenseth (Johnson was -146 and won the Chase)
      2005: Tony Stewart 11 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson
      2004: Kurt Busch 24 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
      (season champ in bold)(10-19-2009)

    • Jr. Nation fans to have names on the #88: At this year's AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, thousands of members of JR Nation will see their names on Earnhardt's #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy as part of the AMP Energy "Get on the 88" promotion, which has ended. See an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(10-19-2009)

    • Kyle Busch Wins Winchester 400: Kyle Busch had chances to win the Winchester 400 on a couple of occasions before, finishing second in 2008, and running for the lead with only a few laps to go a few years ago only to have a wheel come off. The 2009 Winchester 400 trophy went home with him as he raced out to the lead and stayed there. Chris Gabehart took the early lead and ran out to a strong lead before Busch started to reel him in and took the lead on the 61st lap. From there Busch only gave up the lead once under green. Gabehart was a strong challenger until hitting debris and damaging a spindle. Jeff Fultz took the lead from Busch under green but his day ended when his transmission went out with 288 laps to go.(CRA Racing)(10-19-2009)

    • Many schemes added from Lowe's Motor Speedway including: #02-Farm Bureau Insurance, #1-Guitar Hero DJ Hero, #7-Freightliner, #18-M&M's / Susan G. Komen, #19-Stanley Tools / Susan G. Komen, #21-Warriors in Pink, #24-Transformers II / Megatron, #26-Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea, #33-General Mills Monsters Cereal, #36-Wave Energy Drink, #39-Transformers II / Optimus Prime, #42-Lysol, #43-Super 8 Motel, #55-NAPA / Susan G. Komen, #66-Denny Hamlin Foundation, #96-Ask.com/Search for the Cure. See links to them on my Paint Scheme Gallery or 2009 Sprint Cup Paint Schemes pages.

    • Mountain Heart to sing National Anthem at Martinsville: Mountain Heart, the band that figured a way to combine bluegrass, rock, blues and jazz, will bring its amazing vocals to Martinsville Speedway to perform the National Anthem before the running of the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on October 25. Mountain Heart is accustomed to large stages; the group has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry over 100 times and performed with acts ranging from Brad Paisley to Lynyrd Sknyrd to Montgomery Gentry to Alison Kraus. Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 and the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race may be purchased by calling 877.722.3849 (877.RACE.TIX) or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com online.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-19-2009)

    • BMS wins $397,000 tax case: A Nashville judge has ruled that Bristol Motor Speedway does not have to pay a $397,000 tax assessment from the state of Tennessee. Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, in an order unsealed Friday, ruled in a dispute over money the racetrack brings in from the broadcast of NASCAR races. The speedway last year challenged the assessment, claiming the state Department of Revenue was illegally taxing the track. Speedway officials argued that television rights are intangible and that any money derived from the sale of them is not subject to Tennessee sales or business taxes. The suit also claimed the state wrongfully taxed the speedway for money it makes from mailing fees on tickets and from leasing space to vendors. Lyle wrote that the assessments "do not fall into the category of tangible personal property." The judge also ruled that "the relationship ... from the NASCAR agreement is more in the nature of a joint venture than contract of service by the (track) to NASCAR."(Kingsport Times News)(10-19-2009)


      News from October 18, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 18 -- 1998: Dennis Setzer wins the Dodge California Truck Stop 300 at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., for his first Truck Series victory. Setzer beats Jack Sprague by .99 seconds in the 300-lap race on the half-mile track. Stacy Compton finishes third.(NASCAR.com)

    • #55 Jackman injured in pits UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing jackman Tony Cardamone was taken to a local hospital after colliding with another crew member during a pit stop for #55-Michael Waltrip during the NASCAR Banking 400 on Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway, team and NASCAR officials said. The nature of his injuries were not specified, but he was awake and alert when he was taken to the infield medical center.(SceneDaily)(10-17-2009)
      UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing jackman Tony Cardamone was taken to a local hospital after colliding with another crew member during a pit stop for Michael Waltrip during the NASCAR Banking 400 on Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, team and NASCAR officials said. An MWR spokesman reported that Cardamone suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out for the remainder of the season.(SceneDaily)(10-18-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 NASCAR Banking 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 Saturday’s race. ABC was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 118
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 30
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:34 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:28 PM
      Total minutes: 234
      Minutes of race broadcast: 184
      Minutes of commercials: 50
      Number of missed restarts: 1
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      NASCAR.com Superstore (Jeff Gordon) – 3
      NASCAR Cup Champions’ Week in Las Vegas – 2
      NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – 1
      NASCAR.com/Chase – 1
      NASCAR.com performance and AASA (Steve Letarte, Jeff Gordon) – 1
      Martinsville Speedway – 1
      Nationwide Series (Steve Wallace) – 1
      Texas Motor Speedway (Tony Stewart) – 1
      Total race brdcst time 184 Total comm. brdcst time 50
      See driver focus, past races, links to full reports on my 2009 TV Commercials page.(CawsnJaws.com).(10-18-2009)

    • Sad News - Bobby Rowe: Robert "Bobby" Rowe, 64, resident of Memphis, TN, U.S. Vietnam Army Veteran died Thursday at the Memphis Veteran's Hospital. Visitation 1 to 2 p.m. Monday [10/19], services with Military Honors to follow at 2 p.m. at Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland. Bobby was a former NHRA world record holder who enjoyed spending time with his family and friends [Rowe also worked for NASCAR Owners James Finch and Rick Hendrick in various capacities]. Survivors include children, Jerene Rowe of Memphis and Robert Rowe, Jr. (Jennifer) and granddaughter Brielle of Santa Clara, CA ; his siblings: Jerene Sykes of Hickory Withe; Tina Dugan of Memphis and Doug Rowe of Cordova. He was preceded in death by his parents Floyd D. Rowe Jr. , Ruth Rowe Mckenzie and brother Terry Rowe, all of Memphis. Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes & Crematory West Chapel—Oakland, TN 901-465-3535.(Memphis Commercial Appeal)(10-18-2009)

    • Great Tickets at Great Prices remain for Martinsville: Fans still have the opportunity to get great seats for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway at the best prices in a decade. Tickets start at just $25 for the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the sixth race in the Chase For The Sprint Cup, on Sunday, October 25.
      • All Backstretch seats are $25 along with the first five rows of seats in the Sprint Tower, the Clay Earles Tower and the South Annex.
      • Seats in the Clay Earles Tower overlooking the second turn are $55.
      • Children's tickets in the Clay Earles Tower are only $10 when purchased with an adult ticket.
      • All seats in Bill France Tower are $40
      • Seats in the Sprint Tower are $65
      Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 and the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race may be purchased by calling 877.722.3849 (877.RACE.TIX) or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com online.(Martinsville Speedway)(10-18-2009)

    • Steel construction under way for MIS infield project: Construction crews have begun erecting steel at the site of Michigan International Speedway's $17 million suite and media center building project. The two-story project design calls for 30 corporate suites that span the second floor of the structure. The suites will sit atop a state-of-the-art media, technology and meeting center. Print, radio and TV journalists will have ample space to work and cover MIS' popular events. Separate rooms for large press conferences and competitor meetings will also be housed on the first floor, near a new kitchen and press dining area. Demolition of the old suite/media center building occurred the day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 race last August. The scope of Phase One of the project also includes modifying pit road and the current fire lane. The speedway's fueling station in the garage will also be moved. The project is the largest at MIS since the construction of the suite tower in 2005. In that venture, the speedway's motorsports fan display area was also expanded and paved. Phase One of the master plan redesign of the infield is just one piece of an ongoing transformation at MIS. In all, MIS will have spent more than $55 million since 2005 on various capital improvement projects from enhanced seating to a new scoreboard and public address system, to better campsites and directional signage — all with the fan in mind. Future hopes for the speedway include an eventual Phase Two of an infield renovation to create a fan walk-style entertainment area with fan-accessible garages. 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)(10-18-2009)


      News from October 17, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 17 -- 1982: Jack Ingram wins for the third time at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway in the Nationwide Series; one of six Nationwide races at Hickory in 1982, the inaugural Nationwide season. Morgan Shepherd, John Settlemyre and Tommy Houston win the other three races at the .363-mile track.(NASCAR.com)

    • Johnson wins at Lowe's: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway for his 6th win of the season and 46th of his career. Johnson is the first driver in the 6 year history of the Chase to win 3 of the first 5 Chase races. Johnson has now won 17 of 55 Chase races, Biffle and Edwards are 2nd best with 6 wins each during the Chase. #17-Kenseth finished 2nd, followed by #9-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #20-Logano, #33-Bowyer, #07-Mears, #18-Busch, #1-Truex Jr. and #2-Busch. Other chasers: #39-Newman 11th; #14-Stewart 13th, #16-Biffle 16th; #5-Martin 17th. Four Chases had very a rough night with #11-Hamlin losing an engine, finishing 42nd; #99-Edwards losing an engine and finishing 39th; #42-Montoya smacking the wall and limping to a 35th finish and #83-Vickers finishing 34th and is now a whopping 485 points out of the lead.
      There were 10 cautions for 42 caution laps and there were 22 lead changes among 9 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Sunday, October 18 at 3:15am/et
      ESPN Classic: Sunday, October 18 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, October 21 at 12:00pm/et
      For race results, awards and more, see my Lowe's Motor Speedway Race Results Page.(10-17-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after LMS, Chase race 5 of 10; Season race 31 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 5923, finished 1st
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5833, -90, 17th
      3) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 5788, -135, 4th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 5768, -155, 13th
      5) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5746, -177, 10th
      6) #42-Juan Montoya 5728, -195, 35th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle 5655, -268, 16th
      8) #39-Ryan Newman 5635, -288, 11th
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5592, -331, 3rd
      10) #99-Carl Edwards 5582, -341, 39th
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5551, -372, 42nd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5438, -485, 34th
      For drivers points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(10-17-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Lowe's, race 31 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1). #14-Tony Stewart, 4544
      2). #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4427, -117
      3). #24-Jeff Gordon 4405, -139
      4). #5-Mark Martin, 4084, -460
      5). #2-Kurt Busch, 4058, -486
      6). #11-Denny Hamlin, 4022, -522
      7). #42-Juan Montoya, 3979, -565
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 3907, -637
      9). #16-Greg Biffle, 3904, -640
      10). #99-Carl Edwards, 3862, -682
      11). #9-Kasey Kahne, 3852, -692
      14). #17-Matt Kenseth, 3774, -770
      13). #18-Kyle Busch, 3755, -789
      14). #33-Clint Bowyer, 3699, -845
      15). #00-David Reutimann, 3644, -900
      16). #83-Brian Vickers, 3631, -913
      (10-17-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America, his 46th victory in 286 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his sixth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his sixth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 17 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte. He ties Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for most all-time at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
      With the victory, Johnson moves into a tie with Buck Baker for 13th on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins list.
      #17-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 21 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte. It is his 11th top-10 finish in 2009.
      #9-Kasey Kahne (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 12 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte.
      #20-Joey Logano (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 90 points over #5-Mark Martin.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-17-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers finished at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      (by the drivers Chase standing at start of race)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, won the race
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 17th
      3) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 35th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 13th
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 10th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 16th
      8) #99-Carl Edwards, 39th/engine
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 42nd/engine
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 11th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 3rd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 34th.(10-17-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Martinsville Speedway:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now down to 98 points (was 122)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2441, +213
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2326, 98 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2228, 98 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.(10-17-2009)

    • Penalty Report - Lowe's:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #21, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End, Transmission
      #98, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End, Transmission
      #29, 11, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #77, 11, Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area, Tail End
      #25, 36, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #55, 93, Rolling a tire(s) beyond the center of pit road, Pass Thru
      #18, 119, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #44, 121, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #42, 165, Car/Truck must enter pit road single file, Tail End
      #83, 165, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #99, 166, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #7, 245, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #08, 247, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #71, 313, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(10-17-2009)

    • Danica Patrick Special Airs Sunday on ESPN: A star of the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series since 2005, Danica Patrick may be making a move to NASCAR in 2010. Racing fans can learn more about the Roscoe, Ill., native in the Peak Performance Fast World of Danica Patrick, a 30-minute special program airing Sunday, Oct. 18, at 3:30pm/et on ESPN. The program is an in-depth look at Patrick during the recently-completed IndyCar Series season, as told by her, and examines her life away from the racetrack.(ESPN)(10-17-2009)

    • Kahne to run Olympic scheme at Daytona: Budweiser announced that it will celebrate U.S. Olympians with a special paint scheme at next season's Daytona 500. Driver Kasey Kahne will pilot the #9 Budweiser Team USA Ford in the 52nd running of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 14, 2010, and the Auto Club 500 in Fontana, Calif. on Feb. 21, 2010, both which coincide with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games (Feb. 12-28). Budweiser Team USA Olympic Paint Scheme die cast cars will be available for purchase beginning October 23 and can be ordered through BudShop.com, Nascar.com and at the tracks. Proceeds from the die cast car sales will be donated to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to assist athletes' training and travel costs for the Olympic Winter Games. Budweiser has been associated with the Olympic Games since the Los Angeles 1984 Games. Budweiser first sponsored a team on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit in 1983. Budweiser also is the title sponsor of the annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, the exclusive beer and malt beverage advertiser of the Daytona 500, and the "Official Beer Sponsor" of Daytona International Speedway, the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400.(Team USA), see images of the car on my 2010 #9 Team Schemes page.(10-17-2009)

    • Busch says pneumonia forced him out last week: #18-Kyle Busch said it was pneumonia that forced him to give way to a backup driver in last weekend's Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races at California. But said he's strong enough that he won't need relief in either this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'm still having side affects, still being on the medicine still throws your head for a little loop until you get out there for a few laps,'' Busch said after qualifying for Friday night's Nationwide race. "You just have to get reoriented and have a clean focus on it all. I never had to do it before in my life. It was pretty hard to do. It's something you don't ever want to have to do, but when you get in the car and get hot and your fever starts to rise and you get dizzy, it's just not safe being out there. I never got to that point of being dizzy, but I knew if I stayed in, I would.''(ESPN.com)(10-17-2009)

    • Keselowski still looking for 2010 crew chief & more employees: Brad Keselowski is waiting for Penske Racing to hire a crew chief for him in 2010, but he's been very pleased with the level of interest for the job. Keselowski said employees from Richard Petty Motorsports have inquired about possibilities with the #12 team. "I think that whole team is scared to death," he said. "That whole company is scared to death. Everybody that works there is scared and we've got a lot of interest from some of their people and that's interesting. That's encouraging." Keselowski drives for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series and part time for Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series, and said he doesn't believe crew members from either of those organizations will be following him to Penske. But he still wants to help Penske get that team more in line with Hendrick Motorsports, and that his future organization is about "100 people short of where they need to be to compete with Hendrick."
      "I communicated that with them and just wanted to know what their thoughts were on that," Keselowski said. "Resources-wise Penske is phenomenal. They have the same resources if not more than what Hendrick has to work with. It's just a matter of installing a depth in the personnel."(Associated Press)(10-17-2009)

    • Blue colors for Montoya at LMS: The #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy that Juan Pablo Montoya drives will display the Lysol paint scheme this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Lysol is a brand name of disinfectant household cleaners distributed by Reckitt Benckiser. It is marketed for cleaning, disinfecting food surfaces and odor removal. The name is used on aerosol sprays, pre-saturated tissues and liquid solution. Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the #42 Lysol team are bringing chassis #906 to Lowe’s Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis ran one other time at Kansas Motor Speedway in the third race of the Chase where the team finished fourth (EGR), see images of the scheme on my #42 Team Schemes page.(10-17-2009)

    • Some Odd Ball stats: Given the sudden, apparent importance of starts in three series, here are a few more relatively strange numbers from NASCAR history. Dave Marcis failed to qualify 97 times, the most in history. The all-time leader in top-10-finish percentage is Lee Petty at .7775. The all-time leader in average qualifying position is Dick Hutcherson at 4.874. And the all-time leader in points - not wins, not poles, not money, but just points - is Richard Petty with 308,598.1. Points in three series? Uh, not yet available.(NASCAR This Week)(10-17-2009)

    • McArdle back at the track: Mark McArdle, former director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, was at the track Friday for the first time since departing the team at Richmond in September. McArdle and the team parted ways after a disagreement between McArdle and car owner George Gillett. McArdle is looking for a position with another team in the sport but has to receive approval from Richard Petty Motorsports. Most contracts feature non-compete clauses and require a team's approval to move to another team. McArdle would not discuss details of his departure except to say it was time for a change. "I've always advised those who work under me that if the bus is going somewhere you don't want to go, then maybe you need to get off the bus,'' he said.(Roanoke Times)(10-17-2009)

    • Sad News - 'Big Jim' Makar: Jim Makar passed away Tuesday, October 13th. 'Big Jim' is the father of Jimmy Makar, 2000 Sprint Cup Champion Crew Chief [Bobby Labonte at Joe Gibbs Racing where Jimmy still works] and one-time landlord for Jayski [in 2004]. Makar also owned cars that raced in nine then Winston Cup races in 1977-1978, including Morgan Shepherd, who posted a finish of 10th at Dover in May 1977. Condolences to family and friends and wife Marilyn.(10-14-2009)
      MORE: Dmytro Makar Jr., 76, known as "James", passed away on Tuesday, October 13th 2009 at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, NC. Dmytro was born in Hanover Township. He grew up in Whippany & lived in Cedar Knolls for 30 years before moving to Mooresville, N.C. in 1987. Dmytro served in the United States Navy on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier during the Korean War from 3/2/1951 thru 12/24/1953. Dmytro was a Truck Driver for Jockey Clothing Company in North Carolina for 15 years before retiring in 2006. Prior to that, he worked at the Whippany Paper Board for 20 years. Dmytro was a Member and Life Member of the Cedar Knolls Fire Department where he was Past Chief. He was the First Fire Inspector of Hanover Township and was past Inspector & past Captain of the Cedar Knolls First Aid Squad. James was a Life Member of the N.J. State Firemen's Association and member of the N.J. Fire Chief's Association. Dmytro was a member of the American Legion Post 155 and the VFW Post 5351, both in Whippany.
      He owned his own NASCAR Racing Car in Cedar Knolls for 3 years as well as being an avid Fisherman. Dmytro is pre-deceased by his brothers George, John and his sister Anna. Survivors include his wife, Marilyn E. (nee-Myers); his children: James & his wife, Patti of Troutman, N.C., Robert & his wife, Libby of Whippany & Debbie Napolitano of Statesville, N.C. & his 7 grandchildren & 1 great-granddaughter.
      Relatives & friends are invited to attend his Funeral on Monday, October 19th 2009 at 8:30a.m. at the Par-Troy Funeral Home, 95 Parsippany Rd, Parsippany, (973) 887-3235 or visit www.partroyfuneralhome.com, with his Funeral Service to follow at 9:30a.m. at Saint John Ukrainian Catholic Church, 60 North Jefferson Rd, Whippany. Entombment: Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. Visiting hours are on Sunday from 2-5pm ONLY at the Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers please make donations in his memory to the Cedar Knolls Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 511, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.(Daily Record)(10-17-2009)


      News from October 16, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 16 -- 1955: In his second start, Norm Nelson wins his only Cup Series race, a scheduled 200-lap race on the 1-mile dirt track of Las Vegas Park Speedway. Darkness shortens the race to 111 laps, and Nelson leads the final 106. Nelson, 32 at the time, returns to race three more times in the 1960s, and he closes out his NASCAR career with three top-10s in five starts.(NASCAR.com)

    • Race Coverage of the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 7:25 pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:41pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Sunday, October 18 at 3:15am/et
      ESPN Classic: Sunday, October 18 at 1:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, October 21 at 12:00pm/et

    • Happy Hour practice: for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is over, the top five:
      #48-Johnson 185.478
      #5-Martin 184.849
      #11-Hamlin 184.685
      #7-Gordon 184.237
      #18-Busch 183.937
      slowest: #08-Labonte 179.420 and #13-Papis 179.808
      See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Lowe's Practice Speeds Page.(10-16-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers practice in Happy Hour practice at LMS:
      (by the drivers Chase standing)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1st/fastest
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 2nd
      3) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 25th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 12th
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon, 14th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 36th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 16th
      8) #99-Carl Edwards, 32nd
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3rd
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 6th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 8th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 24th
      (10-16-2009)

    • 1st Friday practice: for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is over, the top five:
      #48-Johnson 187.162
      #5-Martin 185.790
      #16-Biffle 185.242
      #17-Kenseth 184.805
      #11-Hamlin 184.786
      slowest: #13-Papis 179.485 and #08-Labonte 179.503
      See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Lowe's Practice Speeds Page.(10-16-2009)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Lowe's Motor Speedway: The selections of pit stalls for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #5-Martin took pit stall 15, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #9-Kahne, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #71-Bliss, who starts 7th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Lowe's Motor Speedway Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-16-2009)

    • Dale Jr. feels he's at 'end of my rope': #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't sound like a driver who was sure Lance McGrew should be his crew chief in 2010. In fact, he didn't sound like a driver who was sure about anything: "I'm about to the end of my rope," he said. NASCAR's most popular driver, who for months has been upbeat about the progress he was making under McGrew, appeared as low as he's been all season Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "Yeah, I feel like I don't have any control, you know," Earnhardt said before practice for Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "[Rick Hendrick has] put me in a great position, but I haven't made the most of it or for whatever reason we're just not getting it done. I don't know what to do. We were top-15 in practice and we go out to qualify and we were one of the worst cars here. ... It's like really encouraging one day and the next day it's equally discouraging. That gets really old. I'm about to the end of my rope on it." Earnhardt isn't in favor of switching crew chiefs during the last six races, but he didn't give McGrew the ringing endorsement he has in the past. Hendrick recently said he planned to meet with his driver about the crew chief following this weekend's race. "I don't have the credentials to make the call," said Earnhardt, who made the switch to McGrew at midseason after a struggling start with Tony Eury Jr. "If I told you that I wanted to be with Lance next year I wouldn't be telling you that out of my knowledge of expertise and talent. I'd be telling because it's fun hanging out with him. Hell, you don't even know if Lance wants to do it. Hell, I wouldn't want it. It's a tough job." Earnhardt said whomever he works with needs to be a dictator like Tony Eury Sr., who was his crew chief for 16 of his 18 victories. Asked if McGrew wasn't that type of crew chief, Earnhardt said, "I didn't say that." Earnhardt added that Eury Sr. would have no interest in moving from his job as the crew chief for the #88 Nationwide Series team at JR Motorsports. Earnhardt is 22nd in points. His teammates are first (#48-Jimmie Johnson), second (#5-Mark Martin) and fifth (#24-Jeff Gordon). They have 11 wins among them. He has none.(see full story at ESPN.com)(10-16-2009)

    • Tryson could leave Penske early...if: 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)

    • Final race in the #25 Chevy from Keselowski: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, attempted and qualified for Saturday's NASCAR Banking 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Keselowski will make his final scheduled attempt to qualify the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy. In six Cup starts with Hendrick Motorsports, Keselowski has scored one top-10 finish -- seventh at Darlington Raceway -- and a career-best qualifying position of third at Kansas Speedway. In addition to the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy, Keselowski will drive the #88 Chevy this weekend in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports, making his 100th career Nationwide Series start. Crew chief Tony Eury Jr. has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 25-537 for this weekend's event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This is the same car Keselowski raced to a seventh-place finish at Darlington earlier this season.(HMS)(10-16-2009)

    • Final California TV Ratings in: ABC's live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 11, earned a final national household rating of 3.6, the highest rating so far this season in four races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The telecast averaged 5,952,978 viewers. There are no direct comparisons to 2008 as the race was previously run Labor Day weekend and aired on ESPN. ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Fontana on Saturday, Oct. 10, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.1, averaging 1,406,452 viewers. The race was run Labor Day weekend in 2008 and also earned a 1.1 rating on ESPN2.(ESPN)
      of note: Sprint Cup raced the same weekend in 2008 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the TV Ratings were close: a 3.8 Rating with 6.04 million average viewers. The race at ACS in 2008 was Labor Day weekend and the TV Rating was 3.9 with 5.7 million average viewers. See season TV Ratings, the TV Ratings Chart with comparisons on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-16-2009)

    • 2010 #1 driver to be named soon: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing is close to naming a driver for the #1 car next season and it apparently won't be Jamie McMurray, as has been widely speculated. A source close to the situation said McMurray, whose contract at Roush Fenway Racing is up after this season, no longer is in the picture and that two people are in the mix. Rumored drivers include: Bobby Labonte, Reed Sorenson, David Stremme, David Gilliland and Casey Mears.(see full post at ESPN Insiders)(10-16-2009)

    • Gordon says back is doing better: #24-Jeff Gordon met with media Thursday at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed many items, including the llatest on his back problems: SPEAKING OF TREATMENTS, HOW IS YOUR BACK DOING?
      "I'm happy to report nothing. Everything is good. I haven't had any issues. The last little scare was Watkins Glen and I didn't know how long it was going to take to recover from that and I feel like I'm fully recovered from that and I haven't had any back issues. I mean it's still there, but I haven't had pain or anything that's been too uncomfortable or any distraction in the car, so I'm happy about that. We've basically been doing the same things. During the week I would go to a chiropractor and get different types of treatments that they call manipulation, where they just stretch you out as much as they can, literally stretching each spinal cord in the lumbar area to try to just give it some relief; as well as the stem treatment. I mentioned that last week. It is electric-static stuff making the muscles do things which is the best way I can describe it (laughs). It's supposed to loosen the muscles up. So I do that during the week. I've been able to incorporate some of that on the weekends because I like what that does and some adjustments as well."(Chevy Racing)(10-16-2009)

    • Stork heading Edwards way: #99-Carl Edwards says he'll become a first-time father at the start of next NASCAR season. Edwards' wife, Kate, is due in mid-February. The couple is having a girl, and Edwards joked they'll name her "Daytona" because her birth is projected around the season-opening Daytona 500. Edwards says they went for the ultrasound this week to learn the gender, and the nervous dad-to-be "almost passed out" when he saw the baby move.(Associated Press)(10-16-2009)

    • Pop Tarts for Martin at LMS: For the third time this season, Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, will be on the hood of the #5 Chevy during this weekend's events at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In its most recent race, the Pop-Tarts/Carquest Chevy finished second in Martin's 1,000th Sprint Cup start at Bristol. Pop-Tarts will return to the hood for the final time this season at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. No driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup history has won more October races at Lowe's Motor Speedway than Mark Martin. If the #5 team can reach Victory Lane on Saturday, he would break a three-way tie with Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough to become the only driver with four October wins. Martin also would join teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon as the only active drivers with five victories at the intermediate oval. This weekend, Carquest and the #5 team will welcome honorary crew members Matt Krueger and Lyle Wuestenberg. Wuestenberg partnered with Carquest last November to help grant Krueger's dream. The 19-year-old Krueger, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, got the chance to drive his personal 1999 Chevy Camaro around Lowe's Motor Speedway.(HMS), see images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(10-16-2009)

    • New Ford engine at Talladega UPDATE: Ford will delay the debut of its new Sprint Cup engine, Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations, said Saturday. The engine was scheduled to have debuted next week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Instead, Ford will debut the restrictor-plate version of the engine at Talladega in three weeks. As for the non-restrictor-plate engine, it likely will debut at Texas or Homestead.(Virginian Pilot)
      AND: Matt Kenseth's crew chief Drew Blickensderfer is expecting to have the new Ford FR9 engine in the #17 Fusion in two weeks at Talladega.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)
      UPDATE: Doug Yates confirmed that the new FR9 Ford engine will debut at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. "We had our sights on Charlotte, to run it here," Yates said. "We just wanted to take our time and make sure everything was right. We're fortunate to have the luxury to do that. We're looking forward to Talladega — but you know how much I love restrictor plate racing anyway."(FoxSports)(10-16-2009)

    • Freightliner to sponsor Robby at LMS: Robby Gordon Motorsports announced that Freightliner Trucks will serve as the primary sponsor of the #7 Camry at the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 17, 2009. This recent announcement is another chapter in the ongoing relationship between Robby Gordon Motorsports and Freightliner Trucks which began three years ago. Earlier this year, the companies started working together to produce three custom-made "fast assistance" vehicles that will be used during the 2010 Dakar Rally in South America. These custom built vehicles feature a 580 horsepower engine and 48 inch tires. Additionally, Eaton and the Charlotte Truck Center will serve as associate sponsors of the #7 for the Charlotte race. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America (RGM), see images of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(10-16-2009)

    • Burton says decision on crew chief is near: #31-Jeff Burton met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed his thoughts on the status of his team: HOW CLOSE WOULD YOU SAY YOU GUYS ARE TO RESOLVING THE CREW CHIEF SITUATION ON THE #31 FOR NEXT YEAR? "We're real close. I don't have a definite date but we're real close to having all that figured out. There's a lot of things that are changing at RCR. There's a new way of doing business going into next year and in the midst of that crew chief search for the #31. We're really optimistic that we have that put to bed and we'll be able to talk about that fairly soon."(Chevy Racing)(10-16-2009)

    • DJ Hero featured on Truex's #1 car: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that it has partnered with Activision Publishing, Inc. and its long-time sponsor Target to feature the highly anticipated, critically acclaimed new interactive music experience, DJ Hero, on Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 17. At the race, Target invites race fans to take DJ Hero for a spin 10 days before its launch at the Target DJ Hero station located on "The Fan Midway" across the street from Lowe's Motor Speedway. Truex Jr. will test his DJ Hero mixing and scratching skills at the Target DJ Hero station on Saturday, October 17 from 3:30 – 4:00pm/et. The station, decorated to give fans a true party feel, welcomes race fans to enter and test their skills on numerous DJ Hero kiosks. For more information about DJ Hero, visit www.djhero.com (EGR), see images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(10-16-2009)

    • Forbes names ISC's Lesa Kennedy Most Powerful: International Speedway Corporation announced that Forbes has named ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy the Most Powerful Woman in Sports. In selecting its list, Forbes focused primarily on individuals "whose decisions affect the largest sports-related revenue streams--be they from teams, leagues or corporate sponsors." The article dated October 14, 2009, states France Kennedy's "26-year career at ISC spans a period that expanded the sport past its Southern base." The article added, "She rose to president in 2003 and to CEO this June. Analysts say she's played a big role in most all of the company's acquisitions and improvement projects dating back to the 1990s."
      "It is truly an honor to be included in this prestigious list alongside many colleagues and marketing partners," said France Kennedy. "This recognition is a testament to the continued strength of NASCAR and its commitment to the fans. Our team continues to provide the most thrilling and innovative experiences in motorsports entertainment while continuing to broaden the reach of our industry. Without the focus and support of our outstanding senior management team and all ISC employees, this honor would not have been attainable." France Kennedy sits atop a list of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports which includes: Donna Goldsmith, Chief Operating Officer for World Wrestling Entertainment; Heidi Ueberroth, President, International Business Operations for the NBA; Katie Bayne, Chief Marketing Officer for Coca-Cola North America; Virginia McCaskey, Principal Owner of the Chicago Bears; Jamie McCourt, Chief Executive Officer for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Rita Benson LeBlanc, Part Owner and Executive Vice President for the New Orleans Saints; Denise DeBartolo York, Principal Owner of the San Francisco 49ers; Kathryn Carter, Executive Vice President for Soccer United Marketing; Sarah Robb O'Hagen, Chief Marketing Officer for Gatorade; and Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive Officer for the Women's Tennis Association. The complete article may be found at www.forbes.com.(ISC)(10-16-2009)

    • National Anthem for Cup race at LMS: The Blue and Gold Marching Machine from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro will perform the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Banking 500. Formed in 1918, the band is 180 members strong and also has a dance/twirl team, the Golden Delight. In addition to North Carolina A&T, East Rowan High School's marching band will perform at The Avenue of Flags at the speedway's main entrance from 2 - 4 p.m. Saturday.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or go online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

    • Sam Bass NASCAR Banking 500 Program Cover : Renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass has prepared a cover for the NASCAR Banking 500 souvenir program that encapsulates the Homecoming - NASCAR style theme. The painting entitled, "The Homecoming Game," captures the intensity of a gridiron-style face-off at the 50-yard line as top competitors prepare for NASCAR's version of an October homecoming during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The drivers form a tunnel through which the cars must pass in order to reach their destination, the Lowe's Motor Speedway finish line. Bass has created the cover artwork for each Lowe's Motor Speedway race week souvenir program since May 1985.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

    • New CATS Route to Provide Easy Access to Speedway: The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Lowe's Motor Speedway have partnered to bring citizens Saturday bus service from Center City Charlotte to Lowe's Motor Speedway. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy Saturday's NASCAR Banking 500 for just $6 roundtrip. To learn more about the 79X Concord Mills Express and CATS services, call (704) 336-RIDE (7433) or visit www.ridetransit.org.(LMS)(10-16-2009)

    • Nationwide Insurance provides Shuttle Service during Race Weekend: Seven Nationwide On Your Side Ride trams have been added to the eight currently being used to shuttle race fans around the premises of Lowe's Motor Speedway. A number of tram stops are located throughout the facility, including Gates 2, 3, 4, 7/8, 12, 18, 26 and 30. The trams run in a clockwise direction on the perimeter road between stop-off points and operate from noon each day until the start of the action on the track. Along with the 15 trams, Nationwide has also provided 60 golf carts to be used at the speedway this weekend. The golf carts are available for all race fans, especially the elderly, physically challenged and families with children. Fans can stop by the Nationwide Race Information Stations outside Gates 3, 4, 8, 18 and 31 to arrange a ride on a golf cart.(LMS)(10-16-2009)


      News from October 15, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 15 -- 1950: NASCAR runs two Cup races on the same day for the first time. Herb Thomas wins a 200-lap race at Martinsville, and Lloyd Moore wins a 200-lap race at Funk's Speedway in Winchester, Ind. Both tracks are half-mile dirt tracks.(NASCAR.com)

    • Johnson on pole at Lowe's: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway with a lap of 192.376mph for his 3rd pole of the season and 22nd career pole. #5-Martin is 2nd fastest followed by #9-Kahne, #17-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #71-Bliss, #25-Keselowski, #24-Gordon and #18-Busch.
      The eight non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #71-Bliss, #25-Keselowski, #02-Gilliland, #82-Speed, #87-Nemechek, #21-Elliott, #13-Papis and #08-Terry Labonte who used a past champions provisional to make the race.
      The four drivers who failed to qualify: #36-McDowell, #09-Marlin, #66-Blaney and #37-Kvapil.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying results, order, pole progression and more on my Lowe's Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order page.(10-15-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America with a lap of 28.070 seconds, 192.376 mph.
      This is his 22nd pole in 286 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third pole and 23rd top-10 start in 2009.
      Johnson broke the record for fastest qualifying lap in the new car. The previous fastest qualifying lap in the new car was run by Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Texas Motor Speedway in April 2008 (190.907 mph).
      This is his third pole in 17 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte.
      #5-Mark Martin (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2009 and his 28th in 50 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte.
      #9-Kasey Kahne (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte. It is his 17th in 31 races this season.
      #20-Joey Logano (12th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-15-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers start at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      (by the drivers Chase standing)
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, starts 1st on the pole
      2) #5-Mark Martin, 2nd
      3) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 18th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 5th
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon, 9th
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 15th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 23rd
      8) #99-Carl Edwards, 28th
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 17th
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 6th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 3rd
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 30th.(10-15-2009)

    • REVISED Coverage of Qualifying for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009 approx 9:05pm/et.
      TV: ESPN2 - 9:00pm/et
      Radio: PRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's 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 #47-Ambrose.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #17-Kenseth.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #37-Kvapil with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #21-Elliott.
      See the full qualifying order on the Lowe's Qualifying Page.(10-15-2009)

    • Thursday practice: for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway FINALLY was run after being delayed due to rain all day and is now over, practice ran about 45 minutes, the top five:
      #48-Johnson 192.486
      #5-Martin 191.401
      #33-Bowyer 191.035
      #16-Biffle 190.840
      #14-Stewart 190.611
      slowest: #09-Marlin 181.129 and #08-Labonte 185.027
      incidents: #83-Vickers couldn't get his car to start early in the practice but finally got it running. #42-Montoya ran into the rear of #31-Burton, doing some damage to the nose of the car. #09-Marlin lost an engine, was smoking and on the apron before takling the car to the garage.
      See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Lowe's Practice Speeds Page.(10-15-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice on Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #71-Mike Bliss, 7th fastest overall
      #25-Brad Keselowski, 12th
      #82-Scott Speed, 25th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 27th
      #02-David Gilliland, 32nd
      #66-Dave Blaney, 34th
      #37-Travis Kvapil, 39th
      #08-Terry Labonte [PC1], 46th, would use past champ prov
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 40th
      #36-Micheal McDowell, 42nd
      #13-Max Papis, 43rd
      #09-Sterling Marlin, 47th lost engine
      See practice speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Lowe's Practice Speeds Page.(10-15-2009)

    • Rain at Lowe's Motor Speedway: Rain in the Charlotte area since Wednesday morning and continuing into Thursday has delayed all track activities so far at Lowe's Motor Speedway today. Nationwide Series practice was scrubbed, Sprint Cup Series practice for the NASCAR Banking 500 was scheduled to start at 3:00pm/et [and run to 4:30pm/et] and is under a rain delay. Rain has ended as of 4:20pm/et and some areas of the track is looking dry. NASCAR's John Darby was interviewed and says they are pressing on and hope to gets the Sprint Cup cars on the track by 6:00pm/et for some practice. There is a 70% chance of rain Thursday evening. Sprint Cup Series qualifying is scheduled for 7:10pm/et [ESPN2]. For some weather links, see my LMS Race Info page - weather links section.
      Revised Sched According to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp, Sprint Cup practice will begin once the track is dry and will continue until 7:00pm/et. Nationwide Series practice will take place from 7:05-8:30pm/et, followed by Sprint Cup qualifying at 8:40pm/et (SPEED). NASCAR Now reports ESPN2 will cover all the practices and the Sprint Cup qualifying live. If qualifying gets rained out, the four drivers/teams who miss the race are: #36-McDowell, #37-Kvapil, #13-Papis and #02-Gilliland.(10-15-2009)

    • Johnson to be chronicled in HBO show: HBO Sports' groundbreaking "24/7" reality franchise, which has captured seven Sports Emmy Awards, will debut its first non-boxing series with 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona, an all-new, four-episode, all-access series chronicling the driver and his team as they prepare for the Daytona 500. Debuting Tuesday, Jan. 26th (10:00-10:30pm/et/pt), the four-week series spotlights Jimmie Johnson, and gives viewers an inside look at the driver and his #48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the biggest race of the year. Ensuing episodes will debut on subsequent Tuesdays - Feb. 2, 9 and 16 - in prime time. The Feb. 16 series finale will debut two days after the race, with cameras tracking all the drama and excitement surrounding Johnson and his team on race day. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand. 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews with Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus, team owner Rick Hendrick and the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500. Johnson says that getting his wife Chandra on board with the idea of cameras following them around was not difficult, since they had seen earlier "24/7" shows. "Chandra and I were big fans of the '24/7' series with Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather, and that's kind of how this all came about," says Johnson, who along with his wife founded the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million for various charities since its inception in 2006. The executive producers of 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; coordinating producer, Dave Harmon; Liev Schreiber narrates. NASCAR Media Group, the leading producer of NASCAR on television, will provide production support for HBO Sports.(HBO)(10-15-2009)

    • Kulwicki Family Gifts to Fund Scholarships, Motorsports Facilities: To honor the legacy of former NASCAR racing champion Alan Kulwicki, his family is making a gift commitment of nearly $1.9 million to support engineering education at UNC Charlotte. A trust fund created by the late driver’s mother since the age of 14, Thelma H. Kulwicki, will benefit the Motorsports Engineering Program in the William States Lee College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Sciences. Considered the largest individual gift ever received by the engineering school, the funds will be used for student scholarships and to construct a new motorsports engineering facility on the UNC Charlotte campus. The Kulwicki family also is contributing nearly $630,000 to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The gift also will be used for scholarships and to create the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Student Center in the university’s engineering building. In recognition of the Kulwicki family’s generosity, the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees has approved naming the university’s existing motorsports research laboratory in honor of Kulwicki, who died in a plane crash several months [April 1, 1993] after he won the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup championship. The facility will be called the Alan D. Kulwicki Motorsports Laboratory. For her part, Thelma Kulwicki said she was struck by how much the students in the motorsports engineering program have in common with her son, who earned a mechanical engineering degree from UWM in 1977. Alan Kulwicki was the first college graduate to win stock car racing’s premier title, the Winston Cup Series championship. It is now called the Sprint Cup Series.(UNC Charlotte)(10-15-2009)

    • Burton says Harvick is expected to leave RCR: Richard Childress Racing driver #31-Jeff Burton acknowledged on Thursday that teammate #29-Kevin Harvick is expected to leave the company when his contract runs out at the end of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Burton, speaking at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, was asked about Harvick’s comments in a prerace television interview last Sunday at Auto Club Speedway where the 2007 Daytona 500 winner indicated he doesn’t plan to compete for RCR beyond 2010. “I think that everybody is behaving in a very professional manner, and everybody is understanding that Kevin has a year left on his contract and he’s going to do everything in his power to do the best job for RCR [and] RCR’s going to do everything in their power to do their best job for him,” Burton said. “[Teammate] Clint [Bowyer] and I are going to continue to work with Kevin the same way we always have, and I think we’re going to work together better actually – not because he’s leaving but because we need to. And things change. Kevin may look around eight months, 10 months from now and say, ‘You know what: Things have really changed here, and I really think this is the place that we’re going.’ By his interview he indicated that wasn’t going to happen, but you never know.“ Harvick, who has been with RCR’s Cup program since being tabbed to replace Dale Earnhardt following the seven-time series champion’s death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, hasn’t won a points-paying event since his Daytona 500 triumph in the 2007 season opener. Harvick missed the Chase this year and is 21st in the standings.(SceneDaily)(10-15-2009)

    • RPM could use Ford engine this season: Richard Petty Motorsports is exploring the option of using a Ford engine in at least one of its four cars before the end of the season, team co-owner Richard Petty said on Thursday. Petty, whose team will continue to use Dodge engines this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, said nothing can happen until the merger with Yates Racing is complete. He gave no timetable, saying only that "it's in the hands of lawyers." But Petty said switching at least one car to a Ford before the end of the season is the goal, if the transition can be worked out. He could not say whether #9-Kasey Kahne, who is in the championship Chase for the Sprint Cup, would be that driver. "Right now there are like 400 options," Petty said. "We don't know right now if we'll make the transition before the end of this season or do it all before the start of next season."(ESPN)(10-15-2009)

    • Wave Energy Expands #36 Sponsorship: Wave Energy Drink announced an expansion of its current six-race deal with Tommy Baldwin Racing and driver of the #36 Toyota, Michael McDowell, to include the remainder of the 2009 NASCAR season. The company initially signed an agreement in August 2009 to take advantage of six key dates, but the success and brand exposure for Wave Energy Drink led to increased involvement. Wave Energy Drink will now appear as the primary sponsor of the #36 Toyotas through the Miami-Homestead season finale on November 22,, 2009. Tommy Baldwin Racing will now also experience full branding of the race cars, team uniforms and fire suits. Wave Energy Drink also plans to make a big splash at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the Bank of America 500 Weekend on October 15-17th. Wave will share a presence outside the race track for product sampling and giveaways. In addition, Wave Energy Drink-themed golf carts will circulate on the property with the assistance of several brand ambassadors. For more information on Wave Energy Drink, please visit www.tastethewave.com.(TBR/Everest-Marketing Group)(10-15-2009)

    • RCR Honors Fallen Winston-Salem Police Officer: Richard Childress Racing will run a memorial decal on its race cars [#'a 07,29,31,33 in Cup] this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in honor of Sgt. Mickey Hutchens, the Winston-Salem, N.C., police officer who passed away October 12, 2009, after being critically wounded October 7 in the line of duty. RCR will donate $1 to the Hutchens family for every mile completed by its four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and one NASCAR Nationwide Series team. A total donation of $2,300 will be made if each team completes every lap, 500 miles per Sprint Cup Series team and 300 miles for the Nationwide Series team.(RCR)(10-15-2009)

    • General Mills Donates Race Tickets to Local Charities: The Boys & Girls Club and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte have a special experience to look forward to. General Mills is donating 100 tickets for this Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Lowe's Motor Speedway to each organization for them to enjoy racing under the lights. The Boys & Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters are excited about the opportunity ahead. "The race will be a special time for the boys and girls to enjoy together," said Marty Clary of the Boys and Girls Club. "I'm sure it will be something that the kids never forget. The Club aims to be safe place for kids to learn and grow – all while having fun. This event will fit right in with our ideals. We are very thankful to General Mills for providing us this opportunity."(Breaking Limits)(10-15-2009)

    • Chase Stats going into Lowe's Motor Speedway: #5-Mark Martin has pounded out 5716 points in four races of Chase VI, but three-time champ #48-Jimmie Johnson is setting the most torrid pace in Chase history, with 5728 points thus far. Johnson is 10 points ahead of his 2008 pace, which was record-setting at the time. Martin's fifth at California caused him to surrender the Chase lead to Johnson, but he lurks only 12 points out. There was no way to gain ground on Jimmie Johnson as he won at California, but #24-Jeff Gordon did the next best thing by finishing second and moving up two spots to fifth place. The four-time champ is 105 points out, and will need to string together several podium finishes to move closer to the lead. #42-Juan Pablo Montoya stayed around the front all day long at Fontana and brought home another important third place finish. JPM has finished no worse than fourth in four Chase VI races, the best string in his young NASCAR career. After four races in 2006, Johnson was 8th in the Chase points 156 points behind the leader #31-Burton, who was at 5598 points. Currently six drivers are within 156 points of the leader, See year-by-year comparison, race-by-race, notes and more on my Chase Stats after Auto Club page and the Chase rules, how the Chase would had worked out back to 1975 and history on my 2009 Chase Rules and Notes page.(10-15-2009)

    • Newman, #39 Team to Represent 'Good' in Good vs. Evil Clash: This weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the #39 Stewart Hass Racing Chevy of Ryan Newman will feature a special paint scheme to celebrate the upcoming debut on Oct. 20 of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on DVD and Blu-ray. Newman's #39 will feature images of Optimus Prime, the heroic leader of the peace-loving Autobots. And he won't be the only Transformer on the racetrack. Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy will sport graphics of Megatron, the malevolent leader of the Decepticons. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen captivated audiences to earn over $830 million at the box office and become the No. 1 movie of the year in North America (SHR), see an image of the scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page and for more info on the ESPN's "Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen" Contest, see my Racing Contest page.(10-15-2009)

    • 100th start at LMS for the Wood Brothers: Fall racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway has come a long way since the inaugural fall race on October 16, 1960. The Wood Brothers won the first fall Charlotte race with Speedy Thompson behind the wheel of the #21 Ford. This will be the Wood Brothers 100th start on the 1.5 mile quad-oval having compiled a record of 6 wins, 24 top fives, 38 top tens and 20 poles. Driver Bill Elliott has competed in 59 races at the famed speedway earning 2 wins, 11 top fives, 22 top tens and 4 poles. The #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion will be sporting a special "Warriors in Pink" paint scheme in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Bill Elliott will be wearing a "Warriors in Pink" fire suit and helmet that will be available through an online auction - all proceeds benefiting "Susan G. Komen for the Cure."(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #21 Team Schemes page.(10-15-2009)

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Charlotte this weekend . . . this is the same tire combination that NASCAR teams ran at Charlotte this past May . . . this is the only track at which teams will run this left-side tire code (D-4248), though they did run this right-side code (D-4234) at Las Vegas earlier this season . . . Goodyear did conduct one tire test at Charlotte this year, that being before the May races . . . Sprint Cup drivers participating in that March 17-18 test were Marcos Ambrose (Toyota), Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet), Kasey Kahne (Dodge) and Paul Menard (Ford) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated Sprint Cup Series at LMS pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage ().(Goodyear), for tire pressures, codes, more, see my Lowe's Racin Info page - Goodyear section.(10-15-2009)

    • In the Charlotte for the races? some cool places to check out I [Jayski] have been to an enjoyed since moving to the Charlotte Area in January 2004:
      Memory Lane Museum on Hwy 150 W in Mooresville, NC,
      North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame Lakeside Park, Mooresville
      For somerthing different: the Carolina Renaissance Festival is a blast, fun stuff and lots of good eats
      TO EAT: Lancaster's Bar-B=Que is a large place with a lot of NASCAR stuff all over the walls and Poppas Dogs has a racing theme and good dogs. Other places I enjoyed: Jeffrey's and Soiree [high end place] both im Mooresville. In Huntersville: Mickey & Mooches
      SHOPS: and to check out some team shops, see my Team Address page, on that page there are a few links for Race Shop Tours [click here].
      Or drive up I-85 and head to [Richard] Childress Vineyards.
      in Concord, check out Quaker Steak and Lube for some good wings and food
      and check out the Sam Bass Gallery, right near Lowe's Motor Speedway.
      (this is not an ad and not looking for suggestions, just some things to helps folks in town)

    • Fan Lindsey Forbes Selected as Homecoming Queen for NASCAR Banking 500: As part of the homecoming celebration, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials announced today that Lindsey Forbes has been selected as the first-ever NASCAR Banking 500 Homecoming Queen courtesy of a fan vote. Through a promotion with Charlotte radio station, 96.9 The Kat, fans were able to vote through an online contest to select the grand prize winner. Forbes, a 22-year-old resident of Mooresville, N.C., and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will receive a VIP race package and be introduced during pre-race ceremonies with a sash and tiara alongside NASCAR Banking 500 Homecoming King Richard Petty.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or go online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-15-2009)


      News from October 14, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 14 -- 1990: Rick Mast wins the NE Chevy 250 at New Hampshire for his ninth and final Nationwide Series victory. Mast beats Bobby Labonte to the line by .64 seconds for his third victory of the season. Mast makes 243 starts in 12 seasons from 1982 to 1998. In 15 seasons in Cup racing, Mast is winless in 364 starts.(NASCAR.com)

    • NASCAR Announces inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame: NASCAR announced the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame today [Wednesday, October 14, 2009] that includes: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C. to vote on the induction class of 2010.
      The class was determined by the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes. The Class of 2010 will be officially inducted in a ceremony on May 23, 2010 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. The results of the voting for the final five chosen in this inaugural class proved competitive. Also receiving votes were David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.
      As part of the inclusive voting process, more than 670,000 NASCAR fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM as part of the fan voting process. This remarkable fan feedback once again demonstrates fans' passion and knowledge of the sport and its heritage. The fans voted Petty, Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison as their top five (NASCAR), for details on each member of the inaugural class, info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame, tickets and past news, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame page and a page about the 2010 Class, see my The 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class page.(10-14-2009)

    • Dale Jr. still leads drivers in sales: Danica Patrick has won just 1 of 81 IRL races (1.23%). But Dale Earnhardt Jr. has Patrick easily beat on that winning percentage. "Little E" has won 1 of the last 129 Sprint Cup races (0.77%) and he's 0 for the last 51. Yet, Earnhardt seems to be humming along in the business world. This week, Nationwide announced this week it was renewing its deal with him and we just got the NASCAR.com SuperStore sales rankings and guess what? Earnhardt is in his familiar No. 1 spot. Here's the list of the Top 10 best-selling drivers on the Web site:
      Top 10 Best-Selling Drivers
      1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
      2. Tony Stewart
      3. Jeff Gordon
      4. Jimmie Johnson
      5. NASCAR-branded items
      6. Kyle Busch
      7. Carl Edwards
      8. Kasey Kahne
      9. Mark Martin
      10. Dale Earnhardt Sr.(CNBC.com)(10-14-2009)

    • TRG talking to to Dodge: Ralph Gilles, just promoted from the designer ranks to head up Dodge and Dodge motorsports, faces a 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup racing season with only three Dodge teams, all owned by Roger Penske [#2-Busch, #12-Keselowski, #77-Hornish Jr.] Dodge spent much of 2009 developing a new engine, and the company needs at least one or two more teams for 2010 to give the brand some additional presence and help amortize that powertrain investment . Kevin Buckler, who happens to own a NASCAR team, is the head of TRG, or The Racers Group. Buckler made his name fielding sports cars, including three Porsches in the Grand-Am Rolex Series' season-ending Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend.
      But while he sat on the pit box in Homestead, he was on the phone constantly to California, where his #71 Chevy was getting ready to race in the Pepsi 500 at California Speedway. A team that didn't really exist until a few weeks before the 2009 Daytona 500, Buckler and TRG have qualified for 29 of 30 NASCAR races this year, using a list of best-available drivers including David Gilliland, Mike Bliss and--for seven races, including the final four of this season--Bobby Labonte. Labonte has run several races for TRG and likes what he sees, especially being teamed with veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe.
      Buckler acquired most of his cars and equipment from Richard Childress, and consequently is a Chevrolet team by default. "But Chevrolet just gives us sheetmetal and some technical help and gives Childress some consideration for our engine program, but it isn't what we need. Especially if we are going to take this to the next level." Enter Dodge? "I'm very much interested in talking to them," Buckler said. In fact, he has had a few conversations with Penske--they see each other a lot at both Grand-Am and NASCAR races--about Dodge. "I think it would be a great fit," said Buckler, who would like to expand to a two-car team as soon as he can. "You look at how much we've done this season with so little, and I think it shows we have a lot to offer."
      So, Dodge, interested in Buckler? "Absolutely," said a Dodge spokesman, a veteran of the NASCAR wars. "I think we'd be crazy not to consider what he could bring to the party, especially if he could bring Bobby Labonte for the full season." And that, Buckler said, is a strong possibility. Buckler has been running the team on a shoestring, assembling a sponsor here, a sponsor there, and "starting-and-parking" to pocket money when none could be found. Bringing Labonte on full-time for 2010, as a semi-factory Dodge team, could go a long way toward signing some of the sponsors Buckler has been courting. The team sits 37th in owners' points, just two spots behind 35th, which would guarantee it a starting spot at the 2010 Daytona 500 and the four following races. Plus, Labonte's "past champion" provisional starting spots--he was the 2000 champ--would appeal to a sponsor, too.(Autoweek)(10-14-2009)

    • LMS Rookie Notes/Facts: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the October 11 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Logano posted a 14th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the 21st time this season. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 23 points (219-196) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 17 NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in the NASCAR Banking 500 (since 1975). Kahne led the 2004 race four times for 207 of the 334 laps. Since 1975, only two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions for the fall race at Charlotte: Jeff Gordon (1993) and Ward Burton (1994). Since 1975, only two Raybestos Rookies have scored a top-five finish in the fall race at Charlotte: Ron Bouchard (fifth in 1981) and Jeff Gordon (fifth in 1993). 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 (50 races). Denny Hamlin holds the record for most earnings by a Raybestos Rookie ($6.6 million in 2006).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos) and see rookie standings, history and more on my 2009 Rookies page.(10-14-2009)

    • Sad News - 'Big Jim' Makar: Jim Makar passed away Tuesday, October 13th. 'Big Jim' is the father of Jimmy Makar, 2000 Sprint Cup Champion Crew Chief [Bobby Labonte at Joe Gibbs Racing where Jimmy still works] and one-time landlord for Jayski [in 2004]. Makar also owned cars that raced in nine then Winston Cup races in 1977-1978, including Morgan Shepherd, who posted a finish of 10th at Dover in May 1977. Condolences to family and friends and wife Marilyn.(10-14-2009)

    • Roush to visit RPM: Jack Roush is scheduled to take a tour of the Richard Petty Motorsports facility on Wednesday. Other managers from Roush Fenway Racing will join Rosuh on the tour of the Statesville, N.C., shop. There have been ongoing talks since before September of a merger between Yates Racing, a sister organization of Roush Fenway, and RPM. Regardless of whether RPM merges with Yates, majority team owner George Gillett has said his team will be running Fords in 2010. Given that Roush is the principal supplier of Ford engines, RPM will be working directly with RFR in one form or another.(FoxSports), see an image of a real #9 Budweiser Ford for 2010 on my #9 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2009)

    • added 2010 white #9 Budweiser FORD (not a rendering) plus a few that will run at LMS: #26 Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea, #96 Ask.com/Susan G. Komen and #7 Freightliner Trucks schemes.
      added from Auto Club: #1 Guitar Hero 5, #16 Scotch Brite, #24 Pepsi/DuPont, #33 Prilosec OTC, #71 Mahindra Tractors, #43 Rosie's Organic Chicken and #44 Dassault Systems schemes

    • NASCAR's First Father-Daughter Duo To Compete At Talladega: For the first time in NASCAR's history, a father-daughter duo will race in a national series event. Mike Wallace and his 21-year-old daughter, Chrissy Wallace, are slated to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred's at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 31. Mike Wallace will pilot the #48 Chevy for Andy Hillenburg. He has 113 series starts with four wins and finished fifth last season in the NCWTS race at Talladega. Chrissy will be behind the wheel of an entry for Rick Ware Racing. She is without a guaranteed starting position in the field and must earn a spot in qualifying. The younger Wallace made her series debut at Martinsville Speedway in 2008. She finished ninth in the ARCA Re/MAX Series race at Talladega last year. Though this will mark the first time for a father-daughter duo, father-son combinations have appeared across NASCAR's national racing series all throughout its 61-year history. Lee and Richard Petty; Richard and Kyle Petty; Bobby and Davey Allison; Buck and Buddy Baker; Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are just a few. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Mike and Dustin Skinner, the late Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr., and Ron Hornaday Jr. and Ronnie Hornaday have raced each other.(NASCAR)(10-14-2009)

    • Transformers scheme for Gordon: In Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon will drive a specially painted #24 DuPont Chevy promoting the October 20 debut of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on DVD and Blu-ray. Megatron, the malevolent leader of the Decepticons, will be featured on the Hendrick Motorsports Impala SS.(HMS), see images of the scheme on my #24 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2009)

    • Darnell could be without a ride in 2010; Roush leaves Trucks: Erik Darnell, Roush Fenway Racing's last "Driver X," appears to be without a ride in the organization for 2010. Darnell won the team's "Gong Show" competition in 2004, earning a seat in what was is now known as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. But after running three full seasons in Trucks, Darnell was moved to part-time duty in the Nationwide Series for 2009. Darnell, who also has run a handful of Sprint Cup races for Roush Fenway affiliate #96 Hall of Fame Racing this season, may not have a seat with the team next year. "We're open with Erik," Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush said Tuesday. "We're open to do something with Erik, and I'd very much like to. But right now, I don't have a sponsor to stand in line that has singled out Erik. I'm just not certain." Darnell has two victories in the Truck series with the team after winning the competition known as "Driver X: Race for the Ride" that was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. He has two top-five and five top-10 finishes in 13 Nationwide starts this year. "It'll be a great sadness if we're not able to continue to build his career," Roush said, "but I'm not sure it's going to be possible."(SceneDaily)
      AND In moving Colin Braun into the Nationwide Series with sponsor Con-way, Roush Fenway won't have a presence in the Camping World Truck Series next season. Roush said the circuit was worthwhile but not cost effective because of manufacturer involvement.(USA Today)(10-14-2009)

    • Roush doesn't think Danica's part time plan will work: Roush Fenway Racing offered Danica Patrick, whose introduction to NASCAR was a Ford Racing test several years ago, an opportunity to run NASCAR when her Indy Racing League contract was up three years ago and have entertained her as a guest at Sprint Cup races. But co-owner Jack Roush isn't interested in Patrick if she remains in IndyCar — which apparently is a condition for any NASCAR team interested in signing her. "She'd like to drive her IRL car and on off weekends come drive a Nationwide or Sprint (Cup) car, and that's not going to work," Roush said Tuesday at RFR headquarters. "Those of us who understand how difficult this business is know that. This is really, really, really, really hard to do. She may be able to do it or she may not. I hope that she can, but she certainly won't be able to do it with distractions or a minimized effort. If she wants to do this, she'd need to come in with all her heart and soul and commitment and make that determination of what was possible. I'm not sure it's possible. It's potentially possible, but I'm stopped short of saying it's likely that she can do this, based on what she's done. She's talked to us a couple of different times, and there was no timetable on getting back to us. I told her if she wanted to do this, she should do a Nationwide or truck program first with great enthusiasm and then she should reconsider and take stock of things and decide what the timetable should be for a full Cup program. As long as she's got an interest in running the IRL with priority in her schedule, she doesn't have the time for a concerted effort. And without that, she will not be successful."(USA Today)(10-14-2009)

    • Pre-Race Festivities Include an Old-Fashioned Homecoming: Pre-race festivities for Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Lowe's Motor Speedway are highlighted by an old-fashioned Homecoming - NASCAR Style - as drivers and teams return to their home track after five months on the road. The homecoming celebration includes seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty serving as the homecoming king and the presentation of a homecoming queen still to be announced from an online fan vote. Fans will be greeted by cheerleaders from area high schools that participated in the speedway's "fund-racing" program and several musical performances are also on tap. MercyMe, TobyMac, Robert Pierre and Fee will perform during a pre-race concert and Eric Church will take to the stage during CollegeFest. Candy Coburn will sing "God Bless America" and the North Carolina A&T State University marching band will entertain fans and perform the national anthem. Several affordable ticket packages are still available for Saturday night's NASCAR Banking 500. Individual tickets start at $49 and frontstretch tickets are available for $69. For information, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-14-2009)

    • Race schedule for LMS Saturday night: Spectator gates open Saturday at 2:00 pm/et. An approximate timeline of selected events leading up to the start of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America follows:
      2:00 pm/et: A pre-race concert, featuring MercyMe, TobyMac, Fee and Robert Pierre, takes place on the apron inside Turn 4. The 3-hour concert offers race fans the opportunity to stand on the historical race track prior to the start of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America.
      4:00 pm/et: A native of Granite Falls, N.C., country music singer Eric Church celebrates Homecoming - NASCAR Style - with a performance as part of CollegeFest. The inaugural CollegeFest takes place in the grass lot behind the Diamond Tower grandstand in Turn 2.
      6:00 pm/et: Performance by the North Carolina A&T State University marching band on the speedway's frontstretch.
      6:35 pm/et: Adding to the homecoming festivities, cheerleaders from several area high schools that participated in Lowe's Motor Speedway's "fund-racing" program will be introduced during pre-race ceremonies. Among the high schools expected to be represented are East Mecklenburg, West Mecklenburg, Butler, Hopewell, Northwest Cabarrus and the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.
      6:46 pm/et: Rising country music star Candy Coburn sings "God Bless America."
      6:48 pm/et: The pre-race flyover features a C-17 and a KC-135 from Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The two planes will perform a simulated refueling over the speedway. This is the first time the maneuver has been performed at a sporting event.
      6:48:30 pm/et: Official welcome by Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway.
      6:49 pm/et: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Robert Yates receives the prestigious Smokey Yunick Award. Instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, the award annually recognizes an individual whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry.
      6:50 pm/et: Introduction of special guests including Charles Bowman, president, Bank of America North Carolina; Honorary Starter NASCAR Banking customer Phil Bickley; Honorary Race Director Hala Moddelmog, CEO of the Susan G. Komen Foundation; Fan Homecoming Queen (to be announced); NASCAR Banking 500 Homecoming King Richard Petty and Grand Marshal (to be announced).
      6:55 pm/et: NASCAR Banking 500 driver introductions along with the presentation of NASCAR special awards. Drivers will exit the frontstretch stage and ride around the speedway in Toyota trucks. Drivers will return to the frontstretch where their cars will be staged on the track.
      7:25 pm/et: Presentation of colors by Air Force ROTC Detachment 592 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
      7:25:30 pm/et: Invocation given by NASCAR team owner and former NFL coach Joe Gibbs.
      7:26 pm/et: National anthem performed by the North Carolina A&T State University marching band.
      7:33 pm/et: "Gentleman Start Your Engines" command given by Grand Marshal (to be announced).
      7:41 pm/et: Start of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America.(LMS)

    • Scouts in Free on Friday at LMS: Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troop members will be special guests at the Dollar General 300 on Friday. All uniformed scouts and uniformed scout leaders will receive a free ticket for admittance to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Gates 30 and 31. Each additional family member must purchase a ticket at a special rate. Scout group leaders can contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for more details.(LMS)(10-14-2009)

    • 2010 Brickyard 400 Tox on sale: Tickets for the 2010 Brickyard 400, scheduled for Sunday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, are on sale now. Fans have three methods to purchase tickets for one of the premier races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule:
      *Online: Visit the Tickets section of indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
      *Phone: Call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.
      *In person: Visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street.
      Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.(IMS)(10-14-2009)

    • Indy staff plants trees: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway provided the manpower and NASCAR the material to add a little more green to Indianapolis’ Gustafson Park on Oct. 13. A total of 36 IMS employees volunteered their time to plant 40 trees in the 30-acre Indy Parks facility, located at the intersection of 30th Street and Moller Road – located a mile northwest of Turn 4 of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Gustafson plays a key role for the nearby Eagledale neighborhood and Northwest High School, serving as a gathering place with its shaded picnic area, community swimming pool, football fields and baseball diamonds. The tree planting at Gustafson Park is part of NASCAR’s Green Flag Tree Planting Program. For every green flag waved during the 2009 Brickyard 400, NASCAR pledged to donate 10 trees to the local community. There were a total of four green flags during the race, won by three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson. The program was launched during the 2009 season, at select NASCAR venues, with plans to expand it in 2010. The tree-planting event also comes one day before the kickoff of 2010 Brickyard 400 ticket sales, as tickets officially go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the ticket office in the IMS Administration Building at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road, by phone at (800) 822-INDY or online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.(IMS)(10-14-2009)


      News from October 13, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 13 -- 2001: Randy LaJoie wins the Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park for his 15th and final Nationwide Series victory. LaJoie, a two-time Nationwide champion, starts 350 races in 19 seasons (1986-2006).(NASCAR.com)

    • Hall of Fame Inductees Announcement TODAY: This Wednesday will be a day to remember in NASCAR history as the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be announced. The voting panel will meet early that day and begin their deliberations of the 25 nominees. At 4 p.m. ET, the votes will have been tabulated by an accounting firm and NASCAR Chairman Brian France will announce the five names live on SPEED TV. Then next May, NASCAR will hold its first-ever enshrinement.(Fox Sports)
      AND: ESPNEWS will have live coverage on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m. ET as the first five inductees into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., are announced. NASCAR Chairman Brian France will reveal the names of the first five in a news conference at the Charlotte Convention Center adjacent to the site of the under-construction Hall of Fame. NASCAR Now host Mike Massaro will host the telecast with ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty. Following the news conference, more reports and analysis of the announcement will air on NASCAR Now at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.(ESPN PR)
      For the complete list of nominees, see my NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(10-13-2009)

    • ESPNews to air NASCAR Hall of Fame announcement: ESPNEWS will have live coverage on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 4:00pm/et as the first five inductees into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., are announced. NASCAR Chairman Brian France will reveal the names of the first five in a news conference at the Charlotte Convention Center adjacent to the site of the under-construction Hall of Fame. NASCAR Now host Mike Massaro will host the telecast with ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty. Following the news conference, more reports and analysis of the announcement will air on NASCAR Now at 5:00pm/et on ESPN2.(10-13-2009)

    • added #26 Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea, #96 Ask.com/Susan G. Komen and #7 Freightliner Trucks schemes.

    • Testing at the Rock: Some Sprint Cup tested at Rockingham Speedway's Little Rock Tuesday, including: #33-Clint Boyer, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Kurt Busch, #12-David Stremme, #77-Sam Hornish, #96-Bobby Labonte, #98-Paul Menard, #6-David Ragan, #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth, #26-Jamie McMurry, #16-Greg Biffle and some other drivers. Testing on the "Big Rock" one mile track was the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ddoge with unknown driver and two Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide cars driven by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr and Colin Baun.(10-13-2009)

    • Pink scheme for the #96 Ask.com car: When NASCAR comes home to Charlotte on Oct. 17 for the NASCAR Banking 500, Bobby Labonte will have more people on his tail than any other driver on the track – literally. More than 13,000 names of people affected by breast cancer will be featured on the rear of Labonte’s pink #96 Ford as part of a breast cancer awareness program with his sponsor Ask.com. The search engine transformed its homepage into a one-day memorial for those affected by breast cancer on Oct. 1 to celebrate the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and its national partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Each Tribute made that day will be incorporated into the #96 paint scheme. Labonte, who will sport a firesuit and helmet inspired by the pink colors of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, appreciated his sponsors’ efforts. Ask.com, the Official Search Engine of NASCAR, recently announced a national multi-faceted partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure which included a pledge to invest $1 million to the organization. Throughout October, race fans can continue to participate in the Ask.com Search for the Cure program at www.Ask.com/cure. By downloading the special Komen search “skin” and answering questions about breast health, Ask.com will continue to make donations to Susan G. Komen for the Cure on behalf of users.(Ask.com/Taylor), see the scheme on my #96 Team Scheme page.(10-13-2009)

    • Monsters scheme at LMS for Bowyer UPDATE: #33-Clint Bowyer is scheduled to run a special General Mills Monsters Cereal / Halloween paint scheme on October 17th at Lowes Motor Speedway.(7-23-2009)
      UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing driver Clint Bowyer is getting in the spirit of Halloween early this year thanks to the help of fans who cast tens of thousands of votes for which spooky firesuit the Emporia, Kan., native would wear for the October 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 500-mile race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Fans were allowed to cast their votes on one of four firesuit designs – one each featuring Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry or a suit that featured all three classic General Mills Monsters cereal characters - once a day, every day at www.Millsberry.com/vote. Voting commenced September 10 and ended September 16. When the votes were tallied, it was the Count Chocula firesuit that was declared the winner. In addition to wearing the winning “costume,” Bowyer will drive a special black and purple Scary Fast #33 Count Chocula Chevy that features the three monsters characters. Count Chocula was the first of a new line of monster cereals that debuted in March of 1971. Not only was it the first cereal of the new line, it quickly became the most popular. The Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry characters will be making appearances at Lowe's Motor Speedway through the entire race weekend. Count Chocula is scheduled to accompany Bowyer to driver introductions prior to the start of the 500-mile event. Boxes of Bowyer and Childress-signed Monsters cereal will be given out to the first 333 fans who buy $33 worth of Cheerios Racing merchandise from Bowyer’s at-track merchandise hauler at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(RCR), see the scheme on my #33 Team Scheme page.(10-13-2009)

    • Sadler back in pink at LMS: For the second consecutive year, Elliott Sadler and the #19 Stanley Dodge are changing their look with a pink paint scheme for the NASCAR Banking 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Oct. 17 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The pink paint scheme is in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Sadler on Racing for the Cure: “My Mom has always been by my side and my biggest fan. Last year when she walked out to the starting grid in Charlotte and took a picture with me in my pink Stanley/Susan G. Komen for the Cure firesuit in front of my pink #19 Dodge she told me it was one of the most special moments of her life. That entire weekend was extremely special to me. The folks at Susan G. Komen for the Cure came out to our Stanley hospitality and did one of the most interesting hospitality experiences I’ve ever been a part of — it started by asking who in the crowd has ever had a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer and within three questions everyone in the tent was standing up. It just goes to show you how many people have been touched by not only breast cancer, but cancer of any kind. Everyone knows someone close to them that's had to battle cancer." Sadler’s mother, Bell, was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 30, 2007. Susan G. Komen representatives met with Mrs. Sadler at the fall Charlotte race in 2007 to let her know what to expect in her battle with breast cancer. Mrs. Sadler’s breast cancer has been in remission for more than a year. The #19 Stanley/Susan G. Komen for the Cure Dodge features breast cancer survivor Brandy Hickman’s name on the TV panel. Brandy Hickman is the winner of the Stanley “Lady in Pink” essay contest. Mrs. Hickman’s winning essay is posted at www.stanleymotorsports.com. Stanley is donating a minimum of $50,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to support the breast cancer movement. Richard Petty is wearing a brown Charlie 1 Horse hat with pink highlights throughout the Charlotte race weekend in support of breast cancer awareness. Sadler’s #19 Dodge always features two ribbons next to his name above the driver’s side door—a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon in honor of his mother and a puzzle piece autism ribbon in honor of his niece.(RPM)(10-13-2009)

    • Bliss returns to the #71: Mike Bliss and TRG Motorsports are ready to tackle the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Lowe's Motor Speedway to be run Saturday night, October 17. Bliss will pilot the TRG Motorsports #71 TaxSlayer.com Chevy for the second time this season, the first was at Richmond [in Sept, started and finished]. Bliss qualified seventh [in the #09 Dodge] at Lowe's in the May race and won the Nationwide event on the same weekend. "We will be running the same car that we ran last weekend at California," TRG Motorsports team principal Kevin Buckler said. "That is a good thing. The car was fast in California and the guys had a good setup on it, even though we could not afford to run the complete race. We did have the opportunity to prove the setup which we hope will be a key to first qualifying strong and then running good in the race. Once again we will have a strong contingent of TaxSlayer.com folks at the track and we hope to give them a good showing."(TRG Motorsports)(10-13-2009)

    • Burton to make 850th start: Richard Childress Racing’s Jeff Burton will reach another career milestone when he makes his 850th career NASCAR start in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, driving the #29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevy. Since his NASCAR debut at Martinsville Speedway on March 13, 1988, Burton has made 541 Sprint Cup Series starts, 304 Nationwide Series starts and four Camping World Truck Series starts. He will tie Bill Elliott with 850 NASCAR starts for 11th on the all-time NASCAR starts list, trailing Kyle Petty in 10th with 885 collective starts. Two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, the South Boston, Va., native became the 26th driver to make 540 starts in NASCAR’s premier division and is one of only 12 drivers to have competed in 300-plus Nationwide Series events.(RCR)(10-13-2009)

    • Congrats: The #24 Hefty Racing Nationwide Series team congratulates their front tire carrier, John Bousselot, and his wife, Melissa, on the birth of their daughter Karsyn Brynn Bousselot. Karsyn was born on Monday, October 12, weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces, and was 19 inches long. Both mom and baby are doing well.(10-13-2009)

    • Gordon’s Crew claims Tissot Pit Road Precision Award: Jeff Gordon’s crew took top honors in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway, claiming the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award, which pays $5,000 each week to the winning team. It was the fourth Tissot win of the season for the #24 crew, which moved into sole possession of second place in the pit road standings. With six races remaining, Greg Biffle’s crew leads the Tissot standings with six wins. The crew with the most wins following the 36-race Cup schedule will collect a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Gordon’s DuPont Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road at Auto Club Speedway (295.170 seconds). The outstanding effort lifted Gordon to a second-place finish in the Pepsi 500. Gordon's pit crew consists of: Clay Robinson (front-tire changer), Mike Houston (front tire carrier), Tim Ladyga (rear-tire changer), Jeff Knight (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Cook (jackman), Caleb Hurd (gasman), Jamie Frady (catch can) and Andy Kruep (eighth man). The pit crew coach is Greg Morin.(Tissot), for season standings and race-by-race wins, see my 2009 Pit Crew News & Awards page(10-13-2009)

    • Phantom caution issue raised by Kahne: The [phantom debris] issue has come roaring back behind #9-Kasey Kahne's accusation that NASCAR threw a bogus caution Sunday to bunch up the field and avoid a boring runaway win by Jimmie Johnson at Auto Club Speedway. Kahne was likely headed to a top-10 finish when he was wrecked on a restart with 12 laps to go. Kurt Busch started the accident when he bounced off the wall and into Kahne. The contact sent Kahne into Greg Biffle, and both cars spun through the grass with enough damage to ruin their race. "It's disappointing that we had a bad race because of a caution to put a show on for the fans. That's a good part of the sport - we have to keep the fans excited - but sometimes it ruins people's days," said Kahne. There's one small problem with Kahne's contention. There was clearly debris on the track. "There was debris on the track, it was talked about on the (NASCAR) radio, it was identified as something being there and the caution was thrown," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Monday. And if NASCAR had been wrong, and there was nothing on the track? Oh well. "NASCAR is always going to put the safety of the competitors first, and when it comes to identifying something on the track, we're always going to err on the side of caution," Poston said. And that's what will forever keep this issue alive. Because sometimes there may not be debris on the track, competitors and fans will always form their own opinions on NASCAR's intent at the time of the caution.(Associated Press)(10-13-2009)

    • Largest Purse of the Chase at Texas: The Dickies 500 will boast the largest purse in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the fifth consecutive year with a record payout of $7,359,286 for the Nov. 8 event at Texas Motor Speedway. The Dickies 500 purse is the only one among the 10 Chase speedways to surpass $7 million and easily outdistances the second largest of $6,204,988 provided by California's Auto Club Speedway. Rounding out the top five Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup purses are Kansas Speedway ($6,182,706), Talladega Superspeedway ($5,492,493) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway ($5,423,189), respectively. This year's Dickies 500 purse tops the previous mark of $7,319,807 established last year that included a winner's share of $496,300 to Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing.(TMS PR)(10-13-2009)


      News from October 12, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 12 -- 1975:Darrell Waltrip records his first win at Richmond, beating Lennie Pond by more than a lap in the Capital City 500. Waltrip finishes his career with six Cup wins at Richmond, making it his fifth-most successful track. Waltrip's best tracks: 12 wins at Bristol, 11 at Martinsville, 10 at North Wilkesboro, eight at Nashville and six at Charlotte and Richmond.(NASCAR.com)

    • Auto Club Notes and Facts:
      * Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. It marked the third straight victory by Johnson in the fall race at California. He scored his fourth Cup win in 14 races at California, the most by any driver.
      * A Chase driver won the 21st straight Chase race.
      * Johnson scored his 45th career victory in his 285th start. He took over sole possession of 14th on NASCAR's all-time wins list.
      * Johnson took the points lead by 12 over Mark Martin. Johnson scored his fifth victory in 2009, tying Martin for the most by a driver in 2009. It marked his second victory in the four Chase races. He also won at Dover.
      * Johnson has won a race in eight consecutive seasons (2002 to 2009).
      * Johnson scored his sixth straight top-10 finish at California.
      * Hendrick Motorsports earned its eighth victory at California, the most by any team.
      * Johnson scored the 11th win for Hendrick Motorsports this season.
      * Johnson led 10 times for a race-high 126 laps, including the final seven. Johnson has led in 41 of the 54 Chase races. He has led in 25 of the 30 races this season, the only driver to do so.
      * Johnson's worst finish in the past 30 Chase races is 15th (Texas and Homestead in 2008).
      * Chevrolet has scored 16 wins in 2009, leading all manufacturers. Toyota has nine, while Dodge has three and Ford has two.
      * Jeff Gordon (second) scored his fourth straight top-15 finish at California and second runner-up finish in the Chase. He finished second at Kansas. Gordon has finished second in eight of the 30 races in 2009.
      * Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his best finish and first top-10 in six races at California. Montoya is the only driver to score top-5 finishes in all four Chase races. He remained third, 58 points behind new points leader Johnson.
      * Martin (fourth) scored his seventh straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Bristol.
      * Tony Stewart (fifth) scored his third top-10 finish in the past four races at California. He has been running at the finish in the past 53 races, the longest current streak.
      * Carl Edwards (sixth) scored his fifth straight top-10 finish at California.
      * Matt Kenseth (13th) ended an eight-race streak of top-10 finishes at California.
      * Kyle Busch (24th) ended an eight-race streak of top-10 finishes at California.
      * Jeff Burton (30th) has finished 16th or worse in the past 16 races since Michigan in June.
      * Joey Logano (14th) was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
      * Denny Hamlin (37th) was the lowest-finishing Chase driver at California.
      * Elliott Sadler (32nd) ended a 52-race streak of running at the finish (accident).
      * The top 10 consisted of seven Chevrolets, two Fords and one Dodge.
      (Racing Resources/ESPN)(10-12-2009)

    • California TV Ratings: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Auto Club Speedway in California earned a 3.0 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating from the nation’s largest television markets, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The figure isn’t directly comparable a 2008 event since the Cup series raced at Charlotte on the same weekend last year, earning a 3.5 overnight rating, but it was the highest overnight rating for any of the first four races this season in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. ABC had earned 2.5 overnight for the Chase kickoff in New Hampshire, 2.7 for Dover and 2.6 for Kansas. Auto Club Speedway was hosting a Chase race for the first time by virtue of a date swap with Atlanta. See past races, TV Chart and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(SceneDaily)(10-12-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway: 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: 123
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 74
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 41
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:15 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:25 PM
      Total minutes: 250
      Minutes of race broadcast: 199
      Minutes of commercials: 51
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 2
      Number of debris cautions where the debris WAS shown: 1
      Total race brdcst time 199 Total comm. brdcst time 51
      See full report at CawsnJaws.com.(10-12-2009)

    • Latest on Danica: Michael Waltrip Racing is interested in Danica Patrick and while she has a connection through her sponsor GoDaddy.com to JR Motorsports, talks with MWR have progressed to a point where team believes it has a shot. MWR vice president and general manager Ty Norris said Sunday he met with Patrick a couple of months ago and has talked to her people in the last week about a possible partial Nationwide program for next year. He said MWR might be able to offer her more manufacturer support, focus more on her development and also has room under the four-team Sprint Cup cap other than some of the other teams with which she has talked. Patrick wants a car that has points so she wouldn't have to qualify on speed, said Norris, who has talked with Patrick's representatives in the last week. MWR's Nationwide program has been a mix of drivers in recent years. "In recent weeks, I would say the discussions have become a little bit more detailed and intense to where you're talking about ifs, ands and buts," Norris said. "When you get to that level, you try to figure out what are the next steps, if there are next steps. Any owner of a Nationwide team or a Cup team with a racing operation would love to have Danica there after you talk to her because of her passion to race." Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Friday his JR Motorsports team has talked with her. Roush Fenway Racing officials have said they have talked with her but the talks fizzled over what it would take financially to build a program around her. Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Sunday that it would be hard for his team to put her in a car for next year because it would likely need to be a third car.(SceneDaily)(10-12-2009)

    • Reutimann needs additional sponsorship: Michael Waltrip wants to race next year but the priority at Michael Waltrip Racing is to fill the sponsorship for Sprint Cup driver #00-David Reutimann next year, MWR vice president and general manager Ty Norris said Sunday. Depending on how deals fall in the next few weeks, Reutimann could have as many as 12 races open. Aaron's is going to be the sponsor for half the season for Reutimann. "We may be as few as six or as many as [needing] 12," Norris said prior to the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. "It depends on how contracts fall the next couple of weeks. … We are going to make some announcements in the next two or three weeks on a number of other [sponsors]."(SceneDaily)(10-12-2009)

    • James Hylton injured in ARCA race: ARCA RE/MAX Series driver James Hylton, who was transported to a local hospital following an on-track incident on lap 147 in Sunday's American 200, has been treated and released as of Sunday evening. Hylton's family indicated that the veteran driver was diagnosed with an ankle injury.(ARCA Racing)(10-12-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #14-Tony Stewart has the longest current streak of finishing races at 53 of drivers who have ran all the races. #19-Elliott Sadler had been tied with Stewart before being caught in a late accident at Auto Club Speedway. #43-Reed Sorenson had a streak of 55 races since he DNF'd at Talladega in April 2008, but he didn't race at Infineon Raceway in 2008. He also did not finish at Auto Club Speedway, as did Richard Petty Motorsports teammate #44-Allmendinger. Four drivers now have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #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 didn't 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 and 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 25 [in 27 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 22 [in 25 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.(10-12-2009)

    • New NASCAR TV Show to debut: SPEED will open its week of expanded coverage from the NASCAR Hall of Fame with the premiere of a new nightly show, NASCAR Race Hub, on Oct. 12 at 7:30pm/et. NASCAR icon and Hall of Fame nominee Richard Petty will be the featured guest. NASCAR Race Hub will be a 30-minute show scheduled to air Mondays through Thursdays at 7:30pm/et. In addition to the new nightly show, SPEED will offer a full day of coverage from Voting Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where the inaugural class will be announced at 4:00pm/et on Oct. 14. SPEED.(SPEED)(10-12-2009)

    • California considering shorter race: Auto Club Speedway Gillian Zucker said the track is considering shortening one of the two annual races from 500 miles to 400 miles and did little to hide the fact she’d like to swap race dates with Phoenix. The first California race is run in February, right after the Daytona 500 while Phoenix runs in April. “Everybody knows that we’ve had some challenges with weather during (February),” she said.(Associated Press)(10-12-2009)

    • Fans to Wave Green Flags on Bojangles' Pole Night: On Thursday, Oct. 15, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials will randomly select fans in attendance for Bojangles' Pole Night to wave the green flag during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will go all out to attempt to make the 43-car field for the NASCAR Banking 500. Qualifying is scheduled for 7:10 pm. Affordable ticket packages are still available to the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Saturday, Oct. 17. To purchase tickets, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-12-2009)

    • Improvements Will Greet Fans at Martinsville: New and improved ticket gates and renovated campsites will greet fans who visit Martinsville Speedway for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on October 25. Martinsville Speedway’s main ticket gate has been reconfigured to help make entering and exiting smoother. Also two ticket gates have been added in the first-turn area of the track, which should reduce traffic at other gates at that end of the track. Also during the offseason, the speedway revamped a group of campsites directly behind the backstretch, leveling the ground in the area, making the sites much more functional for campers. Also four sections on the backstretch have been renamed. Section M is now Section UU; Section N is now Section TT; Section O is now Section SS; and Section P is now Section RR. Tickets are on sale for the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the Kroger 200 and the Virginia Farm Bureau Pole Day and may be purchased by calling 877.722.3849 (877.RACE.TIX) or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com online. Ticket prices range from $25 to $77.(10-12-2009)


      News from October 11, 2009

    • NASCAR History: 1998: Boris Said picks up his first, and so far only, NASCAR victory, winning the Kragen/Exide 151 Truck Series race at Sonoma. Said, a road-course ace, wins by 6.549 seconds over Mike Bliss. Tony Raines finishes third. Said has made 35 starts in the Cup Series, 20 in Nationwide and 65 in the Truck Series.(NASCAR.com)

    • Johnson wins at Auto Club Speedway: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway for his 5th win of the season and 45th of his career. #24-Gordon finished 2nd (for the second race in a row) followed by #42-Montoya (his fourth top 5 in a row), #5-Martin, #14-Stewart (who overcame a speeding penalty and came back from a lap down), #99-Edwards, #6-Ragan, #2-Busch, #33-Bowyer, and #29-Harvick. Other chase driver finishes: #39-Newman 15th, #16-Biffle 20th (was involved in a wreck late in the race and spun through the infield), #83-Vickers (was also involved in the final wreck) 29th, #9-Kahne (also in the final couple accidents) 34th, and #11-Hamlin (in an accident on a restart on lap 189 when he cut down in front of Montoya while leading and hit the front retaining wall) 37th. There were 8 cautions for 30 caution laps, a 21 minute red flag during the last caution, and there were 29 lead changes among 9 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, October 12 at 3:00am/et, ESPN Classic: Monday, October 12 at 12:00pm/et, SPEED, Wednesday, October 14 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Auto Club Race Results Page.(10-11-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Auuto Club, Chase race 4 of 10; Season race 30 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 5728, finished 1st
      2) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5716, -12, 4th
      3) #42-Juan Montoya 5670, -58, 3rd
      4) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins], 5644 -84, 5th
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 5623 -105, 2nd
      6) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5607, -121, 8th
      7) #16-Greg Biffle 5540, -188, 20th
      8) #99-Carl Edwards 5536, -192, 6th
      9) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5509, -219, 37th
      10) #39-Ryan Newman 5505, -223, 15th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5422, -306, 34th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5377, -351,2 9th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(10-11-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now up to 122 points (was 111)
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2368, +219
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2271, 122 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2149, 122 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.(10-11-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Auto Club, race 30 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1 #14-Tony Stewart,4420
      2 #24-Jeff Gordon 4240, -180
      3 #48-Jimmie Johnson 4232, -188
      4 #11-Denny Hamlin 3980, -440
      5 #5-Mark Martin 3967, -453
      6 #42-Juan Montoya 3921, -499
      7 #2-Kurt Busch 3919, -501
      8 #99-Carl Edwards 3816, -604
      9 #16-Greg Biffle 3789, -631
      10 #39-Ryan Newman 3777, -643
      11 #9-Kasey Kahne 3682, -738
      12 #18-Kyle Busch 3613, -807
      13 #17-Matt Kenseth 3599, -821
      14 #83-Brian Vickers 3570, -850
      15 #33-Clint Bowyer 3549, -871
      16 #00-David Reutimann 3526, -894
      (10-11-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
      Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500, his 45th victory in 285 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fifth victory and 19th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his fourth victory and 10th top-10 finish in 14 races at Auto Club Speedway. He is the first driver to win four NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway and the first to win the Pepsi 500 in three consecutive seasons.
      Johnson has led each of his past six starts at Auto Club Speedway for a total of 619 laps.
      Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 19 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 21st top-10 finish in 2009.
      Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at Auto Club Speedway.
      Joey Logano (14th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 12 points over Mark Martin.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-11-2009)

    • Penalty/Infraction Report - Auto Club Speedway:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #18, Pre-Race, engine change, to the rear
      #26, 60, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #39, 81, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #17, 118, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, tail end
      #14, 163, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, pass thru
      #83, 186, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #83, 191, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #34, 191, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #11, 219, Safety violation - below minimum speed, pit
      #16, 240, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #1, 244, Pulling up to pit, 1 lap
      #47, 244, Pulling up to pit, 1 lap
      #31, 244, Pulling up to pit, 1 lap
      #47, 244, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #31, 244, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #19, 244, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #9, 244, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #7, 244, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #83, 244, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      (NASCAR Statistics)(10-11-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Auto Club Speedway: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #none, #26-McMurray caused the caution
      Caution 2: #43-Sorenson, 31st
      Caution 3: #82-Speed, 21st
      Caution 4: #17-Kenseth, 13th
      Caution 5: #44-Allmendinger, 33rd
      Caution 6: #44-Allmendinger (2), 33rd
      Caution 7: #20-Joey Logano, 14th
      Caution 8: #12-Stremme, 16th
      (10-11-2009)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Auto Club Speedway (or seemed to)?
      43rd: #09-Bliss, 11 laps completed
      42nd: #71-Gilliland, 13
      41st: #66-Blaney, 22
      40th: #36-McDowell, 25
      39th: #87-Nemechek, 29
      (usually only count a team with a history of start and park, not an engine blow or wreck and only if 25% or less of race completed)(10-11-2009)

    • NASCAR takes Johnson and Martin's car back for more inspection: For the third consecutive week, NASCAR officials will take Jimmie Johnson's and Mark Martin's cars to the Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates hold down the top two spots in the Chase standings, with Johnson leading Martin by 12 points. Johnson's #48 Chevy cleared a post-race inspection after winning the Pepsi 500 Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. The winning car and the engines of the top two finishing cars always are taken to the R&D Center. Johnson won at Dover two weeks ago and Martin was second. After closer inspection at Concord, both teams were warned about being too close to the edge of the allowed tolerances at several places on the car bodies. Martin finished seventh last week at Kansas and Johnson was ninth, but both cars again were taken the R&D Center. Both cars were cleared after inspections in Concord. Martin finished fourth Sunday, but NASCAR officials again elected to take the #5 Chevy back to the R&D Center for additional tests.(ESPN.com)(10-11-2009)

    • Busch still sick; replaced by Gilliland during race: #18-Kyle Busch is still sick today, apparently from the flu. Denny Hamlin will standy by in case he needs to step out of the car during the Nationwide race this afternoon. David Gilliland will stand by on Sunday for the Cup race.(10-10-2009)
      UPDATE: Busch will reportedly get out of the car at the first pit stop during the Nationwide race and let Hamlin take over.(10-10-2009)
      UPDATE 2: Hamlin relieved Busch during the first Nationwide race caution on lap 37. Busch said he was getting too hot in the car and wanted to try to get rid of his fever before Sunday's Cup race.(10-10-2009)
      UPDATE 3: SPEED reported on RaceDay that Kyle Busch is still not feeling well this morning.(10-11-2009)
      UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is feeling worse Sunday morning and is not expected to drive the entire Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in California, team president J.D. Gibbs said Sunday morning. David Gilliland will be his replacement. Gilliland is driving for TRG Motorsports but he is not expected to drive the complete race.(SceneDaily)(10-11-2009)
      UPDATE: 4: David Gilliland parked the #71 on lap 11 and went to the #18 pits. Kyle Busch came down pit road on lap 61, during the first caution, and was relived by Gilliland.(10-11-2009)

    • NASCAR tweaks wave-around rule for Cup, Nationwide: NASCAR has tweaked its rule on wave-around cars under caution. The new rule now dictates that cars under penalty at the time of the caution are ineligible for the wave around. The change began last week with the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway after a situation came up in the Nationwide Series race that was new to the double-file restart system instituted in June. In the Nationwide race, Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards was penalized for speeding under green, and then the caution came out. He stayed out and didn't pit and then was among those cars on the end of the lead lap. He then got the "wave around" the caution car (along with the rest of the cars that had stayed out and were on the end of the lead lap) to get to the rear of the line of lead-lap cars. Edwards then went to the end of the line to serve his penalty. That move would not be allowed anymore. The driver would not get the wave around and would start a lap down at the rear of the field on the restart, the penalty for a driver who had a speeding penalty under green but never served it before the caution came out. The new rule in general is any driver under penalty is no longer eligible for the wave around.(SceneDaily)(10-11-2009)

    • Allmendinger in a Ford at Lowe's? Sadler at 'Dega? Richard Petty Motorsports has had a Ford in its possession ready to race since after New Hampshire. It would not be a surprise if AJ Allmendinger is driving a Fusion at Lowe's Motor Speedway next weekend or the week after that. Once the #44 car flips over to Ford, it will remain a Fusion the rest of the season. In addition to Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler is expected to drive a Roush-prepared Ford with a Yates engine at Talladega. Whether or not RPM's proposed merger with Yates Racing goes through, team owner George Gillett has said his team will run Ford's next season.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)

    • New Ford engine at Talladega: Ford will delay the debut of its new Sprint Cup engine, Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford’s North American racing operations, said Saturday. The engine was scheduled to have debuted next week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Instead, Ford will debut the restrictor-plate version of the engine at Talladega in three weeks. As for the non-restrictor-plate engine, it likely will debut at Texas or Homestead.(Virginian Pilot)
      AND: Matt Kenseth's crew chief Drew Blickensderfer is expecting to have the new Ford FR9 engine in the #17 Fusion in two weeks at Talladega.
      AND: On a related note: Blickensderfer expects to return as crew chief next season even though Kenseth failed to make the Chase for the first time since the format was introduced six years ago.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)

    • Berrier to be Burton's new crew chief? Crew chief Todd Berrier has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Scott Miller on the #31 Chevy at Richard Childress Racing. Berrier is currently crew chief for RCR's #07 team.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)

    • No NASCAR-GrandAm double-header at Indy: NASCAR's GrandAm series finally released its 2010 tour schedule, and on the Sprint Cup's Brickyard 400 weekend - July 25th is race day - the sports car series will be idle. NASCAR president Mike Helton had indicated three weeks ago, just after a GrandAm test around Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Formula One course, that a Cup-GrandAm double-header at Indy was possible. In fact the prospect of more Cup-GrandAm double-headers - such as at Daytona in July - appeared possible. The GrandAm series already runs with the NASCAR Nationwide tour at Montreal in late summer and with the Cup cars at Watkins Glen in early August.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-11-2009)

    • Carolina CollegeFest Takes Tailgating to the Extreme at LMS: College students can now enjoy homecoming NASCAR style with the ultimate pre-race party for the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday, Oct. 17., at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Carolina CollegeFest offers students more bang for their buck than ever before with more than five hours of live music, cornhole tournaments, gift packs, prize giveaways throughout the day and a reserved seat for the NASCAR Banking 500, all for the low price of $49 each. Five bands will perform throughout the afternoon with Tim Hollohan, the lead singer for Sullivan's Roof, taking the stage first at 10 a.m. Hollohan is the founding member of Sullivan's Roof, a five-piece rock and roll band out of Greenville and Columbia, S.C., which is in the process of producing its debut album. Following Hollohan on stage will be Nashville's up-and-coming country music sensations Craig Boyd and Southland. Described as the "Motley Crue of Country," Southland has delivered their country/rock sound to thousands by touring extensively throughout the United States, playing more than 200 dates in 2008 and pushing for 250 in 2009. Not only does the $49 ticket grant admission to Carolina CollegeFest, but it also reserves a seat to the NASCAR Banking 500, the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. To purchase tickets to Carolina CollegeFest contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-11-2009)


      News from October 10, 2009

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #5-Martin 180.293
      #07-Mears 179.897
      #11-Hamlin 179.252
      #29-Harvick 179.131
      #39-Newman 178.434
      slowest: #36-McDowell 173.144 & #13-Papis 172.869
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Auto Club Practice Speeds Page.(10-10-2009)

    • First Saturday practice: for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #48-Johnson 180.655
      #11-Hamlin 180.442
      #42-Montoya 180.162
      #2-Busch 179.969
      #5-Martin 179.807
      slowest: #7-Gordon 174.444 & #09-Bliss 173.603
      notes: There is no TV coverage of this session. Due to Nationwide Series qualifying being delayed by fog this morning, the session only ran about 20 minutes.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Auto Club Practice Speeds Page.(10-10-2009)

    • Busch still sick: UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch is still sick today, apparently from the flu. Denny Hamlin will standy by in case he needs to step out of the car during the Nationwide race this afternoon. David Gilliland will stand by on Sunday for the Cup race.(10-10-2009)
      UPDATE: Kyle Busch will start the Nationwide race, but will reportedly get out of the car at the first pit stop and let Hamlin take over for the remainder of the race.(10-10-2009)

    • Franchitti wins IRL title: Dario Franchitti's return to IndyCar racing couldn't have gone better. He's the IRL champion once again. Franchitti successfully emerged from one of the closest points races in series history Saturday, winning the season-ending Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the first caution-free IRL race ever. The 2007 champion - who skipped 2008 to explore NASCAR [running the #40 for Chip Ganassi until the merger with DEI when the team closed] - held off Target Chip Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon and Penske Racing's Ryan Briscoe.(Associated Press)(10-10-2009)

    • Happy Birthday, Ford Racing: Ford Racing is 108 years old today. On this date – Oct. 10, 1901 – Henry Ford, competing in a race as a driver for the only time, won a highly publicized and well-attended 10-mile event in Grosse Pointe, Mich. Several financial investors took note of the victory and later helped Ford start what would become Ford Motor Company in June 1903.(Ford PR)(10-10-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 10 -- 1954: Buck Baker wins the first Cup race at Memphis-Arkansas Speedway in Lehi, Ark., the Mid-South 250. Baker is the only driver to complete all 167 laps on the 1.5-mile dirt track. Dick Rathmann finishes second, five laps back, and Lee Petty is third, six laps back.(NASCAR.com)

    • Waltrip wants full Nationwide schedule in 2010: Michael Waltrip told ESPN.com Saturday that his 2010 Sprint Cup schedule remains uncertain, and is contingent on sponsorship. His hope? To run the full Nationwide Series schedule. "Ideally, for me, would be to get the type of sponsor that I could run the full Nationwide [schedule]," he said. "That's what I'd love to do. Then I'm here at the races, here on Sundays, can be a team owner but still get to race."(ESPN.com)(10-10-2009)

    • Goodyear says all teams can test tires at Daytona: Goodyear and potentially as many as 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will head to Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2-3, the Monday and Tuesday after Talladega, to try to figure out a tire for the 2010 Daytona 500. The test is open to all teams, and about 25-30 are expected, Stu Grant, Goodyear’s manager of worldwide racing, said Friday at Auto Club Speedway in California. Goodyear expects that some multicar organizations will only send some of their drivers and teams. Typical Goodyear tests have only four teams, but it’s hard to simulate conditions and tire wear in the draft with so few cars. It will be the only chance Sprint Cup teams will have to run at Daytona prior to February as NASCAR has extended its moratorium on testing at tracks in its three national series through 2010.(SceneDaily)(10-10-2009)

    • added #1 Guitar Hero 5, #16 Scotch Brite, #24 Pepsi/DuPont, #33 Prilosec OTC, #71 Mahindra Tractors, #43 Rosie’s Organic Chicken and #44 Dassault Systems schemes.(10-10-2009)

    • NASCAR shrinks restrictor plates at Talladega: NASCAR will reduce the size of the restrictor plate and allow teams an optional change as a way to slow the cars and try to keep them from getting airborne at Talladega. Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby [said] Friday at Auto Club Speedway that the restrictor plate will be reduced 1/64 of an inch. The new size will be 59/64 of an inch. Darby estimates it will shave 12 horsepower off the engines. Teams also have been given an option on side wickers, something they hadn't been allowed to use before at Talladega. Darby said that teams "will be able to add the same little side wicker to the end plate (on the rear wing) much like they do at the downforce tracks. If you look at all the cars in the garage right now on that end plate, all the way out on the back edge they've got a little half by half piece of aluminum. That's eight inches long. It helps in yaw or when the cars are turned. It kind of settles the back of the car down a little bit."(Virginian Pilot)(10-10-2009)

    • Goodyear happy with test of larger tire: UPDATE: Goodyear's Stu Grant, the veteran racing boss, says this week's first on-track test of the proposed new 17-inch NASCAR racing tire-and-wheel, at Richmond International Raceway, was a success, and he is planning a second test in later this fall, probably at Phoenix International Raceway (where the Sprint Cup tour races Nov. 15, providing a good baseline). "We got it on the ground for the first time, and we plan to put it on a short track, like Phoenix, sometime later this year, before January 1st," Grant said. "And then we will sit down with NASCAR and say 'Okay, here we are looking at 2010….and how aggressive do we want to be with this thing?'" Grant said "We don't have a firm timetable for implementation" of the new tire in NASCAR racing. "And obviously NASCAR is in step with us in this whole process." But Grant made very clear the 17-inch tire concept was a decided plus for Goodyear. Paul Menard and Travis Kvapil tested the new, larger tires in Jack Roush Fords, against baseline runs on Goodyear's current 15-inch NASCAR tires. "Travis said the 17-inch was very similar to the 15-inch from a handling standpoint," Grant said. "Paul thought it was more forgiving and easier to drive; that you could get back in the throttle quicker. "The nice thing is it ran cooler. So with a bigger footprint on the ground, more rubber, that's nice, because that gives us some room to play with, from a compound standpoint." Another issue here is the larger tire requires some chassis changes to make the tire fit under the fenders -- and keeping those changes to a minimum – economically as well as technically – may be the biggest challenge. Still, the key so far is that the test confirmed the theory that a larger tire would run cooler and offer more grip.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-9-2009)
      UPDATE: Listen to Roush's own reaction to the prospect of racing a new, larger tire: "There is no 17-inch tire coming….and you can quote me on that. It would be too expensive….it's unnecessary… There is maybe only one tire company in the world that could do that, as seen by me. And based on my conversations with NASCAR, I don't think there is any 17-inch tire coming. The things that Goodyear is learning through the 17-inch-tire excusion, or experiment, is intended to benefit the tires we have today." Yes, Roush confirms he is Goodyear's lead in this program. "But there is no 17-inch tire in our future," Roush insists.(Mike Mulhern.net)(10-10-2009)

    • NASCAR clarifies warning to Brad Keselowski at Kansas: NASCAR officials clarified their intent in warning Hendrick Motorsports’ #25-Brad Keselowski during last week’s race at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Friday afternoon that Keselowski was not warned because of contact with a competitor in the Chase For The Sprint Cup; the warning was one that NASCAR often gives to competitors when it feels contact is unnecessary. Keselowski had contact with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya during the race, drawing the attention of NASCAR. At the time, NASCAR said that Keselowski was told to be “aware and cognizant of who he was racing against at this particular point in the race.” Friday, Pemberton clarified what NASCAR meant and that it did not refer to racing against drivers in the championship hunt. “We warn drivers all the time,” Pemberton said prior to qualifying at Auto Club Speedway in California. “It wasn’t a Chase warning whatsoever. The previous week we warned the 14 [of Tony Stewart] and somebody else about beating on each other, too. When we see things going on around the race track that could affect the outcome of innocent bystanders, drivers who don’t have a fight, we’ll take and call a driver out on. That’s basically what we did.”(SceneDaily)(10-10-2009)

    • Earnhardt Jr. hopes to sign Danica: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Friday he has the utmost respect for Danica Patrick, the driver he hopes to sign to race a few Nationwide Series events next season for his JR Motorsports team. "I like Danica a lot," Earnhardt said. "I consider myself friends with her. It's interesting to see her interest in NASCAR. It's interesting for all of us. If we're a piece of that and we play a part in that, we'll have to see going down the road." Earnhardt said it is all in the hands of his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, his business manager. "Kelley's been managing the conversations between Danica and our team," Earnhardt said. "It's still in the early stages. I haven't really gotten in the middle of it." JR Motorsports is trying to reach a deal for Patrick to drive in eight to 10 Nationwide races next year. She is expected to continue to race full-time in the IndyCar Series for Andretti Green Racing.(ESPN.com)(10-10-2009)

    • No solid plans for Stremme: David Stremme [who is out of the Penske #12 at the end of the year to make way for Brad Keselowski] on his future: "I think there are a couple of things. When you look at the teams that are going away and don't have sponsors, I think there is going to be so much change for our sport with the teams. We are talking to some people. I don't have nothing solid. I can't even say, "Hey, I feel good about stuff.' Our sport is going through a lot of changes and the thing is if I've got to run Nationwide, Truck, whatever it is, I'm willing to do it. Last year, I had a lot of fun driving for Rusty (Wallace) in the Nationwide. It was a blast and I'd do it again."(Virginian Pilot)(10-10-2009)

    • Childress Honoring Chevy's Manufacturer's Championship: A decal honoring Chevy's 2009 Manufacturer's Championship in NASCAR's premier division will be affixed to all four Richard Childress Racing entries [#07, #29, #31, #33] for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Chevy earned its 33rd Manufacturer's crown when Tony Stewart won last weekend's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway, and continues to lead all other manufacturers in the sport with the most championships. The congratulatory decals are prominently displayed on all RCR-prepared Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet's above the B post, directly behind the driver's name.(RCR PR)(10-10-2009)

    • Warriors in Pink on the #21 at Lowes: Ford Motor Company, with the help of Wood Brothers Racing, is giving new meaning to "racing for the cure." The Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford driven by Bill Elliott will feature a special Ford Motor Company Warriors in Pink paint scheme in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The new paint scheme will debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on October 17. Elliott will also be wearing a specially-designed Ford Warriors in Pink fire suit and helmet during the race that will be auctioned off online after the Race. One hundred percent of auction proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.(Ford PR), see an image of the scheme on my #21 Team Schemes page.(10-10-2009)

    • Hamlin not approved to run at California: Kevin Hamlin had been scheduled to drive the Front Row Motorsports #37 this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. However, according to SPEED's qualifying coverage, NASCAR did not approve him to race. Even though he has driven at California before and on superspeedways, NASCAR determined that he did not have enough experience in the COT to make his first Sprint Cup start at California. Tony Raines took over the ride, but did not qualify.(10-10-2009)

    • Chase Stats going into Auto Club Speedway: Last week, we opined it was "go time" for #14-Tony Stewart if it he wanted to get into serious contention. Smoke must have been paying attention as he marched to victory at Kansas and catapulted 39 points and one position closer to first place #5-Mark Martin. He now lurks just 67 points out of the lead. #24-Jeff Gordon gained ground with a second at Kansas and California is another opportunity for the four-time champ to gain points. At 103 points out, J.G. needs to keep chopping. In four of the first five Chases, the eventual champion was leading after three races. The exception was 2006, when #31-Jeff Burton led by 69 points after 3 races, only to be overtaken by #48-Jimmie Johnson's historic rally to win his first title. That would make Mark Martin the favorite to go on and win Chase VI. See year-by-year comparison, race-by-race, notes and more on my Chase Stats after Kansas page and the Chase rules, how the Chase would had worked out back to 1975 and history on my 2009 Chase Rules and Notes page.(10-10-2009)

    • Reutimann's time disallowed: UPDATE: #00-David Reutimann, who was second fastest in qualifying, had his time disallowed after the rear shock was determined to have a gas level too high. He will now start the race in 42nd. No other penalties are expected.(10-9-2009)
      UPDATE: Michael Waltrip twittered Friday night that there were 25psi more than the maximum allowed in the shock. Michael Waltrip Racing checked their gauge against NASCAR's and found that MWRs was off.(10-10-2009)

    • ISC, SMI looked to jointly purchase Dover in 2007: Speedway Motorsports Inc. and International Speedway Corp. formed an alliance two years ago to look into the possible purchase of Dover International Speedway, according to a letter from Dover Motorsports Inc. general counsel to one of its shareholders. The letter was sent last month to Mario Cibelli, managing member of Marathon Partners, which owns 16.3 percent of the company's common stock (but only 1.5 percent of voting stock) and a harsh critic of Dover management who wants the company to be sold. In a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Cibelli asks for a forum on issues pertaining to Dover Motorsports shareholders, and the letter is posted on the forum project's Web site. Dover general counsel Klaus M. Belohoubek writes in the letter that Cibelli's actions might have thwarted the potential sale by driving down the asking price. A Dover spokesman said the company had no comment but did confirm the authenticity of the letter. The letter states that on May 2, 2007, Dover Motorsports Chairman Henry Tippie, Belohoubek and other Dover Motorsports executives met with SMI Chairman Bruton Smith and now-ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy in an airplane hangar in Dallas to entertain an offer to acquire Dover.(SceneDaily)(10-10-2009)

    • LMS's Victory Lane Club Offers Fans Good Value: The best value in motorsports has a new name. Lowe's Motor Speedway's Victory Lane Club offers fans three incredible NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events along with unprecedented additional value and behind the scenes access. Fans can become Victory Lane Club members by purchasing reserved seats for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America for a combined price starting at only $123. Victory Lane Club members can also take advantage of Lowe's Motor Speedway's increasingly popular, customized, interest-free payment plan, and for as low as $19.60 down, they can reserve their 2010 seats today. To become a member of the Victory Lane Club, call the Lowe's Motor Speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS and speak directly to a ticket representative. To purchase tickets contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office by phone or go online to www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-10-2009)


      News from October 9, 2009

    • Hamlin on pole at Auto Club: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway with a lap of 183.870mph for his 1st pole of the season and 7th career pole. #00-Reutimann was 2nd fastest followed by #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #42-Montoya, #1-Truex, Jr., #20-Logano, #29-Harvick, #33-Bowyer, and #5-Martin.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #87-Nemechek, #13-Papis, #82-Speed, #09-Bliss, #78-Smith, #71-Gilliland, #66-Blaney and #36-McDowell.
      The two drivers who failed to qualify: #37-Raines and #64-Wallace.
      See starting lineup, qualifying results, pole progression on my Auto Club Starting Grid/Qualifying Results-Order page.(10-9-2009)

    • Reutimann's time disallowed: #00-David Reutimann, who was second fastest in qualifying, had his time disallowed after the rear shock was determined to have a gas level too high. He will now start the race in 42nd. No other penalties are expected.(10-9-2009)

    • Where the 2009 Chase Drivers start at Auto Club Speedway:
      1) #5-Mark Martin, starts 10th
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4th
      3) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 5th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 21st
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 25th
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 1st
      7) #24-Jeff Gordon, 11th
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 37th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 12th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 26th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 33rd(10-9-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
      Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pepsi 500 with a lap of 39.158 seconds, 183.870 mph.
      This is his seventh pole in 145 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Hamlin's last pole came at Richmond International Raceway on May 3, 2008.
      This is his first pole and 14th top-10 start in 2009.
      This is his first pole in eight races at Auto Club Speedway.
      David Reutimann (second) posted his 12th top-10 start of 2009 and his second in six races at Auto Club Speedway.
      Greg Biffle (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 12th in 30 races this season.
      Joey Logano (seventh) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(10-9-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, October 9, 2009 at 6:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED - 6:30pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is posted. 45 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 #9-Kahne.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #17-Kenseth.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #78-Smith with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #36-McDowell.
      See the full qualifying order on the Auto Club Qualifying Page.(10-9-2009)

    • Friday's Practice for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #42-Montoya 183.556
      #48-Johnson 182.482
      #5-Martin 182.389
      #6-Ragan 182.002
      #12-Stremme 181.997
      slowest: #36-McDowell 176.961 & #64-Wallace 176.250.
      #18-Kyle Busch blew an engine late in the session.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Auto Club Practice Speeds Page.(10-9-2009)

    • Auto Club practice rank for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      1) #5-Mark Martin, was 3rd fastest
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2nd
      3) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1st
      4) #14-Tony Stewart, 18th
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 6th
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 27th
      7) #24-Jeff Gordon, 22nd
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 23rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 8th
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 10th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 39th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 17th(10-9-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice on Friday at Auto Club Speedway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 20th
      #82-Scott Speed, 24th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 31st
      #71-Bobby Labonte, 32nd
      #78 Regan Smith, 34th
      #13-Max Papis, 36th
      #09-Mike Bliss, 42nd
      #37-Tony Raines, 37th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #36-Michael McDowell, 44th
      #64-Mike Wallace, 45th out of 45
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Auto Club Practice Speeds Page.(10-9-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 9 -- 2005: Denny Hamlin finishes 32nd in the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway in his first Cup Series start. Hamlin starts the last seven races of the season and scores three top-10s. The next year, his rookie season, Hamlin wins twice, makes the Chase and finishes third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Stavola back in NASCAR?: Friday's Sports Business Daily is reporting - Semi-retired driver Terry Labonte and former team owner Bill Stavola are both getting back into NASCAR full-time as co-owners of a new race organization. StavolaLabonte Racing will field cars in the Sprint Cup Series, possibly next year, with Labonte driving initially.(Sports Business Daily, need subscription)(10-9-2009)

    • Edwards off crutches: #99-Carl Edwards showed up at Auto Club Speedway on Friday without the use of crutches. He said his doctor has allowed him to start walking on his heel without the crutches. “It feels great to be off my crutches. I’m not in the clear yet. As long as I don’t mess this thing up, I’m good. I’m allowed to walk on my heel. So, that’s good.” (10-9-2009)

    • Goodyear happy with test of larger tire: Goodyear's Stu Grant, the veteran racing boss, says this week's first on-track test of the proposed new 17-inch NASCAR racing tire-and-wheel, at Richmond International Raceway, was a success, and he is planning a second test in later this fall, probably at Phoenix International Raceway (where the Sprint Cup tour races Nov. 15, providing a good baseline). "We got it on the ground for the first time, and we plan to put it on a short track, like Phoenix, sometime later this year, before January 1st," Grant said. "And then we will sit down with NASCAR and say 'Okay, here we are looking at 2010….and how aggressive do we want to be with this thing?'" Grant said "We don't have a firm timetable for implementation" of the new tire in NASCAR racing. "And obviously NASCAR is in step with us in this whole process." But Grant made very clear the 17-inch tire concept was a decided plus for Goodyear. Paul Menard and Travis Kvapil tested the new, larger tires in Jack Roush Fords, against baseline runs on Goodyear's current 15-inch NASCAR tires. "Travis said the 17-inch was very similar to the 15-inch from a handling standpoint," Grant said. "Paul thought it was more forgiving and easier to drive; that you could get back in the throttle quicker. "The nice thing is it ran cooler. So with a bigger footprint on the ground, more rubber, that's nice, because that gives us some room to play with, from a compound standpoint." Another issue here is the larger tire requires some chassis changes to make the tire fit under the fenders -- and keeping those changes to a minimum – economically as well as technically – may be the biggest challenge. Still, the key so far is that the test confirmed the theory that a larger tire would run cooler and offer more grip.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-9-2009)

    • Danica asking for $8 million? UPDATE: Is Danica Patrick asking for $8 million to run eight Nationwide Series races in 2010? The simple answer: Nobody has confirmed that to ESPN.com. If that is the case, unless GoDaddy.com or another sponsor is willing to step up to the plate at a time when most sponsors are stepping away, the IndyCar Series star may have a tough time finalizing a deal. There are teams that run an entire Nationwide schedule on $8 million.(read more at ESPN Insider)(10-9-2009)
      UPDATE: Forget Danica Patrick making $1 million a race if and when she begins driving in NASCAR's Nationwide Series in 2010. She likely won't make $100,000. The IndyCar Series darling in all likelihood will make around $50,000 a race. Sources close to the situation confirmed to ESPN.com that the rumored/reported $8 million Patrick would make for running about eight Nationwide events was completely false.(ESPN Insider)(10-9-2009)

    • Federal rules could affect NASCAR endorsements: When #99-Carl Edwards broke his foot playing Frisbee last month there were jokes about how fortunate he was to be sponsored by AFLAC, which sells disability insurance. Edwards even made reference to the obvious irony and talked about filing a claim and getting a check. NASCAR fans are so used to drivers hawking their sponsors' products - and dropping the sponsor's name in every TV interview - that they rarely think twice about it. That's what drivers do when they aren't driving. But pretty soon drivers might have to do something else if they find themselves endorsing a sponsor's product. They might have to disclose that the sponsor is paying them to do it. The Federal Trade Commission this week issued new guidelines for those who endorse products. There is a new requirement that endorsers - whether it's a lowly blogger or a high-profile actor or athlete - must say if they are being paid by that company. So, how would this affect NASCAR, the most blatantly commercial sport around? Depends on the context. So says David Zetoony, an attorney specializing in consumer product-liability cases with the firm Bryan Cave. For instance, when Edwards does a commercial for AFLAC, it is understood by not only NASCAR fans, but also by the public at large that he's being paid to do so or that it's part of his obligation to his sponsor. And when he gives an interview standing in front of his AFLAC Ford, wearing his AFLAC driver suit and says something like "the #99 AFLAC Ford Fusion was awfully fast today," he's also in the clear. That's considered product placement, Zetoony said, and it won't get a driver in hot water with the FTC. What will cause trouble is when an athlete takes it a step further and endorses a product. But again, context is important. So if Tony Stewart gives a TV interview and is asked to name his favorite hamburger and he says "I never eat anything but flame-broiled Burger King Whoppers," he'd be required to disclose his relationship to BK. If he said, "I never eat anything but those juicy Whoppers my sponsor Burger King makes," he'd be OK. Confused? You aren't alone. It's going to take time and probably litigation to sort out where the lines will be drawn.(Alabama Live)(10-9-2009)

    • Auto Club Rookie Notes: #82-Scott Speed was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the October 4 Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway. Speed scored a 27th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the seventh time this season and for the second consecutive race. #20-Joey Logano leads Scott Speed by 23 points (218-195) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 11 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. All three members of the 2009 Raybestos Rookie class have scored at least one top-10 finish. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-five in three of the five previous fall races at Auto Club Speedway. Brian Vickers (2004) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole in five previous fall races at Auto Club Speedway. Kyle Busch became the first Raybestos Rookie to win at Auto Club Speedway when he captured the 2005 Pepsi 500. Busch scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory by .554 seconds over Greg Biffle. He is the only Raybestos Rookie to win in 17 races at the 2.0-mile speedway.(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), for rookie history, standings, rules and more, see my 2009 Rookies page.(10-9-2009)

    • Auto Club Speedway Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires at California this weekend . . . this is the same tire combination that teams in these two series ran at California earlier this season and at Kansas last weekend . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 42-45 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see tire pressures, codes, tires supplied on my Auto Club Race Info page - Tire Notes section.(10-9-2009)

    • Sad News - Rich Shafer: Richard R. Shafer, of Stockbridge, Ga., was pronounced dead at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga Saturday, Oct. 3 after being airlifted there from Jackson County, Ala., where he was involved in a single-car incident at the Crow Mountain Hill Climb, sanctioned by Sports Car Club of America’s Tennessee Valley Region. He was 66. Witnesses reported that Shafer’s modified Chevrolet Camaro left the road at the third corner of the course that was approximately two miles in length. He was initially conscious at the scene and transported via helicopter. He later succumbed to his injuries. Hill Climbs are one of the oldest forms of motorsports competition in the United States, and are set up on challenging pieces of road closed to public traffic. The course is marked with a start and a finish, with drivers trying to complete the course in the lowest possible time. Shafer was making his second run at the time of the incident.
      Known as “Mr. Cool Shirt,” Shafer was the founder and CEO of Cool Shirt, a company that developed a cooling vest initially for surgeons in the operating room. The company later expanded its line of vests and shirts to cater to racecar drivers, football players, fire/emergency services/hazmat, military and industrial workers. “Rich Shafer was dedicated to making racers better and safer and his passing is a loss for the industry,” SCCA President and CEO Jeff Dahnert said. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends.” Shafer is survived by his wife, Eileen and their two children. Services will be held Sunday, Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Christ Our Hope Lutheran Church, 2165 Highway 138 SW, Riverdale, GA. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to that church in Shafer’s name. The church has a web site at www.christourhope.org (SCCA), some of Cool Shirt customers include Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, part time NASCAR drivers Andy Pilgrim & Johnny O’Connell, Richmond International Raceway, Firefighters as well as the US Military.(10-9-2009)

    • Nemechek Fans Show Their Support: #87-Joe Nemechek fans are once again calling upon all fans to start yet another Fans On Board campaign. Fans of Joe from the interactive forum website, www.joenemechek.net, have organized this campaign specifically to help Nemechek run the Sprint Cup race at Talladega. So far members of these forums have raised close to $1000 of their own money and are asking all fans to show support in any way by donating. Nemechek is very appreciative of the support of his fans and is looking forward to giving them a good show at Talladega. More info at www.joenemechek.net.(NEMCO)(10-9-2009)

    • Fan to be Crowned Homecoming Queen at LMS: To celebrate homecoming, NASCAR style, at the NASCAR Banking 500, Lowe's Motor Speedway will crown one fan as the official Homecoming Queen for the race. In partnership with radio station WKKT FM, 96.9 The Kat, the speedway is holding an online contest to select one lucky lady to wear the crown. The grand prize winner will receive a VIP race package and participate in pre-race ceremonies. Women are invited to log onto Lowe's Motor Speedway's Web site for information on how to register for the contest. Affordable ticket packages are still available to the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Saturday, Oct. 17. To purchase tickets, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-9-2009)


      News from October 8, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 8 -- 1983: Ricky Rudd makes his third and final start in the Nationwide Series, finishing 34th in the Miller Time 300 at Charlotte. Rudd closes out his Nationwide career with one top-10 finish, a win in his first race, at Dover. Rudd's three Nationwide starts are quite a contrast to his Cup career: His 906 starts are second only to Richard Petty's 1,184.(NASCAR.com)

    • J.C. France arrested on drug charges: A grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France has been arrested on drug charges. According to a Daytona Beach police report, J.C. France was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of possession of narcotics and driving under the influence. The report states that an officer found a small bag containing a "white cakelike substance" during a traffic stop. France is the son of NASCAR board member Jim France and a driver in NASCAR's Grand-Am Series. According to a statement from NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, he has been indefinitely suspended from all competition. Poston says Frace is being treated "like any other competitor." France posted $4,500 bond and was released from Volusia County jail on Thursday.(Associated Press), additonal posts at Daytona Beach News Journal and wftv.com.(10-8-2009)

    • Overnight TV Ratings down for Kansas: UPDATE: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Price Chopper 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway earned a 2.6 overnight rating / 5 share. Down 16% over 2008's 3/1 rating / 6 share for the overnights. 2008's final national household rating was 3.5 with a 8 share. See past races, TV Chart and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-5-2009)
      UPDATE: ABC’s live coverage of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.2, down from the 3.5 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. Sunday’s telecast averaged 5,252,060 viewers. The rating rose from the 2.6 overnight rating that was reported Monday.(ESPN PR)(10-8-2009)

    • ISC third quarter profit down 89 percent: International Speedway Corp. fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 89% amid property write-downs as results fell short of analysts' estimates. The company also cut the top end of the year's profit target 10 cents a share. International Speedway has seen attendance slide as consumers cut back on discretionary purchases and companies slow their hospitality spending. The problems prompted the company earlier this year to reduce prices, which it said Thursday was the right move, saying its experience, research and analysis show it has priced events appropriately to meet demand. Next year, International Speedway wants target-price promotions on customers who renew early, as it expands the price reductions to include more than 500,000 Sprint Cup tickets. For the quarter ended Aug. 31, International Speedway posted a profit of $4.4 million, or 9 cents a share, down from $38.8 million, or 79 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue decreased 19% to $172.9 million.(Wall Street Journal)(10-8-2009)

    • NASCAR not interested in moving chase races to Saturday nights:
      From Wednesday's NASCAR teleconference on standardized start times:
      Q. We've seen the ratings have dipped a little bit here, and I think the blame, obviously, can be levied against the competition. It's tough to go up against the NFL. We can make great ideas of maybe moving some races during the Chase to this Saturday night. Have you guys talked about that idea? The possibility of more races on Saturday nights into the Chase? And I guess for John [Skipper], the difficulty that that would be for you guys to balance all your other programming?
      BRIAN FRANCE: Of course we talked about it. There are lots of issues. Saturday night from a level standpoint, I think it's the lowest night on television. It comes with other issues and you would still have college football which is pretty strong programming. So there's that. Then you have the host track who may not want to run it at night. So David Hill [Fox Sports] said traditions, and we have a lot of traditional things that happen in terms of Sunday afternoons that worked quite well. So we're not, obviously, when the ratings go up or down, you're taking note of that. We are, but we're not going to make any big, rash changes to try to chase that. We'll just keep building our story lines and try to look at good racing.
      JOHN SKIPPER [ESPN]: We could find times. We do have some nationwide races Saturday night, the Richmond races. We have multiple networks. But I don't think there are any plans to move to more Saturday night races, but we talk about everything.(NASCAR PR)(10-8-2009)

    • No new Dodge teams in 2010? Despite the announcement this week of Dodge's continued commitment to NASCAR in the wake of a managerial shake-up, don't look for any additional Chrysler teams in the 2010 Sprint Cup lineup. New president and CEO Ralph Gilles intends to continue the manufacturer's support in the sport but only Penske Racing's three Dodge entries [#2, #12, #77] are expected to be on the grid next year.(CBS Sports)(10-8-2009)

    • Furniture Row headed to California with eye on 2010: The preparation to be one of the top 35 teams in points following the fifth race in 2010 continues for driver #78-Regan Smith and Furniture Row Racing this weekend in Fontana, Calif., site of the Pepsi 500 Sprint Cup event at Auto Club Speedway. Furniture Row Racing announced in August that it will run a full Sprint Cup schedule in 2010, compared to a part-time slate of 20 races this season. Teams, which are secured in the top 35 in points following the fifth race (Bristol) next year, will have the luxury of gaining an automatic qualifying berth, something the young Furniture Row organization has never experienced. "With California being the second race in 2010, we added it to our schedule recently so we can acquire data for our important return trip in February," said team general manager Joe Garone. "We wanted to make sure that we'll have a good data book for each of the first five races next year. Our goal is to be in the top 35 and not have to worry about qualifying for the main event." Furniture Row's original 2009 schedule included two of the first five races of the season -- Daytona and Las Vegas. The organization added the other three sites -- Atlanta, Bristol and Fontana -- once the decision was made to run the 36-race Cup schedule next season.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(10-8-2009)

    • Kenseth going for first sweep; R+L on the #17: Leaving Fontana, California this season back in the spring most people had named #17-Matt Kenseth and Drew Blickensderfer as the hottest driver/crew chief duo in the garage after having started the season off 2-0. But the dream of being on top was short lived, especially when the team failed to make the Chase at Richmond International Raceway. But all is not lost, Kenseth and Blickensderfer have a chance to sweep Auto Club Speedway's two races this season. Kenseth tied Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson for a series high most wins at Auto Club Speedway with three after his win there earlier this season. If Kenseth is able to win this weekend it will be his first sweep at a track in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.(NASCAR PR)
      AND:The #17 Ford will carry the green and gold colors of R+L carriers this weekend at California. It will be the final of four races this season with R+L Carriers as the primary on the #17 Ford.(Roush Fenway PR), see an image of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(10-8-2009)

    • RCR looking for first California win: Richard Childress Racing has earned a Sprint Cup Series victory at 18 of the 22 tracks on the 2009 schedule. The only tracks on the current schedule where RCR hasn't earned wins are Auto Club Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Additionally, RCR has Sprint Cup Series wins at 21 tracks overall, including North Wilkesboro (N.C.), Riverside (Calif.) and Rockingham (N.C.) which are no longer on the schedule.(RCR PR)(10-8-2009)

    • Energizer on the #98: The #98-Paul Menard / Yates Racing team will unload the Energizer / Menards Ford for this weekend's Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway.(Yates Racing PR)(10-8-2009)

    • Prilosec on the #33: This week at Auto Club Speedway #33-Clint Bowyer will pilot the Prilosec OTC - Walmart Chevy. It is chassis #267 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevy debuted in February at Auto Club Speedway where Bowyer finished 19th.(RCR PR)(10-8-2009)

    • Carl Edwards on cover of ESPN The Magazine 'Body Issue': #60-Carl Edwards is one of six cover athletes who will appear on ESPN The Magazine's cover for its inaugural "Body Issue". The Body Issue, on newsstands Friday, Oct. 9, will feature nearly 80 athletes from a variety of sports in a celebration and exploration of the athletic form. The issue honors athletes of diverse shapes, sizes, genders and races within the boundaries of taste and frontiers of creativity upon which ESPN The Magazine and ESPN have built their reputations. It is a testament to the work the athletes do, the effort they exert and the price they sometimes pay in reliance on their most important asset - their bodies.(ESPN PR)(10-8-2009)

    • Humpy Wheeler to wave the green flag at the Rock: Legendary race promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler will serve as the Grand Marshal and will wave the green flag for Sunday’s running of the ARCA RE/MAX American 200 at the Rockingham Speedway. Wheeler, the former President and General Manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, currently is the chairman of The Wheeler Company, a consulting management firm focusing on general business, professional sports, and motorsports he founded last year with his son, Trip. The Wheeler Company has been involved with the Rockingham Speedway through a driver development program, Humpy’s Heroes, which has used the facility for testing and practice for its young drivers. For more information about the ARCA/REMAX American 200 or the accompanying USARacing Aaron’s 150 October 9-11 or to order tickets, please contact the Rockingham Speedway at (910) 205-8800 or visit the website at www.rockinghamspeedway.com. Tickets begin at $20 for single-day reserved seating with $5 back-to-school special pricing for students. Weekend and pit passes are also available.(Rockingham Speedway)(10-8-2009)

    • Darlington reduces price on 40,000 seats: Tickets for the 2010 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway go on-sale to the public this Saturday, October 10. The famed 500-mile race will once again take place on Saturday night of Mother's Day weekend and will be preceded by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on Friday evening. Fans purchasing tickets for the 2010 installment of the Southern 500 will notice new, lower prices in nearly every grandstand at Darlington Raceway. Officials at Darlington reduced ticket prices on over 40,000 seats during the off-season making attending the Southern 500 more affordable than ever. With ticket prices starting as low as $35 night-racing at Darlington is the best value on the Sprint Cup Circuit. Tickets for both events and the Darlington Stripe Zone can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at http://www.darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway PR)(10-8-2009)


      News from October 7, 2009

    • NASCAR announces uniform start times for 2010: NASCAR will conduct a special teleconference at 3:00pm/et this afternoon with NASCAR CEO Brian France, FOX Sports Chair David Hill, David Levy of Turner, and John Skipper of ESPN. Speculation is that they will announce more uniform race start times for next season.(10-7-2009)
      UPDATE: NASCAR and its television broadcast partners announced earlier, uniform start times for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2010. NASCAR worked closely with FOX, Turner, ESPN/ABC and the tracks on this project for the fans. The race start times for NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010 in the Eastern and Central regions of the country will begin at 1 p.m. ET, West Coast events will begin at 3 p.m. ET, and night races will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. (The one exception is NASCAR’s longest night race, the Coca-Cola 600, which will have the same 5:45 p.m. ET start time.) Following the invocation and national anthem, the green flag will drop at approximately 15-20 minutes past the hour after each listed race start time. A total of 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010 will be held at an earlier time compared to 2009, with 20 races moved to 1 p.m. ET, including the Daytona 500. Moving up the start of “The Great American Race” two-and-a-half hours will produce the earliest start time for the Daytona 500 since 2003, when the race was also scheduled for 1 p.m. Five races move earlier to a 3 p.m. ET start and three races start earlier at 7:30 p.m. ET. In making the decision for earlier, more uniform start times, NASCAR consulted its Fan Council, comprised of 12,000 avid fans who serve as a sounding board on important topics. Half of NASCAR avid fans said they are often unclear about what time NASCAR races actually start. When given the chance to choose a start time, more than two-thirds of avid NASCAR fans preferred early Sunday afternoon.(NASCAR PR), see the complete list of start times on my 2010 Cup Schedule page.(10-7-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 7 -- 1951: Herb Thomas wins his first NASCAR race from the pole, winning a 150-lap race on the 1-mile dirt of Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, N.C. Leonard Tippett is second, a lap back, and Joe Eubanks is third, another lap back. Nineteen of Thomas' 48 wins come from the pole.(NASCAR.com)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame releases opening details: NASCAR Hall of Fame officials announced many of the highly anticipated details regarding visits to the new 150,000-square foot interactive, entertainment attraction under construction in uptown Charlotte, N.C., including ticket information, charter memberships, a national sweepstakes, operating hours and the date for the inaugural Induction Ceremony. Tickets and charter memberships for May 11, 2010 and beyond go on sale at 9 a.m. EDT Oct. 14, coinciding with the historic voting day to determine the first class of inductees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That illustrious first class will be formally inducted in a ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2010. Ticket prices are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for military and seniors (60+), $12.95 for children 5 - 12 and free for children under 5. The on-site box office is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010. In the meantime, tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 877-231-2010 or www.nascarhall.com. Customers who purchase through Ticketmaster will receive a $1 per ticket discount. In addition to individual tickets, six levels of charter memberships are available. Members will receive a host of benefits, and if their membership is purchased by May 10, 2011, they also will receive a charter designation and commemorative items to mark their unique status as a first-year member. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will operate on a timed-entry system; guests must select a specific day and time for their visit at the time of purchase. Beginning May 11, 2010, the venue will operate seven days a week with base hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours may be extended during summers, race weeks and prominent Uptown Charlotte events.(NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(10-7-2009)

    • Bankruptcy coming for Motorsports Authentics? Motorsports Authentics, an equally owned merchandise joint venture between race-track owners International Speedway Corp (ISCA.O) and Speedway Motorsports (TRK.N), has received default notices from certain licensors, regulatory filings show. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Speedway Motorsports said Motorsports Authentics had stopped paying certain guaranteed royalties in its third quarter, and was attempting to renegotiate agreements with all significant licensors of NASCAR merchandising. "MA is exploring other business strategies to turn its business around. If such efforts are not sufficient or timely, MA could ultimately pursue bankruptcy," the filing said.(Reuters)(10-7-2009)

    • F1 driver to test for Waltrip? UPDATE 2 drivers testing: Former F1 driver, Miko Salo, supposedly will test for Michael Waltrip Racing in one of the team's Toyota Camry Sprint Cup cars at an undisclosed venue at some point in November. The 42-year-old former grand prix driver has been racing in sportscars since the end of his Formula 1 career in 2002 and won the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series in 2007. He has had a seat fitting with Michael Waltrip Racing. "It will be great to get to test a NASCAR at last," Salo told this week's AUTOSPORT magazine. "After two years of trying, I finally met the person who could make it happen. Racing sportscars in the US has definitely helped. My hope next year is that I can do some races in Nationwide, maybe even a full season - but I understand that I may have to raise some money to make it happen."(Autosport)(10-2-2009)
      UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing will test Jarno Trulli and Mika Salo at International Speedway in Lakeland, Fl., the week prior to the NASCAR season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway. Trulli, 35, currently drives for Toyota in Formula One. He finished second last week in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka and is currently eighth in the World Championship. Trulli's sole F1 win came at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix in 2004 while driving for Renault. After Trulli completes the F1 season on November 1 at Abu Dhabi, he will be fitted for his seat at MWR then join the organization to observe for the final three races. Trulli dropped in at Michigan Speedway last June to watch the Sprint Cup race. With the current uncertainty surrounding Toyota's future in F1, it appears that Trulli is considering stock cars as a viable option. Salo, 42, competed in F1 from 1994 to 2002 and posted two podium finishes. In 2007, Salo won the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series. He currently competes for a team that MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman has an interest in Europe.(FoxSports)(10-7-2009)

    • Changes at Dodge/Chrysler: UPDATE: Chrysler's new Italian management has once again shaken up the automaker's executive team, announcing the departure of two recently appointed brand CEOs and splitting the Dodge brand into two groups, one focusing on trucks and the other on cars. The moves, announced Monday, marked the second management shake-up since Fiat Group SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne took control of Chrysler on June 10 when it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Peter Fong, president and CEO of the Chrysler brand and the company's top sales executive, and Michael Accavitti, president and CEO of the Dodge brand, abruptly left the company, Fong for personal reasons and Accavitti to pursue other interests, Chrysler said in a statement.
      Chrysler sales spokesman Gualberto Ranieri would not comment when asked if the departures were related to Chrysler's sales performance. Chrysler said that it would split the Dodge brand into truck and car groups. The truck group will be led by Fred Diaz Jr., who previously ran the company's Denver business center. The Ram brand consists of the company's new Ram pickup trucks, as well as its commercial vehicles. Diaz also will take over as lead sales executive in the U.S. for the Chrysler Group organization.
      Vice President of Design Ralph Gilles will take over leadership of the Dodge car brand, which includes minivans, in addition to his current design responsibilities, the company said. The two men replace Accavitti, who resigned to pursue other interests, Chrysler said. Accavitti was appointed to head Dodge by Marchionne in June when Chrysler emerged from Chapter 11.
      The company also said Fong resigned for personal reasons, and he was replaced by an executive from Fiat, Oliver Francois, as Chrysler brand president and CEO. Francois served as head of the Lancia brand, Chrysler said in a statement.(Michigan Live). No word how this could affect Dodge's involvement with NASCAR. Also see articles at the Orlando Sentinel and Detroit News.(10-5-2009)
      UPDATE: The new head of Dodge's car brand says the manufacturer will continue its involvement in NASCAR. Ralph Gilles takes over the job from Mike Accavitti, who resigned after three months in the job. Accavitti's resignation came amid another restructuring of Chrysler, which went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. The new plan splits Dodge into two brands, one for cars and another for the Ram truck. Gilles becomes president and CEO of the Dodge brand, which competes in NASCAR.Gilles says development and marketing of Dodge vehicles still works through NASCAR participation.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(10-7-2009)

    • Sorenson to run chicken scheme at Auto Club: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Rosie’s Organic Chicken [link seems down] Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Rosie was the first chicken in the United States to carry a certified organic label. Rosie is free range and humanely raised with no antibiotics on a 100% organic vegetarian diet with no animal by-products or GMOs as independently verified by Oregon Tilt, a third party certifier. Rosie is sold in a styro-foam free package that produces 73% less landfill and a reduced carbon footprint.(RPM Facebook), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)

    • New sponsor for Allmendinger at ACS: A.J. Allmendinger Sorenson drives the #44 Dassault Systemes Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Dassault Systemes (pronounced: duh-so-Systemes) is the second largest software company in Europe specializing in software that allows companies to create in 3-D. The Petty team along with nearly all Formula One teams use the Paris-based company’s software to design cars and components in virtual reality.(RPM Facebook), see an image of the scheme on my #44 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)

    • Jimmie Johnson Foundation on the #48: At Auto Club Speedway, Jimmie Johnson will drive a special #48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's Impala. His helmet will feature the 12 charities selected for his Helmet of Hope initiative. The helmet will be auctioned off at the 3rd Annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Dinner and Auction with the proceeds going to the San Diego Jimmie Johnson Foundation Championship Grants in partnership with Lowe's Toolbox for Education.(GMR Marketings PR), see an image of the scheme on my #48 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)

    • Guitar Hero 5 Returns to the #1: Guitar Hero, returns to the track at Auto Club Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. The paint scheme first debuted at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6, 2009, coinciding with the launch of the popular video game on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The video game returns as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the seventh time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for four races.(EGR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)

    • 'Regular Season' Award being considered? Jim Hunter, Vice President of Communications for NASCAR was interviewed today on the 'Bubba The Love Sponge Show'. Hunter spoke about the possibility of awarding the 'regular season' champion an award of some sort. Currently, NASCAR does not award points, money, or a trophy to the regular season champ. 'Bubba the Love Sponge' asked Hunter about the lack of recognition for the regular season champ and Hunter said NASCAR is looking in to it. Hunter's did acknowledge that in recent weeks NASCAR has talked about a regular season award of some sort but they have not decided on what that award should be. Hunter said, "That's something we are looking at doing for next year, we just haven't decided what it will be."(Captain Thunder)(10-7-2009)

    • Judge denies NASCAR request for rebuke of former Mayfield attorney: A U.S. District Court judge has ruled against NASCAR's request to sanction a former attorney for suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield for an affidavit that misrepresented the background of a Texas drug-testing laboratory operator. Judge Graham Mullen in Charlotte also denied NASCAR's request for Mayfield to pay for the sanctioning body's defense against assertions tied to the affidavit. The affidavit was from Harvey MacFenerstein, who has said there were mistakes in his credentials and is no longer being used by the Mayfield legal team. In his ruling Tuesday on the circumstance surrounding the submission of that affidavit, Judge Mullen said [former Mayfield attorney John] Buric probed MacFenerstein's qualifications, had reason to believe the qualifications MacFenerstein claimed to have were correct and his editorial oversight on whether MacFenerstein was a medical review officer was likely inadvertent and not serious enough for sanctions. The decision Tuesday does not impact the case schedule.(SceneDaily)(10-7-2009)

    • Biffle's Team Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Kansas: Greg Biffle's crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. It was the sixth win of the season for Biffle's #16 crew, which leads in the Tissot standings. The crews for Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are tied for second with three wins each. The #16 crew earned $5,000 for the Kansas Tissot pit road win, lifting its season total to $30,000 in prize money. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule will receive a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver. Biffle's 3M Ford Fusion spent the least amount of time on pit road in Kansas (215.890 seconds). The quick pit stops helped Biffle to a third-place finish in the Price Chopper 400 at the 1.5-mile oval. The #16 over-the-wall crew consists of: Todd Zeigler (front-tire changer), Colin 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 pit crew coach is Andy Ward.(Tissot)(10-7-2009)

    • Christian Slater driving pace car at California: Christian Slater will be behind the wheel of the Official NASCAR 2010 Chevy Camaro Pace Car as he leads the field of 43 stock cars before the start of the Inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race - the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, October 11. With an impressive career that spans the worlds of film, television and stage, Slater has established himself as one of the most talented actors of his generation. Currently Slater stars in the ABC drama series "the forgotten," from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Bros. Television. "the forgotten" airs Tuesday's (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(10-7-2009)

    • Jesse McCartney singing National Anthem at California: Multi-platinum recording and actor Jesse McCartney will perform the national anthem prior to the Inaugural Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff race-the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, Oct. 11. With his release of "Departure" in May 2008, McCartney struck hard, establishing himself at the forefront of a new pop/R&B hybrid. His single, "Leavin'" became the #1 most played Top 40 in 2008 and spent 5 weeks at #1 on the CHR Top 40 Chart and went gold and platinum with over 2 million digital downloads on iTunes.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(10-7-2009)


      News from October 6, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 6 -- 2002: Subbing for injured Sterling Marlin, Jamie McMurray makes his first Cup Series start, finishing 26th in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega. As excited as McMurray undoubtedly was, it's nothing compared with the next week when he shocks everyone by winning the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte in his second Cup start.(NASCAR.com)

    • Four cars taken back to R&D Center...UPDATE: As per NASCAR protocol, Tony Stewart's race winning #14 Chevy along with a random car, this week it is Kurt Busch's #2 Dodge ride, were selected for postrace inspection and further analysis back at the Research and Development Center in Concord, NC. But as an added wrinkle, officials also requested that Mark Martin's #5 and Jimmie Johnson's #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy be added to the inspection list. "When you've won and run well, and Jimmie and Chad are always going to know they are under the microscope - that's (going to be) part of it," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "We actually don't mind that. NASCAR is fair and if they want to check us every week, that's OK. I understand. I really do." No problems were found on the cars during the at-track inspection.(FoxSports)(10-5-2009)
      UPDATE: The cars of championship leaders Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have passed a second NASCAR inspection. NASCAR inspected both the Hendrick Motorsports-owned cars after Sunday's race in Kansas for a thorough inspection after the Chevys squeaked through a week earlier. The teams were warned they had nearly failed and were to not bring the cars to the track again. NASCAR also examined the car of race winner Tony Stewart, as is standard procedure. In addition, Kurt Busch's car was randomly selected for inspection.(Associated Press)(10-6-2009)

    • Pepsi flavors movie-race combo: UPDATE: Pepsi plans to own the airwaves Sunday on ABC with at least six different 30-second ads, presenting sponsorship of a one-hour movie about Hendrick Motorsports' 25th anniversary and title sponsorship of the race broadcast, as well as title sponsorship of the race that day at Auto Club Speedway.(SportsBusinessJournal.com)(10-6-2009)
      UPDATE: Pepsi has been a sponsor at Hendrick Motorsports for 12 of those 25 years and the soft drink giant saw an opportunity to shout its new brand positioning—"Every generation refreshes the world"—through extensive activation on ABC, at the track and online. Pepsi, as a longtime sponsor with Jeff Gordon, was approached about a presenting sponsorship deal earlier this year that would give the soft drink brand placement in the film, as well as rights to the trailer, which has been available on Pepsi's website, RefreshEverything.com/Hendrick. Pepsi's presenting sponsorship of the film went for $300,000 to $400,000, industry insiders said, which went toward funding the project along with other sponsorship from HendrickCars.com and Lowe's. Race sponsorships typically go for about $1 million. NASCAR Media Group was prepared to make a time buy on ABC before a Sprint Cup race in September, but when Pepsi came on board as presenting sponsor, it made the decision a no-brainer to pair the movie with Pepsi's race at Auto Club Speedway. NASCAR Media Group bought the hour on ABC Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET, leading up to Pepsi 500 coverage. Pepsi, through its website, then invited fans to submit videos saluting Hendrick, specifically asking "How has Hendrick Motorsports refreshed your life?" One of the six ads will be a collection of fan submissions, while the rest will be vignettes with drivers, Hendrick employees and others in the sport congratulating Hendrick. The ads will air during the movie, as well as in the race broadcast.(Sporting News)(10-6-2009)

    • Danica talking to Hendrick about NASCAR ride UPDATE 2 MWR?: Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., may soon be involved in a limited NASCAR arrangement, NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick confirmed to SI.com. The other side of the Patrick puzzle may soon fall into place as Hendrick said Sunday afternoon that Patrick's agent at IMG has met with the team about a limited schedule of ARCA and NASCAR Nationwide Series races to go along with the IndyCar Series contract she signed to remain at Andretti Green Racing. According to Hendrick, the plan would be to put Patrick in the JR Motorsports team that is owned by Hendrick driver Earnhardt, Jr. with sponsorship from GoDaddy.com. "We have no deal but she has spoke with Kelley Earnhardt [Dale Jr's sister who handles that teams business affairs] about a limited number of NASCAR races in that car," Hendrick told SI.com. "I have had some conversation and Kelley Earnhardt has had some conversation with that but Kelly is heading that up. GoDaddy.com would be involved because of their involvement with Danica and with JR Motorsports. Kelley talked to her in the last week. We are looking at how it matches up with her IndyCar schedule. We are interested and think it would be neat but it has to work out for both sides." Patrick signed a three-year IndyCar Series contract with team owner Michael Andretti two weeks ago but has remained quiet on that subject because of sponsor demands who want to have a major press conference to announce the signing. According to IndyCar Series sources, one of Patrick's sponsor contracts in IndyCar is about to expire so that announcement will not be made until the sponsor is ready to make the announcement. "She has signed the contract, they just want to make sure the sponsor is ready to make the announcement," said an IndyCar Series official Saturday afternoon. While details of Patrick's new contract have not been disclosed, Andretti indicated there are limits to how much racing she can do outside of IndyCar. Andretti wants his high-paid driver to focus on what he signed her to do -- try to become the first female driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series title. So if Patrick signs with JR Motorsports or another team, look for her to run in fewer than 10 stock car events next season. In fact, five races next season would probably be a nice, logical step for her before she attempts to increase that schedule in 2011, if she likes the progress she is making.(SI.com)(10-5-2009)
      UPDATE: Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, the president of JR Motorsports that is co-owned by Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr., said on Monday she is exploring options that could put Danica Patrick in a limited number of Nationwide Series races next year. "There is a natural fit at JRM with Dale Jr. and Danica both serving as spokespersons for GoDaddy.com," Elledge said. "As a female managing one of the top Nationwide Series teams in the sport, I would be excited to have Danica within the JR Motorsports fold if she decides to enter the world of NASCAR." Elledge said Patrick would split time with Earnhardt and several other drivers in the #5. Kelly Bires recently was signed to replace Brad Keselowski in the #88 car next season. "Kelly bires will run 88 full time," Elledge said in a text. "So she will be part time in 2nd car."(ESPN.com)(10-6-2009)
      UPDATE 2: Add Michael Waltrip Racing to the list of NASCAR suitors for IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick for 2010. Team owner Michael Waltrip said on Tuesday he's met with Patrick and given her a tour of the team facility. He is willing to put her in limited number of races in the Nationwide and Truck Series, "whatever she wants,'' he said. "We've certainly talked to her and are interested in what she's going to do,'' Waltrip said. "We have sort of done that without a whole lot of people knowing. She knows we're interested when she knows what she's going to do." Waltrip doesn't believe the rivalry between Japanese car manufacturers will be a stumbling block. Patrick drives a Honda in the IndyCar Series; Waltrip's team fields Toyotas."There's not a Honda over here [in NASCAR], so she's going to drive something besides that,'' he said.(ESPN.com)(10-6-2009)

    • NAPA Team goes pink: NAPA and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer advocacy organization, is kicking off a unique initiative designed to raise $250,000 by highlighting the importance of preventive maintenance for both the body and the vehicle. The partnership includes a number of initiatives designed to help raise awareness. Consumers that spend $25 or more at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores or NAPA AutoCare Centers during October receive a free NAPA/Susan G. Komen for the Cure travel mug. NAPA Racing's Michael Waltrip will join the cause by wearing a pink Susan G. Komen for the Cure hat at the NASCAR tracks this month. He'll also spread the word during his media appearances and on his Twitter and Facebook pages. Then on October 17, he'll drive the #55 NAPA/Susan G. Komen Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Approximately 87% of donations, like the one from NAPA, go directly toward Susan G. Komen for the Cure's promise to end breast cancer forever by funding live-saving research and community outreach projects.(MWR), see an image of the scheme on my #55 Team Schemes page.(10-6-2009)

    • Rusty Wallace to be honored: Former NASCAR Cup Series champion and ESPN auto racing analyst, Rusty Wallace, will be among nine sports legends honored at New York's Waldorf=Astoria Tuesday [Oct 6th] evening, during the 24th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner, to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The event will be held in the Waldorf=Astoria's Grand Ballroom and feature legendary sports broadcaster, Bob Costas, as its Master of Ceremonies. Following Tuesday evening's event, Wallace will join Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Benny Parsons as the only stock car drivers to be honored in the 24 annual editions of the dinner. Joing Wallace as 2009 Sports Legend Honorees are Troy Aikman, Clyde Drexler, Brett Hull, Mike Piazza, Ivan Lendl, Pat Day, Dara Torres and Chris Waddell. Famed poet, Maya Angelou, will be among the recipients of four other awards given during the event.(Rusty Wallace Racing)(10-6-2009)

    • Tom Cruise Narrates Hendrick Motorsports Documentary Sunday on ABC: TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story, NASCAR Media Group's documentary-style film chronicling the history of the eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship team, will air Sunday, Oct. 11, at 1:30pm/et on ABC, prior to the network's live Pepsi 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race coverage from Fontana, Calif. Narrated by three-time Academy Award nominee Tom Cruise and presented by Pepsi, TOGETHER employs exclusive interviews, never-before-seen archival footage, thrilling racing sequences and rare family photography to detail the personal relationships and emotional events that have shaped one of NASCAR's most decorated organizations. Cruise, an auto racing enthusiast, starred in the 1990 NASCAR-themed motion picture Days of Thunder. The script was co-written by Shawn Truax and Ray Didinger and directed by Rory Karpf.(10-6-2009)

    • Geoff Bodine to run ASA race in South Africa: American Speed Association officials have announced that 1986 Daytona 500 and 1987 IROC Series Champion Geoff Bodine will be competing in the "Championship Between the Continents – South Africa versus USA Motorsports" that will take place on January 29-31, 2010 at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, South Africa. The first ever ASA venture outside of North America. "I am looking forward to making this trip," Bodine said. "This will be my first time traveling to the continent. The thought of going to South Africa to race is very exciting and I would certainly like to be the first driver to win this enormous event." Bodine has been competing in the ASA sanctioned International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS) DASH Touring, driving for car owner Joey Jones where he is currently third in the point standings. Bodine also lends his expertise to mentoring drivers in the Geoff Bodine/ISCARS Driver Development Program which is a new arm of the Drive Tech Racing School. Drive Tech Racing School is the Official Racing School of the American Speed Association. The school will be open the month of January to train the drivers who will be going to compete in this historical event. Phakisa Freeway Circuit is a multi-purpose racing facility featuring a 1.5-mile oval which is where the "Championship Between the Continents" will be contested. This D-shaped oval, located southwest of Johannesburg is reminiscent of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(ASA)(10-6-2009)

    • Daytona catchfences get taller: Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway are raising the height of their catch fences from 14 feet to 22 feet after analyzing their safety barriers following the accident that sent Carl Edwards flying into the Talladega fence in April. Talladega will get the frontstretch portion of its fence completed before its Oct. 30-Nov. 1 race weekend and will do the backstretch during the offseason. Daytona, which has no more NASCAR races this year, will complete its new fence on both the frontstretch and backstretch by mid-January. Other enhancements have been made to the fences at other tracks owned by International Speedway Corp., the parent company of both Talladega and Daytona, but neither [Talladega Superspeedway President Rick] Humphrey nor DIS President Robin Braig would go into more details.(SceneDaily)(10-6-2009)

    • Talladega raises catchfence: UPDATE Daytona too: As a safety precaution to protect fans and competitors, Talladega Superspeedway extended the height of its frontstretch catch fence by eight feet, president Rick Humphrey told ESPN.com Monday. The decision was made in reaction to a horrific accident on the final lap of the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race on April 29, which sent Carl Edwards' Ford airborne into the previous fencing and sent debris spraying into the grandstands. The fence held up in the crash but was destroyed, creating concern about fan safety at the high-speed 2.66-mile venue. Humphrey and his staff hired an outside engineering firm to survey the damage. It was recommended that the fence height be extended. It stood 14 feet in April. It now stands 22 feet, and the top bows out over the track surface. There are other enhancements to the fence, too, though Humphrey said he is not at liberty to discuss them. "The engineering team we consulted with has that information," he said. "It is proprietary information that they've provided to us. They're okay with the height, that's something to the naked eye you'll certainly be able to see. There are other variables you can't get into."(ESPN.com)(10-6-2009)

    • Kelsey Grammer named Grand Marshal at Auto Club:Auto Club Speedway announced that Kelsey Grammer will serve as Grand Marshal for Southern California's Inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff race -- the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, October 11 at Auto Club Speedway. Grammer, who stars in the new ABC comedy Hank will give the most famous command in racing "Gentlemen, start your engines" to all 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who are vying for the coveted checkered flag. John C. Reilly, star of the upcoming film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant named Grand Marshal of the Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway, the Copart 300. Fans can take advantage many Pepsi 500 weekend ticket offers starting as low as $35 and including ticket packages to celebrate Hendrick Motorsports 25th Anniversary with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; a ticket deal to see the stars of NASCAR and the stars of TNA Wrestling's Bound for Glory 2009; the chance to get up close and personal to Jimmie Johnson and so much more. In addition to top notch live entertainment and a variety of Pepsi 500 ticket packages, fans experiencing Auto Club Speedway can also take advantage of free parking, bring in their own food, or partake in the unbelievable menu items on site as well as other cost-savings opportunities while enjoying a full day of entertainment and fun at a fantastic family value. To purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(10-6-2009)

    • Lowe's Motor Speedway Creates Fan Guide to Fun: To enhance the fan experience during race week, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials have created a Fan Guide to Fun for the NASCAR Banking 500 Week of events that culminates with the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Fan Guide to Fun provides comprehensive information on race week driver appearances, concerts, sponsor displays, pre-race infield activities and much more. The guide is available online at lowesmotorspeedway.com and will be available at the track welcome center and information booths during NASCAR Banking 500 Week. The Fan Guide to Fun is just the latest in a series of Fans First initiatives aimed at giving fans the best experience possible at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Other elements in place for fans include interest-free payment plans, reduced hotel room rates, a special 99-Cents Value Menu and other experiences that engage fans throughout the event week. Affordable ticket packages are still available to the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Saturday, Oct. 17. To purchase tickets, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-6-2009)


      News from October 5, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 5 -- 1996: Mark Martin wins the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 at Charlotte for his 25th career Nationwide Series victory. Bobby Labonte is second and Sterling Marlin third. Martin is the all-time leader with 48 wins. Kevin Harvick is second with 34.(NASCAR.com)

    • NASCAR Now Roundtable: NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham, Boris Said and Ricky Craven are scheduled to be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, Oct. 5, at 6:00pm/et on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.

    • Another F1 Driver looking to move to NASCAR UPDATE: Nelson Piquet Jr., who became the source of a recent scandal known as 'crash-gate', will be testing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with an eye towards a future in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with in two years. Piquet Jr., will get behind the wheel of a Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing on October 12th [at Rockingham, NC]. He is expected in the team's Mooresville, NC shop Monday for a seat fitting. The Renault F1 team fired the 23-year-old Brazilian earlier this season for underperformance. Shortly after details emerged that Piquet had been ordered to cause a crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix that allowed his teammate Fernando Alonso to win. After an investigation and hearing, Formula One's governing body, the FIA, held a hearing and banned Renault F1's team boss Flavio Briatore for life and the team's technical engineer Pat Symonds for five years. They also placed the team on a 'suspended ban' for two years. Piquet Jr., was given immunity from sanctions in exchange for his testimony and many in Formula One now consider the son of two time Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet to be 'damaged goods'.(SPEEDtv)(10-4-2009)
      UPDATE: Brazilian natives, Nelson Piquet, Jr. and Vitor Meira will test a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra at Little Rock for Red Horse Racing. The one day test scheduled for Monday, October 12th, will be the first time behind the wheel of a stock car for Formula 1 driver, Nelson Piquet, and IndyCar Series driver, Vitor Meira. Red Horse Racing will field two Toyota Tundras (both displaying #1) for Piquet and Meira to test on the short track at Rockingham Speedway. Red Horse Drivers Timothy Peters and TJ Bell will also be on hand to help the open wheel drivers acclimate to their first stock car test. Both Piquet and Meira plan to use this test with Red Horse Racing to evaluate a future career among the NASCAR ranks. Both extremely successful in their respective series, Piquet and Meira look forward to a new challenge. Pacific Mobile will be a sponsor of the test as they are also evaluating NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Racing. “We look forward to helping Vitor Meira and Nelson Piquet make the transition into NASCAR,” said Red Horse Racing Owner, Tom DeLoach. “It’s not an easy thing to do to go from an open wheel background to racing stock cars but they are both immensely talented and have the ability to be successful in any series they chose to race in”.(Red Horse Racing)(10-5-2009)

    • Dale Jr. expects crew chief to stay same in 2010 UPDATE: from a Chevy Racing transcript, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked: Q) ON WORKING WITH LANCE MCGREW, HAVE ANY DECISION BEEN MADE ABOUT HIS COMING BACK NEXT YEAR AS CREW CHIEF?
      A) "Well, I just want to make it clear, I guess, that the decision is Rick's (Hendrick) and his management team. I like working with Lance. I get along great with Lance. We have had some great runs and I feel like I can build on that type of success and it happened more often, more consistently with Lance. And I hope that we're successful the rest of the year and that we go into next season with the same group of guys. But the decision isn't mine, and never will be mine. So, I hope that we'll have more success and continue to give Rick and the people that do make those types of decisions good reason to keep us as a team and keep us working together because I really do enjoy working with him. I feel like I'm a different race car driver than I've been over the last several years; just my temperament and my disposition throughout the races and the weekend. I still have to check myself every once in a while; I get a little angry, but just during practice and stuff when something you do to these cars can frustrate you. But for the most part, Lance is really great at controlling the situation and controlling our team and directing our team throughout the weekend and the races themselves. I've enjoyed the experience working with him."(Chevy Racing)(10-3-2009)
      UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports officials will sit down and determine whether Lance McGrew will remain as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief probably in the next couple of weeks, team owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday.(SceneDaily)(10-5-2009)

    • Overnight TV Ratings down for Kansas: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Price Chopper 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway earned a 2.6 overnight rating / 5 share. Down 16% over 2008's 3/1 rating / 6 share for the overnights. 2008's final national household rating was 3.5 with a 8 share. See past races, TV Chart and more on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(10-5-2009)

    • Changes at Dodge/Chrysler: Chrysler's new Italian management has once again shaken up the automaker's executive team, announcing the departure of two recently appointed brand CEOs and splitting the Dodge brand into two groups, one focusing on trucks and the other on cars. The moves, announced Monday, marked the second management shake-up since Fiat Group SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne took control of Chrysler on June 10 when it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Peter Fong, president and CEO of the Chrysler brand and the company's top sales executive, and Michael Accavitti, president and CEO of the Dodge brand, abruptly left the company, Fong for personal reasons and Accavitti to pursue other interests, Chrysler said in a statement.
      Chrysler sales spokesman Gualberto Ranieri would not comment when asked if the departures were related to Chrysler's sales performance. Chrysler said that it would split the Dodge brand into truck and car groups. The truck group will be led by Fred Diaz Jr., who previously ran the company's Denver business center. The Ram brand consists of the company's new Ram pickup trucks, as well as its commercial vehicles. Diaz also will take over as lead sales executive in the U.S. for the Chrysler Group organization.
      Vice President of Design Ralph Gilles will take over leadership of the Dodge car brand, which includes minivans, in addition to his current design responsibilities, the company said. The two men replace Accavitti, who resigned to pursue other interests, Chrysler said. Accavitti was appointed to head Dodge by Marchionne in June when Chrysler emerged from Chapter 11.
      The company also said Fong resigned for personal reasons, and he was replaced by an executive from Fiat, Oliver Francois, as Chrysler brand president and CEO. Francois served as head of the Lancia brand, Chrysler said in a statement.(Michigan Live). No word how this could affect Dodge's involvement with NASCAR. Also see articles at the Orlando Sentinel and Detroit News.(10-5-2009)

    • Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea to sponsor McMurray at LMS: Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea announced that it will be coming along for the ride at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 17 as primary sponsor of the #26 Roush Fenway Ford driven by Jamie McMurray. In the process, the brand also becomes the first vodka to sponsor a car since NASCAR lifted its ban on spirits sponsors beginning with the 2005 season. [Note: Diageo's flavored malt beverage Smirnoff ICE sponsored #17-Kenseth and #97 Busch in 2004-2005 part time, the drink uses the Smirnoff name but contains no vodka]. "In its first ever major sponsorship, Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea is thrilled to utilize NASCAR as a platform to extend its Southern ideals and traditions to the millions of fans who follow the sport," said Judd Zusel, Director of Innovation, Diageo [also the maker of Crown Royal]. "Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea sees a clear opportunity to elevate the brand even further by connecting with adult consumers that have an undying passion for the sport they love, and encourage them to enjoy our sweet tea vodka responsibly throughout the weekend's race festivities." Mr. Jeremiah Weed, legendary patron father of Jeremiah Weed Bourbon Liqueur, first made this announcement from his home in Weed, Kentucky, and declared that it was now, more than ever, the right time to rally behind America's fastest sport and all of its avid fans. "Jeremiah Weed was born in the south and to thank some of the brand's favorite people for embracing the product, we thought Charlotte would be the perfect place to make our NASCAR debut," said Weed. "We look forward to providing fans a reason to celebrate responsibly all weekend, and will do everything we can to ensure that we are toasting Jamie when hopefully he puts the #26 car in Victory Lane." Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea first introduced itself to the sport earlier this year when it offered to become the official sponsor of air in the stock car tires. To guarantee fans enjoy the race in true southern style, Jeremiah Weed will announce additional details regarding the sponsorship of the #26 Ford leading up to the race weekend. Additional updates from Mr. Weed can be found on the Jeremiah Weed website.(Diageo)(10-5-2009)

    • Danica talking to Hendrick about NASCAR ride: Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., may soon be involved in a limited NASCAR arrangement, NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick confirmed to SI.com. The other side of the Patrick puzzle may soon fall into place as Hendrick said Sunday afternoon that Patrick's agent at IMG has met with the team about a limited schedule of ARCA and NASCAR Nationwide Series races to go along with the IndyCar Series contract she signed to remain at Andretti Green Racing. According to Hendrick, the plan would be to put Patrick in the JR Motorsports team that is owned by Hendrick driver Earnhardt, Jr. with sponsorship from GoDaddy.com. "We have no deal but she has spoke with Kelley Earnhardt [Dale Jr's sister who handles that teams business affairs] about a limited number of NASCAR races in that car," Hendrick told SI.com. "I have had some conversation and Kelley Earnhardt has had some conversation with that but Kelly is heading that up. GoDaddy.com would be involved because of Danica's involvement with Danica and with JR Motorsports. Kelley talked to her in the last week. We are looking at how it matches up with her IndyCar schedule. We are interested and think it would be neat but it has to work out for both sides." Patrick signed a three-year IndyCar Series contract with team owner Michael Andretti two weeks ago but has remained quiet on that subject because of sponsor demands who want to have a major press conference to announce the signing. According to IndyCar Series sources, one of Patrick's sponsor contracts in IndyCar is about to expire so that announcement will not be made until the sponsor is ready to make the announcement. "She has signed the contract, they just want to make sure the sponsor is ready to make the announcement," said an IndyCar Series official Saturday afternoon. While details of Patrick's new contract have not been disclosed, Andretti indicated there are limits to how much racing she can do outside of IndyCar. Andretti wants his high-paid driver to focus on what he signed her to do -- try to become the first female driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series title. So if Patrick signs with JR Motorsports or another team, look for her to run in fewer than 10 stock car events next season. In fact, five races next season would probably be a nice, logical step for her before she attempts to increase that schedule in 2011, if she likes the progress she is making.(SI.com)(10-5-2009)

    • Four cars taken back to R&D Center...including... As per NASCAR protocol, Tony Stewart's race winning #14 Chevy along with a random car, this week it is Kurt Busch's #2 Dodge ride, were selected for postrace inspection and further analysis back at the Research and Development Center in Concord, NC. But as an added wrinkle, officials also requested that Mark Martin's #5 and Jimmie Johnson's #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy be added to the inspection list. "When you've won and run well, and Jimmie and Chad are always going to know they are under the microscope - that's (going to be) part of it," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "We actually don't mind that. NASCAR is fair and if they want to check us every week, that's OK. I understand. I really do." No problems were found on the cars during the at-track inspection.(FoxSports)(10-5-2009)

    • Chevy Clinches Manufacturers' Title: #14-Tony Stewart's victory of the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway clinched the 2009 Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet in NASCAR’s premier division. With seven races left on the 2009 Sprint Cup tour, Chevrolet has now collected its 33rd Manufacturers’ crown, the most ever by any automobile manufacturer in the sport. The Manufacturers' Cup has debuted in 1950. It is presented to the automobile manufacturer whose current models in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition earn the most points for a win (9 points), second (6 points), third (4 points), or fourth-best (3 points) finish. A manufacturer earns the points in relation to how the other manufacturers finish. Five different Impala SS drivers have contributed to the 15 victories thus far this year to bring Chevrolet this honor. Team Chevy drivers who have posted wins during the season to date include #5-Mark Martin (5), #48-Jimmie Johnson (4), #14-Tony Stewart (4), #24-Jeff Gordon (1), and #09-Brad Keselowski (1). Additionally, top finishes by #29-Kevin Harvick, #33-Clint Bowyer, #39-Ryan Newman, and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya have given Chevrolet the points required to claim this title. This marks Team Chevy’s seventh consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Manufacturers’ title for the Bowtie Brigade.(Chevy Racing). See the manufacturers' championship rules, standings, history on my Manufacturers' Championship page.(10-5-2009)

    • Here’s a look at how close things have been after three races in previous Chases:
      2009: Six drivers within 100 points of lead
      2008: Three drivers within 100 points of lead
      2007: Three drivers within 100 points of lead
      2006: Five drivers within 100 points of lead
      2005: Five drivers within 100 points of lead (a sixth was exactly 100 back)
      2004: Four drivers within 100 points of lead/(Virginian-Pilot)(10-5-2009)

    • Menard's 2010 plans not firm: John Menard said on Sunday that plans are not firm as to where his son Paul [#98 Menards Ford] and the lucrative Menards sponsorship will be next season. "We'll just see how it works out," Menard said. According to Menard, Paul is in the first year of a two-year contract which is non-transferable. Should Yates Racing merge with Richard Petty Motorsports [as was announced a couple weeks ago], the contract would be null and void.(FoxSports)(10-5-2009)

    • Roush keeping an eye on the Henrick cars in question: Car owner Jack Roush [#'s 6,16,17,26,99 Ford's] says he understands that the two cars in question [Hendrick Motorsports #5 and #48 Chevy's] were in fact slightly "out of tolerance," in being off-set a bit to the right (which would help in aerodynamics in corner handling), although Roush said the specific 'miss' was probably too slight to be of any significant advantage. "I've been fined a lot of times for a lot of different things…and if the cars were out of tolerance by a quarter of an inch, which is what I've heard…well, the rest of the garage is held to a much tighter tolerance than that," Roush said. "So we'll see what NASCAR ultimately does about it."(mikemulhern.net)(10-5-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Price Chopper 400 at Kansas: 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: 103
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 21
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:13 PM
      Total minutes: 193
      Minutes of race broadcast: 147
      Minutes of commercials: 46
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0 although there was one for ‘fluid on the track’ (not shown)
      Number of on-screen boxes showing Brett Favre’s football statistics during the race: 1
      Total race brdcst time 147 Total comm. brdcst time 46
      See selected drivers focus, links and past races on my 2009 TV Commercials page.(10-5-2009)

    • Are NASCAR Drivers smarter than a 5th grader?: Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hosts the all-new half-hour version of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" The fast-paced game show, where knowledge of grade-school level questions is tested, welcomes NASCAR drivers #55-Michael Waltrip, #6-David Ragan, #99-Carl Edwards, #2-Kurt Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. On October 6, Michael Waltrip will be in the classroom to play the game to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. He’ll also be joined by Roush Racing’s David Ragan. The special back-to-back episodes will premiere on MyNetworkTV (8:00pm/et/pt). On October 26, NASCAR week kicks off on the new nationally-syndicated edition of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" Michael Waltrip, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, and Denny Hamlin are among the contestants playing the game for their charities. Check your local listings for exact air time.(10-5-2009)

    • Former NFL player a NASCAR convert: Former Chiefs [and Eagles] linebacker Shawn Barber was roaming the pits Sunday [at Kansas Speedway]. “I’m a fan of NASCAR, an even bigger fan of NASCAR than football,” said Barber, who is now the running-backs coach at Baker University. Running backs? “I have aspirations of being a head coach one day and need to learn offense,” Barber said. “Running backs are involved in the running game, the passing game and blocking.”(Kansas City Star)(10-5-2009)

    • The Hills Star to wave green flag for Pepsi 500 at ACS: Audrina Patridge who stars on the hit MTV series The Hills has been named Honorary Starter for the much-anticipated Inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race – the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, October 11 at 12pm/et [scheduled green flag 3:31pm/et]. As Honorary Starter for the Pepsi 500, Patridge will wave the Green Flag from the top of the flag stand on the Speedway's start/finish line, to get the Pepsi 500 underway. Fans can take advantage of many Pepsi 500 weekend ticket offers starting as low as $35 and including ticket packages to celebrate Hendrick Motorsports 25th Anniversary with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; a ticket deal to see the stars of NASCAR and the stars of TNA Wrestling's Bound for Glory 2009; the chance to get up close and personal to Jimmie Johnson and so much more. In addition to top notch live entertainment and a variety of Pepsi 500 ticket packages, fans experiencing Auto Club Speedway can also take advantage of free parking, bring in their own food, or partake in the unbelievable menu items on site as well as other cost-savings opportunities while enjoying a full day of entertainment and fun at a fantastic family value. To purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(10-5-2009)

    • Charlotte-Area Hotels Offer Reduced Race Week Room Rates: In a continuing Fans First initiative, regional tourism bureaus and officials at Lowe's Motor Speedway have worked with area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for race fans attending the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16, and the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday, Oct. 17. Nearly 90 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15% and waive their minimum stay requirements. The full list of participating hotels is available online for fans to reference at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com/hotels. The speedway's ticket services representatives also have the full listing of hotels and can advise fans that call 1-800-455-FANS. In order to obtain the discounted rate, race fans must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations. n addition to the lower hotel rates, cost savings extend to the speedway as well. The CVS Family Four Pack, which includes four race tickets to the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America, four hot dogs, four Coca-Cola soft drinks and a coupon for a free two-liter of Coke Zero, is available for just $39.75 a person. Similarly, the Dollar General 300 Family Four Pack includes four race tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola soft drinks for the low price of $14.75 a person.
      Race fans are reminded that Lowe's Motor Speedway offers 164 acres of free parking and numerous affordable camping options are also available. Coolers, limited to 14 inches in any direction, are also permitted in the grandstands. Race events in October include the World of Outlaws Topless Showdown on Wednesday, October 14; the Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday night, October 15; Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, October 16; and the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Saturday night, October 17. To take advantage of these savings, fans should call the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS)(10-5-2009)


      News from October 4, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 4 -- 1997: Tony Stewart finishes third in the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 Nationwide Series race at Charlotte for his first top-10 finish in NASCAR. Jimmy Spencer wins the race and Mark Martin is second. Stewart competes in five Nationwide races in 1997, the same year he wins the IRL championship. (NASCAR.com)

    • Stewart wins at Kansas: #14-Tony Stewart won the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway for his 4th win of the season and 37th of his career. #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #16-Biffle, #42-Montoya, #11-Hamlin, #9-Kahne, #5-Martin, #00-Reutiman, #48-Johnson and #99-Edwards. Nine Chasers finished in the top-10 for the most ever in the history of the Chase. The three other Chasers: #2-Busch finished 11th, #39-Newman was 22nd down 2 laps and #83-Vickers lost an engine and finished 37th. With the win, Chevy clinched the Manufacturers Championship over Toyota. There were a record [low] 6 cautions for a record [low] 23 caution laps and there were a record [high] 26 lead changes among a record [high] 14 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, October 5 at 3:00 am/et; ESPN Classic: Monday, October 5 at 12:00pm/et; SPEED, Wednesday, Monday, October 7 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Kansas Race Results Page.(10-4-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Kansas, Chase race 3 of 10; Season race 29 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5551, finished 7th
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 5533, -18, 9th
      3) #42-Juan Montoya 5500, -51, 4th
      4) #14-Tony Stewart [4 wins] 5484, -67, WON
      5) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5460, -91, 11th
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5452, -99, 5th
      7) #24-Jeff Gordon 5448, -103, 2nd
      8) #16-Greg Biffle 5437, -114, 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman 5387, -164, 22nd
      10) #99-Carl Edwards 5386, -165, 10th
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5361, -190, 6th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 wins], 5301, -250, 37th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(10-4-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Kansas, race 29 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #14-Tony Stewart, 4260
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4065, -195
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4037, -223
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3923, -337
      5) #5-Mark Martin, 3802, -458
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 3772, -488
      7) #42-Juan Montoya, 3751, -509
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 3686, -574
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 3666, -594
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 3659, -601
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 3621, -639
      12) #18-Kyle Busch, 3522, -738
      13) #83-Brian Vickers, 3494, -766
      14) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3475, -785
      15) #00-David Reutimann, 3417, -843
      16) #33-Clint Bowyer, 3411, -849
      (10-4-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Auto Club Speedway:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now down to 111 points
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2319, +270
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2160, 111 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 2049, 111 points out of 35th
      (no other teams are within 400 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.(10-4-2009)

    • Penalty/Infraction Report - Kansas:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #20, 2, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #6, 7, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #98, 7, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #19, 8, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #19, 10, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #88, 53, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #99, 56, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #39, 71, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #33, 126, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #7, 127, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #77, 127, Excessive speed ENTERING/and Exiting pits, Tail End
      #19, 147, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #26, 202, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #6, 204, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Pass Thru
      (NASCAR Statistics)(10-4-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Kansas: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: no driver down a lap
      Caution 3: #19-Sadler, 20th
      Caution 4: #29-Harvick, 24th
      Caution 5: #99-Edwards, 10th
      Caution 6: #44-Allmendinger, 17th
      (10-4-2009)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Kansas (or seemed to)?
      42nd: #87-Nemechek, 26 laps completed
      41st: #09-Bliss, 27
      40rh: #66-Blaney, 29
      (usually only count a team with a history of start and park, not an engine blow or wreck and only if 25% or less of race completed)(10-4-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Kansas Speedway:
      #14-Tony Stewart won the Price Chopper 400, his 37th victory in 385 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Kansas Speedway.
      There were a track record 26 lead changes in this race. The previous record was 24 in 2004.
      There were a track record 14 leaders in this race. The previous record was 13 in 2006.
      #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in nine races at Kansas Speedway. It is his 20th top-10 finish in 2009.
      #16-Greg Biffle (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Kansas Speedway.
      #5-Mark Martin leads the point standings by 18 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-4-2009)

    • The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup continues this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 400 miles on Sunday, Oct. 4, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. ESPN's live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race will air on ABC. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown at 1:00 pm/et and the race's green flag is at 2:15 pm/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.

    • Race Coverage of the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, Ocotber 4, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 2:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 1:00 pm/et; green flag approx 2:16pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, October 5 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, October 5 at 12:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, October 7 at 12:00pm/et

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #14-Tony Stewart and #19-Elliott Sadler have the longest current streak of finishing races at 52 of drivers who have ran all the races. #43-Reed Sorenson actually has a longer streak, at 55 races since he DNF'd at Talladega in April 2008, he didn't race at Infineon Raceway in 2008. Seven drivers have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #00-Reutimann, #07-Mears, #19-Sadler, #44-Allmendinger & #43-Sorenson.
      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 didn't 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 and 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 24 [in 26 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 21 [in 24 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.(10-4-2009)

    • Top-5's, Top-10's: #14-Tony Stewart leads all drivers after 29 races in 2009 with 14 Top-5 finishes, #24-Jeff Gordon is next at 13. #14-Stewart and #24-Gordon have the most Top-10's after 29 races with 20.
      Two drivers have run all the races in 2009 and have not scored a top-10 finish: #12-Stremme and #98-Menard. Seven drivers have not scored a Top-5 and ran all the races: #98-Menard, #12-Stremme, #07-Mears, #1-Truex Jr., #43-Sorenson, #26-McMurray and #6-Ragan.(10-4-2009)

    • Another F1 Driver looking to move to NASCAR: Nelson Piquet Jr., who became the source of a recent scandal known as ‘crash-gate’, will be testing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with an eye towards a future in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series with in two years. Piquet Jr., will get behind the wheel of a Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing on October 12th. He is expected in the team’s Mooresville North Carolina shop Monday for a seat fitting. The Renault F1 team fired the 23-year-old Brazilian earlier this season for underperformance. Shortly after details emerged that Piquet had been ordered to cause a crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix that allowed his teammate Fernando Alonso to win. After an investigation and hearing, Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, held a hearing and banned Renault F1’s team boss Flavio Briatore for life and the team’s technical engineer Pat Symonds for five years. They also placed the team on a ‘suspended ban’ for two years. Piquet Jr., was given immunity from sanctions in exchange for his testimony and many in Formula One now consider the son of two time Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet to be ‘damaged goods’.(SPEEDtv)(10-4-2009)

    • Latest on standard times for races: Word is that NASCAR is eyeing two future schedule changes which would affect television viewers and would affect viewers in the grandstands. Grant Lynch, chairman of Talladega Superspeedway and International Speedway Corporation’s vice president of strategic operations, has heard about both and talked about both on Saturday. The first is standardization of the starting times of Sprint Cup races. “From what we’ve been hearing from fans, that move would be real positive,” Lynch said. Currently starting times vary. This year, there have been 16 races starting at 2:00pm, five at 3:25-3:30pm, six from 7:20-7:30pm, two at 8:00pm, as well as other races starting at 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm, 5:45pm, 6:00pm and 8:30pm. The standardized starting time being talked about most for Sunday races is 1 p.m. Eastern.
      Also getting attention are reports that NASCAR may try to insert more two-day shows onto the schedule [like was used at Atlanta in Sept]. That is, cut out action on the tracks on Fridays and have the Cup cars qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday.(Racin' Today)(10-4-2009)

    • Danica signed to stay in IRL? UPDATE no comment: Danica Patrick refused Wednesday to confirm widespread reports that she's agreed to a three-year extension of her IndyCar contract with Andretti Green Racing. Asked specifically about the extension, Patrick simply shook her head, not saying a word. Patrick is considered the biggest draw in the IRL, and her interest in moving to NASCAR has been speculated on numerous times in recent years. She has a close relationship with Tony Stewart, and he has said Patrick will eventually make the jump he did - from IndyCar to stock cars. IRL officials have not commented about Patrick's future. Patrick was at Homestead-Miami Speedway with several other drivers Wednesday to test for the IndyCar finale Oct. 10. Earlier this season, Patrick insisted she wouldn't announce anything about her future until after this IRL season concludes.(in part from the Associated Press)(10-2-2009)
      UPDATE: Danica Patrick was in Indianapolis on Friday, but she didn't comment on her future as a race car driver. When asked about signing a contract to remain in the IndyCar Series with Andretti Green Racing or continuing to pursue options in NASCAR, Patrick offered nothing but a blank stare. "I'm going to answer for her," a senior official from AirTran Airways said at the promotional gathering. But, despite breaking the tension, he also did not answer the question. Patrick's assignment Friday was to give two-seater Indy-car rides to a host of contest winners. Andretti Green Racing and IndyCar Series sources have told The Star that Patrick signed a new contract two weeks ago. Andretti did not deny the signing but said the document was still in the hands of lawyers.(Indianapolis Star)(10-4-2009)

    • Gillett says Yates-RPM merger on track UPDATE: George Gillett Jr., majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports [#9,19,43,44], said he hopes to form a stock-car league in Saudi Arabia as part of a contractual agreement he signed this week with Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family. But Gillett emphasized that he is not selling the team. He said he hopes to finalize a merger with Yates Racing soon, and that RPM will race Fords in 2010. Gillett felt the need to address many issues about RPM after some reports this week falsely stated Gillett's new deal with the Saudi prince would lead to the prince's sports management team taking over RPM. "I came back from Europe into a maelstrom of massively inaccurate stories," Gillett said Saturday at Kansas Speedway. "So I thought we could correct it and move forward. As part of out conversations [with the Saudis], it became clear we should have aligned interest. We discussed if they had an interest in buying a small interest in RPM. A majority? Heck no. It was a very early conversation, but it was completely distorted. I come here today as a man with a clear conscious and potentially a very attractive partner. If he becomes a small investor [in RPM] I can't imagine it would be anything but positive for the sport. That's the story." Gillett said he and the Saudis are in the talks to form some type of stock-car league overseas Gillett said the merged RPM/Yates operation will be at least a three-car team and hopefully four cars. He would not confirm who if those four drivers would be Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler and Paul Menard, which was reported earlier.(ESPN)(10-3-2009)
      UPDATE: “The Yates transaction is on track,” said Gillett, whose RPM organization fields cars for A.J. Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson in the Sprint Cup Series. “We’re going now from letter of intent to a full contract.”(Racin' Today)(10-4-2009)

    • Robin Miller to sub for Dave Despain: Wind Tunnel original episode #435 will be highlighted by a couple of “firsts” for SPEED’s definitive motor sports talk show. SPEEDtv.com columnist and longtime motor sports journalist Robin Miller hosts the one-hour adventure as Dave Despain takes his last scheduled vacation of the year, and racing legend A.J. Foyt makes his first appearance ever on the long-running popular melting pot of news, rumors and discussion “I am being allowed to host Wind Tunnel on Sunday night (9:00pm/etfor the first time without Despain or any other parental supervision,” Miller said. Expect the unexpected when Miller and Foyt get together early in the show. “The first segment will be dedicated to the first four-time Indy 500 winner and I intend to ask him":
      * Why he and George Bignotti could win but couldn't get along?
      * How brave you had to be in the '60s?
      * Why he didn't have any drivers as close friends?
      * Whether it worse being stung by bees or burned at Milwaukee?
      * Why today's momma's boys couldn't cut it in the old days?
      * … and whether he enjoyed smacking me as much as he did Arie Luyendyk?”
      Miller’s other guest will be former motorcycle flat track champion Gene Romero, a 1998 inductee in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Romero, one of the stars of the 1971 cult classic motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday, now promotes dirt track events around the country.(SPEED)(10-4-2009)


      News from October 3, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 3 -- 1953: Herb Thomas wins the only Cup race at Bloomsburg (Pa.) Fairgrounds. Dick Rathmann finishes second in the 200-lap race on the half-mile dirt track. Buck Baker finishes third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway is over, the top 5 and notes:
      #48-Johnson 172.983
      #5-Martin 172.855
      #17-Kenseth 172.205
      #42-Montoya 172.018
      #33-Bowyer 171.761
      slowest: #96-Darnell 165.178 & #13-Papis 166.646
      notes: #14-Stewart ran 38 laps, no word on any engine problems as reported in the earlier practice.
      Happy Hour is not being aired live but same day delay (SDD) on ESPN2 approx 6:30pm/et. See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Kansas Practice Speeds Page.(10-3-2009)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Kansas: The selections of pit stalls for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #5-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr. took pit stall 8, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #25-Keselowski, who starts 3rd took the 38th pit stall, the fifth stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #24-Gordon, who starts 9th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Kansas Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-3-2009)

    • First Saturday practice: for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway is over, the top 5 and notes:
      #48-Johnson 173.388
      #11-Hamlin 172.574
      #17-Kenseth 172.552
      #00-Reutimann 172.079
      #14-Stewart 171.860 (engine problem?)
      slowest: #13-Papis 166.256 & #34-Andretti 166.708
      notes: #14-Stewart reports he is down in power and the team is checking the engine, could be down a cylinder, which would mean an engine change and having to go to the rear of the field on Sunday, giving up the 5th starting spot. Stewart went back on the track towards the end of the practice as the team didn't find anything obvious, but after a lap Stewart brought the car back in
      17 minutes into practice, #16-Biffle lost it and slid thru the front stretch grass, only minor damage reported.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Kansas Practice Speeds Page.(10-3-2009)

    • Gordon & Newman to run Transformer schemes: an advertisement on ESPN's NASCAR page details a sweepstakes: The ESPN/Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Sweepstakes, to promote the release of the Transformers II DVD in which it mentions that #24-Jeff Gordon (Megatron) and #39-Ryan Newman (Optimus Prime), are scheduled to run Tranformers II paint schemes in the Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Oct 11th. For more info on the contest, see my Racing Contest page. Images of the schemes are posted on my #24 Team Schemes and #39 Team Schemes pages.(10-3-2009)

    • Larger tire to be tested at Richmond: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will hold a two-day tire test at Richmond International Raceway next Tuesday and Wednesday (October 6-7). The purpose of the test is two-fold – (1) do some fundamental work on its short track/flat track tire set-up for the 2010 NASCAR season, and (2) take the first on-track look at a larger NASCAR tire. “First and foremost, this is a ‘normal’ tire test for us,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales. “We’re going to Richmond to work on our short track set-up, looking for some things we might want to evaluate further before next season.” While Goodyear has made great gains on its current tire lineup with an aggressive testing schedule, the larger tire is a future project that the company has chosen to keep on its radar screen. “The second part of the Richmond test is very preliminary and is our first opportunity to get the larger size tire on the track,” said Stucker. “We’ve been very happy with the lab work on the larger tire and the modeling results that we’ve seen, so the next logical step is to get this tire on the ground.”
      Roush-Fenway Racing drivers Matt Kenseth and Travis Kvapil will handle the driving duties for the test, with the team bringing a specific car to accommodate the larger tire which is one-and-a-half inches taller and one-and-a-half inches wider than the current NASCAR tire, and will be run on 17-inch wheels as compared to the current 15-inch configuration. "Both Goodyear and NASCAR work on research and development programs all the time and that's what we have here," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition. "In fact, one of the goals of this test is to further enhance the reliability and performance of the current 15-inch tire that we use today. There is absolutely no timetable whatsoever in regards to the possibility of having a new tire."(Goodyear)(10-3-2009)

    • John Darby explains what happened with #48 & #5: NASCAR officials, after a two-day post-race inspection at the Concord R&D center, have warned the #5-Mark Martin and #48-Jimmie Johnson teams [see earlier post below for more details], and crew chiefs Alan Gustafson and Chad Knaus, about going too close to the edge on body tolerances on their Dover cars, but NASCAR's John Darby insists both cars are legal and there are no penalties coming. Darby said NASCAR may be taking the Martin and Johnson cars back to the R&D center "over and over and over again" after chase races, regardless of where they finish. "NASCAR's job is to police the sport and manage the sport…but we also work very closely with the competitors on helping the competitors to make sure we get the right results (i.e., warning teams when they get too close to the line). Take any measurement: say the car has to weigh at least 3,450 pounds…and if a car comes through inspection right at 3,450 pounds, we'll point that out to the team and say 'Hey, what are you doing? What's wrong with putting two more pounds in there…because you're putting a lot in the bank that our scales are going to measure the same every time.' We do it with engines, carburetors, everything. We owe it to the teams to do that. So (Tuesday, after the post-race inspection in Concord) we called the teams and said 'This thing is passing, but….if the exact same car comes back next week, and if our inspectors are five-thousandths (of an inch) off, guess what – you're not going to be right at the tolerance, you're going to be over it."
      "But the teams said 'Our (own) measurements aren't that close; they're 'this.' So we said 'Both cars are still on the (surface) plates; we'll lock them down, and you can come over with your engineers and measure yourself.' This would be Wednesday morning. And we walked through from the front of the race car all the way to the rear. I think they're engineers learned why there was a discrepancy. And I feel good about going through that with them. Obviously as we go through the season post-race inspections gets to be so routine, like everything else….and then when you get something like this it throws up a bunch of red flags."(MikeMulhern.net)(10-3-2009)

    • Dale Jr. expects crew chief to stay same in 2010: from a Chevy Racing transcript, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked: Q) ON WORKING WITH LANCE MCGREW, HAVE ANY DECISION BEEN MADE ABOUT HIS COMING BACK NEXT YEAR AS CREW CHIEF?
      A) "Well, I just want to make it clear, I guess, that the decision is Rick's (Hendrick) and his management team. I like working with Lance. I get along great with Lance. We have had some great runs and I feel like I can build on that type of success and it happened more often, more consistently with Lance. And I hope that we're successful the rest of the year and that we go into next season with the same group of guys. But the decision isn't mine, and never will be mine. So, I hope that we'll have more success and continue to give Rick and the people that do make those types of decisions good reason to keep us as a team and keep us working together because I really do enjoy working with him. I feel like I'm a different race car driver than I've been over the last several years; just my temperament and my disposition throughout the races and the weekend. I still have to check myself every once in a while; I get a little angry, but just during practice and stuff when something you do to these cars can frustrate you. But for the most part, Lance is really great at controlling the situation and controlling our team and directing our team throughout the weekend and the races themselves. I've enjoyed the experience working with him."(Chevy Racing)(10-3-2009)

    • Edward's expects to be off crutches soon: #99-Carl Edwards met with the media following practice on Friday, and was asked: HOW MUCH LONGER WILL YOU BE ON CRUTCHES, AND HOW DIFFICULT HAS THIS BEEN FOR YOU?
      “Just one more week on the crutches, and, trust me, I can’t wait. That’s fine. It’s not a factor in the car, just getting around.”(Ford Racing)(10-3-2009)

    • Carl Long back at ther track: Carl Long was happy to be back at a race track - even if he was working for a team instead of driving for one. Long, the part-time Sprint Cup and Nationwide driver, was penalized in May after his engine for the all-star qualifying race was determined to have a displacement of 358.17 cubic inches – 0.17 cubic inches more than NASCAR allows. Long's crew chief, Charles Swing, was also penalized $200,000. This weekend, Long returned to the track at Kansas Speedway, where he will work as a spotter for Front Row Motorsports Sprint Cup team with driver #34-John Andretti. "I've paid my debt to society," he said. As to when he will drive again, Long says that depends on his funding situation. A friend is putting together the "Lets Get Carl Back on Track" fundraiser for Oct. 18 at the Memory Lane Auto Museum in Charlotte. Long will sign autographs at the event, which will also feature door prizes and an auction. Information is available atwww.carl-long.com. If he plans to race, though, Long has to meet the requirements of his "payment plan" with NASCAR. "We'll keep digging at it," he said. "If we don't get it all, maybe I'll get enough to go run a couple of races. They gave me a payment program, but that's about $20 grand a race until it gets paid off." In other words, Long must pay $20,000 prior to each race he plans to enter. He's not complaining, though. Long is pleased to just be back in the garage after settling for working at the shop for weeks. "I'm just thankful to still have a job and be a part of the team," he said.(SceneDaily)(10-3-2009)

    • Kansas: Tar of Death?: It seems there could be trouble with the racing surface at Kansas Speedway. That trouble would be with the seams. The tar filling the seams, to be exact, is sending the Sprint Cup cars off their intended course. #2-Kurt Busch called it, “The tar of death”. #24-Jeff Gordon said, “The seams are unreal. I don’t know if they put a different sealer on them or what’s going on. The seams, beside the wind, are playing havoc today.” The four-time champion said the tar-covered seams are forcing drivers to make decisions. “You either got to go above them, straddle them or somehow get below them,” Gordon said. “It’s definitely challenging.” Busch said, “Last year I had a hard time here at Kansas. I don’t know when they put that tar sealant down to help with drainage, water getting into the cracks and pot holes developing or big bumps…(but) I couldn’t go from the second lane to the third lane or the second lane back to the first lane without crossing the ‘tar of death’. It was tough.”(Racin' Today)(10-3-2009)

    • Kenseth talks to fans in Fontana: #17-Matt Kenseth, the winner of last February's Sprint Cup race at the Auto Club Speedway, returned to the Inland Empire on Sept. 23. But he wasn't behind the wheel of a race car. After holding a press conference at the speedway, Kenseth had a question-and-answer session with nearly 200 fans in attendance before heading over to the Paul A. Biane Library in Rancho Cucamonga. There, he dropped off a load of books for the library and read to students from Grapeland Elementary School in the library courtyard.(Fontana Herald News)(10-3-2009)

    • Gossage to host "Loose Ends' radio show: This weekend’s edition of "Loose Ends" - Sirius XM Radio NASCAR Channel 128's end-of-the-week show that serves as a wrap-up of all the best from the week that was on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio - will be hosted by Texas Motor Speedway President, Eddie Gossage. The show is scheduled to air: Sat, Oct 3rd 6-8am/et and 8-10pm/et; and Sun. Oct 4th 6-8am/et.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(10-3-2009)

    • Mayfield set to hire high-profile attorney: Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield is turning to high-profile attorney Mark Geragos to help fight his drug suspension. Geragos confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday night that he's finalizing a deal to represent Mayfield himself out of his Washington, D.C.-based firm Luque Geragos and Marino. "It's clear to me that there are real issues here, substantial issues, and I think he's getting a raw deal," Geragos said. Geragos declined to discuss specific issues until he could review the case, citing a protective order that U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen has in place. Mayfield has been suspended since failing a May 1 random drug test. NASCAR says he tested positive for methamphetamines, and the driver has denied using the illegal drug. Mayfield sued to have his suspension lifted, and NASCAR countersued.(Associated Press), see much past news on this lawsuite, the suspension on my #41 Team News page.(10-3-2009)


      News from October 2, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 2 -- 1983: With Darrell Waltrip behind the wheel, Junior Johnson picks up his 100th victory as an owner in the Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Dale Earnhardt finishes 2.7 seconds back, and Bobby Allison is third. In 30 seasons as an owner, Johnson wins 132 races, 115 poles and six championships -- three with Waltrip and three with Cale Yarborough.(NASCAR.com)

    • Martin on pole at Kansas: #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway with a lap of 175.758mph for his 7th pole of the season and 48th career pole. #88-Earnhardt Jr. was 2nd fastest followed by #25-Keselowski, #26-McMurray, #14-Stewart, #9-Kahne, #87-Nemechek, #33-Bowyer, #24-Gordon and #82-Speed.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #25-Keselowski, #87-Nemechek, #82-Speed, #21-Elliott, #09-Bliss, #66-Blaney, #71-Labonte and #13-Papis
      The three drivers who failed to qualify: #04-Gilliland, #36-McDowell and #37-KHamlin.
      See starting lineup, qual;ifying results, pole progression on my Kansas Starting Grid/Qualifying Results-Order page.(10-2-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Kansas Speedway:
      * Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods with a lap of 30.724 seconds, 175.758 mph.
      * This is his 48th pole in 751 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      * This is his seventh pole of 2009, the highest single-season total of his career.
      * This is his first pole in nine races at Kansas Speedway.
      * Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2009 and his fifth in nine races at Kansas Speedway.
      * Brad Keselowski (third) posted his first top-10 start at Kansas Speedway. It is his third in ten races this season.
      * Scott Speed (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-2-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Price Grabber 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for Friday, October 2, 2009 at 4:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 - 4:30pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway 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 #14-Stewart.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #98-Menard.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #04-Gilliland with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #87-Nemechek.
      See the full qualifying order on the Kansas Qualifying Page.(10-2-2009)

    • Friday's Practice for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway is over, the top 5 and some notes:
      #39-Newman 173.745
      #48-Johnson 173.494
      #42-Montoya 173.472
      #33-Bowyer 173.088
      #14-Stewart and #6-Ragan 173.071
      slowest: #36-McDowell 167.483 and #9-Kahne 168.172
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Kansas Practice Speeds Page.(10-2-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice on Friday at Kansas:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #25-Brad Keselowski, 10th fastest overall
      #82-Scott Speed, 11th
      #21-Bill Elliott [past champ 2], 26th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 31st
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 1], 32nd
      #13-Max Papis, 35th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 36th
      #09-Mike Bliss, 41st
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #04-David Gilliland 42nd
      #37-Kevin Hamlin, 43rd
      #36-Michael McDowell, 46th out of 46
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Kansas Practice Speeds Page.(10-2-2009)

    • F1 driver to test for Waltrip?: Former F1 driver, Miko Salo, supposedly will test for Michael Waltrip Racing in one of the team's Toyota Camry Sprint Cup cars at an undisclosed venue at some point in November. The 42-year-old former grand prix driver has been racing in sportscars since the end of his Formula 1 career in 2002 and won the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series in 2007. He has had a seat fitting with Michael Waltrip Racing. "It will be great to get to test a NASCAR at last," Salo told this week's AUTOSPORT magazine. "After two years of trying, I finally met the person who could make it happen. Racing sportscars in the US has definitely helped. My hope next year is that I can do some races in Nationwide, maybe even a full season - but I understand that I may have to raise some money to make it happen."(Autosport)(10-2-2009)

    • #48 and #5 cars 'too close' in tolerances at R&D center? UPDATE 2: Claire B. Lang reported on Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio Channel 128 "Dialed In" show Thursday night that the #48 and #5 Chevy's teams of Hendrick Motorsports were told they cars were too close to NASCAR tolerances at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC this week. The cars were taken to the R&D Center after Jimmie Johnson won the Sprint Cup race at Dover in the #48 with Mark Martin finishing 2nd in the #5 Chevy. Lang says she heard the teams were told not to bring the cars back to the track. Lang asked NASCAR if this was true and was told: "The 48 and 5 were brought back to the R&D center. We've been doing this since the inception of the new car as a part of routine post-race inspection. We bring the winner and a random pick back to the R&D center after each event. While both cars passed post race inspection, we informed the 48 and 5 they were extremely close on some of the tolerances."(10-1-2009)
      UPDATE Word circulated Wednesday night that NASCAR had found issues with the #48 Chevy as well as the #5 Chevy during inspection at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. The two Hendrick Motorsports teams currently sit atop the points standings. The buzz within the NASCAR community suggests that the offset on the tail, which helps the rear of the car stick to the ground instead of spinning out, of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy just made the tolerance. NASCAR allows a tolerance of 0.070 of an inch for the body off of the center line of the car. Suffice it to say, JJ's #48 car didn't make it. But by how much? NASCAR claims it was .006 over the tolerance. That's about the thickness of two sheets of copier paper. Others in the garage hint at a charitable disposition on the part of the sanctioning body. So how did NASCAR view the situation with the Hendrick cars? "The 48 and 5 were brought back to the (Research and Development Center)," according to a NASCAR statement. "We've been doing this since the inception of the new car as a part of routine post-race inspection. We bring the winner and a random pick back to the R&D Center after each event. While both cars passed postrace inspection, we informed the 48 and 5 they were extremely close on some of the tolerances."(in part from FoxSports)(10-2-2009)
      UPDATE2: NASCAR has warned Hendrick Motorsports that the cars of Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin came very close to failing post-race inspection following their 1-2 finish at Dover last week. The two Chevrolets owned by Hendrick Motorsports came within less than an inch of surpassing the tolerated measurements on the body of their cars. Martin is currently leading the points, and three-time defending series champion Johnson is second in the standings. The crew chiefs for both drivers say they weren't cheating, and in-race damage may have caused the cars to creep toward the maximum allowances. NASCAR is not penalizing either team, but they have been warned.(Associated Press)(10-2-2009)

    • No fuel injection until 2011? Car owner Richard Childress predicts that NASCAR will go to fuel injection in 2011. Childress has a share company that builds Chevrolet motors [Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines]. He says "we're constantly working on it right now.'' Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for NASCAR, said that series officials met with teams about it last week. "It wasn't about ideas, it was about laying out the groundwork ... with fuel injection,'' Pemberton said. "We're right in the very, very early stages of all of that.''(Roanoke Times)(10-2-2009)

    • EGR Saluting American Heroes: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will host some very special guests this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The team, in conjunction with the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes Campaign, will host: Sgt. James Wilson who was wounded in action in 2004 on his second tour, served with 1st Airmobile B 1st/27th Company, Sgt. Matt Lloyd served with C Company 67th Signal Corp in 2004 and Sgt. Mike Davis served with 20th Engineers 1st Cavalry Division.(EGR)(10-2-2009)

    • Sadler to host some special guests: #19-Elliott Sadler is hosting some very special guests at the racetrack this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The 34-year old Emporia, Va. native is hosting three Army servicemen that will soon be re-deployed back to the Middle East. The men contacted Sadler several years ago via the internet prior to a previous deployment and wanted to try to meet him at a race just prior to their departure, unfortunately the meeting never occurred as their deployment was moved up several weeks. Once the men returned from active duty, Sadler finally set up a meeting with them at a race in Talladega. Now, as the three men prepare to venture back oversees, Sadler is planning to host all three for a VIP race weekend during the Chase for the Championship at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Info:
      · SFC Gilliam, 34, Brigade Maintenance Management NCO, 16-year vet, three deployments
      · SSG Babineaux, 33, Transportation Management Specialist, 13-year vet, five deployments
      · SGT King, 33, Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic and Recovery Specialist, 12-year vet, five deployments
      Sadler says: "I'm looking forward to hosting SFC Gilliam, SSG Babineaux and SGT King. These guys are huge NASCAR fans and Elliott Sadler fans. They got in contact with me several years ago over the Internet and we've stayed in touch ever since. Hopefully this is a nice little going away present for them this weekend. Everyone that knows me realizes I'm a huge supporter of our military. These guys fight for our freedom everyday and this is a chance for me to say, Thank you!"(RPM)(10-2-2009)

    • Chase Stats going into Kansas: Chase history tells us true contenders rarely fall far out of range of the lead, and #5-Mark Martin and #48-Jimmie Johnson have certainly set a blistering pace over the first two races. Only #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (-65) and #2-Kurt Busch (-75) have managed to stay within 100 points of the lead in the first 20% of Chase VI. Plenty can happen but Johnson just posted his 28th consecutive Top 15 finish in a Chase event, 8th win and 19th Top 5 over the same 28 races. Montoya continued his breakthrough season at Dover by finishing fourth and climbing one spot to third in the Chase standings. JPM only has four Top 5s this season, but half of them have come in the first two Chase races. #14-Tony Stewart stayed in reasonable Chase contention with a 9th at Dover, but he needs to start stacking up Top 5s to get into range of the lead. Stewart leads the series with 13 Top 5s this season. See year-by-year comparison, race-by-race, notes and more on my Chase Stats after Dover page and the Chase rules, how the Chase would had worked out back to 1975 and history on my 2009 Chase Rules and Notes page.(10-2-2009)

    • Kansas Tire Notes: Teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Kansas this weekend . . . this is the same tire combination that teams in these two series ran at Kansas last season . . . this tire set-up is run at just one other NASCAR track -- California Speedway . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kansas . . . 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 (Goodyear PR), see tire pressures, codes, tires supplied on my Kansas Race Info page - Tire Notes section.(10-2-2009)

    • Kansas Rookie Notes: #82-Scott Speed was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 27 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Speed scored a 25th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the sixth time this season. #20-Joey Logano leads Scott Speed by 24 points (217-193) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the October 4 Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in eight previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas is second by Ryan Newman in 2002 behind race winner Jeff Gordon and is the only Raybestos Rookie to finish inside the top-five at Kansas Speedway. Jason Leffler is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole in eight races at Kansas Speedway. Leffler took the top starting spot in the race in the inaugural Price Chopper 400 in 2001. The record for most wins by a Raybestos Rookie is three, shared by Tony Stewart (1999) and Jimmie Johnson (2002).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), see Rookie History, notes, standings on my 2009 Rookies Page.(10-2-2009)

    • Bowyer's Team Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Dover: Clint Bowyer's crew took top honors at Dover International Speedway, winning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's AAA 400 Sprint Cup race. The #33 crew, out of the Richard Childress Racing stable, picked up its second Tissot win of the season and became the sixth multiple winner of the pit road competition. The first Tissot win for Bowyer's crew was at Atlanta in March. Bowyer's BB&T Chevy Impala SS spent the least amount of time on pit road in Dover – 257.194 seconds – during the 400-lap race at the Monster Mile. Bowyer's over-the-wall crew 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. The #33 crew, which is in a tie for fourth place in the Tissot standings, will receive $5,000 for winning the pit crew competition in Dover. Greg Biffle's crew leads the Tissot standings with five wins. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule will receive a $100,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the crew and driver.(Tissot)(10-2-2009)

    • Kansas Speedway Offering New Ticket Options for 2010: Starting in 2010, fans attending races at Kansas Speedway will have new ticket options as Kansas Speedway celebrates its 10th anniversary. For the first time, Kansas Speedway will offer ticketing options besides a season ticket. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase a weekend only package that will include the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas 400 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300. Also new in 2010 is the option for fans to purchase the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 and the IndyCar Series Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 individually. Kansas Speedway will continue to offer fans a season ticket option, which will include four races over two weekends and access to the new Track Pass, which will allow season ticket holders access to the infield to take part in driver introductions and Sprint FanWalk for each Sunday race. For more information regarding 2010 tickets, call 866.460.RACE or log onto www.kansasspeedway.com.(10-2-2009)

    • Kentucky Speedway season tix on sale Oct 5th: Race fans can lock in their place in Kentucky Speedway’s big future with Speedway Motorsports, Inc., when four affordable 2010 season ticket plans are placed on sale Monday, Oct. 5. Plans start at $139 and feature fan-friendly benefits such as the right to renew the most sought after seat locations nearest the flagstand and finish line for future seasons, VIP parking, cold pit access vouchers, a discount on the purchase of additional race tickets and more. The speedway has made it easier than ever to become a season ticket member with the introduction of an optional payment plan which will allow members to extend payments to February 2010. Kentucky Speedway will bundle competitive NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights action into a two-weekend schedule filled with speedway firsts. Kentucky Speedway season ticket plans can be reserved or renewed by calling 859-578-2300 or visiting the season tickets page of www.kentuckyspeedway.com.(10-2-2009)

    • Kansas Speedway donates tix to National Guard: The Kansas Speedway has donated approximately 3,000 tickets for Kansas National Guard personnel to attend an upcoming NASCAR race, the Adjutant General's Department announced Thursday. Tickets for the upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 Saturday and the Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 Sunday were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger said the tickets were donated to thank the men and women of the military and their families for everything they do for the country. "Our men and women who serve at home and overseas work in a fast-paced environment," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the adjutant general, "and since there aren't many things faster than NASCAR, this provides them and their families a great opportunity. We appreciate the generosity of Kansas Speedway and their ongoing support of our soliders and airmen." The Kansas Speedway has donated tickets to other racing events in the past, and the facilities have been used for Kansas National Guard training events.(Topeka Capital Journal)(10-2-2009)

    • Chicagoland Offers New 2010 Ticket Packages: Chicagoland Speedway announced on that they will be offering a new ticket package for fans in 2010. In addition to being still able to purchase "Track Packs", fans will now be able to purchase tickets to individual single day events. Tickets will go on sale in December and will be available at the track's website: chicagolandspeedway.com.(10-2-2009)


      News from October 1, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 1 -- 2006: Dale Jarrett finishes fourth in the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway for his only top-five finish of the season and the 163rd and final top-five of his 24 seasons of Cup racing. Jarrett, the 1999 Cup champion, retires in 2008 with 32 victories and 260 top-10s in 668 Cup starts.(NASCAR.com)

    • McDonald's Monoploy scheme for Sorenson: Monopoly is back at McDonald's, starting Tuesday, October 6th. This Sunday at Kansas Speedway, the #43 McDonald's Monopoly Dodge Charger will feature Mr. Monopoly rolling McDonald's dice to promote the new exciting element in this year's event: The $1 Million dollar daily roll. For 29 straight nights, a McDonald's customer has a chance to win as much as $1 million, in primetime on NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" and "Sunday Night Football." An NBC celebrity will roll two dice into a see-through lottery machine. If both show sixes, the contestant wins the top prize. Other combinations are worth $10,000. Go to www.playatmcd.com to enter for the chance to be the one person each day to take part in the roll for $1 million.(McDonalds), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-1-2009)

    • Gilliland in 2nd car for Robby: a 46th entry popped up on the NASCAR Entry List for the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway Sprint Cup Series race, #04-David Gilliland, in a 2nd Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota, with no sponsor listed and Doug Richert listed as the crew chief. Richert has been with RGM for a few months now. Gilliland raced Gordon's primary car, the #7 Toyota at Richmond on September 12th when Gordon was running a road race in the Las Vegas desert [which he won]. The #04 team will probably be considered a post entry (PE), an entry after the deadline for the race and will not earn points for the team or driver.(10-1-2009)

    • Final Dover TV Ratings: ABC’s live telecast of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 race at Dover International Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.1, down from the 3.3 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 5,084,257 viewers. ESPN2’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.2, up from the 1.1 rating earned for last year’s race. It was the fifth consecutive Nationwide Series race on ESPN2 to be up from last year’s race or corresponding weekend. The Dover telecast averaged 1,459,145 viewers.(ESPN), for overnight ratings, TV Ratings chart, race-by-race and more, see my 2009 TV Ratings Chart.(10-1-2009)

    • Miller Lite donates to Operation Homefront; Kurt & fans can add: Miller Lite announced it is donating $200,000 to Operation Homefront, an amount that could increase by $50,000. The initial $200,000 donation from Miller Lite will grow by an additional $10,000 for each Top-10 finish Kurt Busch and his #2 Miller Lite Dodge achieve at the Kansas, Charlotte, Martinsville, Talladega and Texas races. With a successful run by the Blue Deuce and support from consumers, Miller Lite hopes to raise a total of $500,000 for Operation Homefront. It is all part of a Miller Lite Veterans Day promotion that also encourages consumers to contribute to Operation Homefront. The multi-faceted program starts with the $200,000 donation but extends to retail packaging and bar promotions. Consumers can contribute $5 to the cause by texting the word T-R-O-O-P-S to 90999. The donation amount will then be charged to the consumer’s wireless bill. Alternatively, visitors to www.MillerLite.com/Vets can donate any amount with a few simple clicks.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-1-2009)

    • Cobb hopes to race Sprint Cup: Jennifer Jo Cobb will be attempting her 4th NASCAR Nationwide Series start as well as her 8th ARCA Re/Max Series start at her hometown track, the Kansas Speedway, this week. Cobb’s ultimate goal is to be the first woman competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in over 8 years. For now, she will focus on the next step to that lofty goal in this week’s Kansas Lottery 150 scheduled for Thursday, October 1 and the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 3. Capitol Federal Savings will serve as the primary sponsor on Cobb’s #79 CapFed.com Dodge,for team owner Derrike Cope, Inc. with Rick Markle Racing. Cobb will have two teammates, owner/driver, Derrike Cope and the inaugural Kansas Speedway race pole sitter, Kevin Lepage. Cobb works as one of the instructors for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and has logged thousands of laps at Kansas Speedway. Cobb has developed Driver Boutique; her own clothing line for female motorsports fans and www.DrivenMale.com a new clothing line for male race fans.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(10-1-2009)

    • Danica signed to stay in IRL? she ain't saying: Danica Patrick refused Wednesday to confirm widespread reports that she's agreed to a three-year extension of her IndyCar contract with Andretti Green Racing. Asked specifically about the extension, Patrick simply shook her head, not saying a word. Patrick is considered the biggest draw in the IRL, and her interest in moving to NASCAR has been speculated on numerous times in recent years. She has a close relationship with Tony Stewart, and he has said Patrick will eventually make the jump he did - from IndyCar to stock cars. IRL officials have not commented about Patrick's future. Patrick was at Homestead-Miami Speedway with several other drivers Wednesday to test for the IndyCar finale Oct. 10. Earlier this season, Patrick insisted she wouldn't announce anything about her future until after this IRL season concludes.(in part from the Associated Press)(10-2-2009)

    • Different hood decal for Menard at Kansas: The #98 Ford of Paul Menard will unload the Zecol / Menards Ford Fusion for this weekend's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway. It is the first time Zecol will be featured on the hood of the #98 Menard's Ford. Zecol produces Professional quality, High Performance automotive chemicals and additives.(Yates Racing)(10-1-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Oct. 1 -- 2006: Dale Jarrett finishes fourth in the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway for his only top-five finish of the season and the 163rd and final top-five of his 24 seasons of Cup racing. Jarrett, the 1999 Cup champion, retires in 2008 with 32 victories and 260 top-10s in 668 Cup starts.(NASCAR.com)

    • Petty says merger negotiations still ongoing: Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty says that negotiations on the team's proposed merger with Yates Racing are continuing, and he still expects the deal to be completed. RPM and Yates officials announced Sept. 10 that they planned to merge. At the time, Petty said he thought the deal would close within a few weeks. "It's still in negotiations, and so far they ain't signed nothing," Petty said Wednesday following a news conference to promote the upcoming races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I feel like if it went this far, we are going to go forward with it."(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)

    • Harvick to sport different colors at Kansas: Reese's, a major associate sponsor of RCR's #29 Chevy that Kevin Harvick drives, kicks into high gear this weekend in Kansas as Harvick and the #29 team transform their bright yellow-and-red Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet into a bright orange Reese's racing machine for the Price Chopper 400. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are peanut butter-filled chocolate cups. They were created in 1928 by H.B. Reese, a former dairy farmer and foreman for Milton S. Hershey. The H.B. Reese Candy Co., established in the basement of Reese's house in Hershey, Pa., went on to merge with The Hershey Company in 1963 due to the popularity of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Today, Reese's has become the No. 1 selling candy bar in the United States and the Reese's brand is the most successful brand owned by The Hershey Company.(RCR), see images of the scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page.(10-1-2009)

    • Kahne using R5 Engine at Kansas...and beyond? UPDATE: #9-Kasey Kahne, Teleconference Transcript (in part) from September 29, 2009:
      Q: What engine will you run this weekend at Kansas?
      Kahne: I'm using the R5 again this weekend, the same as what we had last week.
      Q: Do you anticipate going back to the R6?
      Kahne: I think it will be all about reliability. If they think they can get it back where it's really reliable like the R5, then I would think we would probably go back to it. What I told them was that we have some points to make up and if we have anymore issues where we fall outside of the top 35, we're screwed…we have no chance. The very little power that you gain with the R6, it's not nearly enough power for me to say let's take a chance. We definitely want it to be reliable. Maybe we're down a couple horsepower, but that's it. At the end of the day it's not a big deal.(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR )(9-30-2009)
      UPDATE: Kahne will be using the old R5 Dodge engine this weekend for the second consecutive race, and Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty said time will tell if he gets an R6 back in the car. Teammate #19-Elliott Sadler will have a developmental R6 in his car at Kansas. "Until it proves its reliability, we feel like it's already got us behind, so we don't want to take that chance," Petty said.(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)

    • New NASCAR themed show: coming to the History Channel is "Madhouse." Previously announced as in development, the reality series revolves around rivalries at a North Carolina NASCAR track, where local families race to continue a 61-year feuding tradition. The show is produced by Triage Entertainment, with Stephen Kroopnick, Stu Schreiberg, Jym Buss, Grant Kahler, Aengus James, Tim Tracy, David McKillop and Carl Lindahl executive producing; 13 episodes have been ordered, and a first-quarter premiere is planned.(Hollywood Reporter)(10-1-2009)

    • Gillett, RPM partnering with Saudi Prince UPDATE2 Petty comments: In what could turn out to be one of the oddest pairings in the history of American stock car racing, Richard Petty Motorsports' primary shareholder George Gillett Tuesday signed an 'exclusive commercial collaboration' agreement for his stake in the team to Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family. The agreement signed Tuesday forms a partnership that will see the development of a NASCAR racing circuit and Richard Petty racing schools in the Saudi Kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East. "The Middle East sport market has immense growth potential as eager fans in the region demand access to more diverse, higher caliber competition. I am delighted, enthusiastic, and honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a visionary in His Highness Prince Faisal," said Gillett after the signing. According to many however, the agreement signed Tuesday is the first step to Gillett selling his stake in the team. As the two were publicly confirming the agreement, behind the scenes, Gillett and Prince Faisal acting on behalf of the Saudi sports investment group F6 he chairs, have begun a process of 'due diligence', the examination of financial records, with the goal being that Gillett would be bought out by the end of the year. The primary deal in the works actually centers on British football club Liverpool that Gillett owns a 50% stake in, but the deal would also include Richard Petty Motorsports. The Prince was at Anfield Stadium in England on Saturday as a guest Gillett, who confirmed that he has secured funding from the Saudi prince for his NASCAR team and an agreement to build Liverpool-branded football academies in the Middle East. The entire deal is reportedly worth up to $560 million.(NASCAR Examiner)
      UPDATE Foster Gillett has confirmed there are no major ownership changes contemplated at Richard Petty Motorsports. The Gilletts are the majority owners of Richard Petty Motorsports and plan on being so for a long time.(RPM)(9-29-2009)
      UPDATE2: Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty said he didn't know much about the business relationship formed between RPM majority owner George Gillett and Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah Al Saud to explore commercial opportunities with Gillett and his soccer and motorsports properties. "That's one of George's deals," Petty said. "You'll have to talk him on that. That's purely his deal. He'd been meeting with these guys for a pretty good while about his [English] football team."(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)

    • Atlanta reduces prices for March Tix: As Atlanta Motor Speedway prepares for its 50th Anniversary celebration in 2010, the Speedway has announced tickets are on sale for the March 5-7 Kobalt Tools 500 weekend. The Kobalt Tools 500 will feature reduced pricing on a number of the Speedway's seats, including the Petty, Winners, Champion and Upper Earnhardt Grandstands located along the track's frontstretch. In addition, Atlanta Motor Speedway will provide fans with a four-installment payment option to purchase tickets for the Kobalt Tools 500. Fans can reserve tickets by putting just 25 percent of their total ticket cost down up front, and can pay the remaining balance in equal, consecutive-monthly payments. Adult tickets for the Kobalt Tools 500 start at just $39 and student tickets are as low as $19, while supplies last. A limited quantity of frontstretch seats can be purchased for as little as $59. NASCAR's Sprint Cup stars return to the high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway March 5-7 for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend. The action begins with Georgia Power Qualifying Night and continues with the Atlanta 200 NASCAR Camping World Series Truck Series race. The weekend culminates on Sunday, March 7 when NASCAR's Sprint Cup stars take to the high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Kobalt Tools 500. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Kobalt Tools 500, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(10-1-2009)

    • Auto Club Speedway revamp on hold?: Auto Club Speedway proposed a multimillion-dollar revamp of the Fontana track to foster closer racing and boost crowds at its two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup races, but the track's owner has taken no action on the plan. The plan called for raising the banking of the track's four turns to 23 degrees from the current 14 degrees and narrowing its width in certain sections, all to bring the cars closer together and promote more passing, according to motor racing sources familiar with the proposal who agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified. Making the changes probably would cost $23 million to $30 million and could be completed between the track's two NASCAR race dates, and would involve digging up the entire turns to make their banking steeper, they said. The 565-acre Auto Club Speedway, formerly called California Speedway, is 50 miles east of Los Angeles and holds its next NASCAR Sprint Cup race Oct. 11. Its other race is in February. After this year's February race, Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker proposed the reconstruction plan to the track's owner, International Speedway Corp., the sources said. But International Speedway's board of directors has taken no action on the idea, including at a meeting last month, largely because the project is too costly at a time when the company, which owns or operates 13 tracks, is struggling with the weak economy and slumping attendance, the sources said. Zucker declined to confirm or deny the proposal. But she said in a statement that "it's no secret that making Auto Club Speedway the most competitive NASCAR track on the circuit is something I have been advocating since I arrived here four years ago." International Speedway spokesman Lenny Santiago also declined to comment on the plan but said "potential projects are discussed internally on a regular basis for all of our facilities."(Los Angeles Times)(10-1-2009)


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