LINKS
  • Main Jayski Page
  • Sprint Cup Series
  • Nationwide Series
  • Truck Series
  • Advertise/Contact
  • Search the Site
    ARCHIVE NEWS PAGES
    2010 NEWS
  • February
  • January
    2009 NEWS
  • December
  • November
  • October
  • September
  • August
  • July
  • June
  • May
  • April
  • March
  • February
  • January





  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    SEPTEMBER 2009

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


      News from September 30, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 30 -- 1995: Mike Bliss wins his first NASCAR race, the Camping World Truck Series Lowe's 150 at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. Butch Miller finishes second, 1.14 seconds back, and Geoff Bodine is third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Penske deal for Saturn from GM is off: General Motors Co. said Wednesday it would shut down its Saturn brand after an agreement with Penske Automotive Group Inc. to acquire it fell apart. Penske, citing concerns of whether it could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with GM ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand. GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in statement that Saturn and its dealership network will be phased out. In a statement, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based auto retailer says an agreement with another manufacturer to continue producing Saturn vehicles after GM stopped making them fell through, leading Penske to terminate talks with GM. Penske said it negotiated terms and conditions to make Saturn cars with another manufacturer, but that company's board of directors rejected the agreement. Penske spokesman Anthony Pordon would not identify the other manufacturer. In June, GM and Penske agreed to take over the Saturn brand and related dealerships, although GM would produce the vehicles for a limited period of time. GM said Saturn vehicle owners can still go to their Saturn dealer for service and would be able to go to a certified GM dealer for service once Saturn dealerships are closed. It was expected that GM would announce the completion of Saturn's sale to Penske in the coming days.(ABC/AP)(9-30-2009)

    • Labonte back in the #71 at Kansas: Bobby Labonte will run a brand new #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy at this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Team principal Kevin Buckler received a shiny new Chevrolet Impala SS that the TRG Motorsports team will run this weekend. This will be the first time that crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe will have an all updated car to race this season. "Kevin and the partners really stepped up," Labbe said. "Most of our cars are at least one year old. We've seen this season that the guys who run up front keep developing their cars. We just can't afford to keep up with that as a new team on a race-to-race budget. It will be fun to see what we can put under Bobby for this weekend with a brand new piece." The team will have support from Club Motorsports, Adobe Road Winery, RaceHost.com as well as TaxSlayer.com for this weekend's race.(TRG Motorsports)(9-30-2009)

    • Speeds first Cup race at Kansas: #82-Scott Speed has driven a Sprint Cup car at all tracks on the schedule except one — Kansas Speedway. And he hopes to cross Kansas off his to-race list this weekend. “If everything’s right with the car,” he said, “it’ll be all good. Or, it won’t be. But I don’t expect it’s going to be too much harder to learn. It’s another mile-and-a-half track. It’s certainly going to be a track that’s easier to learn than, say, Darlington, which is extremely difficult.” But Speed’s no stranger to the 1.5-mile track that joined the NASCAR circuit eight years ago. On a Saturday afternoon in April 2008, Speed pulled double duty there, competing in the ARCA RE/MAX and Camping World Truck series. He started second and went on to win his first of four ARCA races that season. Hours later, he started and finished eighth in the truck race. All totaled, he drove 267 laps that day, which just so happens to be the same distance as Sunday’s Price Chopper 400. “You’re certainly going to have to learn the lines and learn about where to run. I guess it’s kind of like a Chicago track with less banking,” Speed said. “I won an ARCA race there, but still, if you ask me to think about where I was running or what the track looked like that early on in my career I couldn’t tell you. I’m going to have to learn where to run and what groove is going to work the best for our stuff.” In Sunday’s race at Dover, Speed slipped and slid around the concrete track most of the afternoon. No series of adjustments could cure the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota’s loose condition, and Speed ended up 25th at the checkered flag. “We were really great for about 10 laps every single run, but we couldn’t keep any speed in the car. We kept slowing down,” Speed said. “We went a lap down and once you’re a lap down at a place like that it seems like you go a lot of laps down right away.” The #82 ranks 36th in the car owner standings — 124 points out of the top 35 with eight races remaining.(TBR)(9-30-2009)

    • Over $125k donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation: Over 2,500 supporters of the fire fighting community; $98,000 raised through the support of individuals, sponsors and merchandise sales this September; A total of $125,900.12 donated to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) over the course of two September races that the organization has held an annual event at Dover International Speedway. See more on my Racing Charities page.(9-30-2009)

    • Kahne using R5 Engine at Kansas...and beyond? #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)

    • Chevy Close To Manufacturers' Title: Depending on the outcome of Sunday's Price Chopper 400, Chevrolet could clinch the 2009 manufacturers' title this weekend at Kansas Speedway. If so, it would be the 33rd such title for Chevrolet and the seventh consecutive one. The manufacturers' championship debuted in 1950.
      What's necessary for Chevrolet to clinch: Chevy's top-finishing driver on Sunday must finish ahead of Toyota's top-finishing driver (NASCAR). See the manufacturers' championship rules, standings, history on my Manufacturers' Championship page.(9-30-2009)

    • Martin brings 'hot' car to Kansas: #5-Mark Martin's crew chief Alan Gustafson, has chosen Chassis No. 5-527 for this Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. This is the same chassis Martin drove to Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway in May and Chicagoland Speedway in July. Martin most recently raced the car to a fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.(HMS)(9-30-2009)

    • Different look for Ragan's #6 at Kansas: For the second and final time this season, UPS Freight will be featured on the #6 Ford that David Ragan drives. Ragan ran the same design earlier this season at Richmond im May. The Wichita North Center (SLIC - 6720) in the Kansas District was selected as the UPS Maximum Center featured on David's car at Kansas Speedway. The center's 6720 SLIC number will be featured on the wing of the #6 UPS Freight Ford.(RFR), see images of the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(9-30-2009)

    • More on Kevin Hamlin's Cup debut: Kevin Hamlin will attempt to qualify for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in the Front Row Motorsports #37 Long John Silver's Dodge. Bob Jenkins, owner of the Front Row Motorsports entry, has given the thirty year old driver his first opportunity to compete in motorsport's top series for Sunday's Price Chopper 400. The #37 Dodge Avenger is currently in 45th in owner points. Hamlin must qualify the Long John Silver's Dodge in on time to make the race. "For Mr. Jenkins to give me this opportunity is a dream come true. Front Row Motorsports has made huge strides this year with the dedication that Jerry Freeze and the entire Front Row team has put towards it, and hopefully we can get the car in the show. I look forward to working with Peter (Sospenzo) and appreciate the confidence he has in me. I like Kansas, it's where I got my first truck start in 2005," noted Hamlin. He has two previous starts at Kansas Speedway, both in 2005, in the Craftsman Truck Series and the Nationwide Series.
      Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo is looking forward to working with Hamlin at Kansas and California, "We're real excited about Kevin being in the car for Kansas and California. We have to qualify in to race, but Kevin can do it. He has experience in a truck and Nationwide car at Kansas, and his experience testing in the Cup car will really be beneficial for his first time in a Cup race. Kevin's a young guy with a lot of enthusiasm and he has a great attitude." Hamlin is no stranger to Front Row Motorsports, he can be found during most Sprint Cup races spotting for FRM's John Andretti. Hamlin has also practiced and qualified the team's Nationwide Series entry driven by Tony Raines on non-companion race weekends when Raines had conflicts traveling between a Sprint Cup and Nationwide track. During the week Hamlin is a test driver for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, putting in laps on various tracks and straight line testing for the team's Sprint Cup program. Hamlin was heavily involved in testing during the development of the Car of Tomorrow.(Rising Star Management)(9-30-2009)

    • Office Depot, Stewart Team up to donate backpacks: Office Depot and #14-Tony Stewart are joining the Office Depot Foundation on Wednesday to donate more than 2,200 backpacks to Kansas City-area nonprofit organizations and schools. "Back-To-School Backpack Celebration," happens at 4:00pm at the Office Depot store at 4851 North Oak Traffic Way in Kansas City. Guests include Kansas City mayor Mark Funkhouser and Shawna Searcy, Clay County Field Representative for Congressman Sam Graves.(PR)(9-30-2009)

    • NASCAR Video Recaps at Auto Dealers: The Automotive Broadcasting Network (ABN), auto retailing's first private television network fueled by CBS, announced that the company has entered an agreement with NASCAR Media Group to deliver weekly NASCAR racing video recaps to Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota dealer-customers across the county. The two-minute videos, produced by NASCAR Media Group and seen in dealer showrooms, will feature results and updates from NASCAR's three national series: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.(Business Wire)(9-30-2009)

    • K-State solar car to be on display at Kansas Speedway: Members of Kansas State University's solar car team will be displaying their car, Paragon, at two locations in the Kansas City area: at the Kansas Speedway Friday, Oct. 2; and at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday, Oct. 3, for the K-State football game against Iowa State University. The Kansas City Catbackers helped arrange the solar car's display in conjunction with the K-State football game at Arrowhead and NASCAR events at the Kansas Speedway. The K-State solar car team has been building and racing solar cars since 1995. Paragon was built by the team in 2005 for the North American Solar Challenge. Members of the team are primarily K-State students in electrical and mechanical engineering, but all disciplines are welcome on the team. The cars take about two years to design and build and are built for cross-country endurance races rather than racing at tracks like the Kansas Speedway. It will be the first time the K-State team has shown the solar car at a NASCAR event.(Reflector-Chronicle)(6-30-2009)

    • NASCAR, teams consider streamlining licensing business: NASCAR and the sport's top teams are discussing ways to rescue their troubled licensing business by bringing all of the team and driver rights under one banner, marking the first major step toward creating NASCAR Properties. Those rights currently are splintered from team to team, which means a licensee might visit five teams to acquire five licenses. A centralized agency such as NASCAR Properties would make all of those licenses available from one entity like the other professional leagues do. The groundwork for NASCAR Properties was set Sept. 24 during a day-long meeting at the governing body's new office in Charlotte. Paul Brooks, NASCAR's senior vice president and a driving force behind the idea, said officials from his office have been meeting with teams individually since the summer, but the summit at NASCAR's office brought all of those executives together for the first time. "We are exploring the potential benefits of a unified industry approach to licensing," Brooks said. "The ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders has been very positive and collaborative, and that is truly encouraging."(in part from Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service/SportsBusiness Journal)(9-30-2009)

    • Blaine Larsen Performing National Anthem at Kansas Speedway: Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger announced today that TREEHOUSE recording artist Blaine Larsen will perform the national anthem prior to the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods on Oct. 4. Kansas Speedway ticket packages are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 866.460.RACE or logging on kansasspeedway.com. Packages include the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods, the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series, the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 IndyCar Series and the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Fans are permitted to bring in one 6x6x12-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and drinks, and parking is always free.(Kansas Speedway)(9-30-2009)

    • High School Homecoming Partnership to Provide Fund-Raising Opportunities at LMS: Lowe's Motor Speedway is giving area high schools the horsepower to fight budget crunches through an innovative homecoming partnership program surrounding the Oct. 17 running of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America. "Most people experience their first homecoming in high school," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "But when the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams come back to race in Charlotte after five months on the road, the NASCAR Banking 500 is truly an October homecoming-NASCAR style. This new program engages the area schools that serve the families of the NASCAR community. It connects the schools with our NASCAR homecoming, and it provides them with several ways to raise money in the midst of budget cuts."
      Through the homecoming partnership, speedway officials have invited 40 public high schools from six area school systems in Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Iredell and Rowan counties to participate in the speedway's "Fund-Racing" program. School fund-raising groups such as booster clubs and parent-teacher organizations will receive $10 for each ticket they sell to the NASCAR Banking 500. Each school will have a convenient way to process sales transactions through the speedway's Web site at lowesmotorspeedway.com/schools. Lowe's Motor Speedway will contribute $1,000 to each participating high school in the program and also donate a VIP race package for two from The Speedway Club for the school to use as a raffle prize. In addition, Bank of America, the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Banking 500, will match the $1,000 contribution from the speedway to each participating school.
      The area high school that sells the most tickets will receive a 64-person luxury suite to the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race for even more fund-raising raffle opportunities during the school year. The speedway has also invited area high school bands and cheerleading squads to perform as part of the NASCAR Banking 500 pre-race show on Saturday night, Oct. 17. Information on the speedway's school Fund-Racing program can be obtained online at lowesmotorspeedway.com/schools or by calling Lowe's Motor Speedway at (704) 455-3294.(LMS)(9-30-2009)


      News from September 29, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 29 -- 1996: Jeff Gordon wins the Tyson Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The field is 37 cars, the last time fewer than 40 cars start a Cup race. It also is the 93rd and final Cup race run at North Wilkesboro. Dale Earnhardt finishes second, and Dale Jarrett is third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Sporting News' NASCAR Athlete of the Decade: the Sporting News choices for seven athletes of the decade--one in each sport they cover--sparked some intense debate. Three consecutive Cup championships form a pretty good basis for arguing Jimmie Johnson over two-time champ Tony Stewart. The results:
      Athlete of the decade: Jimmie Johnson over Tony Stewart
      Crew chief of the decade: Chad Knaus
      Team of the decade: Hendrick Motorsports
      Race of the decade: 2001 Daytona 500, won by Michael Waltrip.(Sporting News)(9-29-2009)

    • Dover victory means over $29k to Red Cross: #48-Jimmie Johnson and American Le Mans Series drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz Raced for Relief this weekend, and as a result of their efforts, Lowe's donated $29,295, including $4,800 for Johnson's victory finish, to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which helps people affected by disasters like the floods in Georgia. Johnson completed 400 laps during his victory at Dover, Del. Sunday while Fernandez and Diaz raced for 353 miles in their race at Road Atlanta on Saturday. The $29,295 is in addition to the $250,000 Lowe's donated to the American Red Cross last week. Lowe's stores across Georgia continue to serve as official cash donation sites for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Funds raised will help to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of disasters like the recent floods. Donations to the American Red Cross may be made at participating Lowe's stores, online at www.redcross.org, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).(Lowe's PR)(9-29-2009)

    • Gillett, RPM partnering with Saudi Prince UPDATE: 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)

    • Gilliland To Race for Farm Bureau Insurance: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that David Gilliland will drive the #02 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, starting October 17 in Charlotte, and continuing with the November 8 race at Texas and the November 22 season finale at Homestead. Wally Brown, JGR's R &D/Test Team crew chief, will serve as crew chief for each of the three races. Earlier this year, Farm Bureau Insurance announced that they would sponsor six races in 2009 with Joe Gibbs Racing. Two of those races have been run in the #11 Toyota, driven by Denny Hamlin at Darlington and Atlanta. Farm Bureau Insurance will also appear on the #20 Toyota driven by Joey Logano on October 25 in Martinsville. "Thus far, it's been an exhilarating partnership between Farm Bureau Insurance and Joe Gibbs Racing. We're excited to welcome David Gilliland to our Farm Bureau Insurance family. David and crew chief Wally Brown are both talented and established NASCAR sportsman, and I know both will represent our agents and customers flawlessly the remainder of 2009," said Bubby Trosclair, Vice President of Agency for Farm Bureau Insurance. Brown has been with JGR for three years, and currently serves as the crew chief for JGR's R&D/Test team. He served as crew chief last year for the #02 Home Depot Toyota in Texas, the site of Joey Logano's first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and has filled in as crew chief for JGR's Nationwide Series program.(Farm Bureau Insurance Racing)(9-29-2009)

    • added some schemes from Dover: #1 Vasoline for Men, #7 Camping World, #19 Geek Squad, #42 Polaroid and #4 Morgan McClure Motorsports to the Paint Scheme Gallery

    • Keselowski back in the #25 at Kansas: Brad Keselowski will attempt to make his first Sprint Cup Series start at Kansas Speedway this weekend driving the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. The 25-year-old earned a sixth-place finish there in the September 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series event, his only previous start at the 1.5-mile racetrack. In his most recent outing with Hendrick Motorsports, Keselowski started 12th and finished 24th. Keselowski will make his final attempt to qualify Hendrick Motorsports' #25 Chevy this season on Oct. 17 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(HMS PR)(9-29-2009)

    • Hamlin in the #37 at Kansas and California: From Kevin Hamlin's website: "I get the opportunity to drive the #37 Long John Silver's Cup car starting at Kansas this week, and again next week in California. It's a really cool deal for Front Row Motorsports owner Bob and Brad Jenkins to let me jump in the car. After testing CoT cars since about day 1 at Earnhardt-Ganassi, it'll be great to get my first race opportunity. A huge thanks to Tony Raines also, it's his ride and he had no problem jumping out of the car for two weeks to throw me a bone. I spot for him in the Nationwide races that I don't drive, and we golf together quite a bit. He says I owe him a year supply of Pro v1 golf balls for helping me out, something I'm happy to oblige to do!".(KevinHamlin.com)(9-29-2009)

    • Drivers racing at East Lincoln Speedway: Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and A.J. Allmendinger will join Ray Evernham at East Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday night September 30th as Stanley presents a special night to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Charlotte Affiliate to help fund life-saving breast cancer community outreach programs. For more info, see my Racing Charities page.(9-29-2009)

    • Edwards, Bowyer to race for Victory Junction: #99-Carl Edwards and #33-Clint Bowyer will contest a race within a race when they compete in the Price Chopper 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Sprint announced a Stateline Challenge between Edwards, of Columbia, Missouri and Bowyer, of Emporia, Kansas. Sprint will present a check for $100,000 to Victory Junction Midwest in the name of the driver who finishes higher in the race. A $25,000 donation will be made in honor of the other driver. All proceeds from the race will help fund construction efforts for Victory Junction.(Kansas City Star)(9-29-2009)

    • Phoenix teams with Richard Petty to create kart track: Phoenix International Raceway has teamed up with the legendary Richard Petty on a joint venture to create the first-ever high performance kart track within a NASCAR facility. This experiential innovation will put race fans behind the wheel and into the action at the brand new Richard Petty Raceway - located on PIR's Midway - beginning this November for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend. The 1/16th-mile Richard Petty Raceway will be located just inside Gate 4 at PIR, providing fans the chance to test their racing mettle for just $20 a session. The permanent one-of-a-kind venue will allow first-hand entertainment for fans 16 and older. The raceway's structure will include a pit and garage area, as well as grandstand seating where each driver's "fans" can gather and show support - just as they would for the Chase for the Sprint Cup competitors on PIR's one-mile oval. Each race at Richard Petty Raceway can include five competitors. At 20 feet wide and featuring a flagman's tower, tire barriers, and a layout quite similar to that of the main Phoenix International Raceway oval, Richard Petty Raceway is designed to give NASCAR fans yet another exciting racing surface - with the added thrill of participation in 9hp high-performance karts, provided by Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE). Competitors will put on firesuits and helmets and receive detailed instruction from RPDE professionals prior to racing.(PIR PR)(9-29-2009)


      News from September 28, 2009

    • NASCAR History: 1958: Joe Eubanks wins a 110-lap race at Orange Speedway in Hillsboro, N.C., for his only Cup Series victory in 159 starts from 1950 to 1961. Eubanks leads the final 12 laps on the .90-mile dirt track, and Doug Cox finishes second, the only other car on the lead lap. Buck Baker is third, one lap back. For his career, Eubanks finishes in the top 10 81 times, 37 times in the top five, and wins four poles.(NASCAR.com)(9-28-2009)

    • Menard says he will not be going to #07 car: #98-Paul Menard denied speculation that he is a candidate to replace #07-Casey Mears in the fourth car [Chevy] at Richard Childress Racing next season. Reports this past weekend from Dover International Speedway had Menard, sponsored by his father's company, touring the RCR facility in Welcome, N.C. He supposedly is unhappy with the merger between Yates and Richard Petty Motorsports and is looking for a new home.(see more at ESPN Insider)(9-28-2009)

    • Notes and Facts from Dover:
      * Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway -- the 19th straight Chase race won by a Chase driver. This was Johnson's seventh career win from the pole. It was his 44th career victory in his 283rd start. Johnson tied Bill Elliott for 14th on NASCAR's all-time wins list.
      * Johnson scored his fourth victory in 2009. It's the sixth consecutive season that Johnson has won at least four races.
      * Johnson became the second driver to win both races at a track in 2009, joining Kyle Busch, who won both races at Bristol. It was Johnson's fifth Cup win in 16 races at Dover.
      * Hendrick Motorsports scored its 12th victory at Dover, the most by any owner in the 80 Cup races there. Johnson scored the 10th win for Hendrick Motorsports this season, the most by any owner.
      * Johnson led three times for a race-high 271 laps, including the final 225. He has led 650 laps in the past three races at Dover. He extended an 11-race streak of top-15 finishes at Dover.
      * Johnson scored his 15th Chase victory in 52 Chase races. It was the 21st Chase win by Hendrick.
      * Chevrolet has scored 14 wins in 2009, leading all manufacturers. Toyota has nine while Dodge has three and Ford has two.
      * Mark Martin (second) posted his third straight top-10 finish at Dover. He remained the points leader by 10 over Johnson. Martin scored his fifth straight top-5 finish.
      * Matt Kenseth (third) posted his best finish since his victory at California in February. He extended a four-race streak of top-5 finishes at Dover.
      * Juan Pablo Montoya (fourth) posted his best finish in six races at Dover. It marked his first lead-lap finish at Dover.
      * Tony Stewart (ninth) ended a five-race streak of finishes outside the top 10.
      * Ryan Newman (10th) extended a streak of six straight top-15 finishes that began at Michigan.
      * Carl Edwards (11th) ended a six-race streak of top-10 finishes at Dover.
      * Greg Biffle (13th) ended a seven-race streak of top-10 finishes at Dover.
      * Jeff Burton (16th) has finished 16th or worse in the past 14 races, since Michigan in June.
      * Brian Vickers (18th) ended a 10-race streak of top-15 finishes that began at Daytona in July (all 12th or better).
      * Denny Hamlin (22nd) extended a five-race streak of bad finishes at Dover (38th, 43rd, 38th, 36th and 22nd). Hamlin ended a seven-race streak of top-10 finishes.
      * Scott Speed (25th) was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
      * Elliott Sadler (30th) and Tony Stewart (ninth) each have been running at the finish in the past 51 races, the longest current streak.
      * The top 10 consisted of six Chevrolets, three Dodges and one Ford.(ESPN)(9-28-2009)

    • Overnight TV ratings for Dover down: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway earned a 2.7 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating from the nation’s largest television markets is 6.9 percent lower than the 2.9 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008 but 8 percent higher than the 2.5 ABC earned overnight for the previous week’s opener of the Chase For The Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Scene Daily)(9-28-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown for Dover: 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. Throughout the breakdown, you can find links to sponsors, or special items-of-interest such as links to contests and movie sites. At the very bottom you can check how many times selected drivers were focused on during the race.
      Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 AAA 400
      Total number of commercials: 113
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 60
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 38
      Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 26
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:03 PM
      Total minutes: 243
      Minutes of race broadcast: 197
      Minutes of commercials: 46
      Number of commercial-free minutes at the end of the race: 65
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 2
      For links to the report, past races, selected drivers, see my 2009 TV Commercials page.(9-28-2009)

    • Goodyear to test larger tire: Goodyear will test a new larger NASCAR tire on October 6th at Richmond International Raceway. The 17-inch tire - which is an inch-and-a-half wider and higher - will provide a larger contact patch on the track and is expected to offer better handling and more grip. "The longitudinal grip improves the forward and back motion while the lateral grip helps with cornering," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear Director of Race Tire Sales. "We'll be looking at what performance gains it gives us and what it allows us to do. Roush Fenway Racing is providing the car and driver for the test. Stucker said the car had to be modified for the test. Goodyear will also test a car using the current 15-inch tire to use as a baseline to compare the two tires. Goodyear will also return for further testing at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2. Stucker hopes to entice at least 20 to 25 cars to offer the full feel of the draft.(Fox Sports)(9-28-2009)

    • Kurt Busch testing at Rockingham: #2-Kurt Busch and crew will be testing for two days after Dover on both tracks located near Rockingham, N.C. The Miller Lite Dodge Team plans on testing at "Little Rock," the short track on Tuesday and on the 1.017-mile speedway on Wednesday.(Tom Roberts PR)(9-28-2009)

    • France not concerned about lower TV ratings: NASCAR Chairman Brian France said he is happy with the competition and he is not sweating that television ratings were down for the first Chase For The Sprint Cup event this year. The ratings for the Sprint Cup race last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway were a 3.2 on ABC, according to ESPN officials. Last year, it was a 3.8 while the rating was 3.3 in 2007. "We were up in August for almost every event and up in Richmond as well, so we were a little surprised," France said. "It's one race and I think if we keep having the kind of racing and the Chase unfolds the way I think it's going to, that will take care of itself. We don't have a concern about that. … The Chase has got the right storylines, the right things going on [and] the racing is very good." France also said he didn't anticipate having additional two-day weekends next year on the Sprint Cup schedule.(SceneDaily)(9-28-2009)

    • Promotions contract approved for Milwaukee Mile: The State Fair Park board of directors conditionally approved the racing promotions contract for Historic Mile LLC at the end of its 3 1/2-hour meeting Monday. Historic Mile must meet a Thursday deadline to have money in escrow for NASCAR to meet the provisions of the sanction agreement for 2010. If it does, board chairman Sue Crane has been given the board's OK to execute the contract. Tony Machi and Jim Beaudoin, the two known partners in Historic Mile, met with the board in closed session for nearly an hour but were not at the meeting for the unanimous vote. Machi fielded several questions procedural questions before he and Beaudoin left, saying as he has previously that he could not discuss the source or sources of his group's financial backing. Then Machi declined to comment further, "especially with these two guys here," referring to brothers Frank and Dominic Giuffre, who have expressed interest in returning as promoters. Machi and Frank Giuffre have had a public disagreement on details of discussions they have had recently regarding the track.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(9-28-2009)

    • Fans can be a part of Foreigner music video at California: Race fans attending the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Oct. 11th will be part of history on more than one level. Not only will those attending witness the "first" ever Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Southern California, but they will also have the opportunity to be part of the "first" live performance video shoot of rock-and-roll legend Foreigner's "Can't Slow Down" at Southern California's premier motorsports facility on Sunday, Oct. 11. Fans wishing to take part in the taping should gather at the main stage in the Opportunity, California FanZone at 10:15 a.m. One of the world's most popular and enduring rock bands, Foreigner will use Auto Club Speedway as the backdrop for its NASCAR-inspired title track to their new three-disc collection, including a CD album of all new music, a CD album of brand new remixes of the band's original hit recordings, and a DVD of the band in concert and beyond. The release will be available from Rhino Entertainment Sept. 29, exclusively at Walmart.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(9-28-2009)


      News from September 27, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 27 -- 1981: In his fifth start, 22-year-old Mark Martin records his first top-five, finishing third in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville. After the first race of the 2009 Chase, Martin has 253 top-fives and 40 wins. He has the eighth-most top-fives in the history of the Cup Series and the fourth-most in the modern era (since 1972). Richard Petty has the most top-fives, 555, and Dale Earnhardt has the most in the modern era, 281. (NASCAR.com)(9-27-2009)

    • Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win at Dover this year, his 4th win of 2009 and 44th of his career. #5-Martin finished 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth, #42-Montoya, #2-Busch, #24-Gordon, #44-Allmendinger, #9-Kahne, #14-Stewart, and #39-Newman. Other Chase drivers finishes: #99-Edwards 11th; #16-Biffle 13th; Vickers 18th; #11-Hamlin 22nd. #20-Joey Logano was involved in violent wreck on lap 32 when #14-Stewart got into the back of him after Logano had to check up. Logano slid up the track and was hit by #43-Sorenson, then rolled seven times before coming to rest at the bottom of the track. He walked away from the accident uninjured. There were 9 cautions for 38 caution laps and 1 red flag following the Logano accident and 6 lead changes among 4 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, September 28 at 3:00am/et; ESPN Classic: Monday, September 28 at 12:00pm/et; SPEED, Wednesday, September 16 at 12:00pm/et
      For race results, awards and more, see my Dover Race Results Page.(9-27-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Dover:
      Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400, his 44th victory in 283 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth victory and 17th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his fifth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 16 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Mark Martin (second) posted his 30th top-10 finish in 47 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2009.
      Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 22 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Scott Speed (25th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Mark Martin leads the point standings by 10 points over Jimmie Johnson.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-27-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Dover, Chase race 2 of 10; Season race 28 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5400, finished 2nd at Dover
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 5390, -10, 1st
      3) #42-Juan Montoya 5335, -65, 4th
      4) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5325, -75, 5th
      5) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins] 5294, -106, 9th
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5292, -108, 22nd
      7) #39-Ryan Newman 5290, -110, 10th
      8) #24-Jeff Gordon 5278, -122, 6th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle 5262, -138, 13th
      10) #83-Brian Vickers [1 wins], 5249, -151, 18th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards 5247, -153, 11th
      12) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5211, -189, 8th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(9-27-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after Dover, race 28 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #14-Tony Stewart, 4070
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3895 175
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3894 176
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3763 307
      5) #5-Mark Martin, 3651 419
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 3637 433
      7) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3586 484
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 3562 508
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 3527 543
      10) #16-Greg Biffle, 3511 559
      11) #9-Kasey Kahne, 3471 599
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 3442 628
      13) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3424 646
      14) #18-Kyle Busch, 3395 675
      15) #33-Clint Bowyer, 3311 759
      16)#00-David Reutimann, 3275 795
      (9-27-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Kansas:
      No changes, but the spread between 35th and 36th now down to 124 points
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2258, +291
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2091, 124 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 1967, 124 points out of 35th
      37) #71-Gilliland-Labonte/TRG: 1682, -409
      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.(9-27-2009)

    • Penalty Report - Dover:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #19 Pre-Race to the rear - engine change, tail end
      #33 Pre-Race to the rear - engine change, tail end
      #37 Pre-Race to the rear - engine change, tail end
      #66 31, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #99 32, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #55 85, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #00 163, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #18 207, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #12 273, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #18 313, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, pass thru
      #18 327, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, tail end
      #1 342, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #12 342, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #77 369, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #82 370, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #19 387, Safety violation - splitter broken, pit 389
      #19 396, Safety violation - splitter broken, pit
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-27-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Dover: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #34-Andretti, 27th
      Caution 2: #87-Nemechek, 41st
      Caution 3: #82-Speed, 25th
      Caution 4: #31-Burton, 16th
      Caution 5: #96-Labonte, 23rd
      Caution 6: #83-Vickers, 18th
      Caution 7: #31-Burton (2), 23rd
      Caution 8: #98-Menard, 19th
      Caution 9: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. (still 1 lap down), 20th
      (9-27-2009)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Dover (or seemed to)?
      43rd: #37-Raines, completed 13 laps
      41st: #87-Nemechek, 51
      40th: #09-Bliss, 54
      39th: #71-Gilliland, 60
      38th: #36-McDowell, 74
      37th: #66-Blaney 76
      (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)(9-27-2009)

    • Crew chief changes at Roush? UPDATE: There is supposedly a meeting planned at Roush Fenway Racing featuring General Manager Robbie Reiser and representatives from Ford. Could crew chief changes be in RFR's future? One rumor circulating NHMS Sunday morning had veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig connecting with former Roush racer Jeff Burton at RCR. Not so, Fennig said. "After 13 years with Jack, my goal is to retire from Roush Racing," Fennig said. "But I'm getting too old to be on the road." Another scenario places Fennig in a research and development role. Fennig says testing suits him just fine.(FoxSports)(9-21-2009)
      UPDATE: Car owner Jack Roush says that any personnel moves among his non-Chase teams will be made after the season since he's focused on the championship with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. "I will re-evaluate every person and every position on every team this winter as I do every year,'' Roush said. He said he would make a change on a Chase team immediately if it could help that team contend for the championship.(Roanoke Times)(9-27-2009)

    • Mears uncertain of 2010: With the announcement this week that Jack Daniels will not continue as a sponsor for the #07 Chevy, Casey Mears finds himself in a predicament for 2010. "I don't know what we're doing yet," Mears said. "I do know that Richard (Childress, team owner) is working hard to secure sponsorship for the fourth team." According to team sources, several potential sponsors toured the Richard Childress Racing campus in Welcome, N.C. this week. Possible driver/sponsor combinations for the fourth team could include a deal with Hall of Fame Racing/Ask.com or Paul Menard with the Menards brand. Another name that continues to be mentioned is Bobby Labonte. Childress admitted on Friday that there has been interest from sponsors, but would not elaborate on specifics. Mears signed a three-year deal last August that locked him in for 2009. The final two seasons were contingent on performance and Mears said that he is "just short" on the stipulations.(FoxSports)(9-26-2009)
      UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing hasn't picked up the option on Casey Mears' contract and likely won't unless a sponsor is found to keep four cars in the organization. And even that's not a given. "If we don't have the funding to do it, I don't want to hold him back from getting another ride," team owner Richard Childress said Friday at Dover International Speedway. Mears signed a one-year deal, with an option for a second, to drive the#07 with Jack Daniel's as the sponsor. Jack Daniel's announced earlier in the week it will not return in 2010. Childress said the goal is to remain a four-car organization, noting a personal responsibility for keeping as many RCR employees as possible under tough economic times. If potential suitors aren't interested in Mears, who is 20th in points, sources said the organization may be forced to turn to another driver. "It all depends on sponsorship," Childress said. "Casey has done a good job. It's just unfortunate circumstances around Jack Daniel's to have to leave the sport."(ESPN.com)(9-27-2009)

    • Petty-Yates deal still pending: The two big unknowns about the pending merger between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing can be summed up in two words: "When?" and "If." The two sides have executed a letter of intent and are working toward finalizing the deal. The new organization will continue under the Richard Petty Motorsports name and will switch from Dodge to Ford next season. According to a joint release two weeks ago at Richmond, the team's lineup will include current RPM drivers #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-A.J. Allmendinger as well as Yates driver #98-Paul Menard. Team co-owner Richard Petty estimated Sept. 12 at Richmond that the deal could be concluded within two weeks, but that projection now appears optimistic, as the parties are still ironing out the details. Menard is a key element, in that he brings with him sponsorship from Menards, the Midwestern home-improvement chain founded and owned by his father, John Menard. Though Paul Menard affirmed his commitment to the deal Friday at Dover International Speedway, his assessment of the merger was frequently qualified by the word "if."(Sporting News/NASCAR.com)(9-27-2009)

    • Limited number of backstretch seats still available at Texas: Fans still can take advantage of the best ticket price ever offered by Texas Motor Speedway by purchasing "Backstretch Buster" seats for the Nov. 8 Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but less than 250 remain. The "Backstretch Buster" seats, located along the first two rows of the backstretch, remain the most inexpensive seats for a Sprint Cup race in the history of Texas Motor Speedway. The "Backstretch Buster" seating was introduced for April's Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race and promptly sold out. In addition to the "Backstretch Buster" seats, fans also can take advantage of two other backstretch ticket specials for the Dickies 500. All other seating above the first two rows is available for $40 per seat or fans can opt for the value-packed 7-Eleven Family 4-Pack. The package consists of four backstretch tickets, four hot dogs and four Coca-Cola drinks for just $159. To purchase "Backstretch Buster" seats or take advantage of the other backstretch ticket specials, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS PR)(9-27-2009)


      News from September 26, 2009

    • NASCAR History: 1954: A season-high 64 cars are in the field for a 250-lap race on Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway's 1-mile dirt track. Not surprisingly, all 250 laps are led by drivers starting in the top four with polesitter Herb Thomas leading 163 laps and getting the win. Two other drivers finish on the lead lap, second-place Lee Petty and Hershel McGriff. Also not surprisingly, many cars don't finish the race. Twenty-nine cars are not running at the finish.(NASCAR.com)(9-26-2009)

    • Race Coverage of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, September 27, 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, September 28 at 3:00am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, September 28 at 12:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, September 16 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - Dover: The selections of pit stalls for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters], outside pole sitter #42-Montoya took pit stall 10, the next pit stall with an opening in front of it, Points leader #5-Martin, took the 21st stall. The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #9-Kahne, who starts 6th.
      See the pit selection chart on the Dover Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-26-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #9-Kahne 152.014
      #42-Montoya 151.502
      #20-Logano 151.057
      #5-Martin 151.013
      #48-Johnson 150.981
      slowest: #96-McDowell 147.312 & #37-Raines 147.251
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Dover Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-26-2009)

    • Dover Happy Hour practice results for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      (by current Chase Points Standings)
      1) #5-Mark Martin, 4th fastest
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 5th
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin, 18th
      4) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2nd
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 7th
      6) #14-Tony Stewart, 26th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 11th
      8) #83-Brian Vickers, 30th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 6th
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon, 19th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 17th
      12) #9-Kasey Kahne, 1st.(9-26-2009)

    • First Saturday practice: for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #2-Busch 153.035
      #42-Montoya 152.912
      #39-Newman 152.607
      #48-Johnson 151.989
      #33-Bowyer 151.899
      slowest: #37-Raines 147.191 & #34-Andretti 146.789
      There is no TV coverage for this session, Happy Hour [final] practice is scheduled to run from 1:50 - 2:50 pm/pt, and will shown on ESPN at 7:00pm/et. However, there is some rain in the area that could impact on track action this afternoon.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Dover Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-26-2009)

    • Back to Nationwide for Sorenson? ESPN reported during Nationwide Series qualifying that #43-Reed Sorenson is talking to Braun Racing about running the #32 Toyota a majority of the races next season in the Nationwide Series.(9-26-2009)

    • NASCAR considering more 2-day weekends: NASCAR is exploring the possibility of more two-day weekends for 2010 in an effort to help organizations save money. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said such scenarios typically are considered every year, but with tough economic times there is more support from organizations than in the past. Pemberton didn't know what the savings would be, but it has been estimated that it costs $300,000 to $600,000 per car for an average three-day weekend. Cutting a small portion of that would result in millions for some organization over the course of a 36-race season. Pemberton said the response from organizations and fans over cutting the Atlanta race on Labor Day weekend from three to two days has been positive. He added that changing the length of the weekend depends on the number of events scheduled at the track. For instance, last weekend's race at New Hampshire would have been tough with the number of smaller series competing in addition to Sprint Cup and Trucks and no lights. NASCAR also is finalizing plans to move to more consistent start times -- 1 p.m. for most East Coast races, 3 or 4 p.m. for West Coast -- as the NFL has. Pemberton said that not only will make it easier for fans, but save money if teams get home earlier on Sunday night and shorten the work week. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said the governing body is focused on getting start times finalized before changing the length of the weekend.(ESPN.com)(9-26-2009)

    • Robby Gordon says team will continue: #7-Robby Gordon lost one of his bigger sponsors this week, but the driver/owner has several sponsors that should help him handle the departure of Jim Beam. Gordon said Jim Beam was the primary sponsor for 12 races this year and a to-be-announced sponsor has committed for four of those, leaving him eight to replace from that sponsorship next year. Menards and Mapei are returning, and Gordon said he has a good opportunity for other sponsors such as Polaris, Monster and Camping World to return. Gordon said he can generate a lot of exposure through his various racing avenues, which includes offroad racing. He said he is still not interested in merging with another team. One thing that could help Gordon is if the Indianapolis 500 starts earlier next year, allowing a driver to do both that race and the Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. "I have a sponsor that I talked to today that said they would take Indy and Charlotte at the right dollars today," said Gordon, who has extensive experience in open-wheel cars. "They've already told me that. If Indy changes, I think you can count me in it - with a new sponsor, a different sponsor that's not on my car today."(SceneDaily)(9-26-2009)

    • Mears uncertain of 2010: With the announcement this week that Jack Daniels will not continue as a sponsor for the #07 Chevy, Casey Mears finds himself in a predicament for 2010. "I don't know what we're doing yet," Mears said. "I do know that Richard (Childress, team owner) is working hard to secure sponsorship for the fourth team." According to team sources, several potential sponsors toured the Richard Childress Racing campus in Welcome, N.C. this week. Possible driver/sponsor combinations for the fourth team could include a deal with Hall of Fame Racing/Ask.com or Paul Menard with the Menards brand. Another name that continues to be mentioned is Bobby Labonte. Childress admitted on Friday that there has been interest from sponsors, but would not elaborate on specifics. Mears signed a three-year deal last August that locked him in for 2009. The final two seasons were contingent on performance and Mears said that he is "just short" on the stipulations.(FoxSports)(9-26-2009)

    • Full season for Finch in 2010? How desperate is NASCAR to fill the Cup field in 2010? They've asked James Finch to run the full season. Finch has always provided competitive superspeedway cars - Brad Keselowski proved the strength of the #09-Phoenix Racing cars at Talladega earlier this season - but his team has never run a full Cup season in 16 years of competition (1990-96, 2001-present). The problem is finding a competitive driver that can remain up on the wheel without overtaxing the fab shop. Certainly, Finch will have his choice of candidates as the driver lineups shake out at the end of this season.(FoxSports), Finch has attempted all the races so far this season.(9-26-2009)

    • Montoya blows off interview: UPDATE: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya may be in trouble with NASCAR – certainly with its PR operations -- after an incident in which he blew off a pre-planned satellite interview with a major California Fox affiliate, Sacramento's KTXL. Montoya and NASCAR both are now on that station's D-list. And Sacramento is, of course, the state capital, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds forth. Schwarzenegger typically attends NASCAR events in that state, and will likely be at Southern California's Auto Club Speedway in a few weeks for the California 500 chase race. Montoya was doing a routine round of Sprint Cup championship chase interviews [Saturday?] in advance for the first race of the chase, but when 5 o'clock rolled around, he took off his mike and walked off the NASCAR set. Much to the chagrin of the KTXL reporters who had been patiently awaiting their NASCAR-scheduled spot in the interview line. See the video of the incident and Jim Crandell's commnetary about it and NASCAR's waning popularity at fox40.com.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-21-2009)
      UPDATE: Juan Pablo Montoya addressed the issue Friday at Dover:
      EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED LAST THURSDAY WITH THE TV HOOKUP TO CALIFORNIA AND HAS THAT ALL BEEN SETTLED NOW?
      "Yeah, it was simple. It was a deal we did with NASCAR from four to five and I told them this was the last interview and it was five minutes until five o'clock and I finished the interview and they plugged somebody else without telling them I was done and that was it. NASCAR made an honest mistake and it was a misunderstanding. That was it."
      DO YOU THINK THE VIDEO THING KIND OF PORTRAYED YOU WRONG BECAUSE YOU'RE VERY GOOD TO THE MEDIA HERE AND THE VIDEOS WERE SENT AROUND THE WORLD OF YOU, DOES THAT BOTHER YOU?
      "Not really. It really doesn't. NASCAR knows what happened. I know what happened. The team knows what happened. I don't care. If they like me good, if they don't. I can't help that everybody here likes me, can I? Come on. Like they say crap happens I guess."(General Motors PR)(9-26-2009)

    • Talladega Offering Online Renewal Rights Transfer: For the first time ever, race fans can buy or sell "renewal rights" on their seat locations or their reserved overnight park camping space at Talladega Superspeedway. The new partnership with SeasonTicketRights.com allows race fans to transfer their renewal rights online via the Talladega Superspeedway Transfer Marketplace. Once transferred, the renewal rights on seat or overnight park locations are permanently transferred to the new account holder. The new account holder will then receive all future invoices and correspondence from Talladega. The Talladega Superspeedway Transfer Marketplace is available at http://talladega.seasonticketrights.com.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-26-2009)


      News from September 25, 2009

    • NASCAR History: 2004: Shane Hmiel wins the Las Vegas 350 truck race for his only victory in NASCAR's top three touring series.(NASCAR.com)(9-25-2009)

    • Johnson on pole at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway with a lap of 157.356mph for his 2nd pole of the season and 21st career pole. #42-Montoya was 2nd fastest followed by #39-Newman, #16-Biffle, #00-Reutimann, #9-Kahne, #24-Gordon, #33-Bowyer, #77-Hornish, and #98-Menard. Points leader #5-Martin will start 14th.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #71-Gilliland, #78-Smith, #66-Blaney, #09-Bliss, #82-Speed, #87-Nemechek, #37-Raines, and #36-McDowell.
      The only driver to fail to qualify was #4-McClure.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying results & order, pole progreession and more on the Dover Starting Lineup/Qualifying Page.(9-25-2009)

    • Dover starting spots for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      1) #5-Mark Martin, starts 14th
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1st
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin, 13th
      4) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2nd
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 16th
      6) #14-Tony Stewart, 22nd
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 3rd
      8) #83-Brian Vickers, 12th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon, 7th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 30th
      12) #9-Kasey Kahne, 6th.(9-25-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Dover International Speedway:
      Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the AAA 400 with a lap of 22.878 seconds, 157.356 mph.
      This is his 21st pole in 283 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second pole and 21st top-10 start in 2009.
      This is his second pole in 16 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Juan Pablo Montoya (second) posted his 12th top-10 start of 2009 and his third in six races at Dover International Speedway.<
      Ryan Newman (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his 14th in 28 races this season.
      Joey Logano (11th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-25-2009)

    • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
      Chevy: #48-Johnson, 157.356, starts 1st
      Ford: #16-Biffle, 156.284. starts 4th
      Toyota: #00-Reutimann, 155.979, starts 5th
      Dodge: #9-Kahne, 155.871, starts 6th

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is scheduled for Friday, September 25, 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 AAA 400 at Dover International 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 #42-Montoya.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #88-Earnhardt. Jr.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #4-Wimmer with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #66-Blaney.
      See the full qualifying order on the Dover Qualifying Page.(9-25-2009)

    • Friday's practice for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #48-Johnson 158.026
      #39-Newman 157.020
      #42-Montoya 156.986
      #16-Biffle 156.952
      #2-Busch 156.474
      slowest: #37-Raines 151.445 & #4-Wimmer 149.669.
      #33-Bowyer broke a rocker arm. The team will change engines.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Dover Practice Speeds Notes page. (9-25-2009)

    • Dover practice rank for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      1) #5-Mark Martin, was 9th fastest
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1st
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin, 25th
      4) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3rd
      5) #2-Kurt Busch, 5th
      6) #14-Tony Stewart, 14th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 2nd
      8) #83-Brian Vickers, 21st
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon, 13th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 39th
      12) #9-Kasey Kahne, 40th.(9-25-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice on Friday at Dover:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #71-David Gilliland, 10th fastest overall
      #78-Regan Smith, 29th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 32nd
      #36-Michael McDowell, 34th
      #82-Scott Speed, 36th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 37th
      #09-Mike Bliss, 38th
      #37-Tony Raines, 43rd
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #4-Scott Wimmer, 44th

    • Ryan Truex Wins Camping World East Series Championship: Dover International Speedway has been a special race track for the Truexfamily through the years, and today it became even a little more special. Ryan Truex finished off his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World East Series by claiming the series championship with an eighth-place finish in the Sunoco 150 at Dover on Friday afternoon. Truex, 17, driver of the #00 NAPA Toyota, did so two-and-a-half years after his older brother Martin won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at the Monster Mile, which the family from Mayetta, N.J., has long considered their home track. Brett Moffit claimed the Sunoco 150 in what he called "the best win so far" in his young career. Moffitt, driver of the #44 Red Line Oil Chevy, led the majority of the race. Truex came into the race 30 points ahead of Eddie MacDonald and ended up winning the championship by 36 points. MacDonald finished in ninth, four seconds behind Truex. (Dover Speedway PR)(9-25-2009)

    • Allmendinger drove for free earlier; could be in a Ford by Talladega: Richard Petty Motorsports' Executive Director of Race Operations Robbie Loomis says the team could field a Ford before the end of the 2009 season. Loomis told FoxSports.com's Lee Spencer, "I don't want to talk about things that are pure speculation, but I don't think it would surprise anybody if we did." A spokesperson for RPM told Sirius Speedway today that there are no plans to field a Ford before 2010, but off the record, sources inside RPM say that the team has already built at least one Ford Fusion, installing a Ford powerplant in an existing RPM chassis. Initial plans were to have #44-AJ Allmendinger debut the car at Kansas Speedway next week, but that timetable was pushed back when Roush-Fenway Racing's Jack Roush expressed reservations about the quick ramp-up. Now, tentative plans call for Allmendinger to drive a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford at Talladega Superspeedway on November 1, with additional outings possible -- though not certain -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedways. Calls to Richard Petty Motorsports seeking comment were not immediately returned. Loomis also confirmed today that #43-Reed Sorenson is not the first RPM driver to race for free, saying that Allmendinger also waived his paycheck for a time, in order to remain on the racetrack. "AJ and all the employees at Richard Petty Motorsports made sacrifices in order to continue being a four-car team," he said. "When those guys stepped up, it really said a lot to me about the character of Reed Sorenson, AJ Allmendinger and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports."(Sirius-Speedway)(9-25-2009)

    • Camping World sponsoring Robby at Dover: Coming off a 24th-place finish in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Robby Gordon and the #7 Toyota team are ready to return to the front of the pack at Dover International Speedway. Gordon’s car will sport a special blue and yellow paint scheme supporting Camping World, which will return to the hood of the No. 7 Camry for the first time of the 2009 season.(Robby Gordon Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(9-25-2009)

    • Danica staying in Indy Car: Danica Patrick is now, officially, staying in the IndyCar Series. Patrick signed a three-year contract to remain with Andretti Green Racing during last weekend's event at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan. She will continue to drive the #7 car with a Motorola-based sponsorship. Patrick could not be reached for comment Thursday night, but it is believed she has not resolved her options for driving a stock car in the future. Tony Stewart told reporters during last week's Sprint Cup Series race in Loudon, N.H., that he has "not made an offer'' to Patrick.(Indianapolis Star)(9-25-2009)

    • Gordon, Earnhardt, Jr. lay wreath at Arlington: In the humid stillness of Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday afternoon, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick solemnly walked down a set of stairs toward the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They lined up, along with a member of the military honor guard who ceremonially patrol the tomb, and then stepped forward together to place a wreath in front of the giant marble structure. Hands over their hearts, they stood silently amidst the quiet of the cemetery where more than 330,000 men and women are buried. A few minutes later, in the basement of a nearby building just down the hall from the guards' quarters, the two National Guard-sponsored drivers reflected on the magnitude of what they had just experienced. "I was just nervous," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I get real nervous around appearances, but this one was real heavy. There's a lot of responsibility, and that was definitely the case for this." Like Earnhardt Jr., Gordon had never visited Arlington before and said he regretted not doing so earlier. "This is something I think every American should experience," Gordon said. "The peace, the security that we feel in the safety of our country is because of the men and women here at Arlington."(SceneDaily)(9-25-2009)

    • NHL star retires; wants NASCAR career now: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Patrice Brisebois retired Thursday, ending his 18-year NHL career with plans to drive on NASCAR's Canadian series. The 38-year-old Brisebois spent 16 seasons with the Canadiens, retiring in third place on the franchise list for games by a defenseman (896), fourth for goals by a defenseman (87) and fifth in points by a defenseman (371). On March 14, he became the 11th player to play 1,000 games for the Canadiens. Brisebois said he's seeking sponsors to fund the next phase of his career, as a driver in NASCAR's Canadian Tire Series. "It's a great team sport, like hockey," Brisebois said of auto racing. "Your mechanic is kind of like your coach, and there's a game plan, race strategy, so it's a bit like a hockey team. I'm going to try and go as far as I can in auto racing. I'd love to be able to move on to the Nationwide or Sprint series, but it's going to be very tough. Another dream of mine would be to do the 24 hours of Le Mans."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(9-25-2009)

    • Special Pit Suit for Spake: Shannon Spake has been reporting from the pits for ESPN's NASCAR coverage for several years, but Spake is now carrying something extra. Spake and her husband are expecting their first children in January - twin boys. To assist her in performing her duties through the rest of the season, ESPN and Spake worked with firesuit manufacturer Impact to produce a special piece of apparel for her to wear while in the pits during races. The two-piece suit is equipped with a stretch gusset in the back so that it can be expanded as her pregnancy progresses through the fall. ESPN's live coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover will air on ABC, while ESPN2 will air Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(ESPN PR)(9-25-2009)

    • Dover Tire Notes: Teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Dover this weekend . . . this is the first time teams will be running either of these two tire codes. . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Dover on August 4-5 . . . participating in that test were Chevy drivers #48-Jimmie Johnson and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, Dodge drivers #44-A.J. Allmendinger and #12-David Stremme, Ford drivers #96-Bobby Labonte and #6-David Ragan, and Toyota drivers #47-Marcos Ambrose and #18-Kyle Busch . . . compared to what NASCAR teams ran at Dover in May, Goodyear has incorporated construction changes to both the left- and right-side tires . . . those changes are similar to those previously rolled into the Las Vegas and Charlotte tires and are designed to give the cars more grip . . . Goodyear has also brought a change to the right-side compound, based mostly on the work that was done in preparation for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is designed to help "rubber in" the race track . . . unlike on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Dover . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. See full notes, tire pressures, codes and more on my Dover Race Info - Goodyear section.(9-25-2009)

    • Dover Rookie Notes: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 19 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Logano posted a 21st-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the 20th time this season. Logano leads Scott Speed by 25 points (216-191) in the Raybestos® Rookie standings entering the September 27 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. All three members of the 2009 Raybestos Rookie class have scored at least one top-10 finish. Michael McDowell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 AAA 400 at Dover, claiming a 29th-place finish. Jimmie Johnson is the only Raybestos Rookie to sweep both Sprint Cup races at Dover. Johnson won both events in 2002 and led the most laps in each race. He is the only first-year driver to lead the most laps (four times for 170 laps) in the fall race at Dover. The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie for the fall race at Dover is third: Tony Stewart (1999), Brian Vickers (2004) and Kyle Busch (2005).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), see standings, history and more notes/facts on my 2009 Rookies page.(9-25-2009)

    • Eric Church performing concert at NASCAR Banking 500: Capitol Records Nashville recording artist Eric Church will perform as part of pre-race festivities for the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America on Oct. 17. To help celebrate homecoming NASCAR style, Church will return to his home state to perform a concert outside of the Turn 2 Diamond Tower Terrace on Saturday afternoon before the race. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a NASCAR Banking 500 ticket. To purchase individual tickets to the NASCAR Banking 500 or the Carolina CollegeFest package, fans should contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or buy online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(9-25-2009)


      News from September 24, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 24 -- 2000: Kurt Busch finishes 18th in the MBNA.com 400 at Dover in his first Cup start. He finishes two laps behind winner Tony Stewart.(NASCAR.com)(9-24-2009)

    • Continental Fire & Safety on the #34: Continental Fire & Safety will be an associate sponsor on Front Row Motorsports’ #34 Sprint Cup entry and the primary sponsor on FRM’s #34 Nationwide entry at Dover International Speedway for the upcoming race weekend. The Continental Fire & Safety #34 Chevy in the Nationwide series will be piloted by Tony Raines who is currently 15 in driver points. FRM’s entry in the Sprint Cup series will be driven by John Andretti.(Continental Fire & Safety PR)(9-24-2009)

    • New Hampshire Overnight TV Ratings down: UPDATE: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a 2.5 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 21.9% lower than the 3.2 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008.(SceneDaily), for race by race TV Ratings and more, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(9-22-2009)
      UPDATE: ABC’s live telecast of the Sept. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a final national household rating of 3.2, averaging 5,044,391 viewers and up from the 2.5 overnight rating revealed on Monday. The race was the first event of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The final rating was down from the 3.8 rating for last year’s race, which also aired on ABC. The race earned a 3.3 rating in 2007, also airing on ABC.(ESPN PR)(9-24-2009)

    • Lowe's Donates to American Red Cross: In response to the flooding in the Atlanta area, Lowe’s is making a $250,000 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In addition, all Lowe’s stores in Georgia are serving as official cash donation sites to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which helps people affected by disasters like the recent floods. In addition #48-Jimmie Johnson will be “Racing for Relief” at the Dover International Speedway this weekend to add to the contribution. Funds raised will help to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of disasters like the recent floods. As part of Racing for Relief, Lowe’s has decided to donate $48 for every lap of the scheduled 400 laps that Johnson completes in the Dover 400 on September 27. If Johnson wins his race, Lowe’s will donate an additional $4,800. The Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of the #48 Lowe’s Chevy. More info and to donate, see my Racing Charities page.(9-24-2009)

    • #8 team returning in 2010? The folks at Dale Earnhardt Inc. are working at bringing the #8 car to both the Nationwide and Cup series next year. The plan would be for Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of Dale, to drive the #8 car in the Nationwide series and have that team based out of the DEI shops in Mooresville, N.C. If sponsorship can be found, the #8 car would return to Cup and be based out of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shop in Cocord, N.C. "We do have plans to bring the #8 car back for next season,'' Jeff Steiner executive VP and general manager at DEI, told me [Dustin Long] Wednesday afternoon. "We are working with a number of sponsors. It's not a for sure deal. We haven't announced that we are officially bringing it back. .. I don't think we would see anything with the #8 car at the Sprint Cup level in 2009. I think based where we're at with sponsor discussions, I don't foresee that happening this year, but it is one of our aspirations to get that car back on the track together with the #1 and the #42.''
      So, would the #8 come back fulltime or would it be acceptable to bring it back part time in 2010?"I think we would consider something part time,'' Steiner told me. "In today's economy and today's NASCAR, we need to look at all potential opportunities to get either young developmental drivers or other people out on the track and if we have an opportunity to do that and get the #8 back on the track in 2010, I think we would certainly consider that.
      As for Jeffrey Earnhardt: "That would be something we would be looking at running him in an #8 fulltime in the Nationwide level,'' Steiner said. "We're still working on sponsorships. Our intention ... having him in a family number. I think we're hopeful (of a fulltime schedule for Jeffrey). We're pretty bullish on that potential for 2010."(Roanoke Times)(9-24-2009)

    • Mars releases 2010 Paint Schemes for #18; adds Doublemint: Mars, Incorporated announced its 2010 NASCAR paint scheme schedule for the #18 Toyota piloted by Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which includes the addition of Wrigley's Doublemint gum as another primary sponsor. Mars is also expanding its relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and COMBOS, shifting gears to sponsor Kyle Busch and the #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with three paint schemes, replacing the single paint scheme in the 2009 Sprint Cup Series. Mars brands will serve as the primary sponsor of JGR's #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 30 points races in 2010, including 23 M&M'S races, three Pedigree races, two Snickers races and the two inaugural races for Wrigley's Doublemint gum. M&M'S will also be the primary sponsor of the #18 during the Bud Shootout and Sprint All-Star Race.(Mars PR), see images of the cars on the 2010 #18 Team Schemes page. Interstate Batteries will return and sponsor the car for six (6) races: Auto Club Speedway in February, Texas in April, New Hampshire in June, Daytona in July, Michigan in August and Dover in September (same races as 2009).(9-24-2009)

    • New chassis for Kurt Busch: #2-Kurt Busch doesn't believe the new chassis he'll use in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway is a risk. The 2004 Cup champion said the chassis has been ready since the Atlanta race on Labor Day weekend, "but we didn't want to change our program... because of how the car raced there in March when we won." The Penske Racing team picked Dover because it has similar characteristics to Atlanta. "The aerodynamic numbers of chassis 700 showed up to be the same for what we ran in June, and June was a great finish for us at the Monster Mile where we finished fifth," said Busch, recalling the first Dover race. "We ran competitively all day and so the body being a given... we can really understand what this new chassis is going to bring to us. If you rely on your engineering department, everybody behind the scenes at Penske Racing, they'll tell you that it's better," he said. "It's lighter, it's faster, so we can't be wrong in bringing it."(ESPN Insider)(9-24-2009)

    • Stewart thanks HMS employees in person: On Monday [9/21], #14-Tony Stewart made a surprise visit to the Hendrick Motorsports chassis and engine shop in Concord, NC. It was his second visit this year to thank all those employees face to face for their part in helping both #39-Ryan Newman and Stewart's cars make the chase and for all they've done for them this year.(9-24-2009)

    • FedEx Racing Races to Prepare in Philadelphia: FedEx Racing, sponsor of Denny Hamlin's #11 Toyota, will join the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania this week, welcoming Philadelphia-area students on Thursday for the Race to Prepare, an event that stresses disaster preparedness through the building of a disaster kit and preparedness education. As part of the company’s commitment to supporting disaster preparedness and relief efforts around the world, and in celebration of the long-term relationship with the organization, FedEx will be making a donation to the local American Red Cross chapter.(FedEx Racing)(9-24-2009)

    • Harvick to meet with firefighter foundation: Prior to Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, #29-Kevin Harvick will make an appearance in Dover International Speedway’s Hospitality Tent Village to meet members of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. This marks the second year the track is hosting members of the organization at an NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. The NFFF exists to help the families and colleagues of the nearly 100 firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty each year across the country. Harvick’s father, Mike, is a retired firefighter.(RCR)(9-24-2009)

    • Auto Club Speedway letting fans choose 2010 race start time: For the first time ever, race fans will have the opportunity to choose what time the green flag for a NASCAR race will wave. Auto Club Speedway is giving that option to race fans across the country to choose either a noon or a 4:30 p.m. (both times PT) start time for the Auto Club 500, the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010. It's up to the fans to have their say. Tell us: early start time or late start time. And feel free to give us your reasons. Just like a true election, the choice with the most votes wins. Fans must vote now before the poll closes! To vote, visit www.autoclubspeedway.com/time. For information on all events at Auto Club Speedway, or for ticket information, call 800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS PR)(9-24-2009)


      News from September 23, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 23 -- 1984: Sam Ard starts the only Cup race in his storied career, finishing last in the 31-car field of the Goody's 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Ard lasts one lap before retiring with steering problems. Ard competed in the then-Busch Series from 1982 to 1984, winning championships in '83 and '84.(NASCAR.com)(9-23-2009)

    • Tire Testing at Daytona on Sept 22/23: UPDATE 2: #6-David Ragan (Ford), #20-Joey Logano (Toyota), #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota), #12-Brad Keselowski (Dodge) as well as to-be-named driver from Richard Childress Racing (Chevy) are scheduled participate in a Goodyear Tire Test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9:00am to 5:00pm/et. The test is open to fans, who can go through Daytona 500 Experience to the Oldfield Grandstand to watch the testing.(DIS)(9-19-2009)
      UPDATE: #33-Clint Bowyer is the RCR driver participating in the test at DIS.(9-22-2009)
      UPDATE 2: Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers wrapped up a two-day Goodyear tire test on Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. In between rain showers, drivers shook down tires for Goodyear in advance of the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14. "I think the Goodyear tires the last year or two have been pretty competitive," #6-David Ragan said after the first day of testing. "We haven't had any issues with them. It's just a deal where Goodyear tries to fine tune on their tires and combinations to make it right. I'm sure this won't be the last (test) before the Daytona 500 in February." Ragan participated in last September's Goodyear tire test at Daytona while #20-Joey Logano and #47-Marcos Ambrose were among a group of drivers who tested tires in May. "We tried a lot of different tires," Logano said. "I think we had about five or six different ones that we put on, just trying different things that Goodyear has come up with. We had some good ones and some that weren't as good. You pick what you want and I'm sure they'll change a few things. I know they are going to come back here again and do some drafting." The test gave Brad Keselowski his first opportunity to work with his new #12 team for the 2010 season. Keselowski, who competes for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will join Penske in 2010 for his first full Sprint Cup Series season.(DIS PR)(9-23-2009)

    • Could be minor tweaks to testing 'ban': UPDATE: At NASCAR's crew chiefs meeting here [NHMS] Saturday morning, Sprint Cup teams were given a few tweaks on the car-of-tomorrow and on testing for 2010, but it's unclear if more might be coming. NASCAR officials are apparently leaning toward okaying Greenville-Pickens Speedway [SC] for Cup testing next season, to give teams a less expensive testing venue – a track closer to their Mooresville, NC, shops. But some teams say they would continue flying/driving down to places like New Smyrna in Florida for testing anyway.
      Teams report that Texas World Speedway in College Station, TX, may be ground smoother, to eliminate bumps. And if softwalls are installed there, the track could be a good testing venue too, since it's not on the NASCAR tour. Greg Biffle ran a few laps at Texas World in testing earlier this year, but he said at 218 mph, the bumps and the lack of soft walls, the track was too dangerous.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-21-2009)
      UPDATE: NASCAR announced its 2010 testing policy for its three national and two regional touring series. The policy will again prohibit testing at tracks which host NASCAR national series events, by teams in the following series: NASCAR Sprint Cup; NASCAR Nationwide; NASCAR Camping World Truck; NASCAR Camping World East; and NASCAR Camping World West. In 2010, however, testing will be allowed at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks that host a regional touring event but do not host a national series event. Based on this season’s regional tour schedules, the following tracks would be eligible to host tests next year: Greenville-Pickens Speedway; Tri-County Motor Speedway; South Boston Speedway; Thompson International Speedway; Music City Motorplex; Adirondack International Speedway; Lime Rock Park; Thunder Hill Raceway; All American Speedway; Madera Speedway; Douglas County Speedway; Toyota Speedway at Irwindale; Portland International Raceway; Miller Motorsports Park; Colorado National Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2009)

    • #18 car too low in post race inspection: UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch, who missed making the Chase by just eight points, finished 5th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the left front of the #18 M&M's Toyota was too low in post-race inspection, and he could be penalized by NASCAR this week, usually announced on Tuesday afternoons.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-20-2009)
      UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of a rule infraction found last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The #18 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8 1B (the height of the car at the left front fender did not meet the required specification; too low in post-race inspection) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Kyle Busch and car owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR PR)(9-22-2009)
      UPDATE 2: A statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: "The situation was caused when the left front spring became dislodged. This resulted in the left front corner of the car to be lower and resulted in a change to the car's handling which had to be compensated for during the race. Consequently, the car measured low during post-race inspection. We accept NASCAR's ruling on the issue today."(JGR PR)(9-23-2009)

    • Vickers Youngest Driver ever to have 200 starts in Sprint Cup Series:: This weekend at Dover, #83-Brian Vickers will become the youngest driver ever to reach 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts in six full seasons of competition. Of the 200 starts, Vickers has only driven for two teams, Hendrick Motorsports, for which he made 113 starts, and Team Red Bull with 86 starts. "Wow,” Vickers said. “Makes me feel old! It's pretty cool when you think about it. It’s a big accomplishment. I'm glad to have been involved in the sport, at this level, for that long. It's only going to get better as it goes on and as I progress in my career.” Vickers currently is eighth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings with one win, four top fives, 13 top 10s and six poles. "2009 has been a great overall highlight with all that's gone on with this team over the years and the building we have done,” he said. “The win. The Chase. It's been fantastic. My first career win was great but there is something really gratifying about building a program from the ground up and seeing it succeed.”(NASCAR)(9-23-2009)

    • Some Chase Notes going in Dover: Only once, when #48-Jimmie Johnson made the miraculous rally to win his first championship in 2006, has the eventual winner been lower than second place after the first Chase race. Only one New Hampshire winner, however, has gone on to win the title. That was #2-Kurt Busch [then in the #97 Ford] in Chase I in 2004. Johnson has gone 27 consecutive Chase races with at least a Top 15 finish. Sunday was his 18th Top 5 over the same period, a 67% mark. He has Top 10s in 23 of the last 27 Chase races, an 85% rate, and podium finishes in 16 of 27. For a nice breakdown of races, and year-to-year stats, see the Chase Stats after New Hampshire page and the 2009 Chase Rules, History and Stats page.(9-23-2009)

    • Montoya still not happy with Martin: From a NASCAR teleconference Tuesday:
      Q: Can you talk ... more about the deal with Mark Martin and whether you had a chance to chat with him [after the New Hampshire race].
      Montoya: "No, I haven't, first off, I haven't really talked to Mark at all. I think did he an awesome race and he did what he had to do to win the race. I wasn't the happiest guy. I did some interviews this morning and I said that. It's fun when you do it to someone else but it's not when they do it to you but it's part of it. For the Chase, you know, we have to bring our A Game, and we did. There's no holding back, nothing, we have to go. We have to try to go every week. Some weeks are going to be better than others but time to go."(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2009)

    • Geek Squad colors for Sadler at Dover: Elliott Sadler’s #19 Dodge will sport a familiar black, white and orange paint scheme at Dover’s “Monster Mile” this weekend honoring those electronic wizards with the white shirts and clip-on ties from Best Buy—the Geek Squad. Sadler’s race car looks similar to the signature car driven by the 21,000 certified Geek Squad agents around the world. Instead of solving customers’ electronic challenges, Sadler hopes to drive his #19 Best Buy/Geek Squad Dodge to another top-10 finish. On Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sadler finished eighth—his fourth top-10 finish in 2009(RPM). See an image of the scheme on my #19 Team Schemes page.(9-23-2009)

    • Vaseline Men Lotion on the #1 at Dover: Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, announced on July 23, 2009 that Vaseline MEN Lotion would be an associate sponsor of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. As part of that relationship, Vaseline MEN will be the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. at this weekend's race at Dover International Raceway.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-23-2009)

    • Newman's Team Grabs Tissot Pit Road Award in New Hampshire: Ryan Newman's crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was the second Tissot win of the season for the #39 team, which became the fifth multiple winner of the weekly competition. The first Tissot win for Newman's U.S. Army/Haas Automation team came at the April race in Phoenix. Newman's Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road in New Hampshire - 137.708 seconds - during the 300-lap race at the 1.058-mile oval. The workmanlike effort on pit road helped Chase driver Newman to a seventh-place finish. The #39 over-the-wall crew at New Hampshire consisted of: Scott Brzozowski (front tire changer), Josh Mick (front-tire carrier), Andrew Turner (jackman), Daniel Rankin (rear-tire changer), Jason Fowler (rear-tire carrier), Michael Moore (gas man), Andy Rueger (catch can) and Jay Guarneri (windshield, 8th man). The team's pit crew coach is Joe Piette. The pit crew win, which pays $5,000, lifted the #39 team into a tie for fourth place in the Tissot standings with its Stewart-Haas Racing teammate - the #14 crew for Tony Stewart. Greg Biffle's crew leads the competition 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)(9-23-2009)

    • Truex Jr. donates 100 Dover tickets to fans in need: #1- Martin Truex Jr., always a fan favorite at the Monster Mile, has purchased 100 tickets to the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race for select fans who were unable to renew their September race tickets due to hardships brought on by the economic downturn or other unforeseen circumstances. Loyal Dover International Speedway ticket holders were contacted and told of Truex's special donation of tickets to the upcoming "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" race. The list was compiled from letters or personal stories shared by fans during the ticket renewal period for the Sept. 25-27 race weekend. "When we heard that Dover had a list of fans who wanted to come to the race but couldn't for one reason or another, we decided to take care of them," said Truex, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation is always looking for new ways to help those in need in the NASCAR community, and we felt this was a great way to support fans who wanted to be at the race in Dover. Dover obviously has a special place in my heart."(Dover PR)(9-23-2009)


      News from September 22, 2009

    • #18 car too low in post race inspection: UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch, who missed making the Chase by just eight points, finished 5th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the left front of the #18 M&M's Toyota was too low in post-race inspection, and he could be penalized by NASCAR this week, usually announced on Tuesday afternoons.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-20-2009)
      UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of a rule infraction found last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The #18 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8 1B (the height of the car at the left front fender did not meet the required specification; too low in post-race inspection) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Kyle Busch and car owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR PR)(9-22-2009)

    • Broken Crankshaft cause of Kahne's blown engine: The conspiracy theorists are out in force, and this time their focus is #9-Kasey Kahne and that Richard Petty Motorsports engine that blew up last weekend at New Hampshire. Certainly everyone at RPM would deny that the engine was the victim of sabotage. They see each other work hard every day and wouldn’t be able to fathom that anyone they call a friend or a colleague would do such a thing. That’s the way Bill Pink, who directs RPM’s engines at the track, thinks. But he says there’s more than just the feeling that no one would do something to hurt the engine. He says the engines were built and done and ready for New Hampshire before the announcement of the merger Sept. 7. And he says that the crankshaft has been broken five times in tests, just never in a car on the track, and that everyone in the engine shop has known that the crankshafts were ticking time bombs. “We all know these cranks do not work,” Pink says. “But we got painted into a corner where we had to use them [with the R6 engine]. ... Unfortunately, we’ve got more of them just like it sitting here. Everybody was saying this was going to happen sooner or later. Fortunately, it happened later because we got in the Chase. We’ve been all holding our breath. And if the [team owners] Gilletts wouldn’t have announced [the merger], the crank still would have broke." In fact, Kahne will use the old R5 engine at Dover this week until some new, stronger crankshafts that have been in the process of being made are ready.(SceneDaily)(9-22-2009)

    • Hamlin runs over foot of #07 crew member UPDATE 2: during 2nd caution pit satops of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, #11-Hamlin ran over the foot of Clint Pittman, the rear tire changer for #07-Mears. Pittman went to the Infield Care Center for Xrays.(9-20-2009)
      UPDATE: Clint Pittman, rear tire changer on the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy of Casey Mears, was clipped by #11-Denny Hamlin during pit stops on Lap 69. Pittman injured his foot and was replaced by Shane Church, who practices with the backup crew at Richard Childress Racing. Mears restarted 27th following the accident and remained outside the top 25 until a call to stay out on Lap 193 by crew chief Todd Berrier. Mears restarted sixth and finished 13th, his third top 15 finish in the last six races. Pittman will see an orthopedic doctor on Monday. Doctors at the track infield care center suspected a small fracture to the top of his foot, according to RCR pit crew coordinator Matt Clark.(FoxSports)(9-21-2009)
      UPDATE 2: Last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Clint Pittman, rear-tire changer on the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy, was injured when another car ran over his right foot during a pit stop. X-rays and medical consultation this week showed his foot was fractured, which has resulted in him being sidelined for the rest of the season while it heals.(RCR PR)(9-22-2009)

    • Jim Beam leaving NASCAR? UPDATE: hearing that Jim Beam, sponsor for #7-Robby Gordon in 13-15 races a year, will not return to sponsor Gordon or any other team in 2010 and will concentrate on sponsoring Kid Rock's world tour.(9-19-2009)
      UPDATE: Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., maker of Jim Beam Bourbon, the world’s number one-selling Bourbon, announced that its marketing plans for 2010 will not include a return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As a result, the company will not extend its current partnership with Robby Gordon Motorsports in 2010. The company plans to focus its marketing resources for Jim Beam into other platforms that directly impact the end consumer. “It was a difficult decision to transition away from being a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team sponsor,” said Bill Newlands, president Beam Global Spirits & Wine U.S. “We always take a hard look at our marketing resources and how we can best interact with legal purchase age consumers. After an extensive review of our marketing strategy, we have come up with new alternatives to fuel growth for Jim Beam in 2010.” Jim Beam will continue its support of #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports for the remainder of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup series schedule.“Jim Beam has been a great partner for the past five years,” said Robby Gordon. “I would like to thank them for their support through the years. They have been with me since we started the team in 2005, helping build our Cup team and aiding in its success. Great relationships have been formed, and I expect those to continue well into the future.”(RGM PR)(9-22-2009)

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 22 -- 1998: Happy 21st birthday, Colin Braun, who is fifth in the Camping World Truck Series points standings and picked up his first win this year at Michigan.(NASCAR.com)

    • NASCAR asks for evaluations of Mayfield: NASCAR asked a federal judge Monday to order a mental and physical examination on suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield to determine if he has a substance-abuse problem and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The filing in U.S. District Court includes three affidavits and one deposition from four different people who claim to have witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamines multiple times since 1999. NASCAR asked U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen to order Mayfield to report for a psychiatric, neuropsychological and physical examination in November. NASCAR selected the physicians it wants to examine Mayfield. Mayfield did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.(full story at the Associated Press)(9-22-2009)

    • Martin to make 750th Cup start: At Dover International Speedway on Sept. 27, #5-Mark Martin will make his 750th career Sprint Cup start. Martin will become only the ninth driver to reach this mark in Sprint Cup's 61-year history. In his 749 Cup starts, he has earned 40 victories, 253 top-five finishes and 411 top-10s. He has driven 274,781.4 miles during his 27-year career. Martin was honored during pre-race ceremonies at Bristol Motor Speedway for making his 1,000th career NASCAR start.(HMS)(9-22-2009)

    • New Hampshire Overnight TV Ratings down: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a 2.5 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 21.9% lower than the 3.2 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008.(SceneDaily), for race by race TV Ratings and more, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(9-22-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #14-Tony Stewart and #19-Elliott Sadler have the longest current streak of finishing races at 50 of drivers who have ran all the races. #43-Reed Sorenson actually has a longer streak, at 53 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. #9-Kahne got his first DNF of the season at New Hampshire and it ended RPM's streak at 156 races with a DNF by any of their drivers. 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 22 [in 23 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 18 [in 21 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: #12-Stremme and #96/#71-BLabonte, both with 5.

    • Fair Park panel considers new Milwaukee Mile deal: The future of auto racing at the Milwaukee Mile got a little brighter on Monday. The Wisconsin State Fair Park Board's executive committee met in closed session Monday to discuss a proposed lease agreement with Historic Mile LLC, the latest group that wants to promote races at the historic racetrack. The proposed agreement, which the full Wisconsin State Fair Park Board is expected to consider next Monday, calls for a considerably smaller license fee than the previous two race promoters were asked to pay. Under the new agreement, Historic Mile will be asked to pay $180,000 a year for the first five years of the 10-year deal. Historic Mile also has the option of deferring up to $120,000 of the first year's fee and $60,000 of the second year's fee. By June 30, 2014, the fee for each of the remaining years of the initial term will be negotiated; the fee will not be less than $198,000. The proposed agreement with Historic Mile appears intended to give the new group as much help as possible to stage races at the track. In return, Historic Mile also agreed to pay for improvements that sanctioning bodies such as NASCAR and the Indy Racing League might require in the future. In anticipation of the new group reaching agreement with State Fair, NASCAR scheduled a June 18 Camping World Truck Series at the track, followed the next day by a Nationwide Series race. However, NASCAR and the IRL are collectively owed an estimated $2 million from previous unpaid sanction fees. Asked if his group had satisfied that debt, Machi said: "We made NASCAR happy." He declined to provide further details. Under the proposed deal, State Fair can terminate its agreement with Historic Mile if by Sept. 30 of each year it cannot get a contract and dates for NASCAR races. IRL has not scheduled a race at the track in 2010.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(9-22-2009)

    • Talladega Superspeedway Fan Appreciation Day a success:As early as 8:00am on Sunday, fans were lining up in front of Talladega Superspeedway to take their vehicles on a lap around the 2.66 mile tri-oval during Fan Appreciation Day. Officials estimate 12,000 fans attended the event. Some came from as far away as Indiana and Florida, but all left with a story to tell. "This was payback to my dad," said Mike McAnally from Gulf Shores, Ala. "Dad used to be a sheriff and worked security at the races a long time ago. When I was about 10, dad got to do a track drive like this. I remember when we went into Turn One I got scared and made him stop. When I got my track ride voucher for attending the Aaron's 499, I called him up and told him he was going to get a chance to drive Talladega again."
      Jack Wilson of Tennyson, Ind. said he and his wife made the drive to Talladega just to take their new Corvette around the track. "I was hoping they would really let me open her up," said Wilson. "But they had a truck pacing everyone. It was still worth the trip just to experience going around those turns. We had a good time."
      After taking their turn driving around the track, fans enjoyed lunch provided by Talladega Superspeedway, Pepsi and Golden Flake, a Q&A and autograph signing with Richard Brickhouse, Dave Marcis, Sterling Marlin and track president Rick Humphrey and a free concert by Darryl Worley. Tickets are still available for the upcoming Oct. 30 - Nov. 1 AMP Energy 500 Weekend. The AMP Energy 500 is Race Number Seven in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and a critical factor in determining the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.(TSS)(9-22-2009)

    • National Tailgating League to hold "Monster" cornhole tournament at Dover: The National Tailgating League (The NTL), a newly formed organization created to sanction and execute organized tailgating games including Cornhole, Ladder Golf and Washer Toss competitions, will ho;d the first ever "Monster Mile" Cornhole tournament in conjunction with next month's Sept. 25-27, 2009 NASCAR race weekend at Dover International Speedway. The doubles Cornhole tournaments will take place in the FanZone at Dover International Speedway and will be open to all race fans and the general public. The NTL, which held its inaugural event during the May race weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, put on a massive Cornhole tournament recently in Bristol, Tenn., as hundreds of tailgaters faced off for various race-related prizes and thousands of dollars in cash. Because of the success of those inaugural events, NTL Founder and President Todd Hirschfeld is bringing this tailgating phenomenon to Dover, a market with a high concentration of NASCAR fans and tailgating enthusiasts. In addition to the $2,500 purse for Sunday's main event tournament, participants in Saturday's amateur Cornhole tournaments will compete for race-related experiences such as suite passes, autographed items, and Monster Racing driving experiences in Dover. Interested race fans and gamers that want to participate in one of the NTL doubles Cornhole tournaments during the Dover weekend can reserve a spot by signing up today at www.TheNTL.com or can visit the tournament site starting as early as Friday, Sept. 25. Each of the five weekend tournaments will hold up to 64 teams of two, and sign-ups are on a first-come, first-serve basis.(DIS)(9-22-2009)

    • Indy double-header in 2010?: Next summer's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis could be part of a novel double-header -- with NASCAR's Grand American sports cars also running at the Speedway on the Formula One road course during the Brickyard 400 weekend. "It's a matter of how they might be able to change over to the road course from the oval," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. NASCAR ran both the Grand Am and Sprint Cup events the same day at Daytona in July, in what is seen as a test of track changeover techniques and promotions for other similar double-header weekends for NASCAR's stock cars and sports cars. "But Daytona is a lot different than Indianapolis," Helton points out. "It used to take a long time (as much as six to eight hours) to change over Daytona from one to the other. But they've figured out how to cut time down."(MikeMulhern.net)(9-22-2009)


      News from September 21, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 21 -- 2002: After going winless in his first 62 Nationwide Series races, Scott Wimmer wins the MBNA All-American Heroes 200 at Dover to begin a stretch of four wins in eight races.(NASCAR.com)

    • Notes and Facts from New Hampshire:
      * Mark Martin won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was his 40th Cup victory in his 749th career start. Martin took sole possession of 16th on NASCAR's all-time win list. It was his fifth victory in 2009, leading all drivers.
      * Martin scored his first Cup win in 26 races at New Hampshire. His previous best New Hampshire finish was second, which he did three times. He became the 10th different winner in the past 10 races at New Hampshire.
      * Martin scored his fourth straight top-5 finish, extending a streak that began at Bristol.
      * Hendrick Motorsports scored its seventh victory at New Hampshire, tying Roush Fenway Racing for the most by any owner in the 30 Cup races at New Hampshire. Martin scored the ninth win for Hendrick Motorsports this season.
      * Chevrolet has scored 13 wins in 2009, leading all manufacturers. Toyota has nine, Dodge has three and Ford has two.
      * Denny Hamlin (second) has scored seven straight top-10 finishes in a streak that began at the second Pocono race.
      * Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at New Hampshire. He led the most laps (105). This marked Montoya's 100th career start.
      * Jimmie Johnson (fourth) has led in 38 of the 51 Chase races. Johnson earned the most bonus points (130) in the first 26 races. Johnson is the only driver who has led in all 17 superspeedway races this season (restrictor-plate races excluded).
      * Brian Vickers (11th) extended a 10-race streak of top-15 finishes that began at Daytona in July.
      * Tony Stewart (14th) has finished outside the top 10 in the past five races. He has scored 18 top-10 finishes in 27 races this season.
      * Jeff Burton (16th) has finished 16th or worse in the past 13 races, since Michigan in June.
      * Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 35th in his 350th consecutive Cup race.
      * Elliott Sadler (eighth) and Stewart each have been running at the finish in the past 50 races, the longest current streak. Sadler posted his best finish since posting a fifth in the 2009 Daytona 500 [Note: Reed Sorenson has been running at the finish of 53 races but didn't run at Infineon in 2008].(ESPN)(9-21-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown for New Hampshire: 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.
      Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Sylvania 300
      Total number of commercials: 115
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 53
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 26
      Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 20
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:26 PM
      Total minutes: 206
      Minutes of race broadcast: 153
      Minutes of commercials: 53
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 3
      Total race brdcst time 153 Total comm. brdcst time 53
      For links to the report, past races, selected drivers, see my 2009 TV Commercials page.(9-21-2009)

    • Jack Daniel's to Conclude NASCAR Program: Brown-Forman will conclude its Jack Daniel's NASCAR program and will not extend its sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing's #07 team. A change in Brown-Forman's spending priorities led to the decision to conclude the sponsorship that began in 2005. The Brown-Forman/Jack Daniel's partnership with RCR will continue for the remainder of the 2009 racing season and the entire team is committed to being competitive on the track each and every race. "Jack Daniel's has enjoyed a good five-year run with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and NASCAR, and we are pleased with the overall performance of our sponsorship program," said Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel's. "We have enjoyed building strong relationships with the people in Richard's organization and throughout NASCAR. While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to revaluate our spending and we've concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment. We want to thank the many friends and fans of the Jack Daniel's 07 Racing Team, and we can't say enough about your incredible support over the last five years. And, as we have since 1866, we will continue to find ways to thank you and keep your loyalty of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey." Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel's, and RCR are particularly pleased to have taken a leadership role in communicating a responsible drinking message throughout its NASCAR sponsorship through its core message of Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly, featured in all NASCAR promotional materials, including on the race car itself.
      "Brown-Forman has been a great partner of RCR for the past five years through its Jack Daniel's brand," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "They quickly became a NASCAR-industry leader in the promotion of the Jack Daniel's brand through the Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly messaging, which our fans have embraced. We understand the shift in their spending priorities during these tough economic times and the #07 Jack Daniel's Racing program will continue to provide that successful platform for the rest of the 2009 season. We have built many valuable relationships with the loyal Brown-Forman employees and their distributors during our partnership and look forward to maintaining those relationships in the future."(RCR)(9-21-2009)

    • NASCAR explains caution at end of race at New Hampshire: NASCAR officials waited most of the last lap before calling a caution and ending the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway because of #44-AJ Allmendinger's spin on the frontstretch. Even after calling the caution, it created confusion among the drivers, some of whom raced to the finish line. "We were waiting to see if [Allmendinger] could get going and get out of the way,'' said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "You wait as long as you can to try to not affect the outcome of a race. We don't like the race to end under caution.''(Roanoke Times)(9-21-2009)

    • Could be minor tweaks to testing 'ban': At NASCAR's crew chiefs meeting here [NHMS] Saturday morning, Sprint Cup teams were given a few tweaks on the car-of-tomorrow and on testing for 2010, but it's unclear if more might be coming. NASCAR officials are apparently leaning toward okaying Greenville-Pickens Speedway [SC] for Cup testing next season, to give teams a less expensive testing venue – a track closer to their Mooresville, NC, shops. But some teams say they would continue flying/driving down to places like New Smyrna in Florida for testing anyway.
      Teams report that Texas World Speedway in College Station, TX, may be ground smoother, to eliminate bumps. And if softwalls are installed there, the track could be a good testing venue too, since it's not on the NASCAR tour. Greg Biffle ran a few laps at Texas World in testing earlier this year, but he said at 218 mph, the bumps and the lack of soft walls, the track was too dangerous.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-21-2009)

    • Crew chief changes at Roush? There is supposedly a meeting planned at Roush Fenway Racing featuring General Manager Robbie Reiser and representatives from Ford. Could crew chief changes be in RFR's future? One rumor circulating NHMS Sunday morning had veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig connecting with former Roush racer Jeff Burton at RCR. Not so, Fennig said. "After 13 years with Jack, my goal is to retire from Roush Racing," Fennig said. "But I'm getting too old to be on the road." Another scenario places Fennig in a research and development role. Fennig says testing suits him just fine.(FoxSports)(9-21-2009)

    • Hamlin runs over foot of #07 crew member UPDATE: during 2nd caution pit satops of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, #11-Hamlin ran over the foot of Clint Pittman, the rear tire changer for #07-Mears. Pittman went to the Infield Care Center for Xrays.(9-20-2009)
      UPDATE: Clint Pittman, rear tire changer on the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy of Casey Mears, was clipped by #11-Denny Hamlin during pit stops on Lap 69. Pittman injured his foot and was replaced by Shane Church, who practices with the backup crew at Richard Childress Racing. Mears restarted 27th following the accident and remained outside the top 25 until a call to stay out on Lap 193 by crew chief Todd Berrier. Mears restarted sixth and finished 13th, his third top 15 finish in the last six races. Pittman will see an orthopedic doctor on Monday. Doctors at the track infield care center suspected a small fracture to the top of his foot, according to RCR pit crew coordinator Matt Clark.(FoxSports)(9-21-2009)

    • Martin down to four tracks without a win: There are now four current race tracks the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at that #5-Mark Martin has not won a Sprint Cup race. Martin also ran five races at Nashville and four races at Riverside and didn't win at either:
      Pocono: 0 for 45 with six finishes of 2nd, last in 8/2004
      Daytona: 0 for 48 with a best finish of 2nd in 2/2007
      Indianapolis: 0 for 16 with a best finish of 2nd in 8/1998 and 7/2009
      Homestead: 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2005
      Won at Chicago on 7-11-2009 after failing to win 8 times
      Won at New Hampshire on 9-20-2009 after failing to win there 24 times
      (9-21-2009)

    • Montoya blows off interview, in trouble?: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya may be in trouble with NASCAR – certainly with its PR operations -- after an incident in which he blew off a pre-planned satellite interview with a major California Fox affiliate, Sacramento's KTXL. Montoya and NASCAR both are now on that station's D-list. And Sacramento is, of course, the state capital, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds forth. Schwarzenegger typically attends NASCAR events in that state, and will likely be at Southern California's Auto Club Speedway in a few weeks for the California 500 chase race. Montoya was doing a routine round of Sprint Cup championship chase interviews [Saturday?] in advance for the first race of the chase, but when 5 o'clock rolled around, he took off his mike and walked off the NASCAR set. Much to the chagrin of the KTXL reporters who had been patiently awaiting their NASCAR-scheduled spot in the interview line. See the video of the incident and Jim Crandell's commnetary about it and NASCAR's waning popularity at fox40.com.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-21-2009)

    • Kyle Busch has triple 'won' at six tracks: New Hampshire became the sixth track at which #18-Kyle Busch has won a Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series race, and to appreciate that accomplishment consider this: Only 20 drivers in history have won even one race in each of NASCAR's three national series. Busch won the Truck Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Concord Monitor), for the list of drivers who have won in all three series, see my All Time Wins page.(9-21-2009)


      News from September 20, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 20 -- 1997: Joe Bessey wins his only Nationwide Series race in a career spanning 15 seasons, beating Randy LaJoie by .495 seconds in the MBNA 200 at Dover. Bessey finishes his career with four top-fives and 20 top-10s in 163 starts.(NASCAR.com)

    • NASCAR Now Roundtable: NASCAR on ESPN analysts Ray Evernham, Ricky Craven and Boris Said will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program on Monday, Sept. 21, at 5:00pm/et with host Allen Bestwick.

    • Martin wins at New Hampshire (revised): #5-Mark Martin won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 1st win at New Hampshire, 5th win of 2009 and 40th of his career. #11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #42-Montoya, #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #2-Busch, #39-Newman, #19-Sadler, #16-Biffle and #33-Bowyer. Other Chase drivers finishes: #83-Vickers finished 11th; #14-Stewart 14th; #24-Gordon 15th; #99-Edwards 17th; and #9-Kahne lost an engine early and finished 38th [his 1st DNF of 2009]. There were 11 cautions for 48 caution laps and there were 20 lead changes among 10 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, September 21 at 3:00 am/et; ESPN Classic: Monday, September 21 at 12:00pm/et; SPEED, Wednesday, September 23 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my New Hampshire Race Results Page.(9-20-2009)

    • #18 car too low in post race inspection: #18-Kyle Busch, who missed making the Chase by just eight points, finished 5th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the left front of the #18 M&M's Toyota was too low in post-race inspection, and he could be penalized by NASCAR this week, usually announced on Tuesday afternoons.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-20-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
      #5-Mark Martin won the SYLVANIA 300, his 40th victory in 749 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fifth victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his first victory and 14th top-10 finish in 26 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
      #11-Denny Hamlin (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in eight races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2009.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
      #20-Joey Logano (21st) was the highest finishing rookie.
      #5-Mark Martin leads the point standings by 35 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-20-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after New Hampshire, Chase race 1 of 10; Season race 27 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #5-Mark Martin [5 wins], 5230, finished 1st at New Hampshire
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 5195, -35, 4th
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5195, -35, 2nd
      4) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 5175, -55, 3rd
      5) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5165, -65, 6th
      6) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 5156, -74, 14th
      7) #39-Ryan Newman, 5151, -79, 7th
      8) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5140, -90, 11th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 5138, -92, 9th
      10) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 5128, -102, 15th
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 5117, -113, 17th
      12) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5069, -161, 38th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(9-20-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC - the OLD way - Driver Points Standings
      [after New Hampshire, race 27 of 36]:
      pos, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #14-Tony Stewart, 3932, --
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3745, -187
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3699, -233
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3666, -266
      5) #5-Mark Martin, 3481, -451
      6) #2-Kurt Busch, 3477, -455
      7) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3426, -506
      8) #39-Ryan Newman, 3423, -509
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 3397, -535
      10) #16-Greg Biffle, 3387, -545
      11) #18-Kyle Busch, 3350, -582
      12) #83-Brian Vickers, 3333, -599
      13) #9-Kasey Kahne, 3329, -603
      14) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3259, -673
      15) #33-Clint Bowyer, 3193, -739
      16) #00-David Reutimann 3175, -757
      (9-20-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Dover:
      No changes the spread between 35th and 36th now up to 130 points
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2197, +318
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 2009, 130 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 1879, 130 points out of 35th
      37) #71-Gilliland-Labonte/TRG: 1631, -378
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      (9-20-2009)

    • Penalty Report - New Hampshire:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #37 Pre-Race to the rear, tail end, engine change
      #87 Pre-Race to the rear, tail end, ?
      #9, 67, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #07, 68, Lug nut(s) not installed, pit
      #09, 88, Lug nut(s) not installed, pit
      #43, 168, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #98, 169, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #55, 169, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #34, 169, Pitting before pit road is open. tail end
      #82, 194, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, tail end
      #88, 284, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-20-2009)

    • added some schemes from New Hampshire: #16 3M/Scotch, #75 EZPC Backup, #47 Bushs Baked Beans/Market Basket, #51 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, #36 Wave Energy Drink, #98 Sylvania Dot-It/Menards, #1 Rain X, #7 Sylvania, #96 Northern Tool+Equipment, #24 National Guard/Yellow Ribbon (9-20-2009)

    • Tryson shut out at Penske Shop: #2-Penske Racing crew chief Pat Tryson says he's only welcome at the race shop for the once-weekly debrief meeting. Because Tryson is moving to Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of this season, the team does not want him present during any preparations for 2010. "They want me to focus on this year's stuff and they've got stuff going on at the shop for next year, so they're going to work on that," Tryson said before Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I'll be communicating by e-mail and phones, and I'll be in there for driver debrief on Tuesdays. Tuesday is the only day I'm welcome." It could make things difficult as Tryson and driver Kurt Busch attempt to win the championship this season. But Tryson says he's still committed to the #2 team, and can do a lot of his planning from home. But Penske vice president of operations Mike Nelson said the team is striking the right balance by involving Tryson in this year's planning and keeping him from the shop during preparations for 2010. "It really breaks down to 2009 vs. 2010. He's not there for the discussions that we have about 2010. That's a lot of what we're doing at the shop right now," Nelson said. "The 2009 stuff - that's something that he needs to be involved with and there's no change in his involvement with Kurt. That's the meeting that Kurt comes in for on Tuesdays. We're trying to leave that part of it seamless. We're trying not to affect anything for 2009, it's just that it doesn't make any sense for him or for us to sit down and discuss what we're doing in 2010." Tryson said he does not have permission to be at MWR the other days of the week so he can prepare for being Martin Truex Jr.'s crew chief next year. "I'm still working for Penske, and that's all I'm worried about," Tryson said. "I'm just worried about winning the championship. You can do a lot of it via e-mail, so it's not that big a deal. The biggest thing is the lack of communication with the guys, seeing the guys."(Associated Press)(9-20-2009)

    • NASCAR says no major rules changes for 2010: NASCAR officials told Sprint Cup crew chiefs Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that the moratorium on testing at sanctioned tracks is expected to extend through the 2010 season. In an attempt to cut costs, NASCAR announced last November that instead of having official NASCAR scheduled tests throughout the year, there would be a one-year moratorium on series-wide testing and teams also would be prohibited from testing at any track that sanctioned a race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck and East and West series. Previously, teams could not test on their own at tracks of the series they competed in. In a meeting with crew chiefs Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials said teams should not expect any major rule changes for 2010, including no change to the current testing moratorium, sources familiar with the meeting said.(SceneDaily)(9-20-2009)

    • Stewart: Regular-season champ should be honored: #14-Tony Stewart isn't complaining about the way NASCAR resets the points when the Chase for the championship starts. The two-time series champion knows the rules are the rules and besides, he won his second title during the second year of the Chase in 2005. But after dominating the regular season, Stewart admits he'd like something -- anything really -- for his efforts besides a spot behind top-seeded Mark Martin when the 10-race chase begins on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Martin starts the Chase with a 10-point cushion over Stewart and Jimmie Johnson based on his series-high four wins this year. "I think there should be a $1 million bonus to be leading the points, and not just because it's us," said Stewart. "I think there should be something. It doesn't upset me that the points get upset, but I do think there should be a reward for the team that is leading after 26 weeks. That's an accomplishment."(Associated Press/ESPN)(9-20-2009)

    • Special scheme for #11 Hauler: The world's biggest FedEx box? The Joe Gibbs Racing hauler that ferries driver #11-Denny Hamlin's Toyota from shop to track has a new look. The trailer's been wrapped to resemble one of the sponsor's distinct packages. It's a Chase-only endeavor.(SceneDaily)(9-20-2009)

    • David Poole to be honored by Gaston HoF: David Poole, the late motorsports writer and broadcaster, will be among those honored by the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame on Monday [Sept 21st]. The David Poole Service Award will go to longtime youth baseball coach Mack Hanna. Hanna's son, Mark, will accept the award from UNC-Chapel Hill women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell. Poole, a Charlotte Observer and ThatsRacin.com writer, grew up in West Gastonia and played on teams coached by Hanna, the award's first recipient. The hall, in its 25th year, also will salute a leading supporter of the county's sports programs with its annual Bennie Cunningham Fan of the Year Award and induct four men. They are longtime golf broadcaster John Derr, Clemson golf coach Larry Penley, former amateur golf champion Charlie Smith and former Virginia Union basketball coach Dave Robbins. Broadcaster Mark Packer, who played college golf with Penley, will be the keynote speaker.(Charlotte Observer) and see a nice article posted by NASCAR Scribe Monte Dutton at NASCAR This Week..(9-20-2009)

    • New Hampshire Rookie Notes: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 12 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Logano posted a 14th-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the 19th time this season. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 25 points (215-190) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 20 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. All three members of the 2009 Raybestos Rookie class have scored at least one top-10 finish. Ryan Newman is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the September race at New Hampshire. He scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in 2002 when he held off Kurt Busch in a race rain shortened by rain to 207 of 300 laps. Newman is also the only freshman driver to win the pole for the fall race and is also the only first-year driver to lead the most laps in the fall event (he led three times for 143 laps). The 2006 race marked the first time two Raybestos Rookies finished inside the top-10 in the fall race at New Hampshire: Denny Hamlin (fourth) and J.J. Yeley (eighth).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), see standings, history and more notes/facts on my 2009 Rookies page.(9-20-2009)

    • NASCAR Foundation Annual Blood Drive Collects 4,861 Pints: NASCAR fans across the country came out by the thousands last week for The NASCAR Foundation's Fourth Annual Blood Drive presented by Nationwide Insurance. A total of 4,861 units of blood were collected through the national effort, helping to save thousands of lives. The NASCAR Foundation Annual Blood Drive, held at 34 locations across the country on Sept. 11, has become one of the largest national drives of its kind, helping to save thousands of lives since the program began in 2006. In 2009, the top three collection sites were Michigan International Speedway with 1,297 units, Pocono Raceway with 710 units and Daytona International Speedway with 414 units collected. Through a partnership with the American Red Cross, the Drive seeks to help meet the on-going need for more than 39,000 blood donations every day and to help lessen the blood shortages that often occur during the summer months and around holidays. Nationwide Insurance, the first corporate office in the country to have an on-site American Red Cross blood donor center, presented the drive for the second year and hosted drives at four corporate offices in 2009. A few tracks held drivers after Sept. 11th.(NASCAR)(9-20-2009)

    • New Hampshire Sprint Cup race sold out: Officials said today's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a sellout, and, with an additional 3,000 tickets being sold for the infield, a crowd of about 104,000 is expected. NHMS came up a thousand or so tickets short of a sellout for its June race. "Hopefully, we'll have the biggest crowd ever in the history of the Speedway," said Smith, who would love to see lights at the track as a major addition for next season. Yes, it's been a pretty good year at the racetrack. "Across the board, with the economy the way it is, we're probably averaging a 7 to 10 percent decline in attendance," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications. "But this track is holding its own pretty well. These fans are avid. There are no more avid fans than there are at this racetrack." That's a major reason, Hunter said, that he doesn't see NHMS losing one of its two annual Sprint Cup races, something that some fans feared when Bruston Smith's company [SMI] -- which owns seven other speedways -- bought the track. "When you can sell 90-100,000 tickets, to take a chance on moving it somewhere where you may sell 60-70,000 -- to me, that doesn't make any sense," Hunter said.(New Hampshire Union Leader)(9-20-2009)


      News from September 19, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 19 -- 1999: In his 180th Cup Series start, Joe Nemechek wins the Dura Lube/Kmart 300 at New Hampshire for his first Cup victory. He wins under caution; Tony Stewart is second and Bobby Labonte third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Race Coverage of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009.
      Television (TV): ESPN at 2:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 1:00 pm/et; green flag approx 2:15pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, September 21 at 3:00 am/et
      ESPN Classic: Monday, September 21 at 12:00pm/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, September 23 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - New Hampshire: The selections of pit stalls for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #42-Montoya chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #14-Stewart took pit stall 19, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #2-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 18th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #71-Labonte, who starts 8th and now plans to run the entire race.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the New Hampshire Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-19-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #42-Montoya 130.376
      #2-Busch 129.843
      #1-Truex Jr. 129.843
      #5-Martin 129.820
      #48-Johnson 129.758
      slowest: #64-Wallace 126.174 & #37-Raines 126.278
      Happy Hour is scheduled to air on ESPN2 via tape delay at 6:45pm/et
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my New Hampshire Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-19-2009)

    • New Hampshire Happy Hour practice results for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      (by current Chase Points Standings)
      1) #5-Mark Martin, was th overall fastest
      2) #14-Tony Stewart, 10th
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 5th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 7th
      5) #9-Kasey Kahne, 14th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 8th
      7) #2-Kurt Busch, 2nd
      8) #83-Brian Vickers, 18th
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 29th
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 12th
      11) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1st [qual & all 3 practices]
      12) #16-Greg Biffle, 22nd.(9-19-2009)

    • First Saturday practice: for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #42-Montoya 130.131
      #1-Truex Jr. 129.922
      #5-Martin 129.688
      #12-Stremme 129.639 #48-Johnson 129.595
      slowest: #37-Raines 125.018 and #96-Darnell 126.812
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my New Hampshire Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-19-2009)

    • Biffle's house fire caused by gas leak: The fire Friday [9-18] at the Mooresville, NC home owned by #16-Greg Biffle was caused by a gas leak according to the driver. According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department, firefighters were called to the home after police responded to a burglar alarm call. When they arrived at the home on Doolie Road, deputies thought the alarm had been set off by a lightning strike from a line of thunderstorms that had just passed through the area and noticed damage in the front of the home. Deputies contacted the fire department who responded around 6:30 a.m.. Fire fighters spent about 30 minutes getting the fire under control. No injuries were reported but officials Friday put the damage at about $20,000. Biffle who is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series preparing for Sunday’s Sylvania 300, said that the fire was apparently started by a leaking gas fixture.(NASCAR Examiner)(9-19-2009)

    • Jim Beam leaving NASCAR?: hearing that Jim Beam, sponsor for #7-Robby Gordon in 13-15 races a year, will not return to sponsor Gordon or any other team in 2010 and will concentrate on sponsoring Kid Rock's world tour.(9-19-2009)

    • Tryson leaving #2 team due to 'personal reasons': Pat Tryson, crew chief for Kurt Busch and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, spoke to reporters in the NHMS media center on Friday: “One of the reason that I came in here (media center)…there’s been a lot of stuff, read a lot of stuff, heard a lot of stuff (regarding why he is leaving Penske Racing at the end of the year)…I wanted to make it perfectly clear to everybody that the reason that I came to Penske Racing was because of Kurt Busch. The No. 1 reason to stay here at Penske Racing is because of Kurt Busch. My decision (to leave) had nothing to do with Kurt Busch. I just wanted to clear that up. I had to do things for personal reasons and the things that I want to do in my career that doesn’t have anything to do with who’s driving the race car. We’re in this together until the end. We’re gonna try to win the (NASCAR) championship because it means a lot to me. The best thing that could happen to me is to win the championship this year.”(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-19-2009)

    • Stewart has not made Danica an offer: on Thursday's Dan Patrick Show, #14-Tony Stewart discussed the upcoming Chase for the Cup and the possibility he'll ask Danica Patrick to join his team next year. Here are some of his takes ...
      -- Dan asked Stewart if he's going to hire Danica Patrick next season.
      "I have not made her an offer," Stewart said. "The one thing I have done is spend some time talking to her." Stewart said that the two of them have evaluated how it would work. He thinks she should start in the Nationwide series instead of Sprint. But Stewart said they don't have a Truck Series of Nationwide Series team, so that might be a problem. See more and listen to more at the Dan Patrick Show site.(9-19-2009)

    • Labonte may not be able to run full race at NHMS...BUT: After qualifying 8th for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bobby Labonte, driver this week, of the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy said: "I hope we get to race on Sunday. We still don't have enough money to race. We are still looking for a little bit to race on Sunday. Hopefully this will do it. We have a dinner to go to tonight, so maybe some things will come out of it. I am really excited about the run that we had. Slugger (Richard Labbe, crew chief) did a good job. I changed air pressure a little bit and screwed up my first lap some. I knew getting in to three the second lap was definitely going to be better. I was just hoping it was going to more than the normal 2/10ths sometimes. It was. Really proud of all the guys on the TRG Chevy. It was a lot of fun."(Chevy Racing)
      Assoc. SBLI Insurance (Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) will ride on the Bobby Labonte driven #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy [lower 1/4 panel] as an associate sponsor for New Hampshire. SBLI is a leading provider of life insurance products. Established in 1901, the Massachusetts based provider has over $2 billion in assets and operates in 32 states.(TRG)
      AND suppposedly dinner/meetings went well and Labonte will get to run the entire race, no word who the sponsor will be.(9-19-2009)

    • Dodge looking for more teams? Dodge hasn't given up on expanding its 2010 Sprint Cup fleet past the three-car operation of Penske Racing. The manufacturer continues to talk to several small teams with the hope of convincing them to run its product full time. Dodge lost four of its seven full-time cars when Richard Petty Motorsports, which fields the #9 car of Kahne, announced last week it was absorbing Yates Racing and moving to Ford next season.(see more at ESPN Insider)(9-19-2009)

    • Joey Logano Day in Middletown CT: #20-Joey Logano wins fans wherever he goes, but in his native Middletown [CT], even though he moved away when he was 9, they love to claim him as one of their own. There's still family here, so the Loganos make it back frequently, but Thursday the hometown folks had a chance to show the love for the first time since Logano became a household name among racing fans. "This is where our roots are, and you never forget your roots," said Tom Logano, Joey's father. "To be doing what he's doing at his age, he needs their support, he needs all the support he can get. This is the kind of thing that keeps him grounded." Logano received a key to the city from Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, who proclaimed it Joey Logano Day. "I just want to make sure they're all happy, that they all get what they came here to get," said Logano, before the signing and schmoozing began at the local Home Depot. "You want to make the whole world happy. That's hard to do, but that's what I try to do."(Hartford Courant)(9-19-2009)

    • New crew chief for Robby in 2010?: 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)

    • Tire Testing at Daytona on Sept 22/23: #6-David Ragan (Ford), #20-Joey Logano (Toyota), #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota), #12-Brad Keselowski (Dodge) as well as to-be-named driver from Richard Childress Racing (Chevy) are scheduled participate in a Goodyear Tire Test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9:00am to 5:00pm/et.(DIS)(9-19-2009)

    • New NASCAR Show: Versus has signed a multiyear deal with NASCAR to air a fast-paced, up-close HD look at the 12 drivers competing in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. The weekly, half-hour series, Quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will air at 11:00pm/et Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 22. The program will air each week until the conclusion of the 2009 season.(NASCAR)(9-19-2009)

    • Sad News - Betty Moore: Betty Moore, wife of legendary NASCAR car owner Bud Moore [#15 Ford], passed away Friday morning, Sept. 18. She was 83. Bud Moore won back-to-back NASCAR championships in what is now the Cup series with driver Joe Weatherly in 1962-63. From 1961 through 2000, Moore's Spartanburg, S.C.-based operation made 959 starts, winning 63 times. Visitation will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Floyd's Greenlawn Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Sept. 20 at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to: Interim Hospice, 775 Spartan Boulevard, Ste. 101, Spartanburg, S.C. 29301; Sertoma, 1912 East Meyer Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo. 64132; Fernwood Baptist Church, 200 Fernwood Drive, Spartanburg, S.C. 29307. More info and guest book at floydmortuary.com(9-19-2009)


      News from September 18, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept, 18 -- 2004: Ricky Craven, a two-time winner in the Cup Series, makes his debut in the Truck Series, finishing 31st in the Sylvania 200 at New Hampshire. His day ends after 82 laps because of an accident. Travis Kvapil gets the win, followed by Jack Sprague and Johnny Benson Jr.(NASCAR.com)

    • Montoya wins pole at New Hampshire: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a speed of 133.431mph for a new track record [the old record was 133.357mph by Ryan Newman set six years ago]. This is the 3rd track record broken in 2009 after 27 races. The pole is Montoya's 2nd pole of the season and 2nd career pole. #14-Stewart was 2nd fastest followed by #2-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards, #12-Stremme, #1-Truex Jr., #71-BLabonte, #18-Busch and #24-Gordon. Points leader #5-Martin will start 14th. The fastest 43 cars made the race and the two slowest failed to qualify.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #71-Labonte, #66-Blaney, #87-Nemechek, #82-Speed, #64-Wallace, #37-Raines, #09-Almirola and #36-McDowell.
      The two drivers who failed to qualify: #75-Cope and #51-Bean.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying results & order, pole progreession and more on the New Hampshire Starting Lineup/Qualifying Page.(9-18-2009)

    • New Hampshire starting spots for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      1) #5-Mark Martin, starts 14th
      2) #14-Tony Stewart, 2nd
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 16th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4th
      5) #9-Kasey Kahne, 11th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 10th
      7) #2-Kurt Busch, 3rd
      8) #83-Brian Vickers, 26th
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 5th
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 18th
      11) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1st
      12) #16-Greg Biffle, 22nd.(9-18-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Sylvania 300 with a lap of 28.545 seconds, 133.431 mph setting a new track record.
      This is his second pole in 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second pole and 11th top-10 start in 2009.
      This is his first pole in six races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
      #14-Tony Stewart (second) posted his 12th top-10 start of 2009 and his 14th in 22 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
      #2-Kurt Busch (third) posted his 10th top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 15th in 27 races this season.
      #82-Scott Speed (27th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-18-2009)

    • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
      Chevy: #42-Montoya, 133.431 [Track Record], starts 1st
      Dodge: #2-Busch, 132.581, starts 3rd
      Ford: #99-Edwards, 132.012, starts 5th
      Toyota: #11-Hamlin, 132.030, starts 4th

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, September 18, 2009 at 3:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 - 3:00pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor 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 #36-McMurray.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #5-Martin.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #09-Almirola with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #75-Cope.
      See the full qualifying order on the New Hampshire Qualifying Page.(9-18-2009)

    • Friday's practice for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #42-Montoya 132.485
      #29-Harvick 132.383
      #33-Bowyer 132.282
      #14-Stewart 132.278
      #5-Martin 133.232
      slowest: #51-Bean 126.660 & #75-Cope 126.761
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my New Hampshire Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-18-2009)

    • New Hamphsire practice rank for the 2009 Chase Drivers:
      1) #5-Mark Martin, was 5th fastest
      2) #14-Tony Stewart, 4th
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 9th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 10th
      5) #9-Kasey Kahne, 11th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 14th
      7) #2-Kurt Busch, 6th
      8) #83-Brian Vickers, 13th
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 35th
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 21st
      11) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1st
      12) #16-Greg Biffle, 19th.(9-18-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers rank in practice on Friday at New Hampshire:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #71-Bobby Labonte [has past champ to use], 26th fastest overall
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 28th
      #82-Scott Speed, 29th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 33rd
      #64-Mike Wallace, 40th
      #36-Micheal McDowell, 41st
      #37-Tony Raines, 42nd
      #09-Aric Almirola, 43rd
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #75-Derrike Cope, 44th
      #51-Dexter Bean, 45th/last
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my New Hampshire Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-18-2009)

    • Sorenson currently racing for FREE: When Richard Petty Motorsports announced last week a merger with Yates Racing, most considered #43-Reed Sorenson the big loser, since it appeared he was left out of the 2010 driver lineup as a result. He in fact wasn't. He was already gone by that point. Multiple RPM sources confirmed to ESPN.com that team executives approached Sorenson during the summer with a pair of options: (1) Race the remainder of the season for no salary; or (2) take a buyout and go away. Conflicted, frustrated, shocked and confused, Sorenson chose the former. In NASCAR, out of sight is out of mind. And out of mind is out of work. "The decision I made was to keep racing. The reason I did that is I thought it would help me find a job next year," Sorenson said. "And any race car driver that has the choice to sit at home or race is probably going to choose to race, unless they're at the end of their career. I'm 23 years old. I want to have a long future in the sport. I didn't figure sitting at home was a good option to do that." Sorenson would not divulge specifics of his agreement with RPM but did say he was never given a true reason for the development. "They didn't really have much justification for it," he said. "They basically just said, 'This is the deal we have, but you've done nothing wrong. We feel bad.' But it sucked. I don't really get it. It never made sense when it was going down, and it doesn't make sense now. I definitely didn't envision them coming to me halfway through this year and saying this. I felt like I was moving to a team where I could make a home and work with new teammates and maybe be there for five years or whatever it might be. I didn't even get halfway through the year, and this comes up. Then I was told I haven't done anything wrong at the same time. So that's the most sickening thing about it."
      Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson from Mooresville, N.C.-based Motorsports Management, also would neither confirm nor deny that Sorenson was given an ultimatum. He did agree, though, that when he speaks with other team owners and managers about Sorenson's future, the driver's level of desire to compete is often broached. "If people knew the sacrifices he has made to stay on the racetrack, they wouldn't ask that question anymore," Dickerson said. "He's been a great teammate both on and off the track. He stood up for the guys that work on these cars and their families and refuses to let that team be shut down. People think a guy that drafts with you is a good teammate. I think Reed rewrote that definition in this situation."
      Asked for comment for this story, RPM spokesman Drew Brown wrote in an e-mail that "it wouldn't be fair to comment on internal matters relating to Reed's contract. I will say that all of us have had a blast with Reed this season and wish he could be part of us next season, but it's a numbers game." Sorenson will use the final 10 races of the season as an audition for 2010. There are few Sprint Cup rides available, so the hope for Sorenson is a part-time Cup program to supplement a full-time Nationwide ride. "If I have to run full-time Nationwide and part-time Cup to wait until the economy gets better and I get a good full-time ride again, then that would be the best-case scenario," he said. "I just want to race. I don't want to sit around and wait."(in part from ESPN.com)(9-18-2009)

    • GoDaddy.com to sponsor #5 and Martin thru 2011:
      GoDaddy.com has signed an agreement to be the primary sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports' #5 Chevys in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The world's leading registrar of Internet domain names will adorn the hood for 20 races annually, including the season-opening Daytona 500, beginning in 2010. Terms will remain private. Driving the #5 GoDaddy.com Chevys will be current Sprint Cup Series championship points leader Mark Martin, who has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with Hendrick Motorsports fulltime through the 2011 NASCAR season. "Mark Martin is the consummate professional and a very exciting driver, to say the least," said GoDaddy.com CEO and founder Bob Parsons. "He's the sentimental favorite for this year's Sprint Cup championship, and we're stoked to have him driving for Go Daddy next year." Additional sponsorship for the #5 Chevys will be announced at a later date.(HMS)(9-18-2009)

    • Yellow Ribbon featured on #24 car at NHMS: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the National Guard's Yellow Ribbon program will be showcased on the hood of Jeff Gordon's #24 DuPont/National Guard Chevy. Yellow Ribbon helps prepare families for upcoming deployments and educates them on the multiple family programs made available while their soldier is deployed. By providing the families of soldiers the necessary care, support and services, they are able to maintain a normal life through the entire deployment cycle. Visit nationalguard.com/guardracing to learn more about the program. In every outing 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 (April), while he also scored runner-up finishes at Atlanta in March, Michigan in June and Chicago in July. He finished fifth at Darlington in May and third at Richmond on Saturday. Crew chief Steve Letarte has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-542 for Sunday's race at New Hampshire. Gordon drove this particular car to an eighth-place finish at Richmond in May and a second-place finish at New Hampshire in June. Gordon's final race with the National Guard will be at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 25. Friends and family members can share why their current soldier is an inspiration and a hero to them by visiting youreverydayhero.com from Sept. 10-28. Chevy will choose the top-five stories, and the public will vote on the site Oct. 5-22 for its favorite story. The soldier with the most votes will win a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and will be a VIP guest at the Nov. 11 CMA awards, along with their immediate family.(HMS)(9-18-2009)

    • Chase Stats after Richmond: Matt Kenseth never could get his #17 car right at Richmond, and that opened the door for his two Chasers, #83-Brian Vickers and #18-Kyle Busch. While he never challenged for the win, Busch brought home a fifth, but the shocker was Vickers, who stayed within range of Busch in the critical final laps and fought off #77-Sam Hornish and #29-Kevin Harvick to finish a RIR career-best seventh and storm into his first Chase. The eight-point margin was the closest in the six-year history of the format, eclipsing the 15-point margin Ryan Newman held over Jamie McMurray for the final spot in 2004. Had Vickers lost two positions in the final laps, he would have lost on the tie-breaker to Busch, who had four wins to Vickers' one.
      Watch out for #11-Denny Hamlin in Chase VI. He goes to New Hampshire having won Richmond for the first time, and having scored the second most points in the last 13 races. As the only Joe Gibbs entry to make the Chase, all resources at JGR should be available to the #11 Fed Ex Toyota. Denny has made every Chase in his four full seasons.
      Six spots turned over from the 2008 to the 2009 Chase. Out were #18-Kyle Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth (first Chase miss in six years), #33-Clint Bowyer, #31-Jeff Burton, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #29-Kevin Harvick. In: #2-Kurt Busch, #5-Mark Martin, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #9-Kasey Kahne, #39-Ryan Newman and #83-Brian Vickers. Montoya and Vickers are making the Chase for the first time in their careers, same for their teams, Ganassi/Earnhardt and Red Bull Racing. Perhaps a sign that the "new car" has leveled the playing field and created opportunities for other teams to compete.
      Only once, Kurt Busch (7th) in the inaugural 2004 Chase, has the champion come from further than fourth place in points scored during the first 26. Based on that stat, only Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin would have a shot at the title. Twice in five years has the driver with the most wins in the first 26 races won the title, so add Mark Martin, who leads the Chase field with four wins. So, unless we see a repeat of 2004, the champion will come from this group of five. For more Chase Stats, Comparisons and more on my Chase Stats after Richmond page.(9-18-2009)

    • New Hampshire Tire Notes: Teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will be running slightly different tire set-ups at New Hampshire this weekend . . . while both will share Goodyear's left-side tire code (D-4238), they will be running distinct right-side codes . . . Sprint Cup teams will be on the same combination of left- and right-side tires they ran at New Hampshire in June . . . this is the only track at which Cup teams will run this exact set-up, though they do run this left-side code with a different right-side at both Phoenix and Richmond . . . as on most NASCAR ovals this length or less, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. The estimated pit window is every 75-80 laps, based on fuel mileage. See full notes, tire pressures, codes and more on my New Hampshire Race Info - Goodyear section.(9-18-2009)

    • Miller Lite issues challenge to Budweiser: MillerCoors issued a "Beer Car Challenge for Charity" to Anheuser-Busch Inbev, in which the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Kurt Busch and the #9 Budweiser Dodge of Kasey Kahne would race for their respective charity during the 10-week NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. Both cars secured their spots in the Chase last weekend at Richmond. In MillerCoors' proposed challenge, the higher finishing beer car in each race will win $2,500 for its charity, and the higher finisher in the final Chase standings will win $25,000 for the same charity. The #2 Miller Lite Dodge has already announced that, should AB InBev accept the challenge, they will be running for Operation Homefront, an organization that helps military families in need.(Tom Roberts PR)(9-18-2009)

    • 4-H emblem to appear on #24 car at Kansas: National 4-H Week will take off with a speedy start on October 4th, as the 4-H emblem makes its debut appearance in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The well-known national icon will be featured on the 'TV panel' of the #24 DuPont Chevy driven by Jeff Gordon at Kansas Speedway that day. The placement of the 4-H clover on the #24 Chevy was made possible through a generous donation by DuPont, sponsor of both the #24 team and of 4-H. "The appearance of the 4-H emblem on Jeff Gordon's car in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is a wonderful salute to 4-H by DuPont, and an amazing way for us to begin National 4-H Week," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. "Now, millions of current 4-H'ers, 4-H alumni and racing fans alike can watch with excitement as the clover takes to the track for the first time." National 4-H Week is the annual celebration for the 100-year old youth development organization. The highlight of the week includes the highly anticipated, 4-H National Youth Science Day, which brings together millions of youth to participate in the National Science Experiment. This year's experiment, Biofuel Blast, will introduce youth to alternative energy. DuPont is a premier sponsor of 4-H National Youth Science Day and the Biofuel Blast National Science Experiment (4-H Site), see an image of the car on my #24 Team Schemes page.(9-18-2009)

    • Morris Claims Third National Championship In Four Years: Every time Philip Morris thinks he's reached the pinnacle of his racing career, he goes out and tops himself. The Ruckersville, Va., driver did it again this year as he claimed the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship for the third time in four years. The 44-year-old Morris finished the season with his seventh Late Model championship at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Combined with his performance at South Boston Speedway, Morris collected nine wins, 20 top fives and 23 top 10s in 28 starts to outdistance runner-up Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., and Nick Joanides of Woodland Hills, Calif., for NASCAR's top short-track honor. Morris previously won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship in 2006 and 2008. Morris finished with 841 points, pulling away from Rocco (816 points) and Joanides (813) over the final month of the season. Track, state and province, and the top three finishers in the national standings earn invitations to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet in Concord, N.C., Friday, Nov. 13. By virtue of his national championship, Morris also earned a secure spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, to be held at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale Jan. 29-30, 2010. Morris is just the second driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, which dates back to 1982, to win multiple championships. The late Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., won five titles between 1989-1996.(NASCAR)(9-18-2009)

    • "Trackside Pass" Available for New Hampshire: For the first time ever, New Hampshire Motor Speedway fans will have the opportunity to be the ultimate insider at Sunday's Sylvania 300 with the new "Trackside Pass." This allows fans pre-race pit road access; the chance to attend the Town Meeting with speedway officials Bruton Smith, Jerry Gappens, and leaders in the world of motorsports; and admission to the "Trackside Tent" and the turn one and two areas of the infield to watch the first race in the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
      "Trackside Pass" guests are allowed to bring coolers (up to 14-inches), lawn chairs, and blankets into the infield. No scaffolding or platforms are allowed. The "Trackside Pass" is available for a limited time at $150 per person. Passes for minors under the age of 18 can be purchased for $50 without pre-race pit access. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Sylvania 300 weekend events, go online to www.nhms.com, or call the speedway Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.(NHMS)(9-18-2009)

    • "Full House" Expected for Sunday's race at NHMS: A capacity crowd will be on hand for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Speedway officials announced Thursday that other than a "few" single seats and handicap accessible seats, all tickets to the grandstand seating area are gone. A limited number of backstretch, standing-room and infield "Trackside-View" tickets are available. Tickets to these areas are still available in advance by calling the speedway's ticket office at (603) 783-4931, which speedway officials are encouraging. Tickets are also available for Friday's Heluva Good! Pole Day activities, and the NASCAR Camping World East Series Heluva Good! Fall 125, as well as Saturday's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour New Hampshire 100, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Heluva Good! 200, and the ACT Invitational. Tickets start at $20 for adults. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Sylvania 300 weekend events, go online to www.nhms.com, or call the speedway Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.(NHMS)(9-18-2009)

    • Bruton Smith sues Concord, Cabarrus County: Marcus Smith, the son of Lowe's Motor Speedway mogul Bruton Smith defends the lawsuit filed by his father against the city of Concord and Cabarrus County. The suit claims the city and county failed to pay $80 million dollars for roadway and other improvements around the speedway and the ZMax dragstrip. "We've been here for 50 years," Marcus Smith, the President of Speedway Motorsports Inc. said. "It's the investment in the infrastructure around the speedway is what we are looking for and what the initial bargain was with the city and county." Bruton Smith had threatened to pack up the track and move it out of Concord if he did not get some financial help with road improvements. The suit claims letters and agreements were drawn up by the local government promising the money. However, Cabarrus County Commissioner Coy Privette says while others in government may have made promises, "the Cabarrus County Commissioners have never acted officially on any proposal to give him a dime." At an outdoor concert tonight in Concord, residents said they could not see giving Smith any more money. "No, he doesn't deserve that," said Barbara Fink. "I think he has had more than his share," she added. The city and county now have 30 days to respond to the allegations in the suit. Bruton Smith was out of town and could not be reached for comment on the suit.(WCNC.com)(9-18-2009)


      News from September 17, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 17 -- 1988: Driving a car owned by his brother Darrell, Michael Waltrip wins his first Nationwide Series race, beating Tommy Ellis by .685 seconds in the Grand National 200 at Dover. Morgan Shepherd finishes third.(NASCAR.com)

    • RPM & McArdie part ways UPDATE: The deal between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing already has cost one top official his job. Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said on Saturday that Mark McArdle, the vice president and managing director of competition at RPM, was fired on Friday after a heated confrontation with team co-owner George Gillett Jr. at Richmond International Raceway. Petty would not speculate on how many others in the engine and chassis department might lose jobs if RPM uses Roush-Yates engines and Roush Fenway chassis as planned. Petty said RPM is moving from Dodge to Ford because Dodge could not offer financial support for 2010 and beyond. Yates already has a financial commitment for two Ford teams, and Petty hopes that will increase once the economy is restored.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)
      UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports today announced the departure of Mark McArdle, the team's vice-president and managing director of competition. "The company and Mark have decided to go in different directions. It was an amicable departure and we are finalizing some details with him," said Rick Russell, team president. "We appreciate all of Mark's many contributions and wish him well in all future endeavors he may pursue." McArdle said his departure comes after achieving his goal of restoring the team to championship contention. "We have all worked really hard to get Richard Petty Motorsports back in the Chase and we accomplished that goal Saturday night," McArdle said. "Everyone at the team should take great pride in that. I wish the company nothing but success in the future. There will be nobody rooting harder for the #9 to win the championship than me."(RPM)(9-17-2009)

    • Milestone start for Montoya..and a chance to win..on birthday: Not only does the race at New Hampshire mark the first race for #42-Juan Pablo Montoya in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, it also marks his 100th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Montoya wasted no time making his presence known in the NASCAR world after transitioning from open-wheel cars to the NSCS. Montoya became the first Latino to win in NASCAR's premier Series and capture the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year title in his inaugural season. Over the course of three years, Montoya has tallied one pole, one win, seven top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. Montoya will also celebrate his 34th birthday on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (EGR) with a chance to become only the THIRD driver ever in Sprint Cup to win on their birthday [Cale Yarborough did it twice and Kyle Busch once, this past May at Richmond].(9-17-2009)

    • "Bono" goes Modified Racing: Kevin "Bono" Manion, crew chief for #1-Martin Truex Jr., will be pulling double duty this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Manion is bringing his Whelen Modified Car to the race track with Ryan Newman behind the wheel to race in the New Hampshire 100 on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1:00pm/et. This will be the fourth race of the year for Newman and Manion in the Modified Car.(EGR)(9-17-2009)

    • Drive for Diversity adapts academy-style training: The evolution of the Drive for Diversity, NASCAR's leading on track diversity initiative, will continue in 2010 as competitors relocate to Charlotte and enter "academy-style" development under a single team ownership structure. The 909 Group, which took over operational responsibilities for Drive for Diversity in 2009, will own and operate 10 teams fielding Drive for Diversity competitors. Under the Revolution Racing banner, these minority and female drivers will compete on four NASCAR Camping World Series teams and six NASCAR Whelen All-American Series teams. For more information on this and other driver development and Drive for Diversity news, see my Driver Development News & Links page.(9-17-2009)

    • Rain-X to sponsor Truex at NHMS: The Rain-X brand will make its debut as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. for this weekend's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. For more than 30 years, the legendary Rain-X Original Glass Treatment has been dramatically improving wet weather driving visibility by causing precipitation to bead up and roll off vehicle windshields. The #1 Chevy's bright yellow and blue design draws inspiration from the yellow and blue color scheme that has become synonymous with the Rain-X brand. The Rain-X logo will be on the hood of the #1 Chevy along with the giant "beaded" rain drops running off the windshield and down the sides of the front quarter-panels. Race fans, be sure to visit earnhardtganassi.com to get exclusive behind the scenes video content from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and the No. 1 Rain-X Chevrolet. Follow along as Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team members show race fans how the team utilizes Rain-X products both on and off the race track (EGR), see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(9-17-2009)

    • Red Bull Racing re-ups with Toyota: Red Bull Racing Team has extended its partnership with Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The agreement continues a three-year relationship where Toyota has supported Red Bull Racing Team's progression from a start-up organization to a berth in the championship- deciding Chase. "Our partnership with Toyota has been a critical element to the success of Red Bull Racing Team," said Jay Frye, RBRT vice president and general manager. "Both Red Bull Racing Team and Toyota share a common goal of being a championship-contending team. Toyota has supplied the engine and technical support we need to get our teams into victory lane and now the Chase for the Championship. We look forward to the future with Toyota." Toyota has been an integral part of the team's success as both an engine supplier and manufacturer. "We look forward to continuing our relationship with Red Bull Racing Team – a member of our 'freshman class' in 2007 when Toyota joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a manufacturer," said Lee White, president and general manager for Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. We are extremely proud of the team's and Brian's accomplishments, including their first victory and qualifying for the Chase."(RBRT)(9-16-2009)

    • Morgan-McClure Motorsports Shop for sale: Due to a lack of sponsorship, the once familiar #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevy has been absent from the NASCAR game since the end of the 2007 season. And the latest news involving Southwest Virginia's team is reflective of the grim economic climate in the sponsor-driven sport. The entire 18-acre MMM complex, located just off Interstate 81, has been listed for sale with Barnett Commercial Realty of Martinsville, Va. The listed price is $8.5 million. According to team co-owner Tim Morgan, MMM fans still have reason for hope. In fact, Morgan continues to search out potential sponsors for a return to the track to the Sprint Cup Series. "We're working on a couple things in terms of sponsorship and we're looking into different avenues," said Morgan, in a phone interview. "We want to race, but we don't have unlimited funds to where we can wait forever." Thanks to the financial backing of Abingdon-based Alpha Natural Resources, the Morgan-McClure team reunited for the Aug. 22 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Alpha is the third-largest coal producer in the United States. Relying on a mix of former and current crewmen, veteran driver Scott Wimmer beat long odds by earning the 26th starting position in the #4 Chevy. With many longtime MMM fans cheering the team on, Wimmer adapted to the track and finished 29th in his Sprint Cup race event 2007. Morgan said the foundation remains in place at Morgan-McClure. In addition to four full-time employees, MMM has six updated race cars and 20 race-ready engines. "We would have no misgivings about trying to make another race," Morgan said. "We just have to make those business connections."
      According to a listing on the Barnett Commercial Realty Web site, the MMM Motorsports complex is comprised of three buildings totaling nearly 94,000 square feet. The main building includes first and second floor offices, a second floor fitness facility, and auto shop with multiple diagnostic rooms. The grounds also include a 4,500 square foot body shop, and a 14,400 square foot museum building that includes a showroom, gift shop area and storage space.(Bristol Herald Courier)(9-16-2009)

    • Bean to run Juvenile Diabetes scheme at NHMS: Dexter Bean will be sporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on the hood of his #51 Dodge Charger for the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bean is a Type 1 diabetic himself and is using this as an opportunity to raise awareness and help find a cure for Diabetes.(BlackJack Racing)(9-16-2009)

    • #96 to feature new sponsor at NHMS: Erik Darnell returns to pilot the #96 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300. Darnell has made a total of four starts at NHMS – one Nationwide and three Truck Series. He has four top-10 and two top-five finishes. The #96 will sport the colors of Northern Tool + Equipment this weekend at New Hampshire. NT+E will also be the primary sponsor on Darnell's Ford at Kansas in October, Darnell's next Cup Series race.(HOF Racing)(9-16-2009). See image of the scheme on my #96 Team Schemes page.(9-15-2009)

    • Cup start 750 for Mikey: #55 NAPA Auto Parts driver Michael Waltrip will be competing in his 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when the Sylvania 300 gets underway at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Waltrip will start in his 28th Cup race at the 1.058-mile track.(MWR)(9-16-2009)

    • TMS's Gossage: Cancer in remission: Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage says his cancer is in "complete remission" and that he's feeling better than ever. Gossage hasn't disclosed the type of cancer he has, which was diagnosed last fall. A showman known for his enthusiasm and promotional stunts, Gossage took a leave of absence in June after the IndyCar Series race at the track. He returned to work in August and made his first public appearance Thursday to promote the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the track's next race Nov. 8. The 50-year-old Gossage was smiling and at ease, and wore a Sprint Cup cap on his mostly bald head that resulted from chemotherapy.(Associated Press)(9-17-2009)

    • Samsung Mobile Extends Title Sponsorship With TMS: Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) 1, the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States2, and Texas Motor Speedway officials jointly announced that Samsung Mobile has signed a multi-year contract extension to continue as title sponsor of the annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the world-class motorsports venue in Fort Worth, TX. The announcement will extend an eight-year title sponsorship relationship between Samsung Mobile and Texas Motor Speedway that began in 2002. Samsung Mobile collaborated with RadioShack and served as a co-title sponsor for the first five years before taking sole ownership in 2007 of a race that is annually ranked as the largest-attended, single-day sporting event in Texas. No financial terms or specific length of the contract were disclosed in the announcement made by Samsung Telecommunications America Vice President of Marketing Bobby Billman and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage during the speedway’s “Cut to the Chase” media luncheon at the Cadillac Ranch in Irving. In conjunction with the contract extension announcement, Samsung Mobile also unveiled a new logo and race name for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event beginning next year. The race was known as the Samsung 500 for the past three years, but will now become the Samsung Mobile 500 and be accompanied by a brand-new logo. Season tickets are currently on sale while individual tickets for the 2010 Samsung Mobile 500 race week will go on sale beginning Wednesday, Nov. 11. For more ticket information, call (817) 215-8500 or visit texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(9-17-2009)

    • Milwaukee Mile gets race date: The Milwaukee Mile doesn't actually have a racing promoter, or anyone selling tickets or soliciting sponsors for the 2010 season. Not yet, anyway. But here's what the troubled 106-year-old racetrack does have, as of Tuesday: a place on the NASCAR calendar. "We're very happy to see ourselves on there," said Tony Machi, a partner in a group trying to save the track."We're not going to get into our financials, but we're confident we'll have an acceptable plan and lease agreement for State Fair Park to consider at the end of this month." Historic Mile was given a Sept. 29 deadline to demonstrate to State Fair Park management it had the financial wherewithal to promote races and to secure race dates. That second condition was met Tuesday. The Mile holds June 18 on the Camping World Truck Series schedule and June 19 on the Nationwide Series schedule. Craig Barkelar, State Fair's interim executive director, said negotiations continue with Historic Mile and he is confident the group will meet the fiscal conditions. It remains unclear how the debts left by previous promoter Claude Napier would be paid. "All I can say is that our discussions with the promoter have gone very well and Milwaukee is currently on the 2010 schedule; like all other events on the schedule, there is a sanction in place," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in an e-mail.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(9-17-2009)


      News from September 16, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 16 -- 1984: Sam Ard wins his 22nd and final Nationwide Series race, beating Tommy Houston by three car lengths in the Coca-Cola 300 at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. Jack Ingram finishes third, the only other car on the lead lap. Ard leads 148 of the 150 laps; Houston leads the other two.(NASCAR.com)

    • The Chase is On: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from New Hampshire: The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 300 laps on Sunday, Sept. 20, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. ESPN's live, flag-to-flag coverage of the race will air on ABC. The telecast begins with NASCAR Countdown presented by Degree V12 at 1:00pm/et and the race's green flag is at 2:15pm/et. ESPN's coverage of the final 11 races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will air on ABC, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. ESPN's coverage from New Hampshire includes NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Sept. 18, at 3:00pm/et, and a same-day telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup final practice on Saturday at 6:45pm/et, both 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.
      The New Hampshire race re-airs on ESPN Classic at noon on Monday, Sept. 21. Earlier that day at 8:00am/et, ESPN Classic airs an episode of its signature series SportsCentury featuring seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty.

    • Red Bull Racing re-ups with Toyota: Red Bull Racing Team has extended its partnership with Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The agreement continues a three-year relationship where Toyota has supported Red Bull Racing Team's progression from a start-up organization to a berth in the championship- deciding Chase. "Our partnership with Toyota has been a critical element to the success of Red Bull Racing Team," said Jay Frye, RBRT vice president and general manager. "Both Red Bull Racing Team and Toyota share a common goal of being a championship-contending team. Toyota has supplied the engine and technical support we need to get our teams into victory lane and now the Chase for the Championship. We look forward to the future with Toyota." Toyota has been an integral part of the team's success as both an engine supplier and manufacturer. "We look forward to continuing our relationship with Red Bull Racing Team – a member of our 'freshman class' in 2007 when Toyota joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a manufacturer," said Lee White, president and general manager for Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. We are extremely proud of the team's and Brian's accomplishments, including their first victory and qualifying for the Chase."(RBRT)(9-16-2009)

    • Morgan-McClure Motorsports Shop for sale: Due to a lack of sponsorship, the once familiar #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevy has been absent from the NASCAR game since the end of the 2007 season. And the latest news involving Southwest Virginia's team is reflective of the grim economic climate in the sponsor-driven sport. The entire 18-acre MMM complex, located just off Interstate 81, has been listed for sale with Barnett Commercial Realty of Martinsville, Va. The listed price is $8.5 million. According to team co-owner Tim Morgan, MMM fans still have reason for hope. In fact, Morgan continues to search out potential sponsors for a return to the track to the Sprint Cup Series. "We're working on a couple things in terms of sponsorship and we're looking into different avenues," said Morgan, in a phone interview. "We want to race, but we don't have unlimited funds to where we can wait forever." Thanks to the financial backing of Abingdon-based Alpha Natural Resources, the Morgan-McClure team reunited for the Aug. 22 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Alpha is the third-largest coal producer in the United States. Relying on a mix of former and current crewmen, veteran driver Scott Wimmer beat long odds by earning the 26th starting position in the #4 Chevy. With many longtime MMM fans cheering the team on, Wimmer adapted to the track and finished 29th in his Sprint Cup race event 2007. Morgan said the foundation remains in place at Morgan-McClure. In addition to four full-time employees, MMM has six updated race cars and 20 race-ready engines. "We would have no misgivings about trying to make another race," Morgan said. "We just have to make those business connections."
      According to a listing on the Barnett Commercial Realty Web site, the MMM Motorsports complex is comprised of three buildings totaling nearly 94,000 square feet. The main building includes first and second floor offices, a second floor fitness facility, and auto shop with multiple diagnostic rooms. The grounds also include a 4,500 square foot body shop, and a 14,400 square foot museum building that includes a showroom, gift shop area and storage space.(Bristol Herald Courier)(9-16-2009)

    • Discount Tires moves to Penske: Just days after announcing his move from JR Motorsports in 2010, Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing have signed Discount Tire as their sponsor for 26 Nationwide Series races next year. Keselowski will drive the #22 Dodge full time in the Nationwide Series next year along with a full-time Sprint Cup schedule. Discount Tire will also be an associate sponsor on #12-Keselowski and teammate #2-Kurt Busch's Sprint Cup Series cars. Additionally, the company will have a presence on all three Penske Racing cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A full announcement is expected later this week. Discount Tire currently sponsors David Ragan's #6 Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series ride. The partnership has been in place since the start of the 2007 season.(FoxSports)(9-16-200)

    • Bootie to remain with Papis rest of 2009: On Tuesday [9-15] #13-Max Papis told Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128, Sirius Speedway radio show that former Michael Waltrip Racing crewchief Robert "Bootie" Barker will be working on his racecar for the remainder of the 2009 season. "Bootie works for MWR, and our team is obviously affiliated with them," said Papis. "They have been kind enough to let us use him for the remainder of the season, and he will be working with Ryan Coniam and the GEICO team to try and make us better."(9-16-2009)

    • Bean to run Juvenile Diabetes scheme at NHMS: Dexter Bean will be sporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on the hood of his #51 Dodge Charger for the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bean is a Type 1 diabetic himself and is using this as an opportunity to raise awareness and help find a cure for Diabetes.(BlackJack Racing)(9-16-2009)

    • #96 to feature new sponsor at NHMS: Erik Darnell returns to pilot the #96 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300. Darnell has made a total of four starts at NHMS – one Nationwide and three Truck Series. He has four top-10 and two top-five finishes. The #96 will sport the colors of Northern Tool + Equipment this weekend at New Hampshire. NT+E will also be the primary sponsor on Darnell's Ford at Kansas in October, Darnell's next Cup Series race.(HOF Racing)(9-16-2009)

    • Cup start 750 for Mikey: #55 NAPA Auto Parts driver Michael Waltrip will be competing in his 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when the Sylvania 300 gets underway at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Waltrip will start in his 28th Cup race at the 1.058-mile track.(MWR)(9-16-2009)

    • 12 Chase Crew Chiefs to take part in radio show: On Wed., Sept. 16, NASCAR's top twelve crew chiefs in the hunt for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship will take part in the annual Top 12 "NASCAR Performance Live" radio show broadcast originating in front of a live audience at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. Hosted by Larry McReynolds and Steve Post, the one-hour radio broadcast will air nationally on Motor Racing Network (MRN) affiliates across the country beginning at 7:00pm/et and on Sirius NASCASR Radio Chanel 128 at 10:00pm/et. The program will be an all-access pit pass to a behind-the-scenes look at the technology and teamwork it takes to compete for championships. Audience members, which will include students from NASCAR Tech, will have the opportunity to interact with the men behind The Chase drivers and get the latest insight into each team's strategy heading into the final ten weeks of the season.(NASCAR)(9-14/16-2009)

    • Chase drivers on Sirius Radio Thursday: This Thursday, September 17, on a special edition of SIRIUS NASCAR Radio's "Tradin Paint," hosts Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers are scheduled to speak one-on-one with all 12 Chase drivers over the course of the show, which airs between 11:00am-3:00pm/et.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(9-16-2009)

    • NASCAR Now Previews Chase in Expanded Episode: ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will report from Chase Media Day in New York and from historic Fenway Park in Boston in an expanded one-hour episode on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 5:30pm/et. Host Mike Massaro will preview the Chase with driver interviews from New York, while members of the Roush Fenway Racing team and some guests from the Boston Red Sox will be interviewed from Boston during the hour as well.

    • Kurt Busch on the tube with other Chase drivers: #2-Kurt Busch will be the featured "Chase" driver during Wednesday's programming on the ESPN networks. He will travel to ESPN's Bristol, Conn., world headquarters and go through the "car wash" run of programs from 11:30am till 3:30pm. Many of the interviews will be taped for later broadcasts during the day and on into the weekend. One of the most interesting media hits Kurt will be involved in during Thursday's New York City "media blitz" by the 12 Chase drivers will occur early that morning. Kurt is among the handful of drivers who will appear on the "Live! with Regis and Kelly Show," the daily talk show hosted by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa. The show is celebrating a "Guinness World Record-Breaker Week" and the drivers are scheduled to participate in an attempt to break the world record for the largest custard pie fight. The enormously popular syndicated show will also have actor Dennis Quaid as a special guest.(Tom Robets PR)(9-16-2009)

    • McMurray's Team Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Richmond: Jamie McMurray's crew claimed its first Tissot Pit Road Precision Award by taking top honors in Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The Tissot weekly competition, which recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport, has had 17 different winners in the first 26 races of the season. McMurray's #26 Crown Royal Ford spent the least amount of time on pit road – 270.639 seconds – during the 400-lap race at the .75-mile short track. The team will collect $5,000 from Tissot for the pit crew win. The No. 26 over-the-wall crew at Richmond consisted of: Kevin Novak (front tire changer), Brian Huitt (front-tire carrier), Sean Meckelson (jackman), Chris Tompkins (rear-tire changer), Ben Surface (rear-tire carrier), Les Huntley (gas man) and Ben Holm (catch can). The team's pit crew coach is Jesse Posey. #16-Greg Biffle's crew continues to lead the Tissot standings with five wins. The crews for #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson are tied for second with three wins each. 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)(9-16-2009)

    • NHMS Ticket Buyer Will Journey to Las Vegas: As part of New Hampshire Motor Speedway's on-going "FansFirst" initiative, anyone purchasing tickets for the SYLVANIA 300 on September 20 will have a chance of winning an exciting trip to Las Vegas for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Friday, December 4. The Grand Prize includes airfare, lodging, $1,000 in spending money, and two tickets to the Sprint Cup banquet. This will be the first time that this exclusive awards ceremony is being held in Las Vegas. For the past 27 years, the banquet has taken place in New York City. For a chance to experience the thrills of a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in Vegas, purchase your tickets for the SYLVANIA 300 now. The MegaTicket package features three days of racing for $99. The SYLVANIA Speed Zone seating section offers fans a $39 Sunday ticket. With these promotions, fans have the unique opportunity to experience NASCAR racing for approximately 12 cents a lap! To purchase tickets to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway SYLVANIA 300 weekend, call the Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931 or visit the speedway online at www.nhms.com.(9-16-2009)

    • Josh Turner to hold concert and sing National Anthen at HNMS: Josh Turner, recently named by People magazine as one of country music's hottest stars, will be performing a pre-race concert and the National Anthem prior to the start of the SYLVANIA 300 on Sunday, September 20 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This Grammy nominated artist has made his mark on the country music charts with back-to-back multi-week No. 1 radio singles, as well as, back-to-back platinum albums, "Long Black Train" and "Your Man," which is now certified Double Platinum. He has launched The Josh Turner Fund which is fueled by his passion to support music and the arts. The Fund awarded its first scholarship this year. To purchase tickets to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway SYLVANIA 300 weekend, call the Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931 or visit the speedway online at www.nhms.com.(9-16-2009)

    • Giuffre brothers show interest in Milwaukee Mile: With time running out for Historic Mile LLC to reach agreement with the State Fair Park Board to promote auto racing at the Milwaukee Mile, an unsuccessful suitor said he would like the chance. Frank Giuffre, who with his brother, Dominic, ran the track from 1983-'91, said Friday that his group is ready, willing and able to take over. As proof, he released letters from TCF Bank and Tri City National Bank that express support for setting up a $10 million credit facility in support of auto racing at the track. "I want to talk to the State Fair," Giuffre said. "But there has to be a process." Giuffre said he doubted Historic Mile LLC could meet the requirements necessary to come to a contract with State Fair Park. Historic Mile officials have until Sept. 29 to demonstrate they have an agreement for races and prove they have the ability to meet their financial obligations. One of the biggest issues affecting the future of the 106-year-old Mile is the debt run up by former promoter Claude Napier in 2009. Napier left owing NASCAR and the Indy Racing League an estimated $2 million. In a statement, Patrice Harris, a State Fair spokeswoman, said State Fair officials were still in negotiations with Historic Mile. Historic Mile consists of Tony Machi, a longtime sports-car racer and retired judge, and Jim Beaudoin, managing partner for a local investment firm, whose family owned an Indy-car team in the 1980s.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), the Milwaukee Mile is on NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series schedules in 2010.(9-16-2009)


      News from September 15, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 15 -- 1968: Richard Petty wins the Hillsboro 150, the final Cup race on the nine-tenths of a mile dirt track of Orange Speedway in Hillsboro, N.C. The track was the site of 32 Cup races and Petty, his father, Lee, and Buck Baker each won a series-high three races at Orange.(NASCAR.com)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Schedule Announced: NASCAR announced today the 2010 schedules for its three national series, which will open their seasons at Daytona International Speedway on the weekend of Feb. 12-14, and conclude at Homestead-Miami Speedway on the weekend of Nov. 19-21. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will again have a 36-race schedule starting with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, plus two “non-point” events – the Feb. 6 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona and the May 22 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Other key dates for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series include:
      June 27 and Sept. 19 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the respective openers in the “Race to the Chase” and the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup”; the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway; the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25; and the annual “Chase cut-off race” at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 11.
      The NASCAR Nationwide Series will again race 35 times, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will again have 25 events, including one of the most intriguing additions to the schedule in the series’ 15-year history: a new event at Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track on July 31, as a companion to one of the two traditional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends there. The Pocono truck race will be the only new event on any of the three series’ schedules. It replaces the truck series’ previous February event at Auto Club Speedway.(NASCAR) for more see my 2010 Sprint Cup Schedule page/chart, 2010 Nationawide Series Schedule and 2010 Camping World Truck Series Schedule.(9-15-2009)

    • Berlin City sponsorship on the #44 at NHMS: AJ Allmendinger drives the #44 Berlin City Auto Group Dodge this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Berlin City Auto Group, with dealerships throughout New England, specializes in the sales, service and parts for automotive manufacturers and pre-owned vehicles. "This is the same paint scheme we ran up there in June. Our owner George Gillett also owns the Berlin City Auto group and they used to sponsor Dave Dion in a lot of races in the area. Race fans asked about it last time we were up there. I'm glad we are running it again this weekend. I love the history of the sport and if it helps remind people of some of the history then that's a good thing. There aren't many orange and white cars out there these days." Sunday marks Allmendinger's 71st start in Sprint Cup racing (RPM). See image of the scheme on my #44 Team Schemes page.(9-15-2009)

    • NASCAR at Richmond Earns 3.5 Rating on ABC: ESPN on ABC's telecast of Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway earned a final national household rating of 3.5, averaging 5,535,209 viewers while airing at the same time as a record-setting college football telecast on ESPN. The rating was up from the 3.0 rating for last year's rain-delayed race that aired on ESPN. Last year's Richmond race aired on ESPN after being rained out on Saturday night and run on Sunday afternoon. The race aired on ABC in 2007 and earned a 4.2 rating.
      ESPN2's live telecast of Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, up from the 1.0 rating earned last year when the race was run on Sunday after having been rained out on Friday night. The race earned a 1.4 rating in 2007 when it was run and telecast as scheduled. Friday night's telecast averaged 1,669,692 viewers (ESPN). For race-by-race TV Ratings, news and more, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(9-15-2009)

    • Burton to Visit ESPN’s Headquarters on Thurs: Jeff Burton, driver of Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet Impala SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will make the so-called “car wash” tour of ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on Thursday, September 17. Burton will first appear live on the set of First Take at 11:40 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time before appearing on Sportscenter and ESPNews. He is also scheduled to hit the airwaves on ESPN Radio and will participate in a web chat on ESPN.com. Exact times for his appearances, other than First Take, have yet to be determined.
      The 16-year veteran will end his day co-hosting a special one-hour, Chase for the Sprint Cup episode of NASCAR Now alongside anchor Mike Massaro, beginning at 5:30pm/et. “I’m really excited about going to ESPN,” stated Burton. “I had the opportunity to visit their headquarters in 2006 and it’s an amazing facility. They have me scheduled with a bunch of interviews from the minute I get there but, from previous experience, it will be fun. I’m a big sports fan and ESPN always keeps me up-to-date with the latest news and scores. I’m looking forward to the visit and am eager to talk about racing and other sports with their analysts.” Check local listings for broadcast times and channels.(RCR)(9-15-2009)

    • The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup facts:
      • 22 different drivers have made the Chase, including Brian Vickers and Juan Pablo Montoya, who each made their first Chase this season.
      • There will be 3,152 laps and 4,095.48 miles run during the 2009 Chase.
      • Only one driver has made all six Chases for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: Jimmie Johnson
      • Three drivers have made five Chases: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth. Kenseth has made all five previous Chases, but missed this year's after finishing the regular season 14th in points.
      • In the 50 Chase races, Jimmie Johnson has won a series-high 14 races. He's followed by Carl Edwards (six), Greg Biffle (six), Tony Stewart (four) and Jeff Gordon (three).
      • Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to average a top-10 finish in Chase races (8.7).
      • In the 50 Chase races, Greg Biffle has an average finish of 14.4. But in the 20 Chase races where he was in contention for the championship, Biffle has an average finish of 9.6.
      • Three drivers have notched more than 20 top-five finishes during Chase races: Jimmie Johnson (26), Jeff Gordon (22) and Carl Edwards (20).
      • Nine drivers have more than 20 top-10 finishes during Chase races: Jimmie Johnson (36), Jeff Gordon (34), Carl Edwards (29), Tony Stewart (26), Kevin Harvick (25), Kurt Busch (25), Matt Kenseth (23), Greg Biffle (22) and Jeff Burton (22).
      • Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, two drivers have a Driver Rating of at least 100.0: Jimmie Johnson (108.8) and Carl Edwards (100.0).
      • Ryan Newman's average starting position in Chase races is 10.9, which ranks second to Jimmie Johnson's 9.5. But in the 20 Chase races Newman has been in contention for a championship, he has an average starting position of 5.1.(NASCAR)(9-15-2009)

    • 300 Awards Ceremony Tix allocated to teams for fans: For the first time in NASCAR history, fans will have the opportunity to join drivers, team owners and industry leaders to celebrate the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. This year's awards ceremony is scheduled to be held at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, 2009.
      Approximately 300 tickets will be made available to the top 12 teams and drivers, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track operators and NASCAR partners to utilize for fan promotions. Fans will make up about 25% of the audience as they join drivers, team owners and industry officials for the awards ceremony. The available tickets will be used as part of sweepstakes, contests or promotions.
      "Making tickets available provides the teams, tracks and partners a truly unique opportunity to reach out to the fans like never before," said NASCAR CMO Steve Phelps. "We're looking forward to seeing creative promotions for the limited number of tickets. We've worked very hard over the past four months to iron out details for the awards ceremony and the fan element was top priority."
      In coming weeks there will be additional announcements about the events planned for "Champion's Week" in Las Vegas. Specifically, more details will be provided about the Top 12 Victory Lap Parade, entertainment and other fan event opportunities.(NASCAR)(9-15-2009)

    • Wendell Scott Remembered: Wendell Scott, a Danville native, was the first black man to win a race in the Grand National/Winston Cup series, the equivalent of today's Sprint Cup series. On Saturday, "Wendell Scott Recognition Day" was observed at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. "I was very happy with the way it turned out," said Michael Scott, the youngest son of the late Wendell Scott. "A lot of people came out and showed support. It turned out to be very nice." More than 50 people attended the event, including Brian Donovan, author of Scott's biography, "Driving Hard: The Wendell Scott Story: The American Odyssey of NASCAR's First Black Driver." NASCAR historian Buzz McKim, state Sen. Roscoe Reynolds, Martinsville Vice Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr., Tony Millner, president of the local NAACP chapter, and fans and friends of the late pioneer also attended. The event offered a wealth of information, including first-hand stories about the driver, a video which included statements from NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty and Ned Jarrett, and displays with newspaper articles, pictures and other racing memorabilia.
      Donovan read the prologue of his book and explained that Scott's biography is "a story of one of the courageous racial pioneers that helped make our country a better place in a time when that could be very dangerous." McKim said information about Scott will be a part of two permanent displays in the Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is currently under construction. One of those will include a "biographical paddle," while another will be dedicated to the diversity of NASCAR's drivers. There will also be a larger display dedicated soley to Scott in the hall of fame when enough articles of his racing career can be located, McKim said. "I think today was a big step in the right direction," said Donovan of his hope that Scott will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We got a commitment today explicitly from Buzz McKim of the NASCAR Hall of Fame that there will be an exhibit featuring Wendell Scott. I think he's a logical candidate for nomination, and I hope he (McKim) does, too."(Martinsville Bulletin)(9-15-2009)

    • Stanley searching for a "Lady in Pink" to honor - last day to nominate: Stanley, sponsor of #19-Elliott Sadler, is teaming with Susan G. Komen for the Cure in search of a "Lady in Pink" to honor at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 17, 2009. Thru September 15th (today), fans can go to www.stanleymotorsports.com and in 500 words or less nominate their loved one, someone who a breast cancer survivor, to be Stanley's "Lady in Pink" for the Charlotte race. Stanley will select four semi-finalists at that time and post the four entries on stanleymotorsports.com for fans to vote on their favorite from September 20-25. The top entry in total votes is the grand prize winner. The "Lady in Pink" grand prize winner will have her name displayed on the TV panel of the #19 Stanley Dodge for the NASCAR Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and receive a VIP race package. For the second year in a row, Sadler will drive a pink #19 Stanley/Susan G. Komen for the Cure Dodge in the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(RPM)(9-15-2009)

    • Fans to Decide Bowyer's Spooky Firesuit: Race fans can get in the spirit of Halloween early this year with Count Chocula, sponsor of Richard Childress Racing's #33 Chevy and driver Clint Bowyer at the NASCAR Banking 500. Bowyer will run a special Scary Fast #33 Count Chocula Chevy at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 17. The black and purple paint scheme features the classic General Mills Monsters cereal characters Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry [hmm....marshmellows]. In addition to the Halloween-themed paint scheme, Bowyer will also sport a spooky firesuit for the final night race of the 2009 season – one that fans will have an opportunity to help select. Beginning September 10, fans can vote on one of four firesuit designs – one each featuring Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry or a suit that features all three monster characters. "I think it's pretty cool that fans will have the chance to decide which firesuit I'll wear at Charlotte," said Bowyer. "I remember how much fun it was, when my brothers and I were growing up, trying to decide what costume we'd want to wear. All the designs look cool and it'll be fun to see which ones the fans pick for me." No registration is required, and fans can cast their votes once a day, every day at www.Millsberry.com/vote until September 16.(RCR), see images of thew scheme on my #33 Team Schemes page.(9-15-2009)

    • Inaugural NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class to be Announced October 14: NASCAR announced that "Voting Day" for the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be Oct. 14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. 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, will meet in a closed session to deliberate and vote on the 25 candidates eligible for this first class. The vote will be followed by a press conference announcing the inaugural class of 2010. The class will be chosen from the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote – which ends Sept. 27 – conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young will preside over the tabulation of the votes. The hall's inaugural class will consist of five members and are scheduled to be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2010.(NASCAR), more infomation about the NASCAR Hall Of Fame on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(9-15-2009)


      News from September 14, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 14 -- 1965: Dick Hutcherson wins the Pennsylvania 200 by eight laps over G.C. Spencer in the final Cup race at Lincoln Speedway in New Oxford, Pa. Richard Petty leads the first 78 laps on the half-mile dirt track and Hutcherson the final 122.(NASCAR.com)

    • Richmond Facts and Notes:
      * Denny Hamlin won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
      * Kyle Busch finished fifth and missed the Chase by just eight points behind Brain Vickers, who earned the 12th and final playoff spot.
      * Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to qualify for all six Chase playoffs (2004-2009).
      * This is the first Chase for Brian Vickers and Juan Pablo Montoya.
      * Mark Martin -- at 50 years, 8 months, 3 days -- is the oldest driver to make the Chase, passing Rusty Wallace, who was 49 years, 27 days.
      * Hamlin scored his sixth career victory in his 141st start. He scored his second win in 2009. He became the seventh repeat race winner in 26 races this season.
      * Toyota swept both races at Richmond in 2009. Kyle Busch won the spring race.
      * Hamlin has scored six straight top-10 finishes in a streak that began at the second Pocono race. He scored the 75th win for Joe Gibbs Racing. It was JGR's seventh win this season.
      * Hamlin led six times for a race-high 299 laps, including the final 195.
      * Jeff Gordon moved into sixth all time in laps led at Richmond, passing seventh-place Cale Yarborough and sixth-place David Pearson. Gordon led six times for 98 laps.
      * Chevrolet has scored 12 wins in 2009, leading all manufacturers. Toyota has nine, while Dodge has three and Ford has two.
      * Kurt Busch (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish of the season.
      * Jeff Gordon (third) extended a six-race streak of top-10 finishes at Richmond.
      * Mark Martin (fourth) has scored seven straight top-10 finishes in his last seven short-track races.
      * Brian Vickers (seventh) extended a nine-race streak of top-15 finishes that began at Daytona in July.
      * Matt Kenseth finished 25th and missed the Chase. He finished 38 points behind Vickers before the points reset.
      * Tony Stewart (17th) ended a five-race streak of top-10 finishes at Richmond. Stewart has finished outside the 10 in the last four races. He has scored 18 top-10 finishes in 26 races this season.
      * Joey Logano (14th) was the highest-finishing rookie contender.
      * Jeff Burton (18th) has finished 16th or worse in the last 12 races.
      (ESPN)(9-14-2009)

    • Tryson named #56 Crew Chief for 2010: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will lead Martin Truex Jr. and the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry beginning in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.Tryson successfully earned his fifth Chase berth as crew chief on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway and will join MWR upon the conclusion of the season. Tryson joins MWR after a successful run with #2-Kurt Busch, where Tryson guided the former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion to two Chase appearances, four victories and 35 top-10 finishes since 2007 with Penske Racing. Tryson is only one of three crew chiefs (Robbie Reiser and Chad Knaus) who qualified for The Chase during its first three years.(MWR)(9-14-2009)

    • Robby and Menard to sport Sylvania colors at NHMS: Robby Gordon and Paul Menard will be "racing to the future of lighting" at this year's Sprint Cup Series kick-off, the Sylvania 300. Menard will be behind the wheel of the Sylvania- DOT·it covered #98 Ford Fusion and his fellow competitor Gordon will take to the track in the Sylvania blue and orange painted #7 Toyota Camry. This season is Gordon's inaugural season driving Sylvania colors, while it marks the third year in a row that Menard has driven the Sylvania car. Additionally, Matt Crafton will be driving the #88 Sylvania Chevy Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series race on Sept. 19th.(PR Newswire.(9-14-2009)

    • 12 Chase Crew Chiefs to take part in radio show: On Wed., Sept. 16, NASCAR's top twelve crew chiefs in the hunt for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship will take part in the annual Top 12 "NASCAR Performance Live" radio show broadcast originating in front of a live audience at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. Hosted by Larry McReynolds and Steve Post, the one-hour radio broadcast will air nationally on Motor Racing Network (MRN) affiliates across the country beginning at 7:00pm/et and on Sirius NASCASR Radio Chanel 128 at 10:00pm/et. The program will be an all-access pit pass to a behind-the-scenes look at the technology and teamwork it takes to compete for championships. Audience members, which will include students from NASCAR Tech, will have the opportunity to interact with the men behind The Chase drivers and get the latest insight into each team's strategy heading into the final ten weeks of the season.(NASCAR)(9-14-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2009 Chevy Rock & Roll 400: 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 broadcaster for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 109
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 68
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 24
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:52 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:18 pm
      Total minutes: 206
      Minutes of race broadcast: 154
      Minutes of commercials: 52
      Number of missed restarts: 0 one very close call
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
      Number of times a commercial for ESPN's SportsCenter was shown in split-screen with the race broadcast: 3
      Total race brdcst time 154 Total comm. brdcst time 52
      See more and how many times selected drivers were focused on my 2009 Commercials page.(9-14-2009)

    • New Ford engine debut at Charlotte: Ford plans to debut its new engine next month at Charlotte. It will be used by at least one Ford team not in the Chase. Whether all the Ford teams will be using the new engine at the start of next season, though, is a question. "This is more a team decision than a manufacturer's because the budgets are in their hands on how they do it,'' said Brian Wolfe, Ford Director of North American Motorsports. "We always kid internally that the biggest problem the new engine has is the old engine is so good.''(Roanoke Times)(9-14-2009)

    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway Grand Marshal and starter: NASCAR fans will get a closer look at a new era of lighting during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as title sponsor Osram Sylvania showcases its innovations and expertise in illumination technology. The North American lighting leader enters the chase with the company's next generation of leadership, new investments in research and development (R&D), and inspired lighting advancements for your space, your wallet and your planet. The seventh annual Sylvania 300 weekend arrives at the dawning of a lighting revolution and a changing of the guard at Osram Sylvania. The company announced earlier this year that Rick Leaman will succeed Charlie Jerabek as President and CEO effective the 1st of October. This presidential transition puts Leaman in the driver's seat; he will lead events throughout the race weekend along with Osram Sylvania Senior Vice President of Sales, Service and Logistics Tim Lesch, the Grand Marshal. The company enlisted the help of Mark Titlebaum, BJ's Wholesale Club senior vice president of general merchandise, to act as the flag dropper for the Sylvania 300. Sylvania has been the title sponsor of the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) for the last seven years and, in July 2006, signed an additional five-year contract with NHMS through 2012. For more information, visit www.Sylvania.com/Sylvania300.(PR Newswire.(9-14-2009)

    • NHMS pares police for race weekend: As Loudon, NH, gears up for next weekend's final NASCAR race of the year, the police department may find itself with less to do than in years past. With over one-third of its budget for security details slashed, fewer Loudon officers will be on hand. Officials at New Hampshire Motor Speedway said in interviews last week they'll utilize other forms of security, like the state police and their own team to patrol parts of the track, which has a maximum capacity of 105,000. Loudon police Chief Robert Fiske said the reductions translate to a "dangerously low" number of officers at the track. "There's a major safety concern," Fiske said in an interview.
      The town's police department, which typically contracts up to 200 officers from throughout the state for full- and part-time use, was forced to re-evaluate its figures last month after the track took issue with a $265,000 bill for police details provided at a June NASCAR race. The track told selectmen the figure was excessive - up 40% from a $190,000 bill for the same race in 2005 - and agreed to pay it on the condition that fees for police and fire coverage on future races not exceed $175,000.
      "The June bill was not a realistic reflection of what we needed," said New Hampshire Motor Speedway Manager and Vice President Jerry Gappens. "We had concerns and asked for an adjustment. The bill was paid in protest, but it was paid." The $265,000 was paid last month, and after some last-minute number crunching, Fiske presented the track with a $157,000 proposal for this week's 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. The bill, which Fiske said he presented "under protest," was further reduced to about $136,000. With a few more changes, the combined bill for police and fire coverage tallied $174,000, according to Gappens.
      The biggest reductions came from several areas, Gappens said, including paring back shifts the week before the race, when out-of-state travelers typically set up RVs in the parking areas. The track will man its own security until Thursday. "If we have an incident, then (the police) will respond like they would any other day," Gappens said. Additionally, the state police will take over patrolling in two of the site's campgrounds; the number of officers patrolling the grandstands will be reduced from 30 to 12, but there will be more track security and ushers, said Mark Furlone, the track's security director and a former state trooper major.
      The number of shifts and officers on staff were cut in half, Fiske said, and the number of hours in a typical shift were slashed from 12 to eight. Officers working shifts in the overnight RV areas will be off the clock at 2 a.m. There will be a "handful" of people on-call, Fiske said, but if something happens, "I really doubt six people are going to be able to control a crowd of 300." The track has also eliminated 17 officers at 11 of its entrance points, where guests' bags are checked for restricted items. Instead, the track will assign about 300 uniformed workers to man those points. "We're quite well-staffed," Furlone said. "We're very conscious of the safety and well-being of our guests." The changes, according to Fiske, are leaving the town wide open to danger. Given the number of people expected to attend the three-day event, he expects something will go wrong, he said. Fiske said he's especially concerned about the lack of officers at the screening stations. Many of them are being moved to traffic detail on Route 106, which Loudon will also retain control over.(Concord [NH] Monitor)(9-14-2009)


      News from September 13, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 13 -- 1970: Richard Petty leads 488 of 500 laps to win the Capital City 500 at Richmond (Va.) Fairgrounds Raceway by two laps on Bobby Allison. It starts a streak of seven consecutive wins at Richmond for the King on the .542-mile track. From September 1970 through February 1975, Petty wins nine of the 10 Cup races at the track.(NASCAR.com)

    • Some early overnight TV Ratings from Richmond: ABC's NASCAR Sprint Cup (Richmond) race and Fox's reality crime duo of Cops and America's Most Wanted finished in a dead heat for the nights demo adults 18-49 ratings race.
      Here are the half hourly sports numbers from Marc Berman/Mediaweek.
      NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (ABC)
      8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.63 million (#1), A18-49: 1.7/ 6 (#1)
      8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.38 million (#1), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
      9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.34 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
      9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.36 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#2)
      10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.17 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
      10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.03 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)
      Source: Nielsen Media Research data.(tvbythenumbers.com)(9-13-2009)

    • Robby wins off-road race at Primm: #7-Robby Gordon competed in the fourth of five SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series races, the Primm 300 in Nevada on Saturday, Sept 12th and after finishing 2nd, was declared the winner after a complete data tracking review, finishing at 4 hours, 49 minutes, 18 seconds, just ahead of Rob MacCachren, 4:50:20. See the rundown at race-dezert.com.(9-13-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart and #19-Elliott Sadler have the longest current streak of finishing races at 49 of drivers who have ran all the races. #43-Reed Sorenson actually has a longer streak, at 52 races since he DNF'd at Talladega in April 2008, he didn't race at Infineon Raceway in 2008. Eight drivers have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #9-Kahne, #00-Reutimann, #07-Mears, #19-Sadler, #44-Allmendinger & #43-Sorenson. #78-Regan Smith ran all of his first 53 races without a DNF but in the 54th, he wrecked and DNF'd, his first career DNF. 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 22 [in 23 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 18 [in 21 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: #12-Stremme and #96/#71-BLabonte, both with 5.

    • Petty DNF streak at 156 races: After all four Richard Petty Motorsports teams [#9, #19, #43, #44] completed the Sprint Cup race at Richmond, the team contines its streak as the only four-car team without a DNF—did not finish— in the 2009 points races. The two-car team of Stewart-Haas [#14 & #39] is the only other team to avoid a DNF this year. The Petty streak stretches to 156 starts without a DNF. #9-Kasey Kahne's DNF at Martinsville on Oct.19, 2009 was the team's last.

    • RPM & McArdie part ways: The deal between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing already has cost one top official his job. Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said on Saturday that Mark McArdle, the vice president and managing director of competition at RPM, was fired on Friday after a heated confrontation with team co-owner George Gillett Jr. at Richmond International Raceway. Petty would not speculate on how many others in the engine and chassis department might lose jobs if RPM uses Roush-Yates engines and Roush Fenway chassis as planned. Petty said RPM is moving from Dodge to Ford because Dodge could not offer financial support for 2010 and beyond. Yates already has a financial commitment for two Ford teams, and Petty hopes that will increase once the economy is restored.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)

    • Joe Gibbs Racing wins 75th Sprint Cup Series race: With the victory by #11-Denny Hamlin on his hometrack of Richmond International Raceway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has now totaled 75 victories in NASCAR's elite racing series. Joe Gibbs Racing, founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs in 1992, claimed its first victory on NASCAR's biggest stage when Dale Jarrett captured the checkered flag at the 1993 Daytona 500. Since then JGR has gone on to win 74 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (previously Winston Cup Series). "We're proud to have earned our 75th victory today," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "We have been blessed with dedicated and talented employees as well as outstanding partners and sponsors. When you look back at our 75 victories you realize how fortunate we have been to have such talented drivers and crew chiefs, but the reality is it takes a lot of people working together to be successful in this sport," added Gibbs. "A big part of the credit belongs to the guys in the shop working long hours preparing our cars for the track and our crews that travel each week to put it all together. JGR's 75 wins have also helped the multi-car race team capture three NASCAR Cup Series Championships (2000, 2002, and 2005). The team record for wins in a season is 10, which has been done twice, both in 2008 (Kyle Busch 8, Denny Hamlin 1, and Tony Stewart 1) and in 2000 (Stewart 6, Bobby Labonte 4). JGR has seven victories thus far in 2009. In addition to the Cup Series, JGR has now captured 37 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories earning its first Owner's Championship in that series in 2008.
      The list of JGR's Cup victories by driver:
      Tony Stewart (#20).................. 33
      Bobby Labonte (#18)............... 21
      Kyle Busch (#18).................... 12
      Denny Hamlin (#11).................. 6
      Dale Jarrett (#18)...................... 2
      Joey Logano (#20).................... 1
      Total JGR NASCAR Cup Wins.. 75.(JGR)(9-13-2009)

    • JGR hopes to re-sign Busch soon; no 4th team in 2010: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said "there's no timetable" on re-signing #18-Kyle Busch, but as far as he's concerned, "the sooner the better." Busch's contract expires after next year [2010]. Gibbs added the organization will not race four full-time cars in 2010. When it came to potential sponsorships, Gibbs said there was nothing JGR "felt was appropriate" to properly run a four-car operation. With the way driver contracts fall, 2011 will have a better pool of candidates, namely #9-Kasey Kahne and #29-Kevin Harvick. Gibbs admits that Kahne "is awesome" but indicated a package deal with Budweiser, given the family's religious convictions, "would be hard."(FoxSports)(9-13-2009)

    • Roush hopes to find a new owner for the #26: The deal between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing has put Roush Fenway Racing in the position of looking for a new owner to take over the #26 car in 2010. Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith said the RPM-Yates deal has him looking for somebody to take ownership of the #26 car currently driven by Jamie McMurray. Smith was working on a deal to move the #26 to Yates Racing to get Roush Fenway to the NASCAR cap of four cars. With four cars in the RPM stable -- Paul Menard from Yates, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and A.J. Allmendinger from RPM -- there no longer is room for expansion. Smith hasn't completely given up hope on keeping McMurray in the #26 with another owner using Roush Fenway engines and chassis, but said the only way that could happen was for full sponsorship to be found. Most of the speculation has McMurray going to the #1 at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, but that car isn't fully sponsored for next season [Bass Pro Shops for 20-23 races]. Smith said Erik Darnell, who is driving seven races for the #96 at Yates/Hall of Fame Racing entry this year, also could be a candidate for the 26 if ownership and sponsorship is found. "The Jack Roush pressure, on me in particular, is we don't want any person that came to work for us to lose their job because of a business decision or shrinkage," Smith said. "We want to keep the 26 alive however we can." Smith added that Roush Fenway has not had serious discussions with RPM officials about using its engines and chassis even though Petty said that was the plan. But he admitted it would be financially beneficial for Roush Fenway to supply eight teams vs. five to six. Petty said details of the deal with Yates are 80% complete and should be finalized over the next two weeks to a month.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)

    • Bobby Labonte to the #07? #1?: Bobby Labonte's popularity has picked up considerably in the last few weeks. Apparently, his name is being presented as a possible candidate for the #07 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to sponsor Jack Daniels this week. Also hearing that he could be competition for Jamie McMurray in the #1 Chevy at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.(FoxSports)(9-13-2009)

    • Biffle's pit crew gets a name: Greg Biffle has a new weapon in his war in the Chase for the Championship - the Pit Bulls. 3M Car Care announced the winner of the "Name of Fame" contest to find an 3M Pit Bulls appropriate name for Biffle's hard-working crew. Named by Dennis Romano of Dingman's Ferry, PA, a long-time Greg Biffle fan who cheers him on every weekend. Romano's entry in the 3M Car Care Name of Fame contest was selected from 10 finalists and voted on by 3M Car Care and the #16 3M team. More than 1,000 entries were received in the contest. The Pit Bulls and winning entry are featured in a special video on www.3MCarCare.com/NameofFame and shows their new look on pit road at the Richmond race. Romano's grand prize for his winning entry is a VIP trip for two to meet the #16 pit crew at one of the final races of the season. The grand prize package includes airfare, hotel, rental car, race tickets, garage credentials and spending money.(VMG/3M)(9-13-2009)

    • McMurray to replace Sadler in 2010?: could Jamie McMurray be in a Yates Racing car [Richard Petty Motorsports team that Yates merged with] next year after all? Former original Yates employees are saying is they would prefer McMurray over #19-Elliott Sadler.(FoxSports)(9-13-2009)

    • Petty would like to put Allemndinger in the #43: Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said no decision has been made on who will take over the famed #43 that he drove to seven championships, but added that he would like to see Allmendinger in the car if all sponsors agree.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)


      News from September 12, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 12 -- 1987: Mark Martin wins the first of a record five Nationwide Series races at Richmond. L.D. Ottinger finishes second in the Freelander 200, and Geoffrey Bodine is third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Hamlin wins at Richmond: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Race for his 1st win at Richmond [his home track], 2nd win of 2009 and 6th of his career. #2-Busch finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #5-Martin, #18-Busch, #33-Bowyer, #83-Vickers, #77-Hornish Jr., #29-Harvick and #39-Newman. Points leader #14-Stewart finished 17th. #17-Kenseth finished 25th and fell out of the top 12 and for the first time since The Chase started in 2004, Kenseth will not be in The Chase. #83-Vickers got in to the Chase, beating #18-Busch by 8 points. There were 10 cautions for 56 caution laps and there were 16 lead changes among 5 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Sunday, September 13 at 3:30am/et; ESPN Classic: Sunday, September 13 at 11:00am/et; SPEED, Wednesday, September 16 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Richmond Race Results Page.(9-12-2009)

    • Richmond Race Fast Facts:
      #11-Denny Hamlin won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, his sixth victory in 141 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Richmond International Raceway.
      #2-Kurt Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 18 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2009.
      #24-Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 22nd top-10 finish in 34 races at Richmond International Raceway.
      #20-Joey Logano (14th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      The eight points that separated #83-Brian Vickers and #18-Kyle Busch is the closest at the Chase cut-off since its inception in 2004. The previous closest margin was 15 points in 2004.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-12-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CLASSIC Driver Points Standings
      [after Richmond, race 26 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 3806, finished 17th at Atlanta
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 3627, -179, 3rd
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 3534, -272, 11th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 3491, -315, WON
      5) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 3322, -484, 2nd
      6) #5-Mark Martin [4 wins], 3291, -515, 4th
      7) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 3280, -526, 12th
      8) #99-Carl Edwards, 3280, -526, 15th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 3272, -534, 10th
      10) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3251, -555, 19th
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 3249, -557, 13th
      12) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 3203, -603, 7th
      Failed to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup:
      13) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 3195, -8 points out of 12th, 5th
      14) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 3165, -38, 25th
      15) #33-Clint Bowyer, 3059, -144, 6th
      15) #00-David Reutimann [1 win] 3048, -153, 20th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(9-12-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup CHASE Standings
      [after Richmond, race 26 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      1) #5-Mark Martin [4 wins], 5040, finished 4th at Richmond
      2) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 5030, 17th
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 5030, -10, 11th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 5020, -20, WON
      5) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 5020, -20, 12th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 5010, -30, 3rd
      7) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 5010, -30, 2nd
      8) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 5010, -10, 7th
      9) #99-Carl Edwards, 5000, -40, 15th
      10) #39-Ryan Newman, 5000, -40, 10th
      11) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 5000, -40, 19th
      12) #16-Greg Biffle, 5000, -40, 13th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(9-12-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at New Hampshire:
      No changes the spread between 35th and 36th now up to 115 points
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2106, +297
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 1924, 115 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 1809, 115 points out of 35th
      37) #71-Gilliland-Labonte/TRG: 1529, -395
      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.(9-12-2009)

    • Penalty Report - Richmond:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #82, 8, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #55, 46, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #82, 59, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #55, 59, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #1, 279, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #31, 319, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #55, 327, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #07, 333, Disobeying a NASCAR request, Not starting in the proper position, Pass Thru
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-12-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Atlanta: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: #6-Ragan, 33rd
      Caution 3: #78-Smith, 40th
      Caution 4: #14-Stewart, 17th
      Caution 5: #7-Gilliland, 24th
      Caution 6: #12-Stremme, 26th
      Caution 7: #7-Gilliland (2), 24th
      Caution 8: #31-Burton, 18th
      Caution 9: #07-Mears, 30th
      Caution 10: #47-Ambrose, 22nd
      (9-12-2009)

    • PRS Guitars donates guitars to drivers: This year’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 marks the fifth year that one winning NASCAR driver will walk away with a four foot tall, fifty pound trophy custom designed and built by PRS [Paul Reed Smith] Guitars from Stevensville, Maryland. In addition, this year six drivers will leave the track with their own PRS guitar that will help aid many more people down the road.
      Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer have each won a race in Richmond under the domain of Chevrolet. To honor their success and their efforts, PRS held a special press conference Friday at Richmond International Raceway, during which PRS President, Jack Higginbotham presented the aforementioned drivers with a PRS Corvette guitar for their individual charities. Jack Higginbotham, President of Paul Reed Smith Guitars, said, “It is our hope that each of these guitars will develop its own story and have a positive effect on the lives of others. Whether it is cancer research, shelter for the needy or assistance for underprivileged children, each driver has a passion for their cause, and we are honored to help them in their mission.”
      PRS’s extensive involvement in racing began with a sponsorship of the world dominating factory Corvette C6.r racing team in 2003. During the past six years, PRS’s involvement in racing has ranged from being a part of large-scale NASCAR events to its own grassroots “Laps For Life” charity event helping support the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.(PRS Guitars site)(9-12-2009)

    • Ragan to make 100th career start: #6-David Ragan will make his 100th Cup series start Saturday night at Richmond Inyernational Raceway in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. His best finish at Richmond came in the fall of his rookie year in 2007 where he qualified eighth and finished third.(RFR)(9-12-2009)

    • McMurray looks to be headed to the #1 car: The merger between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing all but made it official that Jamie McMurray will move to the #1 at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next season. McMurray has been in discussions with EGR for several months after being told he would not be re-signed by Roush Fenway Racing to drive the #26 next season. Roush had to shrink from five to four cars to reach NASCAR's four-car cap rule.(See full post at ESPN Insiders)(9-12-2009)

    • More details on the Petty 'buyout' of Yates: The deal that brought together Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing for next season is more of a buyout than a merger, minority owner Richard Petty said on Friday. "We're basically taking over their deal," the seven-time Sprint Cup champion said before qualifying at Richmond International Raceway. "As far as I know all of that whole operation will be Richard Petty Motorsports." Petty said George Gillett Jr., who declined to comment earlier Friday, would remain the controlling owner. He said Robbie Loomis, the executive director of race operations at RPM, will continue to run day to day operations. He was unsure what role Max Jones, who co-owned Yates Racing with Doug Yates, would take but speculated that he would stay on as the general manager. Jones declined to comment. Sources close to the situation said Yates would continue to run the Roush-Yates engine program that will supply engines to RPM's four teams -- Paul Menard from Yates and Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and A.J. Allmendinger from RPM. Petty said plans are to move from RPM's Statesville, N.C., shop to Yates' facility in Concord, N.C., to be closer to Roush Fenway Racing, which will continue to supply parts, pieces and technical support as it did with Yates. Because engines will come from Roush-Yates, RPM will have to shut down its engine department that employed more than 40 people. Petty said the potential of letting more people go during tough economic times was the tough part of the deal.(in part from ESPN.com)(9-12-2009)

    • #2 Crew Chief Tryson to leave Penske UPDATE: Bob Dilner reported during SPEED's coverage of the Sprint Cup first practice at Richmond that Pat Tryson, current crew chief for #2-Kurt Busch, will leave Penske Racing and head over to crew chief Martin Truex Jr. for MIcheal Waltrip Racing #56 NAPA Toyota team (SPEED)
      hearing that Gene Nead, current crew chief for #55-Michael Waltrip [team and points will go to the #56 in 2010], will stay with MWR and crew chief for Waltrip's part-time effort in 2010.(9-11-2009)
      UPDATE: a partial transcript from Dodge, #2-Kurt Busch dicussing crew chief Pat Tryson:
      THERE ARE REPORTS THAT YOUR CREW CHIEF PAT TRYSON IS LEAVING AT THE END OF THE YEAR. IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THAT RUMOR? “Yeah, it’s a change that’s going to happen. It’s unfortunate that Pat (Tryson) made that type of decision. It seems like our focus should be on the Chase and making it in the Chase, so it’s a tough week for that type of news. That’s really where my focus is. No matter who I’m working with or communicating with, we have to get the Miller Lite Dodge in the Chase and get off to a great start once we do that.”
      ARE YOU MAD AT PAT FOR THE TIMING OF HIS DECISION? “The timing isn’t all that good, but it never is any good when you want to change directions in life. I did that in 2005 at Roush Racing. There’s never a really a good time to bring things up, but I can’t be disappointed in Pat or upset at Pat. The way that we’ve had a great run together and the way that he turned our program around in 2007, it helped put him back on the map too so to speak. You never want to hold anybody back from their ambitions and their dreams. We have a guy in Brad Keselowski that’s coming to our program and Dale Jr. had a tough decision to make on what to do with him. And when your phrase it the way that Pat did and I’m sure the way that Keselowski did, that there are opportunities ahead and that you want to go and conquer other things, you can’t tie them down. You have to let them go and make those decisions. Pat and I had a great run together. We still have more work to do though. We want to get locked in (the Chase) tomorrow night. That’s the focus. If we go out and do business as usual, we should. He’ll be with us throughout the Chase. It’s going to be a changing target throughout the Chase, but right now Pat and I are a great combination and have a task at hand.”
      DID PAT GIVE YOU ANY IDEA WHY HE WANTS A DIFFERNET OPPORTUNITY? “That’s something that I think Pat can answer or Mike Nelson from Penske Racing who can give better insight. My job is to focus on the Chase and not get into those details.”(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-12-2009)

    • RCR cars to honor Fallen Heroes of 9/11: A decal honoring the fallen heroes of 9/11 from the City of New York Police Department, the City of New York Fire Department and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is affixed to the five Richard Childress Racing entries [4 Sprint Cup, 1 NNS] in this weekend’s NASCAR races at Richmond International Raceway. Police Officer Victor Dipierro, of the NYPD’s 47th Precinct, has provided the Fallen Heroes decals to RCR each year since 2003 to mark the anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy. Part of the 47th Precinct’s 9/11 Memorial contains sections of sheet metal from the three RCR cars which carried the decals in the Fall 2003 race at Richmond International Raceway.(RCR)(9-12-2009)

    • Kahne discuss's being back with Ford:
      KASEY KAHNE (#9 Budweiser Dodge) WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE NEWS THAT RPM WAS MOVING TO FORD IN 2010? “I was a little bit surprised with that, but I think that it’s better for Richard Petty Motorsports in the long run. They’re trying to build our company and make it stronger and I think that it will be a good thing.”
      HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING BACK TO FORD? “I think that it will be a bit different because of the way that our relationship ended last time. We’ll have to figure out how to get through that and go on with it. What Ford’s done in racing has been really good with Roush and Yates over the years. I’m happy with Dodge and what we’ve done here, but it will be a bit of a change next year. I think it’s going to be beneficial for RPM. I think we’re going to help them out too. We have some things that I feel are better than Roush-Yates have. I think their engines are really strong and they have a lot of people to work hard on both programs. If we work hard, it could be a pretty cool deal.”
      CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR MOVE BACK TO FORD DESPITE THE CONTENOUS WAY THAT YOU LEFT THEM IN THE PAST? “It really wasn’t about me; it was about building Richard Petty Motorsports. Obviously I left Ford…we went through that whole lawsuit…I wasn’t a big fan and they weren’t a big fan of me. Time heals and I think some of those (Ford) people are gone that caused all that. They have new people there. Ford is really excited and I can work through things. I can figure how to get by and hopefully use those guys and work with those guys to become a better racer and help our company.”
      WILL LEAVING DODGE NEXT YEAR HURT YOUR ABILITY IN THIS YEAR’S CHASE? “It’s not going to hurt us in the context of support. The people that we have that have worked hard to put us where we’re at…putting the 9 car where we’re at…are a lot of good people. They still want to win races. I want to win races and we want to run as well in the Chase as we can. Hopefully it doesn’t affect us. It could, hopefully it doesn’t.”(Darnell Communications/Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-12-2009)

    • Robby going for Off Road chanpionship: #7-Robby Gordon will compete in the fourth of five SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series races, the Primm 300 in Nevada on Saturday. Gordon will drive the #77 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Trophy Truck in the SCORE series event. Gordon and the Robby Gordon Off-Road team have been nearly flawless during the 2009 season, currently leading the Trophy Truck point standings. Gordon looks to clinch the championship this weekend, which would be his sixth Off-Road Championship and his first since 1996. “This is the first time I have run a full SCORE schedule since 1996. I won the Trophy Truck Championship back then and I am confident we can do it again this year,” commented Gordon." Meanwhile, David Gilliland will take Gordon's place in the #7 Jim Beam Camry on Saturday night at the Richmond International Speedway. California natives Gordon and Gilliland grew up with racing in their blood. Both worked in their fathers' race shops and learned every aspect of cars from the chassis up. That knowledge will serve Gilliland well this weekend in Richmond as he works with crew chief Kirk Almquist to finely tune the #7 Jim Beam Camry for Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400. When asked about Gilliland being in the #7 this weekend Gordon stated, “David did some testing for me earlier this year, and he and Kirk formed a good working relationship that will pay dividends this weekend. He’s an excellent race car driver and I am confident he will be competitive this weekend in Richmond”.(RGM)(9-12-2009)

    • Richmond Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Richmond this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these two series ran at Richmond in May . . . these teams also ran this exact tire set-up at Phoenix earlier this season . . . additionally, this left-side tire code (D-4238) has run by Cup and Nationwide teams at New Hampshire, and by Nationwide teams at Milwaukee and O'Reilly Raceway Park . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. The estimated pit window is every 90-100 laps, based on fuel mileage (Sprint Cup).(Goodyear), see full notes, tire pressures, tire codes on my Richmond Race Info page - Goodyear section.(9-12-2009)

    • Rachtman returns to Richmond: Throughout most of 2009 TV/Radio personality Riki Rachtman could be seen on numerous shows airing on VH1 more notably his feature spot on “Daisy of Love”. Riki was the “voice of reason” as Daisy De La Hoya sifted through a houseful of men as she tried to find Mr. Right. In 2003 Rachtman was asked to host the inaugural Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Riki, a self proclaimed hardcore NASCAR fan jumped at the offer and has been invited back every year on behalf of Chevy. ”I have always driven Chevrolets so to be associated with the bowtie makes me proud.” This weekend he will return to Richmond International Raceway for the 7th consecutive year. As in the previous 6 years Rachtman’s duties include a Q & A session with many of the top drivers in NASCAR at the Chevy fan fest. “ Truth be told,” says Rachtman “It is one of the events I look forward to every single year. I get up on stage hang out with race fans and talk to the superstars of NASCAR. It almost feels like I’m hanging out in my living room with Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart and 2000 of my friends” In addition to his many TV appearances Riki can be heard weekly on his highly rated nationally syndicated radio show “Racing Rocks with Riki Rachtman” which is currently heard on over 110 radio stations across America. On Saturday Riki Rachtman will also spend time talking to fans at Richmond International Raceway’s Fan zone at 2:30pm/et then host Chevy Fan fest at 4:00pm/et with Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Richard Childress.(9-12-2009)

    • Terrorist threat did not exist at DIS: A state trooper was named Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for July 2008, cited for "excellent training, experience, investigative techniques, and self-motivation," that led to the arrests of four "potential terrorists who may have been targeting the Daytona International Speedway." But the FBI said Friday that while Trooper William Cain did the right thing when he reported the men to the FBI and a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Joint Terrorism Task Force, the men were not arrested and did not pose a threat. "Several individuals were interviewed and, after it was determined that no immediate terrorist threat existed, those individuals were released," said Special Agent Jeff Westcott of the FBI's Jacksonville office. It all started with Cain's observations of the men photographing the speedway three days before the Coke Zero 400 and escalated when Cain rain the tag on their minivan and the registration matched a name on a terrorism watch list. FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said the incident is an open investigation and any information about the traffic stop is not public record.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-12-2009)


      News from September 11, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 11 -- 1999: In his 25th start, Tony Stewart wins his first Cup race in dominating style. Stewart leads 333 of 400 laps and beats Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bobby Labonte by 1.115 seconds in the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond. It is the most laps Stewart has led in a Cup race.(NASCAR.com)

    • Race Coverage of the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, 2009.
      Television (TV): ABC at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:43pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Sunday, September 13 at 3:30am/et
      ESPN Classic: Sunday, September 13 at 11:00am/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, September 16 at 12:00pm/et

    • Martin on pole at Richmond: #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway with a lap of 126.808mph for his 6th pole of the season and 47th career pole, Martin has won 7 races from the 1st starting position. #1-Truex Jr. was 2nd fastest followed by #11-Hamlin, #48-Johnson, #9-Kahne, #83-Vickers, #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #09-Keselowski and #99-Edwards. Points leader #14-Stewart will start 29th. The fastest 43 cars made the race and the one slowest failed to qualify.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #09-Keselowski, #82-Speed, #71-Bliss, #66-Blaney, #78-Smith, #87-Nemechek, #36-McDowell and #13-Papis.
      The one driver who failed to qualify: #37-Raines.
      See the qualifying results, pole progression, starting lineup and more on the Richmond Starting Lineup/Qualifying Page.(9-11-2009)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Richmond: The selections of pit stalls for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway have been made. Pole sitter #5-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters], outside pole sitter #1-Truex Jr. took pit stall 17, the next pit stall with an opening in front of it, #11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 3rd stall. The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #09-Keselowski, who starts 9th.
      See the pit selection chart on the Richmond Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-11-2009)

    • Where did the Chase Drivers/Contenders Qualify at Richmond:
      (by current points standing, 1st four have clinched a spot)
      1) #14-Tony Stewart starts 25th
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 7th
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin, 3rd
      (the following have not clinched a spot in The Chase
      5) #99-Carl Edwards, 10th
      6) #9-Kasey Kahne, 5th
      7) #2-Kurt Busch, 13th
      8) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 14th
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 21st
      10) #5-Mark Martin, 1st-Pole
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 24th
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth, 28th
      Contenders for the top-12/The Chase:
      13) #83-Brian Vickers, 6th
      14) #18-Kyle Busch, 8th
      15) #00-David Reutimann, 23rd.(9-11-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Richmond International Raceway:
      #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 with a lap of 21.292 seconds, 126.808 mph.
      This is his 47th pole in 748 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his sixth pole and 14th top-10 start in 2009. This matches Martin's career high in poles. He also had six poles in 1989.
      This is his fourth pole in 48 races at Richmond International Raceway.
      #1-Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2009 and his fifth in eight races at Richmond International Raceway.
      #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Richmond International Raceway. It is his 12th in 26 races this season.
      #82-Scott Speed is the highest qualifying rookie of the year candidate and will start 20th.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-11-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, September 11, 2009 at 5:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 - 5:30pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed going for 43 starting spots. 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 #99-Edwards.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #43-Sorenson.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #13-Papis with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #71-Bliss.
      See the full qualifying order on the Richmond Qualifying Page.(9-11-2009)

    • Happy Hour Practice for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over, the top-five were:
      #42-Montoya 124.412
      #48-Johnson 124.390
      #5-Martin 124.218
      #24-Gordon 124.178
      #9-Kahne 123.836
      Slowest: #55-Waltrip 119.989 & #34-Andretti 119.760
      See fast speeds, average speeds, lap run on my Richmond Practice Speeds Page.(9-11-2009)

    • The non top-35 drivers Happy Hour practice at Richmond International Raceway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #82-Scott Speed, 16th fastest overall
      #71-Mike Bliss, 18th
      #09-Brad Keselowski, 20th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 29th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 33rd
      #13-Max Papis, 36th
      #78-Regan Smith, 38th
      #37-Tony Raines, 41st
      this driver would miss the race if things stayed the same:
      #36-Michael McDowell, 42nd

    • First Friday Practice for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over, some results:
      #87-Nemechek 122.867
      #16-Biffle 122.594
      #18-Busch 122.482
      #33-Bowyer 122.410
      #11-Hamlin 122.288
      Slowest: #36-McDowell 117.961 & #37-Raines 118.250
      No speed listed: #66-Blaney
      See fast speeds, average speeds, lap run on my Richmond Practice Speeds Page.(9-11-2009)

    • Hamlin's stolen car found, arrest made: NASCAR driver #11-Denny Hamlin has recovered the luxury car that was stolen from his driveway. Police in Charlotte, N.C., contacted the driver last week to say they had arrested a woman who was found inside the car a day after surveillance video of the theft was released. Police had hoped the footage would lead to information about the heist. The 2008 Lexus LS was reported stolen Aug. 18. The car is owned by Toyota Motorsales and valued at $50,000. Police records show Tomaceeta Hampton was arrested Sept. 5 and charged with possessing a stolen vehicle.(Associated Press)(9-11-2009)

    • Dodge committed to NASCAR in 2010: The head of Dodge Motorsports on Friday called Richard Petty's defection a "business decision" that won't affect the manufacturer's participation in NASCAR. Richard Petty Motorsports has signed a letter-of-intent to merge with Yates Racing and field a four-car Ford team next season. It leaves Dodge with just three Roger Penske-owned cars in its 2010 lineup. But president and CEO Mike Accavitti said that's enough for Dodge, which has had to continuously reinforce its commitment to NASCAR because of the cash problems that forced parent-company Chrysler into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization earlier this year. "Dodge's plan - to be a championship contender in 2010 with Penske Racing and a solid lineup of drivers - has not changed," Accavitti said. "We remain firmly focused on our objectives to be the leading manufacturer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, win races and compete for the Sprint Cup at the right level."(Associated Press)(9-11-2009)

    • #2 Crew Chief Tryson to leave Penske: Bob Dilner reported during SPEED's coverage of the Sprint Cup first practice at Richmond that Pat Tryson, current crew chief for #2-Kurt Busch, will leave Penske Racing and head over to crew chief Martin Truex Jr. for MIcheal Waltrip Racing #56 NAPA Toyota team (SPEED)
      hearing that Gene Nead, current crew chief for #55-Michael Waltrip [team and points will go to the #56 in 2010], will stay with MWR and crew chief for Waltrip's part-time effort in 2010.(9-11-2009)

    • Nemechek gets sponsor for RIR qualifying: Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center will be the Qualifying Sponsor for Nemco Racing's #87 Toyota driven by Joe Nemechek for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Race to be held on Saturday September 12th at Richmond International Raceway.(Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center), see an image of the scheme on my #87 Team Schemes page.(9-11-2009)

    • Lance Snacks joins Ambrose for 2010 UPDATE 2: Team owner Tad Geschickter has signed up another sponsor for the #47 team and Marcos Ambrose in 2010 - Lance Crackers. This is the second former Nationwide Series team sponsor bargaining for more bang for the buck in the Sprint Cup Series with JTG Daugherty Racing. The company announced Saturday that Kleenex would support their Cup efforts in five races next year.(Fox Sports)(8-26-2009)
      UPDATE JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Thursday that Lance Snacks will appear on the hood of Marcos Ambrose's #47 Toyota in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season, with dates to be announced. Geschickter said he has the bulk of next season's schedule sold, and will enter the 2010 season with more sponsorship than he did in 2009 [mentioned needing a sponsor for Pocono].(9-11-2009)
      . UPDATE 2: Lance, Inc. formally announced a multi-year agreement to promote their popular Lance Sandwich Crackers and Tom’s Salty Snacks lines through sponsorship of Marcos Ambrose and the JTG/Daugherty Sprint Cup entry. Tom’s executed a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series Sponsorship with the team in 2009 and the results prompted the move to Cup Series Sponsorship. Lance Brand Director, Tommy Ingram said, “JTG/Daugherty Racing is a great organization and has a proven track record of helping brands win with consumers and retailers. We were impressed with the business results from our 2009 partnership and are pleased to take the relationship to the next level with America’s #1 Brand of Sandwich Crackers.”
      The Lance and Tom’s Brands will be primary Sponsors for the Ambrose #47 Sprint Cup car in three races and will be associate sponsors in 12 others. Tad Geschickter, Co-owner of JTG/Daugherty said, “After 15 years in the Nationwide Series we are excited about our first year in the Sprint Cup Series with Marcos. We are pleased that Lance will partner with us as we gear up for our second year. Lance Sandwich Crackers and Tom’s Snacks are a great compliment to our other sponsors as we create promotions for race fans and retailers.”
      Ambrose, the former Australian driving champion, continues to impress with great on-track performance and a genuine appreciation for the opportunity that NASCAR and his Sponsors are providing. “I’ve raced all over the world and NASCAR is the best form of racing anywhere. I am so thankful to our long-term partners like Kingsford, Clorox and Bush’s Baked Beans. I am equally excited about new partners like Lance and Kleenex joining our family for 2010,” stated Ambrose. “JTG/Daugherty is growing and I’m honored that so many great American Brands are taking notice of our efforts.”(JTG Daugherty Racing)(9-11-2009)

    • Sorenson discusses Petty-Yates merger: Thursday, September 10, 2009 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with #43 RPM Dodge driver Reed Sorenson after the announcement that Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing have signed a letter of intent to merge for the 2010 season and race a four car team in Fords:
      Host, Dave Moody: “When did you first learn of this?”
      Reed Sorenson: “Well, to be honest with you, I’ve heard rumors and things like that and whatnot of something going on with a merger but as far as knowing exactly what’s going on, I haven’t really paid too much attention to it. I’ve just been working with my team and when I’ve been to the shop this week I really didn’t talk to anybody in upper management or anything. I was hanging out with my guys and working with my crew chief there so I didn’t know when this was going to happen or what they were working on but obviously it came along this week.”
      Moody: “So in terms of actually having a face-to-face conversation or even a telephone conversation with somebody in upper management to tell you that you’re not apparently a part of the plan for next year, have you or have you not had that conversation as of yet?”
      Sorenson: “Well, not really pertaining to this I haven’t got any conversation but there have been some conversations in the past few weeks just discussing next year and I’ve kind of known for a few weeks now that I’m looking for a job next year. I think everything for the rest of this year is set as far as what our plans are and what our goals are but as far as next year for me as a driver, just looking to the future and looking for a ride.”
      “This is a tough time to not only get a ride but get a good ride. And that’s probably the toughest thing about it is trying to put yourself in a position where you can get yourself in a car where you can see yourself having a future at. That’s the toughest thing right now. I’m only 23 years old and I thought this was going to be a place where I could get down with a team and start a long future but obviously that hasn’t worked out. The sponsors I’ve worked with this year have been great and we’ve had zero problems with them. All the sponsors, they’ve wanted to work with me again next year so I don’t think that’s a problem. I just think it’s the circumstances of the economy and what everybody’s having to do to get through it.”
      “At the end of the day it is a business but I think the most depressing thing about it is I like everybody that I work with including my teammates and all the guys at the shop. So that’s probably the most depressing thing about it all is just not being able to set up long term goals with the guys at the shop and [not] being able to work with them again next year. You know, our cars have gotten a lot better throughout the year and it would be awesome to go through the offseason and build something up to start next year but that’s not going to happen.”
      Moody: “Are there any irons in the fire for you for 2010 as of right now?” Sorenson: “Still working on it, man. As we talked about, it’s not a good time to be looking for a ride, especially a good one. The one good thing I have is that I am young and I’m going to work my butt off the rest of this year to try and find a job and just keep doing the best I can. That’s all you can do. Just like I said, the sad thing is just everything was going really well here with all the team members and with all the sponsors so that’s probably just the worst thing about it all is just how well everything was going and now it’s all coming to an end.”
      “SIRIUS Speedway” airs every weekday (3-7 pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio 128.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(9-11-2009)

    • Start times for races could be more consistent in 2010: NASCAR is expected to have more consistent start times by the 2010 season. Officials confirmed they are working with the networks to standardize starting times that fans have criticized for years. Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark told reporters on Saturday that the plan is to run most afternoon races at 1:00pm/et and most night races at 7:30pm/et. This may vary for West Coast races.(more at ESPN Insider)(9-11-2009)

    • Allmendinger discusses Petty-Yates merger: Thursday, September 10, 2009 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with #44 RPM Dodge driver A.J. Allmendinger after the announcement that Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing have signed a letter of intent to merge for the 2010 season and race a four car team in Fords:
      Host, Dave Moody: “How long have you known about this?”
      A.J. Allmendinger: “I think probably just about as long as you guys have. Maybe an hour earlier. I knew about an hour earlier.”
      Moody: “Is it safe to say there are going to be a lot of really surprised folks wandering around the halls at RPM and Yates Racing today?”
      Allmendinger: “In certain ways, yes. In certain ways, maybe not, no. Just because over the last, heck, I mean, how many months has it been that people have known that we’ve been out there looking at manufacturers. And Foster Gillett and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports has been working hard to find the right home for us to go to. Yeah, maybe in certain ways, just kinda how quick it all happened but in other ways, no, just because like I said, they’ve been working hard and there’s been no secret especially over the last couple of months about them looking at manufacturers. Obviously, Toyota was probably the main one that was put out there but they’ve been kind of exhausting every possibility and I think with what just happened the whole team is excited. I know I’m pumped up about it to be able to work with Ford and be a part of that. It’s going to be a good thing.”
      “Obviously, all the horsepower that Yates puts out is pretty awesome to have and we’re pretty excited about it. We’ve been working really hard, especially on the chassis. We’ve gotten the chassis a lot better at Richard Petty Motorsports and everybody in the engine shop has been doing a good job there. We’ve just been just lacking a little bit but I’m excited about that because we’ve worked really hard especially over the last few months to make these cars handle good and we put some Yates horsepower under it, it’s going to be a good thing.”
      Moody: “We would assume that the legendary #43 would continue. Have they told you yet who drives it?”
      Allmendinger: “Haven’t told me yet so I don’t know, Moody. You seem to know more than I usually do so when you find that out let me know, please. I’d love to drive it. The history behind it. In a way, obviously I already get to drive for the King and a lot of ways with being a part of Richard Petty Motorsports and kind of looking at the #43 and #44 cars as still the stable mate of the King’s cars, but I’d love to be driving that #43. As a racecar driver and more of a racecar fan, I love the history of motorsports and obviously the #43 is one of those numbers throughout all types of auto racing that stands out. So if I got a chance to be in it I’d jump at it in a heartbeat.” “SIRIUS Speedway” airs every weekday (3-7 pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio 128.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(9-11-2009)

    • Kenny Wallace to make 800th NASCAR start: It’s not often Kenny Wallace is at a loss for words. But he’s admitted as much heading into Friday night’s Nationwide race where he’ll make the 800th start of his NASCAR national series career, placing him 17th on the all-time list. Wallace became only the third driver to surpass 400 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last year. His national series start totals: 444 NASCAR Nationwide, 344 NASCAR Sprint Cup and 11 NASCAR Camping World Truck. His accomplishments in the NASCAR Nationwide Series are more than solid with nine wins, 64 top fives, 159 top 10s and 10 poles. He’s finished in the top 10 in the standings in eight of the 11 seasons he’s competed full time and has been named the series’ Most Popular Driver a record three times.(RIR)(9-11-2009)

    • Remembering 9/11:: Friday’s event will be the second NASCAR race that’s fallen on September 11; the first was a NASCAR Sprint Cup race also at Richmond in 2004. On the eighth anniversary of 9/11, Benny Gordon and the #72 team will be part of a special tribute. Earlier this year, Gordon and his team approached the National September 11 Memorial and Museum committee with their tribute; a specially-designed paint scheme that would be unveiled in front of first-responders in New York before racing at Richmond. The unveiling took place Aug. 31 in Manhattan near Ground Zero. First-responders signed the car that will be on display on the midway. Thursday at 2 p.m., retired FDNY Lt. Mickey Kross, who was trapped in the North Tower for 48 hours after its collapse, presented Track President Doug Fritz with an American flag that flew over Ground Zero. Kross, Gordon and Fritz raised the 9/11 flag on THursday which will fly over the track until after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Saturday night.(RIR)(9-11-2009)

    • Gillett about finalizes Montreal Canadiens sale: George Gillett, tears in his eyes, announced Thursday that the sale of the Canadiens to the Molson family is all but finalized, saying his eight years as owner of the historic team were the best of his family's life. He says his one regret was not to have won a Stanley Cup during his tenure with the Canadiens. The sale confirmation comes on the same day Quebec announces a $75-million loan to facilitate the transaction. The government loan hinges on a guarantee the hockey club stays in Montreal. Closing is expected to take place in the next few weeks, subject to ultimate approval by the National Hockey League, according to a statement released by the partnership purchasing the team. In addition to the Molson brothers and members of their family, the partners include Bell, the Woodbridge Company Limited, the QFL Solidarity Fund, Michael Andlauer and Luc Bertrand. Two thirds of the capital is invested by Quebec-based partners.(Montreal Gazette), Gillett is co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports [#9, #19, #43, #44 teams](9-11-2009)

    • Mayfield believes he's a scapegoat: Jeremy Mayfield believes NASCAR is using him as an example. Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR on May 9 after testing positive for methamphetamines, a violation of the substance abuse policy. He spoke to ESPN's "Outside The Lines" on Wednesday. "[NASCAR wants to] get the message back to other drivers in the sport," Mayfield said. "To put the fear of God into them. To scare the other drivers. And crew members and everybody out there. I think it killed two or three birds with one stone there with the policy. And it put the fear of God in other people and other drivers who have tested positive that they didn't put in this situation." Mayfield filed a lawsuit against NASCAR. It is set to be heard in a trial jury beginning on Sept. 13, 2010. Mayfield contends he did not take methamphetamines and is seeking to be fully reinstated. He also is seeking damages. Mayfield said NASCAR banned him to scare other drivers who have tested positive. "This was sending a message to them saying, 'You better straighten your act up', without putting them through what they put me through," Mayfield said. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston responded with this statement: "The facts are clear and now recognized by the court, that Jeremy tested positive twice for methamphetamines. He was offered the chance to undergo the road to recovery but chose to go the legal route."(ESPN)(9-11-2009)


      News from September 10, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 10 -- 1994: Ted Musgrave completes a pole sweep at Richmond but fails to finish in the top 10 in either race. To date, Musgrave is the last driver to win the pole for both Cup races at Richmond in the same year.(NASCAR.com)

    • McDowell in the #36; Carpentier out: Michael McDowell will drive the #36 Wave Energy Drink Toyota of Tommy Baldwin Racing beginning this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Patrick Carpenitier is no longer driving the #36 because of a business conflict in Canada. McDowell has been driving full-time in NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota during the 2009 season and captured five top-10 finishes.(TBR PR), Carpentier was scheduled to run the #36 at Richmond, New Hampshire, Dover, Kansas and California. Mike Skinner was scheduled to run in the final six races. No word if Skinner or McDowell will run those races.(9-10-2009)

    • Richard Petty Motorsports to run Fords in 2010, merge w/Yates: Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing announced today they have signed a letter of intent to merge operations in time for the 2010 season. The four-car team will race Fords under the Richard Petty Motorsports banner.
      Richard Petty: “This is a pretty big deal for us. We’re thrilled to partner with Ford. We’ve talked with a lot of folks, but in the end it came down to the success the Gilletts and I think we can achieve with Ford Racing. Right now this deal is real new. There are lots of details still left to be ironed out so we don’t have a lot of answers for anyone right now. We’ll be working on all that in the coming days, weeks and months, but we do intend to have everything in place before the start of next season. I’ve won races with Ford and plan to again.”
      Team Managing Partner Foster Gillett: “Richard and Kasey (Kahne) showed us Sunday night in Atlanta that they like winning quite a bit and Ford is going to provide the support that we need to go to victory lane more often. If you are going to compete with the other teams in this sport you need a lot of support. We bring a lot to this relationship as well. We’ve won twice this season and the power of Richard Petty is hard to beat, plus we have the support of some of the biggest names in corporate America.”
      Yates Racing Co-owner Max Jones: “This is certainly a great opportunity for both Yates Racing as well as Ford Racing. I have had a long-term relationship with Ford and look forward to continuing that relationship at Richard Petty Motorsports. Over the coming weeks we will continue to work with Ford and Richard Petty to lay out the best plan for Paul Menard and all of the employees at Yates Racing. We will continue to field both the #98 and #96 Ford Fusions for the remainder of the season and look forward to continued success on the track with Paul, Bobby Labonte and Erik Darnell.”
      Yates Racing Co-owner Doug Yates: “This plan is clearly in the best interest of the Ford Racing community. On a personal level, I am excited about the opportunity to focus my full energy on building Ford horsepower. We look forward to working with Richard Petty Motorsports to produce power second to none. There are many details to be worked out with Richard Petty Motorsports and as we finalize those details we will keep everyone informed.”
      Director of Ford North America Motorsports Brian Wolfe: "I am very pleased that Richard Petty Motorsports has made the decision to switch to Ford for the 2010 season. They had choices to consider other than Ford and it's gratifying to us that they have enough faith in the Ford Motor Company and what we're doing to make the switch. We believe we can provide them with superior analytical tools and powertrain, and we will work with them closely on the technical front to help them become even more competitive than they are. What's also really cool to me is the chance to have someone with the class and the legacy of Richard Petty involved with Ford. Combine that with the chance to work with the Gillett family, who we have great respect for, and add some great drivers to the Ford camp, well, it's hard not to be excited about this opportunity."
      Note: Paul Menard will be one of the drivers in the Petty team joining #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-AJ Allmendinger.(Richard Petty Motorsports)
      and the PR doesn't mention Reed Sorenson or what car number Menard will run and with this merger, looks like the #26 Roush Fenway Racing team may now go away as they it not merge with Yates Racing now, since Yates and RPM merging is at the four car limit mandated by NASCAR. So unless something changes, two more cars/teams are lost: would expect RPM to run the #9, #19 and #43 so either the #44 team or the #98 team would go away and the #26 Ford that was rumored to be going to Yates.
      UPDATE: on Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128, Sirius Speedway radio show, Reed Sorenson, current driver of the #43 RPM Dodge, was interviewed and said he knew a few weeks ago that he would not be back with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 and he is looking for a ride in 2010. Sorenson says he has enjoyed working with all his current sponsors in 2009 and a few would like to stay with him.(9-10-2009)

    • Four To Be Inducted Into 2010 Hall of Fame Class: Four new members, who each have made major contributions to auto racing, will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame. The class includes Roger Penske, Jack Roush, Robert Yates and Rusty Wallace. They will be inducted on Jan. 16, 2010, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Concord, N.C. They join a Hall of Fame that includes Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough, A.J. Foyt, Harry Hyde, Bud Moore, Glen Wood and Leonard Wood.
      Roger Penske’s IndyCar team is the sport’s most successful with a record 15 Indianapolis 500 victories and more than 140 wins overall. His NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have won 63 races, including a Daytona 500. He’s won more than 300 races and 20 championships in all forms of racing.
      Jack Roush won 24 titles, including 12 manufacturer’s championships, and 119 races in road racing. His NASCAR teams have won five championships in the sport’s top three divisions, including back-to-back crowns in the Sprint Cup series in 2003 and ’04. His Cup teams have scored 115 victories, including this year’s Daytona 500.
      Robert Yates was one of NASCAR’s top engine builders and carried that success with him when he became a car owner. Before he retired, his organization won the 1999 Cup championship and 57 Cup races, including three Daytona 500s.
      Rusty Wallace, the 1989 champion in what is now NASCAR Sprint Cup, ranks eighth on the all-time series wins list with 55 victories. He scored at least one win in a record-tying 16 consecutive seasons. Wallace, now a Nationwide Series car owner, also was selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
      The National Motorsports Press Association was formed more than 40 years ago. It features motorsports writers, broadcasters and photographers from throughout the U.S. and abroad. (NMPA)(9-10-2009)

    • Stewart wins Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway: Tony Stewart won the fifth annual Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream all-star dirt late model race Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, marking the third time in four years Stewart has won the event. Stewart passed Kenny Wallace on lap 13 of the 30-lap event and led the final 18 laps en route to victory. “This was probably the best I’ve run in the Prelude,” said Stewart, who bought Eldora in 2004. Clint Bowyer finished 3.358 seconds behind Stewart in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Drag Racing standout Cruz Pedregon, David Reutimann, Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson comprised the top-10. There were four caution periods during the event, although the laps conducted under caution did not count. The race, which drew more than 23,000 fans, was broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View with proceeds from the nationwide telecast supporting four military-themed charities – Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House (True Speed Communication). See race results, links and more on my Racing Charities page.(9-10-2009)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Pep Boys Auto 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. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 125
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 76
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 56
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:31 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:33 pm
      Total minutes: 242
      Minutes of race broadcast: 190
      Minutes of commercials: 52
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of mystery cautions (no debris shown): 0
      Number of times an ESPN SportsCenter commercial was on screen in a split-screen with the race: 2
      Total race brdcst time 190 Total comm. brdcst time 52
      See selected drivers and more on my 2009 TV Commercials page.(9-10-2009)

    • Wounded Warriors featured on the #24 at Richmond: The National Guard will honor Wounded Warriors on the hood of Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy this weekend at Richmond. The National Guard has a program in place that ensures that the medical and personal needs of soldiers who have been wounded as a result of deployment are met so they can focus on transitioning back into their professional and personal lives in their communities. This safeguards the long-term health and well-being of those who answer the call to duty. Visit nationalguard.com to learn more. This season, Gordon and the #24 team are helping to bring awareness to the National Guard's community initiatives, which will be showcased on the #24 DuPont/National Guard Chevrolet in eight Sprint Cup Series events. In addition to this weekend at Richmond, Gordon will partner with the National Guard at two other venues: New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 20 and Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 25. Friends and family members can share why their current soldier is an inspiration and a hero to them by visiting youreverydayhero.com from Sept. 10-28. Chevy will choose the top-five stories, and the public will vote on the site for its favorite story from Oct. 5-22. The soldier with the most votes will win a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox and will be a VIP guest at the Nov. 11 CMA awards, along with their immediate family.(HMS)(9-10-2009)

    • Buffalo Wild Wings, NASCAR Hall of Fame Announce Partnership: The NASCAR Hall of Fame and Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. announced today that Buffalo Wild Wings will be the exclusive restaurant partner for the new NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. Buffalo Wild Wings, a national sports-themed restaurant company best known for its award winning chicken wings spun in one of its 14 different sauces, will open the 8,400-square-foot restaurant in the Spring of 2010. The 10-year agreement has multiple renewal options. See more at the NASCAR HoF site.(9-10-2009)

    • Chase stats going in to Richmond: Eleven drivers going for 8 spots Saturday night at Richmond. Only one other time, 2006, have 8 spots been up for grabs. Only two others times has the gap between the final Chase spot and the first contender been less than 20 points, the difference between 12th place Matt Kenseth and 13th place Brian Vickers when the green flag falls at RIR. In 2005, Ryan Newman stood one single point away from 10th place Jamie McMurray at the start and easily made the Chase with a 12th while McMurray had an accident and finished 40th. Last year, Clint Bowyer held a 17-point margin over David Ragan going into the 26th race, and his 12th place finish easily outdistanced Ragan's 32nd. In the five years of the Chase format, only twice has a driver sitting outside the Chase field at the start of the race been able to race his way into the playoffs. In the first Race to the Chase in 2004, Jeremy Mayfield's dramatic win jumped him four spots into the Chase. In 2006, Kasey Kahne stormed to a third place finish at RIR and knocked out Tony Stewart, who managed only an 18th that night. Denny Hamlin quietly clinched his spot in the Chase at Atlanta with a sixth. Hamlin is 4-for-4 in Chase attempts, making it in his first full year in 2006 and every year since. The #11 car has been one of the steadiest in the field the last month. Kyle Busch, 37 points out of Matt Kenseth, can force the #17 to get a top 5 by winning the final race before the Chase, something Kenseth hasn't done since 2005. Richmond has been a tough track for Brian Vickers, who doesn't have a top 10 in his last 9 starts there. His hope is that Kyle Busch has trouble and he outruns Kenseth for the final spot, unless someone else in the "danger zone" has problems. It's a longshot, but David Reutimann gutted out a 4th at Atlanta and stayed in mathematical contention for the Chase, 132 points out. It has been a landmark season for the veteran driver, getting Michael Waltrip Racing into Chase contention for the first time. See more on my Chase Stats after Atlanta page.(9-10-2009)

    • Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon visting National Guard Unit: Before heading to Richmond, #24-Jeff Gordon and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will stop in Nashville, Tenn., to attend the 131st National Guard Association of the United States conference. Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. will meet with top leadership, including the National Guard's first four-star general, Gen. Craig R. McKinley.(HMS)(9-10-2009)

    • Richmond Rookie Notes: #20-Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 6 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Logano posted a 22nd-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the 18th time this season. Logano leads #82-Scott Speed by 25 points (214-189) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 12 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Raybestos Rookie Denny Hamlin won the pole for the 2006 September race, one of three poles he won during his initial Sprint Cup Series season. He became the fourth Raybestos Rookie since 1975 to win the pole for the fall race at Richmond joining Dale Earnhardt (1979), Bobby Labonte (1993) and Jimmie Johnson (2002). The only Raybestos Rookie to win the September race at Richmond is Tony Stewart, who captured the 1999 Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Stewart scored his first Sprint Cup Series win by 1.115 seconds over Bobby Labonte. 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 (45 races).(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos), for rookie standings, rules, history and more, see my 2009 Rookies page.(9-10-2009)

    • Drivers do presidential PSA: President Obama delivered a national address directly to students on the importance of staying in school on Tuesday, Sept., 8 at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. As part of the initiative, a public service announcement was aired featuring Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. along with other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase contenders. To view the PSA please visit, earnhardtganassi.com.(9-10-2009)

    • Smyle Media Photo Database Available: Smyle Media is excited to announce that after nearly a year of cataloging and digitizing, over 6500 vintage and current NASCAR photographs are now online and ready for immediate viewing and licensing. Please visit Smylemedia.com and click on the "Photo Database" icon on the navigation bar to view these amazing photos. Included are images from the award winning Don Hunter Collection, as well as the Tom Kirkland Archive and several other vintage photographic collections. From Junior Johnson to Dale Jr., all images are fully captioned and ready for immediate licensing. For a short description of how to search our new database, request a user ID go to smylemedia.com.(9-10-2009)

    • Car #'s for chase drivers to be displayed on RIR's walls: Recently, Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz placed the currently “locked in” drivers to the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship on the wall. In addition, after next week’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Fritz will finish out the decals with the remaining “locked in” drivers and those on the bubble leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond International Raceway. On race weekend, fans and drivers will notice the driver numbers on the track wall in Turns 1, 2 and 3, as well as on the frontstretch and backstretch aprons, reflecting who is in and who is on the bubble leading into the 26th race of the season. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup culminates at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12, at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400—“One Last Race to Make the Chase.” Once the checkered flag flies, the field will be set for the series championship. Tickets, which start at $40, are on sale now and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(9-10-2009)

    • Value Priced Food Options at RIR: In a continuing effort to provide the best fan experience in motorsports, Richmond International Raceway announced an extensive list of new and unique concession items available to fans for the 2009 season. The list of new items includes several options that will be available exclusively to fans at Richmond International Raceway during the September Doubleheader Weekend, including the Richmond Raceway Dog, a Crabcake Sandwich and the Raceway Rib Sandwich. Additional new items rolled out in 2009 includes a two-piece fried chicken meal with a dinner roll and cole slaw, a catfish and hushpuppy basket with cole slaw, Boardwalk French Fries, and Famous Dave's Barbeque. Several value meals are available, as well, including a jumbo barbeque sandwich with cole slaw, chips and a drink; a cheeseburger meal with chips and a drink; the Boss Dog meal, featuring a 1/3-pound hot dog, chips and a drink; and a kids meal, featuring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Oreo cookies, a fruit cup and Capri Sun drink.(RIR)(9-10-2009)

    • Latest on Canadian Motor Speedway: Emirates Consulting, a United Arab Emirates based-company has proposed to build a high-speed racing facility [Canadian Motor Speedway] with plans to seat 65,000 with the potential of seating 100,000 on 821 acres of land southwest of the Bowen Road QEW interchange [Fort Erie area, Ontario, Canada]. McMaster University has also attached its name with plans for a research and development centre at the site. Currently the land is designated as an agricultural, hazard and extractive industrial zone which requires a by-law amendment from both the Town of Fort Erie and the Niagara Region. After the meeting, council unanimously supported a staff report for informational purposes, essentially moving one of many steps ahead toward final approval. Before any discussion from the mayor and council, the public was given an opportunity to either give comments of support for the project or to speak against it. Ten individuals stepped up to the podium from both sides of the argument. Azhar Mohammad, executive director of Emirates Consulting said after the meeting that people's concerns are legitimate, but they need to be assured that "the best of the best" has been assembled for the planning and construction of the facility, which is expected to be complete by 2011 if everything goes as it is planned. "All our reports have been highly sophisticated and detailed to mitigate those concerns," he said after the public meeting. He understands traffic, air quality and noise are the three primary issues when it comes to concerned residents, but those three things have been heavily addressed in the planning so far and will continue to be until it is approved. "We have worked over the last two years with 85 different Ontario-based engineers that have done nothing but study the modalities of these kinds of speedways," said Mohammad. In the proposal, there are also plans for a water park, retail outlets, restaurants and many other features.(Times of Fort Erie)(9-10-2009)

    • Ride around RIR before race: Before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes to the track for “One Last Race to Make the Chase” at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12, ticket holders will have an opportunity to ride around the same ¾-mile oval that will host the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. The Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) will bring 10 NASCAR-style stock cars to Richmond International Raceway for three-lap ride-alongs with professional drivers, reaching speeds up to 120 mph. Guests who have tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 will have the chance to speed around the track that will set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, just hours later. Ride-alongs with RPDE on Saturday, September 12, are $149 and reservations are required by calling 1-800-BE-PETTY (1-800-237-3889). Ride-alongs will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Additional information can be found by visiting www.1800bepetty.com. For tickets to the races and information, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(9-10-2009)


      News from September 9, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 9 -- 1989: Bobby Hamilton wins the Commonwealth 200 at Richmond for his first victory in a national NASCAR series race. It turns out to be his only victory in the Nationwide Series in 86 starts. His career also includes four Cup wins and 10 wins in the Truck Series, including four in 2004 when he won the championship.(NASCAR.com)

    • Prelude to the Dream TONIGHT: If you can't make the drive to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Wednesday, Sept. 9 to see the fifth annual Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream in person, don't worry. Beginning Monday, Sept. 7, race fans across the nation will have their first opportunity to order the charity all-star race on pay-per-view. Drivers from all types of disciplines, some with lots of dirt track experience and others with hardly any, will participate in hot laps, qualifying, heat races and the 30-lap feature on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Headlining the driver lineup is the majority of the Gillette Young Guns: Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. All will join Tony Stewart, the two-time Sprint Cup champion and current point leader, and some of the world's biggest auto racing stars as they duke it out for bragging rights on the dirt in 2,300-pound dirt Late Model stock cars capable of putting out more than 800 horsepower. After the first four events collectively raised more than $2 million in charitable contributions, this year's Prelude will benefit four entities that cater to severely injured military personnel or fallen soldiers and their families – Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House. Each has a mission that outlines assistance to the courageous men and women who serve their country and need additional support both during and after their time of service. The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT), followed by an immediate replay. HBO Pay-Per-View's racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry.(True Speed Communication/HBO)(9-8-2009)
      Driver Lineup: #44-AJ Allmendinger; #8-Aric Almirola; #47-Marcos Ambrose; #33-Clint Bowyer; #51-Kyle Busch; #28-Ron Capps; #98-Ray Evernham; #97F-Red Farmer; #7-Robby Gordon; #11-Denny Hamlin; #29-Kevin Harvick; #48-Jimmie Johnson; #9-Kasey Kahne; #17-Matt Kenseth; #20-Joey Logano; #07-Casey Mears; #39-Ryan Newman; #75-Cruz Pedregon; #00-David Reutimann; #9-Ken Schrader; #14-Tony Stewart; #83-Brian Vickers and #36-Kenny Wallace.
      four drivers unable to participate:
      Jeff Gordon due to a scheduling conflict.
      Carl Edwards after sustaining a broken right foot on Wednesday, Sept. 2 following a game of Frisbee in his hometown of Columbia, Mo.
      Bill Elliott after sustaining some fractured ribs on Wednesday, Sept. 2 in a dirt bike mishap.
      Dave Blaney due to the passing of his aunt.(PR)(9-9-2009)
      More info on my Racing Charities page or at www.hbo.com and eldoraspeedway.com.(9-9-2009)

    • ESPN'S NASCAR Ratings Rise for Fourth Straight Week: ESPN's live coverage of Atlanta Motor Speedway's new Labor Day weekend NASCAR races earned the network's fourth consecutive weekend of increased television ratings for NASCAR coverage. A schedule change by NASCAR shifted NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend from Fontana, Calif., where they were held last year.
      The live telecast of Sunday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN earned a final national household coverage rating of 4.1, up from the 3.9 rating for last year's NASCAR Labor Day weekend event in California. Atlanta's second race of 2008 was run in October and aired on ABC, but ESPN's telecast this year delivered an average of 5.8 million viewers, more than watched the ABC telecast last year, which aired against NFL football and drew an average of 5.6 million viewers.
      The Atlanta telecast marked the third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN to earn a ratings increase over either the same race or the same weekend from the previous year. ESPN's six-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule ended at Atlanta, but ESPN's coverage continues for the final 11 races of the season and will air on ABC.
      For the fourth consecutive week, ESPN's coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series earned a ratings increase. The telecast of the event from Atlanta on Saturday night aired on ESPN2 and earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, up from the 1.1 rating for the Nationwide Series race in Fontana, Calif., last year on Labor Day weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway did not have a Nationwide Series race in October of 2008. The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Oct. 10-11 as part of the schedule change from last year.(ESPN), for past races, TV Ratings Chart, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(9-9-2009)

    • Foyt & Evernham to be inducted in to NC Auto Racing HoF: The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame ("NCARHOF") in Mooresville, NC, announced that its thirteenth annual induction ceremony will be held on October 14, 2009 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville, NC. A.J. Foyt, seven-time Indy car champion, winner of four Indy 500s, and winner of the 1972 Daytona 500 will be inducted into the NCARHOF. Ray Evernham, crew chief on three NASCAR Cup championship teams, will be honored with the prestigious Snap-on Golden Wrench Award.
      Known primarily for his stunning success in Indy car racing, A.J. Foyt is also a winning driver in NASCAR, the USAC, 24 Hours of Daytona, and the IROC series. In total, he has accumulated 14 major driving championships, earning him the "Driver of the Century" designation from the Associated Press. Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, is scheduled to induct A.J. Foyt into the NCARHOF.
      Ray Evernham may be best known for having served as crew chief for driver Jeff Gordon in the 1990s, leading the team to three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships. His motorsports career has also taken him into the IROC series as a team manager and, later, into NASCAR team ownership. Having a keen interest in using technology to achieve performance, Ray Evernham is also widely recognized for his innovative work with pit crews and his thumb print remains on engineering systems now used throughout the racing industry.
      As an organization committed to celebrating the rich heritage of all forms of motorsports, The NCARHOF is proud to be recognizing these two outstanding individuals during its next induction ceremony. Tickets and sponsorships for this year's induction ceremony may be purchased by contacting the NCARHOF at (704) 663-5331. The NCARHOF [ncarhof.com] is recognized as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Net profits from the NCARHOF support child abuse prevention efforts and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser [12-8-2009 this year].(NCARHOF)(9-9-2009)

    • Allmendinger's Team Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Atlanta: AJ Allmendinger's team won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the first Tissot win of the season for the #44 Richard Petty Motorsports team, which became the 16th different winner of the pit crew competition in the first 25 races of 2009. Allmendinger's #44 Dodge Charger spent the least amount of time on pit road – 378.165 seconds -- during the 325-lap race at the 1.54-mile track. The team will collect $5,000 from Tissot for the pit crew win. The #44 over-the-wall crew at Atlanta consisted of: Bryan Jacobson (front tire changer), Brett Morrell (front-tire carrier), Ed Watkins (jackman), Tony Lunders (rear-tire changer), Joel Coronel (rear-tire carrier), Chris Moore (gas man) and James Antonozzi (2nd gas man). The team's crew chief is Mike Shiplett and the pit crew coach is Brett Cumming. #16-Greg Biffle's crew continues to lead the Tissot standings with five wins. The crews for #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson are tied for second with three wins each. 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)(9-9-2009), see standings and previous winners on my 2009 Pit Crew News page.

    • Robby to skip Richmond UPDATE: during SPEED's Sprint Cup practice coverage on Staurday at Atlanta it was mentioned that David Gilliland would run the #7 Toyota at Richmond next weekend in place of Robby Gordon [owner/driver] who will be running the road race in Baja. Mile Bliss will run the #71 Chevy instead of Gilliland.(9-5-2009)
      UPDATE: Last week was a busy yet terrifying week for #7-Robby Gordon. Early in the week, Gordon tested his Hummer H3 in the desert of Arizona. A violent crash sent Gordon to the hospital, calling into question whether he would be able to participate in the scheduled Labor Day racing events. After a thorough examination, the doctors released him stating that it was fortunate to walk away with just a few bruises and a black eye. Despite being hurt, Gordon rallied and prepared himself for the weekend's events. He spent much of the weekend traveling between Crandon, WI for the TORC race and Atlanta, GA for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. On Sunday morning, he made his TORC debut in the #007 Polaris PRO 2WD in Crandon, WI, as a part of THE Off Road Championship series. Gordon put on a great show for the large crowd, but he was unable to challenge Scott Taylor for the race win. Despite having an engine problem, Gordon was able to maintain fourth position until an incident just feet from the finish line caused him to spin and cross the finish line in reverse, resulting in a disappointing 6th-place finish for the team. Gordon then traveled over 1,000 miles to Atlanta, GA, where he raced the #7 Polaris Off-Road Vehicles Toyota to a 16th-place finish in the Pep Boys Auto 500.
      "We had a great run in the Cup car on Sunday," said Gordon following the race. "I'm excited for Eldora and Primm later this week, and I'm also happy to have David Gilliland driving the #7 Jim Beam Camry at Richmond this weekend. Hopefully, it will be a great week of racing for Robby Gordon Motorsports and Robby Gordon Off-Road." After racing in a double-header last weekend, Gordon will go on to compete in two other races during the week. On Wednesday, September 9, Gordon will travel to Rossburg, OH, to compete in the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Raceway. Gordon will then immediately travel to Primm, NV, where he will race in the SCORE Terrible's Primm 300, September 11-13. PRIMM will mark the fourth of five events in the 2009 SCORE International Off-Road Racing Trophy Truck Season. Robby Gordon enters the event leading the season-long championship standings.(RGM)(9-9-2009)

    • Shore Mechanical Corp. signs up with TBR: Shore Mechanical Corporation, a Long Island, N.Y., based HVAC company has signed on to be the small business partner of Tommy Baldwin Racing for this weekend's race at Richmond International Speedway. The Shore Mechanical logo will adorn the c-post of the #36 machine this weekend during the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. To celebrate the partnership, Shore Mechanical is going to offer its customers a free Trane CleanEffects air cleaner with the installation of any new XL20i central air conditioning system. The Support Small Businesses of America program was developed to grant small businesses the opportunity to support Tommy Baldwin Racing for a very nominal fee. They get the chance to run their corporate logo on the racecar and receive two VIP passes for the race. Additionally, they get the opportunity to offer race fans their services or merchandise at a free or reduced rate through the TBR website.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(9-9-2009)

    • #39 Chevy to honor NCO's at Richmond: In recognition of the Secretary of the Army establishing 2009 as the Year of the NCO (Noncommissioned Officer), Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy will pay tribute to NCOs in Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The hood on Newman's U.S. Army/Haas Automation Chevy will showcase the Year of the NCO logo along with the three-stripe Sergeant Insignia. Considered the backbone of the U.S. Army, noncommissioned officers have played a vital role for more than 200 years. "Honoring the NCO is a special tribute and it will be a privilege to represent this group of Army personnel," said Newman. "This is one of many incredible experiences I've been associated with this season as the driver of the U.S. Army car. To put the NCO Chevy in Victory Lane would make it an even better celebration." The U.S. Army plans to honor local Virginia Noncommissioned Officers in a pre-race ceremony conducted on the Chevy Stage at 3pm. Saturday; honoring one Soldier with the highest recruiting achievement issued by the Army -- the Glen E. Morrell Award. The ceremony will be conducted by Command Sergeant Major Dennis King from Fort Monroe, Va.(US Army Racing), see am image of the scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page.(9-9-2009)

    • Sadler and wife expecting UPDATE: #19-Elliott Sadler announced on Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Tuesday that he and his wife Amanda are expecting their first child in early March 2010.(9-8-2009)
      UPDATE: Elliott Sadler - "I couldn't be any happier. Amanda and I want to have a big family with three or four kids, so we figured it was time to get started. We've known for a little while now, but thought it'd be special to share the news with friends and family this week as we head to Richmond. This is very special for us and something we both knew we wanted to happen soon. We are expecting the baby sometime in March and have a special plan for sharing the sex of our baby with our families. We are going to have the doctor put the sex of the baby in a envelope and not tell anyone, then take everyone out to dinner and open the envelope as a group so we all share the experience together."(RPM)(9-9-2009)

    • Richmond Tix still available: Tickets for the Saturday, September 12, Chevy Rock & Roll 400, start at $40 and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223). The weekend begins on Friday, September 11, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race "under the lights." Friday's ticket includes practice and Fas Mart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, as well as practice and WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 race. Friday's tickets are $45 (reserved) and $35 (general admission) in advance. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday only.(RIR)(9-9-2009)

    • Grand Marshal for Chevy Rock & Roll 400: Specialist (SPC) Anthony M. Landowski, who was wounded in the line of duty in Afghanistan on May 17, will be the grand marshal for Saturday's Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Landowski, a 22-year-old native of Ringgold, Ga., and a soldier from the Georgia Army National Guard, was serving as a combat medic with the 48th Brigade Combat Team from Calhoun, Ga., when he was injured by an IED blast. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat as well as the Combat Medic Badge for rendering aid while under hostile enemy fire. Landowski has been receiving care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the past four months and desires to return to his unit. He anticipates returning to Georgia, where he ultimately will finish his associate's degree and further pursue a career as a physician's assistant.(HMS)(9-9-2009)


      News from September 8, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 8 -- 1984: Sam Ard finishes 11th in the Miller 150 Nationwide Series race at Richmond (Va.) Fairgrounds Raceway, snapping his streak of 42 consecutive top-10 finishes. Of those 42 top-10s, 37 are in the top five, including 14 victories. Tommy Ellis gets the win on this day, followed by Geoffrey Bodine and Butch Lindley.(NASCAR.com)

    • HANS Secures Court Order Against Impact: HANS Performance Products has been granted a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and expedited discovery in a suit against Impact Racing Products. The SFI Foundation's motion to become a party in HANS' action against Impact has also been granted. The orders relate to counterfeit HANS Post Anchors that have been discovered at the track in recent weeks. The Federal Court orders require Impact to advise its customers that Post Anchors they have received from them may be counterfeit. Impact is also required to preserve all related products and business records to help identify the source of the counterfeit parts. Post Anchors are a vital part of a racer's head and neck restraint safety system. Genuine HANS Post Anchors provide a robust and reliable latching method to connect racers' HANS Devices to their helmets.(HANS PR/Reuters)(9-8-2009)

    • Mayfield files wrongful death lawsuit against stepmother: Suspended NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, over the death of his father two years ago. Terry Mayfield died Sept. 5, 2007, in what police investigators and the medical examiner concluded was a suicidal gunshot wound to the chest, according to investigation and medical examiner reports. Jeremy Mayfield's lawsuit, filed late Friday afternoon in North Carolina Superior Court in Rowan County, does not say how Lisa Mayfield was involved in the death of Terry. It only says that "as a direct and proximate result of the defendant's intentional acts, the decedent Terry Allen Mayfield was killed by a gunshot wound." Jeremy Mayfield claims that prior to Terry Mayfield's death, Terry confronted Lisa about an affair and asked her to leave. Within several days of Terry's death, Jeremy claims the man Lisa was having an affair with broke up with his girlfriend and moved in with Lisa. It also claims that Lisa Mayfield squandered a loan meant to be used to build a barn.(SceneDaily)(9-8-2009)

    • Roush Fenway Racing looking for sponsors: Roush Fenway Racing is still looking for many sponsors for next season. What it is not looking for is sponsorship for Danica Patrick. Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith said time is running out to get sponsorship for the organization's #26 team in order to be able to move that group to Yates Racing. Roush Fenway must cut from five to four Cup teams after the 2009 season. It still needs to find half a season of sponsorship for #17-Matt Kenseth on the Cup side as well as sponsors to help field the organization's three or four Nationwide teams. Smith said the problem in trying to do a multiple-sponsor deal with one team is that the organization can't guarantee it would run the entire season. Even if a company isn't interested in a full primary sponsor role, it wants to be with a team that is running the full schedule, Smith said.(SceneDaily)(9-8-2009)


      News from September 7, 2009

    • Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means: Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. More at dol.gov or usa.gov

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 7 -- 1986: Tim Richmond wins the Wrangler Jeans Indigo 400 at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. The field is 29 cars, the last time fewer than 30 cars start a Cup race. Dale Earnhardt finishes second and Morgan Shepherd is third.(NASCAR.com)

    • Wood Brothers plan similar 2010 schedule: They still have four races this year—Kansas City on Oct. 4, Charlotte on Oct. 17, Texas on Nov. 8 and Homestead on Nov. 22—but the Wood brothers already are considering their 2010 plans. "We'd love to maintain our relationship with Bill Elliott and our sponsors, and run about the same number of races we've run this year," team co-owner Eddie Wood said Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We'd consider it, but it would take a ton of sponsorship money before we tried to run the full schedule again. We're really content with the way things have gone this year." Because of sponsorship issues, the long-time Ford loyalists trimmed their schedule from 36 to 13 races this year. Elliott ran the first eight and David Gilliland was in the #21 Fusion this weekend. Elliott took himself from the car after breaking three ribs in a Wednesday afternoon dirt-bike accident.(Ford Racing)(9-7-2009)

    • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #14-Tony Stewart and #19-Elliott Sadler have the longest current streak of finishing races at 48. Eight drivers have run all the 2009 races and not had a DNF: #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #9-Kahne, #00-Reutimann, #07-Mears, #19-Sadler, #44-Allmendinger & #43-Sorenson. #78-Regan Smith is at 53 but has not run all the races [Smith has never DNF'd in a Cup race]. 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 21 [in 22 starts], followed by #87-Nemechek who has 18 [in 20 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: #7-Gordon, #12-Stremme and #96-BLabonte, all with 5 (9-7-2009)

    • Top-5's, Top-10's: #14-Tony Stewart leads all drivers after 25 races in 2009 with 13 Top-5 finishes, #24-Jeff Gordon is next at 11 and #48-Johnson with 9. #14-Stewart has the most Top-10's after 25 races with 18, followed by #24-Gordon with 17.
      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.(9-7-2009)

    • Chase Clinch Scenarios For Richmond: Eight spots remain in the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – and 11 drivers are mathematically in contention for securing one. Below are the clinch scenarios for Richmond, the final race before the Chase field is set:
      #99-Carl Edwards is currently 105 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      24th or better
      25th and leads at least one lap or
      27th and leads most laps.
      #9-Kasey Kahne is currently 96 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      21st or better
      23rd and leads at least one lap or
      24th and leads most laps.
      #2-Kurt Busch is currently 95 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      20th or better
      22nd and leads at least one lap or
      24th and leads most laps.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya is currently 88 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      18th or better
      20th and leads at least one lap or
      21st and leads the most laps.
      #39-Ryan Newman is currently 81 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      16th or better
      17th and leads at least one lap or
      19th and leads the most laps.
      #5-Mark Martin is currently 69 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      12th or better
      14th and leads at least one lap or
      15th and leads the most laps.
      #16-Greg Biffle is currently 68 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      11th or better
      13th and leads at least one lap or
      15th and leads the most laps.
      #17-Matt Kenseth is currently 20 points ahead of 13th place.
      Regardless of any other driver's finish, he will clinch if he finishes:
      Second and leads at least one lap.
      #83-Brian Vickers currently sits 13th, 17 points ahead of #18-Kyle Busch. He would need to gain 21 points on Kenseth and stay ahead of Busch to clinch a Chase spot. Busch, 37 points behind 12th, needs to gain 17 points on Vickers and 37 points on Kenseth to clinch. #00-David Reutimann, 132 points behind Kenseth, has an outside shot at clinching. He would have to gain 133 points on Kenseth. A maximum of 161 points can be made up in a given race.(NASCAR Public Relations)(9-7-2009)

    • Eury Jr. plans to stay at Hendrick: Tony Eury Jr. said Saturday he plans to remain under the Hendrick Motorsports banner. Eury, who is currently in the second season of a five-year contract with HMS, certainly has plenty of options — even staying in the role he had Saturday night assisting with the #5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series. JRM will field two cars in the NNS — the Nos. 88 and 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday that Kelly Bires is verbally committed to replace Brad Keselowski, while a variety of drivers (including Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell) will pilot the #5. When asked if Eury had visited Richard Childress Racing recently to discuss a potential job, he just laughed. "Who said I wasn't up there just to tour the museum?" Eury replied. Eury has spent the last three months since he resigned from his role as crew chief of the #88 Cup car completing a long awaited "honey-do" list. Professionally, he's been working on the development of the new car for the Nationwide Series. He still enjoys the occasional taste of being a crew chief with the #25 Cup car, but adding a full-time deal would preclude him for doing many things that he loves. And what about Eury joining Keselowski at Penske Racing next year, a possibility reported Saturday by The Charlotte Oberserver? "I'm happy at Hendrick Motorsports," Eury said. "We wish Brad well. We hope he finishes fifth — behind the four Hendrick cars."(FoxSports)(9-7-2009)

    • Mayfield sued over engine bill: Suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield is being sued by Arrington Manufacturing for $71,000 in unpaid engine bills for four events, according to a complaint filed last week in North Carolina Superior Court in Newton, N.C. Arrington provided engines for Mayfield Motorsports for the Sprint Cup races at Phoenix, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, and Charlotte as well as the Sprint Showdown race that preceded the all-star event. Prior to each event, Mayfield and Arrington Manufacturing agreed on a price, according to the complaint. The price was based on how many miles were actually put on the motor. Mayfield paid the engine costs for Phoenix and Talladega – he did not qualify for Phoenix but ran nearly the entire Talladega race before an accident ended his day 11 laps short of the finish. He has not paid for the other four events, according to the complaint. He completed 371 laps at Richmond, failed to qualify at Darlington, and then J.J. Yeley completed all 40 laps of the Sprint Showdown and did not qualify for Charlotte. Arrington Manufacturing is asking for the $71,000 plus attorneys' fees. Mayfield and Mayfield Motorsports are listed as the defendants. Mayfield also is being sued by Triad Racing Technologies for unpaid bills of $86,304.(SceneDaily)(9-7-2009)

    • Atlanta announces 2010 race dates:Atlanta Motor Speedway officials are looking forward to 2010. The 1.54-mile quad-oval will once again host two NASCAR race weekends, March 5-7 and Sept. 3-5, 2010. The spring race weekend will again feature NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and will kick off with one of the fastest nights in NASCAR, Georgia Power Qualifying Night. The Labor Day weekend will showcase night racing in the south, with both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series taking to the track under the lights. “We’ve wanted to have a night race here for almost as long as the fans, and we’re grateful for the response to this weekend’s event,” AMS President and General Manager Ed Clark said. “We’ve continued to add ticket sellers and expand our ticket office hours, and still we aren’t fully meeting the demand. We apologize to fans who experienced challenges in purchasing tickets, and we will alleviate these issues before the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500.”(AMS)(9-7-2009)

    • Gateway to AMS Announced: Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis, Chairman of the Henry County Board of Commissioners, announced Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway a new initiative that will welcome race fans to Henry County. Construction will begin next year on a new “Gateway to Atlanta Motor Speedway” that will feature a Victory Lane replica viewable from Interstate 75 at exit 218 to Bruton Smith Parkway, the main traffic artery heading to the superspeedway. “Henry County is the gateway to Atlanta Motor Speedway, and we are quite proud of that fact,” Mathis said. “We want to make sure that everyone entering into Henry County knows that too.” A NASCAR Sprint Cup race car, racing flags and a replica of winner’s circle, along with extensive landscaping, will greet visitors year-round once construction is complete. “We’re proud we’re in Henry County, and we’re proud of the support we receive from them,” Ed Clark said.(AMS)(9-7-2009)

    • Race track planned in New Orleans area: High-performance automobile enthusiasts, prepare to start your engines. But first you'll have to loosen your purse strings. A $30 million, 5-mile private racetrack planned for Avondale [Louisiana] promises to help Corvette and Porsche owners get in touch with their inner speed demons. But membership in the country-club style track won't be cheap. Initiation fees will be $35,000, with annual dues set at $4,000. Scheduled to open next fall, the NOLA Motorsports Park is to be built in three phases on 430 acres south of the TPC Louisiana golf course off U.S. 90. Developer Laney Chouest, a retired doctor from Galliano who now lives in New Orleans, said the track will have several high-end amenities, including a clubhouse and upscale condominiums built over garages dubbed "Garage Mahals." He said the twisting track will host small races among drivers in car clubs but not large spectator events such as NASCAR races. The first phase calls for a 2-mile winding course with a 4,000-foot straight-away. Plans call for two additional courses that can be joined with the first to form a 5-mile track, which Chouest said would be the longest in the country. Chouest said EMTs will be on site at the Avondale track, which will have no walls to enable motorists who go off course to come to a stop without crashing.(Times-Picayune)(9-7-2009)


      News from September 6, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 6 -- 1992: Darrell Waltrip wins his only Labor Day weekend Cup race at Darlington Raceway, finishing ahead of Mark Martin and Bill Elliott in the rain-shortened Mountain Dew Southern 500. Waltrip leads only the final six laps before the race is called after 298 of 367 laps.(NASCAR.com)

    • Kahne wins at Atlanta: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of 2009 and 11th of his career. Kahne moves up to 6th in drivers points, up 5 spots. #29-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #42-Montoya, #00-Reutimann, #5-Martin, #11-Hamlin, #83-Vickers, #24-Gordon, #39-Newman and #16-Biffle. Points leader #14-Stewart finished 11th, #48-Johnson has rear-end problems and finished 36th, #99-Edwards had debris go thru an oil cooler and lost many laps finishing 37th, #2-Busch wrecked and finished 38th. Other Chase contenders: #17-Kenseth finished 12th and #18-Busch 13th. Vickers is now 13th, 20 points out of 12th and Kyle Busch is 14th, 37 points out of 12th. Pole sitter #1-Truex Jr. finished 26th down a lap after leading 68 laps early in the race. There were 9 cautions for 42 caution laps and there were 31 lead changes among 13 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, September 7 at 2:30 am/et; ESPN Classic: Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00am/et; SPEED, Wednesday, September 9 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Atlanta Race Results Page.(9-6-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Atlanta Motor Speedway:
      #9-Kasey Kahne won the Pep Boys Auto 500, his 11th victory in 205 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #29-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 18 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2009.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #14-Tony Stewart leads the point standings by 237 points over Jeff Gordon.
      #11-Denny Hamlin became the fourth driver to clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson).(NASCAR Statistics)(9-6-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Atlanta, race 25 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      (four have clinched a spot in The Chase)
      1) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 3694, finished 11th at Atlanta
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 3457, -237, 8th
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 3404, -290, 36th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 3296, -398, 6th
      (the following have not clinched a spot in The Chase
      5) #99-Carl Edwards, 3162, -532, 37th (+105 points ahead of 13th)
      6) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 3153, -541 (+96), 1st
      7) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 3152, -542 (+95), 38th
      8) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3145, -549 (+88), 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 3138, -556 (+77), 9th
      10) #5-Mark Martin [4 wins], 3126, -568 (+72), 5th
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 3125, -569 (+69), 10th
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 3077, -617 (+20 ahead of 13th), 12th
      Contenders for the top-12/The Chase:
      13) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 3057, 20 points out of 12th, 7th
      14) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 3040, -37, 13th
      15) #00-David Reutimann [1 win] 2945, -132, 4th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(9-6-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Richmond:
      No changes the spread between 35th and 36th now drops to 94 points
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2015, +261
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 1848, 94 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 1754, 94 points out of 35th
      37) #71-Gilliland-Labonte/TRG: 1492, -356
      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.(9-6-2009)

    • Penalty Report - Atlanta:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #98, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End
      #77, 37 Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #98, 38 Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #77, 61, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #47, 61, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/
        Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #99, 82, Pitting before pit road is open/Too Fast Entering, Tail End
      #55, 83, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/
        Team member not in contact with the outside tires
      #13, 105, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #31, 131, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #6, 186, Excessive speed ENTERING pits/Also Commitment Line Violation, Pass Thru
      #31, 187, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #6, 188, Excessive speed ENTERING pits/Also Commitment Line Violation, Pass Thru
      #14, 202, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #48, 247, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/
        Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #20, 269, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #43, 270, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #77, 300, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #77, 302, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #33, 311, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-6-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Atlanta: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #17-Kenseth, 12th
      Caution 2: #82-Speed, 24th
      Caution 3: #33-Bowyer, 29th
      Caution 4: #7-Gordon, 16th
      Caution 5: #19-Sadler, 21st
      Caution 6: #16-Biffle, 10th
      Caution 7: #39-Newman, 9th
      Caution 8: #14-Stewart, 11th
      Caution 9: #18-Busch, 13th
      (9-6-2009)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Atlanta (or seemed to)?
      43rd: #66-Blaney, completed 20 laps
      42nd: #87-Nemechek, 26
      41st: #09-Bliss, 39
      (only count a team with a history of start and park and only if 25% or less of race completed)(9-6-2009)

    • Race Coverage of the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, September 6, 2009.
      Television (TV): ESPN at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:46pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, September 7 at 2:30 am/et
      ESPN Classic: Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00am/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, September 9 at 12:00pm/et

    • Office Depot Small Business of NASCAR named: Office Depot announced Saturday that Dragon Dojo Martial Arts of Panama City, Florida, has been named the fifth annual "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot." Dragon Dojo Martial Arts owner Shihan Robert Wiest was introduced by Office Depot during a press event this morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Wiest, 44, was joined by Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy and team owner of Stewart-Haas Racing; Norris Scott, Managing Director of Partnership Marketing and Business Solutions at NASCAR; Brett Frood, Executive Vice President at Stewart-Haas Racing; and Ivan Reed, Senior Manager of Campaigns and Sales Promotions for Office Depot. Wiest, who opened Dragon Dojo Martial Arts in 2001 and has grown his business from an initial enrollment of two students to more than 150 today, helped Stewart unveil the special edition #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy featuring his company's logo. The logo – an eye-catching red dragon – will make its on-track debut during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As the "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot," Dragon Dojo Martial Arts will receive invaluable exposure on national television, and the company's logo will be featured on the rear panel – also known as the TV panel – of the #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy at AMS along with a $14,000 Small Business Makeover from Office Depot, VIP race experience at AMS, a private coaching session with NASCAR executives, $1,400 copy & print services card from Office Depot, $1,000 worth of business cards and stationery from Office Depot, One year of Tech Depot Services Tech Support and the use of the "Official Small Business of NASCAR logo until June 1, 2010.(Edelman for Office Depot Racing)(9-6-2009)

    • #08 team to donate portion of AMS race winnings: The Georgia based Carter Simo Racing Sprint Cup #08 Toyota team, driven by Terry Labonte, will be donating 10% of the teams race winnings from the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 10% will be equally divided between Egleston Children's Hospital and Shriners Children's Hospital. Labonte starts 43rd at AMS.(Carter Simo Racing)(9-6-2009)

    • Chevy Boss Promises Continued Support: Chevrolet is in NASCAR to stay, according to Brent Dewar, the new head of General Motors' Chevrolet division, who was at AMS on Saturday to assure his teams and drivers that he was solidly behind them. Although spending cuts have been made because of the automaker's poor financial condition, Dewar said he hoped to maintain the current level of participation at least through 2010 and planned to keep his stable of teams and drivers at the current level. And he said he hoped to be able to spend more in 2011 and beyond when car sales and profits are expected to increase. "We've been in [racing] from the beginning, and we're in it for the long haul," Dewar said. He said that although dealer inventories are at all-time lows and potential buyers are dealing with credit challenges, he still believes in "race on Sunday, sell on Monday." He also said his company still gets a return on its NASCAR investment, and that the Cup series returns far more for the dollars than the Nationwide and truck series.(Racin' Today)(9-6-2009)

    • Danica to NASCAR in 2010 but not leaving IRL: Danica Patrick will "all but certainly" be in NASCAR in 2010, but won't give up Indy car racing and will limit next year's activity to the Nationwide Series and Trucks, according to a source very close to the situation. Tony Stewart is the "star candidate" to be her partner and mentor in NASCAR, the source said, adding that Patrick's recent visits to Stewart-Haas Racing were much more than social -- that she and Stewart were discussing a deal, and are close to one. The plan is for Patrick to run a significant number of Nationwide races, with additional seat time in Trucks and ARCA cars. Stewart took a similar transitional path to NASCAR in 1998, running a full Indy car schedule and also 22 Nationwide (then Busch) races. Patrick's likeliest first stock car race would be the ARCA event at Daytona during SpeedWeeks next February. Because Stewart's team has neither Nationwide cars nor trucks in its stable, a third partner will be brought into the mix, the source said -- possibly Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports, or, more likely, Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields both Trucks and Nationwide cars. Patrick is close to signing a contract renewal with Andretti Green Racing for Indy cars, the source said, but it's not a done deal yet. Sponsorship is not considered an issue for America's top female driver, and the first car manufacturer to sign Patrick to a NASCAR deal would get a big boost in brand exposure.(ESPN)(9-6-2009)

    • No third team for Stewart in 2010: Tony Stewart, #14 Office Depot /Old Spice Chevy, met with members of the media at Atlanta Motor Speedway and discussed many things, including:
      HAVE YOU DECIDED THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO ADD ANOTHER TEAM FOR NEXT YEAR?: "No, it's too late to do something for next year. We're two weeks before the Chase and we're going to be very focused on hopefully keeping two cars with a chance to possibly win a championship. We just didn't get far enough down to get something done for next year and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. This is a decision where timing is everything for it and when we do it, it doesn't matter when it happens, but when it does we want it to be the right timing and the right situation."(GM Racing)(9-6-2009)

    • 13-Year-Old Girl from Aflac Cancer Center Designs Carl Edwards' Car: On September 6th, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion will sport a colorful new look inspired by a 13-year-old patient at the Aflac Cancer Center. Aflac invited children at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service to "Color Carl's Car" for the Labor Day weekend race. The chosen paint scheme, submitted by Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia, was selected among 54 other entries as part of Aflac's month-long effort to generate awareness for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. All of the children's drawings will be featured on the pit wall banner for the #99 race team. Edwards will wear a matching fire suit and a white helmet signed by children at the Aflac Cancer Center. People can join the fight against pediatric cancer by donating to the Aflac Cancer Center (ACC) through the Aflac Cancer Center causes page which can be accessed on Facebook.com or at aflac.com/aflaccancercenter. Aflac will contribute one dollar for anyone who joins the ACC causes page and will match donations up to $1 million.
      Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos kicked off the campaign by making a personal donation of $100,000 and challenged others to contribute to the fight against childhood cancer. Carl Edwards responded to this challenge by announcing on Facebook that he will donate his portion of the winnings from Sunday's race to the Aflac Cancer Center.
      Aflac is also engaging NASCAR fans in the fight against childhood cancer through a text donation program which will run throughout the month of September. The NASCAR community can simply text "GoCarl" to 90999 using any carrier, to donate $5 per text, with charges appearing on customers' wireless bill. The NASCAR Foundation will match texted donations up to $10,000.
      Childhood cancer is Aflac's primary philanthropic commitment and the number one cause of death by disease for young people under the age of 15. However, due to increased and improved research and treatment, since the 1980s, childhood cancer survival rates have improved from less than 20% to over 80% today.
      "This is a wonderful campaign and a great example of how Aflac continues to support childhood cancer treatment and research," said Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion. "I am proud to be a part of this effort."
      "Aflac is combining our passion for fighting childhood cancer with our NASCAR sponsorship of Carl Edwards to raise money and awareness for a great cause," said Paul Amos II, Aflac President and Chief Operating Officer. "By showcasing Jody's compelling story we hope to inspire NASCAR fans to help raise funds and support the research and treatment that takes place everyday at the Aflac Cancer Center."
      As an additional program element, Aflac has teamed up with Motorsports Authentics to create a special die cast car, featuring the special paint scheme, which was sold on QVC and is still available online at nascarsuperstore.com. As part of the initiative, five percent of all profits from the die cast sales will be donated to the Aflac Cancer Center.(RFR/Aflac), see images of thew scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(9-6-2009)


      News from September 5, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 5 -- 1957: Gwyn Staley wins the third and final Cup Series race at New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Starting from the pole, Staley leads the first 62 and final 28 laps on the 1-mile dirt track and beats Lee Petty by nearly two laps. Bill Walker finishes third. Jim Reed, who finishes 12th in the field of 24, leads the other 10 laps.(NASCAR.com)

    • Race Coverage of the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, September 6, 2009.
      Television (TV): ESPN at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:46pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, September 7 at 2:30 am/et
      ESPN Classic: Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00am/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, September 9 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - Atlanta: The selections of pit stalls for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #1-Truex Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters], outside pole sitter #9-Kahne took pit stall 34, the 2nd to next pit stall with an opening in front of it, #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the next stall [after the 1st] with an opening in front of it. The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #18-Busch, who starts 5th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Atlanta Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-5-2009)

    • Qualifying Order for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor 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 #34-Andretti.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #33-Bowyer.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #37-Raines with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #66-Blaney.
      See the full qualifying order on the Atlanta Qualifying Page.(9-5-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, top 5 are:
      #39-Newman 179.866
      #5-Martin 179.522
      #83-Vickers 179.330
      #33-Bowyer 179.278
      #24-Gordon 179.272
      Slowest: #08-Labonte 172.377 and #96-Darnell 172.538
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers run in Happy Hour practice at Atlanta:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #82-Scott Speed, 8th fastest overall
      #21-David Gilliland, 13th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 19th
      #13-Max Papis, 20th
      #71-Bobby Labonte, 22nd
      #09-Mike Bliss, 32nd
      #66-Dave Blaney, 35th
      #08-Terry Labonte [PC], 46th/last; would use past champ provisional
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #78-Regan Smith, 42nd
      #37-Tony Raines, 44th
      #36-Patrick Carpentier, 44th
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • 1st Saturday practice for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #48-Johnson 182.807
      #5-Martin 182.507
      #11-Hamlin 181.729
      #14-Stewart 181.699
      #2-Busch 181.639
      Slowest: #96-Darnell 167.457 and #08-TLabonte 171.907
      Light rain fell for a few minutes at Atlanta Motor Speedway around 12:08pm/et. Red flag was out and cars came to pit road for a few minutes, but went back out to practice. Very tight schedule at Atlanta on Saturday.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers run in the 1st practice at Atlanta:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 13th fastest overall
      #66-Dave Blaney, 19th
      #71-Bobby Labonte, 31st
      #09-Mike Bliss, 33rd
      #37-Tony Raines, 36th
      #21-David Gilliland, 37th
      #36-Patrick Carpentier, 38th
      #08-Terry Labonte [PC], 45th would use past champ provisional
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #82-Scott Speed, 41st
      #78-Regan Smith, 42nd
      #13-Max Papis, 43rd
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Another visit to SHR by Danica? UPDATE: Lucky timing for several race fans who got a surprise at Stewart Hass Racing on Monday afternoon. As they witnessed Tony Stewart giving Danica Patrick a personal tour of Stewart Hass Racing. It's at least her second visit to SHR.(9-2-2009)
      UPDATE: After Danica Patrick made a second visit to his race shop earlier this week, talking with reporters at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Tony Stewart left little doubt NASCAR racing is in her future. "I know that she's serious about it. I know that's what she wants to do." The two-time Sprint Cup Champion added, "I don't think she has some misguided idea that it's going to be easy to do it. She wants to do it the right way. She has the intentions of doing everything right and she's kind of come to us to see our opinion about how she should go about it." Stewart also made it clear, he doesn't see Patrick leaving the Indy Racing League in the short term, "I think she wants to know how to make the transition I think more than anything and she's trying to put together her IRL deal and try to transition that into NASCAR. So, I think she's trying to do it the right way. She's not just cutting the cord and then all of sudden jumping in a car that she's unfamiliar with. She wants to stay successful where she's at, but at the same time try to figure out a way to be able to drive and get some seat time in a car to where she can start learning to where when she does come out that she's got her act together. I think she really wants to do it. It's just trying to figure out the time frame and what steps should she take to do it right and to show everybody that she wants to do it the right way."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-5-2009)

    • Robby to skip Richmond? during SPEED's Sprint Cup practice coverage on Staurday at Atlanta it was mentioned that David Gilliland would run the #7 Toyota at Richmond next weekend in place of Robby Gordon [owner/driver] who will be running the road race in Baja. Mile Bliss will run the #71 Chevy instead of Gilliland.(9-5-2009)

    • Gilliland to run a race for Robby Gordon and...: David Gilliland will run at least one race for owner/driver #7-Robby Gordon (NASCAR.com). Gilliland is scheduled to visit Army Reserve Soldiers of the 80th Training Command and the Defense Supply Center Richmond on behalf of Operation Homefront on Sept. 10th. No word which race but Gilliland is set for a ride at 8 [maybe 9] of the 12 remainig races:
      Scheduled to run five races in the #71 TRG Chevy: Richmond, Dover, Auto Club, Charlotte [but also scheduled in the #02?], and Martinsville.
      One race in the #21 Ford at Atlanta [subbing for sore Bill Elliott];
      and three races for Joe Gibbs Racing in the #02 Toyota: Charlotte [but also scheduled in the #71?], Texas and Homestead
      so that leaves three or four open races for Gilliland: New Hampshire, Kansas, Talladega [w/Gordon team?] and Phoenix. Look for the #71 to put another driver in the #71 at Charlotte.(9-5-2009)

    • Robby fastest qualifier in Off-Road race: A crowd of 10,000 fans welcomed back an old friend during qualifying for the 40th running of the World Off-Road Championship. Robby Gordon marked his return to Crandon, Wisconsin; his last appearance was in 1989. This weekend the team unveils the brand new Polaris PRO 2WD, hoping to drive it into victory lane on Sunday. The #007 Polaris PRO 2WD qualified in the second group. Gordon posted the fastest qualifying lap of 1:25.962. Although Gordon posted the fastest qualifying time, he will start mid pack on Sunday. The top six competitors have earned their start position through season point’s standings.(RGM)(9-5-2009)

    • Denny Hamlin's car stolen: Cornelius [NC] Police released surveillance video to help catch brazen burglars who stole a car from a NASCAR driver’s Lake Norman home. Police said about two weeks ago, a group of thieves went into the Peninsula neighborhood with their eyes on stealing a car. Neighbors said their target was a car on Peninsula Point Drive that belonged to Denny Hamlin, one of NASCAR's rising stars. "It's bold because he lives in the very back of the cul de sac surrounded by all these homes and all these extravagant homes have a lot security,” said neighbor Sandy Van Everly. Hamlin's house is no exception. The burglary was all caught on his home surveillance system. The video, captured at 1:30 a.m. on August 18, 2009, shows a car pull up in front of Hamlin's driveway. Two men got out of the car and walked through the open front gate. Moments later, the two men backed out of the driveway in the black Lexus LS 460-L. The camera captured a woman get out of the passenger side of the waiting car, get into the driver's seat and both cars pull off. Cornelius Police hope by releasing the video, someone will recognize the burglars and help put them behind bars. If you have any information about the stolen Lexus, call the North Mecklenburg County Crime Stoppers at (704) 896-7867.(WSOCTV.com)(9-5-2009)

    • Kenseth carrying R&L colors at Atlanta: The #17 Ford of Matt Kenseth will carry the green and gold colors of R+L carriers this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Pep Boys Auto 500. It will be the third of four races this season with R+L Carriers as the primary on the #17 Ford also running at Charlotte in May and Daytona in July and is scheduled to run at Auto Club Speedway in Oct. Kenseth has carried the R+L Carriers paint scheme 12 times since 2006. In his 12 previous starts in the #17 R+L Carriers Ford, Kenseth has achieved 12 top-12, 10 top-10, and four top-five finishes.(Roush Fenway Racing), see images of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Atlanta Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running different tire set-ups at Atlanta this weekend . . . Sprint Cup teams will be running a new combination of left- and right-side tire codes . . . this combination came out of a Goodyear tire test at Atlanta on July 13-14 . . . participating in that test were Kurt Busch (Dodge), Denny Hamlin (Toyota), Jamie McMurray (Ford) and Tony Stewart (Chevrolet) . . . compared to the tire set-up Cup teams ran at Atlanta this past March, Goodyear has made a construction change to both the left- and right-side tires . . . that change is designed to give the cars more grip . . . the compounds on both sides of the car are unchanged from March . . . Atlanta is the only track at which these two tire codes are scheduled to be run in 2009. The estimated pit window is every 50-54 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear). See full report, tire pressures and more on my Atlanta Race Info page - Goodyear section.(9-5-2009)

    • All Time WIns - Three Series Combined:
      Driver, Wins
      1. Richard Petty, 200 [all in Sprint Cup]
      2. David Pearson, 106 [105 Cup and one Nationwide]

      3. Dale Earnhardt, 97 [76 Cup and 21 Nationwide]
      4. Darrell Waltrip, 97 [84 Cup and 13 Nationwide]
      5. Mark Martin*, 94 [39 wins in Cup, 48 in Nationwide and 7 in Trucks]
      6. Jeff Gordon*, 87 [82 Cup and 5 Nationwide]
      7. Bobby Allison, 86 [84 Cup and 2 Nationwide]
      8. Cale Yarborough, 83 [all in Sprint Cup]
      9. Kyle Busch*, 56 [16 wins in Cup, 27 in Nationwide and 13 in Trucks]
      10. Rusty Wallace, 55 [all in Sprint Cup]
      (NASCAR)(9-5-2009)

    • ESPN College Football Announcers Take 200 mph NASCAR Rides: With three big sporting events on the ESPN networks originating from Atlanta this weekend, ESPN college football announcers Brent Musburger and Lisa Salters took a 200 mph look at one of the sports Friday [Sept. 4th] at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Musburger, who will call ESPN on ABC’s telecast of the Virginia Tech-Alabama game Saturday night from the Georgia Dome, and sideline reporter Salters went for high-speed rides around the 1.5-mile superspeedway in a special two-seater stock car with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver #11-Denny Hamlin at the wheel. Hamlin will compete in Sunday night’s 500-mile race that will air live on ESPN. In addition, ESPN2 will have live coverage of Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at AMS. Musburger, who hosted ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage in 2007, had been for a ride around Daytona International Speedway with former NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip more than 20 years ago, but after emerging from the two-seater race car today said “he (Waltrip) wasn’t cranking on it like Denny did today. “They asked me if I wanted to go down to the speedway and go for a little ride, and I said sure that sounds like fun, but little did I know that they’d be putting the pedal down to the metal like that. I rode with the Blue Angels once and I knew not to eat a big lunch today.”
      Musburger said his biggest feeling of uneasiness came when Hamlin brought the car to the top of the speedway’s 24-degree banking, only inches from the retaining wall, the normal racing line at AMS. “He told me one thing I needed to know about this track was that they’re always looking for something ‘up top’ to go faster, and when we were out there it was like ‘Whoa! We’re up top!’”
      Salters, also a reporter for ESPN’s E:60 newsmagazine, climbed from her car smiling and said she had a similar feeling during her three-lap ride when Hamlin came close to the wall. “It was exciting and scary,” she said. “I was thinking that I have no control over what happens. I couldn’t imagine doing that if there were other cars on the track.” Previously a correspondent for ABC News, Salters was asked to compare the fear she felt during her ride to other experiences in her career. “I’ve been in war zones, and I’ve been in some bad neighborhoods in the United States,” she said. “I’d have to say this is near the top.” Musburger, who while a student sold tickets at the first Daytona 500 in 1959, said he keeps up with the sport and expects the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship to be a battle between Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. “One thing I’ve always said about NASCAR drivers is that they are so close to their fans and sponsors, they do the best job of any athlete that I’m aware of,” he said. “When you get to the end of an exciting NASCAR race, there’s nothing like it in sports.”(ESPN)(9-5-2009)

    • Pep Boys Auto 500 Grand Marshal named: Pep Boys Auto has selected Brian Zuckerman to serve as Grand Marshal for the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Zuckerman serves as Pep Boys’ Senior Vice President for General Counsel & Secretary. He joined Pep Boys Auto in 1999 as a staff attorney.(AMS)(9-5-2009)

    • Diamond Rio, SHeDAISY to Perform National Anthems at AMS Grammy-nominated country artists Diamond Rio and SHeDAISY will perform the National Anthems prior to the running of the Pep Boys Auto 500 and Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway respectively. In addition to the Anthem, Diamond Rio will headline a Pre-Race Party concert prior to the race. Also giving fans up-close access to NASCAR Sprint Cup driver introductions, a limited number of stage-front passes are available for $49. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. with a performance by up-and-coming country star Jason Michael Carroll. A Pep Boys Auto 500 ticket is also required for admission to the party area. To purchase Pre-Race Party Passes or ticket to the Pep Boys Auto 500, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (77) 946-3917 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(9-5-2009)

    • AMS Fly Over to Feature Four F-15 Eagles: Four F-15 Eagle tactical fighters will perform the pre-race fly over prior to Pep Boys Auto 500 and Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway’s pre-race festivities will include four members of the “Bayou Militia,” the 122nd Fighter Squadron of the 159th Fighter Wing of the Louisiana Air National Guard. The 122nd Fighter Squadron is tasked to provide air superiority over the Gulf Coast in support of USNORTHCOM and NORAD. The group is based out of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans.(AMS)(9-5-2009)


      News from September 4, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 4 -- 1994: Bill Elliott wins the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington to give Junior Johnson his 132nd and final win as a car owner. Johnson's 30th and final season as an owner comes in 1995. Johnson wins six championships as an owner -- three with Cale Yarborough and three with Darrell Waltrip.(NASCAR.com)

    • The Entry List for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points:
      #08-Terry Labonte (Past Champ 1996)(51st in owners pts/5 attempts)
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 Race Winner as owner)(38/24)
      #13-Max Papis (43/12)
      #21-David Gilliland (44/8)
      #36-Patrick Carpentier (42/24)
      #37-Tony Raines (47/16)
      #66-Dave Blaney (41/24)
      #71-Bobby Labonte (Past Champ 2000/too late)(37/24)
      #78-Regan Smith (40/12)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/24)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (40/24)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,08,82,71,87,66,36,37
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 78,13,21
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Atlanta Entry List.(8-31/9-4-2009)

    • Gilliland in the #21 at Atlanta UPDATE 2: Motorcraft's Facebook page is reporting: Wood Brothers just announced David Gilliland to drive the #21 car this weekend in Atlanta. A press release with more details is coming soon.
      UPDATE: David Gilliland will be taking over the driving duties of the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion this weekend for the Pep Boys Auto 500, filling in for Bill Elliott. Elliott is experiencing some back problems and uncertain how he will feel driving the car. Co-owner Eddie Wood stated, "Given the modified practice schedule where the practices and qualifying are all being done on Saturday, we didn't feel there was enough time to make changes to the seat if Bill wasn't comfortable and we needed to get another driver. We called David to see if he was available. Thankfully he was and agreed to help." Gilliland has 6 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway with his best finish (15th) coming in 2006.(Wood Brothers Racing)
      UPDATE 2: Bill Elliott has cracked three ribs riding his dirt bike. "It was just a freak deal," Elliott said. He said although he probably could have raced in pain, he decided to step out of the Wood Brothers Ford for this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway because he didn't want to jeopardize the team's chances of running well in the Pep Boys Auto 500. "I just decided that those boys had worked so hard on the car it wouldn't be fair for me to have a problem and mess them up," Elliott said. David Gilliland, who lost his regular ride to Bobby Labonte, will drive in Elliott's place this weekend. "He runs good at Atlanta, so they should be OK," Elliott said. "And I'll be back in the car for Kansas."(Racin' Today)(9-4-2009)

    • Gilliland in fourth Gibbs car this year? UPDATE: It's been a tough road for former Yates driver David Gilliland this season. Gilliland, who was 21st in the #28 Ford for Doug Yates at this juncture last year, has qualified for every race in the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy. Gilliland has been a loyal soldier in the start-n-park venture and is currently 43rd in the point standings. However, it appears he will have a reprieve — at the hand of Joe Gibbs Racing. Gilliland, 33, is expected to drive the fourth JGR car [#02 sponsored by Farm Bureau] in four races at the end of this season.(Fox Sports)(7-11-2009) UPDATE: David Gilliland, who earlier this week was replaced by Bobby Labonte for seven races at #71 TRG Motorsports, will attempt to qualify a fourth Sprint Cup car [supposedly the #02 Toyota] at Joe Gibbs Racing for three of the final 12 events, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Friday. Gilliland will compete at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, Texas and Homestead-Miami in a car sponsored by Farm Bureau. The JGR deal actually initiated the deal for TRG Motorsports to sign Labonte after the 2000 Cup champion was pulled from the #96 Ford at Hall of Fame/Yates Racing in favor of Erik Darnell for seven of the final 12 events. Gilliland had made 22 of 24 events for TRG Motorsports and ranks 37th in points in the #71 [and a failed attempt at Watkins Glen in TRG's #70]. Sources said the decision to go with Gilliland was to satisfy a contract with Farm Bureau to compete in three Cup events and does not necessarily mean the organization will expand to a fourth full-time team in 2010. Officials at JGR were not available for comment.(ESPN)(9-4-2009)

    • If Sprint Cup Series used F1 points system:
      The top-12, under Formula One scoring:
      Tony Stewart 99 Jeff Gordon 82 Jimmy Johnson 74 Mark Martin 70 Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin 56 Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards 44 Kurt Busch 43 Ryan Newman 40 Kasey Kahne 33 Brian Vickers 31 (MikeMulhern.com)(9-4-2009)

    • Farm Bureau Insurance to be back on the #11: Farm Bureau Insurance Racing will be back on the track this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, for the PepBoys Auto 500. Farm Bureau Insurance will again serve as the primary sponsor for the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin. In May, Denny made the debut of the Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota at Darlington Raceway - finishing 13th. Denny Hamlin currently ranks 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points and is coming off a strong run a few weeks ago at Bristol, where he finished 5th.(Farm Bureau Insurance Racing), see images of the scheme on my #11 Team Schemes page.(9-4-2009)

    • AMS Fly Over to Feature Four F-15 Eagles: Four F-15 Eagle tactical fighters will perform the pre-race fly over prior to Pep Boys Auto 500 and Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway’s pre-race festivities will include four members of the “Bayou Militia,” the 122nd Fighter Squadron of the 159th Fighter Wing of the Louisiana Air National Guard. The 122nd Fighter Squadron is tasked to provide air superiority over the Gulf Coast in support of USNORTHCOM and NORAD. The group is based out of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans.(AMS)(9-5-2009)

    • Tickets Still Available for AMS’ Pep Boys Auto 500 Race Weekend: While ticket sales are brisk, great seats are still available for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race, this Sunday’s Pep Boys Auto 500. Race fans can still purchase tickets through Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Ticket Office or Ticket Master and pick up their tickets at Will Call the day of the race. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Speedway’s entry gates on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets remain available in the Champions Grandstand near the start/finish line, in the Earnhardt Grandstand, in the Petty Grandstand and a very limited number remain in the Winners and Elliott Grandstands. In addition, a limited number of Pre-Race Party passes remain available. Presented by the Georgia Lottery, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Pre-Race Party will feature pre-race concerts with country legends Diamond Rio and special guest Jason Michael Carroll. In addition to the concerts, a Pre-Race Party pass will give race fans stage-front access for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions prior to the Pep Boys Auto 500. A number of reserved and unreserved camp sites are also still available and may be purchased in advance or upon arrival at the Speedway. For more information on tickets, Pre-Race Party passes or camping, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(9-4-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Paints Inside Stripe Yellow: Atlanta Motor Speedway has painted the track’s inside racing groove stripe yellow in an effort to aid drivers in spotting the line during the Speedway’s first full weekend of NASCAR night racing. In addition to the change in color, the new paint included reflective glass beads, making the stripe more noticeable under the lights. After receiving input from Sprint Cup drivers Kurt Busch and John Andretti urging him to paint the line from white to yellow, Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark acted on the advice and changed the stripe’s color preceding this weekend’s Degree V12 300 Nationwide Series race and Pep Boys Auto 500 Sprint Cup Series race. “Kurt [Busch] and I talked following our most recent Goodyear Tire Test and he expressed a concern that the line was difficult to see at night,” said Clark, who also worked at Bristol and Lowe’s Motor Speedway when those facilities added night racing. “John [Andretti] and I discussed the concern on the phone and he shared the sentiment, so I knew this was a necessary change for our first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race.”(AMS)(9-4-2009)

    • Chief Lighting Officer Ready to Turn On the Lights Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Chief Lighting Officer is eagerly anticipating his responsibility of turning on the lights for Atlanta’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race. Jack Welch was selected from more than 750 entrants to serve as the track’s Chief Lighting Officer in a promotional earlier this year. As Atlanta’s CLO, Welch will make history as he “flips the switch” to turn on the lights, receives VIP for the Pep Boys Auto 500 and participates in pre-race festivities. “We are very excited about the trip and being involved with turning the lights on at Atlanta Motor Speedway,” said Welch, a resident of Pearl, Miss. “What a great way to celebrate my birthday weekend!” Welch’s birthday is Sept. 7.(AMS)(9-4-2009)


      News from September 3, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 3 -- 1962: Larry Frank wins the Southern 500 at Darlington for his only Cup Series victory. Frank wins by 5 seconds over Junior Johnson, and Marvin Panch finishes third. Frank starts 103 races from 1956 to 1966.(NASCAR.com)

    • Edwards breaks foot, will race UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards, who is currently fifth in points and winner of the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, fractured his right foot the gas pedal foot] playing Frisbee Wednesday. Edwards will race this weekend and is expected to see a specialist in his hometown of Columbia, Mo., Thursday afternoon.(FoxSports)(9-3-2009)
      UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing confirmed that Carl Edwards fractured his right foot yesterday. He is working with doctors at the University of Missouri who have cleared him to drive for this weekend's Sprint Cup and Nationwide events at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He is currently on crutches to assist with walking but will race the #99 Aflac Ford and #60 Save-A-Lot Ford in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races respectively this weekend. "I know this probably sounds ridiculous to a lot of people and I could hardly believe it myself," said Edwards from his home in Columbia, Mo. "I was playing Frisbee with a couple of buddies and we both went for the Frisbee at the same time. I put my foot on it, my friend dove for it, and the next thing you know…we all heard a pop. I knew it was broken and we all kind of looked at each other in disbelief that of all things, I would break my foot playing Frisbee. I immediately went to the doctor and have been working with a great team of people at the University of Missouri who work with all the college teams here. They have me on crutches to help me walk but said I could race in both races this weekend and shouldn't have a problem using the accelerator."(Roush Fenway Racing)(9-3-2009)

    • Memorabilia store in Canada forced to change name: A New Brunswick businessman and long-time racing fan has been forced to change the name of his tiny memorabilia shop under the threat of a lawsuit by NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip. Randy Nicholson, who has sold NASCAR merchandise in Woodstock since 2001, has been accused of infringing on a trademark that wasn't registered by Waltrip until four years after Nicholson's store was established. Borrowing from a catchphrase issued by the Fox Sports commentator at the start of every race, Nicholson initially called his business Boogity Boogity Racing, and then later changed the name to Boogity Sportswear. On Friday, he received a cease-and-desist letter from an Ontario law firm representing Waltrip, a former Winston Cup champion who says, "Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go racin', boys" each time the green flag drops. Waltrip registered the catch phrase as a trademark in Canada on Oct. 31, 2005. See full story at the Telegraph Journal)(9-2-2009)
      UPDATE: "It's unfortunate to read the articles about Mr. Nicholson's store, as they do not tell the whole story", responded Van Colley, Darrell Waltrip's longtime Business Manager. "The truth is DW first came up with Boogity Boogity Boogity and then the name of the store appeared. "Mr. Nicholson only used Boogity as a result of DW's earlier use on FOX. In my opinion, it is not a coincidence that DW started his broadcasts with Boogity, Boogity, Boogity in March of 2002 and then 9 months later, with his business partner, Richard Poulin, that Mr. Nicholson incorporated a company called BOOGIDDY BOOGIDDY RACING INC on November 6, 2002. He then changed the corporate name to Boogity Boogity Boogity Racing Inc on March 3, 2003. That company was dissolved on July 25, 2008. Then the store operated under the name Boogity Sportswear. The shop went as far as applying for DW's trademark of Boogity, Boogity Boogity which was rejected in late 2007 by the Canadian Trademark Office. My point is there is no way Mr. Nicholson should be surprised about what has happened. It is odd that the shop filed for DW's trademark. Whether Mr. Nicholson is a small business owner or the owner of a large corporation is irrelevant to the matter. You simply can't take some one's legally trademarked intellectual property and attempt to profit from it. Common sense tells me that I can't simply throw up some golden arches in my front yard, hang a sign that says McDonalds on it and fire up my grill to attempt to sell some hamburgers simply because I want to. We appreciate Mr. Nicholson being a NASCAR fan and his selling of legally licensed NASCAR merchandise in his store. We also wish no ill will to Mr. Nicholson, despite his comment of wanting to "tear out DW's wind pipe." At the same time, I won't apologize for protecting DW's legal rights. We, like NASCAR, the drivers and teams in our sport fight this kind of thing all the time."(Darrell Waltrip Motorsports)(9-3-2009)

    • NASCAR lowers age limit for some series: NASCAR announced it was implementing a Learner's Permit License for its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks beginning in 2010. The license will lower the age-limit for NASCAR-sanctioned tracks' entry-level division from 16-years-old to 14. The change provides an intermediate step for young drivers looking to make the move from non-NASCAR beginner-level racing series to running at their NASCAR home track. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR's national championship program for its more than 55 sanctioned short tracks across North America. More than 10,000 drivers compete in the series annually.(NASCAR)(9-3-2009)

    • Jimmie Johnson Jam to be aired online: Team Lowe's Racing is bringing race fans to the front row for the action during the Atlanta race weekend with an innovative first-ever live broadcast of its exclusive Jimmie Jam series featuring Team 48 driver Jimmie Johnson and concert favorite Edwin McCain. The special live broadcast of the Jimmie Jam event can be viewed on September 4th from 8:45-9:45pm/et. Fans can pre-register to watch the event on the homepage of lowesracing.com.(Lowe's)(9-3-2009)

    • Congrats to Jason Burdett, car chief for #24-Jeff Gordon, and wife Rachael who are celebrating the birth of son, Ethan Michael Burdett, born on August 31, 2009.(9-3-2009)

    • Kyle Busch donates Guitars: #18-Kyle Busch and the Kyle Busch Foundation has donated $30,000 to the National Alliance for Public Education toward the purchase of 150 guitars to be donated to several Nashville schools, apparently as atonement for smashing a classic Gibson guitar in an embarrassing "rock star-style celebration" after a June Nationwide Series victory. But Busch refuses to put his mouth where his money is. He declines to apologize for the guitar-smashing incident that drew widespread criticism and added to his image as the brat-boy of racing. Nashville music producer Mike Curb who co-owns the Baker Curb Racing team, helped facilitate the Busch donation.(Racin' Today)(9-3-2009)

    • U.S. Army Education Clinic at AMS with Tony Stewart: The U.S. Army Education Outreach Program has partnered with Tony Stewart to host a free education program at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Sept. 4 from 9:00an until 1:00pm. Stewart will speak to students about goal setting and career-opportunities in motorsports. The speaking panel will also include Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark, among others. More info at goarmy.com.(AMS)(9-3-2009)

    • Kevin's Krew to meet students: #29-Kevin Harvick is scheduled to meet with 40 students from local high schools in Victory Lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sunday, September 6, before the running of the Pep Boys Auto 500. The group is part of "Kevin's Krew," a Shell-supported program designed to reach underprivileged and at-risk students and expose them to the racing industry. The students, who normally wouldn't have the opportunity to go to a NASCAR event, are treated to a unique experience while attending a Sprint Cup Series race. Started by Colton, Calif. Police Officer Todd Smith two years ago, the "Kevin's Krew" program has expanded this year to eight events. In addition to this weekend's race, "Kevin's Krew" events were held at Auto Club Speedway, Infineon Raceway and Michigan International Speedway earlier this season. The remaining events for 2009 include; California Speedway on October 11, Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 17, Texas Motor Speedway on November 8 and Phoenix International Raceway on November 17.(RCR)(9-3-2009)

    • EA Sports: 'No plans' for new NASCAR game: The future of EA Sports' NASCAR franchise of racing games has been in doubt since February, when The Sporting News reported the publisher wouldn't be making a new installment of the series this year. Speaking with GameSpot for a Dreamcast retrospective on next week's episode of the HotSpot podcast, EA Sports president Peter Moore has removed all uncertainty from the equation. "There are no plans right now for NASCAR from EA," Moore said. "We had a great relationship over the years that I thoroughly enjoyed when I first got here. Unfortunately…we had to make some tough trade-offs. We've had to redeploy some of those folks. A number of the NASCAR team has moved over now to EA Sports MMA, which will be shipping next year. [We're] still a huge fan of NASCAR, but no plans right now to develop any further games for NASCAR from EA Sports."(Gamespot)(9-3-2009)


      News from September 2, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 2 -- 2001: Ward Burton, starting 37th, wins the Mountain Dew 500 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. It is one of the deepest starts for a winner at Darlington. Johnny Mantz holds the record, winning the first Southern 500 in 1950 from 43rd on the grid; 75 cars were in that field. Burton is tied for second with Bobby Labonte, who also started 37th when he won the race in 2000.(NASCAR.com)

    • RCR reorganizes management: Richard Childress Racing has reorganized the management of its competition department to provide its race teams and sponsors with consistent improvement in on-track performance. "This reorganization is the result of a process that took place over the past few months to improve our performance," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "On-track performance is the lifeblood of RCR and everything we do is impacted by how competitive our cars are week-in and week-out. Our common goal remains the same: win races and compete for championships. The creation of these new processes and priorities, with greater accountability, will improve our performance and every aspect of our organization. "
      Mike Dillon retains his position as vice president of competition, but with revised responsibilities. His primary focus will continue to be competition department oversight. He reports directly to Childress.
      Scott Miller, crew chief for RCR's #31 Caterpillar Racing team with driver Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been named to the revised position of director of competition. His primary responsibility is oversight of the key areas of race car performance: speed, handling and durability. Miller reports directly to Dillon and will continue his dual responsibilities until the conclusion of the 2009 season. The crew chief position for the #31 team will be filled at a later date.
      Kent Day, RCR's technical director of competition, now reports directly to Miller. Day's primary responsibility is in setting the technical direction of race car development.
      Will Lind, an employee of RCR since 1982 and the director of competition the past two seasons, will assume the new role of business director of competition. Lind will continue to report directly to Dillon.
      "Scott's experience as a team engineer and a crew chief gives him a solid foundation in both disciplines and provides a unique perspective on the direction the sport is taking from the competition side," said Childress. "We've also shifted some responsibilities in other areas of the competition department to maximize performance and efficiency. RCR has some of the best people in the business and they will only become better by working within this new structure."(RCR)(9-2-2009)

    • Guitar Hero 5 on the Hood of the #1: Guitar Hero, returns to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. The paint scheme coincides with the launch of the popular video game franchise's latest hit, Guitar Hero 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The video game returns as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the sixth time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for four races, including the 2009 Daytona 500, and the #1 team at Indianapolis [and will supposedly be on the #1 car at Lowe's Motor Speedway].(EGR)(9-2-2009)

    • Tom Cruise to narrate Hendrick Documentary Film: "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 Pepsi 500 race coverage from [Auto Club Speedway] Fontana, CA. 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. The official "TOGETHER" trailer is available at www.refresheverything.com/hendrick. The Web site will feature regular updates of content from the film and provide fans the opportunity to upload video messages about their favorite Hendrick Motorsports moments. Select fan-generated clips will be shown during the Oct. 11 broadcast on ABC. The full-length version of "TOGETHER" with bonus material will be released Oct. 31 on DVD, and it will become NASCAR Media Group's first officially licensed title available on Blu-ray Disc. A portion of Hendrick Motorsports' proceeds from those sales will benefit the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. Cruise, an auto racing enthusiast who starred in the 1990 NASCAR-themed motion picture "Days of Thunder," completed the narration work for "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" in Los Angeles last month. The script was co-written by Emmy Award winners Shawn Truax and Ray Didinger. Film director Rory Karpf has spearheaded such projects as the Dale Earnhardt biopic "DALE," now the best-selling sports DVD in history, and the critically acclaimed "Ride of Their Lives." The NASCAR Media Group production team responsible for "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" earned back-to-back Sports Emmy Awards in 2006 and 2007 for "Beyond the Wheel" and "Quest for the Cup."(HMS)(9-2-2009)

    • Memorabilia store in Canada forced to change name: A New Brunswick businessman and long-time racing fan has been forced to change the name of his tiny memorabilia shop under the threat of a lawsuit by NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip. Randy Nicholson, who has sold NASCAR merchandise in Woodstock since 2001, has been accused of infringing on a trademark that wasn't registered by Waltrip until four years after Nicholson's store was established. Borrowing from a catchphrase issued by the Fox Sports commentator at the start of every race, Nicholson initially called his business Boogity Boogity Racing, and then later changed the name to Boogity Sportswear. On Friday, he received a cease-and-desist letter from an Ontario law firm representing Waltrip, a former Winston Cup champion who says, "Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go racin', boys" each time the green flag drops. Waltrip registered the catch phrase as a trademark in Canada on Oct. 31, 2005. "My first instinct was that I was going to fight (him), but I don't have the means,'' Nicholson said Tuesday as he stood behind the counter in his store, which also sells hockey, wrestling and ultimate fighting souvenirs. "I am in no position to fight Darrell Waltrip. He has deeper pockets than I do." Nicholson said he registered his business with the federal government in 2001, and paid more than $1,200 to cover the cost of a search that was conducted to ensure the name wasn't being used in Canada by anyone else. At one point, he also operated stores under the Boogity banner in Moncton and Saint John, but he never received a complaint until last week, when a sheriff delivered a letter from MBM, an intellectual property legal group in Ottawa, sent on Waltrip's behalf. "From a trademark point of view, he is infringing Darrell Waltrip's registered Canadian trademark,'' Scott Miller, the head of the litigation group at MBM, said Tuesday. "Taking intellectual property without permission is as reprehensible as taking anything else." Nicholson argues that he has never infringed on Waltrip's rights. He says he has never sold anything that carried Waltrip's trademark, and the few Boogity-related items he sold bore a logo that he developed on his own. Nicholson has until next Tuesday to wipe his shop clean of the word "boogity" and has already taken down his signs. Until he comes up with something better, he will call his business R&B Embroidery, to accentuate the fact that he does printing and embroidery and manufactures vinyl signs. Nicholson said it will cost him between $5,000 and $8,000 to register a new name, put up signs, change his business cards and letterhead, order new cheques, change the way his phone is listed, and set up a new website.(Telegraph Journal)(9-2-2009)

    • Menard & Stremme to reach milestones: #98-Paul Menard and #12-David Stremme are scheduled to make their 100th career Sprint Cup starts this weekend when they race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, becoming the 177th and 178th drivers to reach the century mark in Sprint Cup Series history.(Team PR's.NASCAR)(9-2-2009)

    • Another visit to SHR by Danica? Lucky timing for several race fans who got a surprise at Stewart Hass Racing on Monday afternoon. As they witnessed Tony Stewart giving Danica Patrick a personal tour of Stewart Hass Racing. It's at least her second visit to SHR.(9-2-2009)

    • The #3 returns...to the Truck Series: Richard Childress Racing returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway on September 5 with Austin Dillon making his series debut in the #3 RCR 40th Anniversary Chevrolet Silverado. RCR won the first NCWTS race, at Phoenix International Raceway, and went on to capture the series’ first championship in 1995 with Mike Skinner driving the #3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevy. Skinner won 16 races in two seasons and Jay Sauter would earn four more victories before RCR discontinued the program at the conclusion of the 1999 season. In 129 NCWTS starts, RCR-prepared trucks earned 20 victories, 59 top-five and 85 top-10 finishes. "RCR was fortunate to win the first Truck Series race and the first championship in 1995 with Mike Skinner and it's great to see the #3 truck back on the track," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "We had a great deal of success with that program, so I'm excited to see what Austin can do. The Truck Series is always very competitive. The series puts on a great show and this should be a great opportunity for Austin.” Dillon, a third-generation NASCAR driver, has already visited Iowa Speedway three times this season. In May, he started seventh and finished 16th after his left-front tire went flat in the opening laps of the NASCAR Camping World Series East-West showdown. The 19-year-old grandson of Richard Childress rallied from last place to finish second in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race in July. In August, he was involved in a mid-race accident and finished 28th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Mike Dillon is Austin Dillon’s father and RCR’s Vice President of Competition.(RCR)(9-2-2009)

    • McMurray wins a couple of Kart races: The WKA George Kugler/Bridgestone Manufacturer’s Cup Series completed the final day of action at the New Castle Motorsports Park for the Show Hauler Truck Nationals. The 1-mile Indiana circuit hosted a number of exciting races over the weekend with a number coming on Sunday. Nearly half the winners from the day’s action earned their first feature win of the season, including NASCAR’s Jamie McMurray competing in the series during his off-weekend. Another familiar name scored his first big win of his young career, Michael Goodyear - son of IndyCar driver Scott Goodyear in Sportsman category. The TaG Final was a thriller with McMurray leading the way. As the laps wind down, McMurray was able to stretch out to a 1.292-second margin for the victory.(ekartingnews.com)(9-2-2009)

    • Judge denies request to lift injuction on Mayfield: U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen has denied NASCAR’s request to permanently lift the injunction he issued July 1 that had allowed suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield to race. Mullen released his decision Tuesday, a decision he made on procedural grounds because NASCAR had already filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals, which ordered a stay on the injunction July 24 until the appeal could be heard. A hearing on the appeal is not expected until at least October, and Mayfield is suspended until the appeal can be decided. Because NASCAR had filed an appeal, Mullen said he has lost jurisdiction as far as the injunction. Mullen did state in the order issued Tuesday that because of new factual developments in the case and a new preliminary injunction standard recently introduced by the U.S. Court of Appeals, he would have been inclined to grant NASCAR’s request. In Mullen’s court, the lawsuit is proceeding into the investigation and trial phase, with a trial scheduled to start no earlier than September 2010.(SceneDaily)(9-2-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Sets Record One-Day Ticket Sales on Monday: In addition to establishing a new single-day mark for ticket sales, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s ticket sales for the Pep Boys Auto 500 are up significantly over 2008 sales as of the close of business on Monday. “Yesterday was the best day for ticket sales in my 17 years at Atlanta Motor Speedway and it really speaks to the anticipation surrounding our first night race,” said Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager. “We’re building a new NASCAR tradition with the Pep Boys Auto 500 and night racing on Labor Day weekend and fans are responding with tremendous interest.”(AMS)(9-2-2009)

    • Pep Boys Auto 500 Weekend Traffic Plan:
      Fans have a choice of which major route to take, either Hwy. 19/41 or Hwy. 20 from I-75 southbound. I-75 northbound race fans can exit at Exit 212 Hampton-Locust Grove Road or Exit 218, GA Hwy 20. Please choose which route to take based on where you would like to park on property; fans will be directed to a certain lot based on which way they enter the speedway. Trams, shuttle buses and sidewalks will allow fans to get to their seats easily regardless of where they park on property. Be advised that the direction from which fans enter speedway property is the same direction they will exit to.
      ENTERING THE SPEEDWAY:
      From Hwy. 19/41:
      FROM THE NORTH: Those traveling from the North (traveling southbound on Hwy. 19/41) will be directed to parking lots on the north side of the property and should utilize Speedway Blvd. Those traveling south on Hwy. 19/41 will turn right at Speedway Boulevard and park in the yellow, red or green parking lots off of Speedway Blvd. Those with vehicle credentials need to stay in the left lane, use the counter-flow lane as they approach the speedway and enter just south of the main entrance at entrance E or at entrance G off of Richard Petty Blvd.
      FROM THE SOUTH: Those traveling from the South (traveling northbound on Hwy. 19/41 from Griffin) will turn at the main speedway entrance and will be directed to the blue parking lot.
      From Hwy. 20:
      Those traveling on Hwy. 20 will be directed to the orange parking lot on the south side of the property.
      EXITING THE SPEEDWAY:
      Fans will leave the same way they came in. If they entered from the North, they will be directed northbound. Those who enter from the South will be directed southbound.
      Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about road/lane closures or construction projects. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, construction, and delays due to bad weather. Callers can also reach live operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.(AMS)(9-2-2009)

    • Fan Tips for Those Attending the Pep Boys Auto 500 Race Weekend: Below are some tips that will help ensure fans have a memorable, exciting visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway during the September 2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 NASCAR race weekend.
      Ø Gate Openings – Various gates will be open each day for fans to access the facility. The following is the schedule with opening times and gates available that day: Saturday (11 a.m., gates 13 & 15, 4 p.m. gates 12 & 14), Sunday (2 p.m., all gates).
      Ø Important Note: For fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway provides a free shuttle and tram service from all parking lots to each grandstand.
      Ø Nationwide Insurance Fan Assistance Patrol Program – The Nationwide Insurance Fan Assistance Patrol offers golf cart transportation and general assistance throughout the Atlanta Motor Speedway parking areas. This service is limited to the Atlanta Motor Speedway facility only, providing patrons with the ability to move to and from almost any area on the property. Patrons may inquire about any of these services at the Nationwide Insurance Information Booths located throughout the Atlanta Motor Speedway property.
      Atlanta Motor Speedway provides tram service between the campgrounds and the entrance gates before and after events and will depart regularly from the designated Nationwide tram stops. Tram passengers under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Trams are provided as a courtesy service to speedway guests. Due to the demand for this service, continuous riding (joyriding) is prohibited
      Campground tram route: Runs along inner perimeter road through all public parking and most camping areas.
      Infield tram route: Runs from the guard house at the new tunnel into the infield along the road course.
      Ø Nationwide Insurance Pit Stops – Nationwide is hosting two tented rest areas at the display lot. Stop by and relax for a few moments to help fight exhaustion during the race weekend.
      Ø ATM Machines – Bank of America will have 10 ATM machines at various locations throughout the property. You will find ATM machines at gates 13 and 15 (will call). There are also locations in the Champions, Earnhardt, Petty and Elliott Grandstands, as well as near the infield concessions area.
      Ø Camping Guidelines – Quiet time in all camping areas is from midnight to 7 a.m. (except Mid-State Family Campground) although we do allow the use of generators, we ask that you respect your neighbors and only use them when necessary. Also, no flatbed trucks (over 10 feet long), flatbed trailers, box trucks, or portable storage containers are allowed.
      Ø Traffic Reports – Traffic information will be provided by WSB 750 AM and WKHX Kicks 101.5 FM. Tune in throughout the weekend for the latest traffic news. Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about road/lane closures or construction projects. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, construction, and delays due to bad weather. Callers can also reach live operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.
      Ø Outside Food- While we pride ourselves on providing an excellent variety of food and drink options for our guests, visitors are welcome to bring their own items if they prefer. Coolers larger than 14”x14”x14” and glass bottles are not allowed inside the gates of the speedway. Planning ahead will make your entrance to the speedway much simpler for both our visitors and security officers alike.
      Ø Handicapped Parking Enforcement – Handicapped parking areas will be strictly enforced for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend and misuse could result in being fined and/or towed. These areas are reserved for those fans with a handicap, not for those who plan to use a friend or relative’s handicap permit to gain access to these areas. The person who is the owner of the handicapped parking sticker is required to be in the vehicle.
      Ø Ticket Resale – No tickets may be resold on Speedway property. This will be strictly enforced. Fans can also utilize TicketExchange, Ticketmaster's new online service that enables safe and secure fan-to-fan ticket transactions. Buyers simply select the tickets they want based on price and seat location, without having to bid against other buyers, without having to coordinate delivery from anonymous sellers, and without the gamble that the tickets are fraudulent. Sellers are guaranteed payment for tickets sold, without having to collect payment or deliver the tickets to the buyer. For more information on TicketExchange, visit www.ticketmaster.com.
      Ø Directions to Atlanta Motor Speedway: Directions to AMS, including traffic patterns and facility maps can be found by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com
      Ø First- Aid: During race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway has Emergency Assistance locations in each grandstand as well as the Infield. Should you or anyone in your party require Emergency Assistance while you are on AMS property, please visit one of those locations or, if needed, dial 911.
      Ø As with any large event, there is going to be significant traffic come race weekend, so Atlanta Motor Speedway would also like to encourage all fans coming to any event throughout the weekend to come early and stay late. All General Parking lots at AMS open at 6 a.m., so fans should feel free to get here early to beat the traffic and check out everything the Speedway has to offer come race weekend.
      Ø For more information on race weekend or to answer any questions you may have please visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call (770)-707-7904.(AMS)(9-2-2009)


      News from September 1, 2009

    • NASCAR History: Sept. 1 -- 2002: Jeff Gordon wins the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington to become the quickest driver to 60 Cup victories. The win comes in Gordon's 318th race, just ahead of the previous best of 321 races by Darrell Waltrip.(NASCAR.com)

    • Three Crew Members Suspended: Mike Hennessy, a crew member for the #199 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Gary St. Amant, a crew member for the #199 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Richard Henninger, a crew member for the #6 team [Roush Fenway Racing] in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. All three were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Hennessy’s violation came on Aug. 27, while Henninger’s and St. Amant’s both came on Aug. 28.(NASCAR Public Relations)(9-1-2009)

    • Smith's #78 Chevy to Showcase World Vision at RIR: The Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith will carry a special paint scheme for the Sept. 12th Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Smith's car will be fully-adorned in the colors of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization based in Federal Way, Washington. The entire space on the car is being donated to World Vision by the team's sponsor -- the Denver-based Furniture Row Companies, one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers with more than 330 stores in 31 states. The idea to donate the space came from Furniture Row owners Barney and Carolyn Visser, long-time World Vision supporters. World Vision is dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. More than 40,000 aid workers and volunteers comprise the international relief and development organization. "This innovative partnership with Furniture Row, one of World Vision's most faithful donors, will help bring the needs of the world's most vulnerable children to followers of NASCAR," says Richard Stearns, president of the international Christian organization. Joe Garone, president and general manager of Furniture Row Racing, said, "The global care-giving services that World Vision provides to children and families are truly inspiring and we are proud to offer our assistance in bringing this incredible humanitarian story to the NASCAR community." (Furniture Row Racing). See images of the scheme on my #78 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2009)

    • Wave Energy sponsoring TBR: Wave Energy Drink announced that it will sponsor Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Toyota and driver Patrick Capentier in six Sprint Cup Series races this season. Wave Energy Drink branding will appear on the #36 for the following six races [in a row]: Atlanta, Richmond, New Hampshire, Dover, Kansas and Auto Club Speedway. “The partnership between Wave Energy Drink and Tommy Baldwin Racing will provide the brand with immediate access to a significant number of the core target audience vital to the brand’s success,” said Jason Wolter, V.P. of Marketing for Wave Energy. “The partnership will help us turbo-charge Wave Energy’s upcoming consumer launch. We are also excited about our involvement with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team that has a loyal following like TBR. For more information about Wave Energy Drink visit www.tastethewave.com.(TBR/Everest Marketing Group)(8-31-2009)
      IMAGEs: see images of the scheme on my #36 Team Schemes page (9-1-2009).

    • Keselowski officially signs with Penske for 2010: Penske Racing announced that Brad Keselowski will compete for the team full-time, beginning with the 2010 NASCAR season. Keselowski, a 25-year-old native of Rochester Hills, Mich., will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season. He will also run a full-season schedule in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he will compete for a championship with the team. "We are very excited to welcome Brad to the Penske Racing family," said Roger Penske. "Brad has shown terrific success on track the past several years and has quickly established himself as one of the top young stars in racing. He comes from an impressive family background in motorsports. He is a proven winner and a welcome addition to our team."
      A third-generation driver, Keselowski has won at every level in which he has competed. He is currently ranked third in the Nationwide Series standings with three wins to his credit in 2009, including a dramatic victory in August at his home track at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski also scored his first Cup Series win earlier this year at Talladega Superspeedway and he has produced three top-10 finishes in just eight Cup Series starts this season.
      "Penske Racing is one of the top teams in all of motorsports and I am honored to join Roger Penske's organization and compete for wins with his Cup and Nationwide Series teams," said Keselowski. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue competing in the Nationwide Series and to run my first full season in the Cup Series with a strong and experienced team."(Penske Racing), no word on Stremme's plans for 2010.(9-1-2009)

    • Sad News - Carolyn Carrier: Carolyn Carrier, a devoted wife and mother, lost her year-long battle with cancer early Monday morning [August 31] at her home in Sparta, N.C. A native of Bristol, Tenn., the 60-year-old Carolyn was the daughter of Larry Carrier, who built Bristol International Raceway [now Bristol Motor Speedway] in the early 1960s, and Betty Anderson Carrier. She was preceded in death by her parents. Carolyn spent most of her adult life working in NASCAR, pioneering the way for women in the marketing and public relations fields. She learned the racing business from her father, then continued her motorsports eduction with then Charlotte Motor Speedway President H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler as his executive assistant in the early 1980s. Carolyn later served as Talladega Superspeedway's marketing director. During the filming of the Tom Cruise movie "Days of Thunder", Carolyn was NASCAR's liaison on the movie set. Before retiring from the sport, she handled public relations and marketing for Bobby Allison Motorsports and Brett Bodine Racing.
      Carolyn is survived by her husband, Craig "Stick" Boose; a son, David Freeman and special friend Joy St. Germain of Orlando, Fla.; one brother, Larry Carrier of the Atlanta area; a stepson, Montie Boose and special friend Gloria Stevens of Pilot Mountain, N.C.; a step grandson, Logan Craig Boose, and numerous friends who will deeply miss her.
      Services are Wednesday at Grandview Funeral Home in Sparta, N.C. Visitation will be at 2:00pm/et with services to follow at 3:00pm/et. The Rev. Roy Houser of New Salem Baptist Church will officiate. Burial will follow in New Salem Cemetery in Sparta. In lieu of flowers, Carolyn asked before her death that donations be made to Victory Junction.(9-1-2009)

    • Dover announces 2010 race dates: Historically, Dover International Speedway’s spring race dates depend on where the Memorial Day holiday falls [since 1987, from 1974 thru 1986 May 14-21 range was the date of the 1st race]. Through the years it’s varied between late-May or early June, and because Memorial Day comes late in 2010, Dover International Speedway’s spring race weekend has been moved to May 14-16, 2010, three weeks earlier than this year’s dates to accommodate a busy spring NASCAR schedule. Tickets for the May 14-16, 2010 tripleheader weekend featuring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series go on sale to the public on Monday, Oct. 12, 2009. Fans that have already renewed their seats and have questions or concerns about the date change are encouraged to call the Dover ticket office at 800-441-RACE for more information. “Dover is traditionally the first stop for NASCAR in the Northeast and it will continue to be that way in 2010,” said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. “With Memorial Day falling on May 31 next year, June becomes very crowded and we felt it was better to make this one-time move and preserve our position as the first race in the Northeast. Our dates will return to the slot after Memorial Day in 2011.” Dover’s fall “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” race weekend remains unchanged and is scheduled for Sept. 24-26, 2010. Tickets for the Sept. 24-26, 2010 races will go on sale on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. Great seats remain for this year’s fall race at the Monster Mile coming Sept. 25-27. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(Dover Speedway)(9-1-2009)

    • Connected vehicle testing begins at MIS : Official testing of connected vehicle technology at Michigan International Speedway has now become a reality. Following a January announcement by MIS, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Center for Automotive Research (CAR) to use MIS' road course as a test facility for connected vehicle technology, August 24 marked the official date those efforts took place. The R&D testing partnership was announced after MIS was selected out of more than 20 sites in a Michigan Tech Research Institution (MTRI) study commissioned by MDOT to locate a connected vehicle test location within the state. TEAMLINC, a product of Westlake, Ohio,-based Western DataCom and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development Center (TARDEC), demonstrated connected vehicle capabilities with their secure Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) technologies for the U.S. Army National Automotive Center. For more info and see some pictures, go to MISpeedway.com.(MIS)(9-1-2009)


    News, Rumors, Race Results, Stats, Race Track News page by Month

    January 2010
    December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009
    August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009
    April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009

    2009 Team Chart
    2010 Team Chart
    2009 Sprint Cup Schedule
    2010 Sprint Cup Schedule
    2009 Race Results

    Jayski's Silly Season Sprint Cup News Page
    Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Main Page

    the Jayski site is owned and served by:

    This page designed by Jayski LLC, 1996-2012© All Rights Reserved.
    Jayski's® is a registered trademark of Jayski LLC
    Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without permission or credit.