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  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    FEBRUARY 2010

    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,


      News from February 28, 2010

    • Johnson wins the Shelby American: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Shelby American Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The win is Johnson's 2nd of 2010, 2nd in a row, 4th win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and 49th win of his 294 race career, now 12th best ever. Johnson has won at least two races every year since his first full-time season in 2002, nine straight years. #29-Harvick finished 2nd [for the 2nd straight race in a row], followed by #24-Gordon [who lead 219 of the 267 laps and dominated the race until 16 laps to go], #5-Martin, #17-Kenseth, #20-Logano, #14-Stewart, #33-Bowyer, #9-Kahne and #16-Biffle [was also 10th last week at ACS]. Pole sitter #2-Busch never led a lap and was caught up in a wreck on lap 94 when #42-Montoya and #1-McMurray got together and Busch had no place to go. Busch finished 35th, 8 laps down. 21 cars finished on the lead lap. There were 7 caution periods for 29 yellow flag laps. There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers.
      The race is scheduled to be re-aired, Wednesday, March 3 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Las Vegas Race Results/Awards page.(2-28-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Shelby American, his 49th victory in 294 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He is now 12th alone in all-time wins one behind Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson.
      This is his second victory and second top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in nine races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
      #29-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in ten races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2010.
      #24-Jeff Gordon (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 13 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
      #37-Kevin Conway (36th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 47 points over Clint Bowyer.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-28-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Las Vegas, race 3 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick 506
      2) #33-Clint Bowyer, 459, -47
      3) #5-Mark Martin, 457, -49
      4) #17-Matt Kenseth, 448, -58
      5) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 443, -63
      6) #16-Greg Biffle, 443, -63
      7) #31-Jeff Burton, 430, -76
      8) #20-Joey Logano, 413, -93
      9) #00-David Reutimann, 397, -109
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 389, -117
      11) #14-Tony Stewert, 386, -120
      12) #18-Kyle Busch, 375, -131
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #24-Jeff Gordon, 373, 2 out of the Chase
      14) #1-Jamie McMurray [1 win], 363, -12
      15) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 357, -18
      2009 Chasers not in top 15
      18) #83-Brian Vickers 320, -55
      19) #2-Kurt Busch, 312, -63
      22) #11-Denny Hamlin, 304, -71
      23) #9-Kasey Kahne, 277, -98
      26) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 248, -127
      32) #39-Ryan Newman, 225, -150
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(2-28-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Atlanta Motor Speedway and first five races of 2010:
      Teams that are guaranteed a starting spot for the first five races, but are currently out of the 2010 top 35 of owners points are:
      36) #37-Conway/Front Row: 7 points out of 35th
      38) #26-Said/Latitude 43: -28
      Two teams are currently outside the 2009 Top 35 owners points and a guaranteed starting spot, but are in the top 35 for 2010 owners points after three races, which would assure a starting spot if qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway is canceled [rain out, etc]:
      #82-Speed/Red Bull: 16th in 2010 Owners Points
      #71-Labonte/TRG: 30th, but would get in via being a past champ anyway
      #09-Almirola/Phoenix Racing start and parked at Auto Club and Las Vegas, is 45th but would make the race via being a past winning team in 2009 [winning at Talladega last April]
      The other teams likely to attempt Atlanta this coming weekend that would make the race if qualifying is canceled would be (5):
      #21-Elliott [past champion]; #13-Papis (37th in 2010 owners points, 27 pts out of the top-35); #36-Bliss (39th/-33); #55-McDowell (40th/-75); and #66-Blaney (41st/-79). Missing the race would be #87-Nemechek (42nd/-96); #90-Mears (44th), #46-Cook (47th) and #32-Sorenson (52nd)
      For the owners points standings, see my 2010 Owners Points Standings and 2010 Owners Points Rack for the first five races.(2-28-2010)

    • Steven Wallace to make Cup debut: During SPEED's SPEED Report show, Bob Dillner reported that Rusty Wallace's son, Steven, a regular in the Nationwide Series, will attempt to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond International Raceway on May 1st. Steven will run a car from Rusty's team, Rusty Wallace Inc. and plans to attempt four other Sprint Cup races in 2010, no word on those venues.(SPEED)(2-28-2010)

    • Bodine's bobsled wins GOLD: The United States Olympic drought that lasted over several generations of bobsledders and at least one lifetime ended Sunday afternoon when driver Steve Holcomb drove his Bo-Dyn four man crew to a gold medal at the Whistler Sliding Center. It marked the first four-man gold medal since the Winter Games of 1948. Helped by track records in the opening two heats on Saturday, Holcomb, with crew members Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz on the brakes came to the 16-turn track Sunday with a .4 of a second lead over Canada's Lyndon Rush and .44 ahead of German icon Andre Lange. Holcomb, in the Bo-Dyn Night Train bobsled that captured the world championship one year ago, extended the advantage to .45 with the best third run. With no troubles on the fast and treacherous course, the Night Train safely negotiated its way to the third best final leg and wound up defeating Lange by .38 of a second. Rush, second through the first three runs, was overtaken by Lange in the finale and placed another .01 behind and in the bronze medal position.
      Then, for Holcomb, it was the reality of the moment. "No, it's just like last week [during the two-man race] walking through the media zone, but it's a little different talking about gold medals," he stated afterward. "It'll take a little while to sink in. You work so hard to get somewhere and you finally get there and you're kinda like 'Now what?' I don't know what to do, but at the same time, these guys have been training so hard and working so hard for pretty much the last four years, to finally end on a high note like this is huge." Holcomb and crew totaled three minutes, 24.46 seconds for their four heats. Lange's silver medal time was 3:24.84, while Rush clocked in with 3:24.85.
      "It's been a long road. We've been building this for quite some time," sighed Darrin Steele, CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. "The athletes have been amazing. Steve's crew had the fastest pushes and he's a great driver. There are lots of proud people celebrating in our little family. Steve always had a gift. He was working on his skills for a long time. He is a hell of an athlete... a hell of a driver. It's a great day for the USA."
      It was the perfect storm of great driving, outstanding coaching, team chemistry and camaraderie and the evolution of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. "With the Bo-Dyn Project, our sleds are as good or better than the competition. But we've also built a pipeline of talent. No one gets complacent. They came into the season in the best shape I've ever seen them."(bodynbobsled.com)(2-28-2010)

    • Latest on the Harvick 2011 rumors: #29-Kevin Harvick is considering his future – 2011 – and Sprint Cup sponsor Shell is also considering its NASCAR future. That company has been in the Richard Childress camp since 2007, when Harvick won the Daytona 500 for Childress and Shell/Pennzoil. So what Harvick might be thinking, what Shell might be thinking, and what Childress himself might be thinking are all good questions....that none of them are interested in listening to at the moment.
      Harvick, it is believed, has been interested in moving to the Tony Stewart-Ryan Newman [#14, #39] operation for Cup racing in 2011. However, sources close to that team indicate that team owner Stewart, though a good personal buddy of Harvick's, may be leaning now toward not expanding to three Cup teams next season. And Toyota has privately expressed disinterest in Harvick, long a Chevy driver, and what effect that might have on any Harvick option with the Joe Gibbs camp is uncertain. Harvick, of course, has the option to move KHI up to the Cup tour itself, though he has not shown much willingness to make the step to driving for such an owner-driver-owned Cup team. Much, naturally, depends on sponsor Shell, which is one of the most lucrative sponsorships in this sport. Childress would naturally want to keep Shell, regardless of what Harvick decides.(MikeMulhern.net)(2-28-2010)

    • Some Manufacturer Las Vegas Notes:
      Chevy A Chevy driver has won four (4) of the 12 previous NSCS races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Chevy has won one (1) pole at LVMS. Chevy drivers have scored 24 top-five finishes and 44 top-10 finishes at LVMS. A Chevy has led 1,026 laps (33% of 3,106 possible) at LVMS. #48-Johnson has three (3) LVMS victories ('05, '06, and '07). Chevy has won both Sprint Cup races in 2010 and has 653 wins and 592 poles since 1949.
      Ford: Ford Racing has more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway than any other manufacturer with 6. Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards are the only two active Ford drivers to win a NSCS race at LVMS. Kenseth won back-to-back events in 2003 and 2004 while Edwards took the checkered flag in 2008. There are no "FR9" engines being run this week. A total of 12 Fords are entered and guaranteed starting spots in Sunday's Shelby American.
      Dodge: Dodge has one win in 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sterling Marlin took the win in a Dodge in 2002. Dodge has earned two poles at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – 2004 and 2007. In nine career LVMS starts, Kurt Busch has never started outside of the top 10. Busch's average starting position at the 1.5-mile track is an incredible 5.7. Last Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win: Kurt Busch, 11/08/2009, 2009 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dodge teams have posted 45 wins since the manufacturer's return to NASCAR's premier series in 2001 after being out of the sport since 1977.
      Toyota: Toyota drivers have combined for two top-fives and three top-10 finishes in the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races of 2010 … Joey Logano (fifth) earned his fourth career NSCS top-five last week in California … Last year, Camry driver Kyle Busch earned the pole position, led 51 (of 285 laps) and won at his Las Vegas hometown track … David Reutimann (fourth) and Denny Hamlin (ninth) earned top-10 finishes for Toyota at the 1.5-mile track in 2009 and 2008, respectively.(from manu PR's if sent)(2-28-2010)

    • RCR Forms Partnership with Hall of Fame Racing Owners: Richard Childress Racing has entered into a partnership agreement with a group led by San Diego Padres executives Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel. Moorad, the Padres' vice chairman and chief executive officer, and Garfinkel, the team's president and chief operating officer, will assist RCR in its business development and growth opportunities, and cooperate on other strategic initiatives. They will also participate on RCR's internal advisory group. "Over the past three years, Richard has become a trusted friend," said Jeff Moorad. "We believe in NASCAR and this opportunity allows us to be a contributing part of a winning organization, led by someone who we respect and trust." In 2007, Moorad, Garfinkel, and their ownership group purchased Hall of Fame Racing from NFL legends Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. The team suspended operations after the 2009 NASCAR season. "I've gotten to know Jeff and Tom and feel that they can add a lot to what we're doing," said Richard Childress, president and chief executive officer of RCR. "This allows us to bring our individual strengths together and benefit all involved. I have learned over the last 40 years that you have to keep innovating and improving to be successful. This new partnership will complement our already strong organization."(RCR)(2-28-2010)

    • Johnson talks about luck and winners circle program: from a Chevy Racing transcript of Johnson discussing some issues
      HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT GIVING YOU CREDIT AND SAYING YOU'RE LUCKY?
      "There are some that may not give us the credit. But deep down inside it doesn't matter if it's a fan or a competitor; they know this #48 team is the real deal. It's way too early in the season for me to be too excited and say we're unbeatable and we're going to win a fifth (title). From my standpoint it's unfair to say that and from the viewing audience. It's early in the year. This is only the second race. We've felt like we're a little bit off from the second half of the race on and the RCR cars really impressed everyone. Credit needs to be passed out where it's due and we'll see how things go this weekend and take it from there."
      HAVE YOUR WINNER'S CIRCLE APPEARANCES CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? DOES IT SEEM LIKE TRACKS TRY TO GET YOU MORE INVOLVED WITH FANS AND HAVE YOU DO SOME CRAZY THINGS?
      "They are crazy. In the end, I'm not sure that the whole Winner's Circle program is working as it needs to. There are some tracks that are a pleasure to work with and other tracks that are not. In the end, I think the goal of the Winner's Circle program is to sell tickets. And if somebody can show me how a paint ball fight is going to sell tickets and fill the grandstands, I'll gladly be a part of that paint ball fight. I don't believe that's the case though. Do hot dogs really sell tickets? There are a lot of questions out there that don't made sense in a lot of ways. At the end of the day we need people in the grandstands and we need to figure out how we do that. I think there has been a lot of pressure put on the garage area to fill the grandstands. And if you really look at what's gone on in the garage area, the teams have had to step up and build new cars; all the money that it took to build new cars and to develop them and Goodyear has built a new tire. You look at the competition side of NASCAR and the field is closer than it's ever been. Drivers are being encouraged to speak their minds. You look at everything that goes on in this fenced off area and we're tapped out in there. We're doing everything we can to put on a great show. People may think that we race for points, which is absolute crap. We're out there to win races. So everything in that garage area is tapped out. What happens over here in filling those stands, that responsibility needs to go back on the tracks and the promoters and they need to understand what it takes to sell tickets and put people in the stands."
      WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THEY'VE HAD YOU DO?
      "There is everything from we've held events on, I'm trying to keep from making a complete ass of myself in slamming people which is just what you (the media) want, so needless to say there is a lot of stuff that doesn't drive grandstand sales. There is a lot of stuff that improves the position maybe with the track and the local market and the local media and favors that seem to be taking place, but I really find it hard to believe that we actually are impacting the people that are going to be at the ticket counters buying the tickets. That's where the shift needs to take place."
      CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE AXEL ISSUE AND WHETHER YOU WERE ALL HAVING THE ISSUE AND WHAT YOU KNEW ABOUT IT
      "We're still learning about it. I haven't had a chance to really catch up with Chad to know where things are at right now. We had our issue at Daytona and then the #88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) had a problem. So, it's unusual for us. I know the guys are working on it, I just don't know the latest."(GM/Chevy Racing)(2-28-2010)

    • #66 team scrambles to get Vegas car ready: NASCAR cut Prism Motorsports a break when it adjusted its post-race inspection procedure after last weekend's Fontana race to enable Phil Parsons' impounded "random post-race inspection" car -- the #66 Toyota driven by Dave Blaney -- to be checked Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway rather than taking the car back to NASCAR's R&D facility in Concord, N.C. "They really went out of their way to help us by sending their guys in [Thursday] to start the inspection process -- they didn't have to do it," Parsons said with a relieved wave of his hand. "I really appreciate them working with us and doing that. I understand being the random [car]. We may have overachieved at [Fontana] by qualifying fifth -- I don't know if we expected it, never mind anyone else. But I've been in this thing my whole life and all we ever ask is a level playing field. And [NASCAR] does all they can to ensure it's a level playing field -- they're the umpires. We know we have to qualify into the field on time, just like the other nine cars that are here, and if they need to make sure the playing field is level for anybody, it's those 10 [go-or-go-home cars]."
      "Following last Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway, as we do after each NASCAR Cup Series race weekend, we impounded two cars -- the race winner and a random selection," said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR director of communications, competition. "The #48 car was the race winner and the #66 car was the random selection. Due to West Coast travel and logistics, we [inspected] the 66 car prior to practice at Las Vegas. The 48 car will come back to the R&D Center and be inspected early next week."
      In a tough economic climate, Prism is short-staffed and financially challenged. While the team proved its mettle in 2009 by sending a car to every event, with its last-minute decision to field two cars this season, Prism only has two complete cars -- one for each team -- with a mostly-complete backup on each hauler. While trying to accrue enough sponsorship backing to be able to afford to race complete events, Prism does a "start and park" strategy to offset the sizeable expense of traveling to and attempting to qualify for Cup races.
      "We really appreciate all the hard work by all our guys this week," Parsons said. "It was a great job [Friday] by all of them." But Parsons wouldn't short sell what NASCAR and its inspectors had done, along with engine builder Terry Elledge from Pro Motor, Mark Smith's partner who Parsons said was the head of the company's Toyota program, turned around a complete backup engine for Blaney's car, plus a carburetor and intake manifold that were intended as the former backup engine's primary pieces, which weren't needed when NASCAR bent over backwards. "NASCAR actually came in here [Thursday] and let us take the engine out of the [Fontana] car so it could be inspected, and let us take some of the pieces that we needed to put in the backup car -- so they did us a favor," Parsons said. "They actually came in early to do that, they unloaded it and we took the motor out so they could inspect it. They finished it [Friday], doing the body, the rear end housing and the rest of it. If we'd have been on the East Coast, all this would have been done at the R&D Center on the Tuesday after the race."
      The newly-assembled "Vegas primary" was in the inspection line at Las Vegas on time Friday morning and went out for the first of its 10 laps in pre-qualifying practice about 15 minutes into the 90-minute practice.(in part from NASCAR.com)(2-28-2010)

    • Townley cited for underage possession of alcohol: Nationwide Series driver John Wes Townley [#21 Chevy] has been cited for underage possession of alcohol. Townley, who is 20, was cited Thursday. He apologized to NASCAR and his Richard Childress Racing team in a statement issued late in Saturday's race by his race team. "I made a big mistake and feel terrible about it," he said. "I have learned a valuable lesson and will do everything I can to make it up to those I have let down." Car owner Richard Childress said Townley made an error in judgment that will be handled internally at RCR. "Drivers are human and make mistakes like everyone else. However, we do not condone his behavior," Childress said. Townley finished 15th in Saturday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Associated Press)(2-28-2010)

    • LVMS records ninth consecutive sellout: Las Vegas Motor Speedway recorded its ninth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellout with Sunday’s running of the Shelby American. Speedway officials sold the final grandstand seats Sunday morning prior to the green flag for the 13th annual event. The capacity crowd marked the largest crowd of the season. “In what are still challenging economic times, today’s turnout is a testament to the popularity of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this great city and NASCAR’s premier racing series,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “We really appreciate the thousands of race fans who chose to spend the day with us.” Tickets for the 2011 NASCAR Weekend are on sale now, and anyone who buys or renews tickets for 2011 will get them at 10 percent off this year’s prices if they purchase by April 9. Race fans purchasing before April 9 will be able to pay 33 percent of their invoice on April 9 and have the remainder charged in two additional installments. Fans also will receive a commemorative poster.(LVMS)(2-28-2010)


      News from February 27, 2010

    • Pit Stall Selections - Las Vegas: The selections of pit stalls for the Shelby America at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #2-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #24-Gordon took pit stall 15, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #39-Newman, who starts 3rd took the 31st pit stall, the 3rd stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #5-Martin, who starts 8th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Las Vegas Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-27-2010)

    • Happy Hour 'final' practice for the Shelby American Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over, about 15 minutes early. The rain had held off and Nationwide qualifying and 1st Cup practice were held. Some results and notes:
      #33-Bowyer 183.530
      #42-Montoya 183.318
      #5-Martin 183.299
      #48-Johnson 183.250
      #47-Ambrose 182.852
      slowest: #26-Said 175.650 and #38-Gilliland 176.898
      incidents: #88-Earnhardt Jr. spun off turn 4, no damage.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, most laps run on my Las Vegas Practice Speeds page.(2-27-2010)

    • Saturday first practice for the Shelby American Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over. The rain has held off and Nationwide qualifying was held earlier. Some results and notes:
      #18-Busch 184.037
      #16-Biffle 183.855
      #2-Busch 183.486
      #00-Reutimann 183.399
      #33-Bowyer 183.299
      slowest: #26-Said 174.678 and #37-Conway 178.731
      no speed: #09-Almirola [wrecked Friday and likely a start-and-park Sunday]
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, most laps run on my Las Vegas Practice Speeds page.(2-27-2010)

    • No new Ford engines at Vegas: There are no "FR9" engines being run this week in any of the 12 Fords that are entered and guaranteed starting spots in Sunday's Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Ford Notes/RFR)(2-27-2010)

    • Kahne still uncetain about future plans: From Ford Racing Notes and Quotes For Las Vegas. #9-Kasey Kahne talks about his slow start to the 2010 season and uncertainty of his plans past 2010 with RPM:
      YOU'VE HAD SOME ISSUES THE FIRST TWO WEEKS.
      "The car has been decent. At Daytona and last week I think we've been top 10 cars. We got in a wreck at Daytona and last week I just made a mistake and cost us a lot of points and a top 10. It's disappointing, but those things happen once in a while. Hopefully, we'll get things turned around and have good, strong run this whole weekend."
      DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE IN A HOLE?
      "I don't think our season is over, but we're definitely in a hole as of today. We're thirty-something in points, so that's not very good, but we still have plenty of racing to go."
      IS IT EASIER TO SWALLOW SINCE YOUR CARS ARE GOOD?
      "Our cars are good. I wouldn't say my car is any different than it was last year. I think the Ford engine runs a little better than what we had last year and that's nice, but as far as balance and going and leading laps or running first, second, third, we're not there. Hopefully, we can get there with the group of people that we have and working with everybody from Ford. The Ford engine is better, but that's it. We have a lot of people there. You've seen how well Roush has run in the past and we've run really well at times at RPM, so, hopefully, we can all put it together and figure out how to make some better race cars."
      HAD YOU EXPECTED MORE AT THIS POINT?
      "I expected the cars to be better, I mean just a little bit. You'd think gaining with that many people in that group and pulling our knowledge and their knowledge together you would think, 'Man, we've got to have a better balance on race cars doing that.' That's not the case, but I think as the season goes, hopefully, it will be the case, but not as of right now."
      WHEN DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING NEXT YEAR?
      "It's something I want to know during the season for sure, but it's kind of nice to be able to sit back and look and watch the performance of our team, watch the performance of the Chevrolets, the Toyotas, the Fords and the Dodges and just kind of see where everybody is at and make that decision. We have plenty of time to do it, so it's pretty nice to be where we're at right now, I think, with that stuff and give everybody a fair shot and to kind of know the direction. But, like we see, everything is always up and down. One year one team runs really well, and the next year they're not quite as good. It seems like Hendrick has been on a little roll here for a while, but looking at the gains of RCR it's pretty awesome if you ask me. They made more gains than anybody. They went from wherever they were last year to being right in the middle of it. It's pretty cool to see somebody jump like that."
      IS RPM IN A TRYOUT PHASE RIGHT NOW? DO YOU HAVE TO SEE SOMETHING FROM THEM?
      "Well, I have to feel like we're going in the right direction. This is my seventh year and I've stuck it out with them since day one and done everything I could to drive and done everything to communicate and I'm gonna keep doing that. In the middle of this year or towards the end of this year, when I decide to make my decision of what I'm gonna do, if I don't feel like we're gonna be able to run with the Hendrick cars for the next three or four years, then I've got to make a change. If I feel like we can, then I'm gonna stay right where I'm at."
      WILL YOU LOOK AT IT EVERY WEEK TO SEE WHERE YOU ARE IN POINTS?
      "I think if we run well it would be kind of exciting to see that I jumped five spots or three spots or how that works, so I'll look forward to running well, hopefully, and jumping up that list to see how many spots we can pick up a weekend. I saw Johnson picked up a bunch. Early in the year you can pick up a lot if you have a good race."(Ford Notes/RFR)(2-27-2010)

    • Biffle buys race track and starts series: #16-Greg Biffle announced that he has acquired partial ownership of Sunset Speedway in Banks Oregon. Biffle also announced the formation of the "DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin Williams" a new late model series with title sponsorship from DAA Northwest and Sherwin-Williams. Sunset Speedway, a third of a mile clay dirt track located just outside Portland, Oregon will host 35 events in 2010. Saturday nights between April and September see more than 100 cars compete for championship points in six divisions. With partner Jerry Schram, the track has already made significant improvements to both the facility and point's programs. The DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin-Williams will see late model drivers from around the Northwest compete in 22 events on six tracks for a piece of the $25,000 series point's fund. Sunset Speedway will begin the 2010 season starting April 10. The inaugural season of the DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin-Williams starts April 24 at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-27-2010)

    • McMurray honored in home state Missouri: #1-Jamie McMurray continued to celebrate his Daytona 500 championship by returning to his home state of Missouri on Wednesday and Thursday this week. The driver made two stops, a surprise visit to the Bass Pro Shops General Manager's conference in Branson and to the State Capitol of Jefferson City to be honored by state dignitaries. The theme of the 2010 edition of Bass Pro Shops General Manager's conference "Crossroads" could not have been any more appropriate, as the company looks to turn the next corner in their own history so too does Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's Jamie McMurray. This very reason is why Bass Pro Shops Founder/CEO, Johnny Morris invited McMurray to be a surprise guest for their dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 24. McMurray's story of inspiration and perseverance brought this group of manager's and corporate representatives from Bass Pro Shops to their feet as McMurray revved the engine of his replica Daytona 500 winning car, driving it right into the ballroom where the manager's were seated for dinner. The Bass Pro Shops family is just that, a family, and the manager's welcomed McMurray into their family with a standing ovation. Johnny Morris then presented McMurray with a special gift from the company, not only recognizing Jamie's success on the race track but forever tying Jamie to his home state of Missouri. Jamie was presented with a set of Indian artifacts - stone axe heads, found buried on the site of what is now modern-day Joplin, MO (Jamie's hometown).
      Governor Jay Nixon and Senator Gary Nodler of the 32nd District welcomed McMurray to the state capitol on Thursday, Feb. 25 to honor him by proclaiming the day as Jamie McMurray Day in the state of Missouri. Upon arrival to the Jefferson City Airport, McMurray was greeted by Missouri State Troopers ready to escort him to the state capitol to be honored. However, this was no ordinary motorcade as McMurray and Bass Pro Shops Founder/CEO Johnny Morris proceeded to drive away in a replica of McMurray's Daytona 500 winning #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet. Upon arrival to the state capitol, McMurray and Morris were greeted by hundreds of fans and legislators ready to honor their accomplished Missourians. Governor Nixon then proclaimed the day as Jamie McMurray day and also recognized the accomplishments of Bass Pro Shops Founder before the two were whisked into the State Senate Chamber and State House of Representatives. The gentlemen were once again recognized before each group of legislators. The two then headed off to Senator Nodler's office for a lunch reception, photos, and many an autograph signing as legislators and office assistants came to see the most recent sports hero from Missouri.(EGR)(2-27-2010)

    • Target Race Carts debuts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced that sponsor Target will activate a new motorsports product sampling program during the 2010 racing season at select NASCAR and IRL events. The new Target At-Track Mobile Series will demonstrate the unique nature of the Target Racing program and also will showcase its valued sponsor partners. The focal point of the program will be customized, completely operational and oversized Target Race Carts patterned after Target shopping carts. Trained Target street teams will drive and accompany these race cart vehicles throughout the race track property beginning on Friday and running through Sunday of select race weekends. They will distribute samples and coupon books for brands including: Glad, Energizer, Breathe Right, Gillette, Air Wick, Nicorette, Armor All and TUMS. The program will debut at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Feb. 28), and continue at NSCS race weekends at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 30), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (June 27), and the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Infineon Raceway (Aug. 22).
      Target Race Quick Facts:
      · Nearly 10 feet tall, more than five feet wide and more than 13 feet long
      · Travel at speeds up to 35-miles per hour and will be powered by an eco-friendly, 250 cc, propane engine
      · Can seat two adults and hold more than 500lbs. of product
      · Will be transported to the track via an open bed trailer, allowing for visibility when on the road(EGR)(2-27-2010)

    • Human Nature to perform prior to start of Shelby American: Race fans arriving early for the Feb. 28 Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be entertained by Las Vegas headliner Human Nature. The Australian group will perform on the main stage in front of the grandstands prior to the green flag, set to wave at noon. Billed as The Ultimate Celebration of Motown, Human Nature is presented by R&B music legend Smokey Robinson. Covering Motown's greatest songs, the quartet consists of Toby Allen, Andrew Tierny, Michael Tierny and Phil Burton. The group took root in Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia 20 years ago and has opened for Celine Dion and Michael Jackson. Human Nature has headlined at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino since last May. To purchase tickets for the Feb. 26-28 NASCAR Weekend at LVMS, including the fabulous Neon Garage fan experience, Lucky 7 Preferred Parking and driver introduction passes, call (800) 644-4444 or visit www.lvms.com.(LVMS)(2-27-2010)


      News from February 26, 2010

    • Kurt Busch wins pole at Las Vegas: #2-Kurt Busch won the Coors Pole for the Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a TRACK RECORD speed of 188.719mph for his 1st pole of 2010 and 11th of his career and first pole in 83 races (Sept 2007 at Auto Club Speedway). #24-Gordon will start 2nd followed by #39-Newman, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #18-Busch, #20-Logano, #16-Biffle, #5-Martin, #14-Stewart and #42-Montoya [the winner of Friday's practice]. Eighteen drivers were faster the the previous track record of 185.995mph, set last season by Kyle Busch.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #87-Nemechek, #13-Papis, #82-Speed, #71-Labonte, #36-Bliss, #55-McDowell, #66-Blaney and #09-Almirola
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #90-Casey Mears and #46-Terry Cook
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Las Vegas Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(2-26-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Las Vegas:
      #2-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Shelby American with a lap of 28.614 seconds, 188.725 mph. This is a track record breaking the mark of 185.995 mph set by his brother, Kyle, in 2009. Eighteen drivers qualified under the previous record.
      This is his 11th pole in 331 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole came in September 2007 at Auto Club Speedway.
      This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his first pole in ten races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
      #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2010 and his fifth in 13 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
      #39-Ryan Newman (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is his first in three races this season.
      #37-Kevin Conway (39th) was the fastest qualifying rookie [the other rookie, #46-Cook, failed to qualify]
      (NASCAR Statistics)(2-26-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Shelby America at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, February 26, 2010 at 6:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 6:30pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: 11:00pm/et on SPEED

    • Qualifying Order for the Shelby America at Las Vegas 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 #48-Johnson.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #16-Biffle.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #90-Mears with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #46-Cook.
      See the full qualifying order on the Las Vegas Qualifying Page.(2-26-2010)

    • Friday practice: for the Shelby American Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is over, some results and notes:
      #42-Montoya 186.168 [track record is 185.995 set last year]
      #77-Hornish 186.085
      #48-Johnson 185.835
      #5-Martin 185.637
      #24-Gordon 185.522
      slowest: #26-Said 174.368 and #37-Conway 176.413
      incidents: #29-Harvick [was 9th fastest] smacked the turn 2 wall early in the session, doing some damage to the right side of the car. #43-Allmendinger lost an engine and the team in installing a new one, so Allmendinger will have to go to the rear of the field on Sunday before the start of the race.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, most laps run on my Las Vegas Practice Speeds page.(2-26-2010)

    • Las Vegas practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #13-Max Papis, 15th fastest
      #82-Scott Speed, 16th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 20th
      #36-Mike Bliss, 29th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 30th
      #71-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 32nd
      #09-Aric Almirola, 36th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 37th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #46-Terry Cook, 39th
      #90-Casey Mears, 41st
      (2-26-2010)

    • Another new crew chief for Robby? UPDATE: hearing that Larry Carter, former crew chief for #98-Paul Menard, will be #7-Robby Gordon's new chief begining with the Sprint Cup race at Las vegas. No word on plans for crew chief Ian Watts, who just started with the team at Daytona.(2-26-2010)
      UPDATE: Carter said on SPEED's NASCAR Live that he is just a consultant with the team and that Watts is still the crew chief and Carter said he is just helping the team. Carter says he is still interested in the Sprint Cup director job, a spot left vacant by the recent promotion of John Darby. SPEED also reported that Gordon has a new car chief, Jay Lipo.(2-26-2010)

    • Ambrose to run Kingsford colors at Vegas: With warmer weather around the corner, Marcos Ambrose is reminding race fans that “Racing Season is Grilling Season” as he straps into his #47 Kingsford Toyota Camry and attempts to change his luck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). "Kingsford Charcoal is a wonderful partner of ours and they’ve been with us for a long time,” Ambrose said. “I’m an outdoorsman and I’m always cooking on the grill at the race track or at home. Steaks are my favorite with Bush’s Baked Beans of course. Bush’s will also have presence on the JTG Daugherty Racing car as well as Scotts Towels, Little Debbie and Clorox. We just want to fans to remember that racing season is grilling season and it’s time to pull out the grill and fire it up. I’m looking forward to doing that myself when I get to the track because I love to grill.” He likes grilling so much that he will be firing up his grill and hosting country music artist Craig Morgan at LVMS.(JTG Daugherty Racing) see images oif the scheme on my #47 Team Schemes page and look for Ambrose to run Lance Snacks colors at Atlanta next week.(2-26-2010)

    • Sacred Power sticks with Said at Las Vegas: Sacred Power and U.S. Chrome will continue to support Boris Said in the #26 Sacred Power Ford Fusion at the Shelby American in Las Vegas. Sacred Power will be on the lower rear quarter Panel. Sacred Powers V.P. / COO Odes Armijo-Caster stated, "I'm encouraged by the amount of business and attention we have recieved from being a part of the Latitude 43 and the number 26 team." David Melton President / CEO of Sacred Power added, "Boris Said could not be a better representitive of our product and company." Latitude 43 still has partnerships available for Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Bristol. Latitude 43 thanks Southern Pride Trucking Inc. for their support of the team during the Auto Club 500.(Latitude 43 PR)(2-26-2010)

    • 'ExtenZe Local Hero' / Honorary Crew Chief this week: Because of his bravery in saving neighbors from a condominium fire, ExtenZe Racing will honor Las Vegas resident Brian Morace, 37, as an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and give him the rare privilege of being an Honorary Crew Chief at this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to local heroes who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those people selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Each recipient receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of the individual's selflessness. For more info on the ExtenZe Local Hero and to nominate a Hero, go to ExtenZeRacing.com.
      AND Gatorz announced the newest member to its line-up of premier professional athletes that sport the eyewear company’s revolutionary sunglasses – leading Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway. As part of this deal, Conway’s ExtenZe Racing crew members will all wear Gatorz cutting edge sunglasses too. In addition, the #37 ExtenZe Ford will adorn the Carlsbad, Calif. based eyewear manufacturer’s logo on the B-post for the remainder of the season. For more information about Gatorz Eyewear and all the styles they have to offer please visit www.gatorz.com.(ExtenZe Racing Breaking Limits)(2-26-2010)

    • NASCAR Foundation makes $408k contribution to Victory Junction: The NASCAR Foundation announced a $408,000 contribution to Victory Junction to help send critically ill kids to camp for a life-changing experience. The donation was made possible through a variety of 2009 fundraisers including The NASCAR Foundation Charity Auctions, an annual partnership with Sprint, Inc. through Friends of the Foundation and the foundation’s signature event, NASCAR Day. “This donation is what The NASCAR Foundation is all about,” said the foundation’s chairperson, Betty Jane France. “Victory Junction is most deserving of whatever assistance we can provide. It’s a special place, and we are proud to help.” The donation will allow over 160 kids to attend the camp, as well as assisting with camper transportation. Since it launched in 2006, The NASCAR Foundation has contributed more than $1.97 million to the camp helping to provide 789 kids with a life-changing experience. To date, Victory Junction has served more than 12,900 campers and their families through the week-long summer sessions and family weekends that take place throughout the year. In 2009, Victory Junction served 2,323 campers and family members over 333 days in session.(The NASCAR Foundation)(2-26-2010)

    • Rahal to look for NASCAR ride: IndyCar driver Graham Rahal said the chances of participating in the IndyCar season opener next month in Sao Paulo, Brazil are "zero," leading him to meet next week with NASCAR officials to see if there's something available for him in stock car racing. "Every minute going by and by seems to cause more of a concern," Rahal said Tuesday from his home outside Columbus, Ohio. "I should be there" [testing IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama]. Rahal, 21, son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, joined the free agent market late in the offseason after parting with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing when McDonald's withdrew its sponsorship to focus on the Olympics.(Indianapolis Star)(2-26-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Las Vegas:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion will bring chassis #070. This chassis ran in the 2009 season spring event at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway and in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where it finished10th, 25th and ninth respectively.
      #2-Kurt Busch the Steve Addington-led #2 Penske Racing Team will be racing their "PRS-702" Dodge Charger this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The "PRS-702" was brought out for the first time in last November's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Brother Kyle may have had the dominant car, but the #2 Dodge, carrying a special Operation Homefront color scheme, used fuel mileage strategy and came home the winner.
      #5-Mark Martin: Crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-555 for the race in Las Vegas this weekend. This chassis was raced at Texas Motor Speedway last November where Martin finished fourth.
      #6-David Ragan: The Chassis Primary is RK-620 which last ran Homestead – finished 34th. The backup is RK-670 ran Homestead in 2009 as the #26 (McMurray) – finished 18th. The Red Rock Center (SLIC – 8911) was selected as the Maximum Center for the February 28 Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The center in the Pacific Region is recognized for their achievements on the Great Basin District's Balanced Scorecard in January 2010.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: The #11 FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 248 this weekend in Las Vegas. This car has two starts and two wins to its credit – taking the checkered flag at both Pocono and Martinsville in 2009. The backup chassis 246 sat on the pole at Auto Club in the fall of 2009 and will serve as the backup this weekend. The #11 FedEx Ground Toyota will carry the letters DSRT on the B-posts for Sunday's race in recognition of the Desert Region's outstanding performance with regards to package care. The FedEx Ground Desert Region includes not only the cities of Las Vegas, El Paso and San Diego but also the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico.
      #12-Brad Keselowski The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-708 during Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. PRS-708 is a brand new chassis to the #12 Dodge team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: running Chassis No. 14-583 at Las Vegas. It is a brand new racecar that has only been tested in the wind tunnel. Las Vegas will mark its first time on a racetrack.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: primary chassis will be RK-646, with the backup being RK-616, no details
      #18-Kyle Busch will drive Chassis No. 268 which is a brand new race car that has never turned a wheel on the racetrack.
      #20-Joey Logano: The team is bringing to Las Vegas chassis No. 252, which Logano drove to two top-15 finishes last year — 14th at Richmond in September and 12th at Martinsville in October.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot chassis No. 299 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Shell-Pennzoil Chevy which will circle the track for the first time this weekend.
      #31-Jeff Burton: This Week's #31-Caterpillar Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 293 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Caterpillar Chevrolet Impala that will circle the race track for the first time this weekend.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: This Weekend's Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala at Auto Club Speedway … Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 277 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer piloted this #33 Chevy twice last season and finished 18th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and 21st at Kansas Speedway in October.
      #39-Ryan Newman will pilot a new #39 chassis this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The car, which was built in the offseason, will turn its first laps ever on the racetrack in first practice at the 1.5-mile speedway on Friday morning. The car was tested in the wind tunnel in early February.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montota: Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the No. 42 Target team will bring chassis #910 to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This chassis ran at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the 2009 season finale where a mid-race incident forced the team to a 38th-place finish.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson will pilot a brand new chassis - No. 580 - in Sunday's event. The backup chassis No. 534 was last driven to a 13th-place result at Pocono Raceway last August and also ran at Las Vegas last year, finishing 24th.
      #71-Bobby Labonte will run chassis number 282, will be making its on-track debut with TRG Motorsports.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. This weekend at Las Vegas, crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-556, which is the first chassis McGrew built from scratch for Earnhardt. This chassis, which Earnhardt debuted in 2009 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was used last at Texas Motor Speedway in November. Earnhardt was running sixth before a late-race fuel gamble resulted in a 25th-place finish.
      #99-Carl Edwards The #99 Roush Fenway Racing crew will unload RK-565 for the weekend. Edwards raced this car at both Atlanta events, Chicago and Darlington in 2009. Its best finish was third at Atlanta in March.(from team PR's if reported)(2-26-2010)

    • Roush rookies win cooking challenge: Roush Fenway Racing drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Colin Braun teamed to win the Fifth Annual Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge Thursday afternoon at ESPN Zone Las Vegas. Both drivers compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Stenhouse Jr. and Braun prepared a tasty dish of macaroni and cheese. Other drivers competing in the event were Kevin Conway, Terry Cook, Brian Scott and James Buescher. The event was judged by members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. "I do a lot of restaurant cooking," Stenhouse Jr. said when asked about his culinary skills. "I usually go out and pay somebody else to do it but our macaroni and cheese looked pretty good. We've got a lot of good race fans a lot of good fans out here." Teammate Braun added that the contest was a challenging but enjoyable experience. "I had a lot of fun cooking," Braun said. "This was quite a challenge. I think this was harder than anything we do in a race car." All drivers who participated in the cooking competition were assisted by members of the ESPN Zone Culinary Team, led by chef Chris Gagen. Each child from the Boys and Girls Clubs sampled the dishes prepared by the drivers and their applause determined the overall winner. Following the contest, drivers and kids played games in ESPN Zone's interactive Sports Arena.(Raybestos)(2-26-2010)

    • Nationwide Series crewman suspsended: Kenneth Luna, a crew member for the No. 23 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On Feb. 24, Luna was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR) See more news and info on the drug policy on my Drug Policy News page.(2-26-2010)

    • Davis memorial service: Marc Davis Motorsports would once again like to thank everyone for their continued thoughts, prayers, and support. They would like to invite members of the racing community to a memorial service in honor of Harry Davis, more info at marcdavismotorsports.com.(Marc Davis Motorsports)(2-26-2010)


      News from February 25, 2010

    • Sad News: Jake Elder: His name was J.C. Elder, but virtually everybody who knew him called him Suitcase Jake. Elder, one of the most successful crew chiefs in the history of NASCAR, died Wednesday. He was 73 years old and had been in failing health since suffering a stroke in 2006. Elder was the top wrench for driver David Pearson when Pearson won Sprint Cup championships in 1968 and '69. Over a career that began in the late 1950s and stretched over the next 40-plus years, Elder worked either as a crew chief or leading mechanic for some of racing's best drivers, including Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Fred Lorenzen and Benny Parsons. He attended public schools for only three years, but he might have been the best "shade-tree" mechanic ever in NASCAR racing. During Elder's crew-chief years, the job was more about preparing the car and less about organizing and scheduling, as is the case today. Elder's main task was to produce durable, winning race cars. Elder also is remembered for one of the best quotes in the history of the sport. It was been repeated in numerous versions over the years, but after crew-chiefing for Earnhardt in his first win, Elder told the young driver: "Stick with me, kid, and we'll have diamonds as big as horse turds." Ironically, it was Elder who did not "stick with" Earnhardt. A season after helping Earnhardt win the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year title in 1979, Elder left the Earnhardt team for other pastures. It was a process, Elder, a committed perfectionist, would repeat many times during a career that saw him in more jobs than a normal resume sheet could hold. His frequent job-hopping earned him the nickname Suitcase Jake.(See full article by Mike Hembree at SPEED)
      AND J.C. "Jake" Elder, 73, formerly of 125 Tree Lane, Statesville, NC, died Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at Autumn Care of Statesville. He was born November 22, 1936, in Statesville, and was the son of the late Dewey Lee and Mable Mae Sprinkle Elder. He was a retired crew chief with NASCAR and was known as "Suitcase Jake." Beginning his career in 1959, he worked with 30 different drivers including, Lee Petty, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Benny Parsons, Bobby Allison, Davey Allison, Terry Labonte, and Sterling Marlin, and served as crew chief for two Winston Cup championship teams. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Debbie Elder; a son, Randy Lee Elder; a sister, Maude E. Cline; and two brothers, Robert and Johnny Elder.
      Jake is survived by a daughter, Sandy Elder Maxwell (Doug) of Elberton, GA; a son, Andy Elder (Beth) of Elberton, GA; three grandchildren, Brent Maxwell, Britney M. Scarborough, and Jacob Elder; and a great-grandson, Malec Scarborough. He is also survived by four sisters, Mary E. Russell, Helen E. Moore, Lou E. Haire, and Peggy E. Parker; and two brothers, Esker Elder and James Elder, all of Statesville.
      Funeral services celebrating Jake's life will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday in the Westmoreland Chapel of Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home with the Rev. John C. Parks, Jr. and the Rev. Charles Efird officiating. Entombment will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park in China Grove. The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 PM Saturday at the funeral home prior to the service. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com. Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the family of Jake Elder.(Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home)(2-25-2010)

    • McDonald's to sponsor McMurray UPDATE: Hearing McDonald's will sponsor Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy in some capacity in 2010. No word if they will still sponsor any of the Richard Petty Motorsports cars. McDonald's sponsored the #43 RPM Dodge of Reed Sorenson in a few 2009 races.(2-18-2010)
      UPDATE: Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray will be sponsored by McDonald's for 11 Sprint Cup races this season, beginning with Sunday's event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a source close to the situation tells ESPN.com. The source said the deal has been in the works since last year and was not sparked by McMurray's win in the 500. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has been looking for a second primary sponsor since Bass Pro Shops, on McMurray's car for the 500, announced last season it was cutting back on the number of races it would sponsor the #1 car.(ESPN.com)(2-25-2010)

    • Congrats - Carl Edwards: from Carl Edwards Official facebook page: Kate and I have a beautiful baby girl! Anne Edwards is 8 lbs, 4oz and likes to eat and cry. all of the well wishes and support from everyone mean a lot to us. kates doing great, though shes having a little trouble burping annie....whole new world.
      MORE: Anne Edwards was born February 24, 2010 in Columbia, Mo., at 12:44 p.m. (CT) weighing in at 8 lbs., 4 oz. Parents Carl and Kate Edwards, and baby Anne are all doing well. For anyone wanting to send flowers or gifts, Carl and Kate have requested that instead donations be made to the following charity: Back 2 Back Ministries, c/o Anne Edwards, P.O. Box 70, Mason, Ohio 45040. Donations will be used for an orphanage in Monterrey, Mexico.(RFR)(2-25-2010)

    • Bill Weber....a magician: Bill Weber, who was TNT's lead NASCAR race announcer before being suspended before a race in July and not returning, says he's performing as a magician. "It's a passion I hope to turn into a profession," says Weber, who says his TNT contract wasn't renewed. "I hope to continue sports announcing, but this is something I've wanted to do for a long time." Weber, saying he worked some NBC motor sports last year, adds he's "waiting for NBC to get back from Olympics to see what motor sports opportunities they might have."(USA Today)(2-25-2010)

    • Las Vegas Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Las Vegas this weekend . . . teams in these two series will be running the same right-side tire code (D-4234) they ran at this track in 2009, but it will be paired with a new left-side code (D-4316) . . . compared to last year's left-side tire, the 2010 version features a slight construction change based on what Goodyear learned at both the Las Vegas and Charlotte races in 2009 . . . the left-side compound remains unchanged from last year . . . Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran this right-side code at both Las Vegas and Charlotte last year, and will do so again this year . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Las Vegas . . . The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage (Sprint Cup).(Goodyear), see tire codes, pressure and more on my Las Vegas Race Info page.(2-25-2010)

    • McMurray to be honored by home state: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's #1-Jamie McMurray will return to his home state of Missouri on Thursday February 25th to accept recognition from state legislators, in the capitol Jefferson City, for his Daytona 500 victory. McMurray will be recognized by both the Senate and the House of Representatives for his achievement on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway two weeks ago. McMurray was born and raised in nearby Joplin, Mo.(EGR)(2-25-2010)

    • New TV deal allows UK fans to watch NASCAR races: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races are again on television in the United Kingdom as the Open Access 3 channel starts covering the series this weekend from Las Vegas. Previous UK NASCAR broadcaster Sky ceased its live coverage at the end of last season, bar a one-off reappearance for the Daytona 500. But NASCAR has now announced a new deal with Open Access 3 - channel 190 on Sky - starting from the next race, with the broadcast beginning Sunday.(AutoSport)(2-25-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon's Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Competition in California: #24-Jeff Gordon's pit crew claimed top honors in Sunday's (Feb. 21) NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Fontana, Calif., winning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award. Gordon's crew, a five-time winner in the Tissot competition last year, had another outstanding performance as the team's DuPont Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road during the 250-lap, 500-mile race at Auto Club Speedway. Gordon's over-the-wall crew consists of: Clay Robinson (front-tire changer), Mike Houston (front-tire carrier), Joe Slingerland (rear-tire changer), Matt Ver Meer (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Cook (jackman), Caleb Hurd (gasman), Jamie Frady (catch can), Colin Fambrough (back-up tire changer) and Andy Kruep (eighth man). The team's pit crew coach is Greg Morin. The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.(Tissot/DMF Communications)(2-25-2010)

    • MIS doesn't expect to lose race date: Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis has advice for fans worried about the 2-mile superspeedway losing a NASCAR Sprint Cup date in 2011: Don't worry. Rumors have ramped up that MIS is among the International Speedway Corporation tracks in jeopardy of losing a race now that it appears likely Kansas Speedway will get a second date. Curtis answered questions during a web telecast with fans Wednesday night. "That is completely false," Curtis said of the rumors. "I have been reassured by senior management at International Speedway Corporation that MIS will not be losing a date. We do sign our sanctioning agreements with NASCAR on a year-by-year basis, but I have not heard anything from NASCAR that would indicate that we are close to losing a date by their criteria. We have invested $55 million over the last few years, and we are going to invest a lot more. We are going to invest a lot more over the next three years and we are going to continue to improve things for fans." Curtis also was asked if MIS is considering putting up lights so the track could host a night race. He said don't expect that to happen any time soon. He pointed out that it would cost about $17 million to light up the track, and there are other areas that need to be addressed first.(Michigan Live)(2-25-2010)

    • Shelby and Kardashian to serve as co-grand marshals at LVMS: Automobile legend Carroll Shelby and television star Kim Kardashian will serve as co-grand marshals for Sunday's Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kardashian and Shelby will share the microphone when it comes time to give the command to start engines. "Of course, I will have my rooting interest during the race," Kardashian said, referring to Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Chevy driven by Mike Bliss, which will feature a special paint scheme, celebrating the launch of her new fragrance. "But I'm really looking forward to meeting all the drivers. It's such a tremendous honor to serve as co-Grand Marshal and I'm really looking forward to experiencing a Sprint Cup race up close." Kim stars in the E! network television series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, on Sunday nights.
      Shelby has raced and designed cars for more than 50 years and is known throughout the world for his legendary Cobra and Shelby GT350. His company, Shelby Automobiles, Inc. is headquartered in Las Vegas and also is the sponsor of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at LVMS.
      To purchase tickets for the 2011 NASCAR Weekend – as well as tickets for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby American and NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 (including the fabulous Neon Garage fan experience, Lucky 7 Preferred Parking and driver introduction passes), please call (800) 644-4444 or visit www.lvms.com.(LVMS)(2-25-2010)

    • Las Vegas Spin and Win saves on tix at Charlotte Motor Speedway: This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series descends on the entertainment capitol of the world, Las Vegas, and Charlotte Motor Speedway is getting into the spirit by offering fans a chance to spin the wheel and win tremendous savings to three major spring events at the Mecca of Motorsports. Beginning Thursday at 9am, fans can enter the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office and spin a giant prize wheel for a chance to save up to 50% on certain tickets to races at CMS and zMAX Dragway. The prize wheel contains ticket discounts from 10 to 50%, plus VIP experiences that will rotate hourly on the wheel such as pit passes, public suite upgrades, Speedway Club access passes, free Sprint FanView rentals, dinner for two at the Speedway Club, passes to driver introductions and much more. Each fan that spins the wheel can purchase up to 10 total tickets at the winning discounted value. The 10 tickets can be used for one race or spread across the three featured events. Also, each fan who spins the wheel and purchases tickets will receive a free gift from the speedway. For more info or to purchase tickets call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-25-2010)


      News from February 24, 2010

    • Test at Talladega Open To The Public: Talladega Superspeedway officials announced that the NASCAR Test Session on March 16 will be open to the public. This will give fans their first glimpse of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars circling the track using the new spoiler while confirming the restrictor plate size and gear ratio for the Aaron's 499 race on April 25. It will also give fans the opportunity to experience the renovated frontstretch grandstands. Parking lots open at 8:30 am with the test officially kicking off at 9:00 am. The event is free to the public and food and beverages will be permitted. For questions on permissible items ot tickets for the 2010 Aaron's Dream Weekend, please contact the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA or www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(2-24-2010)

    • Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Conway and Terry Cook are just two of the superspeedway stars who will compete in the Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge during NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas. The Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge will take place at ESPN Zone in the New York New York Hotel & Casino from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. Admission is free to the public. The Sprint Cup rookies will be assisted by the ESPN Zone Culinary Team. Drivers will be instructed in basic cooking skills as well as how to prepare healthy and delicious meals. The drivers then will roll up their sleeves and prepare some of the dishes they've learned. Young fans from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas will be on hand to watch and judge in this pseudo-Iron Chef competition. Following the cooking challenge, the drivers and kids will head upstairs to the ESPN Zone's interactive Sports Arena where they will play games and enjoy a light snack.(LVMS)(2-24-2010)

    • Special Patriotic schemes for Hendrick cars: The four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are scheduled to drive special "Honoring Our Soldiers" patriotic paint schemes on Memorial Day weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30, 2010. See my Paint Schemes Gallery for the links to the schemes.(2-24-2010)

    • Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Auto Club 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 Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 108
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 64
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 57
      Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 10 min. 10 sec.
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:51 PM
      Total minutes: 231
      Minutes of race broadcast: 177
      Minutes of commercials: 54
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
      Number of 'Digger the Gopher Cam' sightings:
      Digger Animated shots: 13; Digger Still shots: 0; Total: 13
      Number of times The Digger shot was used but not identified as such: 33
      Total race brdcst time 177 Total comm. brdcst time 54.(CawsnJaws). See more on my 2010 TV Commercials page.(2-24-2010)

    • Ragan to take flight: David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford, will fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Thursday, February 25th at Nellis Airforce Base.(RFR)(2-24-2010)

    • #29 scheme to promote new Pennzoil product: The #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy of Kevin Harvick will be carrying a special paint scheme this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that coincides with some exciting news coming from Pennzoil (RCR)(2-24-2010)

    • Sponsor debut for Newman at Vegas: While Ryan Newman embarks on his 299th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, he will also celebrate an important first for his #39 Stewart-Haas Racing team. Sunday's Shelby American will be the first of nine races where new sponsor Tornados, a brand of family owned Ruiz Foods, will adorn the #39 Chevy as the team's primary sponsor (SHR), see a schedule of races for Tornados on my #39 Team News & Links page and images of the scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2010)

    • Kellogg's debut for Edwards: The #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Carl Edwards will have co-primary sponsorship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Aflac and Kellogg's (RFR). See images of the schemes on my #99 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2010)

    • The Hartford Renews Its Richard Childress Racing Sponsorship: The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., announced its 2010 sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing's #33 Chevy and driver Clint Bowyer. For the second straight year, the company is the primary sponsor of the #33 Chevy for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and an associate sponsor for the remaining events. "The RCR sponsorship is a wonderful experience for our customers and employees," said Mitch Jawitz, Vice President, The Hartford. "This year, we plan to offer even more ways for NASCAR fans to get involved with the racing experience. Just like Bowyer's pit crew, The Hartford team is fanatical about keeping our driver's lives moving forward uninterrupted." The Hartford's #33 primary paint-outs will run at Darlington Raceway on May 8, Pocono Raceway on August 1 and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on October 10. Throughout the race season, the company, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, will highlight its bicentennial and provide opportunities for fans to engage with the Richard Childress Racing team. This will include contests, sweepstakes and giveaways, as well as exclusive promotions for members of The Hartford Racing Club. The Hartford will also be an associate sponsor of RCR driver #31-Jeff Burton in the Sprint Cup Series. Both Bowyer and Burton will serve as spokespeople for The Hartford focusing on the auto insurance program. For more about The Hartford's commitment to racing and The Hartford Race Club please visit www.thehartfordracing.com.(RCR), see an image of the scheme on my #33 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2010)

    • Bristol Motor Speedway adds more SAFER walls: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced the addition of more than 160 feet of SAFER barriers. Track operations personnel extended SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) barriers at the exits of Turns 2 and 4. Work began last week and will be complete before NASCAR teams arrive for the Food City 500 weekend, March 19-21. "We believe with these modifications, we will not only increase driver safety, but will also create a different transition at the exit of the turns," said Jeff Byrd, BMS President and General Manager. "While we don't know exactly how this will impact the racing, the more confined racing area should create less elbow room and tighten up the racing groove at those points." A deteriorating track surface forced officials in the summer of 2007 to put down a fresh layer of concrete and an additional four feet of width to the racing groove was part of the change. The modifications will eliminate some of that added room. "Without question, this extra four feet added room and aided in creating three and, at times, even four-wide racing," Byrd said. "However, while it is breathtaking, many of our fans have responded that we went too far, in actuality, giving too much racing room to the greatest drivers in the world." For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(2-24-2010)

    • Michigan International Speedway goes smokeless: All grandstand seating, mezzanines, concession and restroom buildings, suites and chalets at Michigan International Speedway will be smoke-free, racetrack officials have announced. The ban comes on the heels of a state measure that will go into effect May 1, banning smoking in public places. "Not only are we adhering to the law, but we are addressing a growing number of concerns from our race fans who do not smoke," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "Race fans who smoke, can still do so in approved areas. We appreciate all our fans for their understanding and patience." Smokers may choose to smoke in open-air areas behind the grandstands, in the New Holland Fan Plaza and in campgrounds. The Champions Club, seating and adjacent patios will also be smoke-free. Anyone who does not adhere to the new smoke-free policy will be subject to fines by state and county enforcement officials who are on site during race weekends. Signs will be posted throughout the grandstands, reminding fans of non-smoking areas. Affordable tickets, wider seats, larger infield campsites and earlier NASCAR Sprint Cup start times are just a few of the fan initiatives in place at MIS. Fans are celebrated year-round with the Fan Appreciation Program presented by LifeLock. Check out MISpeedway.com or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 for details.(MIS)(2-24-2010)


      News from February 23, 2010

    • Hendrick concerned about axle problem: There is some concern at Hendrick Motorsports that the broken axle that left #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a 32nd-place finish on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway could be a more widespread problem. Earnhardt's crew chief, Lance McGrew, said the axle of race winner Jimmie Johnson was about six laps from breaking and that issues were discovered on other HMS cars during Saturday's final practice. "Oh, absolutely," McGrew told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "I'm sweating this weekend along with Atlanta, which is historically really bad on axles. To say there's not a stir about it would be an understatement." McGrew said so far no explanation has been found for the extreme wear. He said the problem first surfaced during Saturday's final practice when the left rear axle on Mark Martin's car, which shares a shop with the Earnhardts, looked "really bad." He said all four HMS teams replaced the axles before the race. "Ours wore out and [Johnson] barely finished the race," McGrew said. "There's no smoking gun, which is aggravating for us. But we'll get to the bottom of it."(ESPN.com)(2-23-2010)

    • Tums scheme for Reutimann at Vegas: Michael Waltrip Racing’s #00 Toyota Camry of David Reutimann is featuring new partner TUMS as the primary sponsor at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first of five primary paint schemes this season. The #00 TUMS Toyota also will appear at Martinsville-1, Chicago, New Hampshire-2 and Phoenix-2. Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive races finished without a Did Not Finish (DNF) at 43 races of drivers to start every race during that period. He was also one of only three drivers to finish every point race in 2009 - Juan Pablo Montoya and Casey Mears were the other two [Montoya DNF'd at Auto Club and Mears has failed to qualify the first two races of 2010]. Reutimann’s last DNF was Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway.(MWR), see images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will runs a Tum's scheme at Talladega in April.(2-23-2010)

    • What driver reached 50 wins in the fewest starts in Cup Series history?: With #48-Jimmie Johnson at 48 wins in 293 starts, who was the fastest driver to win 50 Sprint Cup Series races? The would be #24-Jeff Gordon, who won his 50th race in his 232nd start, the fastest of any driver.(see more stats/notes at ESPN.com)(2-23-2010)

    • TRG gains assoc sponsor..."'Festivus Pole" makers: TRG Motorsports announced that The Wagner Companies will serve as an associate sponsor with Bobby Labonte on-board the #71 TaxSlayer.com Chevy in Las Vegas. The Wagner Companies’, which primarily produces a wide variety of metal products, assisted in developing the safety cage for NASCAR’s COT and also manufactures the “Festivus Pole” made popular by the television sitcom “Seinfeld.” The Wagner Companies has been in the metal business since 1850 as a manufacturer of handrail fittings and metal products for architectural and industrial applications, more info at wagnercompanies.com.(TRG)(2-23-2010)

    • #36 to feature "Scale the Strat" decal: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) has partnered with the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino to support "Scale the Strat," an event in Las Vegas on March 13-14 that will raise funds to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Kim Kardashian Fragrance/Sephora.com Chevy driven by Mike Bliss will feature a "Scale the Strat" decal at the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "Scale the Strat," an annual event organized by the American Lung Association and Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, features a 108-floor, 1,455-step vertical ascent inside the world-famous Stratosphere Tower.
      "Scale the Strat" is not for beginners. It is the sort of stair climb that is usually experienced only by emergency personnel, fire fighters or police. The first 26 flights are configured like a typical stairwell, while the upper flights are suspended inside the middle of the hollow tower with open air on each side. Individuals and teams will race for the fastest times and most fundraising dollars, more info at www.scalethestrat.com. Participants must be at least 21-years old.(TBR)(2-23-2010)

    • LVMS offers discount incentives, bonuses for fans purchasing 2011 Tix: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is offering a substantial discount – and other bonuses – to its weekend ticketholders. Tickets for the 2011 NASCAR Weekend will go on sale tomorrow and anyone who purchases or renews tickets for next year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events prior to April 10 will receive a 10-percent discount off of 2010’s prices. Fans that renew their NASCAR Weekend tickets for 2011 will have the option to keep their present seat locations or upgrade them. LVMS is offering a three-payment plan for 2011 NASCAR Weekend ticket purchases or renewals. The first one-third is due at time of purchase (up to April 15) and the second and third installments will be charged to their credit cards on July 1 and Oct. 1. Fans taking part in this special offer also will receive an exclusive, commemorative poster of the 2010 LVMS NASCAR Weekend. To purchase tickets for the 2011 NASCAR Weekend – as well as tickets for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby American and NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam’s Town 300 (including the fabulous Neon Garage fan experience, Lucky 7 Preferred Parking and driver introduction passes), please call (800) 644-4444 or visit www.lvms.com.(LVMS)(2-23-2010)

    • Panel denies Kentucky Speedway suit rehearing UPDATE: The appeal involving Kentucky Speedway's founding owners suffered another defeat Thursday when a three-judge panel for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition for a rehearing. The same panel in December upheld a lower court's summary judgment ruling for NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. in the antitrust lawsuit. "The panel has further reviewed the petition for rehearing and concludes that the issues raised in the petition were fully considered upon the original submission and decision of the case," Thursday's order reads. The only remaining option for the former owners is to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(2-18-2010)
      UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Monday that he does not believe the former owners of Kentucky Speedway will exercise thier right to appeal a recent ruling in their antitrust lawsuit against International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR. The U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals recently refused to reconsider an earlier court ruling, leaving them with 90 days to file their final possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. "I have spoken to the person that is empowered to make that decision," said Smith, "and Jerry Carroll has assured me that there will be no further appeal." Reminded that Carroll made similar assurances before the most recent appeal was filed, Smith said, "I think it's over. There will be no more appeals."(Sirius Speedway)(2-23-2010)


      News from February 22, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Shelby America at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Aric Almirola (2009 race winner as owner)(46/2)
      #13-Max Papis (36/2)
      #35-Johnny Sauter (49/1)
      #36-Mike Bliss (35/2)
      #46-Terry Cook (47/2)
      #55-Michael McDowell (40/2)
      #66-Dave Blaney (45/2)
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 2000](25/2)
      #82-Scott Speed (15/2)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (43/2)
      #90-Casey Mears (44/2)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,82,36,13,55,87,90
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 66,46,35
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Las Vegas Entry List and the 2010 Owners Points Standings for the first FIVE races page.(2-22-2010)

    • Sprint Cup Series Facts and Notes:
      * Jimmie Johnson won the Auto Club 500 Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. It was his 48th series victory in his 293rd career start, tying Herb Thomas for 12th on NASCAR's all-time wins list. It was his fifth Cup victory at California in 15 starts, the most wins by any driver. He has posted victories in four of the past six California races.
      * Johnson led eight times for a race-high 101 laps, including the final 24. He has led the most laps in four of the past five races at California.
      * Johnson's first career Cup win came in his 13th start at Auto Club Speedway on April 28, 2002.
      * Kevin Harvick (second) led only one lap in the five previous races at California. He led 27 laps in Sunday's race.
      * Harvick took the points lead for the first time in 109 races, since he led after his 2007 Daytona victory.
      * Jeff Burton (third) posted his first top-10 finish in his last five races at California.
      * Both Harvick (second) and Burton (third) were penalized on Lap 94 for speeding on pit road.
      * Mark Martin (fourth) scored his ninth top-10 finish in 18 races at California.
      * Joey Logano (fifth) posted his best finish at Auto Club Speedway.
      * Four drivers have scored top-10 finishes in the first two races of 2010: Greg Biffle (third and 10th), Clint Bowyer (fourth and eighth), Kevin Harvick (seventh and second) and Matt Kenseth (eighth and seventh).
      * Three Richard Childress Racing cars are ranked among the top five in points after two races: Harvick (first), Bowyer (second) and Burton (fifth).
      * Pole winner Jamie McMurray finished 17th.
      * It was the 189th victory for Hendrick Motorsports. It was the ninth victory at Auto Club Speedway for Hendrick Motorsports, most by any owner.
      * Chevrolet scored its ninth Cup victory at Auto Club Speedway. Ford has 10 California victories, Dodge has one and Toyota has never won there.
      * Kevin Conway (31st) was the only rookie contender in the Auto Club 500.(ESPN)(2-22-2010)

    • Overall all-time winnning percentage: [drivers with over 100 starts]:
      1. Herb Thomas -- 21.053% (48 wins, 228 starts)
      2. Tim Flock -- 20.856% (39/187)
      3. David Pearson -- 18.293% (105/574)
      4. Richard Petty -- 16.892% (200/1184)
      5. Fred Lorenzen -- 16.456% (26/158)
      6. Jimmie Johnson -- 16.382% (48/293)
      7. Fireball Roberts -- 16.019% (33/206)
      8. Junior Johnson -- 15.974% (50/313)
      9. Cale Yarborough -- 14.821% (83/560)
      10. Jeff Gordon -- 14.065% (82/583)
      (stats from Racing-reference.info and NASCAR Statistics and compiled weekly here)(2-22-2010)

    • How did Johnson get the lead at Auto Club? In the post-race interview session after winning the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway, #48-Jimmie Johnson was asked to run through his ascent to the lead – an ascent that wound up winning him the race. "So we were in our pit box, doing the pit stop," Johnson explained. "The caution came out. We completed our pit stop, then left pit road. Where we were positioned on pit road, we had to beat the leader (Burton) to the scoring line at the end of the pit lane. We got there just about the same time and beat him by a car length or half a car length or something. I think the 18 (Kyle Busch) was in the pits, and the leader of the race passed him a few seconds before the 18 was able to get that line. That's why we were able to be on the lead lap still. Then everybody pitted and we were the leader." Replays showed that Johnson, who called the lead a "gift", beat #31-Jeff Burton to the scoring line [who was leading the race on the track when the yellow came out] by just a couple of feet. Burton was asked if there was anything he could have done to get to the line first. Perhaps, he said. "I knew people were on pit road," Burton said. "There's a fine line between slowing down and not slowing down. I don't know where that line is. I came around as quick as I thought I could without NASCAR getting upset at me. You know, I don't know. If I'd have come around probably 2/10ths of a second quicker, we would have had him a lap down. Nonetheless, I did what I thought was right. You know, I didn't just stop. I carried speed around. They ask you to slow down. You can't run down there wide open or they'll get you for that. You know, I don't know. I don't know what the right thing to do there is. I'll go back and spend some time with them and ask them their opinion. If I could carry more speed the next time, I certainly will."(Racin' Today)(2-22-2010)

    • Planet Hollywood to be #34 & #38 assoc sponsor at Vegas: The glitz of the Las Vegas strip is coming to the cars of Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. The NASCAR Sprint Cup team will showcase Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas with associate sponsorships on Travis Kvapil's #34 and David Gilliland's #38 Ford Fusions during this weekend's Shelby American 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fans will see the resort and casino's logo on the lower-rear quarter panels of the teams' Fords at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the Nevada desert.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-22-2010)

    • California TV Ratings down from 2009: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on FOX earned an overnight rating of 5.0 rating /10 share opposite the Olympics yesterday for racing from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. That's down -6% compared to last year's 5.3/8 in a later time period. Yesterday's 5.0/10 is the lowest overnight for FOX's Fontana race since it moved to February, and the lowest for the race since 2003 when it drew a 4.9/11 in April. Greensboro, NC topped all markets yesterday with a 13.0/23. Charlotte was next with an 11.9/23, up +1% over last year's 11.8/17. For race-by-race TV Ratings chart and TV Ratings news, see my 2010 TV Ratings page for more.(2-22-2010)

    • NASCAR confiscates the #66 car: watching start-and-parkers? UPDATE: When Dave Blaney headed to the garage in his #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota after 43 laps [at Auto Club Speedway], NASCAR officials were waiting. Three laps earlier, #55-Michael McDowell drove the other Prism Motorsports car to the garage. The final race report concluded that both cars had engine failures. So why did the sanctioning body confiscate the #66 car? "Because they can," said Bill Henderson, crew chief of the #66 team and general manager for Prism Motorsports.
      Henderson, who has just two cars for the team, was told the car will not be returned until next Saturday — long after qualifying is over. However, the primary car has the basics of racing — swaybar, shocks and springs — that the team simply can't afford to duplicate on the backup car. Without those necessities, Henderson will not be able to race. Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said he hopes to perform the inspection at Las Vegas in order to return the car to the team in a timely fashion, but that's hardly a guarantee.
      Which begs the question: Is NASCAR attempting to send the message to "start and park" teams — those that enter a race primarily to collect a check and don't always try to finish — not to stink up their show? Prism Motorsports wasn't the only team that ended their day prematurely Sunday at Fontana.
      Joe Nemechek initially parked his car on Lap 27 then mysteriously returned to the track a short time later and ran an additional 27 laps before a "rear gear" failed. Boris Said also went into the garage early, came back out, and then disappeared. Even Aric Almirola, who was driving the #09 Phoenix Racing entry that won at Talladega last year, ended up in the garage after 34 laps with an engine failure.
      "It's one thing to try to race each week," said the manager of a team that generally finishes among the 40-somethings who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "But I think doing two (teams) to get a check isn't going to sit very well with NASCAR." Prism Motorsports pocketed $160,070 for Sunday's combined effort of 83 laps. #17-Matt Kenseth, who finished seventh, ran the full 500 miles and earned a $161,696 pay day.
      Darby said choosing the #66 Toyota as "the random" car was part of "the normal inspection procedure. That particular car stood out given that Blaney qualified fifth and led three laps. "The 'randomness' of inspection covers everyone in the field," Darby said. "The 66 was a car that was very competitive. Yes, he was outside of the top 35, but he was the fastest of the group. He was fifth overall qualifying and he led the race today. We've got to make sure that as we fulfill our responsibility to our competitors to make sure that everyone is playing with the same rulebook and adhering to the same rules — and that means everybody. That car deserves a look at to make sure it's up to start." Darby said the sanctioning body cannot try to "outguess the teams" to determine who the start-and-park cars are every weekend.(FoxSports)(2-22-2010)
      UPDATE: Phil Parsons didn't take it personally or consider it a message to start-and-park teams when NASCAR impounded the #66 driven by Dave Blaney following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. He took it as a compliment. Had Blaney not qualified fifth, led three laps and run in the top 10 for a while before parking 43 laps into the 250-lap event, Parsons doesn't believe the car would have been a random selection for a full teardown. "If I am them and they are me and they qualified fifth, I may want a little extra look at that car,'' said Parsons, the owner of Prism Motorsports that fields the #66 and #55 of Michael McDowell. "We're fairly new and haven't been around that much. There aren't many relatively new teams that are able to do stuff like that. We may be a victim of our own success.'' Some might question success. Both Prism cars parked early Sunday, saving the engines and other parts for this week's race at Las Vegas. Like it or not, that's the business model some owners have to follow until the economy lightens its grip around the sport. Parsons understands it could gives owners like him a bad name. He also understands that he's doing everything he can to stay in the sport. "We try to race when we have money to race,'' said Parsons, who formed an alliance just before the season to get cars from Michael Waltrip Racing. "We raced Daytona the week before and [McDowell] broke a drive shaft with five laps to go. We're out there in the market place. It's just been very difficult to raise money.'' Bottom line, when the cars are sponsored Parsons will race them. When they are not he'll likely park them unless he's made enough money from days like Sunday to take a chance. "The economics of the thing, the additional cost for an engine, to use the engine for all 500 miles and the amount of tires that it takes to run the rest of the race ... it could be astronomical,'' Parsons said. "We're all racers. I know how hard it is for Dave. But we also want to race next week. We have to try to be smart and do what we can with what we have. I'm trying to build this thing. Hopefully, deals like Dave Blaney qualifying fifth opens some eyes.'' There are some who believe Parsons is throwing the whole start-and-park philosophy in NASCAR's face by doing it with two cars, and that NASCAR tossed it back by impounding the 66. That means Blaney, who only had two cars to start with, will have to qualify his backup at Las Vegas unless NASCAR is able to complete its inspection in Vegas in time. That likely won't happen. What makes this difficult on the 66 team is the backup won't be nearly as equal to the primary as might be the case on large, well-established teams.(in part from ESPN)(2-22-2010)

    • LVMS expects highway widening to improve vehicle flow: Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are expecting the smoothest vehicle flow ever for the NASCAR Weekend thanks to improvements made to Interstate 15. A design-build project by the Nevada Department of Transportation has widened I-15 to four lanes in each direction between the U.S. 95 interchange and Craig Road. This project was completed well ahead of schedule and should improve ingress and egress for the Feb. 26-28 events.
      "We are very grateful to the Nevada Department of Transportation for its efficiency in completing this project," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "When we first heard of this project in 2007, we were told it would impact NASCAR Weekend in '08, '09 and 2010. But NDOT delayed the start until after the '08 race and concluded the project before this year's big weekend – a full six months ahead of schedule."
      While commuting by car should be much easier, the speedway still encourages fans to use mass transit to attend the races. For the second consecutive year, Coach America will service the event. In 2009, Coach America replaced CAT as the preferred transit organization for the events at LVMS. Race fans can contact Coach America at nascar.coachamerica.com or (702) 948-7360.
      For those wishing to take a private charter to the races, LVMS recommends Key Tours. Key Tours has been providing service to the speedway for several years, and we vouch for the quality of its service. Key Tours can be contacted at www.keytourslv.com or 1-800-261-2691. To reserve seats on either the Coach America or Key Tours buses, please go to www.LVMS.com and click on the "Getting to the Races" link in the NASCAR Weekend Quick Links box.
      The speedway will continue to crack down on the fraudulent use of handicapped placards. Speedway security will be checking the validity of handicapped passes on each vehicle. "We take caring for the handicapped very seriously at the speedway," Powell said. "It's important to us that handicapped fans coming to our race are not inconvenienced by those who are perfectly capable of parking in the general parking area." The speedway also has added a new feature to its website. Videos depicting the preferred entry and exit from the speedway can now be found online at www.lvms.com.(LVMS)(2-22-2010)


      News from February 21, 2010

    • Johnson wins the Auto Club 500: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. It is Johnson's first win of 2010, 48th of his career and Johnson has now won at least one race a year for 9 straight years, since his rookie year. #29-Harvick finished 2nd, followed by #31-Burton, #5-Martin, #20-Logano, #2-Busch, #33-Burton, #14-Stewart and #16-Biffle. Johnson led the most laps, 101 of 250. Pole sitter #1-McMurray finished 17th. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 32nd after breaking an axle midway in the race. There were 6 caution periods for 30 laps. There were 26 lead changes among 13 drivers leading laps. The race is scheduled to be re-aired on SPEED, Wednesday, February 24 at 12:00pm/et.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Daytona 500 Race Results/Awards page.(2-21-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Auto Club, race 2 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick 331
      2) #33-Clint Bowyer 312, -19
      3) #16-Greg Biffle 304, -27
      4) #1-Jamie McMurray 302, -29
      5) #31-Jeff Burton 300, -31
      6) #5-Mark Martin 297, -34
      7) #17-Matt Kenseth 288, -43
      8) #00-David Reutimann 273, -58
      9) #20-Joey Logano 263, -68
      10) #99-Carl Edwards 262, -69
      11) #2-Kurt Busch 254, -77
      12) #48-Jimmie Johnson 253, -78
      13) #18-Kyle Busch 252, -79
      14) #83-Brian Vickers 250, -81
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(2-21-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Auto Club 500, his 48th victory in 293 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He matches Herb Thomas for 12th on all-time win list.
      This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his fifth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 15 races at Auto Club Speedway. Johnson has led seven consecutive races at Auto Club Speedway.
      #29-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 16 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2010.
      #31-Jeff Burton (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 20 races at Auto Club Speedway.
      #37-Kevin Conway (31st) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 19 points over Clint Bowyer.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-21-2010)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Auto Club: (and their finish)
      and cars reported as wave arounds, a lap down, do not pit, stay on track, in front of leader, get waved around
      Caution 1 - Lucky Dog: #43-Allmendinger, finished 25th
      Caution 1 - Reported Wave Around cars: #26-Said, #13-Papis, #34-Kvapil
      Caution 2 - Lucky Dog: #47-Ambrose, 35th
      Caution 2 - Reported Wave Around cars: #13-Papis, #34-Kvapil
      Caution 3 - Lucky Dog: #6-Ragan, 23rd
      Caution 3 - Reported Wave Around cars: #88-Earnhardt Jr., #38-Gilliland
      Caution 4 - Lucky Dog: #71-Labonte, 27th
      Caution 4 - Reported Wave Around cars: none mentioned
      Caution 5 - Lucky Dog: #12-Keselowski, 21st
      Caution 5 - Reported Wave Around cars: #77-Hornish, #98-Menard, #6-Ragan, #36-Bliss
      Caution 6 - Lucky Dog: #33-Bowyer, 8th
      Caution 5 - Reported Wave Around cars: #18-Busch, #77-Hornish, #11-Hamlin, #19-Sadler, #71-Labonte, #36-Bliss, #24-Gordon
      NOTE: wave around cars are not always reported and not scored on results pages
      (2-21-2010)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Auto Club Speedway (or seemed to)?
      43rd: #09-Almirola, 35 laps completed
      42nd: #55-McDowell, 41 laps
      41st: #66-Blaney, 44 laps
      40th: #87-Nemechek, 49 laps run
      38th: #26-Said, 67 laps, came in and out of garage a couple times, not sure
      (only count a team with a history of starting and parking, with no sponsor for the races, not a wreck or engine blow and only if 25% or less of race completed)(2-21-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and first five races of 2010:
      Teams that are guaranteed a starting spot for the first five races, but are currently out of the 2010 top 35 of owners points are:
      37) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: 12 points out of 35th
      38) #39-Newman/Stewart: -18
      41) #47-Ambrose/JTG Daugherty: -36 (yikes)
      Three teams are currently outside the 2009 Top 35 owners points and a guaranteed starting spot, but are in the top 35 for 2010 owners points after two races, which would assure a starting spot if qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is canceled [rain out, etc]:
      #82-Speed/Red Bull: 15th in 2010 Owners Points
      #71-Labonte/TRG: 25th, but would get in via being a past champ anyway
      #36-Bliss/Baldwin: 35th in 2010 Owners Points
      #09-Almirola/Phoenix Racing start and parked at Auto Club and is 46th but would make the race via being a past winning team in 2009 [winning at Talladega last April]
      The other teams likely to attempt Las Vegas this coming weekend that would make the race if qualifying is canceled would be:
      #13-Papis (36th in 2010 owners points, 12 pts out of the top-35); #55-McDowell (40th); #87-Nemechek (43rd) and #90-Mears (44th).
      Missing the race would be #66-Blaney (45th) and #46-Cook (47th)
      For the owners points standings, see my 2010 Owners Points Standings and 2010 Owners Points Rack for the first five races.(2-21-2010)

    • February 21, 1948 - NASCAR born: Six days after its first race was held, NASCAR was officially incorporated as the National Association for Stock Car Racing, with race promoter Bill France as president. From the beginning, stock car racing had a widespread appeal with its fan base. As the legend goes, the sport evolved from Southern liquor smugglers who souped up their pre-war Fords to outrun the police. NASCAR brought the sport organization and legitimacy. It was Bill France who realized that product identification would increase enthusiasm for the sport. He wanted the fans to see the cars they drove to the track win the races on the track. By 1949, all the postwar car models had been released, so NASCAR held a 150-mile race at the Charlotte Speedway to introduce its Grand National Division. The race was restricted to late-model strictly stock automobiles. NASCAR held nine Grand National events that year. By the end of the year, it was apparent that the strictly stock cars could not withstand the pounding of the Grand Nationals, so NASCAR drafted rules to govern the changes drivers could make to their cars. Modified stock car racing was born. Starting in 1953, the major auto makers invested heavily in stock car racing teams, believing that good results on the track would translate into better sales in the showroom. In 1957, rising production costs and tightened NASCAR rules forced the factories out of the sport. Today NASCAR racing is the fastest growing spectator sport in America.(History Channel)(2-21-2010)

    • Mayfield's files motion to move case; for NASCAR to pay attorney fees: There's a lot of politicking going on in Jeremy Mayfield's case against NASCAR and both sides recently filed court documents hoping to sway the judge on an upcoming decision that could be pivotal. Included in those documents is a motion by Mayfield's side to move the case back to state court and for NASCAR to pay for Mayfield's attorney fees that were related to this issue alone. Based on court documents, Mayfield's attorney fees were listed at nearly $70,000 on just this issue. NASCAR filed paperwork that the case remain in federal court. Remember that Mayfield's former attorney, Bill Diehl, filed a lawsuit in November claiming that Mayfield owed Diehl's law firm at least $371,973.66, plus attorney fees, interest and late charges. Diehl's firm represented Mayfield from May until October when Mayfield hired attorney Mark Geragos.
      Earlier this month, an evidentiary hearing was held in U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen's court room. At issue is where is NASCAR Chairman Brian France's residence. Judge Mullen has not yet issued his decision. For this case (remember this is about Mayfield challenging NASCAR over a failed drug test) to be in federal court, both parties have to be from different states. Mayfield claims residency in North Carolina and France claimed it in Florida. In the motion on behalf of Mayfield, his side said that along with the case being moved back to state court, NASCAR should pay Mayfield's just costs and actual expenses, including attorney fees as a result of Defendant's removal ... i.e. what it cost Mayfield in attorney fees and such in fighting this issue (this is not for the total in attorney fees Mayfield has racked up).(Virginian Pilot)(2-21-2010)

    • Tire changes at Auto Club UPDATE: Goodyear pulled 10 right side tires as a precautionary measure after discovering unusual wear following qualifying on Friday. Although the same tire code (4386) was used successfully at Las Vegas and Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past, tire specialists found thin thread in "small, localized areas" according to Stu Grant, general manager of global racing tires. "We decided to pull those tire (sequences) from the system," Grant added. "We'll give them a tire that doesn't have the same shearogrophy image." Goodyear elected to review the data from previous right side builds and sent the tires in question back to its headquarters in Akron, Ohio, to examine the shearography image which uses non-destructive lasers to measure and detect defects to the tire. Goodyear will re-evaluate the tires following practice on Saturday to determine whether any further action needs to be taken.(FoxSports)(2-20-2010)
      UPDATE: Goodyear officials took 23 unused tires from the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series garages that showed signs of thin tread at Auto Club Speedway. After Sprint Cup practice Friday, Goodyear officials saw three tires with a small patch of localized, rapid tread wear. They then asked Goodyear technicians in Akron, Ohio, to re-examine the X-rays of the 2,000 right-side tires that were brought to the track with a more thorough look at the area where those other tires had shown the thin tread, Goodyear global racing tire manager Stu Grant said Saturday. The X-rays are originally done so technicians can look for foreign particles or other abnormalities in the tires after they come off the production line. Following the examinations Friday, the engineers saw possible signs of a similar problem in 19 tires sold to teams in the Cup garage and four sold to teams in the Nationwide garage this weekend. Goodyear asked that those tires be return and replaced them. "I don't have any explanation other than we have a localized area of light tread in some of the right-side tires," Grant said. "There's something going on with the manufacturing. It's got that light [tread] area that is a little off-center of the center of the tire. So just to be sure [we took them back]. … There's nothing wrong with it except it's a little thinner than it should be." The right-side tires are new for Auto Club Speedway, host of Sunday's Auto Club 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but have been used at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. There were no issues during Sprint Cup practice Saturday.(SceneDaily)(2-21-2010)


      News from February 20, 2010

    • Saturday's Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 60 minutes of practice, some results and notes:
      #5-Martin 181.726
      #33-Bowyer 180.895
      #48-Johnson 180.687
      #1-McMurray 180.628
      #24-Gordon 180.153
      slowest: #37-Conway 174.279 & #38-Gilliland 175.366
      no speed listed: #26-Said.
      most laps: #00-Reutimann 50; #6-Ragan 48
      #87-Nemechek only ran 3 laps
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Auto Club Practice Speeds Page.(2-20-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Auto Club: The selections of pit stalls for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #1-McMurray chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #42-Montoya took pit stall 12A [there is no #13 stall], the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #33-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 12th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #00-Reutimann, who starts 11th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Auto Club 500 Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-20-2010)

    • No new Ford engines at ACS: there will be no new Ford FR9's engines being run in the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway this week and they may not run any races until later in the spring.(SPEED's coverage of Happy Hour practice)(2-20-2010)

    • Owners, NASCAR talk about keeping wing at superspeedways DENIED: One of the things that was discussed Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway is that some of the owners and some NASCAR officials have gone and whispered in Sprint Cup Series director John Darby and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton's ear: "Hey, maybe we need to keep the rear wing on this car for the remaining restrictor plate races for the rest of 2010." NASCAR will replace the rear wing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car with a more traditional spoiler later this season [Around race 6-8 range if testing goes well]. But based strictly on the results saw on track during Speedweeks in Daytona the car package is very favorable. NASCAR and the teams still have to go to the other restrictor-plate track on the schedule, Talladega Superspeedway, and do a lot of testing to see if the tires and all the other changes they made to the car during the offseason will work the way it needs to. But if they elect to leave the wing on the cars at superspeedways, teams can use all the information gained during the last two weeks of racing, which will probably still be good for the rest of the season. That would eliminate a big variable at superspeedways that could cost the teams a lot of money to test.(in part by Jeff Hammond of FoxSports)(2-16-2010)
      UPDATE: Mike Joy mentioned during SPEED's coverage of Auto Club 500 Happy Hour practice that NASCAR said the wing would not be used once the spoiler returns this spring [rumored races includes Martinsville in March or Phoenix in April].(2-20-2010)

    • Most Last-Place Finishes (1949-present) in Sprint Cup history:
      rank, number of last place finishes, driver, (total races run)
      (list does not include non-points races)
      1) 32-J.D. McDuffie (653 races run)
      2) 26-Derrike Cope* (409)
      3) 19-G.C. Spencer (415)
      4) 18-Joe Nemechek* (521)
      5) 17-Buddy Baker (700), Jimmy Means (455), Morgan Shepherd (514), Cale Yarborough (560)
      6) 16-Todd Bodine*, Neil Castles, Junior Johnson, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip
      7) 15-Buddy Arrington, Ward Burton, Richard Petty, Roy Tyner
      8) 13-Buck Baker, Dave Blaney*, Henley Gray, Dick May, Joe Ruttman, Rusty Wallace
      9) 12-Ricky Craven, Cecil Gordon, Terry Labonte*, Sterling Marlin*, Wendell Scott, Michael Waltrip*
      10) 11-John Andretti*, Geoffrey Bodine*, Earl Brooks, Bill Champion, Jimmy Helms, Rick Newsom, Greg Sacks
      (stats from Lastcar)(2-20-2010)

    • McMurray the first? When #1-Jamie McMurray won the pole for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway, from looking back thru some record book, it looks like no driver has won the Daytona 500 and then sat on the pole in the next race, so McMurray may be the first. In 1981 Bobby Allison won the first race of the year at Riverside and the following week he won the the pole for the Daytona 500. Geoff Bodine won the 1986 Daytona 500 and started on the pole at Richmond the following race BIU qualifying was rained out and Bodine was awarded the first starting spot.(2-20-2010)

    • Tire test at Darlington in March: The following teams are scheduled to be participating in a Goodyear Tire Test at Darlington Raceway on Tuesday, March 9: #19-Elliott Sadler (Ford); #33-Clint Bowyer (Chevy) and #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota) - no Dodge's listed. Two Camping World Truck Series teams are TBA.(Darlington Raceway)(2-20-2010)

    • Robby running Warner Music Nashville scheme at ACS: #7-Robby Gordon will debut the Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Toyota this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Toyota entry will be a joint effort between Robby Gordon Motorsports and BAM Racing. Robby's Remarks – "Fontana is a really cool race for me because it allows me to return to my home track and race in front of my friends and family," said Gordon. "I'm even more excited about the race this year since I have the chance to debut a new sponsor on the #7 Camry. Our partnership with BAM Racing has been great, and having Warner Music Nashville and Whitney Duncan on the hood of our car this weekend is just another benefit resulting from that relationship." Last week, BAM Racing announced an association with the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that meets the needs of severely injured service men and women. On Thursday, Gordon visited wounded Marines at the Naval Medical Center on behalf of Wounded Warrior.(RGM)(2-20-2010)

    • Burton to read to kids: #31-Jeff Burton is scheduled to participate in Auto Club Speedway's Racing to Read program the morning of the Auto Club 500. The veteran driver will read "Where the Wild Things Are" to kids in the Fanzone area, located on the outside of the race track. The storybook reading time will take place from 9:00 – 9:15am.(RCR)(2-20-2010)

    • Kenseth to be honored: #17-Matt Kenseth will once again be inducted into the California Speedway Walk of Fame this Saturday (Feb. 20). Kenseth, will be cemented into the prestigious walk of fame, via his victory in the Auto Club 500 last spring.(RFR)(2-20-2010

    • added a ton of paint schemes from Auto Club Speedway, including:
      #88 AMP Energy JUICE, #99 Aflac "You Don't Know Quack", #12 AAA Insurance, #38 Taco Bell , #9 Budweiser / Olympic , #5 GoDaddy.com , #47 Amour All , #37 Extenze , #1 Bass Pro Shops , #39 Haas Automation , #34 Long John Silver's , #46 Whitney Motorsports , #9 Budweiser (white) , #18 Interstate Batteries , #12 AAA Insurance , #09 Phoenix Racing , #26 Southern Pride Trucking, #35 Tommy Baldwin Racing , schemes.(2-20-2010)

    • Daytona 500 Delays added Sponsorship Exposure: The one benefit of two lengthy track repair delays during last week's Daytona 500 was the unique opportunity for Fox to conduct interviews with an unprecedented 27 of the 43 drivers, and 10 crew chiefs. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. — which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast since the mid-1980s — by the time Fox signed off Sunday night from Daytona, a total of 46 separate driver interviews had been conducted, lasting a cumulative 46 minutes, 48 seconds (46:48).
      Never far from the attention of the Fox crew, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s three interview segments ran for a total of 4:53 to lead all drivers. As a result, Earnhardt's primary sponsor AMP Energy accumulated the most verbal mentions during the telecast with 10. When comparing the verbal exposure to the cost of a 30-second commercial during the Great American Race, AMP Energy collected nearly $1.7 million of exposure value. Earnhardt's sponsor was also mentioned on four occasions during MRN's national radio broadcast of the Daytona 500, good for another $26,000 of exposure value.
      Budweiser mentions in association with its sponsorship of Kasey Kahne and UPS mentions regarding David Ragan were next in line among the leaders, as each brand was mentioned five times throughout the live Fox coverage. Budweiser picked up three more references during MRN's broadcast, bringing about a total of $853,000, while UPS obtained a half-dozen radio mentions for a total of $873,000 of media exposure.
      Also prospering from the extended interviews and chatty drivers were the participating car makers. Ford failed to win the race, but certainly ruled the television and radio airwaves, as the brand was mentioned a combined 105 times, earning $8.5 million of comparable exposure value. Race-winning Chevrolet racked up 81 mentions ($4.2 million), followed by Toyota (49/$3.5 million) and Dodge (14/$1.2 million).
      Most Mentioned on Fox
      Sponsor, Mentions
      Daytona 500, 178
      NASCAR, 50
      Daytona Int. Spdwy.,38
      Sprint Cup, 25
      NASCAR on Fox, 24
      Driver, Mentions
      Kevin Harvick 138
      Clint Bowyer 82
      Greg Biffle 66
      D. Earnhardt, Jr. 66
      Kesey Kahne 61
      (Joyce Julius & Associates)(2-20-2010)

    • Some Chassis notes from team for Auto Club Speedway:
      #5-Mark Martin: Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #5-523 for Sunday's race. Martin drove this chassis five times last season, including to Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway in June.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary Chassis: RK-617 Ran Charlotte in 2009 as the #26 – finished 33rd; Backup: RK-676, ran Homestead in 2009 as the #26 – finished 18th, The Beach Center (SLIC - 9024) in the South California District was selected as the Maximum Center for the February 21 Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The center is recognized for their achievements on the district's Balanced Scorecard in 2009. Of the total 19 elements measured, 10 were 100 percent effective.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: The #11 FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 256 this weekend in California. This car last raced in Charlotte during the 2009 Chase when engine troubles relegated Hamlin to a 42nd-place finish. Chassis 246 sat on the pole at Auto Club last fall and will serve as the backup this weekend. The #11 FedEx Freight Toyota will carry the letters WHT on the B-posts for Sunday's Auto Club 500 in recognition of the FedEx Freight service center in Whittier. The center is being recognized for best accident and injury performance within the greater San Bernardino region.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 AAA Insurance Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-713 during Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway. PRS-713 is a brand new chassis to the #12 Dodge team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: Chassis #14-564 debuted at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last November, where it delivered a strong performance by qualifying fourth and finishing sixth. The 2009 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway marked the car's second career start. There, it qualified fifth and led twice for 43 laps before two separate on-track incidents with Juan Pablo Montoya relegated it to a 22nd-place finish. Its most recent action came Jan. 19-20 when it was used for a Goodyear tire test at Texas.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: RFR's #17 Ford team will bring primary car RK-657 along with the backup RK-612
      #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis #265 is a brand new race car that has never turned a wheel on the racetrack. It has, however, been tested in the wind tunnel.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: Harvick will pilot chassis #288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevy first raced at Auto Club Speedway last season, posting its first top-10 finish. Harvick piloted this #29 Chevy in three other races last fall finishing 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and third in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will pilot chassis #291 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Caterpillar Chevrolet Impala that will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis #257 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer piloted this #33 Chevy twice last season, finishing sixth at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and seventh at Texas Motor Speedway in November. In July 2008, this former #07 racer made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Bowyer finished 19th. #39-Ryan Newman: Chassis #39-531 last saw action at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. Newman qualified sixth and had a strong racecar. However, pit-road issues kept Newman mired in traffic and led to an 11th-place finish. Prior to its run in the NASCAR Banking 500 in October, Newman piloted the car during a thrilling run in last May's Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte. Newman was battling for the lead with less than 10 laps to go, he got tangled up with two other cars, which sent Newman into the wall and ended the team's day. The team repaired the damaged bodywork, and Newman returned to the track at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., in July, where he finished sixth. In the offseason, crew chief Tony Gibson & Company reworked chassis #39-531. The original body was cut off the car. The car was lightened and the bodywork was rebuilt.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson
      Johnson will pilot chassis #553 in Sunday's event. He has three starts in that car, collecting two wins (Indy, Calif. 2009) and a fifth-place finish (Homestead 2009). Johnson last drove backup chassis #534 to a 13th-place result at Pocono Raceway last August.
      #71-Bobby Labonte is schedule dto run chassis number 286 and will be making its on-track debut with TRG Motorsports.(2-20-2010)


      News from February 19, 2010

    • McMurray wins pole at Auto Club: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light Pole for the Auto Club 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 183.744 mph for his 1st pole of 2010 and 4th of his career. His Earnhardt-Ganassi teammate, #42-Montoya will start 2nd followed by #33-Bowyer, #9-Kahne, #66-Blaney, #29-Harvick, #48-Johnson, #77-Hornish, #18-Busch, and #5-Martin The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #66-Blaney, #82-Speed, #36-Bliss, #09-Almirola, #55-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #71-Labonte, and #13-Papis
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #90-Mears, #35-Sauter, and #46-Cook
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Auto Club 500 Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(2-19-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Auto Club 500:
      Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Auto Club 500 with a lap of 39.185 seconds, 183.744 mph.
      This is his fourth pole in 260 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his first pole in 14 races at Auto Club Speedway.
      Juan Pablo Montoya (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2010 and his third in seven races at Auto Club Speedway. This marks the first time that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has claimed both front row starting positions.
      Clint Bowyer (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second in two races this season.
      Kevin Conway (38th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Statistics)(2-19-2010)

    • Friday practice: for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #5-Martin 182.927
      #39-Newman 182.449
      #42-Montoya 182.320
      #31-Burton 181.869
      #33-Bowyer 181.639
      slowest: #46-Cook 175.657 & #26-Said 168.654
      notes: #2-Busch scraped the wall early in the session but only suffered slight sheet metal damage.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Auto Club Practice Speeds Page.(2-19-2010)

    • New crew chief for Kenseth: UPDATE: in a bit of a surprise move, Veteran crew chief Todd Parrott has been appointed crew chief of Roush Fenway's #17 Sprint Cup Crown Royal Ford team with driver Matt Kenseth. Parrott will take over the role effective immediately. Drew Blickensderfer, who has served as crew chief on the #17 since the start of the 2009 season [winning the Daytona 500 and race afterwards in Calif], will assume a role in Roush Fenway's research and development department. Parrott, who won a Sprint Cup championship with Dale Jarrett in 1999, is the third winningest active crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 29 career wins.(RFR)(2-17-2010)
      UPDATE: Matt Kenseth says it became obvious that something had to change when his crew members were becoming too much like him. "You guys say I don't show emotion sometimes. I kind of felt like the whole group was sort of like that," Kenseth said Friday, explaining an unexpected crew chief change made after only one race. "I just felt like it needed something to throw a spark in the thing." Back in California where Kenseth got his last victory a year ago, Todd Parrott replaces Drew Blickensderfer atop the #17 Ford pit box this weekend. After Blickensderfer became his crew chief last year, Kenseth won at Daytona and California. That momentum didn't carry over because Kenseth hasn't won since, and missed the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship for the first time. But instead of making a change during the offseason, Kenseth made the move after an eighth-place finish at Daytona last weekend, when he managed a top-10 finish after running in the middle of the pack most of Sunday's race. "We were just missing something on the team," Kenseth said. "I didn't feel the way we operated at Daytona that we could win races and win championships." Kenseth took the blame for the timing of the switch, explaining that team owner Jack Roush asked him at the end of last season if any changes needed to be made. At the time, Kenseth felt like everything was OK and that Blickensderfer deserved the benefit of a full season and full offseason. "It's really hard to explain the timing of the change. It doesn't make any sense," Kenseth said. "Instead of dragging it out, it was just something that needed to be done. ... Get a head start on this thing instead of waiting until we're halfway into the season and it's too late to dig ourselves out." Roush described himself as "really conflicted" about the switch but said that it became clear when he met with general manager Robbie Reiser and Kenseth this week that the change was necessary. Roush said there was "zero sponsor pressure" for a switch. The team owner also, without elaborating, used the term "interim" concerning the role for Parrott, who was the crew chief when Dale Jarrett won the 1999 Cup championship.(Associated Press)(2-19-2010)

    • Carter Simo still plans 2010 Cup races: One story lost in the shadow of Speedweeks in Daytona was the absence of Carter Simo Racing's #08 car. Much of the team's equipment was put up for auction Tuesday; however, a source tells Frontstretch.com the operation still plans to field a car in 2010, with a limited schedule of races TBD. CSR may also try and field a car for the Talladega ARCA race in April; until then, most of the team's employees have been temporarily released and are working for other teams in the sport. In mid-2009, team owner John Carter bought the assets of beleaguered owner/driver Jeremy Mayfield, using the newly purchased equipment and Toyotas to field entries in five races with two-time champion driver Terry Labonte. Equipment issues kept the team from cracking the top 30 in those races. Road course ringer Boris Said also wielded #08 Fords last year at both road course races, scoring the team's season-best finish of 24th at Infineon. Later on that season, Said and longtime partner Mark Simo split, creating the newly-named Carter Simo racing with Labonte behind the wheel. On Tuesday, CSR only placed the equipment purchased from Mayfield on the block, including five Toyotas, a race hauler, and other pit equipment and tools. However, the source says that the team still owns three old Yates chassis and an old Ganassi piece in the shop, with plans on returning to the track midseason pending sponsorship.(Fronstretch)(2-19-2010)

    • Edwards to have standby driver in case: #99-Carl Edwards breathed a sigh of relief Sunday at Daytona when his wife Kate didn't have their baby. The hope was that Kate would deliver the baby sometime this week; if not, Erik Darnell has been hired as a backup for Auto Club Speedway and Las Vegas should Edwards have to jump on a plane and head home.(Frontstretch)(2-19-2010)

    • Sad News - Marilyn Makar: Marilyn E. (nee-Myers) Makar, Age 76, passed away on Tuesday, February 16th 2010 at Huntersville Oaks Nursing Home in Huntersville, N.C. She was born on February 3, 1934 in Newark, NJ to the late Albert and Stella Myers. She grew up in Whippany and lived in Cedar Knolls for 30 years before moving to Mooresville, N.C. in 1987. Marilyn worked for Van Dyke Research in Whippany for over 20 years before retiring as Office Manager. She co-owned with her husband Jim, their own NASCAR Race Car in Cedar Knolls for 3 years. She was also a member of the NASCAR Racing Wives Auxiliary. Once settling down in North Carolina, Marilyn became very active in the Davidson YMCA where she met a great group of friends [and was Jayski's landlord back in 2004]. Marilyn was pre-deceased by her beloved husband of 54 years, Dmytro "James" Makar who passed away on October 13th 2009.
      Survivors include her loving children: James "Jimmy" [from Joe Gibbs Racing] and his wife, Patti of Troutman, N.C., Robert "Bobby" & his wife, Libby of Whippany & Debbie Napolitano of Statesville, N.C.; her brother George Myers of Norfolk, Va. & her 7 grandchildren & 1 great-granddaughter.
      Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Funeral on Monday, February 22nd 2010 at 8:00a.m. from the funeral home. With the Funeral Service to follow at 9:00a.m. at Saint John Ukranian Catholic Church. 60 North Jefferson Road, Whippany, NJ. Entombment: Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. Visiting hours are Sunday [Feb 21st] from 5:00-7:00pm/et. ONLY at the funeral home. In Lieu of flowers, please make donations in her memory to the Marilyn Makar Memorial Fund at the Y.M.C.A., 21300 Davidson Street, Cornelius, N.C. 28031. or The American Cancer Society, 6000 Fairview Rd, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28210.(partroyfuneralhome.com)(2-19-2010)

    • Harvick to visit with kids: As part of a continued outreach program with Shell Oil Company, #29-Kevin Harvick will visit with a group of at-risk children called "Kevin's Krew" just before Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway. The children will take part in various activities including meeting their favorite driver near the Victory Lane area prior to driver introductions and before watching the Auto Club 500 from the stands. This is the third year that Shell, Harvick and RCR have been involved with the effort that was born in the vicinity of Auto Club Speedway and spearheaded by local police officer Todd Smith of the Colton County Police Department. Since 2008, Officer Smith, Shell, Harvick and RCR have hosted hundreds of kids as part of the program that grew from one event at Auto Club Speedway to seven events around the nation last year. In 2010, there will be eight "Kevin's Krew" events during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season - including two stops at Auto Club Speedway.
      What are your thoughts on "Kevin's Krew," the group of special needs students who will be attending the race? "I think it's a really cool thing Shell has put together. We've done this same thing for a few years at Auto Club Speedway, and the excitement I see on the kids' faces is priceless. A lot of these students may never have watched a race on TV, much less seen one from the grandstands or down in the infield. They seem pretty overwhelmed, in a good way, when you meet them. It just reminds you that we're very blessed to be in the position we're in, and to be able to race for a living. I always enjoy meeting the groups, and I hope we can give these students something to cheer about this time around."(RCR)(2-19-2010)

    • Montoya's Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Win in Daytona 500: Juan Pablo Montoya's #42 over-the-wall crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's (Feb. 14) Daytona 500. Montoya's Target Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road at Daytona International Speedway. The outstanding effort contributed to Montoya's top-10 finish in the Sprint Cup season opener.
      Montoya's over-the-wall crew consists of: Trevor Lysne (front-tire changer), Eric Bilyeu (front-tire carrier), Chris McMullen (rear-tire changer), Chip Goode (rear-tire carrier), TJ Ford (jackman), Mike Bodick (gasman) and Heath Silver (catch can). The team's crew chief is Brian Pattie.
      The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race in 2010 will earn $5,000 and a Tissot VA Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.(Tissot)(2-19-2010)

    • Blue Angels to perform flyover at Auto Club Speedway: The world-renowned "Blue Angels" – the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron – will provide race fans with an aerial spectacle immediately following the National Anthem at the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR – the Auto Club 500 – on Feb. 21 at Auto Club Speedway. It is the first time the exclusive flying squadron will perform a flyover at the Speedway. Reaching speeds of 400 mph, the Blue Angels flyover will feature six blue and gold Boeing F/A-18 Hornets; the Delta formation will then fly back to Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., where they are currently based for winter training.(ACS PR)(2-19-2010)

    • Andy Garcia named Grand Marshal for Auto Club 500: Actor, producer, director and composer/musician Andy Garcia will serve as Grand Marshal for NASCAR's 2010 West Coast Premiere - the Auto Club 500 - on Sunday, Feb. 21. As Grand Marshal, Garcia will give the command, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines," to the 43-car field of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Emmy, Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated Garcia (Ocean's Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen), stars in the upcoming comedy film City Island, with Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife"), Steven Strait (10,000 BC), Dominik García-Lorido (The Lost City), Ezra Miller ("Californication"), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island).(ACS PR)(2-19-2010)


      News from February 18, 2010

    • Auto Club Goodyear Tire Notes: Goodyear has brought two brand new tire codes for NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to run at California this weekend . . . this tire set-up came out of a tire test Goodyear held at the track this past December . . . teams/drivers participating in that test were #9-Kasey Kahne, #12-Brad Keselowski, #20-Joey Logano and #31-Jeff Burton . . . Goodyear decided to test California to evaluate its tires in an effort to give cars more grip around the two-mile oval . . . Goodyear engineers ultimately decided to incorporate some of the compound technology developed during the Indianapolis program last year, coming back with a different right-side compound . . . that change was merged with some of the speedway construction elements that Goodyear has rolled into many of it tires over the past year . . . while Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will run the same right-side tire code (D-4386) this weekend, they will be running distinct left-side codes . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 42-44 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear). See tire pressures, codes and more on my Auto Club Race Info page.(2-18-2010)

    • McMurray Enjoys Victory Tour Through San Francisco: Daytona 500 champion #1-Jamie McMurray celebrated his victory with a true taste of Northern California in San Francisco on Wednesday, complete with Dungeness crab, world-class chocolates and a bottle of Sonoma Valley wine. McMurray took the checkered flag in the Great American Race on Sunday, and arrived in the Bay Area just three days later for a San Francisco Victory Tour onboard a motorized cable car led by a California Highway Patrol escort. The appearance also marked the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 18-20 (Father’s Day weekend).
      McMurray and his wife, Christy, enjoyed a one-of-a-kind tour of San Francisco, crossing the historic Golden Gate Bridge and visiting Grotto #9 at Fisherman’s Wharf. McMurray learned how to crack a Dungeness crab under the guidance of co-owner Anthony Geraldi. The tour continued to Ghirardelli Square where the McMurrays received a basket of gourmet chocolates and were treated to ice cream sundaes.
      The cable car ride culminated at Willie Mays Plaza, at the home of the San Francisco Giants, where McMurray greeted race fans and the Northern California media. Giants Vice President Russ Stanley presented McMurray with an official team jersey, complete with his name and car number on the back. “I have to say, New York was cool, but San Francisco has been awesome,” said McMurray after the tour. “The weather is beautiful and it’s so great to see the fans come out here. As a driver, you can’t imagine what this means to me. It’s been wonderful.”
      Raceway President Steve Page also presented McMurray with a commemorative magnum of Sonoma Valley wine. “What great representatives Jamie and Christy are for the sport,” said Page. “It’s terrific to have someone who is a great road racer and has a good history at our track win the Daytona 500. We’re really excited to see him back in Sonoma in June.” Fans joined the Victory Tour onboard a fan-only cable car, which followed McMurray’s lead cable car on its celebratory route. The fans purchased seats on the tour as part of a special ticket package offered by the raceway, which included a weekend ticket to the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Tickets are now available for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, including special packages featuring drivers Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson. Be sure to call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com for more information.(Infineon Raceway)(2-18-2010)

    • Sacred Power to sponsor Said at ACS: Latitude 43 is excited to have Sacred Power on the hood for this weekends Auto Club 500. Sacred Power is the largest Native American Owned Solar Energy company in the United States. Boris Said driver of the #26 Sacred Power Ford Fusion has solar panels on his house and is excited about the opportunity to promote this green company. David Melton President / CEO of Sacred Power stated, "We are hoping to put a promotion in place in the very near future to give away a solar array to one lucky NASCAR fan. We hope to have that finalized soon." Sacred Power's V.P. / COO Odes Armijo-Caster added, "We cant wait to be in California this week. Rich Kuty of Kuty's Motorsports & Marketing has some unique marketing opportunities for Sacred Power in the coming weeks. Stay tuned folks." Latitude 43 would like to thank Window World for their support last week and add that there are still sponsorship opportunities available.(PR), see an image of the scheme on my #26 Team Schemes page.(2-18-2010)

    • Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Daytona 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. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:33 PM *
      *The race broadcast was extended for over two hours for pothole repair.
      Total number of commercials: 144
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 70
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 73
      Total minutes: 393
      Minutes of race broadcast: 317
      Minutes of commercials: 76
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of Brian France sightings: 1 to talk about the pothole
      Number of celebrity sightings: 1 Larry the Cable Guy
      Number of tours of Jeff Hammond’s ‘Visual Display Playground’: 1
      Number of racing legends to give the call to start the engines: 1 Junior Johnson
      Number of racing legends in the pace car: 1 Richard Petty
      ‘Digger the Gopher Cam’ sightings: Animated: 13; Still: 0
      Number of ‘Digger’ camera shots NOT identified as such: 34
      Total race brdcst time 317 Total comm. brdcst time 76
      See more and other races on my 2010 Commercials page.(2-18-2010)

    • Bruton Smith suing Wayne Newton: Las Vegas Motor Speedway executive O. Bruton Smith is suing singer Wayne Newton, charging Newton is delinquent on a $3.35 million loan and seeking to foreclose on Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah ranch in Las Vegas. The lawsuit was filed in Clark County District in Las Vegas Feb. 9 by Smith, chairman and chief executive of Speedway Motorsports Inc., against Newton, his wife, Kathleen McCrone Newton, Newton company Desert Eagle LLC and a Newton Living Trust dated Dec. 19, 2001. The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Mark Ferrario and Brandon Roos of the Las Vegas office of the law firm Greenberg Traurig on behalf of Smith, whose company based in Concord, N.C., owns tracks around the country for NASCAR and other races. Smith is also the chairman and chief executive of automotive retailer Sonic Automotive Inc. of Charlotte, N.C. The suit says that in March 2006, when Wayne Newton and Smith were friends, the Newtons approached Smith and asked him to assist the Newtons and Desert Eagle in obtaining a $3.75 million loan from Bank of America by providing a personal guarantee. The suit says Wayne Newton planned to refinance existing debt with B of A and that the loan would be secured by Newton’s 38-acre residence in Las Vegas at Pecos and Sunset roads and by a private jet valued at more than $2 million.(see full article at the Las Vegas Sun)(2-18-2010)

    • WWF's Steve Austin to wave green flag for Auto Club 500: Auto Club Speedway announced that former WWF wrestling superstar Steve Austin will serve as Honorary Starter for the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. Austin, starring in the upcoming 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment film “Damage”, which will be released on DVD on March 23, will get NASCAR’s West Coast Premiere underway at 12noon/pt on Sunday. "Having been a NASCAR fan for years, it is a real honor to be chosen to waive the Green Flag at Sunday's race. I can think of no better place to introduce my upcoming FOX film DAMAGE than at the Auto Club Speedway in front of tens of thousands of screaming race fans!" For more information or to purchase tickets to the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(2-18-2010)

    • Daytona starts fixing race track: Daytona International Speedway has begun installing reinforced concrete in Turn 2, track president Robin Braig said Thursday, a temporary solution to repair the pothole that caused two stoppages totaling more than two hours in Sunday's Daytona 500. After a team of engineers and asphalt specialists from North American Testing Corporation conducted a thorough examination of the damage, track officials decided to repair the damaged portion of Turn 2 as an immediate first step. Tests are also being conducted on the entire track. "This is the correct course of action to repair the track," Braig said in a statement. "Our team of engineers and asphalt specialists with North American Testing Corporation has previous experience with concrete being used on an asphalt track and it is a proven solution." The damaged area is along the 31 degrees of banking in Turn 2, making the utilization of concrete the best solution. Repairs will take about two days to complete, followed by several days of cure time, according to Braig. The engineering team concluded that a combination of unusually cold and wet weather exacerbated by race cars bottoming out in that section of the track contributed to the breakdown of the pavement during Sunday's race. International Speedway Corporation tentatively has scheduled a $20 million project to repave the entire track in 2012. Spokesman Lenny Santiago said whether that time frame will be moved up depends on the recommendation from NATC. Daytona hasn't been repaved since 1977. It has been battered by numerous elements, including a flood last year after 17 inches of water were dumped on the area.(ESPN/AP)(2-18-2010)


      News from February 17, 2010

    • New crew chief for Kenseth: in a bit of a surprise move, Veteran crew chief Todd Parrott has been appointed crew chief of Roush Fenway's #17 Sprint Cup Crown Royal Ford team with driver Matt Kenseth. Parrott will take over the role effective immediately. Drew Blickensderfer, who has served as crew chief on the #17 since the start of the 2009 season [winning the Daytona 500 and race afterwards in Calif], will assume a role in Roush Fenway's research and development department. Parrott, who won a Sprint Cup championship with Dale Jarrett in 1999, is the third winningest active crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 29 career wins.(RFR)(2-17-2010)

    • Special scheme for Dale Jr. at Auto Club: #88-Dale Eanrhardt Jr. is scheduled to run an AMP Energy Juice scheme on his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on February 21, 2010.(1-16-2010
      See images of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)

    • Ontario Policeman Chosen as Honorary #37 Crew Chief: Because he went above and beyond the call of duty in rendering aid to a young stabbing victim, ExtenZe Racing will honor Ontario Police Officer Mike Gonzales as an "ExtenZe Local Hero" and give him the rare privilege of being a Honorary Crew Chief at this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The "ExtenZe Local Hero" program pays tribute to local heroes who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those people selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Each recipient receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of the individual's selflessness. Officer Gonzales has selected to donate his award to the Ontario Police Officer's Assoc. Widows and Orphans Fund. Gonzales will be presented with his recognition check on Sunday by Kevin Conway before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race, and will then join Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo on the pit box. They will lend support to Conway while he is piloting the royal blue and red #37 ExtenZe Ford.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(2-17-2010)

    • Congrats to Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevy lead engineer Lee Deese welcomed his first child, daughter Emily, to his family on Monday, Feb. 15. Both Emily and mother, Heather, are doing well.(HMS)(2-17-2010)

    • ESPN2's Daytona Nationwide Series Telecast sets Cable Viewership Record: With an average of more than 4.2 million people watching, ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening race from Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13 has set a record as the most-viewed Nationwide Series race ever on cable. The race telecast, which featured the NASCAR debut of open wheel racing star Danica Patrick, earned a fast national household coverage rating of 3.2, averaging 4,271,365 viewers in 3,170,109 households. The viewership numbers eclipse the previous Nationwide Series cable records of 3,954,798 viewers and 2,946,951 households set by TNT for its telecast of the 2006 Daytona race. Data shows that viewers stayed with the telecast even after Patrick was eliminated in a multi-car crash just past the halfway point of the race. ESPN2 peaked with a 3.5 household coverage rating for the last 20 minutes of the race as Tony Stewart held off a pack of drivers to take victory. ESPN2's 3.2 rating for Daytona was up 33% from the 2.4 rating for last year's Daytona race and 28% higher than the 2.5 rating for the 2008 race, previously the network's highest rating ever for a NASCAR Nationwide Series race. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with select races airing on ESPN and ABC. The next race is at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 20, with the ESPN2 telecast beginning at 5:00pm/et.(ESPN)(2-17-2010)

    • Conway Prepares for Raybestos Rookie of the Year Run: Kevin Conway will begin his bid for the 2010 Rookie of the Year honor behind the #37 ExtenZe Racing Ford this weekend at the two-mile California Speedway. For Conway, the event will also be his first Sprint Cup start and it comes with Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. Conway has a fifth-place finish at California in the West Series in 2004 and an 18th-place finish in the Nationwide Series last fall. The #37 ExtenZe Racing team finished 29th in Sunday's Daytona 500 with Travis Kvapil behind the wheel. Conway will race this machine the rest of the season.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)
      (2-17-2010)

    • Gilliland Prepares for Season Debut with FRM: Preparing for his first event of the 2010 season, David Gilliland will step into the #38 Taco Bell Ford for his debut with Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing this weekend during the Auto Club 500 at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway. Gilliland competed with another team [#49 BAM Racing] during the season-opener in Daytona and failed to make the Daytona 500. Gilliland will race the majority of the season behind the #38 Taco Bell Ford owned by Bob Jenkins. This will also be the first time that Gilliland will work in race conditions with crew chief Randy Seals, who leads the #38 crew. Seals worked with Sprint Cup rookie Robert Richardson Jr. during the Daytona 500, finishing 31st. This week the #38 car will also carry an associate sponsorship from Metal Jeans for the Auto Club 500.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits) see an image of the #38 Taco Bell Ford on my #38 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)

    • AAA Insurance colors for Keselowski at Auto Club IMAGE: Brad Keselowski's #12 Penske Racing Dodge will run different colors at Auto Club Speedway this week, running the AAA Insurance sponsorship instead of the black Penske Racing [Verizon] colors. The #12 Dodge will use chassis PRS-713, a brand new chassis.(Penske Racing)(2-16-2010)
      IMAGE: see an image of the #12 AAA Insurance scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)

    • Special Aflac colors for Edwards in Calif IMAGE: The #99 Ford of Carl Edwards will carry a special "You Don't Know Quack" paint scheme at California. The plan is to educate people about the value of Aflac's products in really innovative and creative ways. The #99 crew will unload RK-669 for the weekend. Edwards finished seventh with it at Homestead and sixth at California in October. Edwards is used to having the Aflac duck around, but soon the stork will be arriving as well. He and wife Kate are expecting their first child this month.(RFR)(2-16-2010)
      IMAGE: see an image of the #99 AFLAC you don't know quack Ford on my #99 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)

    • Ambrose welcomes Armour All colors: Switching gears from roses at Daytona Beach to cleaning and protectant products at Fontana, Marcos Ambrose will carry Armor All on his #47 Toyota Camry this weekend at Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 500. "Last week I was handing out roses for Kroger and this weekend we have Armor All on the car," Ambrose said. "Armor All takes great pride in keeping a car looking good inside and out and so do we at JTG Daugherty Racing. The last time I had Armor All as a primary sponsor on one of my race cars was for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. We dominated and came so close to a victory. We want to do them proud on Sunday. We're hoping to rebound from what happened to us last weekend." The last time out at Auto Club Speedway, the Australian driver finished 23rd in October.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(2-17-2010)

    • Auto Club Speedway Day in Los Angeles: Fans are invited to join #1-Jamie McMurray, the Daytona 500 Champion and Auto Club Speedway as Los Angeles city officials proclaim "Auto Club Speedway Day in L.A." from the steps of L.A. City Hall on Thursday. Auto Club Speedway Day in L.A. will start (approx. 11:00 am/pt) at Los Angeles City Hall (200 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA) where McMurray will be available for a fan Q & A before he and Gillian Zucker, President of Auto Club Speedway receive a proclamation from L.A. City officials declaring Thursday, Feb. 18 "Auto Club Speedway Day L.A." throughout the city of Los Angeles.
      Following the proclamation ceremony, McMurray will board a double-decker tour bus with an exclusive group of Auto Club Speedway season ticket holders on his tour of Los Angeles. First stop (approx. 12:20 pm/pt), the newest entertainment campus, L.A. Live (800 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA). Here, McMurray will have a sit-down conversation on ESPN radio with two-time Los Angeles Lakers NBA Champion Mychal Thompson and his radio partner Andrew Siciliano. McMurray will then travel to East Los Angeles to visit L.A.'s #1 favorite authentic Mexican food chain, King Taco. At King Taco, (4504 E. 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA) he will enjoy a lunch and chat with fans and media (approx. 1:00 pm/pt).
      Other stops and surprises are in the works and the tour will conclude with a return to L.A. City Hall. Fans are invited to show up at any of the stops to show support for McMurray as he gets ready for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race – the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway. To see McMurray race at Auto Club Speedway, fans can take advantage of many Auto Club 500 weekend ticket packages starting as low as $35 and fan hospitality packages to have breakfast with Dale Jr. or brunch with the "King" Richard Petty and so much more! For more information or to purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(2-17-2010)

    • Katharine McPhee to perform National Anthem at ACS: Singer, songwriter and actress Katharine McPhee will perform the National Anthem at the Auto Club 500 NSCS race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 21. Native Southern Californian, Katharine McPhee gained notoriety as the American Idol Fifth Season runner-up in 2006. Soon after, she released her first self-entitled solo album, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 in early 2007. Earlier this year, McPhee released her sophomore album Unbroken on Verve Forecast Records available in stores now. As an actress, McPhee can be seen in Adam Sandler's hit feature film, "House Bunny" and will be a guest on NBC's new TV comedy "Community," airing March 4th. For more information or to purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(2-17-2010)

    • Coach America shuttle service available from hotels to LVMS: Coach America once again will provide shuttle service from selected hotels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the Feb. 26-28 NASCAR Weekend. The Coach America shuttle buses will provide one-way service (hotel to speedway) on Friday (qualifying), Saturday (Sam's Town 300) and Sunday (Shelby American) morning. Return shuttle service (speedway to hotel) will begin as soon as the event ends and will continue as needed. Shuttle service also will be available from Parking Lot 5 immediately after the World of Outlaws Sprint Car races on Friday night at the Dirt Track.
      Shuttle tickets may be purchased at the Coach America shuttle desk at the following locations: Tropicana Hotel & Casino (bus plaza lobby), T.I. Hotel & Casino (registration lobby), Riviera Hotel & Casino (south lobby), Las Vegas Hilton (east lobby-monorail connection) and the downtown Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino (south lobby). Shuttle tickets are $30 per person for Friday, $30 per person for Saturday and $40 per person on Sunday. A three-day pass also is available for $40.
      The Coach America shuttle desks will be open 6-10 p.m. on Wednesday of NASCAR Weekend; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 7 a.m.-noon on Sunday.
      Coach America shuttle schedule (subject to change, please check updated information at desk):
      Friday, Feb. 26 – 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (one way, from hotel to speedway).
      Saturday, Feb. 27 – 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (one way, from hotel to speedway).
      Sunday, Feb. 28 – 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (one way, from hotel to speedway).
      Return shuttle service (speedway to hotel) will begin as soon as the event ends and will continue as needed.
      Shuttle service also will be available from Parking Lot 5 immediately after the World of Outlaws Sprint Car races on Friday night at the Dirt Track. To purchase shuttle service tickets online, please visit nascar.coachamerica.com.
      LVMS ticket office at (800) 644-4444 or online at www.lvms.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.(LVMS)(2-17-2010)


      News from February 16, 2010

    • AAA colors for Hornish at Auto Club: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 Auto Club Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, will once again run the Auto Club of Southern California paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Automobile Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs (AAA) will serve as primary sponsor of the #77 car for three events in 2010 and as co-primary for an additional two races. Sam Hornish Jr. thoughts on this weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway: “I’m really looking forward to the Auto Club 500 for many reasons. First, to run the Auto Club paint scheme and to represent such an important organization is a great experience. I really couldn’t ask for a better spot to be in this weekend. As for the race, I’m excited to get back on track in Fontana. I feel that we can make significant advances there this year and that the pieces have fallen into place for a strong run on Sunday.”(Penske Racing)(2-16-2010)

    • Kvapil Ready for 'Rough Racing' at Fontana: Travis Kvapil will have a new home and a new family for the Auto Club 500 this week: the #34 car and the Long John Silver's Racing team. Kvapil will hit the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, in the #34 Long John Silver's Ford Fusion - the car he is primarily slated to drive for the 2010 Sprint Cup Series season. Kvapil drove the #37 ExtenZe Racing Ford in the season-opening Daytona 500 in place of teammate Kevin Conway, bringing home a 29th-place finish for Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. The #34 car will also carry an associate sponsorship from Metal Jeans for the Auto Club 500.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-16-2010)

    • Tony Stewart and Mom honored by Office Depot: The Office Depot Foundation – the independent, non-profit foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot – has recognized NASCAR driver #14-Tony Stewart and his mother, Pam Boas, with the organization’s highest honor: the “Listen Learn Care Award.” This award reflects the Office Depot Foundation’s mission – Listen Learn Care - by honoring people who have been exceptionally creative and innovative in following their dreams and in helping others to realize their goals and aspirations. Stewart and Boas have exemplified the award criteria through their outstanding support of the Office Depot Foundation National Backpack Program, as well as the ongoing charitable work they carry out through the Tony Stewart Foundation. Stewart assisted the Office Depot Foundation last summer in donating its 2 millionth backpack since the inception of the National Backpack Program in 2001. The Indiana native personally presented backpacks filled with essential school supplies to children in need during “Back-to-School Backpack Celebration” events in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Indianapolis and Kansas City. “It’s a great honor to receive the Office Depot Foundation’s ‘Listen Learn Care Award,’ especially alongside my mom,” Stewart said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to accomplish my dream of driving race cars for a living, and my mom always supported me in that goal. It means a lot to both of us to be able to give back and help others – especially kids – as they work hard toward achieving their dreams, too.” Boas, a board member of the Tony Stewart Foundation, assisted in donating more than 5,500 backpacks to a number of groups that the organization traditionally supports. These groups included the Bartholomew School District in Columbus, Ind., Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and several summer camp programs for children who are ill or have other special needs. To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation, the National Backpack Program and its other initiatives, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.(Edelman for Office Depot Racing)(2-16-2010)

    • Special Aflac colors for Edwards in Calif: The #99 Ford of Carl Edwards will carry a special “You Don’t Know Quack” paint scheme at California. The plan is to educate people about the value of Aflac’s products in really innovative and creative ways. The #99 crew will unload RK-669 for the weekend. Edwards finished seventh with it at Homestead and sixth at California in October. Edwards is used to having the Aflac duck around, but soon the stork will be arriving as well. He and wife Kate are expecting their first child this month.(RFR)(2-16-2010)

    • AAA Insurance colors for Keselowski at Auto Club: Brad Keselowski's #12 Penske Racing Dodge will run different colors at Auto Club Speedway this week, running the AAA Insurance sponsorship instead of the black Penske Racing [Verizon] colors. The #12 Dodge will use chassis PRS-713, a brand new chassis.(Penske Racing)(2-16-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon changes marketing agency: The Sports Business Journal is reporting - With an eye toward his future, Jeff Gordon is leaving IMG to chart a new course with Just Marketing International, a motorsports marketing agency in Indianapolis that has not been in the driver representation business before. Gordon had spent more than 10 years with IMG, and during most of that time he was the only NASCAR driver in the agency's talent stable. But as Gordon, 38, approaches the twilight of his driving career, he's looking for a deeper selection of business opportunities within motorsports that extend beyond endorsements. "I think Jeff is past the point of looking for the traditional deal that gets you a patch on his sleeve," said John Bickford, Gordon's stepfather, chief business adviser and general manager of Jeff Gordon Inc. "What we're looking for is more integrated business opportunities that will position Jeff post-racing." Those opportunities could involve race-track design, team ownership or other business ventures inside motorsports, Bickford said. Gordon is currently working with a developer in Canada to build a Gordon-signature track that he designed. "To think about going into a project with the marketing support of JMI behind you, it became crystal clear that this was the direction to go," Bickford said. IMG loses Gordon after a year of growth in its motorsports division. It added a sales and marketing relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing and representation of Danica Patrick as she moved into NASCAR. IMG also has a sales and marketing deal with the NHRA and its top names, John and Ashley Force. Bickford said those deals, most of which IMG struck in the past year, did not influence Gordon's decision to leave. JMI's consulting clients include LG, Lenovo, UPS, Subway and Verizon, and it has struck several driver endorsement deals for its clients, including Subway's relationship with Carl Edwards, but Gordon marks the first driver that Zak Brown's agency has formally represented.(SceneDaily/SportsBusiness Journal) and more info at Just Marketing.(2-16-2010)

    • Jamie McMurray's Appearance On Letterman: Jamie McMurray's Daytona 500 victor's celebration is complete with a trip to CBS' "Late Show." And you know David Letterman couldn't resist the pull of that vortex known as "the pothole." As Letterman congratulated McMurray, he asked about the length of the race, which was extended because of a pothole in the track. Letterman: "You have issues with potholes in the parking lot, not in the racetrack, for God's sake." At the end of the interview, Letterman asked, "Will there be potholes in future races?" McMurray replied, "We hope not." McMurray was a good sport throughout the interview.(Sporting News)(2-16-2010)

    • Owners, NASCAR talk about keeping wing at superspeedways: One of the things that was discussed Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway is that some of the owners and some NASCAR officials have gone and whispered in Sprint Cup Series director John Darby and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton's ear: "Hey, maybe we need to keep the rear wing on this car for the remaining restrictor plate races for the rest of 2010." NASCAR will replace the rear wing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car with a more traditional spoiler later this season [Around race 6-8 range if testing goes well]. But based strictly on the results saw on track during Speedweeks in Daytona the car package is very favorable. NASCAR and the teams still have to go to the other restrictor-plate track on the schedule, Talladega Superspeedway, and do a lot of testing to see if the tires and all the other changes they made to the car during the offseason will work the way it needs to. But if they elect to leave the wing on the cars at superspeedways, teams can use all the information gained during the last two weeks of racing, which will probably still be good for the rest of the season. That would eliminate a big variable at superspeedways that could cost the teams a lot of money to test.(in part by Jeff Hammond of FoxSports)(2-16-2010)

    • TV Ratings for Daytona 500 down: The 2010 Daytona 500 earned a fast national rating of 7.7/16 (13.3 million viewers) yesterday for a race that was crippled by two lengthy delays for track repair. Yesterday's 7.7/16 is down -16% compared to last year's 9.2/19 and ranks as the lowest-rated Daytona 500 since 1991's 7.6/20 on CBS. The two track delays were excluded from the rating - Nielsen treats them similarly to a baseball rain delay - but the delays obviously had a sizable impact on the rating as the race's momentum was twice stopped cold. The two delays combined averaged a 6.5/14, a -16% decline versus the 7.7/16 for live racing.
      More people watched at least some of this year's Daytona 500 than last year's, but because the two delays torpedoed the momentum of the race the average viewer spent less time with the Daytona 500 this year, resulting in the lower average rating and average viewership. Nielsen estimates that 29.8 million Americans watched at least some of this year's Daytona 500, a +14% gain over last year's 26.2 million.
      In the 31-year history of flag-to-flag coverage of the Daytona 500, there have been two previous runnings that were delayed and then re-started, and both suffered sizable ratings decreases versus prior years. The 1995 running was delayed over two hours by rain, then re-started, and the result was a -19% decline versus prior year (7.8 vs. 9.6). The 2003 edition on FOX was also delayed by rain, then re-started and not run to the full 500 miles. That race rated -10% lower than the 2002 running on NBC (9.8 vs. 10.9). Yesterday's -16% decline, while substantial, is in-line with past interrupted Daytonas.
      There was some good news from some important Southeastern markets. Rating were up +11% in Atlanta (11.0 vs. 9.9) and +8% in Charlotte (16.8 vs. 15.6), arguably the two most important NASCAR markets. Within the core region ratings were also up in Norfolk (+7%, 12.2 vs. 11.4) and Ft. Myers (+12%, 10.0 vs. 8.9). The core markets are particularly important this year as they should be the most aware of this year's changes to the rules and broadcast schedule.(FOX), for more TV Ratings, see my 2010 TV Ratings page, Daytona 500 TV Ratings for 2007 was a 10.2/20 rating with 17.8 million viewers.(2-16-2010)

    • Daytona 500 Notes:
      * Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. It was his first start with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The last driver to win in his first start with a new team was Michael Waltrip in the 2001 Daytona 500.
      * McMurray became the 34th winner of the "Great American Race." It was his first victory in eight starts in the 500. He is the ninth Daytona 500 winner in the past nine races. It was his fourth Cup victory in his 259th start. Three of his four victories were on restrictor-plate tracks. It was his second series victory at Daytona in 15 starts -- his last Daytona win came in July 2007.
      * McMurray's last Cup victory was at Talladega in November 2009.
      * McMurray's previous best 500 finish was 26th in 2008.
      * McMurray led once for the final two laps, the fewest laps led by a Daytona 500 winner (previous record was four laps by Benny Parsons in 1975 and Kevin Harvick in 2007).
      * Harvick (seventh) led the most laps in the race, leading seven times for 41 laps.
      * Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second ) posted his first top-10 finish in the past 13 races. It was his best finish since a runner-up finish at Talladega in April 2009.
      * Greg Biffle (third ) posted his best Daytona finish since a win at Daytona in July 2003.
      * Clint Bowyer (fourth ) posted his third top-10 in five Daytona 500s. He also finished fourth in this race in 2009.
      * David Reutimann (fifth ) posted his first top-10 in four Daytona 500s.
      * Pole-winner Mark Martin finished 12th.
      * Chevrolet scored its 21st Daytona 500 victory. Ford has 11 Daytona 500 victories, Dodge has four and Toyota has never won the 500.
      * No rookie contenders were in the 500.
      * There were four first-time starters in the Daytona 500: Robert Richardson (31st), Michael McDowell (33rd), Brad Keselowski (36th) and Max Papis (40th).
      * Defending series champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th.
      * The top 10 consisted of five Chevrolets, three Fords and two Toyotas.
      * The 21 different leaders were a record for the 500.
      * It was the fourth green-white-checkered in the 500.
      (Racing Resources at ESPN)(2-16-2010)

    • Daytona Repaving?: NASCAR Spokesperson Ramsey Poston on Monday about the pothole issue at Daytona:
      Q: Are you ready to tell the track now is the time to repave it since it hasn't been repaved since 1978?
      POSTON: "We don't know whether it's time to repave. Obviously, this is something they're going to spend a lot of time with the track on and make an assesment to figure out if now is the time to repave the track or as Robin (Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway) said last night do you need to focus in on that spot or a couple of spots. This comes down to what is best for the safety of the drivers, what is best for racing and that, with the help of the track's enginers, is the decision we need to come to.''
      Q: Why, with all the engineering experts, did it come down to using Bondo to patch the hole?
      POSTON: "Bondo is very effective. It was effective last night for the laps we needed to get in. We've used some of these compounds I think in Montreal when we had a track problem in Montreal two years ago. Same thing, went out and I think that's what was used and it was very successful.''
      Q: Was this preventable?
      POSTON: "I don't know how many miles we've had at this track in the last 10 days, but we've had a lot. And the night before we had two major races and the morning of the Daytona 500 the track was walked as it was by track officials to inspect the track. There were no signs there and there was no indiciation any of the race prior to the Daytona 500 that there were any issues with the track. Obviously, it was very unfortunate. There were no warning signs.''(Virginian Pilot), there have been reports that Daytona International Speedway was planning on repaving the track sometime in 2012 and the coast would be around $20 million.(2-16-2010)


      News from February 15, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Aric Almirola (2009 race winner as owner)(49/1)
      #13-Max Papis (40/1)
      #35-Johnny Sauter (none/0)
      #36-Mike Bliss (42/1)
      #46-Terry Cook (47/1)
      #55-Michael McDowell (33/1)
      #66-Dave Blaney (50/1)
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 2000](21/1)
      #82-Scott Speed (18/1)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (43/1)
      #90-Casey Mears (44/1)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,82,55,13,36,87,90
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 46,66,35
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Auto Club Entry List and the 2010 Owners Points Standings for the first FIVE races page.(2-15-2010)

    • McMurray's Daytona 500-Winning #1 Chevy Inducted into Daytona 500 Experience: Winning the most prestigious race on the NASCAR circuit finally started to sink in Monday morning for 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who celebrated with his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team during the Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast at Daytona 500 Experience. "It's kind of sinking in," McMurray said. "Every time we do something it's a little more real. Whether it's getting the jackets or the ring or just everything that's a part of this, it's just really, really exciting." After a late night of celebrating their coveted victory in "The Great American Race", the team handed over their #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy to be inducted into the attraction's Gatorade Victory Lane. The winning car will be on display until next February when it will be returned to the team prior to the 53rd annual Daytona 500. Winning crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion was enjoying the surreal experience.
      "Everything's been in fast forward," Manion said. "Pictures, media center, inspecting the car, pushing the car to the trailer to come over here and then a couple hours of sleep for some of us. It's just been so exciting. (On) rain delays you stay over but winning the race and you have to stay over and have breakfast -- that's pretty cool."
      Also enjoying the festivities was co-owner Chip Ganassi, who is one of only two owners to win both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. "Jamie showed me a text from (last year's Daytona 500 champion) Matt Kenseth where he said, 'You'll never want this day to end.' I agree completely. I don't want this day to end. "You have a complete flashback of your entire racing career -- thinking about the possibility of something like this happening. You're always shooting for that and you're always trying for that. It's just so reflective right now. Every sacrifice you made and every tough meeting I've had with a crew chief or a driver – the ups and downs of this business. It all seems worth it now."
      McMurray, who also unveiled the logo for 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20th [2011], is now on a whirlwind media tour making appearances on Late Show with David Letterman [Monday at 11:35pm/et CBS] and Live with Regis and Kelly [Tuesday morning, check local listings] in New York City as well as making stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles before Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.
      Despite his hectic upcoming schedule, McMurray knows the memory he's going to take away from all of this."The thing that I'm going to remember is getting out of the car and running up and grabbing the flag and then running back down and seeing the Daytona (painted) in the infield (grass) and seeing 'Daytona 500'. I don't think I'll ever forget that. That's the memory I have burned in my head right now of the 500; that's something I'll never forget." The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return in July for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola July 1-3. For tickets, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-15-2010)

    • Congrats to #19-Elliott Sadler and wife and Amanda on the birth of their son. Wyatt Herman Fritz Sadler was born today, Feb. 15, 2010 at 9:47 am/et in Richmond, VA.(Elliottsadler.com)(2-15-2010)

    • Waltrip wants to run 2011 Daytona 500: #51-Michael Waltrip wants to make the 2011 Daytona 500 his last competitive event in the Sprint Cup series. "I want the Daytona 500 to be my last race,'' said the owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, who won this event in 2001 and 2003. "I just [don't] want this one to be it. So we'll work on trying to figure out if we can talk someone into sponsoring me for 2011. Twenty-five is a nice even number. Well, not an even number, but it's funny.'' Waltrip, who already plans to run at Talladega later this year, hinted several times during Speedweeks he wanted this to be his last 500. But as he sat through a second red flag to repair a hole in Daytona International Speedway he said the plan is for one more. "I'd like to run Talladega and run here one more time and then be done,'' he said. "That would be 25 of them in a row. That would be cool.''(ESPN)(2-15-2010)

    • All Remaining Charlotte Oct. race tix on sale TODAY: With renewals completed, all remaining tickets for the Oct. 16 NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America at Charlotte Motor Speedway go on sale Monday, at 9 a.m. Tickets start at only $49 for the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. A wide selection of affordable grandstand seating options are available, including a limited number of premium frontstretch seats. All sections of the Chrysler, General Motors and Ford grandstands along the frontstretch feature new individual, 21-inch, stadium-style seating and offer a prime view of the start-finish line and pit road.
      The Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the NASCAR Banking 500, tickets will also be available for the Oct. 15 Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night; Bojangles' Pole Night qualifying on Thursday night Oct. 14; and the World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown on Wednesday night Oct. 13, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The extremely popular October Super Ticket will again be available, offering tickets to all four of the NASCAR Banking 500 Week events for just one low price of $99. Additional information about tickets for all Charlotte Motor Speedway events can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. Fans can reserve their seat with $20.10 down and set up customized, interest-free payment plans by calling the speedway ticket office and speaking directly to a Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket agent.(CMS)(2-15-2010)

    • Styx to perform at Auto Club pre-race concert: On Sunday, Feb. 21, legendary rock band STYX will play a pre-race concert performance on the Opportunity, California FanZone main stage that same morning at Auto Club Speedway before the Auto Club 500. The band is scheduled to take stage at 10:15 am, but fans are encouraged to gather early to see one of the world's most popular rock bands. Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman, Ricky Phillips and Chuck Panozzo (on occasion), have performed more live since '99 than all of the previous years of its career combined. With big hit singles like Too Much Time on My Hands, Blue Collar Man, Come Sail Away and Renegade and classic albums like The Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight and Cornerstone, one of music's most enduring acts promises a masterful performance of classic rock hits. www.styxworld.com To see STYX and be part of the Auto Club 500 Weekend festivities, call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com. Tickets start as low as $35.(ACS)(2-15-2010)


      News from February 14, 2010

    • McMurray wins the Daytona 520: #1-Jamie McMurray held off a hard charging #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the last lap of the 2nd green-white-checker try to win the 52nd Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The race ran an extra 8 laps, for 208 laps and 520 miles. The win is McMurray's 4th of his career [1 win in a Chevy, 1 win in a Dodge, 2 wins in a Ford] and 2nd at Daytona. The race took just over 6 hours to run as there were two lengthy red flag for holes in the turn two area that needed repair. #16-Biffle, who led going in to the 1st green-white-checker, finished 3rd, followed by #33-Bowyer, #00-Reutimann, #56-Truex Jr., #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards & #42-Montoya. #24-Gordon and #7-Gordon got together on the last lap, but NASCAR let McMurray & Earnhardt race to the checkered flag. 4-time Sprint Cup champ had a rear-end go out late in the race and finished 35th. Pole sitter $5-Martin finished 12th. McMurray is the 34th different winner of hte Daytona 500 in 52 runnings. The last nine Daytona 500's have had nine different winners. There were two red flags for over two hours of downtime. There were 9 cautions for 40 laps. There were a record 21 leaders with 52 lead changes.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Daytona 500 Race Results/Awards page.(2-14-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Daytona, race 1 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #1-Jamie McMurray, 1 win, 190
      2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 175, -15
      3) #16-Greg Biffle, 170, -20
      4) Clint Bowyer, 165, -25
      5) #29-Kevin Harvick, 156, -34
      6) #00-David Reutimann, 155, -35
      7) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 155, -35
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 142, -48
      9) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 139, -51
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 138, -52
      11) #5-Mark Martin, 132, -58
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 130, -60
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(2-14-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Daytona International Speedway:
      #1-Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500, his fourth victory in 259 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      There were 21 different leaders, most ever at Daytona. There were 52 lead changes, third-most ever at Daytona.
      McMurray led two laps, the fewest ever by a Daytona 500 winner.
      This is McMurray's second victory and fourth top-10 finish in 15 races at Daytona International Speedway. His first Daytona victory came in July, 2007.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 21 races at Daytona International Speedway.
      #16-Greg Biffle (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 15 races at Daytona International Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-14-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Auto Club Speedway and first five races of 2010:
      Teams that are guaranteed a starting spot for the first five races, but are currently out of the 2010 top 35 of owners points are:
      36) #12-Keselowski/Penske: 3 points out of 35th
      37) #77-Hornish Jr./Penske: -6
      38) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: -9
      39) #78-Smith/Furniture Row: -12
      41) #47-Ambrose/JTG Daugherty: -18
      Five teams are currently outside the 2009 Top 35 owners points and a guaranteed starting spot, but are in the top 35 for 2010 owners points after 1 race, which moves would allow them to be assured a starting spot if qualifying at Auto Club Speedway is canceled [rain out, etc] but two of those teams are not scheduled to run at ACS:
      #82-Speed/Red Bull: 18th in 2010 Owners Points
      #51-Waltrip/MWR: 19th, but has no plans to run at ACS
      #71-Labonte/TRG: 21st, but would get in via being a past champ
      #21-Elliott/Wood Bros: 28th, no plans to run ACS, past champ
      #55-McDowell/Prism: 33rd
      #09-Almirola/Phoenix Racing is 49th but would make the race via being a past winning team in 2009
      The other teams likely to attempt ACS this coming weekend that would make the race if qualifying is canceled would be:
      #13-Papis (40th in 2010 owners points); #36-Bliss (42nd); #87-Nemechek (43rd) and #90-Mears (44th).
      Missing the race would be #46-Cook (47th) and #66-Blaney (49th)
      For the owners points standings, see my 2010 Owners Points Standings and 2010 Owners Points Rack for the first five races.(2-14-2010)

    • Sarah Palin at the track: Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, sped around Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, shaking hands and taking photos with drivers and fans alike before what she called the "all-Americana event." Palin said she was "having fun and not thinking about the politics of this," but didn't miss the chance to energize her base in one of the most critical regions of the largest swing state. "This is awesome," she said. "It's all-Americana event. Good, patriotic, wonderful event that's bringing a whole lot of people together. I think this is good for our country." Sporting a black coat, blue jeans and heels - no hand notes - Palin got the full experience in her first visit to the Daytona 500. She sat through the pre-race driver meeting, muscled her way through pit road, took to the stage on the infield and wished drivers a safe race. She drew roars from throngs of racing fans, many shouting "We love you, Sarah!" Palin took only two questions from the only two reporters around her entourage, consisting of about a dozen security personnel and managers. That didn't stop her from doing what she does best: getting out in the crowds and mingling with supporters. "I'm thinking about this good, active, speed-loving event that a lot of Alaskans, too, are really in to," said Palin, adding that some elements - minus the snow - were similar to the famous Iditarod sled dog race. We've got our snow-machine races up there. This is, of course, on a much greater scale. Same type of sport, though, same type of risk-taking, speed-loving all-American event that we participate up north. We love it. You bet." Palin had no official role at the Daytona 500, only a VIP guest at NASCAR's most storied track. She will serve as guest speaker at the city's annual chamber of commerce dinner Monday. Palin hasn't announced plans to run for president in 2012 but has said it would "absurd" for her not to consider running. President Barack Obama carried Florida in 2008.(Associated Press)(2-14-2010)

    • Petty updates wife's condition: Richard Petty updated his wife Lynda's condition on Sunday, saying doctors are confident she can defeat cancer. Lynda Petty is being treated at Duke University Medical Center for central nervous system lymphoma, a form of brain cancer. "She's already had a couple of treatments and she went through them real good," Petty said. "Yesterday she looked at me and said, 'Get up and get out of here and get on to Daytona.' So I know she's doing pretty good. They [her doctors] feel like they can completely wipe the cancer out." Petty, who shares the Sprint Cup record of seven championships along with Dale Earnhardt Sr., is the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty said he hasn't been involved with the team much since Lynda became ill. RPM merged with Yates Racing last month. "Since November I've spent a lot of time with Lynda Gale," Petty said. "After more than 50 years together, I thought that's what I needed to do. I've still been involved in all major decisions [at RPM]. But some of the PR stuff I put on the back burner. She is more important than racing right now." Petty said his wife started showing systems of vision problems a year ago, but it took doctors a long time to diagnose the problem. "It took until December for them to really understand the problem and the way to treat it. They have operated on both her eyes to make sure they are in good shape when the cancer goes away." Petty said he's thankful for all the interest and support his family has received from fans and friends. "Just keep us in your prayers," he said. "We've been real fortunate. We appreciate everybody thinking about her."(ESPN)(2-14-2010)

    • McDowell gets sponsor for Daytona 500: Fireflyvodka.com will sponsor Prism Motorsports’ Michael McDowell in the #55 Toyota.(SceneDaily). Firefly Distillery is a distillery located on Wadmalaw Island, thirty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina that manufactures a line of vodka products using muscadine grapes local to South Carolina.(2-14-2010)

    • Roush Fenway Fords to Carry Special Decal: Roush Fenway's race cars will each carry a special decal honoring the life and cause of Olympic medalist skier and multiple sclerosis (MS) advocate, Jimmie Heuga, in this Sunday's Daytona 500 race at Daytona International Speedway. Heuga passed away Monday at the age of 66 in Colorado; 46 years to the day that he won his bronze medal in the 1964 Winter Olympics. Heuga, a college skiing teammate of Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith at the University of Colorado, was a bronze medalist in the 1964 Olympic games, but will most be remembered for founding 'Can Do Multiple Sclerosis' (formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis) a national nonprofit organization that has served as a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs for people with MS and their support partners. Heuga became one of the first two Americans -- along with teammate Billy Kidd -- to win an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing. He was diagnosed with MS in 1970 at the age of 26, but refused to succumb to the neurological disease. He instead became a champion for others suffering from the disease, and his campaign to demonstrate that MS did not necessarily mean a life of inactivity is credited with helping to change the mindset about MS and exercise. For more information on the 'Can Do Multiple Sclerosis' organization, visit: www.mscando.org.(RFR)(2-14-2010)

    • England Stove Steps Up to help Nemechek: NEMCO Motorsports signed a co-primary sponsor for driver Joe Nemechek in Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. England Stove Works, Inc. of Monroe, Va. will adorn the hood of Nemechek's #87 Camry. England Stove Works, Inc. is a family-owned company and a major manufacturer of wood stoves and pellet stoves in the U.S. "I heard Joe's story and felt compelled to help him," said England Stove Works Chairman, Ron England. "Our company was founded on hard work and Joe's a worker. He's doing the best he can with what he has." England Stove Works, Inc. joins D.A.B. Constructors as co-primary sponsors for Nemechek's Daytona 500 effort. For more information on available products, please visit www.heatrefined.com.(PR)(2-14-2010)

    • Edwards has extra incentive to win Sunday: Subway restaurants announced that Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac/Subway Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion, is helping to bring the company's "Footlong Nation Appreciation" campaign to Daytona. The recently launched campaign, which gives thanks to consumers for contributing to the success of the famous Subway "Footlong," is also providing Edwards with extra incentive to win Sunday's race - finish first and his hometown of Columbia, Mo., food bank receives 500 Footlong subs, plus an additional 50 subs for each lap Edwards leads. Footlong fans across the country can also get in on the action by visiting www.SubwayFreshBuzz.com and voting for their favorite sub. The city or town with the most votes cast by March 22, 2010 will be deemed "Capital of Footlong Nation" and receive a donation of 500 Footlongs to a local food bank. One in eight Americans - 37 million - received emergency food help last year, up 46% from 2005, according to a recent report.(PR)(2-14-2010)

    • Jimmy Johnson Honorary Crew Chief of #37: Jimmy Johnson is joining ExtenZe Racing, No, not the four- time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, but the two-time Super Bowl champion and Fox NFL Sunday host. The newly named ExtenZe spokesman and star of the brand's upcoming commercials will be on hand at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 14, the day of the Daytona 500. Johnson will be there to announce an exciting new NASCAR-wide community relations program that ExtenZe will sponsor and to be Honorary Crew Chief for the day, sitting atop the pit box, cheering on the ExtenZe sponsored #37 Ford. NASCAR will also be treated to a Jimmie-and-Jimmy-Johnson photo shoot when the former NFL and college football coach and broadcaster presents Sprint Cup champion Johnson with a $5,000 donation from ExtenZe for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.(ExtenZe Racing/FRM)(2-14-2010)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway to Sell $1 Kobalt Tools 500 Tickets on Monday: NASCAR fans can purchase $1 tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500 in the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy. Setting the price for the Racing Roulette 50-Hour Sale, Atlanta Motor Speedway will sell 2,000 tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500 for just $1 to commemorate McMurray’s win on Sunday. The first 1,000 tickets will be available to fans in line at the Speedway’s Ticket Office at 7:30am/et, while a second 1,000 tickets will be made available at 9:00am/et to phone and online customers. Fans in line at the Speedway’s Ticket Office will also have the opportunity to win a number of prize packages, including a trip to Victory Lane with the winner of the Kobalt Tools 500 for one lucky customer. In addition to the initial offering, fans can also purchase one ticket at regular price ($85) and receive a second ticket for $1 for 50 hours, until 9:30am/et on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Tickets purchased through the Racing Roulette promotion are located in the Petty and lower Winners Grandstands. For more information on the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend or to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-3917, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-14-2010)

    • Montoya Ticket package at Auto Club Speedway: Auto Club Speedway has teamed up with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya for a special ticket package that will surely give Southern California race fans something to smile about. Fans that purchase the JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package for only $142 will smile knowing that $42 from each ticket package will be donated to Montoya’s Formula Smiles Foundation benefitting the disadvantaged children of Montoya’s native country of Colombia. In addition to the $42 donation to the Formula Smiles Foundation, the JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package includes:
      · Lower Grandstand Reserved Seat (rows 11 to 23) to the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21
      · Exclusive Q&A Session with Juan Pablo Montoya prior the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21
      · Pre-Race Pit Pass providing up close access to pre-race activities
      · Commemorative gift and Parking Pass
      The JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package expires on Monday, Feb. 15, or while supplies last. For more information on the JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package, visit autoclubspeedway.com/JuanPablo. As always, fans experiencing Auto Club Speedway can also take advantage of free parking, bring in their own food, or partake in the unbelievable menu items on site as well as other cost-savings opportunities while enjoying a full day of entertainment and fun at a fantastic family value. Formula Smiles Foundation is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the United States, under status 501 c3, by Colombian racecar driver Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife Connie Freydell, which aims to improve, through sports, the quality of life of Colombian children in vulnerable situations.(Auto Club Speedway)(2-1/14-2010)

    • Styx to perform at Auto Club pre-race concert: On Sunday, Feb. 21, legendary rock band STYX will play a pre-race concert performance on the Opportunity, California FanZone main stage that same morning at Auto Club Speedway before the Auto Club 500. The band is scheduled to take stage at 10:15 am, but fans are encouraged to gather early to see one of the world’s most popular rock bands. Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman, Ricky Phillips and Chuck Panozzo (on occasion), have performed more live since ’99 than all of the previous years of its career combined. With big hit singles like Too Much Time on My Hands, Blue Collar Man, Come Sail Away and Renegade and classic albums like The Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight and Cornerstone, one of music’s most enduring acts promises a masterful performance of classic rock hits. www.styxworld.com To see STYX and be part of the Auto Club 500 Weekend festivities, call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com. Tickets start as low as $35.(ACS)(2-14-2010)

    • Reserve a Seat on Cable Car for Daytona 500 San Francisco Victory Tour: Thirty-five lucky fans have a chance to celebrate with the 2010 Daytona 500 champion on the 2nd annual San Francisco Victory Tour on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The winner of NASCAR's Great American Race will be in San Francisco just three days after the big race and will be taken on a Victory Tour on-board a motorized cable car, beginning at North Vista Point at the Golden Gate Bridge at 12noon (PT). The Victory Tour will traverse the historic bridge, followed by stops at Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, two of San Francisco's most well-known areas. Race fans will follow the winner on the Victory Tour on a fan-only cable car, which will take the same route as the cable car that boasts the Daytona 500 winner. The tour will wind up at Willie Mays Plaza, home of the San Francisco Giants, for a fan rally and press conference at 12:45 p.m. Fans on the cable car will also receive preferred seating for the press conference.
      For just $299, this once-in-a-lifetime package includes:
      * One seat on the San Francisco Victory Tour Fan Cable Car
      * One weekend pass for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, June 18-20
      * One Pre-Race Pit and Track Pass (includes access to pits, pre-race festivities & driver intros on Sunday of race weekend)
      * One Turn 9 Tailgater Parking Pass for all three days of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Weekend
      Only 35 of these special ticket packages will be sold, so act fast to reserve yours by calling 800-870-RACE today! Upgrade options are also available for fans who have already purchased race tickets.(ACS)(2-14-2010)


      News from February 13, 2010

    • Happy Hour practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona Beach News Journal is over, some results and notes:
      #31-Burton 195.194
      #29-Harvick 194.641
      #47-Ambrose 194.376
      #00-Reutimann 194.321
      #17-Kenseth 194.267
      slowest: #36-Bliss 190.311 and #55-McDowell 190.722
      most laps run: #31-Burton, 60 & #12-Keselowski, 59
      notes: No wrecks or blown engines, pretty clean practice session. #48-Johnson ran some laps early, 15 laps and parked the car. Mike Wallace ran a few laps in the #99 in case Edwards wife delivers the baby a few days early...like on Sunday
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Daytona Practice Speeds Page(2-13-2010)

    • Mike Wallace practices a few laps: Mike Wallace will take the #99 Aflac Ford out for a few laps as Carl Edwards wife Kate, is due to deliver a baby on Wednesday, Feb 17th. Wallace will practice a few laps to get a feel ofr the car in case Edwards had to leave Sunday if the baby decides to come a few days early. This is a 'just in case' scenario as of now.(2-13-2010)

    • Edwards back to flipping: #99-Carl Edwards, who broke his right foot playing frisbee in September, is back to his flipping ways. The injury forced Edwards to stop doing back-flips from his car window following victories in 2009. With his ankle now healed, Edwards tested it Monday night during a WWE event in Lafayette, La., and said it's ready to go. "That was the first back-flip I've done since I broke my foot and it went well," Edwards said. "Did five or six of them in practice and it was good." He also said team owner Jack Roush had no restrictions on his off-the-track activities. "I negotiate my contract, so I make sure there's nothing like that in there," Edwards said. "Jack's real simple: If you can't race, you aren't going to get paid, so do what you like. I don't know if he saw the WWE thing, so if we can keep that between us and the 6 million viewers that would be great."(Associated Press)(2-13-2010)

    • Four Wallace's racing at Daytona: Chrissy Wallace will start 35th today in the Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, and that will help her family make NASCAR history. Added with father Mike Wallace, cousin Steve Wallace and uncle Kenny Wallace, it’s the first time four family members have been in the same NASCAR national touring race.(Florida Times Union)(2-13-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Gatorade Duels: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on during these races, here is the breakdown for Thursday’s races. SPEED was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 102
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 49
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 17
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:00 pm
      Total minutes: 180
      Minutes of race broadcast: 133
      Minutes of commercials: 47
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’: 0
      Total race brdcst time: 133 Total comm. brdcst time: 47
      See more and driver focus on the TV Commercials page.(2-13-2010)

    • Hamlin & Keselowski..still bad blood: from an article at Sports Illustrated:
      You [#12-Brad Keselowski] and #11-Denny Hamlin had some issues on the track Wednesday. Can you tell us what happened?
      "We were nearly wrecking, I will say that. On my end, we made contact because I felt that he slid up in front of me. I don't know his side of it. It seemed like he ran over everybody, not just me. NASCAR is saying drivers are going to police themselves -- we'll see how the other drivers police each other. You know, he had a chance to make a move on me, and the closer you get to somebody, the worse you make your car handle on both ends. I think I was on pretty old tires at the time. My car got looser and looser. I had a car underneath me -- and rather than force the issue in practice with somebody underneath me, I ran up the track (to let him in) and cracked the throttle a little bit (to back off). He got underneath me after that, but he wasn't going to clear me -- and he decided he was going to clear me anyway. When he did, I was still there. I had to lift -- so when I got back to his bumper, I let him know that I was still there.(Sports Illustrated), of note: #11-Hamlin starts 25th and #12-Keselowski start 26th in the Daytona 500, in row13, But with #24-Gordon going to a backup car, starting 21st, will have to go to the rear of the field, so Hamlin will move up a row before the drop of the green flag on Sunday.(2-13-2010)

    • TV Ratings for Gatorade Duel higher: Coming off record Nielsen Household Ratings earlier in the week for coverage of the ARCA Racing Series opener and the Bud Shootout edition of NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED scored another ratings increase with Thursday’s live coverage of the Gatorade Duel at Daytona. The twin qualifiers for Sunday’s Daytona 500 earned a 1.99 (1,495,000), up 7% from last year’s 1.86 (1,363,000 households). Coverage peaked at a 2.56 (1,926,000 households), up 11% from last year’s peak of 2.31 (1,691,000). The Gatorade Duel at Daytona telecast made SPEED the highest rated basic cable network during the time period. NASCAR RaceDay continued its upward trend to start the season, as the Gatorade Duel edition of the popular pre-race show scored an 8% increase over 2009 scoring an average Household Rating of 1.87 (1,402,000 households).(SPEED), for Budweiser Shootout, ARCA and Daytona Qualifying TV Ratings, see my 2010 TV Ratings page.(2-13-2010)

    • Three drivers to run new Ford engine in Daytona 500: Ford Racing announced that #17-Matt Kenseth and #19-Elliott Sadler will join #21-Bill Elliott as drivers sporting the new Ford FR9 engine Sunday in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.(Racin' Today)(2-13-2010)

    • NASCAR returns to DirecTV: NASCAR HotPass is available only on DIRECTV and it's now free to all DIRECTV customers. Experience every turn, every lap, every checkered flag of the Sprint Cup Series. With four dedicated driver channels all available in HD — NASCAR HotPass puts you right in the middle of the action, from the driver's seat to under the hood. More info at directv.com.(2-13-2010)

    • Gordon to run for BAM Racing for three: BAM Racing on Wednesday announced Robby Gordon as driver of the #7 Warner Music Nashville Toyota for the following races: Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 21; Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7; Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21. "We are thrilled to be associated with such a talented driver as Robby Gordon," BAM owner Beth Ann Morgenthau said. "After Daytona, BAM Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports will jointly field the #7 at select races. While Tony and I will miss our beloved #49, it will be good for our sponsor, Warner Music Nashville, to have a car that is guaranteed a starting position in the first five races." After evaluating the joint venture between BAM Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports which was announced earlier this year, it was decided to consolidate the effort by running one car with Robby Gordon as the driver of the joint BAM/RGM entries. Morgenthau also announced an association with Wounded Warrior Family Support, an organization that helps families by providing them with vacations and retreats at no cost. Warner Music Nashville stars -- Larry the Cable Guy, Blake Shelton, Gloriana, Whitney Duncan, Jessica Harp, James Otto, Jason Jones, and others yet to be named -- will be featured on the #7 BAM/RGM Toyota and in the BAM Racing/Warner Music Nashville VIP Fan Experience during the 2010 Sprint Cup Season. The VIP Fan Experience allows fans unprecedented access to Warner Music Nashville recording artists and the Sprint Cup Race Team. For more information, please visit www.VIPFanExperience.com.(NASCAR.com/BAM)(2-13-2010)

    • Disney's "Handy Manny Big Race" with Dale Earnhardt Jr: Playhouse Disney's hit Emmy-nominated series "Handy Manny" puts the pedal to the metal with the premiere of the series' second primetime special, "Handy Manny Big Race," starring Wilmer Valderrama and guest starring #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and N'Sync's Lance Bass, Saturday, March 20, 7:00-7:25 pm/et/pt on Disney Channel. In this exciting primetime event for preschoolers and parents, Manny and the tools hit the motor speedway as a pit crew for the highly anticipated Wood Valley 500. In the special, Valderrama, Bass (who recurs on the series as surfer-dude Elliot) and the cast of Tools perform the new song "One Step at a Time." A music video for the song will premiere Saturday, March 6 on Disney Channel and online at Disney.com/HandyManny. In addition, PlayhouseDisney.com will give preschoolers the opportunity to decorate their own race car for the chance to have it featured on air during the premiere broadcast of "Handy Manny Big Race." In "Handy Manny Big Race," Manny and the tools help Elliot fix up his used race car to enter the big Wood Valley 500 race. The car turns out better than expected and everyone is ready to race – except Elliot, who's too nervous to drive. Famous race car driver Chase Davis (voiced by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) steps in to help, but Elliot's nerves get the best of him. With the tools as his pit crew, Manny gets behind the wheel in an attempt to win the race for the entire team. "Handy Manny" airs weekdays at 9:00 am/et/pt and weekends at 8:30 am and 10:30 am during Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney programming block for preschoolers. The series carries a TV-Y parental guideline.(ESPN/Disney)(2-13-2010)

    • Most Popular Driver Award voting is on [wonder who will win?]: With Speedweeks officially under way, voting is now open for the 2010 NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hamburger Helper Most Popular Driver Award. Once again, the competition will include a 10-week playoff at season's end, with the top 10 vote-getters vying for the final prize. Fans can visit www.HelpersMostPopularDriver.com and vote once a day for their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. Following the race event at Richmond International Raceway, voting for the full field of 41 drivers will end on September 11 at 11:59pm/ct. At that point, the 10 drivers with the most votes will be announced as finalists and the vote count will reset to zero. Fans will then have 10 race weeks to cast their vote once a day to determine the 2010 NASCAR NMPA Hamburger Helper Most Popular Driver winner from the final field of 10 drivers. Voting will conclude November 22 at 11:59 pm/ct and the winner will be announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon in December. New title sponsor Hamburger Helper is eager to get involved with this fan-favorite activity.(Breaking Limits)(2-13-2010)

    • The King to drive pace car for Daytona 500 Richard Petty will find himself in a very familiar place on Sunday afternoon, leading the field in the Daytona 500. Petty, who holds the NASCAR record with seven Daytona 500 victories, has accepted the role as "Pace Car Driver" for the 52nd running of "The Great American Race," and will pace all 43 cars to the green flag behind the wheel of a special edition 2011 Mustang GT, powered by Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Petty is back as a member of the Ford Racing family after Richard Petty Motorsports merged with Yates Racing during the recently concluded off-season. "The King" previously drove for the blue oval in 1969 and won nine races that season in a Ford Torino. Ironically, the last and only other time Ford served as pace car for the Daytona 500 was one year later when a Ford Torino GT convertible started the 1970 event. In addition to the special paint, this year's Mustang pace car features a Brembo brake package, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers, unique 19-inch painted wheels, and summer-only tires. The actual car that Petty will drive recently was sold for $300,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., with all proceeds above the MSRP being donated to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.(DIS)(2-13-2010)


      News from February 12, 2010

    • The Daytona Camping World Truck Series Race postponed due to inclement weather. The NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series Race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled to run on Saturday, February 13th at 7:00pm/et and be shown on SPEED. More news on the Camping World Truck Series Site.(2-12-2010)

    • Friday Practice cancelled: Friday's only Cup practice has been cancelled by rain. Nationwide qualifying was canceled and the field set by the rules book, more ingo on the Nationwide Series site. The Camping World Truck Series race was postponed until Saturday night. The forecast for the rest of the weekend looks good. Next up for the Sprint Cup Series is Happy Hour practice, scheduled for 10:30am/et and to air on SPEED. For weather links, see the Jayski.com Daytona 500 Info page.(2-12-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Daytona: The selections of pit stalls for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #5-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #88-Earnhardt, Jr. took pit stall 20, the first with an opening behind it and the same pit stall he ran in the Duel race.
      #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #24-Gordon, who starts 21st [but goes to a backup car].
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Daytona 500 Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-12-2010)

    • Tissot to continue pit crew award: Tissot, the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR, will continue to recognize Sprint Cup pit crews in 2010 with the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award. The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award will be presented in each of the 36 Cup races to the team whose car spends the least amount of time on pit road and finishes on the lead lap. The winning pit crew in each race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award is coming off a competitive 2009 season which saw 18 different teams claim the weekly competition. The championship went to Greg Biffle's #16 3M pit crew, which won a season-high of six times.(Tissot PR)(2-12-2010)

    • Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: William Wheeler, a crew member for the #57 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Wheeler violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(2-12-2010)

    • #100 for Reutimann: #00-David Reutimann is making his 100th start in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race in the 2010 Daytona 500.(MWR)(2-12-2010)

    • Decorated Florida War Hero to be Guest of U.S. Army NASCAR Team: Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Ragan, a decorated war hero from Sarasota, Fla., will be a guest of driver #39-Ryan Newman and the U.S. Army NASCAR team for Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Ragan, a 1996 graduate of Sarasota High School, has served three deployments since joining the Army in 1999 -- two in Iraq and one in Turkey. He was awarded a Purple Heart in 2003 after suffering major injuries to his leg in Iraq when the vehicle he was riding in was struck with an improvised explosive device (IED). During his second lraq deployment in 2006, he was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious service. "Being a Florida native, I think it's going to be pretty cool to attend the Daytona 500," said Ragan. "I met Ryan (Newman) at the Army All American Bowl last month and look forward to seeing him again and meeting all of his crew members. NASCAR is a big deal to the Soldiers and to see it all firsthand is going to be really special." Ragan, 32, is currently stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He is studying business administration with online courses from the University of Maryland. Ragan will also join Newman and other guest speakers at "Strength For The Future," a unique education program for local Florida students presented by the U.S. Army. The event is slated to take place on Friday morning (10:15-11 a.m.) at the Speedway hospitality area -- behind the frontstretch grandstands.(US Army Racing)(2-12-2010)

    • Jaguars' Jones-Drew wants to be NASCAR team owner: What little Maurice Jones-Drew knew of NASCAR he learned on the drive Thursday from Jacksonville to the Daytona International Speedway. By the time the Gatorade Duels were done, he wanted to part of the sport. "I want to be an owner," he said. "I think that would be exciting." The Jaguars running back was the grand marshal for the second 150-mile qualifying race that set the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow gave the command to start engines for the first race. Jones-Drew had never been to a race. He rode with Jaguars assistant equipment managers – and big NASCAR fans – George Pellicer and Cory Fancher and they tried to get the all-pro up to speed. Jones-Drew believes he'd be a great car owner. "The key to being a good owner is who you have with you," he said. "I don't think any one person can run a race team. You need to have a lot of good people. I would get all the good people I can and I would give them the very best of what they needed. But we'd also have rules. We'd have a way to do things and you'd have to follow that."(Florida Times-Union)(2-12-2010)

    • See my Racing Charities page for more news or to see how you can help out folks devastated by the earthquake in Haiti

    • #26 team signs associate sponsor: Latitude 43 announced that Sacred Power has signed as an Associate Sponsor for the first 5 races of the 2010 season with Boris Said and the #26 Ford Fusion. Sacred Power is a Native owned solar energy company based in New Mexico. That's right Latitude 43 is going green. Sacred Power's President / Ceo David Melton stated "We are excited to be the first Solar Energy Company to be a sponsor of a team in the top series in NASCAR. We understand the marketing power of NASCAR and are excited to be with a team that is locked into the top 35 in owner points. We are even more excited to be with a driver as recognizable as Boris Said." Sacred Power's V.P. / COO Odes Armijo-Caster added, "We look forward to attending the race in California next week where Sacred Power will adorn the hood of the car. We would love to be in Daytona this week but things have been put in place too quickly for that to happen."(PR)(2-12-2010)

    • Sad News - Tom Ehert: Thomas Franz Ehret, 68, of Davidson, NC died Monday February 8, 2010 at his residence. Born November 12, 1941 in Erie, PA he was a son of the late Robert Ehret and Dorothy Franz Ehret. He was employed as a fabricator for Roush-Fenway Racing and previously employed with Jr. Johnson, Robert Yates and Penske Racing. His compassion for racing made a lifetime of good friends including Robert and Carolyn Yates and Robin Pemberton. Funeral services will be conducted 7:00 p.m. Friday February 12 in the Chapel of Raymer Funeral Home with Rev. Rick Felts officiating. The family will receive friends 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. prior to the service. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Kathy; son, Michael Ehret of Huntersville; daughter, Laura Hicks and husband Thomas of Chesterfield, VA; sister, Anne E Takas and husband Ken of Ohio; sister and brothers-in-law, Elaine and Bill Young of Ellwood, PA and Karen and Jim Whitlatch of Fombell, PA; grandchildren, Michael and Thomas Vanstavern and Mack Hicks; and very special and supportive friends, Jean Carpenter, Danny Timmens and Gary Brooks. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The American Cancer Society , 6000 Fairview Road, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28210 or Hospice of Lake Norman, 705 Griffith Street Suite 203, Davidson, NC 28036. Arrangements by Raymer Funeral Home, Huntersville, NC.(Charlotte Observer)(2-12-2010)

    • Miss Sprint Cup adds two newcomers to the fold: Sprint on Wednesday introduced the 2010 Miss Sprint Cup lineup. Returning for her third season as Miss Sprint Cup, Monica Palumbo was joined by newcomers Paige Duke and Amanda Wright in the media center at Daytona International Speedway, as the program expands to three representatives in 2010. Palumbo is a native of Charlotte, N.C. Duke and Wright hail from Lancaster, S.C., and York, Maine, respectively. The program, which began as a small part of a Sprint sweepstakes promotion in 2007, has become a valuable asset for the Sprint NASCAR sponsorship, both in terms of brand exposure and fan engagement. Highly visible personalities at every Sprint Cup Series event, the Miss Sprint Cup representatives appear throughout the weekend at the Sprint Experience mobile display, where they greet fans and interviews drivers, celebrities and other NASCAR personalities. They can also be found interacting with race-day attendees on pit-road tours, in the Sprint Cup Series garage and at driver introductions. With the rise in the program's popularity, Miss Sprint Cup now regularly receives requests from tracks, teams, charitable organizations and even other NASCAR sponsors to appear at various events. The increased time demands, both at and away from the track, spurred the decision to expand the program to include a third Miss Sprint Cup for 2010. Two of the three representatives will appear at every race, while all three will be at select events, including the Daytona 500.(NASCAR.com)(2-12-2010)

    • Richmond race named Heath Calhoun 400: A special patriotic ceremony at Daytona International Speedway revealed Heath Calhoun, a retired member of the Army who lost both of his legs in an explosion in Iraq, as the grand-prize winner of the annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 program. Heath Calhoun lives in Clarksville, Tenn., and was chosen from a group of five military finalists who were all nominated by their friends, family and fellow soldiers for their ability to demonstrate the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that makes them a hero. Heath's nomination detailed his determination and ability to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their injuries. For his efforts in the military, Calhoun received a Purple Heart, as well as the George C. Lang Award for Courage. Once the finalists were selected, their stories were showcased on www.crownroyal.com, where, for the first time ever, adult fans were able to choose who they thought should receive naming rights to the May 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. All the finalists' stories showcased myriad selfless acts, from saving a boy from drowning to participating in the rescue of the Vice President and several Senators when their helicopter made an emergency landing. While all were deserving of the prize, Calhoun was selected as the grand-prize winner. The Heath Calhoun 400 will be incorporated into all official race logos, used for thousands of pieces of merchandise and recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. In addition, Calhoun will take part in pre-race festivities at Richmond International Raceway and participate in the trophy presentation to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During the race weekend, he will receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest.(RIR PR)(2-12-2010)


      News from February 11, 2010

    • The Starting Lineup is set for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway as the Gatorade Duel 150 Qualifying races are over. #5-Martin starts on the pole after running a lap of 191.188mph, #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 2nd. Spots 3 thru 39 were set by the finishes of the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races. #48-Johnson won the 1st Duel race and starts 3rd. #9-Kahne won the 2nd Duel and starts 4th. Four drivers out of the top-35 in owners points raced their way in by being the top-2 finishers of those drivers: #55-McDowell, #36-Bliss, #13-Papis and #82-Speed. Four other drivers out of the top 35 owners points made the race by speed: #21-Elliott starts 40th, #87-Nemechek starts 41st, #71-Labonte starts 42nd and #51-Waltrip start 43rd.
      The eleven drivers who did not qualify for the Daytona 500: #90-Mears, #49-Gilliland, #75-Cope, #09-Almirola, #66-Blaney, #92-MWallace, #57-Benning, #32-Sorenson, #97-Fuller, #46-Cook & #27-TBodine
      It is the first time since the beginning of his career that Mears had failed to qualify for a Sprint Cup race. Mear had qualified for 252 consectutive races and never DNQ'd before.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Daytona 500 Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(2-11-2010)

    • Kahne wins Gatorade Duel 2: #9-Kasey Kahne won the 2nd Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway, beating #14-Tony Stewart by a couple of inches. #42-Montoya was 3rd followed by #2-Busch & #19-Sadler. #36-Bliss finished 13th and #82-Speed finished 14th and were the two go-or-go homers to race into the Daytona 500. #51-Waltrip gets in by his qualifying speed since #82-Speed raced into the Daytona 500. Bliss raced his way in, after wrecking in practice and made it in running a backup car. #71-Labonte makes the race by his speed and will start 42nd.
      The eleven drivers who did not qualify for the Daytona 500: #90-Mears, #49-Gilliland, #75-Cope, #09-Almirola, #66-Blaney, #92-MWallace, #57-Benning, #32-Sorenson, #97-Fuller, #46-Cook & #27-TBodine
      See race results on my Gatorade Duel 150's results page.(2-11-2010)

    • Johnson wins Gatorade Duel 1: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 1st Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway, beating #29-Kevin Harvick by about an inch [margin of victory was .005 seconds]. #18-Busch was 3rd, followed by #33-Bowyer & #78-Smith. #55-McDowell finished 14th and #13-Papis finished 15th and were the two go-or-go homers to race into the Daytona 500. #51-Waltrip finished 25th and failed to race in. Waltrip can only make the Daytona if either #71-Labonte or #82-Speed race their way into the Daytona 500 and not have to fall back on their speeds. #36-Bliss, who will run the 2nd race, can get in via speed only if BOTH #71-Labonte or #82-Speed race their way in.
      See race results on my Gatorade Duel 150's results page.(2-11-2010)

    • the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway are scheduled to re-air Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 9:00pm/et on SPEED

    • Johnson wins Gatorade Duel 1: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 1st Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway, beating #29-Kevin Harvick by about an inch. #18-Busch was 3rd, followed by #33-Bowyer & #78-Smith. #55-McDowell finished 14th and #13-Papis finished 15th and were the two go-or-go homers to race into the Daytona 500. #51-Waltrip finished 25th and failed to race in. Waltrip can only make the Daytona if either #71-Labonte or #82-Speed race their way into the Daytona 500 and not have to fall back on their speeds. #36-Bliss, who will run the 2nd race, can get in via speed only if BOTH #71-Labonte or #82-Speed race their way in.
      The Gatorade Duel Race #1 results:
      #48-Jimmie Johnson
      #29-Kevin Harvick
      #18-Kyle Busch
      #33-Clint Bowyer
      #78-Regan Smith
      #1-Jamie McMurray
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger
      #39-Ryan Newman
      #6-David Ragan
      #24-Jeff Gordon
      #16-Greg Biffle
      #11-Denny Hamlin
      #99-Carl Edwards
      #55-Michael McDowell [transfers in to Daytona 500, 1st non-top 35 driver in finish]
      #13-Max Papis [transfers in to Daytona 500, 2nd non-top 35 driver in finish]
      #34-John Andretti
      #27-Todd Bodine - DNQ
      #87-Joe Nemechek - in via qualifying speed will start 40th or 41st
      #37-Travis Kvapil
      #46-Terry Cook* - DNQ
      #5-Mark Martin - on pole
      #21-Bill Elliott - in via speed, will start 39th
      #38-Robert Richardson Jr.
      #32-Reed Sorenson - DNQ
      #51-Michael Waltrip - can get in if #71-Labonte or #82-Speed race in via Gatorade Duel
      #31-Jeff Burton
      #97-Jeff Fuller - DNQ
      See race results on my Gatorade Duel 150's results page.(2-11-2010)

    • Gatorade Duel 150 Starting Lineups

    • Pit Stall Selections - Gatorade Duels: The selections of pit stalls for the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
      Duel 1 Pole sitter #5-Martin chose pit stall 1.
      Duel 2 Pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr. chose pit stall 20 which is just past start-finish line and has an opening in front of and in back of it..
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Gatorade Duel 150's Pit Stall Selections.(2-10-2010)

    • Added the eight missing cars from Daytona 500 practice: #27 Shelmerdine, #46 Whitney Motorsports, #49 Larry the Cable Guy, #55 Prism Motorsports, #57 Norm Benning Racing, #75 Strutmasterspro, #92 red Dodge and #97 Frontrowjoe.com paint schemes

    • NASCAR Revises Green-White-Checkered Race Procedure: NASCAR announced a revision to one of its race procedures, allowing a maximum of three restart attempts prior to the White Flag under NASCAR’s Green-White-Checkered flag finish. If the leader has taken the White Flag and the caution flag is displayed, the field is frozen and the race will not be restarted. Previously, there was only one restart attempt. The new procedure will be implemented beginning with today’s running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Gatorade Duel at Daytona and will apply to all three national series. NASCAR officials met with drivers and teams Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway to discuss the change and get their input. The announcement was made during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ drivers and crew chiefs meeting Thursday morning. “We want to do all we can to finish our races under green flag conditions – the fans want to see that and so do the competitors,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “We felt that putting a cap at three attempts to finish the race under green is the way to go. It gives the fans what they want and it also gives the teams a better opportunity to prepare for their end of race strategy.” The change amends procedure 9-14C of the 2010 NASCAR rulebook.(NASCAR)(2-11-2010)

    • Mears has 6-race deal with #90 team, then...: #90-Casey Mears met with members of the media recently and discussed his new team and expectations, a few tidbits fromt the transcript:
      HOW DOES IT FEEL TO COME DOWN HERE IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITUATION THIS YEAR THAN LAST? "It's hard to tell yet to be honest, until we get on the track and really see what we have we know we have a car that's a couple years old. Sometimes that doesn't matter a whole lot on the superspeedways. The good thing is we're able to secure an ECR engine [Earnhardt Childress Racing] and obviously they've been competitive over the last few years. As far as buying, they bought the cars through DEI so we're able to get a transmission, drive line, rear-end through them so we got a lot of good parts and pieces on the car, the only question in our minds at all is if the car is a little old and how's that gonna affect it when it comes to speed. When we get on the track and we run I'll have a better opinion on how I feel about being here. I haven't been in this position, not having points coming into Daytona, since the first time I came here with Ganassi and we raced our way in fortunately and obviously the stuff was right and working real good and I didn't know what I was doing. Now I know what I'm doing and it's gonna be curious to see whether or not we get the car handling properly and get it good enough to race in."
      WHAT'S YOUR PROGRAM FOR THE YEAR, WHAT DO YOU HAVE GOING? "Right now the only thing that's locked in, there's a lot of talk about some Nationwide stuff, truck stuff, hit and miss Cup things, but the only thing that is locked in right now for sure is the six-race deal with Key-Up Motorsports."
      DO YOU RACE WITH AN ATTITUDE OF 'NOTHING TO LOOSE'? "Absolutely, the whole thing here is to qualify one, we get in the show then we are able to approach the race and I think that obviously if we do make the race we got to have realistic goals and I think a big accomplishment for us would be to make all the races and be inside the top-35 when the music stops at the end five races and be able to get into Martinsville regardless would be good."
      YOU ARE WITH KEY-UP MOTORSPORTS FOR THE FIRST SIX RACES, HAVE YOU TALKED TO ANYBODY ABOUT RIDES AFTER THAT? "I've talked to probably just about everybody to be honest, there are some possibilities of some things for 2011 for sure. There may be some things that open up mid-season; there may be some new teams that start up six or eight races into, there still some guys trying to put programs together for 2010 and just couldn't get it quite done in time so there are a lot of little things happening. I've talked to Richard a lot and I know he was really wanting to continue running that fourth program and they're continually searching for sponsorship and if something was to come together maybe there's five, six, eight, ten races still there so I'm pretty much talking to everybody. I'm hoping that a lot of guys view me after these six races that if I don't get to continue with Keyed-Up Motorsports hopefully I'm that first guy on the bench that can get the job done if something opens up I'll be there."(GM Racing)(2-11-2010)

    • Todd Bodine in the #27 for Shelmedine: Todd Bodine heads into NASCAR's season-opening race weekend at Daytona five career NASCAR starts short of 800. However, Bodine will open his 20th full-time season in NASCAR a few days earlier than planned. He hooked up a last-minute ride for the first of the two Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races at Daytona on Thursday that will determine the starting lineup for Sunday's Daytona 500 Sprint Cup race. He'll take over the Sprint Cup driving duties from Kirk Shelmerdine in the #27 Toyota Camry. Shelmerdine's car was not among the top 35 in 2009 owner points, so the car doesn't have a guaranteed spot in the Daytona 500. Bodine is a long shot to make Sunday's starting grid because only two berths into the Daytona 500 will be awarded in each qualifying race. Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip is one of seven drivers, including Bodine, vying for the two open spots in the first Gatorade Duel 150. "I'm thrilled that Kirk (Shelmerdine) called me and I'm going to do all I can to put his car in the Daytona 500," Bodine told catchfence.com. "It's going to be tough, but I'm going to do the best I can to take the #27 Camry to the front. This is Daytona and there are few things better than being on the starting grid for the Daytona 500." Bodine will start 27th, the last spot in his Gatorade Duel 150. Bodine was 39th among 54 drivers in the Sprint Cup practice at Daytona on Wednesday. More important, he was the fifth-fastest of the 15 drivers searching for a way into NASCAR's biggest race.(Elmira Star Gazette)(2-11-2010)

    • Too much Danica on TV coverage? NASCAR on ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree, lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid and ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg participated in a news conference Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. Live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening race at Daytona airs Saturday, Feb. 13, beginning at noon ET with NASCAR Countdown.
      How do you balance the telecast on Saturday to not have too much Danica?
      Rich Feinberg – "We actually talked about that in our staff meeting this morning. First of all, I watched the ARCA race, and I thought SPEED's presentation was very balanced. I enjoyed it. There was a lot of Danica, but the reality is that was why I personally turned on the race, so it gave me what I was looking for. As big a story as that is, there are a lot of other stories here. First and foremost, it's about racing in Daytona. It's the biggest race for a lot of people. You win at Daytona and things change for you. And that's going to be our primary thing. After that, the next biggest story, and quite frankly opportunity for all of us, is Danica. It's our strong belief that there will be people that turn on Saturday's Nationwide telecast that perhaps don't watch a lot of Nationwide races or NASCAR at all, because of the interest in her. We want to serve that curiosity. We want to serve that interest because our belief is if they like what they see, and we provide them what they're interested in, they may come back next week, and next week, and watch Fox' Daytona 500 coverage, and read more stories. The more people that watch, the more successful the entire sport is. It's a balance thing but we also view it as an opportunity."(ESPN), see full transcript at espnmediazone.com.(2-11-2010)

    • Hauler Parade to kick off NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas: The popular NASCAR Hauler Parade once again will thunder up the world-famous Las Vegas Strip to kick off NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas. The 2010 edition of the NASCAR Hauler Parade will begin at 6:00 pm – under the fabulous neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip – on Thursday, Feb. 25. The new, later starting time will allow more fans to view the parade. The colorful 18-wheelers that carry the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series race cars and equipment to the tracks will be staged at approximately 6 p.m. in the right lane of Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Russell Road. Once all trucks are lined up, the haulers will move north on Las Vegas Boulevard. The haulers will proceed approximately five miles to Sahara Avenue before returning to Interstate 15 and the short ride north to the speedway. The speedway expects 60-75 haulers to take part in the parade, which will conclude with the haulers arriving at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 28 Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Race fans will be able to watch the hauler parade from both sides of the Strip and from any of the properties along Las Vegas Boulevard. Tickets for the NASCAR and Dirt Track events may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.(LVMS)(2-11-2010)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Announces Racing Roulette 50-Hour Sale: Atlanta Motor Speedway's Racing Roulette promotion will return for its third-consecutive year with new twists to kick off the Speedway's 50th Anniversary season, possibly resulting in the Speedway's lowest-ever ticket prices for the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500. Atlanta Motor Speedway will sell 2,000 tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500 priced to reflect the winning car number from this Sunday's Daytona 500, twice as many tickets as offered in past years. Fans can purchase 1,000 tickets in person at the Speedway's Ticket Office beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, while 1,000 additional tickets will be made available online and via phone beginning at 9 a.m. to better accommodate fans. Fans will be limited to two tickets at the special-reduced price per purchase. In addition to the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets, those in line will have the opportunity to win prizes, including a Victory Lane experience at the Kobalt Tools 500.
      For those who miss out on the initial offering, the Racing Roulette 50-Hour Sale will continue through 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17 and fans can purchase additional tickets at a discount of buy one regularly-priced ticket ($85), get the second ticket for the price of the winning Daytona 500 car number. In previous years, Atlanta Motor Speedway has sold tickets for $12 following Ryan Newman's 2008 win and for $17 after Matt Kenseth won the event a year ago. To ensure a great discount on Kobalt Tools 500 tickets, should any car numbered greater than No. 50 win the Daytona 500, the promotional price for the tickets will set at $50 to commemorate Atlanta Motor Speedway's 50th Anniversary in 2010. For more information on the Racing Roulette 50-Hour Sale or the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-3917, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-11-2010)

    • Workers Progressing on Installation of 18,000 New Seats at Talladega: Workers have begun installing the first of over 18,000 new seats at Talladega Superspeedway in anticipation of the April 23-25 Aaron's Dream Weekend. Crews continue to pour concrete and lay the foundations for the new seats, while other crews put the finishing touches on completed portions. It's a coordinated effort that has proved successful since the beginning of the project last November. Once complete, the entire grandstand project will have used enough concrete to pour the foundations for over 300 single-family homes. There is approximately 24,000 feet of caulked joints in the job. That's over 4.5 miles of caulking, or enough to lay a ½ -inch strip around the track 1.5 times. There are over 42 miles of reinforcing steel embedded in the concrete foundations. There will be nearly a mile of handrails in the new grandstands. Tickets in the freshly renovated frontstretch grandstands start at just $60 for the April 25 Aaron's 499. Several tower sections have seen their ticket prices reduced to $95, while the Allison grandstands offer the most affordable admission with a $49 two-day ticket. For more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(2-11-2010)


      News from February 10, 2010

    • Weds 2nd and final practice: for the Daytona 500/Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway is over. After 50 scheduled minutes, the top five and some notes:
      #47-Ambrose, 193.403
      #32-Sorenson, 193.096
      #20-Logano, 192.728 [wrecked, to a backup car]
      #9-Kahne, 192.612
      #17-Kenseth, 192.612
      slowest: #57-Benning 180.458 & #36-Bliss 180.625 [wrecked]
      no speed listed: #75-Cope, #33-Bowyer, #26-Said, #82-Speed
      most laps run: #9-Kahne, 26; #31-Burton 25
      incidents: #83-Vickers had a tire go down near turn 1 and spun around thru the grass. Just after the track returned to green, #36-Bliss was in the middle of a three wide pack and got loose, came down, corrected it, and came back up the track into the wall, collecting #20-Logano. #48-Johnson was the #20 and spun and slid, ending up on pit road with a orange cone jammed under the splitter. All three will go to backup cars for the Duels.
      Next was someone got in to the rear of #51-Waltrip, sending Waltrip flying thru the grass, he limped back to pit road
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Daytona Practice Speeds Page(2-10-2010)

    • Backup cars for the Gatorade Duel: Looks like s six drivers will go to backup cars for the Gatorade Duel 150's at Daytona International Speedway. #48-Johnson, #33-Bowyer, #20-Loganao, #00-Reutimann, #75-Cope,and #36-Bliss. All were involved in practice wrecks on Wednesday. Drivers who go to backup cars, will have to fall to the rear of the field of their assigned Gatorade Duel before the drop of the green flag. Going to a backup before the Duel's does not mean the drivers have to go to the rear of the field for the Daytona 500. Teams are also allowed ONE engine change after the Duels and before Happy Hour practice and not lose their starting spot for the Daytona 500.
      If a team makes a change before the Duel, then it must start at the rear of the Duel 150 field. After the Duel 150 races, teams can make an engine change before the Happy Hour practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the Daytona 500.(2-10-2010)

    • Weds 1st practice: for the Daytona 500/Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway is over. After 90 minutes of practice, the top five and some notes:
      #17-Kenseth 194.254
      #18-Busch 194.221
      #83-Vickers 194.145
      #31-Burton 193.769
      #99-Edwards 193.503
      slowest: #97-Fuller 183.748 and #26-Said 183.255
      most laps run: #6-Ragan, #77-Hornish Jr., and #12-Keselowski, 49 laps
      incident: #33-Bowyer had a tire go down in turn 2 and slid up the track and slapped the wall, #00-Reutimann had no place to go andhit the rear of the #33 car, then #75-Cope hit the rear of the #00 car. All were able to drive back to the garage, but the #33 and #00 will go to backup cars for the Gatorade Duel.
      Todd Bodine practiced the #27 Toyota of Kirk Shelmerdine.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Daytona Practice Speeds Page(2-10-2010)

    • TRG form alliance with RCR: TRG Motorsports announced a strategic alliance with Richard Childress Racing for its 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup program. In this new agreement, RCR will provide cars, chassis repairs and testing resources for TRG's Sprint Cup Series operations. TRG will team with Stewart-Haas Racing for Pit Crew support to coordinate faster pit stops. "All of these new partnerships are really a great thing for us as an organization," Team Owner Kevin Buckler said. "As a one-car team, our resources have been limited in the past. This is really the best of both worlds for us to work with strong, successful organizations like RCR and Stewart-Haas." After its first full year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, TRG Motorsports begins 2010 with Championship-winning driver Bobby Labonte in the #71 Chevy, Crew Chief Doug Randolph, a new executive team led by Torrey Galida and Grand-American Championship-winning Driver/Owner Kevin Buckler, the organization will build on its winning history for a successful future and is poised as a serious competitor. Despite being a one-car operation in a sport filled with multi-car teams, TRG Motorsports brings a new business plan and organizational outlook, positioning itself to successfully go toe-to-toe with the powerhouses of NASCAR. With a solid strategic alliance with Richard Childress Racing and engine program through Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies, TRG will begin its second year of Cup competition with a strong stable of Chevrolet Impalas and a vision to succeed. Sponsor TaxSlayer.com makes its return to NASCAR with TRG as the primary sponsor for a portion of the 2010 season [13 races]. TaxSlayer.com made its debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last year at Watkins Glen International Raceway and served as the primary sponsor of the #71 a total of six times in 2009.(TRG)(2-10-2010)

    • Prism Motorsports Announces 2010 plans: The Daytona 500 weekend will mark a historic weekend for PRISM Motorsports. For the first time in the team's history, they will enter two cars for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Dave Blaney will return to the track in the #66 Toyota, and the #55 PRISM Motorsports Toyota will make its debut with Michael McDowell behind the wheel. The team is actively pursuing sponsorship opportunities, and will compete full-time with two cars throughout the entire 2010 season. "We have a tremendous relationship and alliance with MWR that allowed us to purchase the cars and equipment we needed to grow our program," said Phil Parsons, co-owner of PRISM Motorsports. "Randy [Humphrey] and I believe the economies of scale of running two cars are very beneficial for our program and will help us have continued success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. However, to continue to race competitively throughout the season, we need to find a quality sponsor that can help drive the success of PRISM Motorsports. Randy and I are extremely excited to have a driver of Michael McDowell's caliber joining Dave Blaney, and we are excited about continuing our technical alliance with MWR. We believe that we have the right programs and staff in place to lead PRISM Motorsports to success in the Sprint Cup Series."(PRISM Motorsports)(2-10-2010)

    • NASCAR may tweak green-white-checker rule: NASCAR told all three series in Wednesday morning's safety meeting that the sanctioning body is looking at redefining the green-white-checker rule to finish races. In the past, when a caution occurred in the closing laps of a race, the field made one attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. Under the new rule, NASCAR will make sure the track is clean, run multiple green laps before waving the white and finally the checkered flag. Robin Pemberton, Vice President of Competition for NASCAR, used the analogy of Saturday night's multi-car wreck [in the Bud Shootout] in Turn 3 where the leaders came around to the white flag and Kevin Harvick led the field around to the track for the final lap. Pemberton said, "At least with the new rule they're going to race (one full lap of green) and then go on the white if we do this." The rule could go into effect for all three series as early as Thursday's qualifying races for the Daytona 500.(FoxSports)(2-10-2010)

    • Hutchens faces new challenge after losing wife: One year ago, Bobby Hutchens was taking on a new challenge. As the director of competition for the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing, there was much to do in forming, building, shaping and producing a race team for a boss with two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships already under his belt. Tony Stewart tabbed Hutchens for the task because Hutchens had spent two decades with Richard Childress Racing and had a hand in four of Dale Earnhardt's seven championships. Hutchens helped both SHR cars into the Chase despite facing his own battle at home. His wife of 14 years, Sharon, was battling cancer for the second time in her life. See full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(2-10-2010)

    • Danica's ARCA start lifts TV Ratings to record level: SPEED coverage of the ARCA Racing Series season opener from Daytona scored a Nielsen Household Rating of 2.30 (1,723,000 households), a 59% increase over last year's 1.45 (1,062,000 households). Highlighted by the stock car debut of Danica Patrick, race coverage peaked at 2.66 (1,997,000 households), up a stunning 72 percent from last year's peak of 1.55 (1,137,000 households). According to Nielsen Media Research, 2.4 million viewers tuned in to see the Saturday afternoon race, an 87% increase over last year's audience of 1.3 million. The Nielsen ratings, which positioned SPEED as the No. 1 network in basic cable during the time slot, were the highest ever for an ARCA race and rank only behind SPEED's exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race as the highest ratings ever for the network.(SPEED)(2-10-2010)

    • 2010 Drive for Diversity Class introduced: Having just completed perhaps the program's most exciting preseason to date, the 11-member 2010 Drive for Diversity Class was introduced Tuesday night at the Daytona 500 Experience's IMAX Theater. This latest group of young, talented and diverse NASCAR drivers was announced for the first time during Speedweeks. The 11 drivers in the 2010 class will also be featured in a television series, "Changing Lanes," set to air this summer on BET. The eight-part series will showcase the development of young Drive for Diversity competitors trying to make it in the world of NASCAR racing. For the list of drivers and more info, see my Driver Development page.(2-10-2010)

    • Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Daytona is the first track at which these left- and right-side Goodyear tire codes will be run . . . compared to last year's NASCAR Sprint Cup tire combination at Daytona, this set-up features a revised design and compounds for enhanced wear and heat resistance . . . this set-up came from extensive testing at the 2.5-mile speedway, including a five-car test last September and a 17-car test last November . . . Daytona is the only track at which Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to run these two tire codes in 2010 . . . this Cup tire set-up is different than the one to be run by NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams this week . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures and more on my Daytona Race Info page / Goodyear section.(2-10-2010)

    • UPS airing new commercials: UPS will debut two new commercials during the weekend of the Daytona 500. This is the second season in a row for the 'Maximum Driver' advertising campaign, which features #6-David Ragan taking on challenges UPS drivers face each day. Daytona International Speedway The Orlando East Center (SLIC - 3282) in the Central Florida District was selected for the February 14 Daytona 500 as part of the UPS Center Recognition Program. The Orlando East Center is recognized for maintaining the number one spot on the Balanced Scorecard in the district for 2009 for a multi-center building. The center consistently demonstrated strong results in every area of package operations including production, safety, service, and growth.(RFR)(2-10-2010)

    • Special edition of "Tony Stewart Live" airs live from Daytona on Sirius: SIRIUS XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) announced today that two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will host a special edition of Tony Stewart Live from the IMAX Theater inside the Daytona 500 Experience at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, February 11 (6:30 pm ET). The live broadcast will air on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, available to listeners nationwide on SIRIUS channel 128 and XM channel 128 with the "Best of SIRIUS" programming package. Fans are welcome to attend the broadcast and will be admitted free of charge. Space is limited. Tickets will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis on Thursday, February 11, at Guest Services at the Daytona 500 Experience. Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum will preview the 2010 Daytona 500 and the start of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. They will be joined by special guests and will take questions from the live studio audience. Scheduled guests on Thursday's program include driver Danica Patrick, who will make her much-anticipated NASCAR debut in Saturday's Drive4COPD NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday. The show will be the first of a series of special editions of Tony Stewart Live that will air on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio in 2010. Stewart and Yocum will also host their show from Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Ohio before the "Prelude To The Dream" race in June and will host their season-ending "Stewie Awards" broadcast during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week. For more info about SIRIUS XM visit www.sirius.com/nascar.(2-10-2010)

    • Commercial breakdown and Summary for the 2009 season:
      Statistics need no introduction; they speak for themselves. These were culminated from CawsnJaws 2009 Commercial Breakdowns/Driver Focus Reports for the 2009 season.
      Total number of commercials per network:
      FOX (14 races): 1,836 [131 per race]
      TNT (6 races): 654 [109 per race]
      ESPN (6 races): 767 [127 per race]
      ABC (11 races): 1,253 [113 per race]
      SPEED (2 races): 183 [92 per race]
      Notes: FOX includs short Bud Shootout
      SPEED's races were Gatorade Duel and All-Star Race
      Total for all networks: 4,693, 38 races [123.5 per race]
      Many other stats compiled, including: Number of missed restarts per network; Number of 'mystery cautions' and Total number of times drivers were focused on in 2009. See full report on my 2009 TV Commercials page.(2-10-2010)


      News from February 9, 2010

    • Commercial breakdown related to the 2010 Bud Shootout: 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. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 74
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 46
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 14
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 8:10 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:06 PM
      Total minutes: 116
      Minutes of race broadcast: 82
      Minutes of commercials: 34
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
      'Digger the Gopher Cam' made his appearance, but not as often as in past Fox broadcasts
      Number of 'Digger the Gopher Cam' appearances: 2 (still shots) 3 (action shots) Total: 5
      Total race brdcst time 82 Total comm. brdcst time 34
      See more on my 2010 TV Commercials page.(2-9-2010)

    • HBO's 24/7 Jimmie Johnson Episode 3 on Tuesday: HBO Sports' all-access show 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona continues with its third episode, debuting Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 10:00-10:30pm/et/pt. The four-week series spotlights one of racing's biggest stars, reigning four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, and gives viewers an inside look at the driver and his #48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of auto racing. The intensity builds for the 48 team as they head to Florida to prepare for the all-important Daytona 500 time trials. The series finale of 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona debuts Tuesday, Feb. 16 (10:00-10:30pm/et/pt), two days after the race, with cameras tracking all the drama and excitement surrounding Johnson and his team on race day. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and be available on HBO On Demand.More info, schedules and previews at HBO.com and see TV Listings page(2-9-2010)

    • Snap-on to Sponsor Sprint Cup, Nationwide Teams: For the 30th consecutive season, Snap-on Toolswill sponsor Penske Racing. This year Penske will have teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and #12-Brad Keselowski) and the NASCAR Nationwide Series (#12-Justin Allgaier and #22-Brad Kesolowski). Snap-on will also sponsor the Rusty Wallace Racing Nationwide Series team, featuring up-and-coming NASCAR stars #62-Brendan Gaughan and #66-Steve Wallace.(Snap-on Tools)(2-9-2010)

    • Roush Fenway Racing looking for 400th win: With the 2010 NASCAR season underway, Roush Fenway Racing is looking for its 400th overall win. The team enters the weekend with eight entries between the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series events and hopes to add to its 21 wins at Daytona International Speedway. Roush Fenway's 21 Daytona wins include 14 road course wins, five Sprint Cup Series wins and two Truck Series wins. One notable missing accolade, a Nationwide win. But that could change with veteran Carl Edwards behind the wheel of the #60 Copart/Fastenal Ford for his sixth full-time Nationwide season and two up-and-coming rookies in Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun. Paul Menard will also be a factor in the Nationwide race as Roush Fenway's fourth full-time entry. Of Roush Fenway's seven drivers competing this weekend, three have won at the track including Matt Kenseth's Daytona 500 win just a year ago. Greg Biffle captured his first career Sprint Cup win at Daytona in July of 2003 and Edwards drove the No. 99 F-150 to victory lane in the Truck Series in 2004.
      Roush Fenway's first win came on June 3, 1984 in the Trans-Am Series at Sears Point in California. Greg Pickett took the checkered flag that day and since that time, Roush Fenway has seen 43 drivers bring home a total of 399 victories. Drivers that include Paul Newman, Lyn St. James, Robby Gordon, Wally Dallenbach, Jr., Bruce Jenner, Max Jones, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, and six of the current Roush Fenway drivers. The team is hoping to capture that 400th win this weekend….maybe even with a 44th driver.(RFR)(2-9-2010)

    • Two Daytona 500-Winning Cars To Be Honored: The past and present will converge in the pace laps prior to the green flag for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Daytona International Speedway. To mark the 50th anniversary of Junior Johnson's victory in the "The Great American Race", a replica Daytona 500-winning #27 Chevrolet as well as the 2009 Daytona 500-winning car of #17-Matt Kenseth will take to the high banks and participate in the pace laps prior to the green flag of the Daytona 500. Johnson claimed his only Daytona 500 win in 1960 driving for crew chief Ray Fox and owner John Masoni. The ride came together in a last-minute deal and Fox only had seven days to build the Daytona 500-winning race car. On lap 191, Johnson was drafting Bobby Johns when, coming off of Turn 2, Johns' car was hit with a gust of win. The air pressure popped out the rear window and put Johns in a spin. Johnson would claim the Daytona 500 by a margin of 23 seconds. Alongside the #27 Chevy during the Daytona 500 pace laps will be the winning car from the 2009 Daytona 500 – Matt Kenseth's #17 DeWalt Ford from Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth, who earned Roush his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2003, was able to deliver Roush his first Daytona 500 victory – a feat that has eluded the multi-team owner for over 20 years. The #17 was inducted into "The Official Attraction of NASCAR" – Daytona 500 Experience – after its victory in 2009 and will be returned to Roush Fenway Racing on Sunday morning, Feb. 14 prior to the start of the Daytona 500. Tickets for all of Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

    • ESPN Expands Daytona Schedule: ESPN has expanded its schedule from Daytona International Speedway this week and will now televise live the two-hour opening practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 3:00-5:00pm/et on ESPN2. The practice session will mark the NASCAR debut of open-wheel racing star Danica Patrick. ESPN2 will televise live the NASCAR Nationwide Series 2010 season opener at Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 13. ESPN2 also airs NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying Friday, Feb. 12, at 3:00pm/et, as well as NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice Thursday, Feb. 11, at 11:30 am/et. NASCAR Countdown starts ESPN2's race day at 12:00pm/et, with the green flag at 1:34pm/et. Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer with analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. NASCAR Countdown will be hosted by Allen Bestwick from the ESPN Pit Studio with analysts Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty.

    • Junior Johnson Named Grand Marshal For Daytona 500: To mark the 50th anniversary of his 1960 Daytona 500 triumph, NASCAR legend Junior Johnson will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 52nd running of NASCAR’s most prestigious race – the Daytona 500 – on Sunday Feb. 14. As Grand Marshal, Johnson will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports – “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Johnson, who was the first driver to use drafting on the superspeedways, was recently selected in 2009 as one of the five inductees for the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990 and named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998, Johnson claimed his only Daytona 500 win in 1960 driving for crew chief Ray Fox and owner John Masoni in a last-minute deal. Retiring from driving in 1966, Johnson moved into ownership earning 139 victories and six championships. Tickets for all of Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

    • Harry Connick Jr. To Sing National Anthem For Daytona 500: Singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr. will sing the National Anthem for the 52nd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 14, NASCAR biggest and most prestigious race of the season. Three-time Grammy Award winner Connick recently released his 24th album titled ‘YOUR SONGS,’ which consists of Connick singing classic songs with a full orchestra, and, as with nearly all of Connick’s previous albums, he arranged and orchestrated all of the songs himself. Connick has performed in front of the NASCAR family before singing at the season-ending awards ceremony back in 2003. Tickets for all of Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)

    • Two Daytona 500-Winning Cars To Be Honored: The past and present will converge in the pace laps prior to the green flag for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 14 at Daytona International Speedway. To mark the 50th anniversary of Junior Johnson’s victory in the “The Great American Race”, a replica Daytona 500-winning #27 Chevrolet as well as the 2009 Daytona 500-winning car of #17-Matt Kenseth will take to the high banks and participate in the pace laps prior to the green flag of the Daytona 500. Johnson claimed his only Daytona 500 win in 1960 driving for crew chief Ray Fox and owner John Masoni. The ride came together in a last-minute deal and Fox only had seven days to build the Daytona 500-winning race car. On lap 191, Johnson was drafting Bobby Johns when, coming off of Turn 2, Johns’ car was hit with a gust of win. The air pressure popped out the rear window and put Johns in a spin. Johnson would claim the Daytona 500 by a margin of 23 seconds. Alongside the #27 Chevy during the Daytona 500 pace laps will be the winning car from the 2009 Daytona 500 – Matt Kenseth’s #17 DeWalt Ford from Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth, who earned Roush his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2003, was able to deliver Roush his first Daytona 500 victory – a feat that has eluded the multi-team owner for over 20 years. The #17 was inducted into “The Official Attraction of NASCAR” – Daytona 500 Experience – after its victory in 2009 and will be returned to Roush Fenway Racing on Sunday morning, Feb. 14 prior to the start of the Daytona 500. Tickets for all of Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the Daytona 500, are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-9-2010)


      News from February 8, 2010

    • Ask.com leaves NASCAR: This time a year ago, Ask.com was preparing to make the splash of the season at Daytona. It had a custom-made motor coach, pretty girls dressed in red and white to act as Ask Ambassadors throughout the speedway, and up to 30 new 15-second ad spots. The eager search engine had seemingly thought of everything for its first year of an official partnership with NASCAR and a team sponsorship at Hall of Fame Racing. But as the industry rolls into Daytona this week for the start of the 2010 season, the major question will be: What happened to Ask.com? Despite trumpeting successful results from its sponsorships and advertising in NASCAR last year, the Barry Diller-owned company opted not to return this year, allowing its NASCAR partnership and team deal to expire after one year. A change in leadership -- CEO Jim Safka did the NASCAR deals last year but was replaced by president Doug Leeds in October -- led to changes in marketing. Ask.com spent about $15 million on its NASCAR sponsorships and activation last year, industry insiders said. Its official deal with NASCAR was in the low seven figures, while the team sponsorship cost Ask.com $4 million. The majority of NASCAR sponsors whose deals were up last year renewed, including Dodge, Unilever, DuPont, DirecTV, Kraft, and Procter & Gamble brands Gillette, Old Spice and Prilosec OTC. NASCAR also added Screenvision and Drive4COPD as new partners, with Screenvision being the official cinema ad agency and Drive4COPD, a group that drives awareness and screening for lung disease, serving as the official health initiative. Among the sponsors that didn't renew for this year: P&G brand Duracell, Best Western, Yardman/Cub Cadet, and Kellogg's, along with Ask.(Sporting News/NASCAR.com)(2-8-2010)

    • Bud Shootout TV Ratings: The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on FOX kicked off on Saturday with a 1.6/4 for the Daytona Pole Qualifying, down -24% year-to-year and a 4.2 rating/7 share for the Budweiser Shootout, up +3% year-to-year. For the first time since FOX has broadcasted Qualifying and Shootout, the two were scheduled to run on the same Saturday. See TV Tatings season comparisons on my 2009 TV Ratings page.(2-8-2010)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame adds staff: The NASCAR Hall of Fame recently added eight employees for the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction set to open May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. "We are less than 100 days away from our opening, and building the right team truly is one of the most important factors in ensuring an exceptional and meaningful guest experience," Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame said. "We are fortunate to have had an overwhelming number of talented people interested in working at this world-class venue. Each team member was selected from several hundred applications per position. The competitive nature has allowed us to assemble a talented team of professionals who bring extensive experience from all types of family entertainment." The additions to the external relations and education department are: Imani Clenance, intern; Joelle Lapsley, administrative assistant; and Natividad Lewis, external relations specialist. All report directly to external relations manager Kimberly Meesters. The additions to the operations department are: Cathy Buchhofer, assistant operations manager; Chris Manley, A/V technical supervisor; and Jonathan Mitchell, box office manager. All report directly to operations manager Steve Burrell. Also, Seth Denton joined the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority as the NASCAR Hall of Fame business manager. He works closely with the NASCAR Hall of Fame operations department and reports to Steve Bagwell, CPA, director of management reporting for the CRVA. The additions to the sales and marketing department are: Matt Aldrich, membership sales manager; and Angela Basso, group sales manager. Both report directly to sales and marketing manager Leslie Horne.(NASCAR Hall of Fame PR)(2-8-2010)

    • Danica Patrick to make NASCAR debut at Daytona: Danica Patrick will make her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced. Patrick, Earnhardt, and team officials convened Sunday following the ARCA event at Daytona, in which Patrick raced to a sixth-place finish in her stock-car debut. The decision for Patrick to compete in the Daytona Nationwide Series event is supported by sponsor GoDaddy.com and JRM co-owners Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Eury Jr., and Rick Hendrick. "To be the one driving that Go Daddy car at Daytona means a lot to me," Patrick said. "Racing in the Nationwide Series race was my goal during this entire two-month preparation process, but we wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do. The ARCA race was a blast, and I'm not ready for my first Daytona Speedweeks to end just yet. I want more racing." Patrick's entry in the Drive4COPD 300 puts her in a JR Motorsports tandem with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will drive the #88 Hellmann's Chevy. Patrick will continue her Nationwide Series schedule on Feb. 20 at Auto Club Speedway and Feb. 27 at Las Vegas. Patrick is guaranteed starting positions in all three races based off JRM's acquisition of points from CJM Racing's #11 team, which finished 15th in the 2009 Nationwide Series owners point standings. GoDaddy.com will be the primary sponsor for 11 of Patrick's 13 Nationwide Series races in 2010. She started 12th in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and finished sixth, including a late rally from 23rd position all the way to the front pack in just under 20 laps.(JR Motorpsorts)(2-8-2010)


      News from February 7, 2010

    • Johnson sells NYC loft, but...: #48-Jimmie Johnson has just sold his 3,200-square-foot loft in Chelsea [New York City] for $4 million. Johnson paid $3.975 million for the three-bedroom three-and-a-half bath condo in 2007. He put it on the market last March for $4.395 million, eventually cutting the price to $4.25 million. He and his wife, Chandra, a former model, used the apartment as a pied-à-terre 9a temporary or second lodging); their primary home is in Charlotte, NC. The couple are expecting their first child in July. The listing agent, Lisa Rose of Halstead Property, declined to comment. He is not forsaking New York City. He recently closed on another three-bedroom three-and-a-half bath condo, this one for $8.33 million, at Superior Ink, a new complex with a 61-unit building and seven town houses at West 12th and West Streets in the West Village.(New York Yimes)(2-7-2010)

    • USA Weekend to feature three drivers and their kids: Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya or Michael Waltrip and their children are families featured in the February 14 issue of USA WEEKEND magazine. One third of the magazines published feature the each driver family on the cover while the other two thirds feature the other two and their respective children on the cover. The national publication, which is found in 600 newspapers across the country, also features an in-depth column on how the drivers juggle their racing career and father duties along with a pull-out poster, featuring all three families together.(2-7-2010)

    • Johnson honored by NC House of Reps: The North Carolina House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a Patrick McHenry-sponsored resolution honoring NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson. Johnson was the first NASCAR driver to win four consecutive Sprint Cup Championships. Republican Patrick McHenry has represented North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District of North Carolina since 2005. The district covers Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln and Mitchell counties, along with parts of Gaston, Iredell and Rutherford. James Finch II.(Charlotte Observer)(2-7-2010)

    • Sad News - Harry Davis - Services: from Marc Davis' website - Marc Davis Motorsports has lost a father, a leader, and a true inspiration with the passing of Harry Davis. We will always remember his courage, dedication, and the marks he left on the challenging road to make his son's dreams a reality. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time. You may send a note of condolence to: 136 Bridle Path Lane, Mooresville, NC 28117 or by email, for the address, go to marcdavismotorsports.com or Marc Davis - Facebook.
      See nice article by Bob Pockrass: scenedaily.com.(1-21/24-2010)
      SERVICES Due to the severe winter weather the funeral services have been postponed until Saturday, February 13, 2010. A Memorial Service will be held in the Mooresville, North Carolina area at a later date yet to be determined. Funeral Services: Saturday, February 13, 2010; Wake – 10:00am; Funeral – 11:00am at the Saint John The Baptist Catholic Church, 12319 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904. Internment: Meadowridge Memorial Park, 7250 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, Maryland 21075. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to the charity of your choice.(2-6-2010)

    • Gerhart wins wild Daytona ARCA race; Danica 6th: Veteran ARCA Racing Series driver Bobby Gerhart earned a historic sixth Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 Daytona race victory on Saturday evening, using patience and fuel strategy in ARCA's wreck-filled season opener to notch his seventh-career restrictor plate victory while Danica Patrick finished sixth in her stock car debut. Patrick, who is expected to decide on Monday if she will compete in next week's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona, used the ARCA race to learn how to adapt to big, heavy stock cars. She showed that she is a fast learner, working the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy on the inside, outside and middle lanes of the racetrack in both the front and the back of the field throughout the 80 lap/200-mile event. Patrick ran in the lead pack for the first half of the race until getting loose in turns 1 and 2 on lap 50, losing the draft and dropping from sixth to 13th. Three laps later Nelson Piquet, Jr., the former Formula One driver who also used Saturday's ARCA race to make his stock car debut, made contact with Patrick's car coming off of turn 4, forcing her through the infield grass. Patrick slid sideways on the track and went through the infield grass but was able to avoid making contact. She made two pit stops following the spin, remaining on the lead lap, finishing sixth in her career first stock car start. While Patrick garnered most of the media attention this weekend it was Gerhart to etched his name further into the ARCA Racing Series Record Books, earning a record sixth Daytona ARCA victory. The Lebanon, Pennsylvania, native pitted to make adjustments to the #5 Lucas Oil Slick Mist Chevy on lap 12 of 80 during the second of six caution periods, making the most of the pit stop by topping the car off with fuel. He did not pit for the remainder of the 200-mile race and worked his way to the point position by lap 30. With his third-place finish Townley, a fulltime NASCAR Nationwide Series driver for Richard Childress Racing, bested the career-best fourth place Daytona ARCA finish he earned in 2009. Defending race winner James Buescher finished fourth in the #51 Phoenix Construction Toyota after leading the first 29 laps and earning the Menard Pole. Patrick Sheltra earned a career-best fifth-place Daytona finish. The race was plagued by six cautions and a 21 minute, 40 second red flag that occurred on lap 27 while track safety workers made repairs to the speedway's fencing after Jill George made hard contact in the #48 Radon.com Dodge. More info and results, go to ARCARacing.com.(2-7-2010)


      News from February 6, 2010

    • Harvick wins the Budweiser Shootout: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, for his 2nd Shootout win in a row and 2nd overall. It is the 7th time Richard Childress Racing has won the race (5 with Earnhardt and 2 with Harvick). #9-Kahne [who didn't pit during the 4th caution] finished 2nd, followed by #1-McMurray, #18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #83-Vickers, #20-Logano, #24-Gordon, #14-Stewart and #42-Montoya. There was a big wreck after a green-white-checked finish was called to start lap 75. #16-Biffle, the other driver who didn't pit during the 4th caution, either lost a tire or got lifted by #24-Gordon and spun around, collecting five other cars, including #99-Edwards who led the most laps, #17-Kenseth, #71-Labonte, #39-Newman and #5-Martin.
      See the race results on my 2010 Budweiser Shootout page.(2-6-2010)

    • Martin wins pole for Daytona 500: #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 191.188mph [3 mph faster then last years pole of 188.001] for his 1st career Daytona 500 pole and 49th pole of his career. #5-Mark Martin is the oldest pole sitter ever for a Sprint Cup race at Daytona at 51 years, 0 months, 27 says (Dale Jarrett held the record at 48 years, 2 months, 17 days). #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the outside pole. Martin and Earnhardt Jr. are the only two drivers with their starting spots set for the Daytona 500. All other starting positions will be determined following the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races on Thursday.
      The rest of the top five for qualifying were #39-Ryan Newman, #21-Bill Elliott and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. #21-Elliott, #82-Speed and #87-Nemechek are the three go-or-go-homers [not in the top-35 of end of season owners points] who are guaranteed of making the race via speed. #71-Bobby Labonte is now guaranteed to make the race, at least thru the past champions provisional. Four other drivers can get in via their speed IF the four already in [Elliott, Speed, Nemechek, Labonte] race in via the Gatorade Duels [top 2 in each get in]: #51-Waltrip, #36-Bliss, #32-Sorenson and #90-Mears.
      So it is the top 2 are in, followed by spots 3-39 [33 from the top 35 and 4 from the Gatorade Duel], then spots 40, 41 and 42 from the next fastest cars, then then the most recent past champion in 43rd. If not needed, then the fastest driver not already in, would get the spot.
      See the qualifying results, qualifying procedures and more on my Daytona 500 Qualifying Results Page.(2-6-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Daytona 500:
      Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Daytona 500 with a lap of 47.074 seconds, 191.188 mph.
      This is his 49th pole in 759 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He is now tied with Bobby Isaac for eighth on the all-time poles list.
      Mark Martin, at 51 years, 27 days, is the oldest Daytona 500 pole winner. The previous oldest was Dale Jarrett, who was 48 years, 2 months, 17 days when he won the Daytona 500 pole in 2005.
      This is his first Daytona 500 pole. It is his second Daytona pole overall. His last came in the Coke Zero 400 in 1989.
      Martin also started on the front row for the 2009 Daytona 500. He started second and finished 16th.
      Nine Daytona 500 pole winners have won the Daytona 500. The last was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
      Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) will make his second Daytona 500 front row appearance. His last was 2003 when he started second and finished 36th.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-6-2010)

    • A PLETHORA of paint schemes added 22 of the 24 cars that are running the Bud Shootout have been posted [no #83-Vickers and #75-Cope] AND 46 of the 54 cars that practiced for the DAytona 500 at DIS on Friday have been posted. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for links to all the images
      PLUS Scott and Nancy have been adding many new 2010 Nationwide Series schemes and 2010 Camping World Truck Series schemes recently

    • RCR Honors Former Crew Member D.J Richardson: Richard Childress Racing will honor former pit crew member and front tire changer D.J. Richardson with memorial decals during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. The #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy will carry the decals behind the front tires for the February 6 Budweiser Shootout. The helmets of the #29 Shell-Pennzoil over-the-wall crew members will also don special decals for the 2010 season. All three of RCR's Sprint Cup Series entries will carry the decals for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on February 14, and its Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series entries will also carry the decals for their season-opening races. Richardson passed away December 25, 2009, from complications from the H1N1 virus. He joined RCR in July 2009 and finished the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy team. The 2005 Sprint Cup All-Star Rear-Tire Changer Champion began his Cup Series career with Andy Petree Racing in 1999. He also worked for Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Braun Racing. The Leominster, Mass., native was 37. "D.J. should be jumping off the wall and changing tires for us again this season so we wanted to honor him in this special way," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "He was a valued member of the RCR family and is missed as we start the 2010 season."(RCR)(2-6-2010)

    • Window World and Andretti racing with Heavy Hearts: Window World Inc., John Andretti and the Window World Racing community will be racing in the memory of Window World CEO Todd Whitworth during the 2010 race season. Whitworth passed away unexpectedly on February 5. Window World's foundation, Window World Cares, is the primary sponsor of John Andretti and the #34 Ford team for Front Row Motorsports and Boris Said and the #26 Ford team for Latitude 43. Window World has been heavily involved in motorsports since the beginning of 2009. America's largest window replacement company first partnered with Andretti during the 2009 Daytona 500. The relationship expanded to seven NASCAR Sprint Cup events and the famed Indianapolis 500 when Andretti raced with Richard Petty Motorsports. Window World and Andretti were the only driver/sponsor combination to race in both the Daytona and Indianapolis 500 - two of the largest sporting events in the world.
      "This loss is monumental on all levels," said Blair Ingle, President, Window World. "His passion for auto racing, Window World Cares, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Veteran's Airlift Command were immeasurable. We know in our heart that Todd would want to have John (Andretti) and Boris (Said) continue to race this weekend and raise support for Window World Cares and St. Jude. We will all feel pride knowing that the legacy of Todd will be carried through their efforts." Andretti and the #34 Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing team plan to memorialize Whitworth by running a decal on the car during the duration of Speedweeks and wearing black armbands around their uniform sleeves. "My heart is heavy," said Andretti. "Todd was more than a sponsor partner of mine. He was a true friend and I'm deeply saddened by his sudden loss. Todd and I met a few years ago and he almost immediately became a part of the Andretti family. His family and extended Window World family are all in my prayers, especially his wife Tammy and children Anna Grace, Wyatt and Tucker. In 2009, Window World Cares was named a corporate partner of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. More info at www.windowworld.com.(Breaking Limits/FRM)(2-6-2010)

    • Penske Donates Trucks to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: Penske Corporation and its family of companies announced that today it has donated over $1 million worth of diesel-powered flatbed trucks to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. "I'm pleased the Penske Corporation has stepped up to donate more than $1 million worth of trucks, which will be instrumental in mobilizing food and lifesaving supplies in Haiti," President Clinton said. "Their generous contribution is an example of what the private sector can do to help Haiti rebuild and recover from the massive earthquake, and I'm grateful for their leadership."
      "The catastrophe that has struck Haiti is almost unimaginable," said Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "These trucks will assist in the humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti by facilitating the distribution of critical supplies that will help ease the suffering of the Haitian people." For more info about the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org.(Penske Racing)(2-6-2010)

    • Baldwin's plans for 2010: Wave Energy Drinks has provided what Tommy Baldwin said is enough for "14 fully funded races" in which not only does Tommy Baldwin Racing hope to qualify the #36 Chevy but do more than merely run a few laps and park it. Baldwin said he has enough funding lined up to do so in at least 10 other races as well -- and even plans to run a second car in "13 or 14 events" with Johnny Sauter as driver of the #35 car. Baldwin made the switch to Chevys after running Toyotas last year. The cars also will be powered this year by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing engines.(NASCAR.com)(2-6-2010)

    • Monster Energy to sponsor Gordon at Daytona: Robby Gordon Motorsports announced an extension of their partnership with Monster Energy, who will serve as the primary sponsor for the Daytona 500 of the #7 Toyota. Monster Energy and Robby Gordon already have a well-developed partnership through Robby's off-road endeavors. Monster Energy currently serves as the one of the primary sponsors on Gordon's Trophy Truck and Hummer. Robby Gordon's off-season did not include much downtime, instead the driver of the #7 Monster Energy Camry spent most of his time racing. After securing the SCORE International Off-Road Racing 2009 Championship in the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Trophy Truck, Robby Gordon and the Robby Gordon Off-Road team quickly turned their focus to the 2010 Dakar Rally, which took place January 2-16 in South America. In that event, Gordon raced his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER across the deserts of Argentina and Chile where he won Stage 4 and finished 8th-place overall in the grueling 14-stage event. Immediately after crossing the finish line in the Dakar Rally, Gordon headed to Laughlin, Nev., where he raced the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires trophy truck in the Laughlin Desert Challenge for the SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series. Robby's Remarks – "I had a lot of fun during the NASCAR off-season," commented Gordon. "It gave me a chance to return to my off-road racing roots, secure a championship and celebrate victory with the Robby Gordon Off-Road team. Even as much as I love off-road racing, I'm ready for the NASCAR Season to get underway. We are very fortunate to have Monster Energy on the hood of our Camry for the Daytona 500, and I'm excited to extend our partnership with them. Monster Energy is a great brand that I love representing. We have been very strong at Daytona in the past, so I hope that we can bring home a great finish for Monster Energy's 2010 NASCAR debut."(RGM), see images of the Monster Energy race car and hauler on my #7 Team Schemes page.(2-6-2010)

    • Reverse scheme for Montoya in Shootout: The #42 Target team will run a reverse Target paint scheme for Juan Pablo Montoya's appearance in the Budweiser Shootout. The white car will be decaled with red logo's to add additional flare to Montoya's first appearance in the show (EGR), see an image of the car on my #42 Team Schemes page.(2-6-2010)

    • If Danica Dominates Daytona, Fans win Indy Ticket deals: New Indianapolis 500 ticket customers can cash in on Danica Patrick's participation in the ARCA Racing Series season opener Saturday, Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway. It's up to Danica how much they'll cash in. If Patrick leads many laps, she'll drive big Tower Terrace ticket price reductions for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She is driving the #7 Go Daddy machine for Andretti Autosport in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." For instance, if Patrick leads 40 laps, fans will receive a $40 reduction from the regular $90 price of a Tower Terrace ticket purchased between Saturday, Feb. 6 through Saturday Feb. 13. If she leads all 80 laps of the race, fans will receive the $90 ticket for $10! In honor of Patrick's ground-breaking 19-lap run at the front in the closing laps of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2005, the Speedway will offer at least $19 savings on Tower Terrace tickets for the 2010 Indy 500 purchased during the promotion dates. If Patrick leads 19 or fewer laps in the #7 JR Motorsports Chevy, the ticket price reduction remains $19. The promotion is for new purchases of Tower Terrace tickets only. Tower Terrace is located along the Speedway's main straightaway, also providing an excellent view of pit lane. Beginning immediately following the ARCA race Feb. 6, fans can purchase the discounted tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The specially priced seats will be available 24 hours per day until 11:59pm/et Saturday, Feb. 13.(IMS)(2-5-2010)


      News from February 5, 2010

    • Pit Stall Selections - Bud Shootout: The selections of pit stalls for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #99-Edwards chose pit stall 2, the first one being used since there are only 24 cars and 43 stalls.
      Outside pole sitter #29-Harvick took pit stall 20, which has an opening in front of it and behind it.
      #83-Vickers, who starts 3rd took the 33rd pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front and behind it.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Budweiser Shootout Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-5-2010)

    • Friday practices washed out: for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, eight of the 54 cars did not get out to make a run in Friday's first practice, so NASCAR will allow those eight drivers to make a practice run Saturday, February 6, 2010 from 9:30 to 10:00am/et. Those eight drivers are: #27-Shelmerdine, #46-Cook, #49-Gilliland, #55-McDowell, #57-Benning, #75-Cope, #92-MWallace & #97-Fuller. No word if the 30 minute practice will be televised.(2-5-2010)

    • Friday's 1st Practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is over after 46 of 80 minutes were run before the rain came and washed out the rest of practice. The 4:00pm/et practice scheduled for Friday is now being delayed by rain and could be run tonight under the lights if the rain stops, no official word on that yet as of 4:00pm/et. Cars took single car laps to get ready for qualifying. The top five and some notes:
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 188.679
      #5-Martin 188.616
      #24-Gordon 187.950
      #21-Elliott 187.884
      #7-Gordon 187.872
      slowest: #37-Kvapil 180.126 & #26-Said 182.253 [started raining as he was on his run]
      46 of 54 cars have ran a lap
      no speed listed: #27-Shelmerdine, #46-Cook, #49-Gilliland, #55-McDowell, #57-Benning, #75-Cope, #92-MWallace & #97-Fuller.
      For the speeds, average speed, laps run, see my Daytona Practice Speeds Page(2-5-2010)

    • Bud Shootout Schemes added #1-Bass Pro Shops, #2-Miller Lite, #5-GoDaddy.com, #9-Budweiser, #14-Old Spice, #17-Crown Royal, #18-M&M's, #20-Home Depot, #34-Window World Cares, #39-Haas Automation, #42-Target [mostly white], #48-Lowe's, #51-NAPA Auto Parts, #71-TRG and #82-Red Bull [silver and blue] to the Paint Scheme Gallery
      PLUS Scott and Nancy have been adding many new 2010 Nationwide Series schemes and 2010 Camping World Truck Series schemes recently

    • Congrats: #18-Kyle Busch proposed to his girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella on Tuesday and she said yes, no wedding date has been set yet.(2-5-2010)

    • Crown Royal to sponsor Kenseth for more races: Roush Fenway Racing announced that Crown Royal has extended the number of races in which it will be primary sponsor of driver Matt Kenseth and the #17 Sprint Cup Series team. Crown Royal will serve as the primary sponsor for 35 Sprint Cup Series races in 2010 [of 38 races counting the Bud Shootout & All-Star race). The makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, a subsidiary of Diageo plc, have been partners with Roush Fenway Racing dating back to 2003. "I'm thrilled that Crown Royal chose to expand their sponsorship of our team for the entire 2010 season,” said Kenseth, one of only five drivers in NASCAR history to win the Sprint Cup rookie of the year award, a Sprint Cup Championship and the Daytona 500. "I know that this is going to be a successful season for our #17 team and it will be great to represent the Crown Royal brand for 35 Cup Series events. I had the honor of working with DIAGEO and their Smirnoff ICE brand back in 2003 where we developed a great relationship. In addition to the sponsorship, we look forward to helping Crown Royal promote its responsible drinking platform, as well as kick-off the annual Crown Royal “Your Name Here” program this week, which awards naming rights to the Spring race at Richmond International Raceway to an adult fan." Kenseth will make his inaugural run in the #17 Crown Royal Ford on Saturday, Feb. 6 for the non-points exhibition event, the Budweiser Shootout, at Daytona International Speedway. The first points race of the season will be the Daytona 500 the on Sunday, Feb. 14 in which Kenseth is the defending champion of the event (Roush Fenway Racing). Supposedly Valvoline will be the sponsor for the other three races.(2-5-2010)

    • #09 Team loses sponsor: James Finch learned late Thursday afternoon that Miccosukee Resort and Gaming will no longer sponsor his Phoenix Racing teams. Finch had a contract for the full Nationwide Series schedule (#1-James Buescher) and 18 Sprint Cup races (#09-Aric Almirola) but when the Chairman of the Miccosukee tribe Billy Cypress lost the last election, Phoenix Racing became sponsor-less for Daytona and beyond. “They’re not going to do anything,” Finch said of the Miccosukee future involvement in NASCAR. “We had a contract, but our only recourse is to go in front of the tribal council and that’s not a case I’m going to win. If it was back in the old days, I could go in the parking lot and steal some hubcaps to race, but no one uses hubcaps anymore.” Although Finch attempted to make light of the situation, he seemed more distressed by his inability to lock into the Daytona 500 field. Finch won the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega last spring but was 38th in points after running just 27 Cup races. “If I could buy my way into the Daytona 500 I would,” Finch said. “Losing my sponsor isn’t going to keep me from racing next Sunday. I could finish fourth in the 150s and go home. The rules are (messed) up. I’m not going to pay more for the points than I can get for winning. I've seen a lot of people come and go from this sport. I stay because I'm a racer. But when you get to where you can’t race because of the rules, that’s B.S.”(FoxSports)(2-5-2010)

    • NASCAR CEO's residence at center of Mayfield case: Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was back in federal court Thursday concerning a lawsuit he filed against the racing organization and CEO Brian France after Mayfield was banned for allegedly failing several drug tests. The evidentiary hearing will be used to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward with a case, but court officials must first determine where that case would be heard. If the judge decided that NASCAR president Brian France’s primary residence is North Carolina, the case would be likely held in state court – that’s what Mayfield’s legal team wants to see happen. But if it’s Florida, as NASCAR’s attorneys contend, the case will likely continue in federal court. France testified that he owns multiple homes and condos in Daytona Beach, Charlotte and California, and at least eight cars in three states. Mayfield's attorney, Mark Geragos, says France claims Florida for income tax purposes but he claimed North Carolina residency during his divorce and custody agreement. “It's obvious that he resides here in North Carolina and it's obvious to me, at least, or anybody else that's ever paid taxes, that the reason he's claiming Florida is it's a tax dodge so that he doesn't have to pay North Carolina taxes,” Geragos said. France's ex-wife, Megan, said France moved her and their children to Charlotte after they married. They've since divorced but he keeps a North Carolina home to make visitation easier. France's 2009 marriage license to his new wife was filed in North Carolina. NASCAR officials say all of this is just a distraction from the real issue “Now let's remember what this case is about. This case is about failed drug tests by Jeremy Mayfield, who has tested positive on more than one occasion for methamphetamine,” company spokesman Ramsey Poston said. A decision on Thursday's hearing is several weeks away. Attorneys have two weeks to file their arguments with the federal judge and then the judge will have to make a decision.(News14.com)(2-5-2010)

    • Papis to run Daytona 500, sets 2010 schedule: Last weekend, Max Papis spent his days and nights behind the wheel of the #01 Grand-Am Series entry for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He pushed the car to the lead before surrendering it after a double-stint on Saturday night. He would then climb back in the car early Sunday morning, driving an unprecedented four stints. After pacing the Daytona road course for an astonishing three hours and fifty minutes, he turned the car over to teammate Scott Pruett. The Ganassi team would ultimately record a second place finish in the Rolex 24, which is regarded as one of the top races in the world. Papis prepares to begin his second season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition in the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry for Germain Racing at Daytona International Speedway this week when he returns for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying. In addition to his duties in the #13 GEICO Camry, Papis will also pilot the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 12th. Papis is scheduled to run 20 Sprint Cup Series races in 2010, including the Sprint Showdown in Charlotte.(GEICO Racing PR)(2-5-2010)

    • Nemechek gets assoc sponsor for Daytona: NEMCO Motorsports announced a partnership with Waverly Property Group of Daytona Beach, which includes associate sponsorship of driver Joe Nemechek's entries in this month's Speedweeks events at Daytona International Speedway. Waverly Property Group, an independent real estate company with a focus on waterfront properties, will serve as associate sponsor on Nemechek's #87 NASCAR Sprint Cup and #87 Nationwide Series cars throughout the events in Daytona. The partnership marks Waverly Property Group's first venture as a team sponsor with NEMCO. Nemechek, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner and former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, spent the majority of the 2009 season qualifying for races in the hopes of finding funding to race. Fielding both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series cars out of his family-owned NEMCO Motorsports shop again in 2010, Nemechek says they'll take it one race at a time. "We had a lean staff at NEMCO over the off-season but our guys put in the extra hours to get ready for Daytona," Nemechek explained. "Our hope is if we can have a good effort, a potential sponsor may take notice and find NEMCO to be an appropriate and affordable fit. For now, we're coming to Daytona to race 300 miles in the Nationwide race (Feb. 13) and 500 miles in the Daytona 500 (Feb. 14). We're thankful for the support of Waverly Property Group in helping us kick off the 2010 season.(NEMCO Motorsports)(2-5-2010)

    • If Danica Dominates Daytona, Fans win Indy Ticket deals: New Indianapolis 500 ticket customers can cash in on Danica Patrick’s participation in the ARCA Racing Series season opener Saturday, Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway. It’s up to Danica how much they’ll cash in. If Patrick leads many laps, she’ll drive big Tower Terrace ticket price reductions for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She is driving the #7 Go Daddy machine for Andretti Autosport in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” For instance, if Patrick leads 40 laps, fans will receive a $40 reduction from the regular $90 price of a Tower Terrace ticket purchased between Saturday, Feb. 6 through Saturday Feb. 13. If she leads all 80 laps of the race, fans will receive the $90 ticket for $10! In honor of Patrick’s ground-breaking 19-lap run at the front in the closing laps of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2005, the Speedway will offer at least $19 savings on Tower Terrace tickets for the 2010 Indy 500 purchased during the promotion dates. If Patrick leads 19 or fewer laps in the #7 JR Motorsports Chevy, the ticket price reduction remains $19. The promotion is for new purchases of Tower Terrace tickets only. Tower Terrace is located along the Speedway’s main straightaway, also providing an excellent view of pit lane. Beginning immediately following the ARCA race Feb. 6, fans can purchase the discounted tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The specially priced seats will be available 24 hours per day until 11:59pm/et Saturday, Feb. 13.(IMS)(2-5-2010)

    • Fan Vote in for Watkins Glen songs: The votes are in and in a race too close to call, the fans have decided that the rock song “Big” by Ten Man Push and the country song “Down at the Honky Tonk” by The Custom Taylor Band are the top songs on this year’s Summer Soundtrack to The Glen. Both songs will be used for the background music in the TV commercial for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, August 5-8, which will debut during the broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 14. Each band will also perform LIVE on the Red Cat Summer Stage during New York’s largest weekend sporting event on Saturday, August 7. The concert is included with the price of admission and weekend tickets start at only $60. Fans can download the entire Summer Soundtrack to The Glen for FREE by simply going to www.TheGlen.com/summersoundtrack. Tickets for the entire 2010 season including the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, August 5-8, and Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 2-4, weekends are on sale now! Fans can take advantage of advanced sale prices and new options by calling the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(2-5-2010)


      News from February 4, 2010

    • Edwards on the pole for Bud Shootout: #99-Edwards chose the Budweiser bottle with the flag that had 'POLE' on it and will start 1st in the Budweiser Shootout race at Daytona International Speedway Saturday night. #29-Harvick, who was sick all day, missing practice and the drawing for the pole, his crew chief Gil Martin chose the 2nd starting spot for Harvick, followed by #83-Vickers, #39-Newman and #16-Biffle. Twenty-Four drivers will start the race. Last report had six drivers going to backup cars for the race due to wrecks in Thursday's practices: #11-Hamlin and #5-Martin will start at the rear of the field as they were not able to practice the backup cars, a rule just for this race. Four others will go to backups but were able to practice and keep their starting spots: #16-Biffle, #2-Busch, #29-Harvick [may have to fall back for a driver change since he did not practice] and #1-McMurray. #75-Cope didn't run either practice, no word if he will have to start in the rear. See the full starting lineup on my 2010 Budweiser Shootout page.(2-4-2010)

    • The Entry List for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 54 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Aric Almirola (2009 race winner as owner)(38/36)
      #13-Max Papis (43/21)
      #21-Bill Elliott [past champ 1988](44/13)
      #27-Kirk Shelmerdine (60/3)
      #32-Reed Sorenson (none/0)
      #36-Mike Bliss (40/36)
      #46-Terry Cook (none/0)
      #49-David Gilliland (none/0)
      #51-Michael Waltrip (none/0)
      #55-Michael McDowell (none/0)
      #57-Norm Benning (63/1)
      #66-Dave Blaney (42/35)
      #71-Bobby Labonte [past champ 2000](37/36)
      #75-Derrike Cope (54/6)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/36)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (39/36)
      #90-Casey Mears (none/0)
      #92-Mike Wallace (none/0)
      #97-Jeff Fuller (none/0)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,71,21,82,87,36,66,13
      missing the race would be [11]: #'s 75,27,57,32,46,49,51,55,90,92,97
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Daytona Entry List and the 2010 Owners Points Standings for the first FIVE races page.(2-4-2010)

    • Happy Hour Practice for the Bud Shootout is over at Daytona International Speedway. On the first lap, another wreck, when #34-Andretti slowed causing #2-Busch to slow. #42-Montoya got into the rear of the #2, sending Busch into the wall. The #2 team will go to a backup car, the sixth team to do so far. If the drivers cannot get the backup cars on the track for practice, they will have to start the Bud Shootout from the rear of the field, no matter what starting spot they draw at the Budweiser Selection Show Thursday night. The speeds and some more notes:
      #9-Kahne 191.673
      #82-Schrader 191.371
      #17-Kenseth 191.367
      #48-Johnson 191.294
      #14-Stewart 191.270
      No Speed listed: #5-Martin, #75-Cope, #11-Hamlin
      #14-Stewart had to go to the garage and have the radiator changed as debris went thru it.
      #48-Johnson went out for a lap after the wreck and parked it for the night.
      See the speeds, laps run, on my Budweiser Shootout page.(2-4-2010)

    • 1st Practice for the Bud Shootout is over at Daytona International Speedway. Some results and notes:
      #31-Jeff Burton 193.303
      #1-McMurray 193.241 [wrecked]
      #18-Busch 193.212
      #51-Waltrip 192.349
      #5-Martin 191.546 [wrecked]
      wreck: Late in the practice, #11-Hamlin got into the rear of #5-Martin in turn one with both wrecking, collecting #1-McMurray. All three, plus the #29 & #16 teams will go to backup cars. Others damaged included #29-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #20-Logano, #83-Vickers. The rules are a tad different for backup cars in the Shootout. As long as the backup car is practiced, the driver can start in the position they draw at the Budweiser Selection Show, 9:00pm/et on SPEED. The final Bud Shootout practice is scheduled 6:30-7:30pm/et, also on SPEED.
      See the speeds, laps run, on my Budweiser Shootout page.(2-4-2010)

    • Harvick ill, will not practice in Shootout UPDATE: during Media Day coverage at Daytona International Speedway on ESPNEWS [12-3pm/et], Mike Massaro reported that #29-Kevin Harvick is ill with flu-like symptoms and canceled his interviews for Thursday and probably will not participate in Budweiser Shootout practice on Thursday, February 4th [5:00-5:45pm/et and 6:30-7:30pm/et today]. Teammate #33-Clint Bowyer will practice the #29 Shell / Pennzoil Chevy if Harvick cannot practice the Richard Childress racing entry.(2-4-2010)
      UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing’s Kevin Harvick is battling flu-like symptoms at his home in North Carolina so teammate Clint Bowyer will drive the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy in today’s two practice sessions for the 2010 Budweiser Shootout. Harvick has received medical attention for the illness and hopes to make it to Daytona later this evening. Bowyer, the driver of RCR’s #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy, did not qualify for this year’s non-points event.(RCR) the #29 Chevy was involved in a wreck late in the first practice and the team got the backup car out, Jeff Burton, who drives the #31 Caterpiller Chevy for RCR, will practice the backup #29 Chevy, late in Happy Hour.(2-4-2010)

    • Get well Lynda Petty UPDATE: Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, will undergo a medical procedure Friday to determine the underlying cause of an ongoing medical condition. "My family has always been my number one priority. I hate to miss any racing or racing-related event but at this time being with my wife Lynda is where I need to be," Richard Petty said. The Petty family is thankful for the support from family, friends, fans, and all those in the racing community and asks for the continued respect for their privacy during this time. Richard and Lynda Petty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009.(NASCAR.com)(1-22-2010)
      UPDATE: Richard Petty's wife, Lynda, has been diagnosed with CNS (Central Nervous System) Lymphoma. Mrs. Petty will be treated at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center. "We are thankful for the medical team at Duke. My wife Lynda is in good hands," Richard Petty said Thursday in a team statement. "The doctors and our family are very optimistic that the treatment for this cancer will be successful." The Petty family appreciates the support from family, friends, and fans as well as the continued respect for their privacy during this time.(NASCAR.com/RPM)(2-4-2010)

    • Gordon expecting baby #2: during NASCAR Media Day coverage on ESPNEWS, #24-Jeff Gordon announced that wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, is expecting their second child due this coming summer, joining daughter Ella, currently two years old.(2-4-2010)

    • Johnson Finally Gets His Due In Preseason Media Poll: It only took an unprecedented fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, but the media finally thinks Jimmie Johnson will defend his crown, according to a preseason media poll. Incredibly, this isn't a typical outcome. Only once in the previous five preseason polls has Johnson been tapped as the favorite – in 2005, the last season he didn't win the championship. In 2006 and 2008, the media picked Jeff Gordon to win it all, in 2007 it picked Tony Stewart, and last year, the press picked Carl Edwards. Rounding out the top 12: Gordon in second, Stewart in third, Kyle Busch in fourth, Edwards in fifth, Denny Hamlin in sixth, Mark Martin in seventh, Kurt Busch in eighth, Juan Pablo Montoya in ninth, Matt Kenseth in 10th, Greg Biffle in 11th and Ryan Newman in 12th. Drivers who made the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but were left out of the 2010 preseason media top 12 poll are Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers. Kahne ranked 14th; Vickers 20th. Predictors think Dale Earnhardt Jr. will again miss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but barely. He ranked 13th in the poll. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year poll, the media thinks Kevin Conway will take home the trophy over Terry Cook. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series poll the Media Predicts Title to Edwards, Rookie Award to Colin Braun and in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ron Hornaday is picked to win 5th Championship.(NASCAR)(2-4-2010)

    • Geoff Bodine hope to run some NASCAR races in 2010: Geoff Bodine came up two laps short of potentially winning the inaugural Free State 500 stock car race at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in South Africa on Sunday. Bodine, who started on the pole, was leading when his Chevy ran out of fuel with two laps remaining. Bodine, who led the most laps at 89, was credited with ninth in the American Speed Association-sanctioned event. Bodine's good run has given the 60-year-old more incentive to want to return to racing. "I wish I could get the opportunity to do some more (NASCAR) racing," Bodine said. Bodine had hoped to get a ride for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, but nothing materialized. He did hook up with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner Danny Gill in South Africa and Gill may put Bodine in one of his trucks for the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 6. Bodine said he also is working on a deal to run in NASCAR'S All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, and working on a Sprint Cup deal for the second race at the Atlanta track on Sept. 5.(Elmira Star Gazette)(2-4-2010)

    • 2nd Baldwin team: UPDATE 4: per Tommy Baldwin Racing's facebook page, looks like the team will run a 2nd team at Auto Club Speedway in February with Johnny Sauter driving the #35 Tommy Baldwin Chevy, see images on my #35 Team Scheme page.(1-30-2010)
      UPDATE: Sauter is scheduled to run at least three races: Auto Club in Feb., Martinsville in March and Pheonix in April.(1-31-2010)
      UPDATE 2: rumors have Geoff Bodine running the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.(2-3-2010)
      UPDATE 3: been told this will not happen as the team decided not to run the Shootout as it didn't have time to prepare.(2-3-2010)
      UPDATE 4: Bodine says in the Elmira Star Gazette that the ride for the Shootout didn't materialize and Bodine, nor the #36 car are on theBudweiser Shootout Entry List.(2-4-2010)

    • Phoenix Racing gets assoc sponsor: Graceway Pharmaceuticals along with Billy Ballew Motorsports announced the continuation of their partnership for the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season. In 2010, Aric Almirola will be the driver of the #51 Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota for Billy Ballew Motorsports. Nate Monteith will join Almirola in a second Graceway sponsored Tundra for Billy Ballew Motorsports in seven of the 2010 truck series events. Graceway Pharmaceuticals will also be the associate sponsor on the #09 James Finch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car with Aric Almirola piloting the entry in 2010. The AKAwareness.com design will return this year. Graceway's sponsorship is part of a national public education campaign to raise awareness of actinic keratosis (AK) - a potential early warning sign of skin cancer - as well as the long-term consequences of sun damage over a lifetime.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(2-4-2010)

    • Patrick could run Nationwide race at Daytona: Danica Patrick could win her stock car debut at Saturday's ARCA race at Daytona and still decide to bypass the Nationwide Series opener there a week later. "(Finishing high) doesn't mean that I'm ready for that race," the IndyCar star said Wednesday. "Maybe I didn't get put in very many tough situations." Patrick won't commit to any particular yardstick of what it would take to convince her to make her NASCAR debut in the second-tier series Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway. "That way, whatever I decide, nobody can argue with me," Patrick said. Where she finishes is less important than which new challenges she faces - and how she handles them. "I'll have to feel comfortable in all situations," Patrick said. "It's a much different animal from the Daytona 500 weekend with 30 Cup drivers and more cars and more experience. Every level you step up, if you're not prepared, it's just exponentially harder. "It's going to have to be a pretty stellar weekend." Otherwise, Patrick will make her debut the following week in Fontana, Calif. JR Motorsports said last week that Patrick would race at least 12 NASCAR events this season but left the first one up in the air.(Associated Press)(2-4-2010)

    • ESPNEWS Live from NASCAR Media Day at Daytona Thursday: ESPNEWS will surround NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway with a special multi-hour program featuring exclusive interviews with NASCAR's top drivers along with analysis of the upcoming season. The program airs Thursday, Feb. 4, at 12:30pm/et. NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch and NASCAR rookie Danica Patrick are among the drivers scheduled to appear from Daytona on the program, along with Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Martin and many more. NASCAR Now co-hosts Mike Massaro and Nicole Briscoe will host the program and conduct the interviews, with Briscoe on the scene in Daytona and Massaro in ESPN's studios. In addition, ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven will weigh-in via satellite. Reports from NASCAR Media Day also will appear on SportsCenter, ESPN.com and other ESPN platforms.(ESPN PR)(2-1/4-2010)

    • Texas race times pushed back two hours: Texas Motor Speedway received approval from NASCAR to move the start times of its two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the upcoming season to be consistent with the Western Region start times. The Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18 and the Lone Star 500 on Nov. 7 will now have 2:00 pm Central Time starts, moving both races ahead two hours from their originally announced 12 noon CT times. The move was a result of Texas Motor Speedway petitioning NASCAR on behalf of its fans requesting a later start time as well as potential logistical issues posed by the earlier start. "On behalf of our fans, we greatly appreciate NASCAR, along with television broadcast partners FOX (Samsung Mobile 500) and ESPN (Lone Star 500), hearing their collective voice and making the time changes to better suit their wishes and needs," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "NASCAR has made it clear that they are going to a 'back to basics' approach, and accommodating their promoters on behalf of their fans as well as avoid some potential logistical issues defines that new approach."
      The time change for both races will complement NASCAR's move to uniform start times for all its races this season. NASCAR is just shifting Texas Motor Speedway from an "Eastern/Central Region" designation to a "Western Region" one, where it joins Infineon Raceway (California), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Nevada), Auto Club Speedway (California) and Phoenix International Raceway (Arizona) for standardized 3:00pm/et (2:00pm/ct) starts. The remaining Sprint Cup races in the "Eastern/Central Region" (with the exception of night races) will begin at 1:00pm/et (12Noon/ct). Tickets for the Samsung Mobile 500 and Lone Star 500 race weekends are available by calling (817) 215-8500 or visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(2-4-2010)

    • LVMS invites President Obama to see Las Vegas from new perspective: Las Vegas Motor Speedway is inviting the President to see firsthand how visiting Las Vegas for entertainment is a boon to the economy. LVMS president Chris Powell is inviting President Barack Obama to be the grand marshal for the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Feb. 28 [FYI - he would replace current Grand Marshal Kim Kardashian if the President chose to attend]. The invitation comes less than 24 hours after the president told a gathering in New Hampshire that Americans shouldn't "blow a bunch of cash on Vegas" during the current economic climate. "It's a shame that the president doesn't realize the impact of tourism on the Las Vegas economy," Powell said. "Telling people not to visit Las Vegas is the same as telling them not to buy vegetables would be to a farmer in the Midwest - or telling them not to buy cars would be to an autoworker in Detroit. On the last weekend of this month, NASCAR Weekend at the speedway will bring in more than $150 million to the local economy. It will generate 3,000 jobs at the speedway alone. Hotels in town have reduced room rates. We've reduced ticket prices. And the races themselves will be a showcase of American knowhow and ingenuity. I would love to have the president come to Las Vegas Motor Speedway during NASCAR Weekend and see firsthand how important tourism is to our community. We'll even let him give the command to start engines. NASCAR Weekend is the largest sporting event in Nevada, and the 300,000 people who visit here during the weekend will surpass any event in Las Vegas in 2010."(LVMS)(2-4-2010)

    • Tracks lose over 100,000 seats: Some race tacks are downsizing by either eliminating some seats for fan zones of widening seats. The result is a decrease of 115,599 seats, based on changes in seating capacity this year to last year as noted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup media guide. Richmond held 112,029 seats before making changes. Now, the track's seating capacity is listed in the media guide as 97,912.(Virginian-Pilot)(2-4-2010)

    • Atlanta ticket deal ends Friday: Just one month remains before the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 7. With specific camping and ticket inventories waning with the Atlanta NASCAR Sprint Cup Series only one month away, NASCAR fans are encouraged to purchase tickets and campsites now to reserve the best locations. In addition, fans interested in taking advantage of a built-in $5 discount for Georgia Power Qualifying Night on Friday, March 5 and the Atlanta 200 truck race on Saturday, March 6 are encouraged to purchase immediately, as select tickets increase in price $5 after Friday, Feb. 5. For more information on the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend or to purchase tickets, please call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-3917, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-4-2010)


      News from February 3, 2010

    • Pink scheme for Bliss at Vegas: As part of a contest / promotion, looks like the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy that Mike Bliss will drive in 2010, will have a pink paint scheme at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Shelby American Sprint Cup Series race, promoting the Sephora's Live Like Kim Kardashian Sweepstakes.(see more on my Racing Contest page or kimkardashian.celebuzz.com), see an image of the scheme on my #36 Team Schemes page.(2-3-2010)

    • McDowell to run full season UPDATE: per Michael McDowell's Facebook page - Michael McDowell has signed with Prism Motorsports to run full time in the Sprint Cup Series in the #55 car. It was posted recently that Dave Blaney would return to Prism Motorsports to run the #66 car full-time in 2010 and McDowell would run some races in a 2nd car. The #66 Prism Motorsports team attempted all 36 Sprint Cup Series races in 2010, with Terry Labonte in the Daytona 500, Blaney in 34 races and McDowell at Talladega in April when Blaney had a family obligation. No word on a sponsor or crew chief.(2-1-2010)
      UPDATE: Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey's Prism Motorsports, which kicked off 2009 with a guaranteed start in the Daytona 500 and ran a single Toyota for the full schedule, will attempt to run two cars all season in 2010. Parsons confirmed Tuesday that Prism had entered a #55 Toyota for Michael McDowell, with debuting Cup crew chief Zach McGowan and a #66 Toyota for veteran Dave Blaney, again with Bill Henderson leading the crew. "We're going to race those things in," Parsons said. "We have our same alliance with MWR [Michael Waltrip Racing] that we did last year. We're going to attempt every race. We've been talking about the second car, and we solidified it in the last few weeks [because] if you're going to go anywhere and take a shot at getting in, that's the one to do it because the rewards are so great. We really don't have any sponsorship. We thought we were really close to having something for Dave for [Speedweeks], and it turned out they went a different direction at the 11th hour. We're still actively pursuing everything we can pursue; we have some good conversations going, but nothing imminent." Engines will be supplied by Pro Motor, built by Mark Smith and Terry Elledge, the father of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crew chief Jimmy Elledge and a Parsons associate for 30 years.(NASCAR.com)(2-3-2010)

    • added most of the 2010 schemes including #36 Wave Energy, #36 Kim Kardashian Sweepstakes. #46 Dodge, #34 Window World Cares, #26 Window World Cares, #16 3M/call811.com, #7 Monster (showcar/hauler), #35 Baldwin Racing, #00 Aaron's,, #1 Bass Pro Shops, #2 Miller Lite, #6 UPS, #9 Budweiser, #11 FedEx Office, #14 Old Spice, Office Depot & Burger King, #16 3M, #18 M&M's, #19 Hunt Brothers Pizza, #20 Home Depot, #21 Motorcraft, #24 DuPont, #29 Reese's, #32 Dollar General, #33 BB&T, #36 Wave Energy Drink CHEVY, #37 Extenze, #39 Haas Automation, #42 Target, #43 Best Buy, #48 Lowe's, #47 Kroger Floral, #51 NAPA, #56 NAPA, #64 Ford, #71 TaxSlayer.com, #88 AMP, AMP Energy Juice & National Guard, #98 Menards, #99 Scott's, #99 Aflac to the Paint Scheme Gallery PLUS Scott and Nancy have added many new 2010 Nationwide Series schemes and 2010 Camping World Truck Series schemes recently

    • Andretti gets sponsor for Bud Shootout, Said too...images: Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing announced this week that John Andretti will drive the team's #34 Ford Fusion in the Feb. 14 Daytona 500. His 1997 win at the Coke Zero 400 makes him eligible to also run the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Andretti will drive the #34 Window World Cares Ford Fusion in Saturday's winner-take-all exhibition and the Daytona 500. "It's just fun to be in it," Andretti said of the exhibition race. "You hate for any race to go on and not be in it. So if you're going to be there, you should be in it, having fun and not watching other people have fun. And the Budweiser Shootout is definitely a fun race. It's the first race of the NASCAR season and leads up to the 'Great American Race.' It's a good warm-up for the drivers, for the team and for the pit crew. And, you know, there's always bragging rights on the line. Like they say, finishing second in the Bud Shootout is not a good point's day - because there are no points. There's only one spot to finish in, and everybody drives it that way. It obviously creates a lot of excitement. I don't have a lot of hair, but it's a time to let your hair down and have fun. There's very little to lose and a lot to gain." After driving a full schedule last year between Front Row Motorsports and an Indianapolis 500 entry for Richard Petty Motorsports, Andretti is looking forward to a part-time schedule in 2010. "I'm more relaxed because I can go to Daytona and not be looking at California and everything that's coming up next," Andretti said. "I'm not thinking about anything but Daytona."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits). Window World Cares will also be the sponsor on the #26 Ford that Boris Said will drive in the Daytona 500. The Window World Cares Charity helps to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, see images of the cars on my #34 Team Schemes page and #26 Team Schemes page.(2-3-2010)

    • First scholarship recipient receives diploma: As the first recipient of the Universal Technical Institute Foundation Brienne Davis Scholarship, Kenna Primm is blazing new trails for females in the motorsports industry -- in and out of the classroom. "I have big goals and I'm determined to make them happen," said Primm. Primm received her diploma from NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., graduating with top honors and a perfect 4.0 GPA. While taking two six-hour classes every week day, Primm managed to make the Director's Honors List and receive multiple awards. Primm also participated in the DRIVEN program as a student mentor and was voted by her peers as president of the NTI Motorsports Club. In 2009, Primm was named the first recipient of the UTI Foundation Brienne Davis Scholarship and received a $10,000 scholarship towards her tuition to help foster her dreams of a career in automotive and NASCAR. Last year, Primm moved 950 miles from her home in Greenwood, Ark. to study automotive and a NASCAR-specific technology program at NTI -- the only school of its kind that combines automotive training and a NASCAR-approved technologies curriculum into one program. For seven consecutive years, 90% of NTI graduates have found employment in either the automotive or motorsports industries. Named after Brienne Davis, a UTI alumnus who went on to become a Cup Series Official before tragically losing her life in a 2008 traffic accident, the annual scholarship fund provides an opportunity for aspiring female students to attend any one of nine UTI campuses across the U.S. Primm recently accepted a position in the marketing department at Roush Yates Engines and will begin working there in February.(NASCAR.com)(2-3-2010)

    • #08 team looking for sponsor to run Labonte UPDATE no go: The #08 Carter-Simo team is hoping to find sponsorship to field an entry for Terry Labonte to run the Budweiser Shootout ay Daytona International Speedway on February 6th.(Carter-Simo)(1-30-2010)
      UPDATE: John Carter Racing (formerly Carter-Simo) will not attempt the Daytona 500 this season. The #08 team plans to run races this season but understands its participation is very sponsor dependent. Carter says, "Right now we are actively looking for a sponsor, it's really going to dictate how often we compete this season. I think we can prove to be a very good fit for a company, it's just about finding the right one." said a team representative. "We already have some things in place moving forward , however the timing for the Daytona 500 just wasn't going to happen. The #08 will be on the track this season, its just a matter of when."(John Carter Racing PR)(2-2-2010)
      AND: looks like John Carter Racing is having racing equipment, three Toyota COT's [including the #08 Toyota that race at Homestead], car parts and a Hauler up for auction on Feb. 16th by Iron Horse Auction Company, more info at ironhorseauction.com.(2-3-2010)

    • Congrats: SPEED and FOX Sports on-air personality Krista Voda was married January 23 in Pittsburgh. She wed Phillip "PK" Kelley, an independent contractor for network television, sports and entertainment, and a longtime fixture in the NASCAR garage. Kelley and Voda, host of NCWTS Setup on SPEED, will reside in Cranberry Township, Pa.(SPEED)(2-3-2010)

    • NASCAR At The Meadowlands?: On Friday [January 22nd], New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released 19 reports prepared by his Transition New Jersey subcommittees, including the report on Gaming, Sports, and Entertainments that included the New Jersey Sports & Exhibition Authority and the Meadowlands. The report's Executive Summary on the NJSEA and horse racing at the Meadowlands is as follows: As budgeted for 2010, horseracing on track is projected to lose $22 million; the business model is broken. The agreements with the various Horsemen Associations will ensure continued losses; during 2010 these agreements need to be reopened and renegotiated. It is time to review options for racing in New Jersey. THE STATUS QUO IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. We encourage consideration of all the options to make horseracing self-sustaining, including consolidation of racing state-wide. The ultimate goal is to continue to have live racing at a venue where the Sports Authority and its OTW system can operate without a subsidy. (NJSEA budgeted total deficit for 2010 is $38 million). Another option to be considered is a feasibility study for the commercial redevelopment of the Meadowlands, including examining other potential uses such as NASCAR.(Standardbred Canada)(2-3-2010)


      News from February 2, 2010

    • Front Row cars in Top-35 UPDATE2 Alliance w/Yates Racing: Front Row Motorsports General Manager Jerry Freeze told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that negotiations are underway to give all three of the team's Fords guaranteed start status for the first five races of 2010. "We've been working on this for several weeks," he said. "There are still some details to be ironed out, but we have a really close relationship with (Yates Racing owner) Doug Yates and Ford. This is something we've been working on with them, and I hope to have things buttoned up and ready to announce in a couple of days." Freeze said driver Robert Richardson, III, will attempt to qualify FRR's new #38 Ford for the Daytona 500 as part of a three-race sponsorship with Mahindra Tractors that includes both Daytona races and the spring race at Talladaga. David Gilliland will run a majority of the schedule for the team with sponsorship from Taco Bell, and Freeze said "a couple of races" have been left open for a possible limited return by the team's 2009 #34 driver, John Andretti.(Sirius Speedway)(1-19-2010)
      UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that talks are underway between Yates Racing and Front Row Motorsports to enable a transfer of owner's points that would lock all three Front Row Motorsports Fords into the first five races of the 2010 season. Reliable sources say Front Row Motorsports will assume the owner's points accrued last season by Yates' #96 and #98 Fords, which finished 31st and 33rd respectively in the final 2009 owner's standings. Talks are reportedly in their preliminary stages, but are progressing rapidly with an eye toward completing the deal by midweek. It is expected that in order for the dagreement to pass muster with NASCAR, Yates Racing owner Doug Yates will have to assume a minority ownership stake in Front Row Motorsports. Front Row's #34 car is already a guaranteed starter in the first five races after finishing 35th in owner's points a year ago.(Sirius Speedway)
      Front Row Motorsports Announces Partnership with Doug Yates UPDATE: Solidifying an ownership alliance with Doug Yates and Yates Racing, Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins announces a name change to the organization. With the addition of Yates, the team will now officially be titled Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. Doug Yates will be the listed owner of the #37 and #38 Ford Fusions, with Bob Jenkins remaining the listed owner of the #34 Ford Fusion. The team will remain headquartered in Statesville, N.C. The alliance secures all three entries into the top 35 in owner points heading into the opening weekend of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. It also reunites Yates with his former drivers David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil. "There has been a lot of movement this past off-season inside the sport," said Yates. "The opportunity came up with Bob (Jenkins) and to continue in the ownership role. I didn't have to think long about making this decision. Bob is really putting together a strong team this season and has done so over the past few seasons. He's been smart and making all the right moves as an owner. He's capitalized on the changes in the sports landscape and has built a solid team with great factory support and drivers. That's what excited me about making this move. I had already learned a lot about Bob and the Front Row team over the past two months with their involvement with Ford Racing and leasing engines from Roush/Yates Engines. They are a fast-improving team and this move allows me to carry on the Yates Racing legacy created by my father over 20 years ago."
      "There has been so much that has happened for us in the past two months," said Jenkins. "But, having Doug come on board is a big piece of our puzzle coming together heading into this season. He brings such a family tradition of winning and a lot of confidence to everyone here. His relationships with Ford Racing, Roush/Yates Engines, David and Travis immediately make us a stronger team."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), the #98 RPM Ford team of Paul Menard would use the #44 Owners Points from 2009, which ranked 24th. See the way it looks right now on my 2010 Owners Points Stadings for 1st Five races page to see how things are shaking out.(2-2-2010)

    • 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona, episode 2: HBO Sports' all-access show 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona continues with its second episode, debuting Tuesday, Feb. 2 (10:00-10:30pm/et/pt). The four-week series spotlights one of racing's biggest stars, reigning four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, and gives viewers an inside look at the driver and his #48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of auto racing. Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson takes to the track for the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race, while crew chief Chad Knaus prepares the No. 48 car for the fast-approaching Daytona 500, set for Feb. 14 in Daytona Beach. Additional episodes of 24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona debut on subsequent Tuesdays – Feb. 9 and 16 – in prime time at 10:00pm/et/pt. The Feb. 16 series finale debuts two days after the race, with cameras tracking all the drama and excitement surrounding Johnson and his team on race day. All four episodes have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series is also be available on HBO On Demand. More info, schedules and previews at HBO.com and see TV Listings page and/or #48 Team News and Links page.(2-2-2010)

    • Said to run first five races of 2010: UPDATE 2: Boris Said is committed to running the first five races in 2010 and will announce his sponsorship for the Daytona 500 on Saturday. Said, who is driving the #94 Turner Motorsports BMW in the Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, will pilot the #26 Ford for Bill Jenkins' Latitude 43 Motorsports team this season. Frankie Stoddard, who Said referred to as his "partner" in the venture, will be the crew chief. Roush Fenway Racing will provide the cars and engines. Said, 47, said the team is still looking for sponsorship for the remaining races to fill out the schedule. "If we have to start and park we will," Said said. "We're going to run the first five races that's for sure."(Fox Sports)(1-29-2010)
      UPDATE: There are a lot of things that stand between Said having not only a successful Speedweeks, but also succeeding in the 35 races that follow it. The first hurdle Latitude 43 crossed was getting sponsorship that'll allow it to race in the Daytona 500, which is on the verge of being announced. "I just signed it [Thursday] and in the agreement they asked me not to announce anything, because they want to announce it," Said said. "There will be two cars with the same sponsor on it at Daytona. The other car they're sponsoring at Daytona, he called me up and offered it to me, so I said, 'Do you want to drive the car?' "And he said, 'No, no -- you're going to drive the car and I'm going to drive the other car.' So that was another thing with a really good friend and I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to be [big] -- they're going to bring a lot of people down and have a big hospitality suite so hopefully we can put up a good effort for 'em." But after Daytona, the team needs additional sponsorship to be able to race. Team owner Bill Jenkins, Said and Stoddard are among the group scrambling after it, but it's not all they need. Stoddard is preparing the cars with three other employees and admitted Friday they didn't know who'd pit the car in the 500.(NASCAR.com)(1-30-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Boris Said told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has secured sponsorship from Window World for this month's Daytona 500. His new Latitude 43 Motorsports team is still seeking additional support, however, forcing Said and crew chief Frank Stoddard to do less with more. "We're doing all of SpeedWeek on one engine," he said. "It costs $100 a mile to run these engines, so we'll run minimal laps in practice. We have one really good car and not much of a backup car, so we'll have to pick our spots. A top-20 finish (in the Daytona 500) would make me really happy, and a Top-15 would be like a win."(Sirius Speedway)(2-2-2010)

    • Fox NASCAR ad sales going well: An improved television ad sales marketplace is breathing new life into Fox's NASCAR sales this season, as the network has sold 80 percent of the inventory for the Daytona 500 and is expecting a full sellout before the race. Ad sales for the rest of the network's 13-race schedule are pacing 8 to 10 percent ahead of last year's levels. Fox's NASCAR sales push is being helped by a more active marketplace, which is seeing advertising sales slowly rebound across virtually all sports. These early returns represent a big relief for the sport and the network considering that last year's TV ratings were the lowest in a decade. Emblematic of the rebounding economy is the automotive category, which Fox said is tripling its revenue commitment from last year. Fox expects to double the amount of auto sponsors that buy into the regular season. Last year, just two autos - Toyota and Ford - bought regular-season schedules. Both are back this year, as is General Motors. Plus, Fox said GoDaddy, Nationwide and Cialis also have stepped up as new advertisers with significant buys. Unlike other sports, NASCAR team sponsors are not required to purchase a network schedule.(Sports Business Journal)(2-2-2010)

    • Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator to sing national anthem for Shelby American: Popular Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator has been tapped to sing the national anthem for the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 28. Fator, known throughout the world for his celebrity singing impressions and unparalleled ventriloquism, won the second season of NBC-TV's America's Got Talent and currently performs at The Mirage Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. "It is an honor for me to sing the national anthem at the Shelby American race in Las Vegas," said Fator. "I believe that my fans and NASCAR fans are one and the same, so it is a match made in Heaven. I grew up in Texas, so you know I'm a NASCAR fan!" Tickets for the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 are available by visiting www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444.(2-2-2010)

    • MIS Cares makes grant donations to various organizations: In its first year, Michigan International Speedway's charitable arm, MIS Cares, took positive steps toward providing assistance to various organizations in 2009. MIS Cares donated more than $15,000 in grant donations to a number of area organizations and charities, including the American Red Cross, Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) and the Salvation Army's Toys for Tots campaign. At its annual community holiday luncheon in December, MIS Cares presented checks to the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross and MUCC. The Red Cross received a donation of $8,000 to support the Spirit of America Blood Drive in addition to the $100,000 it received from MIS Director of Guest Services Tim Booth winning the Home Depot NMPA Humanitarian Award in November. Booth won the award for his efforts in making the Spirit of America Blood Drive the largest of its kind on 9-11. The MUCC received $5,700 to support the restoration of the beach at Cedar Lake in the Waterloo Recreation Area and for new camp programming for the Michigan Out-of-Doors Youth Camp. The Salvation Army's Toys for Tots program in Jackson, Mich., received a donation from MIS Cares of $1,350, along with over 3,000 toys that were collected by the track's Track Drive for Charity. The track drive was held in early December and allowed race fans to take a lap around the historic two-mile MIS oval for the donation of a toy or food item. The drive collected over 3,000 toys and also thousands of food items, which in turn was donated to the CCIS Food Pantry in Brooklyn, Mich. In 2010, MIS Cares plans to hold a variety of events surrounding its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends in June and August. Fishing tournaments along with another track drive are planned in the upcoming year. MIS' Value Pricing Period begins on Feb. 1. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 13 and CARFAX 400 on August 15 will be as low as $25. Visit MISpeedway.com or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 on Feb. 1 to take advantage of great pricing for 2010 events at MIS.(MIS)(2-2-2010)


      News from February 1, 2010

    • Front Row could have three cars in Top-35: UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports General Manager Jerry Freeze told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that negotiations are underway to give all three of the team’s Fords guaranteed start status for the first five races of 2010. “We’ve been working on this for several weeks,” he said. “There are still some details to be ironed out, but we have a really close relationship with (Yates Racing owner) Doug Yates and Ford. This is something we’ve been working on with them, and I hope to have things buttoned up and ready to announce in a couple of days.” Freeze said driver Robert Richardson, III, will attempt to qualify FRR’s new #38 Ford for the Daytona 500 as part of a three-race sponsorship with Mahindra Tractors that includes both Daytona races and the spring race at Talladaga. David Gilliland will run a majority of the schedule for the team with sponsorship from Taco Bell, and Freeze said “a couple of races” have been left open for a possible limited return by the team’s 2009 #34 driver, John Andretti.(Sirius Speedway)(1-19-2010)
      UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that talks are underway between Yates Racing and Front Row Motorsports to enable a transfer of owner's points that would lock all three Front Row Motorsports Fords into the first five races of the 2010 season. Reliable sources say Front Row Motorsports will assume the owner's points accrued last season by Yates' #96 and #98 Fords, which finished 31st and 33rd respectively in the final 2009 owner's standings. Talks are reportedly in their preliminary stages, but are progressing rapidly with an eye toward completing the deal by midweek. It is expected that in order for the dagreement to pass muster with NASCAR, Yates Racing owner Doug Yates will have to assume a minority ownership stake in Front Row Motorsports. Front Row's #34 car is already a guaranteed starter in the first five races after finishing 35th in owner's points a year ago.(Sirius Speedway), the #98 RPM Ford team of Paul Menard would use the #44 Owners Points from 2009, which ranked 24th. See the way it looks right now on my 2010 Owners Points Stadings for 1st Five races page to see how things are shaking out.(2-1-2010)

    • Andretti in #34 at Daytona: UPDATE: John Andretti will drive the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford as one of three entries from the newly expanded team in the 2010 Daytona 500. Andretti will also race in the Budweiser Shootout. Andretti's eligible for the season-opening special event due to winning Daytona's 1997 mid-summer Cup race, the Pepsi 400. Travis Kvapil, who's signed to wheel the #34 the rest of the season, will drive FRM's #37 at Daytona in place of rookie Kevin Conway, who NASCAR wouldn't approve to race on the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Robert Richardson Jr. will drive the team's third full-time car, the #38. A Nationwide Series regular, Richardson will drive the season's first three restrictor-plate races for FRM. Kvapil will switch to the #34 at Fontana the second week of the season; Conway will drive the #37; and David Gilliland will step into the #38, which he'll drive in the majority of this season's races. Team owner Bob Jenkins said Andretti, who secured the #34's locked-in spot in the top 35 to start this season in the 34 races he ran for FRM in 2009, will also do a handful of other races this season in the #38.(NASCAR.com), hearing that Window World will sponsor Andretti and the #34 Ford in Daytona, at the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500. Window World sponsored Andretti in five races in 2009 on the #34 and in the Indy 500.(2-1-2010)
      UPDATE: Coming off a successful debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in last season's Daytona 500, Window World Inc. announced it will return as the primary sponsor of the #34 Window World Cares Ford driven by John Andretti in this year's "Great American Race." Window World and Andretti will again team with Front Row Motorsports. The #34 Ford will feature Window World's foundation, Window World Cares, and its charitable beneficiary, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.(Breaking Limits PR)(2-1-2001)

    • Special scheme for Biffle at Talladega: CGA [Common Ground Alliance] Member 3M will promote the 811 logo on the #16 3M/Greg Biffle race car at the Talladega Superspeedway on 4/25/2010. "3M's commitment to underground damage prevention will be showcased during National Safe Digging Month at one of America's premier sporting events," stated Bob Kipp, CGA President, "we encourage all CGA members to tune in and watch the race supporting 3M, Biffle and 811!"(CGA), see images of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(2-1-2010)

    • McDowell to run full season: per Michael McDowell's Facebook page - Michael McDowell has signed with Prism Motorsports to run full time in the Sprint Cup Series in the #55 car. It was posted recently that Dave Blaney would return to Prism Motorsports to run the #66 car full-time in 2010 and McDowell would run some races in a 2nd car. The #66 Prism Motorsports team attempted all 36 Sprint Cup Series races in 2010, with Terry Labonte in the Daytona 500, Blaney in 34 races and McDowell at Talladega in April when Blaney had a family obligation. No word on a sponsor or crew chief.(2-1-2010)

    • ESPNEWS Live from NASCAR Media Day at Daytona Thursday: ESPNEWS will surround NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway with a special multi-hour program featuring exclusive interviews with NASCAR's top drivers along with analysis of the upcoming season. The program airs Thursday, Feb. 4, at 12:30 p.m. ET. NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch and NASCAR rookie Danica Patrick are among the drivers scheduled to appear from Daytona on the program, along with Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Martin and many more. NASCAR Now co-hosts Mike Massaro and Nicole Briscoe will host the program and conduct the interviews, with Briscoe on the scene in Daytona and Massaro in ESPN's studios. In addition, ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven will weigh-in via satellite. Reports from NASCAR Media Day also will appear on SportsCenter, ESPN.com and other ESPN platforms.(ESPN PR)(2-1-2010)

    • Most NASCAR drivers don't fare well in Rolex 24: Full-time NASCAR drivers were shut out from the winner’s circle and even podium finishes Sunday at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 24-hour race was won by the Porsche of Action Express Racing driven by Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Mike Rockenfeller and Ryan Dalziel. They finished 50 seconds ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s car driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas as well as Germain Racing part-time Cup driver Max Papis and IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson. Ganassi’s other car – co-driven by his Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray as well as his IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon – blew an engine while leading less than nine hours into the event at Daytona. About half the field did not finish the race, including four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as his Bob Stallings Racing car had an oil pump issue and retired with about four hours remaining. Richard Petty Motorsports had two drivers in the field. AJ Allmendinger drove for Michael Shank Racing and was in third when his engine blew less than two hours prior to the finish and the team had to settle for seventh. Paul Menard drove for Spirit of Daytona Racing, which retired before the halfway point and wound up 32nd. Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series driver Colin Braun had the best day of the NASCAR contingent as he was part of the fourth-place Krohn Racing team. TRG Motorsports’ Bobby Labonte drove one of the team cars and was leading before running out of fuel and having to be towed back to the pits with about five hours remaining. Other mechanical issues plagued the team, which finished 16th overall, ninth in the Grand Touring class. Part-time Cup driver Boris Said was part of a Turner Motorsport team that finished 15th overall, eighth in the GT class.(Scene Daily)(2-1-2010)

    • Busch wins at Speedfest: Kyle Busch is making Lanier National Speedway his home away from home. The NASCAR Sprint Cup star won for the second straight year at Speedfest on Sunday, running away with the checkered flag in the Super Late Model Division. In other races, Greg Simpson won the Pro Late Model Division, while Brad Springer won the Modified race, which had been pushed from its originally scheduled spot on Saturday. The cold, wet weather, which forced race officials to postpone all of Saturday's events, made for a busy day at the track Sunday.(Gainsville Times)(2-1-2010)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Seeks Public Address Announcer for 2010 Events: Atlanta Motor Speedway is seeking a public address announcer for 2010 events held at the multiple-use motorsports facility located 30 miles south of Atlanta in Hampton, Ga. Applicants should mail a resume and a CD of sample audio work – preferably featuring a live-taped race call – to Atlanta Motor Speedway at: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Attn: PA Announcer Audition, 1500 Tara Place, Hampton, GA 30228. Audio submissions should be held to a five-minute length or less and applicants are asked to have knowledge of NASCAR and the sport’s history, in addition to the vocal ability to engage and excite fans. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 11. Finalists will be contacted by the Atlanta Motor Speedway Events department to participate in a final audition. For more information on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(2-1-2010)

    • Montoya Ticket package at Auto Club Speedway: Auto Club Speedway has teamed up with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya for a special ticket package that will surely give Southern California race fans something to smile about. Fans that purchase the JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package for only $142 will smile knowing that $42 from each ticket package will be donated to Montoya’s Formula Smiles Foundation benefitting the disadvantaged children of Montoya’s native country of Colombia. In addition to the $42 donation to the Formula Smiles Foundation, the JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package includes:
      · Lower Grandstand Reserved Seat (rows 11 to 23) to the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21
      · Exclusive Q&A Session with Juan Pablo Montoya prior the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21
      · Pre-Race Pit Pass providing up close access to pre-race activities
      · Commemorative gift and Parking Pass
      The JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package expires on Monday, Feb. 15, or while supplies last. For more information on the JPM Formula Smiles Foundation Ticket Package, visit autoclubspeedway.com/JuanPablo. As always, fans experiencing Auto Club Speedway can also take advantage of free parking, bring in their own food, or partake in the unbelievable menu items on site as well as other cost-savings opportunities while enjoying a full day of entertainment and fun at a fantastic family value. Formula Smiles Foundation is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the United States, under status 501 c3, by Colombian racecar driver Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife Connie Freydell, which aims to improve, through sports, the quality of life of Colombian children in vulnerable situations.(Auto Club Speedway)(2-1-2010)


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