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  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    JULY 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, 29, 30 and 31


      News from July 31, 2010



    • Decals on Roush cars: To show support for the boss, Jack Roush, who was injured in a airplance accident this past week, all the Roush Fenway Racing stock cars competing this weekend will sport a special decal. This can be seen on the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars at Pocono Raceway as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series entries at Iowa Speedway.(roushperformance.com)(7-31-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Pocono: The selections of pit stalls for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made. Pole sitter #14-Stewart chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #42-Montoya took pit stall 25, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 3rd pit stall, no opening in front or back of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #12-Keselowski, who starts 11th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-31-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the fastest, slowest, notes;
      #31-Burton 166.936
      #20-Logano 166.852
      #48-Johnson 166.769
      #83-Sorenson 166.735
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 166.448
      slowest: #64-Bodine 152.832 and #7-Jones 156.753
      no speed listed: #55-McDowell & #87-Nemechek [start-and-parkers]
      incident: #82-Speed spun at the end of practice and did damage to the right side of the car and will go to a backup car for Sunday's race.
      See speeds. average speeds,fastest 10 lap average, laps run on my Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(7-31-2010)

    • 1st Sat. practice for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the fastest, slowest, notes;
      #24-Almirola/Gordon 167.942
      #48-Johnson 167.414
      #29-Harvick 167.333
      #31-Burton 167.115
      #16-Biffle 167.044
      slowest: #46-Yeley 159.736 and #34-Conway 160.999
      no speed listed: #7-Jones
      incident: Aric Almirola made a few laps of practice in the #24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon, Almirola is a stand-by for Gordon in case his wife goes into labor.....a few minutes into practice, #24-Almirola slid off turn 1, but saved the car.
      See speeds. average speeds, laps run on my Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(7-31-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Pocono:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion has elected to bring Chassis #1004 will be making its third start of the season at Pocono. Jamie McMurray drove the chassis just six weeks prior at Michigan finishing 24th. This chassis was also used at Texas Motor Speedway where McMurray started 15th and finished 30th after being caught in a nine-car on-track incident.
      #2-Kurt Busch, crew chief Steve Addington and the "Blue Deuce" crew are racing their "PRS-712" Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge this weekend at Pocono. The team debuted the car at Dover in May, where Busch started 12th and finished 19th. This weekend's Pocono battle will be its second race. The backup car for this weekend is the "PRS-715" Dodge, the car Busch named "Charger" after winning the March race with it in its debut.
      #5-Mark Martin: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-550 for Sunday's race at Pocono. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to an 11th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week. .
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-613 Last ran the Sprint Showdown – finished seventh; Backup: RK-633 Last ran Michigan. The Wheeling, WV Center (SLIC - 2600) in the Mid-Atlantic District has been selected as the UPS Maximum Center for the Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Race at Pocono Raceway. The Wheeling Center is recognized for maintaining outstanding results on the Balanced Scorecard in 2010 and in the district for 2009. The center consistently demonstrated strong results in every area of package operations including production, safety, service, and growth.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 279 this weekend in Pocono. JGR 267 will serve as the backup. The #11 FedEx Office Toyota will carry the numbers 0730 on the b-post this weekend at Pocono Raceway in recognition of the FedEx Office team located in Birmingham (Ala.). The Birmingham/Inverness team was recently named 2010 FedEx Office Group of the year for FY 2010, and is leading the annual President's Club program, which recognizes results in combined performance areas of sales, profit dollars, turnover and customer service.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-733 during Sunday's 500-mile race at Pocono Raceway. This is a brand new chassis to the #12 team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-515: This car is a carryover chassis from the former Haas CNC team, but it was essentially rebuilt since failing to qualify for the November 2008 race at Texas. Prior to Texas, Chassis No. 14-515 made two starts, with its debut coming in August at Michigan. There, Tony Raines qualified 30th and finished 31st. The car was then tested Sept. 9 at Kentucky Speedway in preparation for its next start at Kansas. Raines was again at the wheel, qualifying 25th and finishing 23rd. The All-Star Race at Charlotte marked Chassis No. 14-515's third career start, but first of 2009 and first with Stewart at the controls. The non-points race displayed a marked change for the car, as Stewart wheeled Chassis No. 14-515 into the lead on lap 98, where he held the point for the final two circuits around the 1.5-mile oval to take the car's first victory as well as the first win of any kind for Stewart-Haas Racing. The car saw track time again June 1-2 when it participated in a Goodyear tire test at Indianapolis. Last year's Brickyard 400 was the car's first point-paying start of 2009, where it qualified seventh and led two laps before finishing a solid third. It sat idle until getting a new body and a trip to the wind tunnel in preparation for its sixth career start this past May at Darlington Raceway. There, it started 24th and finished 23rd when the race ended. With a new body honed in the wind tunnel, Chassis No. 14-515 returns to the track this weekend at Pocono.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Primary: RK-644 (Last raced at Michigan)
      #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis No. 277: This is a brand new race car that will turn its first competitive laps in Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500..
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 Air Force Ford Fusion team has prepared chassis No. 283 for this weekend's event. This is the same car the team ran earlier this season at Darlington and Michigan.
      #20-Joey Logano: The #20 Team is taking chassis #278 this weekend for the 200-lap event at Pocono Raceway. This is another new chassis in The Home Depot Team stable. The back-up car is chassis #247 which Logano drove to a 10th-place finish at Dover, and at the Pocono race in June where he ran in the top five until the late-race incident. The Home Depot associates from store # 3919 from Quail Springs, Okla. The store number will ride along with Logano on the rear quarter panel of The Home Depot Toyota this weekend for the Pennsylvania 500. It is fitting the Quail Springs store is featured this week on the car, although it is located in the northern part of Oklahoma City, the street address is...Pennsylvania Ave.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: Built new for 2010, Harvick raced this chassis at Pocono in June, where he started 22nd and finished fourth.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will race chassis No. 317 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built brand new for 2010, this Caterpillar Chevrolet Impala will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will pilot Chassis No. 298. This Chevrolet, built new in 2010, made its debut at Atlanta in March, where Bowyer finished 23rd following a late-race contact that cut down his left-rear tire. In May, Bowyer was in line for another solid finish at Dover but, on the final pit stop of the day, he left his stall with the jack wedged underneath the #33 machine, resulting in a pit road penalty, the loss of a lap and a less-than-desired 17th-place finish. Most recently, started on the outside row and led 59 laps en route to a ninth-place finish in this #33 Impala the last time at Pocono in June. Bowyer's Chevy will sport a different paint scheme for the second consecutive weekend as the white, blue and maroon colors of The Hartford adorn the #33 for the second of three races in which the Hartford, Conn.,-based corporation will be featured as the primary sponsor. The Hartford's final race as primary sponsor the October 10th race at Auto Club Speedway.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Crew Chief Brian Pattie will bring Chassis #910 to Pocono Raceway this weekend. Montoya last drove this chassis at the first Pocono event where he qualified seventh and finished eighth. Earlier in the season the chassis was used at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Montoya finished in the 37th-position after being involved in an altercation while running in the top-10.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 294 for this weekend's event at Pocono Raceway. The team last utilized this chassis for the event at Michigan where Allmendinger finished 11th. It was also run at Charlotte where the team finished 14th.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: last piloted primary chassis No. 592 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.Back up chassis No. 553 has collected three wins in four starts - the last coming at Auto Club Speedway in February.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-584. Earnhardt picked up the pole position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to score a 15th-place finish with this chassis in March. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at Pocono in June where he notched a 19th-place finish after qualifying third. Starting this week, Mountain Dew kicks off the Paint the 88 program. Kroger consumers and Earnhardt fans can visit www.Paintthe88.com to create and submit their favorite custom paint out. Earnhardt will select one special paint scheme for the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet he will drive in Phoenix.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 RPM crew have prepared chassis No. 653 for this weekend's event. This is the same chassis the Menards team ran at Darlington Raceway earlier this season.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 team will be unloading chassis RK-639 this weekend. This is the same Ford Fusion that Edwards raced at Charlotte in May and finished 16th.(from team PR's/sites if reported)(7-31-2010)

    • 21 winners in Cup/NNS/Trucks: with Elliott Sadler winning the Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono for his first ever Truck Series win, Sadler is the 21st driver to win at least one race in each of the THREE National Series - Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks. Sadler has 9 total wins with 3 in Sprint Cup, 5 in Nationwide and 1 in the Truck Series. Mark Martin leads all drivers with 95 total wins [with at tleast one win in each series](40 Cup, 48 NNS and 7 Trucks). Kyle Busch is next with 74, See the full rundown on my All-Time Wins page.(7-31-2010)

    • Twitter comment cost Hamlin?: During a press conference Friday in front of the #11 hauler, Denny Hamlin admitted he was one of the drivers fined in secret by NASCAR over the past few months. While not directly admitting the incident or that the amount was $50,000, as has been reported, he inferred the fine revolved around a Twitter conversation he'd had with someone after the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland. "More than likely, it was the Twitter comments that kind of got me in trouble with them," he said. "Chicago weekend, talking about some of the Nationwide stuff, but most of those conversations were all direct messages to one person."
      "Anybody that follows me on Twitter knows I'm opinionated, and that's what people follow me for, is just for the quotes here or there." SI.com has since confirmed the context of that Twitter conversation, a suggestion the racing "was fixed," is what got Denny Hamlin fined. It was a public exchange between Hamlin and SB Nation's Jeff Gluck, a blogger, reprinted below: (Twitter names are @dennyhamlin and @jeff_gluck, respectively)(Sports Illustrated)(7-31-2010)

    • 'Survivor' winner teams up with Bowyer: There may be one person who can offer "survival" pointers to the Chase drivers currently on the bubble heading into this weekend's race at Pocono Raceway -- Tom Westman, the winner of Season 10 of CBS' reality television series, "Survivor: Palau" along with its $1 million prize. This past season, Westman, 46, a former 20-year FDNY Lieutenant, reprised his "hero" role participating in "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains." Now, The Hartford employee and Long Island native will put his skills to the test Sunday in an attempt to survive his latest challenge – "Survivor: Pocono" – serving as an honorary pit crew member of The Hartford No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and driver Clint Bowyer, who currently sits in the 12th and final position in the points standings.(Catalyst PR)(7-31-2010)

    • Waltrip, Kauffmann Suit up for Spa 24 Hour race: Michael Waltrip Racing co-owners', Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman have teamed up with the AF Corse team for the second time in 2010 to run this weekend's Spa 24 Hours endurance race on the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit [the 4.352-mile course] in Spa, Belgium. They'll be going up against a field made up of four different categories and consisting of top manufactures such as Ferrari, Audi, Porsche and BMW. The AF Corse will compete in a Ferrari F430 GT2 and has captured two wins in this prestigious event. The driver lineup will consist of Waltrip, Kauffman, Niki Cadei and Marco Cioci. Earlier this year, Waltrip joined Kauffman along with JTG Daugherty Racing's Marcos Ambrose for the fifth annual Dubai 24 Hour sportscar race at the Dubai Autodrome on January 14-16. The AF Corse team performed extremely well — running sixth overall and leading its class before getting involved in an accident.(more info at Michael Waltrip Racing)(7-31-2010)

    • Sad News - Norm Froscher: Norm Froscher, a well-respected journalist for The Gainesville Sun who became a renowned national voice in drag racing, died Thursday. He was 79. Froscher died due to complications following a heart valve replacement procedure at Shands Hospital, according to his son, Teague Froscher. Born in Miami, Froscher had ambitions of becoming a horse jockey before growing too tall. Instead, Froscher turned to a journalism career, where his coverage of Gatornationals for The Sun and other media outlets brought him in contact with the top drag racers in the country. Froscher was universally liked by drivers, officials, pit crews and race organizers. After joining The Sun in 1971, Froscher covered the National Hot Rod Association event at Gainesville Raceway every year until 2009. In 2003, Froscher received a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Driver of the Year Foundation, joining Chris Economaki as the only two racing journalists to be so honored. Froscher also was a past president of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association and the Florida Sports Writers Association. Though Froscher made his mark writing about drag racing, he was passionate about covering all motorsports, covering the Daytona 500 and other NASCAR events. Froscher leaves behind his wife, Marilyn, of 42 years, a son Teague, two sons, Norman Jr. and Morris, from a previous marriage and a grandson, Jordan.(Gainesville Sun), services info and guest book at forestmeadowsfh.com(7-31-2010)

    • Pocono Raceway announces Grand Marshals: This weekend's racing action at Pocono Raceway will consist of the star drivers of three of the nation's top motor sports series; the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards. But before the green flag flies to start the August 1, Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500, stars of a different sort will give the command to fire the engines…10 stars in fact. Four Generals (accounting for 10 stars) from various branches of the military will serve as Co- Grand Marshals for Sunday's Sprint Cup event.
      Four star Air Force General, Roger A. Brady; three star Army Lieutenant General, William N. Phillips; two star National Guard Major General, Randall Marchi; and one star Air National Guard Brigadier General, Roy E. Uptegraff III, will give the command "Gentleman Start Your Engines" that will bring to life 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars. Gates open at 9:00AM Sunday with pre-race activities beginning at 11:00AM all leading upto the 1:00PM start of the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. Tickets are available by calling the Pocono Raceway Ticket office at 1-800-RACEWAY or visiting www.poconoraceway.com . Online purchasers have a print at home option. Tickets are also available at the gate.(Pocono Raceway)(7-31-2010)

    • Pocono Raceway Activates World's Largest Solar Powered Sports Facility: As the country begins to aggressively seek alternative energy sources, a significant new solar energy project is ready to flip the switch in what might be considered an unlikely place – a NASCAR racetrack in Long Pond, PA. Yet, considering the major sustainability programs being initiated throughout the NASCAR industry, the 3 megawatt ground-mount photovoltaic solar energy system at Pocono Raceway is completely in step with a sport taking major strides to preserve the environment. The 25-acre solar installation, located adjacent to the 2.5-mile race track, is so large it's visible from outer space. With its 40,000 photovoltaic modules drawing energy from the sun, it will become the primary electric energy source for the race track while adding electricity to the local power grid.
      The Pocono Raceway Solar Project, developed by enXco, and owned by Pocono Raceway, host of two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series summer events, is located along Long Pond Road adjacent to the storied raceway on land that previously served fan parking needs but is no longer used due to a reconfiguration of other parking lots on the property.
      The installation consists of nearly 40,000 American made photovoltaic modules that will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over the next 20 years. The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 3,104 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for over 1,000 homes beyond the power needs of Pocono Raceway. Tickets are available for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 by calling the Pocono Raceway Ticket office at 1-800-RACEWAY or visiting www.poconoraceway.com . Online purchasers have a print at home option. Tickets are also available at the gate.(Pocono Raceway)(7-31-2010)

    • Kentucky Speedway to make announcement: Kentucky Speedway's owner hinted Friday that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race would be held next year at the Gallatin County track. A "big press conference" is planned Aug. 10 at Kentucky Speedway, said Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc. He would not go so far as to say the event would include news of a 2011 Cup race, but that it "deals with all of that."
      "Don't try to get me to hold that press conference now, OK?" Smith said. "But we'll have a lot of things to announce when we're there (about) a lot of the changes that we're making." Smith expects 500 people at the news conference, including Gov. Steve Beshear and three-time NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip. A spokeswoman for Beshear said the governor's schedule for that week was not yet available. Jerry Carroll, the track's former chairman, and a consultant for SMI, will be there. "If Bruton Smith is coming all the way up here, and the governor is coming all the way up here, they're not going to tell people bad news. So figure it from there," Carroll said.
      Earlier this month, NASCAR CEO Brian France said SMI and ISC had submitted requests to NASCAR to move races in 2011. ISC wants a second Cup date for its Kansas Speedway. On Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, France said the 2011 Cup schedule would include changes and that it was within a week or two of being completed. Kentucky Speedway would be the first new venue on the Cup schedule since Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway were introduced in 2001.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(7-31-2010)


      News from July 30, 2010

    • Stewart wins pole at Pocono: #14-Tony Stewart won the Coors Pole for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway speed of 171.393mph for his 2nd pole of 2010 and 12th of his career. #42-Montoya will start 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #38-Newman, #48-Johnson, #43-Allmendinger, #31-Burton, #1-McMurray & #5-Martin.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #46-Yeley, #38-Kvapil, #87-Nemechek, #09-Cassill, #55-McDowell, #66-Blaney, #36-Mears and #64-Bodine [all but the #38 are likely to start and park within 50 laps]
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #26-Stremme & #13-Papis
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Pocono Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-30-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Pocono:
      #14-Tony Stewart won the Coors Light Pole Award for the The Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 (37th Running) with a lap of 52.511 seconds, 171.393 mph.
      This is his 12th pole in 413 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second pole and ninth top-10 start in 2010. His first pole of the season came at Texas Motor Speedway in April.
      This is his second pole in 24 races at Pocono Raceway.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (second) posted his 12th top-10 start of 2010 and his fourth in eight races at Pocono Raceway.
      #11-Denny Hamlin (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. It is his sixth in 21 races this season.
      #34-Kevin Conway (41st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-30-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Friday, July 30, 2010 at 3:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 3:30pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: 8:00pm/et and 3:00am/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway 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 #1-McMurray.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #31-Burton.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-Mears with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #13-Papis.
      See the full qualifying order on the Indianapolis Qualifying Page.(7-30-2010)

    • Friday practice for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over. after 90 scheduled minutes, the fastest, slowest, notes;
      #48-Johnson 168.944
      #11-Hamlin 168.602
      #39-Newman 168.577
      #18-Busch 168.486
      #14-Stewart 168.435
      slowest: #7-Jones 159.323 and #34-Conway 160.726
      incident: 5 minutes in to practice, #11-Hamlin spun and slid off turn 3, but didn't hit anything. #78-Smith scraped the right rear but no major damage. #7-Jones wacked the turn 1 wall, the crew will pull out a backup car.
      See fastest laps, ave speed, most laps run on my Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(7-30-2010)

    • Pocono practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #38-Travis Kvapil. 26th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 32nd
      #66-Dave Blaney, 35th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 36th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 37th
      #09-Landon Cassill, 39th
      #26-David Stremme, 40th
      #13-Max Papis, 41st
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #36-Casey Mears, 42nd
      #64-Todd Bodine, 43rd
      See fastest laps, ave speed, most laps run on my Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(7-30-2010)

    • Newman, Hamlin acknowledge fines by NASCAR: #39-Ryan Newman and #11-Denny Hamlin acknowledged Friday that they were the two Sprint Cup drivers fined by NASCAR for making disparaging comments about the series. Neither driver would comment on the amount of the fine, although The Associated Press reported earlier in the week that one was fined as much as $50,000, and sources told ESPN.com the driver was Hamlin. "What I asked was what was the point of fining me if you're not going to tell anyone," Hamlin said Friday at Pocono, site of the Pennsylvania 500 race this weekend. "They said, 'Well, hopefully it will keep anyone from bad-mouthing us.' Well, no one knows. All this coming out is a positive thing. Even though they may not have wanted everyone to know, now that they do it's happened for a reason and it's going to make the sport better."
      Newman acknowledged that his fine was the result of comments made after the spring race at Talladega Superspeedway in which he questioned whether the kind of racing on display is what fans wanted to see. The race race went 12 laps past the scheduled distance because of NASCAR's new overtime rule that allows for three attempts at its version of overtime. Hamlin, who has been outspoken on several issues, admitted he was fined for multiple comments. In terms of the reported amount of his fine, he said, "There's been illegal parts in the garage that haven't gotten penalized like I did." Sources indicated it was for statements at Michigan, where the Joe Gibbs Racing driver brought up a phantom debris caution after winning, and at Chicagoland, where he was critical of potential changes to the Chase. "I might as well have backed off and saved my tires," Hamlin said after his Michigan win, in which the late caution erased a big lead he had. "No, I didn't see any debris, but I understand it's show business. I'm not saying it's accepted, but what can you do?"
      Newman said he initially was frustrated by the fine, but upon reflection realized there had been warnings and what he said wasn't for the good of the sport. He had no problem with NASCAR not divulging the drivers' identities or amount of their fines. "I think everybody can voice their opinion," Newman said Friday. "I think what NASCAR is telling you is be careful how you voice your opinion and where you voice it and the impact it has when voicing it." NASCAR has said only that the penalties were for the sake of protecting the brand. "It is the sanctioning body's obligation on behalf of the industry and our fans to protect the sport's brand," spokesman Ramsey Poston said in a statement. "Any action taken by NASCAR has nothing to do with the drivers expressing an opinion -- it's focused on actions or comments that materially damage the sport. We have specifically discussed this in meetings with teams, drivers and stakeholders."(ESPN), see past news and posts on my NASCAR News page.(7-30-2010)

    • Gordon's crew chief given extension: many reports have Hendrick Motorsports announcing that #24-Jeff Gordon's crew chief, Steve Letarte, signing a multiyear extension, supposedly a four-year deal thru 2014.
      UPDATE: Crew chief Steve Letarte has signed a multi-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports, the organization announced Friday. Heading into Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway, the 31-year-old Letarte has guided Jeff Gordon and the #24 DuPont team to 10 wins, 21 runner-up finishes, 77 top-five finishes, 108 top-10s and 14 pole positions in 174 races. Gordon's second-place and top-five finishes during that time rank as the most among all drivers (teammate Jimmie Johnson ranks second in top-fives with 76.) "I'm extremely excited," Letarte said. "Hendrick Motorsports is the only company I've ever received a paycheck from. I've worked here since I was a teenager, and they've provided wonderful opportunities for me. I owe a lot to them. I'm really excited to be extended here so I can go a few more years." Letarte, a native of Portland, Maine, has been involved in the #24 team on almost every level, starting as a parts assistant while attending high school in 1995. A year later, Letarte was full-time with the #24 crew. He went on to work as a tire specialist, mechanic and car chief, winning three of Gordon's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles under the tutelage of crew chiefs Ray Evernham, Brian Whitesell and Robbie Loomis.
      Near the end of the 2005 season, Letarte received the ultimate promotion when then-crew chief Loomis left for a spot at Petty Enterprises. Letarte stepped onto the pit box as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 18, 2005. Six races later at Martinsville Speedway, Letarte led the #24 team to Victory Lane and picked up his first win as a crew chief. The #24 team finished the 2005 season, scoring five top-10s in the last six races with Letarte at the helm.
      Since then, Letarte has played a role in helping the #24 achieve several milestones. Notably, in 2006 at Infineon Raceway, the team made history after Gordon scored his ninth road course win – a Sprint Cup record. In 2008, Letarte helped extend Gordon's streak of 16 consecutive seasons with a pole position when he picked up his first at Texas Motor Speedway. The team also scored its first victory at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth, Texas, oval earlier that year in April.(HMS)(7-30-2010)

    • NASCAR discourages negative talk: NASCAR president Mike Helton insists he wants drivers to feel free to express themselves. Helton just doesn't want anyone doing so in a way that could hurt the sport's image. A report by The Associated Press earlier this week said that NASCAR has fined at least two of its top drivers this season for making critical comments about the circuit. People familiar with the penalties told the AP the comments were considered disparaging to the sport. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR was not publicly identifying the top-flight drivers it fined, although sources told ESPN.com Wednesday that the drivers were Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin. They said one driver was penalized as much as $50,000. "The emotion of the sport, we encourage. The passion and the emotion of a driver wanting to win and, within reason, his driving style to do that, we encourage," Helton said. "What we discourage throughout the industry, though, is sending the message that the sport isn't worthy of following." Helton said Thursday that the sanctioning body hasn't identified the penalized drivers because NASCAR views it the same way as conversations officials might have with drivers after an on-track incident. Those talks usually remain private as well. NASCAR hasn't divulged details about the fines, either, but a NASCAR spokesman said Monday night that any moves made by the sanctioning body is focused on actions or comments that "materially damage" the sport and not on drivers expressing opinions. Fines for critical comments are commonplace for many pro sports leagues, and Helton acknowledged that the sanctioning body is focused on making sure a positive message about NASCAR is driven home to the public.(ESPN)(7-30-2010)

    • Martin runs Hendrick colors at Pocono; looks to win: The blue and black Hendrickcars.com paint scheme returns to the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin this weekend at Pocono. Hendrickcars.com has up to 5,000 top quality used cars online with up to 90 photos, videos, free CARFAX reports and manufacturer-certified used vehicles. In 47 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway, Martin has scored 19 top-five finishes, 32 top-10s and three pole positions. Pocono is one of only four tracks where Martin has yet to visit Victory Lane. He also has yet to win at Daytona, Indianapolis and Homestead.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2010)

    • Gander Mountain colors for Gilliland: Gander Mountain, the outdoor lifestyle store, returns to sponsor the #37 Ford of Front Row Motorsports that David Gilliland will drive in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. The green-and-red Gander Mountain paint scheme adorned the #37 car earlier this season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where Gilliland drove it to a 19th-place finish. Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 will be Gilliland's eighth start at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. His best qualifying effort at the "Tricky Triangle" is third and his top finish is 16th. "We debuted a new car last week at Indianapolis and, unfortunately, we didn't make the race, which was really disappointing. This car is the first chassis built in-house by Front Row Motorsports, and that's an important step for this team", said Gilliland.(Front Row Motorsports), see images of the scheme on my #37 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2010)

    • Pocono Tire Notes / Facts: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Pocono this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while those for the Camping World Trucks will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran at Pocono in June . . . Cup teams also ran this combination at both races at Pocono last season . . . for the Camping World Truck Series, this combination has been run the last two seasons at Iowa Speedway . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. . . the estimated pit window for the SPrint Cup cars is every 34-36 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear), see full notes, tires pressures and codes on the Pocono Race Info page.(7-30-2010)


      News from July 29, 2010

    • MAF Honors NASCAR Teams’ Response to Haiti Quake: In the aftermath of the catastrophic Jan. 12, 7.0 earthquake that destroyed the capital of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, two renowned NASCAR auto racing teams shuttled relief workers and supplies into Haiti and transported evacuees, rotating workers and quake victims to the United States. This week at their respective shops in North Carolina, MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) President John Boyd presented Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with special service awards for their work in Haiti.
      In the crucial days following one of the world’s greatest disasters, the teams generously provided aircraft from their fleets. The Hendrick and Gibbs crews worked with MFI (Missionary Flights International) and MAF to shuttle planes between Fort Pierce, Fla., and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, enabling the rotation of high-impact volunteer medical teams and humanitarian workers. The planes also evacuated adopted orphans to their American homes. In addition, the aviation crews offered care, personal concern and warm fellowship to the MAF missionary pilots and ground workers as they toiled amid heat, chaos, suffering and death.
      “With these awards, we at MAF want to express our sincere gratitude to Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing for their support of the MAF team in Haiti,” Boyd said. “We honor two fine motorsports teams for their selfless actions, and for the special blessing they were to us during a very trying time.” Boyd also invited the two teams’ aviation staffs to participate in one of the MAF advanced mountain training workshops at the ministry’s headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.
      MAF has served the missionary community and the people of Haiti since 1986. Eight MAF missionary families and seven Haitian staff members provide air service with three bush aircraft that fly to 16 remote airstrips from Port-au-Prince. Within the first three months of its disaster relief efforts, MAF had partnered with dozens of relief agencies, including the United Nations. In addition to having coordinated the flights of 3,500 international passengers and 1.5 million pounds of cargo between Florida and Port-au-Prince, MAF logged 1,037 flights within Haiti, transported 1,801 relief workers, missionaries, patients and medical staff in and out of inland towns and villages urgently needing help, and delivered 315,498 pounds of urgent relief and medical cargo. MAF continues its disaster response work in Haiti, having now shifted from the crisis-relief phase to a rebuilding stage that is expected to last several years.(MAF PR)(7-29-2010)

    • Thursday update about Jack Roush's condition: Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of ROUSH Enterprises, was transferred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Wednesday evening. Following surgery Tuesday night related to the facial damage sustained in the accident, he remains in serious, but stable condition. Roush was injured in a plane accident at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisc., on Tuesday. He will continue to be treated at Mayo Clinic for his facial injuries. The Roush organization would like to thank the physicians and staff at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc., for the care and treatment provided during his stay. Roush Fenway Racing would also like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and well wishes. Those wishing to make a charitable donation in the name of Jack Roush are encouraged to contribute to Speedway Children’s Charities at www.speedwaycharities.org. Please identify your contribution as “Jack Roush” in the notes section (Roush Fenway Racing), see past news and link about the plane accident on my #17 Team News and Links page.(7-29-2010)

    • McMurray’s Crew Pockets Tissot Pit Road Award at Indianapolis: The #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team scored a double victory Sunday (July 25) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with driver Jamie McMurray winning the Brickyard 400 and his crew claiming the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award. It was the second straight Tissot win for the #1 crew, which moved into sole possession of second place in the Tissot standings with three wins. Jeff Gordon’s #24 crew leads with four wins. McMurray’s #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road – 264.706 seconds – during the 160-lap, 400-mile race. The quick work helped McMurray become the third driver in NASCAR history to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. Coming in second was Mark Martin’s #5 GoDaddy.com crew (270.460 seconds), followed by Kevin Harvick’s #29 Shell/Pennzoil crew (272.249).
      McMurray’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory DeMarco (front-tire changer), Doug Riepe (front-tire carrier), Chris Taylor (rear-tire changer), Adam Mosher (rear-tire carrier), Tracy Duncan (jackman), Benjy Grubbs (gasman) and Eric Hoyle (catch can). The team’s crew chief is Kevin Manion.
      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). See standings and past news on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(7-29-2010)

    • NASCAR fines drivers for comments - UPDATE 2, drivers named? NASCAR has fined at least two of its star drivers this season for making critical comments about the racing series, The Associated Press has learned. People familiar with the penalties told the AP the comments were considered disparaging to the sport. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR is not publicly identifying the topflight drivers it fined. They say one driver was penalized as much as $50,000. The decision to fine competitors for critical comments puts NASCAR in line with many other professional sports leagues. The NFL and NBA both routinely issue fines for criticism of officiating. It also backs up NASCAR's season-long campaign to rebuild the slumping sport through an improved on-track product and off-track promotion from its drivers.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)
      UPDATE: The Associated Press has learned that NASCAR warned teams during the offseason that public criticism of the sport would no longer be tolerated, and at least two star drivers have been fined-one as much as $50,000-for comments that were deemed destructive to the industry. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston on Monday night confirmed some action had been taken, but would not discuss details. "It is the sanctioning body's obligation on behalf of the industry and our fans to protect the sport's brand," Poston said. "Any action taken by NASCAR has nothing to do with the drivers expressing an opinion-it's focused on actions or comments that materially damage the sport. We have specifically discussed this in meetings with teams, drivers and stakeholders." Drivers all declined to publicly discuss the policy, but it shouldn't come as any surprise-considering NASCAR's heightened effort this year to re-ignite interest in a sport that's been fighting sagging attendance, declining television ratings and overall fan apathy for several seasons. NASCAR has taken several aggressive steps toward improving the on-track product, but its top brass decided that outstanding events aren't enough to overcome the negative perception created every time a driver publicly blasts the series. (Associated Press)(7-27-2010)
      UPDATE 2: #39-Ryan Newman and #11-Denny Hamlin were the two Sprint Cup drivers fined by NASCAR for making disparaging comments about the series, multiple sources told ESPN.com. Neither driver could be reached for comment. Newman was fined first and Hamlin second, the sources said. The sources would not confirm which statements made by the drivers were responsible for the fines, but both drivers have been outspoken on several issues.(7-29-2010)

    • Team owners meet to discuss cutting costs: The top team owners in NASCAR set their individual agendas aside for a unified brainstorming session on how to cut costs and help revive the auto racing industry. "We're all stakeholders in this thing, and we all want to know 'What can we do to make this better? How can we save some money and help the show?' " team owner Rick Hendrick told The Associated Press on Wednesday, the day after representatives from about 10 race teams gathered at Hendrick Motorsports to discuss ideas. The meeting was an offshoot of the "town hall" style sessions NASCAR has been holding with competitors since early last season to give drivers and teams an opportunity to discuss the issues facing America's No. 1 racing series. Unable to shake the slide in both attendance and TV ratings, NASCAR and its participants have been working together to re-energize the sport. "I really like the new attitude in NASCAR," Hendrick said. "I really like the way we're all just kicking around something, talking it out and coming to agreements on how to move this sport forward."
      "NASCAR has become a very different business model," said Walt Czarnecki, president of Penske Racing, who attended the meeting with owner Roger Penske. "And we all need to figure out a way, like all business today, to cut costs without impacting the integrity of the product. How do we become more efficient, better business managers? We have to face this from the business context, as all businesses have had to do over the last 18 months, and motorsports is no different."
      NASCAR has made several steps over the past few years to alleviate rising costs to team owners, from implementing a single-engine rule, eliminating testing at sanctioned tracks and starting a tire leasing program. Even the current model car was designed by NASCAR as a cost-cutting measure. The sanctioning body is open to listening to more ideas from the owners, and was hopeful Tuesday night's meeting produced some unified thoughts.
      "Cost containment is a key issue in our sport (and) we are always open to additional ideas," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "Hopefully, the owners will find common ground on some ideas to present to NASCAR for consideration." Hendrick said the conversation Tuesday night remained cordial, and the hot-button topics didn't receive the same attention as issues that the group could unanimously agree upon. "If we didn't really agree on something, there were things some people had reservations on, we moved on," he said. "If it was something that was a no-brainer, we said OK, that's a fine idea, we all like that one." The next step will be presenting the results of the meeting to NASCAR and seeing if the sanctioning body is in agreement on any of the ideas.(Associated Press)(7-29-2010)

    • Allmendinger Lends a Hand at Victory Junction: AJ Allmendinger made several young kids' day on Tuesday as he volunteered at Victory Junction with members of his Richard Petty Motorsports Best Buy Racing squad. The visit was not AJ's first to Victory Junction, but the NASCAR racer never leaves the camp without having a deep impression made. "It is amazing how energetic the kids are-it just blows me away," said AJ of the youngsters who get a sponsored opportunity to experience summer camp despite their condition to live and play just like children should. "It always feels good to do something like this away from the race track and I'm always humbled by the attitude of the kids, it just amazes me. It was cool to have my crew guys there with me as well because this is of course such a big part of the Petty legacy, and it was great for us to experience something like this together away from the track."(Allmendinger PR)(7-29-2010)

    • Tim Richmond Documentary to Air on ESPN in October: Former NASCAR driver Tim Richmond will be the subject of a new film airing on ESPN on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 8:00 pm/et. ESPN Films has announced the fall schedule for its critically acclaimed film series 30 for 30 Presented by Cadillac. The series’ remaining films will begin airing Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 8:00 pm on ESPN/ESPN HD, and will air Tuesday nights throughout the fall.
      Tim Richmond: To the Limit (Rory Karpf) Natural. Rock star. Outsider. In the 1980s, race car driver Tim Richmond lived his life the way he raced cars – wide open. Born into a wealthy family, Richmond was the antithesis of the Southern, blue-collar racers who dominated NASCAR. He also was a flamboyant showman who basked in the attention of the media and fans – especially the attention of female admirers. Nevertheless, it was Richmond’s on-track performances that ended up drawing comparisons to racing legends. And in 1986, when he won seven NASCAR races and finished third in the Winston Cup series points race, some believed he was on the verge of stardom. But soon his freewheeling lifestyle caught up to him. He unexpectedly withdrew from the NASCAR racing circuit, reportedly suffering from double pneumonia. In reality, the diagnosis was much more dire: He had AIDS. Richmond returned to the track in 1987, but he was gone from the sport by the next year as his health deteriorated. He spent his final days as a recluse, dying on August 13, 1989, at the age of 34. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rory Karpf will examine the life and tragic death of one of NASCAR’s shooting stars.
      Films added to the fall lineup include Little Big Men (Al Szymanski and Peter Franchella), Unmatched (Directors: Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters; Producer: Hannah Storm), Four Days in October (Major League Baseball Productions) and Pony Excess (Thaddeus D. Matula). These films join the previously announced Jordan Rides the Bus, One Night in Vegas, The House of Steinbrenner, Marion Jones: Press Pause, Steve Bartman: Catching Hell, Once Brothers, Into The Wind and The Best That Never Was.
      The schedule:
      * Tuesday, Aug. 24, 8 p.m. – Jordan Rides the Bus (Ron Shelton)
      * Tuesday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m. – Little Big Men (Al Szymanski and Peter Franchella)
      * Tuesday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m. – One Night in Vegas (Reggie Bythewood)
      * Tuesday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m. – Unmatched (Directors: Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters; Producer: Hannah Storm)
      * Tuesday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m. – The House of Steinbrenner (Barbara Kopple)
      * Tuesday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. – Into The Wind (Steve Nash)
      * Tuesday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m. – Four Days in October (Major League Baseball Productions)
      * Tuesday, Oct. 12, 8 pm. – Once Brothers (NBA Entertainment)
      * Tuesday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m. – Tim Richmond: To the Limit (Rory Karpf )
      * Tuesday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. – Steve Bartman: Catching Hell (Alex Gibney)
      * Tuesday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m. – Marion Jones: Press Pause (John Singleton)
      * Tuesday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m. – Pony Excess (Thaddeus D. Matula)
      *Saturday, Dec. 11, 9 p.m. – The Best That Never Was (Jonathan Hock) * two hours
      The series “30 for 30” is an unprecedented documentary series featuring 30 films from some of today’s finest storytellers. Each filmmaker brings their passion and personal point of view to their film detailing the issues, trends, athletes, teams, rivalries, games and events that transformed the sports landscape from 1979 to 2009. Crossing the barriers of sports, the films reflect on the impact these events had across the pop culture spectrum.
      Select films from the series are available for purchase on iTunes the day following air. Additional films are available for purchase at www.amazon.com/30for30.(ESPN)(7-29-2010)

    • Lakewood Speedway Reunion: The third annual Lakewood Speedway Reunion, coming up Saturday, August 7th at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located in the Dawsonville Municipal Complex at 415 HWY 53 E in Dawsonville, Georgia. This year, we plan to honor the Flock Brothers of NASCAR fame, Tim, Bob and Fonty, who were among the winningest drivers of record at Lakewood. Along with the three brothers, we plan to honor the other members of the Flock family that made them a unique group in the annals of Georgia Auto Racing. We're also anticipating a big turnout from the motorcycle community, as several former two-wheel racers have said they plan to come out to the event this year for the first time as we also prepare to induct our first champion motorcycle racer, Ted Edwards, into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in October. We're also planning to have a host of vintage dirt track racing motorcycles on hand to pay homage to the two-wheeled history that was written at Lakewood, along with all the four wheel history there.(Georgia Racing Hall of Fame)(7-29-2010)

    • No plans to move Daytona July race: Wednesday, July 28, on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers spoke with Robin Braig, President of Daytona International Speedway, who commented on the reports that there may be schedule changes in store for the Sprint Cup schedule in 2011.
      Host/Rick Benjamin: “What dates will the races be held on, not just in February, we know that date, what about the second race next year? When will that be held?”
      Robin Braig: “The July 4th race, you mean? I lost you.”
      Benjamin: “Because there’s been talk that perhaps Daytona might move its second race [with] all the reshuffling of the schedule.”
      Braig: “No, no, we don’t, no. There’s nothing changing…”
      Benjamin: “Nothing to report from Daytona’s standpoint?”
      Braig: “No, no. We love our July 4th race, have enjoyed it, it’s tradition. We don’t have any intention of moving off our date. And I know there’s talk about some other movement but it doesn’t include Daytona.”
      “Tradin’ Paint,” with Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers, airs weekdays (11am-3pm ET) on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, SIRIUS channel 128 and XM channel 128 for subscribers with the “Best of SIRIUS” programming package.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(7-29-2010)


      News from July 28, 2010

    • McMurray to sport color changing AXE Twist scheme at Pocono: This weekend the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy of Jamie McMurray will welcome a new paint scheme with AXE Twist as the sponsor. AXE Twist was developed by world-renowned fragrance experts. Twist starts with fresh hints of citrus and lime, and then over time adds more depth with earthy notes of cedar and sandalwood. AXE Twist is available in a Deodorant Bodyspray, Deodorant Stick, Antiperspirant Stick and Shower Gel. Race fans can purchase AXE Twist at most food, drug, club and mass retail outlets. The #1 AXE Twist Chevy will feature a color-changing hood when it takes the green flag on Sunday, Aug. 1 at Pocono Raceway. The paint scheme is representative of the AXE Twist fragrance itself, which changes scents throughout the day. The vinyl used on the hood uses liquid crystals that can be accurately set to show color at specific temperatures and was specifically engineered to meet the exact temperature range needed to show changing colors on the hood of a NSCS car. For more information, visit www.theaxeeffect.com.(EGR) see images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2010)

    • New spotter for Jeff Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon will have a new spotter starting this weekend at Pocono Raceway, a move the team believes will help the four-time NASCAR champion snap the longest losing streak of his career. Hendrick Motorsports hired Jeff Dickerson Wednesday, moving quickly to grab the spotter after he unexpectedly parted ways last week with #18-Kyle Busch. Dickerson had been with Busch since his early days at HMS, and the driver often credited Dickerson for guiding him on the track to several victories. Crew chief Steve Letarte said after listening to tapes of Dickerson, he believed the spotter could be the key to helping Gordon close out races. Gordon is winless since Texas in April 2009, a span of 49 races. Dickerson replaces Shannon McGlamery, who began spotting for Gordon at the start of the 2007 season. McGlamery still will be a mechanic at Hendrick Motorsports, building the cars for Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson. "Shannon is a very good spotter, but I think Jeff Dickerson is one of the best," Letarte said. "The spotter is the third musketeer on the radio, and when he became available, I listened to a lot of tapes, I did a lot of research, and although the timing was short, I recognized his style will help us build upon our continued communication improvements."(ESPN/AP)(7-28-2010)

    • HMS names president: Rick Hendrick this week elevated Marshall Carlson to the role of president and chief operating officer of Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick made the announcement Tuesday to more than 500 people at the organization's quarterly employee meeting. The position of Hendrick Motorsports president most recently was held by Hendrick's late brother John Hendrick, who assumed the title in 1998. It has remained vacant since his passing in October 2004. "Marshall has the ability to plug into every aspect of our industry, from competition to marketing, at an extremely high level," said Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He's versatile from a business perspective, and there's a high degree of respect for him throughout the organization because of the way he treats people. We're very fortunate to have someone of his considerable talent help guide us into the future." Carlson, 37, will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of Hendrick Motorsports, which has earned four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships since he assumed the role of executive vice president and general manager on Jan. 24, 2005.(HMS)(7-28-2010)

    • Labonte finds ride for 2011: JTG Daugherty Racing announced that 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte will take the reins as driver of the #47 Toyota Camry for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 36-race schedule. “JTG Daugherty Racing is a solid race team that has come close to winning races with Marcos Ambrose and I’m looking forward to developing our new partnership in 2011,” Labonte said. “The team is thriving and their technical alliance with MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) is intact. It’s great to have next year already set in stone so when this season ends we can begin focusing on next year right away. Everything is in place and we have all the right ingredients to win races together.”
      Labonte’s credentials speak for themselves. The Corpus Christi, Texas native is a 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner with 26 pole awards, 114 top-five and 199 top-10 finishes. Team owners Jodi and Tad Geschickter and Brad Daugherty are pleased Labonte accepted the offer to drive the JTG Daugherty Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry as they enter their third full-time season of competition at Daytona International Speedway on February 13th.
      “We are really happy Bobby has decided to join our team because I have known him for a long time and I have always admired him as a professional driver and as an individual,” Daugherty said. “He will do an outstanding job representing our products and team. He has gotten to a point in his career that he still has some things to accomplish. He is highly experienced with a championship on his résumé’ and we know he is capable of winning.”
      “We would like to give a warm welcome to Bobby as he joins the JTG Daugherty Racing family,” said Jodi Geschickter. “We know he is an amazing fit for our sponsors and racing organization. The Labonte name has a history of excellence. Bobby is a proven winner, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and his character is solid. We share similar goals and views regarding the future. We are pleased that he has accepted the offer to join JTG Daugherty Racing in 2011.”
      JTG Daugherty Racing’s partners concur. “We are extremely excited to have Bobby coming on board,” said Grant LaMontagne, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer of The Clorox Company, the longest running sponsor partner of JTG Daugherty Racing. “He’s a champion and a great fit for our brands. We expect to have a serious run for the Chase next season.” This announcement follows Marcos Ambrose’s decision to part ways with JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of the year, which was confirmed on Tuesday by team officials.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(7-28-2010)

    • Other teams interested in Ambrose? At least two rival team owners are taking a look at #47-Marcos Ambrose for 2011, if the always-smiling Aussie/Tasmanian racer decides to move on. Ambrose' 2009 rookie NASCAR season was so spectacular, with several near-wins. But he has struggled through the past few months, to put it mildly. And that lost victory at Sonoma last month was all the more biting.MikeMulhern.net)(7-26-2010)
      UPDATE Ambrose to the #9?: Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Marcos Ambrose will replace Kasey Kahne in the #9 Ford at Richard Petty Motorsports next season. Ambrose said he has no “Plan B” in place for 2011 and could even return to his native Australia if another Sprint Cup opportunity does not surface. Highly placed sources tell Sirius Speedway that a deal with RPM is “95% done,” though there is no definitive word on who might sponsor the effort. Ford Racing Marketing Manager Tim Duerr declined to comment specifically on the report today, but said the automaker has longstanding ties with Ambrose. “Marcos started with Ford and Ford brought him to NASCAR,” said Duerr. “He bleeds Ford blue, and we would love to see him back in a Ford next season. I don’t think that Marcos has a signed Sprint Cup ride for next season at present. It all depends on him, a sponsor and a team putting something together, but I am optimistic that we will see Marcos back in a Ford next season.” A spokesman for Richard Petty Motorsports declined to comment today, calling the report “speculation.”(Sirius Speedway)(7-28-2010)

    • Franklin Institute in Philadelphia will host its annual Race Car Day on Wednesday July 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Among those represented will be Pocono Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, the Philadelphia region of the Sports Car Club of America, and Drexel University's Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) team. One lucky child will drop the Green Flag at the Pocono Raceway ARCA race on Saturday, July 31, 2010, plus receive 4 tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono on Sunday, August 1, The winner will be announced during the event.

    • Roush suffers minor injuries in plane crash UPDATE 2: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was in serious but stable condition after walking away from a plane crash at Whitman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. on Tuesday night. "There are injuries. Possible surgery," Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith said in a text message to The Associated Press. "But he walked out of the plane." Smith said Roush's injuries include facial lacerations. Roush was flying his private jet, a Beechcraft Premier 1A from Detroit. The jet made hard contact on landing and cracked the fuselage. Brenda Strickland, a friend of Roush's, also was on board the plane. NASCAR journalist Bob Margolis, who is writing a book about Roush's life, was told that Roush and Strickland were not seriously hurt. "Jack got out and had some blood on his face," Margolis said. "Apparently he bumped his head. They both were taken to a local hospital for observation, but I've been told they are OK." Roush, an aviation buff, was attending the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture in Oshkosh this week.
      In a statement on the EAA website, officials said a Beechcraft Premier business jet registered to Roush Fenway Racing, LLC was involved in a landing accident at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The accident occurred at approximately 6:15 pm/ct, the statement said. According to the EAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and Winnebago County Sheriff's Department confirmed that two occupants on board were Roush and Strickland of Plymouth, Mich. "Each exited the aircraft following the accident," the statement said. "Both were transported to local hospitals, with Roush in serious but stable condition and Strickland with non-life threatening injuries. The NTSB is leading the investigation into the accident."(ESPN, see an image of the plane at avweb.com)(7-27-2019)
      UPDATE: Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of ROUSH® Enterprises, has been hospitalized following a plane accident at Wittman Air Field in OshKosh, Wisc. Roush, in town for the annual EAA AirVenture show, was landing his Hawker Beechcraft Premier jet when the accident occurred. He was transported to a local hospital. Dr. Kevin Wasco, the attending physician, says that Roush is in serious but stable condition. His injuries are not life threatening.(Roush Racing)(7-28-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Jack Roush remains hospitalized in serious, but stable condition following a plane accident at Wittman Air Field in Oshkosh, Wisc., yesterday. He is currently under observation for facial injuries sustained in the accident. His passenger, Brenda Stricklin, was treated and released from a Wisconsin hospital this afternoon. The entire Roush organization would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and well wishes. Those wishing to make a charitable donation in the name of Jack Roush are encouraged to contribute to Speedway Children’s Charities at www.speedwaycharities.org. Please identify your contribution as “Jack Roush” in the notes section.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-28-2010)

    • Labonte to the #47?: Bobby Labonte is the leading candidate to drive the #47 Toyota for JTG Daugherty Racing in 2011, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday. JTG Daugherty Racing will be the sixth team in four years for Labonte, who left Petty Enterprises after the 2008 season. In 2009, he drove for Hall of Fame Racing in a #96 Ford fielded by Yates Racing for much of the year but found himself out of a ride late in the season. He drove the remaining races for #71 TRG Motorsports and started 2010 with that organization. He left that seat in June when the team began having to park early in events because of a lack of funding. He has driven for Robby Gordon Motorsports and Phoenix Racing in the months since then and will be back in a TRG car this weekend at Pocono Raceway. The 2000 Cup champion, Labonte has 602 career Cup starts with 21 victories. The 46-year-old Labonte will replace Marcos Ambrose, who announced Tuesday he was parting ways with the team after the 2010 season. A Bobby Labonte spokesman declined to comment.(SceneDaily)(7-28-2010)

    • Wimmer's house burns down: The family known in Wausau for its racing roots suffers the loss of its home in Rib Mountain. Ron and Joan Wimmer's home on Hummingbird Road was destroyed by fire. The Rib Mountain deputy fire chief says the fire likely started in the garage a little after 4pm. Tuesday at the Wimmer's home. It destroyed a car inside, and quickly spread to the rest of the house, damaging another car parked outside. "The garage appears to be a total loss. The house, we're going to try and get in and get some personal affects," said Matt Savage, the Rib Mountain Deputy Fire Chief. Three people were inside. And escaped safely. One was treated for smoke inhalation, and released. Two dogs were also rescued. The source of the fire is still being speculated. The house sits on ten acres, and has several nearby buildings. Firefighters contained the fire to the house and close trees. Savage said the concern of the fire spreading beyond the house was minimal but was an issue. Ron and his son, Scott, own State Park Speedway. This Thursday marks the annual Larry Detjens race at State Park Speedway. Scott races in NASCAR'S Nationwide series. His brother, Chris, competes on the ASA circuit.(waow.com)(7-28-2010)

    • No Nationwide or Truck races at Gateway: Dover Motorsports, Inc.announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Gateway International Raceway has notified NASCAR that it will not seek 2011 sanctions for its two Nationwide Series and one Camping World Truck Series races. Vice President and General Manager of Gateway, Terry Harmeson stated, “This was a difficult decision in light of the many years of earnest and continued efforts on everyone’s part to develop a viable market for these events in one of our nation’s greatest cities. We remain committed to fulfill the balance of our 2010 schedule including our October 23rd NASCAR Nationwide race which will provide our fans the opportunity to see Danica Patrick compete here for the first time. We also plan to explore various ways to change the economics at Gateway both from the revenue and expense side.”
      Denis McGlynn, President & CEO of Dover Motorsports, stated, “We have a group of extremely dedicated and talented employees who make Gateway a great destination and we deeply appreciate all the support we have had from the racing community over the years – from racing fans and drivers to sponsors, team owners and sanctioning bodies. However, economics dictate that we evaluate all of our options for this facility, including its possible sale.” (GIR)(7-28-2010)


      News from July 27, 2010

    • #83 Crew Chief Penalized: NASCAR has penalized Jimmy Elledge, crew chief for the #83 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, for a rule violation committed last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Elledge has been fined $25,000 for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. The violation was discovered during practice on July 24.(NASCAR)(7-27-2010)

    • TV Ratings for the Brickyard 400: ESPN's live telecast of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25, earned a final national household coverage rating of 4.2, averaging 5,709,103 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was down from the 4.8 for last year's race that also aired on ESPN.
      ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis on Saturday night, July 24, saw a 21 percent ratings increase from last year. The telecast earned a 1.7 final national household coverage rating, averaging 2,356,996 viewers. Last year's race, which also aired on ESPN2, earned a 1.4 rating.(ESPN), see all the TV Ratings for 2010, plus 4 year comparison chart on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(7-27-2010)

    • Ambrose & JTG Daugherty to split: After five successful years together in NASCAR's top touring divisions, JTG Daugherty Racing and Marcos Ambrose will part ways at the end of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "JTG Daugherty Racing and our sponsors are obviously huge Marcos Ambrose fans and we are disappointed to see him leave after five great years of building a program together from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to the Nationwide Series, and into the Sprint Cup Series," said Tad Geschickter, co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing along with Brad Daugherty and Jodi Geschickter. "Marcos is a friend and he is a great talent. He will be an asset to his next team. While we hate to see him move on at the end of the season, we will remain focused on winning races with Marcos. We are excited about our company's development. We have NASCAR's greatest and most loyal sponsors, a growing fan base, and a steadily improving race team."
      "We have enjoyed working with Marcos and getting to know his family and friends from both the United States and Australia," Jodi Geschickter added. "They have brought a lively dimension to our racing family and we have appreciated the opportunity to get to know them. Although we will miss Marcos, we have an amazing team at JTG Daugherty Racing and we look forward to announcing our plans for 2011." Daugherty echoes the Geschickter's sentiments and wishes Ambrose much success in his future endeavors.
      "We are thankful for the opportunity to work with Marcos for the last five years and it has been an enjoyable experience," Daugherty said. "We wish him the utmost success and best wishes. JTG Daugherty Racing has a bright future and we already have great plans in place for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."
      The two-time V8 Supercar champion's first appearance with JTG Daugherty Racing was at Martinsville Speedway in 2006 when he made his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series. Ambrose naturally progressed the next year to the NASCAR Nationwide Series spending two years in the division before competing full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the racing organization.
      "It has been a great five year journey for me and JTG Daugherty Racing," Ambrose said. "I am proud of being their driver and of what we have been able to accomplish together. I want to personally thank Tad, Jodi and Brad and the entire race team for everything they have done. Our plan is to complete the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with the same desire and commitment and end our relationship the same way it started with a positive attitude and the willingness to win. I will do everything I can to help JTG Daugherty transition into next year with their new driver. After five years, I personally felt it was time for a change. I have no firm plans of what will come next for me and my career. I would like to continue in NASCAR and finish off what I started, but I have not discounted returning to Australia. I'm grateful to JTG Daugherty Racing for giving me an opportunity to become a NASCAR driver and I wish them the best in the future." The Launceston, Tasmania Australia native has recorded four top-five and nine top-10 finishes with JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has also delivered two Nationwide Series victories. His career-best Cup finish is a second-place finish at Watkins Glen International last season. Currently Ambrose has two top-10 finishes and is 27th in the driver points standings after 20 starts this season. JTG Daugherty Racing will make an announcement in the near future regarding their driver for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.(JTG Daugherty Racing)
      AND Ambrose did not say where he will drive next season, but he's believed to be close to finalizing a deal with Richard Petty Motorsports.(ESPN/AP)(7-27-2010)

    • Eight drivers who won in 2009, still winless in 2010: Eight drivers have been shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2010 after winning at least one race in 2009: #14-Tony Stewart has an 11 season streak, last winning a Sprint Cup race at Kansas in October 2009; #9-Kasey Kahne last won in Atlanta in September 2009, winning at least a race on the last two season. Drivers who have one-season winning streaks on the linem winning in 2009 after being winless in 2008: #17-Matt Kenseth (Daytona, February 2009); #24-Jeff Gordon (Texas, April 2009); #12-Brad Keselowski (Talladega, April 2009); #5-Mark Martin (New Hampshire, September 2009); #20-Joey Logano (New Hampshire, June 2009); #83-Brian Vickers (Michigan, August 2009 but is out for the rest of 2010). Six drivers were shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2009 after winning at least one race in 2008. See my All-Time Winners, Active Winners and other winner records on my Winners page.(7-27-2010)

    • Finch shutting down at end of year? UPDATE: #09-Car owner James Finch's hopes of putting together a deal with fellow owner Rick Hendrick for driver Kasey Kahne for 2011 appear to have fallen through. Now Finch appears back on plan to shut down his entire NASCAR operation. He first raised that possibility in April.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-26-2010)
      UPDATE: Phoenix Racing and James Finch want to set the record straight. "I have not talked to Rick Hendrick about putting Kasey Kahne in my car, and furthermore I haven't talked to Kasey! Obviously I would l like to provide the car for them next year, who wouldn't" Finch stated, "I also have had no opportunities to sell my team to Mark Martin" said Finch "I haven't talked with Mike Mulhern, and I have no intentions of closing Phoenix Racing" Finch stated "I am definitely looking for sponsorship for my Cup team and Nationwide cars. Times are tough, but we are moving forward and will entertain all sponsorship opportunities".(Phoenix Racing)(7-27-2010)

    • Report: NASCAR fines unnamed drivers for comments: UPDATE: NASCAR has fined at least two of its star drivers this season for making critical comments about the racing series, The Associated Press has learned. People familiar with the penalties told the AP the comments were considered disparaging to the sport. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR is not publicly identifying the topflight drivers it fined. They say one driver was penalized as much as $50,000. The decision to fine competitors for critical comments puts NASCAR in line with many other professional sports leagues. The NFL and NBA both routinely issue fines for criticism of officiating. It also backs up NASCAR's season-long campaign to rebuild the slumping sport through an improved on-track product and off-track promotion from its drivers.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)
      UPDATE: The Associated Press has learned that NASCAR warned teams during the offseason that public criticism of the sport would no longer be tolerated, and at least two star drivers have been fined-one as much as $50,000-for comments that were deemed destructive to the industry. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston on Monday night confirmed some action had been taken, but would not discuss details. "It is the sanctioning body's obligation on behalf of the industry and our fans to protect the sport's brand," Poston said. "Any action taken by NASCAR has nothing to do with the drivers expressing an opinion-it's focused on actions or comments that materially damage the sport. We have specifically discussed this in meetings with teams, drivers and stakeholders." Drivers all declined to publicly discuss the policy, but it shouldn't come as any surprise-considering NASCAR's heightened effort this year to re-ignite interest in a sport that's been fighting sagging attendance, declining television ratings and overall fan apathy for several seasons. NASCAR has taken several aggressive steps toward improving the on-track product, but its top brass decided that outstanding events aren't enough to overcome the negative perception created every time a driver publicly blasts the series.(Associated Press)(7-27-2010)

    • Buy a Daytona 500 ticket, get a piece of asphalt: Daytona International Speedway is offering race fans the exclusive opportunity to purchase a ticket to witness history as well as receive a piece of history all at the same time. Beginning on Monday, Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. and running through midnight on Aug. 8, race fans that purchase tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 20 will automatically receive a portion of Daytona's original asphalt. Race fans that have renewed their 2011 DAYTONA 500 tickets or purchased between June 18 and Aug. 1 will also receive this offer, which is limited to one piece of asphalt per account holder. Race fans can take advantage of this special offer by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytona500.com.(DIS PR)(7-27-2010)


      News from July 26, 2010

    • Report: NASCAR fines unnamed drivers for comments: NASCAR has fined at least two of its star drivers this season for making critical comments about the racing series, The Associated Press has learned. People familiar with the penalties told the AP the comments were considered disparaging to the sport. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR is not publicly identifying the topflight drivers it fined. They say one driver was penalized as much as $50,000. The decision to fine competitors for critical comments puts NASCAR in line with many other professional sports leagues. The NFL and NBA both routinely issue fines for criticism of officiating. It also backs up NASCAR's season-long campaign to rebuild the slumping sport through an improved on-track product and off-track promotion from its drivers.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)

    • The Entry List for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Landon Cassill (2009 race winner as owner)(39/20)
      #13-Max Papis (41/20)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winner as owner)(36/20)
      #36-Casey Mears (38/20)
      #38-Travis Kvapil (37/20)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (40/20)
      #55-Michael McDowell (44/20)
      #64-Todd Bodine (46/10)
      #66-Dave Blaney (43/20)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (42/20)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,38,36,46,87,66
      missing the race would be [2]: #'s 66, 64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List.(7-26-2010)

    • Robby testing; PJ Jones in the #7 at Pocono: Robby Gordon is testing the #7 Toyota at Road Atlanta on Monday in preparation for the upcoming road course race at Watkins Glen. Also, PJ Jones has been entered in the #7 this weekend at Pocono.(7-26-2010)

    • Brickyard Facts and Notes:
      • Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, becoming the third driver to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard in the same year. Dale Jarrett (1996) and Jimmie Johnson (2006) also did it. It was McMurray's fifth Cup win in 278 starts.
      • McMurray led two times for 16 laps, including the final 11.
      • Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is the first team to ever win the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. Ganassi is the first team owner to win the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400.
      • Teammates McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya led 102 of the 160 laps raced.
      • The top 10 included five Chevy, two Fords, two Toyotas and one Dodge. Chevy posted its 10th win in 2010 and 12th win at Indy.
      • Kevin Harvick (second) scored his fourth top-10 finish in the past five races at Indy. It marked Harvick's 300th consecutive start.
      • Greg Biffle (third) scored his third straight top-10 finish at Indy.
      • Clint Bowyer (fourth) tied his best Indy finish.
      • Tony Stewart (fifth) has scored top-10 finishes in six of the past seven Indy races.
      • Jeff Burton (sixth) extended a 17-race streak of running at the finish at Indy.
      • Kyle Busch finished eighth in his 200th consecutive start.
      • Mark Martin (11th) has finished 11th or better in the past six Indy races.
      • AJ Allmendinger finished 16th in his 100th career start.
      • Jeff Gordon (23rd) has gone 49 races since his last win, the longest stretch in his career without a win.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (27th) dropped from 13th to 14th in Cup points.
      • Bobby Labonte finished 31st in his 600th consecutive start.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)

    • Race & Commercial Breakdown of the Brickyard 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 118
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 21
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:18 PM
      Total minutes: 198
      Minutes of race broadcast: 140
      Minutes of commercials: 58
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of famous movie stars to plug their newest movie during the race broadcast: 2 Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg
      Total race brdcst time 140 Total comm. brdcst time 58
      Number of times selected drivers were focused on:
      Jacques Villeneuve – 10
      Paul Menard – 24
      Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 39
      Matt Kenseth – 47
      Jeff Burton – 72
      Tony Stewart – 76
      Kyle Busch – 79
      Kevin Harvick – 103
      Mark Martin – 104
      Jimmie Johnson – 112
      Jamie McMurray (race winner) – 154
      Greg Biffle – 188
      Juan Montoya – 207
      See full rundown and more at CawsnJaws.com.(7-26-2010)

    • 2011 schedule changes will be "impactful": NASCAR appears ready to give its 2011 Sprint Cup schedule a facelift. CEO Brian France said before Sunday's race at Indianapolis that stock car's top series is in the "final throes" of completing next year's Cup slate and that it could feature some "impactful" changes. International Speedway Corp. is asking for a second race in Kansas, while Speedway Motorsports Inc. wants Las Vegas to get a second Cup date. SMI is also hoping to bring a Cup race to its 1.5-mile track in northern Kentucky.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)
      AND: NASCAR's 2010 Sprint Cup schedule is expected to have a considerably different look next season, including the site of the season finale. Some changes are expected in response to requests from major track owners International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., but several other race dates are believed to be in play. Several sources told the Observer and ThatsRacin.com on Sunday that changes being contemplated include the season's final race, now held at Miami-Homestead. That ISC-owned track could get the second race of the 2011 season. Auto Club Speedway currently occupies that spot on the schedule. The sources said two tracks figure in the options being considered to replace Homestead as host of the season's final race weekend: Las Vegas and Daytona. A Las Vegas finale could make it more convenient for fans, teams, media and others to attend NASCAR's season-ending awards events. Those events, held in New York City for years, moved to the desert gambling-and-resort city for the first time last year. A season finale at Daytona would add a second restrictor-plate race to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(Charlotte Observer)(7-26-2010)

    • McMurray, Ganassi working on contract extension: #1-Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing officials are in the process of negotiating a new deal for the Sprint Cup driver, sources for both sides said following Sunday's victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray signed a one-year deal when he came to EGR from Roush-Fenway Racing this season. Co-owner Chip Ganassi would not comment on negotiations, but when asked if he planned to sign the reigning Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion to a long-term deal he quipped, "I'm going to fire him. What do you think?" Sources said McMurray's primary sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, also is expected to return.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)

    • Elimination style Chase still under consideration? UPDATE: Wondering what topics were discussed during the most recent NASCAR Town Hall Meeting this week? If [Fox Sports'] sources are correct, the times they are a changin' - again. Let's start with the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup format. For now, the one format being discussed [is] where the top 15 drivers in the points standings are selected for an elimination-style championship. The first five drivers could be ousted, say, after the first four races and five more drivers knocked out depending on points perhaps four or five races later. The five left standing will battle for a winner-take-all in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway - or whatever race NASCAR determines to place in that pivotal position on the schedule. Other hot topics included: The schedule, Changes to the Nationwide Series where Sprint Cup drivers in the top 35 would not be able to compete against full-time development drivers, The addition of more testing, and Fuel injection.(Fox Sports)(7-24-2010)
      UPDATE: NASCAR officials are still debating several changes to the Chase For The Sprint Cup format for next year but are leaning toward a system that would eliminate drivers from the playoffs, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Sunday. France didn't give much insight into what could be changed. He said he will attend focus groups with fans in two weeks to get their input and is still cultivating reaction from the NASCAR industry to a variety of proposals. "Regarding the options that we have on the table, the only ones we would consider are ones that would make winning at a given moment more important than they are today," France said Sunday prior to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "How you do that? There's a number of ways to do that. It comes with some version as you go along where certain races in the Chase, you have to win or do very, very well, to in fact move on. When you peel that back and look at it, it's not that different," It is possible no changes will be made, France said. "We haven't made a decision. We may not think the timing is right. … Not changing the Chase is definitely a viable option," he said. "The Chase, although we haven't seen the results of that as often as we'd like, is certainly better than the total consistency model that was in place for so many years."(Scene Daily)(7-26-2010)

    • Red Bull will decide on Speed's future soon: Red Bull Racing plans to announce in the next month whether driver #82-Scott Speed will return to the team next year, Red Bull general manager Jay Frye confirmed Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his second full season of Cup racing, Speed is 26th in the standings. He was 35th last year, and while he's nine spots better in the standings and has been running at the finish of every race this year, Speed only has two top-10 finishes and has finished on the lead lap in 10 of the 20 races. "We should have some sort of announcement with him in the next month," Frye said Sunday. "We need to perform. We need to do better. We started the year off pretty strong. We kind of regressed a little bit here the last little bit. The 27-year-old Speed, who competed in Formula One in 2006 and 2007, was asked Saturday about rumors that he had signed a contract extension with the organization. "I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it," Speed said. "We'll see."(Scene Daily)(7-26-2010)

    • Martin feels disrespected by 2011 speculation: UPDATE: #5-Mark Martin says he feels "disrespected" because of speculation that Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. The 51-year-old driver insisted on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that team owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Alan Gustafson fully support him staying in the car through the end of his contract. "I understand it'll all come to a rest whenever they announce what Kasey is going to do [in 2011]," Martin said. "You should be focusing on that. What is Kasey going to do? Because I've told you what I'm going to do." Martin once again was faced with questions about him fulfilling the final year of his contract in the 5 car after ESPN analyst Ray Evernham said he expected Martin to announce over the next three to four weeks that he will step aside for Kahne. "I made myself perfectly clear over the last several weeks," Martin said. "There is no information or any change."(ESPN.com)(7-23-2010)
      UPDATE: Rick Hendrick says he's prepared to honor Mark Martin's deal to drive the #5 Sprint Cup car next season but he wouldn't close the door on Kasey Kahne stepping into that seat. "If I tell you what I will do and what I won't do and if I do something different because I haven't thought about it, then you'll think I lied to you,'' the owner of Hendrick Motorsports said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I'm keeping all options open whether it's with Chevy or something else. I'm trying to make everybody happy, all our sponsors, NASCAR. Martin insists he will be in the #5 in 2011 despite speculation that he will step aside for Kahne. Three months ago, Kahne signed to drive the car in 2012, with the promise Hendrick would get him a ride for 2011. Asked whether there was any way Mark wouldn't be in the #5 next year, Hendrick said: "I can't tell you that. Right now it's his seat and it's his call.'' Hendrick said finding a solution for his situation has been tougher than he expected trying to mesh sponsors, manufacturers and drivers to make everyone happy. He understands Martin's frustration.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)

    • Finch shutting down at end of year? #09-Car owner James Finch's hopes of putting together a deal with fellow owner Rick Hendrick for driver Kasey Kahne for 2011 appear to have fallen through. Now Finch appears back on plan to shut down his entire NASCAR operation. He first raised that possibility in April.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-26-2010)

    • Other teams interested in Ambrose? At least two rival team owners are taking a look at #47-Marcos Ambrose for 2011, if the always-smiling Aussie/Tasmanian racer decides to move on. Ambrose' 2009 rookie NASCAR season was so spectacular, with several near-wins. But he has struggled through the past few months, to put it mildly. And that lost victory at Sonoma last month was all the more biting.MikeMulhern.net)(7-26-2010)

    • Friday Fan Fest schedule at Atlanta: Adding an extra night of Labor Day weekend racing to commemorate the track's 50th Anniversary season, Atlanta Motor Speedway has announced details for the Sept. 3 Friday Fan Fest presented by Your Georgia Best Chevy Dealers. Friday night's action will include the Georgia Best Chevy Dealers 150 late-model race on the "Thunder Ring" quarter-mile track, a pre-race concert featuring Drivin' N Cryin', a question-and-answer session with NASCAR drivers and a late-model autograph session. The event will be free for fans displaying tickets to either Saturday or Sunday's NASCAR races and will cost only $10 for all others. The Friday Fan Fest presented by Your Georgia Best Chevy Dealers will kick off with a 6:00 p.m. NASCAR question-and-answer session featuring Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and David Ragan, with other drivers to be added, and hosted by Rutledge Wood from SPEED. Fans will be invited onto the frontstretch to be stagefront for the event. Immediately following the question-and-answer session, Georgia-based rockers Drivin' N' Cryin' will take to the stage for a concert at 6:45 p.m., while drivers from the Southern Superstars Short Track Series will be giving autographs and posing for photographs at their cars on the frontstretch. Following the Drivin' N Cryin' concert, the Friday Fan Fest presented by Your Georgia Best Chevy Dealers will continue as the green flag waves for the Southern Superstars Short Track Series as they take to Atlanta's quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" for the Georgia Best Chevy Dealers 150. Green-flag action begins at approximately 8:45 p.m. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(7-26-2010)


      News from July 25, 2010

    • McMurray wins at Indianapolis: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season and 5th of his career. He joins Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jarrett as the only drivers to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. #29-Harvick finished second, followed by: #16-Biffle, #33-Bowyer, #14-Steart, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #20-Logano, and #2-Busch. Polesitter #42-Montoya domainated much of the race, leading the most laps, but lost the lead during a late pitstop, then hit the wall with 15 to go and finished 32nd. There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 140,000, down from 180,000 last year.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Indianapolis Race Results/Awards page.(7-25-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
      Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400 (17th Running), his fifth victory in 278 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      Kevin Harvick (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in ten races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2010.
      Greg Biffle (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      Kevin Conway (34th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 184 points over Jeff Gordon.
      Chip Ganassi became the first owner to win the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the Indy 500 in the same year.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-25-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Indianapolis, race 20 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 2920
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 2736, -184
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin [5 wins], 2660, -260
      4) #48Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 2659, -261
      5) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 2658, -262
      6) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 2630 -290
      7) #31-Jeff Burton, 2615, -305
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 2573, -347
      9) #14-Tony Stewart, 2544, -376
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 2496, -424
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 2462, -458
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 2446, -474
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #5-Mark Martin, 2384, -536, 62 points out of the chase
      14) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2353, -567, -93
      15) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 2299, -621, -147
      16) #1-Jamie McMurray [2 wins], 2295, -625, -151
      17) #9-Kasey Kahne, 2290, -630, -156
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 17
      22) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2121, -799, -325
      36) #83-Brian Vickers, 1158 [out season with illness]
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-25-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono [August 1]:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The #71 team falls to 35th, but is 154 points ahead of #26.
      32) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1539, +203
      33) #37-Kvapil/Front Row: 1510, +174
      34) #34-Conway/Front Row: 1509, +173
      35) #71-Cassill/TRG, 1439, 154 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 1336, 154 points out of the top 35
      37) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 1294, -196
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-25-2010)

    • Penalty Report - Indianapolis:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #20 Pre-Race to the rear, Engine Change
      #64 Pre-Race to the rear, Engine Change
      #83 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #19 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #64 1, Pitting before pit road is open , Tail End
      #77 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #77 1, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Held 1 lap
      #18 1, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #09 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #47 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #00 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #00 1, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #37 1, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #7 16, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #39 16, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #00 66, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #00 118, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #34 127, Car/Truck pitting out of the assigned pit box, Pass Thru
      #18 134, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #42 145, Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #88 147, Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area, Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(7-25-2010)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Indianapolis: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: #12-Keselowski, 19th
      Caution 3: #37-Kvapil, 24th
      Caution 4: #37-Kvapil (2), 24th
      Caution 5: #6-Ragan, 20th
      Caution 6: #39-Newman, 17th
      (7-25-2010)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Indy (or seemed to)?
      40th: #87-Nemechek, 33 laps
      41st: #66-Blaney, 20 laps
      42nd: #55-McDowell, 19 laps run
      with NASCAR's new rule of the first non-crashed car out of the race to be inspected, it would be the #55 this week
      (only count a team with a history of start and park, not a wreck or engine blow and only if 25% or less of race completed)(7-25-2010)

    • Ganassi going for "triple crown" UPDATE: Chip Ganassi is one victory from one of the most cherished accomplishments in sports -- a triple crown. If #42-Juan Pablo Montoya or #1-Jamie McMurray wins the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Ganassi would become the first team owner to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Ganassi is the first person, driver or team owner, to have a chance at the trifecta of American auto racing. With McMurray's win at Daytona and Dario Franchitti's victory at Indy, Ganassi became the first owner to win racing's two biggest events in the same season. Now he's going for the sweep.(ESPN.com)(7-21-2010)
      UPDATE: #1-Jamie McMurray's win at Indianapolis gave owner Chip Ganassi the first Daytona-Indy 500-Brickyard triple crown.(7-25-2010)

    • Hendrick plane has problems, all OK: As a precaution, one of Hendrick Motorsport airplanes returned to Concord Regional shortly after takeoff Sunday morning due to a maintenance advisory light. Passengers were switched to another aircraft and traveled safely to Indianapolis. The plane has already been evaluated and returned to active status.(7-25-2010)

    • Silly Season kicking in gear at IMS:
      • All signs point to Richard Childress Racing announcing the week of the Watkins Glen Race next month that Budweiser will be on #29-Kevin Harvick's car. Mobile 1 had been courting #24-Jeff Gordon, but HMS ended that by reupping with Quaker State. Don't be surprised to see that sponsor pop up at Stewart-Haas.
      • Richard Petty Motorsports' future seemingly hangs on what #43-AJ Allmendinger does. If he and sponsor Best Buy stay, then #98-Paul Menard and his sponsor may hang around, as well. But Allmendinger has talked to several teams, including Penske Racing. Menard is beating the bushes as well, with speculation he'll be in the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing. All we know for sure is Stanley is the only sponsor contractually committed to the organization beyond this season. Odds are RPM will shrink from four teams to three, two or none. The last would be a huge blow to the garage and increase the possibility of fields of fewer than 43 cars next season. It also could end Richard Petty's presence in the garage, which would be sad to see.(ESPN.com)(7-25-2010)

    • NASCAR may test fuel injection in a handful of 2011 races: Ron Dennis was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday to discuss several topics including the upcoming introduction of fuel injection in NASCAR. Dennis, 63, is the executive chairman of McLaren Automotive. He was the team principal of McLaren's Formula One team until last year, helping win eight drivers' championships. "I'm here representing my group of companies, specifically my (McLaren) electronics company," Dennis said. "We're hoping the commitment to quality and excellence is something that will allow us to become selected by NASCAR in production for some of the fuel injection and some of the other safety benefits and ecological benefits that we can bring with some of the technology that we have." Jack Roush met with Dennis on Saturday morning and discussed the transition of fuel injection in NASCAR. Roush said McLaren Companies has a proposal in to NASCAR to bid on fuel injection. But Roush believes the change will come with a price. "Don't think that it's going to be less expensive," Roush said. "It's going to put a burden on the teams. Any time you bring in a new technology that is complex, there's a cost. And there will certainly be a cost for the teams. It's likely to occur sometime in 2011. I think we've all heard the same thing. I don't think it will be more than a handful of races. Maybe start with the (Budweiser) Shootout. That would be my suggestion. They might do that, then look at the end of the year and see what they think about it, then full time in 2012."(Fox Sports)(7-25-2010)

    • Hamlin is 2nd quarter driver of the year: It was virtually no contest as Denny Hamlin was voted second quarter winner of the Driver Of The Year Award. Hamlin bounced back from knee surgery about one month before the second quarter began, and won three NASCAR Sprint Cup races and one NASCAR Nationwide series race in the period ending June 20th. Driving the #11 FedEx Toyota owned by Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin was awarded the honor for the first time in his career. Hamlin had victories in the Showtime Southern 500, Pocono 500, and Heluva Good! Sour Dips 400. And, he won from the pole at Royal Purple 200 Nationwide race in the #20 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin took 12 first-place votes which was six times his closest competition; teammate, #18-Kyle Busch. Hamlin's scored 122 points according to the Driver Of The Year points system compared to Busch's 56 points. Dario Franchitti, the Indy 500 winner who drives the Target Chip Ganassi IndyCar, also had one first place vote and received 54 points. Mike Edwards the NHRA's ProStock driver, also received one first place ballot finishing fifth, behind Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel division.(Racin' Today)(7-25-2010)

    • Kyle Busch gets new spotter: #18-Kyle Busch has changed spotters, with Jeff Dickerson no longer serving as his eyes in the sky. Eddie D'Hondt is spotting for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver this weekend on an interim basis. Dickerson had been Busch's spotter since early in his first Cup season in 2005 at Hendrick Motorsports and they had won 18 Cup races together. Dickerson eventually became Busch's agent and business manager but that job was transferred to another member of the Motorsports Management International staff prior to the 2010 season. "Jeff was going to leave at the end of the year and go do something else anyway, so we figured we might as well get it going now and build something with a spotter for next year and hopefully before the Chase starts," Busch said after finishing second in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park.(Scene Daily)(7-25-2010)

    • Las Vegas developing smart phone app: When Las Vegas Motor Speedway did research on the fan experience, parking came back as an area that needed improvement. Not surprising, given the vastness of the speedway's 1,300 acres. So to help guide fans onto the property more efficiently, LVMS is partnering with a Washington, D.C., technology company to create the first mobile application for a major speedway. LVMS, part of Speedway Motorsports Inc., is working with Thermopylae to mold a fan guide application that takes customers into the track and to their seats through information provided to a smartphone. All consumers have to do is enter their seat number into the handset app, which will be available on iPhones, certain BlackBerrys and phones that run the Android system. The app will come with loads of functions, both for the customer and the track. A virtual layout of the speedway will show users the locations of merchandise trailers, rest rooms, concessions, first aid and other vital areas. Once the users are in the speedway, they can upgrade their seats, buy pit passes or buy tickets to the Neon Garage through their mobile handset. The app is expected to go through a soft launch for the Camping World Truck Series race at LVMS on Sept. 25, with the full rollout next spring when the Sprint Cup Series returns to Las Vegas.(Scene Daily)(7-25-2010)


      News from July 24, 2010

    • Happy Hour practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
      #56-Truex, Jr 175.627
      #31-Burton 175.531
      #33-Bowyer 175.456
      #99-Edwards 175.148
      #5-Martin 175.121
      slowest: #32-Villeneuve 169.578 & #34-Conway 167.355
      no speed: #55-McDowell, #87-Nemechek
      #88-Earnhardt, Jr scraped the wall coming off turn 3. There was little damage. #83-Sorenson hit the wall coming off turn 2 and wrinkled up some sheet metal.
      #48-Johnson had the fastest 10 lap average. See fastest speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Indianapolis Practice Speeds Page (7-24-2010)

    • First Saturday practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
      #31-Burton 175.709
      #33-Bowyer 175.466
      #29-Harvick 175.182
      #9-Kahne 175.131
      #17-Kenseth 175.012
      slowest: #34-Conway 168.486 & #32-Villeneuve 168.023
      #11-Hamlin had the fastest 10 lap average. See fastest speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Indianapolis Practice Speeds Page.(7-24-2010)

    • NASCAR "Baby Boom" continues: The baby boom continues in NASCAR this year with the wives of both #39-Ryan Newman and #77-Sam Hornish Jr. both pregnant, both drivers confirmed Satuday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Already this season the wives of #19-Elliott Sadler, #99-Carl Edwards, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya have given birth. The wives of #24-Jeff Gordon, #1-Jamie McMurray and now Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. are pregnant. Gordon's wife is due in the coming weeks. Hornish's child is due Dec. 30. It will be the couple's second child. Daughter Addison is 2 1/2 years old. McMurray's child is due in Decmeber. Newman was coy about his child and preferred not to say much but did confirm that his wife, Krissie, is pregnant. It will be the first child for both the McMurrays and Newmans.(Virginian-Pilot)(7-24-2010)

    • Montoya wins pole at Indy: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya won the Coors Pole for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway speed of 182.278mph for his 2nd pole of 2010 and 4th of his career. #48-Johnson will start 2nd followed by #5-Martin, #1-McMurray, #39-Newman, #33-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, and #31-Burton.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Elliott, #87-Nemechek, #13-Papis, #09-Labonte, #55-McDowell, #64-Bodine, #66-Blaney, and #32-Villeneuve.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (4): #38-Gilliland, #36-Mears, #26-Stremme, and #46-Yeley.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Indy Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-24-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
      Juan Pablo Montoya won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Brickyard 400 (17th Running) with a lap of 49.375 seconds, 182.278 mph.
      This is his fourth pole in 129 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second pole and 11th top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his first pole in four races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 15th top-10 start of 2010 and his fifth in nine races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      Mark Martin (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his ninth in 20 races this season.
      Kevin Conway (42nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(7-24-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Indy: The selections of pit stalls for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianaolis Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #42-Montoya chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 10, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #5-Mark Martin, who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #34-Conway, who starts 42nd.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-24-2010)

    • Special Episode of SportsCenter Airs from Indianapolis: ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter will present a half-hour special from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on ESPN at 7:00pm/et on Saturday, July 24, the eve of ESPN’s live telecast of NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at the famed track. SportsCenter at the Brickyard will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysts Dale Jarrett and Ray Evernham. SportsCenter at the Brickyard will preview Sunday’s race with analysis, features and interviews and will lead into ESPN’s live telecast of that night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race from O’Reilly Raceway Park near Indianapolis.(7-24-2010)

    • Hornish 2011 plans not set: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. doesn't know where he'll be racing next season. Speaking in front of one of team owner Roger Penske's many Indianapolis 500 cars in the museum at the Brickyard on Friday, Hornish said his future in NASCAR is uncertain. Because sponsor ExxonMobil is leaving his car at the end of this season, there's nothing in place for Hornish to drive next year. "No updates as far as I'm concerned yet," he said. "I'd definitely like to be back in the Sprint Cup series and I'm going to work to be able to try to do that. Definitely, things are still tough with the economy and trying to find full-time sponsors and things like that. We're going to do everything we can do to make that happen and be back in Sprint Cup. If that doesn't work, we're going to look around and see what else [is available]. But I think we've got some great opportunities to make that happen." Because Hornish had such a successful open-wheel career -- he won the 2006 Indianapolis 500 for Penske and won three titles in what's now the IndyCar Series -- there's always speculation that he could return to that form of racing. He didn't seem inclined to go back, though. "I'd like to be here in a stock car, for sure," he said.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-24-2010)

    • Villeneuve wants to be in NASCAR: #32-Jacques Villeneuve won't be 40 until April, but since leaving Formula One in 2006, he's been on the outside looking in. He'd definitely be open to returning to full-time racing if given the right opportunity. Even though his name continues to pop up in Formula One circles, he'd prefer giving stock cars a try. "I really, really enjoy driving [in NASCAR]," Villeneuve said. "That's why I moved back on this side of the ocean in 2006, was to concentrate on NASCAR. And it's taken a while to get going. Right now, we got Elkhart Lake going, we're coming here to the Brickyard. So it's starting to open up a little bit. It would be great if we could carry on doing more ovals."(NASCAR.com)(7-24-2010)

    • Elimination style Chase still under consideration? Wondering what topics were discussed during the most recent NASCAR Town Hall Meeting this week? If [Fox Sports'] sources are correct, the times they are a changin' - again. Let's start with the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup format. For now, the one format being discussed [is] where the top 15 drivers in the points standings are selected for an elimination-style championship. The first five drivers could be ousted, say, after the first four races and five more drivers knocked out depending on points perhaps four or five races later. The five left standing will battle for a winner-take-all in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway - or whatever race NASCAR determines to place in that pivotal position on the schedule. Other hot topics included: The schedule, Changes to the Nationwide Series where Sprint Cup drivers in the top 35 would not be able to compete against full-time development drivers, The addition of more testing, and Fuel injection.(Fox Sports)(7-24-2010)

    • Gordon has backup drivers lined up: With #24-Jeff Gordon's wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, expecting the couple's second child soon, the team has lined up backup drivers for the next two weeks. From Friday's driver press conference:
      Q: IS ARIC ALMIROLA GOING TO BE YOUR BACK UP DRIVER?
      Gordon: "Not this weekend, no. That's the plan for Pocono, and then Watkins Glen we've got which I'm excited about, is Scott Pruett."(Chevy PR)(7-24-2010)

    • Week 3 Daytona Repave Update: Paving Begins On The Superstretch: Another significant moment in the 2010 Daytona Repave took place on Thursday morning as the first layer of asphalt was put down on the 3,000-foot Superstretch. The paving of the drainage layer on the Superstretch is the first of four layers of asphalt that will be put down on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval, which is being repaved for only the second time in its history. While new asphalt was being put down on the "World Center of Racing," the old asphalt in the daunting Turn 3 high banks has been excavated and removed. Here are some other notable achievements in Week 3 of the Daytona Repave project:
      * SAFER barrier and safety fence continues to be removed in the banking in Turns 1 and 2.
      * The milling and grading on the Frontstretch is complete and ready to be paved.
      * Jostens, which is handling the distribution of the pavement to race fans, has cut and removed pieces of asphalt from multiple locations around the track.
      * The dirt from the skid pad excavation continues to be used to fill behind the walls on upper rim road in Turns 1 and 2.(DIS)(7-24-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Indianapolis:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Jamie McMurray will pilot chassis #905 for the fourth time this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The chassis was last used in the Coke 600 at Charlotte where McMurray finished second. While running at Dover, where McMurray ran in the top-10 for over half the event, mechanical issues forced a 32nd-place finish. This chassis was also used in March at Atlanta finishing 29th after an on-track incident while running in the top-five.
      #2-Kurt Busch, crew chief Steve Addington and the "Blue Deuce" crew are racing their "PRS-728" Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge this weekend at Indianapolis. The team debuted the car at Charlotte in the May 30 Coca-Cola 600, where Busch started on the outside pole and posted a dominant victory. Busch later named the car "Vortex," as a tribute to his sponsor's special packaging that adorned the team's Dodge Chargers in the two weeks at Charlotte. The "PRS-715" will serve as the backup Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge for this weekend. It has been raced only once, in the April Phoenix race, where Busch started 19th and finished 35th.
      #5-Mark Martin: Crew Chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #5-550 for Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to a second-place finish in last year's Brickyard 400.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-668 Last ran California fall 2009 - finished seventh; Backup: RK-620 Last ran Las Vegas - finished 23rd
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge team will use chassis PRS-720 during Sunday's 400-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Keselowski raced this chassis to a 12th-place finish at Darlington.
      #14-Tony Stewart: This car debuted in May in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. It qualified 26th and finished 15th in its maiden race, and has since been wind-tunnel tested in advance of its second career start this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Primary: RK-694 (brand new chassis)
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 Stanley team has prepared chassis #280 for this weekend's event. This Ford was previously run earlier this season at Atlanta and Charlotte. Sadler qualified in the eighth position for the event at AMS.
      #20-Joey Logano: The No. 20 Team is taking chassis #275 this weekend for the Brickyard 400. This is a new chassis in the fleet for The Home Depot Team. The back-up car is chassis #266 which Logano drove at Darlington earlier this season.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis #288 from the RCR stable, which just recently received a brand new body. Earlier in the year, this Chevy scored a runner-up finish at Auto Club Speedway, finished ninth at Atlanta, and finished seventh at Dover. Additionally, Harvick raced this chassis three times in the latter part of the 2009 season, finishing 18th at Charlotte, fifth at Texas and third at Homestead-Miami.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will race Chassis #305 from the RCR stable in this weekend's Brickyard 400. Built new for 2010, Burton drove this RCR entry to an eighth-place finish at Darlington and to a seventh-place effort at Pocono last month. Most recently, this #31 racer competed at Chicagoland Speedway where Burton posted a seventh-place finish before bringing it home to the shop for a speedy turnaround.
      #32-Jacques Villeneueve: This weekend, the Dollar General team will unload chassis #205 at the Brickyard. This is a brand new chassis in the Braun Racing stable that will be making its on-track debut.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: crew chief Steve Addington and the "Blue Deuce" crew are racing their "PRS-728" Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge this weekend at Indianapolis. The team debuted the car at Charlotte in the May 30 Coca-Cola 600, where Busch started on the outside pole and posted a dominant victory. Busch later named the car "Vortex," as a tribute to his sponsor's special packaging that adorned the team's Dodge Chargers in the two weeks at Charlotte. The "PRS-715" will serve as the backup Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge for this weekend. It has been raced only once, in the April Phoenix race, where Busch started 19th and finished 35th.
      #36-Casey Mears: TBR - 78
      #38-David Gilliland: and the #38 Taco Bell Ford team head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week with resources to start the season's second half with confidence. The team will take a new Ford Fusion to the historic track for the Brickyard 400 and will be armed with information gained from an April Goodyear tire test at the speedway. The chassis is the first built completely by Front Row Motorsports.
      #39-Ryan Newman Chassis No. 39-609: This is a brand new car for the #39 Haas Automation team this weekend. The car was wind-tunnel tested earlier this month, but it will turn its first laps on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Crew chief Brian Pattie has elected to bring chassis #1011 to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is a brand new chassis that Juan Pablo Montoya tested with at IMS in April.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis #276 for this weekend's event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This car was run earlier this year at Martinsville where Allmendinger was involved in a Lap 171 accident.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-612. This is a new chassis that has not been raced or tested.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 RPM crew have prepared chassis #693 for this weekend's event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team has prepared a brand new car for this race.
      #99-Carl Edwards: RK-695 - Brand new car
      (from team PR's/sites if reported)(7-24-2010)


      News from July 23, 2010

    • Martin feels disrespected by 2011 speculation: #5-Mark Martin says he feels "disrespected" because of speculation that Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. The 51-year-old driver insisted on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that team owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Alan Gustafson fully support him staying in the car through the end of his contract. "I understand it'll all come to a rest whenever they announce what Kasey is going to do [in 2011]," Martin said. "You should be focusing on that. What is Kasey going to do? Because I've told you what I'm going to do." Martin once again was faced with questions about him fulfilling the final year of his contract in the 5 car after ESPN analyst Ray Evernham said he expected Martin to announce over the next three to four weeks that he will step aside for Kahne. "I made myself perfectly clear over the last several weeks," Martin said. "There is no information or any change."(ESPN.com)(7-23-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianaolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 10:10am/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 10:00am/et
      Radio: IMS Radio Network
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Second Friday practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
      #42-Montoya 179.756
      #1-McMurray 179.526
      #5-Martin 179.340
      #33-Bowyer 179.172
      #48-Johnson 179.151
      slowest: #20-Logano 173.782 & #34-Conway 173.377
      #20-Logano lost an engine early in the session.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Indianapolis Practice Speeds Page.(7-23-2010)

    • Indianapolis practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 9th
      #13-Max Papis, 16th
      #64-Todd Bodine, 24th
      #38-David Gilliland, 33rd
      #09-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 35th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 37th
      #26-David Stremme, 39th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 41st
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #32-Jacques Villeneuve, 42nd
      #36-Casey Mears, 43rd
      #66-Dave Blaney, 44th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 45th
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • 1st Friday practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
      #42-Montoya 176.876
      #48-Johnson 176.737
      #13-Papis 176.298
      #7-Gordon 175.442
      #21-Elliott 174.686
      slowest: #32-Villeneueve 168.146 & #34-Conway 166.356.
      no speed: #46-Yeley
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Indianapolis Practice Speeds Page.(7-23-2010)

    • Indianapolis practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #13-Max Papis, 3rd fastest
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 5th
      #64-Todd Bodine, 7th
      #26-David Stremme, 14th
      #36-Casey Mears, 21st
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 22nd
      #66-Dave Blaney, 30th
      #09-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 44th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #38-David Gilliland, 34th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 43rd
      #32-Jacques Villeneuve, 46th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, no speed
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Qualifying Order for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianaolis Motor Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #14-Stewart.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #78-Smith.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-Mears with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #64-Bodine.
      See the full qualifying order on the Indianapolis Qualifying Page.(7-24-2010)

    • SpeedFactory.tv on the #7: Robby Gordon enters the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with two top-12 finishes in his last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, and is more determined than ever to bring home a strong finish at The Brickyard in the #7 SpeedFactory.tv Toyota Camry. Robby Gordon's Speed Factory is a reality show that features a behind-the-scenes look at a world-class race shop and its day-to-day operations. Robby Gordon Motorsports is a multi-faceted race shop that houses a variety of elite racing machines that include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, SCORE International Off-Road Trophy Trucks, three Dakar HUMMERs, a Short Course Off-Road Truck and the newest edition, the Monster Truck. Speed Factory is scheduled to air two shows a week giving the fan a perspective of what it takes to be one of the most diversified drivers in the world, one of the few owner/driver combinations in the Sprint Cup Series, and most importantly, what it takes to make the Speed Factory work. Visit www.speedfactory.tv to watch the latest episode.(RGM)(7-23-2010)

    • MWR to make announcement at Indy: UPDATE: #00-David Reutimann, who won Saturday night's Spring Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, has signed a new contract with Michael Waltrip Racing. The team scheduled a news conference for July 23 in Indianapolis to announce the deal. "We're in good shape," Reutimann said after his win. "We basically shook hands and got things all lined up. I'll be at Michael Waltrip Racing next year. I may be cutting grass, but I'll be at Michael Waltrip Racing." General manager Ty Norris confirmed an announcement is scheduled and that Reutimann and crew chief Rodney Childers will not be going anywhere. "Both these guys proved tonight they deserve a contract," Norris said. "They deserve to be around.".(ESPN.com)(7-11-2010)
      UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that it has signed agreements extending its relationships with driver David Reutimann and primary sponsor Aaron's, Inc. on the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota through the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. "I'm glad both Michael Waltrip Racing and Aaron's want to keep me around," joked Reutimann. "I've been asked about my contract for the last month and we've had a handshake agreement, but now it's done and I'm glad I can finally talk about it. I'm thrilled. This is where I want to be - at Michael Waltrip Racing driving the No. 00 with Aaron's on the hood." Aaron's will increase its primary sponsorship of Reutimann's #00 from 24 to 30 races in 2010 with TUMS and Best Western completing the schedule. Aaron's will remain at 30 races in 2011 and 2012 and assume associate sponsorship position with all MWR Toyotas.(Aarons PR)(7-23-2010)

    • ESPN Debuts NASCAR-Themed Branding Campaign: During this week’s lead-up to the July 25 Brickyard 400, ESPN will launch the next phase of its new brand campaign which will feature the haulers used to transport NASCAR Sprint Cup teams from track-to-track. “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” debuted July 12 with a baseball-themed spot. ESPN’s first brand campaign since 2005 demonstrates ESPN’s shared passion for sports and celebrates the idiosyncrasies and unique stories that are the social currency of passionate sports fans.
      The NASCAR-themed ads, the third phase of the campaign, show that the competitive nature of NASCAR drivers also extends to the drivers of their team haulers. The second phase looked back at the Apollo 14 mission where astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard took a few golf swings on the surface of the moon. Future spots for the campaign will roll out in the coming months. W+K New York served as the creative agency.
      ESPN also has two new promotional spots airing in support of the launch of its NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage this week at the Brickyard 400. Click HERE to view 60 and 30-second versions of the NASCAR haulers spot as well as the Brickyard 400 and Sprint cup spots.(ESPN)(7-23-2010)

    • Roush Fenway Hits One Million-Mile Mark in Sprint Cup: On February 14, 1988 Jack Roush launched into his first official foray into the big-time world of NASCAR racing. The day would be a short one - lasting just under 50 of the scheduled 500 miles of the world's biggest race. It was a humble beginning for what would grow into one of the most successful organizations in professional sports. Today - almost 25 years later - Roush Fenway Racing has covered over one million miles in Sprint Cup action, enough miles to cover the Earth 40 times over. The miles were turned by 16 different Cup drivers over a 23-plus year period. During that span, Roush Fenway has fielded 2,688 Sprint Cup entries, captured 116 wins, while collecting 632 top fives, 1102 top 10s and 65 poles. The organization has churned 768,810 laps, leading 32,754 laps along the way, while capturing two championships and finishing the season top two on nine occasions.(RFR PR)(7-23-2010)

    • Biffle crew member may return at Indy: #16-Rear tire carrier Kevin McDowell who was injured on pit road during the Coca-Cola 600 will likely be returning to action this weekend at Indy. A final decision will be made later in the week but he has been practicing with the team after having made a full recovery.(Roush Fenway PR), McDowell was hit by #14-Tony Stewart on pit road during a late race pit stop.(7-22-2010)

    • Nine Whelen Modified races to be shown on VERSUS: The inaugural appearance of NASCAR racing on VERSUS is set for Wednesday, Aug. 4, with the Riverhead 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event from Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. The Riverhead 200, which will be contested on Saturday, July 31, will be the first of nine telecasts to air on VERSUS between the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours in 2010. VERSUS first entered its partnership with NASCAR in 2009 with Quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, a weekly half-hour series that followed the 12 drivers competing in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. In September 2010 the network will launch NASCAR - Next Generation, a series which will profile some the future stars of the Sprint Cup series. In addition to its NASCAR offerings, VERSUS is also the exclusive cable television home of the IZOD IndyCar Series. VERSUS' nine-race schedule will premiere with one-hour race telecasts airing on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET. All races will re-air the Sunday following the initial telecast.(NASCAR PR)(7-23-2010)

    • Sad News - Earl Brooks: Earl Lee Brooks Sr., the "Earl of Lynchburg", drove his victory lap on Wednesday, July 21, 2010. He was born in Lynchburg on Aug. 11, 1929, to Mattie S. and Eldridge L. Brooks. He was the owner and operator of Brooks' Garage on Mayflower Drive from 1959 to 1992. He served his country in the U.S. Army. He lost the love of his life, Dorothy (Dot) Riley Brooks, in 1993. In his early years, he was a stunt driver with the Hollywood Hell Drivers Stunt Show. He was best known for his years in Grand National-Winston Cup Racing, which is now Sprint Cup. His career took him and his family all over the country. He had 262 starts which led to 37 top 10 finishes, three times in the nation's top 20 in points standings. He proudly ran in the Daytona 500 four times. Earl was profiled in the "Stock Car Racing Magazine" as the "Earl of Lynchburg." In 2006, he was chosen as one of the top 10 personalities of the "Well Known in Lynchburg." Earl is represented in the Lynchburg Historical Museum. He was involved in the making of several movies which starred Elvis Presley and is featured in several books about the early years of racing. He was proudly inducted into the Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. He belonged to the Elks Lodge and was Elk of the Year in 1981. He was a member of Moose Lodge 1727, Virginia & Carolina Early Dirt Racers and the Old Timer's Racer's Club. Earl received many awards for his years of hard work and dedication to the sport of auto racing. His most recent honor was being notified that in October he will be inducted into the Memory Lane Museum Hall of Fame in Mooresville, N.C. Those wishing to make memorial contributions, please consider American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m., July 23, 2010, at Whitten Timberlake Chapel and other times at the residence of Mark and Donna B. Skinner. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 24, 2010, at Spring Hill Cemetery, with the Rev. Mike Dodson officiating. To send a condolence to the family, please visit whittenfuneralhome.com.(7-23-2010)

    • Memphis Motorsports Park for sale: Located on 375 acres in north Shelby County, Memphis Motorsports Park is one of the nation's most versatile racing facilities. The former site of more than 150 annual events including NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races, as well as a number of NHRA races, this facility was opened in 1987. Zoned I-H or heavy industrial, the property includes: .75 mile oval NASCAR track, .25 mile drag strip, 1.77 mile road course, 8,500 SF office building, 7 concession stands, 28 total climate-controlled suites. Site is eligible for consideration as a test track by NASCAR teams. Additional uses might include an amateur track, driving school, or racing simulation attraction. $6 million sale price is substantially below value. See more info at memphismotorsportsparkforsale.com.(7-23-2010)


      News from July 22, 2010

    • NASCAR Now Goes Live from Indianapolis: ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will originate from Indianapolis Motor Speedway for four episodes this week surrounding the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season on ESPN.
      A one-hour episode of NASCAR Now hosted by Allen Bestwick airs from Indianapolis on Thursday, July 22, at 5:00pm/et with a preview of the weekend’s NASCAR action. Bestwick also hosts a half-hour show on Friday, July 23, at 6:30 pm/et with reports on the day’s activities at Indy as well as other NASCAR news.
      Two one-hour episodes will sandwich ESPN’s live telecast of Sunday’s Brickyard 400. NASCAR Now hosted by Nicole Briscoe airs at 10:00 am/et with a preview of the race, including driver interviews and features, while a weekend wrap-up edition airs at 10:00 pm/et hosted by Bestwick. The weekend wrap-up edition of NASCAR Now will be a part of ESPN’s coverage of the final 17 weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. NASCAR on ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, Brad Daugherty, Rusty Wallace and Ray Evernham, NASCAR Now co-host and reporter Mike Massaro and lead reporter Marty Smith also will contribute to the on-site Indianapolis coverage.(7-22-2010)

    • NASCAR to decide about Edwards? PENALTIES: NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to punish Carl Edwards for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski on the last lap of Saturday night's Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Speedway, multiple sources told ESPN.com. A decision will be made Tuesday or Wednesday. Edwards turned Keselowski sideways heading for the checkered flag on the straightaway coming off the final turn. The incident triggered a multi-car wreck that allowed Edwards to win and left point leader Keselowski 14th. Afterwards Edwards said it was justice for Keselowski getting him loose to take the lead in Turn 1 to start the final lap.(ESPN)(7-20-2010)
      PENALITES: NASCAR has penalized the #60 team and the #22 driver for rule violations committed during last Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway. The penalties come as a result of violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing/ aggressive driving) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book. Carl Edwards, driver of the #60, has been penalized with the loss of 60 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driver points, fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Car owner Jack Roush has been penalized with the loss of 60 series championship owner points. Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR), the probation for both drivers applies to the Sprint Cup Series as well.(7-21-2010)
      STATEMENTS: Statement from Keselowski: "The incident at the end of Saturday night's race at Gateway was unfortunate not just for Penske Racing and the #22 Discount Tire Dodge team, but for all of the teams that were caught up in the aftermath. There was unnecessary damage done to a lot of race cars as a result of the incident, including one of our best cars. We support NASCAR's decision and we look forward to putting this behind us. Our focus continues to be working hard to get Discount Tire, Ruby Tuesday, Dodge, Mr. Penske and Penske Racing a Championship this season." (Penske PR)(7-21-2010)
      AND: "We have received notification of NASCAR's penalties against Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Roush Fenway Racing related to Saturday night's race at Gateway International Raceway," said Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith. "As with all NASCAR actions of this nature, we will internally evaluate the penalties, and the underlying explanations, prior to making any decision about next steps. We look forward to watching Carl and Brad as they continue to compete on a weekly basis for the championship in the Nationwide Series."(RFR PR)(7-21-2010)
      UPDATE: NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the punishments would have no effect on a renewed commitment to an unwritten code of frontier justice that allows drivers latitude for banging fenders at 200 mph in the goal of self-policing the sport. "Absolutely," said Pemberton, who set the tone for this year's aggression with his oft-quoted "Boys, have at it" pronouncement in January. "We think it works well. We think the vast majority of competitors throughout all our series have handled themselves accordingly and measured their actions and reactions accordingly. We feel they've done an outstanding job. We're not changing the policy. We just have two competitors who have gone over the edge." The probations apply across all three national series, as Edwards and Keselowski are racing full time in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series.(USA Today)(7-22-2010)

    • Prilosec OTC returns to the #31: Prilosec OTC's major associate sponsorship of RCR's #1 Chevy kicks into high gear this weekend in Indianapolis as Burton and the #31 team transform their yellow and black #31 Caterpillar Chevy into a purple Prilosec OTC racing machine for the Brickyard 400.(RCR)(7-22-2010)

    • Wheaties Fuel on the #33 at Indy: Clint Bowyer and the #33 team will bring a specially painted black and orange Wheaties-FUEL themed Chevy to Indianapolis. Wheaties FUEL, the breakfast for champions, by champions, was developed in 2009 with the help of Peyton Manning, triathlete Hunter Kemper, Kevin Garnett, gold medal-winning decathlete Bryan Clay, Albert Pujos and sports nutritionist Dr. John Ivey.(RCR PR),see an image of the car on my #33 team paint scheme page.(7-22-2010)

    • Captain Cliff Johnson named the ExtenZe Local Hero for Indianapolis: Captain Cliff Johnson has the honor of commanding a team unlike any other, within the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety. Comprised of personnel from both the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), the IFD/IMPD Fire Investigations Section is considered to be one of the premier Fire Investigation Sections in the United States. 5 members from each department are assigned to the team, work in teams of 2 and are cross trained in each others' disciplines. The ability to work within the parameters of fire investigator and police detective, has given this team one of the highest arson clearance rates in the country. The experienced investigators, represented by Captain Cliff Johnson are honored to have been chosen as the ExtenZe Local Hero's for the 2010 Brickyard race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As part of the ExtenZe Local Hero program and for leading the charge in the fight against arson, Captain Johnson will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR's leading Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe racing team for this weekend's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes to review who has been previously chose.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(7-22-2010)

    • Indianapolis Tire Notes: This is the first time NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will be running either of these two Goodyear tire codes . . . this was the control tire set-up that Sprint Cup teams ran at a 14-car tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April . . . compared to the tire combination Goodyear brought to IMS last season, there is a slight gauge change to the right-side tire to help control heat build-up . . . the compounds, construction and mold shape remain unchanged from the 2009 Brickyard tire set-up . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at IMS . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see full notes, pressures, number of tires and more on my Indianapolis Race Info page.(7-22-2010)

    • Roundtrip Race Day Shuttle Service To Be Offered For Brickyard 400 Fans: The Town of Speedway is facilitating roundtrip bus service for 2010 Brickyard 400 fans on Race Day, Sunday, July 25 at four convenient locations, including three in downtown Indianapolis and one at Indianapolis International Airport. Service in air-conditioned shuttles will be provided by the Free Enterprise System, Inc. Handicapped-accessible vehicles will be available on all routes. More info, prices, etc on the IMS site.(7-22-2010)

    • Iowa Speedway nears sellout: Grandstand seats for Iowa Speedway's NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the 'U.S. Cellular 250 presented by John Deere and Northland Oil' on Saturday, July 31, are close to being completely sold out according to track President, Jerry Jauron. "Out of over 55,000 total seats for the 'U.S. Cellular 250', we have less than two thousand seats remaining to be sold," Jauron said. "I urge anyone wanting reserved seats for our Nationwide race to buy their tickets now, as we will sell every seat before race day." Reserved seat tickets for Iowa Speedway's second annual NASCAR Nationwide Series race are priced from $55 to $70, and are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or may be ordered from the track's special toll-free telephone line, 866-787-8946, Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm, or Saturdays 9 am to 3 pm.(Iowa Speedway)(7-22-2010)


      News from July 21, 2010

    • NASCAR to decide about Edwards today? UPDATE: NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to punish Carl Edwards for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski on the last lap of Saturday night's Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Speedway, multiple sources told ESPN.com. A decision will be made Tuesday or Wednesday. Edwards turned Keselowski sideways heading for the checkered flag on the straightaway coming off the final turn. The incident triggered a multi-car wreck that allowed Edwards to win and left point leader Keselowski 14th. Afterwards Edwards said it was justice for Keselowski getting him loose to take the lead in Turn 1 to start the final lap.(ESPN)(7-20-2010)
      UPDATE: NASCAR has penalized the #60 team and the #22 driver for rule violations committed during last Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway. The penalties come as a result of violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing/ aggressive driving) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book. Carl Edwards, driver of the #60, has been penalized with the loss of 60 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driver points, fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Car owner Jack Roush has been penalized with the loss of 60 series championship owner points. Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR), the probation for both drivers applies to the Sprint Cup Series as well.(7-21-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Statement from Keselowski: “The incident at the end of Saturday night’s race at Gateway was unfortunate not just for Penske Racing and the #22 Discount Tire Dodge team, but for all of the teams that were caught up in the aftermath. There was unnecessary damage done to a lot of race cars as a result of the incident, including one of our best cars. We support NASCAR’s decision and we look forward to putting this behind us. Our focus continues to be working hard to get Discount Tire, Ruby Tuesday, Dodge, Mr. Penske and Penske Racing a Championship this season.” (Penske PR)(7-21-2010)
      UPDATE 3: “We have received notification of NASCAR’s penalties against Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Roush Fenway Racing related to Saturday night’s race at Gateway International Raceway,” said Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith. “As with all NASCAR actions of this nature, we will internally evaluate the penalties, and the underlying explanations, prior to making any decision about next steps. We look forward to watching Carl and Brad as they continue to compete on a weekly basis for the championship in the Nationwide Series.”(RFR PR)(7-21-2010)

    • Labonte returning to TRG for four races: With the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season under way, TRG Motorsports and Bobby Labonte have agreed to campaign in four additional races sponsored by TaxSlayer.com. After parting ways following the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in June, Labonte and TRG Motorsports have agreed to campaign at the upcoming races at Pocono, Michigan, Atlanta, and Texas. For all four races, the car will feature the familiar red and black paint scheme of TRG sponsor Taxslayer.com.(TRG PR)(7-21-2010)

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Returns to ESPN from Indianapolis: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to ESPN with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25. The telecast is presented by Golden Corral. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show kicks off the day at noon ET with the race telecast starting at 1:00pmn/et and the race’s green flag is scheduled for 1:19 pm. The Indianapolis race is the first of 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup events to be produced by ESPN to close out the 2010 NASCAR season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Of the 17 races, 14 will air on ESPN and three on ABC. ESPN’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway includes a live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday, July 24, at 10:00am/et, and telecasts of two practice sessions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars on the famed 2.5-mile track, all on ESPN2. The first practice session airs Friday, July 23, at 2:00pm/et, while final practice airs Saturday at 3:30pm/et. All programming airs in high definition.
      Five former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions will be an integral part of ESPN’s coverage team at the Brickyard, including analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, who will work with two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid in the booth. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
      NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will feature analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham, with host Allen Bestwick and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race. Following the race, additional reports, analysis and interviews from Indianapolis will air on ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter as will be the case for all 14 races airing on ESPN.(7-21-2010)

    • Ganassi going for "triple crown": Chip Ganassi is one victory from one of the most cherished accomplishments in sports -- a triple crown. If #42-Juan Pablo Montoya or #1-Jamie McMurray wins the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Ganassi would become the first team owner to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Ganassi is the first person, driver or team owner, to have a chance at the trifecta of American auto racing. With McMurray's win at Daytona and Dario Franchitti's victory at Indy, Ganassi became the first owner to win racing's two biggest events in the same season. Now he's going for the sweep.(ESPN.com)(7-21-2010)

    • #11 Team Tops On Pit Road In Second Quarter: The #11 FedEx Toyota team for Joe Gibbs Racing has earned second-quarter honors in the 2010 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition for its pit road performance in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Denny Hamlin and the #11 team have scored a series-leading five wins this season and are currently fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. And while Hamlin is turning fast laps behind the wheel, crew chief Mike Ford’s group has been on its game as well, performing consistent, quick pit stops all year. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, determined by a vote of each team’s crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas.
      Members of the #11 FedEx Toyota pit crew include: Mike Hicks (front-tire changer), Brandon Pegram (front-tire carrier), Jonathan Sherman (rear-tire changer), Heath Cherry (rear-tire carrier), Nate Bolling (jackman), Scott Wood (gasman) and John Eicher (catch can). The team’s athletic director is Mike Lepp.
      The #11 pit crew will be presented the second-quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award Sunday during pre-race ceremonies prior to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(NASCAR)(7-21-2010)

    • Sad News - Don Robertson: Donald Eugene Robertson, 79, of Roanoke, Va., passed away on Sunday, July 18, 2010. He was a veteran of the United States Army serving in the Korean War. He own and operated Star City Auto Body for over 46 years and was a racecar owner in NASCAR [1967-1980, 521 races, 2 wins, 6 top fives, 10 top tens]. Surviving are his wife, Rachel Altice Robertson, of Roanoke; three children, Donna Castillo and husband, Darryl, of Wirtz, Dale Robertson and wife, Chyrl, of Wirtz, and Karen Hunter and husband, Bill, of Butler, Pa.; six grandchildren; sister, Louise Guy and husband, Howard, of Hardy; and sister-in-law, Ruth Altice Rucker, of Fincastle. Service info and full obit at Roanoke Times.(7-21-2010)

    • Sad News - Erik Durchman: Erik L. Durchman, age 63, of Orchard Road, Moravian Falls, NC died Sunday, July 18, 2010 at his home. A memorial service will be held 2:00, Friday, July 23, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with the Rev. Scott Peterson officiating. Family and friends will gather for a celebration of life in the parish house after the service. The family will receive at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home from 6:30 until 8:00 Thursday night. Mr. Durchman spent 30 years in the NASCAR racing business, where he worked in various roles as engine builder, mechanic, chassis manager and machinist. Until his death, he was employed by Penske Racing South in Mooresville. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Wilkes, PO Box 305, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, Wilkes County Library, 215 10th Street, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, or to Wilkes County Animal Shelter, 408 Call Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697, Service info and full obit at Tributes.com.(7-21-2010)

    • Avoid Construction, Arrive Early To Indy: NASCAR fans are encouraged to arrive early in the Indianapolis area during the Brickyard 400 on July 23-25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to a major Interstate highway construction project west of the racetrack. The southbound Interstate 465 exit to Crawfordsville Road (southbound Exit 16A) is closed for the remainder of 2010 as part of a major reconstruction of I-465 on Indianapolis’ west side. This traditionally has been a popular exit for fans heading to the Speedway from points north and northwest of IMS.
      For 2010 Brickyard 400 activities, fans traveling southbound on I-465 should use the 38th Street exit (Exit 17), located one mile north of Crawfordsville Road, and proceed east following signage toward the track.
      The Indiana State Police advises spectators to visit its website, www.in.gov/isp, to receive information on the most direct routes to take when arriving and leaving the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Road conditions and construction updates also can be found at the site.
      Fans also can avoid traffic and parking issues by using shuttle bus service provided by the Free Enterprise System, Inc. Air-conditioned shuttles will operate from three locations downtown and from Indianapolis International Airport. To purchase a shuttle ticket, or for additional information, log onto www.brickyard400parking.com. IMS officials offer two additional recommendations to fans: plan to leave early for the track, and do not use 16th Street westbound in an attempt to enter via Gate 2, as 16th Street quickly backs up due to the volume of cars attempting to park in the infield. A very limited number of infield parking spaces are available and accessible via Gate 10 on 30th Street – the same gate where fans can park for free in Lot 7. Ample parking also is available in IMS Lot 1B (the “Coke Lot”) at 25th Street and Georgetown Road. A map of IMS parking lots is available by clicking here. On Brickyard 400 Race Day, public gates open at 7 a.m., and the race begins at 1 p.m. For additional information, and a complete schedule of the events, visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.(IMS)(7-21-2010)


      News from July 20, 2010

    • Regan Smith to promote cause of protecting U.S. Food Supply: Regan Smith's Furniture Row Racing Chevy will pay tribute to the American farmer and rancher in Sunday's Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The paint scheme and program will promote the importance of U.S. agriculture, which employs directly and indirectly more than 22 million people in the American workforce. Known as the #78 Farm American Chevy, the multicolored car of green, yellow, blue and white will depict farm life on the hood along with the program theme on the rear quarter panel of 'Cultivating the Future'. The United Soybean Board (USB) is the only other sponsor to jump into a partnership with the Farm American car at this time. Furniture Row Racing is hoping other suppliers and industry organizations will help share in the support for this team. Until then, Furniture Row Companies will be underwriting a majority of the Farm American sponsorship at Indianapolis and also at two additional Sprint Cup races - Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Oct. 10 at Auto Club Speedway.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the car on my #78 team paint scheme page.(7-20-2010)

    • 600th Consecutive Start for Labonte: Once again, 2000 Sprint Cup champion #09-Bobby Labonte will hit another career landmark this weekend. Two weeks ago, Labonte made his 600th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. This weekend, during the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Labonte will be making his 600th consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup start. The all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup mark is held by one of the most respected, well-liked drivers to ever walk into the Sprint Cup garage. Ricky Rudd ended his career with an amazing 788 consecutive starts. Labonte is ranked seventh on the NASCAR Sprint Cup records.(Breaking Limits), see stats about consecutive starts on my Sprint Cup statistics page.(7-20-2010)

    • 100th start for Allmendinger: #43-A.J. Allmendinger is set to make his 100th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in Indianapolis. Since he began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in 2007, Allmendinger has earned one pole position (Phoenix, 2010), one top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has led 43 laps in Cup Series competition.(RPM PR)(7-20-2010)

    • Boris Said to run for Red Bull at Watkins Glen: UPDATE: Road racing ace Boris Said told ESPN.com Monday that he will drive the #83 Red Bull Toyota at Watkins Glen International next month [August 8th]. "I've known [Red Bull GM] Jay Frye and [crew chief] Ryan [Pemberton] forever, and have run for them a bunch of times," Said said. "[Frye] has been calling me, and things worked out so I jumped at the chance. Red Bull is in so many forms of racing, so you never know what could happen from this opportunity. Hopefully it'll give me wings."
      "He's better than 'best available,' " Frye said. "He's a phenomenal talent and an even better guy. He's been close to winning one of these things in the past. We have great history with him, and we have great expectations with him in the car." Said has started five races in 2010 with the #26 Ford team, but the Red Bull outfit is among those in the top-35 in owner points, meaning Said will have a guaranteed starting position. That affords Said the opportunity to focus on race setup during practice. "I've done so many one-offs I'm used to it," Said said. "I don't really know any other way. I'm not worried about that. The first time I'll drive the car is the first practice. If it was 10 years ago I'd think I was going there to win this race. But they've all gotten so damn good at [road racing] now, you just never know. I feel like we'll have a great chance. But again, everyone's gotten so much better. It's going to be fun, no matter what." Said will become the fourth different driver to man the #83 Toyota since Brian Vickers was diagnosed with blood clots that required blood thinner to dissipate, thus ending his 2010 season. Casey Mears made four starts before Mattias Ekstrom took over at the Sonoma road course. Ekstrom has a conflict that weekend, but Frye said they're looking at future opportunities with him. Reed Sorenson drove the #83 at Loudon, Daytona and Chicago, and will be in the car at Indianapolis this weekend.(ESPN)(7-19-2010)
      UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team confirmed that road course specialist Boris Said will drive the #83 Red Bull Toyota at Watkins Glen International on August 8. "He's better than the best available," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team Vice President and General Manager. "He's a phenomenal talent and an even better guy. He's been close to winning one of these things in the past. We have great history with him, and we have high expectations with him in the car."(Red Bull Racing)(7-20-2010)

    • NASCAR to decide about Edwards today? NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to punish Carl Edwards for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski on the last lap of Saturday night's Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Speedway, multiple sources told ESPN.com. A decision will be made Tuesday or Wednesday. Edwards turned Keselowski sideways heading for the checkered flag on the straightaway coming off the final turn. The incident triggered a multi-car wreck that allowed Edwards to win and left point leader Keselowski 14th. Afterwards Edwards said it was justice for Keselowski getting him loose to take the lead in Turn 1 to start the final lap.(ESPN)(7-20-2010)

    • Chase Notes & Stats after race #19: #99-Carl Edwards picked a good time for his first podium finish of 2010, finishing a strong second at Chicagoland. He catapulted from 12th to 10th, and picked up 35 precious points over 13th place, now 74 ahead. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a brief stay in the Top 12, as his 23rd at Joliet dropped him back to 13th. The #88 was not competitive at Chicagoland and driver and team will need to find some momentum for the final push to Richmond. #00-David Reutimann's win at Joliet was a feel-good story, and the MWR driver also drove himself into Chase contention, gaining two spots and 74 points on 12th place. Reutimann now sits within a one-race margin of 12th. He was in Chase contention throughout 2009, and may be ready to make the final jump. #9-Kasey Kahne's sixth at Chicagoland gained him 34 points and another position on 12th. Kasey is just 120 points out in 17th, and has the second most points (721) over the last five races. For season-to-season comparison after 19 races, current standings and more, see my Chase Stats after Daytona page. And for Chase history, how the 'old system' would had played out and more, see my 2010 Chase Rules and News page.(7-20-2010)

    • Brickyard 400 Rookie Notes: The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in 16 previous Brickyard 400 races is second-place by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007. Montoya finished 2.982 seconds behind race winner Tony Stewart. A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-10 in nine of the 11 most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis. The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead at Indianapolis is Jamie McMurray (twice for 22 laps in 2003). The best starting position by a Raybestos Rookie at Indianapolis is second by Juan Pablo Montoya (2007) and Clint Bowyer (2006). The most recent Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five finish is Logano, who placed third in the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (24 races). Denny Hamlin is the only Raybestos Rookie to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the format began in 2004. See standings and rookie history on my 2010 Rookies page.(7-20-2010)

    • Kroger and #29 team up at Indy: Fans will have a chance to interact with and compete against the #29 Shell-Pennzoil crew as part of a grocery bagging challenge at the Kroger store in Speedway, IN. The team will race against fans to see who can bag groceries the fastest. Fans who fill their bags faster than the crew will win a $50 Shell gift card, and the runner-up receives a Kroger gift card in thanks for their participation. Additionally, driver Kevin Harvick, the current points leader, will feature the Kroger logo on the deck lid and rocker panel of the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet during the July 25 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Edelman)(7-20-2010)

    • Edwards and Keselowski Invited to Settle Score in School Buses at CMS: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are inviting NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski to 'settle the score', after their incident at Gateway International Raceway's Nationwide race last Saturday, behind the wheels of 13-ton school buses during Tuesday night's Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series. The two NASCAR stars have had more than their share of on-track run-ins over the past 16 months, with the latest coming this past weekend at Gateway International Raceway, where they tangled twice on the final lap, with Edwards emerging the victor of the duel and the race. More info and tickets about the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS), no word if the driver accepted the challenge.(7-20-2010)

    • Sprint Cup Hauler parade in Speedway IN: Brickyard 400 fans can get an up-close view of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "haulers" – the semi trucks carrying the stock cars competing July 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – at the second annual Hauler Parade and Festival on Thursday, July 22 on Speedway's Main Street. The event takes place from 5-8:30 pm, with live music featuring local country music act KJ & TKJ's kicking off activities at 5 pm at the corner of 15th and Main Streets – across the street from popular local restaurant Dawson's on Main. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers – approximately 50 are expected – will arrive at 6 pm in parade fashion behind the 2010 Brickyard 400 Pace Car and park on Main Street from just south of 15th Street in two lines stretching to 10th Street. A media pit stop competition, featuring local on-air personalities, is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 pm. Dawson's will have food and beverages available for purchase throughout the event, and parking will be available on Speedway town streets west of Main and also at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's gravel Main Gate Parking Lot, located on the south side of 16th Street east of the Speedway gas station. Fans can also watch the haulers parade north on Main Street and east on 16th Street at 8 p.m., as they depart the Hauler Parade and Festival single-file and enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds for the Brickyard 400.
      Tickets are on sale now for the Brickyard 400. Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. General admission tickets will be available for Brickyard 400 Race Day – at a value price of just $40 each – for the first time at this year's event, Sunday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(IMS)(7-20-2010)

    • Take a lap around MIS: On select dates in the month of August, Michigan International Speedway will open the speedway for fans to take a few laps on the track, which has provided many great racing memories in its 43-year existence. For $25, fans may take three laps around the track at a maximum speed of 70 mph. The laps will be paced by the MIS pace car. The scheduled dates are August 2-4, Aug. 6 and 23-25 with drive time scheduled between noon - 1 p.m. each day. Reservations may be made by calling 800-354-1010 (no online purchases are available). Advance sales are encouraged due to limited availability. Once a phone order has been placed, a ticket will be mailed to the guest in advance of their selected day. All guests must enter and present their ticket at the tunnel entrance to the track off of Brooklyn Highway. Walk-up purchases can be made based on availability by visiting the MIS Administration Building. Fans can also visit MISpeedway.com for more information.(MIS)(7-20-2010)


      News from July 19, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianaolis Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Bobby Labonte (2009 race winner as owner/2000 Champ)(39/19)
      #13-Max Papis (41/19)
      #21-Bill Elliott (1988 Champ)(45/6)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winners as owner)(36/19)
      #32-Jacques Villeneuve (48/6)
      #36-Casey Mears (38/19)
      #38-David Gilliland (37/19)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (40/19)
      #55-Michael McDowell (44/19)
      #64-Todd Bodine (46/9)
      #66-Dave Blaney (43/19)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (42/19)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,21,38,36,46,13,87
      missing the race would be [4]: #'s 66,55,64,32
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Indianapolis Entry List.(7-19-2010)

    • Boris Said to run for Red Bull at Watkins Glen: Road racing ace Boris Said told ESPN.com Monday that he will drive the #83 Red Bull Toyota at Watkins Glen International next month [August 8th]. "I've known [Red Bull GM] Jay Frye and [crew chief] Ryan [Pemberton] forever, and have run for them a bunch of times," Said said. "[Frye] has been calling me, and things worked out so I jumped at the chance. Red Bull is in so many forms of racing, so you never know what could happen from this opportunity. Hopefully it'll give me wings."
      "He's better than 'best available,' " Frye said. "He's a phenomenal talent and an even better guy. He's been close to winning one of these things in the past. We have great history with him, and we have great expectations with him in the car." Said has started five races in 2010 with the #26 Ford team, but the Red Bull outfit is among those in the top-35 in owner points, meaning Said will have a guaranteed starting position. That affords Said the opportunity to focus on race setup during practice. "I've done so many one-offs I'm used to it," Said said. "I don't really know any other way. I'm not worried about that. The first time I'll drive the car is the first practice. If it was 10 years ago I'd think I was going there to win this race. But they've all gotten so damn good at [road racing] now, you just never know. I feel like we'll have a great chance. But again, everyone's gotten so much better. It's going to be fun, no matter what." Said will become the fourth different driver to man the #83 Toyota since Brian Vickers was diagnosed with blood clots that required blood thinner to dissipate, thus ending his 2010 season. Casey Mears made four starts before Mattias Ekstrom took over at the Sonoma road course. Ekstrom has a conflict that weekend, but Frye said they're looking at future opportunities with him. Reed Sorenson drove the #83 at Loudon, Daytona and Chicago, and will be in the car at Indianapolis this weekend.(ESPN)(7-19-2010)

    • Montoya's Welcome New Baby Girl: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and wife Connie welcomed a new addition to the family- a baby girl, Manuela Montoya Freydell. Manuela was born near the Montoya’s residence in Miami, FL earlier today. This is the Montoya’s third child joining brother Sebastian, age five and sister Paulina, age three. Mother and daughter are doing well.(EGR)(7-19-2010)

    • NASCAR looking at ways to limit Cup drivers in Nationwide Series: In addition to possible changes to the Chase For The Sprint Cup format, NASCAR Chairman Brian France seems determined to change something else – the NASCAR Nationwide Series. France hinted earlier this month that changes to the Nationwide Series could keep Sprint Cup drivers from winning the series championship. "You're likely to see us make some changes in the Nationwide Series … because there's such a concentration of Cup drivers, which we like on one hand, but we want to make sure that that division is our version of college football – that there's drivers, owners, crew members all building their identities and careers through that channel, and there needs to be a big enough place for them to do that," France said two weeks ago at Daytona. "If it's just narrow, if there's not many seats available because we don't accomplish a lot of things, … you're gonna see from us a policy standpoint begin to deal with that issue beginning in 2011. That's something that we'll do carefully."
      What NASCAR will do remains to be seen, but the options appear to be: Limiting the number of races a Cup driver can enter; restricting the number of Cup drivers that can compete in each race; decreasing the amount of money a team can earn if it uses a Cup driver; or changing the points system so a Cup driver can't win the championship. "We like Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide Series," France said. "We need to make sure the stage is not crowded out so much so that we can't give opportunities to Nationwide young regulars who need that experience. And you know what? In my discussions with the Sprint Cup drivers, they agree with us. They think just that way, too. The owners certainly agree with us. So there are going to be some things that we can do."(SceneDaily)(7-19-2010)

    • Local Indy resident to be honored by Aflac: At Indianapolis, local resident Jerry Snyder will be inducted as the next member of Aflac's Crew of Courage, a season-long program honoring brave individuals who have overcome illnesses, accidents and injuries — all with incredible courage and strength. Snyder is a multiple cancer survivor with a powerful story and also happens to be a #99-Carl Edwards and NASCAR fan. Snyder will be at-track in Indy to receive a VIP race experience from Aflac, including one-on-one time with Edwards, track tour and exclusive passes for the race. In addition, he will ride with Edwards all season through a feather-shaped sticker bearing his name on Edwards' racing helmet.(Aflac PR)(7-19-2010)

    • Brickyard 400 National Anthem songer announced: Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman to sing the national anthem before the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 25. Chapman’s most recent release on Sparrow Records, “Beauty Will Rise,” is likely the most important of his recording career of more than 20 years. Chapman’s unflinching honesty is evident on the record as he sings about the tragic passing of his 5-year-old daughter, Maria. The performance by Chapman bolsters an already impressive lineup of national and regional talent performing live during the Brickyard 400 weekend July 23-25. All concerts are free to ticket holders each day at the track. Another addition is IMS fan favorite Casey Jamerson, an Indianapolis native. Rising country music artist Jamerson will perform a pre-race concert at 11am/et Sunday, July 25 on the Plaza Stage in the Pagoda Plaza. The headline act of the music lineup Saturday, July 24 is Capitol Records Nashville singer-songwriter Luke Bryan. The Miller Lite Cars and Guitars concert starts at noon on the Plaza Stage. The musical lineup Friday, July 23 features two shows on the Plaza Stage, popular country duo Cooke & Belle at 11:30 a.m. and teen singer-songwriter sensations Anna Margaret and Josh Golden at 5 p.m
      Tickets are on sale now for the Brickyard 400. Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. General admission tickets will be available for Brickyard 400 Race Day – at a value price of just $40 each – for the first time at this year’s event, Sunday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(IMS)(7-19-2010)

    • Sunoco Sponsors Pocono Race to Raise Money for Red Cross: The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Chapter announced the launch of The Pocono Raceway Sunoco Red Cross Ultimate Fan Experience. Now through July 16th, fans can enter to win a wonderful grand prize which includes a trip to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas and the chance to wave the “Green Flag” at the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 race on August 1st. More info on my Racing Contest page, Proceeds from the race will go to Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter’s one-of-a-kind Red Cross House, which provides free of charge, food, clothing, and shelter to victims of disasters, like fires and floods.(Pocono Raceway)(7-19-2010)


      News from July 18, 2010

    • Johnson to run Foundation scheme at Auto Club; Helmet of Hope returns: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced that it will partner with Samsung for the 2010 Samsung Helmet of Hope program. In its third year, the program allows fans and media members to nominate their favorite charity to receive special recognition. In conjunction with Jimmie Johnson's Helmet of Hope, Lowe's will run a special #48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation paint scheme at the Auto Club Speedway race in October. This marks the fifth-consecutive year that Lowe's has run the foundation paint scheme (JJF). See more on my Racing Charities page.(7-18-2010)

    • Local driver wins Legends Million: Kannapolis, N.C., native Daniel Hemric won the inaugural Legends Million, the largest grassroots race in history, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, taking home an unprecedented $250,000 with the victory. Leading the first 89 laps of the 100-lap A-Feature, it looked as if pole-sitter Doug Stevens was going to complete a perfect weekend by winning the Legends Million. Stevens was the fastest qualifier on Thursday, then led all 20 laps of his Friday heat race, securing the pole for Saturday's main event. Stevens was able to keep a hard-charging Hemric at bay for 51 laps by staying on the bottom of the race track, but with pressure form Hemric, Stevens' car slid up the track going into Turn 1 on Lap 89. That small miscue was all Hemric needed to take over the lead with just 11 laps to go. Stevens wasn't ready to give up, riding Hemric's bumper for next few laps, before Hemric's machine pulled away by several car lengths. Stevens held on to finish second, followed by Steven Cantrell, [Sprint Cup driver] David Ragan and Tyler Green. Legend Car and Bandolero racing continues Tuesday night, July 20, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series. Round seven of the 10-week series will be Double Points Night featuring school bus racing. Spectator gates open at 4:30 p.m. For additional information or tickets to the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-18-2010)


      News from July 17, 2010

    • Dale Jr. Featured on ESPN's SportsCenter My Wish July 19: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently brightened the day of an ill 15-year-old Maine boy through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and highlights of the boy's day with Earnhardt will air Monday, July 19, on the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN's flagship news and information program SportsCenter as part of the SportsCenter "My Wish" series. Jeffrey Buzzell of Hermon, Maine, who has Alport syndrome, wished to meet Earnhardt and learn about the inner workings of a NASCAR team. The wish was granted May 20-22 around the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      Buzzell and his family were given a tour of JR Motorsports, a 66,000-square-foot facility that serves as the nucleus of Earnhardt's racing operation and business interests. Afterwards, they went to Earnhardt's home and raced on his private go-kart track. Before the All-Star race, Buzzell took a tour of the garage and pit area, took part in driver introductions and then watched Earnhardt and the other NASCAR drivers battle it out from a private suite at the speedway.
      Buzzell on his wish with Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "A few seconds after getting out of the limo, I saw Dale come out of his garage and walk towards me. I didn't know what to do or think. All I remember was putting one hand on my chest and shaking his with the other. I had the time of my life and I will never forget my amazing trip or the amazing people I met."(ESPN)(7-17-2010)

    • Atlas Copco to help sponsor Newman in Charlotte: Atlas Copco will serve as an associate sponsor of Ryan Newman's #39 Haas Automation Chevy in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. This race deal is a continuation of the partnership Atlas Copco enjoyed with Haas CNC Racing (now Stewart-Haas Racing) in 2007-2009 and now in 2010 both as a sponsor and as the provider of the team's compressed air. As part of the October 16th race program, fans will have the chance to win 2 tickets to the race, more info on my NASCAR Contest page.(7-17-2010)

    • New hire at NASCAR: NASCAR has announced that Andrew ("Andy") Schwalb has been named Vice President and Chief Information & Technology Officer for NASCAR and NASCAR Media Group. Schwalb will oversee NASCAR's entire technology function, carrying out strategic technological initiatives encompassing the business, media and competition aspects of the sport. He will report to NASCAR Chief Administrative Officer Ed Bennett. Schwalb had most recently been the Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, where he had been employed for 13 years.(NASCAR)(7-17-2010)

    • SPEED to Televise Legends Million at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced a new television agreement with SPEED today for coverage of the Legends Million, the largest grassroots race in history, taking place at the track July 15-17. SPEED's national telecast will air Saturday, July 17, from 7:30 pm to 11:00pm/et. The program will include live coverage of the 100-lap A-Main feature and taped highlights from Thursday and Friday night's action. The biggest Legend Car race ever, the Legends Million is a one-of-a-kind grassroots event featuring a total purse of $1 million with the A-Main winner guaranteed to take home an unprecedented $250,000. The final spot in the feature is assured $10,000. For schedule and tickets, go to charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-14-2010)
      AND: Veteran motor sports broadcaster Dave Despain, whose popular Sunday night show, Wind Tunnel, airs milestone episode No. 500 in November, will host SPEED's live and exclusive coverage of the inaugural Legends Million from Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 17 at 7:30 pm/et. Competitors who register for the Legends Million must register in one of three divisions: Young Lions/Semi-Pro, Masters or The Legends Million, which is open to all drivers. Each division will run heat races and an A-Main race, with the Legends Million A-Feature serving as the grand finale of the three-day event. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Phil Parsons will call the race for SPEED with Matt Yocum and Marty Snider working the pits.(SPEED)(7-14-2010)
      UPDATE: The inaugural Legends Million Weekend got underway Thursday with more than 350 cars taking to the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Doug Stevens was the night's fastest overall qualifier during time trials, which set Friday's heat race lineups.(7-16-2010)
      UPDATE 2 - pole: Friday marked day two of the inaugural Legends Million Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Doug Stevens claimed the top starting position for Saturday's Legends Million $250,000-to-win A-Feature. Stevens, of Griffin, Ga., won the pole position by virtue of his heat race victory and his top speed in Thursday's qualifying. As a result of their first-place heat race finishes, David Ragan will start in second place, followed by Dennis Lambert, Daniel Hemric, Tyler Green, Sean Rayhall, Chad Finchum, Darrell Wallace Jr., David Moyes and Evan Swilling. The Legends Million will conclude Saturday with a full slate of racing action that will crown the champions in the Legends Million A-Feature and Masters and Semi-Pro/Young Lions divisions A-Main races. Spectator gates open and heat races begin at 1 p.m. The special three-day event, running Thursday through Saturday, is bringing Legend Car and Bandolero drivers from more than 36 sates and two foreign countries to the Mecca of Motorsports for the largest grassroots race in history. For addition information or tickets to the Legends Million charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-17-2010)


      News from July 16, 2010

    • Villeneuve to attempt Brickyard 400: Braun Racing announced that former Formula One World Champion and Indy 500 winner, Jacques Villeneuve, will attempt to qualify the #32 Dollar General Toyota for the upcoming Brickyard 400 (NSCS) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The veteran driver has found success in racing that can be rivaled by very few. Villeneuve has captured world championships in both the Indy Car World Series and Formula One and was the winner of the 1995 Indianapolis 500, a feat accomplished only by two other drivers. Qualifying for the Brickyard 400, he will join Juan Pablo Montoya as the only two drivers in history to compete in all three of the historic speedway's premier motorsports events: the Indianapolis 500, the U.S. Grand Prix and the Brickyard 400.
      "I am very excited to join with Braun Racing and Dollar General at Indianapolis," said Villeneuve. "We had a very exciting and solid race last month at Elkhart Lake. I had hoped it would result in additional opportunities to drive for the organization. I have a lot of good memories at the Brickyard. Winning the Indy 500 was a very big highlight in my career. This will be my first venture in a stock car there, but I am confident that we will do well."
      Villeneuve has made two starts in the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After a runner-up finish in 1994, he returned the following season to win the world-famous Memorial Day weekend race. Qualifying for this year's Brickyard 400 will mark his third career NSCS start and his first in the series with Braun Racing. Villeneuve has made three previous starts with the Mooresville-based team, most recently behind the wheel of the #32 Dollar General Toyota at the NASCAR Nationwide Series' inaugural event at Elkhart Lake's Road America. Narrowly missing the pole, he started from the second position and was a contender for the win until an electrical issue ended his race on the final lap.(Braun Racing)(7-16-2010)

    • Kahne to Drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Pocono: Kasey Kahne, who is undefeated in two career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, will pilot the #18 Toyota of Scranton (Pa.) Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the inaugural Pocono Mountains 125 Truck Series event July 31 at Pocono Raceway. Kahne, who drives the #9 Budweiser Ford full-time for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, won Truck Series races in November 2004 at Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It's a big deal for us to have someone like Kasey in the #18 Toyota Tundra," said KBM driver-owner Kyle Busch. "His Truck Series record is about as good as it can get, given that he's never lost a race. He's obviously got a good record at Pocono in the Sprint Cup Series as well, so we know he'll give us a great chance to go to victory lane." The Pocono Mountains 125 is the first-ever Truck Series event at Pocono Raceway, which is located 38 miles south of Toyota of Scranton. Busch is hoping to win as an owner and a driver all in the same day, for while Kahne will drive the #18 Toyota of Scranton Toyota Tundra for KBM at Pocono, Busch will pilot the #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton.(KBM)(7-16-2010)

    • SPEED to Televise Legends Million at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced a new television agreement with SPEED today for coverage of the Legends Million, the largest grassroots race in history, taking place at the track July 15-17. SPEED's national telecast will air Saturday, July 17, from 7:30 pm to 11:00pm/et. The program will include live coverage of the 100-lap A-Main feature and taped highlights from Thursday and Friday night's action. The biggest Legend Car race ever, the Legends Million is a one-of-a-kind grassroots event featuring a total purse of $1 million with the A-Main winner guaranteed to take home an unprecedented $250,000. The final spot in the feature is assured $10,000. For schedule and tickets, go to charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-14-2010)
      AND: Veteran motor sports broadcaster Dave Despain, whose popular Sunday night show, Wind Tunnel, airs milestone episode No. 500 in November, will host SPEED's live and exclusive coverage of the inaugural Legends Million from Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 17 at 7:30 pm/et. Competitors who register for the Legends Million must register in one of three divisions: Young Lions/Semi-Pro, Masters or The Legends Million, which is open to all drivers. Each division will run heat races and an A-Main race, with the Legends Million A-Feature serving as the grand finale of the three-day event. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Phil Parsons will call the race for SPEED with Matt Yocum and Marty Snider working the pits.(SPEED)(7-14-2010)
      UPDATE: The inaugural Legends Million Weekend got underway Thursday with more than 350 cars taking to the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Doug Stevens was the night's fastest overall qualifier during time trials, which set Friday's heat race lineups. The special three-day event, running Thursday through Saturday, is bringing Legend Car and Bandolero drivers from more than 36 sates and two foreign countries to the Mecca of Motorsports for the largest grassroots race in history. For addition information or tickets to the Legends Million charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-16-2010)


      News from July 15, 2010

    • Johnson wins threepeats with an ESPY: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the ESPY as Driver of the Year. Johnson beat out 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., 2009 IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti and six-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was chosen male athlete over Johnson, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Albert Pujols. Johnson has won the last three Driver of the Year ESPY's, with Jeff Gordon winning in 2007.(ESPN)(7-15-2010)

    • JGR and NASA: Joe Gibbs Racing [#11-Hamlin, #18-Busch & #20-Logano] recently used the 3-mile runway NASA utilizes for its space shuttle program to run its car up and down to gather information about aerodynamics. The team basically driver Matt DiBenedetto, a development driver at JGR, run the car to 205 mph on the landing strip, coast to about 150 mph and then run it back up to 205 mph, doing this three times before turning around and coming back and doing the same thing. Such straight-line testing is common in NASCAR. Teams go to various places to do this but going to NASA's runaway is unique.(Virginian Pilot)(7-15-2010)

    • No Cup team for JR Motorsports in 2011: JR Motorsports is not considering is a move to the Sprint Cup Series. “No Cup plans,” team co-owner Kelley Earnhardt said on Wednesday. “No Kasey Kahne. No Mark Martin. Nothing for JR Motorsports. At this point, we would need to get started on that, and it’s definitely not in our future for 2011.” Instead, Earnhardt and her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., need to find sponsorship and drivers for their Nationwide Series cars for next year. She knows Danica Patrick will drive in 13 races in a GoDaddy.com-sponsored car and that Grand Touring Vodka will sponsor 15 races with a driver to be determined. But that doesn’t even fill one full season for an organization that plans to have two Nationwide cars again next year. Kelley Earnhardt said the organization needs to know a little more about NASCAR’s plans to change the Nationwide Series rules to help promote younger drivers. She needs to know, she said, if there will be limits on Cup drivers and what programs are in place to help young drivers so the team can convince a sponsor to support an up-and-coming driver. “It would be nice to know specifically what we’re working with and what we can sell and do,” Kelley Earnhardt said. “In the environment that we’re in from the economic standpoint, it takes a personality to sell a sponsor. Performance and being up front and somebody they can market and somebody the consumer is going to recognize and want to be a part of whatever they’re doing is so important.” Sponsors are hesitant to go with a young driver, she said.(SceneDaily)(7-15-2010)

    • Dale Jr.'s Daytona winning #3 to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Hall of Fame now is the temporary home of one of the most talked about race cars of 2010. Beginning July 14, included with the price of admission, guests can get a close-up look at the #3 Wrangler Chevy that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race July 2, 2010 at Daytona International Speedway. The car carries the same design of the race cars Earnhardt Jr.’s father, Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Earnhardt, made famous in the 1980s. This #3 Wrangler Chevy was built and prepared by JR Motorsports and entered in the Daytona race by legendary owner Richard Childress. The combination of Earnhardt Jr., Dale Earnhardt Inc. and RCR has a very brief yet shining history on the track. In only two races together, Earnhardt drove the #3 Chevy to victory on both occasions (February 2002 and July 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Daytona International Speedway). On loan from JR Motorsports, the race car is on exhibit in the Great Hall of the NASCAR Hall of Fame until Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. More info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame on my NASCAR Hall of Fame News and Links page.(7-15-2010)

    • Luke Bryan to perform at Indy: Capitol Records Nashville singer-songwriter Luke Bryan will perform Saturday, July 24 on Qualifying Day for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Miller Lite Cars and Guitars concert starts at noon (ET) on the Plaza Stage in the Pagoda Plaza. It’s free to all ticket holders that day at IMS. Tickets are on sale now for the Brickyard 400. Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. General admission tickets will be available for Brickyard 400 Race Day – at a value price of just $40 each – for the first time at this year’s event, Sunday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(IMS)(7-15-2010)


      News from July 14, 2010

    • What some drivers are doing on the 'off-weekend': Though some drivers are taking advantage of the open weekend with a much-deserved vacation, others are racing. Here's a sampling of what's on tap for a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors:
      #29-Kevin Harvick, #12-Brad Keselowski, #99-Carl Edwards, #98-Paul Menard, #83-Reed Sorenson are scheduled to be driving in the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway. For the fourth time, Edwards has organized a charity bike ride that begins in his hometown of Columbia, Mo. and finishes at Gateway for the race. The distance between the two points is approximately 200 miles.
      On Sunday, Keselowski also is scheduled to run a short track race at Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine.
      Harvick, Keselowski and #13-Max Papis are scheduled to run the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' CampingWorld.com 200 at Gateway.
      #1-Jamie McMurray and #43-AJ Allmendinger are scheduled to compete against the best in karting in the SUPERKARTS! USA Summer Nationals in Shawano, Wis. from July 16-18.
      #39-Ryan Newman and wife Krissie are scheduled to be attending the Hounds for Hospice Charity Dog Walk, July 17th at the Statesville Soccer Complex.
      #14-Tony Stewart, #9-Kasey Kahne and #66-Dave Blaney are scheduled to race at Eldora Speedway during the King's Royal weekend. They'll be taking on the National Racing Alliance (NRA) Sprint Invaders on Friday.
      #6-David Ragan is scheduled to compete in the Legends Million Dollar Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.
      #47-Marcos Ambrose is scheduled to race in a Late Model Pro Stock event at Riverside (Nova Scotia, Canada) International Speedway.
      #2-Kurt Busch and his wife Eva are scheduled to vacation in Italy, heading to Rome, Venice and Tuscany.
      #18-Kyle Busch and #82-Scott Speed are scheduled to be going on a couple's weekend to the Bahamas. While there, Busch's fiancé Sam Sarcinella and Speed's wife Amanda will tape segments for the Racing Chef.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #24-Jeff Gordon are getting ready for new additions to their families. Montoya and his wife, Connie, are planning to induce labor on Monday, July 19th. The baby girl will be named Manuela Montoya Freydell. Said Gordon, whose wife Ingrid expects their second child, "We're going to get away and take this last off week before the baby comes and just try to relax as a family and I'm really looking forward to that. This is a special time for us right now as we plan for number two coming for us and it's also a hectic time. "
      #26-David Stremme and #13-Max Papis are scheduled to be attending NASCAR Day at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas on Saturday, July 17, 2010
      #38-Travis Kvapil is heading home to Wisconsin — and tweeting. From @traviskvapil: "I'm in WI on a vacation with my family. We've been riding 4 wheelers, fishing, hanging out and relaxing."(NASCAR)(7-14-2010)

    • WIX Filters to sponsor Newman at Bristol: WIX Filters will sponsor Ryan Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing's #39 Chevy in the Aug. 21 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. And playing a large part in WIX Filters' activation of the sponsorship is the company's "Racing with Ryan" sweepstakes, with the grand prize being two coveted tickets to the Sharpie 500, which will run under the lights at the world's fastest half-mile oval. There will be 39 total prizes given away as part of the "Racing with Ryan" sweepstakes. While a dream trip for fans, the upcoming Bristol race weekend is business as usual for WIX. That's because WIX Filters' sponsorship of Newman and the #39 Chevy is more than skin-deep. Stewart-Haas Racing uses WIX Filters to help maintain its edge in the highly competitive Sprint Cup Series.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(7-14-2010)

    • Infineon Raceway to get new name?: Watch for Infineon Raceway to possibly get a new name. Rumors are that officials are looking for a new "sustainable" naming-rights sponsor.(Sonoma Index)(7-14-2010)

    • Free Digital Brickyard 400 Guide Available: Fans can enhance their experience at the Brickyard 400 on July 23-25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by reading the event's digital 2010 Guest Guide available now at the IMS website. View the Guide at indianapolismotorspeedway.com. The Guide is free.
      The 16-page guide, available exclusively online, includes information about the event, including the schedule, directions, parking and transportation, a facility map, storylines, merchandise and concession locations and much more. The interactive guide also is enhanced by embedded video and photos, creating a rich multimedia experience for fans. Fans also can select from one of five colorful covers featuring three-time event winner Jimmie Johnson, two-time winner and Indiana native Tony Stewart and more.
      Tickets are on sale now for the Brickyard 400. Tickets can be purchased online at www.imstix.com at any time. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. General admission tickets will be available for Brickyard 400 Race Day – at a value price of just $40 each – for the first time at this year's event, Sunday, July 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(IMS)(7-14-2010)

    • Darlington Truck Race Tix for sale: With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series set to make its return to Darlington Raceway in just over a month, tickets to the event are becoming one of the hottest items in town. The tough trucks of the Camping World Truck Series are set to return to the famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval for the Too Tough To Tame 200 on Saturday, August 14 at 7:30 pm. In addition to the 200-mile race the trucks will also practice and qualify giving fans a unique opportunity to take in a one-day show at Darlington Raceway. Tickets for the event include practice and qualifying as well as the race and can be purchased for just $25 while children 12 and under are admitted for free with a paying adult. Pre-race pit passes can also be purchased for an additional $15 per adult or $5 for children 17 and under. All pre-race pit passes include an autograph session on pit road with the drivers participating in the Too Tough To Tame 200. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(7-14-2010)


      News from July 13, 2010

    • McMurray's Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award at Chicagoland: Jamie McMurray's crew grabbed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night's (July 10) NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. It was the second Tissot win of the season for the #1 McDonald's crew, which also took top honors at the May 8th Cup race at Darlington Raceway. McMurray #1 McDonald's Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road – 189.002 seconds – during the LifeLock.com 400. The fast and accurate work by the McDonald's crew helped McMurray to a fifth-place finish. For the second straight week Clint Bowyer's #33 Cheerios crew came in a close second (190.819 seconds). Finishing third was Martin Truex Jr.'s #56 NAPA crew (191.086). McMurray's over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory DeMarco (front-tire changer), Doug Riepe (front-tire carrier), Chris Taylor (rear-tire changer), Adam Mosher (rear-tire carrier), Tracy Duncan (jackman), Benjy Grubbs (gasman) and Eric Hoyle (catch can). The team's crew chief is Kevin Manion. Jeff Gordon's #24 crew leads in the Tissot standings with four wins. McMurray's crew along with the crews for Truex and Matt Kenseth are tied for second with two wins. 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). See past winners and standings on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(7-13-2010)

    • Rusty apologizes for remark: Rusty Wallace apologizes for comment at Kyle Busch during Nationwide race ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace apologized Monday for an expletive he directed toward Kyle Busch during Friday night's Nationwide broadcast from Chicagoland Speedway. The comment could be heard after Busch finished his Victory Lane interview. Said Wallace in a statement from ESPN: "At the end of Friday night's telecast, I made an unfortunate remark regarding Kyle Busch. There's no excuse and I certainly know better. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone including Kyle for my mistake." Wallace made the comment after Busch referenced the fans who booed him after he won the race. Wallace then can be heard uttering a one-word comment. An ESPN spokesman said the network would not suspend Wallace for the comment and stated: "ESPN has spoken to Rusty and he understands his remark was uncalled for.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-13-2010)

    • SPEED to Televise Legends Million at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials announced a new television agreement with SPEED today for coverage of the Legends Million, the largest grassroots race in history, taking place at the track July 15-17. SPEED's national telecast will air Saturday, July 17, from 8:00 pm to 11:00pm/et. The program will include live coverage of the 100-lap A-Main feature and taped highlights from Thursday and Friday night's action. U.S. Legend Cars International and Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the inaugural Legends Million earlier this year. The biggest Legend Car race ever, the Legends Million is a one-of-a-kind grassroots event featuring a total purse of $1 million with the A-Main winner guaranteed to take home an unprecedented $250,000. The final spot in the feature is assured $10,000. For schedule and tickets, go to charlottemotorspeedway.com.(7-14-2010)
      AND: Veteran motor sports broadcaster Dave Despain, whose popular Sunday night show, Wind Tunnel, airs milestone episode No. 500 in November, will host SPEED's live and exclusive coverage of the inaugural Legends Million from Charlotte Motor Speedway on July 17 at 7:30 pm/et. Competitors who register for the Legends Million must register in one of three divisions: Young Lions/Semi-Pro, Masters or The Legends Million, which is open to all drivers. Each division will run heat races and an A-Main race, with the Legends Million A-Feature serving as the grand finale of the three-day event. Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Phil Parsons will call the race for SPEED with Matt Yocum and Marty Snider working the pits.(SPEED)(7-14-2010)

    • Scheduled changes, 3 tracks lose? 3 gain dates?: SPEED's Bob Dillner reported on the July 11th SPEED Report that rumors have Auto Club Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway with second race dates going to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway and Kentucky Speedway getting a Sprint Cup race. No word how this will shake up the Sprint Cup schedule, can be figured out a few different ways. Look for Atlanta Motor Speedway to keep it's Labor Day weekend date and doubtful Las Vegas would get a summer date with the heat there.(7-13-2010)


      News from July 12, 2010

    • JPM says Martin needs driving lessons: #5-Mark Martin needs driving lessons before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reaches Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks, according to #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. The two made contact on the final lap of Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway battling for 15th place, and it led a brief, heated conversation in the garage area. "He didn't like the way I passed him there on the last lap, (called it) borderline stupid driving and suggested I take some smart driving lessons from him," Martin said while walking briskly from his #5 hauler to the motorhome lot. Before that, Martin had parked his #5 car on the opposite side of the garage from his hauler near Montoya, apparently to confront the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing driver. "I ain't gonna take no s**t," Martin said. The coveted 15th spot was credited to Martin, with Montoya bringing his No. 42 home in 16th.
      Montoya's comments to the media were even more brief as he followed just seconds behind Martin, both leaving the dark garage area bustling with crew members who prepared and loaded the hot racecars and other equipment into the haulers. "I gave him room out of [turn] four and we got into [turn] one and he nearly wrecked me, (nearly) wrecked us both," Montoya said before being driven away on a golf cart. Before Martin -- last year's winner at Chicagoland -- was whisked away to his motorhome, he was asked if he was going to heed Montoya's advice despite being one of the more respected wheelmen in the NASCAR garage. "Maybe I will," Martin said. "Maybe I do need to drive a little smarter."(Motorsports FanHouse)(7-12-2010)

    • NASCAR featured in Transformers 3 movie: NASCAR style racecars adorned in the colors of Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were competing in downtown Chicago in a little race of their own; complete with armor and machine guns. Filming for the third installment of the wildly popular Transformer movies was taking place over the course of the last week and although the exact plot hasn’t revealed, it would appear that NASCAR will be playing a role. Fans who were at the location sent snapshots of cars painted to resemble the Chevy’s of the #42, #48 and #88. The cars were morphed and included loads of heavy weapons. Last year the cars of #24-Jeff Gordon and #39-Ryan Newman bore special paint schemes of the movie during the fall race at Charlotte, but there has been no word on the exact involvement of NASCAR.
      The areas in Chicago that saw filming included LaSalle Street, Michigan Avenue, Bacino's of Lincoln Park at 2204 North Lincoln Avenue and around the "Sears Tower". According to fans on location the Michigan Ave scene where the NASCAR style cars were spotted was filled with crashing and explosions.
      The final film in the live action Transformers series it is directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and is scheduled for release on July 1, 2011 in Real D 3D theaters nationwide and in IMAX 3D.(NASCAR Examiner) and see some images at www.tfw2005.com.(7-12-2010)

    • Chicago Facts and Notes:
      • David Reutimann won the LifeLock.com 400 Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. It was Reutimann's second Cup win in his 118th start. His only other victory was at Charlotte in May 2009, 42 races ago.
      • Reutimann posted his fourth top-5 finish in 2010. He led three times for 52 laps, including the final 32.
      • Michael Waltrip Racing posted its second Cup series win, both by Reutimann.
      • Toyota scored its eighth win of 2010.
      • The four cautions were a Sprint Cup Chicagoland record for fewest cautions. The 145.146 mph average speed set a track record for the fastest race.
      • Carl Edwards (second) had his best finish of the season.
      • Jeff Gordon (third) has top-5 finishes in his past five races.
      • Clint Bowyer (fourth) matched his best finish of the season.
      • Jamie McMurray (fifth) earned his fifth top-5 finish of the season and ended a streak of five races with finishes of 15th or worse.
      • Kasey Kahne (sixth) has top-10 finishes in four of the past five races.
      • Paul Menard (10th) earned his second top-10 finish of the season.
      • Jimmie Johnson (25th) led the first 92 laps and spun on Lap 136 while running third, and he hit the wall on Lap 227 while running 19th.
      • Points leader Kevin Harvick (34th) finished 16 laps down after going behind the wall to fix a fuel issue.(ESPN.com)(7-12-2010)

    • Race & Commercial Breakdown of the LifeLock.com 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday’s race. TNT was the broadcast team for this event. This will be their last broadcast for the 2010 racing season.
      Total number of commercials: 117
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 64
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 37
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:33 PM
      Total minutes: 183
      Minutes of race broadcast: 125
      Minutes of commercials: 58
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of rousing renditions of the National Anthem: 1 by Jim Cornelison
      Total race brdcst time 125 Total comm. brdcst time 58
      Number of times selected drivers were focused on:
      Landon Cassill – 3
      David Stremme – 6
      Scott Speed – 12
      Brad Keselowski – 18
      Dave Gilliland – 19
      Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 20
      Jeff Burton – 51
      Greg Biffle – 71
      Carl Edwards – 76
      Jamie McMurray – 107
      Jimmie Johnson – 111
      Jeff Gordon – 115
      David Reutimann (race winner) – 149
      See full rundown and more at CawsnJaws.com.(7-12-2010)

    • NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust Enters Into Joint Venture: The NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust (NTLT) announced that it has formed a joint venture with Lionel Electric Trains to make and sell NASCAR replica die cast race cars. The joint venture is not a traditional licensee agreement. Both NTLT and Lionel will actively manage and develop the business, in which it will be partners. Lionel has plans to offer fans and collectors die-cast models representing all of the NTLT teams and more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers. The joint venture will take over the category from Motorsports Authentics, a Concord, N.C.-based company that will focus on its core competency of trackside retail and be the exclusive die-cast car retailer at NASCAR tracks.(PR)(7-12-2010)

    • Johnson becomes a father UPDATE name: #48-Jimmie Johnson is a father, and it won't interfere with his racing schedule. Johnson's wife, Chandra, gave birth to a daughter Wednesday. A Johnson spokesperson said mother and baby are doing well, and no other details will be released. It is the reigning four-time champion's first child. Johnson was prepared to miss a race if his wife went into labor, and with the birth of his daughter expected this weekend, he had Aric Almirola on standby should he need to leave Saturday night's race at Chicago.(Associated Press)(7-7-2010)
      MORE: Chandra and Jimmie Johnson welcomed a baby girl Wednesday, July 7 at 1:44 pm/et in Charlotte, NC. She weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz. and measured 19.5" long. Dad offered that she is absolutely beautiful and affectionately referred to her as "Baby J" as the proud parents have yet to decide on a name. While commenting that sleep was at a minimum last night, he is extremely happy about getting to spend time with his girls before leaving for the race weekend in Chicago.(Lowe's Racing)(7-8-2010)
      UPDATE: the Johnson's named their daughter Genevieve Marie Johnson.(see pictur at Lowe's Racing)(7-12-2010)


      News from July 11, 2010

    • Sadler doesn't expect to return to RPM in 2011 UPDATE: #19-Elliott Sadler said Friday that he does not expect to be back with Richard Petty Motorsports after this season and that he's had talks with car owners about a ride in 2011 and could be a month or so from announcing his new plans. Here's what Sadler (in part) said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway: "I want to race. My dad and I talk about this every week when I get home. Me and the 19 car have had our differences in the past. We have definitely worked through that. Foster (Gillett, who oversees the team) has been very open-minded and very honest the last couple of months of trying to make our team better to end the season strong. I don't fit into their future plans. We haven't talked about anything 2011 at all. Me as far as what they're doing and what we're doing. So we're definitely going on our different ways, but we need to end up this season as strong as we can. I think it will help me try to find something, land something for next year and I think it will help them land a driver that I think fits into what they're trying to do in the future. At this moment I do not expect at all to be back with this organization. I feel really good in the area my career is going next year. I've had a lot of good talks with a couple of different car owners in the last month and a half, two months and we'll see where it takes us. I should know something here in the next month or month and a half on what my future will be for next year. (that will be dependent on sponsorship). We've had some awesome conversations.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-9-2010)
      UPDATE - Sadler could return: Richard Petty Motorsports plans to have a three- to four-car stable next season that includes AJ Allmendinger and Paul Menard, vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis said on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. Loomis also didn't close the door on re-signing Elliott Sadler, who declared himself a free agent on Friday and said he didn't expect to return to the organization. "We have interest [in Sadler]," Loomis said. "Elliott is among three or four drivers who is on the table we're looking at. The bottom line is, I always say this, we're in the performing business and when you're performing it's easier for everything." Sadler ranks 28th in points, but Loomis hopes the addition of crew chief Todd Parrott can turn the #19 team around. "I don't think the door is closed by any means," Loomis said. "Elliott is a talented racecar driver. For whatever reason we haven't been able to put together the finishes we need. There's been a lot of changes we've made over the years, even before I got there. We really felt like putting Todd in there is going to be the real measuring stick with where we're at with that race team." Although Allmendinger is talking to several other teams, Loomis expects him to return to the famed #43 and be the anchor of the organization with Kasey Kahne headed to Hendrick Motorsports. "We know where we're at,'' Loomis said of Allmendinger's contract negotiations. "We just need to get our I's dotted and T's crossed."(ESPN.com)(7-11-2010)

    • Gordon's losing streak is his longest: By not winning the race at Chicago on Saturday night, #24-Jeff Gordon has now gone 48 races since his last win -- which came at Texas in April 2009). This is now the longest winless drought in Gordon's career. "I don't care,'' Gordon said of the new mark. "We were talking earlier there was a point in my career where I was winning every third race and now I win three out of 100. That's just the way life is.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-11-2010)

    • MWR to make announcement at Indy: #00-David Reutimann, who won Saturday night's Spring Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, has signed a new contract with Michael Waltrip Racing. The team scheduled a news conference for July 23 in Indianapolis to announce the deal. "We're in good shape," Reutimann said after his win. "We basically shook hands and got things all lined up. I'll be at Michael Waltrip Racing next year. I may be cutting grass, but I'll be at Michael Waltrip Racing." General manager Ty Norris confirmed an announcement is scheduled and that Reutimann and crew chief Rodney Childers will not be going anywhere. "Both these guys proved tonight they deserve a contract," Norris said. "They deserve to be around.".(ESPN.com)(7-11-2010)

    • Sorenson to stay in #83: Reed Sorenson is expected to remain in the #83 Toyota for Red Bull Racing at Indianapolis and Pocono, the next two Sprint Cup races. Saturday night was originally the last of a three-race deal he had with the team with regular driver Brian Vickers out this season because of blood clots.(Roanoke Times)(7-11-2010)


      News from July 10, 2010

    • Reutiman wins at Chicago: #00-David Reutimann won the Lifelock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 1st win of the season and 2nd of his career. #99-Edwards finished 2nd for only his 2nd top-5 of 2010, followed by #24-Gordon, #33-Bowyer, #1-McMurray [pole sitter], #9-Kahne, #31-Burton, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart & #98-Menard. Points leader #29-Harvick saw his points lead dwindle to 103 after having fuel pump/cable issues late in the race, with Gordon in 2nd. #48-Johnson had some tire issues and made a few mistakes with a slide trying to pit while leading and a spin thru the grass. Johnson led the most laps with 92.
      There were 10 lead changes among 7 drivers and 4 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 67,500, down from 70,000 last July.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Chicago Race Results/Awards page.(7-10-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Chicago:
      #00-David Reutimann won the LIFELOCK.COM 400, his second victory in 118 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2010. It has been 42 races since his last win.
      This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in four races at Chicagoland Speedway.
      #99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2010.
      #24-Jeff Gordon (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in ten races at Chicagoland Speedway. It has now been 48 races since Gordon's last victory, a career-long drought.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-10-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Chicago, race 19 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 2745
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 2642, -103
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 2557, -188
      4) #18-Denny Hamlin [5 wins], 2542, -203
      5) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 2524, -221
      6) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 2488, -257
      7) #31-Jeff Burton, 2465, -280
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 2446, -299
      9) #14-Tony Stewart, 2389, -356
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 2345, -400
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 2292, -453
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 2286, -459
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2271, -496, 15 points out of the chase
      14) #5-Mark Martin, 2249, -496, -37
      15) #00-David Reutimann [1 win], 2190, -555, -96
      16) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 2187, -558, -99
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 16
      17) #9-Kasey Kahne, 2166, -579, -120
      21) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 2044, -701, -242
      36) #83-Brian Vickers, 1158 [out season with illness]
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-10-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Indianapolis [July 25]:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The #37 team increases its lead over 36th to 108 pts.
      32) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1484, +173
      33) #34-Conway/Front Row: 1443, +122
      34) #71-Cassill/TRG, 1439, +128
      35) #37-Gilliland/Front Row: 1419, 108 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 1311, 108 points out of the top 35
      37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row: 1263, -156
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-10-2010)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Chicago: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #09-Labonte, 29th
      Caution 2: #39-Newman, 22nd
      Caution 3: #78-Smith, 20th
      Caution 4: #77-Hornish Jr., 24th
      (7-10-2010)

    • There are four race tracks the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
      Watkins Glen: 0 for 8 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
      Michigan: 0 for 17 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
      Homestead: 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004
      Chicago: 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004 & 7/2008
      plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there.(7-10-2010)

      Chicago Rookie Notes: #34-Kevin Conway was the top Raybestos Rookie in the July 3 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Conway posted a 14th-place finish, his best in 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and the best finish ever for Front Row Motorsports and car owner Bob Jenkins. #29-Kevin Harvick is the only Raybestos Rookie winner in nine previous LIFELOCK.COM 400 races at Chicagoland Speedway, capturing the 2001 event by .649 seconds over Robert Pressley. Harvick is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps in a race at the 1.5-mile Illinois speedway (five times for 113 laps). See standings and rookie histoy on my 2010 Rookies page.(7-10-2010)

    • Darlington's NASCAR agreement is late: Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning isn't sure how possible changes to next year's Sprint Cup schedule would affect the track's race date. The track's Cup date has been Mother's Day weekend since 2005 and the track has had success with it. The first four races sold out. "I feel like the date has worked very well for us," Browning said. "And we don't have reason to believe the date will be changed, but those kind of decisions are made over my head." Browning said he hasn't received the sanctioning agreements, which say when the track's date will be. In the past, Browning usually has had them by now. NASCAR president Brian France said last week International Speedway Corporation, Darlington's parent company, and Speedway Motorsports Inc. both have petitioned NAS-CAR to have dates realigned. ISC wants a second date for Kansas Speedway and SMI has wanted a Cup date for Kentucky the last few years. The company also wants a second date for Las Vegas. The schedule is likely to be released sometime near Labor Day. Browning said he hopes to stay with the Mother's Day weekend date, but would prepare to promote whatever date is given to the track.(Morning News)(7-11-2010)

    • Artist Erwin Dazelle paints the cover for the Brickyard 400 Program: Internationally acclaimed French artist Erwin Dazelle was named by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the 2010 Brickyard 400 Official Program Artist. Dazelle's program cover for the 2010 Brickyard 400, set for July 23-25, depicts Jimmie Johnson's #48 and Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevrolets, two of the most decorated Brickyard 400 drivers and two of the most recognized NASCAR Sprint Cup race cars of the decade, as well as an iconic image of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway featuring the Yard of Bricks and the Pagoda. Dazelle, 35, from Bayonne, France, is one of the top artists in the southwest of France and the Basque country. Dazelle will attend the 2010 Brickyard 400 and will be on hand to meet the fans at the track throughout the weekend. To learn more about Dazelle, visit www.dazelleusa.com.(IMS)(7-10-2010)


      News from July 9, 2010

    • Sadler doesn't expect to return to RPM in 2011: #19-Elliott Sadler said Friday that he does not expect to be back with Richard Petty Motorsports after this season and that he's had talks with car owners about a ride in 2011 and could be a month or so from announcing his new plans. Here's what Sadler (in part) said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway: "I want to race. My dad and I talk about this every week when I get home. Me and the 19 car have had our differences in the past. We have definitely worked through that. Foster (Gillett, who oversees the team) has been very open-minded and very honest the last couple of months of trying to make our team better to end the season strong. I don't fit into their future plans. We haven't talked about anything 2011 at all. Me as far as what they're doing and what we're doing. So we're definitely going on our different ways, but we need to end up this season as strong as we can. I think it will help me try to find something, land something for next year and I think it will help them land a driver that I think fits into what they're trying to do in the future. At this moment I do not expect at all to be back with this organization. I feel really good in the area my career is going next year. I've had a lot of good talks with a couple of different car owners in the last month and a half, two months and we'll see where it takes us. I should know something here in the next month or month and a half on what my future will be for next year. (that will be dependent on sponsorship). We've had some awesome conversations.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-9-2010)

    • Martin to Red Bull in 2011? UPDATE 2 denied: on the Sirius NASCAR Radio Facebook page, it is reported: "Randy Pemberton says that Mark Martin will move over to Red Bull Racing next year and Kasey will come to Hendrick and race the #5 car next season." Doesn't say which Red Bull car the #82 Scott Speed drivers, the #83 that Brian Vickers is supposed to return to in 2011 or a third Red Bull Racing team.(7-7-2010)
      UPDATE: Martin's Business Manager, Benny Ertel, called the reports "aggravating," saying his driver has grown tired of answering the same questions, week after week. "It's the same thing, over and over again," he said. "We walk into the media center and someone immediately raises their hand and asks about where Mark will be racing next season. Mark has answered the question a thousand times and it's always the same answer. `I will be driving the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season.' That's as simple as it is, but some reporters just don't listen."
      "Randy Pemberton went on Sirius NASCAR Radio the other day and said Mark will be driving for Red Bull next season," said Ertel. "There's not a shred of truth to that statement, and he never bothered to ask Mark, Rick Hendrick or anyone else about it. If he had asked, he would have been told -- in no uncertain terms -- that it was a load of hooey. I don't know what's so difficult to understand, Mark Martin will drive the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season. Period."(Sirius Speedway)(7-8-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Red Bull Racing VP/GM Jay Frye told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Friday that there is no truth to reports that Mark Martin will drive for the team next season. "It's flattering to be associated with a guy like Mark Martin," said Frye. "He's a great racer, and any team would love to have him. But he has a contract with Hendrick Motorsports for 2011, and that means he cannot drive for us, or anyone else. I've heard the reports, and there is absolutely nothing to them."(7-9-2010)

    • Race Coverage of the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at ChicagoLand Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 10, 2010.
      Television (TV): TNT at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 6:30 pm/et; green flag approx 7:46pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-air:
      SPEED, Wednesday, July 14 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - Chicago: The selections of pit stalls for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at ChicagoLand Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #1-McMurray chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 8, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #14-Stewart, who starts 3rd took the 7th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #00-Reutimann, who starts 7th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-9-2010)

    • McMurray wins pole at Chicago: #1-McMurray won the Coors Pole for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway speed of 183.542mph for his 3rd pole of 2010 [the most of any driver this season], 1st at Chicago and 6th of his career. McMurray has not won a race from the pole the other five times he won it. #48-Johnson, who has never won at Chicago, will start 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #77-Hornish Jr., #24-Gordon, #00-Reutimann, #56-Truex Jr., #98-Menard and #42-Montoya [who was fastest in Happy Hour practice]. Points leader, #29-Harvick will start 27th and #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 25th,
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #09-Labonte, #87-Nemechek, #21-Ellott, #13-Papis, #36-Mears, #26-Stremme, #32-Bliss & #38-Kvapil.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (4): #55-McDowell, #66-Blaney, #46-Yeley & #64-Bodine [all but Yeley would likely had started and parked]
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Chicago Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-9-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Chicago:
      #1-Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light Pole Award for the LIFELOCK.COM 400 with a lap of 29.421 seconds, 183.542 mph.
      This is his sixth pole in 277 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third pole and fifth top-10 start in 2010. McMurray leads the series in poles.
      This is his first pole in eight races at Chicagoland Speedway.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 14th top-10 start of 2010 and his eighth in nine races at Chicagoland Speedway.
      #14-Tony Stewart (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his eighth in 19 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-9-2010)

    • There are four race tracks the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
      Chicago: 0 for 8 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004 & 7/2008
      Watkins Glen: 0 for 8 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
      Michigan: 0 for 17 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
      Homestead: 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004
      plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there.(6-20-2010)

    • Chicago Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same Goodyear tire codes at Chicagoland this weekend . . .this is the first time teams will run this tire set-up at this track, though they did run it at Texas earlier this season . . . compared to the set-up teams ran at Chicagoland in 2009, this left-side tire features a new construction and compound to offer more grip; while this right-side tire features a new construction that brings it in line with what has been run at other mile-and-a-half tracks and a new compound to improve wear . . .as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams will run inner liners in all four tire positions at Chicagoland . . . the air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see full notes, pressures, number of tires and more on my Chicago Race Info page.(7-9-2010)

    • TNT Wraps up it's 2010 season: TNT wraps up its NASCAR coverage for the season with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Chicago on Saturday, July 10 live from Joliet, Ill. at Chicagoland Speedway. The network will air exclusive coverage of the LifeLock.com 400 beginning at 7:30pm/et with play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander calling the race alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth. In addition, analyst Larry McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the in-field as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments.
      The network's pre-race coverage will get underway at 6:30pm/et with Countdown to Green featuring Lindsay Czarniak (host), Petty and McReynolds, along with reports from pit reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Phil Parsons and Matt Yocum. #18 Kyle Busch will join TNT's infield rig for an interview prior to the race to discuss his current season on the track. In addition, the pre-race show crew will talk to #29 Kevin Harvick who is the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader.
      TNT's acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will feature the late Alan Kulwicki who was the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year and, in 1998, was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
      Dallenbach will once again break down race strategy during Wally's World, as he is superimposed into live race footage from last season's race in Chicago. He will virtually walk along the track to discuss its nuances, with the ability to stop the race footage.

    • Some Chassis selections for Chicago:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion has elected to bring chassis #1006 McDonald's Chevy this weekend to Chicago, the same chassis that captured the pole and finished second at the Darlington in May.
      #2-Kurt Busch Driver Kurt Busch, crew chief Steve Addington and the "Blue Deuce" crew are racing their "PRS-725" Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge this weekend at Chicagoland. The team debuted the car at Darlington on May 8, where Busch started 14th and finished a strong third. In it's only other outing; Busch won the Coors Light Pole Position and finished a strong third in the June 13 battle at Michigan.
      #5-Mark Martin: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #5-600 for Saturday evening's race at Chicagoland Speedway. This is the same chassis Martin drove to a fourth-place finish in the May 30 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-617 Last ran Charlotte - finished 24th; Backup: RK-620 Last ran Las Vegas - finished 23rd. Ragan will run a special UPS Freight scheme at Chicago
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 270 this weekend in Chicagoland. This car has a single start to date, a win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season. JGR 253 will serve as the backup this weekend in Chicago – it recorded at tenth-place finish at Michigan last season. The #11 FedEx Ground Toyota will carry the letters CENT on the b-post this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in recognition of the FedEx Ground Central District encompassing Ohio and West Virginia. The center is being recognized for service and excelling in package care.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-707 during Saturday's 400-mile race at Chicagoland Speedway. Keselowski raced this chassis to a 14th-place finish at Richmond in May.
      #14-Tony Stewart: Chassis #14-583: This car debuted in early March at Las Vegas, where it qualified ninth and led twice for seven laps before finishing seventh. Prior to Las Vegas, it spent time in the wind tunnel. It returned to the track for a NASCAR-sanctioned test at Charlotte Motor Speedway March 23-24 before coming back to Charlotte for the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, where it started 11th and finished a solid fifth. It revisited the wind tunnel in preparation for its third career start this weekend at Chicagoland. Stewart will run the Back to School scheme at Chicago.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Primary: RK-646 (brand new chassis) for the Crown Royal Black Ford.
      #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis #265: Saturday Night's LifeLock.com 400 will be the third-ever start for #265, which has finished no worse than third in its first two starts. Kyle Busch christened this chassis in grand style in May at Dover, where he started fourth and brought home the win. The talented 25-year-old followed up the Dover win by overcoming contact on pit road two weeks later to post a third-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 after starting ninth. Busch will run the Snicker's scheme on the #18
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 Stanley team has prepared chassis #282 for this weekend's event. This Ford was previously run in this season's event at Las Vegas.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis #301 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Chevrolet was tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway in April. Harvick finished seventh with this car at Texas in April and finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May.
      #31-Jeff Burton: Jeff Burton will race chassis #305 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, Burton drove this Caterpillar Chevy to an eighth-place finish at Darlington Raceway in May and to a seventh-place effort at Pocono Raceway last month.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis #306 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was built in 2010 and was put through its first paces four weeks ago at Michigan. Bowyer drove this Chevy in both practice sessions at MIS, but he made contact with the outside wall in final practice and had to retire this Impala for the #33 team's back up.
      #39-Ryan Newman Chassis No. 39-531 debuted last year at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Sprint All-Star Race, where Newman started 12th. He was battling for the lead with less than 10 laps to go when he got tangled up with two other cars and finished 18th. The car's second start was at Chicago, last July. Newman started 12th and finished sixth. The car saw action for the final time in October 2009 at Charlotte. Newman qualified sixth and finished 11th. During the offseason, the original body was cut off the car. The car was made lighter and the bodywork was rebuilt, returning to action in February at Auto Club Speedway, where Newman qualified 18th. An engine failure relegated him to a 36th-place finish. The car's next start came in March at Atlanta, qualified seventh and finished 17th. The car's third start of 2010, Newman started on the pole at Charlotte and finished 9th. Michigan marked the car's most recent start. After qualifying eighth, Newman looked to be on target for a top-10 finish. However, a chunk of sheet metal hit the car on lap 136, hampering Newman's performance. He finished 32nd.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Crew Chief Brian Pattie will bring chassis #1003 this weekend to Chicagoland Speedway. Montoya last ran this chassis in the Coke 600 where the Target team finished 38th due to an accident.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis #288 for this weekend's event at Chicagoland Speedway. This car was run earlier this year at Bristol, Dover, and Pocono.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: Johnson will be piloting brand new chassis #610 in Saturday night's event. Backup chassis #553 was driven to Victory Lane by Johnson at Auto Club Speedway in February.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #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 the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The team tested it in June at Rockingham Speedway.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 RPM crew have prepared chassis #566 for this weekend's event at Chicagoland Speedway. The team utilized this particular Ford earlier this season at Bristol. Menard also drove it during a test at Atlanta in June. Moen / Menards will be featured on the #98.
      #99-Carl Edwards: RK-558 - Last raced at Pocono in June, finished 12th. Edwards will run the special silver Aflac scheme at Chicago.(from team PR's/sites if reported)(7-9-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at ChicagoLand Speedway is scheduled for Friday, July 9, 2010 at 6:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 6:00pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at ChicagoLand Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #47-Ambrose.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #5-Martin.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #32-Bliss with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #66-Blaney.
      See the full qualifying order on the Infineon Qualifying Page.(7-9-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Chicago:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The #37 team dropped to 35th, but is 96 points ahead of the #26.
      32) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1435, +179
      33) #71-Cassill/TRG, 1393, +137
      34) #34-Conway/Front Row: 1379, +123
      35) #37-Gilliland/Front Row: 1352, 96 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 1256, 96 points out of the top 35
      37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row: 1193, -159
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-3-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
      #42-Montoya 181.002
      #1-McMurray 180.355
      #16-Biffle 180.180
      #48-Johnson 180.018
      #99-Edwards 179.952
      slowest: #34-Conway 174.656 & #64-Bodine 175.058
      only one driver ran more then ten laps in a run, #11-Hamlin
      See fastest speeds. average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Chicago Practice Speeds Page.(7-9-2010)

    • Chicago Happy Hour practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #87-Nemechek, 22nd fastest overall
      #09-Labonte [PC1], 24th
      #21-Elliott [PC2], 33rd
      #26-Stremme, 34th
      #13-Papis, 36th
      #32-Bliss, 37th
      #36-Mears, 38th
      #55-McDowell, 39th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #38-Kvapil, 42nd
      #66-Blaney, 43rd
      #46-Yeley, 44th
      #64-Bodine, 46th
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]
      See fastest speeds. average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Chicago Practice Speeds Page.(7-9-2010)

    • 1st Friday practice for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is over, after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
      #87-Nemechek 177.078
      #36-Mears 176.725
      #26-Stremme 176.355
      #24-Gordon 176.298
      #48-Johnson 175.970
      slowest: #34-Conway 169.507 & #21-Elliott 172.370
      #48-Johnson had the fastest 10-lap average, see fastest speeds. average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Chicago Practice Speeds Page.(7-9-2010)

    • Chicago practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #87-Nemechek, 1st fastest overall
      #36-Mears, 2nd
      #26-Stremme, 3rd
      #13-Papis, 6th
      #32-Bliss, 7th
      #38-Kvapil, 12th
      #55-McDowell, 19th
      #09-Labonte [PC1], 44th fastest, would use past champ prov
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #46-Yeley, 30th
      #66-Blaney, 35th
      #64-Bodine, 43rd
      #21-Elliott [PC2], 46th
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]
      See fastest speeds. average speeds, best 10 lap averages, laps run and more on my Chicago Practice Speeds Page.(7-9-2010)

    • Labonte to Race at Indianapolis for Phoenix Racing: Phoenix Racing and team owner James Finch announced today that 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be back behind the wheel of the #09 Phoenix Construction Chevy for the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25. Labonte is the 2000 winner of the event and one of only nine drivers to have won this prestigious race. Labonte will also be making his 600th consecutive start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. That mark currently lists him seventh in overall consecutive starts. Ricky Rudd is the all-time consecutive starts leader at 788. "I've got to thank James Finch and Phoenix Racing for allowing me to get my 600th consecutive race with them at Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Labonte. "We had some discussion about future races at Daytona, and we were able to put a deal together for the Brickyard 400. I like working with the guys and appreciate this opportunity. The Brickyard is such a memorable race. To be able to have this race as my 600th consecutive start is really cool. I didn't sit down at the beginning of my career and plan any milestones, so this is pretty cool." It will be Labonte's third start for Phoenix Racing after racing for the team at both Daytona and Chicagoland.(Breaking Limits)(7-9-2010)

    • Menards / MAPEI returns to the #7: Over the last three weeks, #7-Robby Gordon has recorded a second-place finish at Infineon Raceway and a 12th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway just last weekend. This weekend marks the debut of MAPEI / Menards as the primary sponsor of the #7 Toyota Camry for the 2010 season; Gordon and team hope to carry this momentum forward into Saturday’s race under the lights of Chicagoland Speedway. Robby’s Thoughts – “Everyone at Robby Gordon Motorsports is excited to have MAPEI and Menards returning as a primary sponsor of our team for a few races this season,” said Gordon. “We’ve been building a lot of momentum over the last few weeks, and we’re all ready for the race at Chicagoland. I’ve been successful at this track in the past and I’m looking forward to another great run this weekend.”(RGM)(7-9-2010)

    • Cassill to Drive for TRG at Chicago: Landon Cassill will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start behind the wheel of the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy at the LifeLock.com 400 to be run at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night, July 10. The recently turned 21-year old, July 7th, Cassill is a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native and 2008 Nationwide Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year is excited to be making his second Sprint Cup Series start this weekend. "The deal came about with through Dan Stillman (TRG Motorsports crew chief) he put me together with Kevin Buckler," Cassill said. "We talked over the past couple of weeks and they needed a driver for this weekend and I am happy to step in. This will be my second Sprint Cup Series start, the first was in the 09 at Michigan. I have been spending my time as the development driver for Hendrick Motorsports and the 48, 5, 88 and 24 teams. TRG Motorsports is building a team and are trying to market their product and I am a driver in need of a ride. I need every opportunity to showcase my ability behind the wheel. I can't thank them enough for the opportunity. I hope this is a relationship that can grow."(TRG Motorsports)(7-9-2010)

    • Tum's returns at Chicago: Chicagoland marks the third of five primary paint schemes for TUMS this season. The #00 TUMS Toyota of David Reutimann will also next appear at New Hampshire and Phoenix in 2010 (MWR). See images of the car on my #00 Team Schemes page.(7-9-2010)

    • Chicago Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same Goodyear tire codes at Chicagoland this weekend . . .this is the first time teams will run this tire set-up at this track, though they did run it at Texas earlier this season . . . compared to the set-up teams ran at Chicagoland in 2009, this left-side tire features a new construction and compound to offer more grip; while this right-side tire features a new construction that brings it in line with what has been run at other mile-and-a-half tracks and a new compound to improve wear . . .as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams will run inner liners in all four tire positions at Chicagoland . . . the air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see full notes, pressures, number of tires and more on my Chicago Race Info page.(7-9-2010)


      News from July 8, 2010

    • Chase Notes & Stats after race #18: #29-Kevin Harvick is in the midst of a remarkable comeback year, 25 positions and an amazing 1001 points ahead of this point last year. Harvick is leading an Richard Childress Racing resurgence, an organization that was shut out of the 20'09 Chase, but has two of three drivers in the current Top 12, and #33-Clint Bowyer only 49 points out of 12th. #5-Mark Martin's wreck-induced 28th at Daytona dropped him out of the Top 12, and he now sits 39 points out from #99-Carl Edwards. Last year, Martin was 65 points out in 13th, and in 2004, he was 138 points and five positions away from a spot in the chase field at race #18. Edwards' sixth at Daytona kept him in the Top 12, but he'll need more top 10s to hold on to the final spot. The #99 has only one top 5 this season. For season-to-season comparison after 18 races, current standings and more, see my Chase Stats after Daytona page. And for Chase history, how the 'old system' would had played out and more, see my 2010 Chase Rules and News page.(7-8-2010)

    • Martin to Red Bull in 2011? UPDATE denied: on the Sirius NASCAR Radio Facebook page, it is reported: "Randy Pemberton says that Mark Martin will move over to Red Bull Racing next year and Kasey will come to Hendrick and race the #5 car next season." Doesn't say which Red Bull car the #82 Scott Speed drivers, the #83 that Brian Vickers is supposed to return to in 2011 or a third Red Bull Racing team.(7-7-2010)
      UPDATE: Martin's Business Manager, Benny Ertel, called the reports "aggravating," saying his driver has grown tired of answering the same questions, week after week. "It's the same thing, over and over again," he said. "We walk into the media center and someone immediately raises their hand and asks about where Mark will be racing next season. Mark has answered the question a thousand times and it's always the same answer. `I will be driving the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season.' That's as simple as it is, but some reporters just don't listen."
      "Randy Pemberton went on Sirius NASCAR Radio the other day and said Mark will be driving for Red Bull next season," said Ertel. "There's not a shred of truth to that statement, and he never bothered to ask Mark, Rick Hendrick or anyone else about it. If he had asked, he would have been told -- in no uncertain terms -- that it was a load of hooey. I don't know what's so difficult to understand, Mark Martin will drive the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season. Period."(Sirius Speedway)(7-8-2010)

    • Johnson becomes a father MORE: #48-Jimmie Johnson is a father, and it won't interfere with his racing schedule. Johnson's wife, Chandra, gave birth to a daughter Wednesday. A Johnson spokesperson said mother and baby are doing well, and no other details will be released. It is the reigning four-time champion's first child. Johnson was prepared to miss a race if his wife went into labor, and with the birth of his daughter expected this weekend, he had Aric Almirola on standby should he need to leave Saturday night's race at Chicago.(Associated Press)(7-7-2010)
      MORE: Chandra and Jimmie Johnson welcomed a baby girl Wednesday, July 7 at 1:44 pm/et in Charlotte, NC. She weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz. and measured 19.5" long. Dad offered that she is absolutely beautiful and affectionately referred to her as "Baby J" as the proud parents have yet to decide on a name. While commenting that sleep was at a minimum last night, he is extremely happy about getting to spend time with his girls before leaving for the race weekend in Chicago.(Lowe's Racing)(7-8-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Coke Zero 500 at Daytona: 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. TNT was the broadcast team for this event. This was their annual 'Wide Open Coverage'; additionally, this was broadcast in HD.
      Total number of commercials: 39
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 29
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 119
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
      Stop time for rain delay: 7:46 PM
      Re-started recording times: 9:05 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 12:47 AM
      Total minutes: 238
      Minutes of race broadcast: 225
      Minutes of 'traditional' commercials (ones that actually left the race broadcast): 13
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
      Number of NASCAR Cup Champions to be the Grand Marshall, and give the call to start the engines from his car: 1 Bobby Labonte
      See full rundown, drivers highlighted on my and more on my 2010 TV Commercials page.(7-8-2010)

    • Allmendinger, Petty exchange words UPDATE: #43-AJ Allmendinger and car owner Richard Petty had a heated exchange in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. Allmendinger pulled away from the seven-time NASCAR champion, turned his back on his boss and then stormed away from The King. Allmendinger declined to talk to reporters, but the executive vice president of Richard Petty Motorsports said his driver was merely frustrated by having a strong car and a poor finish. "I always say the car owner shouldn't talk to the driver anytime after the race, especially after an accident," Petty VP Robbie Loomis said. "I think Richard's been here so many times, he's been through this stuff and he was just trying to get him to loosen up and let the boys do their stuff on fixing the car and getting back out there. Anytime you talk to somebody at the wrong time, it always causes discussion that needs to be worked out. That's all that happened." Allmendinger was still hot when Loomis got to the garage a few minutes after the incident, which happened 66 laps into the 400-mile race. "He's a hard-charging competitor and he's as passionate as anybody out there," Loomis said. "Unfortunately, two Daytona races with great cars and we haven't been able to bring the finish home."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-4-2010)
      UPDATE: It was Allmendinger's passion that pushed him to the limit on Saturday night when cameras caught the racer in a heated exchange with his company's namesake, seven-time champion Richard Petty. According to Robbie Loomis, RPM vice president of competition, the King broke one of his own personal rules against approaching a driver during a race. "Richard has been in this position more times than anybody as both a driver and an owner," Loomis said. "He knows the car owner doesn't talk to a driver after a race or after an accident. You never criticize or condemn someone in public. There's nothing you can say to anybody that's going to make them feel worse that they already feel." Loomis went through a similar situation at Martinsville Speedway in 1997 with the late Bobby Hamilton not long after the King had retired from the cockpit. The former crew chief contends, "the longer you're out of the driver's seat the easier it seems to you. And it isn't easy." Loomis feels that Allmendinger is integral to RPM's future. He admits that it's the company's responsibility "to nurture" the driver. He's seen Allmendinger "adapt quickly" to a lot of different tracks, including Daytona, which likely added further to the driver's disappointment. "The King told me, 'AJ has a knack for that place. He's got it figured out,'" Loomis said. "There's not a lot of people that do." Allmendinger is in the final year of his contract with RPM. Although he has been offered a renewal, there are other suitors in the Cup garage as well.(in part from FoxSports)(7-8-2010)

    • NAPA offers free scanner listen: NAPA Auto Parts wants to bring Martin Truex Jr. fans a little bit closer to the action Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway as well as the remaining 18 races in 2010 season —and you won't even have to leave your couch. To honor the one-year anniversary of signing Truex to drive the #56 Toyota, NAPA will make the Michael Waltrip Racing team's in-car audio available free of charge to fans who register at www.NAPAonline.com As an added bonus, Truex has vowed to sing the popular "NAPA Know How" jingle during a pace lap if 1,000 fans sign up.(MWR)(7-8-2010)

    • Sad News - Judy Tucker: Judy Wingate Tucker passed away on Tuesday July 6, 2010 after a brave fight with her illness. Judy was born in Charlotte February 1, 1942. She was a long time resident of Denver NC. Judy was preceded in death by Sherman Tucker, Husband and Best Friend, her Mother & Father, Ruby and Harry Wingate Sr., brother, Jerry and her best traveling buddy, BJ Currie. Judy enjoyed a long career in motorsports. She began in the early 70s at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Most recently she worked with the PR/Media Relations as a freelance employee with various tracks across the country including, Daytona, Charlotte, Bristol, Martinsville, Darlington, Rockingham, Atlanta, Texas, Talladega, Homestead and Las Vegas. During Judy's career she worked with Pro Sports Inc and Blue Max Racing. She was a member of the Blue Max "Winston Cup Champion Team" in 1989 [#27-Rusty Wallace]. Judy was a lifetime member of National Motorsports Press Association and was awarded the esteemed Joe Littlejohn Award. In her spare time, she enjoyed volunteering at East Lincoln Ministries, "The Closet".
      Judy is survived by her brother, Harry "Sonny" Wingate, her uncle Ed" Buddy" Honeycutt, nieces and nephews, Kim, Amy, Mark, Trina and Lesa. Memorials can be made to East Lincoln Ministries, 4278 Catawba Burris Rd, Denver NC 28037. Funeral Services will be held Friday July 9, 2010 2pm at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church. Interment will be in the Church Cemetery. Visitation one hour prior to the service at the Church. Arrangements by Forest Lawn West Funeral and Cremation Service.(7-8-2010)

    • Gibbs and family selected as 2nd quarter Spirit Award Winner: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected J.D. Gibbs and his family as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership.
      Gibbs and his family were selected for hosting Taylor's Finish Line Festival in May. The festival was held to celebrate the end cancer treatments for Gibbs' 5-year-old son, Taylor. Proceeds benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western, N.C., and the Levine Children's Hospital of Charlotte. More than $600,000 was raised at the event, attended by more than 5,000 people.
      Also receiving votes were: Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli for contributions to support trauma care at Lehigh Valley Health Network; employees of Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines for delivering and distributing cleaning supplies to Nashville, Tenn., residents affected by the flooding there; Tony Stewart for his annual Prelude to the Dream charity dirt late model race; and Kyle Petty for his annual charity motorcycle ride across the country. Bobby Hutchens, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, won the award in the first quarter.(JGR)(7-8-2010)

    • TNT Wraps up it's 2010 season: TNT wraps up its NASCAR coverage for the season with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Chicago on Saturday, July 10 live from Joliet, Ill. at Chicagoland Speedway. The network will air exclusive coverage of the LifeLock.com 400 beginning at 7:30pm/et with play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander calling the race alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth. In addition, analyst Larry McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the in-field as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments.
      The network's pre-race coverage will get underway at 6:30pm/et with Countdown to Green featuring Lindsay Czarniak (host), Petty and McReynolds, along with reports from pit reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider, Phil Parsons and Matt Yocum. #18 Kyle Busch will join TNT's infield rig for an interview prior to the race to discuss his current season on the track. In addition, the pre-race show crew will talk to #29 Kevin Harvick who is the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader.
      TNT's acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will feature the late Alan Kulwicki who was the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year and, in 1998, was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
      Dallenbach will once again break down race strategy during Wally's World, as he is superimposed into live race footage from last season's race in Chicago. He will virtually walk along the track to discuss its nuances, with the ability to stop the race footage.

    • NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust formed: The NASCAR industry announced the official formation of the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust, an industry operated organization created to provide NASCAR fans with new and innovative licensed products. The Licensing Trust, which along with the sanctioning body is initially composed of NASCAR teams including more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers, will streamline the licensing opportunities and processes for its partners and bring operational efficiency to the entire industry.
      The Licensing Trust, which is open to any NASCAR national series race team that chooses to participate, will initially explore merchandising opportunities in four key categories – apparel, collectable die-cast, toys and trackside retail. The Licensing Trust is structured to add licensing categories in the future. NASCAR and the teams will directly manage their respective licensing rights in categories outside the Licensing Trust.
      Included in the Licensing Trust alongside NASCAR's licensing marks are some of the sport's most popular teams and drivers. The initial participating teams include: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.; Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates; Hendrick Motorsports; Joe Gibbs Racing; JR Motorsports; Michael Waltrip Racing; Penske Racing; Richard Childress Racing; Richard Petty Motorsports; Roush Fenway Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing.(NASCAR)(7-8-2010)

    • Daytona TV Ratings decent: TNT enjoyed its first year-over-year increase for a Sprint Cup telecast this year as it earned a 3.6 national rating and 6.127 million viewers for its coverage of the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night from Daytona International Speedway. Despite starting more than 90 minutes late because of rain, coverage of the race saw a 16.1% increase in ratings and viewership from the race last year. The 2009 race was held on July 4, while the race this year was on July 3. This year's race featured TNT's "wide open" format that featured only full-screen local commercial breaks. All national advertising was shown in one part of the screen while race coverage continued on the remainder of the screen. According to the SportsBusiness Daily, it was the network's best rating since the July 2008 race at Daytona, which earned a 3.8 rating and attracted 6.39 million viewers.(SceneDaily)(7-7-2010)
      AND: TNT drove to victory with double-digit ratings, total viewers and household increases for its coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 3. The network, airing the race in its signature Wide Open coverage which resulted in zero missed laps of green flag racing for the second the consecutive year, earned a 3.6 U.S. household rating, up 16% over last year. In addition, total viewers and households were up 16% each with total viewers at 6,127,000 (5,277,000 in 2009) and households at 4,152,000 (3,567,000 in 2009).(TNT/Nielsen Media Research)(7-8-2010)


      News from July 7, 2010

    • Martin to Red Bull in 2011?: on the Sirius NASCAR Radio Facebook page, it is reported: "Randy Pemberton says that Mark Martin will move over to Red Bull Racing next year and Kasey will come to Hendrick and race the #5 car next season." Doesn't say which Red Bull car the #82 Scott Speed drivers, the #83 that Brian Vickers is supposed to return to in 2011 or a third Red Bull Racing team.(7-7-2010)

    • Daytona TV Ratings decent: TNT enjoyed its first year-over-year increase for a Sprint Cup telecast this year as it earned a 3.6 national rating and 6.127 million viewers for its coverage of the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night from Daytona International Speedway. Despite starting more than 90 minutes late because of rain, coverage of the race saw a 16.1% increase in ratings and viewership from the race last year. The 2009 race was held on July 4, while the race this year was on July 3. This year’s race featured TNT’s “wide open” format that featured only full-screen local commercial breaks. All national advertising was shown in one part of the screen while race coverage continued on the remainder of the screen. According to the SportsBusiness Daily, it was the network’s best rating since the July 2008 race at Daytona, which earned a 3.8 rating and attracted 6.39 million viewers.(SceneDaily)(7-7-2010)

    • Back to School scheme for Stewart: Tony Stewart will sport a colorful "Back-To-School" paint scheme on his #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy during next Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 race at Chicagoland Speedway. The paint scheme features a fun rendition of every parent's back-to-school shopping list, complete with pens, pencils, crayons, a laptop and even a backpack on the hood. "It's always fun to switch up the look on our #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy," Stewart said. "The back-to-school paint scheme is a fun way to remind parents that they can pick up all of their children's school supplies at any Office Depot store." Stewart is a two-time Cup Series race winner at Chicagoland Speedway and has recorded seven top-5 finishes in nine career Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile track near Joliet, Illinois.(Office Depot Racing), see images of the scheme/car on my #14 Team Schemes page.(7-7-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon making 600th start: He was not king that day - more of an afterthought. But #24-Jeff Gordon has impressed since his NASCAR Sprint Cup career began 599 consecutive starts ago. In the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway in November of 1992, "The King" Richard Petty drove his last competitive laps in NASCAR's premier division. That day also was highlighted by a close championship battle between Bill Elliott, Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison. Although Elliott won the battle (the race), Kulwicki won the war (the championship) by a scant 10 points. Gordon's run that day was cut short after contact with the wall, and he is credited with a 31st-place finish - one position better than (current teammate) Mark Martin. Despite a rough beginning, Gordon's career has been one to remember heading into his 600th start. He is sixth on the all-time win list with 82 victories and fourth in all- time poles with 68. Gordon has collected 272 top-fives and 371 top-10's. To put that in perspective, the driver of the #24 DuPont Chevy has 68 more top-fives than Kyle Busch has starts (272 - 204) and 62 more top-10's than Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson has starts (371 - 309).(Performance PR),see the list of all time start on my Misc Stats page.(7-7-2010)

    • Stewart still has no plans for third team: #14-Tony Stewart participated in this week's NASCAR teleconference and was asked about plans for a third team in 2010:
      Q. I know you're still looking for sponsorship for your two cars. At this point what would you list as the percentage likelihood you could or would expand to a third team for next year?
      TONY STEWART: I would say there's probably a zero percent chance we'll expand to a third team for next year. We're still trying to fill the void when Old Spice changes this year. We're talking to a lot of great people. There's a lot of good opportunities out there. It's just a matter of finding a package that works for somebody to fill our spot. There's still races we're trying to take care of on Ryan's car. The hard part about it is, it just takes funding. We could be up to a four-car team very quickly. But it takes the funding to get it done.(Chevy PR)(7-7-2010)

    • Chicago Police Officer named the ExtenZe Local Hero for Chicago: When Kenny Fullman was 12 years old, his father was shot and killed while trying to break up a gang fight on Chicago's Southside. That tragic incident spawned Kenny into becoming what he is today, a full-time Police Officer in Chicago to help rid the streets of gang violence. In his spare time, Fullman is also the head baseball coach at the Harlan Academy and head coach of one of Chicago's amateur baseball teams called Amateur City Elite, an inner city high school baseball program designed to mentor young people to help keep them off the streets and help them prepare for college. For putting himself on the line as a Police Officer to help protect and serve the people of Chicago and for his community service efforts through the Amateur City Elite, Fullman has been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR's leading Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe racing team for this weekend's NASCAR events at Chicagoland Speedway. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes o review who has been previously chose.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(7-7-2010)

    • Chicago Blackhawks Jim Cornelison to sing National Anthem: If boisterous fans cheer as Jim Cornelison delivers his rich rendition of the National Anthem on Saturday before the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, don’t be alarmed – they’re carrying on a Chicago Blackhawks tradition that’s been around since 1985. That’s the way it’s done at the United Center, where the Blackhawks captured the attention of hockey fans across the nation this year with a determination and grit that helped them win the Stanley Cup. “I’m humbled to share the National Anthem with Blackhawks fans at the United Center before each home game throughout the season and honored to do so with 75,000 fans at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend,” said Cornelison. “The LifeLock.com 400 is a unique event and I am excited to join Duncan Keith as a part of the weekend's festivities." Cornelison, a professional opera singer-turned real estate agent, is known for the emotional response he elicits from fans, from the cheers to goose bumps and tears. Paul McCoy of 12 Stones will perform the National Anthem before the Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola.(Chicagoland PR)(7-7-2010)


      News from July 6, 2010

    • Parrot takes over as Sadler's crew chief: Richard Petty Motorsports has named Todd Parrot as crew chief for driver Elliott Sadler and the #19 Stanley Ford team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Parrott joins RPM from his position as R&D Manager at Roush Fenway Racing. The change reunites Parrott with Sadler who worked with each other at Yates Racing in 2004.A native of Charlotte, N.C., Parrott brings with him over 15 years of experience as crew chief in NASCAR. He has 29 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Two of those wins came with Sadler during the 2004 season.(RPM PR), Parrot served as crew chief for #17-Matt Kenseth until late last month.(7-6-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon's Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Daytona: Jeff Gordon's crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona. It was the second straight win and fourth overall for the #24 crew, which has a two-race lead in the Tissot standings at the halfway point of the season. The pit crews for Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth are tied for second with two wins each. Gordon's #24 DuPont Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road - 217.313 seconds - during the Coke Zero 400. The pit road effort helped Gordon to a third-place finish. Gordon's team edged out Clint Bowyer's #33 Cheerios crew (218.668 seconds). Coming in third was Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 National Guard crew (225.687). 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.(DMF Communications/Tissot), see past winners and standings on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(7-6-2010

    • Some 2011 schedule speculation: UPDATE: It appears more likely than ever the 2011 Sprint Cup slate will have a much different look than it has in recent seasons. NASCAR acknowledged both SMI and ISC have requested realignment date changes for next year, and there are reports Kentucky and a second date for Las Vegas will be part of the SMI plan, at the expense of races in New Hampshire and Atlanta, and Kansas will gain a second NASCAR weekend when Auto Club Speedway gets stripped of its February date.(CBS Sports)(7-5-2010)
      UPDATE: Topics being discussed include shuffling the last 11 dates of the season so different venues could promote Chase races on a revolving basis. Another issue is geography and bouncing between coasts. While the Sprint Cup schedule is likely not to be shortened any time soon, the Nationwide schedule is under review. And by 2012, some Truck and NNS dates could move to weeknight shows. Certainly, the six tracks that have been mentioned as possible candidates for realignment include Kansas, Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas, Atlanta, New Hampshire and Kentucky. At this point, it's up to the track owners to determine what they're willing to give up to make something happen. From an attendance standpoint, Fontana and Atlanta could both stand to lose a race. Time will tell whether Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith is serious about taking a date from New Hampshire - the only track that serves the New England area. The Fontana spring date is likely to fall, but what to put in its place? Phoenix is likely to move to an earlier date. One thing is for certain, Homestead-Miami Speedway stands to lose a chunk of change if the season finale is moved from that track. Ford has a contract to be the title sponsor through 2014 - but only if it's the last race of the season. An alternative placement for Las Vegas could be in the kick off position for the Chase, replacing the first race of the playoffs, which is currently being held in New Hampshire.(Fox Sports) to see what tracks have already confirmed their dates for next year, check out my 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 'tentative' Schedule page.(7-6-2010)

    • Stats at halfway: Daytona marked the end of the first half of the 2010 season. Here are a few stats from the first 18 races:
      · 7 different race winners
      · 12 different Coors Light Pole winners
      · 46 drivers led at least one lap
      · 31 drivers have scored at least one top 10
      · Average Margin of Victory of 1.294 seconds
      · 11 races with an MOV under 1 second
      · Average of 12 leaders per race
      · Average of 28 lead changes per race
      · Average of 43 green flag passes for the lead all along the track (highest through 18 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005)
      · Average of 3,613 green flag passes per race (highest through 18 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005)
      · 50% of the cars finished on the lead lap
      · 78% of the cars were running at the finish
      · All four manufacturers are in the top 12; three have won at least one race.(NASCAR PR), see more NASCAR stats on Jayski's statistic pages.(7-6-2010)

    • Daytona repaving gets underway: The green flag has waved on the historic Daytona International Speedway repave. On Monday, crews began the process by removing lights poles, SAFER barrier and safety fence. The safety fence and 57 light poles in both ends of the high banks are being removed as well 8,300 linear feet of SAFER barrier throughout the facility. The asphalt removal is expected to begin later this week or early next week. Daytona International Speedway's entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. Concrete will be used for the pit stalls. All of the existing asphalt will be removed down to the original 52-year-old lime rock base, which will be leveled and then paving will begin. An estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt will be used on the project that will pave 1,435,000 square feet, about 33 acres. The repaving project has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Daytona International Speedway also posting updates on the project at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/repave.(DIS)(7-6-2010)


      News from July 5, 2010

    • The Entry List for the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Bobby Labonte (2009 race winner as owner/past champ 2000)(39/18)
      #13-Max Papis (41/18)
      #21-Bill Elliott (past champ1988) (45/5)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winner as owner)(36/18)
      #36-Casey Mears (38/18)
      #32-Mike Bliss (48/5)
      #38-Travis Kvapil (37/18)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (40/18)
      #55-Michael McDowell (44/18)
      #64-Todd Bodine (47/8)
      #66-Dave Blaney (43/18)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (42/18)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,21,38,36,46,13,87
      missing the race would be [2]: #'s 66,55,64,32
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Chicago Entry List.(7-5-2010)

    • Daytona News & Facts:
      • Kevin Harvick won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. It was Harvick's 13th Cup series victory (tied for 51st all time) in his 340th race and his second win of 2010. It was Harvick's third restrictor-plate victory in 38 races. His past three wins have come on plate tracks.
      • Harvick is the sixth different race winner in the past six Daytona races.
      • Harvick led eight times for 28 laps, including the final two. He has led in nine of the 18 Cup races in 2010.
      • Richard Childress Racing scored its 91st Cup victory and second win in 2010, both by Harvick.
      • Chevrolet posted its ninth win in 2010, leading all makes; Toyota has seven, Dodge has two and Ford is winless. It was Chevy's 40th win at Daytona; Ford has 29, Dodge has 15 and Toyota has one; all others combined have 42.
      • The top 10 consisted of five Chevrolets, two Toyotas, two Fords and one Dodge.
      • Kasey Kahne (second) has scored top-5 finishes in three of the past four races.
      • Jeff Gordon (third) scored his fourth straight top-5 finish.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fourth) has finished 11th or better in his past four races in 2010.
      • Jeff Burton (fifth) scored his best finish in his past seven races at Daytona.
      • Carl Edwards (sixth) posted top-10 finishes in four of his past five Daytona races.
      • Kurt Busch (seventh) has posted top-10 finishes in six of his past seven Daytona races.
      • Reed Sorenson finished eighth in his 150th career Cup start.
      • Mike Bliss (ninth) scored his best finish in 2010 and best since his 10th-place finish at Talladega in April.
      • David Reutimann (11th) finished in the top 15 in all three 2010 restrictor-plate races.
      • Bobby Labonte finished a season-best 16th in his 600th career Cup start. Labonte has never won in 36 Cup races at Daytona.
      • Kevin Conway (14th) scored his career-best finish.
      • Clint Bowyer (17th) extended a 10-race streak of running at the finish at Daytona.
      • Mark Martin (28th) has never won in 51 Cup races at Daytona.
      • Jimmie Johnson finished 35th, 31st and 31st in the three restrictor-plate races in 2010.
      • It was the seventh green-white-checkered finish in 2010.(ESPN.com)(7-5-2010)

    • Harvick 1000 points better than last year: Daytona marked the 18th race of the season, so we've officially hit halfway in the 36-points race schedule. Anyway, this is a good time to take a look at how things have changed since last year in looking at the points and who's climbed the most and who has fallen the most compared to this point a year ago. Naturally, #29-Kevin Harvick is the leader. Last year he was 26th in the points with 1,683 points. This year, he's leading the points with 2,684 points. Thus, he's climbed 25 spots in the points and gained 1,001 points from this time a year ago. To put his success into greater perspective, it took him 28 races last year to exceed the point total he has now in 18 races.(Hampton Roads), to see a list of drivers and the exact points spread from last year, see my Daytona Race page.(7-5-2010)

    • Some 2011 schedule speculation: It appears more likely than ever the 2011 Sprint Cup slate will have a much different look than it has in recent seasons. NASCAR acknowledged both SMI and ISC have requested realignment date changes for next year, and there are reports Kentucky and a second date for Las Vegas will be part of the SMI plan, at the expense of races in New Hampshire and Atlanta, and Kansas will gain a second NASCAR weekend when Auto Club Speedway gets stripped of its February date.(CBS Sports) to see what tracks have already confirmed their dates for next year, check out my 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 'tentative' Schedule page.(7-5-2010)

    • NASCAR looking at changes to Chase: UPDATE: NASCAR is considering tweaking the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, with chairman Brian France wanting to create more drama to the title-deciding format. "We want to make sure (the Chase) is giving us the biggest impact moments it was designed to do," France said Friday. "Everything, to us, means pushing the winning envelope to mean what it needs to mean in our sport. We're happy with the Chase, (but) if we can enhance it in a pretty significant way, we may do that." The Chase was one of several topics France covered Friday at Daytona International Speedway during a question-and-answer session. Also under consideration are changes to the second-tier Nationwide Series that could affect the participation of Cup drivers, and scheduling requests made by track operators International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. for the 2011 season. But it was the Chase that received the most attention as France admitted NASCAR is continuously trying to improve its championship system. France would not talk specifics, but in general terms, his ideas sounded as if NASCAR is considering both eliminations and tweaking the system to ensure that several drivers are in title contention during the season finale. In the past several years, Johnson has had to only preserve a decent finish to wrap up the title with little to no competition. Although unlikely, it's possible, France indicated, that NASCAR won't do anything at all to the Chase. He compared the process over the next few months to what the NCAA recently experienced while considering expanding the field for the men's basketball tournament.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-2-2010)
      UPDATE: One change that seems to be gaining support in the garage would be to make the Chase an elimination-style format. Under one scenario, 15 drivers would make the 10-race playoff. After two races, the field would be trimmed to 10. After three more races, the field would be cut to five. After two more, the field would shrink to three drivers, who would then battle for the championship over the last three races. One other idea that's being thrown around is to include a road-course event in the 10-race playoff. If these are truly the best drivers in the world, which is what NASCAR continually pronounces, then the ability to turn right and left should be included when determining a champion.(Sports Illustrated), for more info on the chase, see my Chase rules page.(7-5-2010)


      News from July 4, 2010

    • Allmendinger, Petty exchange words: #43-AJ Allmendinger and car owner Richard Petty had a heated exchange in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. Allmendinger pulled away from the seven-time NASCAR champion, turned his back on his boss and then stormed away from The King. Allmendinger declined to talk to reporters, but the executive vice president of Richard Petty Motorsports said his driver was merely frustrated by having a strong car and a poor finish. "I always say the car owner shouldn't talk to the driver anytime after the race, especially after an accident," Petty VP Robbie Loomis said. "I think Richard's been here so many times, he's been through this stuff and he was just trying to get him to loosen up and let the boys do their stuff on fixing the car and getting back out there. Anytime you talk to somebody at the wrong time, it always causes discussion that needs to be worked out. That's all that happened." Allmendinger was still hot when Loomis got to the garage a few minutes after the incident, which happened 66 laps into the 400-mile race. "He's a hard-charging competitor and he's as passionate as anybody out there," Loomis said. "Unfortunately, two Daytona races with great cars and we haven't been able to bring the finish home."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-4-2010)

    • No ethanol use in 2011? NASCAR Chairman Brian France said that the series might not use ethanol next season, going against previous comments from series officials that it would be used in 2011. "I don't know that we'll see (ethanol) in 2011 as a biofuel," France said this weekend at Daytona. "It's certainly an option that is interesting. There's a lot of thought that goes into it. It will be important for us to evolve the fuel source in the national divisions over time. I don't know what will happen in '11. We're working on a lot of things. What I can tell you is we will have a very slow, very steady and sometimes with a big impact, but steady march towards... this sport looking and feeling and acting more green."(Hampton Road)(7-4-2010)

    • Formula One president at Daytona: Jean Todt was guest of NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. Todt, who replaced Max Mosley as president of the FIA (Formula One's governing body) in October, received exposure to American auto racing, which included the Nationwide Series race on Friday night followed by the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Sprint Cup race on Saturday. So what was Todt's interest in NASCAR? "You know, simply, why all those people are here," Todt said. "It's very interesting to see what the others are doing, and it's always something to learn about. Of course, there are reasons why NASCAR is so big in America and why Formula One has never really been able so far to do something out here while doing a lot in other countries around the world. It's a fascinating experience."(Fox Sports)(7-4-2010)

    • Chicago Blackhawks star named Chicago Grand Marshal: Duncan Keith, star defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, will serve as Grand Marshal of the LifeLock.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway® on July 10, 2010. Keith, the 6-foot-1 fan favorite, made headlines during the historic run for the title through sheer stamina, strength and skill - especially after he returned to the ice less than seven minutes after losing seven teeth in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals in the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. He brought home plenty of hefty hardware in 2010, including the Norris Trophy for best all-around performance in the NHL and a Gold Medal from his home country's Olympic Games in Vancouver. Keith will also do a Question and Answer session at 3:30 p.m. on the LifeLock stage in Champions Park, before the LifeLock.com 400.(Chicagoland PR)(7-4-2010)


      News from July 3, 2010

    • Harvick wins at Daytona: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd win at the track, 2nd win of the season and 13th of his career. The start of the race was delayed 90 minutes because of rain. #9-Kahne finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #2-Busch, #83-Sorenson, #71-Bliss, and #82-Speed. The race ended with a green-white-checker finish. #33-Bowyer was leading on the final restart but lost the lead and ended up spinning on the final lap to finish 17th. The "big one" happened on lap 148 when #2-Busch and #31-Burton made contact while running up front. Drivers behind them tried to check up but set off a chain reaction. There were a total of 19 drivers involved: #77-Hornish, #42-Montoya, #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #09-Labonte, #98-Menard, #82-Speed, #9-Kahne, #5-Martin, #20-Logano, #14-Stewart, #83-Sorenson, #38-Kvapil, #7-Gordon, #12-Keselowski, #47-Ambrose, #16-Biffle, #78-Smith, #11-Hamlin. The accident caused a 19 minute red flag. Points leader #29-Harvick saw his lead increase to 212 [from 105] and #24-Gordon moved to second.
      There were 47 lead changes among 18 drivers and 9 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 115,000, the same as 2009.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Daytona Race Results/Awards page.(7-3-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Daytona:
      Kevin Harvick won the COKE ZERO 400 Powered By Coca-Cola (52nd Running), his 13th victory in 340 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      There were an event-record 18 different leaders. The previous record was 15 (1986, 2006).
      This is his second victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 19 races at Daytona International Speedway.
      Kasey Kahne (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 14 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2010.
      Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 36 races at Daytona International Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-3-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Daytona, race 18 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 2684
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 2472 -212
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [5 wins], 2459 -225
      4) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 2439 -245
      5) #18-Denny Hamlin [5 wins], 2400 -284
      6) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 2376 -308
      7) #17-Matt Kenseth, 2322 -362
      8) #31-Jeff Burton, 2319 -365
      9) #14-Tony Stewart, 2251 -433
      10) #16-Greg Biffle, 2234 -450
      11) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2177 -507
      12) #99-Carl Edwards, 2170 -514
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #5-Mark Martin, 2131 -553, 39 points out of the chase
      14) #33-Clint Bowyer, 2121 -563, -49
      15) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 2090 -594, -80
      16) #9-Kasey Kahne, 2016 -668, -154
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 16
      21) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1924, -246
      36) #83-Brian Vickers, 1158 [out season with illness]
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-3-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Chicago:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The #37 team dropped to 35th, but is 96 points ahead of the #26.
      32) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1435, +179
      33) #71-Bliss/TRG, 1393, +137
      34) #34-Conway/Front Row: 1379, +123
      35) #37-Richardson/Front Row: 1352, 96 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 1256, 96 points out of the top 35
      37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row: 1193, -159
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-3-2010)

    • Penalty Report - Daytona:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      No Lap Infraction Flag Penalty Lap Assessed Notes #11 Pre-Race to the rear, To the Rear
      #83 Pre-Race to the rear, To the Rear
      #14 Pre-Race to the rear, To the Rear
      #37 Pre-Race to the rear, To the Rear
      #2 60, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tailend of the field, 63
      #43 66, Pitting before pit road is open , Tailend of the field, 69 #43 66, Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area, Tailend of the field, 69
      #26 68, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tailend of the field, 69
      #9 105, Lug nut(s) not installed, stop & go, 106
      #56 117, Pitting before pit road is open,y Tail of the field, 121
      #1 117, Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #9 117, Pitting before pit road is open, tail of the field, 121
      #46 141, Pitting before pit road is open, held 1 lap, 141
      #19 142, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of the field, 145
      #77 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of the field, 152
      #48 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #14 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #5 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #42 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #47 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #39 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #26 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #09 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail of the field, 152
      #98 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Tailend of longest line, 152
      #36 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail end of longest line, 152
      #11 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail end of longest line, 152
      #20 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail end longest line, Garage
      #78 148, Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #38 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      #12 148, Pitting before pit road is open, garage
      (NASCAR Statistics)(7-3-2010)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Daytona: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver on track down a lap
      Caution 2: #37-Richardson, 23rd
      Caution 3: #71-Bliss, 9th
      Caution 4: #29-Harvick, 1st
      Caution 5: #11-Hamlin, 24th
      Caution 6: #34-Conway, 14th
      Caution 7: #46-Yeley, 19th
      Caution 8: None, #38-Kvapil was involved in the accident
      Caution 9: #34-Conway [2], 24th
      Caution 6: NONE as the drivers up for it [#83, #88] caused the caution
      (7-3-2010)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Daytona (or seemed to)?
      41st: #87-Nemechek, 38 laps run
      42nd: #13-Papis, 6 laps
      43rd: #66-Blaney, 4 laps
      with NASCAR's new rule of the first non-crashed car out of the race to be inspected, it would be the #55 this week
      (only count a team with a history of start and park, not a wreck or engine blow and only if 25% or less of race completed)(7-3-2010)

    • Earlier Indy 500 start time likely: An earlier starting time for the Indianapolis 500 to accommodate drivers wishing to compete in it and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day is likely to happen, Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus said this week. "We're inclined to change our starting time," Belskus said. "We do want to try to make it happen." Belskus said ABC, which owns television rights to the 500, has been consulted and hasn't indicated it would oppose a switch to 11 a.m. from the current 1 p.m. The idea gained momentum in May when Bruton Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., proposed putting up a $20 million bonus for any driver who could win both races on the same day. Smith and Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard were asked about the status of their negotiations last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "We've had some dialogue on some big ideas," Bernard said as Smith nodded his assent. Neither would elaborate.(Indianapolis Star)(7-3-2010)

    • Tire test at Bristol: UPDATE: NASCAR drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #11-Denny Hamlin, #82-Scott Speed and #6-David Ragan participated in a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Bristol Motor Speedway in preparation for the August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race.(BMS)(6-30-2010)
      UPDATE: Goodyear had a tire test earlier this week at Bristol Motor Speedway and has more testing planned later this year elsewhere. Greg Stucker, director of Goodyear race tire sales, said that the tire test was held after seeing signs of stress on the right front tire by teams during the spring race at Bristol. Stucker said they're looking at using a tire similar to that used at bigger tracks because of the high speeds and banking in the corners at Bristol. Stucker also said Goodyear has a tire test scheduled Aug. 24-25 at Talladega Superspeedway. That's to prepare for Daytona International Speedway. Daytona will be repaved after Saturday night's race but the work is not expected to be done until the end of the year. The compound in the asphalt to be used at Daytona is to be similar to Talladega, so by testing at Talladega, Goodyear can have a tire ready for a January test session at Daytona.(Roanoke Times)(7-3-2010)

    • Dale Jr. doesn't plan to drive #3 after Daytona NNS race: UPDATE: On Friday evening, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will slide through the window and into the seat of the #3 Wrangler Chevy for 300 miles of Nationwide Series racing at Daytona International Speedway. Until that moment, he cannot know how that car number on his door, and that blue and yellow paint before him on the hood, and memories of his father's win-at-all-costs attitude while driving them may affect him. Especially at that track. But he is fairly certain about one thing: July 2, 2010 will be the last time he drives a race car with the #3 on the door. "I just want to go to the racetrack and run it once before I retire, and this will probably be it," he said. "After this, I'll probably never drive a car with a 3 on it again. I can pretty much say I'm 99% sure that will never happen again." This is a stark revelation, especially for long-suffering Earnhardt fans who dreamed Junior would close out his career in a black #3. Junior, too, once thought that was his destiny. No more. "It's not [my number] to take and use whenever I feel like using it," he said through a sheepish grin. "You just don't grab the car keys off the counter and go run out the door and haul down the road with your dad's car. I didn't do it when he was alive, and I won't do it now. I'm borrowing it once, and then maybe sometime down the road some kid will come up, and he'll have a connection to the 3 -- whether it's through my father or whether it's what his number's been since he was playing teeball. Whatever, you know, that will be his. It will be someone else's." The current Wrangler program is a dual initiative -- partly to honor Big E, partly out of necessity. Junior's sister, Kelley Earnhardt, Sprint Cup team owner and owner of the #3 trademark Richard Childress, and Teresa Earnhardt all played a role in putting the deal together, and wanted to tie it into Dale Earnhardt's Hall of Fame induction.(see full story ay ESPN)(6-27-2010)
      UPDATE: After winning the Nationwide Series race Friday night, Earnhardt spoke about the #3 car: "I will never do it. I'll never rethink it. I'll never consider it. I think that it's important for everybody to know that that's as concrete as it gets. I'll never do it again. So I enjoyed it. It's hard for me. It's a balancing act between you and the public and myself and my own feelings. I mean, I kind of, you know, look to what you guys are putting out there to kind of get a temperature of how the public's feeling. It's such a tough deal. It's real emotional for me preparing for it and putting it together. Is Rick okay with it? Did Rick mind? Is Richard happy with his role? Is Teresa truly okay? It's just so damn hard to know how everybody feels about it. Hell, I just want to come race. I just like cool-looking cars. This was a helluva cool-looking car. I always loved the scheme. That's all that mattered to me, was just the scheme. I just love the car. I wanted to race it once, and I did. I'd run the number before in this series, so I didn't really put a lot of stock in the fact that the 3 was coming back like a lot of people did. I didn't approach it that way mentally, where everyone else was thinking, you know, 3 is back, Earnhardt's 3 is back. But when I started hearing all that, you know, how everybody was making such a big deal about it, I was like ... man, this is like pressure, man, this is a big deal. So I was a little nervous. But I don't know if I'd have liked that or not. Regardless of whether I did or not, I made my life pretty much driving that 8 and now the 88. It doesn't make sense for me to do this again. I think in the Nationwide Series, it makes enough sense, and I really wanted to do it, and I've done it. I don't ever want to do it again. And I'll never change my mind, ever."(NASCAR Media transcript)(7-3-2010)

    • Rusty Wallace Racing Experience coming to Auto Club Speedway: Rusty Wallace announced the creation of The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, a racing-themed attraction set to open this August at Auto Club Speedway in San Bernardino County, California. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience will offer fans the chance to drive authentic stock cars built to current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series specs. The majority of the vehicles in The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience stables have actually been raced in Sprint Cup competition. Reservations for The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience are now being accepted. Dates are currently available this September through December, with many more dates scheduled for 2011. For reservations, additional information and details on upcoming promotions at The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, please visit racewithrusty.com or call 877.722.1232.(RWI PR)(7-3-2010)


      News from July 2, 2010

    • Coke Zero sponsoring Labonte at Daytona: #09-Phoenix Racing announced that Coke Zero brand will sponsor the team and Coca-Cola Racing Family member Bobby Labonte for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway. Coke Zero will commemorate driver Bobby Labonte's 600th Sprint Cup Series start. Labonte will also be serving as the Grand Marshall for Coke Zero during the race event. Labonte is an original member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family.(Breaking Limits PR)(7-2-2010)

    • Qualifying rained out in Daytona; Harvick on pole: Qualifying for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway was rained out so the field was set but the rule book / 2010 owners points / race attempts. #29-Harvick will start first, followed by #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #2-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #31-Burton, #14-Stewart, and #16-Biffle. The two drivers missing the race are #55-McDowell and #64-Bodine. See the starting lineup on my Daytona Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-2-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Daytona: The selections of pit stalls for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #29-Harvick chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #48-Johnson took pit stall 21, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #18-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 20th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 7th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-2-2010)

    • NASCAR looking at changes to Chase: NASCAR is considering tweaking the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, with chairman Brian France wanting to create more drama to the title-deciding format. "We want to make sure (the Chase) is giving us the biggest impact moments it was designed to do," France said Friday. "Everything, to us, means pushing the winning envelope to mean what it needs to mean in our sport. We're happy with the Chase, (but) if we can enhance it in a pretty significant way, we may do that." The Chase was one of several topics France covered Friday at Daytona International Speedway during a question-and-answer session. Also under consideration are changes to the second-tier Nationwide Series that could affect the participation of Cup drivers, and scheduling requests made by track operators International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. for the 2011 season. But it was the Chase that received the most attention as France admitted NASCAR is continuously trying to improve its championship system. France would not talk specifics, but in general terms, his ideas sounded as if NASCAR is considering both eliminations and tweaking the system to ensure that several drivers are in title contention during the season finale. In the past several years, Johnson has had to only preserve a decent finish to wrap up the title with little to no competition. Although unlikely, it's possible, France indicated, that NASCAR won't do anything at all to the Chase. He compared the process over the next few months to what the NCAA recently experienced while considering expanding the field for the men's basketball tournament.(Associated Press)(7-2-2010)

    • Nemechek gets sponsor for Daytona: UPDATE: HostGator.com, a leader in web site hosting services, has announced a sponsorship with #87-Joe Nemechek in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Daytona International Speedway for the July 4th weekend. HostGator.com will become the main sponsor of the #87 Toyota piloted by Joe Nemechek of Nemco Motorsorts in time for the Coke Zero 400. The sponsorship also extends to Nemechek's Nationwide Car for its upcoming races at Chicago, Gateway, and O’Reilly Raceway Park. “We are honored to have HostGator.com on board, and that they picked Nemco Motorsports to see what NASCAR is all about. It’s always great to bring a new company into NASCAR,” said Joe Nemechek. “It also means a lot at Nemco Motorsports to have an environmentally friendly, green sponsor such as HostGator.com.” Earlier this year, HostGator.com announced a renewed commitment to keep more than 1,800 of its web hosting servers green through Renewable Energy Certificates for wind farms in the state of Texas. “We are very excited and proud to become a part of Nemco Motorsports and support a veteran driver like Joe. Many of our current customers and staff are huge fans of NASCAR, and we look forward to serving the many NASCAR Fans in the future.” stated Lance Custen, CEO for HostGator.com.(HostGator)(6-28-2010)
      UPDATE: NEMCO Motorsports announced the return of a previous sponsor for driver Joe Nemechek in Fridays Jalapeño 200 and Saturday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. England's Stove Works, Inc. will advertise its website, heatredefined.com, on the #87's NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series entries.(NEMCO PR)(7-2-2010)

    • Workers repair Daytona track patch: UPDATE: On Thursday night track workers were diligently attempting to repair the patch between turns one and two, which was formed during February’s debacle that halted action twice for a total of 2 hours and 25 minutes as asphalt crumbled from the surface. According to fans camped near the patch, workers appeared prior to the first Nationwide Series practice Thursday morning. Johnny Grainger, 57, of Deltona said representatives from Daytona International Speedway explained the workers were covering the patch with concrete and then grinding the surface around a square area where the cars were bottoming out throughout the practice sessions. Grainger added that the workers returned shortly after Happy Hour ended around 8 p.m. By 10 p.m., 11 vehicles along with a trailer surrounded the area as workers continued to address it. Although track officials denied there was any problem with the surface and NASCAR representatives were unaware of any issues, from the infield fence there was clearly visible a three- to four-foot hole in the patched area. Additional calls to Daytona and International Speedway Corp. were not returned Thursday night.(Fox Sports)(7-2-2010)
      UPDATE: According to Daytona officials, "During an inspection by Daytona engineers after Thursday track activity an area of approx 1' x 4.5' in Turn 2 was repaired as a precautionary measure. Our track inspections will continue throughout the weekend and we will make any other repairs deemed necessary. The event schedule was not impacted and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series cars were on track this morning at 8 a.m. as scheduled."(DIS)(7-2-2010)

    • Reutimann signs contract extension: UPDATE: #00-David Reutimann has signed a three-year contract extension with Michael Waltrip Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Sponsor Aaron's will be on the car for 18 of those Cup races in 2011 as it enters the third year of a three-year contract. According to sources, the sponsor is looking to extend in 2012.(Fox Sports)(6-30-2010)
      UPDATE: David Reutimann says he has a "handshake deal" to remain at Michael Waltrip Racing. Reutimann, who has driven in Cup for the team since its arrival to the series in 2007, said Friday that it was a multi-year deal. "I haven't signed anything," Reutimann said following Sprint Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway. "We've got a handshake deal basically, a verbal agreement, of what we're going to do." "We've been working on the contract for about a month," MWR General Manager Ty Norris said. "Basically, all the elements are done as far as we're concerned."(Scene Daily)(7-2-2010)

      Michael Waltrip at Goodwood Festival of Speed: This weekend Michael Waltrip climbs back behind the wheel of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts car in front of 150,000 global motorsports enthusiasts at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. The annual festival is a hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles. Waltrip drove the familiar blue and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS car to Daytona 500 victories in 2001 and 2003. Waltrip races a part-time schedule now and devotes nearly all of his attention to his Michael Waltrip Racing team that fields cars for drivers David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Waltrip left for England on Tuesday. After Goodwood, Waltrip and (Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner) Rob Kauffman plan to race in the 24 Hours of Spa on Aug. 2. The pair teamed up to race the AFCorse Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Dubai in January.(MWR PR)(7-2-2010)

    • Chase Notes & Stats after race #17: #99-Carl Edwards' 25th at Loudon chopped 54 of the 57 point advantage he held over 13th place after Infineon. His decline over the last several races has brought several drivers into close contention for the Top 12. He is joined in jeopardy by stablemate #16-Greg Biffle, who has lost three positions over the last five faces and now sits only 109 points ahead of 13th. #17-Matt Kenseth, the third Roush driver currently in the Top 12, has lost altitude as well, dropping four spots over the last five, and is one bad race away from being in the danger zone. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has righted the ship, and while not spectacular, is clicking off top 10s. He's moved up three spots over the last five races and lurks just 3 points out of 12th. A podium finish at Daytona could catapult Junior to a Chase run. #9-Kasey Kahne's 36th and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya's 34th deprived them of opportunities to make up valuable ground on 12th place. For season-to-season comparison after 17 races, current standings and more, see my Chase Stats after New Hampshire page. And for Chase history, how the 'old system' would had played out and more, see my 2010 Chase Rules and News page.(7-2-2010)

    • Earnhardt license plate released in North Carolina: You can now drive North Carolina highways with Dale Earnhardt along for the ride. Race Plate Marketing LLC and NASCAR have announced the creation of a commemorative NASCAR Hall of Fame licensed plate in North Carolina to honor Earnhardt, one of five people to make up the Hall's inaugural class. With these additions, North Carolina now offers a selection of 26 different NASCAR and driver specialty plates.(Charlotte Observer)(7-2-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Daytona:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Chassis #1002. Chassis #1002 will make its debut this weekend at Daytona. The chassis served as the backup at the Daytona 500 in February.
      #2-Kurt Busch: Driver Kurt Busch, crew chief Steve Addington and the "Blue Deuce" crew are racing their "PRS-636" Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge in this weekend's action at Daytona. This is a car built for the speedways that Busch and crew have yet to race.
      #5-Mark Martin: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #5-560 for Saturday night's race at Daytona. It is the same chassis that Martin drove to a 12th-place finish in the 2010 Daytona 500 and most recently to a fifth-place finish at Talladega in April.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-691 Brand new chassis, Backup: RK-649 Last ran Talladega - finished sixth
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-637 during Sunday's 400-mile race at Daytona. This is a brand-new chassis to the #12 stable.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Chassis RK-678 (Last run in the 2010 Daytona 500)
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 Stanley team has prepared chassis #283 for this weekend's event. This Ford Fusion was previously run in the season opener at Daytona.
      #20-Joey Logano: The #20 Team is taking chassis #235 this weekend for the restrictor-plate race at Daytona International Speedway. Logano ran this chassis at the Shootout in Daytona earlier this season to a seventh-place finish. The back-up car, chassis #212, was the car the team raced at the season-opening Daytona 500.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis #95 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevy is brand new for 2010, and was used by the #29 team in the Daytona 500, where Harvick led seven times for 41 laps and finished seventh.
      #31-Jeff Burton: Jeff Burton will race chassis #312 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable, a brand new Chevy that will be put through its first paces in this weekend's Coke Zero 400.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis #296 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Chevy that will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #42-Juan Montoya: Chassis #1010. The Target team will bring Chassis #1010 to Daytona International Speedway this weekend. This is a brand new chassis.
      #43-AJ Allmendinger: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis #682 for this weekend's event at Daytona. This car was run earlier this year in the season opener at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-575. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a 13th-place finish after qualifying seventh and leading eight laps at Talladega in April.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 RPM crew have prepared chassis #675 for this weekend's event at Daytona. The team utilized this particular Ford Fusion in the season opener at Daytona. Menard posted his best finish on the 2.5-mile superspeedway in that race.
      #99-Carl Edwards: RK-692 - this is a new car

    • ISC formally requests second date for Kansas: International Speedway Corp. has formally petitioned NASCAR to give Kansas Speedway a second Sprint Cup race as early as 2011. ISC spokesman Lenny Santiago says he expects an answer later this summer, before NASCAR unveils next year's schedule. He declined to talk about details of the petition that include potential dates. Santiago believes Kansas is a strong candidate to get a second race because of the track's history of well-attended events and the construction of a new casino overlooking the track. It also could help that NASCAR's primary sponsor, Sprint, is headquartered in Overland Park, Kan. It's unclear how the Cup schedule would shake out if NASCAR grants Kansas a second date.(Associated Press/ESPN)(7-2-2010)

    • Bobby Labonte named Grand Marshal for Coke Zero 400: Bobby Labonte, who is scheduled to make his 600th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Saturday night, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 52nd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Labonte, who is driving the #09 car for owner James Finch in Saturday's 160-lap, 400-mile race, will give the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines." Labonte, who is an original member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, has captured 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and 26 poles as well as the series' championship in 2000.(DIS)(7-2-2010)


      News from July 1, 2010

    • NASCAR announces 2011 Hall of Fame nominees: NASCAR announced the list of 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's second induction class. From that list, five inductees will be chosen. The 2011 inductee class will be announced in October and honored next year at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. This year's inaugural induction class consisted of Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr. and Richard Petty. The second round of nominees, which again includes many of the sport's legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. Joining the 21-person committee this year is Jody Deery, owner of acclaimed quarter-mile short track Rockford (Ill.) Speedway. She replaces Tom Blackwell, former owner of Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway, who passed away in April. The HOF's inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which has 53 members - the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's 53rd and final ballot. Four new members will join the Voting Panel this year: Richard Petty, Kyle Petty of TNT, legendary media member Chris Economaki, and Jim Campbell of Chevrolet. Following are the 25 nominees:
      * Bobby Allison, 1983 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and winner of 84 races:
      * Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships:
      * Red Byron, first NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, in 1949:
      * Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series:
      * Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion:
      * Richie Evans, nine-time NASCAR Modified champion:
      * Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
      * Rick Hendrick, 12-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
      * Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion
      * Dale Inman, eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup championship crew chief
      * Ned Jarrett, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
      * Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
      * Bud Moore, 63 wins and two NASCAR Sprint Cup titles as a car owner
      * Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
      * Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
      * David Pearson, 105 victories and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
      * Lee Petty, winner of first Daytona 500 and first three-time series champion
      * Fireball Roberts, won 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
      * T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Senior VP
      * Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, 1951 and '53
      * Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
      * Darrell Waltrip, winner of 84 races and three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships
      * Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion
      * Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success
      * Cale Yarborough, winner of three consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, 1976-78
      (NASCAR)(7-1-2010)

    • Qualifying Order for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International 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 #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #34-Conway.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-Park with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #87-Nemechek.
      See the full qualifying order on the Daytona Qualifying Page.(7-1-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Coke Zero 400 at Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, the fastest and some notes:
      #7-Gordon 195.126
      #16-Biffle 194.317
      #47-Ambrose 194.250
      #9-Kahne 194.217
      #43-Allmendinger 194.133
      slowest: #36-Park 185.843 & #66-Blaney 185.010. no speed: #1-McMurray & #64-Bodine
      incidents: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. scraped the wall between turn 1 & 2 early in the session. #47-Ambrose also hit the wall in a separate incident. The teams are repairing both cars. #20-Logano slowed to come into the pits and was hit in the rear by #99-Edwards but didn't hit anything. There was a short caution because of showers at the track. An accident with 30 minutes remaining involved #11-Hamlin, #83-Sorenson, #37-Richardson, and #14-Stewart. All four drivers will go to a backup. The session was called about 15 minutes early because of rain.
      For practice speeds, average speeds, ten lap average speeds, laps run, see the Daytona Practice Speeds Page.(7-1-2010)

    • Daytona practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #09-Bobby Labonte [PC], 26th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 36th
      #13-Max Papis, 37th
      #26-David Stremme, 38th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 39th
      #38-Travis Kvapil, 40th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 41st
      #36-Steve Park, 42nd
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #66-Dave Blaney, 43rd
      #64-Todd Bodine, no time
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • First Thursday practice: for the Coke Zero 400 at Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, the fastest and some notes:
      #20-Logano 193.932
      #33-Bowyer 193.778
      #39-Newman 193.719
      #17-Kenseth 193.715
      #14-Stewart 193.648
      slowest: #64-Bodine 186.031 & #66-Blaney 185.437
      There was some rain in the area but didn't impact the track during the session. Arica Almirola again jumped in the #48 for Jimmie Johnson to get a few laps in, but there's still no updated baby news.
      incidents: #6-Ragan got loose in turn 4 and was hit in the rear by #18-Busch. #9-Kahne also got some damage and all three will go to a backup.
      For practice speeds, average speeds, laps run, see the Daytona Practice Speeds Page.(7-1-2010)

    • Daytona practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #09-Bobby Labonte [PC], 34th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 35th
      #36-Steve Park, 37th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 38th
      #26-David Stremme, 39th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 41st
      #13-Max Papis, 42nd
      #38-Travis Kvapil, 43rd
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #64-Todd Bodine, 44th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 45th
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Goodyear Tires to 'Support Our Troops' UPDATE: been told that Goodyear will have special tires for the NASCAR races at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday. With the Goodyear logo and "Support Our Troops" in red-white-blue. See an image below or a larger images on my Tire News and Testing page.(6-28/29-2010)
      UPDATE: For the first time in its history, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR's three major national series, has announced it will transform all Goodyear Racing Eagle tires for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races over the July 4th holiday weekend. The new design, featuring a patriotic red, white and blue color scheme reading "Support Our Troops" on the tires' sidewalls, is designed to say 'thank you' to the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces and launch the Goodyear Support Our Troops program. The Company will help jump-start this new support and fundraising effort with a $20,000 donation to a leading military support program. The Goodyear Support Our Troops program will also provide consumers a variety of ways to show their support for the troops and will encourage everyone to participate in a series of fund-raising initiatives to benefit members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The rebranded Goodyear Support Our Troops tires will raise awareness for the support effort and will also serve as the first step in the fund-raising campaign, as Goodyear will auction the special logo'd, driver-autographed tires used in the July 3rd Coke Zero 400. All funds raised will be donated to Support Our Troops, a nonprofit nationwide organization which bolsters the morale and well-being of America's troops and their families. Funds raised through the Goodyear effort will benefit the highly effective programs, which deliver more than $8 million per year in care packs and requested items to the front lines, positive support at home, kids' camp assistance and more. The Goodyear Support Our Troops Charity Auction, held online at www.Goodyear.com, will begin when the green flag drops on July 3rd and will run through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 17th.(Goodyear PR)(7-1-2010)


      Goodyear - Support the Troops

    • Steve Park to run Cup race at Daytona? IMAGE: from the Tommy Baldwin Racing Facebook page: "Steve Park & TBR Daytona july race. We [Tommy Baldwin Racing] want to do a Richie Evans replica design", posted by TBR.(5-22-2010)
      UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin Racing and driver Steve Park announced that they will be entering a fan sponsored, Richie Evans tribute car at the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona on July 3. The #36 Chevy will feature a throwback orange and black paint scheme with the fans’ names sponsoring the car integrated into the design. Richie Evans, “The King of Modified Racing”, won eight consecutive Modified Championships from 1978 to 1985. In 1979, Evans posted 54 top-five finishes in 60 Modified races. From Quebec to Florida, Evans racked up more than 400 career victories. His achievements have been heralded by the International Motorsports Hall of Fame as, “One of the supreme accomplishments in motorsports.”
      “Richie Evans is one of the guys we all worked hard to beat and to be around,” Baldwin said. “I always looked up to him." Evans was fatally injured at the age of 44 during practice for the Winn-Dixie 500 Triple header at Martinsville Speedway in 1985. At the time of the accident he had already clinched the Winston Modified Tour championship, now known as the Whelen Modified Tour. "I hope that this will be the first in a line of tributes to some of the best racers in the world who inspired me and many others - modified racers,” Baldwin said. Two-time Sprint Cup Series winner Steve Park will drive the TBR machine in the Daytona race. This will be Park’s first trip back to Daytona since he won the pole in 2003. “I’m extremely honored to be driving a car that pays homage to one of the greatest race car drivers of all time,” said Park. “Richie is respected by so many drivers and he really made his mark in this sport. This is a really neat way to get the fans involved while paying homage to one of the greats.”Fan sponsors will choose from different tiers of sponsorship that range from $20 -$10,000 allowing them to actively participate in a memoriam of the greatest racers in the Modified Series, a junior league to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. More info at the Tommy Baldwin Racing website.(5-27-2010)
      IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #36 team paint schemes page.(7-1-2010)

    • Labonte to Make 600th Start in Daytona: Hitting another milestone, 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be making his 600th career start and his 598 consecutive start this weekend. Labonte will be racing for Phoenix Racing and the #09 Phoenix Construction Chevy in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the infamous 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. Labonte's 600th start will rank him 20th in overall Career Sprint Cup starts. Richard Petty is the all-time leader with 1,185 Career Sprint Cup starts. Labonte will also be supporting a new red, white and blue helmet, to help raise awareness for the Hope For The Warriors non-profit organization. Another helmet will be signed by the participating drivers of the Coke Zero 400. Both helmets will be auctioned off after this weekend's events. Bobby Labonte has 35 starts, earned two pole positions, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes and has over 68 laps led at Daytona.(Breaking Limits PR),see the list of all time start on my Misc Stats page.(7-1-2010)

    • 8 Soldiers, 8 Missions on the #88: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 National Guard "8 Soldiers 8 Missions"/AMP Energy Chevy will feature a special camouflage paint scheme this weekend at Daytona in honor of the eight National Guard Soldiers and eight missions in which they served. These eight Soldiers served in domestic and overseas missions for their country. #88 Chevy was designed to commemorate the heroic efforts and service of these Soldiers and the other men and women who serve in the National Guard. The eight soldiers Earnhardt will recognize are Staff Sgt. Ryan Brubaker with the Montana Army National Guard, Staff Sgt. Daniel Caldwell with the Alabama Army National Guard, Sgt. 1st Class Chris Dempsey with the Arizona Army National Guard, Spc. Tabitha Foster with the Kentucky Army National Guard, Spc. Richard Ghent with the New Hampshire Army National Guard, Staff Sgt. Justin Lampert with the North Dakota Army National Guard, 1st Lt. Reed Preece with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Spc. Joseph Ruiz with the New York Army National Guard.(Hendrick PR), see an image of the car on my #88 team paint schemes page.(7-1-2010)

    • Scotch-Brite on the #16: This weekend the #16 3M Ford Fusion will have a new look with a special Scotch-Brite paint scheme.(Roush Fenway PR), see an image of the car on my #16 team paint schemes page.(7-1-2010)

    • Mission: ABLE on the #43 at Daytona: The Paralyzed Veterans of America new initiative Mission: ABLE will be featured on the #43 Ford this weekend. The PVA is the nation's leading veteran organization and its national network provides comprehensive support for veterans. In addition to featuring its new Mission: ABLE initiative, which raises awareness and funds to enable veterans to find jobs, secure benefits and receive care and camaraderie, three members of the PVA will attend the race and be guests of RPM.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(7-1-2010)

    • Daytona Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same Goodyear tire codes at Daytona this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran at Daytona in February . . . this is a new tire set-up for Nationwide teams, considering that teams in that series have a new car to run . . . Goodyear confirmed this tire set-up on the Nationwide cars during a NASCAR test at Daytona on May 18-19 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams will run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . the air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.The estimated pit window for the Sprint Cup cars are every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear), see full notes, codes, number of tires and more on the Daytona Race Info page - Goodyear section.(7-1-2010)

    • Sad News - Robert Bouchard: Robert H. Bouchard [dather of former NASCAR drivers Ron & Ken], 88, of Winchendon Springs, died Saturday, June 26, 2010 in UMass Medical Center, Worcester. Robert was born on November 29, 1921, son of the late Henry and Irene (Ashby) Bouchard. Mr. Bouchard owned and operated Red & White Trucking Company on Lunenburg Street in Fitchburg for 65 years. He also worked with his son, Ron at the Honda Store in Fitchburg. Besides the mother of his children, Lorraine (Henault) Bouchard, Robert leaves his life companion Patricia Boucher and her daughter Jayne Boucher, two sons, Ronald R. Bouchard and his wife Paula, and Kenneth Bouchard, all of Fitchburg, one daughter, JoAnn Bouchard Bergeron and her husband Robert of New Ipswich NH, seven grandchildren, Gene Bouchard, Robert Bouchard, Michelle Bouchard, Tracy Bouchard DiNardo, Chad Bouchard, Courtney Bouchard Bergeron, and Olivia Bouchard, five great-grandchildren, four brothers, Ernie Bouchard of Maine, Jules Bouchard of NM, Norman Bouchard of Athol, and Larry Bouchard of Fitchburg, two sisters, Irene Wasserbeck of OH, and Terry Barber of Orange, and many nieces and nephews. Service info can be found at legacy.com.(7-2-2010)

    • Daytona to honor six Medal of Honor Recipients: Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to six Medal of Honor recipients during this week's Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway. It's the second straight year that the "World Center of Racing" will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
      * Joe M. Jackson, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel from Newman, Ga.
      * Don Jenkins, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant from Quality, Ky.
      * Thomas Norris, retired U.S Navy Lieutenant from Jacksonville, Fla.
      * Richard A. Pittman, retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant from French Camp, San Joaquin, Calif.
      * Kenneth Stumpf, a retired U.S Army Staff Sergeant from Menasha, Wis.
      * Michael Thornton, a retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer from Greenville, S.C.
      All six Medal of Honor recipients will be honored during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room inside Daytona 500 Experience and will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 2 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 3. There will be a special salute to the six Medal of Honor recipients between the National Anthem and the starting command, "Gentlemen start your engines," for Saturday's Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.(DIS)(7-1-2010)


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