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  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    MARCH 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 March 31, 2010

    • Hamlin to have knee surgery on Wed UPDATE 2 surgery done: Surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in #11-Denny Hamlin's left knee will not limit the Sprint Cup driver behind the wheel for the next race, according to one of the doctors that will perform the operation on Wednesday. "I anticipate by the time he gets to Phoenix [April 8-10] he'll have a pretty normal knee for all intents and purposes," said Dr. Bill Heisel, who will assist Dr. Patrick Connor of OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, N.C. Heisel said the winner of Monday's race at Martinsville Speedway may be in some pain or discomfort for a few weeks after the surgery, but added that range of motion to use the brake or clutch won't be impacted. "He's going to feel something, even at Phoenix," Heisel said. "The big thing is to control the swelling to get the motion going. Straight ahead he should be pretty good. Obviously, what you don't want him to do is wreck the car. But I anticipate he's going to be able to clutch and brake pretty quickly." Heisel said the procedure will involve making tunnels through Hamlin's shin bone and thigh bone to pass the tendons from a cadaver into place and lock each end with a screw. He said physical therapy will begin immediately to improve mobility and strengthen the quadriceps, and that Hamlin will have to wear a brace for a while when not in the car. "He'll be back running in three months," Heisel said. Surgery was delayed until Wednesday after Sunday's race was rained out.(ESPN)(3-30-2010)
      UPDATE: Hamlin will only need clearance from his doctor to resume competing in NASCAR, according to officials with the sanctioning body. “He only needs to be cleared by his doctor, he needs for him to say it’s OK for him to return … that he’s good [to go],” NASCAR’s Ramsey Poston, managing director, corporate communications, said Tuesday. While Poston said there’s no formal paperwork that must be submitted, such as copies of Hamlin’s medical records, the sanctioning body could request such records if there was a concern. That typically isn’t the case, Poston said. As far as the use of painkillers or other medicine following surgery, Poston said “that’s part of the conversation we have with any driver. Any misuse is a violation … it’s pretty standard.” Poston said it is unlikely officials would be concerned about Hamlin’s ability to compete when he does return to the track. “We’ve had drivers [compete with] a whole lot worse than ACL [injuries],” he said. Dr. Patrick Connor with OrthoCarolina will perform the surgery [today].(SceneDaily)(3-31-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, had successful surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee this morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Patrick Connor with OrthoCarolina. Hamlin injured the knee in January prior to the start of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. He is expected to make a full recovery and will be in Phoenix as scheduled for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on April 10. JGR will have driver Casey Mears on standby should Hamlin experience any complications while driving in the race and need to be replaced in the car. "Denny had his surgery this morning and everything went well," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "He will start rehab immediately and now we can concentrate on getting his knee back to the full strength. The doctors tell us it will improve with each passing week and that he cannot damage it by driving. We expect him to be in the car in Phoenix, but we're fortunate to have Casey Mears standing by in case he would need to come out of the car for any reason."(JGR)(3-31-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Martinsville: 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 the Martinsville race. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 136
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 75
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 53
      Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 7 min. 35 sec.
      Recorded race/commercial time periods on Sunday: 1:00 PM – 2:24 PM
      Recorded race/commercial time periods on Monday: 12:01 PM – 3:55 PM
      Total minutes: 318
      Minutes of race broadcast: 261
      Minutes of commercials: 57
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of rain-delay interviews: 8
      Number of rain-delay interviews of a singing fish plaque: 1
      Number of male enhancement ads: 0 Thanks Fox!
      Digger the Gopher Cam sightings: 9 all animated
      Total race brdcst time 261 Total comm. brdcst time 57
      See number of times drivers were focused on and more on my 2010 Commercials page.(3-31-2010)

    • Bowyer’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Martinsville: Clint Bowyer’s over-the-wall crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Monday’s rain-delayed (March 29) Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the historic Martinsville Speedway. The #33 crew helped Bowyer reach a seventh-place finish at the .526 mile paper clip-shaped oval, the shortest racetrack on the Sprint Cup schedule. Bowyer’s BB&T Chevrolet Impala spent the least amount of time on pit road – 329.414 seconds – during the 508-lap overtime race. Carl Edwards’ #99 Aflac Ford Fusion was second (331.563) and Jeff Gordon’s #24 DuPont Chevrolet was third (332.340). Bowyer’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Jason Pulver (front-tire changer), Austin Craven (front-tire carrier), Dustin Necaise (rear-tire changer), Matt Kreuter (rear-tire carrier), Nick Terry (jackman), Bryan Smith (gasman) and Chad Haney (catch can). The team’s pit crew coach is Matt Clark. 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. After six races Martin Truex Jr.’s #56 crew leads the Tissot standings with two wins. Four teams are tied for second with one win.(Tissot)(3-31-2010)


      News from March 30, 2010

    • TV Guide teams with NASCAR to produce guide: TV Guide Magazine has partnered with NASCAR to create the TV Guide Magazine: NASCAR Special Collector’s Issue, the ultimate must-have collector’s guide for every NASCAR fan. The 88-page, special interest publication will be sold online and on newsstands for two months beginning today, March 30.ccTV Guide Magazine: NASCAR Special Collector’s Issue will feature unique content from NASCAR journalists, insider access, unparalleled insight, and the latest up-to-the-minute information and news features on NASCAR.ccFans can purchase the issue at stores nationwide for $6.99. The guide is also available now on NASCAR.com’s Superstore for $7.99 or free with a $50.00 purchase.(SKPR)(3-30-2010)

    • New driver named for #90 Keyed-up Motorsports ride: Keyed-Up Motorsports team owner Raymond Key announced that Scott Riggs will drive the #90 Keyed-Up Motorsports Chevy at Phoenix and Texas. "We are thrilled to have Scott in our car," Key said today. Riggs, the current driver for the #09 RAB Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will make his 2010 Sprint Cup debut at Phoenix in the #90 Keyed-Up Motorsports Chevy. The team started the season with Casey Mears behind the wheel, but Mears' contract was for the first six races only, and he opted to be a back up driver for Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Toyota while Hamlin recovers from ACL surgery. "Casey is a great guy and did a good job for us," Key said. "Both parties fulfilled the 6-race deal and parted on good terms, we have even discussed the possibility of having Casey back later this year." The team has qualified for only one (1) of the first six (6) races this season. Key added, "We had competitive speeds this year in qualifying attempts but the 'Top 35' rule has kept us from racing. We now look to Scott for his input on how we can succeed in getting into the top 35 in points with him behind the wheel."(Keyed-Up Motorsports)(3-30-2010)

    • Successful Charlotte Test has Elliott, Woods Ready to take on Texas: Bill Elliott and the #21 Wood Brothers Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion shed their wings and spent Tuesday and Wednesday getting reacquainted with an old friend – the conventional rear spoiler. The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team was among 40 Sprint Cup outfits that participated in the two-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The wing that was on the Car of Tomorrow for its first 93 races will be replaced by a flat blade rear spoiler beginning with this week's race at Martinsville Speedway. Elliott and the Woods, running a limited schedule this season, won't race with it until the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 16-18. Elliott posted the ninth fastest speed in Wednesday morning's session, turning a lap at 185.134mph. But he said that although that speed got his car number on the upper side of the speed chart it wasn't the true measure of what the team accomplished at the test. "The important thing is we learned a lot," he said. "The test went well, and we collected a lot of data." (Wood Brothers Racing)(3-30-2010)

    • Hamlin to have knee surgery on Wed: Surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in #11-Denny Hamlin's left knee will not limit the Sprint Cup driver behind the wheel for the next race, according to one of the doctors that will perform the operation on Wednesday. "I anticipate by the time he gets to Phoenix [April 8-10] he'll have a pretty normal knee for all intents and purposes," said Dr. Bill Heisel, who will assist Dr. Patrick Connor of OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, N.C. Heisel said the winner of Monday's race at Martinsville Speedway may be in some pain or discomfort for a few weeks after the surgery, but added that range of motion to use the brake or clutch won't be impacted. "He's going to feel something, even at Phoenix," Heisel said. "The big thing is to control the swelling to get the motion going. Straight ahead he should be pretty good. Obviously, what you don't want him to do is wreck the car. But I anticipate he's going to be able to clutch and brake pretty quickly." Heisel said the procedure will involve making tunnels through Hamlin's shin bone and thigh bone to pass the tendons from a cadaver into place and lock each end with a screw. He said physical therapy will begin immediately to improve mobility and strengthen the quadriceps, and that Hamlin will have to wear a brace for a while when not in the car. "He'll be back running in three months," Heisel said. Surgery was delayed until Wednesday after Sunday's race was rained out.(ESPN)(3-30-2010)

    • Win 189 for #11: with #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, it was car #11's 189th win in the Sprint Cup Series, only 9 wins behind the #43, which has 198 wins in 2252 Sprint Cup races. See more on my Wins by Car Number page. A car running the number 11 has won 14 times at Martinsville, by four drivers: Cale Yarborough won 5 times while running the #11, Darrell Waltrip 4, Denny Hamlin 3 and Geoff Bodine with 2.(3-30-2010)

    • Kurt Busch to be honored: Las Vegas native and 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch will be honored at the annual Mel Larson Night of Champions on April 14 at Rain in the Palms Casino Resort. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Las Vegas chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. This is the fifth year for the event in which a community member is recognized for his contributions to motorsports. Previous Mel Larson Night of Champions honorees include: Mel Larson, Dr. Dale Carrison (LVMS medical director and University Medical Center's chairman of emergency medicine), NHRA Pro Stock championship team owner Ken Black and automotive legend Carroll Shelby. The speedway also will recognize the 2009 season champions at its drag-racing facility – The Strip at LVMS – and its 3/8-mile oval, the Bullring. The event begins at 6:30pm and Kurt will participate in a private meet-and-greet reception prior to dinner. Event tickets include dinner and an open bar.(LVMS)(3-30-2010)

    • Showtime to sponsor Southern 500: Showtime Networks Inc., the home of popular cable series like "Dexter" and "Weeds," agreed to a multiyear deal to become the title sponsor for Darlington Raceway's Southern 500. "I think they bring a lot to the table," track president Chris Browning told The Associated Press, ahead of an official announcement expected later Monday. This is a first for Showtime, which launched its "Inside NASCAR" program in February. Ken Hershman, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, said the sponsorship is the next step in linking the network with one of the country's most popular sports. The May 8 race will be known as the Showtime Southern 500. Like many sporting events, Darlington Raceway has struggled to find corporate backing in a floundering economy. Showtime will be Darlington's third title sponsor in the past three races, after a five-year deal with the Carolina Dodge Dealers ended in 2008. Last year, Browning signed GoDaddy.com to underwrite the event about a month before the green flag dropped. "Inside NASCAR" is a weekly highlights and analysis show along the lines of its "Inside the NFL" series. The NASCAR show is hosted by Chris Myers, Randy Pemberton, former NBA star Brad Daugherty and driver Michael Waltrip. Getting more than a one-year commitment from Showtime means both the network and the track can take full advantage of each other's resources leading up to the 2011 race. One wrinkle is a contest where a viewer can win a VIP experience to Darlington's race on Mother's Day Weekend. Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio said along with an up-close look at the Sprint Cup race, the winner will show up in Victory Lane and be presented a replica of the trophy that will go to the race champion. The network also expects to have a hospitality tent for fans on Darlington grounds, with perhaps some celebrities from its cable shows popping by.(AP/ESPN)
      AND: Showtime, which debuted its "Inside NASCAR" show last month, is climbing deeper into the sport by title-sponsoring the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The sponsorship is a multiyear agreement between the network and the historic track.(Sports Business Journal)(3-30-2010)


      News from March 29, 2010



    • Some Martinsville schemes added: to the paint scheme gallery, including #19 Stanley - Petty Blue; #43 Charter Communications, #5-Carquest, #34 A&W, #37 Gander Mountain, #88 AMP Sugar Free and #90 Keyed Up Motorsports.(3-29-2010)

      Some special Martinsville Speedway paint schemes
      Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
      #00-David Reutimann Tums #00 Team Schemes Page
      #5-Mark Martin CARQUEST #5 Team Schemes Page
      #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight #11 Team Schemes Page
      #14-Tony Stewart Old Spice #14 Team Schemes Page
      #16-Greg Biffle U.S. Census #16 Team Schemes Page
      #18-Kyle Busch Snickers #18 Team Schemes Page
      #19-Elliott Sadler Stanley - Petty blue #19 Team Schemes Page
      #33-Clint Bowyer BB&T #33 Team Schemes Page
      #34-Travis Kvapil A&W #34 Team Schemes Page
      #37-David Gilliland Gander Mountain #37 Team Schemes Page
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger Charter Communications #43 Team Schemes Page
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr AMP Energy Sugar Free Lightning #88 Team Schemes Page


    • Martinsville would like new spring date: Clay Campbell, track president of Martinsville Speedway and he said he would like to have a new date for this spring race (the track had a mid-April date for a number of years until moving up earlier in the schedule in 2007). Here's what he said: "March, it's a tough time period here, so yes, I'm talking to see if there's any chance of something being done (spring date moved). I don't know if there is. Years ago we were the last week of April. That's a good time of the year around here. I know NASCAR has a tough time juggling the schedule around because if they move one (date), it takes two to move. I understand that, and I understand that NASCAR has issues, too. It's not an easy thing to do, and I'd say the chances are slim of any movement happening, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't try to improve what we've got here.'' Of course, there could be a good bit of movement to the schedule next year if the legal issues around Kentucky Motor Speedway get resolved and Bruton Smith moves a Cup date there. Also, International Speedway Corp., wants a second date for Kansas Speedway but has not said from what track it will take it from. ISC owns Martinsville Speedway. Certainly, there could be a good bit of changes to the schedule next year and this is about the time of the year that NASCAR officials begin working on the next year's schedule.(Virginian Pilot)(3-29-2010)


      News from March 28, 2010

    • Race at Martinsville postponed until Monday: the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway has been postponed to Monday due to rain on Sunday. The race is scheduled for Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:00pm/et and will be televised on FOX and covered via radio on MRN.
      The National Weather Service forecast for Monday: Showers likely, mainly before 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60. North wind between 3 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
      For more weather info, see my Martinsville Weather links on my Martinsville Race Info page.

    • Tire tests at Indy and Bristol: The tire Goodyear used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be getting a second look – for races at Indianapolis as well as Bristol. Goodyear will test at both tracks prior to the next NASCAR events at the two facilities. The Indianapolis test will feature 12-13 teams and is scheduled for April 20-21, said Goodyear NASCAR program manager Greg Stucker. Drivers already confirmed for that test are #00-David Reutimann, #18-Kyle Busch and #82-Scott Speed (Toyota); #9-Kasey Kahne and #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford); #12-Brad Keselowski (Dodge); and #14-Tony Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #78-Regan Smith (Chevy). Virtually every racing organization has been invited to send a representative to the test, compared with the typical four invitations that go out for other tire tests. Stucker said he didn't anticipate a major change to the Indy tire. The tire that was used at Indy last year worked well enough that Goodyear thought that it would make a good combination for Bristol. Goodyear had the Truck Series and Nationwide Series use the tire last August and then opted for the Cup drivers to use it last weekend. But the tire did not perform as well as anticipated and too many teams had heat issues in their right fronts, Stucker said. Goodyear likely will go to Bristol in June and also will go to Atlanta as well. Stucker said he didn't expect to have a test at Daytona.(SceneDaily)(3-28-2010)

    • #19 car running Petty Blue colors: Stanley and the #19 Ford Fusion of Elliott Sadler will feature a different look this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The #19 Richard Petty Motorsports entry will be "Petty Blue" in honor of Richard Petty, who will be part of the inaugural class inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this May. The seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion holds the record for the most wins at the .526-mile Virginia track with 15. He won his 101st career win in 1969 at Martinsville while driving a Ford.(RPM Facebook), see image of scheme on my #19 Team Schemes page.(3-28-2010) Share

    • Tickets Remain for SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600: The thrill of NASCAR action at Phoenix International Raceway is just two weeks away, and tickets are available for each night of racing in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600 event weekend. Seats remain for grandstand areas and can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223). For added convenience, the Phoenix International Raceway Ticket Office will be open seven days a week leading up to the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600™ event weekend, giving race fans more time to buy tickets in person in the days before the green flag. The PIR Ticket Office will open for special hours on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, and again on Saturday, April 3 and Sunday, April 4 (Easter Sunday), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Additionally, the PIR Ticket Office will remain open on Good Friday – Friday, April 2 – for normal business hours. Normal weekday ticket office hours leading up to the event are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for 2010 at Phoenix International Raceway can also be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).(Phoenix International Raceway)(3-28-2010)

    • Easter Egg Hunt At Talladega Set For Saturday, April 3: The Easter Bunny is returning to NASCAR's Most Competitive Track on Saturday, April 3 for the track's Sixth Annual Easter Egg Hunt in the infield. Open to children age 1-10, this free event is fun-filled for the whole family. The Easter Bunny will start the event by judging the Easter Basket competition and pose for pictures with the children. The winner of the Easter Basket competition will get a special prize this year, a 3-foot stuffed Lucky Dog provided by Aaron's. When it's time to hunt for eggs, kids will find that 17,500 plastic eggs stuffed with candy and prizes have been hidden throughout the infield. 50 eggs have special prize slips for an 18-inch stuffed Lucky Dog redeemable at the Aaron's tent. Many other eggs have been stuffed with prize slips for Talladega Superspeedway merchandise, redeemable at the Talladega Superspeedway TOW Unit. "This will be our largest Easter Egg Hunt to date," said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. "Each year we have increased the number of eggs we hide and the number of activities we have during the day. And, each year, more and more guests show their support for the track and attend ready to hunt eggs. We look forward to welcoming everyone for the day and making it our best Easter Egg Hunt yet."
      A detailed list of events follows:
      * Easter Basket Contest – Kids are encouraged to decorate their own Easter baskets and arrive with them ready for judging! Everyone should arrive a little early in order to park, because the Easter Basket Contest will be held as soon as the event begins at 10 a.m.
      * Egg Hunts By Age Group – The hunt for prize-filled eggs will begin at 10:30 a.m. for kids age 1 through 3. Then at 10:45 a.m., kids age 4 through 6 will participate in a hunt, followed by kids age 7 through 10 at 11:00 a.m.
      * Visit With The Easter Bunny– The Easter Bunny will be available to pose for pictures with eager egg hunters during the event.
      * Face Painting – Face painters from Starshine Faces will be ready to create miniature masterpieces on the cheeks of all who visit.
      * Refreshments – Two of Talladega Superspeedway's official sponsors, Pepsi and Golden Flake, will provide refreshments and snacks.
      * Prizes– Talladega Superspeedway sponsor Aaron's will have a display with prizes for the Easter Basket contest and the Easter Egg Hunt, plus handouts to be given away throughout the day.
      * Displays and Games –Talladega Superspeedway Pace Cars, the Talladega On Wheels promotions vehicle, displays from the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Dodge trucks and cars and various other special vehicles utilized by the track will be on display for all to enjoy.
      For more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(3-28-2010)

    • County Fair Flavor Comes to May Races with Deep Fried Butter at CMS: County fair favorites with a twist, including deep fried butter, will make their motorsports debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway during NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week and Coca-Cola 600 Week this May. According to Chef James Pierson with Levy Restaurants, speed - and a little mixing - are the keys to making great deep-fried butter. "You can't just throw butter into a fryer or it will melt," said Pierson. "We blend the butter with cream cheese and freeze it solid. Then we coat it in waffle batter and give it a quick fry. It's served with a raspberry 'catsup' sauce." Fried butter will be joined by two other deep-fried treats at the speedway during May race weeks: deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deep fried grilled cheese. Both sandwiches are also coated in a waffle batter and fried. The PB&J comes with the raspberry "catsup" sauce, and the grilled cheese is served with a cold tomato soup for dunking. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(CMS)(3-28-2010)

    • Bristol August Race Weekend packages on sale now: Racing under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. Nothing else on the NASCAR schedule comes close to mirroring that kind of excitement or such a unique atmosphere. NASCAR's most coveted ticket to its wildly popular Sprint Cup event, the IRWIN Tools Night Race, along with its companion events, is now on sale at Bristol Motor Speedway. A three-day package features 1,100 laps of non-stop action at the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Included is the Aug. 18 Wednesday night doubleheader, the O'Reilly 200 (Camping World Truck) and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 (Whelen Modified), the Food City 250 (Nationwide) Aug. 20 and the showcase event Aug. 21, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Fans who can only attend the Friday and Saturday night races also may purchase a two-race package for the Food City 250 and IRWIN Tools Night Race. Packages for all three days start at only $170 while pricing for the two-day package begins at $126. To purchase, please contact the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-28-2010)

    • Tickets Remain for SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600: The thrill of NASCAR action at Phoenix International Raceway is just two weeks away, and tickets are available for each night of racing in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600 event weekend. Seats remain for grandstand areas and can be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223). For added convenience, the Phoenix International Raceway Ticket Office will be open seven days a week leading up to the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600™ event weekend, giving race fans more time to buy tickets in person in the days before the green flag. The PIR Ticket Office will open for special hours on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, and again on Saturday, April 3 and Sunday, April 4 (Easter Sunday), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Additionally, the PIR Ticket Office will remain open on Good Friday – Friday, April 2 – for normal business hours. Normal weekday ticket office hours leading up to the event are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for 2010 at Phoenix International Raceway can also be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).(Phoenix International Raceway)(3-28-2010)

    • Easter Egg Hunt At Talladega Set For Saturday, April 3: The Easter Bunny is returning to NASCAR's Most Competitive Track on Saturday, April 3 for the track's Sixth Annual Easter Egg Hunt in the infield. Open to children age 1-10, this free event is fun-filled for the whole family. The Easter Bunny will start the event by judging the Easter Basket competition and pose for pictures with the children. The winner of the Easter Basket competition will get a special prize this year, a 3-foot stuffed Lucky Dog provided by Aaron's. When it's time to hunt for eggs, kids will find that 17,500 plastic eggs stuffed with candy and prizes have been hidden throughout the infield. 50 eggs have special prize slips for an 18-inch stuffed Lucky Dog redeemable at the Aaron's tent. Many other eggs have been stuffed with prize slips for Talladega Superspeedway merchandise, redeemable at the Talladega Superspeedway TOW Unit. "This will be our largest Easter Egg Hunt to date," said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. "Each year we have increased the number of eggs we hide and the number of activities we have during the day. And, each year, more and more guests show their support for the track and attend ready to hunt eggs. We look forward to welcoming everyone for the day and making it our best Easter Egg Hunt yet."
      A detailed list of events follows:
      * Easter Basket Contest – Kids are encouraged to decorate their own Easter baskets and arrive with them ready for judging! Everyone should arrive a little early in order to park, because the Easter Basket Contest will be held as soon as the event begins at 10 a.m.
      * Egg Hunts By Age Group – The hunt for prize-filled eggs will begin at 10:30 a.m. for kids age 1 through 3. Then at 10:45 a.m., kids age 4 through 6 will participate in a hunt, followed by kids age 7 through 10 at 11:00 a.m.
      * Visit With The Easter Bunny– The Easter Bunny will be available to pose for pictures with eager egg hunters during the event.
      * Face Painting – Face painters from Starshine Faces will be ready to create miniature masterpieces on the cheeks of all who visit.
      * Refreshments – Two of Talladega Superspeedway's official sponsors, Pepsi and Golden Flake, will provide refreshments and snacks.
      * Prizes– Talladega Superspeedway sponsor Aaron's will have a display with prizes for the Easter Basket contest and the Easter Egg Hunt, plus handouts to be given away throughout the day.
      * Displays and Games –Talladega Superspeedway Pace Cars, the Talladega On Wheels promotions vehicle, displays from the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Dodge trucks and cars and various other special vehicles utilized by the track will be on display for all to enjoy.
      For more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(3-28-2010)


      News from March 27, 2010

    • Weather at Martinsville: for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is not looking to promising for Sunday BUT the radar looks a little better to at least get the race started. Teams are setting up for halfway [lap 250]. The National Weather Service forecast for Sunday afternoon is: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 5pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 55. East wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
      The Weather Channel forecast is: Widespread showers and thunderstorms developing around mid-afternoon. Cloudy with temperatures rising towards the mid 50s. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip: 70%.
      For more weather info, see my Martinsville Weather links on my Martinsville Race Info page.

    • Race Coverage of the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 28, 2010.
      Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:13pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Wednesday, March 31 at 12:00pm/et

    • "50-win" Club Member on Raceday: #48-Jimmie Johnson will be joined by fellow members of the "50-win" club for a special two-part discussion on NASCAR RaceDay Built by The Home Depot (Sunday, 10:00am/et) hosted by veteran broadcaster Ken Squier. Johnson, who won the 50th Cup Series race of his career last week at Bristol, will be joined by two-time champion Ned Jarrett (1961, '65) and legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson, a member of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. At 50 wins, the three drivers are tied for 10th on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win list. Next up for Jimmie – No. 9 Lee Petty with 54 wins. Other guests on this weekend's NASCAR RaceDay Built by the Home Depot include Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, Elliott Sadler and Richard Petty.(SPEED)(3-27-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Martinsville: The selections of pit stalls for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway have been made. #29-Harvick, who starts 1st due to the rain out qualifying, chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #17-Kenseth took pit stall 11, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 34th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #82-Speed, who starts 18th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Martinsville Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-27-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 60 minutes of practice, the top five and some notes:
      #1-McMurray 95.869
      #31-Burton 95.854
      #33-Bowyer 95.767
      #24-Gordon 95.762
      #11-Hamlin 95.728
      slowest: #13-Papis 92.244 and #38-Conway 93.543
      incidents: #7-Gordon lost an engine at the end of practice, the team will put in a new motor.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Martinsville Practice Speeds page.(3-27-2010)

    • Saturday's first practice: for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 45 minutes of practice, the top five and some notes:
      #5-Martin 96.010
      #31-Burton 96.010
      #83-Vickers 95.912
      #42-Montoya 95.903
      #24-Gordon 95.801
      slowest: #37-Gilliland 93.308 and #38-Conway 93.387
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Martinsville Practice Speeds page.(3-27-2010)

    • Harvick tests at North Wilkesboro: from a Team Chevy press conference transcript of #29-Kevin Harvick:
      YOU'VE BEEN HANGING ON TO THAT POINT LEAD AND MUST BE ANXIOUS TO GET INTO VICTORY LANE
      "Actually it's been a decent start to the year, for sure. Obviously we've had a couple of chances to win and haven't quite gotten that done, but the guys are going a great job. We had a long week of testing. We spent a couple of days at Charlotte and one day at North Wilkesboro so hopefully we're ready to go."
      ON NORTH WILKESBORO, WHAT DOES THE SURFACE LOOK LIKE? WERE YOU THE ONLY CUP DRIVER THERE? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT?
      "The surface is fine. They've done a really good job of cleaning it up. They have a lot still left to do with some of the facility. Obviously they're working on the surface to fix some of the cracks and things, but we were one of the first ones there just trying to feel out exactly what it would be useful for and things like that. But it still wears the tires out and still drives around like I guess it used to. That was the first time I'd ever been there. But they've done a really good job of cleaning everything up and it looks like any other race track."
      See photos the Sprint Cup Series test session with Kevin Harvick at North Wilkesboro Speedway at historicnws.com.(3-27-2010)

    • Special scheme for Dale Jr at Martinsville UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr is scheduled to drive the #88 AMP Energy Sugar Free Lightning Chevy at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2010.(3-20-2010)
      UPDATE: Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevrolet will showcase a silver and yellow paint scheme this weekend at Martinsville Speedway to feature AMP Energy's newest flavor -- AMP Energy Sugar Free Lightning. It tastes like lemonade and has all the power of AMP Energy, just without the sugar.(HMS)(3-27-2010)
      AND from a Team Chevy press conference transcript of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
      TALK ABOUT THE SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME YOU HAVE ON THE CAR THIS WEEKEND: "I appreciate it. I think it turned out pretty good. It is the Sugar Free Lightning flavor of AMP. I like the lightning. I try to do my best on designing cars. I think this might be the best one we have come out with so far. I am pretty proud of it. I actually really do like the Lightning flavor, that is probably what I drink the most of back home. It is kind of cool to have the Sugar Free here unveiled and on the car for this weekend. I wish this kind of thing more often. Go through all the flavors week after week. It would be kinda cool to have different colored cars every week. Change it up a little bit. It is fun for me to be able to do the one-off stuff like we are doing this weekend. A lot of fun."(Chevy Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(3-27-2010)

    • Mears to sub for Hamlin if needed, may return to the #90 team: Casey Mears was selected Saturday to sub for #11-Denny Hamlin while he recovers from ACL surgery. It's a deal that came together in just a few days, but one Mears knows could relaunch a fledgling Cup career after going 1-for-6 in making races with underfunded Keyed-Up Motorsports – a deal that ended with a DNQ Friday. "It's just an opportunity I couldn't pass up," he said. "It's one of those deals where I could just be sitting on the pit box if Denny feels pretty good, but if he doesn't it's just a great opportunity to possibly get in a good car." It's also a chance to pair with an organization that would one day like to expand to four teams. "You see him in passing, and it's hi, hello, but I've never really spoken with those guys," he said. "So it's an opportunity for me to just kind of get to know those guys a little bit, and you never know what the future holds." Hamlin had high praise for Mears in his press conference Saturday morning, calling him "the best option to get a good finish" of all the drivers available in case he falters. If Hamlin's pain is overwhelming, the plan would be to run to the first caution, then have Mears take over for as many races as possible until his recovery's complete. "I think it means a lot to think your peers think of you that way," he claimed. "I think that hopefully if I can get in there, I can do a good job for them, and keep them in the running for where they want to be." In the meantime, Mears' relationship with Keyed-Up is expected to continue once his subbing is complete. He claims owner Raymond Key will run in the interim, although no driver has been selected to sub for him in the #90 Chevy as of yet. "I still want to run with those guys some more," he said. "Hopefully, I can get through this year and get something going rolling positive for 2011."(Frontstretch)(3-27-2010)

    • Impact Racing products to be decertified by the SFI; Impact responds: SFI Foundation, Inc., has issued a Notice of Decertification; Notice of Cease and Desist, and a notice terminating all Contracts of Participation to Impact Racing [owned by safety pioneer Bill Simpson]. Effective April 27, 2010, all products manufactured and/or distributed by Impact Racing pursuant to SFI Specification Programs 3.2A, 3.3, 16.1, and 16.5 are decertified. Evidence obtained by SFI shows that over a period of years Impact Racing has engaged in the production and use of counterfeit SFI conformance labels and patches, and affixed them to Impact products for use in motorsports. Under the Contracts of Participation between SFI and Impact, SFI conformance labels and patches may only be obtained from SFI and no other source. Evidence shows that Impact had counterfeit SFI labels and patches made in Asia and then affixed them to Impact products it distributed to members of the racing community. To SFI's knowledge, Impact never advised its customers that its products contained phony SFI labels and patches. Impact never advised SFI of its systematic and longstanding practice of counterfeiting and distributing SFI patches and labeling.
      Impact has been directed to cease and desist from this practice. SFI has directed Impact to immediately notify all affected customers to remove the counterfeit labeling and to offer the affected customers a full refund of the purchase price. SFI is requesting that all counterfeit conformance labels removed from Impact products be sent to SFI.
      SFI has elected not to decertify these products immediately in order to minimize the potential hardships to members of the racing community that have been brought about by Impact's counterfeiting activities and also elected to terminate all Contracts of Participation with Impact Racing effective 90 days from March 24, 2010. Under the terms of the Contracts, either party may terminate the agreements without penalty upon 90 days notice. This means that Impact will no longer be able to participate in any SFI programs after this 90 day period. SFI has taken these actions in the best interests of the safety and integrity of the racing community. This is in keeping with SFI's mission and purpose.(SFI Foundation site)
      Impact responds Impact Racing posted a statement on their website: "Impact strongly disagrees with the statements on SFI's website. This is a dispute over SFI tags. Our products are certified. They are safe, and we stand behind them."(3-27-2010)

    • Hamlin to have surgery, sub not named UPDATE Mears: #11-Denny Hamlin will have reconstructive surgery on his left knee Monday, sources close to the driver and Joe Gibbs Racing told ESPN.com. Hamlin, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in December playing pickup basketball, planned to wait until the end of the 2010 season to repair it. But growing fear of long term damage forced his hand, sources said. Sources said Hamlin plans to start every race and doesn't expect to miss any competition, but plans to have a driver on standby for several races just in case. Sources are uncertain at this time whom that driver would be. Per NASCAR rules, the driver that takes the green flag in the car earns the championship points for that race, even if he gets out prematurely. Hamlin's ability to drive the #11 Toyota is more about his pain tolerance than anything else, sources said. Strength-wise he should be fine. If he can handle the pain, he can race, the sources said. Hamlin, widely considered the biggest threat to upend Jimmie Johnson's championship stranglehold, has begun slowly in 2010. He is 19th in the point standings and has yet to earn a top-10 finish in the season's first five events.(ESPN)(3-27-2010)
      UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will undergo surgery on Monday, March 29 to repair the ACL in his left knee. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Patrick Connor with OrthoCarolina. Hamlin injured the knee in January prior to the start of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "When we first reviewed the situation we thought Denny couldn't do any further damage to his knee if he waited to have surgery, but as the season progressed we determined that the best plan of action was to go ahead and have it repaired," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Hopefully this will take care of the situation and he should get stronger each week." Hamlin is expected to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix on April 10.(JGR)
      MEARs could sub: Hamlin said driver Casey Mears has been hired as his standby in case he needs a substitute or an in-race replacement during the recovery period. Hamlin said he hopes he won't miss any races and that the recovery period will be over by the fall, when he hopes to be competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He is currently 19th in points. Hamlin said he will be on crutches at least until practice for the Phoenix race begins. "From there, we'll just kind of see where our range of motion is and things like that," he said. "As long as they can just pry me in that seat, they'll have a tough time prying me out." Hamlin had planned to have the surgery at the end of the season, but continuing problems with the knee forced a change, he said. "We were doing some further damage to the knee, and, to me, it's not something that's worth suffering forever or having a permanent limp or anything like that," he said. "It just didn't make much sense. The goal right now is to go ahead and get it done on Monday – as soon as I can early Monday morning. "Right now, he (surgeon Dr. Patrick Connor) says that I'll be able to get in the car at Phoenix. There's no doubt that I'll be able to get in it. It's just tolerance of pain is what's going to be the limiting factor." Depending on the speed of the recovery, Hamlin said it's possible that he could start several races and allow Mears to replace him during the event. A driver must start a race to earn points in the driver standings for that event.(SPEED)(3-27-2010)


      News from March 26, 2010

    • Qualifying rained out at Martinsville: Qualifying for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway was rained out: so the field was set by the rules books / 2010 owners points / race attempts. #29-Harvick starts first, followed by #17-Kenseth, #48-Johnson, #16-Biffle, #14-Stewart, #2-Busch, #31-Burton, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #98-Menard and #18-Busch. #39-Newman, who was fastest in Friday's practice, will start 26th. Missing the race are #90-Mears, #46-Cook and #35-Sauter. See the starting lineup on my Martinsville Lineup/Qualifying page.(3-26-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 26, 2010 at 3:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 3:00pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: 9:30pm/et on SPEED

      NOTE: the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is the first race of the 2010 season that will utilize the 2010 Owners Points to set the top-35 and the starting lineup if qualifying is canceled.

    • Qualifying Order for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #99-Edwards.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #42-Montoya.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #87-Nemechek with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #90-Mears.
      See the full qualifying order on the Martinsville Qualifying Page.(3-26-2010)

    • Friday practice for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, some results, top five fast and notes:
      #39-Newman 96.934
      #5-Martin 96.859
      #47-Ambrose 96.849
      #24-Gordon 96.815
      #11-Hamlin 96.770
      slowest: #38-Conway 93.664 and #13-Papis 94.242
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Martinsville Practice Speeds page.(3-26-2010)

    • Martinsville practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #66-Dave Blaney. 28th fastest overall
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 29th
      #09-Aric Almirola, 34th
      #26-David Stremme, 35th
      #35-Johnny Sauter. 36th
      #46-Terry Cook, 39th
      #90-Casey Mears, 40th
      #7-Robby Gordon, 41st
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #36-Mike Bliss, 42nd
      #55-Michael McDowell, 43rd
      #13-Max Papis, 45th.(3-26-2010)

    • Biffle and the Friends of the Animals Ink Land Deal: Friends of the Animals, a non-profit group co-chaired by NASCAR driver Greg Biffle and his wife Nicole created to promote responsible pet ownership, provide low cost spay-neuter services and promote the adoption of homeless animals, has inked a valuable land deal with Langtree Group for 1.5 acres in the lakeside development. Langtree at the Lake is located off Interstate 77 North at exit 31. Friends of the Animals plans to use the land to build a no-kill animal and education center that will include a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. The group hopes the center will be open within the next two years. The animal sanctuary will house 150 animals; 60 cats and 90 dogs, which will be available for adoption. The animal education and community center will be available to churches, community groups and the public for birthday parties and meetings. The developers at Langtree at the Lake have worked with Friends of the Animals to allow them to use their green space for a community dog park and walking trails. The Langtree at the Lake community will be home to lakeside condominiums and village-center lofts with sweeping lake views and easy water access. The mixed use development will offer access to exclusive specialty shoppes and boutiques, small cafés and unique restaurants, as well as Class-A office space. There will be 40 acres of Green Space: 2 1/2 miles of walking trails around a man-made lake and over a mile of beautiful Lake Norman shoreline. “Friends of the Animals searched for several years to find a location that would be easy for the public to access. If the location is easy and friendly, we know it will increase adoptions and spay/neuters for the animals,” says Nicole Biffle, President of the Friends of the Animals Board. Friends of the Animals is working with several other rescue groups and shelters in the area with the goal of sharing resources to benefit all animals in the area. “Our Board is excited to take this step toward reaching our goal of saving cats and dogs through adoption and by providing a low cost spay/neuter option to the public,” says Biffle.(Roush Racing)(3-26-2010)

    • Charlie Glotzbach talks about Bristol wreck: Thursaday, March 25 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Claire B. Lang spoke with Charlie Glotzbach, who was injured in a wreck with Larry Pearson in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend. Glotzbach was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
      Charlie Glotzbach: “That’s the hardest hit that I’ve ever taken, and that was the first ride to the hospital from a race. I mean, all the walls I’ve hit, and wrecked, and I never got hurt. That was the first time I ever got hurt. So it had to be a hard, hard hit.”
      Glotzbach: “I didn’t know, I didn’t think he (Pearson) would come down that quick. I thought that he’d probably have his foot on the brake, but somebody told me that they seen when he hit the wall, it knocked him out. … I’m really sorry it happened, but I don’t think there was anything I could do about it.”
      Glotzbach: “I don’t really think it’s too risky (for older drivers to race), because it happens to the young drivers. If you notice, they get hurt, and naturally an older driver is going to get hurt probably a little easier on account of his bones are, uh, softer. But, I don’t think it’s got anything to do with age.”
      Glotzbach: “You look at the reaction time of the younger drivers, they hit things, too. They hit other cars so reaction time has nothing to do with it, I don’t think”
      Glotzbach: “Them cars are safe. I mean, they’re basically a Busch or Nationwide car with a fiberglass body on ‘em. I mean, they got bars running everywhere and they got good seats in them and I don’t think the car had anything to do with it ‘cause it was a good race car, the one I had.”
      Glotzbach: “As far as me, how I feel, I’m sore. My sternum’s broke. I got some bruised ribs, and the lower back, uh, there’s a bone cracked down there a little bit or something. They said there were some old wounds down there, too. But, like I said, I never went to hospital for nothin’.”
      Glotzbach: “Kyle Petty came in to see me (in the hospital), and he said if you’re going to wreck he said this is a good place to wreck ‘cause this is a great hospital. And I believe everything he says. He said, ‘I’ve been at all of them.’”(SIRIUS NASCAR Radio)(3-26-2010)

    • Sad News - Chet Simmons: Sports broadcasting and cable pioneer, Chester R. "Chet" Simmons, who served as president of ESPN when it launched in 1979, died of natural causes Thursday in Atlanta. He was 81. See full story at ESPN.com.(3-26-2010)

    • Stremme back in the #26 at Martinsville: David Stremme, who was out of the Sprint Cup Series since last fall before stepping-into Latitude 43 Motorsports' #26 Ford at Bristol, will get another shot this weekend at Martinsville. Stremme, who scored the new team's best finish in its five-race history, 24th at Bristol; was named Wednesday to replace entered-driver Boris Said in the car tuned by crew chief Frank Stoddard. Stoddard said Stremme did a good job for the team in Bristol, despite the team falling from a locked-in spot in the top 35 in owners' points, which means Stremme is a go-or-go-home qualifier on Friday at Martinsville.(NASCAR.com)(3-26-2010)

    • Robby plans to run all the race until May...then: A few weeks ago, Robby Gordon was planning on putting another driver in his #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Toyota while he competed in the MonsterJam truck competition. But the truck didn't get done in time, and so he's now headed to Martinsville – where he'll have to qualify on speed after a disappointing start to the season led to him falling out of the top 35 in owner points. "The truck didn't quite get done," Gordon said Wednesday following testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It probably won't be done until after Phoenix [in April]. We'll miss the monster finals in Vegas this weekend." Gordon, whose team has an affiliation with BAM Racing that has brought some sponsorship this year, said at the beginning of the season that he probably wouldn't run in every race. But now he said it is likely he will compete in every event at least until May.
      And what about the Indianapolis 500? "I've got a commitment, but just because you have a commitment from people doesn't mean it's going to happen," Gordon said. "We'll see what happens here in the next couple of weeks." As far as the immediate future, when Gordon gets to Martinsville, the pressure will be on the driver/owner as he has top make the race on speed. He is 36th in the owner standings, nine points behind the Front Row Motorsports team of Kevin Conway. Gordon said he felt good about being able to qualify on speed. "We're going to bring our best car," Gordon said. "That's just all we can do."(SceneDaily)(3-26-2010)

    • TUMS Racing Returns at Martinsville Speedway: TUMS Racing and the #00 TUMS Toyota return to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500. David Reutimann's #00 TUMS Toyota will showcase the second of TUMS' five primary paint schemes at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. TUMS also will appear on the #00 TUMS Toyota at Chicago and the fall races at New Hampshire and Phoenix.(Tums Racing), see images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(3-26-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Martinsville:
      #2-Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led "Blue Deuce" team will debut their "PRS-722" Penske Racing Charger during the Goody's Fast Relief 500 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. It will mark the third consecutive race where the team has unveiled a new racing machine. "The guys in the shop have done just a remarkable job of getting great new weapons for us to use at the tracks and that is particularly true during the last two races," said Busch. "With the strong runs we've had recently with these new cars right out of the box, that just really adds to our confidence level coming into Martinsville this time around."
      #5-Mark Martin: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-561 for the race in Martinsville this weekend. Martin drove this chassis to an eighth-place finish at Martinsville last fall.
      #6-David Ragan: Chassis: Primary: RK-635 which ran at Loudon in June of 2009 as the #26 – finished 33rd The backup chassis is RK-633 which was last ran Michigan in the fall of 2009 – finished 30th The UPS Freight Harrisburg, PA Service Center (HRS) was selected as the Maximum Center for the March 28, Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 as part of the UPS Center Recognition Program. The center was selected for its improvements in safety. The hub is one of the busiest centers in UPS Freight's nationwide network.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 267 this weekend in Martinsville. This is a new car from Joe Gibbs Racing. Chassis JGR 246 sat on the pole at Auto Club in the fall of 2009 and will serve as the backup this weekend. FedEx Freight Center GBO Along for the Ride in Martinsville: The #11 FedEx Office Toyota will carry the letters GBO on the B-posts for Sunday's race in recognition of the Greensboro FedEx Freight service center. GBO was named service center of the year in the South East division and continues to lead the Charlotte region in overall daily performance measurements – including costumer feedback, efficiency, and performance metrics.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-723 during Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. PRS-723 is a brand-new chassis to the #12 team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: is running Chassis No. 14-587 which is is a brand new racecar that has never turned a wheel on the track.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: primary chassis for the #17 Valvoline Ford will be RK-644, with the backup being RK-569, no details
      #18-Kyle Busch: Sunday's Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 will be the fourth-ever start for chassis #249. This chassis made its debut last August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where Kyle Busch started 36th and finished 23rd. Its next start came last September at Richmond, where Busch qualified eighth and finished a solid fifth. In its most recent start, in the October event at Charlotte, Busch qualified 12th and finished a solid eighth.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis No. 212 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevy was used last year by Harvick at the May event at Richmond, where Harvick ran in the top 10 for a majority of the evening before getting caught up in an accident. This chassis secured two wins, both by fellow RCR teammate Clint Bowyer, at Loudon (Sept. 2007) and Richmond (May 2008).
      #31-Jeff Burton: will race chassis No. 283 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for the 2009 season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevy Burton drove to a 25th-place finish at Indianapolis in July. Burton also piloted this #31 chassis to an 18th-place finish at Michigan in August and to a 34th-place result at Atlanta in September due to a vibration and a speeding penalty. Burton also drove this chassis at Dover to a 16th-place effort in September and to a 14th-place result at Charlotte in October. Since then, this black and yellow machine has been converted from its original downforce configuration into a short-track car.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will pilot Chassis No. 267 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer drove this Chevy three times last season. So far in 2010, the #33 team has used this Impala in two test sessions at Darlington and Rockingham Speedway's Little Rock.
      #35 Johnny Sauter: the #35 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy team will run TBR – 93 as their primary chassis this weekend at Martinsville.
      #36 Mike Bliss: the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy team will run TBR – 100 as their primary chassis this weekend at Martinsville.
      #39-Ryan Newman Goody's Fast Pain Relief Car – Chassis #39-492: This is the same chassis that Newman and the #39 team used for both races at Martinsville last season, and it was a car that recorded good results. Newman finished sixth with the chassis in the spring race at Martinsville last year, and the car didn't run again during the course of the season until the October race at the Virginia short track. The team shined up the racecar, loaded it up and traveled to Martinsville where Newman captured his third career pole at the track and led 23 laps en route to a seventh-place finish. Over the winter, Tony Gibson & Company gave the chassis a new body for the 2010 season. The car has been to the wind tunnel to test the new spoiler that will be on board for this weekend's Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: Chassis number 558 will be the primary for Sunday's race at Martisnville Speedway and is a brand new chassis. Johnson last drove backup chassis #520 to a 36th-place result at Richmond International Raceway last May. Prior to that event, Johnson had driven the car four times, winning each event (2008 fall races at Richmond, Martinsville and Phoenix, and 2009 spring race at Martinsville).
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend at Martinsville, crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-562. This is a brand new chassis that the team tested in February at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 crew will unload RK-605 for the weekend. Edwards raced this car at Phoenix last spring where he finished 10th.(from team PR's if reported)(3-26-2010)

    • Martinsville Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Martinsville this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first time NASCAR teams will run either of these two tire codes . . . the most significant change from the tire set-up run at Martinsville last year is in the right-side construction, which has been modified to be more resistant to brake heat, always a factor at Martinsville . . . the compounds on both the left- and right-side tires remain unchanged from 2009 . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville. The estimated pit window is every 125-135 laps, based on fuel mileage(Goodyear), see tire pressures, codes and more on my Martinsville Race Info page - Goodyear section.(3-26-2010)


      News from March 25, 2010

    • McDonald's to sponsor McMurray: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates officially announced an agreement with McDonald's USA to become a sponsor of the team's #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) for the balance of the 2010 season. The program, which debuted in Las Vegas earlier this month, will include multiple races as the primary sponsor. The McDonald's paint scheme will appear again, when the NSCS returns to Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday, Mar. 28. As part of the relationship, McDonald's iconic golden arches will grace the hood of Jamie McMurray's red #1 McDonald's Chevrolet for multiple races. They will also receive associate sponsor placement on the #1 Chevy for the remaining events in the 2010 NSCS season. In addition McDonald's will receive primary logo placement on McMurray's firesuit, the pit equipment and crew uniforms. The agreement will also include several activation elements aligned with McDonald's overall marketing and community initiatives.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(3-25-2010) see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(3-25-2010)

    • Hamlin & March of Dimes team up again: FedEx Racing and March of Dimes Team up for Babies: Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs and representatives from FedEx Office and the March of Dimes will unveil a special #11 March of Dimes/FedEx Office Toyota on Thursday, March 25 at the Joe Gibbs Racing shop in Huntersville. The car will run at Phoenix International Raceway in effort to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and March for Babies fundraising walks.(FexExRacing)(3-25-2010)
      UPDATE: FedEx Racing driver Denny Hamlin will drive a special #11 FedEx Office/March for Babies Toyota in the "SUBWAY Fresh Fit 600" at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, April 10, 2010 in effort to rev up the revenue for the March of Dimes and give every baby a healthy start in life. "This is the third year in a row that I raced the March for Babies car at the Phoenix Raceway," said Hamlin. "Last year we placed sixth and I'm hoping this year we'll win! I want to do everything I can to help raise awareness for the amazing work the March of Dimes does so that more babies are born healthy." The #11 FedEx Office/March for Babies® Toyota was unveiled today during a ceremony at Joe Gibbs Racing Inc. in Huntersville, N.C. Hamlin and team owner Joe Gibbs were on hand to reveal the special paint scheme for the Phoenix Cup race. During the race, Hamlin also will wear a helmet designed by Morgan, Preston and Chase Copeland. The triplets are the children of FedEx Office employee Alan Copeland and were born seven weeks premature in 2005. Today, their dad says, Morgan, Preston and Chase are healthy, active four-year-olds thanks to the March of Dimes-funded treatments and the medical care they received.(JGR), see image of the scheme on my #11 Team Schemes page.(3-25-2010)

    • Highest paid NASCAR drivers: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is NASCAR's highest-paid driver for a second straight year with earnings of $30 million in 2009. Earnhardt has had little racing success the past two years, with only one win at the track. He finished a disappointing 25th in the Sprint Cup standings last year, but was voted NASCAR's most popular driver for a seventh straight year. Forbe's earnings estimates include salaries, endorsements and the drivers' share of track winnings and licensing income. Earnhardt's immense popularity translates into big dollars in each of these areas outside of track winnings. "Nascar needs Dale Jr. to be competitive, because he is so closely associated with the success of the sport. [As] go the fortunes of Junior, so goes Nascar," says Ardy Arani, managing director of Atlanta-based Championship Group, a motor sports marketing consultancy. The top 10 list from forbes.com:
      No. 1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnings: $30 million
      No. 2 Jeff Gordon: Earnings: $27 million
      No. 3 Jimmie Johnson: Earnings: $23 million
      No. 4 Tony Stewart: Earnings: $19 million
      No. 5 Carl Edwards: Earnings: $14 million
      No. 6 Kevin Harvick: Earnings: $13 million
      No. 7 (tie) Kyle Busch: Earnings: $12 million
      No. 7 (tie) Kasey Kahne: Earnings: $12 million
      No. 9 (tie) Matt Kenseth: Earnings: $11 million
      No. 9 (tie) Mark Martin: Earnings: $11 million
      (full article and more at Forbes.com)(3-25-2010)

    • Hendrick Motorsports still deemed most vaulable: Forbe's reports that the average NASCXAR Sprint Cup team generated $92 million in revenue last year, a drop of 4%. Teams were hurt by a 19% decline in Nascar licensing revenue. Total retail sales of licensed merchandise were $1.63 billion in 2009 compared to $2 billion the prior year, according to License Global magazine. The economic downturn and a saturated licensing market helped spur the decline. Another factor was the near bankruptcy of leading Nascar merchandise company Motorsports Authentics. Despite the revenue drop, the average operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the top teams was flat at $7 million. Teams have trimmed budgets by reducing head count, tracking inventory more closely and cutting travel budgets. One area that has not yet been affected is driver salaries--but those cuts will come once contracts start to expire.
      NASCAR's top team remains Hendrick Motorsports worth $350 million, the same as last year. They are the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers and Manchester United rolled into one. They dominate on and off the track with the best drivers (home to the top three finishers in the 2009 Sprint Cup) and the most popular racers (three of the four best-selling drivers for licensed merchandise). Hendrick Motorsports is worth 47% more than the second most valuable team, Roush Fenway Racing. The gap in value between the two top teams is similar to baseball with the Yankees (64% more valuable than the Mets) and ManU in soccer (38% more than Real Madrid).
      Hendrick is the sports leader when it comes to sponsorship revenues, thanks to the success and popularity of its drivers. Its four cars generate an estimated $115 million in sponsorship revenue annually from the likes of DuPont, Go Daddy, Lowe's, the National Guard and PepsiCo. Hendrick cars have the highest budgets in Nascar, but the huge sponsorship haul allowed Hendrick to turn an operating profit of $20 million last year, the highest in the sport. The value of Stewart-Haas has risen 23% to $98 million, which ranks seventh overall. It is one of only three teams to see an increase in value over last year.
      Top NASCAR Teams: No. 1: Hendrick Motorsports, Current value: $350 million, One-year value change: none
      No. 2: Roush Fenway Racing, Current value: $238 million, One-year value change: -12%
      No. 3: Richard Childress Racing, Current value: $153 million, One-year value change: -8%
      No. 4: Joe Gibbs Racing, Current value: $144 million, One-year value change: none
      No. 5: Richard Petty Motorsports, Current value: $124 million, One-year value change: -6%
      No. 6: Penske Racing, Current value: $110 million, One-year value change: -1%
      No. 7: Stewart-Haas Racing, Current value: $98 million, One-year value change: 23%
      No. 8: Michael Waltrip Racing, Current value: $88 million, One-year value change: -12%
      No. 9: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Current value: $71 million, One-year value change: 1%
      No. 10: Red Bull Racing Team, Current value: $59 million, One-year value change: 7%
      (See more at Forbes.com)(3-25-2010)

    • Fuel changes coming in NASCAR: The only question about fuel injection in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is when it will be added not if. Not far behind could be the use of an ethanol-based fuel. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said that plans remain set for fuel injection to debut in the Cup series next season and that NASCAR's use of an alternative fuel also could come next year. "We should have some more answers probably in the next 21 days,'' Pemberton said about fuel injection. "I'd say we're on target, hopefully for early 2011 but it remains to be seen. We can't do it and screw things up but things are moving along pretty nicely right now.'' As for using an ethanol-based fuel, Pemberton said: "We're still looking at the fuel and what ratio percentage that we will use when we get there. "Our goal when we set out ... was (it) to happen in 2011. We have teams that have been running on the dynos with E10 and E15 and all the way up to E30. For the most part it's been E10 and E15.'(Roanoke Times)(3-25-2010)

    • After five races, the top 12 taking shape: the top 10/12 drivers five races into each year of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup abd howmany of those drivers made the Chase after 26 races:
      2004: 8 of 10
      2005: 7 of 10
      2006: 7 of 10
      2007: 10 of 12 [expanded to 12 drivers]
      2008: 8 of 12
      2009: 7 of 12
      (Sports Illustrated)(3-25-2010)

    • Hamlin & March of Dimes team up again: FedEx Racing and March of Dimes Team up for Babies: Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs and representatives from FedEx Office and the March of Dimes will unveil a special #11 March of Dimes/FedEx Office Toyota on Thursday, March 25 at the Joe Gibbs Racing shop in Huntersville. The car will run at Phoenix International Raceway in effort to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and March for Babies fundraising walks.(FexExRacing)(3-25-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Fan Vote has started: The 2010 Sprint Fan Vote, which allows race fans to choose which eligible driver gets to compete in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, opened today. Voting will continue until one hour before the start of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, Saturday, May 22, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Fans can cast unlimited votes for their favorite driver during the voting window. Sprint customers can vote using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on their Sprint or Nextel devices. As an added incentive for customers, every wireless vote submitted from a Sprint or Nextel device counts double towards a driver’s vote total. To download the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, which is free with any data plan, Sprint customers should text “NASCAR” to 7777. Sprint customers can also vote without downloading the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application by texting “VOTE” to 7777. (Standard text messaging and data rates apply.)
      To be eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote, drivers must have finished in the top 50 of the final 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings, attempted to qualify for the 2010 Daytona 500 or competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event during the 2009 or 2010 season. The driver accumulating the most votes, who also finishes the Sprint Showdown qualifying race on the lead lap, will earn a spot in the prestigious All-Star field. The Sprint Fan vote winner will be announced immediately following the completion of the Sprint Showdown.
      Two years ago, Kasey Kahne became the first driver to parlay his Sprint Fan Vote win into a victory in the Sprint All-Star event. Past Sprint Fan Vote winners include Ken Schrader (2004), Truex, Jr. (2005), Kyle Petty (2006), Kenny Wallace (2007), Kasey Kahne (2008 – Sprint All-Star Race Winner) and Logano (2009).
      Drivers eligible for the 2010 Sprint Fan Vote: AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, John Andretti, Norm Benning, Greg Biffle, Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss, Todd Bodine, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Patrick Carpentier, Terry Cook, Derrike Cope, Erik Darnell, Carl Edwards, Bill Elliott, Jeff Fuller, David Gilliland, Robby Gordon, San Hornish Jr., Travis Kvapil, Michael McDowell, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Joe Nemechek, Max Papis, David Ragan, Tony Raines, Robert Richardson, Scott Riggs, Elliott Sadler, Boris Said, Regan Smith, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed, David Stremme, Martin Truex Jr., Mike Wallace and Michael Waltrip.(Sprint)(3-25-2010)

    • Carquest makes 2010 debut on the #5: CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major sponsor on the #5 team since 2005, will be back on the hood of Mark Martin's #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy this weekend at Martinsville. The red, white and blue paint scheme will be featured in a total of eight races this season (HMS) for the list of races, see my #5 Team News and Links page and images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(3-25-2010)

    • Start #100 for Bliss: Mike Bliss' next Sprint Cup start will be the 100th of his career. Bliss is scheduled to attempt to make the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy.(TBR)(3-25-2010)

    • Kvapil to Race A&W All American Food Ford: Coming off his second top-25 finish of the season, Travis Kvapil and the #34 team head to another short track this weekend. Kvapil will be carrying the colors and logos of A&W All American Food for the first time this season.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(3-25-2010)


      News from March 24, 2010

    • NASCAR Teams Conclude Two-Day Spoiler Test at Charlotte, all speeds posted: The final day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spoiler testing and preparation for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 concluded at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, posting the fastest time of the day. Burton's speed of 189.215 paced the 49 cars from 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams who came to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a two-day test session devoted to spoiler work. Spoilers will replace the wings currently on the backs of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars beginning this weekend at Martinsville. Feedback from drivers on the second day of testing echoed the comments from the Tuesday session: the true test of the new spoiler will take place under race conditions.
      "Personally I would like to find out more about my car in traffic from someone close to me and how it may affect the car," said four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. "It's not going to be huge, but the first race or two there might be an opportunity at some of the bigger tracks. If you understand the car before anyone else does, you can put someone in a horrible spot and take advantage of them."
      "We've had a very productive test and all of the RCR teams have learned a great deal of information," said Burton. "The cars drive a little different and the reality is that the conditions and the tire combination are different than what it was last year. So we're learning new things that we can apply to every race from here out and hoping that our test data will translate well over to race conditions."
      "I noticed I didn't have to use as much brake as I normally did, so maybe there's a little more drag in the corner," said David Reutimann, driver of the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. "It wasn't like you went out there and said 'Man, this thing is completely different.' It wasn't a night and day deal."
      "This is a pretty good place to test," Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, said of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's nice and smooth and gives you a good idea of what your mile-and-a-half package is like."
      "I really like the spoiler," Edwards continued. "I think it's a great move. The fans are gonna like it and it doesn't seem to make the car feel much different."
      The only incident of the day on track took place when the #22 Penske Racing Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier hit the wall, sustaining significant right front damage. Allgaier was unscathed but his car did not continue in the test session.
      The top three speeds of the day belonged to Chevrolets, with Burton follwed by Kevin Harvick in the #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet (28.741, 187.885) and Juan Pablo Montoya in the #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (28.952, 186.516). The top Toyota of the day and fourth fastest overall belonged to Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers in the No. 83 with a time of 29.059 and a speed of 185.829. Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 entry, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, was the fastest Ford of the day and fifth quickest overall with a time of 29.107 and a speed of 185.522.
      During the test session, fans were given an opportunity to watch their favorite Sprint Cup drivers from the grandstands, which were open for free. Ticket holders to any Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway were granted special access to watch testing from a VIP area in the infield. Over the lunch break, more than 250 ticket holders also got the chance to participate in a Q&A session with NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Marcos Ambrose, and seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher. Tickets and interest-free payment plans are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-24-2010)

    • News - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Spoiler Test At Charlotte Motor Speedway – Day 2: Wednesday’s second day of a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway ended with resounding validation as teams prepare to transition from the wing on the rear of their cars to a spoiler. This Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Martinsville Speedway marks the first with spoilers on NASCAR’s new car. The wing-to-spoiler switch was one of several rule changes announced earlier this year.
      “I really like the spoiler,” said Carl Edwards, one of several drivers who visited Charlotte’s infield media center on Wednesday. “I think it looks great. I think it’s a great move. The fans are gonna like it and it doesn’t seem to make the car feel much different.”
      The spoiler to be used at all tracks except Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway will be 64.5 inches in length and four inches tall in the center. It will be affixed at a 70- degree angle and is non-adjustable. Beginning with the April 16-18 race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, a 3.5-inch-tall rear-deck fin will be added to the left side of the car. This fin can either be the full length of the deck-lid or a maximum of eight inches short of the spoiler. With the deck lid fin and its length options, the teams will have some flexibility in adjusting rear side force.
      "Overall, this was a very good test for us,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “I think the spoiler, plus the rear deck, are going to make the cars ‘racier.’ " The wing replaced the traditional stock-car spoiler on NASCAR’s new car, now in its third fulltime season. NASCAR Sprint Cup teams ran the wing for 93 races, beginning in March 2007 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Last week’s spring race at Bristol was the wing’s final event.
      “I think the good thing is that there's nothing large or big jumping out at us saying the spoiler is a lot different,” said Jimmie Johnson, the reigning and four-time series champion who visited the media center Wednesday as part of NASCAR’s weekly teleconference (full transcript and audio available at www.nascarmedia.com). “We've just been kind of working on our race car and working as if this was just a normal test and there was no change at the back of the car with a wing versus a spoiler.”
      Normalcy, in fact, was one of the many positive reactions emerging from the two-day test. Opportunity is another.“I feel like this is a new opportunity to maybe gain some ground, where before some other teams had an advantage on you,” said David Reutimann. “Now, you got something that’s completely new and it’s kind of a clean sheet of paper for almost everybody. It’s just going to see who can adapt the quickest.”
      Crew chief Jimmy Elledge, who oversees driver Scott Speed’s team, concurred. “I look at things like this as a new challenge and a clean sheet of paper for everybody,” Elledge said. “No one really has any experience with this and the quicker you adapt and learn it, maybe you can get the jump on everyone.”
      “Teams will adjust accordingly,” Pemberton said. “It won't be the same for everybody, and it'll definitely be something that they'll have to work towards to get their handling packages correct around other cars during the race, but the drivers like the spoiler and are more comfortable with it and the fans seem to like it, too.” “Aesthetically, it makes the cars look better,” said Kurt Busch. “There is some fine-tuning available with the rear-deck fin and that's pretty cool. We'll have a couple of races with the spoiler under our belts before we get to Texas and that will be our first big test with it."
      This week’s Charlotte test follows last week’s one-day session at Talladega Superspeedway, where approximately 24 teams worked spoilers along with mechanical issues for the April 25 event at Talladega. The Charlotte test addressed only the spoiler. Both the Charlotte and Talladega tests are exceptions to the current testing policy. For the second consecutive season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams may not test at facilities that host national-series events. This year, teams may test at tracks that host regional touring series events, but not national series events. (NASCAR)(3-24-2010)

    • NASCAR Teams Conclude Two-Day Spoiler Test at Charlotte, all speeds posted: The final day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spoiler testing and preparation for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 concluded at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy, posting the fastest time of the day. Burton's speed of 189.215 paced the 49 cars from 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams who came to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a two-day test session devoted to spoiler work. Spoilers will replace the wings currently on the backs of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars beginning this weekend at Martinsville. Feedback from drivers on the second day of testing echoed the comments from the Tuesday session: the true test of the new spoiler will take place under race conditions. The only incident of the day on track took place when the #22 Penske Racing Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier hit the wall, sustaining significant right front damage. Allgaier was unscathed but his car did not continue in the test session. During the test session, fans were given an opportunity to watch their favorite Sprint Cup drivers from the grandstands, which were open for free. Ticket holders to any Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway were granted special access to watch testing from a VIP area in the infield. Over the lunch break, more than 250 ticket holders also got the chance to participate in a Q&A session with NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Marcos Ambrose, and seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher. Tickets and interest-free payment plans are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS),
      IMAGES and SPEEDS: see many photo's and images fo the cars testing with the spoiler at the Motor Racing Network site or Charlotte Motor Speedway site. See speeds from all four sessions and quotes and notes on my 2010 Testing page.(3-24-2010)

    • Wilson wins Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at BMS UPDATE 4: For Rick Wilson, it was de ja vu during Saturday's Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson said the finish of the race played out just like his win in 1989 when he spun the wheels on a late race restart and saw drivers stream by him. "This was identical to the 1989 race," said Wilson of Bartow, Fla. "The car was great and the key was getting out ahead early. I was just riding at one point, because I knew I had a great car. "It was just like 1989. Phil (Parsons) got around me on the restart, but I just waited and got back around. I wish we could have gone 200 laps." Several other drivers echoed Wilson's thoughts. Cale Yarborough was excited to behind the wheel again, but disappointed that it didn't last longer. "It was fun," he said, "just not long enough to do what I wanted to do. Something happened to the car." Dave Marcis' day also was cut short, but he was glad to lace up his famous wingtips once more. "I was having fun, the car was good, but I ran over something and it cut one of the belts," he explained. "I think I got it shut off before I caused a lot of damage. It was fun and I enjoyed it. I'm glad to be back." Jimmy Hensley was glad just to be on the track. "I wish I could have been more competitive," he said. "I didn't hit anything, so that was good."(BMS)
      AND Rick Wilson passed Phil Parsons with two laps to go to outlast 11 other retired NASCAR drivers Saturday in an exhibition race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson, best known as the driver who took over the #43 following Richard Petty's 1992 retirement, dominated the race but lost the lead late to Parsons. Wilson passed Parsons shortly after a restart following a lengthy red-flag for a frightening accident between Charlie Glotzbach and Larry Pearson. Pearson, the son of three-time NASCAR champion David Pearson, spun into the outside wall with five laps remaining. As his car slid down the banking, Glotzbach rounded Turn 2 and ran directly into Pearson's driver-side door. Glotzbach gingerly walked from his car, but the roof had to be cut off Pearson's car. He was placed onto a stretcher, but was moving his arms as he was loaded into an ambulance. Pearson, the winner of consecutive titles in what's now called the Nationwide Series in 1986 and 1987, was immediately transported to Wellmont Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. Glotzbach, who won a caution-free Cup race at Bristol in 1971, was seen first in the infield care center before leaving for the same hospital. David Pearson did not continue the race after his son's accident. He drove his car off the track and stopped racing after the ambulance left so that he could travel to the hospital.(ESPN/Associated Press)(3-20-2010)
      UPDATE: Hours later, Jim Wozniak, a Welmont Health System spokesman, said Pearson would undergo surgery on a compound fracture of the left ankle, and that he suffered a fractured pelvis and fractured right hand. "He is awake and alert, and in good spirits," Wozniak said of Pearson, who was listed in fair condition late Saturday night. Wozniak also said that Glotzbach was in good condition, but provided no further details regarding his injuries.(Bristol Herakd Courier)(3-21-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Larry Pearson and Charlie Glotzbach, injured in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, remain hospitalized Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Their conditions are unchanged. Pearson is in fair condition and Glotzbach is in good condition.(BMS)(3-22-2010)
      UPDATE3: Larry Pearson has been released from Bristol Regional Medical Center as of late Monday afternoon, March 22. Pearson was transported and will be admitted into Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, according to his family. Charlie Glotzbach remains hospitalized Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Glotzbach remains in good condition. The two drivers were injured last Saturday in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday.(BMS)(3-22-2010)
      UPDATE 4: Driver Charlie Glotzbach was discharged from Bristol Regional Medical Center Wednesday to return home to Indiana. Driver Larry Pearson was released Tuesday and transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Both were injured in a wreck during the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, March 20.(BMS)(3-24-2010)

    • No decision on future by Kahne yet: #9-Kasey Kahne is in the final year of his driving contracts and as such are considered a prize free agents in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Silly Season class. Kahne has said that how Richard Petty Motorsports performs in the early races this season will go a long way towards determining whether he re-signs with the team or moves elsewhere in 2011. Asked by SPEEDtv.com Tuesday if he had come to a decision about whether to stay at RPM or move on, Kahne said, "Not yet. ... I feel like we've had a pretty good five races – seven if you count the other two (Budweiser Shootout and Gatorade Duel) to start the year – so I feel pretty good about where we're at and where we can still go this year." And despite being 23rd in points, Kahne said he was optimistic that his team could rebound and he could qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. "We've had just a few things go on, but that's racing and things happen," said Kahne. "I think we can recover from that and gain some of those points back pretty quick, and get in the top 12 and win races."(SPEEDtv)(3-24-2010)

    • Different primary colors for Allmendinger: Insignia, a Best Buy exclusive brand will be the primary sponsor/colors for the #43 Richard Petty Racing Ford of A.J. Allmendinger in the 19 remaining scheduled races Best Buy is sponsor the car/team. Insignia was the sponsor at Atlanta and Bristol and Best Buy blue was on the car at Daytona.(DingerWorld), Valvoline was the sponsor at Las Vegas and Charter Communications is the scheduled sponsor for the #43 at Martinsville. See images if the Insignia and Best Buy colors on my #43 Team Scehemes page.(3-24-2010)

    • Keselowski's Crew Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Bristol: Brad Keselowski's over-the-wall crew captured the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol. The #12 over-the-wall crew, which became the fourth winner of the weekly competition, helped Keselowski reach a 13th-place finish--his best of the 2010 season. Keselowski's Penske Dodge Charger spent the least amount of time on pit road – 259.305 seconds – during the first short-track race of the season. Matt Kenseth's #17 Ford was second (294.979) and Greg Biffle's #16 Ford was third (295.830). Keselowski's over-the-wall crew consists of: Ben Brown (front-tire changer), Scott Reineger (front-tire carrier), David Mayo (rear-tire changer), Trent Cherry (rear-tire carrier), Bryan White (jackman), George Whitley (gasman) and Britt Goodrich (catch can). The team's crew chief is Jay Guy. 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. The #56 crew for Martin Truex Jr. leads the Tissot standings with two wins after the first five races of the season.(Tissot)(3-24-2010)

    • Soldier namesd 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and Honorary Crew Chief: While under intense attack, Army National Guard SSG. Brian Harrison, a Purple Heart recipient, kept his cool and provided essential cover fire so his team could exit a disabled Humvee and find safety while in Iraq. Because of this heroic feat, 26-year-old Harrison has been named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will be the ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Martinsville Speedway. More info see www.ExtenZeRacing.com or to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(3-24-2010)


      News from March 23, 2010

    • Charlotte Motor Speedway Opens Sprint Cup Series Test to Fans UPDATES & SPEEDS: Fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite drivers in action at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time in 2010 during Sprint Cup Series testing March 23-24. The test will be held for the new spoiler that will soon replace the rear wing on the current Sprint Cup Series car. Ticket holders to any 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Oct. 16, will be granted special access to watch testing from the infield. The VIP seating area located behind pit road near Victory Circle will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer forum with available drivers; meet Miss Sprint Cup during an autograph session in Victory Circle; and take their picture with the Charlotte Motor Speedway show car. Concessions and souvenirs will be available in the infield. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS PR)(3-16/22-2010)
      UPDATE: Justin Allgaier in the #22 Penske Racing Dodge, there are two teams at the test today that aren’t running full time in Sprint Cup – #21-Wood Brothers Racing with driver Bill Elliott and #32 Braun Racing with Reed Sorenson. There are 41 cars with 42 drivers participating in the test. David Gilliland and Kevin Conway are sharing the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford. Six teams that have run every race thus far in 2010 are NOT at the test today – #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing (Mike Bliss), #87 Nemco Motorsports (Joe Nemechek), 355 & #66 Prism Motorsports (two cars – Michael McDowell/Michael Waltrip and Dave Blaney), #26 Latitude 43 Motorsports (Boris Said/David Stremme) and #90 Keyed-Up Motorsports (Casey Mears). The test session is designed to give teams the opportunity to test the spoiler, which replaces the rear wing beginning this weekend at Martinsville.(SceneDaily), see images fo the cars testing with the spoiler at the Motor Racing Network site or Charlotte Motor Speedway site.
      Test Speeds: #42-Montoya was fastest in the morning session at 185.976mph followed by #77-Hornish Jr., #00-Reutimann, #83-Vickers and #1-McMurray. See all the speeds run below:
      Afternoon Speeds: #98-Paul Menard was the fastest in the afternoon session with a speed of 185.312 followed by #42-Montoya, #39-Newman, #1-McMurray and #48-Johnson. See all the speeds run on my 2010 Testing page.(3-23-2010)

    • Allgaier testing for Penske at Charlotte: Penske Racing's Nationwide Series driver, Justin Allgaier, is testing the #22 Dodge at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday. Team are testing the spolier, which replaces the wing startign at Martinsville this coming weekend. SPEED's Bob Dillner reported on Sunday's SPEED Report that Allgaier would test for Penske, but no word if/when he will make his Sprint Cup debut.
      AND Justin Allgaier participated in his first official Sprint Cup Series test and hoped Tuesday's session will lead to an upcoming race at NASCAR's top level. Penske Racing brought four cars to the two-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway to give Allgaier seat time. The 23-year-old is coming off his first NASCAR victory, a win in the Nationwide Series last weekend at Bristol. Drivers are permitted to participate in two NASCAR-approved test sessions before committing to entering a Cup race."Obviously when I started at Penske Racing my goal was to reach the Cup level, so for me, this is a good way to come out and get some laps and see what these cars drive like," said the second-year Penske driver. "Hopefully we can help out the other guys. I think that's the biggest thing -- how do we benefit all three of our Cup teams and get me some experience at the same time? This is the easiest way to do it.".(Associated Press)(3-23-2010)

    • DW says Dale Jr. should run some truck races: in a Q&A, 3-time Cup Champ and FOX broadcaster Darrell Waltrip said of Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "Expectations are so high with him that if he's not winning, then the world is not right and so I think they're making baby steps to get him back to where he needs to be. I told (car owner) Rick (Hendrick) and I really, honestly believe this, I'd run him in some truck races. He needs to get somehwere where he can win, and I'd get him in a truck. Not a Nationwide car, a truck. They're fun to drive, have a good time in the truck series. If I was Junior, I'd go talk to (Kevin) Harvick and ask him if I could drive that 2 truck. I'd go out, and I'd win me a couple of races and I think that's what he needs, it would really help his confidence, and I think his fans would enjoy seeing him do that. I think it would be a win-win."(Virginian Pilot)(3-23-2010)

    • McGrew and Dale Jr. on the radio at Bristol UPDATE: Crew chief Lance McGrew didn't hold back the tough love with driver #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday. The first snipe came after Junior complained about a loose car following pit stops during the fifth caution on Lap 205. McGrew replied, "Yes, but you're eight positions better than you were." When the seventh caution was called on Lap 324, the #88 was up to sixth and was busted by NASCAR for "excessive speed entering the pits" and was forced to drop back to 26th. McGrew coached his driver with a "lots of laps man, we can get this back." But Earnhardt sounded dejected on the radio. He was furious at the sanctioning body and its pit-road scoring system. "Well, anyhow. To get busted at Bristol for (expletive) speeding by what-the-(expletive)-ever it was and when I didn't (expletive) gain nothing on nobody, it's not the way it should be," exlaimed Earnhardt. "There should be a different way of doing it. You bust your (expletive) to get up there. Now they can't be (expletive) (expletive) about every (expletive) little nitpickin' (expletive) thing. We're out here racing our (expletive) off." And with Earnhardt deep in traffic, he radioed the car was "pushing like a truck." That's when McGrew let loose.
      "Don't lay down on me, bud," McGrew screamed. "I can't lay down here," Earnhardt replied. "This is Bristol. I don't ever (freakin') lay down. Don't ever say that again on the radio. Don't need the whole world hearing that." While little was said between driver and crew chief following the heated exchange, Earnhardt collected himself and salvaged a seventh-place finish that enabled him to jump five positions to eighth in the point standings. Although Earnhardt was not available for comment after the race, team owner Rick Hendrick seemed pleased with the #88 team's improvement. "They've worked really hard," Hendrick said. "Lance and Dale have great chemistry. I think if you listen to them on the radio, they're working well together. Dale had a great car. He would have been in the top five or had a real shot at it himself had he been able not to have that speeding penalty."(FoxSports)(3-22-2010)
      UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says his profanity-laced rant at Bristol Motor Speedway stemmed from frustration from a speeding penalty. Earnhardt had just cracked the top five in Sunday's race when NASCAR flagged him for speeding on pit road. He vented over his radio for several minutes, and snapped at crew chief Lance McGrew's attempt to calm him down. The penalty dropped Earnhardt to 26th, but he rallied to finish seventh. He moved up five spots in the standings to eighth. Earnhardt says the speeding penalty infuriated him because he had worked so hard to crack the top five.(Associated Press)(3-23-2010)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame Kicks off Final 50 Days: The checkered flag is in sight for the NASCAR Hall of Fame grand opening. To mark the final days before the 150,000-square-foot interactive entertainment attraction opens May 11, fans are invited to participate in a 50-day countdown on Twitter and watch www.NASCARHall.com for 50 days of news about the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Beginning Monday, March 22nd and running through May 11, a trivia question will be posted each morning on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Twitter page (@NASCARHall). The lucky fan who posts the first correct response to @NASCARHall will win a NASCAR Hall of Fame prize pack. In conjunction with the contest, the NASCAR Hall of Fame team will reveal one feature of the facility daily at www.NASCARHall.com/50days.
      The first item announced in the 50-day countdown was revealed Monday in a news conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip unveiled his championship-winning #11 Mountain Dew Buick. Waltrip drove the iconic, green-and-white stock car to back-to-back NASCAR Winston Cup championships in 1981 and 1982, the first two of three championships in his famed career. In 1981 and 1982 alone, Waltrip had 61 starts and earned 24 wins, 29 top-5 finishes and more than $1.6 million in winnings. The car denotes a significant occurrence in NASCAR history when the sanctioning body mandated a downsizing of cars to coincide with changes taking place in Detroit during that period. The car was built and owned by NASCAR Hall of Fame Inaugural Inductee Junior Johnson. Waltrip's two championships in this car marked Johnson's fourth and fifth titles as an owner. Waltrip and Johnson captured a third championship together in 1985.
      The #11 Mountain Dew Buick will be one of 18 stock cars featured on Glory Road inside the main entrance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A banked ramp simulating various racetracks, Glory Road also highlights 40 current and historic tracks and mimics various degrees of banking at racetracks including the impressive 33-degree incline found at Talladega Superspeedway. The car is on loan from Darrell Watlrip Motorsports to the NASCAR Hall of Fame for two years.
      The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens to the public May 11, 2010 at 10:00am/et. The opening ceremony for the high-tech, interactive attraction begins at 9:00am/et. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10:am/et through the late evening. More news and info on my NASCAR Hall of Fame News page and NASCAR Hall of Fame 2010 Class.(3-23-2010)

    • F-18s To Provide Flyover for Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500: One of the Navy’s oldest and most decorated squadrons will provide the flyover for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Strike Fighter Squadron Three One will supply the flyover support with F-18 Super Hornets after the Virginia Military Institute’s Glee Club performs the national anthem prior to the start of the race. Based at Oceana Naval Air Station near Norfolk, the VFA-31 recently spent an eight-month deployment aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The Tomcatters dominated the skies above Afghanistan during the deployment, flying over 6,000 hours and 2,000 sorties in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Strike Fighter Squadron Three One has a long and distinguished history. The squadron has served in every major conflict since its inception. The squadron was aboard the USS Enterprise during the bombing of Pearl Harbor as well as the Battles of Wake Island, Marcus Island, Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal and the Eastern Solomons. The squadron has seen aerial combat over the Philippines, Formosa, Okinawa and China. Tickets for the races are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or going to martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-23-2010)

    • Kids Zone Returns at Martinsville: One section of Martinsville Speedway’s display area has again been declared a “Kids Zone” for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 weekend with games, souvenirs and food aimed at the younger crowd. There will be two inflatable games for the youngsters to play on, The Moon Walk and The Slide. The concession items in the Kids Zone will not only be kid favorites, but kid priced. There will be chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cotton candy, chips, fruit cups and Capri Sun juice boxes. Nothing will be over $2. There will also be plenty of youth oriented souvenirs … three trailers full. Digger, FOX TV’s racing cartoon star, will have a trailer, along with the Kid’s Stop trailer and the Kidz Rock trailer. There are some great ticket prices for kids during the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 weekend. Children’s tickets in the Clay Earles Tower are only $10 when purchased with an adult ticket. Children 12 and under will be admitted free to the Kroger 250 on Saturday, March 27 and Duracell Battery Kroger Pole Day on Friday, March 26. Tickets for the races are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or going to martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-23-2010)

    • No sellout for Bristol, first since 1982: According to figures provided by NASCAR, an estimated total of 138,000 attended Sunday's Food City 500 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Unofficial estimates placed the figure closer to 120,000 on the overcast and chilly afternoon. Entering the weekend, the 160,000-seat facility had been sold out for 55 straight Sprint Cup events. The NASCAR attendance estimate for Saturday's Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series race was 85,000. Crowds of over 100,000 have attended the Nationwide races at BMS in recent years. Many fans have complained that the excitement level of BMS events has been diminished since the .533-concrete oval underwent an extensive 2007 resurfacing project which gave competitors more room to maneuver. That sentiment remerged Monday morning on various NASCAR message boards and talk shows, even though Sunday's Food City 500 featured 29 lead changes, 10 caution periods and a 10-lap dash to the finish. According to BMS Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Triplett, the biggest hurdle facing BMS the past two years has been the slumping national economy. Triplett feels that the thousands of empty seats this past weekend were emblematic of the financial challenges in NASCAR hotbeds around the Midwest and Northeast. "As far as winning back fans, more than 60% of the ones we surveyed who did not renew their tickets said it was for economic reasons," Triplett said. The August Sprint Cup race at BMS remains one of the most popular events in motorsports. Speedway officials have attempted to generate renewed interest for their March race program by holding the Food City Race Night program on track property and by introducing a 35-lap charity event for retired NASCAR drivers on Saturday night. "There are other things – lodging costs, people out of work – that are factors that are out of our hands," Triplett said. (Bristol Herald Courier), The speedway's record streak of 55 sellouts began back in August 1982 – when the track could accommodate a mere 30,000 fans.(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-23-2010)


      News from March 22, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      David Gilliland is listed in the #37 Ford and Kevin Conway is listed in the #38 Ford
      Not in top 35 of owners points in 2010 owners points:
      #09-Aric Almirola (2009 race winner as owner)(45/5)
      #7-Robby Gordon (36/5)
      #13-Max Papis (39/5)
      #26-Boris Said (37/5)
      #35-Johnny Sauter (49/1)
      #36-Mike Bliss (38/5)
      #46-Terry Cook (46/5)
      #55-Michael McDowell (40/5)
      #66-Dave Blaney (41/5)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (42/5)
      #90-Casey Mears (44/5)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,7,26,36,13,55,66,87
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 90,46,35
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Martinsville Entry List.(3-22-2010)

    • Charlotte Motor Speedway Opens Sprint Cup Series Test to Fans REPOSt: Fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite drivers in action at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time in 2010 during Sprint Cup Series testing March 23-24. The test will be held for the new spoiler that will soon replace the rear wing on the current Sprint Cup Series car. Ticket holders to any 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Oct. 16, will be granted special access to watch testing from the infield. The VIP seating area located behind pit road near Victory Circle will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer forum with available drivers; meet Miss Sprint Cup during an autograph session in Victory Circle; and take their picture with the Charlotte Motor Speedway show car. Concessions and souvenirs will be available in the infield. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS PR)(3-16/22-2010)

    • Gander Mountain Sponsors Gilliland at Martinsville: Gander Mountain will be the primary sponsor of Front Row Motorsports' #37 Sprint Cup entry at the Martinsville Speedway on March 28. The car will be piloted by David Gilliland, currently 35th in driver point standings in the Sprint Cup Series. Gander Mountain became a sponsor because of the number of NASCAR fans who also enjoy the outdoors, according to Steve Uline, Gander Mountain's executive vice president of marketing. The company will also sponsor Gilliland's car for the August 1 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. "David Gilliland is an avid outdoorsman, as are many NASCAR fans," Uline said. "One of David's favorite pastimes outside of NASCAR is fishing. He understands Gander Mountain's 'We Live Outdoors' culture and is the perfect driver to help us take our message to race fans." Gander Mountain, with 119 stores in 23 states, is the nation's largest retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, boating, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle apparel, products and services. The company offers thousands of products in its online store and now includes free standard shipping. In addition, the site now offers a firearms department with a broad selection of ammunition, rifles, handguns, shotguns and accessories. Gander Mountain is also the parent company of Overton's (www.overtons.com) a leading catalog and Internet based retailer of products for boating and other water sports enthusiasts.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), see images of the car on my #37 Team Schemes page.(3-22-2010)

    • Newman's release 2nd book about pets: Last weekend, Ryan Newman and wife Krissie, released their second book Pit Road: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets, the Second Lap at Bristol Motor Speedway [a must read for Jayski's pets]. The book celebrates the NASCAR community and their beloved furry and sometimes even feathered families. Pit Road Pets: NASCAR Stars and Their Pets, the Second Lap, gives fans an intimate look at some of NASCAR's most loved drivers both past and present, their families and their love for animals. Crew chiefs, broadcast personalities and the people who work behind the scenes at races each weekend are all part of this picturesque book. The book is a follow-up to the Newman's first Pit Road Pets book which was published in 2006. The book is available for $24.95 and the proceeds from the first book helped build a regional spay/neuter clinic at the Humane Society of Catawba County in Hickory, N.C. For more info and to order the book, see my Racing Charities page.(3-22-2010)

    • Johnson has won 7 of 14: After winning three of five races this season, #48-Jimmie Johnson has now won seven of the last 14, a NASCAR-best since Jeff Gordon won seven of nine in the summer of 1998. Supposedly the only other time this has happened in the modern era [1972 to present] was in 1987 when Dale Earnhardt won 6 of 8 and seven of the first 14. Both Gordon and Earnhardt won the championship that season.(Sports Illustrated)(3-22-2010)

    • McGrew and Dale Jr. on the radio at Bristol: Crew chief Lance McGrew didn't hold back the tough love with driver #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday. The first snipe came after Junior complained about a loose car following pit stops during the fifth caution on Lap 205. McGrew replied, "Yes, but you're eight positions better than you were." When the seventh caution was called on Lap 324, the #88 was up to sixth and was busted by NASCAR for "excessive speed entering the pits" and was forced to drop back to 26th. McGrew coached his driver with a "lots of laps man, we can get this back." But Earnhardt sounded dejected on the radio. He was furious at the sanctioning body and its pit-road scoring system. "Well, anyhow. To get busted at Bristol for (expletive) speeding by what-the-(expletive)-ever it was and when I didn't (expletive) gain nothing on nobody, it's not the way it should be," exlaimed Earnhardt. "There should be a different way of doing it. You bust your (expletive) to get up there. Now they can't be (expletive) (expletive) about every (expletive) little nitpickin' (expletive) thing. We're out here racing our (expletive) off." And with Earnhardt deep in traffic, he radioed the car was "pushing like a truck." That's when McGrew let loose.
      "Don't lay down on me, bud," McGrew screamed. "I can't lay down here," Earnhardt replied. "This is Bristol. I don't ever (freakin') lay down. Don't ever say that again on the radio. Don't need the whole world hearing that." While little was said between driver and crew chief following the heated exchange, Earnhardt collected himself and salvaged a seventh-place finish that enabled him to jump five positions to eighth in the point standings. Although Earnhardt was not available for comment after the race, team owner Rick Hendrick seemed pleased with the #88 team's improvement. "They've worked really hard," Hendrick said. "Lance and Dale have great chemistry. I think if you listen to them on the radio, they're working well together. Dale had a great car. He would have been in the top five or had a real shot at it himself had he been able not to have that speeding penalty."(FoxSports)(3-22-2010)

    • All time winners running the COT: Car of Tomorrow with the Wing. 93 races:
      1. Jimmie Johnson .... 22
      2. Kyle Busch ........13
      3. Carl Edwards ...11
      4. Tony Stewart ..... 6
      Denny Hamlin .......6
      6. Mark Martin .......5
      7. Jeff Gordon ..... 4
      Kasey Kahne ...... 4
      Kurt Busch .......... 4
      10. Clint Bowyer . 2
      Greg Biffle ........... 2
      Jeff Burton .......... 2
      Matt Kenseth ..... 2
      Jamie McMurray . 2
      15. Martin Truex Jr. . 1
      Juan Pablo Montoya . 1
      Dale Earnhardt Jr. . 1
      Ryan Newman .... 1
      Joey Logano ...... 1
      David Reutimann . 1
      Brian Vickers ...... 1
      Brad Keselowski . 1
      No more wing after Bristol, March 2010.(3-22-2010)

    • Wilson wins Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at BMS UPDATE 2: For Rick Wilson, it was de ja vu during Saturday's Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson said the finish of the race played out just like his win in 1989 when he spun the wheels on a late race restart and saw drivers stream by him. "This was identical to the 1989 race," said Wilson of Bartow, Fla. "The car was great and the key was getting out ahead early. I was just riding at one point, because I knew I had a great car. "It was just like 1989. Phil (Parsons) got around me on the restart, but I just waited and got back around. I wish we could have gone 200 laps." Several other drivers echoed Wilson's thoughts. Cale Yarborough was excited to behind the wheel again, but disappointed that it didn't last longer. "It was fun," he said, "just not long enough to do what I wanted to do. Something happened to the car." Dave Marcis' day also was cut short, but he was glad to lace up his famous wingtips once more. "I was having fun, the car was good, but I ran over something and it cut one of the belts," he explained. "I think I got it shut off before I caused a lot of damage. It was fun and I enjoyed it. I'm glad to be back." Jimmy Hensley was glad just to be on the track. "I wish I could have been more competitive," he said. "I didn't hit anything, so that was good."(BMS)
      AND Rick Wilson passed Phil Parsons with two laps to go to outlast 11 other retired NASCAR drivers Saturday in an exhibition race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson, best known as the driver who took over the #43 following Richard Petty's 1992 retirement, dominated the race but lost the lead late to Parsons. Wilson passed Parsons shortly after a restart following a lengthy red-flag for a frightening accident between Charlie Glotzbach and Larry Pearson. Pearson, the son of three-time NASCAR champion David Pearson, spun into the outside wall with five laps remaining. As his car slid down the banking, Glotzbach rounded Turn 2 and ran directly into Pearson's driver-side door. Glotzbach gingerly walked from his car, but the roof had to be cut off Pearson's car. He was placed onto a stretcher, but was moving his arms as he was loaded into an ambulance. Pearson, the winner of consecutive titles in what's now called the Nationwide Series in 1986 and 1987, was immediately transported to Wellmont Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. Glotzbach, who won a caution-free Cup race at Bristol in 1971, was seen first in the infield care center before leaving for the same hospital. David Pearson did not continue the race after his son's accident. He drove his car off the track and stopped racing after the ambulance left so that he could travel to the hospital.(ESPN/Associated Press)(3-20-2010)
      UPDATE: Hours later, Jim Wozniak, a Welmont Health System spokesman, said Pearson would undergo surgery on a compound fracture of the left ankle, and that he suffered a fractured pelvis and fractured right hand. "He is awake and alert, and in good spirits," Wozniak said of Pearson, who was listed in fair condition late Saturday night. Wozniak also said that Glotzbach was in good condition, but provided no further details regarding his injuries.(Bristol Herakd Courier)(3-21-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Larry Pearson and Charlie Glotzbach, injured in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, remain hospitalized Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Their conditions are unchanged. Pearson is in fair condition and Glotzbach is in good condition.(BMS)(3-22-2010)
      UPDATE3: Larry Pearson has been released from Bristol Regional Medical Center as of late Monday afternoon, March 22. Pearson was transported and will be admitted into Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, according to his family. Charlie Glotzbach remains hospitalized Monday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Glotzbach remains in good condition. The two drivers were injured last Saturday in the Showdown charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday.(BMS)(3-22-2010)

    • Sad News - John Lewis Kennedy: John Lewis Kennedy, long-time supporter of open wheel short track racing, passed away March 20, 2010. Kennedy's family ties to racing grew as his daughter Janice was married to open wheel driver-turned-car builder Bob East. In 1989, the family relocated to Brownsburg, Indiana to support East's then-new chassis manufacturing company. Amy East Cook is a former ESPN broadcaster who covered USAC racing, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the Indy Pro Series. She is married to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Terry Cook and now spends her time raising their son Cody. Alison Leffler is married to NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and former USAC National Midget Champion Jason Leffler. Alison and Jason have one son, Charlie. Bobby East is the 2004 USAC National Midget Champion and has raced in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. He and wife Courtney were married in January just prior to the start of the 2010 racing season. He was proceded in death by his son, Michael Kennedy. Survivors include his wife, Wardella Kennedy; son, Mark Kennedy; daughter, Janice Kennedy East; grandchildren, Amy (Terry) Cook, Alison (Jason) Leffler, Bobby (Courtney) East, Danny Kennedy, Steven Kennedy and Lauren Kennedy; and two great grandsons, Cody Cook and Charlie Leffler. Contributions may be made to Autism Speaks. Arrangements handled by Bell Mortuary & Crematory, Royster-Askin-Sandrock Chapel.(Indy Star)(3-22-2010)

    • Harry Gant, Bobby Allison Fill Field For Goody's FAN-Tastic Forum At Martinsville: The field has been filled and the starting time set for the Goody's FAN-Tastic Forum: Story-telling by NASCAR's Greats at Martinsville Speedway on March 27. In a journey back in time, seven of the sport's most legendary drivers will be spinning tales for fans in Martinsville Speedway's display area on Saturday, March 27, beginning at 6 p.m. Harry Gant and Bobby Allison have been added to the previously announced cast of Junior Johnson, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker and Ned Jarrett. Veteran Motor Racing Network announcer Barney Hall, another icon of the sport, will emcee the event. "When we started putting this together, we never envisioned we'd get such a group of our sport's heroes," said Martinsville Speedway President W. Clay Campbell. "The group we have wound up with is like a 'Who's Who' of racing history. It's going to be a rare opportunity for all of us to see such racing royalty all together in one spot." Prior to the beginning of the Goody's FAN-Tastic Forum on Saturday, March 27, most of the drivers will be participating in a one-hour autograph session in the display area outside of the fourth turn area of the track. As a part of the old-school racing weekend, renown motorsports Sam Bass has produced a one-of-a-kind print, title "Time Travelers," which will serve as the cover for the weekend's souvenir program. Several thousand posters will be made from the print and distributed to fans during the weekend. Also, Baker, who won the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville in 1979, has been named the Grand Marshal for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500. Tickets for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 on Sunday, March 28, the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, March 27 and the Duracell Battery Kroger Pole Day on Friday, March 26 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or going to martinsvillespeedway.com.(3-22-2010)

    • Talladega Superspeedway Takes the Headache Out of Tailgating: Race fans can leave the table and chairs at home when they attend the Aaron's Dream Weekend, April 23-25. Talladega Superspeedway is taking care of it all in the Pepsi Max Tailgate Zone. The Pepsi Max Tailgate Zone is an all-inclusive package for race fans featuring:
      · A reserved tailgate area that includes the use of a 10x10 tent, table and chairs
      · A premium parking pass
      · Use of a portable generator provided by Honda Generators
      · Four reserved grandstand tickets to the Aaron's 499 on Sunday, April 25
      The Pepsi Max Tailgate Zone will also feature tailgate activities and contests with prizes from Pepsi Max and other participating partners. The area is located directly behind the Gadsden Grandstands, just steps away from all the action. The Pepsi Max Tailgate Zone package is $299 and available by calling the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visiting the website at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(3-22-2010)

    • Charlotte Motor Speedway Introduces Race Fan Stimulus Plan : Taking a cue from Washington, D.C., Charlotte Motor Speedway is giving race fans a stimulus package of their own with the introduction of the Race Fan Stimulus Plan for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Thru April 30, fans who purchase $99 or more in tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 will receive a $25 Stimulus Rebate Coupon good toward their next 2010 event ticket purchase of $99 or more at Charlotte Motor Speedway or zMax Dragway. Fans who have already purchased $99 or more worth of tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 will also receive the $25 Stimulus Rebate Coupon in the mail. In addition to the rebate coupon, info on extra value for the Coca-Cola 600 can be found at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-22-2010)

    • Virginia Military Institute Glee Club to perform Martinsville National anthem: The Virginia Military Institute Glee Club will perform the National Anthem for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 on March 28, guaranteeing racing fans a traditional version of the Star Spangled Banner. The VMI Glee Club, which has been in existence since 1858, has entertained groups from coast-to-coast, singing for everything from gubernatorial inaugurations to the National Shrine in Washington, DC, to PGA Tournaments. Their version of the anthem is authentic and traditional. The VMI Glee Club is made up of 30 cadets from all classes, academic majors and ROTC affiliations at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. It is the oldest performing group at VMI. VMI is the nation's oldest state supported military college, founded in 1839. Martinsville Speedway tickets may be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(3-22-2010)

    • Tickets on Sale for 2010 Events at North Wilkesboro: Coming off a historic week at North Wilkesboro Speedway in which the power has been turned on and renovations are in full swing for the 2010 season, North Wilkesboro Speedway will begin ticket sales for all events scheduled this year on Monday March 22, 2010 at 8:00 am through the Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway website. After months of planning and finding the right solution for the speedway Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway partnered with Alabama based ticketing company Ticket Biscuit. "This has been several months in the works, to make sure the solution worked well with our ticket office" said Steven Wilson.(North Wilkesboro Speedway)(3-22-2010)

    • BUBBA burger to sponsor NNS race at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway announced that next month’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race will officially be titled the BUBBA burger 250. Additionally, BUBBA burger is now the Official Burger of Richmond International Raceway and the juicy and delicious burgers will be available at select concession areas during race weekend. The BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 30 will be an old-school, short track shootout “under the lights,” featuring all of the full-time Nationwide Series drivers, as well as many NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers running double-duty. For tickets to events at Richmond International Raceway, call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com online.(RIR)(3-22-2010)


      News from March 21, 2010

    • Johnson wins first race at Bristol: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2010, 50th of his career and 1st at Bristol. #14-Stewart finished 2nd followed by #2-Busch, #16-Biffle. #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #1-McMurray, #18-Busch and #31-Burton. Pole sitter #20-Logano finished 27th down 5 laps. Points leader, #29-Kevin Harvick finished 11th and holds on to the points lead by 1 point over #17-Kenseth. 21 cars finished on the lead lap. There were 10 caution periods for 103 yellow flag laps. There were 29 lead changes among 8 drivers.
      The race is scheduled to be re-aired, Wednesday, March 24 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.(3-21-2010)

    • Drivers with the fewest starts to get to 50 Sprint Cup wins:
      DRIVER, STARTS when won 50th
      Jeff Gordon, 232
      Darrell Waltrip, 278
      David Pearson, 293
      Jimmie Johnson, 296
      Junior Johnson, 303
      Ned Jarrett, 332
      Richard Petty, 338
      Cale Yarborough, 347
      Dale Earnhardt, 369
      Lee Petty, 392
      Bobby Allison, 433
      Rusty Wallace, 498

    • Overall all-time winning percentage: [drivers with over 100 starts]:
      1. Herb Thomas -- 21.053% (48 wins, 228 starts)
      2. Tim Flock -- 20.856% (39/187)
      3. David Pearson -- 18.293% (105/574)
      4. Richard Petty -- 16.892% (200/1184)
      4. Jimmie Johnson -- 16.892% (50/296)
      6. Fred Lorenzen -- 16.456% (26/158)
      7. Fireball Roberts -- 16.019% (33/206)
      8. Junior Johnson -- 15.974% (50/313)
      9. Cale Yarborough -- 14.821% (83/560)
      10. Jeff Gordon -- 13.993% (82/586)
      (stats from Racing-reference.info and NASCAR Statistics and compiled weekly here)(3-21-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Bristol Motor Speedway:
      Jimmie Johnson won the FOOD CITY 500, his 50th victory in 296 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third victory and third top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 17 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
      Tony Stewart (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 23 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2010.
      Kurt Busch (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 19 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
      Kevin Conway (28th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 1 points over Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-21-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Bristol, race 5 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick 774
      2) #17-Matt Kenseth, 773, -1
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 760, -14
      4) #16-Greg Biffle, 750, -24
      5) #14-Tony Stewert, 685, -89
      6) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 677, -97
      7) #31-Jeff Burton, 677, -97
      8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 621, --153
      9) #98-Paul Menard, 614, -160
      10) #18-Kyle Busch, 606, -168
      11) #24-Jeff Gordon, 603, -171
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 601, -173
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #99-Carl Edwards, 585, 16 points out of the chase
      14) #83-Brian Vickers 584, -17
      15) #1-Jamie McMurray, 581, -20
      16) #5-Mark Martin, 579, -22
      2009 Chasers not in top 15
      13) #99-Carl Edwards, 585, 16 out of the chase
      14) #83-Brian Vickers 584, -17
      19) #11-Denny Hamlin, 515, -86
      22) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 508, -93
      23) #9-Kasey Kahne, 508, -93
      26) #39-Ryan Newman, 452, -149.
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(3-21-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Martinsville:
      After Bristol, the current (2010) OWNERS points are used to determine the Top-35 in owners points and the guaranteed starting positions. #37-Conway was able to move back in the top 35 after falling out last week. Teams that started the 2010 season in the top-35 and fell out after five races include #7-Gordon and #26-Said/Stremme. Two drivers/teams were not in the top-35 starting the season and are now in, #82-Speed is solidly in the top-35 at 18th in 2010 Owners points and #71-Labonte who is 29th, 82 points ahead of 36th. Where things stand in the top 35 of Owners Points after Bristol:
      30) #12-Keselowski/Penske: 424, +78
      31) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 417, +71
      32) #47-Ambrose/JTG: 413, +67
      33) #77-Hornish/Penske: 392, +46
      34) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: 374, +28
      35) #37-Conway/Front Row: 355, 9 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #7-Gordon/RGM/BAM: 346, 9 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Said/Stremme/Latitude43: 343 -12
      38) #36-Bliss/Baldwin: 307 -48
      39) #13-Papis/Germain: 275 -80
      40) #55-McDowell/Waltrip/Prism: 230 -140
      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.(3-21-2010)

    • Infraction Sheet - Bristol Motor Speedway:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #46, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End, Missing drivers intro
      #66, 40, Intentionally causing a caution, 2 Laps
      #47, 43, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #11, 117, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #11, 119, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #11, 129, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #7, 130, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #46, 139, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #47, 206, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #9, 206, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #11, 292, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #88, 325, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #6, 342, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #42, 342, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #90, 343, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #82, 483, Commitment Line Violation, Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(3-21-2010)

    • There are five race tracks the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
      Michigan: 0 for 16 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
      Infineon: 0 for 8 with a best finish of 4th in 6/2009
      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
      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.
      Bristol had been one of those tracks Johnson didn't have a win there until he won there on Sunday,m March 21, 2010, leaving Johnson with five more tracks to winb at.(3-21-2010)

    • Song Drivers were introduced to at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
      AJ Allmendinger .... "Last Resort'' by Papa Roach
      Aric Almirola .... "Back in Black'' by AC/DC
      Bobby Labonte ... "People are Crazy'' by Billy Currington
      Brad Keselowski ... "Won't Back Down'' by Tom Petty
      Brian Vickers ... "Whatever Happened'' by OAR
      Carl Edwards ... "Black Betty'' by Spiderbait
      Casey Mears ... "Wild Side'' by Motley Crue
      Clint Bowyer ... "Burning Love'' by Elvis Presley
      David Ragan ... "The Devil Went Down to Georgia'' by Charlie Daniels
      David Reutimann ... "The Game'' by Motor Head
      Denny Hamlin .. "Theme from Rocky''
      Elliott Sadler ... "2001: A Space Odyssey Theme'''
      Greg Biffle ... "Welcome to the Jungle'' by Guns N' Roses
      Jamie McMurray ... "Let It Rock'' by Kevin Rudoph featuring Lil Wayne
      Jeff Burton ... "Welcome to the Jungle'' by Guns N' Roses
      Jeff Gordon ... "Boom, Boom, Pow'' by Black Eyed Peas
      Jimmie Johnson ... "Ramble On'' by Led Zepplin
      Juan Pablo Montoya ... "Goin' The Distance'' by Cake
      Kasey Kahne ... "Bulls on Parade'' by Rage Against the Machine
      Kevin Conway ... "Big Time'' by Peter Gabriel
      Kevin Harvick ... "Rollin -- Airraid Vehicle'' by LImp Bizkit
      Kurt Busch ... "Dukes of Hazard Theme song'' by Waylon Jennings
      Kyle Busch ... "Amazing'' by Kanye West
      Marcos Ambrose ... "Thunderstruck'' by AC/DC
      Maritn Truex Jr. ... "NAPA Know How Jingle''
      Matt Kenseth ... "Whisky Hangover'' by Godsmack
      Paul Menard ... "Paradise City'' by Guns N' Roses
      Regan Smith ... "Fight for Your Right'' by Beastie Boys
      Robby Gordon ... "Some Beach'' by Blake Shelton
      Ryan Newman ... "Hillbilly Rockstar'' by Bridgette Tatum
      Sam Hornish Jr. ... "Bad Habit'' by Offspring
      Scott Speed ... "Loveshack'' by B-52s
      Tony Stewart ... "Eastbound and Down'' by Jerry Reed
      Travis Kvapil ... "Kickstart My Heart'' by Motley Crue
      Joey Logano ... "Crank dat'' by Soldier Boys
      David Gilliland ... "I Got a Feeling'' by Black Eyed Peas
      Terry Cook ... "Don't Look Back'' by Boston
      Joe Nemechek ... "Boot Scotin Boogie'' by Brooks and Dunn
      Mike Bliss ... "Rise Above This'' by Seether
      Michael Waltrip .. "Hillbilly Bone'' by Blake Shelton
      Dave Blaney ... "Let's Get This Party Started''
      Mark Martin ... "If You Want Blood" by AC/DC
      Dale Earnhardt Jr. ... ?
      (Virginian Pilot)(3-21-2010)

    • New record for Logano: when #20-Joey Logano won the pole for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, he became the youngest pole sitter ever in the Sprint Cup Series at 19 years, 9 months, 23 days, beating Kyle Busch out by two days. Busch won a pole at Auto Club Speedway on February 27, 2005 at the age of 19 years, 9 months, 25 days. The old record at Bristol was held by Ryan Newman, who was 25 years, 3 months, 15 days old when he won the pole on March 23, 2003.(3-21-2010)

    • More changes coming to the COT? The Sprint Cup car rear-deck wing, that much-hated piece of the race vehicle originally introduced as the Car of Tomorrow, will make one more run in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. When teams reassemble next weekend at Martinsville Speedway, the cars will be fitted with the traditional metal spoilers that sat on the back of NASCAR racers for decades before the COT ushered in the wing. The reappearance of the spoiler probably won't be the only significant – and maybe not the most significant – change in car body armor this season as NASCAR has ramped up its campaign against flying cars in the wake of Brad Keselowski's wild ride two weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ongoing tests are directed at preventing cars from becoming airborne when they turn sideways or backward. Keselowski's flight at Atlanta caused particular concern among NASCAR officials because such problems are relatively rare at 1.5-mile tracks (although Atlanta speeds are seriously fast despite the track size). The switch next week from wing to spoiler is likely to have no measurable effect on holding cars on the ground. Wind tunnel tests and study of videotapes of airborne crashes indicate that the major cause of cars taking flight is the rush of air underneath the car, not the rear-deck wing. Among the solutions, according to long-time Ford Racing engineer Bernie Marcus, an aerodynamic specialist, might be slots in the rear area of the car so that, in an accident, air would have places to escape. "We tested last week in another liftoff test as a result of what happened in Atlanta," Marcus said Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "They're really reacting to it in a very fast way and a proactive way. They're looking at what we can do to prevent this from happening again. There are more things in the pipeline, and they probably will be introduced at some point. We're looking at options to somehow get rid of the air that goes under the car." Part of the problem in studying solutions, Marcus said, is that every accident is different. He said part of the problem in the Keselowski incident in Atlanta was that a section in the rear of the car had been damaged in a previous accident, allowing more air to collect in that part of the car when it turned. "That's the biggest challenge NASCAR faces with all these safety things," he said. "Every spinout is different because there are different angles involved." He said a third roof flap has been tested but that there isn't enough room on the roof of the cars to make that possibility workable. "All this is an ongoing thing," Marcus said. "In the past, NASCAR would react to accidents. Now they want to be more proactive. They have us involved a little more in looking further ahead. But every time you have an accident at a big track, cars can fly. That's just a simple fact of physics."(SPEED)(3-21-2010)

    • Ford Racing Notes and Quotes - Jack and Carl: #99-Carl Edwards and car owner Jack Roush participated in a meeting with NASCAR officials and Penske Racing owner Roger Penske and driver #12-Brad Keselowski. Both Roush and Edwards commented on the meeting during Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday.
      CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
      HOW DID THINGS GO IN THE MEETING?
      "Everything went really well. I think the biggest thing coming out of that meeting is that now, I think, Brad and I understand one another a little better. I think we're gonna be able to just go forward and go racing, and that's what this is all about. It was really cool to be able to talk with Jack and Roger and Brad all at once. We laughed. We cried. In the end, I think it's gonna be good."
      WHAT HAS THIS WEEK BEEN LIKE FOR YOU?
      "This last week was really good, actually, for me. I got to spend a lot of time at home, but I guess this is just part of life and part of the way things go, especially with the way the media works. Sometimes people don't understand everything that's going on. It's interesting, I'll say that."
      WHAT DON'T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND?
      "Well, for instance, with what happened at Atlanta. It's very hard for people to understand that the result is far different from the intent. Things can be presented in a lot of ways, but I guess that's just part of it. What's most interesting to me is that sometimes it's about selling ad time or newspapers and it's not about explaining the story."
      YOU HAVE SORT OF BEEN PORTRAYED AS AN ANGRY GUY WHO GETS UPSET. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
      "I addressed that a little bit yesterday. I think some people would like that to be the case, but let me put it this way – it's real easy to stand back and throw stones at someone and make little chirps and say things that make you feel better about yourself, but, in the end, what I said yesterday holds true. The people who know me know that I'm a very fair person. I guess if my biggest fault is standing up for myself, I'll take it. They can fault me all day for that."
      JACK ROUSH, Owner – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
      WHAT WAS TALKED ABOUT INSIDE?
      "The ultimate responsibility that we all have – that NASCAR has, the owners have and the drivers have – to keep everybody safe in this business. It's a sport that needs to be contentious, but it needs to be safe too and we've got to be careful to respect that line."
      DO YOU FEEL THIS IS BEHIND BOTH DRIVERS?
      "Carl and Brad both said things that would indicate that they're willing to put it behind them and let bygones be bygones, to give one another racing room, and that's what's needed. They need to give one another a little extra room for awhile."
      DO YOU AND ROGER SEE EYE TO EYE ON THIS?
      "Oh, yeah. Roger and I are on the same page."
      WHAT DID YOU SAY TO CARL REGARDING THIS SITUATION?
      "I told him I did not condone what he did, but I did understand it."
      DO YOU THINK BRAD AND CARL SEE EYE TO EYE?
      "No, but I think that they will give one another enough respect that we won't see another occurrence like that. I think Carl is not likely to have incidental contact with Brad and cause a wreck, and I think Brad is not like to have incidental contact with Carl and cause a wreck in the foreseeable future."
      WHAT ABOUT CARL AND KEVIN HARVICK?
      "I don't know about that. I didn't read the things that they said about one another and I've had no contact with either one."(Ford Racing/Roush Fenway)(3-21-2010)

    • Wilson wins Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at BMS UPDATE: For Rick Wilson, it was de ja vu during Saturday's Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson said the finish of the race played out just like his win in 1989 when he spun the wheels on a late race restart and saw drivers stream by him. "This was identical to the 1989 race," said Wilson of Bartow, Fla. "The car was great and the key was getting out ahead early. I was just riding at one point, because I knew I had a great car. "It was just like 1989. Phil (Parsons) got around me on the restart, but I just waited and got back around. I wish we could have gone 200 laps." Several other drivers echoed Wilson's thoughts. Cale Yarborough was excited to behind the wheel again, but disappointed that it didn't last longer. "It was fun," he said, "just not long enough to do what I wanted to do. Something happened to the car." Dave Marcis' day also was cut short, but he was glad to lace up his famous wingtips once more. "I was having fun, the car was good, but I ran over something and it cut one of the belts," he explained. "I think I got it shut off before I caused a lot of damage. It was fun and I enjoyed it. I'm glad to be back." Jimmy Hensley was glad just to be on the track. "I wish I could have been more competitive," he said. "I didn't hit anything, so that was good."(BMS)
      AND Rick Wilson passed Phil Parsons with two laps to go to outlast 11 other retired NASCAR drivers Saturday in an exhibition race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson, best known as the driver who took over the #43 following Richard Petty's 1992 retirement, dominated the race but lost the lead late to Parsons. Wilson passed Parsons shortly after a restart following a lengthy red-flag for a frightening accident between Charlie Glotzbach and Larry Pearson. Pearson, the son of three-time NASCAR champion David Pearson, spun into the outside wall with five laps remaining. As his car slid down the banking, Glotzbach rounded Turn 2 and ran directly into Pearson's driver-side door. Glotzbach gingerly walked from his car, but the roof had to be cut off Pearson's car. He was placed onto a stretcher, but was moving his arms as he was loaded into an ambulance. Pearson, the winner of consecutive titles in what's now called the Nationwide Series in 1986 and 1987, was immediately transported to Wellmont Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. Glotzbach, who won a caution-free Cup race at Bristol in 1971, was seen first in the infield care center before leaving for the same hospital. David Pearson did not continue the race after his son's accident. He drove his car off the track and stopped racing after the ambulance left so that he could travel to the hospital.(ESPN/Associated Press)(3-20-2010)
      UPDATE: Hours later, Jim Wozniak, a Welmont Health System spokesman, said Pearson would undergo surgery on a compound fracture of the left ankle, and that he suffered a fractured pelvis and fractured right hand. "He is awake and alert, and in good spirits," Wozniak said of Pearson, who was listed in fair condition late Saturday night. Wozniak also said that Glotzbach was in good condition, but provided no further details regarding his injuries.(Bristol Herakd Courier)(3-21-2010)

    • Congrats: to Marc Hendricksen, Race Engineer for Front Row Motorsports Car #37, who was married on Saturday, March 13, 2010 to Heather Anne Bartone at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, NC.(3-21-2010)


      News from March 20, 2010

    • Race Coverage of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 21, 2010.
      Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:16pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Wednesday, March 24 at 12:00pm/et

    • Happy Hour practice: for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 60 minutes of practice, top five and some notes:
      #48-Johnson 122.287
      #17-Kenseth 121.443
      #42-Montoya 121.420
      #1-McMurray 121.305
      #20-Logano 121.297
      slowest: #37-Conway 116.115 and #90-Mears 118.284.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Bristol Practice page.(3-20-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Bristol: The selections of pit stalls for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #20-Logano's team chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Bristol is the only track in the Sprint Cup Series that utilizes two pit roads. It has 22 stalls on the frontstretch and 21 on the backstretch. Teams that pit on the backstretch used to be at a competitive disadvantage. Since the spring 2002 race at Bristol, teams will enter pit road in Turn 2 (the current backstretch pit entrance) drive around down the backstretch and around Turns 3 and 4 and exit in Turn 1. Under green-flag conditions teams will enter and exit pit road under the current two-pit-road scheme.
      Outside pole sitter #2-Busch chose the 23rd stall, which is the first stall on the backstretch pits
      #66-Blaney, who starts 3rd [and is likely a start-and-park] took the 2nd pit stall, behind the pole sitter.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 4th
      and #24-Gordon, who starts 4th, chose the last stall on the frontstretch, the 22nd stall
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Bristol Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-19-2010)

    • Saturday first practice: for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 50 minutes of practice, top five and some notes:
      #48-Johnson 122.725
      #42-Montoya 122.139
      #24-Gordon 121.813
      #88-Earnhardt Jr 121.705
      #20-Logano 121.897
      slowest: #37-Conway 116.122 and #71-Labonte 117.401.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Bristol Practice page.(3-20-2010)

    • The NASCAR-Edwards-Keselowski Meeting - Keselowski: from a Dodge Motorsports PR, #12 Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski discusses the meeting between NASCAR, the #99 Roush Fenway / Penske Racing drivers / owners:
      WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MEETING WITH NASCAR THIS MORNING? "I don't know how Carl feels about it, but I don't think it's cool to say everything that was said in there. Hopefully, it will be productive to where we can move forward and continue to race each other hard and not have any more incidents like we had at Atlanta. We hadn't talked before. I wouldn't say there was anything said that surprised me. You have to understand, Carl and I have a mutual respect for each other in a sense we're almost the same people. We come from similar backgrounds. We drive the same way. I have a lot of respect for him before and after the accident. Hopefully, that will stay the same."
      HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE WAY YOU WILL BE RACING? "Carl and I have talked before about leaving each other more room, but it seems like when it came down to it, it just never worked out. It's racing. The biggest thing to me, you know, is incidents are going to happen because we race against each other more than 60 times. We're going to run by (beside) each other. We just each have to build up a tolerance for that."
      WHAT ROLE DID JACK ROUSH AND ROGER PENSKE HAVE IN THE MEETING? "Jack and Roger are two different people for sure, but they are both extremely supportive of us. Carl and I both put a lot of emphasis and trust into our car owners, where we listen to them and talk to them. I think we both see the same things in them. They're kind of mentors to us."(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR)(3-20-2010)

    • The NASCAR-Edwards-Keselowski Meeting - Penske: from a Dodge Motorsports PR, #12 Penske Racing owner Roger Penske discusses the meeting between NASCAR, the #99 Roush Fenway / Penske Racing drivers / owners:
      ROGER PENSKE (Chairman & CEO Penske Racing)
      WHAT CAME OUT OF THE MEETING WITH NASCAR THIS MORNING? "Obviously it was important that we all got together from the standpoint of just having open conversation – the drivers, Jack (Roush) and myself. I think it was good conversation. I think Carl (Edwards) realized that what had happened last week wasn't what he expected – the car flying. To me, it was just good, open communication. The guys agreed that they're going to race hard. They're going to race fair and give themselves some room on the race track so that we don't become the poster boys every weekend on what's happening. I said, 'Hey, at the end of the races, if we're racing for the lead and there's a lap or two to go, you guys are gonna have to run hard, but try and stay out of each other's way during the race.' It was a good conversation. They're both good guys. To me, it's just great that we have an environment where we can sit down."
      HAVE YOU EVER TOLD BRAD TO BACK DOWN? "Brad has only driven for us for this year. He's a terrific talent. I don't tell my drivers to run hard or to run soft. I think he knows what he has to do on the race track with his peers and quite honestly, he's not making any statements about what he's gonna do or not do. I think the media has taken some of that and moved it further and made him with a bigger circle around him. What I want him to do is run fair on the race track and be competitive. But he's got to respect the other drivers. They have to respect him."
      BRAD HAS SAID THAT HE'S NOT GOING TO BACK DOWN, CHANGE HIS STYLE: "He hasn't said that to me as far as I'm concerned. He wants to race. He wants to have his car in the race at the end. Consequently, if you're not keeping your car underneath you, you're gonna get yourself in trouble and not be there in the end. As far as I'm concerned, it's behind us. It's an issue that was between the two drivers. I think it mounted because of accidents that had happened. Maybe it was their fault, maybe it wasn't. At the end of the day, nobody got hurt last week. We're here to have a good race."
      WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU SEE YOUR DRIVER INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT LIKE THAT? "I heard on the radio from the spotter that said, 'Look like he's trying to wreck you back over in (Turn) 3.' I looked over in 3 because Kurt (Busch) was leading the race at that point and I saw that there was no contact. And then I was watching Kurt going into Turn 1 and I heard them say "yellow" on my radio and I looked down and saw the car barrel rolling. Obviously, I was concerned for Brad and his safety and anybody else's. Brad on the radio – the first thing he said to me was, 'Did anybody get hurt in the stand?' That was the first thing that came out of Brad's mouth. And then he said, 'I'm fine.' At that point I was worried about Kurt winning the race after that."
      HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT BRAD IS FITTING IN THE GARGAGE? "I'm not taking a poll in the garage area about what driver personalities are and what other people feel about them. He's a competitor out there. He drives for Penske Racing and I'm going to support him."
      DO YOU THINK BRAD NEEDS SOME "FRESHMAN HAZING" TO BE ABLE TO RUN WITH HIS PEERS? "I think Brad has raced with his peers on the Nationwide Series, with many of these people. I think he knows how to race. I've got all the respect for him. He'll earn his respect in the garage area by winning and finishing strong. To me, we need to put this behind us."(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR)(3-20-2010)

    • NASCAR-Edwards-Kelesowski meeting - all smiles: The big meeting between #99-Carl Edwards and #12-Brad Keselowski ended with both drivers smiling as they left NASCAR's office. Edwards, Keselowski and their car owners met for about 40 minutes Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway with top NASCAR officials. Edwards intentionally wrecked Keselowski two weeks ago at Atlanta as retaliation for earlier contact. NASCAR called the drivers together to resolve their ongoing feud. They hustled to Nationwide Series qualifying immediately after the meeting. When they finished running their laps, they parked side-by-side on pit road. Edwards leaned over the hood of Keselowski's car to briefly speak to him, and the drivers again smiled as they separated.(Associated Press)(3-20-2010)

    • Special scheme for Dale Jr at Martinsville: Dale Earnhardt Jr is scheduled to drive the #88 AMP Energy Sugar Free Lightning Chevy at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2010. See image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2010)

    • NASCAR To Meet With Edwards, Keselowski UPDATE: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Wednesday that officials from the sanctioning body will meet with #99-Carl Edwards and #12-Bred Keselowski and their respective team owners at some point this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's Food City 500. What Pemberton wouldn't discuss is what is likely to be said at those meetings. But it's a pretty good bet there will be a stern warning to both drivers to stay away from each other. In April 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway, the two made contact at the start-finish line on the final lap of the race. Keselowski won, Edwards bounced off the hood of Ryan Newman's car and into the catchfence separating the cars from the grandstands. At Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7, the two locked horns again, this time twice. The first contact, which occurred early in the race, resulted in Edwards going into the wall and losing more than 100 laps for repairs. The second contact occurred two laps before the scheduled end of the Kobalt Tools 500, when Edwards deliberately bumped Keselowski, turning his car sideways, whereupon it rolled upside down on its roof at 190 miles per hour. For making that move, Edwards received probation for three races.(SPEED)(3-18-2010)
      UPDATE: #12- Brad Keselowski wants NASCAR to explain the limits on the "boys, have at it" policy series officials are applying this season to self-policing between drivers. Keselowski said Friday he plans to ask NASCAR for a definition when he meets with series officials, #99-Carl Edwards and their respective owners at Bristol Motor Speedway. The meeting, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, was called to discuss Edwards' intentional accident with Keselowski two weeks ago at Atlanta. Keselowski's car went airborne after the contact, and Edwards' was placed on probation for three races for actions some felt warranted a suspension. The deliberate contact was the first test since NASCAR decided to relax its stance on aggressive driving. "That will be my question when I meet with them," Keselowski said when asked what "have at it" means. "That's something that we're all trying to understand and it sounds like it is somewhat of a work in progress."(Associated Press)(3-20-2010)

    • Man Who Risked Life in Church Hill, TN, Fire Named Honorary Crew Chief: Without a second thought, Gary Meade rushed to the aid of neighbors at a Church Hill, Tennessee, condominium fire and rescued an elderly man just moments before an explosion turned the residence into a raging inferno. For his heroic act, Meade has been named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will be the #37 ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief at Bristol Motor Speedway for the March 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. More info see www.ExtenZeRacing.com or to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(3-20-2010)

    • Bristol Rookie Notes: #37-Kevin Conway was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, posting a 31st-place finish. Conway leads #46-Terry Cook by 29 points (33-4) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the March 21 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap at Bristol: Kevin Harvick in the 2001 Food City 500 (17 races). In fact, Harvick led the most laps in the event (three times for 137 laps). The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the Food City 500 came in 1979 when Dale Earnhardt scored his first career win. Since Earnhardt's victory, only three drivers have finished in the top-five in the spring race: 1981: Morgan Shepherd, fourth; 1989: Dick Trickle, fifth; 2003: Greg Biffle, fifth. Tony Stewart is the only Raybestos® Rookie to win the pole at Bristol in his rookie season. Stewart took the top spot in the 1999 Sharpie 500 (August race). He also holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie, holding the top spot once for 225 laps. For rookie standings, history and more, see my 2010 Rookies page.(3-20-2010)

    • MTV Latin America and the Inter-American Development Bank Recognize Montoya: MTV Latin America and the Inter-American development Bank have recognized Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' driver, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, for his charitable work with the Formula Smiles Foundation. Montoya was presented with a "Chiuku" award by MTV News correspondent Ilana Sod in Miami, Florida. The special award presentation premiered on MTV Latin America's screens Friday in one-minute spots with several encore presentations over the next two weeks. As part of the on-going "MTV Agents of Change," initiative MTV created the "Chiuku" to recognize those "Agents of Change" who are committed to the betterment of their communities and use their influence to become a catalyst for effecting change and spreading their message all over the world. "I was very honored and surprised when MTV Latin America reached out to me about this award," Montoya remarked. "Connie and I started this Foundation years ago with the hope of changing a few lives and to see it grow into what it is today is just amazing." The Formula Smiles Foundation – founded by Montoya and his wife Connie to benefit Colombian children in need – has become one of the NASCAR's most active charities. Following the model of "Education + Sports = The Best Formula," Formula Smiles integrates sports, physical education, recreation and academics. With projects in such vulnerable regions of Colombia as San Andres, Cartagena, Ibague and Villavicencio, Formula Smiles seeks to strengthen values such as honesty, tolerance, respect, solidarity, responsibility and humility, thus encouraging children to stay on a positive path, and away from drugs and violence.(EGR with Felix Sabates)(3-20-2010)


      News from March 19, 2010

    • Logoano wins pole at Bristol: #20-Joey Logano won the Coors Pole for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 124.630mph for his 1st pole of 2010 the 1st pole of his career in 44 starts. #2-Busch will start 2nd followed by #66-Blaney, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #42-Montoya, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, #47-Ambrose and #00-Reutimann. #46-Terry Cook will make his 1st career Sprint Cup start and #90-Casey Mears and #26-David Stremme make their first starts of the 2010 season. The points leader #29-Harvick will start 33rd
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #66-Blaney, #09-Almirola, #82-Speed, #90-Mears, #87-Nemechek, #55-Waltrip, #46-Cook and #71-Labonte [using the past champ provisional]l.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #36-Bliss, #13-Papis
      Pole stats: see my All-time Pole Winners & Stats page & 2010 Pole Winners page
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Bristol Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(3-19-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Bristol:
      #20-Joey Logano won the Pole Award for the FOOD CITY 500 with a lap of 15.396 seconds, 124.630 mph.
      This is his first pole in 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his first pole in three races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
      #2-Kurt Busch (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2010 and his sixth in 19 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
      #66-Dave Blaney (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his second in four races this season.
      #46-Terry Cook (40th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-19-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 19, 2010 at 3:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 3:30pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) only at NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 9:30pm/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #1-McMurray.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #83-Vickers.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #87-Nemechek with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #82-Speed.
      See the full qualifying order on the Bristol Qualifying Page.(3-19-2010)

    • Friday practice: for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 90 minutes of practice, top five and some notes:
      #20-Logano 124.114
      #17-Kenseth 123.961
      #5-Martin 123.810
      #48-Johnson 123.762
      #9-Kahne 123.666
      slowest: #37-Conway 117.365 and #71-Labonte 118.562
      incidents: #18-Busch spun early in practice but didn't hit anything; #71-Labonte spun between turns 3-4 and backed in to the wall, will have to go to a backup car for qualifying; #48-Johnson spun around on the front stretch, no damage.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Bristol Practice page.(3-19-2010)

    • Bristol practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #82-Scott Speed, 8th fastest overall
      #66-Dave Blaney, 14th
      #36-Mike Bliss, 28th
      #09-Aric Almirola, 15th
      #90-Casey Mears, 34th
      #46-Terry Cook, 35th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 39th
      #71-Bobby Labonte [PC1] would have to use the champ prov to make the race, 44th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #55-Michael Waltrip, 40th
      #13-Max Papis, 43rd
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Edwards: Harvick just a 'bad person': #99-Carl Edwards insists his issues with #12-Brad Keselowski go no deeper than incidents that have happened on the track and that they will address them during a meeting Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards' issues with #29-Kevin Harvick apparently go much deeper. "I have absolutely no respect for Kevin Harvick," he said before Friday's first practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I think he's a bad person. That's my opinion. I've told him. We've had our deal before and his actions through that interaction were so devious and underhanded and cowardly that, it's like, I just have no respect for him. When people like that question me, it makes me feel better because if those people were lined up patting me on the back I'd be on the wrong side of what's right and wrong. And I truly believe that." Edwards and Harvick got into a physical confrontation in 2008 at Charlotte Motor Speedway that ended with one of Harvick's friends dragging Edwards away in a headlock. Keselowski and Edwards are scheduled to meet on Saturday to speak for the first time since the wreck, which was magnified when Keselowski's car went airborne, flipped upside down and landed on its roof. Keselowski said last week he believed Edwards' issue with him went beyond what happened on the track. "It's no deeper than that," Edwards insisted. "It's only between him and I and what happens on the track." That's when Edwards lit into Harvick, who after their incident said, "Not a big fan. I think he's a fake." Edwards said he's not trying to be the good or the bad guy. "All those people that say whatever they say, know that if I have an issue with them I go speak to them," he said. "I don't go talk behind their back like little girls. That's what a lot of them do. I learned that wasn't cool in about the fifth grade. It's really simple. I treat everyone the best way I can possibly treat them. That's the way I was raised, but I stand up for myself. That's simple. If somebody doesn't respect that, then that's their problem. Doesn't really matter."
      Team owner Jack Roush does not condone Edwards wrecking Keselowski at Atlanta, "but I do understand it."
      "If my drivers had wrecked somebody three times I would have had issue with that in my camp," Roush said. He agreed with NASCAR's decision not to suspend Edwards, who was placed on a three-race probation.(ESPN.com)(3-19-2010)

    • And Kevin Harvick: #29-Kevin Harvick met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed the Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski situation some of the transcript:
      WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL COME OUT OF THE MEETING TOMORROW BETWEEN CARL (EDWARDS) AND BRAD (KESELOWSKI)?
      “There are a lot of things that could come out of it. Obviously there is a pretty deep history it seems like between the two of them. Hopefully they can get things squared away and not get everybody else involved in what is going on.”
      HOW CLOSE DO YOU THINK EVERYONE WILL BE WATCHED ON SUNDAY?
      “I think most everybody is tired of hearing about it from our standpoint. I mean, that is what I think about it.”
      YOU WERE PRETTY OUTSPOKEN ABOUT HIS PENALTY AND USED THE WORD “FAKE” ON TWITTER AND THE RADIO, COULD YOU ELABORATE ON THAT?
      “I don’t think I ever said anything about his penalty being one way or the other, I made a crack about maybe I got in trouble in the wrong era and it was more expensive then. (SMILES) Things change and the sport changes and I’m not up-in-arms about anything like that. As far as the fake comment, I mean, you can’t be the nice guy; you can’t be the bad guy and you can’t be the bully. So….that is just how I feel about that.”(Chevy/GM Racing)(3-19-2010)

    • No plans for payback by Brad K: #12-Brad Keselowski says "the slate is clean," and anticipates no escalation of the feud that has festered between himself and #99-Carl Edwards when they line up again this weekend at Bristol. "I don't have any hard feeling; it's over as far as I'm concerned," Keselowski said Thursday during a media luncheon at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum to promote the April 3 NASCAR Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway. Keselowski has been in the news for the past two weeks — including an appearance on Good Morning America! — after taking an upside-down airborne ride at Atlanta Speedway. Keselowski, who was not injured, was sent sailing after being intentionally tagged in the rear by Edwards. Keselowski earlier in the race had wrecked Edwards. Keselowski said he has had no communication with Edwards since the crash. The Sprint Cup Series had an open date last week. Their next meeting will be at Bristol on one of the toughest, most physical races on the circuit. While track's close-quarter racing often has tempers flaring, Keselowski said he doesn't expect any "carryover" from the Atlanta incident. He added, however, that he won't change his aggressive driving style. "This is how I race," he said. "It's what got me where I am today, and I think the fans appreciate it."(Nashville City Paper)(3-19-2010)

    • ESPN Publishing to Release Dale Earnhardt Commemorative Bookazine: As NASCAR prepares to welcome the inaugural class into its Hall of Fame, ESPN pays tribute to Dale Earnhardt, the sport's greatest hero, with a collector's edition commemorative bookazine: "Dale Earnhardt: The Legend Lives" – available nationwide March 30 for $9.99. The 100-page book celebrates every step of Earnhardt's rise through NASCAR's ranks, from turning a wrench on his daddy's late-model sedans to showing his youngest boy, Dale Jr., the quickest way around a track. The stories and rich photography show sides of Earnhardt rarely seen by fans, told by those who knew him best: his son, Dale Jr., his team owner, Richard Childress, his gas man, Chocolate Myers, and NASCAR's CEO, Brian France; along with a team of the most respected motorsports writers in the business—Ed Hinton, Ryan McGee and Marty Smith, to name a few.(ESPN PR)(3-19-2010)

    • Scotts EZ Seed Showdown: the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown, a 12-car, 35-lap event at Bristol Motor Speedway, is scheduled for Saturday, March 20th after the Scotts Turf Builder 300 Nationwide Series event. Drivers scheduled to run the race are David Pearson, Larry Pearson, Harry Gant, Rick Wilson, Cale Yarborough, Charlie Glotzbach, Dave Marcis, Tommy Houston, L.D. Ottinger, Jack Ingram, Phil Parsons and Jimmy Hensley. Tickets are available, starting at $45, which includes both races. To purchase tickets, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com, or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-4765).(BMS)(3-19-2010)

    • Gordon Goes Back To School In Martinsville: It's been a while since Jeff Gordon last attended elementary school, but on Thursday he got a refresher course from the students at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Martinsville. In town to help promote the March 28th Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Gordon spent a couple of hours with third and fourth graders at Patrick Henry Elementary School. It was an eye-opener to say the least. "Things have changed a lot, a whole lot since I was in school," said Gordon, who has a four-year-old daughter and a second child on the way. "Especially now that I'm a parent it's an education for me to see what I'll be going through in a few years, seeing what the kids are learning these days. It's been a while since I've visited a school…don't think I have since I've been a parent and I see it in a whole different perspective now." Patrick Henry principal Dr. Joan Montgomery led Gordon and a large media contingent on a tour of the school, making stops along the way in classes outfitted with electronic and computer learning aids that would rival the electronics in Gordon's race shop. Patrick Henry Elementary School is a 2009 Distinguished Title 1 School and a School of Excellence, according to the Virginia Board of Education. Martinsville Speedway tickets may be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(3-19-2010)

    • ESPN Motor Sports Coverage Earns Five Sports Emmy Nominations: ESPN's coverage of motor sports earned five Sports Emmy Award nominations, among an industry-leading 54 nominations earned by ESPN, Inc., it was announced today by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. For the ninth time in 10 years, ESPN earned the most nominations of any submitting company. The winners will be announced Monday, April 26. The five nominations in motor sports included both NASCAR and the Indianapolis 500.
      Outstanding Live Sports Special: The Indy 500
      Outstanding Technical Team Remote: NASCAR on ESPN
      Outstanding Technical Team Studio: ESPN Pit Studio and ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage
      Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction: The Indy 500
      Outstanding Editing: NASCAR Sprint Cup Season in Review (produced by NASCAR Media Group for ESPN2)
      In addition, ESPN's marketing department received a nomination for Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement: NASCAR on ESPN - Feel Your Heart Race.(ESPN)(3-19-2010)

    • Update On Jeff Byrd From Bristol Motor Speedway: Bristol Motor Speedway officials issued an update on the status of President and General Manager Jeff Byrd, who recently took a leave of absence to deal with a medical matter. Byrd's condition, which will prevent him from involvement in this weekend's Food City 500 activities, has been identified and doctors last week began specific treatment. "Things are going well, "said Byrd. "It is going to be very difficult for me not to be at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend to be with more than 150,000 of my closest friends. But I will be there in spirit and as I have said before, I expect to see everyone in August (for the second NASCAR weekend at Bristol). "Claudia, the rest of the family and I have been overwhelmed by everyone's thoughts and prayers. I hope they keep it up and appreciate so many people coming to Bristol this weekend."(BMS)(3-19-2010)


      News from March 18, 2010

    • NASCAR To Meet With Edwards, Keselowski: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Wednesday that officials from the sanctioning body will meet with #99-Carl Edwards and #12-Bred Keselowski and their respective team owners at some point this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s Food City 500. What Pemberton wouldn’t discuss is what is likely to be said at those meetings. But it’s a pretty good bet there will be a stern warning to both drivers to stay away from each other. In April 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway, the two made contact at the start-finish line on the final lap of the race. Keselowski won, Edwards bounced off the hood of Ryan Newman’s car and into the catchfence separating the cars from the grandstands. At Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7, the two locked horns again, this time twice. The first contact, which occurred early in the race, resulted in Edwards going into the wall and losing more than 100 laps for repairs. The second contact occurred two laps before the scheduled end of the Kobalt Tools 500, when Edwards deliberately bumped Keselowski, turning his car sideways, whereupon it rolled upside down on its roof at 190 miles per hour. For making that move, Edwards received probation for three races.(SPEED)(3-18-2010)

    • Marlin done racing: Sterling Marlin, retired after 30 years as a driver in NASCAR’s Cup Series, is involved in the sport in a new role: team owner. Well, sort of. Marlin is listed as co-owner of a new team, BD Racing, which plans to compete in the Sunoco National Tour this season, but Marlin said his role is mostly as an “advisor.’’ BD Racing is named for Bryan Dant, an acquaintance of Marlin’s from Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway. The team is fielded out of Performance Motorsports shop in Richmond, Mich. Brian Oritz, a 21-year-old kart champion from Puerto Rico, will drive for the team. The first of the 10-race schedule starts March 27 at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. As for his own driving plans, Marlin – who had run a limited Cup schedule the last few years – has a Late Model car that he may race some at the Fairgrounds. A promoter hopes to run a final few races on the old track that’s scheduled to close this summer. Marlin said he may also take an occasional trip to Montgomery. As for Sterling’s Sprint Cup career: “It’s over,” Marlin said. “I won’t be racing any more.” Marlin said he hasn’t attended any races this year, not even to Daytona as a spectator. “I don’t think I’d enjoy just standing around watching,” he said. “I might go down to Talladega when they run there … I haven’t decided for sure.” The budding racing career of his daughter Sutherlin has been put on hold while she undergoes treatment for an eye problem. Son Steadman has no ride prospect on the immediate horizon.(Racin' Today)(3-18-2010)

    • Bristol Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Bristol this weekend will run the same tire codes . . . this is the first time Sprint Cup teams will run either of these two tire codes at Bristol, though they did run this combination of left- and right-side tires at Indianapolis last season . . . Cup teams also ran this left-side tire code at Pocono in 2009 . . . teams in the Nationwide Series ran this left-side code at both Gateway and Iowa last year, and this right-side code at Bristol last August . . . this tire set-up was tested at Bristol last July, and it was found to better rubber in the track surface with a more consistent level of grip . . . the Cup car participating in that test was that of Richard Childress Racing with driver Casey Mears . . . unlike on other NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, where no inner liners are run, teams will run liners in their right-side tires only at Bristol . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 130-140 laps, based on fuel mileage. See tire pressures, codes and more on my Bristol Race Info page.(3-18-2010)

    • Sad News - Joe Lewis: Joe Lewis, known as Big Joe in the NASCAR community, passed away late Tuesday night. He was the transport driver for the Copenhagen teams of Rick Mast and Terry Labonte in the late 1980s and into the 1990s. Later, he worked for Penske Racing, driving a test rig and handling other duties around Penske Racing. Gary Brooks, who works at Penske Racing, is his son-in-law. His daughter is Teri Brooks, who handled hospitality for U.S. Tobacco. His wife, Gloria, was the office manager for the Copenhagen team and worked for Humpy Wheeler at Robin Wood Speedway. Visitation is scheduled for Friday, March 19th from 6-9 p.m. at South Point Baptist Church in Belmont, NC and the service is 3:00pm/et on Saturday, also at South Point Baptist Church.(3-18-2010)

    • Spoiler's replace the wing starting at Martinsville: The spoiler officially will replace the wing on Sprint Cup cars for the March 28 race at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said Wednesday. The process of shipping spoilers to all the teams began on Monday. "We feel it should go fairly smooth," Pemberton said. NASCAR has targeted Martinsville for months, believing it will be best to start with the spoiler at a short track where aerodynamics won't be a major factor. The spoiler has been used at intermediate tracks such as Texas and Darlington during tire tests with no complications. "It ran better and had a little more downforce," Pemberton said. A full test with all teams is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Officials were pleased with the results from a 24-team test at Talladega Superspeedway on Tuesday. Pemberton said a standard four-inch high spoiler will be used at all short tracks and intermediate tracks. The height and width of superspeedway spoilers has not been finalized for Talladega and Daytona.(ESPN.com)(3-18-2010)

    • #90 team signs sponsors for Bristol: Keyed-Up Motorsports announced that it welcomes the return of Juice Air Fresheners and SMELLmyCAR.com to co-primary sponsorship of its #90 Chevy and driver Casey Mears for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Juice Air Fresheners and SMELLmyCAR.com will run as a primary sponsor on select races and an associate sponsor of the team throughout the 2010 season. SMELLmyCAR.com is the prime outlet available for purchase of the newest air fresheners on the market. Juice Air Fresheners CEO Abraham Hakim said, "It was very unfortunate that Casey and the team did not qualify for our first race as sponsor at Atlanta, but we were very impressed with the exposure Juice Air Fresheners and SMELLmyCAR.com received for the small amount of on air time of the misfortunate practice session (blown motor)." Continuing its motorsports marketing efforts of its air freshener line, Juice Air Fresheners is offering free shipping on all orders from SMELLmyCAR.com through March 28th by entering coupon code: RACE90 at checkout.(Keyed-Up Motorsports)(3-18-2010)

    • Special Patriotic schemes for Hendrick cars UPDATE: The four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are scheduled to drive special "Honoring Our Soldiers" patriotic paint schemes on Memorial Day weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30, 2010.(2-24-2010)
      UPDATE: Added images of the cars with the spoilers and not the wings. See my #5 Team Schemes page, #24 Team Schemes page, #48 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page for images of the schemes.(3-18-2010)

    • At Bristol Motor Speedway::
      · Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
      · First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961.
      · In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
      · The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
      · The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
      · The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
      · The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996.
      · The track was resurfaced between races in 2007.
      · There have been 98 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the first race there in 1961, two races each season.
      · All races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps.
      · Fred Lorenzen won the first pole.
      · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Jack Smith (with relief from Johnny Allen).
      · There have been 42 different pole winners, led by Cale Yarborough and Mark Martin (nine). Martinswept both poles at Bristol last season.
      · 37 different drivers have won, led by Darrell Waltrip (12).
      · Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon each have five wins, most among active drivers.
      · The race winner has started from the pole 22 times, the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Carl Edwards in the night race of 2008.
      · 79 of 97 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 51 from the first four spots. But both races last season – swept by Kyle Busch –were won from a starting position outside the top 10.
      · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001.
      · Only one active driver averages a top-10 finish: Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose, who has an average finish of 6.5, has run two races at Bristol, both last season.
      · Last year’s night race had a margin of victory of .098 seconds, the second-closest MOV at Bristol since the advent of electronic scoring in May of 1993.
      · Three of the last four Bristol races had a margin of victory under one second.

    • The NTL heads back to the Earhart Campground at Bristol: After hosting one of the most successful tailgating events of the 2009 inaugural season, The National Tailgating League is heading back to the Earhart Campground of Bristol, TN for an even bigger and better experience! The National Tailgating League (The NTL) presented by Budweiser announced today that Bristol, Tenn., will host the NTL’s second stop of ten on this year’s NTL NASCAR tour, hosting the campgrounds cornhole tournaments and more new exciting elements for our fans. Held in the heart of the Earhart campground, The NTL will host various tournaments starting Friday March 19th through Sunday the 21st, providing race related prizes and cash purse tournaments. More info at TheNTL.com.(NTL)(3-18-2010)

    • Local Business Will Help NASCAR Fans Take A Trip Down Memory Lane: Time machines. Imaginations have run wild for years about the possibilities of vehicles capable to transport people back in time. One Bristol business has found the solution and will have 12 of those machines ready for drivers like Cale Yarborough and David Pearson to race in the March 20 Scotts EZ Seed Showdown at Bristol Motor Speedway. Okay, so they technically are not time machines, but Modern D-Signs, located on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, has created a few looks for race cars that definitely will remind people of NASCAR's past. Kurt Kummer, owner of Modern D-Signs, and his staff have taken USAR Pro Cup machines and transformed them into the cars of yesteryear. Each car features one of the paint schemes made famous by the legendary driver behind the wheel for the event. The expert crew at Modern D-Signs can wrap one race car during an eight-hour day. They can go faster if they are pushed, but prefer to limit themselves to one a day. That's a long way from when cars were hand lettered and painted. But although turning back the hands of time to make these cars look similar to their predecessors of yesteryear may be more reliant on technology these days, it still stirs emotion. When Kummer's crew sees drivers like Harry Gant, Charlie Glotzbach and Dave Marcis piloting their works of art, the feeling of pride is obvious around the shop.
      Race fans can see the work of Modern D-Signs as Bristol Motor Speedway takes a trip back in time during the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown. Tickets are available for Food City 500 weekend. A package, consisting of Ford Fan Friday qualifying (March 19), the Scotts Turf Builder 300 and the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown (March 20) and the March 21 Food City 500, is available, starting at only $99. For fans who can only attend the Food City 500, single day tickets may be purchased, starting at $93. Tickets for Saturday's doubleheader start at just $45 while fans can watch Ford Fan Friday qualifying for only $5, then attend Food City Race Night at BMS for free.(BMS PR)(3-18-2010)

    • MIS’ Value Pricing Period thru April 4th: Fans always want the most value for their Michigan International Speedway race ticket. So now is the time for the best deals possible during the speedway’s Value Pricing Period, now through April 4. The Value Pricing Period kicked off the speedway’s public ticket sale. MIS offers NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for as low as $25. Kids 12 and under are free in the general admission seating areas, while junior pricing for 17 and under are half price for all reserved seats. The Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 13 and CARFAX 400 on August 15, both NASCAR Sprint Cup events, feature some of the lowest ticket prices in the country. Prices on other events such as the VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on June 12 and the CARFAX 250 Nationwide Series race on Aug. 14 are also less than they were last year during this time — $30 and $40, respectively. Lastly, the Racing for Wildlife 200 ARCA Racing Series event on June 11 and Gatorade Pole Day on Aug. 13 are just $10 each. The track has expanded seat size in the center grandstand and Turn 3 grandstand for this season, and will continue to make sure fans are greeted with amenities and events that make their time at MIS more enjoyable. Tickets can be purchased online at MISpeedway.com or by calling 800-354-1010.(MIS)(3-18-2010)


      News from March 17, 2010

    • #26 to donate sponsorship to ANG: NASCAR Sprint Cup series owner Bill Jenkins of Latitude 43 Motorsports announced that his team will be campaining the colors of the Air National Guard as a tribute to the men and women of the serving our country. The Latitude 43 Motorsports #26 Ford and driver David Stremme will pay tribute to the Air National Guard at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Latitude 43 Motorsports has also announced a brand-new team website on Wednesday at www.lat43.com.(Vermont Motorsports Magazine), see images of the scheme on my #26 Team Schemes page.(3-17-2010)

    • NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Adds Exciting New Wrinkle: The 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will once again feature a 10-lap shootout as its final segment and will add a new wrinkle that should make the competition even more exciting for the fans. The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, set for Saturday, May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (SPEED, 7pm), will consist of four segments, concluding with a 10-lap sprint and a $1 million pay-out to the race winner. There's an added twist this year before the green flag drops for the final segment: once the field takes a lap behind the pace car, all cars must enter pit road for a four-tire stop. The order in which the cars exit off pit road is how they will line up for the final 10 laps, placing an even greater premium on the efficiency of the pit crews.
      The 2010 format is as follows:
      · Segment 1: 50 laps with a mandatory green-flag pit stop on Lap 25 at which time teams must pit and take on four tires. Following the end of Segment 1, the caution flag will be displayed for an optional pit stop.
      · Segment 2: 20 laps with the caution flag displayed at the end of Segment 2 for an optional pit stop.
      · Segment 3: 20 laps with a 10-minute break at the end of Segment 3. Teams may make normal adjustments to their cars during this break. The finishing order after the third segment determines the field's lineup for the pace lap prior to the start of the fourth segment.
      · Segment 4: Once the field takes a lap behind the pace car, all cars must enter pit road for a four-tire stop. The order in which the cars exit pit road is how they will line up for the 10-lap shootout with only green-flag laps counting.
      The eligibility standards for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same:
      race winners from either the 2009 or 2010 season through May 16 or any past champions of the all-star event or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (over the previous 10 years) are eligible for the race. In addition, the top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, all advance into the all-star race lineup. Joey Logano won the Sprint Fan Vote last year.
      Individual tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and CREED pre-race concert start at just $39, and four-pack prices with four tickets, four hot dogs and four soft drinks start at just $35 per person. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at (800) 455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
      The sixth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman returns to kick off the all-star week's competition, Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The event's finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team is the defending Pit Crew Challenge champion. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Charlotte Bobcats ticket office at (800) 495-2295.(NASCAR) for eligible drivers, past results and more, see my

    • 2010 All-Star Race page.(3-17-2010)

    • Fin to be implemented with spoiler: The 3½ inch fin that NASCAR implemented for the left side of the rear deck lid and window for the Daytona 500 will be used at all tracks once the spoiler is introduced, expected to be at Martinsville on March 28, to help keep cars on the ground. It was determined during wind tunnel tests after #12-Brad Keselowski's car went airborne in the closing laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago that the fin would decrease the probability of liftoff. They were introduced at the Daytona 500 with the intent of being used only at restrictor plate tracks. "It is an asset we can use everywhere," series director John Darby said. Kurt Romberg, the chief of aerodynamics at Hendrick Motorsports, said the fin helps break up the air and prevent a low pressure area from developing across the top of the car that creates liftoff.(ESPN)(3-17-2010)

    • Spoiler/Tire test news from Talladega UPDATE: Twenty-four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams assembled Tuesday at Talladega Superspeedway in an R&D test session that was used to confirm that the gear ratio was compatible with the restrictor plate size for next month's running of the Aaron's 499. The cars ran with the spoiler on the rear of the cars, as NASCAR announced in January that it was going to transition from the wing to the traditional spoiler sometime during the first quarter of this season. Teams started the day with a 1 1/32-inch sized restrictor plate. For the majority of the morning session, the teams participated in single-car runs over the 2.66-mile superspeedway. However, five cars hooked up for some drafting shortly before the lunch break and the speeds picked up a bit, with #48-Jimmie Johnson putting up the quickest speed of 196.467 mph. Teams began drafting in earnest after lunch. The plate size went down to 31/32" and the teams adjusted the size of their rear spoilers in order to find that happy medium between high speeds and handling. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, was pleased with how the adjustments went during the afternoon practice. "We saw that the closure rates were a little too quick in the initial drafting session after lunch," said Pemberton. "So, we had the teams make some adjustments, including going down on the plate size and trimming the spoiler back some. We believe we came away here today with a good starting point and are looking forward to coming back here next month with a great race." More than 1,500 fans participated in a Fan Q&A session during the lunch break. Sitting in the track's newly renovated grandstands on the frontstretch, the fans heard from drivers #2-Kurt Busch and #31-Jeff Burton, along with NASCAR Managing Director of Competition John Darby. Some of the fans were seen waiting in line outside the gates as early as 6 a.m. Tuesday. NASCAR also has a test planned next week – March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to test the spoiler on a 1.5-mile race track.(NASCAR)(3-16-2010)
      UPDATE: Tuesday's Sprint Cup series test at Talladega Superspeedway was all about cutbacks. First NASCAR reduced the size of the restrictor plate hole from 1-1/32 inches to an inch to 31/32ths of an inch after speeds reached 213 mph. Then it trimmed two inches off the height from the outer edges of the spoiler that will replace the wing in two weeks and an inch from each side. #88-Dale Earnhardt and others agreed handling with the spoiler, despite more downforce, was about the same as the wing with the exception of more vibrations and shaking. The real test for the spoiler won't come until next Tuesday and Wednesday [March 23-24] at Charlotte Motor Speedway where handling will be an issue. Talladega is mostly about speed, and as NASCAR and the 24 teams discovered the first to plate holes created way too much in large drafts. "When I got to 208 [mph] I knew that was crazy stupid," Ryan Newman said. Speeds still were in the 203 mph range after NASCAR reduced the hole from 1-1/32 inches -- 7/64ths of an inch larger than the hole used at Talladega in October and 3/64ths larger than the hole used earlier this year in the Daytona 500 -- to one inch. It later was reduced to 31/32nds of an inch, where speeds dropped to the mid-190s that satisfied the governing body, whose main concern was excessive closing speed. NASCAR originally planned this test to determine the size of the plate hole, but then added the spoiler since that will be used when the series runs here on April 25. For the most part teams were pleased with the spoiler, saying it added more rear and front end downforce as advertised. They were pleased with the way the car handled in the draft, although some complained that it was hard to separate after pulling up tight to bump draft. That prompted NASCAR to reduce the overall height of the spoiler from 6½-inches on the outside to 4½ inches all the way across. The spoiler is projected to be four inches all the way across for all non-restrictor plate tracks, beginning with its likely debut on March 28 at Martinsville. Initial speeds during single-car runs were around 188 mph, in range with last year's pole speed of 188.171 mph. They increased to the mid-190s when Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Scott Speed hooked up in a five-car draft to close out the morning session.(ESPN.com)(3-17-2010)

    • Sad News - Mae Mann: Mae Elizabeth Diehl Mann, longtime employee of the Wood Brothers [#21 Ford] and many other NASCAR teams as a scorer from 1974 through 1992, including trips to victory lane with Bobby Allison, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett, died Monday, March 15, 2010, at the age of 86. Born March 29, 1923, her long career included World War II service in the Women's Army Corps and civilian employ with the Army until 1982, when she and John began following NASCAR around the country full-time. Memorial service on Friday, March 19, 2010, at 2:00pm at Nokesville Church of the Brethren, Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville, Virginia. Survivors include husband of 60 + years, John, their 3 children and their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to John P. Mann III, The Oaks #317, 305 Oak Springs Drive, Warrenton, VA 20186. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Noah's Outreach or Victory Junction Gang in her name. See a full obit and leave online condolences to Mae's family at www.foundandsons.com.(3-17-2010)


      News from March 16, 2010

    • Spoiler/Tire test news from Talladega: Twenty-four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams assembled Tuesday at Talladega Superspeedway in an R&D test session that was used to confirm that the gear ratio was compatible with the restrictor plate size for next month’s running of the Aaron’s 499. The cars ran with the spoiler on the rear of the cars, as NASCAR announced in January that it was going to transition from the wing to the traditional spoiler sometime during the first quarter of this season. Teams started the day with a 1 1/32-inch sized restrictor plate. For the majority of the morning session, the teams participated in single-car runs over the 2.66-mile superspeedway. However, five cars hooked up for some drafting shortly before the lunch break and the speeds picked up a bit, with #48-Jimmie Johnson putting up the quickest speed of 196.467 mph. Teams began drafting in earnest after lunch. The plate size went down to 31/32” and the teams adjusted the size of their rear spoilers in order to find that happy medium between high speeds and handling. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, was pleased with how the adjustments went during the afternoon practice. “We saw that the closure rates were a little too quick in the initial drafting session after lunch,” said Pemberton. “So, we had the teams make some adjustments, including going down on the plate size and trimming the spoiler back some. We believe we came away here today with a good starting point and are looking forward to coming back here next month with a great race.” More than 1,500 fans participated in a Fan Q&A session during the lunch break. Sitting in the track’s newly renovated grandstands on the frontstretch, the fans heard from drivers #2-Kurt Busch and #31-Jeff Burton, along with NASCAR Managing Director of Competition John Darby. Some of the fans were seen waiting in line outside the gates as early as 6 a.m. Tuesday. NASCAR also has a test planned next week – March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to test the spoiler on a 1.5-mile race track.(NASCAR)(3-16-2010)

    • Gordon and wife having a boy: from NASCAR's weekly teleconference with #24-Jeff Gordon JOSH HAMILTON: Before we get into this test, could you talk to us about the off weekend and how you spent the last week.
      JEFF GORDON: We stayed at home, which was really nice for a change. Normally we're always going somewhere. We had some exciting news during the off week that we announced on JeffGordon.com that we're going to have a boy. So that was certainly great news to find out over our off week. Other than that, it was nice and relaxing, opportunity to get some things around the house.
      Q. Jeff, I have a baby question. I was wondering if you were secretly rooting for a boy? Not to discredit Ella and any potential talent she has, but what are your thoughts now that you are having a boy on potentially raising a racer?
      JEFF GORDON: Haven't even thought about it. I think we're going to approach it the same way we do with Ella. There's no doubt we were rooting for a boy. I think for us, you know, the ultimate would be to have a boy and a girl. We want two. We want both. But the most important thing is just for a healthy baby. So we were gonna be totally content and fine and stop at two no matter what, even if it was a girl. But as far as from whatever it is that is going to be their passion in life, I want to support them in whatever that may be. If it's racing, that's great. I'll support either one of them. You know, but we're just gonna try to present as many opportunities as we possibly can and see if there's something that they're really truly passionate about, interested in. Kind of do it the same way I feel my parents did with me. You know, I don't think they thought I was going to be a racecar driver when I was born. I think that they were just interested in trying to pursue opportunities with their children and find their passion. For me, I was fortunate that I got introduced to racing and loved it right away.(GM/Chevy Racing)(3-16-2010)

    • Gibbs to be named to Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: Joe Gibbs will be the latest motorsports icon inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Gibbs, who owns three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships (2000, ’02, ’05) as owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, will be honored Friday, April 16, during the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala held in the Speedway Club’s Grand Ballroom at Texas Motor Speedway during the Samsung Mobile 500 race weekend. Along with Gibbs’ induction, Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter will help recognize other outstanding individuals in motorsports – renown Sprint Cup Series team owner and engine builder Robert Yates, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, JTG-Daugherty, Marcos Ambrose, veteran motorsports reporter John Sturbin – as well as recognize the top moment from the 2009 season at “The Great American Speedway!” Gibbs will become the 12th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame, joining previous inductees A.J. Foyt (2003), Johnny Rutherford (2003), Terry Labonte (2004), Lee Shepherd (2004), Kenny Bernstein (2005), Jim Hall (2005), Eddie Hill (2006), Mark Martin (2007), Jim McElreath (2007), Bobby Labonte (2008) and Bruton Smith (2008). With his induction, Gibbs becomes the first Sprint Cup Series team owner to earn a spot in the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Gibbs has established one of the premier organizations in motorsports since opening the doors to Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992. He has won four championships in NASCAR competition (three Sprint Cup Series, one Nationwide Series), with his most recent coming last year as Busch was crowned Nationwide Series champion. Gibbs’ most dominate driver at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch, will be honored as this year’s Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year. Yates, veteran team owner of Robert Yates Racing and accomplished NASCAR engine builder, will be recognized as this year’s Bruton Smith Legend Award recipient. Ambrose and Gordon will both receive the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. The newest award, the Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Award, will be awarded to Sturbin. He has covered motorsports for more than 35 years, most notably with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and currently for RacinToday.com. His work has been recognized by those in the industry as he received the prestigious Bloys Britt Award, as judged by The Associated Press, for a feature on Indy-car icon A.J. Foyt and his rehabilitation from devastating foot and leg injuries.
      A new twist this year will allow fans to take part in the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame ceremony as they will vote on Texas Motor Speedway’s top moment from the 2009 season in the Fan Choice Award presented by 1310 The Ticket. Gordon’s first victory at Texas Motor Speedway; Helio Castroneves’ record-tying third career IndyCar Series win in June’s Bombardier Learjet 550k; and Jimmie Johnson’s early-lap wreck in the Dickies 500 that changed the complexion of the championship race at the time are the three moments being featured. Fans can vote at www.texasmotorspeedway.com to decide the winner and one lucky fan will have the opportunity to announce the winner and present the award during the festivities.
      The Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame, located in the outdoor atrium adjacent to The Speedway Club, is open year round and free to the public. The Hall of Fame atrium features pedestals of the inductees, including their career highlights. The Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala benefits Speedway Children’s Charities- Texas Chapter. A VIP reception hosted by previous Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees will take place prior to the awards ceremony beginning at 6:30pm/ct on the ninth floor in the Grand Ballroom.(TMS)(3-16-2010)

    • Racing Electronics becomes the Official Radio Communications Supplier for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Fresh off announcing their new role as the Official Radio Communications Provider for the Indy Racing League earlier this week, Racing Electronics [longtome Jayski.com sponsor] has also announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement with Indianapolis Motor Speedway to become the Official Radio Communications Supplier of IMS, the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400, Indianapolis GP and all other racing events held the historic Indiana racing facility. The partnership between Racing Electronics and Indianapolis Motor Speedway brings together the leader in professional racing products worldwide and the most recognizable racing facility in the world. RE’s Team Services personnel will be in attendance for the most prestigious racing events in the world held annually at “The Brickyard,” including the Indianapolis 500 IZOD IndyCar Series event and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Brickyard 400. RE’s fan sales and rental units will also be available at the track for fans to rent or purchase communications products such as scanners, headsets and other two-way communications materials. Racing Electronics manufactures and supplies a complete line of race communication products and accessories and has been serving the professional drivers and pit crews, as well as the race fan, for more than 20 years. In addition to its worldwide headquarters and full showroom in Concord, North Carolina, In addition to being the Official Radio Communications Provider for the Indy Racing League, Racing Electronics has mobile offices at all NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events, along with all NHRA races and short-track events throughout the United States,(Racing Electronics)(3-16-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for last Sunday’s race. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 104
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 43
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:17 PM
      Total minutes: 257
      Minutes of race broadcast: 201
      Minutes of commercials: 56
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 3
      Animated Digger shots: 10
      Still Digger shots: 0
      Total race brdcst time 201 Total comm. brdcst time 56
      see more on my 2010 Commercials page.(3-16-2010)

    • Sad News - Peggy Sappenfield: Peggy Sappenfield, wife of NASCAR Scorer Earl Sappenfield passed away on Saturday, March 13, 2010 after a courageous struggle with lung disease. She was 75 years of age. She was born in Winston Salem, NC. She married Earl Sappenfield in 1955 and they have been married for 54 years. They have lived in Jacksonville for 48 years. Peggy retired from the Duval County School Board Food Service where she worked at Sandalwood High School Cafeteria for 20 years. She is preceded in death by three sisters Ruby Page, Elise Thompson and Helen Williard. She is survived by her husband Earl Sappenfield, daughter and son in law, Marsha (Lee) Pruitt, one grandson, Marty, two sisters Martha (JC) Redmon and Francis (Bobby) Barlow. She is also survived by two special sister in laws Violet Kimmer and Earline Burton. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Hardage- Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home on 850 St. John's Bluff Road North, Jacksonville, FL (904-641-9755). Services will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 11:00am at Hardage-Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home located at St. John's Bluff Road North.(Jacksonville Times Union)(3-16-2010)

    • Stremme in the #26 at Bristol? UPDATE: NASCAR's entry list for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway lists David Stremme in the #26 for Latitude 43 Motorsports. Boris Said had driven the first four races, but has never made a start at Bristol.(3-15-2010)
      UPDATE: Vermont-based Latitude 43 Motorsports will see its first-ever driver change as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. David Stremme, a veteran of 108 NSCS starts, will take over for Boris Said at the controls of the #26 Ford for Latitude 43 at the Food City 500. The Food City 500 is the fifth race of the season, and Jenkins sits 37th in owner points, just 24 points out of 35th place; after Bristol, all cars outside the top-35 will have to qualify on speed during time trials without the benefit of a provisional. South Bend, Ind., native Stremme, an accomplished short track racer, has been tabbed to drive the car at the treacherous Bristol half-mile. The change, says Jenkins, was Said's idea. "Boris came to me last week and said he thought we needed a different driver for Bristol," Jenkins told Vermont Motorsports Magazine. "Boris is as big a part of this team as anyone, and I can't thank him enough for his willingness to help the whole program. We need to put all of our chips on the table at Bristol, and we need to come out of there strong and inside the top-35. Boris thought putting Stremme in the car was the right move, and I stand behind his decision." Stremme has been idle in NASCAR's three national series since being released from Penske Racing's #12 NSCS Dodge last November. Said has a best finish of 25th in the season-opening Daytona 500. In 39 career Sprint Cup starts, Said has only raced once at a track shorter than 1.5 miles in length, at Loudon, N.H., in 2007.(Vermont Motorsports Magazine)(3-16-2010)

    • More about spoiler testing at Talladega TODAY: Cup Series teams will assemble on Tuesday, March 16 for an important early-season test at Talladega Superspeedway. Approximately 24 teams are expected to participate in the one-day session, which will target a number of mechanical options in advance of the Aaron's 499 on April 25 at Talladega. Cup officials will analyze the data gleaned -- along with teams' input -- and later make several decisions for the Aaron's 499. Teams also will test spoilers, which will replace the current wings on the backs of cars. No timetable has been set for the wing-to-spoiler move. "It's a confirmation test for restrictor plates and gearing, and an opportunity for teams to work on their handling packages as we transition to the spoiler," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. Rule changes, announced on Jan. 21, are the impetus behind the test. Cup Series teams used larger carburetor restrictor-plate openings in the 2010 Daytona 500 and larger plate openings are expected for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega. At 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR mandated openings of 63/64-inch -- the largest since the one-inch mandate in 1988, the first year the horsepower-reducing plates were used in Cup competition at Daytona. Each plate contains four openings, which restrict air flow to the engine, thus slowing stock cars. Larger openings mean more air, and more horsepower. The switch from wing to spoiler also was a rule change. The wing replaced the traditional stock-car spoiler on NASCAR's new car, now in its third full-time season. Returning to the spoiler means on-track testing, and another series test -- Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- will be devoted solely to spoiler work. Both the Charlotte and Talladega tests are exceptions to the current testing policy. For the second consecutive season, Cup, Nationwide and Truck teams may not test at facilities that host national-series events. This year, teams may test at tracks that host regional touring series events, but not national series events. Tuesday's Talladega session begins at 10:00am and runs until 6:00pm with an hour lunch break. Fans are welcome to attend, with free admission. The track's Gadsden and Lincoln grandstands will be open, with parking lots behind those grandstands opening at 9:30am. Grandstand gates open at 9:45 am. See some nice images of the spoiler at Joe Gibbs Racing's site.(3-16-2010)

    • Roush gets 400th win: Jack Roush Sr. celebrated his 400th all-time win last weekend when his son, Jack Roush Jr., and co-driver Billy Johnson won the Homestead 200 (Grand Sport Class) at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Ford Racing)(3-16-2010)

    • Spoiler test at Talladega on Tuesday: TODAY: Sprint Cup Series teams will assemble on Tuesday, March 16 for an important early-season test at Talladega Superspeedway. Approximately 24 teams are expected to participate in the one-day session, which will target a number of mechanical options in advance of the Aaron's 499 on Sunday, April 25 at Talladega. NASCAR Sprint Cup officials will analyze the data gleaned - along with teams' input - and later make several key decisions for the Aaron's 499. Teams also will test spoilers, which will replace the current wings on the backs of cars. No timetable has been set for the wing-to-spoiler move. Rule changes, announced on Jan. 21, are the impetus behind the test. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams used larger carburetor restrictor-plate openings in the 2010 Daytona 500 and larger plate openings are expected for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega. The switch from wing to spoiler also was a rule change. The wing replaced the traditional stock-car spoiler on NASCAR's new car, now in its third fulltime season. Returning to the spoiler means on-track testing, and another series test - Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway - will be devoted solely to spoiler work. Both the Charlotte and Talladega tests are exceptions to the current testing policy. Next Tuesday's Talladega session begins at 9 a.m. CT and runs until 5 p.m. CT with a noon-1 p.m. lunch break. Fans are welcome to attend, with free admission. The track's Gadsden and Lincoln grandstands only will be open, with parking lots behind those grandstands opening at 8:30 a.m. Grandstand gates open at 8:45 a.m. Grandstands close at 5:15 p.m.(NASCAR PR)
      According to the Talladega Speedway Facebook page , the following teams are currently confirmed for the test (some teams may use test drivers): #00-Reutimann, #5-Martin, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart, #17-Kenseth, #18-Gilliland [testing for Busch], #20-Logano, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #56-Truex, Jr., #66-Blaney, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and a Roush R&D team.(3-12-2010)
      UDPATE: NASCAR will use restrictor plates with larger holes than they have used in the past at Talladega Superspeedway Tuesday as its Sprint Cup teams test the new spoiler that is expected to replace the rear wing in a few weeks. The test will not only help teams figure out setups for the new spoiler but help NASCAR evaluate which restrictor plate to use with the new configuration. The test Tuesday is the first open test for Sprint Cup teams with the spoiler, and they likely will start with a restrictor plate with holes of 1-1/32 inches (66/64ths) - 7/64ths of an inch more than the plates used last October and 3/64ths larger than the plate used for this year's Daytona 500. The spoiler is expected to replace the wing starting with the March 28 race at Martinsville Speedway, although NASCAR has not announced a firm start date yet. The spoiler will definitely be in use, however, for the April 25 race at Talladega. Most teams are expected to attend the test. But not all teams are going as Richard Petty Motorsports is only sending Paul Menard and Roush Fenway Racing is only sending Matt Kenseth and David Ragan. Teams will fabricate their own spoilers for the test, but NASCAR will end up issuing teams the spoilers for the races. Richardson Racing Products will be making the spoilers and they should be ready for the March 23-24 test at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darby said. In addition to replacing the wing with the spoiler, the rear quarter panel of the cars will be extended by four inches from the front edge, leaving only seven inches instead of 11 between the ground and the front edge of the rear quarter panel.(Scene Daily)(3-16-2010)

    • Drivers could face legal troubles over intentional contact: If NASCAR drivers are going to retaliate against their fellow competitors, they might get more than three weeks probation because of it. They could find themselves in trouble with the law. Drivers should be aware that if they intentionally wreck another driver and someone is injured, they could face criminal penalties, according to Winston-Salem, N.C., attorney John Morrow, whose firm has represented Richard Childress Racing. Whether the charges would stick and whether those injured could successfully bring civil claims against the driver is a matter of debate, according to lawyers and educators who follow sports law. While race fans and fellow drivers might be hesitant to file lawsuits against a driver, a local prosecutor in the spotlight would face outside pressures and influences on whether to charge a race-car driver. William Bray, a Charlotte attorney who has taught sports law classes at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, said if Keselowski had been injured and tried to sue Edwards, the Roush Fenway Racing driver would need to be found to be reckless and not just simply negligent. By competing in NASCAR, a driver consents to a level of contact, much like a boxer in the ring, Bray said. Bray said a driver would be more susceptible to a lawsuit for intentional contact if the driver was coming out of the pits and directly T-boned another driver rather than a push or nudge on the track that leads to injury or death.(Scene Daily)(3-16-2010)

    • Bristol has largest seating capacity of SMI tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway has the largest grandstand capacity of any of the Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks, according to the company's annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bristol's seating capacity remained at 158,0000. Texas Motor Speedway, which was also at 158,000, now stands at 137,000 seats (not including the infield) after the removal of 21,000 seats. Charlotte Motor Speedway also has cut seats from 156,000 to 146,000. Six of the SMI tracks have the same seating capacity as a year ago: Bristol, Las Vegas (131,000), Atlanta (101,000), New Hampshire (96,000), Kentucky (69,000) and Infineon (47,000). Bristol ranks third among all NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks in seating capacity, behind Indianapolis (approximately 250,000) and Daytona (159,000).(Scene Daily)(3-16-2010)

    • Charlotte Motor Speedway Opens Sprint Cup Series Test to Fans: Fans will have the opportunity to see their favorite drivers in action at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time in 2010 during Sprint Cup Series testing March 23-24. The test will be held for the new spoiler that will soon replace the rear wing on the current Sprint Cup Series car. Ticket holders to any 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 and the NASCAR Banking 500 on Oct. 16, will be granted special access to watch testing from the infield. The VIP seating area located behind pit road near Victory Circle will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer forum with available drivers; meet Miss Sprint Cup during an autograph session in Victory Circle; and take their picture with the Charlotte Motor Speedway show car. Concessions and souvenirs will be available in the infield.(CMS PR)(3-16-2010)


      News from March 15, 2010

    • Stremme in the #26 at Bristol? NASCAR's entry list for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway lists David Stremme in the #26 for Latitude 43 Motorsports. Boris Said had driven the first four races, but has never made a start at Bristol.(3-15-2010)

    • Waltrip to qualify the #55 at Bristol: Michael Waltrip is listed as the driver of the #55 Prism Motorsports Toyota on the entry list for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Waltrip says on his facebook page: "Michael Waltrip Racing Looking forward to Bristol. Our guys are traditionally strong there. I'm qualifying the Prism 55 to get to know the guys and prepare for Dega." Waltrip will run the #55 Aaron's Toyota for Prism Motorsports at Talladega in April.(3-15-2010)

    • Kurt Busch still waiting for drag racing debut UPDATE: When Kurt Busch's wife surprised him with a spot in a drag racing school, the NASCAR driver had no idea what he was getting into. He still doesn't really know, either. Busch spent two days waiting to make his NHRA debut at the Gatornationals, but heavy rain and flooding forced the sanctioning body to postpone his Sportsman class until Sunday at the earliest. It was a small setback for Busch, who has grown accustomed to delays in NASCAR. He has waited considerably longer for this. Two years to be exact. But don't expect this to be a full-time venture anytime soon. "I still hope I've got 10 or 15 years left on the Cup circuit," he said. "But the fun meter's been pegged and I'm having a great time doing it. Who knows? The opportunity could be out there to do something in NHRA racing later on."(Associated Press)(3-13-2010)
      UPDATE: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has lost his drag-racing debut. Busch was sent home Sunday in the opening round of eliminations at the NHRA Gatornationals. Busch raced in the Super Gas division of the Sportsman class. His 1970 Dodge Challenger sputtered shortly after takeoff and covered the 1,000-foot drag strip in 10.10 seconds, a bumper behind Wes Neely's 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. Busch raced in the 9.90-second division, meaning he was a bit off the projected pace.(Associated Press / ESPN.com)(3-15-2010)

    • Robby Gordon running SCORE race this weekend: During a rare off-weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, Robby Gordon will spend his time racing across Mexico's Baja Peninsula as a part of the Tecate SCORE International Off-Road Series. As a two-time class winner, Gordon hopes to improve on his 2009 second-place finish and to bring home a victory for the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires team. This year, Gordon will pilot the #1 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Chevy CK1500 Trophy Truck in the 24th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 this weekend. Gordon will race in a field of approximately 275 competitors from nearly ten different countries and 25 states. The race will take place over a narrow 248-mile loop that extends north of San Felipe and then south adjacent to the Sea of Cortez. The extreme course requires drivers to cross three of the most picturesque and challenging washes in Baja, as well as canyons filled with silt, jagged rocks and narrow passes between rock walls. Throughout the event, drivers will need to pass through four physical checkpoint locations before making their way across the finish line at the famed San Felipe Arches. (Robby Gordon PR)(3-12-2010)
      UPDATE: In the elite SCORE Unlimited Truck / Trophy Truck division, Rick Geiser and Jesse Jones teamed up in a 1-day old GEISER-built race truck claiming the victory among a huge class of trophy trucks. Robby Gordon finished 2nd. He broke a shock absorber early and had to make repairs before battling back toward the front before the end of the race(3-15-2010)

    • Tony Stewart Fans Win Big with Smoke Double Down Offer at Charlotte: Tony Stewart will return to Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22 as the defending champion of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, and thanks to the new Smoke Double Down All-Star Race ticket package, his legion of fans can have a May to remember at the Mecca of Motorsports. Fans can purchase the Smoke Double Down package while supplies last and receive two frontstretch tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; two passes to a fan forum lunch with Stewart at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, May 3; and two Stewart souvenirs. Plus, $20 per ticket package will be donated to the Tony Stewart Foundation. The Smoke Double Down package is priced at $149 and available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS PR)(3-15-2010)


      News from March 14, 2010

    • Craven joining ESPN Nationwide broadcast at Nashville: After two years as a studio analyst at ESPN, former Sprint Cup Series regular and Maine native Ricky Craven is readying to take the next step in his NASCAR broadcasting career. Ricky Craven will leave the cozy confines of the studio behind on April 3 and make his first foray into race coverage when he joins the ESPN broadcast booth for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Nashville 300 from Nashville Superspeedway. Craven, a Newburgh, Me. native former K&N Pro Series East champion, will join Dale Jarrett and Marty Reid in the booth for ESPN's Nationwide Series telecast from Nashville. Its expected to be the first of a few appearances for Craven calling events this year for ESPN. Craven, who retired from full-time racing in the Sprint Cup Series after the 2004 season, will be filling in for regular ESPN Nationwide Series analyst Andy Petree for the Nashville event.(Hartford Courant)(3-14-2010)

    • Peter Frampton to perform pre-race concert at Texas: Peter Frampton, a Grammy Award-winning artist and one of rock-n-roll’s legendary guitarists, will be the headliner of the pre-race show for the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, April 18, at Texas Motor Speedway. Frampton will take to the stage on the frontstretch at 12:30 pm/ct and perform an hour concert that will highlight the three-hour pre-race show. The concert will lead into the running of the Samsung Mobile 500, which will start at 2:00pm/ct. Frampton, known for his innovative guitar skills and trademark “talk box” guitar sound, has been entertaining fans across the world for nearly a half century. His most recognizable album, “Frampton Comes Alive!” shattered records in 1976 as it sold over 16 million albums worldwide to make it the highest-selling live album at the time.
      Fans can get close to the legendary rocker’s performance by purchasing a special $79 “mosh pit” ticket that allows fans exclusive access stage-side for all the pre-race festivities leading up the Samsung Mobile 500, including the concert and driver introductions. A Samsung Mobile 500 grandstand ticket must be accompanied with a “mosh pit” ticket. To purchase a “mosh pit” ticket or tickets to the Samsung Mobile 500, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS)(3-14-2009)


      News from March 13, 2010

    • Kurt Busch still waiting for drag racing debut: When Kurt Busch's wife surprised him with a spot in a drag racing school, the NASCAR driver had no idea what he was getting into. He still doesn't really know, either. Busch spent two days waiting to make his NHRA debut at the Gatornationals, but heavy rain and flooding forced the sanctioning body to postpone his Sportsman class until Sunday at the earliest. It was a small setback for Busch, who has grown accustomed to delays in NASCAR. He has waited considerably longer for this. Two years to be exact. But don't expect this to be a full-time venture anytime soon. "I still hope I've got 10 or 15 years left on the Cup circuit," he said. "But the fun meter's been pegged and I'm having a great time doing it. Who knows? The opportunity could be out there to do something in NHRA racing later on."(Associated Press)(3-13-2010)

    • Goodyear finding success with different tire compounds: This time two years ago, [Goodyear's global manager of race tires Stu] Grant and Goodyear wore bigger targets in the garage than Brad Keselowski does on the track. Tony Stewart was so angry leaving Atlanta that he said the best thing the tire manufacturer did was "make that gold trophy at the end of year" for the series champion. He added that that the tires were "not worthy of a street car." Now not only is Goodyear being defended after events in which there are blown tires; many are crediting the company with improving the overall quality of racing. Cars aren't sliding out of control as they were through the middle of last season. Drivers finally are comfortable that the only thing separating 3,500 pounds of steel and sheet metal and them from the track will stick when they enter and exit the corners. No magic compound has been discovered, but there has been a change of philosophy. Goodyear engineers finally realized that harder doesn't mean safer, or even better, as they thought two years ago. It took a while. It wasn't until countless tests following the 2008 debacle at Indianapolis, in which NASCAR had to call a competition caution every 12 laps or so, that a solution was found. There were seven tire tests, to be exact, in preparation for last year's race at Indy. At some point Goodyear learned innovative things about wear degree and how it relates to rubbering in the track that benefited every facility. So the company adjusted to a softer compound, one that would be durable enough that it wouldn't wear excessively and efficient enough to lay down rubber at a rate that would provide more grip. More grip meant better handling and better racing. To be fair, Goodyear was put behind the eight ball, just as the teams were, when the new car came out. Officials were searching just as hard as crew chiefs to figure out what would and wouldn't work. Jeff Burton tried to tell us this was coming a year ago. He said the racing was going to be better, and the tire would be a big reason. Will that change when NASCAR replaces the wing with the spoiler in two weeks at Martinsville? Grant doesn't think so, although there's no way to tell for sure until the cars are on the track. NASCAR, to its credit, is doing whatever possible to make sure the balance of the car doesn't change much so the pressure and wear on the tire remains consistent. Goodyear will keep a close eye on that during Tuesday's spoiler test at Talladega.(ESPN.com)(3-13-2010)

    • No races in 3-D anytime soon: The NCAA Final Four in a few weeks will be presented by CBS in 3-D coverage for theatergoers. Fox has produced a 3-D Bowl Championship Series football game, and Major League Baseball's All-Star game will be in 3-D carried by DirecTV. ESPN presented the Ohio State-Southern California football game in 3-D and showed it in a handful of theaters and is expected to launch a 3-D channel soon. So could NASCAR end up in 3-D? It's possible but there are several hurdles. Network executives from NASCAR's television partners have recently said they couldn't predict when there would be a 3-D production of a NASCAR race. The biggest hurdle is trying to get it to the fan base. Fox Sports Chairman David Hill wonders if enough NASCAR fans would have 3-D sets to be able to watch a 3-D production. "HD sets have not reached critical mass yet and folks that just bought an HD set, they've got to turn around and buy a 3-D," Hill says. "There's a whole bunch of questions all to do with the chicken and the egg. So the answers [to NASCAR in 3-D questions] are we will have equipment to do a 3-D race, yes it will look fantastic and I don't believe anyone will be able to see it." ESPN Vice President of Motorsports Rich Feinberg says he is fascinated by 3-D and helped make a 3-D movie last summer at the X Games. "There are some technical challenges that need to be overcome," Feinberg says. "The size and scope of these productions in terms of the number of cameras and all the stuff with the pit cams and crew-cam guys, that technology doesn't exist today for 3-D. "What we want to do in working with NASCAR is when we get there, we want to make sure we can do it right. There is a whole lot of technical knowledge that has to be acquired and experimented and tested in order to do that. We don't serve anybody, including our NASCAR fans, by doing a show that is underwhelming in 3-D because of the technical limitations. We've got to wait until we're ready."(Scene Daily)(3-13-2010)

    • SPEED's Rub-N-Grub Perfect Deal For Martinsville Fans: Martinsville Speedway has a reputation for great racing and great food. SPEEDtv is featuring both in their Grub-N-Rub offer for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 weekend. The bargain package from SPEED includes a ticket for the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on March 27, a ticket for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 on March 28 and admission to a breakfast that will include appearances by NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck series drivers along with SPEED personalities. The $99 price tag, $69 for children 12 and under, includes a two-day reserved ticket in the Blue Ridge Tower on the front stretch for the Kroger 250 and the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. It also includes breakfast at 9 a.m. on Saturday with question and answer sessions with Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick, truck series drivers Timothy Peters and Ricky Carmichael, track president Campbell and personalities from SPEED. Tickets for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 on Sunday, March 28, the Kroger 250 on Saturday, March 27 and the Duracell Battery Kroger Pole Day on Friday, March 26 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Tickets for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 start at just $25.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-13-2010)


      News from March 12, 2010

    • Spoiler test at Talladega on Tuesday: Sprint Cup Series teams will assemble on Tuesday, March 16 for an important early-season test at Talladega Superspeedway. Approximately 24 teams are expected to participate in the one-day session, which will target a number of mechanical options in advance of the Aaron's 499 on Sunday, April 25 at Talladega. NASCAR Sprint Cup officials will analyze the data gleaned - along with teams' input - and later make several key decisions for the Aaron's 499. Teams also will test spoilers, which will replace the current wings on the backs of cars. No timetable has been set for the wing-to-spoiler move. Rule changes, announced on Jan. 21, are the impetus behind the test. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams used larger carburetor restrictor-plate openings in the 2010 Daytona 500 and larger plate openings are expected for the Aaron's 499 at Talladega. The switch from wing to spoiler also was a rule change. The wing replaced the traditional stock-car spoiler on NASCAR's new car, now in its third fulltime season. Returning to the spoiler means on-track testing, and another series test - Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway - will be devoted solely to spoiler work. Both the Charlotte and Talladega tests are exceptions to the current testing policy. Next Tuesday's Talladega session begins at 9 a.m. CT and runs until 5 p.m. CT with a noon-1 p.m. lunch break. Fans are welcome to attend, with free admission. The track's Gadsden and Lincoln grandstands only will be open, with parking lots behind those grandstands opening at 8:30 a.m. Grandstand gates open at 8:45 a.m. Grandstands close at 5:15 p.m.(NASCAR PR)
      According to the Talladega Speedway Facebook page , the following teams are currently confirmed for the test (some teams may use test drivers): #00-Reutimann, #5-Martin, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart, #17-Kenseth, #18-Gilliland [testing for Busch], #20-Logano, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #56-Truex, Jr., #66-Blaney, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and a Roush R&D team.(3-12-2010)

    • France Family Group holds nearly 70% of ISC stock: The France Family Group, which includes 46 entities ranging from members of the NASCAR-ruling France family to companies they operate, own 69.6% of the voting stock at International Speedway Corp., the company revealed in its annual proxy statement. A year ago, the group owned 68.9%. With the majority of the voting stock, the France Family Group controls the decisions of the company. ISC Chairman Jim France controls 44.9% of the voting stock (including his shares of the France Family Group) and his late brother Bill's widow, Betty Jane France, owns 20.7%. NASCAR Chairman Brian France (Jim's nephew), who was listed as controlling only 0.23% of the voting ISC stock last year, now owns 1.3%. Executive compensation also was revealed as part of the proxy statement. Chairman Jim France's compensation package was worth $554,608, compared with $1.08 million last year when he was chairman and chief executive officer. Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy's compensation package was worth $769,780, compared with $719,146 a year ago when she was the company president. The compensation package includes salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on pay set aside for later and the value of stock options and restricted stock granted during the year.(Scene Daily)(3-12-2010)

    • Robby Gordon running SCORE race this weekend: During a rare off-weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, Robby Gordon will spend his time racing across Mexico's Baja Peninsula as a part of the Tecate SCORE International Off-Road Series. As a two-time class winner, Gordon hopes to improve on his 2009 second-place finish and to bring home a victory for the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires team. This year, Gordon will pilot the #1 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Chevy CK1500 Trophy Truck in the 24th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 this weekend. Gordon will race in a field of approximately 275 competitors from nearly ten different countries and 25 states. The race will take place over a narrow 248-mile loop that extends north of San Felipe and then south adjacent to the Sea of Cortez. The extreme course requires drivers to cross three of the most picturesque and challenging washes in Baja, as well as canyons filled with silt, jagged rocks and narrow passes between rock walls. Throughout the event, drivers will need to pass through four physical checkpoint locations before making their way across the finish line at the famed San Felipe Arches. (Robby Gordon PR)(3-12-2010)

    • Creed to Rock the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Grammy Award-winning rock group Creed will perform a pre-race concert presented by Native Trading Associates for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, May 22, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 75-minute concert begins at 3:15pm/et in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and tickets start at just $39. Also, the next 3,000 fans to purchase an All-Star Race ticket by calling the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS will receive a "Golden Ticket," allowing early access to secure a prime location for the concert. Creed's performance at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be made possible thanks to presenting sponsor, Native Trading Associates, who will work in conjunction with Charlotte Motor Speedway officials to present race fans with this spectacular pre-race rock concert. Charlotte Motor Speedway is the home of NASCAR's biggest back-to-back race weekends with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Tickets and interest free payment plans are available by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(3-13-2010)


      News from March 11, 2010

    • No suspension for Edwards? UPDATES - probation only: A person familiar with the decision says #99-Carl Edwards will not be suspended for intentionally wrecking #12-Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's NASCAR race in Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton is to address the Edwards accident on Tuesday. The person familiar with the decision spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Helton will be making the official statement. Edwards could face a fine or probation, but there had been an outcry for a severe penalty.(Associated Press)(3-9-2010)
      UPDATE: Carl Edwards has been placed on three weeks' probation by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's race at Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday there are two separate issues: the wreck itself, and the fact that Keselowski's car went airborne. He says NASCAR is reviewing why the car left the track, and adds that NASCAR will meet with both drivers and their car owners to "clean the slate."(Associated Press) (3-9-2010)
      Keselowski statement: A statement from Brad Keselowski: "I support NASCAR in the decision they communicated today. They are not in an enviable position when it comes to these matters, but they do an outstanding job. The unfortunate part about what happened on Sunday is that it has overshadowed a win by the #2 Miller Lite Dodge and an overall solid performance by Penske Racing at Atlanta.(Penske PR)(3-9-2010)
      Edwards statement: Carl Edwards posted the following message on his Facebook page: "I respect NASCAR's penalty and look forward to our meeting in Bristol. I'm ready to put this behind us and get on with some good racing."(3-9-2010)
      Roush statement: "We are satisfied that NASCAR fairly considered all the circumstances in its decision to discipline Carl (Edwards). We look forward to meeting with NASCAR, Roger (Penske) and Brad (Keselowski) in Bristol next weekend and it is our hope to put this behind us at that time. Missed in all of this was a really strong performance by Roush Fenway - and the Ford teams in general - at Atlanta last weekend and we are eager to continue to build on that moving forward."(Roush Fenway PR)(3-10-2010)
      Scott's Statement: Scotts appreciates the support of NASCAR fans everywhere, and we have an excellent relationship with Carl Edwards, Jack Roush and the #99 Roush Fenway Racing team. However, like many fans, we were very concerned about the on-track incident that occurred in Atlanta this past weekend. As a result, we have strongly expressed these concerns to both Carl and Jack, and we are confident that they have a clear understanding of the trust we have placed in them as ambassadors of our company, our associates and our brands. In addition, as a sponsor, we want to make sure that drivers, race teams and NASCAR focus on keeping these types of incidents and misjudgments from happening.(3-11-2010)

    • Keyed-Up to get engines from ECR: Keyed-Up Motorsports announced that it has formed an alliance with Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines to supply the #90 Chevy and driver Casey Mears with horsepower for the remainder of the 2010 Sprint Cup Series Schedule. ECR develops and builds engines for its Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams and also leases engines for teams in NASCAR’s top three series. ECR engines dominated the Daytona International Speedway earlier this season, as ECR engines were used by Nationwide race winner Tony Stewart, Sprint Cup Bud Shootout winner #29-Kevin Harvick, and Daytona 500 race winner #1-Jamie McMurray.(Keyed Up PR)(3-11-2010)

    • NASCAR, teams finalizing licensing agency: Seven months of negotiations have put NASCAR and its top teams in position to create the first NASCAR Properties, a trust that will serve as a centralized licensing agency for the sport. The unnamed unit will operate as a one-stop shop for licensees, but a key difference from other previously established league-licensing divisions is that revenue will be distributed to the teams based on sales and not a revenue-share agreement. The licensing body is being called a trust because one body - NASCAR Properties - will hold the rights and grant licenses on behalf of the teams. Participation by the teams will be voluntary, but the top teams such as JR Motorsports, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Fenway Racing are in, as are several others that own valuable rights, like Dale Earnhardt Inc., which manages the late racing icon's legacy business. The teams have agreed to include only certain categories so far, like apparel. Team executives involved in the formation of the trust say it might take the rest of the spring to finalize the arrangement, but it's been called "imminent" by multiple sources. The negotiations to unify the licensing rights were prompted by the financial troubles of Motorsports Authentics, the dominant licensee in the industry. MA, which has been on the verge of bankruptcy for the past year, owes millions to several teams. As part of the arrangement to create NASCAR Properties, teams will forgive MA for most of its debt. Industry insiders say that even the most ardent opponents of MA have come to grips with losing that revenue. MA's contracts with the top teams like Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing guaranteed as much as $3 million a year, but MA has been paying only a third to a half of the guarantee to the teams. MA's die-cast car business will be spun off into a separate entity and will be managed by a third party, industry sources said. Revenue from the die-cast business will be shared among the teams as a way to satisfy part of MA's debt. MA is expected to continue as a much leaner company that focuses strictly on trackside retail sales.(Scene Daily)(3-11-2010)

    • Speedway Motorsports revenues down in 2009: Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s overall revenue declined by 9.9% in 2009, including a 13.3% drop in ticket revenue, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Speedway Motorsports Inc., finished 2009 with a balance sheet showing a $10.3 million loss, while its income from continuing operations was $74.9 million, down 28.2 percent from $104.3 million last year, according to the filing. Part of the difference comes from a $74.5 million devaluation of Motorsports Authentics, the struggling merchandise company that SMI co-owns with rival International Speedway Corp. Both companies now consider Motorsports Authentics to have no carrying value. For 2009, overall revenues dropped from $611 million to $550.5 million. Admissions revenue dropped from $188 million to $163.1 million. Event-related revenues (sponsorships, concessions, merchandise, etc.) dropped 15.5%, from $211.6 million to $178.8 million, and broadcast revenue increased 3.3 percent, from $168.2 million to $173.8 million. SMI's 2010 forecast is for the economic struggles to continue as it projects overall revenues to drop to $500-$533 million and for its diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to be $1.00-$1.40 after it was $1.66 in 2009 and $2.40 in 2010.(Scene Daily)(3-11-2010)

    • Sprint Pit Crew Challenge tickets on sale March 13: Tickets for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, featuring a fan-friendly, pit-crew competition between the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews, are on sale March 13. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 495-2295. The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Time Warner Cable Arena and will air on SPEED at 9 p.m. that evening. Now in its sixth year, the competition precedes NASCAR Rev'd Up, a NASCAR-themed festival held in Charlotte, N.C. on May 20, and is a signature lead-in event to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday, May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Aspire PR)(3-11-2010)

    • Kurt Busch, Burton and John Darby to speak to fans during Talladega test: Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton will take time during their lunch break to speak to race fans during the March 16 test session at Talladega Superspeedway. Joining the drivers will be NASCAR Managing Director of Competition, John Darby. The test will give fans their first glimpse of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars circling the track using the new spoiler while NASCAR confirms the restrictor plate size and gear ratio for the Aaron's 499 race on April 25. It will also give fans the opportunity to experience the renovated frontstretch grandstands. Parking lots open at 8:30 with the test officially kicking off at 9 am. The event is free to the public and food and beverages will be permitted.(Talladega PR)(3-11-2010)


      News from March 10, 2010

    • NASCAR Day "The Big Five" projects: The NASCAR Foundation announced five community service projects across the country as keystone events to take place on NASCAR Day on May 21, teaming with several official NASCAR partners and aimed at education and helping children live happier, healthier lives. "The Big Five" projects include: renovation and race theme decoration of a portion of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in Atlanta, Ga.; partnering with Bank of America for a racing-themed educational initiative at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.; working with Sprint, Inc. for a playground build at the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, Mo.; A Place for Hope project outside Charlotte, N.C., and a youth initiative at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.(NASCAR), more info on my Racing Charities page - NASCAR Day section.(3-10-2010)

    • Tire testing at Darlington with spoiler: Darlington Raceway was the latest site for a Goodyear tire test on Tuesday [March 9th]. A total of five teams were on-hand to test tires at the legendary South Carolina track. #33-Clint Bowyer (Chevy), #47-Marcos Ambrose (Toyota) and #19-Elliott Sadler (Ford0 all tested their respective Sprint Cup Series rides while Aric Almirola and Timothy Peters tested their Camping World Truck Series vehicles in preparation for the series’ return to Darlington on August 14, 2010. No speeds or incidents were reported. Tickets are on-sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(see full story and quotes at the Darlington Raceway site), see images on my Tire Testing / Sponsor News page.(3-10-2010)

    • No suspension for Edwards? UPDATES - probation only: A person familiar with the decision says #99-Carl Edwards will not be suspended for intentionally wrecking #12-Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's NASCAR race in Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton is to address the Edwards accident on Tuesday. The person familiar with the decision spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Helton will be making the official statement. Edwards could face a fine or probation, but there had been an outcry for a severe penalty.(Associated Press)(3-9-2010)
      UPDATE: Carl Edwards has been placed on three weeks' probation by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's race at Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday there are two separate issues: the wreck itself, and the fact that Keselowski's car went airborne. He says NASCAR is reviewing why the car left the track, and adds that NASCAR will meet with both drivers and their car owners to "clean the slate."(Associated Press) (3-9-2010)
      Keselowski statement: A statement from Brad Keselowski: "I support NASCAR in the decision they communicated today. They are not in an enviable position when it comes to these matters, but they do an outstanding job. The unfortunate part about what happened on Sunday is that it has overshadowed a win by the #2 Miller Lite Dodge and an overall solid performance by Penske Racing at Atlanta.(Penske PR)(3-9-2010)
      Edwards statement: Carl Edwards posted the following message on his Facebook page: "I respect NASCAR's penalty and look forward to our meeting in Bristol. I'm ready to put this behind us and get on with some good racing."(3-9-2010)
      Roush statement: “We are satisfied that NASCAR fairly considered all the circumstances in its decision to discipline Carl (Edwards). We look forward to meeting with NASCAR, Roger (Penske) and Brad (Keselowski) in Bristol next weekend and it is our hope to put this behind us at that time. Missed in all of this was a really strong performance by Roush Fenway - and the Ford teams in general - at Atlanta last weekend and we are eager to continue to build on that moving forward.”(Roush Fenway PR)(3-10-2010)

    • Waltrip to drive #55 at Talladega: In celebration of its 55th year, Aaron's, Inc. will sponsor PRISM Motorsports' #55 with driver Michael Waltrip in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway April 25. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion and former winner at Talladega, will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing with a long-time sponsor in Aaron's and a long-time friend in PRISM co-owner Phil Parsons.(Aarons PR), see an image of the car on the #55 team paint schemes page.(3-10-2010)

    • Two Crew Members Suspended for Violating Substance Abuse Policy: Matthew Huffstetler, a crew member for the #01 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and William Keith, a crew member for the #38 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On March 5, both were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR PR)(3-9-2010)
      UPDATE: NASCAR has suspended two crewmen for violating its substance abuse policy, including the former brother-in-law of Jeremy Mayfield. William David Keith, a spotter for David Gilliland in the Sprint Cup Series, is one of the two crewmen and was suspended Tuesday. Keith gave a deposition in Mayfield's legal battle with NASCAR, claiming he witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamines several times. Mayfield became the first driver last May to be suspended under NASCAR's toughened drug policy.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(3-10-2010)

    • Humphrey Named ISC Managing Director of Business Operations: International Speedway Corporation announced it has named Rick Humphrey as Managing Director of Business Operations. Humphrey accepts the role from his most recent position as president of Talladega Superspeedway. W. Grant Lynch Jr., Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway and Vice President of Strategic Projects for ISC, will assume the responsibilities for day to day operation of the facility. Humphrey, 41, is a 16-year veteran in the motorsports industry, serving most recently as president of Talladega Superspeedway since July 2007. As president, he worked closely with the facility's more than 50 employees to secure, maintain and operate the 2.66-mile, 3,000-plus acre complex, and presided over a significant number of upgrades and enhancements to the legendary race track. In his new role, Humphrey will be primarily responsible for driving operational excellence across all ISC racetracks through benchmarking, innovation and best practice sharing. In addition, he will provide leadership for ISC's Green initiatives. (Talladega PR)(3-11-2010)

    • NASCAR cutting Developmental Division Season-Ending Payouts: With economy woes continuing to hit motorsports hard, in January it was learned that NASCAR would be cutting purses in 2010 by about 10 percent for its three national divisions, the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. And NASCAR's developmental touring divisions, which include the … Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro Series East, won't be immune to the measures, though cuts will come in a different form. NASCAR has decided to cut by 25 percent the amount of teams that will get paid in each division's end of the season points fund, which is the money paid out to teams based on their standings finish. Teams on the Whelen Modified Tour received notification last week that the top-15 teams in 2010 will receive points fund money, down from the top-20 in 2009. Payouts for the top-15 teams this season in the divisions affected are expected to remain the same as last year.(Hartford Courant)

    • Mayfield's stepmother wants to depose reporter: Jeremy Mayfield's stepmother wants deposition from ESPN reporter in lawsuit against her son. Lisa Mayfield's attorney wants to take a deposition from ESPN.com reporter David Newton in her defamation lawsuit against her estranged stepson, NASCAR driver and former team owner Jeremy Mayfield. Lisa Mayfield had to ask the court for approval to take the deposition out of state in the case, which was filed last July in North Carolina Superior Court. "ESPN reporter David Newton and ESPN are essential and material witnesses to the facts and circumstances involved in this cause of action," Lisa Mayfield's attorney wrote in the request to take the deposition in Connecticut, where ESPN is based. An ESPN spokesman said the network has not been served with a subpoena in the case and therefore had no comment.(Scene Daily)

    • Jack Roush to be Honored with Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award: On Friday, March 12 Jack Roush will receive the highest compliment in the hot rod world as he will be presented with the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony takes place during the grand opening breakfast of the 12th Annual HotRod & Restoration Trade Show in front of nearly one thousand attendees at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. "Being named a recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award is obviously a tremendous distinction and something completely unexpected," Roush said. "I remember Robert (Petersen) always being a great ambassador for the auto industry and hot rods. It is an honor to be mentioned among the many legendary names who have received this award in the past." The Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented annually since 2002. Previous recipients include Wally Parks (NHRA), Carroll Shelby, George Barris, Vic Edelbrock, the Ford family, Alex Xydias (So-Cal Speed Shop), and "Speedy" Bill Smith (Speedway Motors).(Roush Fenway)(3-10-2010)

    • Ticket's available for Bristol races: Tickets are available for Food City 500 weekend. A package, consisting of Ford Fan Friday qualifying (March 19), the Scotts Turf Builder 300 and the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown (March 20) and the March 21 Food City 500, is available, starting at only $99. For fans who can only attend the Food City 500, single day tickets may be purchased, starting at $93. Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader start at just $45, while fans can watch Ford Fan Friday qualifying for only $5, then attend Food City Race Night at BMS for free. A season ticket package featuring nine events during the March and August NASCAR weekends starts at only $199. The package includes the two most popular Sprint Cup races in the sport, along with a pair of Nationwide events, a Camping Truck Series race, the Scotts EZ Seed Showdown, a Whelen Modified event, qualifying and Food City Race Night. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(3-10-2010)

    • Steel Magnolia to perform post-race concert at Nashville: Race fans at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 3 will have a good reason to remain on their feet following the conclusion of 300 miles of NASCAR Nationwide Series action. Big Machine Records recording artists Steel Magnolia will perform a post-race concert on the frontstretch as part of the Dillon Transportation Concert Series immediately following the race, scheduled to take the green flag at 3 p.m. The concert is free to all April 3 NASCAR Nationwide Series race ticket holders. As the season two winners of CMT's Can You Duet?, Steel Magnolia (Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones) captured America's hearts with their dynamic harmony and music that is one part Country and two parts Southern Soul. The duo's top-15 hit, "Keep On Lovin' You," is the lead single from the Valentine's Day Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and is the highest-charting debut single from a Country duo in over three years.(Nashville PR)(3-10-2010)


      News from March 9, 2010

    • No suspension for Edwards? UPDATES - probation only: A person familiar with the decision says #99-Carl Edwards will not be suspended for intentionally wrecking #12-Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's NASCAR race in Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton is to address the Edwards accident on Tuesday. The person familiar with the decision spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Helton will be making the official statement. Edwards could face a fine or probation, but there had been an outcry for a severe penalty.(Associated Press)(3-9-2010)
      UPDATE: Carl Edwards has been placed on three weeks' probation by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's race at Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday there are two separate issues: the wreck itself, and the fact that Keselowski's car went airborne. He says NASCAR is reviewing why the car left the track, and adds that NASCAR will meet with both drivers and their car owners to "clean the slate."(Associated Press) (3-9-2010)
      Keselowski statement: A statement from Brad Keselowski: "I support NASCAR in the decision they communicated today. They are not in an enviable position when it comes to these matters, but they do an outstanding job. The unfortunate part about what happened on Sunday is that it has overshadowed a win by the #2 Miller Lite Dodge and an overall solid performance by Penske Racing at Atlanta.(Penske PR)(3-9-2010)
      Edwards statement: Carl Edwards posted the following message on his Facebook page: "I respect NASCAR's penalty and look forward to our meeting in Bristol. I'm ready to put this behind us and get on with some good racing."(3-9-2010)

    • Goodyear on hot seat again over tire issues: UPDATE: Goodyear is facing more questions about the quality of its tires. At least a dozen drivers were affected by tire problems during Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, stirring up complaints that Goodyear supplied a compound that was good for speed but low on durability at the high-banked track. "When they come here and test, you expect them to build a tire that we can abuse and that we can race hard with," said Jeff Gordon, one of those affected. "That obviously wasn't the case. There is a good chance we were too aggressive, but until we go back and analyze everything it's hard to say." Ryan Newman also chimed in. "Goodyear's got some work to do," he said. "It's a safety situation. We popped one. There are a lot of guys who popped one." Race winner Kurt Busch didn't have any problems. He was conscious of protecting his tires after Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified for the pole with the fastest speed of the Car of Tomorrow era. "When you have that happen, that means the tires are really grabbing hold of the racetrack," Busch said. "That means you're going to have speed. And when you have speed on a track that's very abrasive, yeah, you're going to be worried about tires, whether it's blistering of the right front, blistering the right rear. You have to find that right combination." Goodyear racing chief Stu Grant defended the quality of the tire. "It's a tire the guys are happy to run on," he said. "They're comfortable and they're fast if the setup is good. The leaders are running great. If you look at (Kasey Kahne) and (Busch), their tires have looked great all day." Kahne finished fourth.(Associated Press/ESPN)(3-8-2010)
      UPDATE: Elliott Sadler had no complaints for Goodyear, only for those drivers griping about the manufacturer. When asked what it meant that at least a dozen competitors faced tire trouble at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sadler was quick with a response: "Yeah, but there were 37 others that didn't," he said Tuesday at Darlington Raceway. Sadler and fellow Sprint Cup racers Marcos Ambrose and Clint Bowyer came to the track "Too Tough To Tame" to shake out the dormant raceway and give Goodyear some insight about what tire to bring to the Southern 500 in May. Sadler said those racers bothered by tire compounds should instead look to their raceshops for better setups designed to minimize tire wear and maximize the rubber. Sadler acknowledged the complaints of some teams. "I know Denny Hamlin had one, he had a fast race car," Sadler said. "But he ran over something. To me, that's not a tire issue." Bowyer had more praise for Goodyear. He thought the tire brought to the California race last month showed vast improvement over what they've raced on there in the past. At Atlanta, "we were just as much to blame as them. Everybody was searching around for" the best air pressure levels.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(3-9-201)

    • Tire Test completed at Darlington: Darlington Raceway was the latest site for a Goodyear tire test on Tuesday. A total of five teams were on-hand to test tires at the legendary South Carolina track. #33-Clint Bowyer, #47-Marcos Ambrose and #19-Elliott Sadler all tested their respective Sprint Cup Series rides while Aric Almirola and Timothy Peters tested their Camping World Truck Series vehicles in preparation for the series' return to Darlington on August 14, 2010. After a couple of early morning spins, the drivers stopped in the media center to discuss the test session. One thing that remained constant across all of the drivers is how difficult of a track Darlington is to drive.(Darlington PR)(3-9-2010)

    • Kurt Busch test at Gresham: Coming off his NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday, Kurt Busch made a stop at Gresham Motorsports Park Tuesday to test his #2 Miller Lite Dodge. Busch, along with his Penske Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series teammate Justin Algaier, spent the day taking turns lapping the GMP track. During a break, Busch took time out to film a segment for Inside NASCAR for Showtime TV.(GMP PR)(3-9-2010)

    • Two Crew Members Suspended for Violating Substance Abuse Policy: Matthew Huffstetler, a crew member for the #01 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and William Keith, a crew member for the #38 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. On March 5, both were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR PR)(3-9-2010)

    • Keyed-Up Motorsports gets associate sponsor: Keyed-Up Motorsports, in conjunction with ADFAST Marketing, named 75000000.com as an associate sponsorship of its #90 Chevy and driver Casey Mears for the 2010 Sprint Cup Series Schedule. 75000000.com is an innovative site that track the millions of fans of NASCAR and donates to the program Race 4 Pets, a pet adoption program that helps homeless pets find homes. The site also gives members the opportunity to win monthly prizes such as gift certificates, race tickets, pit passes, cars and cruises.(Keyed-Up PR)(3-9-2010)

    • Truex's Pit Crew Wins Again; Captures Tissot Award in Atlanta: The over-the-wall crew for Martin Truex Jr. claimed another victory, earning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #56 crew's performance places the team in first place in the Tissot standings with back-to-back wins (Las Vegas, Atlanta) after four races in the 2010 season. Truex's NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, out of the Michael Waltrip Racing stable, spent the least amount of time on pit road - 349.623 seconds - during the overtime race, which was extended from 325 laps to 341. Race winner Kurt Busch's #2 Dodge was second (352.887) and Paul Menard's #98 Ford was third (353.488).(Tissot/DMF Communications)(3-9-2010)

    • RPM testing plans: Tests with the new spoiler on the Sprint Cup car would seem to be important, but Richard Petty Motorsports has opted to focus on tests other than the NASCAR test March 16 at Talladega Superspeedway. Richard Petty Motorsports won't send three of its teams to the one-day Talladega test, with #98-Paul Menard going and #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #43-AJ Allmendinger staying at home or going to a test somewhere else. It is expected that some of the other multicar organizations won't have all of its teams at the test, which NASCAR will use to set the size of the restrictor plate for the April race weekend at the track. RPM's competition director Robbie Loomis said that with four or five Fords at the test, RPM will be able to get all of the info it needs. Instead of going to Talladega, Kahne will be testing that week at Road Atlanta and the organization also has a test scheduled for Little Rock at Rockingham.(SceneDaily)(3-9-2010)

    • Atlanta Facts and Notes:
      * Kurt Busch won the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500. It was his 21st Cup series win in his 332nd career start, moving into a tie for 28th with Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Benny Parsons and Jack Smith on NASCARs all-time wins list. It was his third Cup win at Atlanta in 19 starts -- his last win came in this race one year ago.
      * Busch has scored a victory in each of the last nine seasons. He became the 15th driver to score three or more Atlanta victories.
      * Busch led six times for 129 laps, including the final 10 laps.
      * Penske Racing scored its 65th Cup series victory, and its third win at Atlanta.
      * Bill Elliott finished 16th in the Wood Brothers' 1,350th Cup race.
      * Ryan Newman finished 17th in his 300th series race.
      * Three drivers have scored top-10 finishes in the first four races of 2010: Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.
      * Harvick leads the standings by 26 points over second-place Matt Kenseth.
      * Pole winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 15th.
      * Matt Kenseth (second) has finished 13th or better in the previous 10 Atlanta races.
      * Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his third top-5 finish at Atlanta -- he also finished third at Atlanta in September.
      * Kasey Kahne (fourth) led the most laps in the race, taking the point eight times for 144 laps. He posted his third straight top-10 finish at Atlanta and his second top-10 finish of 2010, both in last two races.
      * Paul Menard (fifth) posted his best finish in eight races at Atlanta.
      * Brian Vickers (seventh) scored top-10 finishes in the past three Atlanta races.
      * Kevin Harvick (ninth) has scored top-10 finishes in the past three Atlanta races.
      * Tony Stewart (13th) has been running at the finish in the previous 18 Atlanta races.
      * Jeff Burton (20th) has been running at the finish in the last 14 Atlanta races.
      * Dodge scored its ninth victory at Atlanta. Chevrolet has 35 wins, Ford has 29, Toyota has one, and all others have 28.(ESPN)(3-9-2010)

    • Third best race finish for Red Bull Racing: both Red Bull Toyotas finished in the top 10 for the second time in three-plus years of Sprint Cup racing. #83-Brian Vickers survived two overtime restarts and 16 extra laps to finish seventh in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 — 525, really — at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Not far behind was and #82-Scott Speed, whose 10th-place finish was his best at a track not named Talladega. Vickers posted his first top 10 of the season, third in a row at Atlanta and fifth in the past six races there. He's finished in the top 10 in half of his 14 starts at the 1.54-mile track. Vickers climbed to 16th in the standings and is only 14 points from the top 12. Speed's #82 Red Bull Toyota crossed the stripe in 10th, his best finish since running fifth at Talladega in April 2009. And Sunday continued Speed's strong start to his sophomore season. He owns finishes of 19th, 11th, 22nd and 10th, and is tied with Jeff Gordon for 11th in points. This is the third best finish in three plus years for Red Bull Racing following Talladega last April when Vickers finished 8th and Speed 5th and at Pocono in June 2008 when Vickers finished 2nd and A.J. Allmendinger 12th.(Red Bull Racing)(3-9-2010)

    • Kyle Petty, Rutledge Wood Try Their Hand At Supercross: NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty has raced stock cars and sports cars at Daytona International Speedway. On Monday he added motorcycles to that list after taking lessons from Supercross legend Ricky Carmichael. Petty, along with his SPEED Channel co-host Rutledge Wood, took part in the inaugural Ricky Carmichael University where the five-time Daytona Supercross By Honda champion and his team of experts shared tips and techniques with Supercross racers of all ages in the one-day only camp. "There are kids here that are five or six-years-old that just worship the ground he walks on," Petty said. "He's like Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. all rolled into one when it comes to motocross. To be able to come and learn from someone like that is incredible." Petty, who has always enjoyed motorcycles but did not have any previous Supercross experience, equated participating in the event to a kid being able to take a lap around Daytona International Speedway the day after the Daytona 500. Carmichael, who is retired from Supercross competition and now pursuing a stock car career with Turner Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, was impressed with the performance of both Petty and Wood. "Kyle is doing fantastic," Carmichael said. "Rutledge is doing amazing. Racers are racers. When I explained stuff to Kyle, he would go out and execute it. You could see the light bulb click on, if you will. It's neat to see at their level, guys who are doing it for the first time. It's so fun to see the progression." While Carmichael had fun with Petty and Wood, he also enjoyed working with some of the future Supercross stars.(DIS)(3-9-2010)

    • Bruton Smith interviewed on Race Hub: Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith stopped by SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub on Monday [March 8th] to promote the recently announced "Legends Million," a Legends Car battle with a $1 million purse scheduled for July 15-17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (more info at uslegendcars.com. The A-Main winner will take home an unprecedented $250,000. But he also weighed in on some of the hot topics coming out of the weekend NASCAR Sprint Series race in Atlanta.
      On the incident between drivers Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski at Atlanta:
      "… Keselowski took off into the air, destroyed the car and it gave him a serious headache after a while, but I'm sure that Carl did not mean to make him airborne. But it happened, and I think the summation is, 'that's racing.' Of course, it's caused everyone to be very busy in Bristol for the race that's there. I would not miss that race. I would not miss Bristol because I don't know what's going to happen up there, but rubbing is a way of life up there, so we'll see a lot of things happening in Bristol."
      On his support of green, white, checkered finishes:
      "We owe that to those race fans. Race fans – we've polled them over the years – they want to see a green-flag finish. I am a strong advocate of that. We used two of them yesterday … we still had one to go. I am a very strong advocate because this gives those race fans what they paid for and what the richly deserve and that is a finish under green."
      On NASCAR drivers being allowed to let their frustrations show:
      "NASCAR has decided to show a softer side of NASCAR and we've been talking about that for the last three or four years. They just got too tight on these guys … I've seen (the footage) on SPEED where Jeff Gordon got out and pushed (Matt) Kenseth up in Bristol. They fined him 10 grand. I said, 'Hey, wait a minute, that's not right … they should give him a medal.' They've got to stop that. NASCAR has got to stop it, because these guys get out of these race cars and often times they are very angry and they need to vent. That's the way this racing business grew up."(SPEED)(3-9-2010)

    • Most Brands Ever Appear During the 2010 Daytona 500 Telecast: The 2010 Daytona 500 will long be remembered for two lengthy pothole repairs, which extended the live Fox broadcast to seven hours and also enabled 348 sponsoring brands—the most ever monitored during a Daytona 500 telecast—to obtain valuable television exposure. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. — which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast since the mid-1980s — this year's number of brands marked a 16% increase in sponsors compared to the 300 appearing during the 2009 race telecast. The additional broadcast time created by the two track repair delays was filled by several driver interviews. These lengthy interview segments saw 175 different brands appear on the drivers' uniforms, compared to 149 brands in 2009. Overall, total on-screen time for all sponsors was up 55% compared to the 2009 broadcast (17:19:40 to 11:12:28), while verbal sponsor mentions rose a whopping 64% (386 to 236). When comparing the in-broadcast visual and verbal exposure to the estimated cost of a national commercial during the Daytona 500 telecast, and then applying Joyce Julius Recognition Grading—which takes into account such factors as size and placement of the image on screen, as well as brand "clutter"—the sponsors combined for $319 million of Recognition Grade exposure value. More info and stats at joycejulius.com.(Joyce Julius & Associates)(3-9-2010)

    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin named Food City 500 grand marshal: World Wrestling Federation superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has been named Grand Marshal for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 21, 2010. The 45-year-old Austin is a six-time WWF Champion, an Intercontinental and World Tag Team Champion, three-time Royal Rumble Match winner, King of the Ring winner and three-time WWE Championship at WrestleMania winner. Austin retired from professional wrestling in 2003. Always the entertainer, he turned his attention to acting. In 2010, he will be seen on the big screen starring opposite Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li in The Expendables. Tickets are available for race weekend and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll-free at 1.866.415.4158 or bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-9-2010)

    • Jason Witten named Honorary Starter of Food City 500: Dallas Cowboy standout Jason Witten has been named the Honorary Starter for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday, March 21. The 6-foot-5, 263-pound Witten, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, is originally from Elizabethton, Tenn., just 15 minutes away from the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Witten, always excited about making a trip home, is looking forward to taking part in the Food City 500. The 27-year-old Witten was a standout at Elizabethton High School and was the USA Today Player of the Year in Tennessee in 2000 before signing with the University of Tennessee where he starred for three years. In 2001 Witten was drafted in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys and became an instant star. One of the premier tight ends in the NFL, Witten finished the 2009 season with 94 catches and 1,030 yards. Tickets are available for race weekend and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll-free at 1.866.415.4158 or bristolmotorspeedway.com.(BMS)(3-9-2010)


      News from March 8, 2010

    • NASCAR Teams to help build a park: On Wednesday, March 10, NASCAR team members from Jeff Gordon, Scott Speed and Brian Vickers teams, Olympic swimmers from SwimMAC-Carolina Team Elite and students from the NASCAR Technical Institute will be participating in the construction process of Construction of Hope Park, a unique 20,000 square-foot, motorsports-themed playground at Lowe's YMCA in Mooresville, N.C. In partnership with the Town of Mooresville and the Lowe's YMCA, families in and around the Lake Norman region will reap the benefits of all this park has to offer. Hope Park will be fully accessible to children and adults of all ages and abilities. More info at buildhopepark.org.(3-8-2010)

    • Get Well: Racing legend Stirling Moss is recovering after falling three floors down an elevator shaft in his Mayfair, England, home. The 80-year-old broke both ankles in the fall, as well as four bones in his feet. He also suffered injuries to his vertebrae. Paramedics transported Moss to Royal London Hospital, and according to a statement on his Web site, "With the assistance of former FIA medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins, he was moved to a hospital closer to home where he underwent surgery on both his ankles, which were plated and pinned." The statement said Moss is "comfortable and recovering," and that "his immediate family were present with him at the time of the accident." Moss fell down the elevator shaft after a malfunction caused the shaft doors to open before the elevator had arrived on Moss's floor. His recovery is expected to take about six weeks. "This was a very unfortunate accident," said Moss' wife, Susie. "It could just as easily have been another member of the family stepping into where the lift should have been."(Autoweek)(3-8-2010)

    • NASCAR looking closely into Edwards incident QUOTES: Brad Keselowski called for fellow Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards to be suspended for at least one race after Edwards wrecked him Sunday in the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. But Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for NASCAR, said the governing body would take its time in examining all the facts before deciding what to do with Edwards, whose #99 Roush Fenway Ford was ordered to the garage after wrecking the #12 of Keselowski and sending it airborne on the frontstretch on Lap 323 of what was a scheduled 325-lap event. Pemberton and other NASCAR officials, including president Mike Helton, met with Edwards following Sunday's race -- but Pemberton said they would discuss the incident further "internally" on Monday and Tuesday before announcing any additional penalties for Edwards by late Tuesday afternoon. "It looked like it could have been a payback from the #99 on the #12," Pemberton said. The two drivers got together earlier during Sunday's race when they bumped on Lap 41 and Edwards ended up getting shoved into the #20 Toyota of Joey Logano, effectively ruining both of their days. Keselowski, meanwhile, drove away from that incident and went on to put together a solid run for the day while Edwards spent much of the afternoon having his car repaired in the garage. Edwards returned to the track on Lap 190 after spending 150 laps in the garage, and appeared to purposely wreck Keselowski when Keselowski appeared headed for a top-five finish. "To come back and intentionally wreck someone, that's not cool," Keselowski said. "You could have killed someone in the grandstands. I know that it's a little ironic that it's me saying that, but at least I didn't do it intentionally [when it happened at Talladega]. It will be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts to it. They have the ball. If they're going to allow people to intentionally wreck each other at tracks this fast, we will hurt someone either in the cars or in the grandstands. It's not cool to wreck someone at 195 mph." Pemberton indicated that Edwards more or less admitted in the post-race meeting with NASCAR officials that he intended to wreck Keselowski, but that he did not mean to send him airborne. Keselowski's car ended up landing upside down, nearly crushing in the driver's side of the roof, and was completely destroyed in the aftermath. Keselowski was shaken up after the wreck and needed assistance getting removed from the car, but eventually was cleared at the AMS infield care center. "Carl said he got into him; he said he didn't expect the result," Pemberton said. Earlier, Edwards spoke briefly with the media and attempted to explain his thinking. "Brad knows the deal between him and I," Edwards said. "The scary part was his car went airborne, which was not at all what I expected. At the end of the day, we're out here to race and people have to have respect for one another and I have a lot of respect for people's safety. I wish it wouldn't have gone like it did, but I'm glad he's OK and we'll just go on and race some more and maybe him and I won't get in any more incidents together. That would be the best thing." Keselowski told reporters that he believed Edwards took "three swipes" at him before connecting, and that Edwards deserves to be suspended for at least one race. He also defended what had occurred during their first incident Sunday. "He cut down on me on a restart and I lifted; I couldn't lift fast enough for him," Keselowski said. "I lifted for him to let him in, but I was there. I don't know what more you can do. "[Keep the] car low, that's what they say. So I was underneath him, tried to cut him a break. It was too late, though; he turned down. I apologized to him, but there was nothing that I could do in that situation."(NASCAR.com)(3-8-2010)
      Edwards quote: from Carl Edwards facebook: My options: Considering that Brad wrecks me with no regard for anyones safety or hard work, should I: A-Keep letting him wreck me? B-Confront him after the race? C-Wait til bristol and collect other cars? or D-Take care of it now? I want to be clear that I was surprised at his flight and very relieved when he walked away. Every person has to decide what code they want to live by and hopefully this explains mine.
      Keselowski: from Brad Keselowski's facebook: After a wild ride at Atlanta “Congratulations to Kurt and everyone on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge team,” said Keselowski. “They were strong all day. All of the Penske Racing cars were strong and we should be proud of that. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the finish we deserved".(3-8-2010)

    • Atlanta TV ratings higher then 2009: NASCAR ON FOX's coverage of the Sprint Cup race on from ATLANTA earned a 4.8/11 in the metered markets, up +2% over last year's 4.7/11 and good enough to rank as the weekend's highest-rated sports event. Yesterday's increase is particularly meaningful because the Atlanta race was FOX's first points race of the season that did not face the Olympics - the three races that did face the Olympics were down -14% in the metered markets. Yesterday's +2% increase under a "normal" competitive environment provides the best gauge yet of where NASCAR truly stands compared to last year. Through four races NASCAR On FOX is now down -10% compared to last year in the metered markets (5.3 vs. 5.9). The news was particularly good yesterday in the core Southeastern markets. Ratings were up +32% in Charlotte (11.5/24 vs. 8.7/17), +26% in Greensboro (12.7/26 vs. 10.1/20), and +25% in Atlanta (8.9/18 vs. 7.1/17). The major southeastern markets are always important to NASCAR, but especially so this year as those markets should be among the first to recognize any improvement in the racing brought about by this year's rule changes. For year-to-year comparison chart and more, see my 2010 TV Ratings page.(3-8-2010)

    • Engines taken for inspection: Following Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR announced that the engines of race winner #2-Kurt Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth, #83-Brian Vickers (random) and #55-Michael McDowell (start-and-park) would be taken to the NASCAR R&D center and torn down for observation. Busch and seventh-place finisher Vickers’ chassis will also be taken to the NASCAR R&D center for observation.(Racin' Today)(3-8-2010)

    • Goodyear on hot seat again over tire issues: Goodyear is facing more questions about the quality of its tires. At least a dozen drivers were affected by tire problems during Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, stirring up complaints that Goodyear supplied a compound that was good for speed but low on durability at the high-banked track. "When they come here and test, you expect them to build a tire that we can abuse and that we can race hard with," said Jeff Gordon, one of those affected. "That obviously wasn't the case. There is a good chance we were too aggressive, but until we go back and analyze everything it's hard to say." Ryan Newman also chimed in. "Goodyear's got some work to do," he said. "It's a safety situation. We popped one. There are a lot of guys who popped one." Race winner Kurt Busch didn't have any problems. He was conscious of protecting his tires after Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified for the pole with the fastest speed of the Car of Tomorrow era. "When you have that happen, that means the tires are really grabbing hold of the racetrack," Busch said. "That means you're going to have speed. And when you have speed on a track that's very abrasive, yeah, you're going to be worried about tires, whether it's blistering of the right front, blistering the right rear. You have to find that right combination." Goodyear racing chief Stu Grant defended the quality of the tire. "It's a tire the guys are happy to run on," he said. "They're comfortable and they're fast if the setup is good. The leaders are running great. If you look at (Kasey Kahne) and (Busch), their tires have looked great all day." Kahne finished fourth.(Associated Press/ESPN)(3-8-2010)

    • Lifelock announces Military Partnership: Five years ago, Major Ed Pulido's military vehicle hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). He lost his left leg, nearly lost an arm, and survived 38 surgeries. He counts himself lucky to be alive. But the event radically altered his life, and once his physical injuries were healed, there were still other worries to tackle. The Folds of Honor Foundation stepped in to erase one of those worries, providing both of his girls with college scholarships, and now LifeLock will be using their NASCAR partnership to help support this military foundation. Through its NASCAR sponsorship, LifeLock will promote the Folds of Honor legacy foundation, which provides military families with educational support and opportunities. In addition, LifeLock will divert a portion of their subscription prices to this noble cause. "As a company that is dedicated to protecting others, it is a natural fit to support an organization that takes care of the families of those who are protecting all of us every day," said Darrell Davis, LifeLock Partner Development Manager. "We are proud to be able to provide both financial support and awareness to meet the unmet educational needs that the families of our heroes are facing."(AMS)(3-8-2010)

    • Coca-Cola & Speedway Motorsports Extend: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) and Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) are extending their long-term partnership through 2015. Under the terms of the new agreement, CCNA brands will continue as the "Official Soft Drink," "Official Sparkling Beverage," "Official Water, "Official Sports Drink" and "Official Enhanced Water" for six SMI tracks, which include: Atlanta Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The agreement also features title sponsorship of the Coca-Cola 600 -- the longest continuous sponsorship of any race in NASCAR -- at Charlotte Motor Speedway through 2015. Through this partnership extension, Coca-Cola and SMI will continue to create programs that engage NASCAR fans at SMI tracks and in the local markets and regions where the tracks are located. NASCAR-themed advertising, packaging, promotions, at-track activations and customer-specific programs will all be part of the mix designed to create excitement among racing fans.(CMS)(3-8-2010)

    • Martinsville Family 4 Pack Gives Fans Chance at good and food at low price: Martinsville Speedway is famous for three things: great racing, great hot dogs and great prices. The track has combined all three for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 on March 28. The new $99 Family 4 Pack is the most inexpensive way for a family of four to spend the day at Martinsville Speedway and enjoy the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. The Family 4 Pack includes two adult tickets two children’s tickets (12 and under) to the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 along with vouchers for The Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog (four) and four Pepsi products. The Family 4 Pack seats are located in rows 6 through 14 of the Clay Earles Tower. Order your Family 4 Pack by calling 877-RACE-TIX (877-722-3849) and mentioning the Family Four Pack offer or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com online.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-8-2010)

    • Martinsville expands ticket Office hours: Martinsville Speedway has expanded its ticket office hours to give fans plenty of time to purchase tickets for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 on March 28. The ticket office hours have been broadened to include Saturdays from now until the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. The speedway ticket office will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays in addition to its normal daily hours of 9 to 5. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com online.(Martinsville Speedway)(3-8-2010)


      News from March 7, 2010

    • Kurt Busch wins at Atlanta: #2-Kurt Busch won the Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2010, 21st of his career and 3rd at AMS. #17-Kenseth finished 2nd, followed by #42-Montoya, #9-Kahne, #98-Menard, #43-Allmendinger, #83-Vickers, #16-Biffle, #29-Harvick and #82-Speed. Pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 15th but lead no laps. #12-Keselowski made contacts with #99-Edwards early in the race, sending Edwards into the wall and to the garage. Edwards came back in to the race many laps down and with a few lapsto go, ran into the #12, which turned around then flipped over, landing on the roof and then back over. Keselowski was shaken up, but ok. Edwards was parked for the rest of the race and called to the NASCAR Hauler. 27 cars finished on the lead lap. There were 11 caution periods for 33 yellow flag laps. There were 31 lead changes among 13 drivers.
      The race is scheduled to be re-aired, Wednesday, March 10 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Atlanta Race Results/Awards page.(3-7-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Atlanta, race 4 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick 644
      2) #17-Matt Kenseth, 618, -26
      3) #16-Greg Biffle, 585, -59
      4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 570, -74
      5) #33-Clint Bowyer, 558, -86
      6) #31-Jeff Burton, 538, -106
      7) #5-Mark Martin, 521, -123
      8) #14-Tony Stewert, 510, -134
      9) #98-Paul Menard, 505, -139
      10) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 502, -142
      11) #24-Jeff Gordon, 482, -162
      12) #82-Scott Speed, 482, -162
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 475, 7 out of the Chase
      14) #20-Joey Logano, 471, -11
      15) #18-Kyle Busch, 468, -14
      2009 Chasers not in top 15
      16) #83-Brian Vickers 466, 16 out of chase
      17) #9-Kasey Kahne, 447, -35
      20) #99-Carl Edwards, 435, -47
      21) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 418, -64
      22) #11-Denny Hamlin, 409, -73
      29) #39-Ryan Newman, 337, -145
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(3-7-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Bristol Motor Speedway [on March 21st] and first five races of 2010 [Bristol is the 5th and final race using 2009 owners points]:
      Teams that are guaranteed a starting spot for the first five races, but are currently out of the 2010 top 35 of owners points are:
      36) #37-Conway/Front Row: 0 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Said/Latitude 43: -24
      38) #7-Gordon/RGM: -27
      Two teams are currently outside the 2009 Top 35 owners points and a guaranteed starting spot, but are in the top 35 for 2010 owners points after four races, which would assure a starting spot if qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway is canceled [rain out, etc]:
      #82-Speed/Red Bull: 12th in 2010 Owners Points
      #71-Labonte/TRG: 30th, but would get in via being a past champ anyway
      #09-Almirola/Phoenix Racing missed the race at Atlanta, is 45th but would make the race via being a past winning team in 2009 [winning at Talladega last April]
      The other teams likely to attempt Bristol on March 21st that would make the race if qualifying is canceled would be (5):
      #13-Papis (39th in 2010 owners points); #55-McDowell (41st); #66-Blaney (42nd) and #87-Nemechek (43rd). Missing the race would be: #90-Mears (44th) and #46-Cook (47th)
      For the owners points standings, see my 2010 Owners Points Standings and 2010 Owners Points Rack for the first five races.(3-7-2010)

    • To the Back #14-Tony Stewart and #39-Ryan Newman's teams changed engines in those cars on Sunday morning, so both will have to fall to the rear at the start of the Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Newman was scheduled to start 7th and Stewart 15th. Both run Hendrick Motorsports engines, the #39 'new' engine came off the #88 hauler. Both reported valve train problems. Also going to the rear is #16-Greg Biffle, who wrecked in Happy Hour practice and will be in a backup car, he was scheduled to start 13th. So all the drivers on the inside [odd] starting postions will move up a few spots.(3-7-2010)

    • Montoya-McMurray ok...sort of: The tension between Earnhardt Ganassi teammates #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #1-Jamie McMurray has abated but not entirely been brushed off the table, or at least that's the impression one could draw from Montoya's remarks. Montoya and McMurray crashed early in the Feb. 28 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Montoya excoriated McMurray afterwards. According to Montoya, it's time to move on, but he didn't seem all that forgiving. "He sent me a text saying 'la-la-la-la-la,' and he was sorry about the whole thing," said Montoya of McMurray, "and I said 'don't worry about it.' He asked if I wanted him to call me, and I said 'don't worry about it.' It happens. It's racing. Move on. Really, I was really (ticked off) at the time because we had a DNF ('did not finish') the week before with an engine problem. And (the next) week, being taken out by your teammate is something that you don't really expect, but it happens. It's part of racing and move on."(NASCAR This Week)(3-7-2010)

    • Kyle Busch not happy with Boris: #18-Kyle Busch walked away from a banged-up car shaking his head, clearly miffed about a scrape in the final practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch tangled with #26-Boris Said coming onto the back straightaway and was forced to park his Toyota after getting in 37 practice laps. While the damage around the right rear tire was mainly cosmetic, that didn't improve Busch's mood. "You've got guys who don't belong out there," he said. "He's off the pace at every track we've been to. But he keeps getting in on owner points." Said drives for Latitude 43 Motorsports, a new venture started by a Vermont businessman who bought the #26 team from Roush Fenway Racing, inheriting its points from a year ago. Since that team finished 22nd in the Cup standings, Said is guaranteed entry into the first five races of 2010. "I'm out there minding my own business, running my car at the bottom of the track," Busch said. "He's at the top, then all of a sudden he wants to run in the middle on the straightaway. Usually if you're running at the top, you stay up there." Said, who's gotten into the last three races based on his owner points, managed only two laps in his final tuneup for the race. He was next-to-last on the speed chart, beating out rookie Kevin Conway.(Associated Press/ESPN)(3-7-2010)


      News from March 6, 2010

    • Race Coverage of the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 7, 2010.
      Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:16pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Wednesday, March 10 at 12:00pm/et

    • Happy Hour practice for the Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 60 minutes of practice, some notes and results:
      #5-Martin 185.524
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 185.517
      #56-Truex Jr. 185.300
      #98-Menard 185.232
      #6-Ragan 185.226
      slowest: #37-Conway 174.598 and #26-Said 176.067
      incidents: #16-Biffle smacked the wall hard and did right side damage and will go to a backup car.
      For fastest speed, average speed, laps run, see my Atlanta Practice Speeds Page.(3-6-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Atlanta: The selections of pit stalls for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #88-Eanhardt Jr chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #18-Busch took pit stall 21, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #42-Montoya, who starts 3rd took the 23rd pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #5-Martin, who starts 4th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Atlanta Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-6-2010)

    • Saturday practice for the Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, 45 minutes of practice, some notes and results:
      #48-Johnson 189.694
      #5-Martin 188.700
      #11-Hamlin 188.028
      #2-Busch 187.900
      #9-Kahne 187.361
      slowest: #26-Said 176.073 and #37-Conway 176.583
      For fastest speed, average speed, laps run, see my Atlanta Practice Speeds Page.(3-6-2010)

    • Some all-time and 2010 stats: #48-Jimmie Johnson's win at Las Vegas was the 49th of his career, he now stands 12th best all-time, one behind Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson, see the all time list and more about wins on my All-Time Winners page.
      The win was the 52nd for a car running the #48, Johnson has won 49 of those races. The #48 is the 13th most winning car number, the #43 is first at 198 and #11 is 2nd with 188 wins. See more on my Wins by car Number page.
      #2-Kurt Busch won the pole at Las Vegas, his 11th career pole, tied for 33rd all-time with Sterling Marlin and Brian Vickers. Richard Petty holds the record for the most poles at 123. Jeff Gordon is the active leader with 68 [4th all time, one behind Cale Yarborough]. See my All-time pole winners page or 2010 pole winners page.
      Johnson's win was the 654th win all-time for Chevrolet, which has won all three Sprint Cup races in 2010 and leads the Manufacturers Championship with 27 points to Ford's 14. See the list of all time manuafacturer wins, the 2010 Manuafcturers Championship standings and more on my 2010 Manufacturers Championship page.(3-6-2010)

    • Cancer Screenings at AMS: There will be head and neck cancer screenings Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Screenings will be held from 9:00am to 1:00 pm/et in the front display lot between Champions Grandstand Gates 14 and 15.(AMS)(3-6-2010)

    • Wendell Scott's First Start Being Celebrated This Week UPDATE: At Atlanta Pioneering African-American driver Wendell Scott is being honored this week in Atlanta, via the celebration of his first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, on March 4, 1961 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. All vehicles competing this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will have a commemorative decal (shown above) baring the familiar picture of a waving Scott, who died in 1991, leaving a legacy of achievement and dignity. Wendell's daughter, Sybil Scott, will attend this weekend's races as will NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Jason Romero, the 2009 winner of the Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award, given annually to a female or minority driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has excelled on and off the race track. Scott, a Danville, Va. native, started racing in 1947. In his first race, he finished third in a borrowed car and won $50. In the next few years he won 128 Hobby, Amateur and Modified races, on the old Dixie Circuit and outlaw tracks. In 1959, Scott logged his best season ever. He won 22 races and captured the Richmond track championship as well as the Virginia State Sportsman title. On Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, a one-mile dirt track, Scott became the first African-America to win on NASCAR's highest level, a distinction he still holds.(NASCAR)(3-3-2010)
      UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series vehicles will carry a special commemorative decal honoring Wendell Scott’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on March 4, 1961. Wendell was a racing pioneer, becoming the first African-American to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series on Dec. 1, 1963.“This is enormous for our family in so many ways,” Sybil Scott said. “(My father) would want the young drivers coming up today to be inspired.” Ryan Gifford, one of the Drive for Diversity participants, visited with Scott’s family earlier this year for the reality show Changing Lanes, and he said the experience humbled him. “It really showed me what he went through to open the door for someone like myself,” Scott said. “I couldn’t be more grateful.” And that’s what Sybil Scott hopes her father’s true legacy is: creating opportunities for future minority drivers. “Daddy’s legacy is through the diversity program,” Sybil Scott said. “The doors are open pretty wide right now, I feel very strongly. “I can only look at these drivers and think of how my dad would be their greatest fan. He would be out there encouraging them and would want others to be supportive. That’s how to keep Daddy’s legacy alive.”(AMS)(3-6-2010)

    • Tires a question mark?: The big question mark for most drivers heading into this weekend’s Kobalt Tools 500 remains the tires. After repeated complaints about tire wear in Atlanta, Goodyear has brought another combination for Sunday’s race. “Goodyear’s hardest job is to figure out what makes the best race,” Burton said. “When you have 40 drivers, you have 40 opinions. For me, I like a tire that makes good grip and keeps a fair amount of grip during the run.” Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Sam Hornish spent two January days testing for Goodyear at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and all of them agreed that the new tire should offer better grip – and in turn, much better racing – than in recent memory. “Goodyear brought a tire that will be an improvement over what we had last fall,” Martin said Friday. “The cool weather is going to be favorable for the cars’ handling, and this multi-groove race track makes for a lot of fun.”(AMS)(3-6-2010)

    • Keyed Up Motorsports breaks from Key Motorsports: As of this past Monday, Raymond Key’s #90 Keyed Up team [driver is Casey Mears] officially severed ties with the more-established Key Motorsports one that has run in the Nationwide and Truck Series, owned by brother Curtis Key. This upheaval has forced Keyed Up to move to Tommy Baldwin Racing’s old shop, meaning less time was spent this past week on refining equipment the team already had to try and get their #90 Chevys up to speed... despite the mvoe, Keyed Up Motorsports’ future itself remains a bit uncertain. Without funding, the team eventually will not be able to run each week. One source within the organization says if funding and performance do not soon turn a corner, the No. 90 may find its schedule trimmed back to around a dozen races.(Frontstretch)(3-6-2010)

    • Ft. Benning Soldier is Honorary Crew Chief for Atlanta: For the sacrifice made on behalf of his country, and the fortitude he has shown to prevail over a paralyzing wound, US Army Staff Sgt. Javier Villanueva has been named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will have the rare privilege of being the ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief on March 7 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. See full stoty and vote for a 'ExtenZe Local Hero' at extenzeracing.com.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(3-6-2010)

    • Said, Cook and Bliss just riding the wave for now: On the “other side” of the garage these first few races of 2010 are three drivers whose teams are in similar situations. All veterans, #26-Boris Said, #46-Terry Cook, and #26-Mike Bliss find themselves in a difficult position where funding wholly determines which races they run the distance in and which ones they park early.
      Bliss has had funding on the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy from Wave Energy drink and is running the distance in those races, but since only half the races are funded by either Wave or other companies, he is realistic that he may have to begin start and parking. He says that he has no idea what Baldwin will choose to do in those races and that he will simply do what he is told. His start to the season has seen his Chevy show some speed, but the finishes have not backed that up after crashing in two of the first three events.
      Boris Said’s #26 Latitude 43 Motorsports Ford team, which bought the owner points from the now-defunct Roush Fenway #26 entry, is also locked into the first five races. While the team DNF’d at both California and Talladega, Said says Sunday’s race in Atlanta should be different. “This weekend, we are planning on running the whole race. We’ve got a motor to run the whole race.” Said also says that the team’s future races depend solely on sponsorship.
      Finally, Terry Cook, technically signed up to run for Rookie of the Year honors, has failed to qualify for three races in the #46 Whitney Motorsports Dodge. When asked if he would start and park his unsponsored entry if he made a race this year, he shrugged and said he would only do as he was directed.(Frontstretch)(3-6-2010)

    • Info on the spoiler coming together: There are still many unknowns in the advent of the transition from wings to spoilers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but the pieces are coming together. Teams have received retro-fit pieces to adjust the template grids for the change from the wing to the spoiler which will measure four inches on intermediate and down force tracks and 4.5-inches at Talladega and Daytona. A two-inch "ear" will be at the ends of 64.5-inch spoiler for Talladega similar to the construction on the truck spoilers. All spoilers will mount on to the cars at exactly 70-degrees without adjustability, thereby preventing modification by individual teams. Although NASCAR is preparing for the roll out of the new spoilers at Martinsville Speedway on March 26, teams will be responsible for manufacturing their own spoilers for the test scheduled on March 16th at Talladega Speedway. NASCAR template guru Billy Berkheimer anticipates each team having at least two spoilers by the time NASCAR rolls into Charlotte Motor Speedway for the test following Bristol on March 22nd. Spoilers will be distributed to teams at the same time so one team does not gain an advantage over another. Following the initial distribution, teams will be able to place orders for additional spoilers. Despite initial wind tunnel reports of the spoiler providing more downforce than the wing on the new car, Berkheimer said, "If this works the way I expect it will, the downforce numbers will the same with the spoiler and the wing." Most of the top organizations have tested cars with spoilers at tracks such as Walt Disney World Speedway (1 mile), Rockingham Speedway (1.017 mile) and Little Rock (0.526 mile).(FoxSports)(3-6-2010)

    • Atlanta special for Bill Eliiott: To truly understand how special it is for Bill Elliott to drive the Wood Brothers' #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as he'll do this weekend in the Kobalt Tools 500, it helps to know about one of his first-ever trips to his home track. The year was 1973. Elliott was just a teenager. He went to the race with some high school friends from his hometown of Dawsonville, Ga. "We drove down there in a 1973 Ford Torino," Elliott said, adding that the sporty ride came from his father's small Ford dealership. "We parked in the infield. It was really muddy." The boys watched a familiar scenario play out – David Pearson won the race in the Wood Brothers' #21 Mercury, one of the team's league-leading 12 Cup victories at the track and one of their 11 superspeedway wins that season. Pearson and the Woods swept Atlanta that year. So were young Elliott and his pals backing the winner that day? "Of course," he said. "It was David Pearson. It was a Ford, and it was the Wood Brothers." Soon Elliott was racing himself at AMS, starting out in Fords fielded by his father, the late George Elliott, a man who not only loved Fords but absolutely hated any other brand of automobile. To date, Elliott has five wins and five poles at his home track. Throughout his Sprint Cup career, Elliott, from the north Georgia mountains, has been a crowd favorite at AMS. Many of his fans will watch Sunday's race from the Elliott Grandstand, which was named for the popular driver and his family. He said he also feels fortunate to be back behind the wheel of the same car he drove last fall in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In that race, he qualified ninth; fell back, then charged through the field late in the race to claim a strong 16th-place finish. Also in his favor is the fact that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew has spent the winter tuning the car and working on its overall downforce program, which is one of the main keys to running well on an intermediate track that makes up the bulk of the team's limited 2010 schedule. Elliott will also be the only Ford running the new FR-9 engine at AMS.(Wood Brothers Racing)(3-6-2010)

    • NHMS wants to build casino/hotel: The New Hampshire Motor Speedway wants to build a casino, a hotel and a racing museum on its Loudon [NH] track site. But the plans are contingent on the state legalizing expanded gambling this year, something that's far from certain. The speedway added its voice to the Legislature's gambling debate yesterday, during a Senate hearing on a bill that would allow slot machines and table games at six sites across the state. The news surprised many people, including Loudon town officials, other gambling advocates and casino opponents. But the entry of such a well-known - and well-funded - organization to the discussion could significantly shift the terms of the debate. "What we're basically saying is, we want a seat at the table because we know we could do a good job and be a responsible partner with the state on this," said Jerry Gappens, general manager and executive vice president of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "We're the largest sports and entertainment facility in all of New England. We've got a great infrastructure here. And (gambling) would just complement what we already do." Gappens said that track officials were still working on their plans but that they would likely center on a new hotel-casino complex. He said the track was also in talks with the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame about building a permanent home for that institution at Loudon. He said the track had hired consultants to design the year-round casino facility as well as assess the potential economic impact the addition of gambling would have for the track and for state revenue.(Concord Monitor)(3-6-2010)

    • Bruton thinks Kentucky will get race in 2011: Bruton Smith says he's confident that all the legal issues around Kentucky Speedway will be finished in time so NASCAR can award a Cup date to that track for next year. Does he know where the date will come from? He says, yes. So where? He won't say. He does offer a suggestion on how to give Las Vegas a second date but it would require taking one race away from International Speedway Corp (the track company run by the France family) and would seem doubtful because it likely would impact ISC stockholders negatively. Bruton's idea is this: "You move Home-and-stead (Homestead), that last race, to Las Vegas. That would be good for the sport. Then you take one of the events from California to Home-and-stead. Now you've got a winner. It's great for the sport. It will work. Naturally, the big winner will be Speedway Motorsports (Bruton's company), but we do things that build NASCAR. As Billy France said to me in New York (years ago), "Help me build NASCAR,' and I laughed like hell. I said, "Bill, what do you think I've been doing for the past 25 years.' That's what we've got to be doing is build NASCAR. Sometimes, it looks like we lost our way, and I don't think we have.''(Virginia Pilot)(3-6-2010)


      News from March 5, 2010

    • Earnhardt Jr. wins pole at Atlanta: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Pole for the Kobalt Tool's 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 192.761mph for his 1st pole of 2010, his first since Texas in April 2008 [68 races ago] and 9th of his career, Earnhardt has never won a race from the pole. The qualifying speed is the fastest ever for a Car of Tomorrow (COT), the previous fastest for the COT was last October at Charlotte, 192.376mph. The speed also was fastest qualifying speed since Carl Edwards ran 193.105mph at Texas in Nov 2007. #18-Busch will start 2nd followed by #42-Montoya, #5-Martin, #24-Gordon, #9-Kahne, #39-Newman, #19-Sadler, #00-Reutimann and #99-Edwards. The points leader #29-Harvick will start 35th and the winner of the last two races, #48-Johnson, will start 16th.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #71-Labonte, #66-Blaney, #36-Bliss, #13-Papis, #82-Speed, #87-Nemechek, #21-Elliott and #55-McDowell.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #09-Almirola, #90-Mears and #46-Cook.
      Pole stats: see my All-time Pole Winners & Stats page & 2010 Pole Winners page.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Atlanta Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(3-5-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Atlanta:
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the KOBALT TOOLS 500 with a lap of 28.761 seconds, 192.761 mph.
      This is his ninth pole in 367 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2010. Earnhardt's last pole came at Texas in April of 2008, 68 starts ago.
      Earnhardt's pole speed set a record for fastest in the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The previous fastest was Jimmie Johnson's speed of 192.376 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October of last season.
      This is his second pole in 22 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2010 and his seventh in 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his second top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his fourth in four races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-5-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 5, 2010 at 6:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 6:00pm/et
      Radio: only online at NASCAR.com thru Performance Racing Network (PRN), Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128 does not cover qualifying any longer
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: 11:30pm/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #20-Logano.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #82-Speed with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #90-Mears.
      See the full qualifying order on the Atlanta Qualifying Page.(3-5-2010)

    • Friday practice for the Kobalt Tool's 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over. After 90 minutes of practice, some results and notes:
      #5-Martin 189.409
      #18-Busch 189.260
      #9-Kahne 189.202
      #39-Newman 189.086
      #42-Montoya 188.693
      slowest: #90-Mears 179.907 and #26-Said 180.410
      notes: #90-Mears lost an engine, team will put a new Pro Motors engine in the car
      For fastest speed, average speed, laps run, see my Atlanta Practice Speeds Page.(3-5-2010)

    • Atlanta practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #36-Mike Bliss, 21st fastest
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 23rd
      #13-Max Papis, 29th
      #82-Scott Speed, 30th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 32nd
      #71-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 33rd
      #55-Michael McDowell, 34th
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 37th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #46-Terry Cook, 38th [has not qualified for a race in 2010]
      #09-Aric Almirola, 42nd
      #90-Casey Mears, 46th, lost engine [has not qualified for a race in 2010]
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Schemes added to Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery including: #12 Dodge / Mopar / Flo-TV, #16 U.S. Census, #17 Valvoline, #38 Charter Air Transport, #1 McDonald's, #43 Valvoline, #24 Pepsi Max, #99 Aflac / Kellogg's / Cheezit, #98 Moen / Menards, #47 Kingsford / Scott's, #56 NAPA Gold Filters, #00 Mitsubishi/Aaron’s, #5 Hendrickcars.com, #32 Dollar General.
      For these and all the 2010 schemes, see my Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery. Also added many schemes to the 2010 Nationwide Series Paint Scheme page [many from Daytona, Auto Club and Vegas] and the 2010 Camping World Truck Series Paint Schemes page [including the #95 and #30 U.S. Bobsled schemes].

    • #90 car gets sponsors for Atlanta: Keyed-Up Motorsports announced that working in conjunction with Racer Management, it welcomes Juice Air Fresheners and its distributor SMELLmyCAR.com to co-primary sponsorship of its #90 Chevy and driver Casey Mears for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, March 7, 2010. In the project, SMELLmyCAR.com will run as a primary sponsor on select races and an associate sponsor of the team throughout the 2010 season. SMELLmyCAR.com is the prime outlet available for purchase of the newest air fresheners on the market. This new partnership provides another reason for shoppers to discover the scents that Juice Air Fresheners has to offer. Juice Air Fresheners competes in Auto Air Fresheners, a market dominated by strong competitors. Hakim added, “When we heard about Casey and Keyed-Up Motorsports we saw a good fit for our product. We both actively run and operate our businesses, and are chasing after our dreams.”(Keyed-Up Motorsports PR)(3-5-2010)

    • Keselowski's Dodge in red at Atlanta: Brad Keselowski's #12 Dodge Charger from Penske Racing will carry a special paint scheme featuring Dodge [dodgemotorsports.com], Mopar [mopar.com] and FLO TV [flotv.com] this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). The all-red Dodge Charger will have all three partners - Dodge, Mopar and FLO TV - prominently featured in the paint scheme. The Dodge logo will occupy both rear-quarter panels while the Mopar logo will be positioned on the rear deck lid along with a FLO TV logo, which will also be featured above the rear bumper. "We are the first automaker in the United States to offer live, mobile television," said Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer - Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care, Chrysler Group LLC. "We're excited to team up with Dodge and Penske Racing to promote Mopar and FLO TV to the NASCAR audience." Television signals are delivered through a dedicated multicast network built by San Diego-based FLO TV Inc., a live, mobile TV service provider, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. FLO TV offers live and time-shifted programming from top entertainment brands. The service is available in more than 100 major markets and many interstate driving corridors, however it is not available in some rural areas.(Dodge/Darnell Communications), see an image of the scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2010)

    • Braun Racing to run some Sprint Cup races UPDATE 2 skips Atlanta: Nationwide Series team, Braun Racing announced they will enter five NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010. Dollar General, which sponsors the team's #32 entry in the Nationwide Series, will serve as primary sponsor for five races throughout the 2010 season, including Daytona (February), Atlanta (March), Chicago (July), Indianapolis (July) and Charlotte (October). Reed Sorenson, who drives the #32 Dollar General Toyota on a limited basis in the Nationwide Series, has been named as the driver. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.(Braun Racing)(1-14-2010)
      UPDATE: the team decided not to run Atlanta and will instead run at Texas in April.(3-2-2010)
      UPDATE 2: The #32 Dollar General team will make its next attempt at Sprint Cup racing at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in April. Given the fact that NASCAR is doing away with the wing and returning to the spoiler on the NSCS car, team owner Todd Braun and crew chief, Trent Owens, both agreed that it made more sense to skip this weekend’s Atlanta race and focus on the changing technology. The open test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway (March 23-24) will give the new NSCS team the chance to test for the April, 18 event at TMS.(Braun Racing), see images of the car on my #32 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2010)

    • Update on NASCAR's Jim Hunter: Jim Hunter’s official NASCAR title is vice president of corporate communications, an all-encompassing job description that for media members includes everything from formal news conference presentations to informal golf-cart chats. A former newspaper sports writer, Hunter is a beat writer’s best friend, often surfacing in stories as a “NASCAR source” – the guy with the background information critical to the news du jour. Jim is also a former president of Darlington Raceway – his beloved home track. As such, Hunter is an advocate of the estimated gazillion fans who populate NASCAR Nation. But on Monday, and every day since Oct. 31, 2009, Jim is another friend fighting some form of cancer. “I have small-cell lung cancer in the upper right lung,” Hunter repeated at Texas Motor Speedway’s The Speedway Club [annual Media Day this week], where he had accompanied NASCAR president Mike Helton on the way home from a weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hunter said “No, I’m doing good. I feel good. I’m looking at 2010 with an attitude of gratitude because so many people have sent me emails and asked about me. This is truly a caring industry. It’s been amazing.” Hunter was strong enough to attend the latter portion of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway last month, and made the cross-country jaunt with “Big Mike” to Vegas. The illness had forced Jim to miss the 2009 season-ender at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November and the relocated NASCAR Awards Banquet in Vegas in December for the first time since the mid-1970s. Friday looms as another landmark day for Jim over at Twin Lakes Imaging Center in Daytona Beach. “I’m going for a PET (positron emission tomography) scan – that’s when they run dye through your system and find out whether the tumor is gone or in remission or whatever,” said Hunter, recalling how this journey began at Talladega Superspeedway last fall.
      “I was there for the race,” Hunter said. “We had scheduled a funky Halloween party for Saturday night before the race. And Saturday morning I woke up and my face and arm were swollen, big-time. I went to the emergency room and I had a blood clot in my neck. And within two hours I was diagnosed with lung cancer. So they take me in the hospital, put me to sleep, took a biopsy on Monday…and it was malignant. And they gave me my first chemo treatment on Tuesday. So I had chemo Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and flew back to Daytona.” See full story at Racin' Today.(3-5-2010)

    • Marcy Scott aims to win cancer fight: Marcy Scott is the public relations director at Atlanta Motor Speedway. She is battling breast cancer. And she is indomitable. These days she doesn't just notice others that need help; she seeks them out. Her priorities have shifted dramatically. At this point, the rat race wouldn't even qualify as mall-walking. Facing an uncertain future -- staring death square in the eye and refusing to blink -- has that effect on a person. And that's exactly what Scott, 38, is doing. She's staring a hole through it. And she's winning. She's always been a selfless person. I [Marty Smith] met Marcy in the late '90s [Jayski met her at CMS in May 2004], when she represented ppc Racing and driver Jeff Green, and handed out NesQuik chocolate milk coupons with her weekly press release. She always smiled and asked about my wife, Lainie. Every time. That didn't change when she migrated to Bill Davis Racing or PPI Motorsports, or when she headed home to Atlanta to work at AMS. At Atlanta she was overworked. Her department was understaffed, and the burden of picking up the slack fell her way. Others helped, certainly. (She made sure I noted that.) But she was the name on the press releases and in the contact book, so she was the fire extinguisher. PR is as much about coddling as it is about information. That's just the truth. As a result, the job began to define her. She was an "impatient perfectionist," and her life was out of balance. Like many career-driven folks, she put the job first and herself second. Or third. Or last. No more. "That's gone," she said. "It's not worth it. I feel like I've been given a gift. I'd never change this ride. Do I want to do it over? No. Do I want to have a mastectomy? No. Do I like standing here right now with boy hair and one boob? No. But it doesn't matter. Do I like how I look? No. But it doesn't define me. I won't let it define me." Marcy was diagnosed in June. Like most folks who hear the words "You have cancer," she was ill-prepared for the news. No one, nothing, can prepare you for that sentence. It literally brought her to her knees. The information hit her like a freight train, in overwhelming abundance. She would need chemotherapy, four months' worth. Radiation, too, six weeks' worth, every day. She would require surgery following chemo to remove her breast, and when the chemo and radiation was over, a hysterectomy to remove the risk of ovarian cancer.
      Countless people contacted Marcy after her diagnosis. She was appreciative, but it didn't take long to become overwhelmed with telling the same story again and again. She created a blog to spill her thoughts, frustrations and triumphs -- and only say it once. It is a harrowing account of her journey. In the latest installment she discusses how depressed she was just before Christmas, feeling "battered and bruised due to the pain of the surgery and multiple complications."
      Next up for Marcy is the Kobalt Tools 500 this weekend, and on Wednesday she'll have that hysterectomy. In telling me about it, she choked up. Then she giggled a bit. "I was going through chemo, and standing at the elevator one day," she said. "And someone was standing there complaining about, 'I'm just so tired.' You want to stab them. Do you really know what tired is? I'll show you tired. You can't expect everyone to have the perspective. It takes a lot of patience. Until you have that perspective you don't get it. I used to be one of those people. That's OK. I'm not there anymore."(in part, see the full article with more quotes at ESPN.com by Marty Smith)(3-5-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Atlanta:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Kevin “Bono” Manion has decided to bring chassis #905. This is a brand new chassis.
      #2-Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led “Blue Deuce” team will debut their “PRS-715” Penske Racing Charger during the Kobalt Tools 500 action this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “This car is very similar to the ‘704 car’ we raced for the first time out at Fontana,” said team engineer Dave Winston. “The guys are doing a great job at the shop in getting these new cars ready,” crew chief Addington said. “It looks like we’ll have new Miller Lite Dodges at Bristol and Martinsville, too.”
      #5-Mark Martin: Crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #5-500 for the race in Atlanta this weekend. Martin drove this chassis to earn the pole position and finish second at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year. He also raced 5-500 to a fourth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway last October.
      #6-David Ragan: The Chassis Primary is RK-615 which last ran Texas – finished 17th. The backup is RK-670 ran Homestead in 2009 as the #26 (McMurray) – finished 18th. The Pleasantdale West Center (SLIC - 3014) in the Georgia District was selected for the March 7 Kolbalt Tools 500 as part of the UPS Center Recognition Program. The Pleasantdale West Center, one of the top two centers in the district for 2009, is recognized for its exceptional service performance, which includes range of dispatch, exception scan and delivery scan frequency, and net delivered per piece and inside pieces per hour performance.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: The FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 253 this weekend in Atlanta. This car has one previous start on its record, a tenth-place finish last season at Michigan. Backup Chassis 246 sat on the pole at Auto Club in the fall of 2009 and will serve as the backup this weekend. The #11 FedEx Office Toyota will carry the numbers #7364 on the B-posts for Sunday’s race in recognition of the St. Louis/Tennessee/Indiana sales team. The 20-plus person team is being honored for outstanding sales performance and partnership throughout the FedEx Office network.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-710 during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. PRS-710 is a brand new chassis to the #12 Dodge team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: running Chassis No. 14-511, a carryover chassis from the former Haas CNC team, with a new nose and bumper installed prior to the 2009 season. Chassis No. 14-511 made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July 2008 with Jason Leffler at the wheel. There, it qualified 21st and finished on the lead lap in 32nd. Its next start came at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October 2008 where Tony Raines wheeled it to a 32nd-place finish after starting 43rd. Qualifying was rained-out at Atlanta, and Raines earned a spot in the field by the number of qualifying attempts made by Haas CNC’s No. 70 car during the course of the 2008 season. Raines also piloted Chassis No. 14-511 in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where it qualified 32nd and finished 37th. This car made its first start for Stewart-Haas Racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March 2009, where Tony Stewart used it to qualify 15th and finish 17th. The car participated in a Goodyear tire test at Atlanta July 13-14 and then returned to the 1.54-mile oval for the Labor Day weekend Sprint Cup race where Stewart started 12th and finished 11th. Its final start of 2009 came in October at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., where Stewart qualified 20th and then rallied to a fifth-place finish after a pit road speeding penalty dropped him to 30th with less than 90 laps remaining. This weekend’s event at Atlanta will mark Chassis No. 14-511’s seventh career start and fourth with Stewart.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: primary chassis for the #17 Valvoline Ford will be RK-672, with the backup being RK-612, no details
      #18-Kyle Busch: Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 will be the third-ever start for #257. It made its debut last fall at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, where Busch started a distant 34th. The Las Vegas native survived a mid-race scrape with the wall and rallied for a 13th-place finish. The most recent start by this chassis came last November at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where Busch dominated the Dickies 500 by leading six times for a race-high 232 laps but ran out of fuel late in the race and was relegated to a disappointing 11th-place finish.
      #24-Jeff Gordon: Crew chief Steve Letarte has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #24-581 for Sunday's race at Atlanta. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced or tested.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis #288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevy scored a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway. Harvick also raced this chassis three times in the latter part of the 2009 season, finishing 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and third at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will pilot chassis #291 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for the 2010 season, Burton drove this Caterpillar Chevy to a third-place finish two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will pilot Chassis #298 from Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2010, this Chevy will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #36 Mike Bliss: the #36 Wave Energy Drink Chevy team will run TBR – 802 as their primary chassis this weekend at Atlanta.
      #39-Ryan Newman Kobalt Tools 500 Car – Chassis No. 39-531: This chassis last saw action just two weekends ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Newman started 18th and was a fixture in the top-12 prior to an engine failure at lap 148, finishing 36th. Prior to the car’s first outing of the 2010 season, Newman piloted this chassis at three races in 2009 – twice at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the Sprint All-Star race in May and for the NASCAR Banking 500 in October, and at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., in July. During the offseason, the original body was cut off the car. The car was made lighter and the bodywork was rebuilt.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the #42 Target team will bring chassis #819 to Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is a veteran chassis that ran six times in the 2009 season finishing in the top-five three times at Pocono (August), Atlanta (September), and California (October). This is also the chassis used in the Brickyard where Montoya dominated, leading 116 laps before finishing 11th. The other two races ran were Michigan (August) and Texas (November) where it finished 19th and 37th.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: Chassis number 558 will be the primary for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. Johnson last drove that car from the pole to victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. Backup chassis #534 was last driven to a 13th-place result at Pocono Raceway last August.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend at Las Vegas, crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-584. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced or tested.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 Roush Fenway Racing crew will unload RK-639 for the weekend. Edwards raced this car at Kansas (10th), Michigan in June (fourth) and Texas in April (10th) in 2009.(from team PR's if reported)(3-5-2010)

    • ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage goes on tour: Craftsman and ESPN are giving race fans a VIP NASCAR racing experience right in their own back yard with special events held in eight markets across the country. Fans will get a behind-the-scenes look at the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, the Sports Emmy Award-winning traveling television studio used throughout the network’s multi-platform NASCAR race coverage. Fans can experience “pit row” with complimentary vehicle inspections by a Sears Auto Center Mechanic, and have the chance to get up close and personal with the tools trusted by NASCAR. The events will take place at Sears store locations from March through September, kicking off in Atlanta on March 6. Inside the Tech Garage, fans can check out all the props, demos and Craftsman tools used during race telecasts to help fans better understand the technical and mechanical aspects of NASCAR racing. Tech Garage host and NASCAR analyst Tim Brewer, a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief, will be at each of the eight events to meet fans and give tours. The event is scheduled for eight NASCAR venues, including this weekend at Atlanta, Gwinnett Place Mall (Duluth, Ga.). More info and the schedule on my ESPN news page.(3-5-2010)

    • Triad Racing Technologies moving: Triad Racing Technologies announced that it will move their Toyota racing engine shop and manufacturing operations to Mooresville, NC this year. The company will occupy 40,000 sq.ft in two separate buildings on Raceway Drive in the Lakeside Park area. Triad Racing Technologies is considered to be at the top of the industry for race engine development and production. Triad was instrumental in Toyota winning the 2006, 2007,2008, and 2009 Manufacturers Championships in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Currently, Triad supplies horsepower for teams in NASCAR’s Truck, Nationwide and Cup Series, as well as the ARCA Series. Triad’s engine and manufacturing facilities are presently located in High Point, N.C. [Bill Davis Racing's old shops] and their corporate offices are located in Cornelius, N.C. The move to Mooresville will bring Triad closer to its client base and allow the company to continue to grow within the racing arena. “We are looking forward to the move as a positive step in our company’s growth. Close interaction with our clients is an integral part of making our product successful. Mooresville is a town with deep racing roots and a home to many of our racing clients.” said Triad Racing Technologies co-owner Marty Gaunt. Triad will move its present operations and jobs to Mooresville by the end of 2010.(Triad Racing Technologies)(3-5-2010)

    • Census colors for Biffle next three races UPDATE: Starting at Atlanta the 2010 Census will take over as primary sponsor of Greg Biffle's #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford for three races [Atlanta, Bristol and Martinsville]. For every one percent increase in census mail response, taxpayers will save an estimated $85 million. Those funds would otherwise be required to send census takers to collect responses in person from households that don't mail back the form. Census data are used to reapportion congressional seats to states and directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments.(RFR), see an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)
      MORE: The U.S. Census Bureau announced an agreement with Roush Fenway Racing to serve as the primary sponsor of the #16 Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The agreement will see the #16 carry a special 2010 Census livery in Sprint Cup Races at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 7, Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 21, and Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, March 28. To increase awareness and encourage participation in the upcoming 2010 Census, the three-race sponsorship schedule lines up with key census mail-out and mail-back dates. The 2010 Census #16 Ford Fusion will feature the familiar Post-It Brand notes of primary sponsor 3M carrying both the 2010 Census logo and "Mail It Back" on the hood, rear quarter panels and rear bumper. In addition, Director Groves will visit Atlanta Motor Speedway this coming weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500. Biffle recently filmed a racing-themed 2010 Census Public Service Announcement that can be viewed online at mediadownload.census.gov/content/greg-biffle. For more information on the 2010 Census visit 2010census.gov.(RFR), see image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2010)

    • Sponsor does well with Nemechek: Looking for a statement on the economy and how hard even big Cup teams have to scramble? From the entry lists for Las Vegas, to this weekend at Atlanta, no less than 22 cars had primary sponsorship changes. Good news is only six cars are unsponsored. How can social media and the Internet work for you? Joe Nemechek got last-minute sponsorship for his Daytona 500 effort from England's Stove Works. The final figures weren't in, but within a couple days of the Great American Race, the company did more than $500,000 in business and its Web site had trouble handling the traffic. "Bravo Joe" for providing a real return on investment.(NASCAR.com)(3-5-2010)

    • Traffic Alert for the Kobalt Tools 500 Weekend:
      Basic Traffic Plan for the Kobalt Tools 500 weekend (March 5th-7th):
      Fans have a choice of which major route to take, either Hwy. 19/41 or Hwy. 20 from I-75 southbound. I-75 northbound race fans can exit at Exit 212 Hampton-Locust Grove Road or Exit 218, GA Hwy 20. Please choose which route to take based on where you would like to park on property; fans will be directed to a certain lot based on which way they enter the speedway. Trams, shuttle buses and sidewalks will allow fans to get to their seats easily regardless of where they park on property. Be advised that the direction from which fans enter speedway property is the same direction they will exit to.
      ENTERING THE SPEEDWAY:
      From Hwy. 19/41:
      FROM THE NORTH: Those traveling from the North (traveling southbound on Hwy. 19/41) will be directed to parking lots on the north side of the property and should utilize Speedway Blvd. Those traveling south on Hwy. 19/41 will turn right at Speedway Boulevard and park in the yellow, red or green parking lots off of Speedway Blvd. Buses and those with vehicle credentials need to stay in the left lane, use the counter-flow lane as they approach the speedway and enter just south of the main entrance at entrance E.
      FROM THE SOUTH: Those traveling from the South (traveling northbound on Hwy. 19/41 from Griffin) will turn at the main speedway entrance and will be directed to the blue parking lot.
      From Hwy. 20: Those traveling on Hwy. 20 will be directed to the orange parking lot on the south side of the property.
      EXITING THE SPEEDWAY: Fans will leave the same way they came in. If they entered from the North, they will be directed northbound. Those who enter from the South will be directed southbound.
      Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about road/lane closures or construction projects. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, construction, and delays due to bad weather. Callers can also reach live operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.(AMS)(3-5-2010)


      News from March 4, 2010

    • TNT names new play-by-play announcer: TNT announced that veteran NASCAR broadcaster Adam Alexander will join the network as its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series play-by-play announcer, calling all six races of TNT’s Summer Series. Alexander will be joined in the booth by returning analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach. Alexander will debut during TNT’s exclusive coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing from Pocono, Pa. on June 6 and will also call races live from Michigan (June 13), Loudon (June 20) and Sonoma (June 27) and TNT’s primetime Saturday night races in Daytona (July 3) and Chicago (July 10). In addition, Alexander will contribute to NASCAR.COM. In a new role, TNT announcer Lindsay Czarniak will become the new host for Countdown to Green, 60 minutes of pre-race coverage that leads into TNT’s green flag racing coverage. In addition, she will host TNT and NASCAR.COM’s post-race coverage, as well as give mid-race updates and reports. Czarniak will be joined by analysts Larry McReynolds and Petty.
      Beyond Alexander’s TNT duties during six weeks of Summer Series coverage, Alexander also works for SPEED as a reporter for the network’s racing coverage. He has also worked as a play-by-play announcer on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and as a pit reporter for its NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series coverage. Alexander began his career as an announcer for the Tri-State Speedway in Evansville, Ind.
      In addition to Czarniak’s tenure as a TNT announcer, she also serves as the full-time sports anchor at NBC’s WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Czarniak was co-host with George Michael on the syndicated Sports Machine with George Michael. In 2008, Czarniak was a studio host for NBC’s Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China, and in 2006, she was a sports desk reporter for the network’s Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. She appeared on various NBC-owned networks.
      TNT’s NASCAR telecasts will return with popular production features and enhancements, including TNT RaceBuddy. In addition, the acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will continue as TNT profiles six new NASCAR legends, highlighting the sport’s history and history makers. Finally, TNT’s innovative Wide Open Coverage will air for the fourth year during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing from Daytona. Also returning to TNT this summer will be pit reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum. This marks TNT’s [TBS] 27th consecutive year of televising Cup coverage, making it NASCAR’s longest running broadcast partner.(TNT)(3-4-2010)

    • Start #300 for Newman: #39-Ryan Newman is set to make his 300th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Two days beforehand, he’ll try to become the all-time leader in Coors Light Pole Awards at Atlanta. He currently is tied with Buddy Baker for the all-time lead, with seven. Newman had an incredible run of six consecutive poles at AMS from 2003-2005. The footnote here is that Baker was an early mentor of Newman’s.(NASCAR)(3-4-2010)

    • New sponsor on the #38: Welcoming sponsorship from Charter Air Transport this weekend, David Gilliland and the #38 Charter Air/Taco Bell Ford team head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. Charter Air will adorn the lower hood and upper-rear quarter panels. This will be Charter Air Transport's second time being a sponsor in the sport. The company is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in 30-passenger turbo prop planes. They have been a carrier of teams in NASCAR for the past five years. They also service collegiate athletic teams and business professionals with their fleet of turbo props and jets. The company takes pride in being environmentally friendly, with its fleet of EMB-120 aircraft burning only 150 gallons of fuel an hour. For more information, visit www.charterairtransport.com (Breaking Limits/FRM), see an image of the scheme on my #38 Team Schemes page.(3-4-2010)

    • Lance debut's on the #47: Lance, Inc. has a longstanding history in racing and this season they will have major presence in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Lance partnered with JTG Daugherty Racing and driver #47-Marcos Ambrose for multiple primary races. Lance fully brands Ambrose’s Toyota Camry for the first time this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 7th for the Kobalt Tools 500. In addition to sponsoring Ambrose’s efforts to capture his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, Lance has also partnered with Kids Crooked House to give one lucky race fan the opportunity to win a customized racing-theme Kids Crooked House by visiting www.lance.com.(JTG Daugherty Racing), see image of Lance scheme on my #47 Team Schemes page.(3-4-2010)

    • #78 team getting RCR cars: #78-Furniture Row Racing’s technical relationship with Richard Childress Racing is more than just having use of the #07 owner points for the first five races of the 2010 season. Furniture Row now is getting cars built by RCR and also has access to RCR data. The technical alliance is similar to the Stewart-Haas relationship with Hendrick Motorsports, but Furniture Row still has a contract through the end of this year to lease engines from Hendrick. “A lot of the initial part of working together is literally learning how to work together and how we’re going to do that,” Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said. “That’s what we’re going through right now.” In the past, Furniture Row has gotten chassis from Laughlin Racing Products/Ortec Racing and still has a contract with the company for a few more cars. Garone said that the move to RCR will allow Furniture Row to have a little more control over the chassis as well as the access to RCR’s information. “For us, as a single-car team, some of the tools that it takes with simulation programs and chassis measurement and having control of your tolerances for your modeling simulation is very difficult when you’re not building your own chassis,” Garone said. “Being on their chassis gets us on the same page, and it also gives them another person that’s on their chassis that is sharing information back to them through all the different facets of testing and simulation.” The team will continue to use its own pit crew. The Furniture Row pit crew is the same pit crew that does Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Nationwide Series car.(SceneDaily)(3-4-2010)

    • Childress spends time in Washington D.C.: Team [#29, #31, #33] owner Richard Childress spent the better part of March 2-3 in Washington, D.C. Childress, a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s board of directors, attended a March 2 dinner hosted by the bipartisan organization. On March 3, he had a full schedule of morning and afternoon meetings with members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives on behalf of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. Childress then attended the sixth Annual Armed Forces Foundation Congressional Gala that evening with drivers Bowyer and Burton before flying home to North Carolina.(RCR)(3-4-2010)

    • Carl Long back in NASCAR: Daisy Ramirez Motorsports announced that Carl Long will be behind the wheel of the DRM #01 Koma Unwind "Chillaxation Drink" Chevy for this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in Atlanta. With 45 starts in the 3 premier NASCAR series, Carl Long will be making his return to NASCAR after a highly publicized suspension from the NASCAR ranks. Long, who has been racing for 26 years will be shouldering the task of keeping the DRM truck in the points battle that will ensure a starting spot after the 4th race of the year. With a 10th and 14th place finish for the DRM trucks in Daytona the season started off in the right direction. Carl and the team are still seeking additional marketing partners.(Daisy Ramirez Motorsports PR)(3-4-2010)

    • Road To 400: The next victory for car owner Jack Roush will be his 400th. Here’s a breakdown of the first 399:
      Type, # of Victories
      NASCAR Sprint Cup 116
      NASCAR Nationwide 108
      NASCAR Camping World Truck 50
      Trans-Am 69
      IMSA GTS 47
      ARCA 4
      NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race 3
      NASCAR Sprint Showdown 1
      Budweiser Shootout at Daytona 1.(NASCAR)(3-4-2010)

    • Johnson to help high schoolers: Lowe's and Kobalt Tools in partnership with SkillsUSA are helping the next generation of trade professionals develop their skills through their Toolbox for Education program. Lowe's is donating over $1,000 worth of Kobalt tools to qualifying schools as part of the national program, which will total over $450,000 to 400 SkillsUSA automotive service technology programs across the nation for use in their classrooms. This year's program will kick off with #48-Jimmie Johnson helping a group of SkillsUSA students from Jonesboro High School shop for the donated tools at an Atlanta-area Lowe's store on Thursday. The event is NOT open to the public.(Lowe's Racing)(3-4-2010)

    • Junior Johnson’s Moonshine Still headed to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: Inaugural Inductee Junior Johnson revealed a unique contribution to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction set to open May 11, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. Johnson, almost as famous for running moonshine as his racing career, is providing the NASCAR Hall of Fame a full-size, authentic moonshine still to be displayed in the pre-NASCAR Theater of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The still, which was built by Johnson, is identical to the stills used by Johnson and his family in years past. Telling these stories has been a massive undertaking for the NASCAR Hall of Fame exhibit team. Historian Buz McKim is charged with uncovering hidden treasures of the sport for display in the facility, which houses more than 40,000 square feet of exhibits and has more than 50 interactive displays. Even as the exhibits are being prepared for display, more great stories are being created.
      Aside from cars and a transporter, the moonshine still is one of the largest historic items in the building. It is constructed of wood, metal and copper and features a cooker, two boilers, a dry barrel, a flake stand, condenser and strainer. The artifact will be on display in the Pre-NASCAR Theater, which tells the story of what led to the formation of NASCAR. It also highlights the history of the automobile prior to the 1948 inception of NASCAR. The Theater is on the fourth floor of the facility in Heritage Speedway, the artifact-rich area of the venue that focuses on the history of the sport. More info on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(NHOF)(3-4-2010)

    • Atlanta Rookie Notes: #37-Kevin Conway was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Feb. 28 Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, posting a 36th-place finish. Conway leads Terry Cook by 19 points (22-3) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A Raybestos Rookie has scored top-10 finishes in two of the last four spring races at Atlanta. Kevin Harvick scored a memorable win as a Raybestos Rookie in the 2001 Kobalt Tools 500. He beat Jeff Gordon by just .006 seconds to capture his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in just his third career start. Raybestos Rookies Robby Gordon (1997) and Johnny Benson (1996) won their first career pole positions in back-to-back spring races at Atlanta. Gordon won the pole in his 11th career start while Benson took the top spot in just his fourth career start. Gordon is the most recent Raybestos Rookie to win the pole for the spring race at Atlanta. The late Kenny Irwin holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in the spring race at Atlanta. In 1998, Irwin led five times for 112 laps. See more on my 2010 Rookies page.(3-4-2010)

    • National Anthem for Kobalt Tools 500: Mark Willis, a country music veteran with eight top-10 singles on the Billboard country music charts, will perform the National Anthem prior to the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday, March 7. Willis has charted two number one hits – “Wish You Were Here” and “19 Somethin” – and his career began after winning a local talent contest in Marietta, GA.
      For more information on the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend or to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(3-4-2010)

    • Flyover for Kobalt Tools 500: Fly over details have been set for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and include a B-52H and a pair of F/A-18E Super Hornets. The fly over for the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 7 will feature a B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La. The Stratofortress will be piloted by a nine-member team of the 93rd Bomb Squadron that saw action in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The B-52H Stratofortress is the Unites States Air Force's long-range, large-payload bomber and is also known as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow).
      The fly over for the E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, March 6 will include a pair of F/A-18E Super Hornets from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. The Super Hornets are piloted by the Strike Fighter Squadron 105 (VFA-105), also known as the "Gunslingers," and the group participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and recently embarked on the maiden deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Southern Watch.
      For more information on the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend or to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(3-4-2010)

    • Special Ticket Packages for the Kobalt Tools 500 Weekend:
      $59 Frontstretch Tickets: Now the most affordable seat on the Atlanta Motor Speedway frontstretch, fans can purchase frontstretch seating for just $59. Located in rows one through nine of the Petty and Lower Winner's Grandstands, a limited number of frontstretch seats will be available to fans at the low price of $59.
      Family 4 Pack: Bringing affordable fun to the whole family, Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering the Family 4 Pack for just $159 for the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The Family 4 Pack includes four lower level Elliott Grandstand seats, four hot dogs and four 12-ounce Coca Colas for just $159.
      $19 Student and Children Tickets: As a special rate for students, Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering a specially-priced $19 ticket in the Elliott Grandstand. Seats are available in each row of the Elliott Grandstand that overlooks Turn 3. Students must provide a valid student ID.
      $39 Adult Tickets: With a $39 ticket in the Elliott Grandstand, you can attend the Kobalt Tools 500 for less than it costs to gas up the pace car. One of the most affordable tickets in NASCAR, fans can purchase $39 tickets in rows one through 20 in the Elliott Grandstand overlooking Turn 3.
      Earnhardt Jr. Fan Section To commemorate Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car number, Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans can purchase $88 tickets in the first 26 rows of the Earnhardt Grandstand for the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
      Richard Petty Driving Experience Special Fans can purchase a Ride-Along with the Richard Petty Driving Experience for just $59 - a savings of $50 off the retail price of $109 - to accompany their Kobalt Tools 500 tickets. Fans will receive up to two vouchers from the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office when they purchase two tickets, excluding $39 tickets and $19 student tickets. The program will begin one hour after the conclusion of the Kobalt Tools 500.
      $39 Weekend Upgrade: Turn one of NASCAR's fastest Sprint Cup races into a full weekend of speed with a $39 Weekend Upgrade package. The Weekend Upgrade includes frontstretch, general admission seating for Georgia Power Qualifying Night and the E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for just $39. Fans must have a Kobalt Tools 500 ticket to upgrade.
      Kids FREE Friday and Saturday: Children ages 12 and under are admitted FREE to the Georgia Power Qualifying Night and to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Atlanta 200 when accompanied by a paying adult in general admission seating on the frontstretch. All ticket specials are available while supplies last.
      For more information on the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend or to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(3-4-2010)


      News from March 3, 2010

    • Wendell Scott's First Start Being Celebrated This Week: At Atlanta Pioneering African-American driver Wendell Scott is being honored this week in Atlanta, via the celebration of his first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, on March 4, 1961 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. All vehicles competing this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will have a commemorative decal (shown above) baring the familiar picture of a waving Scott, who died in 1991, leaving a legacy of achievement and dignity. Wendell's daughter, Sybil Scott, will attend this weekend's races as will NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Jason Romero, the 2009 winner of the Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award, given annually to a female or minority driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series who has excelled on and off the race track. Scott, a Danville, Va. native, started racing in 1947. In his first race, he finished third in a borrowed car and won $50. In the next few years he won 128 Hobby, Amateur and Modified races, on the old Dixie Circuit and outlaw tracks. In 1959, Scott logged his best season ever. He won 22 races and captured the Richmond track championship as well as the Virginia State Sportsman title. On Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, a one-mile dirt track, Scott became the first African-America to win on NASCAR's highest level, a distinction he still holds.(NASCAR)(3-3-2010)

    • New colors for Bowyer at Atlanta, visits plant: Clint Bowyer's Chevy will sport new colors this weekend when the burgundy, white and gold paint scheme of BB&T adorn the #33 for the first of nine events where the Winston-Salem, N.C., corporation will be featured as the primary sponsor. Bowyer will pilot the #33 BB&T Chevy in the next three NCS races. Bowyer and the rest of the #33 team will visit General Mills' Covington, Ga., facility on Thursday, March 4. The team members will be given a tour of the plant and interact with the factory's employees. The Covington, Ga., facility makes several cereals, including Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios [awesome!], Honey-Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cookie Crisp.(RCR), see image of the BB&T scheme on my #33 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • New look for the #36 at Atlanta: Wave Energy Drink will be unveiling the new 2010 paint scheme this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Wave Energy Drink Chevy for Mike Bliss. Bliss is schedules to make his 99th career Sprint Cup Series start. Baldwin on the Kobalt Tools 500: "We are excited to have Wave Energy Drink back on board as the primary sponsor for Sunday's race. They will be unveiling the new 2010 paint scheme, and it looks great. Atlanta is one of Mike's favorite tracks so we are looking forward to getting out there and putting together a strong run."(TBR), see image of the scheme on my #36 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • Truex's Team Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Las Vegas: The over-the-wall crew for Martin Truex Jr. won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's (Feb. 28) Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Truex's NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, out of the Michael Waltrip Racing stable, spent the least amount of time on pit road – 207.012 seconds -- during the 267-lap, 400-mile race. Carl Edwards' #99 Ford was second (207.769) and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 Chevy was third (211.931). Truex's over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory Quick (front-tire changer), Craig Curione (front-tire carrier), Shannon Myers (rear-tire changer), Mark Kennerly (rear-tire carrier), Brian Chase (jackman), Doug Newell (gasman) and Keith Koppenal (catch can). The team's crew chief is Pat Tryson. 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)(3-3-2010)

    • Rahal to look for NASCAR ride: IndyCar driver Graham Rahal said the chances of participating in the IndyCar season opener next month in Sao Paulo, Brazil are "zero," leading him to meet next week with NASCAR officials to see if there's something available for him in stock car racing. "Every minute going by and by seems to cause more of a concern," Rahal said Tuesday from his home outside Columbus, Ohio. "I should be there" [testing IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama]. Rahal, 21, son of 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, joined the free agent market late in the offseason after parting with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing when McDonald's withdrew its sponsorship to focus on the Olympics.(Indianapolis Star)(2-26-2010)
      UPDATE: Graham Rahal figures by the time the IZOD IndyCar Series begins March 14 in Brazil, he will have essentially earned an advanced degree in marketing and promotion. What the 21-year-old really wants, however, is a job behind the wheel of a race car -- preferably a car without fenders. "I know there have been a lot of NASCAR rumors, but right now my focus is 100 percent on being in the IndyCar Series,'' Rahal told FanHouse this weekend. "I'm not just an IndyCar driver, but very much a fan of the sport and to make a big switch like that takes time to consider. As of this second, everything I have going is for IndyCar.'' So instead of joining Danica Patrick in the stock car ranks -- even as a part-time gig -- Rahal has been visiting America's corporate boardrooms hoping to attract financial backing for the 2010 IndyCar season. The timing, however, couldn't be worse.(Motorsports FanHouse)(3-3-2010)

    • Lots of testing for the #2: Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led #2 Penske Racing Team will be testing at all sizes of race tracks in the upcoming weeks. The schedule calls for a day of testing on March 9 at Gresham Motorsports Park, a half-mile oval asphalt track with a quarter-mile oval track within the main one located near Jefferson, Ga. The schedule shows the Talladega open testing on March 16 on that massive 2.66-mile speed plant. The team will be participating in the March 23-24 open testing at the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. With NASCAR's wing-to-spoiler transition, Busch is looking forward to getting in the laps on such a diverse lineup of race tracks. "We'll be testing on everything but a road course in the next couple of weeks and with the tracks we have coming up on the schedule, those will be some important test days," said Busch. The current car schedule for these tests sees the team using their "PRS-701" (last raced at California last fall and completely rebuilt) at Gresham, the "635 car" (Busch yet to race this car) at Talladega and the "PRS-712" (another new Penske Racing Dodge Charger) at Charlotte.(Tom Roberts PR)(3-3-2010)

    • Kurt Busch to try Drag Racing: #2-Kurt Busch showed off his vaunted versatility Monday night at Rockingham Dragway at the wheel of a 1970 Dodge Challenger in which he will make his drag racing debut two weeks hence. Under the watchful eye of former NHRA and IHRA Pro Stock driver Roy Hill, who now operates a professional drag racing school, the 31-year-old Busch, who normally drives the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, had a best quarter mile time of 9.16 seconds at 166 miles per hour. "We got a lot of homework done," Busch said, "but we've still got a lot to do. The track worked great and I was amazed at how well the car hooked at the 400 foot mark." A vintage "muscle car," Busch's Challenger is equipped with a turbocharger which, according to Hill, makes it fully capable of sub-9.00 second times although it will be dialed-in to run the 9.90 second standard of the NHRA Super Gas class. Busch plans to make his Super Gas debut at the March 11-14 NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla [an off week for the Sprint Cup Series].(Richmond County Daily Journal)(3-3-2010)

    • Special Aaron's scheme for the #00 at AMS: Sponsor Aaron's operates 1,695 stores in America but is headquartered in Atlanta. This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, David Reutimann will drive the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine team with a new paint scheme on the Mitsubishi/Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry to honor Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc their 2009 Vendor Partner of the Year. Ken Butler, Aaron's COO about the paint scheme: "Mitsubishi has been a terrific vendor for many years, duly earning our Partner of the Year distinction. Designing a custom Mitsubishi paint scheme for the Aaron's Dream Machine is not only an exciting, but valuable means of showing our appreciation for the partnership. Both companies will undoubtedly be pulling for Reutimann to bring the Mitsubishi car across the finish line first at Aaron's home track." Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive races finished without a Did Not Finish (DNF) at 44 races of drivers to start every race during that period. Reutimann's last DNF was Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway. Aaron's, sponsor of the No. 00, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish.(MWR), see images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • National Guard returns to the #24 in 2010: For the second year in a row, Gordon and the #24 team will be sponsored by the National Guard for eight Sprint Cup Series events. In addition to this weekend at Atlanta, Gordon will partner with the National Guard at seven other venues: Texas on April 18, Darlington on May 8, Michigan on June 13, Richmond Raceway on Sept. 11, New Hampshire on Sept. 19, Martinsville on Oct. 24, and Talladega on Oct. 31. In eight outings last year with the National Guard on the hood of his #24 Chevy, Gordon scored an average finish of 4.375. His best effort was a win at Texas Motor Speedway in April, while he scored runner-up finishes at Atlanta in March, Michigan in June and Chicago in July. He finished fifth at Darlington in May, third at Richmond in September and fifth at Martinsville in October. Visit the National Guard's www.JeffGordonGuardGarage.com Web site to get free downloads and view exclusive photos of Gordon at the track and sign up for the Fan Club for a chance to win one-of-a-kind prizes.(HMS), see image of the basic scheme on my #24 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • Edward's to run Scott scheme at Atlanta: #99-Carl Edwards will carry a retro Scotts paint scheme at Atlanta to commemorate Edwards' first Sprint Cup win there in 2005.(RFR), see image of the scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • Different look for Martin at Atlanta: This weekend, the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy of Mark Martin will have a new blue-and-black paint scheme representing Hendrickcars.com. 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. It's a quick, easy and affordable way to buy the best used car.(HMS), see an image of the car on my #5 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • Penske history at Atlanta: Penske Racing made its first start at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 26, 1972, with the late Mark Donohue finishing 15th. In 81 starts at Atlanta, the organization has two wins (Rusty Wallace in 1993 and Kurt Busch in 2009), eight poles and nine top-five finishes.(Penske Racing)(3-3-2010)

    • What happened with Las Vegas caution lights? NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said that officials were not sure why the caution lughts malfunctioned twice during Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, causing two cautions during the event. After the second such case, NASCAR switched to a backup system and had no further issues.(Virginian Pilot)(3-3-2010)

    • Win #190 for Hendrick: With #48-Jimmie Johnson's win last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports now has 190 wins in the Sprint Cup Series, which is the most in the modern era and second all-time [to Petty's].(HMS)(3-3-2010)

    • Valvoline to sponsor Kenseth UPDATE: hearing and seeing that Valvoline will sponsor #17-Matt Kenseth in a few 2010 Sprint Cup races. Supposedly for three races. See an image of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(12-12-2009)
      UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that Valvoline, the leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive products, will sponsor the #17 entry and driver Matt Kenseth for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races during the 2010 season. The #17 Valvoline Ford Fusion will debut this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and then will also serve as the primary sponsor for April's Talladega race weekend as well as the November Cup Series race in Phoenix [11/21]. Valvoline first teamed up with Roush Fenway Racing in 1990, and together the duo has brought home 44 wins in the Sprint Cup series [many with #6-Mark Martin]. Valvoline is the official motor oil at Roush Fenway Racing, and has been providing Americans with the best motor oil and automotive products longer than any other motor oil company.(RFR), see images of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • Census colors for Biffle next three races: Starting at Atlanta the 2010 Census will take over as primary sponsor of Greg Biffle's #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford for three races [Atlanta, Bristol and Martinsville]. For every one percent increase in census mail response, taxpayers will save an estimated $85 million. Those funds would otherwise be required to send census takers to collect responses in person from households that don't mail back the form. Census data are used to reapportion congressional seats to states and directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments.(RFR), see an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)

    • Johnson breaks record: #48-Jimmie Johnson made some history Sunday at Las Vegas, as was mentioned in the race broadcast. Johnson got his 15th career win at a 1.5-mile track, the most on those tracks in NASCAR Cup Series history. Now a little disclaimer: There are two ways to take this note. One is just of a measure of how dominant Johnson is, especially at intermediate tracks. The second is as a social commentary on the current makeup of the Cup Series schedule, and how it is features far more of the 1.5-mile tracks now than in years past. Either way, Johnson is good at the tracks that make up a bulk of the current schedule. Johnson broke a tie he held with Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon (14), with Bobby Allison and Richard Petty tied for fourth with 11 apiece.(ESPN)(3-3-2010)


      News from March 2, 2010

    • Geoff Bodine to run U.S. Olympic Bo-Dyn Bobsled Truck at Atlanta: In a nod to the U.S. Olympic bobsled medalists and his pastime, NASCAR veteran Geoffrey Bodine will compete in the E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the #95 Bo-Dyn Bobsled paint scheme featuring the U.S. Olympic bobsled medalists, including Douglasville, Georgia’s Elana Meyers who won a bronze medal. A Bo-Dyn Bobsled will be on display in front of the Fan Stage in the Display Lot and the vehicle will arrive at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday, March 3. Bodine said: “We we’re going to put Bo-Dyn Bobsleds on the truck no matter what, but now that we’ve had success in the Olympics were going to put the names of the athletes that won the medal on the truck and it should look good.” On the importance of Bo-Dyn Bobsleds: “If I hadn’t gotten involved in 1992 in the American bobsled program, people have told me many times there would not be an American bobsled program. They were out of money, out of equipment, and out of help. So yeah, I feel proud that we kept it going and ended up with a Gold medal in these games. I’m real proud. I love our country and this is another way for me to show that.” On his emotions at the bottom of the run prior to the Gold medal attempt: “Standing there [at the bottom of the hill], I realized a long time ago there’s no point to bite your finger nails and be nervous, so I was just standing there pretty cool and calm. But part of the calmness came from the confidence I had in the team because they had been so consistent all week there. I had that confidence in their ability and, of course, I’m racer and I know one slip can mess you up.”(AMS), more info and see an image of the cool looking truck on the Jayski Camping World Truck Series site.(3-2-2010)

    • Braun Racing to run some Sprint Cup races UPDATE skips Atlanta: Nationwide Series team, Braun Racing announced they will enter five NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010. Dollar General, which sponsors the team’s #32 entry in the Nationwide Series, will serve as primary sponsor for five races throughout the 2010 season, including Daytona (February), Atlanta (March), Chicago (July), Indianapolis (July) and Charlotte (October). Reed Sorenson, who drives the #32 Dollar General Toyota on a limited basis in the Nationwide Series, has been named as the driver. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.(Braun Racing)(1-14-2010)
      UPDATE: the team decided not to run Atlanta and will instead run at Texas in April.(3-2-2010)

    • Bill Elliott to run in Thunder Roadster race at AMS: NASCAR legend Bill Elliott will compete in a Thunder Roadsters race on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile “Thunder Ring” following Saturday’s E-Z-GO 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Elliott, who will also compete in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 [in the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Motorcraft Ford] and has five-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins in Atlanta, previously won his only appearance on the “Thunder Ring” in a Thunder Roadster. The Legends races will immediately follow the conclusion of the E-Z-GO 200 scheduled for 2:00pm/et. In addition to Elliott, three-time Thursday Thunder champion and current ARCA competitor Casey Roderick will compete against Elliott in the event. Roderick currently competes for the Bill Elliott Racing Team. Roderick will compete in a Roadster owned and usually driven by Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark.(AMS)(3-2-2010)

    • Taxslayer.com adds Atlanta race to 2010 schedule: As tax season gets into full swing, TaxSlayer.com has decided to add the Kobalt Tools 500 to its list of primary sponsorship races for the #71 TRG Motorsports team and NASCAR Champion Bobby Labonte, who returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway as the track’s most winning active driver. TaxSlayer.com made its debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last year at Watkins Glen International Raceway and served as the primary sponsor of the #71 a total of six times in 2009 before signing on for a multi-race sponsorship in 2010. Jimmy Rhodes, President of TaxSlayer.com, has seen a tremendous upswing in the company’s business since joining the ranks of NASCAR sponsors. “We’ve seen that the power of sponsorship really does work since we’ve joined forces with TRG as the primary sponsor on the # 71,” Rhodes said. “This is always our busiest time of year, but we’re really seeing a return on our investment in the sport and believe that adding the Atlanta race to our primary sponsorship schedule can only serve to grow our business further.”(TRG Motorsports), TaxSlayer.com is scheduled to be the primary sponsor for 14 races in 2010 [including the Bud Shootour and All-Star Race], now 15 races with the addition of Atlanta in March.(3-2-2010)

    • DEI being sued: Dale Earnhardt Inc., founded by the late seven-time Nascar champion, was sued by a financial firm that accuses it of reneging on a deal to sell the firm a $3.25 million claim in General Motors Corp.’s bankruptcy. The Seaport Group LLC, based in New York, sued Feb. 25 in federal court in New York. The company wants the court to force Dale Earnhardt Inc. to deliver the claim or to award money damages. “After DEI signed a binding contract to sell its claim to Seaport, the value of the claim increased dramatically, and DEI refused to honor the deal,” Seaport Group wrote in its complaint. Dale Earnhardt Inc., based in Mooresville, North Carolina, agreed to sell the claim for $783,604, according to the complaint. A call to DEI wasn’t answered.(Business Week))(3-2-2010)

    • Motorsports Hall of Fame of America announces 2010 Inductees: Racing luminaries Dale Armstrong, Joie Chitwood, Alan Kulwicki, Jeremy McGrath, Ken Squier, Jerry Titus and Rich Vogler will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on Aug. 25, 2010 at The Fillmore Detroit. “The Motorsports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 features champion drivers who doubled as an innovative crew chief, a showman and stunt man, a race team owner and a magazine editor. Joining them are an all-time win leader in sprint cars and midgets, a ground breaking broadcaster and a legendary Supercross rider whose nickname was ‘Showtime.’ Their exploits on and around the race tracks of America make them true hall of famers,” said Ron Watson, president of the Hall of Fame.
      Dale Armstrong – Credited with numerous innovations in drag racing technology, Armstrong was the first crew chief to use wind tunnels for improved aerodynamics. This mechanical genius tuned Kenny Bernstein to four consecutive Funny Car championships in 1985-1988, plus a total of 28 national event wins. Later, with Bernstein in the Top Fuel division, he became the first crew chief to break the 300 MPH barrier. The 1996 Top Fuel title placed Armstrong among the elite crew chiefs to have won championships in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. Armstrong had an outstanding driving career himself, winning 12 NHRA National events in the 1970s.
      Joie Chitwood - Known as “The Chief,” Chitwood had two successful careers; one as a racer and another as a world-renowned stuntman. He was the AAA East Coast Sprint Car Champion in 1939 and 1940. He was the CSRA Sprint Car Champion in 1942. He raced at Indianapolis seven times, placing 5th on three occasions. He was the first driver to wear a seat belt at the Brickyard. His popular and long-running Joie Chitwood Thrill Show led to stunt work in motion pictures and television. Chitwood died in 1988.
      Alan Kulwicki - Hard working and fiercely independent, he worked his way up from the short tracks of the Midwest to become the first owner/driver since Richard Petty in 1979 to win the NASCAR Cup championship when he dramatically captured the title in 1992. The NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 1986, Kulwicki inaugurated the “Polish Victory Lap” when he celebrated by circling the track clockwise after he won for the first time at Phoenix in 1988. Kulwicki died in April 1993, during his reign as NASCAR champion, when his plane crashed en route to a race in Bristol, Tenn.
      Jeremy McGrath - This native Californian became the most popular motorcycle racer of the 1990s and perhaps all time. From 1993 until his retirement in 2002, McGrath obliterated every record in AMA Supercross racing en route to eight national championships. His unique crowd pleasing riding maneuvers, while leaping the high-flying jumps of Supercross, helped launch the sport of freestyle motocross. His tremendous fan appeal gave impetus to the rapid growth of Supercross, but his popularity transcended the sport. McGrath appeared regularly on national television shows and commercials, along with starring in video games that topped the sales charts during his reign as the “King of Supercross.”
      Ken Squier - The owner of the voice that introduced millions to stock car racing began his career as a track announcer in the 1950s. While owning radio stations that formed the Radio Vermont Group, he acquired the Thunder Road track in Barre, Vt., and later became the lead voice of the Motor Racing Network providing NASCAR coverage on national radio. He was one an ABC motorsports announcer in 1964 before moving to CBS for the first flag-to-flag live coverage of the Daytona 500 in 1979. His call of that historic event is credited by many to have been a major contributor to a significant growth spurt for the phenomenal popularity of NASCAR. He still plies his trade as a commentator on the FOX Network.
      Jerry Titus - During the 1960s, the glory days of Trans Am racing, Titus was one of the series’ dominant drivers. His five wins in 1967 won the championship and the manufacturer’s trophy for Ford. He placed third in points in 1968 and 1969. An accomplished writer and editor of Sports Car Graphic Magazine, Titus was killed in a racing crash at Road America in 1970. Titus' name is remembered annually by the America Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association when it presents its choice for driver of the year with the “Jerry Titus Memorial Award.”
      Rich Vogler - In 1980, Vogler became the first driver to capture both the USAC sprint and midget titles in the same season. He also won the midget crown in 1978, 1983, 1986 and 1988. He won additional sprint car titles in 1980 and 1989. A five-time Indy 500 qualifier, Vogler’s best showing was an 8th place finish in 1989. His record of 134 national event wins in various divisions of United States Auto Club competition ranks second behind only Inaugural Hall of Fame inductee A.J. Foyt. Vogler's last victory came when, at age 39, he lost his life in an accident on the final lap while in the lead of a sprint car race at Salem Speedway in his home state of Indiana.
      The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc. Currently housed in the Detroit Science Center in the Motor City’s Museum District, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America features the sculptures and stories of 181 Heroes of Horsepower along with racing and high performance vehicles representing the broad spectrum of America motorsports. The constantly changing collection features racers from the world of Indy cars, stock cars, motorcycles, drag racing, Can Am, sprint cars, powerboats, truck racing, karts, aviation and even snowmobiles.
      The Detroit Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires its visitors to pursue and support careers in engineering, technology and science. The Science Center features five theaters, including Michigan’s only Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre, the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium, the Toyota Engineering Theater, the DTE Energy Sparks Theater and the Chrysler Science Stage; a 9,000 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; the United States Steel Fun Factory; an exhibit gallery just for pint-size scientists; and a Special Events Lobby. For more information, please call 313.577.8400 or visit the website, detroitsciencecenter.org.(IMHOF)(3-2-2010)

    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. donates $1 million, "Keeping the Dream Alive" at Victory Junction: Victory Junction kicked off their "Keeping the Dream Alive" campaign today by announcing that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join the elite list of Victory Junction Founders, as he commits to donate $1 million to build and maintain The Dale Jr. Corral and Amphitheatre at the Randleman, N.C. camp for children with serious illnesses. On March 27, 2010, during The Dale Jr. Foundation Physical Disabilities Weekend at Victory Junction, Earnhardt Jr. will join the Victory Junction family as a Founder and will break ground on a one-of-a-kind project, The Dale Jr. Corral and Amphitheatre. Eighty-eight members of The JR Nation Crew, The Official Fan Club of Earnhardt Jr., will be randomly selected to be special guests for this private ground breaking ceremony. To become a part of the FREE JR Nation Crew fan club and be eligible to attend, go to www.dalejr.com/jrnation. "There are many reasons why we wanted to get involved with Victory Junction and build this amphitheatre, and it starts with the tremendous impact the camp has on these kids. It's incredible how one week changes lives," said Earnhardt Jr. "Just as important to me is my friendship with Kyle and Pattie Petty, and the memory of my buddy, Adam Petty. Adam and I met each other at an early age, and from that point on our lives and careers were virtually parallel. He was as genuine as they get and a great friend. If I can play a small part in helping Kyle and Pattie keep his dream alive, it doesn't require a second thought."
      This unique, interactive & accessible outdoor amphitheatre will provide campers, the opportunity to sing a song, act in a play, tell a joke, play an instrument, watch a movie or even get their face pictured on an old, western "Wanted" poster along with the infamous outlaw, "Junior." For more information about Victory Junction visit www.victoryjunction.org.(Victory Junction/Dale Jr. Foundation)(3-2-2010)

    • Official Statement From BMS Regarding Jeff Byrd: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced today President and General Manager Jeff Byrd has taken a leave of absence to undergo tests and treatment for a recently-discovered medical matter. It will prevent him from involvement in the upcoming Food City 500 weekend [March 19-21]. Byrd recently went through a series of tests and his doctors are encouraged that the condition is limited to one area and is treatable. “I fully intend to be back on the job as soon as the doctors say it is ok,” said Byrd. “I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and will miss being at the track for the Food City 500 weekend. I have said for years I have the best team in motorsports and things are in good hands.” Byrd and his family have asked for prayers and privacy at this time.(BMS)(3-2-2010

    • Boy Scouts to Race Pinewood Derby Cars at Atlanta: As part of the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s annual “Scout Day at the Races” this weekend, Cub Scouts from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Flint River Council will have the opportunity to race their pinewood derby cars at the track. Additionally, Scouts will present the colors on Saturday and Sunday during prerace flag-raising ceremonies. Any Scout in uniform will be admitted free to Saturday’s events. On Friday, Atlanta media are invited for interviews and photo opportunities with Scouts, national and local BSA representatives, and the track president. This opportunity comes on the heels of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary on February 8, 2010. As part of the yearlong anniversary celebration, Scouts from every corner of the country will send pinewood derby cars across America through geocaching, a high-tech treasure-hunting game. This “Race to 2010” begins nationwide on March 6.For more information on the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend or to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(3-2-2010)

    • Charlotte area hotels reduce rates & wave stay requirements: Charlotte Motor Speedway will partner with regional tourism bureaus and area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for race fans attending the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. More than 50 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15% and waive the minimum stay requirements. A full list of participating hotels is available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/hotels or fans can call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. In order to obtain the discounted rate, those interested in the deal must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations.(CMS PR)(3-2-2010)


      News from March 1, 2010

    • Spoiler probably to return at Martinsville: NASCAR president Mike Helton says the series is on track to remove the wings from the cars very soon. While Helton didn't provide a specific date, he said Monday that NASCAR is hoping "within the next two or three races" it will be time to put more traditional spoilers back on the cars. That timeline coincides with the March 28 race at Martinsville that most teams have expected to be the spoiler debut. Speaking at Texas Motor Speedway's media day Monday, Helton said he expects NASCAR to have "a race or two" already with the spoiler by time the series is at the 1½-mile Texas track April 18. There are two races before the series goes to Martinsville, then Texas is the second race after that.(Associated Press)(3-1-2010)

    • Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: William Hileman, a crew member for the #76 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On Feb. 25, Hileman was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(3-1-2010)

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

    • Las Vegas TV Ratings take tumble against Olympic Hockey: Opposite the toughest competition it has ever faced, NASCAR ON FOX tumbled to a 4.1/8 yesterday for racing from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That 4.1/8 is down -25% compared to last year's 5.5/10 and is the lowest overnight ever for FOX's Las Vegas race. The obvious culprit was enormous competition from the gold medal hockey game at the Vancouver Winter Olympics (17.6/33). FOX's race failed to crack an 8 share opposite the hockey game, then immediately jumped up by nearly +20% in rating once the exciting game was over, going from a 4.2/8 at 5:30 to a more respectable 5.0/9 at 6:00. NASCAR has obviously taken its share of lumps opposite the Olympics, with the three races facing the Olympics down -14% year-to-year (5.4/11 vs. 6.3/12). Next week's race in Atlanta will provide the season's first clean ratings comparison, and will be a better gauge of where NASCAR truly stands compared to last year. For year-to-year comparison chart and more, see my 2010 TV Ratings page.(3-1-2010)

    • Gordon racing at least another 5-6 years: As his family expands, so does the timeline on #24-Jeff Gordon's Sprint Cup career. Once planning to retire from NASCAR at 40, he now wants to drive several more seasons with Hendrick Motorsports so his children can appreciate the success of the sport's sixth all-time winningest driver (82 victories). Gordon has a 2-year-old daughter, Ella Sofia, and his wife, Ingrid, is due with their second child in August. "I've always said I don't want to race for the money," said Gordon, who turns 39 on Aug. 4. "I really want my family to be able to be a part of it in a way that they can see and experience and be proud of what I've done." Gordon has a lifetime contract to drive the #24 Chevy for Hendrick, which is working to extend a deal with his primary sponsor, DuPont, beyond the 2010 season. "You go through life and find you really care about what you do and how important it is," he said. "You think about what life would be like without it. I'm enjoying what I do." John Bickford, Gordon's stepfather who oversees the four-time champion's business affairs as general manager of Jeff Gordon Inc., told USA TODAY the four-time champion is five to six years away from retiring.(see full article at the USA Today)(3-1-2010)

    • : 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 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 114
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 34
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:08 pm
      Total minutes: 188
      Minutes of race broadcast: 136
      Minutes of commercials: 52
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
      Number of mysterious cautions brought on by malfunctioning caution lights: 2
      Number of new uses for sugary colas: 1 To help with pit box traction
      'Digger the Gopher Cam' Sightings:
      Animated Digger shots: 10
      Still Digger shots: 0
      Total: 10
      Number of Digger shots not identified as such: 18
      Total race brdcst time 136 Total comm. brdcst time 52
      See driver focus, past races and more on my 2010 Commercials page.(3-1-2010)

    • Steven Wallace to make Cup debut UPDATE denied: During SPEED's SPEED Report show, Bob Dillner reported that Rusty Wallace's son, Steven, a regular in the Nationwide Series, will attempt to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond International Raceway on May 1st. Steven will run a car from Rusty's team, Rusty Wallace Inc. and plans to attempt four other Sprint Cup races in 2010, no word on those venues.(SPEED)(2-28-2010)
      UPDATE - Denied: per Greg Wallace of Rusty Wallace Inc/ Rusty Wallace Racing: "At Rusty Wallace Racing, we continually evaluate opportunities that align with our strategic objectives, including a future involvement in the Sprint Cup Series at some point. However, there are currently no plans for RWR to field a Sprint Cup entry in 2010. As for Steve Wallace, our focus remains on making Steve and the #66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry consistent contenders for the 2010 Nationwide Series championship."(RWR)(3-1-2010)

    • Lowest-finishing, non-wrecked car to be inspected: NASCAR has instituted a new postrace inspection policy for Sprint Cup races in which the first car out of the race that is not involved in an accident will be held for teardown, much like the cars that currently finish in the top five. That meant that Aric Almirola's #09 Phoenix Racing's Chevy was thoroughly inspected after the Las Vegas Motor Speedway race. His engine was taken to be torn down later this week at the NASCAR R&D center in Concord, NC. The policy is expected to impact the start-and-park teams – teams that typically bring a car but don't have funding to run the entire event. These teams often are not in the top 35 in owner points, so they are required to qualify on speed. The new policy means it is likely that one of the cars that qualify on speed for every race will end up getting torn down. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Sunday the move was not to discourage start-and-park teams. "We're just expanding our inspection process and making sure that everybody feels like everybody is on the same playing field, that's all," Pemberton said. "It's all about making sure that the guys who get beat that don't make the race understand that the guys who get in the race, for the most part, are doing everything right." The move could cost these teams money, as they will have to pay for an engine rebuild that they might not have needed if they didn't run many laps. Pemberton said the engine might not be torn down weekly but acknowledged it could cost teams $30,000 for a rebuild. That could lead to those teams racing more instead of risking the cost of a rebuild. Or it could lead to those teams not showing up if they can't afford to have the motor rebuilt.(SceneDaily)(3-1-2010)

    • Montoya / McMurray Quotes about Las Vegas wreck:
      PABLO MONTOYA, #42 TARGET IMPALA – involved in crash with teammate Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch – Finished 37th
      WHAT HAPPENED?
      "He (McMurray) runs straight into my ass. He nearly ran me into the fence in (Turn) 2 as well. I don't know. He's not doing himself any favors. I'm sure (McMurray) is going to say, 'Oh, I didn't mean that.'
      "Just Jamie (McMurray) plain and simple just wrecked us. Every time I am around him, he wants to run the shit out of me. I don't know if it is ok to say that but I just did (LAUGHS). On the restart I was inside of him, I think he got tight and never lifted, I didn't hit the fence because.....it was a miracle. Then I arced it in to three and he just plain and simple just wrecked us. I'm sure on the radio it was "Ah, I didn't mean that." He is just trying to prove to people he can drive a race car and I guess he isn't doing too many favors on this team." HOW BAD IS THE CAR? "We will get it back out. I know he is trying to prove a point and show everybody he can drive a race car, but it really ruined our day. For the Chase, this doesn't help. We had a problem last week with the motor and this week this. It is painful. He nearly ran me in to the fence out of two as well. Going in to three just plain and simple just wrecked us. Oh well but not doing himself too many favors."
      JAMIE MCMURRAY, #1 MCDONALDS IMPALA – Finished 34th
      DID YOU EXPECT YOUR TEAMMATE (JUAN PABLO MONTOYA) TO BE A LITTLE KINDER OR NICER IN HIS REMARKS ABOUT YOU AFTER THE CRASH?
      "Well, you're really frustrated. I haven't heard what he said but it wouldn't shock me that you're upset in a situation like that. We both had really good cars today and unfortunately we crashed."
      CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN IN THE ACCIDENT?
      "I just got really loose and underneath him and he turned in a little bit earlier than what I was expecting and when it did it made even looser. And I just had to catch my car and unfortunately I got into him whenever I did that."
      HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN RACING SIDE-BY-SIDE EARLIER AND WE DIDN'T SEE IT?
      "I don't think so, no. I don't know. No, I don't think so."
      OBVIOUSLY MONTOYA HAD SOME HARSH WORDS FOR YOU DURING THE RACE WHEN HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR. HAVE YOU GUYS HAD PROBLEMS IN THE PAST? HE SAID THAT YOU ALWAYS DRIVE ROUGH AROUND HIM
      "Oh, you're probably just frustrated for what happened on the race track, so you guys (the media) probably shouldn't put a lot of stock into what he said when you ask somebody something immediately after getting crashed. They typically don't have nice things to say."(GM / Chevy Racing transcript)(3-1-2010)

    • AAA to sponsor Texas fall race: AAA Texas will serve as the title sponsor of the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway through 2014 as part of one of the most comprehensive race entitlement packages in the sport. The five-year agreement between AAA Texas and Texas Motor Speedway will showcase the title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the eighth event in the prestigious 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and also feature official and exclusive status as well as unique branding opportunities at the world-class motorsports facility. The centerpiece of the deal, formerly known as the Dickies 500, will be re-titled the AAA Texas 500 and makes its debut under the new name on Sunday, Nov. 7. The AAA Texas 500 will headline that NASCAR triple-header weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and this year's race will mark the sixth running of the Sprint Cup Series event that debuted in 2005. AAA members will enjoy special benefits at Texas Motor Speedway events, including special offers on event tickets and "AAA Fast Lanes," special spectator entrances where fans with AAA membership cards can avoid the lines at the entry gates with exclusive access to express lines into the facility. Also, AAA will provide shuttle buses and trams to help fans more easily move around the massive Texas Motor Speedway during major event weekends. In addition to the race entitlement, AAA Texas will be the Official Auto Club and Insurance Company of Texas Motor Speedway. No financial terms of the five-year agreement were disclosed.
      Individual tickets for the AAA Texas 500 will go on sale Wednesday, April 28, and will be available by calling (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Information about AAA at www.AAA.com.(TMS)(3-1-2010)

    • Daytona 'pot hole' repair looks good: The tiny pothole that brought the mighty Daytona 500 to its knees has been eliminated as a racing nuisance. The hole, which started as a gouge from the chassis of a Sprint Cup Series stock car, caused NASCAR to stop the 500 twice for more than 2 1/2 hours to repair the area. The pothole was fixed with a concrete patch four days after the checkered flag fell on the Daytona 500, capping three weeks of auto racing events. The area was allowed to "cure" for several days to complete the repair. Daytona 200 Motorcycle Week started Saturday with a dozen motorcycle road-racing events and the patch was not a worry for competitors. "There have been no issues with the bikes," Speedway president Robin Braig said. "We talked to tire and bike manufacturers and riders and there are no concerns." In a random survey of Championship Cup Series riders, who are racing in the West Banking area, the consensus was the patch -- closer to the apron than the outside retaining wall -- was not even in the preferred racing line. Braig is confident the patch will serve its purpose. "We don't anticipate any other issues with our track surface," Braig said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-1-2010)


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