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  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    MAY 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 May 31, 2010

    • Ragan and UPS stay with Roush thru 2011: While rumors swirl that David Ragan and sponsor UPS might be on the move, Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith said he expects the #6 Ford to have the same driver and sponsor in 2011 as it does now. UPS has a contract through 2011 with Roush Fenway and Ragan has a contract that includes options for 2011.(SceneDaily)(5-31-2010)

    • New Ford engine to run in some cars at Pocono: Robbie Reiser, general manager at Roush Fenway Racing, said that some cars in the organization and at Richard Petty Motorsports will use the new Ford engine next week at Pocono before all the teams for both organizations use it the following week at Michigan. The engine debuted last season but has been used sparingly this season with plans for all the Ford teams to be running the engine this summer. Only the Wood Brothers, who are running a limited schedule, have used the new engine throughout this season. Scheduled to run the new Ford engine at Pocono next weekend are #43-AJ Allmendinger, #17-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards. Roush and RPM will use the new engine in all the remaining races, Reiser said, except next month at New Hampshire and Infineon Raceway and at Watkins Glen and Bristol in August.(Roanoke Times)(5-31-2010)

    • Geoff Bodine to run #36 car at Pocono: In the midst of a news conference for the Legends Million, Geoff Bodine revealed he would attempt to make the field for next week's Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in a [#36] Chevrolet fielded by Tommy Baldwin. Bodine, 61, last started a Cup race in 2004 and last raced full time in the series in 1999. He has 18 Cup wins. Bodine also will compete for a share of the $1 million purse in the Legends Million, scheduled for July 15-17 at Charlotte. The winner of the A-Main feature in the world's most lucrative race for Legends Cars will earn $250,000.(Sporting News)(5-31-2010)

    • Fordparts.com scheme for Elliott at MIS: Both Wood Brothers Racing and Tasca Racing will alter the paint schemes of their Ford race cars the race weekend of June 11-13, in conjunction with the public launch of the new FordParts.com website. The Wood Brothers' famous #21 NASCAR Ford Fusion driven by Bill Elliott, and the Shelby Mustang NHRA Funny Car driven by Bob Tasca III will switch from their familiar red-and-white schemes to the new blue-and-white of FordParts.com. The new, matching schemes will be seen in person by nearly 150,000 fans at Michigan International Speedway and Old Bridge Township Raceway in New Jersey, as well as millions more on TNT and ESPN, providing FordParts.com with a huge national audience to generate awareness of the new website. FordParts.com allows repair shops, body shops, fleets, and do-it-yourselfers to shop online, order and receive Genuine Ford and Motorcraft® parts through one site for Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles. Once a part is ordered, consumers have the flexibility of choosing in-store pick-up or having the parts delivered to their home or shop.(Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center), see an image of the scheme on the #21 Team Schemes page.(5-31-2010)


      News from May 30, 2010

    • Kurt Busch wins Coca Cola 600: #2-Kurt Busch won the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of 2010 and 22nd win of his career. Busch led the most laps with 252. #1-McMurray finished 2nd leading 29 laps, followed by #18-Busch, #5-Martin, #00-Reutimann, #24-Gordon, #33-Bowyer, #98-Menard, #39-Newman [the pole sitter, he has only won 3 races of the 46 he won a pole] and #17-Kenseth. Points leader #29-Harvick finished 11th and now only has a 29 point lead over #18-Busch. #48-Johnson had a rough night with a couple wrecks, the team got him back out on the track, where he finished 37th, down 37 laps. #88-Earnhardt Jr. had another rough nigh and finished 22nd.
      There were 33 lead changes among 17 drivers and 8 cautions for 34 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 140,000, down from 160,000 last year
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Charlotte Race Results/Awards page.(5-30-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Charlotte, race 13 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 1898
      2) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 1869, -29
      3) #17-Matt Kenseth, 1781, -117
      4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1760, -138
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 1732, -166
      6) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 1726, -172
      7) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 1694, -204
      8) #31-Jeff Burton, 1657, -241
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 1648, -250
      10) #5-Mark Martin, 1635, -263
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 1603, -296
      12) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 1547, -351
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #33-Clint Bowyer, 1543, 4 points out of the chase
      14) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 1533, -14
      15) #1-Jamie McMurray, 1521, -26
      16) #14-Tony Stewart, 1520, -27
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 16
      20) #42-Juan Montoya, 1371, -176
      21) #9-Kasey Kahne, 1364, -183
      27) #83-Brian Vickers, 1158, -389 [out with illness]
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-16-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Charlotte Motor Speedway:
      Kurt Busch won the COCA-COLA 600, his 22nd victory in 341 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      Jamie McMurray (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 16 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2010.
      Kyle Busch (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 13 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      Kevin Conway (35th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 29 points over Kyle Busch.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-30-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono:
      Front Row Motorsports #37 is back in the top 35 and #7-Gordon falls out, 15 pts out the top 35, and will need to qualify by speed at Pocono.
      32) #71-Labonte/TRG: 1015, +52
      33) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: 1011, +48
      34) #37-Conway/Front Row: 987, +24
      35) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 978, 15 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #7-Gordon/RGM/BAM: 963, 15 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 813, -165
      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.(5-30-2010)

    • Brother's Back-to-back wins: With #2-Kurt Busch's win at Charlotte this week and #18-Kyle Busch's win two-weeks ago at Dover, it was the fifth time, the Busch brothers have now won back-to-back races five times, the most by any brother duo in NASCAR history:
      Back-To-Back Victories
      Kurt, Kyle Busch - 5
      Tim, Fonty Flock - 3
      Bobby, Donnie Allison - 2
      Tim and Bob Flock - 2
      Bobby, Terry Labonte - 2
      Brett, Geoff Bodine - 1
      Bob, Fonty Flock - 1
      Donald, Herb Thomas - 1.(5-30-2010)

    • Winners of the Coca-Cola 600 and All-Star Race in same season:
      1985-Darrell Waltrip
      1991-Davey Allison
      1993-Dale Earnhardt
      1997-Jeff Gordon
      2003-Jimmie Johnson
      2008-Kasey Kahne
      2010-Kurt Busch

    • Ganassi pulls off historic double:: On Sunday, car owner Chip Ganassi accomplished a feat that has never been done before in motorsports – winning both the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Indianapolis 500 IZOD Indy Car Series race in the same year. Ganassi captured the 94th Indianapolis 500 with driver Dario Franchitti. Franchitti, who started third, led a race-high 155 laps on his way to victory. It was Ganassi's fourth career win as an owner in the prestigious open-wheel event. Earlier this year, Ganassi captured the 52nd running of "The Great American Race" with driver Jamie McMurray and joined owner Roger Penske as the only two owners to have captured both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. But now Ganassi has won them both in the same year, a milestone that has never been achieved in racing.(DIS)(5-30-2010)

    • Andretti wrecks at Indy:
      John Andretti, driving the #43 Indy car in the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, crashed on lap 65, jusr after getting black flagged for blocking. Andretti walked from the wreck ok. The Petty Blue & red Indy car was not so lucky. Andretti finished 30th(5-30-2010)

    • Chase Stats going into Charlotte: #18-Kyle Busch's victory at Dover is his second of the year and 18th since he became a fulltime Sprint Cup driver in 2005. He is tied for second for most wins over the period: 1-Jimmie Johnson 36, 2-Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart 18, 3-Carl Edwards 16, 4-Jeff Gordon 13, 5-Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin 11. He has the least impressive stats in the Top 12, but Martin Truex gained 12th place in the standings with his 12th at Dover, benefiting from Dale Jr.'s 30th at Dover, which bounced him down all the way to 16th place. Hard to believe, but we will be at halfway in The Race to The Chase 2010 after the Coke 600, race no. 13 of 26 before the cutoff. After 12 races, the furtherest a eventual chase driver was in Matt Kenseth in 2004 when was in 23rd place, 292 points out of the Chase and in 2008 Kenseth was in 16th, -190 point out of the Chase. Only in 2006 did the points leader after 12 races win the Sprint Cup Championship when Jimmie Johnson did so. See year-to-year comparison and driver breakdowns on the Chase Stats after race 12 page.(5-30-2010)

    • Keselowski's jaw hurts: #12-Brad Keselowski wrecked during his qualifying lap for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday night. He mentioned his jaw after the Nationwide race at Charlotte, where h finished 2nd.
      HOW IS YOUR JAW FEELING? "Yeah, my jaw hurts pretty good. It's all tore up inside my face from the wreck on Thursday. It is what it is, that's what we get paid to do. My helmet and microphone just hit that hard and it all came up inside and busted my face up."(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR)(5-30-2010)

    • Charlotte wins dispute with NASCAR Hall of Fame parking deck: The city of Charlotte stands to collect $5.2 million after an arbitrator ruled in its favor on construction costs and overruns at the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking deck. The dispute began when costs for the parking deck exceeded the original budget, causing the city and Corporate Plaza Partners to disagree over which party was responsible for paying the difference. The city filed and then withdrew default claims in June 2009 against Corporate Plaza Partners, a limited liability company formed by Lauth Property Group, developer of a 20-story, $90 million office tower that is also part of the hall of fame complex. Originally estimated to cost $22 million, the parking deck was finished at a price of $26 million. The city's contribution to the deck was capped at $10.8 million. Binding arbitration led to the ruling this month in favor of the city. It encompasses $5 million owed for parts of the parking-deck and loading-dock work, as well as $156,147 in interest accrued at an 8% rate. The arbitrator denied city claims of interest after June 4, 2009, citing the withdrawn default claim and a partial settlement that allowed work to continue on the project. Last week the city sent a request to Corporate Plaza Partners' banks, Wells Fargo and Regions Bank, to claim $2.2 million from accounts established for debt related to the project. The remaining $2.8 million, plus the interest, would be paid by Corporate Plaza Partners.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-30-2010)

    • RCR Street Performance Group Unveiled: Pennzoil announced the start of the "Get Your Key to Clean" promotion to celebrate the launch of Pennzoil's best cleansing portfolio of products ever. The promotional sweepstakes provides consumers the opportunity to win a VIP weekend at the Bank of America 500 in October, as well as a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS2, a piece of automotive history, the first vehicle produced by the newly formed RCR Street Performance Group. The special edition 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS2 is the first of its kind and has been up-fitted and enhanced with numerous performance upgrades that are befitting one of the most successful NASCAR teams, Richard Childress Racing, and the maker of some of the most technologically advanced motor oils available, Pennzoil®. Additions to the vehicle include a carbon fiber body kit to increase downforce and performance, a completely reupholstered interior using the iconic colors of Pennzoil® and RCR, and a completely revamped suspension and supercharged engine for NASCAR-inspired performance. More info on the promtion at RCR's website.(RCR/Pennzoil PR)(5-30-2010)

    • Benny Parsons Rendezvous Honored: Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge increased its medal count to 13 in three years and four in 2010 with a silver and bronze in the prestigious International Eastern Wine Competition, one of the oldest and largest professional wine competitions in North America, vineyard owner Terri Parsons announced Saturday. The vineyard's Stainless Steel Low Oak 2007 Chardonnay earned a silver medal in the 34-year-old IEWC held each May in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Earlier this year, the wine received a bronze in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Earning a bronze medal was the Barrel Fermented 2006 Chardonnay. This vintage has now won five medals since it was introduced by the 3-year-old vineyard. In addition to being honored in the IEWC this month, Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge received the distinction of having BP's Blush served in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which opened May 11 in Charlotte. Earlier this year, BP's Blush received a silver medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge opened for business in July 2007. Located on land that has been in the Parsons family for more than 100 years, the Rendezvous Ridge Vineyard consumes six acres. Named for the late great Benny Parsons, the Sprint Cup Champ in 1973.(Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge)(5-30-2010)

    • Kyle Busch says he and Hamlin have moved on UPDATE maybe not? #18-Kyle Busch says he is not taking back radio chatter in which he threatened to kill JGR teammate #11-Denny Hamlin after some hard driving in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch insisted Thursday that he and Hamlin have moved on from last week's incident. Hamlin was leading late in the race when he blocked Busch's run. The defensive driving caused Busch to hit the wall, and he later got a flat tire that led to a race-ending wreck. Busch was so angry afterward, he warned his team he was going to kill Hamlin. Busch went directly to Hamlin's hauler after his accident, and team owner Joe Gibbs mediated a post-race meeting with his drivers. Busch says his threat was out of anger, but not literal, and he's moved past the incident.(Associated Press)(5-27-2010)
      Hamlin comments: Denny Hamlin didn't just throw Kyle Busch under the bus Thursday, he ran over him with it. "For me, I'm over the Denny Hamlin issue," Busch said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he made his first public comments on the issue. "It's done, we're moving forward and we look forward to the rest of the year and the [Coca-Cola] 600 this weekend." Hamlin, however, was considerably more blunt when discussing his feelings towards his teammate. "I definitely wouldn't change anything that I would do and nobody in my position would," said Hamlin. "I challenge anyone to be in that position and to change the way that I drove. The thing is that he [Busch] was never there, there was never a hole for his car to fit in, so he has a gas pedal and a brake just like I do. He could choose to check up and pass me in the next corner or put his car in the fence like what happened." And from there, he was off and running. Asked if he'd work with Busch, Hamlin indicated his displeasure with his hot-tempered teammate. "I'm not going to put too much effort in it, to be honest with you," Hamlin said. "Kyle brings this stuff up himself and he gets mad at the media for asking him questions about his blow-ups and stuff, but he does it to himself. I don't want to be part of it. Any drama that he wants to create or anything is on him. Anything he says on the radio is on him. [That's] all I'm going to say and I'm going to be done with it. Each year I think Kyle's going to grow out of it and he just doesn't. Until he puts it all together, that's when he'll become a champion. Right now he just doesn't have himself all together." And then, for good measure, this little bon mot: "I didn't say that I was going to take over this team or be the leader of this team, but somebody's got to be the leader—it ain't going to be Kyle."(Ford Racing)(5-30-2010)

    • RCR: no plans to swap sponsors: Team owner Richard Childress says his organization doesn't plan on moving sponsorships around among his three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams as it attempts to find a replacement for Shell/Pennzoil. "We've done that in the past," Childress said Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "[But] we don't have any plans to [do that]." Shell's departure at season's end to join Penske Racing leaves Childress searching for funding for the group's #29 Chevrolet, driven by Kevin Harvick. General Mills currently sponsors teammate Clint Bowyer, through its Cheerios brand, while Caterpillar provides backing for the #31 of driver Jeff Burton. At least one potential scenario mentioned following the Shell announcement dealt with moving Cheerios to Harvick and attempting to obtain a sponsor, such as Budweiser, for Bowyer. In addition to Cheerios, Bowyer has additional sponsorship from BB&T and The Hartford. Budweiser currently sponsors Richard Petty Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne, but with Kahne departing for Hendrick Motorsports, it's not known whether Budweiser will remain at RPM or go elsewhere. "I think General Mills is happy with Clint," Childress said. "Clint is happy driving the Cheerios car. There are a lot of different rumors swirling [around]. We're working with a lot of different companies right now, some new companies that aren't in the sport. We've been getting a lot of positive response about the future with Kevin and RCR."(SceneDaily)(5-30-2010)

    • Interesting Stat - only TWO Birthday winners EVER: Cale Yarborough is the only Sprint Cup driver to ever win a points paying race on his birthday, which is March 27. In 1977 at North Wilksboro Speedway AND 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NOTE, since much email was first recieved with guess's, a few items were covered and checked: Richard Petty never won on his birthday [July 2nd] [in Cup] and neither did Jeff Gordon [August 4th]. In fact, the Brickyard 400 was only been held on Gordon's birthday once, in 2002, when Bill Elliott won. Gordon's first Brickyard 400 came on August 6, 1994. Why do I bring this up? #18-Kyle Busch will celerbate his 24th birthday on Saturday, May 2nd [the same as Uncle Bud] amd could be the 2nd driver ever to win on his birthday.(4-30-2009)
      ADD #18-Kyle Busch won at Richmond on May 2, 2009, to become only the 2nd driver EVER to win on their birthday, and only the third time ever.
      IF #33-Clint Bowyer can win the Coca Cola 600 on May 30th, his birthday, he could be the third driver to EVER win a Sprint Cup race in his birthday.(5-30-2010)


      News from May 29, 2010

      =
    • added more Coca Cola 600 schemes: #2 Miller Lite Vortex, #7 Sponsless, #34 Extenze, #37 Taco Bell, #38 John Silver's $1 Fish Taco, #71 West Virginia Miners & GI Bill, #43 Best Buy Credit Card, #36 sponsorless, #46 Militarywarriors.org, #18 M&M's Pretzel
      AND #5 Carquest, honors military, #9 Budweiswer Camo,#16 3M NexCare, #17 Jeremiah Weed, #19 U.S, Air Force, #24 Stars and Stripes DuPont, #48 Lowe's / USO, #56 NAPA Batteries, #88 National Guard / Honor the Troops and #99 Scott's GrubEx

    • Race Coverage of the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 30, 2010.
      Television (TV): FOX at 6:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 5:00 pm/et; green flag approx 6:16pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius NASCAR Radio
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Wednesday, June 2 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - Dover: The selections of pit stalls for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #39-Newman chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #2-Busch took pit stall 15, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #56-Truex Jr., who starts 3rd took the 14th pit stall, the first stall with an opening in back of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #5-Martin, who starts 11th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Charlotte Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-29-2010)

    • Happy Hour practrice: for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway isover, after 60 scheduled minutes, the fastest, slowest, notes:
      #56-Truex Jr. 180.626
      #11-Hamlin 179.976
      #9-Kahne 179.784
      #16-Biffle 179.772
      #48-Johnson 179.659
      #33-Bowyer 179.659
      slowest: #55-McDowell 173.332 & #46-Yeley 173.790
      no speed listed: #66-Blaney & #87-Nemechek
      See fastest speed, average speed, laps run on my Charlotte Practice Speeds page.(5-29-2010)

    • Saturday first practrice: for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the fastest, slowest, notes:
      #9-Kahne 183.849
      #2-Busch 183.667
      #00-Reutimann 183.636
      #48-Johnson 183.536
      #31-Burton 183.393
      slowest: #64-Bodine 175.461 & #71-Labonte 176.246
      See fastest speed, average speed, laps run on my Charlotte Practice Speeds page.(5-29-2010)

    • Another Motorcycler heads to NASCAR: Brian Deegan, the pioneering innovator of Freestyle Motocross and the most decorated Freestyle Motocross rider in X Games history, is going to bring his brand of over-the-edge racing to the world of NASCAR stock car racing. In doing so, Brian brings an entirely new audience to NASCAR -- millions of young, insanely loyal Deegan fans who idolize this hard-driving iconic figure. Deegan announced at Charlotte Motor Speedway that he will be joining the NTS Motorsports driver development program with the objective of moving through the ranks of NASCAR to Sprint Cup as quickly as possible. Deegan will become part of a two-car program that NTS fields, along with current driver Brennan Newberry.(PR at ESPN)
      AND Deegan will begin his NASCAR career in June at Irwindale Speedway in the Super Late Model race. He will remain in late models with a goal of moving up to the Camping World West Series by the Phoenix race in November. After that, the timetables are off and it comes down to comfort level.(nascar.com)(5-29-2010)

    • TRG Motorsports features West Virginia Miners & Post-9/11 GI Bill: TRG Motorsports today announced a partnership with The Upper Big Branch Family Fund to pay tribute to the 29 West Virginia miners who lost their lives in a mining incident on April 5th. This partnership will launch during this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team will help raise awareness through the website, www.RememberTheMiners.org, to be featured as a part of the paint scheme of the TRG Motorsports #71 Chevrolet driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte. The Upper Big Branch Family Fund was formed to give support, assistance and scholarships to the families of the fallen miners. The fund will help the miners' family members pay for college or take care of other expenses to keep the family stable, a fitting tribute to the men who died. The Fund was created by West Virginia University Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins and Big Coal River native Jason Parsons.
      AND TRG Motorsports announced a new partnership with The United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The team will highlight the Post-9/11 GI Bill program on the #71 Chevry driven by Bobby Labonte this weekend during the Coca-Cola 600. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an education program that provides benefits for Veterans, Service Members and their families. This bill is a flexible educational benefit designed to help these men and women jumpstart their new careers. This is a tribute to thank all these men and women for their extraordinary service. The #71 Chevy will carry the URL www.GIBill.va.gov on various primary positions of the car including the quarter panel and TV panel. An American flag will adorn the hood of the car this weekend. The Post-9/11 GI Bill can include up to 100% of tuition, a housing allowance and money for books. This is a part of our Country's gratitude for the service and sacrifices by true hero's. Currently more than 600,000 Veterans are using the VA Education Benefits. VA has made over three billion in payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program.(TRG Motorsports)(5-29-2010) See images of the car on my #71 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2010)

    • Mattias Ekstrom tests at VIR for Red Bull UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team tested Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway, with both the #82 and #83 Red Bull Toyotas turning laps around the southern Virginia road course. Filling in for Brian Vickers, Sweden's Mattias Ekstrom piloted the #83 car to provide the team testing support for the upcoming road-course race in Sonoma, CA. "I was really surprised how the car drove today. Everyone had told me that it would be very special and it was quite nice," said Ekstrom, a Red Bull-backed driver for the past nine years and two-time DTM champion with Audi. "The first hour of the test I was fighting the car a lot just getting used to the power, the weight and the fact that the car has little aero — all things that are very different for me. A few hours into the test I felt a lot more comfortable in the car and overall I think we had a really good test. I came into this test not having any experience in these types of cars, and also having never worked with the #83 team before, so it was really nice to see how well we all worked together. I really enjoyed my first Sprint Cup test and am glad to have had this opportunity."(Red Bull Racing Team)(5-29-2010)
      UPDATE: Mattias Ekstrom, who won the Race of Champions for Red Bull in 2009 and is considered one of the top road course drivers in Europe, is being considered to replace Casey Mears in the June race at Infineon Raceway. Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye said Ekstrom was impressive in a road course test at Virginia International Raceway this past week. "We were worried about getting him up to speed," Frye said on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "He was up to speed in an hour. Ask Juan Pablo Montoya, some of the other guys that were there. It was impressive." Ekstrom was at CMS for Saturday's Nationwide Series race. He said he would love to drive at Sonoma and may one day get into stock car racing fulltime, but reminded it would take a team willing to let him develop. Frye said Ekstrom would not be available for the Watkins Glen road course event because of a scheduling conflict. Mears replaced Brian Vickers three weeks ago at Dover after blood clots were discovered in Vickers' legs and lungs. With Vickers out for the rest of the season taking treatments that involve blood thinners, Mears was signed to a deal with provisions that would allow Red Bull to use other drivers if performance warranted. Frye said there are no plans outside the road courses to replace Mears, but said the organization wanted to keep its options open.(ESPN)(5-29-2010)

    • Red Bull Racing forms partnership: Red Bull Racing Team has formed a new technical partnership with MobileDemand, a leading Rugged Tablet PC provider. RBRT will use the MobileDemand xTablet T7000 Rugged Mini Tablet PC to monitor tires, compute fuel consumption, and track timing and scoring. The tablets will give the team a competitive edge by allowing information to be communicated faster and more efficiently throughout each race weekend. The ultra mobile computers will be predominately used by tire specialists, spotters, and gasmen to record and compute data. Integrated bar code scanners will assist tire specialists in organizing race tires. Timing and scoring will provide spotters with real-time information to assist the driver and crew during on-track activities. The Tablet PC will also allow gasmen to provide fuel data to the race engineer in a timelier manner. The MobileDemand xTablet T7000 rugged Ultra Mobile PC is ideal for harsh environments. It is small and light enough to carry all day yet military-rugged to withstand rain, dust, shocks and multiple drops to concrete. It has a full XSVGA 7- inch all-light readable touch display for easy viewing even in sunlight. It also has a bar code and RFID reader, a built-in numeric keypad and optional QWERTY keyboard, a color camera and wireless radio. The xTablet T7000 also runs on and Intel Atom processor and full Windows 7 OS so it can run specialized applications as well as standard Microsoft applications.(Red Bull Racing Team)(5-29-2010)


      News from May 28, 2010

    • Some Chassis selections for Charlotte:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion has decided to bring Chassis #905 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis last ran just two weeks prior at Dover where McMurray qualified 11th and finished 32nd after mechanical failure. The No. 1 Bass Pro Shops team also used this chassis earlier in the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway finishing 29th after an on-track incident while running in the top-five ended McMurray's day.
      #2-Kurt Busch driver Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led Penske Racing "Blue Deuce" Team are racing their brand new "PRS-728" Miller Lite "Vortex" Dodge in this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. "We were looking earlier in the week into the possibility of bringing back the winning car from last weekend (the "PRS-702" that won last Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race), but that was logistically impossible," said Busch on Thursday night at CMS.. "This is a newer and likely better chassis that we have here this weekend. We were able to duplicate the setup we finished last Saturday night's race with and apply that to this car. It's a really strong Miller Lite Dodge." The car will again carry the striking Miller Lite "Vortex" color scheme that was a hot topic of conversation for the fans and insiders alike at CMS last weekend.
      #5-Mark Martin: crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Chassis No. 5-600 for Sunday's race at Charlotte. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to qualify third two weeks ago at Dover International Speedway. He finished the race 15th.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-617 Last ran California – finished 23rd; Backup: RK-620 Last ran Vegas – finished 23rd. The Arrowood Center (SLIC - 2821) in the South Atlantic District's Charlotte Division has been chosen as the Maximum Center for the May 30, 2010 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The center is recognized for their gains on the mileage index and their overall reduction in miles driven during 2010.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 270 this weekend in Charlotte. This is a new car from the JGR shop. JGR 256 will serve as the backup this weekend – it started four races in 2009 and posted three top-five finishes. The #11 FedEx Office Toyota will carry the numbers 7363 on the B-posts this weekend at Charlotte in honor of the Ohio-based sales team that is currently leading all centers in the President's Club standings based on sales performance, turnover, and customer service scores. The team prides itself on delivering quality products providing outstanding customer experiences.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-729 during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). This will mark the first race for this brand-new chassis.
      #14-Tony Stewart: is running Chassis #14-591 a brand new racecar that has only been tested in the wind tunnel.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: primary chassis for the #17 Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea Vodka Ford will be RK-672, last run at Atlanta.
      #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis #265: Busch christened this chassis just two weeks ago at Dover International Speedway, where he started fourth and brought home the win in the Autism Speaks 400.
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 Stanley Ford Fusion team led by crew chief Wally Rogers has prepared chassis #280 for this weekend's event. This Ford Fusion was previously run on the mile and a half Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sadler qualified eighth and after a late-race incident, finished 19th in that event.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis #301 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Chevrolet was tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Harvick finished seventh with this car at Texas Motor Speedway in April.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will pilot chassis #307 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. This Caterpillar Impala will be put through its first paces of competition this weekend.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will pilot Chassis #303 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Chevrolet Impala that will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Crew Chief Brian Pattie elected to bring a brand new chassis #1003 to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis #294 for this weekend's event at Charlotte Motor Speedway no other details mentioned
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: Primary chassis #592 is a brand new chassis. Backup chassis #553 has been driven four times, three of which resulted in victories (Indy 7/09, California 10/09, California 2/10).
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend, McGrew and the #88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-599. Earnhardt raced this chassis at Texas Motor Speedway last month to an eighth-place finish.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 Richard Petty Motorsports crew have prepared chassis #683 for this weekend's 600-mile event. This is the same car in which Menard drove to a fourth-place finish in last Saturday's Sprint Showdown event. This is also the car the team utilized at California Speedway earlier this season. Serta will return to the #98 RPM Ford Fusion this weekend.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 team will be bringing chassis RK-639 to CMS. This chassis last raced in Atlanta in March. Edwards finished 39th after an accident.
      (from team PR's/sites if reported)(5-28-2010)

    • Armed Forces car for Reutimann at Charlotte UPDATE: #00-David Reutimann is scheduled to run a Aaron's / Armed Forces Foundation Toyota in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(5-18-2010)
      UPDATE: Aaron's and the Armed Forces Foundation have united in a collaborative effort to drive donations for military families this approaching Memorial Weekend. Aaron's and the AFF first initiated a text-to-give campaign that allows participants to text AFF to 50555 to donate $10 to the Armed Forces Foundation which serves the military and their families. Ninety-four percent of all donations goes directly to military members and their families and helps with items such as every day living expenses, housing improvements and travel expenses. Additionally, Aaron's will honor the AFF at the upcoming Memorial Weekend Coca-Cola 600 with a custom paint scheme for the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, driven by David Reutimann. The paint scheme will feature the AFF logo and a patriotic red, white and blue design. Aaron's will also donate a minimum of $10,000 to the AFF. However, if Reutimann finishes in the top five, Aaron's will double the donation to $20,000. If Reutimann wins the race, Aaron's will donate $200,000 to the AFF.(Aaron's PR) See an image of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2010)

    • Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea Vodka Salutes Military Roots: As Americans across the country prepare to remember the American heroes who serve our country with a variety of responsible Memorial Day cookouts and celebrations, race fans will look to one of their favorite drivers to help pay tribute. During the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth will have Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Sweet Tea vodka on the hood of his #17 Ford Fusion in an effort to honor fighter pilots everywhere. As the legend is told, Jeremiah Weed became the drink of choice for men and women fighter pilots after a Fighter Jet went down without injury outside of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. When the group involved in the incident later returned to the site, they toasted with Jeremiah Weed. Since, Air Force pilots have toasted with Jeremiah Weed Bourbon upon finishing their flights. If Kenseth can wheel the #17 Ford to Victory Lane, Jeremiah Weed will make a $100,000 donation to a military-themed charity. Regardless of how the Jeremiah Weed car finishes, a total of $10,000 will be donated.(PR) See an image of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2010)

    • Evernham-Hendrick reunite: Ray Evernham, who with Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon won three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships, is reuniting with owner Rick Hendrick ..... to have some fun at the World of Outlaws Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Evernham is fielding a World of Outlaws car for wife Erin Crocker Evernham, the only woman to ever win a World of Outlaws race. And Rick Hendrick's City Chevrolet will be featured on the side panel of the car, paying tribute to the roots of today's Hendrick Motorsports. The race is scheduled for Friday, May 28, at The Dirt Track more info at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(WMG PR)(5-28-2010)

    • NASCAR Fan Book: The Weekend Starts on Wednesday: True Stories of Remarkable NASCAR Fans is a travelogue illuminating the lives of dedicated, die-hard racing fans who the author, Andrew Giangola, encountered along his journey across NASCAR nation. The book delves into the rich, Americana history of NASCAR and explains its popularity through the eyes of fans, both ridiculous and inspirational. Author, Andrew Giangola, will be in Charlotte during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend to sign copies of his highly-acclaimed book on .Friday, May 28, 2010 at 1:00pm/et at Books-A-Million, 8301 Concord Mills Blvd. (in Concord Mills Mall, Concord, NC. Corporal (U.S. Army) John Hyland, who is a featured fan and will be on hand at the book signing, will sing the National Anthem for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Hyland, a Charlotte native, is a Purple Heart recipient. Five of the passionate NASCAR fans who are featured in the book will also be there to tell their stories first-hand and sign copies of the book. Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart provided the book's foreword, and Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch provides the afterword. Copies of The Weekend Starts on Wednesday: True Stories of Remarkable NASCAR Fans will be available for purchase at Books-A-Million.(PR)(5-28-2010)

    • Tony Stewart: "Buy A Printer, Support Military Families": In recognition of Memorial Day, #14-Tony Stewart is helping Office Depot and Lexmark International, Inc., promote a new joint program benefiting Operation Homefront. The program will provide military families with much-needed technology to help them stay in touch with their loved ones serving in the armed forces. From May 30 through June 5, Office Depot and Lexmark will donate a new Lexmark printer to Operation Homefront each time a customer purchases a qualifying Lexmark printer in an Office Depot store or online at www.officedepot.com/lexmark/operationhomefront. Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of military families nationwide. During Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, Stewart's #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy will also feature a special rear TV panel with the Office Depot, Lexmark and Operation Homefront logos, as well as the message, "Buy A Printer, Support Military Families." The Goal is to Donate 4,000 New Lexmark Printers To Military Families. As part of the Office Depot and Lexmark program, people can also engage with Operation Homefront and support members of the military via Twitter. Beginning now through June 5, people can give a "Shout Out" to someone serving in the military and be entered for a chance to win one of 10 Lexmark printers. For more information visit www.officedepot.com, see an image of the TV Panel on the #14 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2010)

    • Special Guest in Sadler's pit: United States Air Force General Norton Schwartz will be a guest of the #19 team and driver Elliott Sadler this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Richard Petty Motorsports is proud of its relationship with the U.S. Air Force and honored to have General Schwartz on hand this Memorial Day weekend. General Schwartz is the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As Chief, Gen. Schwartz serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 680,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisors to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President of the United States.(RPM)(5-28-2010)

    • NASCAR Now Fans Series Continues Sunday: NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, concludes its month-long series on NASCAR fans in the one-hour weekend edition airing Sunday, May 30, at 9:00am/et. The program also will preview that night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Featured in the May 30 show will be U.S. Army Cpl. John Hyland, a native of Charlotte who was seriously injured in Iraq and has undergone 33 surgeries. With the help of NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, who read about his plight and was so moved he donated a special van to bring home the wounded warrior, Hyland was able to spend the holidays with his family. An opera singer, Hyland will sing the national anthem prior to the Coca Cola 600. Hyland and other fans featured in the NASCAR Now series are subjects in the recently-released book "The Weekend Starts on Wednesday" by Andrew Giangola.(5-28-2010)

    • Sad News - Michelle Dyer: Michelle Dawn Dyer, 40, of Sanford, Florida passed away Saturday, May 15, 2010 at Florida Hospital South in Orlando. She was the beloved daughter of Janis and Joe Dyer. She is survived by brothers, Jeffrey Dyer and Sean Dyer; sister, Laura Houger of Fairbanks, Alaska and grandmother, Josephine Konkel of Sanford, Florida. She was born on November 22, 1969 in Alexandria, Virginia. She enjoyed NASCAR and writing poetry. Her poetry was published in the 2007 issue of "Forever Spoken", which is a compilation by the International Library of Poetry. She will be greatly missed and forever loved by her family. Memorial services will be held at the home of Janis and Joe Dyer in Sanford, Florida during the weekend of June 11 for family and friends. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Cancer Society in her honor.(Orlando Sentinel), Dyer was a Motorsports Reporter for the Stock Car Gazette.(5-28-2010)

    • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race Festivities to Feature Military Salute: During the pre-race show for the 51st running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will salute the U.S. armed forces with a military demonstration, special awards, military band performances and a presentation with Medal of Honor recipients. The pre-race festivities will also include appearances by the cast of "The A-Team," Twentieth Century Fox's summer motion picture event which opens June 11, an invocation by renowned family advocate Dr. James Dobson and the singing of the national anthem by wounded veteran and trained opera singer Cpl. John Hyland. Gates will open at 12:30 pm/et. An approximate timeline of pre-race events follows:
      4:00 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.
      A procession of force protection military vehicles will take a parade lap around the track, followed by the presentation of the Stonewall Jackson Award to Col. Joe Marm and the Hometown Heroes Award presentation to 1st Sgt. James Jetton and Staff Sgt. Mary Nelms, both from Charlotte, N.C. Following the presentation, the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus and the U.S. Army Drill Team will perform.
      4:40 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
      Video presentations produced by The History Channel will be played on Sprint Vision screens honoring veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as active military and veterans from modern-day conflicts including Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Following the presentations, a parade of vintage military planes will take to the skies, including a P-51 Mustang owned by Roush Fenway Racing founder and co-owner Jack Roush, a legendary B-17 bomber that played the role of the Memphis Belle in the 1990 movie of the same name, a giant C-47 transport plane, an A1-H Skyraider and a T-28 Trojan. Personnel from Fort Bragg, N.C., will conduct a military demonstration on the frontstretch involving Little Bird helicopters, military vehicles, a Howitzer demonstration and more than 600 troops.
      Medal of Honor recipients Robert Maxwell (World War II), Ronald Rosser (Korea) and Charles Hagemeister (Vietnam) will be recognized on the pre-race stage. A tribute to honor the families of fallen soldiers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., including Capt. Thomas "Lag" Gramith and Capt. Mark "Pit Bull" McDowell, who hailed from Charlotte, will follow.
      5:20 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
      A host of VIPs will grace the pre-race stage including Honorary Race Director Eric Cantor, Virginia Congressman; Honorary Starter Joe Hackney, North Carolina House Speaker; cast members from "The A-Team," including Jessica Biel; several executives from Coca-Cola, and John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's. Driver introductions for the Coca-Cola 600 will follow.
      5:45 p.m. - 6:10 p.m.
      The U.S. Army parachute team The Golden Knights will perform a jump over the speedway. Dr. James Dobson, founder of the non-profit group Focus on the Family and host of the radio program "Family Talk," will give the invocation. Purple Heart recipient, Charlotte native, opera singer and NASCAR fan Cpl. John Hyland will sing the national anthem. Cast members from "The A-Team"' will deliver the green flag. The command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines," will be given by Grand Marshal John Faulkenbury, North Carolina United Service Organizations President and the families of Sgt. James Dickens (U.S. Marine Corps); Staff Sgt. Michael Foley (U.S. Army) and Staff Sgt. Dustin Barnes (U.S. Air Force).
      Additionally, the Presentation of Colors will be performed by the U.S. All Army Color Guard and a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" will be given by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipes and Drums. A 21-gun salute and "Taps" will be performed by soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg. During the national anthem, 100 family members of service men and women from Fort Bragg will unfurl a large American flag shaped like the United States on the frontstretch grass. The final fly-over before the start of the Coca-Cola 600 will include four F-15 Eagles flown by pilots from the 333rd Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
      Fans can purchase a ticket to the 51st running of the Coca-Cola to see not only a great race, but a patriotic and entertaining pre-race show. Tickets for all Coca-Cola 600 Week events are available at the gates on event days, online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(CMS)(5-28-2010)


      News from May 27, 2010

    • Newman wins another pole at Charlotte: #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Pole for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 187.546mph for his 1st pole of 2010, 9th at CMS and 46th of his career. #2-Busch will start 2nd followed by #56-Truex Jr., #9-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #00-Reutimann, #11-Hamlin, #20-Logano, #18-Busch & #33-Bowyer. #12-Keselwoski wrecked on his 2nd lap and will go to a backup car and go to the rear of the field before the start of the race on Sunday, his official starting spot is 37th
      The eight go-or-go homers who made the race: #66-Blaney, #87-Nemechek, #36-Sauter, #21-Elliott, #37-Gilliland, #64-Bodine, #55-McDowell & #46-Yeley
      The four go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race: #32-Sorenson, #13-Papis, #26-Stremme & #09-Bliss
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Charlotte Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(5-27-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Charlotte:
      #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the COCA-COLA 600 with a lap of 28.793 seconds, 187.546 mph.
      This is his 46th pole in 309 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races [he has won only 3 races from the pole].
      Newman ties NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Junior Johnson for 10th all-time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles.
      This is his first pole and seventh top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his ninth pole in 19 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      #2-Kurt Busch (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2010 and his fifth in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      #56-Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his first top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his third in 13 races this season.
      #34-Kevin Conway (42nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-27-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 7:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 7:00pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) only on NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #98-Menard.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #9-Kahne.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #21-Elliott with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #36-Sauter.
      See the full qualifying order on the Dover Qualifying Page.(5-27-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Charlotte:
      Front Row Motorsports #37 falls out and their #38 team back to 35th
      32) #34-Conway/Front Row: 953, +56
      33) #71-Labonte/TRG: 945, +48
      34) #7-Gordon/RGM/BAM: 899, +2
      35) #38-Kvapil/Front Row: 899, 2 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #37-Gilliland/Front Row: 897, 2 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 788, -111
      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.(5-16-2010)

    • Thursday Practice: for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, some reults and notes:
      #42-Montoya 184.679
      #39-Newman 183.306
      #48-Johnson 183.014
      #19-Sadler 182.865
      #9-Kahne 182.822
      slowest: #34-Conway 175.507 and #37-Gilliland 177.032
      incidents: #6-Ragan kit a bird, no damage; about midway thru practice, #99-Edwards smacked the wall in turn 3 and did enough damage to the right rear to go to a backup car; #09-Bliss wacked the turn 3 wall and pancaked the right side, no word if the team will go to a backup car.
      See fastest speed, average speed, laps run on my Charlotte Practice Speeds page.(5-27-2010)

    • Charlotte practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #13-Max Papis, 23rd fastest overall
      #32-Reed Sorenson, 26th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 27th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 29th
      #21-Bill Elliott [Past Champ], 31st
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 35th
      #66-Dave Blaney. 36th
      #37-David Gilliland, 40th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #09-Mike Bliss, 41st
      #36-Johnny Sauter, 42nd
      #26-David Stremme, 44th
      #64-Todd Bodine, 46th of 47 cars
      See fastest speed, average speed, laps run on my Charlotte Practice Speeds page.(5-27-2010)

    • Kyle Busch says he and Hamlin have moved on: #18-Kyle Busch says he is not taking back radio chatter in which he threatened to kill JGR teammate #11-Denny Hamlin after some hard driving in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch insisted Thursday that he and Hamlin have moved on from last week's incident. Hamlin was leading late in the race when he blocked Busch's run. The defensive driving caused Busch to hit the wall, and he later got a flat tire that led to a race-ending wreck. Busch was so angry afterward, he warned his team he was going to kill Hamlin. Busch went directly to Hamlin's hauler after his accident, and team owner Joe Gibbs mediated a post-race meeting with his drivers. Busch says his threat was out of anger, but not literal, and he's moved past the incident.(Associated Press)(5-27-2010)

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

    • Special scheme Hendrick teams: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 Chevy will feature an "Honoring Our Soldiers" paint scheme for the May 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All four Hendrick Motorsports teams will sport special patriotic paint schemes for the Memorial Day weekend race to honor the men and women who serve in the armed forces. As the nation's oldest Armed Forces component, the National Guard and its Citizen Soldiers play a vital role in protecting the freedoms Americans hold dear. Since 1636, the Guard has brought glory and honor upon itself and its Soldiers through quiet and selfless service. There is a long and noble history of the National Guard serving at home and abroad to ensure the safety and freedom of their fellow citizens. When celebrating Memorial Day, take a moment to thank a member of the nation's military for their service to the United States and recognize the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to defend America's interests. Become a fan of the National Guard on Facebook, by visiting www.facebook.com/NationalGuard. To learn more about becoming a Citizen Soldier, visit www.NATIONALGUARD.com.
      Jeff Gordon will drive a specially-painted #24 DuPont Stars & Stripes Chevy during the Memorial Day weekend event.
      CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major sponsor on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy since 2005, will be back on the hood this NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Charlotte. The red, white and blue paint scheme will be featured in a total of eight races this season. Martin's #5 Chevy will feature a patriotic theme this weekend in tribute to the United States military. Diecast and apparel featuring the #5 paint scheme will be available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund. Martin's Hendrick Motorsports teammates also will sport special patriotic paint schemes for the 600-mile event.
      Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowe's Chevy will have a special patriotic paint scheme in recognition of Memorial Day that features donation information during the May 30 event. In support of the Memorial Day holiday, Lowe's will offer a 10% discount to all active, reserve, honorably discharged, and retired military personnel and their immediate families. Lowe's also has a year-round 10% discount those with a military-issued photo ID. Lowe's and Team 48 driver Jimmie Johnson are hosting a special concert starring country music star Darius Rucker in support of the United Services Organization (USO) and the newly created Lowe's USO Family Fund on SPEED Channel at 7 p.m. on May 29. The concert will highlight ways to support the newly created Lowe's USO Family Fund, proceeds of which will support USO family programs that help deployed service members and their families stay connected.(HMS/Team Lowe's), see images of the cars on my #5 Team Schemes page, #24 Team Schemes page, #48 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page,(5-27-2010)

    • Colorado Sports Complex to include racetrack: On 1100 acres in rural Adams County, in what is technically still Aurora, developer Bill Schuck plans to build the largest sports project in Colorado history. Shuck says he envisions an oval, a road course, a drag racing facility, indoor and outdoor karting facilities and a concert pavilion as part of the Colorado Motorplex. "We are confident that we will be seeing racing in the Front Range of Colorado in the very near future," said Schuck in an interview in his Colorado Springs office surrounded by previously unseen graphic images of the Motorplex. "This is going to happen. The question is not if, but when and our plan is to have a track in place for the public to attend in 2013." Earlier efforts to bring NASCAR or Indy racing to Colorado have been vexed by challenges to finding a suitable location for a track. A site in Commerce City was rejected in part because it was too close to residences and earlier efforts in Aurora were turned down for fear the taxpayers would have to support it. At Schuck's Transport development, bordered by Front Range Airport and I-70, there are no nearby homes, easy access into and out of the development, the property is already zoned for a track and no tax dollars needed to build the project. Schuck says the oval alone will cost "several hundred million" dollars to construct. "This economy is very, very difficult," he said. "Fortunately, we're working on a concept that's very unique. This is not just another real estate deal. We have spoken with (NASCAR team) owners. We have spoken with drivers. We have spoken with numerous investors, all of whom have expressed an interest in becoming part of this facility. Colorado needs a motor sports facility." Schuck says he has not received any guarantee from major league racing that they will come if he builds the oval and yet, he says the reaction he's received in the process of putting the plans together has been overwhelmingly positive. He cites previous efforts by the sport to gain access to the two million people who live in the metro area. He expects to break ground next year, creating numerous jobs and what he calls an economic boom for Aurora and the state of Colorado in the process.(9 News)(5-27-2010)


      News from May 26, 2010

    • Rondeau Named Crew Chief for Furniture Row Racing: Furniture Row Racing announced that Pete Rondeau has been named crew chief for the #78 Chevy, driven by Regan Smith in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Rondeau's new role will commence at this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. A 44 year-old native of Saco, Maine, Rondeau joined Furniture Row Racing following the 2009 season. His former position was director of research and development at Richard Petty Motorsports from July 2005 through the 2009 season. Prior to his employment at Richard Petty Motorsports, which was formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Rondeau worked at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (2001 to May 2005) and Jasper Motorsports (1998-2001). During his three-plus years at DEI, Rondeau's positions included the crew chief role for both Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Pete has brought experience and stature to our team and we feel it was in our best interests to utilize his strengths in the crew chief role," said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing. Regarding his new position, Rondeau said, "I have great anticipation in my role as crew chief due mainly to the commitment of Furniture Row Racing and the strong driving talent of Regan Smith."(Furniture Row Racing), no word on plans for former crew chief Ryan Coniam.(5-26-2010)

    • AC/DC to feature song "T.N.T" for NASCAR races: TNT announced that it has joined forces with Hall of Fame rockers AC/DC [Jayski fave] to feature the band's single "T.N.T" as the network's theme song for its 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage. The song will serve as the primary musical bed for all six of TNT's races, which begin with the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 on Sunday, June 6 in Pocono, as well as for the network's multi-platform marketing campaign surrounding its exclusive race coverage, which includes a presence on social media, print outlets, national television, local radio and print. The song has been re-released on the band's latest album, AC/DC: Iron Man 2 which features 15 of the band's classic songs.(ACDC.com)(5-26-2010)

    • Petty's Garage opens today: On May 26th Petty's Garage will open its doors to the public for the first time. Founded by Richard Petty and operating from the historic Petty facility in Level Cross, NC, Petty's Garage is building high performance street cars infused with over 60 years of NASCAR racing experience. The first production based cars released by Petty's Garage are the 43 sequentially numbered Dodge Challengers and delivery of the first customer cars will take place on the 26th. On the 26th they will have an all day open house from 9:00am till 9:00pm with a Cruiz'in for local car clubs and automobile enthusiasts from 5:00-9:00pm. There will be no formal autograph sessions during this open house. More info at pettys-garage.com.(5-26-2010)

    • Front Row Working as One Team for Optimal Results: Using a unified approach to give its three-car team the best opportunities to continue to succeed as a whole, Front Row Motorsports announced changes to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up effective this week for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team is moving Kevin Conway and the ExtenZe Racing sponsorship to the #34 Ford Fusion, David Gilliland and the Taco Bell program to the #37 Ford Fusion, and Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's program to the #38 Ford Fusion. The changes are aimed to optimize all three teams' ability to score more points and strengthen the organization. "I'm proud of how we've performed this year - our first year with three full-time cars," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports. "We are not a powerhouse three-car team, but we work as an organization to grow together as one. Our teams have to be unified to be stronger instead of operating as three separate groups. Moving our drivers, along with their respective sponsors, to different cars gives us the best chance to succeed as an entire team. It has been this attitude and strategic growth plan that has allowed us to become the team we are today." All three Front Row cars have made the starting lineup of all 12 Sprint Cup Series races in the 2010 season. The team is working with potential sponsors now to become stronger and take the next step to become a top-25 team.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(5-26-2010)

    • Additional sponsor for Conway; 'ExtenZe Local Hero: This week in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Wings (America's best beach store) along with ExtenZe Racing, announced a three-race deal with Conway that begins this weekend at CMS. As part of this deal, Wings will start carrying ExtenZe Racing slogan T-shirts and board shorts in some of its stores across the best beaches in America. Also, Wings will adorn Conway's Ford Fusion as an associate sponsor at the Daytona Cup race in July and at the season finale in Homestead in November.
      AND: Chief Warrant Officer 4 and Silver Star recipient Jim Herring says he was just doing what he had to do. At first that sounds pretty simple and you may be lulled into thinking that he is just another guy, but when you hear what it was that he felt "he had to do" you quickly learn why Herring was named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero.' For his selfless acts and heroism, Herring will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for the leading NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe Racing team at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the running of the Coca-Cola 600. Herring, who is stationed in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., is only the second soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star while serving with the North Carolina National Guard. The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness. (Breaking Limits/Extenze Racing), More info on my #34-Teams News page.(5-26-2010)

    • New Amenities, Events, Displays Await Race Fans During Mega May: As a part of the ongoing Fans First initiative at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans coming to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30 can expect plenty of recently-added amenities, events, displays, and upgrades at the Mecca of Motorsports. Below is a sampling of what's new for May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
      Roomier, More Comfortable, Stadium-Style Frontstretch Seats Charlotte Motor Speedway installed approximately 15,000 new premium seats along the 1.5-mile superspeedway's frontstretch, and special bronze nameplates will adorn the seats of new Victory Lane Club season ticket holders in that area. The narrow cast-metal seats in the Chrysler and General Motors grandstands were removed and replaced with new 21-inch stadium-style deluxe flip-down seats with arm rests. The new seats will offer a prime view of the start-finish line and pit road for both races.
      Expanded Display Area is More Interactive for Fans, Fans coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 will have more entertainment options right outside the track, as the display areas have expanded significantly for 2010. Nearly twice the number of interactive displays as 2009 will line the areas along the main speedway entrance and directly across the street. Some of the displays include the Coca-Cola Stage, which will feature live music on race days; the MillerCoors Porta Bar; and the Scotts Turf Builder Cornhole Classic area, where fans can play the popular tailgating game for prizes including cash and race tickets. Fans will find increased food and beverage options as well, and there will continue to be plenty of souvenir trailers in the display areas, so fans can buy their favorite driver's gear at the track. Designated Smoking Lounges Presented by Native are New for 2010 There are new designated smoking lounges at the track, presented by Native Trading Associates. Located throughout the concourse areas, the lounges are equipped with high-definition televisions so fans don't miss a minute of the race. Native and Herr's Potato Chips will hand out samples and coupons to fans who use the designated smoking lounges, which are located adjacent to the concourses in the Toyota Fourth Turn Terrace, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford and Diamond Tower seating areas. Native is also sponsoring a smoking lounge in the infield, which is located just inside the Gate 26 tunnel.
      CATS Route Provides Easy Access to Speedway The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered to bring race day bus service from Center City Charlotte to the track. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, race fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy the Coca-Cola 600 at the speedway for just $6 round-trip. The route will run every 20 minutes from noon until 6:30 p.m. for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. Return trips will begin immediately after the checkered flag and buses will be near the track's main entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 East Trade Street in Center City or online at http://secure.ridetransit.org/psales/.
      Speedway Offers Tours of NASCAR Hall of Fame While fans are in town for the races, they can take advantage of convenient tours operated by Charlotte Motor Speedway of the newly-opened NASCAR Hall of Fame. Fans can take a shuttle from the zMAX Dragway main tower entrance to NASCAR's newest attraction.. For more information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/tours.
      Pinky's Westside Grill Offers New Fare Fans coming to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 will have a new concession option at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Greg Auten, a former co-owner of the Charlotte landmark restaurant The Penguin, and former Penguin managers will soon open Pinky's Westside Grill in Charlotte and the group plans to debut several Pinky's menu items at the speedway. Homemade corn dogs, fries, chili dogs, and fried pickles will be available to fans for purchase.
      Coca-Cola 600 Weekend Coca-Cola Family Walk Comes to Charlotte Motor Speedway May 28 New for 2010 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk, which gives fans the opportunity to mingle with top NASCAR drivers and get active while walking around the track. Fans can get moving alongside Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 28. Following the walk, fans can enjoy activities for the whole family, including games, music, racing simulators, motivating lifestyle tips and Q&A sessions with drivers. To round out the day, Coca-Cola and Charlotte Motor Speedway are bringing back a fan favorite from 2009 - the Quarter-Mile Cookout - using the nation's longest grill. At 1,320 feet in length, the grill will use more than 3.5 tons of charcoal to cook up a picnic-style lunch following the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk. There will be plenty of healthy food options available at the cookout, including grilled chicken, ground chuck hamburgers, wheat buns, apples and baked Herr's chips. The entire day of events is free and open to all ticket and annual credential holders for the Coca-Cola 600.
      Military Vehicle Displays Pay Tribute to the Troops Fans can browse through a military vehicle display near the main entrance of the speedway during Coca-Cola 600 Race Week, just one of many tributes to the troops taking place during the Memorial Day Weekend race. Several military vehicles will be on display, including a Bradley tank, a Humvee, a PLS cargo vehicle and a mini C-130 turboprop military transport aircraft. The display will also feature a military-themed tribute Ford Mustang, complete with a custom red, white and blue paint job. Additional Vietnam-era vehicles will also be featured in the display area across Highway 29 from the main entrance of the speedway.
      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)(5-26-2010)


      News from May 25, 2010

    • TV Ratings for the All- Star UPDATE: The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge earned a 2.1/4 Saturday night on SPEED, which matched last year's overnight ratings.(5-24-2010)
      UPDATE: Ratings for the Sprint All-Star Race, televised live on Speed, dropped 10.3% from 3.68 in 2009 to 3.30 in 2010, according to a network spokesman. The race peaked at a 4.38 this year, compared with a peak of 4.69 in 2009. Speed reached the most households of any basic cable network during the race in the 35-54 male category and 55-and-over male category. It ranked second in the 18-34 male category. The overall number of households watching the race was 2,496,000.(SceneDaily), see race-by-race chart, with 4 years of ratings and news on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(5-25-2010)

    • AJ and Best Buy Employees Volunteer at Victory Junction: It's a busy time right now for #43-AJ Allmendinger, and he's making the most of it. After spending time at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the three stars and Best Buy-supported karters from the recently-released “Racing Dreams” this weekend, AJ got busy once again on Monday as he teamed up with over 100 Best Buy employees to make a visit and volunteer at Victory Junction. “It was a really good day at the Victory Junction Camp today,” said AJ. “There were a ton of Best Buy employees out and some of my team to help get the camp ready for the campers coming. I did some landscaping and things like that. This is such a great camp and place for these kids and their families to go and find some fun. I'm always happy to lend a hand and really proud of the turn out from my Best Buy team." Allmendinger will see a different set of friends from Richard Petty Motorsports and Best Buy on Tuesday, as everyone gets geared up for the Kings Cup karting race to raise money for PVA.org. More than 30 teams are expected to participate, with a host of NASCAR drivers joining the fun. On Wednesday, AJ will be joining the folks at the Best Buy in Concord for an in-store appearance, with Thursday making for another Sharpie kind of day as RPM throws the doors open for Fan Day on the 27th before he heads to the track for practice and qualifying.(PR)(5-25-2010)

    • NAPA Batteries scheme for Truex Jr.: #56-Martin Truex Jr.'s NAPA ride will sport a special look for the Coca-Cola 600. The well-known NAPA shield will be joined by NAPA Batteries. The high-energy paint scheme kicks off a great promotion for consumers. In June, visit a NAPA Auto Parts Store or a NAPA AutoCare Center, and get the following mail-in rebates—$20 rebate on the NAPA Optima Heavy-Duty batteries, $15 rebate on NAPA Legend 84-month battery and $10 rebate on all NAPA LEGEND 75-month batteries.(MWR), see images of the car on my #56 Team Schemes page.(5-25-2010)

    • More testing at South Carolina road course: hearing that #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #5-Mark Martin and #18-Kyle Busch are testing today at 2.3 mile Carolina Motorsports Park road course in Kershaw, SC in preparation for the upcoming road course race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.(5-25-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 All Star Showdown and Race: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday’s races. SPEED was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 115
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 70
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 24
      Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 55 sec.
      Start time to record race/commercial periods for the All Star Showdown: 7:21 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods for the All Star Showdown: 8:34 PM
      Total minutes: 73 min.
      Start time to record race/commercial periods for the All Star Race: 8:34 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods for the All Star Race: 11:15 PM
      Total minutes: 161 min.
      Total minutes of both races: 234
      Minutes of race broadcast: 185
      Minutes of commercials: 49
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of basketball superstar Honorary Race Starters: 1 Michael Jordon
      For driver focas times, info on past races and ore. see my 2010 TV Commercials page.(5-25-2010)

    • Bass Pro Shops looks to stay with EGR: Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris says while he's good friends with a number of owners and drivers in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, he doesn't anticipate the company's sponsorship moving from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing anytime soon. "I saw [team co-owner] Chip [Ganassi last night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame," Morris said Friday. "We don't have any contract for next year or anything, but Chip and [co-owner] Teresa [Earnhardt] … I think they're happy. And we're happy." Morris was at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday to help unveil a special Bass Pro paint scheme to be run by EGR driver Jamie McMurray later this year, honoring NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt fielded a similar Bass Pro-themed paint scheme in the 1998 all-star race. Bass Pro, which is sponsoring McMurray's car in half of this year's Sprint Cup races, is headquartered in Springfield, Mo., and the fact that McMurray, winner of the 2010 Daytona 500, grew up in nearby Joplin "is huge back home," Morris said. "It's not been a surprise, but back around Springfield and the Joplin area, with Jamie's affiliation with Bass Pro, it's been pretty cool," Morris said.(SceneDaily)(5-25-2010)

    • Martin says he will be in the #5 in 2011: MARK MARTIN, #5 DELPHI/GODADDY.COM CHEVY, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed his plans. A partial transcript:
      ANYTHING NEW IN YOUR FUTURE IN TERMS OF NEXT YEAR OR 2012? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'LL BE DOING YET?
      "No. Everything is still as planned. There are scenarios beginning to formulate, but I would expect it to be a long time until those boil down to real options. It could be as much as a year until those boil down to real options. Everything is pretty quiet; there is a little bit rumbling around out there. By the way, I heard you guys talk about the speedway and I've been around a long time. I came here the first time in 1981, and it's always been Charlotte Motor Speedway to me."
      SO YOU WILL DEFINITELY BE IN THE 5 CAR IN 2011? "Yes."(Team Chevy)(5-25-2010)

    • Mattias Ekström to test #83 for Red Bull: When Red Bull driver and two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström visited Red Bull Racing Team in 2008, he "dreamed" of driving a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Fast-forward two years, and Ekström finally gets his chance. The 31-year-old Swede will drive the #83 on Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway to provide the team testing support for the upcoming road race in Sonoma, Calif. Both of the Red Bull Toyotas [also #82-Scott Speed] will test at VIR — a road course of varying configurations and distances in southern Virginia. Considering Ekström's current résumé, the #83 team expects to have its car dialed in come June 18-20 at Infineon Raceway. "With Brian Vickers sidelined for the rest of the season, we needed a road-racing expert to help prepare the #83 for Sonoma," said Jay Frye, RBRT vice president and general manager. "We appreciate Mattias' willingness to help out and we look forward to his insight." Ekström, a Red Bull-backed driver for the past nine years, heads to the States after claiming his first victory of 2010 in Sunday's second round of the DTM Championship in Valencia, Spain. The Audi factory driver currently sits second in the DTM standings. In addition to his success in the Germany based touring car series — only twice in nine seasons has he finished outside the top five — Ekström has proven his versatility and class in other motorsports disciplines. He's an active rally racer and three times has won the individual title at the Race of Champions. "It's no secret that the NASCAR series fascinates me," Ekström said. "It's been a long-harbored dream of mine to drive such a car." Tuesday's test at VIR is private and not open to the public.(Red Bull Racing)(5-25-2010)

    • Childress/Harvick discuss Harvick re-signing: RICHARD CHILDRESS, OWNER OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (RCR), AND KEVIN HARVICK, DRIVER OF THE #29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, held a press conference to announce a multi-year contract extension between RCR and Harvick, and discussed various elements of their agreement. Full Transcript:
      MODERATOR: "Thank you all for coming today, I am the Director of Communications for Richard Childress Racing and we have a very important announcement for the present and future of RCR. As some of you may have seen on a Twitter post or somewhere else, RCR and Kevin Harvick have agreed to a multi-year contract extension for Kevin to continue in the RCR No. 29 Chevrolet Sprint Cup Series car. As I said, multi-year agreement, no we aren't going to tell you the exact years and all of that good stuff. At this time I would like to turn it over to Richard Childress. Richard, if you would, tell the folks where things stand right now and your thoughts on Kevin continuing on now well past a decade at RCR."
      CHILDRESS: "We're very excited to have Kevin back. He has written a lot of history for RCR. He stepped in the car when we lost Dale in 2001 and I don't know of any driver that could have stepped in there under the pressure and handled it the way he did. We'll always be grateful. To have him come back and re-sign again, we're excited about it. I know there will be questions about sponsors. We have three or four companies that we are dealing with right now and hopefully in the very near future, we'll have something to announce there. But the key thing is to have Kevin back. He is a top driver in this Series and to have him in our group of drivers is just unbelievable and we are glad to have him back."
      ARE YOU AT THE POINT NOW YOU ANTICIPATE FINISHING YOUR DRIVING CAREER WITH RCR?
      HARVICK: "Well, you never know how things are going to shake out but obviously I don't think the sport has created, with the time and commitment and things that it takes to be competitive, I don't see myself racing until I am 50 years old. Whether it is one more contract or two more contracts, nobody knows. But right now there are a lot of years in front of us with this one. The way that we started and hopefully we can end that way and continue that going forward."
      ON THE SPONSORSHIP, THE ECONOMY LOOKS LIKE IT'S TRYING TO TURN AROUND SOME. HAVE YOU NOTICED MORE COMPANIES WILLING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT MAJOR SPONSORSHIP DEALS? IS IT A LITTLE BIT BRIGHTER NOW?
      CHILDRESS: "Yes, for sure. Our marketing department has been talking to some new companies that's not in the sport right now that have a lot of interest. Our sport, with the Hall of Fame opening, a lot of things with racing has been really great this year and the country is still in an economy downturn a little bit, but it looks like its leveling and moving in the right direction. And I think our sport is strong enough with all the people and the companies we have in it. And the companies that are looking to get into the sport today gives us bright hope." IN YOUR DECISION-MAKING, DID YOU EVER CONTEMPLATE BEING A DRIVER/OWNER FOR KHI?
      HARVICK: "No. We've talked about this a lot before. It's not something that I have the desire to sit and make those decisions over $15 or $20 million or whatever decisions are; you've got to have too much money in this day and age to start a company. The RCR's of the world have that backbone and have already made those investments on the parts and pieces and the tools necessary to be competitive in the sport. It's not something I was really looking for as a challenge."(Chevy Racing)(5-25-2010)

    • added #2 miller Lite Vortex, #5 Delphi, #18 M&M's Pretzel, #20 Home Depot, #29 Pennzoil Ultra and #88 Dale Jr Foundation and #33 Wheaties Fuel schemes.

    • RCR/ECR Employees to Distribute Donations to Nashville Relief Effort: Employees of Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines will deliver and help distribute donated cleaning supplies May 25 for residents of the Nashville, Tenn., area who were adversely affected by last month's devastating flooding. An RCR Promotions show car trailer filled with donated cleaning supplies departed Monday from RCR headquarters in Welcome, N.C., headed for Cat Financial headquarters in Nashville. Tuesday morning, May 25, nearly two dozen RCR and ECR Engines employees will fly from Smith-Reynolds Airport, in Winston-Salem, to Nashville International Airport. The group will meet and divide the cleaning supplies at Cat Financial before making stops at United Way distribution centers in the area. RCR began collecting donations May 13 at the RCR Museum. "We wanted to do more than just drop off a trailer full of cleaning supplies in Nashville," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "People's lives were turned upside down by the flooding so we wanted to join our partners at Cat Financial to do something personal that shows how much we care. I want to thank everyone who donated and I'm very proud of all of the RCR and ECR employees who are helping distribute those supplies." Cleaning supplies collected over the past two weeks included bleach, scouring pads, dust masks, work gloves, heavy duty trash bags, paper towels, insect repellent and hand sanitizer.(RCR)(5-25-2010)

    • #56 Over-the-Wall Team Tops On Pit Road In First Quarter: As one of the best in speed, performance and pit road prowess thus far in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota over-the-wall team from Michael Waltrip Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2010 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion's Week in Las Vegas. The award is part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. Mechanix Wear, the #1 glove in racing, is the Official Glove of NASCAR used by nearly all pit crew members in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Members of the #56 NAPA "Know How" pit crew include: 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 pit crew coach is Greg Miller. The #56 pit crew was presented the first-quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award during Saturday night pre-race ceremonies at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(NASCAR)(5-25-2010)

    • MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown Results / Winners: Pro Motor Engines once again made history Thursday, capturing their fourth consecutive MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown championship with a record-breaking build time. In a fierce neck-and-neck battle, the Pro Motor Engines team of Josh Hypes and Matt Jackling built a complete Chevrolet R07 race engine and successfully ran it for one minute in an astounding 18 minutes, 3 seconds, beating last year's record by over a minute and defeating the Hendrick Motorsports team of Mike Maiwald and Scott Vester.
      Team Hendrick Motorsports and team Pro Motor were neck-and-neck in the competition, with Pro Motor firing their engine first. Maiwald and Vester were close behind, but while their engine was running during the mandatory one minute, it became silent at the 57-second mark due to a disconnected fuel line. Hendrick reconnected and re-fired their engine, ending with a final build time of 20 minutes, 1 second.
      "This competition is intense, no question about it," said Hypes referring to the MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown, which took place as part of "NASCAR Rev'd Up," a kick off event for All Star Race Week in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. "This was our first year representing Pro Motor after Dennis (Borem) and Darrell (Hoffman) took the championship the previous three years in a row. We are thrilled to win it again."
      "We gave it our best," said Maiwald of the runner-up team. "Even though we lost, we still feel pretty good for making it to the final round. We want to say thanks to MAHLE for continuing to host this competition and for their support of the engine builders." Former crew chiefs Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds hosted the MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown, which is a tiered, three-round competition designed to recognize the knowledge, skill and speed of professional engine builders who assemble special performance engines for NASCAR teams. A total of six teams competed. Joining Pro Motor Engines and Hendrick Motorsports were: Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines, Penske Racing Engines, Triad Racing Technologies, and 2009 runner-up Roush-Yates Engines. 2010 MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown champions, Hypes and Jackling took home a cash prize for their efforts and will have their name engraved on the prestigious Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.(MAHLE PR)(5-25-2010)


      News from May 24, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Conway moves from the #37 to #34 [not in top-35], Kvapil moves from #34 to #38; Gilliland moves from #38 to #37 and must qualify by speed
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 race winner as owner)(40/12)
      #13-Max Papis (39/12)
      #21-Bill Elliott (46/3)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winner as owner)(37/12)
      #32-Reed Sorenson (47/4)
      #36-TBA (38/12)
      #37-David Gilliland (36/12)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (44/12)
      #55-Michael McDowell (43/12)
      #64-Todd Bodine (49/3]
      #66-Dave Blaney (42/12)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (41/12)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26, 09, 21, 37, 36, 13, 87, 66
      missing the race would be [4]: #'s 55, 46, 32, 64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Charlotte Entry List.(5-24-2010)

    • Past Collectibles launched: In conjunction with some of the sport's greatest legends including champions Bobby Allison and David Pearson, the estate of original racing "Bad Boy" Curtis Turner and Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, Smyle Media announced the launch of "Checkered Past Collectibles." A new and unique line of collectibles will highlight the drivers, teams and machines that make auto racing The Great American Sport. More info at smylemedia.com.(5-24-2010)

    • Testing the road course: hearing that #18-Kyle Busch and #5-Mark Martin are testing today at 2.3 mile Carolina Motorsports Park road course in Kershaw, SC in preparation for the upcoming road course race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.(5-24-2010)

    • TV Ratings for the All- Star race same: The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge earned a 2.1/4 Saturday night on SPEED, which matched last year's overnight ratings. See race-by-race chart, with 4 years of ratings and news on my 2010 TV Ratings page(5-24-2010)

    • Gibbs mediates Busch-Hamlin meeting: The angry Kyle Busch was back. The driver who always seems to run up front, yet can also come unglued at any moment, had parked his mangled car within inches of Denny Hamlin's hauler [after the incident between Busch and #11-Hamlin]. The All-Star race was still going on late Saturday night, but car owner Joe Gibbs knew he had to act immediately to avoid a potentially season-altering crisis after Busch had just declared on the radio that, "I swear to God, I am going to kill (him)." Gibbs hustled to catch up to Busch, who climbed out of his ruined car, punched the air and stormed into Hamlin's trailer. Hamlin was still on the track, but Busch was waiting to confront him for his move with eight laps left that caused Busch to hit the wall and end his chances of winning $1 million. Gibbs relied heavily on his people skills. "I think in pro sports, if you've been on the sidelines or you've been in racing you're going to have people get mad about things," Gibbs said. "It's spur of the moment type things. I think what was much more meaningful is we met in there." Not before forming a plan. Gibbs joined Busch in Hamlin's hauler. After Busch's brother, Kurt, won the race and Hamlin finished fourth, Hamlin was told to park his car at the edge of the garage. He was met by several team members, and escorted to the suddenly crowded hauler. Gibbs had ordered the incident - in which Hamlin tried to block his teammate's attempt to pass him for the lead in the closing laps - cued up on their video monitor. At first, Busch had no use for watching TV. "It was the old Kyle for a little while," Hamlin said, referring to the hothead reputation Busch has been trying to shed of late. "Then the new Kyle came and met with us." With Gibbs mediating, Hamlin and Busch watched the video and told their sides. "Kyle brought up a great point. What should we expect when we come to this race?" Hamlin said. "Do we need to have a meeting beforehand and say, 'OK, we don't share the same jerseys today, is it every man for himself?' My feeling was, 10 laps to go, I'm afraid so, we're not teammates. I think we both have an understanding of that and it's good from here on forward. Gibbs, too, insisted the meeting ended peacefully and with the issue behind them. Their insistence that the issue was resolved would have been easier to believe if Busch hadn't sneaked out a side door of the hauler, ran around the front away from where reporters had gathered, and slipped in a side door of his own hauler. "No, I don't have a knack," Gibbs said. "I think what was real good was both of them wanted to talk it out, which was good. We talked it out and I think we had a good discussion about it. I think we're ready to go race the 600 and race as teammates."(Associated Press)(5-24-2010)

    • Andretti to start 28th in Indy 500: John Andretti, who ran the Daytona 500 in February, will start 28th in the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speeway next Sunday after qualifying for the race with four lap average speed of 224.518 mph. Richard Petty is one of the owners of his car.(5-24-2010)

    • LVMS NASCAR Weekend shows increase in economic impact: The 2010 NASCAR Weekend once again proved to be a huge economic windfall for the Las Vegas economy. This year's event, Feb. 26-28, contributed $165,767,400 to the local economy, according to figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. That represents a 7.4-percent increase in economic impact over the 2009 event. According to the LVCVA survey, the 2010 event attracted an estimated 148,000 unique visitors to Las Vegas. These race fans occupied 127,000 room nights. The 2010 event also saw more out-of-town guests visit Las Vegas for the NASCAR event than each of the past four years. The race weekend included the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, zMAX Pole Day and two nights of dirt-track racing for USAC and the World of Outlaws. Tickets for the 2011 NASCAR Weekend already are on sale at www.lvms.com or 1-800-644-4444.(LVMS)(5-24-2010)

    • Richmond Oct Tix on sale Tuesday: With the NASCAR world setting its sights on the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, fans will want to grab their seats for the Saturday, September 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway—"One Last Race to Make The Chase." Tickets, which start at $40, for the marquee event go on sale Tuesday, May 25 at 8:30am/et. To purchase seats, visit www.rir.com, call 866-455-RACE (7223) or visit the ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The September 10-11 NASCAR doubleheader weekend features the second operation of the new, state-of-the-art video scoring tower at Richmond International Raceway. A successful debut during the April 30-May 1 NASCAR weekend drew rave reviews from fans. Family Sections presented by Virginia 529, which are alcohol-free and smoke-free, continue for the September race weekend. Children 12 and under are admitted at half price in Family Sections for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and are admitted free with a ticketed adult for the Virginia 529 College Savings race. For tickets and information, please log on to www.rir.com or call the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(5-24-2010)


      News from May 23, 2010

    • Hamlin talks about incident with Kyle Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch were battling for the lead late in the Sprint All-Star Race, Hamlin used defensive driving to protect his lead, Busch didn't have room on the outside and slammed into the all, pushing in his right front fender that would later cut down a tire and end the night for Busch [and #9-Kahne], Busch was so angry he threatened to kill Hamlin over his team radio and camped out in the #11 hauler, waiting for Hamlin....so
      . Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, answers questions in this Toyota PR/quotes
      What happened between yourself and Kyle Busch on the race track? "First he (Kyle Busch) got a big run off the corner and I was clear getting into the corner. Basically I just throttled up extremely early and really it was a bad corner. He was going to go by me. He kind of went to the bottom and then went up high it looked like. Of course, I'm looking out my front windshield and he says I'm clear so I'm going to use all the race track I can. The problem is that Kyle had a run to the outside and with me moving up and getting real tight, it then took some air away from the front of his car and he slid up into the wall. It's tough for me. We talked about it and basically Kyle was just frustrated, he felt like he had a really good car. Me, I just came from the back with no practice and got back to the front where we needed to be and I felt like if I gave up the lead right there then I was going to give up the win. I don't think Kyle would do anything different if he was in my situation. It's just when you're the leader, my feeling is that you've got the whole race track. If a guy is to the outside then that's when you need to hold your line."
      What was the conversation between yourself, Kyle Busch, Joe and J.D. Gibbs? "It's a good conversation to have. Me and Tony (Stewart) has had this same conversation and it was under a little different circumstance, but this is a good problem to have for our team. For two guys to be wanting to go for the win like they are, that's all we can ask for. Myself, I'm so confident that one of the two of us are going to win that 600 next weekend, it was a good meeting. Kyle (Busch) was fiery at the beginning, but calmed right down at the end. I think it's just kind of his personality and me, I'm a little more reserved and kind of quiet about it. I think it's just two teammates that happen to be teammates going for a race win right there."
      What are your thoughts on Kyle Busch's comments about you on the team radio? "That's Kyle in the moment and he's said worse things about me for sure at other times. I told him my job as the leader is to do everything I can to win that race. This race in specific is a much different beast than what a points race is and I think he understands that. From my standpoint, we're going to drive each other different, no doubt about it. We've seen it in years past, guys suck each other around, guys running each other up the race track, but I felt like if Kyle had position on the outside, then I definitely should have given him the lane. I just basically took the air off and like he said, he was just dumb and didn't check up. It's just one of those things. The air is so important that if you've got the lead then it's extremely hard for anyone to get around you and we just flat over-adjusted our race car and we got it way off right there. I felt like if we couldn't get the win, then I probably should have just moved over and let him go because it looked like he had a race winning car. That is the only thing I fault myself is not understanding my race car that time."
      How will you and Kyle Busch move forward from this? "We don't need to let it affect these team guys. They work with each other inside the race shop and the important thing for me is that everyone gets along. Right now, everything is going good between the 11 and the 18 (Kyle Busch) on the race track, we're both battling for race wins each and every week. This is like the fifth of sixth time that we've been beside each other with less than 10 (laps) to go and this is not going to be the last time. What's good is that we have an understanding of how we race each other. One thing that we do realize too is this individual race here is a different beast so the racing of each other is always going to be a little different."(Toyota)(5-23-2010)

    • Who loves love?.....Sponsafy Your Ride Contest named; Waltrip to run the colors: Toyota Racing announced the grand prize winner in the "Sponsafy Your Ride Contest," the quest to take one fan's NASCAR Cup car masterpiece from online design to real sheet metal. "Praying for Karson," created by Fay Knape of Danbury, Texas, beat out more than 77,500 submissions. A Toyota Camry wrapped in the "Praying for Karson" artwork was featured in the parade lap before the green flag drops at the NASCAR Sprint All- Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Knape's design "Praying for Karson" honors her one-year-old grandson, Karson, who suffers from a rare interstitial lung disease known as Neuroendocrine Cell Hyperplasia in Infancy (NEHI). Knape saw the contest as the perfect opportunity to raise NEHI awareness and potentially fund research. Knape's car design illustrates her vision for Karson's future. She hopes to see him playing outdoors and enjoying the beauty of nature, without being restricted by the oxygen tank he wears 90% of the time. In addition to the grand prize package, Toyota has donated $5,000 to Karson's family to help offset the cost of his medical expenses. Knape received a prize package for the weekend's race festivities in Charlotte, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the official 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week events, hospitality suite access, a driver meet and greet with #11-Denny Hamlin, exclusive Toyota racing apparel and spending cash. Knape is accompanied to the race by her husband, James; son, Patrick; daughter, Breah; and grandson and inspiration, Karson.
      On June 20, two-time Daytona 500 winner, Michael Waltrip will attempt to qualify the #55 "Praying for Karson" Toyota Camry for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway.
      More than one million votes were cast in the contest. Nine of 10 crowd favorites chosen by popular vote qualified to compete for the grand prize. A panel of judges comprised of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip and Joe Gibbs then narrowed the field of nine finalists down to five. Along with "Praying for Karson," the panel selected four runners-up, including: First Runner-up: "Purple Heart" Second Runner-up: "Kaitlin's Wish Black" Third Runner-up: "Shayden's Race Car" Fourth Runner-up: "All-Star".(Toyoya PR)(5-23-2010)


      News from May 22, 2010

    • Kurt Busch wins the All Star Race: #2-Kurt Busch won the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning over $1 million. It is Busch's first All-Star race win and Penske Racing's 2nd win. #56-Truex Jr., who won the Sprint Showdown, finished 2nd, followed by #20-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart, #17-Kenseth, #71-Labonte, #39-Newman, #29-Harvick and #12-Keselowski. 13 cars were left after some late wrecks with #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th followed by #16-Biffle and #48-Johnson [who won two segments and was running fast before spinning out with two laps to go. #18-Busch felt his teammate #11-Hamlin put him in the wall, Busch fell back and cut a tire down and hit the wall and took out #9-Kahne. Other's who did not finish: #83-Mears, #5-Martin, #1-McMurray, #00-Reutimann, #24-Gordon and #99-Edwards.
      See race results, awards and notes on my All-Star / Sprint Showdown Resaults page.(5-22-2010)

    • Truex Jr. wins Sprint Showdown: #56-Martin Truex Jr. won the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 2nd time Truex Jr. has won the Showdown. Truex will transfer into the Sprint All Star Challenge as will #16-Greg Biffle who finished 2nd. #99-Edwards, who finished 10th, won the Sprint Fan Vote. #31-Jeff Burton finished 3rd followed by #98-Menard and #47-Ambrose.
      See race results, awards and notes on my All-Star / Sprint Showdown Resaults page.(5-22-2010)

    • added #2 miller Lite Vortex, #5 Delphi, #18 M&M's Pretzel, #20 Home Depot, #29 Pennzoil Ultra and #88 Dale Jr Foundation and #33 Wheaties Fuel schemes.(5-22-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - NASCAR Sprint Showdown:
      #56-Martin Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Sprint Showdown, his second victory in the non-points event.
      This is Truex's fourth top-10 finish in the Sprint Showdown.
      Truex transfers into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It will be his fourth appearance in the event.
      #16-Greg Biffle (second) posted his second top-five finish in the Sprint Showdown.
      Biffle transfers into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It will be his seventh appearance.
      #99-Carl Edwards also transfers into the race via the Sprint Fan Vote.
      This will Edwards' fifth appearance in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-22-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - All Star Race: The selections of pit stalls for the Sprint Showdown and All-Star Challenge at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made. #11-Hamlin got to choose first since his pit crew won the Pit Crew Challenge and chose pit stall one for the All-Star Race. The finishing order of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge determined the order of pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
      #6-Ragan will start first in the Sprint Showdown. Qualifying was rained out and was set by the qualifying order. Ragan's team choose pit stall 1
      #2-Busch who was awarded the first position when qualifying was canceled, which was set by qualifying order, chose pit stall 22, which is the 2nd pit stall on pit road with an opening in front of it. With 21 cars in the All-Star race and 29 in the Sprint Showdown, most have openings in front or in back of each.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the All Star Challenge & Sprint Showdown Pit Stall Selection charts.(5-22-2010)

    • Childress expect to sign Harvick by end of month: UPDATE 4 Budweiser? UPS? Harvick re-signs: Richard Childress expects to have Sprint Cup points leader #29-Kevin Harvick signed to a new deal by the Coca-Cola 600 at the end of the month. "Yeah, we're pretty far down the road," the owner of Richard Childress Racing said of negotiations before Friday's Cup practice at Darlington Raceway. "We've still got to get a few things finalized, but we're looking forward to getting everything done by Charlotte or before Charlotte." Harvick was not immediately available for comment, but did say in a recent radio interview that he hoped to have a deal in place soon. Sponsorship is among the details to be finalized. Shell/Pennzoil announced last month it would leave Harvick after this season and move to the #22 car of Kurt Busch at Penske Racing in 2011. Asked if Budweiser or Mobile I, big-name sponsors whose current deals are up, might be on the list, Childress said, "There are sponsors that are not even in the sport that are interested."(ESPN.com)(5-7-2010)
      UPDATE: Sprint Cup point leader Kevin Harvick has agreed to an extension with Richard Childress Racing, a source close to the situation confirmed on Friday. RCR has scheduled a press conference for Saturday at 3:15 p.m. at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Team owner Richard Childress said only that he planned to discuss several organizational matters. Harvick declined to acknowledge the deal, which Childress told ESPN.com three weeks ago would be completed by the end of May. "I don't have anything new to report today," Harvick said. "Soon as we get it all to report we'll go ahead and do that. Nothing new to report today." Among the details to be worked out are sponsorship. Shell/Pennzoil announced last month it would leave Harvick after this season and move to the #22 car of Kurt Busch at Penske Racing in 2011.(ESPN.com)(5-21-2010)
      UPDATE 2: #29-Kevin Harvick will continue his partnership with Richard Childress Racing. Harvick signed a multi-year contract but sponsorship has yet to be finalized. RCR is talking to several potential sponsors but Budweiser appears to be the leading candidate. Another scenario presented for Harvick is the possibility of moving Budweiser to the #33 Chevy with Clint Bowyer and bringing General Mills to the #29.(FoxSports)(5-22-2010)
      UPDATE3: Richard Childress Racing, which is expected to announce Saturday that it has signed Kevin Harvick to a contract extension, is making big pushes to land either Budweiser or UPS for next year, according to multiple sources in the Sprint Cup garage.(Ford Racing)(5-22-2010)
      UPDATE 4: Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick have signed a multi-year contract extension for the 2007 Daytona 500 winner to continue his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driving career with the 12-time NASCAR championship-winning organization. The announcement was made today in the infield media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I'm happy to be able to continue my relationship with Richard and RCR because, over the last 10 years, we've been through a lot together," said Harvick. "Being able to put this piece of the puzzle in place couldn't have come at a better time for me and this team because we can focus solely on winning this championship."
      "Kevin has been a big part of RCR for more than a decade now so it's good to know our relationship will continue for years to come," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "The #29 Shell-Pennzoil team is leading the points and really working very well together this season. This new contract should only help build on their momentum."(RCR)(5-22-2010)

    • Sabotage in the Truck Series?: During the race broadcast, SPEEDtv pit reporter Ray Dunlap reported that the #18-Kyle Busch Motorsports team found eleven lug nuts loose on three wheels just prior to race start even thou the crew says all lug nuts were tightened and signed off on pre-race checks. On Lap 10, #3-Austin Dillon suddenly broke loose, veered right and hit the wall. It was later found that there were loose lug nuts on the left-rear of the #3-RCR truck.(5-22-2010)
      UPDATE: There was also concern before and early in the race about at least two trucks -- including Busch's -- that mysteriously had loose lug nuts. "They just found that three of the wheels were loose," Busch crew chief Eric Phillips said before the green flag. "We've just got to keep a better eye on our stuff, I guess." Phillips refused to speculate if he thought someone intentionally loosened the wheels. But 20-year-old Austin Dillon -- whose car was parked behind Busch's in the impound area after qualifying -- claimed his wreck on the 10th lap was caused by the same problem. "They left the left-rear lugs loose. We don't know what happened," said Dillon, grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. A NASCAR official said they were looking into the matter.(ESPN/AP)(5-22-2010)

    • Steve Park to run Cup race at Daytona? from the Tommy Baldwin Racing Facebook page: "Steve Park & TBR Daytona july race. We [Tommy Baldwin Racing] want to do a Richie Evans replica design", posted by TBR.(5-22-2010)

      =
    • Dover Final TV Ratings drop:: NASCAR on FOX delivered a 3.7/10 (5.8 million viewers) on Sunday afternoon for racing from DOVER. Sunday's 3.7/10 is down -8% compared to last year's 4.0/10 when the race did not face an NBA Playoff game. That -8% decline is the steepest for a NASCAR race since February's Las Vegas race, and reverses a fairly positive recent trend in which three of FOX's four Sprint Cup races prior to Dover had posted modest year-to-year gains. For the season-to-date, NASCAR On FOX is now averaging a 4.9/10 nationally. That's down -4% compared to last season's 5.1/11 and excludes races that were rained out and made-up on Mondays. See race-to-race, year-to-year comparison on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(5-22-2010)

    • Special Dale Earnhardt scheme for #1 at 'Dega: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Bass Pro Shops announced they will combine to run a special tribute paint scheme on the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy in honor of Dale Earnhardt being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in its inaugural class. Jamie McMurray will drive the special paint scheme at the fall Talladega race which will be the 10th Anniversary of Dale's 76th and final Cup victory. The paint scheme will be reminiscent of the black and gold Bass Pro Shops paint scheme that Dale ran in the 1998 All-Star race (formerly known as The Winston).(EGR), see images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2010)

    • Newman's car to honor Jr. Johnson: This weekend, Ryan Newman’s #39 Chevy not only will carry the nowfamiliar sponsor logos for Tornados, the maker of bold, rolled snacks, but it will also carry a special decal commemorating the induction of Junior Johnson into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame on May 23. Johnson was a bootlegger who became one of NASCAR’s most successful drivers (50 wins) and owners (132 wins and six championships). It seems fitting that his name is coupled this weekend with Newman’s sponsor, whose tagline is “Bold is How We Roll.”(Stewart Haas Racing)(5-22-2010)


      News from May 21, 2010

    • All-Star Challenge qualifying rained out: due to weather, so the field was set by the rules on the entry blank, by the qualifying draw [just for this race, not for points races]. #2-Kurt Busch will start first, followed by #20-Logano, #12-Keselowski, #1-McMurray, #18-Busch, #00-Reutimann, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #83-Mears, and #39-Newman. #11-Hamlin would start 12th, but lost an engine is practice and will have to go to the back.
      For starting lineup see All Star Starting Lineup / Qualifying Results Page(5-21-2010)

    • Qualifying for the Sprint Showdown cancelled: due to rain/weather, so the field was set by the rules on the entry blank, by the qualifying draw [just for this race, not for points races]. #6-Ragan will start first followed by #13-Papis, #77-Hornish Jr., #37-Conway, #16-Biffle, #32-Sorenson, #21-Elliott, #43-Allmendinger, #33-Bowyer and #7-Gordon.
      For starting lineup see AQll Star Starting Lineup / Qualifying Results Page(5-21-2010)

    • Sprint All-Star Challenge practice [the only practice] at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, some results and notes:
      #48-Johnson 184.710
      #2-Busch 183.480
      #39-Newman 183.119
      #5-Martin 182.952
      #29-Harvick 182.710
      slowest of 18: #17-Kenseth 178.968 & #71-Labonte 178.006
      incident: #11-Hamlin blew an engine early and laid oil on the track, causing a 10 minute delay.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on my All Star Race Practice Speeds page.(5-21-2010)

    • Sprint Showdown practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, some results and notes:
      #42-Montoya 184.508
      #31-Burton, 184.407
      #56-Truex, Jr 183.874
      #43-Allmendinger 183.599
      #16-Biffle 182.667
      slowest: #92-Richardson 171.898 & #57-Benning 167.723
      incidents: #19-Sadler hit the wall in turn 4 midway through the session, scraping up the side of the car. The team will repair it. #82-Scott Speed got loose off turn 2 and smacked the wall. He will have to go to a backup car.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on my All Star Race Practice Speeds page.(5-21-2010)

    • Johnson to race Six Hours of the Glen on June 5: Jimmie Johnson will make his second start of the 2010 season with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and its team of two-time champion drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty at next month's Six Hours of The Glen. The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race takes place June 4–5 on the full 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International road course. The Six Hours of The Glen marks the first time Johnson has made more than one start in a season with the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team and just his second time running multiple GRAND-AM Rolex Series races in a year. The Six Hour also will be Johnson's first start in any series on the traditional 3.4-mile Grand Prix road course that has played host to some of the greatest racecar drivers of all time since opening in the 1950s. The six-hour sports car race has been an international fixture on The Glen's annual schedule since 1968. Johnson co-drove the #99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona the last three years, scoring a second-place overall finish with Gurney, Fogarty and Jimmy Vasser in their debut race together in 2008. Team owner Bob Stallings has always looked to expand Johnson's races with the team beyond the Rolex 24 and the circumstances were right for this year's Six Hours. Johnson will compete at both Watkins Glen, which is a Saturday race, and in the Cup race activities at Pocono Raceway on the same weekend.(HMS)(5-21-2010)

    • Vickers to miss at least three months? UPDATE: out remainder of season: Sprint Cup driver #83-Brian Vickers is expected to miss at least three months while undergoing treatment for blood clots, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Wednesday. Red Bull Racing officials said they continue to wait for final recommendations from doctors and that details of Vickers' prognosis will be announced on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the 26-year-old driver and general manager Jay Frye will appear at a news conference. Casey Mears replaced Vickers last weekend at Dover International Speedway and finished 22nd. Mears again will drive the #83 in Saturday night's All-Star Race after Red Bull requested a driver change on Wednesday. Vickers' former boss, Rick Hendrick, said Wednesday on his Amp Energy video conference that he has spoken to Vickers. "We are good friends and I actually hooked him up with my doctor," Hendrick said on the chat. "He's doing well. They have to be careful. When you're dealing with blood clots you have to be extremely careful."
      Team officials have not used a specific medical term in defining Vickers' condition. Dr. Victor Tapson, an associate professor for the division of pulmonary medicine at Duke University and co-chair of the Council for Leadership on Thrombosis Awareness and Management, and two other doctors said Vickers' symptoms are a sign of deep vein thrombosis with a pulmonary embolism. Tapson, who is not treating Vickers, described the driver's condition as life-threatening and said the length of treatment ranges from three to six months to possibly a lifetime. He added that Vickers was lucky somebody sent him to the hospital so quickly. "Most people die before they're diagnosed," Tapson said last week. "Most people that die aren't even expecting it. Once it's diagnosed you're certainly not out of the woods, but you're ahead of the game." Tapson said he was surprised more drivers don't develop clots because immobility is one of the contributing factors in clotting and drivers are confined to a tight space and have little motion for long periods of time. He said the concern for Vickers is that if taken off blood thinners a clot could develop, move to the brain and be fatal. He said if left on blood thinners, any sort of accident on the track that causes trauma could result in the driver bleeding to death. "Usually when we treat this we treat it with blood thinners," Tapson said. "Usually people on blood thinners, if it's what we call a reversible risk factor, you treat them for three months, sometimes six months. If you decide the patient has a continual list of blood clots then sometimes they take medicine for a lifetime. A lot may depend on what is his apparent risk. If they can't come up with any reason why he has a blood clot other than being a race car driver, then the option may be don't race cars anymore."(ESPN)(5-19-2010)
      UPDATE: Brian Vickers will miss the remainder of the NASCAR season because of blood clots in his lungs and left leg. Vickers was hospitalized two nights last week after feeling chest pains during a visit to Washington, D.C. Testing revealed the clots, and Vickers missed last weekend's race at Dover. Vickers returned to North Carolina following his release from the hospital Friday night, but said a recurrence of chest pains sent him back to the hospital the next day. He spent another two nights hospitalized, and the decision to sit out the remainder of the season to receive treatment was made shortly after. The 26-year-old Vickers is being treated with blood thinners, and his physician could not clear him to race because of the dangers of the driver being injured in a crash. Vickers is in his seventh full season in the Sprint Cup Series and coming off his first appearance in the Chase for the championship. He was replaced in #No. 83 Toyota last weekend by Casey Mears, who will also drive the car in Saturday night's All-Star Race. [Red Bull GM Jay] Frye said the team was still deciding how it will proceed the rest of the season, but indicated Mears could stay in the seat with possible consideration to using a road course specialist at those two races. Vickers vowed to be back in the car in 2011. "I do expect to be back in the car next season, and to win the Daytona 500," he said.(ESPN/Associated Press)(5-21-2010)

    • Dale Earnhardt to appear on Wheaties boxes: Wheaties unveiled a special-edition Dale Earnhardt commemorative box, honoring his legendary career and celebrating his induction into the Hall of Fame. Earnhardt's record-tying seven championships, along with 76 wins and incredible fan popularity helped propel him into this latest "Breakfast of Champions" honor. Earnhardt becomes the first stock car driver to be featured on the Wheaties box twice. He first appeared on a series of boxes in 1997 when he raced a Wheaties paint scheme in the All-Star event that same year. And, now Wheaties honors his competitive spirit and champion attitude in connection with his induction. Race fans can help celebrate Earnhardt's legacy next week at the Food Lion Speed Street 600 Race Festival in downtown Charlotte, N.C. Beginning Thursday, May 27, the original Wheaties car driven by Earnhardt in the 1997 race will be showcased at the Wheaties display. The new commemorative box hits store shelves this summer.(Breaking Limits/Wheaties PR), see an image of the box on my Dale Earnhardt Tribute page.(5-21-2010)

    • Go-kart track by McDowell and Marks faces opposition: Neighbors concerned about noise are fighting plans for a go-kart track proposed by NASCAR driver Michael McDowell and ARCA racer Justin Marks. The drivers' DryLake Entertainment LLC has offered to buy 31.68 acres for $821,431 for their Mooresville Motorplex go-kart track in a far end of the town of Mooresville's new Mazeppa Park. The nearest such tracks are in Kershaw, S.C., and Danville, Va., Marks said. The drivers tried to ease concerns about noise when they met with about 30 concerned residents at nearby Triplett United Methodist Church on Wednesday night. The track's developers will maintain the existing 80-foot buffer of pine woods while also planting evergreens, Virginia pines and Southern magnolia trees to further reduce sound carrying from the track, project architect Dick Brolin of Mooresville-based Piedmont Design Associates told the residents. Only two or three go-karts would practice at any given time during the week, with the sound minimal to neighboring properties, the drivers said. The track would host four to six competitions a year, Marks said, and letting people stay overnight at the track won't be allowed. The karts would adhere to international karting standards for noise, the drivers added.(Charlotte Observer)(5-21-2010)

    • Charlotte Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes during Charlotte Speed Weeks . . . teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will run the same right-side tire code with a different left-side code at Charlotte . . . for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars, this is the first time they have run this left-side code (D-4390), but they have run this right-side code (D-4234) several times in the past . . . Cup and Nationwide teams have run this right-side with a different left-side at Las Vegas and Charlotte in 2009, and Las Vegas and Darlington in 2010 . . . compared to what was run at Charlotte last year, this new left-side features a minor construction change to help give the cars more grip . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see tire pressures, codes and more on my All-Star Race Info Page - Tire Section.(5-21-2010)

    • Coca-Cola 600 Race Officials Named: North Carolina House Speaker Joe Hackney has been named Honorary Starter and Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor has been named Honorary Race Director for the 2010 Coca-Cola 600, which will be held at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 30, 2010. A spectacular pre-race show honoring generations of America's Armed Forces will precede the 51st running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race. The Let Freedom Race pre-race show for the Coca-Cola 600 will include flyovers from vintage military aircraft, assault demonstrations by Fort Bragg soldiers, recognition on the stage for Medal of Honor recipients and the unfurling of a 11,250 square-foot American flag by family members of active-duty soldiers. As race officials, Hackney and Cantor will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of nearly 150,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy in Victory Lane. As Honorary Race Director, Congressman Cantor will ride in the official pace car while Speaker Hackney, as Honorary Starter, will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start the longest NASCAR race and one of the largest sporting events in the world. Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 can be obtained by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(5-21-2010)


      News from May 20, 2010

    • Stock Car Commission denies Ambrose penalty appeal: On May 20, 2010, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of JTG Daugherty Racing regarding the #47 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The appeal concerned penalties issued by NASCAR following post-qualifying inspection on April 16, 2010, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing." and Section 20-2.3A: "Unapproved added weight." The Appellants argued that the pieces added to the radiator support panel near the nose of the car were simply spacers used to align the panel correctly with the bottom of the radiator. In the view of the Appeals Panel, the pieces clearly constituted added weight. Furthermore, the Appeals Panel was troubled by the thought of unapproved weight located in an area other than an approved weight container as defined in the Rule Book. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR PR), for more information on the penalty, see my Sprint Cup penalties page(5-20-2010)

    • Special scheme for the #2 at both Charlotte races: Kurt Busch will be driving his special Miller Lite Vortex Bottle color scheme during the two-week stretch at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-20-2010), see an image of the scheme on my #2 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2010)

    • McMurray to run special scheme at Sprint All Star race: The National Wild Turkey Federation’s flying turkey logo will appear on the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Bass Pro Shops sponsored #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the #3 Chevy Silverado driven by Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. McMurray will be trying to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 22nd at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bass Pro Shops salute to the NWTF is a part of the Conservation Fund’s “Racing for America’s Wildlife” program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America’s hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach. The NWTF is an over 500,000 member conservation organization with chapters across the United States, Canada and 10 other foreign countries. The Federation has worked with its volunteers, partners and wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations to 49 states and in parts of Canada. Bass Pro Shops is a dedicated supporter of NWTF’s Women in the Outdoors, JAKES, and Wheelin’ Sportsmen outreach programs.(Bass Pro Shops/EGR). see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2010)

    • Kyle Busch to run a M&M's Pretzel scheme UPDATE: Kyle Busch is scheduled to run a #18 M&M Pretzel Special the All Star Challenge and Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. See am image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page...mmmm, m&m's AND pretzels.
      At the 2009 NACS show, Mars Snackfood US unveiled its M&M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies, which combine sweet and salty in every bite-size piece. M&M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies are kosher certified and feature a crunchy, salted pretzel center covered in M&M’s brand milk chocolate and coated in a colorful candy shell. The product will be available in May 2010.(4-17-2010)
      UPDATE: The new salty and sweet Pretzel M&M’s Chocolate Candies blue colors will adorn Busch’s #18 Toyota for the next four events, including Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star race, and the SPrint Cup Series races at Charlotte, Pocono and Michigan. The scheme is to help promote the launch of the newest sweet creation from Mars Chocolate North America.(True Speed Communication), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2010)

    • Sports Legends Set for Pre-Race Activities at NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race : Sprint announced that NASCAR legends Junior Johnson and Richard Petty have been named as grand marshals and that basketball icon Michael Jordan will serve as the honorary starter for the 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. North Carolina native Junior Johnson is recognized as one of the early superstars of NASCAR. In his 14-year driving career, Johnson racked up 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins and 47 pole positions. As a team owner, Johnson fielded entries for many legendary drivers, including Leeroy Yarbrough, Neil Bonnett, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough, capturing 132 wins and six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships. Johnson retired from his ownership role in 1995.
      Known by many as "The King," Richard Petty earned that title by winning seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships and compiling a record 200 career victories. Still involved in the sport he loves, the North Carolina native is co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, which fields four entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
      The two NASCAR legends will be honored at pre-race ceremonies before giving the famous command for drivers to start their engines. They will then lead the field during the pre-race parade laps in the grand marshal car. Both members of the inaugural group of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the two men will be formally enshrined in a ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 23.
      Recognized by many as the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, will wave the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The hall of famer, who grew up in North Carolina, is the first former NBA player to become majority owner of an NBA franchise when he purchased the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this year. Tickets for the event start at $39 and are available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 800-455-FANS.(CMS)(5-20-2010)

    • Sad News - Marti Rompf: Martha C. (Marti) Rompf, 67, a public relations professional in auto racing for more than 25 years, died at her home in Traverse City, Mich., on May 15 after a long illness. Born and raised in Lansing, Mich., Rompf served as director of public relations at Michigan International Speedway (1982-86) and Atlanta Motor Speedway (1986-1992) before joining Dearborn, Mich.-based communications agency PCGCampbell in 1992. While with PCGCampbell, she represented Ford Motor Company's race teams in NASCAR, including The Wood Brothers, Bud Moore Engineering, and Robert Yates Racing, and drivers that included Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler, Lake Speed, and Dick Trickle. She also worked as Ford Motor Company's public relations manager in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for several years, promoting future NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standouts Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and the late Kenny Irwin. In 2006, Rompf joined Wood Brothers Racing, from which she retired at the end of the 2007 NASCAR season. Prior to entering the public relations profession, Rompf worked as a journalist covering local news for both the Albion (Mich.) Evening Recorder and the Coldwater (Mich.) Daily Reporter during the 1970s. A 1961 graduate of Lansing Eastern High School, she is survived by her daughter Kathie, her sons Michael and Mark, and four grandsons. At her request, no services are planned. Memorials can be made to Munson Hospice MHRF at 210 Beaumont Place, Traverse City, MI 49684 or Victory Junction Gang 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, NC 27317.(NASCAR)(5-20-2010)


      News from May 19, 2010

    • Hamlin's team wins Pit Crew Challenge: Denny Hamlin's seven-member team changed four tires, put in gas and pushed the car 40 yards in 23.132 seconds to edge defending champion #31-Jeff Burton's crew and collect $70,650 winning the NASCAR's Pit Crew Challenge. Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford said they'd take the first pit stall for Saturday's All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a perk for winning this single-elimination competition. The #11 team beat #88-Dale Earnhardt's crew in the semifinals, ending Hendrick Motorsports' best showing in the event. The Burton team routed #39-Ryan Newman's crew to reach its second straight final. Hamlin's team includes gas man Scott Woods; catch-can man John Eicher; front tire changer Mike Hicks and carrier Brandon Pegram; rear tire changer Jon Sherman and carrier Heath Cherry; and jack man Nate Bolling.
      Driver #18-Kyle Busch's front tire changer Nick Odell and carrier Brad Donaghy headlined the individual awards timed in the opening rounds with an event-record 13.903 seconds. Other winners, who collected $10,000 for each competition, were rear tire changer Dustin Necaise and carrier Matt Kreuter (14.322 seconds) of Clint Bowyer's #33 team; Bolling of Hamlin's crew (5.573 seconds); and gas man Brad Pickens and catch-can man Travis Gordon of Mark Martin's #5 car (10.518 seconds).
      The competition included the top 24 crews in the Sprint Cup standings, with the top eight getting a bye into the second round. Teams faced each other in head-to-head stops. There were eight identically marked cars, four on each side of the arena floor. Teams simultaneously changed tires on two cars, filled the gas tank with water on another and a jack man lifted both sides of the fourth car. The jack men then ran to the teams' regular cars, lined up side-by-side at the corner of the arena floor, and pushed them to the finish as teammates joined to help after their tasks.
      Teams received time penalties for loose lug nuts, spilled gas and other infractions, and that led to an early upset. A 3-second penalty for a loose lug nut knocked top-seeded Busch's #18 team out in the second round and allowed the #71 team of driver Bobby Labonte, which has been strapped for funding much of the season, to advance. The #71 crew was beaten in the quarterfinals by Earnhardt's team. Jeff Gordon's team was ousted in the quarterfinals by Newman's crew, thanks to a loose lug nut. Newman's crew also beat Jimmie Johnson's #48 team, which has never won the event.(ESPN), see links to results on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(5-19-2010)

    • Vickers to miss at least three months? Sprint Cup driver #83-Brian Vickers is expected to miss at least three months while undergoing treatment for blood clots, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Wednesday. Red Bull Racing officials said they continue to wait for final recommendations from doctors and that details of Vickers' prognosis will be announced on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the 26-year-old driver and general manager Jay Frye will appear at a news conference. Casey Mears replaced Vickers last weekend at Dover International Speedway and finished 22nd. Mears again will drive the #83 in Saturday night's All-Star Race after Red Bull requested a driver change on Wednesday. Vickers' former boss, Rick Hendrick, said Wednesday on his Amp Energy video conference that he has spoken to Vickers. "We are good friends and I actually hooked him up with my doctor," Hendrick said on the chat. "He's doing well. They have to be careful. When you're dealing with blood clots you have to be extremely careful."
      Team officials have not used a specific medical term in defining Vickers' condition. Dr. Victor Tapson, an associate professor for the division of pulmonary medicine at Duke University and co-chair of the Council for Leadership on Thrombosis Awareness and Management, and two other doctors said Vickers' symptoms are a sign of deep vein thrombosis with a pulmonary embolism. Tapson, who is not treating Vickers, described the driver's condition as life-threatening and said the length of treatment ranges from three to six months to possibly a lifetime. He added that Vickers was lucky somebody sent him to the hospital so quickly. "Most people die before they're diagnosed," Tapson said last week. "Most people that die aren't even expecting it. Once it's diagnosed you're certainly not out of the woods, but you're ahead of the game." Tapson said he was surprised more drivers don't develop clots because immobility is one of the contributing factors in clotting and drivers are confined to a tight space and have little motion for long periods of time. He said the concern for Vickers is that if taken off blood thinners a clot could develop, move to the brain and be fatal. He said if left on blood thinners, any sort of accident on the track that causes trauma could result in the driver bleeding to death. "Usually when we treat this we treat it with blood thinners," Tapson said. "Usually people on blood thinners, if it's what we call a reversible risk factor, you treat them for three months, sometimes six months. If you decide the patient has a continual list of blood clots then sometimes they take medicine for a lifetime. A lot may depend on what is his apparent risk. If they can't come up with any reason why he has a blood clot other than being a race car driver, then the option may be don't race cars anymore."(ESPN)(5-19-2010)

    • Vickers released from hospital, heads back to Charlotte UPDATE 3 : Red Bull Racing Team announced that #83 driver Brian Vickers was released Friday night from the Washington, D.C.-area hospital where he has been hospitalized since Wednesday night. Vickers, age 26, was cleared to fly to Charlotte, N.C., where he will meet with a group of specialists as to the specifics of his condition. The status of Vickers' return to racing is uncertain. Updates will be provided as they are received.(Red Bull Racing), see past news on Vickers in the hospital and Mears running the #83 on my #83 Team News and Links page.(5-15-2010)
      UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team announced today that #83 driver Brian Vickers' treatment for blood clots has been progressing well in Charlotte, N.C, under the care of specialists and his physician, Dr. Jerry Petty. He is still undergoing evaluation for his condition. Vickers remains in good spirits and is appreciative of all support and concern that has been expressed from the team, Red Bull, fans, media, fellow drivers and members of the NASCAR family. Vickers and Jay Frye, RBRT General Manager and Vice President, will be available Friday, May 21 at 11:15am/et in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center to address the media.(Red Bull Racing)(5-18-2010)
      UPDATE2: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody is reporting that Brian Vickers could return to the seat of the #83 Red Bull Racing Toyota in time for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sources close to the situation say that Vickers will undergo testing later this week to determine whether blood thinning drugs have dissolved the blood clots that formed in his legs and lung last week. If so, and if his doctors are satisfied with the level of blood-thinners in his system, Vickers could be cleared to compete on Saturday night. Casey Mears remains on standby in the event that Vickers is not cleared to compete, and a decision on his status could come as late as race day.(5-18-2010)
      UPDATE 3: Red Bull Racing Team announced that the #83 Red Bull Toyota has requested a driver change and has been cleared by NASCAR to participate in the Sprint All-Star Race Saturday, May 22. Casey Mears will again pilot the #83, due to primary driver Brian Vickers' diagnosis of blood clots and on- going testing and treatment. "Given the extenuating circumstances we have dealt with this past week regarding Brian's health, we would like to thank NASCAR for their assistance and understanding of this unique situation by allowing us to compete in the All-Star Race," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team General Manager & Vice President.(Red Bull Racing)(5-19-2010)

    • Cavalia to sponsor Ambrose in the Sprint Showdown: Not far from the roaring engines inside Charlotte Motor Speedway there is a different kind of horsepower found underneath a 110-feet-high White Big Top with 71,400 square feet of canvas. The world's largest touring White Big Top holding court in uptown Charlotte is home to Cavalia - - a lavish multimedia, equestrian extravaganza featuring 62 majestic horses and 40 artists, including acrobats, aerialists, riders, musicians and dancers. Cavalia announced for the first time that they will sponsor Marcos Ambrose and JTG Daugherty Racing's efforts during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For the Showdown, The #47 Cavalia Toyota Camry will sport a sleek black look with majestic horses from the captivating fast-paced performance featuring harmony between horse and human. On May 9th, Ambrose took his wife Sonja and daughters Adelaide and Tabitha to Cavalia to witness the tribute of horses, which is also a celebration of the relationship between man and horse. The show takes place on a 160-foot wide stage that allows the horses to express themselves in all their beauty, their grace and their strength and at times in total liberty. Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec (Canada), Cavalia is the brainchild of Normand Latourelle who has become renowned for producing popular events around the world and is in Charlotte thru May 28th.(JTG Daugherty Racing), see an image of the car on my #47 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2010)

    • NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge tonight, entry list:< The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will feature the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM pit crews in a head-to-head competition at 7:00 pm/et Wednesday, May 19 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 495-2295. SPEED's broadcast of the event begins at 9 pm/et. Eligible teams include all teams currently qualified for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman winning team. The remaining unfilled positions became available to the car owners ranked highest in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner point standings as of May 19, 2010, who were not otherwise eligible for this event.(PR), see the entry list and more info on my Pit Crew News page.(5-19-2010)


      News from May 18, 2010

    • Mayfield's suit vs. NASCAR dismissed: A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed Jeremy Mayfield's lawsuit against NASCAR, a ruling that presumably ends the yearlong saga surrounding the first Sprint Cup driver suspended for failing a random drug test. U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen in Charlotte, N.C., ruled that Mayfield had twice waived his rights to pursue any claims against NASCAR when he signed documents both as a driver and as an owner to participate in the stock car series. "Plaintiffs thereby waived their right to pursue their claims for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and negligence," Mullen wrote in his decision. "Plaintiffs' claims are hereby dismissed."
      "The U.S. District Court's ruling is a powerful acknowledgement and affirmation of NASCAR's rulebook and its ability to police the sport," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in a statement. "NASCAR has been very clear with its competitors as to its policies and what is expected of them." Mayfield's wife, Shana, said the couple had no comment on the ruling, which can be appealed only after NASCAR's suit against Mayfield is resolved. She said attorney Mark Geragos would speak on their behalf. Geragos' voice mailbox was full, and he did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment. Mullen's ruling Tuesday was in response to a motion NASCAR made last November to dismiss the suit based on pleadings already submitted. There was no hearing.(ESPN)(5-18-2010)
      NASCAR Statement on Dismissal of Mayfield Suit: “The U.S. District Court’s ruling is a powerful acknowledgement and affirmation of NASCAR’s rulebook and its ability to police the sport. NASCAR has been very clear with its competitors as to its policies and what is expected of them. NASCAR’s comprehensive substance abuse policy, which is among the best and toughest in all of sports, serves the safety of our competitors and fans.” Ramsey Poston, NASCAR Public Relations.(5-18-2010)

    • Vickers released from hospital, heads back to Charlotte UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team announced that #83 driver Brian Vickers was released Friday night from the Washington, D.C.-area hospital where he has been hospitalized since Wednesday night. Vickers, age 26, was cleared to fly to Charlotte, N.C., where he will meet with a group of specialists as to the specifics of his condition. The status of Vickers’ return to racing is uncertain. Updates will be provided as they are received.(Red Bull Racing), see past news on Vickers in the hospital and Mears running the #83 on my #83 Team News and Links page.(5-15-2010)
      UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team announced today that #83 driver Brian Vickers’ treatment for blood clots has been progressing well in Charlotte, N.C, under the care of specialists and his physician, Dr. Jerry Petty. He is still undergoing evaluation for his condition. Vickers remains in good spirits and is appreciative of all support and concern that has been expressed from the team, Red Bull, fans, media, fellow drivers and members of the NASCAR family. Vickers and Jay Frye, RBRT General Manager and Vice President, will be available Friday, May 21 at 11:15am/et in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center to address the media.(Red Bull Racing), Vickers remains on the Sprint All Star Race entry list, no word if he will run the race or not.(5-18-2010)
      UPDATE2: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody is reporting that Brian Vickers could return to the seat of the #83 Red Bull Racing Toyota in time for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sources close to the situation say that Vickers will undergo testing later this week to determine whether blood thinning drugs have dissolved the blood clots that formed in his legs and lung last week. If so, and if his doctors are satisfied with the level of blood-thinners in his system, Vickers could be cleared to compete on Saturday night. Casey Mears remains on standby in the event that Vickers is not cleared to compete, and a decision on his status could come as late as race day.(5-18-2010)

    • Kenseth’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Dover: Matt Kenseth’s crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s (May 16) Autism Speaks 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. It was the second Tissot win of the season for the #17 crew, which also won in Phoenix on April 10. The only other team to score two Tissot wins after 12 Cup races is Martin Truex Jr.’s #56 crew. Kenseth’s Ford Fusion spent the least amount of time on pit road – 255.005 seconds – during the 400-lap, 400-mile race at Dover’s Monster Mile. The quick work by the #17 crew helped Kenseth to a third-place finish. The #17 Roush Fenway Racing over-the-wall crew consists of: Justin Nottestad (front-tire changer), Joe Crossen (front-tire carrier), Dave Smith (rear-tire changer), Garrett Reding (rear-tire carrier), Cameron Cobb (jackman), Brad Robison (gasman) and Dave McDonald (catch can). 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. Kenseth’s and Truex’s crews lead the Tissot standings with two wins each. Eight teams are tied for second with one win.(Tissot), see past winners and more on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(5-18-2010)

    • 87-year-old dies in ride-along crash at TMS: Officials say an 87-year-old man has died after the car he was in crashed into the wall at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth during the weekend. Troy Taylor of the Denton County Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday that Fred Krusemark of Dallas died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck after Saturday's crash. He says Krusemark died Monday. Krusemark was taking part in a ride-along program offered by a company called Texas Driving Experience. The owner of the company didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment, and both the Krusemark family and a spokesman for the speedway declined comment Tuesday.(Associated Press)(5-18-2010)

    • Armed Forces car for Reutimann at Charlotte: #00-David Reutimann is scheduled to run a Aaron's / Armed Forces Foundation Toyota in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. See an image of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(5-18-2010)

    • Captains of Gold-Medal Winning USA Paralympic Sled Hockey Team to be Joey Logano’s Guests During All-Star Weekend: #20-Joey Logano will host three members of the gold-medal winning 2010 USA Paralympic Sled Hockey team during the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22nd. The team members - Steve Cash (Goaltender), Taylor Lipsett (Forward) and Jimmy Connelly (Defenseman) - will be guests of Joey for the entire weekend and will hang out with the team and Joey during one of the highlight nights of the Sprint Cup season. The three team members will also be Joey’s special guests at the Joey Logano Fan day on Sunday, May 23rd, at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, NC.(2 Dudes Designs), see more on my #20 Team News and Links page.(5-18-2010)

    • NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race News and Notes From Charlotte Motor Speedway: Only five days remain until the 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Here are several NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race news and notes items:
      CATS Route Provides Easy Access to Speedway: The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered to bring Saturday bus service from Center City Charlotte to the track. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, race fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at the speedway for just $6 round-trip. The route will run every 20 minutes from noon to 6 p.m. on May 22. Return trips will begin immediately after the checkered flag as race fans make their way to the buses near the track's main entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 East Trade Street in Center City or online at secure.ridetransit.org/psales/. For more information visit www.ridetransit.org or call (704) 336-RIDE (7433).
      Traffic Information Available on 91.1 FM: Race fans will be able to tune into 91.1 FM for up-to-date traffic information following Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Charlotte Motor Speedway will broadcast traffic exit updates on that frequency to inform fans of any traffic concerns around the speedway.
      Fan Guide to Fun Highlights All Charlotte Race Activities: To enhance the fan experience during race week, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials have created a Fan Guide to Fun for race week events that coincides with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. The Fan Guide to Fun provides information on driver appearances, concerts, sponsor displays, pre-race infield activities and much more. The guide is available online at charlottemotorspeedway.com/fanguidetofun and the brochure will be available at the track welcome center and information booths during race weeks.
      'PRN Up To SPEED' Returns to the SPEED Stage on Saturday: "PRN Up To SPEED" returns for the second year to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The popular free fan forum takes place at the SPEED stage, located at the speedway's main entrance, from 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm, prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22. Several NASCAR stars are scheduled to join personalities from the Performance Racing Network for the 30 minute Q&A session.
      Coca-Cola, Scott's Donate to Troops: Fans and companies have just one week left to donate tickets to the troops through Charlotte Motor Speedway's Let the Troops Race program for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600. The latest organizations to purchase tickets for the troops include Coca-Cola, The Scott's Company, and the employees of Stewart-Haas Racing. The Let the Troops Race program, which runs through May 22, gives individuals and companies the chance to purchase tickets for just $20 to send a member of the U.S. armed forces to the Memorial Day Weekend race. For their purchase fans and companies will be recognized on the Charlotte Motor Speedway web site and at the speedway during Coca-Cola 600 race weekend.(5-18-2010)

    • Sad News - Harriet Hicks: Harriet Hicks [maiden name Harris], mother of Stringer Motorsports crew chief Trip Bruce and Beth Baldwin, wife of Sprint Cup Series team owner, Tommy Baldwin passed away last Saturday, May 15, 2100. Services will be held in Franklinton, North Carolina next Monday, May 24th at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, time has not been announced. Address is; 504 East Mason Street, Franklinton, NC.(5-18-2010)

    • Kenseth's son wins at Winchester: Ross Kenseth, Bret Miles, Sr. and Kevin Claborn took hard fought victories on the opening day of the legendary Winchester Speedway. On a day that threatened rain but was dry all day, with a strong wind, the racing was hot as drivers fought every lap for the win. Two races with cars side by side on the last lap and one winner that only led the last lap kept the crowd on the edge of their seats the entire day. Kenseth started his first trip to Winchester by setting fast time for the Manning Service 100, just beating John VanDoorn by only .008 of a second. He then drew a four putting Tommy St. John on the pole with Scott Hantz on the outside of the front row. St. John jumped out to the early lead, with VanDoorn following him and pressuring him as they ran out front.(Winchester Speedway)(5-18-2010)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame Concludes First Week; Attention Turns to Induction: Approximately 10,000 guests visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in its first seven days of business and operators are now turning focus to the Inaugural Induction Week Thursday, May 20 - Sunday, May 23. Induction activities begin Thursday, May 20 in the Ceremonial Garden outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame where Inductees will unveil their signatures in granite tiles. The media event begins at 5:00pm, and the public is invited to view the unveiling from the Ceremonial Plaza. Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, Teresa Earnhardt, Brian France, Jim France and Lesa France Kennedy are expected to participate. Also, Thursday, May 20, Inductees will participate in the Inaugural Induction Dinner at the Crown Ballroom in the Charlotte Convention Center connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The dinner begins at 6:00 pm and will feature various NASCAR dignitaries sharing memorable stories about the Inaugural Class of Inductees. The highlight of the week is the Inaugural Induction Ceremony on Sunday, May 23. NASCAR Hall of Fame customers that day will be treated to added perks including prime viewing of the red carpet and the first to see the Hall of Honor exhibits. Guests who purchased a NASCAR Hall of Fame general admission ticket for the morning of May 23 will be invited to view the celebrity-filled, red-carpet entry from the Great Hall. The hour-and-a-half procession begins at 11:30 am outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame and continues up Glory Road and into the Crown Ballroom. In addition to seeing Inductees and NASCAR drivers walk the red carpet, guests that day will be the first to view the Hall of Honor exhibits. The Hall of Honor features extensive exhibits highlighting the life and career of each inductee. The exhibits will be unveiled at approx. 5:00 pm on May 23. Tickets to enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame are separate from Induction Ceremony tickets and can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com. NASCAR Hall of Fame tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Charter memberships also are available starting at $25 for children and $50 for adults.
      . A limited number of tickets remain for the Inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The event is scheduled for 1:00 pm May 23 in the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C. The prestigious ceremony will feature presentations about each inductee from prominent members of the NASCAR community. The highlight of the event will be the official induction of the Inaugural Class of 2010: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Johnson and Petty. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. SPEED is the exclusive television home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and will offer a full slate of programming leading up to live coverage of the induction ceremony.(5-18-2010)

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

    • Musical production about the History of Stock Car Racing in Charlotte: Heaven on Wheels, an uproarious musical about the history of stock car racing, is playing at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte from Thursday May 6, 2010, through Saturday, May 29-coinciding with three prominent NASCAR races and the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Heaven on Wheels is a co-production of Actor's Theatre of Charlotte and Once Upon a Blue Ridge Production Company of Meadows of Dan, VA. Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is supported in part by a Basic Operating Grant from the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., a General Support Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, and an Operating Grant from the Shubert Foundation. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased through the Box Office at (704) 342-2251 and online at actorstheatrecharlotte.org. Heaven on Wheels is recommended for those aged 13 and older.(PR)(5-18-2010)


      News from May 17, 2010

    • Dover Facts and Notes:
      • Kyle Busch won the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. It was his 18th series victory in his 198th career race and his second Dover win in his 11th start there. It was Busch's second victory of 2010.
      • Busch competed in all three national series races at Dover, finishing 16th in the Trucks race and first in the Nationwide race.
      • Busch led six times for 131 laps. He led 494 laps combined this weekend (172 Trucks, 191 Nationwide and 131 Cup).
      • Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 82nd Cup win. JGR has won five of the past seven races this season.
      • Toyota notched its second Dover victory and fifth win of 2010. Chevrolet has six, Dodge has one and Ford is winless.
      • It marked second weekend sweep (Cup/Nationwide) at Dover (Harry Gant, September 1991)
      • Jeff Burton (second) posted his best Dover finish since his victory in September 2006.
      • Matt Kenseth (third) extended a five-race streak of top-5 finishes at Dover.
      • Denny Hamlin (fourth) tied his best Dover finish.
      • David Reutimann (fifth) tied his best finish of the season (Daytona).
      • Greg Biffle (sixth) extended a 12-race streak of top-15 finishes at Dover.
      • Points leader Kevin Harvick finished seventh.
      • Carl Edwards (eighth) extended a 10-race streak of top-15 finishes at Dover.
      • Tony Stewart (ninth) has top-10 finishes in the past three races.
      • Ryan Newman finished 13th in his 300th consecutive Cup race.
      • Mark Martin (15th) extended a 16-race streak of running at the finish at Dover.
      • Jimmie Johnson finished 16th in his 300th consecutive race. He dropped from second to fourth in the standings. Johnson has led at least one lap in the past six Dover races.
      • Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 30th in his 375th race. He has not scored a top-10 finish in the past four races and has only three top-10 finishes in 12 races in 2010.(ESPN)(5-17-2010)

    • Field Set for 2010 Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge: Defending event champion #29-Kevin Harvick and six additional NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars will compete May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the third annual Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge. The Challenge is a competition that pits some of NASCAR's top drivers against one another to see who can deliver the best tire-smoking burnout, allowing the drivers a chance to showcase some of their best celebratory skills. Looking to take Harvick's crown with the most impressive burnout will be fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #33-Clint Bowyer, #18-Kyle Busch, #20-Joey Logano, #1-Jamie McMurray, #39Ryan Newman and #00-David Reutimann. Drivers will compete in stock cars identically prepared by the NASCAR Racing Experience. Similar to 2009, judges will score the drivers' creativity in a 30-second freestyle burnout. This year, however, drivers can also gain bonus points by knocking down strategically placed obstacles. Drivers will start from Turn 4 and trigger the 30-second Pennzoil Ultra Countdown Clock as they cross the starting line. The driver with the most points, including the creativity score from the judges and any bonus points, will be declared the winner, with $10,000 awarded to his or her charity of choice. A panel of celebrity judges will be on hand to critique the tire-smoking donut capabilities of the participating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars.
      Judges include Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith; Creed band members Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti; three-time World Wrestling champion Jeff Hardy of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and current SPEED personality, Jimmy Spencer. The Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge will be televised live on Saturday, May 22 at 6:15pm/et during SPEED's pre-race coverage prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Showdown and NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race. Info on tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be found at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(5-17-2010)

    • Dover Overnight TV Ratings same as 2009: NASCAR on FOX earned a 3.6/9 Sunday for racing from Dover International Speedway. That's flat with last year's overnight, although this year's race faced markedly tougher competition. This year's Dover race aired two weeks earlier than last year's and the final hour of the race faced the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, and PGA golf, three events that combined for 6.7 rating points worth of competition from 3:30-4:30pm. Last year's race aired on the last Sunday of May and faced just 3.7 points of competition. With just one race remaining on FOX, NASCAR is averaging a 4.4/9 in the metered markets, off -4% compared to last year's 4.6/9. See 2010 ratings, race-by-race ratings on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(5-17-2010)

    • Wheaties Fuel Makes Introduction into Motorsports: Wheaties Fuel, Clint Bowyer and the #33 Richard Childress Racing team are hoping that new colors will help fuel them to a win in Indianapolis this summer. Today, the team announced that a black and orange Wheaties Fuel-themed #33 Chevrolet will be the primary colors for driver Clint Bowyer during the annual Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 25. This is the first time that Wheaties Fuel will be a primary sponsor in the Cup Series. "Wheaties FUEL was engineered to deliver long-lasting energy," said David Clark, vice president for Wheaties. "It's a perfect match to bring the Wheaties Fuel colors to Indianapolis this summer to help Bowyer and the #33 team compete in one of the most prestigious races of the season." Wheaties Fuel, which was developed with the help of Peyton Manning, triathlete Hunter Kemper, Kevin Garnett, gold medal-winning decathlete Bryan Clay, Albert Pujols and sports nutritionist Dr. John Ivy, was designed to help meet the nutritional needs of today's champion athletes. "RCR was honored to run a Wheaties paint scheme on the #3 car in 1997, and we're equally honored to have Clint Bowyer run the Wheaties Fuel scheme on the #33 this year," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "It's great to be connected with such an iconic brand, creating a new identity with a new generation."
      "Indianapolis is one of the most historic venues in all of motorsports, where only the best of the best have earned victories," said RCR driver Clint Bowyer. "Everyone in the garage wants to win this race. The #33 team, fueled by Wheaties Fuel, is prepared to give it their all so we can be the ones kissing the bricks after the checkered flag waves." For more information on Wheaties and the Wheaties FUEL evolution visit www.Wheaties.com.(General Mills/RCR PR), see images of the scheme on my #33 Team Schemes page.(5-17-2010)

    • NASCAR Sets Dates, Sites For 2010 Postseason Shows: NASCAR has announced dates and sites for its 2010 season-ending championship celebrations. Continuing a new tradition started last year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will honor its champion at Wynn Las Vegas. This year, the awards ceremony is set for Friday, Dec. 3 and will feature the top 10 drivers in the final series standings. The event will culminate NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas.
      In addition, the combined awards banquet for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will again take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The date is Nov. 22, the Monday following Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony will again be accompanied by a number of successful ancillary events – the fan-friendly "Victory Lap," a procession of the top 10 drivers in their race cars; the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards; the Pit Stop Tour; and the NASCAR Street Tour to include stock cars and mobile marketing units placed throughout Las Vegas. In addition, for the second-straight year, a designated number of fans will be able to attend the ceremony; details on the popular fan element will be announced later this year.(NASCAR), no word on dates for television coverage.(5-17-2010)

    • TRG needs sponsorship, will start-and-park if needed: TRG Motorsports had no sponsor for the Autism Speaks 400 on Sunday at Dover International Speedway and 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte parked after 65 laps. The team needs sponsorship for several future races this season as well, team executive vice president Tortey Galida said before the race. Sponsor TaxSlayer.com was a 12-race primary deal and most of its races were early in the year to coincide with tax season. Team owner Kevin Buckler's Adobe Road Winery is another sponsor. "We're still looking for partners," Galida said prior to the Autism Speaks 400. "TaxSlayer has been a great partner for us this year but they're not on for the full season. We're getting to the point where we've got to be strategic with how we use our resources and continue to run as well as we can and attract more sponsorship. We've had tons of leads, lots of great meetings but just haven't been able to close [with] anybody. We think we're close on a couple of things. We're at a point now where we've got to start [getting sponsors] pretty quickly." TRG has alliances with several organizations. It uses a pit crew provided by Stewart-Haas Racing. It has a strategic alliance with Richard Childress Racing as it uses RCR cars and chassis. The team plans to show up for every race, Galida said, and not do a program such as the Wood Brothers, which comes to select races as a fully funded car. Labonte, who has a spot in the Sprint All-Star Race, will run the full event next week with sponsorship from TaxSlayer.com.(SceneDaily)(5-17-2010)

    • Stewart Haas has not talked to Hendrick about 3rd team: Stewart Haas Racing competition director Bobby Hutchens said on Sunday that he has had no formal discussions with Hendrick Motorsports about adding a third team for next season to accommodate Kasey Kahne. Though such decisions are usually finalized by late summer, he'd prefer to have a decision on a new program – including driver and sponsor – by June 1 to avoid disrupting the programs of #14-Tony Stewart and #39-Ryan Newman and "not be in a panic" in building cars and purchasing equipment for 2011. Kahne has signed to drive the #5 Chevy at Hendrick, but Mark Martin, the current occupant, is contracted through the end of 2011. Hendrick is working to outsource Kahne to a Chevrolet team under the premise that his current lineup will not change before 2012. "We have not had what I call permanent discussions with Mr. Hendrick or anybody at Hendrick Motorsports to zero in on (Kahne)," Hutchens said. "Kasey Kahne was definitely a possibility back when we started looking at this thing for ourselves in the middle of last year, so we're going to just see how all this shakes out." Hutchens said that in the current sponsor marketplace – neither existing Stewart Haas team is fully funded for 2011, and Old Spice announced last week that it would not return after this season – a new driver would almost certainly have to bring a sponsor.(Charlotte Observer)(5-17-2010)


      News from May 16, 2010

    • Kyle Busch wins at Dover: #18-Kyle Busch won the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of 2010. 2nd Dover win and 18th win of his career. Busch also won the Nationwide race Saturday and finished 16th in the Camping World Truck Series race [after leading the most laps], all at Dover. Busch led 494 of 900 laps at Dover. #31-Burton finished 2nd, followed by #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #00-Reutimann, #16-Biffle, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart and #20-Logano. Pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. finished 12th. #48-Johnson finished 16th down a lap after getting caught speeding exiting pit road and had to do a pass thru penalty. #9-Kahne, who started 2nd finsihed 20th, down 2 laps after having shifter problems. #88-Earnhardt Jr. had another tough day and finshed 30th, down 10 laps. Harvick still leads the points with 1768. down to 69 over Kyle Busch, who moved up to 2nd with his win and Johnson's miscue.
      There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers and only 5 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 88,000, down from 100,000 last year and 133,000 in 2008.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Dover Race Results/Awards page.(5-16-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Dover International Speedway:
      #18-Kyle Busch won the Autism Speaks 400 presented by HERSHEY'S Milk & Milkshakes (42nd Running), his 18th victory in 198 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 11 races at Dover International Speedway.
      #31-Jeff Burton (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 33 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2010.
      #17-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 23 races at Dover International Speedway.
      #37-Kevin Conway (33rd) was the highest finishing rookie.
      #29-Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 69 points over Kyle Busch.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-16-2010)

    • #18-Kyle Busch earned his second win of the weekend in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Delaware's Dover International Speedway. Busch, who also won Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race, led six times for 131 (of 400) laps in his Joe Gibbs Racing #18 M&M's Camry. It is the second win of the season for Busch, 18th of his career and 14th victory in a Toyota Camry. It is the fifth win in the last seven races for a Camry driver, and the 26th NSCS victory for Toyota since the start of 2007. Toyota drivers swept all three NASCAR Series races for the second time at Dover (also in May 2008) -- marking only the eighth time in NASCAR history that one manufacturer has earned wins in all three NASCAR series at one track during the same race weekend. Aric Almirola won Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the one-mile oval.(Toyota)(5-16-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Dover, race 12 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 1768
      2) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 1699, -69
      3) #17-Matt Kenseth, 1642, -126
      4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 1637, -131
      5) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 1618, -150
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1605, -163
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 1581, -187
      8) #31-Jeff Burton, 1569, -199
      9) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 1531, -237
      10) #99-Carl Edwards, 1487, -281
      11) #5-Mark Martin, 1475, -293
      12) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 1434, -334
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 1404, 30 points out of the chase
      14) #14-Tony Stewart, 1397, -37
      15) #33-Clint Bowyer, 1392, -42
      16) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1391, -43
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 16
      19) #42-Juan Montoya, 1322, -1124
      21) #9-Kasey Kahne, 1237, -197
      27) #83-Brian Vickers, 1158, -276 [out with illness]
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-16-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Charlotte:
      Front Row Motorsports #37 falls out and their #38 team back to 35th, so expect Conway back in the #38 at Charlotte in two weeks.
      32) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: 953, +56
      33) #71-Labonte/TRG: 945, +48
      34) #7-Gordon/RGM/BAM: 899, +2
      35) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 899, 2 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #37-Conway/Front Row: 897, 2 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 788, -111
      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.(5-16-2010)

    • Hershey's donates $19,800 to Autism Speaks: Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes, the “Official Flavored Milk and Milkshakes of Dover International Speedway®,” presented Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, with a donation of $19,800 during a press event held today before the start of the “Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes.” Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes are a new line of single-serve milk and milkshakes that are produced by HP Hood LLC under license from The Hershey Company. The $19,800 donation to Autism Speaks is the result of a challenge that Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes delivered to Trevor Bayne, #99 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver for Michael Waltrip Racing. Hershey's Milk and Milkshakes offered to donate $99 to Autism Speaks for every lap completed by the #99 car during the “Heluva Good! 200” on Saturday, May 15, at Dover International Speedway. Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes is one of the sponsors of Bayne’s car at Dover.(Dover International Speedway)(5-16-2010)

    • Latest on the Ford FR9 engine: Ford’s FR9 engine, run sparingly since its debut last season, will likely be in use by all Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports teams by midsummer, according to Roush Fenway Racing team co-owner Jack Roush. “We’re going to run the engines in all the cars at Charlotte for the All-Star weekend,” Roush said Saturday at Dover International Speedway. “By Michigan, I don’t know that we will have the engine in all the Ford cars from that point forward, but we will at least have half a dozen engines in the 10 or so Fords that we build engines for. From that point on, depending on the durability and depending on the confidence, depending on the supply of parts, we’ll have that available to us.” Teams began phasing in the new engine late last season as a replacement for the 452 model. An abundance of the existing engines and lack of new pieces for the FR9, as well as durability questions, kept Ford teams from making the switch en masse. “It’s been Doug Yates’ determination, and my determination and all the people that are under his management, that we didn’t want to introduce the engine as long as there was a known problem and until there were enough parts to make a satisfactory representation,” Roush said. Yates heads up Roush Yates Engines, which supplies the Ford power.(SceneDaily)(5-16-2010)

    • Drivers express concern about Vickers, mysterious illness: #48-Jimmie Johnson has talked to former teammate and good friend #83-Brian Vickers and said there is still some mystery about the blood clots that have sidelined the 26-year-old Red Bull Racing driver. Johnson and Vickers were Sprint Cup teammates at Hendrick Motorsports from 2004-2006. Vickers, who was hospitalized in Washington, D.C. Wednesday with blood clots in his veins, will miss the Autism Speaks 400 this weekend at Dover International Speedway and will be replaced by friend Casey Mears. “It’s still so new that they’re still learning and trying to understand exactly what’s going on with him,” Johnson said Friday at Dover. “I spoke with him, he’s in good spirits and certainly hope that they get to the bottom of things and get him healed up and back in the race car as soon as possible. From when I spoke to him last night, there’s still a lot of question marks and concerns and trying to understand just what in the world is going on. Until they can find out what’s going on, there’s a lot of worry and concern. It’s weird to talk to a guy – and I talked to him on the phone – and he was just happy, not necessarily happy about being out of the car, but healthy and sounds fine and normal. But there’s obviously something going on.”
      “Sitting out a race, or two, three, four, five or 10 ain’t going to ruin his career,” v#31-Jeff Burton said. “And it’s not going to make it to where he can’t be competitive. So it’s certainly not what he wants and to him I’m sure it feels like the worst thing that can possibly happen. But the main thing is that he’s healthy. I’ve had to be out and it’s not a pleasant experience, but he’ll be OK.”
      #11-Denny Hamlin said he has exchanged text messages with Vickers and worries himself about blood clots following knee surgery earlier this year. “When I went through the surgery with the knee they said that the only chance I have to miss the race the rest of the season was if I got a blood clot,” Hamlin said. “They said the chances of that were, I think, 5 percent, at the time. I was a little worried about it because they said you’ve got to go on thinners and [that will] take a while to kind of clear you up. So hopefully it’s something minor with Brian. I don’t know what it really stems from and where it came from, but we’re definitely thinking about him here at the race track.”
      #18-Kyle Busch, who had several run-ins with Vickers last year, opened his interview session with the media by talking about Vickers. “I hope Brian Vickers has a speedy recovery and can get back and join us here shortly back to the race track,” Busch said. “[It’s] tough what he’s going through. I know he’s probably sitting here like you and I right now wondering why he’s not in a race car, but hopefully his issues get taken care of here quickly.”(SceneDaily)(5-16-2010)

    • Zecol debut on #98: Zecol will make its first appearance on the hood of the #98 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion of Paul Menard this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Zecol offers the most innovative automotive chemical line in the industry. Their unique product mix offers competitively priced, high quality additives, cleaners and functional fluids along with winter commodities and bulk sizes to meet the needs of the professional mechanic and retail consumer.(RPM)(5-16-2010)

    • Local Hero and Honorary Crew Chief for ExtenZe Racing named: Jeanne Perrault is 68 years old but you would never tell talking to her. Her passion for what is right and true burns as strong today as it almost did 50 years ago. Since 1961, she has been fighting for the rights and conditions of Sergeants in the Air Force here and abroad. In 1970 she created the world's first Auxiliary and found that a woman's touch was greatly needed in ensuring that our troops were being treated fairly with regards to Health Benefits, Pay rates and overall operating conditions by those passing laws in Congress. The Air Force Sergeants Association Auxiliary (AFSA) was once a 200 woman force which has now dwindled to four and in jeopardy of closing its doors for good. For her decades long fight and selfless acts giving back to her community, Perrault has been named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for the leading NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe Racing team at the upcoming Dover International Raceway NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. n addition to the $1,000 prize for being selected the ExtenZe Racing Local Hero, ExtenZe Racing Driver Kevin Conway is going to lead a membership drive where local women with a burning desire to make a difference can sign up and learn more about how they can be a part of Jeanne Perrault's legacy. The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #37 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness.(Breaking Limits)(5-16-2010)

    • Many Charity News & Notes: including.......
      Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital Partners with Victory Junction;
      Carl Edwards to Donate All-Star Winnings to Speedway Children's Charities;
      Biffle Pledges to Give a Portion of His All-Star Race Earnings to Friends of the Animals;
      K’NEX Announces $100,000 Toy Donation to The Dale Jr. / NASCAR Foundation;
      Pocono Raceway Owners Contribute $1 Million to Lehigh Valley Health Network;
      See more info and many events posted on my Racing Charities page.(5-16-2010)

    • Enjoy a “Heluva Good! Roast Beef Sandwich” at Dover: During the weekend of May 14–16, 2010 race fans can spice up their experience at Dover’s Monster Mile with the “Heluva Good! Roast Beef Sandwich,” available exclusively at the Garden Café at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino as a special menu item to celebrate the “Heluva Good! 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The Heluva Good! Roast Beef Sandwich is served on a toasted ciabatta roll, and features the big, bold flavors of thinly sliced roast beef topped with roasted red peppers, crispy fried onions, and garnished with the savory taste of Heluva Good! Garlic & Parmesan Dip.(Dover International Speedway)(5-16-2010)


      News from May 15, 2010

    • Race Coverage of the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 16, 2010.
      Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:15pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Wednesday, May 19 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - Dover: The selections of pit stalls for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #9-Kahne took pit stall 10, the next stall with an opening in front of it
      #5-Martin, who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #00-Reutimann, who starts 13th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Dover Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-15-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, some results and notes:
      #18-Busch 154.209
      #11-Hamlin 153.919
      #99-Edwards 153.794
      #43-Allmendinger 153.309
      #33-Bowyer 153.218
      slowest: #37-Conway 147.735 and #46-Yeley 148.087 &
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Dover Practice Speeds page.(5-15-2010)

    • First Saturday practice for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, some results and notes:
      #48-Johnson 154.999
      #6-Ragan 154.692
      #18-Busch 154.599
      #33-Bowyer 154.579
      #9-Kahne 154.526
      slowest: #46-Yeley 148.890 & #37-Conway 148.914
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Dover Practice Speeds page.(5-15-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Dover:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Kevin “Bono” Manion has decided to bring chassis #1004. This is a brand new chassis and was tested in the recent Charlotte Motor Speedway test in March of 2010.
      #2-Kurt Busch will be racing the "PRS-712" Miller Lite Dodge Charger in this weekend's action at Dover International Speedway. This as another one of the brand new cars coming out of Penske Racing's Mooresville, N.C., team headquarters.
      #5-Mark Martin: crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Chassis No. 5-600 for Sunday's race at Dover. This is a brand new chassis that never has been raced or tested.
      #6-David Ragan: Chassis: Primary: RK-626 which ran at Phoenix in Oct 2009 finished 19th The backup chassis is RK-620 which was last ran Last ran Vegas – finished 23rd. The Pleasantville Center (SLIC – 0840) in the Chesapeake District was selected for the May 16 Dover 400 in Dover, DE as part of the UPS Center Recognition Program. The Pleasantville Center is recognized for their outstanding achievements in the areas of safety, growth and service.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the FedEx team will unload Chassis JGR 259 this weekend in Dover. This car made four starts in 2009 and recorded second-place finishes at both Loudon and Texas. JGR 256 will serve as the backup this weekend – it started four races in 2009 and posted three top-five finishes. FedEx Express Akron, Ohio Center Along for the Ride in Dover: The #11 FedEx Freight Toyota will carry the letters AKR on the B-posts this weekend at Dover in recognition of the Akron service center being named the Northeast Division center of the year. The team is being honored as a center of excellence based on the key performance metrics of people, service and profit.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-713 during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. Keselowski drove chassis PRS-713 to a 21st-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in February.
      #14-Tony Stewart: is running Chassis No. 14-530 which was a brand new racecar for 2009 that, prior to its debut at Richmond in May, had only been tested in the wind tunnel. At Richmond, Stewart used Chassis No. 14-530 to qualify 16th and rally and score his second runner-up effort of the season. It was also run at New Hampshire in June, Richmond in September and Martinsville in October. The offseason brought about a complete rebuild for Chassis No. 14-530 in preparation for its first start of 2010 at the concrete-clad Bristol, where it qualified 11th and finished second. Its sixth career start and second of 2010 comes this weekend at Dover.
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 Stanley Ford Fusion team led by crew chief Wally Rogers has prepared chassis No. 652. This is a brand new Ford Fusion specifically for this weekend's event at Dover International Speedway.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis #288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Earlier in the year, this Chevrolet scored a runner-up finish at Auto Club Speedway and finished ninth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Additionally, Harvick 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 #302 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, Burton drove this Caterpillar Chevy to a 12th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last month where he overcame a pit road commitment line violation to be in contention for the win, leading with 10 laps to go. However, a nine-car incident brought out a lengthy red flag and after the engines re-fired and green-flag racing continued, the handling on the No. 31 Chevy went away in the closing laps and Burton held on to finish 12th.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will pilot Chassis #298 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new Chevrolet that will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Team Target used chassis #903 this season in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway where Montoya qualified sixth and finished 26th after being involved in a 13-car incident. This chassis also ran twice last year by the No. 42 team (Michigan- June, Chicago- July) where it finished sixth and tenth.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis No. 288 for this weekend's 400 mile race in Dover. This car was last run at the event at Bristol Motor Speedway where Allmendinger drove to a 17th-place finish.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: Primary chassis #558 was last driven by Johnson to a 12th-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March.. Backup chassis #553 has been driven four times, three of which resulted in victories (Indy 7/09, California 10/09, California 2/10).
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend, McGrew and the #88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-578 at Dover. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, when he scored a seventh-place finish. This car first saw action at Auto Club Speedway in February, when Earnhardt finished 32nd.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 Richard Petty Motorsports crew have prepared chassis No. 560 for this weekend's race on the one-mile oval. This is a brand new Ford Fusion.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 team will be unloading chassis RK-596 this weekend. This is the same Ford Fusion that Edwards raced at Bristol in March and finished sixth. (from team PR's/sites if reported)(5-15-2010)

    • Vickers released from hospital, heads back to Charlotte: Red Bull Racing Team announced that #83 driver Brian Vickers was released Friday night from the Washington, D.C.-area hospital where he has been hospitalized since Wednesday night. Vickers, age 26, was cleared to fly to Charlotte, N.C., where he will meet with a group of specialists as to the specifics of his condition. The status of Vickers’ return to racing is uncertain. Updates will be provided as they are received.(Red Bull Racing), see past news on Vickers in the hospital and Mears running the #83 on my #83 Team News and Links page.(5-15-2010)

    • Monster Diesel joins #56 as associate sponsor: Michael Waltrip Racing announced Monster Diesel will join Martin Truex’s #56 NAPA Toyota as an associate sponsor beginning at this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. The Baltimore based company’s logo will adorn the #56 car’s B-post for the remainder of the 2010 season and beyond. For the next few races fans will see it on rocker panel as well. ”NASCAR’s fan base is one of our target markets,” said Matt Zuckerman, CEO and president of Monster Diesel. “Michael Waltrip Racing brings solid business-to-business relationships, long-term stability and a commitment to winning that endures itself to Monster Diesel. Martin couldn’t be a better person to represent our company and Michael is one of the most dynamic car owners in the sport. We’re excited about this relationship.” Zuckerman added.(MWR)(5-15-2010)

    • Larry Mac's & Elliott's sons win at the Rock: Brandon McReynolds, son of championship crew chief and TV commentator Larry McReynolds, dominated the UARA STARS 75 Saturday morning at Rockingham Speeday. "It was fun" quipped McReynolds after the race. "We got to move around a lot. We were sliding around - it was just how it played out." Asked about running close with runner-up Paddy Rodenbeck, McReynolds added: "he gave me all the room in the world. I'd be about the stupidest 18-year-old in the world if I didn't talk to Larry McReynolds," joked Brandon after a question about how often he talks with his father. Racing returns to the one-mile Rockingham Speedway on October 9, 2010 with the running of the ARCA American 200.(Rockingham Speedway)(5-15-2010)
      AND Chase Elliott, son of #21-Bill Elliott, dominated the Sunoco National Tour race Friday afternoon at “The Rock” en route to a victory in his first start at the track. In fact, it was his first start at a track over a half-mile in length. “Pacing myself was the big thing,” Chase Elliott said. “This is a very long race for these kind of cars. The biggest thing was to have a set of tires at the end. Everyone who put a hand on this car did a great job getting ready to come race here.” Chase Elliott led all 100 laps of the event. “He ran well today,” said Bill Elliott, outside of victory lane. “He has a good understanding of what it takes to go fast here.”(Rockingham Speedway)(5-15-2010)

    • Truex gives tix to kids: #1-Martin Truex Jr. and his foundation are hosting over 50 kids and family members on Sunday at Dover. The kids are from Ocean County, N.J. and are representing organizations such as Oceans of Love and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Truex will be meeting his guests prior to the Autism Speaks 400. They will be sitting together in the Family Section of the grandstands cheering Martin on to a victory!(EGR)(5-15-2010)

    • Robby needs sponsorship; Waltrip to help at Pocono: #7-Robby Gordon still needs sponsorship in order to attempt to qualify for all the Sprint Cup races this year, and if he does find enough sponsorship, he hopes to run the entire year. Earlier this season Gordon had toyed with the idea of running a monster truck as well the Indianapolis 500 while scaling back his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driving efforts, but some of those plans have not come to fruition. Still, Gordon won’t guarantee that his Robby Gordon Motorsports #7 Toyota will run in every event. “We’re going to do everything we can [to race],” Gordon said Friday at Dover International Speedway. “If I was to miss races, they would be the weakest races [to get sponsorship] NASCAR has. Our goal is to race, and that’s what I desire to do. We’re going to continue to do that until it becomes financially not possible to do that.” Gordon wouldn’t pinpoint a specific race where he might have to stay home. He said he would not start-and-park. “We’re still trying to sell races,” Gordon said. “We’re going to run until we can’t run. That’s the best answer I can give.” Gordon does have commitments for some off-road events. During the race at Pocono in June, Gordon will miss track activity Friday and Saturday so he can run the Baja 500. Michael Waltrip will practice and qualify the car for him, Gordon said.(SceneDaily)(5-15-2010)

    • Kahne still has no idea about 2011 ride: #9-Kasey Kahne said Friday at Dover International Speedway that there still has been no decision made on where he will be racing in 2011. Kahne announced last month that he would leave RPM to join Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. But Kahne's move called for him to drive for team owner Rick Hendrick in 2012 in the organization’s #5 Chevy currently driven by Mark Martin. That being the case, the question remains of just where Kahne will be driving next season. With the NASCAR cap of four teams per organization, Kahne won’t be in a Hendrick entry unless someone currently driving for the team vacates a seat. One possibility would be for him to drive for a Hendrick-affiliated team, such as Stewart-Haas Racing if that team expands from two to three teams. “Still no word on any of the specifics,” Kahne said after qualifying second-fastest for Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400. “Nothing has changed since the announcement. There is a lot going on – talking to Mr. Hendrick this week and last week, I think we are about three or four weeks out from finding anything out. I know I am getting a little anxious about it. They are working hard and want it to be the right decision. Whatever is decided, they want to do [it] the right way and make sure that they come up with the perfect place for me for next year.”(SceneDaily)(5-15-2010)

    • Stewart and father jump with US Army: #14-Tony Stewart and his father - Nelson Stewart -- said they experienced a thrill of a lifetime Thursday (May 13) by participating in a tandem jump with the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team. The jump took place outside of Cincinnati at Warren County Airport in Lebanon, OH. Before the Stewarts boarded the U.S. Army Golden Knights airplane to make the 13,500-foot jump, they attended a pre-jump instruction class and then were outfitted in Golden Knights gear. Though Tony Stewart appeared to be a little timid prior to the jump, his feelings took a 180-degree turn after landing with his tandem partner Staff Sgt. Joe Jones. "I just got to experience one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life," said the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. "I would do it again - right now if I could. Yes, I was a little nervous before the jump, but when you're with the Golden Knights you're with the best of the best. These guys are Army Strong Soldiers and that was a comforting feeling before the jump." Stewart, who owns the #39 U.S. Army Chevy driven by Ryan Newman added, "I am so proud to be affiliated with the U.S. Army. We have a great partnership and to have the opportunity of jumping with the Golden Knights is a privilege that I immensely appreciate." Stewart's 72-year-old father, Nelson, said jumping with the Golden Knights was something he wanted to do for a long time. "I knew beforehand that this was going to be a blast and it was everything and more," said the elder Stewart. "The Golden Knights are the best and it was an honor to jump with them. I had a great teacher and partner in Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott." Nelson Stewart's excitement following the jump became a concern for his son. "My dad is 72 going on 15," said Stewart. "I am not sure what he wants to do next -- I am afraid to ask."(Stewart Haas Racing)(5-15-2010)


      News from May 14, 2010

    • Truex Jr. wins pole at Dover: #56-Truex Jr. won the Coors Pole for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 156.250mph for his 1st pole of 2010 and 5th of his career. #9-Kahne will start 2nd followed by #5-Martin, #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #33-Bowyer, #43-Allmendinger, #99-Edwards and #77-Hornish Jr. Points leader #29-Harvick will start 29th. Casey Mears, subbing for Brian Vickers in the #83 Toyota, will start 39th.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #46-Yeley, #26-Stremme, #09-Bliss, #55-McDowell, #66-Blaney, #87-Nemechek, #38-Gilliland and #36-Sauter
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #64-Todd Bodine & #13-Max Papis
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Dover Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(5-14-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Dover:
      Martin Truex Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes with a lap of 22.884 seconds, 157.315 mph.
      This is his fifth pole in 165 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his first pole in nine races at Dover International Speedway.
      Kasey Kahne (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2010 and his fifth in 13 races at Dover International Speedway.
      Mark Martin (third) posted his 29th top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his seventh in 12 races this season.
      Kevin Conway (41st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-14-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is scheduled for Friday, May 14, 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: 1:00am/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
      The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #24-Gordon.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #12-Keselwoski.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #46-Yeley with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #36-Sauter.
      See the full qualifying order on the Dover Qualifying Page.(5-14-2010)

    • Friday's Practice: for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is being run, after 86 of 90 scheduled minutes, some reults and notes:
      #48-Johnson 158.367
      #33-Bowyer 158.075
      #9-Kahne 157.860
      #56-Truex Jr., 157.729
      #18-Busch 157.370
      slowest: #37-Conway 149.508 and #19-Sadler 152.659
      incidents: #19-Sadler smacked the wall between turns 1-2 after cutting down a right front tire, flattening the right side. The team will bring out a backup car.
      See fast speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Dover Practice Speeds page.(5-14-2010)

    • Dover practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #66-Dave Blaney, 27th fastest overall
      #38-David Gilliland, 30th
      #13-Max Papis, 31st
      #26-David Stremme, 33rd
      #36-Johnny Sauter, 34th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 36th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 37th
      #09-Mike Bliss, 38th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 39th
      #64-Todd Bodine, 41st

    • Vickers to skip Dover due to medical condition UPDATE blood clots: Red Bull Racing Team officials announced that due to a recent diagnosis of a medical condition, Brian Vickers will not compete in this weekend's NASCAR racing activities at Dover International Speedway. Vickers, age 26, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, was hospitalized Wednesday evening and continues to undergo testing and further evaluation. Casey Mears has been selected to drive for the team this weekend. "It is unfortunate that I will not be able to participate in the Dover race. Casey is a good friend of mine, and I know he will do his best for the #83 team this weekend," said Vickers. "Our main concern right now is with Brian and his health and recovery", said Jay Frye, RBRT General Manager and Vice President. "All things are looking good at the moment; this is just a minor setback. We appreciate Casey filling in this weekend and know he will represent the team well."(Red Bull Racing)
      Mears was scheduled to run the #36 Chevy for Tommy Baldwin Racing, Johnny Sauter will be in the #36 Chevy at Dover.(5-13-2010)
      AND #83-Brian Vickers was being treated Thursday for an undisclosed medical condition that will prevent him from racing this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Red Bull Racing said Vickers was hospitalized Wednesday night and being held for further testing. The team did not reveal where he was hospitalized, although Vickers was scheduled to visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Thursday and tour the Capitol with U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings. Red Bull said Casey Mears will replace Vickers this weekend in the #83 Toyota. "It is unfortunate that I will not be able to participate in the Dover race," Vickers said in a statement. "Casey is a good friend of mine, and I know he will do his best for the #83 team this weekend." Red Bull general manager Jay Frye called Vickers' illness a "minor setback."
      "Our main concern right now is with Brian and his health and recovery," Frye said. "All things are looking good at the moment, this is just a minor setback. We appreciate Casey filling in this weekend and know he will represent the team well." He's currently ranked 20th in the standings, but only 160 points out of the 12th Chase qualifying position. Missing a start almost certainly will make it impossible for Vickers to make the Chase this season.(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-13-2010)
      UPDATE: Brian Vickers has multiple blood clots in his veins that will keep him out of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway and off the track for the unforeseeable future. Jay Frye, the general manager of Red Bull Racing, confirmed Vickers' medical condition on Friday at Dover. On the advice of the team's physician, Vickers entered an undisclosed hospital in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night complaining of chest pains. It was discovered several clots had developed in his veins, including one in or around his lungs and one in his legs. Vickers was immediately put on high dosages of medication to thin his blood and break up the clots. When it became apparent he would not be able to drive this weekend, Red Bull officials contacted Casey Mears as Vickers' replacement. Frye said there is no timetable for Vickers' return to the track. "In our press release [Thursday] we said this is a minor setback," Frye said. "It is a minor setback in a young man's life and career. Obviously it is a major setback for the race team and this weekend. As far as a timetable for his return, we're not sure." Missing the race likely will end any chance the 26-year-old Vickers has of making the 12-driver Chase for the championship for the second straight season. He is 20th in points, 160 points out of the 12th and final spot for the 10-race playoff. By missing a race, he will lose at least 156 points to the 12th spot and up to 190 to the race winner. "He's a long-term player with Red Bull Racing," Frye said. "Our main concern is his health." Frye, without being specific, said some of the things Vickers does as a driver on a daily basis could have contributed to the condition. He discounted the condition had anything to do with Vickers breathing a heavy dose of carbon monoxide inside his car after a recent incident at Texas. "At Texas we had damage," Frye said. "We had to park the car early because of stuff going on inside the cockpit. In conversations with Brian, that never was mentioned." Frye said there was a chance Vickers could be released from the hospital as early as Friday, adding the uncertainty made it necessary for the team to move forward with Mears in the #83 car. He indicated having Vickers take the first lap on Sunday, which would allow the driver to keep any points the car earned in the race, was not an option. Frye did not sound optimistic that Vickers would be in the car for next week's All-Star Race at Charlotte. He was unsure if another driver could drive the car in the non-points event that Vickers qualified for by winning at Michigan last season. "There's really no hurry for him to get out," Frye said of Vickers. "Our real focus is to get through the weekend and then evaluate. We'll know more next week. There are questions about the All-Star Race. Are we in or out? I am trying to get clarification." NASCAR doctors must give Vickers clearance before he can race again. Spokesman Ramsey Poston said the governing body is working in conjunction with the team.(ESPN)(5-14-2010)

    • Richard Petty Motorsports To Honor Petty At Dover: As a tribute to team owner and NASCAR legend Richard Petty, the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will adorn old familiar colors for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The Ford driven by AJ Allmendinger will bring back the "Petty Blue" and "Day-glo Red" colors in honor of "The King," who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class on Sunday, May 23. The throwback paint scheme will resemble the #43 machine Petty drove in 1984. That season, the driver collected his 199th career win at Dover. Petty holds the record for the most wins in NASCAR with 200. Petty will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 16. The seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion won the inaugural race at Dover in 1969. He is also tied with Bobby Allison for the most wins at the one-mile track with seven.(RPM PR)(5-9-2010)
      IMAGE see images of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2010)

    • Hutchens Selected As First Quarter Winner Of NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected Bobby Hutchens, director of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing, as the first quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Hutchens was selected for continuing to oversee operations after the death of his wife from breast cancer in December. He also continues to support the group his late wife and a friend formed to help raise money to fight breast cancer. Born into a racing family -- father, Bud, and grandfather, Claude, were racers with Claude having competed in the very first race in 1948 at the historic Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. -- Hutchens has never lost his love for driving. He still competes in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, and he finished third in points at Bowman Gray in 2006 and 2008. Also receiving votes were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Bristol Motor Speedway.(NASCAR)(5-14-2010)

    • Bruton offers a driver $20 million if wins both Indy 500 & Coke 600: On Thursday night’s edition of NASCAR Race Hub, reporter Wendy Venturini scored an exclusive sit-down interview with Speedway Motorsports Inc., chairman Bruton Smith. As part of the interview, Smith talks of ongoing discussions with his counterparts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway about the possibility of linking the famed Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 … with the possibility that a driver who wins both on the same day earning a $20 million bonus.
      Bruton Smith: "We do … we do … we want to surprise the fans. Every time they come, we want them to say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know about that.’ I’m working on something now that I thought would be great, for say, next year. And that is we’ll maybe do something that would cause drivers to get more interested in running (the Indianapolis 500) and then coming here and … driving 1,100 miles of racing. It would take a Superman-type driver to (win both events)."
      NASCAR Race Hub: I thought the reason some of the drivers backed away from doing (both events) was … I don’t know … a conflict of the (start) times?
      Bruton Smith: "I’ve talked to Indianapolis and they would start their race at 11 o’clock … we’d have a jet waiting for the drivers. They’d land right here. We’d helicopter them (to the track) and they’d have ample time before they had to get in their car to win the 600. So, we have five or six drivers that could accomplish (winning both events on the same day)."(SPEED)(5-14-2010)

    • Rusty Wallace visit's NASA: RWR team owner and former Cup Series Champion, Rusty Wallace began a two-day visit to Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, along with oldest son Greg. They were invited as official guests of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to witness Friday’s launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis—STS-132. The launch, set for 2:28pm/et on Friday, marks the final flight for Atlantis, before the upcoming closure of the Shuttle program.
      On Thursday, the Wallace’s embarked on an extensive behind-the-scenes tour of Kennedy Space Center with NASA officials, including the Space Station Processing Facility, the Orbiter Processing Facility—where they enjoyed an up-close visit with the Orbiter Endeavour, the Rotation Processing Surge Facility, the Mobile Launch Platform Park site, the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Shuttle Landing Facility. Thursday’s tour ended with an up-close photo opportunity at Launch Pad 39A, where Atlantis currently sits ready for launch.
      Both father and son hold Private Pilot ratings, which the elder Wallace says only adds to the excitement, “For any pilot or aviation enthusiast, the space program is the ultimate. It really doesn’t get much bigger, faster, more powerful or more exciting than the Space Shuttle. The work that NASA does for our country is incredible; it really benefits our society in so many ways that we don’t even realize. Just in our world of racing, a lot of the heat shielding that we use to help our drivers and their race cars stay cool was actually developed by the space program. We’re extremely grateful to NASA for giving us the opportunity to watch their work in person.” Following Friday afternoon’s scheduled launch, the Wallace’s will depart Cape Canaveral for Dover, DE, where RWR’s #62 and #66 Toyota Camrys—driven by Brendan Gaughan and Steve Wallace—will compete in Saturday afternoon’s Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway.(RWR)(5-14-2010)

    • RCR Helping Cat Financial Employees after Nashville Flooding: Richard Childress Racing is collecting monetary donations and cleaning supplies in an effort to assist employees of RCR partner Cat Financial, whose lives were adversely affected by the recent floods in Nashville, Tenn. Contributions can be dropped off the RCR Museum [Welcome, NC] from now through 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. Cleaning supplies needed include: Bleach, Dish detergent, Scouring pads or sponges, Dust masks, Work gloves, Heavy duty trash bags (33-34 gallon), Cleaning towels, Scrub brushes, Paper towels, Insect repellent and Hand sanitizer.
      A Cat Financial employee relief fund has been established through the United Way. Non-tax-deductible donations can be made to "Cat Financial Employee Flood Relief Fund". To make tax-deductible contributions, checks must be made out to “United Way” but those funds aren’t guaranteed to go directly to the Cat Financial employees. Either contribution will be accepted at the RCR Museum. “Nashville and NASCAR have supported each other forever so this effort is a way for all of us at RCR, and our local fans, to give back to Nashville during this time of crisis,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “We know there are a great number of Cat Financial employees in Nashville who lost everything in the flooding. This effort won’t get them back what was lost in the devastation but, hopefully, it will help them start to recover.”(RCR)(5-14-2010)

    • #26 owner, Jenkins, hosts academy cadets: Vermonter Bill Jenkins is in his first year as a team owner on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, fielding the #26 Ford for driver David Stremme. Jenkins is an intensely private man, and strives to shift any focus on himself to members of his team, namely Stremme and crew chief Frankie Stoddard, a North Haverhill, N.H., native raised in the pits at Barre's Thunder Road as a crewman for late legend Stub Fadden. Jenkins contacted the Air National Guard in Washington, D.C., and since mid-March has carried the military branch's colors on his cars as a tribute. As he waited for a flight at the Manchester, N.H., airport a few weeks ago, Jenkins and a woman in uniform struck up a conversation. As it turned out, the soldier was an assistant to Command Sergeant Major Michael Parker of the South Carolina National Guard. Eventually Jenkins was speaking with CSM Parker himself, and last weekend Parker attended the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway with four unlikely guests -- a group of teenagers. CSM Parker is the man in charge of the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy, a program built by the National Guard for at-risk 16 to 18 year-olds, assisting them in earning their high school diplomas and preparing them for adulthood. As a reward for outstanding achievements at the SCYCA, Parker and Jenkins arranged for an all-access trip to Darlington for four cadets.
      "The kids in the Academy have grown up in some challenging situations," said Jenkins. "It was an amazing experience to get to know them. They were all so intelligent, so polite, and you knew they were proud of themselves and how far they'd come. I wanted to give the kids a positive community experience like the one we have every week at the track. That's what racing is about."
      Jenkins invited the cadets to participate in everything his team routinely does at the track -- they stood on top of the team's transporter to watch qualifying, they were front-and-center at driver introductions, and they sat on top of the pit box during the race with Jenkins and Stoddard as the team plotted strategies and made pit stops. Stremme practiced and qualified well throughout the weekend and finished a season-best 24th on Saturday night. "I didn't do anything special, I just wanted to give some kids a neat experience. They deserve it," he said. "Hearing their stories makes you look at your own life differently. It was very emotional for everyone on the team, and there wasn't a single person around last weekend that those kids didn't touch the lives of. I wish every team in NASCAR had the opportunity to give back like that. As a race team we had our best weekend yet, and I took as much out of meeting those kids as I did from the race itself."(more at Vermont Motorsports Magazine)(5-14-2010)


      News from May 13, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Casey Mears will be in the #83, Sauter to run the #36 and the #32 withdraws>BR> Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 race winner as owner)(40th in owners pts/11 attempts)
      #13-Max Papis (39/11)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winner as owner)(37/11)
      #36-Johnny Sauter (38/11)
      #38-David Gilliland (36/11)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (44/11)
      #55-Michael McDowell (43/11)
      #64-Todd Bodine (50/2]
      #66-Dave Blaney (42/11)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (43/11)
      withdrew from final entry list:
      #32-Reed Sorenson (47/4)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,38,36,13,87,66,55
      missing the race would be [2]: #'s 46,64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Dover Entry List.(5-10/13-2010)

    • Final Darlington TV Ratings up over 2009: NASCAR on Fox posted a 4.2/8 (7.0 million viewers) on Saturday night for racing from Darlington Raceway. Saturday night’s telecast was up +5% over last year’s 4.0/8 (6.7 mill) for the same race and managed to handily beat ABC’s NBA Playoff game, which featured the LA Lakers, by +14% (vs. 3.7/7 – 5.8 mill). Season-to-date, NASCAR on FOX is averaging a 5.0/11 (8.3 million viewers), down -5% from last year’s 5.2/11 (8.7 million viewers). For other 2010 TV Ratings, race-to-race chart and more, see my 2010 TV Ratings Chart.(5-13-2010)

    • Mayfield subpoenas Gordon & Johnson: Sources tell Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were served with subpoenas this week, and will be deposed by Jeremy Mayfield’s legal team regarding sworn statements they gave as part of Mayfield’s lawsuit against NASCAR. Mayfield was suspended indefinitely early last season for an alleged violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. NASCAR says Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine, while Mayfield contends he is the victim of a false positive due to a combination of over-the-counter allergy medication and prescription medicine used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. The case is scheduled to go to trial in September of this year. A spokesman for Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that Gordon’s attorneys have received a subpoena on his behalf. Jimmie Johnson's representatives also confirm the his attorneys were served this week, on his behalf.(Sirius Speedway)(5-13-2010)

    • Dover Rookie Notes: #37-Kevin Conway was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the May 8 Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Conway leads Terry Cook [has no current ride] by 73 points (110-37) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the May 16 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover. Michael McDowell is the most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap at Dover. McDowell led the 2008 spring race at Dover once for one lap. Two Raybestos Rookies have won the spring race at Dover: Jimmie Johnson (2002) and Davey Allison (1987). The best start by a Raybestos Rookie in the spring race at Dover is second by Morgan Shepherd in 1981. The most recent Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five finish is Joey Logano, who placed third in the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, 16 races ago (Camp and Assoc). For rookie standings, history, past winners and more, see my 2010 Rookies page.(5-13-2010)

    • Many teams to run Autism Speaks logo at Dover: For the fourth consecutive year, Dover International Speedway has teamed up with Autism Speaks to create awareness for the special cause through the entitlement of the Monster Mile's spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race titled the "Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes." The NASCAR community has embraced the messaging of Autism Speaks, and throughout the May 14-16, 2010 race weekend in Dover, 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series cars and 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trucks will sport the colors of the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece logo as a sign of support for the nation's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Participating drivers and teams include:
      NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: #00-David Reutimann, #1-Jamie McMurray, #2-Kurt Busch, #6-David Ragan, #9-Kasey Kahne, #12-Brad Keselowski, #13-Max Papis, #14-Tony Stewart, #17-Matt Kenseth, #19-Elliott Sadler, #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton, #33-Clint Bowyer, #34-Travis Kvapil, #37-Kevin Conway, #38-David Gilliland, #39-Ryan Newman, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #43-AJ Allmendinger, #46-J.J. Yeley, #56-Martin Truex Jr., #71-Bobby Labonte, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #82-Scott Speed, #83-Brian Vickers, #98-Paul Menard and #99-Carl Edwards,
      NASCAR Nationwide Series: #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #7-Landon Cassill, #09-Chad McCumbee, #10-Jason Leffler, #11-Brian Scott, #12-Justin Allgaier, #15-Michael Annett, #16-Colin Braun, #21-Clint Bowyer, #22-Brad Keselowski, #23-Robert Richardson, #24-Eric McClure, #27-Greg Biffle, #32-Reed Sorenson, #33-Kevin Harvick, #38-Kasey Kahne, #43-Scott Lagasse Jr., #60-Carl Edwards, #88-Jamie McMurray, #89-Morgan Shepherd and #99-Trevor Bayne,
      NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: #07-Donny Lia, #2-Elliott Sadler, #3-Austin Dillon, #5-Mike Skinner, #7-Justin Lofton, #9-Max Papis, #13-Johnny Sauter, #17-Timothy Peters, #30-Todd Bodine, #33-Ron Hornaday Jr., #81-David Starr, #88-Matt Crafton and #89-Chris Lafferty. NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on May 14-16, 2010. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(Dover International Speedway)(5-13-2010)

    • Kurt Busch tests at road course: #2-Kurt Busch tested at Virginia International Raceway on Wednesday, May 12th in preparation for next month's trip out to the Infineon Raceway road course. The team took their "PRS-617" Miller Lite Dodge Charger up to the Alton, Va., road course facility that offers six track configurations. This is the car the team debuted at Infineon last June and also raced at Watkins Glen International last August.(TRPR)(5-13-2010)

    • Pit Bulls scheme for Biffle in All-Star race: The #16 3M Ford Fusion will have a slightly different look when it takes the track for the 2010 All-Star weekend. In addition to having a special paint scheme for the night race, the car will also feature the 3M Pit Bulls logo on the lower hood and decklid. The 3M Pit Bulls was the name chosen by the fans through a 3M Car Care promotion for the #16 team pit crew. In an effort to honor their hard work, 3M has decided to put their logo on the car for the Sprint All-Star weekend. Randy Taylor, 3M NASCAR Program Manager, unveiled the paint scheme to the Pit Bulls last weekend in Talladega and the reaction was overwhelming excitement and pride in both their team and their sponsor. A diecast model is being made to commemorate this special paint scheme. It will be available online at www.3M.com/racing.(RFR), see an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(5-13-2010)

    • Patrick doesn't blame NASCAR gig for strugging IRL season: Danica Patrick has little trouble clicking through the reasons why she's off to the worst start of her IndyCar career. Poor qualifying. Missed opportunities. Bad setups. Even worse luck. Never, however, does Patrick use the word "NASCAR" while trying to explain what she admits is largely unexplainable. Patrick isn't about to place blame on her part-time gig driving in NASCAR's Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports [#7 GoDaddy.com Chevy]. "It just a really easy thing to look at, an easy excuse," she said. "I don't think there's anything to it." Patrick is 16th in points heading into the Indy 500 and has finished outside the Top 10 in four of five races. She had seven such finishes all of last season, when she soared to a career-best fifth in the points standings. She re-signed with Andretti Autosports to compete for a title. Two months into the season, she's not even competing for the top spot on her own team. Patrick is currently looking up at teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (fourth), Tony Kanaan (eighth) and Marco Andretti (13th) in the standings. "It's just an unfortunate situation, and there's no other answer," she said. Her struggles weren't exactly the kind of spring she had in mind following her largely positive NASCAR debut. She signed a deal with JR Motorsports last December to drive part-time on the Nationwide Series. She drove capably in her stock car debut, finishing sixth in an ARCA race at Daytona in February. The next week she rolled out alongside Sprint Cup regulars Stewart, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. Patrick made it 58 laps before getting caught up in an accident that wasn't her fault and finished 35th. She improved to 31st a week later in California before ending her first Nationwide stint with a 36th-place finish in Las Vegas.(in part from the Associated Press/ESPN)(5-13-2010)

    • DelDOT's traffic information for NASCAR fans: The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) welcomes fans to Dover for the 2010 NASCAR Race Series at the Dover International Speedway beginning on Friday, May 14 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200; Saturday, May 15 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series 200; and Sunday, May 16 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400. At both of the Route 1 and I-95 Toll Plazas, additional lanes will be open in expectation of traffic congestion. Extra toll operators will be working at the Route 1 Toll Plaza in Dover on Monday, May 17 to assist recreational vehicles leaving the speedway. DelDOT's Transportation Management Center (TMC) staff in coordination with the City of Dover Police and Delaware State Police will monitor traffic in and around the Dover vicinity to ensure safe travel for motorists. For more info and traffic news, see doverspeedway.com.(Dover International Speedway)(5-13-2010)

    • Lifelong fan to attend Dover race 42nd straight year: On Sunday, when Jack Hoenstine of Queen, Pa., sits in the grandstands off Turn 4 at Dover International Speedway watching the Autism Speaks 400 presented by HERSHEY'S Milk & Milkshakes, he will be attending a NASCAR race at the storied track for the 42nd straight year. In fact, since his initial visit to the Monster Mile in 1969, Hoenstine, a retired truck driver, has not missed a single NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover. "I've been to the 300 milers, the 500 milers, and now the 400 milers," the 78-year old retired truck driver said. "They've got a horse race track there at Dover, but I go for the gas burners, not the hay burners." Hoenstine has seen it all at the track known as "The Monster Mile." There was the caution-free race in 1971, and a wreck-filled one a decade later with only 13 cars running at the checkered flag. Hoenstine watched long-time short track driver Jody Ridley get his only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in a Junie Donlavey car (his only Cup win as an owner in 863 tries) and 52 year-old Harry Gant win in 1992. "Harry would run that track really high," Hoenstine remembered. The most memorable Dover race, he says, was a controversial Richard Petty win in the Delaware 500 in September, 1975. Seven of the King's 200 victories were at the high-banked track, including his 199th win. What made this race special was Petty came from six laps behind to catch Benny Parsons. Controversy erupted when Buddy Arrington, who had just purchased his car hauler from Petty Enterprises, parked his Plymouth in the upper groove of Turn 3, bringing out a caution enabling Petty to finally get on the lead lap. In addition to attending both NASCAR race weekends at Dover, Hoenstine still travels to a dozen NASCAR events each year. Last weekend, he celebrated an incredible streak of 60 consecutive years attending NASCAR races at Darlington Raceway. Additionally, since attending Charlotte Motor Speedway's 1964 spring race (known as the World 600), Hoenstine has been to the Coca-Cola 600 every year. The sport is taking notice of this iron fan's incredible devotion. Hoenstine is featured in the new NASCAR Library Collection book, The Weekend Starts on Wednesday: True Stories of Remarkable NASCAR Fans by Andrew Giangola, and was the subject of a special fan profile on ESPN's "NASCAR Now" that aired on Saturday, May 8. In addition to Hoenstine, more than 30 remarkable NASCAR fans are profiled in The Weekend Starts on Wednesday – from a Lexington, NC, man who's been to every single Daytona 500 to a male nurse with a fear of heights who braved the elements to bring the Sprint Cup flag to the top of Mt. Everest. A critically acclaimed work of wit and feeling, the NASCAR Library Collection book The Weekend Starts on Wednesday is a vivid commentary on the love affair millions of fans have for a great American sport.(Dover International Speedway)(5-13-2010)


      News from May 12, 2010

    • Vickers to visit D.C.: On Thursday, before making his way to Dover, Del., less than 100 miles away, #83-Brian Vickers will visit Washington, D.C., for a tour of the United States Capitol. His guide will be Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). Later on, he’ll visit with rehabilitating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advanced Training Center. “The Capitol is one of the cornerstones of this country. I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Vickers said. “I appreciate what the soldiers have done for this country and for the people who live here. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice. I want to thank the soldiers at Walter Reed for their service and just spend some time with them. They are truly inspiring.”(RBR)(5-12-2010)

    • Rear Gear taken from #55 car UPDATE: NASCAR announced that it confiscated the rear gear of the #55 Toyoya of Michael McDowell on Friday at Darlington Raceway and will take it back to the R&D Center for further inspection. Any penalties could come Tuesday.(Virginian Pilot), McDowell started 18th at Darlington and finished 40th.(5-9-2010)
      UPDATE - #7 & #55 team fined: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #7 and #55 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rules violations last week at Darlington Raceway. The #7 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR required specifications); and 20-18A (unapproved additional door braces) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. The infraction was discovered during opening day inspection on May 7. Crew chief Samuel Stanley has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Robby Gordon, both driver and owner of the #7 car, has been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points.
      The #55 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4-J; and 20-10.6B (unapproved final drive gear; incorrect tooth count). The violation was discovered during post-qualifying inspection on May 7. Crew chief Zachary McGowan has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Michael McDowell and owner Randy Humphrey have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR), to see more on penalties assessed, see my 2010 Penalties page
      the penalties do not affect the Top-35 in owners points going into Dover, but #7-Gordon drops from 34th to 35th and is now 18 points ahead of 36th in owners points, #38-David Gilliland. #55-McDowell drops from 41st to 43rd in owners points, but would still make the race at Dover if qualifying were to be canceled. See the adjusted owners points on my 2010 Owners Points Standings page.(5-12-2010)

    • RCR to honor Earnhardt's induction into HOF at All-Star race: Richard Childress Racing will further honor the legendary Dale Earnhardt’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with special paint schemes in races over the next two weekends. The #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Austin Dillon, will pay tribute to the seven-time Cup Series champion in the May 14 NASCAR Camping WorldTruck Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway. Jeff Burton and the #31 Caterpillar team will honor the legendary driver of the #3 in the May 22 Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It’s a privilege to run this special paint scheme to honor Dale Earnhardt on the same weekend he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” said Burton. “It’s a tremendous way to remind fans about the great things Dale did in the sport, his legacy that we still carry on and celebration of his induction into the inaugural class.” Earnhardt is one of five NASCAR legends who make up the inaugural class of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees. The others, who will be inducted during a May 23 ceremony in Charlotte, include Bill France, Bill France, Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty.(RCR), see an image of the #31 scheme on my #31 Team Scheme page.(5-12-2010)

    • Reutimann negotiating to stay at MWR: David Reutimann is negotiating a multiyear extension that will keep him in the #00 Sprint Cup car at Michael Waltrip Racing past this season. "I'm looking for us all to get on the same page so we can get it done," Reutimann said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he was promoting the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 he won a year ago. "I'm not running around the garage talking to anybody. They put something in front of me and we're working around some things. Hopefully, we'll be able to come up with a good compromise where everybody is going to be happy." Reutimann said there are no major sticking points for either side that should keep him from re-signing from the team. "Contract stuff, you have to go back and forth a little bit," he said, noting he's never had a real negotiation in the past. "I'm trying to get used to that. Usually I just walk in, 'Yeah, you want me to drive? Where do I sign?' They've been very good to me. I don't not like where I am. I like the people around me. I like our team and what we've got going on there. It's something I think we need to keep going."(ESPN.com)(5-12-2010)

    • Keyed Up Motorsports to skip Charlotte races: Keyed-Up Motorsports owner, Raymond Key, announced that the #90 Chevy will go on hiatus until funding is secured. The team has reduced staff but is still in operation, and will not participate in the All-Star Event weekend or the Coca-Cola 600 event as previously announced. “We look forward to returning to the schedule,” stated owner Raymond Key. “At this time we are taking a break from the schedule and working on securing sponsorship for future races.” Keyed-Up has not participated in an event since the Phoenix race in April, where driver Scott Riggs finished 28th. Riggs maintained a top-25 position with three laps to go when a right front tire blew, causing the final caution of the night. “I was very happy with Scott’s performance at Phoenix,” added Key, “and I welcome him back to the drivers’ seat when we return to the schedule.” The team will continue its efforts in securing a sponsor and will not “start and park” for funding.(Keyed-Up Motorsports)(5-12-2010)

    • A&P to Sponsor Ambrose and Continue to Raise Awareness for MDA: JTG Daugherty Racing announced a partnership with The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes at Dover International Speedway this weekend. JTG Daugherty Racing's #47 Toyota Camry driven by Marcos Ambrose will carry A&P and MDA on the hood in addition to having associates Scott, Bush's Baked Beans, Little Debbie and Kingsford on board. A&P has been a big supporter of MDA for nearly a quarter of a century. This week Ambrose is helping A&P continue their efforts in raising awareness about MDA, which continues their dedication to cure muscular dystrophy and related diseases by funding worldwide research since 1950.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(5-12-2010)

    • Kyle Busch wins 5 races...in one day: It was Kyle Busch's best day in racing -- five wins from six starts in the #18 M&M's machine. Well, make that the M&M's electric go-kart at Craig's Cruisers indoor kart track Tuesday in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming. Busch took on race fans, sponsors and media members in a series of eight-lap sprints at Craig's during a visit to promote the upcoming Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Michigan International Speedway on June 13 in Brooklyn, MI. The kart racing was as tough as any at Bristol, Martinsville or Richmond, where Busch, who is third in Cup points, won May 1. Starting from the back, Busch drove his way through wrecks, spinning karts and yellow flags. "I haven't won more than one race in a day," Busch said later, laughing. "It was neat to help MIS sell tickets to the June race and run against the fans. It was a good day at the wheel. There's nothing like coming from the back to win one." Busch and MIS president Roger Curtis banged bumpers most of the day, with Curtis appearing to have Busch's measure in the first eight-lapper before hitting the barrier -- or the brakes -- within sight of the checkered flag. "Don't know what happened to Roger's kart," Busch said. "I think he stalled it on the final turn." About 500 people -- locals and some from as far away as Ohio and Ontario -- turned out to watch and/or compete against Busch, including four friends from Dexter who drive and crew on a super late model team at tracks such as Berlin Raceway in Marne and Toledo Speedway.(Detroit Free Press)(5-12-2010)

    • Mahle Engine Builder Showdown returns to Charlotte area: The 11th Annual Mahle Engine Builder Showdown - hosted by NASCAR personalities Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds - will be held in uptown Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, May 20 at 5:30pm/et. The competition will take place during "NASCAR Rev'd Up," an event during NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week, on the side stage between 3rd and Mint Streets. The Mahle Engine Builder Showdown is a tiered, three-round competition designed to recognize the knowledge, skills and speed of professional engine builders who assemble special performance engines for NASCAR teams. The first two elimination rounds will take place at the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) in Mooresville, N.C. on Monday and Tuesday, May 17-18. The two fastest teams will face off against each other in the championship event at "NASCAR Rev'd Up" Thursday to win the Showdown's grand prize - the prestigious Randy Dorton Memorial trophy and a cash award. Mahle Clevite is an exclusive NASCAR Performance Partner for engine parts such as gaskets, bearings, and piston rings. In addition, Mahle Clevite is a sponsor within the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program in all domestic and international series.(Mahle Clevite). For more info, see my 2010 Pit Crew News page(5-12-2010)

    • McMurray's Crew Claims Tissot Pit Road Award in Darlington: Jamie McMurray's over-the-wall crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the historic Darlington Raceway. The #1 crew, which became the 10th different Tissot winner of the season [in 11 races], edged out the competition in Darlington with seven quick pit stops. The performance helped McMurray post a second-place finish. McMurray's McDonald's Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road – 305.523 seconds. McMurray's over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory DeMarco (front-tire changer), Doug Riepe (front-tire carrier), Chris Taylor (rear-tire changer), Adam Mosher (rear-tire carrier), Tracy Duncan (jackman), Benjy Grubbs (gasman) and Eric Hoyle (catch can). The team's pit crew coach is Chip Goode, and the crew chief is Kevin Manion. The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. Martin Truex Jr.'s #56 crew continues to lead the Tissot standings with two wins after eleven races. Nine teams are in second place with one win.(Tissot), see past winners and more on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(5-12-2010)

    • Active Winless streaks: Many drivers are coming to Dover in the throes of some very serious winless streaks. #39-Ryan Newman recently ended a run of 0-for-77 and #29-Kevin Harvick ended an 0-for-115 streak. The active driver who has made the most starts and not won a race is #66-Dave Blaney, who is 0-for-342 and counting. Longest winless Cup streaks:
      Driver, Winless Streak, Last Win
      Bobby Labonte. 227, Homestead. 11/16/2003
      Elliott Sadler, 202, California, 9/5/2004
      Martin Truex Jr. 106, Dover, 6/4/2007
      Juan Pablo Montoya, 103, Sonoma, 6/24/2007
      Clint Bowyer, 73, Richmond, 5/3/2008
      Dale Earnhardt Jr., 68, Michigan, 6/15/2008
      Greg Biffle, 55 Dover, 9/21/2008
      Jeff Burton, 52, Charlotte, 10/11/2008
      Carl Edwards, 47, Homestead, 11/16/2008
      Matt Kenseth, 45, Fontana, 2/22/2009
      Jeff Gordon, 40, Texas, 4/5/2009
      see a longer list and no win streaks on my All-time wins list page.(5-12-2010)

    • Andy Griffith Show on #34 at CMS in Oct: The Andy Griffith Show is returning to North Carolina with the debut of an original commemorative racecar that pays tribute to the iconic series. CBS Consumer Products in conjunction with HLG Licensing announced a partnership with Front Row Motorsports and the #34 Ford Fusion team to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved series. The car, to be driven Travis Kvapil, is slated to make its first appearance in the NASCAR Banking 500 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 16, 2010, and broadcast by ABC. The partnership marks the second time that CBS Consumer Products has come together with the NASCAR organization to feature a car scheme based on The Andy Griffith Show. Based on the announcement, CBS Consumer Products will be developing a very special merchandising and promotional program around the NASCAR partnership and will soon be announcing an entire line of products in the apparel, accessories, gift and toy categories. HLG has previously tied NASCAR teams with Hollywood's top entertainment brands including Jim Henson's "Muppets," Marvel's "Spiderman," Universal's "Monsters of the Speedway" and more.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(5-12-2010)

    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway, police at impasse UPDATE: Even after the governor assembled a committee to deal with New Hampshire Motor Speedway's concerns about the cost of police and fire coverage at the track, the speedway and Loudon police Chief Bob Fiske are about $100,000 apart on the cost of covering next month's NASCAR race weekend. Fiske said he will present the Loudon selectmen tonight [Tuesday, May 11th] with a memorandum of understanding, to be signed by Jerry Gappens, the speedway's executive vice president, stating that the town of Loudon will be paid $174,500 for police and fire coverage, the same cost as the September 2009 race weekend. But Gappens says track owner Bruton Smith believes adequate coverage can be provided for $75,000. The Loudon track is the only one of eight speedways owned by Smith's company, Speedway Motorsports, that pays for police and fire coverage, Gappens said. Gappens said he considers Fiske's request that he sign a memorandum of understanding to be "an insult" to the relationship forged between town and speedway. "It makes me feel like they feel that we're not trustworthy and we're thieves," he said. "That concerns me." Fiske has said that in order to provide the same level of coverage at the track as in September, $174,500 - $134,000 of that for police coverage - is as low as he can go. That figure is already down significantly from the $263,000 the track paid for police and fire coverage in June 2009, and the selectmen are "totally supportive" of maintaining the same level of manpower, he said. Fiske said he collects about 80 officers from Loudon and towns across the state who make $43 per hour to work the race weekend. He said he knows asking Gappens to sign the memo "puts a bad taste in people's mouths," but he "can't stand" to leave the town holding the rest of the bill in order to provide adequate coverage. At the company's other speedway locations, Gappens said state and local officials provide coverage for no charge in recognition of the boon to the local economy.(Concord Monitor)(5-12-2010)
      UPDATE: The only thing New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the Loudon selectmen agreed on at last night's meeting was the need to act quickly to figure out how to police next month's NASCAR race weekend. "Now we're under the gun," Selectman Steven Ives said. After months of discussion between Loudon police Chief Bob Fiske and speedway Security Director Mark Furlone, as well as the creation of a state task force to address the speedway's concerns about the cost of law enforcement coverage, the town and the track are still about $100,000 apart on the price of fire and police protection before and during the June 27 Sprint Cup race. Fiske presented the selectmen last night with a memorandum of understanding, which stated that the track will pay $174,500 - which includes $134,000 for police coverage - as it did for the September 2009 race. But speedway owner Bruton Smith has said he is capping what he will pay for police and fire for June's race at $75,000. None of Smith's seven other speedways has to pay for local emergency services, said Jerry Gappens, the speedway's executive vice president. Gappens refused to sign the memorandum, which he has called "an insult" to the relationship between the speedway and the town. "It's a slap in the face," he told the selectmen. Selectman Dustin Bowles said he will not settle for entering June's race weekend without a letter signed by the speedway verifying how much it is willing to pay for police and fire coverage. If that doesn't happen, he said, the town will demand that the speedway bond the money. "We're going to need something," he said. After the discussion, both sides agreed to address the issue again in the coming weeks.(Concord Monitor)(5-12-2010)


      News from May 11, 2010

    • Hendrick thinks Gibbs has caught up and passed HMS: Rick Hendrick says fellow Sprint Cup owner Joe Gibbs has done more than catch Hendrick Motorsports in performance this season. "Looks like he passed me," the owner of HMS said during Tuesday's grand opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "He didn't [catch] me. He lapped me." Joe Gibbs Racing has won the past two Cup races and four of the past six since NASCAR switched from the wing to the spoiler. Denny Hamlin, who won Saturday night at Darlington, has won three of those. Kyle Busch won the other. HMS, which won three of the first five races with four-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, is winless during that stretch. But it's not just wins that has JGR looking like the organization to beat 11 races into the season. Hamlin and Busch have combined to lead 695 laps in the past six races after leading only 76 in the first five. See full story and quotes at ESPN.com.(5-11-2010)

    • Waltrip back in the #15? UPDATE: on Michael Waltrip's Facebook page, an image was posted of Waltrip with a #15 NAPA Toyota. No word when/if this car/scheme will run, but Waltrip has mentioned he wants to run the restrictor plate races and ran the Daytona 500 in the #51 NAPA Toyota and Talladega in April in the #55 Aaron's Toyota. See the image on my #15/51 Team Schemes page.(5-11-2010)
      UPDATE: The 46-year-old Waltrip will drive the MWR-prepared #15 Sprint Cup car on the twists and hills at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 2,3 and 4 in front of 150,000 fans in England. Some of the sport's most famous names like Michael's brother Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Smokey Yunick also made appearances at Goodwood since the festival's inception in 1993."That's such an honor," said Waltrip. "Just about everybody in the world knows about Goodwood and the racing that goes on there. It's another sign of NASCAR's acceptance all around the world. The really cool part about traveling to Dubai was to have people from all over the world come up to you and ask you about something that happened in NASCAR. I was amazed how knowledgeable and up on NASCAR they were. It's eye opening how closely they follow everything we are doing back home."(MWR)(5-11-2010)

    • Old Spice leaving Stewart Haas next season UPDATE: Tony Stewart is searching for a new sponsor for the 2011 season. Old Spice, a brand of Procter & Gamble which serves as primary sponsor of Stewart's #14 Chevy in 14 races this season, confirmed Sunday it has decided not to renew its sponsorship. "Based solely on a change in our marketing strategies, the Old Spice contract with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing will expire at the end of 2010 and will not be renewed," Mike Norton, Old Spice Brand spokesman, said in a statement. Office Depot will continue as a co-primary sponsor of the #14 next season and SHR spokesman Mike Arning said the organization has already started a search for a new sponsor.(Charlotte Observer)(5-9-2010)
      AND: #14-Tony Stewart ran a special Old Spice "Matterhorn" paint scheme recently at Talladega Superspeedway. Matterhorn is one of four Old Spice scents that are part of the Fresh Collection – a line of antiperspirant/deodorants that gives guys the chance to smell like some of the freshest places on Earth. Designed by the scent experts at Procter & Gamble, Fresh Collection combines the great protection guys have come to know and expect from Old Spice, with a blend of fresh fragrances that are subtle and not overpowering. Fresh Collection is inspired by four well known lands from across the globe, each one containing scent notes familiar to that location:
      * Matterhorn: Smells like ice, wind and freedom (Matterhorn is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy.)
      * Fiji: Smells like palm trees, sunshine and freedom (Fiji is a chain of 330 islands, only 100 of which are inhabited, in the South Pacific.)
      * Cyprus: Smells like limes, an ocean breeze and freedom (Cyprus is an island country in the Mediterranean.)
      * Denali: Smells like wilderness, open air and freedom (Denali is a National Park and Preserve in Alaska.)
      No word when the other three [Fiji, Cyprus, Denali] schemes will run. See the Matterhorn scheme on my #14 Team Schemes page.(5-11-2010)

    • LENOX, RCR rewew partnership: Richard Childress Racing and LENOX Industrial Tools, a leading manufacturer of premium power tool accessories, hand tools, torches, solder and band saw blades, continue their partnership with driver Jeff Burton and the #31 Chevy team through the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The RCR/LENOX partnership began in 2007 and continues to be a core component of the LENOX motorsports program. LENOX will be the #31 team's primary sponsor at the June 27 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and both Jeff Burton and Richard Childress will support LENOX through customer appearances and advertising. The RCR partnership will also serve as a platform to honor the life of Pete Dingeman, the 2009 "LENOX Extra Mile Hero." Pete dedicated his life to supporting the Children's Tumor Foundation (CTF) and last year donated his entire $31,000 winnings from LENOX to support this cause. Sadly, Pete passed away in December of last year after a life-long battle with neurofibromatosis (NF). In recognition of his heroic efforts, a decal honoring Pete will be placed on the #31 paint scheme, and the 2010 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 will be dedicated to him.(RCR PR)(5-11-2010)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame and Cultural Organizations Partner for Grand Opening: Area arts, science and history organizations in Charlotte are partnering with the NASCAR Hall of Fame to celebrate its grand opening on May 11, 2010. The organizations are providing discounted or free admission at their facilities to Hall of Fame ticket holders. The participating organizations are (offers valid only May 11, unless specified):
      Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
      420 South Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202
      Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive $2 off individual admission.
      Charlotte Museum of History
      3500 Shamrock Road, Charlotte, NC 28215
      Offer: Buy-one-get-one-free coupons available for their Beneath the Badge exhibit.
      Discovery Place
      301 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
      Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive $2 off admission. Offer valid through Sun., May 16.
      Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
      551 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
      Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive $2 off individual admission.
      Levine Museum of the New South
      200 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
      Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card, get $1 off individual admission or $2 off family/household admission, AND receive a free Richard Petty historic mini-poster! Posters available while supplies last.
      North Carolina Dance Theatre
      Blumenthal Box Office – Belk Theater
      Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card at the Blumenthal Box Office and receive a 20% discount on tickets to Director's Choice performances at 7:30pm May 13 – 15, 2010.
      Mint Museum of Art
      2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28207
      Offer: Show your Hall of Fame hard card and receive buy-one-get-one-free admission.
      The following organizations have free admission:
      McColl Center for Visual Art
      721 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 2802
      The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film
      345 N. College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
      Cultural event celebrating NASCAR culture
      Actor's Theatre of Charlotte
      650 East Stonewall Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
      Presents HEAVEN ON WHEELS -- a stock car racing tribute musical running May 6-29.
      Opening ceremonies begin at 9:00am.et with all the pomp and circumstance expected of a national tourist attraction. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the 150,000-square-foot venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10 a.m. through the late evening. Activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment, food vendors, musical entertainment and more. The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame itself. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12, and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. Group discounts, facility rentals and sponsorships also are available by calling 704-654-4400.

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame opens Tuesday: The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens Tuesday, and the 150,000-square-foot facility should have no problem attracting people during the first year. With a theater on the bottom floor featuring a 12-minute movie about NASCAR and then three floors of interactive exhibits, the Hall of Fame has set a single-day adult ticket price of $19.95. It is selling annual memberships with the hope that people will visit the facility in downtown Charlotte more than once. And that's the challenge-to make people want to come back. The Hall of Fame will hold its grand opening on Tuesday and its first induction ceremony on May 23, when NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. and drivers Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson will be inducted. Even with four floors, not everything the Hall of Fame has acquired will be on display when the doors open Tuesday. The number of interactive displays is enough to keep fans occupied for the full eight hours the facility is open (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday). Among things visitors can do: watch videos about 20 of the greatest finishes in NASCAR history; rev an engine dyno; ride in a racing simulator (for an extra $5); and play trivia games. Customers can use a card that collects information from activities during their visit to track their progress throughout their visit. There is a separate room just for kids and an area that goes through the entire mechanics of a car and how it is built. Another area describes how technical inspection is done (including video screens where patrons can decide which pieces are legal and illegal). On one floor, artifacts of the sport are arranged by decade and another area that highlights families and other historical moments. The exhibits in the induction area won't be open until the induction ceremony May 23. It includes cars raced by Petty, Johnson and Earnhardt. Each inductee will have a spire in the center of the room with their likeness and a video describing their accomplishments. At the bottom will be another likeness of the person where kids create an image to take home with them. The spires of the current class will be in the center, while the rest will line the outside of the room, which is shaped in an oval.(Sporting News), SPEED will have coverage from the NASCAR Hall of Fame grand opening on Tuesday from 9:00am - 12:00pm/et.(5-11-2010)

    • Hall of Fame looking for more sponsorship: When customers enter the $200 million NASCAR Hall of Fame for the first time this week, they'll find the sparkling showplace surprisingly free of sponsor clutter. That's not by design. The three-story, 150,000-square-foot facility, which opens Tuesday in downtown Charlotte, has finalized four sponsorships with Lowe's, Mars (M&M's), Food Lion and the NASCAR Performance Group. NASCAR will be showcasing many of its aftermarket partners, including 3M, Goodyear, Mobil 1, O'Reilly Auto Parts and others. Those companies will be on display when the Hall of Fame opens, and their deals range from $200,000 to $700,000 annually and go from three to five years in length. NASCAR receives a 10 percent cut on sponsorship sales and between 7.5 percent and 10 percent on other revenue from admissions, retail sales and tours. Five other sponsorship deals are in the works and are expected to close soon, although the identity of the new sponsors has not been disclosed by the Hall and those companies are not yet on display. The nine deals in total represent $4 million in sponsorship revenue, which will be used to pay back $20 million in loans from its banking partners in Charlotte, Bank of America and Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia), over the next 10 years. Interest will accrue over time. Overall construction costs are covered by an arrangement with the city that includes loans from the banks, hotel/motel taxes and private funds. The facility's inventory, which includes Heritage Speedway, High Octane Theater, Glory Road, the Great Hall and the iRacing simulator, sure to be one of the most visited attractions within the facility, has been on the market for more than two years. The recession has hampered sales efforts, said Zak Brown, CEO of Just Marketing International, the Indianapolis-based sales agent for the Hall. Hall officials are standing by their projections of 800,000 visitors in its first year. Ticket prices range from $12.95 to $19.95.(Scene Daily)(5-11-2010)

    • Richard Petty named grand marshal for Autism Speaks: A familiar face at the Monster Mile will say the four most famous words in motorsports - "Gentleman, start your engines" - to bring 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines to life on Sunday, May 16 at Dover International Speedway. Richard Petty, a seven-time winner at the Monster Mile and owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, will be the grand marshal for the "Autism Speaks 400 presented by HERSHEY'S Milk & Milkshakes" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Just days before being inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, "The King" will celebrate the grand occasion at Dover by participating as the grand marshal and by taking part in a free question-and-answer session for all fans on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. at the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by AAA. Allen Bestwick, host of ESPN's coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will moderate the special Q&A session.(Dover PR)(5-11-2010)

    • Record-Breaking Action at Talladega Equals More Great Deals For Fans: To celebrate the NASCAR record breaking 29 leaders in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, track officials have unveiled a new $29 two-day ticket in the Allison Grandstands for the Oct. 29-31 AMP Energy 500 weekend. The $29 two-day ticket will be available for a limited time so race fans should act fast. It's valid for any seat in rows two through eleven of the Allison Grandstands. As an added bonus, kids 11 and under will be admitted free to these sections with a ticketed adult. Tickets are available online at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA. To reserve seats for children 11 and under, please call the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS PR)(5-11-2010)


      News from May 10, 2010

    • Darlington Notes & Facts:
      • Denny Hamlin won the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday. He started eighth to win his 11th Sprint Cup Series victory in his 162nd race. His last series victory was at Texas, three races ago. All 11 wins have come with crew chief Mike Ford. It was his seventh career superspeedway victory in 108 superspeedway races.
      • Hamlin's victory was his third win in 2010, tying Jimmie Johnson for most. It was Hamlin's fourth top-10 finish in 11 races in 2010, all top-5s. It was his first Darlington Cup Series victory in five races. Hamlin is the 44th different race winner at Darlington.
      • Hamlin also won Friday's Nationwide Series race, the first weekend sweep of his career.
      • Hamlin became the third driver to sweep both the Nationwide and Cup Darlington races in a single weekend, joining Dale Earnhardt (1987) and Mark Martin (1993).
      • Hamlin has finished 13th or better in all five of his Darlington races. He led 104 of the 367 laps raced Saturday and climbed from seventh to sixth in the points standings.
      • Hamlin's win was the 81st Sprint Cup Series victory for Joe Gibbs Racing. It was JGR's third Darlington victory (Bobby Labonte, September 2000; Kyle Busch, May 2008; Denny Hamlin, Saturday). JGR scored its fourth victory in 11 races in 2010 (Hamlin -- 3, Busch -- 1), most by all owners.
      • There have been four different speedway winners this year: Jimmie Johnson (California and Las Vegas), Kurt Busch (Atlanta), Ryan Newman (Phoenix) and Denny Hamlin (Texas and Darlington).
      • Jeff Gordon is the only driver to lead at least one lap in nine of the 11 races this season. Gordon leads all drivers, scoring 60 lap-leader bonus points. Gordon has won only once in the past 12 races in which he has led 100 or more laps. Gordon passed Cale Yarborough for fifth all time in laps led at Darlington (1,720).
      • Four drivers have ranked in the top 12 after each race in 2010: Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.
      • Tony Stewart dropped from a season-high fifth in points after Bristol to 18th over the past six races.
      • Johnson had a 108-point lead three races ago. He is now second, 110 points behind Harvick.
      • Jamie McMurray (second) posted his best Darlington finish in 10 races.
      • Kurt Busch (third) has been running at the finish in his 14 Darlington races.
      • Gordon (fourth) extended a streak of seven straight Darlington top-5 finishes.
      • Juan Pablo Montoya (fifth) posted his best Darlington finish. He has climbed from 24th to 17th in points in the past three races.
      • Burton (eighth) extended a streak of five straight Darlington finishes of 12th or better.
      • Newman (ninth) has scored five top-10 finishes in his past six Darlington races.
      • Kenseth finished 13th in his 375th career start.
      • Elliott Sadler (21st) has been running at the finish in his 18 Darlington races, the longest current streak.
      • Joey Logano finished 27th in his 50th career start.
      • This was Toyota's second Darlington victory and the fourth victory in 11 races this season for the manufacturer. Chevrolet has six and Dodge has one while Ford remains winless in 2010.
      • The top 10 consisted of six Chevrolets, three Toyotas and one Dodge.
      • Kenseth was the highest-finishing Ford.(ESPN)(5-10-2010)

    • The Entry List for the Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 race winner as owner)(40th in owners pts/11 attempts)
      #13-Max Papis (39/11)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winner as owner)(37/11)
      #32-Reed Sorenson (47/4)
      #36-Casey Mears (38/11)
      #38-David Gilliland (36/11)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (44/11)
      #55-Michael McDowell (41/11)
      #64-Todd Bodine (50/2]
      #66-Dave Blaney (43/11)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (42/11)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,38,36,13,
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 46,32,64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Dover Entry List.(5-10-2010)

    • TV Ratings for Darlington increase: NASCAR on FOX had a 3.9/8 overnight rating Saturday night for racing from Darlington Raceway for the Showtime Southern 500, an 8% increase over last year's 3.6/7 for the same race. The Sprint Cup race ran second for the night to ABC's NBA Playoff game (3.9/8 vs. 4.4/8). The season-to-date NASCAR's metered market average of 4.5/9 is off just -2% from last season's 4.6/9. For last week's TV Ratings, race-by-race and four season comparison chart, see my 2010 TV Ratings page.(5-10-2010)

    • Win 191 for #11: with #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway, it was car #11's 191st win in the Sprint Cup Series, only 7 wins behind the #43, which has 198 wins in 2257 Sprint Cup races. See more on my Wins by Car Number page.(5-10-2010)


      News from May 9, 2010

    • Daytona repaving gives Goodyear tight timeline: Daytona International Speedway is repaving the 2.5-mile super-speedway for the first time since 1978. While work will begin following the Coke Zero 400 in July, track officials don't expect the asphalt to be ready for testing until Jan. 1. That's more than a month before NASCAR teams return for Speedweeks and it may not leave Goodyear ample time to perfect a tire for the Daytona 500. NASCAR officials informed Goodyear of an open Daytona test scheduled for mid-January (rumored to be Jan. 15th but denied by top brass from the sanctioning body). Goodyear traditionally begins manufacturing tires in October for Speedweeks with the usual run of 6,000 units. With a test involved, as is anticipated given a completely green and unknown track surface, Goodyear would likely up the tire inventory to 8,000 tires for all the Daytona events - the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duels, Camping World Truck race, Nationwide Series race and the 500 (and practices for all those events). Originally, Stu Grant of Goodyear had hoped to start the testing process no later than Nov. 1, using the current Daytona tires as the control tires and build a data base. Should Goodyear not have time for a tire test prior to January, the Daytona open test sessions would become the tire test. Lane Contruction recently repaved Talladega using the same asphalt compound for Daytona, so Grant says Goodyear would now use the Talladega tire as the control tire. Goodyear has received pavement samples from Lane but if testing is not an option, the tires will have to be developed by engineers in the lab instead of on the track. The selection process begins with a control tire and usually requires four to six weeks to assemble the materials, then build and cure the tires. Even if Goodyear could test a tire on Jan. 1, teams would not have track-tested tires for a full Cup Series test on Jan. 15. Although it would be a push, teams could have the new tires for the opening day of Speedweeks on Feb. 9(Fox Sports)(5-9-2010)

    • Bill Eliott to wave green flag at the Rock: Part-time Sprint Cup Series driver, #21-Bill Elliott [drives the #21 Wood Brothers Ford in selected races], is scheduled to be the honorary starter [wave the green flag] for the May 15 running of the Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway. For more info, please see the Rockingham Speedway website.(5-10-2010)

    • Old Spice leaving Stewart Hass next season: Two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart is searching for a new sponsor for the 2011 season. Old Spice, a brand of Procter & Gamble which serves as primary sponsor of Stewart's #14 Chevy in 14 races this season, confirmed Sunday it has decided not to renew its sponsorship. "Based solely on a change in our marketing strategies, the Old Spice contract with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing will expire at the end of 2010 and will not be renewed," Mike Norton, Old Spice Brand spokesman, said in a statement. Office Depot will continue as a co-primary sponsor of the #14 next season and SHR spokesman Mike Arning said the organization has already started a search for a new sponsor.(Charlotte Observer)(5-9-2010)

    • Rear Gear taken from #55 car: NASCAR announced that it confiscated the rear gear of the #55 Toyoya of Michael McDowell on Friday at Darlington Raceway and will take it back to the R&D Center for further inspection. Any penalties could come Tuesday.(Virginian Pilot), McDowell started 18th at Darlington and finished 40th.(5-9-2010)

    • Richard Petty Motorsports To Honor Petty At Dover: As a tribute to team owner and NASCAR legend Richard Petty, the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will adorn old familiar colors for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The Ford driven by AJ Allmendinger will bring back the "Petty Blue" and "Day-glo Red" colors in honor of "The King," who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class on Sunday, May 23. The throwback paint scheme will resemble the #43 machine Petty drove in 1984. That season, the driver collected his 199th career win at Dover. Petty holds the record for the most wins in NASCAR with 200. Petty will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 16. The seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion won the inaugural race at Dover in 1969. He is also tied with Bobby Allison for the most wins at the one-mile track with seven.(RPM PR)(5-9-2010)

    • Keselowski throwing out first pitch in Detroit: On Thursday, May 13, #12-Brad Keselowski will throw out the first pitch of the New York Yankees/Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. He will be back in his hometown in advance of the race at Michigan International Speedway, June 11-13.(Penske PR)(5-9-2010)

    • Camping Sales Brisk at Atlanta for Labor Day Weekend: With the brisk pace of campsite sales for the track's Labor Day NASCAR night racing weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway is urging fans to secure campsites now and the track is offering a payment plan to reserve camping for just $20 down. Fans have less than one month remaining to take advantage of the Speedway's payment plan, which allows customers to reserve tickets or campsite for just $20 down. The remaining balance is due in three later installments on June 1, July 1 and August 2. In addition to payment options, Atlanta Motor Speedway has added a new campground, the Legends Premium Campground, in an effort to better serve customers and meet demand for the upcoming Labor Day weekend of NASCAR night racing. The Legends Premium campground is located between Turn Four and the Legends Campground and provides some of the closest RV campsites to the Speedway's frontstretch grandstand. In addition, the Legends Reserved Tent Campground and the Elliott Reserved Campground were created last year to provide additional tent camping for the Labor Day weekend event. To reserve a campsite or purchase tickets to Atlanta Motor Speedway's Labor Day NASCAR night racing weekend, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(5-9-2010)

    • Records & Prices Fall at Talladega Superspeedway: Talladega Superspeedway shattered NASCAR records during the Aaron's Dream Weekend and now they are shattering prices too. To commemorate the NASCAR record 88 lead changes set in the Aaron's 499, Talladega Superspeedway has lowered ticket prices in the Gadsden and Lincoln Towers from $120 to $88 for the Oct. 31 AMP Energy 500. Race fans that purchase or renew their tickets in these areas will also be entered into a drawing for 88 autographed Dale Earnhardt Jr. hero cards. NASCAR action returns with the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Race Number Seven in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the AMP Energy 500, Oct. 29 - 31. To experience it all, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(Talladega PR)(5-9-2010)

    • Bristol single event tickets on sale: For the first time in nearly two decades, fans now may purchase single-event tickets to NASCAR's most popular Sprint Cup event, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. The Aug. 21 running of the IRWIN Tools Night Race is a major milestone for Bristol Motor Speedway as the World's Fastest Half-Mile will host its 100th Cup race. The first 500-lap NASCAR race at BMS took place July 30, 1961. A limited number of tickets for the incomparable Saturday night show, voted by fans as the most popular race on the NASCAR schedule, are available for $109 each. These single-event tickets are renewable. Fans also may purchase a three-day package, which features four NASCAR races. Action kicks off Aug. 18 with the O'Reilly 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm Whelen Modified doubleheader. Also in the package are the Food City 250 Nationwide event Friday night, Aug. 20, and the showcase race Aug. 21, the IRWIN Tools Night Race. To purchase, please contact the BMS ticket office at its toll free number 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL (274-7865). Tickets may also be purchased at www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(5-9-2010)


      News from May 8, 2010

    • Denny Hamlin wins at Darlington: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd race of 2010 and 11th of his career. He also won the Nationwide race Friday night. It was his first weekend sweep in Nationwide and Cup. Pole sitter #1-Jamie McMurray finished 2nd, followed by #2-Busch, #24-Gordon, #42-Montoya, #29-Harvick, #18-Busch, #31-Burton, #39-Newman, and #83-Vickers. Harvick extended his points lead to 110 over #48-Johnson, who was involved in a wreck with #43-Allmendinger midway through the race and finished 36th. There were 20 lead changes among 11 drivers and 11 cautions for 56 yellow flag laps.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Darlington Race Results/Awards page.(5-8-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Darlington:
      Denny Hamlin won the SHOWTIME Southern 500 (61st Running), his 11th victory in 162 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in five races at Darlington Raceway.
      Hamlin completed the weekend sweep, also winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series event this weekend. It is his first career NSCS/NNS sweep.
      The last NSCS/NNS sweep was at Richmond in May of 2009 by Kyle Busch. The last NSCS/NNS sweep at Darlington was September of 1993 by Mark Martin.
      Jamie McMurray (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in ten races at Darlington Raceway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2010.
      Kurt Busch (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 14 races at Darlington Raceway.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-8-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Darlington, race 11 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 1622
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 1512, -110
      3) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win],1509, -113
      4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1475, -147
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 1472, -150
      6) #11-Denny Hamlin [3 wins], 1458, -164
      7) #16-Greg Biffle, 1431, -191
      8) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 1420, -202
      9) #31-Jeff Burton, 1394, -228
      10) #5-Mark Martin, 1357, -265
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 1345, -277
      12) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1318, -304
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 1302, 16 points out of the chase
      14) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 1280, -38
      15) #33-Clint Bowyer, 1280, -38
      16) #1-Jamie McMurray [1 win], 1279, -39
      17) #42-Juan Montoya, 1264, -54
      18) #14-Tony Stewart, 1259, -59
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 18
      20) #83-Brian Vickers, 1158, -160
      22) #9-Kasey Kahne, 1129, -190
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page. (5-8-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Dover:
      There were no changes in the top 30. The #37 team is now 22 points ahead of the #38 team.
      32) #71-Labonte/TRG: 899, +88
      33) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: 877, +66
      34) #7-Gordon/RGM/BAM: 854, +43
      35) #37-Conway/Front Row: 833, 22 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 811, 22 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 706, -127
      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.(5-8-2010)

    • Penalty Report - Darlington:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #18, Pre-Race, Back-Up Car, to the rear
      #38, 48, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #20, 54, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #71, 54, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #38, 55, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #13, 64, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #48, 84, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #56, 84, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #71, 143, Commitment Line Violation, Pass Thru
      #71, 172, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #13, 173, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #77, 173, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #37, 180, Pitting before pit road is open,Also Rolling a Tire and Commitment Line Violation, Tail End
      #77, 201, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #47, 201, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #71, 228, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #47, 229, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #77, 233, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #82, 266, Commitment Line Violation, Pass Thru
      #98, 283, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #31, 344,Running over/under equipment, Stop and Go and Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(5-8-2010)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Darlington: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #99-Edwards, 15th
      Caution 2: #82-Speed, 28th
      Caution 3: #26-Stremme, 24th
      Caution 4: #71-Labonte, 34th
      Caution 5: #48-Johnson, 36th
      Caution 6: #16-Biffle, 22nd
      Caution 7: #99-Edwards (2), 15th
      Caution 8: #6-Ragan, 14th
      Caution 9: #26-Stremme (2), 24th
      Caution 10: #9-Kahne, 20th
      Caution 11: #99-Edwards (3), 15th
      (5-8-2010)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Darlington (or seemed to)?
      42nd: #64-Bodine, 21 laps run
      41st: #66-Blaney, 35 laps run
      40th: #46-Yeley, 42 laps run
      with NASCAR's new rule of the first non-crashed car out of the race to be inspected, it would be the #64 this week
      (only count a team with a history of start and park, not a wreck or engine blow and only if 25% or less of race completed)(5-1-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon talks about Letarte's contract:
      HAS THERE BEEN ANY PROGRESS ON (CREW CHIEF) STEVE LETARTE'S CONTRACT YET?
      "Oh, would you guys (the media) settle down! It was a week ago that Chad (Knaus) and Alan (Gustafson) signed and nobody was asking any questions about Stevie. And now all of a sudden it's like they are signed so why isn't Steve signed? He's going to be signed. Everything is going really good. He and I are getting along and doing better than we ever have and his commitment to this team is showing every weekend just how good he is and that's not going to change. So, if I was trying to get him signed he would have been signed already. It's a process that goes on at Hendrick Motorsports and I'm not really involved with it."(Chevy PR)(5-8-2010)

    • Ford looking for new racing engineer: Ford Racing is searching for a new manager of North American Racing Operations. Doug Hervey, who has been in the post since April 2007, will move on to the product development end of the Ford Motor Company. He will be under Brian Wolfe, former director of North American Motorsports. Hervey directed the engineering of all of Ford's North American Racing initiatives with an emphasis on NASCAR and NHRA. He also oversaw Grand-AM and USAC. Ford Racing has been winless in NASCAR's Cup Series since Jamie McMurray took the checkers at Talladega on Nov. 1, 2009. Its last Nationwide Series win came when Carl Edwards was victorious at Phoenix two weeks later. Ford pulled its manufacturing support from the Camping World Truck Series two years ago but still offers technical and contingency support.(Fox Sports)(5-8-2010)

    • North Carolina Governor Proclaims May Motorsports Month: With Race Weeks in Charlotte fast approaching, and thousands of fans from around the globe coming to North Carolina to vacation and enjoy great racing, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has proclaimed May Motorsports Month in the Tar Heel State. The proclamation was read at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday during a May race kick-off event with Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and four area mayors: Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett, Mooresville Mayor Chris Montgomery and Kannapolis Mayor Robert Misenheimer. Gov. Perdue's proclamation recognizes the many motorsports events taking place in North Carolina in May, and in particular those at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the N.C. Education Lottery 200 on May 21, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 Powered by CARQUEST Auto Parts on May 29, and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30. 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. Friends and family four-pack tickets start at just $39.75 per person for the Coca-Cola 600 and at $35 per person for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22.(CMS PR)(5-8-2010)


      News from May 7, 2010

    • Pit Stall Selections - Darlington: The selections of pit stalls for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway have been made. Pole sitter #1-McMurray chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #24-Gordon took pit stall 7, the first with an opening behind it.
      #83-Vickers, who starts 3rd took the 8th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it [after the first pit stall].
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #56-Truex, Jr., who starts 33rd.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Darlington Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-7-2010)

    • McMurray wins pole at Darlington: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Coors Pole for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 180.370mph, a new track record, for his 2nd pole of 2010 and 5th of his career. #24-Gordon will start 2nd followed by #83-Vickers, #00-Reutimann, #5-Martin, #39-Newman, #47-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #12-Keselowski, and #9-Kahne. The go-or-go homers who made the race (7): #55-McDowell, #66-Blaney, #46-Yeley, #26-Stremme, #38-Gilliland, #32-Sorenson, #4-Bodine, and #13-Papis
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #87-Nemechek, #36-Mears, and #09-Bliss
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Darlington Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(5-7-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Darlington:
      Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light Pole Award for the SHOWTIME Southern 500 (61st Running) with a lap of 27.264 seconds, 180.370 mph.
      McMurray set a new track qualifying record, breaking Matt Kenseth's 2009 Darlington speed of 179.514 mph.
      This is his fifth pole in 269 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second pole and third top-10 start in 2010. This is the first time in his eight-year career that McMurray has won mulitple poles in a season.
      This is his first pole in ten races at Darlington Raceway.
      Jeff Gordon (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2010 and his 24th in 30 races at Darlington Raceway.
      Brian Vickers (third) posted his third top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his second in 11 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-7-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Friday, May 7, 2010 at 5:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 5:00pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: 1:30am/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway 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 #43-Allmendinger.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #78-Smith.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #32-Sorenson with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #64-Bodine.
      See the full qualifying order on the Darlington Qualifying Page.(5-7-2010)

    • Happy Hour (final) practice: for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 90 minutes. The top 5 and some notes:
      #1-McMurray 178.064
      #11-Hamlin 177.243
      #2-Busch 177.0339
      #39-Newman 176.835
      #42-Montoya 176.790
      slowest: #99-Edwards 170.614 & #37-Conway 169.345.
      incidents: #16-Biffle hit the wall in turn 4 early and will go to a backup. #2-Busch spun off turn 4 but stayed out of the wall. #87-Nemechek tore up his car coming off turn 4 and sliding into the inside retaining wall. He'll pull out the backup. 35 mintues in, #36-Mears got loose off turn 2, hit the wall and slid down into the inside retaining wall. He will also need a backup. #18-Busch hit the wall in 4 midway through the session. The team will try to repair the car. #47-Ambrose hit the right side of his car late in the session and will go to a backup.
      See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Practice Speeds Page.(5-7-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Darlington:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #66-Dave Blaney, 23rd fastest
      #09-Mike Bliss, 24th
      #55-Michael McDowell, 26th
      #13-Max Papis, 27th
      #26-David Stremme, 28th
      #38-David Gilliland, 30th
      #32-Reed Sorenson, 34th
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 46th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #64-Todd Bodine, 39th
      #36-Casey Mears, 41st
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 44th
      (5-7-2010)

    • Friday's first practice: for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after 90 minutes. The top 5 and some notes:
      #43-Allmendinger 173.271
      #66-Blaney 173.185
      #09-Bliss 172.954
      #55-McDowell 172.681
      #11-Hamlin 172.566
      slowest: #7-Gordon 167.665 & #37-Conway 166.034
      Darlington stripes: #88-Earnhardt Jr got one on his second lap out on the track and the crew brought out the backup car. #34-Kvapil scraped the wall shortly thereafter, followed by #20-Joey Logano. #42-Montoya also make slight contact. #33-Bowyer hit the turn 2 wall an hour into the session and will go to a backup. #88-Earnhardt, Jr. then got back into the wall with 15 minutes remaning in the session but there was just minor damage. #82-Speed made contact with turn 4 late. Backup car for him as well. #1-McMurray also pancaked the car in turn 4 with just minutes remaining.
      See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Practice Speeds Page.(5-7-2010)

    • Darlington practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #66-Dave Blaney, 2nd fastest
      #09-Mike Bliss, 3rd
      #55-Michael McDowell, 4th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 18th
      #64-Todd Bodine, 21st
      #36-Casey Mears, 33rd
      #26-David Stremme, 40th
      #38-David Gilliland, 41st
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #32-Reed Sorenson, 42nd
      #46-J.J. Yeley, 43rd
      #13-Max Papis, 44th
      (5-7-2010)

    • Childress expects to sign Harvick by end of month: Richard Childress expects to have Sprint Cup points leader #29-Kevin Harvick signed to a new deal by the Coca-Cola 600 at the end of the month. "Yeah, we're pretty far down the road," the owner of Richard Childress Racing said of negotiations before Friday's Cup practice at Darlington Raceway. "We've still got to get a few things finalized, but we're looking forward to getting everything done by Charlotte or before Charlotte." Harvick was not immediately available for comment, but did say in a recent radio interview that he hoped to have a deal in place soon. Sponsorship is among the details to be finalized. Shell/Pennzoil announced last month it would leave Harvick after this season and move to the #22 car of Kurt Busch at Penske Racing in 2011. Asked if Budweiser or Mobile I, big-name sponsors whose current deals are up, might be on the list, Childress said, "There are sponsors that are not even in the sport that are interested."(ESPN.com)(5-7-2010)

    • Latest on Hamlin's Knee: From #11-Denny Hamlins driver diary at USA Today: "Knee surgery was more than a month ago, but I still am going to rehabilitation almost every day if I'm in town. It's going well, but the recovery is so slow is what's frustrating. It's not like anything else. You can break a bone or sprain something, and it can get better in a couple of weeks. This is a long, long process of putting in a whole bunch of work, and I wish the results were faster. The rehab mostly involves squats and stuff to try to get the quad and calves strong again. They get very weak being laid up, and they don't fire as well anymore, which in turn gives you more knee pain. So I'm doing the normal leg exercises that anyone would do to build muscle. It's better every week, for sure, but not 50% better, it's 10% or 5% better. It's about a six-month recovery, and we're a month into it. The doctors have said we're ahead of schedule. I still can't run, and that's the biggest limiting factor. I can't get the cardio exercise as I'd like, so that part also is a bear to deal with. I can get to where I'm on the elliptical machine now and can make some rotations. Within a week, I figure I'll be back to some sort of cardio, but nothing sports-related. The biggest thing I hear from people who do this in sports all the time is part of the depression that athletes face is not being able to go to the gym and do things as they did before. We live in the gym and live to play sports and do stuff like this. Being told to sit on the couch to recover is tough to deal with.(USA Today)(5-7-2010)


      News from May 6, 2010

    • Race attendance still dropping: NASCAR pledged the 2010 season would be aimed at placating its hard-core supporters with rough-and-tumble racing, but the recession still seems to be slamming the wallets of its middle-class fan base. According to estimates from official box scores, attendance decreased in nine of the first 10 races, with double-digit drops at Bristol Motor Speedway (14%), Phoenix International Raceway (13%) and Talladega Superspeedway (13%). International Speedway Corp., which owns Phoenix, Talladega and 10 more tracks that host Sprint Cup races, said during a first-quarter conference call last month that crowds at its speedways were at 81% of capacity. "The year is unfolding as predicted," said Roger Van Der Snick, ISC's chief operating officer. "We knew admissions would be down. We're on track with expectations. The biggest impediment is the economy." To spice up its competition, NASCAR tried to encourage more action by loosening the rules. But the short tracks most renowned for the fender-banging embraced by longtime fans also have suffered erosion in crowds that have been a bellwether of NASCAR popularity. Van Der Snick said blogs and Internet forums indicated fans still were warming up to NASCAR's changes. "It's going to take time to win some back," he said. "If they were disillusioned with the racing, those things don't change overnight. Just like the economy, there's going to be a lag factor. I'm not too alarmed."(USA Today), for track seating and race attendance information see my Race Track Attendance page.(5-6-2010)

    • Darlington's 2009 Citizen of the Year Joins ExtenZe Racing as Honorary Crew Chief: Back in January at the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet, a local chiropractor and philanthropist by the name of Dr. David Eads was honored as 2009 Citizen of the Year in recognition of his outstanding community service. For that, Eads has been named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for the leading NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe Racing team at the upcoming Darlington Raceway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend. A native of Charleston, Eads moved to Darlington in 1976 when his father became principal of St. Johns High School and since then has become very familiar with Darlington's generosity and its needs over the years. Despite being born elsewhere Eads says there's nowhere else he'd rather live and work. Eads career path was mapped out fairly early in his childhood as grew up best friends with the son of a prominent local chiropractor by the name of Dr. Joe Willis and spent a lot of time at the chiropractic office following in the footsteps of his friend's dad observing him with his patients. After graduating from Clemson, Eads joined Dr. Willis' practice in Darlington and then bought the practice when Willis retired. Now entering his 21st year of straightening of the aches and pains of friends and neighbors, Eads says the spinal care business has remained healthy but it's his love of community service that keeps him going. More info see www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(5-6-2010)

    • NASCAR Now Fans Series Continues Saturday: NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, continues its month-long series on NASCAR fans in the one-hour weekend edition airing Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m. ET. The program also will preview that night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The segments on fans will air in the weekend edition each week during May. Featured in the May 8 show will be Patrick Hickey, a nursing professor at the University of South Carolina who also is an accomplished mountain climber. Hickey has scaled the seven summits of the world, an eight-year quest that included the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. His task was completed when he took a NASCAR flag to the top of Mt. Everest and managed to time it for May 24, matching the number of his favorite NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon. Hickey and other fans featured in the NASCAR Now series are subjects in the recently-released book "The Weekend Starts on Wednesday" by Andrew Giangola.(5-6-2010)

    • Darlington Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . this is the first time these teams have run this combination of left- and right-side tires at Darlington, though they have run this right-side tire code several times in the past . . . Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams have run this right-side with a different left-side at Las Vegas and Charlotte in 2009, and will do so again in 2010 . . . this tire set-up was confirmed for Darlington at a Goodyear test at the track on March 9 . . . teams participating in that test were the No. 19 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford with Elliott Sadler, No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Clint Bowyer and No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota with Marcos Ambrose . . . compared to what was run at Darlington last year, this tire set-up features a left-side mold shape and compound change and right-side construction change, all designed to give the cars more grip . . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 55-60 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see tire pressures, codes and more on my Darlington Race Info Page - Goodyear section.(5-6-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Darlington:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion has elected to bring chassis #1006 to Darlington this weekend. This chassis is brand new.
      #2-Kyle Busch: Driver Kurt Busch, crew chief Steve Addington and the "Blue Deuce" crew will be racing their "PRS-725" Miller Lite Dodge Charger this weekend. "It's another one of the new cars the guys have built," said Addington. "We won with a brand new car the first time we race it at Atlanta earlier this year and should have won at Bristol when we brought out another new car."
      #5-Mark Martin: Gustafson has chosen Chassis #5-582 for Saturday night's race at Darlington. This is a brand new chassis that never has been raced, but was tested at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in March.
      #6-David Ragan: Chassis: Primary: RK-638. Last ran Coke 600 - finished 24th; Backup: RK-620. Last ran Vegas - finished 23rd
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-720 during Saturday night's NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. PRS-720 is a brand-new chassis to the #12 fleet and one of the lightest ever built at Penske Racing.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Chassis: Primary: RK-616
      #19-Elliot Sadler: The #19 Hunt Brothers Ford team led by crew chief Wally Rogers has prepared chassis #283. This is the same car the team tested last month at the Goodyear tire test at Darlington Raceway.
      #20-Joey Logano: The #20 Team is taking chassis #266 to Darlington Raceway for the Saturday night race. This chassis has yet to be used in competition, but was the back-up car at Texas. Chassis #250 will be the back-up car for the Southern 500, it served the same role last weekend, but was raced three times last year (the fall races at Pocono, Loudon and Phoenix).
      #24-Jeff Gordon: Crew chief Steve Letarte has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #24-484 for Saturday night's race at Darlington. Gordon collected three runner-up finishes last season in this car, taking second at Chicagoland Speedway in July, Michigan International Speedway in August and Kansas Speedway in October.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: Harvick will pilot Chassis #297 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Chevy is brand new for 2010 and will circle a track for the first time at Darlington.
      #31-Jeff Burton: Jeff Burton will pilot chassis #305 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend's Showtime Southern 500. Built new for 2010, this Caterpillar Chevy will be put through its first paces this weekend.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis #264 from Richard Childress Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Bowyer drove this Chevy four times in 2009, finishing 26th at Phoenix in April, 10th at Michigan in June, ninth at Chicagoland in July and sixth at Richmond in September. In 2010, this was the first Impala in the No. 33's stable to be outfitted with the rear spoiler. It was tested by the Shane Wilson-led team at Walt Disney Speedway (Orlando, Fla.) in February, at Darlington Raceway as part of the Goodyear tire test in March, and at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway's Little Rock in April.
      #42-Juan Montoya: Chassis #910. Brian Pattie will bring chassis #910 to Darlington this weekend. It was previously at Las Vegas where Montoya qualified tenth and finished 37th after an on-track altercation while running in the top-10. This chassis also ran in the 2009 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where a mid-race incident forced the team to a 38th-place finish.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 Insignia/Best Buy team led by crew chief Mike Shiplett has prepared chassis #277 for this weekend's 500 mile race in Darlington. This car was last run at the event at Phoenix where Allmendinger started from the pole and finished inside the top 15.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: Johnson will pilot brand new chassis #602 in Saturday night's event. Backup chassis #553 has been driven four times, three of which resulted in victories (Indy 7/09, California 10/09, California 2/10).
      #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-584. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, where he scored the pole position and earned a 15th-place finish.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 Richard Petty Motorsports crew have prepared chassis #653 for this weekend's race on the 1.366-mile oval. This is the same Ford the team finished 17th with at Las Vegas back in February.
      (5-6-2010)

    • Darlington Rookie Notes: #38-Kevin Conway [will be back in the #37 at Darlington] was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the May 1 Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400 at Richmond International Raceway, posting a 37th-place finish. Conway leads Terry Cook [out of a full-time ride] by 62 points (99-37) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the May 8 Showtime Southern 500. Joey Logano was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, posting a ninth-place finish. Logano led the race once for 19 laps and became the first Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap at Darlington since Kasey Kahne in the 2004 fall race (three times for 24 laps). Since 2001, TWO Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions at Darlington: Kurt Busch (2001) and Kasey Kahne (2004). See rookie standings, race by race, rookie history and more on my 2010 Rookies Page.(5-6-2010)

    • Active Winless streaks: Many drivers are coming to Darlinton Raceway Race in the throes of some very serious winless streaks. #39-Ryan Newman recently ended a run of 0-for-77 and #29-Kevin Harvick ended an 0-for-115 streak. The active driver who has made the most starts and not won a race is #66-Dave Blaney, who is 0-for-341 and counting. Longest winless Cup streaks:
      Driver, Winless Streak, Last Win
      Bobby Labonte. 226, Homestead. 11/16/2003
      Elliott Sadler, 201, California, 9/5/2004
      Martin Truex Jr. 105, Dover, 6/4/2007
      Juan Pablo Montoya, 102, Sonoma, 6/24/2007
      Clint Bowyer, 72, Richmond, 5/3/2008
      Dale Earnhardt Jr., 67, Michigan, 6/15/2008
      Greg Biffle, 54 Dover, 9/21/2008
      Jeff Burton, 51, Charlotte, 10/11/2008
      Carl Edwards, 46, Homestead, 11/16/2008
      Matt Kenseth, 44, Fontana, 2/22/2009
      Jeff Gordon, 39, Texas, 4/5/2009
      see a longer list and no win streaks on my All-time winners list page.(5-6-2010)

    • No Cup race at Kentucky in 2011? Even though it appears that the Kentucky Speedway founders' antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR is coming to a close, track owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. reported that a 2011 Sprint Cup date at the track "may not be feasible" because of a variety of factors, including capital improvements necessary for the facility. SMI Chairman Bruton Smith has been adamant about moving a date to Kentucky as soon as possible. But a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission noted that 2011 might be too soon, although those filings must cover all possible scenarios and can, at times, be cautious in nature. Bill Brooks, SMI's chief financial officer, said Wednesday during a conference call with financial analysts that among the factors that would dictate when realignment would occur are "particularly costs of any capital expenditure to upgrade or expand our facility at Kentucky [and] the lead time to do it." Brooks did not say what capital improvements will be necessary, but Smith has talked about expanding the grandstand capacity. Kentucky has only 69,000 seats - 30,000 fewer than New Hampshire and 32,000 fewer than Atlanta - and likely would need to increase seating for a Sprint Cup event. According to the SEC filing, other factors being considered over whether to move a race to Kentucky are the popularity and profitability of various races, alternative uses of tracks and revenues for such tracks in the event a race is moved, any existing or potential government tax incentives, changing economic conditions at the individual tracks and in the economy as a whole.(Scene Daily)(5-6-2010)

    • McDonalds returns to the #1 at Darlington honors Bill France Jr.: For the third time during the 2010 NSCS season, Jamie McMurray and the #1 Team will sport McDonald's colors this weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Showtime Southern 500. One thing different, the #1 Chevy will run a special logo representing former NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr.(EGR), see an image of the car and the honor on my #1 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)

    • Doublemint makes debut on #18: This weekend's race will mark the first time Doublemint Gum has served as primary sponsor for #18-Kyle Busch, as the chewing gum brand's mint paint scheme will adorn Busch's #18 Toyota at Darlington and again at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.(JGR/True Speed Communications), see images of the scheme on my #18 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)

    • National Guard on Facebook on the #24: The National Guard will feature its Facebook page on the hood of the #24 Chevy this weekend at Darlington. Support your country and the #24 DuPont/National Guard team by becoming a fan of the National Guard on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NationalGuard.(HMS PR)(5-6-2010)

    • A&W on the #34 at Darlington: #34-Travis Kvapil will run an A&W All American Food scheme on the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford this weekend at Darlington, the second time this season those, the first being at Martinsville in March (FRM/Breaking Limits PR), see an image of the car on my #34 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)

    • Turtle Wax on the #98 at Darlington; testing next week: Turtle Wax will be on the hood of Paul Menard's #98 Menard's Ford this weekend at Darlington Raceway. The #98 Richard Petty Motorsports team and Menard are scheduled at Gresham Motorsports Park (formerly Peach State Speedway) near Jefferson, Ga. next Tuesday.(RPM PR)(5-6-2010)


      News from May 5, 2010

    • Bill France Sr. featured on #48 at Darlington A special decal commemorating the induction of Bill France Sr. into NASCAR's inaugural Hall of Fame class will be featured on the decklid of Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy for this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The decals being run are part of a collaborative program to recognize the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Class will be inducted in a ceremony on May 23 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.(GMR Marketing PR)(5-5-2010)

    • Johnson is first quarter driver of the year: On the track and in the media's opinion, Jimmie Johnson was simply the best as he was voted the winner of the Driver of the Year for the first quarter of the 2010 racing season. Johnson, the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and three-time Driver of the Year, led his series' points standing and garnered the most first-place votes in the balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States. Johnson, 34, had a streak of three wins in four races, and six top-nine finishes in the first quarter, which ended on April 19th. In the voting, Johnson took 11 first-place ballots and totaled 129 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Australia's Will Power, the Penske Racing driver of the IZOD IndyCar Series #12 Verizon car was second with two first-place votes and 101 points. Power won two of the four races, three poles and no finish worse than fourth. John Force the 1996 Driver of the Year, racing in the NHRA's POWERade Funny Car division was tied with NASCAR's Sprint Cup driver, Denny Hamlin for third in the voting with 48 points. Force had three first-place votes and Hamlin had two. A total of 18 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting, including fifth place Jason Meyers, from the World of Outlaws, who had one first-place vote.(Racin' Today)(5-5-2010)

    • Earnhardt Jr. To Reach Make-A-Wish Milestone at Charlotte: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. began his relationship with Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1999 as a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Now more than 10 years later, the seven-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is closing in on his 200th wish granted, a milestone shared only by a handful of America’s top athletes. Earnhardt Jr. will facilitate No. 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway during Sprint All-Star Race weekend. “To meet these kids and families is a privilege,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “A lot of times the Make-A-Wish meeting is the best part of the whole weekend. It’s amazing that when you talk to the kids and learn about their lives, you learn a lot about yourself as well.” To commemorate Earnhardt Jr.’s 200th wish milestone, AMP Energy and the National Guard have donated the hood of the #88 Chevy to The Dale Jr. Foundation for the Sprint All-Star race on May 22. The predominantly black paint scheme was designed by Earnhardt Jr., and it prominently features the logo of The Dale Jr. Foundation. “I want to thank AMP Energy and the National Guard for donating the hood of the car,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It’s their advertising space, they pay for it, and for the second year in a row they were gracious enough to give us prime location on the car and help bring exposure to my foundation and the charities we support, like Make-A-Wish. I think the fans will embrace the paint scheme and help us continue to grant wishes for kids dealing with these medical setbacks, whether it’s sending them to Hawaii, hiking the Grand Canyon, or getting a computer to stay connected with their friends. Whatever they want, they should get.” In conjunction with the All-Star paint scheme, TDJF is ramping up fundraising initiatives and calling on fans to raise awareness and money for Make-A-Wish Foundation.(JR Motorsports) for more info see my Racing Charities page and see an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(5-5-2010)

    • Budweiser to become official beer of NFL; Michelob renews with PGA: When InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch in November ‘08, there was angst across the industry that sports' biggest spender was going to pull the plug. It looks like those fears were unfounded, as Coors is out and A-B is back as the NFL’s league sponsor in the beer category, with rights that begin in the ‘11 season. Terms were not immediately available, but sources said A-B is paying twice what Coors paid. Coors has been an NFL league sponsor since ‘02. A-B was an NFL sponsor from ’88-‘01, sharing the category for some of those years with Miller. “The sponsorship did a lot for Coors as far as getting out front of competitors like Bud and Miller,’’ said a knowledgeable industry source, “but they just reached a point where the value wasn’t there for what the NFL wanted.’’ A-B’s domestic share of the beer market is around 50%, while MillerCoors combines for 31%. With 22 team sponsorships, including a huge Cowboys deal for another decade, MillerCoors will not walk away from the NFL, although a year as a lame duck will not be easy. And of course, its NFL coaches campaign could run with or without NFL IP.(Sports Business Journal)
      AND: The PGA Tour and Anheuser-Busch, Inc. announced an extension of their longstanding marketing partnership by three years. As part of the agreement, Michelob Ultra is the "Official Beer of the PGA Tour" and O'Doul's the official non-alcohol brew, both through 2013. Anheuser-Busch has been an official marketing partner of the PGA Tour since 1994. Through this partnership, Anheuser-Busch, with the support of wholesalers, will continue to sponsor more than 40 PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour events.(PGA PR)(5-5-2010)

    • Front Row Motorsports Partners with Rainier Ice: Beginning this weekend, Front Row Motorsports and race fans across the country will learn a little more about the Pacific Northwest's best-kept secret. The Stratford Bottling Company, with its bottled water brand Rainier Ice, is the newest partner of the team and drivers Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland. The Yakima, Washington-based company will provide its premium all-natural artesian water to the team for the rest of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The Rainier Ice logo will be featured on both the #34 A&W All American Food/Long John Silver's Ford driven by Kvapil and the #37/38 Taco Bell Ford driven by David Gilliland. Both drivers will also feature the logo on their uniforms.(Breaking Limits PR)(5-5-2010)

    • Johnson at GM for 75th anniversary of Suburban: The Chevrolet Suburban, now made only at General Motors' Arlington assembly plant, had its 75th anniversary celebrated Monday as the longest continuously produced vehicle in the U.S. Unveiled as the Suburban Carryall, it could seat eight people comfortably and offered whitewall tires, a radio and a heater as options. Unlike other 1930s cars that had wooden sides and canvas tops, the early Suburban was designed as a more durable truck-type vehicle with an all-steel body. GM officials at the Arlington plant showcased one of the first Suburbans ever produced -- a yellow 1936 model with large round headlights and a spare tire on each side. The interior featured a big steering wheel and spacious tan and dark brown vinyl seats that could be removed for extra space. GM on Monday also debuted the 75th anniversary Diamond Edition Suburban, which will be available this summer. Only 2,750 will be made. NASCAR's #48-Jimmie Johnson, who races in Chevy cars, drove one of the limited-edition Suburbans on Monday and later signed some autographs for several plant employees.(Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)(5-5-2010)

    • Bill France Jr. featured on #48 at Darlington: A special decal commemorating the induction of Bill France Sr. into NASCAR's inaugural Hall of Fame class will be featured on the decklid of Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy for this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The decals being run are part of a collaborative program to recognize the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Class will be inducted in a ceremony on May 23 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.(GMR Marketing PR)(5-5-2010)

    • Facility improvements hightlight Darlington race weekend: Fans attending the 2010 SHOWTIME Southern 500 this weekend will notice several facility improvements around Darlington Raceway. Many of the improvements are a direct result of feedback received from Darlington's passionate fans. When the green-flag drops on the Royal Purple 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts on Friday and the SHOWTIME Southern 500 on Saturday it will be from a new illuminated flag stand. The new flag stand, installed during the off-season, features illuminated signage to showcase Darlington Raceway sponsors. Fans sitting in the Pearson grandstand in turn four will notice new and improved restroom facilities that will help decrease wait times during this weekend's events. The facilities are also equipped with water-saving technology to reduce the number of gallons of water used in the track's restrooms. New parking lot signage has been added to the track's lots at Gate 40 off of Highway 151 that will make finding cars easier after a long night of racing at the track "Too Tough To Tame." The signs all feature legendary NASCAR drivers including South Carolina natives, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson. Finally, Darlington Raceway expanded its family section seating to include sections on the frontstretch and backstretch. Each Family Section offers a non-smoking, non-drinking, family friendly atmosphere for the 2010 events at Darlington Raceway.(Darlington PR)(5-5-2010)


      News from May 4, 2010

    • FedEx plans to continue sponsorship of JGR: FedEx, which announced Monday it has dropped its 20-year sponsorship of the Orange Bowl, does not have plans to do the same with Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Denny Hamlin, according to a FedEx executive. Although no formal announcement has been made of an extension with JGR beyond 2010, FedEx Sports Marketing Manager Katherine Flee indicated Monday night that Hamlin and JGR are in good shape for next year and beyond. "While we have recently decided to end our relationship with the Bowl Championship Series and the Orange Bowl, FedEx remains committed to its long-term relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing and our sponsorship of Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 car," Flee said in an e-mail. "We are looking forward to running for our fifth-consecutive Chase for the championship [this year]." Joe Gibbs Racing is planning on FedEx continuing as the Hamlin sponsor.(Scene Daily)(5-4-2010)

    • Cook leaves #46 team UPDATE 2 Yeley In: per his Facebook page, Terry Cook announced - "Terry Cook, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, is no longer with Whitney Motorsports effective immediately. Terry, who has been serving as Team Manager/ Driver, was uncomfortable with the direction that the team was heading towards and opted to leave the team." No word who will drive the #46 Dodge at Darlington.(5-3-2010)
      UPDATE: per the Whitney Motorsports Facebook page, J.J. Yeley will drive the #46 Dodge at Darlington. This will be Yeley's first attempt in a Sprint Cup race since the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when he tried to qualify Mayfield's #41 Toyota but failed to make the race.(5-3-2010)
      UPDATE: Whitney Motorsports announced yesterday that JJ Yeley will be in their Whitney Motorsports Dodge #46 Nascar Sprint Cup car at Darlington Raceway this weekend in the Showtime Southern 500. Yeley will be in the #46 for two races, Darlington and possibly Charlotte. If things go well more races could be added. JJ is excited to get back on track and give it all he's got to get the #46 a great finish.(JJ Yeley site)(5-4-2010)

    • Johnson testing: hearing that #48-Jimmie Johnson is testing today at Carolina Motorsprots Park.(5-4-2010)

    • Congrats - Matt Yocum: congrats to FOX/TNT pit reporter Matt Yocum who became a father on April 26th when Madison Keller Grace Yocum was born at 12:30pm/et, weighing in at 6 pounds 14 oz.(5-4-2010)

    • Chase Notes & Stats: Kyle Busch is rowdy once again with a dominant win at Richmond. He (752, +7) and teammate Denny Hamlin (753, +12) have scored more points than any other driver over the last five races and Hamlin has made up the most positions in the standings over that period. Sophomore teammate Joey Logano is much improved over last year, but is struggling to overcome some recent adversity and needs a solid top 10 at Darlington to stay in close contact with the Top 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell out of the T12 with his disappointing 32nd place finish at RIR, and Carl Edwards swept in to 11th place on the strength of a fifth at RIR. How significant is it to be out of the T12 with 16 races to go? Not necessarily so much. Four members of the T12 after 10 races last year fell out before the cutoff. A developing story is the struggles of Stewart Haas Racing, and Tony Stewart in particular. Stewart has the lowest points over the last five among contenders and has dropped 10 positions. Ryan Newman had a difficult start, and has moved up 10 spots over the same period, but still remains 71 points out in 16th place. For season-to-season comparision, who was the furtherest back to come back and get in the chase? and more, see my Chase stats after Richmond page and 2010 Chase Rules, Notes and History page.(5-4-2010)

    • Johnson Adds Personal Touch to NASCAR Hall of Fame: the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced four prominent historic items to be on display at the 150,000-square-foot interactive, entertainment attraction – Jimmie Johnson's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Trophies. The reigning four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion has loaned his four personal trophies to the venue for six months. "The NASCAR Hall of Fame is going to have so many cool things, showing the history of our sport. I was definitely humbled that they asked for something of mine to display," said Johnson. "It's an honor for me and the whole 48 Lowe's team. I hope fans appreciate seeing the trophies up close. I know how special they are to me, and I've certainly enjoyed seeing them the past four years."
      While the NASCAR Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR, a current item such as Johnson's trophies recognizes the importance of history in the making. Eight years ago today, Johnson captured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win on April 28, 2002 at California Speedway, and since then, he has earned a spot in the record books as the only driver to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships (2006-2009).
      "To showcase all four of Jimmie's personal trophies emphasizes the importance of the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the veterans of the sport and the history-makers of today," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "These trophies represent his back-to-back championships and are iconic to this new era of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. We are honored to show these to the public. We initially requested Jimmie's 2009 championship trophy to display, and Jimmie graciously offered to loan us all four. Of course we were thrilled. His offer really illustrates how supportive the sport has been of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We sincerely appreciate Jimmie and all the other members of the NASCAR community for their generosity and support."
      The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens to the public May 11 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 10:00am/et through the late evening. Activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment, food vendors, and free concerts by country music artists Lee Brice, Bomshel and Love And Theft. For schedule of events for the grand opening, ticket info and more, see nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-4-2010)

    • Newman's Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Award in Richmond: Ryan Newman's U.S. Army over-the-wall crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night's Crown Royal Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. The Army crew put together a string of fast pit stops which helped Newman post an eighth-place finish in the 400-lap, 300-mile race at the .75-mile short track. Newman's #39 Army Medicine Chevrolet, which paid tribute to the U.S. Army Medical Department and Army Health Care personnel, spent the least amount of time on pit road – 197.999 seconds. Newman's over-the-wall crew consists of: Scott Brzozowoski (front-tire changer), Josh Mick (front-tire carrier), Ryan Pepe (rear-tire changer), James Houk (rear-tire carrier), Andrew Turner (jackman), Michael Moore (gasman), Andy Rueger (catch can) and Jay Guarneri (Eighth Man). The team's crew chief is Tony Gibson and the pit crew coach is Joe Piette. 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 10 races Martin Truex's No. 56 crew leads the Tissot standings with two wins. Eight teams are tied for second with one win.(Tissot), for past winners and more on pit crews, see my 2010 Pit Crew News and Awards page.(5-4-2010)

    • Petty & Earnhardt added to Darlington Legends Walk: Just days before their induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have both been added to the Darlington Legends walk on the grounds of the famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. "Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt were obvious choices when we looked at who should be added to the Legends Walk," said Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. "Petty was one of the pioneers of NASCAR and paved the way for the fan-driver interaction we know today. Earnhardt certainly left his mark on NASCAR and is still second on the all-time Darlington victory list with nine victories. Both drivers loved racing here and we are happy to honor them." Keeping with the historic racing theme present throughout the Darlington Raceway facility, each of the Darlington Legends Walk monuments resembles a Goodyear racing tire and old style pit board. Each monument is made of solid granite and marble and weighs nearly 2,300 pounds. This is the third consecutive year new monuments have been added and the track plans to continue adding new monuments each year. "This is a great way for Darlington to put some of the history of NASCAR and our track on display for fans to enjoy," said Browning. "The history of Darlington Raceway is so rich and we are going to do everything we can to preserve it for many generations to come." Darlington Raceway Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway)(5-4-2010)

    • Hendrick To Be Inducted Into Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Rick Hendrick will be inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 race weekend, June 18-20. Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, is the most successful team owner in NASCAR history at Infineon Raceway with five Sprint Cup victories, all courtesy of Vallejo native Jeff Gordon. Gordon holds the record for most wins in Sonoma, including a three-peat in 1998-2000 (other wins, 2004 and 06). Hendrick drivers have also posted nine pole positions, including three consecutive poles by Ricky Rudd (1990-92), and 23 top-5 finishes in Sonoma. Brian Vickers also earned a victory for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR West Series at Infineon Raceway in 2006. Hendrick will join Gordon, who was inducted in 2006, on the Wall of Fame, as well as NASCAR drivers Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Rudd. He will be inducted into the Wall of Fame during a ceremony in the Wine Country Winner's Circle on Friday, June 18. Race fans are invited to attend. To learn more about the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, visit infineonraceway.com/NASCAR or call 800-870-RACE.(Infineon Raceway)(5-4-2010)

    • ETV Profiles "The Lady in Black" on May 6th: On Thursday, May 6 at 9:00pm/et, just one day before drivers once again take to the track "Too Tough To Tame," ETV premieres its newest "Carolina Stories" documentary, "The Lady in Black." Encore broadcasts will air on Sunday, May 9 at 4:00pm/et on ETV and Monday, May 10 at 9:00pm/et on the South Carolina Channel. Using a blend of original and NASCAR footage from the archives, this fast-paced program tracks the history of the Darlington Raceway, as told by the true legends of the sport, including Cale Yarborough, Cotton Owens, Junior Johnson, and David Pearson as well as some of today's biggest names, such as Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Richard Childress, and the "Iron Man" of the Nationwide Series, Jason Keller. And thanks to Baker Curb Racing, ETV gives fans a rare opportunity to go behind-the-scenes, riding along in the big rig as the #27 car is brought through the tunnel, and then prepared for the big race. Keller was driving for Baker Curb Racing in 2009 when the documentary was shot, and this year the Greenville native is closing in on his 500th start, which very well might take place at Darlington. Interviews with everyone from track officials to fans who have been returning to camp in the infield year after year, help define what makes Darlington so unique, and has become the single biggest weekend event in the Palmetto State. ETV is South Carolina's statewide network with 11 television stations, eight radio stations and a closed-circuit educational telecommunications system in more than 2000 schools, colleges, businesses, and government agencies. More info at SC ETV site.PR)(5-4-2010)

    • Musical production about the History of Stock Car Racing starts May 6th: Heaven on Wheels, an uproarious musical about the history of stock car racing, will make its World Premiere at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte on Thursday May 6, 2010, and run through May 29-coinciding with three prominent NASCAR races and the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Heaven on Wheels is a co-production of Actor's Theatre of Charlotte and Once Upon a Blue Ridge Production Company of Meadows of Dan, VA. Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is supported in part by a Basic Operating Grant from the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., a General Support Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, and an Operating Grant from the Shubert Foundation. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased through the Box Office at (704) 342-2251 and online at actorstheatrecharlotte.org. Heaven on Wheels is recommended for those aged 13 and older.(PR)(5-4-2010)

    • Tickets available for Darlington races: The 2010 Showtime Southern 500 is only days away and time is dwindling for fans who have not yet purchased their tickets to see NASCAR's oldest tradition live. Tickets remain available for the event which has hosted a capacity crowd four of the last five years. During the offseason Darlington Raceway officials reduced prices on over 40,000 seats making the 2010 event the most affordable on record. Tickets can be purchased by calling 866-459-RACE, online at Darlington Raceway.com or by visiting the ticket office at the track "Too Tough To Tame." Phones are open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, the ticket office at the track will be open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and fans can purchase online 24 hours-a-day.(Darlington Raceway)(5-4-2010)


      News from May 3, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Kevin Conway moves back in to the #37 which is in the top-35 and David Gilliland is listed in the #38 which is not. Terry Cook left the #46, Yeley to drive at Darlington
      Not in top 35 of owners points for the first five races in 2010:
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 race winner as owner)(40th/10)
      #13-Max Papis (39th/10)
      #26-David Stremme (2009 race winner as owner)(37th/10)
      #32-Reed Sorenson (49th/3)
      #36-Casey Mears (38th/10)
      #38-David Gilliland (36th/10)
      #46-J.J. Yeley (44th/10)
      #55-Michael McDowell (42nd/10)
      #64-Todd Bodine (50th/1)
      #66-Dave Blaney (43rd/10)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (41st/10)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,26,38,36,13,87,55,66
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 46,32,64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Darlington Entry List.(5-3-2010)

    • Cook leaves #46 team UPDATE Yeley In: per his Facebook page, Terry Cook announced - "Terry Cook, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, is no longer with Whitney Motorsports effective immediately. Terry, who has been serving as Team Manager/ Driver, was uncomfortable with the direction that the team was heading towards and opted to leave the team." No word who will drive the #46 Dodge at Darlington.(5-3-2010)
      UPDATE: per the Whitney Motorsports Facebook page, J.J. Yeley will drive the #46 Dodge at Darlington.(5-3-2010)

    • Richmond overnight TV Ratings posted: NASCAR ON FOX earned a 3.4/7 on Saturday night for racing from Richmond International Raceway. The 3.4/7 for the short-track race was down -8% compared to last year's 3.7/7. With the green flag coming a half-hour earlier this year, initial tune-in for the race was off slightly. Despite the overall decline, FOX's race earned a 3.5/7 in Primetime. That gave FOX a narrow win for the night in the metered markets over second-place CBS's 3.4/6, but that slim margin is set to expand when national ratings are tabulated and NASCAR gets its usual small-market bump. For the season-to-date NASCAR On FOX is now averaging a 4.6/10 in the overnights, down -2% compared to 2009's 4.7/10.(5-3-2010), for season TV Ratings, race-to-race and four comparison chart on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(5-3-2010)

    • Warren back in NASCAR: Dr. Eric Warren will return to the NASCAR circuit starting on Monday. Warren, who worked as an engineer with Evernham Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing before joining the fledgling U.S. Formula One effort, will handle simulation projects for Richard Petty Motorsports.(FoxSports)(5-3-2010)

    • E15 Fuel in 2011?: When NASCAR takes the green flag in 2011, race cars are expected to be fueled by E15 — a mixture of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Hendrick Motorsports is already testing the fuel and Roush Yates engines will start development with E15 in the next few weeks. According to RYE co-owner Doug Yates, the conversion is important to the sport. "Change is scary, but it's exciting as well," Yates said. "We have to keep up with the changes in the world to stay relevant. We need to be moving ahead." Although fuel injection remains on the drawing board for 2011,Yates agrees with other engine gurus in the garage that the fuel issue must take priority. "Fuel injection is in our future, but it wasn't as simple," Yates said. "It has to be fair for every manufacturer. Ethanol will be first because they want it in all three series. So it would have to work for carburetor as well as fuel injection." Although NASCAR stepped up discussion on the introduction of E15 fuels nine months ago, manufacturers disagree on the time frame of bringing the program to fruition. While one engine builder suggested six months, another suggested that E15 could be used sometime in the next 16 races — just not during the title-deciding Chase for the Sprint Cup. In 2003, NASCAR inked a 10-year deal with Sunoco to be the official fuel supplier for the sport. Despite inquiries to Sunoco a week ago regarding the switch to E15, FOXSports.com has not received a response. One possible ethanol partner appears to be POET ethanol products of Wichita, Kan. POET gained attention last week when President Barack Obama visited the company's Macon, Mo. plant.(FoxSports)(5-3-2010)

    • Generations of NASCAR Luminaries to Attend Grand Opening: NASCAR Hall of Fame officials released the names of NASCAR drivers, owners and executives planning to participate in the Tuesday, May 11 grand opening of the 150,000-square-foot facility in uptown Charlotte, N.C. As part of the historic day, 15 lucky customers will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a NASCAR celebrity. Fifteen winners will be randomly selected from the names of everyone who has purchased an annual membership or ticket to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 11. Tickets must be purchased before 11:59pm/et on May 4. The first five names drawn will get the unique honor of being the first to walk into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame at 10 a.m. Those five lucky fans will be accompanied by Inaugural Inductees Richard Petty and Junior Johnson, three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Darrell Waltrip, 5-time NASCAR Grand National Champion Jack Ingram and reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday. The remaining 10 names drawn will get to enter the venue with a well-known NASCAR competitor at their respective entry time. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is a timed-entry facility, meaning customers enter by appointment at the top of every hour. The 10 lucky fans will enter with NASCAR superstars Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and others.
      NASCAR Champions and special guests confirmed to participate in grand opening activities throughout the day include Bobby Allison, Johnny Benson, Greg Biffle, Todd Bodine, Chuck Bown, Busch, Richard Childress, Brian France, Steve Grissom, Harvick, Mike Helton, Rick Hendrick, Hornaday, Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Ned Jarrett, Johnson, Kahne, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Bud Moore, Joe Nemechek, Petty, Mike Skinner, Martin Truex Jr., Rusty Wallace, Waltrip and Rex White. More names may be announced at a later date.
      The one-hour Opening Ceremony will begin promptly at 9:00am/et and culminate with Petty, Johnson, Waltrip, Ingram, Hornaday and five lucky fans officially opening the interactive venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by a free community celebration outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame 10:00am-8:00pm/et. In addition to Bomshel, Lee Brice and Love and Theft concerts, other free outdoor activities will include driver appearances, question-and-answer sessions, autograph sessions, strolling entertainment and food vendors.
      The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. Group discounts, facility rentals and sponsorships also are available by calling 704-654-4400. For schedule of events for the grand opening, see nascarhall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-3-2010)

    • Showtime Southern 500 week declared: The week of the Showtime Southern 500 has once again been named Darlington Raceway week in South Carolina. The South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives recently passed a Concurrent Resolution decaling race week “Darlington Raceway Week in South Carolina, a week ‘Too Tough To Tame.’” The famed track’s 60 year history is a major reason that the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives passed this Concurrent Resolution. The Resolution outlines the historical significance of Darlington Raceway and addresses the role the track played in building the foundation of what has become the number one spectator sport in the country. The Showtime Southern 500 week will shift into high-gear on Thursday with the sixth annual Car Hauler Parade making its way from the Florence Civic Center through the Darlington Square and finishing at the track. The racing action will rev up on Friday with a full day of on-track activity scheduled including practice and qualifying for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts on Friday night. Saturday the Showtime Southern 500 will take the green-flag at 7:30 pm [actually around 7:44pm/et]. with NASCAR’s biggest stars battling for the Johnny Mantz Showtime Southern 500 trophy under the lights. Tickets for both Friday and Saturday are still available and can be purchased by calling 866-459-RACE or at the track’s website, DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(5-3-2010)

    • Groundbreaking for casino at Kansas Speedway: Kansas Entertainment, LLC, commenced construction of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway as Company representatives and local officials recently conducted a groundbreaking ceremony at Turn 2, the track-side site of the new facility. Kansas Entertainment is a 50/50 joint venture of Penn Hollywood Kansas, Inc, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, Inc.and Kansas Speedway Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation. The following company representatives and local officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony:
      · Tim Wilmott, President and Chief Operating Officer of Penn National Gaming;
      · Troy Findley, Lieutenant Governor of Kansas;
      · William Falstad, Commissioner of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission;
      · Ed Van Petten, Kansas Lottery Executive Director;
      · Jeff Boerger, President of Kansas Speedway Development Corporation; and,
      · Joe Reardon, Mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.
      The first phase of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway includes a state-of-the-art casino and is expected to open in early 2012 with 2,300 slot machines, 61 gaming tables and 25 poker tables on a 100,000 square-foot gaming floor. Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway will also feature 28,000 square-feet of other amenities including restaurants, clubs and night-life attractions. The addition of the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is estimated to bring nearly 440,000 tourists per year and created 1,050 full time positions; elevating the state to a first-class, year-round tourist destination.(Kansas Speedway)(5-3-2010)


      News from May 2, 2010

    • Gordon may need some sponsorship; talks about crew chiefs: during a press conference on Friday at Richmond, some notes from a Team Chevy transcript:
      HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS TO LOCK UP CHAD KNAUS AND ALAN GUSTAFSON? "I think it was important. Those two guys are instrumental to our organization, our program and our future. I think it's definitely a positive thing."
      DO YOU FEEL THAT STEVE LETARTE WILL RETURN AS YOUR CREW CHIEF? "I feel good about it. This is a guy that's been at our organization for a long time. I think he and I are really, really connecting this year and it's showing with our performance on the track. I think things are going great so I don't see any reason why not."
      WHAT IS YOUR SPONSOR SITUATION? "We're openly pursuing things. DuPont is still going to play a major role in our organization and with the 24 team. The overall cost of the sport and the way the trends are progressing, it's tough to have one sponsor that can cover everything. We had a lot of conversations with Shell/Pennzoil and we have a lot going on right now as well."(Team Chevy)(5-2-2010)

    • Ford sets date for new engine switch: The Fords of Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports will switch to the FR9 engine beginning with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3 and race it for the remainder of the season – with the exception of Watkins Glen and Bristol Motor Speedway. The Roush and RPM teams will all race the engine at the Sprint All-Star Race. Ford originally submitted the engine for approval in the summer of 2008 and used it for the first time at the fall Talladega race. However, they rushed it before it was fully developed. The overall cost for the project — the first purpose-built racing engine for NASCAR — ran between $15-20 million.(FoxSports)(5-2-2010)

    • Kentucky Speedway lawsuit gets resolved: The litigation that has stood in the way of Kentucky Speedway getting a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is over, the track’s one-time chairman said Friday. The news came after a court order was filed in U.S. District Court in Covington in a case related to the federal antitrust lawsuit that has pitted Kentucky Speedway’s former owners against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. “It’s behind us,” Fort Mitchell developer Jerry Carroll said. “Everything is behind us. The future now has wonderful opportunity at Kentucky Speedway.” There had been a one-day bench trial scheduled for May 7 in U.S. District Court to resolve a dispute between Carroll and one of his founding partners in Kentucky Speedway. The trial was cancelled Friday when lawyers representing both sides informed the court that they settled, according to the court order. The legal action brought against Carroll by four trusts controlled by Dick Duchossois, chairman of The Duchossois Group, challenged whether Carroll had the authority under the ownership group’s operating agreement to control the fate of the antitrust lawsuit. Kentucky Speedway, opened in 2000, is scheduled to host races this season featuring NASCAR’s Nationwide and Camping World Truck series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. NASCAR has maintained throughout that it would not consider allowing a Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway until the antitrust lawsuit was resolved and has cited SMI’s involvement as one reason for that stance. SMI has invested millions in infrastructure and cosmetic improvements at Kentucky Speedway. Bruton Smith, the company’s chairman, wants to hold a Sprint Cup race there next year. One option to get a date is to move a Sprint Cup race from one of SMI’s other tracks. The track’s former owners stand to receive a $7.5 million contingency from SMI if a Sprint Cup race is scheduled at the track. Smith was unavailable for comment Friday, a company spokesman said.()(5-2-2010)


      News from May 1, 2010

    • Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch led the most laps [226] and made a late race pass of #24-Gordon on a restart and won the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st race of 2010, his first win in 21 races and 17th of his career. It was the first Sprint Cup Series win for crew chief Dave Rogers. Busch is the first pole sitter to win a race in 2010. #24-Gordon hel on to 2nd, followed by #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #56-Truex Jr., #39-Newman, #47-Ambrose and #48-Johnson. Harvick takes the points lead by 10 points over Johnson. There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 6 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page.(5-1-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Richmond:
      #18-Kyle Busch won the CROWN ROYAL Presents The Heath Calhoun 400, his 17th victory in 196 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his second victory and ninth top-10 finish in 11 races at Richmond International Raceway.
      Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 23rd top-10 finish in 35 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2010.
      Kevin Harvick (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 19 races at Richmond International Raceway.
      Kevin Conway (37th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 10 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-1-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
      [after Richmond, race 10 of 36]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 1467
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins] 1457, -10
      3) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 1358, -109
      4) #17-Matt Kenseth, 1348, -119
      5) #16-Greg Biffle, 1334, -133
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1305, -162
      7) #11-Denny Hamlin [2 wins], 1268, -199
      8) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 1255, -212
      9) #31-Jeff Burton, 1247, -220
      10) #5-Mark Martin, 1242, -225
      11) #99-Carl Edwards, 1227, -240
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 1213, -254
      Chase for the Sprint Cup - Contenders:
      13) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1209, 4 points out of the chase
      14) #56-Martin Truex Jr, 1196, -17
      15) #14-Tony Stewart, 1160, -53
      2009 Chase Drivers not in top 15
      16) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 1142, 71 points out of the chase
      18) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1109, -104
      22) #9-Kasey Kahne, 1026, -187
      24) #83-Brian Vickers, 1019, -194
      See standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-1-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Darlington:
      Changes: #38-Conway drops out of the top35 and #37-Gilliland moves back in and has a guaranteed spot at Darlington. so do the drivers swap rides again to make sure Conway will run the race?
      32) #78-Smith/Furniture Row: 807, +85
      33) #7-Gordon/RGM/BAM: 800, +47
      34) #34-Kvapil/Front Row: 792, +39
      35) #37-Gilliland/Front Row: 769, 16 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #38-Conway/Front Row: 753, 16 points out of 35th
      37) #26-Stremme/Latitude43: 615, -154
      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.(5-1-2010)

    • Race Coverage of the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, May 1, 2010.
      Television (TV): FOX at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:44pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Wednesday, April 21 at 12:00pm/et

    • Pit Stall Selections - Richmond: The selections of pit stalls for the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway have been made. Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #00-Reutimann took pit stall 17, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 30th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #78-Smith, who starts 29th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Richmond Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-1-2010)

    • Active Winless streaks: Many drivers are coming to Richmond International Race in the throes of some very serious winless streaks. #39-Ryan Newman recently ended a run of 0-for-77 and #29-Kevin Harvick ended an 0-for-115 streak. The active driver who has made the most starts and not won a race is #66-Dave Blaney, who is 0-for-341 and counting. Longest winless Cup streaks:
      Driver, Winless Streak, Last Win
      Michael Waltrip, 232, Talladega, 9/28/2003
      Bobby Labonte. 225, Homestead. 11/16/2003
      Elliott Sadler, 200, California, 9/5/2004
      Martin Truex Jr. 104, Dover, 6/4/2007
      Juan Pablo Montoya, 101, Sonoma, 6/24/2007
      Clint Bowyer, 71, Richmond, 5/3/2008
      Dale Earnhardt Jr., 66, Michigan, 6/15/2008
      Greg Biffle, 53 Dover, 9/21/2008
      Jeff Burton, 50, Charlotte, 10/11/2008
      Carl Edwards, 45, Homestead, 11/16/2008
      Matt Kenseth, 43, Fontana, 2/22/2009
      Jeff Gordon, 38, Texas, 4/5/2009
      see a longer list and no win streaks on my All-time winners list page.(5-1-2010)

    • added many Richmond schemes to my Paint Scheme Gallery, #5-Hendrickcars.com, #33-BB&T, #36-TBR Chevy, #42-Target/Cottonale, #43-Valvoline, #64-Toyota, #66-Toyota, #71-Chevy, #87-Toyota, #98-Schrock/Menard's, #19 Reynolds Wrap, #39 U.S. Army Medicine, #9 Reto Budweiser, #37 Taco Bell, #38 Extenze, #7 VIP / Warner Music, #99 Scott]s Ez Seed and #47 Bush's Beans / Kingsford.

    • Conractors say Kyle Busch owes them: A subcontractor who helped build NASCAR driver Kyle Busch's new multi-million-dollar headquarters has filed a lien against the project, and four others also say they're owed money. Collectively, the contractors say they are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by the building's owner and general contractor. As small business owners, they said, they can't afford to go for months without being paid. Paul Davis of Creative Carpets LLC said he filed a mechanic's lien against the general contractor Friday. Davis said he is owed $60,000 for installing roughly 18,000 square feet of carpet and flooring. "As a business, I can't function," he said, adding his suppliers won't give him more materials until he pays them. "I'm spending more of my time chasing my money than making it. And in this economy, I can't do that." Davis said he filed the lien because he'd grown worried that he might not get paid the full amount he is owed. He said Busch's attorney told him "one group was going to walk away unhappy." The building is owned by L.B. Builders Construction Group, which also is overseeing construction. It is being built for KB Investments, a Kyle Busch-related entity. The subcontractors said they've been told by L.B. Builders that they haven't been paid because Kyle Busch owes nearly $3 million. On Friday, a blue tarp was taped over a sign outside the building that says KBM. Attorneys representing Busch and L.B. Builders confirmed a "construction dispute" over the building's cost, and said the groups are working to resolve it. A meeting to discuss the issue is set for mid-May, they said.(See full story at the Charlotte Observer)(5-1-2010)

    • What's up with Bud?: Brian Dunlap, Anheuser Busch Manger of Sports Marketing, said Friday that Budweiser hasn't even begun discussions about the future of one of the sport's most iconic sponsors. "Our focus is on Kasey Kahne and 2010," Dunlap said. "Until we have those discussions, there's really no comment on our part."(USA Today)(5-1-2010)

    • Falk wins Denny Hamlin’s 250-lap charity race: Denny Hamlin has the household name, a multimillion-dollar contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and 10 career victories on NASCAR's top touring series. C.E. Falk III is a 22-year-old Norfolk native who's two weeks shy of graduating from Charlotte. Falk has racing in his blood, though, and the son of former Busch Series driver Eddie Falk wasn't about to back down when he got a rare opportunity to trade sheet metal with Hamlin last night at Southside Speedway. Falk qualified third behind local favorite Hamlin and Tony Stewart for the third annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, a 250-lap Late Model race to benefit Hamlin's charitable foundation. Stewart was second, followed by Eddie Johnson. Hamlin settled for a disappointing fourth-place finish after dominating the race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-1-2010)

    • M&M’S Most Colorful Fans driver chat: The M&M’s Most Colorful Fans Facebook Page is scheduled to host a live video chat with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano on Monday, May 3rd. Fans will have the chance to submit questions for the drivers during the chat. The live chat kicks off the launch of the all-new M&M’S Most Colorful Fan Virtual Tailgate Zone for exclusive, fan-focused content including news, tailgate recipes and opportunities for fans to connect and share their passion for NASCAR with each other via posts, photos and videos. In addition, 2010 marks the third year of the M&M’S The Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR Contest, giving fans the opportunity to show their colors starting on Memorial Day. More info on my Racing Contest page.(5-1-2010)

    • Gustafson, Knaus sign extensions with Hendrick Motorsports: Crew chiefs Alan Gustafson [four-year extension through 2014] and Chad Knaus [five-year extension through 2015] have signed multi-year contract extensions with Hendrick Motorsports, the organization confirmed Friday. Gustafson, 34, is in his sixth season as crew chief of the #5 Chevy and has nine wins heading into Saturday night's event at Richmond International Raceway. The Ormond Beach, Fla., native joined Hendrick Motorsports 11 years ago as a chassis shop employee before being moved to the #5 team in 2000. He served as the shock specialist for two years and was named the lead engineer of the #5 car driven by Terry Labonte in 2002. In 2005, Gustafson took over as crew chief. "I'm extremely happy," Gustafson said of the extension. "I love this company. I love working for Hendrick Motorsports. I love Rick Hendrick (team owner) -- everything he has done for me in my career -- and to continue that on into the future is everything I've wanted. I truly love what I do."
      Now in his ninth season, Knaus is continuing his record-setting run as crew chief the #48 Chevy. With four consecutive Sprint Cup championships under his belt, the 38-year-old Rockford, Ill., native has etched his name in NASCAR's history books. Like Gustafson, Knaus' NASCAR career began with Hendrick Motorsports. Knaus took his first job with Hendrick in 1993 working with the #24 Chevy and crew chief Ray Evernham. Knaus did everything from fabricating pieces to changing tires prior to leaving the organization in 1997. He became crew chief for driver Stacy Compton in 2001 before returning to Hendrick Motorsports the following year to establish the #48 team with then-rookie Jimmie Johnson. Since partnering in 2002, Knaus and Johnson have turned into a dynamic duo, winning the most prestigious events on the NASCAR circuit, including the 2006 Daytona 500 [Darian Grubb served as the crew chief, 1st 4 races of 2006] and three Brickyard 400s (2006, 2008 and 2009) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I'm pretty pleased, obviously," Knaus said. "I've spent the majority of my life at Hendrick Motorsports, since 1993, and I'd have a hard time thinking I would ever go anywhere else. This (No.) 24 team and this (No.) 48 team are very important to me, and I'm glad to be a part of it. I hope I'm here for a long time to come."(HMS Site)(5-1-2010)

    • Richmond Configuration Years:
      Half-mile dirt 1953-68
      From its inaugural season until its first race in 1968, Richmond — then known as Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds, Atlantic Rural Exposition, and Virginia State Fairgrounds — was a half-mile dirt track. Victory Lane during these early years was a place for legends. David Pearson won five races during this period; Richard Petty and Joe Weatherly won three; and Speedy Thomas, Lee Petty and Cotton Owens won two.
      .625-mile paved 1968 (second race)
      Richard Petty won the first race on a paved Richmond surface. Only two drivers finished on the lead lap in the 300-lap event: Petty and David Pearson.
      Half-mile paved 1969 (first race)
      The track was re-measured to a half-mile for the first race of 1969. Pearson won the event.
      .5625-mile paved 1969 (second race)
      The track was once again re-measured, this time to a 9/16th-mile. Bobby Allison won.
      .542-mile paved 1970-1988
      Yet again, the track was re-measured — but this one lasted for more than one event. There were a couple name changes, too. During this 19-year period, Richmond was known as Virginia State Fairgrounds, Richmond Fairgrounds Speedway and Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. Petty was The King during this era, with nine of his 13 Richmond wins coming during this period.
      .75-mile paved 1988-Present
      The track was reconfigured to its current shape and length for the second race of 1988, won by Davey Allison. The track also changed its name to Richmond International Raceway for that second event of ’88. Rusty Wallace is the wins leader on the 3/4-mile layout, with six victories. This era truly mirrors the evolution of the sport, itself. For one, the first season with both races under lights was 1999. Secondly, starting in 2004, race #26, held annually at Richmond, is the final race of the “regular” season. The top-12 drivers who will race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be decided in that event.(NASCAR)(5-1-2010)


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