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





  • NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
    NOVEMBER 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, and 30


      News from November 30, 2010

    • U.S. Army Renews with Stewart-Haas Racing: The U.S. Army Accessions Command announced that the U.S. Army has renewed its motorsports partnerships with Don Schumacher Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing for 2011. The U.S. Army will again sponsor Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel Dragster in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, while Ryan Newman’s #39 Chevy will sport the U.S. Army colors as the primary sponsor for 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races next season. The U.S. Army also is set to continue its associate sponsorship with NHRA Full Throttle driver Antron Brown in 2011, as well as its role as the official military partner of the NHRA. The 2011 campaign will be the U.S. Army’s ninth as a primary car sponsor in NASCAR and its third teamed up with Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing.
      “It’s been an awesome responsibility and honor to represent more than one million Army Strong Soldiers,” said Newman. “The Army branding on our Chevrolet and uniforms inspires every individual on the #39 team. I can’t think of having better teammates than our brave Soldiers who have dedicated their lives to preserve our freedom. There is nothing we want more than to drive the Soldiers’ car to victory lane.” In addition to serving as the primary sponsor for 15 races, including the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the U.S. Army will serve as an associate sponsor on the #39 car for the remaining races. The U.S. Army also will serve as an associate sponsor on Tony Stewart’s #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy.
      “We’re honored to continue the strong partnership with the U.S. Army,” said Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing along with Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. “Together, we have accomplished great things both on and off the track, and shared some very impactful experiences with the Soldiers who defend our country. Those brave men and women are inspiring to all of us at Stewart-Haas Racing, and we’re proud to represent them again in 2011.”
      The U.S. Army Motorsports Program began in September 2000 when Congress directed the Secretary of the Army to conduct a five-year motorsports outreach test. In 2003, building upon the success of the NHRA program, NASCAR was added. In addition to sponsorship of Newman and Schumacher, the programs also include an educational outreach to high school, vo-tech and junior college students focusing on career planning, goal setting, and career opportunities in motorsports and the Army. On-site interactive displays also allow prospects and their influencers to experience what it is like to be a Soldier and to interact with Soldiers (US Army)(11-30-2010)

    • Penske Racing announces new crew chief for Keselowski: Just a few weeks after helping Penske Racing win its first NASCAR championship, Paul Wolfe has been selected to serve as crew chief for one of the most iconic teams in motorsports. Wolfe, who led Penske Racing’s #22 Dodge team to the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title, has been named crew chief of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge team for 2011. Wolfe will continue to work with Brad Keselowski, who will take over as driver of the #2 Dodge beginning next season. In their first season working together, Keselowski and Wolfe proved to be a dynamic combination in 2010. The duo produced six wins and five poles on their way to winning the Nationwide Series championship. The No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge team also established a new series single-season record with 26 top-five finishes and the team completed all but one lap of competition throughout the 2010 season.
      “It’s an honor to get the opportunity to be the crew chief of the Penske Racing #2 Miller Lite Dodge team,” said Wolfe. “It’s been a fantastic 2010 season with Brad and the team and I’m excited about the challenge of moving up to the Cup Series next season and the opportunity to continue build on the legacy of the #2 car team with Brad behind the wheel.”
      A former driver who accumulated six top-20 finishes in 16 career Nationwide Series starts, Wolfe first became a crew chief in 2006 with Fitz Racing. He moved on to CJM Racing in the Nationwide Series in 2009 before he joined Penske Racing as crew chief of the #22 team in November of last year.
      “I’m excited for Paul and I look forward to continuing the momentum and success we had this season in the Nationwide Series,” said Keselowski. “We just seemed to click right from the beginning and we look to bring that same magic to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge team in 2011.”(Penske Racing)(11-30-2010)
      AND Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has confirmed that Brad Keselowski's 2010 Sprint Cup crewchief, Jay Guy, was released by Penske Racing on Tuesday.(11-30-2010)

    • Sprint FanView may go away or change: The NASCAR Sprint FanView handsets may have worked their last race. The contract between Sprint, ISC, NASCAR and Kangaroo.tv to provide the handsets is up at the end of the year, and it’s unclear if the parties will renew or extend it. The agreement, which was announced in 2006, allowed the parties to provide $49.99 rentals of a hand-held scanner that included video, audio and data capabilities. The deal initially was signed so that Sprint (then Nextel) could provide advanced technology to fans at the track. But as cell phone technology has developed and allowed Sprint to turn phones into scanners, there is less of a need for the FanView system, said Tim Considine, Sprint’s director of sports marketing. “The fan experience with FanView may change next year,” he said, “but our belief and hope is it will be around for years to come. It just may be a different device.” Sprint is considering everything from exclusively providing a FanView-style experience on phones to partnering with another company that offers similar in-venue technology. There have been discussions with FanVision, the handheld company owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. The FanView handsets were used by only a single-digit percentage of fans attending races. Considine said that fans who bought a FanView device in the past four years will still be able to use it at tracks in 2011, but it is unlikely the device will be rented at tracks. “We hope to bring a more enhanced device and technology (to tracks),” Considine said. “It will be a better experience for fans.”(SceneDaily)(11-30-2010)

    • Furniture Row Racing Forms Marketing Dept: Furniture Row Racing announced that it has formed a marketing division and has named Kevin Jerome to direct the team's new multi-staff entity. "The new marketing arm is dedicated and specific to Furniture Row Racing," explained team general manager Joe Garone. "This is an effort to expand our program as we seek to meet our goals of bringing a business partner on board for our #78 team and a new primary sponsor to form a multicar operation. We are excited about Kevin joining our team and leading an aggressive marketing department. He brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience that will help grow the business side of Furniture Row Racing." As marketing director for Furniture Row Racing, Jerome will oversee the team's sales, sponsorship relations, sponsorship procurement and licensing operations. Jerome joins Furniture Row Racing from Alcatel-Lucent, a global 100 telecommunications equipment manufacturer. He had been affiliated with Alcatel-Lucent for the past six years and was most recently sales director for the company's internet protocol (IP) products. "Our objective is to expand the visibility of Furniture Row Racing through the business community with potential and existing partners," said Jerome, who earned a master's degree in business from the University of Colorado. "I am leaving the premier telecommunications company to join Furniture Row Racing because I realize the potential of the motorsports company. I will take what my background has to offer and work diligently to use those skills with the goal of taking Furniture Row Racing to the next level from a marketing perspective." Jerome will lead a marketing team which includes Pat Driscoll, corporate relations, business development and new hire Skip Fox, senior account manager, licensing. Driscoll has been involved with Furniture Row Racing the past two years, leading the Farm American program. Fox is joining the race team from Richard Petty Motorsports. A native of Golden, Colo., Jerome and his wife, Debra, reside in Highlands Ranch, Colo.(Furniture Row Racing)(11-30-2010)

    • Bobby Hamliton Jr. pulls gun: Race car driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. is in the middle of a controversy involving a gun. Members of a race crew said Hamilton pulled a gun on them Saturday night at the Highland Rim Speedway in Greenbrier, TN. Anthony Walker had entered a super stock car in the race. Walker and Scott Thompson, a member of his crew, said they got into a heated argument with Hamilton, who runs the track, about whether their car was the proper weight. They said Hamilton disqualified them from the race, and Walker and Thompson wanted a refund of their entry fee. That's when Thompson says Hamilton pulled a gun out of his back pocket. "He cocked it back and started waving it around. Saying, I'll pop it, I'll pop it. I'll pop it,” Thompson said. "I've never had a gun pointed at me, and I definitely didn't like it," Thompson said.
      Hamilton's story is different. He said he was going to his truck to refund the crew's entry fee, when the members of the crew followed him. "I was almost surrounded," Hamilton said. He said he felt threatened when he saw the men reach into their pockets. Hamilton said he saw that the men had pocket knives. Thompson said no one had knives or guns. Hamilton said he was well within his legal rights. "I kept watching their hands, watching their gestures, they kept getting more frustrated, about the time their hands go in their pockets, about the time they were coming out, they charged, and that's when I said, ‘not today, not today,’" Hamilton said. Hamilton said he lifted his shirt to show the men the gun in his pocket. That contradicts the statement he gave police. It quotes Hamilton as saying that he took the weapon out of his pocket. Walker said Hamilton had no right to point a gun at the crew. "In no way could he have felt threatened from me, because I never once told him I wanted to hit him. I never acted like I was going to hit him. I never did anything of that fashion," Walker said. Hamilton said he’s married, with a young child, and he wasn’t going to risk his life that night. "I'm going to protect my business. And I'm going to protect my life," Hamilton said. Millersville Police Chief Ronnie Williams said Hamilton does have a carry permit and that no charges were filed because it's a ‘he-said, she-said’ situation. The chief said either side can go to before a commissioner and swear out a warrant for a private prosecution.(wsmv.com)(11-30-2010)

    • Sam Bass Slated For Carolina Christmas At CMS: Sam Bass, NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, and the official artist of Charlotte Motor Speedway, has contributed his artistic talent and graphic design expertise to Carolina Christmas at Charlotte Motor for the 2010 holiday season. “Carolina Christmas is a wonderful concept – I have been creating art for Charlotte Motor Speedway since 1985 and the holidays are my favorite time of year,” Sam Bass said. “This event offers the best of both worlds – my home track and the opportunity to share the spirit of the holidays with thousands of guests attending the event.”
      Bass, known for his innovative race car designs, has designed a 2010 Toyota Camry pace car for Carolina Christmas. The holiday-themed pace car features the speedway’s mascot Lug Nut and a host of holiday characters. Bass’ whimsical design may be seen at holiday parades throughout the region. “Having created Lug Nut for the speedway in the early 1990s, it gave me great pleasure to feature him on this holiday-themed car,” Bass said from his studio, across the street from the famed track. “The holidays are all about children and this design speaks to the child in all of us! I have been creating holiday themed art for a number of years and Carolina Christmas is a perfect place to showcase my Santas & Snowmen Collection!”
      Bass will set up a “North Pole” art gallery in the Cup Garage during Carolina Christmas where he will offer select merchandise, including his Santas & Snowmen Collection. Limited edition prints, posters, holiday cards and other gift items will be on sale. Sam himself will stop by the booth periodically during the course of the event to visit with fans. Please check www.sambass.com for his appearance schedule. The main Sam Bass Gallery is located at the corner of Morehead Road and Performance Drive, across from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Show your Carolina Christmas ticket at the main gallery for a 15% discount on purchases made between November 22 and December 23.(11-30-2010)

    • Lowe’s signs on as sponsor of Las Vegas Sprint Cup event: Lowe’s and its Kobalt Tools brand are joining Las Vegas Motor Speedway to “build something together.” The companies announced a multi-year agreement that will make the home-improvement chain’s tool brand the sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Kobalt Tools 400, the 14th NASCAR Sprint Cup event to be held at LVMS, will take place March 6 on the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
      “Lowe’s is one of the nation’s most-recognizable companies, and we are thrilled to have a company of its stature as our partner in this event,” said LVMS president Chris Powell said. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to help give Lowe’s more exposure to NASCAR fans. The Las Vegas race, which represents the largest sports event west of Texas, is one of the most popular on the NASCAR circuit, and together with Lowe’s, we can build this event even more.”
      “We’re excited to bring the Kobalt Tools 400 to Las Vegas this year,” said Tom Lamb, senior vice president of marketing and advertising at Lowe’s. “Lowe’s has been active in the Las Vegas community for years, and we know the Las Vegas Motor Speedway will provide a great place for Lowe’s and Kobalt fans to experience NASCAR first-hand.”
      The 2011 NASCAR Weekend will kick off with qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Friday, March 4. The Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is set for Saturday, March 5. Tickets for all 2011 events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, including the Kobalt Tools 400 on March 6, can be purchased by calling 1-800-644-444 or online at www.lvms.com.(LVMS)(11-30-2010)

    • Pocono Announces Multi-Million Dollar Improvements: On June 4th of this year, Pocono Raceway officials announced, safety improvements were to be in place for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at the Pennsylvania Superspeedway. Work on those improvements; the installation of a SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier in the infield and a catch fence along the back stretch started in mid October and is expected to be completed by the year end.
      The ‘new generation’ SAFER barrier, designed by Dr. Dean Sicking and his team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and approved by NASCAR, will run on the entire length of the inside of the track from the exit of turn # 1 to the entrance of turn # 3, a total of 5,516 feet. Pocono Raceway already has SAFER barriers in place in each of the three turns that make up the ‘Tricky Triangle.’
      The new catch fence will run from the end of the front stretch and connect with the existing catch fence in turn # 2, a total of 6,155 feet. A catch fence will now surround the entire 2.5 mile length of the race track. “These improvements are aimed at increased driver safety,” stated Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President. “We had these projects in the planning stages, before the 2010 Pocono NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events took place.”
      Ticket information is available online at www.poconoraceway.com or by calling the Raceway Ticket Office at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929)(Pocono Raceway)(11-30-2010)

    • 2011 Texas Tix on sale: The opportunity for race fans to purchase individual race tickets for two historic races in 2011 – April’s Samsung Mobile 500 and June’s Firestone Twin 275s – at Texas Motor Speedway began Tuesday. The Samsung Mobile 500, scheduled for Saturday, April 9, will be the first nighttime NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and the first of the NASCAR season. Prime seating is available for this special event beginning at $112 as well as Texas Motor Speedway bringing back specials for the budget-conscious fan beginning as low as $20. Texas Motor Speedway is offering three fan-favorite deals for the Samsung Mobile 500: the “Backstretch Buster” seats at $20 and $40, “2 for $99” frontstretch tickets and the “Family 4-Pack” that consists of four backstretch tickets, four hot dogs and four Cokes for $159. The Samsung Mobile 500 will be a NASCAR double-header weekend and also feature the first-ever nighttime Nationwide Series race at TMS with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 8. Tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 start at $25.
      In 2011 Texas Motor Speedway has “No Limits” for its fans and for the first time the speedway will offer individual ticket holders the incentive of purchasing Sprint Cup weekend pit passes. The passes allow fans a behind-the-scenes look as the drivers and teams get prepared for the racing action of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and Samsung Mobile 500. Weekend pit passes are available for just $125 and must be accompanied with a race ticket. Camping spots for the Samsung Mobile 500 and Firestone Twin 275s weekends also will be on sale. April’s NASCAR double-header weekend camping in the Lone Star Circle is $275 while Victory Circle and Family Campground spots are $200.
      Season-ticket packages are still available for those who want to enjoy all 10 exciting days of racing at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011. Texas Motor Speedway is offering special incentives to season-ticket holders such as 50 percent off pit passes, discounts on concession stand items and a pass to the “No Limits” Garage Party – an exclusive pre-race celebration for PSL and season-ticket holders only prior to the Sprint Cup Series races in April and November. Season-ticket packages, which begin as low as $270, carry a savings of 10 to 16 percent (depending on seating selection) from 2010 season-ticket pricing. Fans can purchase tickets and camping by visiting the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office beginning at 9 a.m., calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(11-30-2010)


      News from November 29, 2010

    • RPM purchased by Richard Petty and others MORE: Richard Petty Motorsports signed and closed a sale of its racing assets to an investment group comprised of Richard Petty, Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments. Richard Petty will serve as Chairman and will be actively involved in overseeing day-to-day operations of the company. As previously announced, the team will operate the legendary #43 car driven by AJ Allmendinger and the #9 car driven by Marcos Ambrose. "Today is a great day for me, my family, our fans and our wonderful sponsors. Ford, Stanley, Best Buy, Valvoline, Reynolds, Air Force, Super 8, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), WIX Filters and Menards have supported me through thick and thin and I thank them from the bottom of my heart," said Petty.
      Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial, commented: "We could not be happier to be able to acquire these assets together. Richard is one of the greatest names, not only in NASCAR, but in all sports. His name and image are a world recognized brand with unlimited potential to grow and expand in racing. Ample working capital has been invested in the company to insure this great team and legend will not only continue to perform, but will thrive and be back in the winner's circle."
      "George and Foster Gillett deserve a great deal of credit for running a successful race team," commented Petty. "They made a significant investment into the business and helped get back into Victory Lane. Going forward, we have put together an all-star ownership team consisting of myself, Medallion, and VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron."
      Medallion Financial, a publicly traded investment company, has invested over $3 billion in companies since its IPO in 1996 and its board members include such notables as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former Connecticut Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker, and another "King" of his sport, Hank Aaron. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20 percent.
      DGB Investments is an investment vehicle of Canadian-born investor Douglas G. Bergeron, CEO of VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), San Jose, Calif. In 2001, Bergeron and DGB participated in the acquisition of VeriFone Systems from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million. Today, VeriFone's market value exceeds $3 billion dollars and Bergeron remains CEO and one of the largest individual shareholders.
      Douglas Bergeron commented, "With Richard Petty's unmatched name and reputation in the motorsports industry, I know this investment is well-timed to succeed. We are going to help put Richard Petty Motorsports back in Victory Lane." Richard Petty concluded, "Our partnership with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron will help take us to a whole new level and I could not be more excited about our future."(RPM PR)(11-29-2010)

    • MORE: RPM will operate as a two-car organization with AJ Allmendinger in the famed #43 that Petty drove to 198 [of 200] wins and seven championships and Marcos Ambrose in the #9. Sources said rights to the owner's points for the #98 driven by Paul Menard are moving to Menard at Richard Childress Racing [#27 Chevy] and the points from the #19 driven by Elliott Sadler are expected to go to the #21 owned by the Wood Brothers. Andrew Murstein, the president of Medallion Financial, said he agreed to get involved only if Petty made a substantial commitment along with his company and DGB. While he couldn't divulge details due to a confidentiality agreement, Murstein said all three parties invested millions of dollars. Murstein said the more than $100 million of debt on RPM operations has been paid off. "A fresh start for Petty coming in with no debt,'' he said. The sale of RPM's racing assets to Medallion Financial and DGB Investments not only takes Gillett out of ownership but also Ray Evernham, who remained a minority owner after selling what was Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007.(ESPN)
      Ford Statement: Statement from Jamie Allison, Director, Ford North America Motorsports, on Richard Petty Motorsports: "We're elated that Richard Petty has been able to complete this very complex task of restructuring Richard Petty Motorsports. Everyone knows that The King is a motorsports icon and to have him part of the Ford Racing family is something we cherish. We're also excited about moving forward with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron, two men whose knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be successful will serve RPM well in the future. I am extending a personal welcome to Andy and Doug from all of us at Ford. Now, we can concentrate on the task at hand, which is getting AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the resources they need to win races and make the Chase in 2011."(Ford Racing)(11-29-2010)

    • Congrats Jamie McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray and his wife Christy welcomed the birth of their son, Carter Scott McMurray, into the world at 8:34am/et on Thanksgiving morning [Nov 25]. Baby Carter was 7lbs 12oz and 20' long. He joins seven other babies as new additions to the No.1 Team's family during the 2010 season, as several members of Jamie's team have welcomed their first or second child during this historic season. Mom and Baby Carter are doing very well.(EGR)(11-29-2010)

    • Robby TV special: The Military Channel is airing a one-hour special profiling NASCAR and off-road champion Robby Gordon visiting the troops on a U.S. military base (i.e. Fort Irwin). Gordon tours the facility and engages with the troops teaching Hummer off-road driving techniques and building morale. The show is scheduled to air on November 30th at 8:00 pm and will be re-broadcast on November 30th at 11:00 pm and December 1st at 5:00 am. More info at military.discovery.com.(11-29-2010)

    • Tony Stewart's 'Stewie Awards' return: SIRIUS XM Radio announced that two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart will host the fourth annual 'Stewie Awards' on Thursday, December 2, live from Las Vegas on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio. The 'Stewies,' the acclaimed awards show that features Stewart's entertaining and irreverent take on the best, boldest and funniest moments from the 2010 NASCAR season, will be awarded during a live broadcast hosted by Stewart and Matt Yocum from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday, December 2 (9:30 pm/et). The live broadcast will air nationwide on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128 for SIRIUS subscribers and XM subscribers with the "Best of SIRIUS." The broadcast will be open to the public for fans in attendance in Las Vegas. The two-hour event will feature live interviews with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and other drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Las Vegas, plus other special guests. For more info, see my Awards page and Fans can determine the 'Stewie Award' winners by casting their votes at sirius.com.(11-29-2010)

    • Evernham still unsure of 2011 plans: Ray Evernham isn't sure what he'll do in 2011. The three-time champion crew chief for Jeff Gordon and former team owner could continue to work for ESPN, work for another race team or just continue running his race track and developing a modified dirt car designed for new and part-time racers. Evernham has not been allowed to work for a team since selling the majority of his Evernham Motorsports to George Gillett in 2007. With an exclusive consulting clause included in his agreement with Gillett as part of the sale, Evernham has not had a role in the NASCAR garage beyond his work as a commentator for ESPN. For 2011, Evernham believes he is "free and clear" from any commitments to Glllett (whose Richard Petty Motorsports is being restructured without Gillett playing no role in the new company) and the 53-year-old is looking for his next opportunity. "[I] don't have a complete direction for next year," Evernham said last week. "Obviously I've been buried under a mire of legal paperwork, caught up in something I don't want to be involved in. It is what it is. I think I'm probably as apprehensive or a little bit nervous about my future as I ever have been." Does he want to get back in the garage working for a team? "It would be on that part-time basis," Evernham said. "I have no desire to be the guy on the top of the box to try to come in and save the day. I'm past that. That was a different time in my life, and the sport was different." Evernham has talked with Hendrick Motorsports, where he earned his three NASCAR Cup titles with Jeff Gordon, about consulting roles and even roles outside the motorsports operation. Evernham, who owns East Lincoln Speedway, a dirt track in Stanley, N.C., has also developed a new dirt Legends car, which is being sold through Bruton Smith's U.S. Legends Cars International. "I love my ESPN job and I love the people I work with," Evernham said. "We're talking about that. We haven't talked about specifics, but I haven't made any decisions because I haven't had enough time to think about it quite yet. Everybody always tells you that there are going to be a ton of offers coming your way, and your biggest fear is that they don't. Obviously, I've had a great time doing ESPN, and I am talking to them."(SceneDaily)(11-29-2010)

    • MIS making more fan improvements for 2011 season: In its continuing commitment to improve the guest experience at the racetrack, a number of construction projects will take place at Michigan International Speedway this winter in anticipation of the 43rd season of racing at the venerable two-mile oval. Besides the redesign of the track's scoreboard which was announced two weeks ago, the biggest wintertime project will see three of the silver, general admission grandstands taken down, near the Turn 3 area. This will decrease the track's capacity by 12,000 seats [108,000] and have a positive impact on guests. Provisions to re-seat guests who were in those grandstands in 2010 are being made. The track is exploring options for the area, including the potential for trackside camping and hospitality. Replacing the older silver seats with more comfortable, fan-friendly seats has been a priority for MIS. The track has been replacing stands and widening seats over the past four years, a move Curtis hopes to complete in the near future with steel and seats that were acquired from the former Pikes Peak International Raceway several years ago. Other new projects include additional parking for handicapped guests, as well as paving a new tram route from the speedway's Lot 10 to the frontstretch area of the New Holland Fan Plaza. A tram drop-off point to service the Fan Plaza will be next to the Chalet Village hospitality area near the tunnel entrance to the track. Finally, the track will receive a second network TV broadcast booth to accommodate its national television broadcast partners. In June, there will be three networks on site to broadcast the speedway's events — SPEED, ESPN and TNT. In all, about $3 million will be spent on upgrades and changes at the track this off-season. The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2011 will go to renewal customers and new customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. New customers can log onto MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit through Jan. 31. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing, including $20 Sprint Cup tickets, for 2011.(MIS)(11-29-2010)


      News from November 28, 2010

    • Edwards competing in Race of Champions UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards is in Dusseldorf, Germany this weekend driving in the Race of Champions, a competition matching drivers from an assortment of countries and disciplines. Edwards and extreme/action sports driver Travis Pastrana, 11 times a gold medalist in the X Games, will team to represent the United States against such drivers as Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, former F1 champ Michael Schumacher, World Rally king Sebastien Loeb and Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen. Competition is scheduled Saturday and Sunday on a purpose-built stadium course in Dusseldorf. The drivers will race on parallel tracks with a crossover bridge that results in each driver traveling the same distance after two laps. Pastrana has signed a deal with Michael Waltrip Racing to run several Nationwide Series races next year. “I’m going with Travis Pastrana, so I’ll be curious to talk to him a little bit about that,” Edwards said. “He’s a wild man. I think that will be good for him to come here. Hopefully, he does well. We go over there, and I get to see a country I’ve never seen. I get to race against guys like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Loeb – he’s amazing. That’ll be fun.” Edwards left the U.S. Thursday after enjoying Thanksgiving with his family and is scheduled to return Tuesday so he can be in Las Vegas for next week’s Champion’s Week activities. In Dusseldorf, the drivers will compete in a variety of cars, including the Porsche 911, the Audi R8 LMS and the Volkswagen Scirocco. Edwards also raced in the ROC in 2008 in London. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon also have represented the U.S. in the event, which crowns individual and team champions.(SPEED)(11-27-2010)
      UPDATE: World champion Sebastian Vettel was stunned by former Red Bull young driver Filipe Albuquerque, who emerged a surprise winner of the Race of Champions in Dusseldorf. The annual event, which pits stars from across the world of motorsport, has never been won by a current F1 driver, and that trend continued when Vettel was beaten by the former GP2 driver in the semi-finals. Vettel had won the battle of the F1 drivers, knocking out Michael Schumacher in the quarter-finals in front of their home crowd. The pair had raced together to claim victory for Germany in the Nations Cup on Saturday, but Vettel took the bragging rights when he progressed to the last four (ESPNF1)
      AND Spins in heats helped Alain Prost, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Mick Doohan to early exits. Also eliminated before the quarter finals were Carl Edwards, Jason Plato and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Racer)
      QUOTES Carl Edwards: “I did the best I could. Thanks to all the fans for coming out here; it has been a fun event and I have enjoyed it. I just needed to win something! The issue is I race on lots bigger tracks than this but I should still be able to pick it up. I got a good run in my second race but had a bit of trouble on the last lap and lost against Filipe Albuquerque. This event is a challenge because these drivers are very good and everyone is a champion. They are very competitive - everyone is smiling but they are still very competitive.”
      Travis Pastrana: “In my first race the car stalled, I have no idea why, so I had no chance. I just choked on the last bend of my race against Tom Kristensen, my second race. I took it a bit too easy on the last lap and then pushed too hard on the last turn. Tom's a great driver and I got knocked out but that's the way it goes.”(Race of Champions)(11-28-2010)

    • No major changes planned at Roush: While only two of his four teams made it to victory lane in 2010 and accounted for just four of the season's 36 race wins, team co-owner Jack Roush says he doesn't anticipate wholesale changes within the Roush Fenway Racing organization during the offseason. That doesn't mean there won't be movement, but it's unlikely there will be major changes involving all four of the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. "We're re-evaluating everybody's job, from crew chiefs to engineers to tire changers for all four of our programs," Roush said Tuesday while attending the Raybestos Rookie of the Year awards luncheon at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We'll certainly build on the strength we have had, but if we have a weakness or see an opportunity … again, promoting from within whenever possible and generally that is our trademark. We will be looking for ways to improve ourselves." Roush Fenway Racing fields Sprint Cup teams for four drivers – #16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-David Ragan. Biffle, Edwards and Kenseth qualified for NASCAR's Chase For The Sprint Cup while Ragan finished 24th in points.
      Kenseth's team was one of two for Roush Fenway that had notable personnel changes take place during the season. After starting the year with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer, Todd Parrott was named crew chief following the Daytona 500. In June, veteran Jimmy Fennig replaced Parrott. Ragan finished outside the top 20 in points for the second consecutive year after finishing 13th in 2008. His team also saw a change in crew chiefs during the year as Blickensderfer returned to the top of the pit box in September, replacing Donnie Wingo. There could be changes to members of the pit crews. As for his organization's Nationwide Series program, Roush said he hopes to field three teams in 2011 – for Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.(SceneDaily)(11-28-2010)

    • Kurt Busch finishes 2nd at the Rock: Kurt Busch's best finish at Rockingham Speedway in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race was second. Thanks to a dominating performance by Will Kimmel, Busch was not able to better that finish in the Frank Kimmel Street Stock National Polar Bear 150 at the track. Kimmel led 148 of 150 laps en route to his first victory at the track. Busch was the only other lap leader after going making the racing four wide to briefly move out front. "It was a little intimidating to look back and see the #22 (Busch) in the mirror," said Kimmel from victory lane. Busch had to battle back in the race's second stanza after contact with Kimmel forced him to make a pit stop to pull the fender off the left front tire. After restarting twelfth, Busch passed both lead lap and lap-down cars and capitalized on a caution to get on Kimmel's rear bumper over the last 40 laps. But as the laps wound down, Kimmel was able to use traffic to pull away. J.D. Frey finished third, with Chad Hall finishing fourth and Cliff Gaumond rounding out the top-five.(Rockingham Speedway)(11-28-2010)

    • NASCAR Receives Three Awards: NASCAR was honored in three separate categories at the Inaugural Sports Media Marketing Awards, held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City on Thursday, November 18, 2010. NASCAR was awarded Gold honors in the category of "Team Promotion (Collegiate and League Sports)" for its "Everything Else Is Just A Game" integrated brand communications campaign. The campaign demonstrates the intensity and danger that drivers and crew members face in the heat of competition along with the awe-inspiring, fun and communal nature of the NASCAR at-track experience.
      NASCAR also won top Gold honors in the "Events & Experiential Category" with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory Lap, a parade of the sport's top drivers down the Las Vegas Strip during the 2009 NASCAR Champion's Week, including a celebratory burn out by champion Jimmie Johnson. After winning his historic fifth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup title this past Sunday, Johnson will return for more burnouts when NASCAR takes to the streets of Las Vegas for the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory Lap on Thursday, December 2, 2010.
      NASCAR took home Silver honors in "Brand Integrated Marketing" for NASCARPartners.com, an online B2B portal serving as a central point for partners of the sport to find exclusive content, assets and information. The site has continuously evolved based on user input to create an exclusive and unique value-added component for NASCAR's official partners.(NASCAR)(11-28-2010)


      News from November 27, 2010

    • Congrats Regan Smith: Regan Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy, proposed to his girlfriend Megan and she accepted.(Regan Smith's Facebook)(11-27-2010)

    • 2010: The Most Competitive Year In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series History: The recently completed 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season goes down as the most competitive in the 62-year history of the sport's premier series. Two major competition records were broken this past season in the series: average lead changes and leaders per race. There was an average of 25.4 lead changes per event in 2010, the most in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.
      Additionally, there was an average of 11.4 leaders per event, also the highest average since the series' inaugural year of 1949. The previous highs in both statistics were 24.9 lead changes in 1981 and 11.0 leaders in 2006.
      In all, 55 different drivers led at least one lap this season – another record. The previous most was 51, in both 2005 and 2007. Passing numbers, too, were at their statistical peak this season. NASCAR began recording passing numbers in 2005, with the inception of Loop Data. This season, those numbers were higher than any of the past six years.
      There were a total of 1,299 green flag passes for the lead (Note: Those are lead changes all around the track, not just at the start-finish line). The previous high was 994 in 2006.
      There were also 116,327 total green flag passes. The previous high was 110,226 in 2009.
      The tight on-track competition led to a closer-than-ever points battle. The 15 points separating the top-two drivers going into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway were the fewest in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's seven-year history. Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson became the first driver since 1992 to overcome a deficit with one-to-go to capture the title.
      Five races broke or matched track records in either most leaders or lead changes this season:
      Talladega: Both Talladega races were exceptionally competitive, but the spring event made history. There were 88 lead changes among 29 drivers during the April 25 event, both all-time series records – at any track, ever.
      Daytona: There were 21 different leaders in the season-opening Daytona 500, the most ever at a track whose history dates back to 1959.
      Infineon Raceway: The first road course race of the season, the June 20 event featured 12 lead changes, the most ever at Infineon. The last lead change belonged to 2010 series champion Jimmie Johnson, who won the first road course race of his career.
      Phoenix: There were 13 different leaders in the spring Phoenix event, tying a track record.
      Texas: The autumn event at Texas had 33 lead changes, setting a track record.(NASCAR)(11-27-2010)


      News from November 26, 2010

    • Johnson to run Daytona 24 hour race: #48-Jimmie Johnson said he will be joining GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing for the fourth straight year, sharing the #99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley with two-time Daytona Prototype champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30, 2011. Jimmy Vasser has completed the driver lineup the past three seasons. Johnson has six career Rolex starts dating back to 2004, and finished second overall with Howard Boss Motorsports in 2005. Johnson's first Rolex 24 in The Red Dragon came in 2008, when he finished second overall. He finished seventh in 2009, and 21st overall and eighth in the Daytona Prototype class this past January. Johnson also ran with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing at Watkins Glen International in June, finishing sixth in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-26-2010)

    • Museum works to preserve racing history: Memory Lane Museum works to preserve the history of auto racing, especially collecting memorabilia from stock car racing's early years. The museum, which opened in 2001 in Mooresville, also sponsors auto shows and has loaned out its cars for Hollywood movies like "Leatherheads" and "Talladega Nights." The Museum paired with Racers Reunion to induct its second class of drivers into the Hall of Fame. 2010 inductees included Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, Johnny Allen, "Tiger" Tom Pistone, Joe Thurman, Charlie Glotzback, Jody Ridley, Jabe Thomas, Paul Radford, Rex White, Curtis Crider, Earl Brooks, Hank Thomas, Louise Smith and Jimmy Lewallen. Memory Lane Museum owner Alex Beam and Racers Reunion founder Jeff Gilder organized the Oct. 17 event. Beam said the museum started out doing Legends events to raise money to help injured or older drivers like Jake Elder and Sam Ard.(Charlotte Observer/Mooresville News)(11-26-2010)


      News from November 25, 2010

    • Supposedly a driver to be allowed to only race for points in one series: Nationwide Series teams expect that NASCAR will allow Sprint Cup drivers to compete in as many Nationwide races as they want next year, but that they will not earn points toward the series championship. NASCAR has not announced the change, but Nationwide owners believe that when a driver applies for his NASCAR license prior to the season, the driver must declare whether he is racing for points in Cup, Nationwide or the Truck Series. "I don't think the Cup guys are going to be getting points at all if they're running the Nationwide Series," team owner Rusty Wallace said last week. "Once they get their license, they're going to have to commit, do you want your points in the Nationwide Series, do you want your points in the Truck Series or do you want your points in the Cup Series? That's just a guess." It's a guess confirmed by other Nationwide team owners and the most likely scenario, according to NASCAR sources. NASCAR Chairman Brian France said an announcement would be made in January about the exact changes. The last five years have seen full-time Cup drivers win the Nationwide title – Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Only two races last year were not won by Cup regulars – Justin Allgaier at Bristol and Boris Said at Montreal. Keselowski and Edwards say they are committed to run full schedules next year, not just to their sponsors but to the crews that work on the cars (SceneDaily)(11-25-2010)

    • Brendan Gaughan to Run Rolex 24 Hour with TRG: TRG announced their third entry in the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona. The three-time Rolex 24 winners will field the TRG/HP/South Point Casino/Porsche 997 with drivers Steve Bertheau, Brendan Gaughan, Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, and a Porsche Factory Driver to be named later, for the twice around the clock race to be run at Daytona International Speedway on January 29th. Bertheau and Gaughan will be taking part in their first Rolex 24 Hour race. Bertheau is a product of the TRG driver ladder competing in Continental Challenge and Rolex Series GT events over the last 18-months. Gaughan is a seasoned NASCAR competitor. Gaughan raced a sports car with TRG at Montreal in 2009, ran the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last weekend at Phoenix and is looking forward to his first Rolex 24 Hour. This entry will give TRG three cars, so far, for 2011 and a record 64th entry in the Rolex 24 Hour. The team that has traditionally prepared strong multi-car programs for the race has several more announcements pending.(TRG Motorsports)(11-25-2010)


      News from November 24, 2010

    • Dale Jr's struggles not only reason for HMS changes: The ongoing struggles of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. were not the sole reason for the sweeping changes made at Hendrick Motorsports. A day after Rick Hendrick shuffled the driver and crew chief lineup for three of his race teams, the team owner said the entire organization had grown complacent because of all its success. Even Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, fresh off their fifth consecutive championship, were "off this year," Hendrick said. "This was not a Dale Earnhardt - not a move that we made, this major of a move, because of Dale or his situation," Hendrick said Wednesday. "I am excited about making all four teams better. We need to be better across the board. We are not going to leave any stone unturned."
      Hendrick said he called a companywide meeting after the Nov. 7 race at Texas, where Johnson's crew was benched in the middle of the event and Denny Hamlin outran the No. 48 team to take the lead in the championship standings. No personnel decisions were made during the meeting. "No one suggested in that meeting that we shift people around," Hendrick said. "It was about how each individual could make this organization better." In the two weeks after the meeting, there were discussions between Hendrick and his management team, and the shakeup was revealed Tuesday afternoon. "A tremendous amount of thought went into it, and it was not a (decision) from the hip," Hendrick said. "It's not one of those things that you can vote on; it's one of those things you have to pull the trigger and go do it." The owner said he has now matched driver and crew chief based on personality fits. "I think everybody was excited last night, and it sparked a new amount of energy in our company," he said.(in part from the Associated Press)(11-24-2010)

    • Why no Chevy Camaro in NASCAR? It's been a good week for General Motors, whose stock returned to Wall Street on Thursday via a highly-anticipated initial public offering (IPO). And at the close of business Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Team Chevy was celebrating its 27th NASCAR driver's championship courtesy of Jimmie Johnson's record-setting fifth consecutive Sprint Cup Series title. Terry Dolan, manager of Chevrolet Racing, recently addressed a variety of topics during an interview at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
      Q: With the change in Nationwide Series bodies fulltime in 2011 to the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, why isn't Chevrolet going with the Camaro?
      TD: "As we launched Camaro, we brought back an iconic production car to our portfolio. Part of what makes Camaro is the styling and the look of that vehicle. When we introduced it at the (various) auto shows, consumers originally were able to look at the brand and say that it replicates what they know Camaro to be. As we look at NASCAR, we wanted to maintain the integrity of the iconic brand and the brands that we race with. We just didn't feel we could accomplish that vision by adapting the car to the common template format that we have here in this sport. We'll always look in the future and see what opportunities exist, but within today's boundaries, it just didn't feel like it was the right business decision for us to make."
      Q: That said, both Mustang and Challenger represent reincarnations of the Muscle Car Wars, going back to the popular SCCA Trans-Am Series of the late 1960s. Seems Camaro is missing an opportunity for exposure before the biggest domestic audience.
      TD: "But our core business is manufacturing iconic cars and trucks that connect to the consumer bases. We use racing as a way to define the vehicles from a public persona standpoint. We felt it was critical that we didn't disturb the iconic design of a key volume car for us by changing it to a different style format for what we put on the racetrack. So, longer-term, if we can get to the point where we can make the cars look more similar to the showroom counterparts, then there's probably room for Camaro going forward. Our short-term vision now is to stay with Impala, because it represents the car that's on the track and the car that's in the showroom. Long-term, we want to look at tightening that up. If you look at our program with our Corvette Racing and the American Le Mans Series, we're very proud of the continuity and the connectivity between the ZR1, the showroom counterpart, and the C6-R (for racing), which looks like that vehicle when it's on the racetrack."
      Q: How radical of a difference would the Nationwide Camaro be from the showroom version? What would be the key design turnoff?
      TD: "Well, part of the iconic design of that car is the overall lines of the roof of the greenhouse and the sale-panel area. And for all the right reasons, as NASCAR has evolved the Car of Tomorrow to provide a safer zone for the driver, trying to adapt our smaller-roof coupe car to the larger roof sedan design just didn't keep the integrity of the exterior design of the vehicle. We looked at it and we modeled it and we stepped back and we evaluated it, and felt for now it wasn't the right decision for us to make."
      Q: How much heat have you caught for not running Camaro in the Nationwide Series, other than media criticism?
      TD: "Honestly, the questions we receive are from the media, and we've received our fair share of questions on that. We're not receiving any strong push-back publicly from the consumers. The teams are happy running the cars we have, as long as we have a competitive entry that can win races and championships."
      (in part from RacinToday, see full Q&A there)(11-24-2010)

    • Tiebreaker Gives Kenseth's Crew Tissot Pit Road Season Championship: The closely contested Tissot pit road competition, which saw four teams tied for the lead, came down to a tiebreaker to determine the season pit crew champion. Matt Kenseth's #17 crew was awarded the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award championship as a result of winning the tiebreaker that called for the team whose driver finished the highest in the final NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. Kenseth's team shared the lead with the crews for #24-Jeff Gordon, #18-Kyle Busch and #1-Jamie McMurray, each scoring four pit road victories during the 2010 campaign. The #17 crew won the tiebreaker with Kenseth leading the way among the four drivers with a fifth-place finish in the driver point standings. For winning the season-long Tissot Pit Road Precision Award title the #17 team will receive a $105,000 bonus from Tissot plus Tissot watches for the pit crew members and driver.
      The #17 Roush Fenway Racing crew will also receive an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas to accept the prize money and Tissot watches at the Champion's Week NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, Thursday, Dec. 2 in the Bellagio Ballroom.
      Kenseth's 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 crew chief is Jimmy Fennig and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward.
      "The entire #17 Crown Royal pit crew did a tremendous job this season in the pits," said pit crew coach Ward. "We worked very hard on pit stops throughout the year, so it's an honor to know that for the second year in a row, our Roush Fenway organization has won the Tissot award." Last year's Tissot Pit Road Precision Award winner also came from the Roush Fenway Racing stable with Greg Biffle's #16 crew taking top honors. A total of 19 different teams won the Tissot award in 2010. Each weekly-winning crew received $5,000 plus a Tissot watch. The weekly Tissot Pit Road Precision Award winner went to the team whose car spent the least amount of time on pit road and finished on the lead lap. The competition was designed to recognize and reward the extraordinary talents of Sprint Cup pit crews (Tissot), see standings and race-by-race winners on the 2010 Pit Crew News page.(11-24-2010)

    • Edwards' #99 Team Scores Twice in Season Finale: It was a double win for the #99 team with Carl Edwards winning Sunday's (Nov. 21) Ford 400 Sprint Cup race and his crew capturing the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Edwards' #99 Aflac Ford Fusion spent the least amount of time on pit road during the 400-lap race – 278.260 seconds. The quick work on pit road helped Edwards win his second consecutive Cup race. The #99 pit crew consists of: Kale Uphoff (front-tire changer), Jeremy Dyer (front-tire carrier), Dwayne Ogles (rear-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Dennis Killian (jackman), Joe Karasinski (gasman) and Norm Lowe (catch can). The team's crew chief is Bob Osborne and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward.(Tissot), see standings and race-by-race winners on the 2010 Pit Crew News page.(11-24-2010)

    • Race Fans Get Rare Chance to Drive Around Charlotte Motor Speedway on FRIDAY: Race fans from around the country will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 26, for the opportunity to drive their personal vehicles on the famed superspeedway for the 18th annual Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out. Shoppers who spend at least $50 on merchandise or race tickets, or donate $25 to Speedway Children's Charities during the annual day-after-Thanksgiving event, will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the track. This chance of a lifetime will allow fans to see the 1.5-mile quad-oval like never before and will put them in the tire tracks of NASCAR legends such as Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson and Richard Petty.
      Not only will cars and trucks of the four-wheel-variety take to the extreme 24-degree banking of the superspeedway's corners, but more than 200 motorcycles from the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), are expected to drive on the track. The GWRRA, a club open to owners of Honda Gold Wing motorcycles, made their first appearance at the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out in 2009, with nearly 100 riders. The organization which has more than 40,000 members nationally and more than 30 local chapters in North Carolina, uses the event as an opportunity to give back to the community. Last year, the group made a donation of nearly $2,000 to Speedway Children's Charities for their three laps of thrills.
      For every $10 shoppers spend at the ticket office, gift shop, or souvenir haulers, they will receive a sticker to be placed on a ride card. Once five stickers have been affixed, the card can be redeemed for a ride voucher that can be picked-up inside the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop. Once obtaining the ride voucher, fans will proceed to Gate 1 and enter the track through the Turn 4 tunnel. Cars will be guided onto pit road and assembled into groups. Once assembled, they will make their way down pit road and onto the track for three laps behind one of the track's Toyota pace cars. A wide variety of vehicles are expected to cruise the track between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, including classic muscle cars and modern sports cars, to minivans and souped-up trucks.
      In addition to numerous track souvenirs, Charlotte Motor Speedway will offer a full line of NASCAR memorabilia and apparel at reduced prices with many of those items selling for only $1. There will also be a wide variety of hats and t-shirts available starting at just $3.
      Nearly a dozen NASCAR souvenir rigs, including those of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, among others will be on hand offering drastically reduced prices, with memorabilia ranging from T-shirts and hats, to posters and die-cast cars.
      In addition, the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office will be open throughout the event, offering shoppers the perfect gift for that race fan on their holiday shopping list. Fans who purchase $99 in race tickets will receive a free $25 gift card good for Charlotte Motor Speedway tickets, camping or pit passes. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at just $39 and tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 start at only $49. Gift cards are also available for stocking stuffers in $25 or $50 amounts. Event hours are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday. For more information on the Souvenir and Race Ticket Blow-Out contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway gift shop at (704) 455-3202 or visit online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(11-24-2010)


      News from November 23, 2010

    • New crew chiefs for Gordon, Martin & Earnhardt Jr.: Hendrick Motorsports has made personnel adjustments in preparation for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. being teamed with new crew chiefs. Below are the driver-crew chief pairings for each Hendrick Motorsports car, effective immediately:
      #5 Chevy, driver: Mark Martin, Crew Chief: Lance McGrew
      #24 Chevy, driver: Jeff Gordon; Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
      #48 Chevy, driver: Jimmie Johnson; Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
      #88 Chevy, driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Crew Chief: Steve Letarte
      The cars of Martin and four-time Sprint Cup champion Gordon will be fielded out of the same facility, now known as the 5/24 shop. Earnhardt Jr.'s Chevys will be prepared out of the renamed 48/88 shop alongside those of five-time and defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. "This will improve us as an organization, across the board," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We had a championship season (in 2010), but we weren't where we wanted and needed to be with all four teams. We've made the right adjustments, and I'm excited to go racing with this lineup."(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-23-2010)

    • Homestead TV Ratings: ESPN Matches ABC's Audience for NASCAR Finale; Young Male Demo Jumps 33%. ESPN's live coverage of the Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 21, essentially matched the viewership for last year's race telecast on ABC and saw a 33 percent rise in the key Male 18-34 demographic, according to the Nielsen Company. The telecast averaged 5,604,748 viewers, essentially matching the 5,606,608 average for last year's race, while earning a 3.3 U.S. rating (3.9 household coverage rating) on ESPN. Last year's ABC telecast earned a 3.6 rating. The Male 18-34 demographic rose from a 0.9 last year on ABC to a 1.2 on ESPN.
      ESPN2's live telecast of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, averaging 1,920,301 viewers. The rating was up from the 1.3 rating for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2 and helped ESPN2's coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to end the season with a three percent increase over its average rating from last year (ESPN), see race-to-race, 4 years of comparison on the 2010 TV Ratings page.(11-23-2010)

    • Parrott named Ambrose's crew chief: Todd Parrott will be the crew chief for Marcos Ambrose and the #9 Stanley Tools Ford for the team currently known as Richard Petty Motorsports. Parrott, a 26-year NASCAR veteran, started as a crew chief in 1996 with Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and won the Cup title in 1999. He most recently worked with Elliott Sadler at RPM. Parrott is looking forward to forging a new relationship with Ambrose, 33, who returns to Fords for his third full season in Sprint Cup. "I've been spending time with him dating back to (the race at) Kansas or Fontana," Parrott said. "We've been talking, working on communication. He's been coming over here, getting fitted for seats. He has some ideas of what he wants, what he's looking for so the conversations between us have been very good. "Once the dust settles and the smoke clears it will all be good. The cars continue to get better. The simulation programs are better. Just look at how the (RPM #'s) 9 and 43 (of AJ Allmendinger) ran on Sunday at Homestead. I can't wait to get started."(FoxSports)(11-23-2010)

    • NASCAR working with NASCAR Hall of Fame...but: NASCAR told the Charlotte City Council Monday that it's working to make racing's new hall of fame a success, and outlined how it has helped, much of it from donated media time to promote the $200 million museum. But when asked by the Observer whether it would help pay for annual operating losses that could exceed $1 million, the organization declined to comment. NASCAR only said that it won't make any money from the hall until it turns an operating profit. "The key point is we won't take any money from the project until it's successful," said Paul Brooks, a NASCAR senior vice president. Under NASCAR's contract with the city, Charlotte can withhold NASCAR's royalty payments from the hall if it loses money. NASCAR is allowed to take a cut of 10 percent of all hall revenues. NASCAR and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the hall, gave council members an update on the hall's first seven months. The hall hasn't met attendance projections, and ran a $448,000 deficit for the first three months of the fiscal year that began in July (full story at Charlotte Observer). UPDATE: Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx compared the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the deficit-riddled U.S. National Whitewater Center and said lessons need to be learned about earlier — and missed — projections for attendance at the publicly owned auto-racing museum. Deficits and disappointing attendance brought leaders of the $195 million publicly funded NASCAR Hall of Fame before City Council on Monday night. Executives from the hall of fame, its operator — the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority — and NASCAR itself offered a range of explanations and strategies for improving ticket sales and attendance in the months ahead. At the same time, they defended the uptown attraction as a valuable addition to the local tourism sector. The discussion followed several weeks of disappointing results for the hall of fame. Through the first three months of fiscal 2011, operating deficits were just under $450,000, well below the $850,000 surplus called for in the budget for the year.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-23-2010)

    • Phoenix Racing plans to return: Earlier this season, word in the garage was that #09-Phoenix Racing owner James Finch was looking to sell his Nationwide Series racing operation. But Friday at Homestead, the veteran Florida car owner said he'd have both cars in Daytona for Speedweeks 2011. "I didn't have any sponsorship for the Nationwide car so I cut it [schedule] back and run more Cup races," Finch said. "And next year I'll run it part-time if I can find some sponsorship -- I'm going to keep it all in place, definitely run Daytona and all the plate races -- about a half-dozen." Finch said he hadn't yet spoken to new parent Ryan Newman, who most recently drove his car. In the past three seasons, in 92 Nationwide starts, Finch has a win -- with Mike Bliss at Charlotte in 2009 -- eight top-five and 35 top-10 finishes. "I'm planning on running all the Cup races, probably with a mix of drivers there, again," Finch said. "We're going to run the first five [races] and try to get into the top 35 [in the owners' points]. We're talking to some sponsors, but we haven't got anything confirmed yet -- but I know we'll be at Daytona."(NASCAR.com)(11-23-2010)

    • Atlantic City Indoor Race 2011: The thrill of live auto racing will return to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ when Len Sammons Motorsports Productions presents the 9th Annual "Gambler's Classic" for the Three Quarter Midgets/600cc Micro-Sprints. Tickets went on sale Wednesday, August 25, 2010 for the January 28th & 29th, 2011 event. More info at aarn.com and the Boardwalk Hall site.(11-23-2010)


      News from November 22, 2010

    • Homestead Facts and Notes:
      • Carl Edwards won the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was Edwards' 18th Cup series victory in his 229th start and his second win in 2010. His win a week earlier at Phoenix ended a 70-race winless streak.
      • Edwards won back-to-back races for the fifth time in his career. It was his second win at Homestead (2008). He joined Tony Stewart (two) and Greg Biffle (three) as the only multiple-race winners at Homestead.
      • Edwards posted his sixth straight top-10 finish at Homestead.
      • Edwards led 10 times for 190 laps, including the final 21. He led the most laps in a race for the first time this year. His 441 laps led at Homestead lead all drivers.
      • Roush Fenway Racing posted its 120th Cup series win, ranking fourth all time. It was RFR's fourth win in 2010.
      • Ford posted its fourth win in 2010.
      • Jimmie Johnson (second) is the 2010 Sprint Cup Series champion. He finished the season with two poles, six wins, 17 top-5 finishes and 23 top-10 finishes.
      • Kevin Harvick (third) rebounded from a pit-road speeding penalty. He finished the season with three wins, 16 top-5 finishes and 26 top-10 finishes. He finished third in points, 41 back.
      • Aric Almirola (fourth) earned his career-best finish.
      • AJ Allmendinger (fifth) finished the season with two top-5 finishes and eight top-10 finishes.
      • Kasey Kahne (sixth) finished the season with four poles (tied with Jamie McMurray for the most), seven top-5 finishes and 10 top-10 finishes. He drove the final four races of the season in the #83 Red Bull Racing car.
      • Tony Stewart finished eighth after receiving two lucky dogs.
      • Denny Hamlin (14th) entered the race with a 15-point lead in the championship. He finished second, 39 points behind Johnson.(ESPN)(11-22-2010)

    • #83 Tire Changer Update: After getting clipped by Kevin Harvick's #29 Chevy during a pit stop on lap 187 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chuck Efaw, the #83 rear tire changer, spent the night in a nearby hospital and is scheduled to be released today and travel back to his home in North Carolina. A CAT scan showed that he has three avulsion fractures of his lumbar spine, which are stable and should require no surgical procedures.(Red Bull Racing)(11-22-2010)

    • RPM down to two cars: Richard Petty Motorsports, as expected, scaled back its operations from a four-car organization to a two-car operation Monday as Richard Petty continues to work with investors to take over the team, sources said. Employees were told of the decision Monday and there were cutbacks from an organization that placed two cars in the top five of the Sprint Cup season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      "They have to get it done now," Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith said Sunday. "Almost the week after the banquet, NASCAR wants the car numbers and owner applications. All the personnel want to know if they have a job. If all your people leave, then what you field next year will not be very good. There is a lot of pressure [to get it done]. But you don't have the pressure of trying to scramble to get a race car ready for next week on top of it."
      Medallion Financial group reportedly is one of the companies interested in the team, whose minority owners currently include Petty and Boston Ventures.
      Petty created a new limited liability company – R P Family Franchise – earlier this month. Filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State office Nov. 10, it is not clear if this will be the company that controls the race team.
      Allmendinger has signed to stay with the team and his sponsor, Best Buy, is still in negotiations with Petty to be the sponsor for the majority of the races. JTG Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose has been signed to replace #19 Elliott Sadler in the Stanley-sponsored car [running the #9].(SceneDaily)
      AND Richard Petty Motorsports held a meeting on Monday morning to clarify which employees would continue on as the company downsizes from four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to two. According to sources, director of competition and Vice President Robbie Loomis delivered the news and workers were separated into two groups -- remaining employees and those the organization chose to let go. President and general manager Max Jones and director of operations Sammy Johns were also in attendance. With crew chief Kenny Francis leaving to join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing and crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe moving on to Richard Childress Racing with Paul Menard, understandably, many of their men will follow. The #43 team led by Mike Shiplett, which finished 19th in the points standings following a fifth-place finish by AJ Allmendinger on Sunday, is expected to remain intact.
      Team co-owner Richard Petty later issued a statement on the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup plans. "Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," his statement read. "RPM will shift from running four cars to two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and that is never an easy process for the people involved. Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programs with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the #43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford. We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future." Potential investor Andrew Murstein from Medallion Financial Group was at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday meeting with team management, Allmendinger and Ford Racing.(FoxSports)(11-22-2010)

    • Logano retaliates against Montoya: An angry #20-Joey Logano retaliated against #42-Juan Pablo Montoya Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, intentionally wrecking him under caution with 64 laps left in the Ford 400. Montoya and Logano made contact on lap 140, sending Logano slamming into the wall and damaging the front end of his car. It took 40 laps to repair his car in the garage. About 25 laps after his return to the track, Logano wrecked Montoya under caution. After the accident, Logano stayed in his car until Montoya's team was able get Montoya back onto the track. Montoya had a civil conversation with Logano crew chief Greg Zipadelli after falling out of the race. Logano said prior to the retaliation that he was tired of the way Montoya had been racing him. "I gave him plenty of room," the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said. "I just felt like I got hooked. That's two times with him this year so we've got to figure that out. I don't know what the deal is." JGR President J.D. Gibbs said a feud between the two drivers had been simmering. Logano wrecked Montoya under caution to keep the incident from impact other drivers and teams. "That one has been around for a while," Gibbs said. "That was just frustration on his part."(SceneDaily)(11-22-2010)

    • Havick, Busch Homestead incident comments: from Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Race Notes & Quotes:
      Q) What happened to take you out of the race?
      #18-Kyle Busch "I don't know. (Kevin) Harvick pulled a slide job on me earlier in the day and I crossed over and passed him clean, but apparently it wasn't in the time of day in order to do that. I don't know. My guys work way too hard to be in this position and fight hard all day long to be put with a wrecked race car at the end of the year. We wanted to come out here and finish strong. We felt like we had a top-four or top-five car. It just means so much to me -- to those guys -- that we come out of here with a good run like we were having. It's very unfortunate. It's just a guy that doesn't have his head on straight apparently today. I thought everything was good. I talked to him in the pre-race in the driver's meeting and all of that, but he's such a two-faced guy it just doesn't matter."(Toyota)
      #29-Kevin Harvick from a Team Chevy transcript in part

      THE INCIDENT WITH KYLE BUSCH, GIVE US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT:
      Harvick: "Kyle raced me like a clown all day and cut me off and ran up in front of me. The last time I just didn't lift."(Team Chevy Racing News)(11-22-2010)

    • Johnson carries special decal on front bumper: You've probably never noticed the special decal on the front bumper of Jimmie Johnson's #48 Chevy, but there's a story behind it that made every lap of today's race more meaningful for Johnson. On the front bumper is a flame with the initials BA and N501RH. The 501RH is the tail number of the Hendrick plane that crashed in 2004, killing all 10 aboard as they headed for the fall Martinsville race. The BA? That's for Blaise Alexander, a good friend of Johnson's, who died in a [ARCA] crash Oct. 4, 2001, at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- three days before Johnson made his Cup debut on the same track. Shortly after Alexander's accident, a mutual friend of Johnson's and Alexander's worked in Johnson's Nationwide shop and came over to the Cup team with Johnson. That crew member would draw the design and the BA initials on the front bumper with a Sharpie on every one of Johnson's car as it was finished in the shop. "It was like the final touch that went on (the car),'' Johnson said.(link to an image at Virginian Pilot)(11-22-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Ford 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 141
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 83
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 22
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:30 PM
      Total minutes: 210
      Minutes of race broadcast: 144
      Minutes of commercials: 66
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0 although one debris caution was identified as from debris from a wrecked car, but it was not shown to the viewers
      Number of cars with real flames on them: 1 Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota
      Number of commercials cut short to return to Denny Hamlin's pit stop, following trouble: 1 for AT&T
      See past races, drivers focused on, link to full report on my 2010 TV Commercials page.(11-22-2010)

    • Conway named Raybestos Rookie of the Year: #7-Kevin Conway clinched Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in today's Ford 400. Conway's best finish of the season came in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, a 14th-place finish. He claimed top rookie honors in 29 races this season and was credited with a 30th-place finish at Homestead.
      WHAT IS YOUR RACING PROSPECTS FOR 2011?
      Conway: "We're going to announce our 2011 plans very soon, hopefully shortly after the banquet." (Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see more Conway quotes, standings, rookie rules, history and more on my 2010 Rookies Rules and News page.(11-22-2010) (11-22-2010)

    • Ford honors John Force at Homestead: As part of Saturday activities at Homestead, Ford presented the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award to veteran drag racer and force in racing John Force, who recently won a record 15th National Hot Rod Association Funny Car championship. Force, 61, was surprised with the award by Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. co-founder Henry Ford, during a gathering of Ford champion drivers in the Homestead-Miami Speedway media center. The Spirit of Ford Award is the highest honor Ford awards for lifetime achievement in auto racing. Force is the 24th recipient and joins a stellar list that includes Mario Andretti, Richard Petty, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Dan Gurney. Edsel Ford II said Force's accomplishments off the track—in many areas, including safety and promotion—were as important as his championships in the honor. Force was participating in a panel discussion in the Homestead media center when he was surprised with the award. Also on the panel were Tanner Foust, X Games champion; Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Formula Drift champion); Ken Block (Rally America-World Rally driver) and Jamie Allison, director of Ford's North American motorsports operations.(Ford Racing)(11-22-2010)

    • NASCAR special to be filmed in New York: With the Sprint Cup awards banquet now playing post-season in Las Vegas, after so many years in New York City, NASCAR marketers are trying to find a way to keep tapped into the New York market. However, what to make of this promotion: "No Restrictor Plate," as it's billed. A one-hour, Made-for-TV event to be filmed in New York City Tuesday Nov. 23rd and then later aired on SPEED during the Las Vegas awards. Jimmie Johnson, 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will be interviewed by host Kyle Petty, broadcaster and son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. The in-studio audience will consist of select media and avid fans, some of whom will join the conversation through Twitter, video blogs and NASCAR.com. No Restrictor Plate will feature a live-to-tape fan/media Q&A session with the champion. And, if NASCAR's New York game plan goes as it typically does, the champ will then do a whirlwind TV show run....and then maybe on to Los Angeles for more of the same...and then up to Las Vegas.(NASCAR), no idea where the filming will take place.(11-22-2010)

    • Infineon Raceway Honors Jimmie Johnson with Ticket Offer: Infineon Raceway is celebrating Jimmie Johnson's historical fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a very special ticket offer for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 26. For just 48 hours, race fans can purchase the "48 Championship Special," which gets you a reserved seat above Turn 7 on the road course for just $48.48. That's a savings of nearly 50-percent, but like Johnson's No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, you've got to be fast, as this offer is only good through Wednesday, Nov. 24. It's the perfect way to honor the California native, who became the first driver in NASCAR Cup history to win five consecutive championships. He will be honored at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas, Dec. 3. Call 800-870-RACE today or visit www.infineonraceway.com to purchase your "48 Championship Special" and celebrate with the five-time champ.(Infineon Raceway)(11-22-2010)

    • Week 20 Daytona Repave update: Superstretch work complete: Even though paving is complete on the racing surface of Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval, the paving crew from Lane Construction continues to be busy with work around the "World Center of Racing" during the 20th week of the Daytona Repave project. Work on the Superstretch is finished with the paving of new asphalt now in place on the skid pad, apron and the existing chicane. This week, milling and paving is occurring in the apron in Turns 3 and 4 and paving is moving forward on the pit exit area.
      Here are the other highlights from the 20th week of the Daytona Repave:
      · The reinstallation of the catch fence in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing
      · Renovations to the Turn 4 tunnel including a new concrete driveway, stem wall and sidewalk are now complete
      · Reinstallation of the Musco lights in Turns 3 and 4 near completion
      · The underdrain trench and fabric installation is complete all around the track
      About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours are also available. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-22-2010)

    • Construction begins to improve Michigan's scoreboard for next season: A number of enhancements to Michigan International Speedway's LED scoreboard began recently, continuing the track's firm commitment to give fans the very best race experience each time they visit the Irish Hills for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The scoreboard, the first of its kind in motorsports when it was installed in 2008, will receive a makeover. One of the most noticeable changes will be an increase in the overall height of the scoreboard from 108-feet tall to nearly 155-feet tall, a difference of 47 feet. The LED display that shows the running order of the race, various sponsor advertisements and track messaging, will also increase from 57 feet tall to 85 feet tall. Because of the size of MIS and the size of numbers used so all spectators could see, the former scoreboard only listed running order positions in groups of three. The new board will show the top-14 competitors at one time and include a lap counter.
      In addition to the scoreboard, MIS will continue to have seven Sprint Vision screens available throughout the property for viewing during the race weekends. The action on the Sprint Vision screens complements the running order of the scoreboard, giving NASCAR fans the information they need to enjoy the race. The dismantling of the current scoreboard is now under way. Construction of the new scoreboard will soon follow with a completion date set for mid-May. Curtis has plans to unveil other improvements in the coming weeks that the fans will notice when they return in 2011. The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2011 will go to renewal customers and new customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. The renewal deadline is approaching on Tuesday, Nov. 16. New customers can log onto www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing for 2011 (MIS)(11-22-2010)

    • Eckert is First Woman to Earn Salesperson of the Year Award at CMS: Dianne Eckert has earned Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2010 Salesperson of the Year, making her the first woman to win the award in the speedway's 51-year history. Eckert, a California native, who now resides in Concord, earned this prestigious award after securing numerous accounts in 2010 and increasing her business by 135% this year. After spending 11 years teaching at a Christian academy in Texas, Eckert moved to North Carolina in 1995. The next year, Eckert joined Charlotte Motor Speedway working part-time in the speedway's ticket office. Eckert's determination and persistence propelled her to a full-time position in the speedway's corporate sales department in 2005. As part of her award, Eckert will attend the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship banquet in Las Vegas with her husband Timothy. Tickets for all May 2011 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night, May 21, and the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29, are now available. They can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(11-22-2010)

    • Martinsville Speedway Construction Project On Target: It didn't take long for the construction crews to invade Martinsville Speedway after the completion of the TUMS Fast Relief 500 and less than a month later, work on new restrooms and concession stands at the first-turn end of the front stretch is in high gear. Old restrooms and concession stands have been demolished, debris cleared and excavation begun to pour the concrete foundation. The target finish date for the project is March 1, well before the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 on April 3. "I think fans are going to be really pleased what they see when they come back in April," said Martinsville Speedway President W. Clay Campbell. "The restrooms and concession stands in that area are going to be larger, modern and much more efficient than what we had in the past."
      The new restrooms and concession stands have been moved back about 25 feet and are actually being built in the superstructure of the grandstands at the end of the frontstretch to help expand the concourse area under the grandstands. "We've just about doubled the space under the grandstands in that area, which will make it much easier for fans to move about," said Campbell.
      The current project is part of a multi-phase effort that will result in most of the restrooms and concession stands along the frontstretch being replaced. It is being funded by a Virginia Tobacco Commission grant of $1.5 million, which is being matched by Martinsville Speedway. The present project includes men and women's restrooms, which double the size of the ones they replace. Every effort was made to include amenities and improvements requested by fans, like more sinks in the ladies restrooms and larger stalls. All of the new buildings meet ADA requirements.
      There are about 15 subcontractors involved in the project, according to Rick Magee, Executive Vice-President of Frith Construction, the general contractor for the construction. All but one of those subcontractors is from the Martinsville and Henry County area, Magee said. About 50 jobs were created by the project with about 25 workers onsite at any given time, according to Frith.(Martinsville Speedway)(11-22-2010)


      News from November 21, 2010

    • Hendrick Motorsports 2010 Championship Notes:
      10TH TITLE: Hendrick Motorsports now is NASCAR's all-time leader in NASCAR Sprint Cup owner championships with 10 after Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet team earned their fifth consecutive series title Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports previously was tied with Petty Enterprises, which earned nine Cup owner championships.
      THE OTHER GUYS: With its fifth straight championship, Hendrick Motorsports becomes one of just four teams in major American professional sports to have scored five or more titles consecutively. The Boston Celtics posted eight NBA titles in a row starting with the 1958-59 season and ending in 1965-66. Hendrick now is tied with the New York Yankees, which earned five World Series rings from 1949-53, and the Montreal Canadiens, which scored five Stanley Cups from 1956-60.
      COMPARISONS: In the major American professional sports leagues, Hendrick Motorsports' 10 total Sprint Cup owner championships are tied for eighth behind the New York Yankees (27 World Series titles), Montreal Canadiens (24 Stanley Cups), Boston Celtics (17 NBA titles), Los Angeles Lakers (16 NBA titles), Toronto Maple Leafs (13 Stanley Cups), Green Bay Packers (12 NFL championships) and Detroit Red Wings (11 Stanley Cups). The St. Louis Cardinals own 10 World Series titles.
      ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2010 Sprint Cup car owner championship is the 13th for Hendrick Motorsports across NASCAR's three national series, extending the team's all-time record. Richard Childress Racing ranks second among owners with 11 combined titles. In the car owner category, Hendrick has won 10 titles in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also has won a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship, which came in 2003.
      KNAUS SETS THE STANDARD: Chad Knaus is the only crew chief ever to win more than two consecutive Sprint Cup titles (he now has five in a row), and his championship total (also five) ranks him second all-time among crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Only Dale Inman (eight titles) has more.
      FIVE-PEAT: Johnson is the first driver in NASCAR history to capture five straight Sprint Cup titles and the first champion in the Chase format to overcome a points deficit going into the final event. Johnson, however, is not the first driver ever to come back and win a championship. Most recently, Alan Kulwicki rallied from 30 points down going in to the 1992 season finale to win it all.
      TWO TO GO: With a fifth title, Johnson breaks a tie with teammate Jeff Gordon to become the Sprint Cup championship leader among active drivers and third all-time. Johnson is two titles shy of NASCAR's all-time leaders, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, who scored seven apiece during their Hall of Fame careers.
      DRIVE FOR FIVE: Winning five straight championships is a first for Hendrick Motorsports, which previously was the only NASCAR team to have achieved four titles consecutively. In addition to Johnson's 2006-10 run, Hendrick scored four in a row with Gordon (1995, 1997 and 1998) and Terry Labonte (1996). No other team has won more than three Sprint Cup championships in consecutive seasons.
      DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: Johnson isn't the first driver in motor sports this year to come back from a points deficit and capture the series championship in the season finale. John Force (NHRA Funny Car), Sebastian Vettel (F1) and Dario Franchitti (IndyCar) join Johnson in coming from behind to capture their series championships in the final race of the season. Force trailed first by 37 points going into the Nov. 14 finale, when he rallied to win his 15th Funny Car title. Vettel made up 15 points in F1's season finale on Nov. 14, while Franchitti overcame a 12-point deficit on Oct. 2 to capture the IndyCar championship in the last race of the season.
      WINNING PERCENTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the most efficient team in major American professional sports, earning 10 titles since its inception in 1984 for a 37.04 all-time title-winning percentage. The Celtics rank second with 17 titles in 65 seasons (26.15 percent), while the Yankees are third with 27 World Series championships in 107 seasons (25.23 percent). Hendrick has won 10 of the last 16 Sprint Cup championships (1995-2010), putting the team's title-winning percentage during that span at 62.5.
      SINCE 1984: No other major American professional sports team has earned more championships than Hendrick Motorsports since 1984, the organization's inaugural season. In that time, the Los Angeles Lakers have earned eight championships and the Chicago Bulls have collected six titles. The New York Yankees and Edmonton Oilers have scored five titles apiece.
      STILL ROLLING: Hendrick Motorsports never has run a Sprint Cup campaign without winning a pole position (1984-2010). The team scored five this season, including two from Johnson.
      APPROACHING 200: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 25 straight seasons (194 victories from 1986-2010), the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick's first Daytona 500.
      ANOTHER ONE FOR CHEVY: Chevrolet captured its 34th Sprint Cup manufacturers' championship this season after winning 18 races. Johnson led all Chevy drivers with seven victories.
      * When referencing "major American professional sports," the following have been factored in: Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-21-2010)

    • Championship Fast Facts:
      . Jimmie Johnson has won an unprecedented fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Last season, he became the first driver in series history to win four consecutive titles.
      . Johnson’s five championships put him in sole possession of third on the all-time list, two behind NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
      . Johnson finished 39 points ahead of second-place Denny Hamlin.
      . Johnson is the first driver in the Chase era to overcome a points deficit going into the season finale to win the championship. Only two other drivers have accomplished the feat since the inception of the current points system in 1975 (Richard Petty in 1979 and Alan Kulwicki in 1992).
      . Johnson won one Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 2010. He has won at least one race in every Chase since its inception in 2004. He is the all-time Chase wins leader, with 19.
      . Johnson finished the 2010 season with six wins, 17 top fives and 23 top 10s.
      Owner Champion: Hendrick Motorsports
      . This is Hendrick Motorsports’ 10th series owner championship, breaking a tie for most all-time. Hendrick had previously been tied with Petty Enterprises at nine owner championships.
      . This is Hendrick Motorsports’ 13th NASCAR national series owner championship, extending its all-time record.
      . Hendrick Motorsports becomes the first team to win five consecutive championships. It was the first to win four straight, from 1995-98 (Jeff Gordon in 1995 and 1997-98; Terry Labonte 1996).
      Crew Chief Champion: Chad Knaus
      . Chad Knaus won his fifth consecutive championship, extending his crew chief record for consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships. In 2008, Knaus set the record with three consecutive championships.
      . Knaus moves into sole possession of second-place on the all-time crew chief championships list, with five. Dale Inman is the all-time leader in crew chief championships, with eight.
      . Knaus has 51 career series wins, all with Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR)(11-21-2010)

    • FINAL 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
      [after Homestead, race 36 of 36, Chase Race 10 of 10]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6622; 5 Time Champion
      2) #11-Denny Hamlin [8 wins], 6583, -39
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 6581, -41
      4) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins], 6393, -229
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 6294, -328
      6) #16-Greg Biffle [2 wins], 6247, -375
      7) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 6221, -401
      8) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 6182, -440
      9) #24-Jeff Gordon, 6176, -446
      10) #33-Clint Bowyer [1 win], 6155, -467
      11) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 6142, -480
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 6033, -589
      (Bowyer without 150 pt penalty 6305, -281 would be 5th)
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-21-2010)

    • Edwards wins at Homestead; Johnson wins the Championship: #99-Carl Edwards won the FORD 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 2nd win of 2010 and 18th win of his career. #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship by 36 points over #29-Kevin Harvick. It is Johnson FIFTH Championship, only the third driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to do so.
      #48-Johnson finished second followed by #29-Harvick, #9-Almirola [his 1st career top 5), $43-Allmendinger, #83-Kahne, #39-Newman, #14-Stewart, #17-Kenseth and #16-Biffle. Points leader going in to the race, #11-Hamlin finished 14th and fell to 3rd in the points standings.
      There were 22 lead changes among 8; 10 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 67,000 down a tad from last year's 70,000.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs are on ESPN2, Monday, November 22 at 2:30am/et and on SPEED, Wednesday, November 17 at 2:30pm/et.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Homestead Race Results/Awards page.(11-21-2010)

    • Finishing Positions for the Chase drivers at Homestead:
      [by points standings before the race]:
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin, 14th [2nd in pts]
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 2nd [WON Championship]
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, WON
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 9th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 37th
      7) #18-Kyle Busch, 32nd
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 10th
      9) #14-Tony Stewart, 8th
      10) #2-Kurt Busch, 18th
      11) #33-Clint Bowyer, 12th
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 31st
      (11-21-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Homestead:
      #99-Carl Edwards won the FORD 400, his 18th victory in 229 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and 19th top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in ten races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 23rd top-10 finish in 2010.
      #29-Kevin Harvick (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in ten races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #7-Kevin Conway (30th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 39 points over Denny Hamlin [winning the Championship](NASCAR Statistics)(11-21-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver 'Classic' Points Standings:
      [after Homestead, race 36 of 36....the OLD way]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick, 5274
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4989, -285
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4865, -409
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 4820, -454
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4669, -605
      6) #18-Kyle Busch, 4647, -627
      7) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4640, -634
      8) #14-Tony Stewart, 4628, -646
      9) #2-Kurt Busch, 4459, -815
      10) #31-Jeff Burton, 4423, -851
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 4414, -860
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 4376, -898
      13) #5-Mark Martin, 4364, -910
      14) #1-Jamie McMurray, 4325, -949
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-21-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at the Daytona 500 and 1st five races of 2011:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The spread from 35th to 36th is down to 74 points.
      32) #7-Gordon/RGM, 2587, +133
      33) #37-Gilliland/Front Row, 2579, +125
      34) #34-Kvapil/Front Row, 2564, +110
      35) #71-Gaughan/TRG: 2549, 95 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #38-Blaney/Front Row: 2454, -95 points out of the top 35
      37) #26-TBA/Latitude43: 2329, -220
      For the first five races of 2011, team are locked in their owners points position by the 2010 final owners points
      For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(11-21-2010)

    • ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During Homestead Race: NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN's telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com. RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Nov. 21, RacingLive! Homestead will kick off at 1:00 pm/et to coincide with ESPN's telecast of the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com's NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. ESPN.com motorsports writers Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton will be on-site at Homestead to report on the weekend's action and news.

    • NASCAR warns against team orders: NASCAR officials met with owners of the three drivers competing for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship on Sunday morning to make it clear teammates and team orders that could influence the outcome would not be tolerated. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton backed that up in the driver's meeting by saying, "Remember, 'have at it' does have its limits." Sunday's meeting with NASCAR included Joe Gibbs, Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress, whose drivers -- Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick -- are separated by only 46 points heading into the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      Hendrick said NASCAR wanted to make sure there were no influences outside the three drivers involved deciding the title, as there have been in other forms of motorsports. For example, Felipe Massa arrived at this year's Brazilian Grand Prix saying he would give way to Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso if that's what it took to win the Formula One title. "This is a great Chase and they want to let it play out," said Hendrick, who is going for a fifth straight title with Johnson, 15 points behind Hamlin. "That's what everybody wants to do. That was it. It was good to get together, but we've got a lot of respect for each other. Nobody wants to win a championship like that. So we're good."(ESPN)(11-21-2010)

    • Evernham back to Hendrick? Ray Evernham is talking to ESPN about continuing his career as a television analyst, but he's also exploring other options in NASCAR. And he plans to meet with Hendrick about a potential return to the organization where he won three championships as Jeff Gordon's crew chief in the 1990s. "Rick and I just have to meet and discuss things," Evernham said. "I'm interested in a lot of things Rick is doing, on a global basis." Evernham isn't interested in being a crew chief again, and he doesn't sound particularly enthusiastic about the idea of trying to straighten out Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the struggling #88 team. Instead, Evernham hopes to talk to Hendrick about working on big-picture projects related to Hendrick's worldwide business interests. "I want to be a project guy -- on a project, see results, move on," Evernham said.(Associated Press)(11-21-2010)

    • Hornish plans up-in-the-air, could run 1st five races: Roger Penske is still seeking sponsorship for #77-Sam Hornish Jr. for 2011, likely more for a Nationwide Series program than a Sprint Cup program. Penske said he plans to have two Cup teams for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Kurt Busch and two Nationwide teams for Keselowski and another driver next season. He doesn’t have sponsorship for Hornish in Cup but said because the team has owner’s points and would be locked in for the first five races of 2011, Hornish might drive at least those events. “Sam has done a great job for me on the IndyCar side,” Penske said. “We brought him in here and maybe should have brought him up a different way. But we gave him a chance tonight to run. We’ve got a couple of opportunities for him – nothing at this point for a full season. But there is opportunity out there. We’ve got the ability to run in the first five races on the Cup side. So what we’re trying to do is can we mix and match to get somebody in for us for next year. We’ve got to work on it. We’d like to run two cars next year, both on the Cup side and … the Nationwide side. We certainly have the equipment and have the people. I think all of us are looking for the right kind of sponsor. These are people that are interested in the sport and what we need to do is try to close some of these deals we are working on. I’m positive we can.”(SceneDaily)(11-21-2010)

    • Ford wants to race the Mustang: Ford Racing officials hope that Ford’s Sprint Cup car will look like a Mustang and be branded as a Mustang in the near future, Edsel B. Ford II said Saturday morning. The Mustang was introduced this year as Ford’s new car for the Nationwide Series, which introduced the new car for four races in 2010 and for all events in 2011. Currently, Ford teams race the Ford Fusion in Sprint Cup. The most likely scenario for a change would come in 2013, the expected rollout for the second version of the relatively new Cup car. “It helps to have the Mustang in Nationwide, and there are a lot of us who wish we could do it simultaneously in Cup as well,” said Ford, a member of the Ford Motor Company board of directors and the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. “The sooner the better. Let’s be frank: Motorsports enthusiasts are not going to buy Fusions because they see a Fusion win here, are they? It’s not our performance model. Mustang is. To have a Mustang on the track in NASCAR is the right direction. The Nationwide car looks like a Mustang. It meets the criteria.”
      Manufacturers and NASCAR are working on a new version of the current Cup car for 2013, a version that will increase brand identity for manufacturers, much like the new Nationwide car. Ford’s Nationwide car is branded as a Mustang while the Dodge is branded as a Challenger. Chevrolet opted not to put the Camaro in the Nationwide Series because it couldn’t get the look it wanted. Toyota doesn’t have a muscle car and continues to use the Camry nameplate in Nationwide.(SceneDaily)(11-21-2010)

    • December Daytona Tire Test Set: Daytona International Speedway has confirmed with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company officials a December test on Daytona's newly-paved surface. "The latest communication we got from Joie Chitwood at Daytona to our general manager, Stu Grant, was that we'd be set to go on Dec. 15 and 16," Rick Campbell, Goodyear NASCAR project manager, said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It'll be a two-day test and we're in the process of getting the teams notified to make sure they know how it's going to work and what the ground rules are." Goodyear originally had requested to have the test the first week of December but was informed the track wouldn't be ready. Campbell acknowledged that moving the test closer to Christmas might impact teams' ability to participate, but Goodyear was still optimistic. "The later we get, the more of a struggle it'll be to get teams there, because their people have vacation plans and we understand that completely," Campbell said. "We're hoping to get 15 or 20 cars there -- if we don't, we'll do the best we can with what we get."(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2010)
      UPDATE: In what will be one of the most anticipated test sessions in the history of the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway and Goodyear officials have finalized the dates of Dec. 15-16 for a tire test on the new racing surface. The test will be the first time race cars will turn laps on the new asphalt of Daytona International Speedway, which was repaved for only the second time in its history. Drivers who will participate in the test will be announced at a later date. The Goodyear tire test will open to the public with free access to the Oldfield Grandstands through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office. On July 5, Lane Construction began the historic repaving project and used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway with a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Two test sessions have already been scheduled for January – the Roar Before The Rolex 24 on Jan. 7-9 and NASCAR Preseason Thunder with the Sprint Cup Series tams on Jan. 20-22. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP (DIS)(11-21-2010)

    • #29 Over-the-Wall Team Voted Fourth-Quarter Award: The pit crew of the #29 Shell Pennzoil Chevy for Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress Racing has earned fourth-quarter honors in the 2010 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition while on their way to a chance of winning the Sprint Cup. 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. This year, Harvick and the #29 team had three wins, 15 top-fives and 25 top-10's. While Harvick is turning fast laps behind the wheel, crew chief Gil Martin over-the-wall gang has been on their game as well, performing consistent, quick pit stops all year.
      Members of the #29 Shell Pennzoil pit crew include: Dail Long (Front Tire Changer), Terry Spaulding (Front Tire Carrier), Jonathon Billy (Rear Tire Changer), Erik Pringle (Rear Tire Carrier), Carey Wimbish (Jackman), Mike Morrison (Fueler), and Phil Gould (Catch Can Man). The team's pit crew coach is Gil Martin (VMG)(11-21-2010)

    • Petty says RPM will compete in 2011: Stopping short of saying he has financial investors to keep his Sprint Cup organization afloat, Richard Petty said Saturday that Richard Petty Motorsports will compete in 2011. This came a week after the minority owner of RPM said he was in limbo for next year. Employees at RPM will get an indication Monday morning of how the company will move forward. According to a memo, a mandatory 8:00am/et meeting has been called, with instructions for no one to come to work before then. "We're going to make it," Petty said. "That's all I can say now." A source in the Cup garage said RPM, in order to restructure its financial situation, may have to shut its doors for at least a day, release most employees, then re-open. Petty would not confirm that, saying only "nothing's off the table." Regardless, major layoffs will occur as RPM will shrink from four cars to two after this season, with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the only drivers under contract. Petty would not confirm he has found investors to make it, but several sources in the Cup garage said the pieces appear in place. Ford Racing officials met with Petty for a briefing Saturday. Afterward, Ford spokesman Kevin Kennedy said: "It was a good meeting. We're confident it will get worked out.'' Edsel Ford II, a member of Ford's board of directors, said keeping RPM in the fold is paramount. "We've done everything we can,'' he said. "Quite frankly, a lot of their suppliers have done the same."(ESPN)(11-21-2010)

    • Steve Wallace could run the Daytona 500: Steven Wallace is hoping to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at the 2011 Daytona 500. His owner/father Rusty Wallace said, "I'm trying really hard. If I can align with someone who already has points, I'll do it." Wallace, 27, currently competes full time for Rusty Wallace Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He is ninth in the series standings right now. Wallace debuted in the series in 2005 and began racing full time there in 2007. He has 29 top-10 finishes, four of them top fives, as well as two pole positions in the Nationwide ranks.(FoxSports)(11-21-2010)

    • Almirola to get married in December: After Sunday's race, #9-Aric Almirola will turn his attention to a very important date. On Saturday, Dec. 11, just 20 days following the close of the 2010 NASCAR season, Almirola will tie the knot with fiancée Janice Goss in a ceremony attended by close friends and family in Huntersville, N.C. The two first met in 2005 when Almirola ran several NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races for Morgan Dollar Motorsports and Goss' dad, Randy, served as crew chief for the team. They began dating shortly thereafter and were engaged to be married in November 2009.(RPM)(11-21-2010)


      News from November 20, 2010

    • Race Coverage of the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 21, 2010.
      Television (TV): ESPN at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et on ESPN2; 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:
      ESPN2, Monday, November 22 at 3:30am/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 24 at 2:30pm/et

    • NASCAR Season Finale Live on ESPN: NASCAR's 36-race season comes to a close in South Florida this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 21. ESPN will have a live telecast of the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the close championship battle involving Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick is decided.
      NASCAR Countdown airs at 12:00pm/et on ESPN2 with the race telecast on ESPN at 1:00pm/et. The green flag is scheduled for 1:15pm/et. Also from Homestead, NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying will air on ESPN2 on Friday, Nov. 19, at 3:00pm/et. Practice sessions air Friday at 11:30am/et and Saturday at 3:00pm/et. ESPN2's season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series comes to a close at Homestead with a telecast of Saturday's Ford 300. NASCAR Countdown airs at 4:00pm/et.
      Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
      NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Rusty Wallace, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
      Bestwick also hosts SportsCenter at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, a half-hour special that will set up the final race with news, interviews and analysis. The program airs on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 pm/et on ESPN2. Wallace, Evernham and Daugherty will provide analysis, with reporters Nicole Briscoe, Mike Massaro and Marty Smith.(ESPN)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Homestead: The selections of pit stalls for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #83-Kasey Kahne chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 4, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #1-McMurray, who starts 3rd took the 14th 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 7th.
      To see where the three Chase drivers and all the other drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-20-2010)

    • ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During Homestead Race: NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN's telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com. RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Nov. 21, RacingLive! Homestead will kick off at 1:00 pm/et to coincide with ESPN's telecast of the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com's NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. ESPN.com motorsports writers Ed Hinton, Terry Blount and David Newton will be on-site at Homestead to report on the weekend's action and news.

    • Happy Hour practice for the FORD 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is being run, after 55 of 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
      #31-Burton 169.545
      #83-Kahne 169.337
      #56-Truex Jr., 169.306
      #11-Hamlin 169.284
      #1-McMurray 169.194
      slowest: #7-Conway 163.875 and #64-Cassill 164.119.
      no speed listed for #66-Bliss
      Top 3 Chasers:
      #11-Hamlin 4th
      #48-Johnson 22nd
      #29-Harvick 29th
      incident: #77-Hornish Jr. spun and hit the wall, doing damage to the front and right rear, the team will go to a backup car.
      See fastest practice speeds, average speeds, 10 lap averages, laps run on the Homestead Practice Speeds Page(11-20-2010)

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Clinch Scenarios Set For Homestead: With only 15 points separating the top two drivers, the closest championship in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's seven-year history won't be won easily.
      The only way points leader #11-Denny Hamlin can guarantee a clinch of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship is by either finishing second while leading the most laps or winning next Sunday's season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson, in second, and #29-Kevin Harvick, in third, are the only other drivers still eligible to win the 2010 title. Harvick trails Hamlin by 46 points.
      If Johnson wins and leads the most laps, nothing Hamlin or Harvick can do to win the championship.
      If Harvick wins and leads the most laps, #11-Hamlin would have to finish 4th or worse and #48-Johnson would have to finish 7th or worse and Harvick would win the Championship.
      Hamlin's 15-point lead is the closest margin between first and second in Chase history, bettering the 18-point difference Kurt Busch held over Johnson in 2004.(NASCAR)

    • Saturday's 1st practice for the FORD 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
      #18-Busch 171.838
      #31-Burton 171.587
      #24-Gordon 171.499
      #16-Biffle 171.184
      #5-Martin 170.827
      Top 3 Chasers:
      #11-Hamlin 6th
      #48-Johnson 11th
      #29-Harvick 19th
      slowest: #7-Conway 163.929 and #66-Bliss 165.001.
      incident: #78-Smith slapped the wall early in practice, team is working to fix the car. #18-Busch scraped the right sidee of the car on the wall, but just slight cosmetic damage.
      See fastest practice speeds, average speeds, 10 lap averages, laps run on the Homestead Practice Speeds Page(11-20-2010)

    • Evernham no longer legally bound to RPM: Famed crew chief and ESPN analyst Ray Evernham is free to return to the competition side of the Sprint Cup Series. Evernham said Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway that he no longer is legally bound to the exclusivity deal at financially strapped Richard Petty Motorsports that kept him from entertaining offers from other organizations. He said he will entertain offers of being a consultant, making it clear he does not want to return full-time. "Ray Evernham, for the first time coming into the final race of a NASCAR season, does not have a complete direction for next year,'' Evernham said. "Obviously, I have been buried under a mire of legal paperwork, caught up in something I don't really want to be involved in. But it is what it is. I'm probably as apprehensive or a little bit nervous about my future as Ray Evernham has been. I am free and clear according to my people now. Basically, every contract I've had has been breached in every shape or form.'' Evernham sold majority interest in Evernham Motorsports in 2007 to George Gillett. That organization later merged with Petty Enterprises to become Richard Petty Motorsports, but it kept Evernham in the loop as a consultant and would not allow him to work with other teams. Evernham said he has not brought legal action against Gillett for outstanding money owed him in the original transaction, but he has hired attorneys that have plans in place to do so, if necessary. "Honestly, the thing before you file a lawsuit, you have to make sure there is something to get,'' he said. Evernham isn't sure whether he'll remain with ESPN in 2011 or be with a race organization, or both. There has been speculation that he could return to Hendrick Motorsports, where he helped Jeff Gordon win three of his four titles and help turn around the struggling Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I love my ESPN job and the people I work with,'' Evernham said. "So we're talking about that. We haven't talked about specifics. I haven't made any decisions because I haven't had enough time to talk about it.''(ESPN.com)(11-20-2010)

    • Prism Motorsports to shut down operations UPDATE maybe not? Prism Motorsports, owned by Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey, that field the #66 Toyota [all the races] and the #55 Toyota [34 races], will shut down operations after the race in Homestead. The team is only running one car, the #66 at Homestead, with Mike Bliss as the driver. Crew chief Zach McGowan and the crew members are looking for oppurtunities in 2011.(11-18-2010)
      UPDATE: Team owner Randy Humphrey says Prism Motorsports is not closing and are working on their 2011 plans.(11-20-2010)

    • Looks like some changes coming to the Chase: NASCAR likely will make tweaks to the Chase format for next season, although probably not changes as extensive as initially assumed when chairman Brian France said in July that the governing body was looking at ways to create a Game 7 atmosphere. Officials likely will expand the playoff field from 12 to 15 and reset the points with two or three races remaining to guarantee there is another drama-filled finish such as the one we have going into Sunday's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "What's really clear to me is when you put drivers in a position where there's a lot on the line, and they just can't have a good position and they actually have got to go out and win or lead laps or compete high, they do it," France said. "You're seeing that the last several weeks … and I bet that's the case on Sunday. So that tells us that the more we can do, to have incentives -- an incentive basis and decide this championship, that puts it all on the line more often -- that's what we need to be thinking about." France will tell you creating this drama is "exactly what drivers want," even though Clint Bowyer started off Friday's media gatherings by saying, "I don't think they need to change the Chase." France will tell you it's what members of NASCAR's fan council and fans in general want. When it was suggested that there are fans who not only don't want to see changes but would like to see the Chase eliminated, France scoffed. "You met somebody that's telling you that?" he asked. Well, yeah. Hundreds, if not thousands. Just read some of the comments from [ESPN's] readers. "OK," France said. "Well, look, I mentioned to you that every -- almost every league and tournament -- is taking a look at their playoff or format style," France said. "Some will do a little; some will do nothing at all; and some might do something more drastic. And so I don't know what we are going to do, if anything."
      France doesn't want to announce any changes that will detract from this race. But change is coming. It could come by the season-ending banquet in Las Vegas. The only change [drivers] seem to want is a rotating schedule for the final 10 races. That is being seriously looked at for 2012 and beyond.(in part from ESPN)
      AND Key points from France's 30-minute Meet the Press here Friday:
      -- No decision has been made on what tweaks to make to the championship points system.
      -- He is planning shorter Saturday Nationwide races, coupled with some cost-cutting rules migrating up from the Truck series, such as using engines more than one race.
      -- He likes ESPN's production package and on-air talent, but he is reconsidering the starting times of Sunday races.(MikeMulhern.net)(11-20-2010)

    • Volkswagen to NASCAR? UPDATE: The latest entry into America's most popular motorsports series could very well be the first ever from Germany. According to Matthias Muller, the newly appointed CEO of Porsche, Volkswagen Group -- his employer's parent company -- is considering entering NASCAR. Should it follow through, Volkswagen would be just the second foreign automaker to participate [full-time] in NASCAR. Toyota was first, entering the competition in 2007 [actually Jaguar and others have run a few races, with Jaguar winning a race. Volkswagen actually ran one race in 1953]. The German automaker will reportedly begin discussions with NASCAR officials once the current season ends in late November.(Motortrend)(10-1-2010)
      UPDATE: A NASCAR official confirmed the sanctioning body has a meeting scheduled with Volkswagen in January. While Volkswagen competition representative Hans-Joachim Stuck emphatically denied any interest in American stock cars at Homestead one year ago, in a recent interview with Financial Times Deutschland the former racer discussed possibly taking the brand to Formula One and NASCAR. Reports earlier this month confirmed VW wouldn't pursue F1 after all. When VW unveiled its new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in September, Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management at Volkwagen AG, announced to 700-plus dealers from the U.S. and Canada that he aspired to take his brand "to the top of the auto industry by 2018." Certainly, NASCAR's "marketing (platform)" could be the perfect vehicle to accomplish that task. VW holds the distinction of being the largest automaker in Europe. In the U.S., however, recent tallies from October show VW of America only holding a 2.1 market share of cars sold, according to the Wall Street Journal.(FoxSports)(11-20-2010)

    • Latest on possible crew chief change for Dale Jr.: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. says it's not a no-brainer that he gets a new crew chief before the 2011 season and that no one person is responsible for this season's failures. "I'm not certain what's going to happen," Earnhardt Jr. said after Friday's qualifying for the season finale at Homestead. Earnhardt is 19th in points, having missed the Chase for the second straight year and third time in the past four seasons. He has only three top-5s and eight top-10s a year after recording a career-worst two top-5s and five top-10s. Earnhardt has only one win since Lance McGrew was named his crew chief in the middle of 2008, at Michigan. He is mired in a career-worst 92-race losing streak. But Earnhardt believes this season has been better than last year's which he called the worst of his career before this race. He's just not sure what has to happen to turn things around. "It's pretty obvious we aren't very good and we need to do some things to get better,'' Earnhardt said. "It's obvious that's where we are. I don't think it needs to be over-analyzed or anything like that.'' Earnhardt said he asked team owner Rick Hendrick to let the season end before making a decision on any potential changes to his team. Even then, Earnhardt doesn't know how much input he'll personally give. "I've dove into those deals headfirst in the past,'' Earnhardt said. "I'm not doing it this time. I obviously haven't had too good of an effect on the last couple of changes I've made. Maybe I'm not the person to be in there making those kinds of decisions. I don't want to have any effect on whatever that decision is. I've enjoyed working with Lance. I've enjoyed working with this team. We try really hard. They try really hard. No one person has failed this season.''(ESPN)(11-20-2010)

    • What's up with the #26 team? The future of Latitude 43 Motorsports [#26 Air Guard Ford] remains a mystery for 2011. Despite a long list of financial problems, with several former drivers and crewmen insisting they haven't been paid, a source within the team says they're "in talks" with potential investors and companies about returning for next season. Using seven drivers in 2010 [Said, David Stremme, Jeff Green, Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott, J.J. Yeley, Carpentier], the team posted just one top-10 finish, with Boris Said in Watkins Glen and dropped out of the top 35 in owner points early in the season. No word on who would drive the car if it continues on; as noted above, Patrick Carpentier failed to qualify Friday to end their season two days early (Frontstretch)(11-20-2010)

    • Kahne to have surgery on his knees UPDATE: Kasey Kahne will be having surgery on both knees in the days following this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is expecting to be sidelined about six weeks, the driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota told FanHouse Wednesday. Kahne characterized the operation as "no big deal" and said doctors were just going to clean up the area surrounding the knees. He said he opted to have both knees worked on at once because it was "either six weeks this way, or 12 weeks doing it one after the other.'' While this means Kahne won't be participating in offseason testing -- including the Jan. 20-22 tire test at the newly paved Daytona International Speedway -- he fully expects to be behind the wheel of his Red Bull Racing Toyota in time for the Feb. 20 season-opening Daytona 500.(Motorsports FanHouse)(11-18-2010)
      UPDATE: from Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes, Kasey Kahne:
      Q) How are your knees and what is the nature of your off-season surgery?
      Kahne: "The knees are fine. What happened is I was born with what I have, both knees, and the older I get, the more I stay active and run and play basketball and work out and things like that, it's inflamed it and it's just rubbing, I guess, a hole in my kneecaps. So, it's just rubbing against each other and getting to where it's no fun. When I get out of the car, a lot of times I limp around. When I walk around a lot -- if I go to Vegas and walk for a day, I can't walk the next day. It's just a pain, is all it is. It's not bad by no means. It's very simple surgery that we'll get out of the way and be ready to go by January 1. Hopefully, I'll go to the Chili Bowl and be good to go."
      Q) When are you going to have the surgery on your knees and do you know how long is the recovery period?
      Kahne: "Tuesday morning at 5:30 AM and they say, I think, 35 minutes per knee. Get them done, go home, lay on the couch most of the day. By Thursday I think I will be pretty good so I will be able to eat full on at Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it. I think it will take maybe six weeks and then they will be like 100 percent or close to it."(Toyota)(11-20-2010)

    • Scott Speed still has no idea of 2011 plans: #82-Scott Speed's future remains a mystery at Red Bull after Sunday's race. Kasey Kahne joins the team and provided Brian Vickers has no issues after going off blood thinners, that puts him in the other Red Bull car and Red Bull has said that it will have only two cars next year. So what about Speed? "I haven't honestly been told very much,'' Speed said. "I'm under contract with Red Bull, so we'll see what happens with that. I'm not planning anything. There's nothing to plan. I plan to run in a Red Bull car in Daytona and if it's not that, then I have absolutely no idea what it even could be.'' Asked if he'd mind running in the Nationwide Series, Speed said: "There's no question that I think I'm ready for what we're doing in Cup. I proved that at the beginning of this year. When good cars have been underneath us, we've been fast. It's certainlny took the first full year. The first full year I think we went in a little bit too early but as of this year I felt where I've developed as a driver and where I'm at at the moment is a really good level.''(Virginian Pilot)(11-20-2010)

    • Red Bull layoffs? UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Red Bull Racing laid off a number of crewmembers from its #82 Toyota team Wednesday, in part to clear the way for new personnel expected to join Kasey Kahne when he drives the car full-time in 2011. There is no immediate word on how many crewmen were let go, but sources say crewchief Ryan Pemberton remains with the team. Kenny Francis will serve as crewchief for the team next season.(Sirius Speedway)(11-18-2010)
      UPDATE: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge is out at Red Bull Racing, along with most of the men on the #83 NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Elledge, 40, joined Red Bull a little more than two seasons ago. Elledge said he's "not sure yet" what his plans are for next season. With the understanding that Kasey Kahne was joining the organization and bringing his entourage to the team for 2011, Elledge expected he would be on the way out. He did not have a contract beyond this year.(FoxSports)(11-20-2010)

    • TRG gets sponsor for Homestead: Anderson's Maple Syrup has signed on as the primary sponsor of the TRG Motorsports #71 Anderson's Maple Syrup Chevy at Homestead. Andy Lally will drive the maple sweetened Chevy this weekend. Lally is making his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup start of the season with the team. Steve Anderson, president, of Cumberland, Wisconsin's Anderson's Maple Syrup likes the prospects of being a part of NASCAR's championship weekend. Team owner, Kevin Buckler, is happy to have Anderson's Maple Syrup continue their program with the team. "We have a great relationship with everyone at Anderson's Maple Syrup," Buckler said. "It is fitting that we close-out the season with them as the primary sponsor on the car. Steve Anderson and his group understand the marketing power of motorsports and with the Chase for the Championship the closest ever, there will be a lot of eyes on the race this weekend." TRG would also like to welcome the Lipman Family Farms (LFC) to the #71 this weekend. The Lipman Family Company is a third generation, vertically integrated supplier with breeding, farming, packing and sales operations. TRG also appreciates the support from TaxSlayer.com, Savory Thymes and Adobe Road Winery.(TRG Motorsports)(11-20-2010)
      AND CustomPak joins TRG Motorsports as an associate sponsor on the #71 Anderson's Maple Syrup Chevy at Homestead. Lipman Family Companies, including Custom Pak is a proud supplier of Florida tomatoes including the Vintage Ripe and Cherry Berries brands.(TRG Motorsports)(11-20-2010)

    • December Daytona Tire Test Set: Daytona International Speedway has confirmed with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company officials a December test on Daytona's newly-paved surface. "The latest communication we got from Joie Chitwood at Daytona to our general manager, Stu Grant, was that we'd be set to go on Dec. 15 and 16," Rick Campbell, Goodyear NASCAR project manager, said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It'll be a two-day test and we're in the process of getting the teams notified to make sure they know how it's going to work and what the ground rules are." Goodyear originally had requested to have the test the first week of December but was informed the track wouldn't be ready. Campbell acknowledged that moving the test closer to Christmas might impact teams' ability to participate, but Goodyear was still optimistic. "The later we get, the more of a struggle it'll be to get teams there, because their people have vacation plans and we understand that completely," Campbell said. "We're hoping to get 15 or 20 cars there -- if we don't, we'll do the best we can with what we get."(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2010)

    • Nemechek Shows Support for B.R.A.K.E.S./EAA Young Eagles: Joe Nemechek and NEMCO Motorsports are showing support for B.R.A.K.E.S., and the nonprofit's mission of promoting safe teen driving, this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The charity's logo will be featured on both the #87 HeatRedefined.com Sprint Cup Series Toyota and the #87 Gator.com Nationwide Series car. B.R.A.K.E.S., which stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, was started in 2008 by NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert when he lost his two sons in a tragic car accident. The charity aims to prevent teen driving injuries and deaths by training and educating teen drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving. For the final race of the 2010 season at Miami-Homestead Nemechek's #87 Gator.com Nationwide Series car will be powered by a High Energy Engine provided by Doug Herbert and his company Herbert Performance Parts.
      AND The EAA Young Eagles program, which is already the largest youth aviation education program in history, is reaching an even higher profile this weekend as a featured sponsor on Joe Nemechek's entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Homestead. The NEMCO Motorsports entries in the season-ending Ford 300 Nationwide Series race and the Ford 400 Sprint Cup series event carry the logo of the Experimental Aircraft Association's youth program, which has introduced aviation through free flights for more than 1.6 million young people since its founding in 1992. The sponsorship was donated by Nemechek for the annual "Gathering of Eagles" fundraiser auction during the EAA AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh, Wis., last July. Florida businessman and EAA supporter Bill Bachschmidt won the bidding and donated the race sponsorship to Young Eagles.(NEMCO)(11-20-2010)

    • Special guest in the pits for the #19: Brigadier General Balan R. Ayyar, will be on hand to cheer on the #19 Stanley Racing team this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Brig. Gen. Ayyar is the Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He is responsible for a broad range of accession programs to meet Air Force goals and requirements. The Air Force Recruiting Service comprises more than 2,600 Airmen and civilians in more than 1,200 recruiting offices across the United States and abroad (RPM)(11-20-2010)

    • Newman loses transmission in an odd way: #39-Ryan Newman qualified 23rd for the Ford 400, but he won't know what getting to run in the first 20 minutes of Friday's only Sprint Cup practice would mean until race day, because thanks to an apparent miscommunication, Newman broke the transmission in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy while still in the garage and missed almost the first quarter of practice. The incident occurred when about half a dozen cars, including Newman's, were misdirected to the wrong gate to get from the Sprint Cup garage to pit road. Newman declined to discuss the issue, but his crew chief, Tony Gibson, explained. "When the race track sends everybody out, normally that gate [at the start/finish end of the garage] is open," Gibson said. "Well, they had it blocked, so they were shipping everybody down between the garages [to a gate further up the back of pit road], where they were lined up. But then they locked that gate and made us go back [through the garage to the original gate]."
      Greg Biffle explained there were no NASCAR officials at the usual gate when he got there, and a track security guard waved him up to the other gate, where he lined up behind Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick and in front of Newman. A NASCAR official then let McMurray onto pit road but stopped Harvick. Biffle drove around Harvick and did a "three-point turn" to make the right-hand shift into the opening under the pit suites to get back into the garage -- and back in line for practice. Harvick then put his car into reverse and abruptly backed up, almost hitting Newman, who had started to pull up behind him. "Trying to get everybody to come around and through that hole wasn't going to happen," Gibson said. "Guys were backing-up into other guys, so we put it in reverse to back-up in a hurry to keep Harvick from hitting us and it broke the transmission. We don't use reverse a lot and it's a lot thinner than our primary gears." Newman immediately took his car to its garage stall, where the crew spent about the first 20 minutes of practice changing the transmission. However, the lower qualifying position aside, Newman will not be penalized for the transmission change -- which, if it occurred at the wrong point of the weekend, would have sent his car to the rear for the start. "NASCAR was good about it, [Sprint Cup director John] Darby and them, and they let us change it without a penalty," Gibson said. "Darby said it wouldn't have been a penalty because it was before practice, but he said under the circumstances it was their fault -- not NASCAR but the race track kind of screwed up -- so NASCAR was nice enough to work with us."(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2010)

    • Homestead Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Homestead this weekend will run the same Goodyear tire codes, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . while this is the first time any of these teams will be running this right-side tire code, teams in all three series have run this left-side code three times already this season -- twice at Texas and once at Chicagoland . . . this is a new tire set-up for Homestead . . . compared to what was run at the South Florida track last season, this left-side tire features compound, construction and mold shape changes to give teams more grip; while this right-side tire features compound and construction changes for improved wear and to bring it into line with what has been run at other mile-and-a-half tracks this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Homestead . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 52-55 laps, based on fuel mileage. For tire codes, pressures and more, see the Homestead Race Info page - Goodyear section.(11-20-2010)


      News from November 19, 2010

    • Kahne wins pole at Homestead: #83-Kasey Kahne won the Coors Pole for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 176.904mph for his 4th pole of 2010 and 20th of his career.
      #99-Edwards will start 2nd followed by #1-McMurray, #21-Elliott, #43-Allmendinger, #48-Johnson, #00-Reutimann, #5-Martin, #6-Ragan and #78-Smith.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Elliott, #36-Yeley, #87-Nemechek, #66-Bliss, #09-Labonte, #13-Mears, #38-Gilliland and #64-Cassill.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #46-McDowell and #26-Carpentier.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Homestead Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (11-19-2010)

    • Starting Spots for the Chase drivers at Texas:
      Only four of the 12 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10 for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the starting spots for the 12 chasers:
      [by current points standings]:
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin starts, 37th 2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 6th
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 28th
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 2nd
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 13th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 11th
      7) #18-Kyle Busch, 33rd
      8) #16-Greg Biffle, 27th
      9) #14-Tony Stewart, 31st
      10) #2-Kurt Busch, 15th
      11) #33-Clint Bowyer, 17th
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 14th
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-19-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Homestead:
      #83-Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the FORD 400 with a lap of 30.525 seconds, 176.904 mph.
      This is his 20th pole in 252 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fourth pole and 17th top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his second pole in seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his 15th top-10 start of 2010 and his fourth in seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      #1-Jamie McMurray (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 15th in 36 races this season.
      #7-Kevin Conway (42nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-19-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 19, 2010 at 3:10pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 3:00pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none

    • Qualifying Order for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami 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 #82-Speed.
      The three drivers going for the Championship qualify as follows:
      #11-Hamlin 30th; #48-Johnson 14th; #29-Harvick 17th
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #16-Biffle.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #38-Blaney with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #87-Nemechek.
      See the full qualifying order on the Homestead Qualifying Page.(11-19-2010)

    • Friday practice for the FORD 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
      #99-Edwards 175.838
      #18-Busch 175.075
      #48-Johnson 175.058
      #17-Kenseth 175.001
      #1- McMurray 174.989
      #11-Hamlin was 30th fastest
      #29-Harvick was 31st fastest
      slowest: #26-Carpentier. 168.708 and #34-Kvapil 169.099
      incident: #16-Biffle slapped the wall hard and the team is pulling out the backup car.
      See fastest practice speeds, average speeds, 10 lap averages, laps run on the Homestead Practice Speeds Page(11-19-2010)

    • Homestead practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #36-J.J. Yeley, 25th
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 27th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 28th
      #66-Mike Bliss, 32nd
      #09-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 35th
      #46-Michael McDowell, 37th
      #13-Casey Mears, 39th
      #64-Landon Cassill, 40th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #38-Dave Blaney, 42nd
      #26-Patrick Carpentier, 45th
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Gillett at Homestead, refuses to talk: Foster Gillett appeared at a NASCAR track for the first time since financial problems began consuming his team. As he climbed from the top of the #19 Richard Petty Motorsports hauler, Gillett, the managing partner of the company his father, George Gillett, purchased in August 2007, refused to answer questions that have been on the minds of many — from suppliers to whom RPM owes money to drivers who want to know what their situations are for next year. When asked where have you been, Gillett refused to answer. When asked if his family still had majority interest of Richard Petty Motorsports, Gillett refused to answer.
      The latest scenario in the garage has RPM closing the doors on Monday and reopening under a newly founded company with two teams — the #43 and #9 — and the ability to rehire select employees from the existing rosters and some fresh faces. A.J. Allmendinger is signed to drive the #43, and Marcos Ambrose will take over the #9. Stanley, which is currently the sponsor on the #19 of Elliott Sadler, has signed on to return next year. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #43, has not yet.
      RPM has three teams in the top 25 in the points standings, but sources say that #98-Paul Menard, who is joining Richard Childress Racing in 2011 [running the #27 at RCR], has commandeered his points for next year. That means his Childress team will be exempt from having to qualify for the first six events next year.(in part from FoxSports)(11-19-2010)

    • Judge orders Robby Gordon not to use logo: A court order granting an injunction against #7-Robby Gordon for using the logo he developed for his Speed Energy drink could cost him millions of dollars at a time when he’s trying to raise money to continue his Sprint Cup team. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford issued an injunction Thursday in favor of Specialized Bicycle Components, which claimed that Gordon’s “S” logo for his drink would create confusion with the company’s “S” logo. The injunction will keep Gordon from selling product that features logo and from using the logo on his race cars, including his #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Sprint Cup Toyota. The injunction, which was issued three days after a hearing Monday in federal court in Santa Ana. Calif., did not specify when the logos must be removed or when products with those logos must be removed from the marketplace. According to the court filings, Gordon had more than 2.4 million cans of the energy drink produced with the Speed logo with nearly 1.2 million ready for sale. The company is committed to sell more than 1.8 million cans through already negotiated distribution agreements, according to court filings. The one-time production costs for those cans is more than $1.1 million. The cans cannot be relabled and it would take at least 90 days to create a new logo and make new cans, according to Gordon’s court filings. By putting the Speed logo on his car for 10 races, the value of that sponsorship has been worth $2.25 million, according to court filings. Gordon had argued that his “S” logo was different from the Specialized logo, and that it should be allowed because the bicycle business is different than the energy drink business and racing business. The judge didn’t agree with Gordon.(in part from the SceneDaily)(11-19-2010)

    • By the numbers at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      1 – fewest ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the previous 11 Sprint Cup races at Homestead-Miami Speedway (First Race – 11/14/99)
      2 drivers have more than one win at HMS (Greg Biffle – 3, Tony Stewart – 2)
      2 of the 11 Sprint Cup races at HMS have been won from the pole, four from the front row
      3 – fewest ServiceMaster Clean cautions in a Sprint Cup race this season (Richmond, 9/11/10)
      3 of the 12 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup have yet to win in 2010 (Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth)
      5 – number of drivers that have competed in all 11 races at HMS (Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte)
      5 of the last 6 Sprint Cup races at HMS have been won by a Ford driver
      7 of the 35 Sprint Cup races this season have been extended beyond the scheduled distance following a late ServiceMaster Clean caution
      8 – number of ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers scheduled for service at HMS
      8 of the 11 Sprint Cup races at HMS have been won from a top-10 starting spot
      14 – most ServiceMaster Clean cautions for a Sprint Cup race at HMS (11/21/04)
      13 different Sprint Cup race winners in 2010 (Denny Hamlin leads with eight wins)
      15 –most ServiceMaster Clean cautions in a Sprint Cup race this season (Martinsville, 10/24/10)
      18 different Sprint Cup pole winners in 2010
      105 minutes – approximate time it takes for the ServiceMaster Clean jets to dry the 1.5-mile HMS track
      5 of the 35 Sprint Cup races this season have had 10 or more ServiceMaster Clean cautions; 13 of 35 races last year had 10 or more cautions
      135 of 255 ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the first 35 Sprint Cup races this season were for accidents, 47 for debris and 36 for spins
      255 ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the first 35 Sprint Cup events this season; 298 after 35 races last year
      1,284 of 10,511 laps completed in the first 35 Sprint Cup races this year have been under a ServiceMaster Clean caution; 1,416 OF 8,627 after 35 races last year.(ServiceMaster Clean)(11-19-2010)

    • Some Spotters on the move: Silly season is just starting for NASCAR spotters.
      Keith Barnwell goes from #1-Jamie McMurray to spotting for #56-Martin Truex Jr.
      Lorin Ranier goes from the #6 Ford of David Ragan to the #1 team and McMurray.
      Brett Griffin, fomerly Elliott Sadler's sponsor on the #19 RPM team that will close, replaces Rocky Ryan as the spotter for the #31
      Chevy of Jeff Burton and is expected to continue his spotter duties with Elliott Sadler in the Nationwide Series.
      Rocky Ryan could be a possible replacement for Ranier on the #6 car with David Ragan.
      Kevin Hamlin started spotting for #33-Clint Bowyer at Texas in November.(FoxSports)(11-19-2010)

    • NASCAR Season Finale Live on ESPN: NASCAR’s 36-race season comes to a close in South Florida this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 21. ESPN will have a live telecast of the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the close championship battle involving Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick is decided.
      NASCAR Countdown airs at 12:00pm/et on ESPN2 with the race telecast on ESPN at 1:00pm/et. The green flag is scheduled for 1:15pm/et. Also from Homestead, NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying will air on ESPN2 on Friday, Nov. 19, at 3:00pm/et. Practice sessions air Friday at 11:30am/et and Saturday at 3:00pm/et. ESPN2’s season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series comes to a close at Homestead with a telecast of Saturday’s Ford 300. NASCAR Countdown airs at 4:00pm/et.
      Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
      NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Rusty Wallace, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
      Bestwick also hosts SportsCenter at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, a half-hour special that will set up the final race with news, interviews and analysis. The program airs on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 pm/et on ESPN2. Wallace, Evernham and Daugherty will provide analysis, with reporters Nicole Briscoe, Mike Massaro and Marty Smith.(ESPN)

    • Chase stats heading into final race: #11-Denny Hamlin's 15-point margin over #48-Jimmie Johnson is the thinnest in seven years of the Chase. Also, this is the first year since 2006 that more than one challenger has had a mathematical chance in the last race. Four challengers had a chance in 2004 and 2006. #29-Kevin Harvick's 46-point deficit for third place is the second smallest in history, bettered only in 2004 when Jeff Gordon trailed leader Kurt Busch by only 21 entering Homestead.
      Denny Hamlin's 1402 points scored in nine races ranks fourth in seven Chases. Jimmie Johnson's torrid 1521-point pace in 2007 ranks as the best and Johnson's 1287 in 2006 is the lowest point total after nine as a leader.
      Since Ford won the first Chase in 2004, Chevrolet has reeled off six straight titles. The bowtie brigade has two entries in contention, but Toyota leads by 15 with a great shot at its first Cup championship.
      Denny Hamlin has finished ahead of Jimmie Johnson in four straight Chase finales at Homestead. It should be noted, however, that Johnson was protecting the title lead in each of thos e races and was pursuing a conservative race strategy. Hamlin won the 2009 Homestead race, but was out of mathematical contention entering the race. If Denny Hamlin loses the title at Homestead, it would be the first time that has happened, but the margin has never been this close and Kurt Busch won by only 8 points in 2004.
      See race-by-race, all chase standings after 9 races and more on Chase Stats after Phoenix page and see history of the Chase, classics points systems each year and more on the Chase Rules and History page.(11-19-2010)

    • Motorsports 2011: Somewhat outlandish and always energetic NASCAR Nationwide racer and SPEED television personality Kenny Wallace is scheduled to be greeting fans and signing autographs at the Motorsports 2011 Presented by SEF Race Car and Trade Show on Saturday, January 22. Wallace will do a full autograph session along with a session at the Coastal 181 display area where he will be signing copies of his “Inside Herman’s World” book.
      David Pearson is scheduled to be signing autographs on Saturday, Jan. 22nd, 2011 at the show. Additional announcements regarding appearances by national, regional and local racers and personalities will be made as the show dates, January 21-23, draw closer.
      Close to 250 motor sports vehicles of all types will be on display during the weekend. Motorsports 2011 Presented by SEF Small Engine Fuels is a Race Car and Trade Show filling close to 250,000 square feet of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. The show includes appearances by popular NASCAR racers and other national motor sports personalities, regional and local racers along with more than 250 motorsports vehicles on display. The show, offering just about everything imaginable in motor sports, opens on Friday, January 21 and runs through Sunday, January 23. The official show website located at www.aarn.com offers up-to-date information on the show. Additional information is available at (609) 888-3618. Info about the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at phillyexpocenter.com.

    • Atlantic City Indoor Race 2011: The thrill of live auto racing will return to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ when Len Sammons Motorsports Productions presents the 9th Annual “Gambler’s Classic” for the Three Quarter Midgets/600cc Micro-Sprints. Tickets went on sale Wednesday, August 25, 2010 for the January 28th & 29th, 2011 event. More info at aarn.com and the Boardwalk Hall site.(11-19-2010)


      News from November 18, 2010

    • NASCAR Now To Originate from Homestead: ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will originate from Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASCAR season finale for episodes airing Thursday through Sunday of this week. A half-hour program hosted by Allen Bestwick airs Thursday, Nov. 18, at 4:00 pm/et from the ESPN Pit Studio inside the speedway. Bestwick then hosts a program airing at 2:30 pm/et on Friday and another airing Saturday at 1:30 am/et (late Friday night).
      NASCAR Now will surround Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead with two episodes originating from the speedway. The one-hour weekend edition hosted by Nicole Briscoe airs at 9:00 am/et with a preview of that day's race, while the weekend wrap-up edition hosted by Bestwick airs that night at 10:00pm/et. Briscoe, Mike Massaro and Marty Smith will be reporters at Homestead.(ESPN)

    • Congrats: #39-Ryan Newman twittered: "We have a little baby girl! Mom and baby are both doing great! Our beautiful baby girl is named Brooklyn Sage Newman!"(11-18-2010)

    • Prism Motorsports to shut down operations: Prism Motorsports, owned by Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey, that field the #66 Toyota [all the races] and the #55 Toyota [34 races], will shut down operations after the race in Homestead. The team is only running one car, the #66 at Homestead, with Mike Bliss as the driver. Crew chief Zach McGowan and the crew members are looking for oppurtunities in 2011.(11-18-2010)

    • Media member looking for shoulder bag: Jerry Bonkowski, member of the NASCAR media, has a shoulder bag disappear in the media center Sunday after the Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Inside the bag was: driver's license, credit cards, checkbooks and over $1,200 earned selling copies of his book, "Trading Paint - 101 Great NASCAR Debates", during the weekend. More info at jerrybonkowski.com.(11-18-2010)

    • RPM on road to Homestead: After a brief delay Wednesday at Roush Fenway Racing, which supplies Richard Petty Motorsports with its NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, the team is on the road to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The organization has faced financial struggles in recent weeks and was delayed transporting its cars from the race at Texas to last week's race at Phoenix International Raceway because of those (FoxSports)(11-18-2010)

    • Kahne to have surgery on his knees: Kasey Kahne will be having surgery on both knees in the days following this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is expecting to be sidelined about six weeks, the driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota told FanHouse Wednesday. Kahne characterized the operation as "no big deal" and said doctors were just going to clean up the area surrounding the knees. He said he opted to have both knees worked on at once because it was "either six weeks this way, or 12 weeks doing it one after the other.'' While this means Kahne won't be participating in offseason testing -- including the Jan. 20-22 tire test at the newly paved Daytona International Speedway -- he fully expects to be behind the wheel of his Red Bull Racing Toyota in time for the Feb. 20 season-opening Daytona 500.(Motorsports FanHouse)(11-18-2010)

    • NASCAR hosting racing youth from Bahrain, Qatar UPDATE: NASCAR is hosting young people from Bahrain and Qatar as part of a diplomatic program of the U.S. State Department. The State Department said Friday that 11 young adults involved in auto racing would travel to Charlotte, N.C., and Miami Nov. 15-23. They are scheduled to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame and to attend races. The trip is sponsored by SportsUnited, a State Department exchange program that brings foreign athletes to the United States (Associated Press)(11-13-2010)
      UPDATE: On Tuesday, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates hosted a group of foreign racing engineers and motorsports-related students from Bahrain and Qatar at its Concord, NC race shop. As guests of the U.S. State Department, the students were in the country through SportsUnited. They visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Revolution Racing prior to the visit to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. They also will be attending this weekend's NACAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While at the shop the group was treated to a discussion with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing personnel followed by a tour of the 183,000 square foot facility home to the #1 and #42 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. SportsUnited is an international sports programming initiative designed to help start a dialogue at the grassroots level with non-elite boys and girls ages 7-17. The programs aid youth in discovering how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom. Foreign participants are given an opportunity to establish links with U.S. sports professionals and exposure to American life and culture. Americans learn about foreign cultures and the challenges young people from overseas face today.(EGR)(11-18-2010)

    • Newman still on baby watch: #39-Ryan Newman is soon to become a first-time father. His wife Krisse is due shortly, and in case baby Newman arrives this weekend, four-time NASCAR truck champion Ron Hornaday will be ready to step in as the team's substitute driver. "This is an exciting time for Krissie and me and if things work out where Ron will need to get in the car I know he will do a good job," said Newman. "He did get some seat time in the #39 during a practice session in Phoenix." Though Newman is on baby watch, he is still keeping his racing focus as he prepares for his ninth start at the 1.5-mile Homestead track. In his previous eight starts, he has scored two top 10s (US Army Racing)(11-18-2010)

    • Red Bull layoffs? Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Red Bull Racing laid off a number of crewmembers from its #82 Toyota team Wednesday, in part to clear the way for new personnel expected to join Kasey Kahne when he drives the car full-time in 2011. There is no immediate word on how many crewmen were let go, but sources say crewchief Ryan Pemberton remains with the team. Kenny Francis will serve as crewchief for the team next season.(Sirius Speedway)(11-18-2010)

    • Special guest for Almirola: On Friday, #9-Aric Almirola will be joined at the track by his paternal grandmother, Eneida Almirola, whose visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway will mark the first time she's ever been to a race track in her entire life. Abuela Eneida, a Cuban native, first came to the United States in 1966 with her husband, Rafael, and their two sons, Rafael Jr. (Almirola's father) and Robert. Their family was granted access to fly from Cuba to America on the Freedom Flights that brought them into Miami. Once they landed they were given $100 to make a new life for themselves in the United States -- $50 for being a married couple and $25 for each child. They eventually settled in Tampa, Fla., where Almirola's Abuelo Ralph opened a TV repair business. Abuela Eneida will be joined at the track by both of her sons as well.(RPM PR)(11-18-2010)

    • Special guests for #39 team: The U.S. Army Racing team will have a number of special south Florida guests at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Huston, a Purple Heart recipient, who served two deployments in Iraq. He is currently a detail recruiter with the Miami Recruiting Battalion at the Delray Beach, Fla. Recruiting Station. Four south Florida high school football stars will receive their U.S. Army All American Bowl jerseys on stage during Sunday's Ford 400 prerace ceremonies. The four players are: Jacoby Brissett, quarterback & Nick O'Leary, tight end, Dwyer High School, Palm Beach Gardens. O'Leary is the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus; Gerrod Holliman, defensive back, Southridge High School, Miami; Wayne Lyons, defensive back, Dillard High School, Fort Lauderdale.(US Army Racing)(11-18-2010)

    • Hamlin to make special delivery: Before hitting the track in Homestead, Points leader #11-Denny Hamlin will visit the visit the FedEx Express Miami Gateway at Miami International Airport, and join FedEx in making a special delivery to the American Red Cross, South Florida Region. The Miami Gateway serves as a primary distribution point for relief shipments bound for Haiti in response to the earthquake that struck earlier this year, and is currently managing shipments to Haiti in response to the recent Cholera outbreak. FedEx is again working with the American Red Cross to aid in the delivery of relief supplies and Hamlin will be in Miami to honor the ongoing relationship (FedEx Racing)(11-18-2010)

    • Sad News - Brenda Lockman: Brenda Lockman a NASCAR scorer for 42 years passed away in her sleep Tuesday after a short battle with cancer. Brenda had a long history with NASCAR. Her father was there when NASCAR was started and became its Chief scorer. Brenda scored her first race when she was just six years old. She scored for many teams and drivers in the Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series eventually retiring from Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008 as the scorer for the 18 team. Her husband, Fred was an Official for NASCAR. She is survived by her husband of 42 years Fred Lockman, eight children, 17 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Services will be held 2:00 pm Saturday at Poplar Spring Baptist Church, 790 Hwy 117 in Moore, SC. Viewing will be held Friday from 6-8 pm at Dunbar Funeral home. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Building fund of Poplar Springs Baptist Church or the Shriners of Greenville, SC.(Dunbar Funeral home obit)(11-18-2010)

    • Johnson's Team Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson's #48 team won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix. The #48 crew [formerly the #24 crew], out of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, picked up the top prize as a result of Johnson's Lowe's Chevy spending the least amount of time on pit road (170.246 seconds) and finishing on the lead lap during the Kobalt Tools 500. The team's effort helped Johnson post a fifth-place result in the season's penultimate race. The #48 over-the-wall crew consists of: Clay Robinson (front-tire changer), Mike Houston (front-tire carrier), Joe Slingerland (rear-tire changer), Matt Ver Meer (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Cook (jackman), Caleb Hurd (gasman), Jamie Frady (catch can). The team's pit crew coach is Greg Morin. Heading into Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, four teams are currently tied for first place in the Tissot season standings. The teams for Matt Kenseth (#17), Jeff Gordon (#24 the old #48 crew), Kyle Busch (#18) and Jamie McMurray (#1) lead with each scoring four pit road wins. In the event there is a tie at the end of the season for the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award championship, the tiebreaker goes to the team whose driver finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup point standings. The Tissot season championship crew will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. Tissot has already paid out $175,000 in prize money with $5,000 going to the weekly-winning team.(Tissot), see standings and race-by-race winners on the 2010 Pit Crew News page.(11-18-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      #2-Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington and crew will be racing their “PRS-739” Miller Lite Dodge Charger in this weekend’s 2010 Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead. This is a brand new chassis that hasn’t been raced to date. “That’s the plan right now,” team engineer Dave Winston said on Tuesday morning. “We’re taking the new car down there in hopes to get a great finish and end the year on a positive note. We are already in the process of looking at what we need to be competitive next year.”
      #5-Mark Martin: crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-595 for Sunday's race in Miami. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to a sixth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in October after leading 41 laps.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-711 Last ran Texas and finished eighth; Backup: RK-620 Last ran Vegas and finished 23rd. The Jacksonville South Center (SLIC - 3204) has been selected as the Maximum Center for the November 21 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Jacksonville South Center will have its center number on David Ragan’s UPS Ford as a result of its outstanding performance in safety and operational excellence.
      #9-Aric Almirola: The #9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 703 for this weekend’s event. This particular Ford Fusion was last utilized at Kansas Speedway where the team earned the pole position for the event.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the FedEx Racing team will unload Chassis JGR 291 this weekend in Homestead. 291 ran, and won, two weeks ago in Texas. Chassis 285 will serve in backup duty. The #11 FedEx Express Toyota will carry the letters SFL on the b-post this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in recognition of the FedEx Express AGFS and U.S. Operations teams in the South Florida market. In addition to their commitment to customer service, the team is very involved in supporting FedEx community initiatives.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-743 during Sunday’s 400-mile season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). This is a brand-new chassis to the #12 team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-583 debuted in early March at Las Vegas, where it qualified ninth and led twice for seven laps before finishing seventh. Prior to Las Vegas, it spent time in the wind tunnel. It returned to the track for a NASCAR-sanctioned test at Charlotte March 23-24 before coming back to Charlotte for the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, where it started 11th and finished a solid fifth. It revisited the wind tunnel in preparation for its third career start in July at Chicago. The time in the tunnel paid off, as it qualified 3rd and finished 9th. It most recently served as a backup at Kansas and Auto Club Speedway.
      #16-Greg Biffle: is racing the same car this weekend at Homestead that he ran and won with at Pocono and led 224 laps with two weeks ago in Texas.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Primary: RK-704 was last run at Martinsville.
      #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis No. 283 will make its third-ever start in Sunday’s Ford 400 Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead. In its first start, in September’s race at New Hampshire, Busch started ninth and finished ninth. In its most recent start, at Texas two weeks ago, Busch started 29th and finished a disappointing 32nd.
      #19-Elliott Sadler: The #19 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 282 for this weekend’s event. This particular Ford Fusion was last utilized at Kansas Speedway where the team qualified inside the top 15.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot Chassis No. 325 at Homestead, which is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday's practice.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will race Chassis No. 314. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevy Burton drove to finish 4th at Atlanta in Sept before posting a 2nd at Dover three weeks later. Most recently, a 20th-place effort at Charlotte last month.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will race Chassis No. 328, a brand new car that will turn its first laps on the track at Homestead.
      #43-A.J. Allmendinger: The #43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 265 for this weekend’s event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This particular chassis has been utilized on several occasions this season including most recently at Charlotte in October.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: will pilot chassis No. 580 in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race. He last drove that car to a third-place result at Auto Club Speedway in October. Johnson drove back up chassis No. 558 from a first-place starting spot to Victory Lane at Dover in September.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-599 for this weekend's race at Homestead. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at Kansas Speedway in October. Earnhardt is scheduled to make his 400th Cup start at the 2011 Daytona 500 in February.
      #98-Paul Menard: Crew chief Slugger Labbe and the #98 RPM crew have prepared chassis No. 653 for this weekend’s event. This is the same Ford Fusion that the team ran at the event at Kansas Speedway. Menard qualified on the front row and drove to an eighth-place finish. Mastercraft will be back on the hood of the #98 Ford for this weekend’s event at Homestead.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 Aflac team will be unloading chassis RK-709. Edwards raced this Ford Fusion most recently at Charlotte in October where he finished 16th. It was a new car at Charlotte.
      (from team PR's/sites if reported)(11-18-2010)

    • KC & the Sunshine Band to Perform Live at Homestead: A South Florida native (Hialeah), Harry Wayne Casey ("KC") dubbed his crew the "Sunshine Band" after the moniker of his home state. The iconic dance legends will perform a full set this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway beginning 10:30 am, rocking the Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage in the midway adjacent to the front-stretch grandstands. The band that danced its way on to the music scene more than 35 years ago with a unique fusion of R&B, funk and Latin percussion will draw from its catalogue of chart-topping hits that includes "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way (I Like It)," "Shake Your Booty" and "Keep It Comin' Love." Tickets for the Championship finale are available starting at $55 via HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com and (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(11-18-2010)

    • David Ragan delivers 53rd annual Daytona 500 tickets to race fans: To celebrate the delivery of 53rd annual Daytona 500 tickets around the world, David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, jumped into a UPS package car and visited the homes of longtime area ticket holders. Matthew Leon, Walter Gasowski and Joe Roll (collecting them for his sister Marie Frye) were presented with their tickets to "The Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 20. Ragan also delivered goodie bags to all three ticket holders as well as new 14x14x14 soft-sided coolers. It's the second straight year Ragan has rode shotgun in the UPS package car through the streets of the Daytona Beach area delivering tickets. Following his ticket deliveries, Ragan visited more than 400 sixth graders of Silver Sands Middle School in Port Orange for a Racing to Read pep-rally with Volusia County Superintendent Margaret Smith, Principal Rick Inge and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. Students were briefed on the 2011 Racing to Read program where if they read 20 books between Nov. 15 and Jan. 14, they will have the choice of a free ticket to either the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the Daytona Supercross or an all-access tour of the Speedway. More than 50 schools across Volusia County are participating in the program. After giving kids encouragement to reach their reading goals and answering some questions, Ragan raced some students in an R/C car race. Tickets for the Daytona 500, which start at $55, and are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-18-2010)


      News from November 17, 2010

    • Three drivers looking for first win at Homestead: Three drivers who have won at most of the race tracks that Sprint Cup Series runs on: #24-Jeff Gordon has won on all Sprint Cup race tracks he has run on since he started his career, except Homestead, where he is 0 for 11 with a best finish of 3rd 2004. #5-Mark Martin has not won a Sprint Cup race at four tracks the Series currently races on including Homestead where he is 0 for 11 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2005 [also had not won at Daytona, Pocono or Indy]. #48-Jimmie Johnson has never won at Homestead being 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004. Johnson has never won at Watkins Glen, Michigan or Chicago.(11-17-2010)

    • If Allmendinger wins 42 fans win a car; special scheme 'the elf': AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion, will have the chance to win an all-new Ford Fiesta for 42 race fans on Sunday if he can earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Ford 400. This weekend is the culmination of Ford’s 43 Fiestas promotion, which also included Richard Petty and rally driver Ken Block. Allmendinger talked about his feelings heading into Ford Championship Weekend (Ford Racing). Allmendinger will run a 'Kenneth the Blue Elf' scheme at Homestead this weekend. Best Buy, which already announced that it will offer tech support through New Years- including on Christmas Day- has gotten the point across with a new 30-second commercial starring a cartoon elf. In the ad, Best Buy uniform-clad Kenneth the Blue Elf is asked by Santa to give a pep talk to the other elves heading into Christmas, see an inage of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(PettyFans)(11-17-2010)

    • Gibbs has spoken to Busch: Joe Gibbs told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has spoken with Kyle Busch about the profanity laced tirade at Texas Motor Speedway that resulted in Busch being fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the remainder of 2010. “(Kyle) gets so uptight that every now and then, he makes mistakes,” said Gibbs. “We’ve got to do everything we can here – inside Joe Gibbs Racing – to make sure that doesn’t happen. That’s what we’re totally focused on. We’ve got a plan laid out, and Kyle has agreed to do the things he needs to do… to ensure that we don’t put ourselves in that position again. We think he’s a huge talent; a smart, bright guy that we enjoy being around. His whole life is Sam (his fiancée)… and racing. There are no issues with him running around drinking or anything. He doesn’t care about any of that. He’s totally focused, and all he wants to do is race cars. (Unfortunately) he gets so wound up at the race track that it’s hard for him to handle some of the things he needs to handle. We love his competitive nature, but he just needs to learn to handle things better.” Gibbs declined to speak specifically on what discussions have been had, or what guidelines have been put in place regarding Busch’s future behavior. He stressed, however, that all parties agree that incidents like his recent outburst at Texas Motor Speedway cannot continue to occur. “(It) was not good for us at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it certainly wasn’t good for our sponsor,” he said. “We feel like there was a plan that we had to put out there, to assure that this doesn’t happen again. We’re going to keep that in-house, but it’s something that we think is smart, and Kyle does too. He realizes where he is, and that’s a great part of this. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”(Sirius Speedway)(11-17-2010)

    • Last race in the #2 for Busch: Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch will be making his final drive behind the wheel of the famous #2 “Blue Deuce” Penske Racing machine this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He certainly wants to end that five-year run with a bang. “It will be the final race for me behind the wheel of the Miller Lite Dodge,” said Busch. “We’ve had a great run in the ‘Blue Deuce’ over the last five seasons and would love to score another win and celebrate with some Miller Lites there in Victory Lane on Sunday.”(Tom Roberts PR), in 2011, Busch moves to Penske's #22 Pennzoil Dodge and Brad Keselwoski will take over the #2 Miller Lite ride.(11-17-2010)

    • Reutimann heading to Japan: #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann leaves next week to visit Toyota in Japan for its annual motorsports festival. Reutimann returns to Florida the first week of December [3-4] to host the annual David Reutimann Foundation Cookout and Golf Outing. Reutimann: “I’m really looking forward to going to Japan for Toyota Motorsports Festival. We’re going to be over there for a couple days to spend some time with the folks at Toyota and meet some of the fans over there. I know the Toyota Motorsports Festival is a really big deal. I get to drive a little bit and run on the road course over there and I’m excited to see that part of the world. For a guy who has barely been out of the United States in his life ever, except to race in Canada and Mexico City in the Nationwide Series, it’s a pretty big deal. Although, the 15-hour plane ride is not something I’m looking forward to, but it’s all part of the experience.”
      Reutimann is wearing a specially-designed Habitat for Humanity race helmet this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Lisa Reutimann, David’s wife, is involved in a Women of NASCAR initiative to help raise money to build a Habitat for Humanity home in the Lake Norman, N.C. area. Reutimann will auction the helmet at his annual charity event on Dec. 3. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Women of NASCAR initiative.(MWR)(11-17-2010)

    • Jr. Johnson & Economaki among those to be honored by NCMA: The North Carolina Motorsports Association ("NCMA") announced that legendary driver and team owner Junior Johnson will be the 2011 Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award recipient. Johnson will be honored on January 21st, 2011 at the NCMA's 5th Annual Motorsports Industry Awards Banquet. Past recipients have included Benny Parsons (2007), Richard Petty (2008), Richard Childress (2009) and Dale Earnhardt (2010).
      Chris Economaki, another legend in the racing industry, was selected to receive the NCMA's first ever Motorsports Media Recognition Award. Economaki wrote his first column for National Speed Sport News at age 14, a publication he eventually owned. Born October 15, 1920 Economaki has worked as a commentator, pit road reporter, and journalist, earning him the title "The Dean of American Motorsports". When the NCMA's awards banquet committee determined it would include a media award into the program, Chris Economaki was a clear choice.
      The NCMA also announced seven companies ranging from tracks, education, media, suppliers and manufacturers that will be recognized at the upcoming banquet for their contributions to the motorsports industry in North Carolina. The following organizations will receive Motorsports Industry Awards at the NCMA's banquet in January: North Wilkesboro Speedway, Winston Salem State University Motorsports Management Program, NASCAR Media Group, US Legend Cars International, Piedmont Racing Expo, Essex Parts Services and Goodridge USA. The announcements were made during the NCMA's Annual Membership Luncheon held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.(NCMA PR)(11-17-2010)

    • #78 team hauler damaged in accident near Denver UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that a racecar transporter and motor home belonging to the #78 Furniture Row Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup team were demolished this morning in a massive pileup on Interstate 25 near Larkspur, Col.; about 40 miles south of Denver.
      Authorities say the crash happened on northbound Interstate 25 at approximately 8:45 am local time. A spokesperson for the Colorado State Patrol said 34 vehicles, including four tractor-trailers, were involved in three separate crashes on northbound Interstate 25. Two victims required extrication from their vehicles, and approximately 20 people were transported to hospitals with non life-threatening injuries. One of the semi-trucks spilled diesel fuel onto the highway, requiring a HazMat crew to respond to the scene. See the original (long) post on the #78 Team News and Links page.(11-15-2010)
      UPDATE: One day after the transporter and motor coach for Furniture Row Racing were heavily damaged in a major accident on northbound Interstate 25 in Colorado, team general manager Joe Garone said that all systems are in place for this weekend's Sprint Cup season finale in Homestead, FL. The accident, which involved 34 vehicles on the icy highway, occurred Monday at approximately 8:40 a.m. near Larkspur, Colo., 40 miles south of the team's race shop in Denver. The Furniture Row vehicles were returning from Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix. The two Furniture Row race cars for this weekend's Cup event will be transported from the race shop to south Florida in the team's test transporter. Once the test transporter arrives at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richard Childress Racing will provide the #78 Furniture Row team with a fully-loaded racing transporter. "Words cannot describe how grateful we are to Richard Childress Racing for immediately stepping up and offering its support," said Garone. "Furniture Row Racing also wants to extend a sincere thank you to the NASCAR community for the outpouring of support we have received since the accident. It has been overwhelming and truly shows the spirit of brotherhood that embodies our sport."
      The team's transportation drivers -- John Slingerland, Dennis LaCroix and Gary Miller -- escaped serious injuries and all have returned to the Denver area. The damaged motor coach and transporter, which housed the two Phoenix race cars and racing equipment, have been towed to an impound lot. Garone added that he was extremely proud of the team's transportation drivers for how they navigated their vehicles to avoid serious incidents under adverse weather and road conditions.
      "Our tractor/trailer averted head-on collisions and our motor coach driver -- Gary Miller -- put his life on the line when he made a split-second decision to ram into the back end of the team's trailer instead of running over cars," explained Garone. "It was a brave move that most likely avoided serious injuries to others. If you saw the aftermath of the motor coach, you would know what I mean."(FRR)(11-17-2010)

    • Career start 400 for Kenseth: Roush Fenway’s #17-Matt Kenseth will make his 400th Sprint Cup start this wekeend at Homestead-Miami. During that span, Kenseth has 18 wins, 117 top fives and 167 top 10 finishes and a Series Championship (RFR)(11-17-2010)

    • Trio of Ford's to lead the races at Homestead: NASCAR officials will leave it to a trio of new Ford products, including the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, to pace the three championship races at NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway Nov. 19-21. Headlining the pace car trio is the 2011 Ford Explorer, the iconic SUV that boasts best-in-class fuel economy and an all-new look, which will lead the field to the green flag at the season-ending Ford 400 – the Sprint Cup championship event. It will mark the first time Explorer has ever paced a major auto race. Explorer will be preceded on the track during the weekend by the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, which will pace Saturday’s Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide finale, and the 2011 Ford F-150, powered by the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which will handle pace car duties for Friday night’s Ford 200 Camping World Truck Series finale. Ford Championship Weekend began in 2002 and is currently in the middle of a deal that runs through the 2014 season where Ford serves as title sponsor of the final NASCAR races of the season (Ford).(11-17-2010)

    • NASCAR featured in new Sports Illustrated book: Time Home Entertainment, Inc. and the editors of Sports Illustrated for Kids bring parents and kids a brand-new and book just in time for the holiday season. Sports Illustrated Kids: All Access is your pass to behind-the-scenes photos of athletes, locker rooms and more. Most fans experience sports from afar, but Sports Illustrated Kids gives you an All Access pass. Get an up-close look at the coolest items and places in sports. What does the inside of a baseball look like? What’s behind the doors of an NFL locker room?
      Readers can unveil details by lifting up clear layers of acetate and go places they haven’t been before. Packed with exciting photos from Sports Illustrated and fascinating trivia, this hands-on book is guaranteed to entertain sports fans of all ages. With over 50 photos, the 48-page hardcover book offers readers an up-close look at the coolest items, people and places in sports.
      Inside All Access, fans will find pages devoted to NASCAR:
      * An “all access” x-ray look into Kyle Busch’s NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team.
      * The 18-wheel tractor-trailer for Busch’s team is stocked with everything crew members need as they travel.(11-17-2010)


      News from November 16, 2010

    • Phoenix TV Ratings: ESPN's live coverage of the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 14, earned a final national household coverage rating of 2.9 (2.5 U.S. rating), averaging 4,201,279 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year's race aired on ABC and earned a final national rating of 3.3.
      ESPN2's live coverage of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Phoenix earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.2, averaging 1,597,174 viewers. The rating was up from a 1.1 for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2.(ESPN), see race-by-race ratings, 4 year chart and more on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(11-16-2010)

    • Homestead history: for the three drivers going for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, how have the three drivers going for the Cup have fared at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
      1 - Denny Hamlin (#11 FedEx Express Toyota)
      · One win, three top fives, three top 10s
      · Average finish of 10.6 in five races
      2 - Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe's Chevy)
      · Three top fives, six top 10s; two poles
      · Average finish of 12.7 in nine races
      3 - Kevin Harvick (#29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevy)
      · Four top fives, seven top 10s
      · Average finish of 8.4 in nine races
      (NASCAR)(11-16-2010)

    • Goodyear 'Support Our Troops' initiative raised $100,463: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, the exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR's three major national series, announced that The Goodyear 'Support Our Troops' initiative raised $100,463 for the nonprofit organization, Support Our Troops. The Company kicked off the fundraising effort around the July 4th holiday weekend races in Daytona Beach, Florida. Every Goodyear Eagle racing tire was transformed to feature a red, white and blue color scheme reading "Support Our Troops" on the tires' sidewalls. The new scheme was designed to help say 'thank you' to the members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. All funds raised are being donated to Support Our Troops, a nonpartisan, nonpolitical organization founded to directly help citizens and community-minded businesses find constructive ways to benefit and support American troops (PRNewswire)(11-16-2010)

    • Phoenix Notes and Facts:
      • Carl Edwards won the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. He earned his 17th series victory in his 228th start. It was his first win in 2010, ending a 70-race winless streak that dated to Homestead in November 2008. He became the sixth driver in 2010 to end a winless streak in excess of 63 races. in three of past four races at Phoenix, a driver ended a winless streak of 70 or more races. Edwards became the 13th different race winner in 2010. It was Edwards' 18th top-10 finish in 35 races in 2010. He led five times for 93 laps, including the final 47, the most laps he has led in 13 races at Phoenix.
      • This was the 119th series win for Roush Fenway Racing, ranking fourth all-time. It was the third win in 2010 for the team. Greg Biffle has won twice. Ford scored its milestone 600th series victory and 13th at Phoenix.
      • Ryan Newman (finished second) finished first and second at Phoenix in 2010.
      • Joey Logano (third) posted his fifth straight top-10 finish in 2010 and third straight top-5.
      • Biffle (fourth) has finished 14th or better in six of the past seven Phoenix races.
      • Jimmie Johnson (fifth) scored his sixth top-5 finish in nine Chase races, the most by any driver. • Mark Martin (eighth) has finished 14th or better in the past 10 Phoenix races.
      • Kurt Busch (ninth) has been running at the finish in his 16 races at Phoenix.(ESPN)(11-16-2010)

    • Infineon Raceway to use solar power: Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA, has signed a marketing partnership with Panasonic that will result in the installation of 1,652 solar panels at the track early next year. The panels, which are developed by Panasonic’s subsidiary Sanyo, will provide the track with more than 350 kilowatts of electricity and make it the second track in NASCAR, after Pocono Raceway, to use solar-powered energy. Panasonic will become the official solar partner of Infineon in a multiyear agreement valued in the low seven figures annually. It will receive signage and promotion at the track, and its executives plan to use the track as a showcase of the solar technology Panasonic can provide other facilities. The solar panels will offset 35% of the power load for Infineon Raceway. “This will be a significant part of what we do and the way we promote ourselves,” said Steve Page, president of Infineon Raceway. “Our environmental profile is something we’re proud of.” The combination of the Panasonic marketing agreement, which offsets some of the initial costs, and an agreement with Bank of America, which is paying for the panels and leasing them to the track, makes the deal financially beneficial for Infineon. The deal is part of Panasonic’s larger agreement with Speedway Motorsports Inc. It also is providing a giant LED board to Charlotte Motor Speedway and a new scoring tower at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(11-16-2010)

    • Grand Marshall named for FORD 400: Even after spending more than 20 years in the music business, legendary rock star Bret Michaels continues to move at warp speed. The former Poison front-man-turned-reality TV star will kick into gear the headline event of NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend on Sunday by serving as the Ford 400 Grand Marshal in delivering the most famous words in racing: "Gentlemen, start your engines!".
      A diabetic and longtime champion for diabetes-related research, Michaels recently raised nearly $650,000 for the American Diabetes Foundation in winning NBC TV's Celebrity Apprentice 3 in 2010. He also starred in VH-1’s Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and currently stars in VH-1’s Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It.
      In addition to starting the 43-car field for the 2010 Sprint Cup Championship finale, Michaels will honor America prior to Sunday’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by singing the national anthem.
      Joining Michaels on the list of dignitaries for Ford Championship Weekend is professional wrestling star Bill Goldberg, who will serve as Honorary Race Chairman for Saturday night’s Nationwide Series Championship-finale Ford 300.
      On Sunday, Homestead-Miami Speedway will host a one-race shootout to decide the closest-ever Sprint Cup Championship race in NASCAR history. Tickets for this historic Championship finale are available starting at $55 via HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com and (866) 409-RACE.
      Additional dignitary assignments for NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway include Bobby Allison—Miami Beach native and 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee—and Alto Reed, legendary saxophonist and founding member of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
      NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 19-21. Kids 12 & under are admitted FREE (general admission) for Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series Championship and for just $10 (reserved seats) for Saturday’s Nationwide Series Championship. Tickets for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Championship start at $55. Parking is always free at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and fans are invited to bring food and drink in a 14x14x14 cooler. For more info, visit THEChampionshipTrack.com or call (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(11-16-2010)

    • Infineon Raceway Tickets on sale: Infineon Raceway officially opens its ticket office on Monday, Nov. 15, for the 2011 Big O Tires Racing Season, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar® Series and AMA Pro Road Racing. The raceway will feature one of the most comprehensive motor-racing schedules in the country, and race fans can begin purchasing tickets this Monday. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 NACAR Sprint Cup Series highlights the upcoming race season, and it will return to its more traditional date, June 24-26. The race had been held on Father’s Day each of the last two years. In addition to individual race tickets, the raceway will offer a variety of ticket packages to NASCAR in 2011, including the Sonoma 2-Pack, which boasts two reserved tickets for just $99 for race day, June 26. The best plan of attack for the 2011 race season at Infineon Raceway is with the 2011 Track Pass. You get tickets to all major events, plus season-long VIP parking, a Pre-Race Pit & Track Pass for NASCAR, garage pass for IndyCar, a hot lap around the road course and more. The cost is $399, which represents more than a 50-percent savings. Fans can purchase individual or weekend tickets as well as special ticket packages for all 2011 major events by calling 800-870-RACE, visiting an account representative at Infineon Raceway or by purchasing tickets online at www.infineonraceway.com.(11-16-2010)

    • Week 19 Daytona Repave Update: The finish line is in sight for the historic 2010 Daytona Repave. The paving crew from Lane Construction and the massive Titan 525 paver reached a milestone moment as the paving of all four layers of the racing surface on the 2.5-mile tri-oval is now complete. The final paving took place last Saturday on the lower pass on the Superstretch. Even though the paving of the racing surface is complete, several key items still remain on the to-do list as the Daytona Repave project wraps up its 19th week of work:
      · The reinstallation of the SAFER barrier and catch fence in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing as well as the removal of the fill dirt behind the walls
      · The concentration of this week’s paving remains on the Superstretch. Finishing touches are being put down the skid pad and paving is ongoing on the apron and chicane
      · Paving also remains in the frontstretch skid pads, apron and pit road
      About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours are also available. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-16-2010)


      News from November 15, 2010

    • The Entry List for the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Andy Lally in the #71; Robby Gordon in the #7
      Not in top 35 of owners points:
      #09-Bobby Labonte (2009 race winner as owner)(2000 Champ)(39/35)
      #13-Casey Mears (38/35)
      #21-Bill Elliott (1988 Champ)(45/11)
      #26-Patrick Carpentier (2009 race winner as owner)(37/35)
      #36-J.J. Yeley (40/35)
      #38-Dave Blaney (36/35)
      #46-Michael McDowell (42/35)
      #64-Landon Cassill (46/23)
      #66-Mike Bliss (44/35)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (41/35)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,21,38,13,36,87,46
      missing the race would be [2]: #'s 66,64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Homestead Entry List.(11-15-2010)

    • At Homestead-Miami Speedway::
      · Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993. The first race was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995.
      · The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's layout.
      · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999.
      · 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track.
      · Since the inception of the current points system in 1975, only two drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip) and Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison).
      · There have been 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Homestead, one per season since 1999.
      · Five drivers have competed in all 11 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart.
      · David Green won the first pole, in 1999.
      · Tony Stewart won the inaugural race, in 1999.
      · There have been nine different pole winners. Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson lead all drivers, with two.
      · There have been eight different race winners, led by Greg Biffle, with three.
      · Jack Roush has won six races, most among owners.
      · The race has been won from the pole twice: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002).
      · The race has been won from a top-10 starting position eight of 11 times.
      · Denny Hamlin won last season from the 38th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
      · Three active drivers have averaged a top-10 finish: Carl Edwards (6.5), Jeff Gordon (9.5) and Kevin Harvick (8.4).
      · There have been 164 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Florida.
      · 162 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series have their home state recorded as Florida.
      · There have been 10 race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series.(NASCAR)

    • #78 team hauler damaged in accident near Denver: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that a racecar transporter and motor home belonging to the #78 Furniture Row Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup team were demolished this morning in a massive pileup on Interstate 25 near Larkspur, Col.; about 40 miles south of Denver.
      Authorities say the crash happened on northbound Interstate 25 at approximately 8:45 am local time. A spokesperson for the Colorado State Patrol said 34 vehicles, including four tractor-trailers, were involved in three separate crashes on northbound Interstate 25. Two victims required extrication from their vehicles, and approximately 20 people were transported to hospitals with non life-threatening injuries. One of the semi-trucks spilled diesel fuel onto the highway, requiring a HazMat crew to respond to the scene.
      Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that details on what caused the crash are still sketchy. "From what I understand, our transporters came over the top of hill and saw cars all over the highway." Garone said the tractor was "for sure totalled" and the trailer seriously damaged, to the point of being unusable. "We cant get the back door of the transporter open," he said. "We'll have to cut it open." The motorcoach, a pickup truck in tow behind the coach and a golf cart in the bed of the pickup were also destroyed in the crash. The motorhome was used to house team personnel at the speedway. Driver Regan Smith's personal coach was not involved.
      Race cars for this weekend's event at Homestead-Miami Speedway were not in the transporter at the time of the crash, and Garone said Richard Childress Racing has offered a transporter loaded with equipment to help FRR make it to Homesetad on time. "Mike Dillon jumped immediately on board to help," he said. "They're putting the final touches on a transporter full of equipment for us." Garone assessed the damages at more than $500,000, and said the total could climb higher once a more accurate assessment can be made. "It's a big mess," he said. "We're just grateful that nobody got seriously hurt."(Sirius Speedway)
      AND A massive pile up involving 34 vehicles including 4 semis injured 18 people and closed all northbound lanes of Interstate 25 near the Greenland exit earlier today, according to officials. By 1:15 pm, all northbound and southbound lanes had been re-opened, according to Colorado State Trooper Nate Reid . Reid said the accident about 8:40 am was the result of weather conditions.(Denver Post)(11-15-2010)

    • Edwards wins with FR9 Engine, will run all races in 2011: Carl Edwards’ Ford Fusion has been on an impressive winning streak, earning front row starting positions and capturing the win in the last two Nationwide Series races. Edward’s also qualified on the pole during this week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway and swept the weekend by winning the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards drives the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion powered by Roush Yates’ new FR9 engine. The FR9 is the first Ford purpose-built race engine ever engineered and produced at Roush Yates Engines in Mooresville, NC. The new Ford engine has been integrated slowly into the Sprint Cup Series throughout the second half of the 2010 season with help from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports’ cars racing the engine intermittently. It has been a remarkable learning period for the FR9, with a total of 5 poles and 3 wins, including Edwards’ win this weekend that required both horsepower and efficient fuel mileage to beat Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. “The new FR9 engine that Ford helped us with certainly was a factor today,” said Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. “The fact that we were able to save gas and still have enough speed to maintain position on the race track was all very good. I’m thrilled to be in Victory Lane this weekend.” Even though a Championship is out of reach for Ford this year, the FR9 engine has shown an impressive increase in performance and reliability throughout the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. These improvements bring enthusiasm to the Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines camps, as they plan to run the FR9 in all Ford cars for the full 2011 Sprint Cup Season.
      “I’m excited to be running the FR9 in all Fords for the entire 2011 Sprint Cup Season and soon to come for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Carl’s win at Phoenix is just another testament to the power Roush Yates’ FR9 engine is capable of. Everyone at the engine shop has been working hard to get this engine just right, and we are extremely proud of Roush Fenway Racing and their accomplishments with it this year. I look forward to watching the FR9 race at Ford Championship weekend next week at Homestead, as well as the 2011 Sprint Cup Season.”(Roush Yates Engines)(11-15-2010)

    • Dale Jr.'s crew chief status an offseason decision: Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t want to think about personnel issues with his #88 team until the end of the season. That includes a decision about the status of crew chief Lance McGrew. “I ain’t really making any decisions on that until after the season’s over with,” Earnhardt told Sporting News. “I asked (team owner) Rick (Hendrick) and everybody in the corporation if I could just not consider any options for next year or any ideas until we’re done racing—that I wanted to focus on what we’re doing. I just wanted to get all I could out these last two races before I started thinking about that. I will say this about Lance: I’ve really enjoyed working with him. I’ve enjoyed even more so becoming his friend and getting to know him as well as I have. I have a lot of respect for him, and he’s put up with a lot of crap this year and last year, trying to help get this thing going. He gave me his best effort to try to help each weekend, and I’ve just got a lot of respect for him.” Since McGrew replaced Tony Eury Jr. as crew chief in mid-2009, the results have been disappointing. Earnhardt hasn’t won a race since June 2008, and this year he failed to make the Chase for the second straight season. Earnhardt, who started 31st and finished 14th Sunday, isn’t laboring under any illusions when assessing the overall performance of the #88 team. “I think I can say that what’s going on on the racetrack is a fair assessment,” he said. “It’s had its ups and downs this year, but here lately we’ve struggled quite badly. It’s been unfortunate, and you really can’t visually see what our issues are. It’s a moving target for us.”(Sporting News)(11-15-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 110
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 70
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 32
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:07 pm
      Total race brdcst time 130 Total comm. brdcst time 57
      Total minutes: 187
      Minutes of race broadcast: 130
      Minutes of commercials: 57
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of gas cans to hitch a ride on a spoiler: 1
      See full rundown, drivers focused on, past races and more on my 2010 TV Commercials page.(11-15-2010)

    • MWR team trainer to head home to Italy: A familiar face in the NASCAR garage area will soon say “Ciao” to her boss Michael Waltrip and her NAPA Know How Pit Crew. Michael Waltrip Racing’s team trainer Giovanna Lecis returns to Italy on Nov. 30 to resume work as a personal trainer near the Vatican in Rome. Lecis’ hard work over the last two seasons contributed to the two-time Daytona 500 champion losing weight and improving his strength. She was also instrumental in the five Tissot Precision Pit Crew and two Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Quarter awards won by MWR’s #00 and #56 teams’ pit crews.(MWR)(11-15-2010)


      News from November 14, 2010

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Clinch Scenarios Set For Homestead: With only 15 points separating the top two drivers, the closest championship in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s seven-year history won’t be won easily. The only way points leader #11-Denny Hamlin can guarantee a clinch of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship is by either finishing second while leading the most laps or winning next Sunday’s season finale Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. #48-Jimmie Johnson, in second, and #29-Kevin Harvick, in third, are the only other drivers still eligible to win the 2010 title. Harvick trails Hamlin by 46 points. Hamlin’s 15-point lead is the closest margin between first and second in Chase history, bettering the 18-point difference Kurt Busch held over Johnson in 2004.(NASCAR)(11-14-2010)

    • Edwards wins at Phoenix: #99-Carl Edwards won the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway from the pole for his 1st win of 2010, 1st win in 70 races and 17th win of his career. #39-Newman finished second followed by #20-Logano, #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth, #5-Martin, #2-Busch and #1-McMurray (who was the Lucky Dog twice). Points leader, #11-Hamlin, led the most laps but had to pit for gas late in the race and finished 12th and holds on to the points lead by 15 points over four-time champ #48-Johnson.
      There were 13 lead changes among 6 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 75,000 down from last year's 90,000. The purse was $4,998,285 down from $5,136,375 in 2009
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs are on ESPN2, Monday, November 15 at 2:30am/et and on SPEED, Wednesday, November 17 at 12:00pm/et
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Phoenix Race Results/Awards page.(11-14-2010)

    • Finishing Positions for the Chase drivers at Phoenix:
      [by points standings before the race]:
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin, 12th [15pt lead]
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 5th
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 6th [down 46 pts]
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, WON
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 7th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 11th
      7) #18-Kyle Busch, 13th
      8) #14-Tony Stewart, 17th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      10) #33-Clint Bowyer, 21st
      11) #2-Kurt Busch, 9th
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 19th
      (11-14-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Phoenix:
      #99-Carl Edwards won the Kobalt Tools 500, his 17th victory in 228 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He breaks a 70-race winless streak dating to Nov. 16, 2008 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
      This is his first victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 13 races at Phoenix International Raceway. He does the Sprint Cup/Nationwide double for the first time this season since Kyle Busch swept all three national series races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
      #39-Ryan Newman (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 17 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2010.
      #20-Joey Logano (third) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Phoenix International Raceway.
      #11-Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 15 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson. This is the smallest margin in Chase history (2004, Kurt Busch over Jimmie Johnson, 18 points)(NASCAR Statistics)(11-14-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
      [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36, Chase Race 9 of 10]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin [8 wins], 6462
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6447, -15
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 6416, -46
      4) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 6198, -264
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 6151, -311
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 6124, -338
      7) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 6115, -347
      8) #16-Greg Biffle [2 wins], 6113, -349
      9) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 6074, -388
      10) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 6033, -429
      11) #33-Clint Bowyer [1 win], 6028, -434
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 5958, -504
      1 DENNY HAMLIN 6462 35 8 14 18 $5,768,003 2 JIMMIE JOHNSON 6447 35 6 16 22 6,985,278 3 KEVIN HARVICK 6416 35 3 15 25 6,583,433 4 CARL EDWARDS 6198 35 1 8 18 5,359,534 5 MATT KENSETH 6151 35 0 6 14 5,499,305 6 JEFF GORDON 6124 35 0 11 17 5,593,405 7 KYLE BUSCH 6115 35 3 10 18 6,179,655 8 GREG BIFFLE 6113 35 2 9 18 4,879,912 9 TONY STEWART 6074 35 2 9 16 5,536,480 10 KURT BUSCH 6033 35 2 9 17 6,619,840 11 CLINT BOWYER 6028 35 2 7 18 4,620,204 12 JEFF BURTON 5958 35 0 6 15 5,079,210 (Bowyer without 150 pt penalty 6178, -281 would be 5th)
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-14-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver 'Classic' Points Standings:
      [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36....the OLD way]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1)#29-Kevin Harvick, 5109
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4814, -295
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4744, -365
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 4625, -484
      5) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4617, -492
      6) #18-Kyle Busch, 4580, -529
      7) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4497, -612
      8) #14-Tony Stewart, 4481, -628
      9) #2-Kurt Busch, 4350, -759
      10) #31-Jeff Burton, 4348, -761
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 4280, -829
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 4249, -860
      13) #5-Mark Martin, 4249, -860
      14) #1-Jamie McMurray, 4225, -884
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-14-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Homestead:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The spread from 35th to 36th is down to 74 points with ONE race to go.
      32) #7-Gordon/RGM, 2514, +115
      33) #34-Kvapil/Front Row, 2503, +104
      34) #37-Blaney/Front Row, 2491, +92
      35) #71-Gaughan/TRG: 2473, 74 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 2399, -74 points out of the top 35
      37) #26-TBA/Latitude43: 2301, -172
      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.(11-14-2010)

    • The U.S. Army Racing team will have a number of special Arizona guests at Phoenix International Raceway.
      • Luis Rodriguez Jr., an 85-year-old WWII veteran whose face will be one of the 500 on Ryan Newman's #39 Veterans Day car. Rodriguez is a resident of Sahuarita, Ariz.
      • Staff Sgt. Steve Cerritos, a Tucson recruiter who served in Afghanistan. Cerritos is currently working towards a master's degree in business administration and plans to pursue a commission from the U.S. Army and complete his military career as an Army officer.
      • Todd Peat, a defensive lineman for Corona del Sol High School in Tempe. Peat has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All American Bowl, Jan. 8, 2011 at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas. He will receive his Army All American Bowl jersey on stage during Sunday's prerace ceremonies.
      • Christopher Sloan, who plays the mellophone in the Union High School marching band in Casa Grande. Sloan has been selected to be a member of the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. He will join an elite group of musicians who will perform at halftime in the Army All American Bowl game. He will also receive his Army All American jersey on stage during Sunday's prerace ceremonies.(U.S. Army Racing), see images of the car on my #39 Team Schemes page.(11-14-2010)

    • Jim Hunter honored with Jim Chapman Award: Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s vice president of corporate communications who died Oct. 30, today was announced as winner of the 2010 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations.
      The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing’s “most influential man” of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80.
      The announcement was made before the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway by Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee, and one of Chapman’s closest friends. The award is determined by vote of media members, most of whom knew Chapman, and is authorized by the Chapman family. PR representatives from all forms of motorsports are eligible for consideration. Knight said the committee selected Hunter for the honor a few weeks before his death.
      “We had hoped to make this presentation in December, as part of NASCAR’s Champion’s Week celebration in Las Vegas,” said Knight, the longtime journalist/publicist. “In several important ways, Jim Hunter’s career mirrored that of Jim Chapman’s. Most importantly, both deeply believed in the ‘old-school’ approach to working with the media – that it was essential to build one-on-one relationships with journalists. That’s too often missing today, but both Jims understood the value of actually talking to people and getting to know them, and that having those professional relationships best served their clients.”
      Hunter’s career as a journalist and PR professional spanned portions of six decades. He was the Columbia Record sports editor, writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and author of several books. He began in PR in the 1960s with Dodge’s racing programs before stints as PR director at both Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. He joined NASCAR as vice president of administration in 1983. In 1993, Hunter was named president of Darlington Raceway and corporate VP of International Speedway Corp. He returned to NASCAR as VP of corporate communications in 2001. He died of cancer at age 71.(PR), See full post with past winners list on my Awards News page.(11-14-2010)

    • Tire test may still happen at Daytona in December: Goodyear has scrapped its original plans for a Daytona tire test Dec. 7-8 and is considering moving the session to the 13th and 14th instead. Goodyear product manager Rick Heinrich said the track hasn’t “progressed to the point that it’s ready for the first date we required.” Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood has scheduled a meeting with Goodyear officials next week in Miami. Chitwood said when the original test dates were announced by Goodyear, he reiterated “quite clearly that there was no way to forecast” an actual date of completion. According to Chitwood, the pit lane isn’t paved completely and the SAFER barrier and fencing must be installed before the cars are cleared to run. “I will meet with my engineers," Chitwood said, "and at that point I will know how early I can get cars on the track. There’s still stuff to do. Once we give a date, then we’ll have to live up to it.” Heinrich doesn’t anticipate the later dates will be a problem even though NASCAR has mandated that no test drivers can be used for the tire test. “The feedback that we’ve gotten from the teams is there’s still a lot of interest in the test,” Heinrich said.(FoxSports)(11-14-2010)

    • Robby back to Chevy UPDATE: #7-Robby Gordon says the Chevy-to-Indy move is just perfect for him, and he says he'll be a part of the new Chevy Indy operation. Gordon is preparing to run next spring's Indy 500 with his own team (it will of course have to be with a Honda engine). And Gordon says he expects to make the NASCAR jump next season from Toyota back to Chevrolet. Gordon, who heads back to Mexico in a couple of days to run the Baja 1000, says he's one of five men with a shot to win the 16-hour marathon. But it hasn't been such a great year for Gordon, who last year's off-road championship but who this year has been hit with mechanical issues, most recently with his off-road transmission. Gordon said it was not true that the Specialized bike company was suing him over the 'S' he is using for his new energy drink: "I'm suing Specialized, because I've had that 'S' for years."(MikeMulhern)(11-13-2010)
      UPDATE: Robby Gordon just got to Phoenix International Raceway Friday morning, after spending the week 'pre-running' – checking out legs of the Baja 1000 course, doing the GPS measuring and timing, and taking notes on where the notorious 'X's' are – to be avoided – and how fast to run where and when. He and his guys will fly back to the Baja immediately after Sunday's Phoenix 500-K, to put the finishing touches on things. And if all goes well, he'll finish the Baja 1000, which runs Tuesday and runs through Saturday, just in time to fly overnight Saturday cross-country to Homestead to make the starting line for Sunday's NASCAR season finale [no word who will practice and qualify the #7 car at Homestead and if Kevin Conway will be back in the car].
      Factory-backing is key to the Dakar, and Gordon's sponsorship has been with General Motors, for its Hummer marketing. GM is of course dropping Hummer, but Gordon is banking on what appears to be a major new GM commitment to racing – he's ready to sign up for the new Chevy Indy 500 deal, just announced Friday – and maybe GM's marketing plans for that honking-big new truck will include one of the world's best off-roaders. It's a Chevy deal off-road, though he runs Toyotas in NASCAR. How Gordon fits into the NASCAR Toyota program isn't all that clear, but it doesn't look like much of a factory deal at all. Gordon is shopping for a new NASCAR manufacturer for 2011, and he says he wants to return to Chevrolet. Part of the behind-the-scenes key to Gordon's career has been partial backing from long-time friend John Menard, he of Menard's fame. Menard apparently still owns part of the Ilmor company that GM has picked to build its new Indy engines (for the 2012 season). That could be a key 'in' for Gordon.(in part from a long article at MikeMulhern.netmore info about Robby at the Baja 1000 at robbygordon.com)(11-14-2010)

    • Toyota announces Sponsafier 2 winner: Toyota Racing announced that the car design called “Lou Gehrig aka ALS” is the grand prize winner in the Sponsafier 2 contest. The design, created by Jeff Hallowell of Maize, Kan., beat out more than 52,000 entries. A #18 Toyota Camry wrapped in the “Lou Gehrig aka ALS” artwork was featured in the parade lap before the Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The second round of Toyota’s “Sponsafy Your Ride Contest” -- Sponsafier 2 -- continued the quest to take one fan’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Camry masterpiece from online design to real sheet metal. Fans were invited to flaunt their artistic ingenuity at toyotaracing.com using pre-loaded graphics, paint brushes and even their own personal photos. They were then encouraged to share their work on social networking sites to rally votes from friends, family and admirers of their design. The submission period ran from June 20 through Aug. 20, followed by two rounds of vigorous voting to finally crown a grand prize winner. “For me, this is all about ALS awareness and creating family memories for my son Ethan,” said Hallowell, who designed the winning car with his eight-year-old son. “This is truly a dream come true.’” Together, Hallowell and his son created a dynamic masterpiece featuring American flags, baseballs and racing flames, along with messaging to support the fight against ALS. Hallowell was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease -- in Aug. 2002.
      For his efforts, Hallowell received a prize package for the weekend’s race festivities in Phoenix, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to race weekend events, a meet and greet with Toyota driver Kyle Busch, exclusive Toyota Racing apparel and spending cash. In addition to the grand prize package, Toyota has donated a 2011 Sienna mobility van to the Hallowell family to help with transportation needs. More than 600,000 votes were cast during Sponsafier 2. A total of 10 finalists chosen by popular vote qualified to compete for the grand prize. A panel of judges selected the grand prize winner, along with two runners-up -- “CureHD” and “Buckle Up for Hannah”. “CureHD” was designed by Jason Mundy on behalf of his brother Daniel to support Huntington’s Disease research and awareness. “Buckle Up for Hannah” was designed by Robert and Sharon Clark in memory of their goddaughter Hannah, who lost her life in a car accident four-and-a-half years ago. Designing the car enabled Hannah’s family to keep her legacy alive and promote seatbelt safety.
      In addition to the national Sponsafier contest, Toyota Racing held a team and driver challenge to encourage members of the Toyota racing community to take part in the fun. “Beaumobile,” created by Greg Wallace of Rusty Wallace Racing to promote pet adoption, earned the most votes and was awarded a first-place trophy. Toyota will also donate $2,500 in his name to the charity of his choice. To view the winning design “Lou Gehrig aka ALS,” Racing Team Challenge entries and all of the Sponsafier vehicle submissions, visit sponsafier.com.(Toyota PR)(11-14-2010)

    • PIR to repave? maybe re-configure? NASCAR drivers almost certainly will find Phoenix International Raceway to be a very different place a year from now. The first repaving of the 1-mile oval since 1993 is considered very likely, with the work to begin soon after February's Subway Fresh Fit 500. But the changes could be dramatic: reconfiguration to include bottom-to-top gradual banking, widening and even opening-up the radius of the turns. Such modifications could make racing more exciting for fans. Directors of International Speedway Corp., PIR's parent company, are expected to green-light the estimated $10 million repaving project at a meeting Wednesday in Miami, The Republic has confirmed. The Avondale City Council also must OK a development agreement with PIR; that's likely to happen by early December. Computer modeling will be used to evaluate how such a reconfiguration would affect competition - no final decisions have been made. The banking currently ranges from 3 to 11 degrees, and in racing terms PIR is considered a "flat" track. The progressive banking design has been popular at other tracks, such as the 1 1/2-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We have put together a request to the board of directors to approve funding to repave after the February race," PIR President Bryan Sperber said. "Track management and ISC have been working on the preliminary plans."(Arizona Republic)(11-14-2010)

    • Southern 500 Tickets on sale: Tickets for the 2011 season at Darlington Raceway went on-sale to the general public Saturday, November 13. The 2011 season at Darlington Raceway will get underway on Saturday, March 12 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its return for the Too Tough To Tame 200 for the second consecutive year. The NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series are set to make their way to Darlington Raceway on Mother's Day weekend, May 6-7, for their annual dance with the Lady in Black.
      Fans will notice several enhancements this year when ordering their tickets to Darlington Raceway, here are just a few:
      · New Youth Pricing – For the first time in the track's storied history Darlington Raceway will offer half-price reserved seats at each event for youths 17 and under. All general admission seating at the Too Tough To Tame 200 and Royal Purple 200 will be free for youths age 17 and under.
      · Expanded Family Section Seating – Darlington Raceway has expanded its Family Section (alcohol and tobacco free seating) to include sections in all grandstands at the facility.
      · New Cooler Policy – Darlington Raceway has increased the size allowance for personal coolers being brought into the facility. Fans can now carry in a 14 x 14 x 14 soft-sided cooler with removable hard liner. The new cooler size gives fans six times more storage for food and beverage than under the previous policy.
      · Special Military Discount – Military members will pay just half price for grandstand seating at all events. Military members taking advantage of the half price seating offer for the SHOWTIME Southern 500 will also receive a special camouflage Darlington Raceway t-shirt that they are encouraged to wear on race day. Military members will be asked to stand in their seating area during pre-race ceremonies and be recognized by the crowd.
      · Special Military NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Offer – A special military package is being offered for the Too Tough ToTame 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for just $7 that includes a general admission seat and pre-race pit pass.
      Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(11-14-2010)


      News from November 13, 2010

    • Race Coverage of the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, November 14, 2010.
      Television (TV): ESPN at 3:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 2:00 pm/et; green flag approx 3:15pm/et
      Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) only on NASCAR.com and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2, Monday, November 15 at 2:30am/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, November 17 at 12:00pm/et

    • Happy Hour Practice: for the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest, notes:
      #99-Edwards 132.343
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 131.733
      #24-Gordon 131.690
      #11-Hamlin 131.128
      #29-Harvick 131.105
      the top three with best 10-lap average
      #99-Edwards 129.745
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. 129.442
      #24-Gordon 129.314
      slowest: #55-Bliss 126.538 and #71-Gaughan 126.640
      no speed listed: #81-TLabonte
      Ron Hornaday took a few laps in the #39 Chevy, Hornaday is standing by for Ryan Newman, whose wife is expecting there first child within the next two weeks.
      See fastest laps, most laps, average speeds on the Phoenix Practice Speeds Page.(11-13-2010)

    • Happy Hour rank for the Chase drivers at Phoenix:
      [by current points standings]:
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4th
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 7th
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 5th
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 1st
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 24th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3rd
      7) #18-Kyle Busch, 32nd
      8) #14-Tony Stewart, 28th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 10th
      10) #33-Clint Bowyer, 29th
      11) #2-Kurt Busch, 34th
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 19th
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-13-2010)

    • Saturday First Practice: for the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes:
      #99-Edwards 132.033
      #24-Gordon 131.989
      #2-Busch 131.989
      #17-Kenseth 131.738
      #31-Burton 131.670
      slowest: #81-TLabonte 124.961 and #26-Yeley 126.971
      the top three with best 10-lap average
      #42-Montoya 129.912
      #43-Allmendinger 129.846
      #99-Edwards 129.593
      See fastest laps, most laps, average speeds on the Phoenix Practice Speeds Page.(11-13-2010)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Phoenix: The selections of pit stalls for the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway have been made. Pole sitter #99-Edwards chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #43-Allmendinger took pit stall 13, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #2-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 34th pit stall, the third stall with an opening in front of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 15th.
      Thre top Chase drivers:
      #11-Hamlin, starts 17th, took stall 18
      #48-Johnson, starts 21st, took stall, 39
      #29-Harvick, starts 29th, took stall 37
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-13-2010)

    • Stewart has no plans to run Indy 500: #14-Tony Stewart met with media at Phoenix and discussed Chevrolet's return to IndyCar in 2012, part of the transcript:
      Q) BIG NEWS TODAY ABOUT CHEVROLET COMING BACK TO THE INDYCAR SERIES. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
      Stewart: “I am excited about it. I think it’s something that…………….this Honda program they had over there was a joke anyway. I mean the way that they did it and the way the guys were limited on practice time……..it was just a fiasco. So thank God we finally have an American-made engine back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
      Q) DOES THAT INCREASE THE ODDS THAT WE WILL SEE YOU IN AN INDYCAR OR AS A TEAM OWNER?
      Stewart: “No. No, no, no and no. I don’t have any extra time to do any of that right now.”(Team Chevy)(11-13-2010)

    • Wells Fargo foreclosing on NASCAR Plaza tower: After being sued by its co-lender, Wells Fargo & Co. has started foreclosure proceedings against the NASCAR Plaza office tower. According to court filings, property owner Corporate Plaza Partners defaulted a year ago, when a $95 million loan Wells and Regions Financial Corp. made in 2007 came due; the outstanding balance was more than $70 million. Corporate Plaza Partners is an affiliate of Indianapolis-based Lauth Group Inc., which developed the tower next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-13-2010)

    • Red Line Oil to Sponsor Terry Labonte at PIR: Red Line Oil will be featured on three cars in the NASCAR activities in Phoenix, including primary sponsorship in the WYPALL 200 Nationwide Series event with Michael McDowell in the McDonald Motorsports #46 Chevy and Johnny Borneman in his family-owned Ford Taurus. In addition, NASCAR legend Terry Labonte will drive the Whitney Motorsports Red Line Oil #81 Dodge in Sunday's Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500.(KahnMedia)(11-13-2010)

    • Robby back to Chevy: #7-Robby Gordon says the Chevy-to-Indy move is just perfect for him, and he says he'll be a part of the new Chevy Indy operation. Gordon is preparing to run next spring's Indy 500 with his own team (it will of course have to be with a Honda engine). And Gordon says he expects to make the NASCAR jump next season from Toyota back to Chevrolet. Gordon, who heads back to Mexico in a couple of days to run the Baja 1000, says he's one of five men with a shot to win the 16-hour marathon. But it hasn't been such a great year for Gordon, who last year's off-road championship but who this year has been hit with mechanical issues, most recently with his off-road transmission. Gordon said it was not true that the Specialized bike company was suing him over the 'S' he is using for his new energy drink: "I'm suing Specialized, because I've had that 'S' for years."(MikeMulhern)(11-13-2010)

    • IRL driver - Tony Kanaan on possible NASCAR trucks future:
      Q) What is the status of your discussion with Kyle Busch of racing for his NASCAR truck series team?
      Tony Kannan: Right now it's just talk. I'm going to go watch the race in Homestead. But obviously, I'm still trying to get something in IndyCar. That's where I have been all my life. I've been in talks with a lot of teams, but financially it's a very difficult situation for everybody. A lot of teams don't even have the budget for a full car, forget about paying me. So I've got to explore all my options. Me and Kyle know each other because we shared the same sponsor (Mars) and did a lot of the same functions. He has his own truck team and doesn't do all the races, so he called me up and I said, "Why not? Let's talk." People are making a big deal like I am going there already. Well, I've got to listen to anybody. Right now I don't have a deal. If I did I would have said 'no'. It's still baby steps. Right now I don't think he even has the sponsorship to run it, as well. You need to put all the ideas together. When did he call, because originally 2005 IndyCar series champion Dan Wheldon had been linked to that supposed opening? Two weeks ago. He's probably talking to other people as well, not just me. He's looking for a driver to do seven or eight races that he's not going to do.
      Q) So there's been no formal offer?
      Tony Kannan: No, not even talk of doing a test or anything. It was a friendly phone call. "Come over. Come watch it. Maybe then we'll sit down." And it wouldn't be a full-time job unless he can find a sponsor to put trucks out there and it would be financially worth it for him to run a full season. I can't say that right now.(Jamestown)(11-13-2010)

    • RPM at Phoenix, plan on being at Homestead: While the four Richard Petty Motorsports teams were prepping cars for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday morning, the regular chain of command was nowhere to be found. Robbie Loomis, executive director of racing operations, was scheduled in before qualifying. Sammy Johns, director of operations was preparing to run a half-Ironman in the Beach to Battleship Triathalon in Wilmington, N.C. In the lounge of the #43 transporter was Dr. Eric Warren, former technical director of Evernham Motorsports who revised his role at RPM specializing in simulation projects, who jokingly deferred responsibility to Mike Shiplett, crew chief of the #43 team. “We’re here to sit on the pole and win the race,” Shiplett said, sounding like Loomis. Shiplett is encouraged about this weekend’s activities after his driver, AJ Allmendinger, won the pole at Phoenix in April and finished 15th. And since Allmendinger participated in the Goodyear tire test at Homestead in September, Shiplett feels the team will be strong in the season finale next weekend. “I think he’ll be good there,” Shiplett said. “He really liked the new tires — thought they had more grip and were able to fall off. When you have speed and fall off that makes for great racing. That puts the racing back in the driver’s hands.” As far as whether RPM will have cars for next week, Shilplett says everything is right on schedule. “We have our Homestead cars ready and are expecting delivery on the engines today,“ Shiplett said. “We’ll put the engines in on Monday, chassis dyno the cars on Tuesday, Wednesday we’ll do the final scales and the cars will be ready to go to Homestead (FoxSports)(11-13-2010)

    • NASCAR hosting racing youth from Bahrain, Qatar : NASCAR is hosting young people from Bahrain and Qatar as part of a diplomatic program of the U.S. State Department. The State Department said Friday that 11 young adults involved in auto racing would travel to Charlotte, N.C., and Miami Nov. 15-23. They are scheduled to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame and to attend races. The trip is sponsored by SportsUnited, a State Department exchange program that brings foreign athletes to the United States (Associated Press)(11-13-2010)

    • Seven 2009 race winners: have not won a Sprint Cup Series race in 2010 with two races to go:
      #83-Kasey Kahne last won at Atlanta in September 2009 [while in the #9 car] and has a two tear streak of winning at least one race on the line; #17-Matt Kenseth last won at Auto Club in February 2009; #24-Jeff Gordon at Texas in April 2009; #12-Brad Keselowski at Talladega in April 2009; #5-Mark Martin at New Hampshire in September 2009; #20-Joey Logano at New Hampshire in June 2009; #83-Brian Vickers last won at Michigan in August 2009 but is not racing the rest of the season due to blood clots.(11-12-2010)

    • Kurt Busch to do more drag racing: On a beautiful late fall day in Rockingham, NC, Kurt Busch took the next step in his recent drag racing endeavor. Busch ran quick enough, in a Roy Hill-owned Pro Stock, to earn his Pro Stock license. There were no other competitors on site. It was Kurt Busch, his drag racing crew, the track prep crew and Roy Hill conducting the first day of a three day class of teacher, student and the necessary back-up personnel needed for Busch to earn his stripes in a Pro Stock car. Busch and his drag racing crew, individuals dedicated to drag racing, under the tutelage of Hill were put through the paces over the course of three days to ensure come 2011 they would be ready for whatever might transpire. The whispered word, at least around the sole media member allowed on site, was Busch will return to Gainesville, FL next March with hopes of making his NHRA Pro Stock debut. On the evening of the second day Busch paused from his schedule to confirm the goal. “If we're ready,” noted Busch, “We plan on renting a car from Allen Johnson, with the blessing of Mopar, and attempt to make the field in Gainesville.” On the very first day Busch went quick enough to earn his NHRA Pro Stock license; but nowhere near quick enough to compete against the seasoned veterans. There is still plenty of work to be done. Work every team must complete before showing up at the track hoping to compete. “He's earned his license,” said Roy Hill, owner of Roy Hill's Drag Racing School and a former owner of Rockingham Dragway, then adding “That doesn't mean he's ready to compete at the top level. He'll get there but this isn't as easy as everyone thinks. Kurt's learning and learning quickly and it won't be long before he is ready.”(in part from CompetitionPlus)(11-13-2010)

    • 5th Annual SPEED Performace Awards: As the SPEED Performance Awards roll into its fifth year, SPEED is updating the interactive fan-voting Web page with social media hooks and sharing functionality, along with an optimized video player that can be seen on iDevices and Android mobile devices. “The SPEED Performance Awards continue to be a great way to capture the extreme emotions race fans go through over the course of a season,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “All of the hold-your-breath, edge-of-your-seat, laugh-out-loud moments packaged together … and the fans get to pick their favorites.”
      Highlighted by the prestigious panel-voted SPEED Performer of the Year and the presentation of the Mario Andretti Trophy, the 5th Annual SPEED Performance Awards offer nine categories for voting exclusively by viewers and race fans: Best Finish, Best Move, Biggest Comeback, Best Rivalry, Biggest Upset, Biggest Hit, Temper, Temper, Oops Award and RACER Magazine Rookie of the Year. Fan voting opens Nov. 22 with the television special scheduled for February. The SPEED Performance Awards debuted in 2006, with SPEED combining on-line video elements, fan voting, SPEED expertise and support from multiple motor sports sanctioning bodies and media partners. The culminating one-hour awards show first aired in February of 2007.(SPEED)(11-13-2010)


      News from November 12, 2010

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Phoenix: With only two races left, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship continues Sunday, Nov. 14, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Kobalt Tools 500 at the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR Countdown kicks off ESPN's telecast at 2:00pm/et with the race telecast at 3:00pm/et. The green flag is scheduled for 3:15 pm/et. Also from Phoenix, NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying will air on ESPN2 on Friday, Nov. 12, at 5:30pm/et. Practice sessions air Friday at 2:00pm/et and Saturday at 3:00pm/et. Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race. ESPN.com motorsports writer David Newton will be on-site at Phoenix to report on the weekend's action and news.

    • ESPN Radio Raceday Airs Saturday, Sunday: Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio's RaceDay starts its engines at 6:00 am/et with host Pat Patterson anchored from Daytona Beach, Fla. Patterson also originates the broadcast from several racetracks with key races during the season. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio's RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR's biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails. A list of ESPN Radio affiliates can be found at www.espnradio.com.

    • Edwards wins pole at Phoenix: #99-Carl Edwards won the Coors Pole for the Kobalt Tools 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with a TRACK RECORD speed of 136.389mph for his 3rd pole of 2010 and 7th of his career. #43-Allmendinger will start 2nd followed by #2-Busch, #16-Biffle, #1-McMurray, #00-Reutimann, #18-Busch, #78-Smith, #9-Almirola and #20-Logano.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #13-Mears, #09-BLabonte, #36-Blaney, #26-Yeley, #55-Bliss, #38-Kvapil, #64-Cassill and #81-TLabonte who used a past champions provisional to make the race.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #66-Leffler, #87-Nemechek and #46-McDowell.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Phoenix Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(11-12-2010)

    • Starting Spots for the Chase drivers at Phoenix:
      Only four of the 12 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10 for the Kobalt Tools 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, the starting spots for the 12 chasers:
      [by current points standings]:
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin, 17th
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 21st
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 29th
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 1st
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 15th
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 22nd
      7) #18-Kyle Busch, 7th
      8) #14-Tony Stewart, 20th
      9) #16-Greg Biffle, 4th
      10) #33-Clint Bowyer, 14th
      11) #2-Kurt Busch, 3rd
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 40th
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-12-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Phoenix:
      #99-Carl Edwards won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Kobalt Tools 500 with a lap of 26.395 seconds, 136.389 mph. This is a track record (old Ryan Newman, Nov. 7, 2004, 26.499 seconds/135.854 mph)
      This is his seventh pole in 228 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his third pole and 14th top-10 start in 2010.
      This is his second pole in 13 races at Phoenix International Raceway. His last pole came in this event in 2008. This is his fifth top-five finish here.
      #43-A J Allmendinger (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2010 and his second in five races at Phoenix International Raceway.
      #2-Kurt Busch (third) posted his 10th top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 17th in 35 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-12-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, November 12, 2010 at 5:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): ESPN2 at 5:30pm/et
      Jayski.com: Jayski's Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: none

    • Qualifying Order for the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International 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 #24-Gordon.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #1-McMurray.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #09-BLabonte with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #13-Mears.
      See the full qualifying order on the Phoenix Qualifying Page.(11-12-2010)

    • Friday Practice: for the Kobalt Tools 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes:
      #99-Edwards 135.130
      #78-Smith 134.645
      #14-Stewart 134.469
      #18-Busch 134.263
      #12-Keselowski 134.183
      slowest: #81-TLabonte 128.875 and #37-Gilliland 130.232
      incidents: #47-Ambrose spun off turn 2 early in practice, but didn't hit anything; 20 minutes into practice, #16-Biffle scraped the wall, did some cosmetic damage.
      See fastest laps, most laps, average speeds on the Phoenix Practice Speeds Page.(11-12-2010)

    • Phoenix practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #09-Bobby Labonte [PC1], 23rd fastest overall
      #13-Casey Mears, 24th
      #38-Travis Kvapil, 30th
      #36-Dave Blaney, 36th
      #46-Michael McDowell, 37th
      #66-Jason Leffler, 38th
      #26-J.J. Yeley, 39th
      #81-Terry Labonte [PC2] 46th, would use a past champ prov to make race
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
      #64-Landon Cassill, 41st
      #55-Mike Bliss, 42nd
      [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

    • Nationwide deal for Stremme?: Speaking to the "Inside Alabama Racing" radio program broadcast on Mobile, AL's WSNP Sports Radio 105.5 FM [Wednesday night], David Stremme said he is really close to signing a sponsor for 2011 that would be a full time Nationwide ride.(11-12-2010)

    • NASCAR does pre-inspection of Chase contenders: NASCAR has inspected the cars the three championship contenders plan to race in next week's season finale. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston says the cars for #48-Jimmie Johnson, #11-Denny Hamlin and #29-Kevin Harvick were inspected in the North Carolina research and development center this week. The cars were measured to make sure they fit the templates ahead of the Nov. 21 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR says it was a precautionary measure during the tightest Chase for the Sprint Cup championship since the format was introduced in 2004.(Associated Press)(11-12-2010)

    • Chevy back in Indy Car UPDATE 2: General Motors Co. and its motorsports entity - GM Racing - has committed to fielding a Chevrolet-branded Twin-Turbo V6 racing engine to compete against Honda in the IndyCar Series beginning with the 2012 season. The announcement will be made this Friday, November 12, at a venue yet to be determined. Chip Ganassi, after an intense flirtation with Ford where he considered joining their NASCAR program, is instead committing to a relationship with GM Racing and Chevrolet in NASCAR starting in 2011 and in IndyCar beginning in 2012. Ganassi had apparently been leaning toward going with Ford over the last several weeks but once Ganassi learned that GM was going "all-in" for a new IndyCar racing engine program, his decision to go with GM was a fait accompli. Two details that could not be confirmed at post time are whether or not Ganassi would have an exclusive with the new Chevrolet-branded Indy V6 for the first season (in part from Autoextremist.com)
      AND "This is pure speculation," IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard told SPEED.com. "We continue to be in talks with various manufacturers regarding involvement in our future engine and chassis program but we do not have any signed contracts other than Honda for 2012."(SPEED)(11-8-2010)
      UPDATE: On Friday 12th November, GM will announce its return to the IndyCar Series with the Chevrolet brand spearheading the challenge. This will be announced at a press conference in the Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The engine will be a pure race unit of 134 CID (2.2L) V6, with twin turbos, 4 cams, 4 valves per cylinder. GM will confirm that Ilmor Engineering will be their partner in this program which begins with the new car / engine rules package for 2012. Ilmor's US engine shop is in Plymouth MI close to all the GM engineering facilities. Penske Racing will be one of the teams to commit to using Chevrolet engines for 2012. It was Penske who gave Chevrolet their last Indy 500 win in 2002 using an Ilmor built engine. Chevrolet and Honda will compete for teams in 2011 and then race each other on track in 2012.(11-12-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Chevrolet will compete in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel. The new purpose-built Chevy IndyCar engine will be developed jointly by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering. Team Penske is the first IndyCar team to commit to Chevrolet power in 2012. The Chevrolet IndyCar engine will be available to all entrants in accordance with the series' regulations.(Team Chevy)(11-12-2010)

    • Frank Caliendo and Rascal Flatts headline Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony: Country music band Rascal Flatts will join comedian Frank Caliendo at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 3 at Wynn Las Vegas. Broadcast live on SPEED at 9:00 pm/et, Rascal Flatts will entertain fans with a performance of songs from their multi-platinum selling records, as well as their upcoming album, “Nothing Like This,” due to release Nov. 16. Caliendo, impressionist extraordinaire, will host for a second-consecutive year.
      “We have a supportive and loyal fan base among NASCAR nation, including the teams and drivers, and we plan to put on a special show for them as we all celebrate the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion,” said Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts. “It will be a thrill to perform in a room with drivers we follow and also call friends, and we look forward to performing for the fans tuning in live to the show.”
      The Nashville trio has recorded 11 No. 1 singles and holds nearly 40 music award trophies since their career began in 2000. In the past decade, Rascal Flatts has sold more than 20 million albums and 25 million digital downloads. As part of the album launch of “Nothing Like This,” Rascal Flatts will be kicking off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony with a special performance.
      Caliendo has become a Las Vegas staple, starring in his own show at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The MADtv alumnus is no stranger to NASCAR, having appeared at postseason events for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, along with last year’s hosting gig.
      “I am happy to be back as the host of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony, which is sure to be a fun-filled night with lots of laughs, amazing live performances and highlights from the action on the track this season,” Caliendo said. “Fans watching from home are in for a treat this year as I show off a few surprises I’ve been working on – so get ready!”
      The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony is the culmination of NASCAR Champion’s Week, a week-long postseason celebration consisting of several days of high-energy and fan-friendly activities involving the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and drivers who finished in the top 12 of the series’ final standings and competed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – NASCAR’s “playoffs.” In addition to Rascal Flatts and Caliendo, other talent announcements will be made soon.
      For more information on the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony and NASCAR’s Champions Week, visit www.nascar.com/championsweek.(11-12-2010)

    • By the Numbers For Phoenix:
      2 – Fewest ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the previous 28 Sprint Cup races at Phoenix International Raceway (11/7/99)
      3 – Fewest ServiceMaster Clean cautions in a Sprint Cup race this season (Richmond, 9/11/10)
      4 of the 12 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup have yet to win in 2010 (Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth)
      5 – number of ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers scheduled for service at PIR; one has already been release based on favorable weekend forecast
      6 of 28 Sprint Cup races at PIR have been won from the front row
      7 of the last 8 Sprint Cup races at PIR have been won from a top-10 starting position
      7 of the 34 Sprint Cup races this season have been extended beyond the scheduled distance following a late ServiceMaster Clean caution
      11 – most ServiceMaster Clean cautions for a Sprint Cup race at PIR (11/7/04)
      12 different Sprint Cup race winners in 2010
      15 –most ServiceMaster Clean cautions in a Sprint Cup race this season (Martinsville, 10/24/10)
      18 different Sprint Cup pole winners in 2010
      18 different Sprint Cup pole winners at PIR in 28 races
      20 different Sprint Cup race winners at PIR in 28 races
      120 minutes – approximate time it takes for the ServiceMaster Clean jets to dry the PIR track
      Sprint Cup
      5 of the 34 Sprint Cup races this season have had 10 or more ServiceMaster Clean cautions; 13 of 34 races last year had 10 or more cautions
      133 of 250 ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the first 34 Sprint Cup races this season were for accidents, 46 for debris and 34 for spins
      250 ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the first 34 Sprint Cup events this season; 294 after 34 races last year
      1,259 of 10,099 laps completed in the first 34 Sprint Cup races this year have been under a ServiceMaster Clean caution; 1,393 of 8,315 after 34 races last year
      1,753.010 of 13,825.008 miles completed this season in the 34 Sprint Cup races have been under a ServiceMaster Clean caution; 1,923.070 of 13,394.891 after 34 races last year.(11-12-2010)

    • Victory Junction hosts Fort Bragg: Victory Junction opened their gates to Command Sergeant Majors, their spouses and support staff from Ft. Bragg on Monday November 8, 2010. The Commanding General, Frank Helmick has developed an initiative to encourage soldiers, family members, and civilian employees of the Ft. Bragg community to get involved with Victory Junction through volunteering. Soldiers will be provided with the opportunity to represent Ft. Bragg and also serve the role of a volunteer while working with a camper and/or their family. The relationship between Victory Junction and Ft. Bragg created another opportunity for both organizations to serve families of fallen heroes through Survivor Outreach Services. Families of the SOS program have had the chance to attend three family weekends at Victory Junction. The camp provides these families with the opportunity to spend time together and play at camp. One mother said, “It was a great bonding weekend with wonderful new friends and I got a chance to be a fun mommy again!” The next SOS family weekend is planned for March 2011. In addition to these weekends, Victory Junction plans to host a future event for wounded warriors and their families (Victory Junction)(11-12-2010)

    • Polaris to sponsor Robby at Phoenix: The #7 Polaris Toyota speeds into Phoenix International Raceway this weekend with Robby Gordon behind the wheel. Gordon and the #7 team will welcome Polaris back to the hood of their Toyota. Polaris has been a supporter of Gordon in both his NASCAR and off-road ventures, and has served as a sponsor on Gordon’s machines for several events. Phoenix International Raceway will always hold a special place in Gordon’s heart as it was the site of his first CART victory. While most of his competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enjoy their off-season relaxing with friends and family, Gordon will spend several weeks competing in a variety of vehicles and racing series. First watch for Gordon in the final event of the 2010 SCORE International Off-Road Series season—the Baja 1000, November 18, 2010. Immediately after the conclusion of that event, Gordon will be fully engaged in his preparation for the 2011 Dakar Rally which takes place in January. Gordon will race across the desert and mountainous terrain of South America in one of the most grueling races in the world.(RGM), no word if Gordon will be back in the #7 at Homestead or if Kevin Conway will return to the ride.(11-12-2010)

    • Speediatrics Unit Celebrates 10th Anniversary: The Halifax Health - Betty Jane France Center for Pediatrics, otherwise known as Speediatrics, celebrated the beginning of a new decade of caring by unveiling a complete renovation of the children’s unit during a ceremony held this afternoon in Daytona Beach, FL. This year, The NASCAR Foundation and Halifax Health will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Speediatrics. In recognition of this celebration, The NASCAR Foundation presented Speediatrics with a $150,000 donation to the unit. During the event, NASCAR Foundation Chairperson Betty Jane France was joined by NASCAR President and NASCAR Foundation Board Member Mike Helton, NASCAR Foundation Board Member Rusty Wallace, Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey and Halifax Health President and CEO Jeff Feasel. The renovation of the NASCAR-themed unit was accomplished with the help of NASCAR sponsors 3M and Best Buy as well as Vomela Motorsports, Akzo Nobel Paints LLC and K’NEX. The Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Juan and Connie Montoya’s Formula Smiles Foundation have also supported this very important cause (NASCAR)(11-12-2010)


      News from November 11, 2010

    • Travis Pastrana heading to NASCAR? UPDATE many reports out there that Travis Pastrana will leave Subaru Rally Team USA and head to NASCAR, supposedly siging with Michael Waltrip Racing / Diamond Waltrip Racing, supposedly running either the NASCAR K&N Racing Series or Nationwide Series in 2011. Supposedly Pastrana posted an image on his Twitter [but has since removed it] and an announcement could come as soon as Thursday. A few sites reporting this 'news' include: CBS Sports, NASCAR Examiner, AutoBlog.com [with an image of the car], SpeedFreaks and AutoWeekRacing.(11-10-2010)
      UPDATE: Travis Pastrana is coming to NASCAR in 2011. After mining gold medals in the X Games, shattering jump records on both motorcycles and automobiles and starring as a cultural icon for the action sports world, the star of MTV's "Nitro Circus" is ready to turn his attention to America's most popular form of motorsports – NASCAR. Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Pastrana announced today the creation of Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that will field cars in the NASCAR Nationwide Series beginning in 2011. Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will focus on creating programs that expose the action sports world's fans and participants to NASCAR and develop youth marketing initiatives designed to create greater awareness of both sports. Initial plans are for Pastrana to compete in seven NASCAR Nationwide races in 2011 and twenty races in 2012. "I've been following NASCAR closely for years as a fan of the sport with competing in the sport a life-long dream," Pastrana said. "I decided it was time to try and turn that dream into reality and with the help of the Bechtel family, Michael Waltrip Racing and Wasserman Media Group I'm now one step closer!" Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will field Toyotas out of the Michael Waltrip Racing shop in Cornelius, N.C. Waltrip noted the importance of the youth demographic Pastrana brings to NASCAR.(Pastrana-Waltrip Team/WMG)(11-11-2010)

    • GEICO to sponsor Mears for final two races: Initially scheduled to appear as the primary sponsor of the #13 Germain Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry for 18 races during the 2010 season, GEICO's excitement has grown. After Talladega, the insurance giant decided to add the Texas Sprint Cup Series race and then, after the checkered flag was displayed in Fort Worth last weekend, they began contemplating the balance of the season. GEICO announced that they would be picking up primary sponsorship of Casey Mears and the #13 GEICO Camry for the remaining two Sprint Cup Series races, at Phoenix and Homestead. GEICO will also appear as a major associate sponsor on the #30 Toyota Tundra of Todd Bodine, who currently has a firm grasp on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead. At Homestead for NASCAR's season finale, the GEICO Gecko will boast a full schedule. Aside from the entries of Mears and Bodine, the charming and exciting 'Mad' Max Papis will join his teammates, as he pilots the #9 GEICO Toyota Tundra in his final Truck Series race of the season before embarking on a full-time Truck Series schedule in 2011.(GEICO Racing)(11-11-2010)

    • Wheldon to NASCAR rumor returns: from the Indianapolis Star 'Ask the Expert' column:
      Q) As a huge fan of Dan Wheldon, I have been extremely concerned as to his future plans. Have you heard any directions as to his future plans?
      Curt Cavin Answer: "I'm told he has explored an opportunity in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series — with Kyle Busch's team — and I have said for weeks that his options in IndyCar are limited at best. I'm sure he feels otherwise about his ability to remain in IndyCar."(Indianapolis Star)(11-11-2010)

    • #64 team gets sponsor for Phoenix: Empire Steel Buildings will sponsor the #64 Team at this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Empire Steel Building's founder and president Michael Beeler, understands the scope of being in front of Millions of the most dedicated sports fans in the country and looks forward to showcase his company in this major national sporting event with Landon Cassill and the #64 Max Q Motorsports Toyota of Larry Gunselman. "There is a definite connection with our company and this sport in being ultra competitive and quality oriented".(Hufco Pro Motion PR)(11-11-2010)

    • Front Row to 2 cars? Kvapil returns in 2011: from an interview with driver Travis Kvapil:
      Kvapil: For next year, we're going to up our goals. It looks like we'll have some better equipment and a better gameplan for next year. We probably won't have three teams. I'm not 100% sure on that, but it looks like we'll be able to focus our attention on two cars, two teams, and that should make us better.
      Q) How much of a difference will a two-car shift make?
      Kvapil: That's part of what I'm talking about [that] I don't think people understand. Going from Texas to Phoenix after the race, we have to pull ballast, lead, out of these cars for our Phoenix cars. We just don't have enough stuff. We have to pull sway bar arms, springs — we just don't have the components to really be prepared. Hopefully downsizing would be able to help that. We've got three cars on the track right now. We downsize to two, that frees up a lot of equipment and components to where it'd be easier to be better prepared.(Frontstretch)(11-11-2010)

    • Contest winner designed Dale Jr.'s PIR scheme: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 Chevy will have a different look this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The Diet Mountain Dew Paint the 88 contest gave fans the chance to design and submit their own original paint schemes online during a five-week period. Earnhardt chose the winning paint scheme, which was a green-and-white design created by fan Jason Corino, of Colorado Springs, Colo. Earnhardt made the selection from almost 10,000 submissions. Earnhardt will unveil his special paint scheme at Diet Dew Race Night on Friday, when the Phoenix Coyotes face off against the Calgary Flames in Glendale, AZ. Earnhardt, McGrew and the #88 team will make a special appearance on the ice with the car during the first intermission of the game. Prior to the game, Earnhardt will answer questions from fans during a special Race Night Town Hall for 100 lucky fans who purchase a special $88 VIP ticket. For more information call 480-563-PUCK or visit PhoenixCoyotes.com.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(11-11-2010)

    • Tums scheme for Reutimann at Phoenix: Tums Racing and the #00 TumsUMS Toyota return to the track at Phoenix International Raceway for the Kobalt Tools 500. This will mark the final time in the 2010 NSCS season that TUMS will appear as a primary paint scheme. The TUMS scheme previously appeared at Las Vegas, Martinsville in March, Chicago (Win) and New Hampshire in September (MWR), see images of the scheme on the #00 Team Schemes page.(11-11-2010)

    • Chase Stats & Past Chase Notes after eight races: #11-Denny Hamlin's late charge to the win at Texas unseated leader #48-Jimmie Johnson, only the second time the lead has changed hands this late in the Chase. In Johnson's dramatic comeback bid in 2006 to win his first Chase, he took second to #17-Matt Kenseth's 12th at Texas and grabbed the lead for good. The lead has not changed hands after race #9 or #10 in six previous Chases. Even though regaining the lead at Phoenix would be a Chase first, Johnson has bested Hamlin at Phoenix eight of nine times, including winning the last three Chase races at PIR.
      How the Chase standings looked with two races to go since it started in 2004:
      2009 (After 8 Races)
      1-JOHNSON 6297/+73
      2-Martin 6224/-73
      3-Jeff Gordon 6185/-112
      2008 (After 8 Races)
      1-JOHNSON 6366/+106
      2-Edwards 6260/-106
      3-Biffle 6223/-143
      2007 (After 8 Races)
      1-JOHNSON 6382/+30
      2-J Gordon 6352/-30
      3-Bowyer 6201/-181
      2006 (After 8 Races)
      1-JOHNSON 6157/+17
      2-Kenseth 6140/-17
      3-Dale Jr. 6079/-78
      4-Hamlin 6077/-80
      2005 (After 8 Races)
      1-STEWART 6255/+38
      2-Johnson 6217/-38
      3-Edwards 6178/-77
      2004 (After 8 Races)
      1-KU BUSCH 6191/+41
      2-J Gordon 6150/-41
      3-Dale Jr 6144/-47
      4-Johnson 6143/-48
      See more stats and notes on the Chase Stats after Texas page and my 2010 Chase Notes and History page.(11-11-2010)

    • Ambrose scheme to bring awareness to food drive: Marcos Ambrose will carry Little Debbie on the hood of his #47 Toyota at Phoenix with strong support from Safeway. JTG Daugherty Racing partners (Clorox, McKee Foods, Kimberly-Clark, Lance, Bush's Beans, TUMS, Reynold's) have joined forces with Safeway to bring awareness to "Ben & Matt's Million Can Crusade" and make a donation to the valley's largest can food drive. Every dollar donated provides 10 cans of meat, fish, veggies, fruitand other non-perishables to thousands of individuals and families in need. NASCAR fans can also be a part of the crusade to raise a Million Cans of food (or the cash equivalent) by dropping off food at any SAFEWAY store in Arizona or at St. Vincent de Paul's in Phoenix and/or by making a donation at any Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. For more information on SAFEWAY locations for donations, visit www.knixcountry.com.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(11-11-2010)

    • Phoenix Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Phoenix this weekend will run the same Goodyear tire codes, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Phoenix this past April and teams in all three series ran here in 2009 . . . this is also the same tire set-up that Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Richmond over the past two seasons, Nationwide and Truck teams ran at Gateway this season, and Truck teams ran at New Hampshire this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix. The estimated pit window for the SPrint Cup cars is every 75-80 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear). See full report, codes, pressures and more on the Phoenix Race Info page - Goodyear section.(11-11-2010)

    • Martin's Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Award in Texas: Mark Martin's #5 crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It was the first pit road win of the season for the #5 crew and the 17th different Tissot winner of the 2010 season. Martin's #5 Carquest/GoDaddy.com Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road – 305.658 seconds -- during the AAA Texas 500. The quick work by Martin's crew helped the veteran driver post a third-place finish. The #5 over-the-wall crew consists of: Kyle Turner (front-tire changer), JD Holcomb (front-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Dion Williams (rear-tire carrier), Bailey Walker (jackman), Brad Pickens (gasman) and Travis Gordon (catch can). The crew chief is Alan Gustafson and the pit crew coaches are Mark Mauldin, Walt Smith and Matt Skeen.
      Four teams are currently tied for first place in the Tissot season standings. The leaders are the crews for Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray with each team scoring four pit road wins. Clint Bowyer's crew is one behind with three wins. The Tissot season championship crew will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. Tissot has already paid out $170,000 in prize money with $5,000 going to the weekly-winning crew. In the event there is a tie at the end of the season for the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award championship, the tiebreaker goes to the team whose driver finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup point standings.(Tissot), see standings and race-by-race winners on the 2010 Pit Crew News page.(11-11-2010)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame Offers Weeklong Discount In Honor of Veterans Day: In honor of Veterans Day, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is offering a weeklong military discount. Retired and active military members can enjoy a special discount of 50% off admission to the facility for a Veterans Week Celebration Monday, Nov. 8 – Sunday, Nov. 14, a savings of nearly $9 per person. As an added bonus, active-duty service members will receive a free international 60-minute calling card from Cell Phones for Soldiers. Military members should bring a military ID to receive their discount. The discounted ticket can be purchased at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office only. In addition to this special one-week offer, the NASCAR Hall of Fame also offers a year round $2 discount for military personnel. More info at the NASCAR Hall of Fame site.(11-8/11-2010)

    • Some Chassis selections for Phoenix International Raceway:
      #1-Jamie McMurray: Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the #1 McDonald’s team will bring chassis #1008 to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. This chassis was used at both 2010 New Hampshire events where McMurray has a best finish of third just last month. The chassis was also used in April at Phoenix International Raceway where McMurray battled handling issues after an on track altercation forced a 24th-place finish.
      #2-Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington and crew will be racing their “PRS-715” Miller Lite Dodge Charger at Phoenix this weekend. This chassis debuted in winning fashion in the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta. Busch led six times for 129 laps in his winning effort. In Penske Racing South tradition, Busch named his winning mount “Charger” as a tribute to his Dodge race car and because he was able to charge back to the front on numerous occasions during the race. It was Busch’s second consecutive spring AMS victory and was a monumental win for him personally as it extended his winning streak to nine consecutive seasons. Busch, Addington and crew have raced “Charger” only one time since; in the April 19 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas where Busch started 11th and finished a strong fourth.
      #5-Mark Martin: crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-588 for Sunday's race. This chassis finished fourth in its debut in the April Phoenix race. Since then, Martin also raced the car twice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
      #6-David Ragan: Primary: RK-613 last ran New Hampshire – finished 22nd; Backup: RK-633 last ran Michigan in the fall of 2009 – finished 30th. Estrella Center (SLIC 8531) has been selected as the Maximum Center for the November 14 race at Phoenix as part of UPS’s Center Recognition Program. The Estrella Center will have its number on the C-post of David Ragan’s UPS Ford throughout the weekend.
      #11-Denny Hamlin: and the FedEx Racing team will unload Chassis JGR 276 this weekend in Phoenix. 276 last ran at Richmond in September when Hamlin led 251 laps on his way his sixth win of the season. Chassis 288 will serve in backup duty. The #11 FedEx Ground Toyota will carry the letters PLNS on the b-post this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in recognition of the FedEx Ground Plains district’s excellence in package care.
      #12-Brad Keselowski: The #12 Penske Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-737 during Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is a brand-new chassis to the #12 team.
      #14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-535 debuted at Phoenix in April 2009. After only being tested in the wind tunnel, Chassis No. 14-535 hit the racetrack in impressive fashion, as Stewart used it to qualify sixth and lead once for 19 laps before finishing second, which at the time was the best finish for Stewart-Haas Racing. Chassis No. 14-535 returned to another flat track in June via New Hampshire, but its time on the racetrack was short after it crashed in practice. It was repaired with new front and rear clips for its return trip to New Hampshire in September. There, Chassis No. 14-535 led four times for 52 laps before a loose axle cap forced an unscheduled pit stop, which resulted in a 14th-place finish. The November trek to Phoenix marked the car’s third career start, where it qualified eighth and went from a possible top-10 performance to a disappointing 25th-place result when it was caught up in a multi-car accident on lap 171 of the 312-lap race. With a new body, Chassis No. 14-535 returned to Phoenix this past April for its first start of 2010 and fourth overall. It had a quiet outing, qualifying 11th and finishing 23rd. The car was quickly turned around and tested April 26 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga., but it has sat idle since.
      #16-Greg Biffle: crew chief Greg Erwin on Phoenix: “We’re taking the same car to Phoenix that we won with at Kansas so if we can just get the setup right this time, we should have a good race.” The #16 3M Ford will have a special Scotch Brand paint scheme for this weekend’s race in Phoenix.
      #17-Matt Kenseth: Primary: RK-698 was last run at Kansas, this weekend at Phoenix, Kenseth will pilot the #17 Valvoline Ford.
      #18-Kyle Busch: Chassis No. 286 will make its second-ever start in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500k at Phoenix. In its first start last month at Charlotte, Busch started sixth and led a race-high 217 laps before settling for a solid second-place finish.
      #29-Kevin Harvick: is scheduled to pilot Chassis No. 322 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Chevy made its debut at New Hampshire in September, where Harvick finished fifth. Additionally, Harvick piloted this chassis at Martinsville three weeks ago, where he led six times for 97 laps and scored his career-first Martinsville top five and finished third.
      #31-Jeff Burton: will race Chassis No. 319 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Caterpillar Chevy was put through its first paces at New Hampshire in September where the 17-year veteran was credited with a 15th-place result after running out of fuel with two laps remaining in the 300 miler and coasting to the finish.
      #33-Clint Bowyer: will race Chassis No. 327 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix. Built new in 2010, this Chevy made its debut last month at Martinsville where Bowyer finished 37th after being involved in an accident on lap 194.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya: Brian Pattie and the #42 Target team is bringing chassis #907 to Phoenix this weekend. The team has used this chassis four times, twice in 2010 (Loudon) and twice in 2009 (Loudon and Martinsville), qualifying in the top-five three out of the four events including two pole awards. Montoya has a best finish of third in both events last season.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson: will pilot chassis No. 540 in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix. He last drove that car to a fifth-place result at Martinsville Speedway in October. Back up chassis No. 520 has collected four wins in five starts – the most recent coming at Martinsville Speedway in March 2009.
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the #88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-589 for this weekend's race at Phoenix. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a fourth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.
      #99-Carl Edwards: The #99 Aflac team will unload RK-695 at Phoenix. Edwards raced this car at Kansas in October where he finished sixth. It also raced at MIS in August and Indy in July. This car has not finished outside the top seven in its three starts.
      (from team PR's/sites if reported)(11-11-2010)


      News from November 10, 2010

    • Richard Petty Motorsports on hold UPDATE: The situation at Richard Petty Motorsports remains tenuous at best, despite reports to the contrary. Last week team officials said everything was set for this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway as well as the season finale the following week. But five truck drivers remained in Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway waiting for the call as to whether they were heading west to the next race or back to the shop in the east as of Tuesday evening. The organization has been in limbo as team owner George Gillett is still reeling from the financial hit he took Oct. 15 when the English soccer team he co-owned -- Liverpool Football Club -- was taken over.
      RPM had planned to run two cars next season with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose. However, until money can be secured to settle the current debts at RPM, it’s uncertain how much longer the organization will be around. Sources told FOXSports.com that Richard Petty, the team's namesake, was in talks with Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial Group, in a bid to gain financial control of the company from Gillett.
      As a backup plan for Paul Menard, who has already announced that he will leave RPM to drive for Richard Childress Racing in 2011, the #10 Stavola Labonte Racing Chevy stayed within two hours of Texas Motor Speedway in case it needs to turn around and head to Phoenix for Menard’s use. Stavola Labonte Racing has a technical alliance with RCR.(FoxSports)(11-10-2010)
      UPDATE: Eight Richard Petty Motorsports Fords scheduled to compete this weekend at Phoenix international Raceway remain at Texas Motor Speedway today, waiting to be paid for so they can be released to travel to PIR. Reliable sources tell Sirius Speedway that as of 1:00 pm/et today, the cars sit on an unmarked, white Roush Fenway Racing transporter in a parking lot at Texas Motor Speedway. Alongside sit the respective Richard Petty Motorsports transporters, empty and waiting for permission to load the cars and begin their drive from Fort Worth to Avondale, Arizona.
      “The plan was to take RPM’s Phoenix cars to Texas and hold them there until the check cleared,” said a source close to the situation, speaking on the condition on anonymity. “The money was supposed to be there Monday, but that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen again yesterday, and everyone’s still there today, on hold. Everyone knew this was going to happen before they left for Texas. Our hands are tied and there’s nothing we can do but wait.”
      A representative for Richard Petty Motorsports said early this afternoon, “(The transporters) are headed to Phoenix. We’re all scheduled to leave as planned tomorrow morning. Nothing has changed.” Federal regulations allow transporter drivers to drive for only 10 hours before getting 10 hours of rest. It is approximately 18 hours from Texas to Phoenix, and teams are required to sign in at the track at 7:45 am/et (5:45 am local) on Friday.
      Richard Petty Motorsports employees have been required to work on their cars at Roush Fenway Racing in recent weeks, since Roush will not release the cars until they are paid for. RPM faces other financial obligations in the near future. The team is scheduled to make winnings and retainer payments to each of its drivers on the 15th of this month.(Sirius Speedway)
      UPDATE 2: ESPN2's NASCAR Now reported that the hauler's loaded up and left TMS's parking lot around 5:45pm/et, heading to Phoenix.(11-10-2010)(11-10-2010)

    • Final race for McDonald's in 2010: McDonald’s will make its final appearance of the 2010 season as the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray this weekend at Phoenix. McDonald’s was welcomed aboard as co-primary on McMurray’s #1 Chevy for the Las Vegas race in February, and continued for ten more races (not including Phoenix). The stats with McDonald’s on the hood are very impressive, as McMurray has accumulated three poles (of 4 total), three top-five, four top-10, and seven top-15 finishes for an average start of 10th and an average finish of 16th. McMurray has also led 174 laps, or 50% of his total laps led, with the Golden Arches on the hood. McMurray will be visiting the Ronald McDonald House of Phoenix, Thursday, Nov 11, to have dinner and visit with the many families that take advantage of the home in Phoenix (EGR)(11-10-2010)

    • Blaney uninjured in car wreck: Dave Blaney was uninjured in an auto accident Sunday night when he hit a deer while returning home from the airport after the Texas race.(Roanoke Times)(11-10-2010)

    • #48 crew chief Chad Knaus comments about pit crew swap:
      COMMENT ON THE DECISION TO MOVE FORWARD THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR WITH THE 24 AND 48 SWAPPING CREWS:
      Knaus "Yea, you know. It's a difficult decision for sure. There's always emotions involved but I think the thing that everybody has to realize is when we set up this team it was a one team situation. That's what we are and we always have been. We've had crew members from the 24 pit the 48, we've had crew members and mechanics on the 48 pit the 24. It's always been like that and we're going to continue to work that way. We set it up at the beginning of the year that we were going to have five or six tire changers, we were going to have three or four jackmen for the 24 and the 48 and that was explained to the guys at the beginning of the year and everyone understands that and that's the way it is."
      YOU SAID ON SUNDAY THAT YOU WANTED TO GET YOUR GUYS BACK HOME AND REGROUP. HOW DID YOU COME TO THE DECISION TO MAKE THE CHANGE?
      Knaus "It was obviously a collective decision. We got everybody involved, Stevie (Letarte) and myself initially. We actually talked about it Sunday night quite a bit on the flight home from Texas. We had a couple of hours there where we could run through some ideas and how we wanted to approach it. We felt like it was a good thing for the 48 obviously. And it could be a definite positive for the 24 as well. We got the drivers involved. We got Mr. (Rick) Hendrick and Mr. Carlson (Marshall Carlson, President, Hendrick Motorsports) involved and we discussed it and came up with a choice. And then we got the guys together and we discussed it with them and they all bought into it 100% and there's a lot of positive in it to be honest."(Team Lowe's)(11-10-2010)

    • How the Chase drivers have performed at Phoenix:
      1 - Denny Hamlin (#11 FedEx Toyota)
      · Five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
      · Average finish of 11.6 in 10 races
      2 - Jimmie Johnson (#48 Kobalt Toolss Chevy)
      · Four wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
      · Average finish of 4.9 in 14 races
      3 - Kevin Harvick (#29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevy)
      · Two wins, three top fives, six top 10s
      · Average finish of 15.0 in 15 races
      4 - Carl Edwards (#99 Aflac Ford)
      · Four top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
      · Average finish of 12.8 in 12 races
      5 - Matt Kenseth (#17 Crown Royal Ford)
      · One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
      · Average finish of 18.2 in 16 races
      6 - Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevy)
      · One win, nine top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles
      · Average finish of 10.4 in 23 races
      7 - Kyle Busch (#18 M&M's Toyota)
      · One win, one top five, seven top 10s; one pole
      · Average finish of 13.9 in 11 races
      8 - Tony Stewart (#14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy)
      · One win, seven top fives, nine top 10s
      · Average finish of 11.7 in 17 races
      9 - Greg Biffle (#16 Scotch Ford)
      · Three top fives, four top 10s
      · Average finish of 15.4 in 13 races
      10 - Clint Bowyer (#33 Cheerios Chevy)
      · Two top fives, four top 10s
      · Average finish of 14.9 in 10 races
      11 - Kurt Busch (#2 Miller Lite Dodge)
      · One win, four top fives, eight top 10s
      · Average finish of 13.5 in 15 races
      12 - Jeff Burton (#31 Caterpillar Chevy)
      · Two wins, six top fives, 12 top 10s
      · Average finish of 11.4 in 22 races

    • Couple of NASCAR drivers to appear on Price is Right: #33-Clint Bowyer and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie Austin Dillon wii appear on The Price is Right for a special NASCAR-themed episode, Monday, Nov. 15 (11:00 am-12:00 pm/et; 10:00-11:00 am/pt) on the CBS Television Network. Bowyer and Dillon will present two NASCAR-themed showcases, featuring a trip North Carolina to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a trip to Miami to see the season-ending races in all three National Series at the end of November and a Chevy Impala LS.
      Bowyer is one of three Sprint Cup Series drivers for Richard Childress Racing and currently pilots the #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series and the #21 Zaxby’s Chevy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series part time. Austin Dillon, grandson of RCR team owner Richard Childress, is in his first full-time season, driving the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Price is Right, the longest-running game show in television history, is hosted by Drew Carey.(RCR)(11-10-2010)

    • Watkins Glen accepting nominations for Legends of the Glen until Nov 14th: The history of racing at Watkins Glen reached an impressive 62 years in 2010 and there are few people that know The Glen's history better than the fans. In an attempt to tap into that extensive knowledge and allow fans to have an impact on the honoring of that history, Watkins Glen International is once again looking for fan nominations for the next class of the Legends of The Glen. Nominations can be submitted starting immediately until Sunday, November 14. The 2011 Class of the Legends of The Glen will be announced over the course of the 2011 season.
      The Legends of The Glen was started in 2008 as part of the 60th anniversary of racing in Watkins Glen and continues to be awarded in honor of individuals that have made a significant impact on The Glen's history. So far 12 people have been inducted in the program; Cameron and Jean Argetsinger, Jim Reisbeck, Phil Walters, Walter Hansgen, Graham Hill, Sir Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, Mark Martin, and Tony Stewart. To make a nomination or for more info, go to TheGlen.com.(11-10-2010)


      News from November 9, 2010

    • NASCAR Penalizes Kyle Busch For Actions at TMS: NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, $25,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions during last Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – inappropriate gesture and verbal abuse to NASCAR Officials) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book (NASCAR)
      . AND The following is a statement from Kyle Busch: “I accept NASCAR’s penalty and realize what I did during Sunday’s race at Texas was inappropriate. Even in my relatively short time here in NASCAR, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Sometimes that passion has allowed me to find that little something extra I needed to win, and other times it’s made me cross the line. Sunday at Texas was one of those days. I lost my cool, plain and simple. It’s not acceptable, and I know that. I apologize to NASCAR, its fans, all the partners who support Joe Gibbs Racing, and all the people who work so hard to give me a racecar that’s capable of winning races every week. All of those people deserve better from me, and I owe it to them to keep my emotions in check.”(TSC/JGR)(11-9-2010)

    • Penalties upheld against #46 team: On November 9, 2010, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #46 Whitney Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-J: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules”; and Section 20-2.3A: “Unapproved added weight location and unapproved added weight. Lower A-frames were filled with weight pellets.” This stemmed from opening day inspection for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway on October 29, 2010. The penalties assessed were:
      - Loss of 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points for owner, Dusty Whitney
      - Loss of 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points for driver, Michael McDowell
      - $50,000 fine and indefinite suspension from NASCAR for crew chief, Thomas Tucker
      - Indefinite suspension from NASCAR for crew member, Tony Furr
      - Indefinite suspension from NASCAR for crew member, Richard Boga
      The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions and fine until such time as this hearing could be convened. The Appellants acknowledged the part was clearly illegal. The Appellants contested the severity of the penalties.
      The Panel found that the penalties were consistent for infractions of this magnitude. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties. 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. National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel for this decision was: Russell Hackett, Dale Pinilis and Robert Yates. George Silbermann - Appellate Administrator and non-voting member.(NASCAR)(11-9-2010)

    • Texas TV Ratings down: The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway earned a 2.7 with a 5 share televised on ESPN. That is down 16% from last year’s 3.2/6 which aired on ABC.
      AND ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 7, earned a final national household coverage rating of 3.4 (2.9 U.S.), averaging 4,845,820 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race aired on ABC and earned a 3.7 rating (5.83 million viewers). ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas on Saturday, Nov. 6, earned a 1.1 final national household coverage rating, up from a 0.9 for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2.(ESPN), see each 2010 race TV Ratings info, and last four seasons comarison on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(11-9-2010)

    • New book: The Evolution of NASCAR: A Historical Collection Born on a beach, raised on the dusty dirt ovals of the Southeast, NASCAR has grown up to become a national sporting phenomenon. The road traveled has sometimes been bumpy and circuitous, but at all times interesting. The Evolution of NASCAR: A Historical Collection chronicles the long hard drive from Daytona's beach to the sprawling superspeedways of today. Veteran NASCAR writer Deb Williams reintroduces the stars through the years - Red Byron, Lee and Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and many others - while recounting the great moments of stock car racing, beginning with the first NASCAR-sanctioned race in 1948. Along the way, the author also recalls the colorful characters who lifted the sport to prominence - including Jocko Flocko, the racing Rhesus monkey. More info on my NASCAR Book News page.(11-9-2010)

    • Gaughan in #71 South Point Chevy at Phoenix: NASCR veteran, Brendan Gaughan will drive the TRG Motorsports #71 South Point Chevy at this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Gaughan, from Las Vegas, is fresh off of a 17th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in his season long Nationwide South Point Toyota. Gaughan last made a NSCS start in 2005 at Pocono, subbing for an ill Mike Bliss. His Phoenix resume is rich in top finishes including a fourth place in the Nationwide race this past Spring and six top 15 finishes in the Camping World Truck Series.
      South Point Casino is located in the heart of the premiere southwest Las Vegas valley, just minutes away from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Some of the amenities include a 16-screen Century Theatre movie complex, 64-lane bowling center and a handful of restaurants that cater to all appetites and tastes. TRG would also like to thank Anderson's Maple Syrup, Savory Thymes and Adobe Road Winery for their support.(TRG Motorsports)(11-9-2010)

    • GM to drop Goodwrench brand in the United States: General Motors Co. is dropping the GM Goodwrench car mechanic brand in the United States as the company moves to redirect the marketing emphasis around its four core vehicle brands, the company announced. The long-standing Goodwrench brand--used by GM dealers to promote vehicle repair and maintenance services--will be replaced by Chevrolet Certified Service, Cadillac Certified Service, Buick Certified Service and GMC Certified Service, GM said in a statement released Monday evening. GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick wants the vehicle brands, not corporate, to be the stars of GM, and that includes service and repairs, said one source familiar with the new campaign. The phase-out is effective Feb. 1 in the United States, the statement said. The brand will remain in Canada where it still holds some cachet, the source said. The brand, launched as Mr. Goodwrench in 1974, was once a household name when GM was a much bigger automaker. The name, which GM changed from Mr. Goodwrench to Goodwrench Service Plus in the '90s, also was a major sponsor of NASCAR racing--including Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s #3 car--for several years until it dropped its involvement in 2007. Goodwrench was promoted to customers as the assurance that trained technicians would service and repair any GM vehicle brought to a GM dealership using GM factory-made replacement parts. But in recent years, many of GM's 4,500 dealers failed to use the Goodwrench signs at their stores or put the logo in advertising, the source said.(AutoWeek)(11-9-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon Presents Keys to Corvette Winner: During Sunday’s pre-race festivities at Texas Motor Speedway, #24-Jeff Gordon presented the keys to his personal Corvette to raffle winner, Cindy McCotter of Matthews, NC. Gordon used the occasion to announce the launch of the 2011 raffle which is expected to raise $500,000 over the next year. The event has raised over $2,000,000 for pediatric cancer research, treatment and patient support, as well as the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital over the last five years. After handing over the keys to the Corvette to McCotter, Gordon asked her to accompany him on stage in presenting the Texas Chapter Speedway Children’s Charities with a check for $75,000 designated to benefit childhood cancer initiatives in the state of Texas (JGCF)(11-9-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Texas: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 129
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 77
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 32
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:51 PM
      Total minutes: 231
      Total race brdcst time 167 Total comm. brdcst time 64 Minutes of race broadcast: 167
      Minutes of commercials: 64
      Number of missed restarts: 0
      Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
      Number of fascinating shoving matches, to the delight of the crowd: 1
      Number of crest-fallen, temporarily-ousted pit crews: 1
      For more stats, past races, drivers highlighted, see my 2010 TV Commercials page.(11-9-2010)

    • N.C. A&T to offer degree in motorsports technology: The UNC Board of Governors on Friday granted N.C. A&T approval to establish a bachelor's degree program in motorsports technology. The program will train students to work with team owners, corporate sponsors and others in the motorsports industry, according to information provided to the board. The university already has a motorsports concentration in its department of manufacturing systems.(Greensboro News & Record)(11-9-2010)

    • Two fans injured at TMS UPDATE: Two fans were injured at Texas Motor Speedway when a brake pad from one of the cars broke through the glass on the eighth floor of the Speedway Club above the track's first turn. Speedway spokesman Mike Zizzo says the injuries weren't life threatening. The accident happened Sunday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the 1½-mile, high-banked track. It was unclear from which car the brake pad came and what caused it to become a projectile that went through the tempered glass. Zizzo said the speedway couldn't release any additional information on the injured people because of federal privacy laws.(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-8-2010)
      UPDATE: Witnesses at the Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday said a brake pad from Race Car #77 flew from the track into an eighth-floor window in the Speedway Club, injuring two men. Speedway officials called it a “freak accident,” and added that it isn’t something that happens often. Eyewitness Linda Gregoire said it happened seconds after the NASCAR Sprint Car race ended. According to officials, the pad became dislodged from the vehicle and flew more than 100 feet upward. Gregoire said one of the men “was holding his chest” and another man had glass lodged in his throat. “Everyone thought it was a gunshot,” Gregoire said. “It scared the thunder out of us.” Still hot from the vehicle, the pad burned a hole in the Speedway Club carpet. “Some of the waitresses had glass on their trays,” Gregoire said excitedly. “It was very scary.” One man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The others were treated at the scene with minor cuts and bruises. Speedway officials said they would meet with NASCAR Monday morning to see how the incident happened and figure out ways to prevent similar incidents in the future (CBS)(11-9-2010)

    • New carry-in policy at Phoenix: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced NASCAR fans can look forward to a new carry-in policy beginning with the upcoming Kobalt Tools 500 Weekend Nov. 11-14. The new policy is part of PIR's ongoing effort to enhance the race day experience for fans by allowing food and non-alcoholic beverages to be brought into the race. Providing a safe and secure environment while maintaining of level of convenience fans have grown have accustomed to is a top priority of Phoenix International Raceway. Fans carrying items onto the property should plan for extra time to allow for a thorough and complete search by security personnel prior to entering the ticket gates. Express lanes will be available for fans that are not carrying items requiring search. In addition, there will be sufficient personnel on hand to ensure guests can proceed through the gate quickly and to their seats in a reasonable amount of time. As part of Phoenix International Raceway's standard policy for NASCAR events, hard-sided coolers will not be allowed into the grandstand area. In addition, Styrofoam coolers are also not permitted. Key changes to the policy to note:
      * Soft-sided coolers that measure no greater than 14 x 14 x 14 inches or 2,700 cubic inches will be permitted – six times the size previously permitted. To ensure these items fit underneath grandstand seats and do not block walkways, coolers with telescoping handles and wheels will not be permitted.
      * Lightweight backpacks or daypacks will be permitted
      Tickets to the November 11-14 Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR event weekend are still available with prices starting at just $25. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit http://phoenixraceway.com or call 866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(11-9-2010)

    • Traffic Patterns for Phoenix: Track officials with Phoenix International Raceway are making preparations to ensure a safe and efficient travel route for the thousands of race fans who will arrive for the November NASCAR Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend on Nov. 12-14. Phoenix International Raceway will host four races in three days with a doubleheader on Saturday and NASCAR's semi-final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. A multi-agency collaboration with the Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Transportation, Maricopa County's Department of Transportation and Sheriff's Office, and the cities of Avondale and Goodyear will ease travel for fans as they travel through numerous communities and jurisdictions on their way to and from the raceway. During the this month's event weekend at PIR, "Road Safe" deploys more than 4,000 traffic cones, 600 barricades, approximately 75 people, and numerous special signs and vehicles to help ensure safe travel for the nearly 100,000 fans heading to the Kobalt Tools 500. More information about the traffic patterns on my Phoenix Track News page or www.phoenixraceway.com.(11-9-2010)


      News from November 8, 2010

    • #24 & #48 to swap pit crews: The #24 and #48 Hendrick Motorsports teams will trade pit crews for the remaining two races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The change is limited to the seven primary over-the-wall members of the respective pit crews. Roles of additional team personnel will not be affected.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-8-2010)

    • Chevy back in Indy Car?: General Motors Co. and its motorsports entity - GM Racing - has committed to fielding a Chevrolet-branded Twin-Turbo V6 racing engine to compete against Honda in the IndyCar Series beginning with the 2012 season. The announcement will be made this Friday, November 12, at a venue yet to be determined. Chip Ganassi, after an intense flirtation with Ford where he considered joining their NASCAR program, is instead committing to a relationship with GM Racing and Chevrolet in NASCAR starting in 2011 and in IndyCar beginning in 2012. Ganassi had apparently been leaning toward going with Ford over the last several weeks but once Ganassi learned that GM was going "all-in" for a new IndyCar racing engine program, his decision to go with GM was a fait accompli. Two details that could not be confirmed at post time are whether or not Ganassi would have an exclusive with the new Chevrolet-branded Indy V6 for the first season (in part from Autoextremist.com)
      AND "This is pure speculation," IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard told SPEED.com. "We continue to be in talks with various manufacturers regarding involvement in our future engine and chassis program but we do not have any signed contracts other than Honda for 2012."(SPEED)(11-8-2010)

    • Newman's Army Car to Feature Faces of More Than 500 Veterans at PIR: More than 500 faces of military veterans will grace Ryan Newman's #39 U.S. Army Chevy in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. The special paint scheme serves as an extension of Veterans Day (Nov. 11), an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. The 500 plus faces on Newman's Veterans Day car represent multiple generations of men and women who embraced the call of duty, dating back to the World War I era. Among the photos submitted through www.goarmy.com was from World War II veteran and Arizona resident Luis Rodriguez Jr. who will attend Sunday's race as a guest of the U.S. Army race team. Rodriguez, 85, served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the 118th General Hospital, a U.S. Army military hospital located in New South Wales, Australia. He is a resident of Sahuarita, Ariz. (15 miles south of Tucson).(U.S. Army Racing), see images of the car on my #39 Team Schemes page.(11-8-2010)

    • Texas Notes and Facts:
      • Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, his 16th series victory in his 185th start. It was eighth win in 2010, most of all drivers, and he swept Texas' two races this season. It was his fifth superspeedway victory in 2010, most of all drivers. Hamlin climbed from second to first in points with a 33-point lead over Jimmie Johnson and 59-point lead over third-place Kevin Harvick. The points leader after race No.8 in the Chase has gone on to win the championship every year (2004 -2009).
      • This was the 88th series win for Joe Gibbs Racing, ranking eighth all-time. It was the team's 11th win in 2010 (Hamlin with eight, Kyle Busch with three). It was the team's third win at Texas (Hamlin two, Tony Stewart one).
      • Hamlin's win was Toyota's 12th of 2010 and second win at Texas in as many races. The top 10 consisted of four Fords, four Chevrolets and two Toyotas.
      • Matt Kenseth (finished second) tied his best finish in 2010 (Atlanta); Kenseth has scored seven top-10 finishes in his last eight Texas races.
      • Mark Martin (third) has scored top-10 finishes in the last four Texas races.
      • Joey Logano (fourth) scored his fourth straight top-10, finishing seventh at Charlotte, sixth at Martinsville, fifth at Talladega and fourth at Texas.
      • Greg Biffle (fifth) has posted top-10 finishes in his last five Texas races, the longest current streak. Biffle led 224 laps in the race, the most he has led in a series race in his career.
      • Harvick (sixth) has posted top-10 finishes in his last three Texas races.
      • Johnson finished ninth in his 325th career series race.
      • Four drivers have competed in all 20 races at Texas: Jeff Burton (36th) , Jeff Gordon (37th), Bobby Labonte (30th) and Martin.
      • The 33 lead changes in the race is a record at Texas. The previous record was 29 (twice).(ESPN)(11-8-2010)

    • Jeff Gordon comments on incident with Jeff Burton: from a Team Chevy Transcript:
      Q) BURTON HAS SAID IT WAS DEFINITELY HIS FAULT. HE OWNED UP TO THAT. WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY YOU WERE SO ANGRY?
      Gordon: "Oh, well, I'll walk you right through it. We went down into (Turn) 3. He went wide going into (Turn) 3. I got to the inside of him and there were four car widths between us and he drove from the wall all the way down to me; almost in the second groove up. I didn't understand why and so the caution came out and we went down into (Turn) 1 and I just drove up next to him. I didn't even touch him. And I don't know, I guess he was just really frustrated with the way his car was handling or something and he just drove into my right rear and put me in the wall under caution. Of all the people out there, I never thought that would happen to Jeff Burton and me. I've always has a tremendous amount of respect for him. But I certainly lost a lot of respect today. I don’t think we're going to be able to fix the DuPont Chevrolet. We were battling enough as it was but I really had confidence we were going to be able to battle back and get a decent finish, maybe a top 10 or 15, but that's certainly not going to happen today."
      Q) WHAT WAS SAID IN THE AMBULANCE?
      Gordon: "I was walking toward him and I started going through all the scenarios in my mind. Thankfully I had a long walk down there to him because I thought about the least amount that I wanted to do. I wanted to show him how upset I was but I wanted to do a whole lot more than that. But I held back and I'm just still in disbelief; I didn't want to be in the ambulance with him, I can tell you that. But we got in there. I like Jeff. He's a guy that's usually very rational and I respect his opinion. He apologized and said it was his fault. He said he didn't mean to do it and whatever. It's over."
      Q) WHAT WENT ON WITH YOU GUYS IN THE CAR AND THEN OUT OF THE CAR ON THE RACE TRACK?
      Gordon: "We were having a tough enough day with the DuPont Chevrolet and we were hoping when the sun went down that we would be able to get it tuned in there. But actually the car was about the best it had been right there. We were slowly making our way forward. We got up to Jeff and he went high going into (Turn) 3 and I kind of went to about the second lane up and he just drove all the way from the wall all the way down to my doors and said the sun got in his eyes. But I just wasn't real happy about that and just drove up next to him going into (Turn) 1 after the caution came out to kind of say what was up with that and he just turned in my right rear and wrecked me. I mean it tore it up. I've experienced a lot of things in this sport but I can't say I've experienced anything like that before and from somebody that I've had a lot of respect for. Jeff Burton is a great race car driver but and then afterwards I was just so mad I was just trying to think of how I could who him my displeasure. I wanted to do a lot more than that but I thought better of it. We had our words and a little scuffle and got in the ambulance and now we're back there (in the garage) trying to get it fixed."
      "He (Burton) went up to the wall where he was running and I went down to about the second groove where I was running and by the time we got in the middle of the corner, he just turned left and got on my door and got me really loose. He said the sun got in his eyes. Then the caution came out and we got down into (Turn) 1 and I just drove up next to him to show him my displeasure about what went on and he just wrecked us; just flat-out wrecked us and turned us right into the wall and collected himself. It was pretty stupid and he admitted it later. But I certainly wanted to show him how upset I was and I'm not ashamed of anything I did and we'll try to fix it and get back out."
      Q) THAT WAS AN INTENSITY WE HAVEN'T SEEN FROM YOU VERY OFTEN IN YOUR CAREER. IF YOU FELT THAT WAY, YOUR FANS WANTED YOU TO GO FOR IT:
      Gordon: "Well, he deserved a lot more than that, I can tell you that. That kind of stuff is just ridiculous and uncalled for. Jeff and I; I just like the guy too much and we'll be able to go on and race one another and stuff like that. I just couldn't believe how much respect I lost for a guy like Jeff to do something like that. I thought it was really stupid. Sometimes I can't hold my emotions back and believe it or not I was holding them back right there (laughs)."
      Q) WHAT DID BURTON SAY TO YOU?
      Gordon: "He was trying to talk to me and explain to me what happened. He felt like I came up on him and that he didn't mean to wreck me but I'm sorry, I will never believe that. I've been driving a race car long enough to know what your intentions are and I know what they were there. I think maybe if a guy wrecks you prior to that but I didn't do anything to him. I was just showing him I wasn't happy. I didn't touch him. And he just flat-out wrecked me. I don't know. The last few weeks have not exactly gone our way and I feel like what happened in Martinsville, I deserved a little bit of that, not all of it but maybe I did some through the past, but I can't think of anything me and Jeff Burton have ever had a disagreement with that should have led to that."
      Q) DID YOU GUYS HAVE A CONVERSATION IN THE CARE CENTER? DID YOU TALK IN THERE?
      Gordon: "We talked during the whole ambulance ride in. When you're too upset like that, you don't care to hear about any explanation as to what went on. I know he's sorry but he's sorry because he got caught up in it himself."
      Q) WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT RIDING IN THE SAME AMBULANCE WITH BURTON?
      Gordon: "Well, I didn't want to ride in the vehicle with him, I can tell you that. I wanted to go confront him, that's for sure, but it wasn't fun. He talked. He talked a lot, you know? But I didn't say a whole lot."
      Q) DO YOU EXPECT A PENALTY FOR GOING AFTER HIM?
      Gordon: "No more penalty than what he deserves for what he did."(Team Chevy)(11-7-2010)

    • Jeff Burton comments on incident with Jeff Gordon: from a Team Chevy Transcript:
      Burton: "Coming off of turn four, he (Jeff Gordon) drove underneath me. I should have let him go and I didn't. The caution came out and he pulled up next to me to tell me he was upset at me and he went on. Then I went to pull up next to him to acknowledge him, to say he was right and I turned left and he was turning left and we just hung up. When we hung, off we went. I honestly don't know what happened. It was my fault. 100% it was my fault. It was like once we got together, I couldn't get off of him. I didn't mean to hit him. I meant to pull up to him and tell him he was right because he was upset with me for what happened off of turn four. I should have let him go. You can't see off of there right but you can't see over there right now. You don't to be side-by-side. I don't blame him for being for mad. I'd have been mad too."
      Q) WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS WHEN I SAW HIM WALKING TOWARD YOU?
      Burton: "Well, like I said, I knew he was going to be mad and I don't blame and I don't blame him for being mad. He didn't do anything that he shouldn't have done. He was upset and he should have been upset. I wrecked him under caution. I didn't mean to wreck him but I wrecked him under caution. He meant to tell me he was upset and that was ok. I don't have a bit of problem with what he did. He was mad. He should have been mad."
      Q) DID YOU HAVE WORDS IN THE MEDICAL CENTER?
      Burton: "I have a lot of respect for Jeff. I think he has a lot of respect for me. We talked and he is still upset and like I said, I don't blame him. He understands what happened more now. It is what it is."
      Q) WHAT LED UP TO THE SITUATION?
      Burton: "Honestly, I came off turn four with Jeff underneath me, the sun is really bad off of turn four and it is really hard to race over there right now and I should have let him go and I didn't. Caution came out and he pulled up next to me to express his displeasure and he was right. We don't need to be racing side-by-side right there right now. I went to pull back up to him to acknowledge him and when we did I was turning left and I don't know, we hooked somehow and around we went. We just got hooked up together. I think it is the stupidest thing I think I might have ever done. Like I said I was pulling up next to him to acknowledge him to say 'Look, I'm cool, I got you' and we just got together and wrecked both cars."
      Q) HOW SURPRISED WERE YOU WHEN JEFF CAME AFTER YOU WITH FISTS?
      Burton: "I wasn't at all surprised. I went to go see him because I knew he was going to be mad and I fully expected it. I don't blame him. Hell, I would have been made it I had been him too. I really don't blame him. He was mad and I was right there and he wasn't some of it."(Team Chevy PR)(11-7-2010)

    • RPM 'in limbo' in quest for backing beyond 2010: Richard Petty says he is closer than he was two weeks ago to finding a solution that will keep Richard Petty Motorsports alive. "What that something is I don't know yet," Petty said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "We thought it was [done] last week. Last week we thought it was the week before. Still in limbo." Petty has been seeking investors to help regain majority control from George Gillett since it was reported two weeks ago that Gillett's financial difficulties that escalated from the recent sale of the Liverpool soccer club were putting his racing organization in jeopardy. The situation was so dire that there were concerns whether RPM would keep its doors open for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season. Robbie Loomis, vice president for competition, said Saturday that the organization had enough backing to finish the final three races -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway. "As far as I know," Petty said. "The cars are here [and] ready to go to Phoenix." Petty said the outpouring of support to keep RPM on the track has been overwhelming. "There's been a lot of support to keep us running from all facets, from manufacturers and fans and NASCAR, even the competitors," Petty said. Among those who have offered help is former team owner Ray Evernham, who still has a minority interest in RPM after selling majority interest of what was then Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007. "He called and said, 'What can I do?' " Petty said. "Right now, we don't know." Petty declined to comment on whether he would have majority control ultimately. "I don't know what we've got to do to make it work," he said. "Until we figure it out, can't do nothing."(ESPN)(11-8-2010)

    • Two fans injured at TMS: Two fans were injured at Texas Motor Speedway when a brake pad from one of the cars broke through the glass on the eighth floor of the Speedway Club above the track's first turn. Speedway spokesman Mike Zizzo says the injuries weren't life threatening. The accident happened Sunday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the 1½-mile, high-banked track. It was unclear from which car the brake pad came and what caused it to become a projectile that went through the tempered glass. Zizzo said the speedway couldn't release any additional information on the injured people because of federal privacy laws.(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-8-2010)

    • NASCAR Hall of Fame Offers Weeklong Discount In Honor of Veterans Day: In honor of Veterans Day, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is offering a weeklong military discount. Retired and active military members can enjoy a special discount of 50% off admission to the facility for a Veterans Week Celebration Monday, Nov. 8 – Sunday, Nov. 14, a savings of nearly $9 per person. As an added bonus, active-duty service members will receive a free international 60-minute calling card from Cell Phones for Soldiers. Military members should bring a military ID to receive their discount. The discounted ticket can be purchased at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office only. In addition to this special one-week offer, the NASCAR Hall of Fame also offers a year round $2 discount for military personnel. More info at the NASCAR Hall of Fame site.(11-8-2010)


      News from November 7, 2010

    • Hamlin wins at Texas: #11-Denny Hamlin won the AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 8th win of 2010 and the 16th win of his career, with the win Hamlin takes the points lead. #17-Kenseth finished second followed by #5-Martin, #20-Logano, #16-Biffle, #29-Harvick, #33-Bowyer, #6-Ragan, #48-Johnson and #98-Menard. #21-Trevor Bayne finished 17th in his Sprint Cup debut. Pole sitter #19-Sadler finished 23rd with no laps led.
      A couple of 'interesting' incidents during the race included #18-Kyle Busch getting held and penalized 2 laps for "unsportsmanlike conduct" after making an "inappropriate gesture" when he was penalized for speeding exiting pit road and brought in for a penalty around lap 146. Another one was when #24-Gordon & #31-Burton wrecked during the yellow on lap 192 when Burton got into Gordon, both drivers got out of their cars, Gordon bypassed his ambulance and approached Burton and pushed Burton and they kind of got in to some fisticuffs on the backstretch before getting separated by track workers. Burton afterwards took blame for the incident, said he couldn't see well with the sun and glare and got into Gordon's car, causing both th hit the wall.
      After Gordon was taken out of the race, his crew was sent to the #48-Johnson pits to 'assist' as the #48 pit crew has been losing spots each pit stop.
      There were 33 lead changes among 13 drivers and 9 cautions for 40 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 156,000, last year the attendence was 167,000.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs are ESPN2, Sunday, November 8 at 2:30am/et; and SPEED, November 10 at 12:00pm/et.
      See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Texas Race Results/Awards page.(11-7-2010)

    • Finishing Positions for the Chase drivers at Texas:
      [by points standings before race]:
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 9th
      2) #11-Denny Hamlin, WON takes points lead
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 6th
      4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 37th
      5) #18-Kyle Busch, 32nd
      6) #99-Carl Edwards, 19th
      7) #14-Tony Stewart, 11th
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 2nd
      9) #2-Kurt Busch, 24th
      10) #31-Jeff Burton, 36th
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 5th
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer. 7th
      (11-7-2010)

    • Race Fast Facts - Texas:
      #11-Denny Hamlin won the AAA Texas 500, his 16th victory in 185 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his eighth victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2010.
      This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 11 races at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin won here in the spring and is the second driver (Carl Edwards, 2008) to sweep both Sprint Cup races at TMS.
      #17-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2010.
      #5-Mark Martin (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 20 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      #11-Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 33 points over Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick is 59 points behind in third.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-7-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
      [after Texas, race 34 of 36, Chase Race 8 of 10]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #11-Denny Hamlin [8 wins], 6325
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [6 wins], 6288, -37
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 6266, -59
      4) #99-Carl Edwards, 6008, -317
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth, 6000, -325
      6) #24-Jeff Gordon, 5994, -331
      7) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 5986, -339
      8) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 5959, -366
      9) #16-Greg Biffle [2 wins], 5953, -372
      10) #33-Clint Bowyer [1 win], 5928, -397
      11) #2-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 5887, -438
      12) #31-Jeff Burton, 5852, -473
      (Bowyer without 150 pt penalty 6078, -274 would be 4th)
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-7-2010)

    • 2010 Sprint Cup Driver 'Classic' Points Standings:
      [after Texas, race 34 of 36....the OLD way]:
      rank, car#, driver, points, behind
      1) #29-Kevin Harvick 4959
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 4659 -300
      3) #11-Denny Hamlin 4607 -352
      4) #24-Jeff Gordon 4487 -472
      5) #18-Kyle Busch 4451 -508
      6) #99-Carl Edwards 4435 -524
      7) #14-Tony Stewart 4369 -590
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth 4346 -613
      9) #31-Jeff Burton 4242 -717
      10) #2-Kurt Busch 4207 -752
      11) #33-Clint Bowyer 4149 -868
      12) #16-Greg Biffle 4120 -810
      13) #5-Mark Martin 4107 -839
      14) #1-Jamie McMurray 4091 -852
      15) #39-Ryan Newman 3986 -985
      16) #20-Joey Logano 3974 -973
      (11-7-2010)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Texas:
      No one moved in to or out of the top-35. The spread from 35th to 36th is 101 points with two races to go.
      33) #34-Kvapil/Front Row, 2448, +110
      34) #37-Blaney/Front Row, 2442, +104
      35) #71-Gaughan/TRG: 2439, 101 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed:
      36) #38-Gilliland/Front Row: 2338, -101 points out of the top 35
      37) #26-TBA/Latitude43: 2231, -208
      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.(11-7-2010)

    • Penalty Report - Texas:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #21, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End , Transmission
      #87, 12 Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #2, 44 Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #6, 60 Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #56, 133 Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area, Tail End
      #56, 151 Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #18, 159 Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #18, 159 Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Held 1 Lap, Tried to save lap
      #18, 160 Verbal abuse to a NASCAR official, Held 2 Laps, Obscene Gesture
      #56, 190 Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #24, 190 Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #31, 190 Pitting before pit road is open, Garage
      #26, 193 Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #26, 195 Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #26, 195 Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Tail End
      #10, 302 Outside half of the pit box tire violation
         /Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #26, 328 Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #26, 328 Commitment Line Violation, Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(11-7-2010)

    • Pit Road Times
      Texas Motor Speedway
      AAA Texas 500
      Provided by NASCAR Statistics
      Sun, November 07, 2010 @ 06:20 PM Central

      Car# Pit Stops Driver Laps Time Total Seconds Avg Seconds
      5 9 Mark Martin 334 05:05.7 305.658 33.962
      16 10 Greg Biffle 334 05:40.5 340.536 34.054
      20 10 Joey Logano 334 05:41.2 341.162 34.116
      98 10 Paul Menard 334 05:41.4 341.420 34.142
      11 10 Denny Hamlin 334 05:45.5 345.539 34.554
      48 10 Jimmie Johnson 334 05:50.1 350.076 35.008
      39 10 Ryan Newman 334 05:53.1 353.060 35.306
      14 10 Tony Stewart 334 05:56.8 356.805 35.681
      00 11 David Reutimann 334 06:09.9 369.864 33.624
      29 11 Kevin Harvick 334 06:11.1 371.077 33.734
      43 10 A J Allmendinger 334 06:11.6 371.553 37.155
      33 11 Clint Bowyer 334 06:22.5 382.478 34.771
      99 11 Carl Edwards 334 06:24.4 384.401 34.946
      1 11 Jamie McMurray 334 06:36.7 396.678 36.062
      47 11 Marcos Ambrose 334 06:37.8 397.832 36.167
      17 12 Matt Kenseth 334 06:57.5 417.467 34.789
      21 11 Trevor Bayne 334 07:11.3 431.267 39.206
      78 12 Regan Smith 334 07:20.9 440.874 36.740
      6 13 David Ragan 334 07:48.0 468.025 36.002
      9 13 Aric Almirola 334 08:54.7 534.743 41.134
      83 13 Kasey Kahne 334 09:11.9 551.933 42.456
      77 12 Sam Hornish Jr. 334 09:43.5 583.529 48.627
      10 10 Bobby Labonte 333 06:33.4 393.417 39.342
      38 10 David Gilliland 333 06:42.3 402.272 40.227
      19 12 Elliott Sadler 333 06:53.0 412.975 34.415
      42 11 Juan Pablo Montoya 333 06:55.6 415.555 37.778
      88 11 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 333 06:56.5 416.543 37.868
      82 11 Scott Speed 333 07:20.1 440.146 40.013
      13 12 Casey Mears 333 08:29.4 509.439 42.453
      26 12 Patrick Carpentier 333 10:36.0 635.989 52.999
      2 14 Kurt Busch 333 11:40.6 700.583 50.042
      12 12 Brad Keselowski 332 07:36.7 456.725 38.060
      18 13 Kyle Busch 332 08:49.3 529.286 40.714
      71 10 Andy Lally 331 06:31.0 391.014 39.101
      7 11 Robby Gordon 240 08:28.0 507.965 46.179
      31 8 Jeff Burton 192 59:34.1 3574.062 446.758
      24 6 Jeff Gordon 190 03:28.2 208.151 34.692
      56 10 Martin Truex Jr. 188 09:55.0 594.992 59.499
      66 1 Mike Bliss 45 00:53.3 53.259 53.259
      09 1 Landon Cassill 35 00:25.3 25.323 25.323
      34 3 Travis Kvapil 25 01:18.3 78.309 26.103
      37 3 Dave Blaney 23 01:33.1 93.075 31.025

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Texas: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #37-Blaney, 42nd
      Caution 2: #7-Gordon, 35th
      Caution 3: #31-Burton, 36th
      Caution 4: #56-Truex Jr., 38th
      Caution 5: #17-Kenseth, 2nd
      Caution 6: #42-Montoya, 28th
      Caution 7: none awarded
      Caution 8: #26-Carpentier, 31st
      Caution 9: #9-Almirola, 21st
      (11-7-2010)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Texas (or seemed to)?
      41st: #34-Kvapil, 25 laps run
      40th: #09-Cassill, 35 laps
      39th: #66-Bliss, 45 laps
      with NASCAR's new rule of the first non-crashed car out of the race to be inspected, it would be the #34 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)(11-7-2010)

    • #11 team chose pit stall in front of the #48 team: An intriguing subplot to today's race [at Texas Motor Speedway] is that title contenders #48-Jimmie Johnson and #11-Denny Hamlin will pit next to each other. Johnson leads Hamlin by 14 points. Typically, title contenders don't pit around each other, in part because those cars often finish on the lead lap so one could always be fighting the other for space on pit road. Pit stalls are picked in the order a driver qualifies. Johnson qualified 17th, so his team selected its stall before Denny Hamlin's team since Hamlin qualified 30th. By pitting in front of Johnson, Hamlin's team can dictate, in a way, how well Johnson gets off pit road. Hamlin could stop short in his pit box, meaning the car's rear is close to the front of Johnson's pit box. That would force Johnson to pit short or have to back up and lose time to get around Hamlin. Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford said the stall in front of Johnson's was the best remaining because #82-Scott Speed, who has struggled at times this season, has the stall in front of where Hamlin pits. Ford also admits that when Johnson's team picked to pit in front of Hamlin's crew at Kansas earlier in the Chase that rankled him. "Why this is a topic when the exact same thing happened at Kansas and there were a lot better pit stalls to be had by those guys?'' Ford said Saturday. "That was a deliberate stab. This was not a deliberate stab, but with that, OK, courtesy is out the window.''(Roanoke Times)(11-7-2010)

    • New Dodge Charger nose approved: The new Dodge Charger nose has been approved by NASCAR for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season. The development of the Charger nose has been a cooperative effort by Dodge Motorsports Engineering and Penske Racing and gives Dodge better brand identify for the Charger while remaining within the NASCAR approval process. "With the introduction of the all-new 2011 Dodge Charger for the street, we worked closely with Penske Racing to develop the Dodge brand identity while maintaining neutral aerodynamics within the NASCAR rules," said Dave Bailey, Senior Manager of Dodge Motorsports Engineering. "Coupled with NASCAR's new common lower nose for 2011, the revised front end carries the image and character of the Charger forward in true Dodge performance fashion."(Dodge), see an image of the 2011 car on my Dodge News and Links page.(11-5-2010)
      Ford also: Ford and Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have new upper noses in 2011, which combined with the modified lower half of the front end for all makes of Cup cars will add more brand identity—and hopefully improved performance—for the Fusions. The ungainly front splitter braces will disappear from all four brands of Sprint Cup cars next season, replaced by a smoother wrap-around look, along with the new upper noses for the Ford and Dodge cars. Ford will continue to campaign the Fusion next season, though Ford Motor Co. officials have hinted that the Mustang could be the Ford of choice when the next-generation Sprint Cup cars are introduced in 2013 or ‘14 (Ford Racing)(11-7-2010)

    • RPM will finish out season with four cars: Richard Petty Motorsports has the financial backing to finish the season and is working toward running a two-car Sprint Cup car operation in 2011, vice president of competition of Robbie Loomis said on Saturday. "It's been amazing to me, the support from owners and drivers who have come up and been able to help keep us going ... past crew chiefs," Loomis said after the final Cup practice at Texas Motor Speedway leading up to Sunday's race. "People have really been supportive of helping us continue along and get to a better place." Among those helping RPM is former team owner and crew chief Ray Evernham, who still has a minority ownership stake in the team after selling what was then Evernham Motorsports to George Gillett in 2007. Gillett later merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports. Gillett's recent financial difficulties surrounding the sale of the Liverpool soccer club left the racing team so strapped for money that two weeks ago there were questions of whether RPM could pay the bills necessary to finishing the season. Since then minority owner Richard Petty has been looking for investors to retake majority ownership from Gillett and keep the team afloat through the final race of this season. Loomis said the latter no longer is an issue. "Every car owner, every manufacturer has been behind us," he said. "Ford has been incredible in their ability to keep us healthy. Jack Roush and what his crowd has done has been amazing. For Richard it has been very rewarding to see everybody supporting us the way they have." Roush Fenway Racing supplies cars for RPM and Roush Yates Engines supplies engines. Roush said two weeks ago at Martinsville that RPM was up to date on its bills, but added there was at least one payment to be made before the season ended. Loomis said RPM is undecided with which crew members from the #19 team of Sadler and #98 team of Paul Menard will be retained. "We've definitely got some plans," he said. "The roster is already put together. ... Everyone knows we're a four-car team and working on laying out our plans to get to two cars. We've had a lot of talk about running a third car for the first five races with other interests. We've got the points for it."(ESPN)(11-7-2010)

    • Special scheme for Kurt Busch at Texas: #2-Kurt Busch is driving his special “Operation Homefront” edition of the Miller Lite Dodge that is named “Vortex” in this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Confusing? Busch explains: “The car we won the All-Star Race with already had a name. So when we came back the very next weekend to claim the big win in the Coke 600, we decided to name that car ‘Vortex.’ It was a fitting tribute to our sponsor’s special bottle and the color scheme we began running at the All-Star Race. It really took a life of its own, with even media guys talking about us having ‘Vortex power’ out there. So, not to sound confusing , but we’ll have ‘Vortex’ out at Texas this weekend with a full-blown Operation Homefront color scheme on our Miller Lite Dodge,” Busch chuckled.(TRPR)(11-7-2010)

    • Morgan-McClure coming back in 2011? Morgan-McClure Motorsports is looking to make a return to NASCAR in 2011. The Abingdon, VA-based race team competed on a consistent basis for 24 years. During the 1990’s it had a dominant speedway package and won nine races between Daytona and Talladega, including three Daytona 500s with Ernie Irvan and Sterling Marlin. The last season the #4 MMM Chevy competed was 2007 when Ward Burton ran a 16-race schedule [also ran a race in 2009 and attempted Bristil in August in 2010 with Kevin Lepage]. Tim Morgan says the team “has a couple of prospects and hopefully will get something worked out soon.” Scott Wimmer, who raced for Morgan-McClure for 23-races in 2006, is the top candidate for the ride. In addition to plans to race a car, Morgan mentioned that a truck team could be a possibility (FoxSports), there have been rumors that Kasey Kahne would run the 4 number on his Red Bull [Toyota? Chevy] car in 2011 instead of #82. If Morgan-McClure comes back in 2011, Kahne would have to either run the #82 or choose a different car number.(11-7-2010)

    • Week 18 Daytona Repave: Paving of the Final Layer in Turns 1 and 2: The process of putting down the fourth and final layer of asphalt in Turns 1 and 2 is ongoing during the 18th week of the repaving of Daytona International Speedway. The paving crew from Lane Construction has put down the wearing course – the fourth and final layer of asphalt – on the top pass in Turns 1 and 2 and through the backstretch with the massive Titan 525 paver. Paving of the bottom pass began on Friday morning and continued on Saturday. Paving of the wearing course has already been completed in Turns 3 and 4, through the tri-oval, to the entrance of Turn 1. Other updates from the 18th week of work on repaving Daytona International Speedway include:
      • The existing chicane on the backstretch has been milled and is ready to be graded and compacted.
      • Paving on pit road is ongoing. The first layer of asphalt – the drainage layer – has been put down and half of pit road has been paved with the second layer of asphalt.
      • Improvements to the Turn 4 twin tunnels continue. In the east tunnel, concrete for the side walk has been poured and the installation of the railing is expected next week. On the west tunnel, the new sidewalk is expected to be poured next week.
      About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-7-2010)


      News from November 6, 2010

    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Texas: The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship continues Sunday, Nov. 7, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 500 miles at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. NASCAR Countdown kicks off ESPN's telecast at 2:00pm/et with the race telecast presented by GoDaddy.com at 3:00pm/et. The green flag is scheduled for 3:16 pm. Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.

    • ESPN Radio Raceday Airs Saturday, Sunday: Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio's RaceDay starts its engines at 6:00am/et with host Pat Patterson anchored from Daytona Beach, Fla. Patterson also originates the broadcast from several racetracks with key races during the season. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio's RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR's biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails. A list of ESPN Radio affiliates can be found at www.espnradio.com.

    • ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During Texas Race: NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN's telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com. RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Nov. 7, RacingLive! Texas will kick off at 3 p.m. ET to coincide with ESPN's telecast of the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com's NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.

    • Pit Stall Selections - Texas: The selections of pit stalls for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #19-Sadler chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
      Outside pole sitter #16-Biffle took pit stall 14, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
      #99-Edwards, who starts 3rd took the 13th pit stall, the first stall with an opening in behind of it.
      The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #9-Almirola, who starts 13th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-6-2010)

    • Happy Hour practice: for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5 and slowest:
      #18-Busch 188.180
      #6-Ragan 187.728
      #56-Truex Jr. 186.955
      #2-Busch 186.858
      #78-Smith 186.787
      Slowest: #09-Cassill 180.270 and #37-Blaney 180.656
      22 drivers made 10-lap runs, the best average:
      #19-Sadler 183.685
      #43-Allmendinger 183.483
      #48-Johnson 183.395
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Texas Practice Speeds Page.(11-6-2010)

    • Happy Hour Practice Results for the Chase drivers at Texas:
      [by current points standings]:
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 10th fastest overall
      2) #11-Denny Hamlin, 24th
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 20th
      4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 9th
      5) #18-Kyle Busch, 1st
      6) #99-Carl Edwards, 14th
      7) #14-Tony Stewart, 17th
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 31st
      9) #2-Kurt Busch, 4th
      10) #31-Jeff Burton, 35th
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 18th
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 27th
      (11-6-2010)

    • Saturday's 1st practice: for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 45 of 45 scheduled minutes, the top 5 and slowest:
      #18-Busch 189.228
      #99-Edwards 188.475
      #56-Truex Jr. 187.669
      #39-Newman 187.169
      #31-Burton 187.162
      Slowest: #09-Cassill 179.140 and #37-Blaney 179.970
      15 drivers made 10-lap runs, the best average:
      #18-Busch 185.528
      #99-Edwards 184.999
      #20-Logano 184.782
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Texas Practice Speeds Page.(11-6-2010)

    • Bayne makes Sprint Cup debut: For most of their 60 years in NASCAR the Wood Brothers racing team has enjoyed the most success with veteran drivers behind the wheel of their #21 Ford. But on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, they showed that they could accomplish a lot with a rookie behind the wheel. Trevor Bayne, at age 19, will make his Sprint Cup debut in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion after qualifying 28th – best of the drivers who had to qualify on speed for the AAA Texas 500. Bayne said that having to qualify his way into his first Cup race at a blazing fast place like Texas Motor Speedway was quite the nerve-wracking experience. He ran his qualifying lap at 191.090mph.(WoodBrothers Racing)
      AND - 2011? The Roush Fenway Racing development driver obviously was thrilled that he qualified for his Cup debut. Roush Fenway placed him with the Woods and veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo to get him in a Cup race and eligible to run the Daytona 500 next year. Roush Fenway could put him in a fifth car for seven races next year to get him ready for a full-time Cup ride. Bayne had never driven a Wood Brothers car prior to Friday. He had tested a Cup car for Roush Fenway at Rockingham a few weeks ago.(SceneDaily)(11-6-2010)

    • Terry Labonte hopes to run his new team 14-15 races in 2011: Bobby Labonte will drive the # Gander Mountain Chevy that is partially owned by older brother Terry in this Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, hoping to surprise folks and build momentum for the Stavola Labonte Racing team that Terry hopes will attract some sponsorship dollars to be able to run a partial Sprint Cup schedule next season. Terry Labonte admitted that he's skeptical that the race team will be able to find the funding it needs to run the 14 or 15 races it wants to participate in next season. He said running anything less than that type of schedule wouldn't make sense.(NASCAR.com)(11-6-2010)

    • Hornsday to standby for Newman: Stewart-Haas Racing announced Friday that Ron Hornaday will be #39-Ryan Newman's relief driver the final three weeks should Newman have to leave the track to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.(Roanoke Times)(11-6-2010)

    • NASCAR still looking at Cup driver limits in Nationwide: Nationwide teams still are waiting for a NASCAR decision on whether Sprint Cup drivers will be limited from participating in the series next year. Brad Keselowski is poised to become the fifth consecutive Cup driver to win the Nationwide title.
      Nationwide team owner and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace says NASCAR is deciding between three options:
      1) Limit the number of Nationwide races that Cup drivers can enter;
      2) allow Cup drivers to run the full series but not earn points;
      3) alter the structure so that Cup drivers can't earn as many points as Nationwide drivers.
      "I just want the points system structured where Cup guys can't win the title," Wallace said. "If I didn't have any involvement in the sport, I'd probably say the same thing. Because everyone I talk to all say that's all (baloney), it's not fair those Cup guys go in there to try to steal candy from the other cats. That's the way the regular fan thinks. They say it all the time."(USA Today)(11-6-2010)

    • France talks about possible changes coming to sport: NASCAR's Brian France talks about possible changes coming to sport & why TV ratings are down. Changes to the Chase? A change to the starting times of races? NASCAR Chairman Brian France hinted at such things and gave his idea for why TV ratings have declined this season in an interview Friday on "Sirius Speedway'' on Sirius Satellite Radio. A few tidbits from the article:
      QUESTION: This is what the Chase was supposed to be like (with three drivers so close this late in the season)
      BRIAN FRANCE: "It is. It's supposed to, obviously, be very competitive and make it where the driver who is at his best when it really matters, which, of course, is down the stretch. That's what everybody wants to see. We're thrilled that it's turning out that way. This is going to be a telling weekend. Looking forward to kicking off the final three here in Texas this weekend.''
      QUESTION: With the Chase going as well as it is, are there still discussions going on at NASCAR about further tweaks to the Chase or have those been put on the backburner now?
      BRIAN FRANCE: "No, I don't think so. I think it's this time of the year when we do a lot of things in terms of looking at what is the best rules package or format in the case of the Chase or whatever it might be. We've announced a few weeks ago going to ethanol and our first biofuel, which is really important for us to keep a slow steady step in the green space and doing what's best for the environment and energy independence. When it comes to the Chase, what we want is big moments where drivers and teams have to be their very best on a given day, that's what creates the atmosphere we want and we'll be looking to make sure we have the perfect format going into 2011.''
      QUESTION: Wide spread reports about new look for Cup cars in 2013. Is NASCAR now fully convinced and buying into manufacturer's demands for more brand identity?
      BRIAN FRANCE: "We've always bought into that. It takes on different points of view as you go along. Clearly we're going to have more technology in the race cars, we'll do that carefully. What we don't want to do is mess up the competitive balance or run the cost up unnecessarily for the team owners. That's always one of NASCAR's foundational issues. So, we'll be looking at that carefully. On the other hand, technology in the cars that are selling today are ever more important. You saw the biofuel was not just because we have our own green initiatives, we want to be in step with the car manufacturers, they know how important that is. It's fair to say with the look of the car, we'll be looking to make sure that Chevrolet, Toyota, Dodge, Ford and all of them and maybe some other manufacturers who look at NASCAR down the road will have plenty of brand identification and plenty of technology and other things that are relevant to their brands.''
      (see full article at the Virginian Pilot)(11-6-2010)

         
      Specialized Bicycle Components (L)  VS.  Speed Energy (R)

    • Robby fighting Bike company over logo: #7-Robby Gordon launched his new Speed Energy drink last week in hopes of generating enough revenue for him to race next season. But his Speed Energy drink has hit a speed bump. Gordon hopes the rollout of the drink doesn't get stalled by the "S" logo on his car, driver uniform and on the drink bottle. Gordon has sued Specialized Bicycle Components, which had sent him a cease-and-desist letter over his logo. Specialized now seeks an injunction in U.S. District Court in California to keep Gordon from using the logo he has used periodically since June on his race car in advance of the product launch last week. Specialized alleges that Gordon's logo is too similar to its logo. If Specialized prevails at the injunction hearing Nov. 15 and Gordon must change his labeling and logos before being able to sell the product, he might not be able to compete in NASCAR next year, Gordon said in court documents. Gordon, who filed his lawsuit in September, claims that he's not in the bicycle business and therefore there cannot be confusion between the two logos. His Robby Gordon Motorsports organizations fields teams in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with an occasional start in the Nationwide Series. The energy drink is Gordon's vision of a new way of NASCAR sponsorship, and the lawsuit with Specialized was an unexpected snag. Specialized alleges that there could be confusion with people who think Gordon or his drink are affiliated with Specialized. The Specialized logo has been in use for 28 years. Gordon says his logo is different because it is shaped more like a lightning bolt. His is orange – which he said is a carryover from his days driving for Cingluar – while Specialized's primary logo is more red. Specialized isn't buying it, especially because it sponsors a cycling team in partnership with Monster energy drink – a former sponsor of Gordon. "The parties' marketing channels substantially overlap," Specialized says in its filing. An e-mail requesting comment from Specialized was not answered. Gordon referred all questions to his attorney, Steven Nichols, who also is his partner in Speed Energy. Specialized, in a filing Monday, noted that Gordon could have changed the logo before the launch last week. All it is asking is for Gordon to change the logo.(in part from SceneDaily)(11-6-2010)

    • Combos returns on the #18 in 2011: A longtime sponsor of NASCAR, Combo's Brand partners with Joe Gibbs Racing's #18 Toyota and Kyle Busch. In February 2011, a new black and orange paint scheme will hit the track at Phoenix. See an image of the scheme on my 2011 #18 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2010)

    • Sad News - Lafone Moles: Condolences to Charles Moles and family on the passing of his mother Lafone Moles. Charles is a tire specialist with Front Row Motorsports #38 team. More info and service info at maberryfuneralhome.com.(11-6-2010)

    • Country Star Rodney Atkins to announce RIR race naming rights in song: Last night Crown Royal announced country star Rodney Atkins' participation in its "Your Name Here" program. Atkins will reveal the namesake of the April 30, 2011, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway by performing a song that includes the name of the deserving serviceman or servicewoman in February at Daytona.
      Crown Royal, along with NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth and Country Star Rodney Atkins, last night revealed that Atkins will perform a song from Daytona International Speedway in February 2011 to reveal the winner of this year's Crown Royal "Your Name Here" program. The annual program awards naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Richmond International Raceway on April 30, 2011 to an adult serviceman or servicewoman.
      Designed to honor America's finest, this marks the second time throughout the five-year history of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 contest that only individuals serving our country can be nominated. Nominations will be accepted from now until Nov. 30th and can be submitted to www.nascar.com/crownroyal.(Crown Royal PR)(11-6-2010)


      News from November 5, 2010

    • Sadler wins pole at Texas: #19-Elliott Sadler won the Coors Pole for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 195.397mph for his 1st pole of 2010 and 8th of his career, Sadler's last pole came at Talladega in May 2006. #16-Biffle will start 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #6-Ragan, #2-Busch, #33-Bowyer, #78-Smith, #5-Martin and #43-Allmendinger.
      The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #10-BLabonte, #38-Gilliland, #87-Nemechek, #13-Mears, #26-Carpentier, #66-Bliss and #09-Cassill.
      The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (6): #81-Riggs, #36-Yeley, #46-McDowell, #64-Green, #23-Wise and #92-Keselowski.
      See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Texas Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(11-5-2010)

    • Starting Spots for the Chase drivers at Texas:
      Only four of the 12 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10 for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, the starting spots for the 12 chasers:
      [by current points standings]:
      1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, starts 17th
      2) #11-Denny Hamlin, 30th
      3) #29-Kevin Harvick, 26th
      4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 15th
      5) #18-Kyle Busch, 29th
      6) #99-Carl Edwards, 3rd
      7) #14-Tony Stewart, 11th
      8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 19th
      9) #2-Kurt Busch, 6th
      10) #31-Jeff Burton, 16th
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 2nd
      12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 7th
      See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(11-5-2010)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Texas:
      Elliott Sadler won the Coors Light Pole Award for the AAA Texas 500 with a lap of 27.636 seconds, 195.397 mph.
      This is his eighth pole in 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2010. Sadler's last pole came on May 1, 2006 at Talladega Superspeedway.
      This is his first pole in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      Greg Biffle (second) posted his 15th top-10 start of 2010 and his seventh in 14 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
      Carl Edwards (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 13th in 34 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(11-5-2010)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 5, 2010 at 4:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED 4:30pm/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 AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 49 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 #00-Reutimann.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #64-Green with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #87-Nemechek.
      See the full qualifying order on the Texas Qualifying Page.(11-5-2010)

    • Friday practice: for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5 and slowest:
      #16-Biffle 193.340
      #99-Edwards 192.836
      #42-Montoya 192.321
      #17-Kenseth 192.308
      #19-Sadler 192.055
      Slowest: #92-Keselowski 180.862 and #23-Wise 184.508
      #12-Keselowski spun off turn 4 early in practice and the team pulled out the back-up. #71-Lally also spun earlier but no damage reported.
      See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Texas Practice Speeds Page.(11-5-2010)

    • Texas practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #21-Trevor Bayne, 16th fastest
      #10-Bobby Labonte [PC], 21st
      #36-J.J. Yeley, 24th
      #66-Mike Bliss, 33rd
      #38-David Gilliland, 34th
      #13-Casey Mears, 36th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
      #09-Landon Cassill, 39th
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #46-Michael McDowell, 41st
      #64-Jeff Green, 43rd
      #26-Patrick Carpentier, 44th
      #81-Scott Riggs, 47th
      #23-Josh Wise, 48th
      #92-Brian Keselwoski, 49th
      (11-4-2010)

    • Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence: Aflac and Charlotte Motor Speedway are proud to continue the tradition of recognizing the best in motorsports media with the 26th Annual Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin. The 2010 awards will be presented during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway in January 2011. The awards are presented to individuals who capture the passion, excitement and compelling stories of motorsports through distinguished journalism.
      Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence winners receive a special plaque to commemorate their achievements along with a $1,000 scholarship to the school of their choice, funded by Aflac. As in years past, professors and faculty from the Indiana University School of Journalism provide an independent review of all entries to determine the winners.
      The categories for the 2010 Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence are:
      · Writing entries for daily newspapers
      · Writing entries for other forms of written media (Internet, weekly, etc.)
      · Broadcast entries for local radio and television
      · Broadcast entries for national radio and television
      · Photojournalism entries
      Any type of motorsports coverage from the 2010 season is eligible. Entries dated from any other year or season will not be accepted. Judges will review each submission closely and base their decision on the quality of work and its representation of excellence in motorsports journalism. The Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence accepts and encourages all types of motorsports racing media coverage. It is NOT limited specifically to NASCAR. Entries must be postmarked by December 3, 2010. Entry forms and official rules can be downloaded at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/aflacaward.(CMS)(11-5-2010)

    • #46 Team Penalized For Infractions At Talladega: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #46 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection Oct. 29 at Talladega Superspeedway. The #46 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 rules); and 20-2.3A (unapproved added weight location and unapproved added weight – lower A-frames were filled with weight pellets) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Thomas Tucker has been fined $50,000 and indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Car chief Richard Boga and team manager Tony Furr have also been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Driver Michael McDowell and car owner Dusty Whitney have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and owner points, respectively.(NASCAR)(11-4-2010)
      UPDATE - Appeal: Whitney Motorsports will appeal the suspensions issued as part of its penalty for having weight pellets in the lower A-frames of its #46 Chevy on opening-day inspection last week at Talladega Superspeedway. The appeal will be heard Tuesday morning, team owner Dusty Whitney said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR issued indefinite suspensions to Sprint Cup Series crew chief Thomas Tucker, car chief Richard Boga and team manager Tony Furr. The suspensions have been deferred pending appeal. “They said indefinite on some of the suspensions of the team members, so I would just like a little more clarity and make sure it’s fair,” said Whitney, whose #46 entry has qualified for 19 of the 33 races and whose #81 car has qualified for the two races in which it has been entered. “[Suspending] the team manager, it hits hard a little bit on a small team that is struggling to stay alive. We’ve done a good job this year, I think, for NASCAR putting on a show. We’re here to race and not to take NASCAR’s money. We do have to stay inside their box and make sure we do things right.”(SceneDaily)(11-5-2010)

    • New Dodge Charger nose approved: The new Dodge Charger nose has been approved by NASCAR for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season. The development of the Charger nose has been a cooperative effort by Dodge Motorsports Engineering and Penske Racing and gives Dodge better brand identify for the Charger while remaining within the NASCAR approval process. "With the introduction of the all-new 2011 Dodge Charger for the street, we worked closely with Penske Racing to develop the Dodge brand identity while maintaining neutral aerodynamics within the NASCAR rules," said Dave Bailey, Senior Manager of Dodge Motorsports Engineering. "Coupled with NASCAR's new common lower nose for 2011, the revised front end carries the image and character of the Charger forward in true Dodge performance fashion."(Dodge), see an image of the 2011 car on my Dodge News and Links page.(11-5-2010)

    • Elliott Sadler has new ride for 2011: #19-Elliott Sadler, who currently drives for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Cup series, will drive full-time in NASCAR's Nationwide Series in 2011 for Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler was completing a deal Thursday night which will allow him to compete for the Nationwide championship next season in a Chevy fielded by KHI. KHI has scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway to announce a "2011 program."(Charlotte Observer)(11-5-2010)

    • Season finale for Hauler Challenge: Freightliner Trucks, the Official Hauler of NASCAR, will hold its season finale of the Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 6 prior to the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. The challenge is a timed skills test among hauler drivers (backing up, blind jack knife turns, tight spots and cones) that becomes increasingly more difficult with each round. Events have been held throughout the 2010 season at Las Vegas, Talladega, Chicagoland and Kansas. The four finalists represent two organizations - Rocky Boggs with the #56 Sprint Cup team and Bryan "Rocket" McClure with the #47 Sprint Cup team of Michael Waltrip Racing, and Greg Sorber with the #77 Sprint Cup team and George Larabee with the #22 Nationwide Series team of Penske Racing. It will be a Michael Waltrip Racing and Penske Racing showdown. First place will receive $30,000, second $20,000, third $10,000 and fourth $5,000. The challenge will take place at 7:30 am on Texas Motor Speedway's pit road. Freightliner Trucks recently announced their renewal as the Official Hauler of NASCAR. The official partnership, which started in 2006, will continue through 2015. Bill "Stump" Lewis, transporter driver for Penske Racing's #2 Miller Lite team, won the event in 2009.(Freightliner Trucks)(11-5-2010)

    • By the Numbers for Texas:
      1 – number of Sprint Cup wins from the pole at Texas Motor Speedway; four wins from the front row (from the pole, Kasey Kahne, 4/9/06)
      4 – number of drivers that have completed in all 19 Sprint Cup races at TMS (Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon)
      4 of the 12 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup have yet to win in 2010 (Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth)
      5 – fewest ServiceMaster Clean cautions for a Sprint Cup race at TMS (two times, most recent 11/8/09)
      7 of the 33 Sprint Cup races this season have been extended beyond the scheduled distance following a late ServiceMaster Clean caution
      8 – number of ServiceMaster Clean jet dryers scheduled for service at TMS this weekend; two already released with favorable weather forecast
      12 – most ServiceMaster Clean cautions for a Sprint Cup race at TMS (three times, most recent 11/4/07)
      12 different Sprint Cup race winners in 2010
      13 different pole winners in the 19 Sprint Cup races at TMS
      15 – most ServiceMaster Clean cautions for a Sprint Cup race this season (Martinsville, 10/24/10)
      16 different race winners in 19 Sprint Cup races at TMS
      17 different Sprint Cup pole winners in 2010
      120 minutes – approximate time it takes for the ServiceMaster Clean jets to dry the 1.5-mile TMS oval
      Sprint Cup
      129 of 241 ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the first 33 Sprint Cup races this season were for accidents, 44 for debris and 32 for spins
      241 ServiceMaster Clean cautions in the first 33 Sprint Cup events this season; 289 after 33 races last year
      1,219 of 9,765 laps completed in the first 33 Sprint Cup races this year have been under a ServiceMaster Clean caution; 1,367 of 7,981 after 33 races last year
      1,693.010 of 13,324.008 miles completed this season in the 33 Sprint Cup races have been under a ServiceMaster Clean caution; 1,884.070 of 12, 893.891 after 33 races last year.(ServiceMaster)(11-5-2010)

    • More on EGR staying with Chevy: Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta confirmed to Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that EGR will remain in the Chevrolet camp in 2011 and beyond. "The challenge of this business is that things change so quickly," said Lauletta. "We've got everything settled down now, to a point where we can look two, three or even four years down the road and decide where we want to be. When companies come and ask about being a part of it, we certainly are willing to talk to them. But we've been very happy with both GM and Chevy, and we have to look at what's best for this company in the long term." Lauletta said the success of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines this season played a role in the decision to remain with Chevrolet. "Shutting down the in-house engine shop at Ganassi Racing a few years ago caused quite a bit of apprehension," said Lauletta, "but there has never been a single question about way we are treated by ECR. We have been extremely happy with that relationship over the years, and we are really happy with where we are right now." Lauletta also said he is "not anticipating any changes" on Jamie McMurray's #1 team next year, including driver, sponsor and crewchief (Sirius Speedway). See past news on EGR to Ford rumor on the #42 Team News and Links page and see an image of the #1 McDonald's Chevy on my 2011 #1 Team Schemes page.(11-5-2010)

    • Latest on Shane Hmiel: From posts on the Shane Hmiel - Road to Recovery Page: Shane Hmiel was transported from Methodist Hospital to a rehabilitation center in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, part of his long road to recovery. He has had a half-dozen surgeries on his neck, back and an artery, but now is stable enough to be transported, no additional surgeries are expected.(11-5-2010)

    • Sad News - Jerry Long: Gerald “Jerry” Long, 82, passed away Wednesday, November 3rd from Lewy Body dementia, an umbrella term for two diagnoses related to Parkinson’s disease, according to his son, Mike. He had been ill for several months. Long was raised in a blue-collar fishing town near Long Island, N.Y. The family moved here from New York in 1973 as part of a career move with RJR Foods. Long perhaps was known best in the community for his firm but fair management style during his 19 years with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. He served four years as its chief executive, as well as two years as the chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco USA. He championed Reynolds’ role with NASCAR through its Winston Cup sponsorship. He retired from both posts in July 1988 — one of hundreds of employees who left when F. Ross Johnson took control as part of the formation of RJR Nabisco.
      The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 9:00 pm Friday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 4820 Kinnamon Road, Clemmons. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am Saturday at Holy Family.(see full article at the Winston Salem Journal and the obit there as well)(11-5-2010)


      News from November 4, 2010

    • #46 Team Penalized For Infractions At Talladega: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #46 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection Oct. 29 at Talladega Superspeedway. The #46 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 rules); and 20-2.3A (unapproved added weight location and unapproved added weight – lower A-frames were filled with weight pellets) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Thomas Tucker has been fined $50,000 and indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Car chief Richard Boga and team manager Tony Furr have also been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Driver Michael McDowell and car owner Dusty Whitney have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and owner points, respectively.(NASCAR)(11-4-2010)

    • Newman Gives Winners A Memorable Weekend At Talladega: Roger and Mary Bierden of Coushatta, LA were the big winners in the "Fish with Ryan Newman" raffle. The Bierden’s, who are regulars at Talladega Superspeedway, were given all-access passes to the garage and pit road area where they were introduced to Newman, the #39 crew and were able to witness the inner workings of NASCAR and the teams that compete week to week. Once qualifying was over on Saturday, the Bierden’s were taken to a spot that’s been a favorite to Newman and other celebrities over the year. The three loaded up their rods and tackle and fished the remainder of the afternoon. For the resr of the story and quotes, see my Racing Charities page.(11-4-2010)

    • Texas Tire Notes / Facts: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Texas this weekend, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same tire combination that teams in all three series ran at Texas earlier this season . . . in addition, this is the same tire set-up that these teams ran at Chicagoland in 2010 . . . Cup, Nationwide and Truck teams will also run this left-side tire code with a different right-side code at Homestead in two weeks . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window for the Sprint Cup cars is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage. (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures and more on my Texas Race Info page - Goodyear section.(11-4-2010)

    • Chase closest among top three: The gap from first to second, 14 points, is the second closest in the seven years of The Chase (Jeff Gordon led Jimmie Johnson by 9 at this stage in 2007), but the 38-point gap from first to third is the closest. Third place Denny Hamlin was 65 points out of Matt Kenseth's pace in 2006. Kevin Harvick scored the most points in the 26-race regular season and he is threatening to take The Chase title as well. Harvick's second at Dega gained him 39 valuable points on the lead, and brought him 47 points closer to Hamlin. In fact, Harvick has scored only 18 fewer points than Johnson during the Chase, and 6 more than Hamlin. The "Big One" didn't materialize and thus "The Big Three" frontrunners for The Chase escaped Talladega intact, and put more distance between themselves and the rest of the field. Fourth-place Jeff Gordon is 207 points out, which is more than a one-race deficit.
      2009 (After 7 Races)
      1-JOHNSON 6248/+184
      2-Martin 6064/-184
      3-Jeff Gordon 6056/-192
      2008 (After 7 Races)
      1-JOHNSON 6248/+183
      2-Edwards 6065/-183
      3-Biffle 6063/-185
      2007 (After 7 Races)
      1-JGordon 6201/+9
      2-JOHNSON 6192/-9
      3-Bowyer 6090/-111
      2006 (After 7 Races)
      1-Kenseth 6008/+26
      2-JOHNSON 5982/-26
      3-Hamlin 5943/-65
      2005 (After 7 Races)
      1-STEWART 6100/+43
      2-Johnson 6057/-43
      3-Biffle 6025/-75
      2004 (After 7 Races)
      1-KU BUSCH 6052/+59
      2-Johnson 5993/-59
      3-J Gordon 5980/-72
      (ALL CAPS was the eventual champ), see more on my Chase Stats after 7 races page.(11-4-2010)

    • added even some more 2011 schemes #1 McDonald's, #43 Valvoline, #99 Kellogg's / Cheez-It and #33 Wheaties Fuel, #9 Stanley, #9 DeWalt, #48 Lowe's and #6 UPS

    • Last race of the season for Carquest: The red, blue and white Carquest Auto Parts car will make its final appearance of the season on the #5 Chevy at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Carquest Auto Parts will return to the hood of the #5 Chevy for eight races in 2011 (HMS), see images of the 2010 car on the #5 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2010)

    • Biffle to run Red Cross scheme at Texas: This weekend Greg Biffle will be driving the #16 American Red Cross Ford Fusion for the second time this season. The American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces will honor active duty and veteran military through the "Salute to the Troops" Pre-Race Concert with the legendary Willie Nelson. In addition, Lee Ann Womack will also represent the American Red Cross as the Grand Marshall of the AAA Texas 500. Fans can visit the display in the Midway on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Blood donors who join Red Cross Racing by visiting www.redcrossracing.com can report their blood donations and get Donor Rewards points. These points can be exchanged for cool prizes or can be donated back to the Red Cross to help support Service to the Armed Forces programs. Fans can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to support the lifesaving work of the Red Cross (RFR/Red Cross Racing), see images of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2010)

    • Lysol colors on the #42: Juan Pablo Montoya and the #42 team will carry new colors this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, shades of blue displaying the Lysol brand across its Chevrolet. Lysol is a brand name of disinfectant household cleaners distributed by Reckitt Benckiser. It is marketed for cleaning, disinfecting food surfaces and odor removal. The name is used on aerosol sprays, pre-saturated tissues and liquid solution (EGR).(11-4-2010)

    • Lally Ready for Texas in the #71 in TaxSlayer.com Chevy: Andy Lally will drive the TRG Motorsports #71 TaxSlayer.com Chevy at this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Lally will be making his sixth NSCS start of the year at Texas on Sunday. Lally returns to the site of his first NASCAR start which took place in the Camping World Truck Series in 2007 behind the wheel of a TRG Motorsports Chevy. He is also coming off of a 20th place finish in last weekend's CWTS race at Talladega. The team is 35th in owner's points which will guarantee Lally a start on Sunday. TRG would also like to thank Anderson's Maple Syrup and Adobe Road Winery for their support.(TRG Motorsport), see images of the scheme on the #71 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2010)


      News from November 3, 2010

    • Earnhardt-Ganassi to Ford? UPDATE3 No: While Chip Ganassi brushed off the possibility of switching from Chevy to Ford as "just a rumor" last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, sources told FOXSports.com that Ford initiated discussions with the team in July, and a decision could come as early as next week at Talladega Superspeedway. Although Ganassi's NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to make the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup field, the pair has delivered four wins this year. McMurray, who won the Daytona 500 in his return to Ganassi this season, moved from Ford's Roush Fenway Racing at the end of last year. In four years at RFR, McMurray posted just two wins. Ganassi stands to benefit through the support the company would receive from Ford both on a financial and technological basis. When it comes to the pecking order at Chevrolet, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing lulls far behind Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing, who shares an allegiance with Hendrick. At Ford, Ganassi would be second only to Jack Roush. The area that would hit Ganassi the hardest would be the loss the company's partnership with Earnhardt Childress Racing Technology engines — currently one of the top programs in the garage. ECRT engines have won eight races this season. Only Mark Cronquist's engines at Joe Gibbs Racing have accounted for more (9) wins. With teams already preparing for the 2011 season, ECRT has been told a decision will come from Ganassi by Talladega. ECRT currently provides engines for Richard Childress Racing, EGR and Tommy Baldwin Racing. Furniture Row Racing will join the program next year.(FoxSports)(10-23-2010)
      UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing officials don't deny that Ford has approached them about switching manufacturers in 2011. They also say there are no plans to leave Chevy, in part because of the long-standing relationship the Earnhardt part of this equation has with General Motors, not to mention the Earnhardt Childress Racing engines that arguably are the best in the business at the moment.(ESPN.com(10-26-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Expect a decision on Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's possible move from Chevy to Ford by the end of this week. Sources with the team say that Ford's offer is better financially than what Chevy can provide, but that Jamie McMurray's wins in this year's Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte were due in large part to the dominance of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines. "The offer is on the table, and it's up to them whether or not to take it," said a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company. "If this was a strict business decision, I think Chip (Ganassi) would make the move. But racers are a pretty loyal bunch. I honestly think it could go either way."(Sirius Speedway)(11-1-2010)
      UPDATE 3: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will continue its relationship with General Motors [Chevy] and Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies. At a lunch on Wednesday celebrating Jamie McMurray’s win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, employees were made aware of the decision (FoxSports)(11-3-2010)

    • Jim Hunter remembered at service: The racing family has gathered to remember and celebrate former Darlington Raceway president and NASCAR executive Jim Hunter. Hunter was 71 when he died Friday night in Daytona Beach, Fla., after a yearlong battle with cancer. He had been an adviser to NASCAR executives and drivers for more than half a century in his role as journalist, promoter and one of the sport's top administrators. The service is being held at Darlington Presbyterian Church with a reception to following at Darlington Raceway. The electronic sign in front of the track said simply, "Jim, we'll miss you." Hunter served as Darlington's president from 1993 through 2001, when he moved to NASCAR headquarters to lead an expanded public relations effort.(Associated Press)(11-3-2010)

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Talladega: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 pm, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:26 pm (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
      Total number of commercials: 91
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 65
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 30
      Total race brdcst time 154 Total comm. brdcst time 52
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 pm
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:26 pm
      Total minutes: 206
      Minutes of race broadcast: 154
      Minutes of commercials: 52
      Number of missed restarts: 0 ESPN cut a commercial short to get back to one of them
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
      Number of broadcast images of Tony Stewart holding a baby, for the second time this season: 1
      See full rundown and other races at the 2010 TV Commercials page.(11-3-2010)

    • Latest on Shane Hmiel: From posts on the Shane Hmiel - Road to Recovery Page: Shane was moved out of icu Wednesday onto pulmonary floor as he is much better ,he will have more resp therapy on that floor and can work with his trach coming on and off at periods more frequent. Shane will be Charlotte bound on Thursday morning.(11-3-2010)

    • Bud to remain on the #9: Budweiser will remain on the #9 Ford at Richard Petty Motorsports for the final three Sprint Cup events of the season, a team spokesman said on Tuesday. There was speculation the sponsor would not be on the car past last weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway after a report surfaced that Anheuser-Busch would not make its final payment to RPM with Kasey Kahne no longer in the car. RPM officials said Tuesday that Anheuser-Busch has paid through the end of the season, assuring the Bud logo will remain on the #9 car. "The Budweiser car is a fixture in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we look forward to finishing out the season," an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said. Aric Almirola will drive the #9 for the third straight race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He replaced Kahne, who was released to move to Red Bull Racing, where he will compete full-time next season. All four RPM cars are entered in Sunday's race at Texas. According to a member of the team's public relations department, it has been business as usual at RPM's shop in Concord, N.C. Meanwhile, minority owner Richard Petty continues to seek investors that would help him purchase controlling interest of RPM from financially-strapped owner George Gillett Jr. Gillett has not returned repeated phone calls from ESPN.com seeking comment (ESPN)(11-3-2010)

    • Evernham to help Petty with RPM: Richard Petty Motorsports minority owner Ray Evernham confirmed today that Petty is assembling the financing necessary to bid for control of the troubled team, and said he will do whatever he can to ensure the success of that venture. Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, "I'm going to do everything I can to help (Richard). The situation surrounding that team lately has been a... legal and financial nightmare. I don't have an interest in owning a piece of the team anymore, but if it comes down to helping Richard bridge a financial gap for the time being, I would absolutely do what it took to help him achieve his goal."
      Evernham expressed confidence that Petty will be able to field a full roster of four cars in the remaining races of the 2010 season. "(Richard) has a lot of people behind him," said Evernham. "He is doing the right thing for racing and doing his best to keep a lot of people employed." Despite still owning a minority stake in the team, Evernham said, "I don't get communication from George Gillett. I haven't spoken to him in months. All I know is that there are good things happening from the Richard Petty side of things. The #43 and Richard Petty need to be in NASCAR, both now and in the future. There are lots of people -- including me and in addition to me – who want to see him succeed."
      One of the team's drivers, Stanley Tools Ford driver Elliott Sadler, said news of Petty's involvement has helped calm fears among team employees about the future of the company. "I think people were more scared at Martinsville than they are now," said Sadler. "Richard Petty has gotten a lot more involved in the last couple of weeks and that has put people at ease. I'm confident that we're going to be here for the remainder of the season. Richard Petty deserves to be part of this sport. He's a good guy, and he's lots of fun to race for. It wouldn't seem right to be at the racetrack without seeing that cowboy hat and sunglasses."(Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2010)

    • A Hall-Worthy Career for Jim Halsey: You didn't see him working beneath the hood of a racecar or in many victory lane photos, but Jim Halsey has been an integral part of the success of Stewart-Haas Racing. Hired in December 2001 at what used to be Haas CNC Racing, Halsey has served as SHR's director of purchasing, where he managed all matters relating to procurement. The native of Norco, Calif., will retire on Dec. 17 where in his first official act as a retiree, will spend large amounts of time with his family. Halsey was the very first employee of Haas CNC Racing, and he relocated to North Carolina from Southern California. Now, as he readies to return to California, Halsey is being remembered for his tireless efforts on behalf of Haas CNC Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing. "Years of dedication and an excellent body of work define Jim Halsey," said Gene Haas, co-owner of SHR and founder of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the western world. "SHR and, I personally, will miss Jim. We wish him the best going forward." A replacement to oversee purchasing at SHR has not been named.(SHR)(11-3-2010)

    • Truex Jr. to run special NAPA Signature scheme: #56-Martin Truex Jr. and NAPA are again joining Susan G. Komen for the Cure to honor breast cancer victims, survivors and supporters during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Over 2,400 fan-submitted names of breast cancer survivors and supporters adorn Truex's #56 NAPA Signature Toyota. The paint scheme culminates a three-week NAPA Know How Facebook campaign where fans made a minimum contribution of $5.60 to place a pink-lettered name on the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Names in white signified a donation of $560 or more. The project raised $51,000. NAPA raised addition funds with the sale of NAPA All Out for the Cure limited edition hats [sold out] at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores and AutoCare Centers. Truex and NAPA Auto Parts will present a $250,000 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure during Sunday's 1:00 pm NASCAR Race Day on SPEED broadcast. Truex will host Marcia Potter Dluhy of McKinney, Texas on Sunday. She is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2007 with Stage 2 breast cancer. She's been in remission for two years. Her name is on the NAPA Signature Toyota (MWR)(11-3-2010)

    • It's Now a 4-Way Tie for Tissot Pit Road Championship: With Matt Kenseth's #17 team winning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, the chase for the prestigious pit crew season championship is currently in a four-way tie. The crews for Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray have each scored four pit road wins with three Cup races remaining in the 2010 schedule. Clint Bowyer's crew is one behind the leaders with three Tissot wins. The Tissot season championship crew will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. Tissot has already paid out $165,000 in prize money with $5,000 going to the weekly-winning crew. In the event there is a tie at the end of the season for the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award championship, the tiebreaker goes to the team whose driver finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup point standings.
      The Talladega pit crew win by the #17 team was a result of Kenseth's Ford Fusion spending the least amount of time on pit road – 337.598 seconds – during the AMP Energy Juice 500 event. The #17 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 crew chief is Jimmy Fennig and the pit crew coach is Andy Ward.(Tissot), see standings and race-by-race winners on the 2010 Pit Crew News page.(11-3-2010)

    • How Chase Drivers have done at Texas:
      1 - Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe's Chevy)
      · One win, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
      · Average finish of 10.1 in 14 races
      2 - Denny Hamlin (#11 FedEx Toyota)
      · One win, four top fives, seven top 10s
      · Average finish of 9.6 in 10 races
      3 - Kevin Harvick (#29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevy)
      · Three top fives, seven top 10s
      · Average finish of 12.9 in 15 races
      4 - Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevy)
      · One win, seven top fives, nine top 10s; two poles
      · Average finish of 15.9 in 19 races
      5 - Kyle Busch (#18 M&M's Toyota)
      · Four top fives, five top 10s
      · Average finish of 14.7 in 11 races
      6 - Carl Edwards (#99 Aflac Ford)
      · Three wins, three top fives, four top 10s
      · Average finish of 17.5 in 11 races
      7 - Tony Stewart (#14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy)
      · One win, four top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
      · Average finish of 13.4 in 17 races
      8 - Matt Kenseth (#17 Crown Royal Black Ford)
      · One win, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
      · Average finish of 9.9 in 16 races
      9 - Kurt Busch (#2 Operation Home Front/Miller Lite Dodge)
      · One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s
      · Average finish of 13.1 in 15 races
      10 - Jeff Burton (#31 CAT Chevy)
      · Two wins, three top fives, nine top 10s
      · Average finish of 15.1 in 19 races
      11 - Greg Biffle (#16 3M Ford)
      · One win, three top fives, six top 10s
      · Average finish of 20.1 in 13 races
      12 - Clint Bowyer (#33 Cheerios Chevy)
      · Two top fives, four top 10s
      · Average finish of 15.3 in nine races
      (11-3-2010)

    • Gateway Raceway shut down: The owner of Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis says it will cease all operations at the track. Dover Motorsports Inc. said in a release Wednesday that the track could no longer be operated with "an acceptable return." The company previously announced that it would not seek to run any NASCAR Series events at the facility in 2011. The track ran its final NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Oct. 23, 2010. The majority of the track is leased from third parties. The company owns approximately 150 acres of the facility and has been in discussions with several interested purchasers.(Yahoo Finance/AP)(11-3-2010)

    • Willie Nelson to head pre-race show at Texas: Country music icon Willie Nelson will serve as the headliner for the American Red Cross "Salute Our Troops" Pre-Race Show prior to the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 7, at Texas Motor Speedway. Nelson will perform a 45-minute concert featuring his legendary songs on the frontstretch stage beginning at 12:30 pm/ct. Nelson's performance will be the feature act of the 2½-hour pre-race show leading up to the 2:00pm/ct green flag of the AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Fans can enjoy the concert right in front of the stage by purchasing a special $79 "mosh pit" ticket that allows fans to enjoy the best vantage point in the facility for the concert, Sprint Cup Series driver introductions and all the American Red Cross "Salute Our Troops" Pre-Race Show festivities. A AAA Texas 500 grandstand ticket must be accompanied with a "mosh pit" ticket. To purchase "mosh pit" tickets for the American Red Cross "Salute Our Troops" Pre-Race Show featuring Willie Nelson or tickets to the AAA Texas 500, visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com or call the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.(TMS)(11-3-2010)

    • Dallas Morning News sponsroing TMS qualifying: The Dallas Morning News will sponsor qualifying for NASCAR's three premier series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series – during the Nov. 4-7 AAA Texas 500 race week at Texas Motor Speedway. The Dallas Morning News Qualifying Days will be held Thursday, Nov. 4, and Friday, Nov. 5, as part of the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR triple-header weekend featuring the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. It will mark the first time that The Dallas Morning News has sponsored qualifying for the fall NASCAR event, but the newspaper also has been a qualifying sponsor of April's Samsung Mobile 500. Leading up to the November race weekend, The Dallas Morning News will offer a coupon in the newspaper for free admission to the WinStar World Casino 350k qualifying on Nov. 4 as well as a $10 discount coupon for the Nov. 5 combination ticket featuring Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series qualifying, and the WinStar World Casino 350k Camping World Truck Series race that evening. The Dallas Morning News subscribers also will receive additional benefits and discounts from Texas Motor Speedway.(TMS)(11-3-2010)

    • Texas reduces tix prices, adds benefits for 2011: Texas Motor Speedway is coupling double-digit savings from the previous year with an array of new benefits for fans purchasing the 2011 "No Limits" season-ticket package that is highlighted by a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and an IZOD IndyCar Series event. Fans can secure a season-ticket package for 10 days of race action starting as low as $270 and carrying a savings from 10 to 16 percent (depending on seating selection) from 2010 season-ticket pricing. In addition to the savings, season-ticket holders will receive perks such as 50% off pit passes, $1 off all 2011 concession stand items and a free pass to the "No Limits Garage Party" – an exclusive pre-race celebration for PSL and season-ticket holders only prior to Texas Motor Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in April and November.
      The "No Limits Garage Party," taking place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage, will feature an array of entertainment such as live music, free food and beverage, giveaways, live radio broadcasts, appearances by NASCAR drivers and "The Great American Ladies!", and many more surprises to come. The 2011 garage parties will be held prior to the Samsung Mobile 500 on Saturday, April 9, and the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 6. Fans can get season-ticket information and more by visiting the "No Limits" Virtual Garage featuring "The Great American Sweethearts!", who explain various benefits when users click or type in commands at www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Season-ticket packages can be purchased by calling (817) 215-8500 or visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS)(11-3-2010)


      News from November 2, 2010

    • Talladega TV Ratings posted:
      ESPN earned its highest rating so far in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with live coverage of Sunday's AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The telecast earned a 3.6 household coverage rating (3.1 U.S. rating), averaging 5,176,663 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year's race aired on ABC and earned a 4.1 U.S. rating (6.6 million viewers).(ESPN), see past races and season comparsions on my 2010 TV Ratings page.(11-2-2010)

    • Petty still looking for control of RPM: Richard Petty continues to seek investors in a bid to purchase a controlling stake in the team that bears his name. In addition to Petty, at least one other group has expressed interest in making a bid for the financially troubled Richard Petty Motorsports team, but sources say Wachovia Bank -- lead lender for majority owner George Gillett and holder of a defaulted $90 million note on the team -- is waiting for Petty to assemble his investor group. Petty's initial offer was said to be long on demands for operational control of the team, but short on cash.(Sirius Speedway)(11-2-2010)

    • Front Row #38 to keep running despite points position: After Talladega, #7-Robby Gordon is in 34th place, 14 points ahead of #71-TRG, which is 116 points ahead of Front Row's #38 third car and 217 points clear of #26-Latitude43. Since August, Front Row had put a lot of its focus on getting the 38 back in the top 35, where it comfortably sat until it was penalized 150 points in June for illegally modified tire-valve caps. Since Michigan in August, in three different three-race periods, Front Row had made up significant gaps on 35th: 87, 85 and 79 points, respectively. After the most recent three-race period, which ended at Charlotte, Front Row's car was only five points out of 35th going into Martinsville two weekends ago. But after breaking a rear-end gear there as Kvapil was running well ahead of the 7 and 71, and finishing 35th -- and now the Talladega debacle -- Freeze said the team would reshuffle its plan for the rest of this season. "We knew this weekend was going to be a challenge, so [breaking the gear] was a huge setback. Bob [Jenkins, team owner] and I talked about it [Sunday] morning and we're still going to run the 38 the last three races and make the best effort with it.(NASCAR.com)(11-2-2010)

    • Sad News - Clyde Purvis: Clyde J. Purvis, 77, Clarksville, died Sunday, October 31, 2010, at Veterans Hospital, Nashville, TN. A celebration of life service will be held at 2:00 pm. Wednesday at Hilldale Baptist Church with Dr. Larry Robertson, Rev. Terry Brown, and Rev. Steve Freeman officiating. Burial will be in Resthaven Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home with a Masonic service to follow and from 11 a.m. until the time of the service Wednesday at the church. Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. He was born November 30, 1932 in Wheeler County, Georgia, son of the late Stanley Jackson Purvis and Ather Frances Locke Purvis. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Stanley Talmedge Purvis and David Ned Purvis and a sister, Rachel Culverhouse. Mr. Purvis was owner of Phoenix Auto Sales. He was a veteran of the US Army. Survivors include his wife Barbara Purvis; son, Jeff Purvis (Margo), Clarksville; three daughters, Elaine Wilkinson (James), Clarksville; Jamie Graham (Timmy), Springfield, TN; and Elise Brown (Kevin), Clarksville.(11-2-2010)

    • GEICO partners with ISC tracks on camping areas: International Speedway Corporation announced an unprecedented partnership with GEICO Insurance at seven of its premier racing facilities nationwide. Beginning in 2011, the five year deal will provide GEICO with promotional and entitlement rights for camping areas at: Daytona International Speedway; Darlington Raceway; Chicagoland Speedway; Homestead-Miami Speedway; Phoenix International Raceway; Talladega Superspeedway; and Watkins Glen International. Under the terms of the agreement, GEICO will receive on-site signage and branding.(ICS)(11-2-2010)

    • Week 17 Daytona Repave Update - Stewart paints new start-finish line: #14-Tony Stewart visited Daytona International Speedway on Thursday afternoon to tour the repaving project and participate in a milestone moment in the history of the “World Center of Racing.” Stewart joined Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III in painting the start/finish line on the new racing surface. He also received a piece of Daytona history – a core sample of the original start/finish line asphalt – and took a laps on the finished portion of the track with Chitwood and North American Testing Company’s Senior Director of Construction Bill Braniff. Stewart was appreciative of the piece of asphalt from the start/finish line.
      “As you grow up in racing and as the years go by, you learn the history where you go to and importance of the venues you go to,” Stewart said. “To think of the great champions that crossed over this piece of asphalt to win the biggest races of their career. Whether it was in the Rolex 24 Hour race, or the Daytona 500 or the Nationwide race, the Firecracker 400 even. Think of the great people that have crossed over the start/finish line. This is a piece of racing history that you can’t put a price tag on this.”
      In driving around the finished portion of the track in Turns 3 and 4 and through the tri-oval in a Chevrolet Camaro, Stewart got to experience the new smooth racing surface. “I got to rip through 3 and 4 and it’s not the same race track,” Stewart said. “This place is going to have a totally new look and a totally new feel to the drivers and teams. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can promise you that we are going to fill every square inch of this race track with cars now because we’re going to have that flexibility because this surface is going to be in such great shape when they get done with this last layer.”
      And during his drive, he also got to witness all the paving work taking place in the steep 31-degree high banks in Turns 1 and 2. “This is not like paving a highway,” Stewart said. “If you go down there and you watch how the cranes are holding up the equipment, I told them there’s no way you could pay me to be on that roller right now. For a gear head like me, I like seeing what the process is and how they have to do this. To see 75 percent of this project completed already is phenomenal. They’ve had great weather down here. It’s neat to see how good a job Lane has done.”
      About the Daytona Repave: Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, will use an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway and has a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. Race fans can view the progression of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-2-2010)


      News from November 1, 2010

    • The Entry List for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 49 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of owners points:
      #09-Landon Cassill(2009 race winner as owner)(2000 Champ)(/28)
      #10-Bobby Labonte (2000 past Champ) (50/2)
      #13-Casey Mears (38/33)
      #21-Trevor Bayne(45/11)
      #23-Josh Wise (62/1)
      #26-Patrick Carpentier (2009 race winner as owner)(37/33)
      #36-J.J. Yeley (40/33)
      #38-David Gilliland (36/33)
      #46-Michael McDowell (42/33)
      #64-Jeff Green (46/21)
      #66-Mike Bliss (44/33)
      #81-Scott Riggs (53/2)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (41/33)
      #92-Brian Keselowski (55/3)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 26,09,10,38,13,36,87,46
      missing the race would be [6]: #'s 66,64,21,92,81,23
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Texas Entry List.(11-1-2010)

    • Earnhardt-Ganassi to Ford? UPDATES: While Chip Ganassi brushed off the possibility of switching from Chevy to Ford as "just a rumor" last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, sources told FOXSports.com that Ford initiated discussions with the team in July, and a decision could come as early as next week at Talladega Superspeedway. Although Ganassi's NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to make the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup field, the pair has delivered four wins this year. McMurray, who won the Daytona 500 in his return to Ganassi this season, moved from Ford's Roush Fenway Racing at the end of last year. In four years at RFR, McMurray posted just two wins. Ganassi stands to benefit through the support the company would receive from Ford both on a financial and technological basis. When it comes to the pecking order at Chevrolet, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing lulls far behind Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing, who shares an allegiance with Hendrick. At Ford, Ganassi would be second only to Jack Roush. The area that would hit Ganassi the hardest would be the loss the company's partnership with Earnhardt Childress Racing Technology engines — currently one of the top programs in the garage. ECRT engines have won eight races this season. Only Mark Cronquist's engines at Joe Gibbs Racing have accounted for more (9) wins. With teams already preparing for the 2011 season, ECRT has been told a decision will come from Ganassi by Talladega. ECRT currently provides engines for Richard Childress Racing, EGR and Tommy Baldwin Racing. Furniture Row Racing will join the program next year.(FoxSports)(10-23-2010)
      UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing officials don't deny that Ford has approached them about switching manufacturers in 2011. They also say there are no plans to leave Chevy, in part because of the long-standing relationship the Earnhardt part of this equation has with General Motors, not to mention the Earnhardt Childress Racing engines that arguably are the best in the business at the moment.(ESPN.com(10-26-2010)
      UPDATE 2: Expect a decision on Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing’s possible move from Chevy to Ford by the end of this week. Sources with the team say that Ford’s offer is better financially than what Chevy can provide, but that Jamie McMurray’s wins in this year’s Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte were due in large part to the dominance of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines. “The offer is on the table, and it’s up to them whether or not to take it,” said a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company. “If this was a strict business decision, I think Chip (Ganassi) would make the move. But racers are a pretty loyal bunch. I honestly think it could go either way.”(Sirius Speedway)(11-1-2010)

    • Bobby Labonte driving for Stavola Labonte at Texas: After a strong performance at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Stavola Labonte Racing announced that Bobby Labonte will return to the wheel of the #10 Gander Mountain Chevy team at the Texas Motor Speedway. Labonte will compete in the AAA Texas 500 this weekend. It is the last of three races for the team in 2010 as they prepare for 2011 with driver and co-owner Terry Labonte. Bobby Labonte finished 22nd in his first start for the team co-owned by his brother Terry and winning car owner Billy Stavola. Labonte will be making his 20th start at the speedway where he has two poles and three top-five finishes.(Stavola Labonte Racing/Breaking Limits)(11-1-2010)

    • Wise driving for R3 at Texas: R3 Motorsports has entered this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with Josh Wise as their driver. Wise, who has competed mostly in the NASCAR Nationwide Series ranks the past four seasons, will be making his first NSCS qualifying effort with the team. This will be the second Cup attempt by R3 Motorsports in 2010, which is fielding the #23 North Texas Pipe Toyota at TMS. Leading the team's NSCS effort will be veteran racer Walter Giles, who has been the crew chief for R3 Motorsports #23 Chevy in the Nationwide Series ranks the past few weeks.(R3 Motorsports)(11-1-2010)

    • Talladega Facts and Notes:
      • Clint Bowyer won the Amp Energy Juice 500 Talladega Superspeedway. It was his fourth Cup series victory in his 178th start and his second win in 2010. It was his first victory at Talladega in 10 races there and his first victory at a restrictor-plate track.
      • Bowyer became the first repeat Chase winner in seven playoff races in 2010 (also won at New Hampshire).
      • Bowyer finished in the top 10 in both 2010 Talladega races.
      • Bowyer became the third different winner in four restrictor-plate races in 2010 (Kevin Harvick, two; Jamie McMurray, one; Bowyer, one).
      • It was Bowyer's 17th top-10 finish in 33 races in 2010.
      • Bowyer led nine times for 19 laps.
      • Sunday was the 18th time the Talladega race was settled by a last-lap pass and the seventh time that happened in the past 11 races.
      • Richard Childress Racing posted its 94th Cup series win, seventh on the all-time wins list. RCR scored its fifth win in 2010 and 11th victory at Talladega, the most by any team.
      • RCR won three of four restrictor-plate races in 2010, including both Talladegas.
      • Chevrolet posted its 18th win in 2010 and 36th victory at Talladega, including 20 of the past 24 races.
      • The top 10 included five Chevrolets, four Toyotas and one Dodge.
      • Kevin Harvick (second) scored top-10 finishes in all four restrictor-plate races in 2010, the only driver to do so. He extended a 20-race streak of running at the finish, the longest current streak by a driver with no Talladega DNFs. Harvick scored victories in two of the four 2010 restrictor-plate races: Talladega (April) and Daytona (July).
      • Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted top-10 finishes in three of the four restrictor-plate races in 2010.
      • David Reutimann (fourth) scored top-15 finishes in all four restrictor-plate races in 2010.
      • Joey Logano (fifth) scored his third top-10 finish in four races at Talladega.
      • Elliott Sadler (14th) has led at least one lap in the past 16 Talladega races, the longest current streak.
      • Brad Keselowski finished 10th in his 50th career Cup series race.
      • Tony Stewart finished 31st in his 425th career race, all starts being consecutive.(ESPN)(11-1-2010)

    • NASCAR looking at new car design for 2013: NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series could take on a different look as early as 2013. While some manufacturers are considering model changes by then, all car makers are looking to maximize brand identity on the racetrack. That concept is equally appealing to race fans who feel the sanctioning body has veered far from the notion of a "stock" car. John Darby, Sprint Cup Series director, says the direction would "be real similar" to the style the Nationwide cars are adopting for next season. "The point we're at right now is trying to get feedback from all four manufacturers," Darby said. "The fact that, No. 1, that '13 is the right year to this as it aligns with new models, and secondly that there's interest from all four makes." Of course costs will be taken into the equation. Changes have to make economic sense to the teams as well, since the modifications would involve more than just a cosmetic tweak to noses and tails. NASCAR eliminated the rear wings earlier this year and implemented a nose job for the front ends for 2011, which replaces the awkward braces that attach the splitters to one sleek piece. Once the manufacturers agree on the concepts, Darby would expect to see designs submitted in August 2012. "As it says in the rule book, it all has to start with a July 1 date for any type of a body change on the car," Darby said. "Typically, and up to this point we've entertained and helped manufacturers with the front fascias, the rear tails. The '13 project could be a little larger than that to where we get more character lines in the hoods, more sculpture if you will to help the manufacturers identify their products a little closer."(Fox Sports)(10-26-2010)
      UPDATE: All four automakers … have already submitted drawings of their proposed 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racers to the sanctioning body for preliminary approval. A number of revisions are expected, as NASCAR seeks to balance its desire for brand identity with the need for a common aerodynamic footprint between brands. The changes will be strictly cosmetic, with the current Sprint Cup chassis remaining unaltered. Speaking on the condition on anonymity, one manufacturer representative creditedNationwide Series Director Joe Balash with paving the way for the new, more stock-appearing cars. "NASCAR was not sold on the idea of revamping the look of these (Sprint Cup) cars," he said. "But Joe pushed hard for it in the Nationwide Series, saying it was important to give those cars a distinct, stock-appearing look. The manufacturers were thrilled with the results, and once NASCAR saw the fan reaction that came with the new Nationwide car, they started thinking seriously about similar changes on the Cup side."(Sirius Speedway)(11-1-2010)

    • Could there be short fields next season? With Richard Petty Motorsports shrinking from four to two cars next season (or potentially none if the ship isn’t righted) and now Robby Gordon announcing he won’t run a full season in 2011, the potential for short fields now becomes a real possibility next year. That prediction was made two years ago by many but never came to fruition. The economic pressures of the sport may catch up with that prediction after all.(Motor Racing Network)(11-1-2010)

    • Harvick masters plate tracks: #29-Kevin Harivck is first driver since #24-Jeff Gordon in 2007 to score a top 10 finish in all 4 restrictor place races during the season.(ESPN NASCAR Now)(11-1-2010)

    • Caldwell named GM of Bristol: Jerry Caldwell was named as General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway by Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Caldwell, most recently Vice President of Corporate Sales and Acting General Manager at BMS, fills the position held since 1996 by Jeff Byrd, who passed away Oct. 17. Caldwell joined the BMS Sales and Marketing Department in 1997, and was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Sales in 2009. A three-time salesperson-of-the-year at BMS, Caldwell also has been named BMS Employee of the Year and Speedway Motorsports Salesperson of the year. A native of Lexington, N.C., Caldwell is a 1997 graduate of King College in Bristol with a B.A. in Business. During his time at King, he also spent a summer studying at the International Business Institute in Europe. Caldwell and his wife, Belton, are the proud parents of four children and reside in Jonesborough, Tenn.(BMS)(11-1-2010)

    • Phoenix to help fans celebrate Veteran's Day: To help NASCAR fans celebrate Veteran's Day, Phoenix International Raceway will pay tribute to the generations of men and women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pre-race show beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 14. The patriotic festivities will include a special unveiling of the #39 Chevy's new paint scheme by The U.S. Army and Stewart-Haas Racing. Ryan Newman teamed up with Phoenix International Raceway to create a special military ticketing program designed to honor Veteran's Day and provide tickets for military families. The program - titled "Troop Newman" - is part of PIR's Salute to Military Families initiative. The Kobalt Tools 500 pre-race show will feature more than 60,000 American Flags waving in the Grandstands donated by the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The spectacular pre-race show will also include: A "Welcome Home" ceremony for 150 guardsmen from the Arizona National Guard; Recognition of Arizona selections for the U.S. Army All American Bowl; A performance by The U.S. Army Band; An aerial entrance to the track by skydivers carrying the American Flag; Display of a 200-foot American Flag by Arizona Project ChalleNGe; National anthem by acclaimed trumpeter Dr. Jesse McGuire; F-16 fly-over by Luke Air Force Base; Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard.(PIR)(11-1-2010)


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

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

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

    2011 Sprint Cup Schedule
    2011 Team / Driver Chart
    2010 Race Results
    2010 Sprint Cup Schedule
    2010 Team / Driver Chart

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

    the Jayski site is owned and served by:

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