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#39/66/#0 Team News Archive


Past 2008 News

  • #66 Penalties uphead by NASCAR Commission: On June 9, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission [Leo Mehl, Kevin Whitaker, George Silbermann, Chairman] heard and considered the appeal of Haas CNC Racing regarding the #66 car. The appeal concerned four penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from inspection on May 24, 2008 at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing” and Section 20.3.1.3A “Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.” The penalties assessed were:
    • Loss of 150 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points, and confiscation of the racecar, for car owner Joe Custer.
    • Loss of 150 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver Points for driver Scott Riggs.
    • $100,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until July 9, 2008, and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Bootie Barker.
    • Suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until July 9, 2008, and probation until December 31, 2008 for team member Derick Jennings.
    The Appellants did not contest the rules violation, but argued that the penalties were too severe for the infractions. They also argued that the infractions did not involve illegal parts on the car, and that the resulting higher wing location was a disadvantage. The Commission found that the infractions resulted from what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to circumvent the inspection process. Accordingly, the penalties that were issued are warranted. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(6-10-2008) Comment here

  • Haas team to appeal penalties UPDATE: With severe penalties looming, Haas-CNC Motorsports has decided to appeal NASCAR's ruling that the team's cars were illegally altered for the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, sources told ESPN.com's David Newton. NASCAR handed down its most severe penalties yet concerning alterations to its new car on May 28, when the crew chiefs and car chiefs for Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter were suspended six races apiece for tampering with the rear wings on their Chevrolets at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Additionally, crew chiefs Bootie Barker and Dave Skog were fined $100,000 each. Derick Jennings and Thomas Harris, the car chiefs, were not fined but their suspensions are unprecedented. All four must sit out until the July 12 race in Chicago, and are on probation through the end of the year. Riggs and Sauter were each docked 150 driver points, penalties that severely hurt the struggling teams. The cars are both fielded by Haas-CNC Motorsports, which was docked 150 owner points for each Chevrolet. Haas general manager Joe Custer is listed as the owner for Riggs' #66, and Margaret Haas is listed as the owner of Sauter's #77. Gene Haas, who actually owns the fledgling two-car team, began serving a two-year prison sentence for tax evasion in January. The team is widely believed to be for sale, and two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has acknowledged he's received an offer to buy the organization.(ESPN.com)(6-4-2008) AND Haas CNC Racing has appealed its penalties for unapproved wing mounting locations discovered during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a team spokesman confirmed Wednesday. NASCAR penalized the #66 and #70 teams and drivers 150 points as well as issuing six-week suspensions the crew chiefs and car chiefs for both cars. In addition, the crew chiefs were fined $100,000. The team spokesman would not elaborate on the nature of the appeal. The 150-point penalty was the most for a violation of the template rules for the new NASCAR model being used in the Sprint Cup Series. The suspension for car chiefs also was unprecedented. Because the penalty is under appeal, the team could opt to bring back its car chiefs and crew chiefs for the races this weekend at Pocono Raceway, or it could opt to sit them out, thinking that the suspensions might eventually be reduced instead of eliminated. The appeal is tentatively scheduled for June 9.(SceneDaily) Comment here

  • Haas CNC still deciding whether to appeal penalties: Haas CNC Racing [#66 and #70 Chevy's] has not yet decided whether it will appeal the penalties for illegal wing mounting locations found May 24 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, team competition director Matt Borland said Sunday morning. NASCAR penalized the drivers and teams 150 points and suspended the two crew chiefs as well as the car chiefs for six races. In the past, NASCAR has docked 100 points and only suspended crew chiefs. NASCAR also has confiscated and kept the cars. The team has another six days to decide whether to appeal. “It’s their decision to make and we’ll deal with what we’ve got to deal with,” Borland said at Dover International Speedway. “I don’t know [about an appeal] right now."(SceneDaily) see the news on the penalties on my Penalties page.(6-1-2008)

  • Sub crew chiefs named for #66 & #70: Haas CNC Racing has submitted to NASCAR its interim crew chiefs for this weekend after its crew chiefs and car chiefs were suspended Wednesday. The team has 10 days to appeal the penalty, but crew chiefs Robert “Bootie” Barker and Dave Skog and car chiefs Derick Jennings and Thomas Harris will begin their suspensions this weekend with the Best Buy 400. Team competition director Matt Borland will replace Barker as crew chief of the #66 of Scott Riggs, while Steve Genenbacher, who started the year as truck chief of Haas CNC Racing affiliate MRD Motorsports and driver Chad McCumbee in the Craftsman Truck Series, will replace Skog as crew chief of the #70, which will be driven by Jason Leffler this weekend. The team personnel were suspended for six weeks for violating rules with the wing mounting locations.(SceneDaily)(5-30-2008) Comment here

  • Haas CNC cars impounded UPDATE penalites announced: The primary cars of #66-Scott Riggs and #70-Johnny Sauter of Haas CNC Racing were impounded by NASCAR when it was discovered the rear wing mounts were illegal prior to Saturday's Sprint Cup practice. Both teams will be allowed to use backup cars and start in the back of the field in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Both teams also face further punishment by NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was docked 100 championship points and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. fined $100,000 and suspended for six races last season for toying with the rear wing. Riggs had qualified 13th and Sauter last. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the violation was discovered after it was brought to the governing body's attention there might be a problem with the location of the upper wing mounting points. Inspections are not a normal part of the pre-practice routine on Saturday. "The garage I would say is a fairly self-policing area,'' Tharp said. "We follow up on information we get."(ESPN.com)(5-24-2008)
    UPDATE Penalties announced: NASCAR has issued penalties, fines and suspensions to the #66 and #70 teams in the Sprint Cup Series. The #66 car driven by Scott Riggs and the #70 car driven by Johnny Sauter were found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-3.1.3A (wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule book). The infractions were discovered May 24 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. As a result, Riggs and #66 car owner Joe Custer have been penalized 150 championship driver and 150 championship owner points, respectively, as have Sauter and #70 car owner Margaret Haas. Both the crew chiefs and the car chiefs for the two cars – Bootie Barker and Derick Jennings for the #66 and Dave Skog and Thomas Harris for the #70 – have been suspended from the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, suspended from NASCAR until July 9 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Additionally, Barker and Skog have each been fined $100,000 apiece. The penalty also includes NASCAR’s confiscation of team 66 Serial Number HMS 12 06 415 race car and team 70 Serial Number HMS 04 08 507 race car.(NASCAR PR)(5-28-2008) Comment here

  • Bootie says brackets have been the same all year: Crew chief Bootie Barker said he's been running all season the same wing mount setup on Scott Riggs' #66 Chevy that was confiscated on Saturday after NASCAR officials decided it was illegal. He reminded that the car passed two inspections on Thursday and wasn't impounded until somebody in the garage fingered Riggs' team and Haas CNC racing teammate #70-Johnny Sauter. "I'm not going to make any excuses," Barker said before Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The car is my responsibility. But if you knew the whole story it would be like, 'Hmph.' I do myself more harm than good if I say anymore." Series director John Darby said NASCAR began looking into the allegations on Thursday night. "All I know is the mounts were not in the same place as they were Thursday morning when they went through inspection," Darby said. Darby said both teams are likely to face a punishment similar to what Dale Earnhardt Jr's team did last season after problems were discovered with the wing mount at Darlington. Earnhardt was docked 100 championship points and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. fined $100,000 and suspended for six races. Barker believes he knows who turned the team in. "I wish I could tell you some stuff," he said. "It would probably work against me until I know everything. The person I think that did it, and what we really did, it's pretty ... I've never done it. I'll put it that way."(ESPN.com)(5-26-2008) Comment here

  • Full year for McCumbee in 2008, some races in #45: Chad McCumbee is planning to run his third full season in the Craftsman Truck Series [#8 Chevy]. There is the possibility of driving in a Nationwide Series car for Petty Enterprises. There are plans for as many as five Sprint Cup races in Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge. And there is also a chance he could drive in additional Sprint Cup races in a third [#65 Chevy] for CNC/Haas Racing. It all starts this week at Daytona International Speedway. McCumbee will drive the #8 truck for MRD Motorsports in Friday night's Chevy Silverado 250. Though he won a pair of races in the ARCA Re-Max Series in 2007 - the first wins for Petty Enterprises since 1999 - winning at the NASCAR level would add confidence. McCumbee said he has talked within the past 10 days with Petty Enterprises about a Nationwide Series ride. Although nothing has been solidified, McCumbee said the chances of driving in the former Busch Series could improve after the first quarter of the season. McCumbee's time in the #45 Sprint Cup Series car is also undetermined. There are plans for McCumbee to take the wheel for five races while Kyle Petty works from the broadcast booth [TNT from Pocono in June thru Chicago in July]. McCumbee filled in twice for Petty in 2007, finishing 25th at Pocono Raceway on June 10 and 41st at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21. But Petty's ability to keep the #45 car in the top 35 in points - he finished 35th last year - guaranteeing a spot in the field, could determine how many times McCumbee gets a chance.(Myrtle Beach Sun News)(2-10-2008) Comment here.

  • State Water Heaters to #66..with Riggs UPDATE 3: hearing that State Water Heaters will sponsor the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and that Scott Riggs will drive the car, supposedly Jeremy Mayfield and the #66 crew will move over to the #70 Team. State Water Heaters sponsored the #4 Morgan McClure team and driver Ward Burton in 2007, no word on MMM or Burton's 2008 plans.(1-2-2008)
    UPDATE: Scott Riggs told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Friday that be will drive the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy next season, with the Bootie Barker-led team that worked with Johnny Sauter's #70 car last year. In addition, Riggs confirmed that talks are underway to brng State Water Heaters aboard as sponsor. "We're in negotiations pretty heavy with State Water Heaters, and while the deal is not signed, we're hopeful that we can get it done."(1-4-2008)
    UPDATE 2: State Water Heaters has signed a multiyear contract to sponsor the Haas CNC Racing Sprint Cup cars. The company will be the primary sponsor for the #66 Chevy driven by Scott Riggs for an undisclosed number of races in 2008 and will be an associate sponsor for the rest, according to a team spokesperson. It will also be an associate sponsor for the #70 Chevy of Jeremy Mayfield while also appearing as a primary on that car in select races. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.(SceneDaily.com), see images of the car testing on the #66 Team Schemes page.(1-16-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Haas CNC Racing announced it has entered into a multi-year, global, business-to-business partnership with State Water Heaters to be a primary sponsor of the #66 with Scott Riggs. The program also includes primary placement for select races with Jeremy Mayfield on the #70 and an associate sponsorship position on both cars for the full 2008 season. "We couldn't be happier than to partner with a quality brand like State Water Heaters," said team marketing manager Carl Cline. "With the recent changes we've made at Haas CNC Racing, 2008 should prove to be an exciting year for us and we are thrilled to have State Water Heaters share in our future successes. Through our commitment to performance, both on and off the track, we hope to grow a long, proud partnership with State Water Heaters," Cline added. For more information about State Water Heaters visit www.statewaterheaters.com.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(1-16-2008) Comment here

  • Haas starts prison term: Gene Haas, a reclusive entrepreneur who built a multimillion-dollar company in Oxnard, surrendered to federal authorities Monday to begin serving a two-year prison sentence. The 55-year-old Camarillo resident was convicted of conspiring to cheat the government out of millions of dollars in taxes owed by his company, Haas Automation Inc., the country's largest machine tool builder. Haas must serve the entire prison sentence because parole isn't granted in the federal system. He pleaded guilty in August to one of 11 federal charges brought against him. His plea deal also requires him to pay about $75 million in restitution and fines, which he has done. The company also owns Haas CNC Racing, which has competed in NASCAR since 2002. The race team currently fields two Sprint Cup Series teams with a 2008 lineup featuring drivers #66-Scott Riggs and #70-Jeremy Mayfield. On Monday, Haas checked into the Federal Correctional Institution, a low-security prison for male inmates near Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, according to his attorney Brian Hennigan. Haas has long been regarded as an extraordinary success who founded his company in 1983 and built it into the country's largest machine tool builder. Haas Automation remains one of Ventura County's larger employers, with about 1,550 workers at a manufacturing complex at 2800 Sturgis Road in Oxnard. Haas also is known as one of the county's more generous philanthropists. According to previous company statements, Haas has not been involved in the daily operation of the business for nearly a decade and the business has not been affected by the federal charges.(Ventura County Star) Comment

  • Haas CNC Racing announces Marketing Hire: Hass CNC Racing continues to take major strides in identifying itself as a mainstay in the Sprint Cup Series. With its most recent addition, the team announced Mike Verlander will serve as Director of Business Development. Verlander brings his experience from MCG Sports where he managed business development for Joe Gibbs Racing. Verlander has worked with leading teams including Evernham Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. He has introduced and managed corporate partners through the highest levels of NASCAR. Verlander will begin duties immediately from Haas CNC Racing facilities.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(1-8-2008)

  • Atlas Copco to sponsor #70 at NHMS...and Mayfield: Atlas Copco Compressors is proud to continue its partnership with Haas CNC Racing for the 2008 Sprint Cup Season. Atlas Copco's 2008 program consists of primary sponsorship of the #70 Chevy by Jeremy Mayfield for the June 29th race at New Hampshire and secondary sponsorship throughout the season. Jim Bruce, Atlas Copco's Regional VP, says he's very happy looking back at the company's first year in NASCAR in 2007 and even more excited about the preparations underway for the #70 team in 2008. "Our involvement with both Haas CNC Racing and the Windshear Inc wind tunnel project has brought tremendous exposure of Atlas Copco Compressors to a very broad audience from local grass roots fans to global B-2-B partners. We are working very hard to achieve Atlas Copco's vision to become and remain First in Mind First in Choice of its customers and other key stakeholders." For additional information visit atlascopco.us.(Atlas Copco Compressors)(1-3-2007)

    Past 2007 News

  • New Crew Chief for Mayfield: Haas CNC Racing announced that Dave Skog has been named crew chief of the #66 Haas Automation Chevy team. Skog, 41, who previously lead Haas CNC Racing’s engineering department takes over for Harold Holly as the team looks to improve on its 31st-place finish in the 2007 owner’s points. Skog will be paired with Jeremy Mayfield who has been behind the wheel of the #66 since the Oct. 28 race at Atlanta. It will be a reunion of sorts for Skog and Mayfield who together formed the crew chief/driver combination for Evernham Motorsport’s #19 team in 2002. The change comes after Haas CNC Racing and Harold Holly mutually part ways.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(12-6-2007)

  • Best Buy moving? UPDATE 6 to the #19: hearing that Best Buy will not return to Haas CNC Racing in 2008, but supposedly will stay in the sport with an unknown team, possibly a Dodge team, the #19 GEM Dodge of Elliott Sadler is one rumored possibility.(10-22-2007)
    UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing has settled on its drivers for its two-car Sprint Cup team in 2008, but its sponsorship situation is unsettled. Best Buy, which backs the team's # 66 - driven for the first time this weekend by Jeremy Mayfield - has not decided its future, a spokesman for the company said this week. And Wednesday, a statement released by Yellow Transportation said that company is evaluating its future in the sport. Yellow entered Nextel Cup this season as sponsor of Johnny Sauter's #70. Sauter will be replaced next season by Scott Riggs. Haas CNC Racing General Manager Joe Custer said this week the team is negotiating with both companies to return next season.(SceneDaily.com)(10-25-2007)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Best Buy sponsorship is a done deal to Gillett Evernham Mototsports #19 team and driver Elliott Sadler, who supposedly made a commercial for Best Buy already.(11-1-2007)
    UPDATE 3: As far as sponsorship goes for the #19 next season, team sources said it will be a combination deal, with Best Buy, Valvoline and Stanley all rotating as primary sponsors next season.(SPEEDtv.com)(11-3-2007)
    UPDATE 4: Best Buy Racing will hold a press conference at Phoenix International Raceway Friday, November 9, to announce its sponsorship of a new driver and team, and unveil its 2008 car design.(11-8-2007)
    OR And Best Buy is expected to be announcing a sponsorship move today, possible to the Jack Roush-Doug Yates operation, possibly with driver #38-David Gilliland.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-9-2007)
    UPDATE 6: Best Buy, Inc., announced it has entered a new affiliation with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. The nation's leading electronics retailer will serve as the primary sponsor of driver Elliott Sadler and the #19 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge Avenger in 15 Sprint Cup Series events in 2008, including the 50th running of the "Great American Race," the Daytona 500. "At Best Buy, we're all about bringing consumers the complete product and service experiences, and that's what we feel we've found with Gillett Evernham Motorsports," said Barry Judge, senior vice president, Marketing, Best Buy. "With Gillett Evernham Motorsports, not only do we have the focus on performance, but we also have a charismatic fan favorite and proven winner in our driver, Elliott Sadler. We're confident this new relationship will generate excitement and enthusiasm among our employees, as well as our customers." To announce the partnership, Best Buy and Gillett Evernham Motorsports held a press conference on Friday morning, Nov. 9, at Phoenix International Raceway, which featured a unique twist on the traditional sponsorship announcement. Instead of representatives just speaking about the new partnership, the relationship was announced through a special video piece that aired on flat-screen TV's placed in front of the media center stage. Produced by Best Buy's internal Yellow Tag production team and filmed last week at the Mooresville, N.C., Best Buy store, the humorous clip features Sadler, Evernham and local Best Buy employees, known as "Blue Shirts." In 2008, Best Buy will enter its fourth season as a sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In 2005, Best Buy partnered with NetZero as co-primary sponsors of the #0 entry, fielded by Haas CNC Racing. For the past two years, Best Buy has served as the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing car.(Evernham Motorsports PR)(11-9-2007)

  • Haas sentenced to two years: Gene Haas [owner of Haas CNC Racing #66, #70 teams] was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison today for conspiring to cheat the government out of millions of dollars in taxes owed by his company. At the request of Haas' lawyers, the judge recommended the owner of Oxnard-based Haas Automation Inc. undergo treatment for drugs and alcohol. At a sentencing hearing Monday, a judge ordered him to report to federal court Jan. 14, when he will be transported to prison. Haas pleaded guilty in August. In his plea agreement, Haas, 54, took responsibility for one of 11 federal charges brought against him, agreeing to spend two years in prison. As part of the deal, he has paid more than $70 million in restitution and fines. The conviction is a stunning setback for Haas, who had been regarded as an extraordinary success. He founded and built his company into the country's largest machine tool builder. Haas Automation remains one of Ventura County's larger employers, with about 1,100 workers at a manufacturing complex at 2800 Sturgis Road. Haas has also been one of Ventura County's most generous philanthropists. Haas' plea followed a six-year investigation that snared five of his business associates, who all have pleaded guilty in connection with the tax fraud scheme.(Ventura County Star)
    AND He is required to serve 85% of the sentence before being considered for release, so he will have to serve at least 20 months and 12 days in prison. Officials with the race team, which has hired Jeremy Mayfield and Scott Riggs as its drivers for next season, have indicated that it does not expect an impact from Haas' pending imprisonment. The team is owned by Haas Automation. When the plea bargain was agreed to in August, Haas' attorneys released a statement indicating that Haas relied on the wrong people for financial and accounting advice and made a mistake in filing the erroneous returns.(SceneDaily.com)(11-6-2007)

  • Stremme? Mayfield to Haas? UPDATE 2 Mayfield in the #66 NOW: hearing that both David Stremme, currently driving the #40 Dodge for Chip Ganassi [but out of a job at the end of 2007] has also talked to Haas CNC Racing about driving for them in 2008; also hearing that Jeremy Mayfield, currently driving the #36 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing [but out of a job at the end of 2007] has talked to Haas CNC Racing about driving for them in 2008. Haas CNC Racing has already signed Scott Riggs [now in the #10 Dodge at GEM] to drive one of their cars for them in 2008, either the #66 Chevy currently driven by Jeff Green], the #70 Chevy [currently Johnny Sauter] or a possible third team. Stremme is also being rumored to others rides, including #10 GEM Dodge, Michael Waltrip Racing and Penske Racing [if Horish decides not to run Cup in 2008 in their third car].(10-9-2007)
    UPDATE Mayfield to Haas? on Sunday's SPEED Report, Bob Dilner reported that it looks like current Haas CNC Racing drivers, Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter will not return in 2008 and that Jeremy Mayfield is now the leading candidate to join the team. Scott Riggs was recently signed to drive for the team in 2008. Dilner also mentioned that Tony Furr could ended up back with Haas as Mayfield's crew chief, but Furr denied that.(10-22-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Jeremy Mayfield will replace Jeff Green in the Haas CNC Racing #66 Chevrolet, effective immediately, team general manager Joe Custer said Monday morning. Mayfield also will join Scott Riggs in the driver lineup for next season but the alignment of the two drivers with car numbers in 2008 has not been determined, Custer said. Green is 27th in the series points standings. "[Green] did a good job for us, and we appreciate everything he did," Custer said. His replacement in the #36 Bill Davis Racing team for this weekend at Atlanta has not been announced. As far as the status of current Haas CNC Racing driver Johnny Sauter, Custer said Sauter (who is 31st in points) is under contract with the team and that "we're working through that" for 2008.(SceneDaily.com), supposedly BDR's CTS driver, Mike Skinner will drive the #36 in 3 of the final 4 races and Jacques Villeneuve will drive at Phoenix.(10-22-2007)

  • Best Buy moving? hearing that Best Buy will not return to Haas CNC Racing in 2008, but supposedly will stay in the sport with an unknown team, possibly a Dodge team, the #19 GEM Dodge of Elliott Sadler is one rumored possibility.(10-22-2007)

  • Jeff Green Back with Haas? Driver Jeff Green told ESPN.com this week that as far as he knew, he was driving the # 66 in 2008. Green said he has a contract for 2008 that's an annual renewal, and hadn't yet been picked up for 2009. (ESPN.com)(10-20-2007)

  • Jeff Green will appear on NASCAR Angels: What is “NASCAR Angels?” It’s a syndicated TV show, featuring former NASCAR champion, Rusty Wallace. Each week, the Angels help one person or family by fixing up their car. Nothing unites America like the automobile. Across the country every day, millions of people turn the ignition and depend on their vehicles to get them where they need to go. That's where the NASCAR Angels come in... The NASCAR Angels hit the road with a simple mission: to help people and to fix broken cars. It's Extreme Home Makeover meets Pimp My Ride, NASCAR-style. The twist? The Angels dream team has only three days to complete the entire project. With the help of NASCAR partners, the NASCAR Angels fix rides and give people a NASCAR experience they'll never forget. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while. That's NASCAR Angels...transforming cars, enhancing lives. Since everyone knows how much Jeff Green likes muscle cars and working on hot rods, he was chosen to help introduce the story of Jeff Bodenschatz, a husband and father who also enjoys fixing up old cars. Mr. Bodenschatz has always dreamed of rebuilding a 1968 Javelin, but when he fell ill with cancer, it sidelined his dream. With the help of the NASCAR Angels, Jeff’s dream will now become a reality.(Best Buy Racing)(10-18-2007)

  • Hass Racing Quiet about 2008 Drivers: When it comes to who'll be in what Haas CNC Racing cars in 2008, nobody seems to know much of anything. Joe Custer, the team's general manager, plays his cards close to the vest. Very, very close. Johnny Sauter, driver of the organization's #70 entry, says that he doesn't have a clue what he'll be doing next year, but adds that he's been given permission to look elsewhere. Jeff Green, who steers its #66 Chevy, refuses altogether to comment on the situation. With Scott Riggs already signed for next year and two Haas cars available, there's considerable speculation as to which one he'll drive and whether it'll be Green or Sauter who's left out of the mix. Then again, names other than Riggs' [including Mayfield and Stremme] have been mentioned as joining the operation. If that happens, Green and Sauter would most likely both be gone. According to Custer, neither driver has a decided advantage at this stage of the game.(NASCAR.com)(10-14-2007)
    More Stremme Buzz in the Garage: Hearing from many sources that #40 David Stremme is now the leading candidate for at least four teams. Options include third and fourth car situations (GEM?, Penske?, MWR?, Ganassi?) and Haas Racing where Johnny Sauter is expected to be replaced.(10-14-2007)

  • Green to Gibbs or Childress? Jeremy Mayfield had been rumored to be talking to Haas CNC Racing, which signed Scott Riggs last week after Jeff Green decided not to return to the #66 and signed with another team, according to a source. Why would Green leave a team on the rise with owner points he worked for? It would have to be a team he thought had greater potential and could overcome not having owner points at the start of next season with performance. The two organizations that fit that profile are Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing, which both want to get to four cars. Gibbs, of course, is switching to Toyota next year and the manufacturer is likely willing to supply the funding for an additional entry. Childress has been trying to find a sponsor for its fourth car.(Sports Illustrated)(10-12-2007)

  • Stremme? Mayfield to Haas? hearing that both David Stremme, currently driving the #40 Dodge for Chip Ganassi [but out of a job at the end of 2007] has also talked to Haas CNC Racing about driving for them in 2008; also hearing that Jeremy Mayfield, currently driving the #36 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing [but out of a job at the end of 2007] has talked to Haas CNC Racing about driving for them in 2008. Haas CNC Racing has already signed Scott Riggs [now in the #10 Dodge at GEM] to drive one of their cars for them in 2008, either the #66 Chevy currently driven by Jeff Green], the #70 Chevy [currently Johnny Sauter] or a possible third team. Stremme is also being rumored to others rides, including #10 GEN Dodge, Michael Waltrip Racing and Penske Racing [if Horish decides not to run Cup in 2008 in their third car].(10-9-2007)

  • Green out of the #66? Riggs in for 2008? UPDATE 2 Riggs signed by Haas CNC: It looks like Scott Riggs will be next in line to take over the #66 Chevy at Haas CNC Racing. The team and Riggs are in serious discussion and the speculation is that the announcement may happen 'within days'. Riggs future with Gillett Evernham was on shaky ground to begin with, but with the appearance of Canadian Patrick Carpentier to take over the #10 for next year, Riggs future at Gillett Evernham was doomed.(Cup Scene Daily)(9-27-2007)
    UPDATE: Scott Riggs has signed a contract with Haas/CNC Racing to drive one of the team's two Chevrolets in 2008, sources close to the team confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday. The team is expected to issue a statement Wednesday. It is unknown whether Riggs will pilot Haas/CNC's #66 or #70 or who will back the team financially. Sources said current drivers Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter will be evaluated throughout the remainder of the 2007 season and a decision as to whom Riggs will replace will be made at the end of the year. There has been some speculation that ousted Chip Ganassi Racing driver David Stremme is a candidate for the other Haas/CNC Chevy.(ESPN.com)(10-3-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Haas CNC Racing announced today that the team has signed Scott Riggs for the 2008 Sprint Cup season. The car Riggs will drive next season (#66 or #70) will be determined at a later date. "We're very happy to welcome Scott Riggs to Haas CNC Racing," team general manager Joe Custer said. "It's exciting for us to land a driver with Scott's leadership experience and great attitude. We're confident in our equipment, so from a competition standpoint one of Matt's (Director of Competition Matt Borland) challenges is to find the right personnel combinations to get the most out of it," Custer said. " We believe Scott has the ability to get every bit of speed a car can offer. That's very important to us."(Haas CNC Racing PR) (10-3-2007)

  • Green out of the #66? Riggs in for 2008? UPDATE or Sauter?: It looks like Scott Riggs will be next in line to take over the #66 Chevy at Haas CNC Racing. The team and Riggs are in serious discussion and the speculation is that the announcement may happen 'within days'. Riggs future with Gillett Evernham was on shaky ground to begin with, but with the appearance of Canadian Patrick Carpentier to take over the #10 for next year, Riggs future at Gillett Evernham was doomed.(Cup Scene Daily)(9-27-2007)
    UPDATE: Scott Riggs has signed a contract with Haas/CNC Racing to drive one of the team's two Chevrolets in 2008, sources close to the team confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday. The team is expected to issue a statement Wednesday. It is unknown whether Riggs will pilot Haas/CNC's #66 or #70 or who will back the team financially. Sources said current drivers Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter will be evaluated throughout the remainder of the 2007 season and a decision as to whom Riggs will replace will be made at the end of the year. There has been some speculation that ousted Chip Ganassi Racing driver David Stremme is a candidate for the other Haas/CNC Chevy.(ESPN.com)(10-3-2007)

  • Garmin to Help Jeff Green, #66 Team Find Their Way around Kansas Speedway: Best Buy announced that Garmin International, a leading manufacturer of GPS navigation systems and a Kansas-based Best Buy retail partner, will be the primary sponsor for driver Jeff Green and the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet during the Nextel Cup Series weekend at Kansas Speedway. Green's Chevrolet Monte Carlo will carry a special silver and blue paint design representing Garmin, an industry leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of GPS (Global Positioning System), navigation and communication products. Garmin is an associate sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing team, appearing on the #66 Chevy in races where Best Buy is the car's primary sponsor. Many Garmin products are available at Best Buy retail locations and at www.BestBuy.com, including the highly-acclaimed nüvi and StreetPilot personal navigation devices. Garmin has promoted its sponsorship of the #66 team by advertising on SPEED Channel's NASCAR RaceDay, and through a commercial that features the #66 Chevy painted in Garmin colors. The spot, filmed at Kansas Speedway, shows the #66 driver using a Garmin nüvi personal navigation device during a race, as the unit's voice prompts remind him repeatedly to "turn left in 200 feet." Garmin employees will get a chance to greet their driver in person on Wednesday, Sept. 26, when Green visits Garmin's headquarters in Olathe, Kan. For more information, visit Garmin's site www.garmin.com.(GMR Live Marketing)(9-26-2007)

  • Congrats: to #66 Jackman, Tony Cardamone and his wife Stephanie had a heathly baby boy on 9-14-07.(9-19-2007)

  • Comcast on the #66 at Dover: Comcast Corporation, a Best Buy retail partner, will be the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and driver Jeff Green during the Nextel Cup Series weekend at Dover International Speedway. The Dover event marks the second time this season Green's Chevy is carrying a special black and yellow design representing Comcast, the nation's leading provider of cable and entertainment products and services, which is headquartered in nearby Philadelphia, PA. The design was also featured on the #66 entry at Chicagoland Speedway in July.(Best Buy Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(9-19-2007)

  • Different look for the #66 in September, Green wins wager: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy is sporting a different look this weekend. Beginning at California Speedway and continuing through the September 16th race at New Hampshire International Speedway, the #66, driven by Jeff Green, will carry a special Best Buy "HD Done Right" paint design. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy in a number of events this season, is promoting its expertise in the area of high-definition (HD) televisions and home theaters with the pledge, "HD Done Right." The pledge, along with the yellow Best Buy tag logo, will appear on the hood of the #66 entry. In addition, the car will be painted a lighter shade of blue than what is usually seen on the Best Buy-sponsored entry, and will display special graphics on the car's sides and quarter panels, along with the logos of Samsung HDTV, Comcast and Garmin, associate sponsors of the #66 Best Buy machine. When Jeff Green drove his #66 Samsung HDTV / Best Buy Chevy past Tony Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevy on the final lap at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend, Green gained more than just a position - he also won a friendly wager. Green and Raines agreed that whichever driver finished lower in the Bristol race must wear a hat advertising the other driver's team and sponsor this weekend at California Speedway. Green's last lap pass means Raines will sport a #66 Best Buy racing hat for the Labor Day weekend event. In addition to occupying the primary sponsor position on the #66 Chevy, the yellow Best Buy tag logo will also be displayed on the quarter panels of Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevyat California Speedway.(GMR Marketing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(8-29-2007)

  • Haas CNC Racing owner to plead guilty to tax charges UPDATE: The owner of the nation’s largest maker of machine tools agreed yesterday to plead guilty to conspiracy in cheating the government out of $34.3 million in taxes through what the I.R.S. called “deceptive and elaborate tax evasion schemes.” The businessman, Gene F. Haas [owner of the Haas CNC Racing Nextel Cup teams #66 amd #70, Joe Custer is now listed as the owner of the teams], 55, of Camarillo, Calif., will be the fourth and last defendant to admit guilt in the case, which involves his company, Haas Automation, as well as several others. He is to change his plea to guilty on Monday. The plea agreement is subject to approval by a Federal District Court judge in Los Angeles. Back taxes, a $5 million fine, fraud penalties of 40% and interest will bring Mr. Haas’s total cost for cheating on his 2000 and 2001 taxes to more than $70 million. He also agreed to serve two years in prison. The criminal charges stemmed from three fake-invoice schemes that involved Mr. Haas’s main company as well as his NASCAR racing team and a land title company. The deception included creating a fake company in Nevada called Supermill. Mr. Haas paid three employees or associates, who have already pleaded guilty, 2 percent of what he avoided paying in taxes, according to court papers. The tax evasion apparently began with a patent infringement lawsuit against Mr. Haas.(New York Times)(8-25-2007)
    UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing team owner Gene Haas appeared in U.S. District Court today in Los Angeles and pled guilty to one count of tax fraud. The plea bargain includes a two-year prison term for Haas, the owner of Haas Automation, which is the largest dollar-volume machine tool builder in North America and the largest unit-volume builder of CNC machines in the world. Haas' sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5. If the judge declines to impose the two-year sentence, Haas or the government will be allowed to withdraw from the plea agreement. Haas, who was arrested in June 2006 after a lengthy investigation, agreed to pay $34.2 million in back taxes for the years 2000 and 2001, as well as a $5 million fine. With statutory penalties and interest on the back taxes, Haas owes more than $70 million to the government. Joe Custer, Haas CNC Racing general manager, said Monday afternoon that the race team will not be impacted by the Haas' guilty plea. The team fields Nextel Cup cars for #66-Jeff Green (primary sponsor Best Buy) and #70-Johnny Sauter (primary sponsor Yellow Transportation). "It's good to put this behind us," Custer said. "This subject has been out there for three years." Custer said the team hopes to retain the sponsors. Yellow mostly uses the sponsorship to entertain clients while Best Buy primarily uses its sponsorship to sell electronics. "We're working through it with them," Custer said. "I think it will work out. Everybody wants to stick with somebody in a tough time. Best Buy's investment in NASCAR has been good so far. We've given them a good value." Haas is required to serve 85% of the sentence before being considered for release, so he will have to serve at least 20 months and 12 days in prison. "We'll be all right," Custer said. "Haas Automation owns Haas CNC Racing. At the end of the day, their business is tremendously successful. You don't love these days, but we'll get through it."(SceneDaily.com)(8-28-2007)

  • Green and Raines wager on Bristol finish: #96-Tony Raines and #66-Jeff Green have agreed to a friendly wager regarding the outcome of Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. While no cash will change hands, the driver that loses the bet will have to do what most competitors consider the unthinkable - wear another race team's colors at the track. If Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevy finishes better than Green's #66 Samsung HDTV/Best Buy Chevy, Green has agreed to wear a #96 DLP HDTV racing hat next weekend at California Speedway. In return, if Green posts the better finish, Raines will sport a #66 Best Buy racing hat for the Labor Day weekend race.(GMR Marketing/Best Buy)(8-25-2007)

  • Samsung colors for Green at Bristol UPDATE Best Buy also on #96: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy that Jeff Green drivers, will carry a Samsung scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.(8-22-2007)
    UPDATE: For the second time this season, the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy, driven by Jeff Green, will carry a special paint design promoting Samsung HDTV's. The special blue and white design features a photo of a Samsung HDTV on the hood of the #66, with the Samsung HDTV logo appearing on the TV's screen. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #66 Chevy in a number of Nextel Cup Series events this season, is a proud retailer of Samsung HDTV's. The iconic Best Buy yellow tag logo will occupy a position on the car's lower quarter panels. Samsung HDTV logos will also appear on the car's deck lid and TV panel, while Garmin and Comcast, two Best Buy retail partners who are associate sponsors of the #66 team, will have their logos displayed on the car's rear quarter panels. Samsung was also featured on the hood of the #66 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, to promote Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, an innovative goodwill program dedicated to raising awareness and funds through their national retail promotions with Best Buy and other retailers. Fans watching the Sharpie 500 Nextel Cup Series event will see the Best Buy logo on more than one car this weekend. In addition to its placement on Jeff Green's #66 Chevy, the yellow Best Buy tag will also be featured on the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy, driven by Tony Raines. The rain delays at Michigan threw a monkey wrench into the Best Buy team's plan to attend a test session this week. The #66 crew was scheduled to spend Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 21-22, testing at the Milwaukee Mile track in Wisconsin, but had to cancel when NASCAR pushed the start of the race at Michigan International Speedway back to Tuesday morning. (GMR marketing PR). See an image of the car on my #66 Team Schemes page.(8-23-2007)

  • Jalopnik:
    Haas Builds Rolling Road Wind Tunnel.(7-26-2007)

  • Comcast Takes to the Track at Chicago on the #66: Best Buy Co., Inc., announced that Comcast Corporation, a Best Buy retail partner, will be the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and driver Jeff Green during the Nextel Cup Series weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Green's Chevy Monte Carlo will carry a special black and yellow design representing Comcast, the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. Comcast is an associate sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing team this season, appearing on the #66 Chevy in races where Best Buy is the car's primary sponsor. The sponsorship is designed to raise awareness of the Best Buy/Comcast partnership, which allows customers to sign up for Comcast's Triple Play bundle of Digital Cable, high-speed Internet and digital voice services, at Best Buy retail locations, and at www.BestBuy.com. While the Chicagoland event marks the first time the Comcast Chevy will be seen on track, Comcast customers have already gotten a glimpse of the special paint design. For the past month, an advertisement featuring the car with driver Jeff Green has been airing on Comcast cable systems. The spot, which was filmed at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, shows Green winning a race while driving a car with three wheels. The ad is designed to remind Comcast customers that they can subscribe to Comcast's Triple Play bundle of Comcast's Digital Cable, high-speed Internet and digital voice services, and "Win with Three."(GMR Marketing/Best Buy PR), see an image of the car on my #66 Team Schemes page.(7-10-2007)

  • Start #250 for Green: #66-JeffGreen is scheduled to make his 250th Nextel Cup Series start at New Hampshire International Speedway. Green made his Cup series debut on September, 10, 1994, at Richmond International Raceway, when he was 31 years old. Driving the Sadler Brothers' #95 Ford, Green completed just 42 of 400 laps before transmission troubles ended his day. In all, Green has 503 total starts in NASCAR's three national series heading into this weekend (249 Nextel Cup Series starts, 253 Busch Series starts, and one Craftsman Truck Series start). The #66 entry will again carry the logo for the Fisher House Foundation this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway.(Best Buy/GMR Marketing PR)(6-27-2007)

  • Green to Walk the Red Carpet at Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope Sixth Annual Gala: Jeff Green, driver of the #66 Best Buy Chevy in the Nextel Cup Series, will join sports and music celebrities on the red carpet in New York City this Monday, June 18. Green will be in Manhattan to attend the Sixth Annual Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope gala dinner, which honors sports legends Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Joe Torre, Wayne Gretzky, Arnold Palmer, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, as well as former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, for their continuing philanthropic efforts with their respective charities. During the charity fundraiser, Green will accept a check on behalf of the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF). Founded by basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, MJF identifies and supports community-based organizations that address the educational, health, and social needs of children, young adults and inner-city communities throughout the nation.(Best Buy Racing PR)(6-15-2007)

  • Haas not looking to sell despite legal woes UPDATE new owner listed: Nearly a year has passed since Nextel Cup team owner Gene Haas was arrested on federal tax evasion charges in California, and speculation has arisen recently that resulting financial strain could mean Haas/CNC Racing [#66-Green & #70-Sauter] may soon be sold. Haas/CNC general manager Joe Custer said Saturday that there is no truth to that speculation, and explained that the race team is technically an extension of Haas' lucrative machine tool operation, Haas Automation, rather than a personal business owned solely by Haas.(ESPN.com)(6-10-2007)
    UPDATE: hearing GM Joe Custer is now the owner of the team, no word how much or if there was a sale of the team, but the Entry List for MIS lists the owner of the #66 and #70 as "Joe Custer".(6-15-2007)

  • Borland to Haas CNC Racing: Matt Borland announced on NASCAR Performance Live Wednesday evening that he will be the new Director of Competition for Haas CNC Racing.  Not only will he be working with the two-car Haas team [#66 & #70], but also will be working very closely with Hendrick Motorsports continuing the relationship the teams have with each other.(5-24-2007)

  • #66 to sport special scheme at LMS to promote Fisher House: Best Buy Racing is assisting the families of military personnel receiving medical care at US military and VA medical centers by promoting Fisher House during the Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. To raise awareness for these "homes away from home," Jeff Green's #66 Best Buy Haas CNC Racing Chevy will carry a special paint design to raise awareness for Fisher House. In addition, Best Buy is helping raise funds for the Fisher House Foundation by allowing customers to donate monies at any Best Buy retail location and online from Memorial weekend through Independence Day. Members of the military and their families often must travel great distances for specialized medical care. Fisher House Foundation establishes "comfort homes," facilities built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers, to provide lodging for families of hospitalized military members. In addition to the fundraising efforts, Best Buy is supporting Fisher House through hands-on volunteer opportunities for Best Buy employees at Fisher House locations, and other activities. Several Best Buy vendor partners are making in-kind donations of products needed by current and future Fisher House locations, including laptop computers, television and other electronics. Best Buy employees will volunteer their time to install these products. Donations to Fisher House can be made at any cash register at all Best Buy retail locations, or any time from the Best Buy website, www.bestbuy.com, beginning on Memorial Day Weekend and continuing through the week of July 4th. For more information on the work of Fisher House Foundation, go to www.fisherhouse.org.(GMR PR)(5-22-2007)

  • Haas CNC Racing Owner denied motions in tax case: A U.S. District Court judge has denied the motions of NASCAR team owner Gene Haas to suppress evidence and dismiss the indictment on tax fraud against him. Judge Christina A. Snyder heard Haas' arguments May 7 in Los Angeles and delivered her decision Thursday. Haas had alleged government misconduct in the way it has obtained search warrants and information should result in the dismissal of the case or further hearings. He also petitioned for dismissal of specific counts on various grounds. Snyder denied all of Haas' requests. The government alleges that Haas, through his company Haas Automation, created $50 million in bogus expenses to avoid paying $20 million in taxes. Haas has pleaded not guilty, and his company has blamed a disgruntled employee for the allegations. Haas Automation, a machine builder, had revenues of $600 million in 2005, and its estimated revenues will reach $1 billion by 2010, according to court documents. The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 18.(SceneDaily,com)(5-14-2007)

  • Best Buy Racing Joins With Ball State University to Teach Kids about Science: Members of the #66 Best Buy Racing Nextel Cup Series team are partnering with Ball State University, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Best Buy Children's Foundation to help teach kids about science and engineering. On Tuesday, April 17, driver Jeff Green and crew chief Harold Holly will participate in a live broadcast from the speedway as part of Ball State University's Electronic Field Trip (EFT) series. "Going, Going, Faster; The Science of Speed," a 60-minute interactive broadcast, will showcase the science and engineering that goes into racing and give students an opportunity to experience much of the activity that surrounds a day at the races. Classrooms in all 50 states, plus Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Nigeria (a potential audience of 19.5 million students) will receive the broadcasts, which will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (ET), providing a glimpse into racing at the legendary speedway. Green and Holly aren't the only racers taking part in the EFT. Former Indy Racing League (IRL) driver Scott Goodyear, now a racing commentator for ABC Sports and ESPN, will host the event, and several IRL drivers will appear via taped interviews.(Best Buy Racing PR)(4-13-2007)

  • Haas CNC Racing Inks "Sweet" Deal for Texas: Haas CNC Racing has announced a sponsorship agreement with Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce. Sweet Baby Ray's will be an associate sponsor on the #66 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by Jeff Green for the Nextel Cup event at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on April 15th. Sweet Baby Ray's will also serve as the primary sponsor on the #08 Silverado driven by Blake Bjorklund in the Craftsman Truck Series event on June 8th. The Texas Motor Speedwy events were hand-picked because of the love for barbecue that exists in the Lone Star State. It all began back in 1985 when a local Chicago boy named Chef Larry perfected his family's recipe for a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and entered it into the country's largest rib cook-off, the Mike Royko Rib-off. By 1994, Sweet Baby Ray's distinctive bottle could be found on grill pits and dinner tables across the Midwest. Today Sweet Baby Ray's R is the #1 premium BBQ sauce in grocery. It can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway and other retail stores across the country.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(4-4-2007)

  • Haas CNC Racing team swap sponsors for Atlanta: The #66 and #70 Haas CNC Racing Chevry Monte Carlo's will "swap" sponsors this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Johnny Sauter, whose primary sponsor is normally Yellow Transportation, will instead carry the Best Buy logos on his #70 entry this weekend. Jeff Green's #66 car, which usually carries a blue and yellow Best Buy paint design, will instead be sponsored by Yellow Transportation. In the first five races of this year, Sauter's #70 team must qualify for the event on time (being a new team with no 2006 owner's points). Sauter is three for three in his qualifying tries this season, but since Green is guaranteed a spot in the race by virtue of finishing in the top-35 in points last season, the swap ensures that Yellow Transportation and its 200 guests attending the Atlanta event will be represented in Sunday's race.(Haas CNC Racing/GMR PR), see images of the schemes on my #66 Team Schemes page and #70 Team Schemes page.(3-15-2007)

  • "Magic" Johnson to Serve as Honorary Crew Chief for the #66 team; special scheme: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy is carrying a special paint design this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The #66 car features logos promoting a national Best Buy retail promotion for Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, which is helping to raise thousands of dollars for the Magic Johnson Foundation, founded by basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Johnson will attend the race as a guest of Samsung and Best Buy, and will serve as the honorary crew chief for Green and the #66 team. Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope is an innovative philanthropy program that combines the forces of major national retailers with sports, music and civic personalities, to benefit children, families and communities in need. From March 4-24, Samsung will donate a percentage of each qualifying unit sold at Best Buy stores to the Magic Johnson Foundation. Established by basketball legend, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the foundation is committed to making a positive impact on families in inner city communities, one child at a time. Eligible categories for the promotion include Consumer Electronics (television, audio & video), Home Appliances (refrigerators and microwaves), and Information Technology products (monitors and printers). Best Buy customers will also receive a free Best Buy gift card for purchasing select Samsung products during the promotion. This card allows eligibility for a chance to win a VIP trip for two to the April 21 NASCAR race in Phoenix, AZ. Best Buy, which is in its second year as the primary sponsor of the #66, is supporting the promotion in several ways. Last month, Jeff Green traveled to Los Angeles to participate in a photo and video shoot with Magic Johnson and the #66 Samsung Four Seasons of Hope car. This past Sunday, a photo of Johnson, Green and the car appeared on the cover of Best Buy's weekly advertising circular, which is inserted into millions of newspapers across the United States. A special promotional video featuring Johnson and Green is airing on TV screens throughout all Best Buy retail locations for the duration of the promotion. For more information on Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, visit www.fourseasonsofhope.com. To find out more about the Magic Johnson Foundation, log on to www.magicjohnson.org.(GMR Live Marketing PR), see images of the car on my #66 Team Schemes page.(3-6-2007)

  • #70 and #66 swap sponsors for California: Race fans may do a double take when they see the Haas CNC Racing entries take to the track at California Speedway this weekend. While the car numbers and drivers will be the same, the sponsors will swap spots on the two Haas Chevys. Johnny Sauter, whose primary sponsor is normally Yellow Transportation, will instead carry the Best Buy logos on his #70 entry this weekend. Jeff Green’s #66 car, which usually carries a blue and yellow Best Buy paint design, will instead be sponsored by Yellow Transportation. This is the first of two Nextel Cup Series races in which Green and Sauter will “swap sponsors” in 2007.(GMR Marketing/Best Buy Racing PR)(2-22-2007)

  • Comcast Joins #66 Best Buy Racing Team: Best Buy announced that Comcast Corporation, a Best Buy retail partner, will be an associate sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and driver Jeff Green for the 2007 Nextel Cup Series season. Comcast Corporation, the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, will have its logo displayed on the #66 entry in all events where Best Buy is the car's primary sponsor, and Comcast will occupy the primary sponsor position in one event (TBD). The sponsorship is designed to raise awareness of the Best Buy/Comcast partnership, which allows customers to sign up for Comcast's cable and Internet services at all Best Buy retail locations, and at www.BestBuy.com. Fans will see the Comcast Corporation logo featured on the #66 Best Buy Chevy for the first time during practice sessions for this weekend's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.(Best Buy Racing PR)(2-17-2007)

  • Garmin Joins Best Buy in Sponsoring the #66: Best Buy announced that one of its retail partners, Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., will be an associate sponsor of the No. 66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet, driven by Jeff Green, in the 2007 Nextel Cup Series season. Garmin is a premier integrator of GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled devices and a leading designer and manufacturer of consumer electronics. Garmin's nüvi and StreetPilot personal navigation devices are available at Best Buy. Garmin also manufactures a variety of state-of-the-art GPS-enabled products for boaters, hikers, hunters, runners, cyclists, and pilots. The Garmin logo will appear on the #66 Chevy, as well as on driver and crew uniforms and support vehicles throughout the 2007 season. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Garmin will serve as the primary sponsor of the #66 entry in the Nextel Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway later this year. Additionally, the Best Buy Fun Zone Technology display, which makes appearances in the display area at many races, will feature an interactive Garmin kiosk. The #66 car will also make appearances at select Best Buy stores along with specially-designed Garmin point-of-purchase displays. The Garmin logo first appeared on the #66 Best Buy Chevy this past weekend during practice and qualifying for the Daytona 500, and will be seen on the #66 entry whenever Best Buy is the car's primary sponsor (currently scheduled to be 22 races).(GMR PR)(2-16-2007)

  • Blue Ox to sponsor #66 in Duel 150 race: Haas CNC Racing announced that Blue Ox Products will serve as the primary sponsor of the #66 Chevy, driven by Jeff Green, in the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway. Blue Ox, of Pender, Neb., is a leading manufacturer of recreational vehicle and towing industry supplies and accessories. The race will mark the second time Blue Ox has been the primary sponsor of a Haas Racing entry. Blue Ox appeared on the hood and quarter panels of Johnny Sauter's #00 Haas CNC Racing Chevy in the Busch Series race at Bristol last March. Green rolls off in the 14th starting position during the first race of the Gatorade Duel 150s.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(2-12-2007)

  • #66 Best Buy Racing Team picks up associate sponsor: Best Buy announced that one of their retail partners, Samsung Electronics America, Inc., will be an associate sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy, driven by Jeff Green in the Nextel Cup Series. Samsung will be featured on the rear quarter panels of the #66 entry in the 21 events in which Best Buy is the primary sponsor, and will serve as the primary sponsor in one additional event (TBD). Samsung Electronics America, Inc., markets a broad range of award-winning, advanced digital consumer electronics, information systems and home appliance products, many of which are available at Best Buy retail locations and at www.BestBuy.com. Driver Jeff Green, along with representatives from Samsung and Best Buy, unveiled the new paint design of the #66 during a luncheon for media members at Haas CNC Racing's new 150,000-square foot facility in Kannapolis, NC, on Thursday.(Best Buy Racing/GMR Live Marketing PR)(1-26-2007)

    Past 2006 News

  • Changes at Hass CNC Racing? UPDATE: been told that Team Manager Bill Ingle and Haas CNC Racing have parted ways and that #70 Crew Chief, Robert 'Bootie' Barker will take over as the Team Manager and #70 Car Chief Derick Jennings will be the new crew chief for the new #70 Haas CNC Racing Nextel Cup team and driver Johnny Sauter. Yellow Transportation is the rumored sponsor for the team.(12-15-2006)
    UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing no longer employs Bill Ingle. Robert "Bootie" Barker is currently the crew chief for the #70 Nextel Cup entry. Derick Jennings is currently the car chief under Barker.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(12-21-2006)

  • Bliss sues Haas Racing: Mike Bliss is hoping to claim $1.15 million in salary, and possibly more in damages, in a dispute with Haas CNC Racing scheduled for trial Oct. 2 in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, according to a story in NASCAR Scene. In his complaint, Bliss said he thought in August 2005 he was going to continue to drive the Haas CNC Racing Nextel Cup car in 2006, so he didn't pursue a possible opportunity to drive for another team. Team general manager Joe Custer told him in October that he wouldn't be back for the next year. Bliss has filed suit and wants his salary for 2006 ($500,000) and 2007 ($650,000) and more in damages. In its court filings, the team claims that it invoked a clause in the contract that allowed Bliss to be terminated at the end of any season without the team having to pay the remainder of the deal. In court documents, Custer said he never "unequivocally told Bliss he was Haas' driver for 2006." The contract is part of the court file. The original three-year deal had Bliss getting paid $400,000 base in 2005 plus 40 percent of race purse and 30 percent of souvenir royalties. According to documents in the court file, Bliss had been approached by Hall of Fame Racing [#96 Chevy] during 2005 but did not pursue the deal because he believed he did not have to fear for his job. Bliss has driven mostly for [#16] Xpress Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series this year. One part of Bliss' complaint already has been decided. A claim against Haas for breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act was dismissed by the court in August. Custer declined comment Sept. 23.(SceneDaily.com)(9-29-2006)
    UPDATE: Mike Bliss has settled his breach-of-contract lawsuit with Haas CNC Racing, Bliss' attorney confirmed Thursday. The case was scheduled to go to trial this week in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte. "We amicably resolved the case," Bliss attorney Robert Muckenfuss said. The terms of the settlement are confidential.(SceneDaily.com)(12-14-2006)

  • Sauter moving back up to Cup, with Haas CNC: Johnny Sauter is returning to the Nextel Cup Series, and will drive the #70 Chevy for Haas CNC Racing in 2007. Jeff Green, who finished 28th in the driver standings, will continue to drive the #66 for Haas CNC.(NASCAR.com)(12-2-2006)

  • Haas CNC Racing Opens New Shop; will run 2nd full time Cup team in 2007: Haas Racing #66 Best Buy Chevy / Jeff Green] held a grand opening of its new facility at Kannapolis Gateway Business Park on Monday to a crowd of local leaders, race fans and Haas employees. Gene Haas, owner of Haas CNC Machinery, was on hand to cut the ribbon and open the 144,000-square-foot facility. "This was a big undertaking," Haas said. "We broke ground a year ago and here we are. It was very quick." Kannapolis Mayor Bob Misenheimer said this was a major investment in Kannapolis. Total cost for the new building is $16 million. Joe Custer, head of Haas Racing, said this new facility will be the new headquarters for two racing teams - the Best Buy Racing Team, with the #66 car, driven by Jeff Green, and the race team for the #70 Cup car [could be Johnny Sauter as driver]. That team sponsor has not been officially announced, Custer said. "We will have two (Nextel) Cup teams operating here," Custer said. On the main floor, visitors mingled among race cars, with finger food and drinks in hand. Kids ran around, their eyes excited at being up close to a real race car. Drive Jeff Green was on hand to give an interview to a racing network. Haas Racing moved from Harrisburg and is planning a state-of-the-art rolling road wind tunnel facility on Ivey Cline Road in Concord, NC. The wind tunnel will employ a belt system for the car to ride on while in the wind tunnel and will create maximum sustained winds of 180 mph.(Kannapolis Independent Tribune)(11-21-2006)

  • #88 has a 2007 sponsor, could be a Mars brand UPDATE 2 BUT Haas plans to run 2nd team with Sauter: Robert Yates said Friday morning that he's secured sponsorship for his #88 team and that Robert Yates Racing will again field two full-time Nextel Cup Series teams in 2007. A driver for the team has yet to be secured, and the sponsorship agreement hasn't been signed, but Yates said everything is in order. Several sources indicate Mars, which sponsors the #38 via its M&Ms brand, will also sponsor the #88, possibly with another of its brands. David Gilliland will drive the #38 Cup car next year, with Stephen Leicht running the #90 RYR entry full time in the Busch Series. While Doug Yates is listed as the team's co-owner, Yates made it clear there wouldn't be any additional owners outside of the family.(SceneDaily.com)(11-17-2006)
    UPDATE: hearing Johnny Sauter [currently #00 Busch car] could be the driver for the #88 car.(11-18-2006)
    UPDATE 2 BUT: Haas CNC Racing team manager Bill Ingle said Sunday that the team would expand to field two full-time Nextel Cup Series cas next season. Hass currently fields the #66 Chevy with Jeff Green. Next year, the team will field the #70 as well, with Johnny Sauter expected to be the driver. Sauter is rumored to be the first choice of Robert Yates Racing for its #88 car, but Ingle said all his conversations with Sauter lead him to believe the driver is staying. Either way, he said adding a second team is imperative. The plan is for Harold Holly to remain as Green's crew chief, with Robert "Bootie" Barker remaining with Sauter.(SceneDaily.com)(11-19-2006)

  • #66 "Wraps Up" Season with Special Paint Design at Homestead: As NASCAR wraps up its 2006 Nextel Cup Series season, the Best Buy Racing team will "Wrap Up the Wow" at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jeff Green's #66 Best Buy Chevy is sporting a special paint design for this weekend's event, featuring a special holiday theme. The car features "snowflakes," along with the tag line, "Wrap Up the Wow." In the center of each "snowflake" is a wrapped gift, with the iconic yellow Best Buy tag attached. Branching out from each snowflake center are artist's renderings of everything from MP3 players to headphones, cameras, TV's, computers and video game controllers, representing just a few of the thousands of great holiday gift ideas Best Buy offers.(Best Buy Racing/GMR Live Marketing PR), see images of the car, go to my Paint Schemes Gallery.(11-17-2006)

  • Results of #66 Crewman MRI Reveals Torn Knee Ligaments: Phillip Gee, jackman for the #66 Best Buy Haas CNC Racing Chevy, suffered ligament damage to his left knee last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Gee, who injured the knee following a pit stop during the Nextel Cup Series race at Martinsville, underwent an MRI on Wednesday morning, October 25. Joe Custer, general manager of the Haas CNC team, said the MRI revealed tears in both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) of Gee's knee, which will likely require surgery. Doctors estimate Gee will be sidelined from performing pit crew duties for a period of six months to a year. Mike Casto, who serves as jackman for Haas CNC Racing's #00 Busch Series entry, will fill in for Gee this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Haas CNC Racing management will then decide on a race by race basis who will handle jackman duties for the #66 team.(Best Buy Racing PR)(10-29-2006)

  • Best Buy on #66 rest of season; Jackman injury update: Best Buy, which has served as the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing in a number of races this season, will have its logo displayed on the hood of the #66 entry in each of the season's final four Nextel Cup Series events. Phillip Gee, jack man for the #66 Haas CNC Racing entry driven by Jeff Green, underwent an MRI examination of his injured left knee on Wednesday morning, October 25. No results of that examination have not been released. Gee, who injured the knee following a pit stop during Sunday's Nextel Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, is expected to be out for the remainder of the season, according to team officials. Gee said doctors did not detect any broken bones in their initial examination, but scheduled the MRI to determine if there is any ligament or cartilage damage to the knee. Mike Casto, who serves as jack man for Haas CNC Racing's #00 Busch Series entry, will fill that role on the #66 entry during Gee's recuperation.(Best Buy Racing PR)(10-26-2006)

  • Green's #66 Team Becomes 15th Checkers/Rally's Pit Crew Winner at Martinsville: Jeff Green's #66 over-the-wall crew became the 15th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team to earn a win in the weekly Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition by claiming the honor in Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. The Best Buy crew, which spent the least amount of time on Martinsville's pit road (285.023 seconds), helped lift the team to an eighth-place finish. The #66 over-the-wall crew, which earned $10,500 for the win, consists of: Phillip Gee (jackman), Michael "Shrek" Morneau (front-tire carrier), Kelly Kellis (front-tire changer), Zach McGowan (rear-tire carrier), Daniel Smith (rear-tire changer), Robby Maschhaupt (gasman) and Derick Jennings (catch can). The pit crew coach is Wayne Holden. With four races remaining on the NEXTEL Cup circuit, the pit crews of Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart are tied for first place in the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge standings. The crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule will be presented with a $100,500 bonus. Checkers/Rally's will present the crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule with a $100,500 bonus. To date, Checkers/Rally's has paid out $336,000 in Nextel Cup Series prize money during this season. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season with the Nextel Cup Series. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(10-25-2006)

  • Bootie out at the #66? to help Sauter move to Cup? UPDATE swap jobs: hearing Robert 'Bootie' Barker has been replaced as crew chief of the #66 Haas CNC Chevy that Jeff Green drives with Harold Holly. Supposedly Barker will work with Johnny Sauter to ready him and the 2nd Haas CNC team for Nextel Cup in 2007.(10-15/16-2006)
    UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing has announced changes in crew chief roles for the #66 Best Buy Chevy driven by Jeff Green in the Nextel Cup Series and the #00 Yellow Transportation Chevy driven by Johnny Sauter in the Busch Series. Harold Holly, who previously served as crew chief for Sauter, takes over duties as crew chief for Green effective immediately. Robert “Bootie” Barker, who previously served as crew chief for Green, in turn takes over crew chief duties for Sauter.
    “Haas CNC Racing is grounded in technology, but we realize our most valuable resource is our people,” said Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing. “In looking at our situation, we have a driver and a crew chief in Jeff and Harold who have won a championship together and we feel there are opportunities to capitalize based on their history. In like, Bootie has had tremendous success with young drivers and we feel he’ll be a valuable resource for Johnny and our Busch Series team during the stretch run. Our goal is to have a multi-car NASCAR Nextel Cup effort and we feel that by instituting these changes we’ll improve our program for the future. Both series are more competitive than ever and you have to continue to evolve if you want to contend for championships. e’re very excited about what lies ahead for Haas CNC Racing and look to both Bootie and Harold to carry our team into the future.”
    Barker will take advantage of the NASCAR Busch Series’ week off to align himself with his team’s effort while Holly will head up this week’s Nextel Cup test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(10-16-2006)

  • #66 Best Buy "HD Done Right" Chevy at LMS: The #66 entry is displaying a different paint design this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Best Buy, which has been the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet in a number of events this season, is promoting its expertise in the area of high-definition (HD) televisions and home theaters with the pledge, "HD Done Right." The pledge, along with the yellow Best Buy tag logo, will appear on the hood of the #66 entry this weekend.(GMR Marketing PR), see am image of the scheme on the #66 Team Schemes page.(10-12-2006)

  • Sauter to Cup with Haas? Johnny Sauter said Haas CNC Racing sponsor Yellow Transporation will decide whether he remains in the Busch Series or moves to Nextel Cup to team up with #66-Jeff Green. The decision should be made by Oct. 1. [nothing announced yet](NASCAR Scene Print), Sauter has attempted a couple of races in Cup with the Haas team in the #70 Chevy.(10-6-2006)
  • Microsoft Windows Live featured on #66 Entry at Talladega: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet will sport a special paint design this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The Microsoft Windows Live logo will appear on the hood and quarter panels of the #66 entry, driven by Jeff Green, in Sunday's Nextel Cup Series race. Earlier this year, Microsoft became an associate sponsor of the Haas team, and Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare product was featured on the #66 entry in the Neighborhood Excellence 400 race at Dover International Speedway in June. The Microsoft Windows Live logo has appeared on the lower rear quarter panels of the #66 car in select races since that time. Best Buy, who is the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet in a number of events this season, is a featured retailer of Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare service, an all-in-one PC care service available to consumers nationwide. As an added convenience for customers, Geek Squad Agents are available 24/7 to install Windows Live OneCare in-home or at Geek Squad Precincts in Best Buy Stores. Including the June race at Dover International Speedway, this weekend marks just the second time in Microsoft's history the company has been the primary sponsor of a Nextel Cup Series car.(Best Buy Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(10-5-2006)

  • #66 Chevy will promote new interactive AOL Gold Rush Game at Richmond: This weekend at Richmond, the #66 Best Buy Racing Chevy that Jeff Green drives will carry logos promoting Gold Rush, a groundbreaking interactive reality game from Mark Burnett and AOL.com - where players literally can turn their entertainment and pop culture knowledge into gold. Gold Rush launches online at www.aol.com/goldrush Wednesday, Sept. 13. Best Buy, primary sponsor of driver Jeff Green and the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy, is a sponsor of the game, and the Best Buy brand will be integrated throughout game clues and challenges. Chevrolet, Coca-Cola Zero, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Washington Mutual are also Gold Rush sponsors. The hood of the yellow and blue #66 entry will be emblazoned with the game's logo, a bar of gold, surrounded by Best Buy's signature yellow price tags and the tagline, "Yellow leads to gold." The game's website address, AOL.com/Goldrush, will be displayed on the car's quarter panels, along with the Best Buy logo. For a complete list of rules and eligibility requirements, visit www.aol.com/goldrush.(GMR PR)(9-6-2006)

  • #66 team featuring 'According to Jim' scheme IMAGE: Hollywood and NASCAR will cross paths this weekend at California Speedway, as the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy will sport a special paint design promoting the syndication launch of "According to Jim," in Sunday's Sony HD 500 Nextel Cup Series race. The goal of this unique one-race sponsorship is to help publicize that this breakout family comedy, starring multi-talented film, television and stage actor Jim Belushi, will launch into national syndication five days a week on Monday, September 18. Jim Belushi will attend Sunday's race as both a performer and a spectator. He and his band, "Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts" will play for fans at the California Speedway Midway prior to the race. Belushi then plans to attend the driver's meeting and talk to media members before the race gets underway. In addition, Jim will also serve as the Honorary Race Official. Consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, which has been the primary sponsor of the Haas entry at a number of events this season, will also have a presence on the #66 car on Sunday. The Best Buy logo and the tag line "HD Done Right" will be displayed on the car's lower quarter panels, promoting Best Buy's expertise in the area of high definition TVs. Fans attending Sunday's race can pick up a free copy of a promotional "According to Jim" DVD at various points around the speedway, and at the Best Buy "Fun Zone" interactive display on the Midway.(GMR Marketing/Haas CNS Racing PR)(8-29-2006)
    IMAGE: see an image on the #66 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2006)

  • CertainTeed to sponsor of #66 of Green at Bristol: CertainTeed Corporation, one of North America's leading building products manufacturers, is announced a one-race, primary sponsorship of the Haas CNC Racing #66 Chevy and driver Jeff Green for the August 26 Sharpie 500 Nextel Cup race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The 2006 race marks the second consecutive year CertainTeed has been the primary sponsor for the Haas CNC Racing entry at the Sharpie 500. Last year the Haas CNC car sponsored by CertainTeed, and driven by Mike Bliss, finished seventh, the team's best finish of the season. As a primary one-race sponsor CertainTeed will be prominently featured in a special paint scheme on the car that has been designed exclusively for the event. Green will also wear a CertainTeed-branded fire suit. "This is one of the highest television-rated races of the season and one of the hardest tickets to obtain," says Dachowski. "The excitement generated by this event and our participation in it will provide a tremendous boost to our brand visibility." The company's logo will also be featured on all Haas CNC racing uniforms, merchandise, pit row equipment and the car hauler. In addition, Green will appear and sign autographs at the CertainTeed pre-race hospitality event at the track Saturday afternoon.(GMR Marketing/CertainTeed PR)(8-22-2006)

  • #66 Car to Help Promote Best Buy "Te@ch" Program: The #66 Best Buy Haas CNC Racing entry will carry a special paint design this weekend at Watkins Glen International to help raise awareness for the Best Buy Teach (te@ch) program, which rewards K-12 teachers and schools nationwide for demonstrating innovative use of technology to improve students' classroom experience. Best Buy will announce the winner of its $250,000 Teach Award Monday, August 14, the day after the Watkins Glen race. Since 2003, the Best Buy Teach program has awarded more than $9.5 million to K-12 schools across the U.S., serving as the cornerstone of its community and philanthropic work. Each winning school may use its Teach Award to purchase additional consumer electronics technology at Best Buy to extend, expand, or enhance current and future classroom curricula. Each year, 1,200 classrooms across the U.S. are selected for a $2,500 Teach Award for demonstrating how interactive technology makes learning fun for students. Additionally, 36 K-12 schools each receive a $15,000 Teach Award for exceptional classroom innovation with technology. Each district of those 36 schools was invited to apply for the $250,000 Teach Award, to be announced August 14. Best Buy accepts voluntary applications from teachers and schools across the nation via an online process, open from July through September 30. A list of all $15,000 and $2,500 Teach Award-winning schools, as well as a link to the 2006 award application, can be found at bestbuy.com/teach.(GMR Marketing PR)(8-10-2006)

  • Haas trial delayed: The tax fraud trial of NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series team owner Gene Haas has been postponed from Aug. 15 to Jan. 27, 2007, at the request of Haas' attorneys. The trial could take up to six weeks to determine whether Haas, through his company Haas Automation, devised a scheme that created approximately $50 million in bogus expenses to avoid more than $20 million in taxes. Haas, who owns Haas CNC Racing with drivers Jeff Green (#66-Nextel Cup) and Johnny Sauter (#00-Busch), has pleaded not guilty. Haas Automation officials have blamed the activities of a former company employee for the tax problems and have indicated that Haas has personally paid the taxes in question. According to the U.S. attorneys, if convicted on all counts in the original indictment, Haas could face 19 to 41 years in prison. One of the two counts of witness intimidation has been dismissed.(SceneDaily.com)(8-9-2006)

  • Inta Juice and Randy Moss Sponsoring Haas, Green at Brickyard 400: One of the nation's fastest-growing smoothie and juice bar franchises is heading to the nation's most prestigious speedway. Inta Juice has signed an agreement to sponsor Haas CNC Racing and the #66 Inta Juice Chevy driven by Jeff Green in this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Randy Moss, professional football player and Inta Juice executive, will grace the quarter panels of the #66 Inta Juice Chevrolet. This will mark the first time that the likeness of a NFL player has been on a Nextel Cup car. Inta Juice has launched aggressive growth goals that includes targeting nearly 100 total stores nationwide, either open or with franchise agreements in place, by the end of 2006. The company also plans to double in size by the end of 2008. Inta Juice is looking to grow their brand in front of the 250,000 fans that are expected to be at Sunday's race. More info on the company at intajuice.com.(Moore Consulting Group/GMR Marketing PR)(8-1-2006)
    IMAGEs added of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(8-2-2006)

  • One count dismissed in Haas case: One of the two counts of witness intimidation in the indictment of NASCAR team owner Gene Haas has been dropped. The U.S attorney's office asked for the dismissal of the charge because the five-year statute of limitations had expired. The charge stemmed from a May 10, 2001, conversation, and the indictment, while handed down by the grand jury in October 2005, was not filed until June 8, 2006. Haas, who owns the #66 Nextel Cup team of Jeff Green and the #00 Busch Series team of Johnny Sauter, still faces five counts of tax fraud and one count of witness intimidation. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which revolve around his Haas Automation business and not the race team. The company has blamed a former employee for the tax troubles.(SceneDaily.com)(7-13-2006)

  • David Green and Johnny Sauter to Attempt Brickyard 400: David Green and Johnny Sauter [#70] will both enter the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard with their Busch Series teams. Brewco Motorsports will attempt to make its first Cup start of the season, while Sauter's Haas CNC Racing team ran at Charlotte in May.(NASCAR Scene Print)(6-30-2006)

  • Different Look for #66 at Daytona: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy will carry co-primary sponsorship in this weekend's Nextel Cup Series event at Daytona. The black car will carry decals on the hood promoting Best Buy, as well as Yellow Transportation, the sponsor of the #00 Haas CNC Racing Chevy that Johnny Sauter drives in the Busch Series. Best Buy's logos will appear on the car's upper quarter panels, while Microsoft Windows Live One Care will have its logos displayed on the lower quarter panels.(GMR Marketing/Haas CNC Racing PR), see image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(6-28-2006)

  • Haas pleads not guilty: NASCAR [#66 Cup, #00 Busch] team owner Gene Haas pleaded not guilty to charges of tax fraud and witness intimidation Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Haas, who owns the Haas CNC Racing team with Nextel Cup driver Jeff Green and Busch Series driver Johnny Sauter, is accused of orchestrating a scheme, through the Haas Automation business he operates, that created approximately $50 million in bogus expenses to avoid paying more than $20 million in income taxes. "We know this is going to be a long fight, but we feel that the government has been overzealous in pursuing this case," said Haas attorney Kenneth Barish in a statement last Friday when Haas was released on bail. "Mr. Haas looks forward to going home and going back to work running Haas Automation and his other businesses. "But more than anything else he wants to prove that he is innocent." The company says the tax issues revolve around a former employee and that the charges will not impact Haas' businesses. The Haas CNC Racing team also plans to continue business as usual.(SceneDaily.com)(6-27-2006)

  • #66 Carries Special SanDisk Paint Design at Sonoma: Jeff Green's #66 Chevy is carrying a special red, yellow and white paint design this weekend at Infineon Raceway, featuring the logo of SanDisk Corporation on the hood of the Haas CNC Racing entry. Headquartered about 80 miles from Sonoma in Milpitas, CA SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage products, is an associate sponsor of the #66 Chevy this season. At the beginning of the 2006 season, SanDisk joined Best Buy, the consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services retail chain, as a sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing entry. Best Buy, which offers many SanDisk products, is the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing team in a select number of races this season. The Best Buy logo will be featured on the car's rear quarter panel in Sunday's event. More information on SanDisk and its product line can be found by visiting sandisk.com.(GMR PR), see an image on my #66 Team Schemes page.(6-24-2006)

  • Haas wind tunnel project not in jeopardy over arrest: The arrest this week in California of Gene Haas, owner of Haas Automation, will not affect plans to build a $40 million wind tunnel in Concord or stop the race shop's move to Kannapolis, said a company spokesman. Joe Custer, general manager of the Harrisburg race team Haas CNC Racing, said the company's assets have not been frozen or affected by the arrest. He also said Haas CNC and the company for the wind tunnel, Wind Shear, are actually separate entities from Haas Automation. "We're not implicated in the indictments and we are not being investigated," Custer said. "We're not financially in trouble, never have been and don't plan to be." Custer said regardless of the investigation and Haas' legal troubles there won't be any impact on any of the Cabarrus County projects. Haas announced in May that he will construct a $40 million wind tunnel in Concord. John Cox, CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, talked Wednesday during a motor sports symposium held at Lowe's Motor Speedway "We have called the Haas folks to show our support," Cox said. "Our prayers are that Mr. Haas will be exonerated." Cabarrus County provided a three-year tax incentive grant for the project and the City of Concord offered to provide electrical infrastructure at the site. The city, which planned to build a $4 million electrical substation near the Concord Regional Airport, said they will move up that project to accommodate the wind tunnel's construction schedule.(more at the Kannapolis Idependent Tribune)(6-22-2006)

  • Trouble for #66 Cup/#00 Busch Team Owner: The owner of an Oxnard [CA]-based company that's donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local colleges is under arrest for allegedly trying to bilk the government out of millions in taxes. Haas Automation owner and founder Gene Haas was arrested Monday on suspicion of conspiracy, filing false tax returns and witness intimidation. Federal prosecutors say Haas orchestrated a plan to list $50 million in bogus expenses that it could write off as business costs. The aim was to save the company $20 million in taxes. Haas Automation general manager Robert Murray says the charges are bogus. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of omputerized cutting machines.(CBS2.com/AP)
    AND Gene F. Haas, 54, of Camarillo, Calif., the owner of Haas Automation and other companies, was accused in a 52-page indictment of running a bogus invoicing scheme to create fake tax deductions. Mr. Haas was held without bail after his arraignment in Federal District Court in Los Angeles. In court papers asking that Mr. Haas be held until his trial, the Justice Department said that he could flee the country in his Cessna jet and head for China, where he has business interests. The Justice Department said China did not have a treaty allowing extradition of accused tax cheats. It called him a flight risk, saying he has few ties to the community, is single, has no children and faces about 20 years in prison if convicted. Haas Automation, in a statement, said that Mr. Haas was not guilty and that the tax issues "revolve around" the company's former chief financial officer, John Phillips. It said the indictment would have no effect on the business. Last month, Haas Automation won, by default, a lawsuit filed in Ventura County Superior Court accusing Mr. Phillips of cheating the company out of $27.5 million. The indictment also described two other invoicing schemes. One involved a NASCAR race team sponsored by Haas Automotive and the other a land title company. The indictment gave few details other than stating that all the money paid in those two schemes was funneled back to Mr. Haas, suggesting that he may have operated them without confederates.(New York Times)(6-20-2006)

  • Microsoft to sponsor #66 IMAGE: on Sunday, there will be a Best Buy Racing / Microsoft Sponsorship Announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway to detail Microsoft car sponsorship, in association with Best Buy Racing and the unveiling of the #66 Windows Live OneCare Chevy.(Best Buy Racing PR)(5-26-2006)
    UPDATE/IMAGE: UPDATE: For the first time, computer giant Microsoft will be the primary sponsor of a NASCAR Nextel Cup car. At next Sunday’s Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover, Del., Microsoft’s Windows Live OneCare will be the primary sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing No. 66 driven by Jeff Green. The deal is for one-race only, but does mark a significant first for Microsoft.(Speed Channel), see an image of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(5-29-2006)

  • #66 to have SanDisk scheme at Texas IMAGE: Jeff Green's #66 Chevy will carry a special black paint design this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, featuring the logo of SanDisk Corporation on the hood of the Haas CNC Racing entry. SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage products, is an associate sponsor of the #66 Chevy this season. SanDisk joins Best Buy, the consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services retail chain as a sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing entry.(GMR Marketing PR)(4-6-2006)
    IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #66 Team Schemes page.(4-8-2006)

  • #66 teams up with CertainTeed: CertainTeed Corporation announced a partnership with sister companies Norton Abrasives and BPB in a team sponsorship of the #66 Best Buy Chevy of Jeff Green for the 2006 Nextel Cup Season which is owned by Haas/CNC Racing. The Norton Abrasives brand of Saint-Gobain Abrasives is the world's largest manufacturer and supplier of performance abrasives. BPB, which was recently acquired by CertainTeed's parent company Saint-Gobain of Paris, France, is the world leader in gypsum wallboard and a leading supplier of ceiling tiles and finishing products. As part of the sponsorship, CertainTeed will host 15 race-day hospitality events at which Green will be on deck to sign autographs and talk with invited guests of the company, as well as Norton Abrasives and BPB. In addition, CertainTeed has prime positioning on the #66 car with logo placement above the rear quarter panel. Norton Abrasives and BPB are also featured on the car.(AutoChannel)(2-28-2006)

  • #66 adds asscoaite sponsor: Best Buy Haas CNC Racing and SanDisk Corporation announced that SanDisk has signed on as an associate sponsor of the #66 Chevy, driven by Jeff Green. SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash memory data storage products, will have its logo displayed on the quarter panels of the #66 Best Buy Chevy throughout the 2006 season. In addition, the SanDisk sponsorship will be highlighted on team uniforms, trailers and merchandising items. SanDisk will also have a presence in the Best Buy Fun Zone Technology vehicle, a mobile unit featuring interactive technology displays that will make appearances at select races. The SanDisk logo will appear on the #66 Best Buy Chevy in the Feb. 16 Gatorade Duel 150 event, and the Feb. 19 Daytona 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.(GMR PR)(2-16-2006)

  • #0 Sponsorship/Driver Announcement UPDATE new number 66: Best Buy and #0 Haas CNC Racing will make a sponsorship and driver announcement on Thursday, Jan 12th.(PR), Jeff Green has tested the #0 Chevy in the past few weeks.(1-12-2006)
    UPDATE: Best Buy announced that it will sponsor the #66 [was #0] Haas CNC Racing team in the Nextel Cup Series with driver Jeff Green. "This is really good news for me and our team," said Green, the 2000 Busch Series champion. "Joining Best Buy Haas CNC Racing is a real thrill for me. With Best Buy coming on board and our plans for a new race shop, I think we have a pretty bright future ahead of us." Green said joining this team allows him to work with crew chief Robert (Bootie) Barker, who he has long admired. "We have the makings of a very good team. With Bootie as my crew chief, and a terrific crew and equipment to work with, I know I'm going to have a good year," said the Owensboro, Ken. native who, in addition to his 2000 Busch Series championship, owns 16 Busch Series victories and five top-5 finishes in Nextel Cup competition. "Haas CNC Racing is a top-notch organization and I think we will make some headlines in 2006." The Haas team has raced #0 since 2003, and in 2006 the team's Chevy will wear #66. This number was selected in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Best Buy, which opened its doors as Sound of Music in 1966 and is now North America's leading retailer of consumer electronics. While Best Buy will serve as primary sponsor on the #66 for a minimum of 12 races, Mike Linton, chief marketing officer for Best Buy, anticipates the #66 will have full sponsorship throughout the 2006 season, with additional announcements coming soon. "Our entry into the world of NASCAR last year was a fun experience--energizing both Best Buy employees and customers," Linton said. "As we looked to expand our presence this year, it was an easy choice to continue with the Haas CNC team. Anyone can do a sponsorship but not everyone can create a partnership and have fun at the same time. We know it's going to be a great season and that Jeff is going to be a great driver for the team." The Best Buy sponsorship will be highlighted on the #66 car as well as on driver and crew uniforms, trailers and merchandising items. Additionally the Best Buy Fun Zone Technology vehicle, a mobile unit featuring interactive technology displays, will make appearances at select races. Best Buy stores in key locations also will host driver and car appearances throughout the season. The Haas CNC Racing team is owned by Gene Haas, who founded Haas Automation in 1983. Based in Oxnard, California, Haas Automation is the largest machine tool manufacturer in the United States. Haas said the combination of a secure sponsorship combined with a championship-caliber driver and crew chief has created the most excitement at his 90-person race shop since it started in Nextel Cup racing in 2002. "There is a lot of excitement about this season--from Best Buy coming on as primary sponsor to Jeff Green taking over the car," said Haas. "We're looking forward to coming out of the gate strong at the Daytona 500 and being a contender for the championship." The race team is currently based in Harrisburg, NC, where it occupies a 40,000-square-foot building containing both the business offices and the garage where Haas cars are prepared for upcoming races. The team plans to break ground on a new state-of-the-art 140,000-square-foot shop on 23 acres at the Kannapolis, N.C., Gateway Business Park on Jan. 19.TMCnet), yes...the #66 will get the #0 owners points, as the #1 will use #15's from 2005 and the #61 team will use last years #66 points.
    IMAGE added of the scheme, see my #66 Team Schemes page for the image.(1-12-2006)

    Past 2005 News

  • Testing at Kentucky confirms driver changes? Dave Blaney is scheduled to test the #22 Caterpillar Dodge for Bill Davis Racing at Kentucky Speedway on Wed November 30th and Jeff Green is scheduled to test the #0 NetZero Chevy for Haas CNC Racing on Dec 7-8, 2005. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway site)(11-23-2005)

  • NetZero goes with Bliss? Mike Bliss will leave the #0 CNC-Haas NEXTEL Cup ride and return to the Craftsman Truck Series full-time in 2006. The former series champion will bring current Cup sponsor NetZero with him to the #16 truck ride for XPress Motorsports.(RacingOne)(11-5-2005)

  • Haas CNC closes on property for new shop: #0-Haas CNC Racing will begin construction early in 2006 on a new 140,000 square foot facility in Kannapolis, NC after agreeing to a contract with the city to purchase nearly 23 acres in the Kannapolis Gateway Business Park. The deal will bring the 85-employee firm, which expects to add up to 70 jobs over the course of the next few years, to the city. As part of the contract, Kannapolis will provide a Level 1 incentive grant worth $212,243.85 over five years. "We're excited about the deal with Haas CNC Racing," said Patrick Pierce, partner, MarkPiercePoole Inc. "They are well-financed and provide a valuable presence in the Park. Their interest also validates the City's strategy to create a first class business park to help drive economic development " Haas CNC Racing fields the #0 car driven [currently] by Mike Bliss in the NASCAR NEXTEL Series and the #44 car driven [currently] by Justin Labonte in the NASCAR Busch Series. The company intends to add one or more race teams over time to the site. Haas CNC Racing also operates a large automated CNC tool manufacturing company based in California. "We currently operate out of a 40,000 square foot facility and needed more space," said Joe Custer, general manager, Haas CNC Racing. "The Gateway Business Park's proximity to Concord Regional Airport, Lowe's Motor Speedway, and I-85 was a good fit for our firm." For more information about Haas CNC Racing, please visit www.haascncracing.com. For more information about the City of Kannapolis, please visit www.cityofkannapolis.com.(Businesswire.com)(11-3-2005)

  • Geek Squad on the #0 at Texas UPDATE - image: on geeksquad.com it is being reported that the #0 Haas CNC Racing Chevy and driver Mike Bliss will run a Geek Squad paint scheme at Texas Motor Speedway. Geek Squad works with Best Buy, a sponsor of the #0 team.(11-1-2005)
    UPDATE: Cup driver Mike Bliss for the first time this season will find himself behind the wheel of Best Buy's Geek Squad #0 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as the Haas CNC Racing team heads to Texas Motor Speedway for this Sunday's NASCAR Dickie's 500. In addition to the new black and orange paint scheme on the car, uniformed Geek Squad agents will be dispatched to rescue media and NASCAR teams from unforeseen tech malfunctions (PR), see images of the car on my #0 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2005)

  • Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? UPDATE 3 Holly too? Bootie staying: Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he's out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss' #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night's crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
    UPDATE: hearing Green has signed with the #0 and that Best Buy could be the full primary sponsor in 2006, not sure what NetZero would do, could follow Bliss to where he ends up, to another team or out of the sport.(10-21-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Jeff Green will drive the #0 for Gene Haas next season. The reunion of Green and former crew chief Harold Holly [currently Haas's #44 Busch crew chief] should produce a competitive team. The two won a Busch Series title together in 2000.(Sporting News), so wonder what happens to Bootie Barker, the #0 crew chief.(10-24-2005)
    UPDATE 3: on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, #0 crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker, was asked about the Harold Holly rumor and said he and Holly are good friends and that he [Bootie] has a long term contract and expects to be back as the #0 crew chief in 2006. His comments: "Well, hey, I guess it's logical that rumor. Harold (Holly) and Jeff were together and did real well. But Harold and I are great friends and no animosity between us. I think what it was was just somebody needed a story, and they just put one out there because I'm signed. I've got a multi-year deal, and Gene Haas and the rest of the Best Buy car is happy with me. That could change. Everything changes in this sport, but as of right now, everything is good."(NASCAR This Morning)(10-30-2005)

  • A Petty back in the #43? UPDATE: Jeff Green likely will leave Petty Enterprises' #43 car for a chance to drive the NetZero #0 car, team owner Kyle Petty said Thursday. Petty, in town [CAL]to deliver the keynote address at the High Desert Opportunity business conference, said without securing a sponsor for his own #45 car, he couldn't commit to another driver for the 2006 season. "I really think Jeff's going to the (Net) Zero [#0] car," Petty said. "We've been very honest with Jeff, very honest with everybody we talk to." The problem, Petty said, is that the team hasn't signed a sponsor to replace Georgia Pacific on the #45 car. General Mills still has a contract to sponsor the #43 car. "Since I own the team, I could go drive the 43 if I wanted to," Petty said. Is that a possibility? Could we see Petty back behind the wheel of his father Richard's old car? "Everything's a possibility," Kyle Petty said. "You've got so much on the table." Petty said as a veteran driver, he understood the need to secure a ride when there was an opportunity. "Jeff's 42, 43 years old (actually 43). Everybody wants to sign a 19-year-old to drive their car," Petty said. "If you can find a ride, you better be jumping and getting in it. Don't wait and let me hold you back." The bottom line, Petty said, "If it's good for him, it's good for us."(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(10-21-2005)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty said Friday that Jeff Green likely will vacate Petty Enterprises' flagship #43 Dodge and take over the #0 Chevrolet owned by Gene Haas. Petty said he and Green talked Tuesday about Green leaving the car he has driven since September, 2003. "I know [Green] has talked to the 0, and he's probably going to go to the 0, and I applaud that for him," Petty said. "It's like I told him, 'When you're my age and you're your age, and everybody's looking for 19-year-olds, if a car opens up, jump in it.'" Petty, 45, said his big hold-up in re-signing Green, 43, was a lack of sponsorship for his own #45 Dodge. Since Georgia Pacific announced that it wasn't returning as that car's backer, the team has been assembling a sponsorship package, but it didn't materialize in time to keep Green. If the sponsorship for the #45 doesn't come through, the team will field only one car full-time and Petty probably would drive it himself [#43]. But he said he hopes that doesn't happen. "I'm extremely confident that within the next four to six weeks we'll have what we want to announce," Petty said, adding that the sponsorship will be tied to fund-raising efforts for the Victory Junction Camp for ill children that the Pettys founded. "That's why we want to release [the sponsorships] all at one time," he said. "We just didn't get things done quick enough to be able to satisfy all of our contractual needs with Jeff."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-22-2005)

  • Bliss out of #0 ride? UPDATE 3: Sources close to the #0 NEXTEL Cup team have indicated that driver Mike Bliss will be released from his duties by the end of the season. Another Cup driver is expected to fill the seat. Options for next year are wide open for Bliss and a return to the Busch or Truck series aren't out of the question.(BGNRacing.com)(10-13-2005)
    UPDATE: Bliss said during an interview on PRN Radio qualifying show that he would not be back in the #0 car in 2006 and is looking for a ride.
    UPDATE 2: Hearing Jeff Green and Bobby Hamilton Jr. are in the mix.(BGNRacing.com)(However, KYle Petty has said repeatedly that Green would be back in the #43 Dodge in 2006)
    and hearing Bliss could be headed back to the #16 Truck for the rest of 2005 and maybe 2006.(10-14-2005)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Bliss said Saturday night that two weeks ago he reached an verbal agreement on a contract extension to return as driver for the #0 NetZero/Bestbuy Chevy. On Tuesday, the former Truck Series Champion was shocked to learn he was being let go. “Two weeks ago it was a done deal,” Bliss said. “I was going to run the Cup car, and it was a handshake and another contract.” Bliss said he still doesn’t know why he was let go, but likely will return to the truck series, where he took the title three seasons ago. “I feel like I can do this over here. You hate leaving, but it’s not my decision, of course. I don’t want to leave here like I’ve failed, because I’ve always won in everything I’ve ever been in, and I feel like we’re so close here.”(Speed Channel)(10-15-2005)

  • Best Buy colors for Bliss: Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the #0 Best Buy Chevy for the first time this season as the Haas CNC Racing team heads to Dover International Speedway for this Sunday’s MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 400. Best Buy has been a co-primary sponsor on the #0 Haas CNC Racing entry all year. The event this weekend at “The Monster Mile” will mark the first time in which the #0 Haas CNC Racing Chevy arrives at the track and ready for action featuring the bold blue and yellow colors of Best Buy, North America’s leading consumer electronics retailer. In addition, the trunk of the Monte Carlo also will feature a tribute to the more than 1,200 Best Buy associates in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The message reads, “Hats off to Best Buy’s hurricane heroes,” followed by a listing of the affected stores and their markets. Best Buy had 12 stores that were affected by the hurricane, including four that remain closed. All employees who were displaced by the disaster have been accounted for, and many now are helping to rebuild their stores and their communities. Best Buy stores nationwide are collecting customer donations to the American Red Cross, and matching these donations with up to $2 million from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation.(NetZero Best Buy Racing / Motorsports Marketing Solutions PR), no images of the car found yet.(9-21-2005)

  • Bliss back in the #0 in 2006: per a NASCAR.com article, Conversation: Mike Bliss:
    Q: Looking long-term, have you and team owner Gene Haas begun discussing what your future plans are with Haas CNC Racing?
    Bliss: I talked with Joe Custer, our general manager [Tuesday] morning about where we're at now, and how do we get better because we're 26th or 27th in points. But it looks good for next year, and I was pretty pleased because I want to stay here. I see us becoming a really good team and I didn't want to go anywhere else. I think Joe feels that way, and the way I walked out of there it was pretty much a handshake and go on with next year.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2005)

  • CertainTeed to be primary Sponsor for #0 at Bristol: CertainTeed Corporation announced a one-race, primary sponsorship of the Haas CNC Racing #0 Chevy and driver Mike Bliss for this weekend’s Sharpie 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. “This is an exciting opportunity for CertainTeed to significantly showcase our brand and company to the millions of fans who watch NASCAR each week,” says Peter Dachowski, President and CEO of CertainTeed Corporation. “Mike Bliss and Haas CNC Racing have been a true pleasure to work with and have helped elevate our brand with our customers, remodeling and building professionals, and consumers.” As a primary one-race sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing #0 entry, CertainTeed will be prominently featured in a special paint scheme designed for the company. In addition, as part of the company’s ongoing associate sponsorship, the company’s logo is positioned on the left arm of Bliss’ uniform and all Haas CNC Racing uniforms, merchandise, pit row equipment and the car hauler. Through innovation and creative product design, CertainTeed Corporation has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Company, CertainTeed Corporation made its slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," which quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. More info at certainteed.com.(8-25-2005)
    UPDATE: see image of the car on my #0 Team Schemes page.(8-26-2005)

  • Marlin to the #0? MORE now hearing Sterling Marlin's new gig in 2006 could be the the #0 Haas CNC Racing team. No Mikey?
    AND hearing Haas CNC Racing, who is moving soon to a much larger building in Kannapolis, NC, may expand to a two-car team, with Waltrip driving the #00 Chevy and NAPA as the sponsor.(7-20-2005)

  • Gordon says Loomis is his crew chief...long term, Bliss update MORE: #24-Jeff Gordon's comment's from a GM Press Release and NASCAR.com about his recent troubles:
    WHAT IS YOUR SITUATION WITH YOUR CREW CHIEF, ROBBIE LOOMIS? "As long as Robbie wants to be the crew chief, he's going to be the crew chief. He's a great guy. He works so well with this race team. We brought him here for a reason. And at no time have I doubted Robbie. There have been times when I've doubted myself. But I know we've got the right people in place and the right team and the resources we need. It really is disappointing to me that so much pressure is put on the crew chief because they usually are the first to go (laughs). And they usually are the first to blame. But, not within our team. That's not the case. It's usually the media and the fans that focus on that. Trust me, that's not the problem. The problem is not any one person. There won't be any changes there."
    HAVE YOU AND MIKE BLISS SETTLED YOUR DIFFERNCES?) "I've been racing with Mike for a long time. I've known Mike since I was 7 years old. We had our instance on the track and if it's not already settled, which I think it is, I've got way too much at stake on the race track to try to get back into the top 10 than to worry about what happened there. It's a non issue."(GM Racing PR)
    and from NASCAR.com's Marty Smith: Ask Jeff Gordon if he has lost any faith in his crew chief and he'll grin. Chuckle, even. Robbie Loomis' job is not in jeopardy and never has been, Gordon says. "There is not going to be any other crew chief with me than Robbie Loomis," Gordon said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway. "He's the guy. As long as he wants to be the crew chief, he's going to be the crew chief." Gordon's recent struggles have raised questions about Loomis' job stability. Gordon maintains the problem isn't Loomis or his team. He cites lack of testing preparation as the primary culprit.(7-15-2005)
    MORE on Bliss: #0-Mike Bliss denied rumors of an altercation with Jeff Gordon after last week's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Gordon was bumped into the wall by Bliss late in the race. Gordon, who has raced against Bliss since he was a teen in sprint cars, said the incident was forgotten.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
    AND Jeff Gordon apparently didn't take lightly his on-track run-in with Mike Bliss during Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 that sent Gordon into the wall. Gordon, according to sources, confronted Bliss at the airport that night over the issue. But neither man wanted to discuss that yesterday.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND II: Gordon's frustrations seemed to get the best of him last week after he was wrecked by Mike Bliss at Chicagoland. He criticized Bliss when talking to reporters, and there apparently was a confrontation between the two — possibly involving fisticuffs — at a local airport afterward. Gordon wouldn't answer questions about the airport incident. "Whatever happened between Mike Bliss and me, we're going to work it out on our own," he said. "I don't think it's anything that's worth even discussing. As far as I'm concerned it's over with." Bliss, who appeared to be recovering from a black eye, said there was some sort of fuss at the airport. "[Gordon] just came up and told me how upset he was," Bliss said. "I understood it. There was no swing. He was frustrated, and the wreck was the icing on the cake."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-16-2005)

  • DEI and Waltrip part ways after 2005: Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) and Michael Waltrip announced today they will no longer be together beginning in 2006. The DEI #15 NAPA Chevrolet has been driven by Michael Waltrip, a fan-favorite, in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for the past five seasons where he earned four victories, including two Daytona 500 wins in 2001 and 2003. "All of us at DEI want to thank Michael for all his contributions to our organization and wish him well as he moves on in his career," said Richie Gilmore, DEI's Vice President of Motorsports. "Dale and Teresa gave me an opportunity with a winning organization that I have been proud to be an integral part of for the last five years," Waltrip said. "My professional relationship with DEI is ending, but my personal relationships have ties that are deep-rooted. Therefore, my decision to leave DEI is a difficult one. Our individual visions for the future are taking different courses, but our goals are the same- to be successful in the premier division of NASCAR."
    "DEI's NASCAR Nextel Cup focus for 2006," continued Gilmore, "will be to sharpen every entity of our race teams by preparing the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, driven by Martin Truex Jr., and the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., for the championship. Additionally, we are working diligently with our current partner, NAPA, on returning to the #15 car."(DEI PR)
    NOTE: Watch Michael Waltrip on SPEED Channel's Trackside at 7:00pm/et for more on this announcement and possible news about his ride for next year. Some rumors floating around have him going to the #0 Chevy.
    AND Sources in the NASCAR garage indicate that Waltrip is working on a deal to drive for Hass CNC Racing next year. That team fields the #0 Chevrolets that Mike Bliss now drives. Sources say NAPA, which has been Waltrip's sponsor, could go with him, leaving DEI with the #8 Chevrolets driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #1 Chevrolets driven by Martin Truex Jr., who will move up from Busch to Nextel Cup in 2006.(ThatsRacin.com/David Poole)(7-15-2005)

  • #0 Moving to Kannapolis? The city of Kannapolis [NC] may soon be home to a $16.1 million Haas CNC Racing facility. The city and the company are in the process of negotiating a deal that would move Haas CNC Racing [#0 NetZero-BestBuy Chevy with driver Mike Bliss] from its current 40,000-square-foot Harrisburg facility to a 140,000-square-foot facility in the Kannapolis Gateway Business Park. Negotiations have been under way for weeks, and the city is in the final stages of negotiating the sale of 23 acres of land to the racing company, said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg. “It’s a huge project for us,” Legg said. The Cabarrus Regional Partnership has been working with the city and the racing company to initiate and fine-tune the deal. A public hearing will be held Thursday with the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners to consider an incentive grant for the Haas CNC Racing under the county’s Industrial Development Program. Haas CNC Racing teams include the #0 NASCAR Nextel Series car driven by Mike Bliss and the #44 NASCAR Busch Series car driven by Justin Labonte. “We’re confident that we will finalize this land purchase with the City of Kannapolis at their Gateway Business Park site,” said Joe Custer, general manager of Haas CNC Racing. “The site’s location on (N.C.) highway 73 and its accessibility to I-85 and the Lowe’s Motor Speedway area makes it very attractive to our organization.” John Cox, CEO of Cabarrus Regional Partnership, said the firm would employee about 100 people at its new facility. Haas CNC Racing is owned by Gene Haas. Haas founded Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the country, in 1983. Haas Automation is based in Oxnard, Calif., and has partnerships with NASCAR race teams, including Hendrick Motorsports. Cabarrus County manager John Day said, if approved, Haas CNC Racing could get an incentive grant for 50 percent of its tax bill for the next three or four years. The incentive greatly helped to attract the company to the area.(Independent Tribune)(7-9-2005)

  • Justin Labonte fills in for Bliss at DIS test: With Mike Bliss still recovering from recent hernia surgery, NASCAR Busch Series driver Justin Labonte got behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero/BestBuy Chevy fielded by Haas CNC Racing during a one-day test session the Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 47th annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2. Labonte, the son of two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte, was a perfect fit to fill in for Bliss during the test at the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. He wheels the #44 United States Coast Guard Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing in the Busch Series. Also testing at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday was C.W. Smith, who was shaking down his Busch Series car in preparation for the Winn Dixie 250 presented by Pepsico on Friday, July 2.
    The Pepsi 400 Weekend will kick off with the Brumos Porsche 250 on Thursday, June 30 followed by Circle K Pole Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 and the Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo on Friday, July 1. The 47th annual Pepsi 400 will cap off the patriotic weekend on Saturday, July 2. Tickets for the Pepsi 400 weekend and the 2006 DAYTONA 500, including all Speedweeks 2006 events, are on sale now, order your tickets online or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS PR)(6-15-2005)

  • Gaughan to relieve Bliss at Pocono: Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan will share driving duties in the #0 NetZero Best Buy Racing Chevrolet with Mike Bliss, who underwent successful hernia surgery Monday morning, for this weekend’s event at Pocono Raceway. “When it became obvious to us that Mike would need some help this weekend our thoughts immediately went to Brendan,” said Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing. “Brendan, along with Orleans Racing and its sponsor Jasper Engines and Transmissions, have been gracious enough to agree to let us borrow him for the weekend even though he is competing for his fifth win at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. A big part of what is great about this sport is the willingness of the competitors to jump right in and help each other out in situations like this. Our main focus is to make sure that Mike is healthy for the remainder of the season and whatever we need to do this weekend to make sure that happens is what we will do.” Gaughan will take part in the scheduled practice and qualifying sessions at Texas Motor Speedway before heading to Pocono Raceway Friday. Bliss plans to make several laps during practice for the Pocono 500 Friday afternoon before Gaughan takes over. Bliss is scheduled to qualify the car Saturday and start the race before giving up his seat in the NetZero Best Buy Chevy during the first possible opportunity.(NetZero Best Buy Racing)(6-8-2005)

  • Bliss wrecks during practice: #0-Mike Bliss crashed while running third during practice and will go to a backup car - "We were in qualifying trim and we wrecked in Turn 2. I'm okay. We feel like our primary car was good and we should be able to apply all that to the back up car. Our back-up car is a brand new one. We tested it at Kentucky, but that's all."(GM PR), if the team takes the engine out of the car that crashed, and uses it to qualify, Bliss will not have to start at the rear of the field before Saturday nights race.(5-6-2005)

  • Coast Guard to sponsor Bliss at Texas: Haas CNC Racing announced the Coast Guard will serve as primary sponsor of the #0 Chevrolet driven by Mike Bliss for the running of the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway next weekend. “Since the Coast Guard sponsors our Busch Series entry driven by Justin Labonte, this was a great chance for them step into Cup competition for a weekend at the track where they rolled out their racing program just a year ago,” stated Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing. “Texas is home to the Labonte family and Justin’s father Terry, who is a part-owner of our Busch team, is scheduled to compete in a Hendrick Motorsports car at this event. Terry is also being inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame next week and we thought it would be nice to commemorate that occasion also. The fans in Texas have always been very supportive of the Labonte’s and Haas CNC Racing, NetZero and Best Buy are also all very supportive of this opportunity.” NetZero Best Buy Racing will return as the primary sponsor for the #0 Chevrolet for the upcoming event at Phoenix International Raceway.(NetZero Best Buy Racing)(4-9-2005)

  • #0 Crew Member OK: #0 NetZero/Best Buy Chevy front tire carrier, Mike Morneau has been released from a local Las Vegas area hospital and has a bruised left knee. He is expected to be back in action in Atlanta. Crew member Brad Tunny replaced Morneau during the race.(NetZero Best Buy Racing)(3-14-2005)

  • #0 picks up more sponsorship: Haas CNC Racing announced today that CertainTeed would add partial sponsorship to the #0 Chevrolet driven by Mike Bliss in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Financial terms of the deal were not released.(NASCAR Scene). NetZero and BestBuy currently co-sponsor the #0.(2-16-2005)

  • Bliss to keep #0 Gig? UPDATE 3 Best Buy: hearing that Mike Bliss will shed the interim driver tag and be the full-time #0 NetZero Chevy driver in 2005, supposedly the team will have a new major associate sponsor also.(12-2-2004)
    UPDATE: Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Bliss will return to the Nextel Cup Series in 2005 with Haas CNC Racing. Bliss announced his three-year deal to drive the #0 NetZero Chevrolet for owner Gene Haas during the Busch Series Award Ceremony on Friday. The deal with Haas marks Bliss' first full-time ride in the Cup series since 2000, when the 1993 USAC Silver Crown champion had a rough go of it after posting five consecutive top-10 points finishes in the Craftsman Truck Series. After starting the season for A.J. Foyt, making the Daytona 500 but then hitting a dry spell that led to his release, Bliss made 25 Cup starts in 2000, with one top-10 finish. Bliss' career best Cup finish, fourth, came in a Gibbs Racing car in September at Richmond. He said he has three tests planned with Haas CNC before Christmas.(NASCAR.com)(12-11-2004)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the major associate or co-sponsor of the car will be Best Buy.(1-8-2005)
    UPDATE 3: NetZero, a leading Internet Service Provider that offers high-quality, easy-to-use, free and value-priced Internet service to millions of people nationwide, and Best Buy Co., Inc., North America’s leading retailer of consumer electronics, will head into the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season together as co-sponsors of the #0 NetZero Best Buy Chevrolet. Former Craftsman Truck Series Champion Mike Bliss will pilot the NetZero Best Buy Racing Chevrolet for Haas CNC Racing team owner Gene Haas. The 2005 #0 NetZero Best Buy Chevrolet will mark the third season that NetZero has teamed up with Haas CNC Racing in the NEXTEL Cup Series and its fifth season of participation in NASCAR. The addition of Best Buy underlines the team’s continued commitment to the sport and Gene Haas’ desire to align his race team with the top companies in their respective industries. Haas also maintains his relationship with Hendrick Motorsports in an effort to supply Hendrick engines and support to the NetZero Best Buy Racing Chevrolet. Info on NetZero at www.netzero.net, info on Best Buy at bestbuy.com.(NetZero Racing PR)(1-25-2005)
    IMAGE see an image of the car on the #0 Team Paint Schemes page.(1-26-2005)

    Past 2004 News

  • Bliss tests at Lakeland: hearing Mike Bliss tested the #0 NetZero Chevy at Lakeland, FL on Tuesday.(12-22-2004)

  • Noticed...a sign? the NetZeroracing.com site now forwards you to the regular NetZero sight, leaving the sport? NetZero currently is the sponsor of the #0 Haas-CNC Racing team, driver is Mike Bliss [was Ward Burton](11-19-2004)

  • Ward out? UPDATE 4 Bliss in; 2005? hearing that Ward Burton and the #0 NetZero team have parted ways? Supposedly Mike Bliss will drive the #0 Chevy at Darlington.(11-8-2004)
    UPDATE: Mike Bliss has replaced Ward Burton in Haas CNC Racing's #0 NetZero Chevrolet for this weekend's Nextel Cup Series Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Owner Gene Haas released Burton after last weekend's Checker Auto Parts 500, a Burton spokesman said, ending negotiations with Haas for Burton to continuing as the team's driver. Bliss has 33 career Cup starts and two top-10s, including a career-best fourth at Richmond in September 2004.(NASCAR.com)(11-9-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Haas CNC Racing announced today that NASCAR veteran Mike Bliss will take over driving duties of the #0 NetZero Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series effective immediately. Bliss will replace Ward Burton and drive the remaining two events on the 2004 schedule for the team.(Haas CNC Racing PR)(11-11-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Claire B. Lang on her "Dialed In" show on XM Satellite NASCAR Radio had a compelling chat with Ward Burton, who after parting ways with NetZero has decided also not to race the #47 Acxiom Chevrolet in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this weekend. He says he's taking some time to figure out his next step. See the full interview at NASCAR.com and see Burton's comments at wardburton.com.(11-11-2004)
    UPDATE 4: Sources close to the team indicate that Haas is leaning toward hiring Brendan Gaughan, if he's released by Penske-Jasper, or Mike Bliss. Tony Raines, who drove the team's Busch Series car at Phoenix, and Mike Wallace are the other drivers under consideration for the ride. A source indicated that if [Travis] Kvapil replaces Gaughan at Penske-Jasper, he'd still run a majority of the Busch races with Bang Racing with other drivers rounding out the schedule.(NASCAR Scene Print vs. BGNRacing.com)(11-13-2004)

  • BANG Racing close to announcement? Ward and Dodge? UPDATE: hearing that BANG Racing is close to signing their Cup and Busch deal for next year with Ward as the driver for the NetZero Dodge in Cup and Travis Kvapil in the Busch car [Dodge?] with Line-X as the sponsor. The team expects to announce a new General Manager soon also. See past news/ rumors on this team at my BANG Team News and Links page [fixed - until they have a car#](11-8-2004)
    UPDATE: been told that NetZero will STAY with the #0 Haas CNC Chevy anf NOT go to BANG.(11-9-2004)

  • Bliss or Gaughan to the #0 if Ward leaves [to BANG Racing?] Bliss and rookie Brendan Gaughan [would he go to a team not running a Dodge?] are being considered for the Haas CNC Racing #0 Chevrolet in 2005. Team owner Gene Haas says he wants to see how current driver Ward Burton performs with crew chief Bootie Barker before he makes a final decision. "We've given Ward three different crew chiefs; now it's up to him," Haas says. And put Mike Bliss' name back on the list for the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Busch team. Although it had been reported earlier in the year that Bliss, 39, and JGR would part ways at the end of the 2004 season, he says he could return. "I think they have an 'A' plan, and if that falls apart, I'm the 'B' plan," says Bliss.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-1-2004)

  • BANG Racing closing shop? UPDATE, NO..to Cup and Busch? Ward? during the Nextel Cup qualifying coverage on Speed Channel, former BANG Racing owner Larry McReynolds mentioned when Travis Kvapil [#24 BANG Racing's driver] was qualifying for his first Nextel Cup race at Martinsville in the #06 Penske Dodge, that it is likely that BANG Racing will close its doors at the end of the 2004 season.(10-22-2004)
    BUT another source says BANG Racing has secured a sponsor for a full-time cup ride for next year and will make the announcement at Phoenix or Homestead.(10-23-2004)
    UPDATE: still hearing Travis Kvapil will run BANG Racing full-time Busch team in a Ford with Linex as the sport.
    AND a WILD one: hearing that BANG Racing will field a full time cup team next year with NetZero as the sponsor and Ward Burton as the driver.(10-25-2004)

  • Bootie takes over #0 Crew Chief Gig: Haas CNC Racing announced today the appointment of Robert (Bootie) Barker as crew chief of the No. 0 NetZero Chevrolet beginning at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Barker, who has been leading the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series all season, will swap roles with current Cup crew chief Bill Ingle. Starting in Atlanta, Ingle will lead the Busch Series team for the remainder of the 2004 season. Both Ingle and Barker will remain in their current positions for this weekend's racing at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park. "It makes sense to bring Bootie on board at this point to get ahead for next year," stated Ward Burton, driver of the NetZero Chevrolet. "I have a lot of respect for the job that Bill has done for us. He took over in a difficult situation and has worked hard to make this team better. That said, I'm also looking forward to working with Bootie. He has developed a strong Busch Series program for Haas CNC Racing and has led the team to a lot of success. Our paths have crossed before and I've seen what he can do, so I'm excited to have the chance to work with him at Haas CNC Racing."(NetZero Racing Site)(10-20-2004)

  • Ward Busy in Alabama: #0-Ward Burton will be involved in two events for the state of Alabama after Saturday's practice. Burton will be meeting with the governor/staff and other Alabama conservation notables and will be filming a Public Service Announcement for the Alabama 4H. The topic for the PSA will be firearm safety and hunting ethics. The 4H has over seven million members ages 9-19 nationwide including over 160,000 members in the state of Alabama. • Burton will also be filming a PSA for the Alabama Game Department concerning hunting and tree stand safety.(NetZero Racing PR)(9-29-2004)

  • Ward to stay in the #0 in 2005? during an interview with MRN's Danielle Frye, Ward Burton, driver of the #0 NetZero Chevy, said he is talking again with the team about possible staying together in 2005.(9-25-2004)

  • #350 for Ward: Ward Burton will make his 350th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start this weekend at Dover. Burton made his first career start at Richmond in 1994.(NetZero Racing PR)(9-21-2004)

  • Ward leaving the #0 team? retire? UPDATE 2 David Starr? denied: Ward Burton says he "probably won't be back" with #0 car owner Gene Haas next season. "They've given me an offer, but I probably won't take it," Burton said. "I've got a couple options. But if they don't work out, then I might just give this up and go back to farming. You have to devote too much emotion energy into all this, and give up too much of your family life, and if it's not fun, there's no point in doing it. So I might just ride off into the sunset."(Winston Salem Journal), if so, Jason Leffler could end up in the #0 Cup car as he drive's Hass' #00 Busch car.(9-18-2004)
    UPDATE: Ward Burton may be, like many at this point in the season, emotionally drained, but he says he's not really considering retirement. "I still want to drive and still want to win races," Burton said. However, that apparently will not be with Gene Haas, his team owner, who has made a new contract offer that Burton says he probably won't accept.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Ward Burton, who learned his contract with the #0 NetZero/Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet will not be renewed, is a man of principle, so it's not surprising that he would contemplate retirement rather than suffer the humiliation of finding a ride with a second-rate Cup team. "I still want to drive, and I know I can still win races," Burton says. His sponsor, NetZero HiSpeed, thinks so, too, and will follow him if he signs with another team. But the problem is simple: The seats of the cars capable of winning are filled. Jason Leffler has been rumored to be moving into the #0, and his name also has been mentioned in connection with the new #11 Joe Gibbs Racing ride. If Leffler graduates from the Busch Series to Cup, it's possible that truck series driver David Starr could join Haas CNC Racing.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-20-2004)
    UPDATE 2: being told that the rumor regarding David Starr as a possible candidate for that either the #0 Cup or #00 Busch ride is absolutely untrue. Starr wants to reiterate that he is very happy in the #75 Spears Manufacturing Silverado and intends to remain in that truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as a member of the Chevrolet Team Silverado effort and run for the championship in the NCTS in 2005 and beyond.(9-21-2004)

  • Ward's car to show No Fear: Haas CNC Racing’s #0 NetZero Chevrolet will have a new look this weekend for the Labor Day weekend running of the Pop Secret 500 at California Speedway in Fontana, CA. Evidently fear, or more precisely fear of change, is not a factor for Ward Burton and the NetZero Racing team, and the normally all black Chevrolet Monte Carlo will feature a special Fear Factor paint scheme to showcase NBC’s popular action-packed Monday night reality series. Sporting flames to match its new orange, black and yellow paint job, the car gives NetZero the chance to spotlight their involvement with the show as the sponsor of the timeclock used for stunts and challenges. Now in production on a fifth season with Joe Rogan ("NewsRadio") as host, the Top 20 series "Fear Factor" will celebrate it's landmark 100th episode -- which has enabled the enduring program to become the first reality show to be sold into syndication -- on Monday, Nov. 8 (8-9 p.m. ET).(Motorsports Marketing Solutions/NetZero Racing PR)(9-2-2004)

  • Ward in Minnesota Sat: #0-Ward Burton, in association with the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and on behalf of the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, will participate in a Youth Wood Duck Project event in Lakeville, Minnesota on Saturday evening [Aug 21]. This is the third year Burton has been invited to be the guest speaker at the event.(NetZero Racing PR)(8-17-2004)

  • Ward on the hot seat? UPDATE: #0-Ward Burton, who drives for Haas CNC Racing, was running third at Pocono before transmission trouble hit. Burton said before the race he knows he's on the hot seat but didn't foresee a change before season's end. Funny thing: Tony Furr, who recently was replaced as Burton's crew chief, never expected to lose that job. Team sources speculate Haas' Busch driver, Jason Leffler, could take over the Cup car.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(8-2-2004)
    HOWEVER: being told that NetZero will only return as the sponsor of the #0 Chevy IF Ward Burton is the driver.(8-4-2004)
    UPDATE: For the second consecutive season, Ward Burton seems to be facing a summer of uncertainty about his Nextel Cup future. The South Boston native, who left Bill Davis Racing late last year after eight years with the team, is signed through the end of the season with CNC Haas Racing. "I want to sign again now, but we haven't secured proper funding for down the road," he said. "I'm leaving my options open right now. I want to make it work right here."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-7-2004)

  • Leffler to run the Brickyard 400: This past Monday and Tuesday, July 13-14, Jason Leffler and his Haas Automation Racing team traveled to Indianapolis for a two-day test in the #60 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Working with his current Busch Series crew chief, Robert “Bootie” Barker, Leffler was able to top 180mph during Tuesday’s afternoon practice session. Jason Leffler and his Haas Automation Racing team will be pulling double duty Indianapolis weekend as Leffler will also vie for a spot in the NASCAR Busch Series race held across town on Saturday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Leffler will serve as teammate to #0-Ward Burton and the NetZero Racing team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, also out of the Haas CNC Racing stable.(NetZero Racing PR)(7-20-2004)

  • Ward gets a new crew chief? UPDATE: hearing that Bill Ingle is now crew chief for the #0 NetZero Chevy fielded by Haas CNC Racing for Ward Burton. Former crew chief, Tony Furr supposedly will assume Shop Foreman duties.
    UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing announced today the appointment of Bill Ingle as crew chief of the NetZero Racing Team. Tony Furr, who had been serving as crew chief since April 2003, will now serve as Shop Foreman. Ingle, who had been overseeing the preparation of both the #0 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series NetZero Chevrolet driven by Ward Burton and the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolets driven by Jason Leffler in the Busch Series, will take over duties as crew chief effective immediately. “Essentially, we just swapped their positions,” stated Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing. “We originally asked Tony to join our team last year as shop foreman and about halfway through the season we had the need to fill the crew chief role. Obviously this team is not performing as well as we would like and we are very lucky to have the kind of depth we have here at Haas CNC Racing. Both Tony and Bill are more than capable of handling both of these roles and we’re hoping that having Tony back at the shop overseeing the preparation of both the Busch and Cup cars, and Bill at the track leading our NEXTEL Cup Series team might help us achieve the results we think we’re capable of.”
    I’m looking at this as my latest challenge,” said Ingle. “I was 28 years old the first time I took on my first job as crew chief and it was a challenge then too. Now, the best things I have going for me are my experience and the resources of Haas CNC Racing. I’m not sure there is anything seriously wrong with this team, and sometimes all you really need is a little bit of change.”(NetZero Racing), looks like NASCAR This morning is down to John Roberts, Chad and Kenny, they need more of Steve Waid.(7-15-2004)

  • NetZero Team hosts Ronald McDonald Families: Ward Burton and Busch Series driver Jason Leffler hosted three children from Chicago-area Ronald McDonald House programs and their families Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. Joining Haas CNC Racing and the NetZero Racing team on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway were three families who have benefited from the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and the Ronald McDonald House programs located near Chicago Children's Memorial Hospital, the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center: the Voehls from Seward, Nebraska; the Bartolinis from Lake Station, Indiana; and the Goebels from Sandwich, Illinois. Burton and Leffler had the opportunity to meet with all three families prior to the Busch Series race on Saturday afternoon. Nine-year-old Tim Voehl and his family are currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola Medical Center, while four-year-old Kyle Bartolini and Jessica Goebel, 8, are former residents of the other Chicago Ronald McDonald House programs. To give back and help support families dealing with the hospitalization and treatment of their ill child, a situation they uniquely understand, the Goebel family now volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House near Children’s Memorial Hospital as weekend managers. Ronald McDonald House Charities is the official charity of United Online, a leading provider of value-priced Internet service and the parent company of NetZero HiSpeed Internet service. For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities, visit www.rmhc.org.(NetZero Racing PR)(7-11-2004)

  • "we need a bigger boat":#9-Kasey Kahne and #0-Ward Burton will make a splash this summer as they will promote DreamWorks' new movie "Shark Tales." Kahne is scheduled to run the "Shark Tales" scheme at Michigan, Bristol, California and Kansas in the Busch Series, while Burton will have the new animated full-length film on his #0 Chevrolet at Talladega.(RacingOne)(5-29-2004)

  • Ward Taking Saturday Off: #0-Ward Burton, ran 45 laps in Thursday's practice for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, concentrating on race runs as he will miss Happy Hour practice on Saturday to attend the high school graduation of his daughter, Sarah. The team is undecided if it will run at all on Saturday and if it does, Jason Leffler, who runs for the team in the Busch Series would likely practice the #0 NetZero Chevy.(Speed Channel's Qualifying Coverage)(5-28-2004)

  • #0 Crew Members OK: Two members of Ward Burton's crew, Scott Swift and Derick Jennings, avoided injury Thursday night when a team van they were driving collided with a deer. The van sustained considerable damage, but both crew members were at work yesterday.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-15-2004)

  • Ward at LVMS shooting commercial:
    NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Ward Burton and his sponsor, NetZero, were at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Wednesday to shoot commercials for an exciting new promotion. "We're here because of the weather," said NetZero Chief Marketing Officer Brian Woods. "This is the second time we've shot out here. This is such a great track, a great facility and management is always willing to work with us." While Woods declined to disclose the nature of the promotion, he did say the new commercial campaign would run between May and June. The production crew is from southern California. "We've hired director Jeff Zwart for the shoot," Woods said. "He's one of the best in the business, and just finished shoots for the Ford GT, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr." Burton drives the #0 NetZero Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for the Haas CNC Racing Team. He finished 26th in the 2004 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at LVMS.(LVMS PR)(4-22-2004)

  • Driver helps Ward: Truck driver Bill Waldron, 41, a Pittsylvania County resident who drives for TNC Transportation, was hauling a load of coiled steel down southbound U.S. 29 around 7:30am/et Monday, when he came upon a man on the side of the road, waving his arms. What Waldron didn’t know then was that the stranded motorist was Ward Burton, a NASCAR driver who hails from South Boston [VA]. Burton had fallen asleep at the wheel of his 2004 Chevrolet Suburban only minutes before. The brand-new vehicle hit a guard rail and overturned several times before coming to rest on its roof. “His truck was completely upside down, all four tires pointing towards the sky,” Waldron said. “It looked like it slid a good 40, 45 yards.” Waldron said no one else had stopped to help the man, so he pulled over. “I asked him if he was all right, and he said, ‘Yeah, I believe so,’” Waldron said Tuesday. Waldron said Burton borrowed his cell phone to phone his wife, Tabitha, who called the North Carolina Highway Patrol to report the accident. After using the phone, Burton told Waldron he could leave, but Waldron opened up the cab of his truck so Burton wouldn’t have to stand in the rain. After about 10 minutes of “small chit-chat,” Waldron said authorities arrived at the scene and examined Burton, who suffered only a bump on the head. “Right before I left, he shook my hand. I told him my name was Bill Waldron and he said his was Ward Burton,” said Waldron, who said he doesn’t follow NASCAR enough to recognize the sport’s famous faces. “I know drivers’ names and stuff like that. I knew of Ward, and his brother Jeff, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and some of the other guys. (Burton’s name) just didn’t register with me at the time,” Waldron said. “Then the next morning I was listening to John Boy and Billy (on the radio), and they said Ward Burton had a wreck. I called my wife and asked her to find out if that was the same guy I’d helped out. Sure enough, it was.” Waldron said he is going to start following Burton’s career more closely than he did before. He also jokingly said he regrets not knowing at the time of the accident who Burton was. “I could have gotten his autograph,” Waldron said with a chuckle.(Danville Register and Bee)(4-16-2004)

  • Ward and 'Stock Car Ballet': Ward Burton, driver of the #0 NetZero Chevy, will be on hand for the debut of Mansfield's NASCAR Ballet next weekend in Roanoke, VA. Burton will help television newscaster Mike Stevens provide live commentary during the Roanoke Ballet Theatre's [roanokeballet.org] performance. Twenty unitard-clad dancers, representing stock cars, will "gracefully careen" around a banked horseshoe-shaped track for 90 minutes, according to the ballet's Web site. Of course, this being NASCAR, there will be crashes -- "stuff's going to blow up," promised Mansfield, who received her MFA from George Washington University in 1995. But other dancers, belonging to the "pit crew," will be on hand to pick up the fallen dancers. "I would say this is by far one of the most bizarre projects I've ever been associated with, no question," said an amused Stevens, who described the hooded dancers' appearance as a cross between bobsledders and members of the Blue Man Group. The "cars" will be adorned with logos of the event's corporate backers -- which also will air commercials on three monitors that will "broadcast" the "race" to the assembled "fans." "Nobody can understand what we're talking about," admitted Mansfield, whose group has been bombarded with calls from confused NASCAR followers who have seen advertisements for the performance. "They're sort of surprised and excited, and that's kind of our thing; to re-excite people about what dance can be." The three performances of NASCAR ballet are timed to coincide with the Advance Auto Parts 500 next weekend in nearby Martinsville, Va. Mansfield said a different dancer will finish first at each performance, but she declined to specify who would dance into Victory Lane.(Washington Post)(4-8-2004)
    AND more info at roanokeballet.org, shows on Thursday, April 15 and Saturday, April 17(4-9-2004)

  • Ward in a traffic accident UPDATE 2: Nextel driver #0-Ward Burton was involved in a car accident south of Danville, VA. The accident happened near U.S 29 and N.C. 700 in Caswell County about 7:30am/et. Burton received a bump to his head, according the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
    UPDATE: Ward Burton fell asleep at the wheel of his 2004 Chevrolet Suburban on U.S. 29 on Monday morning, causing him to strike a guard rail and totaling the $60,000 vehicle, according to North Carolina State Trooper S.M. Mangum. Burton told Mangum that his baby was up four or five times through the night, causing fatigue to the NASCAR Nextel Cup driver. Burton's wife picked him up at the scene and took him for treatment for a bump on the head. Mangum did not know where Burton was being treated. Neither alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident. Mangum estimated he was traveling about 60 miles per hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone.(Danville Register and Bee)(4-12-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Ward Burton is resting at his Virginia home following a Monday morning single-vehicle traffic accident in which he totaled a brand new 60-thousand dollar Chevy Suburban. The driver of the #0-NetZero Monte Carlo fell asleep behind the wheel, hit the end of a guardrail and rolled the SUV. He was heading to the Haas/CNC shop near Charlotte to be fitted for a new seat before a planned test at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday. Crew Chief Tony Furr said Burton called him and said “I wrecked our free car!” Furr isn’t sure the team will make the test depending on how Burton feels. Furr said Burton told him he’s okay and that the air bag burned his face slightly and he also has a bump on his head. Burton also told Furr he was going to stop for coffee about 10 minutes before the accident occurred, but didn’t.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-13-2004)

  • Ward and 'Stock Car Ballet': Ward Burton, driver of the #0 NetZero Chevy, will be on hand for the debut of Mansfield's NASCAR Ballet next weekend in Roanoke, VA. Burton will help television newscaster Mike Stevens provide live commentary during the Roanoke Ballet Theatre's performance. Twenty unitard-clad dancers, representing stock cars, will "gracefully careen" around a banked horseshoe-shaped track for 90 minutes, according to the ballet's Web site. Of course, this being NASCAR, there will be crashes -- "stuff's going to blow up," promised Mansfield, who received her MFA from George Washington University in 1995. But other dancers, belonging to the "pit crew," will be on hand to pick up the fallen dancers. "I would say this is by far one of the most bizarre projects I've ever been associated with, no question," said an amused Stevens, who described the hooded dancers' appearance as a cross between bobsledders and members of the Blue Man Group. The "cars" will be adorned with logos of the event's corporate backers -- which also will air commercials on three monitors that will "broadcast" the "race" to the assembled "fans." "Nobody can understand what we're talking about," admitted Mansfield, whose group has been bombarded with calls from confused NASCAR followers who have seen advertisements for the performance. "They're sort of surprised and excited, and that's kind of our thing; to re-excite people about what dance can be." The three performances of NASCAR ballet are timed to coincide with the Advance Auto Parts 500 next weekend in nearby Martinsville, Va. Mansfield said a different dancer will finish first at each performance, but she declined to specify who would dance into Victory Lane.(Washington Post)(4-8-2004)

  • Exide to support teams in Cup, Busch and Trucks: Exide Technologies, a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions, will expand its partnership with four teams among NASCAR's top three divisions. The teams include: the #0 Hass/CNC Racing Chevrolet driven by Ward Burton in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series; the #17 Reiser Enterprises Ford driven by Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Busch Series; the #6 Tommy Baldwin Racing Dodge driven by multiple drivers in the NASCAR Busch Series; and the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota driven by Hank Parker, Jr. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 2004, Exide will adorn the racing vehicles and transporters of Reiser Enterprises (as well as Kenseth's uniform), Tommy Baldwin Racing and Innovative Motorsports. In addition, there will be advertising and promotional opportunities with all four teams, which includes Haas/CNC Racing. This season marks the third consecutive year Exide and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) have had an association.(Pro Sports Marketing PR)(4-8-2004)

  • Ward Burton teams up with Blue Ox [where is Paul Bunyan?] Ward Burton and Blue Ox Towing products of Pender, Nebraska have formed a marketing relationship with Burton endorsing Blue Ox products. Blue Ox is the industry leader in towing equipment for recreational vehicles. The partnership is a natural fit for both parties, with Burton using Blue Ox products on his motor coach to travel the country. Blue Ox offers not only the most reliable towing products in the industry, but the most thorough, responsive service as well. They prove it 24 hours a day through a toll-free, 24-7 hotline, 1-888-425-5382. Recreational vehicle enthusiasts can call this number to talk to a Blue Ox customer care representative who’s trained to answer all types of towing and braking equipment questions. Blue Ox has multiple racing related programs and sponsorships for 2004. Blue Ox has teamed up with Haas CNC Racing and will be associate sponsors for both the #0 NEXTEL Cup car, driven by Burton, and the team’s #00 Busch Series car, driven by Jason Leffler, for both the spring and fall Bristol, Tenn. races. Blue Ox will also be sponsoring a campground for the March 28, 2004 Food City 500 and the August 28, 2004 Sharpie 500 racing weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway. There will also be Blue Ox highway signs, and public address announcements each day. In addition, throughout the racing season Blue Ox will be hosting special events and opportunities to meet Ward Burton. For more information on Blue Ox and its racing involvement please visit www.blueoxracing.com.(PR)(3-23-2004)

  • Speaking of Military [see news and poll below]: #0-Ward Burton is scheduled to participate in a re-enlistment ceremony before today's race at Darlington Raceway for Chief Gunners Mate David Allen. The 19-year Navy veteran contacted Burton's office about the request. Allen's ship came to port in Norfolk on Friday. "This is a dream come true for me, I love NASCAR and Ward is my favorite driver," Allen said.(Roanoke Times)(3-21-2004)

  • Seven Cup Drivers to run Special Chevy Trucks: The Chevrolet Silverado All-Stars, pairing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers with superstar musical celebrities in the Truck Series. Michael Waltrip will be the first of seven different drivers to pilot the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado in individual races during the 2004 NCTS season. His musical partner, Sheryl Crow, will be featured in the special paint scheme for the first All-Stars race - the Charlotte Tailgate 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 21. Following the program debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway with Michael Waltrip, the following Chevy drivers with their specific musical partners will pilot the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado: Robby Gordon, Bristol (August 25); Tony Stewart, Richmond (September 9); Ricky Craven, New Hampshire (September 18); Bobby Labonte, Martinsville (October 23); Driver To Be Announced, Phoenix (November 5); and Ward Burton, Darlington (November 12). Serving as primary sponsor of the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado is Acxiom, a worldwide data services company. This Silverado entry will be campaigned by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, with whom Acxiom has been partnered since 1998 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(GM PR)(3-13-2004)

  • Bug making the rounds: Two drivers were under the weather on Friday. Gordon said he'd been battling the bug since Sunday night after the race at Las Vegas. Ward Burton also was ailing and has Jason Leffler standing by in case he needs relief. Gordon said he hopes to be at full strength by race time.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), during Speed Channel's qualifying coverage, it was mentioned that Gordon's crew chief, Robbie Loomis was also sick, worse off then Gordon, but was at the track.(3-13-2004)

  • Ward and CertainTeed Expand Program: CertainTeed Corp. says it is expanding its marketing program with Nextel Cup driver Ward Burton. The manufacturer says the driver of Haas CNC Racing's #0 NetZero Chevy will represent its entire line of building materials and appear on behalf of the company at 12 races at CertainTeed-sponsored hospitality venues.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-23-2004)

  • Maryland legal firm sponsoring three Cup, Three Busch and four Truck Series teams: Starting a unique sports marketing initiative in 2004, one of the country’s fastest-growing legal firms will become the most active car sponsor in NASCAR racing. Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins, P.A., a top personal injury firm based in La Plata, will sponsor three NASCAR Nextel Cup teams, three NASCAR Busch Grand National teams, and four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams this season. These associate sponsorships make the firm the first legal firm to be involved in motorsports sponsorship on a full-time basis, and make it one of the very few companies of any type to sponsor teams in all three divisions. Their involvement with 10 teams will be greater than any car sponsor in the sport.
    Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins not only handles personal injury claims but also is well known for its contract and business representation, as well as a vast criminal and real estate practice.
    BAM Racing, which fields the #49 Dodge of driver Ken Schrader, will be sponsored by Jenkins, Jenkins & Jenkins the entire 2004 season. The logo will also appear on the #02 Score Motorsports NASCAR Nextel Cup entry of driver Hermie Sadler in selected events, while also appearing on Sadler’s NASCAR Busch Series entry. In addition, the #0 NetZero car of driver Ward Burton will carry the firm’s logo in the four NASCAR Nextel Cup races at Dover, Del., and Richmond, Va., while the #00 Haas/CNC Busch entry of driver Jason Leffler will carry the Jenkins colors throughout the season. The #77 Moy Racing-owned Busch Grand National entry of driver Donnie Neuenberger will be sponsored the entire year, as will the Bobby Hamilton-owned #4 and #18 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entries; the #38 Cure Autism Now Ford Truck of driver Brandon Whitt; and the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota Truck of driver Hank Parker, Jr.(Williams Company PR)(1-7-2004)

  • Grant of $1 million will help save Halifax land: A $1 million federal grant will help preserve a 1,123-acre tract in Halifax County known as the Cove, which includes two archaeological digs and an 18th-century plantation house. The grant to the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation comes from a U.S. Forest Service program. "It's pretty emotional to know that we are this close to making this happen," said NASCAR driver Ward Burton during a recent event to announce the grant. The Southside native, who started the foundation, was joined by Sen. George Allen, R-Va., and Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., R-5th. Burton's close relationship with the Cove's landowner, a retired minister, prompted the man to persuade his family to place the land in the foundation's hands after his death in 1999. The foundation hopes to raise additional funds to build an educational center on the land that would include natural history exhibits and an auditorium. ( Free Lance Star via Richmond Times-Dispatch)(1-5-2004)

    Past 2003 News

  • Burton, Legislators Hail 'Cove' Protection: It was an emotional day for Halifax [VA] native and NASCAR driver Ward Burton as he looked out through the woods of The Cove. It was the realization of a dream that began many years ago, when he was a child exploring those same woods, of preserving and protecting open spaces for future generations. The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation [www.twbwf.org], created by Burton in 1996, Wednesday landed a $1 million grant through the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy program. The grant will be used to obtain easements for 1,100 acres of land at The Cover, shielding it from future development.
    Braving the bitterly cold wind blowing off the nearby Staunton River were Rep. Virgil Goode, R-5th District and Sen. George Allen, R-Va., both instrumental in getting the grant through Congress. Passionate about his love for the land, Burton said he hoped the work of his foundation would serve as both a protector of the open land, but also to educate children about the importance of land stewardship. With that in mind Burton plans a welcome center near the entrance where a history of conservation, both its successes and failures, will be presented.
    It will also be used to host school groups who will be educated on land stewardship. Also, the foundation will work with the land’s owners to protect it. With the granting of the easements, the land’s owners will give up development rights in perpetuity. The Virginia Department of Forestry will manage the use of the property. “This is about giving back,” said Burton, a way to protect the land for future generations. Burton said the development of the property will be used as a model for other landowners, showing them how land can be protected and preserved. Allen called Burton a great “asset of Southside Virginia,” and his work with the foundation will leave a legacy for future generations. The land is located along the Staunton River near Mount Laurel. Only two Forest Legacy grants were awarded in Virginia this year and fewer than 40 nationwide.(News and Record)(12-19-2003)

  • Bootie on TV: The Arete Awards, a national recognition program for people showing extraordinary courage in sports, includes a racing flavor this year. Bootie Barker, a former NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief, is one of several nominees for the 2003 Arete Awards. The ceremony, which airs Sunday evening, Nov. 30, on CBS, is sponsored in part by Nextel, which opens 2004 as the new title sponsor of NASCAR’s premier series. Barker currently is on leave of absence from Jasper Motorsports, which fields Dave Blaney’s No. 77 team. He will join Haas Automation as the NASCAR Busch Series crew chief for driver Jason Leffler.(NASCAR PR)(11-15-2003)

  • Ward is third-quarter Spirit nominee: #0-Ward Burton has been named the third-quarter nominee for the NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award, not for his well-known work on behalf of wildlife causes, but because he took time to care about one kid. While Burton's wildlife work is public knowledge, the soft-spoken Virginia native is just as willing to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate, often outside of the spotlight. Such was the case of Dusty Duncan, a young fan who met Burton during an autograph session late last year. Duncan and his younger sister, Angie, are afflicted with cleft lip, a medical condition which can affect speech as well as self-esteem. One in 700 children are born with some type of cleft condition each year, and it is the most common facial birth defect [See info about this on my Racing Charities/Ongoing news page]. The two children are scheduled for surgery in Chicago on April 29. The award, presented each January, recognizes character and achievement in face of adversity, as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Car owner Richard Childress received the association's first-quarter award; the late NASCAR historian Bob Latford was named the second-quarter recipient.(The State)(11-7-2003)

  • #0 Team Penalized; Points and $$: NASCAR Winston Cup Series team Haas CNC Racing was fined, and forfeited championship driver and owner points for rules infractions during the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend (Oct. 24-27) at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.
    The #0 Haas CNC Pontiac was found to have an unapproved carburetor modification (to the venturi) during opening-day inspection. The result was a $25,000 fine for crew chief Tony Furr, the loss of 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship driver points for Ward Burton and the loss of 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship owner points for Gene Haas.
    All parties were in violation of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book, Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing and Section 12-4-Q: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: Unapproved carburetor modification.(NASCAR PR)
    The deduction in drivers points move Burton from 20th to 21st in drivers points and moves #40-Marlin to 20th.
    The deduction in owners points moves the #0 team from 37th to 38th in owners points and the #49 up a spot.(10-29-2003)

  • Parts Confiscated from Two Teams: NASCAR inspectors confiscated the carburetor from the #0 NetZero Pontiac driven by Ward Burton during pre-qualifying inspection Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The size of the venturis - components in the carburetor that can dictate the flow - exceeded the maximum diameter under NASCAR rules. NASCAR officials said the #0 team likely faces a penalty, which should be announced sometime this week. Also taken this weekend were unapproved valence spacers from BACE Motorsports' #74 Chevrolet driven by Tony Raines.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-27-2003)

  • Ward testing the #0 at Atlanta: Ward Burton is testing the No. 0 Pontiac at Atlanta ahead of his October 26 debut with Haas CNC Racing at the track. Bill Davis Racing told Burton last month at Talladega that he would not be brought back in 2004, ending his nine-year association with the team. Scott Wimmer will replace Burton in BDR's No. 22 car.(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)

  • So where is Ward headed? UPDATE 4 to the #0: Ward Burton said Wednesday that he is in the closing stages of finalizing a full-time deal for 2004, but that he preferred to defer most of his comments to the appropriate time for that announcement.(NASCAR.com), rumors have him a candidate in the #30 RCR AOL Chevy, the #9 or #19 Evernham Dodges.(10-8-2003)
    UPDATE: He's been rumored to be heading to Richard Childress Racing, but a source told us Wednesday night that he definitely will not be in that car next year. His final destination -- and he does have a signed contract -- could be a surprise.(FoxSports.com)(10-9-2003)
    UPDATE 2: and a new rumor.....to the #0 NetZero Pontiac. Current driver Jason Leffler may be running for the Haas team full time in the Busch Series in 2004 instead of the Cup car, with Burton in the #0.(10-9-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Sources at Haas CNC Racing tell Sporting News that Ward Burton has signed on to drive the No. 0 Net Zero Pontiac in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series for 2004. Burton, 40, could be driving the car as soon as Phoenix. The 10-year veteran has six poles and four wins including the 2002 Daytona 500. Jason Leffler, who has been behind the wheel since August, is expected to run the full Busch Series schedule and selected Cup events next year. In eight starts this season, Leffler's best finish was 25th at Dover.(10-9-2003)
    UPDATE 4: NetZero HiSpeed and Haas CNC Racing announced today that NASCAR veteran Ward Burton will be behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac during the 2004 Nextel Cup Series season. "This is a great opportunity for me to bring my experience to an up and coming, young team," stated Burton. "I've watched the team grow and progress in its first year and it's definitely come a long way in a short time. Gene Haas runs a first-class organization, NetZero HiSpeed is a great sponsor and Tony Furr is an outstanding crew chief. I feel like we can take this team to the next level together and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. There's no end to the possibilities for this race team."
    "We're thrilled to have someone of Ward's caliber joining our team. It says a lot for our race team," said Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. "The experience that he brings is something that will help us in so many ways. I just can't say enough about how excited we are about our future. We've had a lot of great people come on board our organization this year and we've made steady progress in our efforts to be successful. Ward Burton is the icing on our cake." In a related move, Haas CNC Racing and NetZero will expand their partnership for 2004, with NetZero joining the team's new Busch Series program for current NetZero driver Jason Leffler as an associate sponsor for all 2004 events and primary sponsor of the effort for three races. "We've been really impressed with Jason's performance so far, and look forward to being with him and Haas CNC Racing in the Busch Series next year as they compete for race wins and the championship," said Woods. "Jason is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Busch Series next year, and the experience he gains there will certainly help when he returns full time to the Nextel Cup Series in the future."
    "The combination of Ward Burton and Jason Leffler is going to be a tremendous boost to our entire program," said Haas. "Jason will have a tremendous resource in Ward's experience, and Ward is committed to helping Jason in any way he can. Our long term goal would be to have Jason and Ward running together as teammates in the Nextel Cup Series, and I'm confident that in the not too distant future, that's exactly what we'll do."(NetZero Racing PR)(10-9-2003)

  • NetZero Re-ups with the #0: NetZero HiSpeed and Haas CNC Racing announced today the pair would team up for another season of Winston Cup racing. 2004 will mark the second year of the partnership between the two, and NetZero's fourth season of competition in NASCAR. "We're looking forward to another year with Gene Haas and Haas CNC Racing," stated Brian Woods, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of NetZero. "Our first year in Winston Cup was definitely a learning experience. There were ups and downs, but through it all we knew we were building for the future. We're looking forward to our sophomore season in this series. Gene Haas has put together a strong team and we couldn't imagine not being a part of its ultimate success. The excitement NASCAR and our association with Haas CNC Racing have brought to our organization and our program is second to none."
    "We're very happy to have NetZero HiSpeed back on board," said Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. "2003 was a more difficult year than anyone could have imagined. The competition in this series is fierce and we made a lot of changes to every aspect of our program to find the best fit. I think the combination we have now, with Jason Leffler, Tony Furr and NetZero HiSpeed is a match to be reckoned with. Everyone involved with Haas CNC Racing appreciates that the leadership at NetZero HiSpeed have been behind us with every twist and turn this year. I see 2004 as a year of great success and can't help but be excited about the possibilities for the future."(Netzero Racing PR/site)(10-4-2003)

  • NetZero on the #60 at Talladega: Saturday morning, a frantic search was on for NetZero decals and someone to place them on the #60 Chevrolet, driven by David Green. The #0 NetZero Pontiac driven by Jason Leffler, did not make the field for the running of the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Green's car is red and white, problem may arise as NetZero decals are white. UPDATE A twelve inch strip of black contact paper was place across the hood, making it possible for the white NetZero letters to show.(Insider Racing)(9-29-2003)

  • Leffler's Truck ride in jeopardy? Sprague in #2 Truck? UPDATE 4 Leffler named driver of #0: Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith says Jason Leffler needs to decide where his loyalties lie. Smith says if Leffler wants to retain his #2 Dodge ride with Ultra in the Craftsman Truck Series, Leffler can't continue to drive a Pontiac for Haas-CNC Racing in Winston Cup. “We've sent him a contract,” Smith says. “The next move is his.” Smith says Leffler, who is eighth in truck points, is welcome to walk, but it will come at a high price. Leffler has driven the Haas-CNC No. 0 car in three Cup races and had agreed to drive in eight more.(Sporting News), see my #0 Team News and Links page for the news on Leffler signing with Haas-GNC Racing for 2004.(8-25-2003)
    UPDATE - Leffler out; Sprague in the #2 Truck? hearing that Jason Leffler, who was at odds with Truck Series owner over taking the #0 Haas-CNC Racing Pontiac Ride, has split with Smith and former #0 driver, Jack Sprague will drive the #2 ASE Dodge for Ultra Motorsports and Smith for the rest of the season. Sprague has signed to drive a 2nd IWX Team Truck in 2004. Dennis Conner is the #2 Truck Crew Chief, he was Sprague's crew chief for years in the Truck and Busch Series as well for about half the season in Cup in 2003 before he parted ways with the team.(8-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Crew chief Tony Furr has confirmed that Jason Leffler will drive the #0 NetZero Haas-CNC Pontiac for the remainder of this season and 2004 in the Winston Cup Series. Leffler is currently eighth in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points driving the #2 truck for Ultra Motorsports. There has been no confirmation as to who will drive that truck at Richmond September 4.(Fox Sports)
    UPDATE 3: or is Spencer in? hearing Jimmy Spencer will drive the #2 Ultra Motorsports truck at Richmond on Sept 4th.(8-27-2003)
    UPDATE 4: Haas CNC Racing announced today Jason Leffler will be behind the wheel of the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season and continue with the team in 2004. I'm happy to be a part of the Haas CNC Racing team," said Leffler, 27.. "It's a great team and a great opportunity for me to get back to the Winston Cup Series.. Gene Haas, Joe Custer and Tony Furr have worked hard to get me here and I'm looking forward to our future together.. NetZero is a great sponsor and I'd like to thank everybody involved for giving me this chance."
    "We are thrilled to have Jason Leffler become a permanent part of our team," stated Joe Custer, General Manager of Haas CNC Racing.. "We think Jason is a good, young driver with a ton of potential and we look forward to a long, successful future together." Leffler, a native of Long Beach, Calif., will make his fourth start behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac this weekend at Darlington Raceway.(NetZero Racing/Motorsports Management PR)
    UPDATE 4a: Jimmy Spencer has been tabbed as the replacement for Jason Leffler as the driver of the #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Richmond, VA. "Jason has a chance to move up to the NASCAR Winston Cup ranks and we wish him the very best of luck," said Ron Weiner, President of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). "We certainly appreciate the effort that he put forth on our behalf over the past two years. By the same token, we are very appreciative to Jimmy Spencer for helping us out at Richmond, where ASE is celebrating  our 200th race as an NCTS sponsor. "Mr. Excitement" is a working-man's driver, and the 450,000 ASE certified mechanics clearly identify with his work ethic and his 110% efforts on the track."  His Richmond outing will be Spencer's first in the Craftsman Truck Series. "I'm excited about driving the #2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge at Richmond," Spencer said.  "The #2 truck is probably the most recognizable in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because it's been winning races since the series began in 1995.  A lot of great drivers have wheeled this truck, and I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of that." The Virginia is for Lovers 200 is scheduled for Thursday, September 4th at Richmond International Raceway.(8-29-2003)

  • Leffler not allowed to drive the #0? UPDATE signs for 2004, no word on more in 2003 yet: Haas CNC Racing has entered Jason Leffler in its #0-NetZero Pontiac for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol, but the driver's status as a factory Dodge driver in the Truck Series may prevent it, as neither his truck owner nor Dodge want to permit it [Leffler ran the car at Indy and at MIS]. The problem is Leffler's primary role is driving Ultra Motorsports' factory-supported ASE/CARQUEST Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series for owner Jim Smith. "As of right now, Jason Leffler's under contract with me and he does not have permission to drive anything but this (No. 2 Dodge) truck," Smith said Wednesday night before the O'Reilly 200 Truck Series race. "And he has been told he's not to drive the 0 car. . .as of right now. If the 0 car was a Dodge, we wouldn't have an issue with it. We'd all love him to do more racing, but from Dodge's perspective, if he goes out there and does real well, it would make us look kind of crazy." At Watkins Glen, Smith said he did not care if Leffler drove another car, but he said he was sensitive to Dodge's feelings, and Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, the head of Dodge's motorsports program, John Fernandez, made his feelings crystal clear. "Jason has said that he'd like to do it," Haas CNC Racing's general manager Joe Custer said Wednesday afternoon. "We're just taking this one step at a time." Leffler has continuously stressed his number one priority is his truck deal with Smith. At WGI, Smith said he had offered a new contract to Leffler. At Michigan, Leffler said there was no issue with that, except he had just changed agents. "We're in good standing with Jim, and I'm totally comfortable there," Leffler said. "There were some things behind the scenes that delayed us working on the contract, because I'm with Cary Agajanian [Tony's Stewart's agent by the way] and his group, now.(NASCAR.com), so...if Leffler doesn't driver, who does? Wonder if John Andretti is in Bristol?(8-22-2003)
    UPDATE: Jason Leffler has signed with Haas-CNC Racing and is expected to drive the #0 Ne Zero Pontiac in 2004 [Jayski note: NetZero supposedly will NOT be back as the sponsor]. Leffler, 27, has been the primary driver for Haas-CNC since Jack Sprague was released last month, but he is still under contract to drive the #2 ASE Dodge for Jim Smith in the Truck Series for the remainder of the season. "The deal just revolves around next year," says Haas-CNC general manager Joe Custer. "He has to do what is necessary to appease his current sponsor and Jim Smith. "But we think Jason has a big future ahead of him and we want to be part of it." Custer adds that Haas-CNC Racing will run both a Winston Cup and Busch Series team next season and allow Leffler to choose which program he feels the most comfortable with. He also has the option to run both. As part of his original nine-race Cup deal with Haas-CNC, Leffler will be in the team's car this weekend at Bristol and for six more races. Leffler's availability to continue that deal is contingent on getting the approval of Smith and Dodge.(Sporting News)(8-22-2003)

  • Leffler to be honored: On Sunday, August 24th, Jason Leffler [driver of the #0 NetZero Pontiac in Cup and #2 ASE Dodge in the CTS] will be the youngest driver every inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame located at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI. Leffler was the 1997,1998, & 1999 USAC National Midget champion and will join the likes of Parnelli Jones, Stan Fox, Mel Kenyon, Tony Stewart, and among others.(8-21-2003)

  • #0 News UPDATEs: hearing that Jason Leffler will drive the #0 Netzeo Pontiac at Indy in the Brickyard 400 and that Netzero may not be back as a sponsor in 2004 for the team. AND as was previously reported, Leffler will drive the #0 in 7-9 races in 2003, 6 straight from MIS thru Dover...
    UPDATE: the future isn't expected to include current sponsor NetZero, as the company failed to notify the team of its intent to return by a July deadline. The team isn't worried as Haas Automation, company of team owner Gene Haas wanted to sponsor the team this year and will do so in 2004 if another company doesn't come aboard. No word on who will drive the car in 2004 but Leffler could be a candidate, depending on his situation with his Truck Team owner Jim Smith.(Wisnton Cup Scene - need sub to read)(8-8-2003)

  • Leffler in the #0 for more races? UPDATE: The fast, consistent test laps Jason Leffler ran at Kentucky Speedway were among the reasons crew chief Tony Furr elected to put Leffler in the #0 NetZero Pontiac at Indy. Leffler joined the team at 5 the morning of the test and stayed until 3 the next morning to make sure the car would be ready, and that sealed the deal. Furr was impressed enough by Leffler that he signed him to nine races, on the weekends Leffler doesn't have a conflict with the trucks series. John Andretti already was signed to drive the car Sunday at Watkins Glen.(Sporting News)(8-4-2003)
    UPDATE Leffler to run the #0 at MIS: Jason Leffler will return to the driver’s seat of the #0 Netzero entry at Michigan International Speedway.(NetZero Racing PR) AND Fox Sports Nets Totally NASCAR reports that Leffler will race Michigan and the following five race [for a total of 6] and may run as many as nince races.(8-7-2003)

  • Netzero Stuff UPDATE Leffler in at Indy: hearing that Jason Leffler will drive the #0 Netzeo Pontiac at Indy in the Brickyard 400 and that Netzero may not be back as a sponsor in 2004 for the team.
    UPDATE: Jason Leffler will join Ultra Motorsports truck teammate Ted Musgrave [#07 Dodge] in the Winston Cup Brickyard 400 next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But while Musgrave will drive a second Sirius Dodge for owner Jimmy Smith, Leffler will pilot the #0 Pontiac for Haas CNC Racing. Leffler's hoped-for 33rd career start reunites the 27-year-old with crew chief Tony Furr, with whom he worked for two races at the end of last season.(NASCAR.com and a full release at Speed Channel)(7-26-2003)

  • Skinner? Unser Jr.? Speculation on FSN's NASCAR This Morning mentioned Mike Skinner or Al Unser Jr. as possible drivers in the #0 NetZero Pontiac at Indy for the Brickyard 400 [Andretti has a commitment with DEI to run at Indy], also could be David Green.(FSN's NASCAR This Morning)(7-20-2003)

  • Sprague's Choice to leave the #0? Jack Sprague's decision to split with [the #0 Haas Racing team] was sudden and surprising -- at least to those on the outside. On the inside, Sprague had become increasingly disenchanted with the Winston Cup tour, just six months into his rookie season after pushing for a Cup ride for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-20-2003)

  • Sprague Released from the #0 ride, Andretti in UPDATEs: The Sporting News has learned that rookie Winston Cup driver Jack Sprague has been released from his ride with Haas/CNC Racing, and he will be replaced by John Andretti, who himself was released by Petty Enterprises a month ago. Andretti, 40, will take over for Sprague this weekend at New Hampshire and also next weekend at Pocono. However, because of a prior commitment to race the #81 for Chance 2 Motorsports at the Brickyard 400, Andretti will not be in the #0 for that race. Haas/CNC has yet to name a fill-in driver for the Indy race. Haas/CNC Racing also has not named a replacement beyond the Brickyard 400. Andretti has won two Winston Cup races in his career, the last coming at the 1999 Martinsville spring race. Andretti has a history with #0 Crew Chief, Tony Furr, winning the Pepsi 400 at Daytona while with the #98 Cale Yarborough team. No word on Sprgaue's plans.(Sporting News)(7-16-2003)
    UPDATEs and comments: Haas CNC Racing, which fields the #0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, and Jack Sprague announced a mutual decision to part ways effective immediately. "Gene Haas gave me a great opportunity to move into the Winston Cup Series this season," said Sprague, who has driven the NetZero Pontiac since the start of the season. "Unfortunately, being a rookie team with a rookie owner, rookie crew chief and a rookie driver, and not having a great deal of Winston Cup knowledge, we started off behind the eight ball. Haas CNC Racing made changes along the way to try to make the team more competitive, but we never really got a handle on it. After eight years of winning races and championships, this year's been very frustrating for me, and I'm sure it has been equally as frustrating for them. That said, we decided to part ways and try to find success apart." The Haas CNC Racing team posted its best qualifying effort of the season when the NetZero Pontiac lined up in fifth place at Lowe's (Concord, N.C.) Motor Speedway in May. The team's highest finish of the season was a 14th-place effort in the season opening event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February. "The Haas CNC Racing team hasn't achieved the goals we set for ourselves prior to the start of the season," stated Joe Custer, General Manager. "Everyone involved with this organization has high expectations for success. Jack Sprague is a talented race car driver, but we thought it would be in everybody's best interest to make a change at this stage of the game. We feel confident we can continue to build this race team into a winning organization. We appreciate all that Jack Sprague has done for the NetZero Racing Program," commented Brian Woods, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for NetZero. During our three years together in this sport we have experienced the kind of success that most only dream about. We understand that it's the team's prerogative to do what it thinks will enhance the success of its organization. We wish Jack and his family success in all their future endeavors and look forward to future accomplishments with Haas CNC Racing."(NetZeroRacing)
    AND Haas CNC Racing announced that veteran John Andretti will take over driving duties for the upcoming Winston Cup events at New Hampshire International Speedway and Pocono Raceway. "We are thrilled that there was someone available to us of John Andretti's caliber, with his vast amount of Winston Cup experience," stated Joe Custer, Haas CNC Racing General Manager. "We're excited that he has agreed to come on board for the next couple of races. Following the races at New Hampshire and Pocono, we'll evaluate how things are going and move forward from there." Andretti, who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, has been racing full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series since 1994. He has scored four pole positions and two Winston Cup victories during his career, the last of which came in Martinsville in 1999 with Petty Enterprises. He and Haas CNC Racing crew chief Tony Furr have a history together, winning the 1997 Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. "I feel really good about being reunited with Tony Furr," said John Andretti. "The Haas CNC Racing team is an excellent organization. I look forward to being behind the wheel of the No. 0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac for the next couple of races."(NetZeroRacing)(7-17-2003)

  • Andretti to Toyota? Trucks? DENIED The latest on Toyota: John Andretti may get the call to Truck duty next season for the Japanese giant.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-15-2003)

  • Connor to Dodge in the CTS? UPDATE hearing former #0-Jack Sprague crew chief, Dennis Connor has been hired by Ultra Motorsports to be the crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #2 Team ASE Dodge Truck Series team.(5-27-2003)
    UPDATE: Dennis Connor has been hired as crew chief for the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. Connor will begin working with the Ultra Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and driver Jason Leffler immediately. Ultra Motorsports General Manager Tim Kohuth had been serving as Leffler's crew chief since Daytona but will relinquish the role to concentrate on his duties as general manager. onnor, 51, is a longtime NASCAR top gun who has successfully guided the fortunes of several drivers during his career. The Sylva, NC native guided Jack Sprague to three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships (1997,1999 and 2001), two runner-up points finishes (1996 & 1998), 23 victories and 20 pole positions. Away from the racetrack, Connor resides in Davidson, NC with his wife, Brenda Gail.(Ultra Motorsports PR)(5-29-2003)

  • IRS Seize Hass Records: Internal Revenue Service agents seized financial records from Oxnard-based [Calif] Haas Automation Inc. Thursday morning after the agency obtained a search warrant in federal court, officials said. Gary Tang, spokesman for the IRS criminal division, said the warrants were sealed and he could not disclose what they were searching for, why they were searching for it or how many agents were involved in the search. The agents arrived at Haas around 8 a.m., according to some employees on a break outside the company's 800,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Haas General Manager Dennis Dupois said the search warrants were generic in nature and he had no idea what the IRS was looking for. The company remained open for business despite the search. Haas Automation has been in Oxnard for six years and is the 28th-largest employer in the county, with 735 workers, according to the University of California, Santa Barbara Economic Outlook 2003 report. The company's president is Gene F. Haas, a machinist who developed small motors with Kurt Zierhut. Haas is a maker of computer-controlled machine tools for manufacturers throughout the world. Haas also has been involved with motor sport racing since 1995, forming partnerships with PacWest Racing Group, All American Racers and Hendrick Motorsports. Haas joined the NASCAR Winston Cup series in 2002 as a sponsor and owner with the creation of Haas CNC Racing team and has sponsored drivers Jack Sprague and Ricky Hendrick.(Ventura County Star), no idea how this will effect the #0 NetZero/Hass CNC Racing team.(4-15-2003)

  • Furr replaces Conner: Tony Furr will serve as crew chief for Winston Cup Rookie of the Year candidate Jack Sprague, beginning at this weekend at Martinsville. Furr replaces Dennis Connor at Haas CNC Racing. Connor has worked with Sprague for the last eight seasons. Together they won three championships in the Craftsman Truck Series, in 1997, 1999 and 2001. In 2002 Sprague and Connor moved to the Busch Series for Hendrick Motorsports, their Truck Series employer. Near the end of the 2002 season, team owner Gene Haas announced plans to field a Winston Cup team for Sprague that would be closely allied with Rick Hendrick's operation. Furr most recently worked in a management role with Morgan-McClure Motorsports [#4 Kodak Pontiac](NASCAR.com)(4-8-2003)

  • #0 Special Scheme at Texas: The #0 NetZero High Speed Pontiac Grand Prix will make its debut at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. The new paint scheme showcases NetZero’s HiSpeed Online Service.(NetZero Racing)(3-27-2003)

  • Furr to the #0; Leaves #4? UPDATE: Haas CNC Racing has enlisted the services of former Hendrick Motorsports employee Tony Furr to work with rookie Jack Sprague's #0 Pontiac. The team is a technical partner of HMS and uses Hendrick engines and chassis. According to Haas CNC Racing G.M. Joe Custer, Furr will join the organization on Tuesday. Furr's knowledge of Hendrick's systems and his organizational skills will benefit this team significantly. Furr was performing a number of duties for Mike Skinner's team.(Sporting News)(3-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Tony Furr has left his daily duties of Competition Director for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. The Abingdon, Va.-based team announced Tuesday that Furr has left the team, although he will be retained for several projects he had begun for team owner Larry McClure. Furr had joined the team at the beginning of 2003 and leaves due to personal reasons regarding the need to be with his family in Concord, NC.
    Larry McClure quotes: "Furr was a positive addition to our team. He leaves us on good terms. We hope him the best in the future."
    Mike Skinner quotes: "Tony Furr has been a great asset to our team. I will help Larry and the team all I can to find a replacement for Tony. We wish him well. We will miss him, along with his knowledge, tremendously."(Morgan McClure PR)(3-25-2003)

  • Haas CNC Racing to run Pontiac and the #0: Little old but here ya go (see past news on my #0 Team News and Links page): Haas CNC Racing announced today the team would field Pontiac Grand Prix racecars throughout the 2003 Winston Cup season. Jack Sprague, a three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, will open the 2003 campaign behind the wheel of the #0 NetZero Pontiac at Daytona International Speedway, February 16, 2003. "Pontiac has had a long history of excellence in NASCAR Winston Cup racing, including winning the 2002 Winston Cup championship," said Sprague on behalf of the team. "I'm extremely happy to be driving a Pontiac for Haas CNC Racing this year because I think it will give us the best opportunity to run up front on a weekly basis this season."
    "Pontiac and GM Racing are eager to work with Jack Sprague and the NetZero team in 2003," said Bob Kraut, Pontiac marketing manager. "Pontiac is proud of its history of racing championships and Jack certainly has proven himself to be extraordinary driver capable of winning on every level in which he has competed. We look forward to capturing yet another NASCAR title together." The Pontiac brand has totaled 30 NASCAR Winston Cup victories over the last four seasons. Tony Stewart's 2002 Winston Cup championship marked the 35th crown for General Motors since NASCAR began honoring its champions in 1949. General Motors, through its participation of its Pontiac and Chevrolet brands, is easily the most successful automobile company involved in NASCAR racing winning 25 of the last 30 Winston Cup championships. Sprague will be a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate this season. For more information about Pontiac's involvement in NASCAR Winston Cup racing as well as other forms of Pontiac motorsports, please log on to www.pontiacracing.com. Information about Jack Sprague and the #0 NetZero Pontiac Grand Prix can be accessed at www.netzeroracing.com.(Close Finishes PR)(1-21-2003)

    Past 2002 News

  • Different number and manu? hearing the #60 NetZero Haas CNC Racing Chevy team may become the #0 NetZero Haas CNC Racing Pontiac team for driver Jack Sprague in 2003?? #0 for Net'Zero'.(12-3-2002)

  • NetZero to be primary sponsor of #60: NetZero, a leading provider of value-priced and free Internet access services, announced today it would advance its NASCAR marketing initiative to the Winston Cup Series in 2003 with #60 Haas CNC Racing and veteran driver Jack Sprague. NetZero has stepped up and will be the primary sponsor on the Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet for the 2003 season. "We looked at our options for 2003 and felt moving to the Winston Cup Series was the direction we wanted to take," stated Brian Woods, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of NetZero. "Our NASCAR media and marketing initiatives have exceeded our expectations, first with a championship in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and currently running toward the top of the NASCAR Busch Series. In Winston Cup, we will be able to build on the momentum our program has achieved." NetZero joined the NASCAR sponsorship ranks in 2001 backing Sprague as he raced to four victories en route to the division championship. The program graduated to the Busch Series this season with NetZero again taking the primary sponsorship role. Sprague broke into Victory Lane at Nashville, TN, in April and is currently running 4th in the series. While the new Sprague/Haas CNC Racing association signals Sprague's departure from Hendrick Motorsports, the team will still have the benefit of HMS as a partner; HMS will provide the new Haas team with technical assistance. The new NetZero Winston Cup association will make its debut at Homestead Miami Speedway, Sunday, November 17. The team recently purchased a 40,000-square-foot building in Harrisburg, NC, which will be the home of the Haas CNC Racing Winston Cup team in 2003.(Jack Sprague Site), see image on the 2003 Paint Scheme page(11-10-2002)

  • #60 Team adds race: Jack Sprague and the #60 Haas CNC Racing team will attempt to qualify for the Napa 500 at Atlanta on October 27. The decision to add the Atlanta venue to their 2002 schedule was made after qualifying was rained out last weekend in Charlotte. It will mark Sprague's second Winston Cup qualifying effort of the season in the #60 Haas CNC Racing Chevy. Sprague and the Haas CNC Racing team are also scheduled to run races at North Carolina Speedway on November 3 and Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17 as they prepare for the 2003 Winston Cup season.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(10-17-2002)

  • #60 to name 2003 sponsor at AMS: Jack Sprague will announce a sponsor for his #60 Winston Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, at next month's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sprague will receive technical assistance as well as cars (Chevy's or Pontiac's?) and engines from the Hendrick operation next season.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(9-28-2002)

  • New Team to debut at Kansas: The #60 Haas CNC NASCAR Winston Cup team and driver Jack Sprague will test at Lowes Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday with many other Cup teams with plans to make their 2002 Winston Cup debut later this month in the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. And after a less-than-exemplary performance at a Lowe's test in May caused the new team to cancel its planned debut in the Coca-Cola 600 at LMS later that month, they hope this session will tell them exactly how much progress they've made this summer. They tested three cars -- one a brand new piece and the others the same ones they ran at Lowe's in May's test -- on the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval last month and were pleased with the results. Crew Chief Dennis Connor said the team has an industrious testing schedule planned for the next two months, along with racing and testing the #24 NetZero BGN Chevy. "We'll have a total of four Winston Cup races: Kansas, Charlotte, Rockingham and Homestead."(NASCAR.com)(9-3-2002)

  • Sprague in a Pontiac? UPDATE 2: The new Haas CNC Racing Chevy Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, was announced a few months ago as the #60 Haas Automation Chevrolet with Jack Sprague driving full time in 2003. Hendrick Motorsports will supply cars, engines and technical support. Well looks like they may be running a Pontiac in 2003 and are leaning that way. Hendrick would still support the team.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read - now in pdf format)(8-22-2002)
    UPDATE: Pontiac's next announcement of a team for 2003 is expected to have ties to Hendrick Motorsports. Rick Hendrick says the Winston Cup deal being put together for driver Jack Sprague with Gene Haas and Joe Custer likely will put Sprague, one of Hendrick's Busch Series drivers, in a Grand Prix. Haas Automation has been an associate sponsor on all of Hendrick Motorsports' entries, and the relationship goes back eight years. Hendrick believes NASCAR has accomplished its goal of establishing common template cars and thinks both new GM models will be equally competitive. The Haas team will get cars, engines and technical support from Hendrick and from Pontiac team MBV (Johnny Benson), which was instrumental in developing the 2003 Grand Prix.(Sporting News)(8-26-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The Haas Automation/Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup operation planning to debut full time next season with driver Jack Sprague appears likely to be the next team to join the Pontiac team in 2003. "I think it looks pretty favorable that they will be running the Pontiac. I'm not 100 percent, but they are awful close," said Rick Hendrick, whose Hendrick Motorsports operation will supply engines, chassis and other technical assistance to the team. "They will be doing their own cars and we will be doing some chassis for them. The Pontiac and Chevrolet are basically going to be the same car with the only difference in the grille area. It won't be any big deal." The team still hopes to run at least three races this season, with its sights set on the fall events at Charlotte, Atlanta and Homestead.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-31-2002)

  • A 5th Hendrick team with Sprague? UPDATE 3 will NOT run at Lowes next week: been told that Hendrick Motorsports BGN driver, Jack Sprague, will drive the #60 Haas Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May and possibly up to six more Cup events. See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Jack Sprague on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night and it was mentioned that the team just got the new #60 car in the shop and plans to test at Charlotte/Lowes Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Other races include New Hampshire, both Lowes races and Homestead. Rick Hendrick will be part owner of the team.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Three-time CTS champ Jack Sprague will run five Cup races this season with a new team owned by Haas Automation. The team will use engines and cars built by Hendrick Motorsports, who Sprague currently drives in the BGN. The team will move full-time to Winston Cup in 2003. The team will debut at the Coca-Cola 600 next month in Charlotte. Other races scheduled are: New Hampshire in September; Charlotte in October; Atlanta in October; and Homestead, Fla., in November. Additional races may be added. "I have been waiting a long time to get the right opportunity to go Winston Cup racing," Sprague said. "I’ve had opportunities in the past, but they just weren’t structured in a way that would give me and the team all the ingredients needed for success." "This new association with Haas Automation has everything needed to make the deal go, both on and off the track. This deal is worth the wait." Sprague’s current and long-time crew chief, Dennis Conner, will also serve in that capacity with his Cup team. Joe Custer will serve as the team’s general manager.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: The new Haas CNC Racing Chevy Cup team, owned by Gene Haas, that was announced a month ago at Talladega Superspeedway, entered a #60 Haas Automation Chevrolet for BGN driver Jack Sprague in the May 26 Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, was withdrawn May 13, after the team tested at the 1.5-mile Lowe's oval. "We just didn't feel like we were prepared enough and quick enough to go there and do it," Sprague said. "So we're going to hold off and get our stuff better prepared and go test again." Dennis Connor, crew chief for both of Sprague's programs, said there was no quick fix for the Cup team's planned first outing. HCR initially announced a five-race program for this season, after which it will run a full Winston Cup schedule in 2003. But Connor stressed that both operations agreed that the Winston Cup team, which employs Hendrick Motorsports cars, engines and technical support -- as well as most of Sprague's Busch Series crew -- should not impact this year's Busch championship run while preparing for next season. Connor said team manager Joe Custer and Haas put no pressure on he and Sprague to run at Charlotte, even though the team's announcement was geared toward the high profile 600 race week. Connor said both of thier Cup cars would ultimately be taken to a wind tunnel, the team would build another new car and then take an existing car from Hendrick's #24 (Jeff Gordon) or #48 (Johnson) stable and test at Kentucky Speedway July 29 and 30. He said the team also had tests scheduled at Darlington Raceway and Kansas Speedway and would make a decision after that on which race to run to replace the Lowe's event -- with the possibility it would do both. If it is to run five races this season, it has to also replace the September New Hampshire 300. The additional races the team originally planned to run are in conjunction with Busch Series events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Atlanta and Homestead.(NASCAR.com)(5-20-2002)
    AND The team won't race at Lowes after a disappointing test session two weeks ago at the speedway. The team will also skip their next scheduled Cup race which would have been New Hampshire in July, aiming to debut at Chicagoland.(PRN's Garage Pass)(5-20-2002)

  • A 5th Hendrick team? UPDATE 3 Sprague/#60: been told that Hendrick Motorsports BGN driver, Jack Sprague, will drive the #60 Haas Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May and possibly up to six more Cup events. See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Jack Sprague on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night and it was mentioned that the team just got the new #60 car in the shop and plans to test at Charlotte/Lowes Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Other races include New Hampshire, both Lowes races and Homestead. Rick Hendrick will be part owner of the team.(4-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Three-time CTS champ Jack Sprague will run five Cup races this season with a new team owned by Haas Automation. The team will use engines and cars built by Hendrick Motorsports, who Sprague currently drives in the BGN. The team will move full-time to Winston Cup in 2003. The team will debut at the Coca-Cola 600 next month in Charlotte. Other races scheduled are: New Hampshire in September; Charlotte in October; Atlanta in October; and Homestead, Fla., in November. Additional races may be added. "I have been waiting a long time to get the right opportunity to go Winston Cup racing," Sprague said. "I’ve had opportunities in the past, but they just weren’t structured in a way that would give me and the team all the ingredients needed for success." "This new association with Haas Automation has everything needed to make the deal go, both on and off the track. This deal is worth the wait." Sprague’s current and long-time crew chief, Dennis Conner, will also serve in that capacity with his Cup team. Joe Custer will serve as the team’s general manager.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Haas Automation, one of the leading manufacturers of industrial tools worldwide, announced today that it has formed a Winston Cup Team that will run a select-event schedule of races this season with driver Jack Sprague. Sprague and the team will then enter the Winston Cup ranks on a full-time basis beginning with the 2003 Daytona 500 at Daytona Beach, FL. Haas Automation, a long-time sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports, will receive assistance from the five-time Cup championship organization in making this new team possible. According to Sprague, the #60 Haas Automation Chevy will make its debut at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday, May 26. "I have been waiting a long time to get the right opportunity to go Winston Cup racing," said Sprague, the three-time CTS champion now racing in the BGN. "I've had opportunities in the past, but they just weren't structured in a way that would give me and the team all the ingredients needed for success. This new association with Haas Automation has everything needed to make the deal go, both on and off the track. This deal was worth the wait." Located in Oxnard, CA, Haas Automation is the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States. The company manufactures four major product lines and has nearly 750 employees. Haas Automation builds a full line of CNC vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes, rotary tables and 5C indexers. Haas machine tools and rotary products are built to deliver higher accuracy, repeatability and more durability than any other machine tools on the market. Haas Automation, which also serves as a major associate sponsor on Sprague's #24 NetZero Chevy BGN entry this season, has sold more than 40,000 rotary tables and 32,000 CNC machines throughout the world. The company ships more CNC machines per month than any other U.S. manufacturer. In addition to the Charlotte Winston Cup event in May, Sprague and his #60 Haas Automation Chevy will compete at New Hampshire (Sept. 15), Lowe's Motor Speedway (Oct. 13), Atlanta (Oct. 27) and Homestead- (Nov. 17). Additional races are also being considered at this time. The effort will be fielded out of HAAS CNC RACING headquarters located in Harrisburg, NC. Joe Custer is the team's General Manager, while Sprague's current and long-time crew chief, Dennis Connor, will also serve in that capacity for the new Winston Cup team. Hendrick Motorsports will provide cars, engines and technical assistance for the team.(Motorsports Management Group PR)(4-20-2002)

  • A 5th Hendrick team? UPDATE: been told that Hendrick Motorsports BGN driver, Jack Sprague, will drive the #60 Haas Chevy in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway in May and possibly up to six more Cup events. See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(3-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Dr Jerry Punch interviewed Jack Sprague on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night and it was mentioned that the team just got the new #60 car in the shop and plans to test at Charlotte/Lowes Motor Speedway in a few weeks. Other races include New Hampshire, both Lowes races and Homestead. Rick Hendrick will be part owner of the team.(4-9-2002)


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