Kahne wins at Bristol: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 1st win at Bristol and 15th career win. Pole sitter #18-Busch finished second followed by #2-Keselowski, #78-Busch, #15-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #39-Newman, #55-Vickers, #27Menard, and #1-McMurray.
#48-Johnson, who started the race as the points leader, blew a tire late and hit the wall. He finished 22nd.
There were 17 lead changes among 10 drivers and 10 cautions for 66 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 92.206mph. Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Bristol Penalty Report (pdf).
See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and
the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
Earnhardt Jr., Kahne and Stewart to guest on The Cleveland Show UPDATE: NASCAR stars #88-Dale Earnhart Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne and #14-Tony Stewart will guest-voice on Fox's The Cleveland Show next season. In the episode, Cleveland (voiced Mike Henry) convinces Donna (voiced Sanaa Lathan) to lighten up and have a few drinks when she takes her run for local office way too seriously. "Unfortunately, they party way too hard - and wake up on the infield of a NASCAR track. It's up to guest stars Earnhardt, Jr., Stewart and Kahne to race Donna and Cleveland home," executive producer Rich Appel says.(TV Guide)(4-27-2012)
UPDATE: are scheduled to be voicing their characters' roles on Fox is scheduled to air "The Cleveland Show" on Sunday, March 17th at 7:30 pm/et in which NASCAR drivers #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne and #14-Tony Stewart are featured.(Charlotte Observer)(3-15-2013)
Hendrick Motorsports still most valuable team according to Forbes: Hendrick Motorsports is NASCAR's most valuable team with a value of $357 million, up 2%. Hendrick is worth twice as much as second-ranked Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick is the only four car Sprint Cup team left and brings in $125 million in sponsor revenue a year. Lowe's extended its deal last month through 2015 as the primary sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's #48 car. Earnhardt Ganassi (ranked #8 with a value of $72 million) announced it would switch engine suppliers from Earnhardt Childress Racing to Hendrick starting in 2013. This will add to Hendrick's coffers, which are already full as NASCAR's most profitable team with an estimated operating income of $16.6 million in 2012.
Gibbs, worth $168 million, leapfrogs Roush Fenway Racing. Gibbs got a huge boost in 2013 with the addition of 2003 Sprint Cup champ Matt Kenseth, who replaced Joey Logano in the #20 car. Gibbs has been one of the most consistent teams when it comes to selling sponsorships with all paint schemes sold ahead of the season start in 2012 and 2013. JGR signed a 30-race renewal with FedEx last year on the #11 car.
The value of Roush is down 10% to $166 million. The team has struggled to sell sponsorships in recent years and lost Kenseth to Gibbs.
Richard Childress Racing ranks No. 4 with a value of $139 million, down 6%. Childress is at a crossroad as it prepares to lose its top driver, Kevin Harvick, who signed a deal to race for Stewart-Haas Racing starting in 2014. Still to be determined is if long-time sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Harvick out the door.
The value of Stewart-Haas is up 14% to $123 million and ranks fifth. Tony Stewart and Gene Haas are building one of the top teams in NASCAR.
NASCAR's top nine teams are worth $143 million on average, up 1% over last year. Each of these teams are profitable by our count (some just barely) with team's cutting budgets in cases where sponsor shortfalls arise. Earnings are down 10% overall compared to 2011.(see more details and the complete list at Forbes)(3-14-2013)
Forbes names highest paid drivers: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the highest-paid driver in the sport for the fifth straight year with total earnings of $25.9 million in 2012 by our [Forbes] count. We estimate that Earnhardt earned $12.9 million in combined salary and his share of prize money, which is split with Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt signed a contract extension with Hendrick in 2011 that will keep him part of NASCAR's most valuable team through at least 2017. But what really separates Earnhardt from the rest of NASCAR's top drivers is his off-the-track earnings, which were $13 million last year. While Earnhardt's licensing income is down like all drivers (some as much as 80%), he still generated the most licensing dollars in the sport last year.
Another Hendrick driver, #48-Jimmie Johnson, ranks #2 with earnings of $23 million. In fact, all four Hendrick drivers are among the 10 highest paid with Jeff Gordon #4 ($18 million) and Kasey Kahne at #9 ($12 million). Johnson barely missed his sixth Sprint Cup title in 2012, but it was still a banner year on the track, as he earned a NASCAR-high $8.1 million in race winnings for the #48 car. His "Special Awards" and Sprint Cup bonuses added another $2.3 million.
#10-Danica Patrick, ranks #7 with earnings of $12.9 million in 2012. Her merchandise was NASCAR's ninth best seller in 2012, according to Fanatics.com, one of the largest online retailers of officially licensed sports merchandise. But that ranking will jump this year, as she only raced in 10 Sprint Cup races last year and will be running a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2013 for the first time.(see more details and the complete list at Forbes)(3-14-2013)
Quaker State Oil colors for Kahne: Quaker State returns as a primary partner with Kasey Kahne for its second straight season and will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy in four Sprint Cup Series events this year -- March 3 at Phoenix, April 27 at Richmond, June 29 at Kentucky and Oct. 12 at Charlotte. The Quaker State and Hendrick Motorsports relationship began in 1996 and during this partnership, Quaker State has helped deliver a total of nine Sprint Cup championships and 160 race victories (Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the scheme/car on the #31 Team Schemes page.(3-2-2013)
Hendrick willing to help delvelop better fence tech: Winning Daytona 500 team owner Rick Hendrick wants to find out what allowed the front clip of Kyle Larson's car to be sheared off in Saturday's Nationwide Series race. He is willing to work with NASCAR to develop technology that will help prevent another such incident that left 28 fans injured when debris flew into the stands. Larson's car went airborne into the catch fence on a horrific last-lap crash. The engine, built by Hendrick Motorsports, was separated from the car and landed on the concrete in front of the Campbell grandstands between sections H and I. One of the tires with the hub attached sailed over the fence and hit two fans, sending both to nearby Halifax Heath with critical injuries, one life-threatening. Both, according to a hospital representative on Monday, are stable and no longer critical. "I think the fence did its job,'' Hendrick said during Monday's Daytona 500 champion's breakfast for driver Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team. "I've never seen the clip come off before. They say they haven't found parts of the transmission. "What happened to the clip, there might be something else we can do. I've never seen that happen.''(ESPN)(2-25-2013)
Drivers run in Daytona Beach Half Marathon: #5-Kasey Kahne apparently had slightly better equipment than Hendrick Motorsports teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for Sunday's Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Kahne finished the chilly 13.1-mile run -- which began on pit road at Daytona International Speedway and included a brief stint on the beach -- in 1:28:45. Johnson came in at 1:29:48. Aric Almirola and Michael Waltrip also participated. Almirola crossed the lined in 1:46:12. Waltrip, who was hoping for a 10-minute-mile pace, said he had a good time, too.(ESPN)(2-18-2013)
Evernham says he turned down a chance to return as crew chief: Ray Evernham recently turned down a job offer to return to the Sprint Cup Series – and not with Hendrick Motorsports. The former car owner and Hendrick crew chief who won three championships with Jeff Gordon has resisted the urge to return to the racetrack since selling his stake in Evernham Motorsports six years ago. But a recent call from a powerhouse NASCAR team – he wouldn't say which except that it wasn't Hendrick – had the man who was voted the greatest crew chief of all time in 2006 pondering a change of heart. "I got hit with the right opportunity not that long ago, and I really had to stop and think about it," Evernham said Thursday. "I had to make sure not to make decisions with ego and think about why I wound it down the first time, and the reality of what it would be because it's so easy to be 10 years later thinking about how great you are and how you can still do it. You can lull yourself back into thinking I could still do that." Evernham's last race atop the pit box as Gordon's crew chief was at Dover International Speedway in September 1999, but he remained as hands-on as a team owner who spearheaded Dodge's return to NASCAR in 2001. He won championships with Gordon's #24 Chevy in '95, '97 and '98, setting a modern-era record with 13 victories in the last title campaign. "I probably could still do it, but I don't think I could have the results I had," said Evernham, 55, after a news conference at his museum to present a $280,000 check to the Autism Society of North Carolina. "I look back at our stuff with Jeff Gordon. If I couldn't hold up to that 1998 standard, I'd be constantly unhappy and frustrated, so I don't want to do that again. I got that call, and I was flattered to get it, but I had to pass." He will be working at least 15 NASCAR events for ESPN, starting at Daytona International Speedway and focusing on more in-depth features. He also is working with team owner Rick Hendrick on developing a new TV show called "Americarna" that will explore the country's evolving car culture. Evernham also still is working as a consultant with Hendrick's automotive business though he is scaling back to focus on his other projects and remaining involved in NASCAR.(see full stroy at the USA Today)(2-9-2013)
Drivers to run Daytona Half Marathon: Prior to turning two high-speed qualifying laps in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, several NASCAR drivers will first compete in the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start and end at historic Daytona International Speedway. The Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with Volusia County, will host the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17, just one week before the 55th running of the Daytona 500. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start at 6:30 a.m. ET, is being held for the first time during Budweiser Speedweeks. Among the NASCAR drivers that have submitted applications to compete in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon are #48-Jimmie Johnson, #30-Michael Waltrip, #5-Kasey Kahne and #43-Aric Almirola. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.(DIS)(2-6-2013)
Hendrick Motorsports Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour:
All Hendrick cars are fully-funded except Dale Jr.'s #88. But Rick Hendrick says there's interest and he has no sponsorship worries, the #88 is 13 races short.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Daytona testing wreck. "I thought long and hard, and that's probably the most embarrassed I've ever been."
Chase Elliott will run in five ARCA and nine Series races in 2013, his Truck number will be #94, Hendrick Motorsports will field the entries. Elliott's scheduled Truck races:
Martinsville (both). Iowa (both), Rockingham, Dover, Bristol. Mosport/Canada and Phoenix.
#24-Jeff Gordon on Gen-6 car :"I'm a big fan, I love it. I like the body style & I think the teams and crew chiefs feel the same thing."
#5-Kasey Kahne says he's an "underdog" compared to those who have Cup titles, but says this is his best shot yet in 2nd season, Kahne is sporting a new hair style.
(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-23-2013)
Hendrick to appear on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood Jan 20th: CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan gets a sneak peek at of Chevrolet's totally redesigned 2014 Corvette Stingray and talks with NASCAR team owner and Corvette collector Rick Hendrick about the prized vehicles this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. "The Corvette was just the ultimate car," Hendrick tells Cowan. "I mean, it was – you had the styling, the power, all the girls liked them." Timed to the car's 60th birthday, Chevrolet has redesigned the vehicle for 2014 and brought back the legendary Stingray name. Hendrick, a top NASCAR team owner, has one of the largest private Corvette collections in the world, with nearly 150 in his stable. He said he met his wife, Linda, while driving a Stingray. Hendrick, a Chevy dealer, can't wait to get his hands on one of the new Corvettes, Cowan reports. "I think this car will probably be one of the most sought-after cars that we've seen in a long time," Hendrick tells Cowan. Cowan's report on the new Corvette is scheduled to be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 on CBS Sunday morning at 9:00am/et on the CBS Television Network.(CBS)(1-19-2013)
Study names NASCAR's Social Media Leaders: Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and #48-Jimmie Johnson are among NASCAR's strongest and most engaging users of social media, a new social media study of the NASCAR industry finds. The study – conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm - scored drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale. Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, Hendrick trailed by one point at 14 points and Johnson scored 13 points.
Gibbs' online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Hendrick also has an active and diverse menu of social media platforms including a mobile app. Gibbs' social media score bested Hendrick's by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.
Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, 657,062 page likes; Twitter, 348,402 followers; YouTube, 265 subscribers; and Instagram, with an industry-leading 60,618 followers. Johnson's social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable "media machine" has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.
The sport's largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. The sanctioning body regained a voice and a direct connection to its fan base this year after repossessing control of its online assets in a January 2012 agreement with Turner Sports Interactive. NASCAR's total social media reach is an astronomical 5,044,070, more than double the daily circulation of the largest U.S. newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. In fact, NASCAR commands the industry's top position in terms of audience on Facebook likes (3,239,504), Twitter followers (841,027) and YouTube subscribers (5,430). The sanctioning body also has 1,420 followers on Pinterest and a staggering 956,689 circles on Google+.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(1-10-2013)
2012 Sponsor Schedule:
Bud Shootout, 2/18, Farmers Insurance
Daytona, 2/26, Farmers Insurance
Phoenix, 3/4, Farmers Insurance
Las Vegas, 3/11, Farmers Insurance
Bristol, 3/18, Farmers Insurance
Auto Club, 3/25, Quaker State Oil
Martinsville, 4/1, Hendrickcars.com
Texas, 4/14, Farmers Insurance
Kansas, 4/22, Farmers Insurance
Richmond, 4/28, Farmers Insurance
Talladega, 5/6, Farmers Insurance
Darlington, 5/12, Rockwell Tools
All-Star Race, 5/19, Farmers Insurance
Charlotte, 5/27, Quaker State Oil
Dover, 6/3, Hendrickcars.com
Pocono, 6/10, Farmers Insurance
Michigan, 6/17, Farmers Insurance
Infineon, 6/24, Farmers Insurance
Kentucky, 6/30, Quaker State Oil
Daytona, 7/7, Hendrickcars.com
New Hampshire, 7/14, Farmers Insurance
Indianapolis, 7/29, Farmers Insurance
Pocono, 8/5, Farmers Insurance
Watkins Glen. 8/12, Farmers Insurance
Michigan, 8/19, Farmers Insurance
Bristol, 8/25, Hendrickcars.com
Atlanta, 9/2, Hendrickcars.com
Richmond, 9/8, Quaker State Oil
Chicago, 9/16, Hendrickcars.com
New Hampshire, 9/23, Farmers Insurance
Dover, 9/30, Farmers Insurance
Talladega, 10/7, Hendrickcars.com
Charlotte, 10/13, Time Warner Cable
Kansas, 10/21, Farmers Insurance
Martinsville, 10/28, Hendrickcars.com
Texas, 11/4, Hendrickcars.com/Great Clip
Phoenix, 11/11, Farmers Insurance
Homestead, 11/18, Farmers Insurance
2013 silly season notes for #5-Kasey Kahne / Hendrick Motorsports:: Kasey Kahne starts his 2nd full season in the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, his first consecutive full season season with the same team in quite some time. Farmers Insurance returns for 22 races, a deal signed in 2011 that runs thru 2014. Time Warner Cable will be the primary sponsor for four races each season thru 2015. Quaker State Oil returns to sponsor the car in four races. Great Clips will sponsor the #5 for three races. Supposedly a Pepsi brand will be the primary sponsor for one race in 2013. Hendrickcars.com could be the sponsor on the car when no primary is secured. No word if Rockwell Tools, which sponsors the #5 at Darlington in 2012 will return in 2013. Longtime Kahne crew chief, Kenny Francis returns in 2013. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(12-30-2012)
Great Clips to sponsor Kahne in 2013: Great Clips Inc., the world's largest salon brand, has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of the team's #5 Chevy with driver Kasey Kahne for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013. Great Clips was Kahne's co-primary sponsor in the Nov. 4 race at Texas Motor Speedway, marking the company's first-ever Sprint Cup sponsorship. In 2013, the Minneapolis-based company will be the #5 team's primary sponsor March 17 at Bristol, July 28 at Indianapolis and Sept. 22 at New Hampshire.
"Kasey Kahne has been such an important member of our Great Clips family since we first sponsored him nearly 10 years ago," said Terri Miller, vice president of marketing for Great Clips. "To have the opportunity to work with Kasey in the Sprint Cup Series is a very proud moment for all of us. We could not ask for a better partner to take this step with than Hendrick Motorsports, a team that shares our company's values. At Great Clips, our tagline is 'It's gonna be great,' and that's exactly how we feel about this relationship."
Kahne, 32, has earned 14 career victories and 26 pole positions in Sprint Cup Series competition. In his first season with Hendrick Motorsports, the Enumclaw, Wash., native secured his third career Chase for the Sprint Cup berth and recorded two wins, four poles, 12 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s. He finished the 2012 campaign a career-best fourth in championship points.
"When you hear the people at Great Clips talk about their business, it's easy to understand why they're so successful," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "The focus on customer service, convenience, value, community and philanthropy is something NASCAR fans appreciate. It's a company that's been committed to our sport and seen a great return on investment over many years. We look forward to building on that at the Cup level."
Great Clips, which has more than 3,000 locations and nearly 30,000 stylists throughout the United States and Canada, has a long history with Kahne. Since 2003, the company has supported his efforts as both a driver and car owner across multiple racing series. "It's exciting to have Great Clips come on board the No. 5 for 2013," Kahne said. "They've been with me for most of my career, supporting me as a driver and a team owner. It's always great to see a partner step up their program, and I'm looking forward to bringing them their first win in the Sprint Cup Series." Great Clips has utilized NASCAR as a marketing platform since 2000. Its relationships have included sponsorship of Turner Motorsports, which will continue in 2013 with Kahne running select events, and the recent Great Clips 200 race entitlement at Phoenix International Raceway.(HMS)(11-26-2012)
Hendrick seeking first Sprint Cup Series win at Homestead: Hendrick Motorsports has yet to win a Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway despite having five-time Champion Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and some of the top drivers in the sport since the first Sprint Cup Series visit to HMS in 1999. Adding further to this challenge is that fellow Hendrick teammates Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are also winless at Homestead-Miami Speedway. All told Hendrick Motorsports is 0-51 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon has claimed one Homestead-Miami victory but it was in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2000. Four-time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon has yet to win on just two tracks…Kentucky and Homestead-Miami Speedway.(HMS)(11-16-2012)
Rick Hendrick talks business with students: Students filled up Nelson Auditorium Wednesday night when Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, spoke to members of the N.C. State community. Though geared toward students in the University's Poole College of Management, all N.C. State community and business members could attend the event for free as part of the Wells Fargo Executive Series. The series is intended for business leaders at the national and global levels to share with students their approaches to business, as well as the challenges they face in their respective industries, according to PCOM. Hendrick's message was consistent throughout the night — that a successful business entails teamwork, taking care of all people involved in a company, and possessing the willingness to change at any given moment in time. Hendrick said he grew up on a farm unaware of what he wanted to do as an adult, but knowing that it would not be farming. Hendrick said since the age of 8 he raced cars, and learned how to fix farm equipment from his dad.(see full story at CSU Student Media)(11-10-2012)
Great Clips sponsoring Kahne at Texas: Great Clips has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a co-primary sponsor (with Hendrickcars.com) of the #5 Chevy team and Chase contender Kasey Kahne for the Nov. 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. It marks the first Cup-level sponsorship for the world's largest salon brand. Minneapolis-based Great Clips, which has more than 3,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada, has a long history with Kahne. Since 2003, the company has supported his efforts as both a driver and car owner across multiple racing series.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-25-2012)
Diet Mountain Dew cutting back sponsorship of Earnhardt, Jr.: UPDATE: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won't have Diet Mountain Dew as a sponsor for as many races in 2013 as he did in 2012, but he's not worried about Hendrick Motorsports finding sponsors for those races. NASCAR's most popular driver will have sponsorship from the Army National Guard for 20 races next year and Diet Mountain Dew for an unspecified number. Mountain Dew sponsored 16 races this year while another Pepsi product, Amp, sponsored four. The National Guard had 18 races this year. Earnhardt is not worried about having an unsponsored car at Hendrick. The organization has had Hendrickcars.com on Kasey Kahne's car for select races this year when it didn't sell sponsorships. "We have more demand than we have supply pretty much," Earnhardt said. "We've got a majority of the season with the Guard and Diet Mountain Dew is going to back off a little bit and that makes it a bit of a challenge to fill that small of a gap. If it were a bit larger gap, it would be easier to fill."(Sporting News)(9-14-2012)
UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his Hendrick Motorsports team are losing 15 races of sponsorship next season as PepsiCo plans to cut back its sponsorship, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. PepsiCo committed to sponsoring Earnhardt for 20 races in 2012. PepsiCo is working on a $10 million deal with Hendrick Motorsports that would include five races annually with Earnhardt (Diet Mountain Dew and Amp), two races with Jeff Gordon (Pepsi) and one with Kasey Kahne (brand TBA). The beverage company had sponsored Earnhardt and his #88 team for 20 races and Gordon's #24 team for two in each of the past five years. This season, the 20 Earnhardt races were split between Diet Mountain Dew (16 races) and Amp (four races).(Sporting News)(10-22-2012)
Kahne's #5 scheme for Charlotte unveiled as a cake: With the help of pastry chef Duff Goldman, Hendrick Motorsports unveiled Kasey Kahne's new #5 Time Warner Cable Chevy in a unique way on Wednesday night at the team's headquarters. The new paint scheme was first unveiled as a life-size replica cake of the #5 that was made by Goldman and his team out of the Baltimore-based Charm City Cakes. After the curtain was raised, Kahne then drove the real car in and joined Goldman on stage for the ceremonial first cut. See more and an image at Motor Racing Network.(10-11-2012)
Time Warner Cable sponsoring Kahne: Time Warner Cable Inc., among the largest providers of video and Internet services in the United States, will for the first time become a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series after extending its association with Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. The #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet will make its debut in the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where driver Kasey Kahne has four career Sprint Cup wins. In addition, Time Warner Cable will be Kahne's primary sponsor in four Cup races annually in 2013, 2014 and 2015.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-1-2012)
A Yankees Lifer in NASCAR: With 10 championships and 206 victories in 29 seasons of racing, Hendrick Motorsports is sometimes called the Yankees of NASCAR. And now that Hendrick has a Yankees lifer on its staff, it would be hard to argue the point. For those who did not notice, that was Gene Monahan standing alongside team members at the finish line as Jimmie Johnson and his #48 crew celebrated their Sprint Cup victory July 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Yes, Monahan knelt down and kissed those bricks with everyone else as part of the traditional victory celebration there. This is what Monahan, 67, had in mind when he retired as the head trainer of the Yankees last fall after 49 years with the organization. A lifelong racing fan going back to his days growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Monahan moved from his two-bedroom condominium in Hackensack, N.J., to a 3,300-square-foot house near a lake in Mooresville, N.C., last November to be close to most of the teams that compete in NASCAR. Appropriately enough, he became a consultant for Hendrick. Monahan works about 15 hours a week for Hendrick, serving as an athletic trainer for the 45 or so pit crew members employed by the race team. "Why a guy like Gene?" said Andy Papathanassiou, a Hendrick director who oversees the recruiting, development and training of pit crews. "Because as we strive to keep these crews performing at the top level of their game in the pit stop world, injury and recovery is a big part of that equation. And that's where someone like Gene, with his expertise and background and his enthusiasm for what he does, is invaluable." It was a longtime friend, Jay Frye, a former vice president and general manager of the Red Bull race team who became a consultant with Hendrick in January, who suggested Monahan to Hendrick officials. "I always felt there was a need for injury prevention and training, basically the same thing any other professional sports franchise does," Frye said. "There was always an open invitation from me to him, if he retired and moved down here, we would find something for him to do." Monahan began working with Hendrick's pit crews in April. Although he does not work with drivers, he has become friendly with Johnson, an occasional visitor at Yankee Stadium over the years. Monahan said Johnson reminded him of Derek Jeter.(New York Times)(8-24-2012)
NASCAR: Rear housing devices legal: NASCAR officials said mechanical devices the Hendrick Motorsports teams and other organizations in the Sprint Cup Series are using to gain a competitive advantage in the rear housing are legal -- today. "We watch it weekly because it has ramped up the last couple of months,'' series director John Darby said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "If it stays pretty level we'll probably leave it alone the rest of the year. "If there is a higher extreme somebody takes it to that could create issues we don't want to see, then we'll react to that.'' The HMS cars in May were the first this season to develop devices that allow the rear axle to turn slightly to follow the front, creating more speed particularly in the corners. "Where we're at today, right now, there is no illegal procedures going on,'' Darby said. "Obviously, there was one we found Tuesday that was questionable. But the mechanical devices, the way they're using them, there's a clear understanding of what the teams are doing.'' Darby said teams are using different methods to create a "hook and ladder fire truck effect that allows the rear axle to turn so the rear of the car follows the front.'' He said there's nothing in the current rulebook that doesn't allow that, but he didn't rule out that changing in 2013. "It's just a direct everybody has gone to maximize, optimize,'' Darby said. "Right now it's pretty level throughout the garage. If you take the most extreme to the least developed, it's not a huge difference.''(ESPN)(8-24-2012)
Keselowski says Hendrick teams may be bending rules UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski believes Penske Racing's refusal to bend the rules contributed to him not being able to challenge #48-Jimmie Johnson for the lead Sunday Michigan. Johnson was leading Keselowski with six laps remaining when his Hendrick Motorsports engine blew. #16-Greg Biffle won the race and Keselowski finished second. During the race, Keselowski made reference to Hendrick's "tricks" with their cars. Hendrick's Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third and fourth, respectively. The Hendrick cars appear to have different rear suspension setups than other cars, especially at intermediate tracks such as Michigan, Indianapolis and Pocono. "There's part and pieces on the car that are moving after inspection that makes the cars more competitive," Keselowski said after the race. "Some guys have it, some don't. There's a question as to the interpretation of the rule. Penske Racing errs on the safe side because we don't want to be the guys that get the big penalty." Keselowski said Penske will need to re-evaluate its setups. "As a group at Penske Racing, we have not felt comfortable enough to risk that name and reputation that Roger has over those parts and pieces. Others have, which is their prerogative," Keselowski said. "I'm not going to slam it. But it's living in a gray area. … We have to make a re-evaluation of that internally to decide if that's the right way to go."(Sporting News)(8-20-2012)
UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski stressed Thursday night that he wasn't accusing Hendrick Motorsports of cheating with his comments last week at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski said last week that the some teams were using some "tricks" with the rear suspensions on their cars and working within a gray area of the NASCAR rulebook. He said his Penske Racing team has been reluctant to push the envelope in such areas over fear of getting caught cheating. Keselowski said he took great care not to mention Hendrick Motorsports by name last week and has spent the last week on Twitter trying to clarify any misunderstandings. Other competitors in recent weeks have alluded to an advantage Hendrick teams may have with the way they are setting up the rear of their cars.
Keselowski talked to the media Thursday night during an unveiling of a retro paint scheme to honor former Penske driver Rusty Wallace's 50th career victory. Keselowski insisted that he wasn't accusing anyone of cheating. "I didn't appreciate how those words were twisted into calling out a specific team," Keselowski said. "I made it a point to not call out a specific team and I think I said in a sense, 'there is a half-dozen to a dozen cars that are running those things,' and with the exception of maybe the TV broadcast I hadn't pointed out which ones they were."(Sporting News)(8-24-2012)
500th NASCAR start for Kahne: #5-Kasey Kahne will make his 500th NASCAR national series start on Sunday. The breakdown: 308 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; 186 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He has a combined 26 wins in the three series.(NASCAR)(8-2-2012)
Gate City Joins Kahne in Victory Lane: Last month, New Hampshire Motor Speedway held its "Race to Benefit Education" draft at the Legislative Office Building in Concord, N.H. On Sunday, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne won the LENOX Industrial Tools 301, a race that will now benefit the city of Nashua, N.H., with a $20,000 education grant on behalf of zMax and the speedway. Kahne was one of two drivers chosen by school board president Robert Hallowell to represent Nashua, one of 13 cities taking part in "The Magic Mile's" inaugural event. "What an exciting and creative way to offer education aid to our schools," said Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau. The original premise of the "Race to Benefit Education" was to hold a NASCAR-themed draft that paired 26 drivers with 13 city representatives across the Granite State, awarding $20,000 in education grants to the city that chooses the winning driver of the 20th annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301. The cities represented included Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Dover, Franklin, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, Rochester and Somersworth. Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway, picked cities at random from a ping pong ball spinner, with the first pick going to Lebanon. Nashua picked fifth and chose Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski, who finished fifth in Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
Several Nashua employees and families from the Gate City attended the race to cheer Kahne to Victory Lane. As part of the "Race to Benefit Education," each city was awarded tickets for locals to come and cheer their choices.(NHMS)(7-16-2012)
Kahne wins at New Hampshire: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the year and 14th career win.
#11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, $48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #16-Biffle and #39-Newman.
The pole sitter, #18-Busch led 72 laps early until a bad pit stop and speeding penalty early led to a 16th place finish. #11-Hamlin led the most lap at 150 but a mis-communication on the final pit stop when the crew chief thought Hamlin called for four tires instead of two, mired Hamlin in 13th on the restart and he could get to 2nd but not catch Kahne. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 13th and his points lead is down to 16 over #88-Earnhardt Jr.
There were only 3 cautions for 15 yellow flag laps. There were 16 lead changes among 8 drivers. The average speed was 116.226mph.
The estimated attendence was 95,000, the same as in 2011.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the New Hampshire Race Results page (pdf) and the official race and points rundown on the Official Race Report.(7-15/16-2012)
Kahne has a full-time spotter: #5-Kasey Kahne finally has landed on a new full-time spotter in former driver Kevin Hamlin. Hamlin had been at Richard Childress Racing, working as spotter for Clint Bowyer on the Cup side until this year, when he spotted for Ty Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series and Brendan Gaughan in select Nationwide events. Hamlin had done three races for Kahne as Kahne tried out several different spotters over the last three months. Prior to becoming a spotter, Hamlin had 43 career Nationwide starts from 2005-2010 as well as six truck starts. He had a best finish of seventh at Gateway in 2007 driving for Chip Ganassi. "It's nice to have a guy you can trust," Kahne said. "Everyone that has spotted for me has been fine. But there's certain people in the way they talk and the way they see things that you feel a little more comfortable with. I feel really comfortable with Kevin and the information he gives to me and when he gives it and how he gives it, I just feel good about it. Kahne had decided to change spotters in March after being involved in a few wrecks early in the season.(Sporting News)(7-14-2012)
Johnson and Kahne compete in Triathlon: #48-Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports Racing teammate #5-Kasey Kahne were dueling at Daytona Saturday night, and then competing in their first Triathlon on Sunday morning. Along with the over 300 people signed up for the race, the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series played host to the two NASCAR stars and several of their crew members who were working on very little rest.(full story and images at abcnews4.com.(7-11-2012)
HendrickCars.com returns to the #5: Hendrickcars.com returns as a primary partner with the #5 Chevy this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Hendrickcars.com offers 20,000 new and used vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick's personal collection.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(7-5-2012)
Kahne wins at Charlotte: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the year, 4th at Charlotte, 3rd Coca Cola 600, his 1st win for Hendrick Motorsports and his 13th career win.
#11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #16-Biffle [led most laps], #2-Keselowski, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards and #17-Kenseth
Pole sitter, #43-Almirola finished 16th. #10-Danica Patrick finished 30th in her third Sprint Cup start.
There were 5 cautions for 23 yellow flag laps. The race speed average was 156.696mph, the fastest Coca Cola 600 ever.. There were 31 lead changes among 11 drivers.
The estimated attendence was 140,000, down from 145,000 in 2011.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Charlotte Race Results page (pdf) and the official rundown on the Official Race Report.(5-27/28-2012)
Hendrick Motorsports celebrates 200th win: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, team employees, families and other special guests joined together the evening of Tuesday, May 22 at The Fillmore in Charlotte, N.C., to celebrate the organization's 200th victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Country music superstar Brad Paisley played a private show for an audience of more than 1,100, which included past and present Hendrick Motorsports drivers.
Hendrick Motorsports Sprint Cup winners who attended the event: Geoff Bodine, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Jerry Nadeau, Joe Nemechek, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, and Darrell Waltrip. Tim Richmond was represented by his sister, Sandy Welsh.
Current Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne was in attendance, along with winning drivers from the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series: Brett Bodine, Jack Sprague and Tony Stewart.(HMS)(5-25-2012)
Kahne to run WoO race tonight: NASCAR driver #5-Kasey Kahne has added his name to the entry list for Friday's Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25. A former USAC Midget champion, Kahne has stayed true to his short-track roots, forming a World of Outlaws team with full-time drivers Joey Saldana and Cody Darrah and part-time driver Brad Sweet. All three will compete in Friday's race, along with Kahne and a full slate of other WoO standouts, including Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser. Reserved seats to the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown are $25 for adults and $10 for children 13 and under. For just $15, fans 14 and older can upgrade their ticket to include a pit pass. Spectator gates open at 4 p.m.(CMS Pit Notes)(5-25-2012)
#300 for Kahne: Kasey Kahne is set to make his 300th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when he lines up for Sunday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The driver of the #5 Quaker State Chevy has started every Cup event since making his Series debut at the 2004 Daytona 500, and he ranks 12th among active Cup drivers with 299 consecutive starts. This weekend, Kahne's Chevrolet will carry a special decal over the door to commemorate the milestone event.(HMS)(5-24-2012)
Hendrick Motorsports 200th Cup Win: With Jimmie Johnson's win Saturday night in the #48 Lowe's Kobalt Tools Chevy at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports recorded its 200th points-paying victory in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, marking a major milestone for the organization and car owner Rick Hendrick.
STAT LEADER: When it comes to NASCAR's modern era (1972-present), Hendrick Motorsports leads all Sprint Cup teams in wins (200), top-five finishes (818), top-10s (1,352) and pole positions (181). Hendrick is NASCAR's all-time leader in poles and top-10s, while ranking behind only Petty Enterprises in Cup wins. The Petty team recorded 268 Cup victories in more than half a century of competition. Hendrick Motorsports' first season was 1984.
MILESTONE WINS: Hendrick Motorsports' first win came April 29, 1984, at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with Geoff Bodine at the wheel. Jeff Gordon notched the team's 50th on March 24, 1996, at Darlington Raceway and its 100th on June 10, 2001, at Michigan International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson scored the 150th Cup win for Hendrick Motorsports on March 11, 2007, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
FIRST-TIME WINNERS: Eight drivers recorded their first career Cup wins while driving for car owner Rick Hendrick: Bodine, Kyle Busch, Gordon, Johnson, Casey Mears, Jerry Nadeau, Ken Schrader and Brian Vickers. Gordon and Johnson have raced for Hendrick for their entire Cup careers.
DRIVERS AND TRACKS: Since being founded in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has sent 15 Cup drivers to Victory Lane at 25 different racetracks (see full lists below). The organization has scored double-digit Cup wins at nine tracks, including a team record 18 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Hendrick has won at four inactive Cup racetracks: Nashville, Tenn., North Wilkesboro, N.C., Riverside, Calif., and Rockingham, N.C.
WINNING WAYS: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 28 straight seasons (1986-2012), the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Bodine won Hendrick's first Daytona 500. Bodine won three races in 1984 before scoring three runner-up finishes but no wins in 1985.
TWO LEFT: There are only two active tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit where Hendrick Motorsports has yet to reach Victory Lane. Those venues are Homestead-Miami Speedway, which hosts the Sprint Cup season finale, and the newly added Kentucky Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-12-2012)
Drive to End Hunger Charlotte 1 Million Coming to Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest: NASCAR fans and volunteers will be able to compete alongside Hendrick Motorsports pit crews in meal packaging races on May 25 through the Drive to End Hunger Charlotte 1 Million.
As part of its upcoming Fan Fest, Hendrick Motorsports is hosting the last stage of the Charlotte 1 Million. AARP Foundation's week-long series of volunteer-driven events will package and donate one million meals to help hungry older North Carolinians. Up to 200 volunteers will be needed to help package an expected 50,000 meals on the Hendrick Motorsports campus. Twelve lucky volunteers will win the opportunity to package meals alongside pit crew members from the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, #48 Lowe's Chevrolet and #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet as they compete in head-to-head races.
The centerpiece of the Charlotte 1 Million will be a two-day meal packaging event at the Charlotte Convention Center on May 24-25, where volunteers will be able to see and work alongside stars including four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, tennis legend Martina Navratilova, host of "CBS NFL Today" James "JB" Brown, Miss Sprint Cup and others.
With two weeks left until the event starts, the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet will race in Darlington this weekend with a paint scheme that includes the Charlotte 1 Million logo on the TV panel and rear quarter panels. The TV panel will also promote DrivetoEndHunger.org/Meals, where fans can visit to find additional information and sign up to volunteer.(AARP/Drive to End Hunger)(5-12-2012)
Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest May 25th: Hendrick Motorsports will host a fan appreciation day on Friday, May 25 during Charlotte Motor Speedway race weeks. The Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest will be held at the team's Concord facility and feature an array of family-friendly activities, including scheduled appearances by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Free and open to the public, the Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest will run from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. ET.
In addition to driver appearances, the Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest will feature activities for children, interactive sponsor displays, food vendors and a stage with live music and question-and-answer sessions. The Hendrick Motorsports crew chiefs and teams will be on hand for autographs and athletic demonstrations.
Throughout the event, the Hendrick Motorsports Museum and Team Store will offer merchandise discounts and feature special displays. Fans will be invited to visit the race shops of Kahne, Gordon, Johnson and Earnhardt, who are scheduled to take questions and be available for autograph sessions.
Autograph session wristbands will be distributed at 11 a.m. the day of the event on a first come, first served basis. A maximum number of 225 wristbands will be available for each driver (one autographed item per wristband; one wristband per person).
Fan Fest parking will not be available on the Hendrick Motorsports campus. Free parking will be at Lot Z off Bruton Smith Boulevard in Concord, courtesy of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Shuttles will offer roundtrip transportation to Hendrick Motorsports from Lot Z beginning at 9 a.m.
More Hendrick Motorsports Fan Fest information -- including maps, parking directions, schedules, autograph session details and additional event announcements -- will be available at www.HendrickMotorsports.com/FanFest and via social media.(HMS)(5-12-2012)
Hendrick in longest winless streak since 2002: More than a decade has passed since Hendrick Motorsports slogged through this kind of drought. Back in 2001, Hendrick went the final eight races without a win. Then in 2002, the squad went the first nine winless. That 17-race drought ranks as the team's sixth-longest in an NSCS history that began in 1984. The seventh longest? This one. Right here, right now. Sixteen races have passed since Hendrick's last win, but one of its top tracks awaits - Darlington Raceway. Hendrick has 13 victories at The Track Too Tough To Tame, most by any owner all-time. On Hendrick's personal wins list, Darlington ranks tied for third with Dover behind only Martinsville (18) and Charlotte (16).(NASCAR)(5-9-20120)
Rockwell Tools to sponsor Kahne at Darlington: Through its Rockwell Tools brand, Positec Tool Corp., a global company that manufactures and markets power tools and lawn and garden equipment, will serve as primary sponsor of the #5 Chevy driven by Kasey Kahne for the Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. It will mark Rockwell Tools' first sponsorship of a Sprint Cup team. Rockwell Tools recently sponsored Kahne's Camping World Truck Series entry when NASCAR returned to Rockingham Speedway for the first time since 2004.(Hendrick Motorsports)(5-7-2012)
Kahne featured in public service advertisements about texting: Sixty percent of young adult drivers (16-24) said they have texted while driving, according to a national survey released by the Ad Council. To educate young adult drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies, and the Ad Council revealed new public service advertisements featuring #5-Kasey Kahne. NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving. Created pro bono by advertising agency RPA, the television, radio and digital PSAs remind young adult drivers that it is dangerous to do anything that takes your attention away from the road and serve as a reminder to leave the risky driving to the professionals. The PSAs direct audiences to StopTextsStopWrecks.org, a website where teens and young adults can find facts about the impact of texting while driving and tips for how to curb the behavior.(PR)(5-4-2012)
Earnhardt Jr., Kahne and Stewart to guest on The Cleveland Show: NASCAR stars #88-Dale Earnhart Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne and #14-Tony Stewart will guest-voice on Fox's The Cleveland Show next season. In the episode, Cleveland (voiced Mike Henry) convinces Donna (voiced Sanaa Lathan) to lighten up and have a few drinks when she takes her run for local office way too seriously. "Unfortunately, they party way too hard - and wake up on the infield of a NASCAR track. It's up to guest stars Earnhardt, Jr., Stewart and Kahne to race Donna and Cleveland home," executive producer Rich Appel says.(TV Guide)(4-27-2012)
Another spotter for Kahne: #5-Kasey Kahne is still searching for the best spotter for his Hendrick Motorsports program as he will use his third different spotter of the year when he starts the STP 400 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway and plans to work with a fourth sometime next month. Kahne replaced longtime spotter Kole Kahne (his cousin) with former #24-Jeff Gordon spotter Shannon McGlammery after the fifth race of the season. That tryout was designed for two races (Martinsville and Texas) and now Kahne will use Richard Childress Racing spotter Kevin Hamlin the next three weeks. "(Hamlin) is just spotting for a few weeks and someone else will spot after that," Kahne said Saturday at Kansas Speedway. "That's kind of where we're at right now."(Sporting News)(4-22-2012)
Hendrick's Returns To Site 199th - And Last - Win and: Thirteen races have passed since Hendrick Motorsports last victory, and though it doesn't seem like a big number, for Hendrick it is. Its last win came at Kansas Speedway (by Jimmie Johnson), site of Sunday race. That's the longest drought Hendrick has had since the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003 when it went 15 races without a win. Coincidentally, that streak began after a Kansas win as well. Rick Hendrick has attended all 13 races since then but hasn't been able to celebrate his organization's 200th win in NASCAR's premier series. Hendrick holds more wins than any other owner at Kansas with four.(NASCAR)(4-18-2012)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports will reach and surpass its 3,000th Cup start when its teams line up for Sunday's race at Kansas. The organization, which is the first to reach the start milestone in Cup history, will leave Kansas with 3,003 career starts.(HMS)(4-19-20012)
Kahne wins at the Rock: Kasey Kahne capped a successful weekend of triple-duty Sunday afternoon, winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 to mark NASCAR's return to Rockingham Speedway for the first time since 2004. Kahne -- who finished seventh in the Sprint Cup Series on Saturday and third in the Nationwide Series on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway -- surged to the front in the 155th lap of 200 to notch his fourth win in five starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. James Buescher finished second with Matt Crafton third. Brad Sweet qualified the #4 truck fifth, but Kahne had to start at the rear of the field because of the driver change. John King's grasp on the series' points lead fizzled early in the race, when he spun and nosed into the inside wall on the backstretch on Lap 4 to bring out the race's first caution. King returned to the track after repairs, but wound up completing finishing 33rd (NASCAR Wire Service). See more as it becomes available on the Jayski Truck Series site.(4-15-2012)
Kahne gets new spotter: Kasey Kahne will have a new voice on his radio this weekend as Shannon McGlamery takes over spotting duties for the #5 Hendrick Motorsports driver. Kole Kahne, Kasey's cousin, has been the driver's longtime spotter. But after Kahne was involved in an accident two weeks ago at Bristol, his spotter came under question. A source familiar with the situation said Kahne wanted to try something new. McGlamery has served as a spotter for Jeff Gordon and as a mechanic at Hendrick.(Fox Sports)(3-30-2012)
UPDATE: Kahne discussed his spotter change Friday at Martinsville.
IS SHANNON (MCGLAMERY) SPOTTING FOR YOU ALL WEEKEND? IT LOOKED LIKE THAT WOULD BE A REACTION TO WHAT HAPPENED AT BRISTOL. IS IT? ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE A CHANGE?
"No, I would say it is something I wanted to do, something different. I was a little unpleased after California. We are just looking at something for a couple of week. We are going to see after Texas. We are going to sit down and decide if that is the direction I want to go or if I feel comfortable with Kole (Kahne) doing it again or what. I'm going to wait. I'm going to do two weeks with someone else and then decide after Texas what I want to do."
SO WHO ARE GOING TO USE THE TWO WEEKS?
"I'm using Shannon (McGlamery) for the next two weeks then I'm going to decide what I am going to do from there. It's just a couple of week deal."(Chevy PR)(3-31-2012)
HendrickCars.com on #5: Hendrickcars.com, which returns as a primary partner with the #5-Kasey Kahne Chevy this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, will open its first physical retail location on Monday, April 2, in Charlotte, N.C. The dealership, located at 9029 South Boulevard, brings the online inventory of Hendrickcars.com to the offline shopper in a retail facility. Hendrickcars.com offers 20,000 new and used vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick's personal collection. A second Hendrickcars.com physical location will open later this month in Hickory, N.C.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(3-30-2012)
Kahne says knees are better: While #5-Kasey Kahne hasn't had much to smile about this season, he can smile about two things: His left knee and his right knee. Kahne had arthroscopic surgery for a partial medial meniscus removal in his left knee about seven weeks ago in Charlotte. In April 2011, Kahne had the procedure done on his right meniscus. He also had surgery on both knees in December 2010 to repair a condition known as "plica syndrome," the result of a buildup of tissue in the knees. "They're really good," Kahne said Tuesday during an appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I started running last week. I'm kind of slow-paced for what I'm used to. My right knee is perfect. It feels great. It's the best it's felt in two years and my left knee is not there yet, but it's on its way."(Scene Daily)(3-28-2012)
Kahne makes Quaker State debut at ACS: Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 Quaker State Chevy for the first time this season during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Quaker State has partnered with Hendrick Motorsports for 17 years and played a role in nine Sprint Cup Series championships and 151 race victories with the organization. The #5 also will carry the Quaker State colors at Charlotte in May, Kentucky in June and Richmond in September (HMS)(3-22-2012)
Kahne close to picking up new sponsor: Hendrick Motorsports is close to finalizing a nine-race primary sponsorship with Trina Solar, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer, for its #5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevy. The deal will see Trina appear on Kasey Kahne's car at nine races this season. Financial terms of the agreement weren't available. Trina Solar executives could not be reached before deadline. Hendrick Motorsports was unavailable for comment.(Sporting News / Sports Business Journal)(3-6-2012)
Hendrickcars.com to sponsor three NASCAR teams: HendrickCars.com will sponsor three NASCAR teams in select races in early 2012. The sponsorships will promote the new-look retail automotive website, which re-launched Feb. 1, and coincide with the HendrickCars.com "2012 Indy Dream Weekend" sweepstakes. The program will kick off during Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., with primary sponsorship of #51 Phoenix Racing and 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in the Feb. 25 Nationwide Series race and Feb. 26 Daytona 500. It will continue with primary sponsorship of JR Motorsports and driver #88-Cole Whitt in the March 17 Nationwide event at Bristol. In addition, HendrickCars.com will be a major associate sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing #33 Chevy with driver Elliott Sadler in NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500. "Last year's Daytona 500 broadcast alone averaged more than 15 million viewers, and we expect 2012 will be even stronger," said Rick Hendrick, Chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, which owns HendrickCars.com. "Combined with our sponsorship in the Nationwide Series, that's tens of millions of people seeing our brand, hearing our message and then visiting HendrickCars.com. We wanted to showcase the new site, and there's no more effective marketing tool than NASCAR."
"We're proud to have HendrickCars.com as our primary sponsor for both races in Daytona," said James Finch, Owner of Phoenix Racing. "The Hendrick people know how well sponsorships like this work when they're done the right way. Daytona is a big opportunity for our team to build some positive momentum to start the season. Having a sponsor for Speedweeks means a lot to us, and we're going to do everything we can to put HendrickCars.com up front." In 2011, HendrickCars.com was a sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, who competes full-time in the NASCAR K&N Series East. HendrickCars.com will continue to support Elliott in 2012, along with having associate sponsor placement on the #5 Chevy of Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne throughout the entire Sprint Cup Series season.(RCR PR) see images of a couple of the Hendrickcars.com schemes on my #5 Team Schemes page and #51 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2012)
Kahne undergoes knee surgery: Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne will be ready for the Feb. 18 Budweiser Shootout, the Feb. 26 Daytona 500 and all of Daytona Speedweeks after undergoing successful outpatient knee surgery this morning. Kahne, driver of the #5 Chevy, had an MRI Thursday after experiencing swelling in his left knee. The MRI revealed a torn meniscus, which was treated this morning with a partial medial meniscus removal. Following the common arthroscopic procedure, he was released from an outpatient facility in Charlotte, N.C. Kahne will practice, qualify and race throughout NASCAR's season-opening Speedweeks, and Hendrick Motorsports has no plans to have a backup driver on standby in Daytona Beach, Fla. In April 2011, Kahne had a procedure on his right meniscus and earned a third-place finish the following race at Richmond, Va.(Hendrick Motorsports)(2-10-2012)
2013 cars to be tested at Homestead: UPDATES: All four 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car models are scheduled to be tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway February 1st…in a test that will apparently be closed. That may be the first time crewmen get to see all four models. Why is NASCAR, and its big marketing operation, taking such seemingly a low-keyed approach? Apparently because the sanctioning body has not yet 'aero-matched' the four models in the wind tunnel. Ford is billing its new model as a Fusion (not Mustang, as once planned), and when the car maker officially unveiled its 2013 street version, it was then free to take the wraps off the NASCAR version – which is decidedly different from the current Sprint Cup model, the still controversial and not greatly liked by many car-of-tomorrow. Chevrolet, for example, still hasn't officially named its model for its 2013 NASCAR Cup racer.(MikeMulhern.net)(1-25-2012)
UPDATE: #5-Kasey Kahne tweeted that he will be participating in the test. No other drivers have been announced.(2-1-2012)
UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), and Sam Hornish, Jr. (Dodge) are also participating.(PRN Garage Pass)(2-1-2012)
Frye ends up at Hendrick UPDATE: Hearing that former Red Bull Racing General Manager and Vice President Jay Frye is now working at Hendrick Motorsports as a consultant in a variety of roles.(1-4-2012)
UPDATE: Jay Frye and Rick Hendrick have been friends since the 1980s, when Frye was a rep for first Budweiser and then Valvoline, and Hendrick was an ambitious car dealer trying to gain a toehold in NASCAR. So when Red Bull Racing closed its doors at the end of 2011, it made sense that Frye, the former team's vice president and general manager, would turn to Hendrick. On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Frye will work with the team as a consultant for 2012, focusing on business development. "Jay is one of the most well-connected people in the sport, and he's going to be a great resource to help develop strong partnerships," said Marshall Carlson, president of Hendrick Motorsports. "We've known him for a long time, so there's an immense level of trust and respect between us. The opportunity to work with Jay again and have the benefit of his experience is something we're excited about." In NASCAR parlance, "business development" means helping the team find sponsorship and build relationship with sponsors. Frye's long friendship with Hendrick, as well as his familiarity with former Red Bull driver Kasey Kahne should benefit the team hugely in that department.(SPEED)(1-5-2012)
Evernham settles lawsuit with Gillett: Ray Evernham has settled his lawsuit against George Gillett over money owed from the 2007 sale of his Sprint Cup organization. Evernham, the former owner of Evernham Motorsports and a three-time Cup champion as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports, was seeking $19 million from Gillett. The case was settled outside of court and dismissed last week. No details of the settlement were released.(ESPN)(1-3-2012)
GoDaddy.com is scheduled to sponsor the car for 21 races in 2011:
Bud Shootout, Daytona - 2/12
Daytona 500 - 2/20
Phoenix - 2/27
Las Vegas - 3/6
Bristol - 3/20
Auto Club - 3/27
Texas - 4/9
Richmond - 4/30
Darlington - 5/7
Dover - 5/15
Michigan - 6/19
Kentucky - 7/9
New Hampshire - 7/17
Pocono - 8/7
Watkins Glen - 8/14
Chicago - 9/18
New Hampshire - 9/26
Dover - 10/2
Charlotte - 10/15
Talladega - 10/23
Phoenix - 11/13
Quaker State is scheduled to sponsor the car for 4 races in 2011:
Martinsville - 4/3
Indianapolis - 7/31
Richmond - 9/10
Homestead - 11/20
Carquest is scheduled to sponsor the car for 8 races in 2011:
Talladega - 4/17
Charlotte - 5/29
Daytona - 7/2
Michigan - 8/21
Atlanta - 9/4
Kansas - 10/9
Martinsville - 10/30
Texas - 11/6
Farmers Insurance to sponsor the car in the following races in 2011:
Sprint All-Star Race, Charlotte - 5/21, using the #25
Kansas - 6/5
Pocono - 6/12
Infineon - 6/26
Bristol - 8/27
Kahne sorry for breastfeeding comments: #5-Kasey Kahne has apologized for comments he made on his Twitter account about public breastfeeding. According to multiple media reports, Kahne posted messages on his account that he saw a mother breastfeeding a child in a supermarket, calling it "nasty" and saying he didn't "feel like shopping any more or eating." After apparently deleting the offending posts from his Twitter feed, Kahne posted an apology on his Facebook page Wednesday, saying it wasn't his intention "to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breast feeding children. I want to make that clear." Kahne said he understands his comments were "offensive to some people" and apologized.(AP, see many posts about this on the Article Links page)(12-30-2011)
Rick Hendrick talks to media: Rick Hendrick held a teleconference Monday and discussed a wide variety of issues:
About Darian Grubb:
A: I have had discussions with Darian. When he left (at the end of 2008), we told him we'd always have a place for him if he wanted to come back. Darian is a very smart guy. I know he's entertaining a lot of offers out there. We don't have a crew chief role. We have an engineering role that we think Darian would be really good in. But at the end of the day it's got to be what Darian wants to do. I know he is close to all of our people and our guys are close to him. We'd love to have him back in the organization, but I quite honestly don't know where he's going to end up. We would like to have him, but whether or not he's going to decide he wants to be in the role we've offered him or he wants to do something somewhere else, I'm just not sure.
Crew chiefs for 2012:
A: Yes. [All teams will have the] Same crew chief-driver combination.
The plane wreck:
A: We were going into Key West (Fla.), and some kind of failure with the brakes, and we went off the end of the runway. Of course, you don't remember everything exactly how it happened, but somehow, my seat belt was on, and something came lose in the seat itself. I hit the bulkhead and my wife. I think my chest and head went into the seat in front of me, and that's where I got my (broken) ribs and had a concussion. Broke four ribs and my clavicle. We were very fortunate. We were glad that it wasn't any worse than it was. We're healing up, and we don't have any of the answers yet on exactly what happened there, but a lot of smart people are involved, so we'll get that figured out here pretty soon, I hope.(Chevy PR)(11-29-2011)
Rick Hendrick released from hospital: According to Hendrick Motorsports, "Happy to report Mr. Hendrick is now resting at home. He was released from the hospital [Monday] afternoon.(11-8-2011)
Martin to MWR, Reutimann out. UPDATES: The puzzle pieces for the 2012 season continue to fall into place with the latest speculation putting Mark Martin in the Michael Waltrip Racing stable for a partial schedule next year. #56-Martin Truex Jr. will return to drive MWR's NAPA Toyota with newcomer Clint Bowyer coming on board in a partner Toyota entry carrying 5-Hour Energy sponsorship for the bulk of the campaign. Sponsorship for the #00 entry driven by David Reutimann will not be in place for the entire 2012 schedule opening the door for Martin to take over and compete on a partial basis. Michael Waltrip Racing has an announcement planned Friday at Texas Motor Speedway where it is expected the team's firm 2012 plans will be unveiled.(CBS Sports)(11-1-2011)
UPDATE: Mark Martin is expected to drive a part-time 2012 Sprint Cup schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in the #00 Toyota currently driven by David Reutimann, multiple sources close to the situation confirmed Tuesday. Sources said team owner Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, likely will drive all or a portion of the four restrictor-plate races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. MWR's lineup for 2012 will be Martin, recently signed Clint Bowyer from Richard Childress Racing, and Martin Truex Jr. Sources said an announcement could come Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, where MWR has a 10:30 a.m. local time news conference scheduled. MWR officials declined to comment. Reutimann, attending the SEMA Auto Show for Toyota, would neither confirm nor deny the information. "Talk to Michael," Reutimann told ESPN.com, referring to his owner.(ESPN)(11-1-2011)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that driver David Reutimann will not return to the team for the 2012 season. Team officials notified Reutimann this week. "David has been a significant part of Michael Waltrip Racing since the very beginning and will forever be a part of our heritage," said Co-Owner Michael Waltrip. "We want to thank David for his contribution to our growth and success over the past five years and wish him well in the future." Reutimann will remain with the team for the final three races of the 2011 season.(MWR)(11-3-2011)
UPDATE 3: Michael Waltrip Racing announced it has hired Mark Martin to share in driving duties of the #00 Toyota and extended its 30-race sponsorship with Aaron's, Inc. through the 2013 Sprint Cup season. Martin will drive in 25 Sprint Cup events each of the next two seasons, sharing the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine with Michael Waltrip, who will drive five events with Aaron's sponsorship. Martin will join Martin Truex Jr. and recently acquired Clint Bowyer in the MWR stable next season. Martin will begin his tenure with MWR at the 2012 Daytona 500. Waltrip will run the remaining restrictor plate races plus the race in his home state of Kentucky. MWR plans to run a combination of drivers and sponsor partners to fill the remaining races when Martin and Waltrip are not behind the wheel.(MWR)(11-4-2011)
UPDATE 4: Before qualifying sixth for Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas, Reutimann told reporters "it's a bad time to be out of a job" in NASCAR. "I'm just struggling a little bit with it," said Reutimann, who had signed a multiyear extension last July after winning at Chicagoland Speedway. "You've just got to wonder if it's worth it in the long run. I don't know.' The alternative is not doing it at all and that's not a great alternative to have. I want it worse than anybody that's ever set foot in this garage and I still do. I can still win races, I can still get the job done. Let's not forget last year that we were able to win and actually had a shot at making it in the Chase. That's only been a year ago. I can still do that if I can get into the right situation. It's unfortunate that things worked out like they did."(USA Today)(11-5-2011)
NTSB issues preliminary report on Hendrick plane crash: The plane carrying Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and his wife, Linda, crossed a 600-foot overrun, impacted the far side of a ditch, crossed a dirt road, cleared another ditch and came to a stop 820 feet from the departure end of the runway when the brakes failed Monday in Key West, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB preliminary report, released Thursday evening, said the Gulfstream G150, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries, sustained "substantial damage" after it lost its brakes and the nose landing gear collapsed. The flight originated in Stuart, Fla., at 7 p.m. and the accident happened at 7:40 p.m. The NTSB will continue its investigation and considers all of its current findings "preliminary" until its investigation is complete.(Scene Daily)(10-5-2011)
Rick Hendrick's plane runs off runway: UPDATES: Early Monday evening, a Gulfstream G150 aircraft operated by Hendrick Motorsports ran off the runway after experiencing braking issues upon landing at Key West International Airport in Key West, Fla. There were no serious injuries to any of the four people on board, including two pilots, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and his wife, Linda Hendrick. All four were taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Hendrick Motorsports is gathering additional information on the incident.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-31-2011)
UPDATE: A private G150 Gulfstream jet containing four people missed the runway while landing at Key West International Airport and ran into the salt ponds at 7:45 p.m. No one was seriously injured. The airplane was co-owned by Jimmie Johnson Racing II Inc. and Hendrick Motorsports LLC of Charlotte, N.C. Some officials said it did not appear that the NASCAR driver was on board, but that has not been officially confirmed. Everyone was taken by ambulance to Lower Keys Medical Center for evaluation. Only two complained of injuries: one for neck pain and one for shortness of breath/heart palpitations, according to Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin. There were two pilots and two passengers, but it was unclear who was injured. The airport was closed for about an hour, but has reopened. Some fuel spilled, but it was unknown how much. (Key West News)
AND Jenna Fryer, of the Associated Press, posted a photo from the sheriff's office.(10-31-2011)
UPDATE 2: A small jet carrying the owner of NASCAR's top team and his wife lost its brakes and crash landed at a Key West, Fla., airport Monday evening, and the couple suffered minor injuries, officials said. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the pilot and co-pilot radioed that the plane had no brakes upon landing in Key West. Horton said the plane ran off the runway, and then 100 feet beyond a 600-foot safety area that was finished in May. "If we hadn't done that, it likely would have been a different story," Horton said of the safety area that is meant as a runway overrun space. The National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-1-2011)
UPDATE 3: All four people on board - Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, his wife, Linda Hendrick, and two Hendrick Motorsports pilots - were released from Lower Keys Medical Center early Tuesday morning. Rick Hendrick was diagnosed with a broken rib and a broken clavicle, and Linda Hendrick was treated for minor cuts and bruises. Both pilots were evaluated and released without injury. All four have safely returned to North Carolina. The aircraft, which is joint-owned by Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson Racing, remains in Key West.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-1-2011)
UPDATE 4: Upon returning home to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Mr. Hendrick was further evaluated as a precautionary measure by his personal physician. He was diagnosed with four broken ribs (previously stated as one broken rib), a broken clavicle (as previously stated) and bruising. No other injuries have been identified. Due to discomfort from the injuries, Mr. Hendrick was admitted Tuesday afternoon to a medical facility in the Charlotte area, where doctors believe the pain can most effectively be managed. He is in good spirits and is expected to be released by the end of the week.
Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports: "Linda and I have been overwhelmed by all the words of encouragement and genuine concern we've received. We are blessed to have such a wonderful support system, and our family is extremely grateful for the thoughts and prayers. We extend our sincere thanks to everyone. I'm so proud of how our pilots handled the situation, and we're extremely appreciative of the folks in Key West who went above and beyond to help us. It's good to be back in Charlotte as we regroup and focus on our family."(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-2-2011)
CARQUEST returns to the #5: CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major partner with the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy since 2005, will be back on the hood this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for its eighth and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #5 team paint schemes page.(11-2-2011)
CARQUEST returns to the #5: CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major partner with the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy since 2005, will be back on the hood this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for its seventh Sprint Cup Series race of the season. CARQUEST's final race of the 2011 season will be next Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #5 team paint schemes page.(10-27-2011)
Martin still has no ride for 2012: from a post qualifying press conference with #5-Mark Martin, winner of the pole at Talladega Superspeedway:
Q) CAN YOU UPDATE US ON YOUR PLANS FOR 2012, COULD THIS BE YOUR LAST TALLADEGA CUP RACE?
Martin: "(Laughs) don't start that last, last, it could be last, don't even go there and please don't even go there. I don't know about that, and we do not need to touch on the Talladega part, I don't have anything, although I did answer a question last week which got a lot of talk going, and I should have probably not answered the question, it was a fan at a hospitality, that asked would I be driving next year and I said yes, and I have a lot of confidence and the only full schedule that I have been considering is the truck schedule, but nationwide racing, cup racing would be more of a limited schedule, like I did in 2007 and 2008, that is where my heart is at, and with the things that are starting to move, there is starting to be a little bit of movement going on, I am confident that I will be racing and that was the answer and that caused a little bit of things to get ruffled up, I don't have anything and it has been extremely quiet throughout the year and it is very late in the season, but there is still going to be something happening and sponsorship things that are going to happen, they are just going to happen later in the year and we have seen in the past and what I do is sponsorship driven and I think you guys know that. It is sponsorship driven, where I land and what I do. No news yet, but I was asked quite a while back, and people kind of smirked when I said it and probably thought I was being a smart aleck, and they said when do you want to have, when do you expect to have or whatever, and I said November or December, and I am still, not going to miss that by much. I am still hoping it is November or December and not January."(Team Chevy)(10-23-2011)
Kahne gets in Hendrick #5 for first time: Kasey Kahne climbed from the non-descript gray car, dusted off his non-descript firesuit noticeably lacking in sponsorship decoration, and smiled. His first day in the #5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports had gone well. One of 11 drivers permitted to participate in an electronic fuel-injection (EFI) engine test for NASCAR on Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne said he thoroughly enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the car he will begin driving full-time in the Sprint Cup Series next season. "There were more differences than I expected. But then I thought back to Red Bull, and how much different that was from the prior year [at Richard Petty Motorsports], and how the cars are. It's all little things, but they keep adding up and it kind of takes time to kind of figure out that feel."(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2011)
Martin confident he will have a ride in 2012: #5-Mark Martin said before Saturday night's race at Charlotte that he's feeling better about running a partial Cup schedule next year. Martin was asked in a hospitality appearance before the race if he'll be racing. "I said, 'Yes for sure,' " Martin said. "I don't have a team yet. I have nothing. They asked me if I was going to be driving and they're all worried I'm not going to be driving. I am going to be driving. I will be in the Cup series for a limited schedule. I won't be in the Cup series fulltime. There's nothing new. I don't have a deal. But I will have. A month ago, I could have told you I don't know if I'll have (one). I'm feeling sure that I will because things are starting to move. There wasn't anything moving before. I see some movement. I feel confident this is going to work out well." Tony Stewart has expressed interest in having Martin run the races Danica Patrick does not in her limited Cup schedule next year. There could be other options in the garage with younger drivers. Much of it is dependent on sponsorship for those teams.(Virginian-Pilot)(10-16-2011)
Carquest welcomes guests: As winners of the Carquest Auto Parts Professional Choice sweepstakes, Michael Zimmerman, owner of T&T Tire and Auto Center in Columbus, Ga., and his daughter Michelle will serve as honorary crew members on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team and Mark Martin this weekend. They will be joined by Tim Downey and Jason Barker who work at Carquest Auto Parts in Columbus, Zimmerman's servicing store.(HMS)(10-8-2011)
Kahne to test the #5 car at Charlotte: Kasey Kahne revealed following the Bank of America Motorsports Career Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday that he will test for the first time in the #5 Chevy he will drive next year for Hendrick Motorsports on that Monday following the Saturday night Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne [current driver of the #4 Red Bull Toyota] said he will receive his first opportunity to drive his car of the future during a fuel-injection test at CMS. He also said he expects it to be his only opportunity to test in the car before moving from Red Bull to Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season. "I'm going to get into the 5 for the Charlotte test the Monday after the race. That'll be the first time I've been in one of those cars. That will be the first and maybe the only chance I'll get in those [fuel-injection] tests that are coming up," Kahne said. Kahne said the #4 car he currently drives will not be included in the limited group of cars testing on Oct. 17, so there was no conflict with his current team. He also said the test will be conducted under the watchful eyes of current and future crew chief Kenny Francis, who will be making the jump from Red Bull to Hendrick with him at the end of the season.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2011)
HMS teams running 9/11 decals at Richmond: In remembrance of Sept. 11, all four Hendrick Motorsports Chevys will carry a special decal at Richmond. The black, white and gray decal features the phrase, "Never Forget 9.11 2001-2011" and will be placed on the roof near each driver's name on the car: #5-Martin, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt Jr.(HMS)(9-9-2011)
Quaker State colors for Martin at Richmond: Quaker State will adorn the hood of the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy of Mark Martin for the fourth and final time this season on Saturday night at Richmond. Quaker State, a partner of Hendrick Motorsports since 1996, will return to the #5 Chevy for four NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012 when Kasey Kahne takes over the ride.(HMS), see images of the car/scheme on the #5 Team Schemes Page.(9-9-2011)
Stewart would like to have Martin but: Could Mark Martin be driving for Tony Stewart next year? Stewart would like it. Martin has stated that he's looking for a part-time ride in Cup next year after he moves on from his Hendrick Motorsports ride after this season (Kasey Kahne takes over that ride next year). Danica Patrick is scheduled to run eight to 10 races in a third entry for Stewart's team, Stewart-Haas Racing. Pairing Patrick and Martin could give Patrick an additional mentor, besides Stewart, and also give the team a driver to run the remaining races Patrick doesn't. "I would love to have him," Stewart said of Martin. "The biggest thing is us getting the financial backing to run the remainder of those races. I would love nothing more than Mark in all the races that Danica doesn't run next year. I've been a Mark Martin fan for a long time and trust me I would love nothing more than to have Mark in one of our cars."(Roanoke Times)(9-5-2011)
Farmers 2012 car unveiled: the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy that Kasey Kahne will drive for Hendrick Motorsports in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was unveiled. Kahne designed the paint scheme himself. "I hope you guys like my 2012 Farmers paint scheme," Kahne said. "It was cool to be a part of the process, and I appreciate Farmers letting me have some input on the car design."
"The new design is a winner," said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. "We are so pleased Kasey took such an active role in the redesign, and we think it represents our partnership well: it's dynamic, it's fresh and full of energy."(HMS), see an image of the scheme on the 2012 #5 Team Schemes page.(8-26-2011)
Farmers Insurance returns to the #5: Farmers Insurance returns to the hood of the #5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will mark Farmers final race of the 2011 season before coming on board as the primary sponsor on the #5 team in 2012. The 2012 #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet will be unveiled layer-by-layer this week on HendrickMotorsports.com. Each day at 12 p.m. ET, a new layer of the Chevy's paint scheme, designed by 2012 driver Kasey Kahne, will be revealed. The final, complete scheme will go live at noon on Friday.(HMS)(8-25-2011)
Evernham returning to NASCAR garage: Former championship-winning crew chief and Sprint Cup Series team owner Ray Evernham told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he will return to the NASCAR garage next season in an unofficial capacity with Hendrick Motorsports. Evernham has spent this season away from the NASCAR garage, working as a consultant for the Hendrick Companies overseeing strategic initiatives for Hendrick's auto dealerships and aftermarket retail business, while driving his own Sprint Car in a limited schedule of events, He said his driving career could come to an end in the near future, however, as he transitions back to NASCAR in 2013. "I've got six or seven more Sprint Car races before the end of the year, then I'm probably going to have to make a decision about how much I'm going to race next year," said Evernham. "I'd like to get back to the (NASCAR) race track more in 2012, so I think my Sprint car racing is going to suffer." Evernham said he has no desire to return to the crew chief ranks, saying his role will be unofficial and undefined. "I will have no real official capacity, other than being a part of Hendrick Motorsports," he said.(Sirius-Speedway)(8-24-2011)
Honorary pit crew members for Martin: Gil Evoy and Susan Dancy from RA Howard Bus Service in Athens, Ontario, will be honorary crew members with the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team this weekend at Michigan. Evoy and Dancy won a recent CARQUEST Auto Parts sweepstakes in May by purchasing CARQUEST Premium wheel hubs. They will be joined this weekend by Chris and Amanda Collingridge. Chris Collingridge manages CARQUEST Auto Parts in Brockville, Ontario, which services RA Howard Bus Service.(HMS)(8-21-2011)
No 2012 plans for Martin yet: Mark Martin is emphatic when talking about his lack of 2012 plans and he isn't looking for a full-time ride anyway. "I have nothing, and it don't matter," Martin said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'll have nothing until I have something. You guys don't even need to ask because there is absolutely goose egg going on. There ain't no hiding [information], no nothing. I think there will be shuffle, but it will be late. There's going to be something for me. I'm not in a running for a full-time Cup ride; I never have even really wanted one." He knows he won't be back at Hendrick Motorpsorts, and he said he has always raced in the moment, not thinking about building for years to come. Obviously one of the possible scenarios is Martin sharing a third Stewart-Haas Racing car with Danica Patrick, who is expected to run at least seven or eight Cup races for the team in 2012. Martin and SHR would need to find sponsorship for him to run the races Patrick doesn't.(SceneDaily)(8-20-2011)
Martin returns to the Truck Series: For the first time since 2007, Mark Martin will compete in the Camping World Truck Series. Martin will drive the #32 Turner Motorsports Chevy with Hendrick Motorsports horsepower in Saturday's race at Pocono. In his previous 23 truck starts, Martin has earned seven wins, 16 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He has a 7.1 average finish in the series.(HMS)(8-5-2011)
Hendrick cars to run special Chevy schemes: Hendrick Motorsports has been driving Chevrolets to Victory Lane since 1984. As a salute to Chevrolet's 100th Anniversary, our four race teams will run commemorative paint schemes on Oct. 15. In addition to awarding daily prizes for 100 days straight, HMS is also going to be giving away a 2012 Hendrick Motorsports VIP Racing Experience in Charlotte, N.C., to tour the Hendrick Motorsports facilities, meet your favorite Hendrick Motorsports driver and see a race in-style.(Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the cars on the #5 Team Schemes page, #24 Team Schemes page, #48 Team Schemes page and/or #88 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2011)
Kenny Francis to join Hendrick Motorsports for 2012: Veteran crew chief Kenny Francis will lead the #5 Sprint Cup Series team when driver Kasey Kahne moves to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2012 season. Francis will join the organization after the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR schedule. The 41-year-old Francis has 11 Sprint Cup victories as a crew chief, with all but one coming with Kahne behind the wheel. Since being teamed for the first time in the final race of the 2005 campaign, the pair has posted 10 wins, 13 pole positions, 34 top-five finishes and 71 top-10s at NASCAR's elite level. "Our people have a lot of respect for Kenny and what he's accomplished," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We know the chemistry is already there with Kasey, and there's no doubt Kenny will communicate very well with our folks. He's a character guy who brings an awful lot to the table as a crew chief. When we look at 'fit factor,' it's a great situation." Francis, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Florida, debuted as a Sprint Cup crew chief in 2003. Throughout his career, the Jacksonville, Fla., native has worked in various capacities with multiple drivers, including NASCAR champions Bill Elliott and Dale Jarrett.
"Joining Hendrick Motorsports and continuing to work with Kasey next year is an opportunity I'm excited about," Francis said. "He's a championship-caliber driver and good friend, and I'm looking forward to building on our relationship. Mr. Hendrick has built an impressive team and culture, and it's going to be fun to be a part of that when the time comes. I'm very optimistic about the rest of this season and focused on getting to Victory Lane with the #4 team. I want to thank Jay Frye and everyone with the organization for the chance to be part of such a great group of people. We still have goals to achieve there, and those are foremost on my mind right now." Lance McGrew, 43, will complete the 2011 Sprint Cup campaign as crew chief of the #5 Chevy team. After the season, he will remain in a key role with Hendrick Motorsports focusing on research and development and special projects, including work on the new Chevrolet Sprint Cup car scheduled to debut in 2013.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-27-2011)
Martin: no plans to own a team: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin joined Dave Despain Sunday on Wind Tunnel and debunked rumors he is interested in becoming a NASCAR team owner upon his departure from Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season. Following are excerpts from the interview:
Despain: Do you want to be an owner in NASCAR?
Martin: "No, Dave, I don't. I am very interested and would love to commit to Jay Frye (Red Bull Racing vice president and general manager) and that organization to help Jay move forward and rebuild that organization in all forms. There's a lot of things I want to do in the sport still, including driving race cars, and outside of driving race cars. But as an equity owner, I can't see it happening anywhere. I'm not interested in doing that."
Despain: So, what are you interested in doing outside race cars?
Martin: "I just think that I've got something to offer to a race team. I love racing and I love NASCAR. I've done it ever since I was 15 years old. I thought in 2005 that I wanted to go home and sit on the couch for the rest of my life. That's not the case … it seemed like a good idea at the time and I tried that. But I know what I want to do. I want to be a part of the sport that I love so much and all the people. Driving race cars is cool. My time is somewhat limited in that area and there are other things I can do to help race teams. I can bring something to the table. I'm interested in getting an opportunity to do that. I'm really excited about 2012 and opening a new chapter in my life. I've had the time of my life being part of Hendrick Motorsports. I've won eight or nine poles and five races, all big bonuses to what I'd expected when I was sitting looking at things in 2008. I've had the time of my life but it's time to open the next chapter and I'm really excited about it. I couldn't be more excited about what comes next and I'm not sure what that is. But it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it."(SPEED's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain)(7-5-2011)
Farmers Insurance to sponsor Kahne in 2012: Beginning in 2012, Farmers Insurance will be the majority sponsor of the #5 Chevy fielded by Hendrick Motorsports and driven by 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner Kasey Kahne. Covering the 2012, 2013 and 2014 racing seasons, the agreement secures primary paint schemes for Farmers Insurance in 22 Sprint Cup Series events annually and prominent brand placement in all non-primary races. A new #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy car design will be unveiled at a later date. "Kasey Kahne is a very talented driver and a class act," said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. "He will represent Farmers well, and we are all so proud to have him driving what will be a successful partnership, both on and off the racetrack."
In April, Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance joined Hendrick Motorsports as a five-race primary sponsor of the #5 Chevys for 2011, debuting with a special paint [#25 car] scheme at the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Farmers Insurance also is an associate-level sponsor of the #5 team this season.
"It's extremely positive when a company of this caliber sees the value of NASCAR and immediately wants to do more," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Farmers will have an excellent spokesperson in Kasey, and we're committed to putting him in a position to win races and championships. Our organization is proud to extend this partnership, and we look forward to a very bright future with everyone at Farmers."
In addition to his 11 race wins, Kahne has earned 21 pole positions, 51 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s in Sprint Cup competition. Currently in the midst of his eighth full-time season at NASCAR's elite level, the Enumclaw, Wash., native will join Hendrick Motorsports following the 2011 campaign. "I've had a chance to meet the Farmers people, and they're doing some exciting new things from a marketing standpoint," said Kahne, 31, who is signed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. "I'm looking forward to being a part of their team and helping grow the Farmers brand. To have this kind of support, and to have it come together so early, is such a boost for all of us."
In addition to the Hendrick Motorsports relationship, the professional sports properties of Farmers Insurance include naming rights to the planned professional football stadium in Los Angeles, the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the ATP World Tour Farmers Classic held on the campus of UCLA.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-7-2011)
Hendrick & Penske...in Indycar?: Spotted on the grid of the Centennial Indy 500 were Hendrick Motorsport decals on the wings of two Team Penske Racers. The decals were on the inside rear wingplate on Will Power's #6 Dallara Honda and #12 Ryan Honda. This leads to speculation of an alliance of Penske and Hendrick in IndyCar especially due to the entry of Chevrolet engines into the open wheel series in 2012. Penske officials are keen to add Simona de Silvestro to their team but are having financial issues with three cars and would not comment on the why HMS decals were on the two cars. An alliance with Hendrick, a big Chevrolet dealer, could help.(see image at Auto123)(5-30-2011)
Danica's sponsor expects her to move to NASCAR; sponsor Kahne? Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy.com, said Sunday he expects her to make the move full-time to NASCAR next season. "She hasn't told me she will, but I believe she will and we'll be ready," Parsons said. "Here's the fact: She loves [NASCAR], it's much more exciting than IndyCar, with all due respect, and the TV audience for NASCAR is off the hook." Parsons was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday to watch Patrick compete in the event. Patrick is working on a plan to race full-time in the Nationwide Series is 2012 and move to Sprint Cup in 2013, sources confirmed earlier this week. "She came up to me right after she did her first NASCAR race [the 2010 Nationwide race at Daytona]," Parson said. "She said to me, 'I absolutely loved it. This is what I was born to do.' " Parsons emphasized he is behind her whatever decision she makes. "As long as I can stroke the check," he said. "I tell you what, she doesn't exactly work for minimum wage. I usually don't get into that too much until the decision's been made. But I've told her I would sponsor her if she started ice skating." Along with Patrick's IndyCar ride at Andretti Autosport and her Nationwide car at JR Motorsports, GoDaddy also sponsors Mark Martin's Cup car at Hendrick Motorsports. Martin is leaving after this season and Kasey Kahne is taking over in that car. Will GoDaddy sponsor Kahne in 2012? "We're working on that," Parsons said. "I can tell you Mr. [Rick] Hendrick runs an awfully good team and he's been a great business partner for us."(ESPN.com)(5-29-2011)
Johnson to run the #5 in All-Star race UPDATE 2 image: hearing Jimmie Johnson will run the #5 Lowe's car in the All Star Race to promote a special promotion for Lowe's 5% off purchase at Lowe's when using your Lowe's consumer credit card. Could be one reason Mark Martin is running the #25 in the event. Have seen nothing to confirm this yet or any images.(4-20-2011)
UPDATE: Jimmie [Johnson] will drive a special #5 Lowe's Chevy in the All Star race to promote 5% off every day or special financing on purchases over $299 on Lowe's Home Improvement's consumer credit card purchases. Pictures of the special paint scheme will be unveiled exclusively here (facebook) on May 15.(Lowe's Racing Facebook)(4-22-2011)
IMAGE added an image of the scheme to the #48 Team Schemes page, unveiled on the Lowe's Racing Facebook page.(5-16-2011)
Martin not worried about 2012: #5-Mark Martin, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs out at the end of this year, doesn't know where he'll be racing in 2012. Nor is the veteran driver particularly concerned about it. "Well, lucky for me, I don't need a job, so I don't have to worry about it," Martin, 52, said on a national teleconference this week. "If I was 20 years younger, I would be concerned about it. But I'm in a good position right now, you know, being able to wait it out and let things play out the way they will." Martin, who joined Hendrick in 2009 and later agreed to remain with the company through 2011, has previously indicated he plans to continue Sprint Cup racing next season in either a full-time or part-time role with another organization. "Something really, really fun and exciting is going to work out for me, something that will be very rewarding, and I'm in no hurry to force that to happen," said Martin, who will be replaced by Kasey Kahne at Hendrick next season. "I'll just wait until it sort of falls in my lap, just like the 5 car did. I wasn't looking for a job when the 5 thing fell into my lap."(SPEED)(5-13-2011)
Farmers Insurance to sponsor Martin; run #25: Farmers Insurance has joined Hendrick Motorsports as a five-race primary sponsor of the Chevys driven by Mark Martin in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with plans to kick off the relationship by fielding a special "throwback" paint scheme. The agreement secures primary placement for Farmers Insurance in five events and associate-level sponsorship on Martin's cars throughout the remainder of this season. The NASCAR team sponsorship is the first for Los Angeles-based Farmers since February 2009, when it executed a one-race program at Fontana, CA.
At the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Farmers Insurance will launch its program with a special #25 Farmers Insurance Throwback Chevy. The paint scheme will resemble the red #25 cars fielded by Hendrick Motorsports for the first time in 1986 -- 25 years ago. That season, the combination of driver Tim Richmond and crew chief Harry Hyde won seven races and eight pole positions.
Returning to his customary car number, Martin also will drive the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy in four points-paying Sprint Cup Series races: June 5 at Kansas, June 12 at Pocono, June 26 at Infineon Raceway and Aug. 27 at Bristol. "We're excited about this new partnership with Farmers and the opportunity to represent its nearly 24,000 employees and more than 50,000 agents," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "It's an innovative company with very strong corporate values, and I'm confident that we'll continue to work together for a long time to come. When you have a partner that's essentially new to the sport, kicking off a program with a nod to the past is a unique approach. The #25 was my dad's car, and it's always held a special place in our history. Farmers choosing this paint scheme for its first race with Mark and Hendrick Motorsports means a lot, and I think our fans will really like it."(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image on the #5 Team Schemes page.(4-20-2011)
CARQUEST on the #5 at Talladega: CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major partner on the #5 team since 2005, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The red, white and blue paint scheme will be featured in a total of eight races this season.(CARQUEST), see an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page(4-15-2011)
Martinsville Marks Milestones: Longevity and performance are hallmarks in the career of #5-Mark Martin due to celebrate his 800th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Martin's signature start comes nearly to the day of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup appearance (April 5, 1981) at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway where the then 22-year-old Batesville, Ark., native finished 27th. Over the course of 29 seasons, Martin has:
• Won 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and posted 96 victories across three national series, tops among active drivers.
• Finished among the top three in NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings nine times, most recently in 2009 when he finished second.
• Martin is only the eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor to reach the 800-start plateau and likely will pass Darrell Waltrip (seventh with 809) and Kyle Petty (fifth with 829) later this year. His combined 1,055 national-series starts are second only to the 1,185 appearances of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty.
Martin isn't the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver celebrating career milestones at Martinsville.
• #16-Greg Biffle and #1-Jamie McMurray will mark career starts No. 300. Biffle, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, will make his 625th national series appearance.
• #14-Tony Stewart remains one top-10 shy of career No. 250.
Additionally, Kyle Busch could reach yet another lap-leader milestone in the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500. Busch, who celebrated his 10,000 NASCAR Nationwide Series lap led on March 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway, is 332 laps from leading his 20,000th across the three national series.(NASCAR)(3-30-2011)
Should drivers communicate with each other during races? UPDATE: Drivers were able to communicate with non-teammates for the first time during the Daytona 500, which added an intriguing element to NASCAR's biggest race. Because there was a need for two-car tandems to work together while the race was going on, many drivers set their radios up so they could speak with their competitors. But some drivers believe the practice should be banned. "I think NASCAR should step in on drivers getting on other teams' radios," #22-Kurt Busch said. "... We shouldn't be able to communicate with radios." #5-Mark Martin had only four drivers among his options for chatting: His three teammates and #43-AJ Allmendinger. But the veteran agreed with Busch, saying he hopes his competitors "clean the radios up." #27-Paul Menard said he had 12 different drivers on his radio during the Daytona 500 - and was just fine with continuing the practice for future restrictor-plate races if NASCAR doesn't pass a rule against it. #99-Carl Edwards backed the open radio communication between drivers based on safety reasons, calling it "necessary."(SB Nation)(2-26-2011)
UPDATE: According to Mike Mulhern, "NASCAR's Robin Pemberton says no changes planned for radio rules for Talladega April 17th.(3-6-2011)
Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include a 10-figure annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)
Hendrick signs Bill Elliott's son Chase: Hendrick Motorsports has signed Chase Elliott to a multi-year driver agreement. Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, will continue to compete for his family-owned team until meeting age requirements for entering NASCAR national series events. Bill Elliott Racing, based in Dawsonville, Ga., will field Chevrolets with support from Hendrick Motorsports. "The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree with Chase," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "I've always admired Bill's ability in a race car and how he handled himself with the fans. I see those same traits in Chase, with his natural driving talent and an awareness of what he needs to do away from the track to be successful. He comes from a great racing family, and it shows. We think it's a terrific situation. Chase already has a strong support system in place (in Dawsonville) that will allow him to focus on his education and grow as a driver, and Hendrick Motorsports will provide whatever kind of assistance the Elliotts need in any area."
A 15-year-old freshman in high school, Elliott already has competed against some of the best short-track racers in the United States. In 40 late model starts last season, he posted 13 victories, 27 top-five finishes and 37 top-10s. "I've always been taught that teamwork and people are important, and that's something Mr. Hendrick really believes in," Elliott said. "Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports has high standards and takes a lot of pride in what they do. Racing with all of their support, and the support of my family, is going to be incredible. I'm going to work really hard to make them proud and make the most of this opportunity."
In 2010, Elliott became the youngest driver to win the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., the Miller Lite Series at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway and the overall Sunoco Gulf Coast championship. The Dawsonville native also posted victories in the prestigious Winchester 400 and at the re-opening of historic North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. Elliott already is two-for-two in 2011 after sweeping the Speedfest late-model features last month at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga. This season, he plans to enter a combination of super late model, pro late model and NASCAR regional touring series events.(HMS)(2-16-2011)
Martin Not Rushing Decision: Mark Martin is set for the 2011 season back behind the wheel of the Hendrick Motorsports #5 GoDaddy.com Chevy. But beyond that, Martin's not interested in discussing his future plans. The veteran driver is concentrating on his third year with Hendrick and a run at a Sprint Cup Series championship and does not intend to look beyond the coming year at this point. "I'm not talking about 2012 until I have something to talk about," Martin said. "I'm not worried about it. I am embracing 2011. I'm more exciting than I can remember being to get back to the race track where there competitors are, where the fans are. This is the best part. I'm living the best part of my life right now."(Motor Racing Network)(2-11-2011)
Hendrick Building Training Facility: Hendrick Motorsports is building an outdoor pit-crew training facility that will include a six-lane, 60-yard track where crew members can work out doing sprints and shuttle runs. The facility will include a 75-yard AstroTurf field and a 40-by-40 foot sand pit for outdoor strength and conditioning training for explosiveness and endurance.(SceneDaily)(2-9-2011)
Hendrick Motorsports rent CMS for pit practice: Hendrick Motorsports held a fully suited dress rehearsal for its pit crews at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Apparently the organization rented the track for a closed session for all four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. The four cars used for the exercises include two #5's (of Mark Martin), the #48 with Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel and the #88 Chevy with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. The #24 team of Jeff Gordon was pitting the second #5 car. The drivers were running different sequences and pitting in every other pit with the pit stops being filmed from the flagstand, according to a source who attended the test. The session lasted less than three hours (FoxSports)
UPDATE: the HMS test was a pit road practice only. At no time did a car leave pit road. CMS has availability next week 2/6-10/11 for any other NASCAR Series team who would like to practice team pit stops. Charlotte Motor Speedway track rentals info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-4-2011)
Mark Martin not finished after this year: Mark Martin may be in the final year of his NASCAR Sprint Cup contract with Hendrick Motorsports, but don't count him out of racing. Wednesday at the Hendrick Motorsports shop, Martin erased any doubt that he could be racing in 2012. "I'm absolutely, without a doubt, going to be driving race cars next year, just not going to be in any hurry to worry about that," he said. "I'm focused on 2011 and really enjoying being a part of Hendrick Motorsports." Asked further about the issue later, he said that it was too early to be even thinking in that direction and that it would be better to approach him about what he'll be racing, and for whom, late in the season.(Fox Sports)(1-27-2011)
GoDaddy.com [21 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
Bud Shootout - Daytona - 2/6
Daytona 500 - 2/14
Auto Club Speedway - 2/21
Las Vegas - 2/28
Bristol - 3/21
Phoenix - 4/10
Talladega - 4/25
Darlington - 5/8
Dover - 5/16
Michigan - 6/13
Chicago - 7/10
Indianapolis - 7/25
Watkins Glen - 8/8
Michigan - 8/15
Richmond - 9/11
New Hampshire - 9/19
Kansas - 10/3
Charlotte - 10/16
Talladega - 10/31
Phoenix - 11/14
Homestead - 11/21
Carquest [8 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
Martinsville - 3/28
Charlotte - 5/30
New Hampshire - 6/27
Daytona - 7/3
Bristol - 8/21
Atlanta - 9/5
California - 10/10
Texas - 11/7
Delphi [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
All Star Race - Charlotte - 5/22
Dover - 9/26
Hendrickcars.com [? races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
Atlanta - 3/7
Texas - 4/18
Richmond - 5/1
No sponsors [3 races] announced for the following 2010 races [see Hendrickcars.com]:
Pocono - 6/6
Infineon - 6/20
Pocono - 8/1
Hendrick Buys First Volt Offered for Public Sale: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, has purchased the first Chevy Volt offered for sale. Proceeds will benefit science, math, engineering, and technology education initiatives through the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. The vehicle, bearing the vehicle identification number BU10002, was sold for $225,000 through an online auction that closed Tuesday, Dec. 14. “This was an opportunity to own a piece of history while giving back to the community,” said Hendrick, an avid car collector. “I have been a Chevy dealer for more than 30 years, and the Volt is one of the most exciting and important new cars since we opened our first dealership in 1976.” The Chevy Volt is an electric vehicle that can operate under a range of weather climates and driving conditions with little concern of being stranded by a depleted battery. The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank. Chevy began shipping Volts from Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly this week. Hendrick will take delivery of his Volt later this month.(Chevy Racing/HMS)(12-17-2010)
Dale Jr's struggles no only reason for HMS changes: The ongoing struggles of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. were not the sole reason for the sweeping changes made at Hendrick Motorsports. A day after Rick Hendrick shuffled the driver and crew chief lineup for three of his race teams, the team owner said the entire organization had grown complacent because of all its success. Even Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, fresh off their fifth consecutive championship, were "off this year," Hendrick said. "This was not a Dale Earnhardt - not a move that we made, this major of a move, because of Dale or his situation," Hendrick said Wednesday. "I am excited about making all four teams better. We need to be better across the board. We are not going to leave any stone unturned."
Hendrick said he called a companywide meeting after the Nov. 7 race at Texas, where Johnson's crew was benched in the middle of the event and Denny Hamlin outran the #48 team to take the lead in the championship standings. No personnel decisions were made during the meeting. "No one suggested in that meeting that we shift people around," Hendrick said. "It was about how each individual could make this organization better." In the two weeks after the meeting, there were discussions between Hendrick and his management team, and the shakeup was revealed Tuesday afternoon. "A tremendous amount of thought went into it, and it was not a (decision) from the hip," Hendrick said. "It's not one of those things that you can vote on; it's one of those things you have to pull the trigger and go do it." The owner said he has now matched driver and crew chief based on personality fits. "I think everybody was excited last night, and it sparked a new amount of energy in our company," he said.(in part from the Associated Press)(11-24-2010)
New crew chiefs for Gordon, Martin & Earnhardt Jr.: Hendrick Motorsports has made personnel adjustments in preparation for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. being teamed with new crew chiefs. Below are the driver-crew chief pairings for each Hendrick Motorsports car, effective immediately:
#5 Chevy, driver: Mark Martin, Crew Chief: Lance McGrew
#24 Chevy, driver: Jeff Gordon; Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
#48 Chevy, driver: Jimmie Johnson; Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
#88 Chevy, driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Crew Chief: Steve Letarte
The cars of Martin and four-time Sprint Cup champion Gordon will be fielded out of the same facility, now known as the 5/24 shop. Earnhardt Jr.'s Chevys will be prepared out of the renamed 48/88 shop alongside those of five-time and defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. "This will improve us as an organization, across the board," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We had a championship season (in 2010), but we weren't where we wanted and needed to be with all four teams. We've made the right adjustments, and I'm excited to go racing with this lineup."(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-23-2010)
Martin’s Crew Captures Tissot Pit Road Award in Texas: Mark Martin’s #5 crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It was the first pit road win of the season for the #5 crew and the 17th different Tissot winner of the 2010 season. Martin’s #5 Carquest/GoDaddy.com Chevy spent the least amount of time on pit road – 305.658 seconds -- during the AAA Texas 500. The quick work by Martin’s crew helped the veteran driver post a third-place finish. The #5 over-the-wall crew consists of: Kyle Turner (front-tire changer), JD Holcomb (front-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Dion Williams (rear-tire carrier), Bailey Walker (jackman), Brad Pickens (gasman) and Travis Gordon (catch can). The crew chief is Alan Gustafson and the pit crew coaches are Mark Mauldin, Walt Smith and Matt Skeen.
Four teams are currently tied for first place in the Tissot season standings. The leaders are the crews for Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray with each team scoring four pit road wins. Clint Bowyer’s crew is one behind with three wins. The Tissot season championship crew will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. Tissot has already paid out $170,000 in prize money with $5,000 going to the weekly-winning crew. In the event there is a tie at the end of the season for the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award championship, the tiebreaker goes to the team whose driver finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup point standings.(Tissot), see standings and race-by-race winners on the 2010 Pit Crew News page.(11-11-2010)
Last race of the season for Carquest: The red, blue and white Carquest Auto Parts car will make its final appearance of the season on the #5 Chevy at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Carquest Auto Parts will return to the hood of the #5 Chevy for eight races in 2011 (HMS), see images of the 2010 car on the #5 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2010)
Martin may coach Danica..but: Danica Patrick has spoken with NASCAR's #5-Mark Martin about working with her and says she's open to any help she can get in figuring out the nuances of driving stock cars. "It would be nice if somebody could help me, whoever it is -- I would take any help," Patrick said. "Like he [Martin] said, you need somebody to get in the car and say this is the setup, go drive it after they've driven it. It's one thing to say drive this line, do this or that, but when you don't have maybe the car that can do that, it's just words, so it would be nice for someone to throw me in a car after they've driven it so I get a real feel for it." Patrick's part-time foray into NASCAR hasn't gone particularly well as she's tried to get a feel for the harder-to-drive stock cars. She ran the first three Nationwide races of the season, finishing no higher than 31st, and added four more races when she had breaks in the IndyCar season with similar results. Now that the open-wheel season is over, Patrick is slated to run the final six Nationwide races, starting Saturday at Auto Club, and hopes the consistency of no longer flip-flopping between series will turn out better results.(ESPN/Associated Press)(10-9-2010)
BUT: Patrick says she would welcome a driver coach – Martin says he is not available – who could set up her car so that when she gets in it she can concentrate on driving it, not trying to figure out how to make it drivable (Yahoo Sports)(10-9-2010)
Ebay Motors sponsoring Martin at Martinsville: #5-Mark Martin will carry a sponsor new to NASCAR at Martinsville Speedway next month -- eBay Motors. "It's really great because times are tough right now and what a great company that reaches so many people," Martin said of eBay. "We were excited that Quaker State stepped up for next year and to have eBay for Martinsville and we're working on having them be a part of our program going forward. The deal with eBay was brokered for Hendrick Motorsports by Andrew Campagnone, vice president Motorsports Wunderman Charlotte.(Fox Sports)(9-25-2010)
What is Mark Martin's son up to? #5-Mark Martin's 19-year-old son Matt has moved to North Carolina from the family's home in Florida and begun an internship at Hendrick Motorsports. He'll work with the organization's strength and conditioning coach.(Roanoke Times)(9-18-2010)
GoDaddy.com for sale: GoDaddy.com, the closely held website that registers Internet domain names, has put itself up for sale in an auction that could fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said. Qatalyst Partners, the boutique firm run by veteran technology banker Frank Quattrone, has been hired to shop the Go Daddy Group Inc., which runs the world's largest domain name registrar, these people said. Private-equity firms are expected to bid for the company, which currently has more than 43 million domains under management. GoDaddy.com and Qatalyst representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.(Wall Street Journal), no word how or if this will affect sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevy of Mark Martin or Danica Patrick with JR Motorpsorts.(9-11-2010)
Hendrick Announcement UPDATE: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Mark Martin driver of HMS' #5 Chevy, are scheduled to make an announcement at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Saturday afternoon, September 4th.(9-3-2010)
UPDATE: Quaker State and Hendrick Motorsports announced an expansion of their unparalleled technical relationship, which will increase exposure for the motor oil brand in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Beginning in 2011, the three-year agreement includes primary placement for Quaker State on the #5 Chevy in four Sprint Cup races annually and associate sponsorship of all Hendrick Motorsports cars. Quaker State also will continue to be poured in the more than 80 Hendrick Automotive Group franchises throughout the United States. Quaker State's technical relationship with Hendrick Motorsports began in 1996 and helped produce a Sprint Cup championship that first season with the #5 team and driver Terry Labonte. Mark Martin, winner of 40 Sprint Cup races, will drive the #5 Chevrolet in 2011. Quaker State's four races as primary sponsor of the #5 car will be determined at a later date. "The new Quaker State paint scheme looks awesome," Martin said. "I'm not sure how a paint scheme can look fast, but Quaker State and Hendrick Motorsports did it with this one. I can't wait to race it and hopefully take it to Victory Lane."(HMS), see an image of the scheme on my 2011 Team Schemes page.(9-4-2010)
Martin runs Hendrick colors at Pocono; looks to win: The blue and black Hendrickcars.com paint scheme returns to the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin this weekend at Poco#Hendrickcars.com has up to 5,000 top quality used cars online with up to 90 photos, videos, free CARFAX reports and manufacturer-certified used vehicles. In 47 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway, Martin has scored 19 top-five finishes, 32 top-10s and three pole positions. Pocono is one of only four tracks where Martin has yet to visit Victory Lane. He also has yet to win at Daytona, Indianapolis and Homestead.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2010)
MAF Honors NASCAR Teams’ Response to Haiti Quake: In the aftermath of the catastrophic Jan. 12, 7.0 earthquake that destroyed the capital of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, two renowned NASCAR auto racing teams shuttled relief workers and supplies into Haiti and transported evacuees, rotating workers and quake victims to the United States. This week at their respective shops in North Carolina, MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) President John Boyd presented Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with special service awards for their work in Haiti.
In the crucial days following one of the world’s greatest disasters, the teams generously provided aircraft from their fleets. The Hendrick and Gibbs crews worked with MFI (Missionary Flights International) and MAF to shuttle planes between Fort Pierce, Fla., and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, enabling the rotation of high-impact volunteer medical teams and humanitarian workers. The planes also evacuated adopted orphans to their American homes. In addition, the aviation crews offered care, personal concern and warm fellowship to the MAF missionary pilots and ground workers as they toiled amid heat, chaos, suffering and death.
“With these awards, we at MAF want to express our sincere gratitude to Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing for their support of the MAF team in Haiti,” Boyd said. “We honor two fine motorsports teams for their selfless actions, and for the special blessing they were to us during a very trying time.” Boyd also invited the two teams’ aviation staffs to participate in one of the MAF advanced mountain training workshops at the ministry’s headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.
MAF has served the missionary community and the people of Haiti since 1986. Eight MAF missionary families and seven Haitian staff members provide air service with three bush aircraft that fly to 16 remote airstrips from Port-au-Prince. Within the first three months of its disaster relief efforts, MAF had partnered with dozens of relief agencies, including the United Nations. In addition to having coordinated the flights of 3,500 international passengers and 1.5 million pounds of cargo between Florida and Port-au-Prince, MAF logged 1,037 flights within Haiti, transported 1,801 relief workers, missionaries, patients and medical staff in and out of inland towns and villages urgently needing help, and delivered 315,498 pounds of urgent relief and medical cargo. MAF continues its disaster response work in Haiti, having now shifted from the crisis-relief phase to a rebuilding stage that is expected to last several years.(MAF PR)(7-29-2010)
HMS names president: Rick Hendrick this week elevated Marshall Carlson to the role of president and chief operating officer of Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick made the announcement Tuesday to more than 500 people at the organization's quarterly employee meeting. The position of Hendrick Motorsports president most recently was held by Hendrick's late brother John Hendrick, who assumed the title in 1998. It has remained vacant since his passing in October 2004. "Marshall has the ability to plug into every aspect of our industry, from competition to marketing, at an extremely high level," said Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He's versatile from a business perspective, and there's a high degree of respect for him throughout the organization because of the way he treats people. We're very fortunate to have someone of his considerable talent help guide us into the future."
Carlson, 37, will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of Hendrick Motorsports, which has earned four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships since he assumed the role of executive vice president and general manager on Jan. 24, 2005. "Hendrick Motorsports is a family, and it's been one of the great privileges of my life to work with these amazing people," Carlson said. "This opportunity comes with the highest commitment to serve my teammates and support their continued success." Carlson started his Hendrick Motorsports career sweeping floors as part of a chassis department summer internship. After earning a degree in business administration in 1996 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served as engineer for the organization's fledgling Camping World Truck team, which earned the first of three series championships in 1997. Following the 1998 season, Carlson was reassigned to focus on Hendrick Motorsports' sponsorship and marketing efforts as director of marketing services. In 2000, he managed a $10 million facilities effort, which included the design and construction of racing operations space now housing the Sprint Cup Series teams of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. From 2002 until 2004, Carlson oversaw more than $200 million in real estate projects as vice president of corporate financial management with Hendrick Automotive Group, one of the largest automotive retail operations in the United States. A native of Charlotte, N.C., Carlson was named to the 2009 Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal "Forty Under 40" list, which spotlights the 40 top executives in sports under 40 years of age.(HMS)(7-28-2010)
Martin feels disrespected by 2011 speculation: UPDATE: #5-Mark Martin says he feels "disrespected" because of speculation that Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. The 51-year-old driver insisted on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that team owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Alan Gustafson fully support him staying in the car through the end of his contract. "I understand it'll all come to a rest whenever they announce what Kasey is going to do [in 2011]," Martin said. "You should be focusing on that. What is Kasey going to do? Because I've told you what I'm going to do." Martin once again was faced with questions about him fulfilling the final year of his contract in the 5 car after ESPN analyst Ray Evernham said he expected Martin to announce over the next three to four weeks that he will step aside for Kahne. "I made myself perfectly clear over the last several weeks," Martin said. "There is no information or any change."(ESPN.com)(7-23-2010)
UPDATE: Rick Hendrick says he's prepared to honor Mark Martin's deal to drive the #5 Sprint Cup car next season but he wouldn't close the door on Kasey Kahne stepping into that seat. "If I tell you what I will do and what I won't do and if I do something different because I haven't thought about it, then you'll think I lied to you,'' the owner of Hendrick Motorsports said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I'm keeping all options open whether it's with Chevy or something else. I'm trying to make everybody happy, all our sponsors, NASCAR. Martin insists he will be in the #5 in 2011 despite speculation that he will step aside for Kahne. Three months ago, Kahne signed to drive the car in 2012, with the promise Hendrick would get him a ride for 2011. Asked whether there was any way Mark wouldn't be in the #5 next year, Hendrick said: "I can't tell you that. Right now it's his seat and it's his call.'' Hendrick said finding a solution for his situation has been tougher than he expected trying to mesh sponsors, manufacturers and drivers to make everyone happy. He understands Martin's frustration.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2010)
Hendrick plane has problems, all OK: As a precaution, one of Hendrick Motorsport airplanes returned to Concord Regional shortly after takeoff Sunday morning due to a maintenance advisory light. Passengers were switched to another aircraft and traveled safely to Indianapolis. The plane has already been evaluated and returned to active status.(7-25-2010)
Martin feels disrespected by 2011 speculation: #5-Mark Martin says he feels "disrespected" because of speculation that Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 at Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. The 51-year-old driver insisted on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that team owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Alan Gustafson fully support him staying in the car through the end of his contract. "I understand it'll all come to a rest whenever they announce what Kasey is going to do [in 2011]," Martin said. "You should be focusing on that. What is Kasey going to do? Because I've told you what I'm going to do." Martin once again was faced with questions about him fulfilling the final year of his contract in the 5 car after ESPN analyst Ray Evernham said he expected Martin to announce over the next three to four weeks that he will step aside for Kahne. "I made myself perfectly clear over the last several weeks," Martin said. "There is no information or any change."(ESPN.com)(7-23-2010)
JPM says Martin needs driving lessons: #5-Mark Martin needs driving lessons before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reaches Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks, according to #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. The two made contact on the final lap of Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway battling for 15th place, and it led a brief, heated conversation in the garage area. "He didn't like the way I passed him there on the last lap, (called it) borderline stupid driving and suggested I take some smart driving lessons from him," Martin said while walking briskly from his #5 hauler to the motorhome lot. Before that, Martin had parked his #5 car on the opposite side of the garage from his hauler near Montoya, apparently to confront the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing driver. "I ain't gonna take no s**t," Martin said. The coveted 15th spot was credited to Martin, with Montoya bringing his #42 home in 16th.
Montoya's comments to the media were even more brief as he followed just seconds behind Martin, both leaving the dark garage area bustling with crew members who prepared and loaded the hot racecars and other equipment into the haulers. "I gave him room out of [turn] four and we got into [turn] one and he nearly wrecked me, (nearly) wrecked us both," Montoya said before being driven away on a golf cart. Before Martin -- last year's winner at Chicagoland -- was whisked away to his motorhome, he was asked if he was going to heed Montoya's advice despite being one of the more respected wheelmen in the NASCAR garage. "Maybe I will," Martin said. "Maybe I do need to drive a little smarter."(Motorsports FanHouse)(7-12-2010)
NASCAR featured in Transformers 3 movie: NASCAR style racecars adorned in the colors of Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were competing in downtown Chicago in a little race of their own; complete with armor and machine guns. Filming for the third installment of the wildly popular Transformer movies was taking place over the course of the last week and although the exact plot hasn’t revealed, it would appear that NASCAR will be playing a role. Fans who were at the location sent snapshots of cars painted to resemble the Chevy’s of the #42, #48 and #88. The cars were morphed and included loads of heavy weapons. Last year the cars of #24-Jeff Gordon and #39-Ryan Newman bore special paint schemes of the movie during the fall race at Charlotte, but there has been no word on the exact involvement of NASCAR.
The areas in Chicago that saw filming included LaSalle Street, Michigan Avenue, Bacino's of Lincoln Park at 2204 North Lincoln Avenue and around the "Sears Tower". According to fans on location the Michigan Ave scene where the NASCAR style cars were spotted was filled with crashing and explosions.
The final film in the live action Transformers series it is directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and is scheduled for release on July 1, 2011 in Real D 3D theaters nationwide and in IMAX 3D.(NASCAR Examiner) and see some images at www.tfw2005.com.(7-12-2010)
Martin to Red Bull in 2011? UPDATE2 denied: on the Sirius NASCAR Radio Facebook page, it is reported: "Randy Pemberton says that Mark Martin will move over to Red Bull Racing next year and Kasey will come to Hendrick and race the #5 car next season." Doesn't say which Red Bull car the #82 Scott Speed drivers, the #83 that Brian Vickers is supposed to return to in 2011 or a third Red Bull Racing team.(7-7-2010)
UPDATE: Martin's Business Manager, Benny Ertel, called the reports "aggravating," saying his driver has grown tired of answering the same questions, week after week. "It's the same thing, over and over again," he said. "We walk into the media center and someone immediately raises their hand and asks about where Mark will be racing next season. Mark has answered the question a thousand times and it's always the same answer. `I will be driving the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season.' That's as simple as it is, but some reporters just don't listen."
"Randy Pemberton went on Sirius NASCAR Radio the other day and said Mark will be driving for Red Bull next season," said Ertel. "There's not a shred of truth to that statement, and he never bothered to ask Mark, Rick Hendrick or anyone else about it. If he had asked, he would have been told -- in no uncertain terms -- that it was a load of hooey. I don't know what's so difficult to understand, Mark Martin will drive the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season. Period."(Sirius Speedway)(7-8-2010)
UPDATE 2: Red Bull Racing VP/GM Jay Frye told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Friday that there is no truth to reports that Mark Martin will drive for the team next season. "It's flattering to be associated with a guy like Mark Martin," said Frye. "He's a great racer, and any team would love to have him. But he has a contract with Hendrick Motorsports for 2011, and that means he cannot drive for us, or anyone else. I've heard the reports, and there is absolutely nothing to them."(7-9-2010)
Martin presents check to hospital: #5-Mark Martin not only made hundreds of Auto Club Speedway Hard Card season ticket holders happy, he made thousands of children at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) and one little boy in the audience feel the same way. On Thursday, fresh off his 16th place finish at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, the driver of the #5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet made a quick trip South, en route to this weekend’s race in Northern California to take part in an exclusive Auto Club Speedway Hard Card Members Q&A session with over 300 season ticket holders at Impulse, located in the Speedway’s Opportunity, California FanZone. Martin also took part in a check presentation ceremony which saw Auto Club Speedway and Stater Bros. Supermarket officials present a check for more than $26,000 to LLUCH and The NASCAR Foundation. Present to accept the check on behalf of LLUCH was Jaylen Morris, a four-year-old heart patient who has a dream of becoming a NASCAR driver when he grows up. All were elated at the presentation. The monies raised were a result of two Auto Club Speedway “Jaylen’s Car Washes” in support of NASCAR Day across the nation. More than 600 cars were washed at the Speedway on pit road to kick off NASCAR Day festivities on May 10 and two weeks later another car wash was held at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga. Turtle Wax®, the world leader in car care, donated all of the car care product used during “Jaylen’s Car Wash” and each participant drove away with a sample of Turtle Wax’s latest product Turtle Wax ICE. Additionally, over 3,500 NASCAR Day collectible lapel pins were given to customers who stopped by Stater Bros. Supermarkets in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego and Kern counties in exchange for a $5 donation.(Auto Club Speedway)(6-19-2010)
Hendrick says many options for Kahne in 2011: Rick Hendrick says he has a lot more options for Kasey Kahne in 2011 than he expected when he first signed the Richard Petty Motorsports driver in April. The owner of Hendrick Motorsports offered no timeline for when a decision might be made, even though he originally said a deal should be in place within 90 days. "A lot of it is just waiting for the right time and the right deal," Hendrick said Friday at Infineon Raceway after being inducted into the track's Wall of Fame. "I haven't been in a hurry. We've got some good options and there are new deals coming out every day. I get unbelievable calls from people in this garage. We're just not ready to pull the trigger yet." Hendrick discounted a report that said Kahne would drive the #09 car for James Finch and Phoenix Racing next year before replacing Mark Martin in the #5 at HMS in 2012. That report also said Martin could take over part ownership of Phoenix Racing in 2012. Phoenix Racing officials said no conversations with Hendrick have taken place. "I don't know where that rumor came from," Hendrick said. Kahne said he and Hendrick spoke on Friday and that his 2011 situation wasn't part of the conversation. "I didn't even ask anything about next year and he didn't bring it up, either," Kahne said. "We were just talking about other stuff, so I would say there is no new news." Among the speculated possibilities for Kahne next year, in addition to Phoenix Racing, have been Stewart-Haas Racing and Red Bull Racing. Hendrick did say that Kahne would be in a Chevrolet, and Red Bull currently fields Toyotas. "The biggest problem with us, with me and the whole situation is I want to make the right decision for him and our company," Hendrick said. "I'm not really procrastinating as much as I'm trying to let everything unfold."(ESPN.com)(6-18-2010)
Martin not interested in ownership, set for 2011: #5-Mark Martin talked to the media at Pocono is talked about ownership and 2011 plans:
TALK ABOUT CAR OWNERSHIP. HAS YOUR TIME AT HENDRICK MADE YOU MORE INTERESTED IN OWNERSHIP?
“I am not that interested in ownership. You know, I wouldn’t make too big of a deal out of that. I am all set in 2011 and am driving the 5 car and about this time next year I will weigh out what the options are for me to do what is exciting and rewarding for me to do and I will pursue that but for now I know what I am going to do next year and I am open to anything that is fun, challenging and exciting in 2012 and on.”(Team Chevy Driver Press Conference Transcript)(6-4-2010)
Special scheme Hendrick teams: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 Chevy will feature an "Honoring Our Soldiers" paint scheme for the May 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. All four Hendrick Motorsports teams will sport special patriotic paint schemes for the Memorial Day weekend race to honor the men and women who serve in the armed forces. As the nation's oldest Armed Forces component, the National Guard and its Citizen Soldiers play a vital role in protecting the freedoms Americans hold dear. Since 1636, the Guard has brought glory and honor upon itself and its Soldiers through quiet and selfless service. There is a long and noble history of the National Guard serving at home and abroad to ensure the safety and freedom of their fellow citizens. When celebrating Memorial Day, take a moment to thank a member of the nation's military for their service to the United States and recognize the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to defend America's interests. Become a fan of the National Guard on Facebook, by visiting www.facebook.com/NationalGuard. To learn more about becoming a Citizen Soldier, visit www.NATIONALGUARD.com.
Jeff Gordon will drive a specially-painted #24 DuPont Stars & Stripes Chevy during the Memorial Day weekend event.
CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major sponsor on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy since 2005, will be back on the hood this NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Charlotte. The red, white and blue paint scheme will be featured in a total of eight races this season. Martin's #5 Chevy will feature a patriotic theme this weekend in tribute to the United States military. Diecast and apparel featuring the #5 paint scheme will be available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund. Martin's Hendrick Motorsports teammates also will sport special patriotic paint schemes for the 600-mile event.
Jimmie Johnson and the #48 Lowe's Chevy will have a special patriotic paint scheme in recognition of Memorial Day that features donation information during the May 30 event. In support of the Memorial Day holiday, Lowe's will offer a 10% discount to all active, reserve, honorably discharged, and retired military personnel and their immediate families. Lowe's also has a year-round 10% discount those with a military-issued photo ID. Lowe's and Team 48 driver Jimmie Johnson are hosting a special concert starring country music star Darius Rucker in support of the United Services Organization (USO) and the newly created Lowe's USO Family Fund on SPEED Channel at 7 p.m. on May 29. The concert will highlight ways to support the newly created Lowe's USO Family Fund, proceeds of which will support USO family programs that help deployed service members and their families stay connected.(HMS/Team Lowe's), see images of the cars on my #5 Team Schemes page, #24 Team Schemes page, #48 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page,(5-27-2010)
Martin says he will be in the #5 in 2011: MARK MARTIN, #5 DELPHI/GODADDY.COM CHEVY, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and discussed his plans. A partial transcript:
ANYTHING NEW IN YOUR FUTURE IN TERMS OF NEXT YEAR OR 2012? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’LL BE DOING YET?
“# Everything is still as planned. There are scenarios beginning to formulate, but I would expect it to be a long time until those boil down to real options. It could be as much as a year until those boil down to real options. Everything is pretty quiet; there is a little bit rumbling around out there. By the way, I heard you guys talk about the speedway and I’ve been around a long time. I came here the first time in 1981, and it’s always been Charlotte Motor Speedway to me.”
SO YOU WILL DEFINITELY BE IN THE 5 CAR IN 2011? “Yes.”(Team Chevy)(5-25-2010)
Gustafson, Knaus sign extensions with Hendrick Motorsports: Crew chiefs Alan Gustafson [four-year extension through 2014] and Chad Knaus [five-year extension through 2015] have signed multi-year contract extensions with Hendrick Motorsports, the organization confirmed Friday. Gustafson, 34, is in his sixth season as crew chief of the #5 Chevy and has nine wins heading into Saturday night's event at Richmond International Raceway. The Ormond Beach, Fla., native joined Hendrick Motorsports 11 years ago as a chassis shop employee before being moved to the #5 team in 2000. He served as the shock specialist for two years and was named the lead engineer of the #5 car driven by Terry Labonte in 2002. In 2005, Gustafson took over as crew chief. "I'm extremely happy," Gustafson said of the extension. "I love this company. I love working for Hendrick Motorsports. I love Rick Hendrick (team owner) -- everything he has done for me in my career -- and to continue that on into the future is everything I've wanted. I truly love what I do."
Now in his ninth season, Knaus is continuing his record-setting run as crew chief the #48 Chevy. With four consecutive Sprint Cup championships under his belt, the 38-year-old Rockford, Ill., native has etched his name in NASCAR's history books. Like Gustafson, Knaus' NASCAR career began with Hendrick Motorsports. Knaus took his first job with Hendrick in 1993 working with the #24 Chevy and crew chief Ray Evernham. Knaus did everything from fabricating pieces to changing tires prior to leaving the organization in 1997. He became crew chief for driver Stacy Compton in 2001 before returning to Hendrick Motorsports the following year to establish the #48 team with then-rookie Jimmie Johnson. Since partnering in 2002, Knaus and Johnson have turned into a dynamic duo, winning the most prestigious events on the NASCAR circuit, including the 2006 Daytona 500 [Darian Grubb served as the crew chief, 1st 4 races of 2006] and three Brickyard 400s (2006, 2008 and 2009) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I'm pretty pleased, obviously," Knaus said. "I've spent the majority of my life at Hendrick Motorsports, since 1993, and I'd have a hard time thinking I would ever go anywhere else. This (No.) 24 team and this (No.) 48 team are very important to me, and I'm glad to be a part of it. I hope I'm here for a long time to come."(HMS Site)(5-1-2010)
Hendrick close to re-signing crew chiefs UPDATE: team owner Rick Hendrick said he is days from announcing contract extensions for crew chiefs #5-Alan Gustafson and #48-Chad Knaus. Hendrick has been working on an extension with Knaus since late last season, when driver Jimmie Johnson agreed to a deal to drive at Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. The driver and crew chief have won a NASCAR record four consecutive championships together. Gustafson is currently crew chief for Martin in the #5 Chevy. Kahne has already agreed to drive that car in 2012, but Hendrick says he has not yet determined his crew chief lineup. The owner did say, though, that the #5 team belongs to Gustafson, the first indication that he could be paired with Kahne.(ESPN.com)(4-25-2010)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports has extended the contracts of crew chiefs #5-Alan Gustafson and #48-Chad Knaus. NASCAR's top team announced the multiyear extensions on Friday. Gustafson is currently crew chief for the #5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin. The extension likely means Gustafson will be paired with Kasey Kahne when he joins the team. Knaus has guided Jimmie Johnson to the last four NASCAR championships as crew chief of the #48.(Associated Press), during SPEED's practice cover at Richmond, the length of the extensions are for 4 years.(4-30-2010)
Budweiser talking to Hendrick: Hendrick Motorsports general manager Marshall Carlson has talked with Anheuser Busch officials about the possibility of Budweiser becoming a team sponsor after this season, team owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday. Budweiser is looking for a new partner after its contract expires with #9-Kasey Kahne and Richard Petty Motorsports after this season. Kahne, who recently signed a contract with HMS to replace Mark Martin in the #5 in 2012 and a car to be determined in 2011, has said he would like to continue his relationship with Budweiser if possible. There were reports that HMS could not bring in Budweiser because of the team's relationship with longtime sponsor Pepsi, but Hendrick said that "depends on which car it's on." "In our deals we have rights of first refusal," Hendrick said. "We've got to go through that, but we're talking to anybody." Hendrick would be willing to supply Martin with engines and chassis if Martin decides to go into ownership. Martin recently said he would consider becoming an owner if he could find a deal like the one Tony Stewart got with Gene Haas. "I'd be open to anything Mark wants to do," Hendrick said. "He talked about a long time ago about wanting to own a truck [team]. I never heard him say anything about a car until [now]."(ESPN.com)(4-25-2010)
Kasey Kahne discusses joining Hendrick: #9-Kasey Kahne met with the media and discussed joining Hendrick Motorsports, his current crew chief, Kenny Francis, and more. the Chevy Racing transcript in part:
“It’s been a great week. To be in the position I’m in now and know where I’m gonna be in 2012, to have the opportunity with Rick Hendrick and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, to me, it’s an unbelievable opportunity. I can’t wait to get that started. Now I’m focused again on just making sure that the 9 car, our whole Budweiser Ford team, works well together and communicates well together, do everything we can the rest of this season to perform, enjoy ourselves, win races, and I still feel like we have a shot at the chase. We just need to put a big effort in, but I think we can get back in the points and definitely have a shot at the chase and run strong throughout the rest of the year.”
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT NEXT YEAR OR WAITING FOR HENDRICK TO DEAL WITH IT? “I’ll work through it with Mr. Hendrick and figure out exactly what we need to do in ’11 that makes the most sense. As far as right now, I still don’t know and I’m leaving it up to those guys. They made the commitment to me and Rick said he’ll make sure it’s right, and I took that as I think it’ll be a pretty good opportunity, a pretty good situation I’ll be in next year. In order to know I’ll be in the 5 after that, I was able to take somewhat of a risk and wait a month or two months, whatever it is, to figure out what 2011 will be, but the future will definitely be really good to be a part of that team and part of that organization.”
IS IT A CASE WHERE IT WAS JUST TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE? “I feel like we’ve had six-and-a-half years that I’ve spent with those guys and we’ve had a great run. They’ve given me a lot of opportunity and we’ve had some pretty good success. I definitely have a lot of friends there and a lot of people that I really enjoy working with there, and I’m gonna keep doing that through the rest of this year, but sometimes you just need some change and you need something different. I was fortunate enough when I came into this sport that I jumped right in with Ray Evernham. Until this year, I’d never looked at another shop. I’d never been inside another building and I never knew what was out there in any way. To be able to go around to all these other teams over the last few months and learn as much as I did about them, about the owners, about the people at each team, was pretty neat for myself. I feel like there’s definitely some really neat race teams out there and they’re gonna be tough to beat for a long time.”
HOW MUCH SAY WILL YOU HAVE IN YOUR CREW CHIEF AND HAVE YOU TALKED WITH KENNY FRANCIS ABOUT MAKING THE MOVE WITH YOU? “Kenny Francis, to me, is as good as anybody in the garage. We have a great relationship and we communicate really well. It seems like we figure things out pretty quickly, so I really like working with Kenny. As far as the future and where that all goes, I’m not sure how that will work yet. That’s another one of the things we’re not sure about, but it’ll be good. Kenny is wanted by a lot of teams. He does a great job for Richard Petty Motorsports, and hopefully I’ll work with him for a long time because I really like Kenny Francis.”
MARK MARTIN SAID HE CAME TO YOU IN SEPTEMBER AND SUGGESTED YOU WOULD BE A GOOD REPLACEMENT FOR HIM IN THE 5 CAR. DID THAT HAVE AN EFFECT ON YOU? “It did. Mark pulled me aside a few times and one time we sat in his bus for at least an hour and talked about things. He’s an unbelievable guy and an unbelievable race car driver, and to be able to sit there and talk to him and learn about something I have no idea about was nice for me. So, yeah, that was a huge part of my decision. I’ve always had that in the back of my head on what I had learned from Mark. Jimmie Johnson has been a big part of it as well. He’s always been a great guy to me and I think he’s helped me whenever I’ve had questions – not even about the whole Hendrick Motorsports thing – I’ve had questions about other things and Jimmie has always been there to help out. So I think between those two guys and then just sitting down with Mr. Hendrick and learning about the place, walking around the place, I was just really impressed and really excited to be a part of it now.”
WAS YOUR INITIAL STRATEGY TO TAKE BUDWEISER WITH YOU? “I don’t have control of that. That’s not up to me. What I did was I worried about myself, what I needed to do for my future and what I felt was the best idea for myself and what would work good for me. I have a great relationship with Budweiser, the people there, and I think the last couple years have been awesome with them, and, hopefully, we can win some more races this year which would be great. As far as the future goes, I enjoy that brand and I want to be part of that brand, so it’s completely up to them and what they want to do in the future. I haven’t talked to any of them about it.”(Chevy Racing PR)(4-16-2010)
Mark Martin plans to keep racing...into 2012: #5-Mark Martin met with media and discussed Kasey Kahne signing with HMS, his future involvement in the sport, and more, the Chevy Racing transcript in part:
ON KASEY KAHNE SIGNING WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS
"I'm excited, man. This is the absolute best scenario. I'm really, really excited. I'm so psyched about it and so relieved that we can go on and work on racing and not worry about Hendrick Motorsports and my team and everything else and what the future is. We know its set. It's a perfect scenario. Kasey Kahne is a really right fit for this organization."
ARE YOU STILL SET THROUGH 2011? "You know that. I don't know why you had to ask that."
WOULD YOU CONSIDER GETTING OUT OF THE CAR BEFORE 2011? "If I did, I wouldn't be driving it. So, no; I'm not sure why you don't understand. It's not clear to me why you don't understand. Those guys wanted me to drive it for 2012. It was a little bit stretched to do one full-time season. I gave them three. It's been the gift of my career that Hendrick Motorsports has given me. One of my biggest concerns has been who is going to be the successor so that I didn't knock them out of getting the very best A-number-one fit. That's why I started talking to Kasey Kahne before anybody, in September of last year; because I do have some real good buddies: Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth. But since they wouldn't talk to me seriously and had to keep making jokes and cutting up, I mean, Kasey Kahne was the guy. And the timing wasn't exactly right but I wanted to make sure that he considered it because it's the perfect scenario for Kasey Kahne and it's the perfect scenario for Hendrick Motorsports. I figure three years is enough. I would appreciate it if no one would right anything about me retiring, because I'm not going to retire. I'm going to race in 2012. And so don't even talk about it. I'm racing in 2012. There will be an opportunity for me I'm sure, that will be exciting and fun and that I can help people. I feel like I've done that. I feel like I did that in the #01 at DEI and I feel like I've helped the #5 team realize that they can win races and contend for a championship. And so I'll find another opportunity that's exciting to me and I don't want to commit to that now. I want to make sure that Hendrick is set and they are set. It's such an incredibly perfect scenario."
WILL YOU BE BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE #5 IN 2011? "I'm going to race in 2012."
I'M ASKING YOU IN BLACK AND WHITE, ARE YOU GOING TO BE BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE #5 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET? "Of course."
IS YOUR LEGACY THEN, TO LEAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM FOR SOMEONE ELSE; THAT THAT MIGHT BE YOUR LEGACY LOOKING FORWARD? YOU CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHERS THAT YOU LEAVE SOME THAT YOU CAN LOOK BACK AND BE PROUD OF REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS?
"It was really, really important to me to make sure that Hendrick Motorsports had someone better than me to come in behind me. And I'm more comfortable now than I was a month ago because I didn't know what that was going to be; although I knew I was going to drive through 2011. I didn't know how that was going to work out with the timing because my choice for the guy that succeeded me here; the timing wasn't exactly right. They were going to be open in '11 and I was going to exit in '12. So, this has fixed that. I'm happy about that. I've had the time of my life and I don't understand how people want to put a negative spin on this. This is actually the most exciting thing that could ever happen to Kasey Kahne, to Mark Martin, to Hendrick Motorsports, and all of us. This is perfect. I don't know why everybody is digging for something negative."
IN YOUR MIND, WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SITUATION IN 2011 FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AND KASEY KAHNE? "That's up to them. Everything is set for '12. That's what I was worried about. Everything is set for '12. You need to talk to them about '11; I don't know.
YOU SAID YOU TALKED TO KASEY. WERE YOU A PART OF IT? "I initiated it before ever talking to Rick Hendrick because I didn't want Rick to know that I was as concerned as I was about it. So I talked to Kasey two or three times last year starting back around September and then I didn't get involved after that. And to be real honest, I didn't know the last month that it had gotten to this level. So I'm thrilled. It's so exciting."(Chevy Racing)(4-16-2010)
Stewart talks about Kahne, third team: #14-Tony Stewart met with media and discussed Kasey Kahne joining Hendrick Motorsports and other topics, the Chevy Racing transcript in part:
WHAT WOULD NEED TO HAPPEN FOR KASEY KAHNE TO JOIN STEWART-HAAS RACING FOR 2011?: “I think you guys need to talk to Kasey (Kahne) because we don’t know anything about it. I found out on Tuesday or Wednesday I guess, just like you guys all did. You guys know as much if not more than I do right now. The hard part is that I don’t have the answers to everybody’s questions because nobody has talked to me about it. It’s all a lot of speculation right now, but there’s no way I can comment on speculation and make it even make sense. I think the best thing to do is ask Kasey. Obviously, he’s got his deal done so I’m sure he kind of has a better idea of what’s going on than we do at this point.”
WOULD YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE ADDING A THIRD TEAM?: “We would definitely, with the right opportunity, the focus is obviously to keep Ryan’s (Newman) car and our car going well right now, but if the right opportunity, the right team and the right sponsor, right driver came along then we would definitely be interested in a third team. We have said that all along.”
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH KASEY KAHNE?: “I think it’s a great opportunity for him. Only Kasey (Kahne) knows what he wants. That’s why you guys really need to talk to him to find out what he’s really thinking about. I think it’s a great opportunity for him. I know what I’ve learned in just a short amount of time being in the Hendrick system and getting to work with Hendrick Motorsports. I’ve always liked him, I was the one that sat with him with Ray Evernham and talked to Ray in the infield at Bristol about him years ago. I think it’s a huge opportunity for him.”(Chevy Racing)(4-16-2010)
Kahne to Hendrick in 2012 UPDATE 2 HMS PR: #9-Kasey Kahne, the hottest potential free agent in NASCAR entering the season, has signed a multiyear agreement to join Hendrick Motorsports in 2011, multiple sources close to negotiations confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday. The details of the deal, such as which car Kahne will drive, are still being finalized, sources said. The prevailing thought is Kahne will occupy the #5 car currently driven by Mark Martin, sources said. Martin signed a contract extension last year through the 2011 season. There is room for Martin and Kahne in the Hendrick family. Stewart Haas Racing receives chassis, engines and technical support from HMS. So Kahne could be housed there until Martin's contract was up, if necessary. In 2008 Dale Earnhardt Jr. signed a five-year deal with Hendrick. Jimmie Johnson last year signed an extension through 2015, and Jeff Gordon has a lifetime contract. Kahne is in the final year of his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports, and plans to finish the season in the #9 Ford, sources said. It is unknown whether Kahne's sponsor, Budweiser, will accompany him to HMS [which sponsored Hendrick's #25 Chevy for years]. Hendrick Motorsports officials had no comment. Calls placed to Kahne, who turned 30 last weekend, and to his agent were not returned.(ESPN)
UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that driver Kasey Kahne has informed the team he will not renew his contract at the conclusion of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Kahne, driver the #9 Budweiser Ford Fusion, has been with RPM since entering NASCAR's premier series in 2004. "Kasey is a very talented driver and I have enjoyed watching him race. We all wish him nothing but the best and hope he succeeds in anything he chooses to do," said team owner Richard Petty. "Drivers like Kasey Kahne are the very reason we got into this sport. Kasey has helped us get to where we are today," George Gillett, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports said. "We wish him well in his future however we have the rest of this season to race together and we're looking forward to a successful remainder of the year."(RPM)(4-13-2010)
MORE: It was reported initially that Kahne's deal with Hendrick would begin in 2011. A source close to the situation told ESPN.com that Kahne will take over the #5 car for the 2012 season, but his 2011 plans are still undecided. "I've actually thought a lot about that but I'm not sure what I'm going to do next year," Kahne said after taking batting practice with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday. "I've given it some thought though." Sources confirm that Mark Martin will drive the #5 car through the 2011 season. There is room for Martin and Kahne in the Hendrick family. Stewart Haas Racing receives chassis, engines and technical support from HMS. So Kahne could be housed there until Martin's contract was up. Kahne is in the final year of his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports, and plans to finish the season in the #9 Ford, sources said. It is unknown whether Kahne's sponsor, Budweiser, will accompany him to HMS. Mark Wright, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch, Inc., said Budweiser is currently focused only on the current season with Kahne. "There have been no discussions relative to our sponsorship as of yet. We look forward to having those at the appropriate time," Wright said.(ESPN)(4-14-2010)
UPDATE2 - HMS PR: Beginning with the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 Chevys of Hendrick Motorsports after signing a long-term contract with the organization. Mark Martin, 51, the current driver of Hendrick Motorsports' #5 team, will complete the 2010 and 2011 seasons. When Kahne takes over in 2012, he will join teammates Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Hendrick's four-car stable. "In Kasey, we saw an opportunity to cement a big piece of our future," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He possesses incredible talent and a tremendous dedication to his craft, and we know he'll be a great fit within our company. Kasey has earned the respect of his future teammates by the way he's handled himself on and off the racetrack, and we know he'll be a contributor to the success of Hendrick Motorsports for many years to come. To have someone of his caliber join our team is an unbelievable opportunity for us."
"I have a comfort level with Mr. Hendrick, my future teammates and the culture of the organization," said Kahne, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports will run through the 2015 Sprint Cup season. "For me, it's the right fit on every level, and I think it gives me a great chance to win races and compete for championships. "Determining the next step in my career has been an important process, and I'm excited and relieved to have the decision made and announced. Now it's my responsibility to put all of my energy into winning races and having a successful 2010 with my current team and our sponsors." Although 2012 and beyond has been solidified, Kahne is not scheduled to drive a Hendrick Motorsports entry in 2011 due to NASCAR's four-car limit. While who he will race for has not yet been determined, Kahne intends to drive a full Sprint Cup Series schedule next season. "If this opportunity was going to happen, I knew having some unanswered questions would be part of the scenario at this stage," Kahne acknowledged. "Hendrick Motorsports has a commitment to Mark Martin that they want to fulfill, and that's important. It's part of what attracts me to the team."(Hendrick Motorsports)(4-14-2010)
Hendrick Motorsports still deemed most vaulable: Forbe's reports that the average NASCXAR Sprint Cup team generated $92 million in revenue last year, a drop of 4%. Teams were hurt by a 19% decline in Nascar licensing revenue. Total retail sales of licensed merchandise were $1.63 billion in 2009 compared to $2 billion the prior year, according to License Global magazine. The economic downturn and a saturated licensing market helped spur the decline. Another factor was the near bankruptcy of leading Nascar merchandise company Motorsports Authentics. Despite the revenue drop, the average operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the top teams was flat at $7 million. Teams have trimmed budgets by reducing head count, tracking inventory more closely and cutting travel budgets. One area that has not yet been affected is driver salaries--but those cuts will come once contracts start to expire.
NASCAR's top team remains Hendrick Motorsports worth $350 million, the same as last year. They are the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers and Manchester United rolled into one. They dominate on and off the track with the best drivers (home to the top three finishers in the 2009 Sprint Cup) and the most popular racers (three of the four best-selling drivers for licensed merchandise). Hendrick Motorsports is worth 47% more than the second most valuable team, Roush Fenway Racing. The gap in value between the two top teams is similar to baseball with the Yankees (64% more valuable than the Mets) and ManU in soccer (38% more than Real Madrid).
Hendrick is the sports leader when it comes to sponsorship revenues, thanks to the success and popularity of its drivers. Its four cars generate an estimated $115 million in sponsorship revenue annually from the likes of DuPont, Go Daddy, Lowe's, the National Guard and PepsiCo. Hendrick cars have the highest budgets in Nascar, but the huge sponsorship haul allowed Hendrick to turn an operating profit of $20 million last year, the highest in the sport. The value of Stewart-Haas has risen 23% to $98 million, which ranks seventh overall. It is one of only three teams to see an increase in value over last year.
Top NASCAR Teams:
#1: Hendrick Motorsports, Current value: $350 million, One-year value change: none
#2: Roush Fenway Racing, Current value: $238 million, One-year value change: -12%
#3: Richard Childress Racing, Current value: $153 million, One-year value change: -8%
#4: Joe Gibbs Racing, Current value: $144 million, One-year value change: none
#5: Richard Petty Motorsports, Current value: $124 million, One-year value change: -6%
#6: Penske Racing, Current value: $110 million, One-year value change: -1%
#7: Stewart-Haas Racing, Current value: $98 million, One-year value change: 23%
#8: Michael Waltrip Racing, Current value: $88 million, One-year value change: -12%
#9: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Current value: $71 million, One-year value change: 1%
#10: Red Bull Racing Team, Current value: $59 million, One-year value change: 7%
(See more at Forbes.com)(3-25-2010)
Carquest makes 2010 debut on the #5: CARQUEST Auto Parts, a major sponsor on the #5 team since 2005, will be back on the hood of Mark Martin's #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy this weekend at Martinsville. The red, white and blue paint scheme will be featured in a total of eight races this season (HMS) for the list of races, see above and images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(3-25-2010)
Special Patriotic schemes for Hendrick cars UPDATE: The four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are scheduled to drive special "Honoring Our Soldiers" patriotic paint schemes on Memorial Day weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30, 2010.(2-24-2010)
UPDATE: Added images of the cars with the spoilers and not the wings. See my #5 Team Schemes page, #24 Team Schemes page, #48 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page for images of the schemes.(3-17-2010)
Different look for Martin at Atlanta: This weekend, the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy of Mark Martin will have a new blue-and-black paint scheme representing Hendrickcars.com. Hendrickcars.com has up to 5,000 top quality used cars online with up to 90 photos, videos, free CARFAX reports, and manufacturer certified used vehicles. It's a quick, easy and affordable way to buy the best used car.(HMS), see an image of the car on my #5 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)
Win #190 for Hendrick: With #48-Jimmie Johnson's win last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports now has 190 wins in the Sprint Cup Series, which is the most in the modern era and second all-time [to Petty's].(HMS)(3-3-2010)
Hendrick concerned about axle problem: There is some concern at Hendrick Motorsports that the broken axle that left #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a 32nd-place finish on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway could be a more widespread problem. Earnhardt's crew chief, Lance McGrew, said the axle of race winner Jimmie Johnson was about six laps from breaking and that issues were discovered on other HMS cars during Saturday's final practice. "Oh, absolutely," McGrew told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "I'm sweating this weekend along with Atlanta, which is historically really bad on axles. To say there's not a stir about it would be an understatement." McGrew said so far no explanation has been found for the extreme wear. He said the problem first surfaced during Saturday's final practice when the left rear axle on Mark Martin's car, which shares a shop with the Earnhardts, looked "really bad." He said all four HMS teams replaced the axles before the race. "Ours wore out and [Johnson] barely finished the race," McGrew said. "There's no smoking gun, which is aggravating for us. But we'll get to the bottom of it."(ESPN.com)(2-23-2010)
Congrats to Hendrick Motorsports #5 Chevy lead engineer Lee Deese welcomed his first child, daughter Emily, to his family on Monday, Feb. 15. Both Emily and mother, Heather, are doing well.(HMS)(2-17-2010)
Seven Cup drivers on America's 100 Most Powerful Athletes list: What is power? In athletics it is usually thought of as bulging muscles and dominating performance. But in sports today, power has a different meaning, as well: the earning potential of athletes, owners, agents, communities, and brands, ranging from breakfast cereal to beer. To determine who the 100 most powerful athletes are on and off the field, Bloomberg BusinessWeek teamed with CSE, an integrated sports and entertainment company that connects brands with fans, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek columnist Rick Horrow, to create the 2010 version of the Power 100. Unlike previous Power 100s, this year's ranking would focus only on the athletes-not the owners, the agents, the commissioners, or the coaches. On-field metrics included athletes who scored the best on the field (or the rink, the greens, or the court) over a two-year period. The more popular the sport, the more weight those achievements garnered.
Drivers on the list: Jimmie Johnson, 21st; Jeff Gordon, 28th; Mark Martin, 41st; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 45th; Tony Stewart, 48th; Carl Edwards, 67th; and Kyle Busch, 70th. Danica Patrick also made the list at 88th.(Business Week)(1-28-2010)
Hess, Parker receive Papa Joe Hendrick Award of Excellence: Hendrick Motorsports employees Lynn Hess and Richie Parker were named recently as the 2009 Papa Joe Hendrick Award of Excellence recipients. The award embodies the spirit of Rick Hendrick's late father Joe Hendrick and is voted upon annually by Hendrick Motorsports employees. Hess and Parker were recognized during the company's Christmas party on Dec. 18. Inclement weather kept Hess from attending the event, but that didn't dampen her excitement. Hess has worked at Hendrick Motorsports fulltime since October 1999 as the administrative assistant for the #24 and #48 team shop, while also serving as the scorer some race weekends for the #24 team. Parker was on hand to receive the honor on Dec. 19, but the award wasn't the only thing that surprised the 2005 Clemson graduate. Parker, who started working at Hendrick Motorsports fulltime in 2005 as an engineer, was surprised to find his parents in attendance for the party.(HMS)(1-12-2010)
Cheez-It [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
Pop Tarts [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
Las Vegas [3/1]
Kelloggs/Tony the Tiger [13 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
All-Star Race, Charlotte [5/16]
Carquest [16 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor [hood] at the following 2009 races:
New Hampshire [6/28]
Watkins Glen [8/9]
New Hampshire [9/20]
Hendrick Motorsports VP receives honorary degree: Doug Duchardt, a 1987 graduate of Missouri University of Science and Technology, will be one of 10 alumnae awarded an honorary professional degree on Saturday during the school's winter commencement ceremonies. Currently the Vice President of Development for Hendrick Motorsports, Duchardt earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the university in 1987. During his undergraduate career, he joined General Motors as a co-op student. That relationship grew over time, and after achieving a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1992, Duchardt went on to become the director of GM Racing in 2003 and work closely with NASCAR teams. In 2005, he was named a vice president at Hendrick Motorsports, where he currently oversees race car design, engineering and production in the chassis, body and engine areas.
"I appreciate my alma mater recognizing what's happened in my career, but it's really the result of being surrounded by talented people at General Motors and Hendrick Motorsports," Duchardt said. "There are a lot of distinguished alumnae from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and it's humbling to see the list of people being honored and the previous honorees. It's also encouraging that colleges and universities are paying attention to what happens in NASCAR and that our industry is relevant with any other mainstream business."(HMS)(12-28-2009)
Hendrick honored with Bill France Award of Excellence: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports was honored with the Bill France Award of Excellence at the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony. The award was presented to Hendrivk by Betty Jane France, wife of the late Bill France Jr., who guided the sport from 1971-2003. “I wasn’t expecting this one,” Hendrick said during his acceptance speech at the Wynn Las Vegas. “This award means so much to me because of the relationship I had with Bill France and the respect I had for him.” The award is not handed out annually by the France family, which has owned and operated NASCAR for 61 years. Named for NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., the award is presented when the NASCAR leadership believes someone is worthy of the recognition for contributions to the sport. “NASCAR has had many iconic figures throughout its rich history, and Rick Hendrick certainly falls into that category,” Betty Jane France said. “Through the years, he has not only won our respect but our hearts as well.” Hendrick did not know that Betty Jane France was at the banquet and the award was not listed in the agenda for the evening that celebrated Jimmie Johnson’s fourth consecutive title in a season where Hendrick drivers swept the top three spots in the standings. “I’ve never seen him where he’s in a position where he couldn’t say what was on his mind,” Johnson said after the ceremony. “It really got him. … For a minute there, I thought he was going to need to sit down and start over and come back to the podium. It’s amazing. It means so much to Rick because of his friendship with Bill. I could only imagine how much that means to him. And then this year, you look at the 1-2-3 and all the success. You roll it all up in one, he’s going to remember 2009 forever.”(SceneDaily)(12-6-2009)
HMS adds engineer to #88 from #5, teams work together: Rick Hendrick is hoping that what made the #5 team of Mark Martin so good in 2009 can help the #88 team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. get better. The two teams, housed in the same building at Hendrick Motorsports, are becoming “one big team with two cars” and Martin lead engineer Chris Heroy will now work with Earnhardt Jr. “They’re making a lot of changes and a lot of suggestions that sound really good to make the team have a little more substance throughout the entire roster of the members that make it up,” Earnhardt Jr. said Thursday. “I feel great about the changes. We started to work with some of these guys at the tail end, the last two or three races, and I hope it makes us better. It should make us better. I think as an entire unit, the 88 car could have been stronger and we had the resources, but there was a broken link here and there. Hopefully we’ve got that fixed and we will see the results on the race track.”
“That whole team over there is still trying to find its way; and by team I mean the whole 5-88 shop,” said Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus. “Once they get that, and they’re getting it … they’re going to be better next year.”(SceneDaily)(12-5-2009)
Kellogg's moves from the #5 to #99: Kellogg's will sponsor Carl Edwards next season following a 16-season stint with Hendrick Motorsports [on the #5 and #44 cars]. Kellogg's will be the primary sponsor for two races on the #99 Ford and an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season.(FoxSports)(11-24-2009
Hendrick misses Homestead race UPDATE: A family emergency will keep team owner Rick Hendrick from celebrating a record-tying ninth Sprint Cup championship for Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick's 29-year-old niece Alesha Gainey, the daughter of John Hendrick who was killed in the 2004 plane crash near Martinsville Speedway, is undergoing an emergency liver transplant in North Carolina. "Rick obviously wishes he could be here . . . [but] Rick's priority at this point is to support his family at this crucial time," Hendrick Motorsports general managers Marshall Carlson said.(ESPN)(11-22-2009)
UPDATE: As much as Rick Hendrick wanted to be a part of Jimmie Johnson's record-breaking run on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his family's needs were more important. Instead of watching Johnson win his fourth straight Sprint Cup title, Hendrick was at hospital in North Carolina as his 29-year-old niece, Alesha Gainey, underwent a liver transplant. Gainey is the daughter of Hendrick's brother, John, who, along with two other daughters, was killed in a 2004 Hendrick Motorsports plane crash on the way to Martinsville Speedway. Hendrick said the surgery went well and Gainey, although not completely out of the woods, is in stable condition and recovering in intensive care.(ESPN)(11-24-2009)
One track left with no win for Hendrick: Homestead-Miami Speedway is the only racetrack on the current Sprint Cup schedule where Hendrick Motorsports has not won a race. The organization, which will wrap up its 25th anniversary season this weekend, has recorded eight top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in 10 Cup events (39 starts) there (HMS). It is also the only race track that #24-Jeff Gordon has not won a Sprint Cup race and for #48-Jimmie Johnson, Homestead is one of six race tracks on the Cup circuit he has not won at [the others being Watkins Glen, Infineon Raceway, Chicago, Michigan and Bristol.(11-19-2009)
Carquest returns to sponsor #5 team: Carquest Auto Parts has extended its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and the #5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin through the 2011 NASCAR season. The two-year pact will showcase Carquest with primary sponsor placement in eight points races annually beginning in 2010. When its red, white and blue shield is not on the hood, Carquest will maintain a significant presence on the #5 Chevys as a major associate sponsor. "Carquest is pleased to be an eight-race primary sponsor of Mark Martin and the #5 team for the 2010 NASCAR season," said Temple Sloan III, president and CEO of General Parts/Carquest Auto Parts. "In our eight years as a partner of Hendrick Motorsports we have enjoyed many successes, and this year has been tremendous. As the Official Auto Parts supplier to Hendrick Motorsports we are proud to have Mark, Alan Gustafson (crew chief) and the team partnering with us. Winning is the goal our team strives for every day, both on the track and in our stores." For more information about Carquest, visit www.Carquest.com.(Hendrick Motorsports)
So the #5 team has sponsorship set for 30 of 38 races [36 points races, all-star and Bud Shootout]: GoDaddy.com for 20 races: Carquest for 8 races and Delphi for 2 races. No word on Kellogg's plans for 2010.(11-13-2009)
Clinching Scenarios: What Johnson Can Do To Lock Up The Championship: With two races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, #48-Jimmie Johnson leads the standings by 73 points over second-place #5-Mark Martin and 112 points over third-place #24-Jeff Gordon. With the standings tight as the season comes to a close, everyone wants to know what Johnson has to do to clinch the title.
Phoenix: For Johnson to clinch at Phoenix International Raceway, he will need to lead by 195 points after the race. Currently up 73 points, he'll need to gain 122 points by the race's end. If he does that, he will clinch no matter what any other driver does.
Homestead: For Johnson to clinch at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will need to average a fourth-place finish over the final two races, or fifth and a lap led in each of the final two races, or sixth and the most laps led in each of the final two races. If he does that, he will clinch no matter what any other driver does.
AND if Martin wins and leads the most laps at Phoenix, he would become the new championship leader if Johnson finishes 14th or worse and doesn't lead a lap.(11-11-2009)
AND II if Gordon wins at Phoenix and leads the most laps, he could leave Pheonix with the points lead IF Martin finishes 5th or worse and leads no laps and Johnson finishes 27th or worse and doesn't lead a lap.(11-13-2009)
NASCAR Illustrated honors Mark Martin: #5-Mark Martin is the NASCAR Illustrated Person of the Year presented by Old Spice for 2009. Martin will officially accept the award in a prerace ceremony at the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2009. NASCAR Illustrated chose to honor the 50-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver because of his exceptional talent and extraordinary class. His return to a full schedule in 2009 underscored his ability and gave fans another chance to appreciate his humility and graciousness. This is the third time Martin has received a Person of Year honor – but only the first that he has been the sole honoree.
Martin is the cover subject of the December 2009 issue of NASCAR Illustrated, which will be available on newsstands across the country the week of Nov. 24.(SceneDaily)(11-12-2009)
Delphi continues relationship with Hendrick Motorsports: Delphi announced that it will continue its associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports during the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. Delphi will be the primary sponsor for two Sprint Cup races with driver Mark Martin in the #5 Delphi/GoDaddy.com Chevy. The race details will be announced in the near future. Additionally, Delphi will be an associate sponsor of all Hendrick Motorsports 2010 Sprint Cup entries. Delphi will continue to be featured on the uniforms of all Hendrick Motorsports drivers for the 2010 season, including four-time Sprint Cup champion #24-Jeff Gordon, three-time defending Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Mark Martin. "Our long-standing relationship with Delphi has been fantastic," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "The association has been incredibly important to our company from both a quality and technology standpoint, and we look forward to having Delphi continue as a key partner for the 2010 season."(HMS)(11-3-2009)
Johnson needs 402 points: So, if #5-Martin wins the final three Sprint Cup races [Texas, Phoenix & Homestead] and leads the most laps, he would score 585 points [195x3] for a total of 6649 points. #48-Johnson has 6248, so Johnson needs to score 402 points in the final three race, IF Martin were to win all three. Which is an average of 134 points a race for the three remaining races. Finishing 10th is 134 points. So Johnson needs to finish 10th or better in the three remaining races [or total 402 points], and nothing Martin or any other driver can do to overtake Johnson.(11-1-2009)
Testing ban has Martin still racing: Now we know why Mark Martin agreed to return to Hendrick Motorsports full time for two years after this season. Testing. Or the lack of it. Martin said on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway he would not have re-upped had testing returned to what it was before being banned at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks at the start of this season.(read more at ESPN Insider)(10-31-2009)
Pop-Tarts on the #5: Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway marks the final outing for the Pop-Tarts/CARQUEST paint scheme. Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, adorned the car at Las Vegas, Bristol, Tenn., and Concord, N.C., this season.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(10-29-2009)
Pop Tarts for Martin at LMS: For the third time this season, Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, will be on the hood of the #5 Chevy during this weekend's events at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In its most recent race, the Pop-Tarts/Carquest Chevy finished second in Martin's 1,000th Sprint Cup start at Bristol. Pop-Tarts will return to the hood for the final time this season at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. No driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup history has won more October races at Lowe's Motor Speedway than Mark Martin. If the #5 team can reach Victory Lane on Saturday, he would break a three-way tie with Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough to become the only driver with four October wins. Martin also would join teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon as the only active drivers with five victories at the intermediate oval. This weekend, Carquest and the #5 team will welcome honorary crew members Matt Krueger and Lyle Wuestenberg. Wuestenberg partnered with Carquest last November to help grant Krueger's dream. The 19-year-old Krueger, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, got the chance to drive his personal 1999 Chevy Camaro around Lowe's Motor Speedway.(HMS), see images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(10-16-2009)
NASCAR takes Johnson and Martin's car back for more inspection: For the third consecutive week, NASCAR officials will take Jimmie Johnson's and Mark Martin's cars to the Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates hold down the top two spots in the Chase standings, with Johnson leading Martin by 12 points. Johnson's #48 Chevy cleared a post-race inspection after winning the Pepsi 500 Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. The winning car and the engines of the top two finishing cars always are taken to the R&D Center. Johnson won at Dover two weeks ago and Martin was second. After closer inspection at Concord, both teams were warned about being too close to the edge of the allowed tolerances at several places on the car bodies. Martin finished seventh last week at Kansas and Johnson was ninth, but both cars again were taken the R&D Center. Both cars were cleared after inspections in Concord. Martin finished fourth Sunday, but NASCAR officials again elected to take the #5 Chevy back to the R&D Center for additional tests.(ESPN.com)(10-11-2009)
Four cars taken back to R&D Center...including... As per NASCAR protocol, Tony Stewart's race winning #14 Chevy along with a random car, this week it is Kurt Busch's #2 Dodge ride, were selected for postrace inspection and further analysis back at the Research and Development Center in Concord, NC. But as an added wrinkle, officials also requested that Mark Martin's #5 and Jimmie Johnson's #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy be added to the inspection list. "When you've won and run well, and Jimmie and Chad are always going to know they are under the microscope - that's (going to be) part of it," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "We actually don't mind that. NASCAR is fair and if they want to check us every week, that's OK. I understand. I really do." No problems were found on the cars during the at-track inspection.(FoxSports)(10-5-2009)
UPDATE: The cars of championship leaders Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have passed a second NASCAR inspection. NASCAR inspected both the Hendrick Motorsports-owned cars after Sunday's race in Kansas for a thorough inspection after the Chevys squeaked through a week earlier. The teams were warned they had nearly failed and were to not bring the cars to the track again. NASCAR also examined the car of race winner Tony Stewart, as is standard procedure. In addition, Kurt Busch's car was randomly selected for inspection.(Associated Press)(10-6-2009)
Roush keeping an eye on the Henrick cars in question: Car owner Jack Roush [#'s 6,16,17,26,99 Ford's] says he understands that the two cars in question [Hendrick Motorsports #5 and #48 Chevy's] were in fact slightly "out of tolerance," in being off-set a bit to the right (which would help in aerodynamics in corner handling), although Roush said the specific 'miss' was probably too slight to be of any significant advantage. "I've been fined a lot of times for a lot of different things…and if the cars were out of tolerance by a quarter of an inch, which is what I've heard…well, the rest of the garage is held to a much tighter tolerance than that," Roush said. "So we'll see what NASCAR ultimately does about it."(mikemulhern.net)(10-5-2009)
John Darby explains what happened with #48 & #5: NASCAR officials, after a two-day post-race inspection at the Concord R&D center, have warned the #5-Mark Martin and #48-Jimmie Johnson teams [see earlier post below for more details], and crew chiefs Alan Gustafson and Chad Knaus, about going too close to the edge on body tolerances on their Dover cars, but NASCAR's John Darby insists both cars are legal and there are no penalties coming. Darby said NASCAR may be taking the Martin and Johnson cars back to the R&D center "over and over and over again" after chase races, regardless of where they finish. "NASCAR's job is to police the sport and manage the sport…but we also work very closely with the competitors on helping the competitors to make sure we get the right results (i.e., warning teams when they get too close to the line). Take any measurement: say the car has to weigh at least 3,450 pounds…and if a car comes through inspection right at 3,450 pounds, we'll point that out to the team and say 'Hey, what are you doing? What's wrong with putting two more pounds in there…because you're putting a lot in the bank that our scales are going to measure the same every time.' We do it with engines, carburetors, everything. We owe it to the teams to do that. So (Tuesday, after the post-race inspection in Concord) we called the teams and said 'This thing is passing, but….if the exact same car comes back next week, and if our inspectors are five-thousandths (of an inch) off, guess what – you're not going to be right at the tolerance, you're going to be over it."
"But the teams said 'Our (own) measurements aren't that close; they're 'this.' So we said 'Both cars are still on the (surface) plates; we'll lock them down, and you can come over with your engineers and measure yourself.' This would be Wednesday morning. And we walked through from the front of the race car all the way to the rear. I think they're engineers learned why there was a discrepancy. And I feel good about going through that with them. Obviously as we go through the season post-race inspections gets to be so routine, like everything else….and then when you get something like this it throws up a bunch of red flags."(MikeMulhern.net)(10-3-2009)
#48 and #5 cars 'too close' in tolerances at R&D center? UPDATE 2: Claire B. Lang reported on Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio Channel 128 "Dialed In" show Thursday night that the #48 and #5 Chevy's teams of Hendrick Motorsports were told they cars were too close to NASCAR tolerances at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC this week. The cars were taken to the R&D Center after Jimmie Johnson won the Sprint Cup race at Dover in the #48 with Mark Martin finishing 2nd in the #5 Chevy. Lang says she heard the teams were told not to bring the cars back to the track. Lang asked NASCAR if this was true and was told: "The 48 and 5 were brought back to the R&D center. We've been doing this since the inception of the new car as a part of routine post-race inspection. We bring the winner and a random pick back to the R&D center after each event. While both cars passed post race inspection, we informed the 48 and 5 they were extremely close on some of the tolerances."(10-1-2009)
UPDATE Word circulated Wednesday night that NASCAR had found issues with the #48 Chevy as well as the #5 Chevy during inspection at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. The two Hendrick Motorsports teams currently sit atop the points standings. The buzz within the NASCAR community suggests that the offset on the tail, which helps the rear of the car stick to the ground instead of spinning out, of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy just made the tolerance. NASCAR allows a tolerance of 0.070 of an inch for the body off of the center line of the car. Suffice it to say, JJ's #48 car didn't make it. But by how much? NASCAR claims it was .006 over the tolerance. That's about the thickness of two sheets of copier paper. Others in the garage hint at a charitable disposition on the part of the sanctioning body. So how did NASCAR view the situation with the Hendrick cars? "The 48 and 5 were brought back to the (Research and Development Center)," according to a NASCAR statement. "We've been doing this since the inception of the new car as a part of routine post-race inspection. We bring the winner and a random pick back to the R&D Center after each event. While both cars passed postrace inspection, we informed the 48 and 5 they were extremely close on some of the tolerances."(in part from FoxSports)(10-2-2009)
UPDATE2: NASCAR has warned Hendrick Motorsports that the cars of Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin came very close to failing post-race inspection following their 1-2 finish at Dover last week. The two Chevrolets owned by Hendrick Motorsports came within less than an inch of surpassing the tolerated measurements on the body of their cars. Martin is currently leading the points, and three-time defending series champion Johnson is second in the standings. The crew chiefs for both drivers say they weren't cheating, and in-race damage may have caused the cars to creep toward the maximum allowances. NASCAR is not penalizing either team, but they have been warned.(Associated Press)(10-2-2009)
Martin brings 'hot' car to Kansas: #5-Mark Martin's crew chief Alan Gustafson, has chosen Chassis #5-527 for this Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. This is the same chassis Martin drove to Victory Lane at Darlington Raceway in May and Chicagoland Speedway in July. Martin most recently raced the car to a fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.(HMS)(9-30-2009)
Montoya still not happy with Martin: From a NASCAR teleconference Tuesday:
Q: Can you talk ... more about the deal with Mark Martin and whether you had a chance to chat with him [after the New Hampshire race].
Montoya: "No, I haven't, first off, I haven't really talked to Mark at all. I think did he an awesome race and he did what he had to do to win the race. I wasn't the happiest guy. I did some interviews this morning and I said that. It's fun when you do it to someone else but it's not when they do it to you but it's part of it. For the Chase, you know, we have to bring our A Game, and we did. There's no holding back, nothing, we have to go. We have to try to go every week. Some weeks are going to be better than others but time to go."(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2009)
Martin to make 750th Cup start: At Dover International Speedway on Sept. 27, #5-Mark Martin will make his 750th career Sprint Cup start. Martin will become only the ninth driver to reach this mark in Sprint Cup's 61-year history. In his 749 Cup starts, he has earned 40 victories, 253 top-five finishes and 411 top-10s. He has driven 274,781.4 miles during his 27-year career. Martin was honored during pre-race ceremonies at Bristol Motor Speedway for making his 1,000th career NASCAR start.(HMS)(9-22-2009)
Martin wins at New Hampshire (revised): #5-Mark Martin won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 1st win at New Hampshire, 5th win of 2009 and 40th of his career. #11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #42-Montoya, #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #2-Busch, #39-Newman, #19-Sadler, #16-Biffle and #33-Bowyer. Other Chase drivers finishes: #83-Vickers finished 11th; #14-Stewart 14th; #24-Gordon 15th; #99-Edwards 17th; and #9-Kahne lost an engine early and finished 38th. There were 11 cautions for 48 caution laps and there were 20 lead changes among 10 drivers.
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, September 21 at 3:00 am/et; ESPN Classic: Monday, September 21 at 12:00pm/et; SPEED, Wednesday, September 23 at 12:00pm/et.
For race results, awards and more, see my New Hampshire Race Results Page.(9-20-2009)
GoDaddy.com to sponsor #5 and Martin thru 2011:
GoDaddy.com has signed an agreement to be the primary sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports' #5 Chevys in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The world's leading registrar of Internet domain names will adorn the hood for 20 races annually, including the season-opening Daytona 500, beginning in 2010. Terms will remain private. Driving the #5 GoDaddy.com Chevys will be current Sprint Cup Series championship points leader Mark Martin, who has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with Hendrick Motorsports fulltime through the 2011 NASCAR season. "Mark Martin is the consummate professional and a very exciting driver, to say the least," said GoDaddy.com CEO and founder Bob Parsons. "He's the sentimental favorite for this year's Sprint Cup championship, and we're stoked to have him driving for Go Daddy next year." Additional sponsorship for the #5 Chevys will be announced at a later date.(HMS)(9-18-2009)
Tom Cruise to narrate Hendrick Documentry Film: "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story," NASCAR Media Group's documentary-style film chronicling the history of the eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship team, will air Sunday, Oct. 11 at 1:30pm/et on ABC prior to the network's Pepsi 500 race coverage from [Auto Club Speedway] Fontana, CA. Narrated by three-time Academy Award nominee Tom Cruise and presented by Pepsi, "TOGETHER" employs exclusive interviews, never-before-seen archival footage, thrilling racing sequences and rare family photography to detail the personal relationships and emotional events that have shaped one of NASCAR's most decorated organizations. The official "TOGETHER" trailer is available at www.refresheverything.com/hendrick. The Web site will feature regular updates of content from the film and provide fans the opportunity to upload video messages about their favorite Hendrick Motorsports moments. Select fan-generated clips will be shown during the Oct. 11 broadcast on ABC. The full-length version of "TOGETHER" with bonus material will be released Oct. 31 on DVD, and it will become NASCAR Media Group's first officially licensed title available on Blu-ray Disc. A portion of Hendrick Motorsports' proceeds from those sales will benefit the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. Cruise, an auto racing enthusiast who starred in the 1990 NASCAR-themed motion picture "Days of Thunder," completed the narration work for "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" in Los Angeles last month. The script was co-written by Emmy Award winners Shawn Truax and Ray Didinger. Film director Rory Karpf has spearheaded such projects as the Dale Earnhardt biopic "DALE," now the best-selling sports DVD in history, and the critically acclaimed "Ride of Their Lives." The NASCAR Media Group production team responsible for "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" earned back-to-back Sports Emmy Awards in 2006 and 2007 for "Beyond the Wheel" and "Quest for the Cup."(HMS)(9-2-2009)
Martin honored at Bristol: Mark Martin's introduction drew the loudest cheers at Bristol Motor Speedway during Sharpie 500 driver introductions, and the honors continued for Martin before his 1,000th career start. Besides a video tribute, the 50-year-old was presented with a 3-foot trophy with the number 1,000 on top while fans in the north end zone turned red, white and black cards reading The 1000 Mark. It was enough to choke Martin up as he thanked the crowd for their support. "A thousand starts ain't no big deal," Martin said, "but what they did made me cry."(USA Today)
AND The folks at BMS honored Martin with the latest card stunt. The fans between turn 1 and 2 revealed a message that read “The 1000 Mark.” Martin also received a special commemorative trophy from BMS president and general manager Jeff Byrd, who also gave Martin a thousand gallons of gas for his airplane.(Kingsport Times News)(8-23-2009)
1000th NASCAR Start for Martin: On Aug. 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway, #5-Mark Martin will make his 1,000th career NASCAR start. That date will mark his 746th Sprint Cup race. Martin also has competed in 231 Nationwide Series and 23 Camping World Truck Series events. He is the third driver to achieve this mark, behind only Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip. Across all three series, Martin has won 93 points-paying events.(HMS)(8-18-2009)
Congrats to Dan Graves, tire specialist for #5-Mark Martin, and wife Natasha who are celebrating the birth of identical twin boys on July 28,2009.(8-2-2009)
Cheez-It scheme returns at Pocono: The #5 Chevy of Mark Martin, which has visited victory lane more times than any other car in 2009, will sport the Cheez-It paint scheme this weekend at Pocono [for the final time in 2009]. The Cheez-It/Carquest Chevy has competed in three other races this season, including the team's second victory of the year at Darlington Raceway in May.(HMS), see images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2009)
Martin makes history at the Brickyard: #5-Mark Martin’s lap of 49.436 seconds, 182.054mph for the Allstate 400 made Martin the oldest pole winner of a major event in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history. Martin’s age of 50 years, 197 days old eclipses the previous record set by Cliff Bergere, who was 49 years, 175 days old when he won the pole for the 1946 Indianapolis 500. The previous Allstate 400 at the Brickyard record was set by Jimmy Spencer, when he won the pole at age 44 years, 171 days in 2001. “I like making history; that’s cool,” Martin said. “Yesterday was a lot of fun for me. We struggled through race trim practice and then we went into Q (qualifying) trim and we made improvements. We made three qualifying runs, the last one was about 10 minutes left of practice, (and) we went to the top of the board. You should have seen the light in all my guys’ faces."(IMS)(7-26-2009)
Rare Mark Martin racing footage from the '80s! by Gary Spencer.(7-18-2009)
Mark Martin wins at Chicago: #5-Mark Martin won the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway for his 4th win of 2009 and the 39th of his career. He dominated most of the race, leading 195 of the 267 laps. #24-Jeff Gordon finshed second, followed by #9-Kahne, #14-Stewart, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #33-Bowyer, and #42-Montoya. There were 7 cautions for 30 laps and 10 lead changes among 6 leaders.
For race results, awards and more, see my Chicago Race Results Page.(7-11-2009)
For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(7-11-2009)
Shell to Hendrick? Rick Hendrick may be in the running for the lucrative Shell-Pennzoil sponsorship for 2010, according to sources in the NASCAR garage. Car owner Richard Childress is in the third season of Shell sponsorship, but he has said little about the contract or any negotiations. Hendrick has had a long-standing sponsorship relationship with Quaker State, which is owned by Shell. If Shell were to move from the Childress camp to the Hendrick camp, it would apparently go on Mark Martin's car. NASCAR executives are expected to discuss the full range of sponsorship issues with key car owners and drivers in next week's planned annual post-Daytona 400 'seminar.' That private retreat each July was started by the late Bill France Jr., to get an inside look at the state of the sport from the owners' perspective.(MikeMulhern.net)(6-28-2009)
Sponsor search for 2010: We've been hearing for months that sponsors, including those at top teams such as Hendrick Motorsports, won't fully commit past this season. Team owner Rick Hendrick made that clearer on Sunday when he indicated that Kellogg's and Carquest may not return in their full capacity in 2010. "Our sponsors are coming back," Hendrick said after Martin won at Michigan. "We don't know to what extent. That's the question. As you go along with this economy companies are taking longer to get their budgets in line. They're not a year out, or not even eight months like they have been in the past. We're in good shape. We have a lot of sponsors inside our company that we're talking about, you know, splitting up the car. So look for the guys that are on it to be back, but there will probably be someone new along there with them." That not only goes for the #5, but the #24 of Jeff Gordon and #88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. also could have more partners next season. Jimmie Johnson and Lowe's appear solid on the #48. The same sort of restructuring is going on at other organizations such as Roush, which is trying to find multiple partners to lessen the load of DeWalt [of #17 Matt Kenseth].(ESPN Insider)(6-18-2009)
Mark Martin wins at Michigan: #5-Mark Martin won the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway for his 3rd win of 2009 and the 38th of his career.
It was a fuel mileage race as #48-Jimmie Johnson was leading the race coming to the white flag when he ran out of gas, handing the lead to #16-Greg Biffle, who then ran out of gas on the backstretch.
#24-Jeff Gordon finished second, followed by #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #42-Montoya, #14-Stewart, #2-Busch, #83-Vickers, and #33-Bowyer.
Johnson fell to 22nd at the finish. There were just 3 cautions for 14 laps and there were 11 lead changes among 6 drivers.
For race results, awards and more on the Michigan Race Results Page.(6-14-2009)
Martin looks for his first win at Pocono: In 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway, #5-Mark Martin has scored 19 top-five finishes, 31 top-10s and three pole positions, but has yet to win a Sprint Cup Series race there. Pocono is one of only six active tracks where Martin has yet to visit Victory Lane. Martin has finished in the runner-up position at Pocono six times -- a stat that ties his personal best at Dover and Darlington [tracks where he also has wins]. Martin's 31 top-10 finishes and 36 lead-lap finishes at Pocono are the most for the NASCAR veteran at any active racetrack. Meanwhile, his 19 top-fives rank second for Martin, just behind the 21 he has recorded at Dover. His average start of 8.6 and average finish of 10.7 at the Long Pond, Pa., triangle make Pocono the only non-road course track where both stats are in the top 10.(HMS)(6-3-2009)
Mark Martin: 23000+ miles at Lowes and counting: Martin has logged more miles -- 23,205 total -- at Lowe's Motor Speedway than any other track on the Sprint Cup circuit. If Martin circled the globe on the equator in his #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevy, he would be just 1,795 miles shy of completing his mission. Martin almost could make up the remaining distance with just one round-trip from his home in Batesville, Ark., to the Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, N.C.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(5-20-2009)
Hendrick to appear on Oprah: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, will make an appearance on the Tuesday, May 19 edition of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The episode is entitled "Heroes in Hard Times."
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions Inc. and syndicated to 214 domestic stations by CBS Television Distribution Group and to 143 countries by CBS Paramount International Television. It has been the #1-rated talk show for 22 consecutive seasons. Visit www.oprah.com for local listings.(HMS)(5-18-2009)
Hendrick hits 700th Top 5: #5-Mark Martin posted the 700th top-5 finish for Hendrick Motorsports at Darlington Raceway, second all time behind Petty Enterprises, which scored 890 top-5s. #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) and #24-Jeff Gordon (fifth) also finished in the top five, giving Hendrick 702 top-5s leaving Darlington.(ESPN/Racing Resources)(5-13-2009)
Hendrick set to return from illness: Sidelined the past several weeks by a fast-spreading sinus infection, NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick plans to return to the track this weekend after a five-race absence. Hendrick has not been to the track since Jimmie Johnson helped his boss celebrate his 25th anniversary in NASCAR with a March 29th victory at Martinsville Speedway. He skipped the next two events, races in Texas and Phoenix, for personal and business reasons. Then he was stricken with a sinus infection that spread to both his chest and ears, keeping him away from the track another three races. He needed tubes inserted in both ears to fight the infection. "They say the tubes are for kids, so I guess I'm a 59-year-old kid with ear infections," he said Tuesday. "I've got a weak immune system, and this infection just jumped on me. I was a sick puppy there for about three weeks. But I am much better, feeling more like myself." Hendrick's immune system was weakened by a long, but successful, fight with leukemia 12 years ago. "If I am not careful, I get knocked on my butt," said Hendrick, who spent more than four hours with employees Tuesday passing out the championship rings from Johnson's third title. The illness kept Hendrick away from wins by Jeff Gordon at Texas, and Mark Martin in Phoenix and Darlington, S.C. Hendrick watched all the races he missed on TV, admittedly screaming at his set and often second-guessing strategy through text messages to team vice president Doug Duchardt. He then called his drivers in Victory Lane, a scene often caught on live television that drew attention to his absence. Hendrick said he'll ease back into at-track activities with the All-Star race this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where he traditionally celebrates Charlotte Speedweeks by treating employees from both his motorsports and automotive programs to weekends at the track.(ESPN/AP)
AND: The Hendrick Motorsports Museum and Team Store has updated its exhibits and extended its hours for fans visiting during the upcoming race weeks. More info at hendrickmotorsports.com.(5-13-2009)
Mark Martin wins at Darlington: #5-Mark Martin won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 2nd win of 2009 and the 37th of his career. Martin wins his 2nd race after turning 50 years old, only the 2nd driver ever to have more then one win after turning 50 years of age. Harry Gant won 8 times after the age of 50 including at Darlington [age 51], so Martin is not the oldest driver to win a race at Darlington. #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd, after starting 42nd in a backup car with no laps on it. #14-Tony Stewart finished 3rd, for his best ever finish at Darlington, followed by #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #1-Truex Jr., #25-Keselowski, #16-Biffle, #20-Logano and #17-Kenseth [the pole sitter]. #33-Bowyer wrecked and his Did Not Finish streak of 83 falls one short of the all-time record that Herman Beam holds at 84. Stewart and #19-Sadler have the longest current consecutive DNF at 34 races. #78-Regan Smith is at 47 but has not run all the races and have never had a DNF. There were 17 cautions (a new track record) for 73 laps and 23 lead changes among 13 leaders.
For race results, awards and more on the Darlington Race Results Page.
For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(5-9-2009)
Martin to run full Sprint Cup season in 2010: Mark Martin will return to drive the #5 Chevy of Hendrick Motorsports for the entire 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in 2010. It will be the 22nd full-time Cup campaign of Martin's career and his second with car owner Rick Hendrick. Last July, Martin signed a two-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports covering one full Sprint Cup season in 2009 and one part-time schedule of 26 events in 2010. The revised agreement was signed this week. "Week in and week out, Mark continues to be one of the best race car drivers in the world," Hendrick said. "He's already made an incredible contribution to Hendrick Motorsports, and our entire company is excited about running another full season and winning races with him in 2010." With his April 18 victory at Phoenix, Martin became just the fourth driver to record 400 top-10 finishes in Sprint Cup competition. It was his 36th career win in NASCAR's top series. "It means a lot to drive the #5 Chevy for Rick and for Hendrick Motorsports," said Martin, 50, of Batesville, Ark. "I'm in the best condition of my life, I'm recharged, and I'm motivated. Going to the racetrack every weekend is still really fun, and that's the key. There's more gas in my tank." Martin will continue to work alongside crew chief Alan Gustafson in 2010. Gustafson has led the #5 team since 2005, recording five wins and two berths in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. The #5 team's sponsorship lineup for 2010 has not been determined.(HMS PR)(5-6-2009)
Cheez-It scheme returns for Martin: Cheez-It again will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin this weekend. Cheez-It was also on the hood at Texas Motor Speedway in April where the the #5 Chevy finished sixth. Cheez-It has two more races with the #5 team this year: Darlington in May and Pocono in August.(HMS PR), see images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2009)
Hendrick drivers win three in a row: #5-Mark Martin's win last week at Phoenix International Raceway came on the heels of two other Hendrick Motorsports wins -- #48-Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville and #24-Jeff Gordon at Texas -- and marked the third time Hendrick Motorsports has won three consecutive Cup events with three different drivers. Hendrick, the only team in NASCAR's modern era to have three different drivers win in three straight races, accomplished the feat in 2007 -- with Johnson, Gordon and Casey Mears -- and in 1989 -- with Darrell Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Geoff Bodine. In 1956, Carl Kiekhaefer's drivers won three in a row twice. Buck Baker, Speedy Thompson and Herb Thomas contributed to the first streak, while Baker, Jack Smith and Thompson were part of the other.(HMS PR)(4-23-2009)
Hendrick to swap #5 and #88 crew chiefs? UPDATE no truth to it? Sources within Hendrick Motorsports confirmed to Captain Thunder that discussions were held over the Easter break regarding the possible switching of crew chiefs between the #5 and #88 teams. Mark Martin's crew chief Alan Gustafson was said to be on the block and was willing to move to the #88 team and Martin was willing to support the move. The discussions over Easter ended with an agreement between the two teams and Mr. Hendrick to keep their current teams in tact for at least three more weeks to see if both teams could improve on the slow start they have endured through the first part of the 2009 Sprint Cup season. Sources said Tony Eury Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin, and Gustafson all agreed that if Mr. Hendrick wanted a change, they would be willing to swap Gustafson for Eury Jr. However, with Martin's win Saturday night in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix, any switch is now out of the question for the foreseeable future. Hendrick and Martin have no desire to take Gustafson away from the #5 team after the way they dominated the Phoenix race. Now, the timetable is set for the All-Star race at Charlotte on May 16th. If both teams continue to perform poorly, expect a change the week of the All-Star race. However, if Martin's team continues to gain momentum following their Phoenix win, and the #88 team continues to struggle, sources said Eury Jr. could be replaced by car chiefs Ron Malec of the #48 team or Jason Burdett of the #24 team.(CaptainThunderRacing.com and reported on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show by Capt Thunder)(4-22-2009)
UPDATE: Will rumors of a Hendrick Motorsports separation of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Eury Jr. ever end? Ever? Ever?
Never, as long as there are upstart, cottage-industry Web-sites churning this stuff out, and others linking to it. "There's absolutely nothing to this," came an e-mail reply from high-up inside Hendrick, when the latest one was checked. The latest report appears on Jayski.com, picked up from CaptainThunderRacing.com, that meetings were held over the Easter break at Hendrick. Supposedly there was discussion of swapping crew chiefs, with Eury going to Mark Martin, and Alan Gustafson going to Earnhardt, if the two teams' performances didn't improve within three races. Here's how screwy this stuff can get. Right in the middle of the CaptainThunder report, there's a line, "However, with Martin's win Saturday night in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix, any switch is now out of the question for the foreseeable future."
Then the report goes right on to say that new deadlines have been set for a possible switch: "If both teams continue to perform poorly, expect a change the week of the All-Star race." The wackiness warranted a double-check high-up at Hendrick, which brought the firm reply, "Not a shred of truth to any of it."(ESPN Insider)(4-22-2009)
Mark Martin wins at Phoenix: #5-Mark Martin won the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway for his first win in 97 races [Kansas in 2005] for his first win in 2009 and 36th win of his career [16th all-time]. Former owner Jack Roush came to victory lane to shake Martin's hand along with many other drivers. #14-Stewart finished 2nd, followed by #2-Busch, #48-Johnson, #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #1-Truex Jr., #00-Reutimann, #77-Hornish Jr. [career best finish] and #99-Edwards. Points leader, #24-Jeff Gordon had a bad pitstop late and finished 25th and his point lead dwindles to 85 over #48-Johnson. There were 6 cautions for 29 laps and there were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers.
For race results, awards and more on the Phoenix Race Results Page.
For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(4-18-2009)
- Hendrick wants Martin's decision by July: Rick Hendrick hopes to know by July whether 50-year-old Mark Martin will drive full-time again in 2010. He also reiterated that he's convinced there's no better person than Martin, whose original deal called for him to drive a partial schedule next season, for the #5. "He's delivered everything I thought and more," Hendrick said during a Wednesday afternoon conference call. "He's a huge asset to this company." Martin told ESPN.com last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway that he would consider driving another full year if Hendrick, sponsors and his team wanted him to. Hendrick said on Sunday and again on Wednesday that it's "Mark's call." Before a decision can be made Hendrick must first settle the sponsorship on Martin's car. Kellogg's is up for a renewal, and with the current economic climate there is no guarantee the company will come back.(ESPN)(3-27-2009)
- 25th anniversary of Hendrick's 1st win: On Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports will mark the 25th anniversary of its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Since the organization began competing as All-Star Racing in 1984, it has grown from five employees and 5,000 square feet of rented work space to more than 500 employees and more than 100 acres straddling Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties in North Carolina. It was the eighth race of the 1984 Cup Series season, and Geoff Bodine lined up sixth at Martinsville Speedway in the #5 Chevy for Rick Hendrick's fledgling All-Star Racing team. On that day -- April 29, 1984 -- Bodine led 55 laps en route to capturing the organization's first win. Reaching Victory Lane wasn't easy, though. Bodine had to pass then-defending Cup champion Bobby Allison with 48 laps to go to take the lead. Hendrick wasn't at Martinsville to experience the first of his 17 Cup wins at the .526-mile oval. The car owner was attending church with his wife, Linda, in Greensboro, N.C., during the race. He received a phone call with the news and headed straight for Bodine's home in Pleasant Garden, N.C., to celebrate. Frank Edwards, 72, was one of the five original employees at Hendrick Motorsports. Initially a setup specialist, Edwards moved from his home in Danville, Va., when Hendrick told him about his plans to start the race team. Edwards has held many roles within the team and currently works in the company's show-car department as a fabricator and mechanic.(more on this and some images at the Hendrick Motorsports site)(3-27-2009)
- Martin wants to run full time in 2010 UPDATE: Although he hasn't discussed it with team owner Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin would like to drive at least one more full season in the #5 after this year. When the 50-year-old driver signed a two-year deal with HMS midway through last season, the plan was to run a full schedule in 2009 and perhaps split the 2010 season with Brad Keselowski or another driver. "A lot of things have changed since May and June of '08," Martin said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "When it all comes down to it, it's not about contracts. It's all about what we all want." What Martin wants, despite a tough start that has him 35th in owner points, is to continue at his current pace.(ESPN.com)(3-20-2009)
UPDATE: Mark Martin says he loves being a full-time driver but he’s not ready to decide if he wants to convince team owner Rick Hendrick that he wants to drive the #5 car full time in 2010. After completing the pole-winning lap Friday for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Martin said he has a part-time contract with Hendrick Motorsports for 2010 and he’s not ready to talk about trying to change that. “I love what I’m doing and I don’t want to quit racing, but I have not had a conversation with my wife, with Hendrick Motorsports, with anybody about that,” Martin said. “It’s way too premature to talk about that. I have a [part-time] contract for next year. … I don’t want to talk about next year.” Last summer when Martin announced his signing with Hendrick Motorsports, he and Hendrick announced that Martin would drive a full season in 2009 with a part-time role in 2010. The other driver was not announced, although Brad Keselowski and Landon Cassill were considered the top candidates to share the ride with Martin.(SceneDaily)(3-21-2009)
- Pop Tarts scheme for Martin at Vegas: Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, will be on the hood of the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin during this weekend Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pop-Tarts will join Carquest as the co-primary sponsor three more times this season -- at Bristol in August, Lowe's Motor Speedway in October and Talladega in November. Martin and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates currently are being featured on Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavored Limited Edition NASCAR Printed-Fun Pop-Tarts. The pastries will be available throughout the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season at major retail outlets across the country.(HMS PR)(2-25-2009)
- Some NASCAR drivers linked with new US F1 team UPDATE: With the new prospective American team USF1 set to be announced officially on Tuesday [Live press conference on SPEED 12noon/et], attention is already turning to the possible occupants of the Charlotte-built race cockpits in 2010. Indycar star Danica Patrick has already played down her reported link with the outfit, but other notable American names have also been mentioned in various quarters of the racing world. #44-AJ Allmendinger's has been another name associated with USF1, but he said he is concentrating on his NASCAR foray even though he views a formula one opportunity as "intriguing". The motor sport writer for the Toronto Star claims #18-Kyle Busch should be "a shoo-in" for a USF1 seat, while the 26-year-old veteran of 28 grands prix #82-Scott Speed has also been linked with Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor's project, as have Conor Daly and Marco Andretti. Windsor is quoted by Britain's The Independent newspaper as clarifying that no decisions about details including engines and drivers have been made. "We have yet to speak to any drivers, but we are looking at every American with the right credentials, and Danica is definitely on the list," he said.(
UPDATE: Kyle Busch's agent said the young NASCAR star would "certainly leave the door open" to try Formula One "at some point" after Busch's name was mentioned during a press conference announcing a new American-based F1 team. Officials with the USF1 team, which will be based out of Charlotte, said it would be interested in having Busch drive its car. Busch is under contract at Joe Gibbs Racing through the end of next season . "Obviously, it's very flattering for him to be mentioned for a Formula One ride, especially an American-based team," said Jeff Dickerson, Busch's agent. "Thanks to Toyota, he was excited at the prospect of getting to test a Formula One car this past offseason. While it didn't work out then, he would certainly leave the door open to try it out at some point. At the same time, he's currently focused on winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series championships for Joe Gibbs Racing." IndyCar Series drivers Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti were also among the drivers mentioned as possibilities by the USF1 team.(SceneDaily)(2-25-2009)
- Hendrick engine problems caused by bad parts: Hendrick Motorsports officials say a bad batch of parts led to engine failures by #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Mark Martin in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. "Both cars had valve train failures that were related to a specific batch of parts from a vendor," said Doug Duchardt, HMS' vice president of development. Duchardt said the parts were not restricted to use by Earnhardt and Martin, whose cars are prepared out of the same building. He said they also were used by Hendrick drivers #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson, as well as lease programs such as Stewart-Haas Racing. Earnhardt finished 39th and Martin 40th after both lost their engines within 25 laps of each other. Gordon finished second and Johnson was ninth, combining to lead 138 of 250 laps. #14-Tony Stewart was eighth and led three laps. "So we're glad it wasn't more widespread," Duchardt said.(ESPN)(2-24-2009)
- Congrats to Benny Ertel, Mark Martin's Business Manger, and his wife Cheryl became first time Grandparents on Tuesday, Feb 17th when there daughter Samantha Allison Ertel gave birth to Gavin Julius Ertel Linsley at Halifax Medical Center at 8 lbs 7 oz.(2-18-2009)
- Hendrick presented with first chassis 'Dusty': Before "Blacker," the most successful car in Hendrick Motorsports history, and before "T-Rex," the Chevrolet that prompted NASCAR's sanctioning body to rewrite its chassis rules: There was Dusty. The Chevrolet Lumina was an original, integral piece in the chassis-building history of Hendrick Motorsports. But the rustic car is more than a footnote in the company annals. It represents the innovative approach and optimistic spirit that team owner Rick Hendrick still infuses into his employees. To commemorate the organization's 25th anniversary, the restored Dusty was presented to Hendrick at the company's season kickoff luncheon on Jan. 20. The car was painted silver and bears the single letter "H" in lieu of a number on the side. A small metal plate stamped with "HMS 001 Dusty" sits on the crossbar that goes through the passenger seat. When Dusty first was built in 1989, it didn't have a chassis number anywhere on it. The precise craftsmanship served as the signature mark on Hendrick Motorsports' initial stab at car building. Under the direction of Gary Dehart, the Lumina -- originally identified as "HMS 89-1 test" -- was to be used for testing purposes. See full story at the Hendrick Motorsports site.(1-28-2009)
- Hendrick drivers to pop up on Kellogg's breakfast pastry: Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are coming to a breakfast aisle near you during the 2009 Sprint Cup season. The Hendrick Motorsports drivers will be featured on Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavored Limited Edition NASCAR Printed-Fun Pop-Tarts. In addition to the drivers, the team paint schemes and hauler designs will be printed on the individual Pop-Tarts pastries, which are Kellogg's most popular morning food product. The limited edition Pop-Tarts also will include NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and driver trivia questions. The Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavored Limited Edition NASCAR Printed-Fun Pop-Tarts will be available throughout the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season at major retail outlets nationwide.(Hendrick Motorsports PR) Martin is scheduled to run special Pop Tart's paint schemes at Las Vegas, Bristol in Aug, Richmond in Sept and Charlotte in Oct.(1-15-2009)
- Keselowski to run 7 Cup races in 2009: GoDaddy.com extended its partnerships with JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports, which will give the world’s leading registrar of Internet domain names a significant presence in NASCAR’s top two series in 2009. This season, GoDaddy.com will be the primary sponsor for 20 Nationwide Series events with JR Motorsports and seven Sprint Cup Series races with Hendrick Motorsports. The company also will be an associate sponsor of Hendrick’s #5 Sprint Cup Chevys with driver Mark Martin. The pact includes two Nationwide Series races with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #5 Chevys of JR Motorsports. Earnhardt is a GoDaddy.com spokesperson. In addition, GoDaddy.com will back the #88 Chevys of JR Motorsports and driver Brad Keselowski in 18 Nationwide Series races. Keselowski, 24, also will attempt a seven-event Sprint Cup schedule in the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevys of Hendrick Motorsports. The Cup effort will be led by veteran crew chief Lance McGrew. Details of the Nationwide and Cup programs, including race dates, will be announced at a later time. GoDaddy.com’s first foray into auto racing came in December 2006 with the Indy Racing League’s Danica Patrick. The company moved into NASCAR last season as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series (two events), Nationwide Series (six events) and Camping World Truck Series (five events). The extension and expansion of the GoDaddy.com relationship completes the 2009 sponsorship picture for the #88 JR Motorsports Chevys. The company joins Unilever (11 races) and Delphi Corp. (six races) as primary sponsors of championship contender Keselowski in the Nationwide Series.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(1-7-2009)
- HMS Holdings suing DEI over engines UPDATE 2:: HMS Holdings, which operates the Hendrick Motorsports engine shop, is suing Dale Earnhardt Inc. for $1.5 million for the payment of a termination fee stemming from a contract to supply Hendrick engines to Ginn Racing. Ginn Racing, which also is a defendant in the suit filed Friday in North Carolina Superior Court, merged with DEI in July 2007. As part of the merger, DEI and Ginn Racing signed a termination agreement to a contract that was originally signed by Ginn in 2006. The termination agreement required payments to HMS of $1.754 million by July 31, 2007, and $1.5 million by Nov. 15, 2008, according to the suit. The first payment was made on time. The second payment has not been made, according to the suit. The original engine contract and termination agreement are not included in the suit, so it is unclear how much Ginn was paying to use Hendrick engines. HMS is asking for the $1.5 million, 12% interest and an additional $225,000. Hendrick Motorsports spokesman Jesse Essex said the company is looking forward to a swift resolution of the lawsuit. Dale Earnhardt Inc. Vice President John Story said the company has no comment.(SceneDaily)(11-25-2008)
UPDATE - engines cost $12.8M base: If you’re looking to lease engines from Hendrick Motorsports for a NASCAR operation, you’d better be prepared to open up your wallet. A legal battle being played out in North Carolina courts is offering rare insight into the usually secretive world of the sport’s finances as the Hendrick operation seeks compensation from the Ginn Racing team that wound up as part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2007. According to a contract filed as part of the case, the Hendrick engine lease agreement with Ginn Racing called for Ginn to pay a base rent of $12.8 million in 2007 and $13.7 million in 2008 to lease engines for its three Sprint Cup teams and one team in what is now the Nationwide Series. The fee covered Cup engines for 36 race events and up to nine tests or special events and Nationwide engines for 35 events, according to the contract filed as part of a lawsuit by HMS Holdings against Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. over the termination fees resulting from the Ginn-DEI merger in July 2007.(Scene Daily)(12-20-2008)
UPDATE 2: DEI claims that former NASCAR team owner Bobby Ginn is responsible for paying off any termination fees of Ginn Racing’s engine leasing contract with Hendrick Motorsports. Both DEI and Ginn have been sued by Hendrick in North Carolina Superior Court over $1.5 million in fees that Hendrick claims is owed under the termination agreement signed when DEI bought Ginn Racing in July 2007. In its response to the suit filed Dec. 22, DEI claims that DEI and Ginn have a signed agreement that DEI would not be responsible for any claims or payments under the engine lease termination agreement. DEI asks the court to rule that Ginn is responsible for any payments. Ginn has not yet responded to the suit.(SceneDaily)(12-30-2008)
- Tire Testing at Las Vegas UPDATE: there is a Goodyear Tire test scheduled at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on December 10-11, 2008, hearing the drivers to test will be #99-Carl Edwards, #5-Mark Martin, #83-Brian Vickers and #12-David Stremme.(12-4-2008)
UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards, who won this year's Sprint Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will be joined by #5-Mark Martin, #83-Brian Vickers and #12-David Stremme for a two-day Goodyear tire test this Wednesday and Thursday at LVMS. For Martin, it will be a chance to get acquainted with Hendrick Motorsports' #5 Chevrolet, which he will pilot in the 2009 season. Vickers will be in the Red Bull Toyota, and Stremme will be in his new Penske Dodge. Stremme has replaced Ryan Newman in the #12 car for next season. "These two days in Vegas are going to be, quite possibly, the two most important days of our 2009 season," said Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Martin. "With NASCAR's new ‘no testing' rule, we are very fortunate to have been invited by Goodyear to this test. This gives us two extra days on an intermediate track that only three other teams are getting. We need to maximize that time all we can." The race teams and Goodyear will be testing in preparation for the March 1 Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The test will be closed to the public. Tickets are available for the 2009 NASCAR Weekend, more info by calling 1-800-644-4444 or logging on to www.lvms.com.(LVMS PR)(12-9-2008)
- Last race for Mears at Hendrick: Sunday's race at Homestead will mark the final start for #5-Casey Mears at Hendrick Motorsports. Mears earned his first Sprint Cup win, driving the #25 Chevy to Victory Lane in the May 27, 2007 event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In 71 starts with Hendrick, Mears has recorded one win, six top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and one pole position. He also made 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts with the team, recording seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10s.(HMS PR)(11-16-2008)
- Cheez-It colors for the #5 at Phoenix: Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway will mark the final 2008 race in which Cheez-It will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears. Cheez-It has been the co-primary sponsor on the Chevy in three races this season -- Texas [April], Pocono [Aug], and Auto Club Speedway. Cheez-It will return to the hood of the #5 Chevy [with Mark Martin as the driver] for select races in 2009. Sponsor CARQUEST and Brakes Plus are participating in the KNIX Radio "Million Can Crusade," a Phoenix-area canned food drive to benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Twelve CARQUEST locations will serve as official drop-off points, while Brakes Plus will run the program at 13 of its branches. Visit www.knixcountry.com for more information.(HMS PR), see images of the scheme of my #5 Team Schemes page and my 2009 #5 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2008)
- Delphi Continues with Hendrick Motorsports & JR Motorsports: Delphi announced that it will continue its major associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports during the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. In addition, Delphi will be the primary sponsor for seven Nationwide Series races with JR Motorsports next year. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. Delphi will be the primary sponsor for one Nationwide Series race with driver Tony Stewart in the #5 Delphi Chevy fielded by JR Motorsports. Additionally, Delphi will be the primary sponsor for Brad Keselowski in the JR Motorsports #88 Chevrolet for six Nationwide races in 2009. The race details will be announced in the near future. Delphi also will be an associate sponsor of all 2008 Hendrick Motorsports 2009 Spring Cup entries. Delphi will continue to be featured on the uniforms of all Hendrick Motorsports drivers for the 2009 season, including four-time Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, two-time defending Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin. For more information about Delphi's involvement in motorsports, visit www.delphi.com/about/motorsports.(Marketwire.com)(11-6-2008)
- Martin to the #5...in 2008? UPDATE 2: hearing that Mark Martin may get started on his ride a few races early and running the #5 Carquest/Kelloggs Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the final four races [Atlanta , Texas, Phoenix, Homestead] of the 2008 Cup season. Casey Mears currently drives the car. Martin is slated to drive the #8 US Army Chevy for DEI in 3 of the 4 final 2008 races, with Aric Almirola in at Phoenix.(8-6-2008)
UPDATE: during SPEED's coverage of the first Saturday practice, Larry McReynolds said he had a nugget....Mark Martin will run the final four races of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, including the final race at Homestead, but not in the #8 DEI Chevy, but in a Hendrick Chevy, so he could be in the #5 Chevy, meaning we may see Casey Mears in a 4th RCR car [#33?] at Homestead.(10-25-2008)
UPDATE 2: Hendrick Motorsports is considering a plan that would put Mark Martin in the #5 car for the final race of this season at Homestead Speedway, sources told ESPN.com. Martin will drive the #5 car for Hendrick Motorsports in the 2009 season.
A contingency to the plan is getting Casey Mears, the current driver of the #5, into the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing that he will drive next season. But in order to do that Mears likely would have to drive the #33, not the #07 that he is slated to drive because Clint Bowyer is driving that car in the Chase. Richard Childress Racing is willing to put Mears in the #33 car unsponsored as it wants to get him in the race. Martin will be free of his duties in the #8 at Dale Earnhardt Enterprises after the next two races at Texas and Phoenix. He will end his part-time schedule that he has been on for a couple of years to run a full-time schedule for Hendrick Motorsports.
Officials from Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing were not immediately available for comment.(ESPN)(10-27-2008)
UPDATE 3: Although a switch for the Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami was discussed, Casey Mears will remain in the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy while Mark Martin will sit on the sideline. There were discussions about Mears driving for RCR with Martin going into the Hendrick car for the finale so they could get a head start on next season, Mears and Martin said last Sunday. But Hendrick Motorsports has opted to just keep Mears in the car, Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.(Scene Daily)(10-31-2008)
- Congrats - Casey Mears: Casey Mears and Trisha Grablander welcomed their baby yesterday, Oct. 7th. Samantha Mae Mears weighed 8lbs. 7oz. and is 20 3/4 inches long. Sam is named after her Great-Grandmother Mae "Skip" Mears. Mom, Dad, and baby are doing fantastic!(10-8-2008)
- Keselowski practices for Mears UPDATE: Brad Keselowski is practiced Hendrick Motorsports' #5 Pop Tars/Carquest Chevy Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway for Casey Mears, who is expecting his first child with girlfriend Trisha Grablander. In the event that Mears needs to return to North Carolina to be with Grablander, Keselowski will be on standby and is practicing the car accordingly. NASCAR is requiring that Keselowski must practice the car before being allowed to drive in relief. Keselowski is a JR Motorsports driver [#88 US Navy Chevy] in the Nationwide Series who will attempt his Sprint Cup debut in a Hendrick car next week at Charlotte [at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy](SceneDaily)(10-3-2008)
UPDATE: #5-Casey Mears will start on the front row Sunday, assuming he's still in Talladega. Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski will make his Sprint Cup debut and replace Mears in the #5 Pop Tarts/Carquest Chevy if Mears' girlfriend, Trisha Grablander, goes into labor. Grablander is due at any moment. Mears, who qualified second, will fly home to North Carolina if Grablander goes into labor this weekend. "It's a very important time in my life," Mears said. "I don't want to miss the birth of my child. Hendrick Motorsports has set it up for me to get back if it comes to that."(ESPN)(10-5-2008)
- Pop-Tart back with Mears: For the third time this season, Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears. Pop-Tarts was also the co-primary sponsor of the #5 Chevy in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in August at Bristol Motor Speedway.(HMS PR), see an image of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(10-2-2008)
- Mears Cheez-it scheme at Calif: Cheez-It, the world's largest-selling cheese cracker, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears this weekend at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Cheez-It already has been the co-primary sponsor two times this season -- at Texas Motor Speedway in April and at Pocono Raceway last month.(HMS PR), see images of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(8-27-2008)
- Pop Tarts on Mears car at Bristol: CRAZY GOOD: Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet this Saturday at Bristol. Pop-Tarts also was the co-primary sponsor of the #5 Chevy in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the team finished 13th.(HMS PR), see an image of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(8-20-2008)
- Latest on Mears 2009 plans: RCR Announcment at Bristol? Although multiple sources say Casey Mears is headed to Richard Childress Racing next season, Mears contends it's not a done deal. Mears said on Friday at Michigan International Speedway that he is talking to more than one team about his Sprint Cup future. Penske Racing also has had discussions with the Hendrick Motorsports driver about replacing Ryan Newman in the #12. "Hopefully, I can get something squared here soon," Mears said. "I'm still not sure yet exactly what's going on. Hopefully, we can get something sorted out real quick. It's still up in the air on what is going on. I'm not going to say what team 'cause I don't know. If I knew I'd give some answers." Sources said RCR continues to work out details as ESPN.com's Terry Blount reported last week that would put Mears in the Jack Daniels sponsored #07 currently being driven by Clint Bowyer, who would move to the #33 that will be sponsored by General Mills. The switch would have to be made because General Mills reportedly isn't comfortable with Mears because of his association with rival sponsor Kellogg's at HMS. RCR then would petition NASCAR to move the points from the #07 to the #33 so Bowyer would be guaranteed a spot in the first five races next season. Asked about the possible switch, Bowyer said, "We're still working on that." RCR owner Richard Childress, who made Friday a target date to name his fourth driver more than a month ago, said "things aren't totally in place yet. Nothing is done," he added. "Nothing has been signed yet."(ESPN.com)(8-16-2008)
UPDATE: Barring a major snag Richard Childress Racing will introduce Casey Mears as its fourth driver next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. Team owner Richard Childress declined to comment, saying only that he hoped to name a driver soon. Mears said on Friday at Michigan International Speedway that he has signed nothing and continues to talk to more than one organization. But sources said RCR already has made tentative plans for a press conference next Saturday. To be finalized are details of a deal that would put Mears in the Jack Daniels-sponsored #07 currently being driven by Clint Bowyer, who would move to the # 33 that will be sponsored by General Mills. The switch would be made because General Mills reportedly isn't comfortable with Mears because of his association with rival sponsor Kellogg's at HMS. RCR then would petition NASCAR to move the 07 points to the #33 so Bowyer would be guaranteed a spot in the first five races next season.(ESPN.com)(8-16-2008)
- Mears or Truex to the #33? UPDATE: Richard Childress is still looking for the right driver to add to his Cup team. He said earlier this year that Richard Childress Racing plans to add a fourth Cup driver for next season, joining Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. But the search has dragged on longer than Childress expected. "You've got to find the right person," Childress said Sunday. "You don't want to mess up the other three (teams). But we're still working on it and I think we'll get it done in the next couple of weeks." Two of the leading candidates for the RCR ride appear to be Casey Mears, who will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season, and Martin Truex Jr., whose future at Dale Earnhardt Inc. remains up in the air.(AP/ESPN.com)(8-4-2008)
UPDATE: with Truex now re-signed with DEI to stay there for another year, it looks like Casey Mears is the front runner to be RCR's 4th driver BUT am hearing that Mears could end up in the #07 Jack Daniels's Chevy with Clint Bowyer moving over to the 4th team, sponsored by General Mills/Cheerios, supposedly using the #33. The teams could switch owners points so Bowyer is not out of the top-35 in owners points and Mears would have to qualify the #07 for the first five races of 2009.(8-9-2008)
- Cheesy scheme for Mears for Pocono: Cheez-It, the world's best-selling cheese cracker, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears this weekend at Pocono Raceway. This is the second time this season [Texas in April] that "The Big Cheese" will decorate the hood of the #5 Chevy. Cheez-It also will be a primary sponsor at Michigan [August] and California's Auto Club Speedway [August] later this season.(HMS PR), see an image of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2008)
- 200th start for Mears: #5-Casey Mears will make his 200th career Sprint Cup Series start this Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his previous 199 starts, Mears has earned one win (Lowe's Motor Speedway in May 2007), 12 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-24-2008)
- Gillett Evernham interested in free agent drivers: Tuesday Gillett Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham spoke to Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody about the possibility of bringing Ryan Newman or any other free agent drivers to his race team for next year.
Host, Dave Moody: "Are you now, have you ever, or do you anticipate active negotiations with Ryan Newman for a spot in your stable next year?"
Ray Evernham: "We have not negotiated with Ryan but we have put out the feeler that we would be very interested, certainly, in talking to Ryan about the future as would probably all the other car owners but we've not spoken with Ryan or negotiated with him. But, yes, we are interested in talking to him."
Moody: "So if your phone rings and he does [call] you back are we talking about a fourth car?"
Evernham: "Mr. Gillett and I would love to expand to four cars. So if that's going to happen it has to happen quickly but there are opportunities to grow Gillett Evernham Motorsports. But, again, that depends on drivers and sponsors and there are sponsors available with the proper drivers."
Moody: "Would it be safe to assume then that Ryan Newman might not be the only top notch driver in the final year of his contract that you might have reached out [to] at this point?"
Evernham: "Yeah, absolutely, but there's no sense in doing a fourth team unless it can add to what we're already building and to start a fourth team without the proper sponsorship or a driver that can add to the program just doesn't make sense. There are a couple of drivers available and there are some sponsors out there that are talking to other teams, too, besides us to put packages together. But if we were to be able to put that package together to strengthen Gillett Evernham we'd certainly do it. The guys that are out there that have been talking to people, certainly that we have spoken to or are interested in speaking [to], are the same guys everybody else has talked to: Ryan Newman, Casey Mears and Martin Truex are the guys that are in the hot rumors right now."(Sirius NASCAR Radio)(7-23-2008)
- Martin back to fulltime in 2009, to the #5 HMS car: Mark Martin has signed a two-year agreement to drive for Hendrick Motorsports beginning in 2009. Martin will race the full 2009 Sprint Cup schedule in the #5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevy, becoming teammates with #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. It will mark his first full season of Cup competition since 2006, when he finished ninth in points. A Batesville, Ark., native, Martin also is slated to run a partial Sprint Cup schedule for Hendrick Motorsports in 2010, sharing the #5 Chevys with a to-be-determined second driver. Martin will enter 26 events, including the non-points Budweiser Shootout and Sprint All-Star Race. “Mark is an incredible racer and one of the classiest guys around,” said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, whose organization will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2009. “He is a driver who makes everyone around him better, and our entire company is going to benefit from his presence.”
“I feel very fortunate to have this chance to win races and go after a championship with Hendrick Motorsports,” Martin said. “Coming back full time wasn’t something we planned, but driving the #5 car, with all its history, was an impossible opportunity to pass up. Rick and I have enjoyed a great relationship over the years, and we’ve always talked about doing this. Now it’s working out, and we’re both excited about the possibilities.” Martin, 49, will be paired with crew chief Alan Gustafson, who now is in his fourth season at the helm of the #5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevy team. Gustafson has posted four Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief and has a history with Martin, having worked with him in multiple Nationwide Series events.(HMS PR/Markmartin.com)(7-4-2008)
- Hendrick and Mears to part ways after 2008 season UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports and driver Casey Mears will part ways following the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. "We've put a ton of emphasis on the #5 program," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "It's been a total team effort, and Casey has worked as hard as anyone to help us improve. We've tested more than we ever have, but the results just haven't come. None of us, Casey included, have been satisfied with the situation this season. But he's confident there are other options out there for him in 2009, and we feel like Hendrick Motorsports will have some opportunities, too." Mears will finish the 2008 Sprint Cup campaign in Hendrick's #5 Chevrolets. "I know the effort has been there, but we haven't had the finishes to show for it," Mears said. "I've never tested this much or put more energy into racing. But for whatever reason, we just haven't been able to make it click. It's certainly not for lack of dedication on anyone's part. I'll talk to people about opportunities and get my 2009 plans wrapped up soon, but I'm also focused on the next 20 races and finishing 2008 on a positive note. We ran well the second half last year, and I know we can do it again. I want to close this season the right way." Hendrick Motorsports will announce its 2009 plans at a later date.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), rumor has Mark Martin taking this ride in 2009, either as full-time or part-time.(6-27-2008)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports will hold a news conference at the press conference room in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center in Daytona Beach, FL on Friday, July 4 at 12:30pm/et to announce future plans for its #5 Chevrolet team. Owner Rick Hendrick will be in attendance.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-3-2008)
- Martin to Leave DEI, Almirola Full Time Next Season: UPDATE 3: Martin Replacing Mears? Mark Martin will have a new racing home in 2009, ESPN.com has learned. Martin was unavailable for comment Sunday. Officials for Martin's current team, Dale Earnhardt Inc., would neither confirm nor deny the speculation, but did confirm that young Aric Almirola would run a full-time schedule in 2009. "Aric is ready for a full-time ride," said John Story, DEI vice president of motorsports operations. Almirola has shared the #8 U.S. Army Chevy with Martin for the past two seasons. "Were talking to Mark about what his objectives for the future are, and trying to marry that with our own, with Aric Almirola, to make sure Aric has an opportunity to run full time next year. We're going through the process right now of trying to make sure that we get something for Aric that provides him a 36-race schedule, and at the same time that Mark is in a good situation."(ESPN.com)(6-22-2008)
UPDATE: Casey Mears and Mark Martin look to be on the move, and their futures might be linked. Mears' future with Hendrick Motorsports appears in jeopardy, ESPN.com has learned. Although Mears has one year left on his contract, team owner Rick Hendrick would not commit to the driver of the #5 car beyond this season. "I'm committed to him right now," Hendrick said on Sunday at Infineon Raceway. "I'm committed to him making that car run better right now." Earlier on Sunday, sources told ESPN.com that Martin would leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. Later, ESPN.com learned that he would replace Mears, making one last full-time run at a championship.(ESPN.com)(6-22-2008)
UPDATE 2: The speculation comes as rumors swirl about Mark Martin's future with Dale Earnhardt Inc. He's previously been mentioned as a candidate to split the Cup schedule with Scott Speed at Red Bull Racing, but there could also be a similar role for him in the #5 car for Hendrick. One scenario could have Martin splitting the seat time with Brad Keselowski, who currently drives a Nationwide Series car for JR Motorsports. Hendrick is partners with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in that venture, and Martin occasionally drives a car for them in that series. Martin is currently splitting a ride with Aric Almirola for DEI, but the team wants Almirola in a full-time ride in 2009. "Aric is ready for a full-time ride," said DEI vice president John Story. "We have to get him in a car full time somehow, someway."(Associated Press)(6-23-2008)
UPDATE 3: SPEED's Wendy Venturini reported that sources say Mark Martin could announce his 2009 plans next week at Daytona.(SPEED)(6-29-2008)
- "Smoke" screen or is Stewart interested in the #5 ride? #20- Tony Stewart said Friday the new opening at Hendrick Motorsports could effect his decision about where he drives next season. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Casey Mears would not return in the #5 Chevrolet. "There's no one in the garage area that's not going to look in that direction," Stewart said. "You've got to look at it. Absolutely." Stewart has said he is exploring an ownership option to become the co-owner and a driver for Haas/CNC Racing. He was asked Friday when he might have a decision on his future. "At this morning's announcement [on the #5 car], I don't know," he said. "It may be pushed back even more. We'll wait and see. It's however long it takes to make the right decision. There's a lot of variables to look at. We've got all the information except what happened today. The good news is we still have time to look at it." Stewart is under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2009 season. JGR officials have said they plan to hold Stewart to his contact obligations in the #20 Toyota. Hendrick did not say who will drive the #5 Chevy next season, but ESPN.com reported Sunday Mark Martin will join the team and take over for Mears full time in one final attempt to win a Cup title.(ESPN)(6-27-2008)
- Hendrick streak intact: Hendrick Motorsports' streak of top-10 finishes improved to 77 Sprint Cup races after Sunday's event at Lowe's Motor Speedway when #24-Jeff Gordon took fourth and #88-Dale Earnhardt nabbed fifth. The last time a Hendrick driver wasn't in the top 10 was April 9, 2006. Finishing 11th, #48-Jimmy Johnson was Hendrick's top performer that day at Texas Motor Speedway.(HMS PR)(5-28-2008)
- #5 to salute the troops: Casey Mears' #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg's Chevy will run a special "Salute the Troops" decal in front of each rear wheel for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The decal is in honor of all military men and women.(HMS)(5-21-2008)
- Mears says he is good thru 2009: from a Casey Mears Press Conference Transcript: In the last week or two we've had a lot of discussion about Tony Stewart
and his contract situation moving forward, and your name has popped up a couple times in different discussions just because of the fact that he's going to be a free agent and obviously that would be a big coup. How do you feel about your position at Hendrick going forward, and do you think you're solid in there for the foreseeable future? "No, I feel good. We're solid for next year and definitely focused on moving forward. Rick has stated that several times, that things are where they're going to be, and we're moving forward for next year. We're just getting started again."(GM Racing)(5-7-2008)
- Cheez-It on the #5 at Texas: Cheez-It, the world's largest-selling cheese cracker, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy of Casey Mears this weekend at Texas. "The Big Cheese" will make its debut this Sunday and decorate the hood of the #5 Chevy for four races [Texas, Pocono [Aug], Michigan [Aug], California [Aug]]this season. The Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevy finished third the last time it raced, which was last September at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California.(HMS)(4-3-2008)
- Pop Tarts featured on #5 at Vegas: This weekend, Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's most popular morning food product, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy of Casey Mears for the first time. The Pop-Tarts brand, created in the early 1960s, is more than 40 years old, putting the product in the same age bracket as just six members of the #5 team, which averages a very young 34 years old.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(2-27-2008)
- Latest on the HMS engines: Jeff Andrews, head engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports, said that the team sent all its race engines back to the team's race shop Wednesday night after finding problems with the lifters. Andrews said the engines were being rebuilt and would return to the track Friday night. "Because of the wear we were seeing ... you end up with this debris in the engine,'' Andrews said. "You have to take [the engine] apart. Not only are you changing those parts, but you're taking apart and cleaning, washing everything and going back through it and fitting everything up again." Andrews said he saw no problems with the Hendrick engines after Thursday's first qualifying race.(Roanoke Times)(2-16-2008)
- #5 car too low in Bud Shootout post-tech: Casey Mears' #5 Chevy was determined to be too low during Budweiser Shootout postrace inspection. Mears finished sixth in the race, his first with the Hendrick Motorsports #5 Sprint Cup team. Jim Hunter, NASCAR's Vice President of Corportate Communications, said NASCAR will continue investigating the issue today. "It might have some damage," Hunter said. "We'll let you know tomorrow."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-10-2008)
- Hendrick museum closes for renovations: The Hendrick Motorsports museum, located on the team's racing complex in Concord, has been temporarily closed to the public while it undergoes a full renovation. The redesigned facility will reopen in time for NASCAR's annual visit to Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Hendrick Motorsports is located one mile from the race track. Also undergoing a facelift is Hendrick Motorsports' team store, which will reopen in a temporary location on Jan. 28. The store will operate under its regular business hours in the race shop of drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson until construction on the new facility is completed. Other areas of the Hendrick Motorsports complex, including the team race shops, will remain open to the public during the museum renovation.(HMS Site)(1-25-2008)
- Cheez-It back on the #5 for a few races: #5-Casey Mears is scheduled to run the Cheez-it paint scheme in Sprint Cup four races: Texas [4/6]; Pocono [8/3]; Michigan [8/17]; and California [8/31]. Kellogg's and Carquest will split the rest of the races. See an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(1-22-2008)
Past 2007 News
- Goodbye to the #'25: The #25 Chevrolet will make its final start for Hendrick Motorsports Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports first entered the #25 Chevy in the 1986 Daytona 500 with Tim Richmond behind the wheel. The #25 has had 11 different drivers, including car owner Rick Hendrick, in 656 starts. Six drivers have visited victory lane with the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, with Casey Mears adding win #17 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(11-14-2007)
- Kyle Busch going for history: Kyle Busch followed his Friday night Truck Series win with a victory Saturday in the Busch Series, giving him a chance Sunday in the Nextel Cup event to become the first driver to sweep all three of NASCAR's national series at the same track on the same weekend.(ESPN/AP)(11-11-2007)
- Delphi Renews with Hendrick: Delphi Product & Service Solutions announced that it will continue its major associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports during the 2008 NASCAR season. An associate sponsor of all of the 2008 Hendrick Motorsports entries, Delphi will also be the primary sponsor for the #5 Nationwide Series Chevy fielded by JR Motorsports for four races. In addition, Delphi will receive preferred logo placement on the #5 Sprint Cup Series car driven by Casey Mears at Las Vegas, Indianapolis and the second Texas race.(Hendrick PR)(10-31-2007)
- Congrats: #5 team front-tire carrier J.D. Holcomb and his wife Diana welcomed a daughter, Jacey Diana Holcomb, delivered by Dr. Thomas Barefoot on Oct. 14 at 3:03 p.m. ET. Both mother and baby are home and doing well.(Hendrick PR)(10-28-2007)
- Hendrick Motorsports Atlanta COT Test Plans: Although Casey Mears and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will test with their 2008 teams at Atlanta, they will not drive cars branded with their 2008 numbers. Mears, who will drive the #5 Chevy next season, will run his customary # 25 National Guard/GMAC paint scheme during the two-day session. Earnhardt, who is slated for the #88 Chevy in 2008, will test a #5 car at Atlanta. To commemorate his first laps with Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt will sport a "throwback" #5 All-Star Racing Chevy during next week's Atlanta test. Earnhardt's Impala SS will feature a red and white paint scheme identical to the first car campaigned by team owner Rick Hendrick in Cup-level competition. Then known as "All-Star Racing," Hendrick Motorsports fielded the car with driver Geoff Bodine in 1984. The #24 and #48 teams of Hendrick Motorsports will not attend next week's Atlanta test.(Hendrick PR)(10-27-2007)
- Former 49ers Owner Almost Bought Hendrick in 2004 UPDATE no: Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo told Sports Business Journal recently that he almost became a NASCAR owner in 2004. "We would have bought a NASCAR team if Reggie White hadn't died," DeBartolo said of the former NFL player. "The week he passed away we were going to sign the agreement with Hendrick Motorsports. After that, I just couldn't do it. I loved Reggie too much."(Roanoke Times)(10-14-2007)
AND and from a July article - Dale Earnhardt Inc. president Max Siegel told ESPN.com on Wednesday [in July] that three years ago he was prepared to partner with NFL Hall of Famers Reggie White and Ronnie Lott, as well as former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartalo Jr., in purchasing MB2 Motorsports, which at the time fielded the #01 and #10 Chevrolets. The papers were drawn. All that was left was the official closing, which was slated for Jan. 15, 2005. But when White died suddenly on Dec. 26, 2004, and the deal died with him. Siegel said he and White originally had planned to partner with Rick Hendrick on a NASCAR Busch Series operation. Then the Hendrick Motorsports plane crash in October 2004 halted that initiative. A couple of months had passed, and Siegel said Hendrick contacted him about the program. Hendrick explained that in order for him to be involved, White and Siegel had to purchase a team with an existing Hendrick partnership. Enter MB2, whose engines were supplied by Hendrick. At the time, Valvoline was part-owner of MB2, as well. All the pieces were in place, then White passed away.(ESPN.com)(10-14-2007)
UPDATE 2: At the time in question, Mr. DeBartolo and Mr. White were in discussions with the former MB2 Motorsports team, and our involvement was limited solely to a potential technical support relationship. Hendrick Motorsports is not, and has never been, for sale.(HMS)(10-16-2007)
- 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)
- Drivers Don't Like Villeneuve Debuting at Talladega: #24-Jeff Gordon thinks it's a big mistake for former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve to attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut next week at Talladega Superspeedway. "I love Jacques, but that's not the right decision to make," Gordon said Friday. "I didn't think it was the right decision last year for David Gilliland, either. Nothing against their talent or anything else, but that race in the Chase? Why? If you want to run a race, go to Atlanta or another 1.5-mile oval." Gordon said he was surprised NASCAR gave it approval for Villeneuve to debut on the giant 2.6-mile oval. The Oct. 7 event is the first restrictor-plate race in the Car of Tomorrow.(ESPN.com)
AND: #5-Kyle Busch was shocked to learn that former Formula 1 and CART champion Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut next weekend at Talladega. "He's doing what? Holy cow, that's not good," Busch said when asked for his reaction to Villeneuve racing at Talladega. "You've got to start somewhere but the Cup Series at Talladega definitely isn't the place to start."(SPEEDtv.com)(9-29-2007)
- Chevy Continues Partnership with Hendrick Motorsports: Chevrolet, the winningest nameplate in NASCAR, will continue its partnership with championship team Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR competition in 2008 and beyond. In 23 years (1984-2006) of NASCAR competition, Hendrick Motorsports has garnered six Nextel Cup Series (formerly Winston Cup) championships, three Craftsman Truck Series titles and one Busch Series crown, making it one of stock-car racing's premier organizations. Rick Hendrick is the only team owner in NASCAR's modern era to earn more than 150 Cup Series victories and is currently at 160 Cup wins - all of them coming in Chevrolets. Hendrick Motorsports' win at the first "Car
of Tomorrow" race at Bristol earlier this year also earned Chevrolet its first Impala SS win and Chevy's 600th win in NASCAR Cup competition. The four full-time NASCAR Cup teams of Hendrick Motorsports slated to run in 2008 include four-time champion Jeff Gordon in the #24 DuPont Chevy; Jimmie Johnson in the #48 Lowe's Chevy; Casey Mears in the #5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevy; and new addition Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who has only driven Chevrolets in his NASCAR career.(GM Racing PR)(9-7-2007)
- Mears to the #5 in 2008; DaleJr to #25 team [new number]: Casey Mears will drive the #5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series, joining a team that secured its second consecutive Chase for the Championship berth Sunday at California Speedway. In his first season with Hendrick Motorsports, Mears has notched one victory, a pole position, four top-five finishes and six top-10s through 25 races. The Bakersfield, Calif., native will complete the current schedule in the organization's #25 Chevys before transitioning to the Kellogg's/CARQUEST team. The effort will be led by Alan Gustafson, 32, who has earned four wins, two poles, 25 top-five finishes and 45 top-10s since his first season as crew chief of the #5 Chevy in 2005. "My goal is to meet the high standard the drivers before me helped established with the #5 Chevrolet, both on and off the track," said the 29-year-old Mears. "I'm looking forward to working with Alan and the team to continue the winning tradition for Kellogg's, CARQUEST and Hendrick Motorsports." Since its inception in 1984, the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team has posted 27 victories and 35 pole positions with just four different drivers -- Geoff Bodine, Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte and Kyle Busch. It has finished among the top 12 in Cup points in 17 of the past 23 seasons (1984-2006), including a championship in 1996. "The #5 was our first car (at Hendrick Motorsports), so, for me, there's a lot of personal history in that team," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Casey has proven capable of winning and running up front, which is what the #5 has always been about. The goal is more victory lanes and championships for the team, and for Kellogg's and CARQUEST." The relationship between Kellogg Co. and the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team is one of the most enduring in NASCAR. Kellogg's debuted as primary sponsor of the #5 Chevys in 1994 and has since earned a Cup Series title, 16 race wins, 89 top-five finishes and 170 top-10s.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-4-2007)
- Eury Jr. to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008: When driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins Hendrick Motorsports for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season, Tony Eury Jr. will be his crew chief. Eury, who has been Earnhardt's crew chief for the past two seasons, signed a multi-year agreement with the organization this week. "Tony Jr. and Dale have a successful history working together," Hendrick said. "They have trust in each other, which is the biggest part of the relationship between driver and crew chief. We have the utmost confidence in their ability to win races and compete for titles at Hendrick Motorsports." A Kannapolis, N.C., native, Eury will move to Hendrick Motorsports immediately following the current NASCAR season. He will continue the work of Darian Grubb, who will finish the 2007 schedule as crew chief of the #25 Chevrolets before moving into a senior competition role with Hendrick Motorsports. "Dale Jr. and I are both excited to continue working together," said Eury, 34, who has been Earnhardt's crew chief or car chief for the majority of the driver's NASCAR career. "With the resources we'll have at Hendrick Motorsports, it's an opportunity to consistently run up front and be in title contention every year. The goals are winning races and winning championships." Grubb, 31, who hails from Floyd, Va., will coordinate the at-track engineering efforts of the Earnhardt and Mears teams with emphasis on supporting Eury's transition to Hendrick Motorsports and Mears' switch to the #5 Cup Series program. The personnel moves will give Hendrick Motorsports additional depth with the Earnhardt and Mears teams. Grubb, who earned a championship as an engineer with the #48 Chevrolets and has won three times in 29 races as a crew chief, will work hand-in-hand with veteran team manager Brian Whitesell. Hendrick Motorsports is evaluating alternative numbers for the Earnhardt team, which currently uses the #25 on its Chevy race cars. A timetable for that announcement has not been set.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-4-2007)
- AMP Dale Jr's sponsor? UPDATE 2 and mountain Dew: ESPN.com's sources say Budweiser knows it won't be on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s cars next year at Hendrick Motorsports, and that it looks like some sort of sponsorship deal with a Pepsi product (or products) is likely for him. Terry Blount and David Newton got further down the road with sources than I have. Nothing they wrote conflicts with what I've been trying to nail down. But all anybody with official ties to Pepsi or Budweiser or the teams will say for the record is they don't comment on speculation. One source I've trusted for a long time tells me that AMP, an energy drink Pepsi markets under the Mountain Dew umbrella, will factor in the deal for Earnhardt Jr. at Hendrick. Jeff Gordon and the Hendrick folks have a deal with Pepsi that stretches through 2010. Pepsi also is ending its contracts with International Speedway Corp. One reason could be that money's going into the Hendrick-Earnhardt Jr. basket.(Charlotte Observer)(6-12-2007)
UPDATE and Mountain Dew: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports are expected to announce later this month Pepisco Inc. products Mountain Dew and Amp energy drink are his primary sponsors for next season, sources confirmed Sunday.(ESPN.com)(9-3-2007)
UPDATE 2: on ESPN2's NASCAR Now Monday night, it was reported that Mountain/AMP would probably be 55% of the races and National Guard would be 45% of the races for Dale Earnhardt Jr. There would be no problem with Navy being the sponsor of Dale Jr's #88 Busch team, but don't expect to see Earnhardt in a National Guard Busch car.(9-4-2007)
- Car Number news for Dale Jr UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports has applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for potential use of five numbers next season for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. The numbers under consideration are #38, #51, #81, #82 and #58. Filing with Patent and Trademark Office does not guarantee NASCAR approval to use any of those numbers, but does prevent an outside party from trademarking the specific font and graphic package used by Hendrick on its racecars, diecast collectibles and souvenirs. Hendrick filed for the #81 on July 25th, with the most recent filing being for the #38 on August 9th. There have been reports that Hendrick is attempting to strike a deal with Robert Yates Racing for the #38 next season, but my [Dave Moody] sources tell me that the deal is not likely to happen.(Motorsports Soapbox and Thatsracin)(8-30-2007)
UPDATE: Earnhardt was asked on pit road after qualifying Friday at California Speedway when he hopes to announce what car he will be driving next season. "When we announce the number, it's going to be the same day we announce the sponsor, and that will be at a press conference -- not standing on pit road after qualifying," Earnhardt said. Earnhardt added that he thinks "we're a couple of weeks out" from making it all official. When asked if crew chief Tony Eury Jr. would be following him to Hendrick Motorsports, he also said: "We don't have an announcement, but Tony Jr. is working in that direction."(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2007)
- Yates not interested in giving Dale Jr. #38: Doug Yates confirmed his team has been approached by a representative of Hendrick Motorsports about securing the #38 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next year, but if Yates gets his way, there will be no such transfer. Earnhardt recently was denied the opportunity to take the #8 from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to Hendrick and now is considering other number options. The #38 currently is being used by David Gilliland. "Dale Jr., since he can't have what he wants, he might want the 38," said Yates, president Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. "They're asking for the 38, and the 38 and 88 are our numbers. It's almost a little strange. It's like somebody asking if they can take your girlfriend or your wife out. We feel we're going to have the 38 and 88 [next year]." While Yates said he is not interested in parting with the number, doesn't everything in the sport have a price tag? "That's my dad's side of it," Yates said, referring to his father, Robert Yates. "But for me, these are our numbers, and we're set with them."(ESPN.com)(8-31-2007)
- Cheez-it scheme for Kyle Busch at Calif: Kellogg Co.'s tasty baked snack cracker Cheez-It will adorn the hood of Kyle Busch's #5 Chevy for Sunday night's Nextel Cup event at California Speedway. It will mark the second appearance of 2007 for the Cheez-It logo, which ran earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway. Fans watching at home will get an even closer look at pit stops on the #5 car this weekend. Rick Pigeon, the #5 team jackman, will wear a "crew camera" on his helmet for ESPN's Sunday night broadcast of the Nextel Cup event at California.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the scheme on my #5 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2007)
- RYR asked NASCAR to transfer the #38 to Hendrick for Dale Jr. UPDATE2: SPEED's Bob Dilner reported on Sunday's SPEED report that Robert Yates Racing has asked NASCAR if they could transfer the #38 to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 for Dale Eanrhardt Jr. to use, the #3 in honor of his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, who ran the #3 [a few races in 1981 and then from 1984 until the 2001 Daytona 500 and won 6 of his 7 championships using #3] and the #8 of course is Dale Jr.'s car #8 since he came into the sport. No word what number David Gilliland would switch to, but RYR still has the license on the #28, last used in 2002 with Ricky Rudd and has used the #90 in the past.
UPDATE: Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Monday that Robert Yates Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are discussing a transfer of that number for 2008. The #38 currently is being used by David Gilliland. No formal request has been made to the NASCAR, which has to ultimately approve the transfer. Officials at Hendrick Motor Sports, Robert Yates Racing and JR Motorsports could not be reached for comment. Should RYR give up #38, it still has the rights to the #28 that was last used in 2002 with Ricky Rudd.(ESPN.com)(8-27-2007)
UPDATE2: Marty Smith said on ESPN2's NASCAR Now that it is unlikely the #38 will be transferred from Yates to Hendrick.(8-28-2007)
- Gibbs Racing signs Kyle Busch UPDATE 3: Kyle Busch will be formally introduced as the new driver at Joe Gibbs Racing on Tuesday morning at the team's Huntersville, NC shop. "Before I say anything I want to have a done deal," team president J.D. Gibbs before Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International. "I feel good about it. Right now we feel good about it and the direction we're going." Gibbs said Interstate Batteries will remain at least a partial sponsor of the #18, but didn't rule out another sponsor coming in. He reminded the company gave up half of its races a few years ago. "Like we have in the past, they may choose to give up some races, move stuff around," Gibbs said. "They're the ones that have been there and started the deal."(ESPN.com), no word if the press conference will be televised.(8-12-2007)
UPDATE: SPEED will be covering Tuesday's LIVE press conference from Joe Gibbs Racing at 11:00am/et. At that time, JGR is expected to make an announcement on the #18 Nextel Cup Series entry.(SPEED PR)(8-13/14-2007)
UPDATE 2 - OFFICIAL: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has signed 22-year-old Kyle Busch to drive for the #18 team in Nextel Cup beginning in 2008. “We’re extremely pleased to have Kyle Busch as a part of the family here at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. “Kyle is extremely talented, as his track record has proven, and he had a lot of teams to choose from in determining who would give him the best chance to win. Obviously, we’re glad he chose JGR, and he’ll have all the tools and resources he needs to win races and contend for championships.” Busch comes to JGR a proven winner in each of NASCAR’s national touring series, with four Craftsman Truck Series victories, eight Busch Series wins and four Nextel Cup triumphs. “After talking with a lot of different teams and visiting their shops, Joe Gibbs Racing is where I want to be,” said Busch, whose contract with JGR runs through the 2010 season. “The Nextel Cup Series is filled with good teams and good people, but the moment I saw the shop and began talking with Joe and J.D. Gibbs, there was a level of comfort that made me feel like this is where I belong. I want to win races and championships, and Joe Gibbs Racing’s three-car/one-team philosophy gives me the best opportunity to do that.” Busch will take over for J.J. Yeley, current driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, following the conclusion of the 2007 season. He’ll begin pre-season testing as a teammate to two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart and 2006 Nextel Cup rookie of the year Denny Hamlin. The 2008 season will mark Busch’s fourth full season in Nextel Cup. He currently competes for Hendrick Motorsports, where he ran a six-race schedule in 2004 before joining the series full-time in 2005. "While excited about my new opportunity with Joe Gibbs Racing, I remain committed to finishing this year strong and running for the championship,” Busch said.(JGR PR)(8-14-2007)
- Hendrick re-signs with GM: Hendrick Motorsports has verbally agreed to a five-year contract with General Motors, keeping HMS in Chevrolets through 2012. "We're done," team owner Rick Hendrick said after Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International. "We haven't signed it, but we've verbally agreed." GM is in the last year of all of its contracts with teams in the Nextel Cup series. Re-signing HMS was key, particularly with speculation that Joe Gibbs Racing may be leaving for Toyota. Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., GM's other top teams, remain in negotiations but are expected to re-sign. Two of the top three owners in Chevrolet expect Joe Gibbs Racing to move to Toyota in 2008. "I'd say they're gone," said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, who has agreed to a five-year deal with General Motors. Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress said there are enough signs to believe that JGR will make the jump, which he says will take Toyota to another level. "It's pretty well written in stone," he said on Sunday at Watkins Glen International. Childress is so convinced JGR will bolt that he questions whether the organization should be included in Thursday's key partners' meeting at GM's headquarters in Detroit. "No, I wouldn't feel comfortable with them there," he said. "If the [other Chevrolet] teams have a feeling they're going to be there, we're not going to discuss openly with them in a room things we normally would discuss openly. You're sitting there working on stuff for next year and you don't want them to take that and help out the competition."(ESPN.com)(8-13-2007)
- Career start #100 for Kyle Busch: This weekend at Watkins Glen International, #5-Kyle Busch, 22, is scheduled to make his 100th Nextel Cup Series start. At 18, Busch made his first Cup start on March 7, 2004 at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway and has since racked up four wins, 24 top-five finishes and 42 top-10s. He also has earned two Cup poles.(HMS PR)(8-8-2007)
- Kyle Busch to Drive for Joe Gibbs Racing? UPDATE: Kyle Busch has finally decided where he will race next season, agreeing to a deal to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries machine for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008 and beyond. Busch will replace J.J. Yeley. Busch made his decision after recently narrowing the field to three teams; Gibbs, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Evernham Motorsports. An official announcement is expected within the next 2-3 weeks.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-6-2007)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch chose to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing next season and began informing other teams Monday of his decision. A source close to Busch told The Associated Press that the driver had selected Gibbs after a seven-week search that began when Hendrick Motorsports released the 22-year-old driver to make room for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season. The source requested anonymity because the deal was not finalized. "Kyle has made his decision and is in the process of informing the teams of his preference," said Jeff Dickerson, who represents Busch through Motorsports Management International. "As there are many details that still need to be worked out, Kyle will not be making that decision public at this time." Two car owners who had actively pursued Busch told the AP that the driver informed them Monday he had not selected their teams. They requested anonymity because they didn't reveal Busch's selection.(Associated Press)(8-6-2007)
- Kyle Busch to JGR? UPDATE 3: Larry McReynolds is hearing that the Kyle Busch deal at Joe Gibbs Racing is very close. Now, we don't have an answer on whether they're looking to put him in the #18 car, replacing J.J. Yeley, or if they are looking at Busch for a fourth team.(FoxSports)
AND captainthunderracing.com is hearing that Kyle Busch is very close to finalizing a deal that will make him the fourth driver in the Joe Gibbs Racing stable. Sources said Busch has crossed Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. off his list of potential teams for 2008 and beyond. Speculation also had Busch going to DEI to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr., but it appears as though the DEI/Ginn Racing merger has taken up most of the executives time at DEI and Busch never felt any warmth from the organization. An announcement is expected sometime over the next week to week and a half, most likely after the big Brickyard 400 weekend. Sources said only the details of the contract remained to be worked out, but that both parties had agreed in principle to a five year deal.(captainthunderracing.com)(7-27-2007)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch says he still hasn’t decided which team he wants to sign with for 2008 and says it may be another two weeks before he makes the call.
However, it’s looking more and more as if it may be Dale Earnhardt Inc. But according to NASCAR sources Budweiser may not be Busch’s sponsor.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2007)
UPDATE 2: It was reported on ESPN2's NASCAR Now that Busch's agent, Jeff Dickerson, said the rumors are not true and that Busch has not narrowed down his selection of teams, has offers on the table and something should be known about Busch's future within two weeks or so.(ESPN's NASCAR Now)(7-28-2007)
UPDATE 3: #5-Kyle Busch answered only one question [Saturday], and that was a one-word response to whether he'd completed a contract with the organization he plans to drive for next season. "No," said Busch, who will start 18th. Busch, who will be replaced by Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, is being pursued by Joe Gibbs Racing, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Evernham Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. He was scheduled to meet with all four DEI drivers and management on Saturday and is scheduled to meet with EMS owner Ray Evernham next week.(ESPN.com)(7-29-2007)
- Busch to RCR? UPDATE 2: hearing Kyle Busch has been in talks with Richard Childress Racing about driving in the Busch Series in 2008 [whatever the series ends up being named], which probably means RCR would be the front runner for Busch in a Cup Series ride.(7-10-2007)
UPDATE: hearing Kyle Busch will sign with Dale Earnhardt Inc to run for them in 2008, the deal could be announced at Indianapolis next week.(7-16-2007)
UPDATE 2: on ESPN2's NASCAR Now, it was reported that Jeff Dickerson, agent for Kyle Busch, said Busch is not close to signing a deal and nothing will be announced at Indy.(7-17- 2007)
- Kyle Busch out of the #5? this week? DENIED AutoRacingSport.com has learned from several sources that Hendrick Motorsports is considering letting Kyle Busch out of his contract with the team as early as Monday. NOTE: hard to believe the sponsors [Kelloggs/Carquest] would agree to let a driver who is 9th in the Chase, to be released and seems doubtful such a thing would happen.(7-16-2007)
HOWEVER: Still unhappy After criticizing his teammates for not providing help at Daytona International Speedway last week, #5-Kyle Busch expressed displeasure with Hendrick Motorsports again this weekend. The 22-year-old, who is being replaced by Dale Earnhardt Jr. after this season, said he felt alienated during team meetings and questioned strategy after giving up the lead on a pit stop late in Saturday's Busch race.
Team owner Rick Hendrick said the team intends to keep Busch in the #5 Chevrolet through the end of the season but is perplexed by the driver's dissatisfaction. "It just doesn't make sense to me," Hendrick said. "We're working as hard as we can."(USA Today)(7-16-2007)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports has confirmed that the rumor is false.(HMS)(7-16-2007)
- Kyle Busch Still Frustrated with Teammates: UPDATE: A week ago at Daytona, lame-duck Hendrick Motorsports driver #5-Kyle Busch complained his teammates weren’t doing enough to help him win. Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, Busch made it clear he won’t be doing anything for them in the future, either. "I'm not helping anybody but myself and this team for winning races," Busch said. "And I'm not helping Jeff Gordon. I'm not helping Jimmie Johnson or Casey Mears. They are able to go back and see what I run and that kind of stuff. But for me, it's just to go out there and to try to win races and keep winning with my name." Busch said that ever since last month’s announcement that he would be replaced next year by #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., he has felt ostracized from the team. Asked if he was concerned about how this could hurt his reputation with fans, Busch said, "My perception has been horrible since I came into this sport, so it doesn't really even matter any more."(SPEEDtv.com)(7-15-2007)
- Kyle Busch Could Make Decision on Team Soon: #5-Kyle Busch said he could decide on a new team for next season within two to six weeks. "We're looking at the pros and cons of everything," Busch said. "That's why it takes so long to decide." Busch said he is in discussions with four to five teams. Among the speculated potential destinations for Busch include Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Joe Gibbs Racing and Evernham Motorsports. "(We're) just still working with some of the teams and organizations to see what's out there and see what all we can work on further," Busch said. "No decisions - not quite to the point where we need to let anything out."(Associated Press/Fox Sports)(7-14-2007)
- Correction to Kyle Busch story: "We (WCNC.com) have a retraction on a story we first reported Wednesday. Wildlife officers cited a boater on Lake Norman on the Fourth of July for boating while impaired and speeding. Ryan Young is facing those charges. During our report, we stated that NASCAR race driver Kyle Busch was the owner of that boat. We have since received documentation that Ryan Young is the boat’s owner. We also reported Kyle Busch was on board the boat, based on Young’s statements to the arresting officer. We learned Thursday from Hendrick Motorsports that Kyle Busch was not on board the boat. We regret this error."(WCNC.com)(7-12-2007)
- BWI/NASCAR connection story looks to be bogus UPDATE: The original post that was linked and posted on the WCNC.com site at approx 1:24pm/et today and removed around 430pm/et without explantion: The pilot of a boat owned by NASCAR driver #5-Kyle Busch was cited for BWI [Boating while intoxicated] on the Fourth of July. Lake patrol officers said the 44-foot cabin cruiser came within inches of hitting the boat of a lake patrol officer who had his blue lights on and was citing another boater. Two other lake patrol officers witnessed the near collision and rushed to the scene, thinking that the cabin cruiser, owned by Kyle Busch, had actually hit the other officer's boat. Those officers said the person operating Busch's boat, who officials later identified as a front tire changer for a NASCAR team, realized he was in trouble and got his girlfriend to take the pilot's seat while he went into the cabin. The two other lake patrol officers saw the switch, caught up to the cabin cruiser and stopped it. The boat's pilot was cited for boating while intoxicated, operating a boat with insufficient lifejackets, failure to move over for blue lights and careless and reckless boating. Kyle Busch was [NOT] a passenger on the cabin cruiser but he was not piloting the boat. He owns the boat but he is not facing any charges. The boat is actually registered to NASCAR driver Greg Biffle, because Busch had just bought it and he had not changed the registration yet.(WCNC.com - link/story was pulled after 3 hours)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports reports Busch was NOT on the boat and it was not his boat, WCNC.com informed me the stroy was pulled as they looked for a second source, sounds like something that should had been done in the first place. Been requested by HMS and WCNC.com that I just delete and pull down this story, but I don't do that, not fair to the readers. NOTE: it is still posted on the Sunherald.com site.(7-11-2007)
- Kyle Busch new team choice down to five: #5-Kyle Busch has narrowed his list of prospective teams to Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Evernham Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing, sources close to the situation said on Thursday. The 22-year-old driver visited eight teams and then narrowed his search to three Chevrolet teams and two Dodge teams. He is expected to have a new deal by early August.(ESPN.com)(7-6-2007)
- Sauter and Kyle Busch Fail Post Race Inspection UPDATE 2 penalties announced: The Chevys of #70-Johnny Sauter and #5-Kyle Busch both did not meet the minimum height requirements during post-race inspection. #83-Brian Vickers failed post-qualifying inspection on Friday and had his time disallowed. NASCAR will take both of the cars back to the R&D Center in Concord, NC to test them further to see if the problem is the result of something that happened on the track or not. If any penalties are assessed, they are likely to be announced on Tuesday.(7-1-2007)
UPDATE: there was NO announcement on Tuesday, July 3rd, regarding any penalties for the #70 and/or #5 teams, no word if there will be an announcement or if the team will be penalized.(7-4-2007)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the #5 and #70 teams that compete in the Nextel Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions found this past weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Both cars – the #5 Chevy driven by Kyle Busch and the #70 Chevy driven by Johnny Sauter – were found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B, COT Technical Bulletin #3, dated 4/10/07 (failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2007 NASCAR rule book. The violations were found during post-race inspection last Sunday. As a result, Kyle Busch and Sauter have each been penalized 25 driver championship points. Their respective crew chiefs – Alan Gustafson and Robert “Bootie” Barker – have each been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Sept. 19.
In addition, Rick Hendrick, owner of the #5, has been penalized 25 car owner championship points as has Joe Custer, the owner of the #70.(NASCAR PR)(7-4-2007)
- Kyle Busch to Evernham? Riggs' Status in Doubt? Ray Evernham acknowledged Kyle Busch visited his shop in Statesville, N.C., on Tuesday. He said the visit went well and that he hopes Evernham Motorsports remains on Busch's list when the number of suitors is soon reduced to about four. Evernham said negotiations to extend the contract of Scott Riggs, who has missed the last two races and is 36th in points, continue. But he wasn't quite as adamant that Riggs will be a part of the organization in 2008 as he was three weeks ago. "He's a good little guy," Evernham said. "I just feel bad for what's going on with him."(ESPN.com)(7-2-2007)
- Penske may soon feature a brother act: UPDATE: Roger Penske may be considering adding Kyle Busch to the Penske Racing South NASCAR operation, which includes older brother Kurt Busch. "Penske would be stupid not to look at Kyle, so that talk is under way," Kurt Busch said during a national teleconference. But, he added, Kyle is "talking with all the other race teams out there such as Ginn Motorsports, Yates. I'm sure he's talked with Gibbs. "I would say he's talked with 99 percent of the garages, and that 1 percent (he hasn't talked to) is probably Roush Racing." Kyle Busch is to return to The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next week and compete in the annual "Night of Fire" racing card Tuesday night.(Las Vegas Sun), been told Kyle Busch has met this week with Evernham Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing.(6-29-2007)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch has visited eight Nextel Cup organizations since he became a free agent and could have his final list arrowed to four by the end of the weekend, a source close to the situation said on Friday. One of those organizations is Evernham Motorsports, where team members say the 22-year-old driver spent part of Tuesday. Other organizations believed to be in the mix are the Chevrolet teams of Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Ginn Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing, and the Dodge team of Chip Ganassi Racing. Busch said he has not had sit-down discussions with Penske Racing officials even though his older brother, Kurt Busch, said there have been conversations. But he did say Chevy and Dodge teams were in the mix, and that there has been some contact by Ford. "The teams have their timetables with their sponsors and stuff like that they have to let know. ... There are a couple of teams that would like to know within the next three or four [weeks]."(ESPN.com)(6-30-2007)
- Kyle Busch to race PASS North All-Star race: PASS North will visit All-Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire for a 200-lap feature race on the Saturday night of Cup weekend - and one of NASCAR brightest stars will be heading over from the Magic Mile at NHIS to race at All-Star. Kyle Busch has signed to compete in the June 30th All-Star 200 PASS North event. Busch is a veteran of several Super Late Model events during the past several years and will drive the #51 car fielded by Steve Perry for the event. The PASS North teams have visited the track formerly known as Star Speedway in the past, but not since Bobby McArthur bought the facility, renovated it and changed the name before the start of the 2007 racing season. The All-Star 200 is scheduled for Saturday, June 30th. Practice and qualifying will take place on Friday night, June 29th.(51sports PR)(6-22-2007)
- Monster? Pepsi? Adidas? Dale Jr's 2008 sponsor? Captain Thunder reports....am hearing that Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick has been in talks with two beverage sponsors for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racecar for 2008. One is Pepsi and the other is Monster Energy. Pepsi has had a running relationship with Hendrick for many years as they have shared the sponsorship of Jeff Gordon's #24 car with the DuPont Corporation. Monster Energy has had a recent relationship with Dale Jr. and JR. Motorsports. Monster is all set to sponsor the late model car that Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath will drive for JR. Motorsports this year for a 10-race run. Look for an announcement soon as teams must have sponsorships and car numbers to the merchandise manufacturers for merchandise to be ready for February's Speed Weeks in Daytona.(Captain Thunder site)
MORE Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s marketing team at JR Motorsports has been working on an apparel deal with Adidas that could put his own line of ClimaCool wear in major sporting goods retailers, a place where NASCAR has had no presence. Earnhardt’s own endorsement muscle is again evident in the deal with Adidas, which is believed to be a separate agreement from Earnhardt’s new relationship at Hendrick. It’s uncertain if the Adidas relationship might blossom into a team sponsorship deal. Earnhardt, though, was looking to go in a different direction. Sources say he was more interested in the “lifestyle” approach that Adidas offered through its ClimaCool brand, which could include Dale Jr. jerseys, performance T-shirts or other mainstream sportswear, as well as footwear. No launch date for any lifestyle line could be determined. Meanwhile, team owner Rick Hendrick offered no sponsorship news last week on Earnhardt’s new ride. Although Budweiser has made it clear that it’s interested in continuing its relationship with Earnhardt, other sponsor conflicts must be navigated. Kellogg’s and Carquest have a contract to be co-primary sponsors on Hendrick’s #5 car — the one that will be vacated by Kyle Busch to make room for Earnhardt — through 2009.(Sports Business Journal)(6-20-2007)
- Ganassi adds name to list of owners interested in Busch: Add Chip Ganassi Racing [#s 40, 41, 42] to the list of teams that are interested in #5-Kyle Busch. Team owner Chip Ganassi said he is interested in talking to the driver. "Who wouldn't be?" Ganassi said when asked if he was interested in pursuing Busch. "A good guy comes along like that, yeah I'm interested." Ganassi said he is not in the position to add a team since the best of his three drivers is #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who ranks 21st in the points. "Before we can get to a fourth car, we've got to move our three cars up the grid a little bit," Ganassi said.(SceneDaily.com)(6-17-2007)
- Childress interested in Kyle Busch: Car owner Richard Childress was unable to sign Dale Earnhardt, Jr., but his team is hardly hurting as is. The car owner said Saturday that like a lot of car owners in the garage, he’s very interested in talking with newly minted free agent Kyle Busch, possibly for a long-rumored fourth Richard Childress Racing car. “Anybody would look at Kyle right now - any team in here,” said Childress. Childress, one of the most independent minds in the Nextel Cup garage, is not someone even remotely daunted by Busch’s reputation as a hot head. “I can name you eight or 10 guys in here at his age that were a handful. He's learning." Of Busch, Childress added, “He's the hottest property on the market right now.” In fact, some in the garage believe that Busch’s driving talent is equal to or even ahead of that of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(SPEEDtv.com)(6-17-2007)
- Roush not interested in Busch: His ride gone for next season and then his agent, #5-Kyle Busch faces more changes.
He'll search for a new ride and could be barred from some Hendrick Motorsports team meetings [as Brian Vickers was in 2006] even as he tries to make the title chase. Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. replaces him next year, Busch wouldn't mope about his situation Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'm interested in talking to ... whoever's got an open seat," Busch said before qualifying third for Sunday's race. "Let's sit down. Let's have dinner." Many owners are expected to answer, but not Jack Roush, for whom Busch drove before moving to Hendrick in 2003. "I am not interested in Kyle Busch," Roush said. "I've been there and I've done that."(Roanoke Times)(6-16-2007)
- Agent kept Kyle Busch in dark during contract extension talks: #5-Kyle Busch says his previous agent hampered negotiations to keep him at Hendrick Motorsports. The 22-year-old driver said on Friday that Alan Miller kept him in the dark about many things during talks to sign an extension beyond next season and that he was surprised initially to learn Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been signed to replace him. Among the things was the number of other organizations expressing an interest in Busch, which team owner Rick Hendrick said had a negative impact on discussions. "My previous representation didn't inform me that he was getting calls," Busch said before practice at Michigan International Speedway. "Then I guess that was opened up to Hendrick Motorsports. They sort of got upset. Miller, who was at MIS representing other clients, was disappointed in Busch's comments. "I've been doing this for a long, long time," said Miller, who has represented HMS drivers Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears, to name a few. "My reputation is as good as anybody's. I'm not going to dignify what Kyle said with a response. I'm sorry Kyle chose to say something like that," Miller said. Busch was given a release from the final year of his contract next season at HMS on Monday. He was joined at MIS by his new agent, Bruce Kempton. Kempton said he's had calls from just about every organization in the Nextel Cup garage. Officials at DEI, Ginn Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Evernham Motorsports have expressed an open interest. EMS owner Ray Evernham told Busch personally after the two competed in a dirt track event on Thursday night that he was prepared to expand his organization to four teams if they could reach an agreement. Busch said he would like to stay in a Chevy but added that he's not married to the manufacturer.(ESPN.com)(6-16-2007)
- Gustafson plans to stay at Hendrick Motorsports: #5-Kyle Busch's crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports says he doesn't plan on going anywhere - even if it means accepting a new role in the company. Busch may be leaving Hendrick at the end of this season, but crew chief Alan Gustafson said he wants to stay loyal to team owner Rick Hendrick, no matter what that may entail. "I expect to be a crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports, but I will make the statement that I will be at Hendrick Motorsports next year regardless," Gustafson said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'd rather sweep floors for Rick Hendrick than be a crew chief for someone else." Gustafson knows he would be a highly sought-after crew chief if he were to consider leaving the company but said his personal ties to Hendrick will keep him at HMS.(SceneDaily.com)(6-16-2007)
- Yates interested in Kyle Busch...and Kurt too: Add Robert Yates Racing [#38 and #88] to the list of teams interested in signing Kyle Busch to drive next season. "I've sent word through his agent [that I would like to talk to him]," RYR co-owner Robert Yates said on Thursday during a Ford function. "I'm very interested." Said Yates' son, Doug, "He would look good in a Ford." RYR not only wants Kyle, but his brother #2-Kurt. But Kurt Busch has three years remaining on his deal with Penske Racing, and according to his agent has no plans to leave. "That's flattering," said Kurt's agent, John Caponigro. "He's locked in at Penske. He's doing fine. He's looking forward to making the Chase this year and having lot of success at Penske Racing." Kyle became available on Wednesday when it was announced that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was signed to replace him at Hendrick Motorsports next season and that the 22-year-old Busch has been given his release from the final year of his deal in 2008. Bruce Kempton, who represents Kyle, said he's heard from just about every organization in the Nextel Cup garage. He said there had been no contact with RYR, but that his client was willing to listen to anyone. Among the teams other than RYR that have expressed an interest in Kyle are the Chevrolet teams of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Ginn Racing. While Busch has driven Chevrolets since he left Ford's Roush Racing after the 2001 Truck Series season, he is not married to the manufacturer.(ESPN.com).(6-15-2007)
- Statement from Kyle Busch Regarding Departure from HMS: UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Chevry in the Nextel Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports and four-time Nextel Cup race winner, will depart Hendrick Motorsports at the conclusion of the 2007 season. The following is a statement from Busch regarding the decision to leave: "We had been working on a contract extension for me to remain at
Hendrick Motorsports, but after prolonged negotiations, we mutually agreed that a fresh start was in order. I have been granted a release
after the 2007 season. I have tremendous respect for Mr. Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. It's where I grew up, and I have a lot of great memories. I kind of feel like I'm graduating. I'm excited about my future, and I know a lot of opportunities await because of what everyone at Hendrick did for me - on the track and off. I still have a job to do this year, and will give it my all - just as I've always done - to make sure we put the #5 car in victory lane a few more times before the year is out."(True Speed Communication PR)
UPDATE: Hearing that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will end up at Hendrick Motorsports, taking Kyle Busch's roster spot [which was announced]. As to what happens to Busch, he'll take Junior's place at Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated.(6-13-2007)
UPDATE 2: On Thursday, it became obvious that the honeymoon was over in relation to Hendrick Motorsports’ signing of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kyle Busch, the driver Earnhardt Jr. will replace next year, basically called owner Rick Hendrick a liar on a Sirius satellite-radio call-in show. According to Hendrick, he and Busch mutually agreed that leaving the team would be best for both parties. Hendrick also said Busch told him other teams had approached him. A gracious statement was issued in Busch’s name at the same time the press conference announcing Earnhardt’s hiring was taking place. Not so, said Busch. “Well, you know, this is all brand new,” said Busch. “I hadn’t talked or discussed or done anything with any other team. There had been a rumor that flew around that I was unhappy at Hendrick Motorsports, which was untrue. I was just frustrated with the way things were going, that I wasn’ able to get results. We had been running good and been fast everywhere, but we just had some bad luck and were crashing, and whatever. “That rumor started, and then after that rumor, it was that I was getting offers from other teams, which, I had never talked to anybody.” Busch said he hadn’t been given any indication that he wouldn’t be back at Hendrick until Monday.(Gaston Gazette)(6-14-2007)
- Fishing logo on the #5 at MIS: The #5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevy of Kyle Busch will have a special decal on the rear bumper this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Sponsor Kellogg's has an affiliation with the FLW Outdoors Bass Pro Fishing Series. The bumper will feature the FLW Outdoors logo in anticipation of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Chevy Open event scheduled to take place July 12-15 in Detroit. Busch will also drive the #51 Chevy Silverado for Billy Ballew Motorsports in Saturday's running of the Michigan 200 Truck Series race.(HMS PR)(6-14-2007)
- Kyle Busch forms charitable foundation: #5-Kyle Busch, president of Kyle Busch Motorsports, announced his newly formed charitable effort called the Kyle Busch Foundation. "I have been very blessed in my life,” Busch said. “I’m fortunate enough to be able to race and do what I love. Not everyone is as fortunate. So I wanted to give something back and I decided I wanted to help kids." The Kyle Busch Foundation is dedicated to providing essential tools and supplies for institutionalized children across the country. The foundation will provide support to organizations that create and foster a safe, protective environment for children. “There are a lot of children in need out there,” Busch continued. “Times are tough enough for young people these days, and if there is anything I can do, I’m more than willing.” KBF is in the process of collecting items crucial to these respective homes. For designated drop off points and wish lists please visit please visit www.kylebuschfoundation.org.(Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(5-21-2007)
- Dale Jr. leans toward Hendrick? UPDATE denied: The efforts to sign #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a NASCAR driving contract for 2008 and beyond has reached a critical point, and the top two teams on Earnhardt’s list are the Chevrolet teams owned by Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick, according to men familiar with the negotiations. Earnhardt today is leaning toward a deal with Hendrick [NOTE: where would Earnhardt go? HMS has four Cup teams and all three drivers signed for a couple more years, unless some sort of deal with Haas CNC Racing or Ginn Racing would be worked out], largely because of Hendrick’s very strong engine program, sources here said yesterday. Earnhardt and veteran crew chief Tony Eury Jr., his cousin and close confidante as well as the man who has led him to many of his 17 Cup victories, have talked with both the Hendrick and Childress camps in recent weeks about the positives and negatives each team owner would have to offer, sources said yesterday. And Eury will have a major voice in the decision, because Earnhardt’s primary goal now, at age 32, is to win a championship.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-9-2007)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Marshall Carlson told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Tuesday that his team is fully stocked with drivers for 2008 and beyond, and that he has not spoken with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., about the possibility of joining the Hendrick stable.(Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway)(5-9-2007)
- Kyle Busch's HANs Device breaks in Busch crash: UPDATE: NASCAR on Monday tried to figure out why Kyle Busch's HANS device cracked during a spectacular crash at Talladega Superspeedway. Busch wrecked in Saturday's Busch Series event, when he was hit from behind and his car ended up on its roof before rolling several times through the grass. His HANS device, a NASCAR-mandated head-and-neck restraint system, cracked in the accident. "It performed the way it was supposed to, but it had a slight stress crack in it after the accident," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. NASCAR sent the device back to manufacturer Hubbard Downing in Georgia for examination.(Associated Press)(5-1-2007)
UPDATE: Officials from HANS Performance Products downplayed the crack found in Kyle Busch's HANS Device after a spectacular crash in the Busch race last weekend at Talladega. After the crash, a crack was found in the head-and-neck restraint that is worn on a driver's shoulders and has a carbon fiber piece that sits behind the helmet. "We were pleased to see Kyle shrug off such a dramatic wreck," HANS Performance Products CEO Mark Stiles said in a statement. "It takes a lot to even produce a slight stress crack in a HANS Device. It worked as designed, and was ready for more action - like its driver." The device is made primarily of carbon fiber, a high-strength, lightweight material. It was not revealed how large the crack was. General Motors Director of Safety Tom Gideon said he did not know where the HANS Device cracked, but with Busch walking away, he wasn't alarmed.(SceneDaily.com)(5-1-2007)
- Kyle Busch Walks Away From Scary Crash in Busch race: #5-Kyle Busch walked away from a spectacular crash early in Saturday's Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Busch was running second as the field drove off turn four on the 2.66-mile oval to complete lap 27 of the 117-lap Aaron's 312. Busch suddenly darted up the banking as he prepared to pass #9-Kasey Kahne for the lead. #33-Tony Stewart, in third, followed and appeared to hit Busch's car. Busch then bounced off the car driven by #24-Casey Mears and turned across the track and into the wall. Busch's car was on its side as it struck the outside barrier, then skidded on its roof down the banking and onto the grass infield, where it began barrel-rolling as flames erupted from under the hood. The #5 Chevy finally stopped on its wheels and Busch quickly scrambled from the cockpit. He walked straight to a waiting ambulance for the mandatory ride to the infield medical center.(Associated Press)(4-28-2007)
- Why did Dale Jr. get in the #5 car after he was out of the race? For much of the day, it looked like the first two-time Texas titlist would be Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team, as they led 96 laps, and repeatedly opened leads of three seconds or more before a strange incident ended any chance of victory. On lap 252, while running second, Dale Jr. was behind the lapped car of Tony Stewart rounding turn four when the aptly-nicknamed "Smoke" spun out, creating a giant wall of thick tire smoke. As Dale Jr. slowed down in the midst of the murky mess, #5-Kyle Busch, who was running third, slammed hard into the Bud car from behind. Despite the damage, the Bud crew went to work on the red #8 machine, making repairs and keeping Dale Jr. on the lead lap despite multiple pit stops under the caution flag. The race ended for the Bud car on lap 288 when the engine imploded, resulting in a 36th-place finish.
However, Dale Jr's day was not done, as a crewmember from Kyle Busch's crew interrupted Dale Jr's media session to ask if Driver #8
would step into the #5 car (the car that had smashed into his ownonly 30 minutes before) to finish the race after Busch had left the premises. Soon, Dale Jr. was being strapped into the Hendrick Motorsports car, and he completed the final 10 laps of the race, improving Busch's finishing position one spot ahead of Hendrick teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson. At the conclusion of the afternoon, Dale Jr. found his own car in 36th, and - for the first time ever - had driven a car other than the #8 Budweiser machine in a Nextel Cup event. Dale Jr. dropped to 18th place in the Nextel Cup standings, but is only 43 points out of the top-12.
Dale Jr. was soon pulled from the media swarm to climb into the #5 car. After the race, the media throng again clamored for comments.
What did the car drive like?: "Like it was wrecked." Why would you get in another car? "Because they asked me. I have some friends on that team - and I'll always jump at a chance to climb into someone else's car to see what it's like. They used to do that all the time back in the day. You'd have relief drivers getting into someone's car almost every week, so it was kinda like a step back into NASCAR history or something. Old school! It was cool."(fingerprintinc/Budweiser PR)(4-16-2007)
- Cheez-It colors on the #5 at Texas: Kellogg Company's tasty baked snack cracker Cheez-It will adorn the hood of Kyle Busch's #5 Chevy Monte Carlo SS for Sunday's Nextel Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. The Cheez-It logo will make another appearance at the California Speedway event later this season.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(4-12-2007)
- Congrats: Kellogg's/CARQUEST crew member Kevin Hulstein took advantage of the off-weekend to marry his fiancée Nicole. Hulstein, a mechanic on the #5 team, is a native of Willmar, Minn., and has worked at Hendrick Motorsports since 2002.(Hendrick PR)(4-10-2007)
- Gustafson Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race at Bristol: In a down-to-the-wire finish, Alan Gustafson led #5-Kyle Busch to a defining victory in the 15th annual Food City 500. Persevering through 500 laps of unpredictable racing on "the world's
fastest half-mile," the young duo held off a late charge from Jeff Burton in a three-lap overtime sprint to the checkered flag. By the end of the green-white-checkered finish, the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team was rejoicing in its 21-year-old driver's 4th career NEXTEL Cup win and celebrating Chevrolet's 600th career NASCAR victory. Leading the way, Gustafson used every one of the race's 15 cautions to move the Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet to the front of the pack. His strategic decisions gave his team the competitive advantage and earned him the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. A panel of voters, which included a member of the local media, Tony Eury Jr., Robbie Reiser, Kenny Francis and a Wypall Wipers representative, agreed that Alan Gustafson made the best calls and adjustments during the race. As the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race, Gustafson received $1,000. With the victory, he has moved into a tie for first place with Chip Bolin, Chad Knaus, Ryan Pemberton and Donnie Wingo, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year. For more information on Wypall Wipers or the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge, visit www.wypall.com.(Wypall PR)(3-28-2007)
- Kyle Busch wins 1st COT race at Bristol: #5-Kyle Busch won the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the 2007 season, 4th career win and 200th NASCAR [Cup, Busch, Trucks] win. There was a green-white-checker finish after a late caution, with #5-Busch holding off a hard charging #31-Jeff Burton, who held on to 2nd, followed by #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #16-Biffle, #66-Green, #8-Earnhardt Jr, #07-Bowyer, #26-McMurray and #25-Mears. #20-Stewart led the most laps, but had a fuel system problem religated Stewart to a finish of 35th. #24-Gordon takes over the points lead from idle #01-Martin. There were 15 cautions for 90 laps and 10 drivers lead the race with 14 lead changes.
Race Results on my Bristol Race Results/Awards Page.
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Bristol page
Race Rundown: see my Bristol Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(3-25-2007)
- Hendrick going for 200th NASCAR win: Car owner Rick Hendrick now has 199 combined NASCAR victories: 151 at the NEXTEL Cup level, 23 in the Busch Series and 25 in the Craftsman Truck Series. The total includes a 1983 Busch Series win by the late Dale Earnhardt at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a car co-owned by Hendrick and Robert Gee.(HMS PR)(3-22-2007)
- Kyle Busch visits school as part of Animal Ambassadors Program: Virginia Busch, president of the Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund teamed up today with Nextel Cup driver #5-Kyle Busch to present several unique and exotic animals to students at Luella Middle School in Locust Grove, Ga. Eighth-grade students got an up-close and personal look at a bald eagle, alligators, penguins, otters and more, all while learning about their ecosystems and how they can help protect them. Kyle Busch, who's #5 Busch Series Chevy will be sponsored by the Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, talked to the students about his racing career as well.(AMS PR/Hendrick Motorsports)(3-16-2007)
- Kyle Busch helping raise money for Conservation Fund: The makers of Garden Safe brand products, which include a natural and organic lawn and garden care line, are planning a pair of promotions to benefit the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. On March 15, Garden Safe brand products, the official lawn and garden partner of Busch Gardens, will kick off an in-store promotion at Lowe's locations nationwide. For each Garden Safe brand product purchased at Lowe's between March 15 and April 30, 2007, the makers of Garden Safe brand products will donate 50 cents to the Conservation Fund. The promotion coincides with the debut of a section at Lowe's stores dedicated to organic and alternative products, demonstrating the retailer's commitment to the environment.
While consumers can affect the donation level in Lowe's stores, Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Garden Safe/SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Chevy, will have the opportunity to raise the charitable contribution on the race track. For every lap Busch completes on the lead lap in Saturday's Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the makers of Garden Safe brand products will donate $100 to the Conservation Fund. If he and the #5 team win, they will double the $19,500 donation to $39,000. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund will be showcased on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy throughout Busch Series competition this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Featuring various endangered wildlife, the car demonstrates the fund's commitment to species research, animal rescue and rehabilitation, and conservation education. Garden Safe products are not sponsored or endorsed by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. As with all consumer products, it is important to follow all product guidelines and usage instructions.
ABOUT THE SEAWORLD & BUSCH GARDENS CONSERVATION FUND: The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, created in 2003 by the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, is a registered non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting environmental and wildlife conservation initiatives around the world. Its primary areas of focus are habitat and species conservation, animal rescue and rehabilitation, and environmental education. Of donations made to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, 100 percent benefit individuals and groups active in conservation or education. Administrative costs, including fund development, staff salaries, equipment and facilities, are borne by Busch Entertainment Corp. (BEC), the theme park division of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.
For additional information on the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, go to www.SWBG-ConservationFund.org.(3-15-2007)
- Kyle Busch looks at ownership: #5-Kyle Busch started Kyle Busch Motorsports about three years ago near his home in Mooresville, N.C. The Las Vegas native says with a grin that the operation was started to help provide tax deductions. But it has turned into a growing business, and the beneficiary is Alex Haase, a 17-year-old junior at Centennial High School. Busch will sponsor Haase in the regional NASCAR Grand National West Division this year for a Southern California-based team that has a car formerly driven by current Cup driver David Gilliland. "This could translate into something bigger down the road," Busch said of race-team ownership status. He drives part time in the Craftsman Truck Series for owner Billy Bellew [#15-Bill Lester], and he might begin taking a bigger role with that team. "He's looking to step back and let me take over that deal," said Busch. Haase will run in all the Grand National West races and compete in the Super Late Models divisions at the LVMS Bullring and short track in Irwindale, Calif., when his West schedule allows.
Busch said he plans to return to his hometown to compete in three Super Late Models races at the Bullring this year, two in the summer and one in the fall.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(3-10-2007)
- Kyle Busch to fly with the Thunderbirds: #5-Kyle Busch will take a ride in an F-16 fighter jet on Wednesday with the Air Force Thunderbirds at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(HMS PR)(3-6-2007)
- Delphi to announce NASCAR plans at open house in Vegas UPDATE: Delphi Corp. will host a media open house on Monday, Jan. 8 from 3 - 5 p.m. at its exhibit at the Las Vegas Convention Center (#Exhibit 5206). Jeff Owens, president of Delphi Electronics & Safety and Francisco (Frank) A. Ordonez, president, Delphi Products & Service Solutions, will host the reception. Also hosting is: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch. Kyle will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans. Along with Kellogg's, Delphi was a major associate sponsor of the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy driven by Busch during the past NASCAR season. Delphi will announce its 2007 sponsorship at the open house. During the event, a host of Delphi subject matter experts will be available for interviews and to demonstrate the new technologies.(Yahoo Biz)(12-21-2006)
UPDATE: Delphi Product & Service Solutions announced today at a media reception held at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nev., that it will continue its major associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports during the 2007 NASCAR season. Nextel Cup Series driver Kyle Busch personally attended the reception to help kick-off yet another year with Delphi. An associate sponsor of all 2007 Hendrick Motorsports entries, Delphi will also be the primary sponsor of Busch's #5 Chevy in the Busch Series for five races. Delphi sponsored events in the Busch Series will include Las Vegas (March 10), Talladega (April 28), Daytona (July 6), Chicago (July 14), and Texas (Nov. 3). In addition, Delphi will receive preferred logo placement on both the #5 Chevy driven by Busch and the #25 Chevy of Casey Mears in select 2007 Nextel Cup Series races.(Yahoo Biz)(1-8-2007)
- #5 looking for new car chief: been told that the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team that Kyle Busch drive for, is looking for a new car chief after Craig Smokstad left to go to the #83 Red Bull Racing team that Brian Vickers drive for.(1-3-2007)
- New Driver for Hendrick Motorsports? Landon Cassill UPDATE: The Gazette [of Cedar Rapids Iowa] is reporting: Landon Cassill, a 17-year-old senior at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School, has signed a contract to drive for NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports, he told The Gazette today [1/2/2007]. Cassill joins a powerhouse race team that includes Nextel Cup champions #48-Jimmie Johnson and #24-Jeff Gordon, as well as #5-Kyle Busch [and #25-Casey Mears]. "I feel really, really honored to be part of this organization," Cassill said. "I'm honored to be in such an elite group." it says to "See more of this story in Wednesday's Gazette."(The Gazette)
AND Landon will move to North Carolina in March to begin working full time for Hendrick Motorsports.(kcrg.com), of note: Cassill can't drive in the NASCAR Cup, Busch or Truck series until he is 18 [July 7th] and since Hendrick Motorsports has four team in Nextel Cup [the limit], it won't be a full-time Nextel Cup ride, look for this to be a development program of some sort [ARCA, Trucks, Busch], also Cassill was part of the GM Racing Development Driver Evaluation program and made it to the final stages.(1-3-2007)
MORE: Landon Cassill — most recently an ASA racer who surged from 30th to fourth in the October race at Iowa Speedway — will graduate high school in February and journey to Hendrick headquarters March 1, his father said. Roger Cassill said Landon has already tested cars for Hendrick, and his future role with the team will include more of that while he’s groomed as a developmental driver. Cassill said his son may test Gordon’s “Car of Tomorrow” next week. “Hendrick was really good about coming in and saying they think he’s got the talent and they are more interested in developing him rather than making a bunch of promises,” Cassill said. “If he’s not ready he’s not going to race. As soon as he’s ready, he’s going to race.”(Des Moines Register)(1-3-2007)
UPDATE: Cassill will take part in two tests - one this month - while continuing to build a base of knowledge and experience.
Hendrick Motorsports spokesman Jesse Essex said Cassill is the only driver with the organization other than defending Cup champion Johnson, four-time series champ Gordon, Busch and Mears. Cassill's progress toward a possible behind-the-wheel NASCAR career will be measured in baby steps. "Right now we're solely focused on seat time," Essex said.(Des Moines Register)(1-5-2007)
Past 2006 News
- Kyle Busch and #5 team featured in Dub: Kyle Busch and his #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet team are featured in the October 2006 issue of DUB magazine, on newsstands now. DUB is a leading automotive lifestyle publication.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(10-18-2006)
- Kyle Busch inducted into Walk of Fame: #5-Kyle Busch, the defending champion of the Sony HD 500, took his place on the California Speedway Walk of Fame on Saturday, and he did it in his own unique way. The walkway includes the footprints of previous race winners. Busch went barefoot. "Pretty cool," he said. Busch, 21, became the Nextel Cup's youngest winner when he took the checkered flag at Fontana a year ago. At the time, he said he didn't realize he set the milestone when he won at the age of 20 years, 4 months and 2 days. "We made it by three days," he said."I've got taken out of races here, but I've won races here, for me it's something cool to come out here. I like racing on the West Coast anyway. It's a fun place to race."(Press Enterprise)(9-3-2006)
- Walk of Fame for Kyle Busch: #5-Kyle Busch will be inducted into the Walk of Fame at California Speedway for his record-breaking win in the September 2005 NEXTEL Cup race there. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 12 p.m. local time at Gate 12.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-1-2006)
- Foamy mess at Hendrick hanger: Maintenance workers at Hendrick Motorsports have a foamy mess to clean up at the company’s airline hanger after the building's fire extinguishing system activated. The foam covered Hendrick aircraft inside the hanger at Concord Regional Airport and workers used fans, shovels and cardboard boxes to push the foam out. The building holds about 1,200 gallons of the foam and firefighters estimated that 500 to 700 gallons of the foam discharged. The foam does not pose any environmental impact and can be dissipated with water, firefighters said. Firefighters have not determined how the system was tripped.
The aircrafts were not damaged.(WCNC.com)(8-31-2006)
- Kyle Busch's Team Claims Pit Crew Win at Indy: Kyle Busch's #5 Kellogg's pit crew earned its fourth win of the season in the weekly Checkers / Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, moving them into a tie with Jimmie Johnson's pit crew for first-place in the season-long contest. "My crew worked on my car all day long making major adjustments," offered Busch. "We missed it in qualifying and had a terrible pit stall selection for the guys to work with. They dealt with it, gave me awesome stops and got me positions on the track with each stop." Busch's over-the-wall team spent just 230.550 seconds on pit lane during Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This is the crew's second win in the last three NEXTEL Cup events-they also took top honors in the July 16 race at New Hampshire International Raceway. "I think Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) told the team at the start of the race over the radios, 'heroes don't make a team, a team makes heroes,' and that's what we have been rolling with," said Busch. Checkers/Rally's will present the team with the weekly $10,500 check awarded to the crew that spends the least amount of time on pit road each week. In addition, a $105,000 bonus will be rewarded to the season champion at the completion of the 36-race NEXTEL Cup schedule. Busch's over-the-wall team includes: Rick Pigeon (jackman), Jeremy "JD" Holcomb (front-tire carrier), DJ Richardson (front-tire changer), Jason Jones (rear-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Brad Pickens (gasman), Jason Dalrymple (catch can), and Whit Satterwhite (eighth-man). The pit crew coach is Mark Mauldin.
The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The competition awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(8-9-2006)
- Kyle Busch's Crew Takes Top Honors in New Hampshire : Kyle Busch's over-the-wall crew had two reasons to celebrate when they left New Hampshire International Speedway Sunday. Not only did Busch win the NEXTEL Cup event, but his #5 Kellogg's pit crew also took top honors in the weekly Checkers®/Rally's® Double Drive-Thru Challenge. "The Kellogg's guys worked their tails off in New Hampshire," said Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #5 team. "They had flawless pit stops and never lost focus all day long. It was one of the hottest days we've had on pit road and they just went out there and did their job. The #5 team deserves respect because they are a great pit crew. I'm proud of how hard they work and they deserve this reward." This is the third Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win of the season for Busch's team, which is now tied with Tony Stewart's crew for second place in the season-long competition. Jimmie Johnson's crew leads with four victories. "My guys did it for me in New Hampshire," said Busch. "They were on the money every stop. Alan (Gustafson) made great calls and I just can't say enough because it was a total team effort, right down to the guys who build the cars and motors back at Hendrick Motorsports." Busch's over-the-wall team, out of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, spent 133.356 seconds on pit road to claim the win. The group includes: Rick Pigeon (jackman), Jeremy "JD" Holcomb (front-tire carrier), DJ Richardson (front-tire changer), Jason Jones (rear-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Brad Pickens (gasman), Jason Dalrymple (catch can), and Whit Satterwhite (eighth-man). The pit crew coach is Mark Mauldin. Busch's crew collected $10,500 for the win. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The competition awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(7-18-2006)
- Kyle Busch wins at Loudon: #5-Kyle Busch dominated late and won the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, for his 1st win of the year and 3rd of his career. A late race caution caused the race to go into "overtime", for eight additional laps, causing three drivers who were running in the top-5 with 3 laps to go to run out of gas [#11-Hamlin, #41-Sorenson and #38-Sadler], #99-Edwards finished 2nd, followed by #16-Biffle, #6-Martin & #29-Harvick. Rounding out the top-10 were #11-Hamlin, #31-Burton, #9-Kahne, #48-Johnson & #10-Riggs. #20-Stewart was leading early in the race and got tangled up with #12-Newman who was 2 laps down at the point, sending Stewart into the wall and out of contention, Stewart's team got the car fixed and he finished 37th, but is now out of the Chase and 11th in points. Newman, who won the pole, had another incident on the track and ended up 39th after the team made repairs. #48-Johnson's points lead increases a tad to 68 over #17-Kenseth. #8-Earnahrdt Jr. lost an engine just after midway and finished dead last 43rd after running in the top-10 up to that point. There were 21 lead changes among 11 drivers and 11 cautions for 49 laps.
Race Results on my Race Results/Awards Page.
Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points page.
Race Rundown: see my Loudon Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-16-2006)
- Cheez-It on the #5 at Daytona: Kyle Busch's #5 Chevy will carry a Cheez-It design in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The familiar "Tony the Tiger" paint scheme will be replaced with red, blue and yellow flames surrounding the well-known Cheez-It logo.(Hendrick Motor Sports PR), have not found an image of the scheme yet.(6-30-2006)
- Carquest scheme on #5 at Pocono:: Kyle Busch's # Chevy will carry the colors of Carquest Auto Parts this weekend at Pocono Raceway. It will mark the second outing of 2006 for the Carquest paint scheme, which will appear later this season at Chicagoland Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see image on my #5 Team Schemes page,(6-9-2006)
- Kyle Busch Fined, Placed on Probation by NASCAR; Mayfield Penalized: NASCAR announced that Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, has been fined, penalized points and placed on probation because of a rule infraction this past Sunday during the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Busch was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR Rule Book. He disobeyed a directive from a NASCAR official, entered the racing surface without authorization and threw an object at another competitor’s car during the event. He has been fined $50,000, penalized 25 Driver Championship points and placed on probation until Dec. 31. The infraction also resulted in car owner Rick Hendrick being penalized 25 Owner Championship points.
In addition, the #19 Dodge team was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A, 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) and Section 20-12.8.1A (roof height too low in post-race inspection). That infraction resulted in crew chief Chris Andrews being fined $35,000, driver Jeremy Mayfield losing 25 driver points and car owner Ray Evernham losing 25 owner points.
Also, Don Richardson, crew member on the #5 Chevrolet team, has been fined $5,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. He violated 12-4-A, because of improper use of a NASCAR credential.(NASCAR PR)(5-31-2006)
- Busch/Mayfield Penalties to be announced Wed? NASCAR typically issues penalties on Tuesday, but today they delayed action on possible sanctions for both Kyle Busch and the Evernham Motorsports #19 Dodge driven by Jeremy Mayfield. #5-Busch, who drew NASCAR’s ire earlier this year at Phoenix for ramming #42-Casey Mears’ car during a red flag, threw his HANS device at Mears after the two collided Sunday night in the Coca-Cola 600. Mayfield’s car failed the postrace inspection in the same race when it came up one-eighth of an inch too low in the roof height measurement test.(Speed Channel)(5-31-2006)
- Kellogg's, Carquest Extend with Hendrick as Co-Primary sponsors MORE: Kellogg Co. and CARQUEST Auto Parts today announced a unique three-year agreement with Hendrick Motorsports that secures the two companies as co-primary sponsors of the #5 Chevys driven by Kyle Busch in the Nextel Cup Series. Financial terms were not disclosed. Kicking off in 2007, the co-primary platform is a unique approach to NASCAR team branding. Aside from rotating Kellogg and CARQUEST logo placements on the vehicle's hood and quarter-panels, the base blue, yellow and red paint scheme of the #5 Chevys will remain unchanged throughout the racing season, allowing sponsor-partners to build broader equity in the team itself. Different from a "paint-out," where teams circulate various brand-specific car designs on a limited-event basis, the co-primary strategy allots premium logo locations to a pair of brands while providing the NASCAR audience a consistent visual identity. "This 'co-primary' approach delivers extra value to each sponsor because both are represented in a significant way at each race," said Patrick Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports' director of marketing. "By maintaining a standard design throughout the entire season, fans can more easily follow and connect with the team." For more information, visit Kellogg's web site at kelloggcompany.com and for CARQUEST Auto Parts, visit www.CARQUEST.com.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(5-26-2006)
UPDATE/IMAGE: In announcing sponsorship for the #5 Nextel Cup car by Carquest and Kellogg's through 2009, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said he also is hoping to lock up driver Kyle Busch for even longer. Busch is under contract through 2008 after the team acted on a two-year option.(SceneDaily.com), and see an image of the schemes on my #5 Team Schemes page.(5-29-2006)
- Kyle Busch fined for traffic infraction: #5-Kyle Busch was fined $150 plus court costs after being found guilty of improper driving this morning in Henrico General District Traffic Court. Busch was originally ticketed for reckless driving after an incident near the corner of South Laburnum Avenue and Williamsburg Road on April 12. He appeared in court this morning with attorney Toby Vick and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-23-2006)
- #5 Team Takes PIt Crew Honors at Darlington: Kyle Busch's over-the-wall crew won its second Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge by spending the least amount of time on pit road in Saturday's Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway. Busch's crew, which spent 350.021 seconds on pit road during the NEXTEL Cup event, is now in a four-way tie for first place in the season-long competition. The crews of Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler and Jimmie Johnson also have two wins each. Busch's #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet team consists of: Rick Pigeon (jackman), Jeremy "JD" Holcomb (front-tire carrier), DJ Richardson (front-tire changer), Jason Jones (rear-tire carrier), Josh Kirk (rear-tire changer), Brad Pickens (gasman), Jason Dalrymple (catch can), and Whit Satterwhite (eighth-man). The team's crew chief is Alan Gustafson and the pit crew coach is Mark Mauldin. Busch's over-the-wall crew, part of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, will be awarded the weekly $10,500 prize. A bonus of $105,000 will be presented by Checkers/Rally's to the team with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(5-17-2006)
- NASCAR Looking at Kyle Busch - Mears incident UPDATE no penalties: #5-Kyle Busch didn't have much to say and #42-Casey Mears probably didn't feel there was much to say about Busch's running into Mears under the red flag following their accident on lap 100 of the Nextel Cup race Saturday. Busch was mad at Mears over the accident in the Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway and showed his displeasure with the light tap. Busch was about 45 laps down when he returned to the race and NASCAR held him five laps for rough driving, but Busch would have finished in the same position with or without the five-lap penalty. NASCAR will revisit the issue this week to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted. After meeting with NASCAR officials in the hauler following the race, Busch left the track without commenting to reporters, and Mears, frustrated with his car even before the Busch tap, was atypically terse. "I'm not really worried about Kyle," Mears said. When asked if he was surprised Busch hit him during the red flag, Mears replied: "I'm not surprised with anything he does."(SceneDaily.com)(4-24-2006)
UPDATE: NASCAR has decided it will neither fine nor take points away from #5-Kyle Busch for running into the back of #42-Casey Mears during the red flag period of last Saturday's Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, according to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp. NASCAR officials met with Busch following the race and Tharp indicated on Tuesday that NASCAR now considers the issue closed. After leaving the hauler, Alan Gustafson, Busch's crew chief, said he hoped the team would not get a penalty. "[NASCAR said] just that we need to respect the red flag, and I agree with them," Busch's crew chief, Alan Gustafson, said after leaving the hauler. "he #1 priority in that situation is the safety of other people and that's what we've got to worry about."(SceneDaily.com)(4-25-2006)
- Special Look for the pole winning car at Phoenix: To commemorate Kyle Busch's 50th Nextel Cup start, the #5 Hensdrick Motorsports Chevy will sport a new color combination at Phoenix. The car, a joint venture between Hendrick Motorsports sponsors Kellogg's, CARQUEST Auto Parts and Delphi, will feature primary colors of blue, yellow and red. The CARQUEST shield will adorn the hood, with the Kellogg's logo on the quarter panels and Delphi oval on the deck-lid. The familiar Kellogg's paint scheme will return next week at Talladega.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(4-21-2006)
- Kyle Busch gets a ticket UPDATE 3: CBS 6 [Richmond VA] has learned NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was pulled over Wednesday night in Henrico County [Richmond VA] for reckless driving. The incident happened around 10 o'clock at Laburnum and Route 60 in the East End. Ironically, Busch just talked to the media Tuesday at RIR about NASCAR's new "Focus on Driving Campaign," which is aimed at limiting distractions for teens behind the wheel. Busch was in Richmond taking part in a nextel cup testing session this week.
Busch is just 20 years old himself [turns 21 on May 2nd] and the defending Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year. Police won't go into specifics about the incident bu say that alcohol was not involved and there was no property damage. Busch is scheduled to appear in court on May 23rd.(wtvr.com)(4-13-2006)
UPDATE: The misdemeanor charge carries up to a year in jail, a $2,500 fine and a driver's license suspension, said Sgt. Don Lambert, with Henrico County police. The charge also calls for a mandatory court appearance; Busch will appear in Henrico County General District Court on May 23. Lambert said the incident happened at 10 p.m. near Richmond International Airport, a few minutes outside the city. Neither speed nor alcohol was a factor, though Lambert would not provide further details. Henrico County authorities said Busch, who lives in Mooresville, N.C., was cooperative.(ESPN.com/AP)
UPDATE 2: Busch and two other crew members were in a rental car on their way to the airport. They were near the airport when Kyle squealed the tires. They then pulled into a KFC to get something to eat when a cop pulled them over and told him squealing the tires wasn't a good thing to do and Busch agreed. He was very cooperative. There is no police report. He received a citation. There was no burnout and no donuts in a parking lot. Busch is scheduled to address the situation in the media center at Nashville at 4:30pm central time.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-14-2006)
UPDATE 3 - Busch's comment's: #5-Kyle Busch said Friday that he was charged with reckless driving Wednesday in Richmond, Va., after he "chirped" the tires of his rental car while leaving a gas station. He said he then went about 20 feet and turned into a fast-food restaurant to order food to go. He was in the drive-through lane when he first noticed the blue lights in his mirror. "It could happen to anybody," he said, adding that he's unsure whether he'll appeal his case in court. Busch, 20, said he held no ill will toward the officer who stopped him. "I have the utmost respect for law enforcement in general," he said. "They're just trying to do their job."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution and see more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch)(4-15-2006)
- #5 tested at Caraway: #5 Crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #263 for Sunday's race at Martinsville. The Kellogg's team tested the car, which saw action in both Martinsville events in 2005, on March 22 at Caraway Speedway, a .455-mile oval in Asheboro, N.C.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-29-2006)
- Kyle Busch considering cutting back Busch Series starts? #5-Kyle Busch says he may reconsider his plans to run both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series. Busch has run well in the Cup series, currently sitting eighth in points, but his other effort has been less stellar. He's 18th in the standings in the Busch Series entering today's race [he ended up winning the Busch Series race at Bristol]. Asked if there had been any discussion of cutting back his Busch schedule, the driver said it hasn't been talked about yet - but that such a change would not surprise him.(SceneDaily.com)(3-26-2006)
- Kyle and Stewart talk..again: Behind the Hauler Talk with Kyle Busch, #5 Kellogg's Chevy: Atlanta Motor Speedway:
WHAT'S THE SITUATION BETWEEN YOU AND TONY STEWART RIGHT NOW?
"I called him this week. We talked a little bit on the phone. It was a good conversation. A civil one. We just both talked about what I
aggravated him with last week at Las Vegas and we both decided to elect on moving along and coming here to Atlanta and seeing how we can race out the rest of the year."
WELL, WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
"It's like he said. It wasn't quite 80 laps to go. It was more like 65. But I was holding him up a little bit. I was trying to preserve my race
car and my position on the race track for the last pit stop. A lot of these guys say you don't race until after the last pit stop, but you'd
rather come into the pits third for the last pit stop and have a chance to get out leading than come in eighth and only be able to get out
third. So I was trying to preserve my position a little bit and try to get a better spot for my guys to have an easier job on pit road."
DID TONY STEWART GIVE YOU ANY ADVICE THAT WAS HELPFUL?
"Oh, just trying to discuss how to race and how you race the race track. You'll see this weekend that this place definitely won't be anywhere near what Las Vegas was. At this place, you've got so many different grooves. You can run all over this place. The race track is old and aged. You have to race the race track here. It's worse than Darlington almost. It's a pretty bad place where you're not going to see a whole lot of side-by-side and bumper-tagging."
DOES TONY STEWART UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM?
"He did and he didn't. He had a sense of yeah, okay that makes sense. But still, I don't care. He's in his race car trying to run his race and I'm in my race car trying to run my race. Sometimes, conflicts connect and you have that."
DID YOU COME AROUND TO HIS WAY OF THINKING OR DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT YOU WERE IN THE RIGHT?
"There are a bunch of different scenerios. If you look at a 400 lap say at Dover, you're going to let people go for probably 300 laps or so and then in the last 100, you're not because you've got to plan yourself for your last pit stop. And then you've got to get out of the last pit stop and race to the end. It's different situations everywhere you go. I saw his point, but I also saw my point as well."
DO YOU THINK YOU DID ANYTHING WRONG?
"To answer your question in the fullest extent, I didn't do anything wrong. I was just racing my own race; racing my own race car."
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH TONY STEWART RIGHT NOW..ON THE TRACK?
"On the track? Probably not very good. But as far as off the race track, once he takes his helmet off, he's a completely different person. You're able to talk to him and be receptive of him. It's good to be able to have that relationship off the race track, I guess."(in part from the GM Racing PR)(3-17-2006)
- Kyle Busch speaks about Mexico: #5-Kyle Busch admitted he lost patience last weekend in Mexico City when he and #15-Michel Jourdain Jr. got together while racing for the lead on lap 54. "I lost a little bit of that (patience) last weekend in trying to get back to the lead. I was worried too much about what was going on behind me. I knew Denny (Hamlin) was fast. I knew Boris Said was fast. I tried to get to the lead so I could try to pull away. But knowing there would be more cautions at the end of the race, I should have known better." Busch says he and big brother Kurt talked about it this week while running four-wheelers on the Nevada sand dunes.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-10-2006)
- Ice Age II on the #5 at Vegas: Kyle Busch's #5 Chevy will sport an "Ice Age: The Meltdown" paint scheme in this weekend's NEXTEL Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The film will premiere March 31 in theaters across the country.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on my #5 Team Schemes page.(3-9-2006)
- Stewart and Kyle Busch settle: - Kyle Busch said he and Tony Stewart hashed out their differences last weekend prior to the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Stewart had criticized Busch's driving ability after the Daytona 500. Busch said Saturday prior to qualifying for the Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 that he and Stewart have cleared the air. "I was able to talk with him and get it over with and get it behind both of us," Busch said. "We were able to race against each other a little bit on Sunday and gave each other plenty of room, which was cool. We waved and said, 'Thank you' as we were passing each other. ... There's plenty more times throughout the year where I know we'll be racing and hopefully we can just keep it the way we did Sunday."(SceneDaily.com)(3-5-2006)
- #5 Team featured on Frosted Flakes box: In commemoration of the #5 Kellogg's team bringing home two wins and Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, Kellogg Company has packaged more than six million boxes of Frosted Flakes featuring driver Kyle Busch on the front. The special edition box also highlights "A Triumph of Teamwork," with members of the #5 Kellogg's crew showcased on the back. The packaging will hit stores throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom in the coming weeks.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(2-24-2006)
- Hendrick offer bonus for The Chase: Hendrick Motorsports Team owner Rick Hendrick said he will split a $1,248,525 bonus between his four full-time teams if they qualify, figuring to increase his odds of winning the title. Last season Roush Racing placed its five Fords in the 10-race playoff among the top 10 drivers. Hendrick's lone qualifier, Jimmie Johnson, finished fifth. "We're thankful for what we've done, but that doesn't count," Hendrick said Wednesday during the media tour of Nextel Cup garages. "We're hungry for another championship here. We want to win Busch and Cup titles, we want to all be in the Chase, we have bonuses, we have coins that say all four are in the Chase ..." The bonus amount is comprised of the car numbers of four-time champ Jeff Gordon (24), Johnson (48), '05 Rookie of the Year Kyle Busch (5) and Brian Vickers (25).(USA Today)(1-26-2006)
- #5 Paint Scheme plans: hearing that Kyle Busch will run a few paint schemes in 2006 besides the normal Kellogg's scheme. At Las Vegas, Busch will run the Ice Age 2 [movie] scheme. Will run a movie scheme from "Car" at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. Cheez-It at Daytona in July. Carquest Auto Parts schemes at Darlington, both Pocono races, Chicago and Texas in November. Delphi at Texas in April, Indy, Michigan in August and Lowe's Motor Speedway in October.(1-17-2006)
Past 2005 News
- Busch wins 2005 ROTY: Kyle Busch in the #5 Kelloggs Chevy clinched the 2005 Raybesto Rookie of Year at Homestead, beating out #77-Travis Kvapil, who was the only other full-time rookie driver. Busch racked up two wins, one pole, nine top-fives and 13 top 10 finishes this season. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race 23 times in 36 races and was the only Raybestos Rookie to post a top-five finish this season. Busch joins Jeff Gordon (1993) as the only Hendrick Motorsports drivers to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year. He is the first Raybestos Rookie to post two or more wins since Jimmie Johnson won three races in 2002. Busch became the youngest pole winner in NASCAR's premier series (19 yrs., 9 mos. and 24 days) when he grabbed the #1 qualifying spot for the February 27 Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. He is also the most recent Raybestos Rookie to win a pole and is the only first-year driver to win a pole in 2005. Where the Raybestos Rookies finished at Homestead: T. Kvapil 32nd; K. Busch 41st.(Raybestos/Camp and Assoc PR), also, Busch became the youngest race winner in NASCAR's premier series when he won at California in Sept. beating out Donald Thomas who was 20 yrs, 4 months, 6 days old when he won at Lakeland in 1952, Busch was 20 yr, 4 months, 2 days old.(11-21-2005)
- Kyle Busch admits mistake: #5-Kyle Busch attempted to mend fences with the media on Saturday, six days after abruptly walking out of the post-race winner's news conference at Phoenix. Last Sunday when a reporter challenged Busch's comment that the media had spread misinformation surrounding his brother Kurt Busch's reckless driving charge, the #5 Chevrolet driver stormed out of the question-and-answer session, only to return 25 minutes later. "I made a mistake, and I realize that," Kyle Busch said on Saturday. "Everything that was said was [during] a high emotion time. All the speculation and everything else, it was just a bad time for me."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-20-2005)
- Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix: #5-Kyle Busch won the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway for his 2nd win of 2005 and his career. Busch is the 4th 'Lucky Dog' driver to win a race, he was a lap doen when he had a tire go down early in the race and got the Lucky Dog pass on the next caution. So even with Kurt Busch suspendced and not in the race, he Busch brothers swept the races at Phoenix in 2005, Kurt winning the spring event. #16-Greg Biffle dominated early in the race and led 189 of the 312 laps but came up short and finished 2nd. #24-Jeff Gordon finished 3rd and is still winless at Phoenix. #20-Tony Stewart finished 4th and increased his points lead to 52 over #48-Jimmie Johnson, who finished 7th. #18-Bobby Labonte rounded out the top-5. #7-Robby Gordon put his DEI to good use and finished 8th for his 2nd top-10 of the season and #77-Travis Kvapil finished 10th for his 2nd top 10. #97-Kenny Wallace [that looks weird] subbed for suspended Kurt Busch and finished 16th. #11-Denny Hamlin, the pole sitter, led 23 laps and finished 13th. Four drivers are still eligible for the 2005 Nextel Cup Champion [as long as Stewart runs the race]: #20-Stewart (leader), #48-Johnson (-52), #99-Edwards (-87), #16-Biffle (-102). If Stewart finished 9th of better, nothing any other driver can do to stop Stewart from winning it at Homestead. There were only 9 cautions for 44 laps and 5 drivers led laps with 10 lead changes.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF's, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Phoenix Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski's Phoenix Race Results/Awards page.(11-13-2005)
- Brothers Sweep, first since 1976: Kyle Busch won Sunday’s race at PIR, while brother Kurt took the spring race here. That makes them the first brothers to sweep both Cup races at one track in a single season since Donnie and Bobby Allison turned the trick in 1978 at Atlanta.(Speed Channel)(11-14-2005)
- Kyle Busch walks out on press conference: There were two post-race press conferences for the winner at Phoenix. #5-Kyle Busch ended the first one abruptly when he found questions about dealing with his older brother’s problems tiresome. After a lapse of about a half hour, the race winner returned and clarified his position. “The only thing out there for us to do is acknowledge the contents of the police report and whatever Kurt Busch will say or release at a later time,” he said.(Gaston Gazette)
AND In the PIR infield media center for the traditional winner’s interview, Kyle was queried about his emotions on the day when his brother was suspended following an encounter with local police Friday night. “The only thing I’m going to say is I’m behind my brother 100 percent and usually things in the media are false and that’s what it comes down to sometimes,” Kyle said. Soon after, USA Today reporter Chris Jenkins asked, “Kyle, what specifically has the media written this weekend that’s been false about your brother?”
“I’m not going there, bud,” Kyle replied. “That was a really, really inappropriate question.” He then got up and stormed out of the media center, only to return some 15 minutes later.(Speed Channel)(11-14-2005)
- Why no burnout at Phoenix? #5-Kyle Busch wasn't pleased with the second victory celebration of his Nextel Cup career.
"I just want to apologize to all the fans for not doing my normal smoky burnouts," he told an estimated crowd of 105,000 from victory lane. "NASCAR wanted me to come directly to victory lane."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-14-2005)
- Hendrick unsure about attending Martinsville: Car owner Rick Hendrick won't decide until Sunday whether he’ll travel to
Martinsville for the Subway 500 cup race. It was one year ago this weekend when a Hendrick Motorsports plane crashed into Bull mountain near Martinsville while attempting to land in foggy conditions.10 people lost their lives, including his son Ricky, brother John and head engine builder Randy Dorton. Hendrick told PRN'S Garagepass; “I’ve learned since the accident that I have to take things day by day. I can have three or four days great and then I’ll get really down and thinking about things. It could be somebody’s birthday or Ricky’s daughter comes over to the house or whatever and it just unleashes a lot of emotions so I just try not to make too many plans. I want to go back to support the guys and I also feel like you just can’t run from it. But, if that morning if it doesn’t feel right then I won’t go.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(10-20-2005)
- Kyle Busch testing at Homestead/Texas: Busch and his #5 Kellogg's Racing team will test at Homestead, Fla., on Wednesday [Oct 19th] in preparation for the Nov. 20 NEXTEL Cup season finale. The team will also hold a two-day test Oct. 25-26 at the Texas Motor Speedway to warm up for the Nov. 6 event there.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(10-19-2005)
- Get Well: Chris "Sunshine" Heroy, a race engineer with the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team, recovering from an emergency appendectomy a couple of days ago.(10-15-2005)
- Delphi in trouble: Last Saturday’s bankruptcy filing by Delphi Corp., the nation’s largest auto supplier, may well have ripple effects in the Nextel Cup garage. Delphi, a major associate sponsor for Hendrick Motorsports, is seeking wage and pension reductions from its union employees. In large bankruptcy filings such as Delphi’s, a committee of creditors works with a federal judge to decide how assets are distributed during the reorganization. Non-essential expenses — such as race-team sponsorships — typically don’t survive the bankruptcy process. A Hendrick representative said Thursday she did not know how the Delphi bankruptcy might affect the team.(Speed Channel)(10-14-2005)
- OT to be paid: Hendrick Motorsports will pay more than $350,000 in back overtime wages to employees after an investigation found the racing company violated federal labor laws. The company, which designs, builds and races cars in NASCAR, acknowledged it failed to pay 214 salaried production workers $351,783 in overtime between July 2003 and July 2005. The U.S. Labor Department said it determined Hendrick violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. "We certainly wanted to make sure our employees received any compensation to which they were entitled, so we were glad to make the appropriate payments," Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex told The Associated Press on Saturday in an e-mail. "We've updated our internal policies and do not anticipate any ongoing issues."(ESPN.com/AP)(10-2-2005)
- #48/#5 too high in post race inspection at Dover? UPDATE: been told that the winning #48 Chevy that Jimmie Johnson drove to victory at Dover didn't meet the height reqiurements in post-race inspection and supposedly the #5 Chevy was too high also. #5-Busch finished a very close 2nd. Hearing the height was over 3/4" off in the rear of the cars. It was mentioned during the race broadcast that the two cars sat higher then other cars on the track. Was told that it was reported to the media that all cars passed inspection, not sure if their is a shock issue or if fines will be handed out, Tuesday is usually the day NASCAR announces such things [except for after New Hampshire last week]. The #5 team was fined back in March for having the quarter panels too high at Las Vegas and the #48 was fined after Vegas for being too low with Johnson winning and Busch finishing 2nd.(9-27-2005)
UPDATE: For the second time this season, a cloud hovers over a 1-2 finish by Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.
The shock absorbers from six cars, including those of Johnson and Busch, were confiscated after Sunday's race at Dover. They were taken for testing to see if they are in compliance with NASCAR rules. Johnson won the event and took the lead in the chase for the Cup championship as Busch finished a close second. Their shocks were taken after their cars had trouble passing post-race inspection.
Johnson and Busch had a 1-2 finish tainted at Las Vegas when the rear of Johnson's car was too low and the right-rear of Busch's car was too high during post-race checks. Shocks were also confiscated at Dover from the cars of Penske Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace; and the Roush Racing cars of Mark Martin and Greg Biffle. Of the six, only Busch is not among drivers in the championship chase.(High Point Enterprise)(9-28-2005)
- Hendrick was nervous: Car owner Rick Hendrick watched nervously from his home the final laps of the race at Dover recovering from a touch of the flu; however that didn’t stop him from getting word to his rookie driver #5-Kyle Busch prior to racing teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for the win. “I called Doug Duchardt (V.P. of Development) and I said give Alan Gustafson (Busch’s crew chief) a message…tell him to tell Kyle not to do anything stupid…(laughs) Then when the flag dropped on the green, white, checkered I said evidently he didn’t get the message. So, Monday morning I said, you didn’t get my message? Kyle said…I got it….I wasn’t on him…I didn’t touch him! I said, well it was too close for me. But it was good race and a good result.”(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)
- Kyle Busch on Oprah [..Uma?] Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolets, is scheduled to be a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Friday, Sept. 23. Check local listings for stations and times.(9-17-2005)
- Last time Brothers won, back-to-back? Kyle Busch won last week at California Speedway and brother Kurt Busch won the race at Richmond this week, becoming hte first brothers to win races back-to-back since August 1995 when Bobby Labonte won at Michigan and the following week Terry Labonte won at Bristol.(9-11-2005)
- Gustafson Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at California: Alan Gustafson helped #5-Kyle Busch set
a new standard in NASCAR racing. At only 20 years of age, Busch became the youngest driver to win a Nextel Cup event, after taking the checkered flag in the Sony HD TV 500. The duo's record breaking weekend earned Gustafson the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. The pivotal moment of the race came on lap 242 when the drivers came in for their final round of pit stops. Only 12 laps remained in the event, still Gustafson called Busch into the pits for fresh tires. Nearly everyone followed suit. Although he was planning to take four Goodyears, Gustafson made the last second call for only two tires and sent Busch on his way after the crew changed his right-sides. That put Busch out front for the final restart.
The panel of voters; including Gregg Patton of the Press-Enterprise, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser.; all agreed that
Gustafson deserved crew chief of the race honors.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson is in second place with three
wins. Bob Osborne, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for third place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Robbie Reiser and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(8-29-2005)
- Kyle Busch as 1st time winner: #5-Kyle Busch won the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway, for his first ever Nextel Cup win and becoming the youngest driver ever to win a race in the Cup Series, Donald Thomas was 20 yrs, 4 months, 6 days old when he won at Lakeland in 1952, Busch is 20 yr, 4 months, 2 days old. Busch led 95 of the 250 laps. Busch is also the 14th driver to win a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series and eighth to win a race and a pole in each series. #16-Greg Biffle was 2nd, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, #99-Carl Edwards and #20-Tony Stewart. #21-Ricky Rudd, starting last after missing practice and qualifying, finished 9th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost an engine late in the race finishing 38th and is now official out of the chase. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 7th and is now in the top-10 in points and currently in the chase as is #42-Jamie McMurray who finished 8th. #12-Ryan Newman and #24-Jeff Gordon fell out of the top-10 and out of the chase.
For race results and links, see Jayski's California Race Results Page.(9-4-2005)
- #5 Team 'testing' 2006 scheme at MIS: With paint schemes sometimes looking much different on paper than they do on the race track, Kellogg's has elected to field a potential 2006 car design this weekend at Michigan. A final decision on the '06 version of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolets will be based on how the car looks from the grandstands and on TNT's television broadcast.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), have seen no image yet.(8-19-2005)
- Kyle Busch Fined, Placed on Probation for Watkins Glen Infraction: NASCAR announced today that Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Chevy in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for an infraction last week at Watkins Glen International. Busch was fined for hitting another competitor’s car [#37 Lazzaro] after the completion of the race, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(8-17-2005)
- Special scheme for Busch at Daytona: Kyle Busch's #5 Chevrolet will sport a special paint scheme under the
lights at Daytona. The red and blue car will feature the Cheez-it logo on the hood in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-28-2005)
- New Co-Host for Inside Nextel Cup: Kyle Busch will co-host Inside NEXTEL Cup on July 4, joining SPEED Channel
analysts Jimmy Spencer, Johnny Benson and Alan Bestwick. The show will air July 4 at 8:00pm/et.(Hendrick Motorsports), no word if this is full-time, a one week only deal and if Michael Waltrip will be back on the show. It has been rumored that Waltrip and Benson would be leaving the show and younger drivers would host the show. Also hearing that Kevin Harvick may join as a host in the future.(6-28-2005)
- Executive Changes at Hendrick: In a tactical realignment of his business entities, Rick Hendrick today announced personnel changes affecting the Hendrick Automotive Group (HAG), Hendrick Motorsports and, now, the Hendrick Companies. As part of the refreshed business model, Hendrick introduced longtime Automotive Group executive Jim Huzl as president and chief executive officer of Charlotte-based HAG. In his new role, effective July 1, Huzl will oversee the direction of one of the nation's largest privately held auto retailers with 68 franchises, 4,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in revenue. Sharing Huzl's former duties as HAG's chief operating officer will be three new senior vice presidents: Tom Blocker, East Division; Kirk Heppler, West Division; and Gary Davis, who will manage retail operations support. Huzl succeeds Jim Perkins, who will transition to become the first president and COO of the Hendrick Cos., an organization recently formed to manage strategic initiatives relative to Hendrick's various business enterprises. Perkins will continue to serve as a member of HAG's partnership committee.
Bobby Rice, a trusted friend and business associate of Hendrick since 1976, was named executive vice president of the Hendrick Cos. and special adviser to the chairman. Rice also will work in a consultative capacity with Hendrick Motorsports, which fields multiple stock-car racing teams in two different divisions of sanctioning body NASCAR..(HMS PR)(6-20-2005)
- Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch in SI of Kids: #5-Kyle Busch and #24-Jeff Gordon are featured in the July edition of Sports
Illustrated for Kids magazine. Dubbed as a "Rookie to Watch," Busch answers questions about his racing career in the Teen bonus section.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-16-2005)
- Busch attempting the triple at Dover: Kyle Busch will enter all three NASCAR events at Dover, Del. Hendrick
Motorsports will field his customary #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet in the NEXTEL Cup Series on Sunday, along with a #57 Monte Carlo in Saturday's Busch Series event. The Las Vegas native will also race Billy Ballew's #15 Chevy Silverado in Friday's Craftsman Truck Series 200-lapper.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-2-2005)
- Hendrick may attend Martinsville: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick is leaning toward attending today's Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway. It's the first event at the track since a Hendrick plane crashed on the way to Martinsville last October. Engine builder Randy Dorton, General Manager Jeff Turner, President John Hendrick and Vice President Ricky Hendrick were among the 10 killed in the crash. Besides his brother and son, Rick Hendrick also lost two nieces.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
NOTE: Hendrick is at the track today for the race.(4-10-2005)
- Kyle Busch in People: Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolets, is profiled in the April 11 edition of People magazine. The issue, featuring Jennifer Aniston on the cover, is on newsstands this week.(Hendrick Motorsports), Busch will also be a presenter on the Country Music Television Awards, see my TV Listings page for more info.(4-7-2005)
- Scooby Doo on the #25 UPDATE Johnny Bravo on the #5: #25-Brian Vickers is scheduled to run a Scooby Doo scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. See an image on my #25 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2005)
AND #5-Kyle Busch will run a Johnny Bravo scheme at Bristol in August. See an image on my #5 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2005)
- Busch and Vickers on Country Music Television Awards: On Monday, April 11, Hendrick Motorsports teammates #5-Kyle Busch and #25-Brian Vickers will travel to Nashville, Tenn., where the pair will be presenters at this year's Country Music Television Awards. Other attendees include Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Jeff Daniels, Gina Gershon, Dennis Hopper, Larry the Cable Guy, William Shatner and many more. The show will air live on CMT beginning at 8:00pm/et.(Hendrick Motorsports)(4-7-2005)
- THE RULING ANNOUNCED on the APPREAL
National Stock Car Racing Commission Statements
#5 Team: On March 22, 2005, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the Appeal of Rick Hendrick, Kyle Busch and Alan Gustafson concerning three penalties assessed by NASCAR relative to the #5 car following the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 13, 2005. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing” and Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: quarter panel heights too high in post-race inspection.”
The penalties assessed were:
• Loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Rick Hendrick.
• Loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship Driver Points for Kyle Busch.
• $25,000 fine and suspension from NASCAR until April 6, 2005 and suspension from the next two (2) NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races for crew chief Alan Gustafson.
The car was in violation of the rules at the conclusion of the race. This was not contested during the hearing.
Upon review of the evidence presented, and by a majority vote, it is the decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalties assessed against Rick Hendrick and Kyle Busch and to amend the penalty assessed against Alan Gustafson as follows:
$25,000.00 fine. Probation for 90 days, effective from the date of this Hearing.
This decision pertains specifically to the evidence presented in this Appeal. The Commission’s rulings do not have a bearing on existing or announced NASCAR enforcement policies. The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.Commission were John Cooper, Jack Housby, George Silbermann, Chairman.(NASCAR)(3-23-2005)
What Does this mean? everything stands EXCEPT the suspensions to Knaus and Gustafson have been recinded.
- Hendrick Statement: Team owner Rick Hendrick today commented on the results of Tuesday's NASCAR appeal hearing, which today rescinded the suspensions of two Hendrick Motorsports crew chiefs. "I appreciate NASCAR giving us the opportunity to present the facts," Hendrick said. "From our perspective it's important everyone, especially our fans, know that we absolutely had no intention of breaking any rules. This sport has a rule book for good reason, and it's vital it be enforced. As an owner, I know it's equally important to have a just forum for teams and a fair system of checks and balances. We respect NASCAR's decision and look forward to carrying some momentum into Bristol."(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-23-2005)
- Crew Chief Award Stays: Without a doubt, the greatest thing about NASCAR is its fans. It's their passion and enthusiasm that makes racing the best sport in the world. So we appreciate you sharing thoughts on the Crew Chief Challenge. After all, that's what this contest is all about - settling the hot debate of who really is the best crew chief in the Nextel Cup garage. Kyle Busch's crew chief, Alan Gustafson, was awarded the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Gustafson's car met all specifications before the race, and it was an incident during the event that caused it to exceed the height requirement. WYPALL Wipers certainly does not endorse any kind of dishonesty. The voting panel, including Tony
Eury Sr., the local media and a WYPALL Wipers representative, took into account several factors when picking the winner, including
strategy, pit stop times, improvement throughout the day and overall performance. Given that criteria, the vote for Gustafson still
stands.(SMC 500 PR)(3-21-2005)
- #5 Team allowed to work on car: Though NASCAR Nextel Cup cars were impounded [see full rules below] this weekend after qualifying Friday, Kyle Busch's team on Saturday was allowed to prepare a backup car for today's race at Atlanta after the 19-year-old Cup rookie wrecked his primary car in qualifying. It's a good thing crew chief Alan Gustafson is allowed to work while his suspension is being appealed.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-20-2005)
- Appeals Allow Suspended Crew Chief's to be at Atlanta; Berrier to sit out: NASCAR crew chiefs Chad Knaus [#48] and Alan Gustafson [#5] will be allowed to compete in Atlanta this weekend while they appeal their two-race suspension. Both were suspended on Tuesday for allegedly cheating at Las Vegas last weekend. Team owner Rick Hendrick appealed, and the National Stock Car Racing commission can't assemble until next week to hear their case, NASCAR officials said Wednesday. Under NASCAR's rules, the crew chiefs can still compete until their appeal has been heard. Todd Berrier was suspended for four races, and NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said they expected to receive notice of his plans to appeal in time for him to compete in Atlanta this weekend.(AP/ESPN.com). Richard Childress said onSpeed Channel's NASCAR Nation that Berrier will sit out the Atlanta race and the suspension will be appealled.(3-17-2005)
- Kyle Busch in Life: Kyle Busch completed an interview at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a Life magazine cover story. The piece will document the NEXTEL Cup rookie, his family and their path to the present-day success on the race track. World-renowned photojournalist Harry Benson photographed Busch for the cover, which is slated for distribution in late April.(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-17-2005)
- Top Two Finishers May Face Penalties UPDATE Penalties, Fines and Suspensions: Speed Channel is reporting that #48-Jimmie Johnson, the winner at Las Vegas, was found in post race inspection to be too low and the 2nd place finisher #5-Kyle Busch's Chevy quarter panels were too high. NASCAR decisions will come Monday or Tuesday. The win will probably stand.(3-13-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR probably won't take away #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory in Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, despite his car's failing an inspection after the race for being too low at the roof. First, it might be difficult to give the win to teammate #5-Kyle Busch, who finished second, because Busch's car also failed post-race inspection, for being too high at the rear quarterpanels. But it's not nice to try to fool John Darby, NASCAR's competitions director, and his justice may be harsh for both Johnson and Busch. But, a win is a win, no matter the asterisks - and no matter the razzing from rivals. The low roof that led to Johnson's violation would likely provide both an edge in speed on the straightaways as well as better handling in the corners because more air would reach the crucial rear spoiler. The high rear quarterpanels that led to Busch's violation would likely provide an edge in handling in the corners, because the rear spoiler would be higher. What NASCAR will likely do is take away enough points, probably 25, to knock Johnson out of the Nextel Cup points lead. That would put Kurt Busch, who finished third, back atop the standings.(Winston Salem Journal)
Wanna stop the cheating....take the freakin' win away, make a statement, that starting next week, post-RACE infractions cost 25 points, if it is the winner, they drop to 4th or 5th, and the win goes to the 2nd place car, or the next legal car.(3-15-2005)
UPDATE - Fines, Penalties and Suspensions: NASCAR has announced that rule infractions this past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway have resulted in the suspension of three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chiefs.
The #48 Chevrolet team received three penalties, due to the car's roof height being too low in post-race inspection — a violation of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules).
A penalty of 25 driver points dropped Jimmie Johnson — the race winner at Las Vegas — back to second place (500 points) in the standings, 10 behind reigning series champion Kurt Busch (510). Chad Knaus, Johnson's crew chief, has been suspended from competition for the next two races and fined $35,000; Jeff Gordon, the #48 car owner, has been penalized 25 owner points.
#29 Team: Todd Berrier, crew chief for the #29 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, has been suspended for the next four races and fined $25,000. Those penalties resulted from the #29 having an unapproved fuel filler and unapproved fuel cell vent. The car was in violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q. The violation was found during post-qualifying inspection. In addition to Berrier's penalties, Harvick has been penalized 25 driver championship points, dropping him from eighth to 10th in the driver standings, while car owner Richard Childress loses 25 car owner championship points.
#5 Team: Alan Gustafson, crew chief for the #5 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Busch, has been suspended for two races and fined $25,000, due to the car's quarter-panel heights being too high in post-race inspection — also violations of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q. Busch has been assessed 25 driver points, dropping him from 18th to 22nd in the standings; car owner Rick Hendrick loses 25 owner points.
Harold Holly, crew chief for the #32 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr., was fined $5,000 because of the #32 having an unapproved deck lid, a violation of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q that was determined during opening-day inspection.
John Latchford, crew chief for the #89 Dodge driven by Morgan Shepherd, was fined $1,000 because of an unapproved fire suppression agent found during opening-day inspection. That also violated Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q.
Larry Carter, crew chief for the #2 Dodge driven by Rusty Wallace, was fined $1,000. During opening-day inspection, the car's shoulder harness did not have a date tag displayed, a violation of Sections 17.2-C (and 12-4-A).(Fox Sports/Sporting News)
POINTS UPDATED on my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Las Vegas page.(3-15-2005)
- Hendrick Responds to sanctions and to Appeal: Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, today responded to sanctions levied by NASCAR on two of his NEXTEL Cup Series entries. "I'm not disputing NASCAR's right to levy sanctions," Hendrick said. "As a team owner, I understand why these standards are in place and have always taken pride in the fact that our organization has kept a very clean record. In this particular instance, though, we disagree with the severity of NASCAR's stance and plan to appeal their decision. I want to make it clear that we in no way intentionally ignored guidelines and I'm certain everyone understands that."(Hendrick Motorsports)(3-15-2005)
- Gustafson Leads Busch to Career Best Wins WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: While so many race teams had a day filled with ups and downs, Kyle Busch was a picture of consistency in the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the # 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, kept his team in the top-10 for the majority of the race, eventually scoring his driver a second place finish in only his ninth career Nextel Cup start. Gustafson's banner day earned him the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
A panel of three voters, including a WypAll Wipers representative, Tony Eury Sr. and Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review Journal, all
agreed Gustafson was the stand out crew chief of the race. Tony Eury Sr. was equally impressed with Gustafson's performance.
"It's hard for anyone to finish in the top-five, much less a rookie," said Eury Sr. "Alan (Gustafson) gave his driver an awesome car, and
made the right decisions to make it better during the race. This is the first year that (Kyle) Busch and Alan have worked together.
Alan's really done a good job working with that team. If he keeps this up, it won't be long before they go to Victory Lane." Gustafson won $1000 for picking up the Crew Chief of the Race award. He is now tied with Pete Rondeau and Doug Richert in the point standings for the WypAll Wipers Crew Chief of the Year. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000.For more information, visit www.wypall.com.(WypAll Wipers PR)(3-15-2005)
- #5 Robot Car: Coinciding with the March 11 launch of the movie "Robots" presented by 20th Century Fox, Kellogg's will trade in the #5 Chevrolet's traditional paint scheme, driven by Kyle Busch, for a nuts-and-bolts Robots-themed design for Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-10-2005)
- Busch's Pole, does he get to run in the Shootout? UPDATE Double YES: #5-Kyle Busch is the youngest pole sitter in Nextel Cup history at 19 years, 9 months, 24 days old. The all-time record was held by Donald Thomas - 20 years, 4 months, 6 days old at Lakewood Speedway in GA on 11-16-1952. The modern-era [1972-present] record was held by Brian Vickers, 20 years, 6 months, 20 days at Richmond on 5-14-2004.(that stats from the NASCAR Statistical Services Updates Book)...
So the question is....will Busch, who will be 20 in February 2006, be able to run in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona? The sticker on hic car doesn't say 'Bud Pole Award' BUT 'Anheuser-Busch Pole'. Officially, Busch is the winner of the "Anheuser-Busch Pole Award" and there are seperate plaque and materials for that. Brian Vickers had the same sticker in 2004, but he was 20 and was 21 at the time of the 2005 Budweiser Shootout, so he was allowed to run, but he wasn't allowed to run the Crown Royal IROC Series in 2004 as he was not 21. Been told no decision on Busch and the 2006 Bud Shootout has not been made as of yet.(2-28-2005)
UPDATE: Speed Channel's NASCAR Nation reported on its Monday show that they were told that Kyle Busch WILL be able to run the 2006 Budweiser Shootout.(3-1-2005)
UPDATE 2: Anheuser-Busch has been a longtime supporter of NASCAR through its sponsorships of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona since 1979 and the NASCAR Busch Series for the past 24 years.Â This past weekend, Kyle Busch became the youngest winner of the Budweiser Pole award, which will qualify him to participate in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona next February. Since Kyle is under the legal drinking age, he will not receive any beer branded materials, based on our policy of not providing beer branded materials to those under 21. However, since the Budweiser Pole award is the name of this achievement, he will be permitted to
receive his honor and will compete in the Bud Shootout next year.
Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have spent more than a half-billion dollars on community-based programs and advertising to promote the responsible and legal consumption of its products, which includes fighting drunk driving and underage drinking.Â The company has partnered with NASCAR and various tracks over the years to encourage responsible drinking and the use of designated drivers at NASCAR events.(fingerprint inc./Anheuser-Busch PR)(3-1-2005)
- More changes at Hendrick? UPDATE: hearing that Eddie Dickerson, Manager of Hendrick Motorsports Chassis Shop, which was responsible for building all of the Chassis, and hanging all of the bodies, has left the organization.(2-16-2005)
UPDATE: Eddie Dickerson, the director of chassis engineering at Hendrick Motorsports, left the team. Team spokesman Jesse Essex said Dickerson's duties likely will be split among several team members, including Doug Duchardt, who who left his position as director of GM Racing two weeks ago to become Hendrick's vice president of development.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-17-2005)
- Kyle Busch as Darth: #5-Kyle Busch will sport a Star Wars Episode III paint scheme at Richmond in May that will feature Darth Vader.(RacingOne)(2-11-2005)
- Hendrick announces new VP's: Hendrick Motorsports general manager Marshall Carlson announced that competition director Ken Howes and longtime General Motors executive Doug Duchardt have been named vice presidents over the organization's racing operations. Transitioning from his role of competition director, Howes has been tabbed as vice president of competition. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native will oversee Hendrick's day-to-day competition-related activities, now encompassing teams, crew chiefs and pit-crew trainers, along with at-track logistics and execution.
Duchardt, who most recently managed General Motors' North American motor sports initiatives as director of GM Racing, has been named Hendrick Motorsports' vice president of development, a position in which he will control race-car evolution through design, engineering and production in the chassis and engine areas.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(2-7-2005)
- Some Crew Changes: Chief engineer Chad Walters is the latest to defect from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Walters, who worked with former Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Gary DeHart on Terry Labonte's #5, will bring his expertise back to Hendrick and the #5, which will be driven by Kyle Busch. Ed Young, who was the shop foreman for Matt Kenseth's #17 team, has left Roush Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing. Justin Nottestad, who also is Kenseth's front tire changer, will take over Young's duties.(FoxSports)(1-10-2005)
Past 2004 News
- CARQUEST joins #5 team, five 2005 races as the primary: Hendrick Motorsports today announced a multi-year agreement that will feature CARQUEST Auto Parts as a major associate sponsor of the #5 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team with driver Kyle Busch. Along with associate-sponsorship status on the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolets throughout the schedule, the pact will showcase primary
CARQUEST color-schemes on the car in 10 NEXTEL Cup events, divided equally between the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Raleigh-based CARQUEST, the Official Auto Parts Supplier of Hendrick Motorsports since 2002, began its association with Busch this past
season as primary sponsor of Hendrick's #84 NEXTEL Cup effort. The six-race initiative marked the series debut of Busch at his hometown track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, along with additional events at Lowe's Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. For the nearest CARQUEST location, visit www.CARQUEST.com.
CARQUEST COLOR-SCHEMES - 2005 NEXTEL CUP DATES:
Feb. 27, California; April 3, Bristol; May 29, Lowe's Motor Speedway; Oct. 9, Kansas; Nov. 6, Texas(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(12-29-2004)
- Delphi to continue sponsoring the #5 car: In 2005, Delphi will continue its partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and will be an associate sponsor of the Kellogg #5 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. At the CES media briefing [Jan 5th], Delphi will introduce Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 car, who will be available for autographs. "Delphi is proud to continue its associate sponsorship of the #5 Chevy with Kellogg's and Hendrick Motorsports for the 2005 NASCAR season," said Francisco A. (Frank) Ordonez, president, Delphi Product & Service Solutions and vice president, Delphi Corporation. "We look forward to supporting Kyle Busch and his quest for the NASCAR championship." Delphi will be prominently featured on the #5 Chevy in all Nextel races in 2005. In addition, Delphi will be the primary sponsor of the car at four races of the 2005 season, including races at Texas Motor Speedway (April 17), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Aug. 7), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 10) and Lowe's Motor Speedway (Oct. 15).(PR Newswire)(12-28-2004)
- Hendrick Awarded: Team owner Rick Hendrick is the latest winner of the Buddy Shuman Award: Buddy Shuman was a popular NASCAR driver in the early 1950s who died in a hotel fire in 1955. The award has been given annually since 1957, honoring someone from the NASCAR community for contributions to the sport. Hendrick, a popular figure in the garage area, lost his son, his brother, two nieces and two key team officials among the 10 persons who died in an Oct. 24 crash of a team plane on the way to a race in Virginia. Hendrick's team has won five Cup championships and fields cars in both the Cup and Busch Series.(Augusta Chronicle/AP)(12-5-2004)
- Dorton Honored: The late Randy Dorton, the chief engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports, who was killed in an October plane crash, was honored as Clevite Engine Builder of the Year. The award was accepted by his widow, Diane Dorton.(ESPN/AP)(12-5-2004)
- Rick Hendrick at the track: mulit-team owner [#5,#24,#25,#48], Rick Hendrick, is at the track and made a statement today in the media center, thanking the racing community and fans for their support in the aftermath of the tragic plane crash. No questions were taken, to see Hendrick's comments in full, see my Hendrick Tragedy Page.(11-20-2004)
- Crew Chief Changes at Hendrick? UPDATE 3: hearing Hendrick Motorsports will make some changes with the #5 Kelloggs team [2005 driver Kyle Busch] and #25-Brian Vickers, supposedly starting with the crew chiefs.(11-18-2004)
UPDATE: Nextel Cup rookie Brian Vickers is expected to get a new crew chief next season and be reunited with Lance McGrew, the crew chief with whom Vickers won the 2003 Busch Series championship, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Vickers’ crew chief for the #25 GMAC/ditech.com Chevrolet this season, Peter Sospenzo, will remain with the Hendrick Motorsports organization in another capacity, sources said. Officials with Hendrick said Sunday no announcements on personnel changes will come until after the season.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-21-2004)
UPDATE 2: After a lackluster rookie year in the #25 car, Brian Vickers will be reunited with his Busch Series crew chief, Lance McGrew. They won the Busch title in 2003, and some were surprised when McGrew didn't join Vickers during his rookie year in Cup. Vickers' current chief, Peter Sospenzo, will join Terry Labonte's limited run in 2005 [in the #44], and Jim Long, who was crew chief for Labonte's #5 Kellogg's Chevy, will work on the NBS program with rookies Boston Reid and Blake Feese and possibly a driver or two from the Cup stable. Alan Gustafson, who previously was the team engineer for the #25, will be Kyle Busch's crew chief on the #5.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-22-2004)
AND Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today announced key personnel changes affecting each of his organization's stock-car teams going into the 2005 NASCAR campaign. Racing veterans Jim Long, Lance McGrew and Peter Sospenzo will each
assume fresh responsibilities next season, while lead engineer Alan Gustafson has been promoted to crew chief. As part of the
restructuring effort, team executive Brian Whitesell will also transition into a new role. "With a new shop opening and drivers moving to different teams, it made sense for us to look at our organizational structure in a different light," Hendrick said. "These changes will create more opportunities for our folks and help us work together more efficiently."
GUSTAFSON TO LEAD KELLOGG'S RACING: Gustafson, 29, has been named crew chief of Hendrick's #5 Kellogg's
Chevrolets, which next season will feature NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rookie Kyle Busch as driver. A native of Ormond Beach, Fla., Gustafson cut his racing teeth working as a mechanic at local short tracks in his home state while taking mechanical engineering courses at nearby Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Gustafson moved to North Carolina in 1996 to pursue a career in motor
sports, gaining experience with various teams before joining Hendrick's in-house chassis effort in 1999. He was named lead
engineer for the #5 Cup Series team the following year.
LONG MOVES TO BUSCH SERIES: After leading the #5 NEXTEL Cup team for the past three years, Long will slide into the crew chief position with the #5 Lowe's-sponsored NASCAR Busch Series operation. The team has earned a championship, eight victories and six pole positions over the past two seasons. An announcement regarding driving duties for the #5 Busch Series
team is forthcoming.
McGREW AND VICKERS REUNITED: A Baton Rouge, La., native, McGrew, 36, has been named crew chief of the NEXTEL Cup #25 GMAC Financial Services team, a move that reunites him with driver Brian Vickers. The duo already has an impressive track record, winning Hendrick Motorsports' first-ever Busch Series championship together in 2003.
SOSPENZO JOINS LABONTE EFFORT: A three-time winner on the NEXTEL Cup circuit, Sospenzo will work exclusively with two-time Cup Series champion Terry Labonte as crew chief of the new #44 Hendrick Motorsports team, which will attempt a 10-race schedule in 2005.
WHITESELL NAMED TEAM MANAGER FOR 5, 25 & 44: Whitesell, 40, will take on the newly created position of team manager for the Nos. 5, 25 and 44 NEXTEL Cup teams. A native of Stuarts Draft, Va., he most recently held an identical post with Hendrick Motorsports' Nos. 24 and 48 efforts.
Shop foreman Mark Thoreson and lead engineer Darian Grubb will share Whitesell's former duties with the "24/48" operation. The Nos. 5, 25 and 44 teams will be housed together in a new facility adjacent to the 24/48 building on the Hendrick Motorsports grounds. The new state-of-the-art shop is scheduled to open before the 2005 season.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(11-22-2004)
- Randy Dorton/Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown: The event began with a moment of silence, but the roar of 600-horsepower engines soon filled the room as Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group employees gathered this week for the third annual Randy Dorton/Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Sponsored by Dana Corp., the two-day contest teamed Hendrick Motorsports engine builders with Hendrick Automotive Group certified master technicians for head-to-head competition. Twelve pairs were clocked until their respective powerplant established a one-minute run after complete assembly, with the shortest elapsed time taking home first-place honors. Monday's qualifying round set the grid for Tuesday's finals, with the team of Jon Young and Mike Maiwald posting a build of 20 minutes, 52 seconds to tie the event record and earn the victory. Young is a Hendrick certified master tech from Gwinnett Place Honda in Atlanta, while Maiwald, of Hendrick Motorsports, is NASCAR's defending Engine Builder of the Year. For his efforts, Young was presented with an all-expenses-paid trip to the February 2005 events at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Runner-up Vince Bonfiglio, who teamed with Larry Zentmeyer, was also presented with a Daytona vacation package. Bonfiglio represented Hendrick BMW of Charlotte." This is a wonderful event that recognizes the > '> best of the best> '> in our industry," said Jim Perkins, Hendrick Automotive Group CEO. "It gives us the opportunity to bring the two companies together and acknowledge the contributions of our top-level staff." The brainchild of Rick Hendrick and the late Randy Dorton, the Showdown draws from more than 800 Automotive Group technicians, taking the 12 that are deemed most qualified by a one-of-a-kind Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam created specifically for Hendrick employees. Those 12 are then paired with Hendrick Motorsports engine builders. Hendrick is owner of NASCAR operation Hendrick Motorsports, and chairman of the Hendrick Automotive Group, an organization comprised of 64 car dealerships across the United States, from the Carolinas to California. Dorton, recognized as one of the most gifted engine builders in NASCAR history, won nine championships during his two-decade tenure as head of Hendrick Motorsports' engine department before tragically losing his life Oct. 24. The Showdown was officially renamed in his honor shortly afterward. A silent moment of remembrance opened the competition at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum in Charlotte, and many of the participants wore red -- Dorton' s favorite color -- throughout the two-day experience.(HMS PR)(11-20-2004)
- GM head of racing to Hendrick? General Motors' Doug Duchardt, head of the company's world-wide racing operations, is apparently being wooed by car owner Rick Hendrick to move to North Carolina to take a key position at Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick's racing operations were hard-hit by the plane crash three weeks ago that killed 10. Among those killed were John Hendrick, the company's president; Randy Dorton, the legendary engine builder and head of the company's engine department; and general manager Jeff Turner.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-13-2004)
- Hendrick Motorsports update: Ken Howes, Hendrick Motorsports’ director of competition, played a major role in “talking the team through” the aftermath of the plane crash that killed seven employees of the team on Oct. 24. “He just took responsibility for taking us through that,” said Jimmie Johnson. A team spokesman, Patrick Perkins, said that Bobby Rice, a close business associate of Rick Hendrick, would oversee the operation for the time being while Hendrick recovers from the loss of his brother John, son Ricky and nieces Kymberly and Jennifer. Also lost in the crash were general manager Jeff Turner and head engine builder Randy Dorton. Jeff Gordon’s stepfather, John Bickford, will take on a more prominent role in the business side, and controller Scott Lampey will oversee financial operations. Jeff Andrews and Jim Wall will combine in directing the engine department.(Gaston Gazette)(10-30-2004)
- Labonte not only with Kellogg's OR: hearing that Terry Labonte will only run the #44 Kellogg's scheme in five races each of 2005 and 2006 and will run the other races in other Hendrick Motorsports associate sponsor schemes such as Carquest, ditech.com, GMAC, Delphi and Quaker State.(10-21-2004)
OR have also been told that Kellogg's will be on Labonte's car for all 10 races each season, but that the #5 Chevy with Kyle Busch would have an associate sponsor as the primary whrn Labonte races.(10-22-2004)
- How can Labonte run the #44? been asked by some folks how can Terry Labonte run the #44 when Petty Enterprises owns it. No team owns a number, NASCAR 'owns' the number. However, Petty Enterprises last ran the #44 a few times in 2003 with Christian Fittipaldi, but not in 2004 as sponsorship has not been found. On Tuesday [Oct 12th] Terry Labonte said on Speed CHannel's Wind Tunnel, that he asked Kyle Petty planned to use the #44 and was told no, and asked if he could use it for 2005 and 2006 and was told he could.(10-14-2004)
- Labonte Announcement Oct 12th UPDATE - OFFICAL: Hendrick Motorsports has a press conference scheduled with Terry Labonte for Tuesday morning (breakfast with Kellogg's -- get it?), when Labonte supposedly will announce he is cutting back to a limited schedule for 2005 and 2006. Kyle Busch is slated to be Labonte's full-time replacement, moving up from the Busch Series. Supposedly, Labonte will drive the #44, his first number in NASCAR, while Busch will get the #5.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-10-2004)
TV: SPEED Channel will interrupt regularly scheduled programming Tuesday, Oct 12th at 9:30am/et to bring viewers LIVE coverage of the Hendrick Motorsports press conference with team owner Rick Hendrick and two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Terry Labonte. SPEED Channel's Bob Dillner will be on-site for post-announcement interviews.(Speed Channel PR)(10-11-2004)
The Press Conference: Fox's Mike Joy hosting the Terry Labonte announcement, on stage at the table are: NASCAR's Mike Helton, Team Owner Rick Hendrick, Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte and Ken Schrader with Labonte's family in the front row.
Terry Labonte announced he will run a limited schedule, running 20 races in 2005 and 2006, 10 in each year. In 2005 his first scheduled start will be at California Speedway Feb 27th] and the final 2005 race will be at Texas Motor Speedway [Nov 6th] and that Darlington would 'probably be one of those races.
Kyle Busch was announced as the new #5 Kelloggs driver in 2005. Decisions on shop, crew and equipment will be made and announced at a later date. Speed cut away as the Q&A was to start. It was mentioned Kelloggs will be part of it, no word on the car number yet, rnor has it being #44.
An AP report: Two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte will race a limited schedule in 2005 and 2006, joining the growing list of veteran drivers slowly easing out of racing. Labonte is scheduled to run about 10 races next season in the #44 Chevrolet, followed by 10 races in 2006 in what will be his final season. "I thought a while about just walking away and I couldn't do it, but I didn't want to do a traditional farewell tour," the 47-year-old Labonte said. Nineteen-year-old Kyle Busch will take Labonte's spot in the #5 Chevy and is to run a full-time Nextel Cup schedule in 2005. He is the younger brother of current Nextel Cup points leader Kurt Busch. Labonte was in the #44 when he won his first points title.
Labonte is following in the footsteps of 49-year-old Bill Elliott, who scaled back to a part-time schedule this season. He said his decision was inspired in part by Elliott's example. Rusty Wallace also has announced that 2005 will be his final season; other longtime NASCAR mainstays probably aren't too far behind. Car owner Jack Roush said in August that 45-year-old Mark Martin indicated next season will be his last, and the two have called a news conference for Thursday.(Charlotte Observer/AP)
AND while since Terry Labonte is being mentioned here.....Fans will have the opportunity to meet Tony the Tiger and two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte on Wednesday, Oct. 13 when the “Tonymobile” visits the Hendrick Motorsports Museum.(more info at the HMS Site)(10-12-2004)
- Terry Labonte Announcement AND: #5-Terry Labonte has scheduled a press conference next week to announce his plans. Labonte is expected to announce his semi-retirement and run a partial schedule next year.(Tennessean)
AND Labonte said Saturday he will run a schedule of at least 10 races each in 2005 and 2006 for Rick Hendrick, his car owner since 1986 [actually since 1994]. A formal announcement will be made at an Oct. 12 press conference at the Hendrick shops. Labonte, who has driven #5 for Hendrick, will switch to car #44, the number he drove for Billy Hagan from 1979-1986.(High Point Enterprise), so looks like Kyle Busch will move up to Cup in 2005.(10-3-2004)
- Terry Labonte to tie DW: Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event will mark #5-Terry Labonte's 809th career start on the circuit, tying him with Darrell Waltrip for fourth on NASCAR's all-time list. The only drivers with more starts are Richard Petty (1,177), Dave Marcis (882) and Ricky Rudd (830).(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-23-2004)
- Labonte #7 Now: With Terry Labonte's 18th-place finish Saturday at Richmond International Raceway, he earned $89,230, which lifted him past Bill Elliott into seventh place on NASCAR's list of all-time money winners. Now at $36,924,624.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-19-2004)
- Kim Labonte Attends DOD Conference: Kim Labonte, wife of two-time Nextel Cup Series champion #5-Terry Labonte
and mother of NASCAR Busch Series driver #44-Justin Labonte, has accepted an invitation from Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to participate in the Defense Department's Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC 68). Rumsfeld attended the Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway Saturday. The program, which will be held September 11 - September 17, will give participants an opportunity to learn first-hand about U. S. military personnel, their equipment and capabilities, and national defense strategies. As a JCOC 68 participant, Kim will visit military bases of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Locations will include Hawaii, Korea, Japan and Guam among others. Very few people, even those employed by the Department of Defense, get the opportunity to interact with such an encompassing cross-section of military leaders and service members of all ranks. Participants will fly on military aircraft; experience aircraft landings and launches from Navy ships; observe amphibious landings, urban area combat techniques, special operations assaults, and other warfare demonstrations. Justin Labonte is sponsored by the United States Coast Guard in the Busch Series and won his first series race at Chicagoland Speedway July 10. The Coast Guard announced last week that they would be partnering with Justin for the full Busch Series schedule for 2005 after running a partial season this year. Kim's trip will begin in Honolulu, Hawaii where the Coast Guard has a large base.
After an initial orientation, the JCOC team will travel by military aircraft throughout the Pacific theater. Due to a refocusing of military resources in the United States on Operation Iraqi Freedom, the conference adjusted what has been a U.S.-based agenda to one
focused on the key command centers engaged in winning the global war on terrorism. This conference was initiated in 1948 by Secretary Forestal and is the Department's premier civic leader program. Only fifty U.S. citizens are selected from hundreds of candidates nominated by military commands worldwide. JCOC 68 participants pay all of their own expenses, including travel to and from the conference, lodging and meals.(PR)(9-14-2004)
- Terry Labonte working on 2005 deal, part-time UPDATE #44?: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said Saturday veteran Terry Labonte has agreed to drive in the Nextel Cup Series for two more years, but will not run a full-time schedule. "I know he'll run at least 15 races, if not more," Hendrick said. "Beyond that, that's all we know right now. We're waiting to talk to sponsors and they're going to tell us the number and the color (of the car). Right now, I don't know who's going to be doing what. I just know we're going to be there." Hendrick said he would like to wait until the Chase for the Nextel Cup is well under way before making any more announcements, so to not distract his teams that are participating. Labonte had indicated earlier this season that he was contemplating several options – including retirement, running a limited schedule or running for another team – for next season. Should Labonte move to a partial schedule, it will likely open the seat in his current ride, Hendrick's #5 Chevrolets.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-11-2004)
UPDATE: Terry Labonte, met with owner Rick Hendrick last week to discuss his future. Labonte is expected to run a limited schedule over the next two seasons, possibly reviving the #44, the number he won his first title with, while Kyle Busch moves into the #5 Chevrolet.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-13-2004)
- What's Up with Terry Labonte? UPDATE NOT Retiring: What's in store for Terry Labonte, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch? Hendrick Motorsports expects to have the #5 and #25 Nextel Cup teams under one roof next season, copying the successful model shared by Jeff Gordon's #24 and Jimmie Johnson's #48 crews. Vickers will be in the #25 car next season, but a Hendrick source says a final decision has not been made on whether Labonte, 47, will run the full 2005 season in the #5 car. He could retire or semiretire, allowing Busch, 19, to step into that ride. The source says the choice is up to Labonte, who has won two Cup championships.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(8-31-2004)
UPDATE: #5-Terry Labonte, testing at Richmond on Tuesday, hinted at big news. The two-time champion, who reportedly is mulling a limited schedule similar to Bill Elliott's this year, said he will be revealing his future plans later this season. "We're probably going to announce something not too far off, and I'm very excited about it," said Labonte, 47. "I can't tell you what it is. I can tell you I'm not retiring."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-1-2004)
- Two more years for Terry Labonte...part-time? UPDATE 2: #5-Terry Labonte, after 25 years on the tour, will likely run another two years, according to team sources, who expect the 47-year-old racer to sign a new contract for a limited schedule of 10 to 15 races with car owner Rick Hendrick.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-7-2004)
UPDATE: Two-time series champion Terry Labonte would not confirm Saturday a published report that he will remain with Hendrick Motorsports next season but run a partial schedule. Labonte said last month that he was uncertain of his future. Labonte has been with Hendrick Motorsports since 1994 and has won 12 of his 22 career races with the team. Despite his competitiveness, Labonte said a partial schedule is intriguing. "It'd be nice to have an off weekend," he said. "It might be nice to not go to some of the tracks you particularly care for." If Labonte runs a partial schedule, it could allow Hendrick Motorsports to put 19-year-old Kyle Busch, who is challenging for the Busch series title this season, into a Cup ride for select races next year to gain experience.(Roanoke Times)(8-8-2004)
UPDATE 2: the NASCAR Scene reports that if Labonte runs a limited schedule, it would be in the #84 Chevy with Kyle Busch running the #5 Chevy.(NASCAR Scene)
AND hearing it will be part time and the crew chef for Labonte would be Alan Gustafson, currently the team engineer for the #5 car.(8-13-2004)
- #800 for Terry Labonte: Terry Labonte is expected to make his 800th career Cup start at New Hampshire. He is the fifth driver in NASCAR history to compete in 800 or more Cup races. Richard Petty heads the list with 1,185, followed by Dave Marcis (883), Ricky Rudd (821 - current) and Darrell Waltrip (809).(ThatsRacin.com)(7-19-2004)
- Labonte not happy word got out: Bobby Labonte said during a break in Brickyard 400 testing this week that his older brother is not ready to retire and is unhappy that his talks with Hendrick Motorsports have gone public. Terry Labonte, 47, finished in the top 10 of the points last season and won the Southern 500, his first victory in more than four years. Bobby said the two-time NASCAR champion sought to clarify his future with owner Rick Hendrick while exploring what other options he might have. "It was supposed to have been handled really clean and neat, but unfortunately somebody spoke out of turn," Bobby said. "He doesn't want to quit driving. The situation might be for him to not drive there, so he has to look elsewhere. He was going to go ask for permission and say, 'What are you going to do with me?' instead of them coming to him and parting on bad terms. He really tried his hardest to do it the right way."(Indianapolis Star)(7-9-2004)
- 2005 uncertain for Labonte at Hendrick? UPDATE 2: #5-Terry Labonte said Thursday his future with Hendrick Motorsports and the series remains up in the air beyond this season. Labonte, 47, is currently working under a year-to-year contract with owner Rick Hendrick and has said he didn't expect to drive past age 50. The quick rise of Hendrick's young talents, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch, have prompted questions about how soon Labonte, a two-time Cup series champion, would leave the Hendrick organization. "I told Rick last year I didn't know how much longer I wanted to do this and we needed to be up front about it so they could make plans for their future down the road," Labonte said. Labonte said several possibilities remain open beyond this year, including remaining with Hendrick, driving for another team and driving a partial schedule the way veteran Bill Elliott has with Evernham Motorsports this season. "I will be honest with you, there are probably only a handful of teams I would consider driving for and it would have to be a Chevy. I'm not going to drive for another make of car and Rick and I are partners in a Chevrolet dealership," Labonte said. "If somebody came up and said they had a three-year deal, I wouldn't do it because I don't want to run three more years." Labonte's name has been mentioned in connection with Richard Childress Racing's #30 Chevrolet, which has Dave Blaney signed through the end of the year, and a new third team planned for Joe Gibbs Racing [that would give J.J. Yeley another year in Busch and makes sense]. Retirement, whether at the end of this season or later, would be a difficult decision, Labonte said. Earlier Thursday, Busch, 19, confirmed his original contract with Hendrick expires this season, although it includes an option year Hendrick can pick up, but hasn't yet. "Supposedly, I am going to have some contract conversations sometime in September, or whenever they give me a piece of paper that I can sign," Busch said. "I hope they give me something to sign because my deal is up. I'm sure they are going to give me something." Busch said he would like to run in the Cup series next year, but if he did, either a current Hendrick driver would have to leave, or the organization would need to expand to a fifth Cup team. Hendrick spokesman Pat Perkins said Thursday it was "a given" Busch would remain with the organization. Perkins also said Busch was slated to run in the Busch Series again next season, but added, "Anything can happen."(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(7-2-2004)
UPDATE: Terry Labonte is nearing the end of his racing career and hinted Friday that this season could be his last. Labonte, a two-time champion, is in his 26th full season in NASCAR's top series. He's on a year-to-year contract with car owner Rick Hendrick, and after finishing last season 10th in the standings with a victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway decided the end might be near. "I told Rick last year that this year would probably be my last," the 47-year-old driver said Friday. "You have to sort of decide those things in advance in order to make plans and move ahead." Labonte is struggling with the decision. After consecutive seventh-place finishes in Dover and Pocono, he realized he was still having fun racing. But when he ran into Bill Elliott, who has partially retired and will make just his third start of the season in the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, Labonte started thinking about retiring again. "When I saw Bill and he said, 'I'm having so much fun, I'm having the time of my life,' I said 'Man, you are killing me,' " Labonte said. So Labonte seemed unsure Friday about what the future holds. Should Hendrick decide he wants to hand the keys to the #5 Chevrolet to young Kyle Busch next season, Labonte said he could consider driving for another team. Labonte is only certain of a few things. He knows that when he does retire, it will be for good and he's not likely to consider occasional NASCAR races or events in smaller series. And he has no interest in owning a team, even if it was with his son, Justin, as the driver.(NASCAR.com/AP)(7-3-2004)
UPDATE 2: Car owner Rick Hendrick said that he'll sit down with Terry Labonte soon to discuss the future. Labonte could cut back to run only selected tour events, opening up his current ride to promising young Kyle Busch. "When the year started, it was decided that Terry and the sponsors would sit down after Daytona," Hendrick said. "I think we were planning on talking in the next week or two. We want to look at what Terry wants to do, and we want to get the sponsors involved in the decision-making process, too. We haven't made any decisions, and we were hoping we'd stay out of silly season and do it on our timetable. So I think in the next couple of weeks we'll make that decision and make an announcement."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-5-2004)
UPDATE 2a: Hendrick sources say Labonte, one of the most respected and popular drivers in the garage, could continue to race for HMS for the remainder of his career. But if the organization decides to move Kyle Busch up to Cup in 2005, one option for Labonte could be the Cup team [Hall of Fame Racing last news back in March] expected to be owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, with technical assistance from Hendrick.(FoxSports/Sporting News), Hmmmm.....how about a year in the #11 FedEx Chevy at JGR, teaming with brother Bobby, with J.J. Yeley taking over in 2006.(7-5-2004)
- Long misses race UPDATE: Despite the absence of his crew chief, Jim Long, who was sick and remained in Charlotte this weekend, #5-Terry Labonte earned his second consecutive seventh-place finish. The team's chief engineer, Alan Gustafson, served as crew chief for the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-14-2004)
UPDATE: Jim Long, crew chief of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolets, is expected back in the garage this weekend after sitting out the race at Poco# He remained home in Denver, N.C., last week for tests and treatment of migraine headaches while chief engineer Alan Gustafson served as interim crew chief.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(6-17-2004)
- Labonte #600 in a Chevy: This weekend's Pocono 500 marks Terry Labonte's 600th race in a Chevrolet and his 795th start overall. His first-ever NASCAR start came in a Chevy on Sept. 4, 1978 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where he finished fourth. The majority of his career victories (19 of 22) have come while driving the General Motors mark -- including the 1995 Pocono 500.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(6-13-2004)
- Hendrick to build new shop: Hendrick Motorsports plans to build a new shop for its #5 and #25 teams, a team source confirmed to NASCAR.COM on Friday. The shop will be built next to the two-year-old shop that houses the #24 and 48 teams in Harrisburg, N.C., near Lowe's Motor Speedway. Hendrick's pairing of Jeff Gordon's #24 and Jimmie Johnson's #48 teams in one location has proven successful, as Johnson has won seven times and Gordon eight times in the two-plus seasons they have been together. Hendrick hopes the 25/5 shop - which will be headquarters for drivers Brian Vickers and Terry Labonte, respectively - will be done by the end of 2004. Vickers' and Labonte's teams are currently in separate buildings, but Hendrick wants all four Nextel Cup teams as close to each other as possible. The #25 team is housed next to the current museum, which could expand slightly into the old shop. Or Hendrick's chassis engineering department, which needs more room, could take over the old #25 shop. Labonte's #5 team moved into Gordon's old shop. Plans for that building are unclear.(NASCAR.com)(5-22-2004)
- New Book about Hendrick: UMI Publications, in conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports, is pleased to announce a new book celebrating 20 years of NASCAR competition by one of the most outstanding organizations in motorsports history. What began as a chance meeting between a semi-retired crew chief and a successful businessman with a passion for racing ultimately grew into a motorsports empire that garnered well over 100 victories and nine NASCAR championships in just its first 20 years of competition. "Twenty Years of Hendrick Motorsports" documents the history of Rick Hendrick's racing organization from its inception, in 1983, and recounts each racing season leading up to and including Hendrick Motorsports' historic milestone, its 20th season, in 2003.
Perhaps no other racing organization has accumulated such a record of success in such a short period of time, and "Twenty Years of Hendrick Motorsports" tells the whole story of how these achievements were accomplished. Quite simply, this is a story that needed to be told, and UMI Publications is honored to bring it to the public eye with award-winning writing and outstanding photos, many of which have never before been published.
"Twenty Years of Hendrick Motorsports" is available directly from the publisher for $34.95 plus shipping & handling, and may by ordered by contacting UMI Publications, Inc., at 1-800-747-9287 or by visiting their website at www.umipub.com. Book excerpts may be viewed at www.ThatsRacin.com.(5-20-2004)
- Labonte going for a rare pole feat at RIR: #5-Terry Labonte is bidding to become the first driver to win consecutive poles for Richmond’s spring race since Jeff Gordon went back-to-back in 1998-99. In fact, only three other drivers have accomplished that feat in 50 years of racing at the .75-mile oval: Bobby Allison (1972-74), Neil Bonnett (1977-78) and Darrell Waltrip (1984-85). Labonte will run the same #5 Chevrolet that he put on the pole at Richmond a year ago.(Hendrick Motorsports Site)(5-13-2004)
- Hendrick Motorsports Fan Festival - May 26-28: As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, Hendrick Motorsports will host a fan festival at its Charlotte-based headquarters May 26-28 prior to the May 30 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Free and open to the public, the festival was designed as a way to thank fans for their support of the team since its 1984 inception. Scheduled to run 8:30am until 6:00pm each day, the event will include interactive games, show cars, sponsor displays, product sampling and autograph sessions from past and present Hendrick Motorsports drivers. Townsend's Gourmet will sell food throughout the festival, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Hendrick Marrow Program. The 15,000-square-foot Hendrick Motorsports Museum will offer festival-goers a free-of-charge glimpse into HMS history, including championship trophies; three of Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevrolets; Tim Richmond's #25 Chevy; the very first #5 "All-Star Racing" car; and the "Days of Thunder" Lumina driven by Tom Cruise. The facility has recently been updated with new trophies, cars and other memorabilia. Lowe's Motor Speedway will provide free festival parking, which can be accessed at "Lot Z" off Speedway Boulevard in Concord. Trams will be available to transport fans from the parking area to the festival grounds. For additional information, including directions and schedule updates, fans may visit www.HendrickMotorsports.com or call 877-467-4890 toll free.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(4-28-2004)
- What happened between #5-Terry Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart? Fox showed #20-Stewart making an abrupt left after the checkered flag and right into the the right front of #5-Labonte, but no further explanation was given and I have found none yet in articles or PR's. But have been told Stewart was avoiding some of the fan thrown debris and didn't realize Labonte was there and darted to avoid it, but have seen nothing 'official' about it.
AND As NASCAR ruled that Jeff Gordon had edged-out fan favorite Earnhardt for the win because he was ahead of Earnhardt when the caution flag waved, fans littered the track with beer cans and other debris. When Stewart crossed the finish line, he made a hard left onto pit road to avoid the raining garbage. That caught Terry Labonte by surprise, who was just to the inside of Stewart. As Stewart turned, he clipped the nose of Labonte's #5 Chevrolet.(Truespeed PR/Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-26/27-2004)
- Hendrick Motorsports 20th Anniversary 2004 Schemes: Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2004, Hendrick Motorsports goes to Lowe's Motors Speedway with special paint schemes on the Chevy's for the race in October 2004. #25-Brian Vickers, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, and #5-Terry Labonte of the HMS team will be racing together to commemorate the first twenty years of Hendrick Motorsports. These cars will be based on their primary paint schemes, but the colors will be replaced with a "silver on silver" paint palatte, giving them a platinum or chrome effect. Each car will have the Hendrick Motorsports commemorative 20th Anniversary logo.(4-23-2004)
- Rick Hendrick gives CPCC $1 million: Rick Hendrick [#5, #24 and #48 Cup team owner], chairman of the national car sales company Hendrick Automotive Group, has donated $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to build a center that will train mechanics in the latest automotive technology. CPCC will start construction on the Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology, on the Levine Campus in Matthews, by fall. It should be completed by December 2005. The $4 million, 25,000-square- foot building will be named for Rick Hendrick's father, who has been involved in auto racing for more than 40 years. The other $3 million will come from bonds, donations and other sources, according to the college. Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick Jr., 83, co-owns Hendrick's #5 Busch and #25 NEXTEL series teams with grandson Ricky Hendrick. He is in a Charlotte hospital with an undisclosed illness.(Charlotte Observer)(4-22-2004)
- Hendrick Motorsports signs prospects: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today announced the signing of drivers Blake Feese, Boston Reid and Kyle Krisiloff, who will each compete under the Hendrick banner in 2004 thanks to a pair of developmental alliances that were also unveiled. Feese and Reid will each start a minimum of three ARCA Series events this season in the #5 Chevrolets of Bobby Gerhart Racing (BGR). The six-race schedule will serve as a driver-technology development project for Hendrick Motorsports, which will provide engines and chassis to the Gerhart team, headquartered in Lebanon, Pa. In addition to the alliance with Gerhart, Hendrick Motorsports has inked an agreement with Indianapolis-based SS Racing that will allow Krisiloff to compete in 13 American Speed Association (ASA) events in 2004. In only his second career start on the ARCA circuit, Feese won at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on April 9, leading 29 of 113 laps in the #5 BGR Chevrolet powered by a Hendrick engine. Although unannounced at the time, the race was part of the Hendrick-BGR developmental program. In addition to his ARCA victory at Nashville, the Saybrook, Ill.,
native is scheduled to compete on the circuit at Kentucky Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway, both in the month of May. Driving the #5 BGR Chevrolets, Boston Reid will enter ARCA events at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway in May, Kansas Speedway in June and Kentucky
Speedway in July. Krisiloff, 18, will race full-time in ASA competition with SS Racing beginning on May 29 at Lake Erie (Pa.) Speedway. Driving the #06 Chevrolets, he will be a teammate of three-time ASA champion Butch Miller.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)
Cup team owner Rick Hendrick will be interviewed via telephone this evening on Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel (10pm/et), discussing today's HMS announcement that Hendrick has signed drivers Blake Feese, Boston Reid and Kyle Krisiloff.(4-21-2004)
- Geoffrey Bodine at Martinsville: Even thou Goeffrey Bodine failed to make the Truck Series raace, he will be on the track Sunday as it is the 20th Anniversery of Bodine's and Hendrick Motorsports first Cup win. Rick Hendrick had the unsponsored #5 Chevy restored and Bodine will make a parade lap around the track.(4-17-2004)
Showed FOX showed part of the lap on lap 198 before commercial.(4-18-2004)
- Streak Over: #5-Terry Labonte's 'Did not finish' [DNF's] streak of 48 races without one, is over when the #5 Delphi Chevy's engine died. Who is next? #29-Kevin Harvick at 46 straight races without a DNF.(4-5-2004)
- Labonte better the he started, only one: Through the first five races of the 2004 schedule, #5-Terry Labonte is the only
driver who has finished in a higher position than he started in each event. Labonte is the lone Hendrick Motorsports driver without a DNF (did not finish) through the first five races of the season. By running to the end of the March 28 event at Darlington, Labonte extended his series-high streak of consecutive races without a DNF to 47. The last time he failed to complete a race was in October 2002 at Talladega Superspeedway. The modern-era record is 56 in a row, set by Gordon in 2001-02.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-25-2004)
- Olympics Scheme for Labonte: Terry Labonte is scheduled to run a special Olympic Paint scheme at Pocono on August 1st . See images of the scheme on my #5 Team Paint Schemes page or 2004 Paint Scheme Page.(2-28-2004)
- Labonte's to visit the Coast Guard: Justin Labonte, driver of the 2004 Team Coast Guard Racing/Labonte Motorsports "Shield of Freedom" #44 NASCAR Busch Series car, is scheduled to visit Coast Guard units in Miami, FL, Feb. 25-27. He will be joined by his father, two-time Nextel Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte Friday, Feb. 27. The Miami office is one of 10 new recruiting offices the Coast Guard will open this year in a nationwide effort focusing on bolstering diversity recruitment. The Labontes will also get hands-on opportunities to experience the mission capabilities of the Coast Guard as they prepare to represent the Coast Guard during the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. The Coast Guard announced its partnership with Labonte Motorsports for a 15-race schedule in mid December. On Friday, the Labontes will experience the training regimen, including repelling and shooting, of the Coast Guard's law enforcement teams at the Miami Federal Correctional Institution before they head to the skies for demonstrations of the Coast Guard's airborne law enforcement and search and rescue missions.(PR)(2-27-2004)
- Delphi Major Assoc on the #5; and Primary in 4 races Delphi Corp. says it is expanding its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports by becoming a major associate sponsor of the #5 Kellogg's Chevy of Terry Labonte in the Nextel Cup Series. Delphi says it will also be the primary sponsor for four races: April 4 at Texas Motor Speedway; May 15 at Richmond International Raceway; Aug. 8 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; and Aug. 22 at Michigan International Speedway. Financial details were not disclosed.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), see images of the car on my #5 Team Paint Scheme Page.(2-11-2004)
- Hendrick Motorsports Website Re-launched: Hendrick Motorsports today unveiled its new-look Internet presence, www.HendrickMotorsports.com, with a fresh design and unique features found nowhere else on the Web. The latest version of the site, which received more than 1 million visits in 2003, marks the second re-design since HendrickMotorsports.com was initially launched in 1998.(HMS PR)(2-10-2004)
- 42 and counting: Terry Labonte enters the 2004 season carrying a string of 42 consecutive races without a DNF (did not finish), the longest current streak in NEXTEL Cup. The modern-era record is 56 straight, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001-02. Labonte was one of only two drivers who completed all 36 races last season, the other being Kevin Harvick.(HMS PR)(2-9-2004)
- Kelloggs Re-Ups with Hendrick Motorsports: Hendrick Motorsports and Kellogg Company have extended one of stock-car racing's most enduring relationships, today announcing a multi-year agreement that secures the Michigan-based cereal maker as primary sponsor of the #5 Chevy's in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Back behind the wheel of the Kellogg's Chevrolets in 2004 will be
two-time Cup Series champion Terry Labonte, who also has signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports. Labonte and Kellogg's debuted with the #5 team in 1994, two years before winning the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series title together. "We're excited about extending our longstanding relationship with both Kellogg's and Terry Labonte," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "This team is capable of great things, so we're all looking forward to seeing what happens when the season begins next month." Entering its 15th year as a NASCAR team sponsor, Kellogg's has been an Official Status Partner with the sanctioning body since 1995 and is the "Official Breakfast Food of NASCAR."(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(1-22-2004)
- Labonte's to appear at Motorsports 2004: Two time NASCAR Nextel Cup (yes...we know, formerly Winston Cup) champion Terry Labonte went 156 races before winning the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway this past Labor Day weekend. It was a popular victory for the veteran driver and it topped off a great season that saw the Kellogg's sponsored racer return to the top ten in the final Nextel Cup point standings. Labonte, along with his son Justin, will be at the Motorsports 2004 Presented by Sunoco show at the Fort Washington, PA Expo Center chatting with fans and signing autographs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 18th. The show, set for three days and covering close to 300,000 square feet of the Expo Center, will open at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 16th and continues through 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 18th.
In addition to the Labontes, Robert Huffman, the last NASCAR Dash Series Champion, will be signing autographs at the Toyota display, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on opening day of the show. Huffman will part of a Toyota supporting racing effort on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit. Legendary Nextel Cup owner Junie Donlavey, a fan favorite, will be signing autographs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 17th. Recently added to the list of national racing talents to be at the show is Greg Sacks, 1985 winner of the Daytona Firecracker 400. Sacks will be doing autographs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Both Sacks and Donlavey will be at the Tommy Gale Haulmark Trailer display. See PAGE 2 / top section for more info and other appearances [Kenseth, Blaney, Gant, J.J.Yeley, Allison and Fedewa](1-2-2004)
Past 2003 News
- Terry Labonte not in favor of 'playoff system': NASCAR hasn't solicited Terry Labonte's opinion yet on its proposed "playoff" system that is being given serious consideration for implementation in 2004. But the two-time Winston Cup champion already has formed strong feelings about the plan, which apparently would freeze the points chase with 10 races remaining and allow only the top 10 in the standings to compete for the championship. The nearly three dozen remaining teams would continue to race without a shot at the crown. "It's a real slap in the face to the guys running 11th through 15th and their sponsors to say, 'OK, you can't even compete to be in the top 10,'" Labonte said. "My thought is maybe everyone can run a 26-race schedule, then take the top 10 and let only those 10 guys run the last 10 races. That would be real interesting." Labonte points to the Craftsman Truck and Busch series, which featured several drivers in title contention through both season finales under the system used in Cup, as proof that change isn't needed to a current structure that rewards consistency. Public opinion seems to support that view. Internet polls have been running heavily against the proposal, and several of his peers have expressed concerns about an overhaul.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-21-2003)
- Delphi to be major assoc of the #5 and Terry Labonte in 2004 IMAGE: Delphi Product & Service Solutions, part of Delphi Corp. announced today that they are renewing their relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and will become a major associate sponsor of the #5 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2004. "We are very excited about the new sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports on the #5 car," said Francisco A. (Frank) Ordonez, president, Delphi Product & Service Solutions and vice president, Delphi Corporation. "Our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports has been successful both on and off the racetrack during the past three years, and this new agreement demonstrates our commitment going forward. We are thrilled about having the Delphi brand associated with the winning tradition of the #5 team." Delphi will be prominently featured on the #5 Chevy in all Nextel Cup races during the 2004 season. In addition, Delphi will be the primary sponsor of the car at the Brickyard 400, along with three other events, yet to be determined.(Yahoo Biz)(11-4-2003)
IMAGE see an image of the new scheme on my 2004 Cup Paint Schemes page.(11-6-2003)
- Didja Know? that #5-Terry Labonte is the only driver who has been running at the finish of all 15 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races run at Phoenix International Raceway, which will host Sunday's 312-lap event. His 1994 victory was Chevrolet's last win on the one-mile desert oval.(HMS PR)(10-31-2003)
- Hendrick Named NCMA Vice Chairman: Richard Petty, chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA), announced today that Rick Hendrick has been named vice chairman of the NCMA board of directors. "It is an honor to accept the position of vice chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association," Hendrick said. "I look forward to working with Richard and the board of directors in promoting and growing our sport statewide. The NCMA has served as the unifying voice for the racing industry in North Carolina for more than a year, and I'm proud to be a part of that continuing effort." Hendrick succeeds Keystone Marketing Co. Inc. president Roger Bear as the NCMA vice chairman. Bear will continue to serve the organization as an active board member. "Many thanks to Roger for his efforts and support in getting this great organization off the ground," said Ed McLean, NCMA executive director. The North Carolina Motorsports Association is a nonprofit corporation designed and structured to be an effective representative and proponent of and for the motor sports industry in North Carolina. The NCMA is a trade association of businesses and individuals involved in motor racing in North Carolina. Further information on the NCMA can be accessed via the organization's Web site, located at www.ncmotorsportsassociation.org.(North Carolina Motorsports Association PR)(9-25-2003)
- #50 for Labonte: Dave Marcis (54) and Darrell Waltrip (53) are the only drivers to have topped the 50-start mark at Dover in their NASCAR Winston Cup careers. #5-Terry Labonte will attempt to make his 50th career start at Dover on Sunday and would join #21-Ricky Rudd (52) as the only active drivers with 50 or more starts at the track. Labonte is also searching for his first career victory at Dover International Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2003)
- Terry Labonte in top 10, first time in 121 races: #17-Matt Kenseth has been #1 in the NASCAR Top 10 since the fourth race of the season (Atlanta, March 9), a run of 23 consecutive race weeks. The big news this week is the appearance, at #9, of #5-Terry Labonte. Labonte is in the NASCAR Top 10 for the first time since May 2000, 121 races ago.(NASCAR PR)(9-10-2003)
- Labonte could be the 6th: Should #5-Terry Labonte win the pole position this week, he would join an exclusive group of drivers in the Richmond record book. Since the track began running two Winston Cup races a year in 1959, only six drivers have swept both pole positions in a single season. Ted Musgrave was the last to do it (1994), while Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and the late Alan Kulwicki have also accomplished the feat.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-5-2003)
- WOW - Texas Terry wins the Southern 500! #5-Terry Labonte won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, his first win in 156 races [Texas in 1999] at age 46. Labonte stopped and got the 76 checkered flag from the flagman, and took a lap around with it. Some of his crew climbed the fence on the frontstretch. #29-Kevin Harvick was 2nd for the third straight race in a row. The rest of the top five were #48-Jimmie Johnson, #42-Jamie McMurray and #9-Bill Elliott. Labonte has won the Southern 500 twice, his first career win on September 1, 1980 and today. It was Labonte's 22nd career win. All four Hendrick Motorsports teams have won a race this year [#24, #25 and #48].
Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel has changed their lineup starting in August - so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, September 3rd at 7:00pm/et and again on September 4th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 12:00pm/et on Thursday, September 4th
Race Results at
Jayski's Darlington Results
For the top 10, lap leaders, out of race/off track, cautions and explanations, notes, see my Southern 500 Race Info page.(8-31-2003)
- Milestones for Labonte: Saturday night's 500-lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway will mark #5-Terry Labonte's 50th start on the lightning-fast half-mile oval and his 350th race behind the wheel of a Kellogg's-sponsored Chevrolet. Of Labonte's 49 previous starts at Bristol, 21 have been with Kellogg's on board. Labonte has now gone 29 consecutive races without a DNF, a personal career high. The last time he failed to finish was last fall's event at Talladega, Ala. His streak is currently the second longest in the series behind only Michael Waltrip, who has completed 33 straight. Labonte remains one of only four drivers who have completed every race this year; the others being Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Waltrip. The modern-era record is 56, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001-02.(HMS PR)(8-22-2003)
- Special decal for Hendrick cars: The teams of Hendrick Motorsports [#5, #24, #25, #48] will carry very special artwork during this weekend's events at Bristol in support of one-year-old Cole Jackson of Waxhaw, N.C. The "C-post" decals will feature "Get Well Soon" wishes to the youngster, who suffers from bilary atresia, a rare liver disease that affects one in 15,000 babies and requires a liver transplant. Hendrick Motorsports president John Hendrick met the Jackson family at a charity golf tournament earlier this year and will lend his support at a silent auction at Firethorne Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, Aug. 24. For more information, visit www.HendrickMotorsports.com or www.TheJacksonFour.com.(HMS PR)(8-22-2003)
- Labonte looking to extend contract thru 2004 UPDATE 3: Terry Labonte, a two-time champ, is negotiating with Hendrick Motorsports for a one-year extension of his contract to drive the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet.(Sporting News)(2-20-2003)
UPDATE: Rejunivated Terry Labonte is in contract talks with Hendrick Motorsports. Labonte's current contract runs out at the end of this year. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks for a three or four year deal.(Insider Racing News)(6-23-2003)
UPDATE 2: Kellogg's, which has sponsored Hendrick's #5 Chevrolets and driver Terry Labonte since 1994, is expected to return next season with the start of a multi-year contract extension, sources said. Labonte, who is in the final year of his current contract with Hendrick, is also expected to return to the team for at least one more season, sources said. Asked about the sponsor and driver contracts, Hendrick team spokesman Jesse Essex said Tuesday the team does not comment on contract negotiations.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-29-2003)
UPDATE 3: #5-Terry Labonte will be back at Hendrick Motorsports in 2004 as something has been worked out, Rick Hendrick says no contracts have been signed but that Labonte will be in the #5 in 2004.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(8-8-2003)
- Vickers may debut in Cup later this year: Car owner [#'s 5,24,25,48,60] Rick Hendrick said he plans to put Brian Vickers in a Cup car this season, most likely in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hendrick said Vickers has tested a Cup car in Kentucky during an engine test.(Roanoke Times)(8-4-2003)
- Terry Labonte looking to tie his all time streak: #5-Terry Labonte now has a string of 25 consecutive races without a DNF dating back to last season, the second-longest current streak in the series, behind only Michael Waltrip (29). Labonte's overall record for consecutive races without a DNF is 26, spanning the 1996 and 1997 Winston Cup seasons. He is one of only four drivers who have completed every race this year -- the others are Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Michael
Waltrip.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-25-2003)
- Younger Labonte wins again: Twenty-two year-old Justin Labonte, son of 1984 and 1996 Cup champion Terry Labonte, won his second Late Model Stock Car race of the season in last Thursday's Firecracker 300 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC. Labonte, of Trinity, NC, is seeking his first track championship in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series at the same track where his uncle, Bobby Labonte, won 12 races and the 1987 track championship.(NASCAR PR)(7-9-2003)
- Hendrick Third at Daytona: Car owner Rick Hendrick, who fields Chevy for #5-Terry Labonte, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #25-Joe Nemechek [plus this week, #60-David Green], is third all-time with seven Winston Cup victories at Daytona. He trails only the Wood Brothers (12) and Petty Enterprises (11). Gordon (four), Geoffrey Bodine, Tim Richmond and Darrell Waltrip all have driven Hendrick cars to first-place finishes here, including four Daytona 500s.(Gaston Gazette)(7-5-2003)
- Terry Labonte helps raise $61,750 for benefit: Excited laughter and the noisy sound of motorcycle engines were a good enough mix on Wednesday, June 18th, to get the kids at the Ronald McDonald House smiling. But the smiles got even brighter when famed NASCAR driver Terry Labonte handed over a check for $61,750 to benefit the children and families who call the house their home. Labonte and his wife, Kim, were a part of the second annual Terry Labonte/Ronald McDonald House Roam For A Home benefit to help the house. The group raised $59,050 more than last year. Ninety-two motorcycles and 152 people participated in the 650-mile, mid-April ride from Corpus Christi to Austin, Austin to San Antonio and back to Corpus Christi. The non-profit Ronald McDonald House in Corpus Christi provides a place for families to stay while their children receive medical care at Driscoll Children's Hospital. It is at 3402 Fort Worth St. Donations go to running the house and providing food for the families. Labonte said that he and his wife help a lot of charities but this one was special because it gave them both a chance to help children and a high school friend, Randall Hicks. Hicks is the co-founder and president of the Roam For A Home Foundation.(Corpus Christi Caller-Times)(6-25-2003)
- Testing for the #5: #5 Kellogg's / got milk? Racing will be busy testing throughout the month of June. They will take a new road-course car to Road Atlanta on June 10th in preparation for the June 22 event at Infineon Raceway, followed by a visit to the Milwaukee Mile on June 16 and 17 to test for the July 20 New England 300 at New Hampshire.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(6-4-2003)
- Find Nemo Scheme: #5-Terry Labonte will run a 'Finding Nemo' paint scheme at Dover on June 1st, to help promote the movie which opens May 30th, See an image of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-24-2003)
- Hendrick To Team With U.S.S. Nimitz At LMS Cup Entries Provide 'Friendly Competition' For Squadrons: Hendrick Motorsports will join forces with the U.S. Navy this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where all four of the team's NASCAR Winston Cup Series entries will display decals from fighter squadrons of the U.S.S. Nimitz (CVN 68 - more info at their site), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Throughout the week leading up to Sunday's 600-mile event, each Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will display the Nimitz logo on the driver's side "C-post," along with the logos of two individual squadrons on the car's opposite side. The eight units were able pick which entry would carry their artwork, adding some "friendly competition" between squadrons.
The decals, also known as "zappers," will be distributed as follows:
#5 Kellogg's / got milk? Chevrolet and driver Terry Labonte: VFA-41 "The Black Aces" (based in Lemoore, Calif.) and VFA-14
#24 DuPont Chevrolet and driver Jeff Gordon: VFA-97 "Warhawks" (Lemoore) and VFA-94 "Mighty Shrikes" (Lemoore).
#25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet and driver Joe Nemechek: VAQ-135 "Black Ravens" (Whidbey Island, Wash.) and VAW-117 "Wallbangers" (Point Mugu, Calif.).
#48 Lowe's Chevrolet and driver Jimmie Johnson: VS-29 "Dragonfires" (San Diego) and HS-6 "Indians" (San Diego).
Each squadron employs up to 250 people and carries between four and 14 aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, E-2C Hawkeye 2000, S-3B Viking, and SH-60B Seahawk. On Aug. 5, 2002, six Hendrick Motorsports employees spent a day on the Nimitz as part of the Navy's Distinguished Visitors Program, an initiative designed to increase public awareness and appreciation for
the Navy. Named after Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the ship was commissioned on May 3, 1975 in Newport News, Va., and is the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in her class. More than 18 stories high from keel to mast, the Nimitz was deployed to the Arabian Gulf from its home base in San Diego on March 3.(HMS PR)(5-21-2003)
- Cheeiest Car: He may not have won Saturday's Pontiac Excitement 400, but race car driver Terry Labonte has a distinction no other competitor can tout -- a replica of his car made entirely out of cheese. The American Dairy Association unveiled a large scale model car made out of cheese at Richmond International Raceway on Friday in Virginia. It was modeled after Labonte's #5 Chevrolet and carved from 3,500 pounds of yellow cheddar cheese.(see full story and an image at CNN.com)(5-7-2003)
- #600 for Hendrick: When the teams of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series take the green flag at Richmond on Saturday, it will mark the 600th race started in the storied 19-year history of Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick teams have brought home 110 wins in 599 Winston Cup events [18.7%]. The four Winston Cup teams of Hendrick Motorsports [#5, #24, #25, #48] will display a special "600th Start" decal at Richmond. The artwork will take the place of the HMS logo on the "B-post" of each car.(HMS PR)(5-1-2003)
- Labonte Motoring for a Cause UPDATE: Friday afternoon, the second Roam for a Home Ride stopped at the Ronald McDonald House in the Medical Center and there was Terry Labonte, astride his #5-branded Harley-Davidson, leading the way for 100 other riders. Riders who had paid $500 for the chance to make the three-day circuit from Corpus Christi to Austin, then through the Hill Country and into San Antonio, before returning to Corpus Christi this afternoon. Labonte and his wife, Kim, recently had begun discussing which charity to help when a friend, Randy Hicks, called from Corpus Christi. Hicks had spent time in the Houston Ronald McDonald House while his girlfriend's son underwent open heart surgery. Hicks was looking for a way to help raise funds for the Corpus Christi Ronald McDonald House and Labonte was quick to say yes.(San Antonia Express)(4-19-2003)
UPDATE: In town [Corpis Christi, TX] this weekend for the Second Annual Terry Labonte/Ronald McDonald House "Roam for a Home" benefit, Labonte said the results of the second season working with crew chief Jim Long is giving the Kellogg's Chevrolet team optimism. "We should've had about five (top 10s)," Labonte said. "We've been running in the top 10 the last four weeks in a row. We've only had one finish in the top 10 but they all should have been there." Long agreed. "We've had good cars for the last three weeks in a row and got caught up in other people's wrecks," Long told NASCAR.com after the Aaron's 499. "We know we've got good cars and we keep working hard. Everybody back at the shop - everybody - is working hard." Thus, this could be a pivotal year in Labonte's career. Since winning his second points title in 1996, Labonte has experienced a steady decline in the point standings, dropping from sixth in 1997 to 24th last season. That could go a long way toward stemming discussion of his retirement, talk of which draws a wry smile from the 46-year-old Labonte. "I'll give you the same answer I give them: I've got a plan as to what I'm going to do," Labonte said, "but I'm not going to tell you."(Caller-Times)(4-20-2003)
- Hendrick Teams To Carry Patriotic Decal: In support of American soldiers at home and abroad, the NASCAR teams of Hendrick Motorsports will display patriotic artwork on the "C-post" of their Chevrolet Monte Carlo race cars beginning with this week's events at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. "During these turbulent times, it's especially important that we show support for the men and women of the United States military," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "This is a small gesture to show that our thoughts and prayers are centered around these brave individuals and their families." In the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the decals will be carried on the #5 Kellogg's / got milk? Chevy of Terry Labonte, the #24 DuPont Chevy of Jeff Gordon, the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevy of Joe Nemechek and the #48 Lowe's Chevy of Jimmie Johnson. The #5 GMAC Financial Services Chevy of Busch Series driver Brian Vickers will also display the design, which depicts a yellow ribbon wrapped around the American flag.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-20-2003)
- Special Paint for Labonte at Bristol: The Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 23 will feature the first special car design of the season for Kellogg's / got milk? Racing. Terry Labonte's #5 Chevy will highlight the Cheez-It brand and will sport a primarily red-and-orange paint scheme rather than the customary orange and blue.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see my Paint Scheme Gallery for images.(3-17-2003)
- Some Stuff: #5-Terry Labonte will reach two milestones when he takes the green flag for today's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500: His 50th AMS start and 300th for Hendrick Motorsports. #24-Jeff Gordon does not have a top-10 finish in the first three races, the first time that has happened in his 11-year career.(St Petersburg Times)(3-9-2003)
- 30 Millions Bucks: Terry Labonte joined the $30 million club last weekend at Daytona. After earning $238,053 in purse money during Speed Weeks at Daytona, the two-time Winston Cup champion surpassed the $30 million mark in career winnings. He is eighth all-time with $30,018,986 earned, behind Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte and Dale Earnhardt.(Daytona Bach News Journal)(2-23-2003)
- 25th Daytona 500 for Terry Labonte: Terry Labonte will start the 2003 season with not one, not two, but three anniversaries to celebrate. With Speed Weeks at Daytona set to begin Feb. 7, Labonte is poised to make his 25th start in "The Great American Race." He has three second-place finishes in the traditional season opener since making his first visit to Daytona in 1979. In fact, Labonte's most recent runner-up showing was in 1997 when Hendrick Motorsports teammates swept the top three positions. Jeff Gordon won that race on Feb. 16, the very day on which this year's 45th running of the stock car classic will take place. Labonte finished second and Ricky Craven placed third. February 16 also is the date of the team's first Daytona 500 victory in 1986 with Geoffrey Bodine behind the wheel of the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet that day. Labonte finished second and Jim Long, his current crew chief, was on pit road as Bodine's chief mechanic. Today, Long is entering his second season at the helm of the Kellogg's / got milk? Racing Team with high hopes for improvement over last year's 24th-place finish in the point standings. Embarking upon his 10th season at Hendrick Motorsports, Labonte enters the new campaign eighth on the all-time money-winning list with more than $29 million and is a two-time series champion with 21 career victories. Kellogg, in its 14th year as a NASCAR team sponsor, has been an Official Status Partner of the sanctioning body since 1995 and is the "Official Breakfast Food of NASCAR" through 2004.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(1-28-2003)
- Got Milk: Hendrick Motorsports says the American Dairy Association is becoming an associate sponsor on its #5 Chevy driven by Terry Labonte in the Winston Cup Series. The team says the Got Milk logo from the association will be displayed on the hood, side panels and television panel of the car, which has primary sponsorship from Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The dairy association will also be featured in special paint schemes for races at Richmond International Raceway in May and Chicagoland Speedway in July.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-25-2003)
- Another Hendrick Team: Hendrick Motorsports will field a fifth Winston Cup team next season in at least four races, team owner Rick Hendrick said Friday. Hendrick made the announcement at the company's year-end gathering at its shops in Harrisburg. David Green, who drove several races for one of Hendrick's Grand National teams this season, will drive the #60 Chevy [Jack Sprague's team will run the #0 Pontiac in 2003] in at least the four superspeedway races in 2003, including the season opener at Daytona. The new team will be led by Gary DeHart, who heads Hendrick's research and development program and is a former crew chief for Hendrick driver Terry Labonte. "You know, every year I've tried this and it has ended up turning into a new team because somebody has come along and it's worked out," Hendrick said. "But we thought about it this year and all the crew chiefs talked about it. Gary started our first R&D department. He built our first chassis back in 1988 and he's always built a really slick car. We felt like that's where we would dedicate our efforts, to the superspeedways." Hendrick already fields four full-time teams, with drivers #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #5-Terry Labonte and #25-Joe Nemechek.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-21-2002)
- Howes Honored: Ken Howes, director of competition for Rick Hendrick's race teams, became the first recipient of the "Papa Joe" Hendrick Award at Hendrick Motorsports. The award, formerly named for the late Robert Gee, a well-known car builder, is given annually to the employee who best displays outstanding job performance, leadership and teamwork, and for contributions above and beyond expectations. The name of the award was changed this season to honor "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Rick Hendrick's father and owner of the #25 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek. Howes received the award Friday during year-end celebration at the team's shops. "I lot of the folks here didn't know Robert because he was here a long time ago - and we're still leaving the Robert Gee Award in place - but coming in they all know Pop because he's around here all the time," Rick Hendrick said. "We decided we should make it to honor him because of what he's meant, bringing me in the sport and for the overall success of the organization"(ThatsRacin.com)(12-21-2002)
- Mikey and Terry have words UPDATE: Drivers #5-Terry Labonte and #15-Michael Waltrip had an altercation after the race, but neither man would discuss the incident. Waltrip went to talk to Labonte at Labonte's hauler before Labonte angrily went after Waltrip. Labonte had to be pulled away from Waltrip after chasing him down in the garage area. Waltrip finished 20th Sunday and Labonte was 26th, but Labonte was a lap behind Waltrip. The two drivers have had several bumping incidents in races this season.(Dallas Morning News)
AND For some reason, Michael Waltrip and Terry Labonte, who were running six positions and one lap apart from each other at the end of the race, nearly came to blows in the garage area. They had to be separated just outside Labonte’s team hauler, Waltrip apparently having gone inside to confront Labonte. The source of their mutual anger was not ascertained. One Labonte crewman, when asked what caused the two to clash, said only, “Michael (Waltrip) running his mouth.”(Gaston Gazette)(11-11-2002)
UPDATE: from the DW chat on FoxSports: What's the story with Mike (Waltrip) and Terry (Labonte) from Sunday?
Darrell Waltrip: There's no story. Apparently they had had a run-in a time or two before Sunday. They had words after the Phoenix race, and as far as I know, and I talked to Michael, he said that was the end of it. Two drivers that weren't having very good days decided to take it out on each other at the end of the race.(FoxSports)(11-14-2002)
- Hendrick Engine Problems: on ESPN2's RPM2Night (gonna miss that show in 2003) Hendrick Engine Builder, Randy Dorton was interview by Mike Massaro, the part that caused the engine failures in all 6 engines (#'s 5,10,24,25,36,48) at Talladega was a valve retainer clip that broke/failed.(10-10-2002)
- Hendrick to debut at Rockingham UPDATE 2 car #05: During an interview on Speed Channel's NASCAR Victory Lane on Sunday night, Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick said that his son, Ricky, would drive a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry in the Winston Cup race at Rockingham on November 3rd. Ricky Hendrick, 22, is currently in his first full season in the BGN after two years in the CTS.(Gordonline)(9-23-2002)
UPDATE: Ricky Hendrick, son of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, will test a Winston Cup car at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham,N.C., in preparation for his series debut at the track later this season. Ricky Hendrick will be joined at the test by four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon. "I'm looking forward to giving him some horsepower under the rear wheels," Gordon said. "The Busch cars have less horsepower, so I'm interested to see how he'll do with all that horsepower. I think it'll be fun and exciting for him." Asked if Hendrick was going to jump in his car, Gordon replied: "That's what he thinks. I don't know what they've planned."(ThatsRacin.com)(9-29-2002)
UPDATE 2: Ricky Hendrick tested last week at Rockingham to prepare for his Winston Cup debut in the Pop Secret 400 on November 3. Hendrick, who finished 21st in the Busch race at Rockingham in February, will drive the #05 Chevy with Lance McGrew as crew chief.(Sporting News)
CORRECTION: been told from sources that Ricky Hendrick has not yet tested at Rockingham. Hendrick Motorsports has schedule time at the track on Oct14th-15th and the 22nd-23rd. Hendrick is expected during one or several of those dates along with Jeff Gordon. Hendrick did spend Monday testing his BGN car at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(10-7-2002)
- Terry Labonte looking to stay UPDATE 2: #5-Terry Labonte is reported to be negotiating with Rick Hendrick for a contract extension that would keep him on the team another three years.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-5-2002)
UPDATE - Labonte One Year Offer? and... hearing that Hendrick Motorsports has offered Terry a one year renewal of his contract for 2003 and that the long term plan (no surprise) is to move Ricky Hendrick to the #5 and (surprise) put Casey Mears in the #25.(9-16-2002)
UPDATE 2 - correction: Both Labonte and Kellogg's have one year left in a three contract with Hendrick Motorsports and are signed until the end of the 2003 season and there is no current negotiation for an "extension" on Labontes contract at this point(9-17-2002)
- NAPCM Pit Crew of The Week: #5-Terry Labonte's Kelloggs crew earned a much deserved top five finish at Infineon Raceway. Stop times like 15.2 kept the Kelloggs car in the hunt.(NAPCM PR)(6-28-2002)
- #5 Crew Chief Penalized: NASCAR officials announced that Jim Long, crew chief of the #5 Chevy, has been fined $20,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2002 for a rule violation found during pre-race inspection at Sunday's Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at Michigan. Long was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: Fuel Cell." The penalty was a result of the team attempting to increase the capacity of the fuel cell through pressure.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2002)
- The Iceman 5th now: when #5-Terry Labonte started the race at California, it broke the fifth place tie he had with Bobby Allison. Labonte now has 718 career Winston Cup starts. See my Stats and Stats Links page for the list.(4-30-2002)
- Labonte to Roam UPDATE: How would you spend an open weekend if you were a NASCAR driver? Terry Labonte, driver of the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, will spend his helping others. Labonte will serve as Grand Marshal in the first "Roam For A Home," a charity motorcycle ride [655-miles] from Thursday, March 28 through Saturday, March 30, to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. A Corpus Christi native, Labonte will not only wave the ceremonial green flag to start the ride. He also will participate in the three-day tour that carries riders through Galveston and San Antonio, and returns March 30, passing through Labonte Park to downtown Corpus Christi. In addition to the obvious goals of raising funds for and increasing awareness of the Ronald McDonald House, the "Roam For A Home" provides symbolism as the two-time champion approaches another NASCAR milestone. The "Roam For A Home" is the vision of Corpus Christi Harley-Davidson dealer Preston Douglass and Randall Hicks, a personal friend of Labonte's. They hope to make the event an annual occurrence. Hicks is expecting a field of 60 riders, all of whom will be designated as Ronald McDonald House Good Will Ambassadors. Participants will visit RMH facilities in Galveston and San Antonio along the route as time and logistics will allow.
Day 1 (March 28) will feature a kickoff rally in Corpus Christi, and pass through Port Lavaca and Angleton on the way to Galveston. Day 2 (March 29) will carry riders through Eagle Lake and Shiner before stopping in San Antonio. On Day 3 (March 30), the tour will advance through Three Rivers and Mathis before winding up at The Executive Surf Club back in Corpus Christi. Terry Labonte will then return to NASCAR competition when the schedule resumes the weekend of April 5-7 at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth.(Summit Marketing PR)(3-21-2002)
UPDATE: see an update at the Corpus Christi Caller.(3-30-2002)
- Hendrick Promotion: Jeff Turner, who has served in a variety of roles for the automotive and racing operations of the
Hendrick family, today was named General Manager of Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) and will be responsible for day-to-day operations of
the organization which fields four Cup Cars and two entries in the BGN. Turner, 43, will report to President John Hendrick and to Rick Hendrick. A graduate in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Turner joined Hendrick in 1984 after five years
with Price Waterhouse as a Senior Tax Consultant. He served as Tax Director of Rick Hendrick's dealership and racing operations from 1984 until 1986. From 1986 until 1990, he was Vice President and Controller of the automotive group, then known as JRH Incorporated. As Vice President and CFO of Hendrick Motorsports, Turner has focused on finances, marketing and has played a key role as an advisor to John and Rick Hendrick.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-8-2002)
- Hendrick Honored: The Charlotte, N.C.-based Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal has named Rick Hendrick its 2002 recipient of the Bill France Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, as chosen by a committee of editors. Started last year, the honor is designed to recognize an individual whose contributions have had a substantial long-term impact on NASCAR. Hendrick won his 100th Winston Cup race last season, along with a third NASCAR Truck series championship, both firsts for an owner. Hendrick Motorsports has grown into a $50 million industry leader, headquartered at a 62-acre, 400,000 square-foot facility in Charlotte and employing more than 300 people.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-2-2002)
- Labonte's Honored in Texas UPDATE: Terry [#5] and Bobby Labonte [#18] have been elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame located in Waco, TX. Induction ceremonies are scheduled for February 26rh, 2002. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is a nonprofit, educational museum established to celebrate and preserve Texas' sports history. Other Auto Racing greats inducted: A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford , Carroll Shelby , and Jim Hall . For more info, see their website: www.hallofame.org(12-5-2001)
UPDATE: Natives of Corpus Christi, the Terry and Bobby Labonte joined four ex-NFL greats and one former major-league standout in the 2002 class of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The induction of the seven newest members was last night at Baylor University's Ferrell Center. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, NFL Hall of Famers Dick "Night Train" Lane and Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews, a Pro Bowl lineman with Houston and Tennessee, were scheduled for induction. Ex-Detroit Tigers first baseman Norm Cash also was inducted. Cash and Lane entered the hall posthumously. The Labontes are the only brothers to have won NASCAR Winston Cup championships. Terry Labonte, 44, won the title in 1984 and 1996. Bobby Labonte, 37, was the 2000 Winston Cup champ. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame Induction Committee is comprised of 21 members of the Texas Sports Writers Association. chaired by longtime sports writer Dave Campbell.(Corpus Christi Caller)(2-27-2002)
- Labonte and Cheez-It: #5 Terry Labonte will run a Cheez-It/Kelloggs scheme at Las Vegas and the Coca Cola 600. See the Paint Schemes Gallery for the image(1-14-2002)
- #5 Crew Chief Change? UPDATE 2 Yep: hearing Gary Dehart will not crew chief the #5 Kelloggs / Hendrick Motorsports chevy and driver Terry Labonte in 2002. Am hearing Jim Long [formerly of the #7 Ultra Motorsports team] is in the running. As reported before by FoxSports, Peter Sospenzo [former #12 Crew Chief before the team folded] is also a candidate, but sources tell me Long will get the job. Dehart will supposedly remain with Hendrick Motorsports in a managment or R&D job(12-5-2001)
UPDATE: Two-time Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, who finished a career-worst 23rd in the series points race this season, will have a new crew chief for 2002. Jim Long, who has worked for a vast array of Winston Cup drivers including Kyle Petty, Ricky Rudd and Geoffrey Bodine, will take over as crew chief for Labonte's #5 Chevrolets, sources confirmed. It is unclear whether former crew chief Gary DeHart will remain with Labonte's team in another position. DeHart originally worked with Labonte from 1994 to 1997, winning the 1996 championship with the driver from Texas.(That's Racin')
UPDATE 2: NASCAR veteran Jim Long, who was a member of the team that delivered Hendrick Motorsports its first major Winston Cup victory in the 1986 Daytona 500, has been named crew chief for the Kellogg's Racing Team with driver Terry Labonte. Long, 44, who in a NASCAR career going back to 1983 has worked with such drivers as Ricky Rudd, Bobby Allison, Geoffrey Bodine, and Kyle Petty, replaces Gary DeHart, who has accepted another assignment with Hendrick Motorsports in its Research and Development Department.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(12-7-2001)
- Labonte's Honored in Texas: Terry [#5] and Bobby Labonte [#18] have been elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
located in Waco, TX. Induction ceremonies are scheduled for February 26rh, 2002. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is a nonprofit, educational museum established to celebrate and preserve Texas' sports history. Other Auto Racing greats inducted: A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford , Carroll Shelby , and Jim Hall . For more info, see their website: www.hallofame.org(12-5-2001)
- Labonte and Cheez-It: hearing #5-Terry Labonte will have a Cheez-It scheme at The Winston in May(12-3-2001)
- #12 Decision next week(today) UPDATE 5 Closed and done - Official - Sospenzo to the #7? or #5?: Peter Sospenzo, crew chief for the #12 Fords now being driven by Mike Wallace, said he hopes to hear about the future of the team next week. Sospenzo said Walt Czarnecki, president of Penske Racing, is expected to notify the team of its plans when he visits the shop in Mooresville, NC., on Tuesday. "I really believe that (owner) Roger (Penske) will look at doing the right thing, and that's keep everything just as it is," Sospenzo said. "It really hasn't been easy. But we all know we've got a job to do and we have to focus on the job at hand."(That's Racin')(11-24-2001)
UPDATE: sources tell me the #12 Penske Racing team has shut down effective today
AND from the Sporting News: The first pink slips went out on the Penske South #12 Mobil Ford on Monday. Despite a valiant effort to resuscitate the team by driver Mike Wallace after Jeremy Mayfield's departure on October 8, sources close to the team say that Roger Penske will announce on Tuesday morning that he will indeed shut down the operation. Ryan Newman, who is running for rookie of the year in 2002, is expected to move his operation out of Penske South's #2 shop that he currently shares with Rusty Wallace and into the #12 car's building. Newman might assume the #12 and the owner's points that accompany that team.(11-26-2001)
UPDATE 2: If the team is disbanded, Penske likely will split the personnel between the #2 Ford of Rusty Wallace and the #02 of rookie Ryan Newman.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-27-2001)
UPDATE 3: Penske Racing, LLC today announced that it will consolidate team operations with Penske Racing South, effective immediately. The result will be a two-car entry in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series with drivers Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Miller Brewing Company will be the primary sponsor of Wallace's Miller Lite Taurus while Alltel will be the primary sponsor of Newman's Alltel Taurus. ExxonMobil will be an associate sponsor on both cars with its Mobil 1 brand.(Williams Company PR)(11-27-2001)
UPDATE 4: sources tell me there were approximately 60 full-time employees with the #12 team who stayed until the end of the year hoping they would run next year. Appoximately 20 of them remain for the new team, the others were let go. Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo is supposedly one of those looking and could end up with the #7 team(11-28-2001)
UPDATE 5: The word on the street -- it's not official and could just be part of the rumor mill -- is Peter Sospenzo, the crew chief for the 12 car, is going to be the crew chief for Terry Labonte.(FoxSports)(11-29-2001)
- Labonte Park UPDATE 3 Opened, 3000 attend: City (Corpus Christi, TX) officials have raised about $10,000 of the $60,000 needed to renovate the Nueces River Park and rename it in honor of NASCAR racing brothers Bobby and Terry Labonte. City spokesman Ted Nelson said Monday that donations were better than expected and that the park should be ready to open Sept. 26. The Caller-Times also announced plans to publish a special section on the day of the park's dedication. Steve Arnold, the paper's marketing director, said the section will include historical photos and that it's "not just your NASCAR driver's guide." Proceeds from the section will go toward the park fund, he said. The community response to the fund-raising has been strong, said Tom Niskala, chief executive officer for the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce(The Caller)(7-4-2001)
UPDATE: "The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is saluting our hometown heroes with a special section published on September 26, 2001, the day that Corpus Christi honors the Labontes with the dedication of Labonte Park. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this special section will go to the Labonte Park Fund for future additions and improvements. This is not your typical NASCAR section. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times has put together rare photos of Bobby and Terry growing up in Corpus Christi, their first race cars and an exclusive interview with the brothers talking about growing up in Corpus Christi and what the new Labonte Park means to them." See the full story at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times(9-4-2001)
UPDATE 2: the Labonte brothers will be honored as Nueces River Park is renamed Labonte Park at a 1:00pm ceremony in Corpus Christi, TX. Despite having the park dedication midday in the middle of the week, organizers and city officials are expecting close to 1,000 people to attend, see full stories at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times: From C.C. speedway to NASCAR and Many visit to honor Labontes(9-26-2001)
UPDATE 3: About 3,000 NASCAR fans filled Terry and Bobby Labonte Park for a dedication ceremony honoring the brothers and renaming the park from the Nueces River Park to the Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. A long line snaked from under a tent for more than two hours as the brothers autographed memorabilia brought in by their fans. After the Labonte brothers spent more than two hours signing and shaking hands and hearing stories from people they met when they were children, they hustled to a dedication ceremony. The two brothers approached the microphone, but they could barely finish a sentence without being interrupted by applause.(Corpus Christi Caller-Times)(9-28-2001)
- Elliott Start #650 Reposted Labonte #700: #9-Bill Elliott will make career start #650 on Sunday at Dover Downs. Among active drivers, only Ricky Rudd (721), Dave Marcis (758 - this is modern era, Marcis had 880 total Cup starts) and Terry Labonte (699) have more starts. Elliott made his first NASCAR Winston Cup start at Rockingham on Feb. 29, 1976. He qualified 34th and finished 33rd in that event. Since then, Elliott has won 50 poles, 40 races and more than $26 million. He's currently 13th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings in his first year driving for Dodge and car owner Ray Evernham. The 45-year-old veteran is one of only two drivers with no DNFs this season. He's moved from 19th to 13th in the standings in the past seven races since his 21st-place finish at NHIS on July 22, 2001(Golin/Harris PR), #5-Terry Labonte is scheduled to make his 700 th career Winston Cup start at Dover Downs on Sunday(9-11/17-2001)
- Brothers and the Southern 500: Ward Burton's first victory in the event, coupled with Jeff Burton's win in 1999, marks the second time that brothers won the race. Terry Labonte won in 1980 and Bobby Labonte in 2000.(St Petersburg Times), and of note, only one father-son duo have won the race, Buck Baker (1953-60-64) and Buddy Baker, 1970.(9-3-2001)
- 200th Chassis for Hendrick: It has been a season of one hundreds at Hendrick Motorsports, and this weekend proves no different. HMS, which claimed its 100th win and 100th pole before the half-way mark of the 2001 race schedule, will double that magic 100 at Indianapolis when it fields the 200th HMS-built chassis in the Brickyard 400. The Hendrick Motorsports Chassis Shop officially reached that mark in May, when #5 Kellogg’s Team Crew Chief Gary DeHart called the chassis shop and put in the order for a chassis that Terry Labonte could take to intermediate speedways on NASCAR’s Winston Cup circuit. Each chassis built at the Harrisburg, N.C. motorsports complex is stamped by number in the roll cage, and since marking the 200th they’ve already built four others – with no other priorities, the team can build a chassis in about a week – and repaired several more damaged in competition. And though Terry Labonte will pilot the car in competition for the first time in the Brickyard 400, the 200th chassis has already started to show its stuff. It was put through a rigorous testing before DeHart decided to field it at Indy(HMS Site)(8-4-2001)
- Monster Car UPDATE: #5-Terry Labonte will run a Kelloggs/Monster special paint scheme at Phoenix and possibly Homestead(8-2-2001)
UPDATE: see an image of the layout of the car at my Paint Scheme Gallery(8-3-2001)
- SDRC and Hendrick: SDRC announced it has renewed and expanded the company's marketing alliance with Hendrick Motorsports with a five-year contract effective immediately. Hendrick's engineering team uses I-DEAS(R) software for design, analysis, and manufacturing requirements on the team's high-performance racecars. Hendrick sponsors three drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup including, #5-Terry Labonte, #25-Jerry Nadeau, and #24-Jeff Gordon. "We have very clear objectives in our business," said Jim Wall, engineering group manager, Hendrick Motorsports. "We want to win races. A critical few seconds make a big difference on the track, and we're working daily to gain the slight edge needed to win races. I-DEAS provides the technology that enables us to design, test, and manufacture cars and engines -- in fact, we build over 700 engines each year. We've already gained significant improvements in our processes with I-DEAS, and we're pleased to be renewing our relationship with SDRC to further expand our use of this technology and our overall business results."(Business Wire)(7-30-2001)
- Labonte Not Retiring: Though rumors persist, Terry Labonte wants it known he has no intentions of retiring soon. "If anyone has any questions regarding my status, they can ask me," he says. Labonte says he would like to be the first driver to win championships in three decades. He won titles in 1984 and 1996, but he isn't looking so hot this decade. He's 26th in points after finishing 17th last year.(Sporting News)(7-16-2001)
- Labonte Park Update: City (Corpus Christi, TX) officials have raised about $10,000 of the $60,000 needed to renovate the Nueces River Park and rename it in honor of NASCAR racing brothers Bobby and Terry Labonte. City spokesman Ted Nelson said Monday that donations were better than expected and that the park should be ready to open Sept. 26. The Caller-Times also announced plans to publish a special section on the day of the park's dedication. Steve Arnold, the paper's marketing director, said the section will include historical photos and that it's "not just your NASCAR driver's guide." Proceeds from the section will go toward the park fund, he said. The community response to the fund-raising has been strong, said Tom Niskala, chief executive officer for the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce(The Caller)(7-4-2001)
- What Happened to at Sears Point? #87-Ron Fellows got wrecked with 10 laps to go and went from the top 10 to a 38th-place finish. Terry Labonte suffered the same kind of sad fate, finishing 36th after some of his best racing of the season because he got mussed up in a Turn 11 dog pile on the next-to-last lap.(That's Racin') AND John Andretti ran 11th entering the final lap but ran out of gas and finished 30th(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-25-2001)
- Labonte Honor Postponed UPDATE 2: Corpus Christi City Council members gave the green flag on Tuesday to renaming Nueces River Park after NASCAR drivers Terry and Bobby Labonte. The unanimous vote to change the name to Terry and Bobby Labonte Park was great news for NASCAR fans like David Gibson, a state construction inspector. In a time when news about athletes often is negative, such as drug abuse or domestic violence, it is great to recognize role models like the Labontes, said Gibson, 56.(Caller-Times 2/28) AND A ceremony to rename Nueces River Park in Corpus Christi, TX after NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte has been delayed until June, officials said. The Labonte Brothers Special Recognition Committee initially wanted to rename the park to coincide with the April 1 NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(Caller-Times 3/18)(3-27-2001)
UPDATE a little old but: A campaign to improve a city park honoring NASCAR champions and Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte began Thursday at City Hall. The centerpiece of the project includes a concrete sign - 8 feet high and 16 feet wide - at the park entrance. John Dykema of Bright and Dykemas Architects Inc. said the sign will be prominent on Interstate 37. The project will also include highway signs promoting the park, which was Nueces River Park until the City Council voted earlier this year to rename it Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. The park is in the north section of Corpus Christi off of I-37. The project is entirely privately funded. Debbie Lindsey-Opel, president of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, said organizers need to raise $60,000 to pay for all parts of the project. Donors will be recognized for contributions Dedication of the park is scheduled for June 20th(Corpus Christi Caller)(5-29-2001)
UPDATE 2: A dedication of a park named for Corpus Christi natives Bobby and Terry Labonte has been postponed to allow more time to raise the money for the improvements that will accompany the ceremony. The dedication was scheduled for today. But organizers behind the project reset the dedication ceremony to Sept. 26 to allow more time to raise the $60,000 for the project, city spokesman Ted Nelson said. The project will include highway signs promoting the park, which was Nueces River Park until the City Council voted earlier this year to rename it Terry and Bobby Labonte Park. The park is in northwest Corpus Christi off of Interstate 37. People interested in contributing may send checks to the Chamber of Commerce Recognition Fund, Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 640, Corpus Christi 78403(Corpus Christi Caller)(6-21-2001)
- Get Well: "Papa" Joe Hendrick, father of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, is scheduled for heart surgery Monday at a Charlotte, N.C.-area hospital. The elder Hendrick, who is listed as the car owner for the #25 Chevrolets of driver Jerry Nadeau, had heart surgery in March. On Saturday, teams working with the three Hendrick cars - those of Nadeau, Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte - were preparing decals expressing their get-well wishes to run on their cars during Sunday's Kmart 400 at Michigan(That's Racin')(6-10-2001)
UPDATE: FSN's NASCAR Today and ESPN2's RPM Night both reported that "Papa" Joe Hendrick underwent sucessful heart surgery on Monday, no other details(6-11-2001)
UPDATE 2: "Papa" Joe Hendrick, the father of Winston Cup team owner Rick Hendrick, is beginning the recovery process after having heart surgery on Monday in Charlotte. The elder Hendrick is 83(That's Racin')(6-13-2001)
- the 100 Hendrick Wins: Phil Werz from Charlotte's NBC 6 's "On Track from Lowe's Motor Speedway" sent me a breakdown of the 100 wins for Hendrick Motorsports:
Jeff Gordon 55(currently with Hendrick #24)
Terry Labonte 11(currently with Hendrick #5)
Tim Richmond 9(deceased)
Darrell Waltrip 9(retired with Fox in the booth)
Geoffrey Bodine 7(currently in the BGN driving the #66)
Ricky Rudd 4(currently with RYR #28)
Ken Schrader 4(currently with MB2 Motorsports #36)
Jerry Nadeau 1(currently with Hendrick #25)
Gordon has averaged a win every 4.9 races (271 starts)(6-10-2001)
- Hendrick goes after #100: Hendrick Motorsports is just one win away from becoming only the second motorsports operation to reach 100 Winston Cup wins in NASCAR’s modern era(1972-present). The 17-year-old organization claimed three wins in its first year of operation – the only team in the modern era to do that – and hasn’t slowed since. Hendrick Motorsports claimed win number 99 when Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag at Dover. Only Junior Johnson holds more wins in the “modern era” as team owner than Hendrick Motorsports, with 135 wins from 1972 to 1994. In stock car racing’s early days, Winston Cup – then Grand National – teams raced as many as 61 races in a single season; that changed to 31 races a season in 1972 and has hovered around that number until this year’s increased 36-race schedule. Other teams posting high win numbers in NASCAR’s modern era of points competition include Richard Childress Racing (70), Petty Enterprises (63), Woods Brothers Racing (61), Roush Racing (49) and Robert Yates Racing (49).(HMS SIte - link fixed)(6-6-2001)
- Labonte/Petty HS Grads: Terry Labonte found time last night, barely, to attend daughter Kristen's high-school graduation in Trinity, NC, borrowing a helicopter from brother Bobby to make the sprint up, despite heavy thunderstorms. "After sitting in the principal's office a couple of times for her fighting in school, I never thought I'd get her graduated," Labonte said with a laugh. Kyle Petty's son, Austin, was also graduating, but Petty didn't have the luxury of a possible champion's provisional. "Austin has really buckled down since Adam's death and got serious about school," Petty said. "He wants to be an engineer and he's set to go to Pfeiffer next year. He was in some kind of honor society, and he got some medal for four years of honor work. He and Montgomery Lee are both a lot smarter than myself and Adam were."(Winston Salem Journal)(5-25-2001)
- Petty/Labonte Announcement UPDATE: Two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, his son Justin Labonte, NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty and Kerry Scherer will be on hand in the Winston Media Center at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Thursday afternoon at 2:15pm/et on May 17, to make a special announcement concerning a new ARCA RE/MAX Series program(LMS PR)(5-15-2001)
UPDATE: Justin Labonte, son of two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, has joined the Briggs Cunningham-Kerry Scherer ARCA RE/MAX Series team and will receive assistance from Kyle Petty and Petty Enterprises to run Dodge Intrepids. Although the third-generation driver will debut the new team at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a Chevy Monte Carlo, Labonte will compete in Dodge Intrepids in ten remaining RE/MAX Series superspeedway events at both events at Michigan and both events at Pocono as well as Kansas(tenative), Kentucky, Chicagoland, Lowe’s, Talladega and Atlanta. ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Eddie Sharp has been tapped to serve as the team’s crew chief(ARCA Series Site)(5-17-2001)
- Get Well Papa Joe: Hendrick Motorsports cars(#'s 5,24,25) will carry decals sending get-well wishes to "Papa Joe" Hendrick, team owner Rick Hendrick's father. The elder Hendrick had surgery this week and is recovering in a Charlotte hospital(That's Racin'), "Papa Joe" is also listed as the owner of the #25 team(see below)(3-24-2001)
Thanks to Jeff of Race2Win
for the image
- Labonte Honor Postponed: Corpus Christi City Council members gave the green flag on Tuesday to renaming Nueces River Park after NASCAR drivers Terry and Bobby Labonte. The unanimous vote to change the name to Terry and Bobby Labonte Park was great news for NASCAR fans like David Gibson, a state construction inspector. In a time when news about athletes often is negative, such as drug abuse or domestic violence, it is great to recognize role models like the Labontes, said Gibson, 56.(Caller-Times 2/28) AND A ceremony to rename Nueces River Park in Corpus Christi, TX after NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte has been delayed until June, officials said. The Labonte Brothers Special Recognition Committee initially wanted to rename the park to coincide with the April 1 NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(Caller-Times 3/18)(3-27-2001)
- Testing at TMS: #5-Terry Labonte and #97-Kurt Busch tested at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this week(Dallas Morning News)(3-8-2001)
- Changes at the #5? UPDATE: The Terry Labonte-Gary DeHart team has struggled, and car owner Rick Hendrick may be ready to shake things up there(Winston Salem Journal)(3-4-2001)
UPDATE: Crew chief Gary DeHart's job might be in jeopardy. When Kellogg's, sponsor of DeHart's #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, questioned the ability of driver Terry Labonte after he suffered multiple concussions in 2000, Labonte went to Kentucky Speedway and ran laps in teammate Jerry Nadeau's #25 car. Labonte's laps were faster than Nadeau's, proving it's the car and not the driver(Sporting News)(3-5-2001)
- Labonte/Earnhardt plan won't happen: Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt had planned a celebration for Texas. Labonte had his Winston Cup-record 655 consecutive-start streak end last year. Earnhardt was on pace to tie the record at Martinsville and break it the next week at Texas Motor Speedway. The drivers made plans to run special cars commemorating the occasion at Texas(Times Dispatch)(3-4-2001)
- #5 Seeks Assoc Sponsor: The Hendrick operation says it has opened its doors to talks with associate sponsors about teaming up 2-time Cup champ, Terry Labonte. A new associate sponsor's logo would appear on the deck lid and in the tire area in front of the rear wheels. The sponsor's logo also would be featured on the team's transporter as well as on driver and crew uniforms. In addition to exposure at Winston Cup events, a sponsor would gain access to the car and driver for advertising and promotional needs throughout the year. See the Hendrick Motor Sports site for more info(1-18-2001)
- GMAC News: GMAC, a longtime member of the Hendrick family of racing sponsors, announced today a comprehensive sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports for 2001 that includes involvement in NASCAR’s Winston Cup, Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck Series. GMAC, which will expand its presence on Hendrick entries in NASCAR’s three major touring series, will be the primary sponsor on the #17 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ricky Hendrick in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as a major associate sponsor on the #24 Chevrolet of Jack Sprague. In 2001, netzero.com will assume primary sponsorship of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet truck now driven by Sprague. Additionally, GMAC will also serve as the primary sponsor for Ricky Hendrick in a select number of NASCAR Busch Grand National and ARCA events during the 2001 season. Dennis Connor, the all-time winningest crew chief in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, will oversee the new GMAC racing operation, which will operate out of its own separate facility. And as it has since 1993, GMAC will continue to be an associate sponsor on all three HMS Winston Cup cars: the #24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by three-time champion Jeff Gordon, #5 Chevrolet of two-time champion Terry Labonte and the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet of Jerry Nadeau(RaceWorks, LLC)(11-3-2000)
- The Grinch car? UPDATE: hearing that Terry Labonte will run a "Grinch" paint scheme late in the season to promote the November release of the movie version of "The Grinch" starring Jim Carrey(8-19-2000)
UPDATE: the scheme will be run by Labonte at Phoenix and Homestead to promote the Nov 17th opening of "The Grinch" a movie starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch (based on Dr. Seuss' book and the all time favorite cartoon, 'The Grinch that Stole Christmas'), the scheme will also feature the Grinch's dog Max and Cindy Lou Who(NOL)(8-29-2000)
UPDATE 2: See an image of the Scheme on the Paint Schemes Gallery(8-30-2000)
- Tony the Tiger goes full time in 2001? hearing that the #5 Kelloggs Chevy of Terry Labonte may go from it's current Kelloggs scheme to a Frosted Flakes scheme full time, similar to what Labonte ran at Michigan two weeks ago. Frosted Flakes is of course, made by Kelloggs(8-28-2000)
- Kelloggs to Re-up with Hendrick/Labonte UPDATE 3: Kelloggs will announce at Michigan that they are returning to the #5 Hendrick Motorsports chevy for another three years. The current deal ends at the end of this season. Kellogg's will also present driver Terry Labonte with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with the #655 displayed on the side in honor Labontes record of Winston Cup 655 consecutive starts(That's Racin')(8-12-2000)
UPDATE: not sure if the announcement will still be made as Labonte is taking another week off as he does not feel he is ready to come back from his Daytona injuries(8-15-2000)
UPDATE 2: Labonte will be at the track this weekend and a pre-race presentation planned by the sponsor of Labonte's team, Kellogg's, will continue as scheduled. Kellogg's will present Labonte with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle bearing the number "655," in honor of his Winston Cup record 655 consecutive starts. An official announcement of a three-year contract extension by Kellogg's to sponsor the team will also be made(That's Racin')(8-16/19-2000)
UPDATE 3: Kellogg's officially announced a three-year extension of its sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Motorsports and the #5 team for driver Terry Labonte before Sunday's race(That's Racin')(8-21-2000)
- The Grinch car? hearing that Terry Labonte will run a "Grinch" paint scheme late in the season to promote the November release of the movie version of "The Grinch" starring Jim Carrey(8-19-2000)
- Labonte to run at Michigan? UPDATE YES: Terry Labonte is expected to return to competition. Labonte practiced Saturday morning in the #5 Chevry Monte Carlo. Lingering trouble from what was thought to have been a concusssion was disagnosed this week as an inner-ear problem(That's Racin'). If Labonte does drive the car, he wil have to fall to the back of the field from the 33rd starting spot where Todd Bodine qualified it. Can only assume, Bodine will stand by in case needed. During the BGN race, Dr Jerry Punch, said Bodine would drive the #5 Car on Sunday. Bodine won the BGN race on Saturday. Also a story at the Insider Racing site, saying: Terry Labonte will run Happy Hour if he feels okay then he will run the Winston Cup race on Sunday. He went to a new doctor this week and was told he had Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Both Labonte and the doctor believe Labonte was healed in the office that day. The Doctor told Labonte to go out and try make himself dizzy, it never happened even with 10 hours at an amusement park riding rollercoasters
UPDATE: Terry Labonte's two-week absence from racing took another turn Saturday, when he climbed behind the wheel of his #5 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Chevy for Happy Hour/final practice and vowed to compete in Sunday's Pepsi 400 at Michigan Speedway. Todd Bodine will stand by on Sunday. Also Sunday, sponsor Kellogg's will announce a sponsorship extension for Labonte and the #5 team(see story below)(SpeedVision)(8-19-2000)
- Labonte Better, Roller Coaster? On Thursday's RPM 2Night show on ESPN2, Matt Yocum reported that Terry Labonte, who will sit out of his third straight Cup race this weekend, tested his brother's Cup car(Bobby's #18) at Lakeland, FL on Wednesday and had no ill effects as he did at Bristol on Monday. Labonte's Doctor said to help speed up the recovery process (effects from a concussion) that Labonte should ride roller coasters(wonder if his insurance covered that?). So Labonte flew to Kings Dominion in Virginia and rode the roller coasters there all day. Further updates on Labonte's condition will come Saturday when he goes to Michigan for the race weekend(RPM 2Night)(8-18-2000)
- Labonte to sit another week UPDATE 3: Terry Labonte tested at Bristol on Monday in his son Justin's #44 BGN car. He ran five laps and after the test, decided to sit out the Cup race this weekend at Michigan. Labonte is still suffering the effects of a concussion he got in an accident at Daytona in the Pepsi 400 on July 1st. No sub has been named as of yet(RPM 2Night). Am hearing that Todd Bodine will drive the #5 Frosted Flakes/Kelloggs Chevy at Michigan for Labonte(8-15-2000)
UPDATE: Terry Labonte's much-anticipated test session at Bristol Motor Speedway ended quickly Monday morning. After just a handful of laps in the Slim Jim Busch Series entry regularly driven by his son Justin, Labonte retired to the pits. The Kellogg's transporter left the track moments later. "I talked to Terry after he made his run," BMS director of communications Wayne Estes said. "Terry said he just didn't think he was ready to test today." Since Labonte did not drive his Winston Cup car Monday, he(or the team) did not lose one of his allotted (seven) test dates(Bristol Herald Courier)
UPDATE 2: Todd Bodine will drive the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet for Labonte. As he did at both Indy and Watkins Glen, Labonte will assist DeHart atop the team's pit box AND Brett Bodine, Todd's brother, will drive the #44 Slim Jim Chevy that Labonte had originally intended to drive in Saturday's BGN race(NOL)(8-15-2000)
UPDATE 3: Labonte, who suffered a broken right arm(leg not arm) and concussion in the wrecks, was scheduled for further medical tests Tuesday(8-15) at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. Labonte's crew chief, Gary DeHart, said Labonte did not feel well after completing four or five laps at Bristol. Todd Bodine has been asked to serve as a possible relief driver for the next three or four races, sources said Tuesday(That's Racin')(8-16-2000)
- Labonte Rumor UPDATE: been told by many readers that it was reported on a Charlotte, NC radio station Wednesday morning, that Terry Labonte, driver of the #5 Kelloggs Chevy, was considering retirement and not returning to driving a race car. Sources tell me that this is not true and Labonte plans to drive at Michigan and beyond. Also in Bobby Labonte's NOL Chat transcript, Bobby says: "I talked to him(brother Terry) last night. He said he felt really good yesterday. And as you can expect, he doesn't want to be out of the race car. So he's anxious to get back in it."(8-10-2000)
UPDATE: first thing I have seen written about it....A rumor surfaced in Charlotte this week that Labonte was considering retirement, but Labonte said there was no basis to that report. He plans to drive in a test at Bristol early next week(Monday and Tuesday) and after that will decide if he's ready to be back in the car next week at Michigan(That's Racin')(8-11-2000)
- Labonte in or out..at Watkins Glen? UPDATE - Out: during an interview at Indy, Terry Labonte said he would skip Indy and Watkins Glen, test at Bristol on the 14th and decide when he would return to the seat of the #5 Kelloggs Chevy. Labonte sat out at Indy due to continuing complications from injuries suffered at the Pepsi 400 (Dizziness)...BUT in NASCAR Online's Saturday Notebook, Labonte is quoted: "I don't like wearing the headsets in the pits," Labonte said after the race. "I accepted my decision and that was it. I wish I had been out there, but I wasn't. I hope I'll be aback in a couple of weeks. If we can't find anyone to drive my car at Watkins Glen, I may be back next week."(8-7-2000)
UPDATE: Ron Hornaday has been asked by Rick Hendrick to drive the #5 Kelloggs Chevy at Watkins Glen for ailing Terry Labonte. Hornaday received the ok from DEI and from NAPA AUTO PARTS. Hornaday won at The Glen in the trucks(Champion Sports Group)(8-8-2000)
- Labonte to sit out too UPDATE: Terry Labonte said Friday afternoon that he was physically unable to continue his streak of 655 consecutive Winston Cup starts and that Todd Bodine will drive the #5 Kelloggs Chevy at Indy in the Brickyard 400(NASCAR Online). Since Bodine qualified the car, he will start 25th. Dale Earnhardt is next with 632 consecutive starts, followed by Ricky Rudd with 593 and Rusty Wallace at 502
UPDATE: Labonte said he intends to take the next two races off, Indy and next week at Watkins Glen, and will return at Michigan Aug. 20.(SpeedVision), no word on who will run the #5 Chevy at the Glen. Todd Bodine already has a ride for the race, the #34 I Love NY Chevy(8-4-2000)
- Bodine in the #5..for now UPDATE: Terry Labonte, who drives the #5 Kelloggs Chevy, is still feeling the effects of injuries(broken leg/concussion) occurred at Daytona in the Pepsi 400. Todd Bodine ran the car later in the AM practice and qualified the car in first round for the Brickyard 400 at Indy. Labonte has flown back to North Carolina to see his Doctor and get checked out. Labonte's status for the Brickyard 400 is unknown at present. Labonte of course has started 655 consecutive Winston Cup races(ESPN2 Qualifying Coverage)(8-3-2000)
UPDATE: all reports I am hearing and seeing now say that Labonte will start the car and turn it over to Bodine at the first caution on Saturday. AND from PitNow: Terry Labonte, still nursing a knee injury from Daytona, turned qualifying over to Todd Bodine yesterday. Labonte will thus have to start the Brickyard 400 at the rear of the field. Labonte was to be in Philadelphia last night for the Republican National Convention(no word on if he made it there)(8-4-2000)
- Bickle to sub for Labonte UPDATE: Rich Bickle has been named as the relief driver for Terry Labonte in this weekend's Pennsylvania 500 at Poco# Bickle will practice and qualify the Hendrick Motorsports #5 Kellogg's Chevy for Labonte, who suffered a broken right leg in a crash at Daytona in the Pepsi 400 on July 1. Labonte will start the Pocono race giving way to Bickle at the first caution flag of the event(Speedway Illustrated)(7-20-2000)
UPDATE: Bickle qualified the #5 Kelloggs Chevy 22nd and will practice the car on Saturday. Labonte will start on Sunday, falling back from 22nd to the back of the field, then Bickle will get in the car at the first caution(7-21-2000)
- #5 Paint Scheme: hearing many reports that Cinnamon Crunch(new flavor?) paint scheme for #5 Terry Labonte will run sometime in the 2nd half of the 2000 season(7-13-2000)
- Drivers OK: Three drivers involved in hard hitting accidents at NHIS are OK. On Lap 7, #5-Terry Labonte and #97-Chad Little collided in Turn 4, wrecking both cars. Labonte, who is already nursing a fracture in his right leg, was uninjured. Little complained of neck pain and was taken to Concord Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a bruised collarbone, treated and released. #26-Jimmy Spencer hit the Turn 2 wall hard on Lap 98, and had to be helped from his car. Spencer was treated for a bruised left kneecap at the infield care center and released(That's Racin')(7-10-2000)
- Labonte's Crash UPDATE 4: #5-Terry Labonte was taken to Halifax Medical Center for precautionary x-rays. The two-time Winston Cup champion briefly lost consciousness after hitting the concrete wall near the start-finish line(Gaston Gazette)
UPDATE: Terry Labonte was taken to the hospital for a CAT scan which was negative, and then released(Infobeat/AP)(7-2-2000)
Labonte Hurt? UPDATE 2: getting many questions about Terry Labonte's 'injuries' from his wreck at Daytona. From a PR I got: .....Unfortunately, that streak came to a halt just past the halfway point of the Pepsi 400(at Daytona) when Labonte spun out and hit the wall, damaging the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet beyond repair. With the July 9 New England 300 fast approaching, Labonte - not seriously injured in the mishap - is eager to start another streak of finishing performances(Summit Marketing Group) from what I hear banged up and bruised, CAT Scan was negative(7-6-2000)
UPDATE 3: Labonte has a slight fracture, right leg, below the kneecap; no cast, but he will be on crutches for a period of time. Labonte will start the race on Sunday, no word on a if a relief driver will be used
UPDATE 4: Terry Labonte was knocked unconscious briefly after slamming into the wall on the driver side. A CAT scan was given and came back negative, Labonte has been cleared by doctors and will race Sunday in the Jiffy Lube 300(now called the Thatlook.com). Labonte did suffer a fractured Tibia (bone below the knee) and bruised ribs. Crutches and a little pain will not keep “The Iron Man” from his 653rd consecutive start. Although Labonte is planning on completing the entire race, fellow Hendrick Motorsports driver Jack Sprague(#24 CTS) will be on hand for precautionary reasons(Hendrick Motorsports Site)(7-6-2000)
- UPS to the #5? UPDATE: on the The LTN Hour (can be heard on the Internet in Real Audio), Jack Flowers of the Speedway Scene, reported that UPS could replace Kelloggs on the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy that Terry Labonte drives(6-6-2000)
UPDATE: sources tell me that Kelloggs has already signed up with Hendrick Motorsports for another five years and have not talked to any other companies about replacing Kelloggs. Have not seen anything official announced about Kelloggs(6-7-2000)
- #5 Paint Scheme UPDATE 2: not sure where but hear Terry Labonte will run the #5 Cherry Berry Swirl/Fruit Loops paint scheme in the near future. He tends to run them at the Winston or at Michigan, home of his sponsor Kelloggs(4-12-2000)
UPDATE: was sent a image of a diecast for the car from a diecast site by quite a few readers, see it at the Paint Scheme Gallery(4-18-2000)
UPDATE 2: Labonte will defend his title in the annual all-star race, The Winston, behind the wheel of a specially designed red and blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo featuring Toucan Sam and Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal with CherryBerry Swirls(Summit Marketing Group)(5-13-2000)
- #5 Paint: had a few questions in the past few weeks about Terry Labonte's hood and door on the #5 Kelloggs car, the sunshine/rise has been missing since the beginning of the season, why? I didn't have a clue, but a reader forwarded this to me: 1). It was Kellogg's decision to drop the sunshine logo from the hood. No car's graphics are ever final as the car is view as a "work in progress" throughout the year. 2). The #5 issue- apparently with the new paint scheme being more red than anything else, the forward slanting #5 appeared to "close up" at the curves and resemble the #6 thus posing a problem for NASCAR's spotters. They have told Hendrick to come up with something to make the #5 easier to distinguish from the #6. However, the #5 color, design and shape is a registered trademark. Hendrick must stay within those constraints and still comply with the dictates of NASCAR
- #5 Paint Scheme UPDATE: not sure where but hear Terry Labonte will run the #5 Cherry Berry Swirl/Fruit Loops paint scheme in the near future. He tends to run them at the Winston or at Michigan, home of his sponsor Kelloggs(4-12-2000)
UPDATE: was sent a image of a diecast for the car from a diecast site by quite a few readers, see it at the Paint Scheme Gallery(4-18-2000)
UPDATE: Testing today and Tuesday at Texas was Pruett and #5-Terry Labonte and #45-Adam Petty(Winston Cup Radio(PRN)) note: Petty was in a Chevy...not a Pontiac and Labonte posted the fastest speed at 184mph(TMS Site)(3-21-2000)
- Hendrick Comments: Rick Hendrick, owner of the Chevrolets of Jeff Gordon, Jerry Nadeau and Terry Labonte, said Sunday if NASCAR plans to make more rules changes - including a move to common templates - it should give teams plenty of time to prepare. See full story at That's Racin'(3-20-2000)
- Hendrick and Cicci-Weliver Alliance: Hendrick Motorsports announced a new partnership with Cicci-Welliver Racing(BGN teams #'s 34,36,66) designed to enhance the performance of both organization’s BGN teams. As part of the exclusive agreement, the two organizations will share aerodynamic, chassis and certain technical information as well as participate together in in-house testing sessions and those held at outside facilities. They may also join forces to test during a limited number of Winston Cup races using Cicci-Welliver drivers. Hendrick Motorsports will provide Cicci-Welliver access to chassis and engine dyno testing facilities, key personnel and wind tunnel results throughout the season(David Green Site)(3-17-2000)
- Rear Windows? UPDATE: not sure why, but have heard that the NASCAR inspectors made all three Hendrick cars change the rear window's at Rockingham(3-2-2000) -- UPDATE: hear the problems were minor but the template would not fit correctly, so the windows has to be swapped out, no fines or anything like that(3-3/4-2000)
- Hendrick Back: Team owner Rick Hendrick is back at work at Hendrick Motorsport(#'s 5,24,25). He told the media that he has been off chemotherapy for six weeks now and that his cancer is in full remission and feels great(goRacing)(1-16-2000)
- Hendrick in Remission: Results of tests conducted this month have prompted Rick Hendrick's doctors to say he no longer needs chemotherapy and the disease(chronic myelogenous leukemia) can be declared to be in full remission. Hendrick own's the #5 Kelloggs, #24 Dupont and #25 Michael Holigan Chevy teams(ESPN/AP)(12-24-1999)
- Graves to leave Hendrick? UPDATE 2: hearing that Andy Graves has parted ways with Hendrick Motorsports and will work for......Chip Ganassi on his CART teams(12-8-1999) -- UPDATE: actually heard Graves left HMS last week and may even have been hired to help Ganassi start a Cup team in 2001 but the big push will be to run and win the Indy 500(12-10-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Graves has left Hendrick Motorsports and joined Chip Ganassi Racing. A Hendrick Motorsport spokesperson confirmed that Graves had left the team and joined Ganassi's CART/FedEx team(Winston Scene Magazine) also a story at Racer Magazine(12-17-1999)
- Graves to leave Hendrick? UPDATE 2: hearing that Andy Graves has parted ways with Hendrick Motorsports and will work for......Chip Ganassi on his CART teams(12-8-1999) -- UPDATE: actually heard Graves left HMS last week and may even have been hired to help Ganassi start a Cup team in 2001 but the big push will be to run and win the Indy 500(12-10-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Graves has left Hendrick Motorsports and joined Chip Ganassi Racing. A Hendrick Motorsport spokesperson confirmed that Graves had left the team. Graves was working in Hendrick's research and development department when he decided to join Ganassi's CART/FedEx team(Winston Scene Magazine)(12-17-1999)
- Hendrick Announcement UPDATE 2: hearing there will be some sort of Hendrick Motorsports announcement this afternoon, will post when I hear it -- UPDATE: According to sources close to the situation, expect an official press release later this afternoon detailing that former #5 crewchief Gary DeHart is coming back into the Hendrick organization to once again be the lead wrench with driver Terry Labonte. The Labonte/DeHart pairing brought Hendrick Motorsports the Winston Cup championship in 1996. DeHart had left the #5 in 1997 to open his own chassis-building business. His former business shop is likely to become the new location of the Jeff Gordon BGN team prepping cars for young Ricky Hendrick. (That's probably not going to be in the press release.) #5 crewchief Andy Graves is being offered a re-assignment opportunity at Hendrick. Although, country.com Motorsports also heard (along with anyone within earshot of Robbie Gordon) that Gordon had offered young Graves the opportunity to crew his new Winston Cup team. That seems unlikely(TNN Motorsports Site) -- UPDATE 2: One of NASCAR’s more successful tandems, veteran crew chief Gary DeHart and driver Terry Labonte are back together again. DeHart, who as crew chief helped lead Labonte to his second Winston Cup Championship in 1996, returns to Hendrick Motorsports as team manager/crew chief of the #5 Kellogg’s/Quaker State/GMAC/Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet team. The 1996 title was the second time DeHart was involved with a Labonte championship. He was chief fabricator for the Billy Hagan team when Labonte won his first title in 1984. DeHart takes over for Andy Graves, who has accepted another key position at Hendrick Motorsports working with all the teams. He has served as crew chief of the #5 team since 1997(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-22-1999)
- Both Graves gone? UPDATE 3 DeHart back to the #5?: hearing that #5 Crew Chief Andy Graves and his father Fred will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season?(anon source)(11-16-1999) -- UPDATE: After a dismal second half of the season Hendrick Motorsports' #5 team, with driver Terry Labonte, is under evaluation and significant changes in personnel could come as soon as next week, team sources revealed Friday. Reports in the past week have indicated that crew chief Andy Graves and co-chief Fred Graves (Andy's father), could be headed elsewhere after the season. Kellogg's spokesman John Singler said last week at Homestead that such rumors were news to him(Racer Magazine: NASCAR: Hendrick's Labonte Team Under Evaluation)(11-19-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Hendrick Motorsports will undergo several more personnel changes before the end of the year, The Charlotte Observer has learned. Andy Graves, who has served as Hendrick driver Terry Labonte's crew chief since October 1997, will likely leave the team before the start of the new season. His departure is related, at least in part, to the lackluster performance of the #5 Chevrolets team this season, sources said. Graves has already emerged as a top candidate for the crew chief duties for the new Winston Cup team starting next season by open-wheel star Robby Gordon(in part from That's Racin') -- UPDATE 3: Hendrick Motorsports is expected to hire Gary DeHart as the new crew chief for former Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, The Charlotte Observer has learned. DeHart was Labonte's crew chief during Labonte's 1996 championship season and the announcement of his move will likely take place during the annual Charlotte media tour in January. Andy Graves, is expected to leave the team at the end of next month.(That's Racin'/Jim Utter)(11-20-1999)
- Both Graves gone? hearing that #5 Crew Chief Andy Graves and his father Fred will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season?(anon source)(11-16-1999)
- #5 Colors in 2000: During a fan club meeting, Terry Labonte mentioned that the Kelloggs car would carry a little bit different paint scheme next year. Labonte didn't give any details but said the car would still be the same colors(Tribute to the Labontes Site)(10-7-1999)
- Good News: #5,24 and 35 Cup team owner, Rick Hendrick is 100% in remission from his leukemia and 60 days from ending his medication, his brother, John, said yesterday. In fact, it was Rick Hendrick who handled the contract talks with (former)crew chief Ray Evernham last week. The owner of Hendrick Motorsports has been undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with leukemia in late 1996. Company President John Hendrick said the talks took their toll on Rick which resulted in Rick Hendrick releasing Evernham from his seven-year contract to work as Jeff Gordon's crew chief. Hendrick said the team had negotiated a deal with Evernham to move into management and had planned a press conference for next week at Charlotte. John Hendrick said that Evernham notified them last week that he had changed his mind. His release took effect Wednesday, and Brian Whitesell has taken over as Gordon's crew chief(Times-Dispatch)(10-2-1999)
- More Testing: Terry Labonte and the Hendrick Motorsports team tested for their second day in preparation for next week's Goody's Headache Powder 500. With the Food City 250 just nine days away, three NASCAR Busch Series teams also tested, including drivers Jeff Fuller(#42), Jason White(#28) and Carl Long(#95).(www.bristolmotorspeedway.com)(8-19-1999)
- Disturbing News UPDATE: just got back from Chicago and had a email box full of news on this - from an AP story: NASCAR stars Terry Labonte(#5) and Derrike Cope(#30) fired two employees(motor coach drivers) for a racial prank in which one of their workers wore a sheet over his head like a Klansman and confronted a black colleague(#12 crewman). Witnesses characterized the July 8 episode at the New Hampshire International Speedway as a joke by two white motorcoach drivers that went too far(WRAL/AP)(8-10-1999) -- UPDATE: another story, not AP - Two ousted for racial incident by Rea McLeroy(Times-Dispatch) and from That's Racin': Incident reopens NASCAR's race issue - Randon Notes by Jim Utter
A few statements sent my way: from Derrike Cope - "Behavior like this simply cannot be tolerated in today's society. This was an example of grievous behavior that I do not condone. It was an ignorant act and I took the only course available to me of rectifying the situation by terminating the employee."(#30 PR)
from Michael Kranefuss(owner of the #12): “Penske-Kranefuss Racing and Jeremy Mayfield fully support NASCAR’s
response to the behavior directed at one of our Team members. We and the Team member stand together and look forward to putting the incident behind us.”(Williams Co PR)(8-11-1999)
- Labonte Scheme UPDATE: Hearing Terry Labonte may run a Rice Krispies Treat scheme of some sorts on the #5 Kelloggs Chevy, not sure where, but he often runs one in one of the Michigan races(7-6-1999) -- UPDATE: Yep, it's a Michigan, see the image at Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery(8-11-1999)
- Cal Wells rumors: Cal Wells, one of NASCAR's newest car owners, is offering prospective crew chiefs $2.5 million over three years. That $830,000-a-year contract would be a little better than some of the best of the current deals. The top four or five crew chiefs on the tour are making $650,000 a year and up. Among the men on Wells' wish list is Andy Graves, Terry Labonte's crew chief, according to sources(PitNow) Al Unser Jr and Wally Dallenbach are the hottest rumored drivers for the new Tide ride(8-10-1999)
- Terry Labonte - Hendrick - 2003: Terry Labonte will remain with Hendrick Motorsports banner at least through 2003 under a three-year contract extension signed by the two-time Winston Cup champion(AP/WRAL)(7-22-1999)
- Labonte to STAY - UPDATE: as reported numerous times here, from NOL: Over the past two months, Terry Labonte has been the prime subject of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rumor mill, but Tuesday he set the record straight -- Hendrick Motorsports is home and will continue to be home for at least through the 2000 season. See complete story at: Labonte maintaining status quo at Hendrick(NOL)(7-14-1999) -- UPDATE: in part from a That's Racin' story: ....two-time champion Terry Labonte, who recently signed a contract extension to keep him with Hendrick through the 2001 season(That's Racin')(7-15-1999)
- Irwin Decision: Kenny Irwin now expects to know by Pocono if he'll be back with Yates next season. There have been reports for several months that Yates might be interested in hiring Terry Labonte to drive the Texaco-sponsored car. But Labonte has another year on his contract with Rick Hendrick, and John Hendrick has begun a major push to improve the performance of the Labonte team(PitNow)(7-12-1999)
- Labonte Article: which in part says: "Despite constant speculation about where he may drive in the future, Labonte points out he has a year left on his contract with the three-car team and that he is discussing extending that. He and crew chief Andy Graves are also discussing how to take more advantage of their multicar setup. Next year, when the new Monte Carlo hits the track, they plan to work more closely with his two teammates."(Times-Dispatch)(7-9-1999)
- Labonte Scheme: Hearing Terry Labonte may run a Rice Krispies Treat scheme of some sorts on the #5 Kelloggs Chevy, not sure where, but he often runs one in one of the Michigan races(7-6-1999)
- It Resurfaces and clarification: From Saturday's Houston Chronicle: "Sources say Labonte is tired of playing second fiddle to Jeff Gordon on the Hendrick team. Labonte won the Winston Cup championship for Hendrick in the Kellogg's Chevrolet in 1996 but thinks his standing in the organization hasn't been the same since Rick Hendrick became ill and his brother took over the team last season. Hendrick has been battling leukemia. Irwin took over the Texaco Taurus last season as a rookie, replacing Ernie Irvan in a car that had its best days when the late Davey Allison was at the wheel. Irwin has been disappointing in his second season, so Yates might want a veteran such as Labonte to take over. If Labonte leaves Hendrick Motorsports, the Kellogg's Monte Carlo will have plenty of applicants for the driving job. One of them could be Steve Park, who might want to leave the Pennzoil Chevy owned by Dale Earnhardt because Earnhardt likely will be spending a lot of time helping Dale Jr. in his rookie season next year."(Houston Chronicle - not sure how long it stays up) JAYSKI NOTE: This rumor has been floating around for a year now about the Labonte/Irwin deal. Published reports and sources say Labonte is happy at Hendrick, wants to stay there, wants to retire there and has a contract with Hendrick and Kelloggs thru 2000. Also as for Steve Park, sources tell me there are no moves afoot to replace or relieve Park and he as well as Pennzoil have a contract thru 2000 with DEI. Past news on Labonte/Irwin can be seen on their respective Team Past News/Rumors/Links page I have here, see the links below to the left...(7-5-1999)
- Labonte Rumors, Terry that is: getting many rumors that Terry Labonte and Kelloggs would leave Hendrick after the 1999 season and move to Yates in the #28. But a story in this weeks Winston Cup Scene dispells that rumor as well as an article on SpeedVision: Hendrick striving to improve team infrastructure by Lee Spencer. It says in part - Both Wally Dallenbach and Terry Labonte have been linked with potential deals. But Hendrick feels the best way to dispel the accusations is to improve the infrastructure. John Hendrick said. "I went straight to Terry and I said, 'Hey, is there anything going on and what can we do to help you?' And he told me he's perfectly happy at Hendrick Motorsports and plans to retire here. I know he's a man of his word, so we're glad to hear that because Terry's a class act and an asset to Winston Cup." The team also added some extra help(6-26-1999)
- It's Back...UPDATE Speculation continues to grow that Terry Labonte may be driving for Yates' operation next season(PitNow Notes), expect denials within a few days from one or both teams, Yates saying no third team and Hendrick saying Terry and Kelloggs are signed with them through the end of 2000(6-19-1999) -- UPDATE: sources tell me that Labonte is signed through 2000 with Hendrick and Kelloggs, and plans on retiring there. And from Speedwords: Rumors of Terry Labonte moving to a third (or current) Robert Yates team appear to be unfounded. Sources deep in the Yates organization are very skeptical of such a deal due to what they describe as Roberts "total concentration" on Dale Jarrett's shot at the Winston Cup championship(6-20-1999)
- Labonte Rumors: Interesting rumor floating around that Terry Labonte will move to either a Joe Gibbs third team or a Robert Yates second or third team next season. This has to be taken with a grain of salt as Labonte's contract runs through 2000, but then we know about "iron clad" contracts(Inside Motorsports) and from PitNow: Ford executives are again heavily seeking drivers, and there ar strong indications that the company would like to steal Terry Labonte away from Chevrolet. Labonte, who won earlier this season at Texas, is under contract with GM's Rick Hendrick. Jayski Note: Robert Yates has repeated over and over the he has NO plans to start a third team and like reported above Labonte and Kelloggs are signed thru 2000 with Hendrick(5-19-1999)
- Testing at Lakeland FL: Terry Labonte and Ken Scherder tested this week at Lakeland Speedway in preparation for the Richmond race. Labonte tested Tues-Wed(11-12) and Scherader tested Mon-Tue(10-11)(WC Today Radio)(5-13-1999)
- Labonte/BGN: Terry Labonte has entered the BGN race at NHIS on May 8th in the #44 Slim Jim Chevy. Terry plans to run the events that do not conflict with his Winston Cup Schedule and let his son Justin drive the events that do(North East Racing)(4-22-1999)
- Labonte and Food City: Noticed during qualifying on ESPN2, Food City(not Lion) on the 1/4 panels of the #5 Kelloggs Chevy of Terry Labonte(4-10-1999)
- Three Left: Only three drivers have finished all 1,002 Winston Cup laps held at Texas Motor Speedway. The drivers are also the top three finishers in Sunday's race: Terry Labonte, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte(Dallas Morning News Notes)(3-29-1999)
- Hendrick Sponsors: The Hendrick teams all have Kelloggs either as a primary or associate sponsor. Viewers might have noticed the 'K-SENTIALS' logo on Jeff Gordon's car and driving uniform yesterday. Starting in March, Kelloggs will use the 'K-SENTIALS' logo to identify cereals that contain nutrients it believes are essential for growth and development. Also, on Dallenbach and Labonte's cars, the Advance Auto Parts logo is on the rear decklid. However, on Gordon's car the AAP logo is on the B pillar just behind the side window. In the Daytona 500 event, DuPont Dow Elastomers will be on the rear decklid of the #24.(Jeff Gordon Online) a 'K-SENTIALS' paint scheme is rumored to be run at The Winsorn by Labonte(2-7-1999)
- Hendrick returns to the track: Rick Hendrick made his first appearance at Daytona in a couple of years as he attended testing Wednesday in a show of support for his three Cup teams(#'s 5,24,25)(WC Today Radio)(1-21-1999)
- Hendrick Sponsor: Advance Auto Parts has signed on as an associate sponsor for 1999 for Jeff Gordon and the #24 DuPont team. In addition, another new paint scheme will likely be unveiled on the #24 car at Charlotte in May (most likely for 'The Winston'). Hear that it will be called "Splash"(Gordonline), in addition Advance will be on the #5 Kelloggs Chevy and #25 Bud Chevy(1-11-1999)
- Labonte colors: I hear the #5 Kelloggs Chevy and/or haulers will be sporting a new look in 1999, such as a new "modernized" look with supporting Kellogg's Characters.(11-12-1998)
- Graves leaves DEI: It was announced today that Fred Graves, crew chief for the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) #16 NASCAR CTS team sponsored by NAPA, has resigned his position with the team. Graves is leaving to pursue other opportunities in motorsports. The DEI organization has begun the process of searching for a team leader.(GoRacing) and although not stated in the release from DEI, country.com/Motorsports has learned that Graves will be joining the Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup organization in a team management role with the #5 car. Graves' son, Andy Graves, will continue as the crewchief of the #5, driven by Terry Labonte, but the senior Graves will join the team to assist during testing, at the shop, and at the track(TNN's website)(11-30-1998)
- Terry Labonte Going Nowhere: By nowhere, I mean any other team but Hendrick Motorsports. I get more unfounded rumors on Terry Labonte leaving Hendrick then just about anything. Anyhow this in part from a USA Today story by Skip Wood about Terry Labonte: Labonte fielded team-jumping employment offers that come his way about this time every year. A few were from some pretty good teams. But Labonte's contract with Hendrick goes through 2000, and he "loves driving for Hendrick Motorsports, and I'd love to run with them the rest of my career." From USA Story: NASCAR mainstay Labonte in search of more consistency(10-23-1998)