#96 Team News Archive
NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Drivers Scheduled to run the #96 after Yeley was released
Watkins Glen [8/10] - P.J. Jones
Michigan [8/17] - Brad Coleman
Bristol [8/23] - Ken Schrader
California [8/31] - Schrader
Richmond [9/6] - Schrader
New Hampshire [9/14] - Joey Logano
Dover [9/21] - Schrader
Kansas [9/28] - Logano
Talladega [10/5] - Schrader
Charlotte [LMS 10/11] - Schrader
Martinsville [10/19] - Schrader
Atlanta [10/26] - Schrader
Texas 11/2] - Schrader
Phoenix [11/9] - Schrader
Homestead [11/16] - Schrader
Nice Gesture: A 10-year-old boy [from Rhode Island] who lost some very special NASCAR mementos in a house fire received a special gift Friday. Zach Gusasini was all smiles as the fire marshal presented him with decals, T-shirts, autographed hats and a special die-cast racing car with his favorite driver's signature. #96-J.J. Yeley's race team sent the items after hearing about Zach and the fire that destroyed nearly everything in his bedroom last month.(turnto10.com)(8-3-2008)
"Mirrors" scheme for #96 at Pocono: DLP HDTV is teaming up with 20th Century Fox to support the upcoming action thriller, "Mirrors," in a promotional partnership for the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 Sprint Cup Series race Aug. 3 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. "Mirrors," starring Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton and Amy Smart and directed by Alexandre Aja, will be featured on J.J. Yeley's #96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry during the race, while Sutherland will serve as grand marshal of the event and will give the "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" command. Since DLP Technology uses millions of microscopic mirrors to produce stunning pictures on the best HDTVs, the connection with this new movie and the DLP HDTV Toyota Camry is particularly well-suited. In "Mirrors," which opens in theatres everywhere Aug. 15, Sutherland portrays a troubled ex-cop who must save his family from an unspeakable evil that is using mirrors as a gateway into their home. The movie will be shown nationwide in a digital format at select theatres on DLP Cinema projectors. DLP leads the cinema movement from film to digital movie theatres powered by DLP Cinema Technology with over 6,700 screens in more than 40 countries.(True Speed Communication/Hall of Fame Racing PR)(7-30-2008)
Hall of Fame Racing facing penalty for lead water bottle: UPDATE: No The #96 team with driver J.J. Yeley was penalized before the first lap of Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway was completed. The team faces further penalties from NASCAR next week. Officials found two water bottles filled with lead weighing approximately 15 pounds each in the car as it was rolled onto pit road prior to the race. The move was done to make the car lighter when the bottles were replaced with water and skirt the mandatory weight minimum. The car was then put back through inspection and given a pass-through penalty on the first lap, putting Yeley a lap down.(ESPN.com)(7-12-2008)
UPDATE: After the race, NASCAR met with Hall of Fame racing co-owner Tom Garfinkel and apparently cleared the team of any wrongdoing. “NASCAR had reason to believe we were doing something we shouldn’t have been doing – and we weren’t doing it,” Garfinkel said. “But they had sufficient reason to believe that because of some mistakes in procedure that we made.” Yeley said that each week, his team uses a drink system that requires crew members to put a cold water bag into the car before the race. If they put it in early, it gets too hot and isn’t drinkable. But NASCAR apparently felt something was amiss, and ran the car through inspection both with and without the water bag to address weight concerns. Officials apparently suspected that the #96 team had gone to the old trick of putting lead in the water bag to make extra weight. After the race, Pemberton said the team had “served our penalties. We’re done with them,” he said. “We’re comfortable with that team and we feel like they weren’t trying to pull the wool over our eyes.”(SceneDaily.com)(7-13-2008) Comment here
Yeley goes for a journey ay Daytona: In Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, J.J. Yeley’s #96 DLP HDTV Toyota will have a special paint scheme featuring the film “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which is set to be released July 11. The film, based on the Jules Verne novel, is a co-venture between New Line Cinema and Walden Media and is the first live-action feature film to be shot and released entirely in digital 3-D. What does this have to do with DLP? Given that more than 700 theaters throughout the United States offer the digital 3-D experience powered by DLP Cinema technology, several Americans will watch this historic movie thanks to DLP products.(True Comminications/JGR PR)(7-3-2008)
Wood Brothers' Salute the Troops Goes On; The #96 Car: Wood Brothers' "Salute the Troops" message will pay tribute this Memorial Day weekend, thanks to the generosity of Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel, co-owners of Hall Of Fame Racing and the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, driven by J.J. Yeley. On Thursday, the Wood Brothers #21 Air Force Ford Fusion failed to qualify for the Coca Cola 600. Immediately following qualifying, Tom Garfinkel offered to display the Salute the Troops decal, as well as the Air Force logo on their race car. Eddie Wood noted, "It's tough not being in the top 35. We felt Jeff and Tom truly appreciate our Armed Forces and the difficulty of this sport. We feel their offer to help came from the heart." The Salute the Troops decals were to be placed on the # 21 car this Memorial Day weekend to honor members of the Air Force, as well as the rest of the Armed Forces for their service to our country.(Wood Brothers Racing PR)(5-25-2008) Comment here
Lopez and HOF Racing part ways? hearing that #96 Hall of Fame Racing and Competition Director [and former crew chief], Philippe Lopez parted ways on Tuesday.(5-8-2008) Comment here
Diamondbacks logo on the #96: That weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, J.J. Yeley's #96 Camry will sport an Arizona Diamondbacks 10th anniversary logo. Hall of Fame owners are Diamondbacks chief executive officer Jeff Moorad and chief operating officer Tom Garfinkel.(USA Today)(4-3-2008)
TI DLP to re-sign with HOF Racing, Staubach retiring UPDATE: DLP HDTV is expected to sign a contract extension through 2009 to continue as the primary sponsor of the #96 car. Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman became minority owners in Hall of Fame Racing, a Sprint Cup organization, when a group led by Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel bought controlling interest late last season. Aikman plans to invest in the team and attend some races every year. Staubach said he's ready to retire from racing, probably after this season. "It's not a goal of mine to continue," said Staubach, who made it clear he likes the new management of Hall of Fame Racing. "They've given me an opportunity to stay involved, but I told them I've got a lot going on. I don't like to be partly involved in things." Aikman also has other business interests, including his job as analyst for Fox's No. 1 announcing team. He said his role this Cup season isn't much different than what it was the first two years of the team's existence. Aikman was a majority owner, but Bill Saunders ran the daily operations. Now Garfinkel handles much of that role. Aikman will also be around at least through 2009 because he trusts and respects Moorad, Aikman's agent and longtime friend. Aikman said he's proud of what the one-car team has done. But to consistently finish in the top 20, it needs to get a second car and more resources. Moorad and Garfinkel plan to provide that. The second car could run as early as next season [supposedly with Brad Coleman as the driver].(Dallas Morning News)(4-1-2008)
UPDATE: DLP HDTV officials announced that they will extend their sponsorship of the #96 Hall of Fame Racing Toyota driven by J.J. Yeley in the Sprint Cup Series. DLP HDTV, which has been the primary sponsor on the #96 car since its inception in 2006, will remain in that role through the 2009 season. "We've been extremely pleased with our sponsorship of the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota," said Dave Duncan, sponsorship marketing manager, DLP Products, Texas Instruments.(Hall of Fame Racing PR)(4-2-2008) Comment here
Changes at the #96? UPDATE 3 Boyer Named Crew Chief: hearing there could be a crew chief change coming at the #96 Hall of Fame Racing team...Slugger Labbe could be coming over from the now idle #27 Bill Davis Racing team. Brandon Thomas is the current crew chief for J.J. Yeley at Hall of Fame Racing. There tend to be some changed during the first of weekend every season.(3-16-2008)
UPDATE: been told thatLabbe was seen at Bristol in a Bill Davis Racing sweatshirt and been told by BDR rep that Labbe is still with BDR and will help out the #22 CAT team in testing the next couple weeks.(3-17-2008)
UPDATE 2: Richard “Slugger” Labbe, who was crew chief of the #27 Bill Davis Racing car, has parted ways with the team, a BDR spokesman confirmed Monday.(SceneDaily)(3-18-2008)
UPDATE 3: Hall of Fame Racing officials announced that Steve Boyer will serve as crew chief for driver J.J. Yeley and the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry beginning with the Goody’s Cool Orange 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend March 29-30 at Martinsville. Boyer, who has worked within the engineering department at HoFR since December 2007, takes over for Brandon Thomas, who had served as crew chief since October 2006. Boyer is no stranger to the top of the pit box, as he was Sterling Marlin’s crew chief at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for the last six races of the 2004 Sprint Cup Series season and the entire 2005 campaign.(HOF PR)(3-18-2008)
Sadler's and Yeley enter Horsepower Series UPDATE: Elliott and Hermie Sadler, and J.J. Yeley will join a cast of eight stock car personalities [five to be named later] as they will team with Power Golf Professionals Sean Fister, Brooks Baldwin, Danny Luirette, Kevin Bullard, Vince Howell, Scott Ionno, JD Murkerson, and Carl Wolter in the 2008 HorsePower Tee Shot Tour. The Horsepower Tee Shot Tour (HTST) will include six events being played under the lights during race weeks next season. The scoring format will not only reward length off the tee, but accuracy as well. SPEED TV will be airing all the HTST events during the summer and early fall of 2008. Jeff Hammond is the spokesman for the HTST and NASCAR on FOX broadcaster. In addition to the “Power Golf” competition, each stop on the Tour also will include a golf trick-shot exhibition, fan participation and a charity event to benefit the Petty’s Victory Junction Gang Camp.(HTST PR)(12-30-2007)
UPDATE: HorsePower Sports Marketing (HSM), the sanctioning body of the 2008 Horsepower Tee Shot Tour (HTST), proudly welcomes Brian Vickers, its fifth stock car personality, to the upcoming 2008 HTST season. The six "Power Golf" events constituting the HTST take place during Sprint Cup race weeks at select venues in close proximity to the race tracks between May and October. All events are scheduled to air on SPEED.(SPEED PR)(3-11-2008), for the tour schedule and more info, see hpteeshottour.com.
Hall of Fame Racing Forms Board of Advisors: Hall of Fame Racing officials announced today the formation of a Board of Advisors to serve as conduits for excellence in business practices and driving more value for sponsors. Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel own Hall of Fame Racing and field the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series for driver J.J. Yeley. "The concept of an Advisory Board for a race team is something that we believe can help us in the development and execution of our plan for successful growth," Garfinkel said. "In an effort to add more value to sponsors and operate with transparency about how their investments in our team are deployed, we've invited executive leadership from our sponsors to participate on the Board as well."
"This is a virtual dream team of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs who will assist us in our quest for building a great organization," Moorad said. "Their vast experience and unparalleled integrity will be invaluable to us and our partners as we move forward."
The Board of Advisors will consist of: Bob Damon, President of Korn/Ferry International; Tom Davin, CEO of Panda Restaurants Inc.; Mike Gray, most recently President and CEO of Sweet Life Enterprises; Ken Kendrick, Managing General Partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bob Piccinini, Chairman and CEO of Save Mart Supermarkets; Stephen Prough,
retired Chairman and CEO of Long Beach Acceptance Corporation; Conrad Wetterau, President and CEO of Quality Beverage Inc., Mark Wetterau, Chairman and CEO of Golden State Foods.(Hall of Fame Racing PR)(2-13-2008)
Hall of Fame Team members suit up, play ball on MLB field: t's not unusual for a softball game to break out during a company picnic. But when management also owns a Major League Baseball team, you can count on your corporate outing to be a little different.Consider the case of Hall of Fame Racing's little get-together last month at Phoenix, hosted by new team owners Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel. The team gathered at Chase Field on Saturday evening, expecting to take a routine photo. Instead, they were ushered into the visitor's clubhouse, where each locker contained a Arizona Diamondbacks uniform, complete with each team member's name on the back. nd that was only the beginning of what turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for the crew of the #96 car, as they not only got to experience what it feels like to be on the field at a major-league stadium, but to play a four-inning game -- including a public address announcer, scoreboard and video highlights.(NASCAR.com)(12-12-2007)
Hall of Fame Racing to Partner with Toyota Hall of Fame Racing (HoFR) officials announced today at Phoenix International Raceway that the team will partner with Toyota and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. J.J. Yeley will drive the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry in 2008 for HoFR, and the team will continue their strategic alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) - leasing engines and receiving manufacturing support from JGR. "I've had the good fortune of working with Toyota in the past. Toyota
is an industry leading company and an exceptional partner who is committed to winning," said Tom Garfinkel, owner of HoFR. "We're also thrilled to continue our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing - a first-class organization who has been supportive of us from day one." Yeley's first appearance in a Toyota in Sprint Cup competition will come in the Feb. 9 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Yeley earned his way into the non-points paying event via his first career Cup pole on June 15, 2007 at Michigan International Speedway.(Hall of Fame Racing PR)(11-9-2007)
Looks like HOF Racing going to Toyota UPDATE: Expect an announcement from Hall of Fame Racing in the next seven to 10 days that it is switching to Toyota for 2008, sources said. HOF is a satellite outfit to Joe Gibbs Racing, which already has confirmed that it will move next year. The team will add a second full-time Spring Cup car in 2009 for 19-year-old phenom Brad Coleman. J.J. Yeley will drive for HOF next season, with Coleman doing as many as seven Cup races in 2008.(Ford Racing)(11-3-2007)
UPDATE: Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel, the new majority owners of Hall of Fame Racing, said they'll make a decision within a few weeks on an engine manufacturer. Hall of Fame has always used Chevy engines, but it has also maintained a working agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing, which will switch to Toyota next season. "If we continue the Gibbs alliance, certainly it would be Toyota," Garfinkel said. "That would be our preference. But we're investigating all opportunities." Moorad and Garfinkel, who are members of the Arizona Diamondbacks' ownership group, took over Hall of Fame in September from the original group headed by former Cowboys star quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.(Dallas Morning News)(11-5-2007)
Coleman Signs with Hall of Fame Racing: Rookie driver Brad Coleman, only a few short weeks after signing for a full-time ride with Brewco Motorsports in the Busch Series, has turned around and signed another contract to go Sprint Cup racing in 2008 with Hall of Fame Racing. The 19-year-old Texas native has agreed to become a full-time test driver for the team and run at least seven Cup races at the end of the 2008 season; meaning Hall of Fame will add a second car along side the #96 piloted by J.J. Yeley. Following proper development, Coleman will pilot the Cup ride at Hall of Fame Racing full time in 2009, although a sponsor and number for the entry has yet to be determined.(NASCAR.com)(11-2-2007)
Gibbs expects Hall of Fame to remain affiliated, join Toyota: Hall of Fame Racing officials have not informed Joe Gibbs Racing whether the team will remain affiliated with JGR and move to Toyota next season, but JGR has no indication that it won't. Hall of Fame Racing buys chassis, bodies and engines from JGR, which announced last month that it was switching to Toyota. Hall of Fame has yet to make a final decision, according to the team. "The conversations we've had so far would indicate they will be back with us," JGR Senior Vice President Jimmy Makar said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I'm expecting them to be there. I think they are still looking at some different options, but from what I understand, we're probably going to be where they will end up."(SceneDaily.com)(10-28-2007)
Yeley to test at Atlanta in the #96: on Monday and Tuesday next week, J.J. Yeley will work toward getting 2008 off to a good start by testing the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for Hall of Fame Racing (HoFR) at Atlanta. Yeley will drive for HoFR beginning in 2008 and will test for the team during NASCAR’s two-day open test at Atlanta with the Car of Tomorrow (CoT). Teley tested the #96 recently at Kentucky Speedway.(JGR PR), Kyle Busch will test the #18 car for JGR, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will test for Hendrick Motorsports, could see other dirvers in their 2008 rides in the Atlanta COT test.(10-25-2008)
Hall of Fame Undecided on Manufacturer: #96-Hall of Fame Racing is still trying to decide on a manufacturer next year, according to new team co-owner Tom Garfinkel. Garfinkel said discussions continue with Toyota so that his team could continue its alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. "We don't have a manufacturer yet at this point," Garfinkel said Sunday at Kansas Speedway. "We should know in the next week or two. We're working on it. ... We expect to be with Gibbs and we're hopeful that we get everything worked out in the next week.(SceneDaily.com)(10-1-2007)
Raines Looking, maybe other NASCAR series: Hall of Fame Racing driver Tony Raines, who will not drive the #96 next season as J.J. Yeley takes over, said he knows the chances of earning a Cup ride in 2008 are slim. He hopes to drive in one of NASCAR's other series. "I'm disappointed, but I understand the decision," said Raines, who ran into Jeff Green on the eighth lap of Saturday's race and finished 35th. "When you don't have the results that are expected, changes are made. It's tough, but that's what happens."(Dallas Morning News)(9-10-2007)
Hall of Fame Racing to name 2008 driver today....Yeley UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing hold a Driver Announcement for #96 Nextel Cup Series Team on Tuesday afternoon at their shop in Huntersville, NC. This press conference is CLOSED to the public.(PR)
AND hearing that J.J. Yeley will be named the driver.(9-4-2007)
UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing has signed J.J. Yeley to drive for the #96 team in the Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2008. Yeley's debut in the #96 DLP HDTV car [rumored to be Toyota in 2008, now a Chevy] will come in February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. His entry into the prestigious event came via his first career pole at Michigan International Speedway this past June. "In 23 years of being involved in professional sports, I have worked with many great athletes," said Jeff Moorad, owner of Hall of Fame
Racing. "J.J Yeley's determination to succeed reminds me of many of the championship athletes that I have been around in my career. He is hungry and determined to win races and championships and to do it with class. We look forward to J.J. being an integral part of Hall of Fame Racing and to winning with him going forward." Yeley comes to Hall of Fame Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing, the team for which he drove full-time in the Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2006. Yeley will take over for Tony Raines, current driver of the #96
DLP HDTV Chevy, following the conclusion of the 2007 season. "After meeting with Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel it was easy to see why both of them have been so successful with the Arizona Diamondbacks and their other past ventures," said Yeley, whose contract with Hall of Fame Racing runs through the 2010 season. "Both of them are very determined
to be successful. They know you can't just come in and throw money at the team and expect to win races. The benefit of this team is that there's already a great history and foundation in place with equipment from Joe Gibbs Racing, which is equal to the best equipment in the sport. All those things added up to make me feel that Hall of Fame Racing and DLP will be the best fit for me."
"When you leave an organization like Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the top teams in NASCAR, you want to try to make the right step to be more successful," said Yeley, who finished a career-best second in May at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I've never had to make a decision this difficult in my life, but I'm confident that Hall of Fame Racing will be competitive week-in and week out and build the future team around me as their driver. The affiliation with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the great people in Phoenix was just an added bonus that makes it the perfect fit for me."
"We are very much looking forward to J.J. representing DLP and our retail partners," said Dave Duncan, sponsorship marketing manager for DLP Products and Texas Instruments. "We've had a relationship with J.J. the past two seasons as an associate sponsor on the #18 car and look forward to working with him in the future."
Yeley replaces Tony Raines, who has driven for Hall of Fame Racing the past two seasons and will drive the final 11 races in 2007. "I very much enjoyed working with everyone at Hall of Fame Racing and DLP," Raines said. "I can't thank them enough for everything they did for me and both companies are class organizations. We had some success, especially in the Car of Tomorrow (COT) races and I look forward to running the final 11 races, including the five COT races. We're going to do our best to finish out strong before we go our separate ways. I wish them the best of luck in 2008 and beyond."(True Speed Communication/Hall of Fame Racing PR)(9-4-2007)
Baseball Execs Buy Majority of Hall of Fame Racing: UPDATE; Two executives with the Arizona Diamondbacks have purchased majority interest in the team owned by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. Jeff Moorad, chief executive officer of the Diamondbacks, and Tom Garfinkel, the chief operating officer, will be introduced as the controlling owners of Hall of Fame Racing Sunday at California Speedway, two people familiar with the deal told the AP. The original ownership group, including Aikman and Staubach, will remain involved as minority owners. But Moorad, who is part of the Diamondbacks ownership group, and Garfinkel will have controlling interest. Garfinkel has vast racing experience through his previous role as executive vice president of Chip Ganassi Racing. Moorad founded his own management company in 1983, and has represented athletes such as Manny Ramirez, Will Clark, Steve Young, Warren Moon, and Aikman. It was that previous relationship with Aikman that led the executives to Hall of Fame Racing when they began looking for a team to purchase. Hall of Fame Racing has a close alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, and that's not expected to change with the sale. Gibbs currently fields Chevy, but is expected to announce next week that it is switching to Toyota. Although aspects of the Hall of Fame sale are still being discussed, sources told the AP the team will use the same manufacturer that Gibbs does next season.(USA Today/Associated Press)(9-2-2007)
UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing will continue its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and follow its switch from Chevy to Toyota in 2008, the teams announced. HFR general partner Bill Saunders and Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs announced the partnership extension. JGR is expected to announce Wednesday its move to Toyota. JGR supplies engines, chassis and bodies to HFR in a lease agreement. Tony Raines is the driver of HFR's car, which is sponsored by DLP/Texas Instruments. [new owner Tom] Garfinkel said no decision has been made on whether Raines will return next season. DLP is in the second year of a three-year deal with the team and will continue next season as the primary sponsor.(ESPN.com)(9-3-2007)
Hall of Fame Racing Undecided on Manufacturer: #96-Hall of Fame Racing general manager Philippe Lopez said the team hasn't decided which manufacturer it will partner with next season. If Hall of Fame Racing doesn't go to Toyota, it would look at other Chevy teams like Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Lopez said his team has talked to both owners about that possibility. Lopez said Hall of Fame Racing is in the second year of a three-year deal with Gibbs, but that they can opt out of the contract if Gibbs switches manufacturers.(Dallas Morning News)(9-1-2007)
Different look for the #66 in September, Green wins wager: The #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy is sporting a different look this weekend. Beginning at California Speedway and continuing through the September 16th race at New Hampshire International Speedway, the #66, driven by Jeff Green, will carry a special Best Buy "HD Done Right" paint design. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy in a number of events this season, is promoting its expertise in the area of high-definition (HD) televisions and home theaters with the pledge, "HD Done Right." The pledge, along with the yellow Best Buy tag logo, will appear on the hood of the #66 entry. In addition, the car will be painted a lighter shade of blue than what is usually seen on the Best Buy-sponsored entry, and will display special graphics on the car's sides and quarter panels, along with the logos of Samsung HDTV, Comcast and Garmin, associate sponsors of the #66 Best Buy machine. When Jeff Green drove his #66 Samsung HDTV / Best Buy Chevy past Tony Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevy on the final lap at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend, Green gained more than just a position - he also won a friendly wager. Green and Raines agreed that whichever driver finished lower in the Bristol race must wear a hat advertising the other driver's team and sponsor this weekend at California Speedway. Green's last lap pass means Raines will sport a #66 Best Buy racing hat for the Labor Day weekend event. In addition to occupying the primary sponsor position on the #66 Chevy, the yellow Best Buy tag logo will also be displayed on the quarter panels of Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevyat California Speedway.(GMR Marketing PR)(8-29-2007)
Green and Raines wager on Bristol finish: #96-Tony Raines and #66-Jeff Green have agreed to a friendly wager regarding the outcome of Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. While no cash will change hands, the driver that loses the bet will have to do what most competitors consider the unthinkable - wear another race
team's colors at the track. If Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevy finishes better than Green's #66 Samsung HDTV/Best Buy Chevy, Green has agreed to wear a #96 DLP
HDTV racing hat next weekend at California Speedway. In return, if Green posts the better finish, Raines will sport a #66 Best Buy racing hat for the Labor Day weekend race.(GMR Marketing/Best Buy)(8-25-2007)
Hall of Fame to Toyota if Gibbs goes; Raines could be back: Hall of Fame Racing managing partner Bill Saunders said the goal of his team remains to finish the season in the top 20 in owner points. The #96 DLP HDTV Chevy is 26th in the standings after driver Tony Raines finished 15th at Pocono last weekend. Saunders denied an Internet report this week that Hall of Fame Racing was talking to Richard Childress Racing about using their engines next season. "We're with Joe Gibbs Racing, and I don't know where any of that came from," he said. Saunders said if Joe Gibbs Racing decides to switch from Chevy to Toyota, Hall of Fame Racing would do the same as a satellite Gibbs team. Saunders also said that it's written into Raines' contract that if he finishes in the top 20 in points, he's guaranteed a spot behind the wheel next season. If he doesn't, Saunders said, the team will assess his performance and make a decision on 2008 after the season.(Dallas Morning News)(8-11-2007)
More on Gibbs to Toyota..done deal? HOF to RCR engines? UPDATE 3 denied: hearing the decision has been made and that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will switch from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2008 and the announcement should come in early September.(8-6-2007)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing still hasn’t announced whether it will switch to Toyotas next year, but the buzz is that it will. Some clues? Tony Stewart’s souvenir trailers were selling merchandise at 50% off regular price last week at the Brickyard, Stewart’s home track and a place where the Hoosier native is wildly popular. Also, a source at Richard Childress Racing said it has been approached by Hall of Fame Racing, a satellite Gibbs team, about buying engines from the newly merged RCR-Dale Earnhardt Inc., engine operation in 2008. Presumably, HOF is hedging its bets, if it ends up not being part of a Gibbs move to Toyota.(Ford Racing)(8-6-2007)
UPDATE 2: JGR will jump from Chevrolet to the Toyota camp beginning in 2008, joining Michael Waltrip Racing, Bill Davis Racing and Team Red Bull on the list of teams running Toyota Camrys. Neither Busch nor JGR have made any official comment on the move, but Gibbs officials have already informed Hall of Fame Racing that they will not continue to provide the team with engines next season, prompting Hall Of Fame to contact Richard Childress Racing about a similar engine-supply deal for 2008.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-6-2007)
UPDATE 3: Hall of Fame Racing officials have not been told by Joe Gibbs Racing that JGR will not provide the HOF with engines next season, nor have HOF officials contacted RCR.(8-6-2007)
Rush Hour 3 Scheme on the #96 at Pocono: DLP HDTV is teaming up with New Line Cinema to support the upcoming action comedy, Rush Hour 3, in a promotional partnership that includes in-theater, online and a NASCAR overlay. Rush Hour 3, starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan and directed by Brett Ratner, will be featured on Tony Raines' #96 DLP HDTV Chevy during the Aug. 5 Pennsylvania 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Rush Hour 3 opens in theaters Aug. 10. The movie will be shown across the world in a digital format on DLP Cinema projectors. DLP leads the cinema movement from film to digital movies with over 4,000 screens powered by DLP technology.(HOF Racing PR)(8-2-2007)
Many Unknowns for Hall of Fame Racing in 2008: Hall of Fame Racing is unsure whether driver #96-Tony Raines will be retained for next year, whether the team will campaign one or two Nextel Cup cars or which manufacturer those cars will come from, Chevrolet or Toyota. Much of what the team ultimatey does in 2008 hinges on what Joe Gibbs Racing, who builds motors for the team, decides to do. "We haven't made any decisions about anything at this point," said Bill Saunders, co-owner and general partner of the team. "We're a satellite Gibbs operation, and I would say if they made a decision … to go with… we go, too. If they stay with GM, we stay, too. That's all I can really say." So with HOF dependant on Gibbs, it can't decide on a manufacturer until Gibbs does. As for the rest of HOF's plans, the only constant appears to be the return of DLP as a sponsor for a third season in 2008. But whether Raines, who is 32nd in driver points, stays on board or whether the team runs a second car are decisions that are in the future. "We're still hoping for the second car. We're still talking to several groups," Saunders said. "Those conversations are going to have to come to an end pretty quick or you can't field a second car. As far as Tony goes, we have a contract with Tony for next year. It all depends on how we do for the remainder of this season, how DLP treats us. We're happy with what Tony's done for us. We've had some unfortunate stuff happen to us, which is no fault of Tony's and no fault of the team's."(SPEEDtv.com)(7-14-2007)
Fellows to race at Watkins Glen: Toronto's Ron Fellows finished second Sunday driving the #16 Cadillac CTS-V in the SCCA Speed GT Challenge series at the Grand Prix of Toronto. For the next six weeks Fellows will be on a tour preparing for and racing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup and NASCAR Busch Series. Fellows will race the #33 Kevin Harvick Incorporated Chevy first at the NBS NAPA Auto Parts 200 Aug. 3-4 at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and again at Watkins Glen International a week later. Fellows will do double duty at the Glen where he will drive the #96 DLP Hall of Fame Chevrolet in the Cup race Aug. 12. Before embarking on that journey he will be doing some testing with both Harvick and DLP -- probably at Virginia International Raceway -- in preparation for his NASCAR venture. "After (yesterday) it's all NASCAR," Fellows said. "I am really looking forward to the Montreal race. I think those (NBS) cars are going to be a hoot to drive at that track." He has won on the Formula One Montreal track before in a Camaro in the old GM Racing Series. Fellows also has three Busch race wins and a pair of Craftsman Truck Series wins on his resume.(Toronto Sun)(7-10-2007)
Career start #100 for Raines: The Pepsi 400 will mark #96-Tony Raines' 100th career Nextel Cup Series start and his fourth career Nextel Cup start at Daytona.(HOF Racing PR)(7-4-2007)
HOF plans 2nd team in 2008 UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing [#96 Tony Raines] co-owner, Troy Aikman, said Tuesday on ESPN2's NASCAR Now, that the team plans to have a 2nd car in 2008 and that they need the 2nd team to get to the next level.(6-6-2007)
UPDATE: Bill Saunders, managing partner of Hall of Fame Racing, said he's pleased with how [driver Tony] Raines has performed, but that he won't decide whether Raines will return for 2008 until after the season. "As of right now, we're still committed to Tony, but there's a lot of this season to go," Saunders said. "We've got to make sure he continues to perform and that the team continues to perform." Saunders said the team has talked to different people and is hopeful it could have a second team for 2008, but no deal is imminent.(in part from the Dallas Morning News)(6-21-2007)
Fellows in the #96 at Infineon: Ron Fellows: Fellows has won at Infineon Raceway a number of times in his familiar Corvette in the American Le Mans Series, but his best NASCAR finish in Sonoma is seventh (2003). Supposedly Fellows will replace Tony Raines in the #96 HOF Racing/DLP Chevy.(6-17-2007)
UPDATE: Veteran road racing driver Ron Fellows will pilot the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet in the upcoming Nextel Cup Series road course events at Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, Calif.) and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Bill Saunders, general and managing partner of Hall of Fame Racing announced June 19. Fellows will take over for Tony Raines, who has driven the #96 car in all Nextel Cup events in 2007. "Tony has done a great job for Hall of Fame Racing and DLP this year," Saunders said. "We're very happy with what he's done so far this season and look forward to getting better throughout the summer and the fall. I've known Ron for many, many years and he is a tremendous road racer and we're thrilled to have him drive the DLP car at Infineon and Watkins Glen. We look forward to great things from him. We're also really appreciative of Tony being a true team player. As a former driver I know how hard it is to sit out a race, so for Tony to
put the team in front of himself speaks volumes about what kind of a class act he is."
Fellows, 47, from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, has a road racing resume second to none. He won 19 races in 95 starts in SCCA Trans-Am
competition before becoming the primary development driver for General Motors' Corvette C5-R program. That association produced victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring, and virtually every road racing circuit in North America.
"I'm very excited to get the opportunity to drive the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy for Hall of Fame Racing," Fellows said. "They've done a
tremendous job in just a year and a half of being in Nextel Cup and I hope to give them two great results at Infineon and Watkins Glen. I've
known Bill (Saunders) for many years and I really appreciate him, DLP and Tony giving me this opportunity. I had a chance to test with the DLP team last month at Virginia International Raceway, I got a chance to know Brandon (Thomas, crew chief) and the team. It was my first time in the Car of Tomorrow and it was a pretty good test. Hall of Fame Racing is a solid organization and I'm looking forward to racing with them."(Hall of Fame Racing/True Speed Communication PR)(6-19-2007)
Chevy unveils paint schemes to commemorate 50 Years of the '57 Chevy: One of the most recognizable cars in American motoring history reaches a notable milestone this year, a milestone which NASCAR, Chevy and Motorsports Authentics proudly celebrate. The 1957 Chevrolet, a car which turns 50 years old this year, will be commemorated at August 19’s 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway by at least 11 Team Chevy drivers. Unveiled by Jimmie Johnson at MIS today, a Monte Carlo SS race car featuring decals with cues from the iconic 1957 design is similar to the ones Johnson and other Team Chevy drivers will race during the August event. On August 18, ’57 Chevys along with many other historic vehicles will hit the streets during Metro Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise. That same weekend, Team Chevy Nextel Cup Series drivers #4-Ward Burton, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Sterling Marlin, #01-Mark Martin, #15-Paul Menard, #96-Tony Raines, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #78-Kenny Wallace and #18-J.J. Yeley will take to the track at MIS with their cars wearing special ’57 Chevy paint schemes. To commemorate this special event, Motorsports Authentics will replicate their cars with die-cast models and offer apparel and novelty items related to the event.(GM Racing PR), see an image of the #48 Scheme on my #48 Team Schemes page.(6-16-2007)
Hall of Fame Racing still wants 2nd car sponsor: Troy Aikman, co-owner of #96 Hall of Fame Racing, said his team continues to seek sponsorship to add a second Nextel Cup team. "We would very much like to have multiple cars," Aikman said. "We understand that's the best way for us to be able to compete and the level we'd like to. It's the best way for us to operate the team more efficiently economically." Aikman said he doesn't know when they'd need sponsorship in place to run the second car in 2008. He said they were able to compete in the 2006 Daytona 500 after Texas Instruments came in six months earlier. "The sooner the better," Aikman said. "But I do think we have the infrastructure in place and, of course, with our alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, that allows us to move things quicker than what some other single-car teams could once they got a second car."(Dallas Morning News)(4-16-2007)
Aikman can't figure out NASCAR's infractions: Troy Aikman [owner of #96-Tony Raines/Hall of Fame Racing] said the most surprising thing he's learned since getting into NASCAR in 2006 is how series officials handle penalties. "I still haven't been able to quite figure out how NASCAR decides on their degrees of punishment," he said. "How those are handed down. I don't want to use the word inconsistency." Aikman cited his team's first race from 2006, when it was docked 25 points and fined $25,000 for using an illegal carburetor in qualifying at the Daytona 500. At the same race, Jimmie Johnson's team set up the car so it could change height during qualifying. No points were deducted, but the team lost its crew chief for four races. "I think for the most part," Aikman said, "how things are handled and how punishment is given out [in the NFL] is pretty consistent from one case to the next, and I don't know that is the case in NASCAR."(Dallas Morning News)(4-16-2007)
Special Helmet Scheme for Raines: #96-Tony Raines will wear a special military-themed helmet today [in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway] that was painted by artist David Arrigo. The helmet was to be auctioned off Saturday night at the Speedway Children's Charity Auction at TMS. The winner will get the helmet after Raines wears it today. Raines, Arrigo and Hall of Fame Racing owners Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach will sign it. Staubach graduated from the Navel Academy, and Raines' father was in the Air Force.(Dallas Morning News)(4-15-2007)
Raines and Montoya clear the air on wreck: Tony Raines, driver of the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy for Hall of Fame Racing, talked with Juan Pablo Montoya between practice sessions. Raines was looking at a possible top-10 finish at Martinsville until Montoya swerved inside of Raines and sent him into the wall on lap 377 of 500. "I thought we needed to talk about it and find out why it happened to put it behind us so it won't happen again," Raines said. "I shared my point of view and he shared his. I didn't want things to build because sometimes a bunch of little things turns into a big thing." Raines ended up 20th. Montoya was not available for comment.(Dallas Morning News)(4-14-2007)
Raines tests at Caraway: #96-Tony Raines and the Hall of Fame Racing Team headed to Caraway on Tuesday, March 27, to shake down the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy Impala SS [COT] in preparation for Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Both tracks are similar in layout, and Raines is hoping the one-day test session will lead to a productive weekend at Martinsville. Officials from DLP HDTV donated 80 tickets for this weekends Goody's Cool Orange 500 to members of the Virginia Army National Guard and their families.(HOF Racing)(3-29-2007)
#96 to run Shrek III scheme: Tony Raines is scheduled to run a Shrek III [movie] on the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy at Richmond in May.(HOF Racing) See an image of the car on my #96 Team Schemes page.(2-22-2007)
Raines tests first COT for HOF Racing: Tony Raines and the Hall of Fame Racing team tested the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy "Car of Tomorrow" (COT) on Feb. 20 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC. Itmarked the first test with the COT for Hall of Fame Racing and the first time Raines has driven the car.(True Speed Communication/HOF Racing PR)(2-21-2007)
Dallas Cowboy colors for the #96 at Texas: The importance of the race will be highlighted by a special paint scheme on Raines’ #96 DLP HDTV Chevy. The regular blue, black and green paint scheme will be replaced by dark blue and silver as a tribute to Aikman and Staubach’s incredible football careers in Dallas. A small number 8 (Aikman) will appear on the left C-post of the car and a small 12 (Staubach) will appear on the right C-Post. Each of their signatures will appear beneath their respective numbers. On Wed., Nov. 1, eleven members of Hall of Fame Racing’s pit crew and shop team were scheduled to go skydiving with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights. The jump occurred at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.(HOF Racing PR), see images of the car on my #96 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2006)
Thomas named new crew chief for Hall of Fame Racing: Brandon Thomas will serve as crew chief of the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy driven by Tony Raines beginning with the Bank of America 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway officials from
Hall of Fame Racing announced today. Philippe Lopez, who has served as crew chief for the first 30 races of the season, will now concentrate full-time on his duties as competition director for Hall of Fame Racing. "We've had this plan in place since the beginning of the season," said Bill Saunders, managing partner of Hall of Fame Racing. "At some point in the near future we want to expand to two cars, move into a bigger shop and continue to put together an elite Nextel Cup team. Philippe was doing a fantastic job, not only serving as crew chief, but also as competition director. We're excited to bring Brandon in so that he can concentrate fully on being a crew chief and Philippe can concentrate solely on being competition director to further Hall of Fame Racing's growth." Thomas comes to Hall of Fame Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) where he's been employed since 2003. JGR supplies cars, engines and technical support to Hall of Fame Racing, which is owned by Hall of Fame NFL quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, as well as Saunders. Raines and Thomas will work together for the final six races of the 2006 season before gearing up for the 2007 season.(Hall of Fame Racing/True Speed Communication PR)(10-10-2006)
Raines back in #96 in 2007 UPDATE: Tony Raines is expected to be back behind the wheel of the Hall of Fame Motorsports #96 Chevy next season.(Speed Channel)(8-5-2006)
UPDATE: Tony Raines will return to Hall of Fame Racing and the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for the 2007 season, Hall of Fame
Racing officials announced Aug. 23. Raines will compete in every event on the 2007 Nextel Cup Series schedule. Raines has shared driving duties with Labonte this season, posting a best finish of 11th on August 6 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Labonte drove the first five races of the season and the two road course events at Sonoma [finished 3rd] and Watkins Glen. Raines has competed in 16 races and will drive the remaining events on the 2006 schedule. "I'm happy to be coming back," Raines said. "I think we've made progress and we're learning, but we are a long way from being as good as I know we will be. I'm looking forward to finishing 2006 in a strong way and having a great season in 2007 in the DLP HDTV Chevy." In 16 starts in 2006, Raines has scored 10 top-25 finishes and helped the team to 27th in Nextel Cup owner points.(Hall of Fame/True Speed Communications PR)(8-23-2006)
Special Paint for #96 at Texas in November: The #96 DLP HDTV Chevy that Tony Raines drivers will sport a speicial Navy Blue, Silver and white scheme at the Novemeber race at Texas Motor Speedway. It is designed after co-owners Roger Staubach and and Troy Aikman's Dallas Cowboy colors and to honor their inductions into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to reflect upon their accomplishments in their first year in the Nextel Cup Series. Plus it is running at sponsor Texas Instruments DLP HDTV home base.(Hall of Fame Racing), see an image of the scheme on my #96 Team Schemes page.(8-18-2006)
Raines gets a ride in F-16 Fighter: Former Indiana resident Raines, driver of the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy for Hall of Fame Racing got the ride of his life Aug. 1 courtesy of the 181st Fighter Wing based in Terre Haute, Ind. Col. Chris "Bert" Colbert gave Raines an orientation flight, and the two spent a little more than an hour flying over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, site of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 6, and parts of Indiana and Illinois. "That was awesome," Raines said. "I can't believe I got to do that. It was just absolutely incredible. We took off, and we were at the Speedway in about eight to 10 minutes. We flew right down the main stretch. I just can't even describe the feeling and the adrenaline. The rolls, the loops, the G-forces; it was incredible. It's something I've always wanted to do, and it was everything I thought it would be." Raines spent the morning in Terre Haute getting a flight physical and then learning about the F-16D in which he would fly. He was given instruction about entering and exiting the aircraft, how to handle g-forces and emergency procedures. If Raines didn't have enough excitement in his day, after the flight he headed to Interstate 70 to make the 73-mile journey to Indianapolis to throw the first pitch at the Indianapolis Indians/Toledo Mud Hens Triple-A baseball game at Victory Field. Raines, who pitched in high school at LaPorte, Ind., threw a fastball, a little low and outside.(True Speed Communication PR)(8-3-2006)
Aikman to be inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame: Hall of Fame Racing will truly become Hall of Fame Racing on Saturday [August 5th] when #96 team owner Troy Aikman is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio [along with the Hall of Fame game featuring Jayski fave the Philadelphia Eagles vs the Oakland Raiders]. Aikman co-owns the team with 1985 Hall of Fame inductee Roger Staubach and managing partner Bill Saunders. The team gets engines, cars and technical assistance from Joe Gibbs Racing, owned by 1996 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs.(HOF Racing PR)(8-2-2006)
Raines status in the #96 car: #96 Hall of Fame Car owner Roger Staubach said before the race that the team will look at how the team's regular driver, Tony Raines, performs in the second half of the season to determine if he'll drive for the team next season.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2006)
DLP to be used in premire of CARS at LMS: Texas Instruments DLP Cinema technology has been exclusively chosen as the digital cinema projection technology for the worldwide premiere of Disney/Pixar's thrilling new computer-animated feature, CARS at Lowe's Motor Speedway Friday May 26th [sold out]. Manufacturers Barco, Christie, and NEC are supplying a total of twelve DLP Cinema projectors to pull off an amazing feat of lighting up four custom built 115-foot screens for first ever multi-screen outdoor projection event. The world premiere will take place on Friday May 26th in the heart of NASCAR country at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC before a crowd of 30,000 movie and sports fans. The twelve DLP Cinema projectors will deliver an incredible 240,000 combined lumens and 35 trillion colors to light up the four 115' screens that will be positioned around turn two of the Speedway. This represents the largest square footage delivery of a movie ever. To top off the weekend, the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy [see image on the #96 Team Schemes page] rolet will be wrapped as the movie's main character, Lightning McQueen, for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Nextel Cup race on Sunday, May 28th.(HOF Racing PR)(5-24-2006)
HOF Racing not to appeal ruling: Bill Saunders, co-owner and general partner of the #96 Hall of Fame Racing team, said Sunday the team will not use its final appeal to try to overturn penalties imposed by NASCAR for a technical violation in Daytona 500 qualifying. NASCAR inspectors found an unapproved carburetor modification was used in the #96 DLP Chevy. A three-member panel from the National Stock Car Racing Commission last week unanimously upheld the NASCAR ruling, including a $25,000 fine to crew chief Philippe Lopez and loss of 25 points by both driver Terry Labonte and Saunders, listed as owner of the car and a co-owner of the new team with former NFL quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. The team could have appealed that ruling to NASCAR commissioner Charles D. Strang.(ESPN.com/AP)(3-13-2006)
HOF Racing appeal denied: Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach's #96 Hall of Fame Racing team will have to live with its Daytona penalty. The team's appeal was denied Tuesday by a three-person review panel of the National Stock Car Racing Commission at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC. HOF Racing's #96 DLP Chevy team was penalized 25 championship points and crew chief Philippe Lopez was fined $25,000 on Feb. 21 for using a carburetor that didn't meet regulations during qualifying for the Daytona 500.
The team appealed the decision because the carburetor and engine came from Joe Gibbs Racing, which is supplying equipment to HOF.
HOF officials didn't have a comment after the verdict was announced. The points penalty is costly for HOF because the team needs to stay in the top 35 in the standings to have a guaranteed spot in the field at each Nextel Cup race. Terry Labonte, who is driving the car for the first five races, ranks 31st after the first two events. But the team would rank 26th if not for the points deduction. Labonte has a guaranteed spot as a past Nextel Cup champion, but he's only driving the first five races. Tony Raines takes over in Martinsville on April 2.
Aikman and Staubach did not attend the appeal hearing. J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, went to the hearing with Bill Saunders, the managing general partner of HOF, and Lopez.(Dallas Morning News)(3-8-2006)
Hall of Fame Racing Appeal Date set: Hall of Fame Racing's appeal of a fine and two points deductions meted out by NASCAR for infractions discovered at Daytona International Speedway will be heard Tuesday [March 7th] in Concord, NC. The start-up Nextel Cup Series team is co-owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks and Pro Football Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.
HOF Racing was hit with three penalties last week after an unapproved carburetor was found following qualifying for the Daytona 500 on the #96 DLP Chevy driven by Terry Labonte. NASCAR fined crew chief Philippe Lopez $25,000, even though the team's engines are supplied by Joe Gibbs Racing. Labonte, who finished 17th in the race, was docked 25 championship points. Dallasite Bill Saunders, managing partner of HOF Racing, was fined 25 owners points.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-3-2006)
Aikman Perplexed by Penalty: Pro Football Hall-of-Famer to be Troy Aikman questioned NASCAR's 25-point penalty for an illegal carburetor modification found on the #96 Hall of Fame Racing car in post-qualifying inspection Feb. 12 for the Daytona 500. Aikman and co-owner Roger Staubach were not expecting a points penalty because Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said Feb. 14 that it didn't look as if it was an intentional violation. But NASCAR announced Feb. 21 that crew chief Philippe Lopez was fined $25,000 and the team lost 25 driver points and owner points. "I don't know how that encourages new ownership and how that encourages new sponsors to get involved in the sport to where penalties are handed down that are very prohibitive and affect the ability of these people to bring millions of dollars and see results," Aikman said prior to the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. "It's discouraging to say the least." The team is appealing the decision. "Whenever we have to issue a penalty, we do a history of penalties to try to stay consistent," Darby said Feb. 24. "The huge majority of carburetor violations that we've seen over the last five years have all been the same penalties as were issued to the 96." The illegal modification was in one of the four ports in the carburetor, team general partner Bill Saunders said after the infraction was found but before the penalty was announced. He added that it was from bad machinery. "Right is right and wrong is wrong," Aikman said Feb. 26. "To me, that was unequivocally wrong. I don't know there is anymore I can say about it or anymore we can do about it. I'm hoping that more reasonable heads prevail when they get a chance to look at the appeal, but I'm not confident anything will happen there because I'm not sure why they wouldn't prevail when they were handing down penalties to begin with."(Scene Daily)(2-27-2006)
Explanation of why no points penalty for #48: Examples:
Last March at Las Vegas, #29 crew chief Todd Berrier welded the fuel filler so it looked like it was full of fuel when it wasn't.
Two weeks ago at Daytona, the Hall of Fame Racing's #96 car qualified with an unapproved carburetor.
According to NASCAR, those two infractions warranted not only a fine but a reduction of 25 driver and owner points because the fuel filler and the carburetor were absolutely unapproved parts. NASCAR was able to walk over to the car and confiscate those pieces, and their use was premeditated. The pieces were specifically made to skirt NASCAR's rules.
No points penalty
Last fall during qualifying at Talladega, Berrier and the #29 team had some trap doors in the trunk that weren't properly sealed off. The shocks were open when they were supposed to be closed. And some hose clamp that holds the fuel-filler pipe in place came loose. The next thing you know, Kevin Harvick's car had air underneath the car, going up through the trunk and escaping out a hole in the back of the tail light. In that instance, no unapproved parts or pieces were used.
During Daytona 500 qualifying this year, crew chief Chad Knaus and the #48 team put a sleeve over the trackbar adjuster. Like the #29 car at Talladega last fall, all of those parts and pieces were still part of the car that they raced in the Daytona 500.
so....Points penalty: In simple terms, here's the pattern. If you maliciously put something on a car that's made or machined, and it's an unapproved piece that can be confiscated, the team will be fined, the crew chief will be suspended and the driver and owner will lose 25 points.
No points penalty: If you take something that's already on the car and use it to beat the spirit of the rule, then it warrants a suspension and a fine, but it does not warrant the loss of 25 driver and owner points. See Larry McReynolds full article at FoxSports.(2-23-2006)
#96 HOF and JGR to appeal penalties: Hall of Fame Racing has an engine lease program with Joe Gibbs Racing, and the
unapproved carburetor came with the engine supplied to Hall of Fame Racing. "Joe Gibbs Racing provides all of the engines and carburetors for Hall of Fame Racing," said Gibbs. "We are responsible for any issues having arisen from the unapproved carburetor that was taken by NASCAR in Daytona. It is never our intention to put any unapproved parts on any of our race cars or those of our partners. We will join Hall of Fame Racing in appealing the severity of the penalty."(JGR PR)(2-21-2006)
#48 and #96 Penalties Announced:
NASCAR announced today that four penalties have been issued to two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, as a result of rule violations this past weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, has been fined $25,000 and suspended from all NASCAR events until March 22, 2006 [thru Atlanta race]. Knaus has also been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2006. The penalties come because of an unapproved template modification to the rear window area, violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-3.12.1 (A) (unapproved template modification.) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule book. The violation was discovered during Feb. 12 post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500. On Feb. 13, NASCAR ejected Knaus from further participation in Daytona 500 activities as a result of the violation.[No Point Penalties]
Three penalties were assessed to the #96 Chevrolet team, due to the use of an unapproved carburetor, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book. Crew chief Philippe Lopez was fined $25,000; driver Terry Labonte was penalized with the loss of 25 driver championship points; and car owner William Saunders was penalized 25 owner championship points. This rule violation was also discovered during post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500.(NASCAR PR)(2-21-2006)
HOF: What Happened in Daytona Qualifying: Representatives of the new Hall of Fame Racing team owned by the famous quarterbacks got called to NASCAR's version of the woodshed Sunday after its first official laps at Daytona. A post-qualifying inspection revealed a carburetor that wasn't within regulations. NASCAR threw a yellow flag on the first play. Terry Labonte's qualifying run for the Daytona 500, a respectable 28th on speed in the #96 DLP Chevy, was disallowed. He will start at the back in his qualifying race Thursday, but he has a guaranteed spot in the 500 as a past Cup champion.
No additional penalties are expected from NASCAR until after the race, but all indications are that the violation was minor. "This is the last thing in the world Roger, Troy or I would ever do," said Bill Saunders, the managing general partner of HOF. "Not in a million years would we want something like this our first time out of the box." Inspection violations are common in NASCAR. Unfortunately, the thought of cheating often comes with it. Regardless of how it looks, no one is suggesting Aikman or Staubach – neither of whom has arrived at Daytona – attempted to cheat.
"I think it was a mistake," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. "That doesn't make it right, but I don't think there was any intent to gain a performance advantage." The engine came from Joe Gibbs Racing, the team that leases equipment and shares info with HOF. "We don't touch our engines," Saunders said. "We don't put the carburetors on. We don't even have the tool to check it, because we don't take the carburetors off the engines." Saunders said J.D. Gibbs, Joe's son and president of JGR, apologized to the HOF crew. "J.D. is sick to his stomach over this," Saunders said. "In all their years in NASCAR, they've never had an engine infraction. We'll probably get a fine, but J.D. said he was paying it." J.D. Gibbs wanted to comment but Saunders asked him not to. The problem probably was a manufacturing defect. Saunders said the person he feels the worst for is HOF crew chief Philippe Lopez. "He got placed in a box he didn't deserve," Saunders said. "He had nothing to do with this." HOF got lumped together with the announcement Sunday that Jimmie Johnson's car also was disqualified from its Pole Day run. The #48 Lowe's Chevy had a device installed that raised the rear window after inspection, giving the car an aerodynamic advantage. It got crew chief Chad Knaus booted from the Daytona 500.(in part from the Dallas Morning News)(2-14-2006)
Johnson's qualifying run disqualified MORE Burton and Gordon cars also being looked at AND #96 also disallowed: on Speed Channel's Victory Lane show, Bob Dilner reported that #48-Jimmie Johnson's Daytona 500 qualifying run has been disqualified due to an illegal traction control adjuster on the right rear of the car. Johnson had qualified 5th on Sunday with a speed of 188.762mph and the rear tires were rubbing and smoking during his run. So Johnson will not have his speed to fall back on if he has a bad run in the Gatorade Duel race on Thursday, but since he is in the top-35 2005 owners points, he is guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500. Could be a fine and/or points penalty coming.
AND Jimmie Johnson qualified 5th on Sunday in Daytona 500 time trial runs. He has been disqualified. Johnson had an illegal off-set track bar adjuster in the right rear of that car. If you remember during his time trial run, the #48 was smoking out on the racetrack in the left rear. With this illegal adjuster, it boosted up the back glass and actually made the left rear rub a little bit so that time has been disallowed by NASCAR. There are a bunch of other issues in the garage area. In fact, some issues with the #31 team of Jeff Burton. That's right. Your Daytona 500 polesitter. Those issues have to do with the engine, and that's being hotly discussed in the garage area right now.
In the media center after the Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR said it is researching several things from post-500 qualifying tech, including Burton's car as well as the #24 car of Jeff Gordon.(FoxSports), see qualifying results on my Daytona 500 Qualifying/Grid page.
UPDATE: been told that Jeff Burton's #31 Cingular Chevy passed inspection and there is no issue with the motor. BUT have been told the #96 DLP Chevy's time has been disallowed due to an unapproved carberator modification, so Terry Labonte will start from the rear at the Gatorade Duel's.(2-12-2006)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials late Sunday disqualified the Daytona 500 qualifying times set earlier in the day by Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and the #96 Hall of Fame Racing Chevy driven by Terry Labonte. According to NASCAR, in post-qualifying inspection Johnson’s car failed a template inspection, while Labonte’s car had a carburetor violation. Both cars had cleared pre-qualifying inspections. As a result, both cars will have to start in the back of the field during next Thursday’s Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race, which will set the final field for the Daytona 500. NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter said Sunday night that additional penalties could be forthcoming. Those penalties could include points taken away from the teams, monetary fines or both. Hunter said that although NASCAR had not confiscated Johnson’s car, that is also a potential option at the sanctioning body’s disposal. “These were serious infractions,” Hunter said, adding that the sanctioning body was treating them as such, given that they occurred prior to the first and most visible race of the season, the Daytona 500.(Speed Channel)(1-12-2006)
Labonte gets Heisman if he wins Daytona 500: Roger Staubach gave a speech to his new NASCAR team [#96 Hall of Fame Racing/DLP Chevy] last week in Charlotte. He was trying to pump up his charges for the daunting task at hand. Driver Terry Labonte wasn't at the shop that day. Staubach already dangled a special prize to his famous driver. "I told Terry if he wins the Daytona 500 next month, I'll give him my Heisman trophy," Staubach said. Labonte, racing his final Cup season, will drive seven races for the new team – the first five events and the two road-course races. Tony Raines will drive the other 29 Cup events. Using Labonte, a two-time Cup champion, is a smart move. It assures the team of making the field no matter how they qualify. Labonte has an automatic starting spot as a former champion. The plan is for Labonte to earn enough points in the first five races to guarantee Raines a starting spot every week. The top 35 teams in points are assured of making the 43-car field.(in part from the Dallas Morning News)(1-31-2006)
Terry Labontes 2006 #44 Schedule: Hendrick Motorsports unveiled the 2006 schedule of two-time champion Terry Labonte, who will appear in 10 races with the organization during his final year of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition. The team will again campaign its #44 Chevrolets with primary sponsorship from Kellogg Company, GMAC and CARQUEST Auto Parts. Kellogg's will continue its 12-year relationship with Labonte as primary sponsor in half of the planned events. "This is an opportunity for me to have a little more fun," said Labonte, 49, who has 22 career Cup victories and two series championships (1984 and 1996) to his credit. "I've been fortunate to do this for nearly three decades and I'm excited to go back to some of the places that have meant so much to me, my team and my family over the years." Labonte, who began racing at the Cup level in 1978, will appear at six different venues during his 2006 Hendrick Motorsports "Shifting Gears - Lone Star Style" schedule, including multiple races at Texas Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway. A Corpus Christi, Texas, native, Labonte will compete April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, followed by dates at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway. The July 23 event at Pocono will open the second half of the 10-race slate, prior to dates at California Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway. The final race of Labonte's storied career will come Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports PR). Labonte will also drive the #96 Hall of Fame Racing/DLP Chevy in the first five races of the 2006 season.(1-5-2006)
Terry Labonte not to run the Bud Shootout: Crew chief Philippe Lopez was thrilled with his new #96 Hall of Fame Racing pit crew's first practice. But Lopez says Terry Labonte will not drive in the Bud Shootout for HOFR, and that's different from what has been in some reports.(Sporting News), maybe in the #44 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy?(12-5-2005)
OFFICIAL Labonte and Raines to #96 Hall of Fame Racing: In a press conference today at Texas Motor Speedway, Hall of Fame Racing announced that Terry Labonte and Tony Raines will co-drive the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2006. Labonte, a two-time Cup Series champion and 22-time Nextel Cup race winner, will campaign the #96 DLP HDTV car in seven races, while Raines, the 1996 champion of the American Speed Association (ASA) and 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, will drive the #96 DLP HDTV machine in 29 races. “This is a milestone day for Hall of Fame Racing,” said Bill Saunders, managing partner of Hall of Fame Racing. “Terry and Tony bring a wealth of experience to our race team, and on behalf of the team’s partners – Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman – we couldn’t be happier with the selection. As part of our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing, we were able to use their expertise in selecting our drivers. Terry’s and Tony’s names were at the top of the list, and it’s a privilege to have both of them in our race cars representing DLP HDTV and Hall of Fame Racing.”
“Terry is a veteran racer and a champion and Tony is an excellent driver who has done more with less in the equipment he’s been in,” added Philippe Lopez, crew chief for Hall of Fame Racing. Terry brings three things to the table. He brings leadership, credibility and familiarity. Our cars will come from Joe Gibbs Racing, and Terry drove for them in five races this year. There’s a comfort level already built into our program, which will make the transition from Terry being behind the wheel to Tony that much smoother."
“Tony gives excellent feedback with common sense suggestions,” continued Lopez. “I had a chance to work with him a few years ago and the chemistry was there. We know he can drive when he has good equipment. He’s been able to take cars that some people probably questioned how he even made the race with and knocked down some top-20s. He’s done a lot with a little, but now he has the equipment to match his capabilities.”
Labonte will compete in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the four following races at Fontana (Calif.), Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol (Tenn.), as well as the two road course races at Sonoma (Calif.) and Watkins Glen (N.Y.). Raines will be the driver at all of the remaining Nextel Cup point races, including the non-point Nextel Open at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
“My focus is on driving the car,” said Labonte, who is essentially on loan to Hall of Fame Racing from Hendrick Motorsports, for whom Labonte will compete in 10 other races. “I know how the car should feel as far as getting it set-up. That’s something that’s tough for someone without a lot of Nextel Cup experience, because it’s hard to know what your car needs to feel like for 500 miles.
“I’ve known Tony for several years and this is a great opportunity for him because I think this will honestly be the first time that he’s ever been with a top-notch team. With me running some of the races, he can come in there and have a lot of confidence and be a real part of the team even while I’m driving the car. There’s a lot that goes into a team and what makes it work,” said Labonte. “Sometimes it’s good to be standing on the edge taking everything in. It will be beneficial for him to see how I interact with the crew when it’s his turn to get in the car. This is a really good situation.”
“I’m a big Terry Labonte fan,” said Tony Raines, who in addition to his ASA and Busch Series accolades has four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins. “To have someone to lean on is going to help me and it’s going to help the team. I’ve worked really hard at making it to this level and I feel very fortunate that I’ve stuck with it and now have an opportunity to run in the Cup Series with an association with Joe Gibbs Racing. Running their engines, their equipment and being able to use their people is something a lot of drivers wish they had. I’m very thankful that Roger, Bill, Troy and Philippe saw what I’ve known all along – that I can compete and succeed at this level given the right equipment and the right people,” added Raines. “I know Texas Instruments is excited and the team is excited, but I’m really excited. I’m back in contention to win races. As a race car driver, that’s all you want to do. Success in this sport is about the relationships you make and the relationships you keep. This team has some of the best relationships in the business, and I’m proud to be a part of Hall of Fame Racing.”
Relationships are why Texas Instruments signed on with Hall of Fame Racing to represent the DLP HDTV brand. “Between strong ownership in Roger Staubach, Bill Saunders and Troy Aikman, along with the team’s strategic alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, and smart drivers in Terry Labonte and Tony Raines, we feel that this partnership allows us to make DLP HDTV a recognized brand for the motorsports enthusiast, and for the sports enthusiast in general,” said John Van Scoter, senior vice-president of Texas Instruments and general manager of DLP products. “DLP HDTVs will let NASCAR fans see the races with incredible color and speed precision, which is why we’re here today and in the years to come with Hall of Fame Racing. We’re extremely proud to have Terry Labonte and Tony Raines representing DLP HDTV and Texas Instruments. They’ll ensure that our on-track product is as good as our own DLP HDTV product.” (roger.staubach.com), see an image of the car on my 2006 #96 Team Schemes page(11-3-2005)
Terry Labonte denies HOF gig UPDATE 2 maybe he will....: Native Texan Terry Labonte said he is not a candidate for the Cup ride at Hall of Fame Racing, the start-up team co-owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. "I've got a job," said Labonte, a two-time Cup champ who plans to retire in 2006. "I'm going to run 10 races for Hendrick Motorsports next year. That's for sure." Labonte's name surfaced here as a good fit for the Staubach-Aikman ride. The native of Corpus Christi carries with him a champion's provisional that would guarantee the team a starting spot in the season-opening Daytona 500 -- NASCAR's Super Bowl.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(10-9-2005)
HOWEVER I keep hearing that 1984 and 1996 Cup Champ, Terry Labonte will run the #96 Hall of Fame Racing / Texas Instruments Chevy for the first five races of 2006 to take advantage of the past champions provisional, with Tony Raines running the car in all the remaining races exceot the road course, where a road course specialist will likely be hired. Expect the announcement to be initially made next Thursday [Nov 3rd] at Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX.(10-26-2005)
UPDATE 2: Terry Labonte cleverly avoided the question when asked Tuesday at TMS if he might drive a few races next season for the new Hall of Fame Racing team of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. "I'm not going to run a full schedule," Labonte said. "And I have a 10-race deal with Hendrick Motorsports. And I'm definitely not driving at Talladega." That still leaves some options. Labonte could drive for Hall of Fame Racing in the Daytona 500 and a few other events at the start of the season, to ensure the team would qualify. Labonte has a past champion's provisional. The team would build up enough owners' points early in the season to ensure qualifying at the other events with a full-time driver, who is expected to be Tony Raines. The team is announcing its driver choices Thursday at TMS.(Dallas Morning News)(10-28-2005)
Bobby Labonte also denies HOF rumor: Native Texan Bobby Labonte laughed off a rumor that he is being considered for the driver's job with Hall of Fame Racing, the start-up Cup team co-owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, has driven for Joe Gibbs Racing since 1995. Interestingly, Hall of Fame Racing's 2006 Chevrolets will be supplied by Gibbs, making the team a satellite operation of Joe Gibbs Racing. Labonte declined to divulge the duration of his current contract with Gibbs. "That's my business, not yours," Labonte said. "As far as I know, I'm driving their car."(Fort Worth Star Telegram), Terry Labonte also denied he will drive the car....see below.(10-26-2005)
HOF Racing chooses driver...UPDATE 2 Raines? maybe not?: on the Roger Staubach site, this is posted: As most of you know, Troy Aikman and I are principal owners in Hall of Fame Racing with Texas Instruments DLP sponsoring our car for the 2006 Nextel Cup Season. We’ve hired a phenomenal crew chief in Phillipe Lopez and recently made a decision on who will be driving our car. We hope to have the announcement available here this week so keep your browser bookmarked for the news. NFL great Staubach is one of the owners of Hall of Fame Racing along with Troy Aikman. Rumored drivers included Tony Raines and Mike Wallace, other drivers that were rumored and denied being considered included Ward Burton, Paul Tracy and Terry Labonte. OR it could be someone we have not heard of yet.(10-17-2005)
AND also hearing Truck Series drivers and Texas native David Starr is another driver who was under consideration.(10-18-2005)
UPDATE: hearing that Tony Raines was slected as the Hall of Fame Racing driver for 2006, expect an announcement at Texas [Nov 6th race day] and supposedly Raines will not return to the #37 R&J Racing Dodge this season.(10-19-2005)
UPDATE 2: Bill Saunders, managing partner for the Hall of Fame Racing team of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, said the team will reveal its driver during the NASCAR weekend at TMS in two weeks. Busch and Nextel Cup veteran Tony Raines is one of the candidates for the job on the new Cup team, but Saunders said people are making a mistake if they speculate on the team's choice.
"I think the person we select will surprise some people," Saunders said. "Almost everyone other than Richard Petty has been rumored as our driver, so someone's going to be right, but a lot of people will be wrong."(Dallas Morning News)(10-23-2005)
Mike Wallace, no HOF and his plans: Mike Wallace talked to Motorsports Lounge owner Jason Stix Buckley tonight about the remainder of the 2005 racing season, the 2006 season and a few rumors flying around out there. First, Wallace addressed the current season part time rides in the Busch Series and Truck Series. As most know, Akins Motorsports has hired AJ Foyt IV to drive their #38 Great Clips Dodge for the remainder of the 2005 Busch Series season as well as the 2006 season. This ended Wallace's fill-in role with the team. Also, Joey Miller appears to be the driver for the rest of the 2005 Truck Series season in the #12 Darrell Waltrip owned Toyota Tundra. That leaves the #4 Morgan McClure Motorsports Lucas Oil Chevy in the Cup Series. Wallace confirmed tonight he will be driving for the team the remainder of the 2005 season.
But, what about next year? There have been many rumors surfacing about who will drive the Hall of Fame Racing car in the 2006 season. Wallace has been rumored to be in that seat. However, Wallace denied this rumor today. "The rumor that I will be driving for Hall of Fame Racing next season is false," Mike Wallace told Motorsports Lounge. "The team has someone else in mind." There are many rides available for next season's Nextel Cup Series up for grabs, including the #4 Morgan McClure Motorsports Chevy Wallace currently drives
for. It is possible Wallace will be back with the team for the next season, but nothing has been set into stone. "Right now I do not have any firm plans for 2006," Wallace said. "All I know is that I will not be driving the HOF car."(Motorsports Lounge)(10-18-2005)
Ward NOT going to HOF Racing but.... been told that Ward Burton is definitely NOT going to Hall of Fame Racing BUT is supposedly working with a sponsor that might bring him back to Nextel Cup fulltime in 2007. Burton has been contacted by several Truck Series teams, but he still considers himself a Cup driver and that's what he wants to do, however, the right Truck Series team with the right sponsor presented itself, he would give it serious thought, but for right now, he's happy with working with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation and spending time with his family.(10-13-2005)
Raines hopes to get Hall of Fame Racing gig: After meeting with Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach last week in Dallas, veteran NASCAR driver Tony Raines said he hopes he convinced the former Cowboys to hire him as the man behind the wheel of their Hall of Fame Racing team next season. "I don't know anything officially, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Raines said. "It's an opportunity of a lifetime. I think these are the right guys at the right time for me." Raines, 41, has met with officials for the new Nextel Cup team three times. Bill Saunders, the managing partner for the team, said last week that it hopes to announce its driver within two weeks. HOF officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Raines is a native of Laporte, Ind., but lives in Concord, N.C., near Lowe's Motor Speedway. He has competed in 54 Cup events since 2002. Raines ran a full season in 2003 and had one top-10 finish for an under-funded [now with #37] team. He has raced seven years in the Busch Series, finishing a career-best sixth in the 2001 standings. He said he was impressed with what he heard from Aikman and Staubach. "Troy and Roger aren't getting into this just to be there," Raines said. "They are successful people who are doing this to be competitive and win."(Dallas Monring News). hearing Hall of Fame Racing expects to announce the driver at Charlotte next week before the races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Other rumored drivers include Ward Burton, Paul Tracy and Mike Wallace(10-6-2005)
Hall of Fame Racing still looking for driver..Ward is under consideration UPDATE 2 #98?: Bill Saunders, managing partner for the Hall of Fame Racing team of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, said they hope to announce their driver within the next two weeks. Ward Burton is reportedly one of the drivers the team is considering. Burton won the Daytona 500 in 2002. "We're very close," Saunders said about the driver decision. "We have it down to a couple of people, and we just have to decide what strategy we want to use." Saunders said it's possible the new Nextel Cup team will use two drivers next year. Saunders also said most of the team's personnel already are in place.
New crew chief Philippe Lopez also is the competition director. The team is partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing and using the old JGR facility in Statesville, N.C.(Dallas Morning News)(9-30-2005)
UPDATE: The Charlotte Observer has learned that the team [Hall of Fame Racing/Aiken/Staubach] has had conversations with Mike Wallace and is considering Tony Raines. Published reports have also linked Ward Burton to the job, and that the team also has thought about asking Terry Labonte to drive some races because his status of a former champion could help provide a backup to get the car into races if there's a problem in qualifying.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-1-2005)
UPDATE 2: The team is petitioning NASCAR for #98, and Tony Raines appears to be the top candidate to fill the driver's seat.(Sporting News)(10-3-2005)
Hall of Fame Racing Crew Chief? UPDATE: Philippe Lopez, a veteran crew chief who worked with the #07 Richard Childress-Dave Blaney team until last month when Childress decided to bring in Scott Miller to run that operation, has apparently moved to the new Roger Staubach-Troy Aikman team, which has been searching for sponsorship [Jayski Note: actually the team announced Texas Instruments as their sponsor on Aug 16th] and a driver for a planned Nextel Cup effort in 2006.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-19-2005)
UPDATEL Philippe Lopez, who was one of the first persons that the late Dale Earnhardt hired when he decided DEI should go Cup racing in 1998, has been named crew chief for the new Hall of Fame Racing operation. Hall of Fame partners Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Bill Saunders have given Lopez the job of putting together the Texas Instruments team that will compete on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2006. "My first priority is to get the shop up and running," says Lopez, who was working in the research and development department at Richard Childress Racing before taking the job with Hall of Fame Racing. "We are working very closely with Joe Gibbs Racing," adds Lopez. â€œThat will give us a great advantage right from the start. Jimmy Makar (General Manager at Gibbs) has already been a big help in getting the ball rolling. "You can't put a price on what they will be bringing to the table as this team gets ready to go Nextel Cup racing. We are quickly getting the shop up and running, sourcing the equipment that we need and hiring the people that we want." Lopez says the team's relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing means he does not have to focus on building race cars "any time soon" as JGR will provide the team with Chevrolet Monte Carlos and engines as well as the technology needed to be competitive in the Nextel Cup Series.
Hall of Fame Racing also announced the hiring of Len Batycki as vice president of marketing and John Fuller as comptroller. Batycki has worked in motorsports for more than 15 years. He joined North Carolina Motor Speedway in 1990, working there for almost six years, the last two as vice president of marketing. He moved to Richard Childress Racing in 1996 as vice president of business development. Batycki left RCR in 2002. Shortly afterwards, he was named senior vice president/motorsports group for Ogilvy PR Worldwide. In July 2004, he joined Doug Herbert Performance Parts as executive vice president and general manger. Fuller comes to Hall of Fame Racing from ppc racing. Fuller graduated from Clemson University in 1996 with a degree in accounting. He earned his CPA while working for
PricewaterhouseCoopers. Fuller joined ppc racing in 1999. Hall of Fame Racing's shop is located on Twin Lakes Parkway just off I-77.(PR)(9-27-2005)
Tracy to Hall of Fame Racing? MORE: Paul Tracy is interested in driving for Troy Aikman's and Roger Staubach's Hall of Fame Racing team. Tracy had a friend contact HOF about adding him to the list of candidates to pilot the Nextel Cup ride next season.(Dallas Morning News).(8-26-2005)
UPDATE: The word 'if' has all but disappeared from Paul Tracy's vocabulary when he talks about his future in NASCAR. The 2003 Champ Car World Series champion now talks in terms of 'when' as he discusses the next step in his transformation from open wheel star to stock car driver. In an interview on the eve of the first day of qualifying for the Molson Indy of Montreal, Tracy also revealed for the first time he would be willing to apprentice in the NASCAR Busch Series or the Craftsman Truck Series if he got the right deal. Tracy, the winningest active driver in Champ Car and the only series driver who's celebrity crosses over into the general sports field, admitted that after testing the #33 RCR Chevrolet at MIS there was much to learn about driving the big sedans and that going to Busch or trucks would not be a bad idea. "The Busch series is certainly an option," Tracy said. Tracy also hinted for the first time that there may be other NASCAR teams who have inquired about him driving for them, if the RCR deal somehow doesn't work out. "There are a lot of options right now in NASCAR, whether I can find one that suits me I don't know yet," he said. Tracy is looking at more testing with RCR before deciding which Nextel Cup race he'll attempt to make his debut. "Richard wants me to do a 500-mile engine durability test," Tracy said. That means there will likely be two opportunities for Tracy to Cup race this season.
"We are looking at entering either Atlanta (Oct. 30) or Homestead (Nov. 20)," he said.(Toronto Sun)(8-27-2005)
AND Tracy said he also has been contacted by the new Hall of Fame Racing team, co-owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach and Trans-Am driver Bill Saunders in conjunction with Joe Gibbs Racing. "I've talked with Troy on the phone and we're going to set up a meeting at some point," Tracy said.(ESPN.com/AP)
AND II also hearing that Mike Wallace, current driver of the #4 Morgan McClure Chevy is a candidate for the driving gig.(8-27-2005)
HOF Jobs and needs space: Hall of Fame Racing (owned by Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman) has started the process of interviewing crew chiefs and drivers for the upcoming season. The team is also looking for all other positions AND Hall of Fame Racing is currently looking for some temporary shop space to hold the team over for 4 or 5 months while the building they're (planning on) moving into is completed. They'd prefer something that has some minor fabrication equipment and enough space for 8-10 cars. The team is currently accepting resumes for all positions. Resumes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their site at halloffameracing.com.(8-25-2005)(
Next Up for HOF Racing: The next step in the project is finding a driver. [Roger] Staubach said the owners want a high-profile driver but will be happy with a Busch Series driver who is "ready to make the move."
"It's a team effort of getting the car and the driver," said Staubach, who expects to be joined soon by [Troy] Aikman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "We've got some drivers talking to us. There are some people who want to switch teams, kind of like free agency. ... We've got to get that Troy Aikman to get in there to drive it." Native Texans Terry and Bobby Labonte would be perfect fits. But Texas Terry, a two-time Cup champ and big-time Cowboys fan, is semi-retired. Bobby, the 2000 Cup champ, is signed with JGR through 2008 and has strong ties with the big-wigs of Dallas-based sponsor Interstate Batteries. Saunders said HOF has pared its list of candidates to four. He wants a JGR-built Chevy to be testing by October.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(8-19-2005)
Hall of Fame Racing gets a sponsor: Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach are going Nextel Cup racing in 2006. The former Cowboys quarterbacks and their Hall of Fame Racing team reached agreement with Texas Instruments, which will become the primary sponsor next season. The sponsorship branding on the car is TI's DLP Products technology for high-definition TV. Aikman also announced the team has a partnership agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR will supply Chevrolet engines, equipment and technology to Hall of Fame Racing. Aikman first announced his plans to own a NASCAR team with Staubach in January 2003 at Texas Motor Speedway. Staubach said the team wants to attract a name driver. "The pressure is on us," Staubach said. "Our task is to find a driver and crew chief we can build a program around. The Cup garage is loaded with talented and dedicated racers." Saunders, a former Trans-Am racer, said the team hopes to announce a driver and crew chief within two months. "We've had several top drivers contact us," Saunders said. "They realize we have one of the best new seats in NASCAR. We have a world-class sponsor in TI and brother-sister relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing. That's going to help us get quality people." Hall of Fame Racing announced plans last year to work with Hendrick Motorsports, but Aikman and Saunders said Monday the deal with JGR was a better fit. Saunders said the team plans to hire about 40 employees for its first season. Aikman said the team's corporate headquarters will remain in Dallas at the offices of The Staubach Co., but the race shop will be in suburban Charlotte, N.C., near most of the other NASCAR teams. Aikman said the car colors and number haven't been determined.(Dallas Morning News)(8-16-2005)
Hall of Fame Racing close to a sponsor deal: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, is close to reaching a sponsorship agreement to compete in Nextel Cup next season.
Bill Saunders, general manager of the team, would not reveal any details but said things are close to being finalized. "Let me put it in a football analogy," Saunders said. "We're on the one-inch line and it's first-[and]-goal, so we're feeling fairly good about this. We hope to announce something next week." Saunders has worked diligently on the project since January of 2003, when Aikman first announced he wanted to start a NASCAR team.(Dallas Morning News).(8-12-2005)
HOF Racing - Aikman/Staubach still looking for a sponsor: The Hall of Fame Racing Team, led by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, still is struggling to get sponsorship for a team to race next season. Aikman, who was co-grand marshal Sunday, said the expense of racing in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, is staggering. "There are some contracts that got put in place with NASCAR that have been prohibitive for us and others that are trying to get sponsorship," Aikman said. "But we're continuing to go forward, and we're very hopeful that something will happen real soon." He suggested controlling spending. "It's a competitive business, and that's one of the real concerns for NASCAR right now," Aikman said. "I know in the NFL they have salary caps, and I think something should be addressed when it comes to sponsorship for NASCAR teams."(Dallas Morning News)(4-18-2005)
So..what is up with Hall of Fame racing: been a while since we have heard about the Hall of Fame Racing team with form Dallas Cowboy QB's Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman starting a NASCAR team, from Aikman's site:
"Hall of Fame Racing is still moving forward although suffering some set backs and tragedies. Our alliance partner and friend Rick Hendrick and his family have suffered an unimaginable loss of family and friends with the crash of a team airplane. Our thoughts and prayers are constantly with everyone in the Hendrick family. Our team attracted a world class sponsor in 2004 and we thought we would be on the track in 2005. We then found out that our sponsor would be prohibited from participating in NASCAR because of a conflict with the Nextel sponsorship of the Cup series. We were extremely disappointed but understand the position of Nextel. We feel our associate sponsorship is relatively assured if we can secure our primary sponsor. The cost of racing these days is not insignificant and there are just so many companies which can make the kind of expenditure necessary to be a primary sponsor. We are in talks with several organizations and expect to have something secured for the 2006 season. Hall of Fame Racing is committed to entering the sport with enough money to compete at the highest level. For that reason we won’t cut corners or try and do a half way program. There is a possibility of us entering the Busch series first. The team is working hard on making our collective goal a reality. We just need a few bounces of the ball in our favor. We’ll keep you posted with our progress."(Aikman.com site)(1-10-2005)
Been awhile, HOF Racing, announces alliance with Hendrick: Hall of Fame Racing, a NASCAR team owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach that initailly announced plan to field a Cup/Busch team in 2003, today, announced an alliance with Hendrick Motorsports [HMS] to run a full-time team in 2005. HMS will provide HOF Racing equipment, resources and technology. The team headquarters will be based in Dallas, TX but the racing operation will be located in the Charlotte, NC area. HOF Racing's primary objective is to locate a primary and associate sponsors, once secured the team will then focus on hiring team persoannel and a driver.(HOF Racing/Hendrick Motorsports PR)(3-7-2004)
More on the Hall of Fame Racing Driver UPDATE still needs a Busch driver: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, has signed its first driver – Dallas resident Alex Whitman. Whitman, 29, is the son of Paul Whitman, who is part of the ownership group for the team. Alex Whitman will compete in the Busch Series in 2004 if adequate funding is secured. "We have a couple of things lined up, and we're cautiously optimistic about it," said Starke Taylor, the team's marketing director. "But as far as having a Busch primary sponsor, we're not there yet. Time is a big factor now, and we're pushing very hard to get it done."
"We've been high on Alex for a long time. He's aggressive and he's smart, but we wanted to test him. He couldn't have done better. He's not ready to step in a Busch car tomorrow, but there's a lot of people in this business who feel he has a bright future," said Bill Saunders, managing partner for Hall of Fame Racing. Whitman has raced at lower levels for several years, including late model stocks, Sports Club Car of America road races and Skip Barber Dodge events. He will compete in the ARCA race at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 9, in a car owned by Winston Cup veteran Ken Schrader. Whitman will continue to drive in selected events for other teams until Hall of Fame Racing is ready to make its debut. Competing in 2004 remains uncertain. "I would say it's 50-50," Saunders said. "We have sponsors involved, but we just haven't found the right deal yet, and we're going to do this right. We will not race next year without proper funding, but we are in this for the long haul, even if that means 2005 before we get going." Saunders said the team will have more to say in early November about hiring a director of racing, possibly partnering with an existing NASCAR team and acquiring a shop near Charlotte.(Dallas Morning News)(9-19-2003)
UPDATE - still needs Busch driver: Dallas resident Alex Whitman has a future with Hall of Fame Racing, but not as its first NASCAR Busch Series driver. Bill Saunders, managing partner of the first-year racing organization owned by former Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, said Friday that various media reports stating that Whitman had been hired as a Busch Series driver were wrong. "It's the wildest thing," Saunders said. "Alex is one of our drivers, but he's not going to go in our Busch car. He doesn't have the experience to go into a Busch car." Whitman, 29, made his ARCA Re/Max Series debut with a sixth-place finish in the Eddie Gilstrap 200 on the Salem (Ind.) Speedway last Saturday. "He did a great job in our first ARCA test," Saunders said. "That's the first time he was in an ARCA car, so there's no way he could step into the Busch car." Saunders said Whitman will drive a car owned by NASCAR Winston Cup regular Kenny Schrader in an ARCA event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., on Oct. 9. "Then we'll be looking for money for him for ARCA or [NASCAR] Craftsman Truck in 2004," Saunders said. "But he will not be driving our Busch car." Saunders reiterated that if the team cannot sign a primary sponsor for its Busch Series effort on or around Nov. 1, there will be no need to hire a driver for 2004.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(9-19-2003)
Hall of Fame Racing signs a driver for 2004: Alex Whitman made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut on Saturday running in the Eddie Gilstrap 200 at the half-mile, high-bank of Salem Speedway and turned the heads of many ARCA RE/MAX Series regulars with his strong run to a sixth place, lead lap finish. Whitman qualified his Venturini Motorsports prepared Wave Worms Chevrolet in the seventh position after having a strong practice run right off the truck.. Whitman competed in the top ten throughout the 200-lap event and brought the car home in the sixth position. Whitman has signed with Hall of Fame Racing for the 2004 season where he intends to run events in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Busch Series.. Hall of Fame Racing is owned by NFL Hall of Fame members, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Whitman, a 29-year old resident of Dallas, Texas got his racing start behind the wheel of go-karts before moving up to Skip Barber Dodge cars, SCCA Road Racing and Late Model Stock cars at the Nashville Fairgrounds.. Whitman plans to compete with the series again this weekend at the .4-mile- Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway and at the series finale at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlottewhere he has logged numerous laps as a driving instructor for the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(LM Motorsports Marketing PR)(9-17-2003)
Starr might fit well for Aikman-Staubach team: Hall of Fame Racing, the new NASCAR team being formed by former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, still hopes to run one or two cars in the Busch Series next year. One driver who would appear to be a perfect fit is NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racer David Starr. His name alone is a great marketing tool for a team owned by former Cowboys, but Starr also has a few other things going for him. He's a respected racer with the talent to win, he has the looks and personality that sponsors love, and he's a Texan who lives just down the road from Texas Stadium.(Dallas Morning News)(8-7-2003)
HOF Racing may start in Busch instead of Cup: Bill Saunders, the managing partner of the Hall of Fame Racing team of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, said Monday the team probably will compete in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004 instead of Nextel Cup. The former Cowboys quarterbacks announced in January the formation of the team and their plans to race Winston Cup in 2004, which switches naming rights to Nextel Cup. But they have not been able to secure the sponsorship dollars needed to run in the Cup series next season. "Running in Cup next year is unlikely at this point," Saunders said. "It probably will be 2005, but that's not to say we won't be . . . racing in 2004. We are still in negotiations on that and probably will finalize things within 30 days." Saunders said they don't know if the team will run one or two Busch cars next year. He said an announcement on a sponsor and a driver, or drivers, probably would be made soon in Dallas. "But we probably would unveil a car at a Busch event later this season," Saunders said. "All this depends of completing an agreement with a sponsor. Nothing is done yet, but things are progressing." The going rate to sponsor a competitive team in the Busch Series is $4 million to $5 million a year. The top-tier teams in Winston Cup receive sponsorship dollars in the $12 million to $15 million range. Saunders said Hall of Fame Racing will have a working agreement with an existing NASCAR team but would not reveal which one. Winston Cup team owner Joe Gibbs, the former Washington Redskins head coach, has been a consultant to Staubach and Aikman to help them get started. Saunders said he also hopes the Busch sponsor would be willing to move up to Nextel Cup with the team in 2005.(Mercury News/Dallas Morning News)(7-8-2003)
Aikman-Staubach team searches for sponsors: Bill Saunders, point man for the Hall of Fame Racing team of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, said the search for sponsors is down to five corporations, one of which is based in Dallas-Fort Worth. Saunders also said a sponsorship agreement must be signed by Aug. 1 for the team to compete in Winston Cup next season. "But we still could compete in the Busch series or the truck series next year if something is finalized after early August," Saunders said. "We will have an affiliation with one of the big NASCAR teams, but I can't say which one yet." Saunders said he has spoken to a few corporate executives who wanted to sponsor the team, but he said they were afraid of the reaction from major stockholders who didn't understand the value of investing in NASCAR.(Dallas Morning News, may need to register to view)(5-22-2003)
Staubach/Aikman looking for shop in NC: Former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach and fellow retired Dallas Cowboys QB Troy Aikman are said to be eyeing a Concord business park for a 70,000-square-foot race shop to house the NASCAR team they're forming, called Hall of Fame Racing. The Staubach-Aikman group is on the hunt for real estate, but its first order of business is signing a sponsor. Bill Saunders, a Hall of Fame Racing partner, says the field of potential sponsors has been narrowed to five, but he declines to identify them. Sean Helda, president of Corinthian International Inc., owner and developer of Concord Airport Business Park, confirms his company has had contact with the Staubach-Aikman group, but no details have been finalized.(Charlotte Business Journal), last rumors I heard about sponsors were Pizza Hut, Radio Shack and/or Acme Brick - note the Aikman connection on their site - [is that the brick Wylie E uses against the Road Runner?].(5-20-2003)
Aikman/Staubach sponsors? UPDATE 2: the two rumors I am hearing for the Hall of Fame Racing team with Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach is Pizza Hut [always seems to be a rumored sponsor] and/or Radio Shack will be the primary sponsor of the team, supposedly Pizza Hut has signed and that Acme Brick signed as an associate sponsor.(3-11-2003)
UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing, the new Winston Cup team being started by Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, is talking with several Dallas-Fort Worth companies about sponsoring the team. One of those companies is Fort Worth-based RadioShack. Staubach is directly involved in the negotiations with several corporations in an attempt to cut through the red tape and go directly to the CEOs and the board of directors. "With the amount of money involved and the high-profile nature of this, we felt it was better for Roger to use his contacts and speak with the top executives," said Hall of Fame Racing spokesman Starke Taylor. "We have a handful of companies that are genuinely interested." Taylor and Staubach have some impressive figures to show corporate executives what their investment in Winston Cup is worth.(Dallas Morning News - need to register to read)(3-13-2003)
UPDATE 2: Roger Staubach says he is again [again??] trying to put together a NASCAR team, with Troy Aikman. The next moves depend on attracting sponsorship. One of the companies the two are talking with is Radio Shack, the electronics firm headquartered in Fort Worth [TX].(Winston Salem Journal)(4-2-2003)
Hall of Fame Racing Plans: Former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach haven't decided whether they will buy an existing Winston Cup team or start one from scratch. But Aikman, who attended Media Day at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday, said they are in the process of putting some of the key pieces together to do either one. Bill Saunders, who is the managing partner of Aikman and Staubach's organization, Hall of Fame Racing, said they plan on choosing the car manufacturer within the next month and also form a partnership with an existing Winston Cup team in the next 60-90 days to probably use their facilities and technology. Saunders also said the team would hire a director of race operations that is "an existing NASCAR guru." [Robin Pemberton? just a guess] The team, which Saunders hopes will total 50 employees by the time racing begins, also plans on announcing the main sponsor in the next three months, so that Hall of Fame Racing can begin testing the latter of this year and hopefully be ready to race in 2004.(Dallas Morning News - need to register to read)
AND Troy Aikman believes ownership of a NASCAR Winston Cup team will fulfill the competitive urges remaining for the three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback-turned-broadcaster. "I have a competitive nature and have to find a way to solve that urge," Aikman said Wednesday during the annual media day at Texas Motor Speedway. "Having money and time invested fulfills it tremendously. Broadcasting is tough, but when the game is over and you put down the headphones, you don't care who won or lost." Aikman has teamed up with Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys' other two Super Bowl wins, as part owners of a racing team they hope to have ready for the 2004 season. Bill Saunders, a former Trans-Am driver, is the team's managing partner. Saunders said Hall of Fame Racing hopes to have a sponsorship agreement within the next 60-90 days. "We have a legitimate, major-type sponsor interested," Saunders said. "There is value added because of Troy and Roger," Saunders and Aikman said a final decision hasn't been made on whether the group will try to buy an existing team or put together one from scratch. Determining the driver or drivers will come later.(Fort Worth Star Telegram/AP)(1-30-2003)
Aikman to make announcment on Jan 29th at Texas: Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, partner in a new Winston Cup venture with NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, will conduct his first NASCAR-related news conference during the Texas Tour 2003 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Jan. 29. Aikman and Staubach, another legendary Cowboys quarterback, have formed Hall of Fame Racing with the intention of joining the Winston Cup Series in 2004. The guest lists features Bruton Smith, chairman of the board of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and owner of TMS; four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon; and Sam Hornish Jr., two-time and reigning Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion (Star Telegram). For the initial news and more news and links on this subject, go to my New Teams page.(1-22-2000)
Aikman and Staubach plan a Cup team for 2004 UPDATE 2: Former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach plan to become owners of a NASCAR Winston Cup team in time for the 2004 season, Aikman confirmed Thursday. Aikman, 36, retired after the Cowboys released him following the 2000 season. He led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships and was voted to the Pro Bowl six times. Aikman now is the lead color analyst for NFL broadcasts on the Fox network. He has been a regular visitor to Texas Motor Speedway since the facility opened in 1997, and has attended most of the NASCAR events at the track. Staubach, 60, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. He led the Cowboys to two Super Bowl titles and made the Pro Bowl six times. He won the Heisman Trophy while playing at Navy in 1963. Staubach now is the CEO of The Staubach Company, a diversified commercial real estate company headquartered in Dallas. Both Aikman and Staubach are discussing their plans with Winston Cup team owner Joe Gibbs, a former rival when Gibbs was the coach of the Washington Redskins. Gibbs will advise Aikman and Staubach on how to go about the process of starting a NASCAR team.(Dallas Morning News - need to register to read)(1-16-2003)
UPDATE: Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach quarterbacked the same NFL team. Now they're part owners of the same team - planning to enter a car in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series in 2004. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks are partners in Hall of Fame Racing, which will be directed by former Trans-Am driver Bill Saunders, who will act as managing partner. "Roger and I have discussed this for a while, and all the pieces just came together. We're not naive going into this thing. We recognize it will be a real challenge," Aikman said in a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press. So far, Aikman said, the team has no shop, no equipment, no employees other than the three owners, no driver and no sponsor. The latter will be a priority, the three-time Super Bowl winner added. Aikman said Joe Gibbs, former coach of the Washington Redskins and now owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, which won Winston Cup championships in 2000 and 2002, has helped get the team off the ground. He also said it's premature to be talking about a driver. The team will be headquartered in Dallas while maintaining a race shop in Charlotte, N.C., where most of the Winston Cup teams are based.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
UPDATE 2: The partners plan to tackle the Winston Cup schedule in February 2004 beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 -- NASCAR's Super Bowl -- and a single-car team. A two-car team is planned for 2005 for an organization that will be headquartered in Dallas but operate out of the NASCAR hub of Charlotte, N.C. Hall of Fame Racing will spend this season hiring a director of racing operations, pursuing primary and associate sponsorships, courting manufacturers and compiling a list of prospective drivers and crewmen. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who pulled out of a deal that would have seen him buy into the Cup team owned by Andy Petree in August, is not involved in this venture. The partners have not decided if they will buy an existing Cup team, merge with one or start from scratch -- as Gibbs did.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(1-17-2003)