- American Red Cross Launches Campaign to Connect Fans With Blood Donations: The American Red Cross announced the launch of Red Cross Racing, a new national campaign to recruit NASCAR fans as blood donors and raise awareness of the need to give blood. Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. Through the support of 3M and Roush Fenway Racing the #16 Ford will race this Sunday at the Aaron’s 499 in Talladega, Ala. in a full paint scheme featuring the Red Cross logo. The car will be driven by Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet member and blood donor Greg Biffle. Race fans will be able to join a Donor Rewards Program by visiting redcrossracing.com beginning on April 24. This new Web site makes it easy to schedule blood donation appointments online and offers frequent donors the chance to get points, which can be exchanged for Red Cross Racing gear, including caps, t-shirts, jackets and limited edition die-cast cars. Race fans can also join Red Cross Racing at one of the nine NASCAR races where a Red Cross trailer will be on the midway. All participants who sign up between April 24 and October 1 are automatically entered into a sweepstakes for an all-expense paid trip for two to the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Speedway on November 9, 2008. The Red Cross will be highly visible at NASCAR races, thanks to a nearly $2 million donation by 3M. The #16 Ford Fusion will also feature the full Red Cross paint scheme on November 9, 2008 during the Phoenix race. In both races Biffle will wear a Red Cross-branded fire suit. In addition, the Red Cross logo will be seen on the #16 Ford Fusion in eight other races this season: New Hampshire, Chicago, Michigan, Richmond (September), Kansas, Charlotte (October), Texas and Phoenix.(Red Cross PR), see image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(4-22-2008) Comment here
- Office Depot negotiating with Roush; if not UPS could replace: MORE Office Depot is in the midst of an exclusive 60-day negotiating period to extend its sponsorship of Carl Edwards’ #99 Ford, but industry sources say that UPS is waiting in the wings to make a run at the hot Roush Fenway Racing driver.(SportsBusinessJournal.com-sub)(4-21-2008)
UPDATE: Office Depot is in the final year of its three-year deal with the #99 team. Edwards and Roush Fenway appear to be in position to push the first of many sponsor dominoes in the coming four to six weeks. If Office Depot, which has used Edwards out front for its annual "Official Small Business of NASCAR" promotion, doesn’t have a deal done by mid-May, industry sources say UPS will pursue sponsorship of Edwards’ car. UPS has been considering several options, from staying at Michael Waltrip Racing to Edwards to Jeff Burton’s #31, which is scheduled to lose AT&T as its primary sponsor at the end of this season, but sources said Edwards has emerged as the top option. The issue between Office Depot and Roush Fenway, sources said, is the price tag for the #99 car has increased significantly from three years ago when Edwards was considered more of an up-and-comer than a bona fide star. If Edwards stays in the # 99 as expected, Roush Fenway hopes to extract $22 million to $24 million a year in the next contract, sources said, a significant step up from the deal Office Depot signed three years ago in the $14 million to $15 million range annually. It’s uncertain how aggressively Office Depot will pursue another three years on the #99 at the higher price. The office supply retailer is embroiled in a proxy fight with a shareholder group that is attempting to oust CEO Steve Odland from the company’s board after an 85 percent drop in fourth-quarter net earnings year-over-year. Office Depot’s stock price has dropped from a high of $37.05 nearly a year ago to $11.51 at Monday’s close, which has prompted questions about its ability to win a bidding war for the #99 car. John Miller, a former Roush marketing executive who now owns his own agency, Xceed Sports Marketing, is representing Office Depot in these negotiations.(Sports Business Journal/SceneDaily.com)(4-22-2008)
- Silver scheme for Allmendinger at ‘dega: The silver #84 that’s been shining in Red Bull Racing Team’s shop unloads for the first time Friday at Talladega, and AJ Allmendinger, who returns after a five-race layoff, can’t wait to show off his car’s new look. "I think it’s sweet," Allmendinger said. "Our blue has been good, but it’s one of those things that says, ‘I’m back!’ It’s silver. It’s going to stand out. It’s going to look fast, and it’s going to be fast." In 2007, Red Bull’s motorsports branding featured dynamic bulls, suns and custom deep blue color. More than a year later, the design is expanding with the silver #84. The car maintains the same styling cues as the #83 to ensure close affiliation but carries a metallic silver pearl base and blue number to create its own identity and personality.(Team Red Bull Blog), see image of the scheme on my #84 Team Schemes page.(4-22-2008)
- Testing at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway is scheduled to host two days of testing on Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23. Tentative teams and drivers scheduled: Chip Ganassi Racing [two cars, no drivers named]; #12-Ryan Newman/Penske Racing; #24-Jeff Gordon; Richard Childress Racing with #31-Jeff Burton and a test team; #20-Joe Gibbs Racing [driver TBD]; DEI with #01-Regan Smith (Tuesday Only); #43-Bobby Labonte of Petty Enterprises; Haas/CNC Racing with #66-Scott Riggs and #70 driver TBD. The test is not open to the public.(Nashville Superspeedway)(4-22-2008)
- National Day of Prayer on the #78 at Talladega: The #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy, driven by Joe Nemechek, will once again showcase a unique paint scheme at Talladega Superspeedway, site of this weekend’s Sprint Cup race. For the third year in a row at the Talladega spring event, Furniture Row, the Denver-based company which owns the #78 Chevy, is devoting its entire space on the car to the National Day of Prayer. The red, white and blue patriotic paint scheme will include the National Day of Prayer logo on the hood, the rear quarter panels, trunk-lid and the rear bumper (TV) panel of the #78 car.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(4-22-2008)
- Raybestos Rookie Notes for Talladega: Patrick Carpentier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Corona Mexico 200 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. Carpentier’s fifth-place finish at Mexico City is the best in the Nationwide Series by a Raybestos Rookie in 2008. He claimed his first top-five and second top-10 in two Nationwide Series starts this season and grabbed top Raybestos Rookie honors for the first time in 2008.
Dario Franchitti holds a 28-point lead (80-52) over Bryan Clauson in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
DID YOU KNOW? Franchitti has led the Raybestos Rookie standings for the past SEVEN consecutive races.
David Ragan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race at in the 2007 Aaron’s 312, scoring a fourth-place finish.(Raybestos PR)(4-22-2008)
- Upshaw-Adams Motorsports sign Mack to run select events: The #95 NRG Cases Ford will once again be making a return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as Lloyd Mack will jump behind the wheel for a minimum of seven races during the 2008 season. Lloyd, who has participated in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine has spent the last couple of seasons competing in the Camping World Grand National West division. The current plan has Lloyd driving for at least seven races this season beginning with the Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park on May 24th. From there the team will evaluate whether to stick with the seven race plan for Lloyd and run him for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year in 2009 or forgo the rookie title chase in favor of more seat time and the best opportunity at the overall title chase.(Upshaw-Adams Motorsports PR)(4-22-2008)
- Raybestos Rookie News & Notes – Kansas: Donny Lia was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the March 29 Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Lia grabbed a ninth-place finish, his best in five career Craftsman Truck Series starts. He claimed top rookie honors for the first time this season. A Raybestos Rookie has scored top-10 finishes in three of the four Craftsman Truck Series races this season. Justin Marks and Phillip McGilton are tied for the lead (38-38) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the April 26 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Ricky Hendrick is the only Raybestos Rookie to win in seven previous Craftsman Truck Series races at Kansas. Hendrick captured the 2001 event by 2.841 seconds over Ted Musgrave.(Raybestos PR)(4-22-2008)
- Mitchell returns to the #15: The O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 will be Marc Mitchell’s first race since the #15 team switched manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota. Mitchell’s last NCTS race was at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mitchell has one prior start in the Kansas Speedway in ARCA competition. His day ended after mechanical failure. The #15 Ergon Hyprene Chevy will compete in 21 races in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2008.(Breaking Limits/BBM PR)(4-22-2008)