- Overnight Phoenix TV Ratings, Lowest of the Year: Fox’s broadcast of Saturday night’s Subway Fresh 500 earned a 4.5 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and an 8 market share, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. Saturday night is traditionally an off night for television viewership, and the 4.5 is the lowest overnight rating of any Nextel Cup race this year. There was no spring race at Phoenix last year, but the overnight rating is 23.7% below the 5.9 Fox drew overnight on the comparable weekend of 2004, when it aired the spring Talladega race.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-25-2005)
- Marlin’s Dad, Coo Coo, to serve as Grand Marshall at Music City: Tennessee racing legend, Coo Coo Marlin, will serve as Music City Motorplex’s Grand Marshall for an evening of NASCAR Stock Car racing at the Tennessee State Fair Grounds on Friday evening, April 29th. Coo Coo is the only driver to in the history of the track to have captured the track championship and amazing four times, before moving up NASCAR top division, now known as NASCAR Nextel Cup. Coo Coo will be on hand for pre race ceremonies and driver introductions. Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin was born in Columbia, TN in 1932. In 1959 he won his first driving title at the Fairgrounds in Carl Wood’s 1934 Flathead Ford. He repeated that accomplishment in 1962, 1966 and 1967, making him the only four-time champion in the track’s history. In NASCAR’s premier division, Coo Coo had a total of one hundred and sixty-five starts, forty-two top ten finishes and three top three finishes. He ran his last race at Talladega in 1980, and in 1987 was inducted into Tennessee Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Coo Coo is the inspiration of a clan of racers including son #40-Sterling Marlin and grandson Stedman Marlin [looking for a ride] who are carrying on the family tradition. (more info at the Music City Motorplex site)(4-25-2005)
- Eury Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: PHOENIX, AZ (April 23, 2005) – Michael Waltrip came up just short of winning his first race of the 2005 season. After starting twenty-eighth in the Subway 500 at Phoenix International raceway, Waltrip charged through the field, eventually battling Kurt Busch in thrilling late-race duel to the checkered flag. The #15 team’s impressive comeback earned Tony Eury Jr. the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award. Waltrip’s car showed promise early, running some of the fastest times in this weekend’s practice sessions. Unfortunately, Waltrip didn’t back up his practice speeds in qualifying and drove the #15 NAPA Chevrolet to a twenty-eighth place starting spot. The panel of voters selecting the Crew Chief of the Race; including Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; elected Eury via a split decision . Gintonio cast his vote for Lance McGrew, crew chief of the #25 GMAC Chevrolet. Reiser and the Wypall Wipers representative voted for Eury. Tony Eury Jr. collected $1,000 for winning the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. He is now tied with Robbie Loomis, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Alan Gustafson and Pete Rondeau for second place in the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings. Doug Richert leads the competition with two wins. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000.(SMC 500)(4-25-2005)
- #1 Busch Team Appeal, Rejected and Fine INCREASED AND: The National Stock Car Racing Commission has not only rejected the appeal of car owner James Finch for an illegal carburetor found during post-race inspection at Texas, they slapped on an additional $25,000 fine. NASCAR had disqualified the #1 Dodge from the Busch Series race costing the team 125-points for finishing 14th and $28,000 in prize money. Also, Crew Chief Joe Shear Jr. was suspended until May 18th.
Commenting on the decision, Finch told PRN’s Fast Talk with Benny Parsons radio show Monday night; "It’s pretty consistent with me. The last time I appealed one it was several years ago and it was a $5,000 fine and when it was over they made it 10."
Finch’s main bone of contention is that NASCAR hands down the penalties AND hears appeals. "The racing is great, it always has been, I’m just saying that they need to give up part of the sport and let somebody else referee the rules. If they want to do this right, get an independent commission to make an independent hearing and make the ruling. It’s kind of like having a highway patrolman pull you over and tell you you’re speeding and you say…I don’t believe I am…and he says yes you are…and you say okay, I don’t believe you but I’m gonna sign the ticket. Then 30 minutes later you go to the courthouse and he’s the judge. In the rule books it’s all minimum fines…they don’t have any maximum fines. In the NFL it’s five yards off sides for everybody every time. In NASCAR it’s according to who you are. In baseball it’s three strikes you’re out…NASCAR it’s according to who’s swingin’…just let ’em keep swingin’."(PRN’s Fast Talk with Benny Parsons)(4-25-2005)
- Indy 500 Champ, Buddy Lazier, to test #15 Truck at Lowe’s: Former Indianapolis 500 and Indy Racing League champion Buddy Lazier will try the NASCAR waters this week as he prepares to test the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in Tuesday evening’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Lazier has a winning track record at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, he captured the checkered flag there in an IRL race in 1997, besting Billy Boat by 3.301 seconds in a Hemelgarn Racing entry This foray into stock cars is not Lazier’s first stab at the bigger, heavier and boxier chassis. He showed great promise in the International Race of Champions [IROC] series during his two year stint in that prestigious "invitation only" series. Lazier was the runaway winner in the 2002 Chicagoland IROC event leading all 67 laps of competition. Lazier finished second in the IROC championship that year, narrowly losing to the eventual champion Kevin Harvick. "We are excited about a potential opportunity with Buddy Lazier," Team owner Billy Ballew said. "Buddy is an accomplished, hard charging driver. He has exhibited extreme physical and mental toughness throughout his career. He is a driver that anyone would be proud to work with. Shane Hmiel will continue to drive the #15 when possible but it is good to have alternatives when the NASCAR schedule will not allow us to have Shane as a full time driver." Lazier’s most impressive Motorsports accomplishment came in 1996 when he won the Indianapolis 500 in a Hemelgarn Racing entry, edging Davy Jones by .695 of a second. Lazier’s heroic underdog win came only two months after suffering significant back and pelvis injuries at Phoenix in an IRL car. Lazier was the IRL champion in 2000.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(4-25-2005)
- Truck Series Testing Tuesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway: More than 20 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will be testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Tuesday evening in preparation for the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 presented by Click It or Ticket on Friday night, May 20. The trucks will be on the track from 3:00 – 6:00pm/et and 7:00 – 10:00pm/et. Drivers scheduled to test: #04-Bobby Hamilton, #1-Ted Musgrave, #2-Jimmy Spencer, #4-Timothy Peters, #6-Ron Hornaday, #8-Deborah Renshaw, #9-Shige Hattori, #10-Terry Cook, #17-David Reutimann, #18-Chase Montgomery, #22-Bill Lester, #47-Bobby Labonte, #52-Ken Schrader, #59-Robert Pressley, #75-David Starr, #88-Matt Crafton, #06-Jimmy Kite and #?-Scott Glynn.(LMS PR)(4-25-2005)