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BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 22:  Brad Keselowski driver of the #88 U.S. Navy Chevrolet celebrates in victory Lane with car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2008 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR) | Getty Images

April 29 – Today in Jayski’s NASCAR history


April 29, 2008

  • Marlin back in the #40 at Darlington? Schrader at Richmond UPDATE 2: Sterling Marlin may drive again for Chip Ganassi Racing as a substitute for the injured Dario Franchitti in the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Darlington. Marlin drove eight seasons for Ganassi in the #40 Dodge before being replaced prior to the 2006 season. Marlin said nothing had been made official. "They’ve mentioned Darlington," Marlin said. "I told them it’s whatever they want to do." Marlin is committed to driving for Phoenix Racing in Richmond in Saturday night’s Cup race. He said his remaining schedule with the race team is not set. He signed a 10-race deal with Phoenix Racing prior to the season. Marlin finished 22nd in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 – the first Cup race he qualified for this season. Marlin also is scheduled to compete in six Late Model races at Music City Motorplex beginning on May 10, but he said a Cup ride would take priority. Franchitti broke his left ankle in a crash on the 11th lap of Saturday’s Nationwide race at Talladega. It has not been determined how many races Franchitti will miss.(Tennessean), the #09 is not listed on the Richmond entry list…yet. Other drivers I have heard under consider for the #40 ride at Richmond include Ricky Rudd, Tony Raines, Mike Bliss, Dennis Setzer and Ken Schrader. Hearing Franchitti is having a carbon fiber cast put on Tuesday and the plan is for him to be back at Charlotte [All Star race May 17th].(4-29-2008)
    UPDATE: hearing that Ken Schrader will driver the #40 Dodge at Richmond, subbing for the injured Dario Franchitti.(4-29-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) driver Dario Franchitti was re-evaluated this week by his doctors and will sit out this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader will drive the #40 Kennametal Dodge on Saturday for the 400-lap event. Franchitti was seen by Dr. Terry Trammel and Dr. Kevin Scheid in Indianapolis, Ind. on Monday. The doctors confirmed the slight fracture in Franchitti’s left ankle. Franchitti will be fitted for a carbon fiber brace later this week. His status behind the wheel of the #40 Dodge will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. Schrader is confirmed to race for CGRFS in Richmond only. Franchitti will also be in Richmond with the #40 team.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates).(4-29-2008)
  • Wimmer to run 4th RCR car ar Richmond: Scott Wimmer will attempt to qualify for his first Cup Series race of the season this weekend at RIR driving the #33 Camping World Impala SS, giving RCR four entries in the Crown Royal 400. Wimmer was behind the wheel of the #33 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2006 (St. 24 Fn. 12) and most recently at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (St. 21, Fn. 31) in July 2007.(RCR)(4-29-2008)
  • Randy Moss starting truck team? UPDATE: During the prerace report on SPEED at Kansas Speedway, Rick Allen reported that New England Patriot wide-receiver Randy Moss is starting a new truck team with plans to race toward the end of the year. A formal announcement is expected some time next week.(4-27-2008)
    UPDATE NFL All-Pro Randy Moss Forms NASCAR Program: New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss announced the formation of Moss Motorsports, LLC with its intended participation to begin in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Moss anticipates that the team will debut at some point in the second half of the 2008 season and run selected races through the conclusion of the year. The partial schedule is a prelude to a full-time campaign in 2009. Sponsors and manufacturer alignments will be announced at a later date. "We don’t have all of the details in place just yet, but I am very excited about Moss Motorsports becoming a part of NASCAR," Moss said. "I am by nature a very competitive person and this is an outlet for me to compete at another level. There are some pretty awesome challenges in building a program like this from the ground up, but I am looking forward to it. That’s just another aspect of the competition – you want to find the best people available and you’re competing with all the other teams out there. We’re starting to look at who the best people are and working on getting them to be a part of our team." Moss is a ten year veteran in the National Football League and was a first-round draft pick in the 1998 draft out of Marshall University. He has been a NASCAR fan for several years including sponsorship of a local dirt track program and recently made the decision to get involved with the ownership of a NASCAR team. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the Urban Youth Racing School and furthers his youth advocacy while holding the same honor with American Youth Football. A major component of the Moss Motorsports program will be the continued involvement and support of youth programs. "There are a lot of NASCAR fans in the locker room," Moss said. "We’ve seen a lot of football players get involved – guys like Dan Marino and Troy Aikman to name a couple. I think it’s a good fit and gives some of the companies I am already working with an additional outlet. It’s a smart move on the marketing side of things but on the personal side of things I think it’s going to be a lot of fun."
    Moss has kick started his efforts by contracting with Integrity Sports Marketing, LLC – a leading motorsports marketing company in NASCAR. "We know it takes time to build a team from the ground up, and we have some good people working with us to get that process started," Moss said. "We are talking to the manufacturers, and we’re already evaluating some drivers. Eventually I’d like to be able to have our team work with some of the young guys that are working hard to make it up the ladder, but right now it might make more sense to find a driver with a lot of experience to get us started. But we really don’t have anyone in mind. We’ll look at who is available and find someone that can help us compete and win as quickly as we can." Moss believes Moss Motorsports will give his current marketing partners another avenue to gain exposure and will open doors for new companies that want to work with him. "The companies I already work with now have a chance to get some exposure to another group of dedicated sports fans," Moss said. "And we’ll have an opportunity to build some relationships with an entirely new group of companies as well. We’ll have a chance to do some pretty cool things between the football side and the racing side. That’s a part of the equation that most of the other teams don’t have, so we already have a competitive advantage over them. Once we get everything in place we look forward to competing on the race track too."(Moss Motorsports/Integrity Sports Marketing), no drivers or sponsors have been named or announced.(4-29-2008)
  • Elledge named the Wypall Wipers’ "Crew Chief of the Race" in Talladega: Jimmy Elledge, in his first race as crew chief of the #42 Juicyfruit Gum/Wrigley Dodge Charger driven by Juan Pablo Montoya, has been named Wypall Wipers’ "Crew Chief of the Race" in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. In an effort to improve the team’s performance this season, Chip Ganassi, owner of the #42 team, assigned Elledge to assume crew chief duties for Montoya beginning in Talladega. After starting 26th and even falling as far back as 32nd, Elledge and his team still managed to finish second, earning Montoya his first top-10 finish in 2008. Elledge and Montoya showed instant chemistry it takes to produce impressive results after only one race together in the Sprint Cup series. The 2008 Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge is a season-long contest that will determine the best crew chiefs in the Sprint Cup garage. Following each Cup race, a panel will vote to determine which crew chief demonstrated the most outstanding strategy and leadership during the race. It isn’t necessarily the crew chief that goes to Victory Lane, but the crew chief that makes the biggest difference for his team. Representatives from Wypall Wipers, together with FOX/SPEED television analyst Jeff Hammond, and three of NASCAR’s top crew chiefs who represent Wypall, including Todd Berrier of Richard Childress Racing’s #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy team, Bob Osborne of Roush Fenway Racing’s #99 Office Depot Ford team, and Kenny Francis of Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ #9 Budweiser Dodge team, make up the panel of judges. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly top wins will be honored as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead, Fla. The Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge will continue throughout the remainder of the 2008 season and spotlight the men behind the machines. For more information, log onto www.Wypall.com.(4-29-2008)
  • Edwards gets his crew chief back: This weekend’s race at Richmond marks the return to the racetrack for Bob Osborne, crew chief of the #99 Office Depot team. Following a rule infraction at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 2, Osborne was placed on a six-week suspension from NASCAR. In the time that Osborne was away from the track, interim co-crew chiefs Chris Andrews and Robbie Reiser accumulated one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Had it not been for an engine failure in Atlanta, the win total may have been two. Edwards was leading the race when he was forced to retire from the event early.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-29-2008)
  • Talladega’s overnight TV ratings up from 2007: Fox’s broadcast of Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway earned a 5.2 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating and an 11 share in the nation’s largest television markets, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 2% higher than the 5.1 Fox earned overnight for the race in 2007. ABC’s broadcast of Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race earned a 2.3 overnight rating, the Daily said, up 9.5% from the 2.1 the race earned in 2007.(SceneDaily)(4-29-2008)
  • Andrews leaves MWR? hearing former crew chief Paul Andrews has parted ways with Michael Waltrip Racing. Andrews had been the crew chief of the #55 NAPA Toyota of Michael Waltrip until March then took on the role as a manager at MWR.(4-29-2008)
  • Harvick Visits Shell Oil Company Off-shore Platform "Brutus": #29-Kevin Harvick made a unique stop in route to this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway. Harvick visited the Shell off-shore oil and gas production platform, Brutus, on Thursday [April 24th]. Brutus, the largest of five Shell signature deepwater tension lake platforms, is located 160 miles off the shore of New Orleans, Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. The 35,000 ton platform is home to as many as 150 Shell staff members who spend two weeks at a time at the facility. Located in over 3,000 feet of water, the platform is used for the initial processing and transportation of oil and gas to shore. "After today’s visit I have a whole new appreciation for the Gulf of Mexico and "America’s Energy Coast (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) and the importance this Region plays to our US Energy Supply", commented Harvick. During his visit Harvick had the opportunity to meet and greet the staff of Brutus and joined them for lunch in the galley. A comprehensive tour of the facility followed before heading back to New Orleans. "I was impressed with the focus and attention to safety that is part of the Shell culture", continued Harvick. "The staff has great pride in their facility and what they do. These are very focused employees that use extremely advanced technology to get energy out of the ground and deliver it to people across the country every day. " Harvick was joined by Shell executives along with local radio sports talk show host, Bobby Hebert, former NFL/Saints QB.(PR)(4-29-2008)
  • The Wrigley Company Agrees to Merger with Mars: The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company announced that it had reached an agreement to merge with Mars, Incorporated, one of the world’s leading confectionery and consumer goods companies. As a result of this transaction, Wrigley will become a private company and part of one of the world’s premier family-owned companies. The combined organization will have a product portfolio containing some of the world’s most recognizable and well-loved confectionery brands – including Orbit, Extra, Doublemint, M&M’s, Snickers and Mars – as well as leading food, beverage and pet care brands, totaling over $27 billion in global sales. Mars, Incorporated, will acquire 100% of Wrigley’s outstanding shares and all of its outstanding options will be cashed out. The Wrigley Company will operate as a separate, stand-alone subsidiary, keeping its headquarters in Chicago and continuing its civic and philanthropic involvement, both locally and in its communities around the world. Additionally, Bill Wrigley, Jr. will continue serving as the Company’s Executive Chairman. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including stockholder approval and certain governmental regulatory clearances. Both parties are committed to working to close the transaction as soon as possible, with the merger expected to be completed within six to twelve months.(MSN Money Central), NO WORD how or if this merger will effect M&M’s sponsorship of the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch and the #42 Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya.(4-29-2008)
  • 7th Annual Dale Earnhardt Day Set for Tuesday, April 29 TODAY:Dale Earnhardt Inc. will host the seventh annual Dale Earnhardt Day at its corporate headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. on Tuesday, April 29th. The event, which celebrates the birth date of the seven-time NASCAR Champion, also serves as a major benefit for the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, with a percentage of the event’s merchandise sales being donated to the Foundation. The event, which is themed "Behind the Legend, He was One of Us," will run from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and will feature a variety of activities and displays for the entire family. Personal photos, mementoes and trophies highlighting Dale’s personal & professional life through the decades of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, will be on hand at the event.(DEI) more info on my Racing Charities page.(4-17-2008)
    ESPN’s "NASCAR Now" To Broadcast Live from Dale Earnhardt Day:ESPN’s "NASCAR Now" will broadcast a special one-hour show live from Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Tuesday, April 29 from 6-7pm/et. The show will highlight Tuesday’s annual Dale Earnhardt Day event that honors the birthday of the seven-time NASCAR Champion and serves as a major benefit for the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. The show will be on hand for the event, which runs from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and will feature a variety of activities and displays for the entire family, and will originate live from the location at 6 p.m. There will be an official ceremony at 3 p.m. with ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch serving as the event’s official emcee. In addition, Dale Earnhardt Inc drivers will be on hand to sign autographs at different times during the event. In addition to ESPN, Tanner in the Morning of Charlotte, N.C.’s WSOC-FM 103.7 will host a live radio broadcast from 6-10 a.m., Sirius Satellite Radio will be on hand in the afternoon and Primetime with the Packman from Charlotte’s WFNZ-AM 610 will broadcast live from the event from 3-7 p.m.(DEI)
  • Richard and Kyle Petty Make ‘Pit Stop’ to Meet Paralyzed Veterans at Richmond VA Hospital: Richard and Kyle Petty, in advance of the Crown Royal Presents Dan Lowry 400, May 3 at the Richmond International Raceway, will drop by to meet paralyzed veterans at Richmond’s Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center on May 1, 2008. The legendary duo will visit with seriously wounded troops and meet leaders and members of Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) Virginia Mid-Atlantic Chapter. The Pettys are longtime supporters of Paralyzed Veterans’ work to ensure that those who have served and sacrificed have everything they need to thrive. Petty Enterprises recently donated the primary sponsorship of their No. 45 Dodge at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway to Paralyzed Veterans. Petty Enterprises announced in November 2007 that Paralyzed Veterans will serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Dodge Avenger for two races during the 2008 Sprint Cup season. The events will be the Crown Royal Presents Dan Lowry 400, May 3 at the Richmond International Raceway and the Pocono 500, June 8 at the Pocono Raceway. The organization will be an associate sponsor on the #45 Dodge for the remaining 34 races of the season. For more information, visit www.pva.org/petty.(Petty Racing), see images of the scheme on my #45 Team Schemes page.(4-29-2008)
  • Record Purse for Lowe’s Race: Nationwide Series drivers will battle for a record $1,287,710 during the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night, May 24.(LMW PR)(4-29-2008)
  • Logano’s Rockingham run to kick off biggest month of career: May 24th to be exact, means Logano’s 18th birthday. Teenagers typically anticipate their 18th birthday for various reasons, but Logano’s ability to make his first Nationwide Series start one week later on May 31st is one of the most anticipated events not only in his life, but also for the many fans the youngster won over through his years on the short tracks of the country. To help tune up for his May 31st Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing, Logano will team up with former ARCA RE/MAX Series winner Billy Venturini and the Venturini Motorsports team for the Carolina 500 ARCA event at Rockingham Speedway on May 4th.(JoeyLoganoRacing.com)(4-29-2008)
  • Acredale Returns to Jay Robinson Racing: Acredale Vending co. returns to Jay Robinson Racing this weekend at RIR in the Nationwide series as an associate sponsor.(Acredale PR)(4-29-2008)
  • Nationwide Series Ratings Up on ESPN Networks: ESPN on ABC’s live telecast of Saturday?s Aarons 312 Nationwide Series race at Talladega scored big increases in ratings and household impressions over last year’s race, continuing an upward trend to series TV numbers in 2008. The race earned a 2.6 rating and 2,962,000 household impressions, increases of 28 and 29 percent, respectively, over the same categories for last year’s ABC telecast (2.1; 2,291,000). The event also earned the largest numbers for a Nationwide Series race on the ESPN networks since live NASCAR racing returned to ESPN in 2007, eclipsing the previous high of 2.4/2,699,000 for the March, 2007, event from Las Vegas that aired on ABC. The Talladega telecast also earned large increases across the board in important demographic categories, increasing 67 percent in Males 18-34, 50 percent in males 55 and older and 44 percent in persons 55 and older. Cable ratings for the series have also increased in 2008. The average rating for the five Nationwide Series events that have aired on ESPN2 is 1.9, a 10 percent increase over the 1.7 from this point last season. ESPN2 numbers do not include the rain-delayed event from California Speedway in February that was run on a Monday. ESPN’s multi-platform approach to NASCAR coverage is also showing increases in areas other than television. ESPN.com’s motorsports section has grown 32 percent in visits during 2008, and ESPN’s Fantasy Racing was up 43 percent in visits and 15 percent in page views during the Talladega weekend as compared to the same weekend last year. ESPN-owned Jayski.com was up 16 percent in visits during Talladega weekend.(ESPN PR)(4-29-2008)
  • Randy Moss starting truck team: UPDATE Official Announcement: During the prerace report on Speed/TV at Kansas Speedway, Rick Allen reported that New England Patriot wide-receiver Randy Moss is starting a new truck team with plans to race toward the end of the year. A formal announcement is expected some time next week.(4-26-2008)
    UPDATE: Fresh off a record breaking NFL season, New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss announced today the formation of Moss Motorsports, LLC with its intended participation to begin in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Moss anticipates that the team will debut at some point in the second half of the 2008 season and run selected races through the conclusion of the year. The partial schedule is a prelude to a full-time campaign in 2009. Sponsors and manufacturer alignments will be announced at a later date. Moss is a ten year veteran in the National Football League and was a first-round draft pick in the 1998 draft out of Marshall University. He has been a NASCAR fan for several years including sponsorship of a local dirt track program and recently made the decision to get involved with the ownership of a NASCAR team. He is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the Urban Youth Racing School and furthers his youth advocacy while holding the same honor with American Youth Football. A major component of the Moss Motorsports program will be the continued involvement and support of youth programs. "There are a lot of NASCAR fans in the locker room," Moss said. "We’ve seen a lot of football players get involved – guys like Dan Marino and Troy Aikman to name a couple. I think it’s a good fit and gives some of the companies I am already working with an additional outlet. It’s a smart move on the marketing side of things but on the personal side of things I think it’s going to be a lot of fun." Randy has kick started his efforts by contracting with Integrity Sports Marketing, LLC – a leading motorsports marketing company in NASCAR. "We know it takes time to build a team from the ground up, and we have some good people working with us to get that process started," Moss said. "We are talking to the manufacturers, and we’re already evaluating some drivers. Eventually I’d like to be able to have our team work with some of the young guys that are working hard to make it up the ladder, but right now it might make more sense to find a driver with a lot of experience to get us started. But we really don’t have anyone in mind. We’ll look at who is available and find someone that can help us compete and win as quickly as we can." Moss believes Moss Motorsports will give his current marketing partners another avenue to gain exposure and will open doors for new companies that want to work with him. "The companies I already work with now have a chance to get some exposure to another group of dedicated sports fans," Moss said. "And we’ll have an opportunity to build some relationships with an entirely new group of companies as well. We’ll have a chance to do some pretty cool things between the football side and the racing side. That’s a part of the equation that most of the other teams don’t have, so we already have a competitive advantage over them. Once we get everything in place we look forward to competing on the race track too."(Integrity Sports Marketing/Moss Motorsports PR)(4-29-2008)
  • Braun takes lead in rookie standings after Kansas: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie class experienced a shake-up in points as Colin Braun moved from fourth to first in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle. Braun’s third-place finish at Kansas gives him a five-point advantage over second-place Justin Marks. The third-place finish at Kansas was Braun’s first top five of the season.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-29-2008)
  • Rick Allen signs to host ’08 HorsePower Tee Shot Tour season: Rick Allen, veteran announcer, has signed on as the Host for the 2008 HorsePower Tee Shot Tour season [televised on SPEED/TV]. The HorsePower Tee Shot Tour is a series of Power Golf events featuring NASCAR personalities and eight of the longest drivers of the golf ball in the world. Events take place during Sprint Cup race weeks at golf facilities located in close proximity to the race tracks. [Listed as involved; Kyle Petty, Elliott & Hermie Sadler, Brian Vickers, J.J. Yeley, Jeff Hammond.] For additional information concerning the 2008 HTST season, visit: HorsePowerTeeShotTour.com.(4-29-2008)


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