- Stewart talks about ‘feud’ with Johnson: #20-Tony Stewart has no idea why everyone is making such a big deal over him and #48-Jimmie Johnson getting together on the track at Phoenix. At Talladega, Stewart told PRN’s Garage Pass, "He’s a good friend of mine. He’s tried to call all week but I’ve been in Alabama fishing and didn’t even bring my cell phone. There’s not a problem between us, we’re really good friends and nothing is going to change that. There’s buddies that wreck into each other all the time and that’s why they call it accidents. I don’t know why everybody’s making such a big deal about it." The part that you guys don’t see is the part of where the guy’s trying to call you on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday trying to get a hold of you and wants to apologize. Nobody will write about it ’cause nobody cares because it doesn’t create good media. The part that ticks you off is that they’ll do everything they can to make it a big deal but there’s nothing there and there’s nobody there to follow up on saying hey this guy called the next day first thing in the morning to try and get a hold of him to say sorry it happened and didn’t mean to get into ya. It’s no big deal."
"When we talk after the race you guys (the media) have the luxury of being there right after the race so the emotion is there, you say things that by the time you get home that night you’re like, nah, it wasn’t a big deal. I know who he is, I know him as a person, I know it wasn’t intentional and you discard it. We’ve done a pretty good job in the last six to eight months of being under the radar and something that wasn’t even our fault last week is becoming a big problem for us. Not because it’s a problem between the two guys that it happened with but it’s because of the radio and the writers and this and that want to make a big deal about it. There is no deal, there’s nothing there, there ‘s nothing there of any substance, it was a wreck that happened."
When asked if some people want to try and create a rivalry Stewart agreed saying "Any time they can do something like that they do and that’s what ticks me off more than anything in this sport, it’s what I absolutely hate about it, is the fact that people are trying to make something out of nothing and that’s what’s frustrating." Stewart was asked if there needs to be some great on track rivalry. "Do you think there has to be? I don’t care if it does or not. It doesn’t matter to me when I get in the car whether there’s a rivalry on the race track with anybody or not it doesn’t change how I race. It doesn’t matter, it’s a waste of my time."(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-29-2005)
- Award Show Dates Set: NASCAR has announced the dates and sites for season-ending awards ceremonies for its three national series, plus its nationwide short-track competitive level. The run of celebrations will be highlighted by the renewal of a true NASCAR tradition – "Champion’s Week" in New York City. As it has since 1981, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will honor its champion at the venerable Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. This year, the gala is set for Friday, Dec. 2 and also will feature the other drivers involved in the "Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." TNT will broadcast the event nationally that evening; it will be re-broadcast at a later date on NBC.
Dates and times for the awards ceremonies for the NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series also have been established:
For the fourth consecutive year, the NASCAR Busch Series awards ceremony is set for the Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla. The celebration will take place Friday, Dec. 9, and will be broadcast at a later date by TNT.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will conclude its "10 Years Tough" celebration on Sunday, Dec. 11 – also at the Portofino Bay Hotel. The ceremony will be broadcast at a later date by SPEED Channel. The location and time are new; instead of hosting its awards ceremony on the Saturday evening following the Friday season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series now will crown its champion three weeks later.
Also, the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series awards ceremony will be held in Nashville. This year’s celebration will be held Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.
2005 NASCAR Awards Ceremonies
Sat., Nov. 5: NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville
Fri., Dec. 2: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York
Fri., Dec. 9: NASCAR Busch Series, Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando, Fla.
Sun., Dec. 11: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando, Fla.(NASCAR PR)(4-29-2005)
- Engine Builder Showndown to honor Dorton: This year’s final round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown will be about more than speed, precision and bragging rights, it will serve as a platform to remember the life of Randy Dorton, former director of engine development of Hendrick Motorsports. In an effort to pay tribute to one of the best engine builders in NASCAR history and further the Dorton Family’s commitment of passing the torch of knowledge on to younger generations, Clevite Engine Parts, the NASCAR Technical Institute and Dianne Dorton are coming together for a very special Final Round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. This year’s final round of competition will be held once again at the prestigious NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC on Tuesday, May 24. The festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the start of the silent charity auction featuring incredible NASCAR memorabilia, as well as a VIP reception featuring some of Randy’s closest friends in racing. The event will include the announcement of the new Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting those NTI students focusing on engine building. In addition to the silent auction, the night will include a live auction with proceeds going to the Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, and more. This year’s final round should prove to be one of the most exciting in Showdown history. Mike Maiwald of Hendrick Motorsports, long time Showdown participant and last year’s first runner-up, set two new engine build records this year along with his build partner, Shane Parsnow. During Round One, they set a new build record of 20 minutes and 20 seconds. They then shattered that record during Round Two with a build time of 18 minutes and 54 seconds. The previous record was established in 2002 by long time Showdown participant Danny Lawrence of Richard Childress Racing.
After Round Three, which will be held the evening of Monday, May 23, two of the following four teams will advance to the Showdown’s final round.
· Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Engines
· Tom Karas and Kevin Webber of Hendrick Engines
· Mike Lanci and Jesse Hardee of Ernie Elliot Engines
· Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing
This year’s Clevite Engine Builder Showdown champion team will be immortalized alongside past Showdown champions on the new Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented by Dianne Dorton and Terry Shively, vice president and general manager of Clevite Engine Parts. Anyone who wishes to make a contribution to the Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, or donate an item for the Randy Dorton Memorial Showdown charity auction, which will be held in conjunction with the final round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown, can visit the Randy Dorton Web site at www.randydorton.com.(PR)(4-29-2005)
- #66 to run Aaron’s decals: Michael Waltrip, who owns the #00 Aaron’s Rent Chevy that Kenny Wallace attempted to get into the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway but failed to qualify for, said that #66 Hermie Sadler would run the Aaron’s decals on Sunday in the race.(Speed Channel’s Trackside)(4-29-2005)
- Hornaday has appendix out, Raines to stand by: Craftsman Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday, Jr. was home Tuesday when he felt a ‘pop’ in his stomach. Turns out his appendix burst and he underwent emergency surgery. Despite that, Hornaday plans on running Saturday’s race at Gateway International with Tony Raines standing by to drive Kevin Harvick’s #6 truck in case he’s needed.(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-29-2005)
- New Crew Chief for Robby? UPDATE: hearing that #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports crew chief Bob Temple and the team parted ways this past week, no word on his plans or who is the new crew chief.(4-29-2005)
UPDATE: Bob Temple has been replaced as crew chief on Robby Gordon’s team. Patrick Donahue is the acting crew chief for the team….and it is expected that next week Greg Erwin (was the lead engineer for Xpress motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Team) will be named Crew Chief. Erwin is acting as a consultant to the team this weekend. Team officials say that The team has been looking at "all apects" of the organization and additional changes are planned.(Claire B. Lang – XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(4-29-2005)
- TV Ratings Up from Overnight: Fox’s broadcast of last Saturday night’s Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway earned a final Nielsen Media Research rating of 5.1 and a 10 market share, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is up 13.3 percent from the 4.5 overnight rating from the nation’s largest television markets. There was no spring race at Phoenix last year, but Fox’s broadcast of the Sunday afternoon race at Talladega Superspeedway on the comparable 2004 weekend earned a 6.3 rating. The 5.1, however, was recorded on a Saturday night, traditionally an off period for television viewing, and was the highest figure of any weekend sports broadcast. It also matched the 5.1 for the Sunday afternoon broadcast of the April 10 Martinsville race, which was the lowest figure for any of the season’s eight races to date.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-29-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: By picking Kurt Busch as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 23rd, Arnold B. of Tarboro, NC was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Arnold picked Busch as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com and entering before the weekly deadline. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition(NPCC) on behalf of Busch. This is the second time this season a donation has been made to the NPCC on behalf of Busch.(Alan Taylor Communications)(4-29-2005)
- Jeff Gordon in Limbo at Talladega: Since the car he used to win the Daytona 500 is parked at Daytona USA for a year, #24-Jeff Gordon will bring a new ride to Talladega. It’s called "Limbo."
"It took about five or six months to build the car that’s in Daytona USA," said Gordon, who has won three of the last restrictor plate races at Daytona and Talladega. "You hate to lose a good car that the team spent so much time on, but it’s an honor to have it there. "With only two months since that win the team hasn’t had enough time to build a new one, so we’ll bring another car out of our stable."
"Limbo" got its name because it took so long to build. It will have a special "Star Wars" paint scheme.(The State)(4-29-2005)
- DW Inducted into Hall of Fame: Darrell Waltrip was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame last night – the highest honor for any race driver – and he credited his success to "all the people around me. Other people are responsible for what I’ve been able to accomplish," he said, "starting with my parents. My mom and dad were hard-working people. We had a lot of hard times, but we didn’t cry much. We laughed a lot." Waltrip, 58, said his wife Stevie, "the first person who believed in me," was "responsible for a lot of my success." Team owner Junior Johnson was "in the right place at the right time" to help guide him to three points titles. "Our sport’s not about cars," Waltrip said. "It’s about people, and I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by great people all of my life." Waltrip, who moved to Franklin from Owensboro, Ky., in the late 1960s to pursue his racing career, won 84 races, tied with Bobby Allison for third all-time. He retired from full-time driving after the 2000 season and became a racing commentator for Fox Sports. Waltrip will be calling this weekend’s races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Waltrip was introduced last night by his younger brother Michael, who said, "He’s a wonderful person, a great role model on and off the track. He broke the mold on what a race driver was supposed to be about." Last night’s other inductees were legendary Formula One driver Nigel Mansell; Bob Glidden, the National Hot Road Association’s winningest driver and 10-time champion; Joe Amato, the NHRA’s all-time Top Fuel winner; and Chris Hanauer, considered the all-time greatest hydroplane racer.(Tennessean)(4-29-2005)
- Kvapil like Switzerland in in Wallace-Newman feud: #77-Travis Kvapil said he gets along fine with both his Penske Racing South comrades – #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman. But he also said the ongoing feud between those two is awkward at times. "I don’t want anybody to think I’m choosing sides," Kvapil said. "I do feel like I’m caught in the middle a little bit. I’m just trying to stay quiet. Whatever their differences are is between them. I wish we could work through it and it would all go away." Kvapil, who drives the #77 Kodak Dodge, said his team shares information with the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Wallace and the #12 Alltel Dodge of Newman. But Wallace’s and Newman’s teams don’t share info with each other.(Dallas Morning News)(4-29-2005)
- DEI to Open Doors in honor of Earnhardt’s 54th Birthday TODAY: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will open the doors of its Mooresville, N.C. shop to fans on April 29, which would have marked the 54th birthday of founder Dale Earnhardt. The team’s showroom will have a display on the 25-year history of DEI. A Jumbotron on the front lawn will show highlights of Earnhardt’s career and coverage of Friday qualifying at Talladega.
Dale Earnhardt fans will have the opportunity to take home some great prizes and bid on "one of a kind" DEI racing memorabilia during Dale Earnhardt Day activities planned for April 29 at the corporate headquarters of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The fourth annual event celebrates the birthday of legendary race driver and seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. A raffle, silent auction and live auction will be held during the day, with all proceeds benefiting The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Five raffle drawings will be held throughout the day and tickets may be purchased for $3 each or eight for $20. Prizes include a 1/6 scale remote control #3 race car and a pair of 100 channel trackside scanners. The raffle grand prize is a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. leather jacket, signed by Dale Jr.
For the collector, a number of special items will be on display and sale to the highest bidder in both a silent and live auction. The silent auction will feature six items, including sheet metal from DEI cars signed by the drivers and Teresa Earnhardt. Fans can also bid on a signed, limited edition Gibson electric guitar created for the 2003 Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert and a private "behind the scenes" tour of DEI for four, which also includes lunch in the Trophy Room, DEI’s private dining room, among other items.(DEI PR)(4-18/29-2005)
AND On Friday, April 22, Teresa Earnhardt joined Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and other politicians from Georgia in proclamation of a very special day. The State of Georgia formally named each April 29 as Dale Earnhardt Day in recognition of seven-time NASCAR champion and American Icon, Dale Earnhardt. He was born on April 29, 1951. This is the sixth state to mark the occasion with a governmental proclamation. The States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida currently have similar proclamations.(DEI PR)(4-29-2005)
- Burton to appear on TV show: The fast-paced world of auto racing will be front and center on The WB’s hit series One Tree Hill from Warner Bros. Television Tuesday, May 3 (9-10 p.m.) as Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan (James Lafferty) meet up with real-life NASCAR standout Jeff Burton, who drives the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet in the Cup Series. Lucas and Nathan meet Burton in the garage before they take a couple of laps around the track. In the episode, which combines America’s most popular spectator sport with a dramatic ending, Lucas and Nathan go to the track with their uncle, a professional stock car racer. While there, Nathan and Lucas learn to drive a car in excess of 100 miles per hour as Nathan tries to leave his past in the dust. The pair also gets the chance to rub elbows with Burton, a career 17-time winner on the NASCAR Cup Series.(RCR PR)(4-29-2005)
- Harvick wins the pole at Talladega: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser pole for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 189.804mph, almost a mph faster then #24-Jeff Gordon who ran 188.988mph and will start on the outside pole. The rest of the top-five are #38-Elliott Sadler, #10-Scott Riggs and #12-Ryan Newman. Missing the race were #7-Robby Gordon, #37-Kevin Lepage, #00-Kenny Wallace and #92-Stanton Barrett. #99-Carl Edwards qualified 21st but the team changed the transmission, so Edwards will start at the rear of the field. The pole is Harvick’s 3rd pole and 1st since Indy in 2003.
See qualifying results, starting lineup, lineup links, pole progression on my Jayski’s Talladega Qualifying/Grid/Practice Page.(4-29-2005)
- Talladega Qualifying News and Notes
Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Aaron’s 499, lapping Talladega Superspeedway in 50.452 seconds at 189.804 mph. Bill Elliott track-qualifying record of 44.998 seconds, 212.809 mph, set April 30, 1987, prior to the implementation of restrictor-plates. Elliott also holds the restrictor-plate qualifying record at Talladega, 48.128 seconds, 199.388 mph, set May 4, 1990.
Harvick posted his third career Bud Pole and his first since Indianapolis 2003, 60 races ago. It is his third top-10 start in 2005, all in the past four races. Harvick has just three top-10 starts in nine Talladega races. His previous best start here was second in April 2003.
Harvick is the seventh different Bud Pole winner in 2005. Ryan Newman (three) is the only multiple Bud Pole winner this season.
Jeff Gordon posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 50.670 seconds, 188.988 mph, and will join Harvick on the front row for the Aaron’s 499. Gordon tied his best Talladega start (July 1996) in posting his 13th top-10 start in 25 races here. He scored his fourth top-10 start in 2005, all in the past five races.
This is the fourth Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge has three Bud Poles and Ford has two.
Elliott Sadler (third) posted his fourth top-10 start in 12 races at Talladega, all in the past five races. It is also his fourth top-10 start this season.
Scott Riggs (fourth) posted his third top-10 start in 2005. Riggs has started from the top five in all three of his races at Talladega.
Ryan Newman (fifth) posted his fourth top-10 start in seven races at Talladega, but his first since April 2003. Newman is the only driver to post top10 starts in every race this season.
Jimmie Johnson (sixth) posted his sixth top-10 start in seven races at Talladega. It is his fifth top-10 start in 2005, but his first since Atlanta.
Ricky Rudd (seventh) posted his 19th top-10 start in his 57 races at Talladega. It is his second top-10 start this season.
Dave Blaney (eighth) posted
- Rusty to run Kentucky race: Rusty Wallace and his #64 Top Flite Golf car will swing into action with fellow NEXTEL Cup Series stars Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne when the Busch Series takes the green flag for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" at Kentucky Speedway on June 18 at 8:00pm/et. The full day of family entertainment will include a prerace concert with decorated country music artist Travis Tritt and an appearance by race grand marshal and Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the 2004 National Football League offensive rookie of the year. Biffle, Edwards, Kahne, Wallace and Waltrip will split time between Kentucky Speedway and the June 19 NEXTEL Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-29-2005)
- Heavy Winds at Talladega predicted/Weather warning from EMA: Campers and race fans have a lot more speed to watch out for this weekend than just what’s happening at the Talladega Superspeedway. A warning from the National Weather Service in Birmingham has predicted 20 to 30 mph winds during the day Friday and some gusts up to 60 and 70 mph late that afternoon until midnight. There’s also a slight chance for severe thunderstorms Friday and early Saturday morning. "The Talladega County Emergency Management Agency will sound the three nearest outdoor warning sirens that surround the speedway with the normal test siren tone followed by a public address to advise those camping of the approaching weather should winds begin to gust as high as predicted," according to a press release from the EMA. The speedway has advised campers to secure awnings, trash cans, tents, barbecue grills and other items that could become airborne by tying down such objects or putting them away. "Do not wait until the storm arrives to try and secure items," the press release states. "Please make your preparations to day or this evening for your safety and the safety of all citizens and race fans." Because the predicted winds are so severe, tornadoes and straight-line winds are a threat. Campers, keep your ears tuned in for the sirens and to weather radios in case warning severe weather.(Daily Home via Catchfence)(4-29-2005)
- Truex Jr. wins at Talladega: after a rain soaked day at Talladega, Martin Truex Jr. won the for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, his 2nd in a row. The race was delayed a few hours but was able to finish the whole race and even go to a green-white-checkered finish. The rest of the top-5 were #47-Jon Wood, #14-David Stremme, #25-Ashton Lewis Jr. and #98-Kerry Earnhardt. Pole sitter #11-Paul Menard finished 27th and points leader #60-Carl Edwards finished 33rd and holds on to the points lead.
Race results at:
- Rusty to run Kentucky race: Rusty Wallace and his #64 Top Flite Golf car will swing into action with fellow NEXTEL Cup Series stars Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne when the Busch Series takes the green flag for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" at Kentucky Speedway on June 18 at 8:00pm/et. The full day of family entertainment will include a prerace concert with decorated country music artist Travis Tritt and an appearance by race grand marshal and Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the 2004 National Football League offensive rookie of the year. Biffle, Edwards, Kahne, Wallace and Waltrip will split time between Kentucky Speedway and the June 19 NEXTEL Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway.(Kentucky Speedway)
AND A partnership between Bar-S Foods Company and RWI Racing has received the green flag. Bar-S will partner with the #64 Dodge race team to promote their lunchmeat, franks, sausage and bacon products. Bar-S will use the association with RWI to promote a consumer sweepstakes on-pack and in-store throughout the 2005 racing season.(RWI-Bar-S PR)(4-29-2005)
- Mears in the #38 at Talladega. Casey Mears will drive the #38 Great Clips Dodge at Talladega Superspeedway, Tyler Walker was scheduled to drive, but was not cleared by NASCAR to run Talladega. Kasey Kahne, who drives the car part-time, sharing with Walker, was not available as he is driving the #6 Hungry Drivers car in the Busch race.(4-29-2005)
- Benson gets a sponsor for Gateway: Bill Davis Racing is proud to announce that Newbold Toyota will serve as the primary sponsor of #23 Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Benson during the race weekend at Gateway International Raceway.(BDR)(4-29-2005)
- Bickle to the truck series UPDATEs: Speed Channel’s NASCAR Nation reports that Rich Bickle will drive a #5 Chevy [well…unless Skinner and Bill Davis give up the number, I would assume it’ll be a different number or the #05], owned by Ed Conz and sponsor by the VFW. First race planned is at Milwaukee in June.
NOTE: back in October, the team had a website, which is now not up, and announced that they would run in Cup late in 2004 and full-time in 2005 in the #05 car with Bickle, but not much info was there at the time and the site is offline.(3-11-2005)
UPDATE: Rich Bickle has a three-race Craftsman Truck Series deal with backing from the VFW, which is promoting its Hidden Heroes Fund, a campaign to raise $5 million to aid families of active duty American servicemen. Bickle is to race Saturday in Madison, Ill., May 15 in Mansfield, Ohio, and May 20 in Concord, N.C.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
AND hearing Bickle will drive for Bobby Dotter in either the #08 or #05 Chevy.(4-29-2005)