October 2005 News Archives
News from October 31, 2005
- Car of Tomorrow Tests at Atlanta: Cars were on track at Atlanta Motor Speedway today, just one day after the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. With five race teams’ participation, NASCAR tested the Car of Tomorrow in a day-long test session. Yesterday’s race winner Carl Edwards was among the drivers testing. Joining him were Jeff Burton, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Petty and Brian Vickers, all testing cars from their own teams and Brett Bodine driving NASCAR’s representative car. “Safety tops the list of things that are different about this car,” Gary Nelson, vice president of research and development for NASCAR said. “We have done a lot of things in the last four years to improve safety that are car of tomorrow items, but we put them on the car of today if they would fit. You can’t just fit a bigger roll-cage, a different frame or different exhaust. The average race fan is going to see a taller, wider car that has been designed to enhance competition on the track.” Drivers said they could tell a difference between the cars they drove yesterday and the Car of Tomorrow they drove today. “These drive a lot more like my Busch car,” said 2004 Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr. “They have a lot more air on the back of them. They are real stable getting into the corner compared to a Cup car.” Truex addressed NASCAR’s emphasis on safety. “You’re always happy when they try and make things safer,” said Truex. “It doesn’t feel good when you hit the wall. They have done a good job with safety over the last two years. I haven’t really seen anybody get hurt in the last couple years, so they’ve come a long way.” Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet doesn’t think the racing will change a lot from the fans perspective. “As far as racing goes, we are all going to have the same thing, everybody is still going to try and find advantages like they do now, so I don’t see if being much different.”(AMS PR)(10-31-2005)
- Atlanta Early TV Ratings down: NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway earned a 3.9 overnight rating and an 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The overnight rating from the nation’s largest television markets is down 7.1% from 4.2 last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-31-2005)
- Final Martinsville TV Ratings Up: Final Nielsen Media Research numbers show that NBC’s broadcast of the Oct. 23 Subway 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway earned a 4.7 rating and a 10 share, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 6.8% higher than the 4.4 the race drew for the network last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), early ratings were down 5%.(10-31-2005)
- Osborne Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Atlanta: Bob Osborne, crew chief of the #99 Office Depot Ford, and Carl Edwards notched their third victory of 2005 this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This was the duo’s second Nextel Cup win of the year at Atlanta, giving them a clean sweep of the season’s action at the track. Edwards led the race eight times for 115 laps, including the final 36, before taking the checkered flag of the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. For bringing Edwards the win, Osborne was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
In the early stages of the event, Edwards didn’t appear to be as stout as the other cars in the top-five. But as the race went on, the #99 Taurus only got stronger and stronger. “There were a lot of good cars in the race today,” said Osborne after the event. “We started out loose. Most of the cars running up front were neutral at first and we couldn’t get up to them, but they started to tighten up through the race. We did too, but that’s what we needed. The car was its best at the end. This team has worked so hard and this weekend is a real testament to that.” The panel of voters, including a Wypall Wipers representative, Robbie Reiser and Tony Eury Sr., all voted for Osborne as the crew chief that did the best job.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson, Bob Osborne and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser, Chad Knaus, Steve Addington and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-31-2005)
- Condolences: John Darby, director of the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, wasn’t at the race following the death of his mother. His role was filled by Wayne Auton, who normally directs the Craftsman Truck Series. The series director works in the control tower with NASCAR president Mike Helton, race director David Hoots and other officials. They make the call on caution flags, rules violations and other issues that come up during a race.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-31-2005)
- Rudd to the #2? #97 to #28? MORE: Lee Spencer reports on Around the Track that Roger Penske spoke with Ricky Rudd regarding taking over the #2 ride if Kurt Busch is not released from the #97 team. The #97 is expected to switch to the #28 in 2006. Around the Track runs on Fox Sports South [TV] at 10:30pm/et tonight.(10-30-2005)
MORE: Bobby Labonte might be the most popular driver in the garage right now when it comes to teams that need drivers. What team wouldn’t want to tease potential sponsors with a former champion? He has been mentioned as a candidate to drive the Nos. 43, 42 and 22. If Labonte drives the No. 43 for Petty Enterprises, Shell looks good as the sponsor. If Labonte jumps into the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing ride, that opens the door for Jamie McMurray to move to Roush Racing to drive the #97 (which could switch numbers and become the 28). Kurt Busch could in turn take over the No. 2 Penske Racing car after Rusty Wallace retires. Roger Penske admitted in Atlanta that he had spoken to Ricky Rudd about possibly doing a one-year deal if Busch were not released, but the surest bet in the driver’s roulette would be on Busch in the #2 at Daytona.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)
- Bridgestone/Michelin looking to get into NASCAR? When Goodyear’s exclusive contract with NASCAR runs out, apparently at the end of 2007, both Bridgestone and Michelin are expected to bid for the new deal.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
- Baldwin leaving Evernham? UPDATE 4 Denied: hearing that #9 crew chief, Tommy Baldwin could be leaving Evernham Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne. There had been rumors he could be headed to Hendrick Motorsports and #24-Jeff Gordon, but Hendrick Motorsports says they are committed to new crew chief, Steve Letarte, for the rest of 2005 and for the 2006 season.
UPDATE: hearing Baldwin could end up at the #38 M&M’s/Robert Yates Racing team as Elliott Sadler’s crew chief, replacing Todd Parrott.(9-19-2005)
UPDATE 2: Baldwin recently signed a contract with Evernham Motorsports that runs thru 2010. “The only way I would leave, I guess is if Ray [Evernham] threw me out,” say Baldwin. “We’re not talking with him,” Yates Team Manager Eddie D’Hondt said. “He’s got a pretty strong contract where he is and he’s happy where he is.” [Evernham and #9 Kahne](NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-1-2005)
UPDATE 3 – it’s back… hearing once again that #9 Crew Chief, Tommy Baldwin will be parting ways with Evernham Motorsports, could be after Atlanta or at the end of the season, no word this time, where he would end up.(10-29-2005)
UPDATE 4: There were rumors Tommy Baldwin, crew chief for Mayfield’s teammate #9-Kasey Kahne, wanted out [of Evernham Motorsports]. Baldwin said he’s not going anywhere.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)
- Vickers to test ‘Car of Tomorrow’ at Atlanta UPDATE: Following Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway #25-Brian Vickers will remain in Atlanta to conduct a test session for NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports. He will be driving the next-generation NEXTEL Cup Series car, known as the “car of tomorrow.” Several other teams that have built the new cars will be testing as well.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-28-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR’s proposed car-of-the-future is to be tested today at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with Ford’s Carl Edward, Chevy drivers Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton and Martin Truex Jr., and Dodge’s Kyle Petty, along with NASCAR’s Brett Bodine. The bigger, boxier car has been controversial, and some people in the NASCAR garage are insisting that it will never make to a starting line. NASCAR officials insist they hope to debut it next October at Talladega, with a full rollout in 2007.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
- Blaney Looking: Dave Blaney, current driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy, reported he had no change in the prospects in picking up a ride for next season. He did say he would consider going back to Bill Davis Racing to take over the #22 next season as replacement for released Scott Wimmer.(High Point Enterprise)(10-29-2005)
UPDATE – Blaney to the #49? Dave Blaney is under consideration for the #49 ride with Beth Ann Morgenthau [BAM Racing], replacing Ken Schrader, who is headed to the #21 Wood brothers. Blaney and the Morgenthaus have been talking since July, according to sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
- Hamlin to be named to #11 for 2006? UPDATE: hearing that Denny Hamlin will be named to drive the #11 FedEx Chevy for Joe Gibbs Racing full time in 2006 and run for rookie of the year, expect an announcement soon.(10-29-2005)
UPDATE: Denny Hamlin will be named as the driver for the #11 Fedex Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin, who is fifth in Busch Series points, has been auditioning for the ride in the last four races.(Sporting News)(10-31-2005)
News from October 30, 2005
- Pattie in for Elledge at Atlanta..for a good reason #41 crew chief, Jimmy Elledge is back home in NC today as wife Kelley [Earnhardt] had a baby on Saturday, Kennedy Dale. Brian Pattie will be Casey Mears crew chief at Atlanta.(NASCAR This Morning)(10-30-2005)
- Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? UPDATE 3 Holly too? Bootie staying: Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he’s out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss’ #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night’s crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
UPDATE: hearing Green has signed with the #0 and that Best Buy could be the full primary sponsor in 2006, not sure what NetZero would do, could follow Bliss to where he ends up, to another team or out of the sport.(10-21-2005)
UPDATE 2: Jeff Green will drive the #0 for Gene Haas next season. The reunion of Green and former crew chief Harold Holly [currently Haas’s #44 Busch crew chief] should produce a competitive team. The two won a Busch Series title together in 2000.(Sporting News), so wonder what happens to Bootie Barker, the current #0 crew chief.(10-24-2005)
UPDATE 3: on Speed Channel’s NASCAR This Morning, #0 crew chief Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker, was asked about the Harold Holly rumor and said he and Holly are good friends and that he [Bootie] has a long term contract and expects to be back as the #0 crew chief in 2006. His comments: “Well, hey, I guess it’s logical that rumor. Harold (Holly) and Jeff were together and did real well. But Harold and I are great friends and no animosity between us. I think what it was was just somebody needed a story, and they just put one out there because I’m signed. I’ve got a multi-year deal, and Gene Haas and the rest of the Best Buy car is happy with me. That could change. Everything changes in this sport, but as of right now, everything is good.”(NASCAR This Morning)(10-30-2005)
- New Tire Pressure Rule? UPDATE Last week’s Charlotte tire debacle will prompt NASCAR to incorporate a minimum tire pressure rule, possibly by next weeek’s trip to Atlanta.(RacingOne)(10-23-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR made Goodyear’s recommended air pressures mandatory for yesterday’s Craftsman Truck race and also will hold teams to the rule in today’s Cup race. One truck crew chief called the policy ridiculous. The tire-blowing debacle two weeks ago at Lowe’s Motor Speedway was cited as a reason behind the decision. But team owner Richard Childress believes the problems stem from NASCAR instituting a shorter spoiler this year. “It hasn’t done anything for racing but cost the owners a lot of money,” Childress said. “And to offset it, they put on a soft tire, and what do you get there? You get track records and high cornering speeds everywhere. It hasn’t been nothing but a disaster.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-30-2005)
- Edwards sweeps Atlanta: #99-Carl Edwards won the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2005 and his career, 2nd at Atlanta, being the first driver to sweep both Atlanta Cup races since Bill Elliott in 1992 and only the 6th driver to do so at the track. #24-Jeff Gordon follows up last weeks win with a 2nd place finish, followed by #6-Mark Martin, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [who led the most laps] and #17-Matt Kenseth. Points leader, #20-Tony Stewart finished 9th and coupled with #48-Jimmie Johnson’s [2nd in points] finish of 16th, Stewart increases his points lead from 15 to 43. Three Chasers had bad days, #97-Busch, #2-Wallace and #19-Mayfield all had bad days and finished 36th, 37th and 38th respectfully and for all practical purposes are out of the hunt for the Championship. #39-Reed Sorenson, in his 1st career start, crashed late and finished 41st out of the race. There were 9 cautions for 39 laps and 11 drivers led laps with 25 lead changes.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF’s, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s Atlanta Race Results/Awards page.
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page.(10-30-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Atlanta race 7 of 10 in the Chase:
#20-Tony Stewart, 6100
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 6057, -43
#16-Greg Biffle, 6025, -75
#99-Carl Edwards, 5993, -107
#12-Ryan Newman, 5993, -107
#6-Mark Martin, 5957, -143>BR> #17-Matt Kenseth, 5945, -155
#2-Rusty Wallace, 5843, -257
#97-Kurt Busch, 5840, -260
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5790, -310
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#42-Jamie McMurray, 3782
#24-Jeff Gordon, -42
#38-Elliott Sadler, -60
#29-Kevin Harvick -71
#01-Joe Nemechek -89
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page.(10-30-2005)
- “Classic” Points Standings – Top 15…the old way, not the Chase after Atlanta, race 33 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4766
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4511, -255
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4422, -344
4) #2-Rusty Wallace, 4215, -551
5) #6-Mark Martin, 4205, -561
6) #97-Kurt Busch, 4114, -652
7) #99-Carl Edwards, 4092, -674
8) #17-Matt Kenseth, 4044, -722
9) #12-Ryan Newman, 4043, -723
10) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3998, -768
11) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3782, -984
12) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3740, -1026
13) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3722, -1044
14) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3711, -1055
15) #01-Joe Nemechek, 3693, -1073
- The Chasers…where do they start/finish at Atlanta:
#20-Tony Stewart, starts 10th, finished
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 12th, 16th
#12-Ryan Newman, 1st, 23rd
#16-Greg Biffle, 16th, 7th
#99-Carl Edwards, 2nd, 1st
#2-Rusty Wallace, 32nd, 37th
#6-Mark Martin, 4th, 3rd
#97-Kurt Busch, 30th, 36th
#17-Matt Kenseth, 23rd, 5th
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 19th, 38th.(10-30-2005)
- Driver Change – Hamilton Jr. In, Chaffin Out: on Speed Channel’s NASCAR This Morning, it was mentioned that Bobby Hamilton Jr.. who failed to qualify for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday in the #32 Tide Chevy, will take over the #92 Chevy that Chad Chaffin qualified. Chaffin was to start 43rd as will Hamilton Jr.
AND PPI Motorsports (PPIM) through a partnership with car owner Bob Jenkins will race the #32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet with driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. in today’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “Bob and I forged a relationship at Talladega a few weeks ago,” said Wells. “And he was gracious enough to continue the partnership with PPIM at Atlanta. We are looking forward to fielding our #32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet in today’s event as well as accomplishing our goal for the weekend which is a top-25 finish.”(PPI Motorsports)(10-30-2005)
- #21 Team Moving: The Wood Brothers Racing #21 team is moving to its third shop in the past two years. When the team decided to move from its long-time base in Stuart, Va., closer to the racing mecca around Concord, N.C., where most NASCAR teams are located, it took over Ricky Rudd’s old shop in Mooresville, NC. But those quarters proved to be too cramped. Team co-owner Len Wood said the new shop — which the team will share with ST Motorsports, a Busch Series team now working with the Woods — is 129,000 square feet versus the 30,000-square-foot building that now houses the team. It is about four miles from Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-30-2005)
- Atlanta Race Notes:
• Carl Edwards won the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, scoring his third NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 46th career start.
• Edwards scored his third victory in 2005. His last victory came at Pocono in June, 19 races earlier.
• It was Edward’s second victory in three races at Atlanta.
• Edwards scored the third sweep in 2005 joining Jimmie Johnson (Charlotte) and Jeff Gordon (Martinsville).
• This was the first sweep at Atlanta since Bill Elliott swept both races in 1992.
• Edwards has scored 15 top-10 finishes in 33 races in 2005.
• This was Edwards third top-five finish in three races at Atlanta. Edwards finished third in his first race there in 2004.
• Edwards climbed from fifth to fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, now 107 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.
• Edwards led eight times for 115 laps including the final 36 laps.
• Edwards scored the fifth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This was Roush’s 87th victory as a car owner and 13th in 33 races this season.
• This is the 14th victory by a Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 16 and Dodge has three.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 142 laps, leading the most laps for the first time this season. Prior to today’s race he had led only 27 laps in 2005. The last time he led the most laps in a race was at Phoenix last November.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-30-2005)
- Rumblings – Atlanta:
Carl Edwards completed the Atlanta sweep today as he captured the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 in rather easy fashion….winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a comfortable 2.712 seconds. This was his 3rd win of they season (besides the spring race here he also won at Pocono in June) and he’s now all the way up to 84th on the all-time win list. Win #87 for Roush Racing was worth $314,700 from the over $5.9M in posted awards.
Dale Earnhardt Jr (4th) had his best finish since he won at Chicagoland in July. Jamie McMurray (6th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Daytona in July. Michael Waltrip (11th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Michigan in June. Mike Bliss (13th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Bristol in August. Johnny Benson (28th) had his best finish since he was 27th at Daytona in February of 2004 (only 6 races). STREAKIN….Carl Edwards has 5 Top-10’s in the last 6 races.
Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
This Week’s Elevator…UP: Operator of the Week is Jeff Burton (+33), followed by Michael Waltrip (+26), Jeff Gordon (+22), and Jamie McMurray (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Martin Truex Jr (-32), followed by Kasey Kahne (-29), Kevin Lepage (-29), Mike Skinner (-28 ), Ryan Newman (-22), and Jeremy Mayfield (-20). This was Op #2 for Burton, while Truex makes his first ever appearance in the “Shaft”.
Tony Stewart’s lead in the “Chase” is now 43 markers. For all practical purposes, the “Chase” is down to the Top-7.
In “Classic” points, Jeff Gordon gains the most spots (15th to 12th), while Jeremy Mayfield (7th to 10th) fell the same number of spots. That vaunted 11th spot is still in Jamie McMurray’s grasp….but only by 42 points over Gordon.(Stock Car Fans)(10-30-2005)
- NASCAR This Morning Picks for Atlanta:
Jimmy Spencer – Greg Biffle – 553 points….7th (560)
John Roberts – Jimmie Johnson – 580….16th (596)
Kenny Wallace – Mark Martin – 582….3rd (585)
(points = adding up their picks finish, so lowest leads)
News from October 29, 2005
- Reeses to take larger role on #29 in 2006? UPDATE 4 Official: hearing Reeses/Hershey will take a larger sponsorship role [up to a 1/3rd of the races?] on the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy that Kevin Harvick drivers for Richard Childress Racing in 2006. This is not seen on the 2006 Paint Scheme Votew winner at gmgoodwrench.com, where the Black & Silver paint scheme won the vote with 61% favoring, over 53,000 votes were tallied.(10-13-2005)
UPDATE: GM Goodwrench/REESE’S Press Announcement…Richard Childress Racing will hold a press conference on Saturday, October 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(10-27-2005)
UPDATE 2: nothing official yet..but on Speed Channel’s NASCAR Live, it was reported that Reeses will be the primary sponsor for 12 races in 2006.(10-29-2005)
UPDATE 3: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced that GM Goodwrench and The Hershey Company have joined forces as co-primary sponsors of RCR’s #29 Chevy driven by Kevin Harvick in 2006. GM Goodwrench will be the primary sponsor for 24 races, including the Daytona 500. The Hershey Company, through its Reese’s brand, will be the primary sponsor for 12 races, including the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We see this as a great opportunity to extend our NASCAR program with a brand like REESE’S,” said Jim Moloney, General Director, GM Service and Parts Operations Marketing. “We have had a relationship with The Hershey Company through our involvement with Richard Childress Racing for five years now and it continues to grow and prosper. When we analyzed our GM Goodwrench sponsorship program, we saw a great opportunity to reach a much larger demographic audience by teaming up with The Hershey Company. While it may be strange for fans to see the #29 Chevrolet without GM Goodwrench as the lone primary sponsor, the opportunity for additional exposure generated by REESE’S is too good to pass up.”(RCR PR)(10-29-2005)
- Rudd to retire? Schrader to the #21 for 2006? UPDATE 5? one scenerio I am hearing is that Ricky Rudd, driver of the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, could retire at the end of 2005 with no fanfare. John Andretti would drive the #21 for a year, with Jon Wood staying in the #47 Busch Series Ford and moving up to Cup in 2007.(10-9-2005)
UPDATE: now hearing Ken Schrader, driver of the #49 Schwan’s Home Service, could replace Rudd in the #21, ‘if’ Rudd does retire, and possibly may bring the sponsor along with him. BAM Racing and Schrader have said in the past that they expected to be together in 2006 and Schrader said it was his last full-time season in 2006.(10-11-2005)
UPDATE 2; RacingOne reports: Ken Schrader will run one more full NEXTEL Cup season in 2006 for BAM Motorsports. Schrader will shift to the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 joining Mark Martin as two more former NEXTEL Cup regulars finding homes on the truck circuit.(RacingOne)(10-12-2005)
UPDATE 3: been told that Andretti in not a candidate for the #21 ride.(10-13-2005)
UPDATE 4: seems most reports have Rudd going to the #42 ride or retiring, been told Schrader to the #21 is a done deal and will be announced soon.(10-24-2005)
AND as for Schwan’s, have heard two things….that they stay with the #49 BAM team OR that they go with Schrader to the #21 in some capacity. Who would drive the #49? hve heard Mike Bliss is a candiate as is Dave Blaney, both are also up for the #43 Petty Dodge also.(10-25-2005)
UPDATE 5: Ken Schrader will be driving for the Wood brothers next season, replacing Ricky Rudd, sources close to the negotiations have confirmed. Neither the Wood brothers nor Schrader would discuss the situation. “It depends on what Ricky does,” Schrader said. “We’re waiting for Kenny or the Woods to make a comment, and then we’ll comment,” Tony Morgenthau, Schrader’s current car owner, said. Rudd could now be key to the Chip Ganassi-Jack Roush-Roger Penske deadlock over drivers, if Rudd were willing to move to Ganassi’s Texaco-sponsored team. Ganassi tried to hire Rudd a few years ago. Rudd spent several years as a Texaco-sponsored driver for Robert Yates. The future of Rudd’s crew chief, Michael “Fatback” McSwain is up in the air too. McSwain said yesterday he doesn’t know if he’ll be back with the Wood brothers next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-29-2005)
- Truex wins IROC race at Atlanta: Martin Truex Jr. won the IROC race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his first IROC win in his 4th race, the 48th driver to win an IROC race. Mark Martin finished 2nd and clinced the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Championship, his 5th career championship, winning $1 million. Matt Kenseth finished 3rd, followed by Helio Catrobeves and Danny Lasoski. Truex finished 2nd to Martin in the championship standings.(10-29-2005)
- Kenseth’s New Spotter: been told that Bob Jeffrey will be handling the spotter duties for #17-Matt Kenseth for the remainder of the 2005 season while the team looks to fill the position permanently for 2006. Jeffrey, who is actively being sought after by several teams and drivers for the 2006 season, was voted the Best Spotter in NASCAR by The Sporting News in 2003 (the only year the publication conducted the “Best of NASCAR” poll). Jeffrey, who has been in NASCAR racing over 20 years, got his start in the Busch Series, where one of the first drivers he worked with was the late Dale Earnhardt and has worked with Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick and other drivers over the years.(10-29-2005)
- It’s in the mail for Wimmer: For Scott Wimmer, the news he wouldn’t be back in Bill Davis’ #22 Caterpillar Dodge came in the mail, two weeks after he’d been told his job was safe. “I’m kind of shell-shocked over that,” he said. “Two weeks ago I was in the car, then I got a letter in the mail saying I’m out,” he said. “But we’ll move on and hopefully find something better.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-29-2005)
- More on Labonte looking: #18-Bobby Labonte apparently is on the short list of “proven winners” NASCAR legend Richard Petty plans to consider as driver of the famed #43 beginning in 2006. Labonte, the 2000 Nextel Cup champion, has a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing that runs through 2008. But a source said Friday that Labonte had informed some crewmen two weeks ago that he would not be returning to the #18 Chevrolet in 2006. The team’s primary sponsor is Interstate Batteries. A team spokesman said Labonte has been “noncommittal” about his plans for next season. The source added that though Labonte respects Gibbs and his organization, he wants a change of scenery.(Fort Worth Star Telegram), still hearing Labonte to the #42 Texaco Dodge.(10-29-2005)
- Georgia Pacific to Hendrick? UPDATE: hearing that Georgia Pacific, current sponsor for #45 Kyle Petty, will go to Hendrick Motorsports in some capacity. Could be as a full associate and part-time primary one or more of the Hendrick teams, which are #5-Kyle Busch, #24-Jeff Gordon, #25-Brian Vickers, #44-Terry Labonte, #48-Jimmie Johnson. Petty had announced midseason Georgia Pacific would not be back, they were also rumored to be the new sponsor for Roush Racing’s #6 with Mark Martin driving but looks like AAA will be the sponsor there. Georgia Pacific is scheduled to make an announcement of some sort at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday.(10-26-2005)
UPDATE: Georgia-Pacific on Friday announced a multi-year agreement to put its Sparkle brand of paper towels on the #24 Chevrolet of four-time champion Jeff Gordon, beginning in 2006. Sheila Weidman, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Georgia-Pacific, said the associate sponsorship deal will not take away from its other NASCAR sponsorships, including qualifying night at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s fall race, as well as primary sponsorship of Kyle Petty’s #45 Brawny Dodge. G-P also is a sponsor of the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-29-2005)
- Goodyear to test at Lowe’s: Goodyear has a tire test scheduled Wednesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., with a team from Evernham Motorsports. Goodyear officials want to do a test to collect data before work is done on the track to understand why so many teams had tire problems there a couple of weeks ago.(Roanoke Times)(10-29-2005)
- Slugger to leave the #19? UPDATE 2: hearing #19 crew chief, Slugger Labbe could leave Evernham Motorsports at the end of the season, possibly going back to Robert Yates Racing, as the crew chief for #38-Elliott Sadler?(10-26-2005)
UPDATE: Statement from Ray Evernham on the Leadership for the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger: “We have decided to make a change on the leadership team for the #19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger driven by Jeremy Mayfield. The team, led by Team Director Kenny Francis for the past three years, has shown great promise and potential. We’ve qualified for the Chase for the Championship for the second year in a row. But, we have high expectations for this team, both for the remainder of the 2005 season and for next year. We still have four races to run this season, all of which are on tracks where we’ve been successful. We’re confident that we can re-energize this team to bring home solid finishes in these last four races and move up in the Chase for the Championship. We are already planning for next year, and we recognize that we need to make several changes to regain the momentum this team had earlier in the year and to ensure we have the right people in the right places to win races and a championship.
As part of this change, Richard “Slugger” Labbe will no longer serve as crew chief for the team. Kenny Francis will continue to lead the team as he has the last three years, and Mike Shiplett, currently the car chief for the team, will share Labbe’s duties with Francis. Slugger Labbe made good contributions to this team this year, and we wish him well as he pursues other opportunities.”(ClearBlue/Evernham Motorsports PR)(10-27-2005)
UPDATE 2: Richard “Slugger” Labbe said a lack of chemistry with Jeremy Mayfield was behind his departure from Evernham Motorsports this week. Mayfield has one top-20 finish since making the Chase for the Nextel Cup for the second consecutive year. “I just didn’t fit in,” said Labbe, who declined another position at Evernham. “We got in the Chase, and we’ve just been mediocre. I want to win and be in the top five every week.” Labbe expects to join another team by next week’s race at Texas.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-29-2005)
- Truck Drivers Honored: Pilot Travel Centers awarded $50,000 to two long-haul truck drivers – one a professional driver and the other a driver of a NASCAR team transporter. Dubbed the Pilot Truck Driver Challenge, the program is in its second year of honoring the best driver in the NASCAR garage area and the best driver in its Driver Payback program. Among the qualifications for the award, the drivers must have a clean record, with no accidents and no speeding tickets. James and Sue Langley, of Jonesboro, La., were the non-NASCAR winners. He drives for Southern Cal Transport.
And for the second year, a driver for one of Richard Childress Racing was the NASCAR winner. Frankie Nester has been with RCR for three years and drives the Cingular Chevrolet race cars and equipment from track to track for driver Jeff Burton. He previously drove for Roush Racing and a Busch team. “Before that, I was hauling furniture up north,” Nester said.”I think you guys have the hardest job in this sport,” Burton said to all of the NASCAR transport drivers. “You’re gone more. You’re always here, you’re always the first ones to be here and the last ones to leave.” Burton said Nester previously said if he won, he would donate 10% of his winnings to charity and the driver said he would match it. Nester, of Stoneville, N.C., said they will select a charity and announce it at a later date. Pilot Travel Centers also donate unspecified amounts each year to NASCAR charities, including the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-29-2005)
- New Goody’s Commericals with Stewart: Goody’s Headache Powders previewed its new commercials titled “Mr. Petty’s Neighborhood” on Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the new spots, Richard Petty welcomes driver Tony Stewart, knocking on his door bearing a casserole from his wife, Linda. As one might expect, everything happens fast in Goody’s Country, which Petty explains to the new resident Stewart. “Tony Stewart joining Goody’s just makes so much sense,” said Darren Singer, vice president of marketing for Goody’s. Stewart answered snickers from the audience by saying, “I know what you guys are thinking. Don’t worry, that’s what I was thinking, too.” The new commercials were filmed on Hickswood Drive in Greensboro, N.C. Singer said residents allowed their homes and streets to be used for the two days of shooting and even brought out their lawn chairs to watch the events. The Pettys and Stewart chatted with them and signed autographs – and definitely left their mark. Goody’s has been associated with NASCAR and the Petty family for 30 years. The company was an early and major contributor to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart also is a major contributor to the camp for children with life-threatening conditions. Goody’s also presented a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Tony Stewart Foundation for the Victory Junction Gang.(PR)(10-29-2005)
- No IROC at Richmond in 2006 UPDATE: International Race of Champions [IROC] officials said yesterday the series won’t return to Richmond International Raceway next season. The all-star circuit raced in tandem with the Craftsman Truck Series on Thursdays the past two Septembers. RIR is cutting Thursday from its fall weekend and squeezing an IROC event into a two-day Busch-Cup schedule isn’t feasible. Richmond was the shortest track to hold an IROC race in the series’ 31-year history.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-28-2005)
UPDATE: The IROC series will not return to Richmond next season. The series tentatively is scheduled to race next year at Daytona, Texas, Atlanta and Michigan or California.(Roanoke Times)(10-29-2005)
- Wally’s World at Atlanta: This week on “Wally’s World,” Chris Meloni [Jayski fave from SVU and Oz], star of NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” replaces his detective badge for a seat belt when he takes a ride with NASCAR on NBC & TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach on the “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show which starts at 12:00noon/et on Sunday.(10-29-2005)
- Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the second consecutive NASCAR Nextel Cup race weekend at Atlanta that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires . . . all three series in action — Nextel Cup, Craftsman Truck and IROC — will run the same tire codes, though the Cup and IROC tires will be branded “Goodyear Eagle,” while the truck tires will be branded “Goodyear Wrangler” . . . this is the only NASCAR track at which this tire combination will be run in 2005 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta . . . the air pressure in the inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 60-65 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, codes and pressures on my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page.(10-29-2005)
- Special Decal on the #16: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 National Guard/Charter Taurus, will carry a special decal on his car honoring the 48th Brigade of the Georgia National Guard, “It’s pretty special. All of the stories of the soldiers that are in the National Guard and other forms of the military that are serving, all of them are kind of a unique story. We read about and learn about a lot of unfortunate things that happen. A lot of the soldiers that are defending our country in Afghanistan and Iraq are National Guard reservists, which they like to call citizen soldiers—guys that drive UPS trucks and guys that work at the auto parts store. They’re National Guard reservists and they’re also the ones that support our country when we have these hurricanes.”(Ford Racing)(10-29-2005)
News from October 28, 2005
- Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane named: After nearly three decades of championship racing, the International Race of Champions (IROC) and title sponsor Crown Royal made history today by announcing its first ever all-time IROC team dubbed the “Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane.” Mario Andretti, the late Dale Earnhardt, Scott Pruett and Steve Kinser were named to the all-time team and were honored in a ceremony held at the year’s final IROC race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The all-time IROC team represents the three main racing disciplines – open-wheel, stock car and road racing. Andretti (open-wheel), Earnhardt (stock car) and Pruett (road racing) garnered the most fan votes to win their respective categories, while Kinser (open-wheel) earned the fans’ wild card selection by amassing the most votes among all categories outside of the three winners. Nearly a quarter-million votes were cast during the five-month voting period.
The four members of the Legends of Victory Lane team were presented with a custom crystal trophy by IROC Series President Jay Signore and Crown Royal Senior Brand Manager James Lorenz. Fans voted for the Legends team from a list of 12 finalists selected by a veteran, three-person media panel, which has covered motorsports for a combined 100-plus years. Finalists were determined by panel nominations based primarily on drivers’ IROC career performance and included: Andretti, Kinser, Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser (open-wheel); Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough (stock car); and Pruett, Hurley Haywood, Tom Kendall and Mark Donohue (road racing). From April to September, fans 21 years of age and older had the opportunity to vote for one driver in each of three categories by visiting kiosks stationed at the Crown Royal Experience at NASCAR events or via the Internet at www.crownroyalracing.com.
In its second year as title sponsor, Crown Royal continues to promote responsible drinking with its “Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly.” campaign. At the conclusion of the Atlanta race, the IROC champion is awarded a $1 million first-place purse from Crown Royal. Mark Martin, winner of the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February and IROC Race #3 at Richmond International Raceway in September, leads the current Crown Royal IROC points standings. Champ Car World Series driver Sebastien Bourdais claimed Race #2 at Texas Motor Speedway in April.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-28-2005)
- Testing at Homestead Scheduled: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series testing will take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway with test sessions scheduled for Monday, October 31 – Wednesday, November 2 and Monday, November 7 – Wednesday, November 9. The teams and drivers will be preparing for the upcoming Ford Championship Weekend, the season-finales for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Several drivers currently in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup are expected to participate in the test sessions at Homestead-Miami Speedway including points leader Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson (2nd place), Ryan Newman (3rd), Carl Edwards (5th), Rusty Wallace (6th) , Mark Martin (7th) Kurt Busch (8th) and Matt Kenseth (9th). Driver participation is tentative and subject to change.
The test sessions are closed to the general public until further notice due to repairs on the Speedway grandstands following Hurricane Wilma.
For more information or to order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, please call (305) 230-RACE or log on the Speedway’s official website – homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR Testing Schedule
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Drivers/Teams
(Driver/Team Participation Tentative, Subject to Change)
Monday, October 31 – Tuesday, November 1
#39-David Stremme; #41-Casey Mears
Tuesday, November 1 – Wednesday, November 2
#97-Kurt Busch; #41-Casey Mears; #10-Joe Nemechek
Monday, November 7 – Tuesday, November 8
#07-Dave Blaney; #0-Mike Bliss; #31-Jeff Burton; #29-Kevin Harvick
Tuesday, November 8 – Wednesday, November 9
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.; #88-Dale Jarrett; #48-Jimmie Johnson; #9-Kasey Kahne; #45-Kyle Petty; #38-Elliott Sadler; #20-Tony Stewart; #1-Martin Truex Jr.*; #2-Rusty Wallace;
* To test NBS #8 on Tuesday, Nov. 8; NNC #1 on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
(Homestead-Miami Speedway PR)(10-28-2005)
- 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)
- Are the Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray contract deals any closer? A: Yes. Now that team owner Chip Ganassi apparently has softened his stand against releasing McMurray from his contract one year early to join Roush Racing next season, the de facto three-way trade — McMurray to Roush, Busch to Penske, suitcases full of cash to Ganassi — could happen soon. Roush has always been willing to let Busch go to Penske a year early, provided the team gets another driver to take his place next season (preferably McMurray). And Roush Racing president Geoff Smith says he has convinced the #97 team’s sponsors to extend their deadline for having a driver made final for next season. “My probability meter has gone from 2% to probably 50-50,” Smith said.(USA Today)(10-28-2005)
- #55 for Mikey? hearing Michael Waltrip will run the #55 in the NAPA Bill Davis Racing Dodge. DEI chose to keep the #15.(10-28-2005)
- Newman wins 6th straight pole at Atlanta: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 193.928mph for his 7th pole of 2005 and 34th of his career. It is the 6th straight pole at Atlanta for Newman [his finishes in the other five races were: 10th, 29th, 5th, 17th, 14th] The rest of the top five are: #99-Car Edwards, #38-Elliott Sadler, #6-Mark Martin and #07-Dave Blaney. #1-Martin Truex Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, starting 8th and some nice runs by #66-Lepage 13th, #37-Skinner 15th, #23-Benson 19th and #00-Carl Long 20th. Reed Sorenson makes his first career Nextel Cup start in the #39 Discount Tire Dodge and #92-Chad Chaffin starts his 2nd career race. Ten drivers failed to make the race: #80-Yeley, #36-Said, #32-Hamilton Jr., #09-Sauter, #7-Gordon, #51-Kirby, #4-Wallace, #50-Spencer, #75-Garvey and #89-Shepherd.
See practice speeds, qualifying order, pole progression and more on my Jayski’s Atlanta Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(10-28-2005)
- Martin to clinch IROC with a start: Mark Martin will clinch a record fifth career IROC championship when he takes the green flag on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His day will end celebrating in victory lane with the Crown Royal IROC Championship worth $1- million dollars. Final driver practice for the 2005 Crown Royal IROC season finale will take place on Friday. The Saturday race action will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel at 1:30pm/et. More info about the series on my 2005 IROC page or irocracing.com.(10-28-2005)
- Atlanta Qualifying Notes:
• Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, lapping Atlanta Motor Speedway in 28.588 seconds at 193.928 mph. Geoffrey Bodine holds the track-qualifying record of 28.074 seconds, 197.478 mph, set Nov. 15, 1997, in the first qualifying session held on the 1.54-mile configuration.
• This is Newman’s 34th career Bud Pole in 149 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
• This is Newman’s seventh Bud Pole and 27th top-10 start in 2005 – both more than any other driver.
• This is Newman’s sixth Bud Pole in eight races at Atlanta. It is his seventh front-row start here. His worst start here was sixth in October 2002.
• Newman extended his record consecutive Bud Poles at Atlanta to six. Buddy Baker posted three consecutive Bud Poles at Atlanta (fall 1979-fall 1980). No other driver has posted more than two consecutive Bud Poles here. This is the most consecutive Bud Poles since Bill Elliott posted six straight at Talladega (spring 1985-fall 1987). The all-time record for consecutive Bud Poles at a track is held by David Pearson with 11 at Charlotte (October 1973-October 1978).
• Carl Edwards posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.663 seconds, 193.420 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. He posted his third top-five start in as many races at Atlanta and his ninth in 2005.
• This is the 10th Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005. Chevrolet has 13 Bud Poles and Ford has eight. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Elliott Sadler (third) posted his fifth top-10 start in 14 races at Atlanta, all in the past six races here. It is his 19th top-10 start this season.
• Mark Martin (fourth) posted his 25th top-10 start in his 40 races at Atlanta, but just his third in the past eight. Martin has just nine top-10 starts in 2005.
• Dave Blaney (fifth) posted his sixth top-10 start in his 12 races at Atlanta but his first in the past seven. It is his fifth top-10 start this season.
• Martin Truex Jr. (eighth) posted the best qualifying effort in his six-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.
• Only four of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Newman, Edwards, Martin and Tony Stewart (10th).
• Reed Sorenson (22nd) became the 10th different driver to qualify for his career first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race this season.
• The last race won form the Bud Pole at Atlanta was by Bobby Labonte in the 1996 season finale NAPA 500.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(10-28-2005)
- Ramblings – Atlanta: Ryan Newman took his 6th straight Bud Pole tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and he certainly lived up to his “Rocket Man” monicker. His time of 28.588 (193.928 mph) was almost a tenth of a second quicker than Carl Edwards and was good for his 7th pole of 2005 and the 34th of his NEXTEL Cup career. He’s now clinched the contingency for most Bud Poles this season as his nearest pursuer is Elliott Sadler with four….but Ryan would win the tiebreaker as he has more outside poles.
For Carl Edwards, this is his best starting spot since he had the pole at California in September.
Dave Blaney (5th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Bristol in August.
Martin Truex Jr (8th) has his career-best starting position this weekend. His previous best was 10th at Daytona in February.
Brian Vickers (11th) had his best qualifying run since he timed in 9th at California in September.
Mike Skinner (15th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 7th at Daytona in February.
Johnny Benson (19th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 9th at Richmond in September of 2003!
Carl Long (20th) has his career-best starting position this weekend. His previous best was 21st at Darlington in May.
Reed Sorenson (22nd) makes his NEXTEL Cup debut this weekend. He’ll go the full schedule for Chip Ganassi next season.
Bobby Hamilton (26th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 17th at Homestead in November of 2002 (only 3 races).
Chad Chaffin (43rd) makes his first Cup start since Martinsville last October. He started 37th and finished 39th that day.
STREAKIN….Elliott Sadler has 6 Top-10 starts in a row.
Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
(Stock Car Fans)(10-28-2005)
- Robby delivers for a good cause: Aid for Friends recipient Emma Kates was delightfully surprised when #7-Robby Gordon appeared at her door. Gordon and his race car were in Philadelphia yesterday [Wednesday, Oct 26] to help distribute meals to the program’s clients. Harrah’s, Gordon’s sponsor, had donated a $35,000 delivery van to the program. See slide show of the event at the Philadelphia Inquirer.(10-28-2005)
- Lepage back in the #66…rest of the season UPDATE: Kevin Lepage will return to the driver’s seat of the #66 Peak Performace Ford this weekend for Atlanta, and will finish the season with the team.(PSE-3 PR)(10-25-2005)
UPDATE: Vassarette will join Peak Performance Motorsports as a co-primary sponsor on the #66 Ford at Atlanta for the Bass Pro Shops 500 this weekend. Vassarette will appear on the rear quarter panels, as well as the TV panel of the car. “We are excited to have Vassarette on board,” said team owner and Peak Fitness Clubs CEO Jeff Stec. “Peak Performance Motorsports continues to actively seek and add sponsors to its roster.”
“I am looking forward to the weekend at Atlanta to showcase our brand on the #66 Peak Fitness/Vassarette Ford. The team has continued to improve its performance over the past five weeks and it was a good opportunity for Vassarette to partner with Peak Fitness on a Nextel Cup car. As an Atlanta-based corporation, we felt our partnership with Peak Fitness would greatly benefit the company by being a part of one of the season’s biggest racing events,” said Art DeCesaro, general manager of Vassarette.(PSE-3 PR)(10-28-2005)
- Dickerson-Wells split: #32 Tide Car owner Cal Wells had hired Eddie Dickerson, a well-known chassis man, to engineer new cars, but the two split two weeks ago.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-28-2005)
News from October 27, 2005
- #6 sponsor? AAA? Georgia Pacific? UPDATE it’s AAA: haven’t heard anything concrete on who will be Mark Martins new sponsor on the #6 Roush Racing Ford in 2006, a few that have been rumored include AAA, who have sponsored the #99 Roush Ford of Carl Edwards in a few races this season; and Georgia Pacific has been rumored, as they are leaving the #45 Dodge of Petty Enterprises. Georgia Pacific will also hold a press conference at Atlanta this weekend but AAA seems to be the front runner in the rumor mill.(10-26-2006)
UPDATE: AAA will become the primary sponsor of Roush Racing’s flagship #6 Nextel Cup Ford starting in 2006. In addition, veteran driver Mark Martin will extend his ‘Salute To You’ Tour and return to pilot the car for one more year in 2006, with Todd Kluever set to take over the reigns from Martin in 2007, Roush Racing announced today. “AAA is very pleased to be associated with the winning team of Roush Racing and Mark Martin. With the growing popularity of NASCAR, AAA is excited about its ability to contribute to the success of a sport that has captured the imagination and loyalty of tens of millions of fans, including many AAA members,” said AAA President Robert Darbelnet. With more than 48 million members in the United States and Canada , AAA is North America ’s largest motor club and membership organization. The not-for-profit association is best known for its legendary roadside assistance, comprehensive leisure travel and information services and its support of improved traffic safety and other consumer issues.
“I’m real excited about AAA coming in with us,” said team owner Jack Roush. As one of the most well known and respected names in the country, “I think AAA can do a lot for the sport and be a cornerstone of our sponsorship group for years to come.”
“It’s great to be partnered up with AAA,” said Martin. “They have a fantastic organization and a great reputation. My wife and I are both AAA members. I’m excited about the services they provide to many of our fans and I am looking forward to working with AAA.” Martin has finished second in the Nextel Cup standings on four occasions and is in the hunt this season for a run at the championship, currently sitting in seventh position as one of the 10 drivers eligible to win the chase. “Mark Martin has built a solid reputation as gentleman and winner on and off the racetrack,” said Darbelnet. “He is someone in whom AAA has confidence when speaking about the advantages of membership and AAA’s extensive highway safety activities.”
In 2006, Martin will drive the #6 AAA Ford Fusion and then give way to Kluever in 2007. During the 2005 Nextel Cup Series, the AAA Auto Club Group was a primary sponsor of Carl Edwards’ #99 car. This experience gave AAA valuable first-hand knowledge of the benefits of participating in NASCAR with the Roush Racing team “I’m very excited to work with AAA,” said Kluever. “It’s great to see them move into a full-time sponsorship with Mark and the No. 6 car next year and then with me in 2007. It’s a dream come true for me and it’s great to have people here at Roush Racing and AAA that believe in me and I’m very excited about the opportunity. I consider the No. 6 car to be one of the top-five most legendary cars in NASCAR history. I don’t think that anybody will be able to replace Mark Martin. He has big shoes to fill, but I’ll do my best to try. It’s just very exciting to be in that No. 6 car and to be partnered with a great organization like AAA.”(Roush Racing), see images of the car on my 2006 #6 Team Schemes page.(10-27-2005)
- PRN back in the booth at Atlanta: The Performance Racing Network (PRN) will broadcast from Atlanta Motor Speedway, bringing fans close to the racing action, with anchors, Doug Rice and Mark Garrow, calling the action. Helping on pit road are Steve Richards, Brett McMillan, Pat Patterson with Rob Albright and Chuck Carland in the turns. Director, Alicia Lingerfeldt, helps them put it all together. Rice said, “Atlanta Motor Speedway produces some of the most exciting racing and thrilling finishes in NASCAR and we can’t wait to describe all the action which there is never a shortage of.” The team will call Georgia-Pacific qualifying at 6:45pm/et on Friday night and on Saturday at 1:30pm/et; they will give the play-by-play of the Crown Royal IROC series finale. The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 will air starting at 12:00noon/et followed by the Diageo Post Race Show from AMS. Locally in Atlanta, PRN can be heard on WYAY 106.7 FM (Atlanta), WEKS 92.5 (Griffin) and WDEN 99.1 (Macon).(AMS)(10-27-2005)
- Congrats: Congratulations to Mike and Edrina Schaefer who welcomed Katie Ann on Friday, Oct, 21. Katie Ann was 19 inches long and weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Edrina is the daughter of Doug and Kathy Bawel, car co-owner of the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge that Travis Kvapil drives.(10-27-2005)
- Gil Martin on the #29 pit box at AMS: RCR’s ACDelco Chevrolet Busch Series crew chief Gil Martin will spend his Busch Series bye week calling the shots on the #29 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo for driver Kevin Harvick at Atlanta. Martin was the team’s crew chief last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.(RCR)(10-27-2009)
- Mears final 2005 race in the pink car: Casey Mears will make his final start in the pink #41 Target Dodge which showcases the pink ribbon logo of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The auction of his one-of-a-kind helmet donated by Troy Lee Designs continues through the week on eBay more info on my Racing Charities page, the auction ends late Oct 30th. All the proceeds from the auction, along with the pink racing products sold at caseymears.com, in the CGRFS gift shop and at Mears’ trackside trailer, will go directly to the BCRF.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(10-27-2005)
- Testing at Texas UPDATE: One of the busiest test sessions in speedway history will have drivers preparing Tuesday for the Dickies 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Cup drivers scheduled to test include: #31-Jeff Burton, #44-Terry Labonte, #17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Ryan Newman, #18- Bobby Labonte, #6-Mark Martin, #19-Jeremy Mayfield [thought he was out of tests?], #1-Martin Truex Jr. and #77-Travis Kvapil.(TMS PR)(10-25-2005)
Tueday Testing update: #17-Matt Kenseth unofficially led Tuesday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup speed chart with a lap of 193.548mph. Other speeds reported were #1-Martin Truex Jr., 192.308; #6-Mark Martin, 190.678; #91-Jeremy Mayfield and #12-Ryan Newman, 188.811; #18-Bobby Labonte, 188.482; #44-Terry Labonte, 188.285 and #77-Travis Kvapil, 186.207. Other NEXTEL Cup testers were #97-Kurt and #5-Kyle Busch and #31-Jeff Burton.
Speeds from Weds Testing:
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
#44-Terry Labonte, 189.474 mph
# 5-Kyle Busch, 189.341
#31-Jeff Burton, 188.153
#91-Jeremy Mayfield, 188.153
#24-Jeff Gordon, 187.500
NASCAR Busch Series
#38-A.J. Foyt IV, 188.153
#20-Denny Hamlin, 184.932
#78-Jerry Robertson, 184.932
Test session was incident-free.(TMS)(10-27-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun at Martinsville Speedway [3rd], a $1,000 donation was made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Jimmie Johnson. This is the 11th time this year that a donation in Johnson’s name has been made to the NPCC. Info on past contests and the drivers at gilletteyoungguns.com.(Alan Taylor Comm. PR)(10-27-2005)
- Newman goes for 6th straight pole: #12-Ryan Newman has won five straight poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. He also has won five pole award at AMS’s sister track, Lowe’s Motor Speedway. If Newman wins the pole at AMS this weekend, Atlanta will become the track where he has won the most poles.(AMS) Newman will run the Mobil One scheme at Atlanta for the final time in 2005, see images of the scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.
ALSO Penske Racing will hold their annual Penske Racing Hot Rod Picnic to benefit SCAN on Friday, Oct 28th in Mooresville, NC…more info on my
- Racing Charities page.(Penske Racing)(10-27-2005)
- Homestead testing cancelled for this week UPDATE: While the Homestead Speedway track [surface] itself was not damaged [from Hurricane Wilma], testing was cancelled this week for several Cup teams that included championship contenders Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman. Other teams, including Roush Racing’s five-car operation, were scheduled to test in the next two weeks. Speedway president Curtis Gray will know soon when, and if, testing can be held. But a decision could not be made until the lighting experts arrived from Iowa-based MUSCO to access the damage and time needed to repair 12 custom-built light poles on pit road and another on the back of the grandstand. Getting the speedway ready for racing takes precedent, but Gray hopes to make a two-day test date available for all.(Miami Herald)(10-27-2005)
UPDATE: Cleanup, damage assessment and repairs continued Wednesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a decision on whether to permit testing before NASCAR’s season-ending Ford Championship Weekend was still pending. Speedway president Curtis Gray said the damaged catch fencing that protects airborne cars and flying debris from leaving the racetrack should be repaired by the weekend. After an assessment of the 12 custom-built light poles that were destroyed on pit road, it also was determined there could be two open windows for testing between the Nextel Cup races in Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix, as originally scheduled. But Gray said NASCAR has the final say and wants to be ensured the track is safe before giving the green light.(Miami Herald)(10-27-2005)
- Goody’s unveils new ad campaign geared toward NASCAR: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been a long-time resident of Goody’s Country, serving as the Goody’s Headache Powders spokesperson for nearly 30 years. Tony Stewart has joined Petty and his son Kyle in a new advertising campaign for the “Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR” that includes a commercial depicting the day Stewart moves into “Mr. Petty’s Neighborhood” and his appreciation for the speedy pace of life there. The first screening of the commercial will be during a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 28. Also at this event, as part of its continued support of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Goody’s will present a check for $25,000 in Stewart’s name to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their camp for seriously ill children and their families.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2005)
News from October 26, 2005
- Wimmer/BDR part ways after 2005: Bill Davis Racing announced today Scott Wimmer will finish the 2005 season as the driver of the #22 Caterpillar Dodge in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, but will not be returning behind the wheel of the #22 car in 2006. This will mark the conclusion of a four-year relationship in which car owner Bill Davis and Wimmer started in 2001, when Davis signed the young driver to a multi-year deal to drive for him in the NASCAR Busch Series. “Scott is a good driver and person. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at Bill Davis Racing and our sponsors when I say we wish him well,” said Bill Davis, team owner and president. “This is the part of this business I don’t like. Change isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is usually the best thing for everyone. I know it is what has made this sport grow and everyone grow who works in it. Scott is going to be successful and he most definitely still has a promising career ahead of him as a race car driver.” While racing together in the NASCAR Busch Series, Davis and Wimmer captured five wins, 17 top-five finishes and 37 top-10 finishes in 104 series starts. In 2002, Wimmer clinched four of the five wins in the last eight races of the season. “We had some exceptional success so quickly, when we got Scott in the Busch car,” Davis said. “We knew we had found a special person with a lot of talent, and just did the next natural thing by putting him in the Caterpillar car.” In late 2003, Davis called Wimmer up to replace Ward Burton as the full-time driver of the #22 Caterpillar car in the elite NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. A few months later in February 2004, Wimmer went on to finish third in his first Daytona 500 run. “Scott has gone above and beyond in representing Caterpillar and assisting with the sponsorship program,” Davis said. “It’s strong qualities like that, that are going to be only to his advantage as he moves on.”
There will be two full-time NASCAR Nextel Cup teams housed at BDR’s High Point, N.C. shop next year. Davis announced in September, he had entered into a partnership with Michael Waltrip and NAPA AUTO PARTS to field a second car in 2006. BDR is still working to confirm its final plans for the #22 Caterpillar team’s 2006 season. “We are still working to find a replacement, which has not been designated at this time,” Davis said. “There are some very talented drivers out there right now without full-time rides for next year. Hopefully, we can get someone locked in very soon.”(Bill Davis Racing)(10-26-2005)
- Marlin to run #14? UPDATE: hearing MB2 Motorsports will run the #14 [not the #02 or #35 as was rumored] on the ‘old’ #10 team [which is going with Valvoline and Riggs to Evernham Motorsports – but not the owners points]. Marlin’s late father, Coo Coo ran the #14 for much of his career.(10-25-2005)
OFFICIAL Marlin to MB2 #14: MB2 Motorsports announced that two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin has agreed to a multiyear contract to drive the team’s #14 Chevrolet, beginning in the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. The #14 will replace MB2’s #10, and the 2005 owner points earned from the #10 will transfer to the #14 [currently 32nd]. The new number is in honor of Marlin’s father, Clifton “Coo Coo” Marlin, who drove the #14 while competing in NASCAR in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Marlin passed away in August. “Sterling’s experience, success and popularity bring a new dimension to our growing organization,” said Jay Frye, MB2’s CEO and general manager. “He continues to have the desire to win. It’s a great fit and we look for the #14 team to have a lot of success in 2006.” Regarding sponsorship for Marlin’s #14 Nextel Cup entry, Frye said that details are still being worked out with potential partners. “We’re offering a unique sponsorship package,” said Frye. “The package consists of three 12-race primary partnerships that come with a large 24-race associate sponsorship.”
“You look at MB2 and see a racing organization that is on the upswing,” said Marlin. “The Army team and Joe Nemechek have proved that. This is a great opportunity to land with a first-class operation that has the necessary resources to be competitive. I still have some unfinished business as a driver and that’s why I am really excited about joining MB2 Motorsports,” Marlin added. “And to drive a car with the same number that my father drove makes the move even more special.”(MB2 Motorsports)(10-26-2005)
- Labonte to the #42? UPDATE 2: Hearing Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, is the top candidate to replace Jamie McMurray in the #42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge at Chip Ganassi Racing, which would allow #97-Kurt Busch to drive the #2 in 2006 and McMurray to head to Roush Racing and drive the #97. Both McMurray and Busch signed deals to go to those teams in 2007 and both are trying to get out of their contract to run with their new teams in 2006.(10-21-2005)
UPDATE: Bobby Labonte could hold the key to the Jack Roush-Chip Ganassi-Roger Penske driver-swapping puzzle that has bedeviled the NASCAR garage area since July. Labonte’s name has been circulating for months in the NASCAR rumor mill, though he has insisted several times he’s not particularly interested in leaving Gibbs, his boss for more than a decade. However several car owners have said they are actively pursuing him, if he is available. Labonte’s contract with Gibbs isn’t up, but that would apparently not be a stumbling block if the two do decide to split.
The scenario under debate: Labonte moving to Ganassi, who would in turn free Jamie McMurray to join Roush as a replacement for Kurt Busch next season and then as a replacement for Mark Martin in 2007. In turn, Roush could then release Busch to join Roger Penske as a replacement for Rusty Wallace, who is retiring at the end of this season. Kyle Petty, meanwhile, said if Labonte is looking, Petty Enterprises wants to talk to him: “Oh, gosh, yes, if Bobby were available, his name would be in our hat.” Petty is in the market for a driver to take over Jeff Green’s ride in the team’s 43 car.(Winston Salem Journal)
AND Queried about his plans for where he’ll drive in 2006, Bobby Labonte declined to offer any specifics. “It’s not in my best interest to tell you, so I’m not going to tell you,” said the 2000 NASCAR Cup champion. Labonte did confirm that he has two years left on his contract with Joe Gibbs, but he’s been rumored to be on his way out, possibly to drive for either Petty Enterprises or Chip Ganassi.(Speed Channel)(10-24-2005)
UPDATE 2: 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), no mention of the #42 rumor……..(10-26-2005)
- Skinner in the #37 at Atlanta: Mike Skinner was hired this week to drive the #37-BoSPOKER.net/Patrón Tequila Dodge for this Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tony Raines, who drove the car at Michigan, has decided to concentrate on his job with Kevin Harvick’s Busch Series team the rest of the year. “This is a good chance for both of us,” said crew chief Terry Wooten. “We needsomebody like Mike to give everything he’s got; this is a chance for him to drive a car where the biggest goal is to run up front. We’re not racing for points. We’re racing to win.” Skinner won the first truck series championship in 1995. He’s ranked sixth in the current truck standings. He also will compete in Saturday afternoon’s truck series race at Atlanta. “This is a positive step for me and I hope a positive step for R&J Racing,” Skinner said. “I want to race. I don’t want to ride around in the back of the pack and they really seem committed to getting the car up to speed, running all 500 miles and posting a good finish. “If you’re going to run up front, win some money and get some good finishes, you’ve got to stay in there and keep your gloves on. They want to do that, so I’m going to slug away, too.”(RJ Racing PR)(10-26-2005)
- So..who would drive the #49 in 2006 if Schrader leaves? have heard there are a few candidates to drive the #49 BAM Racing Dodge: Mike Bliss, Dave Blaney and the latest is Larry Foyt, who just announced he was starting a new Busch Series team. Foyt made some attempts in a 2nd BAM Racing Dodge last year. And what ever happened to Klaus Graf BAM Racing plans? no idea, but he recently won the 2005 Trans-Am Championship. As for the sponsor Schwans Home Service/Red Baron’s Pizza, have heard they are staying on the #49 car and have heard they could leave the #49 end up on the #21 in some capacity IF Ken Schrader goes to the #21 Wood Brother’s Racing Ford in 2006.(10-26-2005)
- Jack Daniel’s Texas Scheme to be unveiled Nov 2nd: Race fans in the Lone Star State have spoken and the special “Pride of Texas” paint scheme for the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy will be unveiled at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday, November 2nd. The special unveiling will take place at the AAC in the West Concourse at 6:30pm, prior to the Dallas Star’s hockey game. The #07 Chevy will sport the special Texas-themed paint scheme in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6th. Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jimmy Bedford will be on hand to sign autographs, and race fans are invited to bring their cameras and take pictures of the special Lone Star State design that won the most online votes among three different paint schemes. Race fans and folks in Texas have been going to the Jack Daniel’s racing website (www.jackracing.com/texas) for the past month and choosing their favorite from three different paint schemes for the car – all specially designed to honor the great state of Texas. Car owner Richard Childress, driver Dave Blaney and Bedford will also be making appearances throughout the weekend.(RCR PR), see the choice on my #07 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2005)
- Special Scheme for Labonte at Atlanta: GlaxoSmithKline will display a unique message paint scheme on the #18 Chevrolet that Bobby Labonte will drive at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sponsorship is to help raise awareness of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and to motivate asthma patients to assess their level of control and encourage them to talk with their doctor about their asthma symptoms.(Joe Gibbs Racing), the ACT scheme was run at Calfornia in Sept., see an image of teh scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2005)
- Chevy Clinches Manufacturers Championship: As a result of Jeff Gordon’s win at Martinsville this past weekend, Chevrolet collected its 29th manufacturers crown and the 25th of NASCAR’s Modern Era, which began in 1972. Since that year, GM Racing has earned 27 of the 34 manufacturers titles, with Chevrolet collecting 25 of those for an impressive 0.79 winning percentage (Buick has won the title twice). To date, Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 572 race wins, 448 occurring in the Modern Era. “To clinch the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Manufacturers Championship with four races remaining in the season is an impressive accomplishment. It has truly been a group effort with 10 different drivers, along with their respective teams and our team at GM Racing, contributing to this win for Chevrolet,” said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing.(GM Racing PR), see a race-by-race breakdown, drivers who have the most best finishes for each manufacturer, all time manufacturers win list, and Manufacturers Champions list on my 2005 Manufacturers Championship Page.(10-26-2005)
- Burton to visit school: Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, is scheduled to be the surprise guest speaker at a Dekalb County public high school student driver assembly on Thursday, October 27 in Doraville. While there, Burton will provide safe driving tips to students, talk racing and present Dekalb County with the Cingular Wireless Be Sensible Teen Driving Award for its eight years of commitment to teaching students about sensible driving.(Career Sports Entertainment PR)(10-26-2005)
- Live Dale Jr. appearance on Bud site: Budweiser.com will host a live webcast of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s “One Night Stand” appearance from Atlanta this Thursday evening, October 27 at 8:00pm/et. You must be 21 years of age or older to enter the Budweiser site.(fingerprint inc. PR)(10-26-2005)
- First All-Time IROC Team to be unveiled Friday: On Friday, October 28, 2005, In celebration of nearly 30 years of IROC racing and to honor the series’ all-time great champion drivers, IROC and title sponsor, Crown Royal, will announce the four drivers named to the Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane – the series’ first ever all-time IROC team as voted by race fans. The four-member team, which represents the three main racing disciplines of IROC racing – stock car, open-wheel and road racing – will be presented with a custom crystal IROC trophy by IROC and Crown Royal officials. From April to September, fans 21 and over had the opportunity to vote for the all-time team by visiting kiosks stationed in the Crown Royal Experience at NASCAR events or via the Internet at www.crownroyalracing.com. Nearly a quarter-million votes were cast during this period.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-26-2005)
News from October 25, 2005
- Triple Duty for Hamilton at Atlanta: Bobby Hamilton is going to attempt to qualify and run the Nextel Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend in his #04 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge. Hamilton also ran at Indy, starting 35th and finishing 27th. Hamilton will run in the in the Crown Royal IROC race and in the Truck Series race where he is seeking to repeat as the Truck Series Champ in the #04 Dodge Ram and is 5th in points. Hamilton tested at Atlanta in a truck and a Cup car.(BHR PR)(10-25-2005)
- Special paint for Wimmer: The #22 Caterpillar Dodge of Scott Wimmer will feature a CAT AccessAccount signature blue paint scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. The special blue paint scheme highlights the recent rollout of the CAT AccessAccount, which is a new revolving charge account that enables customers to pay for parts, service and rentals at participating Caterpillar Dealers throughout the United States. For more information or to apply online, visit www.cataccessaccount.com.(BDR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(10-25-2005)
- 54 cars entered at Atlanta: there are 54 cars/teams entered for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, including: Mike Skinner in the #37 Bospoker Dodge, Bobby Hamilton in the #04 Dodge, Reed Sorenson in the #39 Discount Tire Dodge, #80-J.J Yeley will drive a 4th Gibbs car, the #80 Chevy; and Shane Hall is listed in the #96 Chevy owned by Larry Brotherton with Julian Burgess as the crew chief, don’t know much more then that on the #96 [supposedly the old Ortec Racing Busch series team]. For the full list see my Jayski’s Atlanta Entry List.(10-25-2005)
- U.S. Micro to sponsor #50 at Atlanta: U.S. Micro Corporation announced that, for the second year in a row, it has become the primary sponsor of the #50 Arnold Motorsports Dodge for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 in Atlanta this week with Jimmy Spencer behind the wheel. U.S. Micro, a national IT asset management company, has been a NASCAR Nextel Cup sponsor for three seasons, as well as the “official computer provider” for the #50 Dodge team of Arnold Motorsports and primary sponsor for Atlanta’s spring event. More information about U.S. Micro is available online at usmicrocorp.com.(Arnold Motorsports PR)(10-25-2005)
- Maintaining a Top-10 Standard #48-Jimmie Johnson is the only driver that has ranked in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after every race in 2005. He has ranked among the top-10 drivers since Atlanta in March 2004, 65 straight races, the longest current streak.[Johnson is a lock to extend the streak to at least 69 by the end of the year as he is in the Chase], the record is held by Dale Earnhardt with 174 weeks from Feb. 23, 1986 at Richmond to Mar 1, 1992 at Rockingham. When Johnson hits 69 after Homestead, the streak will be the 9th longest, just behind himself when he had a 70 race streak in 2002-2004.(10-25-2005)
- Caution Periods and Laps up in 2005: in 2005, there have been 67 more yellow flags /caution periods in the 32 races than in the 2004 season after the same amount. So far in 2005, the drivers have run 85 more caution laps and ran 22 more total laps in 2005 [due to green-white-checker finishes]. See the chart I made on my Misc Stats and Info page.(10-25-2005)
- Milestones at Atlanta: #88-Dale Jarrett is scheduled make his 600 career start at Atlanta, #31-Jeff Burton is scheduled to make his 400 career start.(10-25-2005)
News from October 24, 2005
- New Crew chief for #40? hearing that #17 car chief, Jeff Vandermoss, will leave and take the #40 Ganassi Racing team crew chief gig for 2006 when David Stremme takes over.(10-24-2005)
- NASCAR considers TV moves: NASCAR is trying to create a six-race package for TNT into its next Nextel Cup television package, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal reports. Sources told the publication that NASCAR is looking at taking three races from Fox and three from ABC/ESPN for TNT, although the races have not been identified. In this week’s issue, writer Andy Bernstein also says that NASCAR wants to give Fox a chance to bid before awarding the entire Busch Series schedule to ESPN for its ESPN2 channel, a move that was reported earlier. Bernstein also reports that NASCAR has told networks that it must have further discussions with Fox before making any final decisions on the new TV package.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-24-2005)
- Early Martinsville TV Ratings down 5%: NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Subway 500 from Martinsville Speedway drew a 3.8 overnight rating and an 8 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 5% lower than the 4.0 the race drew last year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-24-2005)
- Rowdy launches podcast Rowdy, the racing radio show you get on your cell phone, can now be heard on the internet too via a daily podcast. Podcast listeners download the show and listen to it on their computer or their portable mp3 player whenever they want. The show includes daily race news, plus driver interviews, expert commentary and fan opinion, and you can hear it using itunes or at podcasts.yahoo.com. Rowdy is still available every day on your cell phone, and you can sign up at 1-800-95-ROWDY or find out more at www.rowdy.com.(Rowdy PR)(10-24-2005)
- Addington Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Martinsville: #18-Bobby Labonte may have received two speeding tickets in this week’s Subway 500, but they never slowed him down. With help from crew chief Steve Addington, Labonte overcame his pit road infractions to land a top-five finish, his best since the Coca-Cola 600. For leading his driver from the back to the front, Addington was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. “We had a really good car today,” said Addington after the race. “Bobby (Labonte) knows how important track position is here (Martinsville) and was trying to get as much as he could on pit road. It ended up costing us twice. Fortunately our car was strong enough to get it back. We had the longest green flag run of the day after one of our penalties and that was a huge help. Our car was great on long runs and that allowed us to make up a lot of distance. If we didn’t have to start in the back, we probably could have been battling the leader.” The panel of voters, including Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser, split their votes on the crew chief of the race. Mulhern cast his vote for Pat Tryson, who overcame a brake problem on the #6 Ford. The Wypall representative and Reiser both voted for Addington.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser, Chad Knaus, Steve Addington and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-24-2005)
- More on Robby’s Engines: #7-Robby Gordon has had a rough ride of it this season, as the stock-car tour’s lone owner-driver. But in a most curious twist, Honda appears to be a looming player in the game. Gordon said that John Menard, the wealthy home-improvements businessman who owns the engine-building operation in England, Menard Engineering, that supplies his Nextel Cup motors, is negotiating a sale of that division to Honda for a second Formula One program. “But it won’t affect our (Cup) engines next season,” Gordon said. “Menard will continue to provide the engines, and he will also be a sponsor for 13 races.” The Honda-Menard deal is figured to be part of an effort by the Japanese car maker to deal with Toyota in F-1. Menard is the father of Paul Menard, who is expected to move up to a part-time Cup ride with [#15] Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-24-2005)
- #30 for Mears in 2006: Casey Mears says he’d love to have the #42 next season if Jamie McMurray leaves, but that’s simply “not an option.” Owners points for each car number determine provisionals, and Mears’ #41 will be given to 2006 rookie Reed Sorenson next season to enable him to make each race. So where does that leave Mears? He’ll have to rely on his qualifying prowess–and hope he doesn’t run into mechanical issues. Mears was initially expected to drive the #39 next season but now says he’ll be in the #30; Richard Childress plans to give up the number [used #30 a few years, switched to #07 for 2005](Sporting News)(10-24-2005)
- Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? UPDATE Holly too? Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he’s out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss’ #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night’s crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
UPDATE: hearing Green has signed with the #0 and that Best Buy could be the full primary sponsor in 2006, not sure what NetZero would do, could follow Bliss to where he ends up, to another team or out of the sport.(10-21-2005)
UPDATE 2: Jeff Green will drive the #0 for Gene Haas next season. The reunion of Green and former crew chief Harold Holly [currently Haas’s #44 Busch crew chief] should produce a competitive team. The two won a Busch Series title together in 2000.(Sporting News), so wonder what happens to Bootie Barker, the current #0 crew chief.(10-24-2005)
- Kenseth loses spotter after 2005 UPDATE: As #17-Matt Kenseth’s spotter for the last six years, Mike Calinoff [stockcarcity.com] has experienced the highs and lows of NASCAR’s top series. Certainly, Saturday night was the latest of milestones since he guided Matt to rookie-of-the-year honors in 2000. He was the “eyes in the sky” for the #17 Dewalt Ford when Matt delivered Jack Roush’s long-awaited first title. But he’s also witnessed the frustrations of maintaining a championship caliber team over the long haul. When the cars roll out at Daytona next February, Calinoff’s unmistakable bass will be booming over #40-David Stremme’s radio channel. In addition to his spotting duties, Calinoff will also oversee the day-to-day business aspects for the Ganassi Racing up-and-comer. There’s an opportunity for growth with Ganassi, whereas the Roush spotter’s gig didn’t offer for the chance for advancement. And like any new relationship, Stremme’s deal will be loaded with firsts — first pole, first win and if Calinoff is lucky, a first title.(Sporting News)(9-1-2005)
UPDATE: Sunday’s Subway 500 at the Martinsville Speedway marked the final race of Mike Calinoff’s six-year term as Matt Kenseth’s spotter. The two mutually agreed that an early separation would afford Kenseth the time to audition a new spotter, and allow Calinoff the opportunity to begin handling the management chores for Rookie David Stremme. For the remainder of the season Calinoff, who was featured this weekend on NBC’s Today Show, will serve as spotter for Reed Sorensen’s Nextel Cup debut races in Atlanta and Texas, as well as Stremme’s entry in Homestead and his remaining Busch Series events.(PR)(10-24-2005)
News from October 23, 2005
- Gordon wins at Martinsville: #24-Jeff Gordon took the race lead at lap 360 of the crash filled Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway to win for the first time since Talladega in May, 73rd of his career, 4th of 2005, 7th at Martinsville and sweeping both races at Martinsville for the 2nd time. It is also is crew chief Steve Letarte’s first win as a crew chief. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart finished 2nd and increases his point lead to 15 over #48-Jimmie Johnson, who finished 3rd, with 4 races to go. Rounding out the top-5 were #18-Bobby Labonte [only his 3rd top-5 of the season] and #31-Jeff Burton [only his 3rd top-5 of the season]. Bad day for many of The Chase drivers with six of the 10 finishing out of the top-10 with #6-Martin having the worse day, finishing 34th, 34 laps down after brake problems late in the race. #11-Denny Hamlin, only in his 3rd race, finished 8th for his 2nd top-10 in three total races. There was a track record 19 cautions for 113 [record is 125] and 8 drivers led a lap with 17 lead changes.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF’s, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s Martinsville Race Results/Awards page.
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Martinsville page.(10-23-2005)
- OR is it Rudd to the #42? Speculation has run rampant around what Ricky Rudd’s plans are for next season, but thus far he’s kept quiet. But I [Yahoo Sports] heard an unconfirmed rumor Friday at Martinsville that perhaps makes the most sense of any buzz that I’ve heard in a long time. Instead of retiring at the end of this year, Rudd could leave the #21 car to drive the #42 car [Rudd ran for Texaco with RYR 2000-2002] for Chip Ganassi next season. Jamie McMurray would be released from the final year of his contract with Ganassi so that he can drive the #97 Ford for Roush Racing, thus freeing up Kurt Busch to get out of his contract with Roush one year early to replace Rusty Wallace in the #2 Dodge next season. Sources indicate that Ganassi could also receive payment from the Roush camp, which in turn likely would receive funds from Penske Racing South and primary sponsor Miller Lite for Busch’s early release to replace Wallace. From what I’ve [Yahoo Sports] heard, Texaco Havoline is not pleased with having McMurray as a moody, unhappy lame-duck driver in 2006 and has been applying pressure to Ganassi to let McMurray go. Texaco Havoline would then build a significant one-year farewell tour marketing campaign around Rudd. As for the Wood Brothers, John Andretti [denied by the team] is rumored to be a possible one-year fill-in until Jon Wood is ready to go full-time on the Cup level in 2007. The #21 car still needs sponsorship for next season, which is one more thing Rudd would not want to worry about. Rudd added that he has no plans to race in the Busch or Craftsman Truck ranks.(Yahoo Sports), Jayski Note: heard that Bobby Labonte could be headed to the #42..see story below.(10-23-2005)
- New Tire Pressure Rule? Last week’s Charlotte tire debacle will prompt NASCAR to incorporate a minimum tire pressure rule, possibly by next weeek’s trip to Atlanta.(RacingOne)(10-23-2005)
- 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)
- Hussey takes over for Berrier UPDATE: For the second time in 2005, #29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick will be without his long time crew chief, Todd Berrier. Richard Childress Racing lost their appeal Wednesday after Berrier was suspended by NASCAR for two races after a rules violation in qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend. Despite the loss of their leader, Harvick and the entire GM Goodwrench team are prepared for “business as usual” in Martinsville, Va. Chris Hussey, a former Cup Series crew chief at Petty Enterprises, will take over for Berrier.(RCR PR)(10-20-2005)
UPDATE: Chris Hussey will be unable to serve as #29 Kevin Harvick’s interim crew chief this weekend because of a family obligation. Car owner Richard Childress said that Rick Viers, a crew chief for one of Childress’ teams, might make the pit calls for Harvick today.(Roanoke Times)(10-23-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Martinsville race 6 of 10 in the Chase:
#20-Tony Stewart, 5957
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 5942, -15
#12-Ryan Newman, 5894, -63
#16-Greg Biffle, 5874, -83
#99-Carl Edwards, 5808, -149
#2-Rusty Wallace, 5791, -166
#6-Mark Martin, 5787, -170>BR> #97-Kurt Busch, 5785, -172
#17-Matt Kenseth, 5785, -172
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5741, -216
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#42-Jamie McMurray, 3632
#29-Kevin Harvick -18
#01-Joe Nemechek -48
#38-Elliott Sadler, -49
#24-Jeff Gordon, -62
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Martinsville page.(10-23-2005)
- “Classic” Points Standings – Top 15…the old way, not the Chase after Martinsville, race 32 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4623
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4360, -263
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4307, -316
4) #2-Rusty Wallace, 4163, -460
5) #97-Kurt Busch, 4059, -564
6) #6-Mark Martin, 4035, -588
7) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3949, -674
8) #12-Ryan Newman, 3944, -679
9) #99-Carl Edwards, 3907, -716
10) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3884, -739
11) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3632, -991
12) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3614, -1009
13) #01-Joe Nemechek, 3584, -1039
14) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3583, -1040
15) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3570, -1053
- Where did the Chasers start/finish for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway:
#20-Stewart 1st, 2nd
#48-Johnson 6th, 3rd
#16-Biffle 22nd, 20th
#12-Newman 4th, 10th
#6-Martin 35th [backup car/43rd], 34th
#99-Edwards 18th, 26th
#2-Wallace 3rd, 19th
#19-Mayfield 7th, 28th
#17-Kenseth 25th, 12th
#97-Busch 14th, 6th.(10-23-2005)
- Martinsville Race Notes:
• Jeff Gordon won the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, scoring his 73rd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 433rd career start.
• Gordon scored his fourth victory in 2005. His last victory came at Talladega in May, 22 races earlier.
• Gordon remained seventh on NASCAR’s all-time winners list.
• It was Gordon’s seventh Martinsville victory in 26 career Martinsville races including four in his last six races at Martinsville.
• Gordon has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 32 races in 2005.
• This was Gordon’s 20th top-10 in 26 races at Martinsville Speedway.
• This was Gordon’s 15th career short-track victory in 86 career short-track races.
• The 19 cautions in the 2005 Subway 500 set the record at Martinsville.
• Gordon posted the second sweep of the 2005 season winning both races at Martinsville in 2005. Teammate Jimmie Johnson won both races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
• Gordon led twice times for 151 laps including the final 141 laps.
• Gordon scored the 13th victory for car owner Rick Hendrick at Martinsville Speedway, second only to Petty Enterprises with 19. This was Hendrick’s 139th victory as a car owner and ninth in 32 races this season (Johnson-4, Gordon-4 and Kyle Busch-1).
• Tony Stewart led the most laps for the 11th time in a race this season.
• This was the fifth win by a Chevrolet in the last six races at Martinsville Speedway, all by Hendrick Motorsports.
• This is the 16th victory by a Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has 13 and Dodge has three. • Rusty Wallace (19th) extended a 45-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 24 top-15 finishes in 32 races in 2005.
• Martinsville marked the sixth and final short-track race in 2005. There were six different Bud pole winners and five different race winners on short-tracks in 2005. Gordon was the only repeat short-track race winner. Tony Stewart led 673 of the 2,800 laps raced on short-tracks in 2005, the most of any driver. Stewart also scored five top-10 finishes on short-tracks, leading all drivers.
- The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – Week No. 6
• Tony Stewart finished second at Martinsville Speedway and remained the leader in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Stewart is 15 points ahead of second-place Jimmie Johnson. The 10 drivers will race over the remaining four races to determine the 2005 champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million.
• Seven drivers in the Chase changed points positions at Martinsville Speedway.
• Only three of the 10 Chase drivers led at Martinsville, earning lap leader bonus points: Tony Stewart (283 laps), Matt Kenseth (19 laps) and Greg Biffle (six laps).
• Stewart has earned 40 lap leader bonus points in the Chase, 15 more than any other Chase driver.
• Kurt Busch (35th at New Hampshire, 23rd at Dover, eighth at Talladega, 14th at Kansas, second at Lowe’s and sixth at Martinsville) started the 2004 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by scoring a victory at New Hampshire and then followed with top-10 finishes in the first six races of the Chase-thru Martinsville. He ranked first in the point standings after this race one year ago. Busch is now eighth in the point standings 172 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.
• Seven of the 10 drivers who made it into the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup are doing so for the second straight year: Greg Biffle, Rusty Wallace, and Carl Edwards are new to the Chase in 2005.
• Nine of the 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the 2005 season. Five of the 10 drivers have scored multiple victories led by Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle each with five. Rusty Wallace is the only Chase driver that is winless in 2005.
• Only one of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top 10: Kurt Busch (sixth). Matt Kenseth was 12th followed by Greg Biffle (20th), Carl Edwards (26th) and Mark Martin (34th).
• Tony Stewart has scored four top-five finishes in the six races in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the most among Chase drivers.
• Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson, each have scored five top-10 finishes in the first six races in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
• Jimmie Johnson, who also won at Dover, is the only driver to score multiple victories in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
• Jamie McMurray (seventh) climbed from 14th to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He leads by just 18 points over 12th-place Kevin Harvick.(NASCAR Statsistical Services)(10-23-2005)
- Rumblings – Martinsville: It was a tale of two races today at Martinsville Speedway. In the first 343 laps, Tony Stewart led all but 60. For the final 157 circuits, Jeff Gordon led all but 6. And that final push put Gordon into Victory Lane at this sweet little short track in today’s Subway 500, giving him a sweep of both NEXTEL Cup events here. This was win #73 for Gordon’s career (he’s 7th on the all-time win list), and his 7th at Martinsville (he’s tied with Rusty Wallace for third on that list). Win #139 for Hendrick Motorsports was the 4th of the season (but his first since Talladega in May) for the four-time Champ and was worth $184,926 from the over $4.7M in posted awards.
Bobby Labonte (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Loudon in July.
Jeff Burton (5th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Bristol in August.
Jamie McMurray (7th) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Daytona in July.
Denny Hamlin (8th) is in a rut. That’s the second week in a row he’s finished 8th…..in only a three-race Cup career.
Ken Schrader (13th) had his best finish since he was 13th at Bristol in August.
Derrike Cope (33rd) had his best finish since he was 29th at Richmond in May of 2004.
STREAKIN….Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10’s in the last 6 races.
Ryan Newman has 5 Top-10’s in the last 6 races.
This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is a lonely Jamie McMurray (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Green (-26), followed by Jeremy Mayfield (-21) and Elliott Sadler (-20). A quiet week in the “Shaft”, especially for a short-track.
Tony Stewart now has a 15 point margin in the “Chase” standings. The “Magic Numbers” are continuing to grow for the guys at the bottom of the standings….if Tony finishes 9th or better the final four events there’s no way that Jeremy Mayfield can catch him, and so forth.
Jamie McMurray (14th to 11th) and Kyle Petty (29th to 26th) made the best moves forward today, while three drivers (Elliott Sadler, Sterling Marlin, and Mike Bliss) all fell three spots.(Stock Car Fans)(10-23-2005)
- Subway to donate 5% today: The Subway restaurant chain, the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, and its franchisees will donate the equivalent of 5% of October 23, 2005 sales from all of their 18,000-plus U.S. restaurants to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to aid emergency needs of Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors. The effort is expected to raise more than $1 million. Subway will support its chain-wide initiative with television and radio announcements, and with window signs in each of its U.S. restaurants. In addition, there will be exposure for the fundraiser during television coverage of the October 23rd Subway 500 NASCAR race in Martinsville, VA, along with a presence at the track consisting of public address announcements, billboard announcements, and an American Red Cross logo on the hood of the #16 Ford Taurus driven by Greg Biffle. The American Red Cross estimates that the families needing assistance from Hurricane Katrina alone are 15 times the number from all four hurricanes last year. The total cost for Katrina relief is estimated at more than $2 billion, and the Red Cross is counting on the American people and corporations to help their neighbors in need. For more information about the Subway restaurant chain, visit www.subway.com.(PR)(10-23-2005)
News from October 22, 2005
- Kahne Unveils Final Goodyear Garage Customized Vehicle: Kasey Kahne unveiled a customized 2005 Dodge Ram to fans at his race shop last week that will be won via sweepstakes. The tricked-out vehicle is part of the Goodyear Garage program, Goodyear’s interactive and online consumer attraction. The truck can be won online by a lucky fan through www.GoodyearGarage.com from Oct. 12 through Dec. 4. Kahne’s personalized Dodge Ram is the last of the four customized vehicles within the 2005 Goodyear program. Earlier in the year, NASCAR stars Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick also had special vehicles customized through the Goodyear Garage program, which have been won by adoring fans. “I was really excited when I heard about this program with Goodyear,” Kahne said. “Getting a chance to trick out a truck is any guy’s dream, but working with Jeff Kelderman, whose ideas and designs are ingenious, made the deal even sweeter. I appreciate the opportunity from Goodyear to work with Dodge and McDonald’s to benefit the children of the Ronald McDonald House.” An added bonus of the Goodyear Garage program is an online auction where fans can bid on their favorite driver’s personalized items.(Goodyear PR), more info and links on my Racing Charities page.(10-22-2005)
- Rudd still mum of 2006 plans: After a solid qualifying lap put him on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Ricky Rudd knew the questions about his future were coming. He was ready. “Let’s talk about Martinsville. I know what’s happening at Martinsville,” Rudd said Friday with a laugh. “No disrespect to everybody. It’s just not time to announce anything yet.” Rudd, in his third season driving for #21 Wood Brothers Racing and in his 31st season in Nextel Cup racing, said he realizes his fans want to know his plans. “We’re very aware of the support we have from them and the last thing we want to do is make it appear like we’re snubbing them or dusting them off,” he said. “It’s not intended that way. When everything comes out and all the hands get played, I think everyone will see there were reasons why things needed to be kept under wraps. The time has not come to divulge that. I wish I could.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-22-2005)
- Fruit of the Loom gone as #7 sponsor? UPDATE: been asked by many readers, looks like Fruit of the Loom is no longer a sponsor for #7 Robby Gordon and has been removed from his website robbygordon.com. Gordon was scheduled to run a Fruit of the Loom scheme at Talladega, but is Menards is listed as the sponsor. Fruit of the Loom was scheduled to run at Talladega, Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix.(9-29-2005)
UPDATE: Robby Gordon Motorsports has replaced Fruit of the Loom with a to-be-announced sponsor for 10 races in 2006. Harrah’s, Jim Beam and Menards will return in some capacity for next season. All the races are covered with a primary sponsor for 2006, but the team is looking for associate sponsors.(NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-22-2005)
- A Petty back in the #43? UPDATE: Jeff Green likely will leave Petty Enterprises’ #43 car for a chance to drive the NetZero #0 car, team owner Kyle Petty said Thursday. Petty, in town [CAL]to deliver the keynote address at the High Desert Opportunity business conference, said without securing a sponsor for his own #45 car, he couldn’t commit to another driver for the 2006 season. “I really think Jeff’s going to the (Net) Zero [#0] car,” Petty said. “We’ve been very honest with Jeff, very honest with everybody we talk to.” The problem, Petty said, is that the team hasn’t signed a sponsor to replace Georgia Pacific on the #45 car. General Mills still has a contract to sponsor the #43 car. “Since I own the team, I could go drive the 43 if I wanted to,” Petty said. Is that a possibility? Could we see Petty back behind the wheel of his father Richard’s old car? “Everything’s a possibility,” Kyle Petty said. “You’ve got so much on the table.” Petty said as a veteran driver, he understood the need to secure a ride when there was an opportunity. “Jeff’s 42, 43 years old (actually 43). Everybody wants to sign a 19-year-old to drive their car,” Petty said. “If you can find a ride, you better be jumping and getting in it. Don’t wait and let me hold you back.” The bottom line, Petty said, “If it’s good for him, it’s good for us.”(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(10-21-2005)
UPDATE: Kyle Petty said Friday that Jeff Green likely will vacate Petty Enterprises’ flagship #43 Dodge and take over the #0 Chevrolet owned by Gene Haas. Petty said he and Green talked Tuesday about Green leaving the car he has driven since September, 2003. “I know [Green] has talked to the 0, and he’s probably going to go to the 0, and I applaud that for him,” Petty said. “It’s like I told him, ‘When you’re my age and you’re your age, and everybody’s looking for 19-year-olds, if a car opens up, jump in it.'” Petty, 45, said his big hold-up in re-signing Green, 43, was a lack of sponsorship for his own #45 Dodge. Since Georgia Pacific announced that it wasn’t returning as that car’s backer, the team has been assembling a sponsorship package, but it didn’t materialize in time to keep Green. If the sponsorship for the #45 doesn’t come through, the team will field only one car full-time and Petty probably would drive it himself [#43]. But he said he hopes that doesn’t happen. “I’m extremely confident that within the next four to six weeks we’ll have what we want to announce,” Petty said, adding that the sponsorship will be tied to fund-raising efforts for the Victory Junction Camp for ill children that the Pettys founded. “That’s why we want to release [the sponsorships] all at one time,” he said. “We just didn’t get things done quick enough to be able to satisfy all of our contractual needs with Jeff.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-22-2005)
- Davis beats Dodge again: Bill Davis Racing has won another round in court against Dodge, which sued BDR over its building of Toyota Trucks and giving info to them. A judge rejected Dodge’s request that the judge reconsider his July ruling that BDR didn’t violate terms of their agreement by building trucks in 2003. The only matter to be disputed is if BDR gave confidential information to Toyota and is scheduled to go to trial in Decemebr at Michigan.(NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-22-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: The Chase for the coveted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup continues, and so does your chance to win big. This is the last weekend in which fans who pick the correct finishing order of the Gillette Young Guns – Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth – by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com will have the chance to win $1 Million and a trip to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a $1,000 donation was made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Jimmie Johnson. This is the 10th time this year that a donation in Johnson’s name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(10-22-2005)
- Joy to co-host Wind Tunnel: NASCAR on FOX’s Mike Joy will be Wind Tunnel’s guest co-host this Sunday October 23rd. With over 30 years experience in the business, Joy began his career announcing races at various New England speedways before moving on to the Motor Racing Network (MRN) where he spent 14 years calling NASCAR races. Joy then moved to the world of television, anchoring NASCAR races for ESPN, TNN, and CBS before joining the FOX team for their inaugural NASCAR season in 2001. Depains Interviews include Ricky Carmichael (2005 AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion) and Dennis Setzer (Truck Series Points Leader). Topics of Discussion Nextel Cup in Martinsville for race # 6 in ‘The Chase’; Trucks in Martinsville; Busch Series in Memphis; Champ Car in Australia; NHRA in Las Vegas; WoO season finale in Las Vegas; MotoGP in Turkey.(Speed Channel), future co-hosts include: Oct 30th: Kurt Busch (interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr.); Nov 6th: Tom Sneva; Nov 13th: Ed Hinton; and Nov 20th: Dick Berggren.(10-22-2005)
News from October 21, 2005
- Mears wins Checker-Rally’s award: The #41Target/Breast Cancer Research Foundation Team with Driver Casey Mears Wins won the Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge at the UAW-GM Quality 500 on October 15th at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. As the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, Checkers/Rally’s recognizes the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team with the best pit road performance each week with a $10,000 prize. At the end of the season, Checkers/Rally’s will award the $100,000 grand prize to the team that garners the most Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge wins throughout the race season. Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge takes place at all 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point races. To win, teams must finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time in pit lane. For details on the Checkers/Rally’s Double Drive-Thru Challenge, visit checkers.com/nascar.(MARC PR)(10-21-2005)
- NASCAR expands relationship with AICG: NASCAR announced an expanded relationship with Atlanta International Consulting Group (AICG) as a NASCAR promotional licensee. NASCAR also announced a new vendor relationship with Padraic Major Photography. Both companies are minority-owned.(NASCAR)(10-21-2005)
- Final Charlotte TV ratings up 4.1%: NBC’s broadcast of last Saturday night’s UAW-GM Quality 500 from Lowe’s Motor Speedway earned a final rating of 5.1 and a 10 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 4.1% higher than the 4.9 the race earned in 2004.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-21-2005)
- Stewart wins pole with new track record at Martinsville: #20-Tony Stewart, the points leader, won the Budweiser Pole for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway with a Track Record lap of 98.083mph for his 3rd pole of 2005 and 10th of his career. The rest of the top five are: #21-Ricky Rudd, #2-Rusty Wallace, #12-Ryan Newman and #11-Denny Hamlin. #4-Mike Wallace was the highest non top-35 team, starting 27th. Five drivers failed to make the race: #92-Chad Chaffin, #4-Joey McCarthy, #00-Carl Long, #75-Mike Garvey and #89-Morgan Shepherd [ran past the 5-minute clock to fix the car]. #61-Wayne Anderson withdrew after only running 2 laps in practice.
For starting lineup, qualifying results, practice speeds, qualifying order, pole prgression and more, see my Jayski’s Martinsville Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(10-21-2005)
- Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the fourth consecutive Nextel Cup race weekend at Martinsville that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires . . . this is one of only three tracks on the Cup circuit (Sears Point and Watkins Glen are the others) at which the same tire set-up as ’04 will be run in ’05 . . . both the Nextel Cup and Truck Series will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Cup tires will be branded “Goodyear Eagle,” while the truck tires will be branded “Goodyear Wrangler” . . . this is the only track at which Nextel Cup teams will run this tire set-up in ’05 . . . this being Goodyear’s short track set-up, Truck Series teams also ran this combination at Mansfield, Ohio . . . this right-side tire code (D-6836) was also run on the front tire positions at all NASCAR road courses this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals less than one mile in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Martinsville. See the full report on my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page.(10-21-2005)
- NBC at Martinsville: NBC’s exclusive coverage of NASCAR’s “Chase for the Nextel Cup” continues Sunday live in High Definition with a short track showdown at the Subway 500 from Martinsville Motor Speedway in Virginia. NBC Sports begins coverage with the “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show at 12:30pm/et, followed by green flag racing at 1pm/et. NASCAR Busch Series Racing from Memphis begins at 3:30pm/et on Saturday on TNT.
This week on “Wally’s World,” WWE champion John Cena steps out of the “squared circle” and onto the half-mile oval when he takes a ride with NBC & TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach on the “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show.(NBC PR)(10-21-2005)
- Qualifying Notes Martinsville:
• Tony Stewart won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Subway 500, lapping Martinsville Speedway in 19.306 seconds at 98.083 mph. He broke Ryan Newman’s track-qualifying record of 19.513 seconds, 97.043 mph, set Oct. 22, 2004.
• The top 11 qualifier’s broke Newman’s qualifying record.
• This is Stewart’s 10th career Bud Pole in 244 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
• This is his third Bud Pole and 18th top-10 start in 2005.
• This is Stewart’s third Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in 14 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
• Ricky Rudd posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 19.324 seconds, 97.992 mph – and will join Stewart on the front row for the Subway 500. It is Rudd’s 27th top-10 start in 53 races at Martinsville, but just his second in the past nine. This is his best start this season and his best since he started on the Bud Pole at Talladega in April 2004.
• This is the 13th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge has nine Bud Poles and Ford has eight. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Rusty Wallace (third) has started from the top 10 in 34 of his 44 races at Martinsville. It is his 11th top-10 start in 2005.
• Ryan Newman (fourth) has posted eight top-10 starts in as many races at Martinsville. Newman has a series leading 26 top-10 starts this season, including six Bud Poles.
• Denny Hamlin (fifth) posted his second top-10 start in his three-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career. He started seventh at Kansas City.
• Only five of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Stewart, Wallace, Newman, Jimmie Johnson (sixth) and Jeremy Mayfield (seventh). None of the five Roush cars qualified in the top 10. Mark Martin 35th was the lowest qualifying Chase driver
• Kyle Petty (13th) posted his best start since he started 10th at Richmond in September 2003.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(10-21-2005)
- Ramblings – Martinsville:
Tony Stewart set a new track record (for that matter, 11 drivers bettered the old mark) today at Martinsville Speedway and took the Bud Pole for Sunday’s Subway 500 with a time of 19.306 (98.083 mph). This is the 3rd top-spot of the season for Tony and the 9th of his NEXTEL Cup career.
Ricky Rudd will join Stewart on the front row. This is Ricky’s best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Talladega in October of 2004.
Rusty Wallace (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Bristol in April.
Denny Hamlin (5th) has his career-best (albeit only three races) starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 7th two weeks ago at Kansas.
Jeremy Mayfield (7th) has his best starting spot since he qualififed on the outside pole at The Brickyard in August.
Jeff Green (11th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Bristol in April.
Kyle Petty (13th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 10th at Richmond in September of 2003.
Welcome Back Derrike Cope (38th). This is Derrike’s first Cup start since Richmond in September of 2004, and his best start since he lined up 38th at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May of 2004.
STREAKIN….Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
Elliott Sadler has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
This is our final short-track event (and the only one in the “Chase) of the season. If you recall Bristol and Richmond, there may still be a few drivers who figure they’ve got some payback coming…..you can bet NASCAR’s gonna be watching a little closer than usual this weekend.(StockCarFans.com)(10-21-20005)
News from October 20, 2005
- Burton to help member of the Navy to re-enlist: #31-Jeff Burton will make one long-time fan’s dream come true following the race at Martinsville Speedway. On Monday, Oct. 24 the driver of the #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet will participate in the reenlistment ceremony for Joe Gallagher, Chief Operations Specialist in the U.S. Navy. After giving a personal tour of the RCR Cup shop, Burton will join Chief Warrant Officer Bill Stocke in swearing in Gallagher, who has served 13 years in the U.S. Navy including deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, for another term of duty.(RCR)(10-20-2005)
- Benson to run #23 at Atlanta: The Challenger brand, which already graces a full line of quality tractors, combines and hay tools, is making its debut as a Nextel Cup Series primary sponsor by riding on board with Johnny Benson and the #23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge at Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Atlanta is Challenger’s home track, as the corporate headquarters for parent company AGCO Corporation are located in Duluth, Ga. Next week’s appearance in the NASCAR garage will not be the first association between NASCAR and Challenger. The Challenger brand made its initial Nextel Cup sponsorship debut as a new associate sponsor of the #22 Caterpillar car this August in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and has been along for the ride every weekend since. It will continue its associate program with the No. 22 team through 2006. The last couple of years, HOLT CAT in Dallas, Texas, has supplied Texas Motor Speedway with several Challenger wheel tractors that are used for year-round maintenance of the 1,500-acre complex. For more information on any of Challenger’s full line of agricultural products visit www.challengerag.com. For further updates regarding Benson’s Nextel Cup run in Atlanta, check in at www.billdavisracing.com.(10-20-2005)
- Burton to test Texas: Jeff Burton and #31 Team Cingular are scheduled to test at Texas Motor Speedway on October 25-26 in preparation for the upcoming Dickies 500 on November 6.(RCR)(10-20-2005)
- Long named YRA spokesman: Young Racers of America, Inc., a non-profit organization, assists young racers in continuing their goal to compete in the ever-growing racing industry. McGlynn Racing shares this same passion! Therefore, Carl Long has agreed to be the spokesman for the YRA in order to create further awareness for young racers and to build a support system for youth drivers. The Young Racers of America will make its debut on the #00 car at the Dickies 500 on November 6, 2005 at Texas Motor Speedway. YRA will also appear on the car as an associate sponsor during the 2006 season and will be featured on the McGlynnRacing.com web site. “We are very excited that the McGlynn Racing team has stepped forward and recognized the need our foundation serves. Every child should be given an opportunity to participate in something that they are extremely passionate about and with the added assistance of Carl Long, Ryan McGlynn and McGlynn Racing, they will be able to do so”, states Gayle Lutyk, President and co-founder of YRA. More information about Young Racers of America, Inc. call 817.282.4YRA or visit: youngracersofamerica.org.(10-20-2005)
- Hendrick unsure about attending Martinsville: Car owner Rick Hendrick won’t decide until Sunday whether he’ll travel to Martinsville for the Subway 500 cup race. It was one year ago this weekend when a Hendrick Motorsports plane crashed into Bull mountain near Martinsville while attempting to land in foggy conditions.10 people lost their lives, including his son Ricky, brother John and head engine builder Randy Dorton. Hendrick told PRN’S Garagepass; “I’ve learned since the accident that I have to take things day by day. I can have three or four days great and then I’ll get really down and thinking about things. It could be somebody’s birthday or Ricky’s daughter comes over to the house or whatever and it just unleashes a lot of emotions so I just try not to make too many plans. I want to go back to support the guys and I also feel like you just can’t run from it. But, if that morning if it doesn’t feel right then I won’t go.”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(10-20-2005)
- Virginians for Jerry Kilgore Car to Run at Martinsville: Former Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial nominee Jerry Kilgore will sponsor the “Virginians for Jerry Kilgore” car at Martinsville Speedway’s Nextel Cup Subway 500 Sunday as Virginia native Hermie Sadler will drive the #66 Ford Taurus powered by Roush-Yates racing. The Kilgore campaign logo has been featured on two other Nextel Cup cars this season, but this will mark the first time Kilgore’s campaign has been the primary sponsor of a car. This is believed to be the first time ever a statewide candidate anywhere in the country has been the primary sponsor of a Nextel Cup car. More info on Virginians for Jerry Kilgore at jerrykilgore.com, see images of the car in my #66 Team Schemes page.(10-20-2005)
- Cope to drive the #08 at Martinsville UPDATE: Derrike Cope will be driving this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, driving for McGlynn Motorsports as a teammate with Carl Long, possibly #08. Copewill get fitted in the car on Thursday and head off to Martinsville.(Derrike Cope site)(10-18-2005)
UPDATE: Derrike Cope will team with Carl Long and drive a second car for McGlynn Motorsports at this weekend’s race at Martinsville, Virginia. The 1990 Daytona 500 winner will drive the GoldenPalace.com #08 Chevy. Although Derrike runs a limited NASCAR schedule, he is a proven driver with a record of nearly 10% of his starts resulting in a top ten finish. Derrike has been tabbed as driver for McGlynn Racing for this event as well as selected NASCAR Nextel Cup endeavors for the remainder of this season. McGlynn Racing is a young, up and coming Pennsylvania-based team that knows Derrike Cope can help move the organization to the next level.(McGlynn MotorSports)(10-20-2005)
- Some Friday TV Stuff: Pattie Petty, along with husband Kyle and father-in-law Richard, will be the lead interview among NASCAR drivers’ wives on NBC’s The Today Show Friday, Oct. 21. Petty led the contingent of wives, which also includes Jeff Burton’s wife Kim and Jimmie Johnson’s wife Chandra, in the interview, which was taped this past weekend. An interview with Pattie and Kyle together, as well as with Richard Petty, will also be part of the piece.(Williams Company)
AND Carl Edwards and Mark Martin drive through Springfield on GUIDING LIGHT, Friday, October 21 (check local listings). The drivers, playing themselves, stop off in the local restaurant, Company, where police detective A.C. Mallet (Robert Bogue) comes in, recognizes who they are and chats up the two racing superstars.(CBS)(10-20-2005)
- Testing ends at Atlanta: NEXTEL Cup cars were on the track again today testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. topped the speed charts today in his Budweiser Chevrolet, with a lap of 189.215 mph, (29.30 seconds). The #36 Chevrolet of Boris Said was second fastest. Accompanying Earnhardt Jr. and Said were #48-Jimmie Johnson, and #1-Martin Truex Jr. Testing their Craftsman trucks today were Joey Miller, Jack Sprague and Johnny Benson. There was one incident of note during the day-long test. Said spun exiting turn two, but did not hit anything. Below are the unofficial speeds recorded during the test:
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – #15 Chevrolet / NNCS = 189.215 mph
Boris Said – #36 Chevrolet / NNCS = 188.571 mph
Jimmie Johnson – #48 Chevrolet / NNCS = 187.361mph
Martin Truex, Jr. – #1 Chevrolet / NNCS = 187.108 mph
Great seats are still available for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Make sure to catch all of the weekend’s festivities, including Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Night with the Atlanta Invitational Legends race on Friday, and the Crown Royal IROC race followed by the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday. Contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 770-946-4211 or via www.ticketmaster.com.(AMS PR)(10-20-2005)
News from October 19, 2005
- Berrier’s penalty upheld: On October 19, 2005, the National Stock Car Racing Commission [Brad Daugherty, Richard Gore, and George Silbermann, Chairman] heard and considered the appeal of Todd Berrier, crew chief for the #29 car. The appeal pertained to a penalty issued by NASCAR under Section 12-4-A of the Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing” and Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: Unapproved aerodynamic modifications and unapproved fuel cell vent mounting.” The penalty stemmed from post-qualifying inspection at Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event on September 30, 2005.
The penalty assessed was:
* $10,000 fine; suspension from NASCAR until October 19, 2005; probation until December 31, 2005.
* Upon the request of the Appellant, the Commission deferred the original penalty until the hearing could be conducted.
Taken individually, each of the components that failed to conform to the rules had plausible explanations, but taken collectively, constituted a serious violation of the rules. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalty issued by NASCAR. The period of the suspension will be adjusted to commence from the date of this hearing. The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR)(10-19-2005)
- NASCAR at Atlanta Tests: noticed at Atlanta Motor Speedway testing on Tuesday were NASCAR’s Mike Helton, Jim Hunter and Gary Nelson. They were there to check tire wear during the test. Following the race and tire problems at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, they went around looking at tires and talking to drivers. Heard that tire wear at Atlanta so far has been ‘normal’, fast for three or four laps, then dropped off dramatically, which is normal.(10-19-2005)
- Kyle Busch testing at Homestead/Texas: Busch and his #5 Kellogg’s Racing team will test at Homestead, Fla., on Wednesday [Oct 19th] in preparation for the Nov. 20 NEXTEL Cup season finale. The team will also hold a two-day test Oct. 25-26 at the Texas Motor Speedway to warm up for the Nov. 6 event there.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(10-19-2005)
- Gordon to test drive a ‘Vette for TV: Jeff Gordon gets behind the wheel of the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 at Road Atlanta with SPEED Channel’s popular “Test Drive” program and host Tommy Kendall on Oct. 22 at 6:00pm/et. “I had never been to Road Atlanta and I got the opportunity to drive one of the best Corvettes they’ve ever brought out,” Gordon said on SPEED’s “NASCAR This Morning.” “(The Z06) has a lot of power, handles fantastic and looks great — I had a blast.” Footage was also shot at the famed Le Mans road course in France with Corvette factory driver Johnny O’Connell.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-19-2005)
- Busch Series reported moving to ESPN2: ESPN2 expects to land exclusive rights to all Busch Series races, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, officials at ESPN said the Busch Series races would be exclusive domain of ESPN2 under terms of a new television contract, reporter Andy Bernstein writes.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-19-2005)
- CMT airing NASCAR specials: CMT says it has reached a one-year agreement with NASCAR Images to air four one-hour specials on the sport. The network will air the first special, “NASCAR’s most dramatic finishes,” at 9 p.m. EDT Oct. 28. The network will also feature NASCAR’s greatest rivalries, top 10 dominators and top 10 comebacks.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-19-2005)
- DW Boogity Grill Sponsors Whitt, Red Horse #38: Ameritrax Racing and Lawry’s will sponsor the #38 Red Horse Racing Tundra of driver Brandon Whitt in Saturday’s Kroger 200 Truck Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park. The DW Boogity Grill, the first folding, portable charcoal and gas, barbecue/stove combo grill, will be on the quarterpanels of the #38. This will be the first race Ameritrax, Lawry’s and The DW Boogity Grill – named after NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip and his coined, “Boogity, boogity, boogity” phrase – have sponsored a racing vehicle. The grill is “the ultimate grill’n experience.” The DW Boogity Grill comes in three models – the Classic Racer in bright red enamel; and 2 Stainless Steel versions. A durable carrying bag is included with each grill. Talk about fast, the DW Boogity Grill is easy to set up since no screws, bolts or tools are required for assembly and use.(Red Horse Racing)(10-19-2005)
- Drive for Diversity Combine concludes:
After two days of on-track testing, time trials, off-track media training and career management seminars, 19 aspiring NASCAR drivers completed the Drive for Diversity “Testing and Evaluation Combine” at South Boston Speedway. The event determines which drivers will participate in the Drive for Diversity development program for ethnic and gender minority drivers in 2006. Each driver completed a 45-minute test session in a NASCAR Late Model Stock Car, capped off with a one-lap time trial against the clock. Throughout each test, the drivers were advised and coached by Wendell Scott Jr., the son of pioneering African-American driver Wendell Scott, and Peyton Sellers, the 2005 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national champion who won his title while racing at South Boston. With the combine completed, the team owners will soon select their drivers and be paired with a sponsor for the 2006 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series season.(NASCAR) See much more on my Racing Schools/Jobs page.(10-19-2005)
News from October 18, 2005
- Mike Wallace says 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)
- DirecTV becomes NASCAR sponsor, also a race and driver: DirecTV Inc. said Tuesday that it has signed a corporate-sponsorship agreement with NASCAR. The direct-broadcast satellite provider will have exclusive rights among subscription-television distributors to use the NASCAR brand in marketing and advertising promotions through early 2010. DirecTV said NASCAR will be integrated into many of its marketing campaigns, including national promotions, and many of the campaigns will focus on its new “DirecTV Plus” digital-video recorder. The company added that it will sponsor a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race team and driver during the 2006 season, and it has the rights to use NASCAR marks and tag lines to promote its NASCAR sponsorships on receiving equipment, service vehicles and installer uniforms.(Multichannel.com)(10-18-2005)
- Testing at Atlanta: NEXTEL Cup Series testing continued today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Fourteen cars were on the track testing in preparation for the upcoming Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 on October 30. For the second day in a row, in his #80 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy, J.J. Yeley was at the top of the speed charts posting a lap of 188.636mph, (29.39 seconds). #6-Mark Martin was second fastest, followed by #20-Tony Stewart. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded a lap of 184.003 mph, (30.13 seconds) [doesn’t say where that placed in the mix of 14 drivers]. There were two on track incidents towards the end of the day. The first one occurred when Earnhardt, Jr. spun exiting turn four, but did not make contact with the wall and the second occurred minutes later when Yeley blew an engine entering turn one. Atlanta Motor Speedway testing will continue tomorrow [Wednesday Oct 19] as drivers prepare for the upcoming Oct. 28-30 race weekend. [no word if trsting is open to the public]
Great seats are still available for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. Contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 770-946-4211 or via www.ticketmaster.com.(AMS PR)
Other drivers I heard attending the test included: #97-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle, #01-Joe Nemechek, #39-Reed Sorenson and #43-Jeff Green.(10-18-2005)
- #20 to sport Tools scheme at Martinsville: Tony Stewart will special paint scheme on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet at the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway featuring new Lithium-Ion cordless power tools that deliver the longest-lasting power available on the market. The gray, orange and white paint scheme features Lithium-Ion power tool lines on the rear corner panels and deck lid of the vehicle. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, the innovative tools from Makita U.S.A. and Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation operate with breakthrough Lithium-Ion technology which will run up to twice as long as leading cordless 18 volts per charge. The tools will be available in all The Home Depot stores in the United States starting in November. The new power tool lines include a Milwaukee V28, four-piece Cordless Combo Kit and Makita 18V LXT, four-piece Cordless Combo Kit, 18V LXT Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit and 18V LXT Cordless Impact Driver Kit.(True Speed/Home Depot PR), see image on my #20 Team Schemes page.(10-18-2005)
- Early Charlotte TV Ratings Up over 2004: NBC’s broadcast of the NASCAR Nextel Cup race on Saturday night (Oct. 15) was the highest overnight rating ever for the televised event. The race –from Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.– delivered a 4.8 overnight rating and 8 share, up from a 4.6/8 last year, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The top-rated local markets were Greensboro, Greenville and Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Indianapolis.(MediaWeek)(10-17-2005)
News from October 17, 2005
- Knaus Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Charlotte: Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus did it again. Together, the duo overcame a last place starting spot, a faulty alternator and a compressed fender in route to their fourth straight win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Johnson’s win marked his fourth of the season and catapulted him into first place in the championship point standings. For leading his driver to Victory Lane, Knaus won the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. The panel of voters, including a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr., all agreed that Knaus’s performance deserved Crew Chief of the Race honors.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser, Chad Knaus and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-17-2005)
- Kahne to run a Dodge Ram Mega Cab Paint Scheme at Texas: Kasey Kahne and the #9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger team will debut a special paint scheme featuring the new Dodge Mega Cab — World’s Biggest Cab — on Nov. 6 in the Dickies 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Since everything is bigger in Texas, TMS will provide a perfect high-speed stage to unveil the new paint scheme. The all-new 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab features the World’s Biggest Cab with Best-in-Class interior room and comfort. Powered by a 5.7L Hemi V8 engine as standard equipment, the 2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab also is available with a Cummins Turbo diesel. Beginning on Oct. 18, fans can register at www.worldsbiggestcab.com to win prizes associated with the unveiling of the new paint scheme. Fifty die-cast cars with the Ram Mega Cab paint scheme from Action Performance will be given away in addition to five SRT Racing School experiences, a VIP Daytona 500 trip for two and a 1500 SLT Dodge Ram Mega Cab. Deadline for entries is Nov. 9.(Clear!Blue PR), see an image of the scheme on my #9 Team Schemes page.(10-17-2005)
- Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he’s out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss’ #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night’s crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
- Spencer, R&J Racing team up at Martinsville: Jimmy Spencer, a two-time winner on the Nextel Cup Series circuit, will drive the #37 BoSPOKER.net Dodge for R&J Racing this Sunday at the Martinsville Speedway. In making the announcement, team owner Roger Craven said the addition of Spencer was important as the BoSPOKER.net team continues to build for the future. “Not only is Jimmy an accomplished and tenacious driver, he will be able to provide our team with valuable information that could help us down the road,” Craven said. “There’s no question he knows everything there’s to know about a race car, so we’re going to be dependent for information as well as speed at Martinsville.” Spencer has a part-time arrangement with Arnold Motorsports, but that team will not compete in the Subway 500. R&J Racing driver Tony Raines took a two-week leave of absence to fulfill his commitment with Kevin Harvick’s Busch Series team.(R&J Racing PR)(10-17-2005)
- Race at LMS almost shortened: #48-Jimmie Johnson might not have won his fourth consecutive points race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway had NASCAR officials shortened Saturday’s event as they considered because of numerous tire problems. The 336-lap race never had more than 30 laps of green-flag racing between cautions — many for accidents caused by blown tires. NASCAR president Mike Helton said series officials debated what to do, including shortening the race, as the carnage raged.(Roanoke Times)(10-17-2005)
- What’s up with Blaney for 2006: Dave Blaney, who will be replaced by Clint Bowyer in the #07 RCR car in 2006, has spoken with team owner Cal Wells [#32 Tide Chevy] but is waiting to see how Silly Season shakes out before committing to a ride.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
- Rusty to appear on “The Big Idea”: Miller Lite Dodge driver Rusty Wallace will be a special featured guest on Monday’s edition of CNBC’s “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” Hosted by Deutsch, chairman of Deutsch, Inc., the $2.8 billion marketing company that has won numerous ad-agency-of-the-year awards and has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, the show is well known for its provocative, spontaneous and real look at celebrities in various industries. “NASCAR has become so popular that we decided to devote an entire show to the sport,” said Meredith Applebaum, talent producer for CNBC. “Rusty Wallace is a legend in NASCAR and he has a household name in the sporting world today. It will be a very fun and entertaining hour on Monday night.” Other guests on Monday night’s program include NASCAR’s George Pyne and Jamie McMurray, driver for Wallace’s NASCAR Busch Series team. “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” airs nightly on CNBC at 10:00pm/et and features a second broadcast of the program at 1:00am/et.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-17-2005)
News from October 16, 2005
- Johnson wins at Charlotte: #48-Jimmie Johnson didn’t lead until the last 13 laps, but pulled off the win in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, for his 4th win at LMS in a row, 5th in the last 6 races there, 4th of the season and 18th win of his career. Johnson is the first driver to sweep the races at a track in 2005, winning both Cup races at LMS this season. It was a wild race with a ton of tire problems with most of the problems with the right front, three drivers were leading when they lost a right front, #5-Busch, #20-Stewart and #9-Kahne. The win vaults Johnson into a tie for the points lead with Stewart, although Stewart is the leader with 5 wins over Johnson’s 4. The top-10 Chasers are now within 142 points. #97-Kurt Busch finished 2nd, followed by #16-Greg Biffle, #01-Joe Nemechek and #6-Mark Martin. #11-Denny Hamlin, only in his 2nd race, finished 8th and was running in the top-5 until a few laps to go. The race started a little late as NASCAR waited for NBC to finish up with the USC-Notre Dame college football game which lasted until 7:43pm/et, the race was scheduled to start at 7:20pm/et. Due to the tire problems NASCAR mandated a minimum tire pressure for the tires that Goodyear posts in its tire notes and PRN radio said that NASCAR said that teams caught not maintaining the minimum air pressure will lose points. There was an event record 15 cautions for 83 laps and 17 drivers led a lap with 35 lead changes.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF’s, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Charlotte/LMS Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s Charlotte Race Results/Awards page.(10-16-2005)
- McMurray may get release from Ganassi….if UPDATE: Chip Ganassi has softened his stance regarding driver #42-Jamie McMurray, who wants out of his contract so he can drive for Roush Racing. McMurray signed a contract in July to drive for Roush beginning in 2007 [supposedly the #6, but now the #97], hoping that the early announcement would force Ganassi to let him leave at the end of this year. Ganassi steadfastly refused to even negotiate an early release. But on Friday, Ganassi sounded a little bit more flexible about finding a solution.
“There are no talks at this time, but there could be if someone came to me with a solution,” Ganassi said. “I need a solution, not a pile of money. I need a driver to replace Jamie.” The McMurray situation got complicated when Kurt Busch said he was leaving Roush to drive for Penske Racing in 2007. Penske has an opening next season in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge because Rusty Wallace is retiring and would like to put Busch in the car right away. But Roush will not let Busch leave because it would give him two holes to fill: Busch’s ride, plus the seat McMurray was supposed to fill upon Mark Martin’s retirement. It was believed Roush and Penske were trying to work out a deal, but any solutions would likely have to include Ganassi giving McMurray an early release. “Look, I am not going to be Jack Roush or Roger Penske’s whipping boy,” Ganassi said. “I’m the end of the line on this thing and I’m trying to put together my team, too.” If nothing changes, Martin has indicated he will postpone retirement and drive one more season for Roush in the #6 Ford. If that happens, Roush said he’d likely put McMurray in Busch’s seat (assuming Busch stays through 2006) and move Todd Kluever up to Martin’s ride in 2007.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-15-2005)
UPDATE: Penske South officials remain optimistic that Kurt Busch will replace Rusty Wallace in 2006, but they say it will not happen unless Jamie McMurray is released to join Roush Racing. That would open the door for a three-way deal in which Penske would get Busch, Roush would get McMurray and Chip Ganassi Racing would get a driver to replace McMurray. “Jamie has to get free first,” said Penske Race president Don Miller before Saturday night’s Nextel Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “That’s the only way it’s going to work.” Roush president Geoff Smith agreed. “For us, that’s step one,” he said of McMurray, who is signed for the 2007 season to drive Busch’s No. 97 car. “They know what our criteria are. I believe there are discussions with Chip from Penske.” Ganassi, who has insisted for months that he would not release McMurray, softened his stance this weekend, saying he would be willing to listen. “I need a solution, not a pile of money,” he told reporters. “I need a driver to replace Jamie.” Because of tampering rules, most of the talks are between Busch’s attorneys and the attorneys at Penske and Roush Racing. Smith said he has made sure Busch’s lawyers have a list of available drivers that might interest Ganassi. But Smith and team owner Jack Roush said that driver will not come from Roush Racing. “I am not in negotiations for, nor do I have any personal preference to having him driving my car in 2006,” Roush said of McMurray, who originally was signed to replace Mark Martin in the No. 6 before Busch announced his deal with Penske for 2007. “I want him in my car in 2007. If things develop so he’s available, then there will be something (done) about that. I’m not going to offer up a junior driver and two choices in the future.”(The State)(10-16-2005)
- Benny finds out in newspaper..NBC drops out: Benny Parsons, NBC’s analyst, said he knew nothing about the network’s decision to bow out of NASCAR coverage until he read it in the newspaper. Parsons then called his bosses, who confirmed that the network had pulled out of the bidding process for the contract that begins in 2007. “They just weren’t prepared to pay the kind of money NASCAR wanted,” said Parsons, a former champion driver. “I’ll be 65 when this contract ends in 14 months,” he added. “I don’t think it’s as important for me as it is for some of the younger guys on our broadcasts. They’ll be scrambling.”(Gaston Gazette)(10-16-2005)
- RCR..no plans to run Tracy: Richard Childress Racing gave Champ Car driver Paul Tracy a two-day test at Michigan in August and said he would let him race at that track if the session went well. The two ultimately decided not to enter the race. Now Childress says there have been no further discussions. “Paul and I haven’t talked in about a month,” Childress said. “We’re just trying to get our in-house program put together for next year.”(ESPN.com/RPM)(10-16-2005)
- Roush states his case with five-page document: Roush Racing issued a five-page statement on the value of multi-car teams Saturday, combating NASCAR’s challenge of limiting ownership. NASCAR chairman Brian France and NASCAR president Mike Helton both said last week that series officials are putting together regulations to limit how many teams one car owner can have. Series officials have talked of dropping that number to four and, possibly, three later. Roush Racing has five teams, while Hendrick Motorsports has four. The Roush paper, written by team president Geoff Smith, contends that “potential team restrictions represent a certain significant loss to every owner.”(Roanoke Times)(10-16-2005)
- Menard sells engine company to…Honda? Word from England is that billionaire home improvement magnate John Menard, whose engine company has been building racing engines for Robby Gordon’s #7 team, has sold his racing and engine-building shop to Honda. Does that mean Gordon will have to start looking for another engine supplier?(Yahoo Sports)(10-16-2005)
- Congrats: Danielle Donnelly, daughter of Dan Donnelly, transport driver of the #4 Morgan-McClure Lucas Oil team in the Nextel Cup series, won the crown of Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2006 recently. Danielle currently works for the Social Security Administration. When not working, Danielle gives back to her community as a volunteer and President of a spinal cord injury support group called, “Unlimited Possibilities.” She has also volunteered in the special education department of Abingdon high and middle schools.(10-16-2005)
- Special on neurology of NASCAR TV Special AIR’s TONIGHT: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an Atlanta neurosurgeon and the network’s senior medical correspondent, was in Concord, NC this week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway filming an hourlong CNN medical special show scheduled for Sept. 25 about motor sports from a medical perspective. Among the topics: whether great racers are born that way or learn through training; staying hydrated on race day; and the survivability of crashes. “People are fascinated by the physics of a crash,” says Gupta, who interviewed driver Carl Edwards in a Huntersville park for a segment on drivers as athletes. “I feel safer in my race car than on the street,” Edwards told him. Oncoming traffic and variables beyond a driver’s control are potentially deadly hazards, he said. Dedicated to a regimen of exercise and health, Edwards is emblematic of the new breed of drivers, a generation beyond the mythology of beer-swilling, pot-bellied racers, Gupta says. Gupta joined CNN in 2001. He has risen to be one of the network’s most recognizable correspondents, known for knowledgeable reporting on medical trends, his weekend show, “House Call” (8:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays), and occasional specials on topics that have ranged from presidential health to memory.(Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2005)
AIR DATE: scheduled to air on Sunday, October 16th at 10:00pm/et on CNN, more info at cnn.com/CNN/Programs/driven/.(10-14/16-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Charlotte race 5 of 10 in the Chase:
#20-Tony Stewart, 5777
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 5777, -0
#16-Greg Biffle, 5766, -11
#12-Ryan Newman, 5760, -17
#6-Mark Martin, 5726, -51
#99-Carl Edwards, 5723, -54
#2-Rusty Wallace, 5685, -92
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5662, -115
#17-Matt Kenseth, 5653, -124
#97-Kurt Busch, 5635, -142
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#38-Elliott Sadler, 3507
#29-Kevin Harvick -11
#01-Joe Nemechek -17
#42-Jamie McMurray, -21
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Charlotte page.(10-16-2005)
- “Classic” Unofficial Points Standings – Top 15
…the ‘old way’, not the Chase after Charlotte, race 31 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4443
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4252, -191
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 4142, -301
4) #2-Rusty Wallace, 4057, -386
5) #6-Mark Martin, 3974, -469
6) #97-Kurt Busch, 3909, -534
7) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3870, -573
8) #99-Carl Edwards, 3822, -621
9) #12-Ryan Newman, 3810, -633
10) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3752, -691
11) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3507, -936
12) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3496, -947
13) #01-Joe Nemechek, 3490, -953
14) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3486, -957
15) #25-Brian Vickers, 3444, -999
- Where do the Chasers start/finish for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway:
#20-Stewart 4th, 25th
#12-Newman 2nd, 7th
#16-Biffle 21st, 3rd
#2-Wallace 27th, 24th
#48-Johnson 3rd [engine change..to the rear], WON
#99-Edwards 8th, 10th
#6-Martin 6th, 5th
#17-Kenseth 18th, 26th
#19-Mayfield 37th, 11th
#97-Busch 7th, 2nd.(10-16-2005)
News from October 15, 2005
- NBC Out after 2006? ABC/ESPN In? UPDATE: NBC won’t extend its contract with NASCAR beyond the 2006 season, a person involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday. ABC/ESPN are expected to replace NBC as one of NASCAR’s television partners, according to a television executive who declined to be identified because the deal wasn’t complete. NBC currently splits half of NASCAR’s 36-race schedule with Fox as part of a six-year, $2.8 billion deal that began in 2001. The contract expires at the end of next season and NBC informed NASCAR last week that it didn’t want to extend the relationship because the value the network put on the package was far less than the asking price. Alana Russo, a spokesperson for NBC Sports, said the network had no comment. Fox Sports is negotiating to retain its rights to the first half of the season, and ABC/ESPN are also in contract talks. TNT, which airs a portion of races during NBC’s share of the schedule, also wants to remain involved.
“We are in the middle of contract negotiations right now and we have nothing to announce at this time,” NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said. “But it is no secret that ABC/ESPN has expressed a strong interest in being a part of the television negotiations and we are continuing those talks.” NASCAR’s current television package was a landmark deal for the stock-car series. Before reaching the agreement with NBC and Fox in late 1999, NASCAR had received just $3 million for the TV rights to 28 races. ABC/ESPN and CBS were left out of the last deal after decades of being the lone networks to broadcast any NASCAR events. CBS televised the Daytona 500 from 1979 until 2000, while ESPN broadcast many races and magazine-style shows.(ESPN.com/AP)
UPDATE: ESPN and ABC Sports are expected to announce soon that they have acquired the July-to-November package of Nascar races that has been carried by NBC and TNT since 2001, said executives involved in the talks who insisted on anonymity because the contract had not been completed. The six-year ESPN-ABC deal is worth an estimated $280 million annually and will last through 2012, the executives said. At $280 million annually, the ESPN-ABC pairing will pay 40 percent more than the $200 million a year that the NBC-TNT joint venture has paid since 2001 and will pay through next season.(New York Times)(10-15-2005)
- Get Well: Chris “Sunshine” Heroy, a race engineer with the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team, recovering from an emergency appendectomy a couple of days ago.(10-15-2005)
- Blaney out? Bowyer in? UPDATE 2 OFFICIAL Jack Daniel’s extends: Richard Childress Racing has a press conference scheduled this Friday afternoon at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and speculation is the team will announce current Busch Series driver Clint Bowyer as the new pilot for the team’s Jack Daniels #07 NEXTEL Cup ride next year. Bowyer would replace current driver Dave Blaney in a move that could possibly include another full-time Busch season in the team’s AC Delco #2 in addition to the NEXTEL Cup slate.(RacingOne)
NOTE: the LMS press confernence sched has the RCR press conference being on Saturday, Oct 15th not Friday.(10-12-2005)
UPDATE: Dave Blaney is looking for a new job now that Busch Series driver Clint Bowyer is taking his seat at Richard Childress Racing. The Bowyer announcement is scheduled for Saturday, but Blaney is already working the garage looking for new work. “I don’t know where I’m going to be at next year. That’s all I know,” Blaney said. “There’s still a lot things that could happen with other things going on, obviously with Penske and Roush and Ganassi and all that. So, who knows? Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we’ll know.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-15-2005)
UPDATE 2 – OFFICIAL: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and the Jack Daniel Distillery announced today that Jack Daniel’s has extended its primary sponsorship of RCR’s #07 Chevy through 2009. At the same time, both organizations announced that Clint Bowyer, a native of Emporia, Kansas, will drive the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series campaign. Bowyer, currently second in the NASCAR Busch Series championship chase, will be accompanied by crew chief Gil Martin as the proven duo pursue the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. Bowyer will also race for the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series title returning to the seat of RCR’s #2 ACDelco Chevy.
“RCR is very pleased to take our partnership with Jack Daniel’s to the next level,” commented Richard Childress, President and CEO of RCR. “Clint Bowyer has done an exceptional job driving the #2 ACDelco Chevy in the Busch Series and has certainly proven himself worthy of this opportunity. I have no doubt he’s ready to take the next step and move to the NEXTEL Cup Series. Clint and Gil (Martin) have great chemistry and have demonstrated they are a winning combination. We have very high expectations for this program and are confident that both Clint and Gil will be excellent representatives for Jack Daniel’s both on and off the track.”
“I would also like to thank Dave Blaney for everything he’s done, not only for RCR but for all he’s done for Jack Daniel’s as well,” added Childress. “Dave is a first class driver and I’m proud to say he drove for RCR. We were lucky to have him and wish him nothing but the best.”
Bowyer, 26, made his NEXTEL Cup Series debut earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway, posting a 22nd-place finish driving the #33 Sylvania Chevy. A veteran of 48 NASCAR Busch Series starts, Bowyer scored his first career Busch Series win earlier this season at Nashville Superspeedway. The Emporia, Kan., driver also owns 14 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes in a scorecard that reads like that of a NASCAR journeyman.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” explained Bowyer. “This is exactly what I’ve worked my whole life for – trying to get a shot. Fortunately, I’m getting a shot with one of the best car owners in the business and one of the newest and coolest sponsors in the series. I’m really excited to be a part of it. At the same time I’m excited about what Gil and I have built on the Busch side with the ACDelco team. Hopefully we can continue that success and take it to the next level in the NEXTEL Cup Series.”
“We can’t thank Richard Childress and his team enough for everything they’ve done to make our entry into NASCAR racing so special,” said John Hayes, Vice President Americas Brand Director for Jack Daniel’s. “We couldn’t have chosen a better partner than RCR, and we are excited to extend this relationship and continue to build excitement around the Jack Daniel’s racing team, the 07 Chevy and our ‘Pace Yourself. Drink Responsibly.’ message. Richard Childress is a winner. Clint Bowyer is a winner. And we’re confident it won’t be long until the Jack Daniel’s Chevy pulls into Victory Lane.” Bowyer will make his debut in the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy at the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 19, 2006 at Daytona International Speedway.(RCR PR)(10-15-2005)
- Stanley to sponsor Riggs for 10 races in 2006, IMAGES: as previously announced, Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Evernham Motorsports Dodge in 2006, announced at Lowe’ Motor Speedway today, Valvoline will be the primary sponsor for 26 of the 26 races and Stanley Tools will be the sponsor for the other 10 races with a black and yellow scheme similar to what has run on Evernham’s #91 Dodge with Bill Elliott driving.(RacingOne), see images of the cars on my 2006 #10 Team Schemes page.
The Press Release..in part: The Stanley Works, one of the world’s best known brands of tools, hardware and security products, is adding a powerful new tool to its toolbox — the co-primary sponsorship of the #10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger and driver Scott Riggs. Stanley will sponsor the #10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline Dodge Charger for 10 races in 2006, including Las Vegas, Texas (A), Talladega (A), Darlington, Michigan (A), Daytona (B), Indianapolis, New Hampshire (B), Charlotte (B) and Phoenix (B).[with ‘B’ being the 2nd race of the season at that track] The #10 Stanley Tools/ Valvoline Dodge Charger will carry the signature yellow and black colors of the Stanley brand. Stanley Tools also will be the featured co-primary sponsor on the #10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger in 21 races throughout the season. In addition to the primary sponsorship, Stanley will continue its involvement as an associate sponsor on the race cars of Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield, as well as on the uniform of Erin Crocker. The Stanley Works, Evernham Motorsports and Dodge marketing partnership will include new product launches for many of its businesses, key customer outreach efforts, retail marketing and promotions. All Stanley brands will be involved in the program, including Bostitch, Proto, Vidmar, Best, and Blackhawk by Proto.(Evernham Racing/Clear!Blue PR)(10-15-205)
- “uni-template” demoed to some teams a recent test: NASCAR demonstrated its interlocking “uni-template” to at least some of the Nextel Cup teams recently, according to a source who was present at the test. The uni-template is a series of about 20 slotted individual templates that interlock on top of the car’s body to form an exoskeleton. The idea is that with the unit-template in place, NASCAR will be able to check every dimensional and aerodynamic measurement in one fell swoop. According to the source who was present at the test, when the uni-template was put on the car, there was “up to half an inch of wiggle room in some of the individual templates.” The bottom line, the source said, was “the uni-template actually gives NASCAR less control” over aerodynamic fudging than the system they have now, since some of the templates can be moved around so much. Presumably, NASCAR will get around to fixing that prior to the uni-template going into service late next year or early in 2007.(Speed Channel)(10-15-2005)
- Victory Motorsports Racing joins forces with Morgan-McClure UPDATE: Terance Mathis, former NFL All-Pro Wide Receiver, and NASCAR’s newest minority owner, has formed an alliance with Morgan-McClure Motorsports to unveil Victory Motorsports Racing, LLC. “I am very excited about the new venture between teams. Morgan-McClure has experienced great success in the NASCAR arena, and they bring years of experience to the table. This new venture will allow Victory Motorsports Racing, an opportunity to be a competitive team in the 2006 Nextel Cup Race season,” says Terance Mathis, Majority Partner of Victory Motorsports Racing. The mission of Victory Motorsports Racing is simple, WIN. Victory Motorsports Racing is a new breed of racing, which will bring excitement, entertainment and fun to NASCAR. One major goal is to bring the minority community to NASCAR, and in turn bring NASCAR to the minority community. Not only will Victory Motorsports Racing be standing in the Winner’s Circle, but they will also stand there with integrity, equality and respect. Morgan-McClure Motorsports, based in Abington, Virginia, is a 14-time winner in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series, including three victories in the prestigious Daytona 500 event in 1991, 1994 and 1995.(Morgan McClure Motorsports PR), more info on Victory Motorsports, see victorymotorsportsllc.com.(10-14-2005)
UPDATE: Morgan-McClure Motorsports is partnering with former NFL wide receiver Terance Mathis to form Victory Motorsports Racing, L.L.C. The new team, with Mathis as the majority owner, will move into the Abingdon, Va., shop of Morgan-McClure. “We want to have a second team and we can share information,” Morgan-McClure owner McClure said. “It will make things better. Plus, we want to attract the minority population and have them support our race team.” Morgan-McClure still will run its #4 Chevy, which currently is driven by Mike Wallace. McClure said the new group hopes to run its second team full time next season but said it’s not a done deal. “That’s our plan. We’re already behind the 8-ball, but we have to do it some time,” McClure said. “This opportunity came up, and if the sponsorship comes together in the next two weeks, then we’ll be able to go.”(Richmond Times DIspatch)(10-15-2005)
- Menard to run seven 2006 races in #15: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.’s #15 Cup team will campaign a seven-race schedule in 2006, with Paul Menard driving and sponsorship from Menard’s, the hardware chain owned by the driver’s father. If all goes well, Menard and the team will do the full Cup schedule with DEI in ’07. Menard’s first race will be the 2006 Daytona 500, DEI Vice President of Motorsports Richie Gilmore said Saturday night. “We’ll kind of see how it goes from Daytona, but it looks like it’ll be the big races: Daytona, Indy. We’ll run Watkins Glen again, which Paul ran this year and then move him up the next year.” Next year, Menard will also run the full Busch Series schedule in a DEI Chevy, Gilmore said. “It’ll be a lot better for Paul to keep him down there and running him for a championship like we did with Martin (Truex, Jr.). That’s where we really feel comfortable.” Gilmore said DEI mulled a third full-time Cup team next year, but instead will run full-time cars for only Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Truex in ‘06. “We had a couple options that we looked at, but for us we’re better off trying to regroup the two teams we have now,” Gilmore said.(Speed Channel)(10-15-2005)
- Lowe’s Motor Speedway Notes:
• Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, scoring his 18th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 142nd career start.
• Johnson climbed from third to second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He is tied with Tony Stewart, each with 5,777 points. Stewart gets the first-place position because of his five victories opposed to Johnson’s four.
• Johnson scored his fourth victory in 2005. His last victory came at Dover in September 20, three races ago. Johnson has scored 19 top-10 finishes in 31 races in 2005.
• Johnson moved into a tie with Geoffrey Bodine, Neil Bonnett and Harry Gant for 34th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list.
• Johnson has won four straight races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The last driver to win four straight at a track was Dale Earnhardt Jr., at Talladega.
• This is Johnson’s fifth win and eighth top-10 in nine races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
• This is the sixth straight win by a Chevrolet at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
• The 17 leaders in the UAW-GM Quality 500 tied the record for the most leaders in the fall race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway set in October 1987.
• The 15 cautions is an record for the fall event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The 22 cautions here in May is the track record.
• Johnson scored the 13th victory for car owner Rick Hendrick at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the most of any owner. This was Hendrick’s 138th victory as a car owner and eighth in 31 races this season (Jimmie Johnson -four, Jeff Gordon – three and Kyle Busch – one).
• This is the 15th victory by a Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has 13 and Dodge has three.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-16-2005)
- Rumblings – Lowe’s Motor Speedway:
Maybe it _is_ his house! Jimmie Johnson won the UAW-GM Quality 504 tonight at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but we certainly couldn’t call it a race. We had so many tires poppin’ out there it sounded like duck season on da’ bayou. There’ll be a couple of teams who need to check their Powerball tickets cause that’s the only way they’ll be able to cover their tire bills! There was plenty of blame and lots of shame to go around tonight, and we’ve got more people to point at than we’ve got fingers. How do you make up rules during an event….and how do you police something like tire pressure? I realize these were difficult times, but if we can penalize and fine drivers, crew chiefs, and team owners for actions detrimental to the sport….why not track operators, sanctioning bodies, and tire manufacturers?
BTW, we delayed the start of tonight’s column so that we can watch a quarterback sneak from 20 different camera angles…..
This was the fourth win of 2005 for Johnson, his fourth in a row at Lowe’s, and the 18th of his Cup career. He’s now tied for 34th on the all-time win list with Geoffrey Bodine, Neil Bonnett, and Harry Gant. This was also win #138 for Hendrick Motorsports.
Joe Nemechek (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Pocono in June.
Casey Mears (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at The Brickyard in August.
Denny Hamlin (8th) had his career-best finish tonight…albeit only two races. He was 32nd at Kansas last week. He becomes the 43rd driver this season to record a Top-10 finish….last year we had 39 of ’em.
Dave Blaney (13th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Atlanta in March.
Johnny Sauter (16th) had his best finish since he was 16th at Talladega in April (only five races).
Kevin Lepage (21st) had his best finish since he finished 12th when we were here in May.
STREAKIN…..Carl Edwards has 4 Top-10’s in a row.
Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
Mark Martin has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
Ryan Newman has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Denny Hamlin (+31), followed by Johnny Sauter (+27), Jeremy Mayfield (+26), Travis Kvapil (+25), Ricky Rudd (+22), and Jeff Green (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Gordon (-28 ), followed by Elliott Sadler (-26), Kyle Busch (-26), Mike Bliss (-24), and Tony Stewart (-21).
Denny Hamlin led a lap tonight for the first time in his NEXTEL Cup career. He’s the 50th different driver to lead a lap this season…the same number as last year.
We’ve got a dead-heat at the top of the “Chase” standings. Jimmie Johnson moves into a tie with Tony Stewart….Tony’s got the tie-breaker with five wins to four. It got tight at the top as the first six drivers are separated by only 52 points, and the Top-4 by only 17 markers.
In “Classic” points, the battle for that all-important 11th spot has changed hands again. Elliott Sadler is now up by 11 points over Kevin Harvick with Joe Nemechek entering the fray just another 6 markers back. Jeff Burton (21st to 18th) made the best move forward tonight while Jeff Gordon (14th to 17th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans)(10-15-2005)
- Bliss out of #0 ride? UPDATE 3: Sources close to the #0 NEXTEL Cup team have indicated that driver Mike Bliss will be released from his duties by the end of the season. Another Cup driver is expected to fill the seat. Options for next year are wide open for Bliss and a return to the Busch or Truck series aren’t out of the question.(BGNRacing.com)(10-13-2005)
UPDATE: Bliss said during an interview on PRN Radio qualifying show that he would not be back in the #0 car in 2006 and is looking for a ride.
UPDATE 2: Hearing Jeff Green and Bobby Hamilton Jr. are in the mix.(BGNRacing.com)(However, KYle Petty has said repeatedly that Green would be back in the #43 Dodge in 2006)
and hearing Bliss could be headed back to the #16 Truck for the rest of 2005 and maybe 2006.(10-14-2005)
UPDATE 3: Mike Bliss said Saturday night that two weeks ago he reached an verbal agreement on a contract extension to return as driver for the #0 NetZero/Bestbuy Chevy. On Tuesday, the former Truck Series Champion was shocked to learn he was being let go. “Two weeks ago it was a done deal,” Bliss said. “I was going to run the Cup car, and it was a handshake and another contract.” Bliss said he still doesn’t know why he was let go, but likely will return to the truck series, where he took the title three seasons ago. “I feel like I can do this over here. You hate leaving, but it’s not my decision, of course. I don’t want to leave here like I’ve failed, because I’ve always won in everything I’ve ever been in, and I feel like we’re so close here.”(Speed Channel)(10-15-2005)
- NTN Makes Cup Debut with Reutimann: NTN Bearing Corporation of America announced today that their company logo will be present on the #00 State Fair Corn Dogs Michael Waltrip Racing entry as David Reutimann makes his first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series career start at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday night. Reutimann qualified 26th for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. NTN is Reutimann’s Truck Series primary sponsor on the #17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota.(DW Motorsports PR)(10-15-2005)
News from October 14, 2005
- NASCAR’s Helton comments about Team Owner Cap: NASCAR President Mike Helton said Thursday that despite appearances to the contrary, the sanctioning body¹s decision to limit team size is not a personal attack on Jack Roush.
Other points Helton made in an interview with SPEEDTV.com included:
• Team owners have known the cap was under discussion for the last 12-18 months.
• The cap will be phased in to allow existing sponsor agreements to be exhausted.
• The sanctioning body will have to come up with strict definitions to police the teams from creating alliances that defeat the hard-cap concept.
• There will not be any franchising in NASCAR in the foreseeable future.
• NASCAR will not use the current Nextel Cup cars in the Busch Series once the ³Car of Tomorrow² is phased in starting in late 2006 or early ¹07.
Helton said many details remain to be worked out, but the buzz in the garage is that teams will be capped to three cars starting no later than 2010, with a limit of four placed sometime between now and then.(see full interview at Speed Channel)(10-14-2005)
- Nicorette to sponsor Jeff Gordon in 2006, assoc and 2 races: Jeff Gordon will be sponsored by Nicorette gum as primary sponsor on the #24 Chevy for two events in 2006. DuPont will sponsor Gordon for 32 races, while Pepsi is on board as lead sponsor for two events [usually May Talladega and Daytina in July]. The stop-smoking gum product also will be an associate sponsor all year for Gordon’s team. The white and green Nicorette logo adorned Casey Mears’ #41 car in limited events during 2005. “NASCAR has done great things for us, and we’re trying to take it to the next level,” said Steve Kapur, of GlaxoSmithKline. “The more people the program is visible to and the more people we have talking about it, the better connection we’ll have with NASCAR fans.” GSK has a “Winners’ Circle” display at NASCAR tracks where counselors talk with race fans about quitting smoking. “Our goal going in was to talk to 2,000 people per weekend,” Kapur said. “Actually, we’re getting more than 4,000 a week asking us for advice on how to quit or on how to help somebody they care about quit.” The company also plans to set up stop-smoking programs with with Hendrick Motorsports.(Gordonline.com), see images of the car on my 2006 #24 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2005)
- Final Kansas TV ratings up 7.1%: NBC’s broadcast of last Sunday’s Banquet 400 Nextel Cup race earned a 4.5 rating and a 9 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The final rating is up 7.1 percent from last year’s 4.2 rating and 25 percent from the 3.6 overnight figure from this year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-14-2005)
- DEI pays tribute to the loss of an employee: On Thursday, October 13, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. lost a friend and co-worker. Angie M. Safrit, 33, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. She started with the company in 1994. This weekend, her teammates will pay tribute to her life by placing a memorial decal on their race cars. The decal will be displayed on the “C” posts of the #8 Budweiser and #15 NAPA Chevys in the Nextel Cup Series. They will also be on the #8 Bass Pro Shops, #11 Menards and #81 Menards Chevy in the Busch Series race. The flags in front of DEI’s corporate headquarters are flying at half mast in Angie’s honor, as well. “Angie was an integral part of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. for the last decade,” said Judy Queen, Vice President of Operations. “She started out in the brick building with Dale and Teresa and was a major part of DEI’s growth.” Angie is survived by her husband, Scott Safrit, and a three-year old daughter, Rachel. She is also survived by her parents, Jimmy and Phyllis Miller of Kannapolis and grandmother, Clara Kidd.(DEI)(10-14-2005)
- Rudd to retire? Andretti or Schrader to the #21 for 2006? UPDATE 4? one scenerio I am hearing is that Ricky Rudd, driver of the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, could retire at the end of 2005 with no fanfare. John Andretti would drive the #21 for a year, with Jon Wood staying in the #47 Busch Series Ford and moving up to Cup in 2007.(10-9-2005)
UPDATE: now hearing Ken Schrader, driver of the #49 Schwan’s Home Service, could replace Rudd in the #21, ‘if’ Rudd does retire, and possibly may bring the sponsor along with him. BAM Racing and Schrader have said in the past that they expected to be together in 2006 and Schrader said it was his last full-time season in 2006.(10-11-2005)
UPDATE 2; RacingOne reports: Ken Schrader will run one more full NEXTEL Cup season in 2006 for BAM Motorsports. Schrader will shift to the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 joining Mark Martin as two more former NEXTEL Cup regulars finding homes on the truck circuit.(RacingOne)(10-12-2005)
UPDATE 3: been told that Andretti in not a candidate for the #21 ride.(10-13-2005)
UPDATE 4: Ricky Rudd says he’s made a decision about his future and the #21 Ford. He’s just not prepared to share the information. “I know, I’m just not ready to discuss plans yet,” Rudd said. Team co-owner Len Wood was evasive when asked if he knew Rudd’s future but said the team has plans in place for any situation. If Rudd decides to return next year, he will drive the #21 and a second car will be added for selected races for Jon Wood. If Rudd retires or signs a deal with another team, either Wood or another driver will drive the 21 full-time. Wood, if he’s not in the 21, will drive a second car for up to seven races.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-14-2005)
- Martin part-time in 2006? from a Larry McReynolds column at FoxSports – it appears that Martin will run a good portion of the 2006 Nextel Cup schedule, but not the full schedule. He may share the ride and mentor Todd Kluever in some races in the #6 car; don’t see Jack Roush throwing Kluever in that car and running the full schedule with him next year. That’s the reason that you’re looking at Martin possibly running a good portion of the schedule and phasing Kluever into some races.(FoxSports)(10-14-2005)
- Ferrell NASCAR Movie at LMS: Will Ferrell is in the middle of a 12-day run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway filming his NASCAR movie. Track officials privately are miffed that the “Saturday Night Live” star and the movie production company refused to do any track publicity. Ferrell was offered the post of grand marshal for Saturday’s Cup race and turned it down. One other movie tidbit: The walls of Lowe’s Motor Speedway have been painted at various times with the logos of Atlanta and Texas motor speedways, so the movie crew could film at one track and make it appear to be three different speedways. The three tracks are all owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. and have similar designs and layouts.(Speed Channel)(10-14-2005)
- Delphi in trouble: Last Saturday’s bankruptcy filing by Delphi Corp., the nation’s largest auto supplier, may well have ripple effects in the Nextel Cup garage. Delphi, a major associate sponsor for Hendrick Motorsports, is seeking wage and pension reductions from its union employees. In large bankruptcy filings such as Delphi’s, a committee of creditors works with a federal judge to decide how assets are distributed during the reorganization. Non-essential expenses — such as race-team sponsorships — typically don’t survive the bankruptcy process. A Hendrick representative said Thursday she did not know how the Delphi bankruptcy might affect the team.(Speed Channel)(10-14-2005)
- #77 Team Donates to American Cancer Society: The Kodak Racing team along with its associate sponsor, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, are stepping up to the plate to practice what they preach with a donation totaling $20,400 to the American Cancer Society. The contribution from Travis Kvapil, JET and the Penske-Jasper Racing pit crew will benefit a program that helps women with little or no insurance obtain screening for breast cancer. Prior to last Sunday’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway when Kvapil raced a Kodak Mammography Products-themed Dodge Charger, the 29-year old Janesville, Wis., native decided to make a donation to show his support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October. Doug Bawel, co-owner of the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing team and president of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, informed Kodak that JET would also make a donation. This week, pit crew members announced they would join their driver and associate sponsor in making a donation. Each over-the-wall crew member is giving $1,100 from his bonus program for a total of $7,700.(Penske Racing)(10-14-2005)
- Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the second time that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Charlotte . . . both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . while this left-side tire code (D-6852) has been run at many major NASCAR tracks this season — California, Chicago, Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky (no Cup) — this right-side code (D-6876) is unique to Charlotte . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . inflation on those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 60-65 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear) see the full notes and info on the Charlotte/LMS Race Info/Rundown Page.(10-14-2005)
- Crocker to the Trucks and part-time Busch in 2006: Car owner Ray Evernham has changed the schedule Erin Crocker will run next season, pulling her out of a planned attempt to run a full Busch Series schedule. Crocker will instead compete in the Craftsman Truck Series and run a handful of Busch and ARCA races next season. Evernham said the decision was made to give Crocker more time to develop. “Erin not having raced on pavement a lot and not having raced traffic and things like that, we felt this would be a better way to get more experience racing without having all the pressure,” Evernham said. “In fairness to her, I want her to learn without people running all over her all of the time.” Crocker has competed in two Busch races this season, at Richmond, Va., and Dover, Del., and finished 39th and 35th. She was in accidents in both events, and suffered a cracked rib in the Dover wreck. Crocker said she’s looking forward to running in more than 40 races next season, but admits she is disappointed it won’t be in the Busch Series. “I am not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when we first talked about it because I am a competitive person and we had plans,” she said. “But in the long run, this is better for me.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-14-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: The Chase for the coveted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup continues, and so does your chance to win big. Fans who pick the correct finishing order of the Gillette Young Guns – Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth – by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com the first six races of the “Chase” will have the chance to win $1 Million and a trip to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20. Each week provides fans with a new opportunity to win. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun at Kansas Speedway, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Matt Kenseth. This is the seventh time this year that a donation in Kenseth’s name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Comm. PR)(10-14-2005)
News from October 13, 2005
- Sadler wins pole with new track record at LMS: #38-Elliott Sadler won the Budweiser Pole for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with a Track Record lap of 193.216mph for his 4th pole of 2005 and 6th of his career. The rest of the top five are: #12-Ryan Newman [also ran faster the the track record], #48-Jimmie Johnson, #20-Tony Stewart and #18-Bobby Labonte. #00-David Reutimann will make his first career start, 26th. #66-Kevin Lepage was the highest non top-35 team, starting 17th. Five drivers failed to make the race: #36-Boris Said, #80-Carl Long, #50-Jimmy Spencer, #37-Mike Garvey, #92-P.J. Jones [lost engine] and #95-Stanton Barrett [who withdrew].
Starting lineup, qualifying results, pole progression on Jayski’s LMS Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(10-13-2005)
- NBC TV Coverage this week: The “Chase for the Nextel Cup” goes primetime on NBC Saturday live in High Definition with NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing from Lowe’s Motor Speedway presented by the Principal Financial Group. Coverage is scheduled to begin following USC vs. Notre Dame football at 7:00pm/et with an abbreviated “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show, followed by green flag racing. This week on “Wally’s World,” Lake Bell, star of NBC’s new hit series “Surface,” takes a spin with NASCAR on NBC & TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach. On Saturday, Oct. 15: – “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show, 7:00pm/et on NBC – NASCAR Nextel Cup racing from Charlotte presented by the Principal Financial Group, 7:10pm/et on NBC.(NBC)(10-13-2005)
- #43 to run Fan Fest scheme at Lowe’s: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Saturday night’s Charlotte 500. Green, who will be sporting a Petty Fan Fest paint scheme this weekend, finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s earlier this season.(Williams Company), not really sure what the Fan Fest thing is about.(10-11-2005)
UPDATE: what the scheme is about, #43 sponsor, Cheerios/General Mills held a contest and the are 43 pictures of winners on the #43 Dodge and 45 more on the #45 Dodge that Kyle Petty drives. Have no images…yet.(10-13-2005)
- 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 2006 or 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)
- Reeses to take larger role on #29 in 2006? hearing Reeses/Hershey will take a larger sponsorship role on the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy that Kevin Harvick drivers for Richard Childress Racing in 2006. This is not seen on the 2006 Paint Scheme Votew winner at gmgoodwrench.com, where the Black & Silver paint scheme won the vote with 61% favoring, over 53,000 votes were tallied.(10-13-2005)
- 2007+ TV Deal to be completed by end of 2005: Negotiations for a new Nextel Cup television contract could be completed before the end of the season, NASCAR chairman Brian France said. The current $2.6 billion, six-year contract, with Fox and NBC splitting the season, expires at the end of the 2006 season. “We’re getting down to the wire,” France said Saturday at Kansas Speedway. “Looks to be in the next four to six weeks or sooner there will be some firm announcements of where we’ll land.”
France would not comment on which networks are part of the negotiations, but speculation has centered on ESPN and ABC, its parent company, joining Fox and NBC, each of the entities taking one-third of the season. FOX would get the Daytona 500 and the first third of the season, ESPN and ABC would divvy up the middle third, including the Brickyard race, and NBC would televise the 10-race Chase for the championship. “It’s competitive,” France said of the bargaining. “But the last three, four weeks we’ve been very surprised at all the interest in network to cable. The package may change and look a little different, but we’re very convinced we’ll get proper value. We’re more concerned about getting the right partners. We’ve got great ones now, but we want to make sure whatever happens we get partners who treat us like our current partners do.”
He also noted that the Busch Series, with its viewership up nearly 30% this year, is also in line for a new TV deal. “The Busch Series is quietly doing NBA or regular season baseball numbers,” France said. “It’s wearing out other sports. Busch will never be the Cup Series, but we would like the new agreement for that to be a franchise of its own, treated with promotion and announcers that differentiate that series a little better as we go down the road.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-9-2005)
UPDATE: RacingOne has learned that ABC/ESPN is in negotiations to acquire a significant portion of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series TV package beginning with the 2007 season. The network would join current partners FOX and NBC rather than replace either. A new “Race to the Chase” portion of the season is being considered, giving ABC/ESPN a mid-summer run of ten events, beginning with the Independence Day weekend Pepsi 400 at Daytona and ending with the September race at Richmond, the final event for drivers to qualify for the “Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.” That would keep the first portion of the season, beginning with the Daytona 500 and ending at Infineon Raceway at the end of June, on FOX. NBC/TNT’s portion of the schedule would then focus entirely on the ten race “Chase for the NEXTEL Cup” championship season. NBC begins its new “Sunday Night Football” NFL package in 2007 and the pairing of NASCAR’s championship season Sunday afternoons, leading into the prime-time NFL kick-off, could provide the network with a stellar ratings doubleheader.(RacingOne)(10-13-2005)
- Charlotte Qualifying Notes:
• Elliott Sadler won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the UAW-GM Quality 500, lapping Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 27.948 seconds at 193.216 mph. He broke Ryan Newman’s the track-qualifying record of 27.981 seconds, 192.988 mph, set May 26, 2005.
• Lowe’s Motor Speedway remains the sixth-quickest track with regards to qualifying records. This is the fastest Bud Pole since Ryan Newman qualified at 194.232 mph at Michigan in June and the third fastest of the season behind Michigan and Texas (Newman – 194.690 mph).
• This is Sadler’s sixth career Bud Pole in 244 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
• This is his fourth Bud Pole and 17th top-10 start in 2005. Sadler trails only Ryan Newman (six) in Bud Pole Awards this season.
• This is Sadler’s first Bud Pole and eighth top-10 start in 15 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, including each of the past six races.
• Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 27.961 seconds, 193.126 mph – and will join Sadler on the front row for the UAW-GM Quality 500. Only Sadler and Newman broke the previous track qualifying record. Newman has never started worse than fourth in 10 races at Lowe’s. This is his series-leading 25th top-10 start this season and his 11th on the front row.
• This is the eight Bud Pole for Ford in 2005 – including the past three races. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Dodge has nine. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Jimmie Johnson (third) has posted seven top-10 starts in nine races at Charlotte. This is his 19th top-10 start this season.
• Tony Stewart (fourth) has 10 top-10 starts in his 14 races at Charlotte. He has 17 top-10 starts in 2005.
• Bobby Labonte (fifth) has 13 top-10 starts in 26 races at Charlotte, including three Bud Poles, but this is just his second in the past eight races here.
• Six of the 10 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Newman, Johnson, Stewart, Mark Martin (sixth) Kurt Busch (seventh) and Carl Edwards (eighth).
• David Reutimann (26th) qualified for his career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, becoming the ninth first-time starter this season.
• There have been only four different Bud Pole winners in the 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Charlotte since 2000. Ryan Newman (five) and Jimmie Johnson (three) have dominated Bud Pole qualifying at Lowe’s. Sadler and Jimmy Spencer (one each) have the other Bud Poles in the 10-race period and qualifying was canceled once.
• The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway has been won 13 times each from the pole and the second starting position. Third has produced 12 winners, fourth seven and fifth eight for a total of 57 percent of the victories races from the top-five starting positions (53 of 93).
• Six of the last 17 races at Charlotte have been won from the front row, but six of the last 12 have been won from a starting position of 13th or worse.(NASCAR Statisical Services)(10-13-2005)
- Ramblings – Lowe’s Motor Speedway:
Everybody expected Ryan Newman to beat his track record….but not many expected Elliott Sadler to better Ryan Newman. Sadler toured the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 27.948 (193.216 mph) to take the Bud Pole for Saturday Night’s UAW-GM Quality 500….his 4th pole of ’05 and the 6th of his NEXTEL Cup career. And we still don’t know if he had it matted!
Jimmie Johnson (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the outside pole at Watkins Glen in August….but qualifying was rained out for that event. This is his best qualifying effort on time since he had the pole at Chicagoland in July.
Bobby Labonte (5th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 4th at Phoenix in April.
Casey Mears (9th) had his best qualifying run since he lined up 3rd at Chicagoland in July.
Kyle Petty (16th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 10th at Richmond in September of 2003! (This one was hard to believe!)
STREAKIN….Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
(Stock Car Fans)(10-13-2005)
- Martin wins WIX Award: Drivers Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr. won the WIX Filters Lap Leader Awards during the Oct. 8-9, 2005 NASCAR racing weekend. Martin’s WIX Filters Lap Leader Award win in racing at Kansas Speedway was his first award of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. For his performance at Kansas, Truex Jr. took home the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award for the 13th time in the Busch Series this year. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series did not compete this weekend. The WIX Filters Lap Leader Award is presented to the driver who leads the most laps during each race in NASCAR’s NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck racing series. The award includes a cash prize presented to the winning driver during a ceremony before the next race and an end-of-year payout and trophy for the driver who earns the most WIX Filters Lap Leader awards over the course of the entire season. Cash awards for the end-of-year honor are: $75,000 for the NEXTEL Cup Series; $20,000 for the Busch Series; and, $10,000 for the Craftsman Truck Series.
In order to be eligible for the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award for a single event, drivers and teams in each series must run the WIX Filters decal on the front fender and use WIX oil or air filters in their vehicles. Additionally, for any year-end payout, teams must run the decal on the front fender for every race they participate in, with an allowance for one race, and they must always use WIX oil or air filters.
New for 2005, WIX has introduced the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award contest, enabling fans to be a part of the action. The online contest encourages fans to pit their knowledge against one another and against celebrity prognosticator John Roberts, host of NASCAR This Morning and NASCAR Victory Lane, in a weekly competition to predict which drivers will win the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award in each race. Fans who participate in the online contest will compete for prizes including an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas Speedway for the 2006 NEXTEL Cup race. Fans can sign up for the contest, make picks and try to beat Roberts by visiting www.wixlapleader.com. Detailed contest rules and prize information are provided on the Web site.WIX Filters’ Internet address is www.wixfilters.com.(10-13-2005)
News from October 12, 2005
- Jon Wood’s 2007 Plans: from a Ford Racing PR: WHAT ARE YOUR [Jon Wood, #47 Bisch driver] RACING PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR?
“As they stand today, I will do a minimum of seven Cup races. The 21 thing, that’s still up in the air, and I want to do it like Carl’s (Edwards) doing and that’s whenever that opportunity would come, which would be in ’07 with the worst-case scenario, being able to run the Busch car and the Cup car. Running both series at the same time would be ideal because at the Cup level you’re racing against Tony Stewart and those guys have been racing these cars forever, so any additional track time you can get is a plus. If the trucks were in companion with the Busch cars every week, I would be campaigning to have a truck. I think with the new testing rules going into place next year that I need to be on the track before my main focus, the series that puts the bread on the table.”(Ford Racing)(10-12-205)
- Scruggs To Be Honored In Memorial Fund-raiser At Martinsville: Bobby Scruggs spent 38 years working with drivers as a NASCAR officials. On Friday, Oct. 21, some of those drivers will return the favor by participating in a fund-raiser in Scruggs’ memory at Martinsville Speedway. For more info, see my Racing Charities or goto bsmfoundation.org.(10-12-2005)
- Rusty Induction at Lowe’s Walk fo Fame: #2-Miller Lite Dodge driver Rusty Wallace will be inducted into the Lowe’s Motor Speedway “Walk of Fame” on Friday at 11:30 a.m. The W.O.F. is located on the Avenue of Flags that lead up to Smith Tower behind the frontstretch grandstand at L.M.S.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-12-2005)
- Busch to run “Vise-Grip GrooveLock” Pliers Scheme at LMS: #97-Kurt Busch and the Irwin Industrial Tools Racing Team will introduce a new, larger than life paint scheme on the #97 Irwin Ford featuring the new revolutionary Vise-GripGrooveLock pliers. This weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the car will be easy to find on the track as fans will be able to see the enormous GrooveLock plier’s graphic on the rear quarter panels of the blue and yellow Irwin Ford Taurus. GrooveLock pliers are new groove-joint pliers that adjust quickly with the push of a Press-N-Slide button and have an all-purpose jaw to fit workpieces and fasteners of nearly any shape. Busch, who currently sits 10th in the championship hunt, has taken Irwin Industrial Tools paint-schemed cars to two victories this year – at Phoenix and at Pocono. His best career finish at Lowe’s Motor Speedway came in last year’s fall classic when he wound up fourth. New Irwin Vise-Grip GrooveLock pliers are available at home centers, I/C distribution centers and other tool retailers in 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. The suggested retail price for the 10-inch size is $20-24. For more information about Irwin’s line of hand tools and power tool accessories, call 1-800-GO Irwin or visit www.Irwin.com or at irwinracing.com.(PR), see images on my #97 Team Scheme Page.(10-12-2005)
- Busch not happy with Kenseth UPDATE Kenseth changes mind: #97-Kurt Busch wasn’t happy with his teammate, #17-Matt Kenseth, early in Sunday’s race because he wouldn’t let him lead a single lap – and gain five bonus points in the championship race. Kenseth said there are no company orders to help teammates, especially when that teammate is a competitor in the playoffs. “When you get in the Chase you’ve got to get all the points you can,” Kenseth said. “You can’t give points away. I’m sure (Busch) is mad at me.” Jack Roush said he doesn’t want his drivers to play favorites. “I don’t expect them to do that,” he said. “In fact, I’d be disappointed if they did that.”(Augusta Chronicle)(10-10-2005)
UPDATE: Matt Kenseth admits he should have allowed teammate Kurt Busch to pass him for the lead early in Sunday’s race at Kansas so Busch could gain the five bonus points for leading a lap. Kenseth didn’t do that and defended his actions over his team’s radio. “When it gets to the chase, we’re all racing each other for the championship, and I’m not going to get beat by four points at the end of the year because I gave away a free five (points) somewhere,” Kenseth said during the race. Tuesday, Kenseth changed his tune after talking with Busch and Busch’s crew chief, Jimmy Fennig. “I think what I probably did wrong is when he was all over me, I probably should have let him lead a lap just because we were both abusing our cars. He ended up blowing a tire, and I ended up losing some track position because I was running so hard and my car didn’t handle the way I thought it would and it ended up getting real tight. Things happen when you’re in the car and the racer comes out in you, and that’s what it’s about is racing. I was looking behind me and I saw five (championship) chase cars behind me and I certainly didn’t want everybody to get up there and get a bunch of points that they didn’t have to.”(Greensboro News and Record)(10-12-2005)
- Daytona HOF Bid tied in with License Plates: With motorists sporting dozens of different license tags, Florida lawmakers last year passed a law aimed at making it harder to get new tags approved. But now, that move to clamp down on the proliferation of license plates could turn into a roadblock for supporters of bringing a NASCAR hall of fame to Daytona Beach. Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, will meet next week with Daytona Beach area officials about the possibility of creating a NASCAR license tag to help finance the hall of fame — an idea that supporters would like to see considered during a possible special session this fall. But Lee wants hall of fame supporters to go through the legally required process for getting a tag approved. That process, which includes doing a scientific survey to gauge demand from motorists, could cause a fatal delay in approving the tag. Kathy Mears, a Lee spokeswoman, said Tuesday that Lee is willing to listen to the NASCAR proposal but that he intends “to uphold the current law as it pertains to license plates.” She said Lee is “not interested in short-cutting those requirements.”(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-12-2005)
- Johnson to narrate Soap Box Derby special: The All-American Soap Box Derby returns to television courtesy of the SPEED channel in a one-hour documentary titled “Derby Dreams: Stories from the 68th All-American Soap Box Derby.” Produced by NASCAR Images and narrated by NEXTEL Cup Series Driver Jimmie Johnson, the special will debut on the SPEED Channel on Saturday, October 22, in at 8:00pm/et / 5:00pm/pt. Derby Dreams showcases the next generation of young racers and provides a glimpse into potential future NASCAR stars. The late entertainer Johnny Carson, actor Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle), three-time NASCAR champion Cale Yarborough, current NASCAR President Mike Helton and Heisman Trophy winners Paul Hornung and Pete Dawkins were all among the hundreds of thousands who have experienced the thrill of the “Greatest Amateur Racing Event in the World.” Derby Dreams is a one-hour special which provides viewers with behind-the-scenes drama of five competitors and their families as they experience the highs and lows of derby competition at the 68th AASBD World Championship presented by Levi Strauss Signature, which took place July 30 at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. (Alan Taylor Communications)(10-7/12-2005)
- Sad News: Gary Vercauteren, director of the Mid-American Stock Car Series, died Friday from a heart attack. Vercauteren, 55, of Baileys Harbor, Wis., created the Mid-American Stock Car Series in 1992. It now includes the Mid-Am cars and trucks, ASL, MARS and Stock Car Classics, which race at tracks throughout the Midwest including Rockford Speedway. He is survived by his wife, Kay and by three children. More info at wisinfo.com.(10-12-2005)
- Mike Garvey, R&J Racing team up at Charlotte: Mike Garvey will drive the #37 BoSPOKER.net Dodge for R&J Racing in this Saturday night’s UAW-GM 500 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway, team owner Roger Craven said. Garvey, from McDonough, Ga., will complete the all-Georgia team. R&J Racing owners John Carter and Roger Craven live in Toccoa, Ga. While the race shop is in Concord, N.C., the team’s business office is in Georgia. Garvey replaces Tony Raines, who’s taking a two-week leave of absence from the team. Raines will skip this Saturday’s race and the Subway 500 at the Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 23. Raines has commitments with his Busch Series program that prompted his decision. While he doesn’t know what the future may bring, Garvey said every race is a chance to audition. “Every race is a chance for you to show what you can do,” he said. “You never know what might come out of a race. A good run can open some doors. That’s what makes an opportunity like this so exciting.”(R&J Racing PR)(10-12-2005)
News from October 11, 2005
- PRN Plans Comprehensive Coverage during Race Week in Charlotte: Highlighted by live coverage of the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Performance Racing Network has a comprehensive schedule of radio programming slated to air during race week in Charlotte.
Coverage begins Monday night, Oct. 10, with Fast Talk with Benny Parsons and is followed by a special edition of Fast Talk Live on Wednesday night, Oct. 12, which will be broadcast from Birkdale Village in Huntersville, N.C.
Thursday night, Oct. 13, PRN will present live coverage of Bojangles’ Pole Night featuring qualifying for the UAW-GM Quality 500. Comprehensive coverage of the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race is on tap Friday night, Oct. 14, and coverage of the UAW-GM Quality 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, begins with a pre-race show at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night, Oct. 15. The Crown Royal Post-Race Talk Show airs immediately following the 500-mile race and PRN’s Sunday Drive on Sunday, Oct. 16, wraps up the network’s coverage.
PRN programming can be heard on more than 700 affiliate stations across the country, including WSOC 103.7 in Charlotte. It is also available on XM Satellite Radio and NASCAR.com. Additional information about PRN and its broadcast lineup can be obtained by visiting www.goprn.com.
PRN Broadcast Schedule:
Saturday, Oct. 15; UAW-GM Quality 500, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series; 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15; Crown Royal Post-Race Talk Show; Following Race
Sunday, Oct. 16; PRN’s Sunday Drive; 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.(LMS)(10-11-2005)
- Early Kansas TV Ratings off 11%: NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Banquet 400 Nextel Cup race from Kansas Speedway earned a 3.6 overnight rating and a 7 share from Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The preliminary rating from the nation’s largest television markets is down 11.1% from the 4.0/8 overnight in 2004.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-11-2005)
- Raines and #37 team part ways? hearing #37 RJ Motorsports has parted ways with driver Tony Raines. No word on Raines plans [he is a HOF Racing candidate] or who will drive the car this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
UPDATE: been told that Raines and the team have not ‘parted ways’, but Raines will not drive the #37 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this week or at Martinsville the following week, no driver named as of yet.(10-11-2005)
- #43 to run Fan Fest scheme at Lowe’s: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Saturday night’s Charlotte 500. Green, who will be sporting a Fan Fest paint scheme this weekend, finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s earlier this season.(Williams Company), not really sure what the Fan Fest thing is about.(10-11-2005)
- Tim Flock to be inducted into Alabama Sports HOF: NASCAR Legend, the late Tim Flock, will be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame ballots for the Class of 2006. The newly elected eight inductees now bring the total of all inductees since 1969 to 257. The 2006 induction banquet will take place in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Sunday, May 21, 2006.(ashof.org), more info about Tim Flock at timflock.com(10-11-2005)
- NASCAR to limit number of teams that can be owned UPDATE – 3 teams?: NASCAR plans to limit the number of teams a car owner will be able to field in the Nextel Cup Series, chairman Brian France said Saturday. “We’re going to make some adjustments in policy to balance the playing field a little better and really go after new ownership in the industry, really benefit and help the teams like the Wood Brothers, the Pettys, Cal Wells, independent teams that are finding themselves in ever increasing difficulties to compete,” France said. He said the limit would be phased in over the next few seasons.
“It won’t happen tomorrow,” France said. “But it would phase down from five to four to some other number.” All of the top teams currently in NASCAR are multicar teams, with Roush Racing and Hendrick Motorsports leading the way with five and four cars, respectively. The benefits of running more than one car are clear: additional tests under current testing limits, information sharing among the teams, multiple sponsorships that provide great resources and, sometimes, on-track cooperation among teammates. But France said the success of the big teams is also viewed as an obstacle to people contemplating starting a new Cup team. For example, Jack Roush’s team has won the last two Cup titles and all five of his cars are in NASCAR’s 10-race Chase for the championship. “We don’t like the fact that the independent teams, or in particular a new owner looking at coming in the door, have a daunting task to compete, and the concept of having to have five teams, three teams … that’s why you haven’t seen a lot of new ownership like a Ray Evernham come into the sport,” France said. “That means the opportunities aren’t there for young drivers. It means opportunities aren’t there to create the next Rick Hendrick and have the success. It ultimately means that we don’t field as many competitive cars as we’d like to field. We’re going to have to address that.”(ESPN.com/RPM)(10-8-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR last week unveiled plans for setting a cap on the number of teams–early indications are that it would be three–that one owner can operate in a series.(Sporting News)(10-11-2005)
News from October 10, 2005
- Tryson Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Kansas: Pat Tryson’s decision to service the No. 6 Viagra Ford with two tires during the early stages of the Banquet 400 paid dividends. His strategy put Mark Martin up front long enough to lead more than half of the event before he beat teammate Greg Biffle to the checkered flag. Not only did Tryson bring his team a win, but his efforts earned him the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. After starting in 19th place, Tryson improved Martin’s track position with a two-tire stop on an early round of pit stops. The move catapulted Martin to the front of the pack, where he stayed for the rest of the day. “It was early enough in the race for us to take two tires and see how they did,” said Tryson. “We didn’t have a lot of laps on our left-sides and it was a good opportunity for us to do it. I’m surprised more teams didn’t try the same thing, but I’m glad they didn’t.” The panel of voters, including Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr., all voted for Tryson as the crew chief that did the best job.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Chad Knaus, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-10-2005)
- Martinsville Testing: At least a dozen drivers are expected to test this week at Martinsville, including Sterling Marlin, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler, Bobby Labonte and Chasers Edwards, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson.(Sporting News)
MORE: a list of teams testing the next two days at Martinsville Speedway.
October 11: #40-Sterling Marlin, #42-Jamie McMurray, #38-Elliott Sadler, #48-Jimmy Johnson, #16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards, #12-Darrell Waltrip (truck), #7-Robby Gordon, #2-Jimmy Spencer (truck), #8-Deborah Renshaw (truck), #43-Jeff Green, #18-Bobby Labonte, #77-Travis Kvapil, #52-Ken Schrader (truck), #4-Timothy Peters (truck), #10-Terry Cook (truck), Tam Topham (truck).
October 12: #16-Greg Biffle, #43-Jeff Green, #12-Darrell Waltrip (truck), #7-Robby Gordon, #?-Chad Chaffin (truck), #15-Kyle Busch (truck).(Martinsville Speedway)(10-10-2005)
- Hermie Sadler back in the #66 at Martinsville: Hermie Sadler, who started the season in the #66 Peak Performance Motorsports Ford, will return to the team for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The team will be sponsored by Virginians for Jerry Kilgore. Kilgore is the Republican Gubernatorial Candidate for Virginia. The election is November 8. “I am excited about getting back in the 66 car at Martinsville,” said Sadler. “The team has showed a great deal of improvement throughout the season. Martinsville is one of my favorite tracks, so I look forward to a solid run. It is important that we run well because we want to get the message out that Jerry Kilgore is the right man to govern Virginia.” Sadler qualified and raced the #66 in the spring event at Martinsville. “Peak Performance is happy to help Hermie at Martinsville,” said team owner Jeff Stec. “We had a good relationship, and we know how important it is for him to race at what he considers his home track. I’m hopeful it will be a great weekend for Hermie and the rest of the team.”(PSE-3 / Peak Performance PR)(10-10-2005)
- #12 jackman Injury Update: Mitch Lash, the jackman for the #12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman, was injured during a lap 95 pit stop on Sunday at Kansas Speedway. Lash received multiple injuries to the muscle tissue in his right foot, including a severe sprain to his right ankle. Lash will begin physical therapy in the Charlotte area this week. Britt Goodrich, former jackman for the team, will take over jacking duties until Lash can return.(Penske Racing)(10-10-2005)
- Double duty for Robby at LMS: Robby Gordon will be participating in two races this weekend starting on Friday night in the Busch Series Dollar General 300 driving the #55 Jim Beam Chevrolet and racing the following evening in the Nextel Cup UAW-GM Quality 500 in the #7 Jim Beam Chevrolet.(Ketchum Sports Network)(10-10-2005)
- Rusty could race some in 2006: Rusty Wallace made his 700th start in NASCAR’s top series on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, and hinted that he might not stop at #706 at the end of the season. Wallace has maintained all year that his decision to retire after the season is final. But at a fan forum before the Banquet 400, he appeared to hedge a bit. “I did say ‘full-time,'” he said. “I don’t want to box myself out.” The real tests of his resolve, Wallace said, will come after the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20, and when the 2006 season opens at Daytona in February. “I’m hoping I’m content after Homestead and get through the Daytona 500,” he said. “But if I just can’t stand it, then I’m maybe going to pop in for a couple.” As a retirement present, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius presented Wallace with a set of golf clubs at the drivers’ meeting before Sunday’s race. “You guys are probably getting sick of seeing me get all this stuff,” Wallace told his fellow drivers. “But I’m enjoying it, even if you aren’t.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-10-2005)
- Busch not happy with Kenseth: #97-Kurt Busch wasn’t happy with his teammate, #17-Matt Kenseth, early in Sunday’s race because he wouldn’t let him lead a single lap – and gain five bonus points in the championship race. Kenseth said there are no company orders to help teammates, especially when that teammate is a competitor in the playoffs. “When you get in the Chase you’ve got to get all the points you can,” Kenseth said. “You can’t give points away. I’m sure (Busch) is mad at me.” Jack Roush said he doesn’t want his drivers to play favorites. “I don’t expect them to do that,” he said. “In fact, I’d be disappointed if they did that.”(Augusta Chronicle)(10-10-2005)
- Tony Stewart Concert does well: Tony Stewart held his 2nd annual Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concert on Wed. Oct. 5th. In attendance on this special night were drivers Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, and Kyle Petty, and NBS driver Martin Truex Jr. Entertainment on hand were country music stars Phil Vasser and Super duo Montgomery – Gentry with special guest Kid Rock. All artists put on outstanding performances. Greg Hultman of Hultman Inc. (event director) presented Tony with a check for $363,106.00 dollars, topping last years amount by more than $80,000.(10-10-2005)
News from October 9, 2005
- Martin wins at Kansas: #6-Martin Martin broke a 52 race winless streak by dominating the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway, leading 139 of 267 laps. It is Martins first points win of 2005 [he won the Nextel Challenge in May at LMS] and 35th career win. #16-Greg Biffle was 2nd, followed by #99-Carl Edwards, #20-Tony Stewart and the 4th Roush Racing Ford in the top-5, #17-Matt Kenseth. #97-Kurt Busch fell back late and finished 14th. Stewart increased his points lead to 75 over #12-Ryan Newman, who had a bad day, got two Lucky Dog passes and finished 23rd, the worst finish of the ten Chase drivers. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in an early wreck and the car didn’t handle well and he finished 34th. There were 7 cautions for 28 laps, which is the record for the least amount of cautions and caution laps [was 9 and 39 last season]. Twelve drivers led laps with 16 lead changes. Martin also broke the Kansas record [5 races] for laps led and laps led by a leader with 139, the old record was 116 by Jeff Gordon in 2002.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF’s, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Kansas Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s Kansas Race Results/Awards page.(10-9-2005)
- Terry Labonte denies move: 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)
- Bowyer in, Tracy on hold: The Paul Tracy experiment in NASCAR is on hold, according to team owner Richard Childress. Childress, who tested the Champ Car driver in August, is focused on helping Nextel Cup driver Kevin Harvick win the $1 million bonus for finishing 11th (his current position) and Clint Bowyer win his first Busch Series title. Bowyer is 49 points behind Martin Truex Jr. following Saturday’s United Way 300 at Kansas. Childress said he would rather give Bowyer — and not Tracy — a chance in a Cup race before the season ends. “I think he’s ready,” he said.(Indianapolis Star)(10-9-2005)
- Fusion paces field at Kansas: The 2006 Ford Fusion is making its first appearance this weekend as pace car for Sunday’s Banquet 400. Fusion will be replacing Taurus as Ford’s racing entry in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series next season.(see a full Q&A at Ford Racing)(10-9-2005)
- Kluever to the #6 in 2007, McMurray to #97: on Speed Channel’s Trackside at Kansas City, multi-team owner [#’s 6,16,1,97,99] when asked about drivers for the future, said Todd Kluever, his Truck Series driver (who is moving to the Busch Series in 2006) would probably be in the #6 Ford in 2007 and Jamie McMurray would be in the #97 in 2007. No word on who would be in the #97 if Kurt Busch gets his release to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge for 2006, he signed for 2007. Roush also said Mark Martin will be in the #6 Ford in 2006.(FoxSports Q&A with Roush)(10-7/9-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: The Chase for the coveted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup continues, and so does your chance to win big. Fans who pick the correct finishing order of the Gillette Young Guns – Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, and Matt Kenseth – by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com during the first six races of the “Chase” will have the chance to win $1 Million and a trip to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20. Each week provides fans with a new opportunity to win. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun at Talladega Superspeedway, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Matt Kenseth. This is the sixth time this year that a donation in Kenseth’s name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-9-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Kansas race 4 of 10 in the Chase:
#20-Tony Stewart, 5684
#12-Ryan Newman, 5609, -75
#16-Greg Biffle, 5596, -88
#2-Rusty Wallace, 5594, -90
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 5592, -92
#99-Carl Edwards, 5589, -95
#6-Mark Martin, 5571, -113
#17-Matt Kenseth, 5568, -116
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, 5527, -157
#97-Kurt Busch, 5460, -224
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#29-Kevin Harvick, 3417
#42-Jamie McMurray, -1
#38-Elliott Sadler, -2
#24-Jeff Gordon, -81
For drivers/owners points, classic points top 15, see my
- Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Kansas page.(10-9-2005)
- “Classic” Points Standings – Top 15…the old way, not the Chase after Kansas, race 30 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4350
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 4082, -268
3) #2-Rusty Wallace, 3966, -384
4) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3957, -393
5) #6-Mark Martin, 3819, -531
6) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3735, -615
7) #97-Kurt Busch, 3734, -616
8) #99-Carl Edwards, 3688, -662
9) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3667, -683
10) #12-Ryan Newman, 3659, -691
11) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3417, -933
12) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3416, -934
13) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3415, -935
14) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3336, -1014
15) #01-Joe Nemechek, 3325, -1025
- How did The Chase drivers do at Kansas:
#20-Stewart, started 9th, finished 4th
#12-Newman, 11th, 23rd
#2-Wallace, 33rd, 7rh
#48-Johnson, 22nd, 6th
#16-Biffle, 8th, 2nd
#99-Edwards, 5th, 3rd
#17-Kenseth, 1st, 5th
#19-Mayfield, 14th, 16th
#6-Martin, 19th, WIN
#97-Busch, 10th, 14th.(10-9-2005)
- Kansas Race Notes:
• Mark Martin won the Banquet 400 Kansas Speedway, scoring his 35th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 632nd career start.
• Martin scored his first victory in 2005 ending a 52-race winless streak. His last victory came at Dover in June 2004.
• Martin remained 17th on NASCAR’s all-time winners list.
• Martin became the 15th different race winner in 2005.
• Martin has scored 15 top-10 finishes in 30 races in 2005.
• Martin climbed from ninth to seventh in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• This is Martin’s first win and second top-10 at Kansas Speedway.
• This is the first win by a Ford at Kansas Speedway.
• This was Martin’s 24th career superspeedway victory in 449 career superspeedway races.
• The 12 leaders in the Banquet 400 tied the record for the most leaders in a race at Kansas for the third time (2001 and 2004)
• Martin led three times for 139 laps including the final 48 laps.
• Martin led the most laps for the first time in a race this season. This is the second time in the last two seasons that he has led more than 100 laps in a race. Prior to today, the last five races that Martin had led the most laps, he lost.
• Martin scored the first victory for car owner Jack Roush at Kansas Speedway. This was Roush’s 86th victory as a car owner and 12th in 30 races this season.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-9-2005)
- The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup-Week No. 4 – Notes:
• As a result of his fourth-place finish in the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway Tony Stewart remained the leader in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by 75 points over second-place Ryan Newman. The 10 drivers will race over the remaining six races to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million.
• Six drivers in the Chase changed positions at Kansas.
• Kurt Busch (35th at New Hampshire, 23rd at Dover, eighth at Talladega and 14th at Kansas) started the 2004 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by scoring a victory at New Hampshire and then followed with top-10 finishes in the first six races of the Chase. Busch remained 10th in the point standings, 224 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.
• Nine of the 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the 2005 season. Rusty Wallace remains winless in 2005. Five of the 10 drivers have scored multiple victories led by Stewart and Biffle each with five.
• Four of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top five: Mark Martin (first), Greg Biffle (second), Carl Edwards (third), and Matt Kenseth (fifth).
• Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have scored three top-five finishes in the first four races in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
• Kevin Harvick (24th) remained 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings by just one point over 12th-place Jamie McMurray.
• Tony Stewart (third) scored his 15th top-10 finish in his last 16 races. Stewart remained first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and has led the point standing in nine of the last 10 races, dropping to fifth after Dover for one race two weeks ago.
• Matt Kenseth (fifth) scored his seventh top-10 finish in his last eight races.
• Rusty Wallace (seventh) extended a 43-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 24 top-15 finishes in 30 races in 2005.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-9-2005)
- Just for fun NASCAR This Mornings picks for Kansas:
each Sunday [or Saturday afternoon] Speed Channel’s NASCAR This Morning panel picks who they think will win the race, just for fun, thought I’d post it:
The standings [lowest score leads]:
Jimmy Spencer 520 points, picks Matt Kenseth, finished 5th 
Kenny Wallace 555, Carl Edwards, 3rd 
John Roberts 560, Greg Biffle, 2nd 
in the 1st 26 races, the panel cannot pick the driver more then the 1st and it was reset for the chase.(10-9-2005)
- Rumblings – Kansas: It was a Roush parade today….and the man on the King’s Float was Mark Martin. Mark Martin won today’s Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway in dominating style (leading 139 laps) for his first win of 2005 (his last win was at Dover in June of 2004) and the 35th win of his NEXTEL Cup career (he’s solo in 17th place on the all-time win list). Win #12 this season for Roush Racing gives ’em 86 all-time. We said it was a Roush parade….their Fords led 258 of the 267 laps today, and took the top three spots as well as four of the Top-5. This victory was worth $339,725 from the over $5.8M in posted awards, and Mark becomes the 15th different winner this season.
Carl Edwards (3rd) had his best finish since he won at Pocono in June.
Casey Mears (8th) had his best finish since he was 6th at The Brickyard in August.
STREAKIN….Tony Stewart has 15 Top-10’s in the last 16 races.
Matt Kenseth has 7 Top-10’s in the last 8 races.
Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Rusty Wallace (+26) and Casey Mears (+26), followed by Kasey Kahne (+23) and Ricky Rudd (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kevin Lepage (-30), followed by Denny Hamlin (-25), Brandon Ash (-24), Scott Wimmer (-23), and Mike Wallace (-20).
Jeff Gordon (16th to 14th) made the only multi-position move forward today, while Dale Jarrett (14th to 16th) swapped spots with Gordon.(Stock Car Fans)(10-9-2005)
- Newman’s car not passing pre-race insp: Speed Channel’s NASCAR This Morning is reporting that the #12 alltel Dodge of Ryan Newman, went threw pre-race inspection Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway a couple times, but couldn’t pass as a left rear quarter panel height was too high, after being given 5 minutes to try to fix the problem and still couldn’t pass, the team was told to go to the back of the line and try again and be the final car thru tech. The team can work on the car since Newman will go to the back before the drop of the green flag since the team already changed transmissions after qualifying. Assume he passed as didn’t hear any followup.(10-9-2005)
News from October 8, 2005
- No Cup for Lester in 2005…maybe 2006: Bill Lester’s bid to become the first African-American driver to compete in NASCAR’s top series since 1986 will be delayed until next season. Mike Brown, general manager for Bill Davis Racing, had said the team hoped to have Lester compete in select races this season, depending on sponsorship. Brown said Friday at Kansas Speedway that Lester’s debut likely will take place early next year. It could happen at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a track Bill Davis Racing excels. “We do have some plans for Lester in ’06,” Brown said. “Right now, it’s hard to say what it will be, one or two races or as many as 10. It just hasn’t really come together as fast as we hoped. The key is we want to do it right. Another six months is not going to make a huge difference to try to do it the right way.” The 44-year-old Lester competes in the Craftsman Truck series for Bill Davis Racing. He ranks 18th in the points. No African-American has competed in the Cup series since Willy T. Ribbs. He drove in three races in 1986.(Roanoke Times)(10-8-2005)
- Loomis to stay at Hendrick thru 2005: Robbie Loomis, #24-Jeff Gordon’s former crew chief, will take two weeks off after the Nextel Cup season before moving to Petty Enterprises to become vice president of race operations. Loomis, who has been Gordon’s crew chief since the middle of the 2000 Winston Cup season, stepped down last month after Gordon did not qualify for the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship. He is staying on as a consultant for Gordon and car owner Rick Hendrick until the season ends. “Right now, I’m able to take a step back and look at things a little differently, and that’s really good,” Loomis said Friday after a practice session for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. “The on-track stuff I’m concentrating on is all with the Hendrick team, but I can think a little bit about the big-picture stuff with the Pettys.”(ESPN.com RPM)(10-8-2005)
- Wimmer staying at BDR in 2006: General Manager Mike Brown said Friday that Scott Wimmer will remain with Bill Davis Racing next season. Wimmer’s contract goes through next season. There had been speculation that Wimmer, 33rd in the point standings, might not remain with the team after this season.(Roanoke Times)(10-8-2005)
- Hearing set for RCR Appeal: Car owner Richard Childress said the team’s appeal of NASCAR penalties issued to crew chief Todd Berrier has been set for Oct. 19. NASCAR suspended Berrier, crew chief for Kevin Harvick, two races, fined him $10,000 and placed him on probation until Dec. 31. Officials found that Harvick’s car had an unapproved aerodynamic modification and fuel cell at Talladega.(Roanoke Times), while the penalty is being appealed, Berrier can serve as the #29 Crew Chief on Sunday at Kansas.(10-8-2005)
- Cars to move to different series? NASCAR’s game plan for the 2007 car of the future is slowly becoming clearer. When the new, larger car is phased in in 2007, the current Nextel Cup cars would become Busch tour cars, and the current Busch cars (which have a smaller 105-inch wheelbase than the 110-inch Cup cars) will become part of a new Grand National series in Mexico, Canada, the Western U.S., and possibly England, according to NASCAR sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-8-2005)
- Harvick’s father-in-law ill: Kevin Harvick will be leaving the Kansas Speedway as soon as he qualify’s his Busch car later this afternoon to be at his wife’s side. Delana Harvick’s father, John Linville, is nearing the end of a long battle with cancer. Harvick plans on being back tomorrow. However, if he doesn’t come back Jeff Burton will drive the #21 Reese’s Chevrolet in the Busch race. RCR Busch Series driver Clint Bowyer will practice a few laps in the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy this afternoon in case he has to be Harvick’s qualifying stand-in tomorrow.(10-7-2005)
UPDATE: Harvick is back at the track and plans to at least qualify and may run the Busch Series race.(Speed Channel’s NASCAR Live program)(10-8-2005)
- Kenseth wins pole at Kansas: #17-Matt Kenseth won the Budweiser Pole for the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway with a Track Record lap of 180.856mph for his 2nd pole of 2005 and 3rd of his career. THe rest of the top five are: #38-Elliott Sadler, #24-Jeff Gordon, #22-Scott Wimmer and #99-Carl Edwards. The top five all ran faster the the old track record of Jimmie Johnson’s 180.373mph, set in Oct 2003. #66-Kevin Lepage ties the track record and will start 6th, the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart will start 9th. There were two wrecks in qualifying, #9-Kasey Kahne [no speed] and #11-Denny Hamlin [made one lap, was to start 7th], both go to backup cars and will fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag on Sunday. Six drivers failed to make the race: #7-Robby Gordon, #00-Carl Long, #61-Wayne Anderson, #37-Tony Raines, #34-Eric McClure and #13-Greg Sacks.
For qualifying speeds and order, practice speeds, starting linup, pole progression, links and more, see Jayski’s Kansas Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(10-8-2005)
- Kansas Qualifying Notes:
• Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Banquet 400, lapping Kansas Speedway in 29.858 seconds at 180.856 mph. He broke Jimmie Johnson’s track-qualifying record of 29.938 seconds, 180.373 mph, set Oct. 3, 2003.
• The top-five qualifiers eclipsed Johnson’s previous track record and Kevin Lepage (sixth) tied the mark.
• This is Kenseth’s third career Bud Pole in 214 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races and his second this season.
• This is Kenseth’s first start better than 13th in five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.
• Kenseth became the seventh repeat Bud Pole winner this season.
• There have been five different Bud Pole winners in the five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Kansas.
• Elliott Sadler posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.881 seconds, 180.717 mph – and will join Kenseth on the front row for the Banquet 400. Sadler has just one previous top-10 start in five races at Kansas, 10th in 2003. This is his 16th top-10 start in 2005.
• This is the seventh Bud Pole for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Dodge has nine. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen. This is the first Bud Pole for Ford at Kansas Speedway. Ford has never won here.
• Jeff Gordon (third) has qualified in the top-10 in four of his five races at Kansas. It is his 15th top-10 start this season.
• Scott Wimmer (fourth) posted his first top-10 start of the 2005 season. He started 37th and finished 36th in 2004, his only appearance at Kansas Speedway.
• Carl Edwards (fifth) started 16th in 2004, his only NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Kansas. It is his seventh top-10 start this season.
• Kevin Lepage (sixth) posted his best start since he started fifth at Charlotte in October 2003. It is the career-best start for car owner Jeff Stec, bettering the team’s previous best of 30th at Talladega in May.
• Denny Hamlin (seventh) qualified for his career-first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race [but wrecked].(NASCAR PR)(10-8-2005)
- Ramblings – Kansas: Matt Kenseth nabbed his second Bud Pole of the season (and third of his Cup career) today at Kansas Speedway for tomorrow’s Banquet 400 with a time of 29.858 (180.856 mph) as the top-5 all bettered the previous track record. Kenseth will lead ’em to the green with Elliott Sadler alongside.
Scott Wimmer (4th) has his career-best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 11th twice….both at Pocono this season.
Kevin Lepage (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 5th at Lowe’s in October of 2003.
Denny Hamlin (7th) will make his first Cup start this weekend….but it’ll be in a backup car as he crashed on his second lap.
Jeff Green (12th) has his best starting spot since he started 6th at Bristol in April.
Brandon Ash (18th) makes his second Cup start this weekend. His previous race was at Infineon in June of 2004….starting 37th and finishing 41st.
P. J. Jones (27th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 14th at Watkins Glen in August of 2002!
STREAKIN….Tony Stewart has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.(Stock Car Fans)(10-8-2005)
News from October 7, 2005
- Shepherd gets new crew chief and some DEI chassis: #89-Morgan Shepherd has a new crew chief, Teddy Brown. Shepherd will not run at Kansas. The team is in the process of building two new cars and recently bought two new chasis from DEI, but will still run Joey Arrington engines. Shepherd plan to test Monday in preparation for the Martinsville race (doesn’t say where Shepherd will test)(Morgan Shepherd site)(10-7-2005)
- #15 stays with DEI: DEI VP of Motorsports, Richie Gilmore told Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio – that the #15 is not going anywhere:
“We’re going to run the 1, 8, and 15 again next year and we’re working on some sponsorship right now. We have some sponsor stuff in place to run the 15 next year on a partial schedule. There is some possiblities…there’s a real small window you know probably by Charlotte everybody has to have their deal signed up. But we have enough stuff right now sponsorship in place to run at least ten races with the 15. But we’re just looking at our options of maybe running three (cars) full time. So we haven’t ruled that out but it’s a short time frame where we close that window.”
Gilmore said the benefits of having at least a partial schedule with the #15 are that doing so would give Paul Menard more time at the cup level. They would run him at Daytona and have three partners down there to draft and it would also help them use the full test schedule with all three teams. And as to NAPA taking the 15 number with Michael Waltrip – “That is something Dale (Earnhardt) personally went to Bud Moore and put together and had, has a lot of pride in that number and so does Theresa,” Gilmore told Claire B. Lang. “We’ve had fans both ways saying Michael deserves that number and if they know the history of DEI they know that’s not true. That’s our number. We have a lot of pride in it as a company and that number will stay with DEI.”
CBL: “You’re sure you won’t give (the #15) number up:?
Gilmore: “I’m positive. That number will stay with DEI. Yes we appreciate the time we’ve had with NAPA and with Michael but just because Michael was there for five years in that car I don’t see where he deserves that number. He was in the number 30. Go get that,” Gilmore said. He added that Waltrip talked to DEI about it and wanted to reassure Theresa.. that it was something that NAPA wanted because they had equity in it but that he was fine looking at other numbers.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)
NOTE: look for DEI to transfer #15 Owners points to the #1 team that Truex Jr. will drive in 2006.(10-7-2005)
- Sad News: Peter LaVance, 73, passed away died Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, NJ. LaVance was the 1955 Wall Sportsman Champion and flagged the Daytona Time Trials in February 2005. He was an original member of the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club and the Shore Auto Race Club, a flagger and driver at Wall Stadium, and a NASCAR Official at Wall Stadium. Mr. LaVance owned and operated Pete LaVance & Sons Auto Repair, Neptune, for 36 years, retiring in 1998.
Visiting will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township. Friends and relatives are invited to attend his funeral service at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Interment will follow in Monmouth Memorial Park, Tinton Falls. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mr. LaVance may be made to the Spring Lake First Aid Squad, P.O. Box 94, Spring Lake, NJ 07762, or the Spring Lake Fire Co. 1, 1007 Fifth Ave., Spring Lake, NJ 07762, and would be appreciated. For information, directions or condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com.(Asbury Park Press)(10-7-2005)
- NASCAR Family on 60 Minutes this Sunday: The phrase “NASCAR Family” usually refers to the millions of fans obsessed with the fastest-growing sport in America. But the real NASCAR family is the France family of Daytona Beach, Florida. For six decades, they have literally owned the sport, and made themselves into billionaires in the process; NASCAR today is one of the biggest businesses in the country still owned and run by the family that founded it. Third-generation France siblings Brian and Lesa are now in running the show, and they recently spoke with Lesley Stahl about the company’s next “big goal”: moving more NASCAR race to America’s biggest cities and attracting more minority fans by moving away from the sport’s southern “good ole boy” image. For more on NASCAR’S past, present and future, watch 60 Minutes on Sunday, October 9, 7:00pm et/pt on CBS.(CBS)(10-7-2005)
- Foyt IV gets out of his IRL contract to run NASCAR: A.J. Foyt IV will relinquish his role as driver of A.J. Foyt’s #14 ABC Supply Dallara/Chevrolet. Foyt IV is being released from his contract with A.J. Foyt Enterprises effective after the IRL IndyCar Series’ final race at California Speedway Sunday, October 16th “Anthony wants to try his hand at NASCAR,” said family patriarch and Indy car team owner A.J. Foyt. “He’s learned a lot since we began working together in 2002 but now it’s time for him to learn from someone else. He’s still young and I’m sure some of the advice I’ve given him will start to sink in when he hears it from someone other than me. I admit I’m a little nervous about trusting him to the world because he is young. At the same time, I think we both realize it’s time for him to spread his wings. I’ll still keep an eye on him no matter where he goes because he is my grandson and that will never change.”
“I will always appreciate the chance my grandfather has given me,” said Foyt IV, who turned 21 this past May. “I’ve learned tons working with him and his team, especially how you have to keep working together to make progress. My grandfather has shown a lot of faith in me by allowing me to drive his cars and by sticking by me when times got rough. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. Now I have an opportunity to try something different which I’m excited about and I hope works out well.”(Foyt Racing PR)(10-7-2005)
- Ride with Ride with Dale Jr. Auction Fetches $42,100: After spending seven days at the top of eBay’s “Most Watched” list, the opportunity to ride shotgun with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., sponsored by the Wrangle* brand, went for $42,100 with 100% of the winning bid benefiting the American Red Cross. NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr., The Dale Earnhardt Foundation, and the Wrangler* brand conceived the auction to raise funds for relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and subsequent hurricanes during the 2005 season. The winning bidder will ride with Dale Jr. on Oct. 26, 2005, at the Wrangler brand’s “Take a Test Drive with Dale Jr.” event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. A check ceremony will be held that same day recognizing the donation with officials from the American Red Cross. The winning bidder was Don Crawford of Ocala, Fla. Mr. Crawford bid on the auction as a gift for his wife Debbie, who is a Dale Jr. fan. Having felt the impact on Florida from last year’s hurricanes, Don wanted to do something to help the people along the Gulf Coast.(DEI)(10-7-2005)
- Gordon tests at Atlanta: Before heading to Kansas Speedway for this weekend’s Banquet 400, #24-Jeff Gordon tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway for a test session on Wednesday. Gordon’s fastest unofficial lap time was 29.87 seconds at 185.604 mph.(Gordonline.com)(10-7-2005)
- Martin tests truck at Homestead: Roush Racing teammates Mark Martin and Todd Kluever spent two days this week testing their Ford F-150s at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for next month’s race. Martin drove a brand new truck which he will race there in November and Kluever piloted a Ford R&D truck. Both drivers felt the two days were very beneficial for their programs.(Roush Racing)(10-7-2005)
- Fan wins to be Honorary Pit Crew Member: As the Cup Series prepares to head to Kansas for the first and only time this year, Cingular Wireless is providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a local race fan to experience the excitement of stock car racing up close and personal. Richard Garrett of Pleasant Hill, Mo., was randomly selected as the grand prize winner during a special Cingular sweepstakes and is being rewarded with a chance to serve as an honorary pit crew member for Jeff Burton and TEAM Cingular during Sunday’s big event. As an honorary pit crew member, Garrett will get the opportunity to meet Burton, driver of the Richard Childress Racing #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet and a 17-time Cup Series winner, and team owner Richard Childress on Sunday, October 9, before the green flag drops. Garrett will truly be a part of TEAM Cingular the entire day, from helping the team set up the pit stop and to attending pre-race team meetings. The weekend package also includes hotel accommodations for Garrett and a guest.(Career Sports & Entertainment)(10-7-2005)
- Stremme gets sponsor to run 2 more races: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare will increase its support of the team by sponsoring David Stremme in two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in 2005. GSK’s product, Commit stop smoking lozenges, will adorn Stremme’s #39 Dodge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Stremme will debut the #39 Commit Dodge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 15 in the UAW Quality 400 just five miles from the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates NASCAR headquarters. The 1.5-mile oval will be the sight of Stremme’s third career NEXTEL Cup race. For more info see the Web site Quit2WinRacing.com, which has information about quitting smoking as well as racing news and behind the scenes interviews.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(10-7-2005)
- Confederate flag a ‘fading image’ in NASCAR: NASCAR CEO Brian France doesn’t like fans flying Confederate flags at races as he tries to make auto racing more appealing to minorities and women. “It’s not a flag that I look at with anything favorable. That’s for sure,” he said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” to be aired Sunday. “I can’t tell people what flag to fly. I can tell you the flag we get behind: It’s the American flag.” France is trying to broaden auto racing’s appeal with minorities in places like Los Angeles, where France moved the important Labor Day NASCAR event last year, and New York, soon to have a track. “[Reaching out to minorities] is something I work on every day. I work on it personally,” France said. Among those efforts France counts running a NASCAR event in Mexico and establishing a training program for female and minority drivers. And he doesn’t believe the racial stereotypes associated with the Confederate flag will affect NASCAR. “I think it’s a fading image,” France said.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-7-2005)
- Long gets sponsor for Kansas: The Polly Klaas Foundation, a national nonprofit that helps find missing children and prevent them from going missing in the first place, announced today its featured spot as a complimentary sponsor of McGlynn Racing, a Pennsylvania team participating in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup Series. McGlynn Racing, which has donated sponsorship space on the hood of its car to help raise awareness of the foundation and its mission, is racing this weekend at Kansas Speedway for the Banquet 400.
“Our work to protect children and find those that are missing is strengthened when the public knows about our services and educational resources,” said Anita Galins, executive director of the Polly Klaas Foundation. “McGlynn Racing’s generous donation of their valuable ad space provides a unique and powerful venue for us to reach many more people-in Kansas and nationwide. We are sincerely grateful and touched by their commitment to helping us protect kids, and we heartily root them on this weekend at the Banquet 400.”
The Polly Klaas Foundation name, logo, Web site [www.pollyklaas.org] and toll-free hotline made its debut on the hood of the #00 Chevrolet driven by Carl Long at the Food City 500 in Bristol, Tennessee, on April 3. McGlynn Racing has added the Polly Klaas Foundation name to the side quarter panels, in addition to the hood, for this weekend’s race to increase awareness of the mission.(McGlynn Racing)(10-7-2005)
- Hamlin to Debut at Kansas: Joe Gibbs Racing Busch Series Denny Hamlin takes the wheel of the #11 FedEx Kinko’s Chevy in the Banquet 400 presented by ConAgra Foods at Kansas Speedway this weekend. It will be his first start in the #11 FedEx Monte Carlo, first career NASCAR Nextel Cup start, and his first race at Kansas Speedway. Hamlin’s previous NASCAR debuts resulted in top ten finishes – 10th in the Truck Series at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 6, 2004 and 8th in the Busch Series race at Darlington on Nov. 13, 2004. Hamlin will stay in the seat of the #11 through the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 30.(JGR)(10-7-2005)
News from October 6, 2005
- Car of Tomorrow tesing at Atlanta; Mock race early 2006?: NASCAR’s car of tomorrow [COT] will get another test drive on Monday, October 31st following the cup race in Atlanta. The teams of Jack Roush, Roger Penske, Rick Hendrick, Ray Evernham, Joe Gibbs, DEI, Richard Childress and Richard Petty are planning on bringing their first versions of the bigger car. While the first race with the car of tomorrow is tentatively set for a year from now, NASCAR will stage a mock race after the 2006 July event at Daytona with 25 or 30 cars to give the drivers and teams a feel for what the new vehicle will do under competitive conditions. Teams may have to run it in every race beginning with the 2007 season; however Jack Roush says he and other owners have campaigned for a gradual phase in when they met with NASCAR last week. Roush said, “If it goes far enough out so that we can balance out our existing cars and our existing parts the cost will be significant but it will be minimal. If they would decide that starting in 2006 or 2007 we had to run all the races with all the cars it would be a much worse problem so they (NASCAR) are open minded, they are thinking about the schedule and if they’ll relent and accept the schedule that we have proposed at that time the cost will be certainly palatable.”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(10-6-2005)
- NBC In Kansas Notes: After a wild ride at Talladega last week, NBC’s exclusive coverage of NASCAR’s “Chase for the Nextel Cup” continues live in High Definition with the Banquet 400 from Kansas Speedway at 2:00pm/et on Sunday [Oct 9th]. NASCAR on NBC gets rolling on Saturday with live coverage of NASCAR Busch Series Racing Presented by Energizer, Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage begins Sunday with the “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show at 1:30 p.m. ET; this week on “Wally’s World,” NASCAR on NBC race analyst Wally Dallenbach takes freestyle BMX rider Chad Kagy for a ride.(NBC PR)(10-6-2005)
- #37 Crew Chief Suspended by NASCAR: NASCAR has suspended crew chief Glenn Darrow indefinitely, for violation of the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. Darrow, [now former] crew chief for the #37 Dodge [Tony Raines driver] that competes in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, was tested for banned substances last Saturday (Oct. 1) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Test results were positive, violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-E (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2005 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR PR)(10-6-2005)
- 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)
- Terry Wooten replaces Glenn Darrow at R&J Racing: Terry Wooten has joined #37 R&J Racing and will be with the race team for this Sunday’s race at the Kansas Speedway. Wooten, who recently worked as a crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team, replaces Glenn Darrow. “We appreciate everything Glenn did for our race team,” said car owner Roger Craven. “He certainly elevated our program. But we had the opportunity to take our team to another level, and we were very fortunate to get somebody with Wooten’s experience.” Darrow is no longer with R&J Racing, Craven said. “The very first thing I noticed at R&J Racing is they’ve built a very strong foundation,” Wooten said. “It’s just a matter of refining what they already have. You have to stay moving in this sport. The old adage is true: If you’re caught up, you’re already behind. We will focus our attention in working ahead of the curve.” Driver Tony Raines welcomed the change. “Glenn did a great job, but when you have the chance to bring that kind of experience to your team, you have to take it,” Raines said. “I’m really looking forward to taking the next step with Terry. I joined the team in August and I quickly realized they have all the tools to be successful. Terry Wooten will help us put those tools in order. Success in this sport usually doesn’t come with major changes. It’s a quarter-inch here, an eighth-of-inch there. “I look forward to creating a long, successful relationship with Terry.” R&J Racing is based in Toccoa, Ga., and the shop is in Concord, N.C.(RJ Racing PR/Media Brokers International)(10-6-2005)
- PEO Pros assoc on #92: PEO Pros will be an associate sponsor for the #92 Front Row Racing Chevy at Kansas. PEO Pros is negotiating directly with their favorite driver, PJ Jones. “PJ was originally going to pilot the #34, but we are happy Front Row moved him to the #92 along with Fox Collision Center” remarked PEO Pros CEO and Sports Marketing Agent John Tenney. “We’re looking forward to seeing PJ prove that he can be fast and competitive on ovals as well as road courses.”(PR)(10-6-2005)
- NASCAR Hall of Fame bid headlines Chamber Day at Kansas: Kansas Speedway and members from the Kansas City Area Development Council will discuss the NASCAR Hall of Famebid proposal during Chamber Day festivities at Kansas Speedway on Friday. Chamber Day on Friday is a unique networking opportunity during O’Reilly Auto Parts Qualifying Day at Kansas Speedway, and promises to be one of the biggest mixers for business professionals in the city. Nearly 1,000 of the metro’s brightest professional men and women from most of the area chambers of commerce are expected to attend this year’s Chamber Day. Guests include Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, KCADC President and CEO Bob Marcusse and representatives from the THINK KC team that submitted a bid earlier this year to attract the NASCAR Hall of Fame to Kansas City, Kan.(PR)(10-6-205)
- Talladega TV Ratings Even with 2004 UPDATE final numbers: NBC’s broadcast of Sunday’s UAW-Ford 500 earned a 4.6 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research and a 9 market share to match the overnight figures of 2004, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)
2004 numbers: the race at Talladega in Oct 2004 drew a 4.6 overnight rating and a 9 share from Nielsen Media Research. Final Nielsen Media Research numbers for NBC’s broadcast at Talladega Superspeedway drew a 5.4 rating.(10-4-2005);
UPDATE: NBC drew a 5.3 national rating and 11 share for last week’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing from Talladega, off slightly from 2004 (5.4/12) and representing a 77 percent increase over 2000, the last year before NBC began broadcasting the event (3.0 converted national rating on ESPN). NBC & TNT’s average 2005 rating is a 4.6 through 12 races, up 2 percent over 2004 and up 59 percent over 2000 (2.9 through 13 races). The top ten metered markets for NBC’s Talladega broadcast are as follows: 1) Greensboro, NC 13.1; 2) Greenville, SC 12.7; 3) Knoxville, TN 12.6; 4) Birmingham, AL 12.0; 5) Charlotte, NC 10.9; 6) Louisville, KY 9.8; 7) Atlanta, GA 9.3; 8) Jacksonville, FL 8.5; 9) Raleigh-Durham, NC 8.3; t10) Indianapolis, IN 7.8; t10) Richmond, VA 7.8.(NBC PR)(10-6-2005)
News from October 5, 2005
- Richard Childress Statement Regarding NASCAR Penalty: The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), regarding NASCAR’s penalty to RCR crew chief Todd Berrier for a rules infraction Sept. 30 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway: “After several discussions with the crew of the #29 team, we have decided to appeal NASCAR’s ruling. We feel we have a responsibility to GM Goodwrench and all of our sponsors, as well as all of our fans, to stand up for what we think is right. Regardless of the outcome, we can’t let it get in the way of what the #29 team is trying to accomplish this season. The goal is to finish 11th in the point standings. That’s where they are now and that will remain their focus.”(RCR)(10-5-2005)
- Waltrip’s Penalty and Fine Rescinded: On October 4, 2005, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of DEI and Michael Waltrip. The appeal pertained to two penalties issued by NASCAR under Section 12-4-A of the Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Inappropriate gesture by the driver during a televised broadcast”. The penalties stemmed from the broadcast of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at New Hampshire International Speedway on September 18, 2005.
The penalties assessed were:
* $10,000 fine; loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Driver Championship points; and Probation until December 31, 2005 for driver, Michael Waltrip
* Loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Car Owner Championship points for owner, Teresa Earnhardt
The Commission reviewed the broadcast footage numerous times and different Commission members saw different things. Two of the three members found the footage inconclusive. Therefore, by majority vote, the National Stock Car Racing Commission has decided to rescind the penalties. Notwithstanding the outcome of this specific Appeal, the Commission concurs with NASCAR’s strong stance regarding inappropriate gestures and/or language during NASCAR broadcasts, and the need for vigorous penalties for any infractions.(NASCAR PR)(10-5-2005)
- Kenseth renegotiating with Roush: #17-Matt Kenseth was busy testing last week at Kansas and Charlotte, and while his immediate concern was working on his Busch setups, the 2003 Cup champion and his fellow Roush racers also have been thinking about the personnel turnover that will come at the end of this season. “Definitely people come at your good guys with money, especially during contract years,” Kenseth says. “It’s not as bad as the NFL yet, but that’s all part of the sport. You have to audit your own system and keep up with incentives and keep up with the payroll because other teams will do what it takes to get your drivers and your crew members that they want.” Kenseth is renegotiating his own contract but says, “I’m certainly planning on staying at Roush.”(Sporting News)(10-5-2005)
- Reutimann may run Cup race at Charlotte: Darrell Waltrip’s Truck Series driver, #17-David Reutimann will test a Michael Waltrip-owned Nextel Cup car at Atlanta today, and if all goes well, Reutimann will try to qualify it for the UAW-GM 500 Oct. 15 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Reutimann, ninth in the truck standings, hasn’t raced in Nextel Cup. He failed to qualify for the 2003 Brickyard 400 in a Morgan-McClure Motorsports car. Waltrip’s #00 car came from Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s short-track stable. It didn’t test well at Charlotte recently [with Reutimann testing], but Waltrip’s team has made some major changes to it. “I tested Michael’s Busch car for him a couple of times this year,” Reutimann said. “I told him a while back, if he ever had an opportunity, I would love to drive for him. He asked me to test some of his stuff, and this is just another opportunity.”(Tampa Tribune)(10-5-2005)
- Petty in pink at Kansas: #45-Kyle Petty will be driving a Quilted Northern Ultra bath tissue pink paint scheme this weekend. The scheme is in conjunction with the “Time for Thanks” program that recognizes the critical role that co-survivors play in the in the lives of breast cancer survivors. Survivors and co-survivors will spend a weekend retreat at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in early November.(Williams Company)(10-5-2005)
- Drive for Diversity tryouts: Tryouts for the 2006 Drive for Diversity program are scheduled to be held Oct. 17-18 at South Boston Speedway. Nineteen drivers, selected from 300 applicants, will be evaluated based on their performance in a Late Model car and off-track exercises. More info at drivefordiversity.com.(10-5-2005)
- #77 to sport special scheme at Kansas: This weekend at Kansas Speedway, Eastman Kodak Company’s Health Imaging Division will once again leverage the firm’s Penske-Jasper Racing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsorship to join in the race to promote better breast health for women. The Kodak Racing team is trading its well-known Kodak gold this weekend for a white #77 Kodak Mammography Products Dodge Charger for Travis Kvapil to race in the Banquet 400 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October. Through its sponsorship of Kvapil’s car, Kodak hopes to raise awareness of the importance of early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. In addition to the #77 Kodak Mammography Products Dodge, Kodak is supporting the race for better breast health in other ways. Kodak EasyShare Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com), formerly known as “Ofoto”, has teamed with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as the official photo sponsor of the Breast Cancer 3-Day, an organized fundraiser, which from June through the end of October will have visited 10 different cities to aid in the fight against breast cancer. ot only is Kodak EasyShare Gallery the official photo partner, it also is offering special pink ribbon products including T-shirts, greeting cards, photo books, and more for purchase online in honor of breast cancer awareness. Kodak is donating 10 percent of the retail purchase price to the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Also, for the month of October, when you purchase an Absolute Pink KODAK EASYSHARE V530 Zoom Digital Camera at the KODAK Online Store, Kodak will donate 10% of the retail price to the Breast Cancer 3-Day.(Penske Racing), see image of the car on my #77 Team Schemes page.(10-5-2005)
- Fox Collison Center to sponsor #92: Front Row Motorsports announced that FOX Collision Center will sponsor the #92 Dodge driven by PJ Jones at Kansas Speedway, for the Banquet 400 presented by ConAgra Foods. “I appreciate the opportunity to drive the FOX Collision Center Dodge at Kansas this weekend,” commented driver PJ Jones. “I look forward to working with the crew and providing FOX Collision Center a strong run on Sunday.” FOX Collision Center, Inc., with 9 full service body shops is owned and operated by Kansas native Todd Fox, an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in collision repair. He began his collision repair business in Wichita and operated four facilities before moving onto Tulsa, Oklahoma in spring of 2001. After just a few short months, FOX quickly became Tulsa’s premier Collision Center. There are currently 4 FOX Collision Center’s in Wichita. Their ninth center opens October 4th in Kansas at I-35 and Antioch. “We appreciate the support of FOX Collision Center, Inc. for the Kansas race”, said team owner Bob Jenkins. “They have been great to work with and we look forward to partnering with them on future races. We feel the FOX Collision Center Dodge will make a strong showing this weekend.”(PR)(10-5-2005)
- Testing at Martinsville: #25-Brian Vickers, #49-Ken Schrader and #21-Ricky Rudd took part in a Goodyear tire test at Martinsville Speedway on Monday and Tuesday.(Roanoke Times)(10-5-2005)
- Testing at Kentucky: #88-Dale Jarrett, #77-Travis Kvapil and the #11 R&D car were scheuled to test at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, Oct 4th.(Kentucky Speedway)(10-5-2005)
- Wally partners to buy TV rights for Pike Peak Climb: HIGHDRAMA Productions, and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. announced the acquisition of the television broadcast rights for the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb through the 2011 race. The Hill Climb celebrates its 84th anniversary in 2006 as one of America’s oldest and most exciting motor sports events. This annual automobile race to the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak, above the city of Colorado Springs, spans a grueling 12.5 miles along a gravelly road. More than 200 competitors in cars, trucks, and motorcycles participate, along with thousands of spectators who line the winding route. Dallenbach has driven in a variety of racing disciplines including NASCAR and open wheel cars in his racing career. He knows the history and importance of the Hill Climb in American motorsports. “I’m really excited about this project. I have been fortunate to drive just about everything on wheels, but the most fun I have ever had in a car has been at Pikes Peak. I love the event, and when I learned that the TV deal was up I approached the Hill Climb about giving me a shot at putting something together,” said Dallenbach. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb has been broadcast as a taped event for the last 10 years on ESPN2 and Speed Channel. The 2006 event is scheduled for the 4th of July weekend.(PR)(10-5-2005)
- Alltel awards Tampa resident opportunity to ‘Go Racing With Ryan Newman’: Alltel enlisted the help of driver #12-Ryan Newman to provide a customer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Alltel gave Joe DiCorte of Tampa, Fla. an all-expense paid trip to the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 15 and will put his name under the Alltel logo on the deck lid of the #12 Alltel Dodge for the race. This is the first time Alltel has put the name of a customer on its race car. Newman surprised DiCorte with the announcement at Alltel’s retail store at 8203 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. DiCorte, who was randomly picked for the honor while visiting the store, also will receive one year of free wireless phone service from Alltel.(Alan Taylor Communications)(10-5-2005)
News from October 4, 2005
- #29 Crew Chief Berrier Suspended: NASCAR announced today that NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series crew chief Todd Berrier has been suspended, fined and placed on probation because of rule violations this past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Berrier, crew chief of the #29 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, was suspended from NASCAR competition until Oct. 19, fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. During post-qualifying inspection last Friday, the #29 was found to have an unapproved aerodynamic modification and an unapproved fuel cell vent mounting – violations 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) in the series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(10-4-2005)
- Other Fines from Talladega:
Tony Gibson, crew chief of the #15 Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip, was fined $10,000. During pre-qualifying inspection last Friday, the #15 was found to have an unapproved air directional device and unapproved wheel spacers – violations of Sections 12-4-A and 12-4-Q.
Tony Eury Jr., crew chief of the #8 Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., was fined $2,500. During opening day inspection last Thursday, the #8 was found to have unapproved fuel cell foam, violating 12-4-A and 12-4-Q.
Dustin Smith, crew chief of the #89 Dodge driven by Morgan Shepherd, was fined $2,500. During opening-day inspection, the #89 also had unapproved fuel cell foam.(NASCAR PR)(10-4-2005)
- COT Tests at Talladega: NASCAR’s “car of tomorrow” [COT] looks and drives a lot like today’s race cars. But the redesigned car could prevent injuries and provide better racing down the road. Officials and teams tested prototype versions of the redesigned car at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday. Roush Racing driver Carl Edwards tested a Ford, Kyle Petty tested a Petty Enterprises-built Dodge and Brett Bodine tested a Chevrolet that was built by NASCAR’s own engineering staff. Gary Nelson, NASCAR’s managing director of research and development, said the cars will make their full-scale debut in 2007 but might be used in one race next season. “Today’s a big step toward that,” he said. The redesigned car is slightly larger, and the driver’s seat has been shifted about 4 inches toward the center of the car. The changes provide extra room for new energy-absorbing blocks of metal that NASCAR has been developing since the death of star driver Dale Earnhardt in February 2001. The new car’s roll cage, a steel skeleton that protects the driver, also has been beefed up. The new car’s body intentionally has been designed to be boxier than current cars; officials hope less aerodynamic cars will be able to pass each other more easily on the track.(USA Today)(10-4-2005)
- Johnson accepts blame for wreck: #48-Jimmie Johnson acknowledged Tuesday he was at fault for an eight-car crash at Talladega Superspeedway that scuttled at least one other driver’s championship hopes. Johnson had denied responsibility immediately after Sunday’s accident, which cost both himself and Mark Martin valuable ground in the race for the Nextel Cup title. After watching tape of the accident that occurred 20 laps into the race, Johnson said he realized he ran into the back of leader Elliott Sadler to start the wreck. Johnson initially claimed he was pushed into Sadler by Dale Earnhardt Jr. “I feel bad, I don’t know what else I can say,” Johnson said. “I started a wreck and took out a lot of good cars. That was the last thing I intended to do and I feel horrible for it. So I’m taking the responsibility. I needed to see the video to really understand what took place.” Johnson was widely blamed by the other drivers in the accident, especially Sadler. “I guess he’s trying to keep his streak alive — he caused a big wreck here last year and he caused a big one again this year,” Sadler snapped. “Maybe that’s his way of racing here at Talladega … try to get rid of everybody so he can win the race.” Johnson said he has apologized to Sadler, and left a message for Michael Waltrip, who flipped several times during the accident. He now believes the accident was caused because he got too close to Sadler entering the first turn, causing Sadler’s car to bobble. Sadler had to slow to save it, and Johnson rammed into the back of him. Earnhardt then hit Johnson, starting the chain-reaction crash. “That’s the last thing in the world I wanted to do,” Johnson said. “I went and spoke to Elliott immediately after the race and he knew. Even though he was upset, he apologized for saying some harsh things, but he knew what took place and that I got him loose before I actually got into him. I apologized.” Johnson was also blamed for starting a 25-car accident at Talladega in April, a wreck that led Earnhardt to call him an “idiot” and create a wave of criticism about Johnson’s driving style.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-4-2005)
- Career start #700 for Rusty at Kansas: Sunday’s Banquet 400 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway will mark #2-Rusty Wallace’s 700 th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career start and it will be his final career in his native midwestern area of the country. Both of those facts have contributed to the abundance of confidence the driver of the Miller Lite Dodge has entering this weekend. Rusty Wallace enters Kansas third in the point standings, trailing leader Tony Stewart by 76 points. He has eight top-five finishes, 16 top-10 finishes and 23 top-15 finishes (leads all drivers in top-15s). He has an average start of 16.4 and an average finish of 11.4. He has had no DNFs this season. After 29 races had been completed last year, Wallace was 17 th in points and a whopping 475 points behind 11 th-place Jamie McMurray. He had three top-five finishes and eight top-10s. He had a 15.2 average start and a 19.5 average finish with three DNFs. Rusty Wallace has been running at the finish in 42 consecutive races – since Bristol last fall, the longest current streak. Rusty Wallace has competed in all four NEXTEL Cup races held at Kansas Speedway. He has scored three top-10 finishes. He currently has a 15.8 average start and an 8.5 average finish on the 1.5-mile track. Wallace has currently led 19,940 laps in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition and lacks only 60 laps to reach an unbelievable 20,000 laps led.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-4-2005)
- Krissie Newman helps out: After completing an exhausting animal aid and rescue mission along the Gulf Coast last week, Krissie Newman had one word to describe the destruction. “Surreal would be the best way,” said the wife of Nextel Cup driver Ryan Newman. “You can see the pictures and watch it on TV, but you don’t get the true feel of it unless you’re standing there looking at it.” Touring the region devastated by Hurricane Katrina became an eye-opening experience for two groups from the NASCAR community last week. With a 43-foot truckload of pet food donated by Purina in tow, Krissie and three other representatives of the Ryan Newman Foundation left in a Tom Johnson RV for Gulfport, Miss., at 7 a.m. Monday and didn’t return until 3 a.m. Friday.(read full story at the Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-4-2005)
- Engines taken for dyno testing UPDATE: NASCAR took [borrowed?] eight engines from various cars after the race at Talladega on Sunday, including the engine of #42-McMurray.(Speed Channel’s NASCAR Victory Lane/Bob Dillner)(10-3-2005)
UPDATE: After the race, NASCAR took the engines from the following cars: #20-Tony Stewart, #25-Brian Vickers, #31-Jeff Burton, #38-Elliott Sadler, #17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Ryan Newman, #42-Jamie McMurray and #9-Kasey Kahne. NASCAR will test the engines on its dyno to evaluate relative horsepower.(Speed Channel)(10-4-2005)
- Tragic News: The death of driver Anita Clem has left a gaping void in the Highland Rim Speedway (in Ridgetop, TN) family, officials for the Robertson County track said last night. Clem, of Cottontown, died at 10:15 a.m. yesterday from injuries sustained in a racing accident Saturday night. She was 48. Clem died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She had been life-flighted to VUMC late Saturday from Skyline Medical Center where she was transported following the accident. According to several eyewitnesses, Clem’s Honda rolled over onto its top coming out of turn two after hitting another car and the wall in a Challenger Division race. Her car slid down the banked track in the backstretch before being hit broadside on the driver’s side by a car driven by Kevin Gregory. “One went high, one went low, and the other one had nowhere to go. It was a tragic accident. With her car being upside down, it compromised the safety of the roll-cage system.” Race director Robert Dunn said doctors told family members that Clem suffered multiple injuries, but the most severe was a broken neck. It was the first racing death at Highland Rim since the 1960s, according to Dunn. Still, the accident has raised safety concerns. Track official Mike Ogle, who was working the backstretch Saturday, criticized Highland Rim’s safety standards and said the track lacks the proper tools to extricate drivers. “I’m not going to say this would have saved her life, but we couldn’t get her out of the car for almost 20 minutes,” Ogle said. “We worked so hard trying to get her from the vehicle.”(Tennessean)(10-3-2005)
and another article about the wreck at the Tennessean: Highland Rim driver recounts deadly accident.(10-4-2005)
News from October 3, 2005
- Toyota to Cup in 2007? 8 teams? UPDATE: Toyota will support eight Nextel Cup teams when its cars make their debuts in 2007, but none of them is likely to be from Ganassi Racing, which all along figured to be part of the Toyota contingent. Toyota Racing Development will support four Penske Racing squads and two each from Bill Davis Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. Davis and Waltrip will be partners in 2006, then turn their attention to Toyota.(Sporting News)(10-3-2005)
UPDATE: however, as was reported in the past and reinterated today…..Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing, says Penske Racing’s contract with Dodge extends beyond 2007.(10-3-2005)
- 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)
- Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Talladega: Tony Stewart may not have won the UAW-Ford 500 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, but he performed in award-winning fashion. Stewart led the parade 11 times for a race high total of 65 laps before claiming second-place in one of the season’s most thrilling finishes. Stewart’s big day brought his crew chief Greg Zipadelli the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. Although Stewart made his top-five run look easy, but his finish didn’t come without a roadblock. The Home Depot Chevrolet seemed to battle overheating problems from the start of the race. Despite pulling all of the tape off the grill of the #20 machine, the temperature continued to climb before finally reaching 275 degrees. Water began to leave the engine, which gave Zipadelli no choice but to sacrifice his driver’s track position and attempt fix the problem. The team made an extended stop on pit road to refill the engine and cool the motor. Zipadelli’s plan got Stewart back on the track without losing any laps. Stewart battled back to claim second-place. More importantly, his race day comeback put him back on top of the championship point standings. “The Home Depot Chevrolet was pretty good, but we had an overheating problem,” said Zipadelli. “We probably had a little too much tape on it and in traffic it got too hot. It pushed some water out, so we had to put some water in it. I think we got an air bubble in it. Once we got that worked out, we went to the front and led a bunch of laps afterwards. Everybody on the team did a great job today and we got the points lead back. That’s the most important thing.”
The panel of voters, including a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr., agreed that Zipadelli deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors for his incredible comeback.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Chad Knaus and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-3-2005)
- Honda and NASCAR? UPDATE: Honda, long-rumored to be interested in NASCAR Nextel Cup racing, is now trying to hire NASCAR engine builders for its Honda Racing Development operation, according to engine men familiar with the situation. It is unclear just what game plan that Honda might be considering. But NASCAR has provided Honda with Truck-racing templates, and Honda, since introducing its first big truck this season, the Ridgeline, has been widely expected to enter NASCAR Truck racing eventually.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-3-2005)
UPDATE: Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development, attended his first NASCAR race Sunday. He said Honda isn’t planning to follow Indy Racing League rival Toyota into NASCAR, and he came simply to watch the race.(Indianapolis Star)(10-3-2005)
- New Car to be tested at Talladega today; Debut at Talladega 10/06?: NASCAR will test the so-called “Car of Tomorrow” at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday, according to NASCAR’s Managing Director of Research & Development Gary Nelson. Three cars, one built by NASCAR at its Concord, N.C., R&D facility and the other two built by race teams, will take part in the test, Nelson said. The new car is designed to be safer and less expensive to build. It’s also designed to create a bigger aerodynamic footprint, which will improve drafting and reduce “aero push,” the tendency of cars behind the leader to lose front downforce and therefore be unable to pass. One huge change: Aerodynamic trim, including the front valence panel and the rear spoiler, will be bolt on, making it easier and much cheaper to fine-tune the aerodynamic characteristics of the cars. “The aero stuff is all bolt on, so we can bolt on any size spoiler we want,” Nelson said. “We can match the aero (characteristics) of the car that’s on the track today or go to a less number with cheap, bolt-on front and rear spoilers. Today, to move those (aero) numbers around requires building a whole new car.” In terms of size, the new cars will be “a couple of inches taller, four inches wider and a little longer,” Nelson said. Look for a 2007 debut, Nelson said, adding that race teams already have built or are completing 10 of the new cars. Nelson said feedback from the teams so far has been “a third, a third and a third. A third of the teams love it, a third of the teams don’t care” and a third oppose it. As far as reactions go on rules changes, “it’s pretty normal,” Nelson said.(Speed Channel)(10-3-2005)
UPDATE: The new design tentatively is scheduled to appear in 2007, but car owner Jack Roush said its debut could come as early as the Oct. 8, 2006 race at Talladega. NASCAR met with Nextel Cup owners at its Research and Development Center last week. Roush said he would prefer a gradual rollout of the car to ease costs rather than rebuilding a team’s entire fleet to start a season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
AND Petty Enterprises will have a Dodge, Roush Racing will supply a Ford and NASCAR will have a Chevrolet.(Roanoke Times)(10-3-2005)
- NASCAR will issue a new technical bulletin regarding shocks UPDATE: NASCAR officials are changing the rules for rear shock absorbers after the cars of Hendrick Motorsports teammates #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Kyle Busch were initially too high after the race last week at Dover. “Everybody passed inspection and all of the shocks, in regard to parts and pieces, were completely legal,” Nextel Cup director John Darby said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. “But the build of the shocks that the teams chose to use is a direction that we’re not real fond of.” Darby said both cars were initially too high, but sank back within the required specifications as the shocks bled out air over a period of about 30 seconds. “We hold a lot of responsibility for policing the sport, but, at the same time, we have to give the competitors the benefit of the doubt if we can, so that’s why that process is repeated,” Darby said. “Honestly, another reason it’s repeated is so we’re sure of what we’re seeing, not something goofy, not a mistake.” No penalties were handed down, but Darby said a technical bulletin precluding the type of shock absorber used at Dover by race winner Johnson and runner-up Busch will be issued to the Cup crew chiefs sometime this weekend. There was no rush to get the bulletin out because NASCAR hands out its own shocks and rear springs to the teams at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, the only tracks where carburetor restrictor plates are used to slow the cars.(ESPN.com/AP)(10-1-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR last weekend issued a bulletin tightening gas pressure restrictions on rear shocks for Nextel Cup cars. That was in response to a tactic used at Dover by Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch, who finished 1-2 in the race. Their shocks — in conjunction with a softer spring setup — were built to work in reverse by lifting the rear end of the car up while traveling over bumps to create more rear downforce and allow faster lap speeds and more grip in the corners.(Sporting News)(10-3-2005)
- Tim Brown Team should know if it will get a sponsor soon: Roush Racing’s Sam Belnavis said Sunday morning that former NFL star wide receiver Tim Brown should know within seven to 10 days whether or not he’ll have the sponsorship necessary to fund a start-up Cup team in 2006. Brown announced plans for a new team in August at the Brickyard 400, but whether the team begins next year or in ’07 depends on sponsorship. Roush is helping Brown put the team together.(Speed Channel)(10-3-2005)
- Sunday’s Talladega Confiscated Part: Michael Waltrip’s #15 NAPA Chevrolet had a steel spacer confiscated by NASCAR at Talladega, measuring 14 inches across which blocked the holes in the wheel/rim. It fit between the wheel and the hub. NASCAR rules make it illegal to block the rim openings, according to [DEI’s] Steve Hmiel teams use to tape the openings closed allowing the cars to go faster. NASCAR allows a spacer but only 7 inches in diameter.(Insider Racing News)(10-3-2005)
- Sad News: It is with deep regret we share the passing of Lindsey Morgan, daughter of Veteran Crew Chief Tommy Morgan & his wife Barbara. The passing a tragic result of a missing person case in Ocean County, New Jersey. The family will receive friends in the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 W. Padonia Road, Timonium, MD, on Tuesday Oct 4, 2005, 6 to 9 P.M. Interment private. Tommy Morgan has been a crew chief in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions for drivers such as Johnny Benson, Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne & Ken Weaver.(10-3-2005)
News from October 2, 2005
- Jarrett wins big at Talladega: #88-Dale Jarrett, with help from #20-Tony Stewart, moved from 6th to 1st and won the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a last lap pass on a green-white-checkered finish. It is Jarrett’s 32 career win, first since Feb 2003 at Rockingham, 98 races ago. Jarrett was the last driver to win at Talladega in a Ford in 1998. Jarrett is the 5th oldest driver to win a Cup race, at 48 years, 10 months, 6 days old. Harry Gant, Bobby Allison, Morgan Shepherd and Dale Earnhardt were older. Stewart held on to finish 2nd, retaking the points lead as #48-Johnson was involved in a couple of wrecks and finished 31st, falling to 4th in points. After some checking #17-Matt Kenseth was awarded 3rd, followed by #12-Ryan Newman and #99-Carl Edwards. #6-Mark Martin was involved in the first big wreck and finished 41st, dropping to 9th in points. The other Chase drivers who had trouble were #2-Rusty Wallace [25th] and #16-Greg Biffle [27th]. The race was slowed with 11 cautions for 33 laps. There were 50 lead changes among 20 drivers. Stewart led the most laps with 65. Jarrett led two laps, the 3rd and final lap. Jarrett breaks the Talladega record for fewest laps led by a winner, held by Bobby Hamilton in 2001 and one other driver.
For my race rundown, laps led, DNF’s, caution info, Lucky Dogs and some notes, see my Talladega Race Info/Rundown Page or Race Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s Talladega Race Results/Awards page.(10-2-2005)
- McMurray’s car flunks post-insp at Talladega: Following a weekend of rules controversies, Jamie McMurray’s #42 Chip Ganassi-owned Dodge flunked post-race inspection when right-rear quarter panel didn’t meet the minimum height requirement. No penalty will be issued, NASCAR officials said, because McMurray’s car was one of many that had been damaged in a wreck during the race.(Speed Channel)(10-2-2005)
- What’s Up with the NASCAR TV Deal? Richard Glover, NASCAR’s vice president of broadcasting, called from his cell phone while dashing between meetings late last week to offer this update on television negotiations. “There is no update,” Glover said. “There’s no change. There’s nothing to report.” Glover is NASCAR’s point man for negotiations over the next cycle of television broadcast rights for the Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR’s current broadcast partners (NBC, Fox, TNT, FX) have the rights through the 2006 season based on the $2.4 billion contract signed in 1999. The current Nextel/Busch broadcast cluster started televising races in the 2001 season, replacing CBS, ABC, ESPN and others. NASCAR will announce the new contract by the end of this year, which explains why Glover was out of breath during our short call. “Things are running on pace with the schedule that we set,” Glover said. “The television negotiations are continuing.” The ABC/ESPN group has shown interest in returning to the fold in some capacity.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-2-2005)
- Talladega Race News/Notes:
• Dale Jarrett won the UAW-FORD 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, scoring his 32nd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 596th career start.
• Jarrett scored his first victory in 2005. His last victory came at Rockingham in February 2003, 99 races ago.
• Jarrett became the 14th different race winner in 2005.
• Jarrett has scored just six top-10 finishes in 29 races in 2005.
• Jarrett climbed from 15th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• This was Jarrett’s second win at Talladega and ended a 13-race win streak held by Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway. He also won here in October 1998 and that was the most recent Talladega win by a Ford.
• This was Jarrett’s 28th career superspeedway victory in 425 career superspeedway races and sixth victory in a restrictor-plate race.
• The 50 lead changes in the UAW-FORD 500 were the most in a race this season.
• Tony Stewart led 11 times for 65 of the 190 laps raced, leading the most laps for the 10th time in a race this season.
• Jarrett led two times for two laps including the final lap. His last-lap pass for victory was the third in 2005. It also happened at Atlanta when Carl Edwards drove to victory over Jimmie Johnson and again at Charlotte when Johnson passed Bobby Labonte for the victory.
• Jarrett scored the fourth victory for car owner Robert Yates at Talladega Superspeedway. This was Yates’ 57th victory as a car owner.
• Kevin Harvick (10th) climbed from 12th to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Rusty Wallace (25th) extended a 42-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 23 top-15 finishes in 29 races in 2005.
• J.J. Yeley led the first lap in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career.
• Jamie McMurray had led only one lap in 2005 coming to Talladega. He led 38 laps today, second only to Stewart who led 65.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-2-2005)
- The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup-Week No. 3 Notes
• As a result of his second-place finish in the UAW-FORD 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Tony Stewart re-took the point lead in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by just four points over second-place Ryan Newman. Stewart along with nine other drivers will race over the remaining seven races of the 2005 season to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million
• Nine drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at Talladega.
• Five of the Chase drivers were involved in accidents at Talladega: (Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch.
• Seven of the Chase drivers led at Talladega earning lap leader bonus points.
• Kurt Busch (35th at New Hampshire, 23rd at Dover and eighth at Talladega) started the 2004 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by scoring a victory at New Hampshire and then followed with top-10 finishes in the first six races of the Chase. Busch is now 10th in the point standings, 180 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.
• Eight of the 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the first 28 races of the 2005 season. Martin and Wallace remain winless in 2005. Five of the 10 drivers have scored multiple victories led by Stewart and Biffle each with five.
• Three of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top 10: Matt Kenseth (third) Carl Edwards (fifth), and Kurt Busch (eighth).
• Ryan Newman (first at New Hampshire, fifth at Dover and fourth at Talladega) is the only driver to score top-five finishes in the first three races in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
• A total of $1 Million will be paid to the driver who finishes 11th in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Additionally, the 11th-place driver will also join the top-10 drivers on the stage at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet in New York in December.
• Tony Stewart (second) scored his 14th top-10 finish in his last 15 races. Stewart climbed from fifth to first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and has led the point standing in eight of the last nine races, dropping to fifth at Dover one week ago..
• Matt Kenseth (third) scored his sixth top-10 finish in his last seven races. Kenseth climbed from ninth to seventh in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-2-2005)
- Heading to Kansas
• Ryan Newman has scored three top-five finishes in four races at Kansas, the only driver to do so.
• Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield have each scored three top-10 finishes in four races at Kansas.
• Jimmie Johnson has scored two top-10 finishes in three races at Kansas.
• Of the 10 Chase drivers, only Carl Edwards has not scored a top-10 finish at Kansas. Edwards has competed in only one race there. (NASCAR Statistical Services)(10-2-2005)
- Rumblings – Talladega: It was another wreckfest today at Talladega Superspeedway, and in a race decided somewhere around turn 3 (we think) Dale Jarrett was declared the winner of the UAW-Ford 505. In a finish under caution, DJ gets his 32nd career win and his first since he won at Rockingham (where’zat) in February of 2003. The 1999 Cup Champion is 19th on the all-time win list, and win #57 for Robert Yates Racing was worth $239,833 from the over $5.3M in posted awards. Jarrett is the 14th different winner of the season. Last year we had 13 of ’em and 17 different drivers won in 2003.
A note to Michael Waltrip…..when your rear end and drive shaft pass you on the track, it’s not gonna be a good day!
A note to Mark Martin…..evidently, you’re under the mistaken impression that somehow we as fans have some power. If we had any power, the “plate” and the “Chase” would be a complete unknown in our sport. The only power we have is _knowing_ where the power really rests!
Sterling Marlin (7th) had his best finish since he was 5th at Texas in April.
Bobby Labonte (11th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Pocono in July.
Dave Blaney (15th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Atlanta in March.
Bobby Hamilton Jr (20th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Las Vegas in March. (Not bad for a guy who couldn’t qualify on Friday, huh?)
Tony Raines (22nd) had his best finish since he was 13th at Homestead in November of 2003!
STREAKIN….Tony Stewart has 14 Top-10’s in the last 15 races.
Matt Kenseth has 6 Top-10’s in the last 7 races.
This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Kevin Harvick (+32), followed by Brian Vickers (+21) and Tony Raines (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-33), followed by Scott Riggs (-29), Jeff Gordon (-25), Jimmie Johnson (-22), Kyle Busch (-20), and Dale Earnhardt Jr (-20). Sadler is now tied with Ryan Newman with three B/D’s this season.
J.J. Yeley led a lap today for the first time in his Cup career. He’s the 49th different driver to lead a lap this season….last year we had 50.
In the Owners Points battle for the 35th and final exempt spot, Mike Wallace and the #4 team have closed to just three points behind Yeley & the #11 bunch. As important as that may be for the rest of the season, it’ll carry even more weight for year-end and the Daytona 500 of ’06.
Tony Stewart regains the “Chase” lead by four markers over Ryan Newman. The Top-6 are now separated by an even hundred points….last week that margin was 23.
In “Classic” points, Kevin Harvick has claimed that 11th spot they all covet so much by 14 points over Jamie McMurray. Last week’s leader for the 10th loser (Elliott Sadler) has fallen to 13th.
Sterling Marlin (29th to 27th) made the only multi-position advance this week (in the Top-40), while Elliott Sadler (11th to 13th) and Jeff Gordon (14th to 16th) were the only drivers to fall more than one spot.(Stock Car Fans)(10-2-2005)
- Driver changes at Talladega: #00 – Bobby Hamilton Jr. replaced Mike Skinner; #34 – Mike Skinner replaced Hermie Sadler..Tide is going on the #00 and Aaron’s going to the #34 for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.(NASCAR Stats Services)(10-1-2005)
AND the deal was with the #34 Front Row Racing team and #32 owner, Cal Wells, which failed to make the race with driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. So Wells made a deal with Chris Edwards, owner of the #34 Ford that Hermie Sadler qualified for the race. But since the #34 is a Ford this week [usually a Chevy], the Wells made a deal with Jenkins and Mike Skinner, moving Skinner to the #34 Ford and using the #00 car, which is really the #92 [owners points #192 Bob Jenkins the owner] and will run the #32 in the race with Tide as the sponsor. Running the race will NOT get the #32 team owner, Cal Wells, any owners points for the race, driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. will of course get drivers points since he will start the race in the car, but has to start in the rear of the field due to the drivers change. Sadler was supposedly compensated for letting the switch happen as well as the owners of the #34 and #192 [#00]. The #00/92 was an odd deal already, as a deal between Jenkins and #00 [#100] team owner Michael Waltrip to run Skinner and Aaron’s along with the #00, similar to the deal between Waltrip and Bill Davis Racing to run the #00 Dodge with Aaron’s and Kenny Wallace a few weeks ago.(10-2-2005)
- OT to be paid: Hendrick Motorsports will pay more than $350,000 in back overtime wages to employees after an investigation found the racing company violated federal labor laws. The company, which designs, builds and races cars in NASCAR, acknowledged it failed to pay 214 salaried production workers $351,783 in overtime between July 2003 and July 2005. The U.S. Labor Department said it determined Hendrick violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. “We certainly wanted to make sure our employees received any compensation to which they were entitled, so we were glad to make the appropriate payments,” Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex told The Associated Press on Saturday in an e-mail. “We’ve updated our internal policies and do not anticipate any ongoing issues.”(ESPN.com/AP)(10-2-2005)
- More II on Ferrell NASCAR Movie: The new 2006 action comedy set in the world of NASCAR started filming in Charlotte, N.C. in early September. During the UAW-Ford 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Ricky Bobby better known as Will Ferrell, had a NASCAR garage stall and sign between Martin Truex Jr.’s #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet and Scott Riggs #10 Checkers/Rally’s Chevrolet. The #62, white Ford looks like an old sportsman car with the dirtiest engine ever seen at a race track. Filming took place in the garage on Saturday morning and on track just before the start of the ARCA RE/MAX Food World 300. The movie cast include: Sacha Baron Cohen [Ali G of HBO] as Jean Girard, Leslie Bibb as Carley Bobby, Gary Cole as Reese Bobby, Michael Clarke Duncan as Lucius Washington, Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby, John C. Reilly as Cal Naughton, plus Jon Glaser, David Koechner, Emmy Laybourne and Chris Parnell.
The sponsors on the car were hilarious:
Dr. Lane’s Bath Salts for menopause and spider bites.
Julio’s Thongs for Men
Tanya Rashard’s Homemade Weaves & Extentions! The Best in Fake Hair
Hullmont High School Ski Club
Looking for fun, single, divorced, white male – 19 to 24 year old female in good shape for fun.(Insider Racing News)(10-2-2005)
- Riggs Corn Maze: In 2004, the corn maze was Michael Waltrip’s #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, 2005 brings us the Scott Riggs #10 Valvoline Chevy. Pam Griffin, who owns the farm at Hector’s Creek near Raleigh, North Carolina, decided to build a corn maze when the decline in tobacco forced her family to rethink its way of life. She hired a specialist from Missouri who spent two days using a global positioning system to map and cut the maze, which offers visitors about a mile and a half of paths. Riggs entered the nine-acre, eight foot corn stalks and claimed he would have gotten lost without a guide.(Insider Racing News)(10-2-2005)
News from October 1, 2005
- Harvicks time tossed, fails post-qual inspection UPDATE Berrier tossed: #29-Kevin Harvick WAS to start 2nd at Talladega Superspeedway in the UAW-Ford 500 but the overflow tube for the fuel tank was missing along with venting problems and NASCAR disallowed Harvick’s run and he will start from the rear of the field on Sunday.(Speed Channel’s Trackside show)(9-30-2005)
UPDATE – NASCAR comment on Harvick’s qualifying run being disallowed at Talladega: NASCAR spokesman, Jim Hunter, addressed the media following qualifying with the following comment: “The No. 29 car’s qualifying time has been disallowed. He (Harvick) will start Sunday’s race from the rear. There were a couple of things in the rear area of the car did not comply with post-qualifying inspection. The trunk area was not sealed properly. It was not vented to the outside as prescribed in the rulebook. The shock doors inside the trunk area were opened and not secured. So there were several violations in the trunk area of the car. So there will probably be penalties coming out the first of the week. But that’s why.”(GM Racing PR)(9-30-2005)
UPDATE 2: hearing that crew chief Todd Berrier, already on probation for the infractions at Las Vegas in March, has been escorted from Talladega Superspeedway and will not be calling the shots for the race on Sunday, no word on who will be the acting crew chief for Harvick.
AND For the second time this year, Kevin Harvick will be without his regular crew chief after NASCAR found violations with the #29 Chevrolet. Crew chief Todd Berrier was removed from the track by NASCAR on Saturday, one day after NASCAR found multiple violations in post-qualifying inspection. Gil Martin, crew chief for Clint Bowyer in the Busch Series, will serve as Harvick’s crew chief on Sunday in the UAW-Ford 500. Team owner Richard Childress will be atop the pit box with Martin. Childress declined comment on the situation. In March, Berrier was suspended for four races after NASCAR found an unapproved fuel filler and unapproved fuel cell vent in post-qualifying inspection at Las Vegas.(NASCAR.com)(10-1-2005)
AND II: Crew chief Todd Berrier was suspended for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway after Kevin Harvick’s car failed inspection. Harvick qualified second for the race, but his Chevrolet was disqualified after NASCAR found three violations in the trunk area. Car owner Richard Childress was called into the NASCAR office Saturday morning and informed Berrier was ordered from the track. It’s not clear how long the suspension will last. Berrier sat out four races at the beginning of this season when he was caught rigging Harvick’s fuel tank. He also was fined $25,000 and the team was docked points. Childress spent an hour arguing with NASCAR on Berrier’s behalf. “If I said what I wanted to say right now I’d probably be in bigger trouble than Todd,” Childress said. “All I can say is it’s a new era in NASCAR.”(ESPN.com/AP)
AND III PLEASE GIVE US YOUR OPINION ON THE SITUATION AND BERRIER BEING ESCORTED OFF THE PREMISES: [Childress] “Well, I don’t think he was escorted. He was just told he needed to leave, to clarify that. The next thing is, I gave my opinion to NASCAR this morning. They know my feelings on the situation that’s happened over the past few weeks and I’m going to leave it at that. Let you all figure it out.”
SOME THINGS HAVE HAPPENED WITH OTHER TEAMS LATELY WHICH HAVE NOT RESULTED IN A PENALTY. CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT: “I was very outspoken with NASCAR this morning and I’m going to leave it at that. I’m biting my tongue.”(GMRacing PR)(10-1-2005)
- Baldwin bolting Evernham? UPDATE 2: hearing that #9 crew chief, Tommy Baldwin could be leaving Evernham Motorsports and driver Kasey Kahne. There had been rumors he could be headed to Hendrick Motorsports and #24-Jeff Gordon, but Hendrick Motorsports says they are committed to new crew chief, Steve Letarte, for the rest of 2005 and for the 2006 season.
UPDATE: hearing Baldwin could end up at the #38 M&M’s/Robert Yates Racing team as Elliott Sadler’s crew chief, replacing Todd Parrott.(9-19-2005)
UPDATE 2: Baldwin recently signed a contract with Evernham Motorsports that runs thru 2010. “The only way I would leave, I guess is if Ray [Evernham] threw me out,” say Baldwin. “We’re not talking with him,” Yates Team Manager Eddie D’Hondt said. “He’s got a pretty strong contract where he is and he’s happy where he is.” [Evernham and #9 Kahne](NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-1-2005)
- Vote for the #07 Scheme at Texas: When driver Dave Blaney, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and the Jack Daniel’s Racing Team hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, the #07 Chevy will be sporting a “Pride of Texas” paint scheme chosen by race fans in the Lone Star State. Beginning October 3, race fans and consumers can visit the Jack Daniel’s racing website (www.jackracing.com/texas) and choose from three different paint schemes for the car – all specially designed to honor the great state of Texas. At the end of the month, folks at the Jack Daniel Distillery will tally all the on-line votes and host a special unveiling of the car in the Dallas/Fort Worth area prior to the Dickies 500. In addition to the new Texas-themed paint scheme, the #07 car will, as always, carry the RCR/Jack Daniel’s sponsorship message of “Pace Yourself. Drink Responsibly.” Race fans of legal drinking age will also be able to purchase a special gift pack at various retail outlets including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a Texas-themed commemorative t-shirt.(RCR PR), see the schemes on my #07 Team Schemes page.(10-1-2005)
- #31 Crewman Update: During the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega in May, Josh Yost, the jackman for Jeff Burton’s #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy, was injured in the pits when hit by Rusty Wallace’s car. Yost has had several surgeries to repair damage to tendons in his ankle. He started walking again in July and is working with a physical therapist at least twice a week. He hopes to receive medical clearance to return to work at the Richard Childress Racing shop next month.(Alabama Live)(10-1-2005)
- Parts confiscated by NASCAR at Talladega: NASCAR officials confiscated unapproved fuel cell foam from the #8 Budweiser Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #89 Dodge of Morgan Shepherd during pre-qualifying inspections. Shepherd failed to make the field. An unapproved window net was also taken from the #25 GMAC Chevy of Brian Vickers.(Alabama Live)(10-1-2005)
- Another Brickhouse at ‘Dega: Richard Brickhouse won the first event ever held at Talladega, the 1969 Talladega 500. Thirty-six years later, Brickhouse’s nephew Jeremy Brickhouse, will be high above the speedway as spotter for Kurt Busch’s #97 Ford team.(Alabama Live)(10-1-2005)
- Lawsuit against NASCAR regarding NASCAR Drivers: 360: Two Middle Tennessee video producers are taking on NASCAR, claiming that the company stole their ideas for a reality television show they pitched in 2001. Andrew Baird, who resides in Sumner County, and Bill Balsley, of Williamson County, say the television program NASCAR Drivers: 360, now in its second season on cable’s FX Network, is based on an idea they’d hatched. Baird and Balsley have sued NASCAR, its associated firms NASCAR Images and NASCAR Digital Entertainment, and Dave Hall, an agent who was to broker the deal. Yesterday several motions were heard in the suit in Sumner County Circuit Court as both sides prepare for a trial next August. “We allege that my clients went to NASCAR with the ideas, that they spoke with upper levels of management and that we had an oral agreement with them,” said Andy Allman, attorney for Baird and Balsley. NASCAR’s Nashville attorney, Eddie Wayland, said, “We feel the lawsuit is without merit and we intend to vigorously defend them against the lawsuit.” The lawsuit, which seeks $20 million and punitive damages, alleges that Baird and Balsley created a program they titled Drafting. Each week, Drafting would follow two to three NASCAR drivers behind the scenes as they prepared for the upcoming weekend’s race. They contend they first broached the ideas for the programs with Hall, former president of cable’s now-defunct The Nashville Network. In August 2001, the pair said Hall agreed to represent them as an agent to push these “unique ideas to NASCAR,” the suit states. A few months later, the two allege that Hall told them NASCAR was going to fund the proposed shows.
NASCAR Drivers: 360 sends camera crews to follow a trio of stars from NASCAR’s Nextel Cup and Busch series, giving a fly-on-the-wall perspective into their ups and downs on the track, at home, on the road and in the boardroom.(see full article at the Tennessean)(10-1-2005)
- Restrictor Plates at Lowe’s Motor Speedway? UPDATE 2: With less than rave reviews of the ever-changing track surface at Lowe’s Motor Speedway from Chasers Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin afer a test last week, NASCAR officials are considering running restrictor plates on the cars in the October 15 race at Charlotte. Stewart and Biffle wrecked two cars apiece during the tests. After plowing his car at 170 mph into the Turn 2 wall, Biffle felt the aftereffects last weekend at Dover. “From the eye, the track looks good,” Biffle says. But the tire compound doesn’t work well with the track’s new surface. NASCAR doesn’t expect any relief until the track is repaved after the race.(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(9-26-2005)
UPDATE:After laser-grinding the Lowes Motor Speedway track to help get another year of wear out of the 1.5-mile layout, track President Humpy Wheeler says the surface will have to be repaved for 2006. Wheeler said “I think what we’ve gotta do though is to study real hard, not just go pave over what we’ve got. I think we probably need to change some of the banking a little bit. Maybe put a different asphalt mix in to make it more stable and get ready for the new car NASCAR is going to bring out. That graduated banking has been around for a long time and it is affective in creating a second groove. What we want to do here is to make sure we have a second groove so you can have passing and lead swapping.” As for a published report concerning the use of restrictor plates after the track is repaved Wheeler said “I’m all for it, let’s do it! It just makes better racing. You slow the cars down and you always have better racing. I don’t think they’re gonna do it…but…keep the rumor going! !”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR Nextel Cup Director John Darby would neither confirm nor deny rumors that the sanctioning body will mandate the use of restrictor plates at the October Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. #20-Tony Stewart and #16-Greg Biffle each crashed two cars at Lowe’s last week, as two rounds of computer-aided track grinding — a process known as “levigation” — have made the venerable 1.5-mile track extremely fast. “We carry restrictor plates on our truck 38 weeks a year,” Darby said Friday at Talladega. “They’re there for a lot of reasons, and if a situation ever creates itself that starts to look like it’s leading itself towards the direction that we’re going to have a tremendous amount of problems in the race … or something that we can’t predict or didn’t expect to see, that’s why we have the plates. … If we ever get in a situation where we have to use them, we’ll use them.”(Speed Channel)(10-1-2005)
- More on McMurray/Busch moving on in 2006: #42-Jamie McMurray said leaving Chip Ganassi Racing a year early to join [#6] Roush Racing remains a possibility. “If people above me get things worked out and it happens, I’d rather be at Roush Racing next year because that’s where my future is,” said McMurray, who has a year left at Ganassi and signed with Roush for 2007. “It’s going to be tough to stay with a team that you know you’re not going to be with the following year.” This week, #97-Kurt Busch affirmed #2-Rusty Wallace’s comment at Dover that lawyers are working to move up Busch’s departure from Roush Racing to Penske Racing South by a year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-1-2005)
- Tracy offered another ride in another seires..to run Cup at Atlanta: Champ Car driver Paul Tracy is now being wooed by the brand new A1 Grand Prix series to drive for the so-called Team Canada entry. According to yesterday’s edition of Autosport magazine owners of the A1 series have approached Tracy about driving in selected races after the Champ Car finale at Mexico City Nov. 6. But Charlie Johnstone — Tracy’s agent — said Tracy “is not seeking” a job in the A1 series. The other issues facing Tracy include his deal with his Forsythe Championship Racing team. Tracy is slated to try to qualify a Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Oct. 30. Contacted by The Toronto Sun, Forsythe public relations specialist Joe Kirklin was adamant that Tracy would be with the team in 2006 and even 2007. “Paul has a multi-year agreement with Forsythe for this year and beyond,” Kirklin told the Sun. “We look forward to continuing to battle for the championship this season and winning more championships with Paul in the future.” Johnstone, on the other hand, said yesterday that Tracy still has designs on debuting in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Oct. 30 in Atlanta with RCR. “Atlanta is still on as far as I know,”Johnstone told the Sun. Tracy has also been contacted by the Hall of Fame Nextel Cup team owned by former NFL quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.(Toronto Sun)(10-1-2005)
- Best Western Joins Waltrip at BDR: Best Western International, the Official Hotel of NASCAR, announced that it has partnered with Bill Davis Racing (BDR) as an associate sponsor on the 2006 Dodge Charger driven in the NEXTEL Cup Series by Michael Waltrip. “We are thrilled to be teaming with Bill Davis Racing in 2006,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing for Best Western. “A respected member of the NASCAR community who has helped to set the standard for the sport, Bill brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated success to the business. With the addition of Michael, Bill Davis Racing provides us with a complete, marketable package.” Bill Davis announced last week his plans for re-establishing BDR as a multi-car team through a partnership with Waltrip. In January 2004, Best Western entered into a multi-year agreement as the Official Hotel of NASCAR. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons, the company has also served as an associate sponsor of Waltrip and the DEI-owned #15 NAPA Chevy. In addition, the hotel chain has partnered with Michael Waltrip Racing for the last two years, serving as primary sponsor of Waltrip’s Busch Series #99 Chevy for the 2004 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway; and the 2005 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. For more information, visit: bestwesternracing.com.(PR)(10-1-2005)