September 2005 News Archives
News from September 30, 2005
- Norris to help Waltrip: Ty Norris, formerly of DEI and Speedway Motorsports has been hired by Michael Waltrip to run Waltrip Racing World in Cornelius, NC off Exit 28 in I-77.(9-30-2005)
- Sadler wins pole at Talladega, Harvick’s time disallowed: #38-Elliott Sadler won the Budweiser Pole for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a fast lap of 189.260mph for his 3rd pole of 2005, 2nd at Talladega and 5th of his career. #29-Kevin Harvick WAS to start 2nd but the overflow tube for the fuel tank was missing and NASCAR disallowed Harvick’s run and will start 42nd now. So, #88-Dale Jarrett will start 2nd followed by #12-Ryan Newman [best starting Chaser], #20-Tony Stewart and #01-Joe Nemechek. Points leader #48-Jimmie Johnso will start 9th, 2nd in points, #2-Rusty Wallace lost an engine during his 1st qualifying lap and will start 41st and then from the back after changing the engine. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 20th. #1-Martin Truex Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed, qualifying 17th. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr., who was fast in practice failed to qualify for the race, along with #09-Sauter and #89-Shepherd.
For pole progression, practice and qualifying speeds, qualiying order, other links on Jayski’s Talladega Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(9-30-2005)
- #00 Team Note; been told the #00 is the #192, being allowed to use the #00 number with Mike Skinner driving and the #192 Front Row racing team getting the owners points and the credit for the race attempt, allowing them to keep the full season race attempts streak alive. #192 [#92] has run many drivers in 2005, Stanton Barrett, Tony Raines, Hermie Sadler, Eric McClure among others.(9-30-2005)
- Gordon can tie Dale Sr. in restrictor plate wins: #24-Jeff Gordon can tie Dale Earnhardt for most restrictor plate victories with a win on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt won 11 times [restictor plate races, also won 2 races at Talladega before restrictor plates, 1983 and 1984 for a total of 13] at Talladega (8) and Daytona (3), including his final victory at Talladega five years ago. “Dale was the master of these types of races,” said Gordon, who has won two of the three restrictor plate races this season. “I’d love to get the win, but not because of any statistic or record. And it really doesn’t add any extra incentive because this team tries to win every race.”(in part from The State), Gordon has won 10 restrictor plate races: four races at Talladega, three Daytona 500’s and three Pepsi 400’s at Daytona.(9-30-2005)
- Humpy makes first bid on Evernham Chopper Auction: Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, has taken the lead in the bidding for the custom Pro-street V-twin chopper created by Ray Evernham, Dave Perewitz and PPG that matches style, power and performance with a great cause in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Wheeler placed the first bid for the Custom Chopper for Charity at 12:01am/et when bidding opened on September 30. The bidding will run through October 9. The cause is also personal with Wheeler, who has had friends and colleagues affected with lymphoma, including Phylis Lipford, who has worked for Wheeler the past 23 years and currently serves as Manager of Ticket Services for the speedway. “This is a great bike and worthy effort to assist with this much-needed program,” said Wheeler. “I am proud to be the first bidder and get this auction started. Phylis and so many others who bravely battle leukemia and lymphoma are truly inspirations to me and so many others. Ray is truly gifted at what he does and is an excellent role model representing our sport. I hope others in our industry, including fans, are inspired to bid on the bike or contribute funds.”(Clear!Blue PR), for more info on the auction and other racing Charities events, see my Racing Charities page.(9-30-2005)
- Garvey looking to return to Cup..in own car: After being replaced by Kevin Lepage as driver of the #66 Ford in Nextel Cup, Mike Garvey is working toward a return to the circuit in his own car. Garvey has been shopping for a race-ready car — he prefers a Dodge — and expects to be back in the sport within weeks. Unfortunately for him, the car supply has tightened after several drivers crashed at Charlotte in recent practice sessions. “We were hoping to make Kansas next week, but now it’s looking like Martinsville,” he said, adding that he’s not bitter about his outcome with his old team. “It was a good opportunity, but it didn’t work out,” he said. “I learned a lot doing it, and we’ll be back.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-30-2005)
- Ganassi drivers visit the Gulf region: Three NASCAR drivers were shocked by the extent of the damage in the Gulf Coast when they flew down for a visit Thursday. The drivers know they’ve got a lot of fans on the coast and the trip was a chance for them to tell the people down there that they had fans too. The flight went to Waveland, Mississippi, Katrina’s ground zero. The mission was to swap out Charlotte SWAT team members protecting Carolina Medical Center’s (CMC) mobile hospital, MED-1. At MED-1 there was a surprise, drivers Casey Mears, David Stremme and Kevin Hamlin. For the drivers it was a first look at the devastation. “(We wanted) To show our support for the Carolina’s medical team,” said Hamlin. In five weeks, MED-1 has treated over 5,000 patients. “They give you all the time in the world,” said patient Wayne Lander. Down there, every new turn reveals damage. “It’s crazy,” said Mears. “There’s nothing here.”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be able to see something like this, see how it’s affecting people,” said Hamlin. “It’s something I never want to have to experience.” Thursday life in the fast land slowed. Whether you’ve lost everything, are working around the clock, give help or are sick, like patients at MED-1, it helps knowing someone is rooting for you. “It’s nice to at least put a smile on somebody’s face,” said Mears. MED-1 is scheduled to return to the Queen City at the end of October. It has been deployed in the Gulf Coast since early September.(wcnc.com)(9-30-2005)
- More on the Shock issue from Dover, expect NASCAR Rule: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said he expects NASCAR officials to issue a technical bulletin as early as Friday outlawing the trick shock absorbers used by Hendrick Motorsports teammates #48-Jimmie Johnson and #5-Kyle Busch in their 1-2 finish Sunday at Dover International Speedway. Instead of soaking up bumps, as shocks normally are designed to do, Smith said the Hendrick cars’ shocks were designed almost to work in reverse; every time they hit a bump, the shocks jacked up the car’s rear end for about 15 seconds. Because cars encounter frequent bumps at Dover, the shocks apparently kept the Hendrick cars’ tails elevated about an inch beyond what NASCAR rules allow for most of the race, directing more air to the cars’ rear spoilers and creating extra aerodynamic “downforce” that helped the cars stick to the track. Cheating? Not exactly, Smith said. “It was clearly an ingenious engineering exercise, and they ought to be commended for their ingenuity,” he said. Johnson’s team declined comment through a spokesperson.
This explains why the two Hendrick cars failed an initial technical inspection by NASCAR officials Sunday night but passed the maximum-height requirement after they “settled,” as NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston explained this week. Officials confiscated the Hendrick cars’ shocks after the race, along with shocks from four other cars [#’s 2,12,6,16].
Smith expects NASCAR to prohibit all teams from using such shocks beginning with the Oct. 9 race at Kansas Speedway. The Hendrick shocks wouldn’t help in this weekend’s race because downforce isn’t a major concern at Talladega and teams typically try to get their cars as low to the ground as possible without violating NASCAR’s minimum height requirements. Smith figures that Busch, a rookie, has been testing the system all season. “That didn’t show up for a championship (contender) the day before Dover,” Smith said. “That required a lot of effort, a lot of testing.” Penske Racing president Don Miller, meanwhile, wondered why the Hendrick cars apparently were given a second chance to pass officials’ maximum-height measurement. “All I can say is, if it comes in as too high, it should be black and white,” Miller said. Said Poston, via e-mail: “When the (No.) 48 went up on the platform, it was initially high, but in a matter of seconds the car settled and it made the required height. Absolutely no one made an adjustment to the car; however, as often is the case, an inspector was under the car but did not touch it. The 48 only made one trip through inspection.”(USA Today), see past news about this on my NASCAR news page or on 9/29/2005PAGE 2 of the News.
AND more: There have been questions about whether Jimmie Johnson’s winning car at Dover and the runner-up mount of his teammate Kyle Busch initially failed a post-race inspection because the rears of their cars were too high. NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said Thursday that there were no issues in the technical shed after the race. “All cars passed inspection,” he said. Branham added that the shocks from six cars were taken to NASCAR’s research center in Concord, N.C. Shocks were taken from the cars driven by Johnson and Busch as well as from the cars of Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace. “We just want to stay up to date with what teams are doing,” he said. “It’s a fact-finding mission similar to when we took engines at Michigan earlier this year.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-30-2005)
- World Financial back on the #99 car: The #99 Ford of Carl Edwards will carry the World Financial Group (WFG) paint scheme this week. The WFG paint scheme was also carried on the #99 Ford earlier this year in Las Vegas.(Roush Racing)(9-30-2005)
- Wednesday Night Races? Dover Motorsports officials make no secret of the fact they would like Nextel Cup dates at their tracks in Nashville, Memphis, and St. Louis. Dover Motorsports Inc. President Dennis Mcglynn told MRN Radio’s NASCAR Today earlier this afternoon, “They have Monday Night Football why not have a Wednesday night Cup race? We think we can do that in those major markets where we have a huge population base near the facility itself and good ingress and egress to get everybody out of there so that they can get up and go to work early the next morning.”(MRN’s NASCAR Today)(9-30-2005)
- Goodyear Tires Notes: This is the second consecutive race weekend that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Talladega . . . this is the only track at which NASCAR teams will run this tire set-up in 2005, though it is similar to the one run at Daytona . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Talladega . . . inflation on those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 36-38 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more on my Talladega Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-30-2005)
- Talladega Qualifying Notes:
• Ellott Sadler won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the UAW-Ford 500, lapping Talladega Superspeedway in 50.597 seconds at 189.260 mph. Bill Elliott holds the track-qualifying record of 44.998 seconds, 212.809 mph, set April 30, 1987 – prior to the implementation of restrictor-plates. Elliott also holds the restrictor-plate qualifying record at Talladega – 48.128 seconds, 199.388 mph, set May 4, 1990.
• This is Sadler’s fifth career Bud Pole in 242 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. It is his second Bud Pole and fifth top-10 start in 13 races at Talladega. This is Sadler’s third Bud Pole and 15th top-10 start in 2005.
• Dale Jarrett posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 50.727 seconds, 188.775 mph – and will join Sadler in the all-Robert Yates Racing front row for the UAWFord 500. This is his16th top-10 start in 38 races at Talladega. This is Jarrett’s seventh top-10 start in 2005.
• Kevin Harvick’s time, which was second, was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection.
• This is the sixth 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.
• There have been 10 different Bud Pole winners at Talladega since 1998. Joe Nemechek (three), Elliott Sadler (two) and Stacey Compton (two) are the repeat Bud Pole winners in the 14-race period. Qualifying was canceled in October 2002.
• Four of the Chase drivers qualified in the top 10: Ryan Newman (third), Tony Stewart (fourth), Greg Biffle (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (ninth) and Carl Edwards (10th). Nine of the last 13 races at Talladega have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
• Ryan Newman (third) scored his fifth top-10 start in eight races at Talladega. This is the 25th top-10 start for Newman in 2005, the most of all drivers.
• Tony Stewart (fourth) posted his sixth top-10 start in 14 races at Talladega. It is Stewart’s 15th top-10 start this season.
• Joe Nemechek (fifth) posted his eighth top-10 start in 2005. It is also his eighth top- 10 start in 22 races at Talladega.
• Kerry Earnhardt (35th) qualified for his seventh NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, his third in 2005. Six of his races have been restrictor-plate races.
• Forty-one of the 72 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Talladega have been won from the first four starting positions (57 percent).(NASCAR PR)(9-30-2005)
- Ramblings – Talladega: It was Elliott Sadler’s day at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday as he took the Bud Pole for Sunday’s UAW-Ford 500 with a time of 50.597 sec. (189.260 mph). This is the third pole of the season for Sadler, and the fifth of his NEXTEL Cup career. Joining his teammate on the outside of the front row will be Dale Jarrett. What’s that you say? You thought Kevin Harvick was out there? Well, other than three (count ’em, THREE) small problems in the trunk area that NASCAR didn’t like he’d have been in that spot, but his time was disallowed and he’ll start 42nd. After the shock fiasco at Dover last week, the garage area is starting to have that “Angry Mob” look to it…..
This is DJ’s best starting spot since he had the pole at Daytona for the 500 in February.
Bobby Labonte (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Michigan in June.
STREAKIN…..Jimmie Johnson has 3 Top-10 starts in a row.
Ryan Newman has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
A short Trouble Train today as we had 46 cars on hand. Bobby Hamilton Jr (for the second time this season) was a dnq along with Johnny Sauter and Morgan Shepherd.
I [SCF] still think a good “Chase” scenario would be to have 10 plate races for the Championship…..course the CCU would be full before race three! These guys won’t get much sleep this weekend.(Stock Car Fans)(9-30-2005)
News from September 29, 2005
- Gordon adds new associate sponsor: Carloans.com has come on board as a new associate sponsor for the balance of the 2005 season and will continue to support Robby Gordon Motorsports through 2006. The #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports will feature the yellow, black and silver Menard paint scheme this week. Gordon’s race-thrown helmet received 55 bids and raised $51,100 for the Harrah’s Employee Relief Fund. It also enjoyed being the number one watched item on eBay.(RGM PR)(9-29-2005)
- Some ARCA/NASCAR stuff at Talladega: Jason Hedlesky, the spotter for #49 Ken Schrader in Cup and Carl Edwards Busch Series spotter, is resuming his ARCA career by teaming up with fellow Michigan native Hardcore Motorsports to field the EMP Dodge Charger in the race at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday afternoon. Hedlesky, who has been absent from the series for two seasons, has 16 ARCA races on his scorecard, but this is his first with Hardcore. Hedlesky’s previous ARCA starts came behind the wheel of legendary NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey’s machines when he was Donlavey’s general manager. He competed in select races from 2000-2003, missed 2004 and returns this weekend. Hedlesky said he has enjoyed his change from general manager to spotter.(Keystome PR)
AND MB2 Motorsports has entered Kraig Kinser in this weekend’s ARCA RE/MAX race at Talladega Superspeedway. Kinser, who won this year’s famed Knoxville Nationals in central Iowa, is a member of MB2’s driver development program. Saturday’s Food World 300 will be Kinser’s second ARCA race. He qualified on the outside pole and finished eighth in his ARCA debut, Aug. 19th at Michigan. As in Michigan, Kinser’s ARCA team in Talladega will be a joint venture between MB2 Motorsports and Andy Hillenburg Racing. Kinser will drive the #10 Chevy with sponsorship from CENTRIX Financial, U.S. Army and Checkers/Rally’s. Doug Randolph, MB2’s driver development manager, will be Kinser’s crew chief. The team will also receive support from members of MB2’s #01 and #10 Nextel Cup teams.(MB2Motorosports)
AND II Erin Crocker will head to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend ready for her first visit there on the ARCA circuit. Crocker will pilot the #98 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Dodge Charger. This chassis has never raced, but has tested in Daytona in January 2005 and tested it at Talladega last week with. Crocker enters this weekend’s race after an impressive third place start/finish in her second visit to Nashville. Team Director Chris Andrews will continue to call the shots from the pit box this week. This will be Crocker’s fifth race carrying the banner for Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper, and her sixth race overall this year.(Clear!Blue PR)
AND III: Aric Almirola, who has been competing in the Dodge Weekly Racing Series as a part of the Joe Gibbs Racing/Reggie White Diversity Program will make his ARCA debut in #2 Shaver Motorsports entry which will be adorned with the insignia of the new Joe Gibbs Performance Synthetic Racing Oil. Almirola is in his second year of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series competition. Also, this season he has competed in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events as well this season, where he has two top-10 finishes which came at Indianapolis Raceway Park and New Hampshire.(JGR PR)(9-29-2005)
- Fruit of the Loom gone as #7 sponsor? 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 on the NASCAR.com Talladega entry list. Fruit of the Loom was scheduled to run at Talladega, Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix.(9-29-2005)
- #48/#5 too high in post race inspection at Dover? UPDATE 2: been told that the winning #48 Chevy that Jimmie Johnson drove to victory at Dover didn’t meet the height reqiurements in post-race inspection and supposedly the #5 Chevy was too high also. #5-Busch finished a very close 2nd. Hearing the height was over 3/4″ off in the rear of the cars. It was mentioned during the race broadcast that the two cars sat higher then other cars on the track. Was told that it was reported to the media that all cars passed inspection, not sure if their is a shock issue or if fines will be handed out, Tuesday is usually the day NASCAR announces such things [except for after New Hampshire last week]. The #5 team was fined back in March for having the quarter panels too high at Las Vegas and the #48 was fined after Vegas for being too low with Johnson winning and Busch finishing 2nd.(9-27-2005)
UPDATE: For the second time this season, a cloud hovers over a 1-2 finish by Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. The shock absorbers from six cars, including those of Johnson and Busch, were confiscated after Sunday’s race at Dover. They were taken for testing to see if they are in compliance with NASCAR rules. Johnson won the event and took the lead in the chase for the Cup championship as Busch finished a close second. Their shocks were taken after their cars had trouble passing post-race inspection. Johnson and Busch had a 1-2 finish tainted at Las Vegas when the rear of Johnson’s car was too low and the right-rear of Busch’s car was too high during post-race checks. Shocks were also confiscated at Dover from the cars of Penske Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace; and the Roush Racing cars of Mark Martin and Greg Biffle. Of the six, only Busch is not among drivers in the championship chase.(High Point Enterprise)(9-28-2005)
UPDATE 2a: Spokesman Ramsey Poston said NASCAR, in postrace inspection, removed shocks from Johnson’s and Busch’s cars, the cars of Penske South teammates Ryan Newman (who finished fifth) and Rusty Wallace (sixth) and the Roush Racing cars of Mark Martin (fourth) and Greg Biffle (13th). All cars passed inspection, Poston said, and he did not expect any penalties from the shock examinations. “We took the shocks from all the cars that went through inspection so that we could make sure that teams are following new shock guidelines we issued last year,” he said in an e-mail. “It was a lot like when we took the engines from several cars in Michigan; we just want to take a look to be sure everyone is following the rules.”(Florida Today)
UPDATE 2b: NASCAR apparently was listening to the chatter between several drivers and their crews Sunday at Dover. After hearing several teams talk about the unusual setup of Jimmie Johnson’s winning Chevrolet, the sanctioning body confiscated the rear shock absorbers from six teams following the MBNA RacePoints 400. Several teams talked on their radios about the height of Johnson’s right-rear quarter panel. Radio announcers from the Motor Racing Network even talked about it during the race. NASCAR confirmed Johnson’s car originally flunked post-race inspection for being too high, but it later passed once the shock “settled.” The second-place car from Kyle Busch, Johnson’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, also was too high. If the rear of the car is high, it pushes up the rear spoiler and helps it gain traction in the corners. NASCAR took the rear shocks from Johnson and Busch, as well as those from Ford drivers Mark Martin and Greg Biffle and Dodge drivers Ryan Newman and Rusty Wallace. Busch was fined earlier this year because his car was too high at Las Vegas; Johnson was fined at Las Vegas for being too low. Johnson won that race, too, and Busch finished second.(Augusta Chronicle)(9-29-2005)
- More on the Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie: been told that Fasttrack is supplying the cars for the Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie, High, Wide, and Handsome. The cars being sent to Talladega for shooting this week include the Will Ferrell car sponsored by Laughing Clown Malt Liqour. There will be some older cars like a Sterling Marlin Kodak car, Bbobby Hamilton STP and Bill Elliotts McDonald car. Actors listed to be in the film include Sacha Baron Cohen [Ali G], Leslie Bibb, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Glaser and John C. Reilly.
AND Darrell Waltrip has been busy lately, working on the new Pixar film, Cars, and has committed to an upcoming film featuring Will Ferrell as a racecar driver. “Larry, Mike and I are gonna be in the Will Ferrell movie,” Waltrip said, referring to his fellow truck announcers. “I’m sure we’ll be in a booth calling a race somewhere.”(Bristol Herald Courier), and see past news on this movie and others on my Movie News page.(9-29-2005)
News from September 28, 2005
- Congratulations to Jack Daniel’s Racing Team car chief Kirk Almquist and his wife Elisa on the birth of their first child. Kody Joseph Almquist was born on Tuesday, September 27 at 11:04 a.m. and weighed in at eight pounds four ounces.(RCR)(9-28-2005)
- Dover TV Ratings down: TNT says its coverage of Sunday’s MBNA Racepoints 400 from Dover International Speedway earned a 3.1 U.S. rating, down from 3.2 in 2004, but says its average for its seven Cup races this season was up 11% from 2004. TNT says its races this year included three of cable television’s top NASCAR races of all time in household delivery, including the July 24 race at Pocono, (5.14 million households, 4.7 U.S. rating), the July 17 race at New Hampshire (4.95 million households, 4.5 U.S. rating), and the Aug. 21 race at Michigan International Speedway (4.89 million households, 4.5 U.S. rating).(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)
AND Zap2it.com reports a 3.1 Rating with 4,842,000 viewers, last year it was 3.2 national rating and 5,001,000 viewers.(9-28-2005)
- NBC takes over broadcasting races: NBC Sports begins its exclusive coverage of the final eight races in NASCAR’s “Chase for the Nextel Cup” on Sunday live from Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. at 1:30pm/et with the “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show, followed by green flag racing at 2:00pm/et. NBC Sports will use 40 cameras to cover the action at Talladega this weekend, including 24 in-car cameras and a “Crew Cam” in the pits. Bill Weber hosts the “Bank of America Countdown to Green” pre-race show and serves as play-by-play commentator for NASCAR on NBC. Parsons and Wally Dallenbach provide analysis. Allen Bestwick is the lead pit reporter and Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum are pit reporters. NASCAR’s “Chase for the Nextel Cup” continues on NBC next Sunday, Oct. 9 from Kansas Speedway and concludes Sunday, November 20 with the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NBC PR)(9-28-2005)
- MB2 Motorsports New Home almost ready: The NASCAR Nextel Cup teams of MB2 Motorsports are scheduled to move into their new facility in Mooresville, N.C. the week of Oct. 10. The 144,000-square foot complex will give the multi-team organization more than three times the space of its current shop in Concord, N.C. “This will be our third shop since MB2 Motorsports was founded in the summer of 1996,” said Jay Frye, MB2’s CEO and general manager. “Our first shop was in Mooresville, and when we look back at the size of that facility at 8,000 square feet and compare it to what we’re about to move into, it really hits home how far we have come in a relatively short period of time.” The state-of-the-art new MB2 headquarters, located in Iredell County east of I 77 at exit 33, will also include a fan-friendly viewing area of the spacious race shop.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(9-28-2005)
- Target, #41 CGRFS and BCRF Team Up in the Fight Against Breast Cancer In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Target, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and Casey Mears will team up once again to promote breast cancer awareness to racing fans across the country. The #41 Target Dodge will sport a special pink paint scheme for the second year in a row that will carry the logo of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Mears will take the helm of the pink Dodge Charger for five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in October: Talladega, Kansas, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Martinsville and Atlanta. There are 30 million female NASCAR fans in the United States, and according to the most recent statistics, the chances of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her lifetime is about one in seven. Therefore, over four million of NASCAR’s female fans may be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime. Mears will auction his one-of-a-kind BCRF helmet designed and donated by Troy Lee Designs on eBay with all of the proceeds going directly to BCRF. Mears will be wearing this special helmet in all five races in October. The bidding will run from October 1 through the end of month. Target and Action Performance have created a diecast replica of the pink #41 Target Dodge, as well as special Target/BCRF t-shirts and hats. These items will be sold online, at the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates shop and at Mears’ trackside trailer. Target, Action, CGRFS and Mears have all agreed to donate the profits from the sale of these items to the BCRF. Target will unveil, for the second consecutive year, an exclusive line of pink-themed products. The pink product collection will be available online at www.target.com/breastcancer with select items available in stores starting October 1 through October 31. For more information about BCRF visit www.bcrfcure.org.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(9-28-2005)
- Restrictor Plates at Lowe’s Motor Speedway? UPDATE: 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)
- Hendrick was nervous: Car owner Rick Hendrick watched nervously from his home the final laps of the race at Dover recovering from a touch of the flu; however that didn’t stop him from getting word to his rookie driver #5-Kyle Busch prior to racing teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for the win. “I called Doug Duchardt (V.P. of Development) and I said give Alan Gustafson (Busch’s crew chief) a message…tell him to tell Kyle not to do anything stupid…(laughs) Then when the flag dropped on the green, white, checkered I said evidently he didn’t get the message. So, Monday morning I said, you didn’t get my message? Kyle said…I got it….I wasn’t on him…I didn’t touch him! I said, well it was too close for me. But it was good race and a good result.”(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-28-2005)
- Lepage back in the #66 at Talladega: Peak Performance Motorsports owner Jeff Stec announced that NASCAR veteran Kevin Lepage will be back behind the wheel of the #66 EAS Ford for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. “The team enjoyed working with Kevin last weekend at Dover,” said Stec. “Given Kevin’s experience and success on restrictor plate tracks, we think he will help us out a lot this weekend at Talladega.” In the season opener at Daytona, Lepage qualified eighth and finished ninth. Two radio stations will have associate sponsorship positions on the #66 this weekend. Charlotte, N.C.’s Ace & TJ Morning Show, and The Q, a Birmingham, Ala. station heard on 103.7 FM, will ride along in the draft with Lepage. Ace & TJ Morning Show can be heard weekday mornings in Charlotte Monday through Friday. The Q, a sister station to It is a sister station of Birmingham’s KISS 95.1, is an entity of Infinity Broadcasting Systems, and is owned by Clear Channel Radio.(PSE-3 PR)(9-28-2005)
- #4 MuzikMafia scheme at Talladega: MuzikMafia and Morgan-McClure Motorsports, along with Lucas Oil and Wide Open Performance Energy Drink, are pleased to announce that the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy will once again carry the likeness of a MuzikMafia artist. This time it will be Godfather Jon Nicholson, who releases his Warner Bros. debut today, an album that also marks the first release from the Rock ‘N Soul branch of the MuzikMafia. Jon Nicholson’s A Lil Sump’m Sump’m, with its rock and soul driven grooves and alt-folk and country roots, exemplifies the wide-open, all-encompassing artistic reach of the Mafia. Previous MuzikMafia/Morgan-McClure Motorsports collaborations featured Cowboy Troy’s image and the MuzikMafia logos along with a specialty design paint scheme by the MuzikMafia’s only visual artist, Rachel Kice. Those images were featured on the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at the Richmond International Raceway and in March 2005, Rachel attended the Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway as a guest of the #4 Lucas Oil team and painted on a platform in the infield during the race.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports)(9-28-2005)
- Shine On Scheme for #42 at Talladega: The #42 Dodge will sport a special “Shine On” paint scheme this weekend, with the hood displaying the only hexagon Texaco logo ever released by the company. During this time (1963-1980) the company launched the very popular advertising slogan, “trust your car to the man that wears the star.” The “Shine On” series of four different paint schemes pays tribute to Texaco/Havoline’s successful NASCAR history while emphasizing the iconic status of the star. The other “Shine On” events included Texas (April 17), Charlotte (May 29) and Infineon (June 26).(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR), see schemes of each one on my #42 Team Schemes page.(9-28-2005)
News from September 27, 2005
- Martin the only one at Talladega: did ya know….#6-Mark Martin is the only Chase contender with a Nextel Cup race win at Talladega Superspeedway?(9-27-2005)
- Partypoker as a sponsor? hearing partypoker.net could sponsor a third Yates car for 2006 team or take over as the sponsor on the #6 Roush Racing Ford.(9-27-2005)
- #78 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR announced today that Joe Garone, crew chief for the No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Kenny Wallace in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $1,000 for an infraction during last weekend’s event at Dover International Speedway. Garone was fined for an unapproved fuel cell recessed well, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-U (unapproved fuel cell container) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. There were false panels inside the recessed well.(NASCAR PR)(9-27-2005)
- Hall of Fame Racing Crew Chief? UPDATE: Philippe Lopez, a veteran crew chief who worked with the #07 Richard Childress-Dave Blaney team until last month when Childress decided to bring in Scott Miller to run that operation, has apparently moved to the new Roger Staubach-Troy Aikman team, which has been searching for sponsorship [Jayski Note: actually the team announced Texas Instruments as their sponsor on Aug 16th] and a driver for a planned Nextel Cup effort in 2006.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-19-2005)
UPDATEL Philippe Lopez, who was one of the first persons that the late Dale Earnhardt hired when he decided DEI should go Cup racing in 1998, has been named crew chief for the new Hall of Fame Racing operation. Hall of Fame partners Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Bill Saunders have given Lopez the job of putting together the Texas Instruments team that will compete on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2006. “My first priority is to get the shop up and running,” says Lopez, who was working in the research and development department at Richard Childress Racing before taking the job with Hall of Fame Racing. “We are working very closely with Joe Gibbs Racing,” adds Lopez. â€œThat will give us a great advantage right from the start. Jimmy Makar (General Manager at Gibbs) has already been a big help in getting the ball rolling. “You can’t put a price on what they will be bringing to the table as this team gets ready to go Nextel Cup racing. We are quickly getting the shop up and running, sourcing the equipment that we need and hiring the people that we want.” Lopez says the team’s relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing means he does not have to focus on building race cars “any time soon” as JGR will provide the team with Chevrolet Monte Carlos and engines as well as the technology needed to be competitive in the Nextel Cup Series.
Hall of Fame Racing also announced the hiring of Len Batycki as vice president of marketing and John Fuller as comptroller. Batycki has worked in motorsports for more than 15 years. He joined North Carolina Motor Speedway in 1990, working there for almost six years, the last two as vice president of marketing. He moved to Richard Childress Racing in 1996 as vice president of business development. Batycki left RCR in 2002. Shortly afterwards, he was named senior vice president/motorsports group for Ogilvy PR Worldwide. In July 2004, he joined Doug Herbert Performance Parts as executive vice president and general manger. Fuller comes to Hall of Fame Racing from ppc racing. Fuller graduated from Clemson University in 1996 with a degree in accounting. He earned his CPA while working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Fuller joined ppc racing in 1999. Hall of Fame Racing’s shop is located on Twin Lakes Parkway just off I-77.(PR)(9-27-2005)
- Camo Scheme for Sterling at Talladega: In August of 2005, Coors Brewing Company launched a truly unique, one-of-a-kind package, the camouflage can. The 2005 Coors and Coors Light Camouflage Can is the ideal beer container for the American outdoorsman. This packaging will be available in certain markets through November 2005. To further leverage the unique camouflage can, Coors Light will take the packaging to the track! The Coors Light #40 car will be wrapped in the same camouflage pattern as the can for two of this fall’s races at Talladega Superspeedway and Texas Motor Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-27-2005)
- Harvick rumors won’t die….to #11? UPDATE: #29-Kevin Harvick and car owner Richard Childress have said they intend to team again next season, the last year of their current contract, but that hasn’t stopped speculation that car owner Joe Gibbs has been looking at Harvick for a full-time ride with his #11 FedEx-sponsored team.(Winston Salem Journal)
BUT been told that there was a ‘trade’ discussed not too long ago, Harvick to Gibbs and Bobby Labonte to RCR, but it all fell thru and was never really serious.(9-26-2005)
MORE: hearing talk was pretty strong that the Harvick-Labonte trade was moving along until the night of the Bristol race, and Gibbs decided he didn’t want Harvick. Think both drivers are still looking to go to other rides but Harvick’s comments at Bristol ended the Gibbs possibilities. So don’t expect Harvick to go to the #11 car.(9-27-2005)
- Rocker to have songs featured in The Chase promos: former Creed frontman Scott Stapp has announced a partnership with NASCAR that will see tracks from his solo album, The Great Divide, used in spots for the NASCAR Nextel Cup’s Chase for the Championship. The alliance will culminate with Stapp performing the national anthem at the Ford 400 race in Homestead, Florida, on November 20. The Great Divide roars into stores two days later. It’s not the first time Stapp has partnered with NASCAR. In December 2004, he sang a version of Creed’s “Higher” at the auto-racing juggernaut’s end-of-the-year awards show in New York City, a performance that drew the ire of his former bandmates.(MTV.com)(9-27-2005)
- Bobby Allison Official Spokesperson for NASCAR Game: NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison, has reached an agreement to become the official spokesperson for the new NASCAR DVD Board Game, from Specialty Board Games. Set to hit shelves this fall, the NASCAR DVD Board Game incorporates the excitement of racing while testing the players’ knowledge of one of the world’s most favorite sports. Featuring a short and long track on a double-sided board, actual NASCAR footage, 5.0 surround-sound, and interactive DVD technology, the game provides the fans with a realistic experience that brings the excitement of NASCAR into the homes of fans, the object of the game being the first to complete a lap around either a Short Track or Superspeedway and enter Victory Lane. Allison will be making appearances this fall at NASCAR tracks and events, as well as in-store visits and appearances at consumer events and press interviews. In addition, Allison will be partaking in a tour of the markets in which upcoming NASCAR races will be taking place including the following locations: Talladega, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Miami. More info at bobbyallison.com.(9-27-2005)
- Alabama Governor To Proclaim Sunday “Rusty Wallace Day”: Alabama Governor Bob Riley will proclaim Sunday, Oct. 2 as “Rusty Wallace Day” in the state, joining Talladega Superspeedway in special recognition of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver during pre-race ceremonies before the start of the UAW-Ford 500. Wallace will officially retire from full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition at the end of this year, with this 2005 final season in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge titled “Rusty’s Last Call.” In addition to Gov. Riley’s proclamation, Talladega Superspeedway President Grant Lynch will present Wallace with a framed, one-of-a-kind print thanking him for the many memories he’s created over the course of his 25-year career. Also, Wallace and his wife, Patti, will be granted lifetime passes to Talladega Superspeedway. The UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway will be start #699 in the series for Wallace, his 45th here. Great seats are still available to the UAW-Ford 500 event weekend Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at Talladega Superspeedway by calling 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725).(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-27-2005)
- RACEceiver Developers to receive 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award: Joe Vinson and Ken Pirkle, developers of the RACEceiver one-way communications system, will receive the 2005 Bobby Isaac Memorial Award during pre-race ceremonies for the Busch Series race Friday night, Oct. 14, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Bobby Isaac Memorial Award is presented annually by Lowe’s Motor Speedway to an individual or group in recognition of outstanding contribution to short-track racing. Isaac, one of the sport’s outstanding racers, was well known for his short-track exploits and commitment, and it is in his honor the award is named. Vinson and Pirkle founded Innovative Spectator Products in 2001 based on the idea of producing a compact scanner race fans could use to monitor driver-team communications. The RACEceiver was introduced in 2004 and allows officials to warn competitors of on-track hazards, align cars for restarts and communicate other pertinent information to drivers during events. The World of Outlaws sprint car and late model series, the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series and Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway are among the sanctioning bodies and tracks utilizing the RACEceiver. It is also used extensively by 600 Racing for all Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero races across the country. Previous winners of the Bobby Isaac Memorial Award include journalists Chris Economaki and Tom Higgins; promoters Hugh Deery, Henry Furr and John Moose; drivers Jack Ingram and Harry Gant; motorsports equipment manufacturer Brian Butler; and American Sprint Car Series founder Emmett Hahn.(LMS)(9-27-2005)
News from September 26, 2005
- Knaus Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Dover: Jimmy Johnson’s victory at Dover International Speedway this weekend made both him and crew chief Chad Knaus winners. His win in the MBNA 400 moved him to the top point standings, giving him a seven point lead over second place Rusty Wallace, and brought Knaus the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. The most important call of the day came on the final round of pit stops. Knaus elected to change all four tires on the # 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, despite Mark Martin receiving only two tires on his pit stop. Johnson lost a spot on the track, but his fresh rubber paid dividends. He quickly took the lead on the restart and never looked back. “I wasn’t concerned that one person took two tires,” said Knaus. “I was concerned that everyone else was going to take two tires. Fortunately almost everyone took four. We had some good track position to where we had a lead with a couple of seconds gap that we could have taken two tires if we saw everyone else doing that. If we had to pit under green, we would have taken two tires, but under yellow I wanted to take four.”
The panel of voters; including a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all cast their vote for Knaus 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 is in second place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Zipadelli, 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)(9-26-2005)
- Changes to “The Chase” in 2006? There may well be a new rule on points for next year’s championship chase, according to sources who say that NASCAR is considering a separate points system for the 10 leading drivers. Under that this season, Kurt Busch would not have lost as many points for his Loudon crash – Busch was credited with 41st-place points at Loudon, but under the proposed system he would have been credited with 10th place points, and would still be in the hunt. Of course, under such a new system, the worst finish a playoff driver would be credited with each weekend would be 10th – 134 points, losing at most 56 points to the tour leader. At Loudon, Busch finished 35th and got 58 points.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2005)
- Busch to be let out of contract? McMurray in the #97 instead of #6? UPDATE 2: here is a new one….from the Tampa Tribune: When Jamie McMurray [current #42 Texaco driver] joins Roush Racing in 2007, he may drive [Kurt] Busch’s #97 Ford rather than Martin’s #6 Ford as originally planned, Roush said. McMurray is scheduled to join Roush in 2007, after his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing expires. Busch is leaving no later than 2007 to take over Rusty Wallace’s #2 Miller Lite Dodge at Penske Racing South in 2007. Busch’s contract with Roush runs through next year.(Tampa Tribune)(9-13-2005)
UPDATE: Jack Roush confirmed on Sunday that Jamie McMurray, who is slated to move from Chip Ganassi Racing to Roush Racing in 2007, might wind up in the #97 Ford, which is being vacated by Kurt Busch. McMurray originally was pegged as the driver to take over the #6 Ford driven by Mark Martin. “Yes, there is a possibility of that,” Roush said. “We’re having discussions right now with sponsors and have several things on the table.” Roush said he’s close to finalizing his 2006 plans.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
AND hearing Penske Racing and Roush Racing are close to working out as buyout deal for Kurt Busch so he can move to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2006 and not have to wait until 2007, for which Busch signed to start.(9-19-2005)
UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace said lawyers are currently working to get Kurt Busch out of his contract at Roush Racing so he can drive the #2 Dodge at Penske Racing South next year. “I know he wants to drive the car next year,” Wallace said. “They’re trying to get everything worked out.”(Augusta Chronicle)(9-26-2005)
- ‘No’ to the new Dodge nose…again? NASCAR officials are not expected to approve the new aerodynamic nose piece that Dodge teams have been politicking for much of the season. Dodge teams are not pleased with that, pointing out that Ford and Chevrolet will both have new cars next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-26-2005)
- more on the Car of Tomorrow: NASCAR is expected to meet with owners this week to discuss the car of tomorrow. Top owners in the garage are worried about the cost; each new car is expected to cost $150,000-plus. Multiply that by 25 cars per team and the total will make it impossible for many organizations to stay in business. The first test of the restrictor-plate car of tomorrow is scheduled for October 3. NASCAR hopes to have the new car ready for competition for the 2007 season.(Sporting News/Lee Spencer)(9-26-2005)
News from September 25, 2005
- Johnson wins at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, holding off teammate #5-Kyle Busch on a green-white-checkered finish to win for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd at Dover and 17th of his career. The win vaulted Johnson into the Points Lead, 7 over #2-Rusty Wallace. Wallace finished 3rd, followed by #6-Mark Martin and #12-Ryan Newman [the pole sitter]. #20-Tony Stewart, the points leader going into today action, had a tough day all day and even with two lucky dog passes still only finished 18th, 2 laps down. #17-Matt Kenseth had a tire go down early, lost a lap, got the luck dog, then late in the race had another tire go down, smacked the wall and retired the #17 Ford in 35th. #97-Kurt Busch finished 23rd, 3 laps off the pace after tire woes and is now 170 points back in 10th spot. Busch led the most laps with 192. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a stout car early in the race, but had brake problems, made an unscheduled pit stop, lost 7 laps and ended up 31st. #38-Elliott Sadler finished 6th and has a 40 point lead over #29-Kevin Harvick for 11th points place. No tempers or crazy wrecks this week, a few tire problems and debris on the track were about it.(9-25-2005)
For the race rundown, with caution info, lap leaders, some race notes and lucky dogs, see my Dover Race Info/Rundown Page.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s Dover Race Results/Awards page.(9-25-2005)
- Martin still to run Truck Series in 2006: Mark Martin’s future is finally coming into focus and that includes another stint behind the wheel of the #6 Roush Racing Ford. Martin started the 2005 season thinking this would be his last year as a full-time Nextel Cup driver. Those plans changed in midstream when car owner Jack Roush signed Jamie McMurray to fill Martin’s position. There was only one hitch. McMurray won’t drive the #6 until 2007. Chip Ganassi keeps saying he will hold McMurray to his driving contract, which expires at the end of the 2006 season. Since the beginning of summer, Roush has been chasing Martin to stay put for one more campaign. Martin said he will continue with his grand scheme to form a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team under the Roush Racing umbrella. He plans to make his debut run in the truck at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. “The first truck is finished,” he reported last week. “I sat in it on Monday.” Martin, who has secured the #6 for truck competition next season [Kevin Harvick Inc rus Hornaday in the #6 this year], said he will make at least seven truck starts in addition to his hustling, bustling Nextel Cup schedule in 2006. Another driver, or drivers, will occupy the seat of the #6 Ford to fill out the remainder of the schedule. If Martin’s long-range plans work this time, he will be a full-time NCTS driver beginning in 2007.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-25-2005)
- Newman going for the sweep UPDATE – didn’t happen: #12-Ryan Newman won the pole at Dover for the Nextel Cup race and in the #39 Dodge for the Busch Series race at Dover. Newman is the first driver to sweep both the Cup and Busch Series poles at the same track since #9-Kasey Kahne did so at Richmond in May. Kahne won the Cup race but finished 4th [Edwards won]. As far as I know, no driver has ever won both poles and races in the Busch/Cup Series at the same track on the same weekend. Joe Nemechek won both races at Kansas last Oct, but only the Cup pole and Carl Edwards won both poles at Atlanta and the Cup race this past March, he is the only driver to get his first Busch win and first Cup win on the same weekend at the same track. So if Newman can win both races, he will be the first driver to sweep both the pole and win for both the Busch and Cup race at the same track in the same weekend.
One more step: Newman won the Busch Series race at Dover, so needs to win the Cup race to sweep.(9-24-2005)
No sweep: Newman finished 5th in the Cup race, so still no double pole/win sweep.(9-25-2005)
- NASCAR to threaten drivers at Dover: Behave or else UPDATE: If NASCAR has its way, the road rage that has erupted in recent Nextel Cup races is over. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Thursday that Mike Helton, the sanctioning organization’s president, will tell the drivers before Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway that such behavior will no longer be tolerated and that they will risk being suspended if there is more on-track retaliation. “With what Mike is planning to do at the drivers’ meetings on Saturday, prior to the Busch race, and on Sunday is going to sort of give our guys, I don’t want to say a final warning, but I think they’ll clearly understand that we’re going to do what we need to,” Hunter said Thursday in a telephone interview. “If we need to suspend people, then, starting at Dover, that’s a possibility.”(ESPN.com/AP)(9-23-2005)
UPDATE: In the drivers meeting prior to Saturday’s Busch Series race, NASCAR president Mike Helton addressed the recent on-track incidents – which have included wrecks, retaliations, confrontations under caution and colorful language and gestures – seen in both Busch and Cup races. Helton warned drivers, crew chiefs and team owners that NASCAR “has had enough” of these on-track activities. He read aloud, word for word, from the official Busch Series rule book, Section 12-2 – the Emergency Action section. It states:
If the act or omission of a member is determined by a NASCAR official or supervisory official to constitute a threat to the orderly conduct of the event, that NASCAR official may take temporary emergency action against the member. Such emergency action may include ejection from the racing premises, suspension of membership and license, or any other action designed to remove the threat created by the member.
Helton then reminded those present that this was not a bulletin or a new rule. It had always been in both series’ rule books and that starting immediately NASCAR will enforce the rule to the letter, meaning drivers and teams shouldn’t be surprised to see severe penalties handed down in the future. Helton is expected to deliver an identical message during Sunday morning’s Nextel Cup drivers meeting.(Yahoo Sports)(9-25-2005)
- Robby’s Helmet to be auctioned off UPDATE 3 Bidding Over: Making some good from a tough situation, Robby Gordon on Tuesday pledged to further assist the Harrah’s Employee Relief Fund, which was established following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, by auctioning off his race helmet used in Sunday’s event at New Hampshire International Speedway. (9-20-2005)
UPDATE: The Robby Gordon eBay auction for the helmet Gordon wore during Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway will be reinstated at 10:00pm/et on Wed, Sept 21st [have it up on my Charities page]. Officials at Robby Gordon Motorsports, along with representatives of eBay, conferred on Wednesday afternoon and chose to allow Auction Cause, an on-line auction expert that assists non-profit organizations in maximizing fundraising efforts, to manage the process. Most notably, Auction Cause has the ability to properly pre-qualify bidders on the eBay site. The original bidding exceeded $10 million on Wednesday, and given the traffic on the site, it was difficult to determine the validity of all the bidders. The new auction will end on Saturday evening.(9-21-0005)
AND Robby Gordon and Michael Waltrip were on Speed Channel’s Trackside and Mikey signed the helmet and both drivers apologized for thier part in the incidents at New Hampshire. Today is the final day to bid on the helmet until around 10:10pm/et.(9-24-2004)
UPDATE 3: the final winning bid was $51,100.00.(9-25-2005)
- Driver Points Standing after Dover race 2 of 10 in the Chase:
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 5362
#2-Rusty Wallace, -7
#12-Ryan Newman, -12
#6-Mark Martin, -21
#20-Tony Stewart, -23 [5 wins, 4 2nds, gets spot]
#16-Greg Biffle, -23 [5 wins, 1 2nd]
#19-Jeremy Mayfield, -81
#99-Carl Edwards, -103
#17-Matt Kenseth, -124
#97-Kurt Busch, -170
and the fight for 11th and the $1 million
#29-Kevin Harvick, -40 out of 11th
#42-Jamie McMurray, -47
#24 Jeff Gordon, -72.(9-25-2005)
For points standing, see my Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after Dover page.(9-25-2005)
- How did 10 drivers in The Chase do at Dover:
#20-Stewart, 18th, 2 laps down, drops to 5th in points
#16-Biffle, 13th, 1 lap down, drops to 6th
#12-Newman, 5th, starys in 3rd
#2-Wallace, 3rd, up to 2nd, 7 points back
#17-Kenseth, 35th DNF, drops to 9th
#48-Johnson, WIN, take points lead
#6-Martin, 4th, moves up to 4th
#19-Mayfield, 7th, moves up a spot to 6th
#99-Edwards, 9th, moves up to 8th
#97-Busch, loses tire, 23rd, 3 laps down, stays 10th
- Unofficial “Classic” Points Standings – Top 15
….the old way, not the Chase after Dover, race 28 of 36:
1) #20-Tony Stewart, 4005
2) #16-Greg Biffle, 3825, -180
3) #2-Rusty Wallace, 3727, -278
4) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 3727, -278
5) #6-Mark Martin, 3589, -416
6) #19-Jeremy Mayfield, 3489, -516
7) #97-Kurt Busch, 3466, -539
8) #12-Ryan Newman, 3400, -605
9) #99-Carl Edwards, 3358, -647
10) #17-Matt Kenseth, 3337, -668
11) #38-Elliott Sadler, 3222, -783
12) #29-Kevin Harvick, 3182, -823
13) #42-Jamie McMurray, 3175, -830
14) #24-Jeff Gordon, 3150, -855
15) #88-Dale Jarrett, 3085, -920
- Dover Race Notes:
• Jimmie Johnson won the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, scoring his 17th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 139th career start.
• Johnson scored his third victory in 2005. His last victory came at Charlotte in May, 16 races ago. Johnson also won at Las Vegas in March.
• Johnson has scored 17 top-10 finishes in 28 races in 2005.
• Johnson climbed from fifth to first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Johnson has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 61 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.
• Johnson won the $60,000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus for winning the race and leading the point standings after the race. It marked the fifth time in 2005 that the bonus has been won. Johnson also won it at Las Vegas ($30,000) and Charlotte ($90,000) while Stewart won it at Indianapolis ($90,000) and Watkins Glen ($10,000).
• This is Johnson’s 16th career superspeedway victory in 108 career superspeedway races.
• Johnson led four times for 134 laps including the final 28.
• Johnson scored the 10th victory for car owner Rick Hendrick at Dover International Speedway, the most of any owner. This was Hendrick’s 137th victory as a car owner and seventh in 28 races this season.
• Kurt Busch led 192 of the 400 laps raced, leading the most laps for the fifth time this season.
The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup-Week No. 2
• Jimmie Johnson took the point lead in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by just seven points over second-place Rusty Wallace. Johnson, along with nine other drivers, will race over the remaining eight races of the season to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million:
• Eight drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at Dover.
• Kurt Busch (35th at New Hampshire and 23rd at Dover) 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 170 points behind point leader Jimmie Johnson.
• 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.
• Only two of the “Ford Five” of Jack Roush Racing finished in the top 10: Mark Martin (fourth) and Carl Edwards (ninth).
• Ryan Newman (first at New Hampshire and fifth at Dover) is the only driver to score top-five finishes in the first two races in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
• Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin have each scored top-10 finishes in the first two races in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
• Elliott Sadler (sixth) climbed from 14th to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• A total of $1 Million will be paid to the driver who finishes 11th in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. The 11th-place driver will also join the top-10 drivers on stage at the Awards Banquet in New York.
• Kyle Busch (second) scored his third top-five finish in his last four races. He also finished second here in June.
• Tony Stewart (18th) ended a streak of 13 straight top-10 finishes that began with a second-place finish at Michigan in June. Stewart dropped from first to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings ending his seven-race streak as leader of the standings.
• Rusty Wallace (third) scored his fourth finish of sixth or better in his last five races. Wallace climbed from fourth to second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He extended a 41-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 23 top-15 finishes in 28 races in 2005.
Heading to Talladega
• Greg Biffle has never scored a top-10 finish at Talladega.
• Kurt Busch has scored three top-10 finishes in his last four races at Talladega.
• Mark Martin has scored only one finish better than 15th at Talladega in his last seven races there.
• Tony Stewart has finished second at Talladega four times, but has never won there.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-25-2005)
- Rumblings – Dover: Jimmie Johnson passed Mark Martin on lap 377, then held off his teammate Kyle Busch to take today’s MBNA RacePoints 404 at Dover International Speedway. It was his third win of the season (he won at Lowe’s in May and Las Vegas in February), his third at Dover, the 17th of his career (he’s tied with Jeff Burton, Marvin Panch, and Curtis Turner for 37th on the all-time win list) and the 137th for Hendrick Motorsports. It was worth $296,641 from the over $4.9M in posted awards. Another Green/White/Checker today….and still we survived it! Lately, you could get in more trouble under caution!
Rusty Wallace (3rd) had his best finish since he was runner-up at Pocono in July.
Mark Martin (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Pocono in July.
Elliott Sadler (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Infineon in June.
Kyle Petty (8th) had his best finish since he was 8th at Bristol in April.
Dave Blaney (20th) had his best finish since he was 20th at Pocono in July.
J. J. Yeley (25th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 27th at Atlanta last October.
STREAKIN…..Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10’s in the last 5 races.
Kyle Busch had 3 Top-5’s in the last 4 races.
This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Kyle Petty (+26), followed by Jeff Burton (+25), and Carl Edwards (+23). DOWN: The Big Dropper is a tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr (-27) and Sterling Marlin (-27), followed by Bobby Hamilton Jr (-25), Matt Kenseth (-24), and Scott Wimmer (-20). Little E has the most Ops this season (5), but surprisingly (with the way his season has gone) this is his first BD of the year.
In the “Chase” Standings we had a major shakeup as Jimmie Johnson grabs the point by 7 markers over Rusty Wallace. We’ve got six drivers within 23 points of the lead, and everybody from 7th on down’s got a major hill to climb.
In “Classic” points, Elliott Sadler has claimed that all-important 10th loser spot by 40 points over Kevin Harvick. Sadler (14th to 11th) and Kyle Petty (31st to 28th) made the best moves forward today, while four drivers (Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr) all fell two spots each.(Stock Car Fans)(9-25-2005)
News from September 24, 2005
- Yates looking for top crew chief for #38: Robert Yates Racing will likely go after a top-name crew chief [Tommy Baldwin? see my #38 Team News page for that] to serve as the leader of Elliott Sadler’s #38 team next season, the team said Friday at Dover International Raceway. The two-car operation moved Todd Parrott back to head Dale Jarrett’s #88 team this week. The two won the championship in 1999, but the pair split after the 2001 season. #38-Elliott Sadler will run the final nine races with engineer Kevin Buskirk atop the pit box. “I am just here on a temporary basis,” Buskirk said. “We will gain back some of the momentum that we lost.”(NASCAR.com)(9-24-2005)
- Biffle still sore, credit HANS for saving him: #16-Greg Biffle told Claire B. Lang of XM Satellite NASCAR Radio on Friday that it’s clear to him that the HANS device saved his life after a very hard crash at Lowe’s Motor Speedway testing this week. In fact, he’s still hurting this weekend at Dover. “A good possiblity I wouldn’t be alive,” he said when she asked him what would have happened had he not had the HANS device on at LMS testing this week. “We were 33 laps into a run on a set of tires and the right front failed. It blew out and we went straight into the fence….I hit over 170mph. I mean I’m screwed up,” he said. “My shoulders hurt my neck hurt. Then, (I) turned around and did it the next night, backwards. That’s as hard as you hit. I mean I went down in the corner was three quarters in the way across the corner flat on the throttle and we’re running 28.80’s probably going 200 miles an hour. The thing hit the fence just so squared off I mean it was like nearly probably 60 degree impact angle in the fence. You know it was..unbelievable.” Biffle is still sore at Dover.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(9-24-2005)
- Rudd still undecided: #21-Ricky Rudd still hasn’t decided what he wants to do next year, and the Wood brothers are getting restless in getting an answer. If Rudd returns for another season, the Wood brothers would likely put Jon Wood, the third generation, in a Cup car for seven races to get his feet wet for a full Cup campaign in 2007. If Rudd doesn’t come back, Jon Wood would get the ride full-time next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-24-2005)
- RCR Joins The Motorsport Industry Association: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has been accepted as the newest international member of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), and the UK association’s first US-based NASCAR stock car racing team organization. The MIA works tirelessly to strengthen its network of contacts within the worldwide motorsport industry, including the NASCAR sector, and the membership for RCR will open up the world market through the MIA’s membership on all continents.
Chris Aylett, CEO of the MIA, said “North Carolina, USA and Motorsport Valley in the UK are far closer than geography suggests. The culture of the motorsport businesses in both of these highly successful business communities is based on success. RCR’s decision to join the MIA and become the first NASCAR team to do so cements the closeness of those relationships. The MIA will offer access to a truly global motorsport business network from which RCR will gain commercial and competitive advantage. I am delighted that this outstanding company has chosen to join our membership, and we look forward to helping them succeed in whatever way we can.”
“RCR is honored to be the first NASCAR team to be accepted into the Motorsport Industry Association,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “The process began when we hired Nick Hayes (former technical director for Cosworth) earlier this year to head our engine research and development program. Gaining a competitive edge in racing is very important, whether it’s NASCAR, Formula 1 or at the local dirt track. Being an MIA member will provide RCR with the opportunity to build relationships to achieve that edge and we hope to be able do the same for other members.”
The MIA is a truly global network and has a strong presence in both the UK and the US as well as a liaison office in the Far East. The MIA offers a wide range of motorsport-specific services including market research, conferences, networking events and exhibitions, as well as a number of trade missions to events in the US, the Gulf, and the Far East. For more info on the MIA and its international events, see the-mia.com.(RCR PR)(9-24-2005)
- Pre-Race Activities at Dover:
* A special tribute to Rusty Wallace will include a proclamation by Governor Ruth Ann Minner, declaring Sept. 25, 2005 “Rusty Wallace Day.” Mayor Stephen Speed will present Wallace with a key to the City of Dover. Frank McKelvey, Sr. Executive Vice President of MBNA, and Denis McGlynn, CEO and president of Dover International Speedway, will also present Wallace with gifts.
* 43 lucky fans who have attended races at Dover International Speedway for 20 years or more will participate in pre-race, and will hold the American flag at each pit stall during the singing of the National Anthem. The winners were selected from an online promotion orchestrated by the Speedway.
* Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, will give the command “Gentlemen Start your Engines” on Sunday for the MBNA RacePoints 400. Cartwright is in Dover to promote “The Kelly’s” an animated series about a stock car racing family. The series will debut immediately after the race on NASCAR.COM and will feature 18 short-form episodes optimized for broadband Internet viewing. New episodes will appear weekly at NASCAR.COM.
* The 200-piece Tiger Marching Alexis I. DuPont High School from Wilmington, Del., will perform.
* A 40-piece United States Army Field Band will also perform throughout the ceremony.(DIS PR)(9-24-2005)
News from September 23, 2005
- Newman wins pole at Dover: #12-Ryan Newman won the Budweiser Pole for the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway with a fast lap of 158.102mph for his 6th pole of 2005 and 33rd of his career. #9-Kasey Kahne starting 2nd, followed by #5-Kyle Busch, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Jimmie Johnson. The best qualifying Ford was the #6 of Mark Martin at 7th. Points leader, #20-Tony Stewart qualified 31st. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed, qualifying 8th. Missing the race were: #89-Shepherd, #92-Sadler, #08-McGlynn, #34-McCarthy and #75-Anderson [who didn’t make an attempt].(9-23-2005)
For starting lineup, qualifying results, practice speeds, qualifying order and more, see Jayski’s Dover Practice/Qualifying/Lineup Page.(9-23-2005)
- Waltrip, NAPA to Bill Davis Racing – It’s OFFICIAL: Michael Waltrip and NAPA Auto PartsS announced today they have entered into a partnership with Bill Davis Racing (BDR) for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. Nine victories and eight poles are shared between the parties including three Daytona 500 rings and a Southern 500 victory. Bill Davis Racing’s achievements lured Waltrip to their High Point, N.C. race shop. “I like the way Bill does business and he has created a strong organization,” Waltrip explained. “NAPA and I look forward to continuing our winning ways at Bill Davis Racing on the track, as well as extending our successful marketing efforts off the track.” Waltrip and NAPA were teamed up by the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001 when their initial race together put them in victory lane at the Daytona 500. Since then, the pair has taken advantage of their union to create one of the strongest partnerships in the sport.
“Teaming with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. for the past five years has been the highlight of my NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career to date,” continued Waltrip. “I look toward my future with NAPA and BDR with gratitude to DEI for the memories and friendships I have formed.”
“It is no secret that our association with Michael has been a key ingredient of our marketing efforts,” said Bob Susor, president of NAPA Auto PartsS. “Race fans associate NAPA Auto PartsS with Michael Waltrip and vice versa. Michael has promoted our brand in his own unique style. Moving forward, we are pleased to announce our continued support of Michael Waltrip and a new partnership with Bill Davis Racing. This begins a new chapter in NASCAR team sponsorship for NAPA. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the many successes NAPA has enjoyed during our tenure with DEI such as two NASCAR Truck Series Championships and two Daytona 500 victories. We will value our DEI association and wish them nothing but the best in their future efforts.”
Next year will be Bill Davis Racing’s 14th year of competition on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series level, the team’s 19th year in NASCAR competition. As a NASCAR team owner, Davis has worked with some of the sport’s top drivers achieving wins in all three premier divisions of NASCAR, totaling 18 victories, 100 top-five finishes and 250 top-10 finishes.
Davis currently fields one full-time NEXTEL Cup Series team with Scott Wimmer driving the #22 Caterpillar Dodge Charger. In 2004, Davis expanded his operations to house three full-time truck teams in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The teams include Mike Skinner in the #5 Toyota Tundra, Bill Lester in the #22 Toyota Tundra, and Johnny Benson in the #23 Toyota Tundra.
“NAPA and Michael Waltrip are the perfect combination to re-establish our two-car Cup team in 2006,” said Davis. “NAPA and Michael are held in high regard in our sport and have been successful in each Series they have competed. We plan to build on their success and create a very competitive team next year and beyond.” There will be a Q&A session at the #22 CAT Racinghauler in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage at 10:10am/et Friday, Sept. 23.(Bill Davis Racing)), no mention of car number or if #22 driver, Scott Wimmer will be back.(9-23-2005)
- Petty’s and Sprint Car Series? UPDATE 3: hearing there is supposed to be a press conference scheduled at Dover to announce the new sprint car league being formed by Petty Enterprises, called the National Sprint Car League?(9-21-2005)
UPDATE: Been told Tony Stewart is involved and hearing the Petty family has a financial interest in thsi new series that will go head-to-head with World of Outlaws with a couple of Speedway Motorsports tracks. Also hearing that 12 of the top 17 WoO drivers are going with the new series, including Steve Kinser. Look for an announcement from Dover on Friday.(9-22-2005)
UPDATE 2: Sprint car racing’s biggest names have split into two separate series for 2006, drivers confirmed Wednesday. The World of Outlaws, owned by DIRT Motorsports, will retain five of its 18 full-time drivers — Altoona’s Terry McCarl, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz — and plans to add more for 2006. Danny Lasoski, who drives for Tony Stewart Motorsports, represents one of 13 current Outlaws teams who have signed with the National Sprintcar League for the 2006 season. The group is backed by Petty Enterprises and has lured drivers such as Steve and Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Tim Shaffer. Lasoski said he would not run any Outlaws-sanctioned events next season, and was unsure what would happen regarding a possible non-sanctioned 2006 Knoxville Nationals. He added that NASCAR names such as Stewart, Kasey Kahne, the Pettys and Dave Blaney would field cars in the National Sprintcar League next season.(Des Moines Register)(9-23-2005)
UPDATE 3 – official: Richard Petty Driving Experience, a leader in providing high quality motorsports entertainment, announced the formation of the National SprintCar League. Steve Kinser, 19 – time World of Outlaws series champion, and 11 other current World of Outlaws drivers and teams have joined the newly formed NSL beginning in 2006. The NSL has signed the following twelve current World of Outlaws series drivers and teams to 3-year agreements beginning with the 2006 season: Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Danny “The Dude” Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana, Jason Sides, Brian Paulus, Brandon Wimmer, Shane Stewart and Jason Solwold. The series has also received commitments from 3 – time World of Outlaws series champion Sammy Swindell, 16 – time World of Outlaws championship car owner Karl Kinser and long time team owner Dennis Roth to run in 2006. The NSL is making significant progress in organizing the 2006 championship schedule and is in discussions with several corporate partners regarding series sponsorship. In addition, the group is in the process of securing a comprehensive television package for the series. See full press release at nationalsprintcarleague.com.(9-23-2005)
- New Hampshire TV Ratings up 21%: The Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway garnered a 3.4 Houeshold Rating on TNT with 3,786,000 households viewing and with 5,505,000 viewers and was 3rd behind the Chief-Radiers NFL game on ESPN [6.9 ratings] and interestingly enough the Post-Race show on TNT, just after the race [4:49 to 5:00pm/et] which had a 3.7 ratings, 4,113,000 households and 6,124,000 viewers.(Zap2it.com)
in 2004 the New Hampshire race on TNT had a rating of 2.8 and total households watching at 3,024,000.(9-23-2005)
- #97 Back in Crown Royal Purple at Dover: For the final time this season, the #97 Ford Taurus will be coated with Crown Royal purple & gold for the NASCAR Cup race at Dover International Speedway this Sunday, including a special logo that commemorates the Crown Royal Relief initiative. Previously, Busch drove the Crown Royal car to a victory at Richmond on September 10. To help aid relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims in the Gulf Coast area, Crown Royal and Diageo are auctioning on eBay a one-of-a-kind 2004 Chip Collins Custom Crown Royal Chopper motorcycle, including a helmet signed by the last two NASCAR Nextel Cup champions – Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. Bidding started on September 19 and will be open through September 29, more info on my Racing Charities page.
Voting for the Crown Royal IROC Legends of Victory Lane program has come to a close and now the four finalists that will be named to the first all-time IROC team will be announced and take part in special ceremonies at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Oct. 29 race weekend. The nominees include: Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Dale Earnhardt, Hurley Haywood, Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough.(Alan Taylor Communications), see an image of the car on my #97 Team Schemes page.(9-23-2005)
- Baseball says it is #2 in TV Ratings: Major League Baseball officials are beginning to dispute NASCAR’s assertion that when it comes to television ratings, stock car racing takes a back seat only to the NFL. In the 2005 Nextel Cup series media guide, NASCAR proclaims itself “the #2 rated sport on television in the United States.”
Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive vice president/business, says when ratings for baseball’s biggest events are included in the comparison, baseball’s network television ratings were 23% higher than NASCAR’s last year. “People can say whatever they want to say, but the facts speak for themselves,” Brosnan says. “When it comes to network television, baseball is the No. 2 sport.” Brosnan cites research from Nielsen Media, saying in 2004 NASCAR’s 26 races televised on NBC and Fox averaged a 5.6 rating; that includes ratings for races in the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the playoff-style championship format introduced last season. Baseball’s 43 Fox telecasts in 2004, including playoffs and the All-Star Game, averaged a 6.9. One ratings point is equivalent to 1% of U.S. TV households.
NASCAR officials maintain their network ratings are higher than baseball’s for most of the year, making them the No. 2 TV sport. “We know pundits are going to come up with various ways to dispute facts in every situation,” NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said via e-mail. “However, we are proud to hold the No. 2 position on television.”(USA Today)(9-23-2005)
- More on TNT not having a delay and highlights for this Sunday: NBC/TNT producer Sam Flood had a simple answer about why Robby Gordon’s ‘bad word’ was not delayed and beeped out. “It’s cable,” Flood said. “TNT isn’t on a delay, was never on a delay and will never be on a delay.” The rules are much different for cable outlets like TNT. Currently, the FCC has the power to fine over-the-air radio and television broadcasters for indecency violations. For example, over-the-air outlets are prohibited from broadcasting excretory or sexual content between 6:00am and 10:00pm, when it is more likely that children will be watching. Cable channels, like TNT, do not have the same restrictions.
TNT has its final Nextel Cup Series race broadcast of the season Sunday at Dover. Among the pre-race features planned:
• A profile of last week’s race winner, Ryan Newman
• A review of last weekend’s wild race at New Hampshire
• Wally welcomes Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis to “Wally’s World.”[Lewis canceled, no reason]
- Biffle on “Yes Dear, Oct 5th”: Jimmy (Mike O’Malley) and Greg (Anthony Clark) become partners in the next lawn mower race after Jimmy comes in last place due to a slow lawn mower, on YES, DEAR, Wednesday, Oct. 5 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Mark Cendrowski directed the episode written by Gigi McCreery and Perry Rein. NASCAR driver Greg Biffle guests stars as one of competitors in the lawn mower competition. Jimmy enters himself in an amateur lawn mower racing contest but is discouraged when he comes in last place in his first race. Seeing the disappointment in Sammy’s face, Greg decides to finance the next competition as a way to bond with his son, who is part of Jimmy’s pit crew. But when Greg starts acting like an owner instead of a sponsor, Jimmy pulls out of the race leaving an inexperienced Greg worried that he might have to step in.(CBS Entertainment PR)(9-23-2005)
- Dover Qualfying News and Notes:
• Ryan Newman won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the MBNA RacePoints 400, lapping Dover International Speedway in 22.770 seconds at 158.102 mph. Jeremy Mayfield holds the track-qualifying record of 22.288 seconds, 161.522 mph, set June 4, 2004.
• This is Newman’s 33rd career Bud Pole in 144 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
• Newman moved to a tie with Fred Lorenzen on the [17th] all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Bud Pole list.
• This is Newman’s second Bud Pole and seventh top-10 start in eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Dover.
• There have been five different Bud Pole winners in the last nine races at Dover, but only two in the past five. Jeremy Mayfield (both 2004) and Newman (June 2003 and September 2005) are the only repeat Bud Pole winners at Dover since the fall of 2001. Qualifying was canceled due to weather in September 2003 and June 2005.
• Kasey Kahne posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 22.919 seconds, 157.074 mph – and will join Newman on the front row for the MBNA RacePoints 400. This is Kahne’s first start better than 12th in four Dover races.
• This is the ninth Bud Pole for Dodge in 2005 – but their first sine Pocono in July. Chevrolet has 12 Bud Poles and Ford has five. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Kyle Busch (third) posted his ninth top-10 start in 2005. Busch started 22nd and finished second in July – his only Dover appearance.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fourth) has started from the top 10 in five of his 12 races at Dover. It is just his fourth top-10 start this season, including each of the past two races.
• Jimmie Johnson (fifth) posted his sixth top-10 start in eight races at Dover. It is his 16th top-10 start in 2005 and his third in the past four races.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th by Kyle Petty in June 1995.
• Forty-four of 71 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Dover have been won from a top five starting position while only 13 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
• Six of the last nine NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Dover have been won from a top-five starting position.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-23-2005)
- Ramblings – Dover: It was a double-dip Friday for the Rocket Man today as Ryan Newman took the Bud Pole for Sunday’s MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway with a time of 22.770 (158.102 mph). Scoop #1 was served earlier when he took the pole for tomorrow’s Busch 200 miler. This was pole #6 on the season for Newman (no one else has more than two) and the 33rd of his NEXTEL Cup career. Newman will be joined on the front-row by Kasey Kahne….this is Kasey’s best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Loudon in July.
Kyle Busch (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at California in February.
Scott Wimmer (16th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Pocono in July.
Kevin Lepage (35th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 24th at Daytona in July (only 4 races).
STREAKIN…..Jimmie Johnson has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
Mark Martin has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
Kurt Busch has 3 Top-10 starts in the last 4 races.
Gonna be a long day for the “Chasers” on Sunday as this race can last an eternity…..especially if you’re looking for the handle. Everybody seems to be playing nice so far (it is only Friday), but after Mike Helton gives them a talkin’ to pre-race we’ll see if it lasts.(Stock Car Fans)(9-23-2005)
- Dover Average Finish for the 10 drivers in The Chase:
#20-Stewart, 5.0, 2 wins
#16-Biffle, 18.0, 1 win
#12-Newman, 6.7, 3 wins
#2-Wallace, 12.6, 3 wins
#48-Johnson, 13.4, 2 wins
#6-Martin, 13.4, 4 wins
- Bill Davis Racing/Waltrip Announcement UPDATE 2 Mikey on Trackside: Bill Davis hopes to improve that situation [one car team] by having his second [Cup] entry return to the tour full-time next year. He intends to announce details of the program this week. Garage speculation in recent weeks has targeted Michael Waltrip as the driver [with NAPA as the sponsor]. “Like every one over here, we were looking at ways to get better,” Davis said. “Going to a two-car team will help, with all the advantages that entails from testing and sharing information.” Also of note, when Mike Skinner won a truck race a few weeks ago Davis became just the sixth owner in history to win in all of NASCAR’s top three series, joining Jack Roush, Rick Hendrick, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress.(High Point Enterprise)(9-15-2005)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip said on this weeks Inside Nextel Cup show that he would announce his 2006 plans on Speed Channel’s Trackside show from Dover, which airs this Friday at 7:00pm/et [re-air at 11:00pm/et].(9-21-2005)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip will announce Friday [on Trackside] that he has signed a one-year deal to drive a second car for Davis next season. Davis entered two cars in most races from 2000 to 2003 but cut back last season and now fields only Scott Wimmer’s #22 Dodge. Wimmer hasn’t had a top-10 finish this season and enters Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway 33rd in points. Waltrip will bring NAPA Auto Partss, his current sponsor at Dale Earnhardt Inc., with him to Davis; Waltrip, 42, announced in July that he would not return to DEI in 2006. Davis’ team fields Dodges in Nextel Cup but doesn’t receive technical or financial support from the automaker. Dodge sued the team in 2003 after it discovered team members were doing development work for Toyota’s Craftsman Truck Series program. Though Waltrip says the lack of factory support has “probably been a disadvantage” for Davis, the possibility of aligning himself with Toyota — which hasn’t announced plans to join Nextel Cup but is expected to do so in 2007 — was part of the attraction. “I guess it was a consideration on my part to see what might be next,” Waltrip said.(USA Today), have seen the NAPA PR and it doesn’t address the car number Waltrip will drive [#22? #23? #00?] nor if Scott Wimmer will be back in the #22 Caterpillar Dodge in 2006, although Caterpillar is signed with Davis until 2007.(9-23-2005)
News from September 22, 2005
- DEI to appeal Waltrip penalty: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(DEI) is going to appeal the points and monetary fine placed against the #15 NAPA Parts Chevrolet from last week’s race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Waltrip, driver of the #15 NAPA Chevrolet, was fined 25 driver points and $10,000 for allegedly using an “inappropriate gesture during a televised broadcast.” Teresa Earnhardt, CEO and President of Dale Earnhardt, Inc, was also fined 25 owner points. “In looking at the tape, we don’t see anywhere during the entire incident where Michael did what he is accused of doing,” said Richie Gilmore, Vice President of Motorsports for DEI.(DEI PR)(9-22-2005)
- Furniture Row Racing to make Cup debut at Dover: Furniture Row Racing will debut their #78 Chevy at the Dover International Speedway on September 25. T he newly formed stand-alone NEXTEL Cup team has signed veteran driver Kenny Wallace to a five-race deal headed up by team manger Joe Garone. “We’ll be testing before every race to make sure the car is competitive, so we do this CUP deal right,” explains Wallace. Based in Denver, Colorado Furniture Row Racing is the NEXTEL Cup Series newest team, formed and sponsored by Furniture Row Companies [furniturerow.com]. The company also sponsors the #78 car in the Busch Series driven by Jerry Robertson. Furniture Row Companies is the fourth largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailer. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Oak Express, Sofa Mart, Bedroom Expressions, Denver Mattress Company and Furniture Row Outlets. Furniture Row operates more than 250 stores nationwide; the company is among the “Top 15” national furniture retailers.(Furniture Row Racing site)(9-22-2005)
- CAT Chopper at Dover IMAGE: Some may have to do a double-take at the #22 Dodge of Scott Wimmer this weekend at Dover International Speedway, because it will have the CAT Chopper riding alongside it … well, on the side of it. Earlier this year on the Discovery Channel hit “American Chopper” series, the father-and-son duo—the Teutuls—created the “CAT Chopper.” The bike was featured on the popular series during the months of April and August and has been touring the country since its completion, traveling to CAT dealers for open houses, bike rallies and more. The original CAT Chopper will be on display at Dover International Speedway this Sunday just outside the Caterpillar hospitality tent. Go to cat.com and click on “showcases” to learn more about the CAT Chopper, but don’t forget to check it out for yourself this weekend at Dover.(Bill Davis Racing)(9-21-2005)
IMAGE: see an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(9-22-2005)
- Waltrip and Gordon speak: on Speed Channel’s new show, Back Seat Drivers, Robby Gordon said Michael Waltrip called him on Tuesday and apologized and even offered up a car from Michael Waltrip Motorsports if Gordon needs it, as Gordon said he is down on Intermediate Track cars [1 to 1.5 mile tracks]. But Gordon expects his team to have one ready for Kansas in a few weeks.(9-22-2005)
- Goodyear Tires Notes: This is the second consecutive race weekend that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Dover . . . this right-side code (D-6812) was also run at this track in 2004 and is unique to Dover . . . this left-side code (D-6852) will be run with a different right-side at California, Charlotte, Chicagoland, Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky (Busch and Truck only) in 2005 . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . unlike on other NASCAR ovals one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Dover . . . inflation on those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 90-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), for the rest of the notes, codes, quotes, see my Dover Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-22-2005)
- Wed Testing at Lowe’s, Biffle and Stewart wreck again: NEXTEL Cup Series point leader Tony Stewart and championship contender Greg Biffle each crashed for the second time in less than 30 hours Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as five teams made final preparations for the Oct. 15 UAW-GM Quality 500. Neither Stewart nor Biffle were injured and both were able to drive their heavily damaged cars back to the garage area. Bouncing back from his hard crash Tuesday afternoon, Stewart was consistently quick throughout the testing session and recorded the fastest lap of the evening just moments before a cut right-front tire sent the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet into the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier. “I had just run a 28.88,” Stewart said. “I’m thinking ‘this is pretty good,’ and then I get to Turn 3 and I’m thinking ‘this isn’t good.'” Stewart’s lap of 28.887 seconds, 186.935 mph, was the fastest of the two-day session but Stewart was still befuddled by the track’s levigated surface.
“It’s better, but I only ran three laps yesterday so I’m not really able to make a comparison,” he said. “All the rubber that’s being put down is helping. But what scares me is that all the rubber is being put down in one groove, and I’m not sure we are going to be able to pass.”
Biffle’s day ended extremely early as he crashed hard in Turn 2 less than an hour after the green flag was unfurled. Out of race cars, the #16 Roush Racing team loaded up and headed home [10 minutes from the track]. Opting to only test on Wednesday, Kyle Busch said track conditions were improving as the session progressed. “It’s getting better the more people run on it. I started off today really, really tight which is probably a good thing,” Busch said about his #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. “The set-up we have for this place is dynamite. I’d like to be a little bit better but everybody always says that. I would like to be beating everybody by about two-tenths and that’s what we’re working toward.” Busch was second fastest on the unofficial stopwatches at 185.452 mph while older brother Kurt was next at 184.237 mph in the #97 Roush Racing Ford. Scott Wimmer was clocked at 183.511 mph in the #22 Bill Davis Racing Dodge and Biffle posted a lap at 182.414 before his accident.
Tickets for all events during UAW-GM Quality 500 weekend, including round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
The unofficial speeds:
1. #20-Tony Stewart, 186.935;
2. #5-Kyle Busch, 185.452;
3. #97-Kurt Busch, 184.237;
4. #22-Scott Wimmer, 183.511
5. #16-Greg Biffle, 182.414.(LMS PR/Site)(9-22-2005)
- NBC/TNT Gone after 2006? ….word has already been leaked to the staff at NBC and TNT not to expect to come back following the 2006 [NASCAR Nextel Cup] season.(Yahoo Sports)(9-20-2005)
UPDATE: been told by folks at NBC/TNT that they have heard nothing that indicates NBC/TNT will not return in 2007 covering NASCAR racing.(9-22-2005)
- Race #100 for Mears: #41-Casey Mears will be making his 100th start in the NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend at Dover International Speedway in the #41 Target Dodge. “I can’t believe I’m making my 100th start in the Cup Series,” said Mears. “When I had the opportunity to run in the Busch Series four years ago, I thought it might be temporary. I really believed I would be back in an open wheel series. Today, I can’t imagine racing in any other series but NASCAR. In 99 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup starts, Mears has accumulated two poles, two top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. The highlight of his stock car career came at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he captured the pole at a record-setting speed last season.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-22-2005)
News from September 21, 2005
- Testing at Lowe’s – Wed: hearing that #16-Greg Biffle crashed again today, testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Biffle also crashed Tuesday, wrecking what he considered his best car and one that was going to be used in four of the nine remaining 2005 races. Also, heard #20-Tony Stewart did not test Wednesday [so far] after wrecking Tuesday.
MORE #16-Greg Biffle’s championship chances may have taken a severe blow after crashing in successive days during testing at Lowes Motor Speedway. Tuesday night a right front tire cut down on his National Guard Ford sending him crashing into the wall between turns one and two. The tire had run 35 laps. Wednesday afternoon Biffle got loose going in the same turn and backed into the wall. As for the first crash Biffle said “It’s unfortunate…it was my best racecar I had in the fleet…the fastest racecar I’ve had ever. Data showed a 170 mile per hour impact. It was a pretty tough hit…hardest hit I’ve had in a long time.” As for crash number two…”It was a brand new car but it’s not something we were depending on. It’s tough to come here and lose two cars because someone is not using their brain. They made changes to the race track and who knows what determination was made…was it suppose to be the same grinding as it was before? If that was what they were told then there’s no reason for alarm, but that’s obviously not what happened. Maybe it’ll be okay whenever all the cars are here running we’ll have to wait and see.” Biffle’s shoulders, left arm, and neck are all sore. The car that wrecked Tuesday was virtually destroyed and was slated for Charlotte, Kansas, Texas and Homestead. Biffle said it will take a lot of work however it does look fixable in time for Kansas.(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)(9-21-2005)
- Best Buy colors for Bliss: Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the #0 Best Buy Chevy for the first time this season as the Haas CNC Racing team heads to Dover International Speedway for this Sunday’s MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 400. Best Buy has been a co-primary sponsor on the #0 Haas CNC Racing entry all year. The event this weekend at “The Monster Mile” will mark the first time in which the #0 Haas CNC Racing Chevy arrives at the track and ready for action featuring the bold blue and yellow colors of Best Buy, North America’s leading consumer electronics retailer. In addition, the trunk of the Monte Carlo also will feature a tribute to the more than 1,200 Best Buy associates in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The message reads, “Hats off to Best Buy’s hurricane heroes,” followed by a listing of the affected stores and their markets. Best Buy had 12 stores that were affected by the hurricane, including four that remain closed. All employees who were displaced by the disaster have been accounted for, and many now are helping to rebuild their stores and their communities. Best Buy stores nationwide are collecting customer donations to the American Red Cross, and matching these donations with up to $2 million from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation.(NetZero Best Buy Racing / Motorsports Marketing Solutions PR), no images of the car found yet.(9-21-2005)
- Lepage to drive the #66 at Dover: Peak Performance Motorsports owner Jeff Stec announced today that NASCAR veteran Kevin Lepage will take over the driving duties for the #66 EAS Ford at Dover this weekend. Lepage opened the season with a stellar run in the Daytona 500 [in the #37 Dodge]. After qualifying ninth, Lepage battled all day and picked up an impressive eight-place finish. He has made 14 starts in the Nextel Cup Series this season. “This is a great opportunity for me, and as a racer, it’s my goal to be on the track racing every opportunity I get,” said Lepage. “I want to thank Jeff and his crew for working with me. I’m hopeful we can put together a solid race this weekend. I’ve had some success at Dover and I believe my experiences in the past will be helpful to the team.”(PSE-3 / Peak Performance Motorsports), no word if Mike Garvey will be back in the #66 at Talladega the following week.(9-21-2005)
- Tuesday Testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway – Speeds: The pressure cooker that is the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup boiled over Tuesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as 13 teams kicked off testing for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 15. By the time the checkered flag was waved over the six-hour session, four race cars had been wrecked and opinions about the condition of the race track, which has undergone additional levigating since the Coca-Cola 600 in May, were swirling through the garage area like a small tornado.
“I don’t know if it’s the track or the combination of the track with the tires,” said point leader #20-Tony Stewart after slamming the Turn 2 wall just 30 minutes into the session. “I don’t remember any of the drivers asking them to make the changes here. You have to give ‘Humpy’ [Wheeler, track president and general manager] credit though. He’s trying to make it better but it’s kind of made it worse. After running three laps and destroying a car, it doesn’t give us much to look forward to. We’ve got to figure out how we can run around here and not wreck. Maybe when we come back everything will be better,” Stewart continued. “They had a car show here this weekend and the track is dirty, so who knows maybe we just need more laps on the track.”
Title contender Mark Martin was third fastest on the unofficial stopwatches with a lap at 184.414 mph in the Viagra Ford but, like Stewart, has reservations about the track surface. “It’s pretty messed up,” was Martin’s summation. “This is the world’s greatest race track and it was awesome the way it was. It’s messed up now. ‘Humpy’ has tried to make it better by fixing the lower groove in one and two but they shouldn’t have manipulated this race track in the first place. Did you see the race last time? The race in May was an indication of what we are going to have this time.”
Veteran Ricky Rudd, who had a fastest lap of 182.420 mph in the No. 21 Ford, offered a completely different opinion. “The track is making good grip and the tires are great,” Rudd said. “The set-ups have changed so much since we were here in May and that’s getting a lot of guys in trouble. We had strayed from our May set-up when we unloaded, but we got back to it pretty quickly. I’m not sure why these guys are complaining. We’re running in the 29-second bracket in the heat of the day and that was absolutely unheard of before they ground the track.”
H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway and a former boxer, compared the atmosphere in the garage area to a heavyweight title fight. “This is the biggest pressure cooker in sports today. It’s almost like you are fighting for the heavyweight championship every week,” Wheeler said. “There’s a lot of pressure on these guys and they are taking these things to the edge—right to the edge of the cliff, and every once in a while you will go off the cliff. The track has been very hot. The track temperature was probably over 135 today. A lot of guys got out at 3 o’clock and there was no rubber on the track. As far as the track is concerned, I really don’t see any problems, we’ve levigated the whole front straightaway and we also levigated up toward the wall. But if you’re up there, you are already wrecked anyway. Everything else is the same as it was in May.”
Stewart was finished for the evening following his accident, but plans to return Wednesday evening with a different car. Mike Bliss also walked away from a crash in Turn 2 and Boris Said bounced off the Turn 3 wall just five minutes into the session. “It just got loose,” Said explained. “I caught it and barely hit the wall. It only tore up the body, not the suspension. I didn’t feel like as big an idiot when I saw some of the veterans were having trouble.” Just before 9 p.m. Greg Biffle slammed the outside wall in Turn 2. Biffle’s car was heavily damaged but he was able to drive back to the garage area.
NEXTEL Cup Series testing for the Oct. 15 UAW-GM Quality 500 continues Wednesday evening [Sept 21st]. Cars will be on the track from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fans can watch the action from the frontstretch grandstand free of charge and should enter through Gate 5A which is located next to the ticket office in Smith Tower. Tickets for all events during UAW-GM Quality 500 weekend, including round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online.
The top-10 unofficial speeds:
1. #36-Boris Said 185.376
2. #16-Greg Biffle 184.938
3. #6-Mark Martin 184.414
4. #07-Dave Blaney 183.692
5. #31-Jeff Burton 183.636
6. #21-Ricky Rudd 182.420
7. #18-Bobby Labonte 182.168
8. #00-David Reutimann 181.996
9. #97-Kurt Busch 181.366
10. #22-Scott Wimmer 180.644.(LMS PR)(9-21-2005)
- Parrott splitting with RYR? or reassigned? UPDATE reassigned: hearing Todd Parrott crew chief for the Robert Yates Racing #38 M&M’s team/Elliott Sadler are parting ways or Parrott may be reassigned with the organization, expect an announcement sometime this week.(9-18-2005)
UPDATE:Robert Yates Racing announced personnel changes for both NEXTEL Cup Series teams, as well as their Busch Series program. Effective immediately, veteran crew chief Todd Parrott will assume the role of crew chief for Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team, while Kevin Buskirk, engineer for the #38 M&M’S® Racing Team, will assume the role of interim crew chief for Elliott Sadler. Additionally, Raymond Fox, III, will serve as crew chief for the #90 CitiFinancial Team.
With both teams sitting outside the top 10 and having just missed the Chase for the Championship, RYR management decided to make immediate personnel changes for the remainder of this season in preparation for the 2006 NASCAR season. “In the business of NASCAR racing the responsibility to perform both to ourselves and our sponsors is and has, become increasingly more important,” said Eddie D’Hondt, general manager of RYR. “We are making this change in an effort to spark both of our teams to the performance level expected of us.” For more than two years, Parrott has served as crew chief with Jarrett teammate Elliott Sadler and the #38 M&M’S Racing Team. During that period, Parrott led Sadler to two wins (Texas in 2004 and the fall race at California in 2004), as well as a non-points victory with their win in one of the Daytona 500 qualifying races in 2004. Additionally, Parrott guided Sadler to the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship last season with Sadler finishing the year in ninth place. It marked Sadler’s first time finishing in the top 10 in the point standings.
“We felt to improve the performance of the 88 team it was important to establish a leadership that has been lacking for the last few months,” said car owner Robert Yates. “Billy (Wilburn) did a great job of coming in here and working with the 88 and 38 teams to get them on the same page. Todd (Parrott) has a record that speaks for itself both with preparing race cars and making decisions in the pits. Todd has the skills, ability and talent to lead a race team, and he is committed to winning races.” Buskirk has served as the engineer for the #38 M&M’S Team since November 2003 and has been instrumental in preparing the cars Sadler has raced during the last two seasons. Buskirk will work in the interim crew chief capacity while the team actively searches for a permanent replacement for that position. “Kevin is an important part of not only the M&M’S Team but for all of RYR,” Yates said. “He has a lot of knowledge about race cars and what needs to happen to make them perform. He’s been on top of the pit box for the last two years helping call adjustments so he is the ideal person to fill this interim role for us.”
Fox, who has been with RYR since the organization opened for business in 1987, will take over the race day crew chief duties for the #90 CitiFinancial car throughout the remainder of the season. Fox will also continue in his current position with the #38 M&M’S Team.
All of the principal players involved in this announcement will be available for questions from the media at 9:00am/et this Friday in the infield media center at Dover International Speedway. This is the only time that members of Robert Yates Racing will be made available to discuss this subject.(RYR/Elevation Group PR)(9-20-2005)
AND The team has offered to reassign Wilburn, but he has not decided whether to stay. Kevin Buskirk, an engineer for Sadler’s team, becomes Sadler’s interim crew chief.(Roanoke Times)(9-21-2005)
News from September 20, 2005
- Holy Stolen Car: Roush Racing’s “Batman Begins” Showcar stolen from Hotel in Ohio. Stolen on Saturday, Sept. 17th from Holiday Inn Express, 13300 Reynoldsburg-Baltimore, Pickerington, OH 43147. Stolen was the 2002 Ford F-350 hauler, NC Tag: AB 8527, VIN #: 1FTWX32F32EB11091, IFTA #: 126832, Mileage: ~154,000 and Trailer, a 2003 Featherlite with NC Tag BN 29266, VIN #: 4FGL028293C058099 and the #6 ‘wrapped’ as “Batman Begins” Ford showcar, Chassis #: RK-209 with engine and full running gear. Contact Officer Corey Flanagan of the Pickerington Police Department, 614 575 6911 if have any info about the theft. So…where was Batman?(9-20-2005)
- Testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this week UPDATE 2: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Testing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20, and Wednesday, Sept. 21 in preparation for the UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 15. Teams fielding cars for the following drivers have indicated their intention to participate with more expected: #6-Mark Martin, #16-Greg Biffle, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Tony Stewart, #22-Scott Wimmer, #31-Jeff Burton and #97-Kurt Busch. Fans can attend both of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing sessions free of charge. Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s frontstretch grandstand will be open both days and fans should enter through Gate 5A, located next to the main ticket office.(LMS PR)(9-15-2005)
UPDATEd driver roster:
Tuesday, Sept 20: #0-Mike Bliss; #00-David Reutimann [M Waltrip’s car]; #07-Dave Blaney; #09-Johnny Sauter; #6-Mark Martin; #16-Greg Biffle; #18-Bobby Labonte; #20-Tony Stewart; #21-Ricky Rudd; #22-Scott Wimmer; #31-Jeff Burton; #36-Boris Said; #97-Kurt Busch.
Wednesday, Sept 21: #00-David Reutimann; #09-Johnny Sauter; #5-Kyle Busch: #16-Greg Biffle; #22-Scott Wimmer; #31-Jeff Burton; #97-Kurt Busch.(LMS PR)(9-19-2005)
UPDATE 2: #20-Tony Stewart wrecked in testing, is ok, but called it a day and may or may not return to test on Wednesday.(PRN’s Garage pass Radio Show)(9-20-2005)
- Red Barons back at Dover: Ken Schrader will be driving the #49 Dodge emblazoned with the Red Baron frozen pizza colors this week at the Dover International Speedway, for Sunday’s MBNA Race Points 400. Red Baron frozen pizza products are distributed under the Schwan’s Consumer Brands North America banner, which also markets other leading frozen-food retail brands that include Tony’s and Freschetta frozen pizzas, Pagoda Asian specialties, and Larry’s potato side-dishes. Schwan’s Consumer Brands is a division of The Schwan Food Company, whose Schwan’s Home Service business unit sponsors Schrader and the #49 BAM Dodge throughout the remainder of the season.(Williams Company), Schrader also ran this cool looking scheme at Atlanta in March, the Nextel Open, Indy and California a few weeks ago, see an image of the scheme on my #49 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2005)
- NASCAR Race Points scheme: #18-Bobby Labonte will run a MBNA NASCAR RacePoints scheme at the Dover International Speedway, for Sunday’s MBNA Race Points 400. MBNA has added the Red Cross logo to the trunk deck. Labonte will be wearing a white fire suit with the American Red Cross logo on the front and 1-800-help-now on the back. The #11 FedEx Chevy of Joe Gibbs Racing will also carry the Red cross logo on the trunk. Fed Ex and MBNA are teaming up to take credit card and cash donations at the track on Saturday and Sunday to help with the Hurricane relief., see an image of the car and suit on my #18 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2005)
- Woods to Receive Prestigious Smokey Yunick Award: Glen and Leonard Wood of the Wood Brothers Racing team will receive the prestigious Smokey Yunick Award during pre-race ceremonies for the UAW-GM Quality 500 Saturday night, Oct. 15, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, annually recognizes those whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry. Wood Brothers Racing is now equally owned by Glen Wood and his children, Eddie, Len and Kim, but the 80-year-old patriarch continues to play a role in the team’s operations. Leonard Wood, Glen’s younger brother, has been with the team since its inception. He served as chief mechanic as the organization grew into a championship contender during the 1950s and ’60s. Recently celebrating his 71st birthday, Leonard Wood still works at Wood Brothers Racing as a fabricator and toils in the carburetor department of Roush-Yates Racing Engines. Wood Brothers Racing is fourth on the all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win list with 97 victories, all of which have been in Ford products. Wood Brothers Racing has won NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series races in six consecutive decades. Glen Wood was selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers during the sanctioning body’s 50th anniversary in 1998. Eighteen of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers have driven for Wood Brothers Racing, including current driver Ricky Rudd. Glen Wood was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 2001 and became a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002. Leonard Wood received the Golden Wrench award from the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2001. Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Ken Squier, Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Junie Donlavey and Jim Hunter. Tickets for the UAW-GM Quality 500, round five of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, start at just $29 and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(More at lowesmotorspeedway.com) and for more about Smokey Yunnick, see smokeyyunick.com.(9-20-2005)
- Stewart Wins 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year Vote: Tony Stewart, who smoked the race tracks in NASCAR Nextel Cup series, fired up the voting among the media and the fans, easily winning the Speed Channel DRIVER OF THE YEAR third quarter, 2005. “It’s an honor to be named the third quarter Driver of The Year,” said Stewart, the 2002 Nextel Cup Champion. “I didn’t do it alone, though, as I had a great race team in Joe Gibbs Racing providing me with great race cars”. Stewart drove the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, into victory lane at the quarter’s opening race, the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway and hasn’t slowed to lookin his rear-view mirrors. Following an emotional win at the Allstate 400, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart – known as “Smoke” – took over the points lead and held it as the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup started this Sunday. During the 12 weeks of the third quarter Stewart amassed an unmatched record of five wins and no finish worse than eighth. In the fan voting Stewart garnered all the first-place ballots, except for one (where he was voted in second place). As a result he scored 150 points, or, more than double the 69 points tallied by Dan Wheldon, of the Indy Racing League, the second quarter winner. Britain’s Wheldon won two races, in the quarter, has all but wrapped up the Indy Car Series title. France’s Sebastien Bourdais, the reigning Champ Car World Series Champion and current series leader had one first-place vote and counted a total of 58 points. Bourdais, who drives for Newman/Haas Racing had a string of three consecutive wins. Fourth place went to King of the Outlaws Steve Kinser. Noteworthy, Stewart was first, Martin Truex Jr., of the NASCAR Busch Series, finished second and the IRL’s, Tony Kanaan, finished third as fans clicked their votes on the www.SpeedTV.com website. In its’ 39th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Stewart received a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV.(Speed Channel)(9-20-2005)
News from September 19, 2005
- Congrats to Pat and Elena Smith of the K9 Cabins in Troutman, NC on the birth of their daughter, Skyler Rae, born Monday, Sept 19th, weighing in at 7lbs, 6 ozs. The NASCAR connection? 1) my pooches Sandy and Barnee make their 2nd home at the K9 Cabins; 2) Pat Smith is the crew chief for Jason Keller and the #35 McDonalds Ford that is fielded by Team Rensi Racing in the Busch Series.(9-19-2005)
- Joe Gibbs Racing/Hurricane Katrina Help: Beginning Monday and continuing through Fri., Sept. 30, Joe Gibbs Racing will serve as a collection center for items that will be donated to those impacted by Hurricane Katrina. In partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization based in Boone, N.C., Joe Gibbs Racing will collect donations between 4-7 p.m. For more info on this and many other events, efforts, see my Hurricane Katrina page or Racing Charity page, or at www.joegibbsracing.com.(9-19-2005)
- Fines, Penalties and Probations Result from New Hampshire Infractions
NASCAR issued fines and penalties Monday to four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, resulting from rule violations this past weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway.
• Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Dodge, was fined $25,000 because of an on-track altercation with another competitor during a caution period and placed on probation for the remainder of the year. Kahne violated Section 12-4-A of the series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing). Kahne was also penalized 25 driver championship points and car owner Ray Evernham losing 25 owner championship points. “There have been a growing number of incidents lately where drivers have taken matters into their own hands. Such unsafe and inappropriate behavior has to stop,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. NASCAR will use whatever means necessary to stop it.”
Other fines and penalties issued Monday:
• Lance McGrew, crew chief for the #25 Chevrolet driven by Brian Vickers, was fined $10,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the year. The #25 team had its primary car confiscated after the weekend’s initial inspection process, due to an unapproved car body. Vickers was penalized 25 driver points and car owner Mary Hendrick was penalized 25 owner points. The team was in violation of Section 12-4-A and Section 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules).
• Robby Gordon, driver of the #7 Chevrolet, was fined $25,000 for attempting to hit another competitor’s car during a caution period, and then throwing his helmet at another competitor’s car. Gordon also was fined $10,000 for use of improper language during a television interview during the race. Each fine was accompanied by penalties against Gordon of 25 driver points and 25 owner points against James Smith. In addition, Gordon has been placed on probation for the remainder of the year. In each instance, Gordon was in violation of Section 12-4-A. So Gordon loses 50 drivers points and 50 owners points.
• #15 Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip, involved in the on-track altercations with Gordon, was fined $10,000 and penalized 25 driver points because of an inappropriate gesture during a televised broadcast, while car owner Teresa Earnhardt was penalized 25 owner points. Waltrip was also in violation of Secton 12-4-A.(NASCAR PR)
updated points on Jayski’s Drivers/Owners Points after New Hampshire page.(9-19-2005)
- Reiser Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at New Hampshire: Matt Kenseth caught a bad break in this weekend’s Sylvania 300, literally. Following a routine stop for service, Kenseth’s front brake locked up as he was exiting the pits and the driver of the # 17 DeWalt Ford was forced to plow around the track until he could reenter his stall. With crew chief Robbie Reiser calling the shots, the crew fixed the problem and put Kenseth back in the hunt for a win. The team’s rebound brought Kenseth a third-place finish and moved him ninth to fifth in the championship standings. For orchestrating his team’s comeback, Reiser was awarded the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.
“We got a lug nut caught between the hat and the rotor,” said Reiser. “The guys do an awesome job each week and today was no different. They never gave up. They fixed the problem and got him (Kenseth) back in it. We followed that up with a two tire pit stop to get back the track position we lost and everything fell into place from there. The crew had stellar stops all day. Hopefully we can keep this string going over the next nine weeks.”
“The DeWalt guys did a great job,” said Reiser. “We had great pit stops. Came back from that problem and didn’t really tear anything up and were able to work our way back through there through pit strategy and having a good car. It feels good to come here and get a good finish and I look forward to going to Dover.” The panel of voters; including Chuck Givler of the Easton Express-Times, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; voted for Reiser as the crew chief who did the most outstanding job.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson is in second place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Zipadelli, 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 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)(9-19-2005)
- Baldwin bolting Evernham? UPDATE: 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)
- So why no 5-second time delay on race coverage? Some wondered why the “five-second rule”, implemented after Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s slip last fall [at Talladega after winning], is not still in force [on Sunday at New Hampshire when #7-Robby Gordon said the ‘S’ word. That was not explained, although cable-vs.-network may have something to do with it. NASCAR vp/communications Jim Hunter said NASCAR had no plans to call for such a policy. “We’re going to tell our athletes not to use bad language when talking on television, that’s all,” he said.(Speed Channel)
NOTE: last October, NBC announced plans to use the 5 second rule for the rest of the season, and supposedly beyond, no idea if that was carried over to TNT, which is on cable. Fox never implemented the rule and when asked a few months ago, said they wanted to keep it live. MRN Radio and PRN Radio both have a 7-second delay. Also, since I get questions all the time on this when a driver says damn, hell or a*s, those words are not considered ‘bad’ by the FCC and are said daily on network TV during the day and primetime and have been for years.(9-19-2005)
- New Crew Chief for the #32: PPI Motorsports (PPIM) announced today that James Ince, team manager of the #32 Tide/Downy Chevy driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the Nextel Cup Series will take on the additional role of crew chief effective immediately. Danny Gill, who has served as crew chief since July 20, has been released from PPIM to pursue new opportunities. “I was fortunate two weeks ago to have James Ince join my organization,” said Wells III, owner of PPI Motorsports. “We have been trying to do this for a very long time. He is a proven winner and with his vast array of experience, he was my first choice for the team manager position. However, after further review of the Tide team’s on-track performance, I feel it is necessary to have him assume the role of crew chief for the remainder of the season. I am trying to do everything I can to give Bobby all the necessary elements to excel in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and I feel James is the one who can help raise the overall performance level of this race team. Both driver and crew chief are winners so I believe this is a win-win situation for everyone involved. I want to thank Danny Gill for his assistance during our team’s transition period after the departure of Harold Holly, he came to us highly recommended by Bobby Hamilton Sr. and I appreciate everything he has done for PPI Motorsports and the Tide Racing program. I wish him much success in the future.”
Ince is no stranger to the crew chief ranks in NASCAR racing. A native of Springfield, Missouri, Ince has won in every series he has ever raced. At the helm, he has led NASCAR veterans Johnny Benson, David Green, Kevin Lepage, Ted Musgrave and Rich Bickle to their best all-time finishes. The spotlight was heavily shown on Ince starting in 2000 when he was paired for three seasons with driver Johnny Benson. Together they produced a total of 14 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes in NASCAR’S premier series. Their best result came in November 2002 when Ince guided Benson to his first career Nextel Cup victory at North Carolina Speedway. Ince’s most recent endeavor in the Cup Series was earlier this season when he served as crew chief for driver #66-Hermie Sadler during the first two events.(PPI Motorsports)(9-19-2005)
- Robby Comments on his actions and the wreck: #7-Robby Gordon finished the Sylvania 300 in 37th position Sunday, a result of a lap 190 spin courtesy of Michael Waltrip. The incident came following Gordon’s pass of Waltrip for the fourth position. For a reason unknown to Gordon, Waltrip moved down the track and spun the #7 Jim Beam Chevrolet after it had made a clean pass of Waltrip’s Chevrolet. “First and foremost, I want to apologize for the words I chose immediately after our race had ended,” Gordon said. “We had a decent car and we were obviously hoping to give our sponsors Jim Beam, Harrah’s and Menards a top-10 finish. For some reason Michael obviously wanted that spot a lot more than I did because he flat took me out as I was cleared in front of him. I let my emotions get the better of me and I apologize. We bumped door to door when I went around him, and I don’t know if that made him mad or what. I don’t know what it is, but he puts the bumper to me a lot, and this time he did what he set out to do. We basically destroyed a great race car, and unfortunately it’s the people that work in the shop that really suffer. We didn’t deserve that at all.”
For his part, Waltrip said Gordon passed him “like he was in the desert or something.” Gordon’s reply: “We were clearly a better car at that point than Michael, and he was going backward. I wasn’t the only guy to pass him, just the one he decided to wreck. He’s right about the desert comment — I pass guys clean all the time in the desert, just like I did in this case. I’m just sorry we didn’t bring home a better result for Jim Beam.”(Robbygordon.com)(9-19-2005)
- Goodyear test at Homestead last week: Goodyear conducted a tire test last week at Homestead in preparation for the season finale November 20. Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Jeff Green tested a variety of tires, but it’s likely Goodyear will run the same compound the teams use at Texas. Burton says, “It’s a challenge for Goodyear to find the perfect tire because the entry of the corners is a lot different from other tracks because of the multiple grooves and the variable banking.” Goodyear says it will offer a product that has more grip.(Sporting News)(9-19-2005)
- Hall of Fame Racing Crew Chief? Philippe Lopez, a veteran crew chief who worked with the #07 Richard Childress-Dave Blaney team until last month when Childress decided to bring in Scott Miller to run that operation, has apparently moved to the new Roger Staubach-Troy Aikman team, which has been searching for sponsorship [Jayski Note: actually the team announced Texas Instruments as their sponsor on Aug 16th] and a driver for a planned Nextel Cup effort in 2006.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-19-2005)
- #21 Team Close to a Sponsor UPDATE:The Wood Brothers, #21 Ford with Ricky Rudd as the driver, are close to securing a final sponsor for next year. Motorcraft will return as a primary sponsor for a selected number of races, and the Air Force is expected to return as well. A third primary sponsor still is being sought.(Roanoke Times)(9-17-2005)
UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing continues to seek sponsorship for the #21 car for 2006. Driver Ricky Rudd has not publicly committed to driving the car beyond this year.(Sporting News)(9-19-2005)
- NASCAR Threatening stiff penalties for revenge on track: NASCAR was threatening very heavy penalties Sunday after tempers ran hot during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said after the race that penalties against several drivers involved in incidents Sunday would be announced by Tuesday, at the latest. “We’re going to do whatever we need to do, whether it’s to park a guy for a week or park a guy for nine weeks,” Hunter said. “We’re going to do whatever we need to do to prevent retaliation on the racetrack, particularly under the caution [flag], because under the caution they’re endangering other people. There are safety vehicles riding around and they don’t have rollcages and all the things these drivers have around them, so we’ll do whatever we need to do.” The race was marred by 10 caution flags, many of them brought out by collisions that sent one or more cars into the wall.
On lap 165 of the 300-lap race, rookie Kyle Busch bumped Kasey Kahne, last year’s top rookie, sending him hard into the wall. Kahne restarted his battered car and drove it slowly along the bottom of the track until Busch came by in turn one. Kahne then shot up the track, hitting Busch in the left front. “There are times when things happen and you end up crashing and hitting other cars, but we just got taken out,” Kahne said. “If people are going to run over you for no reason and think they’re going to get away with it, you just go out there and ruin their day, too. That’s the way I feel.” NASCAR parked Kahne for the rest of the day and summoned the driver and team owner Ray Evernham to its hauler following the race.
Joe Nemechek and Mike Bliss collided on lap 191, sending Bliss into the wall on turn one. Seconds later, after the yellow flag was displayed, Michael Waltrip hit Robby Gordon, sending Gordon into the wall and spinning out Sterling Marlin. Gordon, his car smashed on both ends, waited until Waltrip came past again and tried to back into him, missing Waltrip and nearly hitting points leader Tony Stewart, who had to stop to avoid Gordon. Gordon then got out of his car, waited for Waltrip, feigned as if he was going to walk in front of the No. 15 and threw his helmet at the car, hitting it just below the driver’s window. In a TV interview, Gordon said, “You know, everybody thinks Michael is a good guy. He’s not a good guy. The caution was out and he wrecked me.” Gordon then called Waltrip a name [something at starts with a S and ends with a T], which will likely cost Gordon a fine and points. Waltrip said he was just defending his position. “I just stood my ground and he just kept coming and turned himself into the wall,” he said. Told about Gordon’s comments, Waltrip said, “Probably just heat of the moment stuff. I’ve never had a problem with Robby. I don’t have any idea what he said or why he said it, but I know I didn’t do anything wrong.” Gordon and Waltrip were also brought to the NASCAR hauler following the race.(ESPN.com/AP)(9-19-2005)
News from September 18, 2005
- Newman wins at New Hampshire: #12-Ryan Newman won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a exciting pass with 2 laps to go for his 1st win of 2005 and 12th of his career. Newman’s win makes him the 13th different driver to win a race in 2005. It was Newman’s first win in 34 races, since Dover in Sept last year. #20-Tony Stewart led 173 of 300 laps, including lap 298, before he and Newman dueled for the lead with Newman getting the win. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 3rd, followed by #16-Greg Biffle and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart increases his points lead to 20 over Biffle. #97-Kurt Busch wrecked early in the race but the team fixed the car and he finished 35th gaining an extra 24 points, but is now 10th in The Chase and 142 behind Stewart. #7-Robby Gordon, while running upfront, got together with #15-Michael Waltrip, Gordon then tried to back into Waltrip missed, tossed his helmet at Waltrip and used a ‘bad word’ during a TNT interview, so look for penalties on Tuesday or so. #9-Kahne wrecked when #5-Busch came up the track and hit Kahne, Kahne then drove around the track and waited for Busch and Kahne made a hard right accross Busch’s nose, Busch was able to stop and get minimal damage. Many drivers were called to the NASCAR Trailer after the race.
See my New Hamp Race Info/Rundown Page, for race rundown, caution info, lucky dogs, race notes, lap leaders, etc.
For race results and awards, and other site links, see my
- Jayski’s New Hampshire Race Results/Awards page.(9-18-2005)
- Harvick staying at RCR in 2006 UPDATE but?: Kevin Harvick will be back behind the wheel of Richard Childress Racing’s (RCR) #29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet for the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Series season. Speculation has fueled rumors that the 2001 NEXTEL Cup Series Rookie of the Year would move to another team at the end of this season. RCR President and CEO Richard Childress hopes to put that speculation to rest. “Kevin will be the driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy next season,” said Childress. “He and I have committed to moving forward together in fulfilling our current agreement, which runs through 2006, and we anticipate being together for many years beyond that. Our focus is on continuing to improve our performance this year and being a championship contender in 2006.” Harvick is in his fifth year of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition, all with RCR, and has five victories, 30 top-five and 63 top-10 finishes, and four poles. He is currently 14th in this season’s point standings with one victory, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. In his sixth season of driving in the NASCAR Busch Series for RCR, he has 16 victories, 60 top-five and 85 top-10 finishes, and 13 poles. “Richard has made key additions to RCR that will benefit the organization,” said Harvick. We are both committed to make 2006 a successful season. I’ve always intended to fulfill my obligations to Richard, RCR and all of our sponsors.”(RCR PR)(9-16-2005)
UPDATE the Winston Salem Journal reports…..Kevin Harvick has been noticeably unhappy this season. And even Friday’s unusual announcement by car owner Richard Childress that he and Harvick would be living up to their contract and sticking together through the 2006 season hasn’t diminished speculation that Harvick has something in the works. There’s speculation that he might have a 2007 game plan with car owners Roger Penske or Chip Ganassi. The Ganassi option seems logical. Jamie McMurray has signed a 2007 contract to take Mark Martin’s place with Jack Roush, so Ganassi has that hole to fill. So this year’s version of NASCAR’s annual game of musical chairs has taken on an unusual tone. Now, might Ganassi release McMurray to Roush for 2006, if Ganassi could get Harvick from Childress, and would that be enough inducement for Roush to release Kurt Busch to Penske for 2006?(Winston Salem Journal)(9-18-2005)
- NHIS Celebrates Rusty’s “Last Call”: New Hampshire International Speedway celebrates Rusty Wallace’s “Last Call” at today’s Sylvania 300 with a special presentation during the pre-race ceremonies. Rusty will be presented with an original painting by local artist Jane Gilltrap Bready. This unique painting commemorates Rusty’s win in the inaugural Nextel Cup Series event at “The Magic Mile” in July of 1993 and his “Last Call” run today. Mark Martin, the inaugural event pole winner, is also celebrated in the painting. This tribute to two NASCAR legends graces the cover of today’s Sylvania 300 souvenir program. For more information on Bready’s work, please visit www.janebready.com.(NHIS PR)(9-18-2005)
- Vickers car impounded UPDATE 2: the primary #25 Chevy failed inspection before the first practice and the team worked on the car and presented it before the 2nd practice [Happy Hour] and it failed inspection again and was impounded and confiscated by NASCAR. The team worked feverishly to get the back up car out and ready to pass inpsection to make a practice run but looks doubtful the car will get on the track, if so, Vickers will be qualifying a backup car with no laps at on it…and probably faces penalties/fines by NASCAR early next week.(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show)
NOTE: The #25 team was able to get the backup car thru inspection and Vickers got some laps in. Hendrick Motorsports says the car was not confiscated by NASCAR but the team forfitted the car to NASCAR when they decided they could do no more to make the templates fit.(9-16-2005)
UPDATE: The #25 Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports brought to New Hampshire International Speedway as the primary Nextel Cup car for Brian Vickers was in NASCAR’s possession Friday after it failed inspection five times. “This was a brand new body that had never been raced,” said Doug Duchardt, vice president of development for the Hendrick team. “We learned of a measurement issue during the inspection process and made attempts to correct it. But, after several tries, we decided to forfeit the car [to NASCAR] and go with our backup.” The frustrated Vickers missed the first practice and got in just five laps in the second session for Sunday’s Sylvania 300. “We made the decision to forfeit the car because we didn’t feel it could be repaired in a reasonable amount of time,” Duchardt said. “It was important to get out on the racetrack in the backup and prepare for Sunday. We have a very thorough system that should prevent these things, but something obviously fell through the cracks.”(ESPN.com/AP)(9-17-2005)
UPDATE 2: Brian Vickers is running his backup car and feels glad to have it. His primary Chevrolet didn’t get through inspection on Friday, and NASCAR officials wouldn’t even let Vickers’ team go to a backup for qualifying without confiscating the primary car. What was the Hendrick Motorsports strategy in trying to slip the car through? Was the Vickers car used as a test to see what the team could get away with? Had it passed, would the car have been passed to teammate Johnson, a title contender, at a later date? Or would its construction have been been mimicked in Johnson cars? Are there cars in Johnson’s stable with those characteristics already in place? The problem was reportedly related to how, not whether, the car fit the aerodynamic templates used by inspectors. Officials “didn’t like the way” the templates fit.(Gaston Gazette)(9-18-2005)
- New Hampshire Race Notes:
• Ryan Newman won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, scoring his 12th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 143rd career start.
• Newman scored his second win at Loudon in eight races. He scored his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in the September 2002 race here.
• Newman scored his first victory of 2005. His last victory came at Dover in September 2004, 35 races ago.
• Newman has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 27 races in 2005.
• Newman became the 13th different race winner in 2005.
• Newman climbed from 10th to third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• This was Newman’s 11th superspeedway victory in 112 career superspeedway races.
• Tony Stewart led the most laps for the ninth time this season, the most of all drivers. Kurt Busch has led the most in four races this season.
• Newman led three times for 66 laps including the final two.
• Newman scored the third victory for car owner Roger Penske at New Hampshire International Speedway. This was Penske’s 57th victory as a car owner and first in 27 races this season.
The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Is On
• As a result of his finish in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway Tony Stewart took the early lead in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by just 20 points over second-place Greg Biffle. Stewart along with nine other drivers will race over the remaining nine races of the 2005 season to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million:
• Eight drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at New Hampshire.
• Kurt Busch (35th today) started the 2004 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by scoring a victory at New Hampshire and scored top10 finishes in the first six races of the Chase.
• 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.
• Eight of the 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the first 27 races of the 2005 season. 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: Kenseth (third), Biffle (fourth) and Martin (seventh).
• Jamie McMurray (12th) climbed from 13th to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• 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) has scored 13 straight top-10 finishes including 10 top fives extending a streak that began with a second-place finish at Michigan in June. Stewart has scored 19 top-10 finishes in 27 races in 2005, the most of all drivers. Stewart remained first in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings for the seventh straight race..
• Matt Kenseth (third) scored his fifth top-10 finish in his last five races. Kenseth climbed from ninth to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fifth) scored his first top-five finish in his last nine races, since his victory at Chicagoland.
• Rusty Wallace (sixth) extended a 40-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 22 top-15 finishes in 27 races in 2005.
• Jimmy Johnson (eighth) dropped from fourth to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 60 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.(NASCAR Statistical Service)(9-18-2005)
- Rumblings – New Hampshire: Well, I’m Back! [Henry is…welcome back]
First of all, I want to take a couple lines here to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and contributions. There is a ton of devastion in this area, and it’s gonna be a long time till South Louisiana and Coastal Mississippi resembles anywhere like it used to look (if ever). There are an enormous number of people displaced, out of work, and just wondering if they should even come back. Thankfully, our damage was minor (relatively speaking). I went through one of these as a teen in 1965 (Betsy), and I never forgot it. I hazard to say no one down here will forget this one, either.
I’ve got a few gazillion emails to catch up on, and I’ve been working on getting my stats caught up for hours the last couple days (in between tarping a roof at the store….I’ve got a whole new respect for people who get up on hot metal roofs in 95 degree weather!), and I promise to answer each of those emails (just give me some time).
I want to thank Von for getting that fund going….it was certainly unexpected. Your response was overwhelming, and I will write to each and every one of you to express my thanks. I don’t know that words can describe my appreciation….that people who know you only from reading a couple paragraphs would give of themselves so willingly is unbelievable. Again, Mickey & I thank you all.
Now, back to regular programming…..
We had a ding-dong battle to the finish today at New Hampshire International Speedway. Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart swapped the lead repeatedly during the final 20 laps, but in the end it was Newman who got the Gatorade bath in Victory Lane for his first win since Dover last September. This was career win #12 for Newman (he’s 48th on the all-time win list), and the 54th for Roger Penske (57 if you count the three by Jeremy Mayfield when Michael Kranefuss was a partner). Ryan is the 13th different winner this season (equalling our total from last year) and he pulled down $248,866 from the over $5.1M in posted awards.
Lotsa short fuses today. You know, the last race I saw from my own couch was Bristol….so it was like I never left! Sure wish I had the hot dog stand outside the NASCAR trailer after the race (I’d have cleaned up!). It was SRO….Kurt Busch, Scott Riggs, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon, Michael Waltrip (and all of their respective car owners and crew chiefs as well). Pass the mustard!
I suspect the press release on Tuesday announcing the fines and penalties will be rather lengthy…..
Didn’t take us long to get one of the “Chasers” upset…..three laps in and we’ve got a mad dash up pit road already.
Dale Earnhardt Jr (5th) had his best finish since he won at Chicagoland in July.
J. J. Yeley (34th) had his best finish since he was 27th at Atlanta last October (only two races).
STREAKIN….Tony Stewart has 13 Top-10’s in a row.
Matt Kenseth has 5 Top-10’s in a row.
Greg Biffle has 5 Top-10’s in a row.
The Rookie Report: Kyle Busch (27th) was the highest finishing freshman for the 18th time this season. Travis Kvapil was 41st.
This Week’s Elevator….UP: Operator of the Week is Sterling Marlin (+26), followed by Greg Biffle (+22), Michael Waltrip (+21), and Kyle Petty (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Elliott Sadler (-24), followed by Scott Riggs (-23), and Kurt Busch (-23).
In the “Chase” Standings, Tony Stewart has padded his lead….it’s all the way out to 20 markers now! Ryan Newman advances seven spots (10th to 3rd), while Kurt Busch fell from 5th to 10th. Dale Earnhardt Jr (17th to 15th) and Jeff Burton (21st to 19th) made the best moves forward today, while Elliott Sadler (11th to 14th) fell the most spots.(Stock Car Fans – see full CLASSIC Cup standings here)(9-19-2005)
News from September 17, 2005
- Two plus 12 equals friction: Asked if there was anything that Penske Racing teammates Rusty Wallace (No. 2) and Ryan Newman (No. 12) could share in the Chase, Wallace crew chief Larry Carter said, “Nothing that comes to mind.” Wallace and Newman have gotten almost as much publicity for their inability to get along as the five Roush Racing drivers that made the Chase have for getting along. But Carter said sharing information goes beyond getting along. “Rusty and Ryan have different driving styles,” he said. “I’m not sure if we knew what the 12 car was doing would benefit us. It might, but we don’t know. We just don’t know.”(The State)(9-17-2005)
- Busch out BEFORE end of season? sources close to Jack Roush say that Roush may indeed be releasing #97-Kurt Busch to Penske before the end of the season, though it still isn’t clear just who Roush might have in mind to take that seat. Roush has steadfastly insisted he has no plans to release Busch.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-17-2005)
- Said to race a Sled: It’s official. The number 36 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which chased the leaders last month at the NASCAR race in Watkins Glen, will have a presence in Lake Placid January 5-9, 2006. Except it will be a bobsled, not a race car. The NASCAR bobsled drivers race, coming to Lake Placid right after New Year’s, received its first official entry Friday when Boris Said, a talented road racer who is the son of 1968 and 1972 Olympic bobsled driver Bob Said, committed to participating in the fundraiser being organized by Geoffrey Bodine’s Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. His sponsor, Whelen Engineering, mirrored that by announcing their participation in January. The event will be held at the Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid. It is hoped that other NASCAR drivers will join Said shortly for this friendly competition that will generate funds to support continuing research and development of equipment for the United States Bobsled Team. These race car drivers will use modified sleds in their team colors on the mile-long track that currently hosts annual World Cup and World Championship events in bobsled, luge and skeleton racing. Bodine, a NASCAR veteran, created the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project in 1992 after watching the Albertville Winter Olympic Games on television and noticing that USA Bobsled athletes competed with European-made sleds. At that time, the team had not won a medal since the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina, Italy. “Whelen Engineering is proud to announce our sponsorship of the first Bo-Dyn bobsled to compete in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge at Lake Placid in January,” stated Phil Kurze, Whelen Motorsports Director. “Whelen has supported the efforts of Geoffrey Bodine and Bob Cuneo for the past five years to provide our athletes with equipment that is “Made in America” and I take personal pride in the fact that, also as President of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., I have the support of my company in this worthwhile fund raising endeavor. I issue a challenge to all other companies presently involved with racing or contemplating involvement with racing to come on-board and join us in our support of the United States Bobsled Team.” For more information on this event, please log on to www.bodynbobsledproject.com. Tickets for the event go on sale October 1 at the Olympic Center Box Office in Lake Placid.(PR)(9-17-2005)
- Mark Green in for Petty MORE: Mark Green, Jeff’s brother, is practicing and probably qualifying the #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at New Hampshire this weekend. Driver Kyle Petty has been feeling under the weather this week but plans to race the car on Sunday.(9-16-2005)
MORE Still fighting feelings of grief from his son’s death at New Hampshire International Speedway more than five years ago, Kyle Petty will skip Friday’s practice sessions and Saturday’s qualifying at the track. Petty still plans to race on Sunday. “It’s a funny thing, because I thought the longer I went, the easier it would get,” Petty said in a telephone interview. “The truth is, the longer it goes, the harder it gets.” Adam Petty was killed in an accident during a practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway in May 2000. Petty has raced at New Hampshire several times since the accident, but it hasn’t made him any more at ease there. He said the most recent race weekend at New Hampshire, in July, was particularly tough. “I struggled with just trying to do my job,” Petty said. “I was mean to everybody. I just wasn’t me.”(USA Today)(9-17-2005)
- Stewart wins pole at New Hampshire: #20-Tony Stewart won the Budweiser Pole for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway with a lap of 131.143mph for his 2nd pole of 2005 and 9th of his career. #24-Jeff Gordon [1st race with new crew chief] starting 2nd, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [welcome back Tony Jr;], #17-Matt Kenseth and #10-Scott Riggs. The best qualifying Dodge was the #2 of Rusty Wallace at 7th. #7-Robby Gordon was the highest non top-35 team, who had to get in based on speed, qualifying 19th. Missing the race were: #00-Long, #89-Shepherd, #95-Barrett, #66-Garvey, #37-Raines and #27-Shelmerdine.
For pole progression, qualifying speed and order, practice speeds and starting lineup and links, see Jayski’s Loudon Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(9-17-2005)
- New Hampshire Qualifying Notes:
• Tony Stewart won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Sylvania 300, lapping New Hampshire International Speedway in 29.043 seconds at 131.143 mph. Ryan Newman holds the track-qualifying record of 28.561 seconds, 133.357 mph, set September 12, 2003.
• This is Tony Stewart’s first career Bud Pole at New Hampshire and second of the 2005 season. His other pole came at Daytona in July.
• This is Tony Stewart’s ninth career Bud Pole in 239 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, fifth pole on a super speedway.
• Tony Stewart won at Loudon in July.
• This is Tony Stewart’s 14th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway.
• This is the 12th pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge has eight poles and Ford has five. Qualifying was cancelled at Dover and Watkins Glen.
• Jeff Gordon posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 29.058 seconds, 131.075 mph and will join Tony Stewart on the front row for the Sylvania 300. Jeff Gordon has started from a top-10 starting position in 12 of his races at New Hampshire.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his sixth top-10 start in 12 races at Loudon. His best start of the season.
• Matt Kenseth (fourth) scored his fourth top-10 start in 11 races at Loudon.
• Scott Riggs (fifth) posted his first top-10 start in four races at Loudon.
• Wayne Anderson will make his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series start in the Sylvania 300.
• Five Chase drivers qualified in the top-10. The slowest Chase driver is Greg Biffle who will start 26th in the Sylvania 300.
• There have been 11 different Bud Pole winners in the 22 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Loudon since July 1993. Qualifying has been canceled three times.
• Two of the 21 races at Loudon have been won from the pole: Jeff Gordon in August of 1998 and Ryan Newman in September of 2002. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Loudon was 38th by Jeff Burton in July 1999.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-17-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: By picking Kurt Busch as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond, VA, on September 10, Jerry D. of Gaffney, SC, was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Jerry picked Kurt Busch as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com and entering before the weekly deadline.
As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Kurt Busch. This is the seventh time this year that a donation in Busch’s name has been made to the NPCC.
The Chase for the coveted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is here, and so is 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.(Alan Taylor Communications)(9-17-2005)
News from September 16, 2005
- NHIS Tire Notes: This is the second consecutive race that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to New Hampshire . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck Series will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Cup tires will be branded Goodyear “Eagle” while the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded Goodyear “Wrangler” . . . this is the second straight week these teams have run this tire set-up, having run it at Richmond . . . in addition to New Hampshire and Richmond, major NASCAR teams will use this combination at Phoenix, Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis, Milwaukee and Pikes Peak this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less than in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. Estimated Pit Window: Every 85-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR). for more tire notes, see my New Hamp Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-16-2005)
- Big, Brown Truck is Featured In EA Game: EA Sports’ NASCAR Thunder is a game enjoyed not only by children and fans, but even by NASCAR drivers themselves. UPS Ford driver Dale Jarrett has a 10-year old son, Zachary, who is a fan of a variety of EA Sports games, including several NASCAR versions. Jarrett’s teammate Elliott Sadler is another who enjoys the games played on equipment such as Xbox video game systems. UPS is now getting in on the action. UPS’s big, brown truck is one of the featured vehicles individuals can race in the new EASports branded NASCAR video game, NASCAR ’06 Total Team Control. Video game enthusiasts now have the ability to complete a virtual lap in the UPS package delivery truck as a fully-functioning vehicle. It marks UPS’s first video game product placement of the truck. The idea developed in part due to the popularity of the “Race the Truck” commercial campaign UPS started in 2001 when it began its relationship with Jarrett as primary sponsor of the #88 Robert Yates Racing Ford. For five years, fans have been imploring to Jarrett to race the truck. With the new game, fans now have the chance to race the truck themselves.(UPS Racing)(9-16-2005)
News from September 15, 2005
- Dale Jr. buys Busch shop? Dale Earnhardt Jr is rumored to have purchased a building in the South Iredell Industrial Park in Mooresville, NC for Jr. Motorsports. The building used to be owned by a financial securities company (and a race shop before that) is down the street from Joe Nemechek’s NEMCO Motorsports. The building is not extremely large, but is a comfortable size to house a Busch Series team, which is what Dale Earnhardt Jr is apparantly going to use it for. The South Iredell Industrial Park is located a few miles north of the Hwy 150 and 115 intersection in Mooresville, NC.(Motorsports Lounge PR)(9-15-2005)
- Long gets teammate at Dover: McGlynn Racing announced that Truck Series veteran, Ryan McGlynn, will be driving a second McGlynn Racing entry in the MBNA NASCAR Race Points 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 25th. Ryan will likely run #13 (pending NASCAR approval), and sport a brand new sponsor. The name of the sponsor and terms of the sponsorship agreement will be announced at a later date. McGlynn Racing’s primary driver, Carl Long, will be racing at Dover driving the team’s usual #00 car.(McGlynn MotorSports)(9-15-2005)
- Richmond TV Ratings: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway gathered a 3.3 Houeshold Rating on TNT with 3,676,000 households viewing and with 5,673,000 viewers.(Zap2it.com)
in 2004 the race on TNT had a rating of 3.5 and total households watching at 3,829,000.(9-15-2005)
- Another Wallace moves up: Chrissy Wallace, daughter of Cup driver Mike Wallace, will be making her late model stock car debut this Saturday at Concord Motorsports Park. Chrissy will be driving the #84 M.R. Williams sponsored car, owned by Karen Carlson and Robbie Clay. “I would like to thank Karen and Robbie for this opportunity,” Chrissy Wallace told Motorsports Lounge Wednesday. “I want to also thank Marty Williams for sponsoring our effort this weekend.”(Motorsports Lounge PR)(9-15-2005)
- NASCAR Engineers Help Design New Combat Vehicle: The U.S. military unveiled this week a concept combat vehicle that combines new blast-deflection technology with the safety features of a commercially available truck and NASCAR engineering. Everything from the materials to seating configuration has been rethought. Built on the skeleton of a Ford F-350 truck, the vehicle is called the ULTRA AP (Armored Patrol). Its builders melded some of the latest advancements in vehicle defense with the maneuverability and safety features of an “off-the-shelf” truck to develop a concept vehicle that may one day replace the familiar Humvee in the battlefield. The ULTRA AP was developed at the GTRI, which brought together engineers from the commercial automotive and military worlds. The idea was to save money by marrying advanced armor materials and designs with proven safety designs from the automotive industry. “By bringing together experienced commercial vehicle designers with experts in advanced materials and cutting-edge engineering, we are providing a test bed for evaluating technologies that can help the military develop true ‘leap-ahead’ concepts,” said David Parekh, GTRI’s deputy director. “By including persons with high-performance automotive engineering and NASCAR expertise as part of our team, we were able to root this advanced concepts project in real-world vehicle design.”(LiveScience)(9-15-2005)
- New Hires at RCR: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has hired Tom Knox as its managing director of business development and promoted Jason Garrow to the director of sponsor services. Knox will be responsible for evaluating and pursuing new business opportunities, leading the efforts to add to RCR’s family of sponsors and technical partners and working with RCR’s sponsor services group to bring additional opportunities to its partners. The Wayne, N.J., native comes to RCR from Rusty Wallace, Inc., where he had been since 1999 and last held the position of vice president of business development. From 1997-99, he was a sales account manager with NASCAR’s New York office. Knox earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Fairfield University in 1994 and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Seton Hall University in 1997.
Garrow will oversee day-to-day business activities and client activation with current sponsors, manage sponsors’ event and at-track activities, work with RCR partners to leverage their sponsorship assets and help develop new marketing activities and services for RCR. The Marshall, Minn., native had been RCR’s senior sponsorship manager since February 2003. A 1992 graduate of Augustana College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration/Economics, he earned a Master of Science degree in Sports Management in 1996 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.(RCR)(9-15-2005)
News from September 14, 2005
- WOW that didn’t take long…..Loomis back to Petty in 2006: Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, today announced the organization’s addition of championship-winning crew chief Robbie Loomis as executive vice president of race operations. In his new role, Loomis will head the day-to-day operations of Level Cross-based Petty Enterprises and its two full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams — the #43 Dodges driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Dodges piloted by Petty.”We are excited that Robbie will be rejoining Petty Enterprises,” Petty said. “Robbie won races as a crew chief here, and then won a lot of races and a championship with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports. We have great respect for the entire Hendrick organization, and know that Robbie’s experience with the Hendrick team has prepared him well for the role he will take on at Petty Enterprises. Robbie Loomis will direct our entire race operation, and we expect his experience and his ability to mold a team to help us get to the next level. Robbie has been a part of our family for a long time, and we’re happy to have him come home.” Loomis, 41, will leave his position as crew chief of Hendrick Motorsports’ #24 Chevrolets. Before rejoining Petty, the Forest City, Fla., native will work as a consultant to Concord-based Hendrick Motorsports as the operation pursues the 2005 NEXTEL Cup championship with the #48 Chevrolets.
“We still have a job to do,” said Loomis, who won a Cup title with driver Jeff Gordon in 2001 after coming to Hendrick from Petty Enterprises in 2000. “Our goal is winning that championship with Jimmie (Johnson), Chad (Knaus) and the #48 team. I’m here to support them in any way I possibly can. “Hendrick Motorsports opened my eyes to a whole different level of this industry. The experience has allowed me to see things from a new perspective and learn important lessons about business and life. I’m truly grateful to Rick, Jeff and the 500 people who make Hendrick Motorsports so special. “I was with the Petty family for 11 years before being blessed to work with Jeff and the #24 team. Kyle and Richard (Petty) are giving me an incredible opportunity to come home, back where I started my career, and I’ m honored and excited to do that.”(Williams Company/Hendrick Motorsports)(9-14-2005)
- Letarte Gordon’s new crew chief starting at NHIS: With Robbie Loomis’ move back to Petty Enterprises, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today introduced Steve Letarte as crew chief of the #24 entries driven by Gordon, a four-time Cup Series champion. Letarte will call his first race Sunday at Loudon, N.H., less than 70 miles from his hometown of Cornish, Maine. Letarte, 26, has been with the #24 team full-time since 1996, winning three Cup titles under the tutelage of crew chiefs Ray Evernham, Brian Whitesell and Loomis. He has worked as a tire specialist, mechanic and car chief. “To have a chance like this with Hendrick Motorsports is incredible,” Letarte said. “I couldn’t ask to work with a better driver or a more talented group of people. I’m committed to continuing the winning tradition of this team, closing 2005 on a positive note and pushing toward Jeff’s fifth championship next year.” Letarte takes over a crew with a pair of pole positions and three victories this season. Only two NEXTEL Cup teams have more wins in 2005. “I’m sad to see Robbie leave,” Gordon said. “We made a great team and had more wins ahead of us, but the Pettys presented him with a fantastic opportunity. For him, it was time for a change and I’m happy he’s found the right fit. “I’ve worked with Steve for more than 10 years and we already communicate extremely well, both on and off the track. The team has a ton of confidence in his abilities, so we’re looking forward to the last 10 races of 2005 and getting an early jump on next year.”(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-14-2005)
- More on Dale Jr./Eury Jr. reuniting UPDATE 2 Official: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. will be reunited in time for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire. Eury has been Michael Waltrip’s crew chief this season. Tony Gibson, Waltrip’s car chief, is likely to succeed Eury as crew chief and stay with the #15 team for the remainder of the season. Waltrip is leaving with NAPA at the end of the year to drive the #23 car for Bill Davis Racing[not announced yet, still speculated and expected]. With Tony Eury Jr. moving back to the #8 team, Steve Hmiel will return to his previous post as head of DEI’s research-and-development operation and concentrate on building the intermediate-track version of “the car of tomorrow (COT)” for 2007. Hmiel says that several organizations are participating in the process, but it was important for DEI to get a head start, “since this will be the biggest change to come along in Cup since NASCAR moved to smaller cars in ’81.”(Sporting News)(9-12-2005)
UPDATE: Tony Eury Jr. will take over crew chief duties for #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. beginning this week in New Hampshire, ESPN’s Mike Massaro confirmed with sources at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated [DEI]. Eury had been the crew chief for Michael Waltrip throughout the 2005 season but was a key member of Earnhardt’s team up until the infamous personnel swap this past offseason with DEI teammate Waltrip. Earnhardt has had a sub-par 2005 season, already missing out on the Nextel Cup’s 10-race playoffs. It already seemed in recent weeks as if Earnhardt is looking to next season, anyway. Eury Jr. stopped by his car at Michigan and helped his crew make some adjustments that Earnhardt said improved his #8 Budweiser Chevy. The two were separated at the end of last season because of their constant bickering — the two are cousins — and both have said the year apart helped strengthen the relationship.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2005)
OFFICAL: Dale Earnhardt Incorporated announced Wednesday that, starting this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway, Tony Eury Jr., will take over as crew chief for the #8 Budweiser Chevy. Eury Jr., who has been crew chief for DEI’s #15 Chevy this season, will be reunited with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who Eury Jr. worked with for eight seasons prior. The two will be paired for the remaining races of the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season in preparation for 2006 where they will compete together for the NASCAR championship. “This is the best plan for us as a company,” Eury Jr. said. “We haven’t been in the same pit box this year, but we’ve been working closely as a team. Looking at where we want to be for 2006, it made sense to switch now and get that much further ahead.” With the 2005 chase contenders decided, Richie Gilmore, DEI’s Vice-President of Motorsports, knew now was the best time for the restructuring. “After evaluating our programs for next season, we went back and looked at all the resources at our disposal,” Gilmore said. “By putting Tony Jr. back with Dale Jr. now, it enables us to start working towards our goals for next season. Those two can start finding their rhythm for next year, while Steve Hmiel can return his full focus on the technical aspect of our programs.” Hmiel, who has been the interim crew chief for the #8 team since May, will return to his position as Technical Director for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Tony Gibson, car chief for the #15 team, will serve as the #15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet crew chief for the remainder of this season. DEI’s line-up of teams will be stronger than ever for 2006 with three Nextel Cup teams and two Busch Series teams. Chance 2, which is co-owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr., is the defending Busch Series champions and currently leads in the series point standings.(DEI PR/Site)(9-14-2005)
- Yeley back in the #11: Joe Gibbs Racing Busch Series driver J.J Yeley will take the wheel of the #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet at New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend, it will be his second start in the #11 FedEx Monte Carlo and his fourth career Nextel Cup start. Yeley will stay in the car for the MBNA NASCAR RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 25. Following Terry Labonte’s 9th place finish at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 10, the FedEx Team remains in 35th place in owners points and currently sits 59 points out of 34th place. Yeley has made one previous start at New Hampshire International Speedway, starting tenth and finishing sixth in the 2005 New England 200 Busch series race on July 16 of this year. Yeley successfully tested at Loudon with the FedEx team on Tues., August 30. The Sylvania 300 marks Yeley’s second start in the #11 FedEx Chevrolet and his second NASCAR Nextel Cup start of the 2005 season. Yeley qualified the #11 season-best eighth for the Sony HD 500 in California, but was forced to the garage early after a lap-two spin. Despite major repairs to the#11, Yeley returned to the track and brought home a 39th-place finish. In July, Yeley qualified the #20 Home Depot car for an injured Tony Stewart at Chicagoland Speedway but Stewart returned to the seat for the USG Sheetrock 400 the following day. Yeley has run every Busch series race on the 2005 schedule in the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet, recording three top-five and nine top-ten finishes to date. Yeley currently sits in 12th place in the Busch series standings only 77 points of out tenth.(JGR PR)(9-14-2005)
- Newman Tests at Kentucky: #12 Penske South Racing driver Ryan Newman wouldn’t be surprised if the last wound up first when the 10-race “Chase for the NEXTEL Cup” ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20. “As far as the points go, we deserve to be 10th and 10th is what gets us in,” he said. “We were a 10th place team after the 26th race and we’d like to be better than that, hopefully first team after the 36th. We have a team that’s capable of being first. We’ll see if we can do that.” The 27-year-old driver opened his bid for his first series title with a test at Kentucky Speedway today. He said he is comfortable starting his second “Chase for the NEXTEL Cup” just 45 points behind series leader Tony Stewart. The South Bend, Ind., driver used today’s track time to acquire data that may help him improve on last season’s seventh-place showing in “Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.” He drove to a total of three top-three finishes during the 2004 title chase including a win in Dover, Del., a second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and a third-place finish in Martinsville, Va.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-14-2005)
- Sad News: Condolences to #19 Evernham Motorsports driver, Jeremy Mayfield on the passing of his grandmother on Sept 8th. Lillian Davis Mayfield, 89, of Owensboro, died Thursday, September 08, 2005, at her home. She was born January 27, 1916 to the late Harvey and Elodia Raymer Smith in Breckenridge County. She was a homemaker, a member of St. Stephen Cathedral and she enjoyed gardening, working in her yard, and cooking. She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis X. “Zeb” Mayfield, who died June 19, 1997, two sons, Bobby Mayfield, who died September 8, 1995, and Barry Mayfield, who died May 28, 2004, and a grandson, Jonathan Clark, who died October 12, 1985. Funeral Services were Sunday and Monday. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Association, 723 Harvard Drive, Owensboro, KY, 42301.(Glenn Funeral Home )(9-14-2005)
- Players Extreme joins #4 as assoc sponsor: Blavod Extreme Spirits announced that Players Extreme vodka will be an associate sponsor on the #4 Lucas Oil Chevy, with driver Mike Wallace, beginning in Richmond this past weekend. The sponsorship, featuring a co-promotion with the team’s Wide Open Performance – Enhanced Formula Energy Drink, will highlight the vodka’s extreme smoothness and drinkability to NASCAR’s 75 million fans. The first market for the combined distribution and marketing effort is the state of Texas, where Eclipse Distribution Services, one of the fastest growing distributors, will be partnering with both brands to increase market share throughout the entire state.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports)(9-14-2005)
- Mears tests at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway is hosting Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates #41 Target Dodge car with driver Casey Mears and crew chief on Tuesday [9/13] and Wed [9/14]. Here are some quotes from Tuesday’s test: Jimmy Elledge – Crew Chief “We’re here at the Nashville Superspeedway for a two-day test and we’re researching the way the #41 Target Dodge reacts aerodynamically. This is a good, smooth, sensitive track so I think we’ll take away some positives.”(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(9-14-2005)
- Burton tests at Homestead: Jeff Burton and #31 Team Cingular tested Homestead-Miami Speedway Sept. 13-14 in preparation for the November 20 season finale.(RCR PR)(9-14-2005)
- Women Drivers Profiled: The Biography Channel starts a four-part series Girl Racers Sept 15th. The documentary profiles eight of the top female drivers. The program airs at 10:00pm/et.(9-14-2005)
- Stewart on Letterman TONIGHT….and: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, is scheduled to appear on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, Sept 14th [not the 13th, sorry folks been mixing up my days this week – DOH!], the airs at 11:30pm/et. Actress Reese Witherspoon and musical group Arcade Fire are also scheduled to be on the show.(Late Night with David Letterman Show site)
AND Tony Stewart will appear tonight on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” There, Stewart and Letterman – both of whom are Indiana natives – will no doubt discuss their stirring victories at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart won the Aug. 7 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as a driver, while Letterman won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as an owner with his driver, Buddy Rice.
Stewart will maintain his national television presence with a Thursday [Sept 15th] morning visit to NBC’s “Today” show. Following his trip to 30 Rockefeller Center, Stewart will appear on a variety of ESPN outlets, most notably ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza” and ESPNEWS’ “Hot List.”
Continuing the ESPN theme, Stewart is on the cover of this week’s ESPN Magazine. Writer Tom Friend spent a day with Stewart prior to the Labor Day weekend Nextel Cup race at California Speedway, and before the interview, talked with numerous friends and family members to complete one of the most in-depth profiles of the 24-time Nextel Cup race victor.(True Speed Communication)(9-14-2005)
News from September 13, 2005
- Sorenson Cup debut at Atlanta: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that NASCAR Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson will make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut during the Oct. 31 race weekend at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Discount Tire Co., the primary sponsor of Sorenson’s #41 Dodge in the Busch Series, will increase its support of the 19-year-old driver by serving as the sponsor on his #39 Dodge Charger. In addition, Sorenson will attempt to qualify for the NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in the #39 Discount Tire Dodge in November. The paint scheme that Sorenson will be running in Atlanta and Texas is also a sneak peek at what his #41 Discount Tire Dodge will look like for the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season. Discount Tire Company made its foray into racing in 2004 with its sponsorship of a CGRFS entry in the NASCAR Busch Series. After running eight races in 2004, Discount Tire expanded its sponsorship to a full season this year. Discount Tire will continue its support of Sorenson in the Busch Series in 2006.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-13-2005)
- Sharpie leaving Roush? Sharpie will grace Kurt Busch’s #97 Ford this weekend at New Hampshire, but there has been talk that the sponsor’s parent company, Newell-Rubbermaid, could be interested in spending its money elsewhere in 2007. One possibility could be securing the naming rights to Bristol Motor Speedway.(Sporting News)(9-13-2005)
- Testing at Dover: Many drivers Busch drivers and Cup driver #5-Kyle Busch are scheduled to be testing Tuesday and Wednesday [Sept 13-14th] at Dover International Speedway. The test is closed to the public. Kyle Busch is scheduled to test on Wednesday.(Dover Intl Speedway PR)(9-13-2005)
- McMurray in the #97 instead of #6? here is a new one….from the Tampa Tribune: When Jamie McMurray [current #42 Texaco driver] joins Roush Racing in 2007, he may drive [Kurt] Busch’s #97 Ford rather than Martin’s #6 Ford as originally planned, Roush said. McMurray is scheduled to join Roush in 2007, after his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing expires. Busch is leaving no later than 2007 to take over Rusty Wallace’s #2 Miller Lite Dodge at Penske Racing South in 2007. Busch’s contract with Roush runs through next year.(Tampa Tribune), if so, what is the point of Martin staying another year?(9-13-2005)
- Mears to run #30? hearing the car number for the fourth Ganassi Racing team will be the #30 Home 123 Dodge for driver Casey Mears.(9-13-2005)
- Speed Reduces NASCAR Nation to one night, adds two shows and expands another: Beginning Sept. 19, SPEED Channel will air NASCAR Nation on Mondays only, making room for a pair of new shows focused on the NASCAR Chase for the NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR’s annual “Silly Season.”
“With 10 races to go in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, fans want to know about two things – the championship and what’s going on with their favorite driver,” said Hunter Nickell, SPEED Channel Executive VP & General Manager. “With adjustments to already existing SPEED programming and the addition of new shows like One-Track Mind, Back-Seat Drivers and The Chase is On, the network is uniquely positioned to deliver coverage that matches the viewers’ interests in both areas.”
One-Track Mind will be a weekly, long-form interview with each of the driver-crew chief combinations in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.
Back-Seat Drivers, hosted by NASCAR.com’s Marty Smith and Shannon Spake, will be a weekly look at the hot topics in the NASCAR garage. If NASCAR fans are talking about it, Back-Seat Drivers will be talking about it. “Even if your favorite driver is Jeff Gordon, you still want to know what’s going on at DEI or Roush Racing during Silly Season,” Nickell added. “Back-Seat Drivers will talk about driver changes, crew changes, sponsors coming and going – everything is fair game.”
In addition to the new shows, SPEED Channel also is expanding the popular Thursday night program Beyond the Wheel to a one-hour Beyond the Wheel – Chase Edition.
SPEED Channel’s new weekday 7:00pm programming wheel (7 p.m., 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET & PT):
* Monday – NASCAR NATION (30 minutes)
* Tuesday – One-Track Mind (30 minutes)
* Wednesday – Back-Seat Drivers (30 minutes)
* Thursday – Beyond the Wheel (Expanded to one hour)
SPEED Channel also recently announced The Chase is On, a weekly preview of each of the 10 races making up NASCAR’s Chase for the NEXTEL Cup with Ralph Sheheen and 1999 Cup champion Dale Jarrett. The show debuts Thursday at 8:00pm/et and pt.(SPEED Channel)(9-13-2005)
- WIX Filters Extends Joe Gibbs Racing Sponsorship: WIX Filters has announced that it will extend its associate sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing through 2007, taking the mutually beneficial relationship into its 15th year of NASCAR competition. The Joe Gibbs Racing associate sponsorship is the cornerstone of WIX Filters’ involvement in NASCAR – more teams use WIX Filters than any other filter, making WIX the #1 filter in NASCAR – and the filter manufacturer leverages its relationship with JGR in marketing communications efforts. Joe Gibbs Racing’s NEXTEL Cup #18 car, driven by Bobby Labonte, and its #20 car, driven by Tony Stewart, offer powerful visuals and voices in WIX Filters advertising; WIX uses its track-side research in its public relations efforts; and customers benefit from at-track events, racing-related promotions and the assurance that thanks to teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, the filter they are buying has succeeded on the toughest testing ground around. In addition, Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs will make personal appearances on behalf of WIX Filters – a benefit that WIX shares with its customers, giving them a chance to bring a taste of NASCAR to their own events. WIX has been a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1993, just two years after Gibbs launched the race shop, and have continued a strong partnership ever since. Since 1939, WIX Filters has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX also has the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award, which recognizes the drivers leading the most laps in each race. For more info on WIX Filters’ go to wixfilters.com.(PR)(9-13-2005)
News from September 12, 2005
- Fennig Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Richmond: Kurt Busch and Jimmy Fennig made Richmond International Raceway their personal playground this weekend in the Chevy Rock N Roll 400. Busch drove the #97 Crown Royal Ford to his third win in 2005, leading the most laps along the way. His victory marked his eighth top-10 and 14th top-five for the season. The #97 team’s performance earned Jimmy Fennig the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. “Kurt Busch, he got up on that wheel,” said Fennig. “The guys did an awesome job. It was a big team effort. We lost a couple of races this year because of faulty parts or bad things happening, but Kurt was on a mission tonight and got it. We had a good car. Our car was good on short runs and long runs. Now I’m going after that championship.” The panel of voters; including John Markon of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr.; all voted for Fennig as the crew chief that did the best job. “He led the most laps and picked up the win,” said Eury Sr. “There’s really not a lot more that you could ask for. That’s the kind of race that every crew chief hopes to have.”
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson is in second place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for third place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Robbie Reiser 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)(9-12-2005)
- Busch Release Cutoff is mid-Oct: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said the cutoff date for releasing Kurt Busch to leave for Penske Racing South is mid-October. He added that Roush Racing and Busch’s sponsors are comfortable with leaving Busch in the #97 car next season. “At the same time, we’re trying to keep our eyes open for whether or not there is a substitution deal that is palatable for the sponsors, either short term or long term,” he said. Busch said the matter is in the hands of lawyers. Smith, who is a lawyer, said there are no apparent loopholes that would allow Busch to leave without a severe penalty. “In this environment that we’re in, where there are tens of millions of dollars at play, the penalty is almost beyond calculation when it comes to the cost of running a race team and having to rebuild it from scratch,” Smith said. “I couldn’t even total that. The only clean way to do it is just to release him from the contract.” Smith said the situation is the same for Chip Ganassi driver Jamie McMurray, who was signed by Roush Racing to replace Mark Martin in 2007. Martin is prepared to stay in the #6 car next season. “It’s done between us and Mark that he is going to come back if the window doesn’t open,” Smith said. “There’s a chance, but it’s only going to be open if Chip on his own and Jamie on his own separates.”(The State)(9-12-2005)
- So what happens if there is a tie for 10th place in The Chase? UPDATE: NASCAR’s Jim Hunter was interviewed during TNT’s Nextel Cup qualifying and was asked by Allen Bestwick what would happen if drivers are tied in the top-10 of drivers points? Hunter said, if two drivers are tied for 10th in drivers points after the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond, BOTH drivers would get in The Chase. It was later clarified that the only way the tie would allow an additional driver or driver to make The Chase would be if the tie was for 10th. If drivers are tied at 8th, the driver with the most wins [or 2nds, 3rds ,etc] get the spot, the other would be 9th, the 10th would be the final driver in.(9-9-2005)
UPDATE 8th is a tie: #99-Carl Edwards and #17-Matt Kenseth ended up tied for eighth in points, both with 3114. NASCAR ruled after the race that Edwards and Kenseth would start with the same number of points, 5015, when the playoff starts next week. Ninth-place points will not be awarded, NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said, and 10th-place Newman will be paid for 10th place, starting the fall run with 5005.(Speed Channel), nascar.com has it as Edwards with 5015 and Kenseth with 5010.(9-12-2005)
- #73 Team back to the track? Edward Raabe won’t say yet who his race car driver will be, but [#73] Raabe Racing Enterprises is speeding ahead with an $8 million Nextel Cup race team in Daytona Beach. The team is based out of a 60,000 [not 6,000] square-foot facility at 1870 Mason Ave., formerly home to a plastics manufacturing company. The building has been refitted with everything from fabrication equipment for sheet metal and heavy steel, to a chassis dynamometer for engine tuning, to tooling needed for engine modifying. The facility also is home to a graphics operation that can wrap a race car or an 18-wheeler with race-team logos. Raabe Enterprises has a lease with the option to buy the building “but everything else is debt free. We have $8 million invested. It takes in the neighborhood of $10 million to $15 million a year to operate,” the owner said.
The local team started the season at this year’s opening race at Daytona International Speedway with [#73] Chevys bought from the established Morgan-McClure Motorsports team (headquartered in Abingdon, Va.). They also borrowed a driver, Eric McClure. In Daytona Beach, the team ran the Gatorade Twin 125s on Feb. 17, but did not qualify for the Daytona 500. The team competed in the second race of the season, the Auto Club 500 at California on Feb. 27. By the third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the team finished 32nd in a field of 43 at the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400. After three races on the season’s schedule, McClure told Raabe he chose not to make the Atlanta race, the fourth race in the 36-race season.
That put the team out of racing so far this season, but Raabe said he hopes to finish out three or four races at the end of the season with an experienced driver, but he’s not ready to say who. Meanwhile, the shop has continued to operate with about 14 employees, as support services to the local dirt, asphalt and drag race car drivers.
The new Raabe venture, he said, is well financed by himself, with John Baiamonte, an entrepreneur from Florida’s West Coast. The team’s only major sponsor now is Raabe’s daughter’s and son-in-law’s company, ARC (Aquatic Re-lease Conservation) Dehooker (www.dehooker4arc.com), which makes fishing industry-related products in Port Orange. He is looking for an additional sponsor. Raabe said the ARC Dehooker company eventually will be moving to Daytona Beach — and that 23,000 square feet of the racing enterprise building also will house ARC Dehooker. “We will possibly expand with a new building, but that is two years down the road at least,” he said. When that occurs, Raabe said ARC Dehooker expects to hire about 75 employees.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-12-2005)
AND hearing one driver talking to the team is John Andretti, who is looking for a ride after the #14 ppc Racing team suspended operations and has been driving races here-and-there for #4 Morgan-McClure in Nextel Cup and #15 Billy Ballew truck series team.(9-12-2005)
- Chex Most Popular Voting Over 3 Million, Dale Jr leads: With voting now well past 3 million for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award, smashing the record for total votes in a season appears to be a foregone conclusion. A total of 3,119,000 votes have been cast, and the record of 3.8 million votes set last year should fall before fan voting ends in 10 weeks. Race fans have been voting at www.mostpopulardriver.com, the official voting site, since February 1. Since General Mills began sponsoring the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award at the beginning of the 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, well over 13 million votes have been cast by fans throughout the world. Fans vote at www.mostpopulardriver.com for the only fan-based official award in motorsports.
#8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continues to lead in the voting. Behind him in the current balloting are second-place #24-Jeff Gordon, followed by #9-Kasey Kahne [top three NOT in the Chase], #20-Tony Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Rusty Wallace, #15-Michael Waltrip, #6-Mark Martin, #88-Dale Jarrett, and #48-Jimmie Johnson.
Voting for the more than 40 drivers eligible for the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award, the only fan-based award in motorsports, began Tuesday, Feb. 1, at www.mostpopulardriver.com and continues through 11:59 a.m. CST, Monday, Nov. 21. Fans may vote once each day at the site.(Williams Company)(9-12-2005)
- Ince to PPI Racing UPDATE on Hamilton Jr.: former crew chief James Ince is back on the NASCAR Nextel Cup tour. #32 car owner Cal Wells has hired Ince to become team manager for driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. along with Eddie Dickerson, a veteran car builder and shop foreman. How driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. might fit into all this is unclear. Hamilton hasn’t said much about his plans for 2006, and has been dodging questions on the issue for the past month.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2005)
UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton Jr. Saturday denied reports that his Nextel Cup [#32 PPI Racing] team is about to fold. “I know that’s been going around but there’s nothing to it,” Hamilton, a Nashville native and fourth-generation racer, joined Cal Wells’ PPI Motorsports team around mid-season last year, replacing Ricky Craven. He signed a three-year contract. Hamilton said of reports that began circulating during last week’s race at California and continued in the days leading up to last night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. “We’ve been hiring some new people and making plans and I expect to be back next year.” Hamilton posted his best finish (11th) in the season’s third race at Las Vegas Speedway. Since then the team has struggled, with an average finish of 30th. The Hickory, N.C.-based team fields only one car, and Wells said that puts it at a disadvantage to multi-car teams in terms of testing and technology. Wells said he would like to give Hamilton a teammate if he can find sponsorship for a second car. Hamilton was a winner in the Busch Series, and Wells continues to express confidence in his ability to compete in NASCAR’s top division. Hamilton, while frustrated, likewise said he has faith in the team’s potential. “It has won before (with Craven) and if we can get all the pieces to fit together it can win again,” he said.(Tennessean)
AND PPI Motorsports recently added Eddie Dickerson and James Ince to its roster. Dickerson will be instrumental in chassis development; Ince will oversee the assembly shop. Team owner Cal Wells says, “I want to keep changing things up until I find the right combination.” Wells says that Tide will return as sponsor in 2006.(Sporting News)(9-12-2005)
News from September 11, 2005
- A Chase Refresher: This is the second year of NASCAR’s playoff-style system for determining its Nextel Cup champion. Here’s how it works:
• Following the 26th race of the season, the top 10 drivers plus any within 400 points of the leader are broken out for a 10-race showdown called Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.
• The leader’s points are bumped up to 5,050 entering the 27th race. Each subsequent place among the Chase drivers also has its points reset, but in incremental five-point drops; so the second-place driver starts the Chase with 5045, the next with 5040, and so on.
• Drivers not involved in the Chase will continue to compete through the end of the season. While the resetting of points puts the championship out of their reach, they still have something to race for — the driver who finishes the season in 11th place will win $250,000 and the right to attend the year-end banquet in New York.
• Under NASCAR’s scoring rules, the maximum a driver can score at one race is 190 points, while the second-place driver can earn no more than 180.(ESPN.com RPM/AP)(9-11-2005)
- Last time Brothers won, back-to-back? Kyle Busch won last week at California Speedway and brother Kurt Busch won the race at Richmond this week, becoming hte first brothers to win races back-to-back since August 1995 when Bobby Labonte won at Michigan and the following week Terry Labonte won at Bristol. Looked it up…so you didn’t have to….(9-11-2005)
- 12 in the 2006 Chase? A team Cap? There were rumors in the Nextel Cup garage at Richmond International Raceway that the field for the Chase for the Nextel Cup could grow from 10 to 12 next season. The argument is based on the fact that there have been at least 12 drivers in contention for a Chase berth up until the final laps of the final race of the “regular season.” And it would be two more chances to get top drawing cards like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon into the run for the title if they struggled at some point during the season as they both have this year. NASCAR president Mike Helton said sanctioning body officials will review the Chase at the end of the season to see if adjustments to the format are warranted. “When it was all said and done last year and the dust had settled, we took a look at things and were pretty pleased,” he said. “We’ll do the same thing at the end of this year. But I can’t see anything major coming along.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
AND NASCAR is looking at putting a cap on the number of Nextel Cup teams that can be owned by one organization, chairman Brian France said Saturday. France said the consideration was not prompted by the fact Roush Racing has five drivers inside the top 10 heading into Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. France said he is more concerned new owners won’t be able to break into the sport if they feel it’s impossible to compete without a minimum of three teams. France did not indicate what the cap number might be, but he said existing teams would not be penalized “for operating within the rules.” France doesn’t anticipate significant changes, if any at all, to the points system used to determine the championship chase. He said there are no plans to extend the 400-point cutoff. The only adjustment he could see would be awarding more points for the winner.(The State)(9-11-2005)
- Marlin to MB2 in 2006? UPDATE 4 Done Deal: hearing that Sterling Marlin could be part of the MB2 Motorsports stable of drivers in 2006, replacing Scott Riggs. MB2 is also grooming 20-year-old World of Outlaws driver Kraig Kinser. The 20-year-old driver is part of MB2’s driver development program and will make his MB2 debut today in the ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway. He qualified second for the ARCA event. Kinser, son of racing legend Steve Kinser, won Sunday’s Knoxville National in central Iowa, the most prestigious event in the World of Outlaws series.
the #10 Valvoline team with driver Scott Riggs is losing Valvoline as the sponsor and will change car numbers, hearing either #35 or #02, rumored sponsors include: Allstate, Big Lots or/and State Farm. Riggs had a contract extension on the table, but MB2 recently pulled it. Riggs could end up in Evernham Motorsports #10 Valvoline Dodge.(Jayski)(8-19-2005)
UPDATE: Sterling Marlin has talked to MB2 Motorsports about taking over what’s now the #10 car for next season. MB2 Motorsports GM Jay Frye says Marlin is on his short list. Sponsorship and a car number have not been decided, but the team has petitioned NASCAR for 02 or 35. Current driver Scott Riggs, who finished a career-high second at Michigan, is expected to continue with Valvoline and the No. 10 at Evernham Motorsports.(Sporting News)(8-22-2005)
UPDATE 2: Sterling Marlin appears headed to MB2 Motorsports next season as a teammate of Joe Nemechek, although the veteran racer from Columbia said yesterday the deal is not finalized. “It’s a good team with a good engine program,” Marlin said. “Joe has won with it.” Marlin is expected to take over the team’s #10 Chevrolet [will be #35 or #02] currently driven by Scott Riggs. Riggs will move [with the car #10 and Valvoline] to Evernham Motorsports next year. “We’re still talking,” Marlin said of MB2. “We should know something soon.”(Tennessean)(8-27-2005)
UPDATE 3: been told the announcement will be soon, Marlin to the #35 Chevy for MB2 Motorsports.(9-3-2005)
UPDATE 4: Sterling Marlin confirmed yesterday that he will race the next two seasons for MB2 Motorsports as a teammate of #01-Joe Nemechek. “I’ve got a deal,” Marlin said, “and it’s a good one.” The 48-year-old racer from Columbia will replace Scott Riggs, who is jumping to Evernham Motorsports next year. MB2, based in Concord, N.C. [sson to be Mooresville], could have followed the recent trend in NASCAR and picked one of a dozen young drivers with a more polished image than Marlin, a self-described “country boy.” But team official Jay Frye said “age equates to experience,” and that Marlin’s lack of pretension is appealing. “Sterling has no baggage,” Frye said. “Everybody likes him.” And it wasn’t just Marlin’s personality that landed him the ride. “We think he can still do it,” Frye said. “We’ve very excited about the next couple of years.” Frye said details on Marlin’s new sponsor and car number are still being finalized. “They’ve got good people and a good motor program,” Marlin said. “It’s a team with a great future.” Marlin said he is relieved to get his new deal finalized because it’s the last one he will have to negotiate. “Two more years is all I want,” he said. “After that I’m done.”(Tennessean)
AND The signing of Sterling Marlin to drive the #10 Chevrolet [#35 in 2006 probably] of MB2 Motorsports is still in the works, but an insider estimated the official announcement may be a month away. Apparently the sponsorship details are still being worked out, and it’s unlikely that an official an-nouncement will be made until the sponsor is officially signed.(Gaston Gazette)(9-10-2005)
AND II: Frye has said sponsorship is promising, although a full announcement will have to wait until details are finalized. He says the new car number has not yet been chosen, although #’s 02 and 30 are under consideration.(Speed Channel), although #35 is the number I keep hearing for the car to replace #10.(9-11-2005)
News from September 10, 2005
- Kurt Busch wins at Richmond, Newman gets 10th in Chase: #97-Kurt Busch won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, dominating the 2nd half of the race, leading 185 of 400 laps for his 14th career win and 3rd win of 2005. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 2nd, followed by #16-Greg Biffle, #5-Kyle Busch and #2-Rusty Wallace. It is the first time a team has had three drivers finish 1-2-3 in the same race since 1997 when Hendrick Motorsports had three in the Daytona 500. #12-Ryan Newman finished 12th, locking himself into 10th in The Chase by 66 points over #38-Elliott Sadler who finished 17th and ended up 11th in drivers points. #42-Jamie McMurray was 13 points behind Newman when he was involved in a wreck with #37-Raines, #21-Rudd, #20-Stewart on lap 364, with McMurray ended up in the wall and out of the race, finishing 40th and 89 out of 10th. Points leader, #20-Tony Stewart finished 7th and will see his 185 point lead over #16-Biffle shrink to 5 points starting next week at New Hampshire. #24-Jeff Gordon had a tough night, hit the wall once and finished 30th, 2 laps down and 89 points out of 10th.
For my race rundown, narritive, nots, caution info, lap leaders, etc, see Richmond Race Info/Rundown Page
For race results and links, see Jayski’s Richmond Race Results Page.(9-10-2005)
- Dale Jr. and Eury Jr. back together this year? Next week? Transcript: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Media Conference on Thurs. Sept 8th:
Q) Are you going to make changes to the team for next year?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. driver of the #8 Bud Chevy: “Yeah, we’ll make changes. I really can’t talk about the changes we’re gonna make. I’m not gonna announce the changes this time, so y’all will just have to wait or ask somebody else.”
Q) Do you want to be back with Tony Eury Jr. this season if you’re going to work together next season?
Dale Jr: “If me and Tony Jr. are going to work together next year, that’d be a good idea to begin work on that relationship. With the few races left, use it to kind of work on… (the 8 and 15 teams) they’ve been working a lot together the last couple of weeks as far as set-ups and stuff, and moving some of their stuff over to my car. But it’s not the whole thing. It’d be good to get on track with (Tony) Jr. if that’s what we’re gonna do next year. See full Q&A at fingerprintonline.com.
AND MORE Richie Gilmore, vice president of motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., hinted Friday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. could be reunited as soon as next week at New Hampshire International Speedway. “If me and Tony Jr. are going to work together next year, that’d be a good idea to begin working on that relationship,” Earnhardt said. Gilmore said the team announced all its changes for next year to its employees but is waiting to make those decisions public. “We don’t really feel like we need to take away from anybody in the chase,” Gilmore said. “Maybe at Loudon, we’ll go there and we’ll announce our plans there.” Gilmore said the team plans to use the last 10 races preparing for next season. “I feel we can go to Daytona and run great again with our plate program, but I want to focus on … California and Las Vegas,” Gilmore said of the second and third race next season. “Coming out of the box those have never been great race tracks for us and we can work on that the rest of the year. Looking at the season as one big test.”(Roanoke Times)(9-10-2005)
- Elliott unsure of 2006 plans: Ray Evernham said veteran Bill Elliott hasn’t decided whether he’ll drive another part-time schedule next year.(Tampa Tribune)(9-10-2005)
- Newman/Jarrett Settle: #12-Ryan Newman said Friday that he met with #88-Dale Jarrett last week to discus their bumping incidents at Bristol two week ago. Jarrett appeared to intentionally turn into Newman’s car after Newman had bumped Jarrett into the wall earlier in the race. “We talked in California in the NASCAR hauler,” Newman said. “I told him I didn’t intentionally hit him, but it was obvious he intentionally hit me. I told him it was hard for me to take. He voiced his opinion on the situation, not necessarily about that race but previous races. We walked out arguing about who was going to open the door … so I think we should be all right.”(Dallas Morning News)(9-10-2005)
- #49 Team/Driver docked points and fined UPDATE 2 appeal denied: NASCAR announced today that three penalties have been issued to the #49 Dodge team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series as a result of rules infractions last weekend at Michigan. The penalties were issued because of a roof height that was too low, a violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing), and Section 12-4-Q (car, parts, components and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book. This infraction was discovered during post-race inspection. Ken Schrader, driver of the #49, was penalized with the loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver championship points. Car owner Beth Ann Morgenthau was penalized with the loss of 25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owner championship points. Crew chief David Hyder was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(8-24-2005)
UPDATE: #49 BAM Racing is appealing its penalty from last week’s race at Michigan. NASCAR fined the team points and money for failing the minimum height requirement. The team blames a broken shock absorber.(Daily Record)(8-27-2005)
UPDATE 2 – Denied: The National Stock Car Racing Commission denied the appeal from #49 BAM Racing. Ken Schrader and the team were penalized 25 points each and crew chief Larry Hyder was fined $25,000 after the car failed the minimum height requirement at Michigan last month.(Roanoke Times)(9-10-2005)
- Hermie speaks to Boy Scouts: #92-Hermie Sadler spoke to Cub Scouts and signed autographs at an event Thursday night to kick off the Heart of Virginia Council’s “Race to Scouting,” a membership drive to attract a projected 3,000 boys to scouting. The Heart of Virginia Council serves more than 22,000 youth and 7,000 volunteers who deliver scouting programs in central Virginia.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-10-2005)
- Childress and Diversity: Car owner Richard Childress is stepping up his diversity efforts with drivers Allison Duncan and Sarah Fisher, who will be testing head-to-head this week with hopes of getting the OK to step up to Busch racing, too. Duncan has been racing a weekly quarter-mile in Stockton, Calif., this season for Childress, and Fisher has been racing NASCAR West for Childress, although rather sporadically. Fisher’s car lost its engine early in last week’s race at California Speedway.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-10-2005)
- Richmond Race Notes:
• Kurt Busch won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, scoring his 14th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 176th career start.
• Busch scored his third victory in 2005, also posting victories at Phoenix and second Pocono.
• Busch has scored 14 top-10 finishes in 26 races in 2005.
• Busch climbed from sixth to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
• This is Busch’s sixth career short-track victory in 30 career short-track races.
• Busch led the most laps for the third time in a race this season. He also led the most at Phoenix and second Pocono.
• Busch scored the fourth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Richmond International Raceway. This was Roush’s 85th victory as a car owner and 10th in 26 races this season.
• This is the 11th victory by a Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 13 and Dodge has two.
The 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
• As a result of their finishes in the 2005 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, 10 drivers have clinched a spot in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. These 10 drivers will race over the final 10 races of the 2005 season to determine the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who is expected to win in excess of $5 million: Tony Stewart (clinched at Michigan), Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle (clinched at Bristol), Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin (clinched at California) and Kurt Busch, Jeremy Mayfield, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman (clinched at Richmond).
• Five drivers in the top-10 in points changed positions at Richmond.
• 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.
• Seven 10 drivers competing in the 2005 Chase for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have scored at least one victory in the first 26 races of the 2005 season. Five of the 10 drivers have scored multiple victories led by Stewart and Biffle each with five.
• All five Roush drivers are competing 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.
• Matt Kenseth (second) scored his fifth top-10 finish in his last six races. It was his 11th top-10 finish in 2005. It was his seventh top-10 finish in 12 races at Richmond International Raceway. Kenseth climbed from a low of 42nd in the point standings after race No. 1 at Daytona to make the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
• Rusty Wallace (fifth) extended a 39-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol in August 2004. Wallace has scored 21 top-15 finishes in 26 races in 2005.
• Tony Stewart (seventh) has scored 12 straight top-10 finishes including nine top fives.
• Ryan Newman (12th) climbed from 11th to 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, thus securing a spot in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
• Elliott Sadler (17th) has finished 12th or worse in his last 10 races. Sadler finished 11th in the point standings, 66 points behind 10th-place Ryan Newman.
• Jimmy Johnson (25th) dropped from third to fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 59 consecutive races, the longest current streak. The streak began at Atlanta in March 2004.
• Jeff Gordon (30th) remained 12th to in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Gordon ended an 11-year streak of finishing in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings (1994-2004).
• Dale Jarrett (38th) has finished 14th or worse in his last nine races
Heading to New Hampshire
• Kurt Busch has finished first or second in four of his last six races at New Hampshire.
• Matt Kenseth has scored six straight top-10 finishes in his last six races at New Hampshire.
• Jimmie Johnson has scored top-15 finishes in all seven of his races at New Hampshire.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-10-2005)
News from September 9, 2005
- Loomis back with Gordon in 2006? UPDATE 2 Loomis Quotes: NASCAR NEXTEL Teleconference Transcript – Jeff Gordon:
Q) Do you expect Robbie Loomis to be your crew chief next year?
Jeff Gordon Answer: “Well, we talked before this season even started about Robbie’s future, what he wanted to do. If it’s up to me, yeah, I’d love to have him as my crew chief. Robbie, you know, with his mom and some of the illnesses she’s gone through, he’s trying to decide right now what his plans are. It has nothing to do with our performance this year. I believe a hundred percent in Robbie Loomis and his abilities. When we’re on, there’s nobody better. Because of our lack of performance this year, I really don’t think Robbie should be put to blame for that. It has nothing to do with whether he’s my crew chief next year or not. You know, it has nothing to do with the performance that we’ve had this year.(NASCAR)(9-6-2005)
UPDATE: Robbie Loomis, crew chief since the 2000 season for the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of driver Jeff Gordon, said Friday that there is a good chance he’ll be stepping down from that job prior to the start of next season. Though Loomis said his plans remain unsettled for next year, he admitted his priorities have changed following a year in which his mother, Sally, was seriously ill. “It’s kind of like forever, my priorities were racing, God and family, and I’m trying to get them to be God, family and racing and still do a good job with work,” Loomis said Friday morning in an exclusive interview with SPEEDTV.Com. “The bottom line is in this business is you have to perform, and I want to make sure I get myself in a situation where I can perform and still give my family the time they need. I’ve been basically been 22 or 23 years of seven-day-a-week racing, and it kind of made me reprioritize,” Loomis said. “I want to learn more about God’s word and get closer definitely with my mom. It’s a hard balance to do. As she got better, I found myself burying myself right back in my work. But the Good Lord saved her for a reason and I want to try and make I get myself in a situation where I can spend more time with her.” Loomis said he could move his mother from Florida, where she lives now, to North Carolina, where the team is based and Loomis lives.(Speed Channel)
UPDATE 2 – Loomis Q&A: Chevrolet Notes and Quotes:
ROBBIE LOOMIS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – Answers media questions regarding his continued performance as crew chief: “The only big announcement I have, and we’ve talked about this all week, is getting this thing in the Chase. That is it. I don’t have a thing. There are a lot of questions. I know when Jeff (Gordon) was on the (weekly NASCAR) teleconference he talked about some stuff with my mom. I’ve had everybody in the world calling me. My mom is doing great. She’s doing awesome. Through what I went through with my mom last year, it helped me refocus my life. Personally I grew more last year through my mom and through the (airplane) accident in October. I told my buddy over the winter that I’ve never been so uncertain in all my life about my future. But I never felt so good about where I stand with everything. In life, always for years, I’ve had racing, God, and family. I’m trying to get it God, family, then racing. To do that, I’ve got a lot of things I’ve got to work through. We’re working through them right now. But I’ve been trying not to talk with anyone or do anything that’s going to take my mind off getting this car in the Chase.”
SO WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR? “That’s the thing. I talked with Rick Hendrick a couple of weeks ago. I’m trying to put all my focus into putting this car in the Chase. If I get the car in the Chase, the next 10 weeks I’m going to put all my focus into getting that car, the DuPont Chevrolet, to win the championship. I’m excited about where we are today. I just want to make sure we get the job done.”
DID YOU TELL A REPORTER EARLIER TODAY THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE BACK AS CREW CHIEF? “I probably used the word ‘probably’. I think that what I’m looking as is that at the beginning of the year, I knew my contract was going to be up at the end of this year. Many of you might know when you’re under a contract, then they hold a lot of your destiny. I think that being that it’s up, it’s a good time for me to reprioritize my personal life and get things figured out there.”
BUT THOUGHTS OF LEAVING ARE ON YOUR MIND? “They’re hard. I’ve talked with Rick (Hendrick) and Jeff (Gordon) a lot over the past three or four months. I’ve told Jeff and Rick it’s hard for me to even imagine working anyplace else because Hendrick Motorsports has 500 great employees. It speaks for itself the quality many Rick Hendrick. And to have a driver like Jeff Gordon — I think he’s the greatest driver in this garage area. It’s hard to imagine being anywhere different, but at the same time I think it’s a time in my life that I’ve got to make sure that if I’m going to commit for the next three or four or five years somewhere, I’ve got to make sure I’m making the right decision.”
SO, NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE? “No. The only decision that has been made was made last September or October really, is that I’m going to spend a lot more time with my family.”(GM Racing PR)(9-9-2005)
AND Speculation is that Loomis will leave the team at the end of the season – and maybe sooner – if Gordon does not make it into the Chase. The name often mentioned as a possible replacement is Steve Letarte, who is currently the car chief for the #24 Chevy.(Yahoo Sports)(9-10-2005)
- Looks like Martin will be back in the #6 in 2006: It isn’t much of a surprise, but it looks like Mark Martin’s retirement from Nextel Cup Series is going to be postponed for a year. In the afterglow of a victory in Thursday night’s IROC race at Richmond, Martin said it appears he will be back in Jack Roush’s #6 Ford next season, after all. “It really looks like I’m going to be in the 6 car next year,” Martin said. “It’s looking more and more like that all the time.” Martin said he had planned to spend next season driving a handful of Busch Series races, as well as racing for his own new team in NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series. But things got complicated recently when Roush signed Jamie McMurray away from Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray signed for 2007, with the hope that he or Roush could convince Ganassi not to pick up his option for 2006. Ganassi has refused to let McMurray go next season, though, apparently leaving Roush a driver short. Instead of trying to find an interim driver, Roush has begged Martin, who came to the Cup Series with Roush in 1988, to help him out and stay on for one more year. Apparently, Martin has indeed decided to continue in the #6 through 2006.(ESPN.com/AP)(9-9-2005)
- Martin wins IROC race at Richmond, close to title #5: Kurt Busch dominated Round Three of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday night, but it was Mark Martin – aided by three cautions in the final five laps – that provided him with enough to edge out Busch in one of the closest finishes in the series’ 115-race history. On a restart with two laps remaining, Busch, the 2003 IROC titlist, tried valiantly to hold his Roush Racing teammate, before Martin coaxed the nose of his IROC car through the start/finish line a mere .021 seconds ahead of him. Martin’s series’ best 13th-career victory clinches the 2005 series points title when he starts the last race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29, giving him a record-breaking fifth IROC Series crown and the $1 million first-place purse. Matt Kenseth, who started in the eighth position and was in the middle of the pack for much of the race, made a late charge to finish third. IRL IndyCar driver Buddy Rice turned in a strong performance and claimed fourth, followed by NASCAR Busch Series driver Martin Truex Jr. Pole-sitter Scott Pruett rebounded from on track incidents in the first two races registering a solid sixth, followed by World of Outlaws drivers Danny Lasoski (seventh) and Steve Kinser (eighth). Rounding out positions nine through 12 were: Max Papis, Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, and Bobby Hamilton.(IROC PR), see more on my 2005 IROC Page.(9-9-2005)
- No Points for Pole Planned: Ryan Newman recently said he would like to see NASCAR change the points system next year to award points for qualifying. NASCAR chairman Brian France scoffed at that notion while visiting TMS last month. “If I won 35 poles [actually 32] like he has I would say that too,” France said. “No, we’re not going to do that. We only want to reward points for competing in the race.”(Dallas Morning News)(9-9-2005)
- VA Governor Candidate to sponsor #92 team at Martinsville: Going after the NASCAR vote, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore will sponsor a car in the Oct. 23 Nextel Cup Subway 500 at Martinsvillle Speedway. NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler of Emporia will drive the #92 Kilgore for Governor Chevy. The Democratic candidate, Timothy M. Kaine, also is chasing the NASCAR fans. He is holding a fundraiser in the infield before the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway tomorrow. He also will attend the race. The Kilgore campaign will pay almost $100,000 to sponsor the car, campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said yesterday. Kilgore announced the sponsorship yesterday at RIR. A sponsorship costs about $200,000. Sadler has contributed part of the fee as an in-kind campaign contribution, Murtaugh said. Kilgore said he and Sadler have been acquaintances for about seven years, after meeting at the fiddler’s convention in Galax. In addition to driving the race car, Sadler will make several appearances with it. He will wear a Kilgore for Governor driving suit during the Martinsville race and members of his pit crew also will wear Kilgore-touting apparel. Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner sponsored a racing truck when he ran four years ago.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-9-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: By picking Matt Kenseth as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Sony HD 500 at Fontana, CA, on September 4, Sue K. of Cottonwood, AZ, was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Sue picked Matt Kenseth as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.com and entering before the weekly deadline. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Matt Kenseth. This is the fifth time this year that a donation in Kenseth’s name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Comminications)(9-9-2005)
- Drivers, DJs To Race Segway’s UPDATE:: The rubber hits pit road before Friday’s Emerson Radio 250 when Turner Network Television (TNT) and Chevrolet will partner for the inaugural “TNT Chevy Make Way for My Segway Challenge” prior to the start of the Emerson Radio 250. The first of its kind, the challenge will partner TNT NASCAR announcers and Chevy NASCAR drivers with select local-market radio DJs to race Segways (motorized human transporters) down the track’s pit road. Emceed by TNT announcer Benny Parsons, the challenge will include the following seven teams: TNT announcer Wally Dallenbach and a DJ representing WKHK-FM (Richmond, VA) Chevy NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and a DJ representing WKLS-FM (Atlanta, GA) Chevy NASCAR driver Scott Riggs and a DJ representing WUBE-FM (Cincinnati, OH) Chevy NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and a DJ representing WFMS-FM (Indianapolis, IN) Chevy NASCAR driver Dave Blaney and a DJ representing WSIX-FM (Nashville, TN) Chevy NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer and a DJ representing WDSY-FM (Pittsburgh, PA) Chevy NASCAR driver Ron Hornaday and a DJ representing WQDR-FM (Raleigh, NC) Each race participant will individually race on a “NASCAR on TNT” branded Segway around an obstacle course of Chevy cars and tires, vying for the fastest time in their heat. Team member scores will be combined to determine the race winners, who will stake claim to year-long bragging rights. Following the race, each participant will autograph a Segway that will be donated to the Victory Junction Gang charity, an official NASCAR charity.(RIR)(9-8-2005)
UPDATE: Ron Hornaday Jr., driver of the #6 GM Goodwrench Chevy in the Truck Series, and Marty the One Man Party, radio DJ for WQDR-FM in Raleigh, N.C., won today’s “TNT Chevy Make Way for My Segway Challenge” at Richmond International Raceway. The Chevy Truck Series driver and radio DJ were one of seven teams competing in the first annual event where participants race Segways (motorized human transporters) along an obstacle course of Chevy HHRs and tires. Hornaday and Marty the One Man Party beat out the team of Brian Vickers, driver of the #25 GMAC/ditech.com Monte Carlo, and Marc Apple, radio announcer for WKLS-FM in Atlanta during the final heat of competition. Following the event, each of the 14 NASCAR driver and radio DJ participants autographed a Segway that will be donated to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, an official NASCAR charity. Highlights of today’s “TNT Chevy Make Way for My Segway Challenge” will be broadcast on TNT prior to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on Saturday evening. NASCAR coverage on TNT will kick-off tomorrow at 7:00pm/et with the Bank of America Countdown to Green pre-race show followed by the race beginning at 7:30pm/et.(GM Raccing PR)(9-9-2005)
- Harvick wins pole at Richmond: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Pole for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway with a lap of 128.425mph for his 2nd pole of 2005 and 4th of his career. #16-Greg Biffle will start 2nd, followed by rookie #77-Travel Kvapil [his best career start], #6-Mark Martin and #97-Kurt Busch. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart starts 25th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 29th. #37-Tony Raines was the highest non top-35 team, qualifying 21st. Missing the race were: #75-Anderson, #95-Barrett, #00-Long, #92-Sadler, #89-Shepherd, #34-McCarthy and #27-Shelmerdine [who also wrecked].
For qualifying results, starting lineup, links, qualifying order and practice speeds, see Jayski’s Richmond Qualifying/Practice/Starting Grid Page.(9-9-2005)
- NASCAR Triple: five drivers are scheduled to run all three NASCAR races [Truck, Busch, Cup] at Richmond this weekend:
Mike Wallace will drive the #12-Toyota Truck (finished 6th), #38-Dodge in Busch and #4-Chevy in Nextel Cup;
Kyle Busch will drive the #15-Chevy Truck (30th), #5-Chevy in Busch and #5-Chevy in Nextel Cup.
Johnny Sauter will drive the #43 Chevy Truck (36th), #1-Dodge in Busch and #09-Dodge in Nextel Cup.
Kevin Harvick will drive the #47 Chevy Truck (3rd), #21-Chevy in Busch and #29-Chevy in Nextel Cup.
Tony Stewart will drive the #92 Chevy Truck (DNQ), #83-Chevy in Busch and #20-Chevy in Nextel Cup.(9-8/9-2005)
- Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the second consecutive race that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to Richmond . . all three NASCAR series — Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck– will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Cup and Busch tires will be branded Goodyear “Eagle” while the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded Goodyear “Wrangler” . . . in addition to Richmond, all major NASCAR teams will run this tire combination at New Hampshire and Phoenix in 2005 . . . Busch and Craftsman Truck teams will also run this tire set-up at Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis, Milwaukee and Pikes Peak this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals less than one mile in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. Estimated Pit Window: Every 110-120 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear), see the full notes and tech specs on my Richmond Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-9-2005)
- Richmond Qualifying Notes:
• Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, lapping Richmond International Raceway in 21.024 seconds at 128.425 mph. Brian Vickers holds track-qualifying record of 20.772 seconds, 129.983 mph, set May 14, 2004.
• This is Harvick’s fourth career Bud Pole in 168 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
• This is Harvick’s second start better than 20th in 10 Richmond races; both coming this season. He started seventh and finished fifth in the spring race.
• Harvick became the fifth repeat Bud Pole winner this season. He also won the Bud Pole at Talladega. This is his 11th top-10 start this season.
• There have been 12 different Bud Pole winners in the 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Richmond since 1999.
• Greg Biffle posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 21.043 seconds, 128.309 mph, and will join Harvick on the front row for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. This is Biffle’s fifth top-10 start in seven races at Richmond. All have come in the past five races. It is his 17th top-10 start this season.
• This is the 11th Bud Pole for Chevrolet in 2005. Dodge has eight Bud Poles and Ford has five. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Travis Kvapil (third) posted his career-best start in his 29th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. Kvapil posted his first top-10 start in his second race at Richmond. He started 21st and finished 22nd here in May.
• Mark Martin (fourth) scored his 21st top-10 start in 40 races at Richmond.
• Kurt Busch (fifth) posted his third top-10 start in 10 races at Richmond.
• Three of the drivers not locked in but still eligible for the Chase qualified in the top 10: Jeff Gordon (sixth), Ryan Newman (eighth) and Dale Jarrett (ninth).(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-9-2005)
- NASCAR Fan to be presented #31 Cingular Monte Carlo before race: Cingular Wireless, primary sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy driven by Jeff Burton, is awarding Paul Carignan a one-of-a-kind #31 Cingular-branded Chevy Monte Carlo as part of its Virtual Crew Chief sweepstakes. Carignan will be presented with the specially-designed car Saturday, September 10, at the Libbie Place Cingular Store in Richmond [5601 W. Broad St. (804) 426-7130] before the Cup race later that evening. The Cingular Virtual Crew Chief sweepstakes ran on the FOX network during race broadcasts between February and June. The interactive, consumer-focused promotion graphically prompted viewers three times during each race to text message a response to a particular race-related question. Carignan, who hails from Alexandria, Va., was randomly selected among the tens of thousands of viewers who sent more than 7 million total text messages during the five-month program. He will be presented with the bright orange 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at a special ceremony at the Libbie Place Cingular store location in Richmond at 2:00pm/et Saturday. This is the third consecutive year that Cingular has implemented the Virtual Crew Chief platform on race telecasts on FOX. On the track, Cingular is in its fourth year as a primary sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing #31 Cingular Wireless Chevy driven by Burton. This season, Burton is 21st in the Cup point standings with two Top 5 finishes, three Top 10 finishes and nine Top 15s.(Career Sports & Entertainment PR)(9-9-2005)
News from September 8, 2005
- Congrats: #48 Lowe’s Chevy Engine Tuner Danny Emerick and Nextel PR Rep Crystal Carraway got engaged at at Bristol.(9-8-2005)
- MuzikMafia teams up with Morgan-McClure at Richmond: Cory Gierman, MuzikMafia Godfather (www.muzikmafia.com) and Larry McClure, president and team manager of Morgan-McClure Motorsports (www.morgan-mcclure.com) announced that Cowboy Troy and the MuzikMafia logos along with a specially design paint scheme by MuzikMafia artist Rachel Kice will compete in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on Saturday night. As the only visual artist associated with the MuzikMafia, the Nashville-based avant-garde artists’ collaborative that yielded multi-platinum recording acts Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson. Rachel Kice, who will be on hand during all race weekend festivities, is uniquely positioned to become a household name-a true American “Art Star.” Joining Kicel on the #4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo is the name and likeness of Cowboy Troy, the world’s only six-foot-five inch hick-hop artist in country music. Troy is also one of the country artists featured in Chevrolet’s advertising, and appears with Big & Rich on the new intro for ESPN College GameDay.
The founders of the MuzikMafia, otherwise known as “The Godfathers”, include Cory Gierman, Big Kenny, John Rich and Jon Nicolson. The Godfathers formed the phenomenon back in October 2001. Members of the Mafia include multi-platinum artist Gretchen Wilson, James Otto, and Cowboy Troy. The MuzikMafia will kick off the 17-city Chevy Presents…Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich: The American Revolution Tour in November 2005.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports). five images of the car on my #4 Team Schemes page.(9-8-2005)
- COT to be tested: NASCAR’s car of tomorrow [COT], tentatively set to debut in 2007, is scheduled to have an on-track test at Talladega Superspeedway, the day after the Oct. 2 Cup race, and at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the day after the Oct. 30 Cup race. Previous versions have been tested at other tracks. The future car will be larger and have more room for the driver, providing additional safety. The higher-standing car also will alter aerodynamics and series officials hope lessens the dependency on aerodynamics and improves racing.(Greensboro News and Record)(9-8-2005)
- Rock & Roll paint schemes: The power of music and motorsports will join forces again this week at Richmond International Raceway. For the third straight year, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 weekend will combine music and racing as Chevrolet will have 12 music-themed paint schedules on its race cars and trucks.
For Saturday’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400, the lineup includes:
The #4 Lucas Oil Chevy driven by Mike Wallace featuring Muzik Mafia
The #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevy driven by Dave Blaney featuring Drive-By Truckers
The #8 Budweiser Chevy driven by DaleyEarnhardt Jr. featuring 3 Doors Down
The #10 Valvoline Chevy driven by Scott Riggs featuring Nickelback
The #25 ditech.com Chevy driven by Brian Vickers featuring Green Day
The #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy driven by Kevin Harvick featuring Gretchen Wilson
The #31 Cingular Chevy driven by Jeff Burton featuring Big$Rich, see images of all the cars on my Paint Schemes Galley page.(9-8-2005)
- Rusty a Good Guy: In honor of his retirement, Rusty Wallace received the Rick Mears “Good Guy” Award in appreciation of his longtime cooperation with the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association and the media. Making the presentation at California Speedway Sunday [Spet 4th] were AARWBA President Dusty Brandel (left), Eastern VP Lewis Franck and Western VP Mike Hollander. AARWBA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration concludes with the All-America Team dinner Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.(PR)(9-8-2005)
- Riggs tests at Dover: #10-Scott Riggs tested the Valvoline Chevy and #67-Bryan Reffner tested the Smith Brothers Motorsports Busch Series car at Dover International Speedway on Tuesday, Sept 6th.(DIS PR)(9-8-2005)
- #37 Crew Chief Fined: NASCAR announced today that Glenn Darrow, crew chief for the #37 Dodge driven by Tony Raines in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been fined $2,500 for an infraction during last weekend’s event at California Speedway. Darrow was fined for an unapproved rear end gear ratio, a violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-CC (Unapproved rear end gear ratio) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook.(NASCAR PR)(9-8-2005)
- Labonte back in the #11 at Richmond: Two-time Cup Series Terry Labonte will take the wheel of the #11 FedEx Express Chevrolet at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. He has previously run the JGR/FedEx entry at Sonoma, Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol. JGR will turn to Busch Series driver J.J. Yeley for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday, September 18. The #11 FedEx Chevy Monte Carlo will sport the FedEx Kinko’s paint scheme at Richmond. Following J.J. Yeley’s 39th place finish at California Speedway last weekend, the FedEx team remained in 35th place in owners points and currently sit 67 points out of 34th place.(JGR)(9-8-2005)
- Sad News: A member of the U.S. 36 Raceway [no mention on the track site] fire crew was killed Friday [9/2] night at the track in Osborn, Mo., while trying to save others from a possible tragedy. Bob Bestgen, 51, was trying to stop a push truck that had slipped out of gear and appeared headed toward spectators, according to his wife, Pat. Push trucks at dirt tracks are used mostly for helping start race cars and packing the track. Supposedly one of the push-truck drivers saw a fight and got out of the truck, which kept moving, Bestgen tried to get in the truck to stop it when it started moving but got tangled underneath. The accident took place shortly after the weekly program had been completed. Bestgen was pronounced dead about 2 a.m. Saturday at a hospital in Cameron, Mo.(firehouse.com)(9-8-2005)
News from September 7, 2005
- The Chase….as it stands now: Four positions in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup are up for grabs in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. This number does not include Kurt Busch, who only needs to start the race to clinch a berth. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin have clinched spots in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Stewart has clinched the top spot in the 10-race “Chase,” no matter what happens in Richmond.
Jeremy Mayfield will clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with a finish of 39th place or better in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, no matter where any other competitor finishes.
Carl Edwards will clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with a finish of 19th place or better in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, no matter where any other competitor finishes.
Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray are 9th and 10th respectfully with Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick and Joe Nemechek still mathematically eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
The maximum point gain that a driver can have in a race over a fellow competitor who also starts that race is 156. Therefore, it is mathematically possible for drivers who are currently in positions 11 through 16 to race their way into the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.(NASCAR)(9-7-2005)
- California TV Ratings up: NBC says its broadcast of Sunday’s Sony HD 500 Nextel Cup race at California earned a final 5.2 rating and a 10 share from Nielsen Media Research, a 2% increase over the 5.1/10 in 2004. NBC also says the eight races carried by NBC and TNT so far this season have averaged a 5.0/11, up 11% over last year’s 4.5/10 average.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-7-2005)
- Lysol on the #41: The rear quarter panels of the #41 Target Dodge of Casey Mears will not be sporting the familiar bullseye logos this weekend in Richmond, but instead will carry the Lysol logo. Lysol is an associate sponsor on the #41 Dodge and has been part of the Target Racing NASCAR and IndyCar programs for the past four years.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-7-2005)
- Stremme to run at Richmond: David Stremme will attempt to make his second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start this weekend in the #39 Navy “Accelerate Your Life” Dodge out of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates stable. Stremme currently pilots the #14 Navy Dodge in the NASCAR Busch Series, and sits seventh in the championship points standings.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-7-2005)
- ISC, SMI buy Team Caliber also: Motorsports Authentics, the new joint venture of International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., has bought the Team Caliber collectible company, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. Team Caliber was owned by Roush Racing owner Jack Roush, and the purchase means Motorsports Authentics will now add Roush drivers Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards to its lineup. The company also would get merchandise rights to Ryan Newman, Joe Nemechek and Brian Vickers, among others. The move, which comes less than two weeks after Motorsports Authentics bought the rival Action Performance collectible companies, had been widely predicted.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-7-2005)
- DW, Hammond and Larry Mac help out, “The Cavalry is Coming”: Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Larry McReynolds have teamed up to help the folks in the Charlotte Coliseum that have been displaced from the Gulf States due to Hurricane Katrina. Nicknamed “The Cavalry is Coming”, at lunchtime today a rig loaded with supplies will pull to the front of the Coliseum and Jeff and Larry Mac will be on hand to help off-load the supplies. There are roughly 600 people currently in the Charlotte Coliseum who need help. “This whole idea came together at 5pm yesterday,” said Waltrip. “I wish I could have been there today. Jeff and Larry are literally going to the store and picking out the items but I am also helping work with the Red Cross over here in TN today. These people have been through so much. We just want them to know that we care and give them hope for a better tomorrow.”(9-7-2005)
- Drivers to Visit Wounded Troops: #42-Jamie McMurray, #39-David Stremme, #77-Travis Kvapil along with a handful of other NASCAR drivers will be visiting patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Wed., Sept. 7.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates). no idea who the other drivers are.(9-7-2005)
- New Penske Driver Debut: USAC National Midget standout Billy Wease will make his stock car racing debut in a Dodge fielded by Penske Racing South in the Sept. 10 SK Hand Tool ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. In the first day of a two-day test late last month at the 1.5-mile speedway, Wease posted the quickest time in his #27 Kodak Dodge. Wease, who began racing Quarter Midgets at age 5, recorded a lap of 173.244 mph, 31.170 seconds. The second day of the test also went well when the team concentrated on qualifying setup. Wease will drive the Dodge that Penske Racing South NASCAR NEXTEL Cup regular Travis Kvapil drove to victory in an ARCA RE/MAX event at Pocono Raceway in June. The ARCA effort is under the direction of Penske Racing South chief engineer Roy McCauley, who spearheaded Ryan Newman and a rookie crew to three straight Busch Series victories in August. Wease joined Penske Racing South’s driver development program earlier this year. Since joining the Mooresville, N.C.-based operation, he has tested at Rockingham, N.C., Greenville, S.C., Memphis, Nashville, Kentucky, and twice at Chicago. During Wease’s 13 years of racing, the Indiana native has won two Grand National Quarter Midget championships, 10 regional Quarter Midget championships, two Kenyon Midget titles and Rookie of the Year, and claimed one national USAC victory.(Penske Racing)(9-7-2005)
News from September 6, 2005
- Gustafson Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at California: Alan Gustafson helped #5-Kyle Busch set a new standard in NASCAR racing. At only 20 years of age, Busch became the youngest driver to win a Nextel Cup event, after taking the checkered flag in the Sony HD TV 500. The duo’s record breaking weekend earned Gustafson the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. The pivotal moment of the race came on lap 242 when the drivers came in for their final round of pit stops. Only 12 laps remained in the event, still Gustafson called Busch into the pits for fresh tires. Nearly everyone followed suit. Although he was planning to take four Goodyears, Gustafson made the last second call for only two tires and sent Busch on his way after the crew changed his right-sides. That put Busch out front for the final restart.
The panel of voters; including Gregg Patton of the Press-Enterprise, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser.; all agreed that Gustafson deserved crew chief of the race honors.
Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson is in second place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for third place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Jimmy Fennig, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Robbie Reiser 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)(9-6-2005)
- Kahne honored in hometown: An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people swarmed downtown Enumclaw [WA] for “Kasey Kahne Day,” an all-day festival sponsored by Allstate, the City of Enumclaw and the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce. On Labor Day, Kahne, who lives in Huntersville, N.C., came home to what began as a familiar celebration. Food and vendor booths invited passers-by. The smell of corn dogs and mochas filled the air. Kids chomped on snow cones. As afternoon approached, people left the food and vendor booths and filled a vast parking lot where Kahne was scheduled to take the stage under a large tent. When he did, people in red jerseys, T-shirts and jackets that paid homage to their hero, erupted with cheers and applause. “This is actually the first time I’ve seen this much red, and it’s not Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” Kahne said. On stage, Enumclaw Mayor John Wise dedicated “Kasey Kahne Drive” as the new name of a street in town. “There’s no speedin’ on that street,” Kahne said. Laughter rippled through the crowd. Kahne presented a $1,000 scholarship to a recent graduate of Enumclaw High School and answered questions people had written on scraps of paper.(more at the Tacoma News)(9-6-2005)
- Bank of Southside VA to Sponsor Hermie Sadler at Richmond: Virginia native Hermie Sadler will be carrying some familiar colors on the #92 in next weekends Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The Bank of Southside Virginia will sponsor Sadler, from Emporia, as the bank celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Peter Clements, President and CEO of BSV, says his employees and customers look forward to watching the BSV car at Richmond next weekend. “It is a great event for us. Our employees and customers come together to support the BSV car, and the fact the we will be celebrating our 100th year makes it even more special.”
“We appreciate the partnership and support provided by BSV for the upcoming race at RIR”, said Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins. “We know Hermie and the entire crew will give them an exciting weekend of racing to help celebrate their 100 year anniversary.” The Bank of Southside Virginia, headquartered in Carson, Virginia, currently operates 15 branches. For more information, please visit www.bsvnet.com.(PR)(9-6-2005)
- Team for sale UPDATE not now: the Mach1 Racing site is reporting the #34 team, owned by Chris Edwards and driven by P.J. Jones is up for sale.
Oops looks like they changed their mind, Sale of Team is On Hold: Team Owner Chris Edwards and PEO Pros Sports Marketing agent John Tenney are in the process of negotiating some new sponsorships. There are no firm details at this point but look for a limited schedule the rest of the season. It is possible that the #34 will be run a few more races with Front Row Racing at this point, but the long term goal is a full season in 2006 with Mach 1.(Mach 1 site)(9-6-2005)
- #7 all black at Richmond: #7-Robby Gordon will drive an all black Jim Beam Chevy at Richmond International Raceway on Sat Sept 10th. see images of the car on my #7 Team Schemes page.(9-6-2005)
- NASCAR/CASCAR Deals Almost Done: Only the paperwork remains for the Canadian CASCAR stock car racing circuit to be sold in its entirety to U.S.-based giant NASCAR. Negotiations have been ongoing for a year and a half and sources told The Free Press yesterday it’s now in the hands of the lawyers. “It’s not ‘if,’ it’s ‘when,’ ” one source said. Another said the takeover may lead to Canadians eventually driving in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, the top echelon in stock car racing. CASCAR was founded in 1981 and has maintained an office in Komoka. It’s the largest stock car sanctioning body in the country. The national-touring Super Series began in 1988. NASCAR moved into Canada two years ago, establishing its Dodge Weekly Series at three tracks, including Delaware. Canadians have a huge interest in the Nextel Cup Series, and that could see a Busch or Craftsman Truck race in this country as early as next year. (London Free Press)(9-6-2005)
- Wheaties Makes Full $10,750 Donation To First Tee: #43-Jeff Green didn’t get where he wanted Sunday night at California Speedway – Victory Lane – but First Tee and the young people it impacts ended up as winners. Green and the team completed all 250 laps of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race. Wheaties is donating the full $10,750 to The First Tee, a national organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. The donation was made in conjunction with the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, which also benefitted The First Tee. Both events were scheduled for Labor Day weekend. Forty-three dollars were pledged for donation for every lap Green completed in Sunday night’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at the two-mile California Speedway. The #43 Dodge sported a special Wheaties paint scheme for the race. The paint scheme featured logos of the PGA Champions Tour and the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.(Williams Company)(9-6-2005)
- Robby gets pulled over: Robby Gordon drove a customized dune buggy – similar to the type he races off-road in Baja when he’s not competing as a Nextel Cup driver – from his race store in Anaheim to Fontana for the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway. Everything was going along fine until Gordon made it to the race track’s infield early Sunday afternoon. He was driving along en route to his nearby motor home when a pair of San Bernardino County sheriff’s police SUVs, complete with lights and sirens, suddenly pulled Gordon over to see if his ride was street-legal. “They go, ‘We know who you are, but we still want to see your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance,'” said Gordon, who says he didn’t even attempt to talk himself out of a potential ticket by touting his race-driver status. “I just said, ‘Yes, sir.'” Fortunately for Gordon, driver of the #7 Chevrolet, he had all the necessary paperwork for his tricked-out ride, which carries the license plate “ONEBAJA.”
“I was starting to worry [whether] I had [the paperwork],” Gordon said. “But I did and they let me go. It was like 30 seconds tops.” Gordon took the unusual traffic stop in stride. “I’ve been guilty of a lot of things,” he quipped. “For the first time in my life, I was innocent.”(Yahoo Sports)(9-6-2005)
News from September 5, 2005
- DEI and RCR…merge? a merger between RCR and Dale Earnhardt Inc. is rumored to be in the works. Although DEI vice president Richie Gilmore says the partnership will involve nothing more than promotional plans, the two organizations enjoyed a beneficial aerodynamic alliance several years ago. Considering the strength of powerhouses Roush and Hendrick Motorsports, a marriage between RCR and DEI would move their programs up a level. Another benefit? Dale Earnhardt Jr. could follow in his late father’s footsteps in an RCR car.(Sporting News)(9-5-2005)
- Eury Sr. signs with DEI too: Tony Eury Sr., affectionately known as Pops, has signed his first contract with DEI. Eury led Earnhardt Jr. to two Busch titles and stepped down at the end of last season as Junior’s Cup crew chief. Eury, who’s under contract through 2008, is working in research and development.(Sporting News), his son, Tony Jr. recently signed thru 2008 to stay at DEI and supposedly will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief in 2006.(9-5-2005)
- Latest on Tim Brown’s Team: Tim Brown, the former NFL star making the transition to NASCAR team owner, said he’ll leave it up to Jack Roush as to whom to put behind the wheel of his cars next season. “I was very happy I had the Roush Racing infrastructure,” Brown said. “When I connected with them, I realized I had a legitimate shot at this. We think we are going to be able to race Cup in ’06. We have two or three companies very interested (in sponsorship). I’m not afraid of calling on these CEOs and asking for $50 million. All they can do is say no. If they do, then you just move on.”(Winston Salem Journal)(9-5-2005)
- Kahne to be honored in hometown today: On Monday [Sept 5th], #9-Kasey Kahne will return to his hometown of Enumclaw, Wash., to receive the keys to the city and celebrate his second season of NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing with his hometown fans. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the city will host Kasey Kahne Day, with fan activities throughout the day. There will be a classic car show and a display of each type of race car Kahne drove along the way to becoming a Nextel Cup driver. There will be a special appearance by the Kasey Kahne Juniors, the micro mini sprint car drivers sponsored by Kahne.
At noon, the mayor of Enumclaw, John Wyse, will present Kahne with the keys to the city and rename one of the city’s thoroughfares “Kasey Kahne Drive.” At 2:15 p.m., Kahne will hold a press conference at Mark Toppings Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, which houses the Kasey Kahne merchandise store. During the press conference, Kahne will share details about his new Kasey Kahne Foundation.
At 3 p.m., Kahne will sign autographs at the dealership for 800 fans who received wristbands through local distribution. For more information, visit www.kaseykahne.com.(Clear!Blue PR)(9-5-2005)
News from September 4, 2005
- Kyle Busch as 1st time winner: #5-Kyle Busch won the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway, for his first ever Nextel Cup win and becoming the youngest driver ever to win a race in the Cup Series, Donald Thomas was 20 yrs, 4 months, 6 days old when he won at Lakeland in 1952, Busch is 20 yr, 4 months, 2 days old. Busch led 95 of the 250 laps. Busch is also the 14th driver to win a race in Cup, Busch and Truck Series and eighth to win a race and a pole in each series. #16-Greg Biffle was 2nd, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, #99-Carl Edwards and #20-Tony Stewart. #21-Ricky Rudd, starting last after missing practice and qualifying, finished 9th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost an engine late in the race finishing 38th and is now official out of the chase. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 7th and is now in the top-10 in points and currently in the chase as is #42-Jamie McMurray who finished 8th. #12-Ryan Newman and #24-Jeff Gordon fell out of the top-10 and out of the chase.
For race results and links, see Jayski’s California Race Results Page.(9-4-2005)
- New Team, Wayens? Sean W. Holley, in partnership with with The Wayans Brothers, has established STAR Motorsports, Inc. STAR is composed of a unique mix of experienced motorsports professionals, experienced sports and entertainment executives, sports and entertainment celebrities, and most importantly diversity. STAR will lead by example to ensure that minorities, including women, will become more aware and more involved with motorsports in all facets of the business. STAR fully supports and develops initiatives that encourage diversity throughout the motorsports industry. STAR is committed to partnering with leading corporations, associations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions to foster this result. STAR will field competitive NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series teams. STAR Motorsports is announcing the launch of its first car, STAR-TEAM WAYANS, which will compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2006. The Wayans Brothers are credited for their stand-up comedy, television production such as In Living Color, and movies such as I’m Gonna Get You Sucka!, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, White Chicks, and Scary Movie 1 & 2.
STAR acknowledges the tremendous and sincere efforts NASCAR has exercised in its Drive for Diversity. “NASCAR, under the direction of Tish Sheets, continues to be brilliant in its numerous efforts, and STAR looks forward to extending assistance to NASCAR in a cohesive manner to enhance this cause,” said Holley. The NASCAR industry already has significant gems of minority influence that transcend ethnic lines, in particular Sam Belnavis. “Sam is an extremely well-respected motorsports pioneer and executive, with a wealth of knowledge,” states Holley. “Someone, who I proudly watch and listen to!” STAR is developing its main operations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Additionally, STAR will have offices in the Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York areas.(Insiderracingnews.com)(9-4-2005)
- Harvick to the #42? No Comment: Childress: Rumors here [California Speedway] are widespread that Kevin Harvick may be headed to Ganassi’s #42 Texaco Dodge, thus freeing Jamie McMurray to move to Roush Racing [#6] a year early [he signed for 2007]. Richard Childress, who owns the cars Harvick currently drives, wouldn’t comment directly on speculation that the team might be breaking up. Childress did, however, reminisce on the longstanding relationship between him and the late Dale Earnhardt. “He (Earnhardt) had a chance to leave,” said Childress. “I told him in 1985 after we had blown 11 engines that year and run horrible. I told him on the way back from Pocono, we met out by my pool, and I said, ‘Dale, you’re too good of a race driver to be here.’ He said, ‘We made a commitment commitment together, and we’re going to finish it together.’ That was 1985 and we came back next year and won 11 races and the championship, and the same thing in 1987, and the rest is history.”(Gaston Gazette)(9-4-2005)
AND Kevin Harvick apologized to his team during Speed Channel’s broadcast of qualifying for the critical comments he made about them at Bristol last weekend.(News and Record)(9-4-2005)
- Sadler gets a surfboard: When Elliott Sadler was inducted into [California Speedway] this track’s “Walk of Fame,” an honor bestowed largely because of his victory in the Nextel Cup race run here a year ago, he also received “a Dennis Kemp original commemorative surfboard” as a gift from California Speedway. “We race our butts off 36 times a year,” said Sadler, but it’s times like this that make it all worthwhile.”(Gaston Gazette)(9-4-2005)
- California Race Notes:
• Kyle Busch won the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway, scoring his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 31st career start.
• Busch became the youngest race winner in NASCAR’s premiere division. He is 20 yrs., 4 mos. and 2 days. Donald Thomas won at Lakewood Speedway (GA) on dirt on Nov. 16th, 1952 at age 20 yrs., 4mos. 6 days. He was four days older than Busch. Busch is also the youngest Bud Pole winner in NASCAR’s premiere division (California on Feb. 26th at age 19 yrs., 9 mos. and 24 days)
• Busch became the third first-time race winner in 2005, joining Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.
• Busch became the 12th different race winner in 2005.
• Busch has scored nine top-10 finishes in 25 races in 2005.
• Busch led 95 laps, the most laps that he has led in a single race in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career. He became the 11th different driver to lead the most laps in a race this season.
• This is Rick Hendrick’s 136th victory as a car owner and sixth in 12 races this season. It is the fifth victory for Hendrick at California Speedway, the most of any owner.
• This is the 13th victory by a Chevrolet in 2005. Ford has 10 and Dodge has two.
Race to the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
• Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson Greg Biffle, Rusty Wallace, and Mark Martin have clinched a spot in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. • Kurt Busch will secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by starting the race this coming weekend in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
• The most points a winner can score in a race is 190. The drivers ranked seventh to 10th in the point standings are all just 145 points or less ahead of 11th-place Ryan Newman The drivers ranked 11th thru 17th in the current point standings are all 174 or less behind 10th-place Jamie McMurray.
• Eleven drivers will be racing for the four remaining unsecured spots in the 2005 Chase to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup at Richmond: Any of the following drivers have a mathematical opportunity to secure a spot in the Chase. The final determination of which drivers secure these spots cannot be made until the end of the race.
• Jeremy Mayfield (+145 from 11th)
• Carl Edwards (+86 from 11th)
• Matt Kenseth (+11 from 11th)
• Jamie McMurray (+1 from 11th)
• Ryan Newman (-1 from 10th)
• Jeff Gordon (-30 from 10th)
• Elliott Sadler (-52 from 10th)
• Dale Jarrett (-117 from 10th)
• Kevin Harvick (-131 from 10th)
• Joe Nemechek (-135 from 10th)
• Brian Vickers (-174 from 10th)
• Seventh-place Jeremy Mayfield will clinch if he finishes 39th or better at Richmond, regardless of any other driver’s performance.
• Eighth-place Carl Edwards will clinch if he finishes 19th or better at Richmond, regardless of any other driver’s performance.
• Ninth to 13th in the point standings are separated by just 62 points.
Richmond May Spell Trouble for Some of the Chase Contenders
• Dale Jarrett has finished 13th or worse in his last seven races at Richmond International Raceway.
• Joe Nemechek has finished 18th or worse in his last four races at Richmond International Raceway.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-4-2005)
- Rudd to race at Calif: Jon Wood, the son of Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood, qualified the #21 Motorcraft Ford 39th while filling in for Ricky Rudd, whose father died Tuesday. Rudd was expected to arrive in California later Saturday and will race on Sunday, starting from the rear of the 43-car field because of the driver change. “With what happened to Ricky’s dad and the circumstances leading up to it, I don’t think anybody is really in the right frame of mind,” the younger Wood said. “I just kind of wanted to make sure I didn’t wreck it for him. I was just there filling in a space that needed to be filled.”(ESPN.com/AP)(9-4-2005)
News from September 3, 2005
- Marlin to MB2 in 2006? UPDATE 3: hearing that Sterling Marlin could be part of the MB2 Motorsports stable of drivers in 2006, replacing Scott Riggs. MB2 is also grooming 20-year-old World of Outlaws driver Kraig Kinser. The 20-year-old driver is part of MB2’s driver development program and will make his MB2 debut today in the ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway. He qualified second for the ARCA event. Kinser, son of racing legend Steve Kinser, won Sunday’s Knoxville National in central Iowa, the most prestigious event in the World of Outlaws series.
the #10 Valvoline team with driver Scott Riggs is losing Valvoline as the sponsor and will change car numbers, hearing either #35 or #02, rumored sponsors include: Allstate, Big Lots or/and State Farm. Riggs had a contract extension on the table, but MB2 recently pulled it. Riggs could end up in Evernham Motorsports #10 Valvoline Dodge.(8-19-2005)
UPDATE: Sterling Marlin has talked to MB2 Motorsports about taking over what’s now the #10 car for next season. MB2 Motorsports GM Jay Frye says Marlin is on his short list. Sponsorship and a car number have not been decided, but the team has petitioned NASCAR for 02 or 35. Current driver Scott Riggs, who finished a career-high second at Michigan, is expected to continue with Valvoline and the No. 10 at Evernham Motorsports.(Sporting News)(8-22-2005)
UPDATE 2: Sterling Marlin appears headed to MB2 Motorsports next season as a teammate of Joe Nemechek, although the veteran racer from Columbia said yesterday the deal is not finalized. “It’s a good team with a good engine program,” Marlin said. “Joe has won with it.” Marlin is expected to take over the team’s #10 Chevrolet [will be #35 or #02] currently driven by Scott Riggs. Riggs will move [with the car #10 and Valvoline] to Evernham Motorsports next year. “We’re still talking,” Marlin said of MB2. “We should know something soon.”(Tennessean)(8-27-2005)
UPDATE 3: been told the announcement will be soon, Marlin to the #35 Chevy for MB2 Motorsports.(9-3-2005)
- New Charger Nose Status: Dodge teams have struggled with downforce-to-drag balance on the new Charger all year, but a new nose for 2006 could correct the problem. The design for the new nose has been submitted to NASCAR, and approval could come within the next couple of weeks, Dodge director of motorsports John Fernandez said Friday. Dodge has three drivers ranked in the top 10 (Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman) but has won only two of 24 races this year. Teams have complained that the current nose isn’t very good aerodynamically and that the cross-haired grille collects debris and causes engine overheating. Fernandez said the Dodge nose is actually no worse at collecting debris than the Ford or Chevy nose, but that the aero issue is legitimate and has been addressed in the redesign.(Tampa Tribune)(9-3-2005)
- No shortening of races planned: During the gasoline-shortage crisis of the 1970s, NASCAR shortened some races to conserve fuel. That won’t happen during the current crisis, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. NASCAR cars run on high-octane gasoline that is produced for racing and supplied by Sunoco. About 100,000 gallons are used a year. Shortening races to save some fuel wouldn’t make much of a difference “in the global scope,” Poston said. The racing industry has been affected by the soaring gas prices “like everybody else,” Poston noted. The cost of transporting cars, equipment and people around the country has risen substantially.(Tampa Tribune)(9-3-2005)
- Stewart heads a list nominated for SpeedTV Driver of the Year: In the heat of the summer championship races also fired up as SpeedTV’s Driver of the Year Award third quarter nominations are announced. Tony Stewart’s drive to the top of the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings excited fans not only from both coasts, but, also his home state supporters with his victory at the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Driving the #20-Home Depot Chevrolet, for Joe Gibbs Racing, “Smoke” garnered victories at all kinds of tracks. The list of nominated drivers also includes Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car), Tony Kanaan (IndyCar Series), Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws), Eric Medlin (NHRA), Ryan Newman (NASAR), Dennis Setzer (NASCAR) and Martin Truex Jr. (NASCAR). In its 39th year, the Speed Channel Driver of the Year’s award for this quarter will be determined by an independent vote of the 18-member panel of blue ribbon auto racing journalists and broadcasters and one vote based on the cumulative tally of fans’ voting at speedtv.com.
At the end of the year a special, separate, vote will be held for the SPEED Channel 2005 Driver of the Year. The panelists will have their quarterly vote on September 14th and the fan vote will close soon thereafter.(Speed Channel)(9-3-2005)
- Wood to practice/Qualify the #21 at Calif UPDATE: Jon Wood, driver of the #47 Clorax Busch Series Ford, will practice and possibly qualify the #21 Motorcraft Ford as driver Ricky Rudd is with family following the death of his father Al Rudd Sr. Plans are for Rudd to run the race Sunday night and extend his consecutive start streak to 777 races.(PRN’s Garage Pass Radio Show/Sporting News)(9-2-2005)
UPDATE: For the first time since 1964, a man with the last name of Wood is behind the wheel of the famed #21 Ford. Jon Wood filled in for Ricky Rudd during Friday’s practice session at California Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Sony HD 500. Rudd was not at the track after attending the funeral of his father, Al Rudd Sr. earlier on Friday in Virginia. Al Rudd, Sr. died on Tuesday after a lengthy illness. Many teams, including all five Roush Racing Fords, are sporting decals on their cars in memory of Rudd Sr. Glen Wood, founder of the family-owned team, drove from 1953-64 and won four times. He competed twice in 1964, capturing one pole and one third-place finish. He earned a grand total of $530. Rudd’s status for the remainder of the weekend is still to be determined.(Ford Racing)(9-3-2005)
- Edwards wins pole at California: #99-Carl Edwards won the Budweiser Pole for the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway with a lap of 185.061mph for his first career pole in his 38th race. Edwards is now in the Budweiser Shootout. Edwards led three other Roush Racing drivers in the top four, with #6-Mark Martin starting 2nd, followed by #97-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle and non-Roush driver #48-Jimmie Johnson. Points leader #20-Tony Stewart starts 14th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 41st. Missing the race were #34-P.J. Jones and #4-John Andretti. Andretti had some sort of problem, couldn’t make his run, and missed making it back to the line by the end of the 5-minute clock and didn’t get to qualify, the #4 team is out of the top-35 in owners points. #92-Hermie Sadler is running a car that didn’t get to the track until this morning as the hauler driver had trouble getting to the track and got only a very little practice time on Saturday, but ran a fast enough of a lap to make the race. #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. was the highest non top-35 team, qualifying 11th.
For qualifying speeds, starting lineup, pole progression, rookie starts see Jayski’s California Practice/Qualifying/Lineup Page.(9-3-2005)
- California Qualifying Notes:
• Carl Edwards won the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole for the SONY HD 500, lapping California Speedway in 38.906 seconds at 185.061 mph. Kyle Busch holds the track-qualifying record of 38.248 seconds at 188.245 mph, set Feb. 26, 2005.
• This is Edwards’s career-first career Bud Pole in 38 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. He joins Kyle Busch and Scott Riggs as the first-time Bud Pole winners this season.
• This is Edwards’s first top-10 start in three races at California Speedway. He started 19th in each of his other races here.
• Edwards became the 16th different Bud Pole winner this season. He became the 10th different Bud Pole winner in the 11 races at California – qualifying was rained out in 1999.
• Mark Martin posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 38.854 seconds, 184.833 mph – and will join Edwards on the front row for the SONY HD 500. It is the fifth top-10 start for Martin this season and his fifth in 11 races at California. His most recent top-10 start here was in 2001.
• This is the fifth Bud Pole for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet has 10 Bud Poles and Dodge has eight. Qualifying was canceled at Dover in June and Watkins Glen.
• Two drivers failed to qualify for the SONY HD 500: P.J. Jones and John Andretti (who did not take a qualifying lap).
• Kurt Busch (third) posted his third top-10 start in seven California races. It is his 12th top-10 start this season.
• Greg Biffle (fourth) posted his third top-10 start in six races at California – all in the past three races. It is his 16th top-10 start this season. Biffle was the fourth of the five Roush Racing entries to qualify in the top-10.
• Jimmie Johnson (fifth) posted his third top-10 start in his seventh race at California. Johnson career-first victory came when he won the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California in April 2002.
• This is the first time in the modern era that a car owner has scored a 1-2-3-4 sweep of qualifying. The previous best qualifying sweep for a car owner was when Hendrick Motorsports swept the first three starting positions at Michigan in June 2004.
• J. J. Yeley (eighth) posted the best qualifying effort of his three-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career. Yeley started 32 and finished 41st in this race in 2004. He then started 36th and finished 27th at Atlanta in October 2004.
• Ryan Newman (28th) posted his season-worst qualifying effort and failed to post a top-10 start for just the third time this season.
• Jon Wood (39th) qualified for his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. However, Ricky Rudd is expected to return to the Motorcraft Ford in his place in the SONY HD 500.
• Mike Garvey (36th) qualified for his eighth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, making the field for the first time since Pocono in July.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-3-2005)
News from September 2, 2005
- Jason finishes 3rd; $500 to Computer Fund: The 2005 Hardee’s Summer Shootout Series was both memorable and trying. The season began with high hopes as we [Jason Haynes in the #19 Jayski Bandolero] immediately scored a 5th place finish in round 1. That 5th place came with a lack of power, so we decided to buy a new motor to pick up speed for round 2. The second week brought a second place finish, which ended up being the best of the season. From week 3-week 7 the brand new motor brought nothing but trouble and it was eventually replaced by the worn out motor from round 1. Round 8 brought a renewed vigor to the team, and we began placing in the top 5 once again. Being outside the top 5 in points, we worked extremely hard to climb back in. Round 9 saw another top 5 finish which put us within reach of our top 5 goal for round 10. I drove the hardest race I ever have in that final round and led most of the race before eventually finishing 3rd. While disappointed from not winning, I realized that we had accomplished much more and for that I was extremely proud.
Through it all our team never lost sight of the real reason why we were racing so hard to win. It was not for the personal satisfaction, instead it meant that more money was being raised for the Victory Junction Gang Camp charity. Jay Adamcyzk and Jayski.Com helped support our racing efforts this season and we felt that it was necessary to give back to him and his goal of raising money for his namesake computer lab located at the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Through your efforts this season, approximately $500 will be donated to the camp to help sick children live out their dreams.
Thanks to our associate sponsors for this season including Turn 2 Collision and Zoom Signs. Also thanks to Action Performance, Goodyear, and Southwest Greens for their donations to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Jason Racing PR)(9-2-2005)
- Vote for IROC All-Time Team ends soon: Fan voting for the Crown Royal IROC Legend’s of Victory Lane program – representing the first all-time team in series history — will conclude following the upcoming race weekend at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2005. The late Dale Earnhardt (stock car), Mario Andretti (open-wheel) and Hurley Haywood (road racing), lead their respective racing disciplines. Fans can vote for the four-driver all-time team by logging on to www.crownroyalracing.com. The final team will be honored at the last IROC race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29. In April, 12 drivers in the three racing disciplines were selected by an esteemed media panel based on their career performance in the Series. Other nominees include: Mark Donohue [MY VOTE], Tom Kendall, Steve Kinser, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Scott Pruett, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser and Cale Yarborough. Go to www.crownroyalracing.com to cast your vote.(Speed Channel)(9-2-2005)
- Bourdais won’t rule out move to NASCAR: Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, on his way to a second consecutive Champ Car title, doesn’t rule out a move to NASCAR in the future. “Before I say it is my dream to race in NASCAR, I need to see if I am good first,” Bourdais said on a conference call Tuesday. “I’m not closing the door on it. I have a good time in the [IROC] stock cars. Maybe somebody will give me a chance to test and see if I’m good.” Bourdais, 26, won the IROC event at Texas Motor Speedway in April, proving his skills against top NASCAR drivers on an oval track. He gets a short-track test Thursday night in the IROC race at Richmond. “I’ve received a lot of help from the NASCAR guys,” Bourdais said. “This experience has taught me that NASCAR racing is a whole lot more than just turning left. I’m enjoying the whole thing.”(Dallas Morning News)(9-2-2005)
- Pearson’s son racing in ARCA: Eddie Pearson, a tire specialist for Dennis Setzer’s Craftsman Truck Series team and a crew member for T.J. Bell’s Busch Series entry, will be back behind the wheel this weekend in the ARCA race at DuQuoin, Ill. Pearson will drive a #17 Ford painted blue and gold. If that number and those colors sound familiar, it’s because in 1968 and ’69, Pearson’s father, David Pearson, rode a blue-and-gold #17 Ford to the Nextel Cup titles.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-2-2005)
- “InTune TV” Teams with UPN to Create Educational Series; Episode Will Feature #66: Peak Performance Motorsports announced a one-race associate sponsorship package with “InTune TV.” In conjunction with the partnership, “InTune TV” will be on-hand at the California Speedway this weekend for the Sony HD 500 to film the #66 Jani-King team and driver Mike Garvey for a segment in its show B In Tune. The show will debut on the UPN Network Saturday, September 10. The InTune Foundation Group, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, youth and young adults through music and the arts, will produce an all-new half-hour syndicated music television series in conjunction with the “InTune” monthly music education magazine. “InTune” magazine is currently distributed to media centers and music departments in over 20,000 middle and high schools in all 50 states. InTune TV Racing would not be possible without the efforts of Vanessa Tyler-Thompson. She has assisted in creating other partnerships in racing, which include associations with USAR Hooters Pro Cup driver Scott Seither, champion female racer Sunny Hobbs, and NASCAR driver Dan Pardus. For additional information about the foundation and its productions, logon to www.intuneracing.com or www.vanessalynnracing.com.(PSE-3 PR)(9-2-2005)
News from September 1, 2005
- Kenseth loses spotter after 2005: 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)
- Johnson to test at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson is scheduled to test on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in prep for the Nov. 6th Dickies 500. No word on if it is open to the public.(TMS)(9-1-2005)
- 2006 #48 Scheme? UPDATE yep, more images: have posted what is supposed to be the new #48 Lowe’s Home Improvement Chevy scheme for 2006, see it in my 2006 #48 Team Schemes page. Supposedly the new scheme will be officially unveiled on Thursday at a Lowe’s store in CA.(8-30-2005)
UPDATE – Lowe’s Employee Designs New Paint Scheme For 2006 #48 car: Jimmie Johnson unveiled a redesigned version of his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet today at the Lowe’s store in Santee, Calif., just minutes from his hometown of El Cajon. The newly painted No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet was designed by a Lowe’s employee and serves as the first major redesign of the car since Johnson assumed driving duties in 2001. The new design, one of six finalists, was the top choice of the more than 20,000 employees who voted. The scheme was submitted by Bryan Turnmire, a production artist at Lowe’s corporate office in Mooresville, N.C., a fact that was unknown to the voters. Turnmire is a 14-year Lowe’s employee, originally from Creston, N.C. The new paint scheme will debut at the Nextel Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, where hundreds of Lowe’s employees who represent the top stores in the company will be in attendance. The #48 Chevrolet will make its full-time debut in the 2006 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. See my 2006 #48 Team Schemes page(9-1-2005)
- Sad News: Ricky Rudd’s father Al Rudd, Sr. died Tuesday evening following a lengthy illness. Arrangements for a private service are pending. According to the family, donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
AND Wood Brothers Racing learned that Al Rudd, Sr., father of driver Ricky Rudd, passed away late Tuesday following a lengthy illness. The senior Rudd, a former racer himself, was instrumental in Ricky’s career having fielded early entries in NASCAR competition with a family sponsored team under the Al Rudd Auto Parts banner. He also supported Ricky’s Kart and Enduro racing. The team extends its deepest sympathy to Ricky and his entire family. There will be a private funeral service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.
See more info on Al Rudd Sr. at Hamptonroads.com.(9-1-2005)
- Gordon and Ellen: Four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon is scheduled to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” next Monday [Labor Day, Sept. 5th]. Gordon will become the first NASCAR driver to appear on the syndicated program, which originates at NBC Studios in Los Angeles and has won two consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show. Check local listings for show schedules.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-31-2005)
NOTE: actually #42-Jamie McMurray and #41-Casey Mears were to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Feb. 23, 2005, but supposedly were bumped.(9-1-2005)
- Gillette Young Guns – Weekly Update: By picking Matt Kenseth as the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 27, Linda H. of Paducah, KY was the winner of the weekly Gillette Young Guns $5,000 Challenge. Linda picked Matt Kenseth as the highest finishing Young Gun by going to www.gilletteyoungguns.comand entering before the weekly deadline. As the highest finishing Gillette Young Gun, a $1,000 donation will be made to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) on behalf of Matt Kenseth. This is the fourth time this year that a donation in Kenseth’s name has been made to the NPCC.(Alan Taylor Communications)(9-1-2005)
- Goodyear Tire Notes – California: This is the second consecutive race that Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to California . . . both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series will run the same tire codes this weekend . . . this is the fourth of five Nextel Cup race weekends on which this tire set-up will be run in 2005 . . . in addition to California (twice), this combination was run at Michigan (June only) and Chicagoland already, and will be run for the final time at Kansas next month . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . the inflation in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Estimated Pit Window is every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage. See the full tires notes, quotes and specs on my California Race Info/Rundown Page.(9-1-2005)
- Bliss back in the #0 in 2006: per a NASCAR.com article, Conversation: Mike Bliss:
Q: Looking long-term, have you and team owner Gene Haas begun discussing what your future plans are with Haas CNC Racing?
Bliss: I talked with Joe Custer, our general manager [Tuesday] morning about where we’re at now, and how do we get better because we’re 26th or 27th in points. But it looks good for next year, and I was pretty pleased because I want to stay here. I see us becoming a really good team and I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I think Joe feels that way, and the way I walked out of there it was pretty much a handshake and go on with next year.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2005)
- New NASCAR Hire: NASCAR announced the hiring of Lazaro “Laz” Benitez Manager of East Regional Media Outreach. Benitez will be based in NASCAR’s New York City office and will be responsible for communications planning and managing all media outreach efforts to raise awareness about NASCAR in the Northeast.(NASCAR)(9-1-2005)
- Wally’s World at Calif: Josh Duhamel, star of NBC’s “Las Vegas,” faces some high stakes on Sunday as he goes for a ride with NBC & TNT race analyst Wally Dallenbach on “Wally’s World,” and also serves as Grand Marshal for the Nextel Cup race at California Speedway, giving the “Gentlemen, start your engines” command.(NBC PR)(9-1-2005)
- Earnhardt Jr. Participates In Pursuit Training With Roanoke PD: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was chased by two police cars Wednesday – and when the chase ended he got a pack on the back and a handshake from the officers instead of a ticket. Earnhardt Jr. participated in a pursuit training exercise with the Roanoke Police Department on the Texas Motor Speedway infield road course. Earnhardt Jr., wheeling a silver 2005 Chevrolet Corvette, was the chase subject as Roanoke’s finest were in hot pursuit in fully loaded squad cars with the sirens blaring and lights flashing. Roanoke Lt. Robert Crawford, Officer James Johnson and Traffic Officer Gary Stroud joined Earnhardt Jr. during the simulation with Lt. Crawford and Officer Johnson driving the squad cars. Traffic Officer Stroud helped end the pursuit by pulling his vehicle across the road course to block Earnhardt Jr.’s path as well as throw down a “spike” strip to simulate an actual highway situation. Earnhardt Jr. admitted that this was the first time he has been involved in a police “chase.” Earnhardt Jr.’s pursuit ended with Traffic Officer Stroud blocking the road, and the NASCAR star then broke into a series of doughnuts in the ‘Vette, filling the speedway infield with tire smoke. “Doing doughnuts is always a good time,” Earnhardt Jr. said with a smile.(TMS PR)(9-1-2005)
- Yeley and Fedex Racing to Visit Boys and Girls Club: FedEx is hosting a special “racing camp” at the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Clubs to share the NASCAR racing experience with area youth. While there, FedEx will present the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Clubs (LABGC) with a $25,000 contribution to advance the non-profit organization’s on-going mission to inspire and empower young people in the Los Angeles area. During the event, more than 100 participating youth will have the opportunity to meet NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley, see the FedEx # 11 Chevrolet up-close and race radio-controlled cars against Yeley.(JGR PR)(9-1-2005)
- Mikey gives LA Mayor a ride: Los Angles, CA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will ride to work in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race car with #15-Michael Waltrip on Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 9:00am from the Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Mayor Villaraigosa will be joined by Michael Waltrip, the two-time Daytona 500 winner who is in town in preparation for this weekend’s Sony HD 500 race at the California Speedway. Waltrip will pick up the Mayor at Staples Center and give him a ride to City Hall in a NEXTEL Cup race car.(PR)(9-1-2005)
- Mears going surfing: #41-Casey Mears will be hitting the waves of the Pacific Ocean with professional surfer Pat O’Connell while in California. O’Connell, the star of the movie “Endless Summer II,” will be giving Mears surfing lessons at the Huntington Beach Pier on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Later that afternoon, O’Connell will be switching gears by receiving a ride-a-long at California Speedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)(9-1-2005)