Skip to content
Jayski LogoJayski Logo

September 2008 News Archives


  • News from September 30, 2008

  • Hall of Fame Racing, JGR decide to remove Logano from #96: Joey Logano will no longer pilot Hall of Fame Racing’s #96 Toyota in 2008, team co-owner Tom Garfinkel told ESPN.com Tuesday. Garfinkel said the decision was mutual between his team and Joe Gibbs Racing, for whom Logano is under a multi-year driving contract. “It’s a joint decision,” Garfinkel said. “We talked to Gibbs and both decided that, for [Logano’s] development and for our team, this the best thing for all of us. The best thing for all of us is for them to focus on Joey’s development, and us to focus on our team.” Seeking to gain experience in preparation for his 2009 rookie campaign in Gibbs’ #20 Toyota, Logano was scheduled to run five of the final 10 races of the current season in the Hall of Fame #96 — a Gibbs satellite operation. He was to return to the #96 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway next week, and also was scheduled to drive for Hall of Fame at Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. Sprint Cup veteran Ken Schrader will drive the #96 at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, and likely the rest of the season. Joe Gibbs Racing officials were not immediately available for comment.(ESPN.com)(9-30-2008)Comment here
  • Army to Newman? UPDATE: sources said Army is close to finalizing a deal to be a partial co-sponsor of Ryan Newman’s [#39 Chevy] car at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.(ESPN.com)(9-12-2008)
    UPDATE: Sources close to the situation confirmed today that the U.S. Army would not be renewing their sponsorship with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. after the 2008 season. Representatives from the U.S. Army let Dale Earnhardt, Inc. know this afternoon that they would not be returning to the #8 for 2009. Beginning in 2009 the U.S. Army will be the primary sponsor of Ryan Newman in the newly formed Stewart-HAAS Racing venture led by two-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart. The formal announcement will be delivered at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday October 10th when Stewart-HAAS Racing and the U.S. Army unveil Newman’s new #39 racecar. Sources also said that representatives from the U.S. Army have asked Dale Earnhardt, Inc. for permission to make the announcement, and that the U.S. Army did not have an interest in negotiating with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. about future opportunities.(Captain Thunder Racing)(9-30-2008) Comment here
  • Menard to leave DEI UPDATE 2: Paul Menard will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season to drive for Yates Racing, The Associated Press has learned. Menard is expected to announce Tuesday that both he and his sponsorship will move to Yates, a person familiar with Menard’s decision told The AP. The person requested anonymity because Menard had yet to make his announcement. DEI officials were not immediately available to comment Monday night. Without Menard, DEI has just one full sponsor in Bass Pro Shops for #1-Martin Truex Jr. He recently agreed to a one-year extension with DEI that takes him through 2009. Sponsorship from the U.S. Army is expected to leave DEI at the end of the year – perhaps for Tony Stewart’s new team [#39-Ryan Newmani s runored] – and that leaves DEI without funding for the #8 Chevy that Aric Almirola will pilot. #01-Regan Smith, the fourth driver in DEI’s current stable, has had very limited sponsorship all season. Yates has been fielding two cars this year with no full-time sponsorship. Instead, it’s pieced together several different limited programs for #38-David Gilliland and #28-Travis Kvapil while receiving support from Roush Fenway Racing.(in part from the Associated Press), hearing an announcement could come sometime this week.(9-29-2008)
    UPDATE: Menard’s presence secures them [Yates Racing] funding for at least one full-time team in 2009, but will mean the axe for either #28-Travis Kvapil or #38-David Gilliland if enough sponsorship isn’t found to expand to three cars. In the meantime, contraction is now almost a certainty for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., who now must find sponsors for Menard’s #15, Regan Smith’s #01, and Aric Almirola’s #8. A source tells Frontstretch.com Smith’s #01 has been floated around to possible investors, and it’s almost a certainty Smith will not return to the team in 2009. Menard and DEI could not be reached for comment.(Frontstretch)
    UPDATE 2: Paul Menard has reached an agreement to drive for Yates Racing in the Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2009 season. “This is a great opportunity and I’m glad to be joining the Yates Racing organization next season,” said Menard. “I think a lot of what Doug Yates and Max Jones are doing over there building for continued success. I’m excited to be a part of their future and excited to work with Travis (Kvapil) and David (Gilliland). You look at what Doug and the Ford Motor Company have done in this sport, they’ve created a lot of horsepower and hoisted quite a few trophies over the years. I’d like to help continue that for both of them.” Paul Menard’s Ford Fusion will feature sponsorship from Menards, as well as associate sponsors including: Johns Manville, Super Clean, Quaker State, Pittsburgh Paints, Moen, Sylvania, Energizer, Turtle Wax, Vertis, Peak and Nibco. Yates Racing General Manager Max Jones sees Menard as a fresh addition to his current roster. “Paul is one of those guys I’ve personally been watching for the last two years; I think he’s ready to take the next step in this series and become a driver we hear a lot about on the track in 2009.” While details of Menard’s car design and car number have yet to be finalized, Team principal Doug Yates sees Paul really fitting in at Yates Racing. “It’s a positive addition for us to get a guy like Paul in camp here,” said Yates. “He’s been through adversity in his first year in Cup and shown tremendous improvement in his second year. He’s a racer, a guy who likes to be at the shop a lot, from what I understand, and that’s what we like here. Plus, he already has a good relationship with our current drivers, so adding that third source of data should help our entire team rise up.”(Menards Racing/Co-Pilott PR)(9-30-2008) Comment here
  • Allmendigner expects to be out of #84 ride next week: UPDATE AJ out, driver lineup announced: AJ Allmendinger expects this weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway to be his last with Red Bull Racing. Allmendinger and Red Bull announced earlier this week they will part ways at the end of this season, and Allmendinger did not drive the #84 during the two-day test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “I’m racing this weekend at Kansas, but I’m almost 100 percent sure I won’t be with Red Bull after this race,” Allmendinger said in his biweekly diary for Yahoo. “Hopefully I’ll have something and I’ll be in a car next week. Whether it’s the team I’m going to be with for next year, and we can start working on that, or what … that’s kind of where we stand.” Red Bull general manager Jay Frye said Thursday he expects to know at the start of next week what the # 84 team will do for the remaining seven races this season. Allmendinger said he expected to be released from Red Bull the past month, and even though he wanted to stay with the team, he passed on an opportunity to sign a one-year contract extension to stay with the team because it would have put him in the same position this time next year.(Associated Press)(9-26-2008)
    UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger will split from the Red Bull Racing Team possibly as early as next week, opening up a seat in the organization’s # 84 car that will presumably go to current Craftsman Truck Series driver Scott Speed in 2009. The former rookie of the year in the defunct Champ Car series said Friday at Kansas Speedway that a return to open-wheel racing is a possibility, but he clearly doesn’t want to give up on a NASCAR odyssey that he began in late 2006. Although the announcement [of the driver/team split] said Allmendinger and Red Bull would part for the 2009 season, the separation will likely happen much sooner than that. Allmendinger is in the #84 at Kansas, but said nothing has been decided beyond this weekend. In addition to the 10 starts Speed has made this season in the trucks, he’s also the points leader in the ARCA series, which will compete as a companion event to the Sprint Cup tour next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. But Speed has never driven in a restrictor-plate event, and is only approved by NASCAR to attempt Sprint Cup events on 1.5-mile tracks or smaller. That makes Skinner, who replaced Allmendinger for four races earlier this season, a more viable option for the Alabama track. Red Bull executives will meet Monday to formulate a plan for Talladega. Could we see Speed in a Sprint Cup car before the year is out? “It’s possible,” said team vice president Jay Frye.(NASCAR.com), NOTE: Speed did run the Daytona ARCA race earlier this year. He was in an accident and completed 29 laps. For more information on the #84 ride see my #84 team page.(9-27-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Red Bull Racing Team announced Mike Skinner and Red Bull development driver Scott Speed to replace AJ Allmendinger in the #84 for the rest of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. The #84 currently sits 33rd in owners’ points. “The schedule we put together is in the best interest of both Red Bull Racing Team and AJ’s plans for the future,” said RBRT Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye. Allowing Mike Skinner and Scott Speed to share the #84 for the balance of the season helps our team continue developing our program for the future.” Mike Skinner, who drove the #84 Red Bull Toyota for five races earlier in the 2008 season, will take the reins of the #84 at the NSCS races in both Talladega and Charlotte. Red Bull development driver Scott Speed will drive the #82 Red Bull Toyota at Charlotte on October 11 – the same weekend he attempts to clinch the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship in Toledo. Speed will then take over driving duties of the #84 at Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.(RBRT PR)(9-30-2008) Comment here
  • Monopoly is off to a racing start at McDonald’s: On Oct. 7, 2008, Monopoly is back at McDonald’s. Elliott Sadler will get behind the wheel of the #19 McDonald’s Dodge Charger with a special guest along for the ride. Mr. Monopoly will grace the hood of the McDonald’s car in the Oct. 5, 2008 Sprint Cup Series Race at Talladega Superspeedway. The car will prominently feature PlayatMcD.com, where not only can consumers learn more about the exciting prizes in this year’s game, but they can play the Online Game, too! There’s a $100,000 cash prize up for grabs every day in the promotion – 28 days, 28 prizes. When the game kicks off on Oct. 7, customers can stop into McDonald’s to get game stamps on some of their favorite menu items. All they have to do is peel their Game Stamp – and they are in the game! They could collect a property, or win instantly. A 10-digit code on the stamp gets them one dice roll in the Online Game, where there are tons of other great prizes.(McDonald’s PR), see images of the scheme on my #19 Team Schemes page.(9-30-2008)
  • Ganassi testing at Milwaukee: The Sprint Cup Series team of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates is testing at The Milwaukee Mile on Tues., Sept. 30 and Wed., Oct. 1. Tuesday’s driving duties belong to Juan Pablo Montoya. On Wednesday, the team will have development/test driver Kevin Hamlin behind the wheel. Grandstands are open both days, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(The Milwaukee Mile PR)(9-30-2008)
  • Congrats: Tracey Hughes, wife of Furniture Row Racing team coordinator/spotter Clayton Hughes, gave birth Monday (Sept. 29) to son Blake Alexander at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Blake weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long. Blake joins brother Cole in the Hughes household.(9-30-2008)

  • Eight 2007 race winners yet to win in 2008: with seven races to go, eight drivers have not won a race in 2008, jeopardizng some long streaks:
    season streak wins, driver, last race won, when won
    14, Jeff Gordon, Charlotte, October 2007
    8, Tony Stewart, Watkins Glen, August 2007
    6, Matt Kenseth, Homestead, November 2007
    2, Kevin Harvick, Daytona, February 2007
    1, Casey Mears, Charlotte, May 2007
    1, Martin Truex Jr., Dover, June 2007
    1, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sonoma, June 2007
    1, Jamie McMurray, Daytona, July 2007.(9-30-2008)
  • Sad News – Hal Hamrick: Hal Hamrick, a pioneer in several forms of media coverage of stock-car racing, died Sunday night in Gastonia. He was 79. Mr. Hamrick was publisher of “FasTrack,” a weekly racing publication based in Gastonia, NC . He suffered a stroke on Friday. Mr. Hamrick had written about and talked about racing for nearly as long as there has been a NASCAR. He sat on a soft drink crate to broadcast a race from Martinsville Speedway in Virginia in 1952 and was part of the team that broadcast the first Daytona 500 in 1959. He did radio work for the Universal Radio Network, which pioneered radio broadcasts of NASCAR races, until 1983. Mr. Hamrick was born in Rutherford County and grew up in Asheville.(Charlotte Observer and at the Gaston Gazette)(9-29-2008)
    SERVICES: The family will receive friends on Wednesday [10/1] from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm at Parkwood Baptist Church, 1729 East Garrison Blvd., Gastonia (704-864-3930), The Celebration of Hal Hamrick’s Life will be at 3:00 pm, Wednesday at Parkwood Baptist Church. Since there will be no graveside services, in lieu of flowers, the family has asked that any tributes be made as contributions to:
    Parkwood Baptist Church, 1827 Dixon Road, Gastonia, NC 28054
    Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, NC 27317
    American Heart Association, 222 S. Church Street, Ste. 303, Charlotte, NC 28202.(9-30-2008) Comment here


    News from September 29, 2008

  • #42 team likly not to be penalized: Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, said Sunday that Chip Ganassi Racing and Brian Pattie, crew chief for the #42 Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya, are not likely to be hit with any further penalties for the technical violation that cost them the Kansas pole. “We’ll continue to review it, but this is a lot like when we find a car is a little too high or too low in inspection,” Pemberton said. “It’s not a major offense and losing the pole is probably enough of a penalty.” Montoya beat out #48-Jimmie Johnson for his first Cup pole on Friday, but the postqualifying inspection found the gas pressure in his rear shocks exceeded the allowable maximum. Johnson was moved up to the pole and Montoya had to start 42nd. Montoya did the best he could with a tough situation, moving his way up to 16th in the first 100 laps and finishing 20th. “To get a top-20 from starting dead last is a pretty good day here,” Pattie said.(Associated Press/ESPN)(9-29-2008) Comment here
  • Kyle Petty out at Petty Enterprises? Was this #45-Kyle Petty’s last race for Petty Enterprises? Sunday’s Kansas 400 looks like it might well have been his last Sprint Cup run for the family business that he’s worked for for so many years, that his grandfather Lee founded in 1949 and that his father Richard has been running all these years. That pending departure-not of Kyle Petty’s own doing-is the stunning word from Patti Petty, Kyle’s wife. Kyle Petty has been the center of a family storm of controversy since the spring, and he insists he doesn’t think he’s part of the long-running problems at Petty Enterprises. And Patti Petty says her husband is determined to stay at the wheel of a Cup car…..for someone. Kyle Petty himself … has been struggling with the entire situation, Patti Petty says. While Petty himself was stoic about whatever turmoil is going on behind the scenes, promising to talk about things eventually, his wife was quite emotional – “Maybe I’m the only one here willing to tell the truth,” she said. “They haven’t wanted Kyle in the car the last three years. They want a young driver, a 30-year-old, a 20-year-old. “But Wells Fargo, our sponsor, says it’s going to stay with Kyle, whatever he does. I wish Chip Ganassi (a fellow Dodge team owner) would take a look at Kyle. He’s got a 12-race sponsorship deal for next year that would be a perfect part-time schedule for Kyle. And Kyle could help mentor a young driver. They told him at Watkins Glen – right when he was standing there in his driver’s suit – that they didn’t want him in the car.” There are indications that Michael McDowell, currently driving for Michael Waltrip’s Toyota operation, and AJ Allmendinger, currently driving for Team Red Bull, are under consideration for the Petty ride, as teammate with Bobby Labonte. Kyle Petty is tentatively scheduled to run a Petty car at Phoenix in November, but Patti Petty says that looks too iffy.(Winston-Salem Journal)(9-29-2008) Comment here
  • Kansas Overnight TV Ratings: ABC’s broadcast of Sunday’s Camping World RV 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway earned an overnight Nielsen Media Research rating of 3.1, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 10.7% higher than the 2.8 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2007, but that event was interrupted by rain and continued on ESPN2.(SceneDaily), for race by race and news, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(9-29-2008) Comment here
  • Race & Commercial Breakdown of the Camping World RV 400 – Kansas:
    Total number of commercials: 98
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 52
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 7
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:01 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:20 PM
    Total minutes: 199
    Minutes of race broadcast: 151
    Minutes of commercials: 48
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’: 0
    Number of minutes of ‘dead air’ during broadcast: 2
    Number of times the f-bomb was heard during radio communications: 1
    Number of times this was acknowledged and apologized for: 0
    Total race brdcst time 151 Total comm. brdcst time 48
    See more, link and report on my 2008 TV Commericials page.(9-29-2008)Comment here
  • Dodge debuts new engine at Kansas: Mike Delahanty – Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports from a PR:
    Q) The Dodge R6P8 engine made its Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Has it been a normal evolution process?
    Delahanty) “Our teams started working with the new engine early in the calendar year (2008). It started with engines on the dynamometer followed by mid-week testing with the engines in actual racecars. This weekend marks the first time that a Dodge team (#2 Kurt Busch/ Miller Lite Dodge from Penske Racing) has rolled it out for Sprint Cup competition. It’s the normal evolution, not just an engine, of any type of new part or technology we introduce into the sport.
    Q) How long has the engine been used in cars for mid-week testing?
    Delahanty) “Penske Racing has actually been running the engine in cars in mid-week testing for several months. They have done the development, the durability testing and are now confident the new R6 is ready for racetrack competition on Sunday.
    Q) What is the status of the progress by other teams with the R6P8 engine?
    Delahanty) “Our other teams are following a parallel course with Penske. They have the R6 engines in the development phase building power and also out in the mid-week test vehicles running durability laps. It’s not clear yet how soon the other teams will roll the new engine out in competition. As we’ve said in the past, it’s quiet. That’s a good sign. It will be a period time before the engine is fully phased in because of the number of engines required. Another factor, the R5 (current engine) is a proven durable piece. The new motor is good. The current motor is still good too.”
    Q) What is your assessment of the debut of the new engine?
    Delahanty) “We are pleased with the initial on-track performance of the new engine. This is another step in the development process toward full implementation during the 2009 season, well ahead of the 2010 mandate from NASCAR.”(Dodge Motorsports PR(9-29-2008) Comment here
  • Office Depot Names “Small Business of NASCAR”: Office Depot announced that Mystique Salon and Spa of Boise, Idaho, will be the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, courtesy of Office Depot” for the remainder of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. Mystique Salon and Spa owner Julie Catalano is the first female business owner to be named as the Office Depot “Official Small Business of NASCAR” since the annual promotion began in 2005.(Office Depot PR)(9-29-2008)

News from September 28, 2008

  • Sad News – Dick Bahre: Former NASCAR car owner, Richard “Dick” Bahre, 76, passed away on Saturday in Statesville, N.C. Bahre was the brother of New Hampshire Motor Speedway founder, Bob Bahre, and the uncle of former track president, Gary Bahre. Dick helped build the speedway with Bob and Gary in 1989. “Dick Bahre was an integral part of the speedway’s history,” said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “He worked side-by-side with Bob and Gary to build a first class facility for race fans to enjoy. As a car owner, Dick gave many drivers the opportunity to compete in NASCAR’s elite divisions. This is a tremendous loss for the Bahre family, the speedway, and the entire motorsports community.” Bahre was involved in auto racing for over 50 years starting with the midget racing circuit in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s with Bob. Dick and Chuck Rider formed Bahari Racing with young Waltrip behind the wheel in the mid-1980’s.
    The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday [9/29] at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home, 705 Davie Avenue, in Statesville, N.C. A second receiving for friends will be held at Oxford Hills Funeral Services, 1037 Main Street, Oxford, Maine on Wednesday. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris Street, Norway, Maine. The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317; to Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, N.C. 28625, or to the American Cancer Society, 6000 Fairview Road, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28210.(9-28-2008)
  • Johnson wins at Kansas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway for his 5th win of the season and the 38th of his career. He held off #99-Carl Edwards, who made a brief pass on the last lap and then slid up into the wall and fell back to second at the finish. #16-Biffle finished third, followed by #24-Gordon, #17-Kenseth, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #6-Ragan, #84-Allmendinger, and #19- Sadler. Other chase drivers: #11-Hamlin was 11th, #07-Bowyer 12th, and #88-Earnhardt Jr 13th. #18-Busch fought mechanical problems early and finished 28th, #20-Stewart spun through the grass, breaking the splitter, and later had to pit under green to fix it, finishing 40th. There were 7 cautions for 25 laps and 16 lead changes among 10 leaders.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Kansas Race Results Awards Page.(9-28-2008)
  • UNOFFICIAL Chase Driver Points Standings [after Kansas race 29 of 36]:
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5575 [5 wins]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 5565 -10 [6 wins]
    3) #16-Greg Biffle 5545 -30 [2 wins]
    4) #31-Jeff Burton 5454 -121 [1 win]
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick 5439 -136
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon 5432 -143
    7) #07-Clint Bowyer 5411 -164 [1 win]
    8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5385 -190 [1 win]
    9) #17-Matt Kenseth 5383 -192
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin 5332 -243 [1 win]
    11) #20-Tony Stewart 5320 -255
    12) #18-Kyle Busch 5264 -311 [8 wins]
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Kansas.(9-28-2008)
  • Race Fast Facts – Kansas Speedway
    Jimmie Johnson won the Camping World RV 400 presented by Coleman, his 38th victory in 248 races.
    This is his fifth victory and 17th top-10 finish in 2008.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Kansas Speedway.
    Carl Edwards (second) posted his third top-10 finish in five races at Kansas Speedway. It is his 22nd top-10 finish in 2008.
    Greg Biffle (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in seven races at Kansas Speedway.
    Patrick Carpentier (29th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 10 points over Carl Edwards.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(9-28-2008)
  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Talladega:
    No changes in the top 35 after Kansas
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    32) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2290 +137
    34) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 2271 +118
    34) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 2232, +79
    35) #7-Gordon/RGM: 2182 29 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 2153, 29 points out of 35th
    37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 2116 -66
    38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1958 -224
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(9-28-2008)
  • Who got a lap back on each caution at Kansas: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: #07-Bowyer, 12th
    Caution 2: #18-Busch, 28th
    Caution 3: #10-Carpentier, 29th
    Caution 4: #21-Elliott, 25th
    Caution 5: #2-Busch, 30th
    Caution 6: #83-Vickers, 15th
    Caution 7: #12-Newman, 16th
    (9-28-2008)
  • Racing Resources Says …
    * Jimmie Johnson won the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway. He posted his 38th victory in his 248th race and notched his fifth win of the 2008 season. It also was his third win in the past five races. It was Johnson’s 12th win in 43 Chase races, the most wins of all drivers.
    * Johnson posted his 13th 1.5-mile win. He’s tied with Jeff Gordon for most among all current drivers and second to Dale Earnhardt with 14. Johnson posted his sixth 1.5-mile victory in the 43 Chase races, the most of all drivers.
    * Johnson scored his first Kansas victory in his seventh start. He became the seventh different Kansas winner in eight races.
    * Hendrick Motorsports posted its third Kansas victory, the most of all teams. HMS posted its 17th win in 43 Chase races, the most of all teams.
    * Johnson led 124 of the 267 laps, more than all other drivers. He has led 301 of the 967 laps (31 percent) in the three Chase races this season. Johnson has led the most laps in three of the past five races.
    * Johnson won the race from the pole, joining Joe Nemechek (2004) as the only drivers to win at Kansas from the pole. Johnson posted his fifth win from the pole and third of the 2008 season. He leads the Chase by 10 points over Carl Edwards. Johnson took the lead in the points after the Kansas race for the second year in a row.
    * Johnson has led at least one lap in 23 of the 28 races this season, the most of all drivers.
    * Carl Edwards, who finished second, posted his series-leading 22nd top-10 finish of the season.
    * Greg Biffle, who finished third, posted his seventh consecutive top-15 finish.
    * Kevin Harvick, who finished sixth, posted his ninth consecutive top-10 finish, the longest streak of his career. It’s also the longest top-10 streak by any driver this season.
    * Seven of the 12 Chase drivers finished in the top 10, and all finished first through seventh.
    * Kyle Busch, who finished 28th, finished outside the top 25 for the third consecutive race.
    * Five of the 12 Chase drivers led at least one lap at Kansas.
    * AJ Allmendinger, who finished ninth, posted his career-best finish.
    * The seven cautions tied the record for the fewest cautions at Kansas, a record that was set in October 2005. The 25 laps of caution tied the record, also set in October 2005, for the fewest caution laps at Kansas.
    * Joe Gibbs Racing drivers are now 10th, 11th and 12th in the NSCS point standings. All three drivers are more than 240 points behind the leader.
    * Patrick Carpentier, who finished 29th, was the highest rookie of the year contender.
    * Three drivers have posted top-5 finishes in all three Chase races (Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle).
    * Eleven of the 12 Chase drivers have scored at least one top-10 finish in the first three Chase races. Kyle Busch is the only Chase driver who has not.
    * The top 10 consisted of four Chevrolets, four Fords, one Toyota and one Dodge.(ESPN)
  • Kansas Penalty Report:
    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
    1 #31 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 0
    2 #07 Passing to the wrong side on a start or restart PT 0
    3 #77 Excessive Speed-Entering pits PT 50
    4 #21 Excessive speed – Exiting pits PT 50
    5 #84 Rolling a tire(s) beyond the center of pit road. TE 76
    6 #41 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 76
    7 #7 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 77
    8 #8 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 118
    9 #20 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 118
    10 #18 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 120
    11 #2 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 131
    12 #22 Excessive Speed-Entering pits PT 176
    13 #7 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 219
    14 #7 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 219
    15 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 226
    16 #55 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 226
    17 #12 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 227
    18 #55 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 227
    PT – Pass through
    TE – Tail end of the longest line
    SG – Stop and Go
    OL – One lap
    ND – NASCAR discretion
    MCI – Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-28-2008)

    • Keselowksi standing by for Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon has been feeling ill all weekend and Hendrick Motorsports will have Brad Keselowski standing by in case Gordon needs to get out of the car. Crew Chief Steve Letarte, interviewed on SPEED Channel’s Race Day, said Gordon got a good night’s rest and is expected to make it through the entire race.(9-28-2008)
    • MWR could add a 4th team, Ambrose? Dow?: UPDATE: While many teams continue to search for sponsorship for the 2009 Sprint Cup season and beyond, one team that seems confident about sponsorship is Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR Executive Vice President Cal Wells said Saturday that he believes the team has enough sponsorship for two cars and three-quarters of another. He said he could envision the team running a fourth car part time in 2009. “I believe we’re in really good shape,” Wells said. “I’m hoping we’re actually going to run a fourth car. I don’t know that we can get it off, but we have so much in the pipeline.” As far as who would be teammates with already signed #55-Michael Waltrip and #44[will be #00 in 2009]-David Reutimann, Wells said the team hopes to re-sign Michael McDowell, who has run most of the season in a third car for MWR. “We’re selling hard around McDowell,” Wells said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff we’re working on. I honestly don’t know. There’s some [more] talent out there.” Wells also dismissed the idea that MWR would merge with another team [Like the Ganassi rumor]. “We’re looking at doing some service providing stuff with some folks that are trying to come in, kind of like the Hall of Fame [Racing] deals [with Joe Gibbs Racing],” Wells said. “We’re not to the point of announcing anything yet, but we’re looking for business. We’re not looking at [merging].”(SceneDaily.com)
      AND: hearing that Marcos Ambrose and Little Debbie’s could be moving to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2009 and Ambrose would not run in the Cup Series for JTG Racing.
      AND II: also hearing that the other primary sponsor for Reutimann in the #00 Toyota in 2009 will be Dow Chemical Company.(9-22-2008)
      UPDATE: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn’t named a manufacturer for next season when it moves full time to the Sprint Cup Series from the Nationwide Series but the team was working out of a Michael Waltrip Racing hauler on Saturday at Kansas Speedway. JTG Daugherty, which qualified on speed for Sunday’s Cup race with driver #47-Marcos Ambrose, had a hauler fire in June that destroyed one of its transporters. The team got some help from Richard Childress Racing when it qualified for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late July. But could the team working out of a MWR hauler at Kansas be a sign of a potential affiliation and a move to Toyota? JTG Daugherty currently fields Fords. “Obviously we have a really good relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing,” Geschickter said. “At this point, we’re not ready to announce anything. But we know them better than most in the fact that we were able to go straight over there and borrow some equipment.”(SceneDaily.com)(9-28-2008) Comment here
    • Biffle could be first to win championship in all 3 series: #16-Greg Biffle thought about it back in 2000 when he won the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series championship. What if he could move on to the Busch (now Nationwide) Series and win that championship? And, what if, after winning the 2002 Nationwide title, he could move on to the Sprint Cup Series and win that championship? Biffle, third in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by a scant 10 points going into the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway, has a chance to become the first driver in history to win the Triple Crown. Biffle, 38, came excruciatingly close to winning his third different NASCAR title in 2005 when he tied for second in the Chase, just 35 points behind champion Tony Stewart.(Kansas City Star)(9-28-2008) Comment here


      News from September 27, 2008

    • Sad News- Paul Newman: The world at large has lost one of its finest actors … and the world of motor sports has lost a friend. Paul Newman, whose passion for race cars seemed to equal his love of filmmaking, has passed away. He was 83. See more at ABC News.(9-27-2008)
    • Goodyear to test twice at Indy in next two weeks: UPDATE:Goodyear will conduct a NASCAR tire test Sept. 22-23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, continuing its development of a racing tire for the 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This initial test on the 2.5-mile oval will feature one Sprint Cup Series car equipped with technology to gather data that will be used to construct tires for a major NASCAR Goodyear tire test Oct. 6-8 at IMS that will feature up to 14 cars. The 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2009 at IMS. Tire-wear issues in the first “Car of Tomorrow” race at IMS prompted NASCAR to call six competition cautions at this year’s event. “We’ve set a very aggressive schedule to come up with the right tire recommendation for the 2009 race at IMS,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of global race tires. “This is the first test of two we have scheduled for this fall, and our intention is to return again in the spring.” 2009 tickets: Ticket orders are being accepted for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, via mail or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.(IMS PR)(9-20-2008)
      UPDATE: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week for a two-day test that was designed to begin the evaluation process for its 2009 tire recommendation for the track. The test, held this past Monday and Tuesday with the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and driver Kyle Petty, has now established a baseline for tire maker’s return visit scheduled for October 6-8. “We had two very successful days of testing at Indy,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of worldwide racing. “We ran a wide variety of tread compounds in an effort to understand how each interacts with this car on this track. With NASCAR’s involvement, we evaluated several different aerodynamic packages to quantify what impact downforce has on tire performance. And with the help of Goodyear’s research scientists, we’ve begun processes to accurately characterize the track surface and monitor how it may change. This first test was meant to lay the ground work for the second test in early October, which will have 17 cars in attendance. The information gathered at the first test will enable us to evaluate, in more detail, those types of combinations that have the greatest potential. The second test will involve many more cars in an effort to more closely simulate the track conditions of a race weekend.”(Goodyear PR)(9-27-2008) Comment here
    • Carpentier could move to Nationwide Series full time next year:#10-Patrick Carpentier, a former race winner on the defunct Champ Car circuit who came to NASCAR last year, is in a squeeze. With Reed Sorenson moving over to GEM for next season and sponsors in short supply, his chances of remaining with his #10 team appear slim. Although he said the door isn’t completely closed on a return to GEM, he may wind up running full time in the Nationwide Series next season. Carpentier has competed in eight Nationwide events this year, with a top finish of second Montreal. “I think I’ve got something for the full season in Nationwide for next year, and I’m going to run it,” he said, adding that the ride isn’t with GEM. As for his prospects of staying with the #10? “They’re still trying hard, and if it works out, we’ll be here next year. That’s what I hope, because I like the guys. We made a lot of races this year. It’s tough. For guys coming from open-wheel to here, you’d better park your ego at the entrance.” (NASCAR.com)(9-27-2008) Comment here
    • Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway, #48-Johnson got to choose first, since he will start from the pole, and took stall #1, #8-Martin who starts 2nd took stall #28, the last pit with an opening in front of it before the start finish line. #6-Ragan, who starts 12th, took the final pit stall. See who took what stall on my Kansas Pit Stall selections page.(9-27-2008)
    • Happy Hour for the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #16-Biffle 167.385
      #17-Kenseth 167.312
      #99-Edwards 167.271
      #24-Gordon 166.960
      #29-Harvick 166.795
      slowest: #78-Nemechek 161.968 #45-Petty 161.261
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Kansas Practice Speeds page.(9-27-2008)
    • Saturday’s first practice for the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #99-Edwards 170.433
      #16-Biffle 170.218
      #20-Stewart 169.497
      #48-Johnson 169.460
      #6-Ragan 168.903
      slowest: #47-Ambrose 162.763 & #78-Nemechek 161.866
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Kansas Practice Speeds page.(9-27-2008)
    • Stanton Barrett to the IRL? UPDATE: [IRL owner] Greg Beck’s team is going full-time in the IndyCar Series in 2009 with NASCAR driver Stanton Barrett. Apparently, Barrett, who will be 36 in December, is going to keep his in-house stock car program going by running the Nationwide Series in the early and latter parts of next year.(Indianapolis Star)(9-26-2008)
      UPDATE: Stanton Barrett plans to broaden his horizons next season, adding a full run in the IndyCar Series to his driving duties. Barrett, who competes on a part-time basis for Ski Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series and for his own team (in a partnership with Ski) in the Nationwide Series, is not completely leaving stock cars, though. He says that he plans to participate in NASCAR’s Cup season-opening Daytona 500 and its qualifying events and to continue to drive in 10 Nationwide races next season, in addition to running the full IndyCar schedule. He will compete for the Curb/Agajanian/Team 3G team in the IndyCar ranks and for Team 3G in the Nationwide. Barrett did not announce full primary sponsorship, but does have Interush.net, Phytter Phone, Curb Records and Grandstay.net as participating sponsors. He will drive Chevys in NASCAR.(Scene Daily)(9-27-2008) Comment here
    • Pettys announce location for Kansas Victory Junction camp: Victory Junction Gang has announced a site selection for its second, medical camping facility for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. The expansion of Victory Junction will be located at 8205 Riverview Road, Kansas City, Kan., and built on 71 acres in Wyandotte County, Kan., pending Unified Government review and approval. Victory Junction Gang is a year-round facility that enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment. As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous donors to provide this experience free of charge to children and families. Early 2008, co-founders Kyle and Pattie Petty announced plans to expand to the ‘Heartland’ and spread the once-in-a-lifetime experience with children in need. Since identifying the region for its second facility, Victory Junction hired Wells Fargo executive Mike Lepore to serve as president of the Midwest camp. Lepore is responsible for the success of the capital campaign and all aspects of the new camp’s operations. Thus far, he has garnered more than $4 million in contributions and in-kind donations, including Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart’s recent pledge of $1 million. The camp in Kansas is expected to break ground in 2009.(Victory Junction PR)(9-27-2008) Comment here


      News from September 26, 2008

    • Mike Wallace to drive #33 for RCR at Talladega: Realtree, the home of America’s most versatile camo patterns, will sponsor Richard Childress Racing’s #33 Realtree Driven to the Outdoors Chevy and driver Mike Wallace in the Oct. 5 Amp Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. RCR and Realtree, based in Columbus, Ga., have a long-standing relationship. Realtree president Bill Jordan and RCR president and CEO Richard Childress have been personal friends for decades and Team Realtree first sponsored the legendary Dale Earnhardt and RCR’s #3 GM Goodwrench team in 1997. Team Realtree also sponsors Team Dillon Racing’s Ty Dillon, the younger grandson of Childress, in the Fastrak Racing Series Dirt Late Model Touring Division.(RCR PR)(9-26-2008) Comment here
    • Kahne not hurt in crash at Texas: Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne was uninjured Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway after a car he was driving for a private corporate event hit the frontstretch wall coming out of Turn 4. The unidentified passenger in the car was also uninjured, according to TMS officials.(Dallas Morning News)(9-26-2008)
    • Kansas Tire Notes: Goodyear held a tire test at the Kansas with the #1 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevy (Martin Truex Jr.) and #96 Hall of Fame Racing Toyota (Brad Coleman) on August 26 . . . at that test, Goodyear confirmed a new left-side tire code (D-4132), which incorporates an updated construction that has a strong track record at the intermediate tracks this year, according to Rick Campbell, Goodyear’s NASCAR project manager … the right-side code at Kansas (D-4150), has been run twice by teams in these two series at California this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one-mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kansas . . . air pressure in those inner lines should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR) see pressures, codes and more on my Kansas Race Info page or see codes for each race on my 2008 Tire Notes page.(9-26-2008)

      0

    • Bobby Allison to be honored at Modified race: As part of the season long celebration of 60 years of Modified champions, NASCAR will honor Bobby Allison prior to the running of Sunday’s Modified Tour event at Stafford’s CarQuest Fall Final. Allison, well known for his exploits in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was a Modified champion in 1964 and 1965. Allison had 17 victories in 82 starts to win the 1964 Modified title and followed that up with 14 wins in 66 starts in 1965 to beat the legendary Red Farmer by 540 points. Allison, a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998. He credits the Modifieds with helping set him up for the competition he would face in later years. NASCAR will also recognize the late Fonty Flock, the 1949 Modified champion, at Stafford. Flock was the second Modified champion following Red Byron in 1948.(Hartford Courant)(9-26-2008) Comment here

    • RCR has never won a Cup race at Kansas: Surprisingly enough, in 20 starts at Kansas Speedway, RCR has only two top-five and just five top-10 finishes. Clint Bowyer finished second last year while Kevin Harvick went on to finish sixth. In 2006, Burton captured his career-best finish at the 1.5-mile oval by finishing fifth while teammate Bowyer finished ninth. Harvick notched a sixth-place effort in October 2003. All told, RCR’s three-car team has a 22.6 starting average and a 17.6 average finish at the metropolitan Kansas City race course. The only other tracks on the current schedule where RCR hasn’t earned Cup Series wins are Auto Club Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(RCR PR)(9-26-2008)
    • Sad News – Mike Hollander: vice president of AARWBA [American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association], Michael F. Hollander, passed away September 24, when he succumbed to mesothelioma at the age of 61. Hollander was a racing enthusiast well known in every media center as the journalist who brought motorsports news online in 1979. His Racing Information Services and Motor Sports Forum evolved into a pioneer website providing real-time information from events all over the world. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Dr. Sandra Horwitz, Optometrist, and their daughter, Sharon. A memorial service is scheduled for 1pm. Friday, Sept. 26, at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinella Ave., Los Angeles, 90045 (right off the 405 just south of the Marina Freeway).(motorpressguild.org)(9-26-2008)
    • Montoya on pole at Kansas: UPDATE: Time Disallowed: #42-Juan Montoya won the Coor’s Light Pole for the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 172.150mph for his first pole of this NASCAR career. #48-Johnson will start 2nd followed by #8-Martin, #17-Kenseth, #19-Sadler, #1-Truex, Jr., #15-Menard, #21-Elliott, #9-Kahne, and #83-Vickers. #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 12th, #18-Busch 28th, #99-Edwards 35th, and #20-Stewart 42nd.
      The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #21-Elliott, #10-Carpentier, #47-Ambrose, #45-Petty, #77-Hornish, Jr., #70-Raines, #96-Logano, and #78-Nemechek. Missing the race are #00-McDowell and #08-Sauter.
      UPDATE: Montoya’s time has been disallowed due to the fact that the car’s rear shock exceeded the maximum pressure allowed. He will start 42nd.(9-26-2008)
      See starting lineup, qualifying results/order, pole progression and more on my Kansas Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(9-26-2008)
    • Where do the 12 Chase Drivers start at Kansas:
      1) #99-Carl Edwards 34th
      2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 1st
      3) #16-Greg Biffle 18th
      4) #31-Jeff Burton 37th
      5) #29-Kevin Harvick 36th
      6) #07-Clint Bowyer 24th
      7) #20-Tony Stewart 41st
      8) #24-Jeff Gordon 13th
      9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 11th
      10) #17-Matt Kenseth 3rd
      11) #11-Denny Hamlin 30th
      12) #18-Kyle Busch 27th.(9-26-2008)
    • Kansas Qualifying Fast Facts
      Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Camping World RV 400 presented by Coleman with a lap of 31.394 seconds, 172.007 mph.
      This is his 18th pole in 248 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his fifth pole and 22nd top-10 start in 2008.
      This is his third pole in seven races at Kansas Speedway.
      Mark Martin (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2008 and his second in eight races at Kansas Speedway.
      Matt Kenseth (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Kansas Speedway. It is his 10th in 29 races this season.
      Patrick Carpentier (20th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
      The time of Juan Pablo Montoya was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-26-2008)
    • Friday practice for the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #1-Truex, Jr. 172.221
      #48-Johnson 171.614
      #8-Martin 171.483
      #42-Montoya 171.456
      #19-Sadler 171.450
      slowest: #00-McDowell 168.020 & #08-Sauter 162.750
      incident: late in the session #48-Johnson ran over a hammer that had fallen on the track, no word on any damage
      See the speeds, laps run and more on my Kansas Practice Speeds page.(9-26-2008)
    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Kansas Speedway:
      if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
      #21-Bill Elliott [has past champ prov to use], 12th
      #47-Marcos Ambrose, 24th
      #10-Patrick Carpentier, 34th
      #77-Sam Hornish Jr., 35th
      #70-Tony Raines, 38th
      #96-Joey Logano, 39th
      #45-Kyle Petty, 40th
      #78-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
      if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
      #00-Michael McDowell, 44th
      #08-Johnny Sauter, 45th
      (9-26-2008)
    • Qualifying Order for the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #83-Vickers, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #29-Harvick. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #00-McDowell, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #70-Raines. See the full qualifying order on my Kansas Qualifying Page.(9-26-2008)


      News from September 25, 2008

    • iQ Drive sponsoring #70 for 2 races: HAAS CNC Racing announced that iQ Drive will sponsor the #70 Chevy in two Sprint Cup Series races. The brand will make its debut at Talladega Superspeedway and conclude the 2008 campaign at Texas Motor Speedway. Developed by NORDYNE Inc., iQ Drive is the most energy efficient domestic air-conditioning product. No other air conditioner rivals its efficiency, product size, quiet performance and humidity control in one complete system. NORDYNE offers iQ Drive technology in both the Maytag and Frigidaire heating and cooling product lines, both available through Coburn Supply Company.(Haas CNC Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #70 Team schemes page.(9-25-2008) Comment here
    • Dover TV Ratings down 6%: ABC’s telecast of the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway this past Sunday earned a final national rating of 3.3, down 6% from the 3.5 for last year’s race which also aired on ABC. The telecast averaged 5,347,549 viewers, down 3% from last year’s 5,511,479 average. ABC is averaging a 3.54 rating for the two races it has televised this year (New Hampshire and Dover). The average is 5% higher than the average for the same two races last year. ESPN2’s telecast of the Nationwide Series event at Dover this past Saturday earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, down from the 1.4 earned for the same event last year. The race drew an average viewership of 1,501,263, down from 1,638,055 for the 2007 race. For the season, ESPN2 is averaging 1.6 for 18 races, an increase of 10% over last year’s average of 1.45 for 23 races.(ESPN), for the TV Ratings per race this season, season chart and more, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(9-25-2008) Comment here

    • Almirola still looking for 2009 sponsor: Aric Almirola is encouraged by how the hunt for a 2009 sponsor on the #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy is going. Almirola, who is sharing the ride with Mark Martin this season, will become the solo driver of the car next season when Martin leaves for Hendrick Motorsports. But the U.S. Army announced earlier this season that it wouldn’t return as a primary sponsor, making Almirola’s group one in a sea of teams searching for sponsorship for next season. “We’ve got quite a few things in the works actually,” the 24-year-old Almirola said before Wednesday’s Sprint Cup test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(SceneDaily.com)(9-25-2008) Comment here

    • Special Helmet for Ragan at Kansas: In honor of his charity of choice, Shriners Hospitals for Children, #6-David Ragan is going to wear a specially designed helmet this weekend in Kansas. The helmet portrays the children the Shriners have been able to assist at their 22 hospitals with high-quality medical care at no charge. Ragan will wear the helmet for the Sprint Cup race this Sunday in Kansas, and then again in the 2008 season finale for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Toledo Speedway on Oct. 12. In that race, he will also drive a race car with a special Shriners Hospitals for Children paint scheme. Ragan will autograph the helmet which will be auctioned off to benefit the Shriners Hospitals following the Oct. 12 race.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(9-25-2008) Comment here
    • David Ragan, Ken Schrader enter Toledo’s ARCA race: Ken Schrader and David Ragan have entered the ARCA Re/Max Series Hantz Group 200, set for Oct. 12 at Toledo Speedway. The race will determine the 2008 series champion. Schrader has four wins at Toledo (1997, 2004, 2005 and 2006). Nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel and Formula One veteran Scott Speed, who drives the Red Bull Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing, also are entered. With three events remaining, Speed has a 90-point lead in points over Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(Detroit Free Press)(9-25-2008)
    • Chevy in danger of losing manufacturer’s championship: After winning five consecutive Sprint Cup Manufacturers’ Championships and 31 overall, Chevy is in danger of being dethroned this year. Thanks in large part to Greg Biffle’s back-to-back victories, Ford has cut into Toyota’s lead in the 2008 Manufacturers’ Championship race. Toyota continues to lead, but only by seven points over Ford – 172-165. Chevy is third with 159 points, while Dodge is fourth with 120 points.(SPEEDtv.com), see the rules, standings, manu wins, history and more on my Manufacturer’s Championship stats page.(9-25-2008) Comment here


      News from September 24, 2008

    • State Water Heaters looking for team: hearing that current #66 Haas CNC Racing sponsor, State Water Heaters, will not return to the team when it becomes Stewart-Hass Racing in 2009. Supposedly State Water Heaters are shopping for a new team to partner up with in 2009 and have talked to many teams, including Yates Racing [#28 & #38 Fords].(9-24-2008) Comment here

    • Images: a few images from the Lowe’s Motor Speedway test session are posted on the Lowe’s Motor Speedway test 2 page.(9-24-2008)
    • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing – Session 2, Day 2:Testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway had concluded and in the final session in the evening, 49 drivers driving 58 cars made runs. The fastest in the Day 2 evening session was #24-Gordon at 187.2335mph, followed by #82-Speed, #11B-Hamlin, #42-Montoya, #19-Sadler, #99-Edwards, #77B-Hornish, #84-Skinner, #41-Mayfield, and #00-McDowell. Some other drivers of interest: #25-Brad Keselowski was 12th, #40-Brian Clauson was 14th, and #02-Logano was 49th. There were no incidents. Speeds are posted on the Lowe’s Motor Speedway test 2 page.(9-24-2008)
    • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing – Session 1, Day 2: The second day of testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the first session in the afternoon, 49 drivers driving 60 cars made runs. The fastest in the Day 2 afternoon session was again #16-Greg Biffle at 181.928mph followed by #12-Newman, #31-Burton, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #84-Vickers, #22-Blaney, #28-Kvapil, #18-Busch, #5-Mears, and #78-Nemechek. #82-Scott Speed was 14th, #84-Skinner was 40th, #25-Brad Keselowski was 47th, and #02-Logano was 57th. There were no accidents during the session. Speeds are posted on the Lowe’s Motor Speedway test 2 page.(9-24-2008)

    • Garmin returns to the #19 at Kansas: Elliott Sadler and the #19 Dodge of Gillett Evernham Motorsports are sporting the blue and white colors of its primary sponsor Garmin this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Garmin, an Olathe, Kansas-based company and global leader in satellite navigation, is hoping to help Sadler find success in Kansas. Garmin also was the primary colors for the #19 at Talladega in April. Sadler is scheduled to visit the Garmin world headquarters in Olathe, Kansas on Thursday, Sept 25.(GEM PR), see images of the scheme on my #19 Team schemes page.(9-24-2008)

    • Milestone starts for Sadler and Edwards: A pair of Sprint Cup Series drivers will be making milestone starts this weekend. #19-Elliott Sadler will be making his 350th career NSCS start. Points leader Carl Edwards will be making his 150th career start.(NASCAR PR)(9-24-2008)

    • Cope tests at Lowe’s; may attempt 2 races: From Derrike Cope’s web site: “The next thing on my schedule is to debut our COT car at Lowes Motor Speedway on Tuesday. It will be number #75 Cope/Keller Racing Dodge. We will only test for one day because the transporter will have to leave for Kansas…Provided all goes well there we plan on attempting Charlotte and Martinsville in the Sprint Cup Series.”(DerrikeCope.com)(9-24-2008) Comment here

    • Mayfield anxious to drive again: Jeremy Mayfield would gladly race Chip Ganassi Racing’s #41 Sprint Cup car if asked, but whether that request will come is still to be determined. “Obviously I’d love to get in the car and drive next year for sure,” Mayfield said Tuesday night. “It’s a great race team with a great sponsor. … We’ll see. I’m not going to let the pressure [mount].” Chip Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said he expects Sorenson to finish out the season in the #41 car. “We put Jeremy in the test for today and tomorrow just to kind of get a baseline of a different feel of where we are, knowing that we need to get [our cars] running better,” Lauletta said. “That’s the only decision that’s been made. We’ll see how we do the next couple of days and Chip will revisit it and we’ll go from there. But right now, Reed is running Kansas and there are no changes other than Jeremy doing this test for us.” Mayfield said among his options for next year is possibly starting a truck team or going drag racing. “I feel like I’ve got something to prove yet,” the 39-year-old Mayfield said. “I feel like I’ve got several years left to race.”(SceneDaily.com)(9-24-2008) Comment here
    • Driver Development News – Combine & Talent Search: An invited group of free agent development drivers of various ages and development levels are scheduled to test a 2008 ARCA car prepared and run by Eddie Sharp Racing at Caraway Speedway this week. Patrick Donahue will serve as crew chief for all drivers. Each driver will get 20-30 minutes to sort the car to his or her preference, then do a 40 lap test run.
      AND The national talent search for the driver development program conducted by Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle launched Tuesday. Supporting sponsors, K&N Filters, Lucas Oil & Sunoco Racing Fuels will be awarding six spots in the 2008 Shoot-Out to young, talented drivers from various forms of youth motorsports. The career development program consists of 12 veteran driver coaches, over 20 classroom topics and eight organizations fielding 24 race teams, all dedicated to develop drivers in the RSWC program. See full driver lists, links, info and more on my Driver Development page.(9-24-2008)

    • Allmendinger out of #84…to the #41? UPDATE 6: Could AJ Allmendinger be just days away from completing a deal to drive the #41 Target-sponsored car for Chip Ganassi? And did Allmendinger drive his final race in the #84 Toyota? (Yahoo Sports), hearing Allmendinger could well be out of the #84 ride after Dover with Mike Skinner running the car at Kansas and Scott Speed running some races in the car the rest of the season.(9-22-2008)
      UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger got the word Wednesday that he will not be back at Red Bull Racing’s NASCAR [#84] team next year. He’ll be replaced, no doubt, by Scott Speed.(Toronto Star)(9-22-2008)
      UPDATE 2: Mike Skinner reportedly will test A.J. Allmendinger’s #84 Toyota Camry in this week’s two-day open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. Officially, Allmendinger is still in the car for this weekend’s Kansas City race, but that’s very tenuous and likely to change. Skinner drove Allmendinger’s car five times last spring as Team Red Bull called on his years of stock car experience to evaluate the #84. If Skinner replaces Allmendinger this weekend–or at Talladega or Charlotte next month–it will open the door for former Formula One driver Scott Speed to run in Sprint Cup. (He can run up to six races this fall and remain eligible for a 2009 Rookie of the Year effort with Team Red Bull). The shuffling is contingent on Team Red Bull working with Ganassi-Sabates Racing to get Allmendinger into the #41 Dodge currently driven by Reed Sorenson. Team Red Bull expects to confirm this weekend’s driver lineup later on Monday or Tuesday.(Autoweek)(9-22-2008)
      UPDATE 3: Red Bull Racing Team and driver AJ Allmendinger have agreed to part ways for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. Allmendinger is in his second Sprint Cup Series season driving the #84 Red Bull Toyota, which currently sits 34th in owners’ points. “AJ is a talented driver and we really enjoyed working with him,” said RBRT Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye. “He’s come a long way in just two years and we wish him nothing but the best.” In an effort to continue the development of the #84 team, Red Bull athlete Mike Skinner will drive the #84 Red Bull Toyota during this week’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway open test. Skinner has been called upon by RBRT on multiple occasions since the team’s 2006 NSCS entrance, including a five-race stint in the #84 earlier in the 2008 season, as well as mentor duties for both Allmendinger and Red Bull development driver Scott Speed. Skinner will round off a three-car test for Red Bull Racing Team alongside Red Bull development driver Scott Speed in the #82, and Brian Vickers in the #83. Red Bull Racing Team will make an announcement regarding the 2009 driver lineup at a later date.(Red Bull Racing PR)(9-23-2008)
      UPDATE 4: been told that Allmendinger will be in the #84 at Kansas.(9-23-2008)
      UPDATE 5: Red Bull officials had hoped to keep Allmendinger at least through next season, but were unwilling to commit beyond that. Sources said Allmendinger has at least one offer of a three-year deal.(ESPN.com)(9-24-2008)
      UPDATE 6: On Tuesday, Red Bull Racing vice president and general manager Jay Frye said the team would soon be parting ways with driver A.J. Allmendinger — no later than at the end of the 2008 season. Sources confirmed Wednesday, however, that as long as testing continued to go well for Speed in the #82 Red Bull car at Lowe’s, he likely will replace Allmendinger in the #84 Red Bull entry for at least several races down the home stretch of this Cup season. Allmendinger will drive the #84 at Kansas this Sunday, but nothing has yet been finalized for who will drive the car beyond that.(NASCAR.com)(9-24-2008) Comment here
    • Sad News – Ron Meade: Ron Meade, an original staff member of New Hampshire Motor Speedway and a long-time motorsports publicist, passed away on Saturday in Concord, N.H. after a brief illness. Ron most recently served as the Director of Special Projects at the speedway. He was also very actively involved in the promotion of travel and tourism throughout New Hampshire. Affectionately known as “Uncle Ron” to friends and colleagues, he had always supported the Lakes Region Association Scholarship fund for high school students continuing their education in travel and tourism. Recently the Association established the Ron Meade “On the Track to Tourism” Annual Scholarship to honor his enormous contributions to the region and the state. Gifts and donations in remembrance of Ron can be sent to: The Lakes Region Hospitality Scholarship Fund, Ron Meade “On the Track to Tourism”, Annual Scholarship, PO Box 430, New Hampton, NH 03256.(9-24-2008)


      News from September 23, 2008

    • Chase Notes: Even though a despondent #18-Kyle Busch was throwing in the towel after his second straight bottom 10 finish in the Chase at Dover, he should arrive at Kansas with a better perspective, especially if he studies #48-Jimmie Johnson’s pathway to the championship in 2006. True, Rowdy is dead last and 210 points out of the lead with eight races to go, but Johnson was still in 7th place and 146 points out at the halfway point after getting a second at Lowe’s. There is time, but Kansas would be a good place to start the comeback. #16-Greg Biffle made a late pass for the lead for the second straight week, and now stands just 10 points out of first place in The Chase and is the defending champ at Kansas. He could become the first driver ever to win all three of NASCAR’s major series. #20-Tony Stewart won at Kansas in 2006 when he was on the outside looking in at The Chase, and a win this week could be springboard for Stewart to get into serious contention. See more Chase stats on my Chase Stats after Dover page.(9-23-2008)
    • Kansas Rookie Notes: #00-Michael McDowell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 21 Camping World RV 400 at Dover. McDowell scored a 29th-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the sixth time this season, including twice in the last three races. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by three points (187-184) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 28 Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings for 11 consecutive races dating back to Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in seven previous Sprint Cup races at Kansas is second-place by Ryan Newman in 2002. Newman is the only Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five finish at Kansas. Jason Leffler is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole in seven races at Kansas Speedway. Leffler took the top starting spot in the 2001 Camping World RV 400. At least one Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top 10 in five of the seven races at Kansas, but only once have two or more freshman drivers finished inside the top-10: Ryan Newman (second) and Jimmie Johnson (10th) in 2002.(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see the full report, rookie history and current standings on my 2008 Rookies Page.(9-23-2008)

    • Mayfield in the #41 for Lowe’s Test: UPDATE: Jeremy Mayfield will test the #41 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge today and tomorrow at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but Reed Sorenson is still slated to race this weekend at Kansas Speedway, a Ganassi spokesman confirmed. Sorenson is leaving the team at the end of the season to go to Gillett Evernham Motorsports. There will be three Ganassi cars at the test, with Juan Pablo Montoya, Bryan Clauson and Mayfield.(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2008)
      UPDATE: Reed Sorenson said he expects to drive the #41 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge for the rest of the season despite being replaced by Jeremy Mayfield for the Sprint Cup Series test Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Sorenson wasn’t happy about being pulled for the test but understood the team’s decision since he is leaving for Gillett Evernham Motorsports next season. Sorenson said he did not ask if he could test for GEM this weekend because he is still under contract with Ganassi.(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2008) Comment here

    • Charlotte City Council approves more money for NASCAR Hall: The Charlotte City Council agreed Monday to increase the NASCAR Hall of Fame budget by $32 million to boost exhibits and pay for unexpected building costs. The 9-2 decision came after council members chastised city staff and other hall planners for not telling them sooner about the price hike. Council members complained of early, “lowball” estimates of the exhibit costs. They asked how the extra money would help attendance. And they said they felt trapped. The vote brings the project’s total cost to $195 million – all of it paid for by a mix of hospitality taxes and money from land sales. Most of the project’s funding comes from a hotel room tax that can not be used for anything else. (Charlotte Observer)(9-23-2008) Comment here
    • Lowe’s Racing for Relief Update – Dover Results: #48-Jimmie Johnson’s efforts on the track this weekend raised $19,200 to benefit the American Red Cross as part of Lowe’s Racing for Relief program. The $19,200 represents Lowe’s pledge of $48 per lap completed. Johnson finished fifth and completed 400 laps during Sunday’s Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway. Funds raised will help to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of Hurricane Ike and other 2008 hurricanes. Anyone interested in making a donation to the American Red Cross may visit participating Lowe’s stores, donate online at www.redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).(Lowe’s Racing PR)(9-23-2008)
    • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing – Session 2, Day 1: The first day of testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the second session in the evening, 51 drivers driving 61 cars made runs. The fastest in the Day 1 evening session was #16-Biffle at 185.605mph, followed by #82-Speed. #99-Edwards, #40-Brian Clauson, and #19-Sadler. The rest of the top 10: #20-Stewart, #18-Busch, #8-Martin, #12-Newman, and #78-Nemechek. Some other drivers of interest: #84-Skinner was 13th, #33-Stephen Leicht was 15th, #25-Brad Keselowski was 48th, and #02-Logano was 55th. There were no incidents. Testing concludes on Wednesday. Speeds are posted on the Lowe’s Motor Speedway test 2 page.(9-23-2008)
    • Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing – Session 1, Day 1: The first day of testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the first session in the afternoon, 51 drivers driving 66 cars made runs. The fastest in the Day 1 afternoon session was #88B-Earnhardt Jr at 182.642mph, followed by #16-Biffle, #8-Martin, #18B-Busch, and #6-Ragan. Some other drivers of interest: #84-Skinner was 18th, #82-Scott Speed was 26th, #25-Brad Keselowski was 39th, and #02-Logano was 44th. There were no incidents during the session. Speeds are posted on the Lowe’s Motor Speedway test 2 page.(9-23-2008)
    • Congrats: #22 Bill Davis Racing Hauler Driver and Gas Man Tim Clancy and his wife Kristie have welcomed a new addition to the family. Clancy temporarily gave up driving duties to fly home from Dover following the race for the birth of daughter Kayleigh Elizabeth Monday morning. Kayleigh is the second child for the couple, joining big brother Wyatt.(BDR PR)(9-23-2008)
    • Racing Resources Says …
      * Greg Biffle won the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway. It was the 14th career victory in his 214th race. Biffle posted his second straight victory of the 2008 season and became the first Chase driver to sweep the first two races of the Chase (since 2004).
      * Matt Kenseth (second) posted his best finish in 2008.
      * Carl Edwards (third) posted his series-leading 21st top-10 finish.
      * The last Roush 1-2-3 finish occurred when Roush drivers finished 1-2-3-4 at Homestead in November 2005 (Biffle, Martin, Kenseth and Edwards), when all four were in the 2005 Chase.
      * Roush Racing has won five of the last 10 races at Dover.
      * Biffle posted his second victory at Dover in his 13th start. He also won at Dover in June 2005. He became the first repeat race winner in the last 10 races at Dover.
      * In all five years of the Chase, the first two races of the playoff (at New Hampshire and Dover) have been won by a Chase driver.
      * Biffle won the race from the fifth-place starting position. He led 29 of the 400 laps raced, including the final nine laps.
      * Kenseth led 136 laps in Sunday’s race, the most of the day.
      * Roush Fenway Racing scored its eighth victory at Dover, ranking second all-time behind Hendrick Motorsports, which has 10.
      * Jeff Gordon (seventh) has gone 33 races without a victory, his longest streak between wins.
      * Michael McDowell, who finished 29th, was the highest-finishing Rookie of the Year contender.
      * This is the eighth win for Ford in 2008. Toyota has nine wins, Chevrolet has seven and Dodge has four.
      * The top 10 consisted of six Chevrolets, three Fords and one Toyota. The highest-finishing Dodge was Ryan Newman in 13th.
      * The top-three finishers were all Chase drivers. Eight of the top 10 were Chasers.
      * Kyle Busch finished 43rd and left Dover dropping from eighth to 12th in the standings, 210 points behind points leader Edwards. It marked the second time in the five years of the Chase that a Chase driver has finished 43rd. Jeff Burton finished 43rd at Talladega in 2007.
      * Since 2004, the points leader after Dover has never gone on to win a championship during the Chase.
      * Seven Chase drivers each earned lap-leader bonus points at Dover: Gordon, Kenseth, Johnson, Edwards, Harvick, Bowyer and Biffle. Chase driver Kenseth led the most laps, gaining 10 bonus points.
      * Eight of the 12 Chase drivers changed positions after Dover.
      * Clint Bowyer (eighth) made his 100th consecutive NSCS start at Dover.
      * Martin Truex Jr. (20th) made his 100th consecutive NSCS start at Dover.(ESPN.com)(9-23-2008)


      News from September 22, 2008

    • Brad Keselowski to make Cup debut at LMS: Hendrick Motorsports will enter 24-year-old Brad Keselowski in two Sprint Cup Series events in 2008, marking the successful young driver’s first foray into NASCAR’s top division. Keselowski will attempt to qualify a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry — the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy — for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Nov. 2 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Veteran crew chief Lance McGrew will direct the effort. “We’ve gotten a glimpse of what Brad is capable of in the Nationwide Series, and that’s just scratching the surface,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “He has a load of talent and potential, and we’re excited to give him an opportunity at the next level.” A Rochester Hills, Mich., native, Keselowski sits third in the Nationwide Series championship standings with two victories, one pole position, 10 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevy. The team, which is co-owned by Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., has posted wins this season at Nashville, Tenn., and Bristol, Tenn. Keselowski, who already has tested the new Chevrolet Impala SS for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, will drive the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy this week during the two-day Sprint Cup Series open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord. The two-race effort with Keselowski and the #25 Chevy will mark GoDaddy.com’s first primary sponsorship of a Sprint Cup Series team. The world’s largest registrar of domain names, GoDaddy.com joined JR Motorsports this season as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. “Our move into the Sprint Cup Series has all the right ingredients,” said Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of GoDaddy.com. “Hendrick Motorsports is a top-notch team, and Brad Keselowski is an exciting young driver. We’re excited to be a part of Brad’s Sprint Cup debut, and I can’t wait to watch the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet in action.”(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-22-2008) Comment here

    • Robby and DEI? #7-Robby Gordon now seems to be looking at a new partnership elsewhere in the Sprint Cup garage. And the word-on-the-street is that Gordon may now be headed back to General Motors and Chevrolet in a still murky deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc. that would make him a teammate with DEI’s #1-Martin Truex Jr. and the others at that company. Gordon had no comment on the report, and neither did anyone at DEI. But sources close to the situation said it did indeed look like a deal was in the works, and said something might be announced as soon as Monday. Where Gordon stands in the Dodge camp is unclear, because Dodge executives have been unavailable for any comment. And just what Gordon’s legal status is at the moment, after Friday’s surprise announcement that Gillett-Evernham would be dropping its lawsuit against Gordon over what Gillett-Evernham said was breach of contract, is also unclear. Just how any possible Gordon-DEI merger might work is not clear. Truex is the team’s anchor. Mark Martin is leaving DEI and moving to Rick Hendrick’s team at the end of the season, and rookie #8-Aric Almirola is to take Martin’s spot full-time next year. #01-Ragan Smith, meanwhile, is also a promising rookie but currently without new sponsorship. And then there’s #15-Paul Menard, a long-time DEI driver who is renegotiating his contract; Menard is also under consideration for a Ford ride with the Doug Yates. That means DEI has four drivers at the table right now, and unless one of them were to leave there would be no room for Gordon. The Menard angle is the most curious – because Gordon is a long-time friend with Menard’s father John, who has helped sponsor Gordon over many years and who has his name on the side of Gordon’s hauler here. Gordon has been trying to put together a two-car operation with Paul and John for some time, but nothing has ever come of it.(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)(9-22-2008) Comment here

    • MWR could add a 4th team, Ambrose? Dow?: While many teams continue to search for sponsorship for the 2009 Sprint Cup season and beyond, one team that seems confident about sponsorship is Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR Executive Vice President Cal Wells said Saturday that he believes the team has enough sponsorship for two cars and three-quarters of another. He said he could envision the team running a fourth car part time in 2009. “I believe we’re in really good shape,” Wells said. “I’m hoping we’re actually going to run a fourth car. I don’t know that we can get it off, but we have so much in the pipeline.” As far as who would be teammates with already signed #55-Michael Waltrip and #44[will be #00 in 2009]-David Reutimann, Wells said the team hopes to re-sign Michael McDowell, who has run most of the season in a third car for MWR. “We’re selling hard around McDowell,” Wells said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff we’re working on. I honestly don’t know. There’s some [more] talent out there.” Wells also dismissed the idea that MWR would merge with another team [Like the Ganassi rumor]. “We’re looking at doing some service providing stuff with some folks that are trying to come in, kind of like the Hall of Fame [Racing] deals [with Joe Gibbs Racing],” Wells said. “We’re not to the point of announcing anything yet, but we’re looking for business. We’re not looking at [merging].”(SceneDaily.com)
      AND: hearing that Marcos Ambrose and Little Debbie’s could be moving to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2009 and Ambrose would not run in the Cup Series for JTG Racing.
      AND II: also hearing that the other primary sponsor for Reutimann in the #00 Toyota in 2009 will be Dow Chemical Company.(9-22-2008) Comment here

    • “The King” honored at Dover: Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc., presented Richard Petty with a mini version of the new plaque that is featured on the base of the Monster Monument during Sunday’s prerace ceremonies. McGlynn still thinks back in amazement of the days when the NASCAR driver known simply as “The King” drove to seven career victories at the track. “Back in the day, we just had that little press box up on top of that old grandstand there, like a high school football press box,” McGlynn said. “The thing I remember most about Richard in the early days … I used to work up in that press box, and Richard, after whooping up on everybody for 500 miles and the temperatures inside the car and the physical endurance, he’d climb all the way up those 36 rows and put up with an hour of the media, and then he’d go out and sit in the stands and sign autographs until the last person went home. You mention all the records that Richard owns here … I think he also owns the record for most autographs signed.”(Delaware News Journal)(9-22-2008)

    • Terry Labonte back in #45 at Dega? Terry Labonte could return to Petty Enterprises’ #45 car at Talladega, Petty’s executive vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis said Sunday. Loomis said the team was “looking hard at putting Terry” in a car at Talladega, in part because of the unusual impound rules at restrictor-plate tracks. “It’s hard to put yourself in the situation to go race if you’re a guy who has to qualify in because you do so many funny things,” Loomis said. “You see guys go behind the wall and change their oil and do all that stuff. We don’t want to get in that situation – if we go down there, we want to race.” Another reason, Loomis said, is that Labonte gave the team its best finish of the season at the July Daytona race [16th]. Loomis said Kyle Petty will again drive the car next week at Kansas and Chad McCumbee – who will test this week at Charlotte – will drive the Lowe’s Motor Speedway race. McCumbee is expected to drive in four or five more races with the team this season, Loomis said, and Petty is on the schedule for Phoenix.(SceneDaily)(9-22-2008) Comment here

    • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Camping World RV 400 at Dover:
      Total number of commercials: 119
      Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
      Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 14
      Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:01 PM
      End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:47 PM
      Total minutes: 226
      Minutes of race broadcast: 175
      Minutes of commercials: 51
      Number of missed restarts: 1
      Number of ‘mystery cautions’: 1
      Total race brdcst time 175 Total comm. brdcst time 51
      See more on my 2008 Commercials page.(9-22-2008) Comment here

News from September 21, 2008

  • 1-2-3 finishes: Roush Fenway Racing had a 1-2-3 team finish, something that is not too common, see the list, from 1997 thru current.
    Last 1-2-3 Finishes
    2008: Dover, 9/21 – Roush Fenway Racing: #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards
    2008: Bristol, 3/16 – RCR: #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #07-Bowyer
    2005: Homestead, 11/20 – Roush*: #16-Biffle, #6-Martin, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards
    2005: Texas, 11/6 – Roush: #99-Edwards, #6-Martin, #17-Kenseth
    2005: Kansas, 10/9 – Roush: #6-Martin, #16-Biffle, #99-Edwards
    2005: Richmond 9/10- Roush: #97-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #16-Biffle
    1997: Daytona 500, Hendrick Motorsports: #24-Gordon, #5-Labonte, #25-Craven
    *Finished 1-2-3-4.(9-21-2008)
  • Biffle wins at Dover: #16-Greg Biffle won the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway after winning last week at New Hampshire for his second win of 2008 and 14th of of his career. #17-Matt Kenseth finished 2nd, followed by #99-Edwards, #8-Martin, #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #07-Bowyer, #31-Burton and #55-Waltrip. Other chase drivers: #20-Stewart finished 11th, #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 24th [3 laps down] and #11-Hamlin 38th [had rear-end gear problems]. #18-Busch, the points leader before the chase, lost an engine and finished last/43rd, coupled with the 34th at New Hampshire, has Busch in 12th and down 210 points with 8 races to go. There were 15 lead changes among 9 drivers and 10 cautions for 45 caution laps.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Dover Race Results Awards Page.(9-21-2008)
  • UNOFFICIAL Chase Drivers Points Standings [after Dover race 28 of 36]:
    1) #99-Carl Edwards 5390 [6 wins]
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5380 -10 [4 wins]
    3) #16-Greg Biffle 5380 -10 [2 wins]
    4) #31-Jeff Burton 5308 -82 [1 win]
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick 5289 -101
    6) #07-Clint Bowyer 5284 -106 [1 win]
    7) #20-Tony Stewart 5277 -113
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon 5272 -118
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5261 -129 [1 win]
    10) #17-Matt Kenseth 5223 -167
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin 5197 -193[1 win]
    12) #18-Kyle Busch 5180 -210 [8 wins]
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Dover.(9-21-2008)
  • With #18-Kyle Busch’s last two race finishes of 34th at New Hampshire and 43rd at Dover, if the old/classic points system was still in place, Busch would had dropped out of 1st, 33 points behind #99-Carl Edwards.(9-21-2008)
  • UNOFFICAL Classic Drivers Points Standings [after Dover race 28 of 36]:
    1) #99-Carl Edwards 3978 [6 wins]
    2) #18-Kyle Busch 3978 -33 [8 wins]
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3916 -95 [4 wins]
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3739 -272 [1 win]
    5) #31-Jeff Burton 3682 -329 [1 win]
    6) #16-Greg Biffle 3660 -351 [2 wins]
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick 3572 -439
    8) #20-Tony Stewart 3562 -449
    9) #24-Jeff Gordon 3493 -518
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin 3422 -589 [1 win]
    11) #07-Clint Bowyer 3390 -621 [1 win]
    12) #17-Matt Kenseth 3355 -656
    13) #9-Kasey Kahne 3262 -749 [2 wins]
    14) #6-David Ragan 3227 -784
    (9-21-2008)
  • Race Fast Facts – Dover International Speedway
    Greg Biffle won the Camping World RV 400 presented by AAA, his 14th victory in 214 Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2008.
    This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 13 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 20 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2008.
    Carl Edwards (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Dover International Speedway.
    Michael McDowell (29th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 10 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-21-2008)
  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Kansas:
    #84-Allmendinger moves back in and #00-McDowell drops out
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    32) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2220 +98
    33) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 2195, +73
    34) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 2133 +11
    35) #7-Gordon/RGM: 2130 8 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 2122, 8 points out of 35th
    37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 2052 -78
    38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1877 -253
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(9-21-2008)
  • Dover Penalty Report:
    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
    1 #2 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 1
    2 #38 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 13
    3 #10 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 13
    4 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 64
    5 #11 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 65
    6 #19 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 66
    7 #88 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 143
    8 #22 Removing equipment from assigned pit area S&G 144
    9 #10 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 145
    10 #43 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 158
    11 #38 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 158
    12 #26 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 163
    13 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 163
    14 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 171
    15 #77 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 173
    16 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 186
    17 #77 Excessive speed – Exiting pits PT 189
    18 #01 Excessive speed – Exiting pits PT 246
    19 #21 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. PT 261
    20 #42 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 293
    21 #77 Safety violation MCI 311
    22 #2 Safety violation MCI 313
    23 #42 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 351
    24 #44 Car/truck pitting out of the assigned pit box OL 352
    PT – Pass through
    TE – Tail end of the longest line
    SG – Stop and Go
    OL – One lap
    ND – NASCAR discretion
    MCI – Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-21-2008)
  • Gordon-GEM Lawsuit dropped – no merger UPDATE Penske Engines: Robby Gordon Motorsports and Gillett Evernham Motorsports today announced that they have agreed on terms for the resolution of the issues growing out of their former plan to merge the two teams. Disagreements over the merger led to the recent filing of a lawsuit to have the court determine the parties’ rights under the merger agreement. As part of the resolution, the lawsuit will be dismissed and the merger will not proceed. Management personnel for the two teams acknowledge that there were misunderstandings, but both sides acted in good faith throughout, and in the end it was circumstances beyond their control that caused the merger not to proceed.(RGM/GEM PR)(9-19-2008)
    UPDATE: #7-Robby Gordon will lease engines from Penske Racing for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season beginning next weekend at Kansas. Gordon has used Gillett Evernham Motorsports engines all year, but when the two organizations resolved a lawsuit Friday in which they opted not to merge, that also dissolved their engine agreement. “He’s never leased engines before,” Gordon said of team owner Roger Penske.”This is a big deal for us. It’s a great opportunity and we’re just going to work hard to make it work.” Gordon said he went to Penske three weeks ago when it became evident his relationship with GEM was at risk. He said Penske promised then to help out, and “one thing about Roger, he’s a man of his word.” Gordon said it is too early to determine if the deal could spill over into next season, but he didn’t rule it out “if it works out for both parties.”(ESPN)(9-21-2008) Comment here
  • Loomis Courted by Stewart-Haas UPDATE Loomis says no: Sirius Speedway has learned that Petty Enterprises Vice President of Racing Operations Robbie Loomis is now at the top of Stewart-Haas Racing’s wish list, as they attempt to hire a new Vice President/General Manager. Red Bull Racing’s Jay Frye recently turned down the job in favor of remaining in his current position, and sources says Stewart-Haas is now interested in talking with Loomis.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-20-2008)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said he is not entertaining an offer from Stewart-Haas Racing. Loomis’ name surfaced when Jay Frye opted to remain general manager at Team Red Bull. “All of my interests are to continue to do what I’m doing, and that is get the #43 back in Victory Lane,” Loomis said. “All of my focus is here with Petty Enterprises.” (ESPN)(9-21-2008) Comment here
  • Report: NASCAR dismisses two officials named in Grant lawsuit:Two officials suspended after an inquiry into harassment claims by a former NASCAR inspector have been dismissed. A NASCAR official confirmed their dismissals to NASCAR Scene, a weekly magazine. The two officials, identified previously by the Associated Press as Tim Knox and Bud Moore [NOT the former #15 car owner], are accused in a $225 million lawsuit of exposing themselves to Mauricia Grant, a former co-worker. Grant, who is black, filed the lawsuit in June, which detailed more than 50 instances of alleged racial and sexual harassment. She claims that she was fired in October 2007 for complaining about the way she was treated on the job after she started working for NASCAR in January 2005. NASCAR sent a team of investigators from its human resources and legal offices to Kentucky after the suit was filed. Shortly thereafter, Knox and Moore were placed on indefinite administrative paid leave. In court filings, NASCAR has denied Grant’s allegations.(ESPN.com/Wire), see past news on my Lawsuit: Grant vs. NASCAR page.(9-21-2008)
  • Ex-technical inspector files complaint, claiming discrimination: A former technical inspector filed a complaint against NASCAR with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging racial discrimination, a hostile work environment and wrongful termination. Dean Duckett, who is black, said discrimination started in May 2001 and lasted until NASCAR fired him from his job in the Cup series on Nov. 14, 2007. Duckett told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would consider a lawsuit if NASCAR refused to offer him his old job back. Duckett said his problems started last Nov. 10 when he got into a heated argument with another official the night before the Phoenix race. “I said to him, ‘I ought to cut you.’ I don’t carry no blades or nothing like that,” Duckett said. “It basically came out in the heat of the moment. We got into each others faces but nothing happened. My roommate pulled me away and said, ‘C’mon guys leave it alone,’ and we left.” Duckett said he apologized, made up with the official and thought the incident was squashed. Instead, he said he was called the next day to NASCAR’s at-track office and was sent home. Duckett said he was fired by Cup Series director John Darby and human resources director Star George.
    Duckett was named in Mauricia Grant’s $250 million lawsuit against NASCAR, alleging racial and sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Her lawsuit claimed Duckett was reprimanded and ultimately fired last November for using “aggressive language toward a white co-worker.” Duckett denied harassing Grant, though he acknowledged NASCAR suspended him with pay for two weeks. Duckett was accused by Grant of dumping water on another female official to simulate a wet T-shirt contest. “She lied about that part,” Duckett said. “NASCAR suspended me for that and I still don’t even know why they did that.” Duckett, who said he now works two jobs and is falling behind in bills, said Grant was mostly telling the truth.(in part from ESPN.com/AP)(9-21-2008)
  • F1 McLaren boss heads to NASCAR UPDATE 2: Steve Hallam, McLaren’s head of race operations, is to leave the team at the end of this year to move to NASCAR. Hallam joined McLaren in 1990 after almost a decade at Lotus, where he race engineered for Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. Having helped engineer Mika Hakkinen to world title success with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, Hallam moved to a more senior role within the team’s race engineering department. McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh has paid tribute to Hallam’s contribution to the team. “Since joining us in 1990, Steve has become a senior member of our track operations team, doing a fantastic job,” explained Whitmarsh. “He informed us of his decision to leave some time ago but, since he is totally professional, it goes without saying that we are entirely comfortable with his continuing his work with us until the end of the season. Next year we will all miss him greatly, but we nonetheless wish him all the very best in his new adventure.” Hallam is to take up a senior position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Autosport)(9-13-2008)
    UPDATE: Another big name in Formula One is jumping ship and will be coming to the Sprint Cup series in 2009. While Steve Hallam is a name virtually unknown, in the United States, he’s considered the one of the leading engineers in that world-wide circuit and he’ll be joining Michael Waltrip Racing according to a highly-placed source at MWR who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Hallam, currently head of McLaren Mercedes Race Operations, engineered World Champions such as Brazil’s Ayrton Senna, Britain’s’ Nigel Mansell, and Mika Hakkinen of Finland. He leaves a huge operation with an annual racing budget, reportedly, in excess of $400 million the largest budget in the series for the two-car team. Hallam’s exact position is not defined as yet, according to the same source. Eric Warren will continue as vice president and technical director. An official announcement is expected by the end of the week.(Franckly Spreaking)(9-19-2008)
    UPDATE 2: One of the most decorated engineers in Formula One over the past three decades will join Michael Waltrip Racing this winter as Director of Race Engineering for the second-year Toyota team. Steve Hallam, a 56-year-old Englishman, will leave his post as Head of Race Operations for McLaren Racing and join MWR’s NASCAR Sprint Cup operation following the conclusion of the Formula One season. Hallam has established himself as a respected engineer and manager of the past 27 years in Formula One, participating in 430 Grand Prix, winning five World Championships while working for only two teams: Team Lotus and McLaren Racing. “Steve is a remarkable asset for any organization and I’m proud that he is joining ours,” said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. “He will be in a key position that will both allow him to learn about the NASCAR world while implementing the knowledge he has gained over the past 30 years in Formula One. This is another step that shows our employees, sponsors and all of NASCAR that MWR is serious about our desire to elevate our organization to an elite status in the Sprint Cup garage. Steve will galvanize the relationship between MWR and Toyota and ensure all of the tools available will be utilized properly. I’m ecstatic as an owner but maybe more so as a driver because I know I will feel the benefits of his work.”(MWR PR)(9-21-2008) Comment here
  • Three Roush-Yates engines stolen UPDATE 2 – image: Thieves made a fast getaway after taking three NASCAR racing engines from a well-known race shop in Mooresville. Police say someone broke into the Roush/Yates engine shop and got away with three of the big Ford engines used by the team in the Nationwide and Truck Series. The engines are worth $50,000 each. “These are not everyday engines, these are NASCAR specific engines, you can’t put them in a car, plus they are Roush Yates engines, very specific,” said Mooresville Police Lt. Joseph Cooke. The engines were taken sometime Monday night from the shop off Mazeppa Road. One of the workers said he knew it was going to be a bad day when he came to work and saw a big hole in the wall. The hole is big enough for thieves to get inside, then open the door. Each of the engines weigh more than 500 pounds. They’re kept on rollers and that made it easy for thieves to roll them into a cargo van they happened to steal from another race team. “They stole a Penske rental truck, like a cargo van and used the cargo van to load up the engines and take the engines away.” The thieves dumped the van, but made off with the engines. Unless they are in the racing business, they may find them tough to unload. “Those are specialty items you’d have to be in NASCAR or the racing business to use them, you can’t just put these engines in your car.” If you can help Mooresville Police, call them at 704-664-3311, or South Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-658-9056. If your information leads to an arrest, you be eligible for a reward.(WBTV CBS 3 site)(9-18-2008)
    UPDATE: NASCAR team owner Doug Yates said it appears the thieves who broke into the Roush Yates Racing Engines facility in Mooresville, N.C., recently and stole three engines “knows the facility and knows the engines.” The break-in took place Monday at the shop located on Mazeppa Road. The engines, valued at $50,000 each, were built specifically for use in the NASCAR Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series. “We have security on the building,” Yates said. “But the area where they broke in, the motion sensor didn’t pick it up. If they had gone any further in the shop [it would have].” Yates said sheetmetal had been peeled away to allow the thieves to gain access to the shop.(SceneDaily)
    UPDATE 2: from the Mooresville NC Police – Case Number #2008004567 Issued: September 17, 2008 Issued by Lt. Cook: On the night of 09/15/08 suspect(s) broke into Roush Yates Engines and took three Ford 358 cubic inches Roush/Yates NASCAR racing engines valued at $50,000.00 each. If anyone has information related to the case or information leading to the recovery of the engines call Mooresville Police Department at 704-664-3311 or The Mooresville South Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-658-9056 for a monetary reward. A photograph of a similar engine is on my Engines News/Rules page.(9-21-2008) Comment here
  • Clauson to test Ganassi’s #40 Cup car at LMS: Bryan Clauson will drive the #40 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge during the Sprint Cup test session next Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Clauson, who has competed in select Nationwide Series events this year and will run the entire season next year, could make his first Cup start later this season. Dario Franchitti drove the #40 car for the first half of the season before a lack of sponsorship resulted in the team being shut down. Crew chief Steve Lane remained with the team and will lead the test, while Franchitti has moved over to Ganassi’s IndyCar Series stable. Where the 19-year-old Clauson would make that first start is still to be determined, but Atlanta has been mentioned as a possibility. Clauson has spent time testing a Cup car at non-NASCAR tests.(SceneDaily)(9-21-2008) Comment here


    News from September 20, 2008

  • NASCAR Amends Substance Abuse Policy: NASCAR announced today it has amended its longstanding substance abuse policy to include random testing beginning in 2009. The amended policy mandates that all drivers in NASCAR’s three national series be tested prior to the start of the 2009 season. Team owners must also verify that all licensed crew members have been tested by a certified lab prior to the start of the season. In addition, NASCAR will test its officials prior to the start of the 2009 season. Drivers, over-the-wall crew members and NASCAR officials thereafter will be subject to random tests throughout the year. “We have made a very good policy even better with the addition of random tests,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “NASCAR’s policy has long given us the ability to test anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Random tests now provide us and the industry with additional information.” NASCAR’s substance abuse policy has always prohibited the misuse or abuse of any drug. This means that a violation of the policy can be triggered with the use of any drug or medication if NASCAR believes it has been abused or misused. NASCAR’s sweeping policy of reasonable suspicion remains in effect. Penalties for violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy will continue to be among the toughest in sports – immediate suspension from competition. Competitors that violate the policy will continue to be required to meet detailed criteria prescribed by NASCAR’s outside experts in order to be considered for reinstatement. While it is possible that a competitor could receive a lifetime ban for just one violation, a third violation will automatically result in a lifetime ban. NASCAR will continue to work with its outside experts at AEGIS Sciences Corporation and Dr. David L. Black. AEGIS, which has worked with NASCAR on designing and implementing its substance abuse policy, is the largest independent sports and forensic certified testing laboratory in the United States. AEGIS personnel will be responsible for the administration of all preseason and random substance abuse tests.(NASCAR PR), also an interesting article: Expert questions lack of banned substances list in new drug policy by David Newton of ESPN.(9-20-2008) Comment here
  • New look for the #24 in 2009: Jeff Gordon announced on QVC’s shopping show “For Race Fans Only” that the primary paint scheme will change on the #24 DuPont Chevy in 2009. The primary scheme seemingly changes whenever there’s a new occupant in The White House. Gordon raced the rainbow-themed DuPont Chevrolet from 1993-2000 while Bill Clinton occupied the highest office in the land. Gordon experienced his greatest career success in the rainbow car. In 2001, he changed to the fire and flames scheme and raced that for the next 8 years while George Bush ran the country. And now, the third — and likely, final — incarnation of the DuPoint paint scheme will be raced in 2009 and beyond. The new 2009 DuPont paint scheme is expected to be unveiled during the week leading up to the October 11 race at Lowes Motor Speedway.(Gordonline.com), am hearing the base color will be BLACK.(9-20-2008) Comment here
  • Goodyear to test twice at Indy in next two weeks: Goodyear will conduct a NASCAR tire test Sept. 22-23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, continuing its development of a racing tire for the 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. This initial test on the 2.5-mile oval will feature one Sprint Cup Series car equipped with technology to gather data that will be used to construct tires for a major NASCAR Goodyear tire test Oct. 6-8 at IMS that will feature up to 14 cars. The 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled for Sunday, July 26, 2009 at IMS. Tire-wear issues in the first “Car of Tomorrow” race at IMS prompted NASCAR to call six competition cautions at this year’s event. “We’ve set a very aggressive schedule to come up with the right tire recommendation for the 2009 race at IMS,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of global race tires. “This is the first test of two we have scheduled for this fall, and our intention is to return again in the spring.” 2009 tickets: Ticket orders are being accepted for the 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, via mail or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.(IMS PR)(9-20-2008) Comment here
  • NC Auto Racing HOF to induct Parsons & Matthews: NASCAR’s 1973 Winston Cup champion and former TV analyst Benny Parsons and legendary car builder Edwin “Banjo” Matthews will be honored Oct. 8 during the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies at the Citizen’s Center in Mooresville, NC. Parsons, who passed away in January 2007 due to complications from his battle with lung cancer, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Matthews, who died in 1996 of heart and respiratory disease, will be honored with the Snap-on Golden Wrench award. Tickets for this year’s induction ceremonies may be purchased by contacting the NCAHOF (704) 663-5331. The NCAHOF is a not-for-profit organization that supports Stop Child Abuse Now and the annual Stocks for Tots fundraiser.(NCAHOF PR)(9-20-2008) Comment here
  • Dover Tire Notes: Goodyear held a tire test at Dover with the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevrolet (Mark Martin) and #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge (Bobby Labonte) on September 3 . . . based on that test, Goodyear decided to bring back a different right-side tire than it ran at the track earlier this season . . . “Our goal was to provide a slight increase in grip without negatively impacting tire temperatures or wear, and we feel like we accomplished just that,” according to Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales . . . the new right-side code (D-4186) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4134) that teams ran here before . . . teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Dover this weekend . . . in addition to Dover, this left-side code has been run with a different right-side code at Texas, Michigan (twice), Chicagoland and Kentucky (Nationwide only) already this season . . .unique among NASCAR’s one-mile ovals, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Dover . . . air pressure in those inner lines should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 75-80 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see pressures, codes and more on my Dover Race Info page or see codes for each race on my 2008 Tire Notes page.(9-20-2008)
  • Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway, #24-Gordon got to choose first since he won the pole and took stall #1, #8-Martin who starts 2nd took stall #11, the next with an opening in front of it and #11-Hamlin who starts 3rd, took stall #2 right behind Gordon. Since there are only 42 pitstall, pitstall 39 will be used by two teams #96-Schrader and #43-Labonte until another teams drops out of the race and one of the teams will move to the open stall. Usually the driver who is running in the highest position will get to use the stall first. Of not, it is in the plans for Dover to reconfigure the pit road so there are enough stalls for all the cars. See who took what stall on my Dover Pit Stall selections page.(9-20-2008)
  • Happy Hour Practice for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #99-Edwards 151.656
    #16-Biffle 151.229
    #48-Johnson 151.089
    #17- Kenseth 150.647
    #12-Newman 150.634
    slowest: #96-Schrader 145.755 and #41- Sorenson 146.466
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 1:50 – 2:50pm/et and will be televised via tape at 6:00pm/et on ESPN2.
    See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-20-2008)
  • 1st Saturday practice for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 152.588
    #99-Edwards 152.278
    #16-Biffle 151.719
    #17-Kenseth 151.688
    #48-Johnson 151.668
    Slowest: #96-Schrader 146.466 and #7-Gordon 146.544
    See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-20-2008)
  • Allmendinger / Menard may be in different 2009 rides: Seats for 2009 are filling fast in the Sprint Cup Series, and two new names have emerged as possible job candidates. #15-Paul Menard indicated Friday he could leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season, and AJ Allmendinger is still without a new contract at Red Bull Racing. Neither driver wanted to discuss their future after qualifying at Dover International Raceway, but when asked if he was considering rides with both DEI and Yates Racing next season, Menard said “Yes. We’ll let you know when we get to it,” Menard added. Menard drives the #15 for DEI and the car is sponsored by his father’s midwest-based hardware chain. The family could move the sponsorship and Menard elsewhere, and Yates is considered a candidate because it has both the room to grow its two-car operation and is in need of financial support.
    Allmendinger, meanwhile, has been in limbo as Red Bull decides the future of its race team now that former F1 driver Scott Speed is waiting in the wings. Speed is favored by executives for the Austrian-based energy drink maker, which invested heavily in developing Speed for Formula One. When he lost his ride in that series, Red Bull sent him back to the U.S. to learn stock cars and he’s been very good in both the Truck Series and lower-level ARCA Series. It could mean that Allmendinger, despite marked improvement in the second half of this season, could lose his ride in the #84. Allmendinger declined to comment Friday on his future. Should the team not re-sign him, or offer him just a temporary one-year deal while Speed continues to develop, Allmendinger could look elsewhere and one seat still open is the #41 at Chip Ganassi Racing. Reed Sorenson is leaving that team at the end of the season, and Ganassi has yet to name a replacement.(Associated Press)(9-20-2008)Comment here
  • Kvapil gets a 2-race sponsorship: Yates Racing announced today that Academy Sports + Outdoors, a leader in the sports and outdoor industry, will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for the Talladega and Texas races in the remaining Sprint Cup Series schedule. The primary sponsorship will debut at Talladega Superspeedway on October 5th for Kvapil’s scheduled 100th career start in the Cup series. The sponsorship marks the first time Academy Sports + Outdoors has been a primary sponsor in any of NASCAR’s numerous divisions.(Yates Racing PR)(9-20-2008) Comment here
  • Almirola wins East race at Dover: There was a set of bookends in Friday’s Camping World Series East Sunoco 150. For Aric Almirola, it was the end of a whirlwind week. For Matt Kobyluck, it was the arrival at the top of a mountain he’d been climbing for a decade. Almirola won the race, driving home the #30 car that he took over from Jeffrey Earnhardt earlier this week. It was a drive-by win for Almirola in his first – and maybe only – Camping World series race. The driver will take over the #8 ride in the Sprint Cup series full-time next year. Kobyluck drove home behind an attention-grabbing one-two battle between Almirola and second-place finisher Marc Davis. Almirola said he found out on Wednesday that he’d be driving in the race, and was asked what he knew about the Camping World Series before race day. “Nothing,” Almirola replied. “I’ve watched, because I have a vested interest in it, because of working at DEI and them having three Camping World cars. It’s an awesome series. These guys race really, really hard. As far as who was who and who I could race and couldn’t race, and who I had to look out for, I didn’t know anything. I went into this completely blind.” Thirteen cars finished the day on the lead lap. Steve Park was fourth, followed by Bobby Hamilton, Jr. in fifth. Matt Hirschman, Ricky Carmichael, Jody Lavender, Austin Dillon and Bryon Chew rounded out the top 10.(DIS site)(9-20-2008)


    News from September 19, 2008

  • Next merger rumor – Ganassi and GEM? Since early July, Ganassi’s future existence has been linked to a merger with virtually every multi-car team left in the sport. The car owner had lunch with Michael Waltrip at Daytona; immediately, rumors sprouted up the two were joining forces. Since then, rumors have swirled that anyone from Roger Penske to Robby Gordon was buying Ganassi out, or that the owner was looking to get out of the business altogether. Like Gordon’s team, CGRFS is a prime target for any interested owner due to his organization’s “locked in” qualifying spots (both are in the Top 35) as well as his race shop’s prime real estate. Built in 2004, the top-notch facility was built right next to the Concord airport, and is just a heartbeat away from Charlotte for teams looking to move closer to racing’s central hub.
    Speculation peaked on Thursday, when multiple sources told SI.comGanassi was planning to join forces with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Gillett has been looking to add a fourth car since buying a 50% share in Evernham Motorsports last season. Rumored to be brokering a deal to buy Bill Davis Racing this week, negotiations on that side have fallen through. Bill Davis Racing officials had no comment on the process, but all indications are their organization is still up for sale — just not to GEM. (A spokesman for Gillett Evernham Motorsports said the team won’t comment on any merger speculation). That prompted a strong response from Ganassi, who told SI.com he adamantly denies anything’s going on with Gillett. Ensuring SI.com he’s here to stay in NASCAR for the long haul, Ganassi claimed in an exclusive interview he has no plans to merge with any organization at this moment — with plans to run his two cars full-time in 2009.(Sports Illustrated)(9-19-2008) Comment here
  • NHMS TV Ratings up: ABC earned a 3.2 overnight Nielsen Media Research rating and a 6 share for its coverage of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Last season, the overnight was 2.9 rating with a 6 share. For past races and the season, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(9-16-2008)
    UPDATE: ABC’s First Chase Race Shows 15% Ratings Growth from 2007. ESPN on ABC’s telecast of the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup last Sunday from Loudon, N.H., earned a final national household rating of 3.8, up 15% from last year’s 3.3. The telecast averaged 6,098,377 viewers, an 18% increase from the 2007 race that also aired on ABC. One of the largest gains was in the Males 35-54 demographic, which was up 28%.(9-19-2008) Comment here
  • Drivers visit Walter Reed: Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and other NASCAR drivers and team owners visited soldiers Thursday at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They walked through the hospital wards and talked with the wounded, signed autographs, posed for pictures, and for Biffle, gained perspective. “Everytime I come here, it’s a pretty overwhelming experience,” said Biffle, the winner last week at New Hampshire. “This is my fifth year in a row coming. To see the dedication that these men and women have that have served our country and continue to serve our country, it makes you feel pretty small. Compared to what they have done and what they do for us … its a pretty grounding experience, I think, for all of us.” Busch, whose #18 car was on display at the hospital, said it was an honor to visit the men and women who allow drivers to perform on Sundays. “It’s a great event that we are able to come out here and see them and put some smiles on their faces,” he said. “And see that they are not only ready to get back at it, but they are disappointed they are not where they want to be.” Following the tour of the hospital, Biffle, Busch, and other drivers including Ryan Newman and Scott Riggs signed autographs before a dinner event.(http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/nascar/cup/news/story?id=3596662)(9-19-2008) Comment here
  • Jeff Gordon on pole at Dover: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coor’s Light Pole for the Camping Word RV 400 at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 157.061mph for his 3rd pole of 2008, 4th at Dover and 66th pole of his career [Gordon has won 17 races from the pole and is 4tl in All-Time Poles]. #8-Martin will start second and just missed the pole with a speed of 157.054, starting 3rd is #11-Hamlin, followed by #2-Busch, #16-Biffle, #07-Bowyer, #38-Gilliland, #17-Kenseth, #26-McMurray and #88-Earnhardt Jr. Chase leader #99-Edwards will start 22nd. The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #21-Ambrose, #78-Nemechek, #84-Allmendinger, #70-Raines, #10-Carpentier, #45-Petty, #00-McDowell and #96-Schrader. Missing the race are #34-Chaffin, #08-Sauter and #50-Barrett [withdrew]
    See starting lineup, qualifying results/order, pole progression and more on my Dover Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(9-19-2008)
  • Dover Qualifying Fast Facts
    Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Camping World RV 400 with a lap of 22.921 seconds, 157.061 mph.
    This is his 66th pole in 537 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and 20th top-10 start in 2008.
    This is his fourth pole in 32 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Mark Martin (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2008 and his 28th in 45 races at Dover International Speedway.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his third top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his ninth in 28 races this season.
    Patrick Carpentier (17th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(9-19-2008)
  • Qualifying Order for the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #15-Menard, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #12-Newman. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #45-Petty, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #78-Nemechek. See the full qualifying order on my Dover Qualifying Page.(9-19-2008)
  • Friday practice for the Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #24-Gordon 156.461
    #48-Johnson 155.952
    #8-Martin 155.844
    #17-Kenseth 155.844
    #16-Biffle 155.783
    slowest: #08-Sauter 145.891 and #96-Schrader 150.301 [in the backup car]
    no speed listed: #50-Barrett as he wrecked on his first lap
    incidents: #96-Schrader smacked the wall in turn 4, and will go to a backup car
    #77-Hornish Jr. spun off turn 2 and looped the car on the back stretch, did NOT hit anything
    #50-Barrett got into the wall, left some parts on the track
    See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-19-2008)
  • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Dover:
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #70-Tony Raines, 25th
    #21-Marco Ambrose, 27th
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 29th
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 32nd
    #77-Sam Hornish Jr.,33rd
    #45-Kyle Petty, 37th
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
    #34-Chad Chaffin, 43rd
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #96-Ken Schrader, 44th
    #08-Johnny Sauter, 45th
    #50-Stanton Barrott, no speed
    See the speeds, laps run and more on my Dover Practide Speeds page.(9-19-2008)
  • Bobby Labonte Lends “Helping Hand”: When West Virginia’s Pratt Elementary School needed funds to update its playground and shelter facilities, Hamburger Helper was there to lend a “helping hand.” Courtesy of the Hamburger Helper “My Hometown Helper” grant program and Bobby Labonte, Pratt Elementary received $15,000 to make some much needed improvements to the children’s park. Labonte was at Pratt Elementary today for the park’s ribbon cutting ceremony that re-opened the revitalized recreation area. The Hamburger Helper “My Hometown Helper” grant program winners were selected by a panel that reviewed applicants’ essays of 250 words or less, describing how the grant would benefit their community project. Labonte served as a guest judge that helped determine the winners. Over $200,000 in grants has been awarded this year, including Pratt Elementary. Other grants have helped communities purchase new band equipment, fund a tornado warning system, among other projects. Labonte attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Pratt Elementary this afternoon. The driver of the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge signed autographs and raced remote control cars against students and their families.(Breaking Limits/General Mills PR)(9-19-2008)
  • Gordon to run Menard’s scheme at Dover: After regaining a spot in the coveted top-35 owner’s point standings last weekend in New Hampshire, Gordon and his #7 Menards Dodge team head to Dover International Speedway seeking to increase the gap in the tight points race and to improve upon their 19th place finish at the “Monster Mile” earlier this year.(RGM PR), see images of the Menard’s scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(9-19-2008)


    News from September 18, 2008

  • Allgaier to run limited Nationwide schedule for Penske Penske Racing announced the signing of 22-year old Justin Allgaier to drive in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier, currently ranked fifth in the 2008 ARCA Re/Max driver points standings, will drive a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2008 and 2009 for Penske Racing, as he continues to develop as a driver.(Penske Racing PR) see more about such deals and development drivers on my Driver Development News and Links page.(9-18-2008) Comment here
  • Chase Stats/Notes: #17-Matt Kenseth’s 40th at Loudon plunged him 97 points further back from the lead in The Chase, now 177 points out in all. In 2006, eventual champ #48-Jimmie Johnson opened 139 down in 9th place in the 10-driver Chase. #18-Kyle Busch has been fast from the first time he laid eyes on Dover Downs. He has five top 5s in seven starts, including a win in this year’s June race and two second-place finishes in 2005. A podium finish would put him back on track in the 2008 Chase. #24-Jeff Gordon had a much better finish in mind for N.H. than the 14th he got, and now goes to Dover in 11th place, 99 points down and in bad need for a strong finish, like the fifth he collected at Dover in June. #20-Tony Stewart opened the Chase with an 8th place run, but Dover is a big challenge as he hasn’t carded a top 5 there since 2004. #99-Carl Edwards opened the Chase with a rock solid 3rd and his last four Dover finishes are 2-3-1-2. #16-Greg Biffle made a great pass late on Jimmie Johnson and charged to his first win of the year at Loudon and his last four Dover finishes are 5-6-2-3. See more on the Chase Stats after New Hampshire page.(9-18-2008)
  • NASCAR Angel’s returns for 3rd season: NASCAR, Magic Dust Entertainment and Litton Entertainment, have announced that “NASCAR Angels,” the reality program that fixes the cars and trucks of deserving individuals across the country, has secured a third season of production. New for Season Three, “NASCAR Angels” will be broadcast on Hallmark Channel, in addition to the program’s nationwide lineup of 200 locally syndicated television stations. “NASCAR Angels,” will premiere on Hallmark Channel, a top-10 rated cable network available in over 83 million homes and the leader in family friendly programming, on Sundays beginning October 5th at 8:00am/et. Goodyear Gemini, the show’s presenting sponsor for the past two seasons, has renewed its commitment to the program providing the help of its automotive technicians and products to perform amazing repairs on vehicles for the deserving families chosen to be highlighted on the show. The half hour weekly series is hosted by former Sprint Cup Series Champion and current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace and NASCAR.COM talent Shannon Wiseman. Nominations for potential recipients can be made by visiting www.nascar.com/auto/angels.(NASCAR PR)(9-18-2008)
  • Petty promotes prostate awareness: Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty is a prostate cancer survivor. Son Kyle Petty remains highly involved in battling the disease through his Stay on Track for Better Prostate Health awareness program. Petty’s “Prostate Inspection Pledge” is encouraging men to go for annual screenings and if diagnosed, to assemble a multidisciplinary pit crew of healthcare experts. Pharmaceutical company Sanofil-aventis is donating $1 for every prostate awareness pledge to the Prostate Cancer Education Council.(USA Today)(9-13-2008)
    FREE SCREENINGS: Depend, a Kimberly-Clark brand, is sponsoring free prostate cancer screenings throughout the weekend at the FanZone at Dover International Speedway. The Drive Against Prostate Cancer mobile unit will be open from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The screenings will take place on Sunday between 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Males who participate will receive a free T-shirt and can enter for a chance to win a VIP package to the May 2009 Dover race weekend from ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer. The screening consists of a blood test and does not require an appointment or health insurance. The test takes less than 10 minutes. Physical exams will be available if requested. For information, visit Depend.com.(Delaware News Journal)(9-18-2008)
  • Lowe’s Activates ‘Racing for Relief’ in Dover: In response to Hurricane Ike, Lowe’s and #48-Jimmie Johnson will be “Racing for Relief” at the Dover International Speedway this weekend to raise funds for the American Red Cross. Funds raised will help to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of Hurricane Ike and other 2008 hurricanes. As part of Racing for Relief, the Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of the #48 Lowe’s Impala SS. Lowe’s will donate $48 for every lap of the scheduled 400 laps [could total $19,200] that Johnson completes in the Dover 400 at the Dover International Speedway on September 21. In addition, if Johnson wins the race, Lowe’s will donate an additional $4,800. Funds raised through Lowe’s Racing for Relief will supplement an existing $1 million Lowe’s donation to the American Red Cross. More than 1,575 Lowe’s stores nationwide are serving as official cash donation sites to benefit the American Red Cross relief efforts throughout the 2008 hurricane season. Lowe’s will match in-store contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000. Since partnering with the Red Cross in 1999, Lowe’s has raised more than $17.5 million for disaster relief. Anyone interested in making a donation to the American Red Cross may visit participating Lowe’s stores, donate online at www.redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).(Team Lowe’s PR)(9-18-2008) Comment here
  • Court file indicates NASCAR settlement in fatal plane crash:NASCAR has verbally agreed to a settlement stemming from the death of one of its employees, pilot Michael Klemm, after he and Dr. Bruce Kennedy were killed when a plane owned by the racing company crashed last year, court records show. The Daytona Beach News-Journal viewed part of the Klemm court file earlier this week before the file was sealed. A handwritten document in the court file reflected $2.4 million “wrongful death claim approved.” Eric Latinsky, an attorney for Klemm’s widow Wendy and the couple’s three sons, would not confirm the amount, saying he and NASCAR officials had agreed to keep the settlement confidential. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, when reached Wednesday, said he knew a settlement was in the works but was unaware of the amount or stipulations of the agreement. “The purpose (of the settlement) was to make sure the Klemm children could continue their education and be taken care of,” Latinsky said Wednesday. “It was a confidential settlement and one of the main concerns was, in light of losing Michael at such a young age, how would (the sons) be able to attend college in the future.” The Klemms’ three sons are 18, 21 and 23, court documents show.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-18-2008)
  • Last 2008 race for Interstate Batteries: The Camping World 400 at Dover International Speedway is the sixth and final 2008 event during which Dallas-based Interstate Batteries will serve as the primary sponsor of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that Kyle Busch will drive.(JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(9-18-2008)Comment here
  • Tire testing at Atlanta and Daytona UPDATE: Goodyear will test Daytona International Speedway with #6-David Ragan and #15-Paul Menard’s Sprint Cup teams next Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 16-17). Goodyear’s other scheduled tests looking ahead to the 2009 season include Indianapolis (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and Las Vegas (Dec. 10-11) other upcoming tests to confirm 2008 race recommendations include Atlanta (Sept. 16) and Homestead (Oct. 14)(Goodyear PR)(9-12-2008)
    AND the second Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2008 is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 with #18-Kyle Busch, #28-Travis Kvapil and #66-Scott Riggs as the test drivers. In preparation for the upcoming Pep Boys Auto 500 on October 24-26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is conducting a second tire test to ensure the preeminent tire is ready. Busch, Kvapil and Riggs will return for the second tire test for Goodyear at the 1.54-mile track on September 16. The session is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(9-15-2008)
    UPDATE: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway this week and tested to come up with a new right-side tire that will give Sprint Cup cars more grip when the series visits the track on October 24-26. Participating in the one-day test this Tuesday were the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Kyle Busch), #28 Yates Racing Ford (Travis Kvapil) and #66 Haas-CNC Racing Chevy (Scott Riggs). Those teams were selected because they also participated in a tire test at Atlanta on July 21-22, and Goodyear engineers felt that bringing back the same teams and drivers would maintain continuity and build upon the results of the first test. Using the results from that prior test, Goodyear returned with several potential race combinations to evaluate, and chose the one that worked best. “The spring race at Atlanta was the first for the new car on this track, and many people felt we were too conservative in our tire selection,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of global racing. “We have returned to the track twice for testing since the race in order to develop a tire combination that provides a higher level of grip under race conditions. Based upon the data and driver feedback at the test this week, we believe that we’ve found a solid package for the fall race.” Goodyear’s new right side tire code (D-4188) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4152) the tire supplier brought for the Cup cars to run at Atlanta this past March 7-9.
    Goodyear has had a busy week of testing, not only visiting Atlanta but also holding a two-day session with the #6 Roush-Fenway Ford (David Ragan) and #15 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevrolet (Paul Menard) at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Upcoming still in 2008 are two tire tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and one each at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 14) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Dec. 10-11).(Goodyear PR)(9-18-2008)Comment here
  • Dover Rookie Notes: #01-Regan Smith was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 14 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Smith scored a 23rd-place finish and grabbed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the eighth time this season. Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by three points (186-183) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 21 Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings for 10 consecutive races dating back to Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The 2006 fall race at Dover marked the first time three Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10: Martin Truex Jr. (fourth), Clint Bowyer (eighth) and Denny Hamlin (ninth). Jimmie Johnson is the only Raybestos Rookie to sweep both Sprint Cup races at Dover. Johnson won both events in 2002 and led the most laps in each race. Johnson is the only first-year driver to lead the most laps (four times for 170 laps) in the fall race at Dover. The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie for the fall race at Dover is third by Tony Stewart (1999), Brian Vickers (2004) and Kyle Busch (2005).(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see rookie standings, history and more on my 2008 Rookies page.(9-18-2008)
  • Barrett and the NOS Energy Drink Team to attempt 2 races at Dover:Coming out of nowhere, the NOS Energy Drink #30 car hurtled to a top-20 finish at 2007’s fall Dover Nationwide Series race. With that auspicious start boosting it forward, the NOS Energy Drink NASCAR program took off and raced forward into 2008 with a plan to be the leading energy drink in NASCAR. Now, with less than a third of the season remaining, the NOS NASCAR team revisits the track that began the journey last September. With a double dose of racing scheduled for the #30 and #50 cars, team driver Stanton Barrett knows that this weekend will be action packed. “I love Dover. It’s one of my favorite tracks, very fast and a good place to race” said Barrett. “Last season, we had a great first race for NOS at Dover – I’m looking forward to seeing everyone from NOS and FUZE out there supporting the team this weekend, just like last year.” Barrett has qualified very well at the Dover track over the course of his career, with two of his nine starts there in the NASCAR Nationwide Series coming from within the top-10. He’ll need to translate that success over to the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday, as the #50 NOS Energy Drink Chevy will be qualifying with the group of go-or-go-homers near the end of the order.(PR)(9-18-2008) Comment here
  • New animated NASCAR TV Show planned: Fox has extended its relationship with comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, greenlighting an animated pilot presentation from Foxworthy about a dysfunctional family set in the world of NASCAR. Twentieth Century Fox TV is onboard to produce. Untitled animated laffer comes from Foxworthy and “10 Items or Less” exec producers Nancy Hower and John Lehr. Foxworthy, Hower and Lehr will write and exec produce, while Parallel Entertainment’s J.P. Williams will also exec produce. Foxworthy will also lend his voice to the presentation, with other voice actors to be determined later.(variety.com)(9-18-2008) Comment here


    News from September 17, 2008

  • Latest on Petty Enterprises in 2009: frpm a Dodge Motorsports PR/transcript:
    Q: WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE FOR THE SECOND PETTY CAR FOR NEXT YEAR?
    Robbie Loomis, Executive VP of Racing Operations – Petty Enterprises: There’s no secret that we’ve been working our way through it since we took on our new partners with Boston Ventures and David Zucker – the new CEO. We’re still navigating our way through our direction. It’s obvious that we want to bring in a young guy with Bobby Labonte’s experience and try to build from there. We’re excited about this past weekend. We’re working a lot with Chad McCumbee and will probably take some looks at Chad this season for sure in another five races. We’re excited about where we’re going in the future with that…also excited about having the experience of Bobby Labonte on our side.
    Q: WILL KYLE (PETTY) BE IN THE CAR NEXT YEAR?
    RL: Oh yeah. Kyle’s going to be back in (the 45 car) this weekend in Dover and some other races lined up for him during the end of the year. We’ll see Kyle and I’m sure you’ll see Kyle out there next year. As everyone knows, with all the sponsorship dependent on how you put all these programs together, we’re trying to work our way through it right now.
    Q: IS ONE OPTION NEXT YEAR FOR PETTY ENTERPRISES THREE CARS, ONE WITH A LIMITED SCHEDULE WITH KYLE DRIVING IT?
    RL: It definitely is. We’ve had a lot of discussion on that in staff meetings each week. Dave Zucker – our CEO – is trying to put a lot of things together on the sponsorship front and that’s one of the avenues that we’ve talked about. If we could run a third car on a limited schedule – even if it is a minimum of five to seven races – it does help us prepare and get a little bit of information in our circle and also prepare an easier transition when we go to three cars in 2010 when everyone gets this economy rolling again.
    Q: AND A THIRD CAR IS CONTINGENT ON SPONSORSHIP?
    RL: Yes sir. 100%.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-17-2008) Comment here

  • GEM to buy BDR? UPDATE denied: According to multiple sources, a deal is in the works for George Gillett, majority owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, to buy out Bill Davis’ Sprint Cup operation — including the #22 team, the Toyota affiliation, Triad Racing Development and their engine shop. While Gillett could not be reached for confirmation, Gillett Evernham Motorsports Vice President and Managing Director of Competition Mark McArdle told FOXSports.com on Sunday that GEM was searching for a fourth car with a spot inside the top 35 in the owners standings. McArdle would not elaborate on which team or any possible terms, but Bill Davis has made it no secret in the garage that he is open to offers. “We’re looking forward to having a fourth car next year to help us with our current business plans,” said McArdle. “That’s where we stand. To get a sponsor, they want to know that you’re going to be there to race on Sunday.” Although a deal has not yet been finalized, sources say Toyota has approved the plan. Davis will continue to field a Craftsman Truck Series team and add a Nationwide Series program to his High Point, N.C., operation. Davis, who was attending the debut NHRA event at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., could not be reached for comment. Sources in the garage said that Davis’ current Cup driver, Dave Blaney, inquired last week about rides for next season.(FoxSports)(9-15-2008)
    UPDATE: from a Dodge Motorsports PR:
    Q: IN SPITE OF RECENT PUBLISHED REPORTS, CAN YOU PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON DODGE’S DIRECTION IN MOTORSPORTS – IN PARTICULAR NASCAR AND GILLETT EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS?
    Mike Delahanty, Sr. Manager – Dodge Motorsports: I just want to respond to these recent reports regarding Gillett Evernham Motorsports – specifically regarding Bill Davis Racing and speculation that GEM would leave Dodge. It’s nothing but pure speculation. Dodge and Gillett Evernham have a long history that dates to our return to Sprint Cup racing (2001). Dodge and GEM have a long-term contract in place. We plan to continue as partners in NASCAR. We’re aware and have had discussion about GEM’s interest in adding a fourth car, but there’s never been discussion about running anything but a Dodge. Anything beyond that, we classify as pure speculation. We’re pleased to see the turnabout in the competition side at GEM and absolutely look forward to many more Victory Lane celebrations together.”
    Q: WHAT ABOUT DODGE’S COMMITMENT TO MOTORSPORTS…HAS IT CHANGED?
    MD: I don’t know how many times we have to keep saying it, but we are committed….we have long-term contracts in place…not only with Gillett Evernham, but with Penske Racing…with Petty (Enterprises) and with Chip Ganassi Racing. We’re committed to the sport. We’re committed to these guys…I don’t know how many times we have to repeat it.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-17-2008) Comment here
  • Ricky Carmichael to attempt ARCA ‘Dega race UPDATE: Ricky Carmichael, a 10-time AMA national motocross champion from 1997 – 2006, will attempt to make his ARCA RE/MAX series debut at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3. Carmichael, a rookie on the Camping World East Series this season for Ken Schrader Racing, has been entered into the event at the 2.66-mile speedway by Kevin Harvick Inc. With three top-5 finishes and six top-10’s Carmichael, 28, is eighth in the Camping World East Series standings after 11 of 13 events this season.(Hartford Courant)(9-17-2008)
    UPDATE: Two Talladega rookies, Joey Logano and Ricky Carmichael, were at Talladega Superspeedway today as part of a two-day ARCA RE/MAX Series Open Test. While both drivers have extensive racing resumes, neither had tackled the high banks of Talladega until today. “It’s pretty fun, I’ve had a good time with it so far,” said Logano. “This is my first time doing superspeedway stuff. I did some Proving Grounds stuff with the Cup guys before, but that’s the only similar thing I’ve been through.”
    “It’s pretty exciting,” said Carmichael. “Everyone was saying ‘oh we’re just doing single car runs this morning’ but it’s new for me. I’m having a good time. The guys at KHI (Kevin Harvick Inc.) are fast. I’m just enjoying it and trying to get as much seat time as I can.” Although Carmichael has competed at Daytona before, he says the 2.66-mile Talladega seems much larger than the 2.5-mile track in Florida. “My first thought when I came to Talladega was ‘wow this place is huge’. I couldn’t believe how much bigger it was, and I mean, I thought Daytona was big.” Both drivers are expected to compete in the Oct. 3rd ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 at Talladega.(TSS PR)(9-17-2008) Comment here
  • Allmendinger’s future to be decided by end of week?: Red Bull Racing’s driver, former open-wheel racer A. J. Allmendinger, has made great strides since his stock-car debut last season, although his future with the team is still up in the air. In addition, Team Manager Jay Frye has former F1 driver Scott Speed waiting in the wings. Speed has been nothing short of remarkable this season, winning both Craftsman Truck series and ARCA stock car races. He leads the drivers’ standings in the ARCA series. Speed will make his Sprint Cup debut this fall [at Lowe’s Motor Speedway], and all signs point to him running a full Cup season next year. A decision on Allmendinger’s future is expected by week’s end.(Yahoo Sports)(9-17-2008) Comment here
  • Triple Duty for Johnny Sauter: Fresh off a top-20 finish at New Hampshire [in the #70], Johnny Sauter looks forward to a triple duty weekend at Dover International Speedway. Sauter will pilot the #08 FUBAR All Natural Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series. In addition, he will be behind the wheel of the #78 Chevy in the Nationwide Series and the #12 Dodge in the Camping World East Series. “I just want to race as much as I possibly can,” said Sauter. “Anytime someone comes to me with an opportunity to race, no matter what series or division, I’m all for it.”(9-17-2008)
  • Carpentier says he’s a free agent UPDATE: Canadian #10-Patrick Carpentier says “It’s over,” at the end of the year, after his one season with Dodge car owners Ray Evernham and George Gillett. “They hired Reed Sorenson for next year, so it’s over,” Carpentier says. “They’re working on a fourth team and looking for sponsorship, but you know how that goes.” So Carpentier says he’s a free agent. “I’m talking with other teams to see what’s out there,” the Montreal native says.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-29-2008)
    UPDATE: Patrick Carpentier is officially a free agent as the driver says that Gillett Evernham Motorsports has told him it does not have a sponsor for him for next season. Carpentier had been free to talk to other teams, but GEM had first right of refusal until Tuesday. GEM could still find a sponsor for Carpentier, but the former open-wheel driver believes that likely will not happen. GEM already has three drivers under contract for next year – current drivers #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Elliott Sadler as well as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Reed Sorenson. “We’re talking to a couple of teams, and some of them seem to have a good interest,” Carpentier said. “Hopefully we do [find something], but you never know in racing.” Carpentier’s business partner, Robert Desrosiers, said he was optimistic that Carpentier could find a ride with another team. “There are still some good rides [that] are available,” Desrosiers said. “We’re talking to all these guys. … Now that Patrick is free, I believe one of these teams will be interested in sitting down with us.”(SceneDaily)(9-17-2008) Comment here
  • Special scheme at Texas for Martin: The VAULT “Honoring the Uniform: Calling for Support” program will be highlighted as part of a special camouflage paint scheme on the #8 U.S. Army Chevy driven by Mark Martin during the Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 (Nov. 2) at Texas Motor Speedway. VAULT is the title sponsor for the pre-race show and is presenting a live concert by REO Speedwagon. People are encouraged to write messages of support on pre-addressed postcards, which can be found on special camouflage-themed VAULT 12-packs, at VAULT displays in participating retail stores or online at DrinkVault.com and MyCokeRewards.com, while supplies last. The postcards can be dropped in the mail with a first-class stamp and will arrive at a USO collection center for security screening before being distributed to U.S. troops during the holiday season. The VAULT postcard program replicates the popular service previously operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, which allowed the American public to send mail addressed to “any service member” for more than 17 years before being discontinued in 2003 due to security concerns. In addition to sending postcards, people can help raise up to $100,000 for the USO by visiting MyCokeRewards.com through the end of the year and turning the points they earn by drinking Coca-Cola products into a cash donation. My Coke Rewards points found under caps and on packaging of more than 60 products from Coca-Cola North America can be donated to help support the continuing efforts of the USO to provide a home away from home to U.S. troops wherever they serve.(BusinessWire)(9-17-2008)
  • Jeff Gordon Visits Capitol Hill: #24-Jeff Gordon will be visiting Capitol Hill on September 16, 2008, to raise political awareness of the life-saving potential of umbilical cord blood transplants. Throughout the day, Gordon and Chief Executive Officer of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), Jeffrey W. Chell, MD, will meet with key members of the House and Senate to advocate for increased funding of the C.W, Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and for full funding the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI).(Jeff Gordon Foundation)(9-15-2008)
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon stepped away from his on-track duties earlier today [Tuesday, Sept 16th] to visit Capitol Hill. Gordon met with key lawmakers, including the House of Representatives North Carolina delegation, to urge their continued support of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). The NMDP, a nonprofit organization, serves a vital role in the U.S. health care system by facilitating unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants to treat patients with more than 70 diseases including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Through the Jeff Gordon Foundation, he has advocated for the NMDP and the need for Congress to support the use of publicly donated umbilical cord blood to save the lives of patients with life-threatening diseases who need a transplant.(PRPlus PR)(9-17-2008)
  • Big Red scheme for Montoya: The #42 Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya will carry the bold red scheme of Big Red for this weekend’s 400-lap race in Dover. The #42 Dodge will carry the Big Red Slim Pack colors in one more event after Dover this season at Martinsville Speedway. Montoya will be celebrating his birthday this weekend at Dover. He turns 33 on Saturday.(CGWFS PR), see my #42 Team Schemes page for the image of the car.(9-17-2008)


    News from September 16, 2008

  • Frye to stay at Red Bull: Jay Frye announced in a team meeting Tuesday that he has agreed to remain as the general manager of NASCAR’s Team Red Bull [#83-Vickers, #84-Allmendinger]. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Sports, Frye expressed his desire to continue the course he’s laid out for the fledgling stock-car organization. “I’ve been given a unique opportunity to build this team into something great,” said Frye, who has been at the helm of the two-car Sprint Cup team owned by the Austrian energy-drink giant since January. Frye’s decision puts to rest any speculation that the Rick Hendrick protégé would leave Red Bull to take a similar position at Stewart Haas Racing. When asked about the Stewart Haas offer, Frye replied, “I’ve always wanted to stay here. I love where I’m at. This is the perfect job.” After meeting with Red Bull executives in Austria two weeks ago, Frye left convinced of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s strong commitment to building the NASCAR organization into a championship contender.(Yahoo Sports)(9-16-2008) Comment here
  • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #29-Harvick has been running at the finish in 71 consecutive races, the longest current streak and a NEW modern era record, next up is #07-Bowyer at 64 consecutive races. The all-time record for the longest streak of NOT having an DNF is 84 races held by Herman Beam from April 30, 1961 thru March 10, 1963. Kevin Harvick held the modern era (1972-present) record at 58 (10/3/2002-8/1/2004) unil he broke it himself in 2008. Next up is Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53 [Indy in 1996 thru Martinsville in the spring of 1998.(9-16-2008)
  • Racing Resources Says …
    * Greg Biffle won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Biffle posted his 13th career victory in his 213th race and his first victory of the 2008 season.
    * Biffle became the 11th different race winner in 2008, ending a 33-race winless streak that dated to Kansas last September. It was Biffle’s first victory at New Hampshire in his 13th start.
    * While only his second year in the Chase, Biffle has scored victories in all five years of the Chase.
    * Biffle became the eighth different race winner in the last eight races at New Hampshire. All five Chase openers at New Hampshire have been won by a Chase driver. Eight of the last nine races at New Hampshire have been won from a top-15 starting position. Biffle won from the ninth-place starting position.
    * Biffle led 58 of the 300 laps, including the final 12 laps.
    * Jimmie Johnson led 96 laps, the most of the day.
    * Roush Fenway Racing scored its seventh victory at New Hampshire, the most of any owner in the 28 Cup races at Loudon.
    * Jeff Gordon (14th) has gone 32 races without a victory, his longest streak between victories.
    * Regan Smith, who finished 23rd, was the highest finishing Rookie of the Year contender.
    * This is the seventh win for Ford in 2008. Toyota has nine wins, Chevrolet has seven and Dodge has four.
    * The top 10 consisted of five Chevrolets, two Fords, two Toyotas and one Dodge.
    * The top-five finishers were all Chase drivers. Eight of the top 10 were Chasers.
    * By virtue of his third-place finish, Carl Edwards emerged as the new points leader replacing Kyle Busch at the top of the pile. Busch had held the points lead for 17 straight races, since Richmond in May.
    * Kyle Busch finished 34th and left New Hampshire ranked eighth, 74 points behind Edwards.
    * Six Chase drivers each earned lap leader bonus points at New Hampshire: Biffle, Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Edwards. Chase driver Johnson led the most laps, gaining 10 bonus points.
    * Joey Logano (32nd) made his career first NSCS start.
    * Clint Bowyer (12th) made his 100th career NSCS start at New Hampshire.
    * Reed Sorenson (22nd) made his 100th career NSCS start at New Hampshire.(ESPN)(9-16-2008)
  • Top-5’s, Top-10’s: #18-Kyle Busch leads all drivers after 27 races in 2008 with 15 Top-5 finishes followed by #99-Edwards at 12. #99-Edwards has the most Top-10’s after 27 races with 20, followed by #18-Busch with 17. Full-time drivers who have run all 27 races in 2008 with no top-10 finishes are #77-Hornish Jr. and #15-Menard. Seven drivers have not scored a Top-5 and ran all 27 races: #7-Gordon [last top-5 at Watkins Glen 8/2007], #15-Menard [none so far], #26-McMurray [last at Daytona, a win 7/07], #28-Kvapil [none], #43-Labonte [last at Martinsville in 10/2006], #44-Reutimann [none] and #77-Hornish Jr.[none].(9-16-2008)


    News from September 15, 2008

  • Hamilton Jr. to Cup? Nationwide Series driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. said Team Rensi Motorsports [#25 Ford] will close its doors in December if a new sponsor to replace Smithfield Foods isn’t found by then. Efforts to reach team president Ronnie Russell were unsuccessful, but a source close to the team confirmed Hamilton Jr.’s statements. Crew chief Chris Wright remains with the team, though a source said nearly half of the team’s payroll was cut via layoffs. Hamilton Jr. said he has been “fishing around” for other rides. “I’m about 40 percent, talking to a Cup deal,” Hamilton Jr. said. “I’ve been on the phone several times with a top-notch organization on the truck side. The Nationwide cars, there’s just none out there. Everybody I’ve talked to, if you’ve got a sponsor, they’ll take you. There are some when you could run a handful of races whenever a Cup guy doesn’t want to. I wouldn’t turn my back to that because it’s in really good equipment. I’d like to run full time but if you can’t, you’ve got to take what you can take.” Hamilton Jr. said he even could end up owning his own Nationwide team next season. The five-time series winner isn’t ready to quit driving.(SceneDaily)(9-15-2008) Comment here
  • Ganassi-Waltrip merger? UPDATE: Car owner Chip Ganassi pulled the plug on Franchitti’s team a month ago, in a shocker that left 71 people without jobs. That move by Ganassi has led to intense speculation about Ganassi’s NASCAR future. Some of that speculation includes the possibility of some merger between Ganassi and the Michael Waltrip operation, which is also struggling and may be down to one sponsor next season for that three-car operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2008)
    UPDATE: The hottest rumor floating around the Cup garage this weekend [at New Hampshire] is that Chip Ganassi still is trying to make a deal with another team to keep himself in NASCAR. This week it was supposedly an arrangement with Michael Waltrip Racing, which would expand to four cars and put Montoya in a Toyota.(Yahoo Sports)(9-15-2008) Comment here
  • Testing at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday: Four NASCAR teams involved in the Chase for the Sprint Cup are scheduled to test at Kentucky Speedway Tuesday, Sept. 16. The #88 Hendrick Motorsports team of fourth-seeded Dale Earnhardt, Jr., is expected to join the #24 team of 10th-seeded stable mate Jeff Gordon [with Brad Keselowski driving]. The #20 team of Tony Stewart is expected to join its Joe Gibbs Racing partner #11 team of Denny Hamlin. David Stremme is expected to turn laps with his new Penske Racing #06 team. Hamlin is the #6 Chase seed and Stewart is seeded eighth. Specific test drivers and media availability are to be determined. Fans can view testing from the designated area outside the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center in Turn 3 for free. Tests usually begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Times will vary based on team goals.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-15-2008)

News from September 14, 2008

  • Ancient Chaseology, seasons before 2004 and the Chase – the final:Way back in 1975, NASCAR decided to change its points system, using an idea jotted down on a cocktail napkin at the Boot Hill Saloon in Daytona Beach, Fla. Pretty humble beginnings, no? What if the Chase had become a part of NASCAR back in 1975? How would history have changed with a Chase back then? Drivers probably would have driven differently, which would have led to changed results and altered points championships during the years covered here. But let’s play the “what if?” game and take the historical results and translate them into the current Chase system.
    See the following articles for each:
    same champs in 1975-1979, but in 1980-1984, 3 of the 5 would have had different champions, none for Earnhardt, 3 for DW and Gant would had won one; in 1985-1989 all five chase’s produce the same champ as the regular system did.
    Whew, some shake ups in the 1990-1994 chases, Earnhardt, who won 4 championships in the classic points, Earnhardt would had won only two Chase in that span and Kulwicki would not had won his championship with Kyle Petty winning in 92, Gant in 1991 and Rusty Wallace in 1993.
    in the 1995-1999 block, Earnhardt would had won in 1995 instead of Gordon, but Gordon would had won in 1996 instead of Terry Labonte, in 1997 Jarrett would had took it and not Gordon, Gordon in 1998 and Bobby Labonte would had won in 1999 not Jarrett, so only Gordon in 1998 would had been the same.
    and in the final block 2000-2003: Bobby Labonte still wins in 2000, Marlin beats out Gordon in 2001, Kurt Buscgh in 2002 instead of Stewart and in 2003 Johnson would had gotten his first championship, Kenseth, who won using the old system that year, would had been 8th in the 2003 chase. Here are the links to each block, with standings and info:
    Ancient Chaseology: 1975-1979
    Ancient Chaseology: 1980-1984
    Ancient Chaseology: 1985-1989
    Ancient Chaseology: 1990-1994
    Ancient Chaseology: 1995-1999
    Ancient Chaseology: 2000-2003
    as Matthew Willis will calculate all the seasons 1974 thru 2003.(9-9/14-2008) Comment here
  • Real Sports on HBO features Johnson: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel visits with #48-Jimmie Johnson when it returns on Tuesday, Sept 16th, on HBO. The premiere of the show is scheduled to air at 10:00pm/et.(HBO PR)(9-14-2008)
  • Biffle wins at New Hampshire: #16-Greg Biffle won the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his first win at the trafk, first of 2008, first in 33 races [Kansas 2007] and 13th of of his career. #48-Johnson finished 2nd, followed by #99-Edwards [new points leader[, #31-Burton, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #2-Busch, #1-Truec Jr., #20-Stewart, #11-Hamlin and #29-Harvick. Other chase drivers: #07-Bowyer finished 12th, #24-Gordon 14th, #18-Busch 34th and #17-Kenseth 40th. #96-Joey Logano finished 32nd in his first career Cup race, 3 laps down. There were 14 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 36 caution laps.
    For race results, awards and more, see my New Hampshire Race Results Awards Page.(9-14-2008)
  • UNOFFICAL Chase Drivers Points Standings [after New Hampshire race 27 of 36]:
    1) #99-Carl Edwards 5220 [6 wins]
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5220 [4 wins]
    3) #16-Greg Biffle 5190
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5170
    5) #31-Jeff Burton 5170
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin 5148
    7) #20-Tony Stewart 5147
    8) #18-Kyle Busch 5146
    9) #07-Clint Bowyer 5137
    10) #29-Kevin Harvick 5134
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon 5121
    12) #17-Matt Kenseth 5043
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after New Hampshire page.(9-14-2008)

  • UNOFFICAL Classic Drivers Points Standings [after New Hampshire race 27 of 36]:
    (the old way)
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 3944 [8 wins]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 3841 -103 [6 wins]
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3756 -188 [4 wins]
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3648 -296 [1 win]
    5) #31-Jeff Burton 3544 -400 [1 win]
    6) #16-Greg Biffle 3470 -474 [1 win]
    7) #20-Tony Stewart 3432 -512
    8) #29-Kevin Harvick 3417 -527
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin 3373 -571 [1 win]
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon 3342 -602
    11) #07-Clint Bowyer 3243 -701 [1 win]
    12) #9-Kasey Kahne 3177 -767 [2 wins]
    13) #17-Matt Kenseth 3175 -769
    14) #6-David Ragan 3118 -826
    (9-14-2008)

  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Race Fast Facts:
    Greg Biffle won the SYLVANIA 300, his 13th victory in 213 Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and 12th top-10 finish in 2008.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 14 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2008.
    Carl Edwards (third) posted his second top-10 finish in nine races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Regan Smith (23rd) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 0 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-14-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Dover:
    #7-Gordon moves back in and #84-Allmendinger drops out
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    31) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 2107 +89
    32) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 2097 +79
    33) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2093, +75
    34) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 2046 +28
    35) #7-Gordon/RGM: 2033 15 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 2018, 15 points out of 35th
    37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 2015 -18
    38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1837 -196
    For the owner points standings, see my 
    Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(9-14-2008)
  • Who got a lap back on each caution at New Hampshire: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: #21-Elliott, 29th
    Caution 2: #45-McCumbee, 42nd
    Caution 3: #83-Vickers, 35th
    Caution 4: #20-Stewart, 8th
    Caution 5: #8-Almirola, 18th
    Caution 6: #66-Riggs, 19th
    Caution 7: #15-Menard, 21st
    Caution 8: #70-Sauter, 20th
    (9-14-2008)
  • New Hampshire Penalty Report:
    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
    1 #18 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 36
    2 #18 Pulling up to pit TE 37
    3 #12 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 37
    4 #96 Removing equipment from assigned pit area TE 37
    5 #26 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 84
    6 #18 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 84
    7 #70 Removing equipment from assigned pit area MCI 86
    8 #20 Excessive speed – Exiting pits PT 158
    9 #77 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 216
    10 #83 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 230
    11 #5 Outside half pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tire. TE 270
    12 #00 Passing to the wrong side on a start or restart PT 287
    PT – Pass through
    TE – Tail end of the longest line
    SG – Stop and Go
    OL – One lap
    ND – NASCAR discretion
    MCI – Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-14-2008)
  • Only four drivers: only four drivers have completed in all 28 Sprint Cup races held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway since the first race in 1993: #24-Jeff Gordon [3 wins], #31-Jeff Burton [4], #43-Bobby Labonte [0] and #78-Joe Nemechek [1].(9-14-2008)

  • MWR has some prospective sponsors for 2009: Ty Norris, vice president and general manager of Michael Waltrip Racing, said three prospective sponsors for next season — two new to the sport, one old, according to Norris — are taking notice that MWR’s three teams have been running better lately. Heading into Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at NHMS, the #44 piloted by David Reutimann [has Aaron’s for 18 races in 2009, will move back to the #00] ranks 27th in owner points, MIchael Waltrip’s #55 Toyota [set with NAPA as his sponsor in 2009] ranks 32nd, and the #00 [no sponsor for 2009, no word on driver] currently being driven by rookie Michael McDowell is 35th. With UPS and its considerable dollars headed elsewhere [#6-David Ragan], MWR needs to find new money to fill the gap if it’s going to field three teams again next season. Waltrip is set with NAPA signed on as the primary sponsor of his car next year, but Reutimann has only half of next season currently covered by Aaron’s, which hopes to serve as a co-primary with another sponsor. Norris said he has no timetable for the aforementioned three prospective MWR sponsors, and admitted that fielding a third team for next season, which is the current plan, may hinge on what happens. “A lot of our current sponsors are re-signing. And we have at least three very, very solid opportunities that would, one, shore up the second half of the Reutimann car and, two, create a primary opportunity for McDowell,” Norris said. “Time will tell, but at least those things are in the funnel, so to speak.(in part from NASCAR.com)(9-14-2008)

  • McCain to visit NHMS on Sunday UPDATE: Republican presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain is scheduled tomake a brief appearance at Sunday’s event. McCain and his wife Cindy, (there is no information yet as to if she will accompany her husband to Loudon Sunday) are no strangers to racing — McCain was the grand marshal of the 2006 Sylvania 300 and Cindy McCain is a trained racecar driver. “We’ve done a lot of events like this,” said speedway media spokesman Fred Neergaard. “We prepared twice for President Bush — once when he was the governor of Texas and once when he was president.” State Police Lt. George Brown said no information is available about when McCain will visit, but helicopters flying overhead and an enhanced police presence are already present at the track.(The Citizen), The trip will reportedly include McCain taking a lap around the NASCAR race oval before the Sprint Cup playoff series is to begin in New Hampshire. It was not known whether running mate and AK Gov. Sarah Palin would be with McCain.(Nashua Telegraph)(9-11-2008)
    UPDATE: John McCain thanked NASCAR for its support of the military as he spoke during the prerace drivers meeting Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. McCain was a couple of minutes late, and the drivers and crew chiefs remained in their seats waiting for him after their prerace instructions had ended. When he arrived with NASCAR President Mike Helton, the drivers and crew chiefs gave him a standing ovation. McCain was joined by Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, a major supporter of the candidate. “I just want to say thank you [for the ovation], but most of all I want to thank you for your support for the men and women in the military,” McCain said. “It’s remarkable. It’s uplifting to these young people. When I am in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’re watching you. You are their role models. You are their heroes. And they are ours. So I just want to say that NASCAR and the heroes and the competitors and the teams are supporting the men and women who are serving in the most exemplary fashion – I thank you, God bless you and God bless America.” Security was extra tight for the drivers meeting with everyone attending being checked with a metal-detecting wand. McCain then toured the garage area. The NASCAR hauler was equipped with several cameras pointed in various directions in the garage.(SceneDaily)(9-14-2008)
  • Rain out winners: so far in 2008, there have been seven qualifying sessions rained out with the seven being this weekend at New Hampshire [the 2nd in a row after last week in Richmond]. In the seven races run, all seven winners have come from the top 10:
    California, February, winner #99-Edwards started 9th, #48-Johnson started 1st finished 2nd
    Bristol, March, #31-Burton 8th, #48-Johnson 18th
    Michigan, June, #88-Earnhardt Jr. 3rd; #18-Busch 13th
    Chicago, July, #18-Busch 1st
    Watkins Glen, August, #18-Busch 1st
    Richmond, September, #48-Johnson 3rd; #18-Busch 15th
    New Hampshire, Spetember. winner #16-Biffle 9th, #18-Busch 34th
    The qualifying sessions cancelled may be a record, from 1980 thru present, the next worse year for qualifying cancelations was in 2002 when five were cancelled. Back a few years ago, if it rained on Friday, qualifying was many times moved to Saturday morning, that doesn’t happen any longer.(9-14-2008)


    News from September 13, 2008

  • F1 McLaren boss to head to NASCAR: Steve Hallam, McLaren’s head of race operations, is to leave the team at the end of this year to move to NASCAR. Hallam joined McLaren in 1990 after almost a decade at Lotus, where he race engineered for Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. Having helped engineer Mika Hakkinen to world title success with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, Hallam moved to a more senior role within the team’s race engineering department. McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh has paid tribute to Hallam’s contribution to the team. “Since joining us in 1990, Steve has become a senior member of our track operations team, doing a fantastic job,” explained Whitmarsh. “He informed us of his decision to leave some time ago but, since he is totally professional, it goes without saying that we are entirely comfortable with his continuing his work with us until the end of the season. Next year we will all miss him greatly, but we nonetheless wish him all the very best in his new adventure.” Hallam is to take up a senior position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Autosport)(9-13-2008)
  • Petty promotes prostate awareness: Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty is a prostate cancer survivor. Son Kyle Petty remains highly involved in battling the disease through his Stay on Track for Better Prostate Health awareness program. Petty’s “Prostate Inspection Pledge” is encouraging men to go for annual screenings and if diagnosed, to assemble a multidisciplinary pit crew of healthcare experts. Pharmaceutical company Sanofil-aventis is donating $1 for every prostate awareness pledge to the Prostate Cancer Education Council.(USA Today)(9-13-2008)
  • Logano young, but not the youngest: #96-Joey Logano is young, but at 18 years, 3 months, 20 days, he’ll not be even close to the youngest to make his Sprint Cup debut when he makes the big jump Sunday at New Hampshire. Driver, debut date and track listed with their ages:
    Tommie Elliott Aug. 1, 1951 Altamont-Schenectady Fairgrounds 15 years, 7 months, 5 days
    Darryl Sage July 10, 1982 Nashville Speedway 17 years, 2 months, 2 days
    Bill Morton Oct. 9, 1955 Memphis-Arkansas Speedway 17 years, 2 months, 17 days
    Donald Thomas May 21, 1950 Martinsville Speedway 17 years, 10 months, 11 days
    Bobby Hillin Jr. April 18, 1982 North Wilkesboro Speedway 17 years, 10 months, 13 days
    Chuck Bown Jan. 23, 1972 Riverside International Raceway 17 years, 11 months, 1 day
    Jeff McDuffie April 20, 1980 North Wilkesboro Speedway 18 years, 0 months, 20 days
    Joey Arrington Sept. 8, 1974 Richmond International Raceway 18 years, 1 months, 14 days
    Buddy Baker April 4, 1959 Columbia Speedway 18 years, 2 months, 10 days
    Joe Ruttman Jan. 20, 1963 Riverside International Raceway 18 years, 2 months, 23 days
    (St Petersburg Times)
    Kyle Busch is the youngest driver to ever win a Cup Series race at 20 years, 126 [4 months, 2 days], when he won at California [now Auto Club Speedway] in September 2005.(9-13-2008)
  • Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, #18-Busch got to choose first since he starts first [quals rained out] and took stall #1, #99-Edwards who starts 2nd took stall #19, the next with an opening in front of it and #48-Johnson who starts 3rd, took stall #29, the next opening. See who took what stall on my New Hampshire Pit Stall selections page.(9-13-2008)
  • Happy Hour practice for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #07-Bowyer 126.299
    #11-Hamlin 126.140
    #43-Labonte 126.094
    #16-Biffle 126.077
    #48-Johnson 125.948
    slowest: #78-Nemechek 123.698 & #21-Elliott 124.462
    The practice session is scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 at 6:00pm/et tonight.
    See speeds on my New Hampshire Practice Speeds page.(9-13-2008)
  • Monday’s “Deal or No Deal” Contestant Says “Deal” To General Mills Offer: This past Monday night, millions watched NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” as race fan Gary Cote and his family took television viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride in an attempt to become the show’s second million dollar winner. Cote, a native of Coventry, Rhode Island, was not only playing for the opportunity to help out his immediate family, but also his “extended” family of people he has quietly helped throughout his life. Cote also made no secret of his favorite sport, NASCAR, and his desire to vacation with his family and visit a NASCAR race, an opportunity he had only once before. While on the show, he was offered a race prize package from two-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson’s offer included a trip for Cote to the 2009 Daytona 500, a pace car ride around the hallowed speedway and a Richard Petty Driving Experience. In the end, Cote didn’t walk away with either the million dollar grand prize or the NASCAR package. Cheerios is now making an offer that Cote can’t refuse. They are offering Cote and his family the opportunity to be guests of theirs and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker race team this weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Cote and his family will be given suite and garage passes for Saturday and Sunday’s events. Cheerios will also give the Cote family the opportunity to meet their driver, Bobby Labonte. What is Cote’s answer to this offer? “Deal!” exclaimed Cote. Cote was given the offer after Cheerios learned of the generosity of Cote and his family. The Cheerios Racing team will meet Cote Friday evening and tour him and his wife and daughter around the track Saturday and Sunday.(General Mills/Breaking Limits PR)(9-13-2008)

  • Congrats: Josh Mick, front tire carrier for Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup team #29 for Kevin Harvick, and wife, Kelly Mick are the proud parents of a baby girl. Taylor Grace Mick was born Thursday, August 21, 2008 weighing in at 6lbs, 1.5oz. She is the first child for Josh and Kelly.(9-13-2008)
  • Get Well: Best wishes to Ron Meade, longtime NASCAR publicist and an original staff member at NHMS, who was unable to be at the track this weekend because of illness. It marked the first time Meade, NHMS director of special projects, has missed an event weekend in track history.(Boston Globe)(9-13-2008)


    News from September 12, 2008

  • Army to Newman? sources said Army is close to finalizing a deal to be a partial co-sponsor of Ryan Newman’s [#39 Chevy] car at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.(ESPN.com)(9-12-2008) Comment here

  • OFFICIAL: UPS to to sponsor Ragan and Roush: hearing that UPS will announce Friday, what team and driver they will sponsor in 2009. Rumor has it that David Ragan will be sponsored by UPS in the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2009.
    AND On Friday, September 12, UPS will launch a new era in our NASCAR partnership when we [UPS} announce the sponsorship of a new driver and team for the 2009 racing season. UPS’s eight-year partnership with NASCAR has netted us significant growth opportunities and increased brand awareness. Due to the success of the partnership, UPS also will remain the Official Express Delivery Company of NASCAR. An exclusive employee preview of the announcement will be available on UPSers.com at 5pm/et, Thursday, September 11. Friday morning at 9:30am/et, a press conference introducing the new driver and team will be held at the New Hampshire Speedway.
    AND II: from the UPSers site: “Well now it’s time to really put the pedal to the metal with the NASCAR sponsorship and UPS’s growth strategy. And what better way to do that than partner with one of NASCAR’s premier teams, Roush Fenway Racing. Like UPS, they have a really strong brand awareness. There’s a new number, number six, that’s my favorite number. And – and this is really cool, there’s a new driver, David Ragan.” The new video will be posted sometime Friday at racing.ups.com
    OFFICIAL: Launching a new era in its relationship with NASCAR, UPS today announced it would join Roush Fenway Racing for the 2009 campaign and rely on driving standout David Ragan to push the colors of “Big Brown” into Victory Lane. Ragan will race the #6 UPS Ford Fusion next season in a significantly revitalized UPS motorsports program. UPS has signed a multi-year deal with Roush Fenway Racing and Ragan. The agreement represents a return to Ford Motor Co. and an opportunity to establish long-term stability for UPS’s racing program. Ragan and Roush Fenway Racing will be supported by UPS with a variety of new programs, to be fully announced in coming weeks, including an entirely new advertising campaign. The 2009 Sprint Cup Series season will mark the ninth season of primary sponsorship for UPS and the 10th year as the Official Delivery Company of NASCAR. UPS became the official express delivery company of NASCAR in 2000 and a year later, joined Robert Yates Racing and NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett to campaign the #88 UPS Ford Taurus as a full sponsor. In 2007, UPS followed its driver when Jarrett joined Michael Waltrip Racing to race the Toyota Camry. Earlier this season, Jarrett retired and the #44 UPS Camry is being driven for the remainder of this season by David Reutimann.(UPS Site)(9-12-2008)Comment here

  • Hornaday admits using testosterone UPDATE:: Over a two-year period from December 2004 to January 2006, Ron Hornaday, the defending champion of the Truck Series, received shipments of testosterone and human growth hormone from an anti-aging center that has been linked to drug-related scandals in the NFL and Major League Baseball. Hornaday acknowledged taking testosterone when shown records from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center during an interview at his home in North Carolina on Tuesday, but he denied using growth hormone that was sent to his home for his wife’s use. Hornaday said he used the testosterone to treat a mysterious medical malady that later turned out to be a hyperactive thyroid. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said that Hornaday had not informed anyone in the league that he was using testosterone and that officials would seek more information from him before the race in New Hampshire this weekend.(see full story at ESPN.com)(9-11-2008)
    UPDATE: Ron Hornaday Jr. met NASCAR officials Friday to discuss his admission that he took testosterone during the 2005 season. NASCAR accepted Hornaday’s explanation that he was seeking medical treatment, not a competitive edge. According to the league, the case is closed. “It’s over and done with, he’s clear to race,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications. “We don’t see that Ron did anything wrong.”(more at ESPN)(9-12-2008)
  • Robby back in the Operation Homefront scheme: Robby Gordon’s #7-Jim Beam Dodge will once again carry the red, white, and blue Operation Homefront paint scheme this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Earlier this year, Jim Beam formed an association with the organization when they recognized that Operation Homefront had the same commitment and values as the Jim Beam brand – true character, integrity and doing the right thing. Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance and morale to our troops, to the families they leave behind during deployments and wounded warriors when they return home. Operation Homefront has 30 chapters serving 37 states and came to the rescue of 33,000 military families last year. They have approximately 4,500 volunteers nationwide.(RGM PR), see images of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(9-12-2008)
  • New spotter for Stewart: According to The Home Depot pre-race report Mike Calinoff (Ganassi #40) is listed as the spotter for #20-Tony Stewart. (True Speed Communication), regular spotter, Mark Robertson, will spot for Joey Logano at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, who will drive the #96 Hall of Fame – Home Depot Toyota there.(9-12-2008)
  • Capps tests new Concord track surface, Waltrip the wall: As North Carolina residents, fans, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series competitors and officials prepared for this weekend’s inaugural NHRA Carolina Nationals at the all-new zMax Dragway, drag racer Ron Capps was challenged by NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip to a duel on the very same dragway. Waltrip issued the challenge to his fellow NAPA Auto Parts racing partner to race down the quarter-mile at Bruton Smith’s stunning facility to continue the pair’s on-air rivalry and banter promoted in NAPA Auto Parts’ clever ad campaign using the two racers with disparate racing backgrounds. Arriving with his fully race-functional NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Waltrip faced Capps driving an NHRA Super Comp dragster, owned by Charlotte’s Tisha Wilson, in the pair’s first head-to-head match-up on a racing surface. It was a heady experience for both, as neither had been down the new dragstrip touted as the “Bellagio” of drag racing. For Capps, because it was an all-new venue; for Waltrip because it’s doubtful that he had ever been down a state-of-the-art dragstrip in a powerful car in his lifetime.
    The track was clearly green as both drivers struggled to gain traction after launching following their burnouts. As the pair tore down the track, Waltrip’s mount experienced some problems at the finish line, resulting in, surprisingly, his hitting the wall and damaging the front of the car. Although Waltrip may have been ahead, it turned into a very-loosely based case of the “Tortoise and the Hare,” as Capps took the victory for all the non-existing laurels in his 500-hp dragster over Waltrip’s Cup car pulled by 800 horses. The numbers: 9.85/115.14 for Capps, versus 11.21/79.38 for Waltrip. Waltrip’s NAPA crew quickly repaired the Toyota, and Capps was invited to drive it down the quarter-mile. He did so, in fine fashion, posting a run of 10.6 seconds at 140 mph. The action was taped for a “NASCAR Now” show on ESPN2 and will be shared by the same network during the weekend’s NHRA race coverage.(NHRA.com)(9-12-2008) Comment here
  • Qualifying Cancelled..again: qualifying for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was cancelled due to rain, for the 7th time this season. #18-Kyle Busch, who leads the points, will start 1st, followed by #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #07-Bowyer, #11-Hamlin, #31-Burton, #20-Stewart, #16-Biffle and #24-Gordon. #34-Raines and #46-Long will miss the race. #96-Logano will start 40th, making his Sprint Cup debut. See the starting lineup on my NHMS Starting Lineup/Qualifying page.(9-12-2008)
  • Friday Practice for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #07-Bowyer 130.273
    #48-Johnson 130.153
    #18-Busch 130.104
    #26-McMurray 129.980
    #12-Newman 129.918
    slowest: #46-Long 124.361 and #34-Raines 126.312
    incidents: #83-Vickers car snapped out of line and smacked the inside wall, he will go to a backup car; before he got a lap in the books, #45-McCumbee wrecked and will go to a backup
    New Hampshire Practice Speeds page.(9-12-2008)
  • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 24th
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 29th
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 31st
    #77-Sam Hornish Jr., 34th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 35th
    #21-Bill Elliott [past champ 1988], 36th
    #96-Joey Logano, 38th
    #45-Chad McCumbee, 41st
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #34-Tony Raines, 44th
    #46-Carl Long, 45th/last
    New Hampshire Practice Speeds page.(9-12-2008)
  • New Hampshire Goodyear Tires Notes: Teams in both the Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series will run the same tire codes at New Hampshire this weekend, though the Cup tires will be branded “Goodyear Eagle,” while the Truck tires will be branded “Goodyear Wrangler” . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought for teams in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series to run at New Hampshire earlier this season . . . also, teams in these two series ran this exact tire set-up last weekend — Sprint Cup at Richmond and Craftsman Truck at Gateway . . . in addition to above-mentioned tracks, teams in NASCAR’s top-three series have run this specific tire set-up at Phoenix, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis and Milwaukee this season . . . as on most NASCAR mile-tracks, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. The estimated pit window is every 74-78 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR). See pressures, codes and more on my New Hampshire Race Info page.(9-12-2008)
  • Labonte Races with an Eye on Texas: With all of the fanfare focused on the start of the 2008 “Chase for the Sprint Cup” at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, one of the most-respected drivers in the garage area will be excused if his mind drifts away to the place of his birth. #43-Bobby Labonte was born in the bayside town of Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi is now in the path of Hurricane Ike, one of the many strong storms to make its way into the Gulf of Mexico in recent years. “Please keep the residents of Corpus Christi in your thoughts and prayers,” said Labonte. “The Labonte family moved to North Carolina many years ago, but Corpus will always be home. We used to deal with only the occasional hurricane in the Gulf (of Mexico), but they are becoming more and more frequent. Hopefully all of the necessary safety measures have been taken and everyone’s well-being will be secure. We’ll be racing at Loudon this weekend, but our thoughts will be with everyone in the path of the hurricane.”(Petty Enterprises PR)(9-12-2008) Comment here


    News from September 11, 2008

  • Chase Notes after Richmond: #17-Matt Kenseth had to rally after being in 16th place at the halfway mark of The Race to The Chase, but he joined #48-Jimmie Johnson in making his fifth straight Chase. Are the first 26 races relevant to Chase performace? Yes and No. Kurt Busch was seventh best in points over the first 26 in 2004, and then went on a big run and won the inaugural Chase. Tony Stewart led at the end of 26 in 2005 and also after 36. Jimmie Johnson was second after 26 in 2006 and won the Chase. He was fourth after 26 in 2007 and won the title. #31-Jeff Burton got off to a strong start this season, scoring the second most points in the first 13, but he limped home with the 15th most points in the second half. Burton and teammate #07-Clint Bowyer have the least amount of top 5s coming into The chase, with four. Only once has a driver come from further back than second place after five Chase races to take the title:
    2004-Kurt Busch led by 24 points after five and won by 8
    2005-Tony Stewart was tied with Jimmie Johnson after five and won by 35
    2006-Jimmie Johnson made Chase history by roaring back from 7th place and 146 points out to win by 36
    2007-Jimmie Johnson trailed Jeff Gordon by 68 points after five and won by 77. See more on my Chase stats page after Richmond page and also on my 2008 Chase page.(9-11-2008)
  • Tony and Zippy OK: #20-Tony Stewart said Wednesday all is well between the two-time champion and crew chief Greg Zipadelli despite their post-race squabble at Richmond. Stewart criticized Zipadelli and his crew as he pulled onto pit road following Sunday’s second-place finish at Richmond International Raceway. He blamed the team for the loss – he gave up the lead during a late pit stop and was unable to catch winner Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps – and Zipadelli sharply reminded him they win and lose as a group. “I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about it,” Stewart said during NASCAR’s media day for the Chase for the championship. “That’s two guys that were talking on the radio that are competitive and don’t like to lose. I’d much rather have a crew chief that gets as fired up as me than I would a guy that said `Yeah, yeah, it’s OK.'(Associated Press)(9-11-2008) Comment here
  • Allmendinger talks about his future: from #84-A.J. Allmendinger’s column at Yahoo: “As far as my contract situation for next year, there’s no new news. Hopefully I’ll know something next week. But not knowing anything is hard. It’s stressful. You know, I just want an answer. Am I going to be back with Red Bull next year, yes or no? Of course I’d like it to be yes and they’d like me to stay and we have a great rest of the season and prepare for 2009. I love everybody at the shop and it’s hard because they’re asking me questions. They want to know what’s up, and I don’t have an answer for them. I mean, I really don’t have an answer. I’ve had conversations with other teams since August – and there were some good rides available – but I truly believe we have something here with Red Bull, so I don’t want to leave. We’ve been through a lot together as a team and I’ve been through a lot just to learn. I’ve had people tell me, ‘You suck. You shouldn’t be here,’ and I’ve had other people say, ‘Keep working. We know you got the talent.’ And I’ve fought through all that and in my opinion I think I deserve to be in the car. But right now, realistically, I think it’s about 50-50 at best that I’ll be back at Red Bull next year.(Yahoo Sports), hearing that Allmendinger is a candidate for the #41 Ganassi Racing ride.(9-11-2008) Comment here
  • Sylania featured on the #15: Paul Menard will race in the Sylvania sponsored race in the Sylvania sponsored #15 Menards Chevy for the second consecutive year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Menard himself uses SYLVANIA SilverStar(R) Ultra headlights off the track.(Co-Pilott PR), see an image of the scheme on my #15 Team Schemes page.(9-11-2008)
  • Letterman’s Top 12 perks of being a NASCAR driver: The 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders took center stage on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on Tuesday night in New York City. Their task: to read off the “Top 12 Perks of Being a NASCAR Driver” on the CBS telecast. In order, here’s what the Chasers had to say: No. 12 — Matt Kenseth: “Crazy gas prices? I don’t care; I’m not payin’.”
    No. 11 — Kevin Harvick: “Bring your helmet to Taco Bell and they’ll fill it up with guacamole, free.”
    No. 10 — Jeff Gordon: “Don’t have to shave your body like Olympic swimmers … although, why not?”
    No. 9 — Greg Biffle: “Hasselhoff promised me one of those talking cars.”
    No. 8 — Tony Stewart: “I use old checkered flags to make fabulous throw pillows.”
    No. 7 — Jeff Burton: “There’s nothing like going through a car wash at 190 miles per hour.”
    No. 6 — Denny Hamlin: “GPS underpants.”
    No. 5 — Clint Bowyer: “Sorry, I forgot my joke — I was thinking about Jessica Alba — man, she’s hot.”
    No. 4 — Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “Run out of olive oil? A little Quaker State will spruce up any salad.”
    No. 3 — Jimmie Johnson: “Traveling to exotic locations like Martinsville, Virginia, and Dover, Delaware.”
    No. 2 — Carl Edwards: “At high school reunions, it’s fun to ask, ‘So what do you do for a living?’ ”
    And the No. 1 perk of being a NASCAR driver — Kyle Busch: “After a race, your ass vibrates for days.”(ESPN.com)(9-11-2008)
  • New Hampshire Rookie Notes: #00-Michael McDowell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the September 7 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. McDowell scored a 20th-place finish, his best in 18 Sprint Cup Series races. He grabbed top rookie honors for the fifth time this season. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by two points (184-182) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 14 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings since the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, a span of nine consecutive races. #10-Patrick Carpentier won his first career pole position at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire this past June. Carpentier is the only freshman driver to win a pole this season in the Sprint Cup Series. Ryan Newman is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the September race at New Hampshire. He held off Kurt Busch when the race was rain shortened to 207 of the scheduled 300 laps. Newman is also the only freshman driver to win the pole for the fall race and the only Raybestos Rookie to win from the pole. He is also the only first-year driver to lead the most laps in the fall event (three times for 143 laps).(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos), see rookie standings, history and more on my 2008 Rookies page.(9-11-2008)


    News from September 10, 2008

  • Congrats: Tim Meyer and his wife Kelly had a new baby boy on 9/8/2008. He weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 20 in long. Tim is the engine tuner for Travis Kvapil’s #28 Ford.(9-10-2008)

    .

  • Papis to run some 2009 Cup races with Germain: Sirius Speedway has learned that GEICO Insurance will team with Italian road course expert Max Papis to run as many as 18 Sprint Cup Series races next season, in Toyotas fielded by Germain Motorsports. GEICO currently sponsors veteran Mike Wallace on the Nationwide Series, but cannot remain in NASCAR’s number two series beyond 2009, due to language in the sanctioning body’s contract with major sponsor, Nationwide. They can, however, move to either the Sprint Cup or Truck ranks. Wallace said recently that he is already looking for a new backer, adding, “We have an indication of what (GEICO is) going to do, (and) for me to continue to race in years to come, I’ve got to go find another sponsor.” A spokesperson for Germain Motorsports declined to comment earlier today.(Sirius Speedway/Motorsports Soapbox)(9-10-2008) Comment here
  • Logano’s Cup debut up in the air UPDATE 3 NO #02, to the #96 NHMS: a Joe Gibbs Racing spokesman said team officials were discussing options for when Joey Logano’s Cup debut would occur and in what vehicle. Hall of Fame Racing, a JGR ally, had previously announced Logano would run that team’s #96 Toyota next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(NASCAR.com)(9-6-2008)
    UPDATE: J.D. Gibbs said Sunday that Joey Logano will race next week in the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. As-yet undecided is whether the 18-year-old phenom will be driving the #02 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota he was scheduled to drive this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, or whether he’ll stick with the #96 Hall of Fame Racing ride he’s supposed to be in. If he does drive for HoF, the #96 will carry Home Depot sponsorship, Gibbs said, although he acknowledged he has not talked to Hall of Fame officials about what the final plan will be. “We’ve still got to work out some more details,” Gibbs said Sunday morning at Richmond International Raceway. “Right now, we want the first race to be in the Home Depot car and we’ve got a few options to figure out, but next week, he will be in the car racing.”(SPEEDtv)(9-8-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Forty-five cars are currently entered for the Sprint Cup Sylvania 300 this weekend, but Joey Logano will be entered in an additional entry since Joe Gibbs Racing has decided to field a fourth car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Logano originally was supposed to drive the #96 Hall of Fame Racing car at New Hampshire. The 18-year-old driver, who takes over JGR’s #20 Cup car next year being vacated by Tony Stewart, was supposed to make his Cup debut last week at Richmond but did not qualify when rain washed out time trials. JGR wanted Logano to make his debut in a Home Depot car and therefore plans to enter the #02 for the New Hampshire race, according to a team spokesman. Ken Schrader will drive the #96 car for Hall of Fame. Other entries for this weekend’s race include Chad McCumbee in the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge in place of Kyle Petty. It is not uncommon for Petty to skip a race at New Hampshire, the site of where his son, Adam, was killed in a crash during Nationwide Series practice in 2000.(SceneDaily)(9-9-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Despite reports putting Joey Logano in the #02 car for Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend, a source with direct knowledge of the situation tells Rowdy that Joey will in fact pilot the #96 car as originally planned this weekend in the Sylvania 300. Home Depot, Logano’s 2009 sponsor, will be the primary sponsor on the car replacing the #96’s usual primary, DLP, which will assume an associate role for the race.(Rowdy.com)
    AND Hall of Fame Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing officials announced Wednesday that Joey Logano will attempt to qualify the #96 Home Depot/DLP HDTV Toyota for this weekend’s Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Ken Schrader, who was listed on the entry list in the #96 Toyota, is scheduled to return to the car for next weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Joe Gibbs Racing has withdrawn the #02 Toyota which had been entered at New Hampshire for Logano. The #96 Toyota will have a Home Depot/DLP HDTV paint scheme similar to the #02 Home Depot Toyota that Joe Gibbs Racing fielded for Logano last week at Richmond. Logano did not race at Richmond as qualifying was cancelled due to rain and the #02 did not have enough owner points to make the 43-car starting field.(HOF Racing PR)(9-10-2008), see the New Hampshire Entry ListComment here
  • Valvoline to sponsor Kvapil at New Hampshire: Yates Racing announced that Valvoline, the leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive products, will sponsor the #28 entry and driver Travis Kvapil for the Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 14th. Valvoline is a technical partner of Yates Racing as well as the primary sponsor on the #28 Ford for Sunday’s race. “We’ve been in the Yates Fords and now we’ll be on the #28 Fusion in a big way,” said Rob Stravitz, vice president for global brands for Valvoline. “We have a history of working with Roush Yates Engines to achieve maximum horsepower and endurance, but this is the first time Valvoline has taken a primary position on a Yates Racing Ford,” said Stravitz. There will be no shortage of cars Sunday running with Valvoline. In addition to the two Yates Racing Ford Fusions of Kvapil and #38-David Gilliland, Valvoline will be in a total of ten other entries [all five Roush cars, all three GEM cars, #21-Elliott and #7-Gordon] for Sunday’s race that also depend on Valvoline.(Yates Racing PR)(9-10-2008) Comment here
  • 100th NSCS Start for Sorenson: #41-Reed Sorenson will be making his 100th NSCS start this weekend in New Hampshire. His first start came in October 2005 at Sorenson’s home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 22-year-old has one pole, five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in NASCAR’s premier series.(CGWFS PR)(9-10-2008)
  • Montoya confident in direction of Ganassi team: He’s lost both of his teammates and his primary sponsor, yet #42-Juan Pablo Montoya remains staunchly committed to car owner Chip Ganassi. So much so, Montoya insists Ganassi is being unfairly critiqued for his struggling NASCAR program. “I think the NASCAR organization has to go through major changes, and that’s the process we are going through right now,” said Montoya, a former Formula One driver who won an Indianapolis 500 driving for Ganassi. “In a way, it’s good because everyone who is here wants to succeed and wants to be here. Chip is working very hard to get us better. Are we there? No. But things are starting to click and there’s a lot of things coming, and when all those things arrive and you put them in place, we’ll be in good shape.” Montoya, who was openly critical of Ganassi earlier this season after a series of crew changes, said his boss has everything under control. “If I wasn’t committed to him, and believed in him, then I wouldn’t be here,” Montoya said. “It’s that simple.”(full story and Q&A at Associated Press/ESPN.com)(9-10-2008) Comment here


    News from September 9, 2008

  • Richmond TV Ratings: ESPN earned a 3.0 household coverage rating and 3,973,812 viewers for its coverage of the rain-delayed Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway Sunday afternoon. The race was originally scheduled to air Saturday night in prime time on ABC but was postponed to Sunday due to the effects of Tropical Storm Hanna. Last year’s race earned a 4.2 rating when it aired on ABC and was one of ABC’s highest-rated Sprint Cup races in 2007. Sunday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond, delayed two days due to Tropical Storm Hanna, earned a 1.0 household coverage rating and 1,431,872 viewers on ESPN2, down from the 1.4 for last year’s race that ran and aired on schedule.(ESPN PR)(9-9-2008) Comment here
  • Crew chief change for Robby? UPDATE: hearing crew chief Walter Giles has left Robby Gordon Motorsports and #7-Robby Gordon. No word on who will be the crew chief or Giles future plans.(9-8-2008)
    UPDATE: hearing Gordon’s new crew chief will be Kirk Almquist, oddly enough..coming from GEM.(9-9-2008) Comment here
  • Race & Commercial Breakdown of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 – Richmond:
    Total number of commercials: 95
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 39
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 8 min. 20 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:53pm/et
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:23pm/et
    Total minutes: 208
    Minutes of race broadcast: 157
    Minutes of commercials: 53
    Number of missed restarts: 1 one restart began while they were still showing a replay of prior action on track
    Number of Sammy Hagar music videos: 1
    Total race brdcst time 157 Total comm. brdcst time 53
    Number of times selected drivers were focused on:
    See more along with link to full report on my 2008 Commercials page.(9-9-2008) Comment here
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame costs to rise 20%: The $163 million NASCAR Hall of Fame project in Charlotte s revving up a revised, higher cost of construction. City staff is expected to tell council tonight that the budget has grown to $195 million, an increase of $32 million, or 20%. Leaders of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will present council a plan to pay for their updated wish list. The additions include upgraded exhibits, additional architectural flourishes and the installation of equipment designed to increase energy efficiency. Those elements are budgeted for $20 million, with the remaining $12 million targeted for the project’s already depleted contingency fund. Tim Newman, chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley plan to outline the changes and additions at the City Council meeting. Jim Schumacher, assistant city manager, serves as the city’s lead liaision on the hall of fame. Public funding, including a new 2% hotel tax and dedicated hospitality taxes, provide much of the funding for the hall of fame. The price tag includes an adjacent convention center ballroom and a 1,000-space parking deck. All of the projects are in Second Ward near the Charlotte Convention Center at 501 S. College Street. Schumacher says the projects are on schedule to open in May 2010. He expects council to approve the request to alter the budget.(Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area)(9-9-2008) Comment here


    News from September 8, 2008

  • Long to attempt to make New Hampshire race: Carl Long will run the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. Long will take the #46 Dodge to the track for the first time since the Sprint All-Star Showdown in May. EM Motorsports’ #08 crew will help Long out during this weekends event at New Hampshire.(Carl-Long.com), Romeo Guest Associates are listed as the sponsor on the New Hampshire Entry List.(9-8-2008) Comment here
  • RGM-GEM Proposed merger may be in jeopardy: #7-Robby Gordon said he still wants to merge with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports, despite a suit just filed against him by Gillett-Evernham. Gordon, who has been using engines supplied by Gillett-Evernham this season, said he expects to have a legal response in the next few days to the lawsuit filed against him by the Ray Evernham-George Gillett operation that claims a breach of contract on a proposed sale of Gordon’s NASCAR operation to Evernham-Gillett. But already there are rumblings in the NASCAR garage over what might be the real story behind the suit: whether Evernham and Gillett don’t really want to do that deal with Gordon any more, perhaps because they have a better proposal, or for some other reason.
    One key part of the entire situation is Gillett’s plan to move his team from its relatively isolated Statesville airport location down much closer to the Charlotte-Concord heart of the sport. Evernham and Gillett haven’t been here to explain the situation from their viewpoint, but Gordon said he still wants to do the deal with them. One key to the proposed $20 million deal apparently is a sale of Gordon’s shop and real estate — some prime racing real estate — to Evernham and Gillett.
    There is increasing speculation that Chip Ganassi — a Dodge team owner like Evernham, Gillett and Gordon — might also be a potential merger partner with Evernham and Gillett. And Ganassi has prime real estate too, right next to the Concord airport. “Unfortunately I guess you’ll have to learn more about all that in our answers to their complaint,” Gordon said. “But we have a deal with them, we have a contract that is still in effect. What they have asked — I wouldn’t say it’s so much against Robby Gordon, but they have asked for release from the contract. But we’ve already done so many things together that I don’t know if that’s possible.” Might Evernham and Gillett want to drop the Gordon deal so they can do a deal with someone else? “Maybe that’s what the case is, but I’m not privy to that information, so I don’t know,” Gordon said.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-8-2008)
  • Speed to test at LMS in 3rd Red Bull car: Red Bull development driver Scott Speed will turn laps in the Sprint Cup Series open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on September 23 – 24. Speed will drive the #82 Red Bull Toyota under the watch of NASCAR officials who will assess his ability to participate in future Cup races. “I’ve really enjoyed testing and working with Red Bull’s Cup team,” said Speed. “They’re a very professional group and they operate at level that’s much closer to what I’m used to, so it’s nice to be a part of that. I like driving the Sprint Cup car too because I can feel the car better and its much more sensitive to my input. I haven’t driven it in traffic yet though, so that will probably be a very different experience!” Speed will test alongside teammates #83-Brian Vickers and #84-AJ Allmendinger. Rumors surfaced that Speed had already been privately testing a Sprint Cup car. We [Red Bull Racing] can confirm – those rumors were true. Speed tested at both Nashville Superspeedway and Kentucky Motor Speedway. During the 2008 season, Speed has been running a full-time ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule under the wing of Eddie Sharp Racing, earning four wins to date. Speed has also been logging seat time in the Craftsman Truck Series with Bill Davis Racing, earning his first Truck win at Dover. Scott Speed on Lowe’s Motor Speedway: “I raced at Lowe’s earlier this year in the Truck Series, so I’m in a good position to test the Sprint Cup car since I’m familiar with the track. The track itself is nice to drive on because the two corners are very different. Lowe’s is a track that has character too. It’s not a cookie cutter track so I enjoy racing on it a bit more than some of the others. It will be good to see where we stack up against everyone else, since there are so many good teams that will also be testing.”(Red Bull Racing PR)(9-8-2008) Comment here
  • Kyle Busch testing at Milwaukee: In preparation for the first race in the Chase at Loudon, NH this weekend, Sprint Cup Series point leader Kyle Busch is testing his #18 M&M’s Toyota today, Monday, September 8 at The Milwaukee Mile. Grandstands are open today, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(Milwaukee Mile PR)(9-8-2008)
  • Johnson testing at Nashville: After his win Sunday afternoon at Richmond, #48-Jimmie Johnson rolled into the Nashville Superspeedwaythis morning [9/8] at 10am for a team test. Johnson will be in Nashville for a one-day test.(Nashville Superspeedway PR), no word if the test is open to the public.(9-8-2008)
  • Kentucky testing Tues-Wed: Three Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to test at the Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday [9/9]: #8-Aric Almirola for DEI and an un-named driver for the R&D Test team of Haas CNC Racing; and on Wednesday [9/10]: the R&D Test team of the #21Wood Brothers Racing team with no driver listed. Fans can watch from the Turn 3 Fan Center at no charge. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(Kentucky Speedway site)(9-8-2008)
  • Red Bull to 3 teams? UPDATE: Jay Frye, who has engineered a solid turnaround at Team Red Bull is back from a post-California trip to the company’s Austrian headquarters, and is reported to be seriously considering moving to the Stewart-Ryan Newman Chevy team next season. According to those close to the situation, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz wants Frye to put former Formula One driver Scott Speed in a full Cup ride next season, though there is still only sponsorship support for two drivers. #83-Brian Vickers and #84-AJ Allmendinger are the team’s Cup drivers, and Frye wants to keep both. If Frye stays, that would likely mean a three-car team.(Winston Salem Journal), word is that Speed will test at LMS in a few weeks in a #82 Toyota and could make his Cup debut there in Oct.(9-6-2008)
    UPDATE: Jay Frye had a “positive meeting” with Red Bull Racing management in Austria, but would not say Sunday whether he’ll remain general manager or leave to run Tony Stewart’s new team. Frye also said the team is not certain AJ Allmendinger will be back in the #84 Toyota next season. “AJ has been a Red Bull athlete for a long time. They are very fond of AJ,” Frye said before Sunday’s race at Richmond International Raceway. “We are going through different scenarios right now and should know something shortly.” Asked if it was possible Allmendinger would not be back, Frye said “Yes, that’s one of the scenarios.” The future of the team has been widely discussed since an ESPN report earlier this week that Stewart had asked Frye to manage Stewart-Haas Racing next season. The report came as Frye was traveling to Austria to discuss the direction of the race team. Among the issues was Allmendinger, who is in the second and final year of his Red Bull contract. He’s shown marked improvement this season under Frye, and the entire Red Bull organization has been considerably better since Frye’s late January arrival.
    Frye would not directly comment on the reported Stewart offer. “I’m very happy where I’m at,” Frye said. “Obviously there is a lot going on in the sport right now, there are a lot of flattering things being said and a lot to think about, but I’m very happy where I’m at.” Toyota Racing Development president Lee White said he was told by Red Bull executives the meeting was positive and Toyota officials are optimistic Frye will remain with the team. Red Bull struggled in its first NASCAR season last year, when team leadership operated with a Formula One mentality. The addition of Frye, a NASCAR veteran who spent 12 years running the team that merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. last year, has put Red Bull on the right track in its second season. Brian Vickers is 15th in the standings, Allmendinger is no longer failing to qualify for races and former F1 driver Scott Speed is quickly adapting to stock cars under Frye’s developmental plan. “I think (Frye leaving) would be a significant challenge for their evolution and improvement as a team,” White said. “We are absolutely thrilled with their progress and that they are fulfilling their possibilities.” Frye said it was his first trip to Austria, where the energy drink maker is based. “The NASCAR program is very important to their business,” he said. “As a company, I wanted to understand where we’re at, what’s in store for the future. There is a lot going on with the company that is really good. We’ve made good progress. It was a very positive meeting. No matter what happens, it is great to have Red Bull part of this sport.”(ESPN/AP)
    AND Jay Frye, whose work this season as general manager for Team Red Bull has helped spark a turnaround, is just back from a trip to Salzburg, Austria, the home of Red Bull. And Frye says he laid out for owner Dietrich Mateschitz all the various team options for 2009 – including possible expansion to a three-car team, or what Frye called “a 2-1/2-car team,” with a new Scott Speed team running a partial Cup schedule as teammate with Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger. But Frye also pointed out that Allmendinger’s contract is up at the end of this year, and Frye said the owner has not been particularly enthusiastic about funding a full three-car operation. “We should know more in the next week,” Frye says.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-8-2008) Comment here

News from September 7, 2008

  • Dodge not to support Truck Series in 2009: The struggles in the U.S. automobile sales market are trickling down to racing, with the latest blow coming to the Truck Series. Dodge will not provide any financial support to any teams in the series in 2009, Dodge Motorsports senior manager Mike Delahanty said. “We’ll have no factory-funded teams,” Delahanty told ESPN.com. Delahanty said the manufacturer’s involvement with the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series is unaffected. See the full story on my Truck Series site.(9-7-2008)
  • Johnson wins at Richmond: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, after the race was delayed a day due to tropical storm Hanna. #48-Johnson won for the 2nd race in a row, 4th win of the season for Johnson and 37th of his career. #20-Stewart finished 2nd [and was not happy he didn’t win], followed by #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #8-Martin, #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #44-Reutimann [ties his career best from last weekend] and #2-Busch. #07-Bowyer finished 12th and beat #9-Kahne [19th] and #6-Ragan [32nd], to grab the final spot in The Chase. There were 22 lead changes among 10 drivers and 14 cautions for 71 caution laps.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Richmond Race Results Awards Page.(9-7-2008)
  • September 16, 2007’s Cup race at New Hampshire was the first time all 43 cars that started a Cup race finished it since NASCAR mandated the 43-car rule in 1998.
    UPDATE: and on September 7, 2008, the Cup race at Richmond was the 2nd race that all 43 cars that started a Cup race finished it since NASCAR mandated the 43-car rule in 1998.(9-7-2008)
  • Race Fast Facts – Richmond: Jimmie Johnson won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, his 37th victory in 245 Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2008.
    This is his third victory and fourth top-10 finish in 14 races at Richmond.
    Tony Stewart (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 20 races at Richmond. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2008.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Richmond.
    Michael McDowell (20th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 207 points over Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-7-2008)
  • UNOFFICAL Chase Drivers Points Standings [after Richmond race 26 of 36]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 5080 [8 wins x 10 bonus pts]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 5050 [6 wins, 5 wins x 10 pts = 50pts*]
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5040 [4 wins]
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5010 [1 win, 2nd, 3rd, 3-4ths]
    5) #07-Clint Bowyer 5010 [1 win, 2nd, 3rd, 4th]
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin 5010 [1 win, 7-3rds]
    7) #31-Jeff Burton 5010 [1 win, 1-3rd]
    8) #20-Tony Stewart 5000 [3-2nds]
    9) #16-Greg Biffle 5000 [2-2nds]
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon 5000 [1-2nd, 3-3rds]
    11) #29-Kevin Harvick 5000 [1-2nd, 1-3rd]
    12) #17-Matt Kenseth 5000 [2-3rds]
    * lost the bonus for win at Las Vegas due to penalty
    • To start the Chase, all 12 drivers have their point totals reset to 5,000.
    • After the reset, Chase drivers get 10 bonus points for each victory thus far this season.
    • Those new totals produce the Chase seedings.
    • For drivers starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seedings are determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Richmond page.(9-7-2008)
  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at New Hampshire:
    #00-McDowell moves into the top 35 and RGordon is out
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    31) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2029 +81
    32) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 2009 +61
    33) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 2001, +53
    34) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1969 +21
    35) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1959 11 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1948, 11 points out of 35th
    37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1942 -17
    38) #10-Carpentier/GEM: 1767 -192
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(9-7-2008)
  • UNOFFICAL Classic Drivers Points Standings [after Richmond race 26 of 36]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 3878 [8 wins]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 3671 -207 [6 wins]
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3576 -302 [4 wins]
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3488 -390 [1 win]
    5) #31-Jeff Burton 3384 -494 [1 win]
    6) #20-Tony Stewart 3285 -593
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick 3283 -595
    8) #16-Greg Biffle 3280 -598
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin 3235 -643 [1 win]
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon 3221 -657
    11) #17-Matt Kenseth 3132 -746
    12) #07-Clint Bowyer 3116 -762 [1 win]
    13) #9-Kasey Kahne 3047 -831 [2 wins]
    14) #6-David Ragan 3039 -3039
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Richmond page.(9-7-2008)
  • Who got a lap back on each caution at Richmond: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: #77-Hornish, 38th
    Caution 2: #44-Reutimann, 9th
    Caution 3: #28-Kvapil, 17th
    Caution 4: #45-Petty, 24th
    Caution 5: #00-McDowell, 20th
    Caution 6: #6-Ragan, 32nd
    Caution 7: #99-Edwards, 13th
    Caution 8: #43-Labonte, 21st
    Caution 9: #10-Carpentier, 25th
    Caution 10: #66-Riggs, 31st
    Caution 11: #96-Schrader, 27th
    Caution 12: #18-Busch, 15th
    Caution 13: #45-Petty (2), 24th
    Caution 14: #66-Riggs (2), 31st
    (9-7-2008)
  • Richmond Penalty Report:
    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
    1 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 37
    2 #7 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 38
    3 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 97
    4 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 104
    5 #70 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 116
    6 #16 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 123
    7 #84 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 164
    8 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 165
    9 #18 Too many crewmembers in contact with pit service area TE 213
    10 #19 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 228
    11 #7 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 228
    12 #18 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 228
    13 #78 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 229
    14 #83 Intentionally causing a caution 2 Laps 296
    15 #83 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 297
    16 #21 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 316
    17 #41 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 360
    18 #15 Removing equipment from assigned pit area TE 371
    19 #96 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 371
    20 #41 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 371
    21 #15 Excessive speed – Exiting pits TE 371
    PT – Pass through
    TE – Tail end of the longest line
    SG – Stop and Go
    OL – One lap
    ND – NASCAR discretion
    MCI – Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-7-2008)
  • Racing Resources Says …
    * Jimmie Johnson won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday. Johnson posted his 37th career victory in his 245th race. Johnson posted his fourth victory of the 2008 season. Johnson also won at Phoenix, Indy and the second California race a week ago. He posted his third victory at Richmond in his 14th start. Johnson has won three of the past four races at Richmond. He finished 30th at RIR in June. Johnson won the race from the third-place starting position and led 32 of the 400 laps raced, including the final nine laps.
    * David Reutimann led 104 laps in the race, the most of the day and the most in his career.
    * Johnson, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards combined have won the past nine races of the season (each has won three).
    * Hendrick Motorsports scored its 10th victory at Richmond. Hendrick posted its fifth victory of the 2008 season.
    * Tony Stewart posted his fourth second-place finish of the season. He has not won a race since Watkins Glen in 2007, 40 races ago.
    * Jeff Gordon (eighth) has gone 31 races without a victory, tying his longest streak between victories.
    * Michael McDowell, who finished 20th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
    * The top 10 consisted of six Chevrolets, three Toyotas and one Dodge. The highest-finishing Ford was Edwards in 13th.
    * All 43 cars were running at the finish, the fifth time in NASCAR history that has occurred.
    * The 2008 Chase is made up of four teams: Hendrick Motorsports with Gordon, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Joe Gibbs Racing with Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Stewart; Roush Fenway Racing with Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Edwards; and Richard Childress Racing with Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton.
    * Kasey Kahne (19th) failed to make the 2008 Chase, finishing 13th in the final points, 69 points behind 12th-place Bowyer.(ESPN)
  • Rain out winners: so far in 2008, there have been six qualifying sessions rained out with the sixth being todays race at Richmond. In the six races run, all six winners have come from the top 10:
    California, February, winner #99-Edwards started 9th, #48-Johnson started 1st finished 2nd
    Bristol, March, #31-Burton 8th, #48-Johnson 18th
    Michigan, June, #88-Earnhardt Jr. 3rd; #18-Busch 13th
    Chicago, July, #18-Busch 1st
    Watkins Glen, August, #18-Busch 1st
    Richmond, September, #48-Johnson 3rd; #18-Busch 15th
    (9-7-2008)
  • Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway, #18-Busch got to choose first since he starts first [quals rained out] and choose the stall #1, #99-Edwards who starts 2nd took stall #17, the next with an opening in front of it and #48-Johnson who starts 3rd, took stall #5. See who took what stakk on my Richmond Pit Stall selections page.(9-7-2008)


    News from September 6, 2008

  • Sorenson to bolt early? Do not be surprised if #41-Reed Sorenson leaves Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates before the year ends. Sources close to the situation say the relationship between the driver and the team owner are, to put it mildly, strained.(Ford Racing), Sorenson recently signed with GEM to run for them in 2009, no word if it would be in the #10 or a 4th car.(9-6-2008)

  • Carpentier to the #21? Len and Eddie Wood may be looking at signing Canadian Patrick Carpentier as their Cup driver next year. Carpentier is apparently out at Ray Evernham’s, and he’s looking for a new ride. “I haven’t talked to anyone and I don’t plan on talking to anyone until I get my cars working better,” Eddie Wood insisted. “But I do like Patrick.”(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2008) Comment here


    News from September 5, 2008

  • GEM sues Robby Gordon: Gillett Evernham Motorsports has filed suit against Robby Gordon saying the owner/driver of Robby Gordon Motorsports violated terms of a tentative agreement that would have sold his team to GEM for $23.5 million earlier this year. The deal, agreed to Jan. 29, was pending an audit and other due diligence from GEM, which could have adjusted the price. If the deal had gone through, Gordon would have had a four-year driving contract with GEM that would have paid him $3 million annually plus 45 percent of race winnings as well as insurance and other provisions customary for NASCAR driver agreements – a package likely worth at least $5 million annually. Gordon also could have had a spot on the team’s board of directors. GEM would have acquired Gordon’s shop and property in Charlotte. As part of the agreement, GEM pledged to provide Gordon with all “racing infrastructure” and to support the Gordon’s car “in substantially the same manner in which GEM supports its most supported car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup” for the 2008 season. Three days after the agreement was signed, GEM and Gordon announced a technical, manufacturing and marketing partnership. At that time, GEM owner George Gillett, in an interview with NASCAR Scene, stated that he did not buy Gordon’s operation and was more likely to add a fourth car to his stable and hoped Gordon would add a second or third car to his.
    “We categorically reject the allegations that are contained in the complaint, and the truth will come out if the case proceeds,” Gordon said in a statement released through his race team. “In the meantime, we think it is best to allow that to happen in the court proceedings rather than in the media. Therefore, although we have much to say, we won’t be making a further statement about it at this time.” GEM spokesman Drew Brown said the team would not comment on the lawsuit. See full story at SceneDaily or my #7 Team News and Links page.(9-4-2008) Comment here

  • Grubb to be Stewart’s Crew Chief in 2009 UPDATE 2: Darien Grubb, engineering manager for Hendrick Motorsports’ #5 and 88 Chevys, is the lead candidate for the crew chief position for Tony Stewart’s #14 Chevy in 2009, sources close to Stewart-Haas Racing told ESPN.com on Saturday. Grubb, those same sources said, has been offered a contract. Stewart-Haas officials declined to comment Saturday. If Grubb ultimately opts to accept Stewart-Haas’ offer, it would add yet another layer to the Hendrick/Stewart-Haas relationship. SHR will run Hendrick chassis and engines — as Haas/CNC Racing currently does — and having an established Hendrick disciple in-house would only increase the crucial line of communication between the two organizations.(ESPN.com)(8-16-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart says he has signed a new crew chief for his Stewart-Haas racing #14 Chevy for next season but could not yet reveal who it is. Answering questions from race fans at Texas Motor Speedway Tuesday night, Stewart told the crowd the deal was done Monday evening. Stewart also says he has a verbal commitment from a sponsor for his second car and driver Ryan Newman, but the deal is not quite ready to be announced.(PRN’s Garagepass)(8-28-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart took a big step Friday toward upgrading the personnel at Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Darian Grubb will move from his role as engineering manager at Hendrick Motorsports to crew chief for #14-Stewart. “This is another key step in the equation of us getting on our feet next year and getting pointed in the right direction,” Stewart said from the infield media center at Richmond International Raceway. “We’ve got a team leader now, somebody I feel very confident and comfortable with.” “It’s a very huge moment for me, everything I’ve looked forward to in my life,” said Grubb, a native of Floyd, Va. “Just to get the opportunity with Tony, the capability he has as a driver and past champion, the future heading forward is very bright.” Stewart has yet to name a crew chief for teammate #39-Ryan Newman. He declined to comment on whether Jay Frye, the general manager at Team Red Bull, would be coming to his team in a similar role. “When we have something to tell you, we’ll tell you,” he said.(ESPN.com)(9-5-2008) Comment here
  • Richmond races postponed until Sunday: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway has been postponed from Saturday night Sunday, September 7th at 1pm/et. The race will be televised on ESPN. The Nationwide Series race, scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed to 6:30pm/et on Sunday, September 7th.(9-5-2008)
  • Qualifying at Richmond cancelled: qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway was canceled and the field set by the rules book/owners points/race attempts, See the starting lineup on my Richmond Starting Grid/Qualifying page. #34-Raines, #09-Marlin and #02-Logano will miss the race. #18-Kyle Busch will start 1st with #99-Edwards 2nd.(9-5-2008)
  • Latest Statement from Richmond International Raceway about postponed races: Due to inclement weather from Tropical Storm Hanna, NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway officials have announced all weekend activities, including tonight’s Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race, as well as tomorrow night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race have been postponed to Sunday. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled to start at 1:00pm/et. Sunday. The Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will follow the Sprint Cup Series race at 7:00pm/et.
    All Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race tickets will be honored at the gate Sunday for the 1:00pm Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
    All Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race tickets will be honored at the gate Sunday for the 7:00pm Emerson Radio 250.
    Track parking lots will open at 7:00am/et Sunday. The track credential office, NASCAR registration, media center and press box all will open at 7:30am/et. The Sprint Cup Series garage will open at 8:00am/et.
    Sprint Cup Series Hospitality, Suites, Pit Stop Club and Green Flag Zone will open at 8:00am. Sprint Cup Series TORQUE Club guests will also enter at 8:00am. Grandstand gates for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race will open at 10:00am. Sprint Cup Series Pre-Race pit pass access is from 8:00 – 11:45am/et.
    The Nationwide Series garage will open at 3:00pm/et. Nationwide Series TORQUE Club and Suite guests will enter at 5:00pm. Grandstand gates for the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will open at 6:00pm.
    The Three Days Grace concert is tentatively scheduled to run from 11:15 a.m. – Noon on the frontstretch on Sunday. Fans can obtain passes to view the concert from the track at the Chevy Fan Fest display on the Midway.
    The Richmond International Raceway ticket office will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00pm/et Saturday. Tickets for both races can also be purchased at the main ticket office, Gate 40, Gate 80 and on the Commonwealth Mall, at the will call building, on Sunday. Sprint Cup Series tickets start at $80 and Nationwide Series tickets start at $40. Tickets for both races can also be purchased online by clicking here. More info about Park and Ride, Parking and more can be found at rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-5-2008)

  • Hunt Brothers Pizza to Participate in Chevy Rock and Roll 400 The #70 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet will make its next appearance at the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Speedway Saturday, September 6. Johnny Sauter will steer the Hunt Brothers Chevy under the bright lights of “America’s Premier Short Track.” Hunt Brothers Pizza will serve as a secondary sponsor on the #66 car driven by Scott Riggs at Richmond as well. “The Hunt Brothers car has made some very positive finishes this season during the first year of our NASCAR sponsorship,” said Scott Hunt, executive of Hunt Brothers Pizza. “We look forward to improving our standing for the remainder of the season and sharing our brand with the millions of faithful NASCAR fans next year as well.” To celebrate their NASCAR partnership, Hunt Brothers is sponsoring a Free Fill-Up Sweepstakes. Through October 27, 2008, visitors to www.freegasfreepizza.com will have the opportunity to sign up for a chance to win free gas and free pizza for a year.(PR), see images of the #70 and #66 Hunt Brothers Pizza car on my #70 Team Schemes pageand #66 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2008)

  • Tire ‘check’ done at Dover UPDATE: #43-Bobby Labonte and #8-Mark Martin were the drivers who were drafted by Goodyear to perform what they both called “a tire check” for the company at Dover International Speedway on Wednesday [9/3]. Labonte and Martin each took to Dover’s high-banked, one-mile oval throughout the day in single-car runs, trying to ensure that Goodyear chooses the best tire compound for the Camping World RV 400 presented by AAA that will be held at the “Monster Mile” on Sept. 21. “It’s just about tires. Goodyear’s brought two different compounds of tires for us to test,” said Labonte. “The tire test sometimes consists of trying different compounds and constructions, but this is more of a ‘tire check’ just to make sure everything’s OK with the tire.” It is standard operating procedure for Goodyear to conduct a tire test at virtually every race track in preparation for a Sprint Cup race. “Goodyear does the picking [of drivers] and they do a lot of testing, so obviously they don’t have me and Mark [Martin] do all of the testing,” Labonte said. “They kind of pick and choose with these guys here and these guys there.” And since Dover is one of the races involved in the Chase, it was no coincidence that none of the championship contenders were asked to participate. “They’ve spread [testing] around a lot this year,” Martin said. “I think when you’re getting right on top of the Chase that they try not to choose Chase guys because that might give them an advantage or something.”(Delaware News Journal)(9-4-2008)
    UPDATE: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company tested at Dover International Speedway this past Wednesday and confirmed a new right-side tire for when Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars race at the “Monster Mile” on September 19-21. Participating in the test at Dover were Bobby Labonte in the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge and Mark Martin in the #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy. “We made three long runs on each car during the heat of the afternoon, and were very happy with the results,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales. “Our goal was to provide a slight increase in grip without negatively impacting tire temperatures or wear, and we feel like we accomplished just that.” The new right-side code (D-4186) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4134) that was successfully raced at Dover earlier this spring. Goodyear is in the midst of a busy testing schedule, starting with last week’s visit to Kansas Speedway and this week’s stop at Dover. In the coming weeks, Goodyear will hold confirmation tests at both Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 16) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 14), and conduct two large scale tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8).(Goodyear PR)(9-5-2008) Comment here

  • Logano to attempt to make Cup debut at RIR: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at will mark #02-Joey Logano’s first career Sprint Cup Series start if he makes the field during qualifying Friday evening at Richmond International Raceway. This is a relatively new race car that has been tested by Logano, most recently last month at New Smyrna Speedway. In addition to Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400, Logano will attempt to qualify for one other Sprint Cup race in 2008 for Joe Gibbs Racing – the Oct. 26 event at Atlanta Motor Speedway nearby The Home Depot’s headquarters in Atlanta. Logano will pilot the #96 Toyota for Hall of Fame Racing in five Sprint Cup races in 2008, beginning with the Sept. 14 New Hampshire race. Logano will also drive the #96 machine at Kansas, Charlotte, Martinsville, and Texas.· Logano will make his 12th career Nationwide Series start in Friday night’s Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond. In 11 Nationwide Series starts thus far this season, Logano has notched one win, three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Logano will have Wally Brown as his crew chief in both races with the #02 Home Depot Toyota.(JGR PR), see a few images of the #02 Home Depot Toyota that Logano will run on my #02 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2008)
  • The one and only practice for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over, the fastest:
    #24-Gordon 121.534
    #6-Ragan 121.529
    #42-Montoya 121.419
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 121.327
    #8-Martin 121.294
    slowest: #77-Hornish 119.011 and #21-Elliott 118.634
    incident: #16-Biffle smacked the wall with the right rear and did slight damage to the car
    See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Richmond Practice Speeds page.(9-5-2008)
  • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Richmond:
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #02-Joey Logano, 10th
    #96-Ken Schrader, 25th
    #21-Bill Elliott, 32nd
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 34th
    #34-Tony Raines, 35th
    #00-Micheal McDowell, 36th
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 37th
    #09-Sterling Marlin, 38th
    if things stay the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #45-Kyle Petty, 39th
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 44th
    #77-Sam Hornish Jr., 45th
    See speeds, laps run, average speeds on my Richmond Practice Speeds page.(9-5-2008)
  • Richmond Tire Notes: Teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Richmond this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought for teams in these two series to run at Richmond earlier this season . . . with this being Goodyear’s intermediate/flat track set-up, major NASCAR teams have a lot of experience on these tire codes . . . in addition to Richmond, teams in NASCAR’s top-three series will run this specific tire set-up at Phoenix, New Hampshire, Gateway, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Memphis and Milwaukee this season . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one-mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. The estimated pit window is every 100-110 laps, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear PR), see more notes, pressures on my Richmond Race Info page.(9-5-2008)

  • Chase Stats going into RIR: 7-Kevin Harvick +160 and 8-Tony Stewart +138 are in great shape, 9-Matt Kenseth +109, 10-Jeff Gordon +102, and 11-Denny Hamlin +93 are in pretty good shape, and 12-Clint Bowyer +17 will have a long week. Bowyer’s 10th place at California gained him 5 points on 13th place David Ragan (who finished 13th but led a lap), but he lost 8 points to 14th place Kasey Kahne (who finished 8th). Last year was the first year that a driver didn’t drop out of The Chase at Richmond.
    2004-Jeremy Mayfield roared back from 14th place and 55 points out to unseat 9th place Kasey Kahne with a dramatic win vs. Kahne’s 24th place finish.
    2005-Ryan Newman entered Richmond one single point off Jamie McMurray in 10th place. Newman managed a 12th place finish while McMurray bowed out with a 40th.
    2006-Kasey Kahne went to Richmond 30 points out of 10th place Jeff Burton and 75 points out of 8th place Tony Stewart. Kahne stormed to a 3rd place finish, Burton registered a 9th, but Stewart saved Burton by falling to an 18th and missed the Chase.
    2007-13th place Dale Earnhardt Jr. rolled into Richmond 128 points out of 12th place Kevin Harvick and 141 points out of 11th place Kurt Busch. There was no drama to be found that night as Dale Jr. limped to a 30th place finish, Harvick was 7th and Busch was 9th.
    Clint Bowyer can land in his second straight Chase by repeating his May win at RIR. David Ragan finished 3rd in the September race last year and Kasey Kahne won the spring race in 2005 and got a 3rd in the fall race in 2006.
    CLINCH SCENARIOS[a little different then what NASCAR has below]
    (need a 196 point advantage over 13th place going into Richmond)
    1—Kyle Busch, +783, clinched at Michigan
    2—Carl Edwards, +575, clinched at Bristol
    3—Jimmie Johnson, +414, clinched at California
    4—Dale Jr,, +351, clinched at California
    5—Jeff Burton, +262, clinched at California
    6—Greg Biffle, +187, only needs to start Richmond
    7—Kevin Harvick, +160, needs to finish 42nd
    8—Tony Stewart, +138, needs to finish 35th
    9—Matt Kenseth, +109, needs to finish 25th
    10—Jeff Gordon, +102, needs to finish 23rd
    11—Denny Hamlin, +93, needs to finish 20th
    12—Clint Bowyer, +17, needs to win [or finish ahead of Kahne & Ragan]
    See more on my Chase Stats after California page.(9-5-2008)


    News from September 4, 2008

  • NASCAR agrees to purchase Grand-Am Series: NASCAR Holdings today announced an agreement to acquire the Grand-American Road Racing Association. The future move will allow for resource sharing between Grand-Am and NASCAR while both organizations continue to operate independently. NASCAR Holdings is the legal operating entity that includes the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and many of its subsidiaries. Grand-Am and NASCAR will combine marketing and communications efforts to include brand management, research, marketing and public relations. Grand-Am consists of six racing series, including the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, which has millions of loyal fans. The two racing brands will continue to independently sanction and officiate race events for their own series and there will be no change in management. Roger Edmondson will continue to serve as president of Grand-Am. The Grand-American Road Racing Association was established in 1999 and is based here.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-4-2008) Comment here

  • Bono back for Truex Jr.: As the Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway for Saturday’s Chevy Rock and Roll 400, #1-Martin Truex Jr. has another reason to be excited: the return of crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and car chief Gary Putnam. Manion and Putnam had been serving six-race suspensions due to infractions found on the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy at Daytona in July. “It’s going to be great having Bono and Gary back,” continued Truex. “We’ve really missed not having them at the track and I know that they’ve hated not being there. Those guys are an important part of the team, and not having them at the track each weekend has been tough. The guys on the team fought through it as best they could, but that’s asking a lot of them.” Mike Greci served as interim crew chief during the suspensions, and Truex thanked him for his efforts. “Mike did a great job under tough circumstances,” Truex said. “He went from leading our Camping World East Series efforts to working on Cup cars. Those are two different deals. He worked hard and kept us focused. I can’t thank him enough.”(DEI PR)(9-4-2008) Comment here

  • McDowell Returns to the #00 at RIR: Michael McDowell returns to his #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) after stepping out for three consecutive races for Mike Skinner to evaluate the Michael Waltrip Racing organization. “I learned a lot of positives from Mike Skinner,” McDowell said. “Mike gave me confidence that my feel for the car is correct, so now I need to utilize my practice better. It is important for me to chase a feel and not the board. Mike does that really well it doesn’t matter if he is running 40th, 25th or 20th. He’s still chasing what ultimately he thinks is going to race well. As a young guy and a rookie, you are always trying to prove yourself and how you do that is being up on the board. Sometimes I found myself just trying to put up a solid lap rather than what I needed to run 400 to 500 miles. It’s a balance. You compare yourself to your teammates and you compare yourself to the rookies and the other guys at your level and you are trying to be the best of that group.” McDowell has a new outlook reentering the .75-mile D-shaped oval thanks in part to Skinner and will apply the knowledge he gained from observing practices and races from the spotter’s stand and listening to his team’s communication while absent from the #00 Toyota.(MWR PR)(9-4-2008) Comment here
  • Richmond Rookie Notes: #10-Patrick Carpentier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the August 31 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Carpentier took top rookie honors for the fifth time this season. #01-Regan Smith leads #77-Sam Hornish Jr. by one point (182-81) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the September 6 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Smith has led the Raybestos Rookie standings since the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, a span of eight consecutive races. Smith has captured Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in all four Sprint Cup Series short track races this season. The only Raybestos Rookie to win the September race at Richmond is Tony Stewart, who captured the 1999 Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Stewart scored his first Sprint Cup Series win by 1.115 seconds over Bobby Labonte. Denny Hamlin won the pole for the 2006 September race, one of three poles he won during his initial Sprint Cup Series season. He became the fourth Raybestos Rookie since 1975 to win the pole for the fall race at Richmond. The others: Dale Earnhardt (1979), Bobby Labonte (1993) and Jimmie Johnson (2002) are the others [all past series champs].(Camp & Assoc/Raybestos) and see rookie history, standings and more on my 2008 Rookies Page.(9-4-2008) Comment here

  • Berlin City returns to sponsor the #10 at NHMS: Berlin City Auto Group – serving consumer automotive needs in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – will sponsor Patrick Carpentier’s #10 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge at the Sept. 14 Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Carpentier drove the Berlin City Dodge to the pole position at the Loudon, N.H. track in June becoming only the second Canadian to win a Sprint Cup pole. The Berlin City Auto Group, with dealerships throughout New England, specializes in the sales, service and parts for eighteen automotive manufacturers and pre-owned vehicles. The Berlin City Auto Group ensures their excellence in customer service with their Over the Top Care by Down to Earth People.(GEM PR)(9-4-2008)
  • Target Donates to Hurricane Relief: Target is donating more than $300,000 in product for relief packages to support Hurricane Gustav relief assistance efforts, in partnership with the Red Cross. Target is donating product for a total of 40,000 relief packages, 40,000 emergency food packs, and an additional 10,000 comfort kits and emergency food packs. Target is also providing additional critical support to this effort by offering The Salvation Army a vacant Target store in Texas to stock relief product and providing the American Red Cross use of the parking lot in the Covington, L.a., Target store for their Central Command Center.(CGWFS PR)(9-4-2008)
  • Kyle Busch Tops Tony Schumacher In Battle of Top Guns at zMAX Dragway: Kyle Busch and Tony Schumacher, the top drivers this season from NASCAR and the NHRA, dueled Tuesday at zMAX Dragway @ Concord to promote the upcoming playoff events at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. In the coming weeks, the legendary motorsports complex will become the world’s first to host both the NHRA Countdown to One with the Sept. 11-14 NHRA Nationals and the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 11. Racing identically prepared Toyota Camry pace cars, Busch and Schumacher matched up for a best two-out-of-three on the concrete quarter-mile dragway. The only advice that the five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Schumacher gave his opponent was, “Don’t wait to leave on green.” Apparently, that advice was more than enough, as “Rowdy” Busch beat “The Sarge” Schumacher off the line and onto victory to go up 1-0. Schumacher, ready for revenge, was a little too anxious at the start of the second race, red-lighting to give Busch the win by default. But a last minute amendment to the rules by Lowe’s Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith, gave the competitors one more race, winner take all. Busch used a .102-second reaction time to again beat Schumacher off the line and onto victory with the best pass of the day, a 14.544 elapsed time and top speed of 97.33 mph. Afterward, Busch celebrated by honking the horn and feigning a bow out the side of the car window. Despite the loss, Schumacher was all smiles, joking that after only three races, “I already don’t like him.”(LMS PR)(9-4-2008) Comment here


    News from September 3, 2008

  • Stremme named 2009 #12 Driver: Penske Racing today announced that David Stremme, 31, will pilot the #12 Alltel Dodge for the 2009 Cup Series season. Stremme is currently ranked 12th in the 2008 Nationwide Series driver points standings after starting 24 of 27 races. Driving for Penske Racing alumnus Rusty Wallace, Stremme has posted five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. In April 2008, Stremme was announced as an official Penske Racing test driver and has accelerated the understanding of the new Cup Series Dodge that made its full-season debut in 2008. “We’re pleased to have David join Penske Racing as the driver of the #12 Alltel Dodge,” said Roger Penske. “His past accomplishments and current experience as our NASCAR test driver, as well as his character and desire for success, make him a good fit into our culture.” Alltel has been a longtime partner of Penske Racing, and the near-decade association between the two organizations has produced impressive results with 23 victories and 55 pole positions in Cup, Nationwide and ARCA. Stremme is only the second driver in Penske Racing history to wear the Alltel blue-and-white. “Alltel is proud to welcome David into our ‘Circle’ and have him behind the wheel of the #12 Alltel Dodge in 2009,” said Frank O’Mara, chief marketing officer, Alltel Wireless. “We look forward to having him serve as an ambassador for Alltel both on and off the track.”
    “It’s an honor to join Penske Racing as the driver of the #12 Alltel Dodge,” said Stremme. “To be a part of Penske Racing’s 40-plus-year legacy has been a longtime dream of mine. I cannot wait to join my new teammates and work to get the #12 into the 2009 Chase.”(Penske Racing PR)(9-3-2008) Comment here
  • Sad News – Ed Justice Sr.: Ed Justice Sr., the last of the three famous brothers whose stickers rode on winning race cars around the world and whose automotive lubricants and additives rode inside many a winning race engine and transmission, died Sunday, Aug. 31, from kidney failure. He was 87. Ed and his brothers, Zeke and Gus, had always been in business together, starting with a bicycle-rental company they formed while the three were teenagers in Paola, Kan. A friendship with an Amoco gas station owner named Bill France lead to their participation in the founding of a new sanctioning body named NASCAR. Their sponsorship decals were on many of the first NASCAR entries. The 1950 Darlington race saw the first “Justice Brothers” crew shirts, another innovation. That same year one of their sponsored cars–a Kurtis Kraft–won the Indy 500 with Johnnie Parsons driving. Race teams around the world continue to use their products. Last year, Justice Brothers decals rode on winning entries in Le Mans, Baja, NHRA, NASCAR, IRL and CART. Among others, Ed is survived by his son, Ed Jr. Justice Brothers today makes more than 100 products. You can read about the company and its history at www.justicebrothers.com. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, in Sky Rose Chapel at Rose Hills cemetery in Whittier, Calif.(Autoweek)(9-3-2008)
  • Making The Chase: Berths In NASCAR’s Playoffs Will Shake Out At Richmond
    Seven spots remain up for grabs in the Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup. Two Chase berths will be clinched once the green flag flies at Richmond. Both #16-Greg Biffle and #29-Kevin Harvick need only to start the Richmond race to clinch a Chase berth. So, realistically, five spots remain. While listing every clinch scenario would fill up uncountable pages (and hours), the below scenarios are the simplest. The following are the clinch scenarios that would lock up Chase spots for #20-Tony Stewart, #17-Matt Kenseth, #24-Jeff Gordon and #11-Denny Hamlin regardless of how any other driver finished (assuming there are no ties for most laps led at Richmond):
    Tony Stewart
    * Finish 36th
    * Finish 37th and lead at least one lap
    * Finish 40th and lead the most laps
    Matt Kenseth
    * Finish 26th
    * Finish 28th and lead at least one lap
    * Finish 30th and lead the most laps
    Jeff Gordon
    * Finish 24th
    * Finish 25th and lead at least one lap
    * Finish 28th and lead the most laps
    Denny Hamlin
    * Finish 21st
    * Finish 22nd and lead at least one lap
    * Finish 25th and lead the most laps
    After that, the points get tighter and the scenarios that much more intriguing. #07-Clint Bowyer is 12th, 17 points ahead of David Ragan and 48 points ahead of #9-Kasey Kahne. There are a number of different scenarios that could play out that would give Bowyer a Chase spot, but simply put: Bowyer can clinch a spot by either winning or finishing second and leading the most laps or third and leading the most laps.
    Ragan is in a similar clinching position. Regardless of other drivers’ finishes, Ragan clinches if he wins and leads the most laps. Other clinching scenarios – involving certain finishes by both Bowyer and Kahne – also exist for Ragan. Kahne’s road is bumpier. At Richmond, he needs to finish 48 points ahead of Bowyer and 31 points ahead of Ragan to clinch a spot.(NASCAR) and see more on my Chase Stats Page.(9-3-2008)

  • Calif TV Ratings down: ESPN’s ratings for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., were down from the same races a year ago. Sunday night’s Sprint Cup event earned a 3.9 household coverage rating with 5,637,651 viewers, down from last year’s 4.3 rating with 6,379,941 viewers. The race was the sixth and final event of the season to air on ESPN. For its six races, ESPN averaged a 4.12, down seven percent from last year’s 4.41 average for five races. The final 11 races of the 2008 season are scheduled to air on ABC while produced by ESPN. Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race earned a 1.1 household coverage rating and 1,433,645 viewers on ESPN2, down from last year’s 1.3 rating with 1,737,379.(ESPN), for TV Ratings by race, see my 2008 TV Ratings page.(9-3-2008)
  • Sad News – Mike Silver: Michael David Silver, 58, of 16 Salem Acres passed away Sunday, August 31, 2008. A lifelong resident of Buncombe County. He was Owner & Operator of Craggy Motors, was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Weaverville [NC] and former member of Newbridge Baptist Church, a 1968 graduate of Erwin High School, attended Montreat-Anderson College and was a Vietnam Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Surviving are his wife, Karen Elaine Rice Silver, of the home; son, Andrew Michael “Andy” Silver [Ganassi Racing] of Mooresville; daughter, Katie Marie Silver Hensley & husband, Michael of Candler; mother, Earline Arrowood Silver Ingle & husband, Bill of Asheville; mother-in-law, Lois Sawyer Rice of Asheville; brothers, Ronnie Silver [former Busch Series driver] & wife, Gracie and Terry Silver all of Asheville; brothers-in-law, Bryan Rice & wife, Margo of Asheville and Blix Rice and wife, April of Easley, SC; several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church of Weaverville. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Chuch of Weaverville (Missions), P.O. Box 247, Weaverville, N.C. 28787. See more at andersrice.com.(9-3-2008)

  • Franchitti back to the IRL in 2009: Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced they will be adding former IndyCar Series and Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti as a teammate of the 2008 Indy 500 winner and current points leader Scott Dixon, as the driver of the #10 Target Honda. In addition, Chip Ganassi Racing and Target announced the details of their joint plans to take their partnership into its 20th season and beyond. Chip Ganassi, Team Owner: “It is going to be very exciting to have Dario in one of our IndyCars next year. I have always admired his competitive spirit when he raced against us and have really grown to see more of what he is about this season while he raced in NASCAR. When there was a possibility of an opening on our IndyCar team, the only person I thought about was Dario. This is going to be a great move for Dario and for our team. There is little in my racing career that I am more proud of than my team’s partnership with Target. We will be entering our 20th year with Target in 2009 and we could not be happier.” Gregg Steinhafel, CEO, Target:“We are excited about our relationship with Ganassi in both their IndyCar and along with Felix Sabates in their NASCAR operations, and we look forward to celebrating our 20th year with the team in 2009. This program has had tremendous success over the years, and we look forward to even more success in the years to come.”
    Dario Franchitti, Driver #10 Target Honda Dallara: “Part of the reason that I signed with Ganassi last year was because of how many options that Chip has at his disposal for a driver. You can do almost any form of racing that you want. With unification and the new schedule having more road and street courses it made me think about this more and more. I have really enjoyed this last season in stockcars and have not completely closed that chapter of my professional career but the opportunity that arose was just something I could not pass up. I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one of those Target cars and be a teammate to Scott Dixon. Target is a tremendous sponsor and they and Chip always give you everything you need to win.”(Chip Ganassi Racing PR), so Franchitti will NOT be back in the Sprint Cup car full time in 2009 and he will not run any more Nationwide races in 2008 with Bryan Clauson taking over the #40 ride in the NNS.(9-2-2008)
    UPDATE: Dario Franchitti will step aside the remainder of his 2008 Nationwide races to provide more developmental seat time for Bryan Clauson. Therefore, Clauson will pick up the majority of the remaining races on the 2008 NNS schedule, piloting the #40 Fastenal Dodge.(CGWFS PR)(9-3-2008) Comment here

  • Humpy to be honored: H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler will be honored at Carolina Speedway on Friday Night September 5th as the inaugural inductee into the Carolina Speedway hall of fame. The Belmont, NC native will be the guest of honor during the inaugural ‘Hall of Fame 50’ event.. The 50 lap Carolina Clash Super Late Model feature will pay $5,000 to win. “I promoted there in 1963 with R.P. Harrison Jr, who built it,” said Humpy Wheeler. “I had to do just about everything, write press releases, prepare the track, get the change, deal with drivers and fans, park cars, whatever it took.I would give nothing for all that.” The event will be the third round of the Carolina Clash ‘Countdown to the Cup Championship Series’. This will be the first of an annual Hall of Fame race that will induct one individual each season. A special garden is being constructed in front of the main grandstand entrance to honor the select few. “I am elated at being the inaugural inductee, said Wheeler. “It is a great honor and privilege for me.” The gates will be open at 5:00pm/et with racing at 8:00pm/et. To learn more about Carolina Speedway and the inaugural ‘Hall of Fame 50’ visit www.carolinaspeedway.net.(9-3-2008)

  • Robby to visit military base, run special scheme at RIR UPDATE:Robby Gordon will visit soldiers assigned to the Warrior in Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Lee, VA on behalf of Operation Homefront Thursday, September 4. The visit coincides with Jim Beam’s efforts to help increase awareness of Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance and morale to U.S. troops and their families. Additionally, the #7 Jim Beam Dodge will sport a special red, white and blue paint scheme featuring Operation Homefront under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. Jim Beam formed an association with Operation Homefront earlier this year when it recognized the organization had the same commitment and values as the Jim Beam brand – true character, integrity and doing the right thing. Gordon will arrive at Fort Lee, Thursday, September 4 at 1:15pm and will begin signing autographs at 1:30pm. The visit to the Warriors in Transition Unit will take place at 2:30pm.(Jim Beam Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(8-26-2008)
    UPDATE: #7-Robby Gordon, will visit soldiers assigned to the Warrior in Transition Unit (WTU) at Fort Lee, Va. on Thursday [Sept 4], on behalf of Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance and morale to U.S. troops and their families. Gordon will also make a brief stop at the PX to sign autographs. Rusty Wallace, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and host of the nationally syndicated television program NASCAR Angels, will join Gordon on-site to salute U.S. Army SPC Joshua Grant of Chesapeake, Virginia with a car make-over. SPC Grant was wounded while serving his country in Iraq and is receiving treatment at Fort Lee while continuing his military duties. In its third season, NASCAR Angels focuses on how the racing and automotive care communities can help deserving individuals in need of a transportation fix.(NASCAR PR)(9-3-2008)

  • More testing at Milwaukee UPDATE: Three Sprint Cup Series teams are testing, Tuesday, September 2 at The Milwaukee Mile. On track until 5pm are Penske Racing with driver David Stremme, Hendrick Motorsports with Casey Mears and Ganassi Racing with Juan Pablo Montoya. Grandstands are open, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(The Milwaukee Mile)(9-2-2008)

    UPDATE: The Sprint Cup Series teams of Penske Racing with David Stremme and Ganassi Racing with Juan Pablo Montoya are testing today, Wednesday, September 3, at The Milwaukee Mile. Grandstands are open, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(PR)(9-3-2008)

  • #07 injured list: After undergoing back surgery three weeks ago, Barry Sheppard, transporter driver for RCR’s #07 Jack Daniel’s team of Clint Bowyer, is recovering at home in Stuart, Va. Sheppard is hoping to be back to work when the Sprint Cup Series visits Kansas Speedway at the end of the month. Clint “Ratto” Almquist is on the injured reserve list after suffering ligament damage to his right shoulder in a mountain bike accident last week. Almquist, a mechanic and catch can man for the #07 team, won’t be at the track this weekend. Chad Haney, Bowyer’s car chief and catch can man in the Nationwide Series, will fill Almquist’s role on pit road.(RCR PR)(9-3-2008)

  • Kurt Busch visits NHRA race: #2-Kurt Busch made his first visit to an NHRA event, the US Nationals in Indianapolis, the day after competing in the Pepsi 500 at California Speedway. Attending as a guest of Don Prudhomme, Busch quickly realized how monumental the moment was in his life. “I was walking with (Don) and I said ‘stop for a second. This reminds me of the time that I walked with Roger (Penske) on the grid for the Indianapolis 500.’ He laughed. He giggled at that.” Operating on four hours of sleep, Busch was wide awake to the sights and sounds of an NHRA event. “It’s just a whole different world. I love it. I knew it would be about like this but, I had no idea the sound and intensity and thrill that goes through your body on the start finish line.”(competitionplus.com)(9-3-2008)


    News from September 2, 2008

  • AT&T Looking at ways to continue marketing to NASCAR fans: AT&T won’t be able to sponsor the #31 Sprint Cup car of Jeff Burton next year, but that doesn’t mean it will be nowhere to be seen around NASCAR tracks. The company is still weighing its options on how to market to NASCAR fans without having its logos on a car. “Obviously having to step away from the Cup Series, we’ve been approached by every other racing circuit out there – teams, drivers, racing leagues,” said Tim McGhee, AT&T director of national sponsorships. “We’re evaluating all of our opportunities right now.” AT&T has spent significant money on advertising as well as sponsoring segments on the Sprint Cup telecasts. “We can’t do anything at the track, but we’re going through our 2009 media planning, and we did a significant media buy on Fox, TNT, ABC, ESPN [this year],” McGhee said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we retained a presence on the broadcast because it does deliver a very desirable audience to us.”(SceneDaily.com)(9-2-2008) Comment here

  • Announcement of new drug policy imminent: NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday that the sanctioning body would announce an expansion to its drug-testing policy “shortly — in a couple weeks.” NASCAR currently tests drivers for “reasonable suspicion” and imposes some of the harshest penalties for failed drug tests in professional sports. France said the expansion of the policy will deal with the testing end of the equation but stopped short of saying NASCAR would incorporate random testing.(NASCAR.com)(9-2-2008) Comment here

  • Roush Fenway’s Ragan in running for UPS sponsorship: UPDATE: done deal? UPS was linked to Roush Fenway Racing three months ago when the organization was looking for sponsorship for Carl Edwards. Aflac ended up sponsoring Edwards, but Roush Fenway Racing still might land UPS as the organization still needs a sponsor for David Ragan. Talks with UPS are continuing as UPS has not committed to a team in 2009, Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith confirmed. Michael Waltrip Racing is not expected to retain UPS, and Roush Fenway needs a sponsor to replace AAA for Ragan. “We are a candidate,” Smith said in an email. “We don’t know at this time whether or not we will win. … Of course it would be fantastic to be associated with UPS.” UPS has been linked to several drivers and organizations. Gillett Evernham Motorsports still needs a sponsor for its # 10 car and has not committed yet to current driver Patrick Carpentier. Stewart-Haas Racing still needs a sponsor for Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Inc. still needs sponsorship for its # 01 car, driven this year by Regan Smtih. Yates Racing still needs sponsors for its drivers as well.(SceneDaily.com)(8-16-2008)
    UPDATE: UPS has reportedly reached to a multiyear agreement with Roush-Fenway Racing to sponsor David Ragan and the #6 Ford next season, with an official announcement expected within the next two weeks. UPS will leave Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the 2008 campaign, after backing Dale Jarrett and David Reutimann for the last two years. Ragan is in his second year of Sprint Cup competition, and ranks as one of NASCAR’s most improved drivers.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-2-2008) Comment here
  • NASCAR Prodigy Joey Logano on E:60 TONIGHT The next edition of ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine E:60 on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7:00pm/et, will feature a round-the-clock look at 18-year-old NASCAR prodigy Joey Logano – at the track, in the pits, on his boat, at home and at play. Starting in quarter-midget cars at age 6, Logano has been ahead of the competition for 12 years. Logano drives in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, where earlier this year he became the youngest winner ever in the series, taking a checkered flag just three weeks after his 18th birthday. Next year holds a bigger challenge for Logano as he will replace Tony Stewart in the Joe Gibb Racing #20 Home Depot Toyota on the Sprint Cup level. Still, Logano is a kid at heart. E:60 correspondent Tom Farrey spent time recently with Logano for an up-close profile of the young driver many in NASCAR call “Sliced Bread.”(ESPN PR)(9-2-2008)


    News from September 1, 2008

  • Jay Frye offered position at Stewart Haas: Longtime Sprint Cup Series team executive Jay Frye [currently with Red Bull Racing] has been offered a contract by Stewart Haas Racing, and is mulling a departure from Team Red Bull before season’s end to accept a management position at SHR, ESPN.com has learned. Sources close to Stewart Haas confirmed Monday that Frye is the man they’ve targeted to run the organization’s day-to-day operations. He is expected to accept, sources said, and would be titled vice president/general manager.(ESPN.com)(9-1-2008) Comment here

  • Hurricane altering hauler routes home: As Hurricane Gustav bellows closer to the Gulf Coast, forcing millions from their homes, NASCAR hauler drivers are looking for higher and dryer roads to get them back to North Carolina on Monday. National weather forecasters upgraded the hurricane watch to a warning for an area of more than 500 miles, from Louisiana near the Texas border to the Alabama-Florida state line forcing the majority of Sprint Cup team hauler drivers to change their southern route home on Route 40 and head north.(NASCAR.com)(9-1-2008) Comment here

  • Latest on the #12 ride UPDATE 2: Marty Smith of ESPN reports that he was told by Penske Racing that Brad Keselowski [JR Motorsports in the NNS] was never offered the #12 Dodge [ride] Jonathan Gibson, vice president at Penske, tells [Smith] they’ve spoken with a lot of drivers, but made just one offer — and that’s to the individual they plan to sign. All signs point to that person being David Stremme, but Gibson would not confirm Stremme as the team’s leading candidate.(ESPN.com)(8-28-2008)
    UPDATE: Brad Keselowski said he visited Penske Racing last week but did not have an offer on the table to drive the Sprint Cup #12 car next season. “I just went down and said, ‘Hi,’ and checked everything out, looked at their beautiful building,” Keselowski said Friday at Auto Club Speedway. “I only live like a mile from the place. I heard it’s a cool shop, and I had to check it out.” Keselowski said the Penske officials asked him what his contract situation was, and Keselowski said he was committed to JR Motorsports. Penske Racing is looking for a replacement for Ryan Newman. Penske test driver David Stremme is considered one of the candidates for that ride. “I basically told them flat out that I have a contract to drive for JR Motorsports, and I’m committed to it,” Keselowski said. “The biggest thing is I’ve got a good ride. We won last week, so it has to be pretty good. We’re winning races and we’re happy, so why [mess] with that?(SceneDaily.com)(8-30-2008)
    UPDATE: David Stremme doesn’t seem worried at all about talk that other people have possibly spoken to Penske Racing about driving the #12 Sprint Cup car next year. Stremme, who signed earlier this year as a test driver for Penske to go along with his Nationwide Series driving duties for Rusty Wallace Racing, has been considered the primary candidate for the job the last few weeks. Stremme said that he might be able to talk about his future next week. “I don’t have anything [to say],” a terse but polite Stremme said Saturday at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway. “We’ll see [what happens].” When asked if he was worried about the talk that Penske’s people talked with Brad Keselowski (Keselowski says he was never offered the ride), Stremme said he wasn’t. “Talk to them at Penske, they probably know what’s going on,” Stremme said.(SceneDaily.com)(9-1-2008) Comment here