Monday, December 31, 2007

Dale Jr and GoDaddy Sponsor

GoDaddy.com is announcing their debut into NASCAR - joining Hendrick Motorsports in a sponsorship deal. Go Daddy's first NASCAR sponsorship teams NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., with the sport's number one racing team and the world's largest domain name registrar.

Go Daddy's No. 5 Earnhardt Jr.-designed race car was unveiled online, at noon (Eastern time) Tuesday. The distinct design of the car can be seen at GoDaddy.

The sponsorship deal makes Go Daddy the primary sponsor for the No. 5 NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevrolets for six events in 2008 featuring Earnhardt Jr., along with Mark Martin and Ron Fellows. Go Daddy will also serve as an associate-level partner for the No. 5 cars all season.

(Now there goes another potent sponsorship pairing!)

See the rest of the article at thatsracin

Some New Years Eve Tidbits

Rusty Wallace Racing officials announced Thursday the team has hired Harold Holly to serve as crew chief for Steve Wallace in the Nationwide Series in 2008. See the rest at Scene Daily.
~~~

In case you're wondering what Tony Stewart is doing, it's not working on relationships, but gettin' out there and mixin' it up in the off season as he went on to win last Saturday's USAC midget feature, capping the Rumble in Fort Wayne at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center.

The two-time NASCAR champion won on the one-sixteenth-mile indoor track for the fifth time in eight races over the past four seasons. See the IndyStar site for more details.
~~~

That's about it for the moment.. Happy New Year Everyone!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jimmie Johnson Donates to Wildfire Victims

The wildfires that swept through Southern California in October, leaving thousands homeless, hit close to home for two-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. The neighborhood in which he grew up in El Cajon, Calif., was among those charred by the blaze.

Powerless to alter that reality, Johnson at least had the means to make it more palpable. Within a week after pledging to donate whatever he won from the Oct. 28 race in Atlanta, he was able to organize a contribution of more than $1 million to the American Red Cross fire relief fund.

See the whole article at indystar.com

Daytona 500 Speed Channel Coverage

For the latest on the schedule of coverage from Speed Channel, check out:

nascar

Kasey Kahne, the Brutal Guard Beater

Give me a break... the guard that Kasey Kahne supposedly shoved is now suing Kahne for $15k for severe physical injuries. Yea, the big brute of a guy, Kahne, in that unknown driver's suit, who no one recognizes at all.. eesh.

So I get knocked down and I can sue someone? Nice... I'd be a millionaire by now if I were of that mind.

On the serious side: Hutchinson claimed Kahne used profane language and then pushed his brother's foot off the accelerator pedal of the golf cart, attempting to drive past. The guard claims Kahne then got out of the golf cart and "without saying another word shove(d) me with great force from which I landed on my back and left shoulder on the entrance pavement."

Kahne's brother, Kale, disputed the events in his statement to police. Kale Kahne said his brother did not have a credential because he'd just finished practice.

foxsports



The Race of Champions

Germany's Michael Schumacher and Sebastien Vettel triumphed in the season-ending Race of Champions Nations Cup charity event at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Schumacher beat NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson in the first heat of the German-American quarterfinal.

foxsports <- see the rest

Penske Points Swap Approved

NASCAR has approved Penske Racing's request to transfer the owner points from Kurt Busch to Sam Hornish Jr., a move that locks the three-time IndyCar Series champion into the first five races of next season.

foxsports

I've said this before and I'll say it again.. I think, though hopeful and showing a chunk of faith in his driver, that this is a waste of the points on Hornish for Penske. Hornish has not shown any kind of performance that could possibly warrant this.

In 2 cup starts, he's garnered 125 points in the Cup series.
In the Busch Series, he's started 9 times for 551 points.

I'd like to see him do well, but is he lacking a hi-tech crutch that he used to get from his other series? Is he not a seat of the pants type of driver?

Don't get me wrong.. I'd like to see him do well, and I hope he does take advantage of the shoe-in's he's gotten from Kurt Busch's points.. (And here's hoping Kurt doesn't have any unperceived qualifying problems!) but when do we say, hey, this isn't for Sam and let's get some other young gun in here to be given the chance they CAN take advantage of.

Amazon.com: Biederlack Kurt Busch 60" x 80" Throw Blanket

Ryan Newman Foundation Raises big BUCKS

The Ryan Newman Foundation raised some big BUCKS (Not the deer kind) for conservation and animal welfare back on December 8th of 2007.

The charity bass tournament was sponsored by Ranger Boats and facilitated by FLW Outdoors. Fisherman traveled from as far as California to compete for the grand prize, a 198VX Ranger Boat with a 200 HP Evinrude engine, Minn-Kota Maxxum 80 trolling motor and Humminbird 767 depth finder. Dave Wolak of Wake Forest, NC and Chris Hall of Clarks Summit, PA won the tournament and took home the grand prize package, valued at $38,000.

Martin Truex, Jr. and Regan Smith also fished in the tournament with Newman, as well as Two Foot Fred of the MusikMafia and Fred Contaoi of American Choppers.

The event raised over $100,000 for the Ryan Newman Foundation Endowment, which will be a source for grants to nonprofit organizations that fulfill the foundation’s missions.

See ryannewmanfoundation for more details.

Amazon.com: Pacifc Connections Ryan Newman Cooler Bag

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Preseason Thunder at Daytona

Today, with only 58 long, ardent days to go, (At the time of this post) and we start to look forward to the next season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing, and the Nationwide Series coming at us to open up their seasons at Daytona International Raceway.

This Daytona 500 will be the 50th running of the event. Quite the milestone.

The first day of testing isn't as far off as the race is. The first day of Cup testing will be January 7-9, 2008. And of course, as if I need to remind you, they are running the new safer chassis full time this year.

The second testing / group will take place on Jan 14 to 16.

Other series will also be testing:
• Jan. 4-6, Rolex Sports Car Series, all teams
• Jan. 11-13, Craftsman Truck Series, all trucks
• Jan. 18-22, Nationwide Series, two different sessions

Then of course, if drooling all over ourselves isn't enough, there's the fan fest schedule where we get to drool all over each other:
• Jan. 5: The Roar Before The Rolex 24
• Jan. 8: Sprint Cup Fan Fest
• Jan. 12: Craftsman Truck Fan Fest
• Jan. 15: Sprint Cup Fan Fest
• Jan. 19: Nationwide Series Fan Fest

So soon, we'll be getting our taste of high speed exhaust fumes. For more details, check out NASCAR.com

~~~


Friday, December 14, 2007

Classic Tale of Woe or Horror?

So you're a taxi driver, you get to drive one of the biggest race car drivers around town, and on the way home, he not only requests to take the wheel, but you let him!!!

Now that could be cool, and hopefully the cabbie that let Scott Schumacher take over his car doesn't get in trouble for letting someone else drive his taxi...

Check out the fun HERE.

NASCAR - Take Note at how to Treat Violations

The McLaren team apologized Thursday for its role in the Formula One spy scandal.

McLaren was fined a record $100 million in September by the WMSC for unauthorized possession of confidential Ferrari materials. The team was also kicked out of the constructors' championship.

NOW That's how you put a cap on cheating!!

See the whole article over on That's Racin

Another Merger - Brewco Motorsports

Nashville businessman Gary Baker and record executive Mike Curb have officially joined forces to take over full ownership of the NASCAR Nationwide Series team formerly known as Brewco Motorsports , the team announced in a news release.

Scene Daily

Ryan Pemberton

On Sirius NASCAR Channel 128, The Morning Drive, they noted that Ryan Pemberton is headed to Michael Waltrip Racing.

Ryan Newmans Sprint 2008 Look

Here's a link to the new look Ryan Newman will be sporting in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series.  Ryan Newman Info.

Mike Wallace to Join the Germain Team

Mike Wallace is hoping a move to Germain Racing will help fuel a championship run in what will be known as the Nationwide Series next season.

He and sponsor GEICO will move to Germain's No. 7 Toyotas next season, Germain's first fielding a full-time entry in the series. Germain won the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series championship with driver Todd Bodine.

(There has been no rumored interviews with Lorren Wallace yet, but we surmise he'll be as stoic as ever with his goals to "put Mike Wallace in the wall".)

That's Racin

NASCAR Contest for Daytona

One lucky race fan will be get two tickets to every race during Daytona's Speedweeks and will participate in the victory lane celebration following the 50th running of the Daytona 500 after being chosen as the "Mayor" of Speedweeks.

To campaign for this post, fans must tell Daytona International Speedway "in 100 words or less" why they should be selected. Essays may be mailed to:
Mayor of Speedweeks
c/o Daytona International Speedway
P.O. Box 2801
Daytona Beach, FL, 32120
Entries also can be emailed to daytonaspeedway@daytonainternationalspeedway.com or dropped off at the Daytona 500 Experience. Fans can also get information on-line at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

The entry deadline is Jan. 7.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some Bits and Pieces - DEI, Johnson, Nationwide, BHR, Bruton Smith stuff

Crew chief Ryan Pemberton has left Dale Earnhardt Inc., and the team said Doug Richert will replace him beginning Wednesday.  (What's that phrase, Git while the Gittin's good?)  More details at ESPN
~~~

Jimmy Johnson is no longer part of the Gillette Young Guns gang.  The ties have been severed so Jimmie can capitalize on his back to back championships with the type of off-track deals that will broaden his appeal and take his endorsement reach beyond the race track."  Jimmie, Jimmie Jimmie.. I hope that's not your agent talking.  Many a football career has been dinged from agents.  I'm kind of surprised that the millions he's making isn't enough.  Maybe his wife needs new shoes.. ok, that's ok by me!   Scene Daily
~~~

A quote from Greg Biffle:  "Don't tell anybody, but if we never got any money or points and they didn't pay me, I'd still race the Busch Series," he said. "Just because I love driving the cars. It's my passion. But I don't feel like Cup guys should be eligible for the championship. They just shouldn't be."

There are many who are calling for NASCAR to curb the Cup driver participation in some form or fashion, and chairman Brian France has indicated changes are on the way.  (But, Cup drivers have always been a part of the secondary series and the series still flourishes today, despite all the "issues" people see.)  You can read the entire article, and there is lots more to read, over at Fox Sports.
~~~

Another race team bites the "buy in" bullet, as Bobby Hamilton Racing has formed an alliance with Arrington Manufacturing.
Scene Daily
~~~

Wow, when does it mean for a sport when most of the teams need outside funding and prize purses aren't enough to keep the participants funded.

~~~

Is this kissing backside, or what?  Goodbye Speedway Boulevard; hello Bruton Smith Boulevard.  With nothing more to say, I turn you over to the link at ThatsRacin.
~~~

Schedules and Such

It sure is quiet around here. Thought I'd dig up some info for our edification.

Below are links to the different series schedules, as put out by NASCAR.com:

2008 Schedules:
Sprint Cup
Nationwide
Craftsman Truck

And their own tracking of drivers and where they're at:
Silly Season

Then, if you want to see some testing schedules, check out Fox Sports

Monday, December 10, 2007

Separate Points System for Chase Contenders - NO

Before the final race at Homestead this year, I saw a snippet with Darrell Waltrip making an emphatic point that the chase contenders need their own points system.

It got me to thinking and in a quick email conversation with David Poole who was very quick to point out it would not matter.

I tend to believe David in some of the things he says, but I want to know for a fact if this is true, and sure enough, it's true... A separate point system would make no difference.

I simulated 1 to 10 points per driver in the chase, 10 going to the highest placed driver, 1 the lowest. I picked up a ten race gap of time, and whether they had a 1 to 10 point system, or used the points given them in a race, starting at the top, of 185 decreasing from there, the same guy won, the same guy came in second, the same guy came in third.. well, you get the point.

A separate points system would be moot. The only, I repeat, ONLY thing it could do, would fabricate a close points race, which would be some tricky tool to make it look like a close points scenario, when in fact, it would only seem close.

Thanks David for setting me in the right direction.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Coca-Cola Re-Ups It's Contract

Coca-Cola announced Friday that it is expanding its 40-year relationship with NASCAR through an extension that will last through 2017.

NASCAR

Bruton Smith Has a House Fire

Firefighters put out a small fire at the home of the Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith.

An electrical short in the wire of outdoor Christmas lights caused a spark that lit the shrubbery in front of Smith's south Charlotte house. A passerby saw the flames and flagged down a police officer, who called firefighters.

More details over at Macon.com.

Hey Bruton:  That was the ghost of Christmas Future if you muck with the New Hampshire track!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Busch Tests with Gibbs, but in Chevy

Kyle Busch tested with his new Joe Gibbs Racing team at New Smryna (Fla.) Speedway in a Chevrolet Tuesday and Wednesday.

Busch was using the test at the half-mile track to get to know his new crew chief Steve Addington, in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for next season.

The story states that he was in a Chevrolet for the test because the team is short of Toyota parts at this point.  Hmm, hopefully that's all it is.

See the Scene Daily for more.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

2007 NASCAR Awards Ceremony

I just got done watching the 2007 awards banquet on tape.
Yes, I'm either that slow, or that busy.

Thank you Dr Jerry Punch.
A perfectly delivered announcing task.

Thank you to all the guys in NASCAR, drivers, crews, even the governing body.

Thank you to the VCR gods for the invention of the VCR.
I don't think I could have sat through the whole show at real time speed.

The drivers seems reserved, or constrained. (I heard rumor NASCAR was putting reigns on their energetic possibilities!)

I think they even put a damper on Kelly Clarkson who normally likes bouncing and jumping around on stage while she sings, but not at this show.

I don't know who the woman is who announced each driver, but her drawl drove me batty and I literally thanked the VCR gods.


David Spade. I thought that with some fresh comedy blood in the mix, the comedy would be a nice mix of different, but it seemed like who ever wrote his skits, wrote all the skits for the previous NASCAR banquet years and I cringed for David during his delivery.

I liked Jeff Gordon looking more human than normal as he teared up thinking about is little baby. I liked the twist up of the supporting wife role when Tony Stewart had to extol the virtues of his crew chief.

Well, that officially closed the 2007 season for me.. on to 2008 Sprint Cup season in February. According to my clock, I've got 72 days until the Daytona 500!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Petty Enterprises and the Nationwide Series

An observation by Bruce Simmons

Did you know that there have been no Petty Enterprises entries in the Busch series because they do not participate in anything alcohol company backed? This includes not carrying the 'Bud Pole Award' sticker, or entering the Bud Shootout.

With the advent of Nationwide taking over what the Busch series has sponsored, we may be seeing a Petty Enterprises entry next year.

Let's see.

The Changes We've Seen in NASCAR in 2007

An observation by Bruce Simmons

Some Hello's and Some Goodbye's

If there is one thing that is constant, it's change. And anyone who gets acclimated to something hoping for no change, literally hopes for stagnation that can kill a sport. Without change, new fans are not generated, new advertising money is not attracted and TV coverage is added, or continued. That's just something we have to keep in mind.

With the 2007 season in the books, we saw some serious change this year.

We said GOODBYE to:

The 25 car being on the track.
The Hendrick 25 car was first seen in the 1986 Daytona 500 with Tim Richmond and has had 11 different drivers, including Rick Hendrick himself.

To the Chevy Monte Carlo.
It came into NASCAR Cup competition in 1971 and 2007 was it's final year in Cup. We will still see it in the secondary series.

To Anheuser-Busch as the secondary series sponsor of many years.

To Joe Gibbs Racing Association with Chevy as they move to Toyota.

RIP to Benny Parsons, Bobby Hamilton and Bill France, just to name a few.

To the name, NEXTEL Cup, and hello to their new parent company name, SPRINT.
Sprint Cup.. it's just doesn't have the right "ring" to it.. no pun intended.

To this era's body style as the 2008 Sprint Cup Series will be the first full year of the Car of Tomorrow. COT.
That name has got to change, because tomorrow is here.

To simple race team names and hello to corporate team names.
2007 saw teams needing help with the costs of doing business. Roush Racing became Roush Fenway Racing, Evernham Motorsports became Gillett Evernham Motorsports and several other teams are working on similar deals as NASCAR is slowly turning into corporate America battling on the tracks.

To the statement that NASCAR is the fastest growing sport in the U.S..
Ratings have stopped climbing and I think people are getting tired of 3 to 4 hour shows and the crazy costs of going to races, though attendance to the venues are still seeing numbers in the 100,000+ count.

To Ginn Racing with Mark Martin as they were absorbed by DEI and now Mark Martin will be driving for DEI.

To leaded fuel as NASCAR is now running unleaded fuel in all it's main series.


ON THE FLIP SIDE, we can say Hello to :

The 88 car changing teams and a new driver of some recognition.

To the Chevrolet Impala SS for 2008 Cup competition.

To Nationwide sponsoring the secondary series.
Busch stopped sponsoring the secondary series due to proposed fee increases which started the search for a new sponsor. Withno one biting at the fees that NASCAR wanted, and with a silent slap in the face, Nationwide is now paying less than Busch was.

To Toyota competing in Cup, who's infamous start with Michael Waltrip Racing definitely got it's name in the media.

To a new team, Michael Waltrip Racing. Again, got it's name in the media with the 2007 Daytona 500.

To new drivers from different series and countries.
Juan Montoya, Canadians Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Carpentier, and next season Scotsman Dario Franchitti will be in a car.

To NASCAR meeting with General Motors to talk about alternative fuels for the sport. We just went unleaded, and now we talking ethanol fuels.


OTHER THINGS OF NOTE:
Petty Enterprises move to Mooresville, NC.

Kyle Busch leave HMS and move to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2008.

M&M's move to Joe Gibbs Racing to Sponsor Kyle Busch in 2008.

The legal battle of the sponsors within the Cup series but not goodbye to anyone...
NEXTEL vs AT&T. Sunoco vs Shell.

We saw Canada accept the Busch Series with open arms, while New York dissed us.


Was there something else?
Tap tap tap.. hmm, oh yea! A little bit of driver news that not only made NASCAR history, but sports history as a whole:

Dale Earnhardt Jr saying goodbye to DEI.
DEI was the company that many have said his father started for him and Jr is now saying hello to Hendrick Motorsports. Though there was "No room at the Inn" as Rick Hendrick put it, Kyle Busch created room in the Inn with his behavior, paving the way for one of the biggest stories of this year.

We can say hello to the 88 at HMS because DEI made it difficult for HMS to "procure" the car number, 8, because "it's an integral part of DEI"… Gimme a break! The 8 was Jr.. and Jr was the 8. That's ok, he'll be twice as good with the 88!

With Jr leaving DEI, we get to say hello to Mountain Dew Amp Energy Drink and The National Guard as his sponsors for 2008 and Budweiser left DEI.

We can say hello to massive irony, as Dale Jr. left DEI, DEI started creating an improved engine program (In theory, but don't ask Jr. about that.) buying new shop equipment, and buying other race teams.

With Jr going to HMS, he had to say goodbye to one of the most successful sponsor / athlete relationships we've ever seen, period, with Budweiser.

Yet, Budweiser can now say hello to Kasey Kahne... At least the colors shouldn't change too much for Kasey!

Side note: Someone once told me that Budweiser could stand for: But U Deserve What Every Individual Should Expect Regularly.

Recap:
Who'd a thunk: Unleaded fuel, Budweiser with Kahne, Jr. with Hendrick, Toyota in Cup, Frenchmen, Canadians, Corn fuel?
Now that's a chunk of change.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NASCAR Victory Lap in Jeopardy

In what I think is one of the coolest things NASCAR does, the victory lap through New York streets seems to be in jeopardy because it caused a gridlock scenario that upset the mayor as he promised to find out who is repsonsible for authorizing this event on the same day that they light the Christmas tree in Rockeffeller Plaza. tsk tsk. It's only 10 cars, what's the problem people!!??

The rest of the article at Sporting News has some interesting things to look over in the bottom half!

Truck Series Sponsorship Wanted!

Winston is gone and NEXTEL is changing it's name. The Busch series is becoming the Nationwide series.

Now the Truck Series is going to be looking for a new sponsor for the 2009 series as Craftsman is departing it's long association with the trucks.

The truck series is some of the best racing there is, as the season championship has been determined in the final race of the year in 12 of 13 seasons — including 2007. That's without having to muck with their points system to make it close!

Craftsman has been the sponsor of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series since its inception in 1995.

See details at FoxSports

Though He's a Billionaire!

Bonds to help pay for speedway incentives
By ADAM BELL AND JEFFERSON GEORGE, The Charlotte Observer

A week after billionaire Bruton Smith officially announced he would keep Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, new details are emerging about how local leaders hope to pay for the $80 million incentives package offered to keep him there.

What's in: local bonds and possible increases in the Cabarrus County sales tax.

What's out: a special tax district.


(It's not like Smith needs the help, but was this noisy ploy to move the track just a bait to get the local economy to pay for his own upgrades?  Eesh! )

Hornish now in NASCAR but

Sam Hornish Jr., the 28-year-old American, who is the most successful driver in the history of the championship with three titles and 19 wins - including last year's Indy 500 -, is leaving single-seaters to race full-time in NASCAR next season.

When asked if he would ever return to IndyCar's Hornish said: "I sure hope so.

"I hope they move the schedule so that somebody could do it. That's my goal. If I never ran in the Indy 500 again or an IndyCar Series race I would probably say I would be disappointed about that."

Details of the article are over at eurosport.yahoo

As I think about this, it seems like he's being pushed into NASCAR.  Hornish hasn't done well in any of the NASCAR series he's attempted, and yet we keep seeing him looking to make the field.  Is Penske pushing him where he doesn't want to be?  (Can we say Ganassi?)  I feel a bit stronger now that I've seen Hornish's public statement about hoping to run in the IndyCar Series again.  

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Indy 500 Champs in the Field!

When Sam Hornish, Juan Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve qualified for the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix, we had 3, count them, 3 Indianapolis 500 winners in the field.

But did you know this wasn't the first time a NASCAR field had such a distinguished collection of guests in the starting field.

October 1976:
The National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway [now Lowe's Motor Speedway].
Johnny Rutherford, A.J. Foyt & Gordon Johncock.

January 1964:
The Motor Trend 500 at Riverside [road course].
There were four Indy 500 winners in the field:
Troy Ruttman, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones & Rodger Ward.

I just thought you'd be interested in knowing this tidbit!

(Researched at racing-reference.info)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stewie Award Winners

Today was the first annual Stewie Awards, presented by two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion and SIRIUS Radio host Tony Stewart at the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Studios in New York City.

The winners of the 2007 'Stewie Awards' are:

-- Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award
Bill France, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of NASCAR
Benny Parsons, Hall of Fame driver/broadcaster

-- Golden Stewie Award - Honoring a legendary driver from the Golden Era of racing (1960-85)
A.J. Foyt

-- Best Duet - For outstanding teamwork by a driver and crew chief
Clint Bowyer & Gil Martin: Martin keeps Bowyer calm and team performs only one adjustment all day to get Bowyer's first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup win in Sylvania 300 (Sept. 16)

-- Best Original Drama - For year's most exciting race moment
Kevin Harvick edges Mark Martin to win his first Daytona 500 (Feb. 18)

-- New Kid on the Track Award - For year's most outstanding performance by a rookie
Juan Pablo Montoya: Wins first NEXTEL Cup race in Toyota Save Mart 350 (June 24)

-- Best Stunt Sequence (Hal Needham Award) - For year's most spectacular crash
Clint Bowyer: Crosses finish line at Daytona 500 on his roof (Feb. 18)

-- Best Original Comedy - For year's most entertaining on track "incident" or occurrence
Robby Gordon performs "victory celebration" burnout despite losing Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villaneuve in Canada (Aug. 4)

-- Best Vocal Performance - For year's most memorable quote or sound bite
Actor Kevin James: Provides memorable "Start Your Engines" command before Pepsi 400 (July 7)

-- Best Engineering and Special Effects (Smokey Yunick Award) - For year's most creative - and ultimately illegal - modifications to a race car
Crew Chief David Hyder & MWR VP of Competition Bobby Kennedy: Illegal fuel in #55 car at Daytona 500 (Feb. 18)

-- Dazed and Confused Award - For year's the most baffling move
Teresa Earnhardt and DEI allow Dale Earnhardt Jr. to leave for Hendrick Motorsports

-- 'I Got Dumped' Award - For year's most memorable on-track bumping
Kyle Busch: Wrecked by brother Kurt in NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge (May 19)

-- Best Driver2Crew Chatter Exchange - For year's most memorable driver-to-pit crew communication
Denny Hamlin/#11 team: Discuss "plan of attack" against Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #8 car during Subway 500 (Oct. 21)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aaron Fike WAS on a Bad Road

Former NASCAR driver Aaron Fike understands where he was headed when he was arrested while using heroin in an amusement park parking lot this summer.

"After four months of intense rehabilitation, I know that if it were not for my arrest, I would be dead," he said.

Fike was eighth in the standings in the Craftsman Truck Series when he was arrested in the Kings Island parking lot outside Cincinnati in July.

At this time, he is in an aggressive rehab program he wrote for a Warren County judge. The judge accepted Fike's proposal to avoid jail by going to schools and racetracks to deliver an anti-drug message.

Though it may be very unlikely he will drive in NASCAR again, one may never know.  He sounds pretty sincere about his road to recovery and that may translate into a renewed focus on his journey.

For more details, check out the Sun Herald

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Did You Like TNT's "Wide Open Coverage"?

Well, if you liked the July 7 weekend coverage with TNT's commercials in tiny boxes while we still get to watch the race, then you are in luck.

Turner Sports and TNT are going with that format again next year as Sprint will definitely return for next year’s July 5 telecast and they are talking to other marketers like Auto Zone, DirecTV, Ford, Goodyear, Miller Brewing Co., Principal Financial Group, Subway and Toyota.

With Coca-Cola replacing Pepsi as the sponsor for next year’s race, it will be known as the Coke 400. Turner is also talking with Coke about becoming a TV sponsor of the race and buying branded spots in the telecast.

For more details, check out mediaweek.com

NASCAR Champions Week in New York

In case you don't know the low down on the week of activity, there's a comprehensive collection of links and info over on NASCAR.com

On Nov 28, The Top 10 drivers of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series complete a Victory Lap around midtown Manhattan.

All week, more than a dozen authentic NASCAR stock cars scattered at signature locations throughout Manhattan. Street teams hand out official NASCAR partner giveaways all day long at each location.

High energy, two-day indoor event featuring driver and crew appearances, radio station remotes, event emcee, NASCAR trivia and prize giveaways and much more at the Aflac FanFest. (Que the DUCK!!) This event is free and open to the public at the Hard Rock Café Times Square, in the LIVE venue room.Hard Rock Café43rd and BroadwayTimes Square.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series™ Awards Ceremony, live on ESPN Classic at 9pm ET on November 30th.

For all the details, pics, and other goodies check out NASCAR.com

Monday, November 26, 2007

The 43 team gets a new Crew Chief

Petty hires Jeff Meendering as Labonte's crew chief

Petty Enterprises officials have announced the hiring of Jeff Meendering as crew chief for Bobby Labonte's No. 43 Dodge team.

Meendering comes from Hendrick Motorsports, where he served as car chief for Jeff Gordon's team. He replaces Doug Randolph, who moved to Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sad News: Frank Kimmel's Mom Passes Away

Mabel Kimmel, 82, of Clarksville Indiana, mother of nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series driving champion Frank Kimmel, died Tuesday morning, November 20th.

See details over at ARCA RACING

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm Not Addicted

The last race of the season happened yesterday, but I'm ok.
It's only 90 days until the 2008 Daytona 500 from today...

http://www.brucesimmons.org/personal/info/temps.htm

The hours and minuted might be off....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jimmie Johnson - 2007 NEXTEL Cup Champion

Matt Kenseth won the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He was followed by Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards to round out the top 5. (Unofficial Results)

The race was fairly uneventful, with the race and the points race, but with an early wreck by Dale Earnhardt Jr. taking him out of contention for getting a win in his last ride in the Budweiser car, and Matt Kenseth's crew chief, Robbie Reiser, winning the last race as th 17 car crew chief were pretty interesting developments.

But Jimmie Johnson paced Jeff Gordon, with Chad Knaus saying they kept the pit strategy around the same laps that the 24 car pitted kept them close in position, keeping the 24 car in sight all night long.

With that being said, Jeff Gordon came in 4th, but Jimmie Johnson finished 7th, retaining his points lead in the championship and winning the 2007 NEXTEL Cup Championship. A repeat Champion from last year. (Unofficial Standings)

The rookie of the year contenders, David Ragan and Juan Pablo Montoya weren't that far apart either... Ragan finished 10th, and Montoya finished 15th. I'm guessing that Montoya will get the ROY honors, but I'm waiting for that to be announced. (The standings are at this link: nascar) (Update: Montoya is Raybestos Rookie of the Year, as announced at SceneDaily)

As far the much coveted 35th position, Kyle Petty did not have to resort to swapping drivers late in the season with Bobby Labonte as Kyle finished 34th today and kept the 35th spot for next years first few races.

CONGRATULATIONS to JIMMY JOHNSON on his 2nd (consecutive) championship. Well done to everyone on his team, and the Hendrick shop.

NASCAR Looking at Different Qual Ideas

Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby said Nov. 9 that the sanctioning body is still studying the possibility of having teams outside the top 35 in owner points qualify as a group, but that a final decision has not been made.

And if they would listen to the all knowing fans, and drivers, they'd make it a reality.

It's a great idea to get the teams outside the top 35 to qualify in the same group so they have similar track conditions to compete against each other in.

See the article over at NASCAR

Hendrick Would Love to Lock Up Johnson

No surprise, if it's up to Rick Hendrick, Jimmie Johnson will drive a Hendrick Motorsports racecar for the remainder of his career.

Hendrick said he is fully prepared to do whatever it takes to retain Johnson's services for as long as he drives professionally in the Nextel Cup Series. Money. Assets. Car dealerships. And most importantly, championship-caliber racecars.

(Don't forget Chad Rick!) See the whole article at ESPN

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kasey Kahne Having Some Cop Trouble

Kasey Kahne is under investigation by the Homestead Police Department for pushing a track security guard down Friday before the Truck race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

A conflict ensued between Kahne and the guard after Kahne could not provide the proper credential for his brother, Kale Kahne, in order to enter the drivers' motorhome lot inside the speedway, according to Police Capt. Tom Foglia.

After the incident the security guard complained his blood pressure had escalated. An emergency vehicle was called and the security guard was taken to the infield care center.

You know Kasey, the new Jimmy Spencer!!

Source: nascar

Top 10 Why Bud is Backing Kasey

Check out a list of the top 10 reasons why Budweiser decided to go with Kasey Kahne over at

http://doyounascar.com/the-big-ten/

The Last Busch Sponsored Race

The last Busch sponsored series race was won by Jeff Burton who was proud to be the race winner of the final race sponsored by Busch.

He was followed by Mark Martin who pushed hard for the 2nd place finish followed by
Matt Kenseth,
Carl Edwards and
Stephen Leicht filling out the top 5 spots for this historical last race.

See the Ford 300 results over at Scene Daily.

Busch Race - Homestead

David Ragan snagged the pole for today's Busch Race, Carl Edwards will help fill out the front row.

See the entire lineup at foxsports for the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Is it Lauren Wallace or Warren Wallace

Does it matter? He's gone a hundred miles away.
I don't think he'd care.. "Whatever".

But if you watch this video of the the ad, he calls himself Lauren.
Now how the heck do you spell Lauren correctly??

YouTube

And here's a great site to check out: seeing20twenty.com/wallacefans

Now you know...

A Saturday Morning Perspective about the Truck Series


Retrospect by Bruce Simmons

First, let me start with what I want to quantify as a rumor:

On Friday (11/16/07) on SIRIUS Satellite Radio channel 128, around 11:30-ish Pacific time, they were talking about the Truck Series going to restrictor plates for all races to minimize engine costs.

OK, you read it here first! My first big scoop. .. Maybe. I say rumor because I can't find any reference to it anywhere on the web. so this is probably a bogus premise.

NOW, on the the real reason for this post:

What does 54, 127, 55, 46, 9, 46, 73, 230, 8, 3, 232, 53 & 126 all have in common?

These are the point spreads between the Champion and 2nd place in the Craftsman Truck Series. In all but 3 of the 13 years of the truck series, the championship has been contended right down to the last race of each year and without the "benefit" of a final 10 race chase format. Imagine that.

Without any tinkering, the Truck series has kept us on the edge of our seats through out the entiretu of most seasons. Obviously, there were a few yawner years, where Bodine and Biffle annihilated the field, but otherwise, each point spread could have been decided in the last race of the season.

How is that possible?

The truck series have limited sets of tires they can use in a race. Cup doesn't.
The truck series doesn't go on for 1/2 a day, ok, 3 to 4 hours. The Cup series is a marathon endurance.
The truck series are not sleek aero guided missiles like the Cup series, but that's going to change in 2008 in the Cup series.

So did NASCAR have it right from the beginning of the Truck series as they let the Cup series evolve itself? As far as points and team equalization goes, it seems that way from here as the Ron Hornaday fans all let out a sigh of relief when they watched Mike Skinner's wheel take it's own path across the track independent of the truck itself.
But then again, my new hero, Lauren (Warren as some have misconstrued) Wallace would just say: "Whatever! I doesn't matter what I'm in. One second I'm there, the next, Hey, where's he go?! " And then he would go back to chewing on his toothpick.

Food for thought, or really, a Saturday morning retrospect while I wait for the rest of the family to wake up today.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Earnhardt Jr is Sad for his Father

Dale Earnhardt Jr is closing out his DEI career at Homestead this Sunday.
This also closes out his on-track association with Budweiser.

But Dale Jr. is sad. Sad for the dream his father originally had for him and DEI. The hopes of Dale Jr. winning a championship at DEI is gone, and so is his tenure at his dad's place.

People blame Teresa Earnhardt. They blame the system. But really, fate had a hand in this and with Dale Jr. being the same age his dad was when Dale Sr started at RCR - so maybe this is fate waiting to happen.

We'll see. But we need to give it this first year for him to gel with the HMS system.. then, for me, all bets are off.

scenedaily.com

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion

The Place: Homestead Florida
The Event: the Ford 200
The Series: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Johnny Benson won the race. (I didn't want to keep you in suspense about the race winner)

The early part of the race saw Mike Skinner and Jon Wood having the dominant trucks of the night. I had chalked the championship up to Skinner because initially, it looked like Hornaday was struggling to make 5th. But the hand of fate reached in and Mike Skinner's truck fell apart at the left rear wheel hub, setting him back 10 laps and Ron Hornaday Jr. just had to stay in the running.

No flats, no crash aftermaths, no debris - that's all.. and sure enough, he finished on the lead lap in 7th and got his 3rd truck series championship.

Congratulations Ron, Congratulations Kevin Harvick Inc...

foxsports.com (article)

scenedaily.com (results)

Johnson - Points Lead and Homestead Pole

Jimmie Johnson grabbed the pole for the Ford 400 at Homestead for Friday.

(I'd say look out Jeff, but pole sitters don't always translate into race winners.. soooo the tension builds even further!!)

He was followed up by Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth & Kurt Busch for the top 5 spots.

Jeff Gordon nabbed the 11th spot for the start.

FOX Sports

Doral Contenders Press Conference

The event that Speed channel broker programming for on Thursday was the Doral Contenders Press Conference, held at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, at 1pm eastern.

This is the 3rd season they gathered for this special press conference before heading into Sunday’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup leader Jimmie Johnson, second-place Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick were in attendance.

A transcript from the event can be found at backstretchmotorsports.com and photos of the event can be found at: motorsport.com

-Bruce

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Promotion for Robby Reiser

One of the longest crew chief-driver relationships in Nextel Cup will end after Sunday's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as Robbie Reiser, who has been Matt Kenseth's crew chief since 2000 and long before that in the Busch Series, has been named general manager at Roush Fenway Racing.

He is replacing Max Jones, who will move into the GM role at Robert Yates Racing. RYR and Roush recently formed an alliance that basically will allow them to work as a seven-car operation without violating NASCAR's four-car cap. (Oh here we go again!! I guess Roush figured out how to get around the 4 car rule!)

See the details over at espn

MWR - 2007 Champions!

What??? Am I off my rocker, have I mis-typed something and I am only fantasizing as a closet MWR race fan??

Nah. I'm chatting about the Totally Racin' softball league the shop was in.. they seem to have a knack for it and won the league they were in... details.. nope.. just came across this link and thought I'd torment you folks!

http://www.racecityresumes.com/softball/

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An Amazing Truth that Hits Home - A Quote 2 Ponder

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."
....Harry S Truman

SPEED Coverage of NASCAR Announcement

It has been noted out there that SPEED will interrupt its telecast of the Busch Series race replay Thursday afternoon (Nov. 15) at 1:00pm/et to present a LIVE NASCAR press conference from Homestead.

At the moment, I know no details..  maybe I missed something, but I'll let you know as soon as I find some dirt on the situation.

-Bruce

The Points Standings - ROOKIE of the YEAR

By Bruce Simmons

A close race for Rookie of the year is happening this very moment, and we didn't even know it.  Wow..  who'd a thunk?

The media coverage that Juan Pablo Montoya generated this year, with his 'Race hard, no matter what position I'm in' attitude, a few incidents getting him the moniker, Juan Problem Montoya, and some serious expectations or hopes has drowned out the the fact that the Rookie of the Year race is not spread out and that there are other rookies in the field.

The contending rookies this year are Montoya, Ragan, Menard, Reutimann & Allmendinger.

Points alone, Montoya leads the pack, BUT he is only 21 points ahead of David Ragan.  Furthermore, Montoya is only 45 points ahead of Paul Menard and 64 points ahead of David Reutimann.

In my mind, the competition is between Montoya and Reutimann.

If you look at points alone, it's too close to call and anything can happen this weekend at Homestead but if you look at top 10 performance, Montoya has 6 while Ragan has 2.  But Ragan's top 10's were actually top 5's, where Montoya has 3 top 5's.  And of course, Montoya has a win under his belt, coming from his road racing talents.

After all this, Paul Menard is only 45 points back, but as 6 less starts!

Back to the Montoya/Ragan contest:  Consider this - even though Montoya has many more top 10's, Ragan has performed consistently to be within 21 points of Montoya.

This Rookie of the Year race should come down to points, but as the rules state:

Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates earn points based on their best 17 finishes of the season. Points are earned through entry points, competition points based on finish, top 10 bonus points, bonus points based on three segments of the season and a panel of voters at the completion of the season.

Montoya had the media eye this year as NASCAR's international star, and a few good finishes, but Ragan has the consistency to be right there behind him and even with 6 less starts, Menard can see the points lead in the Rookie standings.  Wow.  I hope marketing does not win out on this one and we'll see how it all pans out at Homestead.

I don't envy the judges.

NASCAR's Rookie Points Page

The Points Race - For 35th

Going into Homestead, we see several points competitions being focused on.  (Heating up is probably not the correct adjective).

Looking at the race for that much coveted 35th place in the standings is one of those points races.

Going into Homestead, Kyle Petty is in 35th place.
He is 187 points behind Paul Menard.  He ain't moving into 34th in this last race.
But, there's a slim chance the Petty can lose his grip on 35th.

Slim because the 2 cars behind Petty would have to do extremely well to garner the points necessary to surpass Petty, if petty manages a fair finish.

Trailing behind Petty in 36th, is Scott Riggs, 116 points back, and Joe Nemechek, who is 134 points behind Petty.
Again, they'd have to do great while Petty experiences a catastrophe for them to take advantage of.

The reality:  Kyle Petty has the 35th spot locked up.

Point Standings going into HOMESTEAD

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jack Sprague is Joining KHI

Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) announced today that Jack Sprague has signed a multi-year agreement to drive the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Truck Series beginning in 2008. A primary sponsor has been secured and will be announced at a later date.

Sprague, a three-time NASCAR Truck Series champion, will begin a new chapter in his racing career as he joins two-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday at KHI in 2008.

See more details over at thatsracin.com

Bodine Replacing Ward in the 4 Car

Tim Morgan, President of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Inc. and Larry McClure, Team Manager announced today that Todd Bodine will drive the No. 4 State Water Heaters/Lucas Oil Chevrolet for Morgan McClure Motorsports in the final race of the season this weekend at Miami-Homestead Speedway.

The change in drivers is helping the team fully evaluate the performance of the team.

See a few more details at foxsports.com

For the Andretti Fan in You

BAM Racing co-owner Tony Morgenthau says driver John Andretti will return for the full NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2008.

Good for John.. let's see if everyone can pull this off and make something happen in the COT.

See more at scenedaily.com

Friday, October 19, 2007

Carl Edwards to Wear Specially-Designed Firesuit

Fans of Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, have the opportunity to bid on a one-of-a-kind racing firesuit and helmet in an online auction to benefit City of Hope National Medical Center in California. Edwards will show his support for City of Hope by wearing the firesuit and helmet in the Subway 500 race on October 21 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. The auction will begin on Friday, October 19 and run through Sunday, October 28 and can be accessed by visiting http://stores.ebay.com/Roush-Racing-Memorabilia.

City of Hope - one of the most advanced biomedical research and treatment facilities in the world - is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is a long-time beneficiary of generous support from the Office Products Industry.

This very special fundraising project is made possible by the Office Depot Foundation and Roush Fenway Racing. To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.

roushracing.com

Justin Labonte Returns to the Truck Series


Justin Labonte will make his third career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start in the No. 00 Aaron’s Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra at Martinsville Speedway this Saturday (October 20th) afternoon.

“Getting back into the Aaron’s Lucky Dog truck is something that I have been looking forward to for awhile,” said Labonte. “My last race in the Toyota Tundra was at O’Reilly Raceway Park, where we finished 27th finish, but I am confident we can improve on that and bring home a solid finish for the Darrell Waltrip Team and Aaron’s.”

Labonte, the son of two-time NEXTEL Cup Series champion Terry Labonte, has never raced at Martinsville Speedway, but has two previous Craftsman Truck Series start and 76 Busch Series starts behind him. The North Carolina native looks forward to learning the track and bringing home a solid finish for Aaron’s.

michaelwaltrip.com

Gillett Evernham Motorsports Introduces Patrick Carpentier in Montreal


MONTREAL, QUEBEC (October 16, 2007) - Patrick Carpentier was introduced to the media today at a press conference prior to the Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre.

Foster Gillett welcomed Carpentier on behalf of the Gillett family, who owns the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club and recently purchased ownership in Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

There's more at evernhammotorsports.com



Reed Sorenson to Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer

Target and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today that the No. 41 Target Dodge will feature a pink paint scheme for the next two NEXTEL Cup Series events to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Reed Sorenson will be running a pink No. 41 Dodge in this weekend’s 500-mile race at Martinsville Speedway and at his hometown track - Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 28.

Additionally, Target and CGRFS also announced Sorenson’s teammate David Stremme will be driving a Target House Dodge at Martinsville, highlighting Team Target’s commitment to cause-related programs.

Sorenson has created a donation pledge for the Atlanta race, which Target will match, that consists of a number of levels, with the top amount (including the match) being $36,400. Sorenson will donate $10,000 for a win, $5,000 for a top-five finish, $1,000 for a top-10 finish, $4,100 for a pole and $12.62 for each lap completed, totaling $4,100 if he completes all of the scheduled 325 laps that will make up the Pep Boys Auto 500. He will also auction his autographed custom race helmet and firesuit with proceeds from the pledge and auction benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and Project Pink House.

Individuals that want to bid for either Sorenson’s helmet or firesuit from the “Pink Car” races can visit www.reedsorenson.com. The auction will begin on Monday, Oct. 22. Artwork for both the Pink Car and Target House car are available upon request.

chipganassiracing.com

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rudd at Martinsville

Ricky Rudd will be testing his shoulder out at Martinsville during practice to see if he can tackle additional action in qualifying and the race.

He survived Lowe's with a sore shoulder but nothing he couldn't handle, but Martinsville is a more aggressive track for the driver to tackle.

No word on if any replacements are standing by.

scenedaily.com

Upcoming Events At Martinsville

This weekend, we'll be watching the paint scraping action at the classic paperclip short track, Martinsville Speedway.

The Nextel Cup action will take place on Sunday at 1pm on ABC.
The Craftsman Truck Series action will be on Saturday 2:30 pm, on SPEED.
ALL TIMES EASTERN.

There are 48 entries for the Cup race, and 40 entries slated for the Truck race.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kasey Kahne Makes a Huge Donation

*Kasey Kahne*, NASCAR driver and founder of the Kasey Kahne Foundation
donated $500,000 to the Ronald McDonald House® of Charlotte to support
the construction of a new Ronald McDonald House® in Charlotte.

That is one neat contribution a man can give back. He's ok in my book.

The new facility will serve as a "home away from home" for the families
of children who are receiving care at two state-of-the-art children's
medical facilities – Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital and Levine
Children's Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC).

KaseyKahneFoundation
<http://www.kaseykahnefoundation.com/news/index.php?article=view&id=18>

Busch and Hamlin Practicing Being Teammates

*Kyle Busch* and *Denny Hamlin* will get a chance to test their upcoming
relationship as teammates when they will both drive for Billy Ballew
Motorsports in this weekend's *Kroger 200* Craftsman Truck Series race
at Martinsville Speedway.

In case you were in a cave somewhere, Kyle Busch will be going to Joe
Gibbs Racing to drive the number 18 Toyota car. (Yes, Toyota - that
cave thing again!)

SceneDaily <http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/10/15/scene_daily23.html>

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oil on the Track.. No Worries!

David Poole, of the Charlotte Observer, makes a great point about oil leaks on the track and the lack of yellow flags to attend to the issue.

In Saturday nights race, Jeff Green tossed his whole oil pan onto the track it seemed, but nothing was done until Johnny Sauter hit the skids in the ensuing oil streak on the track.

This feels reminiscent of Kasey Kahne at Dover from the recent past!!

What's up with this, I don't know. It would seem prudent when an in-car cam goes blotchy blurry, a yellow should follow, but yet, NASCAR waits. Do they not see the issue at hand? Is no one watching the telecast in the 'booth'?

Not sure. I am sure they're doing what they can, but they need more.

Source: thatsracin.com

A Top 10 for Michael Waltrip


I don't know if anyone noticed, but in the top 10 finishers at Lowe's in the Bank of America 500, Michael Waltrip finished finished 10th in the race.

If this is a sign of things to come, they're good things coming indeed because MWRH needs to start showing their "guns" and getting in the top 15 every race if they want to attract quality sponsors.

I'd like to think they can do. Michael has a great personality for the camera and a refreshing face to see during in-race or post race interviews.

Source: michaelwaltrip.com

Johnny Benson to MWRH?

It's noted over on http://www.jayski.com/cupnews.htm that "On Sunday's SPEED/tv's Speed Report, it was reported by Bob Dilner that there were many candidates for the vacant seat for the third Michael Waltrip Racing team among them; Johnny Benson.(10-14-2007)"

Unless MWRH gets a lot better, I'm not sure that's the best move for Johnny. He's got the talent, and needs to make a strong impression if he were to get back into Cup competition and I think that going with MWRH will only serve to extend the image / perspective he has now as a contender.

But I would love to be proven wrong if this actually does come to be.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Chase Standings - 14 Oct 07

Current standings for the Chase for the Cup after the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motorspeedway.








Bank of America 500 at Lowe's - A short recap


The writing was on the wall, the turn 4 wall that is. Turn 4 was labelled by the broadcast as calamity corner, and that title sure held up as we saw our first caution before the 1st lap even completed with David Reutimann smacking the wall in turn.

The pole sitter, Ryan Newman, led the first few laps, a few laps in the end, but smacked the wall before attaining the much desired win.
The racing wasn't too bad for the night, but some chase contenders did not fare too well.

At the front of the race, a few contenders showed their hand early, as Jamie McMurray took the lead for a while and Jimmie Johnson took over the house on lap 17 but through various yellow flag events, the lead changed hands often.
Kevin Harvick had pitted under green on lap 32, thinking he had a right side tire going down. It was a bad call as he had to pit again under green on lap 43 to replace all 4 tires. Two stops under green doomed him for the rest of the night.

Through out the night, Jimmie Johnson kept showing up front after the race restarts showing he had the car to chase, not beat but after a spin on lap 232, he wasn't the contender we were all hoping for.

Matt Kenseth did not have a good night at all. Around lap 65, the first of Matt Kenseth's woes kicked in with a bad battery. By lap 157, he smacked the wall hard in turn 4, and again later on in the race. Sadly, he was toast for the night.

Pit road proved to be a mix-it-up zone for Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart. (No, they didn't hit each other)

On lap 190, Kurt Busch hit Mark Martin as he pulled out of the pits, messing up his right front fender, but by lap 275, he lost a cylinder and the team couldn't do much about it under green flag stops.

Tony Stewart had worse issues, as on lap 176 one car pulls down in front of him and scrapes his Rf, but than as Tony gets going again, Kasey Kahne, with the pit road momentum, pulls in, and Tony hits and spins him, causing sufficient RF damage to the 20 car to warrant repair issues with lots and lots of tape.

Denny Hamlin ran into gearing problems late in the race, and on lap 323 Jeff Green spews oil and brings out a red flag.

Here's where the drama starts.. it seems Jeff Gordon started having what he thought were fuel pickup issues and thought he was running out of gas, but his crew chief said he shouldn't be.. and on the restart of lap 329, Gordon slowed, holding up the front contenders and Ryan Newman, right place, right time, flew past the group on the outside to take a big lead.... but lost it in turn 2 on lap 331.
On the ensuing restart, Jeff Gordon had the same problem again, but Clint Bowyer, having now where to go, ended up bump drafting him into keeping the lead and once up to speed, that's all she wrote for the winning hopefuls.

Jeff Gordon won the race, followed by Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton & Carl Edwards. You can see the entire results at nascar.com

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Busch Event at Lowes - Dollar General 300

Jeff Burton, though starting in the back of the pack, survived the mutiple yellow flags to win the NASCAR Busch Series event, the Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motorspeedway.

Kyle Busch was chasing Jeff, came in second.

Dale Earnhardt Jr, in his last Busch event of the year, came in third. He had a great car, but got slowed down when a yellow flag came out for the 66 car loosing his axle cap and spewing grease in the track in the line that Jr was driving, so he had to take it easy a few laps after the restart to make sure the quick dry and any left overs from the event wasn't in his way, but he lost too much ground to take advantage of his car.

Aric Almirola came in fourth, Denny Hamliin fifth.

Wrecks took out the chase contenders Kenseth, Johnson and Edwards.

See results at nascar.com
thatsracin.com write up on the race.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The New DEI Amry Car is Introduced


The new #8 car for the 2008 series was shown off today.

Officials with Dale Earnhardt Inc. unveiled the paint scheme of its No. 8 Chevrolet on Friday in Victory Lane of Lowe's Motor Speedway. The car keeps the traditional black and gold colors of the U.S. Army sponsorship, but maintains the No. 8, which is being used this season by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jeremy Mayfield, Jeff Green News and Snippets

This is an excerpt from an article:

Jeremy Mayfield is expected to get a chance to rebuild with Michael Waltrip Racing next season. Sources say Mayfield has agreed to a deal to share the No. 44 with Dale Jarrett, who will drive a limited schedule in '08. Jarrett will announce his plans for next year at Lowe's on Friday.

also,

Before agreeing to join Waltrip, Mayfield had been rumored to be talking to Haas CNC Racing, which signed Scott Riggs last week after Jeff Green decided not to return to the No. 66 -- which is 29th in owner points -- and signed with another team, according to a source.

Why would Green leave a team on the rise with owner points he worked for? It would have to be a team he thought had greater potential and could overcome not having owner points at the start of next season with performance. The two organizations that fit that profile are Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing, which both want to get to four cars. Gibbs, of course, is switching to Toyota next year and the manufacturer is likely willing to supply the funding for an additional entry. Childress has been trying to find a sponsor for its fourth car.

(If this were true, that would be great for Jeff.. He's done consistently well in the COT events and if he's with a good enough team, I think we will see him at the forefront of competition next year. My premise is if Dale Earnhardt see potential in the man, there's got to be something there.)

Here's the entire article with many more details: sportsillustrated

MWR has New Partner

Michael Waltrip, MWR’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, introduced Robert Kauffman as an equal ownership partner in a newly formed company, Michael Waltrip Racing Holdings, LLC. Kauffman, a founder and managing partner of Fortress Investment Group, will lend financial and business strategy support to MWRH to ensure its growth is both strategic and successful.

Kauffman, a long-time racing enthusiast who was born in New York and currently lives in Europe, is pursuing this business opportunity personally, not through Fortress Investment Group.

michaelwaltrip.com

Waltrip confirmed that MWRH will field three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and one full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series effort in 2008. Rookie David Reutimann has renewed his driving contract to remain in the MWRH stable for the next three years also.

~~~

On dimmer news, MWRH is still talking with Domino's and Burger Kindg, but right now it appears the two companies will not return as primary sponsors in 2008.

scenedaily.com

President and General Manager Ty Norris said that the organization is still in talks with the companies, but at this point, it does not look like they will be back with MWRH.

Dale Jarrett Retirement Plans


Former champion Jarrett announces retirement plans
CONCORD, N.C. - Dale Jarrett announced Friday that he will compete in only the first five points races of 2008, and two non-points events, as he prepares to end his driving career.

NASCAR TV Weekend for October 12-13



Here's the TV schedule for the NASCAR races this weekend at Lowe's Motorspeedway.

Biffle is Getting Married

Greg Biffle is getting married next Wednesday (October 17th, 2007) but unlike most grooms in this world, he has the dangdest excuse for slacking with the preparations for the magical event: Greg has to concentrate on his Cup and Busch events this upcoming weekend.

Of course, being that it's a Cup Saturday night event, Greg has lots of time on Sunday to start helping with the matters that matter most!!

Congratulations Greg.

scenedaily.com

Newman gets the Pole for the Bank of America 500

Ryan Newman captured the pole for the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motorspeedway with a speed of 189.394. He was almost 1/2 a mile an hour faster than the outside front row winner, Jimmie Johnson at 188.9.

The second row has Bobby Labonte & Jeff Gordon
Third row: Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray
Fourth row: Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch
Fifth row: Casey Mear, Greg Biffle.
Denny Hamlin 11th, Kyle Busch 13th,
Carl Edwards 18th, Kevin Harvick 24th,
Clint Bowyer 25th, Jeff Burton 27th,
Tony Stewart 29th, Martin Truex Jr 32nd.

See the whole line up at FoxSports.

Those who did not make the race are: Dale Jarrett, Joe Nemechek, Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr., Carl Long, Kirk Shelmerdine

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For the Jason Keller Fan in You

NASCAR put an article on Jason Keller and being in the Busch (Soon to be Nationwide) Series and how that's affected or helped his racing career.

nascar.com

House Homeland Security Committee looks at NASCAR

NASCAR fans might seem rabid, but are they actually contagious?

That's how the thatsracin article started...

Check out my post over at brusimm.blogspot

(I put it over there to get more people exposed to and thinking about NASCAR.)

Edwards' Penalty Appeal a No-Go with NASCAR

The National Stock Car Racing Commission has upheld the 25-point penalty NASCAR assessed Carl Edwards' No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team after the right rear of his car was found to be too low following his victory Sept. 30 at Dover International Speedway.

By losing the appeal, Edwards remains sixth in the standings, 205 points behind leader Jeff Gordon.

scenedaily.com

Franchitti makes NASCAR debut

IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti is making his NASCAR debut in the Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. (What an introductory race to be a part of!!)

Franchitti, who also won the Indianapolis 500 this season, is moving to NASCAR next season. He made his stock-car debut in the ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend and finished 17th.

Franchitti signed a multi-year deal last week to drive the No. 40 Dodge for Ganassi next season.

foxsports

Images to Ponder

Jimmie: When I go this way, you go that way!
Jeff: No, I'm going this way!


Jamie McMurray is wondering when they put in the 3 way intersection here in Talladega!

Carpentier has a Ride

F1, Champ, Motocross.. They're coming from everywhere because NASCAR is the show.

With that being said, former Champ Car star Patrick Carpentier signed with Gillett Evernham Motorsports on Wednesday to drive the No. 10 Dodge.

Carpentier is replacing Scott Riggs, who is leaving to drive for Haas CNC Racing next season. He'll step into a team that was founded by Ray Evernham, who turned over majority ownership to the Gillett family this summer.

The Gillett's also own the Montreal Canadiens, and are co-owners of the English Premier League club Liverpool.

See all the details at FoxSports

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Talladega Race - Was it?

Opinion by Bruce Simmons

I've read and heard a lot of opinions, from fans and drivers alike that the Talladega race was not a race at all, but just a boring ride around the track, as Dale Earnhardt Jr put it in a post race interview.

To some degree, it's quite disappointing to see a 200 mph train of cars doing lap after lap, hearing NASCAR putting the squash on bump drafting and watching 160 of 188 laps go quietly by with a mishap here and there.

This event, despite our expectations, can't go much differently while we see restrictor plates and even more restrictive rules designed to squash the driving style needed to combat the restrictor plate.

Though it was boring, it was not disappointing for me. The last 30 laps was what this race was all about, and those last laps provided a fairly good level of frustration, anticipation and excitement as you said: "Huh, where'd he come from?" on that last lap.

Me for one, it gave me my 3 to 4 hours of ME time at home that I can take without guilt, because that's the way it is. It wasn't as exciting as it could be, but then again, who remembers the all green Talladega race a few years ago?

Check out Ryan Newman's perspective at this scenedaily.com article.

Update:

I'm watching the replay of the race today on SPEED, (10/11/07) and I need to add a thought.

A perspective I don't think we give any credit to: The race looks boring because these guys are that good.

At those speeds, there's more to it than just putting your foot down and holding the steering wheel still. A tiny wheel turn requires a counter turn.. of comperable measure. The tires aren't sitting on the ground like our tires do when we drive to work and around the block. These tires want to break loose, being on the edge of their speed ratings / parameters.

At those speeds, the car can break loose ever so lightly, that it takes the skill of these drivers to recognize it before it becomes physically apparent to us, the observer, and counter that manuever before it gets out of hand.

If you have it on tape, or the next time a restrictor plate race happens, watch the straight-a-ways very carefully... the cars bounce around because they are in the draft. The wind is not directly pushing the car down, they have to keep it in line under the vacuum of the air going over them and coming down behind the car behind them.

Just food for thought.

Benny Parsons - Highway to be Named in His Honor

The residents of North Carolina's Wilkes County will pay homage to their hometown hero, Benny Parsons, by naming a portion of U.S. Highway 421 in honor of the 1973 NASCAR champion.
The "Benny Parsons Highway" will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. local time on Thursday. The five-mile stretch of road runs from the Maple Springs community to the Watauga County Line.
The event will take place at Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge Wine Tasting Room and Racing Museum located at 4187 Highway 421 in North Wilkesboro, N.C. A reception will follow.
We miss you BP!
See the whole article at nascar.com

41 car too Low at Talladega

NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the No. 41 team that competes in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series after the the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega.

The No. 41 Dodge was found to be too low in the front of the car.

Reed Sorenson has been penalized 25 championship driver points.
Car owner Chip Ganassi has been penalized 25 championship car owner points.
Crew chief Jimmy Elledge has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

The car went through NASCAR's height sticks twice and had the car of tomorrow template placed on it in postrace inspection. Sorenson was a random selection for inspection.

scenedaily.com

Monday, October 8, 2007

NASCAR Point Standings

As they stand, after Talladega, the Chase for the Cup looks like this with 6 races to go:
(Screen Shot from www.scenedaily.com).
The complete standings can be found at nascar.com