Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Coffee of Choice

Ever need to keep up with the speed of NASCAR...
I love settling in with a good cup of java and watching the race, and having it at home to make for yourself can't be beat sometimes.

StarbucksStore.com


Check it out sometime!

Bruce

Trucks from Memphis

From Memphis Motorsports Track, in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

Brad Keselowski in the 9 truck was spun by Kvapil in turns 3 & 4 while he was holding off Travis going into the last 8 laps of the race. Keselowski slowed down while Kvapil poured into the corner. It was a racing thing, and Keselowski, did his team proud.

Kvapil won, followed by Sprague, Hornady, Skinner, Fike rounding out the top 5.

I'm tooling around, waiting for the nascar site to update, but I aint't got all night!! Man!! They need someone "Up On The Wheel" at their site to get things up and posted as fast as my efforts!!
You can check www.nascar.com for when they do update the info!!

By the way, keep your eye out for Brad Keselowski. he's going to be someone we will be hearing from down the road, BUT man, his name is a touch one to type when you're typing fast!!!!

Busch Race Results for New Hampshire-Camping World 200

Kevin Harvick dominated the race by leading the most laps and winning the Camping World 200 at New Hampshire International Raceway in Loudon, New Hampshire.

He held off an aggressive charge by Carl Edwards in the last lap to capture his win, being the 21st different driver to win at Loudon.

These 2 were followed to the finish line by Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Dave Reutimann, Reed Sorenson and Casey Mears.

There were multiple cautions, one of them being Steven Wallace sliding up into Byers, and later on, Bowyer, sliding up into Montoya, taking him out of the race. I couldn't tell if Bowyer slid up into Montoya, or if Montoya came down on him actually.

See this NASCAR.com link for various details on the complete finishing results, and Busch Series standing.

The Pepsi 400 - No More?

David Poole posted this article:

Next weekend’s Nextel Cup race at Daytona may very well be the last Daytona race called the Pepsi 400.

Sports Business Daily reported Friday that Coca-Cola is close to signing a deal to give it pouring and marketing rights at Daytona. That would end an almost 50-year relationship between Pepsi and the track.

The report says Pepsi’s deals with other International Speedway Corporation tracks at Phoenix, Talladega, Watkins Glen and Darlington will be dropped as they expire over the next few years.

Boo - I'm a Pepsi guy at heart, but it is what it is, and the show and all it's underlying contracts must go on!

ThatsRacin

Here's a link to the SportsBusinessDaily site, but you have to be a registered user to see the whole deal.

Kentucky Speedway and NASCAR, pt 2

Kentucky Speedway owner Jerry Carroll had a long-anticipated meeting with NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation officials today.

But the lawsuit between them wasn’t resolved, so Kentucky Speedway’s case against NASCAR and ISC remains headed toward a March 2008 court date.

The two sides met for a total of five hours of mediation with a federal judge magistrate at the United States District Courthouse in Covington. The meeting ended without a settlement.

............ see the rest of the article at news.enquirer.com

Friday, June 29, 2007

Race Lineup for Lenox Industrial Tools 300

Dave Blaney is the man this weekend as he captures the Pole for Sundays race at New Hampshire. He's followed by

Kurt Busch,
Reed Sorenson,
Johnny Sauter &
Juan Montaya,
Earnhardt Jr
Harvick,
Jeff Gordon,
Truex &
Johnson, to fill out the top 10.


See the whole line up at NASCAR

Vickers Fails Inspection

Brian Vickers failed the post qualifying inspection, his LF being deemed an 1/8th of an inch too low.

His qual times were disallowed, and he did not make the field.

http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/06/25/scene_daily1107.html

NASCAR is tested again??

NASCAR not Parking Drivers

I read an interesting quote on a dallasnews site by Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage:

"Until they park somebody for a race, you're not going to get everybody's attention. But the day you park a popular driver is the day I'll be demanding money back from my purse and sanctioning fee from NASCAR because there will be some people not showing up because their favorite driver isn't at the track. It puts NASCAR in a bind. It really does."

That statement echoes my concerns about parking the popular drivers and the sports income. The rest of the article addresses issues regarding penalties, and when you start parking drivers, you'll have a PGA event break out, meaning, since golfers can pick and choose where to compete, it's pure stress on the promoters for the events. (LOL, I like that analogy.)

He (Richard Durrett, the author) touches on past tales of cheating that are the more prominent tales of woe.

DallasNews

Petty's Foul Mouth

Remember the lameness of TNT when they said they did not know who said the f-bomb during the lap one incident in Sonoma when we heard K Petty drop it after getting hit?

Well, Kyle came out and said that it was indeed, himself, who uttered the words of vain!!

"I'm sorry it got as far as everyone's living room. (Yea Kyle, don't worry, it was the tape replay guy who didn't sensor it!) But when an incident happens that early in the race and it's unexpected, what I said pretty much described it."

This was in the middle of this article: USAToday

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hendrick Picking Interim Chiefs

Which means that Hendrick Motorsports will not be filing appeals in response to the infractions his teams incurred last weekend at infineon.

http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=2&id=2919384

Kentucky Speedway and NASCAR

Kentucky Speedway is heading to mediation Friday in its antitrust case against NASCAR, but lawyers weren't saying whether the two sides are any closer to a settlement that could potentially land the Sparta track a Nextel Cup race.

Cincinnati attorney Stan Chesley, who is representing the speedway in the $400 million antitrust lawsuit, said it was hard to know how long the mediation proceedings will last or whether it would spark any movement in the negotiations.

"The fact we're going to mediate doesn't mean it's going to get settled," Chesley said. "We'll either settle it, or try it in March."

NASCAR officials didn't immediately respond for requests for comment Wednesday.

kentuckyconnect

The Weekend Starting June 30 '07

The Trucks are on Speed, Saturday, 8:30 pm, ET.
The Busch Series is on ABC, Saturday, 2:30 pm, ET
The Cup Series is on TNT, Sunday, 1 pm ET.

THIS DATE: June 28, 1998 -- Jeff Gordon gets his first win at Sonoma. His five wins on the California road course are tops among Cup drivers.

All info courtesy of www.nascar.com

Musgrave suspended

Ted Musgrave has been suspended for one race for retaliating against another driver during the Truck Series race at the Milwaukee Mile.

Musgrave wrecked with rookie Kelly Bires on Friday night in Milwaukee. He restarted his truck, chased down Bires and forced him into the wall. NASCAR immediately parked him for the rest of the race. Foxsports

What is confusing fans is why Musgrave is getting the suspension for an on-track incident when there was only the trucks around, and Kurt Busch, while his actions threatened the well being of pit road crew members, was not given such a suspension.

Come on NASCAR.. give us some consistency!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bliss Leaves BAM

BAM Racing may be looking for a new full-time driver, now that Mike Bliss has resigned from the team. Chad Chaffin has been named to drive the No. 49 Dodge at New Hampshire this weekend and at Chicagoland, while Larry Foyt will handle driving duties at Daytona.

See the rest of the article at NASCAR.com

Aric Almirola Says his Piece

Aric Almirola says he still doesn't agree with Joe Gibbs Racing officials' decision to replace him during the AT&T 250 Busch Series race last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile, and he doesn't feel as if it was his first NASCAR victory, even though he was credited with the win.

....

"They made a group decision to put Denny in the car. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with it. I am still not happy with it, but I understand the decision."

See the article at SceneDaily

NASCAR Television Ratings

NASCAR's television ratings have continued to decline this year, despite their moving our TV schedules back to merge viewership and help ratings.

Yet, network executives are encouraged by gains in the younger demographics.

Fox reported a 7 % improvement (3.1 rating from 2.9) in the male 18-34 demo on its Cup broadcasts, and ESPN2's coverage of the Busch Series has produced a 2 percent increase (182,827 viewers from 179,446) for that group on cable.

But this is the first year Nielsen is incorporating out-of-home viewing in its numbers, and he thinks viewership from college dormitories accounts for some of the gain. So do the nnumbers really go up, or are we just covering more homes which bolsters the numbers, but not really having an improvement in viewership?

For the rest of the in-depth article, go to SceneDaily

Tony Eury Sr Leaves DEI

And so it begins.. the expected exodus from DEI

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has turned to a familiar face and proven winner to help lead the competition efforts of his race team, announcing today that his uncle and longtime NASCAR crew chief, Tony Eury Sr., has been named Director of Competition at JR Motorsports.

Commonly referred to as "Pops" around the NASCAR garage, Eury Sr. will oversee competition and technical support for all of JR Motorsports, which includes a full-time NASCAR Busch Series program, a USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series entry, and three late model teams. His new role at JRM will begin immediately, as he will work closely with crew chief Wes Ward, motorsports director Steve Crisp, and driver Shane Huffman in preparation for Saturday’s Camping World 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on ABC). The No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life team enters the weekend on the heels of consecutive top-10 finishes at Kentucky and Milwaukee.

.............. see the rest at RacingOne

Kenseth Beats Stewart

Matt Kenseth had another happy homecoming at Madison International Speedway Tuesday night.

The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series star from nearby Cambridge cruised to victory in the First Supply All-Star Challenge at the half-mile track where he won a late-model championship in 1994.

.......... see the rest of the article at foxsports

The Panalties on the Hendricks Teams

Up until now, I was on the fence about these gray areas of the rules that Hendrick and others keep noting, versus, what does the rule book say to make it seem so gray to everyone. Ahh, the gray may be in the rose tinted glasses used to read the rules!!

David Poole of the Charlotte Observer and Thatsracin.com, over on his blog, The Turn Lane, expressed the infractions like this:

You’ve got people looking at the rule book and deciding that if something isn’t prohibited, by actual word printed in that book, it’s legal. This "gray area" is where they try to make a living, but what it shows me is a lack of "gray matter" in their brains.

Here are the salient portions of the rule governing penalties against Hendrick Motorsports at Infineon Raceway:

Rule 20-2.1
The car body must be acceptable to NASCAR officials and meet the following minimum requirements:
-Streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond that approved by the Series Director, will not be permitted.
-If, in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance.
-Fenders may not be cut or altered except for wheel or tire clearance, which must be approved by the Series Director.


--- end of quote from David's post---

Here is my response to part of his post:

First: It's awesome to see the penalty compared directly to the much referenced, but little seen rulebook of NASCAR. Thank you David.

In the context of the matter, with the fenders flared outside the tolerances you mentioned this morning, then obviously, they were hoping they'd get by with this gray area tinkering, but the text does say no aero adjustments.

(Someone presented the idea that the 2 Hendrick teams accidentally installed test fenders)
I don't buy the premise of a test fender being put on accidentally. These guys, being the seasoned professionals, knew what they were doing.

As far as the penalty goes, it is consistent. It's these teams first COT penalty, and hence, treated the same as Jr.'s fiasco.

Excessive? That's why I don't think it was escalated.. this time. It seems excessive, but the message is being delivered unto the minions of the sport. Is it not?

Race on boys!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Johnson and Gordon Violations Announced

Almost Breaking News

NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the No. 24 and No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports teams that compete in the Nextel Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions found this past weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

As a result, Gordon and Johnson have each been penalized 100 driver championship points. Their respective crew chiefs -- Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus -- have each been fined $100,000, suspended for the next six Nextel Cup Series events until Aug. 15 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2007. (No surprise there.)

Rick Hendrick has been penalized 100 car owner championship points as has Gordon, who is the owner of the No. 48.

See the whole article at
NASCAR.com

Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter
All over it as it prints!!!

What to do with Infractors, an Article by Bruce

Yea, it's a new word. It's a play on infractions, and those who accumulate them.

But in all seriousness, it's a pickle that NASCAR is in as to what to do about it. At the moment, they are being as stern / strict as they've ever been with uncovered violations, and there is some anticipation that Knaus will get an even stiffer penalty than the others because of his past digressions.

I've heard radio talk shows where the callers say send the whole team home for a race, or even 6 races!

As much as I'd like to see violators given the proper "stick", let's think about this for a moment: Say you bought tickets to go to New Hampshire a few months ago. Now say one of the main reasons you are going, your team that you like rooting for, isn't going to be there.

In my past, when my guy gets taken out of a race, I feel like, what's the point if I can't scream and yell in support of him every time he goes by? Now I have 42 cars I somewhat don't care about. (I think my seat neighbors would get tired of me randomly yelling out supporting cheers for a car that isn't even on the track!)

You also threaten the sponsorship contracts. Why would someone want to sponsor a team or driver that may miss any number of races due to their proclivity to cheat? And sadly, our beloved sport is based on a certain amount of relationship based, financially supportive advertising that allows us to see our drivers on tv, in print, and in the ever growing output of the newspaper, as is evidenced by the coverage Montoya's win got last weekend.

Bruce's take:
Start suspending random crew members. Take a teams primary tire changer out for a race. We've seen that suspending the crew chief doesn't seem to impact the team much. One race suspensions are good for everyone. Crew members, drivers, what not. Multi-race suspensions will only hurt the business.

Heck, since we're suspending people, we might as well dole out community service! Hey Jimmie Johnson, get up to the end of pit road and operate the entrance light next race. Or Jeff Gordon, track the scoring loop data. Have a penalty box behind the stands that the drivers / chiefs / crew have to go to, and sign autographs or babysit all day during race day. Yea, I'm on a roll now..

Which is my clue to stop. writing and hit my publish key. Thanks for dropping by.

By Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Gilliland and Stewart

Well, after lambasting Gilliland on his national radio show, we are wondering about Tony Stewart this year. Ok, maybe not, but when Stewart plowed Gilliland in a practice incident at Michigan, Stewart pointed out on his radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio that Gilliland was slowing down and gave no hand signal to indicate that.

After running into Gilliland, here is a quote from Stewart:
"... this is twice now that he's crashed us, and both times he doesn't have an answer for why. That's the part that scares you as a driver."

"He checks up at the end of the straightaway, and we run into him," a frustrated Stewart said. "It's really, really easy to see it. They've got two different cameras views of it, and he never stuck his hand out of the window [to signal he was going into the pits]. It really screwed up a really good racecar for [Sunday]. It didn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen." (NASCAR.com)

Are we sure that someone on much older tires needs to 'cue' everyone around him, especially people on fresh tires, that they are going slower?

Ricky Rudd points out that: The wreck "wasn't David's fault" and the "videotape clearly shows what happened and Tony screwed up." (latimes)

I think Tony keeps wanting it his way, as he plays Calvin-Ball* on the track. He makes noise that there needs to be give and take, but then doesn't give when others want to take, because conveniently, he is now racing them as they race him. I don't dislike Stewart, I just don't like his ever changing perspectives.

*Calvin-Ball: From Calvin and Hobbs. As Calvin and Hobbs would play a ball game between them, Calvin would constantly create new rules to support something that he just did to make a point.

Jeff Gordon Documentary

A documentary-style feature on the driver is set to debut on TNT and then be available as a DVD.

The program, "24 x 24: Wide Open with Jeff Gordon," will debut on TNT July 7 with an extended version DVD set to be released July 10.

The documentary explores the life of Gordon, both on and off the track. It includes interviews with motorsports and entertainment personalities as well as Gordon's family and friends. Gordon allowed cameras to follow him for 24 hours to film the project.

Scenedaily

Monday, June 25, 2007

Montoya Winning at Sonoma, an Article by Bruce

Juan Pablo Montoya's first NEXTEL cup win has generated more headlines across more newspapers than any other event, barring Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s contract news. It's nuts how many newspapers have covered this and how some of them have devoted whole pages to the articles and pictures!!

I'm not sure I can expound on all the virtues of Montoya, who has won the Indy 500, and an F1 championship, and what he will bring to the ranks of NASCAR if he in fact, continues his endeavors of winning. And with his winning, comes notoriety and recognition for NASCAR


Post updated 6/26:
Juan Pablo Montoya is the 3rd foreign born driver to win a NASCAR Cup race. Mario Andretti (Italy) won the 1967 Daytona 500, and Earl Ross (Canada) won at Martinsville in 1974.

This is Montoya's 2nd win in NASCAR, being his first was on a road course in the Busch series, in Mexico.

As of late, Juan Pablo Montoya has been building up the ire of his fellow Cup competitors as he's been known to race them hard, and take chances, even when he's not on the lead lap. But if anyone knows of Montoya, his Formula One reputation was no different as he was known for aggressive driving, and difficult and risky passes. Of course, in NASCAR, that kind of behavior gets frowned on by some of the drivers and the sanctioning body, as other drivers expect lapped cars to move aside upon their approach, or "slower cars" are also expected to move aside, or the sanctioning body pulls drivers aside to suggest tamer, more politically correct methods of winning, competing and conflict resolution. You know, the stuff that makes the headlines more exciting the next day.

Montoya's win also was quite the chess match. By lap 92 of the 110 lap race, we were all hearing from his pit crew that he did not have the fuel to make it. Thus, Kevin Harvick let himself get passed without much of a challenge, because the intel said Montoya was going to run out, so Kevin didn't fight it, assuming he would inherit the lead later on. Bzzzz.. NOT.

A funny tidbit that's come from this is, being that Montoya has been so aggressive to date, when he came on the radio to announce it was "too early to race these guys", the crew chief and team owner looked at each other, and in a mild state of confusion, assumed they just picked up someone else's radio chatter.

Montoya has raced internationally around the world, he's raced locally no dirt tracks in El Dora in a dirt car, he's competing in Busch events, and now, he is a Cup winner. He's obviously tamed that which we have come to expect, the road courses. Now, it's time to see if he can turn this passion for racing into some oval wins. I think in time, he will get that. I am just not sure it will be this season, but I've been surprised before, and it would be a good surprise indeed.

Now that we have an international racing star, we have to wait to see of the racers from the motorcycle world can make their mark too! But that's for another article.

Here's a google link to Juan Pablo Montoya.
To see all the google hits on his win, here's a google link:
Google Link


by Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Gibbs, Hamlin, Almirola

Wow, Gibbs is taking it on the chin today as I read post after post of negativity / displeasure with the Gibbs team having pulled Almirola from the 20 car in the Busch race when he was doing so well.

The frustration was evident with Almirola, who was too upset to play company man and support the move, as cameras caught him storming off, and according to sources, left the track.

Somehow though, it was a group decision to swap Denny into the car under yellow, as it seems no one person is taking the heat for the decision.

btw: The last relief driver to win was Harry Gant, who took over for Jack Ingram at Darlington in April 1985.

Gibbs has been quoted to saying the decision was made by the “group” of Joe Gibbs Racing officials at Milwaukee and was not dictated by the sponsor, Rockwell Automation who is based in Milwaukee.

Either way it goes, it's now sparking rumors on the net of Almirola going elsewhere for '08, but that's for more conjectural fact in another post, on another day.

http://www.thatsracin.com/247/story/5073.html & a NASCAR.com link on the matter which seems a little more in depth.

by Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter .

TNT in-car Snafu

Well, it was interesting, listening to Kyle Petty. I liked the recap of info as we heard what he was saying to the booth and what not, but I thought NASCAR, et al had learned lessons and had mechanisms in place to edit language.

In turn eleven, early on in the race, Kenseth had dove under Petty to take a spot, slapped him (Petty) good, and we get to hear the true, in race reaction as Kyle spats out "What the f***" on air, and we find ourselves hearing Bill Weber apologizing to us for the profanity.

TNT Spokesman Jeff Pomeroy says that the audio can't always be identified: "We can assume that audio came from one of the three cars in the accident. But we can't be sure it was Kyle." Give me a break gang. That was Kyle. Well, to be fair, it sounded A LOT like Kyle.

As Kyle put it, "everybody is a passenger today", even our ringing ears!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Montoya WINS at Sonoma

Juan Pablo Montoya wins a fuel balancing act, with the pit crew reporting that they were a lap short, Kevin Harvick pedals off to let them run out of gas, but they never do and the 42 car leads the crowd across the checkered flag.

We watched Jeff Gordon get up to the lead for a few laps with green flag fuel stops, and he had a chance to win, but the fuel gambit came into play and dictated the final cards dealt to the field.

Montoya is followed by Kevin Harvick in 2nd, Jeff Burton in 3rd, Clint Bowyer 4th, Greg Biffle 5th, Tony Stewart 6th, Jeff Gordon 7th, Kyle Busch 8th, Boris Said 9th and Denny Hamlin rounds out the top 10.

Dale Jr. finishes 13th, pole sitter Robby Gordon 16th, Jimmie Johnson 17th, McMurray ends up 37th after .

Now we wait and see what penalties will be forth coming from NASCAR to the 24 and 48 teams.

See the unofficial results at NASCAR.com And the unofficial point standings at NASCAR.com

Here's my recap of the race at NASCAR-Notes

Live Updates for Sonoma / Infineon Race

For updates about the race today, Toyota / Savemart 350 race at Infineon,
check out my race update blog:

http://nascar-notes.blogspot.com/

Thanks for visiting - Bruce

Saturday, June 23, 2007

AT&T 250 Busch Race

According to the finish list, Aric Almirola won the race.

In reality, Almirola started the race, but once Denny Hamlin got into the car ( A team decision that was in contrast to what we first heard at the beginning of the race), he powered through being a lap down (positions lost while swapping drivers under yellow) to take the race checkered flag. But since Almirola started the race in the car, he gets the win!

Scott Wimmer came in 2nd, Leffler 3rd, Brad Coleman 4th & Jason Keller came in 5th.

See nascar.com for the Unofficial results.

This leads to unnoficial points standings at Carl Edwards having a 776 point lead on the rest of the pack!! David Reutimann is 2nd in points, followed by Ragan, Blaney & Harvick.

Aric Almirola - An Observation

Aric Almirola of Joe Gibbs Racing qualified the #20 Busch car to the pole position, sitting in for Denny Hamlin. In fact, he's going to go ahead and drive for Hamlin in the race, as Hamlin opted to stay in Sonoma.

If you get a chance, catch a gander of Aric...

Is it me, or does he look like what Richard Petty looked like in his younger days??!!

Hendrick Would like to Buy the 8

Car owner Rick Hendrick has let it be known to officials at Dale Earnhardt Inc. that he'd like to purchase the No. 8 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he begins driving for his organization in 2008.

"I'm not sure what their position is or what they want for it," Hendrick said Saturday between practices at Infineon Raceway.

......... read the entire article at abc.com

Someone Remembers Dick Trickle

For you Dick Trickle fans - I came across an article by Rick Houston on Dick Trickle over on NASCAR.com. Thought I'd share. Thanks to Rick Houston for remembering one of the drivers from yester-year that some of us grew up on. A thought, by Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter.

McMurray on the Pole

Jamie McMurray scored his third career NASCAR Nextel Cup pole, nipping Robby Gordon, while ex-Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya will start 32nd.

Still, Montoya will start ahead of the defending race winner of the Toyota/Save Mart 350, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson.

Both will start at the rear of the field -- with Gordon 41st and Johnson 42nd -- after their cars failed inspection and NASCAR prevented them from practicing and qualifying Friday.

See the rest of the article at: Roanoke.com

The Halfway Driver, Kyle Petty

Kyle Petty said: "They've always said I'm kind of a halfway driver, and this time I really am — half-driver, half-analyst."

Kyle will be calling the race from inside his car this weekend at the Toyota / Save Mart 350 because, A: he refused not to drive in the race because road courses are fust plain fun, and B: perform a TV first by reporting on the race from in the race.

But he expects to become a raconteur during caution flags: "Cautions for us are like timeouts in other sports. I can talk about what I saw or give fans a better idea of why I ran off the track."

But Petty's hybrid role Sunday raises the possibility of some unprecedented on-air commentary. Drivers, even if they've banged off walls and flipped, are expected to dutifully mention their sponsors on TV if they're still conscious, but TV analysts are supposed to avoid blatant hype.

See the details at USAToday.com.

If you are interested, other tidbits at this link are:
Breaking ground: Woman to call Cup race on DirecTV: Wendy Venturini will be calling the race.
NBC takes risk on these reporters: NBC will be using action sports athletes with no TV experience to call the AST Dew Tour's season kickoff event.
New TV channel will offer equal coverage, Big Ten says: The Big Ten Network, a channel devoted to that conference and debuting in August

Extra Weight to COT's

It seems that NASCAR is adding 50 more lbs to the weight of the cars to help teams distribute the car's weight during this weekends event in Sonoma. Scenedaily

My assumption is that this is only for this weekend.

-Bruce Simmons

Gibbs & Toyota, Gibbs & Stewart Contract, Kentucky, Las Vegas and other Stuff

According to JOUNRAL NOW.com, "Joe Gibbs and Toyota are “a done deal” for 2008, according to several sources,.."

The article goes on to say:
Apparently one hangup in the talks between the long-time Chevy operation (Which switched from Pontiac to Chevy in 2003. I guess 4 years is counted as a long time - [bruce note]) and the Japanese car maker is a clause in Gibbs’ current GM contract which bars the team from negotiating with any other manufacturer until the contract is up.

The same article Link notes these following developments:
Gibbs is also renegotiating his contract with Tony Stewart to extend it another two years. The contract runs through the end of 2009; the new package would run through the end of 2011.

NASCAR .... a settlement with Kentucky Speedway could be coming — by adding the 11/2-mile track south of Cincinnati to the Nextel Cup tour next season.

NASCAR could be looking at adding a second Nextel Cup event at Las Vegas for next season.

John Menard, has been considering moving his sponsorship from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to Roger Penske’s Dodge team, with Penske expanding to a three-car operation.

All this info in one spot! Man, do they have the scoop machine running in overdrive, or what?!
A partner of the Winston Salem Journal. See Journalnow.com for all the details.

by Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Craftsman Truck Race in Milwaukee

Johnny Benson won the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 last night, followed by Ron Hornaday, Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner & Rick Crawford.

Here are the unnoficial results:
http://www.nascar.com/races/truck/2007/11/data/results_unofficial.html

This has Skinner in the lead of the Points standings, Followed by Hornaday in 2nd, Bodine in 3rd, Kvapil in 4th and Crawford in 5th. .... Wow, the points standings almost sounded like the race results.

See the unnoficial points standings at:
http://www.nascar.com/races/truck/2007/data/standings_unofficial.html

Courtesy of Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

The Free Market System in NASCAR

"It's a free-market system," said Cary Agajanian, who represents many of NASCAR's top drivers at Motorsports Management International. "It always has been. It has wrongly been labeled free agency forever.

"That's what's so good about this sport. It's not controlled by the unions or anything else."

Not Everybody agrees.

That's the teaser snippet for an article I found over on ESPN.com, if you're intersted.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lineup for Toyota Save Mart 350

By just barely o.o12 seconds, Jamie McMurray snagged the pole away from Robby Gordon (And we got to actually see it before speed channel broke away to the truck race pre-show!).

Dale Earnhardt Jr is 3rd, Boris Said 4th, Tony Stewart 5th, Jeff Burton 6th, Bill Elliott 7th, Kasey Kahne 8th, Ryan Newman 9th and Clint Bowyer rounds out the top 10.

See NASCAR.com for the entire line up.

by Bruce Simmons, The Fan Reporter

Gordon and Johnson Banned from Practice at Infineon

Hope you're sitting for this one!

Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were banned from on-track activities Friday, after both cars "failed the initial inspection ... as a result of body modifications found to be outside NASCAR tolerances. The front fender of both cars was modified outside of NASCAR regulations.

The 5 and 25 cars did pass those same COT template inspections though.

Both the 24 & 48 teams will be able to repair and resubmit their cars for inspection up to the start of practice Saturday. Once they pass inspection, they can practice Saturday, and will start at the rear of the field on Sunday.

See the entire tidbit on NASCAR.com

Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

A Snippett for Scott Wimmer Fans

Wimmer is on the comeback trail, rebuilding his career at Richard Childress Racing. In his past five Busch Series races, he has finishes of 10th, ninth, third, fourth and third. Last week at Kentucky, he was in the mix for the victory when he raced from the rear to the top five midway through the race and finished third.

(And it's great to see him prove himself, after Richard Childress giving him a chance!)

See the entire article at:
nascar.com

Darlington Update

Construction has begun!!

For Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning, about the only thing better than seeing Nextel Cup cars and NASCAR haulers at the track is watching cranes and construction trucks work on the superspeedway.

Browning has seen a small construction yard go up right alongside NASCAR's oldest superspeedway as it begins $10 million worth of projects that include repaving the track surface and adding a third access tunnel to the infield.

... Read the rest of the article at: nascar.com

NASCAR Team Values, Sport Funds, Bruce's Thoughts

Well, I've seen this floating around for some time now, so I thought I'd share in the proliferation of the info, heck, my readers deserve it, right?

It's an article over on Forbes about the values of the NASCAR teams, and in itself, here's a teaser paragraph to set you over there, because they have graphs and charts, and that's what makes it more understandable if you don't want to read all the pesky words..

-Overall, however, licensing is on the decline in NASCAR, and sponsorship rates have flattened out since 2003. Looking ahead, its new eight-year, $4.48 billion TV contract with ABC, ESPN, Fox and TNT (beginning this year) pays less in the near term. Throw in the fast-rising cost of competing (budgets have grown at a double-digit clip since the '90s) and it’s no wonder that we estimate 20% of the sport’s most valuable teams are losing money.-

See the whole article at forbes.com

Call me emotional, but this initially worries me about my favorite sport!! With NASCAR inviting exclusive sponsorships, potentially eliminating competition, what's the draw for other companies, if all they are going to do is get into legel battles about their logo exposure? As it is, AT&T got to show their logo for a few weeks, but now they are defending themselves from NASCAR in a $100 million lawsuit.

And obviously, TV coverage more than likely went to the highest bidder, but I for one, have yet to be happily converted to the ESPN covervage of the second tier level of competition, the Busch Series, which that too is changing, as the long time series sponsore, Busch, is leaving at the end of this year.

We the fan, are seeing much change in recent years. Winston to NEXTEL, to Sprint. The Busch Series, to (TBD) Series. The Truck Series, so far, is still the Craftsman Truck Series. And that's the thing I'm thinking about as I write this, all the change, and all the money. Hopefully, I don't get priced out of being able to go to a race, or buying another diecast. (Oh, don't get me going about my diecast collection!!)

by
Bruce Simmons, The Fan Reporter

Dale Earnhardt Jr's Sony Contract - A Nit

Yesterday I posted the note about Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s new PERSONAL Services Contract with Sony. Today, while scouring the web for you, my readers, I came across a FoxSports web article that seems to be titled to garner attention, rather than attest to fact. The title of the article is:

Dale Jr. signs with Sony for Hendrick ride.

It seems fishy to me that they would title it that, but then I've seen reports posted, for example, with Jr.'s first press conference that he was leaving DEI, that dealt with THE fact that he was leaving DEI, but this article was posted at least 15 minutes before the press conference even started!! So I'm developing some suspicion as I review the web for information.

The article about the Sony contract does indeed clarify the following:

"His deal with Sony is a personal services contract that gives the company use of his name, likeness and voice for promotions. He also has a similar deal with Budweiser that will continue next year, regardless of what's on his car.

Budweiser has been Earnhardt's primary sponsor since 1999, and the beer manufacturer wants to continue its relationship with him at Hendrick. But car owner Rick Hendrick isn't actively pursuing new sponsors, and it's possible Bud could get shut out."

A curious note in the article says that Earnhardt's move to Hendrick is expected to clean up his sometimes scruffy image - which I don't get either, being that on TV, in an interview more than a week ago with Marty Snider, Hendrick himself said he doesn't want him to change.

OK, I'm done nit picking... There some other interesting tidbits in article.
Read the entire article at: foxsports

by Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rockingham to be Auctioned

Another sad day in the sport of NASCAR, and the base of it's historical locations as it's been announced that Speedway Motorsports will be putting up the Rockingham facility for auction, with no date yet set.

If you remember, the track was bought by SMI in 2004, and then it got it's only remaining NASCAR race date moved to Texas Motor Speedway. (This sounds like a microsoft move! Purchase, divide, absorb, retire! I could be wrong, but that's my emotional take on the issue.)

Lowe’s Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. “Humpy:” Wheeler sent a letter to Rockingham mayor Gene McLaurin last week informing him of the decision.

See the article by David Poole at thatsracin.com

Kurt Busch has new Crew Chief

Pat Tryson was named crew chief for Kurt Busch.

Tryson left Biffle's camp a few weeks earlier, and takes over for interim crew chief Troy Raker.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/racing/06/20/bc.car.nascar.busch.crew.ap/index.html

Junior will host a night of Elvis movies

Dale Earnhardt Jr will be off topic one night this August as he is set to host the opening night of "Elvis Music and Movies" on the lawn of Graceland on August 13th.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/racing/06/20/elvis.ap/index.html

Dale Earnhardt Jr and Sony

Dale Jr has struck up another professional relationship, as the contracts keep coming for the star of the NASCAR corp of drivers.

Sony will announce Thursday that NASCAR's most popular driver has signed a personal endorsement contract with the high-end consumer electronics company. As i noted in an earlier entry, Adidas is set to announce another deal with Earnhardt next month.

Thayer Lavielle, the vice president of marketing and brand development at Earnhardt's JR Motorsports, said the new business partners are a reflection of an older, wiser Earnhardt.

"I don't think we're trying to reposition him; I think we're evolving with him," Lavielle said. "He has grown a lot as a person since his rookie season, and as he matures, we have to grow his brand with companies that are authentic to who he is."

See the article in it's entirety at:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/motor/nascar/2007-06-20-earnhardt-sony_N.htm

Jeff Gordon Puts Pressure on ALL Drivers - Bruce's Opinion

So now that Jeff Gordon is a proud parent, we can all sigh in relief as to how his weekend will unfold, here in CA.

But the gauntlet has been thrown, so to speak. What gauntlet?

Any driver who will be having a child in the future is going to have to contend with the fact that Jeff Gordon was willing to have a fill in driver, and thus, nobody has any excuse about having to be in the car for the sponsors and the fans when their time comes!

No video tapes, no in-laws stepping in, no telephone conference calls boys. You have to be there, and Jeff has set the example!!

Albeit, I actually don't expect anyone to ever miss a birth of their child, but thank you Jeff Gordon for setting the example!!

A humorous viewpoint from Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter.

Ricky Rudd Plans for 2008

Ricky says it's too early to talk about 2008! He comes out of retirement, of sorts, and we, the fans don't have any idea if we're going to see him next year!? Egads.

Rudd said during a national conference call with reporters that he doesn't yet have solid plans for next year.

Check out scenedaily for the details:
http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/06/18/scene_daily967.html

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ovals are Where NASCAR needs to be

Whoa, before you get mad at me, this is just a re-link to an article David Poole wrote over on thatsracin.com.

The section of his article addressing his point starts out:

"People misunderstand my take on road course racing.

I don’t hate road courses. I think road racing is interesting in its own way, and it unquestionably requires driving skills and talents. The American Le Mans, Grand American and even the ChampCar series provide excellent venues for road racers to display their talents.

I just question what any of that has to do with stock car racing."

Read the whole article at this LINK.

Bruce's Take: I believe road courses bring the cream to the top. The most versatile drivers that are successful on ovals, can bring it to the crowd at road courses too.

NASCAR Cup Title Sponsor Change Rumors

Over on ESPN.com, Marty Smith writes the following:

"Beginning with the 2008 season, Sprint will replace Nextel as title sponsor of NASCAR's premiere racing series, multiple high-ranking industry sources told ESPN.com on condition of anonymity.

The series will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sources said.

NASCAR declined comment. "

This folllows up media commentary over the last year or so after the $36 BILLION merger between Sprint and Nextel wireless provider companies.

Over on USAtoday.com, they note that:

Changing the name would require substantial lead time and expense on the part of Sprint/Nextel, given the amount of signage and participating sponsorships involved.

Nextel officials were flying to California Wednesday afternoon, in preparation for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, and not available for comment. However, USA TODAY learned that the topic of changing the NASCAR series name did not come up at Wednesday's corporate communications meeting.

~~~

Obviously, if this were to come to be, they need to deny any rumors or info leaks until any official announcement that needs to be made via proper channels.

Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Congartulations to Mr & Mrs Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon and Ingrid Vandebosch welcomed a new daughter into the world.

June 20, 2007 - 9:09 a.m., weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 20 inches long.

Check out their birth announcement:
http://www.jeffgordon.com/congratulations/default.sps?itype=14199

Dale Jr Adidas Line of Clothing

When will it stop?

Who knows, but Jr is branching out into a new product realm for NASCAR with a clothing line under the Adidas label, as "NASCAR-related apparel and merchandise has essentially been nonexistent in the top sporting goods chains and Adidas’ relationships in that space could provide a significant distribution push for Earnhardt’s apparel."

Way to go Jr...

See the nitty girtty (It's actually a very informative article) at Sportsbusiness journal

Bruce Simmons, The Fan Reporter

Tony Stewart Milestone

When the NEXTEL Cup Series takes the green flag in Sunday's Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Stewart will be making his 300th career series start.

But of course, Stewart is not impressed with it, but some of us can be for him!!

http://www.racingone.com/article.aspx?artnum=36148

Earnhardt Jr - Unsubstantiated Sponsor RUMOR

RUMOR

I've come across tidbits that Hendrick Motorsports is in conversation with Pepsi (Mountain Dew Product) and Monster Energy about sponsoring Jr for 2008.

Monster Energy is sponsoring JRMotorsports late Model car of Jeremy McGrath, so that could make more sense, and it would be a perfect soci-economic fit with the young Dale Jr, as he represents all that is new, and fresh in the industry today, across differing markets of auto sales, jeans, 'beverages' and such. (Or at least I think so) (See captainthunderracing)

It's also been seen that sponsorships for Daytona need to be in place by August of the previous year, so this type of news should start shaping up into some form of reality soon, so I can quit using my RUMOR disclaimer when I report these things.

But as you may know, I don't want to mislead anyone, so I like using the RUMOR tag when and where it seems necessary to not get up too many hopes of the fans.

Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Infineon Raceway, Juan Pablo Montoya - Bruce's Opnion

This season seems to have had it's impact on Montoya who's made people uneasy with his style fo driving, being aggressive at all times, wether he's on the lead lap, or multiple laps down.

In the Busch race in Mexico, even though he came from the back of the pack, I don't remember seeing how he got there, but we did see how he took the lead away from his own team mate, and you have to wonder if he's going to stir other drivers ire this weekend.

If he's learned anything, I hope he puts it to good use here, and hopefully his team will give him a great car to shine with and that he uses his tires more than his fenders to get to the front, because that's where I expect him to be this weekend, up front fighting for spots with Stewart, J Gordon and others.

Bruce - The Reporting Fan

Upcoming Infenion Race

52 teams are entered in Sunday's race capped off with road course specialists in several of the cars.

check out the details at
http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/06/18/scene_daily949.html

Darrell Waltrip on Wind Tunnel

Darrell Waltrip was on Speed's Wind Tunnel and the transcript is here on foxsports.com
http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/6935002

Basically, Darrell does not think Teresa will give up the #8, AND Darrell does not think that Budweiser will be the sponsor for Jr at HMS!

I guess time will tell, won't it?

Monday, June 18, 2007

NASCAR Point Standings

Here's a quick recap of the points standings in

CUP:
1 Jeff Gordon 2392 Leader
2 Denny Hamlin 2128 -264
3 Jimmie Johnson 2055 -337
4 Matt Kenseth 2044 -348
5 Jeff Burton 1919 -473
6 Carl Edwards 1905 -487
7 Tony Stewart 1903 -489
8 Kevin Harvick 1794 -598
9 Clint Bowyer 1774 -618
10 Martin Truex Jr. 1772 -620

More

BUSCH:
1 Carl Edwards 2534 Leader
2 Dave Blaney 1833 -701
3 Kevin Harvick 1798 -736
4 David Reutimann 1764 -770
5 Regan Smith 1744 -790
6 David Ragan* 1713 -821
7 Greg Biffle 1647 -887
8 Marcos Ambrose* 1638 -896
9 Bobby Hamilton Jr. 1629 -905
10 Jason Leffler 1603 -931

More


TRUCK
1 Mike Skinner 1708 Leader
2 Ron Hornaday 1595 -113
3 Todd Bodine 1508 -200
4 Travis Kvapil 1443 -265
5 Rick Crawford 1424 -284
6 Ted Musgrave 1420 -288
7 Johnny Benson 1264 -444
8 Aaron Fike* 1232 -476
9 Jack Sprague 1205 -503
10 Matt Crafton 1184 -524

More

Another AT & T twist

Cingular / AT & T signed a multi year deal with the Childress 31 car, and Jeff Burton has also signed a contract extension.

RCRacing

Now that's showing some faith in the system all around!!

NASCAR counter sues AT & T

We knew it was only a matter of time, and here it is.

NASCAR filed a countersuit against AT&T, claiming financial damag by Cingular's placement of the AT&T logos on the No. 31 car.

In a twist of twists, NASCAR is asking the court to issue an order allowing it to deny any telecommunications company other than Nextel, including Cingular and Alltel, the right to compete as a primary sponsor in its Cup series starting in the 2008 season.

So they go from defending what seemed like a rock solid contractual issue, and now they're adding a twist to the game that is going to hurt a 3rd party that is only technically, part of the process.

Last month, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting NASCAR from standing in the way of AT&T changing the Cingular decals on Burton's No. 31 Chevrolet after AT&T acquired the company. That case is still pending in federal district court.

See Thatsracin.com for the entire article.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Edwards Wins at Michigan

Carl Edwards wins the Race!!!

Followed by Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Casey Mears, Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, and the highest finishing Toyota in the field, Michael Waltrip in 10th.

We get a picture perfect back flip from Edwards..

Go to http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/ for all the finishing details!!

Check out my recap of the race at:
http://nascar-notes.blogspot.com/2007/06/michigan-citizens-bank-400-coverage.html

A Terrible Drag Race Accident

SELMER, Tenn. -- Three more people have died after a drag-racing car went out of control and careened into a crowd of spectators, raising the death toll to seven, state officials said Sunday. The crash occurred Saturday night during an "exhibition burnout" -- when a driver spins his tires to make them heat up and smoke -- at the Cars for Kids charity event in Selmer, located about 80 miles east of Memphis. Several other people were injured.

This is a twist of the most tragic nature. The event was a Cars for Kids charity event, who helps kids in need. I don't know what else I can say.

See the rest of the article

Truck and Busch Notes

Craftsman Truck Update:

Travis Kvapil wins the Michigan 200.
Followed by Kyle Busch, Gaughan, Skinner & Musgrave.
See all other details at NASCAR.com


Busch Series Update:
Stephen Leicht won his first NBS race in the Meijer 300 at Kansas.
He was followed by Coleman, Wimmer, Stremme & Huffman.
See all the other details at NASCAR.com

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jr's Number

So some of us Diecast collectors, T-Shirt owners, Hat wearers, and if you were brave enough, Tatoo wearers (Dave Moody on Sirius say NEVER get a tatoo of anyone's number, because you never know what might happen! Wise man, that Moody. ) are wondering if we need to start saving up money to get the new scheme coming down the line.

Some station I was watching had brought up the old budweiser ad about jr going to the 6.7 car, and the timing of that recap was pretty funny at the time.

Well, it seems, that DEI's mouthpiece, (Because Teresa doesn't think we're important enough to talk to herself) , Max Siegel said Friday that he would be willing to discuss a transfer of the number. (Yea, they were willing to engage in contract negotiations also!!)

The entire article is over on ESPN.com for your own edification of details if you need it.

Does Busch want to leave Hendrick?

It seems that Kyle Busch wasn't looking at a 'Plan A" to leave Hendrick Motorsports as their contract negotiations carried on, but that is what Kyle now has to do as any other option with HM is not there. This article touches on that a bit: The Gaston Gazette

But what seems to be an interesting angle to all this was an article over at ESPN that says that Kyle's agent, Alan Miller, had kept him in the dark about different things that were going on in the negotiations, including Miller fielding incoming inquiries from other organizations showing interest in him.

Kyle was even also surprised initially to learn Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been signed to replace him.

Great agent.

Another New Track Location?

This confuses me, since I thought they wanted to come out to the northwest for expansion, but I guess a tried and true plan B ain't a bad way to go either.

article:
Executives from NASCAR and International Speedway, the sport's biggest track builder, have had preliminary discussions with Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

NASCAR has long wanted to hold a race in the nation's largest media market, and a plan to build a track in Staten Island recently fell apart. .... read more at nj.com

Jr's Press Conference Transcript

If you want to read every word, I found a transcript at catchfence.com

Friday, June 15, 2007

Race Lineup For Michigan

JJ Yeley gets his first Cup pole! Congrats to JJ...

Here's the top 10 qualifiers:
1 J.J. Yeley
2 Jimmie Johnson
3 Kyle Busch
4 Ryan Newman
5 Joe Nemechek
6 Jeff Gordon
7 Denny Hamlin
8 Martin Truex Jr.
9 Jeff Burton
10 Kurt Busch

See the rest of the lineup at nascar.com

Thursday, June 14, 2007

An Ode to a Displaced Father & Son

Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It's an interesting perspective, a father who's lost a son.
A son who's lost his father.

These 2 personalities should know exactly what the other has gone through.
They have an incredible appreciation for each other's deep rooted, ever lasting emptiness.
That's a bond 2 people can never break, no matter what happens to their relationship.
An unspoken kinship.

The fact they've known each other for many a moon doesn't hurt either.

Good luck Rick.
Good luck Dale.
Dale, your father would be proud of you, pulling away from expectations of everyone, and doing what was right for you, for your own independent future, to mold yourself outside of DEI, who I'm sure will go on to be their own namesake someday.

Good luck to all.
I stand in great respect, awaiting what will come next,
and saving my dollars for the new diecasts for Jr.. damnit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Rain at Pocono

I've heard a lot of talk about NASCAR starting the race so late, that they had no opportunity to fulfill their operating premise of starting the race with a premise of getting the whole race in.

Many callers to the various radio shows I've listened to seemed suspicious at best. (Yep, we are looking for the black helicopters, but it was raining and we couldn't see them!)

One premise I haven't heard from anyone, (At least at the times I had been listening in on the different shows) was that rain and thunderstorms were predicted for the following day and the day after that.

Is it possible that NASCAR considered this when they started the race on Sunday, trying to at least get some race in, as opposed to no race in?

Food for thought....
Take care.

Dale Earnhardt Jr AD - Bruce's Opinion

I don't know if anyone else has coined the term, but AD: After DEI.

Now that Jr has announced probably what anyone who 1/2 way knows him had expected anyway, it's time to see who his fans really are.

I've heard different perspectives about fans who may or may not follow him to HM.

If these fans are on the bubble about this, then they ARE NOT Jr fans. They are DEI fans riding the coat tails of their preferred DEI driver. Shame on youuuuu!

For the true Jr fan, worry yourself not. If you don't have any tolerance for Gordon or Johnson, don't worry. Do you like everyone you work with? No, you are just working for the same company. That's what this is.. He's just working at the same company some of the 'dark side' drivers are at. (I jeard that, it's not my term!)

On the other hand, as Jr recounted to the press this morning, he pointed Jimmie to his first motorhome, and other first things and Gordon has been a business partner of Earnhardt Sr. in the past, so they probably know each pretty well too.


Yet I have to wonder, on NASCAR.com, there's this pic headlining one of the stories, just how Johnson and Gordon feel, being back rowed to the 2 buddies, the newer drivers.

Well, to be honest about it, they're probably just fine, but still, who wants to take a back seat?
(This image courtesy of NASCAR.com)

According the the NASCAR.com statistics website page, the drivers ranked over the last 6 races, Gordon is ranked #1, and Jr is ranked 7th. (One spot behind Truex by the way.)

I think this will make a an interesting team. With Mears on his way up, and the other 3 drivers, just which 4 or 5 races will Hendricks Motorsports not win in 2008 because as they've proven this year, they have the COT thing down like it's nobody's business!!

As for "The Shrub", Kyle Busch made this press statement at the same time Jr was having his press conference: (I guess he didn't need to hear it, since he knew about it.)
"We had been working on a contract extension for me to remain at Hendrick Motorsports, but after prolonged negotiations, we mutually agreed that a fresh start was in order. I have been granted a release after the 2007 season," said Busch, known for being a fierce competitor on the track and his somewhat childish tantrums off of it. (nascar.com)

It will be a matter of time before we see or hear where he'll go, because officially, silly season is well under way, is it not?
Take care all, Bruce

Earnhardt Jr. Press Conference 6-13-07

Read it here first, as it's posted while Dale Jr. speaks!!

8:03 am, pacific: I'm watching the web cast from Speed. They're talking about everything rumored, .. still waiting.
8:05 am - Jr is chatting. Jr thanked the fans and the media for their patience.
He also thanked all the team owners for their time.
He introduced his "new boss for 2008, Rick Hendrick".


Rick Hendrick notes that he and Kyle had been in negotiations since the end of last year, and they both realized that Kyle will have better opportunities else where.

So Dale Earnhardt Jr will be taking the slot that Kyle Busch has held and the contract is a 5 year contract.

Sponsorships have not been worked out yet. (IE: Is Budweiser coming along with Jr?)

Jr said he wants to keep the number 8, and that they would have to present that to Teresa (Earnhardt) and see how that pans out. The audience erupted into some entertaining laughter with that statement.


The next couple of months will be worked out as to who will be on his crew, including whether Jr's present crew will come over or not.

When asked about the reports of Jr going to Gibbs or Childress, Jr noted that info came out of thin air.

Hendrick Motorsports have several multi-year contracts with sponsors and they need to look at how these are going to pan out and where they get placed.


-Bruce

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jr RUMORS about Press Conference

The RUMOR that I heard on Sirius Satellite Radio today around noon, pacific time, in an on-air interview between David Poole and Dave Moody is that the SPECULATION is that Jr is going to Hendrick Motorsports, and he will be replacing Kyle Busch. That's the RUMOR over the airwaves.

They did note that this may all change tomorrow at the press conference, but that's where the momentum of the story is going.

They did note that there will be some Jr. fans that are going to have to start 'not hating' the Hendrick camp as Jr goes over to the dark side.

Did I mention that this is the mainstream rumor? Oh yeah, I think I did. We'll see tomorrow. -Bruce

If you have to, here are a few links for absorb until tomorrow:

http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=2&id=2901813

http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/06/11/scene_daily854.html

http://www.charlotte.com/456/story/156911.html