Friday, August 31, 2007

The Weather At California Speedway

David Poole reports in an article at ThatsRacin.com that the temps are hitting close to 110 degrees there and www.weather.com is predicting 103 degrees.

The folk on Sirius Satellite Racing were worried that the Godfather, Dave Moody is not going to be happy with this heat when he arrives, and then the broadcast trailer AC went out and then they changed their tune about the weather and started looking forward to get out in the 110 degree heat to cool down!! Poor folk!! What they go through to bring us our ear candy of our beloved sport.

I'm writing to say if you are going to the races, please play it safe!
Bring broad rimmed hats, lots of sun screen (I like the spray on 36 SPF Bullfrog.. it really works and it's too easy to use), and bring or get plenty of water in you! DON'T wait until you're thirsty!! Heat stroke sneaks up on you and you don't even know it until it's too late and you're babbling and incoherent and don't understand why you're head feels like it's inflating and the world is spinning. I've been there.. it ain't no fun.

So take care of yourselves out there and have fun at the track for me!!!

CA NASCAR Cup Lineup

Today weather was not an issue, but clouds that crept in may have impacted the final results for the NEXTEL NASCAR Cup Sharp AQUOS 500 Race at California Speedway.

For the first bit, Ryan Newman had the pole, but he qualified under the sun and as the qualifying progressed, clouds moved in and the track cooled.

Whether that was the reason or not, Ryan got relegated back to 4th, as Kurt Busch took the pole by .001 seconds from Jimmie Johnson, followed by Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler making up the front 3 rows for the Cup race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr is starting 7th, Tony Stewart is starting 22nd. (I guess he needed Toyota power?) And Jeff Burton, in the naked AT&T car is starting 15th.

Scott Riggs, Ward Burton and Dale Jarrett did not make the race.

See the entire lineup at nascar.com

CA Busch Race Lineup

In the NASCAR Busch Series, Denny Hamlin took the pole for the Camping World 300 presented by RVs.com at California Speedway.

He was followed by Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton & Greg Biffle make up the all Cup driver first 6 rows.

To see the rest of the line up, go to nascar.com

Another Post about Kyle Busch and His Yapper

I know this isn't really news, perse, but I am amazed at the audacity of some folk. For instance, The Shrub.

So earlier today, Kyle Busch blew the lid off the Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing speculation, but on Sirius Satellite Radio today, they were talking about how Kyle and Kurt have yet to talk about their altercation in the All-Star Challenge wreck at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Get this: They said that Kyle is not going to make the call to his brother to talk about the incident between them because his brother has yet to own up to his responsibility to his part of the accident!!!!

For one moment, I thought I missed THAT race, because if I'm not mistaken, didn't The Shrub go hard on the inside of his brother, and couldn't hold the line, and slid up into Kurt??

I'm just askin'.

J.J. Yeley May Have Some Good Options

J.J. Yeley says he's in conversations with four teams about his future.

Though Yeley does not expound on whom he is in conversation with, Robert Yates Racing is more than happy to indicate they are very interested in Mr. Yeley, and I am sure for Yeley fans, that is good news that J.J. has good options.

fannation.com

Kyle Busch, Gibbs, Toyota - more

The reports are flying around that the announcement next week that Joe Gibbs Racing is making will be that they are going to Toyota.

We will also see how the stalwart Stewart deals with this move, being such the Chevy guy that he is with all his other ventures, but I digress. Let me get back on track here.

Remeber when Kyle [The Shrub] Busch called his ride terrible things after the COT win at Bristol, and how his mouth just kept getting him in a hole?

Well, whether it has been orchestrated, anticipated, or hoped against, Kyle Busch has confirmed Toyota rumors for next year in as much as how he answered some reporter questions about it:

"I feel fine with it," Busch said when asked what he thought of the team's move to Toyota from Chevrolet. "I think it's something that's going to take Joe Gibbs Racing hopefully a step forward and in the right direction. They've got a great repertoire for being able to produce winning race cars year in and year out and championship-contending teams, so I think that they're going to be just fine and this is a business decision that they've done right."

So much for the announcement next week! scenedaily.com

Reporters (1) Kyle Busch (0). Well, really, the reporters probably have about 20, but who's counting!!

ThatsRacin.com also has an article on it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Race / TV schedule for Labor Day Weekend

NEXTEL Cup: ESPN, Sunday, 7pm ET
NASCAR Busch Series: ESPN2, Sat, 9:30pm ET
NASCAR Craftsman Trucks: SPEED, Sat 5 pm ET.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Is Nike backing away from NASCAR?

Starter, whose goal was to make its brand synonymous with NASCAR, has decided not to pursue more deals in the sport.


Starter, Nike's value brand of footwear and apparel, claims to provide 70 percent of the footwear worn by NASCAR crews, and it had pledged to strengthen its position in the sport last January when it signed a three-year contract with Joe Gibbs Racing.


But seven months into that relationship, Nike executives have decided not to continue seeking business deals in NASCAR. A Nike spokesman said Starter will fulfill the terms of its deal -- providing uniforms, footwear and apparel -- with Gibbs Racing through 2009. No financial terms were available.


Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come or maybe they're signing on with Earnhardt Jr like other brands have been!! Who knows...


Read the whole article at nascar.com

Is Gibbs really Headed to Toyota - Another Article

Joe Gibbs Racing has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday and several published reports say the team will announce it has signed a deal to field Toyotas in the Nextel Cup series.

The reports, citing unidentified sources, said JGR will end its 16-year relationship with General Motors and give Toyota its first big name team in Cup.

See foxsports.com for more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

McSwain To Step Down After This Season

At the end of the season, Michael "fatback" McSwain will step down as crew chief for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing and current driver Bill Elliott. He doesn't yet know where he'll land or what he'll be doing, but in McSwain's very countenance, there is nevertheless a most definite sense of relief.

No longer will McSwain dread leaving his home in Dallas, N.C., where he lives with wife Deanna, 2-year old daughter Makayla and son Wyatt, who's just three months old. No longer will Makayla wonder when her daddy's going to be home. No longer will McSwain be just an infrequent visitor at his church...........

nascar.com

In Case you Wonder what Happens when Sponsors Don't Come Through

Lack of support prompts cancellation of Champ Car season-finale at Phoenix.

he promoters of the season-ending Champ Car World Series event in Phoenix on Dec. 2 have cancelled the inaugural event due to a lack of sponsor support.

“An event of this magnitude requires considerable corporate support and, though we did establish some outstanding partnerships, there were simply not enough of these to create economic viability,” said Dale Jensen, owner and managing member of the Sports Property.

thatsracin.com

For Champ car fans, that must suck.

I attended the Champ car event at the San Jose Grand Prix this year and it was interesting to say the least. I had a free pass to the Friday practice and qualifying and went to check it out.

After they sorted out their ticket booth problems, finished constructing the entrance on my side of the track, and resolved their internet connectivity issue, I was finally able to get only 45 minutes later than planned!

I also had to pay for a full day's worth of parking when their website said it was only $5.

Otherwise, I found it interesting and enjoyed how they qualified, being little mini races going on for timed laps with traffic in your way and they had a mix of different type cars running on the track. Of course, I missed the classic NASCAR race that day due to needing to be somewhere at the same time, but it seemed they were the cars from yesteryear! It was cool to see those.

Pretty soon I'll post pics from that day...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dan Wheldon not to NASCAR yet

Dan Wheldon said Chip Ganassi wants him to remain in Indy-car racing at least for the time being, which includes 2008. Wheldon is completing his fifth full season in the IndyCar Series, his second with Ganassi Racing.

"It's not a difference (of opinion), it's just a difference of timing," Wheldon said of Ganassi's position. "He doesn't really say why, but he thinks I should stay in Indy-car racing -- for Honda."

indystar.com

Wanted - One Busch Series Sponsor

It's been noted out there that contract talks with Subway have hit some troubled time.

Are are some snips from the article

KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and Allstate, each of which had been contenders for the sponsorship earlier in the process, are among the companies NASCAR has approached in the past several weeks

NASCAR was asking $30 million a year when it began the sales process in the first quarter of the year, but that figure has dropped by nearly half. As part of the new price, NASCAR and ESPN, working jointly to sell the title sponsorship, have relaxed the required media spend on ESPN, sources say. At first, about a third of that $30 million was a required spend on ESPN's platforms.

Exclusivity emerged as a major sticking point (Ya think!?) in Subway's negotiations because of the broad quick-service restaurant category. Arby's, McDonald's, Jimmy John's and Domino's are among the team sponsors already involved in the Busch Series. (That would be a lot of lawsuits down the road.)

Check out the whole article at scenedaily.com

For the Kenny Schrader Fans

Kenny Schrader, a native of Fenton, Mo., is not only driving the No. 18 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series race, but he's also giving the command to start engines - while in his truck. (Go Kenny!! - so much for my neutrality in writing!)

See more at scenedaily.com

Villeneuve Has a Good Test

For those of you following the F1 imports

Jacques Villeneuve had not driven on an oval since 1995, the year he won the Indianapolis 500 and the CART championship. BDR Craftsman Truck Series driver Mike Skinner was on hand to help Villeneuve, who watched Skinner make a few laps in the truck before taking to the 1.5-mile track.

By the end of the first day, Villeneuve was within two-tenths of a second of Skinner's time, BDR reported.

See all the details at scenedaily.com

Jack Roush's Mother, Georgetta, Passes Away

Georgetta Roush, mother of Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush, passed away today at the age of 92.

She was also the designated owner of the No. 26 Cup entry in 2006 and the No. 99 Cup entry in 2007. Roush is survived by her two sons, Jack and Frank, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Georgetta Roush’s name to:
Speedway Children’s Charities 5555 Concord Park South, Suite 336 Concord, N.C. 28027

roushracing.com
(Roush Racing PR)

GodSpeed Georgetta. RIP.

The Boredom of Bristol

An opinion by Bruce Simmons

I've read a lot of commentary that people did not like the Bristol race. From what I can gather, folks are looking for the angry fender rubbing and chrome bumper applications that result in the feuds that erupt later. (OK, so those can be fun when a driver tosses his helmet at a car, and then gets hit by it when it bounces back.)

Yes, the race seemed, boring, if that was what you were looking for.

On the other hand, how often have you seen 3 wide happen for extended (OK, more than a corner or two) periods of time at Bristol? I found that interesting.

I even saw 4 wide at moments through the weekend, and through it all, Carl Edwards worked the wheel to win the first reconfigured track surface race at Britsol Motor Speedway.

You know what I didn't miss? So many yellow flags that the race extended to a 4 or 5 hour television program nap!

Combining the 3 wide, the oft side by side racing, and the lack of yellows (David Ragan being 1/3 of the yellows!) is what contributes my positive perspective of the race.

YET, the COT and the harder tires could be components to what made the race so bland for most.

One other issue I noted: During one of the spins in the race, I watched one of these COT's get so out of hand, that it was more the 45 degrees sideways headed out of the turn, and it snapped back to facing the right direction without much loss of momentum as if it was on a rail.

My perspective is that with the COT that 'pushes' more than the older design, what I saw did not surprise me, though that could have been driver skill also, BUT ESPN did not even make mention of the deed, and the challenging camera angle prevented me from ID'ing who it was.

We also saw how hard it is to move someone, as evidenced from Martinsville, when Jeff Gordon collapsed his front end from hitting Jimmy Johnson so hard in the back end in the corners to move him, and not succeeding. If you remember, Jeff said after the race something to the effect that these cars (COT's) are a lot harder to move than I thought.

I think, as Goodyear does get some tire tests under it's belt, and now that the drivers have a better feel for this new Bristol configuration, we might see more drivers meeting the threshold of sane racing to get past their opponents next time we visit this track.

If you think about it, this was a short track race as they tend to pan out, if they didn't have yellow flags. The better teams worked their way through the field, got out there, and stayed out there., unless they "blowed up" like Denny Hamlin did when he got himself from 43rd to 7th before the flame out.

So from what I see, the feuds are what you want to see and yes, this could become a mini-Michigan or California, but on the bright side, you can see the cars at every point on the track!!

The funny part is that the Busch and Truck races were better! Go figure.
Here's another pespective on the issue over at: foxsports.com

Take care and thanks for reading.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The 38 to Hendrick Motorsports?

According to Fox Sports.com,

Robert Yates Racing approached NASCAR about transferring the No. 38 to Hendrick Motorsports.

The number, currently driven by Nextel Cup rookie David Gilliland, would have the No. 3 that Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s father drove. It would also have the No. 8, which the driver has expressed an interest in keeping so his fans would be able to just draw a number in front of or behind the 8.

This seems just too fishy. I am filing this under hear-say and RUMOR for now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

DEI Driver Lineup for 2008

First the conjecture, then who is in the 8 car, then they are being denied, then more "sources" say it is going to happen, then the tarot cards said something else. Arg!!

In keeping with the tangible state of denial, Dale Earnhardt Inc. most likely will announce its driver lineup - car numbers, drivers and crew chiefs - during the Sept. 7-8 race weekend at Richmond, DEI President Max Siegel said Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Siegel does seem to confirm Mark Martin and Aric Amirola in the car during the article, and also touches on crew chiefs: Siegel also said that he should have a decision about a crew chief for the No. 8 team as well. Tony Eury Jr. has expressed an interest of following Earnhardt Jr. to Hendrick.

At least I think that's what they think they heard him say he was going to say, maybe in a few weeks, or so, possibly, but then, maybe not, if they do, or can't but could.

When they announce it, that is when it will be. Sources or not, then the conjecture and the race to be the first one to "BREAK" the news to everyone will be over and we can get on with our plans to buy next years diecasts, shirts, trading cards, or what not. Sheesh.

Here's the article that got me going! scenedaily.com

ESPN actually Apologizes for their lack of Coverage

I was glued to the set, watching Kasey Kahne defend his lead from a couple of contenders. Newman just lost a tire when Leffler forced them 4 wide to pass a lapped car, and fender rubbed into Newman.. Newmans tire smoked out almost immediately. LOOK OUT Kasey!! Here comes Leffler! Oh my god, is Leffler going to drive through Kahne to get the..............

Don't know. Screen went blank. It got very quiet in the house for the last few laps...

Then it came back just as everyone was coasting across the finish line! Hey!! What happened, who won? Well, that was what it was like to watch the Busch race on ESPN2 Friday night. They immediately replayed the last few laps, but the high anxiety tension was over by then, but it was another in a long line of little slips they keep doing to the viewer. At least here, it was big enough that they had to get in front of the situation, as they would say in NYPD Blue!

"We sincerely apologize for briefly losing transmission due to human error and have taken steps to prevent this from happening again,"

scenedaily.com

Haas to Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion

The owner of the nation’s largest maker of machine tools agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy in cheating the government out of $34.3 million in taxes through what the I.R.S. called “deceptive and elaborate tax evasion schemes.”

The businessman, Gene F. Haas, 55, will admit guilt in the case, which involves his company, Haas Automation, as well as several others. He is to change his plea to guilty on Monday. The plea agreement is subject to approval by a Federal District Court judge in Los Angeles.

Back taxes, a $5 million fine, fraud penalties of 40 percent and interest will bring Mr. Haas’s total cost for cheating on his 2000 and 2001 taxes to more than $70 million and on top of that, he also agreed to serve two years in prison. (ouch)

nytimes.com

Biffle has Sponsor for 2008

Roush Fenway Racing has obtained a sponsor for Greg Biffle and the No. 16 Sprint Cup car for the 2008 season!! scenedaily.com

Birstol - Sharpie 500

by Bruce Simmons

The Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway

The green flag was delayed by the 49 car of John Andretti stalling in turn 2 but once he was out of the way, the green flag flew and Kasey Kahne took off like a rocket but he relinquished the win to Carl Edwards at the end of the night.

Carl Edwards was followed by Kasey Kahne, Cline Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch & Greg Biffle rounding out the top 10.

We saw 20 cars still on the lead lap, 8 different leaders with 12 lead changes and 9 cautions for 61 laps. With this win, Carl was able to snag Ford's first COT win.


For me, the variable banking made a great race that was not slowed down to a 5 hour show with many laps of caution. The high line was the groove to use, but when the leaders encountered lapped traffic, the low line worked for passing. On the flip side, the variable banking helped the lapped cars fight for their beleaguered position, as Michael Waltrip demonstrated late in the race as he fought off the leaders for a few laps while being 3 laps down, until Edwards "helped" Waltrip move up out of the way.

Watching continual side by side racing and 3 wide, with an occassional 4 wide for mere moments was most unique for Bristol. It wasn't what I was used to, but now that everyone has had a taste of driving on the track, the next time they come back, I think we'll see more aggressive racing once again, because then, the boys will know their limits!

See more lap details at : brucesimmons.org

Here's the unofficial results: scenedaily.com

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The 8 Car Rumor on Drivers

Now that the Rumor, "ACOORDING TO SOURCES", is out there in the media regarding DEI and the 8 car:

Dale Earnhardt Inc. Vice President John Story says he's not going to put a timetable on naming the new drivers for the team.

And he would not confirm that Mark Martin will move over to the No. 8 and share that Chevrolet with rookie Aric Almirola next season.

In addressing that, Story said that "anything's possible and nothing's definite."

See the rest of the article at scenedaily

Friday, August 24, 2007

Food City 250 - Bristol

by Bruce Simmons
pic from nascar.com


The racing looked good on the NEW Bristol track surface. See my outline on what they did to the track at: Bristol Specs Kasey Kahne won the race, as in the last 15 laps saw the front runners rubbing fenders with each other.

At the start of the race, racing was clean. The semi-variable banking provided multiple lines and the racing was clean at the front of the race. For a moment, I thought we were going see a race in an hour and a half the way they were first running, but single car spins started to sprout out of the new surface.

Ryan Newman was leading on old tires (100+ laps old) when Kasey Kahne and Jason Leffler came up to tangle for the lead. Ryan was using the outside line to hold them off, then he let Kasey in on the outside of him (Man, that sounds funny referring to a Bristol race).

They rubbed fenders, Kasey on the outside, Ryan on the inside, a lapped car coming up on the inside, with Leffler behind them and closing hard.

Leffler
doing what he does best, made it FOUR wide at the worst possible moment and rubbed his RR fender up into Ryans LF forcing Ryan into Kasey's LR fender, and Ryan lost his tire from that contact.

The rest of the race (a few laps) was a mystery as ESPN lost their satellite feed, but replayed the last 2 laps, showing Kasey Kahne winning, Leffler, not quite able to overtake him on the inside line, came in second and David Reutimann coming in third.

See the unofficial results here: nascar.com

Kyle Busch, Bristol, Officiating Errors

by Bruce Simmons

NASCAR has to develop a system that allows them to correct their own errors.

I'm watching the Bristol Busch race. During a series of pit stops, Kyle Busch got a commitment cone violation and served the penalty. This would seem to have taken the car out of contention of the win, and he might have had the winning car.

Some laps later, NASCAR came back and said they had made a mistake about the call.

I say that at the next yellow, or call a yellow, and they fix their error and put the car they penalized back in the spot they came from, or half the distance to the front (Kind a like football!) Half the distance meaning if they were 10th, and now 20th, they get put to 10th.

It ain't perfect, but when the officials make an error, they need to fix it.
What do you think?

Dale Jr says Back off of Teresa

OK, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still a company man, and he is sort of related. With that in mind:

Here's a quote from an article:

"I do want to say that I think it's about time we give Teresa a break," he said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "She makes the decision on that number because she owns it and as much as I am disappointed and frustrated over the fact that I don't get to keep driving the No. 8, the stuff that I read on the Internet and the stuff that I'm hearing is going on, the remarks about her, directed toward her, I don't think anybody deserves that. If people just take a step back and look, she hasn't done anything intentionally detrimental to me."

OK Dale, we will stop noting her absentia at the track, and hard nosed business edge. No problem!!

See the rest of the article by Rhea White at: scenedaily.com


A Reflection by Bruce Simmons

NASCAR fans are the most loyal consumers to the sports sponsors, right? I think we can demonstrate that simply.

Rather than publicly bashing Teresa (And we are frustrated by her methods of running a team in NASCAR), then I suggest we 'speak' our displeasure with our wallets. IF possible, who ever the sponsors are on the 8 car next year, we try to find alternate companies to buy products from. Plain and simple. The wallet has more power than you can imagine.

Sharpie 500 at Bristol - On the POLE

Kasey Kahne captured his 14 career pole today at the newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway.
Sharing the front row with him is Juan Montoya, followed by McMurray, Ragan, Blaney, Edwards, Newman, Rudd, Johnson and Jeff Burton for the top 10.

Of note: Ward Burton, Kenny Wallace, Dale Jarrett & AJ Allmendinger made it in. (Allmendinger is one funny guy. He refers to himself as dinger because his name is just too long to remember!!)

Jr and Jeff Gordon are sharing the 9th row.

Did not qualify: David Reutimann, Sterling Marlin, Brian Vickers, Kevin Lepage, Stanton Barrett Jr.

foxsports.com

Furniture Row and Joe Nemechek

For you Joe Nemechek fans, Joe is slated to drive the furniture Row #78 car at California Speedway on Sept 2. denverpost.com has many more details.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The New Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol Motor Speedway has been repaved since the last race. Watching the truck race, it didn't seem much different after this massive repaving job, but let me toss out a few factoids from an article by David Poole:

What did they take away:
They took away 1,815 cubic yards of concrete.
842 cubic yards of concrete walls.
More than an acre’s worth of asphalt – 275 loads in 20-ton trucks.

What they put back:
More than 3,000 cubic yards of concrete.
More than 650 tons of rebar – roughly the equivalent of 382 Nextel Cup cars.
The track is 3 feet wider, now 43 feet wide.
Pit road is now concrete instead of asphalt.
The pit stalls are 16 feet by 28 feet. (2 feet wider)
The track surface itself has slightly variable banking, which gives the surface more of a bowl shape, which track designers hope will make it nearly as fast to run one groove up as it is to run right around the bottom.

See the entire article at thatsracin.com

Mayfield Regrets Past Decisions

Jeremy Mayfield says as he looks back, he's realized he's made mistakes by not looking at the big picture. (Dude, YOU are not ALONE!!)

"Looking back now, I would've done things differently when I was young and dumb and racing for Roger Penske," the 38-year-old said. "Roger tried to get me to look at the big picture, but I guess I had to hit rock bottom to understand.

"I thought the grass was greener elsewhere. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have left because that's when my struggles started."

See the details at the foxsports.com article.

NASCAR and ATT, Still going at It

NASCAR has rejected proposed paint schemes featuring AT&T's "Go Phone" and the AT&T Mobility tagline "More Bars in More Places" as AT&T seeks a way to remain on the No. 31.

"NASCAR insisted that not only must AT&T Mobility remove the 'AT&T' name and logo immediately, but also that AT&T Mobility feature the very name, 'Cingular,' that AT&T Mobility has spent millions of dollars removing from the marketplace," AT&T states in their motion.

I say AT&T start a NASCAR competition division called Cingular NASCAR, and put their old X logo back on the car, and spend the money instead of on legal fees, on marketing the crap out of their NASCAR division on TV!! Everyone wins. (Well, at least that seems to be the short answer to this silly scenario that is keeping us fans in suspense.)

See the whole article and all the details at: scenedaily.com

Jacques Villeneuve and NASCAR

Wow, who's NOT looking at NASCAR.

Following an invitation from Toyota NASCAR team Bill Davis Racing, former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will make his NASCAR debut behind the wheel of a Toyota Tundra truck on Monday, August 27 at Chicagoland Speedway in Illinois.

See billdavisracing.com for the rest of the article!

Scott Speed maybe NASCAR?

If Scott Speed ever wanted to come to NASCAR, he's get some serious help from Red Bull!

Red Bull’s motorsports guru Helmut Marko says that the company would be happy to help Scott Speed kick start a NASCAR career.

As the man who looks after the company’s young drivers, Marko is eager to give Speed a helping hand, after he was dropped following a falling-out with Scuderia Toro Rosso bosses Gerhard Berger and Franz Tost. The former STR driver had some initial discussions with U.S.-based teams last week.

See the SpeedTV Article on the whole deal.

The 8, Martin, Almirola, Army Sponsor

Here's the big news we've all been waiting for:

Jim Utter over at ThatsRacin says that Barring a last-minute change, Nextel Cup Series veteran Mark Martin and rookie Aric Almirola will become the drivers of Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s No. 8 Chevrolet next season, The Charlotte Observer has learned.

Good scoop if it's true.

http://www.thatsracin.com/242/story/6078.html

(It just won't be the same.. )

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Benson wins Truck Race

by Bruce Simmons

After a late race spin by the race leaders, Kyle Busch and Travis Kvapil, Johnny Benson's late race pit stop paid off, the fresher tires helping him to hold off newlywed Brendan Gaughan to win the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series' O'Reilly 200 on Wednesday night.

Mark Martin finished third, followed by Mike Skinner and Rick Crawford.

nascar.com

Normally, I don't have anything bad to say about Speed TV's coverage, but it felt like they had ESPN staff on loan!

At one point, for quite some time, all we saw were the 4 front running trucks spread out, but no other trucks.. I thought it was a 4 truck race!! Then at one point, we see a truck starting to spin out of a corner, but they pan away to the front of the pack before we see him lose it!! Ack!! Quit teasing me!!

Ok, that's really all I got, it wasn't that bad, but there was an aweful lot of focus on the leaders and not a lot of focus on the pack of trucks racing each other.

Kvapil to Truck Pole

Travis Kvapil has the pole for tonights O'Reilly 200 at Bristol.

Lineup: foxsports.com

Trucks at Bristol, Brendan Married



The NASCAR Craftsman Truck series is at Bristol and this will be Brendan Gaughan's first race as a married man. And from the pic that I absconded with at NASCAR.com, it seems the garage is having their fun with it! (pic via nascar.com, from southpointracing.com)

Look out Brendan, that's probably an unapproved aero adjustment!

The O'Reilly 200 truck race is Aug 22 (tonight) at 7:30 ET.

Kenny Wallace to the 45 Car

Good news for Kenny Wallace fans:
 
Kenny announced on Tuesday that he will race in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Bristol motor Speedway in the No. 45 Petty Enterprises entry, replacing the injured Kyle Petty.  This is currently a one race deal, as Petty is expected to make a full recovery form an injured hand.  Kenny says that he is excited and grateful for the opportunity.
 

Jeff Gordon NOT on the Apprentice?

It seems that Donald Trump might have been shooting his mouth off (Again.. what's new) about Jeff Gordon participating in his Celebrity Apprentice show. (Dang, and I figured him for a shoe in for winning.)

Jeff Gordon’s spokesperson Jon Edwards told the Detroit Free Press that the driver “has not agreed to participate. They contacted me with very little specifics, and I explained that I highly doubt that Jeff would be able to participate because taping coincides with the ‘Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.’ I asked for more information before I reviewed with Jeff, and I have received nothing,” he said.

That's typical Trump. He is the master of advertising and pomp and likes to push things to look better then they are.

Sorry folk.. my bad for believing "The Donald". realityblurred.com (Now I wonder about the other people Trump said were on his show.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Waltrip, Reutimann, Pizza Makers

Relayed by Bruce Simmons

What? This can't be good for the customers!!

Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann were over at the the Dominoes Headquarters and they participated in a pizza making contest. Hmm.

Well, David was faster at putting a pizza (pre cooked stage) together by 1 second, but the second leg of the contest involved cooking it, boxing it, cutting it and putting it on the order shelf.

Michael went first in this leg. But when David got up, he noticed that there were objects in his way everywhere he needed to go to make the second part of the leg! Michael!! Shame on you!

David recovers nicely by saying, "It's good to let the boss win every now and then.".

Good recovery David!! See the funny article at nascar.com

Waltrip is a hoot... I'm liking his latest round of ads reading fan letters about the e-brake, school zone and what not. That brings back the memory of the Sammy Hagar ad too.... At least Toyota and Dominoes seem to be sticking with their guys.. that's nice to see.

An interesting Firesuit Tidbit

A Tidbit by Bruce Simmons

Today, on NASCAR Live, with Eli Gold on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 128, Todd Bodine was the in-show guest, and a caller asked a pretty good question:
How long is a firesuit good for?

Well, my opinion on the issue would be that they are only as good as the main and associate sponsors sticking around, which, in some cases changes from year to year.

Todd Bodine said that firesuits are only good for about a year.
They have 2 or 3 suits, and they get dry cleaned every week and the chemicals in the dry cleaning process wears out the 'nomex' in the suits.

Now you know!

Ricky Rudd Retiring - Again

According to an article over at SI.com, Ricky Rudd said he plans to retire from the NASCAR Nextel Cup series after this season. (Didn't he do this already once?)

The 50-year-old Rudd, in his 28th season as a full-time driver in the Cup series, told the Virginian Pilot that he has informed car owner Robert Yates of his decision to step out of the No. 88 car.

See the rest of the article over at sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Bobby Labonte's Top 10

Bobby Labonte, in his first race with Doug Randolph as his crew chief, Labonte added one more top 10 to his stats.

Labonte started fourth and ran in the top 10 for the first half of the race and ended up finishing ninth in Tuesday's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway for his second top-10 finish of the season.

See more details from this article at scenedaily.com

3M Performance 400 - Michigan

by Bruce Simmons

The rains subsided and the ark was put away, and the racing commenced, finally, albeit under the threat of heavy fog in the first set of green/yellow flag laps at Michigan International Raceway. The fog caused a red flag but they soon got back under way 1/2 an hour later to start the race in earnest on lap 13 as Jeff Gordon led them to the green.

Kurt Busch won the event, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth & Denny Hamlin rounding out the top 5.

Tony Stewart came in 10th, Dale Earnhardt Jr 12th. Jeff Gordon has some off roading issues as he got stuck in the infield after spinning down the straight away... he came in 27th.

After 203 of 200 laps, (yep, green white checkered at the end), there were 20 cars on the lead lap. (The GWC came about after Greg Biffle spun in Turn 2).

The unofficial results are at nascar.com

As far as points go, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton swapped spots, with Jimmie being in 6th now and Kurt Busch stayed in 12th, 33 points behind Martin Truex Jr.. Dale Earnhardt Jr took over 13th, but is a distant 163 points back.

The late race charge by Truex wasn't much to make Busch fans feel threatened. At the end of the race, Kurt had the restarts well in hand, and was able to put just enough distance on his fellow competitors each lap to let the viewer know he was probably going to win unless lightning struck in those last few laps.

The unofficial points standings are at nascar.com

Monday, August 20, 2007

For the John Andretti Fans out there

John Andretti returned to the Nextel Cup circuit at Michigan, (Well, if it quits raining) where he will start his first event in a BAM Racing car that he will drive for the remainder of this season. The veteran driver has been in and out of the sport since splitting with Petty Enterprises late in 2003, driving for a handful of Nextel Cup operations and a few Busch teams, making four Craftsman Truck starts, and even qualifying for this year's Indianapolis 500.

Personally, and statistically, he performed better than Kyle did at that time overall, and I think it was a mistake to let him go. (I compared statistics and sent Petty Enterprises a letter with the stats, but no one answered.) But it is what it is.

See the link for an interview with John Andretti on NASCAR.com

Trump's Celebrity Apprentice Lineup

Donald Trump has revealed several of the cast members for the upcoming celebrity edition of The Apprentice.
 
They include
Jim Cramer,
Carmen Electra, (eye candy?)
Joan Rivers, (commentator)
Naomi Judd,
George Foreman, (if you don't win, he'll knock you out)
Kimora Lee Simmons, (great name)
Pete Rose, (keep an eye on that one!!)
Dana Patrick,
Tony Hawk (he'll be out in the half pipe)
and Jeff Gordon. (Add another trophy to the case Jeff!!)
Also included, is season one cast member Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.  (You have got to be kidding!!  hand her a safety helmet so the plaster dust doesn't do any damage this time!!)
 
Trump said, "We're negotiating with Britney Spears right now. Can you imagine her doing it? We're not sure what will happen. She's a [bleep]ing mess."   (LOL) - Like i said earlier, she might do well in a task to design a rehab center!!  She can be the test subject for the team!
 
See the details here:  realityblurred.com
 
 

AND YET ONE MORE DAY Postponed

The 3M Performance 400 at Michigan has been postponed until 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday with ESPN2 providing television coverage.
That's 7 AM for all you folks out here with me on the West Coast... 
 
I just point that out because one day, I wasn't paying attention, turned on the tv and heard about the exciting race and I was soooo confused (more so than normal) until I figured it out.

Dale Earnhardt Jr and The History of the # 8

Back on July 8th... Huh? That was unintentional, but should be worth some credity worthy praise, right?

Anyway, back in July, I posted a small article about the last 30 drivers, yep, count them, 30, that drove a car with the # 8 on it. That list included the likes of Sterling Marlin, Jeff Burton and Dick Trickle. I only went back as far as 1975. (You can find my post HERE)

It looks like Ryan McGee of ESPN has one upped me, and put out an article showing ALL the drivers of a car with the #8 on it, (82 in all) and their track records so to speak and he's softening the blow when Dale Earnhardt Jr moves on to start another legacy for us.

It's a great article for those curious about the legacy, and he seems to hint at the '08' in red nations future, or at least that's how I'm reading it, and that will make it much easier on the tatoo wearers in the halls of NASCAR fans!!

On a sidebar: I heard a caller on The Morning Drive on Sirius Satellite the other day say it would be great for Jr to drive a 33 car. HELLO? Jr. has said himself he isn't looking for a ride with the 3 on it!! (Of course, now that I've said that, watch the 3 car show up in the Hendrick stable... huh?)

Here's the article: sports.espn.go.com (It's a great tidbit to read!)

2008 - Rudd gone, Yeley In?

One over exuberant source says that JJ Yeley will be taking over the 88 car next year, but then further down the article, it says "all signs point to"... yep, ok.. when I see it, that's when it will be. (That's what I always tell my buddy, Craig.)

cupscene.com

Michigan Start time being pushed back Even farther

Persistent rain has forced NASCAR officials to push back the start of Monday's rain-delayed 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
 
No time or date set at the time of this posting.

Brendan Gaughan gets Married

Craftsman Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan was married Saturday in a small ceremony in Vail, Colo. to fellow Las Vegas native Tatum Hayes.
 
A great quote from the article :   "I mean, everybody asked where my bachelor party was, and I said 'No thanks, my life has been a bachelor party for the last 32 years.' I didn't really think I needed one."
 
See the entire article at Scenedaily.com
 
Thanks for reading this.

Rain-Rain, Go Away Michigan

Listening to The Morning Drive on Sirius Satellite Radio, ch 128, David Poole who is at Michigan International Speedway, around 9 am ET today, said it was pouring rain there, and a 3rd personality noted that pairs of animals were lining up looking for the ark!!
 
I guess I'll have to set my VCR for tomorrow now and hope the rain goes away.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Michigan - Rain Postponed


Today's Michigan Race, as announced on ESPN, has been rescheduled to Noon Monday, ET, and will be on ESPN2, per ESPN.

Michigan in the Chase?


Tom Jensen on SpeedTV.com reported that a senior NASCAR official noted that if the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway is totally rained out, it could become the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.

There is a 100 percent chance of rain today and an 80 percent chance of rain tomorrow in Michigan, which means the race could be run on Tuesday. But rain is a possibility then, too.

See the details at speedtv.com

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Brad Keselowksi and the Busch 88 car

With a pair of top-15 finishes in three Busch Series starts, Brad Keselowski is apparently close to cementing a deal that would land him in the No. 88 Chevrolet for the rest of the 2007 season.

nascar.com

Hamlin wins Michigan Busch Race

Denny Hamlin fought off a mid-race challenge from Matt Kenseth, then drove away for a dominating victory Saturday in the Carfax 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

They were followed by Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton & Greg Biffle to round out the top 5.

See here for the finishing list: foxsports.com

Rudd will be Out of the 88

After a season fraught with more struggles than successes, Ricky Rudd will step out of the No. 88 Snickers Ford at the end of the year.

Rudd, who turns 51 next month, will make his 898th start on Sunday. Only the King, Richard Petty has more career starts (1,185). But Rudd told team owner Robert Yates last week on the trip home from Watkins Glen he was not committed to running the full season in 2008.

See the rest of the article at foxsports.com

Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Jr, the number 8

Earlier, I posted the question whether DEI not letting the 8 go was spite, an emotional post / statement I made, (Post here) but it seems I might have been more on track than I suspected.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. blames his step-mother Teresa Earnhardt, the owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., for not allowing the No. 8 to move with him to Hendrick Motorsports next season.

"She either feels too personal about the number, or the rift between me and her is too personal," Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday. "I'm not going to sit here and get personal about this. It's upsetting as hell and unfortunate, but that's just what happens sometimes."

"Max tried his butt off to make it work," Earnhardt Jr. said. "He was trying to talk to Teresa and get some sense into her."

Teresa Earnhardt was not at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. (Oh, that's a shock!!) She rarely talks to the media.

See the whole article at espn.go.com

Info on Plane Crash of Bruce Kennedy

I came across an AP report on Bruce Kennedy's plane crash.

It starts out: A pilot of a NASCAR plane was planning an emergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit seconds before communications cut off and the aircraft crashed, killing five people, a newspaper reported Friday.

I don't want to propogate this any more, but I interested, the entire article is at: ap.org

Friday, August 17, 2007

UPS, Jarrett, 2008

Dale Jarrett is puzzled by reports that he could retire at the end of the season. Not only does he plan to continue racing for Michael Waltrip Racing next season, but he also says that sponsor UPS is solidly on board with the No. 44 team.

See the entire article at scenedaily

Dario Franchitti, Richard Childress, Fourth Team?

by Bruce Simmons

So how many other series drivers are really coming to NASCAR.

Juan Pablo Montoya actually made the jump to NASCAR. Albeit, his best success has been on road courses, but it seems obvious he will take to the ovals fairly soon.

Sam Hornish has been dabbling in the Busch Series, but to no real success that I can see.

Scott Speed was in the rumor mill earlier this week, but I wasn't paying attention. I assume that if his scenario starts to pan out, we'll hear more about it in the coming weeks or months. As noted in the article, "the owner of the Red Bull energy drink empire has indicated that Scott Speed, recently fired from a Formula One outfit backed by the beverage company, may be bound for NASCAR."

But now, a new name has been thrown into the mix, because the next open-wheel driver to break into NASCAR could be Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti!

Dario Franchitti is friends with Richard Childress and Childress is possibly plotting a fourth car for him. (Hence the 4th car rumors?)

Childress notes that Franchitti races as hard every lap, first or last, and to me, that may be a warning sign, since Montoya drives like that now, and is ticking off several competitors in the process.

For the details, see nascar.com

Joe Nemechek in a ride

Joe Nemechek gets a ride and he and the 08 Team is at Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400. The FansOnBoard vinyl is on the hood of the car.

See http://www.08team.com/ web page!

Let's go Joe!

Sad News from Thompson Speedway

John Blewett III of Howell, N.J., died Thursday night after he and Jimmy Blewett hit a wall in the 107th lap of the 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Thompson Speedway in Hartford Conn..

It's being investigated as an untimely death, a state police spokesman said.

Read more details at foxsports.com

Harvick says Montoya Doesn't Drive Well

The actual title of the artile is: NASCAR's Harvick on Montoya: "He drives like he doesn't know what he's doing", but it was too long for a title for my taste...

Quotes from the article below:

Juan Pablo Montoya has generated animosity among his peers this season for aggressive driving that has led to crashes. (And from what I can tell, a crash almost every race!)

Harvick said. "He can run fast, but he's all over the place and every week it seems like he runs into a different person." At least he's not showing favoritism.

While Montoya is not concerned about being popular among his peers, he does want to be respected.

"Being a rookie, I want people to know if they're faster than me, I'll give them space," he said.



Bruce's Take:
I can't say one way or another on Montoya, to be honest. New drivers tend to push their threshold when they first come on to the Cup scene, and in their first year, they learn where their limits are, and how far they can, or should push other drivers, or their own cars.

With the media ALL OVER Montoya, we see his every action, which may not be any more aggressive than the other new drivers, but then again, he does seem to echo and behave like he doesn't care as he appears to be plowing through and fighting traffic, whether he's on the lead lap, or not.

Kansas Speedway Lawsuit

As stated on by Dave Moody today on Sirius Satellite Radio, that Kansas Speedway's owner wasn't interested in a NASCAR date until NASCAR started to make the kind of money it's been making these last few years, and he questioned the authenticity of the lawsuit being brought forth.

A posted aritcle
An association of U.S.-based racing sanctioning bodies is asking to get involved in the Kentucky Speedway antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.

The Automobile Competition Committee for the United States has asked to file a legal brief in support of NASCAR and ISC because the case involves how sanctioning bodies determine the tracks that get races.

"Kentucky Speedway asks the Court to substitute a jury's judgment for the considered judgment of the sanctioning body responsible to the sport and its fans...," the association writes in its brief. "If tracks could overturn sanctioning decisions merely by convincing a local jury that they 'deserved' to host a race, courts would be endlessly embroiled in settling such disputes."

This kind of legal stuff is far enough over my head that I can't write competently enough, so I suggest checking out the full story at scenedaily.com

Jeff Gordon Gets Pole at Michigan

Jeff Gordon captured his 62nd pole today at Michigan!! He's on a tear!

Capturing the pole put Greg Biffle back to 2nd followed by
Kasey Kahne,
Bobby Labonte,
Elliott Sadler round out the top 5 qualifiers.
Go Bobby!!

Jeremy Mayfield, Dale Jarrett, Scott Wimmer (Furniture Row), Kevin LePage, and AJ Allmendinger DID NOT make the show for Sunday.

See the starting grid at foxsports.com

Jason Leffler - New Baby

Jason Leffler, the driver of the 38 Great Clips Toyota in the Busch Series, and his wife Alison, welcomed a baby boy into the world on August 16, 2007.

Charlie Dean Leffler, who was named in honor of Leffler’s father, weighed six pounds, nine ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Primetime's NASCAR Show

by Bruce Simmons

How can I put it - OH MY GOD, there's more episodes of this crap!

There was no announcer explaining the statistics, the money, the intricacies of sponsorships, just fan interviews, and some type of what you'd call race coverage of one event, while the show focused this episode on Montoya, Martin and Johnny Sauter.

At one point, while we watch Sauter dealing with a air cooling system failure, they switch away to a black screen and print the words on the screen that he is having problems.

Not once did an announcer say one thing. Did they not want to pay someone any more than what they already spent on the production? Deliverance type music played in the background at times, I'm sure, shoring up some people's perspective on the sport rather than helping the sport get a better image... Thanks ABC.. nice job yet again in your attempt at insightful coverage of our favored sport!

The Chiefs Return to the Roost

Crew chiefs Steve Letarte (for Jeff Gordon) and Chad Knaus (for Jimmie Johnson) rejoins the team after a six-race absence from their little foray into never never land of the COT tolerances set by NASCAR...

This Weekends Schedule: Aug 17-19

Craftsman Truck Series: Bristol, Aug 22, 7:30 pm, ET
Busch Series: Michigan, Sat, ESPN2, 3pm, ET
CUP Series: Michigan, Sun, ESPN, 1pm, ET

AT&T, the Problem Child

AT&T is planning on leaving it's logo on the 31 car for the Michigan weekend because AT&T still has time to request a reconsideration and until that process is over, it can keep the logos on the car. AT&T is expected to ask for the reconsideration Friday.

See the details of the drama at scenedaily.com

Where is Geoff Bodine

I'm not retired. I'm just in between jobs, so if anyone needs an experienced driver, I'm still available. That is where Geoff Bodine is at!

Here's a good article on NASCAR.com about the 'in between jobs" guy, Geoff Bodine...

The 8 stays at DEI

Figures.

Dale Earnhardt Jr is leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season and had hoped to take No. 8 with him to his new team. His late grandfather, Ralph, used that number and Earnhardt picked it when he entered the Cup Series in 1999.

Although teams do not own numbers - they are leased through NASCAR - DEI had the first right of refusal on the No. 8, and Hendrick officials said Wednesday they were unable to reach an agreement that would have made DEI pass on choosing the number for 2008.

Is it spite, or just business?

The emotional response is, why not let Jr keep the 8. That is who it is associated with it. If anyone else gets in the car, it is just anotehr number, no matter who's driving it. In fact, who ever gets in that car, will probably have an image issue to deal with for some time to come.

If it ain't Jr., it ain't sh**!! We'll see.

foxsports.com

Harvick - Montoya : Not Done?

It seems that Juan Montoya has taken his perspective of the Road Course Boogie he and Kevin Harvick had on to his radio show's airwaves!

He keeps saying he how well he did in the confrontation.. But I swear, I saw him doing the facemask penalty first!! That's 20 yards for you buddy!!!

Check out the article at courant

Kenny Wallace makes a Statement

kennywallace.com

Kenny Wallace posted a statement on his website about the parting of ways with Furniture Row. If you're interested, check out the link.

NASCAR in Primetime!

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/CarRacing

In case you missed the first episode last night (I taped it to watch tonight), here's a link to the website, and notes about upcoming episodes on the ABC Primetime series about NASCAR...

Yea - we get some kind of mainstream coverage that's not NASCAR based!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

KENNY WALLACE OUT A RIDE

Furniture Row Racing has replaced Kenny Wallace with Scott Wimmer for the Michigan race and no one has been named for the rest of the season.

Booooo!! If ya give Kenny a good car, he can do something with it people!!!!

See the details at
http://www.furniturerowracing.com/news.html

JEFF GORDON HAPPY as a DAD

NASCAR is becoming more mainstream (If you don't count the fights* we see - *Is it a fight when everyone leaves their helmets on?) as People magazine covers our stars!!  That's good for the sport, and for us!
 
Here's a quote from Jeff Gordon on fatherhood:  "At this point in my life, I've accomplished all the things that I've ever set out to do. I'm still a competitive person, but I'm not feeling like I'm missing out on something,"
 
"To me, it's perfect timing in my life to be a father, because I want to be involved, I want to be there," says Gordon. "I'm excited about all the aspects of it and the challenges that come along with it, and there certainly are."
 
The article is at PEOPLE that I'm looking at, but my real question in life is, where was Jeff Gordon when that picture was taken.  (I'm keying in on the Maxim in the background..  ok, so I'm easily distracted! )
 
 

Bobby Labonte - New Crew Chief

Doug Randolph is now crew chief of the No. 43 Dodges driven by Bobby Labonte at Petty Enterprises, replacing Paul Andrews, effective immediately.

Randolph, 41, has been in the sport for more than 20 years and most recently served as crew chief for Regan Smith in the NASCAR Busch Series.   ..............
 
More Details at ThatsRacin.com

BROKEN HAND FOR DRIVER

Kyle Petty suffered a broken hand as a result of hitting his hand on a door inside the No. 45 hauler after a Lap 69 incident in Sunday's race at Watkins Glen.
 
His status for Michigan is uncertain.
 
See details at NASCAR.com

DALE, on CMT

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
 
The documentary DALE, narrated by Paul Newman will be coming to CMT on September 4th.
 
Dale Pre Show:  Tuesday, Sept 4 at 7 pm ET.
Dale - Tuesday, Sept 4 at 8 pm ET.
Dale will be on (re-aired) at 8pm on the 5th and 6th of September also.
 
The Pre Show only airs once.
 
Check out the details at CMT

NO NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT

NASCAR Tuesday denied an Internet report that a new qualifying format would be announced this season.
 
A "fan site or blog" had reported that inside sources told them that qualifying changes would come about by New Hampshire.
 
NOT!!  See CUPSCENE for the details.  (It doesn't say much more than this.)

KYLE BUSCH TO JOE GIBBS RACING

It's finally official.
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has signed 22-year-old Kyle Busch to drive for
the No. 18 team in Nextel Cup beginning in 2008.
See the details of the announcement on their website: Joe Gibbs Racing
<http://www.joegibbsracing.com/season_2007/news_cup/08_august/070814_kb_announce.php>

RUSTY WALLACE QUIETS THE RUMORS

Over on ESPN
<http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=2&id=2972641>, Rusty
Wallace said he had turned down an offer to drive for RCR next year.
"I'm retired and am a broadcaster now," the ESPN motorsports analyst said.

So much for that media noise!

NASCAR Victory over ATandT

NASCAR won a major court decision Monday as a temporary injunction
issued by a district court judge that had allowed AT&T logos to be
placed on the No. 31 car got overruled and this decision, which would
require the removal of the new AT&T logo from the car, could impact the
team as soon as Michigan.

The proprietary sponsor monies battle rages on, and you can see all the
details to this at SCENEDAILY
<http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/08/13/scene_daily307.html>

Monday, August 13, 2007

Notes from Sunday and things on Monday

If you were watching the race on TV, we all saw the fan run out onto the
track during the red flag and go ask Kenseth for an autograph through
his window.
The fan was arrested.. go figure!! RockchesterDandC
<http://www.rochesterdandc.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070813/SPORTS/708130319/1007/SPORTS>

John Andretti will be driving for BAM for the rest of the year!
Scenedaily
<http://www.scenedaily.com/stories/2007/08/06/scene_daily287.html>

Lee Spencer over at Fox says Gibbs is excited about the prospect of
adding Kyle Busch to his stable if butt kickers! FoxSports
<http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/7116454>

Also, Lee says there are rumblings of Rusty Wallace maybe wanting to
come back to racing. (Rusty, DON'T).
I use Terry Labonte & Bill Elliott as examples.. (With no disrespect
meant..) FoxSports <http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/7116208>

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Centurion Boats at the Glen, Watkins Glen

by Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin led the field to the line for today's Cup race, the Centurion Boats at the Glen, at Watkins Glen.

Everyone at some point was not immune to issues in the corners as many drivers found themselves in the gravel and facing the wrong way at times.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s motor let go late in the race.

With 18 to go on a restart, Martin Truex jr. tapped out Montoya in turn 1, and Montoya collected Harvick into the sand and a wrecking yard ensued from that.

As the 42 and 29 cars came to rest, Harvick and Montoya got out and came together to “chat”, Montoya started grabbing at Harvick’s helmet and shoving his head back as they “chatted”.

Later, a reporter asked what they were talking about and Harvick responded that he was “talking about kicking his ass” and some other commentary about Montoya always hitting someone every week.

With 2 to go, Jeff Gordon leading the way, he wheel hops off of turn 1, giving the lead to Tony Stewart. On the last lap, the runner up, Carl Edwards flew off the course on turn 10 while trying to chase down Tony Stewart, to no avail.

After spinning in mid race spin, Tony Stewart works his way to the win, followed by Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Ron Fellows and Robby Gordon. Carl Edwards gets himself into eighth, Jeff Gordon ninth.

Unofficial Results on NASCAR.com
Lap by Lap on NASCAR.com

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dale Earnhardt Jr in Nickelback Music Video

Dale Earnhardt Jr is one of the celebrities appearing in the new Nickelback music video, "Rockstar." It's Earnhardt Jr.'s eighth appearance in a music video. This one debuted last week and is available on MTV.com.

See all the details at scenedaily.com

Budweiser to Pepsi, Earnhardt to Kahne

By Bruce Simmons, the Fan Reporter

First, the collective NASCAR world was mesmerized as Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that he is leaving his long time team of DEI, headed by his step-mother, Teresa Earnhardt and going to Hendrick Motorsports, headed by Dale’s long time friend Rick Hendrick.

Then, the statement, "We have agreements in place with sponsors for the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, which prevent us from having a relationship with Budweiser," from team owner Rick Hendrick, was the second shock we, the fans had to endure through the transition of where Dale Earnhardt Jr has been, and where he has chosen to go.

Following that announcement, Dale Jr. announced his dissolution of his own personal contracts with Budweiser, showing the power of the potential new sponsor maybe.
After Budweiser, who could possibly take their place on Jr.’s hood? The most popular rumors right now are that Pepsi-co is lined up with one of their products to adorn his hood, and that feels like the right replacement to me.

In reality, at the moment, it is all conjecture as to who Jr.’s new sponsor for 2008 will be, but whenever it is announced, the consumer rush to refill their memorabilia coffers with new hats, die-casts, jackets, etc. will be on in a big way! Hopefully though, for you tattoo wearers, I’d say hold off on any new numbers or sponsor tats for a while.

As far as Budweiser goes, they’ve sponsored Darrel Waltrip in the mid 80’s, Kenny Schrader in the 90’s and Jr. from 99 to 2007. Where Budweiser goes next can be a milestone for the driver they decide to go with, and present rumors seem to point to Kasey Kahne. He basically already drives a red car, and Dodge has made statements to the affect that any deals Gillett Evernham Racing might make for a primary or shared sponsorship would be ok with them.

If true, I think Kasey Kahne and Budweiser can be a great match. Another good looking driver and more great television ads to come. I think this match can also be agreeable with the NASCAR fan base. Admit it, after Jr., we are expecting a modern, hip new rep for Bud to bring them to victory lane. That will be another milestone we are looking forward to also.

Busch Series Zippo 200 at the Glen - Results

2007 Unofficial Race Results : Zippo 200 at The Glen

Kevin Harvick had the car to beat at the end, as no one could really keep up with him.
He was followed by Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard & Brad Coleman.

Harvicks win ties him with Jack Ingram for 2nd all time wins, behind Mark Martin.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/7113892

You can see all the results at nascar.com

Trucks - Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville

Travis Kvapil gets his 3rd win of the year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

He led 2nd place finisher Ron Hornaday by close to 2 1/2 seconds across the line.
They were followed by Mike Skinner, David Starr & Todd Bodine.

See all the results at NASCAR.com

Busch Pole Nabbed by Busch

After using a unique road course qualifying process where 4 cars at a time run the track, trying to lay down qualifying positions, Kurt Busch outshined the publicly expectant pole winner of Juan Pablo Montoya to take the Busch Series road course pole for later today at Watkins Glen on ESPN2, and setting a new track record in the process.

The front 6 are Kurt Busch, Juan Montoya, Ryan Newman, Robby Gordon, Scott Pruett & Jeff Burton.

See the whole line up at foxsports.com

Friday, August 10, 2007

Evernham wants Riggs to Stay

Although the two do not have a contract beyond this season, Ray Evernham would like to keep Scott Riggs in his driver arsenal next season.

Riggs drives the No. 10 that competes under the Valvoline Evernham Racing banner. The driver is not competing this weekend, though. The team sits outside the top 35 in owner points and does not have a guaranteed starting position in the race. Therefore, the team decided to put road racer Patrick Carpentier behind the wheel for the weekend's events at Watkins Glen International. Carpentier must qualify on speed to earn a spot in the race. (And with qualifying rained out, we know where that went!!)

................... scenedaily.com

Yeley is going to be a free Agent

J.J. Yeley confirmed Friday at that he is not returning to Joe Gibbs Racing next season.

See the whole article at scenedaily.com

CUP - Qualifying Rained Out

Qualifying for Sunday's Cup race has been rained out, and that mean
Marcus Ambros is not in the CUP event driving one of Robby Gordon's cars.

And a man with something to prove, Robby Gordon, is sitting in the 15th
row, with Jeff Gordon on the pole!

Qual Results
<http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/cup/startingGrid?gameId=20070812013>

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Truck Series - Tough Mom's

Patricia "Tree" Stout is about to go to an extreme Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway.

Stout's normal position on the team roster is "Mom and Refreshment Coordinator" but because of an unusual series of circumstances, she'll be in the thick of the action as her son, J.C. Stout, competes in the Craftsman Truck Series Toyota Tundra 200.

With the regular rear tire carrier -- her brother, Joe Szwaczkowski -- recuperating from emergency surgery, the 53-year-old resident of Castile, N.Y., has volunteered to take his place as a member of the over-the-wall gang for J.C.'s No. 91 Chevrolet.

nascar (Don't ever talk back to this mom!!)

Montoya can set a Record

IF Montoya wins this weekend, he would have a perfect road course record in the season, something that does not happen very oftern.

Here's an article on JP and roadcourses: scenedaily

On top of that, Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife, Connie, are scheduled to be guests on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday to promote ABC's "NASCAR in Primetime" special.

The program takes a glimpse into the lives of several drivers and captured Montoya's life away from the track, on the golf course and at home in Miami with his wife and children.

The six-week, six-episode program premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
scenedaily

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Jeremy Mayfield to be Released


Bill Davis Racing officials announced Tuesday that driver Jeremy Mayfield will not return to the team next year.


Mayfield joined BDR for the 2007 season as the team expanded to a two-car operation for Toyota's first season in Nextel Cup, but he has struggled this year, qualifying for only eight of the 21 races.

Steve Wallace gets new Crew Chief

Rusty Wallace Inc. officials announced that Tony Liberati will take over as crew chief for the team's No. 66 Busch Series Dodge driven by Steve Wallace.

The veteran Liberati starts next weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

(This could also possibly help with his on track antics at times??)

scenedaily

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Robby Gordon Fined

Robby Gordon has been fined $35,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2007 due to a rule violation (A rule violation?) during last Saturday's race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

It looked like multiple violations to me!!

Gordon was found to be in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book. (YA THINK!!)

Though the actions are "detrimental to stock car racing", they sure are hot cakes for tv ratings!!

The fine and probation also have the stipulation that if there is another action by Gordon that is deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to stock-car racing or NASCAR, or is disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, he will be suspended indefinitely from NASCAR.

Some would think that him breathing covers those points!

nascar

What's up Next Weekend

CUP - The Glen, 1pm, Sun (8-12), ESPN
BUSCH - The Glen, 3pm, Sat (8-11), ESPN2
TRUCK - Nashville, 6pm, Sat (8-11), SPEED.
(All times Eastern)

Robby Gordon Fields a car for Ambrose

Momentarily dazed, yet realizing that I am not hungover, or under duress, I write that very title, and I try to clear my confusion in what would appear to be Robby Gordon makeing amends to Ambrose for the harsh chrome bumper intro last weekend in Montreal.

Lee Spencer, the ever deligent Fox Reporter, posts that Gordon will field a second CUP car — the No. 77 for Marcos Ambrose.

"Marcos did a helluva job," Gordon said. "He led a lot of laps on Saturday. It will be great to have him as my teammate."

msn.foxsports.com

That's cool Robby.. let's hope you don't get pulled for this upcoming weekend bud!
I'm still awaiting announced penalties, if any, from NASCAR.

(OK, I had to say 'if any'. We all know that whether NASCAR was right or wrong, they are going to come down on Robby. Right?)

Where is Yeley really going?

J.J. Yeley’s agent, Kyle Chapman, has noted that there is no contracts with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, but indicated that Yeley is looking at a number of teams for next season.

Of course, the rumor grinder says sources with knowledge of the situation say Yeley will indeed be out of the #18 next season, and behind the wheel of the #21 Ford.

motorsports-soapbox.blogspot.com

Yeley hasn't been catching my eye during the season except when he gets caught up in wrecks, but that may not be a bad thing, just an observation.

Gaunt Out At Red Bull

Citing “irreconcilable differences in the team philosophy,” (This sounds like a divorce!) Red Bull Racing and Marty Gaunt, formerly the team’s vice president/general manager, have parted company effective immediately, the team announced Monday.

In other news (rumors), Red Bull is going to Chevy! It seems to be speculation more than anything as the crazy rumor mill starts to power up with the season getting near the end!

http://www.speedtv.com/articles/nascar/nextel/39267/

Patrick Carpentier to Drive for Evernham

In an effort to move closer to securing a top-35 position in owner's points, Valvoline Evernham Racing has reached a one race agreement with Patrick Carpentier to drive the No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge in this weekend's Nextel Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/7099352

Monday, August 6, 2007

Kyle Busch, Gibbs Racing, Toyota

Oh my, lots to say here!!

Dave Moody has reported that Kyle Busch will be driving the #18 Toyota Interstate Batteries car for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008 and beyond.  (Yes, you read it right!)

The misplaced J.J. Yeley will be headed over to drive the 21 car for the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.  (Watch out J.J ., if you don't make the top 35, you'll probably get the bench like Schrader did!  Nooo, I'm not angry about how the Wood Brothers handled Kenny!!) 

An official announcement is expected within the next 2-3 weeks.

And yes, JGR will go over to the Toyota camp 2008.  I trust Dave Moody, so Moody, you better be right!!!

Motorsports Soapbox

Points as they pan out after the Pennsylvania 500

After the Pennsylvania 500, the only changes that occurred were that Jimmie Johnson moved up 2 spaces to 7th, Kevin Harvick moved back 2 spaces to 9th, AND Kurt Busch swapped with Dale Earnhardt Jr for 12th.

It's the 10 to 14 positions that we are all watching right now.  After his dominant performance at Pocono, Kurt Busch moved up into the bubble spot of 12th, bumping Dale Earnhardt Jr to 13th.. Jr is only 7 points behind Kurt, but look out Jr., because Ryan Newman is in 14th, just 83 points behind you!  No slip ups the rest of the season guys!

As much as I'd like to see Newman get in, with his spate of poor luck, I don't see it, and if he does get in, I don't see the type of consistent performance out of him that we see out of the likes of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart or Kurt Busch.  (I guess I am inadvertently stating who I think the top 4 contenders will be!)

The top 12 are
1-Jeff Gordon (3236 pts),
2-Denny Hamlin (2870)   
3-Matt Kenseth (2825)
4-Jeff Burton (2763)   
5-Tony Stewart (2749)   
6-Carl Edwards (2682)
7-Jimmie Johnson (2624)   
8-Kyle Busch (2611)
9-Kevin Harvick (2600)
10-Clint Bowyer (2552)
11-Martin Truex Jr. (2434)
12-Kurt Busch     (2399)

http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/2007/data/standings_unofficial.html


Gillett Evernham Racing

by Bruce Simmons

On SIRIUS Satellite Radio, NASCAR Channel 128 on The Morning Drive, Marty Snider announced that George Gillett is the majority owner of the new entity, Gillett Evernham Racing.

I found the details at Evernham Motorsports web site.  Check it out.

The press release starts out:

"STATESVILLE, NC – August 6, 2007– Today, Ray Evernham and George N. Gillett, Jr. announced the creation of Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM), a partnership combining Evernham Motorsports and the Gillett family where Evernham will remain a substantial owner and retain the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO)."

Does this mean the website has to change/  It probably will.  It should.   Technically, Evernham Motorsports broke the info, but Marty Snider broke the news on air, because I couldn't find it on any other web site at this moment of posting.  (Does that mean I'm the breaking news source on the web!!??  That would be cool.)


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pennsylvania 500

The Pennsylvania 500 got going at Pocono with Kurt Busch getting the Miller Lite car out front early, as he ended up leading 175 laps of the day with the dominant car going on to win the race!

Dale Earnhardt Jr up front more or less, spinning in one lap and during the resulting yellow, also got a shock absorber changed to help him run much better the rest of the day to finish 2nd.

With one lap to go, Kurt Busch has a 3.8 second lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he went on to win the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono, as they were followed by Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin & Casey Mears that rounds out the top 10 for the day.

See the complete list of finishers athttp://www.nascar.com/races/cup/2007/21/data/results_unofficial.html

Now, remember when ESPN bashed on Tony Stewart for stating he was going to celebrate with a beer? Today after the race, Kurt Busch was either blatantly tempting fate, or wasn't thinking, because while on national TV, he celebrated by popping open a Miller Lite (His sponsor) and taking a swig after the winning interview on ESPN.. (Groan.) Meanwhile, Jeff Gordon is taking a swig from his own drink, the Jeff Gordon 24 Energy Drink, which isn't bad.. I tried one today!

Home for Sale


This is not NASCAR related, but I promised a friend I'd note this:
If you might find yourself (or someone you know) interested in a 1,972 Sq.Ft., 4 bdrm, 2 ba. passive solar home on 1.6 acres in the Santa Fe, New Mexico region, go check it out at
Thanks for looking. Bruce

Robby Gordon gets Parked at Cup

The short of it:

Robby Gordon has been parked for today's Nextel Cup race at Pocono Raceway. P.J. Jones will drive the No. 7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Ford for Gordon.

The long of it:

"Toward the end of Saturday's race at Montreal, Robby Gordon demonstrated blatant disrespect and disregard for NASCAR directives on multiple occasions," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "His actions were certainly disruptive to the orderly conduct of the event." (nascar-bits.blogspot.com)

Gordon becomes part of an "illustrious" group of Cup drivers for being parked for their actions.

He joins Alum Kevin Harvick (2002). Jimmy Spencer missed a race in 2003, but he was serving a one-race suspension for punching Kurt Busch (heh heh) at Michigan when he was forced to sit out the following week at Bristol.


I wonder if we'll hear from Robby Gordon about this issue!?


UPDATE: Well, Robby did make a comment, and it can be found at
http://www.robbygordon.com/cms/publish/index.shtml
But as I write, the site is loading very slowly, presumably from the amount of people headed over there to look.

For the record: Robby made a bad move in a bad situation.

I think he was right. He should have been put back in the spot he was spun from, if indeed, he was spun under yellow.

I understand why he did what he did.. To have listened to NASCAR officials would have put him outside the top 10. (But he'd be driving today if he did.) If they had heard his appeal, then where he finished might have been awarded to him. That was the premise of his continueing. (HELLO, Robby? When has NASCAR ever gone back on a call, even when they are wrong?) But the parking stems from not adhering to NASCAR's instructions.

I think what's occurred here will open the spotlight on this kind of scenario because Robby noted that these kind of scenario's have occurred before.

Good idea Robby, bad execution.