Friday, October 19, 2007

Carl Edwards to Wear Specially-Designed Firesuit

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

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

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

Justin Labonte Returns to the Truck Series

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

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

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

Gillett Evernham Motorsports Introduces Patrick Carpentier in Montreal

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

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

There's more at

Reed Sorenson to Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rudd at Martinsville

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

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

No word on if any replacements are standing by.

Upcoming Events At Martinsville

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kasey Kahne Makes a Huge Donation

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

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

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


Busch and Hamlin Practicing Being Teammates

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

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

SceneDaily <>

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oil on the Track.. No Worries!

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

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

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

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

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


A Top 10 for Michael Waltrip

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

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

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


Johnny Benson to MWRH?

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

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

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

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Chase Standings - 14 Oct 07

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Busch Event at Lowes - Dollar General 300

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

Kyle Busch was chasing Jeff, came in second.

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

Aric Almirola came in fourth, Denny Hamliin fifth.

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

See results at write up on the race.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The New DEI Amry Car is Introduced

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

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

Jeremy Mayfield, Jeff Green News and Snippets

This is an excerpt from an article:

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


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

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

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

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

MWR has New Partner

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

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

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


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

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

Dale Jarrett Retirement Plans

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

NASCAR TV Weekend for October 12-13

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

Biffle is Getting Married

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

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

Congratulations Greg.

Newman gets the Pole for the Bank of America 500

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

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

See the whole line up at FoxSports.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For the Jason Keller Fan in You

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

House Homeland Security Committee looks at NASCAR

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

That's how the thatsracin article started...

Check out my post over at brusimm.blogspot

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

Edwards' Penalty Appeal a No-Go with NASCAR

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

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

Franchitti makes NASCAR debut

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

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

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


Images to Ponder

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

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

Carpentier has a Ride

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

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

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

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

See all the details at FoxSports

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Talladega Race - Was it?

Opinion by Bruce Simmons

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

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

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

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

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

Check out Ryan Newman's perspective at this article.


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

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

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

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

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

Just food for thought.

Benny Parsons - Highway to be Named in His Honor

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

41 car too Low at Talladega

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 8, 2007

NASCAR Point Standings

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

UAW-Ford 500 Notes and Recap

by Bruce Simmons

If you only count the last 50 laps or so, that was an exciting race.. and more to the point, it was a fun finish to watch the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

But the first 168 laps was anything but super with the new aero package in the form of the COT and everyone having to deal with NASCAR's new restriction on anyone bump drafting, the race was a nothing but a high speed train of cars through most of the event.

With that being said, we were still treated to a few engine failures, wall scrapings and the wreck that ABC called the "Big One", which it only involved a few cars, but ABC did it's best to drum it up for the audience.

The bigger wreck of the day occured on lap 145 for the 6th yellow as Bobby Labonte's car just lost it, and that event collected Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, David Reutimann Paul Menard, Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers, David Ragan and Robby Gordon.

Michael Waltrip showed he still had his restrictor plate skills, but his day was cut a bit short when he had a flat tire around lap 176, which ended up also involving Elliott Sadler, Greg Biffle and Tony Raines.

This was the last yellow that led to the 20 lap dash to the checkers.

We watched Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch working together, but then the garage as a whole seemed to show who they'd rather do with as Jimmie Johnson pulled down on the inside and everyone followed suit, leaving the Penske cars to fend for themselves.

The battle was between Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dave Blaney, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Juan Montoya but on the last lap, as Stewart went to the outside to pass Johnson, Jeff Gordon leapt from behind Johnson to tag along with Stewart, but when Stewart chose to block another line of cars, Jeff Gordon ducked down inside and took the lead in the backstretch on the last lap to win the race. This victory netted Jeff Gordon his 12th career plate win.

Unlike the rest of the race, this was fun to watch. Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. both suffered blown engines, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. even said it was a boring race to be in during his post race interview, but NASCAR had to do what it needed to, to make sure this first COT restrictor plate event came off without a hitch. Hopefully, they let the excitment back in at the next event.

The top 10 finishers for the day were:
1. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
2. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
3. Dave Blaney Toyota
4. Denny Hamlin Chevrolet
5. Ryan Newman Dodge
6. Casey Mears Chevrolet
7. Kurt Busch Dodge
8. Tony Stewart Chevrolet
9. Tony Raines Chevrolet
10. Reed Sorenson Dodge

See the unofficial results at

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Talladega Qualifying Inspection Failures

Kurt Busch and David Ragan's cars failed inspection after qualifying efforts for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway for their front ends being too low.

Their times are being disallowed and being sent to the back of the pack for the start of the race on Sunday.


Talladega Pole won by Waltrip

Michael Waltrip took the pole for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. He was followed up by
Dave Blaney,
Brian Vickers (Top three spots are Toyota's),
Joe Nemechek,
David Reutimann,
Jacques Villineuve,
John Andretti,
Bobby Labonte,
Kasey Kahne and
Elliott Sadler rounding out the top 10.

See the rest of the lineup at

Friday, October 5, 2007

Denny Hamlin Finds Himself Parked

NASCAR cracked down on bump-drafting in the first Cup practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway, and Denny Hamlin caught the first wave of repercussions as he was parked late in the session.

"They made a general warning right at the beginning to everyone to stop using the front bumpers, and after that I got hit probably 20 to 30 times," Hamlin said. "So I figured I'd just keep doing what I was doing. Right there at the end, I guess I was a little excessive."

It seems that NASCAR is trying to eliminate the use of the front bumper in restrictor plate racing, but that makes little sense to me as that has been the practice for as long as I remember..   you might as well keep a bird from flying in my opinion.

See the rest of the article at

Official Announcement: M&M's to the 18 car

Mars U.S. on Wednesday announced a three-year partnership with M&M's Brand Chocolate Candies as sponsor of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team and driver Kyle Busch in the Sprint Cup Series, beginning in 2008.

During the 2008 season, Mars U.S. brands will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 18 car for 30 races. Mars will feature the M&M's colors beginning with the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. Snickers and Pedigree also will serve as primary sponsors for several races. Additionally, Combos, Twix, Skittles, Starburst and Milky Way brands will provide support as associate sponsors.

See other details at FoxSports

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Leicht released from Yates

Robert Yates Racing released Busch Series driver Stephen Leicht, effective as of the end of the 2007 season, the driver announced on his Web site.

The 20-year-old Leicht is ninth in the Busch Series standings with five races remaining. He won the race earlier this season at Kentucky Speedway, and has two top-five and five top-10 finishes this year.

Nationwide squeezes out Geico

The Geicko Gecko has to move on to greener pastures.

GEICO will have a two-year "sunset" period to transition out as a team sponsor after Nationwide signed on to replace Busch as the title sponsor of NASCAR's No. 2 series.

Nationwide also will replace Allstate as the official auto, home and life insurance carrier of NASCAR.

Nationwide's bank/mortgage division is not part of the sponsorship platform.


Illegal Manifolds, Inconsistent Penalties

In an apparent reversal of NASCAR practice, Hendrick Motorsports will escape harsh penalties for the violation found on Kyle Busch's winning car after Saturday's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway.

The intake manifold was confiscated following Busch's victory and, at the time, officials said the manifold failed to meet NASCAR specifications.

Read the rest at

Scott Riggs to Drive for Haas in 2008

Scott Riggs has signed a contract with Haas/CNC Racing to drive one of the team's two Chevrolets in 2008.

It is unknown whether Riggs will pilot Haas/CNC's No. 66 or No. 70 or who will back the team financially.

Sources said current drivers Jeff Green and Johnny Sauter will be evaluated throughout the remainder of the 2007 season and a decision as to whom Riggs will replace will be made at the end of the year.

(And if you've ever noticed, Jeff Green has been producing fairly consistently in the COT races.. food for thought.)


Furniture Row and Joe Nemechek

Furniture Row changes:

Barney Visser, owner of Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, said he and driver Joe Nemechek have agreed in principle to a contract for next season.

Visser also said his team has stopped producing its own engines and has been powered by Hendrick Motorsports motors since Nemechek came aboard.CQ Hendrick will provide Visser with all his engines next year, he said.

Bruton Smith Threatens to Build Another Track

Nearly a half-century after he built his first speedway near Charlotte, Bruton Smith has threatened to shut it down and build another one in the region.

The prospect of building a new track emerged from a blow-up between Smith and Concord leaders over a proposed drag-racing strip at Lowe's.

Smith wants to build the $60 million strip and began grading the site last month. But the Concord City Council, concerned about noise in nearby neighborhoods, on Monday unanimously voted to change the zoning to ban drag strips.

See all the details at

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Franchitti inks Cup deal with Ganassi

Chip Ganassi Racing on Wednesday announced that 2007 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti will drive Chip Ganassi's No. 40 Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series next year.

Franchitti, from Scotland, will become the first European driver to compete full time at NASCAR's highest level. He will make his stock-car debut in Friday's ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

See the details at

Nationwide Confirmed as Series Sponsor

Officials from NASCAR announced Wednesday afternoon that Nationwide insurance would become the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nationwide Series beginning in 2008, replacing Anheuser-Busch's Busch brand.

The agreement is for seven years, NASCAR said, and gives Nationwide the exclusive rights to "tie its brand to the most popular form of motorsports in the U.S."

See the article at

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Rock is sold for $4.4 million

Former NASCAR driver Andy Hillenburg was the successful bidder Tuesday in an auction for North Carolina Speedway, formerly a NASCAR series mainstay nick named The Rock.

Hillenburg, who said he has two minority partners in the purchase, hopes to return some form of stock-car racing to the facility within a year. (Good for him!)

See the whole article at

Natiowide to Replace Busch in 2nd Series

It'e been reported that Nationwide is making a bid to take over what is now known as the NASCAR Busch Series.

Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reported in the Daily that Nationwide submitted an offer last Thursday, as did Subway, the sandwich franchise operation that had been considered the frontrunner all summer.

Officials at NASCAR say that it does not have a deal with a new sponsor, but sources say an agreement with Nationwide could be finalized in the coming days.

See the article at

Monday, October 1, 2007

DEI Takes over Ginn Shops - Renames it DEI West

Max Siegel, president of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said the facility DEI inherited in the merger with Ginn Racing has been renamed DEI West.

Siegel said Sunday that the No. 15 Chevrolet team and the No. 01 Chevy operation already have moved to the DEI West building. The No. 8 team and the No. 1 operation will stay at DEI headquarters until the end of the season.

See the rest of the article at

On the same page, they touch on Hall of Fame Racing partnership with Gibbs shop.
Chip Ganassi's contract status with Dario Franchitti.
And the HMS manifold issue discovered on Kyle Busch's car Saturday after the race.

North Carolina Speedway to be Auctioned

Left behind as NASCAR outgrew its regional roots, North Carolina Speedway will be sold to the highest bidder Tuesday.

Where legends such as Earnhardt, Petty and Waltrip once raced, prospective buyers will compete to be the next owner of “The Rock,” which held its last race in early 2004. No minimum bid. High offer gets the speedway.

Three years ago, The Rock sold for about $100 million in a legal settlement. Tax records place the current value at $30 million. Some say it will sell for less than $10 million.

... See the rest of the article by Jefferson George at

Upcoming NASCAR Weekend Oct 6-7

Image - screen capture from

Chase Standings After Kansas

The Chase contenders, as they were, after Kansas Speedway Life Lock 400.
Screen Shot from
See the entire standings list at

Life Lock 400 - Cautions and Rain

If the rain didn't get the drivers, the cautions did and what could be a NASCAR fans dream or nightmare, the Kansas Speedway, Life Lock 400 race, from the start of the pre-show at 10 am pacific time, took over 7 hours to complete.

For me, this worked out great. I found myself moving this weekend, so between TV's on at both places, VCR's going in case I missed anything, and Sirius Satellite Radio for the transit time between new and old places, the race kept me mentally occupied during the otherwise painful move. I'm betting if I wasn't moving, or busy in some way, this would have been too long of a day for me.

Otherwise, the race found the entire front row moved to the back of the pack for car changes (Johnson crashed in practice) and qualifying penalties (Newman's car found too low after his qualifying run).

We got in a little over a dozen laps before the Red Flag for rain came out, but the race got underway again within 90 minutes of that.

After a few wrecks, another rain delay, in which Tony Stewart was in the lead for, lasted a few hours, but they got the race back underway and we saw even more wrecks in the closing laps, which did take Tony Stewart out of contention via a small fender rub that took out his LF tire, and in the ensuing issue, collected Kurt Busch.

The day took out the majority of the Chase Contenders.
Greg Biffle, under much scrutiny and question, was named the winner as the race finished under the yellow flag under the enveloping cover of darkness.

The first 10 finishers of the Life Lock 400 were:
Greg Biffle,
Clint Bowyer,
Jimmie Johnson,
Casey Mears,
Jeff Gordon,
Kevin Harvick,
Reed Sorenson,
Elliott Sadler,
Kasey Kahne &
Dale Earnhardt Jr..

Biffle's win came into question because it seemed he could not maintain the pace speed in the last few hundred yards, as required by NASCAR under Yellow flag rules, yet NASCAR quickly addressed the issue by stating the field was "locked" when the the yellow flag flew.

(Ya gotta wonder if Robby Gordon is confused by this, or as Jimmie Johnson was quick to point out the maintaining pace under Yellow rule in his post race interview.)

There's a more detailed race recap at FoxSports, and the unofficial results are at