Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How much Impact can an Economic Downturn have on NASCAR?

Tom Bowles of Sports Illustrated notes that with several ominous reports about the economy in recent weeks, many Americans are on the lookout for a possible recession. And in the sports world, there's no one keeping a keener watch then a handful of elite NASCAR owners.

The economy is a concern, because periods of economic downturn tend to affect NASCAR teams more than most; after all, it's the multimillion-dollar advertising budgets of primary sponsors that allow this sport to run in the first place.

Read the entire article over at Sports Illustrated.

Tuesday Speed Tests at Daytona

In the morning session this Tuesday, Dale Earnhardt Jr led the pack followed by Michael Waltrip, Brian Vickers, Dale Jarrett and Tony Stewart.

The afternoon session saw Ryan Newman top the charts followed by Ragan Smith, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick and Dario Franchitti.

For the complete lists, check out nascar.com.

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's 2008 and Time for That new Look

I don't know if you remember, but I did a survey asking if you liked the format or if a new format was something you'd like.

The results were split down the middle and I came across some templates that weren't the usual blogger templates, so I went for it.

I hope you like it. -Bruce

New Asphalt for Darlington

This could go either way, depending on your expectations of Darlington, the lady to tough to tame, but 2 new layers of asphalt are getting put down on the track surface.

"This is a historic day for Darlington Raceway," said Chris Browning, Darlington Raceway president. "It has been a busy offseason at Darlington Raceway and we look forward to showcasing our new racing surface and infield access tunnel for fans and competitors during the upcoming Dodge Challenger 500 weekend."

The Nationwide Series heads to Darlington Raceway on May 9 for the Diamond Hill Plywood 200, while the Sprint Cup Series will race on May 10 in the Dodge Challenger 500.

See NASCAR for more details.

5 Events is what I Said

Or to be more exact, Boris Said plans on participating in 5 Cup events this year with his No Fear racing team!

Said said (??) Monday that he plans to run both Daytona events, both road course races and the fall Talladega race. The team could run more events if sponsorship materializes.

See Scene Daily for more details if ya need it.

Afternoon Speed Tests for Monday the 14th

Another Toyota topped the charts for the afternoon speed test session at Daytona, as Dave Blaney showed them some mojo.  Blaney was followed up by Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brian Vickers and Dale Jarrett .  Ruh-oh Shaggy.. Toyota is on the move!

See the afternoon speed numbers over on Fox Sports

Toyota tops Daytona Tests for Monday, the 14th!

Dale Jarrett topped the speed charts in the new round to speed tests, but right on his tail was Dale Earnhardt Jr., showing that his new partnership and ride may very well be just as competitive as we've all hoped he can be.  MWR is probably breathing a little sigh of relief with this development too!

These 2 were followed by Dario Franchitti and Tony Stewart.

See the complete list at NASCAR Speed Chart

Danica Patrick and Dancing with the Stars

Apparently Danica Patrick does not have what it takes to tackle the hit show, ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Helio Castroneves recommended Danica Patrick as a possible Dancing with the Stars participant to the show's producers, but I guess she's got other ideas.

Patrick says that Castroneves did so well because "He smiles all the time, he plays to the camera, and he loves [the attention].  I'm a little too serious.  People at home would be going, 'What's wrong [with her]?'"   (We might be saying that already anyway, so what's it gonna hurt?)


Sunday, January 13, 2008

RCR, Red Bull Racing News

Camping World Inc., and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) have agreed to a one-year contract extension. The extension will showcase Camping World as the primary sponsor of Clint Bowyer’s No. 2 Chevrolet in 10 races as the Emporia, Kan., native pursues the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship. RCR Racing

Did you know that the 83 and 84 cars of of Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger are Red Bull’s single largest marketing investment in the United States, complementing spectacles such as the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis and the two Red Bull Air Races in San Diego and Detroit? See more details over at Team RedBull

JGR, MWR, Penske Racing, Petty Racing News

The following link has a statement from J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) since October 1997, about the return of his father, Joe Gibbs, to JGR after spending the past four years as head coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. JGR

Paul Andrews, the crew chief for the 55 car in Michael Waltrip Racing, has 30 years of racing experience working for teams such as Petty Enterprises, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI), Roush Racing, Penske-Kranefuss (Penske) Racing, and Alan Kulwicki Racing. During his tenure at DEI, Paul Andrews got to know Michael Waltrip while serving as crew chief to Steve Park. As Waltrip recorded four NASCAR Cup wins from 2001 READ MORE over at MWR

Veteran Crew Chief Carrier To Lead Sam Hornish's #77 Sprint Cup Team for 2008. See Penske Racing for more details.

As you all may be aware, Petty Racing has completed it's move to Mooresville and is prepared for the 2008 season and the third day of Daytona Speed Tests put the car 28th fastest of the bunch for the third day. pettyracing.com

Evernham Gillete, Furniture Row, Hass Racing news

Stanley Tools will have a fresh new look in 2008. NASCAR fans will now see the familiar yellow and black colors of the Stanley brand on Elliott Sadler's ride for 12 Sprint Cup races and the All Star Event. evernhammotorsports.com

Furniture Row Motorsports has a new crew chief for the 2008 year in Jay Guy. furniturerowracing.com

Hass CNC Racing continues to take major strides in identifying itself as a mainstay in the Sprint Cup Series. With its most recent addition, the team announces Mike Verlander will serve as Director of Business Development. Verlander brings his experience from MCG Sports where he managed business development for Joe Gibbs Racing. See haasracing.com for more details.

BAM, BDR, Ganassi Racing, DEI news

Back in December of '07, BAM racing announced a new novel sponsorshup program that makes low cost sponsorship possible. For $4,995, a small business can get a space on their racecar for the whole season and gets website for the sponsor, customized sponsor video's and other interesting details. Check the details out at http://www.bamracing.com/. Hmm, maybe I should get a spot!

As Toyota’s most successful NASCAR team in 2007, Bill Davis Racing begins Preseason Thunder testing for the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500 with optimism. With the progress the #22 CAT Sprint Cup team made over the second half of last season, the potential shown by the #27 and the success of both Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson in the Craftsman Truck Series, there is no reason to doubt our ability to compete at the highest level of these two NASCAR Series,” said General Manager Mike Brown. BDR

With Juan Pablo Montoya getting three wins in three different series in 2007, Chip Ganassi Racing has high hopes for the ex-rookie for 2008. See the details over at chipganassiracing.com

Mark Martin spent his birthday at the track, but it's Daytona, and that's something not a lot of people can say. Make said: “We had a really good day on the track,” said Martin. “We were able to find some things out there that allowed us to pick up speed and work on the car’s handling. We are excited about coming back down here for Speedweeks. We just had a great three days of testing and I’m excited about what we are working towards this season. DEI

Saturday, January 12, 2008

22nd Annual Chili Bowl - Saturday Nights Results

I don't follow this type of racing often enough to talk intelligently about it, but if I read my stuff right, then basically what you want to know is the winner of the A main event.

The A main event winner was #71G Damion Gardner, Pittsboro, IN. Tony Stewart came in 8th, Jason Leffler came in 17th, Kasey Kahne finished 22nd.

JJ Yeley had won the E Main 1 event and came in 15th in the D Main 1 event.

Check out ALL results over at the chilibowl web site.

Qual results from the Chili Bowl

In one of the qaulifying heats, the top four finishers in Friday night's qualifying feature included Damion Gardner( first), Dave Darland (second) and Jason Leffler (third) and Kasey Kahne.


Chili Bowl Article

There's a great article posted over on ThatsRacin.com about the ChiliBowl event, the participants and different angles on it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trying to Move Some New York Property

Now that NASCAR has been dissed in the NY market, they've got land they need to sell and are not having a lot of luck doing it.  At least in the end of November, they were having a typical real estate market day as NASCAR had to terminate an agreement to sell its property on Staten Island.

ISC agreed to sell the 676-acre Staten Island property on Oct. 19 to ProLogis, a Maryland real estate investment trust, for $100 million. ProLogis terminated the agreement on Tuesday, ISC said, before the "expiration of the due diligence inspection period."

There's just a few more details over at SceneDaily

Penske in the Rolex Series?

Wayne Taylor Racing, which in 2008 will campaign the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac and championship-winning driver Max Angelelli for its fifth Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season, has entered into a partnership with Penske Racing to field a second entry at the 2008 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona featuring a lineup of Penske drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the IRL IndyCar Series, and the American Le Mans Series.

The No. 9 Toshiba Pontiac Riley of Penske-Taylor Racing will be co-driven in the Jan. 26-27 endurance classic by 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch, two-time Indianapolis 500 (and dancing fool) winner Helio Castroneves, and open-wheel and sports-car veteran Ryan Briscoe, who piloted the Penske ALMS Porsche to two overall wins and three class victories in 2007 and will join Castroneves full-time on the IndyCar circuit this coming season.

See the rest of the details over at FOX Sports

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wednesdays' Testing

Kyle Busch, in his new ride for JGR Toyota, topped the charts in both morning and afternoon testing in the draft testing that took place today. (Yea, I don't think they'll have any issues coming up to speed in the new make.)

Check out the details of who ranked where at nascar.com

For the Brendan Gaughan Fan

Brendan Gaughan has found himself a ride in the truck series in the No. 10 Ford in the 2008 Craftsman Truck Series, joining Rick Crawford at Circle Bar Racing.


New Pit Road Rules for 08

Officials have distributed 2 new rules for pit road, sure to make it much more interesting and possibly slow down the pit stops by a millisecond or so.

“Cars may not be pushed past the flag person at the end of the pit road. Unless otherwise authorized, once the race is underway, cars may be started by hand pushing in the pit area only, but under no circumstances is any car to be hand pushed more than three pit boxes away from their assigned pit box or into the acceleration zone or onto the race track from the pit area. Cars may not receive any assistance after the white flag has been displayed, except those cars making pit stops …”.

“A team member must be in contact with the outside tire(s) until the outside tire(s) reach the inside half of the pit box before the car leaves its assigned pit box. Any tires let in the outside half of the assigned pit box, or beyond, will result in a time or other penalty.“

Of course, this is all about safety on pit road as tires were bounced around some last year.

Source: Fox Sports

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Joe Gibbs Returning to NASCAR

Joe Gibbs is apparently headed back to NASCAR following his resignation Tuesday as coach of the Washington Redskins.

Although he may stay on with the Redskins as an adviser, he's now free to be directly involved again in racing. Gibbs gave no clear indication what role he'll take with the race team, which has won three championships since 2000, during a news conference in Virginia.

Check out the details of the article over at foxsports.com

Garth Brooks to Pitch NASCAR

Garth Brooks will appear in print and broadcast ads for the May 16 fundraising program to benefit the NASCAR Foundation and its associated charities.

See the details over at thatsracin.com

Daytona Test Speeds for Tuesday

nascar.com : Jimmie Johnson sat on top in the morning session while JJ Yeley sat on top in the afternoon session. The link at the head of this paragraph has all the speed charts to date.

Additionally, during testing, some tires were blistering and Casey Mears slapped the wall more than likely, due to blistering. NASCAR isn't going to consider changing compounds and teams will need to be wary about long runs on tires, but hopefully with more rubber on the track this may not be quite so bad. nascar.com

Joe Gibbs to Retire From Redskins

Head coach Joe Gibbs will retire as Redskins head coach and team president.
The Redskins will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET to make the announcement.


Uh ho.  If Joe comes back to his NASCAR office, the other teams are going to have one heck of a competitor on their hands again.

Monday, January 7, 2008

McDowell to Succeed Ruetimann

It is expected that Dale Jarrett will be retiring later this (mid) season.

This will open up the opportunity for David Reutimann to slide over to the No. 44 car and bring ARCA runner-up champ, Michael McDowell into the No. 00. The changes are expected to occur at the Martinsville race in March.

Check out the details over at doyounascar

Kurt Busch's Team Getting A Rough Spot

A perspective by Bruce Simmons

It was one thing to swap points with the 2 and 77 teams and Penske's blind faith in Sam Hornish Jr., but has anyone thought about how this point swap really affects Kurt Busch's 2 team?

Points dictate garage stalls. Busch's team might not make the cut to get a garage stall during the first five races.

Busch will be "outside" of the top 35 in points, but he is the most recent champion so he is in the first 5 races, no issues.

They'll be going through tech last and may not get garage stalls at a couple of the races.

This was, as they put it, the best move for the organization and the 2 team did know what they were getting into, but for the consummate Kurt Busch fan, this must be killing you! Sorry.

Inspiration for this piece: scenedaily

Monday's Speed Tests

The first session of preseason testing opened Monday at Daytona International Speedway, and two-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson was the fastest of the 25 cars on the track during the morning and afternoon sessions.

He was followed in the morning session by Casey Mears, Jacques Villeneuve and A.J. Allmendinger. The afternoon session saw Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears, Kyle Busch, A.J. Allmendinger and Jacques Villeneuve. (See nascar.com for the speed charts)

Keep in mind that NASCAR does not allow draft practice so it was single car runs today.

Dale Earnhardt Jr apparently surprised everyone by being there because he's testing next week and with the potential of no team mates being present, he wanted to touch base with his posse while they were at the track this week.

See Fox Sports for details.

Mark Martin's Cup Schedule

It looks like Mark Martin will be competing in 24 cup point events, and 2 non point events for 2008, with Aric Almirola filling in the #8 seat for the rest of the other events.

Check it out at daleearnhardtinc


Mark Martin to Drive the 5 Car? (July 2)
Mark Martin Drives for HMS. (July 5)

Kasey Kahne Pleads Not Guilty

Gillett Evernham Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne has filed a written plea of not guilty to a charge of misdemeanor battery stemming from an alleged pushing incident with a security guard Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The not guilty plea was filed Thursday and cancels the arraignment scheduled for Tuesday.

See the details at scenedaily

Robby Gordon on the Cancellation of Drakar

The Dakar Rally was canceled this week at the last minute because of security concerns stemming from terrorist activity in Mauritania, where eight stages of the race were scheduled.

Robby Gordon showed some concern about this last minute decision to cancel the event with no apparent back up plans for moments like this.

As Robby put it: “I can completely understand their decision to not go to Mauritania,” he said. “.... Why didn’t we run 10 days in Portugal on the same course? Something. All of the equipment was there. All of the teams were there. ... ”

See the details over at That's Racin.com

Court Rules Against Kentucky Speedway

A U.S. federal court judge has ruled in favor of NASCAR over Kentucky Speedway in the track's antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.

"After careful consideration and a thorough review of the record, and granting [Kentucky] Speedway the benefit of the doubt on all reasonable inferences therefrom, the court concludes that Speedway has failed to make out its case," Judge William O. Bertelsman wrote in an opinion issued this morning.

Scene Daily

The 2008 Hendricks Stable

Well, 2008 is here.

And here is the Hendrick Motorsports lineup, in suit, ready to rumble.

With 2 champions on the team, the focus will be on Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the media, and probably from within the team.

See Sports Illustrated for the article this image comes from.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Days to Go Till the 500

There are 45 days to go until the green flag drops for the 50th Daytona 500.

Until then, we have testing, speedweeks and what not to halp our fix.

James "Penny" Paniagua Passes Away

Why are we talking about James "Penny" Paniagua? That's because James "Penny" Paniagua was the man who gave Jeff Gordon his first taste of speed, as it's put.

He died last Saturday a week after having a heart attack. RIP James.

James Paniagua, 89, introduced hundreds of youngsters – including a 4-year-old Gordon – to quarter-midget racing. An innovative designer and mechanic, he custom built more than 100 quarter-midget cars. Among his first models was one bought by John Bickford, Gordon's stepfather, for the racing prodigy.

See the rest of the article at The Sacramento Bee

Gaughan filling in for Robby Gordon

Here's an interesting item of note: Brendan Gaughan will fill in for Robby Gordon in the No. 7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Ford during the upcoming Sprint Cup test session at Daytona International Speedway.

Gordon is in Africa to compete in the Dakar Rally, which runs Jan. 5-20. With Gordon tied up, the No. 7 team opted to go with a substitute driver for the session, which begins Monday.

See the rest of the article at Scene Daily

The Unknowns of the COT

Over on NASCAR.com, is an article on the COT and how it's still new with some unknowns still in the equation.

As they quote Ryan Newman saying, "When we go to test we anticipate going faster each time we go there, whether it's Kentucky or Nashville or each racetrack we go to.".. Yet the COT is about 1/2 a second slower so it's not something they are used to...

See the article over at NASCAR

NASCAR Daytona Test List

What will NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow look like on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway?

The world will find out beginning January 7 as NASCAR Sprint Cup teams take part in preseason testing at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway.

This Fox Sports link has the list of drivers expected to compete at the first session, which takes place January 7-9, and the second test, which is scheduled for January 14-16.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hello to 2008

Another calendar year has come and gone. 
We now have only 359 shopping days until Christmas.
I want to say thank you to my 40,000+ visitors for coming by and checking out my work and efforts.
Now, let's look to 2008 and see what that has in store for us, for humanity.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes to Everyone
Bruce E. Simmons