Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Petty To Merge With Gillett Evernham

Lee Petty at FOX Sports is reporting that sources close to the deal are verifying that Petty Enterprises will be shutting their doors on their much storied shop and joining forces with the GEM shop.

Trying to keep, or take advantage of the brand, the newly formed team will be rebranded under the Petty Banner.  Yet we all know it won't be and thus ends another NASCAR legacy, making way for the future.  The future being where it will more than likely be 5 massive teams facing off against each other in the 43 car field.

Kentucky One Step Closer to Cup Date

SMI completed it's purchase of Kentucky Speedway today, giving Bruton Smith a wee bit more leverage towards that coveted Cup date.

This completed sale makes the count of tracks SMI owns up to eight.

source:   FOX Sports

The Largest Win Margin in NASCAR

Who's got the largest win margin in NASCAR?

In a race marred with all kinds of problems, the 1965 Southern 500 at Darlington booked out with all kinds of issues and merits.

In this race, rookie Buren Skeen died in the early laps of the race.
Cale Yarborough ended up rolling his car 6x ending up at the end of the parking lot.

Ned Jarrett ended up winning the race: By 14 laps. The largest margin of victory in NASCAR history.

At that point, I'm guessing he could save his equipment!


Drivers to Hit the Slippery Slopes of the Sled

The Whelen Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge is lookin' to take place this weekend, January 2-4 in Lake Placid, N.Y.. A bunch of NASCAR drivers are lined up for the event.

That includes Johnny Benson, Todd Bodine, Joey Logano, Brian Loftin, Philip Morris and Boris Said. One other personality I do know about is Dave Moody from SIRIUS Satellite Radio. He was going on and on about it so I thought I'd include him. (On and On meaning how he may die, who's the safest to ride with, etc..)


Sunday, December 28, 2008

A.J. Allmendinger To Replace Sadler at Gillett Evernham?

Marty Smith from ESPN is reporting that team sources are saying that A.J. Allmendinger is set to replace Elliott Sadler in the No. 19 Dodge in the upcoming 2009 season.


I thought that Sadler had a continuing contract with GE through 2010?  According to sources, because of this change some sponsors left the team.

If this is true, I am happy for Allmendinger, or 'Dinger to his buddies.  He deserved a good ride considering his level of talent.  But what the heck will happen to Elliott Sadler?  That's nuts and not fair to him, if the obvious happens.

Obviously, there will be more to follow as things develop.

source:  espn

Friday, December 26, 2008

News From The Past Week... or So

Ryan Newman Foundation raises $155k for conservation and animal welfare efforts.
It was presented by Alltel Wireless as they try to squeeze everything they can out of their wanning days with Ryan. Of which I'm bummed. All my Ryan diecasts are Alltel. Now What!!??

They had 319 fishermen, and a different event with celebs and pro fishing guys.

Pretty cool. You can see more over on NASCAR.

Here's a reminder: Drug Testing Commences for NASCAR in January.
NASCAR will start testing drivers in the 3rd week of Jan. while crew members must submit their own drug test results from approved labs no later than Jan 16th.

What was once a floating threat of an occasional drug test has become a standard regime of presence after the Aaron Fike scenario over in the truck series.

Now we see how it all goes. source

Another one Bites the dust as Bill Davis Racing has sold majority ownership of both his race team and his engine company in an effort to stay afloat. Not sure you can call selling off the majority of your team as "staying afloat", but there it is.

Mike Held, a California businessman, and Marty Gaunt, an executive with Bill Davis Racing, are the new majority owners and have also taken control of Triad Racing Development, which supplied engines, chassis and bodies for all three of NASCAR's top series.

They've changed the name of the company to Triad Racing Technologies.


NASCAR Settles
Like all large entities that see the cheaper side of litigation, the discriminatory litigation between NASCAR and Mauricia Grant has been settled.

And done so on mutually acceptable terms. Whatever acceptable terms could be from a $225 million lawsuit.

This was all in relation to 23 specific incidents of alleged sexual harassment and 34 specific incidents of alleged racial and gender discrimination during her employment in NASCAR, January 2005 until her October 2007, for the Nationwide series.

During this whole ordeal, NASCAR did fire 3 officials.

The specific terms of the settlement are confidential.

source: NASCAR Public Relations

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays to Everyone

Brotherly Wins in NASCAR - A Look From 2008

When Kyle Busch won at Infineon Raceway, followed by brother Kurt's win at New Hampshire, this gave them the first back-to-back wins by brothers since Kyle won at California and Kurt at Richmond in September 2005.

See the rest at Brothers In NASCAR

Monday, December 22, 2008

Poll Post - What Do You Want To See

Hey faithful readers, hope all is treating you well these days.

I'm pondering changing up what I report on, or write about in this newsletter of mine, NASCAR Bits and Pieces and I'd like your opinion.

Ive been reporting news and what not, but there are so many sources for news,
  • I have to wonder if you like my news or not?
  • Is it redundant?
  • Do I select the best news for you?
  • Are my opinion pieces like Tight in Turn 2 fun for you?
  • Do I pick the right news for you?
  • Am I duplicating your RSS feed.
Questions like that run through my mind and I'd like to make this place a fun place to visit.

So I have generated a poll for you to vote on, or you can leave your thoughts here on my newsletter comment section.

If you receive this newsletter via RSS or Email and the news is useful, let me know it's useful, or

Just leave a comment or click on the poll. It's open until Jan 31 so there's plenty of time, but the sooner, the better for me!

Like they always say, if you want to know, just ask. Well, I'm asking! Thanks for coming by, singing up or flitting through my little world of NASCAR folks!


Ron Hornaday Sr Passed Away

Ron Hornaday Sr, father to Ron Hornaday Jr, died December 21, 2008.

Reports are that he succumbed to cancer.

Our condolences to the Horndays.

'Tis The Season

It's Christmas Week!!! Anyone have a problem with me taking a day off or a week off?

We'll see if I can stay away!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Curious Notes From The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season

Ryan Newman posted the first Daytona 500 victory for a Dodge since Ward Burton won in 2002. That victory was the only other restrictor-plate victory for Dodge.

Tony Stewart won at Talladega Superspeedway in his 20th attempt.
That leaves only three active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks at which Stewart has not visited Victory Lane:
  • Auto Club Speedway,
  • Darlington Raceway and
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Among active drivers, only Jeff Gordon has won at more tracks. Gordon has yet to win at two tracks:
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway and
  • Texas Motor Speedway.
By contrast Jimmie Johnson has yet to visit Victory Lane at five active tracks:
  • Bristol,
  • Chicago,
  • Homestead-Miami,
  • Michigan,
  • Infineon.
Dude, get the lead out!! Oh, wait, he did. THREE TIMES!

Kasey Kahne was the only driver with three top-10 finishes in the first three races this season. In 2007, Kahne did not get his third top 10 until race No. 24, at Bristol.

Jeff Gordon won the pole at Atlanta, making this his 16th consecutive year with a pole.

He is third on the all-time list for consecutive years with a pole behind David Pearson (20) and Richard Petty (17).

Jeff Gordon finished 43rd after his accident at Texas, just the second time in his career that he finished 43rd. The other also came at Texas (March 1999).

Greg Biffle won the pole on the newly-repaved Darlington Raceway, breaking Ward Burton’s 1996 track qualifying record.

Burton’s was the longest-standing qualifying record at an active, nonrestrictor-plate track.

Denny Hamlin led 381 laps, setting the record for the number of laps led in a 400-lap race at Richmond.

Denny eclipsed the mark of 369 set by Bobby Allison in September 1979.

The record for laps led all-time at Richmond is 488 of 500 on the half-mile configuration by David Pearson in September 1970.

Kyle Busch led 786 laps in the first 14 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. He had also led the exact same number through the first 15 races (the same weekend) in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The man is a freak of skills! Skills we all wish we could freak at!

Kyle Busch led 415 laps at Bristol, the 13th time a driver has led 400 laps or more at the Tennessee short track.

The standard was set by Cale Yarborough, who led all 500 laps in March 1973.

Busch became the third driver to lead over 400 laps and not win the race, joining
Richard Petty (442 laps in July 1964) and
Rusty Wallace (409 laps in August 1993).

42 cars completed the Pepsi 500 – setting the track record for cars running at the finish for Auto Club Speedway.

• The 43 cars running at the finish in the second Richmond race is the first time that all the cars have been running at the finish of a Richmond race, breaking the record of 39 which occurred four times.

It was just the second time since the field was mandated to 43 cars that all starters finished a race. The other was at New Hampshire in September 2007.

• The 40 cars running at the finish at Dover set the record for cars finishing a race there.

• The 42 cars running at the finish at Kansas set the record for cars finishing a race there.

Chad McCumbee started his first Lowe’s Motor Speedway race, becoming the 500th different driver to compete at LMS.

Mark Martin has started second six times in the 2008 season – all as a result of timed qualifying.

The modern era record for second-place starts is 10 by Jeff Gordon in 1996.

Richard Petty (1964) and David Pearson (1968) each had 17 second-place starts – the all-time record – but both came in seasons with more than 48 races. (Wow, a 48 race season!!! Gotta wonder how many networks would cover that in this era!?)

-Oh crap... I'm out of curious facts from the 2008 season... now what?????

source: nascar press release

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tidbits to Ponder - Kenseth, Robby Gordon and Labonte

Matt Kenseth gets a new crew chief in Drew Blickensderfer.
Robby Gordon is playing musical chairs with manufacturers and is switching to Toyota.

And something to ponder:  IS Bobby Labonte going to be driving the No. 41 Target car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing?

(Just thought I'd say hi with something besides a statistic!)

Curious Records from the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season

Current Streaks
Kevin Harvick extended his current streak of running at the finish to 80 races.

That is the all-time record for consecutive races without a DNF.

Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, is second on the list, currently on a 73-race streak of running at the finish.

Note: Herman Beam completed 84 consecutive races that he competed in (1961-63), but he did not race in all of the scheduled events during his personal streak. His longest consecutive-race streak was 35 races.

International Flare Grows
Five foreign-born drivers participated at Infineon Raceway:
  • Marcos Ambrose (Australia)
  • Patrick Carpentier (Canada)
  • Ron Fellows (Canada)
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia)
  • Max Papis (Italy).
This was the largest contingent of foreign-born drivers in a race in NASCAR Sprint Cup history.

This eclipsed the previous mark of three which was set eight times – most recently at Infineon in 2007.

Sounding More Like An Olympic Venue!
At Watkins Glen, three nations were represented among the top five for the first time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history.
  1. Kyle Busch (United States)
  2. Tony Stewart (United States)
  3. Marcos Ambrose (Australia)
  4. Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia)
  5. Martin Truex Jr. (United States)

Lap Leaders in a Race
The 28 different drivers that led at Talladega-2 set the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record for different lap leaders in a race.

It eclipsed the mark of 26 set at Talladega in July 1986 and tied in April 2001, also at Talladega.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Manufacturer Notes From the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Terse Review)

Manufacturer Championship
Chevrolet won the Manufacturers’ Championship with 219 points – its sixth straight title and 32nd overall.
Ford had 215,
Toyota 207 and
Dodge 151.

Chevrolet and Ford both had 11 victories in 2008.
Toyota had 10 victories while Dodge had four wins.

Top Four
All four manufacturers have been in the top four finishers four times this season:
  • Texas,
  • Charlotte,
  • Michigan and
  • Indianapolis.

source: nascar press release

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Quick Look At Penalties from the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season

When I said quick, I meant it!!


There have been 619 on-track penalties issued in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season.

Penalty Recap:
  • Pitting Before Pit Road is Open 310
  • Too Fast Entering Pit Road 63
  • Too Fast Exiting Pit Road 87
  • "Others" 159

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Labonte Released From Petty Enterprises

Bobby Labonte was released from Petty Enterprises today, despite singing a four year contract extension.

Here's a funny:  At the time of writing this, my SOURCE link that got me going on this subject from BizJournals says "Labonte had driven for the Petty team for 15 years and won the NASCAR championship in 2000.".  Well, they got some of it right.  Now if they only said, in Bobby's 15 years of racing.  It really sucks when a writer doesn't know what they're talking about and only skims their source article.

Part of the issue was that Petty (Besides quietly circling the drain, dumping Kyle Petty from the team and a complete lack of competitiveness) Enterprises lost General Mills as a sponsor to RCR.  Which means they need to restock on a totally new breakfast cereal now.

SIRIUS Satellite NASCAR Ch. 128 was reporting that Bobby may be looking at the Target sponsored No. 41 car for next year.  If true, then Bobby truly is going to the dark side of racing in the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shop.  You know, if they called it Earnhardt Ganassi Garage, that would be EGG!  I Shudder at the thought that Labonte would be driving for them but he'll put on a strong front if so.

Meanwhile, PE and GEM are still in the deliberations that they are denying they're in!

Here's hoping Bobby has a fighting chance in whatever ride he does get!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sam Bass On The Mend

Today while talking to Dave Moody on SIRIUS Speedway w/ Dave Moody, Sam Bass talked about his recovery with Dave. Yep, recovery.

He's diabetic and had some complications with his condition. This complication led to his having had surgery resulting in the amputation of a foot.

Sam is incredibly upbeat and looks at this development as a new lease on life. Once he gets his prosthetic, he's eager to get back on track.

Before the surgery, he cranked out some holiday products so that he wouldn't disappoint his customers / fans.

Sam is an incredible inpsiration with his upbeat attitude and more power to him and his family.

Thanks for the holiday inspiration Sam.

See his site, Sam Bass Online Gallery.

Owner Hilights From The NASCAR Sprint Series 2008 Season

Here are some selected tidbits on team owner statistics from the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season

• Ryan Newman won the season-opening Daytona 500, his first career restrictor-plate victory.

Teammate Kurt Busch finished second, giving car owner Roger Penske his first restrictor-plate victory and first 1-2 finish in 25 years of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing.

Richard Childress Racing followed that up when RCR captured the top three finishing positions in the first Bristol race of the season: Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, respectively.

It was the first 1-2-3 finish for a car owner since Roush Fenway racing captured the top four spots at Homestead in November 2005: Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, respectively.

• Joe Nemechek won the pole at Talladega, giving car owner Barney Visser his first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup pole. It came in Visser’s 49th as a car owner.

Hendrick Motorsports began competing in NASCAR Sprint Cup in 1984 and won its first race in 1986. Since then, HMS has posted at least one victory in each of its 22 seasons since and has gone past the seventh race of a season before posting its first win eight times – but only four times since 1994 (including this season). The deepest that HMS has gone into a season before scoring a win was 1992 when the first victory did not come until race No. 23.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan and became the 14th different driver to win for Hendrick Motorsports.

Every full-time driver for Hendrick Motorsports since 2000 has posted at least one victory while with the organization.

If statistics hold true for next year, then we can fully expect to see a win out of Mark Martin in 2009 then!

• Marcos Ambrose posted a third-place finish driving the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford at Watkins Glen.

That was the first top-five finish for the Wood Brothers since Ricky Rudd’s fourth at Bristol in August 2005.

• Carl Edwards posted only the second NASCAR Sprint Cup-NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend sweep at Michigan when he won both races there in August. Both came with Jack Roush as the car owner.

Mark Martin posted the first in 1993.

Roush Fenway Racing swept the top three finishing positions at Dover-2: Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.

It was the second 1-2-3 sweep by a car owner in 2008.

source: nascar press release

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise & Others

I wrote up a wee bit of a piece that kind of started growing into a full fledged article and thought I'd put it up on my Entertainment Review newsletter, Cinema Static.

I touch on Costner and Cruise being at the Banquet, then went on and on about Kelly Clarkson, Keifer Sutherland and the IMAX 3D movie.

Check it out over at Cinema Static.

NASCAR Sprint Cup: Rookie and Lap Notes from 2008

Looking back at the 2008 season of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I'm glad to see that Regan Smith took the Rookie award for the year. Following this little segment of numbers is a quickie observation on lap leaders.

Rookie Performance
• Regan Smith won the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Award.

• Five different drivers were the highest-finishing rookie in 2008:
  • Regan Smith (12)
  • Sam Hornish Jr. (11)
  • Patrick Carpentier (seven)
  • Michael McDowell (five)
  • Dario Franchitti (one)

As far as laps led in the 2008 season:

Laps Led
• Jimmie Johnson led 1,959 laps this season, more than any other driver.

• 50 drivers led at least one lap this season. No one has led in every race.

• 11 drivers led the most laps in a race this season:
  • Jimmie Johnson (10)
  • Kyle Busch (seven)
  • Carl Edwards (five)
  • Tony Stewart (four)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (three)
  • Matt Kenseth (two)
  • Denny Hamlin (one)
  • Greg Biffle (one)
  • Kasey Kahne (one)
  • Mark Martin (one)
  • David Reutimann (one)

source: nascar press release

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another NASCAR Banquet Has Come and Gone

Well, another year, and another Bank-Qwet has come and gone.

I dread the annual event that drones on and on for more time than is necessary on my television. My biggest issue is the female announcing voice that pitches the award recipients in such a wAy tHAt emPHasIzes thINgs in sUch a stUpid tonality that I can't help but wonder if this is an attempt to create comedy in the show. But alas, no, it is not. What I don't get is that according to sources over on Daly Planet, say that it's Tia Texada. Yea, Tia Texada. I've seen her in a number of shows and it never struck me that the over dramatized vocalization came from an actress who has been shows like Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, The Unit, Third Watch, etc.. Does she not know how she sounds? It's corny. Eh? If you do a google search on her name, then click on Images, well, I guess that's what NASCAR is trying to pitch.

If her sounding annoying is well, annoying, I'm thinking that ESPN had to do one last "eff you fans" move of the year with their last broadcast by having the label LIVE in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Wow, it's amazing that after all these years of not covering the sport, they haven't changed their attitude in the slightest towards us, the NASCAR fan.

Well, it was live when they TAPED it for rebroadcast. This was the same timing set up as last year.

My problems with this time-shift issue and the bank-dwet were:

  • On the West Coast, we were told the show was starting at 7 pm Eastern. That's 4 PM West coast time. But the show didn't start on ESPN Classic until 6 PM my time. Hmm. If you have a SIRIUS radio and turned it on, you'd hear just how far behind the TV telecast was. One commentor on Daly Planet coined the network BSPN. Nice.
  • If Kevin Costner is a hired fan, how is it that he can refer to Dale Earnhardt as The Terminator? Wrong movie Kevin.
  • While I'm watching the "LIVE" telecast of an event that is over an hour old, I get an email from the NASCAR Press Office at 8:31 PM telling me that Cale Yarborough surprised Jimmie Johnson with the Champion Ring presentation. Hmm... that email ruined my surprise which was still 30 odd minutes away for me. Sigh.
  • If this thing is tape delayed, which means someone COULD be editing it, how does it run over? My TV menu schedule said it ended at 9 PM.
  • During some of the segments, someone really screwed up with video compilations, repeatedly. ONE example was when Clint Bowyer was on stage. The film recap showed the No. 18 car wrecking the No. 88. Eh? Then it went on with footage of Clints car. This happened a few times with the speaker that was on stage.
  • What in blue blazes was Tom Cruise doing there????? Oh no, are we smelling a Days of Thunder sequel!? Sigh.
  • It's classic that Carl Edwards bolted after his stage time. Kudos to Carl. I now have to buy a diecast of his, to show my support.
  • Where'd Jimmie's multi-million dollar check go? We didn't see it this year.
  • At one point, this thing was droning on so painfully that I was starting to wish that the ABC owned ESPN network really would go to America's Funniest Videos. (No ABC, I will never let you or anyone forget that the leader of the band pulled that one on us.)
  • The camera "work" made me feel like I was watching a Quentin Tarantino sequel production of Pulp NASCAR Fiction! Must have been the same camera director who insisted on endless bumper and in-car cam shots at the worse possible times... like during the race.

What did I like about the show?:
  • Rick Hendrick asking Kyle Busch how old he was because he acts like an 18-year-old.
  • The 2nd set that the comedian did was pretty funny. He let loose with his own material rather than forcing league related humor.
  • That Carl Edwards left as soon as he was done with his piece. Nice!! He must have learned that from Kyle Busch.
  • That the show ended.
Well, we only have 70 some odd days until the Speed Week-less Daytona 500.

By then, we'll have heard whether the auto manufacturers tap-danced their way into their own bail out, or if the government treats them like any other of the thousands of businesses going under without so much as a public whimper with no help from anyone else.

Friday, December 5, 2008

NASCAR SprintCup Race Numbers from 2008

Races and drivers... some stats for the curious about the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2008 season.

The Races
• 71 drivers qualified for/participated in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this season.

• There were 12 different race winners this season:
  • Carl Edwards (nine)
  • Kyle Busch (eight)
  • Jimmie Johnson (six)
  • Greg Biffle (two)
  • Jeff Burton (two)
  • Ryan Newman (one)
  • Clint Bowyer (one)
  • Kasey Kahne (one)
  • Denny Hamlin (one)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one)
  • Kurt Busch (one)
  • Tony Stewart (one)

• 37 different drivers have posted at least one top-10 finish in 2008, led by Carl Edwards with 27.

• Eight drivers had a best finish of second this season:
  • David Gilliland
  • Jeff Gordon
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Matt Kenseth
  • Paul Menard
  • Juan Pablo
  • Montoya
  • Brian Vickers
  • Michael Waltrip

• There were nine green-white-checkered finishes this season:
  • Bristol
  • Texas
  • Richmond
  • Michigan
  • Infineon
  • Daytona-2
  • Talladega-2
  • Martinsville-2
  • Phoenix-2

• The race was won from a top-10 start 28 times this season.

• The deepest in the field that a race winner started in 2008 was 34th, by Tony Stewart at Talladega-2.

• Nine races were won from the pole and the average start of the race winner in 2008 is 8.00.

• The pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying) finishing position:
  • First 9
  • 2nd-5th 8
  • 6th-10th 3
  • 11th-30th 11
  • 31st or beyond 5

• The lap leader performance of the pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying):
  • Led First Lap 26
  • Led at All 35
  • Led Most Laps 12
  • Won Race 9

• The race winner’s starting positions:
  • Pole 9
  • 2nd-5th 12
  • 6th-10th 8
  • 11th-30th 5
  • 31st or beyond 2

• The lap leader performance of the race winner:
  • Led First Lap 7
  • Led Most Laps 17
  • Led Mid-Race Lap 9
  • Led With 10 to Go 24
  • Led With One to Go 35
Note: Mid-Race lap is as scheduled regardless of shortened or extended race length.

source: nascar press release

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rumors of Petty and Gillett Merging - Can It Be?

The Associated Press is reporting that Petty Enterprises (PE) is in the chat mode with Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM) to merge. Of course, sources are saying don't tell them I said it, since they're still formulating the business plan.

And the plan is to move the No 43 car into this merged entity, giving the new team a 4-car effort for 2009.

Right now, this makes a bit of sense in the logic department if you recall that Sports Illustrated was saying the Petty Enterprises isn't returning to the field in 2009, but how accurate are these speculations across the board?

Additionally, I have to wonder just what benefit this merge brings to GEM? GEM is fine without PE, unless PE is dumping cash into the bank account of GEM to help them stagger through 2009.

And if this happens, when the storied history of Petty Enterprises, already diluted by their previous sell-out to Boston Ventures, what does happen to Petty Enterprises? Was the first sell out to Boston Ventures the first death knell in the wind? Is this it? Gone. After all this time? It can't hurt in present day, with the lack of performance that PE has been delivering, even if there looked to be a bit of hope here and there for PE from the No 43 camp.

Ideas for names, anyone: Gilletty Entersports? Pettette MotorPrises?

Or will this new, rumored team name just get ridiculously longer: Gillette Evernham Petty Motorssports. GEPM?

Of course is it possible that Gillette will remove Evernham's name from the team, since they bought him out in November? Evernham is not looking to own another team (source), but he did buy a dirt track (source), so hence starts his new racing endeavor. I guess we'll have to watch ray in the broadcast booth, but I can hope he sticks around NASCAR with a bit more intervention than that.

Then again, do you think his unspoken, surmised engagement to Erin Crocker might have some bit of fuel under his decision making?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

NASCAR SprintCup Qualifying Numbers from 2008

Here's a curious tidbit about qualifying efforts from the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

• 84 drivers attempted to qualify for at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this season.

• There were 15 different pole winners in 2008:
  • Jimmie Johnson (six)
  • Jeff Gordon (four)
  • Kyle Busch (two)
  • Greg Biffle (two)
  • Kasey Kahne (two)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one)
  • Ryan Newman (one)
  • Joe Nemechek (one)
  • Denny Hamlin (one)
  • Patrick Carpentier (one)
  • Paul Menard (one)
  • Brian Vickers (one)
  • Carl Edwards (one)
  • Travis Kvapil (one)
  • David Reutimann (one)

• There were four first-time pole winners in 2008.
This continued a 22-year streak of at least one first-time pole winner (1987-2008).
  • Patrick Carpentier (New Hampshire)
  • Paul Menard (Daytona-2)
  • Travis Kvapil (Talladega-2)
  • David Reutimann (Homestead)

• Patrick Carpentier and Paul Menard won consecutive career-first poles – the first time that career first poles had been posted in back-to-back races since David Green (Homestead) and Kevin Lepage (Atlanta) in 1999.

Disheartening Rain
• Qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather at the Auto Club Speedway, Bristol, Michigan, Chicago, Watkins Glen, Richmond-2, New Hampshire-2, Lowe’s-2, Martinsville-2 and Atlanta-2.

• 49 different drivers have posted at least one top-10 start, led by Jimmie Johnson with 27.

• The pole winner (or driver who started first) won nine times and finished in the top 10 in 20 races this season.

• Two pole winners went on to finish last in that race: Ryan Newman (Phoenix) and Greg Biffle (Darlington).

• The average finish of the pole winner in 2008 is 12.28.

• Landon Cassill won the pole for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at New Hampshire and Patrick Carpentier followed up with the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. It was the first time ever that two Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates swept the poles at the same track in a weekend.

source: nascar press release

Monday, December 1, 2008

The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season

Jimmie Johnson won the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship – his third consecutive, history tying title. He joined Cale Yarborough (1976-78) as the only drivers to win three consecutive series championships.

In 2008, Jimmie Johnson had seven wins, 15 top fives and 22 top 10s, and finished the 2008 season 69 points ahead of Carl Edwards.

Three of his victories and eight of his top-10s came during the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers won all 10 Chase races:
  • Jimmie Johnson (three),
  • Carl Edwards (three),
  • Greg Biffle (two),
  • Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton (one each).

Chase Notes: After Race 10
• All 12 Chase drivers have posted at least one top-10 finish in a Chase race.
Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards did so in eight.

• All 12 Chase drivers have led laps in at least one of the first nine Chase races.
Jimmie Johnson led in nine.

• Chase drivers led 2,642 of the 3,234 laps (81.7%).

• Greg Biffle became the first driver to win the first two Chase races.

• Jimmie Johnson has won 14 of the 50 Chase races run since the inception of this playoff system.

2008 Season Highlights
• Ryan Newman won the season-opener Daytona 500, his first career restrictor-plate victory.

• Carl Edwards won back-to-back at California and Las Vegas.

• Kyle Busch won at Atlanta, giving Toyota its first victory in the Cup Series.
This was the 40th start for Toyota in Cup and was the first by a foreign-based manufacturer since Jaguar won with Al Keller at Linden (N.J.) Airport in 1954.

• Jeff Burton won at Bristol. He had teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer on his tail, giving car owner Richard Childress his first-ever 1-2-3 sweep.

• Carl Edwards won at Texas. Carl joins Jeff Burton as the only drivers with multiple victories at Texas.

• Kyle Busch won at Darlington and became the youngest race winner there.

• Kasey Kahne followed up his All-Star race win with a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Doing this made Kasey the sixth driver to win both races in the same season.

• Kyle Busch wins at Dover. This makes him the first driver to have four wins at Dover.

• Kasey Kahne won the Pocono 500.
He became the third multiple-race winner of 2008.

• Junior Nation rejoices. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan, ending a 76-race winless streak.

• Kyle Busch won at Infineon Raceway.
That was number one for Kyle on a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series roadcourse.
This also meant he's won on all four types of tracks in NASCAR’s premier circuit.

• Kurt Busch won at New Hampshire. His first since Michigan in August 2007.

• Kyle Busch got 2008 win #6 in the July race at Daytona.

• At Chicagoland, Kyle Busch won back-to-back races for the first time in his career. That's #7.

• At Indianapolis, Jimmie Johnson won his second race of 2008 – his second win at the Brickyard. The race of a thousand trophy dashes!

• Carl Edwards won at Pocono Raceway after waiting out rain and fuel issues for win #4 of the season.

• Kyle Busch won at Watkins Glen, completing a sweep of the two road-course races this season.

• By winning at Michigan, Carl Edwards completed the second NASCAR Sprint Cup-NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend sweep.

• Carl Edwards posted back-to-back victories for the second time in 2008 when he won at Bristol.

• Jimmie Johnson dominated the field at Auto Club Speedway.

• Jimmie Johnson won at Richmond. Win #4 of the season.

• With his victory at New Hampshire, Greg Biffle became the 11th different race winner in 2008.

• Greg Biffle won at Dover, posting consecutive series wins for the first time in his career.

• Jimmie Johnson won the Camping World RV 400 presented by Coleman at Kansas Speedway.

• Tony Stewart won at Talladega. That's win # 33 in his career. His first in 2008 and his first win at Talladega Superspeedway.

• Jeff Burton won at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. That makes 2008 his first multiple-win season since 2001.

• Jimmie Johnson won at Martinsville. He led 339 laps – the most he has ever led in a race in his career.

• Carl Edwards won at Atlanta. That's #7 for him in 2008.

• Carl Edwards won at Texas.

• Jimmie Johnson had win #7 of 2008 at Phoenix. Much to the chagrin of Carl Edwards.

• Carl Edwards posted his series-leading ninth victory with his win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Source: NASCAR Press Release