NASCAR - A New National Pastime: 5 Tips to Help You Enjoy Racing with Your Kids
Forget long-lasting Little League games, today’s families are driven by a need for speed. With a fan base of about 75 million, NASCAR auto racing is one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the United States; forty percent of the fans are women and forty percent have children under age eighteen. Here's how to keep kids safe (and entertained) at NASCAR events.
(PRWEB) November 15, 2004 -- NASCAR auto racing has become one of America's favorite spectator sports.
But do you know what to pack to keep your young fans safe and entertained for a few hundred laps? “NASCAR provides an excellent family activity,” says Craig Elliott, racing enthusiast and author of Racer Buddies: Opening Day at Daytona! “Both parents and children are naturally drawn to all the unbridled energy and excitement involved in racing.”
A father of two boys, ages four and six, Elliott wanted to bring the racing excitement to the younger generation with his book, Racer Buddies: Opening Day at Daytona!. The book uses racecar characters and actual track locations to take a fun kid’s eye view of the races, while the story teaches racing terminology and solid family values.
Here Elliott shares five tips to help you make the most of a NASCAR race with your kids.
* Take earplugs. NASCAR races are very loud and can be damaging to children’s ears. Make sure they have earplugs or headsets to muffle the sound.
* Stock up on sunblock. Encourage your kids to slather on a sunblock with a high SPF so they don’t leave looking like a lobster!
* Buy a program. Help kids pick out their favorite drivers and cars.
* Bring binoculars. Give your kids a chance to see their favorite car and driver up close – from a safe distance.
* Give your child a copy of Racer Buddies. As a memento of your special day together, present your child with a copy of this fun and fast-paced tale of cool cars.
“With a little planning, stock car races can be a great place to bring your kids,” says Elliott. NASCAR is the new national family pastime.” And according to an article in Sports Illustrated (July 1, 2002), anybody who thinks differently needs “to have their tires rotated.”
Get in on the action! Take a free spin with Racer Buddies at www.racerbuddies.com.
Racer Buddies: Opening Day at Daytona!
Powerband Press, LLC, 2003, ISBN: 0-9746445-0-1, $12.95, www.racerbuddies.com
Manufacturer Notes & Quotes - Darlington Qualifying
CHEVROLET NOTES & QUOTES
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES
MOUNTAIN DEW SOUTHERN 500 - PRACTICE NOTES
November 12, 2004
TONY EURY JR., CAR CHIEF, NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Note - Dale Earnhardt Jr. hit the wall during practice and goes to a back-up car. The crew put the motor from the primary car into the back-up: "We run a support bar on the right side so when they ride the wall during the race, it supports it. It knocked the cage out pretty good. It kind of kinked the main roll cage. Instead of taking a risk of something happening during the race, we decided to change. It really doesn't cost us anything. We don't have to go to the back for no reason. Why take the chance? We got the other car out and we've got another one on the way."
(IS JUNIOR COMFORTABLE WITH THE BACK-UP CAR?) "That car actually ran about two-tenths faster than the other one. We haven't run the car all year. It's been a back-up all year. Everything we've got is good, so we're looking forward to it."
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE POSSIBILITY OF FINISHING UNDER THE LIGHTS AT DARLINGTON?) "I ran under the lights a while back when they first put them up and it changes this track drastically. We should be pretty comfortable with the race track and when the lights come on we'll have enough time to really adapt to it and it shouldn't change things too much. It's going to be cool here already on Sunday, so that shouldn't change things too much."
(WHAT ABOUT SHADOWS ON THE TRACK?) "There are very few tracks we run on that have lights that we run right up against the wall in the corners. Having banking and being up close to the wall and with the soft wall creates challenges on how you light it. After I was here, I talked with the lighting guys and gave them some of my thoughts and as far as I know they made some adjustments on the lights and we'll find out Sunday night."
(IS IT GOOD THAT DARLINGTON IS IN THE FINAL 10 RACES?) "It's good it's in the mix because it's a track I run good at. I don't think about too many other things other than that. If you look at the tracks, some of them have a lot of history. Some of them are new. They're all challenging in their own way. I think this is definitely one of the most challenging tracks."
(DOES YOUR SUCCESS AT DARLINGTON GIVE YOU A PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE OVER THE OTHER GUYS ATOP THE POINT STANDINGS?) "If anything, it gives ourselves some advantages because we know how good we've been here. We have a good idea on the combination we're looking for and how to set the car up. But right now, I think everybody is just focusing on getting the most out of their own car and their own team. Some run horrible here and some run good. We don't focus on anybody else buy ourselves. When it comes down to the final race, we've got a shot at the championship and we've got to finish one or two positions ahead of somebody or win it or something like that, then we start thinking about the competition and the points. But right now, as tight as it is, I still don't think we're thinking about points, we're just thinking about coming out of here with a strong finish. Phoenix was a must for us. We had to have a good finish there. I was glad we pulled it off. If we hadn't, we would have come in here in a big hole and with our momentum going the wrong way. Even thought Junior won the race, we still gained some momentum."
(ON THE POINTS SYSTEM) "This points system is very exciting. It's keeping the interest level up. Whoever wins this championship this year should be very honored and proud of what they've accomplished because this is one of the toughest championships I've ever been a part of. Since I've been in this sport, I've never seen it this competitive with this many people going for it all the way down to the finish like this."
(DOES IT FEEL DIFFERENT THAN OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RACES YOU'VE BEEN A PART OF?) "Oh, yes. Absolutely, it's more intense."
(HAS IT TURNED OUT TO BE MORE LEGITIMATE THAN YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE IN THE BEGINNING?) "Yeah, but my concerns weren't that. I always knew it was going to be exciting and entertaining and close and difficult to win. My problem was that I felt like it was leaning more toward the excitement and entertainment side instead of the actual competitor side. I could easily sit here and say where we'd be if the old points system was in place.
"I'm just saying that when it's all said and done, as much as we like or dislike it right now, whoever gets that trophy has really done something."
(WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU MAKE TO THE SYSTEM?) "I don't know. I want to think about it some when it's all said and done. If we win it, I would tell them what a great job they did (grin). I'll pat Brian France on the back and say what a genius he is."
(ON HOMESTEAD) "I say this honestly. I don't think this championship could come down to a better place or a better race track than Homestead. They have done a phenomenal job with that race track. Give it to the computer wizards or whoever that have designed that race track and the third time is the charm. They've been trying to get that place right and they finally did. You're going to see side-by-side racing, you're going to see a superspeedway, and you're going to see some dicing and some great racing to decide this championship. I think you couldn't ask for a better end to the season or a better end to the championship."
(HOW DID YOU TEST GO AT HOMESTEAD? HAS THE TRACK AGED?) "It did age. When tracks change and they age like that, it's usually for the better. And as good as that track was when the pavement was brand new, we all new knew it was only going to get better and it did. I thought our test went well."
(WHO HAS THE MOST PRESSURE RIGHT NOW? KURT BUSCH OR YOU?) "Man, I think it's on all of us. We all have really the same at stake here. Yeah, he's got a lead but he doesn't have a big enough lead to protect it or pad it. He knows he's got to go out there and win. We all know we've got to win as well. We've got to run up front and finish ahead of those guys. And those guys are winning, so basically you have to win to beat them in the points championship. I think Kurt feels that and Jimmie and Junior and Mark feel that. That's what makes this thing so intense right now. It's not about getting a top 10. It's about getting wins."
(HOW HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ROBBIE LOOMIS GROWN?) "Robbie and I have grown to be better friends and we've gotten to communicate better about the race car. I think we can all be ourselves a little bit more. When it gets intense, he's got to step up and say what's on his mind and he says it. It's the same for me. We care about one another and respect one another a lot and we know we can pretty much get through anything - no matter how good or bad things get at times. We never give up on it. At the end of the day, we pat one another on the back and go to the next one."
(HOW CRITICAL IS RESPECT?) "I think as soon as you lose respect for any member of your team - your crew chief especially - then the confidence level goes away and communication goes away and everything is gone."
(THIS GROUP OF TOP FOUR DRIVERS DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE PLAYING ANY MIND GAMES WITH ONE ANOTHER. ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THAT?) "I've never been one to play mind games. It's not been my thing. Some guys do that. I think if you look at the group of guys who are battling for the championship, they want to leave any mind games on the race track and how you perform. That's the bottom line anyway. Even when I was racing Earnhardt for the championship in '95, and he wanted to get involved in mind games, all we did was go out there and perform and it put a lot of that stuff to rest. I think it just has to do with the personalities that are battling for the championship right now. There are a couple of guys in this garage area that would be doing that if they were in the battle."
(WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE CHASE - PREPARATION OR OTHERWISE -- THAT YOU MIGHT DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?) "I've been surprised that we've been able to maintain where we are with the lack of performance. I felt like 10 races were a lot of racing and consistency was still going to be important. You talk about the Mulligan and I thought at one time that if you had one bad race you'd be out of it. I think maybe two - if you can back it up. Jimmie has had probably had more than two and then has just gone on and dominated three races and put himself right back into it. So, I still think we've got to be consistent. And that's the only thing about maybe changing the points system.
"Right now, the way it is for a 10 race battle, consistency is playing too much of a role. It just goes back to the points system that I would like to see put in place. And that it more points for the winner and the top five and really just even the points out toward the end of the field so you can get rid of some of those bad races and go forward and get the points back on some of a win."
(ON DARLINGTON BEING ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT TRACKS IN THE FINAL 10) "Nobody argues that. It's definite. This is a tough race track. They only made it tougher when they put the soft walls in here and took away 30 inches of racing room that we didn't have to begin with. And so this is a track where you've got to stay out of the wall. As you can see in practice, it's not easy. You can tell yourself over and over to stay out of the wall, but you're trying to stay out of the wall and put the limits on the car and those two don't mix. That's what makes this track, without a doubt, the most difficult track on the circuit."
(HOW WILL IT CHANGE NEXT YEAR'S CHASE BY TAKING DARLINGTON OUT AND PUTTING TEXAS IN?) "On a personal level, I think it's a mistake because I like this race track and we run good at this race track. If you could pick this race track up and put it in New York City or Texas or Miami, we'd be racing here. The bottom line is that decisions have to be made for the better of the sport. I don't know how ticket sales are or ratings are but history of a race track is good but it only can take you so far. Hey, I'd want a road course in there too. I think this is a track that belongs in the Chase. It's a driver's championship they way they award it even though we know it's a team thing. But this is a driver's track and I think it belongs in the Chase. As good as I've run at Texas the last couple of times, I'm not minding too much being in Texas. I can selfishly say I want tracks in there that I run good at, but I do think they have to be good markets and a variety of race tracks and that would be the truest test for a champion."
(ON A POSSIBLE NEW SYSTEM OF QUALFIYING?) "I don't know all the details about it so I'm unclear on how it would be structured. But if I take my driver hat off and put my owner hat on, and say that we need to franchise. But it's a very tricky thing to pull off in this sport. It's not like any other sport.
"There's a uniqueness about it that's very hard to structure that. But I believe the teams need to have value in the organization. If you look at the investment, you need to have one security with your sponsors. And by knowing you're going to be in every race is one way to do that. Franchising is a way that, if there are only so many teams out there that are available then if somebody wants to sell a team or buy a team they've got to go through that type of a system. When you look at teams that have folded or others that have tried to come in, it's very easy to get started and very difficult to leave."
(WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON NASCAR ALLOWING LIQUOR SPONSORSHIPS NOW?) "Well, they're going to market their products. They're going to be out there. I think we've got to be careful because you don't want that to take over. But they're out there marketing anyway and spending a lot of money. The sport is getting very expensive and we're asking a lot out of our sponsors. They are giving it and they ask for a lot in return. We're starting to reach the limit of that. If there are other companies that want to get involved in our sport and support a team and promote a product, it's kind of hard to tell them they can't."
(ON HAVING KIDS AS FANS AND ALIGNING WITH THE IMAGE OF LIQUOR?) "Well, look at Dale Jr. and his sponsorship with a beer company and they've figured out ways around it. And he's got a lot of fans spread around a lot of ages. It's very important for these companies when they come in here to put a positive spin on it. They've got to find a way to market heavily around not drinking and driving and trying to promote safety with alcohol. I think that's got to be extremely important."
(WHEN YOU HAVE ILL-HANDLING RACE CARS, IS IT HARD FOR YOU AND ROBBIE LOOMIS NOT TO POINT FINGERS?) "Oh, we're back to that respect thing. There's a way to handle things. Don't think we don't have those conversations. It might go the other way. He might wonder what the heck I'm doing driving the thing. You have to be open enough to have those conversations to make sure you do better. You've also got to have enough respect with one another to know how to go about having that conversation with one another."
Contact: Nancy Wager
GM Racing Communications
Cell: (727) 415-3109
For more information: media.gm.com
FORD RACING NOTES AND QUOTES
Mountain Dew Southern 500 Qualifying
November 12, 2004
Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 38 M&M's Taurus held a Q&A session outside of his hauler following practice on Friday at Darlington Raceway.
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus - HOW WOULD YOU HANDICAP THE TITLE CONTENDERS WITH TWO RACES TO GO? "I'm not gonna change what I said at the beginning - Jeff Gordon is gonna be the guy to beat. He has more experience than anybody. His team has more experience. They've got their stuff together. Of course, I'm pulling for Kurt Busch because he's a Ford driver, and Mark Martin. We get our motors from the same place, so that would be cool to see them win the race and have Yates-Roush engines up on stage, but they're gonna have to beat the 24 to do it. I'm not gonna change my pick. I'm not gonna be wishy-washy. I think when it's all said and done, that's who you're gonna have to outrun."
HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH THE LAST TWO WEEKS AND SEEING YOUR TITLE CHANCES SLIP AWAY? "They have been tough, but this is my first year running for the championship so I've kind of gone through the bumps and bruises. Maybe we had the press on when we shouldn't have had the press on. It's stuff I've got to learn. You've got to put yourself in this situation to figure out what you've got to do right and what you've got to do wrong. I really feel like if we get in the top 10 again next year, that I'm definitely gonna be a lot better prepared. I'm gonna know what to understand and what to do. DJ tried to give me some great hints and advice along the way. Some I took and listened and did a good job with and some I didn't, I didn't do what I was supposed to do. It's been a tough couple of weeks, but we're still happy with where we're at. If you would have told us at the beginning of the year that we would be in Victory Lane three times and be one of the only teams in the top 10 in points all year long, it's a good feeling to have. We've come a long way from 22nd in the points last year, so if we can keep building with this team and on this experience, we should be fine for the next couple of years."
HOW MUCH CREDIBILITY DOES THIS GIVE YOU TO HAVE MADE THE TOP 10? "We've proved that we're a top 10 team and we have top-five, top-six or seven race cars every single week. What we do with them kind of makes or breaks you - whether you can run good all day and finish or make some mistakes like lately. I think this team has a lot of credibility. Todd Parrott brings a lot to the table and he's got a great surrounding team and I think I'm just coming into my own as a race car driver of understanding what I need each and every week to be one of the ones to beat, and I'm looking forward to the next couple of years with this team. We're the youngest team right now in the top 10 and that's a lot to say. We think we're just gonna build on it and be that much better next year."
IS IT FAIR TO LOOK AT PAST PERFORMANCE AT THESE TRACKS? "I don't think you can go off year's past. Racing has changed so much and the tires are so much different this year, the aero packages are so much different. I mean, it's good to have statistics on who is good and who is not for the fans to look at, but you have to look at who is on a roll right now. The 12 car has been running good. Mark's being consistent. Jeff is coming off a great run last year and so did the 8 car. The 97 just seems to get their stuff together at the end of every race. I think it's more important who has been running good the last two or three races than who was running good last year. I don't car if we're going to Darlington or Martinsville, who is on that high? Who has got the confidence in each other? Who is just riding the wave? I think it's more accurate to go off of that rather than what happened here last year or in year's past."
IT'S SUCH A DIFFERENT BALLGAME THIS YEAR. "It is. It's a different ballgame and driver's really haven't been in this situation before in the last couple of years. This group of guys that are racing for the championship are only a few points apart and there are a lot of different pressures on them. They've probably got a lot of different thoughts about racing here - 500 miles - there are different strategies. There are a lot of different things that are gonna play out on Sunday that we don't know what's gonna happen. It's fun to be a part of it, but it's definitely gonna be fun to watch and see how these guys handle it and how they treat this race track and what they do next week. How do you win this championship? Do you do it with a win and a 15th, or two third-place finishes? What's gonna win this championship? And it's gonna be cool to see how that plays out the next two weeks."
WHAT DIDN'T YOU APPLY THAT DJ TAUGHT YOU? "Just when to use patience and when not to use patience. At Martinsville, I felt like at the end of the race I didn't use enough patience at all. Phoenix was definitely the same thing. You've got to pick and choose your battles and that's something he taught me very well. I've been doing that so great this year until Martinsville and Phoenix. I know the people you're supposed to race and not supposed to race in this sport and I was just racing the wrong people at the wrong time. I got caught up in the moment of just trying to run up front all the time and not waiting to race the race track and do the things I needed to do. I've learned some valuable lessons the last few weeks and it's definitely been frustrating. What happened at Atlanta was the biggest backbreaker we could possibly have, but as long as we learn from there, we should be a better off team in the future."
WHAT ABOUT THE RACE THIS WEEKEND? ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN HERE. "I think that's why so many drivers and teams like Darlington. This track can bite you or it can give you the biggest reward in racing. It's a tough race track. I think it's great from a scheduling standpoint by putting this second to the end because this is a big, big hurdle. This track will reach out and grab you and really cause problems. We've already seen one of the championship contenders (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) already have a problem this morning going to a backup car and that's what this track will give you. I think it's great having it this close to the end of the season this year and I can't wait to see how it plays out. We'll see what happens."
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus, also held a Q&A session after Friday's practice session and discussed the points race.
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus - USUALLY YOU RACE THE RACE TRACK HERE, BUT WILL THAT CHANGE WITH TWO RACES TO GO? "It's still the fact that this place is Darlington and there's no other place like it. You don't want to get caught up in anything extra, which is looking at where the others are on the track. With the way our day has gone thus far is that we were a top-15 team. We can qualify up front if we need to and it's just a matter of making the right steps for all of our adjustments and what we need to do. We're not worried about where the other three or four competitors are."
MIGHT YOU BE MORE CONSERVATIVE NOW? "It's just a matter of getting up to speed the proper way. It's been since April or May since we've been here and it's just making sure that each lap is a feel that you want to feel in the race car - knowing what you have to do in qualifying, which is pick up three or four tenths. Then once we jump into race trim tomorrow morning, that's when you get the feel of a long run underneath the race car and what you have to do to make it to where it'll turn and still be able to maneuver around other cars, but, still, it has to stick to the race track for 60 straight laps."
WHAT'S THE PRESSURE LIKE NOW AS THE POINTS LEADER? "It's been tough over the past few weeks just with our motor failure and then last week going through all the different circumstances with getting that top-10 finish. But this is a race track where we get to race the race track. It's a breath of fresh air to come here and to race this place and to know that we're in charge of our destiny. We're in control and we need to do it. We've got that point advantage, but I think we can add to it this week."
HOW MUCH OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE IS IT TO HAVE THE LEAD WITH JUST TWO RACES TO GO? "It's definitely the place to be. You don't want to be behind looking for the other guy to make a mistake. We're a team that has run well at this track. We tested at Miami last week. It's down to the final two. Mistakes now mean quite a bit and there are no mistakes that need to be made on our part."
JEFF GORDON SAID HE'D RATHER BE OUT FRONT THAN WHERE HE IS. "That's where you want to be. You want to have the most points, where the other people have to catch you, and he's been in so many more of these situations than I've been in, obviously. I have to revert back to the IROC championship I won last year with the pressure of competing against the 12 best drivers in the world, and, right now, I've got four of the best stock car drivers right behind me."
HOW IMPRESSIVE IS IT TO SEE THAT GORDON HAS WON 6 TIMES HERE? "It just seems like it was yesterday that he began racing and that was '93. We've gone 12 years since then and he's accumulated magnificent stats and we know we have to compete against guys such as that. Mark Martin has many stats at this race track, but the way that the setups continue to change and the way that things are so different every six months when we come back to these race tracks, it seems like it's a whole new ballgame every time we show up."
ANY CONCERN KNOWING YOU'LL HAVE TO BEAT HIM HERE AND OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS? "We've had to beat them the last 10 weeks and this place is no different. It's a matter of beating them on an average of five out of the 10 races. We have to do that to everybody. We've got to beat the 8 car five races out of 10. We've got to beat the 24. So far, things have been in our favor. We had that stumble in Atlanta, but these final two just seem like they've got a different persona about them because you can't make anymore mistakes."
DO PAST STATS MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT TRACKS LIKE THIS? "You just have to adjust for the day. That's what we do as a team. Today is a cloudy, overcast day and the setup is completely different than when we normally run here in September. With that is all the tracks that we go to and you just adjust for that day. Next year, this date will be Texas or Phoenix so this track won't be on the schedule next year. But, right now, to win this championship and to win the Nextel Cup in 2004, we've got to race Darlington this weekend."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN THE LAST SOUTHERN 500? "It means quite a bit to our team. It's not the focus, but once the race is complete and once time has past, this race will have a different meaning to it. You want to know that it's different going into it, but yet there's such a bigger stake and a bigger prize that we're focused on, but this definitely has a big meaning to it. When Terry (Labonte) won this race last year in September, I think that had more of a definition to it than what we'll see this time around."
WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET THIS WEEKEND? "This is the Lady in Black and you have to take your time in knowing what you have to do in a qualifying run versus your race runs to practice tomorrow. And then once the race begins it's a 500-mile race and not 400, and that's completely different at Darlington."
HOW DIFFERENT IS THE TRACK WITH COOLER TEMPERATURES? "It's a fun race track and when you have the cooler temperatures it's that much faster. When you're out here in September, you're usually sliding around quite a bit and it's very difficult to know how far you're gonna slide before you do run into the wall. Today, it's been much calmer."
ARE YOU FEELING A SENSE OF CALM? "I'm anxious to go and jump in the car and know that I've got to go make a qualifying lap later and practice tomorrow morning. I know it's 10 days until the race is over in Miami. I know that this has been a long trek, but there's still so much work to be done and I want to stay focused on every day."
Qualifying for Sunday's Mountain Dew Southern 500 was cancelled due to rain so the field will be set by owner's points. As a result, Kurt Busch will lead the field to the green flag.
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus - HOW DID THE TRACK FEEL? "It was a unique day for us just coming to the race track. It had been so long since we had been here last, it felt like, since April and setups have changed dramatically. We were just changing our setup around and going to what we've normally run the last few weeks, which it takes a while to get adjusted to at Darlington, so we gradually got up to speed. We ended up 15th overall and it was a very generous lap that I had done to get 15th, so there was still room for more improvement, which everybody picks up in qualifying because that's obviously the real time to lay down a lap, so it was a heck of a lap for us today. We ended up on the pole."
WILL YOU BE MORE CAUTIOUS ON SUNDAY BECAUSE OF THIS TRACK? "This is a tough track and you can't get too caught up on what the other competitors are doing. You do have to respect the race track first and foremost, so, for us, 500 miles is a daunting task. It's definitely different than a regular 400-mile race, so there is plenty of time for things to go wrong and we hope that we now have one of those perfect days that you always want to put together at Darlington come about on Sunday."
DID THIS RAINOUT PROVE TO BE A BLESSING? "It's definitely very helpful. We've always qualified somewhat decent here. I had a pole back in 2001. Are they giving away that Pole Cat trophy? They usually do for the Southern 500. It's a track you have to qualify well on - to run up front and to stay away from trouble, even though the race winner usually is the best car on the long runs. But if you start towards the front, you have a much better time in deciding what decisions to make as far as changes on the race car and just your overall feeling about the day is gonna start off on a better foot when you start towards the front. So this is definitely a great opportunity to lead a lap early on and, if we've got the chance, to collect most laps led. This is definitely a benefit for us to start up this close to the front."
HAVE YOU DEVIATED FROM YOUR PLAN SINCE THE CHASE STARTED? "Everything has gone according to plan. It's been very easy for us to make the decisions based on race day because of the car and the history that we have with that car at a specific race track. We saved that car that we won with in July at New Hampshire. We put a car cover over it and took it back in September to start off the Nextel Chase for the Cup with the best possible foot forward. Dover, that was the same car we ran there in the spring. We tested there in the spring with that race car and just right on down the line. Talladega is probably the only track where we swapped a car out from our normal lineup and that's because this car turned out so well at the wind tunnel. The wind tunnel is where you gain your speed for a Talladega-style race track. For us to do all the tests that we did in October, it was a matter of keeping up with all the right data and not getting lost in what was important. It just familiarized me with the race tracks, with the current setups and just put us in the best possible situation. As of late, Atlanta, we didn't test there so the track felt a bit odd to us at first, but we gained speed and then we had our motor problem. Phoenix was definitely different this time around. It didn't quite turn out as positive as we thought it could have for our team, but at Darlington, this is the car we ran here in the spring. It's the infamous car that lost by two-thousandths-of-a second, so it's a great car for Darlington. And then next week at Miami Homestead we tested two brand new cars for that race track in hopes of our season finale going the proper way for us."
WILL THAT FIRST LAP BE HOTLY CONTESTED FOR THOSE BONUS POINTS? "That's a great question and a great hypothesis to try to predict, knowing the 8 car is gonna be strong, the 24, the 48 - everybody is gonna want to lead a lap quickly because they're so close to the front. We don't need to get wrapped up in that. We're focused on 500 miles. We could just as easily get passed by Jeff going into turn one, but it's gonna be a gentleman's agreement. That phrase has been lost as of late, but we'll all file in single-file, get the race underway and then see whose setup for happy hour dictates what direction you're gonna go."
DID MATT'S TEST HERE HELP YOU AT ALL? "Yes, we do. And one thing that I've noticed with the group around Roush Racing is that if Darlington came earlier in this final 10 races, we probably wouldn't have gotten as much help as we did this past week from them. With their position in points, I think they're mathematically eliminated, I'm not sure, but for them to save their tests up and to be in the position that they are in, they helped us tremendously with the notes that they gathered from their Darlington test, knowing that the 97 has the best possible chance in Roush Racing to achieve the success that we all want."
DOES YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT HAVING A 41-POINT LEAD OR IS THAT JUST TOO SMALL? "It's been, I don't know if it's been fun to look at all the different point scenarios that have come up with this Nextel Chase for the Cup. If we would have had a better day in Atlanta, we definitely could have a solid advantage. If the 8 car had a better day in Atlanta, that advantage would have gone down to a smaller amount. It's really about racing your car the best that you can every week and not worrying about your competition. That's why I'm so excited about Darlington and the race on Sunday is that you have to race the race track. Where the other competitors are is their problem and what they're working on, whether they're saving their tires for the later part of the run, whether you're gonna see them at the end of the day, who knows? This is a cool race track to have in the final 10 races. I'm excited for Sunday just because we get to race our own program and not worry about the points. At the end of the day we'll look at them because we can derive different scenarios now because we're going into our final race after Sunday. Where does Busch need to finish? Where does the 8 car? Where does the 48? Where is the 24? Are the 12 and the 20 in it now? Who knows? So it's great to go race this race track on Sunday and just try to tame the Lady in Black."
RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDER QUALIFYING QUOTES FOR THE MOUNTAIN DEW SOUTHERN 500 NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES RACE AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2004.
Qualifying for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington was rained out. The starting lineup will be set according the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rulebook.
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 25 GMAC CHEVROLET: "We were actually pretty happy with it. We only made three runs total. We made a race run and the car was definitely way too loose but it was a good place to start. Considering how loose it was, the times weren't too bad. We went to qualifying trim and the car was extremely tight. We made a bunch of really good changes and the guys did a good job of getting it done and making some good decisions. We went back out and actually picked up our second time out, which is like unheard of. I was looking forward to going back out on stickers for qualifying. I guess it doesn't matter now. I felt like we had a good car for qualifying."
THE THREAT OF RAIN WAS A FACTOR ALL DAY LONG. "It really didn't change our mind much. We were planning on coming here in race trim anyway and going to qualifying trim. It cost us a little bit of time on the racetrack in qualifying trim because practice got cut short but other than that, nothing much."
SCOTT WIMMER, No. 22 CATERPILLAR DODGE: "We were pretty good. We qualified fairly well here in the spring and kind of came back with the same thing and unloaded and weren't real good. I just didn't have a good feel in the car but the guys did a good job getting a lot of changes in and fortunately moved up the speed charts and thought we had a pretty good car for qualifying. We figured we could pick up a couple tenths and that would probably put us in the top-15 which is definitely better than we've been."
THIS RACE IS 100 MILES LONGER THAN THE RACE HERE IN MARCH. "That's one nice thing about Darlington. You don't have to qualify real well as long as your car races good you'll make your way to the front. An extra 100 miles is going to be tough. Everybody's said that this is about the longest race of the year. Hopefully the guys can get the car to driving real well. It's a little different car than we brought here last time and it needs a few different things than when we were here last time. I had a pretty comfortable car here last time and I think if we can work on it and really build some momentum. We had a great test down at Homestead earlier this week and learned a lot down there and finish these two races out with some good finishes."
SCOTT RIGGS, No. 10 VALVOLINE CHEVROLET: "We made some changes that seemed to help and hopefully we can carry those over into tomorrow. I think that we'll have a better car than we had here in the spring just based on what we learned in the spring and what we learned in qualifying trim out there. We'll start in the back now according to points so we'll be putting on a show trying to come to the front."
DOES IT MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE HERE IF YOU START IN THE FRONT OR THE BACK? "If you're in front you've just got a better shot at being in front of all the mayhem and all the two-wide beating and banging and risks that people are taking. It would be nice to be in front of that but hopefully we're behind it far enough that we can dodge it and make some pretty quick moves early in the race to get some track position."
WHAT AFFECT DID THE RAIN HAVE ON WHAT YOU DID IN PRACTICE? "It didn't. We knew that it was going to be raining sometime today. We were hoping that we would get qualifying in. We would really like to get happy hour in tomorrow to see where our car's at but at the token, I feel really comfortable about where our car is at. We got two more races so I've got nothing to lose."
RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDER QUALIFYING QUOTES FOR THE BI-LO 200 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES RACE AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2004.
Qualifying for the Bi-Lo 200 at Darlington was rained out. The starting lineup will be set according the NASCAR Busch Series rulebook. Qualifying was halted after 27 of 51 cars made a run.
PAUL MENARD, No. 11 MENARDS/MOEN CHEVROLET: YOU PICKED UP A HALF SECOND IN QUALYIFYING FROM WHAT YOU RAN IN PRACTICE. "We put a little bit of wedge in and took a spring rubber out of the right rear. We were loose in practice. We were still a little bit loose, especially off of turn 4 but I held my foot in it through one and two a little bit harder and let it roll a little bit faster through three and four and pick up the gas. Luckily we could stay in the throttle. Even though it was loose I didn't have to back out of it. I just had to hang on."
IT MUST BE AN ADVANTAGE HAVING A TEAMMATE LIKE MARTIN TRUEX JR. HERE TO SORT THROUGH CHASSIS SETUPS. "At a lot of these places, Martin and I don't really like the same setups. As far as setups go, if we hit on something we'll let the other try it out and if it works, it works and if it doesn't, it doesn't. How you drive the car in and out of the corners and lines, Martin has a really good feel for the cars and he helps me out a lot with that."
HOW DIFFICULT HAS IT BEEN TO PRACTICE AND PREPARE TO QUALIFY WITH THE THREAT OF RAIN TODAY? "We didn't expect to qualify today. We didn't expect that. We were actually all done practicing and we had that rain delay and we thought that was the end of the session and we were switching over to qualifying trim to roll through the tech line to get ready for qualifying and the next thing we know there's cars out on the track making laps. Luckily we weren't done with switching over so we went out and made a lap and got a rough idea of what to expect."
ARE YOU PRETTY HAPPY WITH THE RACE SETUP? "I'm real happy. The car's really consistent. It falls off on tires but that's a given at this place. I just hope it doesn't fall off as much as everybody else."
WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD DAY FOR YOU HERE TOMMOROW? "Get a good solid top-10 finish."
CLINT BOWYER, No. 33 KEVIN HARVICK INC./SNAP-ON CHEVROLET: WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF DARLINGTON RACEWAY? "It's just tough. It's a hard place to get around; it's a hard place to learn. This is a place where everybody comes to test, so not testing and just kind of getting thrown to the wolves took a little bit of time. The last lap on the track was our fastest so that tells me that we're headed in the right direction. The tires really fall off here and you get to slipping and sliding, kind of
reminds me of the old dirt days. It's pretty narrow and I think that's it's going to be a hard place to race. We need to do a lot of learning, a lot of preparation for next year. I think the race here Saturday is going to give me all of that. It's easy for cars to get in trouble here. I just want to be there at the end of the race and run all the laps and just learn as much as I can in preparation for next year."
HOW BIG OF AN ADVANTAGE HAS IT BEEN TO LEAN ON KEVIN HARVICK? "It's a huge advantage. He's become a really good friend and I owe a lot to him for letting me run his car in these two races, Charlotte and here. I hope to continue that relationship next year."
HOW BIG OF AN ADVANTAGE WILL GETTING ONE RACE UNDER YOUR BELT AT DARLINGTON BE FOR YOU NEXT YEAR? "It's a huge advantage because we're not going to have to test here next year. Like I say, I just want to run all the laps and gain all the knowledge that I can and see all there is to see at Darlington and be there at the end. That's what our goal is."
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE CAR WITH THE SEVERE TIRE WEAR HERE? "It is hard because you go out on cold tires and whether they're wore out or not, cold tires are going to run good for a couple of laps so it kind of feels good and then all of a sudden 'Whoa-ho' it slips around and starts sliding. It is hard and that's why I'm here to learn how to get your balance right on the car. This is the toughest track that I've been on yet to get a balance."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jimmy White
Camp & Associates, Inc.
Dodge Notes from Darlington
Friday, Nov. 12, 2004
Mountain Dew Southern 500
NOTE: Rain robbed Ryan Newman of a shot at winning his fifth straight pole and tying Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough for the most consecutive poles in the circuit’s modern era. Newman captured his ninth pole of the season and third straight overall Bud Pole Award last week at Phoenix. Newman’s pole streak began at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 14 with a record lap of 188.877 mph. He followed that with a record run at Martinsville at 97.043 mph, a 191.575 pole lap at Atlanta and another record lap of 135.854 mph last week at Phoenix. Newman has won 27 poles in 114 starts. Richard Petty holds the pole record with 126 poles in 1,185 starts. Newman is averaging nine poles a season and at that rate would equal Petty’s record in 14 seasons. It took Petty 34 years to accumulate 126 poles.
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
“There’s nothing you can do about it. I wish we could have gone for the pole, but you can’t fix a wet racetrack. We’ll just have to go on. I wish we could have stuck around and done it under the lights, but I understand the truck race schedule. Hopefully we’ll be around long enough to get another opportunity. It did take the rain to beat Ryan Newman, at least for five in a row. It won’t count for five in a row if we win the pole next week at Homestead, and that’s fine. We’ll still be on the pole if we run fast enough.
“We’ll have to keep the average first, and I don’t know about the 14 years part, but keeping that average is not going to be easy. Nine poles a year is huge when you only have 36 races. That’s a quarter of the races every year. That would be a really big deal. It would be a realistic deal to shoot for, but we’re just going to keep doing our best. Hopefully we can come close.
“I’m not sure about the whole situation (of changing qualifying) next year. I’m not real happy about it, at least the way I understand it right now. If that’s what NASCAR decides to do, we’ll show up and play. We’re supposed to practice on Friday and practice and qualify on Saturday the way I understand it. Maybe we can make a top 10 race to qualify or something where people get eliminated. If you can’t qualify in the top 10, then you can’t qualify the rest of the year after the first 26 races.
“I’ve always said we spend an entire day for qualifying. There should be some kind of reward for it. I think there’s potential for awarding points for qualifying. What goes around comes around in this sport, whether it’s qualifying and the draw or the weather or opportunities. I think it’s something that should be looked at.
“We ended up having a lot of early draws this year at places like Charlotte where it’s disadvantageous. We got the short end of the stick that day, and it’s happened a few other times this year.
“We’ve proved we’ve got a fast racecar, and it would be a big feather in our caps if we could win the last Southern 500. We’ve got a shot at it. We’ve finished second here before and had a lot of top five and top 10 runs. We were third in the spring after coming back from a lap down. We hit the kill switch in this race last year and we hit the cones coming in the pits in the spring. I’ve bit myself twice, and we’ll try not to get bit again.
“You just can’t change it. There’s no getting around it. We were two tenths faster than Mark Martin in practice, but that’s the way it is. Kasey Kahne was going to go out last and he was third fastest in practice, so there would have been some drama to it because he won the pole here in the spring. I know we had a fast racecar, and we could have gone faster. We learned some stuff about the balance in the car today. It’s the same car we had at Charlotte, so it wasn’t a completely wasted day. We’ll just go on to tomorrow and hope it’s sunny like it’s supposed to be.”
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series News & Notes - Darlington
* Taking care of
business – Teams ride late-season surges, fine-tune for 2005
* The race for 11th place – McMurray’s the man, but Kahne catching Jarrett
* Wooing the Lady in Black – Rusty Wallace, Jarrett among those seeking first Darlington win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2004) – Forget lifting before season’s end, or riding out the string. For those NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams in 11th place and beyond, the final 10 races are all about making the most of myriad opportunities.
Two dates remain – this week’s visit to Darlington Raceway and next week’s season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In between, there are goals to reach, checklists to punch and points to gain for the best possible 2004 finish.
“It's good to end the year on a high note,” said Jeff Burton (No. 30 America Online Chevrolet), who’s doing just that. “I think I’ve built a lot of confidence. The team has built a lot of confidence in me. I think going through the winter, we'll use that confidence to our advantage getting ready for next year.”
Certainly Burton has optimism. Since joining Richard Childress Racing in mid-August, he’s jumped from 22nd to 16th in the point standings. He’s got one top-five, three top-10 and 10 top-15 finishes in 11 races with RCR; next season, he’ll switch to the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet.
But he’s not the only NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver gaining ground for 2005. Joe Nemechek (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet) has quite a streak going, too – one win (Kansas), one pole, three top-five and five top-10 finishes in his last eight races. Nemechek also has climbed from 25th to 19th in the point standings.
“I wish I could say it was my driving, but I haven’t changed anything,” Nemechek said. “Nor did the team wake up one morning and all of a sudden had a light-bulb moment. The fact of the matter is that this has always been a talented and inspired team. We just had too many weird and crazy things happen to us this year when we had top-10 and top-five cars.”
Bobby Labonte (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet), who finished second to Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) in the March event at Darlington, is aiming for Victory Lane this week. And he, too, has momentum, building off a ninth-place effort at Phoenix; his last top-10 finish was seventh in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We got our first top 10 in what seemed like forever last week,” Labonte said, “so hopefully, we can build on that and get a victory in the last two races.”
NEWS & NOTES, Part II
NASCAR TV offers full slate …
This week on NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel:
• Friday, Nov. 12 – NASCAR Live at noon ET. Host Steve Byrnes and reporter Bob Dillner return with updates at 1 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 6 p.m.
• Friday, Nov. 12 – NASCAR Busch Series qualifying (1:30 p.m. ET) LIVE from Darlington Raceway.
• Friday, Nov. 12 – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying (4 p.m. ET) LIVE from Darlington Raceway. (Note: SPEED CHANNEL is the only outlet for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Qualifying and Happy Hour for the balance of the season).
• Friday, Nov. 12 – Trackside (7 p.m. ET). LIVE from the SPEED Channel stage truck behind the main grandstands. Hosted by Steve Byrnes, Michael Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond. This week’s guests include the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pole winner, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, among others.
• Friday, Nov. 12 – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (8 p.m. ET) LIVE from Darlington Raceway.
• Friday, Nov. 12 – NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown (11 p.m. ET) LIVE from Irwindale Speedway.
• Saturday, Nov. 13 – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Happy Hour (11 p.m. ET) LIVE from Phoenix International Raceway.
• Saturday, Nov. 13 – NASCAR Live at noon ET. Host Steve Byrnes and reporter Bob Dillner return with updates from the track at 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:10 p.m., and 6 p.m.
• Saturday, Nov. 13 – Pit Bull (6:30 p.m. ET). Host Steve Byrnes is joined by beat writers Mike Mulhern (Winston-Salem Journal), David Poole (Charlotte Observer), Marty Smith (NASCAR.com), Ben Blake (Racer Magazine and SPEEDTV.com) and special guest Kyle Petty (No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge).
• Saturday, Nov. 13 – NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown (8 p.m. ET) LIVE from Irwindale Speedway.
• Sunday, Nov. 14 – NASCAR Live at 9 a.m. ET. Host Steve Byrnes and reporter Bob Dillner return with updates from the track at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 12:32 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 14 – SPEEDNews NASCAR Edition (7:00 p.m. and midnight ET) hosted by Bob Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Connie LeGrand. Bob Dillner, Robin Miller, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond are regular contributors.
• Sunday, Nov. 14 – NASCAR Victory Lane (8 p.m. ET) with host John Roberts is joined by NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Chad Little for post-race coverage.
• Monday, Nov. 15 – Inside NEXTEL Cup (7 p.m. ET) with Allen Bestwick, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson and Ken Schrader reviewing the weekend’s action.
• Monday, Nov. 15 – SPEED Channel’s reality series NBS 24/7 (8 p.m. ET) follows NASCAR Busch Series race teams from FitzBradshaw Racing (Tim Fedewa), Akins Motorsports (Kasey Kahne) and Braun Racing (David Stremme).
• Wednesday, Nov. 17 – NASCAR Performance (6:30 p.m. ET). Three crew chiefs join NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pit reporter Ray Dunlap to debate current topics, answer listener questions and solve hypothetical situations in 30-second time frames. Also, Mark Salem’s "Your Personal Crew Chief" addresses the Be Car Care Aware Tip of the Week.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The first Southern 500 on Sept. 4, 1950, the first superspeedway race for stock cars, was the first held on asphalt for NASCAR’s premier series. Curtis Turner won the pole with a speed of 82.034 mph. New Jersey’s Wally Campbell had the quickest time (82.400 mph) in Wally Marks’ Oldsmobile, but started 60th due to a late qualifying run. Qualifying was a rather daunting task then; each day, the five fastest cars made the field, but it took a total of 15 days to complete qualifying. Open-wheel driver Johnny Mantz, from Long Beach, Calif., eventually won the first Southern 500, but only after starting 43rd. Mantz had posted the field’s slowest speed (73.460 mph) on the ninth day of qualifying. Fireball Roberts, then 21, finished second.
What: Mountain Dew Southern 500. (Race No. 35 of the 36-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.)
Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C.
When: Sunday, Nov. 14, 1:30 p.m. (ET).
TV: NBC, 1 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
Posted awards: $5,219,075.
Race length: 500 miles, 367
Track layout: 1-366-mile oval.
2003 winner: Terry Labonte.
2003 polesitter: Ryan Newman.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Kurt Busch 6,191. 2. Jeff Gordon 6,150. 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6,144. 4. Jimmie Johnson 6,143. 5. Mark Martin 6,089. 6. Tony Stewart 6,049. 7. Ryan Newman 6,041. 8. Elliott Sadler 5,869. 9. Matt Kenseth 5,855. 10. Jeremy Mayfield 5,836.
Nextel's Ode to Fans to Air in November
Unprecedented television advertising campaign continues to increase brand
exposure for title sponsor
RESTON, Va. - (Nov. 7, 2004) - Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTL) today announced that race fans will play the hero in the company's newest NASCAR-themed television commercial, "Victory Lane." This ode to fans comes at the close of Nextel's first year as title sponsor of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series(tm), in which fan appreciation has been a top priority for the new sponsor.
"We are always looking for innovative ways to connect with fans and commend them for their passion, which has unmistakably shaped this sport," said Mark Schweitzer, Nextel's senior vice president of marketing. "This entire season has been about reaching out to fans in unprecedented ways, and this new commercial is one part of our mission."
"Victory Lane" features Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, and crew chief Chad Knaus enjoying a post-race victory celebration in Victory Lane. Champagne, confetti and the typical celebratory activities ensue but quickly fizzle as Johnson and his teammates realize no one is around. Victory Lane is empty. The celebration sputters in the absence of any fan enthusiasm as viewers are told that NASCAR is "nothing without the fans."
The commercial was shot in one day during the week of Oct. 4 on location at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. It will air on NBC and SPEED Channel beginning Nov. 7 and continue through the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 21. The commercial will air during race broadcasts as well as during the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series awards ceremony broadcast from New York's Waldorf Astoria on Friday Dec. 3 on TNT.
"Victory Lane" is the latest installment in a season-long advertising campaign by Nextel that has charted new territory in NASCAR advertising. Previously, for the 33 years the RJR/Reynolds' Winston brand sponsored NASCAR's premier series, the tobacco company was restricted from advertising on television, including any broadcast promotion of its affiliation with NASCAR.
Nextel, unbridled in its advertising and promotional efforts, creatively filled this void and began promoting its NASCAR sponsorship to mainstream audiences. The company's NASCAR television advertising campaign kicked off in January at the end of the 2003 NFL season, when its first NASCAR commercial debuted during the AFC Championship game and aired again during the Super Bowl.
Including "Victory Lane," Nextel has created seven live-action commercials featuring some of the sport's top drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. The focus of the commercials has been to show NASCAR's stars and fans in humorous situations where Nextel phones - primarily Nextel's digital walkie-talkie Direct Connect® service - provide solutions. The premises of these commercials are as follows:
* "Football" features Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip in the stands at a football game. Using Nextel's Direct Connect walkie-talkie feature, the team's coach calls on Earnhardt to take the field - in his No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. Earnhardt takes the ball and literally drives for a touchdown while would-be tacklers bounce off the hood of his car.
* "R.V. Park" and "Concession Line" both feature race fans at the track in situations where Nextel Direct Connect service helped them out of a jam. In "R.V. Park" a race fan helps navigate his buddy through the racetrack infield using Nextel Direct Connect. In "Concession Line" two fans use Direct Connect to shorten the line of the concession line by calling out faux race updates that send everyone in line hurrying back to the grandstands.
* "Highway Star" finds Jeff Gordon running out of fuel on a desolate stretch of highway. Stranded, Gordon uses the digital walkie-talkie Direct Connect service on his Nextel phone to instantly contact the gas man for Gordon's No. 24 team and get refueled.
* "Robot" features Matt Kenseth as a robot. During a Victory Lane celebration the champagne spray short-circuits the Kenseth robot. His crew uses Nextel's Direct Connect walkie-talkie service to communicate with other team members who pull another 'Kenseth' out of a truck full of 'Kenseths' and return him to the Victory Lane festivities.
* "Eavesdrop" features a race fan sprawled on the roof of Rusty Wallace's No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge as the car whizzes through the S-curves on road course. Pressing his ear to the top of the car, the fan tries to listen in on the driver. The commercial promotes Nextel's FanScan service, which provides in-car audio from race teams during the race through Nextel handsets.
"We've had a tremendous opportunity to do something that NASCAR's series sponsor had never been able to reach a non-traditional audience," Schweitzer said. "We have much more freedom in our advertising and outreach than did our predecessor, and our goal from day one has been to maximize this opportunity and bring this sport to the fans in new and exciting ways."
“Family Feud” NASCAR Week Airs Nov. 15 – 19, 2004
Special Week of Family Feud Programming During November Sweeps
Features NASCAR Drivers, Crew Chiefs, Pit Crew Members and More.
WHO: NASCAR and the venerable syndicated program Family Feud
WHAT: NASCAR drivers, representing NASCAR’s top three competition series, play Family Feud to benefit their favorite charities:
Ward Burton for The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation
Kevin Harvick for Victory Junction Gang Camp
Bill Lester for Urban Youth Racing School
Sterling Marlin for Boys and Girls Club of Nashville
Jeremy Mayfield for Victory Junction Gang Camp
Casey Mears for Target House
Elliot Sadler for Autism Society of America
Kenny Wallace for Autism Society of America.
WHERE: Check local listings for stations and times.
WHEN: Family Feud ‘NASCAR Week’ airs Nov. 15-19.
Family Feud ‘NASCAR Week’ episodes taped on Sept. 1, just prior to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pop Secret 500 at California Speedway in nearby Fontana, Calif.
Family Feud, the increasingly popular game show strip hosted by Richard Karn, is the highest rated daytime show in many markets and regularly wins its timeslot in many more. It has been renewed for its sixth season beginning Fall 2004 in 136 markets throughout the U.S., including 49 of the top 50 markets, representing more than 87% of the country. Family Feud is produced by FremantleMedia North America at Tribune Studios in Los Angeles and exclusively distributed by Tribune Entertainment.
Budweiser Team Wins Sixth Race of Season at
Dale Jr. closes in on points lead with two races to
Dale Jr. closes in on points lead with two races to go.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 8 Budweiser team won their sixth race of the season and second in a row at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, leading 118 of 315 laps to win the Checker Auto Parts 500k. Ryan Newman finished second and Jeff Gordon third. Dale Jr.’s winning pass came on lap 303 when he overtook the top spot from Gordon. He then withstood one caution, one red-flag period (the second of the day) and a green-white-checkered finish that prolonged the event three extra laps to earn the victory. It is Dale Jr.’s 15th career win in his 181st career start (moving him into a tie with Ernie Irvan for 40th on NASCAR’s all-time win list). He is also only the third driver to earn consecutive victories at PIR (Davey Allison and Jeff Burton are the others). More importantly, Dale Jr. picked up two positions in the championship standings and now sits in third place, 47 points behind leader Kurt Busch and six points behind second-place Jeff Gordon with two races to go.
Key Moments: Using the same car and set-up that earned him victory here last year, Dale Jr. needed only 60 laps to go from 14th to first and begin what was a dominating day at this one-mile track. Variations of pit strategy eventually knocked him out of the lead, as he took four tires on lap 107 when many others took two. But pit strategy eventually played into the Bud team’s favor, as its service call on lap 227 gave Dale Jr. enough fuel to the end, and its decision not to pit on lap 281 ultimately put him in position to win. Having already brilliantly climbed from 11th to third, Dale Jr. passed for second on lap 297 and then took the lead on lap 304 despite struggling with lapped traffic and persistent raindrops. Casey Mears’ blown engine on lap 306 added to the drama, as it took a 10-minute red-flag period to clean the track. Once cleared, Dale Jr. led the field to a green-white-checkered finish, to which he opened an eight-car-length advantage and won easily over Newman by 1.35 seconds.
Dale Jr. Quotes: “This is a great place to race, and we appreciate doing this for all the fans. We’ve just got to do this the rest of the year so we can gain on Kurt (Busch) because we know he’s going to run strong. We’ve got to get this title for these fans here!”
What is it about Phoenix the Bud team has
“It’s that long trip out here and back. If you don’t bring home the trophy, it’s a long ride home. When we come to the west coast we want to showcase our abilities and our talents out here. It’s just great to win here. The team did a great job. We had a great race car all day. I was really surprised at how good a race car it really was. There at the end, to get by those guys was effortless. The car was just awesome. I just had to make sure I didn’t get run into or spun out or do anything foolish like I did last week. I had a great car and we won the race and I’m real proud of my team. I can’t say enough about this effort.”
When you were back there in 11th position,
how concerned were you?
“Really concerned, because it seemed like we drove from 14th starting position right up to the lead. But once I got back there again, it wasn’t quite as good and I wasn’t able to pass people. The cautions kept coming out one right after another. My car was really good after about three or four laps. Tony Sr. made a couple of adjustments, and we had some awesome pit stops. I’m really proud of my team. I’m really lucky to race and make a living with people I enjoy being with.”
On the third in the Chase for the
“We haven’t dominated the remaining tracks, Darlington and Homestead, but with the team I’ve got now, I feel like we can go in there and have the best weekends we’ve ever had at those tracks. We’ll be in Homestead all week (testing), getting ready for that race. I knew we had the car to win today. I just didn’t want to make another mistake like I did last week. We’ve still got a lot to gain. These guys aren’t going to be easy to beat.”
Best Radio Chatter:
Radio chatter was kept to a minimum until a steady drizzle brought out the caution on lap 106 and then a 23-minute red flag. A pit stop under this caution knocked Junior from first to fifth.
Dale Jr.: “I was just taking it easy up front. I can race ‘em if you want me to.”
Tony Eury Jr. (car chief): “Just keep doing what you were doing.”
Dale Jr.: “This (thing) took off there at the start!”
Tony Jr.: “10-4, she was humpin’!”
Dale Jr.: “It’s nice when you can jump up there and take a nice lead and not have to work so hard. Right before the rain started when I was out front, I was just cruising.”
Steve Hmiel (spotter): “Bring her down pit road (because of the red flag).”
Dale Jr.: “Might be a big spell (of rain) coming. Alrighty, we’ll get a little break here. That’s cool.”
Steve: “Tony Jr., I’m gonna shut my radio off.”
Dale Jr.: “Later, Steve.”
During the fourth caution on lap 127:
Dale Jr.: “Who wrecked? Anyone interesting?
Steve: “The 42 spun out, and several others spun trying to miss him. Looks like nobody has any major damage.” (Several laps later) Well June, it looks like the 97 (Busch) and 42 (McMurray) are coming back in. They ran into each other on pit road.”
Dale Jr.: “Yeahhhhh! They’re tearin’ ‘em up!”
Steve: “Not enough.”
With Dale Jr. in third when the ninth caution
flew, a decision had to be made on whether to pit for tires with just a few laps
Tony Jr.: “Staying out, Junebug.”
Dale Jr.: “WHAT!? We’re gonna get our butts kicked.”
Tony Jr.: “You can pit if the 24 pits, but you’re pretty fast. You’ve got 30 (laps) to go, and you’ll be taking the green with 25. You’re easily three-tenths of a second faster than everybody else, and it still took you 40 laps to go from 11th to third. Those guys with new tires will be in 10th, at the very least, and will be caught up in all that traffic. We’ll be in good shape here.”
During the second red-flag of the day, just a
handful of laps from the end, Driver #8 began to get impatient:
Dale Jr.: “I’ve had enough racing for today. I’m ready to get it over with.”
Steve: “I’m going to get in trouble. My momma makes me come in when the street lamps come on.”
Dale Jr. (to nobody in particular): “Come on! I’m ready to go! It ain’t even raining hard enough to stop the race. Let’s go and get this thing over with. Just two laps.”
After taking the checkers for his 15th career
Dale Jr.: “Whooo! I love winning, especially here. I don’t know why. Just awesome!
Finished: 1st (sixth win of season and 15th of Dale Jr.’s career)
Led: 3 times for 118 laps
Points: 3rd (-47 behind Kurt Busch)
Best Pit Stop: Stop 1 of 4 / Lap 77 / four tires and fuel / 12.54 seconds
Budweiser Racing / Dale Earnhardt Jr.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2004) – Driver Rusty Wallace was fined $10,000 for his role in an incident at the conclusion of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race held Oct. 24 at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.
Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Dodge for Penske Racing South, was penalized for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book when he made deliberate contact with the car of Ryan Newman as the field returned to pit lane following the conclusion of the race.
Three others were issued penalties for equipment infractions at Martinsville. Gil Martin, crew chief for the No. 31 Chevrolet of driver Robby Gordon, and co-crew chief Chris Andrews will share in a $10,000 fine for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-W (Improperly attached weight) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book.
Mario Gosselin, driver of the No. 80 Ford, was fined $500 for violating Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-17.1B (3) for an expired manufacturer’s date on his driver’s head-and-neck restraint device.
On behalf of the Hendrick family and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization, I'd like to thank you for the outpouring of support we've received over the past 24 hours. Your encouragement is sincerely appreciated and welcomed by everyone.
We have scheduled a question-and-answer session in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center for Friday, Oct. 29 at 12 p.m. ET. Each Hendrick Motorsports driver and crew chief will be available at that time.
Although our foremost concern is for the families and their right to privacy, please know that we are diligently working to disseminate as much accurate information as we can. As the facts become available, we will work with the appropriate authorities to pass them along in a timely manner.
We will soon have details regarding memorial services, but please bear with us while specifics are determined. Once plans are finalized, they will be communicated immediately.
Further inquiries regarding the aircraft investigation should be directed to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) public affairs office at 202-314-6100.
Hendrick Plane Goes
Down: Just as the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway ended, NBC coverage of
the race announced there would be no victory lane celebration or interviews as a
Hendrick Motorsports that was headed to Martinsville for the race was reported
to be missing, NBC's Bill Weber interviewed NASCAR's Jim Hunter who said there
were reports that the plane was missing and that the Hendrick Motorsports
drivers were being taken to the NASCAR Hauler.
MORE: A Hendrick Motorsports plane carrying two pilots and eight other passengers crashed into Bull Mountain, about 10 miles west of Martinsville, Va., site of Sunday's Subway 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race, the FAA confirmed. FAA spokeswoman Arlene Murray said a Beech 200 owned by Hendrick left Concord (N.C.) Regional Airport and crashed about 12:30 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, near Martinsville Speedway. There was no news as yet on injuries or fatalities, Murray said. HMS had four teams competing in Sunday's race with drivers #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #5-Terry Labonte and #25-Brian Vickers. (ThatsRacin.com)
AND from the Martinsville Daily (looks like the site is down, probably not used to the traffic):
Radio traffic indicates a plane crash occurred around 11:45am this morning in the Stuart, Patrick Springs, Bull Mountain area. Sketchy information at this hour indicates the plane was headed to the Blue Ridge Airport in Spencer and with six occupants including the pilot. Helicopters are now flying over the area trying to find the downed aircraft. We have just learned one of the racing team helicopters has now joined in the search.
Update 1 - 2:51pm: A helicopter has located the signal of the emergency locating transmitter of the downed aircraft, but due to extreme fog, they are unable to see the plane.
Update 2 - 2:52pm: State Police have determined the coordinates and are dispatching four-wheelers to the scene.
Update 3 - 2:53pm: A break in the fog has allowed the helicopter crew to get a visual on the crash scene. They report "there does not appear to be any survivors."
Update 4 - 3:30pm: Unconfirmed... the plane is alleged to be owned by Hendrick Motorsports and was headed to Martinsville for today's race.
Update 5 - 3:40pm: Fire and rescue have been advised to seal the entire area off to all media.
Update 6 - 5:13pm: The FFA and the NTSB has confirmed the downed plane was owned by Hendrick Motorsports and took off from Concord, NC. Officials have confirmed everyone onboard was killed, but no names have been released.(Martinsville Daily)
FROM NBC 6 NBC 6 News TV out of Charlotte, NC reported live at 5:20pm/et that John Hendrick, Ricky Hendrick and chief engine builder Randy Dorton were on the airplane.
From NBC 6 Site: A Hendrick Motorsports plane headed to the Subway 500 in Martinsville, Virginia, has crashed in the Bull Mountain area of Virginia, state police there confirm. “The plane was en route to Martinsville and lost it on radar and that’s all the information we have,” said one NASCAR official. “We’ve been in contact with Rick Hendrick…we just don’t have a lot of details at the moment…we are going to say a prayer for everyone in the Hendrick organization." Several high-placed sources inside NASCAR confirm these passengers on the plane: Tony Stewart’s helicopter pilot (who was not piloting the plane), two people who were piloting the plane, John Hendrick (Rick Hendrick’s brother), Ricky Hendrick (Rick Hendrick’s son), Randy Dorton and his two daughters. The FAA and NTSB are investigating. Bull Mountain lies to the west of Martinsville in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In an update on their site, the following names are listed: Ricky Hendrick, John Hendrick, Kimberley Hendrick, Jennifer Hendrick, Dick Tracy (pilot), Joe Jackson, Liz Morrison (pilot), Jeff Turner, Randy Dorton and Scott Lathum. John Hendrick is team owner Rick Hendrick's brother, while Ricky Hendrick is his son. Randy Dorton is an engine builder for the company.(NBC6.com)
TRAGIC NEWS: The son of NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick was among 10 people killed Sunday when a small plane headed from Concord to Martinsville crashed in Patrick County in Virginia. Ricky Hendrick, a former NASCAR driver, died in the incident. John Hendrick, Rick's brother, and Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, John's twin daughters, also died in the crash. The plane, which belonged to Hendrick Motorsports, was en route to Martinsville Speedway for Sunday's Subway 500. Jimmie Johnson was driving the Hendrick car in the race and was the winner. The plane reportedly lost contact with the Federal Aviation Administration at about 12:30 p.m. It crashed in the Blue Ridge Mountains about seven miles from Martinsville, Va., according to the N.C. Highway Patrol. The names of the other people who died in the crash are: Dick Tracey, pilot, Liz Morrison, pilot, Joe Jackson, Jeff Turner, the VP and General Manager of Hendrick Motorsports, Randy Dorton and Scott Latham.(wxii12.com)
John Hendrick was team owner Rick Hendrick's brother. Ricky Hendrick was Rick Hendrick's son. Kimberly Hendrick and Jennifer Hendrick were John's twin daughters, Dick Tracey and Liz Morrison were the pilots, Jeff Turner was the VP and General Manager of Hendrick Motorsports. Randy Dorton was an engine builder for the company and Scott Latham .(10-24-2004) Jayski.com 10/24/04
the FAA issued the following statement: "The
FAA confirms everyone on board was killed. The list of passengers is as follows:
Ricky Hendrick, John Hendrick, Kimberley Hendrick, Jennifer Hendrick, Dick
Tracey, Joe Jackson, Liz Morrison, Jeff Turner, Randy Dorton, and Scott Lathum."
John Hendrick was team owner Rick Hendrick's brother
Ricky Hendrick was Rick Hendrick's son
Kimberly Hendrick and Jennifer Hendrick were John's twin daughters
Dick Tracey and Liz Morrison were the pilots [worked for HMS]
Jeff Turner was the VP and General Manager of Hendrick Motorsports
Randy Dorton was the chief engine builder for the company
Scott Lathum was Tony Stewart's pilot
Joe Jackson was an executive with DuPont, sponsor of Jeff Gordon's team
Bull Mountain has limited accessibility and is noted as having some of the roughest terrain in the area. Investigators will arrive tonight, but will not begin their search for the bodies until sometime Monday.(Wire Reports)
From the NBC6.com site: About the victims.(10-24-2004) Jayski.com 10/25/04
Deputies barricaded the entrance to the Hendrick shop in Charlotte, allowing only team employees to enter the compound. Twenty or so people could be seen in the parking lot inside. A small bouquet of flowers had been placed at the entrance gate.(AP) (10-25-2004) Jayski.com 10/25/04
Hendrick Motorsports Statement:
Hendrick Motorsports officials have confirmed that an airplane owned by the organization was reported missing and downed today [Oct 24th]. The craft was en route to Martinsville, Va., from Concord, N.C.
The following is a full list of passengers:
Randy Dorton, Hendrick Motorsports engine director;
John Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports president;
Jennifer Hendrick, daughter of John Hendrick;
Kimberly Hendrick, daughter of John Hendrick;
Ricky Hendrick, son of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and owner of two NASCAR teams;
Joe Jackson, sponsor representative;
Scott Lathram, employee of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart;
Elizabeth Morrison, co-pilot;
Richard Tracy, pilot;
Jeff Turner, Hendrick Motorsports general manager
Hendrick Motorsports asks that those affected be kept in your thoughts and prayers, and respectfully requests that privacy be considered throughout this difficult time. Further inquiries regarding the investigation of this incident should be directed to the appropriate government agencies.(HMS PR)(10-25-2004) Jayski.com 10/25/04
Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of all the
victims.......like everyone else, I am stunned and saddened....
wise, it is times like this when it is hard to post such tragedies. It is
like your breath is knocked out of you as you type it. My prayers and
thoughts go to all the families.
NBC to use a 5-second
delay: NBC Sports will institute a five-second delay in NASCAR coverage
beginning Sunday from Kansas Speedway during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
Banquet 400. "We're disappointed for our viewers to have to do this, but the
delay provides a level of protection against anything inappropriate going out
over the air," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. "We
thought we could rely upon the precedent of NASCAR's disciplinary action taken
earlier this year when two Busch Series drivers uttered profanities during radio
"Our initial hope would have been to broadcast on delay only during pre- and post-race coverage, but by using the delay during competition, our pit reporters won't be limited in interviewing drivers, crew chiefs and team owners as compelling stories inevitably unfold under the pressure and intensity of the moment."
"For more than a half century, most major American sporting events have aired live. While broadcasting on delay is extremely unfortunate, we've come to the conclusion that taking this step provides the additional safeguard needed in today's climate."
The radio communication between teams and drivers during actual racing has always been heard on delay during NASCAR telecasts on NBC. Coverage on NBC of Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Banquet 400 presented by ConAgra Foods begins at 1:30pm/et with the "Discover Card Countdown to Green" pre-race show, followed by green flag racing at 2:00pm/et.(NBC PR)(10-7-2004)
Latest news from Jayksi on Earnhardt and fines
No Delay? Dale Jr. should had said 'poop' UPDATE
fined and docked points TO APPEAL: been asked by readers if Dale Earnhardt Jr.
will be fine/penalized for his on-air curse during his post-race-win interview
at Talladega on NBC. That is up to NASCAR, but here are a few tidbits found
accross the Internet on the situation:
1) During the interview in Victory Lane with NBC's Matt Yocum, Earnhardt Jr. was asked what it meant to win for the fifth time at Talladega. Earnhardt Jr. replied, "It don't mean s--- right now. Daddy's won here 10 times." NBC later issued an apology for the inappropriate language. After several media requests, NASCAR is reviewing the post-race videotape, according to spokesman Mike Zizzo. Any penalty would be handed down Tuesday at the earliest, Zizzo said.(NASCAR.com)
2) ......off-color words he uttered on NBC during a postrace interview, which NASCAR is reviewing before deciding any disciplinary action. Earlier this season Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday Jr. each were fined $10,000 and docked 25 championship points for talking 'dirty' [using the same word...but in anger] during Busch Series broadcasts. If precedence holds, Earnhardt could go from 13 points ahead of second-place Kurt Busch to 12 points down with seven races left in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. "If anybody was offended by that, I can't imagine why they'd tune in to a race in the first place," Earnhardt said, later joking that he needed some Dale Carnegie classes. "There were a lot of hand gestures going on through the race, and that was weak compared to what you go through on the racetrack. But I hope they understand it was in jubilation. ... When you're happy and joyous about something, it's different from being angry and cursing in anger."(USA Today )
3) Asked about the matter, NASCAR vp/communications Jim Hunter said, "We're looking into it," adding that a decision would be made by Monday or Tuesday. Earnhardt seemed strangely subdued after the race, apparently aware that his slip of the tongue could prove to be costly. "I'm worried about losing the points lead, because I don't know what kind of deal will come out of it," he said. "If you guys [press] push the issue, in three or four days it could be a big problem. I just hope everybody understands it came out of jubilation."(Speed Channel)(10-4-2004)
UPDATE - Fined and Docked 25 points: Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized with a loss of 25 championship driver points and a $10,000 fine for an inappropriate post-race comment during the live national television broadcast of Sunday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budwesier Chevrolet, was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book for using inappropriate language. The penalty also will extend to the team as Dale Earnhardt Inc. will lose 25 championship owner points for the actions of its driver. Earnhardt Jr.’s championship points total will be adjusted from 5,543 points to 5,518 as a result of the penalty, and will drop him from first to second in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Kurt Busch and Roush Racing will assume the lead with 5,530 points, 12 ahead of Earnhardt Jr. and DEI, respectively.(NASCAR PR)
TO APPEAL: XM Radio - NASCAR Channel 144 reports that DEI will appeal the penalty.
DEI Statement/Appeal: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. announced today that the #8 Budweiser eam that fields Chevrolet Monte Carlos for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Nextel Cup Series, will appeal the NASCAR-imposed post-race penalty that cost the team 25 championship points and $10,000. Richie Gilmore, DEI Director of Competition, cites that the 25- point penalty under the new 10-race “Chase for the Nextel Cup” format could be devastating with only seven races remaining. “This is a huge setback for the entire company,” Gilmore said. “We’re in a sport that focuses its primary attention on the final 10 races of the season and we’re racing against formidable teams for a championship. We’re facing a setback from a competition standpoint for something that should be considered a personal foul. We have no choice but to appeal the points portion of the penalty. I think we’re the only sport that takes points off of the board after they’ve been scored. The popularity of this sport is based on colorful personalities and the fact that everyone can relate to these drivers and their emotions. Now, it seems like that’s a detriment. Dale Jr.’s comment was made in the excitement of the moment, seconds after he climbed out of the car. It wasn’t made in anger or hostility directed at anyone. This whole incident is going to force everyone in the sport to rethink showing any excitement in what should be a jubilant moment. We’ve had hundreds of calls from fans that support us. Our sponsors have vowed their support, as well. If nothing else, we can look back at this race and always remember it as one where we were reminded of the loyalty everyone has toward Dale Jr., the No. 8 team and our company.”(DEI Site)(10-5-2004)
Harvick and Kenseth
dropped in final finishing order UPDATE and fined $25k: after meeting with
#17-Matt Kenseth and #29-Kevin Harvick for their beating and banging and
spinning each other out, NASCAR moved both to the tail end of the lead lap. So
Kenseth goes to 21st and Harvick goes to 20th. Unofficial results already had
Kenseth in 21st due to his pitstop, Harvick drops from 10th to 20th but
maintains 9th in the driver points standings.(Speed Channel's Speed News
AND the official results are now posted at the Pocono Race Results/Awards page.(6-14-2004)
AND II Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick were penalized for bumping each other at the end of the Pocono 500. With Sunday's race about to end under caution, Harvick spun Kenseth into the infield in Turn 3 on Lap 197. Kenseth then did the same to Harvick on the backstretch on the next lap. Both Kenseth, the 2003 series champion, and Harvick were interviewed after the race by NASCAR officials, who then dropped them to 20th and 21st. Harvick originally finished 11th, and Kenseth had finished 10th. More penalties could be coming later this week, NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "It boils down to a frustration level between the 17 [Kenseth] and the 29 [Harvick] that got played out on the race track, under caution, and that's something we frown on ... greatly," Helton said.(CNNSI/AP)(6-15-2004)
UPDATE - Kenseth and Harvick fined: Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth were each fined $25,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation until Aug. 11 for bumping incidents between the two during the final laps of Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. Harvick, driver of the #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy, and Kenseth, driver of the #17 DeWalt Ford, took part in bumping and spinning out each other during the final caution period of the race, which extended from Lap 197 to 200. Both drivers were penalized for involvement in an altercation with another competitor during a caution period. The rift began 11 laps from the finish when Harvick passed Kenseth coming out of Turn 1 and cut in front of Kenseth's car. Kenseth then used the front of his car to lift Harvick's rear wheels and passed him again as the final caution came out. While the race was under caution, Harvick spun Kenseth into the infield in Turn 3 on lap 197. At the time, no penalties were assessed or drivers or crew chiefs called to the NASCAR hauler. Kenseth then returned the favor on the backstretch on the following lap, after which NASCAR called both drivers and crew chiefs to the hauler after the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(6-16-2004)
Gang Camp Opens: I attended the grand opening of the
Gang Camp on Tuesday [June 15th] and was blown
away by the camp and all it's beautiful buildings. The event was well organized,
enjoyable and quite emotional [yes I shed a few tears]. I got to see the
computer lab funded by readers of Jayski.com an was shocked to see a huge Jayski
banner adorning the wall of the Silver Theatre where the lab is located, the
home page for all the computers is Jayski.com, I was quite humbled. If nothing
else becomes of this site, knowing that I and the readers were in some small
part able to help the Petty's and kids, all the hard work is worth it and really
motivates me to continue and keep working at it. The folks attending the event
were quite impressive, all the Petty's were there, Paul Newman, Tony Stewart,
Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers, Robbie Loomis, Benny Parsons, Ned
Jarrett, Gov. Mike Easley, Rep. Karen Ray and just so many people, some I knew,
some I met. Brian and Heather [and Mechanzie?] Collier and their staff have done
an awesome job, I was just in awe and shocked at the place. Even on-and-off
showers couldn't dampen the night or the spirits of everyone there. I dropped
off my check for Robby Gordon's double [$815 - for each mile he ran at Indy and
LMS - plus I added a bonus of $185], so the
computer lab fund is up
over $12,000 now]. I took a bunch on pics and hope to post them soon, but
www.FoxSports.com has a few images posted to get ya started at:
PHOTOS: Victory Junction Gang Camp grand opening
and see a good PR about the night at
Catchfence.com and story at the
Rocky Mount Telegram. I
plan to come up sometime soon once things settle down and spend a day up there,
updating from the Computer lab and seeing the staff and kids and helping in
anyway I can. And thanks to Kyle and Pattie Petty for the kind words, it means
alot to help out.
NASCAR team "Crew Chefs" will compete in cooking competition.
NASCAR team members who love to cook will whip up the favorite dish in front of a crowd at Pocono Raceway in July. A cookbook, Tastes of Victory, will be published to complement the event. The book will include Crew Chef entries and favorite recipes from race fans across the country. A portion of the event and cookbook proceeds will be donated to Victory Junction Gang Camp.
(PRWEB) April 10, 2004--RACE Motorsports Marketing announced its first annual event at Pocono Raceway to be held Friday, July 30 at 5:30 in the infield area of the track. During a recent interview when asked how she came up with the idea for a cooking competition, company president Robyn Cavallaro explained that the event name is a play on words. “Every NASCAR team is directed by a Crew Chief who leads the team to victory. The Crew Chef provides the “fuel” that leads the team to victory. This is how the Crew Chef Challenge was born. . It was my idea to provide a chance for those behind the scene team members a time to shine.”
Robyn continues “After spending some time in the garage area I quickly noticed the teams devouring some great looking and aromatic grilled food. Having an immense love of food my curiosity got the best of me and I had to find out where it was coming from. After some investigation I discovered an amazing group of individuals who, in addition to providing three hearty meals a day, are an integral part of the race team success.” Robyn says “You will find Crew Chefs behind the big rig of your favorite driver’s team hauler, tuning engines and even assisting the driver into his car at race time. And boy can they cook! These Crew Chefs are as important to the team success as their fearless leader the Crew Chief.”
RACE approached Pocono Raceway to host the event. “The officials at Pocono are always looking for new ways to enhance the fans experience at the track” said Robyn. “They were excited to have the opportunity to work on a project that showcases more of the team and that would be fun for all family members to attend.”
The event will be held immediately after qualifying on Friday afternoon in the infield area. The event is free for all infield area ticket holders. Robyn also mentions “Trackside will televise a portion of the event live.” A local personality will emcee the event. The crowd will be entertained with a cooking display and some interesting facts about the “Crew Chefs”.
Robyn says “to complement the event we are publishing a cookbook called “Tastes of Victory” a recipe collection from the first Crew Chef Challenge.” The book will be a combination of Crew Chef and race fan recipes. Lori Munro of www.war-wagon.com has designed all original artwork for this officially licensed product. “We have created some fun and interesting categories to make the book a unique must have for NASCAR fans and anyone who loves to cook.” Fans don’t wait to send your recipe, get it in early to ensure inclusion in the book. “The response to the book has been tremendous”, states Robyn. To submit your recipe go to www.racesports.net and click on the Crew Chef logo. “We are currently taking with QVC and hope to have the book available on For Race Fans Only in September”, says Robyn, “the book will also be available at the event and on our website.”
By the way Robyn says “We are working closely creating contests with several of our sponsors.” Look for the opportunity to grill along side the crew chefs during the competition or become a guest judge! Check the website often for promotions and event updates.
Robyn feels it is important to give back to the community which is why she has chosen to donate a portion of the event and cookbook proceeds to Victory Junction Gang Camp. For more information on Victory Junction visit their website at www.victoryjunction.org
About RACE Motorsports Marketing LLC- RACE is a marketing firm devoted strictly to the motorsports industry. The firm will demonstrate that a well designed motorsports strategy will demand brand recognition, offer revenue generating opportunities, and develop not just any relationship with your clients but a “Power Relationship”.
The Third Annual Racers Party by Emma Downie will be November 20, 2004, at 6:00 PM. It will be held at the Harrington Community Center again this year. Please contact Emma to let her know if you want to contribute anything toward the party. Emma has been holding these parties simply because she loves racing. Each year the party has grown and there is a lot of fun reminiscing at all the photos too. Music, 50-50's, Food and Fun! Also contact Emma to let her know you are planning to attend. Emma will need to get a count in order to have enough food and door prizes. You can reach Emma at 302-398-6186. or at her email address of firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale Jr. causes caution UPDATE:
#8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted repeatedly after Sunday's race he spun out on
purpose on Lap 431 of 500 to prevent from having to pit under green and lose one
or more laps. "I had a loose wheel and I didn't have any choice but to spin the
car out to get a caution. So I went down in the corner, had some clear room
behind me, and I just spun it out," Earnhardt Jr. said after the race. The
caution came out, I put the clutch in and got going. What the hell else was I
supposed to do? Go a lap down? Go two laps down?" Earnhardt Jr. also engaged in
a profanity-laced exchange with his crew over his radio regarding NASCAR's
decision to extend cautions late in the race to blow debris from the track. That
earned Earnhardt Jr. a trip to the NASCAR hauler. His admission of intentionally
causing a caution - an act which has been penalized previously by NASCAR - did
not seem to raise the ire of series director John Darby. " 'I spun a car out' -
that's a great excuse for spinning a car out, but proving that is another
story," Darby said. "To brag about it is not enough for me to make a move on
UPDATE: NASCAR is reviewing the post-race comments made by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in which he admitted intentionally spinning out to cause a caution, NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said Tuesday. "This issue is still being looked at," Zizzo said. Following Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Earnhardt Jr. admitted repeatedly he spun out on purpose on Lap 431 of 500 to prevent from having to pit under green and lose one or more laps. In the 2002 Winston all-star race, Kurt Busch admitted after the race he intentionally spun driver Robby Gordon to bring out a caution. Later in the week, NASCAR fined him $10,000 for intentionally wrecking another competitor. Sunday, Nextel Cup series director John Darby said initially he didn't think Earnhardt Jr. deserved a penalty. However, on Tuesday Zizzo said Darby had heard only Earnhardt Jr.'s comments over his two-way radio after the race, not any comments Earnhardt Jr. made to the media. NASCAR should reach a decision on Earnhardt Jr. by Wednesday.Kansas City Star Jayski.com 3/30/04
Bristol Facts and Notes:
* Kurt Busch won the Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway, scoring his ninth career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 120th career start. His last victory came at Bristol in August 2003, 18 races ago. This was his fourth top-10 finish in six races in 2004.
* This is Kurt Busch's fourth Bristol victory in the last five races, including three straight.
* The last time a driver won three straight short-track races was by Rusty Wallace at Martinsville (both races there in 1994 and the first race there in 1995).
* Busch has finished sixth or better in the last five races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
* Busch became the fourth different race winner in 2004.
* Matt Kenseth (fifth) remained the point leader by 21 over second-place Kurt Busch.
* Busch led 119 laps in the Food City 500, the most of the day. This marked the second time in six races in 2004 that Busch has led the most laps in a race. Busch also led the most at Darlington.
* This race was the third victory for Ford in 2004. Chevrolet also has three victories this season while Dodge and Pontiac still is seeking their first of the season.
2004 Food City 500- Notebook Items
* Rusty Wallace (second) scored his best finish since he finished second at Phoenix in November 2002. It is his third top-10 finish in 2004. It marked his 28th top-10 finish in 41 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wallace led 100 of the 500 laps raced today.
* Kevin Harvick (third) scored his third top-10 finish in 2004. It marked his sixth top-10 finish in seven races at Bristol.
* Sterling Marlin (fourth) scored his second top-10 finish in 2004. It was his 17th top-10 finish in 39 races at Bristol and his best Bristol finish since he finished second in August 1991.
* Matt Kenseth (fifth) scored his fifth top-10 finish in 2004, the only driver to do so. It was his fifth straight top-10 finish in his nine races at Bristol.
* Ken Schrader (sixth) scored his first top-10 finish in 2004. This was his 11th top-10 finish in 39 races Jayski.com 3/28/04
#42 and #14 Car Seized by NASCAR; #14 Team
Goes Home: NASCAR on Friday morning confiscated the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge
driven by Jamie McMurray, when it failed to meet the X-measurement of the rear
window. The violation is similar to those made by the teams of Tony Stewart and
Kyle Busch last season, which resulted in NASCAR confiscating both cars. NASCAR
spokesman Mize Zizzo said NASCAR will tow the No. 42 and No. 14 back to its
research and development center in Concord, NC, for evaluation. And additional
penalties will be forthcoming after the race weekend, Zizzo said. Following the
inspection process, the car was placed alongside the NASCAR hauler and the team
brought out a backup car. The backup car has never been run. "You definitely
don't bring your best aero car to Bristol, but the first time NASCAR checked the
X-measurement - the same measurement they got Tony Stewart for and Kyle Busch -
it showed to be too much," said team manager Andy Graves. "Right now we're
trying to figure out what happened, if it was a mistake on our part or if a
mistake made in measuring the first time. We're going to have them measure it
again." Graves said the #41 and #40 Dodges, driven by Chip Ganassi Racing
teammates Casey Mears and Sterling Marlin, respectively, both measured
correctly. The X-measurement is taken diagonally from each the top corner of the
rear window to the bottom corner of the opposite side. "It shows three-quarters
(of an inch) more than any car we've ever had, so we're kind of baffled by it,"
#14 Seized too: Larry Foyt's #14 Dodge car failed to pass inspection a first time and his crew worked on the problem areas before returning to the inspection line. When the Dodge failed the final time, the car was seized by officials. The Foyt team had only a speedway car on hand as a backup, so they decided not to make a qualifying attempt for Sunday's Food City 500.ThatsRacin.com
AND The #42 Havoline Dodge was confiscated during the first inspection at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday for being five-eighths of an inch off of the X-measurement. NASCAR uses the X-measurement -- that gauges the length of the rear window from corner to corner to determine the off-set of the decklid to the roof. "The car was in line this morning and they just pulled it to the side," says Ganassi team manager Andy Graves. "I don't understand. We had to make updates, but the roofline and the decklid is the same as last year." When driver Jamie McMurray arrived at the track Friday morning, he described the situation as "puzzling". He added that it did not make sense to bring an illegal car to the track, especially at Bristol where little if any aerodynamic advantage can be gleaned. "We raced this car like seven times last year," McMurray says. "So it's a bit confusing." Crew chief Donnie Wingo agreed that the situation was "confusing" since this was the primary short track car the team used last year. "I'm just frustrated," Wingo says. "At least we have another good car in the trailer and we'll have one sent from the shop this afternoon."FoxSports/Sporting News 3/26/04 Jayski.com, 3/26/04
Newman wins pole at
Atlanta: #12-Ryan Newman was the first driver out to qualify and held on thru
the other 43 attempts to win the pole with a speed of 193.575mph at Atlanta
Motor Speedway for the Golden Corral 500. It is Newman's 20th pole in his 84th
start. It is Newman's third straight pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway as he swept
both poles in 2003. #25-Brian Vickers starts on the outside pole with a speed of
192.634. One driver failed to make the race, 3-time Atlanta winner, #89-Morgan
Shepherd. Both he and #80-Andy Hillenburg have made 3 attempts in 2004, but
Hillenburg had more owners points. #98-Todd Bodine made the race, qualified
For qualifying results see my JAYSKI's Atlanta Qualifying Page. Jayski.com 3/12/04
Pole Progression at Atlanta: (who had the pole first, who got it next and who ended up with it)
#12-Ryan Newman, 1st out to qualify, 193.575mph, starts 1st Jayski.com 3/12/04
Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
#9-Kasey Kahne, 190.811, starts 12th
#10-Scott Riggs, 190.156, starts 17th
#22-Scott Wimmer, 186.912, starts 37th
#25-Brian Vickers, 192.634, starts 2nd
#30-Johnny Sauter, 186.171, starts 39th prov
#77-Brendan Gaughan, 189.642, starts 25th
Some Qualifying Notes:
#24-Jeff Gordon and his crew cheif are both under the weather at Atlanta.
Noticed: No YokeTv.com decals on the #4 Morgan-McClure Chevy, no idea why.
none yet.....Jayski.com 3/12/04
Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
Chevy: #25-Brian Vickers, 192.634, starts 2nd
Dodge: #12-Ryan Newman, 193.575, starts 1st
Ford: #38-Elliott Sadler, 191.344, starts 5th
Pontiac: #02-Andy Belmont, 172.630, starts 41st prov.
Toyota - oops, not yet....... Jayski.com 3/12/04
Back-up car:: #97-Kurt Busch wrecked in Friday's practice and had to go to a back up car for qualifying, unless.. Jayski.com 3/12/04