Stock Car Gazette e-zine for Wed., 5/20/09
Hopefully this will make up for yesterday’s smaller Stock Car Gazette. There’s lots of news and info, expecially for you fans of NASCAR’s Canadian Tire Series. Enjoy.
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E d i t o r ‘ s * N o t e s
Stock Car Gazette Columnists Speak Out!
Charlotte – Who’s Hot & Who’s Not For The Coca-Cola 600
by: Mike Wells
Who do you think of when you think of this race? Most think of Jimmie Johnson and his domination on this track. However, he has not won here in the last six races. Kasey Kahne is actually one to watch along with a few others. Read the rest at motorsportsnews.net/archives/3666
For more of this writer, visit motorsportsnews.net/archives/category/water-from-the-wells
N A S C A R * S P R I N T * C U P * S E R I E S
Courtesy of AutoRacingSport.com
Mayfield told what drug he tested positive for
The administrator of NASCAR’s drug-testing program said Monday he personally told Jeremy Mayfield what banned substance was found in his positive test. Dr. David Black, CEO of Aegis Sciences Corp., which runs the testing program, said he specifically identified the drug in several conversations with the Sprint Cup driver over a three-day period after NASCAR [...]
Courtesy of Stock Car Gazette subscriber Ed B. – thanks!
Confusion reigns in Mayfield substance-abuse case: AutoWeek Magazine
Jeff Gordon has minor procedure to help back pain
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Courtesy of Google Alerts
Time has come for NASCAR to shorten races
FOXSports.com – USA
by Jeff Owens, NASCAR Scene, Special to FOXSports.com The final 10 laps of Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race were about as good as it gets. …
Gordon undergoes back procedure
Kansas City Star – MO,USA
By Sports Network Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon underwent a back procedure Monday in hopes of alleviating pain that has gotten …
Jeff Gordon treated to relieve back pain
The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Jeff Gordon had an injection in his back to help ease the pain he’s had for more than a year, and the four-time NASCAR champion says …
Courtesy of Insider Racing News
All-Star Ratings Hold Steady
SPEED scored a Nielsen Household Rating of 3.68 (2,691,000 households), down just 2 percent from last year’s 3.74 (2,701,000 households), for Saturday’s live broadcast of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXV. Race coverage peaked at 4.69 (3,426,000 households) and was the highest-rated program on cable in its time slot. “While it never feels right to high-five each other when we don’t deliver ratings growth, we know what kind of effort went into making this an amazing week for SPEED and its partners,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “In this challenging climate, it is tremendously gratifying to deliver an All-Star number virtually equal to last year’s effort.”
Gordon Gets Backed Worked On
Jeff Gordon, who has experienced progressively worse back pain in the past few years, had a procedure on Monday he hopes will alleviate much — if not all — of the pain. Gordon was treated in a procedure that typically calls for an injection of lidocaine or anti-inflammatory medication. Gordon zeroed in on a cause for his aching back last month. An MRI revealed a touch of arthritis and other issues he described as possibly related to “trauma, from a crash, or maybe just from years of beating it up.” Gordon silently suffered through chronic back pain all of last year, his first winless season since his 1993 rookie year. He revealed his condition at the start of this season when he began using a trainer to help him properly stretch his back before and after races.
Courtesy of Jayski
Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire codes at Charlotte, though the tires for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be branded “Goodyear Eagle,” while those for the Camping World Truck Series will be branded “Goodyear Wrangler” . . . this is the first time teams will be running either of these two tire codes at Charlotte . . . this left-side tire code (D-4248) is brand new to the Goodyear tire lineup . . . it has a softer compound than the left-side run at Charlotte last year and will give the cars/trucks more grip . . . this right-side tire code (D-4234) was run with great success earlier this season by Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars at Las Vegas . . . this tire set-up was tested at Charlotte on March 17-18 . . . participating in that test were Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet), Kasey Kahne (Dodge), Marcos Ambrose (Toyota) and Paul Menard (Ford) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window for the Sprint Cup cars is every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage.)(Goodyear)(5-16-2009)
After back procedure, Gordon ready to go 600 miles: UPDATE: For #24-Jeff Gordon, the 600- mile race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway provides a test for his back after a recent procedure to ease pain. Gordon, who has experienced progressively worse back pain over the past few years, had treatment on Monday. The driver of the #24 DuPont Chevy hopes the procedure will alleviate much – if not all – of the pain. “I had a facet block procedure done on my back on Monday and it went well,” said Gordon. “I was a little sore after the procedure, but I’ll definitely take that brief bit of soreness if it stops the recurring back pain I’ve had. “I hope that will end the back issues I’ve been having, but it’s too early to tell if that fixed the problem.” Never mind 600 miles on Sunday, Gordon may have a better understanding of the results of the procedure by midweek. He is scheduled to participate in “Ultimate Speed” on Wednesday – a karting event that will raise money for the Jeff Gordon Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital in Concord.(Performance Plus)(5-19-2009)
UPDATE: Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon underwent a facet block procedure on his back on Monday that he hopes will alleviate the pain that has gotten progressively worse. A facet block injection is performed to confirm that a facet joint is the source of pain and decrease the pain and inflammation in a facet joint or joints. The injection is typically recommended for those who fail to respond to other conservative treatments. In some cases the next step if the problem is not corrected surgery may be necessary.(ESPN.com)(5-20-2009)
NASCAR Media Group prepping for NASCAR Network? The NASCAR Media Group is not even two years old, but nowhere is the sanctioning body spending more money or more carefully plotting its future. Over the next few months, the media group will start moving out of its cozy, well-worn offices just south of downtown Charlotte. Its new $45 million home – $30 million in state-of-the-art equipment, $15 million in construction – will be adjoining the sparkling NASCAR Hall of Fame building in the heart of downtown, where it will occupy floors two through five of the 19-story office tower. Inside, the group will have everything it needs to start its own network, from multiple studios and control rooms, to full graphics and high-definition capability. Even though the hall of fame won’t open for another year, the office space adjoining the attraction will be ready for occupancy in June. It will give NASCAR nearly limitless options when it enters the next round of media talks – its current deals for TV, radio, mobile and the Internet expire in 2014. And the idea of joining Major League Baseball, the NBA, NHL and NFL in starting its own network will be part of the discussion.(Sports Business Journal)(5-20-2009)
CompUSA on the #71 at Lowe’s; team still looking for sponsorship: David Gilliland and TRG Motorsports are ready to tackle 600 miles of racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600. The team was able to take away a lot data from last weekend to apply to race this Sunday. The key component will be a different # 71 CompUSA/TRG Motorsports Chevy than the team ran in the Open. Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, is forging ahead with limited resources to keep this team going on the track. “The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the biggest races on the schedule and I wanted to make sure we put our best stuff on the track,” Buckler said. “The car we ran in the Open we didn’t think was going to do we needed in the 600 so we brought a different one. We have very limited resources with this team so we are picking our battles very carefully and trying to perform at a very level on selected stages. We still need to land that sponsor/partner that can help us take this great little team forward into the future.”(TRG Motorsports PR)(5-20-2009)
R+L Carriers on the #17: The #17 Ford will carry the green and gold colors of R+L carriers this weekend for the Coke 600. It will be the first of four races this season with R+L Carriers as the primary on the #17 Ford. Kenseth has carried the R+L Carriers paint scheme 10 times since 2006.(Roush Feneway PR), see an image of the car on my #17 Team Schemes Page.(5-20-2009) www.jayski.com/schemes/2009/17cup.htm
National Wild Turkey Federation logo back on the #1: The National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) “Flying Turkey” logo will again appear on the #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. for the Coca-Cola 600. The NWTF car made its debut last week for the Sprint All-Star Weekend festivities. The Bass Pro Shops partnership with NWTF is part of the Conservation Fund’s “Racing for America’s Wildlife” program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America’s hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR)(5-20-2009)
Mark Martin: 23000+ miles at Lowes and counting: Martin has logged more miles — 23,205 total — at Lowe’s Motor Speedway than any other track on the Sprint Cup circuit. If Martin circled the globe on the equator in his #5 CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevy, he would be just 1,795 miles shy of completing his mission. Martin almost could make up the remaining distance with just one round-trip from his home in Batesville, Ark., to the Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, N.C.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(5-20-2009)
Air Force sponsoring Sorenson at Lowes: #43 Air Force Dodge driver Reed Sorenson has scored the 13th most points over the last four races and climbed seven positions since Texas. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver hope to keep that string going this weekend when he races in the 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2009)
Courtesy of Racin’ Today
Minter: American Racing Loses Another Pioneer
By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
The life and times of the flashy Frank Mundy came to a sad end last week at an Atlanta nursing home. Mundy died at age 90 from complications from a …
Pedley: Hollywood Has Had Star-Crossed Affair With Racing
Woody: Some Simple Fixes To Get Fans To Watch Racing Again
Woody: Mr. Hyde Has Gone Into Hiding
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Courtesy of That’s Racin’
Logano has one-track mind
Scott Fowler: Joey Logano picked up the nickname “Sliced Bread” a couple of years ago, as in “the greatest thing since.” His rise through the driving ranks has been nothing short of meteoric.
Jeff Gordon: I’m ready to race
P R E S S * R E L E A S E S
Meet the Driver … On behalf of Prilosec OTC, Clint Bowyer will sign autographs at the Walmart store located at 150 Concord Commons in Concord on Wednesday, May 20 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be available for autographs on a first come, first served basis due to time constraints.
Coca-Cola Quarter-Mile Cookout … Bowyer will be at the Coca-Cola Quarter-Mile Cookout at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Friday, May 22 from noon – 2 p.m. Festivities will take place on the race track near the speedway’s start/finish line. The event is free and open to all ticket and annual credential holders for the historic 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600.
Meet the Team … The Helping Hands pit crew, along with other members of the No. 33 team, will make an appearance at Food Lion’s Speed Street in uptown Charlotte on Friday, May 22 from 3 – 5 p.m. The crew will sign autographs and take part in a speed stacking competition at the Cheerios Stage in the Kid’s Zone.
Speed Street … Bowyer will sign autographs at Speed Street on Friday, May 22 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Chevrolet stage. Immediately following that, Bowyer will head to the Totinos tent for the Wii Challenge from 5 – 5:30, then to the Cheerios Stage in the Kid’s Zone to sign autographs from 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Meet the Driver … On behalf of Coca-Cola, Jeff Burton will participate in a Q&A session at Food Lion Speed Street in Uptown Charlotte on Friday, May 22. The 41-year-old driver will answer questions from fans moderated by TNT’s pit road reporter Marty Snyder from 8:15 – 8:45 p.m.
Speed Street … Kevin Harvick and his RCR teammate Clint Bowyer will be appearing at the Chevrolet display during the Food Lion Speed Street Festival, Friday May 22nd beginning at 3 p.m. EDT in Uptown Charlotte. For more information about Food Lion Speed Street please visit www.600festival.com.
BEST WESTERN AND MICHAEL WALTRIP RENEW WEDDING VOWS OF NASCAR’S “ALL-STAR COUPLE” (May 19, 2009)
Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade
On Saturday, May 16, two-time Daytona 500 winner and NASCAR® great Michael Waltrip helped Karen and Jim Saunders of Greenville, N.C., celebrate 25 years of marriage and ring in their silver anniversary by re-renewing the wedding vows of NASCARs “All-Star Couple.”
It was the Saunders’ devotion and love for both each other and the sport of NASCAR that helped the duo beat out hundreds of other die-hard NASCAR couples to receive this one-of-a-kind prize and title of “All-Star Couple.” In addition to having Waltrip, Karen Saunders’ all-time favorite driver, renew their wedding vows in front of dozens at Raceworld USA, the couple also won a trip to the 25th Running of the NASCAR® Sprint All-Star Race thanks to Best Western International, the official hotel of NASCAR®.
“This is an unbelievable and once-in-a-lifetime experience for us,” said Karen Saunders. “We’ve been to many races throughout our 25 years of marriage but we never thought we’d be having our vows renewed by a racing icon. Today is truly a special day we’ll remember forever!”
In addition to taking in all the race action in Charlotte, the Saunders also won a travel card valued at $1,000 that can be used at any of the 4,000 Best Western properties worldwide for a second honeymoon.
Video of the entire ceremony can be viewed by visiting: tinyurl.com/penwnj
SHOP TILL YOU DROP – Dale Earnhardt Jr. will host QVC’s “For Race Fans Only” at Whisky River in uptown Charlotte on Friday, May 22nd with a special appearance by the six-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver. JR Motorsports driver Brad Keselowski will also be making an appearance on the show. Reserved tickets for the program are no longer available. The show will air live on QVC from 8-10 p. m. ET. Must be 21 years old to enter Whisky River. For more information please visit www.dalejr.com.
Kasey Kahne will be on hand Wednesday, May 20th from 4-6 pm for the grand opening of Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) in Mooresville. KKR drivers’ Brad Sweet, Joey Saldana and Craig Dollansky will also be present. For more information visit www.kkr9.com/grandopening
N A S C A R * N A T I O N W I D E * S E R I E S
Courtesy of Jayski
300 starts for Burton: #29-Jeff Burton will make his 300th career NNS start at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this weekend. His first start in the series came at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on March, 13, 1988. Since then, he has earned 27 victories, 88 top-five and 147 top-10 finishes and has led 4109 laps in the NNS.(RCR PR)(5-20-2009)
The Word Network sponsorsing Marc Davis: Marc Davis Motorsports announced that The Word Network will serve as the primary sponsor of their #36 Toyota and driver Marc Davis for the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday. The Word Network previously supported Davis as an associate sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Bristol and Richmond earlier this season. The Word Network is a cable and satellite television channel that reaches 65 million households in the United States and is available in over 200 countries around the world. The Word Network has established itself as a mainstream media broadcaster for African American ministries and gospel music. Their channel offers value positive religious family programming embraced by a broad demographic range.(Word Network PR)(5-19-2009)
Keller to make hospital visits in Charlotte: Jason Keller will be visiting, distributing gift bags and signing autographs for patients at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte NC from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20th. The #27 Kleenex Racing Ford will also be on display so that patients and their families can get an up-close-and-personal look at an authentic racecar. At 2:15 a check presentation will take place from the proceeds of a promotion in which ten cents of every Kimberly-Clark product purchased at Harris Teeter from May 6th through May 19th was donated to Levine. In addition, the Kleenex Racing Ford that Keller will drive in the Carquest 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday May 23rd will feature the Levine Children’s Hospital Logo on the right rear quarter panel.(Baker Curb PR)(5-19-2009)
Carolina Hurricanes on the #81 at Lowe’s: MacDonald Motorsports announced that Kevin Hamlin will again be at the wheel of the #81 D.H. Griffin Dodge for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday. In addition, the team will show their support for local NHL favorite, the Carolina Hurricanes as they begin the Eastern Conference playoff round against Pittsburgh. The MacDonald Motorsports entry will also add the Heart of a Champion Foundation logo to the #81 Dodge. The Heart of a Champion Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers educators an innovative and effective approach to developing character in the lives of their students.(MacDonald Motorsports PR)(5-19-2009)
Rookie Notes: Lowe’s Motor Speedway:
Erik Darnell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway. Darnell scored a fourth-place finish, his best effort in three NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the first time this season and scored his first career top-five finish.
Justin Allgaier claimed a fifth-place finish at Darlington, his second top-five and fifth top-10 of the 2009 season.
At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored top-10 finishes in the last eight consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
Allgaier has a seven-point lead (102-95) over Brendan Gaughan in the Raybestos Rookie standings (102-95) entering the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Two Raybestos Rookies are in the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings: Scott Lagasse Jr. (eighth) and Allgaier (ninth).
Cale Gale was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, scoring a 30th-place finish.(Camp & Assoc / Raybestos PR)(5-19-2009)
Nationwide and Kyle Petty raise awareness of distracted driving: Nationwide Insurance and NASCAR star Kyle Petty are joining forces to raise awareness of DWD – driving while distracted. The national campaign, in conjunction with Nationwide’s sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, kicks off this week with a satellite media tour from Lowe’s Motor Speedway and an event at New Technology High School at Garinger in Charlotte, NC. In his role as spokesperson for the Nationwide DWD campaign, Petty will serve as host for many of the high school events planned throughout the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.(Nationwide PR)(5-18-2009)
DiBenedetto to make Nationwide debut at Memphis: Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Matt DiBenedetto is scheduled to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Memphis Motorsports Park in October. DiBenedetto, who last month won the NASCAR Camping World Series East race at Tri-County (N.C.) Motor Speedway in just his second start in the series, turns 18 in July.(Scene Daily)(5-18-2009)
C A M P I N G * W O R L D * T R U C K * S E R I E S
Courtesy of Jayski
Carmichael takes on the Law at TMS: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Ricky Carmichael took on the law and … he won. Carmichael, a two-wheel legend more known for his 15 motocross championships, dusted off his former skills and hopped aboard a motocross bike to challenge the Fort Worth Police Department Motorcycle Unit on a skills competition course at Texas Motor Speedway. Carmichael, at TMS to promote the June 5 WinStar World Casino 400 truck series race, competed against Officer Mike Richey in a motorcycle skills course on pit road that involved the same drills given to those training to become a motorcycle officer. The course consisted of three drills – intersection, offset cone weave, and in and out box – built into one course and Carmichael showed no signs of rust. Carmichael, using a Suzuki RM-Z450 provided by Action Suzuki/Kawasaki of Mesquite, ran the course in 49.733 seconds compared to 52.971 seconds of Officer Richey, who was riding a 2009 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. Fans can watch Carmichael and the rest of the truck series drivers compete under the lights during the WinStar World Casino 400 on June 5th.(Texas Motor Speedway PR)(5-20-2009)
Fitzpatrick to Kevin Harvick Inc.? J.R. Fitzpatrick, the 20-year-old racing prodigy from Cambridge who stood the NASCAR world on its ear at Daytona in February by finishing fourth in the Camping World Truck Series race, has struck a deal to drive for Kevin Harvick’s organization this season. Harvick, who has teams entered in all three of NASCAR’s big-league divisions – Sprint Cup, Nationwide stock cars and Camping World Trucks – has reportedly come to terms with Fitzpatrick and the announcement of just exactly what’s in store will be made this week. Hint: Expect truck races and maybe a stock car race or two to be part of the expected news release.(Toronto Star)(5-19-2009)
Benson to race in several ISMA events: Johnny Benson has announced that he will be hitting the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) trail on eight occasions due to fewer schedule conflicts between the two series. His first appearance in his new #21 will be at Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut on Saturday. While the two divisions are like night and day, Benson’s affinity to the powerful supermodifieds comes naturally. Benson’s father is a former supermodified champion and was the winner of the 1966 International Classic at Oswego Speedway. Prior to his limited number of runs in the Lichty car in the past few seasons, Benson had no prior open-wheel experience, but he indicated in a past interview that he loves racing in the ISMA supermodified division. Benson’s own car was debuted at Berlin Raceway last September. It carries the number 21, which his father’s car carried decades ago. [For details on the Waterford Speedbowl appearance, visit the Jayski Appearance Page.](The Palladium-Times)(5-19-2009)
A R C A (Automobile Racing Club of America)
Courtesy of ARCA
Kligerman, Hessert On Inside ARCA Today at 3:00 ET
TOLEDO OH (5-20-09) – “Inside ARCA” on the ARCA Racing Network returns with another all-star line-up today from 3:00-4:00 PM ET.
Short-Track Warrior Hessert Hauls at Toledo; No Time Off for Tom; Busy All the Way to Pocono…
TOLEDO OH (5-19-09) – Tom Hessert came to Toledo Speedway looking to top his career-best ARCA RE/MAX Series finish of fifth. Mission accomplished.
The Cherry Hill, New Jersey driver, minus a right-front fender, finished third in Sunday’s wild, rough-and-tumble Menards 200 at the Toledo short-track. In three starts there from ’08 up, he’s not finished out of the top-10.
U S A R (United Speed Alliance Racing)
Courtesy of USAR
USARacing Pro Cup Series Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend at Langley Speedway
Erica Kron – Media Relations
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 9:18:00 AM
Concord, NC (May 18, 2009) – The USARacing Pro Cup Series is heading back to Langley Speedway for the first time since May 1998 this Memorial Day Weekend. The Hampton (VA) Convention&Visitor Bureau (CVB) has been named the title sponsor of the Pro Cup Series’ third event of the season. The HAMPTON VIRGINIA 250 is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start on May 23, in Hampton, VA.
“We take great pleasure in having the Hampton Convention&Visitor Bureau as our title sponsor for the Langley race,” said Jimmy Wilson, Vice President/ Series Director. “We’re excited about the Series’ return to the area and to Langley Speedway. Hampton is a beautiful part of the country, rich in history and racing heritage. It’s a total package and we’re happy to do our part to promote tourism to the area.”
Read more – usarprocup.com/view_article.asp?id=3026
Entry List – HAMPTON VA 250
Langley Speedway, Hampton, VA – May 23, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:11:00 PM
NO CAR # DRIVER CAR HOMETOWN
1 06S BOBBY GILL FORD FUSION CONCORD, NC
2 65S MATT LOFTON CHEVY MOORESVILLE, NC
3 56S BRANDON WARD CHEVY WINSTON-SALEM, NC
4 73 JEFF AGNEW FORD FUSION FLOYD, VA
5 22 DREW HERRING FORD FUSION BENSEN, NC
6 23s JP MORGAN CHEVY IMPALA ETHER, NC
7 04n LARRY BARRETT CHEVY IMPALA RINGGOLD, VA
8 75N RONNIE SOUDERS CHEVY IMPALA BELOIT, OH
9 6 DANNY ABOLD CHEVY LIVERPOOL, NY
10 54s CLAY ROGERS CHEVY TROUTMAN, NC
11 23n TBA – HERITAGE MTSPTS CHEVY BECKLEY, WV
12 22N DEREK KALE CHEVY BECKLEY, WV
13 28s BILLY BIGLEY, JR FORD FUSION NAPLES, FL
14 75s CALEB HOLMAN CHEVROLET ABINGDON, VA
15 68n ALLEN PURKHISER FORD FUSION MOORE, NC
16 1n BRETT BUTLER CHEVY LAWRENCEVILLE, GA
17 00S LUCAS RANSONE CHEVY MADISON, NC
18 13S JOHN GIBSON FORD STATESVILLE, NC
19 55 TOM POWERS FORD MIDDLEBURG, FL
20 1S TOM HESSERT CHEVY IMPALA CHERRY HILL, NJ
N A S C A R * C A N A D I A N * T I R E * S E R I E S
Hanssen: A Rookie In The Truest Sense
When the green flag flies for the first time of the season this Saturday in St. Eustache, Joey Hanssen officially will have made the jump—a big one. However, the confident 17-year-old aims to dive headfirst into the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
Hanssen (No. 40 Prime Champ Dodge) finds himself in unfamiliar territory behind the wheel of even more unfamiliar cars, racing in the premier Canadian series against competition that, more than likely, has wrenches in the tool chest older than he is. It’s a long way from the karting tracks of Europe where he excelled at an early age.
“I’m totally excited,” said Hanssen. “I can’t wait.”
The beast that is a NASCAR Canadian Tire Series car is unlike anything that he has competed in before. The heavier, less maneuverable stock car with more than 500 horsepower certainly captures the youngster’s attention.
“I’ve never driven anything like these cars before now. The closest thing is a V6 with half the horsepower,” he said.
There have been a few test sessions for the native of The Netherlands. So, he is not being thrown entirely into the lion’s den, but it sure may seem like it when the lights come on and points are up for grabs.
He comes to the NASCAR world via a circuitous route of business associates between Europe and Canada after having an initial interest, from afar, in Indy-style racing.
“I wanted to race Indy cars, but over the last couple of years I have watched a lot of NASCAR. I think it’s a stronger product.”
A family member from his sponsor had the connection and made the initial inquiry to DJ Kennington to see if he had any interest in the talented young driver. Hanssen and Kennington first met last December and Kennington’s curiosity was peaked. The announcement proclaiming DJK Racing’s move to a two-car team came shortly thereafter.
Despite the novelty of stock-car racing, Hanssen firmly believes that racing is racing the world over once a comfort level is reached with the equipment.
“I still need to learn these cars a lot more, but the tests have gone very well. I took it easy at first since the car was a little harder to handle than I expected, but I like the speed and power,” Hanssen said. “I think this team will progress pretty quickly. It’s going to be fun.”
The Race: Tufoil 250
The Place: Autodrome St. Eustache, St. Eustache, Quebec
The Date: Saturday, May 23
The Time: 8:35 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: TSN, May 30, 5 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .4-mile paved oval
Race Purse: $85,398 CAD
2008 Winner: Scott Steckly
2008 Pole: Don Thomson Jr.
Schedule: Practice 1:30-2:30 p.m., Time Trials 5:15 p.m.
Track Contact: Tobie Legare, (450) 472-6222, email@example.com
NASCAR Contact: Shon Sbarra, (704) 309-5493, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaunt Willing To Persevere
It’s no secret. Times are tough. No industry has been spared from the drought-stricken economy, including motorsports. But John Gaunt has little desire to be a victim.
For the last two seasons, Gaunt has carried the colors of Centennial Chrysler proudly on the hood of his No. 12 Dodge. Why not? That’s where he makes his living away from the race track. However, with the difficult marketplace for the automobile manufacturers, that sponsorship is lost.
“I work there. I see it everyday and knew bad news was coming,” Gaunt said.
Throwing in the towel, though, is not in his nature. He plans to race this season as long as he can while looking to piece together something to make ends meet.
“We’ve got a good inventory of spare parts. We just need the money to get us to the track. We’ll figure out something,” he said.
Coming off a 12-place finish in the standings a year ago, the Gaunt team has a blueprint to follow. Scott Steckly finished 10th in 2007 and went into last season without a primary sponsor. After hooking up midseason with Tow Truck in a Box, he went on to win the series championship.
“(Steckly) won it all last year sitting in a similar spot as we are,” said Gaunt. “You just never know how things are going to go. That’s why you keep digging away.”
News & Notes
The Race: This event is the first of 13 races on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule. It is the series’ second visit to the track, the first being July 5, 2008.
The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 21 cars will be determined from two-lap time trials. The remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 250 laps (100 miles).
The Track: The Autodrome St. Eustache racing complex, located northwest of Montreal, consists of a .4-mile flat oval, a 1.7-kilometer road course and a .125-mile drag strip. There is also a karting track on the premises. The track was founded in 1965 as Fury Speedway de Fabreville, and the current configuration has been hosting various types of racing since 1970. The track was purchased by Alan Labrosse prior to the 2008 race season.
The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the Canadian Tire Series at the track is 17.219 seconds (83.629 mph), set by Don Thomson Jr. last year on July 5. The 250-lap race record is held by Scott Steckly at 1 hour, 53 minutes, 11 seconds, also set last July 5 for an average speed of 53.484 mph.
A Season Ago: The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series was scheduled to make its appearance in St. Eustache in late May, but the weather did not cooperate and forced a postponement. Clear skies were the order of the day, though, on the July 5 make-up date. In the race, Scott Steckly continued his hot start by earning the win. It was Steckly’s third win in the first four races of the season. DJ Kennington and Kerry Micks finished second and third, respectively.
Duhamel Back On Four Wheels: World-class American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) rider and Quebec native Miguel Duhamel will make his third NASCAR Canadian Tire Series start in the Tufoil 250. The former AMA Superbike champion, the first Canadian to collect that honor, has won the Daytona 200 five times. He is also the son of Canadian Motorsport Hall of Famer Yvon Duhamel. He will race the No. 7 Ford out of the Dave Jacombs stable.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Notebook
New Day For Canadian Tire: The retirement of Peter Gibbons put the coveted Canadian Tire race team sponsorship up for grabs. Canada’s largest retailer for automotive parts and accessories went through an in-depth process to select their new driver. In the end, they partnered with Tow Truck in a Box, which helped carry Scott Steckly to the 2008 series championship, to put their logo on the hood of the No. 22 Dodge.
Several Renew Deals: Despite the world-wide economic slowdown, several NASCAR Canadian Tire Series teams reached new agreements to continue sponsorship. Further proving NASCAR’s viability in today’s marketplace, Ron Beauchamp Jr. (No. 60 Mopar/Mobil 1/Exide Batteries Dodge), Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge), Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) and Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) all came to terms on new deals for 2009. A pair of drivers, DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Mahindra Tractors Dodge) and Anthony Simone (No. 95 Crown Modular/United Lumber Chevrolet) not only renewed their agreements, but also added significant sponsors to their programs.
Not Collecting Dust: Even though he retired as an active driver at the end of last season, Gibbons wasted little time in finding use for all his racing gear. He signed a pact with Chris Raabe, a talented 17-year-old dirt-track racer. All the youngster did in 2008 was establish a DIRTcar record with 22 wins in 45 feature starts in the sportsman class and become the youngest Mr. DIRTcar in the sanctioning body’s 33-year history. Initially, the deal is for five races, but efforts continue to add more as resources allow.
“It was time to give up driving, but not racing, and concentrate on some of the other business ventures Denise and I had been working on over the past few years,” said Gibbons. “I think it’ll be great to mentor someone I feel has the ability to take the program we started to the next level.”
New Engine Builder Award: New to the series this year is the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder Award. Teams will compete within a special points system, encompassing qualifying and race finishing positions with bonus points added for leading the most laps during a race. Each event will have a $1,000 winner and the team accumulating the most points over the season will earn the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year award to go along with a $5,000 check.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Back On TSN
For the third straight season, TSN, Canada’s Sports Leader, will be the exclusive broadcast partner of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
TSN will nationally televise 13 one-hour broadcasts – one for each of the series’ 13 scheduled races. Coverage gets underway on Saturday, May 30 at 5 p.m. ET with the Tufoil 250, the first race of the season, taking place on the flat .4-mile oval at Quebec’s Autodrome St. Eustache.
The shows will be produced by James Robinson Associates Ltd. and will include race coverage, driver interviews and features. Dave Bradley will provide the play-by-play alongside color analyst Billy Rowse Jr. Todd Lewis rounds out the broadcast team as pit reporter. The majority of race coverage will air on TSN HD, as well.
TSN’s NASCAR Canadian Tire Series coverage complements the network’s all-encompassing NASCAR programming, which includes full-season action of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
The early season will be highlighted by the first series visit to Delaware (Ont.) Speedway.
The middle portion of the schedule is dominated by the swing through western Canada. In addition to the customary stops at SunValley Speedway in Vernon, B.C., and Edmonton for the Rexall Edmonton Indy, Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Sask., is another new track on the schedule for 2009.
The season will culminate with the annual trek eastward to Nova Scotia’s high-banked Riverside International Speedway—a favorite of all the competitors—and the season finale at Kawartha Speedway, near Peterborough, Ont., where the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion will be crowned.
Home Tracks Update: Bouvrette Battles Ranger Early In The Season
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season is just underway at Autodrome St. Eustache, but it will heat up quickly as two classes of cars – sportsman and compacts – open the night of racing before the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series takes to the track this Saturday.
Defending track and provincial champion Jonathan Bouvrette is already out to an early lead in the standings amongst a strong field of cars in the sportsman classification that, in the early going, has included 2007 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion Andrew Ranger.
By the time all is said and done, though, Bouvrette will have to contend with Guy Jubinville, the 2007 track and provincial champion, for top honors in 2009.
While he has not fared particularly well, Ranger was using the opportunity to shake off the rust from the off season. He also undoubtedly was experimenting different strategies for the upcoming NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events at the facility.
Now in its third season in the NASCAR family of tracks, a sportsman class is the premier division in St. Eustache. The top class a year ago was a truck series.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series serves as the foundation of NASCAR – grassroots racing across the United States and Canada. Whelen Engineering, a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting, is the series sponsor. More than 10,000 drivers compete at NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks throughout both countries.
The short-track racing program in NASCAR was founded in 1982. Since its inception, the series has been a successful starting point for the careers of many top drivers. NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray and Brian Vickers all began their careers in this series.
Inside Track Breaking News Blog: NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News …
TSN’s NASCAR Canadian Tire Series coverage complements the network’s all-encompassing NASCAR programming, which includes full-season action of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. … Since its inception, the series has been a successful starting point for the careers of many top drivers. NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Travis Kvapil, …
Kerry Micks preparing for new season in NASCAR Canadian …
Inside Track Motorsport News – Toronto,Ontario,Canada
MOUNT ALBERT, ONTARIO (May 19, 2009) – One of Canada’s best stock car racers will be returning to the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series for 2009. …
Whit’s Race to the Finish
Whitlock Announces 2009 to be Final Season
Wyoming, ON (Tuesday May 19, 2009): This morning, I am announcing my retirement from racing at the end of the 2009 season. It has been a difficult decision to make, but I have made it, and 2009 will be my final season on the NCATS.
I have raced in various racing series for over 25 years. Now it is time to move on and enjoy some other interests. I have had a great career with many memorable wins and championships. Most importantly, I have made numerous lifelong friends throughout my motorsports career.
First and foremost, I want to have more time with my family. Over the years, they have sacrificed many plans and activities in order for me to go racing. I want to give some of this time back. And secondly, my other business ventures have grown to the point that they require more of my attention.
I felt compelled to make this announcement prior to the start of the season. I simply wanted my family, friends, crew, sponsors and all other supporters to be aware that this will be my final season.
I would like to convey a sincere thank you to all, including my crews, fans, sponsors and the businesses that have supported me throughout my career.
A special thank you to my wife Corinne, my girls Chelsea, Carlene, Carissa, my Mom, Janet and my late father Doug, who have allowed me to pursue my passion for all these years.
2008 was not a banner year, by any means! It is my full intention to get the # 39 Dickies Dodge back up front battling for wins this year!
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to be associated with Dave and his motorsports team for the past 3 years” said Bill McFarlane, VP of Marketing for Dickies Canada. “Dave is still a young man with lots of race left in him, but we respect his decision and his commitment to his family and wish them the very best in the future”. “We look forward to supporting Dave throughout the 2009 season in hopes that it will be one of the most memorable of his career”.
“I am certain that there will be no shortage of well deserved accolades pouring in once word gets out that this will be Whit’s last season” stated Dave Orosz, owner of Nitrex Metal Technologies (NMT). “Dave has a long history of success as both a team owner and driver, has earned the respect of all that have come to know him and has been a huge ambassador for Canadian stock car racing. He will be missed. But I fully support the choice that Dave has made and his reasons for doing so……nothing is more important than family. NMT is proud of the relationship that we have had with Dave and with all of the Whitlock Motorsports team, both personally and professionally it has been a resounding success and a great ride! And we look forward to the 2009 season set to get underway next week, our lucky 7th year with Whitlock Motorsports, and fully expect to see Whit on the podium once again”.
For more information on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series please visit www.nascar.ca
For more information on Whitlock Motorsports please visit www.whitlockmotorsports.com
C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S
Insider Racing News
Can We Please Change the Name of the All-Star Race?
by Chuck Abrams
Who Will Jeremy Mayfield Take Down With Him? by Dennis Michelsen
Finish Worth a Million Bucks, Making the Grade – All Star Race by Dennis Michelsen
Big Three Bankruptcies And New Government Mandates Spell Doom For NASCAR And Motorsports
by Vito Pugliese
Grading The 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part One
by Danny Peters
Did You Notice? …France Manipulates The Truth, Why Parity Is Still Problematic, And Driver Do’s And Don’ts
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Mirror Driving: Tony The Title Contender?, A NASCAR-IRL Promotional Blunder, And Waltrip Playing Favorites
by the Frontstretch Staff
Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 Heading Into The Coca-Cola 600
compiled by Mike Neff
The Nascar Insiders
Ask The Insiders Wednesday #24
We saw plenty of action during the first weekend of racing in Charlotte.
Cheers and Jeers: Ten Laps for a Million Bucks!
By Carol Einarsson | 05/19/2009
CHEERS to SPEED. The week of TV they’ve provided has been a treat to NASCAR fans with hour after hour of original programming from the extra editions of NASCAR Smarts (my favorite of which had a panel of Rutt, Kyle Petty, Schrader, and Kenny Wallace), to all of the My All Star Win programs that were a look back to some of our best racing memories. They’ve long been our favorite channel for NASCAR programming, and this week has proven why.
NASCAR TV Needs Darrell Waltrip After Fox Is Done
This NASCAR season has been unlike any other in history. The economy is reeling, the US automakers are struggling and the COT still can’t run 20 laps at Indy on one set of Goodyear Eagles.
T V * L I S T I N G S
Courtesy of Race Fans Stockcar Newsletter
THURSDAY, MAY 21
1:00 P-2:30 SPEED NASCAR Nationwide Series PRACTICE, Carquest Auto Parts 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC, HD, L
3:00 P-4:30 SPEED NASCAR Sprint Cup PRACTICE, Coca-Cola 600, Lowes Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC, HD, L
5:00 P-5:30 ESPN 2 NASCAR Now, HD, L
6:00 P-7:00 SPEED NASCAR Nationwide Series FINAL PRACTICE, Carquest Auto Parts 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC, HD, L
7:00 P-9:30 SPEED NASCAR Sprint Cup QUALIFYING, Coca-Cola 600, Lowes Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC, HD, L
FRIDAY, MAY 22
11:00 A-4:00P VS IRL Indy Car Series CARBURETION DAY, Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (includes the Indy Lights race?)
SATURDAY, MAY 23
1:00 A-1:30 ESPN 2 NASCAR Now, HD
2:30 P-3:30 SPEED NASCAR Sprint Cup PRACTICE, Coca-Cola 600, Lowes Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC, HD, L
3:30 P-5:30 SPEED NASCAR Nationwide Series QUALIFYING, Carquest Auto Parts 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC, HD, L
6:00 P-7:00 SPEED NASCAR Sprint Cup FINAL PRACTICE, Coca-Cola 600, Lowes Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC, HD, L
7:00 P-7:30 ESPN 2 /TSN2 NASCAR Nationwide Series COUNTDOWN, Carquest Auto Parts 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC, HD, L
7:30 P-10:30 ESPN 2/ TSN2 NASCAR Nationwide Series Carquest Auto Parts 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC, HD, L
SUNDAY, MAY 24
10:00 A-11:00 ESPN 2 NASCAR Now, HD, L
12:00 N-1:00 ABC/TSN IRL Indy Car Series PRE-RACE, Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, HD, L
1:00 P-4:30 P ABC/TSNIRL Indy Car Series Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, HD, L
3:00 P-5:00 SPEED NASCAR Race Day. Preview of today’s Coca-Cola 600, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, HD, L
5:00 P-5:45 FOX/TSN NASCAR Sprint Cup PRE-RACE, Coca-Cola 600, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC, HD, L
5:45 P-10:30 FOX/TSN NASCAR Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Charlotte, NC, HD, L
8:00 P-9:00 SPEED The SPEED Report, HD, N
9:00 P-10:00 SPEED Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, HD, L
11:00 P-12:00 M SPEED NASCAR Victory Lane at Coca-Cola 600, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, HD, SDD, N
We do not list all the programming offered by SPEED; for complete listings go to their website, www.speedtv.com/schedule/
Always CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS!
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