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NASCAR Daily News Headlines * June 3, 2008

FOX Ratings Up 5%

Going into Sunday's Best Buy 400 at Dover, Fox's 12 NASCAR Cup features were up an average of five percent -- which the network said translates to an average of 9.65 million viewers per race, compared to 9.3 million last year.

The key showdown might have been the Coca Cola 600 against ABC's very highly promoted Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend. Indy pulled about a 4.5 rating (some 7.5 million viewers); the 600 pulled a 4.7 (some 7.6 million). And those two races, which ran back-to-back, were the top two sports events of that TV weekend. Peak viewing for the 600 (in prime time Sunday) was 6.1, with nearly 10 million viewers.

The downside for the season's first four months: Fox said that the male 18-34 demographic is down seven percent and that the male 18-49 demographic is flat. The upside: Fox said that the male 25-54 demographic is up six percent.(journalnow.com)

Addington Best Crew Chief

Steve Addington, crew chief of the No. 18 Combos Toyota driven by Kyle Busch, has been named the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday’s Best Buy 400 at Dover International Speedway. The Addington-led team captured its fourth win of the season on Sunday after Busch raced near the front of the 43-car field for practically the entire afternoon. “Steve made some great calls, adjusting air pressures, etc., just trying to make the car a little bit better,” said Busch, who started third.

Busch battled with Carl Edwards for the top spot throughout the latter half of the race, but was able to steal the lead on Lap 237 after Addington summoned him in for a cycle of green-flag pit stops. The combination of Addington’s strategy and consistent 12-second pit stops by the crew eventually propelled Busch to victory at the acclaimed “Monster Mile”.

“The way we got ahead was just great green flag pit stops,” Addington remarked following the race. “That gave us a big advantage.”

The 2008 WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge is a season-long contest that will determine the best crew chiefs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage. Following each race, a panel will vote to determine which crew chief demonstrated the most outstanding strategy and leadership during the race. It isn’t necessarily the crew chief that goes to Victory Lane, but the crew chief that makes the biggest difference for his team.

Representatives from WYPALL Wipers, together with FOX/SPEED television analyst Jeff Hammond, and three of NASCAR’s top crew chiefs who represent WYPALL, including Todd Berrier of Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy team, Bob Osborne of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 99 Office Depot Ford team, and Kenny Francis of Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ No. 9 Budweiser Dodge team, make up the panel of judges.

In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly top wins will be honored as the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead, Fla.

“The WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge spotlights the crew chief’s efforts to get his team in Victory Lane,” said Tom Merrill, Category Manager for WYPALL Wipers. “WYPALL Wipers and crew chiefs are a natural fit. Crew chiefs only want to use reliable products on their cars and engines. That’s why they choose WYPALL Wipers. Our products are used to wipe up the toughest, most stubborn messes, and we want to focus on the men who put WYPALL Wipers to use each week. That’s why we continue to show our appreciation to the crew chiefs.”

Kyle Busch Running At Three Different Tracks

Kyle Busch will be the first driver to attempt to race in each of NASCAR’s premier touring series this weekend at three different locations. Busch will participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next Sunday at the Pocono Raceway, the Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Friday night at the Texas Motor Speedway. Busch will be in Pocono on Friday afternoon for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying but will then head to the Texas Motor Speedway to race in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota Tundra Friday night.

Airplanes and helicopters will carry Busch on his endeavor and hopefully good weather will be on his side as he crisscrosses the country.

“The Cup (NASCAR Sprint Cup) stuff comes first,” Busch said. “We had a decent test at Pocono and the Cup cars have been really, really good this year. The full emphasis will be set on the Cup schedule. I am going to make every practice and qualifying in Pocono. I’m going to miss qualifying and practice in the truck and in the Nationwide car but I will be there to race it. It’s just about racing it and trying to keep ourselves up in the points and keep Billy Ballew up in the owners standing and keep myself going in the driver standings. A lot of it has to do with the fans. They like to see it and they want to go see a driver trying to race as many races as they can and to see someone be as crazy as I am most of the time.”

Crazy could be used to describe Busch’s attempt to drive all three races in all three locations but Busch sees it is about the race fans.

“I really want to thank all my fans for their support and especially want to thank all the NASCAR fans for coming to these events and putting NASCAR on the map,” Busch added.

JR Norris, the 2006 AutoZone Southeast Series Tour Champion and developmental driver for Billy Ballew Motorsports will practice and qualify the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Tundra. Norris had two starts in the Craftsman Truck Series for Ballew in 2007 including one start at the 1.5- mile speedway just outside Dallas, Texas. Norris posted a 20th place finish at his first start at the track.

“I’m a little nervous because I haven’t been in a truck all year,” Norris said. “But I’m comfortable about getting to go to Texas. I ran pretty well there last year. Getting to drive the No. 51 Tundra is exciting for me as well because of how well they have been running all year. I really want to thank Billy (Ballew) and Richie (Wauters) for giving me this opportunity. I also have to thank Kyle (Busch) for having the confidence in me to practice and qualify for him. Richie and I have a lot of history together racing so we already have the communication to set the truck up the way that Kyle will need it for the race. I wish I could race the truck myself but if Kyle was to win I know that I played a part in that and that is a good feeling. Maybe if this goes well I can get another chance to drive or race for this team or who knows, maybe for someone else.”

The Sam’s Town 400 (167 lap, 250.5 mile) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is slated to begin at the Texas Motor Speedway Friday, June 6 at 9:00 pm ET. The race will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 9:00pm ET and on MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio beginning at 8:45pm ET.

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