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NASCAR Daily News Headlines * June 18, 2008
CAT Will Move To RCRCaterpillar Inc. and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) have agreed to a multi-year partnership for the No. 31 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton beginning with the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Burton, a 20-time winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, is currently second in the 2008 point standings with one victory, four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in the season’s first 15 races. The No. 31 team has made the “Chase for the Championship” the past two seasons, finishing seventh in 2006 and eighth last year.
“To represent a well-known global brand like Caterpillar is an honor,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “Cat products have played a big part over the decades in construction projects at RCR, Childress Vineyards and Yadkin River Angus. Jeff and I look forward to meeting the Cat dealers and customers who loyally follow NASCAR racing.”
The 2009 season will mark Caterpillar’s 17th year of sponsorship in NASCAR. It will also be Richard Childress’ 40th anniversary in the sport.
“Success in the highly competitive environment of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series requires substantially greater levels of technology and investment than even a few years ago,” said Jim Parker, vice president of Caterpillar’s North American Commercial Division. “Joining Richard Childress and his team matches two organizations that share common values, as well as high levels of success. I'm confident this new partnership will excite Caterpillar's customers, dealers and employees."
RCR has earned 11 NASCAR championships, including six in the Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt, four in the Nationwide Series and one in the Truck Series.
Hendrick Motorsports Most ValuableHendrick Motorsports has passed Roush Fenway Racing as the most valuable team in NASCAR, according to Forbes' annual rankings. Hendrick is valued at $335 million, Forbes announced Tuesday. Roush Fenway, which topped the list in the first two years of the rankings, is second at $313 million.
Joe Gibbs Racing ($184 million), Gillett Evernham Motorsports ($150 million) and Richard Childress Racing ($130 million) round out the top 5.
Three Hendrick drivers top Forbes' list of the highest-paid drivers. Jeff Gordon ($32 million) narrowly edged Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($31 million). Jimmie Johnson ($23 million) is third, followed by Tony Stewart ($19 million), who races for Gibbs.(espn.go.com)
Newman Wants Better TeamRyan Newman has an agreement to revisit his latest contract offer with team owner Roger Penske after an undisclosed deadline, but said he will not return to his current NASCAR Sprint Cup team unless his No. 12 Dodge program shows significant improvement soon.
Newman’s season has been mostly a disappointment after he opened with a victory in the 50th Daytona 500. He’s 17th in points with five top-10s but four finishes of 30th or worse, two because of engine failures.
“It’s a performance issue,” Newman, 30, said at a pre-Coke Zero 400 media event at Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday. “There’s no excuse. The other guys aren’t doing it. We shouldn’t either. We strive to be the best at everything, and we’re failing at that.”
Newman’s latest engine disaster led to a 42nd-place finish last week at Michigan. That second incident, he said, will impact his decision on whether to return to the team that gave him his start in NASCAR in 2000.(tampabay.com)
Crew Shakeup At RoushRoush Fenway Racing announced on Tuesday afternoon, that effective immediately, Drew Blickensderfer will assume crew chief duties with the No. 60 Nationwide entry with driver Carl Edwards. Pierre Kuettel assumes crew chief duties with the No. 17 Nationwide entry to be driven by Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray.
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