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NASCAR Daily News Headlines * October 9, 2008
Qualifying Rained OutJimmie Johnson will start on the pole of Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway as a result of qualifying being cancelled due to inclement weather and the field being set by provisions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) rule book. As the point’s leader, Johnson will bring the field to the green flag. This is the eighth time this season rain has forced the field to be lined up per the rule book. Carl Edwards will start on the outside of Johnson with Greg Biffle in third and Jeff Burton will roll off in the fourth spot. Clint Bowyer qualified followed by Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to round out the top ten. The rainout spoils the chances of three drivers that were going to make their Sprint Cup debuts, Bryan Clauson, Brad Keselowski and Scott Speed. Derrike Cope also made the trip home.
For Full Starting Lineup... (Insider Racing News)
It's Official, Army Will Sponsor NewmanRyan Newman’s strong credentials in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series just got stronger with the announcement that the U.S. Army will sponsor the reigning Daytona 500 champion and his No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in 22 point-paying Sprint Cup races in 2009, along with the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star race May 16 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. For the remaining 14 races, the U.S. Army will serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 39, which will be owned by Tony Stewart.
“With Tony Stewart’s leadership and Ryan Newman behind the wheel, we know that the new U.S. Army NASCAR Racing team will demonstrate the same mental, emotional and physical strengths found in each Army Strong Soldier,” said Maj. Gen. Montague Winfield, commanding general U.S. Army Cadet Command. “We are confident that this team of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman will demonstrate the same ethos that guides our Soldiers – putting the mission first, a refusal to accept defeat and a never quit attitude.”
Newman, a winner of 13 Sprint Cup races, including this year’s 50th running of the Daytona 500, will be a teammate to Stewart, the two-time Sprint Cup champion who will drive the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet in 2009.
“I am extremely honored for the opportunity to drive the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet and proud to represent the men and women who serve and protect our country,” Newman said. “The dedication, teamwork and passion of the Soldiers who defend our country is inspiring, and it will drive myself and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing to become one of the elite teams in the garage. Every time I drive the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet and this crew competes at the track, we will give it everything we have to get to victory lane.”
The partnering of the U.S. Army with Stewart-Haas Racing gives the organization strength as it prepares for its inaugural Sprint Cup season in 2009.
“There is no group of people more dedicated to service and committed to excellence than the men and women of our armed forces,” Stewart said. “We take great pride that the U.S. Army has chosen Stewart-Haas Racing as the team to lead its NASCAR effort.”
Future U.S. Army driver Newman is from South Bend, Ind., and he was the 1999 USAC Silver Crown Series national champion. He compiled quite a record in USAC before embarking on his stock car career. The Purdue University alum who graduated in 2001 with a degree in vehicle structural engineering racked up 17 USAC wins before making the move to stock cars with Penske Racing in 2000.
The learning curve was short, as Newman won three out of five ARCA RE/MAX Series races that year to begin his fast track to the elite Sprint Cup Series, where in addition to his 13 wins, he has 43 poles.
Newman and Stewart bring together a combined 57 USAC wins and 46 Sprint Cup wins, as Stewart also honed his racing skills in USAC’s Sprint, Midget and Silver Crown divisions. Both are former Raybestos Rookie of the Year winners in Sprint Cup, with Stewart claiming the honor in 1999 and Newman earning the title in 2002. Both drivers have also qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, with Newman earning a berth in the Chase’s inaugural season in 2004 and again in 2005. Stewart joined Newman in the Chase in 2004, won the championship in 2005 and returned to the Chase in 2007 and again in 2008.
Thomas Taylor Warren DiesThomas Taylor Warren, a photographer who captured thousands of enduring images during his brilliant career, passed away Wednesday night. The man known throughout the NASCAR garage as T. Taylor was 83. Warren’s most famous image was taken at the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. Earlier this year, Warren shot photos at the 50th running of that race. He never missed one in between.
In 1959 he was positioned on pit road to shoot the winner’s car as it came to the finish of the first Daytona 500. But three cars wound up in his viewfinder. Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp were battling side-by-side on the final lap. Petty had Beauchamp to his inside and the lapped car of Joe Weatherly to the outside. Petty and Beauchamp both thought they’d won, but NASCAR called Beauchamp to victory lane. Petty immediately lodged a protest.
Warren took his cameras and film to NASCAR’s offices on South Peninsula Street in Daytona Beach and went into the darkroom.
“I started looking through my negatives for some reason, I don’t know why,” Warren recalled in an interview in February. “I saw a frame from the finish and made a print. I ran it through the chemicals real quick and looked at it.”
Uh-oh, Warren thought. The image showed Petty’s No. 42 car a hood ahead of Beauchamp’s No. 73 just a few yards short of the finish line. Warren took the still-wet print upstairs to the office and found Pat Purcell, NASCAR’s executive director and Bill France’s right-hand man. “I said, ‘Pat, we’ve got a problem,’ ” Warren said.
Three days later, NASCAR reversed the ruling and named Petty the race winner.(turn-lane.blogspot.com)
Dan Stillman Named Best Crew ChiefDan Stillman, crew chief of the No. 01 DEI/Principal Financial Group Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith, was named the WYPALL* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race for Sunday’s strong performance in the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
After qualifying in the fourth position, Smith and the Stillman-led team went on to display a remarkable performance throughout the entire 500-mile race. Running in the top-10 for the latter part of the race, Smith was in second place on the final lap when he attempted to pass race leader Tony Stewart. Stewart moved up the track to block the No. 01, but Smith forced his way to the inside, beating Stewart to the checkered flag.
NASCAR officials ruled that Smith had passed Stewart by going below the yellow line. They penalized Smith and the No. 01 team, crediting them with an 18th place finish.
Stillman and the entire No. 01 team came prepared to win this weekend. “I’m proud of the Dan and they guys”, said Smith of Stillman and his crew. “They’ve worked really hard, we’ve stuck together”. Even though the final result was not what Smith and his team had hoped for, they still executed a successful weekend.
With just six races to go in the Sprint Cup season, the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings (top 5) are as follows (in wins): Steve Addington, with four wins, Chad Knaus and Bob Osborne have three wins, and Chip Bolin, Tony Eury Jr., Gil Martin and Pat Tryson all have two wins.
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 Cup 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 made the biggest difference to his team.
Memphis Race To Be SimulcastNASCAR, ESPN and SPEED have announced broadcast plans for the Oct. 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park. The Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 presented by the Southern Dodge Dealers will be simulcast live on ESPN Classic and SPEED. Online broadcasts of the race will also be streamed live on ESPN360.com and NASCAR.com.
“The simultaneous broadcasts on SPEED and ESPN Classic, along with live streaming on NASCAR.com and ESPN360.com, will provide our fans with a wide range of opportunities to watch the race on various platforms,” said Robbie Weiss, NASCAR’s vice president, broadcasting. “This is a busy time of year for live sports and we really appreciate ESPN and SPEED working together to come up with a plan that takes care of our fans. ESPN and SPEED will work aggressively to promote this simulcast."
The NASCAR Countdown prerace show will air Oct. 25 on ESPN Classic from 3-3:30 p.m. ET followed by the race simulcast at 3:30 p.m. ET. Immediately upon completion of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, SPEED will move directly into coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Memphis. SPEED will not carry NASCAR Countdown.
“ESPN is here to serve sports fans, and we appreciate the cooperation from NASCAR and SPEED to make this simulcast possible,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. “This effort ensures an opportunity for the greatest number of fans to be able to watch the Memphis race.”
“SPEED is happy to assist again with a simulcast of a NASCAR Nationwide Series race,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “SPEED works well with the NASCAR television partners all season long and believes this kind of network cooperation is in the best interest of NASCAR fans and SPEED viewers.”
ESPN Classic also will carry live NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice from Memphis from 4:30-6 p.m. ET on Oct. 24 and NASCAR Nationwide qualifying on Oct. 25 from 10:30 a.m.-noon ET.
“On this 10th anniversary of Nationwide Series racing in Memphis, we’re excited to be able to share our race-day experience with not one but two national audiences,” Memphis Motorsports Park Vice President and General Manager Jason Rittenberry said.
SPEED Hits Million MarkThe NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from Talladega broke the million-household mark at its peak and continued a strong, season-long trend of NCTS ratings increases on SPEED.
The event scored an average Nielsen Household Rating of 1.11 (816,000 households), an 18-percent increase from last year. Race coverage peaked at 1.36 (1 million households), a 15-percent increase over last year's peak of 1.18.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events on SPEED have enjoyed double-digit Nielsen Ratings increases in 10 of the last 14 races.
Other programs scoring well over the weekend included NASCAR Nextel Cup Series qualifying (.90, 660,000 households), NCTS Setup (.82, 600,000 households) and NASCAR RaceDay (.78, 570,000 households).
As the championship battle heats up, the NCTS action on SPEED continues Oct. 18 at Martinsville with the popular pre-race show NCTS Setup with Krista Voda at 2:30 p.m. ET, and race coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET.(PR)
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